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[‘N’ is for…] BNP, protests and general annoyance.

Posted by BHudson on June 9, 2009

Well, the putsch has come off well, and the British Nazi Party have taken two seats in the European Parliament. As an extremist party, they won the votes because they appeared untainted by the uproar over expenses and the following witch hunt. Most people, of course vote irrationally – it seems to have been easy for some 0.7% of the population to overlook the racist fearmongering because of their concerns about immigration, and a general dissatisfaction with mainstream parties. Irrationality, of course, is at the heart of the BNP’s strength.

Nick Griffin, a man for whom I have many words and little time, is always denying his party’s racist ideals whilst endorsing Party style manuals with phrases such as ‘you should not refer to British Asians or British Muslims, for the simple reason that such people do not exist.’ Like all abhorrent groups, they thrive on oppression, which gives them a chance to whine about their freedom of speech and cast themselves as defenders of democracy. Now, I have very little sympathy for Griffin, and was even slightly pleased by the disressed look on his normally smug face as he fled the mob outside Parliament. That said, throwing eggs is yet to effect any substantial political change.

In this case, it has just let him say that they prevented him from bearing the scutiny of the media. Public scrutiny is what this party needs most. Protests are very well, but a few well placed questions in public would serve better to show just how racist they are.

Times is ‘ard, and people are angry. This produces the ‘perfect storm’ Griffin had been waiting for to give him a foothold in government. Perhaps it is the supposed detrimental effects of immigration (my view on immigrants is extremely simple, and rather unpopular these days, but that’s another post), or the fear of a loss of sovereignty, or anger at the mainstream parties, but suddenly the BNP seemed somewhat more palatable to the voters. An increasingly popular lie: ‘I know they used to be Nazi knuckle-draggers, but they’ve changed – they’re just like us, even if some of the Nazi knuckle-draggers are in the shadows.’ The truth – the Nazi knuckle-draggers are running the show. The BNP will never be civilised or worthy of a vote.

PS. Sorry for my long absence. This is really just an opinion article that seemed worthwhile regarding the recent EP elections. Now I’ve got more time, I might be able to come up with a couple of posts on political theory.

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Posted in Bollotics, Fact Erosion, Free as in Speech, Little Hitlers, Opinion, Protest, Smear Campaigns, The Love of Libel | 6 Comments »

[Health & Safety] More Lessons In Killing For The Met

Posted by Lex Fear on April 5, 2009

I don’t think I want to be safe anymore. I don’t think I want the police to “protect” me from terrorists, anarchists or active protesters.

I’m not a member of the above groups, which means, being an innocent subject of the UK, my life is at risk when the security services are targetting the above groups.

Once again, security services were on high paranoid alert, itchy trigger fingers, or in this case, itchy baton hand.

And if we are to believe that the slaying of Jean Charles de Menezes was an honest, sincere mistake, WHAT BLOODY LESSONS WERE LEARNED?

I feel sorry for Ian Tomlinson’s widow and family. I feel sorry for the grueling smear and dirty tricks campaign that is about to befall them.

You know the drill by now, check the boxes which apply:

It will probably take about 3-4 years, and in the end they may be lucky to win a simple breach of the Health & Safety at Work Act against the Met, along with a “Sorry” and “Lessons have been learned”.

After all, if they can get away with shooting an innocent man, they can get away with shoving one too.

Posted in Anti-Terrorists, Copland, Doublespeak, Fact Erosion, Holding Actions, Justice & Mercy, Londonland, Minitruth, Opinion, Protest, Realpolitik, Smear Campaigns, Untouchables, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Credit Crunchies] Was Marx Right? Er, no.

Posted by BHudson on March 6, 2009

Of late, both Stephen King and Mark Steel have commented (in the Independent) about the rise in support for Marx’s theory and, specifically, the idea that the current economic problems prove him right. As far as I can tell, this is all based on the fact that Marx knew the business cycle (‘boom and bust’) was part of a capitalist system. In other words, the current ‘bust’ is supposed to support Marxist theory. But presumably, it also supports pretty much any economic theory of modern times equally well. The fact that Gordon Brown was wrong in declaring the end of ‘boom and bust’ doesn’t mean that Marx was right.

Confession time. I think Marx’s theory was right.

