Monthly Archives: January 2002

Judge Orders God To Break Up Into Small Deities



WASHINGTON, DC—Calling the theological giant’s stranglehold on the religion industry “blatantly anti-competitive,” a U.S. district judge ruled Monday that God is in violation of anti-monopoly laws and ordered Him to be broken up into several less powerful deities.

“The evidence introduced in this trial has convinced me that the deity known as God has willfully and actively thwarted competition from other deities and demigods, promoting His worship with such unfair scare tactics as threatening non-believers with eternal damnation,” wrote District Judge Charles Elliot Schofield in his decision. “In the process, He has carved out for Himself an illegal monotheopoly.”

The suit, brought against God by the Justice Department on behalf of a coalition of “lesser deities” and polytheistic mortals, alleged that He violated antitrust laws by claiming in the Holy Bible that He was the sole creator of the universe, and by strictly prohibiting the worship of what He termed “false idols.”

“God clearly commands that there shall be no other gods before Him, and He frequently employs the phrase ‘I AM the Lord’ to intimidate potential deserters,” prosecuting attorney Geoffrey Albert said. “God uses other questionable strongarm tactics to secure and maintain humanity’s devotion, demanding, among other things, that people sanctify their firstborn to Him and obtain circumcisions as a show of faith. There have also been documented examples of Him smiting those caught worshipping graven images.”

Attorneys for God did not deny such charges. They did, however, note that God offers followers “unbeatable incentives” in return for their loyalty, including eternal salvation, protection from harm, and “fruitfulness.”

“God was the first to approach the Jewish people with a ‘covenant’ contract that guaranteed they would be the most favored in His eyes, and He handed down standards of morality, cleanliness, and personal conduct that exceeded anything else practiced at the time,” lead defense attorney Patrick Childers said. “He readily admits to being a ‘jealous’ God, not because He is threatened by the prospect of competition from other gods, but because He is utterly convinced of the righteousness of His cause and that He is the best choice for mortals. Many of these so-called gods could care less if somebody bears false witness or covets thy neighbor’s wife. Our client, on the other hand, is truly a ‘People’s God.'”

In the end, however, God was unable to convince Schofield that He did not deliberately create a marketplace hostile to rival deities. God’s attorneys attempted to convince the judge of His openness to rivals, pointing to His longtime participation in the “Holy Trinity,” but the effort failed when Schofield determined that Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are “more God subsidiaries than competitors.”

To comply with federal antitrust statutes, God will be required to divide Himself into a pantheon of specialized gods, each representing a force of nature or a specific human custom, occupation, or state of mind.

“There will most likely be a sun god, a moon god, sea god, and rain god,” said religion-industry watcher Catherine Bailey. “Then there will be some second-tier deities, like a god of wine, a goddess of the harvest, and perhaps a few who symbolize human love and/or blacksmithing.”

Leading theologians are applauding the God breakup, saying that it will usher in a new era of greater worshipping options, increased efficiency, and more personalized service.

“God’s prayer-response system has been plagued by massive, chronic backlogs, and many prayers have gone unanswered in the process,” said Gene Suozzi, a Phoenix-area Wiccan. “With polytheism, you pray to the deity specifically devoted to your concern. If you wish to have children, you pray to the fertility goddess. If you want to do well on an exam, you pray to the god of wisdom, and so on. This decentralization will result in more individualized service and swifter response times.”

Other religious experts are not so confident that the breakup is for the best, pointing to the chaotic nature of polytheistic worship and noting that multiple gods demand an elaborate regimen of devotion that today’s average worshipper may find arduous and inconvenient.

“If people want a world in which they must lay burnt offerings before an earthenware household god to ensure that their car will start on a cold winter morning, I suppose they can have it,” said Father Thomas Reinholdt, theology professor at Chicago’s Loyola University. “What’s more, lesser deities are infamous for their mercurial nature. They often meddle directly in diplomatic affairs, abduct comely young mortal women for their concubines, and are not above demanding an infant or two for sacrifice. Monotheism, for all its faults, at least means convenience, stability, and a consistent moral code.”

One deity who is welcoming the verdict is the ancient Greek god Zeus, who described himself as “jubilant” and “absolutely vindicated.”

“For thousands of years, I’ve been screaming that this third-rate sky deity ripped me off wholesale,” said Zeus, speaking from his Mt. Olympus residence. “Every good idea He ever had He took from me: Who first created men in his own image? Who punished mankind for its sins? Who lived eternally up in the clouds? And the whole fearsome, patriarchal, white-beard, thunderbolt thing? I was doing that eons before this two-bit hustler started horning in on the action.”

