Category Archives: Technology

Technical Question


I use a British ISP called TalkTalk. For the past six weeks, I have been unable to send e-mails via the TalkTalk server. I compose my e-mail, and Thunderbird sends it out through port 25, which is the TalkTalk standard. The e-mail is shown as going out, but never arrives.

I have been bombarding the ISP with increasingly angry complaints, but have had no reply – this may be on account of their known inattention to customer complaints.

For a few days after I noticed the problem, I set my outgoing server to Hotmail, which doesn’t use port 25. This worked. Then I signed up to the free option with an American bulk mail server, which uses port 25. This worked.

It may now be that a lot of my outgoing post never arrives when sent through the American port 25 server.

Could this be a problem with my router? Or is it most likely a problem with my ISP?

As an aside, my incoming mail arrives through a private, non-TalkTalk PO3 server. If my outgoing e-mail goes via the American server, does this mean that TalkTalk, and perhaps the British authorities, are unable to monitor my traffic? I’m not practically concerned about being monitored, and the MI5/MI6 budget is so limited, that active spying on people like me may not be an option; and I can’t think of anything I do that would provoke an averagely paranoid state to spying on me.

All help gratefully received.

Queen Elizabeth-the-Useless failed in the execution of her Coronation Oath. But I expect we will all cry sincerely when she passes on.


David Davis

I am not always precisely in tune with my colleague Sean Gabb, regarding the failings of Elizabeth-the-Useless. Although he is quite correct in stating that she _could have_ blocked Rome, the SEA, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon at any time when these were issues. On any one of these – and the earlier the more chance of success – The Queen could have refused to assign her signature to any of this pretentious socialist rubbish, could have forced a General Election, and prevented the Franco-Collectivisto-Gramscian re-Nazification of Europe, saving her own subjects hundreds of billions of Sterling, not to say even trillions, in the process. We might even have got our managed-fisheries back before they were destroyed utterly (ask my father, who worked in the 70s for the MAFF, and who is now dead.). And at least up to Nice, she might also have got away with it. It would have been wise to resist early on.

But she continues to continue to soldier on, probably because she reminds the masses of their favourite great-aunt (I also have one, my aunty Betty who is actually a real aunt for I am rather old now and who even looks and sounds like the Queen a lot, and is only slightly older) or Grandmother.

As the Queen is old, and as she is a woman, and as it is not suitable to impeach or charge women for high treason – at least not “directly” – I would like to cleave to the position that “The Queen has been very, very badly advised, continually, for 61 years, in the matter of her constitutional dealings with the Continue reading

The internet is making life difficult for ‘progressive interventionists’


By Mustela nivalis
Ever since the launch of the World Wide Web, people have been predicting that the internet will change politics for ever. See e.g. ‘The Sovereign Individual’ by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg (1997). It wasn’t until the start of ‘Web 2.0’ (personal blogs, YouTube, social media etc.) that this prediction began to come about. See e.g. the ‘Ron Paul Revolution’ and the success of ‘Tea Party’ candidates against the US-Republican establishment. And now the vote in Parliament which frustrated the plans of the British subsidiary of the US-UK military-industrial-media-complex, which has had and is still having repercussions all the way to their HQ in Washington, DC (among LRC circles aka as ‘Mordor’).
It’s the internet wot won it. I’ve been wanting to write up something along these lines for some days but have been busy. Thankfully Sue Cameron of the Telegraph has done the job for me. I slightly disagree only with one quoted statement: ‘And the vast amounts of online information mean that people are sceptical of what governments tell them and check up on it instantly.’ No: People have been sceptical of politicians for a very long time. The internet allows them though to find out much more easily than ever before that their scepticism is well founded. And it allows them to communicate this to each other and to the politicians themselves.
This means that in particular ‘progressive’ politics are in trouble. As the highly intelligent arch-interventionist Dan Hodges conceded straight after the vote: This is a catastrophe for progressive interventionism. (I’m inclined to think he has a decent streak: he didn’t use that deceitful oxymoron ‘liberal interventionism’.) Quite. And the internet is going to continue to be a catastrophe for people of Hodges’ ilk. Because with scepticism abounding and having an already and increasingly powerful communicative tool at its fingertips, progressives will have to make an increasingly better case than hitherto as to why what ain’t broke needs to be fixed. Or why we need to fix other people’s problems. Or they will need to explain much more clearly where we have the knowledge and skill from with regard to solving other people’s problems.
The internet is making life increasingly difficult for progressive interventionists. That’s the good news. The bad news is: It’s not enough to stop them. A necessary condition maybe, not a sufficient one.

Passing Over Eisenhower


by Smari McCarthy
http://c4ss.org/content/20395

Passing Over Eisenhower

The Internet industries of America may just have inadvertently had their hats handed to them by the military industrial complex. Now it’s up to Europe to provide an alternative to the surveillance state.

Almost all of the major Internet industry giants are based in the United States. The reasons for this are historical and economical. The tradition of strong entrepreneurship practiced in the US since their inception, mixed with their purchasing power and history of acquiring any sufficiently profitable venture or fascinating technology from abroad, has put the US into a prime position to be the global leader in provision of Internet services. Continue reading

Here is a Brief Answer to Robert Henderson’s Doom Scenario


In an earlier post on this Blog, Robert Henderson argues that technological progress will end by making us poorer and generally less secure. I disagree.

Let it be supposed: Continue reading

Technology out of control


by Robert Henderson
http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/technology-out-of-control/

Note: I think Robert is missing the point here. The sole purpose of economic activity is consumption. If we can produce 75 per cent of the things we want without having to buy them, that reduces the amount of work that needs to be done. The purpose of any production above what is needed for direct consumption is trade for other things to consume. We may be progressing very fast into a world of plenty with both security and independence. SIG Continue reading

Through a (Google) Glass, Darkly?


by Thomas Knapp
http://c4ss.org/content/19534
Through a (Google) Glass, Darkly?

Let me throw out two predictions so obvious that I shouldn’t even have to commit them to print:

1) Within days, if not hours, of Google Glass‘s release to the general public, hackers will “jailbreak” the hardware, allowing it to run any “Glassware” users desire and can create or find online; and

2) An independent developer community will emerge to create those applications , whether Google wants them to or not. Continue reading

A Reassuring Message from FaceBook


by Mark Zuckerberg
https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10100828955847631

Note the use here of adjectives and adverbs: “direct,” “blanket,” “carefully,” etc, etc. I take it for granted that every electronic communication I send may be read by some agent of the Secret State. I also take it for granted that Mr Zuckerberg knows which side his bread is buttered. SIG Continue reading

SpamHaus v. CyberBunker: More Than Meets the Eye


by Thomas Knapp
http://c4ss.org/content/17929
SpamHaus v. CyberBunker: More Than Meets the Eye

Media accounts claim that the latest non-government cyber-Armageddon — a Distributed Denial of Service attack on anti-spam service SpamHaus by unidentified attackers alleged by some to be acting on behalf of “pretty much anything goes” web host CyberBunker — reached such proportions that it may have actually slowed down the Internet in general. As I write this article, the attack on SpamHaus appears to have ended in failure, but CyberBunker itself has been taken down in (direct or indirect, who knows) retribution. Continue reading

EU regulation: the sledgehammer to miss the nut


by Richard North
http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83734

Note: There may be something in what Richard says. The car part scam is certainly true. A bulb went in my front light a few weeks ago, and I am facing a bill for hundreds to replace the whole light unit when I finally get the service done. It is almost impossible to buy third party spares for cars or gas boilers; and, once you have paid a fortune for something, you are locked into an increasingly expensive cycle of repairs. However, planned obsolescence claims for appliances as a whole have been around for a long time, and are mostly based on a misunderstanding of market forces and technological progress. Consider:

1. There doesn’t need to be anything like perfect competition for manufacturers to compete on price and quality. If one manufacturer sells products that are designed to die within a year, people will tend to switch to better products. For example, I bought a Toshiba notebook computer in 2004. Just outside the warranty period, something called the fl inverter died, and I had to choose between an expensive repair and replacement. In fact, one of my clients gave me a new Toshiba notebook. Eighteen months later, I had the same problem. Since then, I have avoided anything made by Toshiba. If this was a ploy to increase sales for Toshiba, it didn’t work in my case.

