Monday, November 28, 2005

Keep Taking The Tablets

"...but the big problem was how to make
your feminism jibe with your
unappeasable hunger for male bodies.
It wasn't easy. Besides, the older you got,
the clearer it became that men were
basically terrified of women.
Some secretly, some openly.

What could be more poignant than
a liberated woman eye to eye
with a limp prick?

All history's greatest issues paled by comparison
with these two quintissential objects:
the eternal woman and the eternal limp prick."

Erica Jong, Fear of Flying
(About the book)
Image received as spam.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Red Delta

"No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red." Shakespeare, Macbeth

A thorough and interesting piece on Macbeth - from a pathologist (!)

Image © 2005 R deCinabre

Saturday, November 26, 2005

'Operation Ore' Ends. A Success?!!

The three-year operation is now being wound up, in which 7,272 Britons were caught after the US Postal Service raided a subscription-based website offering access to thousands of images of abused children. Details of the Britons were passed to Britain's National Crime Squad.

Of the 7,272 questioned for downloading illegal images, around 2,000 people were convicted and cautioned as a result of the operation. Around 500 admitted their guilt and accepted a police caution. Others arrested were released without charge. At least 38 suspects have committed suicide. 1,400 who are not able to be convicted because of insufficient evidence are on a list circulated to police forces to keep on file. Many cases are still going throught the courts.

Adding those numbers, I get around 3,938 accounted for. Which means 3,334 are either still going through the courts or were released without charge.

I was particularly interested in all this, because I remember at the beginning, three years ago, police in the UK complained that they lacked the resources to investigate all the names, and so 'put children at risk'.

(Here's a technical explanation of some of the forensic difficulties in these cases.)

The operation cost around £10 million. Peanuts.

These people have sponsored child-abusers, the photographers of child abuse and the website owners and, by so doing, have encouraged more child abuse.

It is my opinion that child abuse is a worse crime than murder. In murder, the victim is killed; in child abuse, the victim is tortured for life. Though murder is terrible, torture for life is horrendous.

I believe, too, that, as a species, a primary factor determining our level of civilisation must be how we treat our young: they are the future of the species and in our natural care and nurture for that role.


There is some very extensive research available which finds "Operation Ore was the largest miscarriage of justice in the UK this century and an unprecedented violation of civil rights."
Click here for the short story.
Here for the full research.
Another site investigating Operation Ore: OBU Investigators UK.

Having just been through all that above; putting together the child-abuse and the conduct of the investigation, and considering our responsibility for our children's care, I conclude that we're either way less civilised than we think we are, or we have completely lost the plot!


Just one more thing: how are we doing, I wonder, with the national computerised database which was to prevent any more Ian Huntleys getting a job such as that which led to deaths of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in the Soham murders? The last I heard, a couple of years ago, was that those responsible for setting it up could not agree on a system; and the systems they were looking at would cost a fortune. On the other hand, I heard, Scotland already has a system that does the job and would cost little to set up. But that was too simple for the English, we must have a system that's complicated and expensive, that we can keep arguing over (and repairing). Meanwhile...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Visible Panty Lines

This is not new, but I've posted it because I think it's a lovely idea. It was said to be the rage in Japan a couple of years ago; but some say they've not seen them on the streets, only in magazines. Some say it's a hoax.

Here's some more skirts like that.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


"A Chinese man started to get into a local subway train, when his Caucasian companion pointed out that they could save twenty minutes by taking an express, which they did. When they got off at Central Park, the Chinese man sat down on a bench, much to his friend's surprise. 'Well,' explained the former, 'since we saved twenty minutes, we can afford to sit here that long and enjoy our surroundings.' "

There's a gem at the back of the book of the well-known title 'Games People Play', written by Eric Berne, MD. It's a piece on Autonomy and the three capacities required to attain it: awareness, spontaneity and intimacy.
Berne believed:
Every person can change.
People are responsible for their own lives.
Everyone is born OK.
Everyone has the capacity to think.
Individuals can decide their own destiny.
Eric Berne developed Transactional Analysis, which views each of us as comprising a parent, adult and child. The parent in us admonishes us, the adult is reasonable and responsible, and the child is spontaneous and free of hang-ups. The aim of Transactional Analysis is a state in which the 'adult' allows the 'child' to play, without nagging from the 'parent'.

