Monday, 30 May 2005

A Thought Experiment

how a skilled politician can use two categorically contradictory arguments to defend two different policies.


mp3: Truthful Translations of Political Speech



Saturday, 28 May 2005


Some 300 people, descendants of a Native American people in west Canada, still speak Nuuchahnulth. after 5,000 years a rare native American language is to get its own dictionary.
uk open-access rambling area widened a staged roll out of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, passed by Parliament in 2000.
Airline stops all live trade for use in experiments
The octopus, known as poulpe in French, polip in Hungarian, and polypous in Classical Greek, is justifiably the essence of pulp.

pulp covers featuring octopus
Lessons for politicians from Big Brother's accountability and engagement strategy


is Big Brother really more popular than election?


"....I am Marco Jaye Sabba. (a uk housemate 2004). I am a diligent law student who aspires towards a first class honours degree. I have played the piano for eight years and have composed my own musical, taking source inspiration from Schonberg and Boublil, Jerry Herman and Alan Menken. I am generous, kind and thoughtful. I was bullied so spitefully at school that I became suicidal. When I grew older I wanted to help others in that position and became a Samaritan. I have a compassionate nature. I would give my last five pound note to a homeless person. I feel and can hurt easily. I am not perfect. I aspire towards becoming a better person."
newspeak dictionary.

david lynch's daily report
uk big brother 6

a selection of narratives trawled from the web, on may 28th 2005, featuring derek laud, the high-profile black conservative who entered into the transparent 24 hour surveillance environment of the uk big brother house, just a few hours ago...

a.... "disgraced former mp (now a "celebrity") Neil Hamilton and his wife (and reality tv inmate) Christine were dining with derek laud when they were falsely accused of a sexual offence."

b.... 2001: Neil and Christine Hamilton will be relying on the word of four close friends to substantiate their alibi for the night when they are alleged to have taken part in a sexual assault. The Hamiltons told police that on the night in question they were hosting a dinner party at their flat in south-west London and could not have been present during the alleged attack at a flat 10 miles away in Ilford, Essex.

present at the dinner party was Derek Laud, the former Tory lobbyist who was forced to withdraw his candidature from the 1997 general election after being convicted of drink-driving in America.

Mr Laud became the first black, homosexual master of foxhounds when he took over the New Forest Foxhounds in 1999. (...added note: this was "widely viewed as a publicity stunt to rid hunting of its white upper-crust image and bolster Laud's own political profile")

c.... mr and Mrs Neil Hamilton are in deep water. Again. They may have to rely upon the alibis of their dining companions. One of them, they tell us, was Mr Derek Laud. But Mr Laud, we recall, had to resign as a Tory candidate before the 1997 general election after a drink driving scandal and silly confusions over his CV. His extensive work as "book reviewer" to Prince Michael of Kent and "special adviser" to Lord Gowrie were activities about which both were ungraciously perfunctory when asked for details. So we do pray that Derek's recollection of dinner with Neil and Christine will be crystal clear.

d... Standing down as Conservative candidate for 'the Black ghetto of Tottenham (North London),' Mr Derek Laud stated: "I feel I must bow out owing to business commitments which have been taking up an increasing amount of time."

In fact, it turned out that he was facing a drunk-driving charge in New York. Following the accident, where he was alleged to have been driving on the wrong side of the road, four members of the family of a retired dentist needed hospital admissions and are suing for $5.5M damages.

e...." what is derek laud doing on there. Come to think of it, what the fuck is he doing existing. That's not on. He used to be the secretary of The Monday Club. A right wing extremist organisation, closely tied to the conservatives, and which officially supports the repatriation of blacks." (...back in 2001 the tory party was saying that membership of the Monday Club should be made incompatible with Tory membership "at all levels")

"Derek Laud is black!!!"

f.... The chairman of the hunt club said that Laud was chosen because "he's just a bloody nice bloke."

g.... he is nicknamed Golly by his "friends"
(as announced on the show ...bb6:derek)


h.... (added note june 7th... "Derek confesses to being brutal" ....Explaining to Roberto how he deals with things derek announced: "I could have someone executed in the morning and go out for a 3 course meal that night......I could have been a very good African dictator.")
(...These allegations went to the very top of the Tory party.)

the 1996 Freedom of Information Awards
(February 12, 1997)
...People who have fought to overcome official secrecy are recognised by the Campaign for Freedom of Information's annual Awards...

in 1997 the Freedom of Information Award was awarded to Alison Taylor, a former social worker who was dismissed for trying to expose child abuse in children's homes in North Wales, and who refused to accept a financial settlement containing a gagging clause.

Alison Taylor continued to campaign for action. She discovered that other social workers had made complaints before she did, with no result, but many others remained silent about what she said was "virtually common knowledge within the county".

Welsh secretary Paul Murphy said the victims were subject to "appalling suffering".

Mr Murphy told MPs: "In its report the tribunal has named many people: alleged abusers, convicted abusers, local government officers and elected members and Welsh office officials."

The report concluded that there was widespread sexual abuse of boys, and to a lesser extent of girls, in local authority and privately-run children's residential establishments and schools and in a NHS psychiatric unit in Clwyd between 1974 and 1990.

Children at the homes were also subjected to a "climate of violence" by staff who used "impermissable force" and condoned and even encouraged bullying, the report said.

The inquiry also found that children were also being abused by the people appointed to deal with their complaints.

Children had complained as early as 1978 about abuse, but four damning reports in the early eighties about the state of homes in Clwyd were suppressed by the council.

they allowed the abuse to continue for years, despite repeated allegations and half-hearted investigations by police and social services.

Meanwhile over a dozen victims who complained of abuse by the paedophile ring have met suspicious deaths. a fire in Hove killed five alleged victims of abuse. Many people believe the fire was deliberately set.

The Wales child abuse scandal
(June 29, 2000)

during a major scandal around the abuse of children in care in an area of the UK called Clwyd, ... prominent and respected names were mentioned by alleged victims in connection with organised sexual abuse involving VIP's including, allegedly, members of the UK Government.

"The tribunal sat for 201 days between January 1997 and April 1998. Two hundred and sixty-four witnesses gave oral evidence and 311 submitted written evidence. When the tribunal was established, it had been assumed that the press could report its proceedings, using the laws of privilege which allow them to name names from court cases and public hearings without fear of libel actions. However, Sir Ronald then ruled that the media could not report the name of any living person who was accused or likely to be accused of abusing children in the North Wales homes.

Questions and answers that surround a catalogue of abuse against children
(February 16, 2000)


Insurance companies are fighting a desperate rearguard action to prevent these abuse cases reaching court, because they are facing a bill of tens of millions of pounds for claims by young people abused in children's homes in the 1970s and 1980s.

This issue came to light most prominently in Clwyd, where the council, on legal advice, refused to publish the results of an independent investigation into abuse in several children's homes because of the risk to its insurance cover.