2. In many cases, it is sensible for products not to be made with durability in mind. I bought my first notebook computer in 1992. It had 1Mb of RAM and a 20Mb hard drive, and a 286 processor. Would I really want it still to be in working order? How about the Kodak digital camera I bought in 2001, with its c250Kp resolution? No. Let such products be made to work well until they become useless to do what people want of them. The same is true of the music system I bought in 1988. I might add that things like digital cameras and mobile telephones easily outlast their usable lives. Every year, I give things away that are still in perfect working order, but that I regard as obsolete. Also, many people are highly conscious of fashion. They want to replace appliances for purely aesthetic reasons. When such people comprise enough of the customer base, there is no good reason for those appliances to be made to last forever.

3. Over the past twenty years, the prices of most electrical products have fallen sharply in both real and nominal terms. This is partly due to improvements in manufacturing and distribution technology, and partly to cost cutting. If you want a pair of headphones to last as well as they did in the 1980s, you only need to pay roughly what you did in the 1980s. Mrs Gabb and I spent £1,000 on a Sony widescreen television in 2000. It is still working as well as on the day I took it from the box.

4. When even electronic products are mature, and there is no reason to keep upgrading, durability does seem here to be a standard feature. For example, I bought an HP Laserjet 1100 in 1999. It had a design fault that made it malfunction in 2000. HP sent me a piece of cardboard to shove into the paper feed. That sorted the problem, and the printer is still working today. It still does exactly what I bought it to do, which was to produce high quality black and white text on one side of the paper. Oh, and the toner cartridges have come down in price from £c60 to £c6.

I suppose the summarised case is that, if you want it to last longer than three years, you should consider paying more than £250 for a fridge-freezer. SIG Continue reading

The Wonders of Technology


Mrs Gabb bought me a Soundlogik USB turntable for my birthday – £22.50 from The Factory Shop. I was prepared to be disappointed. However, it digitises old records as well as I’ve ever heard them play. Indeed, a capture of The Nelson Mass from 1979 sounds about as good as the CD version, allowing, of course, for surface noise. If I fiddle about with changing the needle, it will also do 78rpm records. I think we’ve now reached the point where cheapo stuff is about as good as the more expensive. I will, in due course, upload some of the captures.

Later

Here is a digitisation of Porgi Amor – mono, 1958, Karajan/VPO, Schwartzkopf:

http://www.seangabb.talktalk.net/music/Figaro-Karajan-1958-04-Porgi%20Amor.mp3

And here is a stereo recording from 1960 of Bruno Walter conducting the 3rd Movement of Mahler’s Symphony No 1 in D:

http://www.seangabb.talktalk.net/music/Mahler%20S1%20in%20D%20-%20Walter%20-%20CSO%20-03%20-Feierlich%20und%20gemessen,%20ohne%20zu%20schleppen.mp3

POST APOCALYPSE RECOVERY PROJECT


POST APOCALYPSE RECOVERY PROJECT
James Roger Brown
Sociologist, Intelligence Collection and Analysis Methodologist
Director
P.O. Box 101
Worthington, KY 41183-0101
thesociologist
www.thesociologycenter.com
Last updated 09/22/2011

Check back frequently, I will be adding to and improving this page.

Suggestions for inclusion may be submitted to the above e-mail address. One high priority document has not been located. Between the end of WW II and 1950 Naval Intelligence created a classified archaeology report about prior civilizations on the North American Continent. Talk to your family members who served during WW II and Korea to determine the title and author of the document. I suspect it contains maps that we need.

Introduction

Activating this Post Apocalypse Recovery Project begins an effort which there is no documented evidence has ever been done before in all of human history. The purpose is to manage information, knowledge and resources to minimize the intentional disruption of social stability caused by the engineered collapse of civilization and minimize the recovery time to develop new stable social processes among the survivors. There will be survivors. Continue reading

Digital Technologies vs. Truth Suppression


http://www.garynorth.com

Digital Technologies vs. Truth Suppression
Gary North
Reality Check (Sept. 21, 2012)

I am going to tell you some stories. To make it interesting, I will begin with one which could make one of my readers the deal of a lifetime. It ends on September 30. He who hesitates is lost.

I begin with the obvious: the falling cost of Internet communications is revolutionizing the spread of knowledge. In doing so, it is undermining every establishment. Every establishment rests much of its power on official views of the past. This is seen in the novel by George Orwell, “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” The tyrant who enforces the totalitarian state says this. “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

The cost of controlling the past has risen exponentially since 1995: the year that the graphics browser was introduced. Then came Google.

I know Orwell said this, because I just verified it on several websites. That took under one minute. There is some debate over punctuation: period, colon, or semicolon. I think I will not go to the trouble of looking it up in my library, which is in a special room miles away. Continue reading

Some thoughts on electric cars. “The Leaf in Winter”


Some thoughts on electric cars. “The Leaf in Winter”
by the Rev. Philip Foster

1. Ratio of power to weight for the electric ‘fuel’ compared to petrol is about 1:10. ie the battery weight and volume is ten times that of a tank of fuel for the same mileage. Continue reading

Wikileaks: better late than never


Wikileaks’ domain name may be shut down, but you can still access it at this  address: http://213.251.145.96/

NOW…that’s what I call an idea


Bioluminescent trees.

David Davis

Bet you 50p you’ll see this at David Thompson soon, on Friday Ephemera….

Some very sad news


David Davis

Here, from the USA. H/t Samizdata.

Hans-Hermann Hoppe: “From the Malthusian Trap to the Industrial Revolution”


Video shot and edited and uploaded by Sean Gabb

PFS 09 Hans-Hermann Hoppe, “From the Malthusian Trap to the Industrial Revolution” from Sean Gabb on Vimeo.

Dustbin ‘o’ Doom.


Fred Bloggs.

In responce to Peter Davis’s weaponised dustbin, i  will post my own WMD ( Weaponized Massive Dustbin).

 dod

Now just wait till i get hold of that hoover…

Real bread


David Davis

I don’t normally go out of my way to support people who gas on about what we here satirically and ironically call ___people who really understand their” ___ bread/beans/grain/beef/meat/whatever they are gassing on about in the weekend colour supplements (it just means they are astonishingly expensive and proud of it – a good position to be in) but this just drifted in, and it’s kind of local.

But I shall watch this one as it is up the road, and I’m the Director of Northern Affairs…so I guess there’d better be a few. Some people like bread – I don’t go for it in particular, but (as we also say here) if this was Stalingrad, I would eat it (the bread, I mean, er, not Stalingrad.)

There was an Iragqi woman in the DT Saturday supplement last weekend – she was proferring a _water tap_, at £5,635. We say that  she really understands her taps.

Rewarding Failure


How the internet will be regulated and throttled, at an ISP near you, and soon.

http://www.littlemanwhatnow.com/2009/01/payments-for-failure.html

Mexico coming undone at the seams: why ALL drugs should be legalised absolutely everywhere.


David Davis

We stand aghast, at the possibility of “military intervention by the USA” against – of all places – Mexico. We know that, since “drugs” are grown in Latin America, and since Mexico is in the way of their transfer to “Film Stars” and wannabes in British North America, where these things are officially illegal to have or trade, that therefore mexico will be on the road of transfer.

