Thursday, 30 June 2005

Spanish gay couples to marry and adopt children

the decision overrules last week's rejection of the bill by the upper house, the Senate. The bill will become law in a month's time, making Spain Europe's third nation after the Netherlands and Belgium to allow same sex marriages. The new law puts same-sex and heterosexual marriages on the same legal footing, including the right to adopt children.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said "We are not legislating, ladies and gentlemen, for remote unknown people. We are expanding opportunities for the happiness of our neighbours, our work colleagues, our friends, our relatives."

Some of Spain's local mayors have said they will not officiate at gay marriages.

meanwhile last week...

US Church excluded because of their willingness to ordain gay clergy and bless gay relationships

The American and Canadian Churches have been excluded from one of the Anglican Communion's top bodies after refusing to change their pro-homosexuality views. The policy-making Anglican Consultative Council voted them out for three years over their willingness to ordain gay clergy and bless gay relationships.

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

smart swim goggles

designed by a UK engineering student, the Inview goggles display a lap count and time elapsed on their lenses so swimmers can track their progress...
the Celeb Archive project

(via fleshbot)
"I like to feel the burn of the audience's eyes when I'm whispering all my darkest secrets into the microphone"

plus...

new ape alliance

...landscape

...zoom
Least Wanted's photos
uk big brother 6 flickr
uk big brother 6 digitalspy

Kemal's parents, his mother Hanife and father Tongouch, have spoken out about his decision to out himself to them while in the BB house.

"We love him and will support him as long as he is happy," Hanife told heat magazine. "His private life is his private life, and we are proud of him whatever he does. We are not angry."

She added: "We have always encouraged our children to follow the dreams - it is their life, and as long as he doesn't hurt anyone and makes people happy, that is the main thing."

Although the pair have accepted Kemal's sexuality, they admit it will take time to get fully used to the idea.

"I wouldn't be too happy if he brought a boyfriend home," said Tongouch. "I accept him, of course, but it takes time. Kemal is no different now to how he was six months ago. He is loving and so much fun."

Monday, 27 June 2005

The world's largest and most diverse canned meat collection

(via we make money not art)
"Ultra-Lifelike Robot"
Why your brain has a 'Jennifer Aniston cell'
"I know now that there are things for which I am prepared to die. I am willing to die for political freedom; for the right to give my loyalty to ideals above a nation and above a class; for the right to teach my child what I think to be the truth; for the right to explore such knowledge as my brains can penetrate; for the right to love where my mind and heart admire, without reference to some dictator's code to tell me what the national canons on the matter are; for the right to work with others of like mind; for a society that seems to me becoming to the dignity of the human race."

..(1937) Dorothy Thompson

Sunday, 26 June 2005

No more cover-up of nudes at U.S. Justice Dept

After more than three years of being blocked by large blue drapes, two Art Deco aluminum statues of semi-nude figures in the building's Great Hall can be seen again.

The "Spirit of Justice" and the "Majesty of Justice," which loom over the stage in the Great Hall, were blocked from view by curtains installed by the department in January 2002, when former Attorney General John Ashcroft was in office.

When they were covered up, officials working for Ashcroft ... a devout Christian ... said the move to spend about $8,000 for curtains to cover the figures were made for "TV aesthetics."
photo: "in our name"

yahoo group: stop segregation

THE PURPOSE OF THIS GROUP IS: ORGANISING NAKED EVENTS IN PUBLIC

"The Freedom to Be Yourself seeks to enhance humanity. It is about making the world a more human place. This issue is about ALL HUMANS: every race and every body, the entire human race, our fundamental human identity."

"Body visibility in public often results in discrimination, and such discrimination towards visible human skin is highly irrational and must be stopped. Skin visibility in public is not offensive, disgusting, shameful or a reason for hatred. Being unclothed in public is about celebrating the beauty of our human racial identity, our humanity, our self-awareness. It's about being human in opposition to dehumanisation. All humans - Every Body!"

"The natural visual identity of humans is a genetic, unintentional and inherited visual appearance due to the fact that we belong to the human race. Our visual appearance should not cause fear, shame, disgust, hate or persecution."

plus...

FKK UK

"'FKK' comes from the German term 'Freie Körper-Kultur' (which, in English, means 'free body culture'). Naturists, nudists and those people who refuse both of those terms pursue lifestyles in which we and our bodies are free from clothing, so a term describing that, 'FKK', seems - to me at least - an appropriate phrase to universally adopt when describing our lifestyles."

also...

photos: world naked bike ride london 2005

archives...

more photos world naked bike ride london 2005
250 cyclists have ridden around London naked in a mass protest against dependency on the oil industry. Protesters on The World Naked Bike Ride cycled past Piccadilly Circus, Big Ben, Covent Garden, Oxford Street and the US Embassy on the 10km route. Police had given the okay for the route and it was emphasised that non-sexual public nudity is NOT in itself illegal.

steve gough's second naked walk land's end to john o' groats 2005

"In Barcelona there is no rule against public nudism" 2004

plus...

"Simply being naked on the street is not a crime in San Francisco," said Debbie Mesloh, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, september 2004.

"Naked rambler completes his trek"
Stephen Gough, 44, dubbed the naked rambler, has finally completed his marathon trek from Land's End to John O'Groats. 2003

photo selfridges naked protest 2003

"Naked anti-war demos sweep world" 2003

"Injustice laid bare by naked campaigner" 2001
the first person to stand trial in an English court naked.

newspaper letter continuous naked prison protest 2001

the freedom to be yourself

Saturday, 18 June 2005

Delirious
WEIRD TALES
CrimeWire

You can perform all the normal functions of LimeWire plus a few extra, but CrimeWire constantly reminds you what you are doing. Using metaphors from the criminal world the new skin CrimeWire renames the buttons in the interface: you will now hit a "steal" button instead of "download", be asked to "select crime" instead of "select file," etc.
circus museum
"A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened."

