Dear Linden Labs
We have been a group within your medium for 17 months. We are a political forum, essentially using the forum as a way to link with people of our political persuasion across the world. We felt this media would be a great way to do that and have managed to link people across the globe. Members of our group believe in a method of education espoused by Paulo Friere, the South American educationalist, and we feel the virtual world created on your media allows that in a way few other Web 2.0 forums can.
Our most recent Charter and Aims and Principles can be found here: http://slleftunity.blogspot.com/2008/03/what-it-is-to-be-sllu.html
We have a number of concerns we would like to share with you and perhaps you could address those.
We feel the new TOS are pretty stringent, your Trademarking (TM) the term “SL” has surprised us. Our use of the term SL came before your TM was introduced – and we have used the term both inside and outside the media. Our concern, however is not the name or the legalities of using the term “SL” or the term “Second Life”. Our concern is that we are an anti-capitalist group who at times confront some of the corporations Linden Labs now seek to involve in SL. We have in the past supported an Italian IBM workers strike that used SL to highlight their cause, successfully. Would this supporting of a non-corporate, group who had no commercial relationship with Linden Labs against a corporation who have an interest in Linden Labs (and vice versa) breach your new TOS?
We also have in the past year confronted an extreme right wing, racist group made up of the French Front National and various other extremist groups. Would this type of confrontation lead us to be in breach of your TOS and mean the SLLU group and/or its members could be banned or deleted because our actions do not enhance your corporate image? Does our use of an “SL Associated name” mean that you could end our tenure in this world because of our confrontation of hate groups or unjust employers would be seen to be “advocating against any individual, group, or organization?”
We feel that we, the “residents” of your “new world” - OUR world and OUR imagination, as you have been telling us, have been asked in these new TOS to waiver more rights for no increase in service. We are extremely interested to know how Linden Lab as a corporation goes about justifying this action.
We feel that there are groups that have existed for quite some time in SL who will not meet your stringent rules on the use of the term SL. These groups have in turn brought people to SL, revenue for you, brought people together in common cause and enjoyment to many people. Are we to understand they now must comply with strange and whimsical usage rules or disappear? Our full name is Second Life Left Unity and there are many other groups who indicate they are operating in this Second Life environment with the words "Second Life." In fact, there are hundreds of "Second Life" organizations and clubs (including Assassins of Second Life, Second Life Mafia, Second Life Catholic Church, Second Life Ballet, Second Life Univ. of Technology, Second Life Live, Second Life Amazing People, and many many others). Why would the license not extend also to "Second Life"? And are you really suggesting organizations and businesses situated in the virtual world "Second Life" must change their names? What kind of enforcement and notice procedures do you anticipate for bringing residents into compliance with the new terms?
Of course, Linden Labs are not the only group to claim ownership of content of forums. This is, in our opinion, just the latest trend towards increased emphasis by corporations on ownership, control and product branding - which to many represents excessive intrusion, and a massive imbalance between corporate power and citizen or service user rights and power. Surely this runs contrary to the whole Open Sourcing ethos which LL once apparently endorsed? For years, Linden Research has been touting Second Life as a place, so, for example, Reuters in Second Life made sense, now it is Second Life the product and you seem to be trying to change people's perceptions based on market whims.
We also seek clarification on whether you have any kind of user data privacy and protection policy in place, where conversations or actions are deleted and will not be given over to marketing companies, corporations, courts or Governments? We have concerns that if not, that the collection and storage of user data could be open to massive and intrusive misuse.
This tool that has been created, ie the virtual world, could be used in such amazing ways in education, making links across the globe and for helping in human relationships etc. The potential is only limited by imagination as you imply in your marketing. But we fear the potential is being undermined by a want to unquestioningly comply with the commercial market pressures for conventional expansion by selling off to the higher bidder rather than considering the longer term interests of this unique service or of those who use/rely/love the experiences that are afforded by the use of Second Life. How does this fit with LL's previous stated support of the Open Sourcing movement?
We await a response with hope.
Second Life Left Unity.