This is all very well and ought not to matter. Cars and lorries carrying cocaine and other stuff whose names I can’t remember ought to be able to cross Mexico as though it was anywhere. The problem arises because – and only because -  it is locally illegal to have, sell or use these substances, in the points of destination.

This has several effects:-

(1) It makes the substances themselves more desirable in the eyes of certain people. They will want it more because “The State” says they shouldn’t have any at all at all at all, for their own good at all at all at all .   Nsty useless Hollywood delinquents film stars will leak details of their use of it, and because they are pretty and shaggable (and that’s just the men) you will want to do it too, as you are sheeple because the liberals Stalinists have told you to become so.

(2) It makes it risky and unprofitable and demoralising, for legitimate businesses to supply the stuff. If you wozz an off-licence, would YOU want to supply cocaine to any willing buyer, if you got raided every week by the rozzers for doing it, and had your shop smashed up by them (rozzers) and were put in jug?

(3) It makes the risks of supplying it worthwhile, for shysters and hoods, who don’t mind having to shoulder the boring business of killing people including police and soldiers, in the course of securing their hold on the distribution of of their stuff, to you. The £5-a-day habit, if the stuff was legally sold through chemists even including the impost of State Taxation, becomes the £100-a-day habit if you have to buy it through hoods who have to insure themselves – at your cost -  for their own risk against both the State and against other hoods who want to compete, for what is really a rather small niche sector.

(4) it makes jobs for Police rozzers. Rozzers are inherently tormented people, who ought not to have got like that; they need psychiatric help, and quickly.  Just as you ought not to want to be a criminal, also you ought not to want to be a policeman in the 21st century: what does that desire say about you, and your morals, and world-view, as a person?

So the way forward is quite clear. ALL drugs have to be legalised, in all jurisdictions, preferably by yesterday. This will have a number of good effects:-

(1A) The “Police”, currently a pantomime collection of gamma-minus droids unfortunately increasingly supplied with real guns as opposed to things that shoot out a flag which says “bang”, and who are “employed” by their “states”  not in chasing real muggers, robbers, burglars and killers but in harrassing “drug dealers”, “motorists”, “paedophiles”, “racists”, “terrorists”, “non-payers of council tax”, “TV-license-evaders” and “climate-change-deniers”, will find that their workload is decreased alarmingly. We will “need” fewer of them. Good.

The main solution to civilisation’s ills is

fewer Laws,

and more and better people.

There may even be “calls for” “FEWER POLICE ON THE STREETS”. I think that in a civilised society, the police ought to be invisible: see poll below.

(2A) The use of “drugs”, which is to say substances currently classified as drugs”, by all people, will fall dramatically. or it may not: I do not know. But I think it will fall.

(3A) The legalisation of “drugs” will mean that Galxo-Smith-Klein, Schering-Plough, Ciba-Geigy, and all the others, will be abot to compete legally for whatever market they think they can get. Adverttisisng will be allowed. Advertising is the best way to garotte bad stuff fast. The purity and quality of products will thus rise, and the price will fall to the point where the “State” will come in.

(4A) The “State” will take a take. Where GSK wants to sell you your Ecstasy for 50p a go, via the chemist down the road in Shaky-street (PR8  . . . ) , the State will take £4 or so, making it about the price of 20 fags. What’s the point of going and doing crime, if it’s only that much? You can get it from your dosh you that get “on the sick”.

OK so the “State” wins, win-win in the short run. But it’s got to justify how it needs to spend so much less on policing, since there’s so much much less less petty crime going on down.

That in itself will be tremendous fun to watch.

Sean Gabb in German


Sean Gabb

Many thanks to Robert Groezinger for this most able translation:

http://ef-magazin.de/2009/01/11/883-neujahrsausblick-der-westen-kommt-glimpflich-davon

 

Neujahrsausblick: Der Westen kommt glimpflich davon

von Sean Gabb

Wenn ein Abgleiten in den Totalitarismus verhindert werden kann

Es besteht wenig Zweifel daran, dass überall dort, wo Politiker Einfluss haben, 2009 ein schlechtes Jahr sein wird. In England wird möglicherweise vor dem Sommer eine Wahl stattfinden. Wenn dies geschieht, und wenn die Stimmen ordnungsgemäß gezählt werden oder wenn die Polizei beschließt, nicht alle Oppositionsführer festzunehmen, werden Gordon Brown und seine Labour Partei aus dem Amt geschmissen. Im vergangenen Jahrzehnt hat er dazu beigetragen, dieses Land von einem von den Konservativen errichteten Polizeistaat im Anfangsstadium in einen wahrhaften Polizeistaat zu verwandeln, der nur aufgrund des Spotts gemäßigt wird, den wir auf seine Pläneschmiede noch häufen dürfen. Es wäre schön, diese Leute ihrer Ämter verlustig zu sehen – insbesondere, weil sie unmöglich wiedergewählt werden würden, und ein Amt das einzige ist, was sie im Leben jemals wollten. Aber es gibt keinen Grund für die Annahme, dass die Konservativen viel tun werden, um unser endgültiges Abgleiten in den Totalitarismus zu verhindern. Sie haben zu viele eigene niederträchtige Neigungen, um den riesigen Kontrollapparat zu zerschlagen, der von Labour nahezu perfektioniert worden ist. Selbst wenn dem nicht so wäre, sind sie entweder zu dumm oder zu faul um zu wissen, wie man ihn zerschlägt. …[More]

 

GAS: RUSSIA. North Sea. Britain should just turn it off. Do not masturbate in front of Russia while talking about gas.


David Davis

I hear a nasty rumour that “the EU” will take “our” gas. This is because the EUmonsters masturbated with Russia the USSR on screen, and have come unstuck. Do not masturbate with Russia the USSR on your screen. Bad things will come to you. Russia the USSR is not exactly anybody’s friend at present, until we have done régime change there, and it has become liberalised and Putin is out of office.

Press ENTER to liberalise Russia the USSR. This may take some minutes, and you will need a paypal account.

In the meantime, go to http://www.libertarian.co.uk and give us some money. In the long run (very long I fear) this will help us to liberalise Russia the USSR. Then, the gas won’t be turned off by them, just because they think we don’t like them – or because they think we might just slightly like Israel.

Burning women? NO! … Smoke your own foods? YES!


David Davis

Thought you might all like this. In case it ever goes off, I’ve put on the whole thing. Libertarians ought to be concerned about the creeping State campaign to abolish food that tastes of anything whatsoever. Also, as bought food becomes scarcer owning to clampdowns on lilberal capitalism and free sale of goods without rationing, people will need to know how to grow, farm, gather or otherwise get their own food, and then how to make it taste nice and also LAST LONGER (there is likely to be less electricity to run fridges, even those which survive the coming endarkenment and are still working:-

Smoked foods: how to make your own

It may be illegal to light up a cigarette in a pub, but home-smoked foods are a trend that’s being ignited.

Rose Prince with a plate of trout and prawns

Home smoking: Rose Prince with a plate of trout and prawns Photo: Andrew Crowley

My father used to smoke Player’s Perfectos. They were short, plump and fantastically strong. I knew this last bit first hand, having stolen a handful when inadmissibly young, and tried them out in a hollow box hedge in the garden. He stopped keeping his cigarettes in a box after that.

I didn’t really resent the smoking – as far as I knew he had been born with a cigarette in his hand – except in the car. Our family car had no back seat belts and, in addition to the wind up windows, little sail-shaped vents that opened outwards; especially convenient for smokers to flick their ash, but ineffective ventilators. On long car journeys, we four children bounced around on the back seat, gradually kippered.

