Saturday, 14 February 2009

Inherit the wind

Last Thursday was the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, who contributed the single most powerful theory that shaped our understanding of who we are and where we come from. This November, it will be 150 years ago when On the Origin of Species was published. Those who still harbour religious beliefs are incorrigeable fools, and that's official now.

Before anyone objects that evolution must not be equated to atheism, it should be pointed out that the suggestion that evolution implies atheism originally stems from religious circles. If for no other reason than the spectacular acting, highly recommended is: Inherit the wind, the 1960 film related to the Scopes Monkey Trial, with Spencer Tracy and Fredric March.

Modern Liberty

Let the convention on Modern Liberty at 28th Feb 2009 be a turning point after a decade of unbridled erosion of civil liberties by New Labour. Some of the keynote speakers are strange bedfellows, such as David Davis, whose motives in the context of the rejected 42-day detention legislation seemed to be about electoral opportunism more than anything else, and Shami Chakrabarti, who has done so much for freedom of religion at the expense of freedom of expression and freedom from religion. Let us hope that ideological differences between the various participants of the conference will be set aside in favour of effective opposition to the government's totalitarian aspirations, and its ever growing disregard for democracy, justice, common sense, scientific evidence, in short a disregard for any but their own petty-minded, deluded thoughts.

Microsoft doublespeak

Microsoft bounty for worm creator (BBC News, Friday, 13 February 2009)

The software giant is offering the cash reward because it views the Conficker worm as a criminal attack.

A similar fallacious reasoning underlies the claim "Guns don't kill people, people do", as often used by the NRA.

"People who write this malware have to be held accountable," said George Stathakopulos, of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group.

Who holds Microsoft accountable for their crappy software? If some dunce decides to use Vista in his company and productivity suffers because of one of Microsoft's bugs, can he claim damages? (Needless to say: of course not!)

He told BBC News the company was "not prepared to sit back and let this kind of activity go unchecked".

Then make sure there are no more blatant security leaks in your software, you morons!

"Our message is very clear - whoever wrote this caused significant pain to our customers and we are sending a message that we will do everything we can to help with your arrest," said Mr Stathakopulos.

Microsoft causes significant pain to its customers.

The Conficker worm is a self-replicating program that takes advantage of networks or computers that have not kept up to date with Windows security patches.

The Conficker worm is a self-replicating program that takes advantage of Windows.

In 2003 Microsoft created its reward programme with $5m (£3.4m) in funding to help law enforcement agencies bring computer virus and worm authors to justice.

Is there any money left for quality assurance? Does Microsoft do quality assurance?

"We have not seen this type of worm or one of its class since 2004," said Mr Stathakopulos.

Computer worms were unknown to science before 2004, and had never attacked a Microsoft OS before, so they couldn't have foreseen any of this and couldn't have taken precautions earlier. Right. Pull the other one.

Bunch of incompetent wankers!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Dutch protest Britain's ban of right-wing lawmaker

Dutch protest Britain's ban of right-wing lawmaker (Yahoo News, Tue Feb 10, 2009)
Wilders said the embassy letter informed him he was being refused entry because his views "threaten community harmony and therefore public security" in Britain. [Full letter here.]

'Community harmony'? What 'Community harmony'? The community harmony of putting innocent Muslims in jail or shooting them in the shoulder? The community harmony of shooting alleged Muslims in the head (seven times, with hollow-point bullets)? The community harmony that improved so much after we started the illegal war in Iraq, which has been interpreted by almost the entire Muslim world as directed against them?

We shan't blame the Dutch if in retaliation they declare David Miliband and his fellow buffoons persona non grata. In fact, we should do that. I'm sure there is some banana republic somewhere where they'd fit in nicely.

By the way, Geert Wilders' crime seems to be that of suggesting there is a link between Islam and Islamic terrorism. See also:

HENTOFF: The cost of criticizing jihadists (The Washington Times, Monday, February 9, 2009)


Banned from Britain, Dutch campaigner against Islam (Independent, Wednesday, 11 February 2009)
Last night, the Home Office refused to comment on Mr Wilders' case. But a spokesman said: "The Government opposes extremism in all forms. It will stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country.

English 'bishop' Richard Williamson is certainly extreme in his denial of the Holocaust. Will his entry into the UK henceforth be denied? Some called the atheist bendy-bus campaign extreme. Will foreigners who donated to it be kicked out now? I happen to extremely dislike the Labour government and find freedom of expression extremely important. Will I be sent to jail for this?


Apropos "community harmony", basically the same rhetoric has been used to justify the arrest of an editor in India who published an article by Johann Hari:

Johann Hari: Despite these riots, I stand by what I wrote (Independent, Friday, 13 February 2009)
They said I had upset "the harmony" of India, and it could only be restored by my arrest. But this is a lop-sided vision of "harmony". It would mean that religious fundamentalists are free to say whatever they want – and the rest of us have to shut up and agree.

Well put. More by Johann Hari in:

One Law For All - No Sharia (YouTube)

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Clarkson apologises for PM remark

Clarkson apologises for PM remark (BBC News, Saturday, 7 February 2009)

Of the 625 words this article devotes to utterances by two-eyed English idiot Jeremy Clarkson, only 22 are related to his claim that our PM is lying. Apparently, there is so much consensus on this matter that further discussion is futile. In an alleged democracy, it is a very sad state of affairs indeed if one can take for granted that statements coming from the highest political office are less than truthful.

As in the case of the Golliwog affair, while we are arguing about semantics and double entendre, we are not talking about the issues. We are not talking about the economy and whether we can trust our glorious leader to steer us through difficult times. Neither are we talking about dormant and not so dormant racist and xenophobic tendencies in our society that go well beyond choice of words.

Monday, 2 February 2009


Nuclear workers join strikes wave (BBC News, Monday, 2 February 2009)

"So an Italian took your job. Why don't you try to find a job in Italy then?"

"Er, you mean, you mean, I would have to learn a foreign language?!"

See also:

UK foreign language teaching hits all-time low (Register, 12th June 2007)

Support Scots language in our schools, ministers told (Scotsman, 28 January 2009)

Welsh language legal bid starts (BBC News, Monday, 2 February 2009)

BBC pumps 60 quid a head into Gaelic (Register, 2nd February 2009)

Should we fear that the French, Germans and Spanish will start protesting against the 290,000 UK citizens currently working on the continent? I wouldn't lose sleep over it.


Foreign labour strikes spread to Sellafield (Guardian, Tuesday 3 February 2009)
Unite official Kenny Ward told the crowd: "Over the last week your heroic actions here have inspired thousands in our county, hundreds of thousands in our country and millions across the globe.
"Hundreds of thousand in our country"? Not unlikely. About that many voted BNP at recent elections. "Millions across the globe"? Well, perhaps there is like-mindedness among authorities in Lucca and Milan:

Italy bans kebabs and foreign food from cities (Times, January 31, 2009)