The insurance companies are leaning so heavily on the councils and charities that mere mention of the cases sends them into a blind panic. They refuse to answer any questions about the cases, even on general issues. The big five children's charities - Barnardo's, NCH-Action for Children, the Children's Society, the NSPCC, and Save the Children - are developing guidelines on how to deal with abuse victims who approach them, but they are hamstrung by fears over the loss of insurance which could, quite simply, bankrupt them. the insurers warn them that any hint of admission of liability will invalidate their policies. As one defendant said privately: "We would love to put our hands up and say sorry, but we are just not allowed to do so."

"The need for public debate - let alone knowledge - of the nature and extent of abuse in homes in North Wales took second place to the 'financial considerations' of (the company). Even the 'truth' was regarded by them as a casualty if financial considerations were at stake."

These inquiries and prosecutions have shown the intimidatory atmosphere in which victims can live. If they speak out, who will believe them? How can they complain to one official about the conduct of another, or challenge the conduct of the head of the home?


The Waterhouse Report By Simon Regan (Former editor of Scallywag Magazine), 20 February 2000

"At the time we ran a story entitled 'Boys for Questions' and named several prominent members of the then Thatcher government. These allegations went to the very top of the Tory party......"

"...The real trouble about exposing paedophiles is that former victims of child abuse make lousy witnesses."

"...Faced with the choice of a clearly neurotic young man who quickly falls down in the witness box, and a smooth, experienced, erudite and often highly respected culprit, juries tend to give the accused the benefit of the doubt."

Friday, 27 May 2005

Thursday, 26 May 2005

99 ways to tell a story

(via grow-a-brain)

... ZEUS, the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus and of the Pantheon of gods who resided there, caught sight of GANYMEDE the Trojan shepherd boy, said to be the most beautiful boy alive.

ZEUS was smitten with GANYMEDE and, adopting the form of an eagle, ZEUS swooped down on the youth, snatching him up in his claws.

And so the young, beautiful boy became one of Zeus' lovers.

ZEUS transported him up to OLYMPUS where he kept GANYMEDE as his personal wine waiter and catamite. in fact the word catamite comes from a Latin mis-translation of the Greek name GANYMEDE.

among the stars, GANYMEDE is represented by the constellation Aquarius. Upon hearing that Ganymede was to be cup bearer as well as Zeus' lover, the infinitely jealous Hera was outraged. Therefor Zeus set Ganymede's image among the stars as the constellation Aquarius, the water carrier. Aquarius was originally the Egyptian god over the Nile. The Egyptian god poured water not wine from a flagon.
Dong-yue da-di and Yu-huang

Dong-yue da-di supervises all the aspects of the lives of all creatures, from the moment of birth until the time of death. His name means "Great Ruler of the Eastern Mountain Top".

He is the helper of the sky god Yu-huang ... the "Jade Emperor".

Yu-huang is one of the most important deities, ruler of the entire universe, i.e., the subordinate heavens, the Earth, and the lower regions.

According to legend, Yu-huang was the son of a king. Before he was born, his mother had a dream in which Lao-jun handed her a child. Upon his father's death he ascended to the throne but abdicated his office after only a few days. He withdrew into the mountains where he studied the Tao. When he attained perfection, he devoted the remainder of his life to the sick and the poor, instructing them in the Tao. After 3,200 world periods he became a golden immortal and after a further hundred million aeons, the Jade Emperor.

one of Yu-huang's wives is the so-called horse-headed deity, who rules of silkworms....
recycled post...

"God, so atrocious in the Old Testament, so attractive in the New ... the Jekyl and Hyde of sacred romance."

(... Mark Twain)


the 10 commandments

... "The first four of the commandments have little to do with either law or morality, and the first three suggest a terrific insecurity on the part of the person supposedly issuing them. I am the lord thy god and thou shalt have no other ... no graven images ... no taking of my name in vain..."

"It's obviously too much to expect that a Bronze Age demagogue should have remembered to condemn drunken driving, or offenses against gender equality, or to demand prayer in the schools. Still, to have left rape and child abuse and genocide and slavery out of the account is to have been negligent to some degree, even by the lax standards of the time."

"the true problem is a failure to recognize that religion is not just incongruent with morality but in essential ways incompatible with it."



"So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence."

(...Bertrand Russell 1872-1970)

Wednesday, 25 May 2005

Governments around the world betrayed their commitment to human rights in 2004 and the american administration is seeking to dilute the absolute ban on torture....

in a 300-page annual report Amnesty International accused the US government of damaging human rights with its attitude to torture and treatment of detainees. Such behaviour granted "a licence to others to commit abuse with impunity", the human rights advocates said.

... Economic interests, political hypocrisy and socially orchestrated discrimination continued to fan the flames of conflict around the world. The "war on terror" appeared more effective in eroding international human rights principles than in countering international "terrorism". ...

Amnesty International said the US government's selective disregard for international law and reported abuses of detainees was sending a "permissive signal to abusive governments".

"The US, as the unrivalled political, military and economic hyper-power, sets the tone for governmental behaviour worldwide. When the most powerful country in the world thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights, it grants a licence to others to commit abuse with impunity."


"the argument favouring limited use of torture is contradicted by all of our experience.

When torture is no longer absolutely prohibited, law enforcement attitudes change.

Over time, the mentality that torture is acceptable comes to infect the entire system, and even persons accused of normal crimes get the same treatment as suspected terrorists."

....Basil Fernando, the Executive Director of the Asian Human Rights Commission, a member of the world organisation against torture (OMCT) network


The executive jet with the tail number N379P (N8068V) is a US Department of Defence prisoner transport, also known as "Guantanámo Bay Express". The craft transports people to undisclosed locations for Ultra Rendition, i.e., delivery of detainees to be tortured in foreign locations renowned for their poor human rights records.

"to stop the pain you will tell them anything they want to hear. anything."
recycled post...


the most important questions to ask are....

who benefits the most from the crime that was committed on september 11th?

and who is getting all those billions of dollars from WAR contracts and OIL?

Top Ten War Profiteers of 2004


War is a racket.

" I spent 33 years in the Marines. Most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism."

"I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street."
....General Smedley D. Butler, former U.S. Marine Commandant, November 1935


One week after 9/11, Richard Aboulafia, senior military analyst with the aerospace and defence consultancy Teal Group, said the attacks were "all good things for the defence industry".

He was right. In order to bring them onside with the war on terror, Oman, the Philippines, Indonesia, Israel, Egypt, South Korea, Chile and the United Arab Emirates all enjoyed confirmed or approved arms deals specifically because they joined the coalition to support the war in Afghanistan. Even when Tony Blair flew to India for talks with the Indian prime minister following the September 11 attacks, he couldn't help but try to finalise the sale of 60 BAE Systems Hawk fighters, worth £1bn.


Gideon Burrows writes: "Like most people, I remember exactly where I was when I first heard that terrorists had flown aeroplanes into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. I was outside a huge arms exhibition in London's Docklands, where 14 Middle Eastern nations were shopping for weapons. While events across the world were cancelled out of respect for the thousands of dead, arms buyers continued doing weapons deals in London for a further three days."


