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August 24, 2009
Earlier models of the wired taser, above, delivered a five-second shock. The XREP projectile can deliver a 20-second, 500 volt blow. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA
A new Taser that fires wireless electric shock projectiles up to 30 metres is being considered for use by UK police forces, the Home Office has confirmed.
The eXtended Range Electronic Projectile (XREP), which went on sale in the US last month, attaches itself to its target with a series of barbed electrodes and delivers a 20-second, 500 volt shock.
If the subject tries to grab the device to pull it off, “reflex engagement electrodes” activate to complete a circuit that sends the shock through the subject’s body out to their hand.
The makers of the XREP, Taser International, say it is a “revolutionary” step that will allow police to safely immobilise potentially dangerous suspects from a much greater distance than before – the traditional hand-held Taser stun guns used in the UK only fired darts up to 25 feet – and then give them time to reach the target before he or she is able to move again. Previous Tasers have only delivered a five-second shock, which could be retriggered.
August 6, 2009
A grieving mother in Britain was fined $173 for spending too long at her son’s coffin before it was taken away for cremation.
Terrie Rouse, 32, said her grief turned to shock when officials told her she had taken too long to say goodbye, The Daily Mail reported.
“The vicar had asked if I would like to spend a bit more time saying goodbye,” she said. “I sat by the coffin for 10 minutes, telling my son how much we loved him and begging him not to be scared.”
Officials at the crematorium, run by a local English council, impose an extra charge if any funeral runs over its 30-minute slot.
However, the couple’s funeral directors said there was plenty of time for the next funeral which was not due to take place for another 50 minutes.
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, August 3, 2009
The UK government is about to spend $700 million dollars installing surveillance cameras inside the private homes of citizens to ensure that children go to bed on time, attend school and eat proper meals.
No you aren’t reading a passage from George Orwell’s 1984 or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, this is Britain in 2009, a country which already has more surveillance cameras watching its population than the whole of Europe put together.
Now the government is embarking on a scheme called “Family Intervention Projects” which will literally create a nanny state on steroids, with social services goons and private security guards given the authority to make regular “home checks” to ensure parents are raising their children correctly.
Telescreens will also be installed so government spies can keep an eye on whether parents are mistreating kids and whether the kids are fulfilling their obligations under a pre-signed contract.
Around 2,000 families have been targeted by this program so far and the government wants to snare 20,000 more within the next two years. The tab will be picked up by the taxpayer, with the “interventions” being funded through local council authorities.
Another key aspect of the program will see parents deemed “responsible” by the government handed the power to denounce and report bad parents who allow their children to engage in bad behavior. Such families will then be targeted for “interventions”.
Both parents and children will also be forced to sign a “behavior contract” with the government known as Home School Agreements before the start of every year, in which the state will dictate obligations that it expects to be met.
The opposition Conservative Party, who are clear favorites to win the next British election, commented that the program does not go far enough and is “too little, too late.”
Respondents to a Daily Express article about the new program expressed their shock at the totalitarian implications of what is unfolding in the United Kingdom under the guise of social services initiatives.
“Sorry, but what the hell? Why are people not up in arms about this?,” writes one, “This is a complete invasion of privacy, and it totally ignores the fact that the state does NOT own kids. It’s not up to them how parents choose to raise their children, as long as the parents do not actively harm them. Why on earth aren’t the public rioting? It’s completely anathema to basic British freedoms.”
“Excuse me!?! What an incredible intrusion into the privacy of a family! George Orwell must be spinning in his grave right now,” writes another.
“I have one comment to make: it completely violates Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Human Rights Act 1998). Has this minister and his lackies even done any basic homework on basic human rights and civil liberties? Or rather they’ve just decided to completely ignore them,” adds another.
The move to install surveillance cameras inside private homes is also on the agenda across the pond. In February 2006, Houston Chief of Police Harold Hurtt said cameras should be placed inside apartments and homes in order to “fight crime” due to there being a shortage of police officers.
“I know a lot of people are concerned about Big Brother, but my response to that is, if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?” Chief Hurtt told reporters.
Andy Teas with the Houston Apartment Association supported the proposal, saying privacy concerns would take a back seat to many people who would, “appreciate the thought of extra eyes looking out for them.”
If such programs come to fruition and are implemented on a mass scale then the full scope of George Orwell’s depiction of a totalitarian society is his classic novel 1984 will have been realized.
