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27 December, 2010

The Best Viral Meme of 2010

Trololo Guy - Also known as the "Russian Rickroll," the original title of this song was supposed to be "I Am Glad, Beause I'm Finally Returning Back Home." However, all the lyrics ended up being censored by the Cold War-era Soviet government.

The artist, Edward Hill, was a popular Russian baritone singer, and when the government's censorship decision came in right before a performance of the song, Hill improvised and sang his hit song with non-decipherable syllables instead of the original words.

The result? A stiff-looking man singing "lol" at his audience in bizarre sweeping dance moves. The video took off, starting in February 2010, and for many it became the new "bait-and-switch" Rick Roll video, as well as a new mechanism for trolling websites. Hill himself has commented, saying the attention to the video is "funny."

The story behind the song:

Singing in the video is Edward Anatolevich Hill, a Soviet-era vocalist once celebrated as the “Honored Artist of the USSR” in 1968 and “People’s Artist of the USSR” in 1974.

Because Edward’s performance was poorly lipsynched (albeit to his own vocal track) and entirely composed of mouth music without any lyrics, the song was perceived by some westerners as highly eccentric. One of the surreal moments comes in at the chorus part, during which Edward can be heard singing “LOL” over and over again—as though he’s laughing directly at the viewer.

Of course, this is just a comical misinterpretation of him singing “Tro-lo-lo.” In fact, the song still remains quite familiar to the older Russian audiences; the Sovie Azerbaijani singer Muslim Magomaev had previously sung it in the 1960s Soviet television show The Blue Spark.

It’s sung in a style called “vokaliz,” a cognate of the English “vocalise” or vocal exercise. Vokaliz is not, however, a vocal exercise but a style of singing similar to pantomime or even American scat singing of the 1920s.

And here's the Christmas version:

Tribute Performances
In December 2010, the Gifford Children’s Choir from Racine, Wisconsin performed Edward Hill’s ‘Trololo’ song at their holiday concert. The audience seems to know all the words!

White-Out In My Mind

By Wendy Wallace
(Written December 27, 2010 in Arizona and sent to me by email during the Blizzard of 2010)

"The Bankers took my house, my car, my food and my behind.
I got no snow for Christmas, but there's a white-out in my mind!"

Chorus: "So all the gratitude I got's to whatever's been so kind
As to put this blizzard in my head, this white-out in my mind."

"Got no family, friends or pets, you'd think that I was in a bind,
But I got meals-on-wheels for Christmas, and there's a white-out in my mind."

Chorus: "So all the gratitude I got's to whatever's been so kind
As to put this blizzard in my head, this white-out in my mind."

"The days of booze and drugs are gone, but truth to say, I find
That really I don't care so much, cause there's a white-out in my mind."

Chorus: "So all the gratitude I got's to whatever's been so kind
As to put this blizzard in my head, this white-out in my mind."

My nose just runs, my feet are cold, my eyes are near to blind,
My future's past, but I don't fret, 'cause there's a white-out in my mind.

Chorus: "So all the gratitude I got's to whatever's been so kind
As to put this blizzard in my head, this white-out in my mind."

"Dante's Inferno" [2008] - Feature Film Trailer

Director: Sean Meredith

Writers: Dante Alighieri (novel), Sandow Birk

“About halfway through my pathetic life, I awoke in a stupor in some dark unfamiliar place.”

“This is hell Dante, not your personal fantasy.”

DANTE’S INFERNO has been kicking around the cultural playground for over 700 years. But it has never before been interpreted with exquisitely hand-drawn paper puppets, brought to life using purely hand-made special effects. Until now.

Rediscover this literary classic, retold in a kind of apocalyptic graphic novel meets Victorian-era toy theater.

Melding the seemingly disparate traditions of apocalyptic live-action graphic novel and charming Victoria-era toy theater, Dante’s Inferno is a subversive, darkly satirical update of the original 14th century literary classic. Retold with the use of intricately hand-drawn paper puppets and miniature sets, and without the use of CGI effects, this unusual travelogue takes viewers on a tour of hell. And what we find there, looks a lot like the modern world.

Sporting a hoodie and a hang-over from the previous night’s debauchery, Dante (voiced by Dermot Mulroney) wakes to find he is lost — physically and metaphorically — in a strange part of town. He asks the first guy he sees for some help: The ancient Roman poet Virgil (voiced by James Cromwell), wearing a mullet and what looks like a brown bathrobe. Having no one else to turn to, Dante’s quickly convinced that his only means for survival is to follow Virgil voyage down, down through the depths of Hell.

The pair cross into the underworld and there Virgil shows Dante the underbelly of the Inferno, which closely resembles the decayed landscape of modern urban life. Dante and Virgil’s chronicles are set against a familiar backdrop of used car lots, strip malls, gated communities, airport security checks, and the U.S. Capitol. Here, hot tubs simmer with sinners, and the river Styx is engorged with sewage swimmers.

Also familiar is the contemporary cast of presidents, politicians, popes and pop-culture icons sentenced to eternal suffering of the most cruel and unusual kind: Heads sewn on backwards, bodies wrenched in half, never-ending blowjobs, dancing to techno for eternity, and last, but certainly not least, an inside look at Lucifer himself, from the point of view of a fondue-dunked human appetizer. Each creatively horrific penance suits the crime, and the soul who perpetrated it.

23 December, 2010

Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

July 26, 2010.

Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks.

Julian Assange talks to Chris Anderson about how the site operates, what it has accomplished and what drives him, and what he has to say about the “video” and Bradley Manning.

Awesome interview David Frost + Julian Assange.

Frost over the World - Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder talks about why he will not go back to Sweden.

Julian is looking good and sounding tip top! GO JULIAN!

Conspiracy to commit espionage: According to Assange the U.S. is trying to coerce Bradley Manning to provide information about Assange.

Sweden = much more dangerous than UK for Julian. He requests Swedish authorities come and interview him in UK. What’s wrong with that idea?

Is publishing = espionage? Did MC, Visa, Paypal shutdown go through Washington diplomatic channels?

US = largest security state generates plus good secrets and double plus good dissenters and whistleblowers.

Assange denies he’s an anarchist. And more here:

22 December, 2010

Tony the Traffic Cop, Merry Christmas from Providence RI

This is how the U.S. should "police" the world. Just point where you want to go and shake it a little. ... No need to take out the big guns!

It works for Tony the Dancing Traffic Cop. And nobody ever gets hurt.

Dancing Cop Remix - Welcome back to Providence, Tony!

Merry Christmas 2010 and Happy 2011.