At a glance: the International Arms Trade

guardian arms trade report
"our generation was formed through the absurdity of war"

...andre malraux

"dadaism has more to do with the battle of the somme, with uprisings and putsches .... than with what we usually consider art."

...ilya ehrenburg

The uk government's latest plans for compulsory identity cards are set to be unveiled by the home secretary Charles Clarke ...

... shadow home secretary David Davis said "On an issue of this importance, one that represents such a fundamental change in the relationship between the citizen and the state, the government must make the case and conclusively prove the need for such a change,"


"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power."

Pentagon faked heroic death

US army 'let down dead NFL star'

The parents of former American football star Pat Tillman, who was killed by "friendly fire" in Afghanistan, have accused the Pentagon of propagating a false heroic account of his death to stir up patriotic fervour back home.

The account of his death on a barren hillside in Afghanistan was like a heroic, boys' comic story. But the truth was much more prosaic. Tillman was shot dead by Rangers in his own platoon who mistook him for the enemy.

The 27-year-old was hit by a hail of bullets, which army officials quickly claimed came from the enemy - a story they stuck to for weeks afterwards.

The true details of his death were not made known until 29 May 2004, weeks after a televised memorial service in which fans paid tribute to the man hailed as an "American hero". His parents broke their silence yesterday, accusing the Pentagon of telling "outright lies" to his family and the nation.

"The fact that he was the ultimate team player and he watched his own men kill him is absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. The fact that they lied about it afterward is disgusting," his mother said.

"All the people in positions of authority went out of their way to script this," his father, Patrick Tillman, a lawyer from San Jose, told the Washington Post. They "interfered with the investigation, they covered it up. I think they thought they could control it, and they realised that their recruiting efforts were going to hell in a hand-basket if the truth about his death got out.''

Soldiers at the scene knew instantly that Tillman was killed by American bullets as he sheltered behind a boulder. Gen John Abizaid, the American overall commander in the region, knew within days. But Tillman's fellow Rangers were told not to talk about it "to prevent rumours".

His mother, Mary, yesterday told the newspaper that the Bush administration capitalised on the false account to counter the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal then unfolding. "I think there's a lot more yet that we don't even know, or they wouldn't still be covering their tails."

"If this is what happens when someone high-profile dies, I can only imagine what happens with everyone else."


.....for past events the Pentagon estimates of US friendly fire deaths are:
WW II: 21,000 (16%)
Vietnam war: 8,000 (14%)

see also frag ... intentional killing of a friendly soldier

Frag is a term from the Vietnam war, most commonly meaning to assassinate an unpopular member of one's own fighting unit by dropping a fragmentation grenade into the victim's tent at night. The idea was that the attack would be blamed on the enemy, and, due to the dead man's unpopularity, no one would contradict the cover story. Fragging could also imply intentional friendly fire during combat...


see also US abuses in Afghan jails


a reader replies to this post...

..."Your post 'headline' fuels a fire.
It's sad that a cover up was first put out there by the government, but your comment as a "faked heroic death" is disrespectful. A soldier matter if he died in combat against enemy forces or if he died by friendly fire ... the bottom line is - he died while serving his country. THAT makes him a hero..."

to which i replied...

"NO IT DOESN'T...... it makes him a soldier, someone stupid enough to be willing to follow orders and go to Afghanistan as part of an invading army, it makes him cannon fodder, yet ANOTHER unnescessarily dead person, a statistic..... it makes him somebody's dead son and yesterday's news"

Monday, 23 May 2005

"Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy."

Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution


The Peer-to-Peer Legal Defense Fund
"donate money directly to one of the individuals or families being sued by the record companies."
old media

"Top five songs of the decades (out of a narrow selection made first of all by the British Academy of Composers AND THEN voted for by 6,000,000 bbc Radio 2 listeners...")

1955-1964 The Kinks - You Really Got Me
1965-1974 David Bowie - Space Oddity
1975-1984 Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
1985-1994 Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls
1995-2004 Robbie Williams - Angels


go home productions


internet archive net labels


League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots

uk high court attempts to restrict our adult liberty and adult choices even more

Adult-only porn videos and DVDs cannot be sold in the UK by mail order, the web or phone, the High Court has ruled. Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Mr Justice Newman said "R18" sexually explicit recordings had to be sold in person in licensed sex shops blah blah blah...
recycled post...

Underground London: Travels Beneath the City Streets



french underground cinema

"there are, at most, 15 of them. Their ages range from 19 to 42, their professions from nurse to window dresser, mason to film director. And in a cave beneath the streets of Paris, they built a subterranean cinema whose discovery sent the city's police into a frenzy..."

recycled post...

Free Cinema is an experiment with two goals:

1... To introduce independent filmmakers to the ideas behind the burgeoning free-culture movement.

2... To see if applying those ideas to feature filmmaking will result in something new and interesting.

To help focus our efforts, we made rules:

Rule One:

No money may be spent on the production ... Make a film for free, and suddenly giving it away is a lot easier.

Rule Two:

The film must be copylefted ... A "copyleft" means that you let anyone copy and/or make new things from your film, as long as they promise to release anything they make from it with the same terms.


creative commons


"cecil b. demented"
recycled post...

the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination


Sex-crazed, psychotic clowns

dressed in their clown trappings.... "We picked an office building," recalls Perrick aka Fucko the clown. "And in the middle of the afternoon went floor to floor, into different offices, saying, 'We're here for John's birthday!' We'd wander into these meetings where there'd be twenty or thirty suits sitting around a table with donuts.

"We'd steal the donuts, do cartwheels. Chuckles, this girl clown, would rip off her top and rub her tits in some guy's face. The suits would go nuts. All of a sudden, we'd ask, 'Whose birthday is this?' No one would raise a hand. Then we'd start beating each other up, saying, 'You got the wrong floor!' Meanwhile, we've moved on to the next level. We did eight floors before we got thrown out of the building."


the Surveillance Camera Players

"Only someone completely distrustful of all government would be opposed to what we are doing with surveillance cameras."
(...NYC Police Commissioner Howard Safir, 27 July 1999.)


"Look Up More"

"I figured if one girl in one window had been so fascinating to look at, it would be incredible to see someone dancing in every single window in the building...."



3d x-ray

how to perform strongman stunts

Moss Graffiti

"if you are a hairy ape like me you can just shave designs onto your body"

Bite Site Search Page

"Gee, my life would be perfect if ONLY I had a crocheted vulva?"

Mamie Van Doren, born 1931. Not dead yet.


"We take people's fingerprints because we think they might be guilty of something, not because they want to use the library," said Ed Yohnka, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

Before long, patrons wanting to use Naperville Public Library System computers without a hassle will have to prove their identity with a fingerprint.

The three-library system this week signed a $40,646 contract with a local company, U.S. Biometrics Corp., to install fingerprint scanners on 130 computers with Internet access or a time limit on usage.