(... Albert Camus)
11 tasty recipes from a few ingredients that could be grown on Mars

'Martian bread and green tomato jam', 'Spirulina gnocchis' and 'Potato and tomato mille-feuilles' are three delicious recipes that two French companies have created for ESA and future space explorers to Mars and other planets. The challenge for the chefs was to offer astronauts well-flavored food, made with only a few ingredients that could be grown on Mars. The result was 11 tasty recipes that could be used on future ESA long-duration space missions.

The nine basic ingredients that Lasseur plans to grow on other planets are: rice, onions, tomatoes, soya, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, wheat and spirulina.

(via gravity lens)
time travel

Quantum behaviour is governed by probabilities. Before something has actually been observed, there are a number of possibilities regarding its state. But once its state has been measured those possibilities shrink to one - uncertainty is eliminated.

So, if you know the present, you cannot change it. If, for example, you know your father is alive today, the laws of the quantum universe state that there is no possibility of him being killed in the past.

Quantum mechanics distinguishes between something that might happen and something that did happen," Professor Dan Greenberger, of the City University of New York, US, told the BBC News website.

"If we don't know your father is alive right now - if there is only a 90% chance that he is alive right now, then there is a chance that you can go back and kill him.

"But if you know he is alive, there is no chance you can kill him."

"You wouldn't be able to kill him because the very fact that he is alive today is going to conspire against you so that you'll never end up taking that path leads you to killing him."
The Annotated Flex Mentallo

(via linkmachinego)
kate deacon
smart textiles and sustainability

(via we make money not art)
images of Walt Whitman
if hippies ruled...
animal dental anatomy
wing photos
animation: freedom
Popaganda
The Art and Subversion of Ron English
The Liberal Lexicon
A Conservative's Dictionary of Libberish

(via grow-a-brain)

JCB Ballet

(via b3ta)

Friday, 17 June 2005

wearing a harness, artist Kerry Skarbakka has thrown himself off the five-storey roof of the Museum of Contemporary Art more than 30 times.

Skarbakka, 34, previously exhibited images of him falling off balconies, from trees and off stepladders.

"Mentally, physically and emotionally, from day to day, we fall. Even walking is falling. You take a step, fall and catch yourself," he said.

"concession"

i d e n t i t y

Thursday, 16 June 2005

"Naked rambler and partner set off"

The girlfriend of the man dubbed the "naked rambler" has joined him on his second attempt to walk the length of Britain in the nude. Melanie Roberts, 33, of Bournemouth, Dorset, and a Kent librarian, who does not want to be named, joined Stephen Gough.

Stephen Gough, 46, was arrested 14 times and served two jail sentences when he walked without his clothes from Land's End to John O'Groats in 2003/04.

nakedwalk.org

plus...

PHOTOS from the London world naked bike ride, saturday june 11th 2005

Archbishop of Canterbury described the atmosphere on the world wide web as a free-for-all that was "close to that of unpoliced conversation".

unpoliced conversation! my my, whatever next? unpoliced thoughts?

heaven forbid!
Bush's climate row aide joins oil giant

senior White House official accused of doctoring government reports on climate change to play down the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming has taken a job with ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company. Philip Cooney, who resigned as chief of staff of the White House council on environment quality at the weekend, will begin work at the oil giant in the autumn.

Kert Davies, the US research director for Greenpeace, said: "The cynical way to look at this is that ExxonMobil has removed its sleeper cell from the White House and extracted him back to the mother ship."

archive...

policy in the White House is being written by the world's most powerful oil company

also...

Extreme Trophy Hunting Advocate Named Acting Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
"Having a Safari Club lobbyist in charge, even temporarily, of the federal agency that is supposed to protect endangered species is precisely the wrong course to pursue for any Administration,"

plus...

Christian Reconstruction
Reconstructionist doctrine calls for the scrapping of environmental protection of all kinds, because there will be no need for this planet earth once The Rapture occurs.

meanwhile...

War and Transhumanism (by phillip shropshire, 2003)

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.

the invasion of Iraq is symptomatic of a larger war that Transhumanists can probably appreciate. It is a war between two realities: A race between what we're betting will be a transcendent technological singularity versus a planet-wide catastrophe when Christian fundie fanatics with nukes finally meet up with Islamic fundie fanatics with nukes and subsequently move toward their Final Conversation.

There is one sure way to stop the Transhumanist dream, to preempt self-evolution, and that's to return all of us to the Stone Age.
DATA (Debt AIDS Trade Africa)

"My first experience of America was watching Neil Armstrong on the moon. America looked like a place where anything could happen. That's what we're asking Bush - to bring mankind back to earth. We have the technology, we have the resources and the knowhow, but do we have the will?"

...bono on america and african aid

He was personally credited with the dramatic public U-turn on Aids of Jesse Helms. "Christ only speaks about judgment once and it's not about sex but about how we deal with the poor, and I quoted Matthew, 'I was naked and you clothed me, I was hungry and you fed me.' Jesse got very emotional, and the next day he brought in the reporters and publicly repented about Aids. I explained to him that Aids was like the leprosy of the New Testament."

Wednesday, 15 June 2005

yesterday once more
deluded

On Michael Jackson's own website, the word "Innocent" is displayed as triumphant music plays, followed by a hand displaying the "V" for victory sign.

