Tony Blair’s just been on the TV giving a little pep talk. I’d love to be able to ask him how “a world based on order” is created by flouting international law, ignoring international institutions, and unilaterally attacking foreign countries. Perhaps he means “a world where order is gaurenteed by American and British force.”
Hmm. While I was interested to see that the New York Times had actually bothered to report Cook’s resignation (unlike the War Channel AKA CNN), I was somewhat surprise that in its story, it called Cook’s party “The Labor Party”. Is it now standard practice to simply ignore the local spellings of names? Or do Americans really find “Labour” impossible to read?
The resignation of former foreign secretary Robin Cook can hardly go unmentioned. Cook received a standing ovation from the House of Commons for his resignation speech, which talked about Iraq’s lack of weapons, and contrasted the insistance that it comply with UN resolutions with the reluctance to press Israel to comply with resolutions, passed over 30 years ago, that call for it to withdraw from the West Bank.
Danny gives a link to an email from Kate Adie that clarifies the situation regarding what the US military will do about TV uplinks. Kate says the US military have told her that they can’t distinguish between military and civilian transmissions – and so could target journalists, although not deliberately. A slightly different perspective – but still, not good.
There’s an interesting piece on the BBC about America’s deep Christian faith. It’s a fact about the US that many of those who look to that country for its technology and science forget: this is a country (literally) in love with God. And, of course, it’s a fact that’s completely forgotten by those who claim the US is “godless”.
Personally, I’ve long thought that religion will one day be looked upon as a form of mental illness – a desire for a universal father that will take care of us and a refusal to respond rationally to the world. I’m not so sure these days that’s true of all forms of spiritual belief, as I think that certain kinds of animistic beliefs and Buddhist teachings have a more interesting foundation, and less pathological consequences, but for monotheistic religions I think it’s pretty much true.
But then, I am genuine “godless”.
I spent most of Thursday and Friday at the World Indoor Athletics Championship, up at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, courtesy of Epson. I’d never been to an athletics meeting before, and it was great – really much more exciting than it is on TV.
But the highlight technology-wise was a look behind the scenes at the Epson computers that provide data on all the competitors and the competition for journalists and officials. The computers used are incredible machines, built specially for the purpose with little touch screens, running Neutrino rather than Windows – and not once has one of these machines failed. Given the amount of data of data that is stored, including all the times of every athlete in every meeting, worldwide – and including split times as well – it’s a pretty incredible system.
NY Times: “Mitchell D. Kapor, a personal computer industry software pioneer and a civil liberties activist, has resigned from the board of Groove Networks after learning that the company’s software was being used by the Pentagon as part of its development of a domestic surveillance system.” [Scripting News]
Mmmm… Martian Technology is making a rather nice little 40Gb wireless file server that works with Macs, PCs, and anything that understands SMB. Got to be worth a look, especially at $399.
GavinsBlog.com has a transcript and recording of an interview from Irish radio in which Kate Adie, long-time BBC war correspondent, in which she claims the Pentagon has confirmed to her that television signals out of Iraq – uplinks – that haven’t been approved by the Pentagon will be targetted for military action. As Adie says, that’s an “attitude which is entirely hostile to the free spread of information”. It’s also far more than the US did 12 years ago.