The decision, according to the American Library Association, makes Naperville only the second library system in the country to install fingerprint scanners. (source: pesky registration required via the j-walk blog)


the tissue culture and art project

Friday, 20 May 2005

The ideology of ignorance
dark father
the art of telling lies

Video Rewrite uses existing footage to automatically create new video of a person mouthing words that she did not speak in the original footage.

Video Rewrite reorders the mouth images in the footage. Video Rewrite uses computer-vision techniques to track points on the speaker's mouth in the original footage, and morphing techniques to combine these mouth gestures into the final video sequence. The resulting sequence of mouth images is stitched into the background footage. This stitching process automatically corrects for differences in head position and orientation between the mouth images and the background footage...

Tuesday, 17 May 2005

sexual abuse and assault at private Utah-based program for troubled children

The trouble linked to programs or services associated with the Worldwide Association of Speciality Programs and Schools (WWASPS) also has a California congressman demanding a federal investigation by the Department of Justice. Meanwhile, Utah licensing officials say there is little they can do about complaints that come in for programs like WWASPS, which remain unlicensed because they are "boarding schools." While licensed facilities have to meet minimum requirements for health and safety purposes, programs termed as "boarding schools" such as Majestic Ranch are outside the state's purview.


Conspiracy of Silence video
"Child sex ring that reached Bush Sr's Whitehouse"

"This documentary exposed a network of religious leaders and Washington politicians who flew children to Washington D.C. for sex orgies. This video (33megs) was blocked from the air at the last minute."

"Conspiracy of Silence is a documentary listed for viewing in TV Guide Magazine to be aired on the Discovery Channel, on May 3, 1994. This documentary exposed a network of religious leaders and Washington politicians who flew children to Washington D.C. for sex orgies. Many children suffered the indignity of wearing nothing but their underwear and a number displayed on a piece of cardboard hanging from their necks when being auctioned off to foreigners in Las Vegas, Nevada and Toronto, Canada."

At the last minute before airing the documentary was banned by congresional manipulation from ever airing on television. But a copy of the tape was sent anonymously to former State Senator Nebraska Attorney John DeCamp one year after all copies were supposedly destroyed. While the video quality is not top grade, most Americans have never seen or heard of it.

The case has never been fully brought to justice and many of the investigators and witnesses have subsequently died under suspicious circumstances.


Kincora boys' home in Northern Ireland
Claims remain that civil servants, politicians and security-force members used Kincora.

in 1989 ken livingstone mp (now mayor of london) said in parliament... "As we now seem to be getting out-of-court settlements shortly before a court case is due to be heard and the matter is, therefore, not being debated in open court, and as the Terry inquiry report has never been published, will the Minister consider an open inquiry into the events at the Kincora boys' home, especially in the light of the disturbing information that five of the key witnesses interviewed by the RUC have met violent deaths--three were murdered and two allegedly died by their own hand? Even by the standards of violence that we have become used to hearing about in Northern Ireland, that is far too much to be a coincidence."


Cases of child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church

Marc Dutroux
Marc Dutroux
Belgian king wins paedophile rebuttal
MI6 protected Nazi who killed 100 British agents

Newly opened papers contain startling evidence that in the postwar scramble to secure information about Russian communists, British Intelligence "turned" Horst Kopkow, faked his death and used him to fight the Cold War.

To date, Britain has denied that it engaged in the dark arts used by the Americans, whose employment of Nazis to catch Communists has been well-documented. British intelligence sources pointed out that Kopkow was not in the league of "the butcher of Lyons", a reference to Klaus Barbie, the most notorious war criminal employed by the Americans.

The Kopkow case is uniquely chilling because the MI6 men who spared him were colleagues and "handlers" of his victims. Among those whose torture and death he sanctioned were men and women of the SOE and MI6 agents...
amercia: "Concrete Is Cold And Hard At Night"

Every night there are approximately 1,500,000 homeless children in America.

Over half of all homeless families have been without shelter for over six months. Nationally families with children make up approximately 40 percent of the overall homeless population, with 42 percent of homeless being children under the age of five.

Approximately 85 percent of all homeless parents with children are single mothers. The average homeless family is composed of a young single mother and two children under the age of six. (National Coalition for the Homeless, US Conference of Mayors, Urban Institute)

Homeless families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population and account for almost 40% of all newly reported cases of homelessness.

Homeless children are hungry more than twice as often as other children, and two-thirds worry that they won't have enough to eat.

Nationally, one in four people in a soup kitchen line is a child.

In 2003 60 percent of all newly reported cases of homeless were single mothers with children. (National Coalition for the Homeless, America's Second Harvest)
america: Thousands Secretly Sterilized early 1900s to the 1970s

The first significant country to undertake compulsory sterilization programs for the purpose of eugenics was the United States of America.

From the early 1900s to the 1970s, some 65,000 men and women were sterilized in america, many without their knowledge, as part of a government eugenics program to keep so-called undesirables from reproducing.

"The procedures that were done here were done to poor folks," said Steven Selden, professor at the University of Maryland. "They were thought to be poor because they had bad genes or bad inheritance, if you will. And so they would be the focus of the sterilization."

North Carolina sterilized close to 8,000 women in hospitals across the state.

Even though the practice ended more than 30 years ago, some say the time has come to make amends. North Carolina was one of the first states out of 33 that once practiced sterilization to offer an apology.

American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against US government sexual abstinence programme

The ACLU says the Silver Ring Thing programme violates the principle that the state budget cannot be used to promote religion.

The programme, which targets teenagers, is an offshoot of a Christian ministry. Since 2003, it has received more than $1m from the Department of Health and Human Services. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Boston, alleges that the Silver Ring Thing uses grant money to encourage young people to commit themselves to Jesus Christ.

"The courts have repeatedly said taxpayer dollars cannot be used to promote religion," said Julie Sternberg, an attorney with the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project.

Monday, 16 May 2005

Forecasters at the NOAA Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colo., observed a geomagnetic storm on Sunday, May 15, which they classified as an extreme event, measuring G-5 ... the highest level ... on the NOAA Space Weather Scales.

NOAA issues space weather warning
recycled post: Whatever happened to machines that think?

CLEVER computers are everywhere. From robotic lawnmowers to intelligent lighting, washing machines and even car engines that self-diagnose faults, there's a silicon brain in just about every modern device you can think of. But can you honestly call any machine intelligent in a meaningful sense of the word?

...that could soon change. In the next few months, after being patiently nurtured for 22 years, an artificial brain called Cyc (pronounced "psych") will be put online for the world to interact with. And it's only going to get cleverer. Opening Cyc up to the masses is expected to accelerate the rate at which it learns, giving it access to the combined knowledge of millions of people around the globe as it hoovers up new facts from web pages, webcams and data entered manually by anyone who wants to contribute.

Crucially, Cyc's creator (Cycorp, based in Austin, Texas) says it has developed a human trait no other AI system has managed to imitate: common sense.

The driving philosophy behind Cyc is that it should be able to recognise that in the phrase "the pen is in the box", the pen is a small writing implement, while in the sentence "the box is in the pen", the pen is a much larger corral.