20 December, 2010

Wikileaks reveals radioactive materials found in unlikely locations

WikiLeaks cables: How US 'second line of defence' tackles nuclear threat
Diplomatic dispatches reveal world of smugglers, ex-military fixers and radioactive materials found in unlikely locations

Julian Borger and Karen McVeigh, Sunday 19 December 2010

The leaked US cables reveal the constant, largely unseen, work by American diplomatic missions around the world to try to keep the atomic genie in its bottle and forestall the nightmare of a terrorist nuclear attack. The leaked cables tell hair-raising tales of casks of uranium found in wicker baskets in Burundi, a retired Russian general offering to sell "uranium plates" in Portugal, and a radioactive Armenian car on the Georgian border.

As part of what the US government calls its "second line of defence", it is America's diplomatic corps who are called out in the middle of the night when radiation detectors goes off on a border crossing or smugglers turn up with fissile or radioactive materials in his pocket. Each time that happens, and UN data suggests it has happened about 500 times in the past 15 years, it means the "first line of defence" has already been breached. The fissile material (the fuel for a nuclear warhead) or radioactive isotopes (which emit harmful radiation), have already been stolen from their source.

Three months after taking office, Barack Obama vowed to secure all the world's vulnerable nuclear stocks within four years in a global drive to pre-empt nuclear terrorism. But a cash-strapped Congress has yet to do approve any increase in funding for the ambitious project and Obama's deadline looks almost certain to be missed. Meanwhile, from Africa to the former Soviet Union, there are signs it may already be too late.

In June 2007, the US embassy in Burundi reported an approach by a local elder alerting the Americans to a cache of uranium in a concrete bunker over the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He was concerned that it would fall into the hands of "the wrong people", specifically the Arabs who will "destroy" people with it. At the request of the sceptical Americans, he returned a few weeks later with a Congolese smuggler who said he found the material hidden at an old Belgian colonial building. He had pictures of a wicker basket with a uranium cask inside, apparently the property of the country's Atomic Energy Commision.

There was good reason for alarm. After Mobutu Sese Seko seized power in the mid-1960s, two uranium fuel rods from a colonial-era research reactor went missing. One turned up in 1998 when the Sicilian mafia were caught in a sting operation trying to sell it for over $12m (£7.7m) to a customer in the Middle East. The other is still unaccounted for. Another decade on, security at the Kinshasa nuclear research centre had scarcely improved. A diplomatic cable in September 2006 describes the security measures separating the reactor from the university next door.

"The fence is not lit at night, has no razor-wire across the top, and is not monitored by video surveillance," a US diplomatic team reports. "There is also no cleared buffer zone between it and the surrounding vegetation. There are numerous holes in the fence, and large gaps where the fence was missing altogether. University of Kinshasa students frequently walk through the fence to cut across [the reactor site] and subsistence farmers grow manioc on the facility next to the nuclear waste storage building."

At the same time, there was concern over established smuggling routes shipping both uranium fuel and raw uranium ore abroad, possibly to Iran. Congo has some of the richest uranium reserves on earth, both in terms of the scale of the deposits and the purity of its ore. It would require just a few lorry loads of Congolese ore to process and enrich enough uranium for a bomb. Both Washington and inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been concerned that such a black market source of high quality ore, outside IAEA controls, could be used in a covert weapons programme in Iran.

A cable from Tanzania in September 2006 passed on a tip that some of the smuggled material may be passing through the nation's capital. "According to a senior Swiss diplomat, the shipment of uranium through Dar es Salaam is common knowledge to two Swiss shipping companies ... though no one at either company would admit it in writing."

The other major front in America's "second line of defence" runs around the edge of Russia's borders, where the collapse of the Soviet Union created a black market in nuclear and radioactive material that endures two decades on.

As in Africa, the fears are based on poor security, particularly in the immediate aftermath of the Soviet implosion, when a significant amount of fissile material went missing, some of it undoubtedly stolen by former military officers and officials as a private pension plan. As in Africa, the diplomats are left with the challenging task of separating nuclear fact from fiction.

Continue reading:

16 December, 2010

conspiracy geek: Rock and Roll Conspiracy: Roy Wood Vs. Harold Wilson

conspiracy geek: Rock and Roll Conspiracy: Roy Wood Vs. Harold Wilson

conspiracy geek: Beings in NothingDrive: An Existential Analysis of the Travis Walton UFO Abduction

conspiracy geek: Beings in NothingDrive: An Existential Analysis of the Travis Walton UFO Abduction

The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention

New development: Bradley Manning holds dual US-British citizenship. Why is this just coming out now? Will it make any difference? Probably not.

“Because Manning holds dual American and U.K. citizenship (his mother is British), it is possible for British agencies and human rights organizations to assert his consular rights against these oppressive conditions. At least some preliminary efforts are underway in Britain to explore that mechanism as a means of securing more humane treatment for Manning. Whatever else is true, all of this illustrates what a profound departure from international norms is the treatment to which the U.S. Government is subjecting him.”

“Bradley Manning has been held in isolation at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia since June, denied a pillow or sheets, and is allowed one hour daily removal from his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he's barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions."

By Glenn Greenwald

Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months -- and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait -- under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture. Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning's detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries.

Since his arrest in May, Manning has been a model detainee, without any episodes of violence or disciplinary problems. He nonetheless was declared from the start to be a "Maximum Custody Detainee," the highest and most repressive level of military detention, which then became the basis for the series of inhumane measures imposed on him.

From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day -- for seven straight months and counting -- he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he's barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he's being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch).

For the one hour per day when he is freed from this isolation, he is barred from accessing any news or current events programs. Lt. Villiard protested that the conditions are not "like jail movies where someone gets thrown into the hole," but confirmed that he is in solitary confinement, entirely alone in his cell except for the one hour per day he is taken out.
In sum, Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America's Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado: all without so much as having been convicted of anything. And as is true of many prisoners subjected to warped treatment of this sort, the brig's medical personnel now administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation.

Just by itself, the type of prolonged solitary confinement to which Manning has been subjected for many months is widely viewed around the world as highly injurious, inhumane, punitive, and arguably even a form of torture. In his widely praised March, 2009 New Yorker article -- entitled "Is Long-Term Solitary Confinement Torture?" -- the surgeon and journalist Atul Gawande assembled expert opinion and personal anecdotes to demonstrate that, as he put it, "all human beings experience isolation as torture." By itself, prolonged solitary confinement routinely destroys a person’s mind and drives them into insanity. A March, 2010 article in The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law explains that "solitary confinement is recognized as difficult to withstand; indeed, psychological stressors such as isolation can be as clinically distressing as physical torture."