To live in this state we need to achieve Autonomy. To do that, we need to recover three capacities:

Awareness - Living in the present moment. Seeing and appreciating what is here around us. To be alive and alert to how we feel, where we are and when it is.

Spontaneity - The freedom to choose and express one's feelings. Freedom from the compulsion to play games with others: freedom from having only the feelings one learnt in childhood.

Intimacy - To be candid, perceptive, and living in the here and now. Keen perception evokes affection, and candidness creates positive feelings.

Autonomy requires that we overcome the limitations imposed on us by:
Our tribal or family historical traditions.
Our parental, social and cultural background.
The demands of contemporary society.
The role we play in our social circle.

Then we need to give up the easy indulgences and rewards of being a Sulk* or a Jerk**.
We need to be in such a position that whatever we do is a matter of free choice, subject only to our will.
In Transactional Analysis terms, this whole preparation consists of obtaining a friendly divorce from our 'parents' (and from other parental influences) so that they may be agreeably visited on occasion, but are no longer dominant.

Berne concludes that, for most of us "human life is mainly a process of filling in time until the arrival of death, or Santa Claus (or the Lottery!), with very little choice, if any, of what kind of business one is going to transact during the long wait."

But, "For certain fortunate people there is something which transcends all classifications of behaviour, and that is awareness; something which rises above the programming of the past, and that is spontaneity; and something that is more rewarding than games, and that is intimacy. But all three of these may be frightening and even perilous to the unprepared. Perhaps they are better off as they are, seeking their solutions in popular techniques of social action, such as 'togetherness'."

"This may mean that there is no hope for the human race, but there is hope for individual members of it."

Resume of Games People Play.

An excellent explanation of Transactional Analysis, in: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Hungarian, Bulgarian.

* Sulk: angry since childhood at mother, if male; father, if female. Has been sulking ever since. Can decide to stop at any time, as long as it is possible to save face.
** Jerk: behaving inappropriately or clumsily, caused by the 'parent' interfering with the 'adult' reasonableness and 'child' spontaneity.

Image: Chinese Moves © 2005 R deCinabre

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Counter Propaganda

Parody of an early 1930's Nazi poster.
Original poster said: 'Tod der Lüge', 'Marxismus', 'Hochfinanz' ('Death to Lies', 'Marxism', 'High Finance'). Reference: German Propaganda Archive.

Hitler didn't get to be Leader by straightforward means

He wasn't voted to the position by the people. To make it to Leader he had to pull more than a few tricks.

He accused his communist opponents of: plotting to overthrow the government, poisoning the nation's milk supplies, and setting fire to the parliament building; and he murdered and imprisoned his opponents. Yet, even with all their tricks, the Nazis still only won 288 seats out of the available 647.

Once in parliament, Hitler proposed an Enabling Act (officially titled: 'Law for Removing the Distress of the People and the Country'), which would give him dictatorial powers. He was able to get this Act passed because his communist opponents were all imprisoned or murdered, and he made a deal with the Catholic Church for their vote. Thus he became Leader ('Führer').

The German people have been admonished for allowing Hitler's rise, but he was also admired by many around the world.

In his 1937 diary, Lord Halifax, sent by Prime Minister Chamberlain, records how he told Hitler: "Although there was much in the Nazi system that profoundly offended British opinion, I was not blind to what he (Hitler) had done for Germany, and to the achievement from his point of view of keeping Communism out of his country."
(Referring to the banning of the Communist Party and imprisoning of its leaders in concentration camps.)

