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DECEMBER 2004


December 22 - a nod's as good as a wink to a blind man

So the mini whitewash organised to clear home secretary David Blunkett has found that his office influenced the decision to fast-track his lover's nanny's visa application, but that there seemed to be no evidence to link him with that, so he's therefore 'integrity intact' and shining white. He claims not to have remembered the emails and faxes that he caused to be sent, so it's clearly a case of his desire being known to underlings who do his bidding without him having to be aware of it. Again Blunkett uses his blindness to excuse himself of any knowledge, yet we are to believe he's so astute that he's got to where he is despite his disability. An authoritarian bully who has locked people up without trial indefinitely, and wants to make all of us carry ID cards which will carry a mass of data on each of us, immediately available to any servant of the state for whatever reason, while terrorists, adept at remaining hidden and operating on forged documents, won't be hampered by it despite the gang of crooks claims that it's necessary to protect us from terrorists.

Blunkett's self-pitying departure, red faced and crying, was a gut churning moment when you think of how long men have been incarcerated in Bellmarsh on his instructions, with no idea why they are there or if they will ever be released. His jug-eared replacement is another political thug with no grace and precious little regard for civil liberties, who will be pressing the ID card issue with equal enthusiasm. I suspect many will, like me, refuse ever to apply for, pay for or carry an ID card. It may become an equal to the poll tax in stirring up the population into an anti-government fury.

Bushmonkey is looking much less cocky these days, having to comment on nineteen dead US servicemen and a hundred injured, right in their mess hall. With weeks to go to the 'election' fiasco, things aren't looking so good for the occupier and their plans to install a puppet regime, the battle will intensify and many more will die b3efore the US decides to cut its losses and pull out. Rather than making Iraq a safer, pleasanter place, they have turned it into a country out of control and awash with guns. And Blair poses atop a tank with his 'boys', smiles all round from the dumb clucks who allowed themselves to be used in this adventure, and for whom he could care less. There is already an Iraq veterans anti-war movement as well as thousands of shattered lives and grieving families. War tends to hang around for a long time, we're still indulging in nostalgia from WW2, and treating WW1 reverentially.

The EU has failed again to tackle the problem of overfishing and the fishermen are claiming that certain species are 'at an all time high' which is so far from the truth that one wonders at the grip on reality of these people. They deny there's a problem despite knowing from their own experience thast where once there were teaming billions of fish, now they are out for weeks to get a catch. They would rather continue to deplete than give up their clearly overgenerous earnings to allow the natural regeneration to occur. So the fish must wait for the day humans die off, which can't be that long given all the signs.

December 21 - stare at this for 20 seconds and you will see a giraffe

Interesting things coming out about the Kelly case and his 'apparent' suicide, which I have always found suspicious. Now the paramedics who attended him have spoken out that in their opinion there wasn't enough blood at the site for him to have bled to death. When you think that he was accompanied by MoD minders the whole time, had already caused the government a deal of embarrassment and clearly knew a lot more than he had revealed, it's a bit problematic that he could wander off alone and kill himself without a word to his wife and without leaving a suicide note. When giving evidence to the parliamentary committe investigating leaks and the BBC's alleged bias, he appeared quite able to cope, joked a few times, and answered questions somewhat obliquely at times. Seemed to be a man in control, if stressed. The whole thing was swept away and the BBC experienced a sustained attack by Campbell resulting in the resignations of its two chief executives. Now it's accepted knowledge that Gilligan got it right and the WMD dossier was sexed up, that is, embroidered and enhanced, something that was denied vehemently at the time. Since then more lies and spin have further muddied the waters, and I doubt the truth about Kelly's death will ever be revealed. My guess is a political disposal of a loose cannon.

December 16 - eating a planet

This picture from planetark.com/ shows the Amazon still being burned to grow grass to raise cattle for burgers to stuff already obese Americans.

Seems unbelievable that, faced as we are with environmental catastrophe, this is still allowed to continue. Every burger-eating lardarse is culpable in hastening the end of our species, and thousands of others as well.

