“ "In the city we had working for us Africans who had converted
and were strong believers. The Christians were always different. Far
from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to
have liberated and relaxed them. There was a liveliness, a curiosity,
an engagement with the world - a directness in their dealings with others
- that seemed to be missing in traditional African life. They stood
“ Whenever we entered a territory worked by missionaries, we
had to acknowledge that something changed in the faces of the people
we passed and spoke to: something in their eyes, the way they approached
you direct, man-to-man, without looking down or away. They had not become
more deferential towards strangers - in some ways less so - but more
It is always good to see someone talking sense.
One of the best structured articles I have yet to see
from Parris. I see not one real slip-up. He is probably continuing to
improve. If he goes on developing like this, he will be a seriously useful
contributor to improving this sad little planet!
of Rome has long been a prime bulwark against the mentally destitute
and dangerous killer cult of socialism.
The more modern society comes to understand the nature of that mental
disease, the better.
From a theologian:
“Religion has its own work, which is to educate people who are
too dull to understand philosophy, or too untutored to be amenable to
its teaching. This is why religion is necessary, for what it preaches
is fundamentally the same as what philosophy teaches, and, unless common
men believed what it preaches, they would behave like beasts. But theologians
should preach, not teach, just as philosophers should teach, not preach.
Theologians should not attempt to demonstrate, because they cannot do
it, and philosophers must be careful not to get belief mixed up with
what they prove, because then they can no longer prove anything. Now,
to preach creation is just a handy way to make people feel that God
is their Master, which is true even though, as is well known by those
who truly philosophize, nothing of the sort ever happened.”
Etienne Gilson [1884 - 1978], Being and Some Philosophers, p. 52
“Where you have masses of people of crude susceptibilities and
clumsy intelligence, sordid in their pursuits and sunk in drudgery,
religion provides the only means of proclaiming and making them feel
the hight import of life. For the average man takes an interest, primarily,
in nothing but what will satisfy his physical needs and hankerings,
and beyond this, give him a little amusement and pastime. Founders of
religion and philosophers come into the world to rouse him from his
stupor and point to the lofty meaning of existence; philosophers for
the few, the emancipated, founders of religion for the many, for humanity
at large. For, as your friend Plato has said, the multitude can't be
philosophers, and you shouldn't forget that. Religion is the metaphysics
of the masses; by all means let them keep it: let it therefore command
external respect, for to discredit it is to take it away. Just as they
have popular poetry, and the popular wisdom of proverbs, so they must
have popular metaphysics too: for mankind absolutely needs an interpretation
of life; and this, again, must be suited to popular comprehension. Consequently,
this interpretation is always an allegorical investiture of the truth:
and in practical life and in its effects on the feelings, that is to
say, as a rule of action and as a comfort and consolation in suffering
and death, it accomplishes perhaps just as much as the truth itself
could achieve if we possessed it. Don't take offense at its unkempt,
grotesque and apparently absurd form; for with your education and learning,
you have no idea of the roundabout ways by which people in their crude
state have to receive their knowledge of deep truths. The various religions
are only various forms in which the truth, which taken by itself is
above their comprehension, is grasped and realized by the masses; and
truth becomes inseparable from these forms. Therefore, my dear sir,
don t take it amiss if I say that to make a mockery of these forms is
both shallow and unjust.”
Secretary of State, Condalezza Rice will soon relinquish
her job with the US government.
From a recent interview:
“ "In his latest book Bob Woodward quotes you saying, 'we
should've liberated Iraq, I'd do it a thousand times again.' Would you
really?" Braver asked.
“ "Absolutely. Because I know that the Middle East with
Saddam Hussein in its center was never gonna be a Middle East that was
going to change in a way that will sustain American interests, values
and security." ”
“ "But when people say, '[President Bush] 's one of the worst
presidents in recent memory, if nothing else…" Braver said.
“ "I just, I just think it's ridiculous," Rice said.
“ "Don't you have to think that this last presidential election
was kind of a referendum on this president's policies?" Braver
“ "This president had two terms; that's all he gets is two
terms and he had two terms and he was reelected," Rice said.
“ "And you think he would've been re-elected with those
popularity polls?" Braver asked.
“ "I'm not going to talk about popularity polls," Rice
said. "The present was re-elected in 2004. That's all he got to
You could easily create a society that is primitive in the sense
it doesn't have "all mod cons", but it would still support
basic necessities like food, effluent management, clean water, shelter,
heat and a modicum of light. Why do we see artificial light as such
a vital commodity when we have had it for only a femtosecond relative
to the age of humanity on this planet?
Because it allows you to work longer hours. That allows
greater productivity. The maize harvest has arrived. The combines work
through the night. If they didn’t, the crops would rot in the fields.
