I really don’t think I could have put it better than this chap on BoingBoing.
Allowing libraries to shut down is just cretinous. It’s beyond the absurd. Spending billions on building a wall across Mexico, blowing up parts of the desert, spying on old enemies, hunting down bogeymen and paying private contractors Billions of dollars of money to perform tasks that a government run institution could do for less? Go right ahead. Put a little money aside for a library? No chance.

If this is a sign of things to come, librarians in the US better start stocking up on rations and ammo. Disgusting.

Sad thing is, if the resistance to US Government backed healthcare is anything to go by, people are probably cheering the cuts thinking it’ll save a little on their taxes, whilst being so uninformed as to not realise they’re paying more per day in taxes for Iraq Part Deux than they would to run every library in their country. If this absurdity ever comes to pass over here I’m leaving for the moon.

Bombproof Cameras

Tuesday 1151hrs

A friend of mine linked me to a photo of a particularly Orwellian advertisement earlier today, go take a look for yourselves. It takes a special kind of idiot to swallow that kind of desensitizing, CHEKA inspired propaganda but fortunately the British public is filled with just such special idiots. Honestly, there hasn’t been one incident that I can think of that made the news where a bomb attempt was stopped thanks to CCTV footage (Please correct this assumption if you can find anything), however there is a lot of CCTV footage of bombs going off. What does this tell me? CCTV does absolutely bloody nothing to prevent terrorism (Or indeed street violence), it can only help to identify and chase down the offenders.

What next? Pink hearts and fur on the cameras to make us love them?

We must love the cameras.

We must love Big Brother.

The End of the Internet.

Tuesday 1439hrs

Looks like the snowball is about to gather speed, so all stand for the entrance of Big Brother! “British” Telecom have block the Pirate Bay, presumably off the back of the lawsuit which found the operators guilty of linking to other people. Whilst I don’t support rampant proliferation of copyright material (As a photographer, that is one thing you become quite sensitive to) I am acutely aware of the ramifications of both the lawsuit and the move on behalf of BT. What we are seeing here is pressure from private enterprise forcing potentially erroneous legal judgements and censorship. BT Blocked the pirate bay because MGM and the music industry leant on them hard enough. Will they block anti-war material if BAE Systems lean hard enough too? Will they surreptitiously silence Pro-Green website should Shell and Exxon pad the brown envelopes with sufficient enthusiasm? I believe they’re calling this move an adoptation of a “voluntary” code, voluntary purely because the capitalist directors of said actions aren’t the ones who can call it law. Yet.

Blocking adult content, whilst altruistic in the vein of preventing exposure (ho ho) of children to such material is at the mercy of whoever gets to define “Adult”. Do we prevent coverage of wars via mobile media beause it’s “Unsuitable for children”? How about police brutality, will that eventually fall under the PG-13 filter? Public opinion and the social conscious is already defined by and large by the powers that control popular media but, for now, the free press and democratic contributors to the public domain pool of knowledge are at least given an even field on which to play. I’m as able to visit fox.com as I am www.medialens.org. Admittedly I choose not to visit Fox, as I don’t want to have to take a shower afterward, but you hopefully see my point. Once private enterprise is allowed to interfere with the neutrality of the internet insofar as to have content that conflicts with their agenda blocked, you open the doors to a dark, dark place.

A gem I was directed to by Tigl from IRC, apparently the No2ID guys lifted our dear home secretary’s fingerprints from a glass they whipped out of a speaking venue. Brilliant.

ID Cards in Demand?

Thursday 2006hrs

It seems that the BBC, guilty of the odd jaunt into fictional reporting, has turned it into a full time occupation. Apparently our beloved facist underminer Jacqui Smith believes that ID Cards are in demand, which is funny, because I don’t know of a single person with whom I’ve discussed the issue who actually thinks they’re a good idea.

Don’t make me put the Niemoller quote again. Please don’t.

Again another shining example of why large government databases are a bad idea. No, not because I’m paranoid about the government (Honest!) but I’m paranoid about the random Toms, Dicks and Harrys that are going to pick up my private data in a pub car park.

12M Government Gateway accounts compromised concerns me more than usual, because now I have to amend all my Government Gateway details.

I wish pigshit-thick civil servants would stop liberally hosing my personal details around the place, thankyouverymuch. The level of complacancy displayed by our database-obsessed overlords when it comes to digital information is really quite frightening. Fighting terror in Iraq? I say spend a little money on “fighting terror” at home, with simple, cost effective measures such as “Not leaving your laptop on a train” and “Keeping your memorysticks encrypted and on a secure keychain”. I’m sure that’s a lot cheaper than a Eurofighter, though not really as sexy to sell.

Following up with Niemoller

Tuesday 2306hrs

I knew there was a quote I wanted to use in my earlier post, but couldn’t put my finger on it. Fortunately a Democracy Now vid tipped me off and I sought it out.

When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned.

And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned.

And when Hitler attacked the unions and industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned.

Then, Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church — and there was nobody left to be concerned.

-Martin Niemoller, German Protestant Pastor, 1892-1984

We do not have to agree with each other, but we do have to stand together to protect against being taken advantage of.

False Flags Not Guaranteed!

Tuesday 1739hrs

I bring you from the BBC, the following gem regarding the McCain-Obama race:

Analysts are straining to come up with ways McCain could reverse the flow of the election at this late date. The truth is, such a task is out of his hands.

A major terrorist strike or an international crisis might give McCain the opportunity to demonstrate his commander-in-chief credentials, though there are no guarantees this would work.

“No guarantee this work work” ? Am I alone in thinking that this makes it sound like a method that people would actively consider viable? In this day and age, surely not?

Original link here: BBC suggests terrorist attack might boost McCain’s popularity