Thursday, August 31, 2006

Brian Coleman AM: 'tedious cock'

Well, Mark Thomas' demo seems to have gone ok, shame I couldn't make it. I'm so looking forward to moving to London. Anyway, how about this as a reaction?
But the protest has had its critics, with Tory London Assembly member Brian Coleman calling them "sad, mad and bad".

"Is this really the image we want to give of London - tourists whose income we rely on for the jobs and prosperity of our city?"
Well no you fool. That's the whole damned point!

Ye gods, this sort of thing is bad for the image of London because it highlights the absurdity of the laws that affect London. Remove the stupid law and you're fine. Gah!

As Liadnan puts it:
"Bugger civil liberties, think of the tourist trade?" And in what universe would the tourist trade be adversely affected?

What a tedious cock.
Still busy, distracted and not in the mood for serious blogging. Week off next week, might, hopefully, clear my head. In the meantime, I await the reports of the event from those that were able to attend.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Book censorship on planes

Craig emailed about this earlier, today, I just got around to following the link chain. Murder in Samarkand… Confiscated

Don't bother picking up a poiltical book if you're going flying now, they'll confiscate it. Can we hear it for exceeding authority? I think we can. I suspect the days when I could read Michael Moore on a transatlantic flight are gone (as are the days I could afford a translatlantic flight but that's another issue), we're only allowed populist pulp on board to read now, anything else makes us a security risk?

Or is this a case of idiotic airport staff in need of a good kicking disciplinary hearing?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Amar Ashraf: Asian pilot banned from plane

This is getting ridiculous. He works as an airline pilot, he checks in to his company's parnter airline, gets on the plane, falls asleep in business class. Then he gets woken up and told to leave the plane. Now, of course, he may be being paranoid, but when he gets off the plane, the police are there to question him.
He believes his removal was down to having a "Muslim-sounding name".

Mr Ashraf, 28, a British Pakistani who was returning to his job as a pilot for one of Continental's partner airlines in the US, will lodge a formal complaint with Continental Airlines, with whom he was travelling, as well as with the US authorities.
Mr Ashraf? Good luck. Told a friend in Canada about it. His reaction is here. Summary:

Hey, everyone who's afraid of brown people: Remember the terrorists?

They won, and you helped them do it.

Good job!
Tomorrow, when I go back into the office, I have to find accommodation for two lawyers planning to come study English with us for 6 months on an executive course. Normally, not a problem at all, executive long term bookings are sought after by our host families. Problem? They're from Kuwait. I shouldn't need to have to persuade people to let me pay them money, just because the client is from a muslim country; Kuwait is one of our major allies out there, right?

The politics of fear. I was bored of it. Now I'm getting fucking scared of it. One side wants to kill us "because of our freedoms". The other wants to deny us our freedoms in order to protect us. Excuse me? Why are we letting the terrorists win by default?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Deadly Baby Bottles and other liquid "threats"

Still on the "it doesn't add up" schtick I'm afraid. This email sent to Interesting People is a good analysis, and Craig Murray has more on some of the other elements:
One aspect of the alleged bomb plot which has provided a tremedous boost to the atavists, is the so-called "Baby bottle bomb" ... there is nothing uniquely Islamic about infanticide. Indeed, in the last two days the news bulletins have covered prominently the stories of a British man who allegedly jumped from a balcony clutching his two children in Crete, and the inquest on a woman who threw herself under her train with her nine year old child.

Horrible? Yes. Have Muslims wreaked more horror on the World, either historically or in the last five years, than those professing other religions? No.
The leaks and spin coming from various "sources" bother me as well. If there is actually a plot, if there is evidence, have these guys got a chance of a fair trial? No. You know what that means? No conviction, we can't get the bastards. If they're actually guilty (and every day that if gets bigger), then we need to get them jailed. Trial by media is a bad idea, right?
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Blogging and stuff

Busy, in case you hadn't figured. In the meantime, I've linked a few times to Steve, who it turns out is randomly a friend of a former housemate of mine and Paul's, although we've never met, small world. Anyway, he now writes for new blog/news site, The Slant, which I'm plugging because, well, it's good. His first article:
Thousands of pupils received their A-level results today, and amazingly the UK seems to be getting more intelligent than ever!

In the spirit of the occasion, the rest of this article will be multiple choice:
Seriously, go read the rest. For the record, he thinks even less of Ruth Kelly than me. Seriously, it is possible. Anyway...

What should I write next?

I've been busy at work (see terror alerts and false flags, all over the newspapers and below), but it's about time I wrote a decent, substantive article. I've got 3 in my mind, fleshed out to a point where I just need to find time to type them up. Which d'you want first?
  1. The Cameron Project: What he's up to and why it should work
  2. Tactical Voting: It's a myth, it doesn't exist (seriously)
  3. House of Lords reform: I missed Lords Reform day on here, but put up a few links on my journal (Blogger went down), I could flesh that out a bit?
Anyone got a preference? Also...