Was right, as in ‘might just have worked if society stayed as it was between 1890 and 1950’. Not any longer. Key to Marx’s ideas was his class theory. Broadly, he defined two classes:
Proletariat – serves to provide labour. Does not own the other means of production
Bourgeoisie – serves to own the means of production and employ the labour of the proletariat, hence exploiting them.
This model of defining the classes worked to a point. By the 1960s, or thereabouts, the industrial working class who defined the proletariat had become far smaller and less significant. Without its main player, Marx’s theory stopped working. Marx was knowledgable in history, and said himself that his theory would be discredited if it was shown by posterity to not work.

Agorism, however, theorises that there are three broad ‘classes’. The word ‘class’ is perhaps improper, as most people do not fit in one single category. Each act can be placed into one of three categories:
Entrepreneur (Good) – innovator, risk-taker, producer, the strength of a free market, victim of the state
Non-statist capitalist (Neutral) – holders of capital, not necessarily ideologically aware, “relatively drone-like non-innovators”.
Pro-statist capitalist (Bad) – “the main Evil in the political realm”, oppressor of the entrepreneur and non-statist classes.

‘Agorist Class Theory’, by Wally Conger covers in reasonable depth the reasons why the agorist theory is stronger.

Agorist Solutions for Marxist Problems (from ACT)

Marxist Problem: The revolutionary class appears to work against its
own interest; the proletariat support reactionary politicians.
Agorist Solution: The Counter-Economic class cannot work against its
interests as long as it is acting counter-economically. Those supporting
statists politically have internal psychological problems without doubt,
but as a class, these acts dampen the weakening of the State marginally.
(Someone who earns $60,000 tax-free and contributes up to $3000
politically is a net revolutionary by several thousand dollars, several
hundred percent!)

Marxist Problem: “Revolutionary” States keep “selling out” to
reaction.
Agorist Solution: There are no such states. Resistance to all states at all
times is supported.

Marxist Problem: Revolutionary parties often betray the victimized
class before taking power.
Agorist Solution: There are no such parties; resistance to all parties at
all times is supported.

Marxist Problem: Little objective relief can be accomplished by
reformist action. (Agorists agree!) Therefore, one must await the
revolution to destroy the system. Until then, revolutionary activities are
premature and “adventurist.” Still, the productive class remains victim-
ized until the class reaches consciousness as a whole.
Agorist Solution: Each individual may liberate himself immediately.
Incentives for supporting collective action are built in and grow as the
self-conscious counter-economy (agora) grows.

Marxist Problem: The class line blurs with time — against prediction.
Agorist Solution: Class lines sharpen with time — as predicted

Posted in Opinion, Quoteyness | Leave a Comment »

[Atheism] Probably

Posted by Lex Fear on February 15, 2009

I was really happy to see the atheist bus campaign get into full swing. God Bless those atheists, another medium for which they can use to rage against their parents.

I have purposefully held off from writing about it until now, after the dust has settled and things can be fully absorbed.

I’ll start by saying I also found myself disappointed by the weakness of the message. I would much preferred something more assertive, more disdainful of religion. Instead we get probably.

Funnily enough all sorts of speculation took place in the atheist blogosphere and fora as to why include the word. There were some rather feeble apologetics using such idioms as “intellectually honest”.

Since I had followed this saga from it’s inception and was following the commentary at The Friendly Atheist I thought I should help bring clarity to the perception of the ‘Christian response’ as well as information as to how probably got in there:

1) British Christians views on the signs range from ‘Meh’ to ‘Great! More opportunities to talk about God”.

The fact is the Christian religion is led by a man who was violently, brutally killed as a convicted criminal – Call it insane if you will but most genuine Christians see persecution in any form as a privelege and opportunity to stand with Christ and spread the gospel!

Through history, the church has done better in times of persecution and it will always.

2) There are a few who are weak in faith and perhaps new Christians, or they have lost their way and these will protest.. and when they do the media will always give them the microphone to broadcast their ignorance.

But so far the worst response I’ve heard from any Christian is that it’s silly. That’s it.

3) I personally wish that they had dropped the ‘probably’ and gone for something much stronger. I wish it DID say “THERE IS NO GOD”.. with it the slogan is very poor and really isn’t worthy to be considered an attack or something like that. (Also the excuse given to include “probably” has to be the weakest excuse I have ever heard- very stupid)

The proposer of this campaign – a Grauniad journalist – originally gave the reason that she had seen ‘probably’ used in another ad (see Carlsberg) and assumed it was for legal reasons. It’s not, it’s a nod to the British talent for understatement. Silly woman!