Comparisons are then made to historic dates such as (ahem!) the birth of Martin Luther King, the fall of the Berlin Wall (which as we all know was down to david hasselhoff) and ...(wait for it)... the release of Nelson Mandela (?)

blimey.

somebody send for jarvis cocker
naked walk

the second Steve Gough, aka Naked Rambler, naked walk from Lands End to John o'Groats starts 16th June 2005

vote for yourself
brendadada's random ofmes

Tuesday, 14 June 2005

Monday, 13 June 2005

child labour

246 million children are child labourers

73 million child workers are less than 10 years of age

2.5 million children work in developed economies

2.5 million work in transitional economies

127 million - the largest number of working children under 14 years of age - work in the Asia Pacific region

1 million children work in mines or quarries

22,000 children die in work-related accidents each year
pledge bank

Tell the world "I'll do it, but only if you'll help me do it"
big brother 6 uk

Evil Derek the Overlord of Evil

plus...

big brother 6 photo pool

archive...

a selection of narratives trawled from the web, on may 28th 2005, featuring derek laud

and...

PUBLIC FIGURES NAMED IN PAEDOPHILE RING By Nick Davies, 1997

Saturday, 11 June 2005

david lynch's daily report
"Spacekind of the Earth Unite! You have nothing to lose but your gravity!"
(... Dale Amon)
About 2,500 gay rights campaigners ignore ban in Warsaw

Mayor Lech Kaczynski, favourite to win Poland's October presidential vote, had banned the parade for a second year running. Mr Kaczynski has said that allowing an official Gay Pride event in Warsaw would promote a "homosexual lifestyle". He banned the parade on the grounds that the application by the parade organisers had not been properly filed.

"In the information age, sharing can increase world wealth enormously, because giving information does not decrease your information."
(... John de Rivaz)
world naked bike ride

the bbc reported that more than 100 cyclists have ridden around London naked in a mass protest against dependency on the oil industry. Partciipants put the number at 250.

Protesters on The World Naked Bike Ride cycled past Piccadilly Circus, Big Ben, Covent Garden, Oxford Street and the US Embassy on the 10km route. Police had given the okay for the route, and though a very tiny minority of people complained, it was emphasised that non-sexual nudity is NOT in itself illegal.

Riders in 54 cities around the globe were protesting at the "destructive effects of car culture" and celebrating "the power and individuality of their bodies".

ID cards - fiction and fact

archive...

flickr: identity

Friday, 10 June 2005

Thursday, 9 June 2005

uk religious hatred bill is unveiled

The bill forbids insulting words or behaviour that are intended or likely to stir up hatred on religious grounds. The bill will apply to comments made in public or the media, as well as written material.

archive...

DING DONG THE CUNT IS DEAD
the death of Pope John Paul II

....Pope calls for halt to 'evil' gay marriages
The Vatican urged Catholic politicians to actively campaign against legalising gay marriages which it said were "evil, deviant and posed a grave threat to society."

The papal note says people extending cohabitation rights "need to be reminded that the approval or legalisation of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil".

In his last book, "Memory and Identity", John Paul II described same-sex marriage as part of "a new ideology of evil" that is insidiously menacing society. In a chapter dealing with the role of lawmakers, the pope referred to the "pressures" on the European Parliament to permit same-sex marriage. Reuters quotes the pope as writing, "It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man."

and we can doubtless expect more of the same or worse, especially as another author of the vatican's global campaign against gay marriages is a favourite to replace John Paul II. step forward the anti semetic, gay bashing, ex-hitler youth, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Bavaria,....

plus...

Religiously motivated Internet hate sites against homosexuals

also...

photos that highlight the Christianity of Nazis

Wednesday, 8 June 2005

Disobedience Can Save Your Life

Why it's smart to disobey officials in emergencies

civil engineers have been studying the destruction of the World Trade Center towers, sifting the tragedy for its lessons. And it turns out that one of the lessons is: Disobey authority.

In a connected world, ordinary people often have access to better information than officials do.

After both buildings were burning, many calls to 911 resulted in advice to stay put and wait for rescue. Also, occupants of the towers had been trained to use the stairs, not the elevators, in case of evacuation.

Fortunately, this advice was mostly ignored.

According to the engineers, use of elevators in the early phase of the evacuation, along with the decision to NOT stay put, saved roughly 2,500 lives.

the people inside the towers were better informed and far more knowledgeable than emergency operators far from the scene. With their cell phones and their BlackBerries, news of what was happening passed by word of mouth, and fellow workers pressed hesitating colleagues to continue their exit.

anybody who has been paying attention probably suspects that if we rely on orders from above to protect us, we'll be in terrible shape.

In a networked era, we have increasing opportunities to help ourselves. This is the real source of homeland security: not authoritarian schemes of surveillance and punishment, but multichannel networks of advice, information, and mutual aid.
there are only two ways to govern: with consent or with fear

Brace yourself for a flood of gruesome new torture snapshots. Last week, a federal judge ordered the Defense Department to release dozens of additional photographs and videotapes depicting prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib...

plus...

Ask the God Damn Question!

Bush and Blair once again repeated their rhetoric about how they went to war with Iraq only after Saddam Hussein refused to comply. COMPLY WITH WHAT?

Why, after 2 years, hasn't a single reporter asked the most obvious question of the entire crime that is the invasion of Iraq... WHAT DID SADDAM REFUSE? Are they referring to the US imposed Catch 22 demand that he disarm Iraq of the WMD's that IRAQ DID NOT HAVE?

WHAT THE HELL DID WE GO TO WAR FOR? Saddam permitted intrusive inspections with NO TIME LIMIT!

WHAT DID HE REFUSE?

We are told time and time again that the choice was Saddam's and we invaded because he refused to comply, and to this date we have never been told what this means. Even more outrageous is that there is not a single member of the American corporate news media that even asked this question...

meanwhile...

