Wed, 27 Sep 2006
There's a new collection of t-shirts
available with one word upper case and the generic URL in lower case beneath it.
New designs include a ‘This t-shirt is too warm for the season’
Wed, 20 Sep 2006
Where it is revealed that:
The Information Commissioner is aware of no evidence indicating that the MPS are inappropriately giving away DNA information to third parties or are allowing such information to be used for purposes incompatible with the police forces statutory functions.
This is not to say however that the Information Commissioner is unaware of media reports or does not respond to them when he becomes aware of things.
Tue, 19 Sep 2006
Free Unions - Unions Libres. Published July 1946 (1 issue). Dir. Simon Watson Taylor. London.
Planned as a series of texts which would summarize the surrealist position at the end of the war, Free Unions was published 2 years after its conception, due to the arrest of the editors and the seizure of the proofs - thought to be coded messages of anarchists. With its publication, English surrealism became aware of the need for unity following the dissentions of the pre-war period, in order to establish a firm basis for the future. Artistic contributors included Lucien Freud and E.L.T. Mesens.
From the Introduction:
The concept of unity has today come to imply an antithesis to that of freedom. It is this antithesis in politics, morality, art and society that denies life...
It is in our search for liberty that we, in the dark jungle of torpor, destruction and imbecility that has dug its roots into the world today, have discovered for ourselves the path cleared by surrealism in the tangled undergrowth.
(Thanks to AB for recently mentioning this story.)
Sun, 17 Sep 2006
Jewish man removed from airplane for praying
"The attendant actually recognized out loud that he wasn't a Muslim and that she was sorry for the situation but they had to ask him to leave,"
Shocking on so many levels.
See also Traveling while Asian
Wed, 13 Sep 2006
via UK Watch
Questions raised over some terror plot charges
By John Crewdson
Tribune senior correspondent
Published August 31, 2006
LONDON -- He is 17 years old, the son of a Muslim family that emigrated years ago to Britain from India. His lawyer describes him as a "steady, strong young man," which is good, because at the moment he is in a world of trouble.
Under British law his name cannot be published because of his age. But public documents attest that he is the youngest person among the 15 so far charged in what Scotland Yard calls a plot to commit "mass murder on an unimaginable scale" by blowing up airliners en route to the United States.
The teen is accused not of helping to plan the alleged attack, but of "possession of items that would be of use to terrorism." Among the items were documents the police described as "suicide notes" signed by other young men preparing to die.
"They're not suicide notes at all," retorts his lawyer, Gareth Peirce, whose application for bail was rejected Tuesday by a London judge. "They're really simple wills. To call these suicide notes was absolutely disgraceful."
The wills, Peirce adds, "all date to 1995," when her client was 6. She says they appear to have been drawn up by British Muslims going to fight alongside other Muslims in Bosnia more than a decade ago, "which was not a crime."
The charge against the youth --along with the release of five suspects and the failure so far to formally accuse five others out of 25 arrested more than three weeks ago--suggests that the British police may have erred on the side of caution in arresting individuals who knew little or nothing about the plan to blow up the airliners.
The alleged plot has been portrayed as potentially another Sept. 11 attack, or worse. Some of those who have seen the prosecution's evidence agree that several defendants seem to have been contemplating the in-flight bombings of passenger jets.
But skepticism has grown about some of the initial police claims and charges, reminding some Britons of other recent instances in which police initially overstated the seriousness of purported terrorist plots, such as the arrests two years ago of eight men suspected of planning to bomb the stadium where the famed Manchester United soccer team plays. The suspects were quickly released when the case against them evaporated.
In large part, the skepticism has been fueled by the reluctance of the police to more fully describe the evidence supporting their dire warnings that an attack had been "highly likely."
But two defense lawyers who have seen some exhibits presented by prosecutors in closed court hearings say there does appear to be solid evidence that a core group of the defendants was planning to smuggle liquid chemicals--from which a powerful but relatively unstable explosive can be made--aboard trans-Atlantic airliners.
One of the defense lawyers, who spoke on condition that he not be named because to do so would risk a citation for contempt of court, called the evidence "quite serious indeed."
Both lawyers said that they had seen no evidence linking a number of those arrested to a terrorist plot, and one lawyer termed what the police did Aug. 9-10 as "over-broad sweeps."
The documents in the youth's case, according to Peirce, were found by police in a box in the boy's mother's house, apparently left there by his since-divorced and departed father, who once operated a London charity that collected clothing and medicine for Bosnian Muslims.
The box, Peirce said, also contained another of the items listed in the charge against her client, a crude map of Afghanistan--drawn years ago, Peirce says, by the boy's younger brother: "It's a child's map!"
A third item mentioned by police, recovered from the same box, is a book investigators say contains instructions for building bombs. Peirce says the book is filled with drawings of electrical circuits that might contain information useful in building a bomb, although not the kind of bomb the defendants are suspected of having tried to make.
"He saw a book that had diagrams," Peirce says. "He said it looked like the textbooks at school. What I said in court was this charge can only have been brought by people who are seeing things through spectacles that say `terrorism,'" Peirce said after the bail hearing.
The 17-year-old's only connection to the alleged plot, Peirce maintains, is that some of the other suspects in the case worked for his father's now-defunct charity, which she identified as Islamic Medical Aid.