The Church preferred Nazism to the risk of atheist communism.
When Hitler escaped assassination in 1939, a Te Deum was sung and the Pope sent his personal congratulations. Later the Pope was to publicly describe Hitler's opposition to Russia as a "high-minded gallantry in defense of the foundations of Christian culture".

A brilliant article on the Catholic Church and Nazism.
another, eliciting some strong and interesting comments.

Once in power, Hitler put Dr Goebbels in charge of the Ministry for People's Enlightenment and Propaganda, where "Under the brilliant leadership of Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the master of political propaganda, the neglected weapon of German politics became a creative art." (Eugen Hadamovsky, the Reichsendeleiter of German radio)

The press, radio, film and theatre were guided and censored by Goebbel's Ministry, so that Party bias and anti-semitism were fed to the people.

Read here, How Hitler Became a Dictator.

A great Source for Nazi propaganda.
Also, Goebbels' Principles of Propaganda.

Ignorance is Not Necessarily Bliss

A few years ago, I heard on the radio an interview with a long-experienced official from the World Health Organisation. His field was population control. He said that the only thing he'd seen that made any significant difference to the birth rate in poor countries was women's education.

A woman's educational level - best predictor of how many children she'll have.
Number of births per woman declines
40% in two decades.
Women's Education and Family Size in Selected Countries 1990s.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

"You Can't Print That!"

If you've got half an hour and a broadband connection, here's a great documentary featuring journalist George Seldes (1890-1995). It's a new take on the 20th century from a man who reported the truth.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Bad Times Good Times

We most of us moan that things were better then than they are now. I once heard that the people in the Bronze Age used to say that things were better in the Iron Age.

In the Middle Ages, insist that wine is just symbolic of Christ's blood, and not his actual blood, and you would be burnt at the stake for heresy. (Not to mention hundreds of other misdemeanours for which you would be tortured or killed horrendously.)

Only just over a hundred years ago, you went to church or would be punished for not attending. The vicar is paid by the lord of the manor, so what he preaches to the shanghaied congregation is what his paymaster agrees should be preached. "Know thy place."

Masturbate a hundred years ago and, as well as blindness and deafness and hair growing on the palms of the hands, you'd fear a remedy like blistering of the penis with red mercury ointment: cauterisation of the spine and genitals were recommended as late as 1905*.

Be outed as homosexual, less than four decades ago, and you'd be in clink.

The power of ignorance.

Without all that ignorance...

without myth, superstition, and fear of punishment from elsewhere, we are free-minded to live in the light and think clearly our own thoughts.

Let's keep it that way.

* Source: World Sex Records - there's also much more stuff on Prudery, Superstition and the Law.

Image courtesy of outnorthwest.

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Morality not the law's business

In 1957, after its three-year long inquiry, the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution in Great Britain came to the conclusion that outlawing homosexuality impinged upon civil liberties.

It said society and the law should respect "individual freedom of actions in matters of private morality."

"Ultimately, private morality or immorality was 'not the law's business'."

Source: BBC On This Day, September 4th 1957.
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Added November 30th 2005:

From (in an excellent piece on Women's Sex Toys):
"...according to Colin Spencer's “Homosexuality: A History”, at least two female transvestites were discovered using dildos in 16th-century France; one was hanged and the other burned alive."
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Added December 14th 2005:

A brilliant read on the whole story of Masturbation.

It includes the absolute final word on all that religious bullshit about Onan who earned God's wrath by 'spilling his seed upon the ground'; thus creating the 'Sin of Onanism':
"And as for Onan being cursed for spilling his seed, it seems it wasn't masturbation or coitus interruptus he was in trouble for - it was failing to knock up his dead brother's wife. (Onan was supposed to provide her with an heir to avoid the shame of being childless, but instead he 'spilled his seed upon the ground' so he wouldn't have to split his inheritance with her offspring.)"
Another telling piece from that same source:
"On December 1, 1994, at a United Nations-sponsored conference on AIDS, U.S. Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders stated that masturbation 'is a part of human sexuality, and it's a part of something that perhaps should be taught - perhaps even as part of our sex ed. Curriculum.' America was not ready for such a message. Teach children to masturbate - or even that it was okay to figure out on their own how to masturbate! Scandal!