Washington Is the Source of Terror

The U.S. government gave the slave trade a boost by offering money for Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. Afghan and Pakistani warlords simply rounded up people who looked Arab or foreign and sold them to the Americans as captured fighters. The "fighters" apparently included relief workers, refugees and Arab businessmen. The tribunals looking into the classification of Guantanamo prisoners as "enemy combatants" have uncovered numerous examples of hapless victims of a naive U.S. government too flush with money.

The Bush administration, of course, denies that it bought its detainees, as it denies everything.

On May 31, 2005, however, Michelle Faul of The Associated Press reported that in March 2002, leaflets and broadcasts from helicopters in Afghanistan enticed Afghans to "Hand over the Arabs and feed your families for a lifetime."

One leaflet said: "You can receive millions of dollars. This is enough to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life, pay for livestock and doctors and school books and housing for all your people."
uk Police authority chairman arrested over child abuse claims

A police investigation nine years ago focused on his time as a social worker in a council children's home, Gleneagles in Hull.

At that time Mr Inglis was interviewed under caution for 18 hours, but the allegations were dismissed by the Crown Prosecution Service as lacking sufficient evidence.

archives...

PUBLIC FIGURES NAMED IN PAEDOPHILE RING By Nick Davies 1997

Now defunct magazine Scallywag covered events at Bryn Alyn in detail

State cover-up of high level paedophile ring (November 8, 1997)

and a report of the whitewashed findings bbc February 2000

also...

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."
policy in the White House is being written by the world's most powerful oil company

George Bush's decision not to sign the United States up to the Kyoto global warming treaty was partly a result of pressure from ExxonMobil, the world's most powerful oil company, and other industries, according to US State Department papers seen by the Guardian. this reinforces widely-held suspicions of how close the company is to the administration and its role in helping to formulate US policy.

Exxon, officially the US's most valuable company valued at $379bn (£206bn) earlier this year, is seen in the papers to share the White House's unwavering scepticism of international efforts to address climate change.

ExxonMobil is spending millions of pounds on an advertising campaign aimed at influencing politicians, opinion formers and business leaders in the UK and other pro-Kyoto countries in the weeks before the G8 meeting at Gleneagles.
Google has become the world's most highly-valued media company

it is ahead of media leviathan Time Warner, which is valued at $78bn and google now dwarfs more traditional media companies such as Viacom and Walt Disney, which have stock market capitalisations of between $54bn and $55bn.

archive...

80% of all excursions online start at a search site of one sort or another

Google enjoys a 75 percent monopoly for all external referrals to most websites. Webmasters cannot avoid seeking Google's approval these days, assuming they want to increase traffic to their site

Google is completely unaccountable

Google has no data retention policies. There is evidence that they are able to easily access all the user information they collect and save.

Google is not your friend

"My Experience of Google's Censorship" By Zhang Lin
Ethiopians shot dead in protests

At least 22 Ethiopians have been shot dead after police fired on protesters who accuse the ruling party of fraud in last month's elections. EU observers have voiced concern over irregular vote counting and biased reports by the state-owned media.
"the biggest military computer hack of all time"

meanwhile...

US "defense" spending is half of world total

The United States' "defense" expenditure in 2004 accounted for almost half of the global total and exceeded the 32 next most powerful nations combined, said the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), a prominent Swedish think tank. The US "defense" spending stood at 405 billion US dollars in 2003 and 455 billion dollars in the following year...

archive...

Top Ten War Profiteers of 2004

Tuesday, 7 June 2005

Christian Reconstruction
(extracts from an article by Joe Bageant)

Millions of Americans are under the spell of an extraordinarily dangerous mass psychosis.

Lest the Christian Reconstructionists be underestimated, remember that it was Reconstructionist strategists whose "stealth ideology" managed the takeover of the Republican Party in the early 1990s. That takeover now looks mild in light of today's neocon Christian implantations in the White House, the Pentagon and the Supreme Court and other federal entities. As much as liberals screech in protest, few understand the depth and breadth of the Rightist Christian takeover underway. They catch the scent but never behold the beast itself.

urban liberals not only fail to understand these people, but do not even know they exist, other than as some general lump of ignorant, intolerant voters called "the religious right," or the "Christian Right," or "neocon Christians." But until progressives come to understand what these people read, hear, are told and deeply believe, we cannot understand American politics, much less be effective. Given fundamentalist Christianity's inherent cultural isolation, it is nearly impossible for most enlightened Americans to imagine, in honest human terms, what fundamentalist Americans believe, let alone understand why we should all care.

These Christians do not read the same books we do, they do not get their information from anything remotely resembling reasonably balanced sources, and in fact, consider even CBS and NBC super-liberal networks of porn and the Devil's lies. Given how fundamentalists see the modern world, they may as well be living in Iraq or Syria, with whom they share approximately the same Bronze Age religious tenets. They believe in God, Rumsfeld's Holy War and their absolute duty as God's chosen nation to kick Muslim ass up one side and down the other. In other words, just because millions of Christians appear to be dangerously nuts does not mean they are marginal.

My entire family is born-again; I do not find much conversational fat to chew around the Thanksgiving table. There is talk, but no communication. Their lives are completely focused inside their own religious community, and on the time when Jesus returns to earth -- Armageddon and The Rapture.

Christian Reconstruction is blunt stuff, hard and unforgiving as a gravestone.

Capital punishment, central to the Reconstructionist ideal, calls for the death penalty in a wide range of crimes, including abandonment of the faith, blasphemy, heresy, witchcraft, astrology, adultery, sodomy, homosexuality, striking a parent, and ''unchastity before marriage'' (but for women only). Biblically correct methods of execution include stoning, the sword, hanging, and burning. Stoning is preferred, according to Gary North, the self-styled Reconstructionist economist, because stones are plentiful and cheap. Biblical Law would also eliminate labor unions, civil rights laws, and public schools. Leading Reconstruction theologian David Chilton declares, "The Christian goal for the world is the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics..." Incidentally, said Republic of Jesus would not only be a legal hell, but an ecological one as well -- Reconstructionist doctrine calls for the scrapping of environmental protection of all kinds, because there will be no need for this planet earth once The Rapture occurs. You may not have heard of Rushdoony or Chilton or North, but taken either separately or together, they have influenced far more contemporary American minds than Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal and Howard Zinn combined.

