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.

Flash Rage

Friday 2059hrs

I wanted to rant about Adobe’s new storefront, which is all flash based. But I’m too angry. I’m actually too worked up to phrase it coherantly. I will return when I’ve calmed down to explain myself. In the meantime, whoever built the thing, please, choke on a rock, die in a fire and then burn in whichever hell you believe.

Actually, thinking about it, that might not even be harsh enough.

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.

…you’ve got nothing to hide.

This is the heinously erroneous (That means “Really really wrong”) statement is the last defence of someone who doesn’t really understand anything. They are the people who have absolute faith in the government, complete obedience to the state and most likely would try and deny the Holocaust. Low blow? The Jews, blacks, gays, gypsies and Russians didn’t have anything to hide, but it didn’t stop a totalitarian system rounding them up and gassing them in their thousands.

I have nothing to hide, except maybe acorns come winter, but I certainly don’t want a 3rd party collecting and inspecting every last detail about me not because I don’t trust the power structure now, but because I know it has the potential to change in the future. Once that information is collected, it’s impossible to un-collect it, so I would think very dearly about just how much you want to hand over. You never know when the next Adolf is coming round the corner…

That aside another thing that really annoys me is the Government passing legislation in the name of “Anti Terrorism” when it’s plainly just carte-blanche to do as they please – “Random” Stop and Search and covert intelligence gathering for one, or brandishing an entire nation as “Terrorists” and freezing their assets when it suits.

Say what now?

Exactly. Legislation brought in to allow the government to freeze the assets of a suspected terrorists (Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001) has been brought in against Iceland. The northerly, peace loving ex-vikings who fish for cod, program space-based MMORPGS and got suckered by the whole fractional gold-shitting-unicorn pipe dream of a banking system like the rest of the West. The difference is, of course, is that our great and noble country seems to think nothing of leveraging an anti-terror bill against an entire country. Are we really that terrified of the credit crisis? Did Iceland collapse its banking system as an act of political aggression directed towards a home or foreign body of state (You know, like, what terrorism is all about…)

No. They didn’t. Labelling it “security” is weak too, people have known about this coming crisis for at least 5 years, so to pretend it came out of the blue represents an intelligence failling so massive that it makes you wonder why they have an intelligence service in the first place. It’s quite frankly disgusting on too many levels to list here. Most of all, though, it should wake up the spineless fools who nodded over the top of their copy of The Sun on the ride to work in agreement with the last batch of anti “terror” rulings, hopeless in the belief that it would keep them safe from the bogeyman. The government seems quite happy to disrespectfully re-brand Iceland as a “terrorist”, and if they can do it to and entire nation, they can do it to you just the same.

If you have nothing to hide, you have everything to worry about, because when the blame is on you, they won’t stop asking questions until you give them what they want to hear. If you’re so arrogant as to assume you’ll never find yourself in that spot, find a European Jewish retiree and ask their opinion, they’ll have a lot to tell you.

Big Brother is Taxing You

Tuesday 1349hrs

12 Billion pounds for an insidious nazist database. And people complained about the LHC? This is absolute bloody madness, how about spending 12 billion fixing the broken education system so that you can create a generation of informed and responsible citizens who will do their own part to make the country safe and prosperous? Oh, yeah that’s right, the last thing anyone needs is educated and informed citizens, they’re a right pain in the neck. Ask the French Monarchy.

The only question left for me now, is which Ministry do I sign up for? I’m thinking the Ministry of Truth, as I’ve got a pretty keen eye for detail…