Saturday, 31 December 2016

So Who's The Better Scientist, Bill Nye (the science guy) or Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin: ‘Bill Nye Is as Much a Scientist as I Am’

by Arthur Foxake, 18 April, 2016

When I saw the above headline I just had to take a closer look at the article under it. Sarah Palin is a good looking lady but not famous for being one of the brightest lights on the Christmas Tree. On the other hand I have seen some of the abjectly stupid things Bill Nye The Science Guy has said in his mission complete the dumbing down of the USA promote 'science' (although all the evidence suggests Nye does not even understand what science means.) In one of Nye's 'pro - science' (anti - reality) rants in the past couple of years, in support of the now discredited global warming scare, he cited the snow free slopes of some mountains in the USA as proof of global warming. Unfortunately he was looking at the south facing slopes which were always clear at that time of year. The north facing slopes had been snow covered as per usual.

But is such dim - wittedness surprising from someone like Nye, one of those TV pop scientists who have contributed to putting science on a par with medieval religion: those who challenge the dogma are subjected to witch hunts, heretics are burned, if only metaphorically, and modern astrophysicists have put humanity at the centre of the universe just as medieval priests put God at the centre of the universe.

Mrs. Palin's intervention is well times, coming at a point when a pushback against the assumptions of intellectual superiority common among those who call themselves scientists was starting to gather momentum. Now I would never call myself a scientist, I was a digital communications specialist setting up computer and digitized voice networks, a field in which there is a lot less pure science than one might imagine - technology is not a branch of sciences. But I did resent the many occasions when some plank who claimed the title scientists tried to lecture me on my specialist field by citing what he had read in PC Wanker magazine and when corrected, told me that as I was not a scientists I 'could not understand how science works'. (Actually science does not work, it's a noun, verbs work.) These people love to call themselves 'scientists' as if it established them as an authority on all subjects that have a even a tenuous connection with any of the natural or applied sciences. My understanding however is that 'scientist' is an honorific properly bestowed by posterity. When used about people by their contemporaries it is more often than not derogatory.

Breitbart reported recently:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin slammed Bill Nye’s view on climate change, saying he does not have the scientific chops to say climate-change skeptics are wrong.

Palin, speaking Thursday after the opening screening of the anti-climate change documentary, Climate Hustle, said the popular children’s show host was nothing more than an actor and had no authority to speak about climate change.

Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, said Nye “is using his position of authority to harm children by teaching them that climate change is real and man-made.” Nye frequently speaks about the negative effects of climate change, both on camera and during in-person appearances.

“Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am,” Palin told the gathering. “He’s a kids’ show actor. He’s not a scientist.”

Before he was “The Science Guy,” Nye studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University and worked as a Boeing engineer. His show, Bill Nye The Science Guy, aired from 1993 to 1998 and is still popular with children. He has worked with NASA on projects that include creating a sun dial for the Mars exploration rover project, among other things. He has also written several children’s books with a focus on science. Read all at Breitbart >>>

Having seen some of Nye's interventions on climate change, evolution, genetic modification and space travel over the years I had formed the opinion that he is a science fan rather than a scientist, if he is told something is 'science' then no matter how nonsensical it is he will not question it, or even reserve judgement.

So I threw a comment into the thread. Here is what happened next

Arthur Foxake • 2 days ago
There's more scientific understanding in the steam off a gnat's pee than Bill Nye could ever muster.

RbertRgus Arthur Foxake • 2 days ago
And you are anti science because of your religious beliefs?

Arthur Foxake • 2 days ago
No, I am a non theist, and I am not anti science, I am anti corporate propaganda masquerading as science. And I am against the conflation of mathematics with science, mathematics is an artifice - in modern usage this implies a sense of falseness and trickery but its true meaning indicates only something not natural, i.e. created by humans. Science on the other hand means knowledge (latin: scienta - to know) or understanding acquired through study of nature (ergo The Natural Sciences, physics, chemistry, biology). The first lesson we learn in a science primer course is, "Never jump to conclusions," you'd do well to take that on board.

RbertRgus Arthur Foxake • 18 hours ago
I trust the 98% of climate scientists over you.