Cyc has been meticulously assembled to relate each fact to others within the database. It knows for example, that in the sentence "each American has a president" there is only one president, whereas in the sentence "each American has a mother" there are many millions of mothers.

One of Cyc's most impressive features is the quality of the deductions it can make about things it has never learned about directly. For example, it can tell whether two animals are related without having been programmed with the explicit relationship between each animal we know of. Instead, it contains assertions that describe the entire Linnaean system of taxonomy of plants and animals, and this allows it to determine the answer through logical reasoning....
Brisbane Naked protesters arrested

nude cyclists rode through Brisbane's city centre yesterday to protest the Brisbane City Council's proposed north-south bypass tunnel. "police arrested four people for wilful exposure." They will appear in the Brisbane Magistrate's Court on June 21.

Stress at work costs uk economy £100bn a year, says Mind

Excessive stress at work is causing an epidemic of depression and anxiety, costing the British economy about £100bn a year in lost output, the mental health charity Mind said last night. It published results of an investigation into why mental health problems have taken over from back pain as the main reason why people are unable to work and can claim incapacity benefit...

Anxiety and stress are responsible for the loss of about 45m working days a year, but they also contribute to underperformance among those who do not take sickness leave and struggle to stay on the workplace treadmill...

...Richard Brook, chief executive of Mind, called for more openness about stress and mental health problems in the workplace. "Today's competitive and pressured work environments can make it difficult for people to disclose mental health or work stress problems without the fear of affecting their career prospects," he said. The government should take a lead in tackling the stigma that is commonly attached to mental ill health.

The charity called for changes in working practice to give employees genuine control over their work and an appropriate degree of self-management of workload. It said roles should be clearly demarcated, with defined responsibilities and expectations.

Employees should be actively discouraged from working excessively long hours and there should be support for people with mental health problems.


anxiety culture

the play ethic

Simple Adventures for Everyday Living
...Going Nowhere...
"Drive (or bus) aimlessly in any direction until you're thoroughly lost. Then work your way back, taking photos to document your adventure."
Fear and loathing in gay India

The 145-year-old colonial Indian Penal Code clearly describes a same sex relationship as an "unnatural offence". In a largely patriarchal society, lesbians bear the brunt of social ostracisation and the law more than gay men. In many states, lesbians have taken their lives after facing harassment at home and outside.

when parents find out - or the girl tells them - the truth, they run to the doctor. "The doctor typically tells the girl to swim, cook and knit. 'That way she will become a girl again,' they say. The parents then usually take the girl home and shut her up, cutting her off from the outside world. "Most of the women who call in say they have been forcibly married off by their parents. When they tell the truth, they are thrown out of their homes by their spouses, parents and relatives.

Sunday, 15 May 2005

Buddha's Birthday
"any individuals who rely on staying in the closet long-term, are the same as any jews who collaborated with the nazis"

Friday, 13 May 2005

mp3: multiple versions of Ghost Riders in the Sky
Dracula Blogged
Bram Stoker's Dracula published as a blog using the calendar in the book

(via LinkMachineGo)
rob clarke
poseable thumbs
the yes men
graffiti: 2 policemen kissing
pop sketch series

"A series of drawings generated from pop songs. The songs are analyzed note-by-note. At each note, a line is drawn. The angle at which the line is drawn is determined by the pitch of the note and the length of the line is determined by the volume of the note."
mobile cock portraits
"things that don't exist"
torture museum
"European Instruments of Torture and Capital Punishment from the Middle Ages to the present"

mp3: Truthful Translations of Political Speech
"Politics is the practice of doublespeak. Fortunately, through the magic of creativity and relatively cheap digital audio editing tools, the speech of political creatures can finally be unspun, and the truth laid bare."

(via growabrain)
reality game

(via reality carnival)
"Cybernetic fantasy site for guys interested in robots, androids, cyborgs, and transformation scenes"


robots gallery
"a family values and religion blog"

(via fleshbot)

(via gravity lens)

Thursday, 12 May 2005

The film that US TV networks dare not show

Adam Curtis has recut his war-on-terror documentary "The Power of Nightmares" into a feature film, and is taking it to the Cannes festival.

"They're suddenly talking about me as an auteur," he says. "I just think I'm a journalist."

...and Curtis does not care for any Michael Moore parallels. "Moore is a political agitprop film-maker. I am not - you'd be hard pushed to tell my politics from watching it. It was an attempt at historical explanation for September 11. You see, up to this point nobody had done a proper history of the ideas and groups that have created our modern world. It's weird that nobody had done before me."

US telly has run scared from showing it. "Something extraordinary has happened to American TV since September 11," says Curtis. "A head of the leading networks who had better remain nameless said to me that there was no way they could show it. He said, 'Who are you to say this?' and then he added, 'We would get slaughtered if we put this out.'" Surely a relatively enlightened broadcaster like HBO would show it? "When I was in New York I took a DVD to the head of documentaries at HBO. I still haven't heard from him." He has little hope that he will.

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

The most senior judge in England and Wales is urging ministers only to pass new criminal laws if "absolutely necessary". He was speaking ahead of next week's Queen's speech, which will map out the government's legislation plans. Lord Woolf also raised concern on the failure of prisons to stop reoffending.

His concerns about continued justice reforms come after it emerged in February that Tony Blair's government has created 1,018 new criminal offences since 1997.

In his lecture, Lord Woolf said there was a need to "bridge the gap" between how the public viewed sentencing and the reality.

"Fourteen years ago the prison population was 42,000 and falling, while today it is 76,000 and forecast to rise," he said.

"This is apparently wholly contradictory to public perceptions who believe that courts are unduly lenient."

"What perhaps should come as a shock to the public is how unsuccessful we have been at preventing reoffending."
Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos woos Inter Milan

"I challenge you to a match against a team from the Zapatista national liberation army," the letter said, "at a time and a place to be determined."

Captain Javier Zanetti replied: "It is not a problem for me if [the club] accept the challenge. I'd be willing to go."


Subcomandante Marcos writing alternate chapters of novel

Reports say Marcos is writing chapters 1, 3 and 5, which will centre on a Chiapas-based Zapatista investigator named Elias Contreras.

Paco Ignacio Taibo II will reportedly write chapters 2, 4 and 6, focusing on the Mexico City escapades of a detective in his previous novels.

Wednesday, 11 May 2005

1976 Cuban passenger plane bomber was CIA agent

the 1976 bombing killed 73 people.

Declassified US government documents show that Luis Posada Carriles, suspected of involvement in the bombing of the Cuban passenger plane, worked for the CIA. The papers also reveal that an FBI informer "all but admitted" that Mr Posada was one of those behind the 1976 bombing that killed 73 people. The documents, released by George Washington University's National Security Archive, show that Mr Posada, now in his 70s, was on the CIA payroll from the 1960s until mid-1976. One FBI report quoted a confidential source as saying that Mr Posada was one of several people who met at least twice at a hotel in Caracas, allegedly to discuss bombing a Cubana airlines plane.

