Scary

(Wired.)

The Scottish city of Glasgow has won a £24 million grant from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to become Britain’s first “smart city”.

The money will be spent by the council on services for residents that will make the quality of living in the city better. Glasgow beat 30 other UK cities to the prize.

Projects on the table include real-time traffic information, apps to check when buses and trains are arriving, and a pothole reporting service. Facial analysis for the city’s CCTV network and energy use monitoring to make electricity and gas delivery more efficient are also mooted.

“Glasgow has some quite extreme challenges – it has the lowest life expectancy of any city in the UK for instance – and the hope is that if we bring together energy, transport, public safety and health it will make it more efficient and a better place to live,” Scott Cain, the TSB’s project leader for Future Cities, told the BBC.

Spot the scary part?

Facial analysis for the city’s CCTV network and energy use monitoring to make electricity and gas delivery more efficient are also mooted.

Jesus.

Racist

imageseemingly? Even Sun readers are seemingly not immune.
Make no mistake, Abbott’s tweet was racist, there is no ‘seemingly’ about it.
I can divine no logical reason for adding a ‘seemingly’ unless one is labouring under the nagging feeling that Abbott cannot be racist because she is herself black.
In which case YOU are racist.

The Language Of Tyranny

Argh, is probably the best word. In between playing Command Crisis and watching “9″ today I have been keeping an eye on Sky News, and one of the recurring headlines has been the The Lib Dumb Conference. The language used by both the shower of shite on the stage has been stimulating intellectually, as well as provoking howls of rage from deep within.

Number One. – What “they” owe.

In a speech at the party’s Birmingham conference, Mr Alexander said: “My message to the small minority who don’t pay what they owe is simple.

Nobody actually “owes” the Exchequer anything, except the variously bailed-out banks, who actually vicariously owe you and me, the taxpayers. The money that people earn, even “the rich,” , isn’t actually owed to anybody -least of all the government- unless they have borrowed it. People don’t owe just by virtue of having earned, and to suppose that they do is actually well on the road to believing that all money is rightfully the property of the state, who will decide what pocket money we are allowed to have. It’s not just a nonsense, it’s tyrannical.

Number Two. - “Fair”

“I agree with the Chancellor – we will find you and your money and you will pay your fair share.” (Still Mr. Alexander)

Strictly speaking, if taxes were to be a “fair share” then 1/60,000,000th of the costs of the government is correct. Even with a flat tax higher earners would be paying more than their “fair share” and going as far as the “Lib” Dems propose is actually about as far from “fair” as you could get, as well as being counterproductive.

Number Three - Many a true word.

So, well done – you all got past security clearance!

Incidentally I’m very grateful to the police, they’ve now provided me with all the detailed personal information on party members that I need in order to conduct a Stalinist purge.

Basically anyone who actually passed security clearance without sign of being a subversive will be erased. (Tim Farron’s Speech)

Very poor taste, considering that they are allegedly a Liberal party, but also quite illuminating of these people’s mindset.

Number Four – Tax Avoidance is WRONG

The super rich don’t need to go down Ealing high street nicking tellies in order to demonstrate their contempt for society. They demonstrate their contempt by not paying taxes. (Tim Farron again)

Not content only with conflating tax avoidance and tax evasion, now apparently tax avoidance is akin to looting televisions! Ayn Rand must be rolling in her grave.

Number Five - All your child are belong to us

Extra individual tuition

Parent support advisors.

Out of school clubs. (Sara Teather’s Speech)

Doubling the amount of cash (cash we don’t have) available to further interfere in family life and take children away from the family home for more hours each day. Reducing further the responsibility parents have for their children. Because that’s worked so well already.

I could go on, but I feel sick…

Jeremy Kyle as a Justification for Anarcho-Capitalism

Lots of people deride the Jeremy Kyle show -often with some justification- as one of the very worst examples of car-crash television, parading the weak and the feckless for the viewing public’s titilation, and I suppose it does. What it also does, however, is provide a very real and current demonstration of how voluntary associations and trade can be harnessed to aid people absent the state’s involvement.

The Jeremy Kyle show does help people. They have comprehensive aftercare and counselling as well as providing the mediation, polygraph, DNA analysis or whatever else is required to help the participants turn whatever corner in their lives they have appeared on the show to turn. Nobody is forced to appear -except by their consciences or desire for the truth- and most importantly of all, the services provided by the show are free at the point of use.

