Daily Archives: July 15, 2007

GPS device can tag your teenager (or errant husband) absolutely anywhere in Britain

Daily Mail | Jul 14, 2007


The gadget can be clipped to children’s clothing or carried in their pockets

It could be the perfect answer for parents anxious about their children’s whereabouts.

A device the size of a large matchbox is being launched that exactly pinpoints a carrier’s location through a global positioning system accessed by computer or mobile phone.

The gadget, called buddi, can be clipped to children’s clothing or carried in their pockets. Parents then log on to see their child’s position on a detailed map via satellite tracking.

Buddi also has two buttons that can be pressed if the wearer is lost or in trouble to alert friends or relatives through an emergency call centre active 24 hours a day.

It is the first such device to be launched in Britain and is the brainchild of Sara Murray, 38, a former marketing consultant. She spent two years developing the idea as a result of her own experiences as mother of a daughter, now 14.

“When my daughter was little she got lost in a supermarket and in that moment of panic when I realised she was missing, I wished I had something I could put on her to keep track of her,” she said.

“I found her safe and sound but, as she grew up, there were many more occasions when I worried where she was and thought there must be a better way of monitoring her. Then, two years ago, I came up with the idea for buddi.”

Ms Murray, who lives in Pimlico, South-West London, said her idea could help other vulnerable people such as those with dementia or learning difficulties.

“We live in difficult times and any service that can provide people with the confidence that they can be traced within seconds, or alert people in emergencies, is something I am sure will help people,” she added.

The device is backed by organisations responsible for vulnerable people, such as Parents and Children Together and the National Autistic Society. It goes on sale on the internet next month, costing £299 to buy plus £20 a month to operate.

But critics warn it could encourage parents’ paranoia and lead to children being over-reliant on the system rather than developing skills to cope with potential dangers. Michele Elliot, director of children’s charity Kidscape, said: “Tracking devices could be useful in certain circumstances, such as for children with learning disabilities or elderly people with dementia.

“But I would warn parents to use their common sense and not become too dependent on them.

“I worry that giving these devices to children will send out the message that the world is very dangerous and they can’t ever be out of contact with their parents. They might never learn important lessons for themselves.”

Ms Murray has also launched a product called petbuddi, which can be attached to a pet’s collar and used to track them.

But the version for children has a more intriguing alternative use. Maybe it is just the job for suspicious wives fretting about a husband “working late” again.

The painkilling fields: England’s opium poppies that tackle the NHS morphine crisis

Daily Mail | Jul 14, 2007


A growing business: An opium poppy field near Didcot power station in Oxfordshire

In Afghanistan, British troops are fighting a ferocious and often lethal war to eradicate the country’s opium poppy crop.

Yet, as our soldiers risk their lives daily, large swathes of the English countryside are being turned over to the very same crop – with the full backing of the Government.

Farmers are cultivating the poppies to combat a critical shortage of morphine in NHS hospitals, and are finding it a lucrative crop.

Extracts from the plants can either be turned into the much-needed painkiller – or deadly heroin.

Most of the heroin that reaches Britain originates in the poppy fields of Afghanistan, and the trade funds Taliban-backed terrorism.

But in the UK, the Home Office has granted pharmaceutical company Macfarlan Smith a licence to harvest the poppies, and now they are being grown in tens of farms across Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire.

The move aims to ease the severe lack of diamorphine that has hit the NHS, and the rest of the world, for several years.

Guy Hildred has dedicated more than 100 acres of his farm near Ipsden, Oxfordshire, to poppies. He said: “It is worthwhile from a farmer’s point of view and it’s an expanding market.”

His neighbour, Tom Allen, has a 15-acre poppy field and said: “We simply had to prepare the land, drill it and watch the crop grow. Macfarlan Smith takes care of the harvesting and transport of the poppy heads. I think we’ll do it again next year.”

A spokesman for Macfarlan Smith’s parent company, Johnson Matthey, said: “We have a number of farmers under contract to grow poppies, which we then harvest. You can extract morphine and codeine from the poppies’ capsules.

“We are the only company processing poppies in this way in the UK. The same crop is grown in Afghanistan, India and Turkey for illegitimate reasons.”

The opiate from which both morphine and heroin are derived is found in the milky white sap contained in the poppy’s capsules. It hardens into a sticky brown resin.