The opposite of "primitive" is national indolence, because
it is this that drives our demands for the"all mod cons" society,
then we get into manufacturing, industrial revolution, and soon, bingo,
the bankers smell the gold. We have always automatically assumed that
every new technological achievement is an advance of humanity, but really
it only ever brings us closer to war and final wipe-out.
Knocking out the banking system is approximately equivalent
to striking the population dumb. Try communicating without talking, everything
will take much longer.
Money is a form of communication that is far more efficient
than barter. All trading would become far more difficult without banking. Look
at how the current banking clag-up is undermining production.
The Bernanke extracts are from a long article in the New
Yorker. The article summerises Bernanke’s actions to head off the banking clag-up,
with regular, foolish interjections by the scribbler. Having gone through the article, I find
nothing but praise for Bernanke’s steadiness and judgment. Thus, the title and the extract
from Doctor Johnson. Maybe you too will find the article by parts instructive, amusing and irritating.
Ben Bernanke’s socks
“ In June, 2005, Bernanke was sworn in at the Eisenhower Executive
Office Building. One of his first tasks was to deliver a monthly economics
briefing to the President and the Vice-President. After he and Hubbard
sat down in the Oval Office, President Bush noticed that Bernanke was
wearing light-tan socks under his dark suit. "Where did you get
those socks, Ben?" he asked. "They don’t match."
Bernanke didn’t falter. "I bought them at the Gap - three
pairs for seven dollars," he replied. During the briefing, which
lasted about forty-five minutes, the President mentioned the socks several
“The following month, Hubbard’s deputy, Keith Hennessey,
suggested that the entire economics team wear tan socks to the briefing.
Hubbard agreed to call Vice-President Cheney and ask him to wear tan
socks, too. "So, a little later, we all go into the Oval Office,
and we all show up in tan socks," Hubbard recalled. "The President
looks at us and sees we are all wearing tan socks, and he says in a
cool voice, 'Oh, very, very funny.' He turns to the Vice-President and
says, 'Mr. Vice-President, what do you think of these guys in their
tan socks?' Then the Vice-President shows him that he’s wearing
them, too. The President broke up." [Quoted from newyorker.com]
Alexander Pope reads to Lord Halifax
“Samuel Johnson, in "The Life of Pope", conveys this
story told by Alexander Pope about his patron, Lord Halifax:
“The famous Lord Halifax was rather a pretender to taste than
really possessed of it. - When I had finished the two or three first
books of my translation of the Iliad, that Lord desired to have the
pleasure of hearing them read at his house. - Addison, Congreve, and
Garth, were there at the reading. In four or five places, Lord Halifax
stopt me very civilly, and with a speech each time, much of the same
kind, 'I beg your pardon, Mr. Pope; but there is something in that passage
that does not quite please me. - Be so good as to mark the place, and
consider it a little [more] at your leisure. - I'm sure you can give
it a little [better] turn.' I returned from Lord Halifax's with Dr.
Garth, in his chariot; and, as we were going along, was saying to the
Doctor, that my Lord had laid me under a good deal of difficulty by
such loose and general observations; that I had been thinking over the
passages almost ever since, and could not guess at what it was that
offended his Lordship in either of them. Garth laughed heartily at my
embarrassment; said, I had not been long enough acquainted with Lord
Halifax to know his way yet; that I need not puzzle myself about looking
those places over and over, when I got home. 'All you need do (says
he) is to leave them just as they are; call on Lord Halifax two or three
months hence, thank him for his kind observations on those passages,
and then read them to him as altered. I have known him much longer than
you have, and will be answerable for the event.' I followed his advice;
waited on Lord Halifax some time after; said, I hoped he would find
his objections to those passages removed; read them to him exactly as
they were at first: and his Lordship was extremely pleased with them,
and cried out, 'Ay, now [Mr. Pope] they are perfectly right: nothing
can be better.' ” [Quoted from The Lives of the Poets,
ed. G. B. Hill, Clarendon Press, 1905, as edited and reproduced by Jack
Lynch, Rutgers University.]
The recovery of the Bear Stearns failure
“By late Thursday night, after officials from the New York Fed
and the S.E.C. visited Bear’s offices to review its books, the
assessment had changed. The company was a major participant in the 'repurchase'
- or 'repo' - market, a little publicized but vitally important market
in which banks raise cash on a short-term basis from mutual funds, hedge
funds, insurance companies, and central banks. Every night, about $2.5
trillion turns over in the repo market. Most repo contracts roll over
on a daily basis, and the lender can at any time return the collateral
and demand its cash. This is precisely what many of Bear’s lenders
“Bear was also a big dealer in credit-default swaps (C.D.S.s),
which are basically insurance contracts on bonds. In return for a premium,
the seller of a swap promises to cover the full value of a given bond
in the case of a default. Bear alone reportedly had more than five thousand
institutional partners with whom it had traded C.D.S.s. If the bank
were to default before the markets opened on Friday, the effect on the
repo and swaps markets would be chaotic.”