I miss cigarettes in pubs, or at least those people who like a cigarette with a drink. Most days the tumbleweed blows through our local, even though it sells quite decent food. In September this year, the British Beer and Pub Association reported that between January and June, there were 36 pubs closing each week, five per day. It is impossible to predict, with fuel and beer prices so high, what proportion of the blame falls upon the government’s decision to ban smoking in pubs. But why did the pubs kill themselves by never installing proper ventilation? Most just stank.

The only smoke to be sniffed now in restaurants is a whiff of it wafting off a slice of smoked salmon. Occasionally, however, something more interesting is going on with chefs “home-smoking” their own fish, pork and duck. The latest trend is to hot-smoke food over burning tea. ‘Lapsang smoked’ is the thing, turning up in a number of restaurants as a long-lost Chinese method. Salad of tea smoked venison with parsnip and quince was an inviting item on a recent Claridge’s menu.

It does not work, of course. Most recipes for tea smoking insist you combine the tea leaves with rice and sugar and the food tastes like it was stuffed up the chimney of a waste incinerator. I tried smoking over the leaves alone, only to get a less confused, mildly smoky tang. It all became rather expensive, too. For any real effect you need lots.

Using wood chips might not be innovative, but their vaporising resins genuinely transform something relatively humble, like trout or pheasant, into an elegant delicacy. Buy a cheap stove-top smoker (see below), or sacrifice an old roasting pan and metal rack to the tar, using foil for a lid. It is all very easy. A whole fish can take as little as fifteen minutes and a duck breast about 30-40 minutes.

But which foods work and which do not? With raw prawns, I found only the shells tasted smoky. Far better were foods like whole fish and breast fillets from game and poultry, all of which benefit from gentle cooking, after which they taste delicately of the oils in the smoke and are unusually juicy. Slices of aubergine also taste good, if dressed after smoking with olive oil, ricotta cheese and a few toasted sourdough breadcrumbs.

Remember that the hot smoking method ‘cooks’ the food – you will not end up with transparent slices of fish, as with cold smoked salmon. And, once you start smoking your own food, it is a good idea to keep a record of your successes and their related weights and timings, variety of wood chips and any additional herbs or spices.

If there is anything left to say about this easy cooking method, it is the bleeding obvious: remember to open the window.

SHOPPING BASKET

You can build your own stove-top smoker by placing wood chips in the bottom of a roasting pan, a sheet of foil on top, a wire rack on top of that – for the food – and finally a lid made from foil. I found it better, in the end, to buy a purpose built type.

Stovetop Smoker with Lid costs £43.99 from Nisbets, which can home deliver (0845 1405555; www.nisbets.com This spacious, simple gadget is made from stainless steel that holds the smoke inside without allowing it to escape. It made a good job of my brown trout (see recipe) and duck breasts. As it’s made of steel it warps slightly when hot, which makes the sliding lid a bit sticky, but it is otherwise practical and cleanable. Put the wood chips in the bottom of the pan, lay over a specially designed tray followed by a rack. Oil the rack, put the food on top and then the lid. Place over a medium heat – timings for cooking are provided. Four varieties of wood chip are available: alder, cherry, hickory and white oak – £5.49.

The delicate flavour of brown trout, cooked over alder smoke, turns out to be quite extraordinarily gentle and subtle. Waitrose is the place to go for brown trout from an organic British farm.

Franklins (01767 627644 for prices; www.franklins.co.uk sells duck breasts, quail, game birds and chicken. John Franklin rears, kills and dresses poultry on his Bedfordshire farm. Visit the farm shop or ask for home delivery.

Tungsten light bulbs: buy them now…..


…while you can.

David Davis

Chris Taylor, of Shakespeare Street Southport, tel 01704 544047, still has them, for a bit.

….and Knirirr has something to say about sockets and fittings, and the EU or at least how the EU is projected to people by shops….. (the second one may get you diect to the paragraph.)

HOW TO DISPOSE OF CFL/modern/low energy light bulbs:-

(NOTE: I had in fact typed a carefully-worked out series of instrictions, for how to inconvenience bureaucrats in the course of their “business”, for this slot. But the blog would probably get shut down if I published it.

So, what you should do instead, is (a) smash the bulb, and (b) put the remains in your wheely-bin.)

After Gaza, something to cheer us up on a cold morning…..and a worrying update on war….


…and Malcolm Rifkind is surprisingly sensble, here. Although I don’t agree that “palestinians” are a people – they are a post-modern construct,  invented for socialist imperialist reasons, to combat Western-liberal-pluralist democracies in places where lefties don’t want them, such as Israel and Lebanon. Jordan will be next perhaps.

And this seems to be what people think here. I guess I’m in a minority of two then (read Guido, who has got >421 comments putting him in very hot water…I’m not supporting the Israelis because Guido does – but because I think they are doing the right thing.)

UPDATE:- An “immediate ceasefire”, so as to give the useless western “peace-bureaucrats” such as Gordon Brown abd Tony Blair (where is he, by the way?) something expensive and travel-fun to do, and which is to say, an “Armistice”, will not solve the problem. Hamas, and all its friends, whether they be in Westminster, on the BBC, in Brussels or Moscow or Washington, will still want Israel “wiped off the map” – eventually – so it’s no use for us all to pretend that “a resumption of the peace process” will solve the major strategic problem for either side – one that just wants to exist, and the other that wants it not to. Just wait and see.

In a war, there are two exit strategies. They are victory and defeat. Libertarians shun war, and rightly. If there were no Big-States, the probability and destructiveness of all wars would be lessened. I cannot tell how much, but it’d be a lot. Libertarians tend to invoke the principle of consent, which of course arises from discussion and negotiation – but wars happen when one side is asked to give up something which is non-negotiable, such as life. (I wanted that in red but wordpress won’t let me…)

David Davis

Some pictures of processor chips here. I didn’t know that the AMD latest quad-core has about 758 million transistors in it…..

…..but I hope Israel decides not to get off the pot this time, until the sad but needful job is done. What ungrateful sods Hamas must be, to whine when the power is turned off (apparently having been supplied by the enemy it’s trying to eraze. What absolute socialist ***** Hamas must be in their hearts – if they have any.) The link provides you wilthe normal daily dose of “Western” “Liberal” handwringing “opinion” and instructions to Israel to lie down and die. *****.

Snooker and skill: this is so clever, and thanks to Steven!


David Davis

Just incredible skill: which I’d leanred how to be as good as that while I had the chance at school:-

Musingsonliberty: another interesting new blog spotted.


David Davis

Might be interesting. Here it is.

ShootinPutin187 plays with gas-tap and naked (de)lights, makes wargaming threats….


David Davis

Apparently he’s turned off the gas to the Ukraine…..again….because he can’t shag its PM I expect. I should have known. He’s done it before, here.

Of course, one could argue that it’s “his” gas: well, not in terms of strict property-title perhaps, since it belongs to GazProm until it’s been paid for by someone. There is a grain – but only a grain – of truth in the supposition that he can set light to the entire stock of Siberia’s gas if he wishes: it’s none of Ukraine’s, or “Europe’s” business if he does, so long as they’ve not yet paid for the burnt stuff.

But I can’t help thinking that we should take less seriously on the “world stage” such a man, and that we should move towards showing him up in front of “his” people…why?  For the self-publicising little gun-toting clown that he is. The people of the USSR Russia deserve better than ShootinPutin187, on the way to not having to host any of the f*****g buggers at all, when the poor wretched downtrodden sods are finally libertarianised.  He has similar forebears, here, and the political-development-parallels between the two buggers are uncomfortably congruent.