Reconstruction thinkers, along with their fellow travelers, the Dominionists, are all but invisible to non-fundamentalist America.

they want to embrace some simple foundational truth that will rationalize all the conflict and confusion of a postmodern world. Some handbook that will neatly explain everything, make all their difficult decisions for them.

(read the full article: The Covert Kingdom Thy Will be Done, on Earth as it is in Texas by Joe Bageant)

archives...

AMERICA'S ROLE MODELS: photos that highlight the Christianity of Nazis

the faith-based presidency
open dialogue, based on facts, is not seen as something of inherent value. It may, in fact, create doubt, which undercuts faith. It could result in a loss of confidence in the decision-maker and, just as important, by the decision-maker.

also...

Atheism is Indeed A Civil Rights Issue

Language can help to shape the way we think about the world.

and an illustrative array of potential responses to whenever someone says "God Bless You"

plus...

The priest rules through the invention of sin
big brother 6 uk

Explaining to Roberto how he deals with things derek laud announced: "You're sensitive, you brood too much. I could have someone executed in the morning and go out for a 3 course meal that night."

A shocked Makosi wanted further clarification, asking: "You're brutal, is that what you're saying?"

Without flinching Derek agreed, "Oh yes, I could have been a very good African dictator."

archive...

a selection of narratives trawled from the web, on may 28th 2005, featuring derek laud
China orders bloggers to register with government

China has more than 87m internet users - the world's second largest online population after the US.

The Chinese authorities have ordered all weblogs and websites in the country to register with the government or face closure in Beijing's latest attempt to control online dissent. Commercial publishers and advertisers could be fined up to 1m yuan (£66,000) for failing to register, according to documents on the Chinese information industry ministry's website.

Private bloggers or websites must register the complete identity of the person responsible for the site, and the ministry - which has set a June 30 deadline for compliance - said 74% of all sites had already registered.

The government has long required all major commercial websites to register and take responsibility for internet content. At least 54 people have been jailed for posting essays or other content deemed to be subversive online.
Workers in warehouses across Britain are being electronically tagged

Under the system workers are asked to wear computers on their wrists, arms and fingers, and in some cases to put on a vest containing a computer which instructs them where to go to collect goods from warehouse shelves. the employee is unable to do anything without the machine knowing or monitoring."

The system allows supermarkets direct access to the individual's computer so orders can be beamed from the store. The computer can also check on whether workers are taking unauthorised breaks and work out the shortest time a worker needs to complete a job.

"We are having reports of people walking out of jobs after a few days' work, in some cases just a few hours. They are all saying that they don't like the job because they have no input. They just followed a computer's instructions."

The technology, introduced six months ago, is spreading rapidly, with up to 10,000 employees using it to supply household names such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Boots and Marks & Spencer.

Academics are worried that the system could make Britain the most surveyed society in the world. The country already has the largest number of street security cameras.

Other monitoring devices are being developed in the US, including ones that can check on the productivity of secretaries by measuring the number of key strokes on their word processors; satellite technology is also being developed to monitor productivity in manufacturing jobs.

Two London firms are considering using satellites to direct sandwich board holders, making sure they are not shirking and moving them to areas with more people.

Monday, 6 June 2005

the tenant
Top Cunt

tom cruise ....control is the hallmark of his career

Last year he plugged Scientology, which he claims helped cure him of dyslexia, at a Nobel Peace Prize concert, to widespread booing.

For nearly two decades he was represented by Pat Kingsley, the bulldog of the trade, who prevented access to journalists except under strict conditions. Earlier this year, Cruise dumped Kingsley in favour of his sister, Lee Anne DeVette (a fellow Scientologist) and she is now handling his public affairs. it was DeVette who ruled journalists and studio executives must take a four-hour tour of the Scientology Centre in LA before meeting with the actor.

He has attained an Operating Thetan 6, a high level of purity (there are eight levels) which means he knows the space alien story called 'the incident'.

When he was married to Nicole Kidman, the couple sued a tabloid newspaper for publishing a story "falsely contending" that they had to be 'taught' how to make love convincingly for their co-starring roles in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.

During their divorce Cruise successfully sued a gay porn star who "wrongly claimed" to the French magazine Actustar to have had a gay fling with Cruise.

A poll in People magazine revealed that nearly two-thirds of those questioned believed his current "relationship" with Katie Holmes was a publicity stunt.

plus...

tom cruise fantasy photos
johnmazurka.co.uk
Melvin you wait right here,, while I go reshape my face
clone town

"the individuality of high street shops has been replaced by a monochrome strip of global and national chains"

Four out of 10 of britain's high streets are "clone towns", according to research conducted by the New Economics Foundation. A further 26% of towns were on the border of becoming clones, while just 33% were identified in the survey as "home towns" - where a town has "retained its individual character and is instantly recognisable and distinctive to the people who live there, as well as to those who visit".

archive...

Tesco: Supermarket Superpower

It makes a profit of nearly a quarter of a million pounds an hour. It takes more than one pound in every eight spent in the UK. With profits topping £2bn a year, it has nearly a third of the UK's grocery market. It now has an empire of nearly 1,800 stores and it employs more people than the Army...
Emmett Till

Sunday, 5 June 2005

58% of Swiss voters support giving more rights to same-sex couples

The same-sex vote gives gay couples the same inheritance and tax rights as married heterosexual couples. However, they will not be allowed to adopt or to undergo fertility treatment.