Must try harder.

Which was quickly refuted by a commenter called Aj:

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) advised her that “the inclusion of the word ‘probably’ makes it less likely to cause offence, and therefore be in breach of the Advertising Code.”

Lots of people are getting this wrong, so here’s a quote. Lots of atheists don’t believe “there is no god”, they can only agree with statements like “there is probably no god, although I and others prefer “almost certainly” as it’s more accurate.

He went on to include a quote from Ariane Sherine (from a later article).

There’s another reason I’m keen on the “probably”: it means the slogan is more accurate, as even though there’s no scientific evidence at all for God’s existence, it’s also impossible to prove that God doesn’t exist (or that anything doesn’t).

Oh dear, how intellectually dishonest. He left me no choice but to quote the original article by Sherine in response:

“After that, I Googled Carlsberg and found this marketing site, which suggests that using the word “probably” at the start of the ad saved Carlsberg from litigation.” – Ariane Sherine, Atheists – Gimme Five, 20/06/08

Long before the article you quoted. They’ve given all manner of excuses since then.

And the Carlsberg Ad:

http://www.brandrepublic.com/Campaign/News/472122/Scandinavia-Great-nordic-conquerors/

“According to Jakob Knudsen, Carlsberg’s international brand director: “The Scandinavian understated sense of humour is an integral part of the brand’s DNA. If you take other premium Scandinavian brands such as Bang & Olufsen, they won’t tell you they’re the best. Instead, they let the quality speak for itself.”

Only America would produce, “King of Beers” or “World’s Finest” and market their products as the biggest, best, favourite, fastest, greatest etc…

This advertising (up until recently perhaps) would never work in the UK, but picture 2 blokes in a pub, one declares “This is the best lager I’ve ever tasted!”, the other, being British is likely to respond “I don’t think so, I think I’ve tasted better.” But if the first was to casually mention “This is probably the best lager I’ve ever tasted” then the other may likely agree with him “Probably.”

Typical MSM journalist, gets her research from an internet forum rather than the source.

Oddly, no-one then seemed interesting in arguing the point with me and just ignored my second comment completely. Not what you would expect from intellectually honest people but there you go.

Here’s a great quote from Lib Dem MP, Martin Turner:

Imagine that you saw any of the following advertisements:
“The speed camera probably isn’t loaded”
“You probably won’t die in a car crash”
“You probably did turn off the gas”
Telling someone that something probably won’t happen doesn’t stop them worrying about it. Quite the contrary. And, if the millions of lottery ticket buyers are anything to go by, telling someone that something they very much hope for is unlikely to happen does nothing to stop them hoping.
If “there’s probably no God” is the strongest statement that, on reflection, atheists dare to make in public, then they have moved a long way from the certainties implied in their name.

But my favourite quote on worry has to this:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” – Jesus

As well as beating The Grauniad to the post by almost 2000 years, there’s something rather more elegant, meaningful and poetic than “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”, don’t you think (if you are being intellectually honest)?

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Posted in Apologetics, Doublespeak, Doublethink, Duh!, Laymans Theology, Londonland, Minitruth, Opinion, Propaganda, Quoteyness, The Love of Libel, Uncircumcised Philistines, V for Vendetta, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

[Unconstitutional Alliance] – Where does the Rule of Law come in?

Posted by BHudson on February 8, 2009

I’m having a state-the-obvious day, because (for want of another reason), not many people seem to be seeing things as they are.

I hold these points to be self evident:

  1. The UK has a constitution.

  2. The constitution is uncodified but partially written.

  3. One of the sources of the constitution is the rule of law.

  4. Hence, the government is bound by the laws of the land.

These are pretty simple, fundamental points. The thing is, the rule of law would not allow the wilful suppression of evidence relating to a torture case. So why does Miliband continue to pass off the UK’s spineless response to the USA’s strongarm tactics in the name of ‘national security’? Suppressing evidence is against the rule of law. The relationship between America and Britain enforces the suppression of evidence. Hence, the alliance is (on this front) unconstitutional.