And to annoy ShootinPutin187 even more, you can send money to PizzaIDF.org, on the link. Hat tip Guido Fawkes.

State databases and intrusion: 100% it’s the database that matters and not whichever gestapo is in charge of it.


David Davis

For once, the Quislingraph has got something (a bit) right.

The strategic problem about State bureaucrats is that they must make reasons for their existence, or they are redundant. Stalin understood this unstated but fundamental axiom perfectly: the logical conclusion of the existence of any given bureaucrat is to be able to “plan” and to “decide” whether you live or die. All other stuff he decides about and “plans” is just practising along the way to ultimate and absolute power. In the end, you live if you are a useful “resource” for the “plan”; you die if the “planner” has no practical use for you at all: what is the point of your life logically, for him? You are a mere cog, a slave.

Therefore, to continue to attain higher planes of existence, a bureaucrat simply must, must, has to, attain higher and higher levels omniscience about “his” population of masses.

Like the dog who sucks and licks his own penis “because he can” – I believe it’s called a “blow job”, though why so, I can’t fathom, nor the supposed attraction of it – bureaucrats have been “empowered” in this century more than ever before. And this was by the very technology that was in the beginning going to help individuals to circumvent the bastards and their wickedness entirely. I recall a lecture in the very early 80s by someone called Bernard Adamcziewski (I think? Please help?) at the Adam Smith Club in the IEA, (NOT the ASI !! ) on this very subject: it made us all so optimistic about the future.

Bureaucrats – many for sure – now probably want all this data because it is going to be so easy in theory to gather: in addition, there will be many, many “private sector firms” (I didn’t know there was any other kind?) whose directors and staff know nothing and care even less about issues of liberty, who will of coure )of course they will!) fall oevr themselves to help out. They think work is just a meal ticket, and not something that ought to have moral dimensions.

The Devil in the end tries to corrupt everything we touch. Although the Internet, for example, was initially created for military and government purposes as we know, out of evil came good and free protocols for ordinary sovereign individuals to be able to distribute and share data on a scale and speed unheard of in all the history of the world. Now of course, “Andy” “Burnham” wants it regulated and censored – but he’s not the first nor the last, although a more threatening one than the usual temporal crowd, for he’s a bloody clever bugger and his words are so honeyed, and will be bought by people like “million moms against guns” or whatever.

It does not matter whether the data is “secure”, or can only be “accessed” on the say-so of a “Minister”. If stuff “gets out”, this is the least of our worries. A leak will contain so very, very much stuff, such as on a “lost computer” or a “momory stickj (they are very big now as we all know, a gigabyte is almost free, 8 of them is about £1 apiece) that it will take even the putrescently-minded moles of the “News of the World” decades if not centuries to trawl through it.

No: the risk is that the database “project” may, possibly work – to time and to budget, well, more or less. What’s a few billion Sterling overspend between (state) friends? It’s just one delayed aircraft-carrier, or about three diversity-co-ordinator advertisements in the Guardian for a single “Police” “Force”. It’s irrelevant whether it works by 2012, by 2020, or by 2030. People are people. What they do, where they go, who they phone, who they email, and what about, is nobody’s damn business except their own.

And I’m not at all suggesting that it ought to be stopped by methods that could work – such as death-threats to directors of “private sector partners” – who ought to be old enough to know better than to tender anyway since the task itself is morally reprehensible – or even by well-planned and co-ordinated assaults on known data sites, designed to effectively destroy the data beyond recovery.

I should remind people that there are precedents for the punishment of some of the above actions. At Nuremberg in 1946, directors of firms that had tendered for and supplied things like “gas ovens”, incinerators and Zyklon-B, were either imprisoned or hanged. It’s all in “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by W. Shirer, as you all no doubt know.

Either way, you’d better not do any of that threatening of tenderers, you people, as libertarians are peaceable chaps who get stuff accomplished by persuasion and liberal discourse. Apart rom anything, we might want the compugeek-buggers to work for us after victory, unravelling government computer chaos set up by themselves, and finding out what the State knew about whom and how, so that such intrusion could be stymied in the future.

But I have to admit: the only time I malleted a hard disk, ever – it exploded satisfyingly. I would never want to do it again, though, since I now know so much more about the intricacies and wonderfulness of its workings.

Sometimes there is hope.


David Davis

Get a load of these pictures!

Hat tip Samizdata.

Very important


David Davis

Nuclear fusion possibly around the corner…a hundred years or so?

It’s soon enough but nowish would be better, to silence all the global-warm-Nazis… so they HAVE TO resort to their guns after all, and their open hatred of Mankind…..before they are really really ready and truly in charge.

Be of Good Cheer: Christmas Greetings from Sean Gabb


Sean Gabb

Free Life Commentary,
A Personal View from
The Director of the Libertarian Alliance
Issue Number 178
25th December 2008

Comments| Trackback

Be of Good Cheer:
A Christmas Greeting
from the Director of the Libertarian Alliance
by Sean Gabb

There being nothing else on any of the channels we can receive, my wife and I have spent much of the day watching the various Christmas greetings from religious and political leaders from around the world. These range from the vacuous (Her Majesty the Queen), to the impressively malevolent, so long as the volume is turned down (the Bishop of Rome), to the plain stupid (the Archbishop of Canterbury). I will not bother with reviewing these utterances. Instead, I will issue one of my own.

There is little doubt that 2009 will be a bad year in every respect where the politicians have influence. In England, we may have a general election before the summer. If this happens, and if the votes are fairly counted, or if the police decide not to arrest all the opposition leaders, Gordon Brown and his Labour Party will be ejected from office. In the past decade, he has helped turn this country from the incipient police state established by the Conservatives into a true police state that is tempered only by the mockery we are still permitted to heap on its projectors. It would be nice to see these people out of office – especially since they could never be re-elected, and the only thing they have ever really wanted in life was to be in office. But there is no reason to suppose the Conservatives would do much to prevent our final slide into totalitarianism. They have too many nasty inclinations of their own to break up the vast apparatus of control brought near perfection by Labour. Even otherwise, I suspect they are too stupid and lazy to know how to break it up.

I would ignore political developments elsewhere in the world – only it would deprive me of the opportunity to feel sorry for the Americans. I saw their President-Elect in a newspaper the other morning. Posing shirtless, he looked for all the world like one of the more raddled black boys you see selling their bodies in Leicester Square. I think this says more about the tone of his coming leadership than his choice of Hillary Clinton and the usual neo-con suspects to run his foreign policy, or his having accepted the full climate change nonsense. I have no doubt the BBC will cover his inauguration as if it were the Second Coming. It will be watched in much of England, even so, with laughter and contempt. President Obama will be rather like Tony Blair, but without the taste or restraint which Princess Tony will, by comparison, be shown to have possessed.

Since they too are influenced by the politicians, 2009 will be a bad year in most respects economic. I am not sure when the present cycle started, but interest rates have, for many years, been manipulated by the politicians below the level needed to balance savings and loans. The resulting additional demand for loans was satisfied by creating new money out of nothing. This enabled a gigantic speculative bubble that sprang a puncture last year, and that has now burst. Recession is the natural result. The structure of relative prices has been distorted. Investments have been made that are now shown to be unwise. There must be changes. The beginning of change is to allow interest rates to rise and unsound businesses to go bankrupt. The faster this is allowed to happen, the sooner we can return to prosperity.

Sadly, the political response has been to look for any scheme to save or replace the speculative bubble. Interest rates have been cut in England and America. The taxpayers’ money has been lavished on propping up the more unsound banks. Governments are threatening to inflate without limit. The stated purpose of this is to avoid recession. The result will be to make the recession longer and deeper than it needs to be. The politicians tell us that Keynes was right after all. Perhaps that is what they believe. More likely,  they have been taken in by the bankers with warnings about total collapse of the financial system, and are now responding like the victims of those Internet frauds run from Nigeria. I see the car makers have taken up the bleat for subsidies. I suppose they will be joined soon enough by the coffee bars and every other business that overexpanded.