Mr Posada was arrested in Venezuela after the bombing, but was not convicted before he escaped from prison. The US documents show that he later went to central America, where he joined the covert US operation, led by Lt Col Oliver North, to rearm the anti-communist Contra guerrillas. Mr Posada once boasted of being responsible for a series of bomb attacks on Havana tourist spots in the 1990s. Five years ago, he was arrested in Panama and accused of plotting to kill President Fidel Castro during a summit there.


operation northwoods
operation northwoods
As a pretext for invading Cuba in the heyday of the cold war, American military leaders devised plans to blow up an empty US navy ship, issue a bogus list of casualties and blame Fidel Castro, according to secret papers cited in a new history of the National Security Agency.

"We could develop a communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington," said the chiefs of staff. "The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States.

Later the joint chiefs even suggested attacking Jamaica or Trinidad and Tobago and making it look as if the Cubans were responsible, hoping this might force Britain into a war on President Castro to protect Commonwealth members.

note: (In the two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the North American Aerospace Defense Command conducted exercises simulating what the White House says was unimaginable at the time: hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties. yet the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks heard testimony from national security adviser Condoleezza Rice that the White House didn't anticipate hijacked planes being used as weapons.

Prof. John Arquilla, an information warfare and Special Operations expert at the Naval Postgraduate School, told The Monterey Herald (7/18/02): "The idea of such an attack (like 9-11) was well known. It had been war-gamed as a possibility in exercises before Sept. 11, 2001.") ... (source)

meanwhile the FBI DEFINITION OF TERRORISM reads more like the entire history of america's foreign policy. it states...

"Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."

"The greatest crime since World War II has been U.S. foreign policy."
(...Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General)

"Death squads have been created and used by the CIA around the world - particularly the Third World - since the late 1940s, a fact ignored by the elite-owned media." .... Ralph McGehee, former CIA analyst, author of "Deadly Deceits: My 25 years in the CIA"

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."
...George Orwell

The Real Terror Network:
Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda by Edward S. Herman

"If terrorist violence is measured by the extent of politically motivated torture and murder, is in the U.S.-sponsored and protected "authoritarian" states - the real terror network - that these forms of violence have reached a high crescendo in recent decades."


top CIA officials proposed a terrorist campaign to stun the Chilean people into accepting a military regime." thousands of declasified US documents explicating the US role in the coup have been synthesised in a book, 'The Pinochet File', by Peter Kornbluh

Monday, 9 May 2005

Unborn Baby Ornament - US Troop Model

"What if the fetus you were going to abort would grow up to be a soldier bringing democracy to a godless dictatorship?"

Show that you support the "culture of life" by buying and proudly displaying one of these patriotic unborn Americans. A plastic replica of an 11-12 week old fetus, 3" long, holding a firearm in its precious little hand, with an assortment of other military paraphernalia, encased in a translucent plastic ornament, with a patriotic yellow ribbon on top. Includes a metal ornament hanger. If only a womb were this safe, attractive and reasonably priced
....Mr Rowell says many readers email him saying they are too scared to complain... "How far have we gone as a society where people don't want to air their views on something for fear of ending up on some kind of terrorist watch list?" he added.


"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." (...Bertrand de Jouvenel)
"We believe Hitler was the most filmed person in the world up to his death."
"....Thou shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other laws on earth greater...."

...Mark 12:30-31
"There are no moral phenomena at all, but only moral interpretations of phenomena." ...Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil)
uk: 8 year old Girl tortured "for being a witch"

Charges against the four defendants allege that chilli peppers were rubbed into the 8 year old girl's eyes, she was beaten with a belt, slapped, cut with a knife and starved ... the aunt and Ms Kisanga put the girl in a laundry bag, zipped it up and were about to throw it into the New River in Hackney, east London, until Mr Pinto stopped them.

Saturday, 7 May 2005

CHAIR-SCREEN by Martín Ruiz de Azúa

chair-screen is a telecommunicator. Life-size images of speakers can be recorded in and projected onto special covers that can be adapted to all kinds of chairs.

"the development of telematic networks is spawning a debate over de repercussions these new forms of communication could have. Its appears that the most importat factor will not be the quality of the imformation available, but the possibility of everyone communicating with everyone and not just one-way communication as is the case with mass communication as we now knou it."
Decline in Global Press Freedom

the overall level of press freedom worldwide - as measured by global average score - worsened, continuing a three-year downward trend according to the survey. Notable setbacks took place in Pakistan, Kenya, Mexico, Venezuela, and in the world's most powerful democracy, the United States.

In terms of population, 17 percent of the world's inhabitants live in countries that enjoy a "Free press", while 38 percent have a Partly Free press and 45 percent have a Not Free press. This situation represents a decline over the past year, as the percentage of people who live in countries with a Not Free media environment has increased by 2 percent.
The combined advertising revenues of Google and Yahoo! are this year predicted to outstrip those of US TV networks ABC, CBS and NBC put together, according to Advertising Age magazine.

Friday, 6 May 2005

unable to vote in yesterday's uk general election

bbc Today presenter John Humphrys revealed this morning that he went to his local polling station only to find he was barred from the booths because someone had applied for a postal vote in his name.

Moments after Humphrys revealed on the Today programme he had been unable to cast his vote, TV presenter Mariella Frostrup phoned in to say she too had been unable vote.
war and crisis lead to the growth of government and the decline in liberty

... One conclusion stands out: from the Civil War onward, engagement in war has left Americans less free when the war was over than they had been before the war.

In countless ways, the warfare state has proved inimical to the preservation of liberty, just as patriots such as James Madison warned us long ago that it would. War brings higher taxes, greater government debt, increased government intrusion in markets, more pervasive government surveillance, manipulation, and control of the public.

Going to war is the perfect recipe for expanding the size, scope, and power of the federal government. You have to wonder why so many conservatives, who claim to cherish liberty, enthusiastically embrace the government's schemes for plunging the nation into war. ...
(For more of this interview, see "Paul Craig Roberts interviews Robert Higgs on War and Liberty")
Self-creation is the highest art

... We are prisoners of our natural brains.

As children we grow, and new programs are layered down, set into the jelly of our brains. When we are young we write many of these programs in order to adapt to a bizarre and often dangerous environment. And then we grow some more.

We mature. We find our places in our cities, in our societies, in ourselves. We form hypotheses as to the nature of things. These hypotheses shape us in turn, and yet more programs are written until we attain a certain level of competence and mastery, even of comfort, with our universe.

Because our programs have allowed us this mastery, however limited, we become comfortable in ourselves, as well. And then there is no need for new programs, no need to erase or edit the old. We even forget that we were once able to program ourselves. Our brains grow opaque to new thoughts, as rigid as glass, and our programs are frozen for life, hardwired, so to speak, within our hardened brains...
(...David Zindell)

The future looks bright

Richard Dawkins welcomes an attempt to raise consciousness about atheism. Language can help to shape the way we think about the world....