Questions also have been raised about charges against Umair and Mehran Hussain, two university-educated brothers in their early 20s who lived in the heavily Pakistani-Muslim Walthamstow area of northeast London, where eight of the defendants grew up.
Their father, Fazal Hussain, who labored in a shoe factory to put his sons through college, was described by a family friend as "devastated" by the arrests.
Umair and Mehran Hussain are both charged with a single count of withholding from police information pertaining to a possible terrorist act, a far less serious offense than conspiracy to commit murder and terrorism, of which 11 of their fellow defendants have been accused.
Will allegedly withheld
The information allegedly withheld, according to one source who has seen the prosecutors' evidence, is a Muslim will signed "nearly a year ago" by a third brother, Nabeel Hussain, who was charged Tuesday with conspiracy to commit terrorism and murder.
Umair and Mehran Hussain are not accused of participating in or even knowing about the alleged bombing plot, the source said, only of having failed to tell the police about Nabeel's will.
The prosecution's contention that the will relates to terrorism, this person said, hinges on a quotation it includes from the Koran. Nabeel's lawyers are said to have assembled Koranic scholars who will testify that the quotation has nothing to do with terrorism.
Muslims say there is no ideological significance attached to the making of an Islamic will.
The full range of evidence in the case is not likely to become public unless there is a trial, something lawyers say could be two years away.
Cressida Dick is among the four applicants selected by the MPA for appointment
to the rank of Deputy Assistant Commissioner. Cressida Dick was in charge of the operation
that led to de Menezes being shot seven times in the head after he was mistaken for a suspected suicide bomber.
A panel of five MPA members interviewed the officers with Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, acting as police advisor. Catherine Crawford, Clerk to the Authority, was also in attendance.
MPA Chair Len Duvall, who led the interview panel, said:
"Clearly there are some sensitive and unprecedented circumstances involved. Candidates were chosen on the basis of their application and ability. The MPA would not prejudice an officer's fair promotion prospects by making assumptions about future disciplinary action. Officers will not be posted into new posts until outstanding issues are resolved."
"The MPA has 23 members who scrutinise
and support the work of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)".
Are all 23 members supporting the decision of this 5 member panel? If not will they resign on this issue?
Mon, 11 Sep 2006
I just discovered via Statewatch
a superb March 2005 article by solicitor Gareth Peirce. Go read it.
Without protection for the individuals who make up society, society itself founders. Nor is there a balance to be struck between the rights of individuals and national security: national security depends upon every individual in this country having inalienable rights
Reference to this article added.
If you're receiving spam from my domain name gizmonaut.net, know that it has nothing to do with me or my domain. I'm currently receiving tens of thousands of email returned to tens of different email addresses at gizmonaut.net
I am a victim of this spamming as much if not more than you.
several hours later, received about sixty thousand spam email messages. My ISP disabled my .procmailrc as I presume it was taxing their server too much deadling with all this spam. As soon as I realised the problem, luckily early on, I created a recipe whitelisting the few email addresses I've used on this domain and saving all other messages to a spam folder. A bit later I moved this recipe towards the top of .procmailrc. It may not have been enough. I kept the spam in case it may be useful to the ISP but I have no intention to go through 60 K of spam. I'd be happy if my .procmailrc is reactivated with this rule moving the spams to /dev/null instead. I did a few other changes to how my mail is delivered and hopefully won't lose any good email.
Fri, 01 Sep 2006
The Institute of Race Relations is organising a conference titled "Racism, liberty and the war on terror" in London on Saturday 16 September. The program has several interesting sessions:
Morning panel discussions
Afternoon panel discussions
- The impact of anti-terror powers in the UK, with Fahad Ansari (Islamic Human Rights Commission), Liz Fekete (IRR), Anne Gray (CAMPACC), Saghir Hussein (Stop Political Terror)
- The attack on multiculturalism, with Arun Kundnani (IRR), Lord Ouseley (author of Community Pride Not Prejudice report), A. Sivanandan (director, IRR), Salma Yaqoob (councillor, Birmingham Sparkbrook)
- Detention and incarceration, with Dr Frank Arnold (Medical Justice Network), Harmit Athwal (IRR), Deborah Coles (Inquest), Daniel Machover (human rights lawyer)
- Combating racial violence, with Shobha Das (Support Against Racial Incidents), Beena Faridi (Islamic Human Rights Commission), David Renton (author), Jenny Bourne (IRR)
- Civil liberties: the racial dimension, with Louise Christian (human rights lawyer), Arun Kundnani (IRR), Asad Rehman (Newham Monitoring Project)
- Liberty and the global war on terror, with Naima Bouteldja (journalist), Victoria Brittain (journalist and author), Tony Bunyan (director, Statewatch), David Rose (journalist and author)
- Campaigning against deportations, with Liz Fekete (IRR), Emma Ginn (anti-deportations campaigner), Daniel Sukula (Sukula Family Must Stay), Harris Nyatsanza (Zimbabwean human rights activist)
- Defending international conventions, Nadine Finch (barrister), Hsiao Hung-Pai (journalist), Tauhid Pasha (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants), Frances Webber (barrister)
More info at http://www.irr.org.uk/conference2006/