Bookmarks for March 12th through March 13th

These are my links for March 12th through March 13th:

Be sure to hide all your data first

Airport signRead me first: Taking your laptop into the US? Be sure to hide all your data first | Technology | The Guardian
Last month a US court ruled that border agents can search your laptop, or any other electronic device, when youre entering the country. They can take your computer and download its entire contents, or keep it for several days.

Another initiative to restrict our freedoms in an effort to protect them. How far do they have to go before we are so protected and safe that life becomes not only dull but run by an elite few? If they have my data, they could notionally run my life. 

Nothing to lose sleve

I’m a fan of the Jack Reacher novels written by Lee Child. Reacher lives on the road. No address, no phone, no ID, no bank account. He’s virtually untraceable – apart from being 6’5″ and having a knack of being at the centre of big trouble!! He has something to teach us who live on social networking sites, blogs and email lists with login details and profiles that stretch deep into cyberspace. Having your data downloaded is only of concern to those who have data. We all know that most of the people these measures are aimed at don’t carry data. 

Are the “authorities” tightening this net simply because they can and they have to be seem to be doing something. It’s all pointless if the fish they are trying to catch are swimming in different ocean off another coast.

Cash For Church Restoration Is Spurned

Up To 250k Lottery Cash For Church Restoration Is Spurned
A church in York is putting its money where its mouth is – by rejecting lottery funding for its rebuilding work.Vicar outside St Micael le Belfrey, York

St Michael le Belfrey, next to York Minster, is raising money for a major restoration of its west front. But the church council has decided not to seek money from the Heritage Lottery Fund, because the fund promotes gambling. The church needs about £500,000 and says it is relying on its congregation to raise the money, without the need for lottery grants.


This is my church – and while I don’t agree with the PCC’s decision not to accept lottery funding, I believe we do have a responsibility to maintain this ancient building in working order. The congregation was delighted to move into it when David Watson was made the rector in the ’70s, so now we have to do our part in a long line of history to repair the stonework so that we can pass it to the next generation as our heritage.

What most people will find staggering is that we have pledged to raise double the sum needed so that we can give away as much as we spend on repairs. Watch this space.


The 10 deadly evils of life in Britain today

The 10 deadly evils of life in Britain today | Society | The Observer

 ‘The focus on greed as an issue reflects concern about the growing gulf between the rich and poor. Connected to all of these issues was the perception that we no longer share a set of common values and that we have lost our “moral compass”.’

As I wrote previously Joseph Rowntree’s legacy is still contributing valuable stuff to our national conscience.

Suddenly I’m totally incensed. But only in a good way

Suddenly I’m totally incensed. But only in a good way | Comment is free | The Observer

Miranda Sawyer, writing in her column in The Observer today, confesses she is finding a new perspective on life by attending church with her young son. In the final paragraph she allows the idea that there may be something more to challenge the routine of everyday life.

I dont want to leave everyday life entirely – I like everyday life – but the niggly specifics of it can mean you spend your time fussing over the detail rather than considering the bigger picture. Its nice to stop microscoping and, instead, spend some time pondering other people, charity, the world, old stories. To silence the minds circular chatter about deadlines and whos taking the kid to the childminder and have we got any milk and whither mortgage rates, and open it to the possibility that living might be about something more.