Saturday, 29 March 2008
Dear Linden Labs
Thursday, 27 March 2008
- To what extent is the data that we disclose on online social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Second Life etc really in safe hands? This data, by its nature, can be easily stored and re-accessed on corporate servers. When we candidly reveal personal information, either in our public profiles or shared with other selected users, we often do so in an atmosphere of openness, safety and trust. But do we really question the consequences of what could happen if this information was disclosed to third parties, without foreknowledge or consent?
- Given the current trend of governments and corporations towards
- Ever-increasing culture of surveillance
- Monitoring of citizens, employees and consumers
- The collection and sale of ever-more detailed demographic and market data
- The post-9/11 shift towards declining enshrinement of civil liberties
- The creeping emphasis on individuals to be accountable to authority at all times
would it be naïve to expect that social networking sites could not or would not be used by either of these entities for data collection purposes to suit their specific agendas?
- If we accept that is is indeed likely that this type of data would be valuable to and sough-after by both government and corporations then it is wise to ask ourselves how great is the risk that this information could be misused? Are there instances where it might be dangerous to us as individuals to disclose information in the apparent safety of online environments?
- There is an often-cited argument which regularly comes up in relation to such privacy issues and that is ‘If you’ve nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to worry about’. However, this puts a tremendous amount of faith in the automatic benevolence of governments and corporations – against the evidence of history. Information relating to a person’s ethnicity, sexuality, religion or political persuasion to name a few examples can and has been misused historically, and continues to be in the present time.
Some more obvious examples include:
- Pinochet’s Argentina
- Modern day China
- McCarthy Era
- Modern day Burma
- All of the above political examples share a common factor: that of malign authority, and disdain for civil, political and human rights. In all of the above examples, personal data obtained by government has been used to persecute and discriminate, and in many cases imprison, torture and kill.
- Although many might assume that in modern-day ‘democracies’ these issues need not concern us, what actual assurance do we have that our stored data is protected from getting into the wrong hands? Those of us that still believe in individual privacy as a right need to ask ourselves ‘What in fact ARE our digital privacy rights’? Do we really know or investigate the extent to which our personal user data files are confidential, once on a company server?
- The above points are relevant to anyone with data privacy concerns. However, there are issues here, which are of particular concern to anyone using social media networks as tools for online activism and political organising. Given the previously outlined global political climate, it is vital that activists are fully mindful that any details they are sharing in online environments can be recorded, stored, and could have the potential to be used against them in the future, should the political climate continue its apparent trend towards increasing authoritarianism. In the absence of legal assurances that their data is protected – it is strongly advised NOT to share any information online, which you would not wish to be disclosed to unknown third parties without your consent.
Well done for to those who managed to make it to the meeting last night. we had a good cross section of views on the TOS and what the SLLU reaction should be. Plot Tracer is drafting an open letter to the Lindens which should address all concerns of people in SLLU- so please do not hesitate to send him a notecard with your concerns - he has received some already.
The draft of the letter will be made available at a meeting tomorrow 3pm pdt/10pm gmt - as will a final run down of what has been decided in SLLU at the meetings held in the Freebie shop and in the Hub. Please come along to help us achieve what we have decided and volunteer for something!
Thanks to Jessica from the Herald for coming along.
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
Please, please read these. They effect how you relate to SL (including the use of the term "SL")
Come to the meeting at 3pm PDT/ 10PM GMT today.
IM Plot Tracer for a TP at the time of the meeting.
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
Thanks to all who turned up on Monday night. A lot was discussed and a lot of fantastic ideas from some new people!
Next brainstorm will be Wednesday 10pm gmt/ 3pm pdt. Don't worry about being late - all input is appreciated - in fact imperative!
The next brainstorm will be held in the new Hub (Unity Station, Oculea). There will be a notice with a LM attached sent out tomorrow (Tuesday).
The SLLU seeks creative, non violent means to foster revolutionary social dialogue. We oppose capitalism, as well as racism and sexism as a part of capitalism. Our goal is to develop socialism in order to maximise left activity and thought on SL.
SLLU is part of a world wide left unity movement in SL. We are a diverse group, united around social justice and anti-capitalism. We are a democratic collective.
