Jon Stewart Explains Ultrasound Law To GOP: ‘A TSA Pat-Down In Your Vagina’ | Mediaite

Damn! I mentioned the “Handmaids Tale” (read the comments on that review, written a few years ago) only a couple of days ago and this political crime is right in its crosshairs…

As the medics have pointed out there is no medical requirement or justification for this proposed vaginal penetration and it is clearly not going to involve the informed consent of most women, such an invasion very clearly qualifies as State Rape.

I think you could easily make a sound ethical argument for assassinating any politician who mandates any one of a number of extreme sociopathic policies. Cannibalism and genocide are obvious examples, Then there are a bunch of lesser but still significant evils that the Totalitarian mind can dream up, like, for example, a proposal to recriminalise homosexuality; or to make religion (or atheism) compulsory. State Rape is about on a par with those for ethical value.

My proposal is for a constitutional amendment which would impose a lifetime prohibition on participation in the political process for anyone making a serious attempt to enact such a policy as law.

Discuss!

Jon Stewart Explains Ultrasound Law To GOP: ‘A TSA Pat-Down In Your Vagina’ | Mediaite.

Scientists identify link between size of brain region and conformity | Wellcome Trust

my lateral orbitofrontal cortex must have atrophied according to this research. But hang on, I’m extremely sensitive to conflict situations and do try hard to avoid them. I just don’t equate conflict avoidance with conformity. Makes you wonder, though, if this is the brain region exposed by the famous Milgram Experiment and under attack by Fascists and the Media when they try to engage the herd instinct. If so, perhaps we ought, routinely, to teach kids how to suppress it…

Scientists identify link between size of brain region and conformity | Wellcome Trust.

US General: “Iran a Rational Actor”, but is US one?

sound, if frightening, analysis (especially about the rationality of the US)

US General: "Iran a Rational Actor", but is US one?.

Noam Chomsky: America’s Decline Is Real — and Increasingly Self-Inflicted | World | AlterNet

only the weak and defeated are called to account for their crimes

– which is why Cheney and Rumsfeld are still at liberty…

.Noam Chomsky: America's Decline Is Real — and Increasingly Self-Inflicted | World | AlterNet.

Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control — And Why We’ll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now | Visions | AlterNet

I have heard others arguing in favour of the historical importance of Contraception, not least Germaine Greer. But all the examples that spring to mind focussed on the importance of Contraception to Women. What I like about Sara Robinson’s argument is her focus on it’s importance to Men, particularly those patriarchal men who, of course, I normally refer to as the Authoritarians. (Yes there are Authoritarian Women too, but the vast majority of them are conditioned by their religious beliefs as we’ll discuss)

It is obvious to all observers that Authoritarianism is primarily testosterone driven. But I hadn’t made what, after reading this essay, now looks like the obvious connection between Contraception and Authoritarianism, viz Religion.

Religion has provided the pseudo ethical justification for the authoritarian control of society for at least two and a half thousand years. Almost every religion throughout human history has been patriarchal and tightly focussed on preserving the subservient status of Women for a variety of reasons, many of which were plausible right up until cheap effective mass FEMALE contraception became available. Suddenly, in one massive swipe, Male Authority was completely undermined, and, I would add, so too was Authority in general.

I disagree with Sara on one thing. Her pessimism (which echoes Margaret Atwoods “Handmaids Tale”) is unjustified. I certainly agree that the battle is not over. They will continue, until their kind has ceased to exist, to try to force many of our new liberties out of existence. I believe this will be the basis for the “Final War”. But I don’t believe they’ll succeed. The “only” risk is that they might render our species extinct in their attempt to regain control…

Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control — And Why We'll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now | Visions | AlterNet.

Government spy programme will monitor every phone call, text and email | Mail Online

What is so objectionable about this kind of proposal is not what is implied by the headlines.

It isn’t a “Spy” program. It won’t “monitor” anything. Spying/monitoring is real time surveillance in hot (or at least warm) pursuit of a suspected criminal or foreign agent. This proposal is for a data retention exercise and its single merit is that the data will be held by the service providers and not in a government owned central database. That dramatically reduces the risk of abuse, not least because it maintains the difficulty of marrying data sources together and keeps it difficult to probe too deeply into individual lives.

The law also offers partial protection (except, of course, in the USA and other countries further along the Police State path than the UK) because access to the data will require the authority of the Courts in a procedure which will be on the public record. That’s not good enough (it ought to be overseen by an appropriate Jury, not Judiciary) but it’s certainly better than the USA PATRIOT Act which allows the FBI unfettered access and penalises data holders for revealing that access.

Nevertheless, it is profoundly disturbing because the proposal reveals either deep ignorance or deep deception.