2009, therefore, will be a bad year in the economic sense. If it is not, the pain will only have been delayed until 2010, when it will be felt with compound interest.

Here, though, is an end of my gloom. Much is bad now, and will get worse in the next few years. So long, however, as we can avoid a collapse into totalitarianism, the future is nowhere near so bleak as we are presently assured. Scientific and technical progress continue at the most wonderful speed. Sooner or later, there will be a renewed scramble to bring the results to market, and our lives will be still further enriched – and this time, I hope, considerably extended.

And there need be no relative decline of the West. We have been told for years – usually by self-righteous lefties, gloating over a fall that they assume they and their families can personally avoid sharing – that the coming economic giants of this century are China and perhaps India. This is as fatuous as earlier claims about Japan. If you type the phrase “population pyramids” into Google, the first result will be an American Government website showing how the population of every country in the world is, and will be, distributed by age. Until we know how to extend not merely life but also youth, the most dynamic people in any country will be aged between twenty five and forty five. In England and in America, this age group will predominate throughout the present century. In the Orient, every developing country is following the Japanese pattern of rapid ageing, followed by actual decline of population. The Japanese at least reached Western standards of living before they stopped having children. The Chinese may simply grow old before they get rich. After a fashion, China has been getting richer for about thirty years. We shall see how long that can continue once the majority of the population is over the age of fifty, and have neither savings nor children to support them in old age.

And China has been getting richer only after a fashion. About thirty years ago, its Communist rulers decided to turn the country into one big sweatshop, supplying the West on razor thin profit margins. They managed this by unlimited force. Ordinary working people in China have been ruthlessly exploited. With the banning of real trade unions, and with generally oppressive contracts of employment, labour there is free only in the nominal sense. Otherwise, costs have been socialised for favoured companies; and competitiveness has been maintained by an undervalued exchange rate. Look beyond those glittering towers built for the ruling class and its foreign partners, and you find endless and increasing misery.

Even without the start of demographic crisis, this may now be ending. We are told about the huge scale of the foreign currency reserves maintained by the Chinese Government and its banks – as if money were the same as riches. At least the mercantilists in old Europe wanted their governments to accumulate gold and silver. These could eventually be made into imports. What the Chinese Communists have done is to send us a continuous stream of manufactured goods, accepting in exchange a mountain of dollars – and at an undervalued rate – that are only worth anything if they are not spent. The moment these reserves are used for imports, or switched into more stable currencies, their value will collapse.

The Americans have had the main benefit from this fraud. But so far as the Orientals have had an insatiable hunger for dollars, and the rest of us have had no trouble in getting dollars to hand over, all other Western peoples have benefitted.

This brings me to the supposed crisis of our national debt. The English and American Governments have been borrowing for the past decade on a scale that would once have been thought reckless. Gordon Brown has already given this country the ratio of debt to output that we last had after the Second World War. This is without the further borrowing he has announced. The Americans are facing the same explosion of public debt. Some economists are telling us that we shall have to pay higher taxes for at least a generation to service these debts.

But this is not true. Our governments will borrow little from us – most of us having no savings to lend. They will instead continue selling bonds to the Arabs and the Orientals, and a few Russians if the price of oil recovers in time. The real value of these will then be inflated away.

None of this pleases me. Inflation harms us all, if in ways that are often hard to trace. But once the mess of the last boom has been cleared away, it will become plain that the chief victims of that boom were the very countries everyone thought were the chief beneficiaries. We shall have had our cheap notebook computers and our flat screen television sets. We shall have increased our wealth in the present, and increased our abilities to grow wealthier in the future. Those who screwed their peoples to the edge of destitution to make this possible will find themselves holding our increasingly worthless paper. Chinese growth will grind to a halt. India will break up. Eventually, the Arabs and Russians will learn that we have discovered some cheaper source of energy than their carbons. All we need to do is somehow bring our politicians under control, and we shall enjoy a most agreeable twenty first century.

And so I wish all the lucky members of my mailing list a Happy Christmas, and – if the coming year will be dreadful – the prospect of much better times to come.

NB—Sean Gabb’s book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, can be downloaded for free from http://tinyurl.com/34e2o3

French speeding fine challenges: the strategic problem of British Libertarianism is that we are not Poujadists.


David Davis

Obnoxio the Clown happily moderates his usual level of un-re-bloggable-invective, and flags up an interesting problem. It now seems the the French Gestapo Police have cottoned on to the idea of anti-motorist-speed-camera-radar-directed-police-fundraising, in the way that the British Gestapo Police have been doing for some time. He cites an interesting website which automatically challenges speeding accusations, resulting in the need for a court to be convened. (Thanks for the link, Clown!)

In France, I expect this will work quite well, for the ghost of Pierre Poujade still happily stalks that unfortunate land which continues to need his services, and the State-motorist-fining-system could be toppled. France, after all, has a history of successful revolutions, driven from below: although we cannot always be positive about the results – look at 1789……However, as France is not, and never has been, a democracy in the liberal English classical pluralist sense that we understand the term to mean, this kind of blown-safety-valve-release-mechanism is part of how laws are made or unmade in that polity. Yes, grillions of French motorists will try this methid of overloading the justice system regarding speeding. It will b fun.

But in Britain, our problem is that we’ve been so non-violent and so used to “The Rule Of Law” for so long, that we confuse “laws” with “Law”. We have forgotten how to behave unreasonably and violently towards bureaucracy-toerags who think they can say frankly that they can decide what the “law” is. I don’t think there are what Chris Tame called “enough people to make a difference” left in Britain.

So the idea will not take off here, and Clown’s pessimism is not misplaced. But I remain to hope to be surprised.

DISASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Peter Davis

Within the last hour of this post, the value of the Pound Slerling has gone below the value of the EURO!!

this is a terrifying prospect, but as of 23:11 GMT, £1 is worth 0.72 Euro cents (my keyboard cannot do euro signs, funny though, because it can do everything else though, even these: Ψ Φ ♦ ♣ ← ↑ → ↓↔ θ Ξ ¿)

Perhaps the French will ensure we have electricity, by being less kind to activists.


David Davis

If we are to have “Power Outages” by 2015, how will greenazis communicate? They will have to think carefully about strategy. Carrier-pigeons may not be as reliable, nor bicycles as fast, as broadband.

Brainwashing in videogames now?


Peter Davis

Now I’m a big fan of games, obviously, I’m a 14 -year-old, and thanks tho the f****d-up school curriculum, I have learnt more about World War II from the games Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 3, and Call of duty: World at War than I have from every history lesson I have sat through on the subject.

So I was on this website looking through the index of free full games to download, and I saw:

Eco Warriors: Invasion of the Necrobots

Acording to the descrition, it is set in southern Italy ”In a not so far future away…” At first, it had the makings of a normal game:-

Robots appearring in towns, woods and countrysides.
A dark enemy is conspirating to destroy us all blah, blah, blah………

But then, this popped up in the description:-

But there’s a new hope!

A team of warriors has been raised to defend Nature: The Eco Warriors!

A huge battle is getting closer…

and that’s the description…..but its basically about saving the environment, and the game is absolutely S***: here are some screenshots for your enjoyment:

Eco Warriors Screenshot #1

Eco Warriors Screenshot

Eco Warriors Screenshot #3

Eco Warriors Screenshot

(if the pictures did not load up, here is the link)

If you want to try this game, (that is to say, if you are delusional), here is the link to download it:

http://www.gamershell.com/download_36282.shtml

I and the Libertarian Alliance and the blog, are NOT responsible for any damages to the mind or your PC or Mac or whatever you have, I did download it and try it, and my PC was undamaged. !DOWNLOAD AT YOUR OWN RISK!

not sure how to end this, so  here is a poll:

You may pick multiple answers.