I always felt sorry for Lucy. Dragged around unfamiliar places, never able to do her job properly, always someone else grabbing at his arm. Made to lie under desks for hours on end, and barely a chance to give him a good licking before having to shoot into another limo and off to somewhere else strange where she didn't know which direction to go in. Bloody hard job being a home secretary's bitch. Now Bully Blunkett has had to resign, he'll probably join 'fathers for justice', so we could yet see him, dressed as Batman, performing a stunt in public. Bliar says he leaves office with 'his integrity intact', whatever integrity a newLabour idealogue has who was caught out lying about helping his lover's foreign nanny fast track her Home Office application to stay, while locking people up without trial and introducing ID cards.

December 14 - torture

This is the last remaining elephant in San Francisco zoo, don't know how long it's been there, but I can't think of worse torture for an animal whose natural life is roaming the plains of Africa. Can't get my head round the mentality that finds this acceptable. The zoo's Board of Supervisors has passed a measure requiring the zoo to give elephants 1000 times more space than is now provided, so the suffering should end soon.

December 13 - something for nothing

<quote>

Hydrogen Production Method Could Bolster Fuel Supplies
Researchers have found a way to produce pure hydrogen with far less energy than other methods. The development would move the country closer to the Energy Department's goal of a "hydrogen economy," in which hydrogen would be created through a variety of means, and would be consumed by fuel cells, to make electricity to run cars, and for other purposes. The new method involves running electricity through water that has a very high temperature. As the water molecule breaks up, a ceramic sieve separates the oxygen from the hydrogen.

</quote>


Ah, yet another something-for-nothing dreamer.

1. It's a law of physics, arguably the most important. You can't get something for nothing. All you can do is transform matter and exchange energy, that is, convert it into another form of energy.

2. '... water that has a very high temperature' and so where does the energy come from to heat this water? I bet it is greater than the energy contained in the hydrogen molecules, there's always a loss in any energy tranfer.

3. The Earth's only energy source is the sun, Sol. Without it the planet would be a lifeless frozen lump drifting through space with all the other lifeless, frozen lumps.

4. The energy from our sun has been hitting the planet since its birth, and was responsible for life evolving; first in the sea 540 million years ago, and then on land 500 million years ago when the ozone created in the sea had travelled up and formed a layer in the upper atmosphere, thus screening enough of the harmfull rays for everything up to us hominids to evolve. Some of the energy got stored in fossil fuels in the times of the great 'carboniferous' forests, the trees harnessing the sun's energy and converting it to carbon atoms. These trees died and became buried layer on layer, and were then mined by humans much later.

5. We have consumed 95% of these fossil fuels and much of the still growing remnants of forest.

6. Crops grown annually as fuel are one way of generating energy yet adding nothing to the atmospheric carbon equation. Tree planting is a way of reducing the carbon contribution. All old forest felling should be banned worldwide and woods from them treated as contraband. New tree planting shoud be a priority.

7. Nuclear is creating your own sun and thinking you have control. The domain of the criminally insane. Waste with a half-life of millions of years is already a major problem. It would take decades and cost hundreds of billions to replace the ageing UK reactors.

8. So any way we can harness energy from the sun should be considered the only way to go, and money spent on anything else as short or long term fixes is wasted. Wind, wave and photovoltaic is the only way to go, and the sooner that's accepted the better. F**k the rural middle class's precious views, it's survival of not just our species but thousands of others that's at stake, so they'd better get used to seeing wind generators. All of us should. Their beauty lies not just in their sleek, elegant lines, but in the fact that they are cleaning up our act and giving us a future.

December 12 - the Global Brain, new age dreaming or becoming a reality?

I'm trying hard to steer clear of the war. Not that it goes away, or that I care less, but there are other things happening in the world, some of them far more important than a war however unjust it is. I shall keep updated on developments however, and will continue to pass on facts as they come available as I think that is an important aspect of the net and will continue to be.

The idea or concept of the Global Brain has been occupying my thought s recently. First suggested many years ago, I first came into contact with it in the eightees when I met Peter Russell, a writer who's book, The Global Brain, had been recently publushed. He gave me a copy of the audio-visual presentation he had made to go with his recorded lecture, and I played it many times in the mobile One World Films video show I was running at the time.