For that reason, many Western nations -- and even some non-Western nations notorious for human rights abuses -- refuse to employ prolonged solitary confinement except in the most extreme cases of prisoner violence. "It’s an awful thing, solitary," John McCain wrote of his experience in isolated confinement in Vietnam. “It crushes your spirit." As Gawande documented: "A U.S. military study of almost a hundred and fifty naval aviators returned from imprisonment in Vietnam . . . reported that they found social isolation to be as torturous and agonizing as any physical abuse they suffered." Gawande explained that America’s application of this form of torture to its own citizens is what spawned the torture regime which President Obama vowed to end:

This past year, both the Republican and the Democratic Presidential candidates came out firmly for banning torture and closing the facility in Guantánamo Bay, where hundreds of prisoners have been held in years-long isolation. Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain, however, addressed the question of whether prolonged solitary confinement is torture. . . .

This is the dark side of American exceptionalism. . . . Our willingness to discard these standards for American prisoners made it easy to discard the Geneva Conventions prohibiting similar treatment of foreign prisoners of war, to the detriment of America’s moral stature in the world. In much the same way that a previous generation of Americans countenanced legalized segregation, ours has countenanced legalized torture. And there is no clearer manifestation of this than our routine use of solitary confinement . . . .

It's one thing to impose such punitive, barbaric measures on convicts who have proven to be violent when around other prisoners; at the Supermax in Florence, inmates convicted of the most heinous crimes and who pose a threat to prison order and the safety of others are subjected to worse treatment than what Manning experiences. But it's another thing entirely to impose such conditions on individuals, like Manning, who have been convicted of nothing and have never demonstrated an iota of physical threat or disorder.

In 2006, a bipartisan National Commission on America's Prisons was created and it called for the elimination of prolonged solitary confinement. Its Report documented that conditions whereby "prisoners end up locked in their cells 23 hours a day, every day. . . is so severe that people end up completely isolated, living in what can only be described as torturous conditions." The Report documented numerous psychiatric studies of individuals held in prolonged isolation which demonstrate "a constellation of symptoms that includes overwhelming anxiety, confusion and hallucination, and sudden violent and self-destructive outbursts." The above-referenced article from the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law states: "Psychological effects can include anxiety, depression, anger, cognitive disturbances, perceptual distortions, obsessive thoughts, paranoia, and psychosis."

When one exacerbates the harms of prolonged isolation with the other deprivations to which Manning is being subjected, long-term psychiatric and even physical impairment is likely. Gawande documents that "EEG studies going back to the nineteen-sixties have shown diffuse slowing of brain waves in prisoners after a week or more of solitary confinement." Medical tests conducted in 1992 on Yugoslavian prisoners subjected to an average of six months of isolation -- roughly the amount to which Manning has now been subjected -- "revealed brain abnormalities months afterward; the most severe were found in prisoners who had endured either head trauma sufficient to render them unconscious or, yes, solitary confinement. Without sustained social interaction, the human brain may become as impaired as one that has incurred a traumatic injury." Gawande's article is filled with horrifying stories of individuals subjected to isolation similar to or even less enduring than Manning's who have succumbed to extreme long-term psychological breakdown.

Manning is barred from communicating with any reporters, even indirectly, so nothing he has said can be quoted here. But David House, a 23-year-old MIT researcher who befriended Manning after his detention (and then had his laptops, camera and cellphone seized by Homeland Security when entering the U.S.) is one of the few people to have visited Manning several times at Quantico. He describes palpable changes in Manning's physical appearance and behavior just over the course of the several months that he's been visiting him. Like most individuals held in severe isolation, Manning sleeps much of the day, is particularly frustrated by the petty, vindictive denial of a pillow or sheets, and suffers from less and less outdoor time as part of his one-hour daily removal from his cage.

Continue reading

15 December, 2010

how the US tried to lobby the Russians on behalf of Visa and Mastercard

Guardian UK released this confidential cable on

Monday, 01 February 2010, 04:41

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 000228
EO 12958 DECL: 01/28/2020
Classified By: ECONMINCOUNS Matthias Mitman for Reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

The cable from February 2010 reveals how the US tried to lobby the Russians on behalf of Visa and Mastercard. Washington wanted to amend a draft law that would have damaged firms' commercial interests.

Read related article 1.(C) SUMMARY:
The latest version of the Russian draft law "On the National Payment System" contains several provisions that would disadvantage U.S. businesses. The draft law would set up a National Payment Card System (NPCS) including its own payment card that banks and payment card companies could join voluntarily. Most likely to be a consortium of state-owned banks, the NPCS operator would process the domestic payments for all members and collect processing fees estimated at $4 billion per year. The draft also forbids sending abroad any payment data for domestic transactions. Should international payment card companies such as Visa and MasterCard chose not to join the NPCS they would have to set up the infrastructure to do their Russian payment processing domestically. END SUMMARY.

2.(C) On January 27, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that it had received a copy of the "final" version of the draft legislation "On the National Payment System." Visa's Public Relations Head Dmitriy Vishnyakov, who along with MasterCard representatives met Ministry of Finance officials on January 22, told us that MinFin is still seeking consent from the various ministries and agencies involved in the legislation. Vishnyakov reported that Deputy Finance Minister Svyatugin leads MinFin's effort on this legislation, including shepherding the bill through the GOR interagency process. Vishnyakov passed a copy of the latest draft law to econoff.

To Join or Not To Join


3.(C) According to Visa's Vishnyakov, the latest version follows the "China model" of payment card systems. The law would set up a National Payment Card System (NPCS), which Vishnyakov reported would likely be run by a consortium of state banks as either a non-profit entity or a joint stock, profit-making company. Banks and credit card companies would have the option of joining the NPCS. If they joined, banks in Russia would issue cards under the NPCS brand, with its own logo. Payment processing for these cards would be done on-shore by the NPCS entity. According to the Kommersant article, the fees for these services are estimated at Rb 120 billion ($4 billion) annually. As Vishnyakov pointed out, the vast majority of Visa's business in Russia is done with cards issued and used in Russia; with earnings from processing going to NPCS, Visa would no longer profit from these transactions.

4.(C) While joining the NPCS would be optional for both banks and international payment card companies, membership has its privileges. If Visa and MasterCard choose to join the NPCS, they would not have any role in domestic transaction processing, but the bank-issued NPCS cards could be "co-branded" with Visa or MasterCard. When the cardholder used his card abroad, the transaction theoretically would go through the normal Visa or MasterCard processing that takes place outside of Russia. While Vishnyakov said such a deal is a possibility, it would require negotiations to specify this approach in the draft law.



