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New translation, the Magna Carta

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babies behave dishonestly before they can talk

One would have thought this obvious to a moderately introspective pigeon.

“Most psychologists have believed that children cannot really lie until about four years of age. But after dozens of interviews with parents, and years spent observing children, Dr. Reddy has determined that infants as young as seven months are quite skilled at pulling the wool over their parents' eyes.

“Rather than being a sign that your child is the next James Frey or Richard Nixon, Dr. Reddy says, baby lies are simply part of learning social interaction.

“Long before children can understand complex ideas about truth and deception, Dr. Reddy writes in the April issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, "they are engaging in subtle manipulations of their own and others' actions, which succeed in deceiving others at least temporarily."”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0705.php#baby_honesty_080707





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inflation and entrepreneurs in india

But but it’s ‘illegal’ they whine.

“ "Our one rupee coin is in fact worth 35 rupees, because we make five to seven [razor] blades out of them," the grocer allegedly told the police. "Bangladeshi smugglers take delivery of the blades at regular intervals." ”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0705.php#india_entrepreneur_280607

how one legal family disrespects the law - despite the wonderful constitution, the american legal system is a thorough going disgrace

how one legal family disrespects the law

“Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo`s wife has an outstanding warrant for her arrest for failure to appear in court, officials confirmed.”

Who, I hear you cry, is Rocky Delgadillo?
Well, he’s the one who said Paris was getting special treatment after being released early from jail, where she was put for violating her probation in a drunken-driving case.J

Delgadillo speaking about Paris Hilton:
“If law enforcement officials are to enjoy the respect of those we are charged with protecting, we cannot tolerate a two-tiered jail system where the rich and powerful receive special treatment. We must ensure that in our city, in our nation, and under our Constitution, justice remains blind.”
[Quoted from americanchronicle.com]

Special treatment??

“[...] include his admission Tuesday to reporters that his wife had been driving his city-owned vehicle on a suspended license when it was damaged in a 2004 accident and later repaired at taxpayer expense.

“He also acknowledged he drove for more than a year without automobile insurance required of all California drivers and that his wife was uninsured when she left the scene of another 2004 accident involving the couple's personal car.” [Quoted from xinhuanet.com]

“Michelle Delgadillo failed to appear almost nine years ago to face charges of driving without insurance, with a suspended license and in an unregistered car, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

“Michelle Delgadillo said in a statement released by her husband`s office that she was 'very embarrassed to find myself in this situation today.' She said she is seeking to address the issue 'as quickly as possible.'

“'I will do whatever the court instructs me to do. I apologize for any embarrassment this has caused my husband and family,' she said. 'It is completely my mistake.'

“Documents also indicate that the Delgadillos were severely late in paying at least five parking tickets in the past three years, documents showed. A spokesman for the city attorney blamed the tickets and late payments on Michelle Delgadillo.”

Much of this is because prosecutors and even judges are often elected by idiots and, therefore, the electees seek controversy and thereby publicity. Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong is a recent disgraceful example.

And here is more on Delgadillo, who vies for public prominence.

“Termed out of office, and thrashed in his attempt to become state attorney general, Delgadillo needs to unseat incumbent District Attorney Steve Cooley to preserve his political career. That would take a miracle.

“Enter Paris. By making a cause celebre out of this causative celebrity, Delgadillo was able to (briefly) become the grand defender of justice in L.A.” [Quoted from presstelegram.com]

“On the personal use of city vehicles:

  • Rocky Delgadillo (Audio): "As an elected official, I believed that city policy allows for personal use of the vehicle."
  • "Los Angeles Administrative Code Section 63.106(d) specifically prohibits the use of City vehicles for any purpose other than for official City business. A few examples of uses that are not permitted are:
    • Using a City car to attend campaign/political events.
    • Using a City car to drive a child to Little League practice after work.
    • Allowing family members to use a City car for personal business, such as a trip to the market to buy groceries." (Newsletter of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission Volume 6, Issue 1, Winter 2001)

“On why Ms. Delgadillo had a suspended license:

  • (Audio) Rocky says his wife was involved in a minor crash with other car and didn't provide proof of insurance.

“Standard procedure when involved in a vehicle accident, according to the DMV:

“If you are involved in an accident, STOP. If you don't stop, you may be convicted of hit and run and could be severely punished. Someone could be injured and need your help. You must show your driver license, registration card, evidence of financial responsibility, and current address to the other driver or persons involved, or to any peace officer.”

The California Department of Motor Vehicles” [Quoted from dailynews.com]

Despite the wonderful constitution, the American legal system is a thorough going disgrace.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0705.php#disrespect_law_220607

on closed minds

“The researchers relying on work by social scientist Aaron Wildavsky divided Americans into four cultural groups with regard to risk perception: hierarchists, individualists, egalitarians and communitarians. Hierarchists trust experts, but believe social deviancy is very risky. Egalitarians and communitarians worry about technology, but think that social deviancy is no big deal. Individualists see risk as opportunity and so are optimistic about technology.

“Egalitarians and communitarians, for example, tend to be sensitive to claims of environmental and technological risks because ameliorating such risks justifies regulating commercial activities that generate inequality and legitimize unconstrained pursuit of self-interest," claim the researchers. "Individualists, in contrast, tend to be skeptical about such risks, in line with their concern to ward off contraction of the sphere of individual initiative. So do hierarchists, who tend to see assertions of environmental technological risks as challenging the competence of governmental and social elites."

“Not surprisingly, the researchers found that people who were concerned about environmental risks such as global warming and nuclear power, were also concerned about nanotechnology. However, the Yale Cultural Cognition researchers made another more disheartening discovery. In their poll they gave a subset of 350 respondents additional facts - about two paragraphs -- about nanotechnology to see if more information would shift public risk perceptions. They found that it did. In this case, the more information people had, the more they retreated to their initial positions. Hierarchists and individualists thought nano was less risky, while egalitarians and communitarians thought it was more risky.

“ "One might suppose that as members of the public learn more about nanotechnology their assessments of its risk and benefits should converge. Our results suggest that exactly the opposite is likely to happen,” ....

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0705.php#closed_minds_140607

old.new.old’s idea of ‘education’ - violent britain

“Some 42% of children have been kicked, punched or hit at school, according to the results of a survey carried out by the children's charity the NSPCC, published today.

“Just under 10% of pupils said the attack involved a weapon or other object at school and 22% admitted they go to school worried that they might be subjected to a similar violent attack while there, it revealed.

“The snapshot survey of 1,172 children aged between 11 and 16 also highlighted the extent to which bullying goes on at school, with 75% admitting they have been bullied.

“One in four of the young people revealed they had witnessed domestic violence - 47% of these cases involved a physical assault or the use of a weapon. In 32% of incidents the perpetrator of the attack had been drinking or taking drugs, the young people said.

“The children were also exposed to violence on the streets - 16% of them revealed they had been hit, punched or kicked on the street and 7% of the attacks involved a weapon or object.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0705.php#uk_education_violence_230507

which is more dangerous - a dog, or a parent?

Parents should be kept on a lead at all times.

Think of the children.

“In 37 years, 342 children were killed by dogs, an average of about nine children a year. Shockingly, approximately three children are killed each day, or 1,100 per year, by their parents. Delise notes that "A child in the United States is over 100 times more likely to be killed by his or her parent or caretaker than by a dog." ” [Quoted from la-spca.org]

nice doggie, or man’s best friend?

I saw some figures a while back saying that the highest number of dog attacks was by labradors; but in killings, pitbulls, rottweilers and Alsatian-type dogs are the perpetrators in two-thirds of killing by dogs. Of course, there are far more labradors and poodles in the world than rottweilers.

There are hundreds of thousands of dog attacks a year in the USA, and this number has been rising for many years. Dog attacks are the second most common reason for children being taking to a hospital emergency room, after baseball accidents.

Seventy percent of dog attacks are to the face - do not pet strange dogs. If you are a mailman, dogs are far more likely to attack your legs and behind, as any good cartoon will prove. Two percent of adults in the USA are attacked by dogs every year, and so approximately one third of insurance payments may be attributed to that risk.

No young child should be considered safe with a dog. I’m told by those who should know that a dog has an instinct to ‘attack’ when a child falls down.

In general, the older you are, the less likely you are to be attacked by dogs. Good to find one area where wisdom and experience pays off.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0705.php#dogs_or_parents_130507

on defining ‘god’

I have heard large numbers of people get themselves into a great argumentative kerfuffle when discussing ‘god’. As a logician, my natural inclination was to find out what all the fuss was about. Therefore, for a goodly while, each time I came upon a person expounding on ‘god’ (and I made the judgment that they were not completely unhinged), I set about trying to determine exactly what they thought they meant by the word ‘god’.

What particularly interested me was the very wide range of meanings the individuals were attributing to this word, and yet here they were merrily arguing, and even moving towards blows on the basis of a word that they were usually using with considerably different meanings.

Some definitions are perfectly satisfactory to me, the definitions are always individually idiosycratic, but I will divide them into some vague categories.

  1. When people use the word ‘god’, I have a long-time habit of questioning them in detail to work out what they mean. Very often they do not know. In fact, they get into a soliptic muddle, which I then bring to their attention.. For reasons not quite clear, this often inclines them to become unusually angry.

  2. Others eventually decide they mean something like ‘the flowers are pretty’. At which point, I tend to ask them why they did not say that instead half-an-hour ago. That lot usually look sheepish.

  3. Their explanations amount to, this is a bucket into which I dump anything that I don’t understand.

  4. Then there are the more intellectually sophisticated who take up various forms of pantheism, and use the term ‘god’ as a form of shorthand for ‘god’ is an intrinsic in the real world. These give me little concern.

  5. The most ‘advanced’ tend to the view that man is too undeveloped to be able to say much about ‘god’ of great moment or significance they tend to the view that the world is vastly complex and wondrous beyond human understanding; and that making pronouncements on the nature of ‘god’ varies between fatuity and arrogance. I find myself in reasonable accord with such views, and not be much troubled by even 2 or 4.

Hey, let’s not keep this too narrow. This analysis works with all the other words as well. You could try it with ‘spirit’, or ‘the workers’, or even ‘rhubarb’ ... or even ‘is’.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0705.php#on_god_050507


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