Investigatory Powers Bill

November 22, 2016

The UK government has passed the Investigatory Powers Bill. This, according to the Guardian, “legalises a whole range of tools for snooping and hacking by the security services unmatched by any other country in western Europe or even the US”.

In truth, it merely legalizes what the government has been doing for years anyway – just consider what Ed Snowden revealed about the USA (via the NSA)n and the UK (via GCHQ) and their nasty snooping.  Indeed, Snowden said in Laura Poitras’ documentary film Citizenfour that GCHQ were spying illegally far more than the villainous NSA!  (I advise everyone to see Citizenfour – it’s widely available on bittorrent, check the Pirate Bay Proxy List for available downloads).

The Guardian rightly describes this new law-in-waiting “extreme surveillance”.  Also noted that it passed “with barely a whimper” – which is, of course, due to the atmosphere of heightened tension over “terrorist plots” that has hung over us for 15 years, since the Twin Towers atrocity.

We all need to use encryption and to anonymize as much as possible.  But as the companies that carry the bulk of internet traffic are in either UK or USA, it doesn’t look good. But try to get into encryption anyway – for everything – it’s the technical equivalent of putting your email in an envelope.  Would you be comfortable writing all your correspondence on the back of postcards, knowing that just anyone can read it?

 

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Don’t be a bystander! 4 steps to stop bullying and harrassment!

November 14, 2016

Found this on the web by the cartoonist Maril.  Some good advice.

stop-harrassment

[comic by Maeril]

On unisoultheory.com, Maeril is quoted:

Maeril acknowledges that this can be used in a number of scenarios involving harassment or bullying, but states that she wanted to bring focus to Muslims because they have been “very specific targets lately.” She explains further, on her Tumblr post:

“As a French Middle Eastern woman, I wanted to try and do something to raise awareness on how to help when such things happen before our eyes – that way one cannot say they ‘didn’t know what to do’!”

She also suggests a couple of “rules” to prevent escalation of the situation:

1) Do not, in any way, interact with the attacker. You must absolutely ignore them and focus entirely on the person being attacked!
2) Please make sure to always respect the wishes of the person you’re helping: whether they want you to leave quickly afterwards, or not! If you’re in a hurry escort them to a place where someone else can take over – call one of their friends, or one of yours, of if they want to, the police. It all depends on how they feel!

If the attacker turns the aggression on you, Maeril suggests:

“Whatever happens, it’s always safer if both of you leave the area ASAP. If you can’t (eg. the subway is in between two train stations) pick one SPECIFIC person and ask them to help you. “You, sir, with the red scarf! Please help me!” You should really point something they’re wearing so that they feel they’re personally invested into the situation: this contributes to breaking bystander syndrome.”

The important point is: don’t be an “innocent bystander” who fails to act because “you don’t know what to do.”  If the decent majority stands up to the bigoted minority, it will make a better environment for everyone.


OMG! How dare women go to the beach with their clothes on?

August 28, 2016

As everyone knows, people go to the beach to leer at scantily-clad folk, or to be leered at while scantily-clad.  So how dare anyone go to the beach without flashing their bits at everyone?

burkini1

The burkini is obscene and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere!  At all!

burkini2

Wow, that burkini is really offensive!  It’s got a hood.  And it covers the woman’s legs.  How obscene…

Ok, so burkinis look stupid.  But lots of clothes look stupid, should they be banned?  Like those caps with cupholders so you can drink through a straw without having to carry the can in your hand.  Shall we ban them too?

cup-holder-caps

Spot the dickhead

(Actually, maybe we should ban the cup-holder cap.  And French people.  If we just banned France and fizzy pop, all the world’s problems would be solved, in one (two?) fell swoop.

Now, if you wear clothes on the beach, it’s absolutely appropriate for the police to come and make you strip.  In public.  At gunpoint.

burkini-ban-on-beach-cops

I know France is all tense and stuff after the terrorist crap going on there.  But when terrorists attacked the London Tube did the British government ban hijabs and turbans and white baggy trousers?  Answer: No.  Cos although the Brit government is really really stupid, reactionary and anti-human rights, it wasn’t that  really really stupid, reactionary and anti-human rights.  (I hope our present government hasn’t got that stupid yet…).

 

Oh yeah… don’t forget that the thought police know what you’re thinking:

olivia-thirlby-as-anderson-1

Psi-Judge Cassandra Anderson: the acceptable face of thought crime control…

 

 


Like the back of my hand

June 30, 2016

I knew you, I’d boast,
like the back of my hand;
never realizing
that I spent little time
actually getting to know it.

