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snake-eaters, private enterprise helping to deal with murderous atavists in iraq - the auroran sunset

The US military is a far and away the most powerful and efficient in the world. However, as with any government ‘run’ organisation, there are serious problems. Increasingly, private citizens and enterprises are working to circumvent some of those problems:-

“Problem: If a cop in Anytown, USA, pulls over a suspect, he checks the person's ID remotely from the squad car. He's linked to databases filled with Who's Who in the world of crime, killing and mayhem. In Iraq, there is nothing like that. When our troops and the Iraqi army enter a town, village or street, what they know about the local bad guys is pretty much in their heads, at best.

“Solution: Give our troops what our cops have. The Pentagon knows this. For reasons you can imagine, it hasn't happened.

“This is a story of can-do in a no-can-do world, a story of how a Marine officer in Iraq, a small network-design company in California, a nonprofit troop-support group, a blogger and other undeterrable folk designed a handheld insurgent-identification device, built it, shipped it and deployed it in Anbar province. They did this in 30 days, from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15. Compared to standard operating procedure for Iraq, this is a nanosecond.”

The US charity Spirit of America is heavily involved in this operation, as they are in a large range of worthy projects that aim to spread freedom and democracy in some of the world’s worst places. Spirit of America is one of the very few charities I have come across to which I am willing to give money. Most charities involved in apparently good works also work to spread socialism and other forms of chaos - for example Greenpeace. Spirit of America does not.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0701.php#snakeeaters_100207





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‘legal’ interference in adult dating - the auroran sunset

There are some new ‘laws’ in Washington State, USA - explained in excruciating and ludricous detail here - which seem to make it illegal for any healthcare provider to have any sort of romantic involvement with a patient, an ex-patient, an ex-patient’s family member or friend, anyone who might know less than them, or... Nor may they discuss such a relationship, or say anything that could be construed as suggesting an interest in such a relationship. Nor may they make any response to such a suggestion from the patient.

These ‘laws’ continue a trend to increasingly interfere in the consenting relationships of adults by classifying one of those adults as ‘legally’ incapable of providing consent. Some of the more common excuses for this interference include:

  • One adult is older than the other.
    In these cases, the older adult is deemed to have tricked or forced the younger adult. The younger adult being of course incapable of making their own decisions. In these cases, the couple tends to be harrassed by friends and strangers alike. Legal problems arise when the younger being is classed as an adult in one jurisdiction and as a child in another - see for example the British harrassment of Jerry Lee Lewis and his wife.
     
  • One adult has more power than the other.
    In these cases, the more powerful adult is deemed to have used that power to force themselves on the less powerful adult. For these purposes, power is usually defined in terms of employment or money. It is common in such situations for the ‘law’ to treat the more powerful adult as ‘harrassing’, or forcing themselves upon, the ‘powerless’ victim adult, who of course has no ability, or right, to make their own decisions. I don’t know how this applies to pretty young girls chasing millionaires! A famous recent example was Kenneth Starr’s witch-trials of the then American President Bill Clinton.
     
  • One adult knows more than the other.
    In these cases, the more knowledgeable adult is deemed to have used that knowledge to trick, or ‘brainwash’, the less knowledgeable adult. This situation is common in universities, high schools in some jurisdictions [for example, the UK where the age of consent is sixteen] and doctor’s surgeries. The more knowledgeable adult is commonly fired, sometimes prosecuted for assault, and almost universally harrassed by the media, followed sheepishly by the public.

The above amounts to legislating that there are circumstances under which nobody can gain the right to make their own decision, despite being an ‘adult’ by any reasonable definition, and even an ‘adult’ under the ‘law’.

There is a simple alternative to this absurdity: Franchise by Examination (FBE).

Under the FBE scheme, those with the franchise - of whatever age and whatever relative social position - are classified as adults with the power to make their own decisions and with responsibility for those decisions. Under such circumstances, it becomes a simple matter for two franchised adults to sign a document stating that they freely agree to the relationship.

Clearly, a franchised adult needs to demonstrate the ability to deal with unwanted advances, whether from suitors or pushy salesmen - this is an obvious part of the social skills/psychology section to our proposed curriculum. Obviously, the use of force, threats or drugs would remain criminal offences (rape/blackmail).

Under FBE there could no longer be:-

  • a place for spurious after-the-fact accusations/prosecutions;
  • the inability to ‘land’ a ‘superior’ husand or wife because said ‘superior’ fears spurious accusations;
  • the inability to freely decide whether to accept the advances of an ‘inferior’;
  • any need to tolerate power-seekers attempting to intrude into the private lives of consenting adults.

The alternative, which is being pursued by legislators across the West, is to de facto classify everyone as a child, whose decisions are thus not their own. In other words, these legislators are working to disenfranchise everybody. This leads to great interference in the private lives of individuals, with obvious negative consequences like those detailed in the description of Washington State ‘laws’ linked above. But of course it has the huge advantage of greatly increasing the power of the state!

Such interference also increasingly brings the law into disrepute, breaking down the rule of law and encouraging more general law-breaking - this is similar to the situation with unreasonably low speed limits and the ridiculous ‘drug’ ‘laws’, both of which encourage large sections of the public to regard disobeying the law as reasonable and normal.

Which world do you want? What are you going to do about it?

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0701.php#interference_adults_280107

“i hate america; let me in!” - the auroran sunset

“I've never understood how on one hand people overseas will tell the pollsters how much they hate America - and Americans, and yet our streets seem to be increasingly filled with people from all around the world who have risked life and limb and broken the law of their country and ours to get here.

“I mean, if I don't like a restaurant, I don't stand in line for 4 hours to get in, I just go somewhere else. I sure don't stand in line for four hours and then say how much I hate the place.

“I wonder if there's a sort of 'natural reflex' to just tell the pollsters what they want to hear, rather than tell them what you actually think.

“Think about it, when the western United States was being settled, I don't think there were people saying how much they hated Oregon and California when they were selling everything they had and walking away from Ohio and other parts of the east. "I hate Oregon, so let's take our life in our hands and try to go there", followed by headlines that said "Oregon more unpopular than ever says poll of former residents of Ohio".

“Face it, if there is a line of people stretching across to continent walking to Oregon, then any poll saying "Oregon unpopular..." is clearly based on faulty data, right?”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0701.php#immigration_usa_250107

the ‘greed’ factor or why people get rich, according to the left-wing

“In an era when our media and even our education system exalt emotions, while ignoring facts and logic, perhaps we should not be surprised that so many people explain economics by "greed".”

“The idea that everything must "justify itself before the bar of reason" goes back at least as far as the 18th century. But that just makes it a candidate for the longest-running fallacy in the world.

“Given the high degree of specialization in a modern economy, demanding that everything "justify itself before the bar of reason" means demanding that people who know what they are doing must be subject to the veto of people who don't have a clue about the decisions that they are second-guessing.

“It means demanding that ignorance override knowledge.”

“One of the reasons why central planning sounds so good, but has failed so badly that even socialist and Communist governments finally abandoned the idea by the end of the 20th century, is that nobody knows enough to second guess everybody else.

“Every time oil prices shoot up, there are cries of "greed" and demands by politicians for an investigation of collusion by Big Oil. There have been more than a dozen investigations of oil companies over the years, and none of them has turned up the collusion that is supposed to be responsible for high gas prices.

“Now that oil prices have dropped big time, does that mean that oil companies have lost their "greed"? Or could it all be supply and demand - a cause and effect explanation that seems to be harder for some people to understand than emotions like "greed"?”

related material
Henry Ford, ignorant genius - introduction

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0701.php#greed_and_riches_240107

i didn’t know poppadom was a racist word - the terrifying empty world of old.new.old ‘education’

Recently, there has been a furore in the UK over the behaviour of contestants in the TV reality game, Big Brother. One contestant was eliminated after she lost her temper and gave another contestant, a Bollywood star, the last name Poppadom in her tirade of abuse.

Humans are trained to be sheep when at school. They are not trained to think, they are trained to conform. It is easier to conform to simple memes than to deal with complex realities.

People are taught ‘loyalty’ to ‘teams’ and schools, as a basic manipulative game. They are not taught to think independently, thus they jump from allegiance to allegiance according to the brightness of the light. They seek independence by grabbing light-weight conspiracy ‘theories’, but they just become even more stupid in their sheephood.

I want people taught to think independently. That will not happen by lining them up in rows and conditioning them with standardised responses, whether at school or through popular TV sensationalism.

No artist is worth a damn if they cannot handle, direct and control their craft tools/media. But that is just work. For an artist to have any serious performance beyond occupational therapy, first they must have something of interest to ‘communicate’/‘say’.

There are people who can write English structured by convention, but who say nothing of interest or creativity. I think ‘they’ get like this by being good conformists in ‘education’.

It is said that “we don’t go to school to learn to think”. I fully accept that is the reality of schools; but teaching people to conform for 16, or even 18 or more years, and then expecting them to start thinking by some magic at some later time is being very over-optimistic. In my view, they do not think and mostly they will not start to think.

What is called ‘the basics’ of communication is merely craft, the way of doing it. It says nothing regarding communicating anything of interest, let alone of value.

If the young were taught (encouraged) to spend far more time thinking and following their own interests, rather than pre-determined ‘areas of knowledge’, everything I know suggests the degree of creativity/production/independence would be very much higher.

I think the fear of ‘anarchy’ is a psychological weakness, an unfounded fear.

Thus, the intention attributed to you by others becomes what matters, not what you do. It is the rank/standing of the attributing telepath that determines the ‘crime’.

Real-world actions are not relevant, as long as the badly behaved can get their acts attributed to victimhood by a suitably correct old.new.old appointed functionary.

You are not going to change this situation without education in psychology. The behaviours seen on these ‘reality’ TV programmes are a direct reflection of not teaching people to handle themselves psychologically.

related material
Franchise by examination, education and intelligence
Citizenship curriculum

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0701.php#poppadom_230107

crime in japan - the auroran sunset

Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. Muggings are all but unheard of; a local murder at one end of the country is big news everywhere; burgulary is extremely rare; outside a very few areas in the biggest cities, you can walk deserted streets at night without concern; carrying a thousand pounds or more in your wallet is normal and not a cause for concern...

Crime rates rose during the recession to a high in 2002, but have been falling fast for the last three years. However, the Japanese are amazingly fearful of crime and its ‘increase’. That fear seems to be increasing. Why? Here is a theory:

“Yoshiro Kawakami, a professor of social psychology at Seijo University, says the real threat doesn't come from growing lawlessness but from mounting anxiety.

“In recent months, local governments have set up cellphone services to report on "suspicious" characters, and banks have stepped up security measures to identify customers.

“When people learn about new anti-crime measures, they naturally conclude that "such safety steps are taken because safety is deteriorating," he said.

“Local authorities will then respond to growing public fear by building up still more defenses against crime.”

Violent crime may be increasing, but from an extremely low base in comparison to most Western countries. Over three quarters of Japanese crime is thefts.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0701.php#crime_prevention_200107

the perception of security - the auroran sunset

A common mantra from security experts such as Bruce Schneier is that people's behaviour is far more important to security than technology. Here is an impressive example from "perhaps the biggest data center in the world":

“The data center was about 5 floors below ground level. No form of wireless communications worked whatsoever--cell phones, pagers, etc. Once I parked my car, I had to go to an unlabeled metal door with a tiny camera on the top. Security guards would buzz me in and require me to sign in at their station. Then I would get buzzed in to the main data center room that contained another room inside of it. From there, I had to enter a password into another security system and place my palm on a palm scanner. Inside this room was another security guard--I would have to sign in with them, too. Then I would enter a different password into another security system, and place my head in front of this retinal scanner. This would buzz me into another room with the cages for each of the clients. There was a padlock on the cage, behind which were our servers. The servers required two separate smart IDs to be placed into an external card reader so that there had to be at least 2 people there to perform any maintenance. The servers themselves were locked down pretty tightly, too. It all seemed pretty insane as far as security goes, but I understood--these computers contained every credit card for the credit card issuer.

“Well, after about 3 days of going to this data center, everyone got to know me. They would sign in for me to speed up the process. The security guard behind the door with the palm scanner used to get very hot, so she would often block the door open, thus defeating the palm scanner. The retinal scanner also had problems, often requiring about 3 tries before it would read correctly, so that door was often blocked open, too. Then, one day one of us had forgotten our smart card. We started cursing, as the round trip to pick up the card was about 45 minutes, so we tried it with only one smart card. Bingo. It worked. So then we tried it with no card. Seems the card readers weren't functioning properly. So, overall, we were able to defeat all of the security measures except for the padlock, and all because the security staff (getting paid 2 bucks above minimum wage, no doubt) all "knew" us. In my humble opinion, it would have been far smarter to *not* have the security guard in the foyer behind the palm scanner. After all, social engineering is probably the most common form of circumventing security.

“Another funny thing about this was that we had a rather difficult security audit for all code releases. We had a bunch of ex-NSA employees working for us that were rather good about it, too. We would also hire outside auditors to do reviews of major code releases. It was all fantastastic, except for one thing: code patches didn't get the same scrutiny as code releases. In fact, they got none. Well, in order to expedite the release of one particular feature (that required emailing confirmation to customers), we packaged it as a "patch". No security audits. And for something that required the installation of a mail server! Furthermore, the code base had access to the record-level encryption used to store the credit cards. So, basically, if I had wanted, I could have installed a bit of code that would have decrypted all of the credit cards of users of our software and emailed them to a third party. I could not believe it. It's a good thing I have what I consider to be high moral and ethical standards.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0701.php#security_not_180107

interesting comment on the dubious suggestion of keeping uk people in school another 2 years

“First I would extend primary-school education by two years (mirroring the prep schools in the private sector). That would allow these enlarged primary schools to beef up their arts, sports and music - because the best specialist teachers would be attracted by the chance to take older children to a higher level. It would give primary teachers six extra terms in which to drum the basics of reading and arithmetic into slower learners. And most crucially, it would allow the decision about appropriate secondary education to be deferred until children were 12 or 13, when it is far easier to know whether a child is cut out to be "academic".

“Those that are academic would pass a wideranging test at 13 and get a "certificate of basic education" (let’s call it the CBE, just to be confusing) covering the minimum literacy and numeracy skills normally needed in life. They would then move to secondary schools that would prepare them for a much tougher and broader set of A-levels than we have at present.

“Non-academics would take a different path. They would still work towards their CBEs, but also develop the vocational skills needed to go straight into work at 18. Indeed, they would spend much of each term on work placements: old-fashioned apprenticeships, except in contemporary industries such as IT, food technology and retailing as well as the old blue-collar trades.”

From the campaign for franchise by examination

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0701.php#school_leaving_170107

why britain is in a mess

In the 1930s, an attitude of ‘business as usual’ and talking to the ‘nice Mr. Hitler’ left Great Britain and many other countries close to be conquered by a vicious, violent regime and creed. Now such attitudes are showing themselves once more.

I observe an unwillingness to take action, or even give verbal support, to help the ‘forces of good’. These are forces who are combating those, in Britain and elsewhere, who are (often aggressively) intent on dismantling our culture and society to replace it with soulless, violent and empty structures.

I am not inactive, nor will I stand back from ‘action’ if I can be more useful by that means. Nor do I have any visceral disinclination to taking up a machine gun, or developing suitable missiles. But many British, if not others elsewhere, have an inclination to project their cowardice throughout their own society, so encouraging and condoning further passivity.

The foolish nature of these dilettantes would suppose the likes of Turing or Keynes or Barnes Wallace and a host of others, who did not serve on battlefields, to be cowards. Such a supposition can only arise from a lack of awareness of the blood and effort required to become more than a time-server or a cog.

This is also about the impact of removing personal defence weapons from its citizenship, that is the ban on gun ownership. This ban has a less recognised effect that, with the removal of their defences goes the citizens’ independence and their sense of responsibility.

These are also destroyed by various ‘Socialist’ policies. Thus, British government seeks to tuck away awkward failures of their policies in sink estates and sink ‘schools’, at the same time forcing wages down below viability levels. Next, this is ‘addressed’ by making ever increasing numbers go begging for handouts at government offices via intrusive ‘means testing’. This is happening to such an extent that recent estimates are that over 40% will soon be government dependent ‘clients’. Hence ‘the client state’, where independence and sense of responsibility wither.

The outcome is a dependant mentality, waiting for someone else (the government) to act. In lockstep with this mindset comes an attitude that everything should be cost-free. None of which encourages a vigorous and thoughtful response to danger.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0701.php#courage_and_action_090107

selling girls for food, afghan - unusual drought, rising food prices

“While the world has focused on the war against the Taliban, the suffering of the drought-stricken villagers, almost 2.5 million of them, has largely gone unnoticed. And where once droughts would afflict Afganistan once every couple of decades, this drought has come hard on the heels of the last one, from which the villagers were barely able to recover.

“While prohibited by both Afghan civil and Islamic law, arranged marriages have long been a feature of Afghan life, particularly in rural areas. What is unusual is the age of some of the girls. And the reason: to buy food to survive.

“ 'Many families are doing this because of the drought,' Sahatgul said. 'Our daughters are our only economic asset. We will have the marriage ceremony at puberty. The groom, Rahim, has gone to Iran with his brothers to earn the money. He is working on a building site. He will come back with the rest of the money that he has earned or borrowed. He calls us every month to make sure that Azizgul is still his.'

“Najibullah, 39, is a farmer. He sold his eight-year-old daughter Somaya for $3,000 (£1,560). She is engaged to a 22-year-old man from the village, Mohammed, who has also gone to Iran to earn the money to pay the bride price.

“ 'He has already paid a deposit of $600, which we used to buy warm clothes and food,' said Najibullah. For her part, Somaya knows she is getting married but does not know what that means.”

related material
there is no global warming - population is no problem - please do not worry!
joining the dots - food, fuel, water, oil and poverty
growing competition between fuel and food

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0701.php#starving_afghan_080107

streaming in uk schools - is it helpful?

The UK state teaching profession is for streaming because of laziness and incompetence.

But, of course, it does depend on what is meant by ‘streaming’. It is a fairly simple matter to deal with mixed classes, if you have control and are sane. The current tirades in praise of streaming are just the latest ‘good old days’ fogey blather.

You do not have streamed factories or offices or families.

Mixed classes allow the teacher to teach the brighter people to teach.
(Sorry - that isn’t PC.)

Mixed classes teach the brighter people to look after the younger or duller people.
(Sorry - that isn’t PC.)

Mixed classes teach the duller people to respect and appreciate the contributions made to their welfare by their betters.
(Sorry - that isn’t PC.)

Mixed classes are less boring for adequate teachers.
(Sorry - that isn’t PC.)

Trying to run a classroom without thought, as a factory system producing a standardised product, was a foolishness that we should be well rid of. Streaming and lock step is a concession to rotten ‘teachers’ and lazy minds.

This is not only commie logic and laziness. It is a core part of socialism. Socialism is about ‘equality’. Therefore, all classes ‘should’ comprise of ‘equals’. Streaming is for commies. The conditioning has gone so deep that many who do not teach and should know better believe it is the ‘proper’ way.

Many of the problems in teaching are caused by tolerating disruption and ill-manners. In a professional system you simply chuck out nuisances, just as you would in an office or factory. It is an outrage that a few dysfunctional children/parents be allowed to disrupt the lives of others. Society requires local law courts, holding facilities and training for disruptive people. A sane society does not run the ‘system’ around the nuisances and the feral.

You do not bring idiots out to the front of the class and brutalise them before the great majority of the civilised and sensitive young.
(Sorry - if that also isn’t PC.)
That is the route of socialism, North Korea and Madsam.

I have no wish or intention of living in a brutalised society in order to pander to the mental sickness of a few fearful aggressive old men, let alone to allow the young to be brutalised. The old fools can stuff their ‘back to basics’ if that means the return of beating up the young as a substitute for rank incompetence.

related material
introduction to franchise discussion documents

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0701.php#streaming_classes_040107


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