The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Archive for January, 2007

War on anything – some much needed words

Posted by rantingkraut on January 24, 2007

“The fight against terrorism on the streets of Britain is not a war. It is the prevention of crime, the enforcement of our laws and the winning of justice for those damaged by their infringement.” (…) politically or religiously motivated terror posed huge public challenges, but the response must be grounded in law. Abandoning the right to a fair trial would represent defeat, “an abject surrender to nihilism” (Source)

Such are the remarks Ken MacDonald, the director of Public Prosecutions, made in a speech to the bar association last night according to the Telegraph. MacDonald takes care to point to an obvious but little noticed implication of the ‘war on anything’ rhetoric: If we are in a war on terror then –it would follow- terrorists should be regarded as soldiers, as should drug dealers in a war on drugs one presumes.

Anyway, I am off to create a culture of coffee. This should give me a tactical advantage in the war on drowsiness.

Posted in Civil Liberties, UK politics | 1 Comment »

Due Process R.I.P

Posted by rantingkraut on January 18, 2007

With the launch of super ASBOS, Blair’s pet project of abolishing due process now seems complete. There is one detail that has received little attention though:

America is … considering “more sophisticated” monitoring techniques, including a trial of “radio frequency identification chips” for the mentally ill.”(Source)

If things go the way they usually do, they will have those chips for the mentally ill first, for some criminals next, for all criminals thereafter … and finally for all. And why do we meet this idea for US legislation in an article on British civil liberties erosion? Pure coincidence I presume.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Justice System | Comments Off on Due Process R.I.P

… und morgen die Ganze EU

Posted by rantingkraut on January 18, 2007

The Grauniad has a report on Germany’s proposed anti-free speech harmonisation proposals and gives some more details on current plans to extend Germany’s native police state throughout the EU.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Crazy Krauts | Comments Off on … und morgen die Ganze EU

German initiative to impose censorship throughout the EU

Posted by rantingkraut on January 15, 2007

With Germany at the helm of the EU the Union’s totalitarian activism is gathering pace. Not only has Ms Merkel announced her intention to reanimate the near defunct EU-Constitution, there are already some concrete proposals for political censorship throughout the EU:

According to the Times, Gabrielle Zypries, Germany’s justice minister, is due to announce plans to ban Nazi symbols and Holocaust denial throughout the EU. She very briefly acknowledges that “There is some controversy about that under ‘freedom of expression’” but then goes on to say: “but we believe that there are limits to freedom of expression, and the limits are there when it is offensive to other religions and ethnic groups.”” (Source) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Crazy Krauts, Freedom of Speech, In The News | Comments Off on German initiative to impose censorship throughout the EU

Yet more Rubbish!

Posted by rantingkraut on January 12, 2007

Recycling has been in the news again, and as always Germany is held up as an example, recycling more than anyone else etc. etc.

I won’t go into the debate of how useful recycling really is, that’s no fun. But there is one thing UK politicians ought to remember about Germany’s recycling mania. When recycling was first introduced in Germany, recycling containers for glass were put up in public places, then came different coloured dustbins for every house. These were emptied frequently –i.e. all kinds of rubbish were collected every week. Some time later, legislation was introduced to force shops to accept any packaging customers did not want to take home and some time after that additional charges were introduced for non-recyclable waste.

To put it concisely: first the recycling system was put to work. Once it worked as intended, people were charged for not using it. In the UK it seems to go the other way round. Local authorities are big on placing spy-chips in dust bins and are gung-ho about charging their subjects. As for regular and reliable recycling schemes –forget all about it. 

There is another point to it though: Germany is possibly the only country on earth to have turned recycling into a kind of secular religion. To a Brit, a trash can is somewhere to put the rubbish, to a kraut, the assortment of colour-coded recycling bins forms a kind of rainbow coloured altar. A German who puts a green bottle into the brown glass bin will be about as popular with his neighbours as a Satanist in the USA’s bible-belt. That’s why the UK will never be any good at recycling. You can’t be serious about worshipping garbage cans and have anything other than a German sense of humour.

Posted in Crazy Krauts, In The News | Comments Off on Yet more Rubbish!