5.(C) In the proposed draft of the law, if international payment card companies choose not to join the NPCS, they will have to set up on-shore processing centers. But neither Visa nor MasterCard representatives, which together have 85% of the Russian payment card market, are willing to say whether they would be willing to do so. MasterCard's Head in Russia, Ilya Riaby, said MasterCard would have to "build and assess the business model of setting up on-shore processing" before it could reach a decision. The draft law stipulates that international payment card companies will have one year to establish processing centers inside of Russia. (Note: Currently no international companies have processing centers in Russia.) A ban on sending abroad payment data for purely domestic transactions will become effective two years after the law enters into force.

6.(C) According to Vishnyakov, MinFin understands that this

MOSCOW 00000228 002 OF 002

would entail so much expense and difficulty for Visa and MasterCard that the two companies might quit the Russian domestic market. Vishnyakov believes that, at least at the Deputy Minister level, MinFin's hands are tied. Implying that Russian security services were behind this decision, Vishnyakov said, "There is some se-cret (government) order that no one has seen, but everyone has to abide by it." As described reftel, credit card company and bank representatives have told us that GOR officials apparently assume that US payment systems routinely share data associated with payment transactions by Russian cardholders with intelligence services in the US and elsewhere.



7.(C) The current draft of the law would require all stated-owned enterprises and all state employees to be issued NPCS cards and to receive their salaries via electronic deposit into NPCS member-banks. (Note: Eighty percent of payment card holders have what are called "salary cards," a type of debit card negotiated between the employer and a bank. Historically, employees have used their salary cards almost exclusively to withdraw their salaries at the beginning of each month, though they can also use them as debit cards.) One positive aspect of the latest version of the law is that vendors are not required to accept NPCS cards, as was required in earlier versions.



8.(C) This draft law continues to disadvantage U.S. payment card market leaders Visa and MasterCard, whether they join the National Payment Card System or not. If they join, the NPCS operator will collect the fees, leaving them to collect processing fees only when card-holders travel abroad -- a tiny section of the market. If they do not join but choose to compete with NPCS cards, they will have to set up payment processing centers in Russia, a very large investment in itself, and compete against a system likely backed by the largest Russian state banks. While the draft legislation has yet to be submitted to the Duma and can still be amended, post will continue to raise our concerns with senior GOR officials. We recommend that senior USG officials also take advantage of meetings with their Russian counterparts, including through the Bilateral Presidential Commission, to press the GOR to change the draft text to ensure U.S. payment companies are not adversely affected. END COMMENT.

Visa, Mastercard, Paypal instruments of US foreign policy says Assange

"We now know that Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and others are instruments of US foreign policy. It's not something we knew before.” - Julian Assange

Julian manages to squeak out one of the biggest disclosures of Wikileaks on the phone with his mum.

One of the biggest disclosures of Wikileaks:

New cables released by the WikiLeaks website disclose how Visa and Mastercard received lobbying support from the Obama administration.

The US was concerned that Russia was planning a new credit card payments system which would lose the two companies billions of dollars in processing fees.

One senior Visa official privately believed that the Russian security services were behing the new system because of fears that the companies were passing payment information to Washington, according to the cables.

The new National Payment Card System, run by Russia’s state-controlled banks, would handle all processing for domestic banking in the country. A cable from the Moscow embassy, dated Feb 1 this year, 2010, said a new law establishing the system would “disadvantage U.S businesses”.

Supporters must raise bail in cash while Assange is held in “Dickensian” conditions? What exactly are the conditions in his prison? I have heard he's being held in the "basement".

On Tuesday, the Chief Magistrate, Howard Riddle, overturned an earlier decision to deny bail to the 39-year-old Australian, instead imposing strict conditions and ordering his supporters lodge £200,000 with the court.

But, amid chaotic and confusing scenes outside City of Westminster Magistrate’s Court, Mr Assange’s lawyer, Mark Stephens, announced that, because of the bitter dispute between WikiLeaks and the credit card giants Master Card and Visa, the money would have to be amassed in cash.

He raised the prospect of suitcases of banknotes being hand delivered to the court and said Mr Assange would remain in “Dickensian” conditions for an “inordinate amount of time” until his supporters got the money together.

Master Card, Visa and Paypal, the online payment service, have blocked payments to the website which has infuriated the US government releasing a stream of confidential diplomatic papers.

Hackers hack back:

WikiLeaks’ connections in the hacker community, however, mean that corporate websites are increasingly finding themselves under attack. A Swiss bank and have both been taken down by “denial of service” campaigns, which bombard websites with so many requests that they buckle under the strain.

Alan Bentley, of security experts Lumension said “Many disgruntled ‘hacktivists’ will be seeking revenge on behalf of the whistleblowing website and it is highly likely that this will be the first in a series of attacks on businesses such as Amazon, PayPal and Visa. All organisations involved will want to beef up their security efforts in a bid to protect themselves."

Denial of service attacks render sites inaccessible, but do not affect the content of the sites themselves. Other hackers have also deface some websites in support of Wikileaks.

14 December, 2010

Identity Cards: Do we really need them?

by Roy Wood at Sunday Mercury Times, Birmingham, England.

British musician, grandfather of glam, the great Roy Wood was a guest editor for the Sunday Mercury Times for one week in May-June 2009, presumably (I’m guessing) in exchange for the successful Birmingham Walk of Stars campaign run by the Mercury. See my story about Harold Wilson's libel suit against Roy Wood below.


The Home Office has triumphed yet again with another half-hearted attempt at legislation that once dissected, means absolutely zilch.

I have had enough of watching Jacqui Smith’s expression on our screens, face looking like a smacked bottom, desperately trying to convince the electorate that she is telling the truth. According to our Home Secretary, this ID scheme will be imperative in the fighting of crime and terrorism. OK, so it has presumably been well thought out, hasn’t it ?

Now it doesn’t need rocket science to work out that because the introductory scheme in Manchester is not compulsory, we’re hardly going to be swamped by queues of terrorists and crooks in post offices all over the country, waiting to supply their fingerprints to the authorities.

So it cannot be effective in significantly reducing crime. Any police officer will tell you that their biggest problem has always been linking these crimes to the perpetrators, rather than simply trying to identify the individuals in the first place.

As far as terrorism goes, since we became part of the EU and our borders have been opened up to all and sundry, terrorists can easily move across borders using tourist visas (or even very good forgeries) which can be deemed as legitimate identification.