Despite the efforts of British troops, Afghanistan still generates 90 per cent of the world’s heroin output.

Cultivation of the crop for legal means has expanded rapidly in Britain since trials began six years ago – but the global morphine shortage is so severe that Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch-Brown has raised the possibility of legalising opium growing in Afghanistan.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “The poppies in question, Papaver somniferum, can be grown without a licence. The extraction of the drugs is a complex industrial process and the people who work to produce the drugs have to be licensed.

“In addition, the Home Office receives information about where the poppy farmers are and how much they are growing from the pharmaceutical companies. We then send growers a letter that they are encour-aged to show to local police to make them aware of their activities.”

Report: Surveillance a Threat to Fundamental Rights

RINF Alternative News | Jul 13, 2007

By Mick Meaney

A new report from the Council of European Commission for Democracy has warned the widespread use of public surveillance is a threat to our “fundamental rights”. The Venice Commission also made recommendations on how personal freedoms could be protected.

Recommendations include authorities and business to state the zones being filmed and set up a national body to guarantee the lawfulness of such installations, in line with the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights and the international texts governing the gathering and protection of data.

“The right of the owner or inhabitant to protect his or her private property does not mean that a person who enters somebody else’s territory, has no right to respect for his or her privacy. He or she must instead be informed, or reasonably be made aware on other grounds, of the surveillance or the possibility of incidental surveillance. In addition, as is the case with surveillance in public places by public authorities, the person concerned is entitled to know if data have been collected and how the data collected will be processed and what use may be made thereof. And finally, he or she must have a legal remedy to have the legality of the surveillance reviewed,” states the report.

A Home Office spokesman said: “A review was under way into the issue of CCTV and how it can be used most effectively and fairly. There is no doubt that CCTV plays a vital role in the fight against crime.”

Read the report in full here

9/11 and the British Broadcasting Conspiracy

If you (assuming you are an adult) can watch this video and still conclude that the BBC, or the US government, is telling us anything remotely resembling the truth about 9/11, then you are one of three things:

1) an imbecile, 2) a nut-job or 3) a treasonous collaborator with enemies of the United States.

Or any combination of the above.

Alright? Everybody got that? Good, we just want to know where everybody stands. Now see the video.


RINF Alternative News | Jun 25, 2007

By Mick Meaney

A new British documentary has been released focusing on the BBC’s selective and distorted coverage of the events of 9/11.

‘911 and the British Broadcasting Conspiracy’ features ex-MI5 officer David Shayler and was produced by Adrian Connock, who was also responsible for the ‘Mind the Gap’ documentary that exposed the false flag terrorist attacks of 7/7/05.

911 and the British Broadcasting Conspiracy

Special attention has been paid to the BBC’s ‘Conspiracy Files’ programme which aired on BBC 2, February 18th 2007 and omitted hardcore evidence proving 9/11 was an inside job.

‘911 and the British Broadcasting Conspiracy’ demolishes the weak attempt by the BBC to cover up the truth behind 9/11 and exposes their foreknowledge of the collapse of WTC building 7, when they reported the event 20 minutes before the building came down.

The documentary is online to watch for free at http://bbc5.tv and is highly recommended.


BBC Reported Building 7 Had Collapsed 20 Minutes Before It Fell

George Orwell, Big Brother is watching your house

On the wall outside his former residence – flat number 27B – where Orwell lived until his death in 1950, an historical plaque commemorates the anti-authoritarian author. And within 200 yards of the flat, there are 32 CCTV cameras, scanning every move.

Evening Standard | Jul 15, 2007


Foresight: The cameras crowd George Orwell’s former London home

The Big Brother nightmare of George Orwell’s 1984 has become a reality – in the shadow of the author’s former London home.

It may have taken a little longer than he predicted, but Orwell’s vision of a society where cameras and computers spy on every person’s movements is now here.

According to the latest studies, Britain has a staggering 4.2million CCTV cameras – one for every 14 people in the country – and 20 per cent of cameras globally. It has been calculated that each person is caught on camera an average of 300 times daily.

Use of spy cameras in modern-day Britain is now a chilling mirror image of Orwell’s fictional world, created in the post-war Forties in a fourth-floor flat overlooking Canonbury Square in Islington, North London.