This is not to say that the producers, researchers, counselling teams or even Mr. Kyle himself are volunteers, donating their time and energy for purely altruistic reasons (not that there is anything wrong with that), they expect to profit from it. They put on a show that people watch, sell advertising and turn a profit from helping people, all without court orders or state-certified mediation services or any of the other tendrils the big state loves to infect people’s private lives with. From this we can show that absent a state, the profit motive would indeed lead enterprising people to plug the gaps in the market left by the state’s dissolution, and those enterprises would by no means be out of the reach of the poor.

Subtle

Ok, so my not-so-triumphant return to the keyboard was intended to begin with a series on living without the state, but tonight’s brand-new CSI got me to thinking. It’s the episode guest-starring teen heart-throb Justin Bieber and thus designed to reach a much larger audience than usual and guess what it features? Anti-government activists-cum-terrorists. The story pretty predictable, young Bieber getting caught up in something he doesn’t understand, brainwashed by his brother and associates to hate the police and the government, meetings with fiery rhetoric held in front of an American flag bedecked with ‘Freedom’ slogans… think American History X substituting neo-nazis for the Tea Party movement and you get the idea.

In fact, I’m beginning to think that IS the idea: As we’ve seen with the recent tragedy in the US the blame is now pointed towards anti-statist activists, and a quick glance at the comments on many an article (that last thread’s quite good, actually) show that the message is starting to hit home: libertarians, anarchists and assorted other anti-big-state people are now Enemy Number One. Muslims are SO last decade, at least in the US.

This is why I hardly post anymore

In today’s news, teaching union takes ignorance of new government plans to establish so-called “free schools” and place a modicum of competition in the school system as “parents don’t want these schools.”

In other news, the VAT increase is set to help bring down the spending deficit, but is it good for the economy? No plans to actually reduce government spending though, which would help a lot more.

Yawn.

Save

The BBC is reporting this morning that the Government have promised not to re-assess the bands for the “Council” Tax (not a tax on councils) until after the election, which will in effect be a tax rise. Fair do’s you may think.
However they are reporting that some households may “save” hundreds of Pounds. Save?? Really?
So I suppose if a mugger demands 50 pounds and then says “well, I did want 60 pounds but I’ll come back for that another time” then I’ve “saved” a tenner?

You Are Stupid

You just can’t be trusted, can you? I mean, when people realise that something isn’t compulsory -even if it’s for their own good!- some of them just won’t do it. The law must be changed to force them to act in their own best interest, that’s what the law’s for!

This is the story on Comrade Beeb this morning. Apparently, since the advent of the road-legal quad bike, riders have realised they are not required to wear a helmet and -shock! horror!- some of them have chosen not to. Cue lengthy segment with free advert for a ‘quad bike safety centre’ (complete with riders riding slowly, in circles in the background wearing helmets and a very attractive, visibly upset young lady in a mini-dress leaving flowers at the scene where her brother would definitely have survived his head on collision with a Land Rover (!) if only he’d a helmet on. Oh, and don’t forget the obligatory Daft Lads Who Don’t Wear Helmets admitting they just don’t wear them because it “looks cool.” Powerful stuff.

So who is it that doesn’t trust YOU, Stupid Citizen, to make a rational decision about your own (nobody elses) safety, and wants to force you at gunpoint to make the correct choice? It’s our old friend: ‘Doctors.’ You know, the guys who used to get paid to fix you when you break down, got sick or had an accident but who have long since stopped regarding you as a customer and now regard you as a ‘drain’ on ‘their resouces’ (YOUR resources. YOU paid for them) and thus have a divine right to interfere in YOUR LIFE to ‘prevent poor health outcomes’ i.e. to stop YOUR money being diverted away from golf clubs and brandy.

You are stupid. You can’t be trusted to make the right choice. Listen to us, it’s for your own good. We are the State. You will be assimilated.

Bollocks.

The British People?

Seeing this morning that the ASA has banned a Tesco advert promising ‘fresh baked bread from scratch’ in its stores my initial thought was “fair enough,” but when I read further down the page this statement from the “Real Bread Campaign working party Chairman” Iain Loe:

We believe that this ruling sends an important message to unscrupulous advertisers: if you plan to hide or distort the facts in an attempt to draw customers away from small, independent bakeries that make an honest living baking honest loaves, the people of Britain won’t stand for it.’

The “People of Britain? Really? It seems to me that if this were true there would be no need for a “Real Bread Campaign” (as opposed to the imaginary bread, presumably phase-shifted 90° onto the j axis, foisted on us by eeevil corporations)  as the Great British Public would already be buying all their bread from little (real) bakeries.

Incidentally, the Campaign For Real Bread or whatever it’s called is part of Sustain , a charity with many branches devoted to global warming, organic food and other right-on causes.