... in england

Apparently the war on terror has been won

01 Jul 2007 | 292 words | terrorism media stupidity england

Have been following the recent events in the UK with a mix of amusement and amazement. Did not really expect that the next ‘wave of attacks‘ would be even more incompetent than the last one.

There are a couple of good articles that call these ‘terrorist attacks’ for what they are (‘Terrorist Special Olympics in the UK‘ on Bruce Schneiders blog, ‘Beavis and Butthead in London jihad‘ by Thomas C Greene and ‘‘al-Qaeda’ puts on big shoes, red nose, takes custard pie‘ by Lewis Page both on the register). All three are well worth reading. This quote from the article by Lewis Page kind of sums it up:

If these guys at the weekend really were anything to do with al-Qaeda, all one can really say is that it looks as though the War on Terror is won. This whole hoo-ha kicked off, remember, with 9/11: an extremely effective attack. Then we had the Bali and Madrid bombings, not by any measure as shocking and bloody but still nasty stuff. Then we had London 7/7, a further significant drop in bodycount but still competently planned and executed (Not too many groups would have been able to mix up that much peroxide-based explosive first try without an own goal).

Now we have this; one terror-clown badly burnt and nobody else hurt at all. An event about as significant as the teenagers burning cars down my way – and don’t I wish those little sods got as much police attention and jail time.

Reading this article brought back some fond memories of blowing up propane gas canisters in on construction sites in Hannover Davenstedt when i was 14 or so. And in case you are intrested in real car bombs, go read this book

One Friday

01 Nov 2006 | 236 words | england islam migration xenophobia media terrorism

The Guardian is running quite an impressive piece titled ‘One Friday‘ on its website today [i know that it is wednesday today but then those brits drive on the wrong side of the road and are generally confused when it comes to just about every measurement, so this not all too shocking]:

Criticised for their beliefs, clothing and attitudes; accused of not being British enough; reviled as the enemy within – not a day passes without Muslims being attacked in the media. So how does it feel to be Muslim in Britain today? Guardian writers asked people around the country – from a rear admiral to an organic farmer, a rapper to a gay rights campaigner, an accountant to a niqab-wearing teacher – to tell us how they spent last Friday. A G2 special.

Go read it here (warning, it is really long!). My favorite sentence is ‘the other day the internet cafe opposite me was raided, allegedly as part of a transatlantic terror plot. It was ridiculous.’

Which reminds me that we still know next to nothing about that transatlantic terror plot in question. still no news on how exactly they planned to blow up those planes without passports, explosives or tickets. Also not much more information on why liquids on a plane are dangerous. We do however know that denying people to take liquids on a plane is not only stupid but actually dangerous.

Some did not even have passports...

13 Aug 2006 | 342 words | england terrorism airtravel stupidity media

Thats right. It looks like those ‘terrorists’ who were arrested last week in london were not even close to blowing up anything, let alone boarding an international flight. According to the NBC a senior British official knowledgeable about the [hair-gel bombers] has suggested that

… an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports [… and that …] some suspects were known to the security services even before the London subway bombings last year.

Sounds like a false alarm, which neatly coincides with my first reaction to last thursdays ‘news’. In fact about everybody i spoke to did not believe that this was a real threat and most people (especially in Lebanon) where outraged about this plump attempt to direct attention away from the real killing happening in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere.

I do not know what is worse: That a bunch of white, arrogant, paranoid males (a.k.a world leaders) can reveal fake terrorist plots at their convenience to distract the rest of the world from inconvenient realities. Or that corporate media has lowered their investigative standards so much that they reprint everything that is told them (whatever happened to the good old press conference where the police shows the tools of the foiled terrorist on a table with number boards next to them?) or that a bunch of people will have to spend considerable time in jail because the contemplated the possibility of blowing something up (how often have i done that in the past?)? Or that the already insane and completely arbitrary airport security checks seem to have gotten even more insane (only passports, wallets and tickets on board of UK flights? they better have a library on board then or stock up their bar…).

I hope that this whole thing will actually lead to a trail that will embarrass the shit out of the british ‘security’ apparatus…

update [17 aug 2006]: Here is another article by Craig Murray which seems to confirm the NBC story.

Counting the dead

Since december 2002 I have been counting dead people. To be more specific I have been collecting news reports about migrants that have been killed while trying to get to Europe. Since i have started i have found news articles documenting a total of 1354 1356 deaths and these are only those incidents that have been mentioned in news sources indexed by google news or which I have stumbled upon while reading the newspaper (and this figure does not include the people reported to be missing after the many incidents involving ships, most of them can be safely assumed to be dead as well). In addition there are lots of incidents that never make it into these publications.

I never really questioned myself why i am doing this, I just started to do it once it became feasible without to much hassle (e.g when google news got launched). Clearly i am not expecting that someday someone stumbles across the page, realizes how fucked up the the european attitude towards migrants is and then changes the system. People generally do not care when people with a different skin color die, and i do not really think this will ever change.

Also I never really found other people engaged in the particular activity of counting dead migrants. So imagine my astonishment when i came across someone who does not only also count dead migrants but on top of it knows exactly why he is doing it:

Martin Kelly runs a ‘new occasionalseries‘ on his blog ‘the purpose of which is to record the deaths of migrant workers’. Now that sounds pretty similar to what i am doing, but our Mr. Kelly here has a real mission:

He is collecting migrant deaths in the UK to prove that mass migration is bad and because of this ‘common humanity dictates that somebody try and keep track of the casualty figures’ of the poor souls ‘who would still be alive if tighter border and labour controls were in place’. Thankfully for the rest of the ‘british victims of migrant criminals’ Mr. Kelly has come to the rescue and taken up the burden of recording these incidents so that someday someone will stumble across his blog and decides that ‘common humanity’ dictates that a wall must be built around british isles, because ‘until we are prepared to change our ways, such tragedies as happened yesterday will continue. As migration grows, there will be more of them…’

Guess you have to be pretty fucked up to come to this kind of conclusions when reading about a car incident. This guy really leaves me speechless… what a fucking idiot!

Here are some more argumentative jewels form his insane ‘Right-Wing Rants, Ramblings, Ravings and Ruminations from the West of Scotland‘:

That the process of identifying the migrants should be estimated to be ‘lengthy’ exposes the laxity and inadequacy of our migration controls. Yet consider also its inhumanity – these men died here, far away from their own homes and families, and there is no one official to whom the police can turn who will be guaranteed to know their names. […]

They join Jean Charles de Menezes, Karolina Mikolajewska [pk: a polish care worker murdered in Bristol in feb 2006], the october men [pk: no clue here] and the martyrs of Morecambe Bay in the ranks of mass migration’s victims; for they are victims, just as surely as any British victim of a migrant criminal.

If we had had an immigration system that worked, De Menezes might have been deported; but at least he would still be alive! […]

Now i can read heartfelt sympathy for all those victims from the quotes above. Almost makes me believe that he really cares for the poor victims. In fact he seems to care so much that he has another blog purely focussed on ensuring that the family of Jean Charles de Menezes will not be compensated for his liquidation by the Metropolitan Police.

meanwhile... is the personal weblog of Paul Keller. I am currently policy director at Open Future and President of the COMMUNIA Association for the Public Domain. This weblog is largely inactive but contains an archive of posts (mixing both work and personal) going back to 2005.

I also maintain a collection of cards from African mediums (which is the reason for the domain name), a collection of photos on flickr and a website collecting my professional writings and appearances.

Other things that i have made online: