Friday Tunes - Shut Thee Gob

We've been talking about Friday Tunes in the Smokey Drinkey Bar for the past few weeks and many different topics have been discussed. It's great in the virtual bar, because you can post a music video and everyone logged in can watch it, so we've been experimenting with that quite a bit. There's been some great tunes and there's been some God awful shite

Anyhoo, one genre that got quite a lot of interest was instrumentals. There's a lot of them about and it's a good quality pool to dip into

A couple of my selections first, as I want to start off with some rock n roll

A bit of Beatnik

You can't whack a bit of Johnny and the Hurricanes, but that one does sound a bit like the intro to a 1970's children's TV program

I think the Shadows did this one also, but I quite like the Ventures

Frank did mention a few Shadows records, so here's my favourite

Frank supplied the link the that particular version as it wasn't showing up when I searched

Here's one of Nisakimans choices

It's a bit slow for me that one, but good for insomnia

Have you seen those sat navs you can program with celebrity voices. I used to have one with Fleetwood Mac, but it just kept telling me to go my own way

This is one I've never heard before, but it got great guitar, erm, stuff in it

This one is a little quirky number

I know Frank's into his Duanne Eddy (Eh Nisakiman?) but often the slowies. This one ain't so bad

Time to take it back and bring it up again

A bit of gratuitous sax

One we all know

And we'll finish with this

Maybe next time we do the instrumentals, we'll go a bit more modern. Maybe
That's all folks! Have a good weekend

When rights collide

In the red corner we have women who want an abortion. They have the right to own their own bodies
In the blue corner we have the anti-abortion protesters. They have the right to free speech

So which right wins? There's only one way to find out


Ostensibly, women’s rights have long been enshrined in law [...]

Reproductive rights are one area where parity is far off, and you don’t need to go far to witness women being subjected to open, regular abuse. Intimidation occurs daily outside family planning clinics nationwide, in increasingly virulent protests by the so-called religious, aimed at stopping women having abortions. Women in Ealing have had to put up with this over at least three decades. As its MP I want to do something about it so women can access services provided by the NHS, free from fear and intimidation.

[...] a leafy bit of London, [...] houses a Marie Stopes clinic. For years I’ve walked [past] it – often to drop my son off at his drama club – silently seething with rage when the anti-abortion brigade line the pavement with wildly inaccurate and gruesome foetus dolls and graphic images, clutching rosary beads, and attempting to stop women from going in and out.

The tension has ramped up in recent years, aided and abetted by technology and social media. Women on the brink of a major medical procedure, with additional layers of moral dilemmas heaped on top, are caught in the crossfire. Locally, there’s a sense that enough is enough.

The police express inability to do anything under public order legislation [...]

This week, a motion comes before Ealing council that would extend asbo powers [...] to stop these protests.

If successful, this approach could be replicated nationwide. [...]

This is about women’s security: every woman deserves to be able to go about her life in safety. I recently met some of those who work in the clinic and it was illuminating to hear stories from staff who frequently have their path obstructed by zealots simply while going to work. They keep an incident book; tellingly the chants and tactics differ for women entering and leaving. On the way in, it’s emotional blackmail: teddy bears are thrust at women who get called “mum”. On leaving they are met with anger and commonly told they’re headed for hell. Creepy footage of them shot without their consent gets transmitted via Facebook Live.

Those who call out abuse are often met with abuse. I’ve had my office picketed for speaking out on this and I am regularly threatened on social media, a further bullying tactic designed to silence. The council needs to pass this motion, and a more permanent national solution needs to be found, so we can ensure that the pavement is a safe space for women accessing NHS services – surely not too big an ask. After all, whatever happened to thou shalt not judge?

A new law to stop people protesting against something they strongly disagree with. As a Libertarian, I firmly believe in a woman's right to choose. Also as a Libertarian, you would probably think I also agree with the right to protest. Reader, I do not

Let's have a look at this specific example, as it's not too difficult to fathom. These protesters are doing the following:
  • Actively trying to prevent people going about their lawful way
  • Harassing people
  • Shouting abuse and bullying
That crosses the line from protest to abuse and there is no excuse for it. If you don't like abortion, don't get one

Let's expand it a little.

My boss recently went to an anti-Brexit protest in Manchester. We had a vote on Brexit and we voted to leave. Do people have the right to protest that vote? What do they want? Do they simply want to express their dismay at the vote? No, they want it overturned

We've also had many anti-austerity protests, some of which have turned violent. What do they want? They want 'austerity' stopped, the welfare state to be expanded and for other people to pay for it. They want to take money from other people by force

We've had anti-Tory protests. As with Brexit, what they want is to overturn the result of the general election

Some Americans are protesting the right to armed self defence

The general theme in all these protests is that a group of people want to remove a democratic (or constitutional) process, prevent other people doing something they disapprove of and deprive other people of money for their own gain. They want to make their lives better (in their opinion) at the expense of others

And in all cases, the things these people are protesting for, are never going to happen