Lawyers for God say they plan to appeal Schofield’s ruling and are prepared to go all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

“This decision is a crushing blow to God worshippers everywhere, and we refuse to submit to a breakup until every possible avenue of argument is pursued,” Childers said. “I have every confidence that God will ultimately win, as He and His lawyers are all-powerful.”

(c) The Onion – reproduced in full in case “God” uses his powers.
http://www.theonion.com/onion3803/judge_orders_god.html

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Pick of the week

Hard but the funniest of the week goes to :

bbspot.com
http://www.bbspot.com/News/2000/6/php_suspend.html

Runner up :

the eye
http://www.private-eye.co.uk/innews.htm

SCHOOL NEWS

St Hashcakes

Marijuana Term begins today. There are 1,207 users in the school. R.S.J. Dope-Ffiend (Rizlas) is Keeper of the Stash. P.L.R. Pothead (Roaches) is Captain of Reefers. Mr L.S. Dealer replaces Dr Methadone as Head of Chemistry. He will be organising the school trip. The Bong will be held on The Grass on 23rd February. There will be a performance of the School Play (“Trainspotting”) in the Uppers Hall on 7th March. Tickets can be obtained from the Bursar, Wing Commander “Spliffy” Spliffington O.C. Ecstasies will be on 7th March.

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Identity right or wrong / just a thought 2

Continued from …
http://www.pythonesque.org/mx/jarchives/00000109.htm

Would you prefer to wait 15 minutes to get through security at an airport or walk through and get your iris scanned. Or will we have any choice? and when?

Thought
The supermarkets grumble that they PAY to give you “cash back” at the check-outs. So why don’t they become banks and issue their own credit cards and get access to all our spending habits and then not cop the “cash back” charges? Then they could also offer you a handy barcode scanning, bluetooth enabled phone to do your shopping with?

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London bus syndrome I guess…

Saturday January 19 11:43 PM ET

AOL in Talks to Buy Linux Distributor Red Hat
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Media and Internet titan AOL Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:AOL – news) is in negotiations to acquire Red Hat Inc.(Nasdaq:RHAT – news), a distributor of the alternative computer operating system Linux (news – web sites), the Washington Post reported citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter.

The talks were fluid and it was unclear how much AOL, which runs the biggest U.S. Internet service provider and the second-largest U.S. cable television system, would pay for Red Hat, the newspaper said.

Red Hat is the leading distributor of Linux, which unlike software such as rival Microsoft Corp.’s (Nasdaq:MSFT – news) Windows operating system, is an “open source” platform that anyone can change to suit their needs.

Spokespeople for the three companies declined to comment on the negotiations, the newspaper reported.

Linux has gained growing favor with businesses, especially to power the heavy-duty server computers that dish up Web pages and run corporate networks.
The attempted acquisition is the latest indication that AOL is seeking alternative software to that made by rival Microsoft, the maker of Windows which runs 90 percent of the world’s personal computers, the Washington Post said.

To counter Microsoft, AOL could couple its Internet service with Red Hat’s operating system technology and could be configured to override Windows while launching a version of Linux, sources told the newspaper.

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20020119/tc/tech_redhat_aoltimewarner_dc_1.html

The geeks and nerds gather to get their hands on OS X
Chris Gulker
21 January 2002

They’re the geeks, the dweebs, the nerds. They’re sporting greying ponytails and bald spots, sandals and sneakers, thick eyeglasses in unfashionable frames, Linux PDAs and BlackBerry pagers. The scene was San Francisco, where I stood in a mobbed Moscone Convention Center, sallow cheek by unshaven jowl with this scruffy crew.

It’s not that a bunch of hardcore geeks is anything new in my life; indeed, I’m proud to count myself among those who’ve curled up with 900-page tomes with titles such as Linux Unleashed and DNS and BIND (3rd edition).

And these guys are hardly strangers to Moscone, where events like Linuxworld and the Bluetooth Developers’ Conference are routinely held.

It’s just that the event in question was Macworld San Francisco, the western version of Apple’s two annual high holy events. (The eastern version is in New York, mid-year.) And while the Macintosh can claim its own nerdly community, it tends to attract a crowd that’s more Picasso than Einstein.

