Censorship on Flickr

A photographer had her photos stolen (by only-dreemin.com or one of their customers) , and was discussing what to do about that with her fans.

The URL of the entire discussion was deleted.


FROYA BANKI fr nytt navn.

'' blir visst for vanskelig for utenlandske kunder, derfor en 'o' med akutt aksent bde over og under, det blir s mye enklere: '̗'


Det hele minner meg om Spin̈al Tap.

The Bryan Ferry interview

From Welt am Sonntag:

Aber die Art und Weise, wie sich die Nazis inszeniert und prsentiert haben, meine Herren! Ich spreche von den Filmen von Leni Riefenstahl und den Gebuden von Albert Speer und den Massenaufmrschen und den Flaggen - einfach fantastisch. Wirklich schn.

Well, to me it is pretty obvious that Triumph des Willens is a good movie. Does meaning that make me a Nazi? Or is it saying so that makes me one?

Part of the problem is that people confuse etics and esthetics. When people believe that good looks equals good ethics, good-looking Nazis become a problem.

The solution is not in denying the obvious quality of Riefenstahl's movie. The solution is detaching beauty from ethics.

The 9/11 attack on World Trade Center was the best staging ever of a terrorist act.
That does not make it ethical.

Why does Ferry's opinion matter more than mine, anyway? Whether an artist is praising Nazi movies or organizing Live-Aid, what he says should be jugded by what he says, not by who he is. (That was one of the messages of The Wall, where Pink was played by Geldof.)

Personally I am more offended by Ferry seeming to endorse speeding in his Audi A8.

Disrespecting the pope

First, an anonymous cartoon from Newsweek 2006-10-02, Atlantic edition, page 5:


Appearently Newsweek has so much respect for the prophet, that the prophet cartoon must face away from the readers. Yet their lack of respect for the pope, allows them to accuse him of making fun of Islam.

Or is it simply that drawing the prophet is dangerous, while dissing the pope is not?

What did Benedict XVI say at the University of Regensburg, anyway?

He did quote Manuel II Paleologus' critical remarks on Islam. But he did also quote an anonymous source that said that God does not exist. So what?

Even if the emperor's remark were in error, both the remark itself, and the quotation, must be allowed.

Benedict's main message was that the Roman Catholic Church, as opposed to Islam, is built on reason (Vernunft). The English words in the Vatican's translation, are reason and reasonable. The latter usually carries positive ethical value, I don't know if the German Vernunft does.

Abraham's god demanded blind obedience, to the point of being willing to murder your own son. Does not sound reasonable. The claim that Islam is not built on Vernunft can't be controversial.

Benedict's claim on Christian Vernunft builds on the word λόγος in the beginning of of the gospel of John. That interpretation may be right, but then the bibles I have checked are wrong: they translate to English word, German Wort and Norwegian ord.

  • Im Anfang war das Wort, und das Wort war bei Gott, und das Wort war Gott.
  • Am Anfang war das Wort. Das Wort war bei Gott, und das Wort war Gott selbst.
  • Im Anfang war das Wort, und das Wort war bei Gott, und Gott war das Wort.



Responsible Democracy

We couldn't hold Iraq responsible for what Saddam Hussein did, because he was not democratically elected.

And we can't hold Palestine responsible for Hamas policies, because they are democratically elected.

Ingenting er ment vre lett

Prophetic Blasphemy

This is difficult: A drawing af a Prophet with a bomb in his turban, is a blaspemous claim that the peace-loving Islam is violent.

While calling a military exercise the Holy Prophet war games is not?

The meeting of cultures requires mutual respect

Forsoning nu says that the meeting of cultures requires mutual respect.

But between a culture of freedom, and a culture that demands submission, there is little common ground where they can meet. An agreement like: If I am kind enough not to offend you, you must be kind enough not to kill me, is not mutual respect - that is giving in to threats and intimidation.

I do believe a civilized and respectful dialogue may be possible between western secularism and Quran-based Islam. But not with the polytheist idolaters who worship their prophet as a god, and read hadith like the Quran itself.


Deleting a DNS host entry

The outer right party Sverigedemokraterna has had the DNS host entry for sverigedemokraterna.se deleted.

