Tag Archive: Daily Telegraph

Facts and Lies: UKIP Checking

Nobody can be bothered to check facts.

UKIP, the Lernaean Hydra of British politics

UKIP Hydra
[credit: Jon Worth, please click image ]

For months I have endured a deluge of facts and lies, all leading up to yesterday’s election. (I voted Green – there were only European elections in my area, so no local stuff).  Mostly, it’s all been around UKIP.  They really have stoked the fires, first lit by this government that wasn’t elected and that has done a raft of nasty things never included in their 2010 manifestos.  But the fires against the disadvantaged are really aflame now.

It’s UKIP wot done it guv.  It’s Suzanne Evans talking – click here to pause her waffle.

Tactics

The Chubby Elite

UKIP’s backers are some of the sharpest, wealthiest people in the land.

UKIP’s tactics however, have been to take on all crackpots of all kinds, then, when the fuckwit says something beyond the pale, they evict them.

This has the effect of being news-worthy, and as we in entertainment know, all news is good news.  The normal triumvirate of red, blue and orange have had a few gobshite moments, but UKIP beats them hands down.

The litany of UKIP’s tactics is strewn across the web, but a fairly recent summary and discourse on them can be found on Another Angry Voice (AAV).

Fact Checks #1

As Tom at AAV noted in the link above, UKIP-ers are not fond of reading anything beyond the first few lines of anything and have a raft of weird ideas all   the stuff headed up and analysed with examples, summarised neatly here:

General abuse Confirmation Bias Denial of reality Just making stuff up
Conspiracies Meta-slander Persecution complexes Marxist fearmongering
Talking in absolutes This is a “Hate group” The Censorship fallacy Fascist sentiments
Straw-manning You called us racist Humourlessness Right, I’m definitely voting UKIP now!

It’s all very “lowest common denominator” (LCD) stuff.  Confirmation Bias rules, okay!

 Fact Checks #2

Though I despise UKIP and parties like them, I do try to check facts, from all over and presented by anyone.  Even those that I support get it wrong sometimes.  Question everything!

UKIP’s Suzanne Evans on Radio 4

I heard that Evans had been quoted as saying that UKIP ” had difficulty appealing to the educated, cultured and young” with regard to the voting in London.  It was on the BBC Radio 4 “Today” programme.  You can listen to the whole thing here for the next few days.  If you do a Google search for the phrase, “difficulty appealing to the “educated, cultured and young”” a whole raft of websites, news organisations, social media and news agregation websites are all reporting this very same thing.  The search produced >1000 – here are 3.

This Reddit chat is a notable exception to the broadcast-info-with-impunity-or-checks brigade and also has a link to the interview.  They say she never said it and provide a textual view of the interview.

She Never Said It!

Return to top

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The trouble is, she never actually said it!  This is my recording of the show, editted down to Suzanne Evans’ interview and compressed for audio clarity before MP3-ing it.

 It’s True – She Never Said It!

Ukip members wait for results of local election in Croydon

So why are all the news sites and almost every Google search result saying that she did?  ( Well almost all – a Reddit chat also says that she never said it. )  The Independent report even has a nicely forlorn UKIP blokey.

In the interview, then interviewer actually says that it was a colleague in London  (not known, not named) who, she said, UKIP “had difficulty appealing to the educated, cultured and young”

 

 Conclusion

Either:

  1. The truth of the matter is that people hardly ever check anything nowadays.
    • The deluge of information is too great.
    • Everyone expects reputable news providers to do properly journalistic background checks.
    • The BBC interviewer never checked.
  2. The truth of the matter is that all news providers are in collusion with the establishment to maintain the neoliberal status quo.
    • The UKIP freaks who commented on AAV are correct in that it is a conspiracy.
    • UKIP freaks are right in that the BBC shows anti-UKIP left-wing bias.

The trouble with #2 is that UKIP contains part of the powerful establishment elite.

  • Farage is a former banker and apart from a host of wealthy backers, the normal tory paper (Daily Telegraph – torygraph in common parlance) is now swapping sides since the tories are not right-wing enough for it’s wealthy  owners, the reclusive, island-owning, tax-avoiding, feudalistic, Sark-criticising (because it won’t allow them to set up a tax haven),  Barclay Brothers.
  • Many other establishment papers likewise share a divisive, right wing, xenophobic stance.
  • The BBC has had rafts of governement enforced right wing management changes (government plants is the phrase).
  • The BBC has given more airtime to Farage than any other panellist on “Question Time” except for Dimbleby.

This leaves #1.

Answer:

Nobody can be bothered to check facts.