Although in the eightees, the idea of the internet had not been conceived, and the technology for it had not been invented, the concept of a global brain made up of all the people on the planet communicating was well developed, although still a theory. Now, with the internet putting people in contact across national boundaries and time zones, the idea seems even more possible and relevent. Bulletin boards get news as soon as one of their members hears it, discussion and added information soon builds into a consensus. The mainstream media often don't hear of events until days later, sometimes not at all, with the result that millions of people are more informed than the media about what's going on. All these minds interacting across the planet instantaneously results in certain subjects or events becoming important, and the views of ordinary people become part of the process whereby course of action are initiated. As more and more come online and join the discussion, the complexity of the information flow could have even more influential consequences, though whether this would ever result in a global intelligence coming into being is still open to conjecture. The theory is that awareness comes about from a level of complexity in processing, and that when enough individual intelligences are connected and communicating, they become like neurons in a brain, making links, passing on data, firing off in many chosen directions, forming pathways and nodes.

Given that national governments now make few major choices, restricted as they are by market forces, which are impersonal and objective, the ways those market forces are influenced is becoming more important than state governments. Single issues are pursued by action groups which spread information as wide as possible, others take action individually [such as buying organic fair trade bananas or ethically produced clothing] and suddenly their combined action creates a noticeable trend which then ellicits a response in the required direction. This is already a fact, but with the internet as a tool for dissemination, it is likely to become more effective in causing changes in the world. Another aspect is the way Muslims and non-Muslims are communicating leading to more understanding and tolerance among those who are linked up online. Of course, the net is also a vast market place where many are only interested in running shops and shopping, but this too offers avenues to get ideas across and initiate actions across a broad area of life such as selling ethically produced goods and organising specific actions such as boycots.

December 9 - shut the motormouth up!

The Northern Ireland saga grinds on, with the current ringmaster, the loathsome Paisley, enjoying his moment of self importance as he does what he has always done, derails any chance of moving forward by vilifying the Irish Republicans and making it impossible for the Republican politicians to respond in the way he demands without the whole Irish community feeling humiliated. His loud-mouthed ravings to the media in the last few days have only served to confirm this, yet the media continue to behave as if he's serious about sharing power with the people he's spent his life hating, and they talk about the possibility of an agreement, and of Paisley as a likely first minister. It's not going to happen, Paisley and his unionist chums, steeped in hatred for the Irish, and in bad faith with the country and people of Ireland, will continue to pull spoilers and delay any settlement which would give power back to the Irish people, however partial that is.

Having spent too many months writing my latest book, 'DIY Guide: 'How to publish your own ebook', I've decided there's never going to be a point when I can say 'it's finished', so I've decided to start selling it now even if there are a few rough edges, as I'm offering free upgrades anyway. It's available from the ebooks page of this site for £10, and is also available from ebookad.com. [slightly more expensively because of dollars/exchange rate/agent fees]. It's a complete step by step guide to writing, editing, proofreading, typesetting, layout, design and pdf creation, along with website design, online publicity and selling securely. With the emphasis on free resources and containing over 400 links to free programs, utilities, tools, fonts, advice, tutorials, templates and publicity and is intended as the one source for all those who want to publish an book, but lack the knowledge, or some of the knowledge, to do it successfully. Written in my well-loved straightforward and non-techie style, it is a veritable mine of information on all aspects of publishing. If there was something I didn't know, or was unsure of, I damn well found out, usually with more detail than I'd bargained for, and the book has subsequently grown to over 90 pages with none of them wasted on waffle, which, I found, others in the genre have loads of as they all seem to be written by 'marketing gurus' and it's quite difficult to cut through all the make money, increase clickthru rate rhetoric and other such 'make loads of money on the net' stuff, but with a lack of real hard advice on what to do.

December 3 - can't breathe man

US Says Drug Lords May Have Sprayed Afghan Opium crop

The United States has had no involvement in aerial spraying of opium poppies in Afghanistan, its ambassador said on Thursday, adding that any such work might have been done by drug lords to stir up tensions. The Afghan government has expressed concern about reports of a mystery spraying of opium fields in the eastern province of Nangarhar last month and is investigating whether this had caused rashes, diarrhoea and other illnesses in children. 'Unidentified' helicopters sprayed opium fields in two districts. The Afghan government said detailed studies need to be carried out to determine whether increased incidences of skin rashes, diarrhoea and respiratory problems in children could have been caused by such spraying.