The Clinton White House (ever quick to know which way the wind was blowing) made it clear to Elders that if she did not resign, she would be fired. She resigned. (Ironically, Clinton himself was later accused of having his pants down, not for masturbation, but for a blowjob courtesy of Monica Lewinsky. He, however, never resigned.)"
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Added February 20th 2006:

William Acton, the famous Victorian physician, describes the ravages of masturbation:
"The frame is stunted and weak, the muscles undeveloped, the eye is sunken and heavy, the complexion is sallow, pasty, or covered with spots of acne, the hands are damp and cold, and the skin moist. The boy shuns the society of others, creeps about alone, joins with repugnance in the amusements of his schoolfellows. He cannot look any one in the face, and becomes careless in dress and uncleanly in person. His intellect has become sluggish and enfeebled, and if his evil habits are persisted in, he may end in becoming a drivelling idiot.... Such boys are to be seen in all stages of degeneration, but what we have described is but the result towards which they all are tending."
Source: The Marijuana Smokers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"The Exact Opposite of Drugs"

"Drugs are about dulling perception, about addiction and about behavioral repetition... What 'psychedelics' are about is pattern-dissolving experiences of an extraordinarily high or different awareness. They are the exact opposite of drugs.

They promote questioning, they promote consciousness, they promote value examinations, they promote the reconstruction of behavioral patterns."

"The important thing about cannabis is its consciousness-altering effect..."
From an interview with Terence McKenna published in the San Francisco Chronicle/Examiner Sunday Magazine.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sativex UK, OK - but Not Home Grown?

Just announced on the radio:
"GPs will be able to supply Sativex if they apply for a Special Licence to import it from Canada."
Muuuuuuaaaahahahahaahaaahaaaahaaaaaha... Canada?

(Does this mean that there'll be gangs of multiple sclerosis sufferers scouring our surgeries for a hit? Multiple sclerosis sufferers who never took it before will now be getting hooked. Non-multiple sclerosis sufferers will think it's OK for them, too - there'll be an epidemic - of psychosis! Yes, the floodgates will be open now, the right-wing press will go wild!)

In Germany earlier this year, in the case of a 41-year old multiple sclerosis patient, Judge Ulrich Krehbiel used strong words against criminal prosecution of severely ill persons who use cannabis medicinally. "Why don't we allow a man with such a heavy burden some good days," he said. (Source:

Cannabis and Psychosis

Psychosis is the new demon in 100 years of propaganda which has failed to convince us that cannabis use leads to murder, rape, prostitution, insanity, dwarfism, dwindling, idling, hard drugs, death and the 'assassination of youth'.

This article on the BBC site discusses the varied results of the research into the relationship between cannabis use and mental health.

You can see from the article that the researchers are digging deep to find something, and coming to fast conclusions; each equally rapidly criticised with new hypotheses.

They look at every aspect to find the connection, studying Swedish soldiers, students, teenagers and now genes. But it's not going to be easy, you have to have a lot of faith to keep looking when you come up against the kind of results that Australian researchers found:
"despite a steep rise in cannabis use among Australian teenagers over the past 30 years, there had been no rise in the prevalence of schizophrenia".
That's difficult to explain.

