There is blood on our hands again

(From the song 'Blood on our Hands' by Death From Above 1979).

What I'm clumsily trying to say is that here's a blog what I made whilst I should've been doing something better and that if you're reading it then you should be doing something better too. Also, the fact that you and I have the time and resources to respectively make and read this gumpf is why the World is so screwed.

06 October 2006

"Get Bill Gates In Here!"

On Sunday evening Xp decided to remember that it was made by Microsoft and suddenly crash for no reason. Fine... It hadn't happened in such along time that I really can't remember the last time it did such an odious thing. I calmly gazed at the blue screen and thought that it was probably overdue such an occurrence and hit the reset button. That's when my unusual calmness ended and I reverted to 'annoyed Dave'. Essentially Xp thought it might be fun to start to load, get to the loading screen and then reboot... continuously. Cockbeans...

Whilst I may very well have been discussing my desire to have a crack at a Linux distribution recently I don't think it was fair for Windows to get all pissy and throw me out of the house.. but that's what happened and after spending the week computerless (minus work) I thought it was time to make amends and purchase a legal copy of Windows or take the plunge and download a version of Linux that looked the most idiot-proof.

So I took the easy (but not cheap) option of buying Windows... I know... I suck. But I did do some serious investigation of what products the Linux community had on offer and I hope that my current modus operandi will ameliorate some of the dirtiness I feel after having paid Microsoft some money. By this I mean to say that I'm writing this blog using Firefox and running that from a Live CD version of Linux called Knoppix.

I had my doubts and was ready for the damn thing not to want to work but here I am and I have to save that I'm impressed. If I hadn't got Windows working again (and I did, but without the copy I just bought dammit!) then this would have kept me fairly happy. It's got Firefox pre-bundled along with Open Office and a bunch of other programs which I haven't had the chance to look at just yet. It's a little slow to load things especially if you've got a lot going on at once but you're running an entire free OS from a CD so I think it's a little much to complain!
Also I'm going through a major In Flames thing at the moment so I'm already associating some good feelings with Knoppix! Writing my blog listening to kick ass music is always good.. plus it's Friday!

Anyways... I'm pretty pleased with Knoppix and as it's bootable from CD you don't have to faff with dual OS boot-ups or anything (not that I know if that is a problem it just sounds like it could be one). But anyone fed up with Windows or with HD space at a premium I'd say that Knoppix is a God-send!

On a side note I feel I should point out that I heard about a few other Linux distributions available in a live-CD format but Knoppix was the first one I read about and had a few good comments so I decided to check it out. Basically I don't want to steal any thunder from any other versions of Linux that may or not be better!

02 October 2006

It's not often I give crap

Just finished trying to send the following email to the ex-prime minister in waiting, Tony Blair. Now the cynic in me is saying that my failure to receive a confirmation from said addressee is actually part of a deliberate ploy to make people believe they have a goverment they can contact about things they care about like... oh I don't know... the threat of invasion from dark skinned foreigners determined to take all the lowest paying jobs and then become ill in order to receive health benefits they haven't earned blah blah blah. Anyway, I'm happy to believe that it's either that or that the government's email system is shite... whichever.
So in the meantime I'm going to post that email here because I haven't put this much effort into writing anything for a very long time.
Addmitedly this is no masterpiece of political polemic but again... it's been a while since I gave a crap and so I have to start somewhere.

Dear Prime Minister,
Whilst many people concentrate on your government's actions in Iraq and Afghanistan and condemn you for what they perceive to be collusion with American corporate interests, I believe that you acted according to your conscience and that these countries now have at least the chance of a brighter future albeit unlikely. Whilst this may be the case, I cannot agree with your government's position on the situation in Burma/Myanmar. If Britain and America really led the way in freeing Iraq firstly by years of sanctions and then through armed intervention, then why are Burma's citizens not in the process of being freed?

I have known about the military regime in Burma for quite some time but have chosen to dismiss it as typical of the dichotomy between national and global issues. This dichotomy is especially offensive in countries like ours where we have the means to effect change in places that need our help but cannot due to diversions that pale in comparison. We don't even try to effect change because we are too busy trying to avoid tax whilst constantly moaning about under-investment in public services.

After watching a well made piece of documentary television this evening I have renewed interest in the Burmese situation and thought I would let you know what it means to me. In essence it is the straw that broke the camel's back and as such is part of a number of issues I have with New Labour that are best left for another email. I can no longer support the Labour party either in thought, speech or at the ballot box whilst it allows British companies to trade with a regime that is guilty of brutally suppressing the very democratic ideals that we have 'restored' to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of these companies of course also participate in funding the destruction of ancient hardwood forests that belong to the people of Burma and people of the World NOT the corrupt military that runs the country for profit.

If globalisation is meant to be a force for good and the expansion of global trade meant to bring with it an expansion of the democratic freedoms we enjoy then perhaps it's time to put those principles to their test by halting trade with Burma.
Only when the good conscience you displayed in removing the Taleban and Saddam Hussein from power is applied to those other countries around the World will I be able to believe in you or the Labour party. Isn't that a legacy worth leaving?