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Turkish Hacker-Crackers, perhaps?

A Cracking Week Off?

I had a week’s holiday of sorts last week.  On returning I found that this website had been cracked. (I already had intimations that something was wrong because of site stat failures and an email from @Justin Asking, sometime commenter to this website and others).  Anyway, so it was.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have good web access so was unable to correct things properly.

The main screen, viewable on zone-h here, was replaced by this,

Site Hack Aug 2011

Site Hack Aug 2011

A neat little JavaScript mouse trailer was part of the package!

The cause was my own – a wide-open directory made so as part of an image upload plugin for my WordPress installation.  This plugin makes it easy and neat for any commenter to add material to the website……unfortunately for me, it allowed any file, with active content or not, to be uploaded.

Needless to say, the plugin is now disabled and the directory is locked down to the specific  file types that I’ll accept.  No more active content allowed there matey!

Unwanted Extras

Once the nasty files were uploaded, the internal site privileges allowed the install of a swathe of .htm files to the site root and uploads folder.  These had various names like f.htm, g.htm etc.  Index.htm was the file on show.

Alongside these, apart from files needed to run the previously mentioned JavaScript, were another swathe of .phtml files, such as joker.phtml, which are actually php code shining as html.  A couple of plain text files had also been uploaded.  These had lists of files, sites and persons.

All .htaccess files were okay as well as the WordPress installation files.  To be sure, I redid the WordPress install from scratch with fresh downloaded files..

Finale

All told, about fifty files were dumped on my website.  I’ve hopefully removed the lot and have them downloaded for analysis at a later date.  The screen content and internal code all points to Turkish or S.E. Asian (Vietnam or Indonesia) Muslim crackers (I refuse to use the hacker term except to clarify the cracking of security by it’s now-common usage).  Saying this, the culprits (the code points to several authors who used freely downloadable files from cracking websites and then proudly expected a pat on the back for their extreme skill at doing a download…like….der….), the culprits could have come from anywhere.

Fifth columnists and agent-provocateurs are nothing new.

Interestingly, being cracked puts me in the same company as at least 186 well-known multinational businesses, such as Acer, Vodaphone, BetFair, The Daily Telegraph, The Register, Spam.Org, Victoria Beckham and Destiny’s Child.

Even System of a Down dot com, was down!

Zone-h’s full list is here.  The Register reports it here, The Guardian here.

The Guardian interview with the crackers notes that the culprits had been planning the attack for some time which obviously includes the time when my site was compromised.  I don’t know if my website was actually used as part of the above DNS server attack but it’s usual for an attack like a DDOS to use several vectors and simultaneous attack points in order to force a server to fail and dump code.  This dump then reveals passwords and the like for later use.

Addendum

WordPress.Org’s forum has a posting about this crack from last week.  A Google search in the comment by RedNeckTexan shows the attack on this website to be far from unique….!   The links I’ve followed go right to the heart of the crack and the people doing the cracking.

This is the Google Search on the “Easy Comment Uploader” plugin.  Like me, RedNeckTexan has pulled the plugin for now, which can be found in the WordPress repository here.

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Garbage Summer Science

Is This the Worst Science Project Ever?

Pitt JolieThe Daily Telegraph, short of stories this summer now that the expenses scandal is dead, has published a picture of Angelina Jolie under the heading:

Women getting more beautiful, say scientists: (see link)

According to some work done by  Finnish Philosopher/PsychologistYliopistotutkija – University Researcher Degree: Doctor of Philosophy Department of Psychology University of Helsinki P.O. Box 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 20 D) FIN-00014 University of Helsinki” http://web.archive.org/web/20100115033346/http://www.helsinki.fi:80/psykologia/english/introduction/personnel.htm Markus Jokela,

…attractive women have more children than their less attractive counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female…

The methodology was to look at 2000 Americans, and then decide that ‘beautiful‘ women had 16% more children.  How this ‘beauty‘ decision was derived, is unknown, save for the comment that,

“attractiveness was assessed from photographs taken during the study”

The article continues in the same vein by quoting the results of yet more “scientists” from the London School of Economics taken in 2006.  They had the same ‘results‘.

The gaffa in charge of this, Mr Kanazawa, said…,

“Physical attractiveness is a highly heritable trait, which disproportionately increases the reproductive success of daughters much more than that of sons.”

Rubbish Science

Dunce's Hat

Dunce’s Hat

The point is that the above statement is produced with absolutely NO backing.  It’s an opinion, that’s all. 

It could be equally well said about men.

