Privacy vs. The right to know

It’s a contentious issue, these gagging orders. Apparently some witless footballer (No names, no injunctions; but everybody knows who the idiot is) who couldn’t keep his trousers zipped up and had an extra marital affair, is taking legal action against Twitter. Now this guy didn’t come to court with ‘clean hands’ as Raedwald so pithily observes, yet said ‘sports personality’ is taking a metaphorical dive outside the penalty box and yelling “foul!”, even though he committed the first bad tackle with his tackle. I suppose we owe him a grudging gift of thanks, because without his lawyers heavy handed tactics, maybe his story wouldn’t be breaking so hard it’s shattering, and likewise a number of other illiberal gagging orders.

See Sky news discussion below.

Now the courts might try and identify the person who blew the lid off the super injunction scandal on Twitter, but I have the feeling they might just get the following response;

BTW: For those interested in the super injunction preventing Ex Model and Trainer Vicky Haigh currently in Ireland hiding from UK Social Services who apparently want to take her new born baby, she has her own WordPress blog. She links to a number of other blogs telling similar, untold stories. Dispiriting reading for those who believe in freedom and the rights of the individual.

It all just begs the question; Just what on Earth are the courts up to in the UK? Never mind the Internet being ‘out of control’, in the words of one Judge. At least the Internet doesn’t threaten anyone with incarceration for speaking out against injustice.


Grímsvötn erupts

Grimsvotn eruption tremor map screengrab

Spotted in advance by Jon Frimann over at his blog. He flagged up the tremor harmonics in advance of the Icelandic Met Office confirmation. Well spotted that man.

Ash plume has been confirmed at 2-3000 Metres and rising, although Grímsvötn has a history of short lived eruptions, the last one to get through the ice was in 2004. Constantly updated details, and perhaps webcams can be found via the excellent ‘Eruptions’ blog. Icelandic air traffic is being disrupted, although the plume seems to be heading North on the satellite images available. The plume is also said to be not likely to interrupt European air traffic like the April 2010 eruption of Mt Unpronounceable.

Volcano and seismic links will have their own sidebar shortly.

End of the world countdown

Now this is was supposed to be a running post. Based on the prediction that today is the end of the world, or rather the beginning of the end. At 6pm PST, we are told, the first massive Earthquake will hit here on the Wet Coast, and work it’s way round the time zones. Prior to that at 6am around the world, followers of a particular religious proselytiser will be eagerly awaiting the Nirvana express and their feel their earthly shells drift up into the air to then watch the rest of us poor zeebs catch it in the neck. Superior bastards.

Now according to prediction, the true believers will have started to drift off in New Zealand at 6am Local time May 21st. Hold on a minute! It’s already the early hours of the Morning on Sunday the 22nd of May over there. No rapture reports. Oops.


Prediction FAIL

The only reasonable conclusion to draw here is that God doesn’t do apocalypses. Religions and cults do because it gives their believers something to look forward to, if looking forward to the violent demise of billions is an acceptable form of optimism that is. The cultists promise their followers heaven beyond which actually gives them (The cult leaders) physical power. Whereas if we say that we could do stuff to make life better while we’re actually breathing, said cultists will be often violently opposed because it undermines their control over their congregation. In short; the cults and cultists are the problem.

Various means have been tried down the ages to wean people off these ridiculous beliefs, from persuasion and ridicule to physical restraint and even execution. Nothing works. Because for all intents and purposes these people are insane, out of touch with reality and frothingly so. Like the ‘Green’ cultists and all the dietary doomsayers, they predict mayhem and disaster because it gives them power over the perennially petrified.

What I would say to anyone ever concerned about the ‘end of the world’ is; look guys, we’re all going to die of something, someday, and all we can hope for is relief from the pain. What’s the point of worrying about it? It’s a waste of life. Your life. Got a real personal problem? Grow a pair and deal with it.

Estamos en problema

Just been watching the Spanish bailout protests via one of the Financial magazines.  What with all the fuss about Greece possibly defaulting on their Euro loans, things look like it may end up being a toss up as to which Eurozone country defaults first.  Either way, the big Euro experiment looks like disappearing down a very large financial plug’ole with a less than comical sucking sound. Spain, with it’s high level of youth unemployment, a staggering 43%, with 21% unemployment overall, has massive Tahir square like protests which only seem to be creating a stir on certain financial pages.