Maybe by the Swedish Internet Authority, maybe by their former DNS supplier.

They are online again - from exile - at sverigedemokraterna.net.

I can only guess that the deletion was caused by their publishing images of a certain prophet.

Whoever deleted them, is taking on quite a responsibility: by deleting one domain, they implicitly endorse everything they do not delete. They also encourage those who use violence to have opponents silenced.

Update: Seems like SPO (the security police) 'talked to' the ISP, the ISP then 'found it best' to delete the host. The Swedish Security Service protects Sweden and democracy.

Might reduce short term danger, but the smell of blood in the water will attract the sharks again. In Norwegian : "som pisse i buksa for holde varmen." (Peeing in your pants to keep warm.)


The Queen forgot the flag?


Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark arrived in the Faroese capital Trshavn yesterday. The starboard yardarm was naked, while the rest of the ship was lavishly decorated with flags.

A common yacht would normally fly two flags: Its national ensign at the stern to show where it is from, and the flag of the host nation in the mast as a courtesy flag to pay respect.

The Queen seems to have forgotten the courtesy flag. That would normally signal a certain level of sloppiness. But her Majesty is not sloppy in such matters, she has a large staff of professional protocol freaks with funky titles like overhofmarskalkinde. Thus, the decision to not fly the courtesy flag must be a deliberate demonstration.

From Wikipedia:

A courteous, peaceable merchant ship or yacht customarily flies its ensign [...] together with the flag of whatever nation it is currently visiting at the mast (known as a courtesy flag). To fly one's ensign alone in [...] a foreign port [...] traditionally indicates a willingness to fight, with cannon, for the right to do so.

I guess her protocol masters have decided that a courtesy flag would indicate submission to Faroese authority. As the Kingdom of Denmark lays claim to the Faroe Islands, that would be unacceptable.

But I disagree with their interpretation. The political implication of flying the courtesy flag, is nothing more than a wish to avoid conflict with Faroese authority. Which is in line with official Danish policy: That the Faroe Islands will get independence if they ever again ask for it.

(Suggested revenge: Sail into a Danish port with a European Union courtesy flag)

Landsbankin og Hagstovan

(Politicians speaking Faroese)

Spyrjari: Karsten Hansen. Spurdi: Brur Nielsen: Landsbankin og Hagstovan

Oraskifti 04.05.2005:

  1. Karsten Hansen
  2. Brur Nielsen
  3. Annita Frriksmrk
  4. Karsten Hansen
  5. Brur Nielsen
  6. Karsten Hansen

Free Mojtaba and Arash Day

Free Mojtaba and Arash Day

The Japanese Patriotism Act

The deputy principal walked down the aisle between the wall and the teachers' seats and approached me and said, Please stand up and sing, said Mitsuo Kondo, 61, a martial arts teacher [...] So I said: I won't stand up. I won't sing.

Mr. Kondo, whose teaching contract was canceled as a result and who now is a part-time carpenter, said he had not opposed the anthem and flag until showing respect was required. He said he used to sing the anthem at the top of his voice.

(from New York Times)

CIA misinformation

The CIA Fact Book gives the territorial sea limit of the Faroe Islands as 3 nautical miles.

The correct value is 12 miles.

Tourist Seal Hunt

Count Dracula did not hurt the Transylvanian tourist industry.

Inviting foreign hunters on seal hunting in Norway, will not hurt the rest of the Norwegian tourist industry.

See, we get PR, even in Australia.

Iceland has no Military

Icelandic Civilian in Kabul

and in this picture from Kabul, the G-3 rifle looks like the magazine is missing. On closer inspection, there is a magazine, it is hard to see because it is black.

Flag of Iceland in the desert

2004-08-27: First Icelandic Military Decoration to Norwegian Major Knut Olsen

...and I heard it through the Grapevine


Turkoman flag from Kirkut?


Anyone know what this flag from Travel Images is?

Looks like it's part of the input for designing new Iraqi flags, doesn't it?

But was that good propaganda?

Sexy burkha war plane nose art

Image from the Gulf War 1991, painted on RAF war plane. Was it good propaganda?

