Richard Feynman talks

Bookmark this spot for when you need your Richard Feynman hit.

Mozilla introduces ‘Collusion’

I have not tried it yet, but it has certainly peaked my interest.  According to Mozilla:

‘Collusion is an experimental add-on for Firefox and allows you to see all the third parties that are tracking your movements across the Web. It will show, in real time, how that data creates a spider-web of interaction between companies and other trackers. ‘

I think I’llk go play with the demo now…

A passing thought to ‘leap years’


Walker takes a second look at the Individual Rights Party of British Columbia

In the environment of ever-increasing encroachment on civil liberties from many, many directions, is it surprising that I get excited to hear (read) about any pro-individual movement/party/thought ‘out there’?

It seems I am not alone.

Walker, over at The Blog of Walker, has just done a lengthy piece taking a second look at their message.  It consists of a number of questions Walker posed to the founders of the nascent party, their replies – and, perhaps most critically, Walker supplies the logistics of how it all ‘fits together’.  Interesting.

When Walker took a first look at the party, he got some comments from ‘anonymous’, which were critical of the Individual Rights Party Of British Columbia’s (IRPBC’s) official policy on Islam (which acknowledges the political aspect and considers it to be more defining of the doctrine than its ‘spiritual’ or ‘religious’ aspects).  Walker and I both responded to the comments only to encounter trollish responses from ‘anonymous’.

Trolls may be annoying, but they can also be amusing – and, at times, useful.

The ‘second look’ attracted the same troll back.  I don’t know if he is trolling because of the subject matter or if he is Walker’s pet troll, but I took care not to feed him this time around.  However, Frank Hilliard of the IRPBC, took the time to defend his party’s position on Islam – and had done this so eloquently that (with permission), I would like to reproduce his comment in full (F.H’s response to ‘anonymous’ has been bolded by me):

“Anonymous said…

So you didn’t ask about the Muslim thing, eh? Can’t say I’m surprised.

So when someone in Canada starts an Islamist Party of Canada, and part of their platform is to remove the constitutional protection to peaceful religion practice from Jews and only Jews, I assume that when you interview them the question will be restricted to asking who the treasurer is, right?”

Nice bit of sarcasm Anonymous, but you’ve dodged around the issue if Islam’s political ambitions. Most other religions have moral rules, but Islam has Sharia law which defines not just personal morality but every aspect of private and public life. As such, it conflicts on multiple levels with Canadian civil, criminal and parliamentary law. The Individual Rights Party of BC simply says that if Islamic communities want to change Canadian law, they should accept the obligations and responsibilities of political organization and run candidates in elections.

We don’t have any problem with Islam as a religion but we totally reject Sharia law weather imposed by incrementalism or by force. I’m pretty sure you would too if you realized your right to comment on this issue would be denied if Sharia were already in effect.

Thought provoking, is it not?


Ezra Levant and Pamela Geller on the ‘Zombie Mohammad judge’ scandal

This is truly scandalous:  for a judge in the USA to brandish a holy book of any kind inside the courtroom and apply religious lawinstead of upholding the laws of the land is beyond the pale.

Note:  more has been written about Mark Martin, the ‘Zombie Mohammad judge’ and, apparently, he is indeed a convert to Islam.  This in itself is irrelevant:  it is his actions which count, not his religious convictions.  I raise the point only because in the video, Pamela Geller asserts that he is not a Muslim.  Therefore, I include this link so people can judge for themselves what to think.

CodeSlinger: The internet is about to get dramatically harder to regulate!

In response to my post about the UN plans to ‘regulate’ the internet, CodeSlinger made a comment which I think deserves a full post of its own:

Good algorithms for dynamic routing through ad hoc wireless mesh networks are already available in the public domain. Most people already have more processing power and bandwidth than they actually use, and the amount of computing power you can buy for a buck just keeps on doubling every 18 months. All this surplus is can be made available to carry other people’s traffic.

The only thing holding back a truly unkillable internet is the fact that most people aren’t willing to spend much money on the uplink side. They will buy a wireless router with enough range to cover their home, but not enough to cover their block. But just let some of these draconian measures pass and see how fast that changes. People will quickly figure out how much better the internet works when everybody is their neighbours’ ISP.

Already, in densely populated areas, we are seeing increasing overlap between the coverage areas of people’s routers and their neighbours’ routers. As this trend accelerates, larger and larger urban areas will de facto become independent sub-networks that cannot be killed or surveiled from outside.

In rural areas, however, the problem is a lot worse because each router has to cover an area that may be miles in diameter in order to achieve overlap. Before you get anywhere near that range, though, you run into CRTC limitations on transmitted power.

And maintaining connectivity between distant population centers is an even bigger problem. However, a German group called the Chaos Computer Club is developing the Hackerspace Global Grid: a system of communications satellites (!) which will interface to inexpensive ground stations that anyone can buy or build.

Here is an article about the project: Hackers plan space satellites to combat censorship.

The internet is about to get dramatically harder to regulate!

YouTube identifies birdsong as copyrighted music


This is just getting silly!

From the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom:

I disputed their claim with YouTube’s system — and Rumblefish refuted my dispute, and asserted that: ‘All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content: Entity: rumblefish; Content Type: Musical Composition.’ So I asked some questions, and it appears that the birds singing in the background of my video are Rumblefish’s exclusive intellectual property.”

Law Without Government

Contrary to popular belief, this is not only possible, it is plausible.

The following video does not describe a system without flaws, but it certainly explains why ‘anarchy’ is not simply the rule of the meanest…

Thunderf00t: YouTube starts banning ‘religiously offensive’ videos

He’s right.

Warrants? We don’t need no stinking warrants!!!

This is beyond the pale!

Yes, Mr. Levant is correct to raise the spectre of Pavlik Morozov:  I was certainly taught in school to live up to his example.  But that was on the other side of the iron curtain!  There is no room for twisted crap like that in our schools now!

Let you be the first to read it!

I have a gun.

I even volunteered in a school, teaching children how to use a gun, just like mine.

A glue gun, that is.

I have a whole bunch of glue sticks in an ammo box I bought at an army surplus store – partly because I like puns and partly because it is efficient.

I also own a tape gun – it makes wrapping presents more efficient.

And I have two staple guns.  (OK, one is my hubby’s, but that makes at least half of it mine, no?)

My kids own guns, too!

From the air-zooka (which ‘shoots’ air, if you are not familiar with it) through a marshmallow gun to water guns…

But if I wanted to own a firearm – an actual gun for shooting bullets – I would not feel obligated to tell ‘the state’.  Why?  Because I believe, to the core of my being, that the Magna Carta gives me the right to carry whatever arms I think I need to protect my person, family and property.  Nothing – no law  – can, in my never-humble-opinion – abrogate this natural right to protect myself.

It is precisely because I have the right to carry weapons that police has the power to carry weapons:  they derive that right from me, and you, and all the other citizens. Since the government acts as our proxy, it cannot do what each and every one of us does not have the right to do, irrespective of the government.

This equation goes both ways:  since the state is acting on our behalf, it cannot do anything we are not free to do.  Therefore, if some agents of the state do carry firearms, it therefore follows that each and every citizen has that very same right.  If we did not have that right, then the government agents would have nowhere to get that right from.

I recognize I am not expressing this eloquently – following is a video that does a much better job of it:

When all the rhetoric is washed away, at its core, this is about self-ownership.