The Macworld regulars, sporting expensive suites and coiffures, edgy body jewellery and expensive leather, even tie-dye tops and ragged jeans, surround these hardcore geeks like girl scouts at a Taliban convention. It’s weird, it’s, uh, almost unholy.

What brings them together is an operating system: Apple’s new Mac OS X. The nerdly are here to grok (absorb) OS X’s BSD underpinnings (BSD: a free UNIX clone that will run most of the stuff written for Linux, the other, if more famous, free UNIX clone).

The good-hygiene set is here to inspect the radical, if super-hyped, new iMac, and maybe learn how to do snappier computer graphics and whizzier special effects, the Mac’s forte.

I have a foot in both camps: I became a lifelong Mac user while a photographer and layout editor at a San Francisco daily newspaper. Since my rebirth as a hi-tech start-up foot soldier, I’ve gone so far as to build Linux machines from scratch, for fun.

One Linux commentator, Doc Searls, noted this new union in a recent Linux Journal piece. Slashdot, the do-it-yourself web-site-of-record of the open source movement, posted a report from the floor of Macworld, and has run 30 items about Apple and OS X in the past 90 days.

A number of open source heavies are weathering the start-up nuclear winter with jobs as Apple engineers, including recent hire Bud Tribble, a highly-respected Silicon Valley computer scientist. His last billet was at Eazel, a Linux start-up that was one of the brightest stars in the once-blazing start-up constellation.

Eazel was at Apple before, with chief exec Steve Jobs, and left to co-found NeXT Computer with Jobs; OS X is largely built on NeXT’s operating system.

Eazel wasn’t the usual hype-fuelled dot.com: it wanted to make, and had the people who knew how to make, the software that would make cheap PC clones both powerful and easy to use by making Linux user-friendly.

For everyone in the Valley knows that Linux puts the planet’s most widespread operating system to complete and utter technical shame: it’s fast, crash-proof and completely immune to the full spectrum of Windows virus pathology.

What Linux isn’t, is easy to use. You think Windows isn’t easy to use? Then trust me, if Windows is high-school algebra, Linux is post-doctoral theoretical physics.

Eazel was going to make the programs that would make Linux easy. Then last May it ran out of cash and shut its doors.

Enter almost simultaneously (well, March) Mac OS X. Suddenly, Unix that’s easy came in sight. Last year, it took me a weekend to set up a Linux firewall. I had to type a very long recipe, gleaned from a Linux HOW-TO website to make it go. I recently set up a rather more sophisticated firewall on Mac OS X in 15 minutes, using point-and-click. The underlying technology is identical; it was just easier on the Mac.

Apple has managed to make “easy” powerful, more quickly than open sourcers made “powerful” easy. Geeks like it, artists like it. Whither the “rest of us”?

http://news.independent.co.uk/digital/reviews/story.jsp?story=115467

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on the stop press soon …

… on the grapevine today Broadband Britain is arriving 🙂

256Mbits downstream £14.99/month
10Mb @ 512kb 1 euro
10Mb @ 8Mbits 3.5 euros

Don’t forget you heard it here @ PYTHONESQUE.org!

Identity right or wrong / just a thought

When the Internet came to by attention at the end of 1993. I got a funny feeling.
When Linux reared it head good and proper by 1997. I got a funny feeling.

Well my next biggest gut feeling is the relationship between the Cellphone/PDA/Network Operators and credit checking agencies.

I reckon that biometrics in the form of 3D iris scanning will be in cellphone in the next 5-10 years.

Why? Home banking.
You will provide the bank with your biometrics for your security to access your account.

Once the biometrics is integral to the phone other companies will leaverage the interface.
As a consummer you paid the extra on the phone for the extra security.

Maybe some retailers will “trust” the cell phone companies technology to get rid some small purchase transactions.

You may decide to trust the supermarket with your iris print to enable you to get through the check-outs quick or go through the underground or the metro.

There has got to be a relation between the credit agencies and the phone networks because they can provide some evidence of last address used and alot credit scores.

Will there be a time when a local Health Center brokers it’s address records with credit checking agencies for a source of revenue?

The cross-checking and fewer address changes you have, the higher your “identity rating” will become.

Your identity will reliant on just a few trusted databases.

Summary
We will individually trust many retailers to make our lives easier (who doesn’t have a credit card)
They will sell your records for cross-checking with the credit agencies (just as you allow credit card companies and banks to go digging)
The credit agencies collate these records on you as an individual
The credit agencies end up in a better position to identify you as an individual than the state does through your driving license and birth certificate.

Korrect or Krong?

Thoughts
Do the credit agencies have more benefit with merging with a global telco players? or
Do the global telcos/satelite telcos benefit more from merging with credit agencies?

The Referendum Party is dead – long live the Referendum Party

I was actually by the looks of it member number 454 of the Referendum Party founded by the late Jimmy Goldsmith who I had the pleasure of meeting when he launched the Party at his club near St James Park.

My invitation to that meeting was the result of reading his book “The Trap” and then hearing about his interview with Frost on a Sunday morning on ITV (Channel 3 in the UK). + A letter that got to him by way of addressing it to the House of Commons!

The 1st of Janurary 2002 marks a special day of the people of the United Kingdom.
The Euro is now legal tender and the pound sterling will be phased out by 2007 as I remember.

When the UK had a vote on Europe in 1973 my parent’s generation seemed to have been “brain” washed into thinking that voting to join the EEC was something to do with NATO and standing together when the preverbial hits the fan.

Now I can’t think the next Referendum will be any different in the UK. Besides the Labour party have already lied to the British people by not giving us a vote in the last parliament 1997-2001. It was it not in their manifesto for that election? Then they just prompt forgot about it?

“We will give Britain leadership in Europe
Referendum on single currency”

http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/lab97.htm
Google cache incase it goes

The original appears to have been at :
http://www.labour.org.uk/views/manifesto/

But of course they’ve “removed” it. 1984/Brazil style.

Oi Tony it’s 2002 and you STILL haven’t given us a vote – LET ALONE A FAIR ONE.

Are you for a Federal Europe?
I am believe it or not.

What am I worried about?
The pace of the economic Union of the EU will give rise to Communism.
Instead of trying to get another 4 member States in by 2004. Why can’t we do the process over 20 years?
Instead the UK is looking at economic ruin.

FACT
The UK has more private pension money invested by private individuals than all the other EU countries added together.

What does this mean?
In 10/20 years time as the population of Europe gets older each EU state will have a greater burden to look after their old people. This will come out of current tax yields in each country. If European countries can pull us in they will use our budget surplus to pay for their old because more of our old will be self funding. Or they will print money.

Side note
If the UK state thinks that they can sell the homes of old people to pay for their care – that’s another “hiding to nothing”, because ulimately it will drive property values to freeze or even decrease. This will then inturn knock down annuity rates paid on those who tried to save for themselves.

I want a Democracy in Europe not a Dictatorship run by unelected representatives of the people.

Common Agriculture Policy
“Under the CAP, European taxpayers spent £4.5 billion annually subsidizing farmers to overproduce food that is then sold cheaply outside the EU, but not inside it (Purnell, 22 June 1998). In 1997 fresh fruit and vegetables from the glut, to a value of £213 million, were destroyed to prevent these same taxpayers buying the food they had already partly paid for in taxes, at lower market prices.”
– Ian Angell, “The NEW Barbarian Manifesto

The European Union Common Agricultural Policy is vastly expensive and, it would seem, structurally corrupt. It is estimated that the C.A.P. adds more than £20 per week to the food bill of the average family in the “UK”. Scottish figures might well be higher, taking geographic and logistic factors into consideration.
http://www.siol-nan-gaidheal.com/agg.htm

Czechs reject CAP – June 1995
“The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is not an agricultural policy, but a social policy,” says Milan Svoboda of the Czech Agriculture Ministry’s strategy department. His viewpoint is consistent with the government’s view of CAP as a vehicle which serves the economic interests of one group (farmers and food processors) at the expense of the rest of society.

Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus in February told a gathering of 2,000 farmers and agricultural representatives that they cannot depend on government price guarantees. They will only enjoy the same conditions as farmers in the European Union when CAP is either changed or dismantled.
http://europa.eu.int/comm/dg10/eur_dial/95i2a0s1.html

“The Treaty of Rome creating the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957 contained provision for a “common agricultural policy” (the CAP). This policy sought to increase the productivity of European agriculture, ensure reasonable living standards for farmers, stabilise farm produce markets and guarantee a stable food supply at fair prices for consumers.”
http://europa.eu.int/comm/dgs/agriculture/hist_en.htm

That’s from the Official Site – interesting eh? Or just plain !OLLOCKS?

CAP isn’t anything to do with a Federal Europe – I just personally suspect it’s a taste of what’s comming next…