Arthur Foxake RbertRgus • 20 minutes ago
If you don't know by now that the 97% cited in the discredited Skeptical Science story (you didn't even get the percentage right) was actually 97% of the research papers that actually committed themselves to an opinion on what was causing 'climate change' (how very unscientific of them that was - the science is NEVER settled) But a closed minded science worshipper like you will never even concede that I and other sceptics are entitled to express an opinion, so try opening you mind and considering the views of some well qualified scientists as reported by Bishop Hill, a scientific publisher; The Wall Street Journal; Science and Education; The American Meteorological Society; Friends of science . I could produce hundreds more but clearly your 'scientific' mindset will reject any evidence that does not fit your prejudices.

However as Shakespeare put it in Hamlet, "There are more things in heaven and earth that are dreamed of in your philosophies."

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/7/25/hulme-slams-97-paper.html

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303480304579578462813553136

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11191-013-9647-9#/page-1

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303480304579578462813553136

http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/97_Consensus_Myth.pdf

http://www.academia.edu/3077313/The_Scientific_Consensus_of_Climate_Change_Revisited

Wondering who this person was I looked up some of his comments and found he is also an evolution evangelical and like most who wear that cloak is absolutely convinced climate change and evolution are a scientific facts and anyone who questions that position is a young earth creationist. You will also have noted perhaps that he assumes I am setting myself up as an expert on climate change.

Now I have had long arguments with Church Of Sciencology evangelists on evolution many time. My view is that Darwin's theory of evolution as presented in his book "On The Origin Of The Species By Natural Selection etc." is the best explanation of how life forms evolve that we have. It does not answer some very big questions about the origins of life or the development of human intelligence. And of course true evolution is a grindingly slow business in the higher life forms and so does not meet the scientific criterium of having been observed. We can see changes take place in response to environmental stresses in bacteria but are those true evolution of merely mutation? is typical of Church Of Scienceology zealots in the way he dismisses perfectly reasonable challenges to his views with the old canard: "You're not a scientists so you don't understand science".

It is interesting that he is defending Bill Nye The Science Guy, who though not a scientist but a mechanical engineer, has built a career on mocking US Christian creationists on television and in print. Trouble is, anybody can say "The Biblical creation is a load of bollocks," (and I can present a much more coherent and convincing demolition of it than Bill Nye's, which can be summed up as "Creationism is wrong because science.") I should make it clear that the person who comments in the thread as 'strawman' is not an associate of this blog and is not known to any of us.

But as you will see in the exchange below, Rbert Rgus, arguing the case for 'science' is no rhetorician.

strawnman 2 days ago
According to Wikipedia:
Mechanical engineering is the discipline that applies the principles of engineering, physics, and materials science for the design, analysis, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the design, production, and operation of machinery.
Engineering is not science; it is the application of science. Bill Nye is NOT a "science guy." He's an engineer by training, and as Palin correctly points out, an actor by vocation. Palin is not the first to point this out, either.

RbertRgus • 2 days ago
Fact -- We are evolved primates.

strawnman RbertRgus • a day ago
Organic evolution has never been observed. That means it does not meet the minimum criteria for science. Evolution is a theory, and a very unscientific and internally contradictory one at that. Evolution is a religion worldview more than anything else, but more like a cult than something reasonable like Islam.

RbertRgus strawnman • a day ago
Ridiculous. You can deny facts if you like. This is one of the real harms caused by religion today and this is why fundamentalist Christianity is more dangerous in the USA than fundamentalist Islam.

strawnman RbertRgus • a day ago
Can you provide me with a single example of organic evolution which has been observed? I have argued purely from science, but you continue to attempt to deflect my arguments by arguing against religion. Why will you not address the science?

RbertRgus strawnman • 18 hours ago
We are evolved primates. Evolution can be directly observed in insects in the form of adaptations. The evidence for human evolution all the way back to pond scum is overwhelming.

strawnman RbertRgus • 14 hours ago
There is exactly zero evidence for organic, "molecules to man" evolution. It's a fairy tale. If I told you my cell phone evolved you would think there was something wrong with me. That's how I see your argument.
DNA encodes information. The code itself is evidence of intelligence, design, and purpose. Information can only come from intelligence. The information encoded in DNA must be transmitted (another feat of intelligence, design, and purpose) to other parts of the organism to cause it to do something. That other part must have the ability to receive, decrypt, understand, act, and respond back that it has done its job. Do you seriously, for one second, think this is random? You are a fool!