On the wall outside his former residence – flat number 27B – where Orwell lived until his death in 1950, an historical plaque commemorates the anti-authoritarian author. And within 200 yards of the flat, there are 32 CCTV cameras, scanning every move.

Orwell’s view of the tree-filled gardens outside the flat is under 24-hour surveillance from two cameras perched on traffic lights.

The flat’s rear windows are constantly viewed from two more security cameras outside a conference centre in Canonbury Place.

In a lane, just off the square, close to Orwell’s favourite pub, the Compton Arms, a camera at the rear of a car dealership records every person entering or leaving the pub.

Within a 200-yard radius of the flat, there are another 28 CCTV cameras, together with hundreds of private, remote-controlled security cameras used to scrutinise visitors to homes, shops and offices.

The message is reminiscent of a 1949 poster to mark the launch of Orwell’s 1984: ‘Big Brother is Watching You’.

In the Shriji grocery store in Canonbury Place, three cameras focus on every person in the shop. Owner Minesh Amin explained: ‘They are for our security and safety. Without them, people would steal from the shop. Although this is a nice area, there are always bad people who cause trouble by stealing.’

Three doors away, in the dry-cleaning shop run by Malik Zafar, are another two CCTV cameras.

‘I need to know who is coming into my shop,’ explained Mr Zafar, who spent £400 on his security system.

This week, the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) produced a report highlighting the astonishing numbers of CCTV cameras in the country and warned how such ‘Big Brother tactics’ could eventually put lives at risk.

The RAE report warned any security system was ‘vulnerable to abuse, including bribery of staff and computer hackers gaining access to it’. One of the report’s authors, Professor Nigel Gilbert, claimed the numbers of CCTV cameras now being used is so vast that further installations should be stopped until the need for them is proven.

One fear is a nationwide standard for CCTV cameras which would make it possible for all information gathered by individual cameras to be shared – and accessed by anyone with the means to do so.

The RAE report follows a warning by the Government’s Information Commissioner Richard Thomas that excessive use of CCTV and other information-gathering was ‘creating a climate of suspicion’.

Global warming zealots stifling scientific debate

The Age | Jul 12, 2007


by Ian Plimer

TONIGHT’S airing of The Great Global Warming Swindle and the associated discussion on ABC TV should be a hoot. The ABC has structured the panel to try to get their preferred political position aired. The panel composition will minimise scientific discussion. It contains journalists, political pressure groups and those who will make a quid out of frightening us witless.

Three scientists with a more rational view to the doomsday hype were invited to appear on the panel and have now been uninvited as they do not dance to the drumbeat of disaster. There is a VIP section of the audience with loopy-left greens and social commentators. We have the Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (BAMOS), which was in such a hurry to publish a critique of The Great Global Warming Swindle that it contains schoolboy howlers and a lack of logic intertwined with politics.

What makes it even more amusing is that BAMOS did not criticise Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. If this Hollywood fiction film claims to be supported by science, then why did it perpetuate a well-documented scientific fraud?

There is no panel discussion when the ABC TV religiously promotes the popular political view on global warming. Why is there a panel for an alternative view?

Science is married to evidence, scepticism and dissent. This evidence is from experiment, measurement, observation and calculation. Scientists hotly debate the methods of acquisition of evidence. Once the evidence is validated, a scientific theory is offered as an explanation. This theory must be in accord with all previous validated data and can be changed with new data. Science has no consensus, science is anarchistic as it submits to no authority, and the latest scientific view is only transitory. Science is apolitical, and when it has submitted to political pressure in the past, it has been at great human cost. Noise, political pressure or numbers of converts does not validate a scientific concept. When the president of the Royal Society says the science on human-induced global warming is settled, one is reminded of a previous president who said it was impossible for heavier-than-air machines to fly!

Since the beginning of time, climate has always changed. It has warmed and cooled faster than any contemporary change. Nothing happening at present is unusual. The atmospheric carbon dioxide content in the past has been hundreds to thousands of times the current figure and the world did not end. Quite the contrary — life thrived. Computer models are models, albeit primitive. They are not predictions, they are not scenarios. They don’t do clouds. They don’t do turbulence. They don’t do unseen submarine emissions of greenhouse gases. They deal only with greenhouse gas emissions from volcanos in times of little volcanic activity. They don’t do starbursts, which have probably given us the greatest climate changes on Earth. They don’t do variations in cosmic ray fluxes, which produce clouds in the lower atmosphere. They don’t do mountain building, plate tectonics and closing or opening of seaways, which have profound effects on climate.