It has conveyed this concern both to the United States - which is seeking tougher action to curb Afghanistan's massive opium and heroin output and backs a controversial chemical spraying programme in Colombia - and Britain, which is heading an international programme to curb Afghan drug production. Now who has helicopters in the region?

These fiendish drug lords will stoop to anything to give the US a bad name! So still the 'drug warriors' refuse to do anything about demand in their own countries, preferring to bomb and spray fields of crops in a poor country in the long discredited belief it will reduce the trade. If they were able to wipe out the whole Afghan poppy harvest, supply would not diminish, another region would take over and make up any shortfalls. It's how the market works, any market.

December 2 - plant a phone or plant a forest

British scientists seeking to protect the environment have designed a biodegradable mobile phone cover that breaks down in soil when discarded and sprouts a flower from a seed embedded inside the case. Researchers at the University of Warwick said the novel device, made from a specially designed polymer, is a boon for the environmentally sensitive. Millions of mobile phones are thrown away every year as the industry churns out new models. more

Rescuers dug with their bare hands on Wednesday to find survivors from landslides and floods that killed up to 600 people in a part of the northern Philippines due to be hit by a typhoon in just over 24 hours. Residents of coastal towns worst hit by heavy rains early this week said food and water were running low as rescuers were forced to carry supplies on foot after roads were cut off and bad weather grounded rescue helicopters.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered a nationwide crackdown on the illegal logging believed to have worsened the landslides. Decades of logging have cut forest cover in the Philippines from 34 percent in 1970 to 18 percent now, according to the Environmental Science for Social Change, a local activist group. The government imposed a selective log ban after widespread floods in the early 1990s, but numerous "crackdowns" have failed to halt a trade that is worth millions of dollars a year to smugglers and corrupt politicians.

Typhoon Nanmadol, packing winds of 175 kph (108 mph) at its centre, was gaining strength and was expected to hit the east coast late on Thursday or on Friday. "We haven't seen anything like this since the start of the year, said Rose Asejo, an official at the national weather bureau. "It's a super typhoon with a wider coverage and very strong winds." The weather was already worsening. more

Proofing a book on the French Revolution can be tedious, but I recently found an unexpected humour bonus in the tale of ballooning in 1870, when balloons were being used for postal delivery, reconnaissance and delivery of munitions. The flight of the Ville d'Orléans, launched from the Gare du Nord at midnight 24 November was immediately caught in fog for the first six hours. At dawn the crew realised that the forest they thought they were flying over was actually the sea and, as the balloon descended, panicked and threw everything overboard including military despatches and mail. The newly lightened balloon rose rapidly to an altitude of 4,800 metres, where, freezing and panic stricken they spotted a forest and began a rapid descent, culminating in leaping 200 metres into deep snow, in Norway, 1,246 kilometres from Paris!

It reads like a Gerard Hoffnung tale.

NOVEMBER 2004

November 26 - turmoil here and in the world

Turmoil as the site gets a facelift. Haven't had so much time lately, possibly because I write a lot on boards! It's lonely here on the hill, I like to discuss with others too.

Forecasts are starting to come in for 2050 as scientists wrestle with the data and try to come up with the probable outcomes of global warming. The estimates get worse and worse because few have been willing to embrace what's happening, a common human habit; head in the sand. Even the Pentagon are taking it seriously now, especially as Asia looks like suffering worst than most and the prospect of hundreds of millions of environnmental refugees from flooded lands wanting to come into America is an issue affecting security. Europe will have its own problems. http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/28300/story.htm

An inquest jury verdict of unlawful killing of a [black] man who died in police custody has been overturned by high court judges, presumably disciples of the morally bancrupt old shit Lord Denning, good riddance, who asserted publicly that it was better that innocent people languish in prison for years than the criminal justice system is brought into disrepute. Thus doing more in one stupid statement to bring the law into disrepute than any number of successful appeals of victims of police fit-ups.

