tommorris.org

Discussing software, the web, politics, sexuality and the unending supply of human stupidity.


Met Prove Themselves Incompetent (Again)

Can't we get rid of this Ian Blair idiot? Not only has he been taping phone calls (which is illegal), he's also head of an organisation which has killed innocent people (which is also illegal, though it becomes less illegal if you're wearing a Police uniform for some reason), they're now banning blogging by people like this.

WWD slagged off Tony Blair, ID cards (and again, here), discussed how Hendon (the police training school) is a hotbed of theft, disagreement with "the immoral foreign policies of New Labour, and their sycophantic support of American foriegn policy", how horrible it is to have to deliver "the death message", the silliness of Charles Clarke, the Respect agenda, how CCTV isn't that useful, an entry entitled "The Death of Liberty in Britain", the failures of the IPCC in the de Menezes situation, the nutty "community leaders" and much more.

I don't agree with WWD's perspective on a number of things, especially the drug-war which is basically glossed over prohibitionism, using all the same nonsensical justifications that didn't justify the War on Alcohol back in the 1920s. But, here's what's great about WWD. He's critical of the police when he thinks they're wrong. And the blog is written by a human being.

I can be very nasty about the Police - I've called them things like "incompetents in uniform". But reading WWD makes me realise that there are coppers out there who know what they're doing and who are professional and don't buy in to all the BS that comes at them from the Higher Ups. This is good, and we need to encourage it.

The Met, who have the biggest image problem as a result of the de Menezes case, should be encouraging coppers to blog and blog openly - with their names and badge numbers. That way we can actually start a dialogue and try to understand what's going on with the Police. When there are blogs out there being written by police officers, we, the readers, can judge the Police by both their actions, by the statements of their "media people" and other Higher Ups, as well as from individual officers. Instead, if you cut out the individual officers, we can only judge the Police by their media presence and reported actions. And that's not good for the Police.




WTF? The FEMA colouring book. Nice response to Katrina. Why didn't they put "sit tight on the roof while we fuck it up" in the colouring book? Or perhaps "don't become a fireman, because we'll take you off for some Political Correctness training rather than getting you to New Orleans"?



I hope more universities would stand up against Turnitin. I had to block them a few years back since they started poking through my blog looking for content for their damn database. This is one of the reasons why I'm glad that my university still asks for paper submissions. It's a pain having to submit on paper, but it prevents the university from wasting time with this bullshit, treating me like a damn criminal.


This weekend, I have eaten: an orange, a small slab of cheese, a couple of crackers and that's it. Even if I've been vomiting and in pain, at least I'm probably losing a bit of weight at the same time.


I didn't realise until today, but Steve Kubby got released from the Placer County jail! This is great news. Perhaps some of those authoritarian fuckwads out there could learn that locking people up for using a drug that's got no overdoses on it's victim list, and has many possible uses, including curing adrenal cancer. I hope he can get back to his M.J. and fighting his cancer. Right behind you, Steve. ";->"


The Money Argument

I read a blog quite often called Butterflies and Wheels. The bloggers, Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom, wrote a satirical little tract called "The Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense: A Guide for Edgy People".

On Amazon.co.uk, it's got a rather amusing review from Ryan:

"Another trite and innocently framed attack on those intellectuals who are trying to decenter the--and here is a phrase they make fun of--dominant hegemonic discourse, that is so corrosive and debiliating to our civilization. The authors of this book hark back to a mythical Baconian age of deductive logic. They insist on the heroic processes of logic and reason. All of this other stuff is just poo poo, lets make fun of it because we know that a.)not only can we make money off it--logically and reasonably in a consumerist world that they admire..."

I just love these types of arguments. Of course they'd say this! I mean, they'd make money!

Of course, Lyotard, Derrida, Susan Sontag, Jean Baudrillard, Deleuze and Guattari, Foucault and all the other academics who B&W and their allies oppose never got a royalty cheque - no never!

Now, as a trainee hermeneut (or at least, someone who spends a lot of time reading Gadamer and Ricoeur), I think there may be some interesting insights in postmodern philosophy, but it does seem that whenever postmodernist types write clearly (as I humbly try to), they reveal the ultimate vacuousness of their position.

