The bonkers world of Asian Voice readers

August 8th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

First, world peace through the medium of yoga…


Presumably you can’t make war when you’re so twisted up you’re looking up your own sphincter.

Next up, acupressure is science…


Oh, and the tips of your fingers are pressure points for your mind. So it’s not staring at a screen all day that gives me headaches, it’s banging my fingers on that infernal keyboard!

Lastly, some old duffer ponders why it takes half a day to get to Australia…


Yes, aeroplane people, where’s my fucking teleporter?!

Dead seeds don’t grow

March 27th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I’ve just come from Little Miss -O’s school easter play. It was all very nice and jolly and everything you’d expect from a school production.

Being a Catholic school and with it being easter, I think, the play was a  parable about a sunflower. The story of the Sunflower mirrored Jesus’s crucifiction and resurrection. The new seeds falling from the sunflower being the resurrection and the bringing of new life.

Everything being hunky dory until the following song…

Life is in the seed,
Life is in the seed,
But first the seed
Must fall and die
for new life to proceed.

Now, I know it’s a catholic school and I’ve got to accept some jumpsuit about miracles and zombies being fed to my lass. It’s nothing that can’t be detoxified, and to be honest she’s doing a good job of that herself.

Seriously though, dead seeds growing? Fortunately, Little Miss -O isn’t falling for that one.

Governed by consent pt II: The reply

July 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Back at the beginning of June Old Holborn asked his MP an interesting question and I wondered what my MP, Nicola Blackwood, would say to it as well.

The question is regarding how to remove ones consent to be governed…

I’m not an anarchist or a troublemaker, I’m just asking you a simple question.
How do I withdraw my consent to be governed?

After one false start, as I forgot to include my address which is MPs’ need so they know they are conversing with a constituent, I have received an answer.

It’s not as interesting as the question…

Dear Sim-O,
Thank you for contacting me. I appreciate your strong views on this subject, and thank you for raising them to my attention.

Is that it? No ‘I’ll get back to you about this’ or ‘WTF? Get to fuck you timewasting troll’. Just a simple ‘Yeah, whatever’.

So. Lets’ try again…
Dear Ms Blackwood,

Is that it? Are you thinking about it? Don’t you know? Can I expect a more substantive reply in a few more weeks when you’ve found out?

I realise it may be one of the more unusual questions you’ve been asked, but you haven’t addressed my question of how I withdraw my consent to be governed, just given me the brush off.


Does Resolution 1973 mean the importation of arms to Libyan rebels is legal?

March 30th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Hilary Clinton and William Hague have expressed the view that UN Resolution 1973, the one that makes the bombing of Libya legal, rolls back the arms embargo.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are open for business!

The Guardian

The US and Britain have raised the prospect of arming Libya’s rebels if air strikes fail to force Muammar Gaddafi from power[*].

At the end of a conference on Libya in London, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said for the first time that she believed arming rebel groups was legal under UN security council resolution 1973, passed two weeks ago, which also provided the legal justification for air strikes.

America’s envoy to the UN, Susan Rice, said earlier the US had “not ruled out” channelling arms to the rebels.

The British foreign secretary, William Hague, agreed that the resolution made it legal “to give people aid in order to defend themselves in particular circumstances”.

[*] Just quick, before we go on, I thought the air strikes and no fly zone weren’t meant to get rid of Gaddafi. I thought it was just to help the rebels get rid of him. So what is this? All the big grown up nations kick Gaddaffi to the ground and let the rebels try to finish him, if they take to long we push them out the way and stamp on his head? I didn’t think we did that sort of intervention anymore.

Clinton and Hague, in my opinion, are wrong. I am quite prepared to be wrong about this myself as I’m not a politician or lawyer so my definition of the words ‘arms embargo’ might not be the same as international statesmens’ definitions.

UN Resolution 1973 (.pdf) states…

Enforcement of the arms embargo

13. Decides that paragraph 11 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall be replaced by the following paragraph : “Calls upon all Member States, in particular States of the region, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 or 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, calls upon all flag States of such vessels and aircraft to cooperate with such inspections and authorises Member States to use all measures commensurate to the specific circumstances to carry out such inspections”;

This paragraph replaces one in UN Resolution 1970 (.pdf)…

11. Calls upon all States, in particular States neighbouring the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, to inspect, in accordance with their national authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, in particular the law of the sea and relevant international civil aviation agreements, all cargo to and from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, in their territory, including seaports and airports, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 or 10 of this resolution for the purpose of ensuring strict implementation of those provisions;

They say the same thing except the amended paragraph in UN/Res/1973 is a bit tidier. They both in essence say do not allow the transportation/sale of anything in paragraphs 9 and 10 of UN/Res/1970.

