Under attack!

Sure, we lost millions of jobs and thousands of lives in our first four years but just think what we can do in the next four!It’s a big day in America. The Republicans are literally wetting their pants at the amount of patriotic imbecility they can stir up among the inbred masses of the central states in the run-up to, sadly, what will probably be the re-election of President Bush, the only President in history to have been scientifically proven to have run the country worse than an actual bush would have. Using computers and ouija boards and what-nots.

All day today and for the next few weeks/months/decades/generations you’re going to keep hearing how the War On Terror™ is being won but that the War On Terror™ has no end and that anyone in office but Bush will mean that the War On Terror™ will come ashore in, ooh, let’s say Seattle, rape your children and then blow up any relatives of yours in nursing homes. You’re also going to hear that you have to help your government in order to fight the War On Terror™ and that it’s your duty as citizens to:

  • look out for signs that you are under attack from the War On Terror™ and alert your nearest police officer (who will then arrest you for suspected collusion with the aforementioned War On Terror™ under Patriot Act law 6792 – ‘Gut Feeling That Person’s An Al Qaedanoid‘ – and detain you without any rights for 48 hours while the War On Terror™ is being thoroughly buck-passed, an act you’ll be happy to suffer as the price to pay for safety),
  • vote George W. Bush,
  • never forget to remember that Saddam Hussein personally flew all the planes into the World Trade Center towers,
  • donate often and in high volumes to the only people trying to make sure that you are safe and sound asleep in your detention cell, Halliburton,
  • avoid watching the news to avoid unnecessary scaremongering by insidious evil-doers and, instead, keep your eyes glued to entertainment programmes such as American Idol, Survivor, Joey, and Fox News.

Now, I’m a helpful person but I can’t help with many of those points for those of you too moronic to help yourselves. Help you stop you watching the news? If you’re in America chances are good you can’t see it anyway. Help you donate? I’d love to but I’m a silicon-based lifeform masquerading as a human; I’m not made of money though. Help you remember that never forgetting is a memorable thing to never forget? Never Say Never Again is my motto, and a bad James Bond film, so no dice. Help you vote for George W. Bush? You’ll probably find that the Senate’s got your back on that one. Help you determine if you’re under attack? Hey! You know, I might be of some assistance there! Why not?

Here goes then; a handy cut-out and keep guide to determining if you are under attack from the War On Terror™.

Disclaimer: any injuries suffered attempting to cut-out and/or keep this guide, including (but not limited to) monitor fragments in the eye, electrocution, hernia, and leprosy are your own damn fault.

cut here
Guide To Determine If You Are Under Attack From A ‘War On Terror™’

A victim of Terror! Pity himSuspicious Event: Two puncture marks on the neck, aversion to sunlight.
Likely Cause: The most obvious answer is that an agent of Osama bin Laden has snuck into your house under cover of darkness and injected you with a bio-toxin hoping that you will go into the community and spread the disease through vile western activities such as "kissing" and "coughing" and "unprotected clown sex." The reason for two puncture marks is that most agents of Osama bin Laden are not, despite common beliefs, trained nurses and are, despite common beliefs, quite squeamish when it comes to needles.
What Can You Do?: It is important not to panic your American comrades. Plenty of pale make-up will hide the puncture marks but there is still the problem of the disease. Everyone knows that germs are killed by one of three things: bigger germs, love, and heat. You’re on your own with the first two but you can help with the latter solution by donning black clothing – and plenty of it. This will help to absorb heat and light radiating from any source. To reduce the risk of contagion you should finally limit yourself to social groups where interaction is at a minimum: depressed teenagers, Baptists, etc.

Suspicious Event: Nausea following a night in/out drinking.
Likely Cause: When you drink alcohol you’re drinking liquid made from the juice of alcohol berries. Alcohol berries are nurtured by and force-fed to drunkards while they are unconscious where, after careful liver fermentation has taken place, the resultant pure fluid is pissed out by the aforementioned group of inebriates into drains and against your car. Filters in the sewer system remove the alcohol from the other detritus and excrement and this is then bottled and sold to you. It’s a system that not even the most suicidal of terrorists would dare to try to interrupt were it not for the weak link in the chain: all the alcohol berries come from France. Chances are that the nausea you’re feeling is because the French are aiding the War On Terror™ and deliberately coating non-lethal but still-debilitating chemicals to the berries at source so as to reduce the working capacity of America and make it less capable of winning the fight.
What Can You Do?: If you suspect because of the way you feel in the morning that there is a batch of alcohol out there that could harm your fellow workers then it is imperative that you phone in sick and consume as much more of the drink as you can find. To prevent it falling into other hands. It’s what George W. Bush would do. Actually, it’s what he did for several years at a stretch. What a patriot!

