Link blog: politics, saudi-arabia, islam, wahhabi

Trading with tyranny. The price of snuggling up to Saudi Arabia
“Britain and many other countries are already paying a substantial price for Saudi Arabia’s efforts (over many years) to spread its pernicious Wahhabi ideology far and wide. A more robust stance against that now will mean less need to spend money on security and defence measures in the future.”
(tags: saudi-arabia islam wahhabi politics)
The Utopian · Paris, 2015
“Down with Putin. Down with the Patriarch. Down with the Pope. Down with the self-styled progressives who have abandoned the liberatory spirit of 1968 in favor of the regulatory spirit of identitarianism.”
(tags: left politics identity-politics liberalism free-speech)
Louise Mensch says ‘F**K YOU’ in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes – People – News – The Independent
You go, girl!
(tags: saudi-arabia louise-mench david-cameron politics islam)

Link blog: talktalk, filtering, st-james-infirmary, porn

St James Infirmary – Primus Motor (harmonica, mandolin, doublebass) – YouTube
Soulful harmonica version of the blues standard.
(tags: blues music st-james-infirmary)
The Porn Block Fiasco goes mainstream « Complicity
“The knowledge that attempting to block porn on the internet is bound to backfire has now gone mainstream. (BBC News, Telegraph) Well, there’s a temptation to say “we told you so”, because we did. Repeatedly. So far, sites we know that are subject to overblocking on either TalkTalk and BT include BishUK (a sexual education site for teenagers), LGBTfriend, Edinburgh Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, Sexual Abuse Scotland, Doncaster Domestic Abuse Helpline and Reducing The Risk (Another domestic abuse help site).”
(tags: porn internet censorship talktalk sex filtering david-cameron)

Link blog: filtering, england, censorship, transfer

A simple explanation of how money moves around the banking system | Richard Gendal Brown
Via andrewducker.
(tags: banking money bitcoin economics swift bacs transfer)
How the Daily Mail Conquered England : The New Yorker
Explaining the Heil to Americans: “The Mail is like Fox in the sense that it speaks to, and for, the married, car-driving, homeowning, conservative-voting suburbanite, but it is unlike Fox in that it is not slavishly approving of any political party. One editor told me, “The paper’s defining ideology is that Britain has gone to the dogs.” ” Via andrewducker.
(tags: daily-mail journalism newspapers newspaper uk england)
This is all so depressingly obvious about censorship of the internet, isn’t it? | Adam Smith Institute
That didn’t take long, did it?
(tags: internet censorship david-cameron filtering terrorism)

Link blog: david-cameron, porn, censorship, internet

BBC News – Leaked letter shows ISPs and government at war
Dave wants a scheme were people uncheck a box to get pr0n described as "default on" filtering, allowing him to claim victory without the ISPs changing what they’re doing.
(tags: politics pornograpy porn censorship internet david-cameron)
David Cameron’s crusade against images of child abuse has a whiff of politics – Editorials – Voices – The Independent
What is Dave up to? The Independent identifies it as a clever bit of politics.
(tags: pornography politics porn censorship internet david-cameron)
12 Silly Things People Believe About Computers | Terminally Incoherent
(tags: computers it support funny)
Victory Lap for Ask Patents – Joel on Software
"There are a lot of people complaining about lousy software patents these days. I say, stop complaining, and start killing them. It took me about fifteen minutes to stop a crappy Microsoft patent from being approved. Got fifteen minutes? You can do it too."
(tags: prior-art software patents)

Link blog: funny, religion, atheism, stephen-meyer

Why It’s So Tricky for Atheists to Debate with Believers | Belief | AlterNet

Greta Christina lists some "heads I win, tails you lose" arguments against atheism: not criticising serious theologians, fatwa envy ("you wouldn't say that to Muslims"), "atheism is a religion" and so on.
(tags: religion atheism argument debate abiogenesis greta-christina)

Airbrushed for change – MyDavidCameron.com

Remixed Tory campaign posters. I like Hoodie Cameron.
(tags: politics funny uk government election david-cameron conservatives tory)

Stephen Meyer’s Bogus Information Theory

Criticism of Stephen Meyer's "The Signature in the Cell" based on Meyer's mistakes in information theory (or rather, the way he uses a made up definition of "information"). HT to Leonard Richardson, who rightly says it's a good introduction to what "information" does mean, regardless of what you think of Meyer's book.
(tags: information shannon entropy mathematics maths kolmogorov signature cell stephen-meyer intelligent-design creationism)

Pat Robertson is not unchristian

"This Jesus dude, and the new testament in general, is not all sweetness and light and "love thy brother" though those things definitely appear in more abundance than in the Old Testament. But still, according to the Gospels, Jesus spoke more about hell than about any other subject."
(tags: haiti pat-robertson hell christianity religion jesus)

Know Your Godless Heathen Positions

"It has become common, especially for the critics of atheism, to conflate atheism, materialism, naturalism, evolution, and natural selection. Then, an objection to one of these positions is taken to undermine all of them. This would be a mistake since there are several distinct positions here that the atheist may or may not also accept. And much of the energy that has been expended to knock them down is wasted because several of them turn out to be compatible with theism. Let’s clarify:"
(tags: science philosophy atheism matt-mccormick materialism naturalism evolution)

Russian Commuters Treated to Free Roadside Pornography

According to FOX News, "traffic jerked to a standstill". Via comp.risks.
(tags: funny traffic russia road porn pornography)

Cameron’s speech

A friend’s Facebook status says they’re depressed by how good David Cameron’s speech was. Presumably they’re not a natural Conservative voter. I’m not either, but I thought it was interesting for the places where Cameron managed to put some clear water between Tory libertarianism and Labour centralisation. Particular points which impressed me were the promise to abolish ID cards, the idea of elected police commissioners (promising to reduce police paperwork seems obligatory for politicians at the moment, but I’ve not seen any Labour plans on how to go about that), and a Liberal Democrat style policy on devolving power to local authorities. The nod to Melanie Phillips’s book was neat, too (you don’t have to agree with her “OMG! Londonistan!” stuff to agree with her on education, after all).

What’s bad? I still don’t really trust them on the NHS, where their history isn’t exactly great. Dave’s plans seem a bit vague there: “We won’t have targets, except we will, but they’ll be the right sort of targets”. They also appear to care far more about Europe and about the armed forces than I do: both those sections of the speech were there for the traditional Tories, I suppose. And what is so terrible about the Human Rights Act, anyway?

It’ll be interesting to see whether Gordon Brown does decide on an Autumn election after this.