The legality of 12.7mm Multi-Purpose ammo

Multi-Purpose Delayed Fragmentation

Norwegian use of the 12.7mm (a.k.a. tolv-sju, .50 BMG) Multipurpose (Mk211 Mod 0) round is limited by the following two conventions:

The St.Petersburg Declaration

Declaration Renouncing the Use, in Time of War, of Explosive Projectiles Under 400 Grammes Weight. Saint Petersburg, 29 November / 11 December 1868. The Contracting Parties engage mutually to renounce, in case of war among themselves, the employment by their military or naval troops of any projectile of a weight below 400 grammes, which is either explosive or charged with fulminating or inflammable substances.

The Hague Conference

Final Act Of the International Peace Conference. The Hague, 29 July 1899. To prohibit the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope, of which the envelope does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions.

At 47g, the 12.7mm MP is clearly below 400g, and is affected by St.Petersburg. Whether it expands or flattens easily in the human body is less clear.

Both conventions prohibit the use of such ammo against other states that have signed. Iraq hasn't signed, nor has the U.S., so Norway may freely use the MP round against them, as well as for any civilian purpose.

That doesn't imply that selling the MPs to civilians and non-signing states is very wise or ethical.

Clear treaty text vs military needs

No matter how clear the treaty text is, when the military and political needs are strong enough, the treaty will have to go.

With Blitzkrieg technology, we got very tempting targets (aircraft, vehicles) for explosive projectiles in the 12.7-40mm range, as well as good guns to deliver those rounds.

As a result, the commonly accepted interpretation of St.Petersburg is now that it only applies to individual targeting of humans. I.e., the use of 12.7 MP in itself is legal, with each gunner responsible for not targeting humans. See Moosberg: Swedish Use of 12.7 MP.

What's in a name: Multi Purpose

As the 12.7 MP is a reasonable compromise round for both material and human targets, the name seems to imply that one of its purposes is human targets. Given that targeting humans is illegal, the name is unfortunate.

Comment from a reader who has not signed the above conventions: Man this is some sweet ammo, you should see what it does to an 88 Volkswagen Passat

No wonder Eduard Shevardnadze had to go

The flag Shevardnadze vetoed:

Christian Flag of Georgia

which means this is the beauty he wanted to keep:

Georgian flag of the Shevardnadze period

I'm no fan of crosses myself, but in this case, the alternative is simply too ugly.

Dangerous spin: Legal victory for file-swappers

BBC reports: Legal victory for file-swappers.

True, but illegal music copying is still as illegal as it has always been. Which is good.

The ruling says that the RIAA has to leave police work to the police. Which is also good, whether you believe - or not - the rumours of a new RIAA boss having been involved at Waco.

I certainly don't want a society where police work is outsourced to the likes of Hell's Angels and Bandidos.

The ruling is also an invitation for Congress to change the law. If that happens, RIAA may well be able to use it to punish filesharing done before the law was updated - after all, sharing copyrighted material is illegal now, the only thing stopping the RIAA from getting you, is that they don't know who owned the IP address. Once they are allowed access to that information, they may get you retroactively, if they so please.

Legislate against spam - delete the domain !

State laws against spam won't work very well, because a state's jurisdiction is usually limited to its territory.

But what about deleting domains?

A Norwegian spam law could be enforced by deleting any spamming .no domain. Once a domain is clean, spam filters worldwide need only verify the origin of e-mail from that domain, and can skip content filtering. Which is good, because spam is now camouflaged so well, that a content based filter will inevitably stop legitimate communication.

.com will probably never be clean - but those of us who want to communicate about "erection" could do so from a clean domain, and avoid being stopped by spam filters.

A dirty-words filter may still stop that word, but that's the receiver's choice. By "clean", I mean free from spam, not free from dirty words.

The 4th Dimension in Faroese Politics

Traditionally, there are 3 dimensions in Faroese politics:

  • left vs right
  • moderate vs fundamentalist Christianity
  • separatism vs unionism

With the forthcoming election in January 2004, the most important dimension is a forth one:

  • honesty and transparency vs corruption and kleptocracy

That issue has broken up the separatist coalition.

That's OK with me; what good is a sovereign state, if it's ran by thieves?

(And what good is the present union with Denmark, if we are a lawless colony?)

RSS 0.91