....I used to deplore what I regarded as the tokenism of my American atheist friends. They were obsessed with removing "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance (it was inserted as late as 1954), whereas I cared more about the chauvinistic nastiness of pledging allegiance to a flag in the first place. They would cross out "In God we Trust" on every dollar bill that passed through their hands (again, it was inserted only in 1956), whereas I worried more about the tax-free dollars amassed by bouffant-haired televangelists, fleecing gullible old ladies of their life savings.

My friends would risk neighbourhood ostracism to protest at the unconstitutionality of Ten Commandments posters on classroom walls. "But it's only words," I would expostulate. "Why get so worked up about mere words, when there's so much else to object to?" Now I'm having second thoughts. Words are not trivial. They matter because they raise consciousness.

A phrase like "Catholic child" or "Muslim child" should clang furious bells of protest in the mind, just as we flinch when we hear "one man one vote". Children are too young to know their religious opinions. Just as you can't vote until you are 18, you should be free to choose your own cosmology and ethics without society's impertinent presumption that you will automatically inherit your parents'.

We'd be aghast to be told of a Leninist child or a neo-conservative child or a Hayekian monetarist child. So isn't it a kind of child abuse to speak of a Catholic child or a Protestant child? Especially in Northern Ireland and Glasgow where such labels, handed down over generations, have divided neighbourhoods for centuries and can even amount to a death warrant? ...

... children should hear themselves described not as "Christian children" but as "children of Christian parents". ...

"In religion and politics, peoples beliefs and convictions are, in almost every case, gotten second-hand and without examination."
(... Mark Twain)
The Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia's principal activity is to promote the Constitutional principle of separation of church and state and to educate the public on matters related to a nontheist lifestance...

Margaret Downey founded the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia (FSGP) in 1993. FSGP has taken a strong stand against prayers in public schools, government sponsored invocations, and has encouraged the placement of freethought literature in university and public libraries and the avocation of rational thinking. Through city proclamations, Margaret has established "Freethought Week" and "Thomas Paine Day" in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1997, she submitted a proclamation to the city of Philadelphia which subsequently recognized "Privacy Week". She also founded the Anti-Discrimination Support Network (ADSN), an organization concerned with discrimination against the Atheist community.


Americans United for Separation of Church and State


The Secular Coalition for America

Thursday, 5 May 2005

america Abandons Forest Safeguards

The Bush administration, in one of its biggest decisions on environmental issues, moved Thursday to open up nearly a third of all remote national forest lands to road building, logging and other commercial ventures.

The 58.5 million acres involved, mainly in Alaska and in western states, had been put off limits to development by former President Clinton, eight days before he left office in January 2001.

"Yesterday, nearly 60 million acres of national forests were protected and today as a result of deliberate action by the administration they are not," said Robert Vandermark, director of the Heritage Forests Campaign

The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections

The Rare Book collections document the history of the written word from ancient clay cuneiform tablets to an extensive representation of works by 20th-century authors and has cordoned off a section of its collection pertaining to the fantastic in art and fiction.

(via An Artsy Fartsy Weblog)
miusicpitusi's Graffiti-comic-log
uk: Hundreds wiped off vote register

"Hundreds of people in west London have been prevented from voting in the general election by a clerical error. Hounslow Council said several hundred people could be affected after names were deleted from the electoral register in two constituencies. The mistake was uncovered last Thursday but under election guidelines it was too late to resolve it before polling."
the brights present an illustrative array of potential responses to whenever someone says "God Bless You"

The Allied Military Government of Germany repealed countless laws and decrees.

Left unchanged, however, was the 1935 Nazi revision of Paragraph 175.

Under the Allied occupation, some homosexuals were forced to serve out their terms of imprisonment regardless of time served in the concentration camps.

The Nazi version of Paragraph 175 remained on the books of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) until the law was revised in 1969 to decriminalize homosexual relations between men over the age of 21.

The continued legal and social prohibitions against homosexuality in Germany hindered acknowledgement that homosexuals were victims of Nazi persecution. In June 1956, West Germany's Federal Reparation Law for Victims of National Socialism declared that internment in a concentration camp for homosexuality did not qualify an individual to receive compensation.
uk: Restrict NHS aid 'on age grounds'

the recommendations say that where age is an indicator of benefit or risk, age discrimination is appropriate.

meanwhile a survey of GPs by the charity Age Concern had found that 80% thought age-based rationing already happened in the NHS. for instance... Women over the age of 50 receive regular invites for breast screening, but that stops at 70.

certain courses of treatment may well pose greater risks for older patients, but it should be up to the individual to decide whether to take that risk.
TouchMe is an interactive installation that allows people to create and add a personal image to a public space.

Simply press a part of your body or objects against the frosted glass surface, and you'll leave a kind of imprint for you and others to see, as the results remain a part of the piece and are displayed when no interactions occurs for a given time.

TouchMe is intended for one of those modern public spaces that seem designed to withstand large flows of people without any impact, while passerbys would be glad to be able/allowed to physically interact with - and leave marks in their environment.
New Scientist magazine reports that a German student has discovered how to include a product jingle in an RFID tag:

"When you buy something at the shops, would you want to hear an advertising jingle for the product ring out across the store as the cashier scans your purchase?"

(via The RFID Weblog)

Wednesday, 4 May 2005

al and al
Journalist death toll in 2004 was worst since 1955

Killings are not the only way to silence journalists. Reporters Without Borders also report that 107 journalists were in prison around the world on January 1 2005. China remains the world's biggest prison for journalists, with 26 detained...

Tuesday, 3 May 2005


uk, london, Westminster Council plans to attach a new wireless microphone to lamp posts outside houses, allowing inspectors to "monitor sound levels."

"the microphones were also going to be placed outside bars and clubs to monitor noise levels and any disturbances."

The microphones, which communicate via an internet connection, will be attached to lamp posts across Soho to test the system for the next few months. "Eventually this wireless network will cover the whole of Westminster."

The devices would be integrated into CCTV boxes as part of the council's Wireless City project.

(via what really happened)


the Surveillance Camera Players
Reality Hurts The Ratings, Scares Away Advertisers, And Upsets The White House
Bernd Hitzeroth's Experiencing Mobile Image project explores new ways to share images on the mobile phone.

A first set of ideas allows us to exchange pre-recorded images in real-time during a voice-call with another person.

Through a touch screen interface images are "pushed" and "pulled" to a shared viewing space. The analogue control allows for a variety of gestures, from the quick flashing of images, to rapid firing of image sequences to offering an image to be revealed by the other person.

An image can also be "loaded" by linking it to a gestural shortcut and then "fired" at will.

Another interaction allows us to mask or annotate the currently broadcasted image by "shadowing" one's hand on the part we don't want the other person to see or a sketch onto the images using the phone's camera.

A broadcast can be recorded and "bounced" to an offline receiver. When the receiver has finished watching the broadcast he/she can give a gestural response to the content, which is automatically bounced back to the sender.

A second set of ideas explores sharing digital images through physical objects like stickers or concrete walls. The phone becomes the lens through which we can reveal images hidden in the real world. The interactions are prototyped using two connected touch screens as well as a mock camera-phone....
Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer" ... Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

"Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves."