Blogger Beta

I've been playing around with the new version of Blogger (via) here, it does actually seem rather good, so even though there isn't a 3-column option (yet), I'll likely switch when they'll let me, the good bits more than outweigh the bad. Category tags for a start, and easy feed displays &c. So expect a few weirdnesses as I do silly stuff to get it to work. I'm so not looking forward to going back to label every post.
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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Terror arrests timed under US pressure?

A senior British official knowledgeable about the case said British police were planning to continue to run surveillance for at least another week to try to obtain more evidence, while American officials pressured them to arrest the suspects sooner. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.

In contrast to previous reports, the official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports.

Massive disruption to our travel industry, terror alert to "critical", airports at a standstill. Why? Because the US intelligence community wanted to arrest people early when there is no immediate threat.
The British official said the Americans also argued over the timing of the arrest of suspected ringleader ***** in Pakistan, warning that if he was not taken into custody immediately, the U.S. would "render" him or pressure the Pakistani government to arrest him.

British security was concerned that ***** be taken into custody "in circumstances where there was due process," according to the official, so that he could be tried in British courts. Ultimately, this official says, ***** was arrested over the objections of the British.
So, that could even cover arrested without due process and with the possibilty that a trial may not now be possible. I've deleted his name from the US based report as UK law is very strict about possibilities of prejudicing a trial.

I'm at work (see disruption to travel industry, above), so no analysis. Not sure I can be coherent about this one at the moment anyway.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Threats, attacks, terror and freedom

Not in the mood to write about todays news. Not in the mood to analyse what's happened. I share Nosemonkey's cynicism about the timing of todays arrests and yesterdays speech by Reid. He knew it was happening. Bush got in on the act, making a blatent anti-Islamic speech, to which James L. Grant responded:
Almost 3000 people died September 11th.

They tell us to be afraid. I'm sure some of you recall that I often poke jibes at the bullshit society of fear here in the USA. It's been going on a long time, but it's been substantially worse since the towers fell.

They tell us to be afraid of Extremists for Allah. They tell us to be afraid of planes. They tell us to be afraid of buses. They tell us to be afraid of bombs. They tell us to be afraid of suitcase nukes. They tell us to fear death from above, fear the breown people, fear Islam, fear those who HATES TEH FREEDOM, fear the NAIL CLIPPERS and BOX CUTTERS, fear the MIDDLE EAST, FEAR MOTHERFUCKERS, BATHE IN IT, BREATHE IT, DREAM IT, BE BORN IN FEAR AND FUCKING DIE IN FEAR.

3000 people die of smoking-related disease every 3 days.

3000 people die in car accidents roughly every 29 days.

3000 people burn to death approximately every year or so, give or take some, in accidents involving smoke and fire. Every year, over and over.

And then one day you wake up and realize that you're less likely to die from a terrorist attack than you are from an infected wisdom tooth.

And you don't have to be afraid.

Right about then is when you take a look at the media and you get really, really pissed off.

Welcome to the fold, Rubix.
The Politics of Fear is getting to me. I grew up with the real and present danger of the IRA, and those nasty communists with their ICBM nukes. Now, in the absense of a new state based enemy, we're to fear "global islamic terror", and fear it so much that we're to give up a lot of the basic fundamental freedoms that make this country, and indeed much of the west.

The terrorist threats of AQ and other groups is real. But it's less of a threat to me, directly, than the threat of a car hitting me as I cross the road. I can directly control or stop neither.

That this plot has been caught, and stopped, within the existing framework of laws should show people that we don't need new laws and restrictions to catch the bastards, we need better resourced and trained officers within the existing framework. John Reid wants us to make more sacrifices in the name of security?

Fuck off John Reid. I won't give in to terrorism and abandon the basic principles of this country. That you are planning to shows that you have no principles whatsoever.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Appeal Court tells Reid he's wrong

John Reid? You just lost*. Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips:
"We agree that the facts of this case fall clearly on the wrong side of the dividing line. The orders amounted to a deprivation of liberty contrary to Article 5.

"We consider that the reasons given by Mr Justice Sullivan for quashing the orders are compelling."
Putting someone under house arrest and only allowing them out between 10am and 4pm? Yup, that's deprivation of liberty. Restricting who can visit them and who they can associate with? Yup, that's deprivation of liberty as well.

Reid? Charge 'em or release them. You'd get cross party support to change the law to allow intercept evidence into court. Many other countries allow such evidence, yet in the UK, you simply want to lock away the nasty men without a fair trial. No thanks.

In related news, we welcome back The Politics of Fear (part mcmxvii). Love that domain name; An oxymoron for this lot, surely?

*I apologise to those of my readers that get that reference. Actually, I don't, but, y'know...