AIMS & PRINCIPLES
1 Our name shall be Second Life Left Unity (SLLU)
1.1 The group offers the means of a left environment, the term Unity
does not claim anything since there is no monopoly. It is a proposition.
2 The SLLU stands for the transformation of society. To replace
capitalism with an alternative classless, stateless economic system
based on collaborative democratic ownership and control of the key
sectors of the Second Life (SL) economy. A system based on physical
freedom; artistic freedom and environmental protection rather than
private profit and promotion of Real-Life mass produced corporate
3 The SLLU will provide political support and solidarity to all those
who are involved in fighting back against injustice, whether it be
trade unionists, community organisations, tenants groups, anti
nuclear protesters, animal rights campaigners, anti racist
organisations, feminists, anti-war groups, mental health advocacy
groups, LGBTI rights organisations and other campaigns and protest
4 The SLLU will oppose discrimination in any form on the basis of race, religion, language, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age or ability.
5 The SLLU will campaign for an environment where each individual user is fundamentally considered to be equal: we stand in opposition to the divide between haves and have nots, both in online environments and in real life and seek a balance between technocratic power and citizen power. Recognising that in SL as in RL, sovereignty resides, and ought to reside in the people, we will endeavour to highlight, oppose and redress corporate and governmental oppression, in whichever environment we find it.
6 The SLLU actively promotes the international solidarity of the
world community and oppressed to defeat capitalism and imperialism.
While preserving its political and constitutional autonomy the SLLU
will build the closest possible links with peace loving, left
radicals, socialists and left revolutionaries. across SL and the real
7 We oppose the use of violence as a group strategy within SL.
By violence we refer to the use of symbolic RL or fantasy weaponry
and/or the imposing of our will on others by forceful means. Rather,
we are committed to encouraging the empowerment of all individuals,
through education, debate, and consensus.
8 SLLU firmly stand for the bringing of international cooperation and
awareness through education and the discussion of the issues raised
by capitalist hegemony which the RL mainstream media systematically
fail to report. SLLU believe that by avoiding authoritarian teacher-
pupil models of education and based on peoples actual experiences and
continued shared investigation, every human being, no matter how
impoverished or illiterate, can develop a new awareness of self which
will free them to be more than passive objects responding to
uncotrollable change. As Freire said, and SLLU agree, each
individual wins back the right to say his or own word - to name the
Monday, 24 March 2008
We have two brain storming sessions this week One tonight at 10pm GMT - 3pm PDT, and another at the same time on Wednesday. IM Plot Tracer for a LM to the meeting.
Saturday, 22 March 2008
This comment was received today. Perhaps some people in SLLU may want to follow this up? An SLLU Facebook Union branch may be an idea...
I’ve heard this idea before. Who thinks there should be some sort of Facebook Union?
Essentially, it’s just like any other type of union. If one of us gets banned unfairly, we all stop using the site. They have to listen to the masses…
Many of us here are highly influential individuals, and we should all agree on the following:
1) Convicted individuals need a way to plead for their innocence and individuals who are not in violation of any rules should have restored accounts.
2) All rules should be stated clearly on the site, and non-damaging first-time violations of rules that are not made clear should be dealt with through a warning.
I’m going to be creating a Gmail account and all who are interested in becoming part of the Facebook Union can email me at email@example.com
All will be valued here.
Friday, 21 March 2008
I have built a new (is new, but doesn't look like it) tower block for the SLLU hub. It rises 9 proud floors up into the skies of Oculea. The ground floor will be used for SLLU exhibitions, the top floor for meetings and maybe even some partying from time to time, but the other 8 floors need to be filled by you. Yes, you.
The space is available at no charge for all NGO's, left and protest groups et cetera. So please try and contact as many groups as you can, in Second Life, but also in the meataverse, and tell them of this opportunity.
The land isn't that big so the amount of prims available won't be huge, but I'm sure there's enough to get a message across.
Contact Plot Tracer, Higgledpiggle Snoats or me to get a space in the building. If you need something built or designed for the building I'll be glad to help out too.
More on my blog.