Here’s a little semi-bowdlerisation which may prove prophetic in the light of various secessions from the Schengen treaty and the fallouts from all the Euro bailouts;

The Euro ‘as gorn down the plug’ole
The Euro’s been flushed down the loo,
When so many countries default on their loans,
Then others thought ‘Why don’t we too?”
Eurobanks tried to restructure the debt,
They blinked but a moment and still but as yet,
The Euro was worthless,
In anguish they cried,
“What’s up with the Euro?”
The Markets replied;
“The Euro ‘as gorn down the plug’ole
The Euro’s been flushed down the loo,
When so many countries defaulted on loans,
Then others thought ‘Why don’t we too?”
The Euro’s no longer supported,
It ain’t worth a bean any more,
The Euro has gorn dahn the plug’ole,
Not lorst, but gorn before.”

Shit. Fan. Incoming! Estamos en problema all right.

Busy, busy

Lots going on chez Maison Sticker at the moment.  All this and nailing things down stuff to prepare for tomorrows rapture before the big Earth-destruction-gotterdammerung-yes-it’s-really-going-to-happen-this-time-guv-no-really-it-is.

Actually no.  As I have posted before, one of the advantages in living in God’s country is that He often pops round for the odd beer and fishing session, which is nice, and generally brings ‘Junior’ along.  You know, it’s a guy thing.  Take a six pack of beer out on the boat (although JC prefers to walk), leave the girls to go shopping and well, go fishing.

“Hey, what’s all this about the end of the world then?”  I asked during last weekends session.

“Nothing to do with me.  Pass another Sleemans, would you?”  Replies God.  “I don’t do the apocalyptic thing.  That’s for the whacko’s.  Ask JC here.”

“JC.  What’s this I hear about some event you’ve got planned for Saturday?”  I asked.

“I thought we were going to the sporting goods store.”  Replies Jesus.

“Aren’t you having a rapture or something?”

“No.  News to me.  Sounds painful.”  JC takes another chug of beer before making a perfect cast.  “Not doing any second comings, I remember what the bastards did to me first time round.  The only rapture I’m interested in is a sunny day in BC with Mary rubbing in the sun screen.”

“So what about these people who are going to be waiting for this rapture?”

“They’ll be waiting a long time then.”  He belches.  “Well pardon I.  Pass the sandwiches.”

“They’ll be expecting you to waft them into the air before the Earth is destroyed.”  I said.   I mean, being a supreme being is one thing, but keeping appointments is for everyone.

“What, so they can drift around sneering in a superior manner as people on the ground die horribly?  They call that morally acceptable?  I don’t think so.”  Says Jesus.

“You know, son, you should go, just to see what happens.  It’s only polite.”  Chides God gently.

“No.  It’s not in my events diary.  Not going.”  JC starts to reel in a big one.  “Besides, they’d only expect me to grow that itchy old beard again, and grow my hair out.  Used to cost me a fortune in conditioner.”

“So.”  Says I.  “No end of the world then?”

“Nope.”  Says God.

“Not a chance.”  Says Jesus.  “Great ham sandwiches by the way.  Any more mustard?”

Well I guess that settles it then.  If you wanted the end of the world to solve all your issues, you’re out of luck.  God and Jesus are on Vancouver Island this weekend, and not available for apocalypses.  You heard it here first.

Yo! Canada!

First seen here on Wattsupwiththat. This is going to piss off a lot of pseudo-environmentalists, but there will be no Federally mandated Carbon tax in Canada. Yes! (Punches air in delight) There is hope.

“It’s off the table,” he (Environment Minister Peter Kent) told reporters Thursday after accepting an award from World Wildlife Fund International on behalf of Parks Canada.
“There’s no expectation of cap-and-trade continentally in the near or medium future.”

Now all we have to do is pressure the BC Provincial government into dropping their Carbon levy on gas and it’ll be a summer to really celebrate.

Oh, and the ban on incandescent light bulbs has been set back.  (Walks of whistling happy tune).