An agent of terror! Attack himSuspicious Event: Person sporting a mullet.
Likely Cause: Traditionally, the mullet was always the symbol of fans of "Country ‘n’ Western" music, the reason for that being that that particular music was most appreciated by those who cut their own hair with hunting knives and getting it all neat and tidy around the back was always too much trouble to bother with. Plus with men and women all looking the same from behind it gave everyone that much needed "reasonable cause" defence in case they were caught in the middle of activities banned by their particular state. But that was the 1980s. And time moves on. Time just moves much slower in the more remote areas of the world. This is why, today, country music fans have got as far as 1980s hairstyles. So, the only people with mullets now are those who have been living even more remotely than Alabama. Say, Afghanistan for example. Yes, mullets are worn exclusively by ex-members of the Taliban who escaped the half-arsed attempt to punish them.
What Can You Do?: The Taliban are well-known subjugators of women and women’s rights so the perfect, measured response to seeing one in public is to strip him naked, beat him, then anally rape him with whatever comes to hand. Don’t worry: Dick Cheney says it’s perfectly okay to do this and there’ll be no comeback. Why not take some pictures while you’re at it?

Suspicious Event: Pirate ghost in the bathroom.
Likely Cause: Pirates were commonly known as "The Terrors Of The Eight Seas" in the days before one of the seas was reclassified as Peru. Similarly, since as long as I can remember and probably a few days before that too, ghosts have enjoyed a fearsome reputation as "The Terrors Of The Existential Plane Of Existence Between This Continuum And The One After, The One With The Egg People And The Centipede King With Karen Carpenter’s Face." Some people prefer the term "Patrick Swayze" but, although it’s admittedly very terrifying too, it doesn’t include the word ‘terror’ and so is ruled ineligible by referee Tom Ridge. A pirate ghost anywhere is therefore terror multiplied by terror. In your bathroom it’s even worse as it’s terror that can see your naughty bits and knows when you don’t wipe properly. But why is it in your bathroom? Two words: thought crime.
What Can You Do?: The pirate ghost can only be defeated in the afterlife and, since it’s your fault it’s there in the first place, you must kill yourself and battle it as penance. Otherwise George won’t put in a good word for you and you won’t get into Heaven.

Author: Mark

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  1. That’s an extremely useful guide – thank you. I had no idea my hangover last week was due to the French aiding the War On Terror. Thanks for the personal enlightenment.

    Was the guide designed to be ‘cut out and keep’ so any Bush supporters reading (hee hee) might attempt it and severly injure themselves and their hardware?

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  2. I hadn’t quite thought it through thoroughly (try saying that three times fast) as, with hindsight, I now doubt that Bush supporters are allowed near scissors.

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  3. that is an excellent guide!

    i didn’t even realize that i was under attack from ‘terror’.

    abstract nouns do have a long history of attacking me, though, so i should have seen this coming. as any right-minded american (oxymoron?) would do, i now feel compelled to go out and buy guns. lots of guns. and beer.

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  4. Funny innit the only terror attacks that us Brits ‘ave ‘ad in the last few months on the mainland was from the ‘Dads have Rights’ Posse and the fuckin’ loony pro hunting tosspots….save the pound …save the pound… (Thats a mantra they chant when they’re not killing fox’es ‘n’ pheasants)

    No doubt our home front anti terror or should that be pro terror squads were all taken by surprise, because there were no swarthy skinned individuals amongst them……
    There probably is no Al Qadea or Bin Laden, its all a huge propaganda exercise, by the CIA’s n MI6’s equivalent of Gobbels, or one of those conspiracy theories, like the forth man on the grassy knoll, or is that the Third Man ….
    Come to think of it…wasn’t that a film staring Orson Wells
    Who gives a toss anyway, even with Kerry, It may be ’Under New Management’ but it’ll be business as usual Fuckin’ the world up its arse ‘n’ God bless America

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  5. More on the homeland’s (r should that be the fatherland) satelite, not so Great Britian

    No doubt with the gas ‘n lecky prices increase (War Tax) biting by this time next year Slimy Blair is anticipating trouble and has inacted this bill to give the status quo the right to stamp out any opposition after all I hardly think its going to be used on the loony pro hunting lobby with any great conviction
    Still you make up your mind!