I hope the building will be filled soon!
P.S. I made an artwork for the for the International Justice Center at Justice Commons that you maybe will enjoy. It's the one that has a couple of cctv's around it and makes a lot of racket :)
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself." -- FDR
Now open your eyes and remember that feeling.
I’m here to talk to you today about the spirit of fear that has pervaded our society for the past several years. First, I’m going to address the events of 9/11 and the so-called "war on terror". Second, I’m going to try to give you some insight into the atmosphere present here, and across the world, during the time I was first in college at UTC. Third, I’m going to relate some of my own personal experiences with terrorism when I was with the Navy in the Philippines. Finally, I’m going to attempt to put all these things into a perspective that will help make you less afraid and give you hope.
Now, let’s look again at events with which I know all of you are somewhat familiar, and how they have affected our nation’s culture.
According his March 25 article last year for the Washington Post entitled "Terrorized by ‘War on Terror’, Zbigniew Brzezinski states that "the ‘war on terror’ has created a culture of fear in America."
When the first hijacked place slammed into the North Tower of the WTC, I had just logged on to the Internet after dropping my son off at school. Shortly thereafter, I received a phone call from a friend of mine telling me to "turn on your TV; America is under attack." I did so, and as I stood watching horrified, the second plane slammed into the South Tower. After attempting to contact my friends in NYC over the net to check on them and not succeeding because the whole web was clogged, I returned to the living room just in time to see the South Tower collapse and the North Tower a half hour later. For the next two weeks, I got maybe two or three hours of sleep a night as I watched various news channels which were all covering the scene at the WTC nearly 24 hours a day.
The attacks on the WTC and on the Pentagon were both the worst terrorist incident in American history, and the worst attack by a foreign entity on American soil in our history, and afterwards, Americans were terrified by al-Qaida. However, every other terrorist attack on American soil has been carried out by our own people, exclusively by right-wing extremists the past several years.
The Unabomber, who sent letter bombs to judges and other government officials from the 1970’s to the ‘90’s, was an American.
The Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 was carried out by Americans.
The abortion clinic bombings in the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s, as well as the bombing of the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, were carried out by Americans.
The spate of arson attacks on African-American churches throughout the South in the 1990’s were carried out by Americans.
The anthrax attacks that began the week after 9/11 were almost certainly carried out by an American, according to the FBI.
The main perpetrator of the Beltway Sniper attacks that took place in the Washington DC area in October 2002 was an American.
Like comedian Chris Rock said durng his act on his latest tour after citing many of these incidents, "I ain’t afraid of al-Qaida; I’m afraid of Al Cracker!".
According to Brzezinski again, "the culture of fear is like a genie that has been let out of its bottle."
The Halloween night following 9/11, the streets usually filled with happy, eager kids seeking candy were virtually deserted, and my son David was so disappointed he asked to be taken home after only an hour.
In the days and weeks immediately following those events, there were numerous attacks against Muslim Americans, some fatal, including one Sikh man mistaken for being a Muslim.
Our fear has led us to commit or allow in our name atrocities that would previously been unthinkable. The warrantless wiretapping of American citizens was a practice stringently forbidden under any circumstances when I was in the Naval Security Group.
We have held and are holding criminal suspects without bail, without charge, without access to an attorney, and without being allowed any means of challenging their detention. We have not only tortured prisoners, but have allowed information obtained under torture to be used against the few in court who have so far been tried.
The constant drumbeat of warnings about various vague possibilites of terrorist attacks have eroded our sense of self-confidence, our capacity for happiness, and our ability see the rest of the world as anything but a potential enemy.
All we had to worry about the first time I was in college, at UTC in the early 1980’s, was achieving peace through mutual annhilation via nuclear holocaust.
In the early 1980’s, just before another surge in the arms race began, the United States and the Soviet Union had roughly 20,000 nuclear warheads aimed at each other. According to some of the anti-nuke literature of the period, each nation had the capacity to destroy the entire planet and all life on it 30 to 40 times over, though after the first five or ten times, does it make a difference?