Special Christmas Day Post coming: “ANNOY A BUREAUCRAT FOR THE CHILDREN AT CHRISTMAS” – Please could all readers contribute ways…?


David Davis

Please…..? Either on this comment thread, or else on the post just below.

And here’s Mike Oldfield, at Montreux  27 years ago:-

BBC and the licence fee: perhaps it’s time to resist more openly.


David Davis

I came across this today via a tip off Guido‘s “seen elsewhere list”. Jonathan Miller provides a spectatularly comprehensive roundup of (a) the sheer iniquity of the telly-tax-scheme, and (b) what to do about it at indiviual level. Worth a read, and worth also spreading virally.

I personally have had my doubts about “detector vans” for some time. The Landed Underclass will like this one that’s coming…..and he’s got his own pennyworth of useful stuff here….

In fact, in the mid 1970s, I performed this experiment as follows:- (WARNING! DO NOT PERFORM it yourself without supervision by a qualified electrician or a Radio Ham – the voltages present inside the case of an old tube-type colour TV can be LETHAL – up to 35,000V, which is rather a lot !!! (and you won’t know where they are unless you already know.)   TOUCH the EHT from the line-output transformer, while it is working,  and you are DEAD !!! ) (UPDATE – as far as I am aware, the insides of modern flat-screen tellies are safe, except for the presence of mains (230V AC) voltage. Don’t monkey with these either or you will invalidate your warranty…)

I completely lined the inside of 405/625-line “dual-standard” colour Tele Vision Set fully (these were still available new, and also widely used) with a double layer of aluminium foil, electrically attaching it to MAINS EARTH (NOT the chassis whcih is almost always live to the mains) and screening as far as possible all round, up to the edge of the tube front.

I then made a RF “sniffer”, using a coil/capacitor netwrok approx tuned to the 45 MHz “intermediate frequency” which was used inside the receiver module in the set I was playing with. This was in efect a small radio RX whose output registered on a milliammeter instead of a loudspeaker. I was able to tune the incoming frequency through a range of about 8MHz either side of the 45 band centre, so I could also check if the sniffer was picking up any other oscillator signals or sums/differences coming from inside the set as a result of its decoding the vision signals and line/frame sync pulses.

In the room, which was about 9ft x 12 ft, there was a detectable 45 MHz RF flux, but it was rather weak. I also found small peaks at 49.33 MHz and 40.57 MHz roughly, probably from heterodyning witht he 4.43 MHz crystal which did something or other in the receiver. There was a weak 45 MHz signal outside the window but nothing else.

I could not detect the 45MHz signal out on the road. Nor incidentally any other ones from nearby houses.

I did not think of trying to detect the harmonics of the line-output frequency, which was 15.625 KHz. I expect they owuld have been weak, at any frequency above about 10 MHz.

Since the uniform characteristic of machines then was a 45 MHz IF, I expect that this would have been what “detector vans” would major on, for the lifetime of cathode-ray Tellies – none of which would have been built with full electromagnetic screening of their innards – what would be the point? (Radio-Hams suffer from interference from consumer electronics far, far more than consumers do from interference by hams!)

I was therefore unconvinced, and have remianed so ever since, of the claims of the BBC about “detection”.

Anti-Car Transport Nazis: Manchester rejects “congestion charge” (but will get one anyway. You watch.)


UPDATE 13.12.08…..And what did I tell you, below?

David Davis

A little bird has told me that “Manchester voters” have rejected a proposed “congestion charge” scheme. For foreign readers who live in free nations, this is a way whereby the Greenazis charge you real money to do what you need to do using cars, trucks and lorries in towns and cities, and pretend to spend the money on “integrated public transport systems”, whisch is to say: their “salaries”.

Manchester has just been put through what the Nazis call a “consultation process”. it will get one of these schemes whether it likes it or not, ans we are all too busy trying to scratch our arses to protest in the only ways that will ultimately mean anything.

Sean Gabb on the DNA Database


file:///C:/user/Sean/Writings/Sean%20Gabb%20Website/flcomm/flc155.htm

Free Life Commentary,
A Personal View from
The Director of the
Libertarian Alliance
Issue Number 155
26th October 2006
14th June 2006
|

On Opposing the DNA Database
by Sean Gabb

(Update by blogmeister: this subject is topical and we spoke on this blog about it earlier today, at this link. )

Last Monday evening—the 23rd October 2006—I was called into the London studio of Sky News to put a case against constructing a database of DNA samples from the whole British population. Tony Blair had been on his hind legs again, braying for the final abolition of freedom in this country. Watched by about a million people, I am told I did rather well in opposing him and his kind. So now, revising an article I wrote back in 2000, I will put my case in writing.

The main problem whenever this sort of proposal is made, is that debate is constructed in terms of either consenting to exactly whatever is proposed, or doing nothing at all about crime. Within this structure of argument, opponents can be presented as indifferent to crime, or even as more interested in the rights of criminals than of their victims.

The secret of winning such debates lies in persuading enough people to reject the assumptions that underlie the structure of debate.

Let us briefly examine these assumptions.

First, it is assumed that a DNA database is essential if crime is to be reduced. This is not so. It would be better to legalise drugs. Millions of consenting acts that are presently illegal would then drop out of the crime figures. At the same time, competition from legitimate suppliers would bankrupt the criminal gangs that have turned parts of London and Manchester into low-intensity war zones; and lowered prices would reduce the vast number of burglaries and street crimes now committed by drug users.

For those acts still criminal we could have much stronger punishments. The notion that serious threats to lock criminals away for very long periods, or to flog or mutilate them, or to hang them, will have no deterrent effect is so laughable, that only someone with a Sociology degree could propose it; and only a fool could really believe it.

Then the laws regarding self-defence could be changed. It is a scandal that respectable people in this country are not allowed to use whatever force they think necessary to defend their lives and property. Tony Martin was put in prison for the bizarre crime of “murdering” a burglar. If he was to blame for anything, it was for his moderation in not going after the other two thieves who broke into his house, and executing them as well.

Each by itself, these reforms would take us back to the crime figures of about 1970. Combined, we might find ourselves back in the 1950s. Of course, the authorities affect horror and even incredulity at the thought of doing these things. They would rather have their DNA database.

Second, it is assumed that a DNA database would reduce crime. Undoubtedly, it would have some effect, but this would be mostly against those criminals likely to be caught and punished in any event. There might at best be a small drop in the cost of policing.  But anyone aware of the optimistic claims made when finger printing was first introduced must know that the more intelligent criminals will simply take more care to hide their identity. That will need more this time than wearing gloves. But I doubt if it will need anything very hard or expensive.

It is, of course, true that some crimes would be solved by having a DNA database. In his comments the other day, Mr Blair mentioned various rapes and murders that were only solved decades afterwards by accidental matches of DNA samples. But something still more effective in the fight against crime would be making everyone in the country go about with a bar code tattooed on his forehead. This would reduce any number of petty frauds. Given the right sort of scanning machines in public, it would allow lost children to be found in minutes, and allow the authorities to keep an eye on known criminals. I can easily multiply the number of alleged benefits a salesman for the big computer companies might make to the Home Office. But I ask instead—would you willingly present your face for the tattooist’s needle?