It was the first time a country had held a nationwide referendum on this issue.

THE LIFE OF DOROTHY THOMPSON

"There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth, the persistent refusal to analyze the causes of happenings."
Dorothy Thompson

"Well, it is our fate to live in a time of crisis. To live in a time when all forms and values are being challenged. In other and more easy times, it was not, perhaps, necessary for the individual to confront himself with a clear question: What is it that you really believe? What is it that you really cherish? What is it for which you might, actually, in a showdown, be willing to die? . . . I say, with all the reticence which such large, pathetic words evoke, that one cannot exist today as a person -- one cannot exist in full consciousness -- without having to have a showdown with one's self, without having to define what it is that one lives by, without being clear in one's mind what matters and what does not matter."
Dorothy Thompson

"Society is deranged. ... It is dominated by moral and emotional morons. ... I want sabotage and opposition ... sabotage and opposition ... sabotage and opposition, against militarism in all of its forms."
REMEMBERING DOROTHY THOMPSON

plus...

A DOROTHY THOMPSON SAMPLER

"It simply would not have been like Dorothy Thompson to see an injustice and do nothing to correct it, and certainly the fear of controversy and defamation would be no deterrent to her."
Darkness Visible

During this workshop participants will be in complete darkness 24 hours a day for the entire duration of the course.

Put on a blindfold for 72 hours

"Then you take the blindfolds off and see the world ... well, differently."
World Naked Bike Ride

World Naked Bike (and Skate) Ride in the UK

World Naked Bike Ride, London

Date: Saturday, June 11, 2005

Time: 2:30PM - 4:30PM BST (GMT+01:00)

stop segregation

Saturday, 4 June 2005

uk big brother 6

Oh Brother Why Art Thou?
by Charlie Brooker

"When I first read about olde-worlde scoundrels being 'put in the stocks', it struck me as a quaint and toothless sort of punishment.

Further reading proved me wrong. The locals didn't just lob the odd rotten tomato at you - they hurled rocks. They urinated in your face. They pulled your trousers down and performed vile-but-darkly-hilarious experiments with your rear end. Spend 48 hours in the stocks, and there was a pretty good chance you'd die, with a face like a popped blister and a rolling pin blocking your exit...."

archive...

a selection of narratives trawled from the web, on may 28th 2005, featuring derek laud
Inventing Our Evolution
Underwear for airport searches

an attempt to display, visualize, share the search experience we go through at airports, sport games, concerts.

The thin stretchy cotton suit is equipped with pressure sensors. As touch and pressure is applied on the suit, trails of LEDs are triggered, redrawing the pat down process on the traveler's body, for instantaneous display or for later playback.

(via near near future)
I take illegal drugs for inspiration by Susan Blackmore

Friday, 3 June 2005

slavery and human trafficking

anti slavery

stop human traffic
Child Poverty in Rich Countries 2005

Denmark and Finland have child poverty rates of less than 3 per cent.

At the bottom of the child poverty league are the United States and Mexico, with child poverty rates of more than 20 per cent.

The proportion of children living in poverty has risen in a majority of the world's developed economies. No matter which of the commonly-used poverty measures is applied, the situation of children is seen to have deteriorated over the last decade. the proportion of children living in poverty has risen in 17 out of 24 OECD countries.

Norway is the only OECD country where child poverty can be described as 'very low and continuing to fall'.

archive...

the United States remains the world's leader in arms sales.

One third of countries spend more on the military than they do on health-care services.

Nearly half (42 per cent) of countries with the highest defence burden rank among the lowest in human development.

In 2000, the world's leading countries agreed to a 2015 deadline for halving the number of people in poverty, and cutting by two-thirds the number of children dying before the age of five.

American-led opposition threatens to derail ambitious proposal for a doubling of global aid to $100bn (£55.5bn) a year.

"The US would rather have the Millennium Challenge Account", a Washington official said, referring to President Bush's drive to ensure US aid cash is spent in countries that agree to strict conditions on open markets and clean governance set by Washington.
Learning to Say No to the Military
(...By Andrew Tonkovich)

The No Child Left Behind law allows US military recruiters not only access to high schoolers on campus but requires schools to share their addresses and telephone numbers with the military.

It puts the onus on parents to actively opt out of this otherwise unchallenged indoctrination scheme.

The law presumes parents' willingness to allow recruiters to get at their children. It favors pro-military indoctrination absent opposing perspectives.

My wife and I will teach our son to recognize the military scam, to challenge the pitch, to be skeptical about flag waving, uniforms and ridiculous promises. He'll need to be armed against the recruiters, prepared to exercise intellectual selfdefense. It is a lot to ask of a child, but it may save his life, and the lives of others.

It's impossible to inoculate a child completely from the horrors of militarism and its misguided ideals of service, its putative duty to kill others and to be killed in the name of national chauvinism, nostalgia or corporate hegemony.

My son may eventually choose otherwise when it comes to military service, but he will know that resistance is an option, and that thinking about one's allegiances is a requirement of citizenship.

plus...

Growing Problem for Military Recruiters: Parents

Amy Hagopian, co-chairwoman of the Parent-Teacher-Student Association at Garfield High School in Seattle, has been fighting against a four-year-old federal law that requires schools to give military recruiters the same access to students as college recruiters get, or lose federal funding. She also recently took a few hours off work to stand beside recruiters at Garfield High and display pictures of injured American soldiers from Iraq.
Tesco: Supermarket Superpower

It makes a profit of nearly a quarter of a million pounds an hour. It takes more than one pound in every eight spent in the UK. With profits topping £2bn a year, it has nearly a third of the UK's grocery market. It now has an empire of nearly 1,800 stores and it employs more people than the Army.