According to Soviet sociologists Stanislav Roshchin and Tatiana Kabachenko, after citing results of similar studies done by American scientists in their own country, stated that the results of their own studies showed that the number one fear of young people ages 12-22 was dying in a nuclear war, or surviving one alone.
In the waning years of Leonid Brezhnev’s rule over the USSR and the installation of a new administration in the White House, tensions between the two countries began to rise significantly. The United States announced that it was planning to find a way to ensure the survival of the United States after a nuclear war, making a nuclear war winnable. The United States furthermore announced that it was initiating the placement of nuclear-tipped missles on Continental Europe, within easy striking distance of the USSR. The Soviet Union announced development of a new line of nuclear weapons offensive capability. The United States began attempting to develop the capability to strike down incoming ICBM’s with ground-launched missiles, which was in violation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972.
Thus began a period of heightened tensions and escalation in the production and development of nuclear arms that spread a pall of fear across both Europe and North America. Every day we, the people of the USA, the USSR, and Europe, lived in fear that the next incident, the next misunderstanding, between the two superpowers would lead to the launching of missiles by one side or the other which would result in a counter-action by the side targetted.
If that happened, both sides would have launched their enitre stockpiles of ICBM’s and SLBM’s in order that they not be destroyed by those of the opposing side. Given the average time it would have taken all those missles would have reached their targets, World War III would have lasted about 45 minutes. After such a war, according to former Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev, the survivors would envy the dead, not that they would be living much longer.
The mood of many people, the ones who were aware of the danger, is best summed up in the lyrics of a song by a German pop group called Nena, first released in German in 1983 and in English in 1984, called "99 Redballoons"
At the beginning of the song, Nena and a friend buy a bag of 99 red balloons, fill them up with helium and release them into the sky. A bug in someone’s early warning system signals that an attack is underway, planes and missles are launched, and at the end of the song, she sings,
"It's all over and I'm standing pretty.
In this dust that was a city.
If I could find a souvenier.
Just to prove the world was here.
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go."
"We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me and you
Is that the Russians love their children too."Not long after I arrived at Clark Air Base in December 1987 when I was with the Navy, I learned from one of my shipmates, who had been there at the time, that in September 1982, when the Sixth Fleet was in the Eastern Mediterranean in support of the Marines in Lebanon, our forces there went to DefCon 2 along with those in Europe and in NORAD, a greater number of forces than were at that level during the Cuban Missile Crisis. World War III had almost happened.
Now that we have me at Clark, which was in Pampanga in the Philippines, I can tell you about some of my personal experiences with terrorism.
Five weeks before I arrived, in October, four men were assassinated by sparrow squads of the insurgent New People’s Army. Three of them were active duty American servicemen. The fourth was a Filipino retired from the US Air Force. A fifth man targetted escaped. American personnel were restricted to base for two weeks. Afterwards, the hours they were permitted to be off and on the streets were limited.
Five months after I arrived, a war began in Angeles City outside the base between gunmen of the NPA and right-wing paramilitaries. This lasted for more than two months. There was a least one death, more often two or three, on either or both sides. It only ended after women from both sides marched together down the main street of the city barefoot to call for an end to it. In spite of almost daily warnings about potential terrorist activitiy against US personnel, reports failed to note this conflict until three weeks after it had ended.
In April 1989, an acquaintance of mine from Defense Language Institute whom I greatly admired, Lt. Col. Nick Rowe of the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group, Philippines, was assassinated by NPA chief Rolly Kintanar on his way to his headquarters one morning.
In September 1989, US personnel at Clark were once again targetted for assassination. The selected target was a busload of Navy personnel who travelled daily to their worksite at Capas Naval Station several miles north of the base
The driver of the bus was my future father-in-law, who, remembering warnings over the past few days of imminent action foiled the hit squad’s plans when he noticed the roadblock and became suspicious, turning the bus around and carrying my friends back to Capas. Two civilians engineers from Ford Aerospace who were friends of another civilian friend of mine drove into the ambush and had their car riddled by over three hundred rounds of automatic weapons fire. A couple of weeks later, I learned that the leader of the hit team had gone to high school with my future brother-in-law.