How did giraffes get long necks? Let's hear your brilliant, evolutionary explanation for that. This ought to be good for a laugh! I love listening to you evolutionists talk about food waaaaay up high on the tree and how the giraffe's DNA recognized this and created entire new systems all at once to adapt to the problem.

RbertRgus strawnman • 14 hours ago
You need to read a high school biology book.
Giraffes' necks are long because they are stretching all the time (just kidding). The evidence of the evolution of giraffes is very well-documented. It will be in your high school biology reading assignment. ;-)

strawnman RbertRgus • 13 hours ago
There is no evidence for the evolution for the giraffe. Where are the intermediate species, all of which must have been viable and more successful than their predecessors? Please explain the order of evolutionary development, since this is so well documented in your high school bio textbook: the elongated muscles, the elongated blood vessels, the additional vertebrae, the larger and more powerful heart, or the blood expansion organ at the brain stem which prevents the giraffe's head from exploding when it bends over to get a drink of water. Did this happen at the same time in both a male and a female, who were in the same neighborhood and just happened to meet each other at a singles acacia tree? If these are dominant traits, then why do we see no evidence of the regressive, older traits in the "junk DNA" of the giraffe?
If I put my phone in the microwave, will I get a new laptop computer at some point? If I hack into the registry of my computer and let my labrador retriever walk on the keyboard, will I get a bigger computer screen and a better operating system? If I blow up a junk pile, will I get a new dishwasher? Please explain this evolution thing so that a dim like myself can understand it.

RbertRgus strawnman • 13 hours ago
This is an easy topic that you can and probably have researched yourself. You are just not accepting the facts. Here is one website with some research. This is actual science, not beliefs based on a book of Bronze Age bull$/it. http://www.nyit.edu/box/news/h...

strawnman RbertRgus • 12 hours ago
"Scientists have long theorized. . ."
". . .reveals the evolution likely occurred in several stages. . ."
There is no science here. This is entirely conjecture, and the scientific explanation for this is absent. It's a nice bedtime story, but nothing else. How did the DNA obtain the CPI (codes, processes, and information) necessary to make these adaptations?
I conclude that there was a common ancestor which already possessed these traits and was created with the genetic information already in it's cells which giraffes needed to make these adaptations. Based on what was presented in the article, can you prove me wrong? I find my conclusion far more plausible. Information already existed and did not spontaneously appear in the DNA. You are still missing the mechanism by which these changes occur.

RbertRgus strawnman • 3 hours ago
There is a $/shipload of science in the facts of evolution. I will accept the fact-based conclusions of over 99% of biologists over your "plausibility analysis". Give me a freaking break. ??

Strawman may to some extent be arguing from a religious perspective, or may simply be playing devil's advocate; there are parts of his argument with which I as not a non believer (someone who does not say "I don't believe in God," but "There is no God, believe or disbelieve do not figure in the debate,") do not agree but I being sure beyond doubt that nature is the highest manifestation of the divine and humans are the highest manifestation of conscious life, I find the argument that "Evolution is a fact because science," is untenable.

I've also never met a science fan - boy who understands evolution (biologists generally do, astrophysicists are clueless). The sub title of Darwin's book refers to The Survival Of The Fittest. That does not mean the fastest, strongest or the one who goes to the gym most often, but those best fitted to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Thus when science fan - boys start babbling about how our next human evolutionary step will be when we start to interbreed with computers (!), in fact our next evolutionary cycle may see us swinging about in the trees again. Science, you see, (particularly medical science) is degrading the species by ensuring the survival of the weakest.

Oh, and BTW Giraffes did not get their long necks because the best food was high in trees, they tend to eat from lower vegetation and the long neck is a huge obstacle to drinking water (as important as food if not more so), one theory that has been advanced is those members of an older species with the longest necks survived because their natural habitat is an area where vegetation grows high and the longer necked members of the species were better equipped to spot predators. But that's just another theory of course.