As Crispin Black comments in the Independent on Sunday, the problem stems from the USA’s unilateral foreign policy. We can have a ‘special relationship’ with their government, as long as we don’t step out of line. “There is little cost/benefit analysis of our relationship with the Americans. And absolutely none about the intelligence relationship… We persist in an ‘intelligence cringe’ – the Americans know more, the Americans know better. Well, they did not know what was going on in Iraq… Quite why we should think they understand what is going on any else better than we do remains a mystery.”


In the words of Shami Chakrabarti, “Despite best efforts to shine a light on the grubbiest aspects of the ‘war on terror’, the Foreign Office has claimed that the Obama administration maintained a previous US threat to reconsider intelligence sharing unless our judges kept this shameful skeleton in the closet. We find this Foreign Office allegation … surprising.”

The bottom line is that by withholding evidence, both sides are implicit in torture, regardless of whether they were before (and I’m pretty sure they were). Yet another nail in the coffin of the War of on Terror that will no doubt have no effect.

Posted in Absolute Power, Doublespeak, Doublethink, Global Alarming, Justice & Mercy, Little Hitlers, Londonland, Minipax, Morals & Ethics, Opinion, Protest, Quoteyness, The Elite | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

[Misadventure Capitalism] – The Fat Cats That Got The Cream

Posted by BHudson on February 8, 2009

Royal Bank of Scotland – 68% nationalised
Lawrence Fish, non-executive chairman – paid £6.6m in 2006, receiving a £1m pension from April.
Fred Goodwin, former chief exec. – paid £4.2m in 2007, due for a pension of £8.37m

HBOS – 40% nationalised
Peter Cummings, former head of corporate lending – paid £2.6m in 2007
Michael Geoghegan, chief exec. – paid £2.955m in 2007

Bearing in mind that their companies are now owned by the taxpayers, one would have thought that they could show some restraint in pouring out bonuses. Nonetheless, RBS alone seems to think it’s a good idea to pay out a billion pounds of money to their fat cats as reward for nearly killing the economy.

I hold these points to be self evident:
1.Wages are a reward for the individual’s input of the factors of production.
2.Banking is a service industry, hence the factors offered by the executives are labour and entrepreneurship.
3.Most executives seem to do very little work. Hence, their input of labour is little.
4.Good entrepreneurship does not result in almost going bust. Hence, their input of entrepreneurship is very little.
5.Hence, they are due little compensation for their efforts.
6.Bonuses are a reward for extraordinary success.
7.Ending up mostly owned by the government is not an extraordinary success. Hence, they are due no bonuses.

Anything there sound ridiculous? To be honest, they ought to pay back all their bonuses for the years of unwise lending that got us in this state in the first place. Now the government has bailed out the bankers and decided to nationalise them, they ought to take a stand to stop such ludicrous profiteering, rather than trying to ‘coax’ them into playing ball. If America, France and Germany can do it perfectly easily…

Posted in Bank Robbers, Corporate Irresponsibility, Financial Terrorism, Little Hitlers, Londonland, Named and Shamed, Opinion, Profiteering, Protest, Untouchables, Wealth Creation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

[Fools And Their Money] Property Investor Mentality

Posted by Lex Fear on February 4, 2009

Bet this guy feels like a right tit now.

“The place is full with slightly mad people, to say the least. Not a dangerous kind of mad, just weird kind of mad. The fact that a crash might not occur is simply beyond their comprehension. It’s pretty odd how people can be so ignorant towards possibilities. I don’t think there will be a crash per’se, but I wouldn’t laugh or disrespect anyone who thinks there is going to be one.

How magnanimous of you. Heh. Here he is whinging about one of his tennants, something he is prone to do every now and then if you read through the archives.

Which reminds me, I just refused to pay rent rise to my landlord for the second time in 6 months. Ho hum, I guess we’ll be looking at a bigger place for the same amount of money anyway come summertime. The lettings agent is practically begging now (they’ve bolloxed all the paperwork, something tells me they stand to lose a large amount of money soon).

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Posted in Dorks, Duh!, Ha-has, Opinion, Property Market, Quoteyness, Wealth Creation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Easy Way Out] Attenborough – Blame the Bible?

Posted by BHudson on February 2, 2009

In keeping with the usual antitheist precepts of misusing scripture and making vast generalisations, David Attenborough has blamed ‘many environmental problems, from the burning down of tropical rainforests to the extinction of species’ on the Bible.