But they still have the right to protest? I hear you saying something on the lines of you don't agree with them but would die for their right to say it. Well that may become an option

Let's assume everyone who protests, gets what they want

It's very rare that anyone protests for more liberty, more rights, lower taxes, and smaller government. If all the protesters got their wishes, democracy, freedom and liberty would be stripped away in favour of an all powerful socialist state

That might finally make some people want to protest for more freedoms, but by then, protest would be illegal anyway

Freedom of speech, definitely. Say whatever crap you want. But bring an entire town to a standstill, cost an arm and a leg in police resources, all for something that probably will never happen and definitely shouldn't? Protest to take away the rights, freedoms and money of others? No. I can't get behind that

But what's the alternative? Ban protests so nobody can do it? Appoint a Government to decide who has the right to protest and who doesn't? Jeez. This could get deep

Of course, in a truly Libertarian country, this would not be an issue. The Government would not be in a position to do any of the things being demanded, even if they wanted to, as they would not be granted those kinds of powers

But we don't live in that kind of country. At least when there is a protest, the powers that be should come down hard on anyone who turns it into a violent demonstration, rather than standing back and letting them loot shoes and tellys. I'm sure we can all agree that that kind of behaviour is not a right in any sense of the word

Which brings us back to the original story. As long as these people engage in intimidation and obstruction then yes, they should be stopped

So even though I object to new rules and regulations, in the world we live in, which is far from an ideal one, I can get behind this one

In an ideal world, the state would not have the monopoly on personal defence

Go here...

And give them some hell

We are therefore keen to seek your views on how we make Britain the safest place in the world to be online.

They want to censor the internet, in other words

I understand the chainsaw...

But why bring a baseball to a bank robbery?

Do we need to ban baseballs now? I mean, if it stops just one bank robbery, it has to be worth it, right?

Friday Night Moose Music - No Parking

So once again on a Friday night, I get home and there's a car dumped in my parking space. There's a wide range of opinion on parking outside peoples houses, from those who get so angry, they let down peoples tyres, to those who think that because they pay road tax, they have a right to park anywhere

I'm of the opinion that parking outside someone elses' house is just pig ignorant, but I don't tend to blow my top over it

It pisses me off that it always seems to happen on a Friday night though. I don't like leaving the car up the street on a weekend, an even if my space is clear by six, I've probably had a beer and would get caught moving it (my kind of luck)

My neighbour on the end of the street (a bit of a dick) had some really professional 'Residents parking only' signs made up. He put one outside his house and gave one to me. I painted the front garden in the summer; it really needed doing, looked like dogshit, so tonight I decided it was time to put my sign up

I've been reluctant, cos it's not actually an official residents bay, so it's a bit cheeky. Sod it though. There's another option now I own a massive four wheel drive

Drag the bugger up the street and park in my spot anyway

That action might be frowned upon though

So now the bugger has gone and my baby is safely back outside the house, tonight's music theme is driving*. I hope you like them

Bit of a slowie, that one. Not to be listened to with clinical depression

I like my country a bit more traditional than pop, but the Rascal Flatts ain't so bad

I like my Rock N Roll a bit more Devils Musicy, but the Beatles ain't bad. We saw a Beatles tribute band at a bar called Sallys in Ipsos this summer. They were Hungarian, but they but on a fantastic show

I like my pop a bit less cheesy, but Billy Ocean ain't... Nah, he sucks. That tune is pretty much just sexual innuendos about car parts

That's more like it

And that. That's a car song I actually listen to in the car

And that's one of those little gems I've never heard before but will be doing again. Thank you Google

And finally, a little Brucey bonus

*With apologies to Nisakiman. That selection will come up next week

Banning encryption and other unicorn fairies

Amber Rudd (some busybody MP) was recently quoted in the news after complaining nobody in the tech industry was taking her seriously about her plans to ban encryption.

There's three things here that any fule no:
1) You can't ban digital technology that's well established in the public domain
2) MPs don't want to ban encryption to fight terrorism, they want to fight personal privacy and have access to all our 'secrets'.
3) Amber Rudd is an ugly munter

Number three was a bit childish, but that's just the way I feel

There are two types of encryption: Communication and data storage. Amber Rudd is targeting Whats App in particular, a communications forum that uses end to end encryption. Ms Rudd would like to ban that type of encryption so she can read your innermost thoughts. It's a rather complex process to get hold of information shared through these services, if it's even stored and i won't go into all that

It's simpler to get hold of data stored on a personal computer, for example, because the police just get a court order for the password. If you don't supply it, you go to prison until you do

Encryption can have it's uses, but it can also have it's pitfalls. Very often, after the police arrest someone, they take their computer(s). Legal and innocent data stored on a PC can actually provide 'evidence' of guilt

If you were arrest arrested in connection with a sex offence and you have a large database of legal porn, you may not want the police to see it as they may draw their own conclusions.

