December 9, 2010

Will the world's governments now join hands to shut down pornography?

Now that the governments of the world and private sector companies have shown that they are   highly capable and efficient at shutting down targeted web sites - if the will is strong enough - can we expect to seem them join hands in a real show of strength and morality by cooperating to shut down online child pornography sites and of the more repellent, degrading online pornography sites?

Will PayPal and Visa ensure that payments cannot be made or accepted to such sites?

Come on guys and gals:  you can't fool us anymore, we've seen your handy work, and it's almost impressive.

Meanwhile, several days ago, the shrill Sarah Palin demanded to know why Julian Assange hasn't been pursued with the same vigor as Osama bin Laden.

(I'll pause here for three seconds while you contemplate that analogy.)

Now that I've stopped being entirely hysterical about this whole thing, I've realized that was Palin's mangled way of expressing full support for Assange's continued well being and unadulterated freedom.   Nice one Sarah!


Had not read this earlier - YEAH!  

Excellent outcome achieved by global - and some key local - hackers.  Very nice! 
The organisation facilitating Visa and Mastercard payments to WikiLeaks, DataCell ehf, said in a statement that it was taking ‘‘immediate legal actions to make donations possible again’’.

‘‘We strongly believe a world class company such as Visa should not get involved by politics and just simply do their business where they are good at. Transferring money,’’ chief executive Andreas Fink wrote.

‘‘They have no problem transferring money for other businesses such as gambling sites, pornography services and the like so why a donation to a Website which is holding up for human rights should be morally any worse than that is outside of my understanding.’’ [Yes, exactly!  Why did it take you so long to figure it out?]


  1. Anonymous10:19 PM

    One might ask: is it legal (think trade pratice laws etc.) to close somebodies account when the contract between the parties has not be broken?

    This sets a sinister precedent.

    Maybe in the years ahead anybody protesting government/corporate dishonesty, corruption etc. will find themselves without access to their bank, the internet, phone, their car rego could be cancelled along with their licence.

    I've already had the NRMA threaten to have the RTA cancel my licence if I didn't pay their demand notice. It got really nasty. Anyway I told them I'd sue if they tried anything like that and then they backed off. No need to go into detail but I did a bit of a job on them.

    But the guts of the anecdote is I had the feds on to me (APRA) the state mob (RTA) and a private corporation (NRMA) who had the luxury of the state (RTA)to be their stand over man - sheesh it pissed me off.

    Anyway as I told their GM:

    You should never give a valued and loyal customer the opportunity to look else where.

    35 years and only one (not at falt) claim. They lost the business on two vehicles - dumb fucks all they had to do was call me and it would have been sorted in minutes.

    PS. I never paid their demand, I had honoured all my contractual obligations.


  2. Justin - did you notice that PayPal have now released approx 1075 statements, each more blush-worthy than the last, trying to remember exactly why it was they canceled the account ... you know, other than 'standing by America', err, because America said so.

  3. That's a ripper story, Justin, which I'm trying desperately to commit to memory before it disappears under Caz's blackberry death ray.

    But yeah, I'd like to cancel my PayPal account (if that's possible) in protest. Unfortunately I've only used PayPal once or twice in years, so it would probably have nil effect. Amazon too...

    As I recall, Harry is or was an ardent shareholder in PayPal, so one wonders what his thoughts might be on their 'commercial' decision. If I get a chance, I'll taunt him with my threat to withdraw my custom.

  4. Anonymous11:11 PM

    Caz, No I didn't notice but it's good to see they are feeling some heat - the more the better. It was also good to see time out this morning - hehe.

    Jacob, jolly good to see you are still kicking mate. iHarry would probably like to see JA iGarotted.

    I'm thinking of going overseas next year - should I apply to the US embassy for permission or what?

    And is my Australian passport any good anymore?


    PS. Caz your site has become a little spooky, but in a weird sort of way iJustin is starting to become somewhat attached to those mischievious gremlins - it's cute seeing you chat to yourself.

  5. Anonymous12:01 AM

    BTW - here is an example of what consumers could do, if they wanted:

    Apparently J P Morgan have been naked short selling silver (contracts), ie they don't own the physical silver in the first place, in fact they are being taken to court over same.

    It appears that JPM has sold heaps more silver than exists is all the vaults in all the universes. In short the silver market has been corrupted (like most markets) by JPM and HSBC, supposedly with the help of the Fed.

    Anyway, if one hundred million people (1 in 3 yanks or 1 in 15 Chinese bought just one ounce of silver it would totally fuck JPM - finished.
    A few weeks ago a campaign hit the internet to crash JPM, you can read stuff about it at:

    How hard would it be to buy one ounce of silver?

    I already own silver but I decided to buy a few more Ks and coins today in support of consumer terrorism hehe. I got some of the coins I wanted (although many varieties were sold out) but I'll have to wait until Feb for the bricks? Apparently same was happening all over the show. People are hording silver (and gold).