If you read through the BBC page linked above, you'll wonder how those geniuses at the UK Daily Mail can come up with lines like these:
'Recent studies suggest cannabis users are at least six times more likely than non-users to develop schizophrenia' (Daily Mail, February 26th 2003)

'Smoking cannabis almost doubles the risk of suffering mental illnesses such as schizophrenia' (Daily Mail, March 1st 2005)

'Cannabis drives psychosis surge'

'The number of children treated for mental problems linked to cannabis use has quadrupled since it was downgraded to a Class C drug'

(the last two are from the Daily Mail print edition, September 19th 2005)

If you look up the Bulletins of the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine (IACM), you'll find more research results which confound the prohibitionists. I've taken the liberty of lifting a couple direct -

Israelian scientists propose that the association between cannabis use and increased risk for schizophrenia that have been observed in recent studies from Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Israel may not be causal. Several studies have reported an association between genes encoding the cannabinoid receptor and schizophrenia. The researchers write: "An alternative explanation of the association between cannabis use and schizophrenia might be that pathology of the cannabinoid system in schizophrenia patients is associated with both increased rates of cannabis use and increased risk for schizophrenia, without cannabis being a causal factor for schizophrenia."
(Source: Weiser M, Noy S. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2005;7(1):81-5.)

Hawaiian researchers investigated the question whether the onset of schizotypal symptoms in regular cannabis users preceded the onset of cannabis use or whether these symptoms followed cannabis use. Their study in a large sample of college students (N=189) found that these symptoms generally were present before the start of cannabis use, an observation that does not support the theses of a causal link between cannabis use and schizophrenia.
(Source: Schiffman J, et al. Psychiatry Res 2005;134(1):37-42)

Monday, November 14, 2005

"Please Don't Put Your Wires in My Brain"*

Here's one example of how false propaganda flows:

Back in April, the press agency Reuters let the world know that "Oral Cannabis Induces Psychosis at Low Levels" when two volunteers, 22 year-old men, developed psychotic symptoms after receiving 20 mg of THC or a cannabis preparation containing 16.5 mg THC. These are not low doses of THC, and they did not develop a psychosis but psychotic reactions, such as anxiety and delusion, well known side effects of cannabis ingestion. This was during a study by researchers of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Clinical studies usually start with single doses of 2.5 or 5 mg THC, rarely with 10 mg THC, to find out the appropriate and tolerated dose and to avoid severe side effects. The tolerated doses vary considerably in different subjects. As stated, the anxiety causing effects of THC are well known, but that didn't stop the Swiss 'scientists' from getting excited at their 'discovery', and calling in the press.

Source: Bulletin of the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine (IACM).

That's how the truth gets bent, especially when there's such eagerness for one particular result. Next post - some of the research, and some more distortions from the press.

* from Pink Floyd song, by Roger Waters.

No More Amsterdam!

I can't find any other evidence* to support this, but according to the latest bulletin from the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine (IACM),

"From January 2006 on, only citizens of the Netherlands will have access to coffee shops. It is intended to prohibit the sale of cannabis in coffee shops to foreigners."
In addition, the Dutch government is considering the scheduling of cannabis as a hard drug if an ongoing investigation comes to the conclusion that the increase in THC concentration of cannabis during the past years is responsible for the increasing number of personality disorders in cannabis users.

Further Research at November 16th 2005

Further research has yielded this post on a forum, which concludes:

The Dutch Justice Ministry has told (METRO) "this is a pilot scheme, limiting sales only to Dutch natives, will begin in Maastricht in January and if successful could be spread throughout the country. They are using Maastricht first because of concerns about Belgians and Germans crossing the nearby border to buy cannabis, a 'drugs tourism' they are under pressure to stop. The scheme would be operated by asking for buyers' passports or proof of Dutch citizenship, or having people register in advance for permission to buy cannabis."
This seems to be the full position as far as I can find. (If it is so, then the IACM article is misleading. I've written to them about it, and I'll post on their response.)

The whole thing sounds like the story that's been around a couple of years, but this is now.

Later. The IACM replied to say that the Der Standard article does not mention Maastricht. I'm trying to verify the item stating that it's initially a pilot study in Maastricht only, but so far without success.