Let’s be honest. This is yet more unnecessary, and expensive, Labour legislation. Surely the Government already has in place a facility to detect people who use multiple identities in order to evade tax?

The police must also have under surveillance those people who change their identity in order to perpetrate fraud. MI6 already has specific data on terrorist factions. The spooks are not stupid.

In fact, as time goes on, it wouldn’t be too surprising if the Government wished to keep adding more personal information to our databases, thus making privacy a thing confined only to the history books.

But, let’s face it, the Government don’t exactly have an impeccable record when it comes to taking care of our personal data. They are still allowed to download sensitive material onto their personal laptops, which have so far been discovered on a train or in the back of a taxi by some honest boy scout.

We might not be so lucky next time.

Are we really gullible enough as a nation to want to put these people in charge of our personal stuff? So what if I lost my ID card? Easy thing to do – people lose their phones and cards, or have them stolen, on a regular basis.

I would immediately be treated with suspicion, and be inconvenienced by being denied goods or services until my card could be replaced and reinstated. This may take weeks, as it is likely to happen to quite a lot of us. In that time card thieves and fraudsters would in possession of our identity. What an absolute catastrophic mess that would be.

The scheme could also be wide open to forgery. Remember, the cards would originally need to be issued on the basis of providing ID in the first place, such as a driving licence or birth certificate.

I already have this documentation. Why the hell do I need to go out and spend another sixty quid on even more ID? It is also estimated that in order to keep the National Identity Register up to date, the charges for these cards could end up costing in the region of £95 to even £300.

I know that these things are supposed to include fingerprints and an iris reading.

But surely this would only be needed when travelling abroad, so why not include them in your passport?

ID cards could very well inconvenience our normal everyday existence. Surely you wouldn’t need to supply your fingerprints to purchase a jacket from Topshop? But if you were a young person, you could very well be refused the goods if you were unfortunate enough to have lost your ID card.

We all know that the Government dare not allow the British public a referendum on ID cards, because they would lose big time.

I would have preferred to write something humorous in this column, but it’s just not funny, is it?

“Oh bugger! Lost my card – may need to get a hand transplant and some new eyeballs before I can go into Matalan.”

Please read entire piece here, and even though it says it's written by Paul Cole, it's definitely written in the same style as the other two articles penned by Roy Wood. Paul Cole needs to wipe his name off it and put in Roy as the correct author.

Roy Wood’s other two articles at the Sunday Mercury Times Birmingham for comparison to the above:
Roy Wood on Binge Drinking in UK:

In 2009, British rocker, grandfather of glam, Roy Wood became a guest editor at the Mercury Times, and penned this article “Why I hate Daytime TV” on daytime television in the UK:

10 December, 2010

Directed Panspermia and the Zoo Hypothesis: The Objective 16 Control Myth

by Joan d’Arc

In his Book of the Damned, Charles Fort wrote, "the notion of things dropping in upon this Earth from externality is as unsettling and as unwelcome to Science as tin horns blowing in upon a musician's relatively symmetric composition." He wrote, "I think of as many different kinds of visitors to this earth as there are visitors to New York, to a jail, or to a church."

One of the most persistent arguments against the reality of the Visitor Experience (alien visitation or abduction) is based on the Darwinian presumption that if the accidental, unguided evolution of the human form occurred on Earth, it is mathematically improbable that it could have occurred on another planet. The current consensus reality is, therefore, based on a Science of Exclusionism; the isolation of the Earth from its universal relations. Materialist doctrines describe the world as a closed system: isolated humankind on an isolated oasis in an isolated consciousness. In modern science, nothing enters this closed world from Externality.

NASA's "Astrobiology Roadmap" website illustrates NASA's focus on the search for past or present life on Mars and Europa, two solar system bodies that once supported water. Among the goals of Astrobiology are: to determine what makes a planet habitable and how common these worlds are in the Universe, how to recognize the signature of life on other worlds, how life arose on the Earth, and what are its future limits.

Part of understanding how life arose on Earth includes the possibility that "it arrived at Earth from elsewhere." The Astrobiology website claims, "terrestrial life is the only form of life that we know, and it appears to have arisen from a common ancestor." The discipline, known as Ballistic Panspermia, is apparently open to the concession that this ancestor (i.e. microbe) arrived in a meteor, but within the current Western cosmology, meteors, comets and other "smart rocks" are the only celestial flying objects that might harbor signs of life, i.e. microbial life.

But can the "seed" of life grow into a civilization of intelligent humanoids without intelligent guidance? Astrobiology clearly states that science has not ascertained whether life from one world can "establish an evolutionary trajectory" on another. Nonetheless, its goals include "the potential to engineer new life forms adapted to live on other worlds" and to "understand the human-directed processes by which life can migrate from one world to another." This theory is known as Directed Panspermia.

Our Dusty Exile
It has been asserted that NASA holds a "religious conviction" toward space exploration, a conviction based on a centuries-old Christian belief that scientific technology is divinely inspired to take us closer to God. According to David Noble, in The Religion of Technology, NASA's goals are based on Jules Verne's implication that the nearer we go to the stars the more immortal we become. In fact, Ray Bradbury has stated, "At aerospace or NASA gatherings, Verne is the verb that moves us to Space." Indeed, through Verne we have "romanced ourselves to the Moon" and through science fiction writers like H.G. Wells, we might "finally be freed from our 'dusty exile' on earth" (Noble 117),

The ultimate survival of a technological civilization lies in dispersing its genetic material into the Universe; seeding itself into unoccupied niches. While NASA is obviously following the dictates of this Darwinian theoretical stance in its study of "human directed" cosmic migration of life, it does not recognize (at least openly) that such could have already occurred. Neither does it openly recognize the anthropomorphic evidence that would indicate that such an intelligently orchestrated migratory pattern has been ongoing within our own solar system and on our own planet.

As we can safely deduce from the above discussion, NASA is interested in "life" in the solar system, but it is clearly interested in microbial life, not intelligent life (i.e. humanoid). The Darwinian evolutionary paradigm is the controlling factor, and is the reason for major cover-ups of potentially man-made artifacts on the moon and Mars. Indeed, the Brookings Report, commissioned by NASA in 1959 and presented Congress in 1961, warned that intelligently designed artifacts discovered on planets investigated by unmanned space probes would lead to the “disintegration of civilization.” The document recommended censorship of any future discovery of artifacts on planetary surfaces, fearing “religious fanaticism” would wreak havoc on social institutions. It is obvious that the discovery of humanoid intelligence would upset Scientism's apple cart: Darwinian Evolution. But have we put the cart before the horse?