    The Civil Contingencies Secretariat of the Cabinet Office has now been set up despite the bill not having received royal assent.
    You can reach the ‘Civil Contingencies Bill Hotline’ via the Cabinet office
    main number: 020 7270 1234
    Ruth Kelly is the Minister for the Cabinet Office who will answer questions from you or your MP.
    Here are excerpts from several critiques of the bill.

    Tony Gosling

    A very British coup

    David Carr (London) Civil liberty/regulation • UK affairs

    I bet that if I mention the term coup d’etat it conjures up images of heavily-armed soldiers on the streets, tanks on airport runways and besieged radio stations.

    In truth, though, that is precisely the means by which such things are usually conducted. But they happen in faraway, third-world countries. It is
    the kind of thing we have come to associate with Oxford-educated ‘Generals’ who manage to wrest power from their tribal rivals in some African
    shanty-nation or with bandoliered, mustachioed Bolivians firing their carbines into the air and shouting "Viva El Nuevo Presidente" while the
    still-warm body of the old ‘Presidente’ swings from a nearby lamppost.

    But this is not the kind of thing that happens in developed countries like Britain. No, this is a stable country with a proper economy and elections
    and democratic governments and political parties and judicial independence and free speech and the such.

    I suppose it is, in part at least, because complacency caused by all those
    institutions appearing to be extant that we are about to taken over in a quiet, stealthy and bloodless coup d’etat all of our own.

    Not a shot will be fired. No-one will be rounded up. The airports will remain open and all the media will stay on air. For now.

    No, the weapon of the revolution to come is made only of paper and it is called the ‘Civil Contigencies Bill’, due to become law next year.

    Envisaged, ostensibly, as a means of giving the government sufficient emergency powers to deal with terrorist threats (as if they do not already
    have enough powers), the actuality is a lot darker and goes a great deal further than that.

    The effect of the Bill, once passed into law, will enable any senior government minister to delcare that an ’emergency’ has happened or is
    about to happen and, entirely at his own discretion, enact any regulations he wishes for the purpose of:

    # protecting human life, health or safety
    # treating human illness or injury
    # protecting or restoring property
    # protecting or restoring a supply of money, food, water, energy or
    # protecting or restoring an electronic or other system of communication
    # protecting or restoring facilities for transport
    # protecting or restoring the provision of services relating to health
    # protecting or restoring the activities of banks or other financial institutions
    # preventing, containing or reducing the contamination of land, water or air
    # preventing, or mitigating the effects of, flooding
    # preventing, reducing or mitigating the effects of disruption or destruction of plant life or animal life
    # protecting or restoring activities of Her Majesty’s Government
    # protecting or restoring activities of Parliament, of the Scottish Parliament, of the Northern Ireland Assembly or of the National Assembly for Wales, or
    # protecting or restoring the performance of public functions.

    In other words, regulations for any purpose whatsoever.

    And that is just the beginning. The Bill goes on to set out just what those ministerial fiats can do:

    # provide for or enable the requisition or confiscation of property (with or without compensation);
    # provide for or enable the destruction of property, animal life or plant life (with or without compensation);
    # prohibit, or enable the prohibition of, movement to or from a specified place;
    # require, or enable the requirement of, movement to or from a specified place;
    # prohibit, or enable the prohibition of, assemblies of specified kinds, at specified places or at specified times;
    # prohibit, or enable the prohibition of, travel at specified times;
    # prohibit, or enable the prohibition of, other specified activities;

    The Bill will also enable said minister to abolish any law or statute at the stroke of a pen.

    These are Bolshevik-style powers, so sweeping and totalitarian that they sound as if they have been lifted out of some 1930’s banana-republic manifesto.

    The effect (and almost certainly the intention) of these laws will be to give the Executive complete political control over the country.

    Bloggers or media owners who oppose the government can have their businesses
    requistioned and shut down. Political opponents can be put under indefinite house arrest or dragged before kangaroo courts. Meetings or organised
    protests can be disbanded and, theoretically at least, the Executive could even order Parliament (which is an assembly) to be evacuated and

    Under the rubric of ‘terrorist threats’ the Executive is about to equip itself with awesome and unlimited powers and let no-one delude themselves
    that these powers will not be used against, say, pro-hunt campaigners, petrol protestors and maybe even Samizdatistas. The Nulabour fantasy of
    complete control is shortly to be made flesh.