I thought it was Winston Churchill who said it, but it's in fact Otto von Bismarck: "Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made." Perhaps it should be "Postmodern philosophies are like sausages."




Blair on Liberty

Yes, it's not quite as good as "Mill on Liberty" - Mill had slightly more principles than Mr Blair. Check out this reprehensible piece of doublespeak:

"What about the charge that ID cards and anti-terrorism legislation transgress basic liberties and are, as David Cameron put it, 'unBritish'? Here, we must put a new case about liberty in the modern world. I am from the generation that I would characterise, crudely, as hard on behaviour, but soft on lifestyle, i.e. I support tough measures on crime but am totally pro gay rights. I believe in live and let live, except where your behaviour harms the freedom of others. A society with rules but without prejudices is how I might sum it up."

"What about the charge that ID cards and anti-terrorism legislation transgress basic liberties and are, as David Cameron put it, 'unBritish'? Here, we must put a new case about liberty in the modern world. I am from the generation that I would characterise, crudely, as hard on behaviour, but soft on lifestyle, i.e. I support tough measures on crime but am totally pro gay rights. I believe in live and let live, except where your behaviour harms the freedom of others. A society with rules but without prejudices is how I might sum it up."

So, Mr Blair disagrees with legal paternalism? He believes in H. L. A. Hart's theses in Law, Liberty and Morality? Oh, wait, if anybody challenges you on libertarian grounds, you simply have to say "you don't understand the modern world" and that silences all dissent.

How about actually answering our criticisms? If you strongly disbelieve in legal paternalism, why haven't the Nu Labour government done anything to liberalise drug laws, except of course lowering cannabis to a class 'C' rather than 'B'? (And even with that, when even the scantest of evidence turns up, the government are trying to work out the best way to reverse that decision without being made to look politically impotent).

If Mr Blair believes in human rights so strongly, why did he preside over Belmarsh? Much as I hate to say it, it's the House of Lords who are protecting our liberties, and a small gang of judges.

If Mr Blair believes in civil liberties, why are ASBOs being handed out with reckless abandon? Why are people like David Mery being locked away without recourse for, what was it?, wearing a jacket that's too thick and checking his mobile phone.

If Mr Blair believes in civil liberties, why is his government trying to introduce a bill, under the justification of the War on Terror (or whatever bullshit, macho name we've given to killing innocents while we don't sully our hands with the guilty), which will give the Government the power to introduce laws without actually putting them through Parliament.

If Mr Blair believes so much in civil liberties, why am I filmed around 400 times a day on my travels though central London? If this isn't Orwellianism, I don't know what is.

The other thing about Orwell, if you'll recall correctly, was the way that language was always being chopped up for political purposes. When Blair says liberty, he doesn't mean "the right to do what you want unless it harms another". He means "as long as I approve, you can do it, but if I start frowning, you better beat it".


Want to see the total hypocrisy underlying (the current British) government? Read this. Charles Clarke is a rude and contemptuous bufoon, part of a highly questionable project of immoralists who can't ever admit themselves to be wrong. If I was as close to Clarke as Rachel was to the suicide bomber, I would have done something far worse than try to bend his ear. The bastard would be on the floor, covered in a bottle of blood (though I abhor PETA, their tactics aren't half bad) with a biometric passport shoved right up his arsehole.





I've had one of those days. I've been vomiting since six o'clock this morning, my muscles are all tensed up and I'm having difficulty moving anywhere. I'm walking like my grandma, and I'm having difficulty typing. Serious bout of food poisioning. I apologise to anyone who's emails or bug reports I've been ignoring. I promise I'll catch up soon.




Surely the answer for this debacle is to simply have an option in the Creative Commons licencing agreement to enter a dollar amount. Then the contract says "If you decide to licence this in a manner that goes outside of the boundaries of the CC licence, you agree to pay the IP owner $x". Set it as high as you want, and if they use it, bill them for $x. If we don't set the damages, the courts will, and as the Adam Curry case demonstrates, they'll fuck it up (like all government does).