Monthly Archives: January 2013

One sometimes does not know what to do or think


David Davis

As I get older and older ( I have already outlived our old chum Chris Tame by almost seven years – and I never imagined that I would be talking about being er, sort of, er, old) the world seems to lurch from one cock-up to another, or one disaster to another. Most are government-mediated. It’s difficult, sometimes, to distinguish a “natural” disaster like an earthquake from a government-mediated one such as the “banking crisis”. Both kinds usually result in lost and wasted resources: the poorer the country, the more the UN wastes in hotels, escort girls. “feasibility-studies” and jet-flights: and the bigger the bank, the more the Treasury wastes in Continue reading

The New Fourth Estate: Anonymous, Wikileaks, and –archy


http://c4ss.org/content/16677
The New Fourth Estate: Anonymous, Wikileaks, and –archy

“When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking, or thinking, I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.”

- John Adams

SUMMARY:

As government and industry collude, the interests of the powerful trample the rights of the multitude. Technology has granted invasive new eyes and ears to government agencies, spurning the right to privacy. Felicitously, the individual has also been empowered with two new tools to check the corporate state: hacktivism and leaks. The press has been captured by a handful of news corporations that are generally uncritical of government and fail to expose corporate injustice. The techno-libertarian culture has birthed the do-it-yourself fourth estate—usurping the illegitimate media and furnishing a viable alternative to the cartelized press. Two entities, Wikileaks and Anonymous, have emerged under this banner. This inquiry seeks to understand their history, methods, and to ascertain whether use of the discrete figurehead is efficacious. Continue reading

E-Cigs Continue To Embarrass And Create Ridicule


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/9kTk9ON3kxo/e-cigs-continue-to-embarrass-and-create.html

E-Cigs Continue To Embarrass And Create Ridicule There has been a lot of writing about e-cigs in The Times the past few days, this article being the best to illustrate my long-held view that they are a magnificent tool for pricking the huge bubbles of of hysteria around nicotine, so cleverly-constructed over decades by legions of anti-smoking scaremongers. Continue reading

Sean Gabb on Drinking and Driving: A Police Officer Writes


Note: I have removed the officer’s name, but this e-mail is reproduced here on the LA Blog exactly as received. I think he is inaccurate in several of his factual claims, especially since I know people who have been subject to random breath testing around the Christmas period. I have also encountered any number of police officers who struck me as either mad or high on drugs. However, since he has taken the trouble to write at such length, and so politely, I do require that those who wish to respond should do so in a calm and factual manner. The officer will, I am sure, be following your comments. It would be useful if he were to go away with a better idea than he appears to have of the objections that we have to police powers and to the frequent use and misuse of these powers. SIG Continue reading

Anyone able to say which London street this is?


I picked this up in a charity shop. Anyone able to tell me about the location? All help gratefully received.

 

londona

A Message from James Lovelock


I am James Lovelock, scientist and author, known as the originator of Gaia theory, a view of the Earth that sees it as a self-regulating entity that keeps the surface environment always fit for life… I am an environmentalist and founder member of the Greens but I bow my head in shame at the thought that our original good intentions should have been so misunderstood and misapplied. We never intended a fundamentalist Green movement that rejected all energy sources other than renewable, nor did we expect the Greens to cast aside our priceless ecological heritage because of their failure to understand that the needs of the Earth are not separable from human needs. We need take care that the spinning windmills do not become like the statues on Easter Island, monuments of a failed civilisation. –James Lovelock, 12 December 2012

Article 50 And Withdrawal


Article 50 And Withdrawal
Not so long ago, it seemed unlikely that any country politically was willing to contemplate leaving the European Union. Nothing illustrates this better than the fact that all of the treaties pre-Lisbon were silent on the question of withdrawal. There were a number of theories for this; partly it would have been contrary to member states’ commitment to “ever closer union”, partly it could have encouraged members to make the outcome more likely and partly that the process of leaving is a significant legal challenge best left unspecified in a treaty – a legal challenge made more complicated the longer member states remain within an ever integrating Union. Continue reading