I knew you, for years,
like a member of the family.
But I’d had no family
for most of my life.

I knew you’d never leave me.
When I came home
and all your things had gone
I knew there’d be a simple explanation.

And there was:
you’d left me
even though I’d always known
we would be together forever

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Should Boris Johnson succeed Cameron as prime minister?

June 28, 2016

Since David Cameron resigned as prime minister after the Brexit vote, Boris Johnson is one of the favourites to replace him.  Some people say “Not Boris!  He’s a liar!”  And indeed he is a bullshitter of great renown.  Here are some of his lies:

“As Mayor of London he promised to totally eradicate rough sleeping by 2012; it doubled under his leadership. His 2008 manifesto promised there would be manned ticket offices at every station; he closed all of London’s ticket offices. He aimed to reduce transport fares; they increased by 4.2 per cent.”

But why should this disqualify him?  All politicians are liars (I think… name one high-ranking politician who has never lied and I will accuse you of fibbing…)

I can think of other reasons why he shouldn’t be prime minister.  If he does turn out to be a serious contender, I might list some of these to you.  But for now: stop flapping!

 

Gove: "You're a liar, Boris!" Johnson: "Aren't we all...?"

Gove: “You’re a liar, Boris!”
Johnson: “Aren’t we all…?”

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The EU Referendum: large scale democracy in action

June 26, 2016
The referendum was democracy in action. Voting! What does Spider say about voting?
 
“You want to know about voting. I’m here to tell you about voting.
 
“Imagine you’re locked up in a huge underground nightclub with sinners, whores, freaks and unmentionable things that rape pitbulls for fun. And you ain’t allowed out until you all vote on what you’re going to do tonight.
 
“YOU like to put your feet up and watch ‘Republican Party Reservation’. THEY like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns, and brand-new sexual organs that you did not know existed.
 
“So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as the eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades.
 
“That’s voting. You’re welcome.”
spider-on-voting1


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Britain First a terrorist organization? (No.)

June 17, 2016

After the shocking murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, shot to death in the street outside her constituency office in  Birstall, people are beginning to wonder: is Britain First a terrorist organization?

Several witnesses to the murder have confirmed that the killer, a 52 year old man named locally as Tommy Mair, shouted “Britain First!” as he slew her.  According to The Guardian, Graeme Howard, 38, who lives in nearby Bond Street, told the Guardian he heard the man shout “Britain first” before the shooting and during the arrest.  A second eyewitness, Clarke Rothwell, claimed that the man shouted “Britain First, Britain First.”

tommy-mair

Tommy Mair: allegedly shouted “Britain First” while murdering MP

Aamir Tahir, of the Dry Clean Centre, said the gunman was heard shouting “Britain first”.

He said: “The lady I work with heard two loud bangs but I wasn’t there, I was stuck in traffic at the time. I wish I was there because I would have tried to stop him.”

And, perhaps the most damning allegation:

Witness Daniel Blyth, 38, a company director from the town, told the Yorkshire Post newspaper that the assault was “unusual”. He added: “I saw seven police cars racing up Leeds Road towards Morley. They were unmarked BMWs,” he said.

“There are two helicopters flying overhead. It all seems very dramatic. I have heard that two people have been shot but I’m not who are why. It’s all very unusual for Birstall.”

So, was “Tommy Mair’s”attack a Britain First plot?  Britain First, a far-right political party campaigning for Britain to leave the EU, deny this, saying the reports were “pure hearsay”. It described the attack as a “despicable crime” and added: “We are nothing to do with it.”(“though they would say that, wouldn’t they,” ha ha bonk).  Maybe “Mair” was pissed off about the chance that Britain may vote to stay in the EU… but that still makes “Britain First!” an odd choice of warcry.  Incidentally, Jo Cox was pro-Europe.

The suspect in the MP’s death is believed to have had long-term links to the Springbok Club, a hard-right group that has campaigned against the EU.

He also purchased a gun-making manual from a far-right neo-Nazi group, new documents suggest.

So is Britain First a terrorist organization that should be proscribed, like the Islamist groups that have preached jihad against the West?  Probably not.  But if I shouted “Allahu Akbar!” while shooting politicians, I’m sure the security services would be looking for any link, no matter how tenuous, between me and ISIL etc.

Just let me make it clear: I’m not claiming that Britain First is a terrorist group, nor that there’s any link between this murderer and the organization.  I’m just asking questions.  Which is one of the rights I get living in democratic Europe rather than Syria or the USA.  So don’t get mad at me.  I didn’t invent these stupid bastards.


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