The IACM sent me the Der Standard text. In looking round various forums on this question I've come across the response that a ban on foreigners couldn't be enforced because it's discrimination. However the text covers that point:

"Touristen sollen keine Joints mehr erhalten. Einer etwaigen Klage vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof wegen Diskriminierung sieht Paul van Voorst vom Justizministerium gelassen entgegen. Man könne nichts einklagen, was gesetzlich verboten sei."
This is the Babel Fish translation, verbatim:

"To any complaint before the European Court of Justice because of discrimination Paul van Voorst of the Ministry of Justice expects calmly. One cannot in-complain anything, what is legally forbidden."
Get the gist?

* At November 24th, there seems to be no other evidence. The report appears to be restricted to Der Standard. The Dutch Ministry of Justice have no information or press releases about it.

The actual position in early 2006:

Just to update that and round it off, here's a quote from an excellent Wikipedia article about Dutch drug policy:
"On 27 November 2003 [?], the Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner announced that his government was considering rules under which coffeeshops would only be allowed to sell soft drugs to Dutch residents in order to satisfy both European neighbors' concerns about the influx of drugs from the Netherlands, as well as those of Netherlands border town residents unhappy with the influx of "drug tourists" from elsewhere in Europe. As of 2006 nothing has come of this proposal and Dutch coffeehouses still enjoy robust foreign patronage."

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Back to Bullshit

The Ministry of Misinformation is still hard at work. After the 'Assassin of Youth' campaign, 'Reefer Madness', and just about every other false propaganda trick that's been tried, and failed, against cannabis, they come up with this - yes, we're back to 'Bullshit'.

After seeing that, you might like to consider that Bruce Lee used cannabis for his last four years, during which time he made all his major films, all requiring extreme martial arts moves.

If you're daft enough to believe that cannabis was the cause of his death, read this riveting online biography of Bruce Lee, called 'Unsettled Matters'. After reading that, you'll worry a darned sight more about the effects of anabolic steroids than of cannabis.

This short movie falls into two of this blog's categories:
Hammering Hash (#4) and Dr Goebbels' Lessons (#3)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Buffalo Shit

Just for a change.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

"Mrs Pumpkin"

Mrs Pumpkin "makes pennies work when she shops, mostly uses cash, has a steady repertoire of products but experiments with the new, shops at various times, spends a little more on eco-friendly items, is involved with charitable giving, is rarely away and likes promotions for things she buys".

This is the sort of profile quietly being built of UK citizens - a map of personality, travel habits, shopping preferences and even how charitable and eco-friendly you are. It's all in a new database called Crucible and its information is sold for marketing purposes - but you can't see it, because the information is classed in a way that circumvents disclosure provisions in the Data Protection Act.

It's not right, is it?

We ought to speak to our politicians about this, but the Government's record on freedom of information hardly qualifies them as champions in our cause.

More on Crucible.
More on Freedom of Information.

A Churchillian Virtue

"Yet one of his major virtues was that he never allowed even dismal failure to drive him slinking into his bunker (metaphorical), cowed, with his tail between his legs, and unable to do anything except concentrate on his grievances and his battered ego for some time to come."
Roy Jenkins, Churchill

Coincidentally, Winston Churchill was UK Home Secretary at the time of the Suffragette hunger strikes and force feeding discussed in the previous post, and responsibility fell to him. It is said that he generally avoided excessive heavy-handedness. Churchill favoured an early extension of the vote for some women, but only if it could be done without harming Liberal electoral prospects (such as might be the result of a high property qualification). No form could be devised which met the requirements, so nothing was done. Churchill's proposed solution was a referendum on the issue; however, the PM (Asquith) did not agree.

The force feeding of Suffragettes caused a public outcry. The Government responded with the
Cat and Mouse Act. Under this Act, the Suffragettes were allowed to go on hunger strike. Force feeding was not used; when they were very weak, they were released from prison. Once they had regained their strength they were arrested again, on trivial grounds, and the process started over.

The question of the vote for women got shelved when war broke out in 1914.

More on the