So what is and isn’t allowed under that arms embargo? Paragraph 10 of UN/Res/1970 states that Libya can not export arms. Paragraph 9 is the one all about selling and exporting to Libya…

9. Decides that all Member States shall immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, from or through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and technical assistance, training, financial or other assistance, related to military activities or the provision, maintenance or use of any arms and related materiel, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel whether or not originating in their territories

That’s pretty unambiguous and clear. Even under paragraph 4 on UN/Res/1973, ‘Protection of Civilains’ there is no room for the movement of arms in to Libya…

4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported tothe Security Council;

Nations acting under the UN can go in and bomb Libya, to protect civilians, but they cannot use ground forces and cannot supply arms to anybody in Libya.

But, and there is always a ‘but’, there are some exceptions to this rule in taking arms into Libya…

(a) Supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and related technical assistance or training, as approved in advance by the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 below;

‘No lethal’. Not very good if you want to get rid of a dictator, really. Could be handy for putting down any protests the local population might want to hold though.

(b) Protective clothing, including flak jackets and military helmets, temporarily exported to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya by United Nations personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel, for their personal use only;

Military style safety equipment that actually belongs to someone rather than for distribution once inside Libya. Still no good for overthrowing megalomaniac leaders.

(c) Other sales or supply of arms and related materiel, or provision of assistance or personnel, as approved in advance by the Committee;

This subclause of the arms embargo is important. It is the get out clause for supplying arms to Libya. This is the little bit of text that will open the door to the possibility of legally supplying arms to the rebels. All a nation has to do is persuade the rest of the UN Security Council committee to agree. How hard can that be? The majority voted in favour of intervening in Libya so they’re half way there already, and if they can give guns to someone else to do it a) they’ll make a bit of money and b) they’re one step removed if/when the shit hits the fan.

I know what you’re thinking, too. I’ve just proved myself wrong. But, no. This get out clause is in UN/Res/1970. Clinton and Hague said UN/Res/1973 allowed them to go arm the rebels. There was always the option of removing the arms embargo but it is in resolution 1970 and would need the agreement of the Security Council committee. Resolution 1973 does not automatically mean the importation of arms to anybody in Libya is legal or sanctioned by the UN.

(link: UN Resolutions 2011)

“Turn around, nothing to see, is there.”

April 14th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Excuse me PC fucking Bastard, but we’ll be the judge of that.

Via loads of people on twitter

Petition for an enquiry into Ian Tomlinsons’ death

April 9th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to launch a full enquiry into the circumstances of Ian Tomlinson’s death seperate to the IPCC investigation.

Due to the new evidence being shown in the press of the circumstances of Ian Tomlinson’s death we urge the Prime Minister to step in now to immediately bring the truth to light.

Go on then. What you waiting for?

Oops! I forgot… Via

You vicious bastards

April 8th, 2009 § 8 comments § permalink

Well. That’s it then. No more denying it. The Police are vicious bastards.

I’ve probably knew it all along but been able to block it or excuse it. But now, fuck ’em.

What’s changed? When previous instances have happened there have been circumstances that, well…

A bloke and his mate are looking in a Jewelry shop window and get handcuffed and accused of attempted robbery.
Well, maybe the bloke got lippy, didn’t comply with resonable requests by the officers to, I don’t know, turn out his pockets or something, so the officer has to take charge of the situation and bring things to a head in a way so the officer comes out on top, and not the other way round.

Then there’s the house raid that goes a little wrong and one of the occupants, who is innocent as it happens, ends up getting shot.
Well, the information the coppers had meant that firearms were appropriate for the raid, and when a raid gets started there is lot of noise and confusion, everyone is hyped up and it’s usually dark as they are carried out in the early hours of the morning. It’s quite scary, even for the officers. I know, I’ve seen them on telly.
It’s surprising, really, that more people hurt. All it needs is the suspect to not put there hands up, or make a wrong move and, well…

Or there’s the suicide bomber that wasn’t. Armed officers, in a stressful situation, the tube full of people. OK, so there were errors made. Would you have done any better?

The thing is, with all those examples, we weren’t there. It doesn’t matter what witnesses say, you’re own mind can add little caveats, little excuses, that still leave the rozzers The Good Guys.

What happened at the G20 shattered that completely.

The assault was unprovoked, cowardly and on film.

As you can see, Ian is strolling along with his hands in his pockets, the fuzz come up behind him, a dog sniffing him, and then he gets a whack on the back of the legs and an almighty shove to the ground.

Why? What purpose did it serve? Ian wasn’t giving them abuse, the coppers could see his hands were in his pockets, so he wasn’t gonna be able to do anything before they could get to him, and he wasn’t giving them abuse. It was just malicious.

The police are supposed to protect us. It’s one thing getting the baton out when you have a crowd of angry soap-dodgers pushing against you and spitting in your face…Fuck it! I’m doing it again!

The game has changed. Why the hell else are coppers leaving off a letter or number from their lapels? ‘If you’ve got nothing to hide…’ applies to them too. Why else were the police telling people in the Climate Camp to delete photos of plod or have their cameras seized? Was the Climate Camp full of terrorists, was it?