The long outdated "Fermi Paradox" states that Earth contains the only advanced civilization in the galaxy, "since if there were others we would know about them." Conversely, other scientists have estimated that there could be billions of advanced technological civilizations in the galaxy.

The Space Travel Argument
The Space Travel Argument Against the Existence of ETI (Space Travel Argument), explained in detail by Barrow & Tipler in The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, begins with the telling statement that those who propose that extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) probably exists in the Universe tend to be physicists and astronomers, and those who tend to argue against the probability for ETI are more likely to be evolutionary biologists. Thus, its insular premise is steadfastly grounded on the theory of Darwinian natural selection, the adaptation of creatures to their local habitats. As we will see, this local theory is then applied universally.

The Anthropic Principle is based on a biological argument: the minimum time required for the evolution of "intelligent observers." The Anthropic Timescale Argument states that the types of processes allowed in the Universe must be of such an age that "slow evolutionary processes will have had time to produce intelligent beings from non-living matter" (Barrow 159).

The Anthropic Principle is a mathematical premise based on the assumption that a "communicating species" would evolve in less than 5 billion years and would eventually begin interstellar travel. This argument contends that "since 1 billion years is quite short in comparison with the age of the Galaxy, it follows from the absence of ETI in the solar system that such space-travelling ETI apparently do not exist, and have never existed in our Galaxy." The authors note that this assumption is logically inferred from observed evidence, and from astrophysical observations and theories; in other words, "absence of evidence is evidence of absence." If an advanced interstellar civilization did exist, "they would also have developed interstellar travel and thus would already be present in our solar system. Since they are not here, this implies that they do not exist" (Barrow 576).

Incredulously, the two footnotes following the statement "they are not here" reference the 1974 book UFO's Explained written by the most popular UFO debunker, Philip Klass. Thus, their proof that interstellar visitors are not here is the highly-regarded opinion of a member of The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), who has been labeled the most negative of the UFO debunkers.

This argument is a tautology: i.e. extraterrestrials are not here and never have been here, because they are not here and never have been here. The Space Travel Argument is a rigidly anthropocentric argument founded on the proposition that human intelligence evolved as a purely local phenomenon on an outback planet and, further, that this accidental (local) event has no Universal (i.e. external) relationship.

It would appear that Barrow & Tipler are happy to let any “evidence” other than radio signals stand as evidence of the absence of ETI. Cosmic signals from ETI might just as well be evidenced by physical structures we have chosen to explain in other ways: such as the complex mathematical fractals which make up crop circle designs, or Old and New World pyramidal structures, which appear to be built as aeronautical guides and are geometrically-aligned with the complex architecture of Mars' Cydonia region. Indeed, serious researchers of these phenomena see this embedded structural geometry as a “deliberate technical communication.” (see Hoagland, Carlotto, McDaniel, et al.)

Von Neumann Probes
The Space Travel Argument utilizes the concept of the self-reproducing universal constructor; a computerized machine "capable of making any device, given the construction materials and a construction program." Such a machine, called a von Neumann probe after its theoretical dad, John von Neumann, is by definition capable of making a copy of itself. A probe sent to another stellar system would include a self-replicating universal constructor with human-level intelligence, capable of self-repair and self-programming, with an electric or solar propulsion system.

The universal constructor would search for construction materials from which to build copies of itself, the rocket engines and other devices needed. Such building materials, for instance, nickel-iron and hydrocarbons, could be found in meteors, asteroids, comets and other space debris. Copies of the probe would be launched at the nearest stars, and the process would be repeated. The probes would then be programmed to explore the stellar system and relay the information back to the original probe.

Von Neumann became the generally recognized father of Artificial Life simulations, and produced some of the first Artificial Life programs, further developing his earlier theory of "self-reproducing cellular automata." Some of this secretive work involved the transfer of human intelligence to machines. After Von Neumann's death, Freeman Dyson went on to develop similar ideas surrounding self-reproducing factories on other planets.

In 1980, NASA began to explore these ideas. The aim of NASA's Self-Reproducing Systems Concept Team was to "examine the feasibility of devising machines capable of production, replication, growth, self-repair, and evolution, machines that could be used to colonize the moon and beyond." After writing a couple of "fanciful proposals" for the creation of a new "silicon species," the team fully expected to receive funding, but instead the money went to President Reagan's Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative (Noble 165-166).

At this point the species engineering project apparently went black, and this is what we're told is going on. Essentially, they took a defunct meme like "strategic defense" and popped "Star Wars" in front of it, and researchers chased the lead down the wrong rabbit hole.

In the end, Barrow & Tipler concede that one possible reason for ETI not to build probes is the fear of losing control of them. They admit it possible that the program that keeps the probe under intelligent control could be accidentally omitted during the reproduction process, with the result that the copy "goes into business for itself."

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09 December, 2010

Support Wikileaks video

Support Wikileaks! Awesome video. Third World War has begun on the internet between states and their citizens. Blue Oyster Cult - Veteran of The Psychic Wars.

08 December, 2010

The Gulf of Mexico is Dying

A Special Report on the BP Gulf Oil Spill

By Dr. Tom Termotto

“After conducting the Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Conference for over seven months, we can now disseminate the following information with the authority and confidence of those who have thoroughly investigated a crime scene. …

Big Oil, as well as the Military-Industrial Complex, have aided and abetted this whole scheme and info blackout because the very future of the Oil & Gas Industry is at stake, as is the future of the US Empire ...

The pictorial evidence tells the whole story.

Especially that the BP narrative is nothing but a corporate-created illusion – a web of fabrication spun in collaboration with the US Federal Government and Mainstream Media. Big Oil, as well as the Military-Industrial Complex, have aided and abetted this whole scheme and info blackout because the very future of the Oil & Gas Industry is at stake, as is the future of the US Empire which sprawls around the world and requires vast amounts of hydrocarbon fuel.

Should the truth seep out and into the mass consciousness – that the GOM is slowly but surely filling up with oil and gas – certainly many would rightly question the integrity, and sanity, of the whole venture, as well as the entire industry itself. And then perhaps the process would begin of transitioning the planet away from the hydrocarbon fuel paradigm altogether.

It’s not a pretty picture.

The various pictures, photos and diagrams that fill the many articles at the aforementioned website represent photo-evidence about the true state of affairs on the seafloor surrounding the Macondo Prospect in the Mississippi Canyon which is located in the Central Planning Area of the northern Gulf of Mexico. The very dynamics of the dramatic changes and continuous evolution of the seafloor have been captured in ways that very few have ever seen. These snapshots have given us a window of understanding into the true state of the underlying geological formations around the various wells drilled in the Macondo Prospect.