Now, remember that feeling I told you about at the beginning.
A few months after leaving the Navy and going to work for the US Refugee Program based out of Manila, I returned to Clark, as I did every weekend to visit my fiancee.
It was two weeks before our wedding, and we were walking down the road outside the base’s perimeter when I felt that feeling again. I looked back and looked ahead, and though I saw nothing obvious, I darted across the road between two oncoming vehicles. Sensing danger had passed, I returned across the street and we continued to her work, a nightclub called Cheers, and I went upstairs to the terrace where my friends from the club were sitting with a palpable tension in the air.
They were discussing an alert that had been issued that day about potential assassination attempts that weekend, with five persons reportedly being targetted.
I then realized what had just happened, that I had been about ten or fifteen seconds from walking into an ambush like those of October 1987 (something which I was later able to confirm), but told them not to worry about it, that nothing was going to happen to them.
Nothing indeed did happen to any of the five of us originally targetted, mainly because the guy in charge of the NPA’s operation was captured later that Friday evening, but an hour after I caught the bus back to Manila, a sparrow squad shot down two Air Force officers at Clark on temporary duty from Japan outside their hotel two hundred yards from the bus stop.
Now that we’ve discussed that I’ve experienced terrorism, living in an atmosphere of fear and paranoia, as well as witnessed the events which brought about the current atmosphere in the country, we can end by discussing how to deal with fear so that it doesn’t rule your life.
One of the first ways to prevent fear from taking control of your life is to fight back.
As I mentioned previously, Halloween night 2001, rather than hide in my house alone and afraid with my son, I took him out trick-or-treating in defiance of the fear so many of us felt.
During the ‘80’s, I joined a group called Beyond War that was set up to build a movement that would lead to the end of nuclear arms, or at build bridges between people of the Soviet Union and the United States at the grassroots level.
On the evening of the day the two Ford Aerospace employees were assassinated, I had plans with several of the girls who worked at Cheers to go downtown to the barbeque stands along the railroad tracks, and while we changed plans to an indoor restaurant, several miles from base, I did go out that night as planned. Lest you think I was being brave, I have to tell you I was so nervous I ad to go into the bathroom and stick my fingers down my throat before I could eat or drink anything.
In response to a artistic photograph in the album of a friend on myspace entitled "Why Am I Scared?", I wrote, "Why am I scared? I’m scared because I’m alive. The trick is to not to not do things because you’re afraid, but instead to do those things specifically because we ARE afraid. If we ever stop being scared, then we’re dead, and if we are still moving around it’s only because we don’t know it yet, animated bodies walking around in a permanent vegetative state of mere existence, souls outlined in chalk."
In closing, I’d like to paraphrase a line from the movie "Braveheart"
Five years on from the invasion of Iraq, Lena de Casparis sounds out the views of some of those who were at school at the time – some who joined the big anti-war protests and some who didn’t
Back in 2003, a sign of the depth of the revulsion at the government’s support for the US war on Iraq was the extraordinary reaction to the war by Britain’s supposedly apathetic and feckless youth. Around the UK, tens of thousands of students walked out of school in protest. In Birmingham over 4,000 school-uniformed protesters took to the streets; in Edinburgh around 300 12-15 year olds tried to occupy the castle; and in Manchester over 400 students sat in the road, peacefully blocking the traffic.
Read the rest of the article at RED PEPPER.
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SIGN THE
Petition to Chinese President Hu Jintao:
As citizens around the world, we call on you to show restraint and respect for human rights in your response to the protests in Tibet, and to address the concerns of all Tibetans by opening meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama. Only dialogue and reform will bring lasting stability. China's brightest future, and its most positive relationship with the world, lies in harmonious development, dialogue and respect.
Monday, 17 March 2008
"We were told we were fighting terrorism...The real terrorism was this occupation... I threw families onto the street in Iraq only to come home and see families thrown onto the street in this country in this tragic and unnecessary foreclosure crisis... Our enemy is not 5,000 miles away: they are right here at home." -- Michael Prysner
Sunday, 16 March 2008
(click on image to see leaflet)
Aldermaston is Britains nuclear bomb factory.