    This is probably the last year of Britain as a liberal democracy yet the mainstream media appear to be asleep at the wheel. Will they remain
    that way? It is up to bloggers to raise the awareness and ring the alarm bells
    in the hope that some opposition can be stirred into life.

    "The draft Bill would have allowed the imposition of an authoritarian state. The new Bill is only better in that it paves the road to an authoritarian state. The government is really naive if it thinks people
    will not read the fine print of the new Bill and realise that it has preserved nearly all the powers it originally proposed – albeit in a different form – and added new contentious provisions which were not in
    the first draft"

    The Bill has two Parts, Part 1 covers "local arrangements for civil protection" and Part 2 is an entirely new proposal which would protect
    the state, government, financial companies in times of crisis/emergency and give exceptional and extensive powers to the government and state.

    The Emergency Powers Act 1920 is concerned solely with:

    "the supply and distribution of food, water, fuel, or light, or with the means of locomotion, to deprive the community, or any substantial portion
    of the community, of the essentials of life"

    This new Bill, like its predecessor, extends power to as to protect the government, state agencies and financial institutions.

    The definition of an emergency – Clause 18

    The "meaning of "emergency"" (Clause 18) is defined as "an event or situation" which "threatens serious damage" to:

    (a) human welfare,
    (b) the environment or
    (c) the security of the United Kingdom.

    Under all three headings this may affect the whole UK, part of it, or a region.

    The clause 18 now excludes "the political, administrative or economic stability of the United Kingdom" which was defined in the first draft
    as covering the "activities of Her Majesty’s government", "the performance of public functions" and "the activities of banks and other financial institutions" (however, see below).

    Clause 18.2.e, where an event or situation
    affects "human welfare" has been changed to:

    "disruption of a supply of money, food, water, energy or fuel"

    The word "money" has been added and is the first of three changes concerning "the activities of banks and other financial institutions" in the new Bill.

    The "security of the UK" is defined in 18.4 as:

    "(a) war or armed conflict, and

    (b) terrorism, within the meaning given by section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000".

    The inclusion of S.1 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is a major extension in the concept of emergency powers (see S.1 text below). This Act is intended
    for use in everyday policing and should be outside of "emergency" situations.

    Government to declare emergencies rather than head of state – Clause 18

    A new section has been inserted in clause 18 on the meaning of an "emergency" which at first sight seems strange. A "Secretary of State"
    (a government minister) can by "order" lay down that:

    "a specified event or situation, or class of event or situation"

    is to be treated as triggering an "emergency" under one of the three headings in 18.1. – human welfare, the environment or the security of the UK.

    The mystery as to this new power is solved when it is realised that clause
    18 in the draft Bill, which said that a "Royal proclamation" would declare a state of "emergency" has or is about to occur has been deleted.

    The government’s response to the Joint Committee report (Cm 6078) simply makes the statement – without any reasoning or rationale – that:

    "the government has decided that it is inappropriate to retain the requirement for a declaration of emergency" (page 6)

    A key provision in the EPA 1920, the proclamation of a state of emergency, is to be removed.

    Wade and Phillips commented that:

    "The power to govern by regulation under the Act arises only when a state of emergency has been declared by royal proclamation" ("Constitutional
    and administrative law" (9th edition)

    Both in terms of constitutional propriety and legitimacy the removal of the step of a declaration of a state of emergency within which certain powers
    are exercised is highly dangerous. The declaration of a "state of emergency" signals not just to parliament but to the people that an exceptional peacetime situation exists within which "regulations" may be made law for limited periods.

    It places in the hands of politicians, the government of the day, a power previously exercised by the head of state (the monarch).

    The issuing of a "royal proclamation" by the head of state that a "state of emergency" exists implies a gravity and constitutional importance that is not evident in the new Bill.

    The issuing of an "order" that a "situation" or "event" exists or is about to occur is not the same as a "declaration of a state of emergency".

    It would allow governments enormous discretion and allow them to mix ongoing business in normal times with powers that are intended to deal with a peacetime emergencies.

    This new "normality" could see parts of cities of whole towns subject to exceptional laws and controls in the same way that emergency laws have
    been in place in Northern Ireland for more than thirty years.

    Moreover, whereas a proclamation of a state of emergency under the EPA 1920 could only be in force for one month without being renewed, the issuing of an order by the government has no such limit set out and appears to be indefinite until revoked.

    Thus a Secretary of State (a government Minister, probably the Home Secretary) could under 18.5.a make an order applying to any or all of the main headings – human welfare, environment or security of the UK – in a part or region of the country. The "order" has to be "approved by resolution of each House of Parliament" ("Approved" by the House of Commons and House of Lords is not here defined as being "negative" or "affirmative").

    Clause 18.5.b allows the government to re-define the clause on "human welfare" (18.2) as a means of triggering emergency powers to be extended to
    cover an "event" or "situation":

    "involving or causing disruption of a specified supply, system, facility or service" (emphasis added)

    The use of the term "disruption" was rightly criticised by the Joint Committee report.

    Finally, clause 18.7 says that the "event or situation" that may trigger an "emergency":

    "may occur or be inside or outside the UK"

    This is not in EPA 1920.

    "Power to make emergency regulations" – Clause 19 – and "Conditions" – Clause 20

    The primary power to make Regulations will be by Her Majesty through "Order in Council" (that is by the Privy Council nodding measures through –
    these Orders stand unless negated or amended by parliament). The monarch (or a Minister is they are unavailable) must make a statement specifying the nature of the emergency and satisfy themselves that the conditions in clause 20 are met (namely that an emergency has occurred or is about to occur, is necessary and urgent and existing
    legislation "cannot be relied upon" or "might be insufficiently effective").

    Our worst fears, about how much of a rubber stamp any such Parliamentary debate on Emeregency Regulations would be, were confirmed, when all of
    the Opposition amendments and even full debate on the controversial Part 2 of the Bill dealing with Emergency Powers, was guillotined i.e.
    deliberatly not given enough Parliamentary time.

    6. Censorship of the press and media ?

    The BBC, with seems to have wheedled out of direct control by the Emergency
    authorities, but does this imply that all other media outlets will be censored ?

    It is inconceivable that a major disaster or terrorist attack in the UK would not be the major news headline item. Whether it ever gets quite
    the same blanket coverage as the death of Princess Diana, when even the weather forecasts were cancelled, is another matter.

    None of the major media organisations are listed (yet) as either
    Category 1 or Category 2 responders, although, presumably the voluntary DA Notice system of self censorship will still prevail, and no doubt the
    ineffectual Press Complaints Commission will not be able to prevent ghoulish paparazzi pictures and video footage and harassment of survivors families.

    7. Interaction with the Emergency Broadcast System Bill ?

    The BBC, as part of its "duty of public service" looks to be the main component of the Emergency Broadcasting System being proposed in the
    Emergency Broadcasting System Bill

    Do the definitions of what constitutesan "emergency" as defined in the Emergency Broadcasting System Bill section 2, correspond exactly with
    the similarly vague and subjective definitions in the Civil Contingencies Bill ? The EBS Bill covers the United Kingdom as a whole i.e. including
    Scotland and Northern Ireland, rather than just England and Wales. The Emergency Broadcast System could be invoked for "emergencies and potential emergencies" whilst the Civil Contingencies powers could be invoked for "an event or situation which presents a serious threat"

    The list of Communications providers to whom emergency broadcasting system applies potentially includes any organisation regulated under the
    obscure and complicated section 46 (not section 43 as stated in the EBS Bill) of the Communications Act 2003 i.e. every broadcaster and telecommunications
    company and internet service provider.

    If used for genuine information to inform the public about an emergency, and is used sparingly, this should not be controversial, as, in this case
    the Government seems to be willing to pay some money for "direct costs" to the "designated communications providers", but it will not compensate for lost advertising or other revenue.

    Watch out for "spam" emails and SMS text messages as well as an arbitrary amount of broadcast time on TV and Radio which will disrupt the normal program schedules for millions of people not actually affected directly by a minor or regional emergency. There is nothing in this Bill to prevent
    the entire output of a TV or Radio station from being replaced by Government approved and prepared content i.e. censorship by displacement of normal
    journalism and reporting.

    However, just like the Civil Contingecies Bill, there are no criminal sanctions against petty officials who may abuse the Emergency Broadcast System, and who could use it arbitrarily even when a state of Emergency is not actually in force. Similarly, there are no criminal sanctions against hoaxers who spread panic via the Emergency Broadcast System, and no Digital Signatures required to authenticate orders "in writing" to communications providers, despite the need for rapid dissemination of trustworthy information during an emergency.

    Since most of the main organisations affected by the Emergency Broadcast Network Bill are also covered as Responders in the Civil Contingencies
    Bill, why not just have the one piece of legislation, with clearcut definitions of what constitutes an Emergency, and with criminal penalties to prevent abuse by petty officials, and strong digital signature
    authentication of the orders to invoke and revoke the Emergency powers?

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