The Money Programme, bbc2, investigates how Tesco has become such an unstoppable force in British retailing.

It now sells more health and beauty products than Superdrug and more baby care goods than Mothercare. Reporter Rajan Datar asks if the continued growth of this supermarket superpower could be bad for the consumer and Britain as a whole.

Tesco has just announced plans to open its first non-food-only store, to be named Tesco Homeplus.

"The consumer will be left with a choice of Tesco, Tesco or Tesco,"

Tescotown.

The residents of Bicester in Oxfordshire used to have just two Tesco stores in their small market town, but after Tesco bought T&S, they found themselves with six.

"I probably do 95% of my shopping at Tesco and that's only because I have no choice... even if I am popping out for a pint of milk or loaf of bread it will be to Tesco," says local resident Jo Scott.

and what of tesco's future ambitions regarding its powerful influence on our lives, from cradle to grave?

"we'd like to do more on education" says a tesco representative

archive...

2004: Tesco heiress and disgraced former Tory leader of Westminster council Dame Shirley Porter has finally paid up £12m to the authority for her role in the "homes for votes" scandal.

The payment, which was made after a secret deal between Dame Shirley, the Tory-run council and the Audit Commission, means that she will be let off a further £30m that she owed the local authority.

The Tesco heiress paid the money despite declaring that she had worldwide assets worth only £300,000.
Free speech in the dock
(by Helene Guldberg @ spiked)

English libel law should be scrapped

"surely in a healthy democracy, campaigners and journalists should be free to criticise big corporations, public figures and politicians - whether or not their statements are justified?"

"In the landmark ruling of New York Times v Sullivan in 1964, the American Supreme Court observed that in free debate erroneous statements are inevitable and must be protected - otherwise free expression would not have the 'breathing space it needs' and media self-censorship would be inevitable."

"The fear of not being able to prove the truth of the published word in court, and the recognition of the expense and resources required to do so, would limit public debate."

"The way to deal with the dire state of public debate today is to fight for more speech and debate, not less."

"That means scrapping the libel law, for a start. The UK libel law has a chilling effect on free speech."

"The notoriously prohibitive costs involved in libel cases have ensured that the libel courts exclusively serve the interests of the rich and powerful. As long as they have enough money to pay the extortionate lawyers' fees, London's High Court is the place to come to launder their reputation."

"In England the libel law assumes that the words complained of are untrue and that the claimant's reputation is untarnished."

"The claimant does not have to prove any actual damage of reputation - only that the statement could potentially lower their esteem in the eyes of 'right-thinking members of the public'. The burden then falls on the defendant to prove that the defamatory words - and their possible interpretations - are true."

"If authors, editors or publishers have the smallest inkling that the truth of a proposition cannot be proven in court (even when made in good faith), the knowledge that they will have a less than a one-in-five chance of success in a libel trial means the story is most likely to be dropped. So rather than tinker with a law that is antithetical to free speech, we should get rid of it once and for all."

SUNLIGHT IS THE BEST DISINFECTANT
an erect penis next to a Christian cross

a Greek art curator is set to go on trial for "insulting" the eastern Orthodox Church, following a complaint by Georges Karatzaferis , a far-right party leader.

Christos Ioakimidis organised a major modern art exhibition in Greece as part of a series of cultural events leading up to the Olympics. The case against him stems from a painting by Belgian artist Thierry de Cordier, which shows an erect penis next to a Christian cross.

archives...

andres serrano 'piss christ'1987
a plastic crucifix suspended in the artists urine
(plus piss art)

and...

The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion
Leo Steinberg explores the symbolism of christ's erect cock

divine interventions
...home of the baby jesus butt plug and more

I pulled myself tight to Christ, his body slick with sweat and blood. He groaned and thrust hard. I could feel the sperm's release....

also...

DING DONG THE CUNT IS DEAD
the death of Pope John Paul II

jesus of the week

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...

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

The Secular Coalition for America

Biblical America Resistance Front
resist a biblical america .... a resource for all who work to monitor and counter the Biblical America movement.

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....

Atheism is Indeed A Civil Rights Issue

nonbelievers should focus on electing other nonbelievers to political office.

in 1958, a Gallup poll revealed that 53 percent of American citizens would vote against a Black candidate for president on grounds of race alone. In a 1999 Gallup poll, that figure had declined to four percent.

That same 1999 Gallup Poll revealed 49 percent, would vote against an atheist on grounds of atheism alone than would vote against someone for any other reason.

Michael Newdow, a California doctor with a law degree, told the court on Wednesday that the government "is supposed to stay out of religion".

the faith-based presidency
open dialogue, based on facts, is not seen as something of inherent value. It may, in fact, create doubt, which undercuts faith. It could result in a loss of confidence in the decision-maker and, just as important, by the decision-maker.

AMERICA'S ROLE MODELS ..... photos that highlight the Christianity of Nazis

"God Is With Us": Hitler's Rhetoric and the Lure of "Moral Values"

The priest rules through the invention of sin

the celebrity atheist list
collection of notable individuals who have been public about their lack of belief in deities

and an illustrative array of potential responses to whenever someone says "God Bless You"
"All war is based on deception." ... Sun Tzu

or as Robert Strauss once said to Bush "You can fool some people all of the time - and those are the ones on which you should concentrate your efforts."

PUBLIC RELATIONS ...

"The best PR happens with the people unaware that they are being manipulated."

Remember, if everybody knows something, that image has been bought and paid for.

Real knowledge takes a little effort, a little excavation down at least one level below what "everybody knows."