The following passage is from Orwell’s 1984;
The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.
The National DNA database in the UK currently holds information on five percent of the population, proportionally ten times bigger than its US equivalent, and there are no signs of it being discontinued any time soon.
It was created in 1995 as a crime-fighting tool, and has never been far from controversy. This intensified in 2004, when a law was passed allowing the DNA of innocent people to be retained by the police.
Now, anyone who is simply arrested (and not necessarily cautioned or convicted) has their genetic code entered into the database.
In December, it was ruled that this contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights, but still the database keeps growing.
“We think the DNA database is really out of control,” Helen Wallace, the director of GeneWatch UK, told RT.
“It was set up to keep the DNA of convicted criminals, but now it contains about five million people’s profiles, about a million of whom may well be innocent and many of whom are children.”
Research has shown that the database is racially biased. Three out of every four young black men have their genetic DNA code stored, suggesting the police arrest far more black people than white, even though statistics say whites have a higher rate of offending. Matilda MacAttram, the director of Black Mental Health, argues this effectively criminalizes an entire community.
“Statistically, the genetic heritage of every black citizen in the UK is on a criminal database, even though this group doesn’t have a higher propensity to commit a crime,” she said.
“And in this country, which is held up as a bastion for civil liberties and human rights, one is innocent until proven guilty by a court of law, and until the law changes, that’s what the police who are supposed to be upholding the law should adhere to.”
The organization Black Mental Health UK hopes a change of government at parliamentary elections (which must take place by June next year) will bring about a change in policy concerning the national database.
Opposition parties support the system that currently exists in Scotland where the law on genetic information storage is different from the rest of Britain. There, DNA is collected on arrest, but automatically deleted from files in the vast majority of cases if no charges are brought.
“We need a different system. We need a system where the reality is if you are arrested for an offence and you’re cleared, that your samples are cleared off the system,” David Burrowes, the Shadow Justice Minister pointed out.
“But only in particular circumstances such as those who are charged with serious violence or sexual offenses should they have their samples kept for a period of up to five years, as happens in Scotland,” he added.
In the meantime, the database continues to grow, and introducing the Scottish system isn’t even under discussion by the ruling Labour party.
Despite a decision by the European Court of Human Rights that retaining innocent people’s DNA is illegal, the police are still adding 400,000 profiles to the database every month.
In August, a consultation on the future of the database will be held, but police chiefs at Scotland Yard and the Home Office, responsible for British internal security, still proposes keeping the DNA of innocent people for up to 12 years
San Francisco Chronicle
July 14, 2009
It’s hard to argue that “an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away”, but is it something we should tell our kids? Well that’s what the National Health Service in the UK is doing according to the Times Online. What vexes me is why tell kids this and not adults? Moreover, why can’t the U.S surgeon general say that to adults in America?
Well, back to the Brits first.
Everything about this campaign to promote delayed sexual activity in kids is questionable but one has to applaud the British government for at least trying to take the stigma out of nookie, something they’ve been working at since at least 2007, when a national conference about “pleasure principals” was held. Still, consider that the title of the document reportedly given to kids is called “Pleasure”. Pleasure. An item of literature given to kids is called “Pleasure” and its about sex? Yikes.
tenpoundhammer is discussing. Toggle Comments
July 14, 2009
The denial-of-service attacks launched on Web sites in South Korea and the United States earlier this month appear to have come from a master server in the United Kingdom, according to security researchers in Vietnam.
The master server controls all of the eight command and control servers involved in the series of distributed denial-of-service attacks that started on the July 4 weekend, security firm Bkis said in a blog posting on its Web site on Monday. Bkis said it gained control of two of the servers.
The Vietnamese firm estimated the number of compromised PCs involved in the attacks to be around 167,000 in 74 countries.
Paul Joseph Watson
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The trial balloon went up today on the UK government’s efforts to impose a mass mandatory vaccination program against swine flu, but judging from the response on a major newspaper website, millions of British citizens will tell the goons with needles to stick it where the sun don’t shine.
Sky News reports today that, “The entire population could be vaccinated against swine flu as health chiefs draw up plans to build a nationwide immunity to the disease.”
According to health authorities, they plan to have 60 million plus UK citizens vaccinated by this time next year, despite the fact that only one healthy person has died from swine flu in Britain.
The resounding response to the government’s efforts to prepare everyone to accept the shot is a vehement, “I don’t think so!”
Respondents to a London Times article concerning the fact that the vaccine will be rushed through safety procedures in just five days, increasing the chances of it causing deaths and injuries in the thousands, as happened with the 1977 mass vaccination program in the U.S. which killed more people than the actual swine flu virus, overwhelmingly indicated that they would refuse to take the shot.
“Nobody’s coming anywhere near me or my family with their experimental mass vaccine/poison programme,” wrote one. “We will take our chances of catching their manufactured bird/pig/human virus, that was accidentally on purpose! released onto an unsuspecting public in the first place!”
“Anybody who reads this obviously still has the ability to reason and be guided by their own survival instinct and thus should listen to it. The mass fear mongering is a worldwide, co-ordinated and open conspiracy with massive geo political underpinnings. Don’t be fooled, eat properly and exercise,” adds another.
“A vaccine that is – effectively – being tested on the population, the prime reasons for such being the economy and easing pressure on the NHS? I’ll be another one who passes,” comments another.
“Thanks but no thanks. Rushed through tests in 5 days? What about long term effects? Vioxx and Thalidomide had long testing. How safe did they turn out to be? The side effects of Statins that they want everyone to take are worrying. I’ll take my chances with cholesterol,” writes another.
In fact, nearly every one of the respondents to the article so far clearly states that they will refuse to take the shot.
What will the government do when millions of people refuse to take the vaccine? Will they forcibly inject people at gunpoint as health authorities in the U.S. seem to think is constitutional and the right thing to do?
Would you take a vaccine made by a company that got caught contaminating its product with live avian flu virus?
Would you, as an American citizen, take a vaccine from a government that counts amongst its chief scientific advisors a man who once advocated the mass sterilization of the entire U.S. population through the water supply?
I think the answer is clear, U.S. and UK governments – your goons can stick their needles up their backsides because we are not taking it!
Who Owns the World
July 7, 2009
Queen Elizabeth II, head of state of the United Kingdom and of 31 other states and territories, is the legal owner of about 6,600 million acres of land, one sixth of the earth’s non ocean surface.
She is the only person on earth who owns whole countries, and who owns countries that are not her own domestic territory. This land ownership is separate from her role as head of state and is different from other monarchies where no such claim is made – Norway, Belgium, Denmark etc.
The value of her land holding. £17,600,000,000,000 (approx).
This makes her the richest individual on earth. However, there is no way easily to value her real estate. There is no current market in the land of entire countries. At a rough estimate of $5,000 an acre, and based on the sale of Alaska to the USA by the Tsar, and of Louisiana to the USA by France, the Queen’s land holding is worth a notional $33,000,000,000,000 (Thirty three trillion dollars or about £17,600,000,000,000). Her holding is based on the laws of the countries she owns and her land title is valid in all the countries she owns. Her main holdings are Canada, the 2nd largest country on earth, with 2,467 million acres, Australia, the 7th largest country on earth with 1,900 million acres, the Papua New Guinea with114 million acres, New Zealand with 66 million acres and the UK with 60 million acres.
She is the world’s largest landowner by a significant margin. The next largest landowner is the Russian state, with an overall ownership of 4,219 million acres, and a direct ownership comparable with the Queen’s land holding of 2,447 million acres. The 3rd largest landowner is the Chinese state, which claims all of Chinese land, about 2,365 million acres. The 4th largest landowner on earth is the Federal Government of the United States, which owns about one third of the land of the USA, 760 million acres. The fifth largest landowner on earth is the King of Saudi Arabia with 553 million acres
Largest five personal landowners on Earth:
Queen Elizabeth II 6,600 million acres
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia 553 million acres
King Bhumibol of Thailand 126 million acres
King Mohammed IV of Morocco 113 million acres
Sultan Quaboos of Oman 76 million acres
Sarah Boseley and Severin Carrell
July 3, 2009
More than 100,000 people could be diagnosed with swine flu every day by the end of August, the government said, announcing that the disease can no longer be contained in the UK.
A Commons statement by the health secretary, Andy Burnham, marks a watershed in the spread of the flu. No more schools will be closed, unless forced to by the lack of staff or if the pupils are especially vulnerable. Families and people in contact with those with flu will not be given preventative antiviral drugs.
The new policy of treatment for those with diagnosed illness, rather than containment, has already begun in the hotspots – chiefly London, Birmingham and Scotland.