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DOCUMENTS leaked by US techy spook Edward Snowden show us that the US government is able to access details of smartphone and internet activity under a scheme called Prism. The allegation is that the US intelligence agencies have an open line to Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Skype and Apple. They also record all of your phone calls. The Guardian reprots that the UK’s electronic surveillance agency, GCHQ, has access to the data. This might explain why the taxes for so many big Internet firm are so low. The elite want to keep paying foreign companies for data on British citizens off the books.
What does it all mean, though? We’ve picked out the best opinions on the news:
Perhaps this is just the way it is in the panopticon state. Tocqueville foresaw this, as he did most things. Although absolute monarchy “clothed kings with a power almost without limits” in practice “the details of social life and of individual existence ordinarily escaped his control.” What would happen, Tocqueville wondered, if administrative capability were to evolve to bring “the details of social life and of individual existence” within the King’s oversight? Eric Holder and Lois Lerner now have that power. My comrade John Podhoretz, doughty warrior of the New York Post, says relax, there’s nothing to worry about. But how do I know he’s not just saying that because Eric Holder’s monitoring his OnStar account and knows that when he lost his car keys last Tuesday he was in the parking lot of Madam Whiplash’s Bondage Dungeon?
When the state has the power to know everything about everyone, the integrity of the civil service is the only bulwark against men like Holder. Instead, the ruling party and the non-partisan bureaucracy seem to be converging. In August 2010, President Obama began railing publicly against “groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity” (August 9th, a speech in Texas) and “shadowy groups with harmless-sounding names” (August 21st, radio address). And whaddayaknow, that self-same month the IRS obligingly issued its first BOLO (Be On the Look-Out) for groups with harmless-sounding names, like “tea party,” “patriot,” and “constitution.”
It may be that the strange synchronicity between the president and the permanent bureaucracy is mere happenstance and not, as it might sound to the casual ear, the sinister merging of party and state. Either way, they need to be pried apart. When the state has the capability to know everything except the difference between right and wrong, it won’t end well.
FEMEN, the Ukrainian feminist action group are nothing if they are not being arrested. The routine is simple: FEMEN arrive at the public place, take off their tops to reveal bare nipples and chest slogans to the watching photographers before being arrested by police.
Most eyes, of course, are on the topless women. But we’ve noticed that the arresting police are caught between having a peek and looking bemused, scared or officious.
In 1989 The Stone Roses Ian Brown and John Squire were interviewed by Music Box – it was brilliantly awful
IN 1989, Ian Brown and John Squire of The Stone Roses were interviewed for Music Box. It was awkward. The interviewer comes across like a therapist or headteacher talking to naughty teenagers. Brown smiles warmly:
LOVE is… Donald Featherstone and his wife Nancy have been wearing matching outfits for the past 35 years.
HUXLEY vs. Orwell: the comic, by Stuart McMillen adapts Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death argument that Aldous Huxley’s vision of the future in Brave New World was more prescient than George Orwell in 1984:
THE protest against the Turkish Government’s actions in Taksim Square, Istanbul, have not been without humour. But away from the placards and the often amusing graffiti, there is much evidence of police brutality. When we look at the photographs of unarmed and peaceful Turks being hit by water cannon and pepper sprayed straight in the face by uniformed goons we feel outrage. This is not law and order. This is brutal thuggery sanctioned by the State. But the British Government is doing nothing to help the protestors. The protestors are not the Muslim Brotherhood or jihadis looking to rule by fear. It’s not Egypt or Syria. These protestors are non-religious champions of democracy standing in the face of an Islamacist assault on their liberty. They need our help:
THE Exxxotica Expo, is the biggest sex show in the USA. It’s also where the fans get meet the object of their fantasies. And it’s watching the fans that make the trip worthwhile. What do you do when you meet a stranger you lust after? Let’s see:
These photos are used under fair use. If you want us to remove them, we will.
TURKEY is rocking. People are challenging the ruling Islamist-leaning Justice and Development Party (AKP). The authorities wanted to build on the green Gezi Park in Taksim Square, Istanbul. Plans featured a shopping mall and a mosque. A few protestors moved to occupy the site. Police hit them with tear gas, pepper spray and water cannon. The police overreaction was met with fury.
Days earlier the Government had banned the late-night sale of booze. Many fear Turkey tuning into a harder-line Islamic state. Taksim Square would be the place to take a stand against authority.
In the ensuing violence, two people are dead. Hundreds have been arrested. Thousands have been hurt..
But the protests have not been without humour. We’ve got pictures of some of the best and worst graffiti and slogans. And a few interesting hats.
Don’t just protest. Laugh at the bastards.
HOW did the Sun report on Emma West, the woman who became YouTube’s Tram Lady on account of her racist rant on New Addington public transport? At the time of her vile rant we commented that she looked not all that well. It turns that that she isn’t.