"The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause."

"A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business."

"This minding of other's people's business expresses itself in gossip, snooping and meddling, and also in feverish interest in communal, national and racial affairs. In running away from ourselves we either fall on our neighbor's shoulder or fly at his throat."


The True Believer Revisited
(Tim Madigan on September 11th and a longshoreman who understood the psychology of mass movements)

... How then does one combat True Believers? Can one make a love of democracy and the advocacy of individualism a holy cause itself? "Though hatred is a convenient instrument for mobilizing a community for defense," Hoffer warns, "it does not, in the long run, come cheap. We pay for it by losing all or many of the values we have set out to defend." The best way to fight is to encourage individualism, contrary thinking and a disinclination to follow blindly the teachings of any leaders, no matter how seemingly benign.

What motivated Hoffer to write The True Believer? In later interviews, he confessed that he saw himself as a potential mass leader — he had charisma, a way with words, and a cold heart towards his fellow human beings, all essential elements for leading large numbers of people and not caring what ultimately happens to them. ...
a washing machine called "Your Turn", which will not let the same person use it twice in a row. It uses fingerprint recognition technology to ensure the job of loading is not dumped on just one individual...

Monday, 2 May 2005

"the argument favouring limited use of torture is contradicted by all of our experience. When torture is no longer absolutely prohibited, law enforcement attitudes change. Over time, the mentality that torture is acceptable comes to infect the entire system, and even persons accused of normal crimes get the same treatment as suspected terrorists…"

....Basil Fernando, the Executive Director of the Asian Human Rights Commission, a member of the world organisation against torture (OMCT) network

"Forty years ago, he would have called me a communist, and 70 years ago, he would have called me a Jew,"

.... Sy Hersh, in recent years dubbed a "terrorist" by Richard Perle.
recycled post...

The Alternative United States
By Dr. Edward Said

"to live in a world that is held in the grip of an extraordinarily unbound great power there is a vital need for knowing as much about its swirling dynamics as is humanly possible. And that, I believe, also includes commanding an excellent working command of the language, something few Arab leaders (as a case in point) possess.

Yes, America is the country of McDonald's, Hollywood, blue jeans, Coca-Cola and CNN, all of them products exported and available everywhere by virtue of globalization, multinational corporations, and what seems to be the world's appetite for articles of easy, convenient consumption.

But we must also be conscious of from what source these come and in what ways the cultural and social processes from which they ultimately derive can be interpreted, especially since the danger of thinking about America too simply or reductively and statically is so obvious. ....."

"..... Cultures, specially America's, which is in effect an immigrant culture, overlap with others, and one of the perhaps unintended consequences of globalization is the appearance of transnational communities of global interests, as in the human rights movement, the women's movement, the anti-war movement and so on.

America is not at all insulated from any of this, but one has to excavate beyond the intimidatingly unified surface to see what lies beneath, so as to be able to join in that set of disputes, to which many of the people of the world are a party. There is hope and encouragement to be gained from that view."
the way we were quite recently...

an excerpt from the hetero-dictatorship's recent past: (exact date unrecorded)- "in bbc tv's 'heart of the matter' uk tory mp geoffrey dickens said he wanted all homosexual acts to be illegal with police given the powers to raid gay adults who were sharing a home."
marilyn munroe ...

...on being invited "to brighten up the table."

"its like being a musician, you're invited so that you'll play."
recycled post...


"On 25 February 1830 Victor Hugo's play Hernani was performed to the most extraordinary scenes of riot and disorder in Paris. The play had been banned by the official censor, but on the first night Hugo gathered around him a gang of long-haired young bloods known as the Romantic Army, who fought pitched street battles to force the authorities to allow the play to go ahead. Hugo partisans all wore a badge bearing the Spanish word for iron, hierro, to identify them and mark their steely determination to fight the forces of conventional bourgeois liberalism."

Hugo's themes- "Murder as rebellion, suicide as honour, murder and suicide as the joint emblem of human freedom" - are a compelling challenge to modern liberal attititudes." (from a review of Terror and Liberalism) ....


Robin Hood and Green Arrow: Outlaw Bowmen in the Modern Urban Landscape
Vintage magic posters and related items 1890 - 1930...

(via near near future)
Modern Toss
The Time Traveler Convention

May 7, 2005, 10:00pm EDT (08 May 2005 02:00:00 UTC)

East Campus Courtyard, MIT

42:21:36.025°N, 71:05:16.332°W

(42.360007,-071.087870 in decimal degrees)

(via gravity lens)
the god of the month is Matsu: The Simple Village Girl Who Became Goddess of the Sea & Empress of Heaven...
The legacy of Agent Orange

The US sprayed 80m litres of poisonous chemicals during Operation Ranchhand. There were many Agents used, including Pink, Green and White, but Agent Orange was used the most - 45m litres sprayed over a 10th of Vietnam.

Thirty years after hostilities ended between the US and Vietnam, the Vietnamese believe that the powerful weed killer used by america is responsible for massively high instances of genetic defects in areas that were sprayed.

Nguyen Trong Nhan, from the Vietnam Association Of Victims Of Agent Orange and a former president of Vietnamese Red Cross, believes the use of Agent Orange was a "war crime".

Agent Orange in particular was laced with dioxins - extremely toxic to humans. Dioxins accumulate in the body to cause cancers. Anyone eating or drinking in contaminated areas then receives an even higher dose.

Spraying stopped in 1971, after more than 6,000 missions and growing public disquiet.

In the late 1990s, a Canadian study tested soil, pond water, fish and duck tissue, as well as human blood samples, and found dangerously high levels of dioxin travelling up the food chain to humans. Dioxin concentrations have been found to be 13 times higher than average in the soil of affected areas, and, in human fat tissue, 20 times as high.

A Japanese study, comparing areas sprayed with those that were not, found children were three times more likely to be born with cleft pallets, or extra fingers and toes. There are eight times as many hernias in such children, and three times as many born with mental disabilities.

In 2001, scientists found that people living in an Agent Orange "hotspot" at Binh-Hoa near Ho Chi Minh City have 200 times the background amount of dioxin in their bloodstreams...

see also Depleted uranium, america's weapon thats currently causing under-reported problems in iraq



I pledge allegiance to the earth and to the flora, fauna and human life that it supports, one planet indivisible, with safe air, water & soil, economic justice, equal rights and peace for all.

Sunday, 1 May 2005

Carnivorous plants
"conventional military power stands little chance against a band of swarming 14th century terrorists." John Arquilla


On War and Transhumanism

a war over oil is like fighting a war over floppy discs or pre-1988 television sets. It's just plain absurd. Unless, of course, you happen to make your living in the fossil fuel industry.

There is one sure way to preempt self-evolution and to stop the Transhumanist dream and that's to return all of us to the Stone Age, when Christian fundie fanatics with nukes finally meet up with Islamic fundie fanatics with nukes and subsequently move toward their Final Conversation.