“The problem wasn’t the size of Bear Stearns - it wasn’t
the fact that some creditors would have borne losses. The problem was
- people use the term 'too interconnected to fail.' That’s not
totally accurate, but it’s close enough." In the repo market,
for example, Bear Stearns had borrowed heavily from money-market mutual
funds. "If Bear had failed," the senior official went on,
"all these money-market mutual funds, instead of getting their
money back on Monday morning, would have found themselves with all kinds
of illiquid collateral, including C.D.O.s" - collateralized debt
obligations- "and God knows what else. It would have caused a run
on that entire market. That, in turn, would have made it impossible
for other investment banks to fund themselves.” [Quoted from newyorker.com]
Bernanke and Lincoln
“Bernanke’s knowledge of Lincoln was more limited, but
one morning the man who organizes the parking pool in the basement of
the Fed’s headquarters had given him a copy of a statement Lincoln
made in 1862, after he was criticized by Congress for military blunders
during the Civil War: "If I were to try to read, much less answer,
all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any
other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can;
and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out
all right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything. If
the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right will make
“Bernanke keeps the statement on his desk, so he can refer to
it when necessary.”[Quoted from newyorker.com]
The South African government is responsible for more than 350,000
AIDS deaths, while George Bush is awarded for bringing treatment to 1.7
million in Africa.
“A new study by Harvard researchers estimates that the South
African government would have prevented the premature deaths of 365,000
people earlier this decade if it had provided anti-retroviral drugs
to AIDS patients and widely administered drugs to help prevent pregnant
women from infecting their babies.” [Quoted from ajc.com]
“President Bush has received a major humanitarian award for
his work in Africa. VOA White House correspondent Paula Wolfson has
“Mr. Bush said he is especially proud of his effort to provide
treatment for one-point-seven million people battling AIDS through PEPFAR
- the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. He told the story
of a South African mother whose life was saved at a PEPFAR clinic. She
later brought her son, Baron, to the White House to bear witness as
President Bush signed an extension of the AIDS treatment program into
law.” [Quoted from voanews.com]
United States private industry charity:
“There are some good aspects to all this gloomy situation. There's
been a tripling of global funding for antiretroviral drugs in low and
middle income countries with 1.3 million people there benefitting. Private
charities like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are supporting
AIDS research. Celebrities (Bono, Bob Geldorf, et al) have helped to
raise awareness.” [Quoted from gather.com]
The core of this two-part, rather chaotic, talk revolves
around individual and/or group ‘intelligence’.
“[…] the battle being waged by Osama bin Laden against
Western culture (as personified by pop icon Michael Jackson) is not
a battle between religious fundamentalism and godless consumerism. Says
Bloom, it is a battle for dominance between two ancient reproductive
strategies employed by life's most intimate component: our DNA.”
“Keeping germs from cooperating can delay the evolution of drug resistance more
effectively than killing germs one by one with traditional drugs such as antibiotics,
according to new research from The University of Arizona in Tucson.”
Context: The carers of a very young child have been
imprisoned for violently abusing the child until it was dead. This is
the second such case in Haringey within a year. This time, Haringey social
and medical services saw the child over 60 times without assessing the
child as being in danger. On the last social worker visit, the child was
smeared with chocolate to hide the many bruises and other damage. Two
days before the child died, a hospital doctor failed to see a broken back
“More than 60 Haringey head teachers have joined forces to write
a letter in support of the director of Haringey's Children and Young
People's Service.” [Quoted from news.bbc.co.uk]
I wonder what they do with their time.
Haringey LEA is currently 108th out of 130 in the national league table:
[Quoted from findmyschool.co.uk]
Lowest primary school rated at 81% (most others are
Highest secondary school rated at 64% (with other secondary schools going
down to 17%!).
and nobody blinks!
How can anyone look at figures like that and not realise
something is extremely amiss?
Of the top secondary school:
“…It enjoys a high level of ethnic diversity. Although
the percentage of students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
is lower than usually found, the proportion with statements of special
educational need is higher than normally found.”
Sack whoever is in charge.
ah, but that’s socialist ‘New’ Labour.
How long would a real organisation last with this level
“Barack Obama's speeches contain the hypnosis techniques of Dr.
Milton Erickson, M.D. who developed a form of "conversational"
hypnosis that could be hidden in seemingly normal speech and used on
patients without their knowledge for therapy purposes. ”
He calls it hypnotic techniques, but that puts too
strong a spin, on it. This sort of blather is widespread among salesmen,
lawyers, second rate politicians, cult leaders, preachers and other conmen.
This sort of thing only works on the dull and the unsophisticated, and
eventually loses impact.
Look forward to the disillusionment with Obama after
a short honeymoon period.
“In addition, I made comments on whether or not, in my professional
opinion, the language patterns are haphazard and incidental, or purposeful
Here are the control results:
“Bill Gates: Keynote at the 2006 CES show
12% hypnotic language. Mostly incidental. In my opinion, very representative
of the average non-hypnotic speaker.
“Adolf Hitler: Translated from his presentation
to the Reichstag, Jan 30, 1937
45% hypnotic language. There were extensive use of presuppositions,
nominalizations and modal operators similar to Ericksonian hypnotic
language patterns. Though the text is translated, German is similar
to English in terms of grammar and structure, and I think this is a
“Now, The 2008 US Presidential candidates:
“John McCain: Republican candidate, Jan 19,
2008 acceptance speech
18% hypnotic language. Mostly incidental. Little indication of actual
hypnotic skill. Mostly, using kinesthetic predicates (feeling words)
for high level concepts like patriotism, pride and duty to gain rapport
with the crowd.
“Hillary Clinton: Democratic candidate, Feb
5, 2008, remarks on Super Tuesday
32% hypnotic language. Mostly rapport building “matching”
language. She builds universal quantifiers in an attempt to gain rapport
“Barack Obama: Democratic candidate, Feb 5,
2008, remarks on Super Tuesday
58% hypnotic language. Complete mastery of the language, including highly
abstract pacing and leading language for creating emotion and motivation.
In addition to the language patterns, he is fantastic at going higher
up in level of abstraction beyond details, while still managing to sound
relevant. He uses Ericksonian-style language patterns, including presuppositions
and nominalizations extensively.
“This is only a sample of 500 words from a single speech, but
as you can see, Obama tops the crowd using nearly 60% hypnotic language
patterns. In my opinion, this is purposeful language, likely written
by a very skilled speech writer — perhaps someone trained in Neuro-Linguistic
Programming or Hypnosis.”
“ My analysis of Palin’s RNC speech using the same criteria
shows 25% hypnotic language. Good speech writer, but not as good as
“…noticing the rapt look on my daughters (ages 12 and
9) and wife's faces, she is clearly a mesmerizing speaker for many people.
Just like Obama. Now each ticket has their very own hypnotist. I'm not
surprised that Obama hypnotizes people. His cadence and tone sound somewhat
hypnotic to me. I'm a little more surprised that Palin has this effect
since she has a much different speaking style. However, I'm pretty convinced
that a lot of the crowd was hypnotized.” [Quoted from greatguys.blogspot.com]
“No one knows who the stupidest parent in Australia is. But,
whoever he is, the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau (AASB) has
saved his child from a fatal car accident. It did this last year by
banning a television advertisement that shows a toddler in nappies driving
a four-wheel-drive Hyundai. The AASB deemed the image too dangerous
to broadcast. Upon seeing it, Australia's dumbest parent may be inclined
to toss his two-year-old the car keys and ask her to pop down the shops
for some ciggies.
“The commercial was made in New Zealand, where it had already
run for many months. Surveys revealed it to be the most popular in the
country and, as yet, no toddler has been found out and about in charge
of the family car. The AASB, however, was unimpressed by this evidence.
After all, the stupidest Australian is surely stupider than the stupidest
New Zealander, if only because there are five times as many Australians
to choose from. In a population of 20 million, there just might be a
child saved by this ruling.”
Jumping over babies at the El Colacho Festival ,
Castrillo de Murcia.
“If you've ever lived within earshot of a newborn child, it's
no stretch to imagine they can have something devilish inside. The inhabitants
of the northern Spanish town of Castrillo de Murcia have developed an
ingenious technique for exorcising seemingly innocent children. Just
spread them on mattresses in the middle of the street, and have a bunch
of demons leap over them.”
Younger Western cultures try to protect their offspring from any possible
danger, however remote. Older cultures do not fear dangers in the real world so acutely as
those of the spiritual one.
“Hundreds of people, many in fancy dress, descended on the sleepy
village of Manganeses de la Polvorosa to witness the annual ritual in
honour of the local patron saint.
“Lorelay emerged unscathed from the 15-metre (50-foot) plunge
after tipsy revellers caught her in a canvas sheet and paraded her through
the tiny village on their shoulders. Some of her predecessors have not
been so lucky.”