Remember, it takes two to tango and make a child.   The fact that attractive men can rapidly spread their seed faster than any woman proves that this statement is bunkum…

Look at it like this…
  • In 9 months, a woman can parent one child.
  • In 9 months, with one successful shag per day, a man can parent 270 children.

Who is having the greater initial reproductive success?  Obviously, the man.

I’m sure that someone like Brad Pitt, Jolie’s husband, if let loose into the wild, would procreate many more children than Jolie could!  If he came to Bridgwater, it’d be legs akimbo for weeks followed by lots of little Brad lookalikes!  Apart from the jollity, this will seriously slew the statistics wholly against the research’s argument! It only takes one rampant male to break the ‘hard work’ of hundreds of ‘beautiful’ women taking a lifetime to improve the gene pool!

Or look at it like this…

DNAThis ‘research’ assumes that attractiveness is a one-way process and that women passively sit around waiting to choose the best mate (using what criteria, are we to wonder?).  Again, this is plain garbage.  Women aren’t passive.  If one of a woman’s criteria for mate choice is the appearance of the man, then it chucks out the research findings right out of the window.  Indeed, the ‘beauty’ gene, if it exists, could be being selected for because the man holds it (he having half of his mother’s genes, after all) without actually expressing it himself.

Note to Researchers: check out the difference between a genotype and a phenotype before spouting this muck.

Or Look at it This Way…

My Observation of many UK towns tells me that there are a lot of fat munters on the estates (call them endomorphs, please).  They all have appear to have heaps of children despite any perceived lack of ‘beauty‘.  So what does this mean to a ‘scientist‘ in this calibre of research?

A.  Using their specious logic, I could say that fat munters are the most successful breeders in the country.  I could say that only fat people breed fast.   I could make all sorts of scurrilous accusations about them and the reason(s) for the perceived fecundity.  Just like boys-nights-out on a Friday eyeing up the talent?   But I won’t….

Because Any Logic with like this is seriously flawed.

CrowdIt’s not logic, it’s just opinion dressed as fact.  What the Telegraph (and other media organisations) has done by publishing this rubbish as summer titter, is to denigrate the hard work of real scientists with the mumbo-jumbo claptrap from pseudo-scientists looking for job justification.

There’s a heap of proper evolutionary and genetic research that disproves this tripe, so why do the Telegraph publish it?  A.  To fill space.

Finally

Even defining beauty with the narrow bounds of appearance is hard enough – but beauty and appearance, the attractiveness of an individual – these are all complex concepts that have provided artists and writers material for millenia

The trouble with the ‘research’ and it’s reporting, is that it demeans the real work to titillate the lowest common denominators in society, with the result that scientists, striving for humanity’s betterment, are made to look like pariahs and idiots, which in the long run, is very, very bad.

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It’s Now Illegal to Take Rememberance Day Photographs

WARNING:  This Posting Contains Illegal Pictures

I Can Be Imprisoned for Publishing Them.

Legal Photograph

Legal Photograph

A little realised consequence of Bush’s ‘war on terror’ and the ramping up of common hysteria across the English speaking western world is, bizarrely, that it’s now illegal to take pictures of people commemorating, in a patriotic symbolic way, the lives and deaths of the millions who’ve strived to keep us free!

Q. How Can This be Possible in  Free Society?

Illegal Photograph

Illegal Photograph

A. Simple.

Section 76 of the Terrorism Act, 2008, introduced by our freedom-loving government on 16 Feb 2009.

This law has been brought in by a former economics teacher who gets confused about allowable expenses to fulfil her job.

Now lets see the actual text of the law which allows bestial pictures of man’s inhumanity in preference to pictures of heroes protecting our humanity.

It can be read in it’s official entirety here:

76 Offences relating to information about members of armed forces etc

(1) After section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (collection of information) insert—

58A Eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of armed forces etc

(1) A person commits an offence who—

(a) elicits or attempts to elicit information about an individual who is or has been—

(i) a member of Her Majesty’s forces,

(ii) a member of any of the intelligence services, or

(iii) a constable,

which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, or

(b) publishes or communicates any such information.

(2) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that they had a reasonable excuse for their action.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to a fine, or to both;

(b) on summary conviction—

(i) in England and Wales or Scotland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(ii) in Northern Ireland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.

(4) In this section “the intelligence services” means the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service and GCHQ (within the meaning of section 3 of the Intelligence Services Act 1994 (c. 13)).

(5) Schedule 8A to this Act contains supplementary provisions relating to the offence under this section..

(2) In the application of section 58A in England and Wales in relation to an offence committed before the commencement of section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44) the reference in subsection (3)(b)(i) to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(3) In section 118 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (c. 11) (defences), in subsection (5)(a) after “58,” insert “58A,”.