This Easter marks the 50th anniversary of the first march to Aldermaston.
Let's join in telling Gordon Brown we want a safe, nuclear free UK and world.
Help build a future of peace and international justice.
Thursday, 13 March 2008
TELL the young people in Afghanistan and Iraq to come home. Why should our young men and women - the majority of which are from poor backgrounds - be ordered to kill other poor people?
On Saturday, lets tell Brown, Bush and the rest - NOT IN OUR NAME!
BBC NEWS FROM TODAY. CLICK HERE FOR ANOTHER REASON WE SHOULD LEAVE
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Extraordinary BBC documentary by Alan Francovich from 1992. Documents the existence of a covert terrorist network maintained throughout Europe by NATO, intended to discredit the political left.
Part 1: The Ringmasters
Part 2: The Puppeteers
Part 3: The Foot Soldiers
Join the global protests - demonstrate 15 March
Assemble 12 noon, Trafalgar Square, London
Assemble 11.30, Blythswood Square, Glasgow.
Join the Global protests
Troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan
Don’t attack Iran
End the siege of Gaza
More details here
Comment by Plot Tracer
You know the score. fuedalism was replaced by capitalism and the future holds socialism and then communism... modernity.
Well, some posh nutter in the UK has suggested that school pupils should swear allegiance to a privaledged lady, who has been playing the benefits system for all its worth for years. It turns out that this old woman and her family, who everyone thought was a bit of joke and a tad old fashioned in our "democratic" world, actually has power. Click here to read about that.
Anyway, Liz, thats her name, has a few fans who like to bow and scrape to her. The odd thing is they want the rest of us to succumb to their weird fetish.
this is the Daily Mash take:
The governments of the United Kingdom, and of Canada, have used Royal Prerogative to deny passports to citizens whom the US government had held, and released, from the American prison in the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay. Martin Mubanga, who has joint citizenship with the United Kingdom and Zambia is one of the British citizens denied a passport. Abdurahman Khadr was denied a passport by the Canadian government.
In the UK, biometric passports, which Andrew Burnham MP recently admitted were the first step towards British national identity cards, are being legislated under Royal Prerogative. It is expected that biometric passports will introduce a database similar to the National Identity Register, including unique NIR numbers for every British citizen.
In the case of Chagos Archipelago islands, in 2000, the English High Court ruled that a local Ordinance made by the Commissioner of the British Indian Ocean Territory exiling the islanders was unlawful, a decision which was accepted by the British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook. Subsequent to this decision, the British Government attempted to achieve the same objective through use of the royal prerogative; a strategy which was also found to be unlawful by the High Court. On May 23, 2007, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales affirmed the lower court's decision.
Would be interested to know what the rest of the world think of this undemocratic system...
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
Monday, 10 March 2008
As a Scot, I am appalled and disgusted that Glasgow and Prestwick
airports are being used to refuel CIA planes, which
are transporting human cargo to countries where
torture is systematically practised. The Brown and
Bush governments use the evidence extracted under
torture to detain without trial.
I am equally appalled and disgusted that the Vucaj
family were abducted in the middle of the night from
their home in Drumchapel, Glasgow to Albania where their lives
are in danger and their daughter is at risk because of
the sex trade.
Nuclear power is back on the agenda, and householders
living around Hunterston nuclear power station in Ayrshire are given potassium iodate
pills in the event of radioactive leakages.
I watched in disbelief as an 82-year-old man was
physically removed from the Labour party conference
and later refused re-entry under the Prevention of
Terrorism Act. He only said "nonsense", and this more recently a Dundee woman was detained under the same act for
walking on a cycle track.
Foreign policy, defence and security, immigration and
energy decisions are made in Westminster and Washington.
As a Scot - UNSUBSCRIBE ME.
Sunday, 9 March 2008
Hurrah for Orange Wednesdays! They recently allowed me to catch Juno, the latest Oscar-winning movie for the booming Geek market, even though I was more broke than a telly with a foot through it.
