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Links 1 through 10 of 1989 Harry Rutherford's Bookmarks

The RSPB: 'There's a pretty big detail that's been lost. Over the years the Forestry Commission has destroyed a lot of ancient woodlands and heathlands and replanted them with conifers. Either the wrong trees have been planted, or trees shouldn't have been planted in the first place. It is difficult to make the case for heathland, as it involves making a case for, sometimes, cutting down some trees.

Some trees are in the wrong place and should be removed for the benefit of wildlife. Dense plantations of non-native conifers are not ideal habitats for our native wildlife. And too often they were planted on top of lowland heathland that, if restored, could provide a home for a host of threatened species from sand lizards and Dartford warblers to nightjars and natterjack toads.'

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'If these proposals go ahead, the UK will be only the second country in the world to allow money that has passed through tax havens to remain untaxed when it gets here. The other is Switzerland.'

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Scummy behaviour at the News of the World which makes the phone-hacking stuff look relatively innocent in comparison.

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A BMJ editorial on the government's NHS reforms:'What do you call a government that embarks on the biggest upheaval of the NHS in its 63 year history, at breakneck speed, while simultaneously trying to make unprecedented financial savings? The politically correct answer has got to be: mad.'

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For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

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'From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement.  For 23 out of 24 hours every day -- for seven straight months and counting -- he sits completely alone in his cell.  Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he's barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions.  For reasons that appear completely punitive, he's being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch).'

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Journalism is not just an intermediary in this, it is part of this. Journalists need to know what they think about the mission of Wikileaks and others like it, and they need to know where they would stand if the data dropped onto their desks and the government pressured them to be silent.

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Very good essay: 'If anyone has actual examples of a time when government secrecy was used for something other than exerting force in support of self-interest, I’d like to hear it. But until then, I’m going to continue to assume, as usual, that the only check on the amorality of the state is a moral citizenry. And the only way that citizens can act as a check on the state’s amorality is when they know what their government is doing.'

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