"At any given moment, there is a sort of all pervading orthodoxy, a general tacit agreement not to discuss large and uncomfortable facts."
(......George Orwell)

INDUCING CONSENT. aldous huxley 1962

What we observe in the population today are the three destructive symptoms of persons whose minds are controlled by alien forces...

1. Amnesia, i.e. loss of memory.

2. Abulia, i.e. loss of will.

3. Apathy, i.e. loss of interest in events vital to one's own health and survival."

(....Michael A. Hoffman II)

"If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it."

(......Edward L. Bernays, 1891 - 1995, one of the fathers of public relations)

"Public relations embraces the "engineering of consent"

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses....."
Pylons may be a leukaemia risk

Around 1% of homes in the UK are estimated to be within 200 metres of high voltage National Grid power lines.

Living too close to overhead power lines appears to increase the risk of childhood leukaemia, researchers say.

A major study published in the British Medical Journal found children who had lived within 200m of high voltage lines at birth had a 70% higher risk of leukaemia than those 600m or more away.

Although the trend was definite, the researchers said they could not reasonably explain why it occurred and that more research is needed.

There are around 7,000km of high voltage power lines involved in the transmission of electricity across England and Wales, and 21,800 steel pylons.
UN calls for action to halt Aids

Aids is spreading faster than ever, outstripping efforts to contain it, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has said.

"Last year saw more new infections and Aids-related deaths than ever before," Mr Annan told a conference in New York.

Only 12% of people with Aids in underdeveloped countries are getting anti-retroviral drugs, he added.

He urged world leaders to give Aids the same attention they devote to global security.
http://www.makepovertyhistory.org/

meanwhile...

Bush opposes UK Africa debt plan

The UK's plan to write off debts owed by African nations is facing opposition in the US - and particularly from President George W Bush.

Wednesday, 1 June 2005

Fuhrer Hitler on Tuesday dismissed a human rights report as being "absurd" for its harsh criticism of Nazi treatment of terrorist suspects held at Auschwitz. Hitler said the allegations were made by prisoners "who hate Germany."

Bush says Amnesty report 'absurd'
US general rejects Amnesty report

But Amnesty hit back. Executive director William Schulz said: "What is 'absurd' is President Bush's attempt to deny the deliberate policies of his administration."

"What is 'absurd' and indeed outrageous is the Bush administration's failure to undertake a full independent investigation."

meanwhile...

the 300 page annual amnesty international report

...Amnesty International accused the US government of damaging human rights with its attitude to torture and treatment of detainees.

The "war on terror" appeared more effective in eroding international human rights principles than in countering international "terrorism". ...

"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."
"Follow the money"

The Washington Post (with its nuisance registration required for reading articles) has confirmed that Mark Felt, a former deputy chief of the FBI and now 91, was Deep Throat.

Deep Throat helped Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the Watergate affair, the scandal which (despite deliberate obstructions and intimidation) eventually forced the resignation of Republican President Richard Nixon in August 1974. ..... Nixon is so far the only US President to resign from office. He was replaced by Vice-President Gerald Ford who then pardoned Nixon to avoid a trial.

As Watergate unfolded, Deep Throat became nervous that his role in the Post's investigation would be discovered. He is believed to have demanded that the two stop conversing by phone, thinking that the line may be tapped, and they began meeting late at night in a Washington parking garage.

If Woodward wanted a meeting with Deep Throat, the reporter would rearrange a potted plant in his apartment window.

If Deep Throat wanted a meeting with Woodward, he would somehow ensure that page 20 of Woodward's daily New York Times delivery was circled.

"all the president's men"
amazon.co.uk
amazon.com

archive...

reporters without borders

Journalist death toll in 2004 was worst since 1955

but 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.

back in 2003 Reporters Without Borders were saying that "arrests of journalists and censorship of media had reached a record high" and that this is "undoubtedly linked to the fight against terrorism and to anti-terror laws adopted by some countries since the 11 September attacks".

not forgetting also that "You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month." said a CIA operative in discussion with Philip Graham, editor Washington Post, on the availability and prices of journalists willing to peddle CIA propaganda and cover stories.

Media monopoly and militarism go hand in hand

George Bush must have been delighted to learn from a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll that 56 percent of Americans still think Iraq had weapons of mass destruction before the start of the war, while six in 10 said they believe Iraq provided direct support to the al-Qaida terrorist network .... notions that have long since been thoroughly debunked by everyone else.

Why? Because rather than challenge the fraudulent claims of the Bush administration, we've had a media acting as a conveyor belt for the government's lies.

As the Pentagon has learned, deploying the American media is more powerful than any bomb. The explosive effect is amplified as a few pro-war, pro-government media moguls consolidate their grip over the majority of news outlets.......

you don't need a covert conspiracy of like mindedness among media employees. Instead we live in an an era of network news cutbacks and staff layoffs, resulting in too many reporters being reluctant to pursue stories they know will upset management. "People are more careful now," remarked a former NBC news producer, reporters have mortgages and bills to pay....

Instead of filling the void with serious, skeptical journalism, most newspapers and television news programs provided jingoistic and nationalistic coverage in the aftermath of the attacks. They echoed the administration's simplistic "good versus evil" calculations, which served the interests of the neoconservatives in the White House who wanted to wage expansionist wars.

Too many journalists, under pressure to appear "patriotic," practiced stenography to power - repeating administration pronouncements without serious questioning or analysis.


US journalists too timid and too commercially controlled

The vast majority of reporters - 86% - now believe commercial pressures have meant the US news media avoid complex issues, 50% feel that the growth of 24-hour news services has weakened journalism, 56% believe the country's press is too timid and 52% believe reporting is "increasingly sloppy".

"We don't ask 'why' - or 'why not' - nearly as much as we should, particularly when covering our government," a reporter from the local press said.