Before 'scientists make assumptions which assign to themselves a monopoly on intelligence and reason they need to sort out where theory ends and fact starts. Next they need to understand that when one of those awkward philosophical questions arises, the answer, "I must be right because science," simply does not suffice.

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Castro and The Hypocrisy Of The Left

It was the brutal, authoritarian leader of the Soviet Union's communist regime, Uncle Joe Stalin who described the fawning, self interested middle classes who having worked for the Czarist regime, were quick to become loyal socialists when the socialists were winning, as Useful Idiots. Communism and sociaism do not work, everybody should know this by now, yet brutal authoritarian tyrants like Fidel Castro can always find uselful idiots to support them.

Castro lasted longer than most communist tyrants probably because he led a small nation and had less dissenters to suppress and murder.Now his death is being mourbed by the usual suspects in Hollywood, the liberal luvvies who still believe the warmonger and destroyer of nations Obama spread peace, joy and prosperity around the world and who recently supported Hillary Clinton in her bid for the presidency even though she promised to start a war with Russia. Many of them the Liberal luvvies who endorsed Obama and Clinton and encouraged to poor and downtrodden to vote Democrat and become poorer and more downtrodden are now jumping on the bandwagon of the oppressor Castro and proclaiming this murderer and torturer a hero.

Comedian Chevy Chase at Earth Day 2000 in Washington D.C., said he believes “socialism works” and explained that “Cuba might prove that.” Yeah Bro I bet the 11 million earning just $20 a week will agree with you on that.

Chase was among the first to sing Castro's praises when news of the old bastard's death broke yesterday.

Kevin Costner after going to Cuba in 2001 to preview his film “13 Days”: “It was an experience of a lifetime to sit only a few feet away from him and watch him relive an experience he lived as a very young man. What experience was that Kev the one where he sat talking to a poor Cuban farmer for an hour telling him how good communism is and how the piss poor farmer was going to embrace it and when the piss poor farmer said communism has never worked, took out his revolver and shot the piss poor farmer in the head. Or was it the one where he and Che lined up a few other piss poor Cuban farmers and shot them one by one taking turns. Whatever the story Kev I bet you fell on the floor pissing yourself with laughter.

“He is a genius. We spoke about everything,” actor Jack Nicholson after meeting with Castro in 1998. Yeah I bet you did Jack I bet you laughed just like Kev did as he told you the same stories

Saul Landau, an Emmy award-winning filmmaker: Castro “has brought a greater equality in terms of wealth distribution than I guess any country in the world today.” Bet you did not ask anyone of the 11 million Cubans if that was true Saul, one born every minute comes to mind Saul hey.

Film director Steven Spielberg visited Cuba and met with Castro in November of 2002 and dined with the dictator until the early morning hours. Afterward, Spielberg announced that his dinner with Castro “was the eight most important hours of my life.” Not the day of his wedding. Not the day that his kids were born. The most important hours of his life was the time that he spent with this criminal.

Oliver Stone is another Hollywood producer who is in love with the Cuban dictator. “: “We should look to [Castro] as one of the earth’s wisest people, one of the people we should consult.” What? A few did try to consult with him Ollie babe, they ended up with one in the brain.

Musician Carlos Santana attended the Oscars wearing a che Guevara t-shirt. It seems that Santana was not aware that Guevara sent people to jail for listening to his music. Sheesh how dumb can people be?

This is a good one

Dan Rather, was another of the many journalists who admired the Cuban dictator, ignoring that Castro had closed all private media in Cuba and dozens of journalists spent years in prison for reporting the truth about Cuba

Supermodel Naomi Campbell Fidel Castro was “a source of inspiration to the world. I’m so nervous and flustered because I can’t believe I have met him. He said that seeing us in person was very spiritual,” said Campbell after meeting with Castro, according to the Toronto Star. Oh Naomi he he is very spiritual he just loved to send people to meet God and Gods Angels.

Useful idiots indeed.

RELATED POSTS: BBC’s Fawning Tributes To Brutal Dictator Castro Sicken Many British Taxpayers. Is ‘Fake News’ The New ‘Conspiracy Theory’?

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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Does War Have To Be Inevitable

by Ian R Thorpe

I recently entered a comment thread under a post that asked "Does War Have To Be Inevitable" on a Liberal blog. I should have known better of course, on a liberal blog people who think for themselves asnd express opinions of their own rather than parroting the usual knee jerk response prescribed by the academic - political elite are about as welcome as a fart in a space capsule.

The person who posted the question was merely reproducing the transcript of an interview and began like this:

In "The End of War", veteran science journalist John Horgan applies the scientific method to reach a unique conclusion: biologically speaking, we are just as likely to be peaceful as we are to be violent. So what keeps humans bound by a seemingly never-ending cycle of ... ?" Read full article

In the interview Horgan reveals himself as a pompous windbag who never uses one word when a hundred will do. He also repeats many "progressive liberal" dogmas as if he has learned them by rote. The scientific method? In the end he says very little, in fact his whole case can be summed up as "War can become a thing of the past if everybody in the world will just change their consciouness." Here is his final paragraph:

"I mention somewhere in the book and would like this to be discussed among progressive activists: What should your priorities be? You know, do you work on environmental issues, against global warming? Against poverty and world hunger? Do you work on the advancement of women's rights? I mean all those are worthy causes. But I actually think that in terms of leverage, of focusing on one thing that can then have a cascade of other positive effects, focusing on militarism and war should be the priority. Because if we can really reduce the militarism of this country, really cut back on our military budget, get rid of nuclear weapons and create a more rational international policy, then I think that a lot of these other things will be much easier to address. Environmental issues, economic injustice issues, female inequality, all those sorts of things. "

The conclusion then is unbrelievably naive as are all those hippy dippy sacred cows that include the notion, either implied or spelled out, "If only everybody would just ..."

It's a pipe drem and few people will have much trouble guessing what the pipe these people suck on is filled with.

Is war inevitable, given the human condition? What causes human agression? For Socrates, according to Plato, it comes from innate tendencies present in all of us but nurtured in the wrong way.

So must we think then that war is inevitable and perpetual peace a utopian pipedream? This subject has been the centre of debates about international relations for centuries. Do those of us who take a realist's view submit to being accused of relishing and glorifying war and being vilified for being right? And do those who claim war can be abolished have any rational arguements to suport their case or are they as full of crap as the guy above?

Political theorists, constructivists and social scientists hasve given us some insights, but we see the issue more clearly if we concentrate on the great debate between Utopianism and Realism and of course we should first equip ourselves with an understanding of human nature.

But before we even do that we ought to be aware of how profound the folly of those airy idealists who believe war can be abolished "if only everybody would just ..."

Here's a snipet from an article by Alice L Mayer

Einstein’s letter contained a statement that I kept reading over and over throughout the course of the day. He wrote, “Is it possible to control man’s mental evolution so as to make him proof against the psychosis of hate and destructiveness? Here I am thinking by no means only of the so-called uncultured masses. Experience proves that it is rather the so-called ‘intelligentsia’ that is most apt to yield to these disastrous collective suggestions, since the intellectual has no direct contact with life in the raw but encounters it in its easiest, synthetic form – upon the printed page.”
Read full article


It is worth noting that the article can be found on a website called changing our consciousness. I am entirely comfortable with the idea that individuals can change their consciousness, some individuals at least, we must not forget the old joke that goes ...

Q:"How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Only one but first the lightbulb must want to change.

For an individual to change their consciousness is relatively simple once the mind is set on doing so. To abolish war however would require everybody in the world to change their consciousness, to set aside self interest and start living for the wider community and that is a very different matter. An old management maxim says "Managing people is like herding cats." The difficult part of abolishing war is getting everybody to want to do it.

Sheeple are the most easy to manage but the least likely to change their consciousness. They rely on the feeling of security that comes from being part of the crowd thus they are easily manipulated by media campaigns orchestrated by charismatic leaders and extremist political groups. Again there is a problem of comprehension for hippy thinkers here. For no good reason they have managed to go through life without ever gaining any understand of the phrase "If voting changed anything, they'd abolish it."