The mighty falling

Watching the furore over the downfall and arrest of the current IMF chief with a grim smile.  Apparently this guy has had four highly placed media people covering up, obfuscating and tacitly condoning his alleged sexual misbehaviours.  First thought; he won’t be the only one.  Second thought; exactly how many of these people are there, covering up the misdeeds of the rich and powerful and who are they? 

Now if it’s any consolation, I’m usually firmly against ‘outing’ if it serves no useful purpose. However, I think in this case the public interest would be served by exposing those who ‘bury bad news’ about their masters and hauling the harm they hide struggling and flapping out of the murk, into the light of public scrutiny.

Now I’ve read the various volumes published by the Marquis de Sade (He was a Frenchman too), and know that sex and power often go together (I mean, how else did John Prescott get away with it?). So why should we be surprised, or think that the rich and powerful need shielding from the consequences of their own actions?

When a footballer who parked his willy where his wife wot not of can demand to see the emails of a media outlet over alleged ‘blackmail’ perhaps it’s the right moment to call ‘Time out’ on gagging orders that can only affect those under the jurisdiction of that particular judiciary. Although a ‘privacy law’ will probably lead to the situation where the powerful may indulge their sexual predilections hidden from public gaze, no matter how unpleasant. Rather like with the French.

Not being a prude, let’s face it, sex is sex, but there is a line here, and a fairly well defined one. That line is harm. By that definition I mean that no one is physically abused without their full consent, and then with no lasting damage.

For ‘abuse’, read against volition. As abuse can be a pretty subjective matter. There are few, or no moral absolutes in this area. An extreme feminist might define ‘abuse’ as non kowtowing to her personal prejudices, or in the case of a rich man’s wife, finding her credit card spending curtailed. Yet either might be in, let’s say a BDSM relationship involving the willing receipt of pain. From something as mild as a little hanky spanking in leather to full on whips and barbed wire underpants. So who defines what is ‘abuse’ if both parties in such a relationship are willing participants? We all have our own personal definitions. Permanent harm might simply be defined for example as a visible mark or symptom, excluding the purely decorative (Tattoo’s and piercings), and of course death.

That sexual crimes are known to have happened and subject to suppression is common currency. For example, the children of rich families are known to have murdered, then expected their family to cover up their wrongdoing. Politicians have moved heaven and the courts to suppress leakage about their misdeeds (e.g. Kennedy, Clinton). That those with money and power have such appetites should come as no surprise, but that they should have the means to suppress the information about such behaviour steps over the line to willing evil.

This isn’t to say that everyone who reports on such matters is blameless. There are incidences where the tabloid press have ruined people’s lives for exposure for mere peccadilloes. Where false witness has been given, and the victim(s) left with no means of redress but a mealy mouthed half paragraph apology buried on page seven.

I believe that the only real libertarian position on this matter can be “Do what you want, but don’t try to hide the truth.” For those who would willingly hide the truth are as guilty as those who commit the crime in the first place.

Cross posted to Orphans of Liberty

New season

Was reading a book about the principles of Democracy outside our local Tim Hortons when a guy in his early sixties wanders over, and in that curiously endearing way Vancouver Islanders seem to have, shrugged his shoulders and said to me; “At least you can stand outdoors and not get soaked today.”

“You got that right.”  I replied, wondering in my slightly paranoid English way what was coming next.  I almost looked over my head to see if some sort of illuminated sign saying something like “Talk to this man – he loves crazy people” had appeared.

“You know, I was talking to my daughter this morning, and she said what with all the rain and stuff people were thinking of renaming Spring.  You know what she said?”  He continued, apropos of nothing.

“Go on.”  I said, knowing that this was one of these unpremeditated jokes people round here like to tell to total strangers.

“Sprinter.”  He grinned.  I chuckled.  Then he ambled inside to get his coffee.  He was probably telling the same gag to everyone he met.

Never seen the guy before.  Probably never see him again.  But he’d gone out of his way to crack a corny gag with a complete stranger.

Mind you, locally speaking, it has been unseasonably cool so far this year.  Normally temperatures are far higher during mid May.  At least if local memory is to be trusted.

Expatriate expostulations from Canada; a.k.a. A Sarcastic man abroad trying to stay in the middle of the road without getting run over.

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