Largest Euro Telco caught spying

Will the new CEO stonewall – or clean house?

René Obermann, the chief executive of Deutsche Telekom, threatens “serious consequences” for any of its executives involved in an extraordinary surveillance operation aimed at plugging leaks from the boardroom to business journalists…

The affair came to light when the consultancy sent a fax to DT complaining of unpaid bills for the surveillance work, dubbed “Operation Clipper”. The operation may yet clip Mr Obermann’s wings: business reporters were busily calling each other yesterday to check which colleagues had figured in the phone records, whether they should now change phone company – and whether there was any significance in the fact that the monitoring ended soon after Mr Obermann achieved his aim of taking over DT…

Hendrik Zoerner, of the German Journalists’ Federation, said: “We have never experienced such a blatant breach of confidentiality before.” Mr Ricke has admitted that he was concerned about leaks – “Telekom was as full of holes as a Swiss cheese,” he told Der Spiegel – but he denies ordering the monitoring.

The snooping carried on through a couple of administrations at DT. And doesn’t this smell like HP?

New York state recognizes gay marriages from other states and countries

Gov. David Paterson of New York has told state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states and countries where they are legal, his spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The governor’s legal counsel told state agencies in a May 14 memo to revise policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in California and Massachusetts as well as Canada and other countries that allow gays and lesbians to marry, said Erin Duggan, the governor’s spokeswoman.

The memo informed state agencies that failing to recognize gay marriages would violate the New York’s human rights law, Duggan said.

Slowly, gradually, as each timorous reactionary whimper dissipates, another class of 2nd-class citizenship continues to end in this land.

Church calls zombie parade blasphemous


A procession of devils, ghosts and zombies through the historic Spanish city of Toledo has been branded blasphemous by the Catholic Church.

Actors from the Morboria theatre company performed a representation inspired by the medieval Dance of Death in Toledo’s streets provoking an angry reaction from the cathedral pulpit.

“We ask forgiveness for those who insulted the body of Christ,” said Archbishop Antonio Canizares, quoted in newspaper El Pais.

He told worshippers the procession, which also included a Virgin Mary and a Saint Peter, made a mockery of the Catholic celebration of Corpus Christi…

Toledo retains a reputation as one of the most conservative towns in Spain. It was once home to a permanent office of the Spanish Inquisition, which had more painful methods of dealing with blasphemy than those available to Canizares.

Who do you trust with your freedom? Mel Brooks or the Archbishop?

Honda next-gen hybrids in 2009 models


Sports hybrid concept

Honda will launch a new, low-cost hybrid car in Japan, North America and Europe in early 2009 as it seeks to cut the lead of Toyota Motor Corp in the green car race…

Honda expects annual sales of 200,000 for the new hybrid. Total hybrid sales, including the Civic hybrid, a new hybrid version of its popular Fit subcompact and a planned sports car based on the CR-Z concept model, are expected to reach 500,000 vehicles a year after 2010, roughly one-tenth of total sales.

Announcing other details of the new hybrid-only car for the first time, Honda said the car would be a 5-door, 5-seater similar in design to its sleek FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle…

A new production line for electric motors will be added at Honda’s Suzuka factory in western Japan to more than double the production speed and cut costs…

Every little bit helps. I just wish they’d bring in a small diesel pickup.

Why “Eideard”

This is no end in itself. It may only be an exercise. It might start something of value. It might not. Respect for my voice means little to me. Only the jot or mote of change that afflicts the eye of dictators, bigots, the superstitious.

Excepting the unchallenged, unimpeded greed of the Ruling Class in 19th Century Britain, I’d have been born and raised as Eideard M’or. Since my father’s death, as the eldest of the eldest men, I’d be the Campbell. But, only in the patriarchal tradition.

I’m using Eideard, my ancient name, for this blog. When my great-great-grandfather, Black Duncan, his wife and children, Annie Morrison, Roderick, Duncan and Innocence, came to this continent, only the head of clan or sept was called by the family name. Black Duncan was “The Campbell” back on the Isle of South Uist. Otherwise, he was Duncan na Banh.

We came here in the hold of a slave ship. Not being a profitable cargo like slaves, we were not treated “as well”. Of the 1600 or so, taken from our island home in the summer of 1851, fewer than half were alive for the next summer solstice.

I would be Eideard M’or.