This isn’t about the big things, like 42 days detention or the UK governments complicity in torture, this is about the little things that the police feel they can get away with.
The institutional bias in favour of the police when things go wrong, even when the investigation has only just begun

A lie can be delivered by innuendo. The so-called “Independent Police Complaints Commission” – whose investigations in this case are being conducted by the City of London Police – had put out a statement saying that “it appeared that Mr Tomlinson had contact with the Police.” If we had not seen the video, what image does that conjure up in your mind?

The justification for tactics

John O’Connor, a former Flying Squad commander, defended kettling in extraordinarily totalitarian terms, saying that

…using these tactics in a non-selective way does cause inconvenience to persons who are legally trying to make their point, but it is effective in controlling the troublemakers.

The same could be said of subjecting the entire population to house arrest or amputating the limbs of anyone not in the police. Certainly, what he says is a clear admission that kettling does not ‘facilitate peaceful protest’.

Do I need to spell out what message is that sending to the ordinary plod on the beat? The modern policeman already wears a quasi-military uniform, with their stab vest and utility belt. They do work under some tremendous pressures, and you can excuse them with that and the adrenaline and all sorts of other reasons, but that is what training is for. If a copper goes loses it, makes an error of judgement or gets power crazy and attacks an innocent person, he either needs to be fired or retrained. As well as prosecuted.

The example needs to be set from the top and that is what is missing. Last word goes to Craig Murray

We have reached the stage in the UK where we need a revolutionary change. We have to sweep out the old order of corrupt politicians whose one guiding principle is to keep their own snouts in the trough: of City bankers who are multi-millionaires from their bubble scams and whose lifestyles and jobs the ordinary people are now supporting by a massive tax and debt burden, while nobody guarantees the jobs of those ordinary people who fund it all.

We have to realise that the end of the centuries old prohibition of torture by agents of the state is of a piece with the freedom of the police to maintain the system of power by fatal force, in both cases without consequence. You cannot separate this brutalisation of power from the illegal war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and thousands of our own soldiers, on the basis of a lie but really to secure oil.

The whole system stinks from the head like a fish. And people are starting at last to understand where the smell comes from.

More links here.

Video of police assault on Ian Tomlinson

April 7th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Guardian: Video of police assault on Ian Tomlinson, who died at G20 protest.

Would the phrase ‘police state’ be overdoing it?

[Insert Phorm play on words here]

April 7th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink


Online advertising firm Phorm is pressing ahead with plans to launch more than a year after it first drew criticism from some privacy advocates.

“We have been supported or endorsed by all of the leading stakeholders,” Phorm chief executive Kent Ertugrul told BBC News.

“Ofcom, the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Home Office, leading privacy advocates like Simon Davies, the advertising industry and publishers have all backed our service,” he said.

All the major stakeholders except the people who will be effected the most: the internet using public.

And who’s this Simon Davies bloke? Never heard of him. he might have got this award or done whatever, but he can’t be that much into privacy if he’s ok with Phorm.

Kent Etugrul of Phorm…

I am surprised by the fact, after it has been repeatedly explained how the technology works, they seem to be very keen on misunderstanding what it does

No, people know what it does, and even how it does it. And that is the problem. It is opt out. A fucking awkward shitty opt out that one will have to opt out of every time ones cookies are cleared.
Even when someone has opted out, their movements on the web still go through Phorms equipment, there is no way to bypass Phorm. The user is still dependent on Phorm and its’ technology doing the right thing and not recording their movements.

Phorm and privacy? My arse.

El Presidente

April 7th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

Word comes from Craig Murray that the British embassies in the EU are to start getting support for Tony Blair to be the made the first permanent president of the EU.

Maybe I should’ve used the proper word there: appointed. ‘Made’ could mean elected by the people he would be president of.

As Craig eloquently puts it…

For anyone to occupy the position of President without a popular election would be very, very wrong. But Tony Blair? It is simply an appalling thought.

Why would anyone want a war criminal as president?

Horrifyingly, it appears that Blair may well be able to get a majority of EU member governments prepared to support him. That is despite his record as Bush’s poodle in launching illegal war, as one of the chief architects of the banking bubble economic disaster, and as the Middle East Peace Envoy who held the ring for Israel’s murderous assaults on Lebanon and Gaza.

I’m in two minds about the EU. It could be good, but at the moment the unaccountability and the bureaucracy, well, it seems like it is being run for the commissioners and the MEPs benefit, not the citizens of the EU.

In typical EU fashion, even the term is a bit ambigous: Permanent President.
Do they mean ‘for life’? Would they do that? What other meaning could the EU mean? The presidency at the moment is on a 6 month rotating basis, with the national leaders taking up the role. The occupant of the new style post of president would be full-time, rather than part-time, but still not permanent. Surely?

Either way, for the EU to have Blair as an unelected permanent El Presidente would lose what little credibility it has. And that isn’t a lot.

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