This brings us to the third assumption of the debate—that a DNA database would be used only for crime control. Even granting that our present rulers are entirely to be trusted—at the very least a dubious assumption—we cannot be sure what they will be like a generation from now. But we can be sure that a database set up now to cover those who are arrested will, without any positive extension, soon cover most of the population. It would a useful tool for any government wanting to exercise the tyrannical powers it now has only in theory.

As Albert J. Nock once observed, every time we give a government power to do things for us, we also give it the power to do things to us. I cannot think of a better illustration of this truth than a DNA database.

You may huff and puff and insist you have nothing to fear from a database of your DNA. After all, the authorities keep promising how much safer it will make you. But do you want your children to go on that database? Can you be sure that some demented government scientist two decades from now will not decide that the surest way to heaven on earth is to stop certain people from breeding? Can you be sure that your children will not show up negative on a DNA database that will have enabled an old authoritarian fantasy to be made into bureaucratic reality?

Are there no criminal tendencies somewhere in your family background? No racial or sexual characteristics that may one day be again be as unfashionable as they have been in other times and places? No bad eyes or flat feet? No predisposition to obesity or illnesses that it will for the foreseeable future be expensive to treat on the National Health Service?

Bear in mind that, with a certainty not known since the 1940s, the relevant scientists are proclaiming that your destiny is in your genes. This may be true. Whatever the case, it is and will remain the consensus. Can you believe it will never be attractive to politicians ignorant of the science, but struggling with the problems of crime control and ballooning health budgets?

Do you want grandchildren? Or do you want to risk seeing your genes scientifically combed from the general pool?

Or do you want your DNA samples handed over to foreign governments? I imagine data will soon be shared between the various governments of the European Union, which will certainly include Rumania and Bulgaria and possibly Turkey as well.

Or do you want your DNA samples at risk of theft from thieves? I cannot imagine what use it might be to them. But who can say what things will be useful in the future?

Or do you want the police to use your DNA samples to get you falsely convicted of a criminal offence? This has been happening with fingerprinting as long as it has been around. With finger prints, it is a matter of using sellotape to copy prints from one object to another. I imagine the police will soon find ways to do this with DNA samples. And the courts will be just as willing as with finger prints to take DNA evidence as effectively conclusive proof of guilt.

If your answer is what it ought to be, let us turn back to an investigation of what other measures may be available for the fight against crime.

This is the framework within which debate on the DNA database should proceed So long as the present framework of assumptions continues unchallenged, there can be no effective opposition.

I am pleased with how well I put my case last Monday evening. But I am sure that others can and will do better.

Here’s an idea for the anti-GM “food terrorists”


David Davis

If the “government” is planning “secret locations” for GM food crop trials, they had then better not fence them off so transparently as to scream as though with a loud-hailer where they are. “Activists”, then not knowing what is GM and what is not, will then have to go about the nation destroying and burning all food crops regardless.

This will be good in the end, as we will all then know what they really think – not about what sort of food we all eat, but about humanity in general. Let them come into the open: let’s make sure these trials are not labelled or fenced.

If there has to be a proper war between civilisation and those inside it who would destroy it, then let it be brought on now.

Good analysis of the current scenario regarding Global Warming and the “skeptics”


David Davis

Here.

There appear to be 40 eco-dilemmas…..


David Davis

…..and you can read all about them here.

And we ought to watch out more for these guys:-

Valve amp coming along nicely


David Davis

A couple of weeks ago you got this progress report. Here’s where we are now. Transformers are bolted down, most holes are drilled, and all the heaters light up.

Click on either to get a larger image. Owner is coming later tonight to view progress. Better get on with building the driver-stage electronics, and digging out those 33K and 22K ceramic Erie carbon resistors I promised him. All original NOS carbon resistors (non-inductive), hard to find now in new condition.

As I said before, I will make you an identical one of these (different meters, as these are the last two ex-WW2 vintage RAF ones) for about £5,000-£6,000, depending (on this and that.)

Or you can have it with Chinese or Russian 6L6 output valves and a less elaborate chassis (almost the same power as with KT88 sets, but slightly more “edgy” sound, for modern tracks and guitar riffs) for about £2,500 all-in. You’d have to come and collect as these are too heavy to post or courier.

Although the world is sinking into the New Socialist Dark Age: although Gordon Brown seems somehow to have recovered his popularity: although the pig Putin is loved and adorated in Russia the USSR: although Huggy-the-Chav is ruining Venezuela*** (why is not anyone assassinating him?) and although the naive stalinist Obama seems set to head up destroy the planet’s most important collection of (300 million, astonished) individuals, there is still fun to be had.

***I can be as rude about him as I like, since Dread-Ken is no longer Mayor of London.

Greenies, get stuffed! FMFT tells it like it is.


Yep, he does. Savour the pre-paleolithic ridiculousness of the wallah whom he describes, here…

But weren’t we told that “Ozone is good” and is needed to “save the world”?


David Davis

Timesonline via The Englishman has a note on catastrophically rising ozone levels and their possible effect on crops….

…but I thought we were destroying the ozone layer, and that moreover we weren’t supposed to farm any more as it destroys the “envrionment”? He suspects another manufactured scare, and so do I.

Hands up all those who think it’s deliberate


David Davis

I return to my pererennial hobby-horse regarding the need for a Libertarian Nation (and one or more such ought to be able to exist) to be – at least initially – heavily armed and defendable.

I think that Men would fight for such an entity, freely. Today’s difficulty for the UK (which is currently anything but libertarian and is rapidly descending into the cesspit of Police-Stateness) is that

(a) We taught the world how to live and to rise out of the slough of tyranny towards individual liberty under a system of impersonal Law,

(b) We need to be punished for it, by the fascist left,

(c) This punishment needs to be public and exemplary,

(d) No chance of exerting any pressure on overseas tyrants, nor of there being any armed forces which might conceivably oppose the above plan from a moral Western civilisational standpoint, can be allowed.

Regular readers of course know to what extent Sean Gabb and I disagree, mostly on entirely cordial terms, about the objectives or need for Britain to be involved in foreign wars and expeditions: these are mostly on behalf of other people, always far away and for those people of whom “we know little or nothing”. Now, if such an ideal libertarian state was to exist, discussion would need to be had about the extent to which it would need to “make the world safe for libertarianism”.

I for one firmly believe that it would come under direct attack from day zero. this might or might not be a straight assault: It is more llijely to be cowardly nibbling, by force, at its overseas commerce. We have already had two sharp lessons about this particular one in the past 100 years alone.

Obvious candidates would be the USSR Russia (as it stands today). I am not sure that places such as Iran (until liberated) and Venezuela would be far behind. I can envisage, too, a congeries of African “nations”, collectively whipped more or less violently (and with the active assistance of the United Nations) by people like the fascist pig Mugabe, and Thabo whatsisname or whoever is currently wielding the weapons in South Africa.

All this makes a credible Blue-Water-Navy, well-backed by air power, and able to transport at need a fairly small but highly-techologically-competent Army, anywhere on the globe within preferably 8 to 12 hours. The point that would need to be made is not just size of response but rapidity – the news Media of the Enemy Class both at home and anywhere overseas do work fast themselves: they would need to be swamped with “breaking news” which is breaking against them rapidly, and moves the jabbering buggers further down their own windpipes and out down through their own arses and into the pot, before they can spin it.

Space-based weaponry and surveillance are an obvious need….cue Tony H!

The Atlas of the Real World….


….was probably meant to be a new-lefty-bible, and was almost certainly drafted by them, but Free Market Fairy Tales has kindly gutted-and-filleted the crux-or-nub of the liberal Classical Free Market case, yea, even from its maps (very clever they are too….wish I’d thought of viewing the world’s movable parameters in that way.)

I hope that Strange Maps picks it up soon.

David Davis