Security services are said to be concerned about the ability of terrorists to avoid tracking through modern technology and are believed to have lobbied Home Secretary Theresa May to introduce the scheme.

Let’s take it at face value that that “excuse” is real. Most of us would approve or at least tolerate our tax funded security professionals going after serious targets like terrorists, paedophiles and people traffickers etc.

However, such targets are already well aware of the need to avoid tracking and they aren’t going to be remotely concerned at these new measures because they can easily avoid them (as can you or I if we give a shit). Indeed, the small amount of effort required would probably be a useful constant reminder – to those intent on that kind of attack – about the need to maintain good security at all times and thus make it much more difficult to track them.

“Security Services” should know this better than I do – or else we really have got a serious problem. So why would they peddle such a line to the politicians? The answer is likely to be deception rather than ignorance. The deception is that this proposal has very little to do with those meaningful targets at all. It’s about making it possible for the authoritarian state to pursue much more petty crime carried out by the ordinary citizen.

How petty will be a matter of fine political judgement. Initially, they will probably only use it in serious cases where the public could be expected to endorse the required “data mining”. When some naive estranged spouse tries to use the internet to contact and make a deal with a kidnapper to target their ex, or a stalker uses social networking to gather sensitive data on their target, the fact that the police are able to use the stored data to mount a successful prosecution of the miscreants will produce a small ripple of relief and allow the tabloids to trumpet a triumph for the nanny state.

Once that level of intervention has become normalised we can expect the “trigger level” to drop to less serious offences, like those who avoid small amounts of tax by selling goods on ebay or Amazon, or plan their next secret Rave online, or arrange to buy cheap cigarettes abroad and bring them into the country for a smoker friend etc etc.

This kind of “mission creep” is inevitable – as we saw with previous “spy” laws allegedly aimed at terrorism but which resulted in councils using “permitted” surveillance against people overfilling their bins or security staff using terrorist legislation to evict hecklers at party conferences.

We can be moderately confident that such petty oversight is the real aim because it would work. It would oppress most of the population into submissive compliance. In contrast, these measures have no chance whatsoever against the alleged serious targets. Their role is merely to present the convenient excuse for the introduction of measures the STASI would have died for…

Government spy programme will monitor every phone call, text and email | Mail Online.

Technological signs for the end of times

always worth reminding yourself from time to time that the Muslims have an “end times” myth just as psychotic as the Xtian one and here is the technological evidence to prove it…

Technological signs for the end of times.

4 Signs the American Spring May Be Coming to Chicago | Occupy Wall Street | AlterNet

‘twould be mildly satisfying to see Chicago brought to an embarrassing halt for the summits, but it wouldn’t win any arguments. If you insist on doing it by confronting the best armed state in human history, there’s going to be a bloodbath and most of it will be on our side.

We need to apply intelligence to the problem. How, for example, could we close down Chicago WITHOUT confrontation…

4 Signs the American Spring May Be Coming to Chicago | Occupy Wall Street | AlterNet.

I’ve not changed my mind: our banks are brutish institutions run by brutes | Mail Online

how far does this “enemy of my enemy is my friend” thing go?

To have someone like Max Hastings railing against the Financial parasites in the banking industry – especially from within the pages of the Daily Mail – is a bit like finding a member of the Westboro Baptist Church complaining, publicly, that picketing soldiers’ funerals is giving the Church a bad name…

I've not changed my mind: our banks are brutish institutions run by brutes | Mail Online.

The Best of Cablegate: Instances Where Public Discourse Benefited from the Leaks | Electronic Frontier Foundation

classic Trusted Surveillance examples of both need and delivery…

The Best of Cablegate: Instances Where Public Discourse Benefited from the Leaks | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

FadedFools – OG Kush Pictures » High Res Photo

drool

FadedFools – OG Kush Pictures » High Res Photo.

How to Start a War: The American Use of War Pretext Incidents.

regrettably, few will know about the contents of this excellent historical summary. Few will read it.

It outlines capital crimes committed by a series of American Presidents which put them, collectively at least, in the same league as Stalin, Hitler and Mao, although, to be fair, they did at least have the “decency” to concentrate most of their fire on johnny foreigner rather than their own citizens. Which is probably why they’ve got away with it so often and often so blatantly.

They really are immune. Cheney has confirmed that, if there was any lingering doubt. He’s confessed to the war crime of torture and isn’t even being seriously criticised for it, let alone prosecuted.

The fact that most Americans are unaware of or deny the validity of the charges laid out in this article, is a major reason why the constant global crisis caused and profitably maintained by the American Military Industrial Empire can proceed with relative impunity. With the complicity of the media, the common citizen has been so deeply conditioned and confused that they cannot conceive that their masters could ever really be such monsters…

How to Start a War: The American Use of War Pretext Incidents..

Red Duchess wed lesbian lover to snub children – Telegraph

Tell me this aint a damn good storyline for a movie!

Born into the Aristocracy, a member of the illegal (under Fascist Franco) Socialist Party, defeated in a court case, by her own children who succeeded in preventing her giving away a large portion of her wealth and then, apparently to prevent them getting their hands on the estate, wedding, on her death bed, her lesbian lover of twenty years.

Pretty fascinating stuff on its own, but what really made her a heroine was going to jail for 8 months in the 60s for leading popular protests at the near catastrophe caused by the Americans dropping 4 hydrogen bombs from a crashing B52 after it collided with a fuel tanker over Southern Spain.

I’m betting you’ve never heard that story. I can’t remember hearing about it and I was definitely awake at the time. Can you imagine the coverage that would get today??!! Four H Bombs dropped near the village of Palomares, 2 of them actually detonated on impact.

Not their nuclear payload, obviously (I think you might have heard about that one) but the conventional explosive required to detonate the atomic bomb (plutonium) which in turn compresses the hydrogen to the point required to trigger a thermonuclear explosion. Although they didn’t trigger any kind of nuclear explosion, they did, naturally, spread the plutonium over nearly a square mile of Spanish soil. It’s still contaminated today.

And I only came across this story because I had this sudden notion that we need a “Bayesian Search Engine” where you could punch in things like “Lymphatic Cancer” and find all the potential causes of it. So I went looking for “Bayesian Search” and found, instead, that it’s a long established statistically driven Search protocol for finding lost things of great importance; like missing H Bombs. Although 3 of the bombs above landed on dry land and were found the same day, one dropped into the mediterranean and took two and half months to find – using a Bayesean Searth protocol. Which is mildly interesting in its own right, but not a patch on the Red Duchess…

Red Duchess wed lesbian lover to snub children – Telegraph.

Knowing 2009 – IMDb

Only just caught this movie on TV. Reading the Rotten Reviews inclined me not to bother, but there was an intriguing difference between the average professional critic and the average punter on this one. About 2/3 of the critics panned it, while about 2/3 of the punters praised it. That usually makes for an interesting revelation. I think I’m with the majority for a change. Which worries me because a fair chunk of that majority probably see this movie as “End Times Porn”.

I don’t object to far out fantasies. One of my all time favourite book/series is the Dune Saga (six written by Frank Herbert and 3 co written by his son, Brian and Kevin Anderson.) It’s completely fantastical and largely based in a series of physical laws which simply do not and could not hold sway in this universe. But it works because, once you agree to suspend disbelief and go with it, it is entirely self consistent.

That is what works in this movie as well. You have to get over the extraordinarily implausible time capsule prediction starting point and the apocalyptic end point and just ask “yeah, but if it DID happen like that, what would you do any different to what Cage’s character actually does. The story has the courage of its convictions. None of your soppy hollywood happy endings. The world does end, and the whole point of the predictions was not to enable warnings and successful attempts at warding off the disaster.

That was irrevocable and even, apparently, a species capable of understanding the chaotic workings of a star to the point of being able to predict a super solar flare pointing exactly in the wrong direction (for Earthlings anyway) about half a century into the future and capable of travelling interstellar distances; even such a species was incapable of preventing the disaster. So the point was, presumably, only to bring together the two kids, Abbi and Caleb so they can be rescued by the aliens and, together with a few dozen other pairs of similarly kidnapped (we presume) kids from around the planet, could be used to seed Homo Sapiens 2.0 on a distant protected planet.

On which basis, I’m prepared to forgive the catastrophic runaway explosion sequence which gratuitously boils the surface of the earth at the end of the story – despite the event “only” being a giant solar flare which, though it really could plausibly clear the ozone layer and wipe out most living organisms on the planet, would certainly not cause any kind of runaway global chain reaction in the Earth’s crust.

Regrettably, the deaths would come much more slowly and painfully than that. It would take a couple of centuries for everything to die. It would probably take 5-10 years to reach a peak.

But gotta admit, either way, it wouldn’t be a happy ending and it is gratifying, occasionally, to watch a disaster movie that dares to follow its principles to a logical conclusion. Oh, and the disasters they did create for the movie were some of the most convincing I’ve ever seen. We certainly had plenty of warning, they weren’t going to pull any punches…

Knowing 2009 – IMDb.

An Obama Call For Marijuana Legalization Would Cinch His Reelection | Politics & Media | SPLICETODAY.com

Nice try, but Would it? (win the election for Obama)

Either that or start a Civil War…

I genuinely don’t think the Authoritarians could bear to permit it. And they will do everything in their power, including the final implementation of a totalitarian regime to prevent it.

An Obama Call For Marijuana Legalization Would Cinch His Reelection | Politics & Media | SPLICETODAY.com.