I have a large database of websites and information pertaining to Libertarian issues. If I were wrongly arrested in connection with a terror offence, the police may well see me as some kind of subversive, particularly with the current drive against anything 'far right', which to our current powers that be, include simply voting UKIP

I have a similar collection of martial arts ebooks and the like. I used to do a lot of martial arts when I was younger and like to keep on top of it. This could also be seen in a bad light if I was arrested for something I had not done.

Have a look through your computer files and your books / magazines around the house. How many of them could paint the wrong picture of you if you ever came to the attention of the law?

The desire to ban encryption is apparently about, "those intent on trying to mask their online criminal activities". The keyword there is criminal. What it really means is anyone wanting to mask any activities done on their pc. If the police ask to see your database, you must comply.

I would like to think that any request for information on my PC would be backed up by a court order, and that order would only be obtained after the police had supplied sufficient evidence to the courts that I was involved in criminal activities. However, I am not that naive.

Purposefully using encryption programs on your PC can raise a red flag if scrutinised. It says you have something to hide. Something to hide, to normal people, just means protecting their privacy. To the Government and their enforcers, it means you must be a criminal.

In the early days of computing there was a program call PGP, which stood for Pretty Good Privacy. It was an uncrackable program

When PGP first came out in America, the authorities made moves to outlaw it. They also wanted to ban research into encryption algorithms and keep it for themselves. They wanted to make you , as a concerned citizen, liable to fines or imprisonment if you dared own software capable of making your files inaccessible to them.

This went tits up when PGP was immediately distributed on the Internet as freeware. Since then, Phil Zimmerman, the software's creator, was harassed for three years and taken to court by the American government for allowing his own software to "escape" from the USA. All under the guise of anti terror, anti drugs. The usual suspects and this was (I believe) about 30 years ago.

I have never been tempted to use this program or anything similar. The simple reason is, a 50 character password says to any casual observer, "look at me, I've got something to hide".

You don't need encryption software to keep your private information safe, particularly in this day and age with drives that have huge storage capacity.

My preferred method of keeping data secret is not to encrypt it, but to hide it among vast amounts of other information.

For example, download a copy of the Encyclopedia Britannica, pick a subject, say, the Alaskan Moose and replace that chapter with the data you want to keep secret. Only you know where it is or even that it is there. Anybody wanting to gain access would have to read through most of the encyclopedia just to find it. You can be put in jail for refusing to disclose a password, but not a passage in an encyclopedia.

You can also use this trick when emailing sensitive information. Send so much data that your secrets will never be picked out from among it. Only your recipient knows to look under "Moose".

USB data sticks can hold a huge amount of information and can be hidden in very small spaces. If you store info on a USB, never copy it to your PC to work on it / edit it. Do it all with the data on the stick.

Encryption will only serve to flag your data and the police will just "ask" for the password.

If you store personal information on your hard disk and delete it or move it to a USB stick, it isn't really gone. The file has simply been flagged as free space. Unless other data is written over it, it can easily be recovered. Use a program such as Eraser to clean your old files. It's free to download. Eraser doesn't just mark data as free space, it overwrites junk data on top, erases that and does it again. This means that the files can never be recovered.

If you really, really must encrypt then do it wisely. If you have a set of bank accounts and stocks that you are saving in case the worst happens and you get divorced (a good plan), then you may want to use something a bit more secure than what I have stated above. Details on a USB stick that may one day be discovered by the Mrs would be better with some kind of encryption security. PGP is still the best in my opinion. Pick a good password. Not Tiddles or Manchester United. You need a string of characters and numbers that don't make any actual words. Decryption software will break a bad password in minutes.

Encryption and decryption also takes time. Only do it to files you wont be accessing often. If you have to access them daily you will get lazy and leave them decrypted for the next time, and that is when you will get caught.
And lastly, don't call your highly sensitive file, Otherwomenihaveshagged.docx. Call it "My love poems", or something equally as likely to not get read.

A good trick back in the old days was to use a floppy disk. Put your data on a disk, label the disk, 'Frogger', then chuck it in a box with a hundred other game disks. It's not such a good trick with modern technology, but a variation is if you have multiple folders on your PC containing multiple word documents (maybe you're a professor or something), bung you data in a word document and stick it somewhere in the middle. You can also store pictures in word documents, so if someone searches your PC for picture files (JPEG etc) they won't find your incriminating pictures

One basic rule to always follow though: You best kept secret is only as safe as your worse kept secret. Meaning, if someone decides to have a look through your files, maybe the wife looking for your secret bank account, they cannot find anything. If they find something that isn't all that sensitive, but has been hidden in a half arsed manner, they're on to the fact that you have things to hide and will step up the search until they find everything

That principle also applies to analogue encryption. Hiding items in a shoebox under the bed. If you want your privacy to truly be private, make sure all your secrets are adequately hidden. They find one, they find them all

It's your data and you have a right to keep it private.

*Disclaimer* I use the methods above to keep my personal data private, not to conduct criminal activities and neither am I condoning such. Don't be a cunt.