Attenborough seems to think that all the world’s problems can be blamed on Genesis 1:28: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” In saying so, he shows an astounding inability to understand the tone of the Bible and a blind ignorance of most of it. He also notably misses our the next bit about dressing (serving) and keeping (preserving) it. Perhaps the blame should fall on, say the US government,  who have vetoed UN resolutions about nuclear testing (in the atmosphere and out), products harmful to the environment and the Israeli clear-up of an oil-slick caused by bombing. Oh, and releasing crop-destroying insects over Cuba in 1996. But never mind – why let the weight of evidence get in the way of a rant?

As Catherine Pepinster of the Tablet wrote in the Independent, he gets the sense of ‘dominion’ wrong. Like the feudal oaths of the Middle Ages, there’s more than one side to the bargain. Yes, God gives us control over the Earth. But it is done with the requirement that we are good stewards.

Bearing in mind I did this in Year 10 RS, Attenborough is making a pretty big oversight in claiming that Christians think the world is ours to destroy. See Leviticus 25:1-5 “The LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: `When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the LORD. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5 Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.”

If God intended us to use the world unwisely and profligately, then why would he care about the death of a mere sparrow (Matthew 10:29).

At the end of the day, religion is an easy thing to blame for everything. But the bottom line is that religion doesn’t cause harm. People do.

Posted in Opinion, Quoteyness, Religion & Science | Leave a Comment »

[Detux] 2 Years of Ubuntu

Posted by Lex Fear on January 30, 2009

It’s almost 2 years since I freed myself of Microsoft’s propriety OS and I’ve even converted my wife (though she occasionally falls back onto MS Office when OpenOffice just doesn’t quite do it the way she wants).

I’m still using Ubuntu, despite playing with other distros, I’ve found myself coming back just because of the great support forums and hardware support. I use Red Hat Linux at work and on a VM, but with my home PCs I just want it to work out of the box as much as possible, I don’t want to spend time installing wireless drivers or tweaking xorg.conf – I think this is the success of Ubuntu.

My desktop PC is now running Ubuntu Ultimate Edition, after running Linux Mint for a few months. My Ubuntu installation was crashing every time I plugged in an external drive, Mint performed better but even after upgrading my PSU I had the ocassional crash. Ultimate Edition seems to have cured it and had no problems when I added a 500gb internal drive.
Ultimate Edition also has some wicked themes and pretty much all the software you’ll need pre-installed. So the lesson is, if you distro isn’t quite working, try out a derivative or another one entirely. Some are more stable due to later upgrades.

Anytime I have to log into a Windows machine I am reminded of why I switched and no matter how bad problems can get with Linux, all I need is to boot into my Windows partition to remember how bad things really could be!

The lastest Ubuntu distro now comes with a handy USB Live Disc creator which came in handy when I wanted to replace the old, outdated default Windows XP Home Edition on my new Samsung NC10. For anyone that has an NC10 and wants to put freedom on it, this blog was a lifesaver – read before you start, there are a few customisations needed after install.

The NC10 has an 89% full size keyboard which I’m using right now, so it’s not difficult to type on. It has 1gb ram, Atom processor and 160gb hard drive, the spec is so good I’m using it instead of my work laptop – even running VMware player.

It’s light weight and 6 hours battery life means I can use it on the tube or long car journeys. I occasionally download and read graphic novels with Comix or Okular, it’s just the right size to rotate the book 90º and hold the netbook lengthways like the way books are supposed to be read. I even found a neat little script to rotate pages of pdf files automatically using pdftk.

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Posted in Free as in Speech, Open Source, Opinion, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Politics] Agorism – an Introduction

Posted by BHudson on January 24, 2009

Foreword – This is an introduction to the political theory of agorism, which Lex has kindly allowed me to talk about here. I hope you find it thought-provoking and interesting. Sorry it’s so long (but I think it’s worth it).

***

A (Fairly Brief) Introduction to Agorism

‘Just once, wouldn’t you like to read a manifesto that’s been practiced before it’s preached? I wanted to. And I did it.’ – Samuel Edward Konkin III, Preface to the First Edition of the New Libertarian Manifesto.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Disobedience, Opinion, Propaganda, Takeback, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »