Friday, July 28, 2006

BBC programme on libertarianism

Haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, but readers here may find it interesting.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

BBC in T-word shock

At the top of the BBC Ten O'Clock news tonight Huw Edwards said that Al-Qaeda's Al-Zawahiri called on every Muslim to join the "terrorist cause".

Cock-up? Or does he get it? Either way, his days could be numbered.

Monday, July 24, 2006

On the air

Remember the scene in Star Wars where the image of Princess Leia is projected into thin air above a table top?

Someone seems to have developed a technology for doing just that - yours for the bargain basement price of $20,000.


Tom Paine at The Last Ditch makes an interesting point about the high recorded rate of suicide among Asian women.
More than 20 years ago, a police sergeant in Nottingham told me that officers routinely accepted Pakistani families' "ludicrous" claims that their daughter had committed suicide, when they believed that she had been murdered in an "honour killing". They did so rather than face criticism from their superiors or adverse press coverage for "racism".

My guess is that all the "additional" suicides are murders.

I think he's probably right.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Unlikely search strings

From my referrer log:

BBC Libertarian

An oxymoron if ever there was one.


Here's a natty blogging tool: CoComment automatically records all the comments threads you leave a comment on and keeps them on a central location where you can revisit them and follow the continuing conversation.

I have lost count of the number of times I've forgotten where I left a comment, so this one's going to be a real boon for me.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The House of Lords

Ministry of Truth points out some of the silly things that can happen with our unwritten constitution. Someone says something in the House of Lords. Some others think it's a good idea. Next thing you know you have a new constitutional convention.

[...]the Salisbury convention, which Blair and others in government took to citing so vociferously over the last year on every occasion that their legislation hit choppy waters in the House of Lords, rest on nothing more substantial than a single statement in Lord Salisbury’s response, as Conservative leader in the House of Lords, to the King’s Speech in 1945…
…it would be constitutionally wrong when the country has expressed its view, for this House to oppose proposals which have been definitely put before the electorate.

That, believe it or not, is the Salisbury convention in its entirety.

The Salisbury convention gives every impression of an idea that was made up without any thought. The whole point of an upper chamber is to place some sort of limits on the lower chamber - to stop populist demagogues from committing wholesale vandalism on the country. Atlee may have won a landslide in 1945 but let's face it, in the modern world in which fully 22%(?) of the electorate voted Labour, and only a tiny minority of obsessives read the manifesto, an argument that the Commons represents the will of the people is completely unsupportable. Even if Labour had 90% of the electorate behind them, that would still not absolve the Lords of their duty to stand up for the liberties of the people.

The Lords need to throw the Salisbury convention out and start doing their jobs.

Fisk on missiles

The BBC, the world's most trusted news organisation, interviewed Robert Fisk today on the situation in Lebanon. Apparently Israelis are wicked. You know this is true because Fisk is an objective observer of Middle Eastern affairs isn't he? And an expert too - he was writing about Hizb-allah missiles back in 2003:
Take the article in The New York Times by Larry Collins – joint author with Dominique Lapierre of O Jerusalem! – which last month announced that the Syrian-supported Hizbollah resistance in Lebanon had 10,000 missiles that could fly to Tel Aviv and "leave in their wake devastation more terrible than anything Israel has ever known". The missiles are a myth – I travel the roads of southern Lebanon every two weeks and there are no such missiles, as the UN force there will confirm [..].

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Feeling down?

Cheer yourself up with this: Ali G interviews Noam Chomsky.