If the conclusion that humans are changing climate by carbon dioxide emissions requires the omission of validated astronomical, palaeontologic and geological evidence, then the popular view of humans causing climate change is not science. We are seeing a revival of a form of zealous Western politics intertwined with poor theology, poor economics and poor logic.

If humans have contributed to the slight warming in the 20th century, then all theories of past climate changes need to be evaluated and discarded. This has not happened. Why is it that previous global warmings have been faster and greater than the warming that started after the Little Ice Age? Is it no surprise that the planet has become warmer after the Little Ice Age? Is it no surprise that the driver of climate has been, is and will be that great ball of heat in the centre of our solar system? If evidence from the past is used, then one can only conclude that the slight warmings and cooling in the 20th century cannot be due to carbon dioxide.

Groups like BAMOS and the IPCC deny, minimise or ignore significant recent climate changes that gave us the Roman Warming, the Dark Ages, the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age. Both history and archaeology show that in previous warmings, temperatures were far higher than at present. Populations and the economy thrived. Previous coolings led to famine, depopulation and social disruption. History shows that it is dangerous to ignore history.

The Renaissance gave us a system where criticism, logic, scepticism and an alternative view based on evidence were valued.

It was in this environment that democracy thrived. We are now reaping the rewards of dumbing down the education system and live at a time when it is a politically correct duty to suppress alternative views. The best way to understand climate is to critically and sceptically evaluate the evidence presented to us over a very long period of time by the heavens and the Earth beneath our feet.

Ian Plimer is emeritus professor of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne and professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide.

‘Great Global Warming Swindle’ director hits back at critics

The Australian | Jul 12, 2007

THE director of a controversial documentary about global warming airing on ABC television tonight says he’s been vilified for challenging popular theory.

Briton Martin Durkin directed The Great Global Warming Swindle, which seeks to debunk the idea that climate change is being caused by human activity.

Climate scientists and minor political parties in Australia have criticised the national broadcaster for screening what ABC journalist Tony Jones says is a “deeply flawed” program.

Mr Durkin today accused his opponents of prejudice and denied that an overwhelming majority of scientists believed mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions caused global warming.

“Doing this film has really opened my eyes about how sinister the whole affair is,” he told Southern Cross Broadcasting.

“I can understand now why so few scientists are prepared to really stick their neck out and take this issue on because you’re lambasted if you dare to. To suggest that this theory isn’t true is an absolute taboo.”

Mr Durkin said support among scientists for the theory fell well short of the claimed consensus.

He referred to the Oregon Petition which opposes the Kyoto Protocol, saying it had more than 17,000 scientist signatories.

“The trouble is it’s a dodgy theory combined with a very big fashionable prejudice which is the kind of anti-industry kick that so many left and middle class people seem to be into these days.”

The British director said there was no evidence to support the theory that carbon dioxide had affected the planet’s climate in the past.

“The climate has been changing throughout all of Earth’s history all of the time.

“The recent warming we’ve had represents a recovery from a particularly cold period in Earth’s recent climate history.”

Mr Durkin said the planet was in another interglacial period between ice ages and one of the coldest such periods.

“The idea that there’s a normal temperature on earth is simply ridiculous.”

The documentary first attracted controversy when it aired on Britain’s Channel 4 earlier this year.

An edited version screens on ABC TV at 8.30pm (AEST) tonight, followed by a taped interview with Mr Durkin and a studio debate involving opponents and supporters of the film.

“I hope (Australians) watch. Even if they end up disagreeing, I don’t mind at all if they give the argument a fair run,” he said.


The Great Global Warming Swindle


Glenn Beck w. Great Global Warming Swindle Producer Durkin
The Great Global Warming Swindle producer Martin Durkin appears on Glenn Beck to discuss global warming hysteria and defend charges that his documentary contains major misrepresentations.

For The Great Global Warming Swindle Parts 1 through 8

Global Warming Doomsday Called Off


The myth of dangerous human-caused climate change (PDF file)
By ROBERT M CARTER, Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy, “New Leaders” conference, Brisbane, May 2-3, 2007 “Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus …”


Robert M. Carter – Bio