Emma West will pay for her crime. She will not be raped and murdered as many on Twitter wanted.
Remi Ogunfowora, prosecuting, told Croydon Crown Court of a May 15, 2013, attack on her partner Ricky Metson:
“Mr Metson put his hands up in front of him to protect himself and told her to calm down. She said she was going to call her mum and ran upstairs and Mr Metson followed. As he entered the room she picked up an ornamental knife from its sheath, struck him in the head and started slashing at his body. He slapped her around the face in self-defence to try and calm her down and went downstairs. She followed him down the stairs and stabbed him in the back at least twice. She tried to run out the house and he stopped her leaving and called the police… Mr Metson suffered two puncture wounds on his back and various slash and scratch wounds over his stomach, head, back of his neck, arms and legs. When officers tried to arrest Miss West she started to kick them.”
She sounds dangerously unstable.
The Croydon Guardian reports:
Mr Metson is standing by West after her attack on him, and was with her at court on Monday.
This is Croydon adds:
Right wing groups such as the National Front and British National Party had adopted her cause after she was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence in November 2011. West’s barrister said their support – including sending her flowers and cheques – had “greatly distressed” his client and led her try and take her own life.
Her deteriorating mental health led to concerns for her safety and that of her family, fears which were realised last month when she stabbed her husband Ricky Metson with a knife – while on bail – after he intervened in her latest attempt to self-harm. Mr Metson suffered superficial injuries after incident at their home in Grenville Road, New Addington, on May 15.
West, who has suffered from depression since she was 18, was admitted to a psychiatric ward in Foxley Lane, Purley, in September 2011. Following her release she had been receiving support at the Tamworth Road Resource Centre, in West Croydon. It was as West returned from one of these sessions with her four-year-old son that racially abused passengers in a packed tram.
Croydon Crown Court has previously heard that West, a former dental receptionist, had taken a double dose of her medication at the time of the incident, which is believed to have occurred on October 18 last year.
None of that excuses her behaviour. But it might make us more compassionate towards her. Mental illness is nothing to mock.
But this is what the Sun said:
A MUM whose racist rant on a tram horrified millions on YouTube has finally admitted her guilt – as it is revealed she also stabbed her husband and attacked a cop.
Emma West, 34, a former dental nurse from Croydon, pleaded guilty last month to stabbing and slashing her husband Ricky Metson and assaulting a police officer. On Monday she also pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence when she appeared at Croydon Crown Court – 18 MONTHS after the incident. More than 2.2million people
The Sun makes no mention of her mental health. It does not say that the wounds she inflicted were superficial and that her partner of 12 years is supporting her. It does not say that she was suicidal and suffers from depression, a hideous and misunderstood condition.
On the same day as West was pleading guilty to to hurling racist abuse, Virginia Wheeler was not in Southwark Crown Court to answer charges of phone hacking.
The Crown dropped its case against Virginia Wheeler, 34, who, allegedly, acted as a contact at the Sun for a crooked police officer with secrets to sell. Her prosecution was deemed not to be in the public interest for medical reasons.
James Wood, QC, for Ms Wheeler, said: “Had it not been for these matters, I would like to put on the record that Ms Wheeler would have vigorously contested these proceedings.”
You see, mental health is a big issue. When an alleged criminal is mentally ill, the State is not insensitive towards them. The Sun, on the other hand, monsters the sufferer. Unless they work in the same building, that is, in which case they get total privacy, good lawyers and care…
SO. You saw someone with a face tattoo and thought they looked great. Hey, if Ryan Gosling, the swooniest Hollywood star has one, why not you?
Gosling got his face decorated with a dagger dripping blood. He felt it would help him get into character for a film part. He then reviewed his decision:
“I felt a lot of shame for having gone too far and for making a decision that was careless… I was so ashamed that that shame lived with me on set, as I had to wear that stuff around.”
Still want one? We’ve combed the web for examples of face tattoos.
NEWS that Everton Football Club™ has decided to modernise its historic badge, and in the process jettison its famous Latin motto, has caused not altogether unpredictable outrage among the Goodison Faithful ™.
The motto in question translates as ‘Nothing but the best’, so the timing of its retirement is unfortunate, coinciding as it does with a period of uncertainty following the departure of the ‘Moysiah’ to Old Trafford.
All of which begs the question of whether some other long-established club mottos and slogans are fit for purpose in the modern game. A select few still favour the classical Latin, so we will consider them first.
LORD Hylton, a parliamentary crossbencher is upset that homosexuals “stole” the word gay. Says he to the House of Lords:
“I regret very much that the fine old English and French word ‘gay’ has, in my lifetime, been appropriated by a small but vocal minority of the population.”
WHY would Israeli female soldiers pose for photos in their underwear and then post the pics on Facebook? The IDF says the women have been disciplined. How? We don’t know. But wagt6 odd the women get sent to the Gaza Strip (geddit?!)