Bird flu is most likely source of the next flu pandemic, the question being when?

http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/28297/story.htm

Current government legislation represents the latest creep towards the police state, led by the knee-jerk authoritarian Blunkett. Removal of the right to jury trial, imprisonment without trial, compulsory Identity Cards and the specific laws aimed at animal rights protesters are serious attacks on civil rights and liberty and everyone should be concerned. I hope the ID card will become like the poll tax and unite diverse sections of the population into opposition to the constant tendency of politicians to grab more power over the rest us. The release from 'unatributable government sources' of information on a plot to blow up Canary Wharf at the same time as the legislation is released seems to me to be a not very hidden attempt to make it more palatable. It's been universally rubbished and the security forces have said they know nothing about such a plot, which was, apparently, foiled by them. Spin spin spin.

The situation in Faluja is appalling and it seems like a dream to be watching this on our TV screens. A city more or less destroyed, thousands more killed, civilians buried in destroyed houses, children dying of disease, no clean water. Many Americans are deeply ashamed and destraught. It's up to everyone else in the world to reassure them, we don't group them together with the ones responsible. If it takes this disgrace to unite all the good people in the world against the US military junta's tyranny, then it may not be in vain.

So my advice is to go to http://www.sorryeverybody.com/ and click on the picture after reading the text, and enjoy all the good Americans' messages to the world. It's a strangely moving and at the same time funny experience, tears and laughter.

More views from the hill soooooon. Keep your fingers crossed I can master css as the future blog and everything else depends on it.

Before I go, have a look at http://www.upsizethis.org/forum/ where some amazing characters argue, curse, joke and debate. For a good idea of what's being debated across the world - UK, US, Oz, Canada, France, Germany, China, it's not to be missed. Perhaps we're seeing the coming together of the global brain, synapse by synapse.

Thursday 11 November 2004 - mean-spirited to the last

The graceless reaction to Yasser Arafat's death by the cadaverous Israeil foreign minister is typical of the mean-minded Israeli attitude to a man who, for all his faults, united the Palestinians and gave them a sense of nationhood. The war-criminal Sharon wouldn't even speak his name. They will have to deal with people much more violent than Arafat if they don't mend their ways and behave less like nazis. Doubtless his imprisonment by aerial confining to a compound has been a contributory factor to his deteriorating health and resultant death, so they got their own way in the end.

See that two US helicopters have been shot down in Faluja which they describe as 75% under their control. The scum who fly these death machines have had some of their own treatment. How does it feel?

Norway stills behaves in its sick way, not content with the world condemning its killing of seals and whales, they are now offering tourist trips to shoot at seals from boats. Are they trying to wind people up? If this ever happened the suffering of seals would be horrendous; groups of amateurs firing wildly from a rocking boat would never be clean kills, thus resulting in manu seals dieing protracted and painful deaths. As all Norway has to offer the rest of the world is fish and bad taste knitted sweaters, it's difficult to see how one could boycot them, but there must be a way to affect them financially, apparently the only thing that means anything to these unspeakable shits.

Wednesday 10 November 2004 - they just don't get it

Rising global temperatures will melt areas of the Arctic this century, making them more accessible for oil and natural gas drilling, a report prepared by the United States and seven other nations said. It predicts that over the next 100 years, global warming could increase Arctic annual average temperatures 5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit over land and by up to 13 degrees over water. Warmer temperatures could raise global sea levels by as much as 3 feet. Such a change would threaten coastal cities, change growing patterns for vegetation and destroy habitats for some wildlife, but an energy-starved world would have new areas for oil and gas exploration, according to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report.

'Offshore oil exploration and production are likely to benefit from less extensive and thinner sea ice, although equipment will have to be designed to withstand increased wave forces and ice movement,' the report said. So that's alright then.

'The thawing of permafrost, on which buildings, pipelines, airfields and coastal installations supporting oil and gas development are located, is very likely to adversely affect these structures and increase the cost of maintaining them,' the report said. In other worlds, they'll all sink. http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/28072/story.htm



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