Is Bercow a hypocrite for banning Trump parliamentary address?

February 7, 2017

John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, has barred US prez Trump from addressing Parliament.  Apparently this has pissed off many MPs, and Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi says Bercow is a hypocrite as he has let the likes of China’s president Xi Jinping and the Emir of Kuwait address Parliament in the past.

So is Bercow a hypocrite?  Of course he is – there’s always a stench of hypocrisy in Westminster. But I don’t think this particular decision is especially hypocritical.  China and Kuwait have never claimed to be beacons of liberty and equality; whereas the USA constantly claims ownership of those ideals.

Anyway, Trump’s a dick.  He wants to bar people from visiting the USA on such arbitrary grounds as religion – and even on grounds of someone’s appearance – so why don’t we bar Trump from even entering Britain?  The guy’s an isolationist; so let’s isolate him.

 

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Victoria Cross hero Johnson Beharry who was delayed for hours and humiliated by US border guards when he flew into the USA


The Berlin Street Market Killings: Reactionary legislation solves hardly anything

December 23, 2016

In the wake of the Berlin market truck killings, some voices are calling for the Schengen open borders policy in the European Union to be scrapped.  This is understandable on a visceral level – Anis Amri, a man who had been on terrorist watch lists, had apparently driven freely all over the Schengen area both before and after the killings – he had managed to travel over 1,000 miles around Europe in spite of an arrest warrant, and he was finally caught and slain by police in Milan, Italy; so he had successfully travelled from Germany to Italy while he was a high-profile murder suspect.  But scrapping the Schengen agreement because of the Amri case would be an example of reactionary legislation that would achieve very little but would pose problems for millions of law-abiding citizens.  Maybe trucks should be banned too?  After all, Amri used one to commit his crimes.

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Anis Amri, the Berlin truck murderer killed by police in Italy

It reminds me of the reactionary gun laws passed in Britain because of “lone gunman” cases: for instance, the Hungerford massacre when Michael Ryan used assault rifles to murder 16 people in 1987 led to a ban on automatic weapons; and the Dunblane atrocity when Thomas Hamilton entered the Dunblane Primary School in Scotland and used pistols to murder 15 children and their teacher caused the government to ban virtually all handguns as well as firearms such as hunting rifles.

These two UK examples of sweeping gun control reform after single atrocities have probably saved few, if any lives.  The assault rifles used by Ryan were extremely rare in any case, and the Dunblane massacre was down to insufficient vetting of Hamilton more than the law that allowed properly-vetted individuals to buy pistols for recreation or competition shooting; because of the post-Dunblane legislation, members of the 2012 British Olympic shooting teams were unable to train in Britain, and £42 million had to be spent on special facilities where the shooting events could take place, at Woolwich Royal Artillery Barracks – facilities that were demolished after the Games. Shooting sports bodies and some politicians argued that the money would have been better spent on the lasting legacy that would be gained by refurbishing and upgrading permanent facilities at the National Shooting Centre at Bisley, which would have cost a maximum of £30 million, and which would allow British competitive sports shooting teams to practice on home soil.

The ultimate irony of these reactionary legislations is that only law-abiding citizens are affected by the laws.  Criminals who want assault rifles or handguns can buy them anyway, on the black market, where they do not have to possess licences.  Any change to the Schengen agreement would have the same effect: stopping countless citizens to move freely in the European zone because of one evil man’s actions.  It is an erosion of rights similar to those we have seen in the USA – except of course in the States guns and bullets are trivial to buy.


Sgt Blackman is a murderer! Fact!!

December 12, 2016

Marine Sergeant Blackman shot and killed a “fatally wounded” insurgent on a Britiah base in Afghanistan in 2011.  He was convicted of murder by a court martial and jailed accordingly. But now he’s up for appeal, and the usual suspects (Britain’s right-wing press, military big-wigs etc) are calling for him to be bailed until the appeal hearing. Also on his side is thriller author Frederick Forsyth, whoo donated a staggering £800,000 to his legal fund

Major General Holmes, who was director of all UK special forces, has offered a £50,000 guarantee for Sgt Blackman’s bail application lodged at the weekend.

He said: “I have supported Sgt Blackman’s cause since the outset.
“I am more than happy to help stand his bail so he can be reunited with his family.”

Even the judge at Sgt Blackman’s court martial said his offence is not one he would have committed at home – as if that makes any difference.  Many killers do their murdering away from home. And people are saying he is a man of integrity!

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Sgt Blackman – who was known as “Marine A” at his court martial – is believed to be the only known British serviceman ever convicted of murder on a foreign battlefield.

A few facts.  The insurgent was wounded – “fatally wounded” according to the press, notice the quotation marks that make it clear this “fatally wounded” description is not an official description but just the spin the papers are putting on the story.  No doubt Blackman would have said he was putting the guy “out of his misery”.  But assisted suicide is illegal.  If I helped a loved one commit suicide, I would be convicted of murder and sent to prison for life.  If I “helped” an enemy to die, my life sentence would be considerably worse.

But because Blackman’s a “hero”, he can “help” people to commit suicide and near as damn it get away scot free?

Even when he was convicted of the murder, he was told he would serve just 10 years in prison – later reduced to 8 years.  This for killing a man who was on a British base, badly wounded, unarmed and posing no threat to anyone.

“But he was a terrorist,” I hear you cry.  “He deserved it.”

Well guess what.  To Al-Qaeda and ISIS, Western forces are terrorists and crusaders.  I’m not debating the rights and wrongs of that particular issue.  As far as I’m concerned, killing people you don’t know is wrong.  But it is especially wrong to laud this sergeant as a hero and try to get him out of jail.

Apparently his conviction may be changed to one of manslaughter due to “diminished responsibility”.  So we’re meant to believe he didn’t know what he was doing when he killed the badly wounded insurgent.  Even though he has previously said he did know what he was doing – putting the guy out of his misery.

Ex-SAS chief Major General Holmes is willing to offer £50,000 guarantee that, if Blackman is bailed, he will not do a runner.  If he gets bail, he’ll be “home for Christmas”; and the appeal won’t be heard until next summer or autumn – this convicted murderer will be out on the streets for 9 months, while other killers appealing against conviction stay locked up.  A great many murderers appeal.  Nearly all stay in prison until their appeal is heard.

A judge said this killing wouldn’t have happened if Blackman was at home.  I should hope not!  Surely Blackman doesn’t have firearms at home?

At best, Blackman’s actions could be viewed as “assisted suicide”.  And “assisted suicide” is classed as murder.  If a loving wife goes to jail for murder when she helps her terminally ill husband end it all, why should Blackman get special treatment for killing a stranger whom he hated?

When British forces go to war, there are rules of engagement.  Blackman ignored these rules and slew a helpless man.  If we are going to have laws, they must be applied equally, to everyone. Anything else is anarchy, which people keep telling me is the worst thing ever.

No bail for Blackman.  No change of conviction, charge, no reduction in sentence.  Blackman was a soldier, yes, but what he did was murder.

 


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.

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[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?

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

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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?

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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.

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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:

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

 

 


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.”
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free web stat


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