    Anyway, the moral of the story is that "consumers" do have power, and all they have to do is spend, or not spend as the case may be - but do it as a team.


  6. Justin, always good to hear from/of you.

    You may have heard Phillip Adams recently making much of the story that he, through some weird historical accident, is nominally on the "Wikileaks Advisory Board".

    And (so the story goes) because of that strange circumstance, some deranged/right-wing/mainstream US blogger has "marked" Adams and other board members (including octogenarian Noam Chomsky) for "execution", no matter whether by US "assets" or "freelancers".

    But I'm sure your passport is worth at least as much as Assange's is, in light of your remarks on this and other blogs. Enjoy your trip.

  7. Oooohhhh, now I'm starting to get really pissed off.

    More vanished comments!

    Where are they!

    What is blogger doing?!

  8. "PS. Caz your site has become a little spooky, but in a weird sort of way iJustin is starting to become somewhat attached to those mischievious gremlins - it's cute seeing you chat to yourself."


    No, more than that: iCaz delighted that iJustin finding this endearing.

    iHarry still deluded (as are we all in our large or small ways).

  9. Justin - your quip about Harry sent me scurrying off to see if his re-birthed blog had been re-re-birthed ... its last resurrection having been less than vigorous and short lived: so much so that I removed it from my bookmarks a long time ago - sending it the bookmark grave yard, as you do.

    Believe it or not, I was an early commenter on the Margo Sydney Morning Herald site too, having stumbled across it within days of it being launched. It's still not a paper I read with any regularity (being a Canberra/Melbourne girl, why would i?), so I've no idea how I came across Margo's work back then. Goodness knows I had never heard of her, and did not think her writing or logic as a journalist was much chop. But that's all by the by now. (Does anyone know what she does now?)

    Anyhoo, iCaz, in searching for iHarry, naturally came across his WD 10th anniversary piece.

    "He became curious about me because in my work I am more known for a technical specialization in the finance field that doesn't at all go with the profile of someone who has a passion for writing."

    Nor - if one is complete dolt with a crippling inability to cope with the world without a mental profile checklist - with a passion for skiing or skinny dipping.

    How utterly bereft of life experience must the academic / psych / pumped up business man be if he found that uni-dimensional and unremarkable "profile" to be astonishing and intriguing.

    Note: no sarcasm was embedded in the above comment; I'm serious!

    This Austrian professor's view is that I am doing myself an enormous disservice by not writing.

    Which iHarry uses as an undiluted boast, despite the professor having, we can safely deduce, never read any of Harry's recreational writing, and was not, therefore, offering a critique.

    I've had CEOs and departmental secretaries tell me that I should write a book, and no end of others tell me that I should be in a "more creative" line of work. Maybe they all think I'm lousy at my paid job, and are offering other career suggestions. I don't know. But my chest doesn't puff out with a gust of pride. They're offering observations; they're not prophesying that I'd be brilliant or successful at doing those other things.

    The prof, in iHarry's example, was offering the suggestion that one should pursue interests for which one feels passionate. As far as we can tell, he didn't hint that iHarry was, or needed to be, any good at it.

    How did iHarry get to be middle aged and yet respond and interpret an utterly bland and non-committal suggestion in such a boastful, childish manner?

    //arrrhh ... end rant.

    Apart from that irritation, iHarry's white-washed version of his break-away blog and falling out with Margo also displays a disturbing lack of self-knowledge, as did the flip comment that others quickly used his blog as a dumping ground for WD angst, thereby making his commenters responsible! Outrageous lie! (And he wouldn't have had an audience if not for WD cross-pollination, a fact of which he exploited relentlessly).

    Ok, ok: NOW // end rant. Promise.

  10. Anonymous7:52 AM

    iHarry wrote this about Margo:

    Margo is the sun and you guys are just planets or moons orbiting planets. In the end though, the overriding orbit is around the sun. There is a world of information and commentary out there but in here I see a strong focus on Margo. That says a lot. It says she is articulating views you find simply impossible to ignore. Margo reminds me of the Erasmus of Rotterdam during his "Basel years". The Erasmus was the "wandering scholar" and exceptionally cool to boot. He would look at the sectarian world before him and call it as he saw it. His clarity and strength of purpose was scary to the prejudiced and the ignorant. Why did he prosper in the Swiss city on a bend in the Rhine? Basel was a free and open city where intellectuals could find refuge. In the end it is up to you guys to either orbit the sun as you do now, or engage properly and create your own virtual Basel. A good starting point would be to read Margo's latest book, "Not Happy John". It's published on Monday 21 June. Together, we can take back Australia.

    And this reply from a commentor called Donna:

    Truly, that has to be the funniest statement by a lefty nutjob that I've come across in, well, at least the last 24 hours.

    Poor old iHarry (left nut job) loved you one day and hated you the next - poor lad never quite appreciated the concept of what goes around comes around.

    Last I heard iHarry was in iSwitzerland - such a tiny country for such a huge ihead.

    I guess we'll never hear from him again.


    PS Caz, some of the pieces you write put those main stream bludgers to shame - well done gerl.

  11. Jacob9:22 AM

    Haven't heard anything about Margo in a long time. I still wander by Webdiary fairly regularly hoping to hear something of her. I might read the odd post, but don't follow the 'debates' at all, apart from usually reading Justin's comments, which (hat tip) can be quite entertaining and lively.

    iHarry's involvement in YouDiary was a strange episode about which he still likes to reminisce. It was a dalliance not without real risk to him, such as being made-fun-of by Tim Blair as "Webdiary dufus Harry Heidelberg." (I don't know how poor iHarry coped!)

    Unfortunately Margo and the youdiarists lost their way, while Harry consolidated and re-fortified his intellectual fortress of right-minded thinking. Bully for him.

    iHarry occasionally drops by my blog to deliver the odd caricature. And I think I read somewhere he and Kath are chums on duh facebook (in which he may or may not have shares, can't remember).

    As for his blog, it's even deader than mine, and -- disaster! -- those crucial 'archives', which were always 'there' as consolation for the latest I'm-spitting-the-dummy-and-closing-the-blog, are no longer accessible. iHarry finally may have moved on.

  12. Justin - thank you for that reminder, iCaz threw up a little bit.

    iHarry and Sunshine Margo had a glorious mutual admiration society going on, which was nice for them, but Harry should never have played it out in public. That's the sort of mutual crush that one keeps private, lest one makes the other kiddies vomit.

    A little less public swooning over each other might have made for a more solid and enduring friendship. Clearly they got along well, but the rest of us didn't need to be exposed to the meeting, the mating, the breakup and then the reconciliation.

    All a bit icky.

  13. Continued ...

    Hee, hee - Harry being called a lefty nutjob? Oh, how glorious!

    Thank you for the generous compliment Justin.

    Wish I had the time to do more writing, even if only blogging. For a few years now, as you would have noticed, the best I can do is throw up pithy things, or topics that only require a throw away line or two.

    Unfortunately, the topics of the day that more urgently warrant a post are also the topics that warrant time and thought, something well crafted. That's what I don't have time to do. Eg, the body scanners & vigorous "pat downs" at US airports was worth a few posts, and I started to gather my thoughts and content, but the topic had run its course before I could find time to do get a single post 'publication ready'. That happens A LOT.

    Assange & Wikileaks, obviously deemed by me to be too important to get hung up about crafting anything, let alone collecting a cogent point of view ... just get it up there! Sloppy or not. Ah well.

    But thank you.

  14. Jacob – iHarry’s involvement can only be explained by the mutual fawning with Sunshine Margo.

    Not entirely sure why he reminisces in such a saccharine manner. The chapter in Margo’s book and posts on WD and his own blog seem to have been his only flirtations with “writing”. It was, I think his joy in having a platform upon which to proclaim his opinions that appealed so much, rather than the writing per se. Perhaps he thought it would come to something, ‘though goodness knows what. (Hell, all blog collaborations end badly, don’t they? Except for you and Father Park, whose loosely joined blogging has worked without any evident recriminations or heartbreak.)

    Sunshine Margo and iHarry were sitting ducks for Blair – for everyone really, but Blair had the sharp mind and scathing wit to strip them naked.

    Margo, poor dear, when she ventured into blogging didn’t understand that her abilities would be so brutally exposed. Any published work, books and newspaper pieces, were clearly the outcome of extreme and heavy handed editing. If not for the interwebs, no one would ever have know how limited her ability to express the most simple thought or concept, and how woeful her writing.

    I had forgotten that iHarry has been known to lurk and to speak up at your place, although he hasn’t been around for quite a while now, must be at least a year, or longer.

    I can’t bring myself to venture into Facebook. It’s not a generational thing, more boomers are on there than any other demographic (contrary to the myths, and contrary to what the Gen’s X, Y, Z etc want to believe), just don’t ever want my real foot prints anywhere on the interwebs, unless of my own choosing, like PR for my next book launch. :-D

    And yes – my god – even the precious iHarry archive links were deader than a dodo! The horror!

    You know, I almost purchased a copy of “Not Happy John” a few years ago. It was only $5, but I stood and read a few pages here and there, flipping though it, as I always do when considering buying a book. The thing is, it wasn’t even worth $5, it held no ideas, no stylish writing, there was nothing there. Routine amateurish drivel. Roughly at a high school level, that is, it would have been good if written by high school students with little life experience, and therefore little knowledge of politics.

    A book full of words, but an empty indulgence to make use of a good book title. (They owed a lot to Telstra for getting that book published, me thinks. The content didn’t warrant the enthusiasm of any publisher.)