Although our many deductions may be difficult for the layperson to apprehend at first, to the trained eye these are but obvious conclusions which are simply the result of cause and effect. In other words there is no dispute around the most serious geological changes which have occurred, and continue to occur, in the region around the Macondo wells. The original predicament (an 87 day gushing well) was extremely serious, as grasped by the entire world, and the existing situation is only going to get progressively worse.

[. . . ]

Just how bad is this situation? There are actually three different ongoing disasters – each more grave and challenging than the previous one – which must be considered when assessing the awesome destruction to the GOM by the Oil & Gas Industry.

I. A single gushing well at 7o – 100,000 barrels per day of hydrocarbon effluent for 87 days into the GOM at the Macondo Prospect along with two smaller rogue wells

II. Numerous leaks and seeps within five to ten square miles of the Macondo well with an aggregate outflow of an unknown amount of hydrocarbon effluent per day into the GOM

III. Countless gushers and spills, leaks and seeps, throughout the Gulf of Mexico, where drilling has been conducted for many decades, with an aggregate outflow that can not even be estimated, but is well in excess of any guesstimate which would ensure the slow and steady demise of the GOM.

It is the last scenario which we all face and to which there is no easy or obvious solution. The truth be told, there currently does not exist the technology or machinery or equipment to repair the damage that has been wrought by the process of deep undersea drilling, especially when it is performed in the wrong place. Therefore, wherever the oil and gas find points of entry into the GOM through the seafloor, these leaks and seeps will only continue to get worse. Here’s why:

Methane gas mixed with saltwater and mud makes for a very potent corrosive agent. Under high pressure it will find every point of egress through the rock and sediment formations all the way up to the seafloor where it will find any point of exit that is available. The longer and more forcefully that it flows throughout the fractured area, which is dependent on the volume, temperature and pressure at the source of the hydrocarbons, the more its corrosive effects will widen, broaden and enlarge the channels, cracks and crevices throughout the sub-seafloor geology, thereby creating a predicament that no science, technology or equipment can remedy.

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01 December, 2010

Rock and Roll Conspiracy: Roy Wood vs. Harold Wilson

By Joan d'Arc
Paranoia Magazine

This article will outline the theory that British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, was a deep cover communist operative at the time he redistributed the wealth of “glam rocker” and experimental musician, Roy Wood, and his band, The Move, with a libel suit which redirected Roy Wood’s royalties to the charities of Wilson’s choice. This redistribution of wealth continues at the time of this writing in 2010, and will continue in perpetuity on all income for Wood’s 1967 song “Flowers in the Rain.”

(Flowers in the Rain video above. Roy Wood is the bass player with the flashy shirt):

Flowers in the Rain, 1984, interview with Roy Wood and Carl Wayne follows song.

Libel is defined as “defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures.” The law of libel originated in the 17th century in England. Currently, the cost of a libel case in Britain, according to a 2009 article in The Sunday Times, can run a million pounds, even though the damages at stake might be just 10,000 pounds. According to the article, “the freedom to criticise fairly and strongly is the cornerstone of debate and progress.” The libel laws in England are devastating to a free society.

Harold Wilson, The Taxman
The song "Taxman" was written by Beatle, George Harrison, recorded in April and May of 1966, and released on the 1966 album Revolver. The song attacked the 95 percent income tax slapped onto high-income individuals in Great Britain by Harold Wilson’s Labour government, which continues to this day. "Taxman" was the Beatles' first overt political statement. Indeed, Harrison once stated, "'Taxman' was when I first realised that even though we had started earning money, we were actually giving most of it away in taxes. It was and still is typical."

"Taxman" marked the first time public figures were mentioned in a Beatles song, and it has been established that Harold Wilson was the “Taxman,” since his name is mentioned in the background vocals along with conservative leader, Edward Heath.

Roy Wood and The Move
On November 13, 2010, Roy Wood, founder of The Move, Electric Light Orchestra, Wizzard, and other bands, received a “Star” on the Birmingham Walk of Stars in his hometown of Birmingham. Wood told the crowd, "It’s fantastic to have your home town support you in this way. It is really really good. I'm just honoured, really. What can I say? It’s fantastic.”

With a little chuckle at the end of the interview, Wood slipped in the following remark:

“And at least people can walk all over me again.”

What in the world did Wood mean by this statement?

The Move, from Birmingham, England, was one of the leading British rock bands of the late 1960s and early 70s. They scored nine Top 20 UK singles in five years, but did not find success on the U.S. charts. Founder, Roy Wood, composed all the group's UK singles. Their early career was marked by a series of publicity stunts, such as taking an axe to televisions, cars, and busts of Hitler.

The promotional campaign for the 1967 song, Flowers in the Rain, known as a “hippie anthem,” generated a libel suit that had major financial and personal repercussions for the song’s writer, Roy Wood, when the Move’s manager, Tony Secunda, unbeknownst to the band, produced a cartoon post card meant to be a “political satire” showing Prime Minister Harold Wilson in bed with his secretary, Marcia Williams. Wilson sued The Move for libel and the group was forced to pay all costs, plus all royalties earned by the song, to the charities of Wilson’s choice, among them, the Spastics Society and Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

The Move fired Secunda for this surreptitious publicity stunt. The ruling, however, remained in force even after Wilson's death in 1995, and remains in force to this day. It is thought to have cost Wood millions of pounds in royalties over the years. And the writer of the song doesn’t seem to be altogether forgiving 43 years after the event. According to Wood, the nasty post card had absolutely nothing to do with the band, either in content or intent. The members of the band did not draw the cartoon, which was purposely mailed to the Prime Minister. It only took Wilson about 11 days to file the libel suit. (

In Roy Wood's words, the Move received "a longer sentence than the great train robbers.” And that’s for a cartoon post card. Following Harold Wilson’s death in 1995, Wood went to court to redirect the payments to charities of his preference, such as the Birmingham Children's Hospital. The response from Wilson’s solicitors was that they were unable to touch the original agreement, although clearly the list of charities had changed since then. According to the London Observer, The Harold Wilson Charitable Trust had “extended the range of beneficiaries to include, among others, the Oxford Operatic Society, Bolton Lads Club and the Jewish National Fund for Israel.”

This is what I would consider “walking all over him.” But is there more to the story about this “political stunt” gone awry? …

Was Harold Wilson a Soviet Agent?
Soviet defector Anatoliy Golitsyn has reportedly claimed that Wilson was a KGB operative and that former Labour Party leader, Hugh Gaitskell, had been assassinated by the KGB in order to replace Gaitskell with Harold Wilson. This claim, of course, has been disputed. The British spy agency MI5 investigated Wilson over several years and decided Wilson was never associated with the KGB. Indeed, Wilson himself claimed to be anti-communist.

But the book Spycatcher begs to differ, proclaiming Wilson to have been a Soviet plant. The author of the memoir, former MI5 officer Peter Wright, claims he had been told that Wilson was a Soviet agent. The story, he wrote, came from none other than U.S. spymaster, James Angleton, himself. Angleton, head of the CIA's Counterintelligence Division during Wilson’s first reign (1964-1970), claimed he had heard from an unamed source (probably Golitsyn) that Wilson was a Soviet agent. Angleton offered more information if MI5 would guarantee to keep the allegations out of British “political circles.” The British spy agency, according to Wright’s memoir, refused to accept the restrictions on the use of his information. Thus, Angleton was reticent to supply any more information.

According to Wright, by the end of the 1960s, MI5 had received information that the Labour Party had “almost certainly” been penetrated by the Soviets. Two Czechoslovakian defectors named “Frolik” and “August” had named Harold Wilson amongst a list of Labour MP’s and trade unionists who were Soviet agents. (Wright, Spymaster)

A new book entitled, Defence of the Realm, a history of MI5 by Cambridge professor Christopher Andrew, says there were “worries about his relationships with Eastern European businessmen. His contact with KGB officers also raised concerns.” However, the book dismisses the longstanding claims of bugging and plots against Wilson. Wilson does, however, seem to have been “the only serving prime minister to have a permanent Secret Service file,” which was opened in 1945 when Wilson became an MP, “after communist civil servants suggested he had similar political sympathies.” (“MI5 kept file on former PM Wilson”

According to Wikipedia, ex-British spy Peter Wright claimed that he was confronted by two of his MI5 colleagues, who stated: "Wilson's a bloody menace and it's about time the public knew the truth," and "We'll have him out, this time we'll have him out." Wright said there had been a plan, approved by up to thirty officers, to leak “selective details of the intelligence about Labour leaders, especially Wilson, to 'sympathetic' journalists.” Their contacts in the press and trade unions would destabilise the Labour Government by spreading the idea that “Wilson was considered a security risk.” Wright has declined to let any government official see the files on Wilson and he states the plan was never carried out.

Was the plan ultimately carried out by the manager of an obscure rock band from Birmhingham, The Move’s Tony Secunda? Were there any invisible tentacles behind this publicity stunt? Was MI5 possibly involved in this prank to take down Harold Wilson, and did this plot instead turn bizarrely on the band and the writer of the song? Perhaps this possibility is something that Roy Wood has turned over in his mind in the past 43 years.

Roy Wood the Rocker

Libel Reform
On January 27, 2010, the British government announced it would establish a working group to examine concerns that U.K. "libel laws are having a chilling effect on freedom of expression,” and enourage “predatory suits.” Such suits are not restricted to the United Kingdom’s borders and can easily affect US citizens. A British group called The Legal Project has provided information to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the potentially severe consequences of a U.K. default judgment on US victims of "libel tourism."

In August 2010, the British-based Libel Reform Campaign expressed concern that Britain's reputation is being damaged internationally due to what it calls "our restrictive, archaic and costly libel laws, which cost 140 times the European equivalent."

Let’s welcome the U.K. into the 21st century!

On January 18, 2008, Wood was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Derby for his contribution to music. Although many voices in England are clamoring to make Roy Wood a knight, I would suspect at this point Roy Wood isn’t interested in a British knighthood. I think the appelation “Dr. Roy Wood” suits him better.


Where is Roy Wood now?

In the following interview, Wood claims he has “stuck himself away” in his private studio … “somewhere not easily accessible.” He tours England with his band, the Roy Wood Rock & Roll Band.

His websites are:

Some of his hit songs:


Video for Roy Wood’s solo hit in UK: Dear Elaine

Rock n Roll Winter

Ball Park Incident

Roy Wood on Boulders, Wake Up

Roy Wood on Boulders, Song of Praise

Look through the eyes of a fool

For more videos please search Youtube.

More great links about Roy Wood or by Roy Wood:

Roy Wood, Rock and Roll Oboeist and Grandfather of Glam

In this interview with the Telegraph, Roy tells how manager Don Arden ruined his career, how EMI in 2008 reissued the new Boulders CD without his permission or input, and that Bev Bevan is now touring as The Move and stealing his tunes!:

In 2009, Roy Wood became a guest editor at the Mercury Times, and penned this humorous article on daytime television in the UK:

Roy Wood was a guest editor for the Sunday Mercury Times for one week in May-June 2009, presumably (I’m guessing) in exchange for the successful Birmingham Walk of Stars campaign run by the Mercury. “Identity Cards: Do we really need them?”

April 2009 article by Roy Wood at the Mercury Times on anti-binge drinking in UK:

Interview with Paul Cole at Sunday Mercury: Roy Wood reveals his secret shyness:

Roy Wood Campaign: Image Galleries on the Sunday Mercury:

A cornucopia of interviews set up by a fan, and named after a Roy Wood song, Cherry Blossom Clinic:

Retrospective article on The Move at Brumbeat:

Musicology and Review: “Wood is one of the most gifted multi-instrumentalists in existence. Most of his solo albums are solo in the truest sense of the word - recorded entirely by himself, where he plays all the guitars, bass, drums, pianos, banjos, trombones, flutes, bagpipes, violins, accordion, and personally loops all the tapes he needs.”

Roy Wood receives an honorary doctorate at University of Derby in 2009.

“Roy is widely recognised as one of the most significant British musicians of post rock and roll popular music history, contributing to Glam Rock, Rock, Progressive Rock, and Psychedelia.” Graduation pictures here!

More about Roy Wood’s work

All This and World War II, song list, DVD or CD never released:

Roy Wood - Lovely Rita and Polythene Pam: from the above film.

More Videos!

Rare Roy Wood video from 1985:

Roy Wood: background and interview:

Roy Wood 1974.

Wizzo Band, 1977, is reminiscent of Frank Zappa.

It wasn’t my idea to dance, from the album Message From the Country:

Roy Wood is the sax player on Waterloo, Dr. and the Medics, 1986:

To save money, You can sing pop music through your girlfriend’s pantyhose, says Roy Wood. But you already knew that.

Joan d'Arc may be reached at