The film gets straight to the point as bored 16-year-old Juno (Ellen Page) shags her best pal, loveable nerd Bleeker. After discovering she's preggers, Juno has to deal with the consequences for herself and everyone around her. We laugh and cry as a sarky teenager tries to deal with hostility and disappointment.
Exploring the theme of the transformative effects of parenthood, Juno forms an interesting relationship with the baby's prospective adoptive father, Mark. Both, despite the large age-gap between them, are trying to preserve their identity in the face of the pressures of pre-designated roles.
Their resistance to seriousness stands in comparison to Mark's wife Vanessa, who’s desperate to have children and sees this as her life's purpose. This career-woman-turned-bride has prematurely jettisoned her youth in order to become the textbook version of 'mother' – despite her lack of child. Vanessa strives to create the perfect life through the perfect marriage and home, but the cracks soon begin to appear.
Juno's step-mum, Bren, is a variation on the mother figure: neurotic, insensitive to the needs of a young adult; while sound in domestic maintenance and extremely caring of children. At key moments, though, youthful wit break forth - when shooting down a judgemental ultrasound technician, and when reassuring Vanessa: "You look like a new mom. You look scared shitless." At these points, she seems to revert to a younger version of herself, before she submitted to the roles of Adult and Mother.
Being young means humour and intelligence, despite crises like drug addiction and public humiliation. This is demonstrated by the reams of hilarious chat between Juno and her fellow school students. The dialogue is both strength and weakness - I laughed loads, but grew tired of a script that tried hard to be clever.
So, does Juno call on us to reject commitment and get our tubes tied? Not quite. A permanent escape from the straitjacket isn’t on offer. We have mixed feelings when Mark decides to ditch the wife and become a rock star. Juno, from whom he expects sympathy, begs him to change his mind. And Vanessa lets her anti-humour guard slip, making a snide remark about his new apartment.
Juno does well to examine the under-explored issue of teenage pregnancy, but I had some problems with it. The film resolves itself with a saccharine ending as Vanessa is happy with baby, and Juno and Bleek get back together and strum guitars. This is in keeping with the general ‘twee’ trend, currently ascendant in indie music as well as film. IMO, tweeness is partly to blame for one of the film’s big failings - fluffing the issue of abortion. Our heroine is dissuaded from doing so by a bad pong, a punk gabbering about spunk and worst of all, a depiction of a comedy Oriental girl who can’t quite speak English properly - “babies want to be borned” (hurgh hurgh) - who mounts a ‘pro-life’ picket.
It’s a shame that such a forward-thinking film wasn’t brave enough to portray the reality of getting a termination in America. The people outside abortion centres are violent fundamentalists, not cartoon caricatures. In real life, most women in an unwanted pregnancy don’t get a happy ending. Hollywood and the rest of the world need to face up to America’s secret shame.
Thursday, 6 March 2008
Fantastic review of Orwell's classic by SLLU supporter, Alex Miller.
Click on image below.
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
This article was drawn to my attention by another SLLU member.
Another offensive article on the net from an organisation pretending to be neutral. It seems the BBC accept the US conjunction between “Islam and Terrorism”.
Anyone else here find this offensive?
“It was inevitable that terror groups would make greater use of the internet and the possibilities that virtual spaces offered them, said Mr Jones.
"There's more a chance of things like Jihad worlds coming online in the next five years I think," he said.”
“"I think its highly unlikely terrorists would use things like Second Life or World of Warcraft as they do not have the necessary security," said Mr Jones.”
So there you have it – Jihadists will not infiltrate SLLU… jeez. Disgraceful journalism IMHO.
Monday, 3 March 2008
Video and statement about d notice-
"As of 1940hrs 29/02/08 I have been placed under an injunction preventing me from speaking publicly and publishing material gained as a result of my service in UKSF (SAS).
I will be continuing to collect evidence and opinion on British Involvement in extraordinary rendition, torture, secret detentions, extra judicial detention, use of evidence gained through torture, breaches of the Geneva Conventions, breaches of International Law and failure to abide by our obligations as per UN Convention Against Torture. I am carrying on regardless "
Ben Griffin, Former UK Special forces trooper