(4) After Schedule 8 to the Terrorism Act 2000 insert the Schedule set out in Schedule 8 to this Act.

Now, after wading through this bollox, the key bit is 58a up to sub-section (5) which means that;

It’s an offence to gather information about a member of the police and other governmental forces, serving and non-serving!  “Information” means everything, which naturally includes taking photographs.

Furthermore, you have to have a “reasonable excuse” to save being arrested, and the maximum penalty for not having a reasonable excuse is 10 years jail.  The bollox does not even mention the usual government sweetener that “proper safeguards are in place to ensure fair bollox and safe bollox etc”.  It’s gone so far now that they think (and do) get away with murder, illegal imprisonment, bombing of civilians etc.

I suggest, although it’s not been tested yet, that a reasonable excuse in a free society, is “because I felt like it”.  Here’s a scenario:

In Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear, is a street, Whitley Road that runs parallel to the Sea Front.  To get to the Rex Hotel on the sea front I could choose North Parade or South Parade out of the many options.  Let’s say I go down North Parade.

  • Q. Why go down North Parade?
  • A. “Because I felt like it!”
AP photo of gun-toting British Police from: POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

AP photo of gun-toting British Police

Now suppose I had a camera and was impressed by the late Victorian and Edwardian buildings and the impressive British Police Sergeant upholding the law.

As it now stands I could be arrested and locked up for 10 years.

  • Q. What if I’d gone down South Parade?
  • A. It depends if there’s a copper there, really!

But in both cases I would be doing what I’d be doing “because I felt like it!”

And that’s the trouble with this stupid, stupid law, enacted by a government devoid of common sense.

Legal Photograph

Legal Photograph

It opens up a free path to a society like this photo, where the man being killed did far, far less than take a photograph.  He was a man born in the wrong place, that’s all.  The people at top are commemorating a struggle to free the world of acts like this and ensure it ‘never happens again’.  Now I need a ‘proper reason’ to go there and photograph them.

And the ultimate irony, of course, given that the police have direct control over who they arrest, is it’s also illegal to photograph a policeman beating up an innocent! But if I photograph a person shooting someone, like here, that’s okay.

It really is a police state.  The actual police, derived from our citizenry to ‘uphold the law’, unfortunately,  are asked to deal with this crap – I see it in their eyes sometimes, when they’re finished dealing with the piss-heads and dregs of society.  And with a morally bankrupt home office and financial system, what chance for fairness?  See the acquiescent uniformed people in the background watching these people die in the photograph?  How many times have we seen this happen since WW2?

That’s the future unless we fight to stop it.

So far, no-one has been arrested for the ‘offence’ in Trafalgar Square or outside Buckingham Palace yet.  But let’s see someone taking pictures outside Whitehall or the Admiralty or any air-base in the country frequented by the anoraked airplane-spotters?  What hope on Fairford Open Day?

Links:

Get Smashed!: The Story of the Men Who Made the Adverts That Changed Our Lives

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Hooray for Stella!

@AmazonThe appalling erosions of our freedoms instigated by our government under the discredited George Bush’s ‘war on terror’ banner are under attack from another robust source.

– Stella Rimington, former boss of the UK’s MI5 intelligence department.

Far from condoning the actions like the US Patriot Act, the UK’s attempts to lock people up without trial for 42 days, house arrests, piss-poor ID Cards etc, she said in the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, that;

people in Britain felt as if they were living “under a police state” because of the fear being spread by ministers

So, to repeat (again!) the words of Sir Ken Macdonald, former DPP;

“The tendency of the state to seek ever more powers of surveillance over its citizens may be driven by protective zeal. But the notion of total security is a paranoid fantasy which would destroy everything that makes living worthwhile. We must avoid surrendering our freedom as autonomous human beings to such an ugly future. We should make judgments that are compatible with our status as free people.”

Dame Rimington said way back in 2005 about the plans for ID Cards, in particular;

“No-one in the intelligence services will be pressing for the introduction of identity cards.
I don’t think they are necessarily going to make us any safer,and they would be ‘absolutely useless’ if they could be forged as easily as other identity documents” she said.

And yet wacky backy Jacqui the Home secretary, and all of the government, are prepared to push on regardless, no matter how many of their own citizens they upset and no matter what number of new terrorist ‘martyrs’ the system breeds.

Addendum (20 Feb 2009):

Two quotes from Eisenhower, General in charge of the liberation of Europe from the forces of darkness, may add extra credence to the above:

  • “We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.”
  • “If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom.”

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