Realist assumptions about humans, from Hobbes to Spinoza to Machiavelli share one common trait: that humans are by nature bad, that human nature is base. According to Spinoza, people are led not by precepts of pure reason but by their passions. He was right as recent scientific research has shown, we are animals and while we have a veneer of reason and objectivity, emotions play a bigger part in our decision making. Emotion leads to irrationality, to selfishness, fear and panic, mob mentality (don't ever pay any attention to talk of the wisdom of the crowd, mobs are mindless) and the raw aggression that draws men and nations into conflict.

In Politics Among NationsHans Morganthausays "it is man's 'ineradicable' lust for power that results in frictions and wars among states." If man's nature is the primary cause of war, does it imply war could only be abolished through the enlightenment of man? And if so how? There has been talk in the meetings of the G20 nations of global government and the creation of a common culture but at what price could that be attempted? And who is fit to arbitrate as to what is good consciousness and what is bad. Orwell and Huxley took different views of this, Orwell's brutal tyranny embraced the idea that "Freedom is slavery, war is peace, Ignorance is strength," while the regime that controlled Huxley's Brave New World was a suffocatingly matriarchal Nanny State that nurtured her subjects from cradle to grave and demanded in return only absolute, unthinking obedience.

Power, the most addictive and potent drug of all then is what motivates those who rise to leadership. Now we are getting somewhere in our effort to understand the impulse to war. Morganthau nails it with that phrase about ineradicable lust for power. Voter don't vote for war, the masses don't clamour for war unless they are manipulated into doing so by an elite. And the elite, being educated and steeped in a sense of supereiority that eliteism breeds, are not going to be manipulated by fools and dreamers. If anything threatens their grip on power they will start beating the war drum and use fear and panic to whip the masses into line. The technique is as old as civilisation itself.

Unlike realists, idealists believe in the optimistic definition of man being naturally good. Conflicts and war break out because of a few malicious or misguided people. Peace would prevail were a superior authority able to seek out such renegades and reform them in the etiquettes of politically correct conduct, a kind of cuddly Maoism. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, "Were half the power that fills the world with terror, were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts, given to redeem the human mind from error, there was no need of arsenals or forts." As with all the glib solutions to problems that perpetually trouble humankind, it is much easier to say it than to make it happen. Ah well, as someone more famous than me once said, poets are fools and dreamers.

Based on the logic of education, several approaches within the behavioural sciences have attempted to address the problems of wars and their causes in international politics. According to psychologists like James Miller, Allport and Cohen, these all assumed that improved social adjustment of individuals would decrease feelings of frustration and insecurity thus reducing the likelyhood of war. Similarly, increased understanding amongst the people of the world meant increased peace. This has become the basis of the global government, global nation solution first proposed in the hippy dippy songs of the 1960s. Lovely idea but it is just not going to happen. We in the developed world might think of war in terms of global or multi - national conflicts like World Wars One and Two or localised bloodbaths like Korea or Vietnam but really war starts much smaller, tribal conflicts of which there are many currently going on in African despite all the money the west has pumped into that continent, the kind of low level war or terror campaign the IRA waged against Britain from the 1960s to 1990s or the Basque separatists have contucted in Spain, turf wars between street gangs. Get down to this level and we see why war is inevitable.

James Millar remarked that ignorance of the desires, aims and characteristics of other people leads to fear and is consequently one of the primary causes of aggression. Does a better understanding someone else's culture translate to increased levels of peace? Can familiarity with a culture or religious tradition reduce envy and mistrust? Gaining a clearer picture of how communist societies worked did not bring the Cold War to a halt not did communism, for all its inclusive, egalitarian, touchy - feely ideology create the utopian society it promised. Even nations with close cultural affinities have gone to wars in the past, Britain and France have more in common than citizens of each care to admit and yet for almost a thousand years were at war at least once every century. This pattern is repeated throughout the history of Western Europe since the fall of Rome's western empire. Realists argue this is so because the assumption a bouthuman nature is fixed. It is a given constant. No amount of idealistic notions about education, establishing a common culture and the peace bringing effects of everybody joining hands and singing Kumbiya being able to change consciosness a is going to change this fact. War is inevitable.

Idealists argue that if war was inevitable, why were there long periods among the natives of peace? As I said above, war is more than global conflict. In the period known as the Pax Romana the Roman Emire was always involved in putting down uprisings, quelling unrest and defending the borders of the empire. A hundred miles north of where I live the Scots spent almost 400 years snapping like bad tempered little terriers at the Imperial ankles. The same applied in the shorter period dubbed the Pax Britannica, British naval power many have prevented major conflicts but the Empire was always busy defending it's interests with military force.

The Pax Americana has given war a different face. It is no longer practical for vast armies to confront each other on the field of battle. Modern military technology can reach deep into the heart of an enemy's homeland. This would suggest even bloodier wars that ever but the certainty of mutually assured destruction in such a war dictates other ways are found to fight for supremacy. Major powers sponsor terrorist groups, guerrilla armies, dissidents and malcontents covertly back by rival governments conduct wars by proxy against unpopular or histile regimes and technological warfare in cyberspace threatens to bring to a halt the national economies of developed nations that have foolishly put all their eggs in one basdket by making themselves dependent on a single, deeply flawed technology.

Appeasement, the foreign policy of caving in to the demands of hostile powers is no more likely to bring peace now than it was in 1939 when the fools and dreamers deluded themselves that Adolf Hitler was a reasonable man. War is not just inevitable, aided and abetted by the dippy hippys who think we can all be persuaded to don diaphanous kaftans made from tie dyed cheesecloth and build a brave new, conflict free world, it is evolving from a dinosaur into a sophisticated, supernatural shapeshifter that will envelope everything within its aura.

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I'm hearing very disturbing news from the French regional elections, predicting that the Front National, comfortable winners in last week's first round of regional elections, hasve been routed in all regions. For that to happen, and to happen through a massive increase in turnout, suggests electoral fraud on a hughe scale. Or has France joined Britain in adopting the Islamic version of democracy, which is one man one vote, one Imam one thousand votes.

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Reports of President Barack Obama’s meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit over the weekend do not look right in the context of yet another blitz of provocative rhetoric from The Pentagon and the Department of Defence towards Moscow. In view of the USA's constant push towards all out war with Russia, one has to ask who is in control: Obama or the generals?

Trump catches attention of CFR, Bilderberg, Trilateral

Donald Trump is portrayed as a clown by mainstream media and his combover is the silliest I have ever seen. Still, he's a billionaie so I don't suppose he gives a flying fuck what The Daily Stirrer thinks of him. Not that we think he is all bad, anyone who attacks Obama's global naziism trade deals, TTIP and TPP mush have some good points.

Prepare For The Worst Case Scenario
An article on the cashless society our political and corporate overlords are pushing for proposes that as far as privacy and individual liberty are concerned, what is being planned right now in the political capitals and financial centres of the world is the worst case scenarion. An all digital financial system would mean the end of privacy, nothing you bought or traded would be your own business any more ...

How Mainstream Media And The Major Political Parties Are Making Sure Voters Do not Hear The Voices Of Politics' Most Powerful Critics
As the General Election campaign starts to heat up, we try to shift focus away from the squabbling between Conservative and Labour about who can make the most promises they have no intention of keeping and to the real issues concerning jobs, social breakdown , mass immigration, and loss of national sovereignty.

US Presidents Of The Past warned Against Secret, Shadow Government. By now it should be obvious that peacemake, joybringer and putative aquatic pedestrian Barack Hussein Obama was never really in charge of the US Government. Whatever Obama said would happen, all the American government's policies ensured the opposit would happen. The embedded article thows some light on how the US government really works

The American Political System Is "Not A Democracy Or Constitutional Republic" - Thiel
The state of democracy in the USA has become a hot topic of conversation in American business circles in recent years. While President Barack Hussein Obama, not so much a man as an ego on long skinny legs, has increasingly been inclined to rule by executive order in the manner of a despot or tyrant, even Obama's fiercest critics have to admit the American electoral system seems increasingly capable of delivering only political paralysis ...

U.S. versus Russia War: Top Russian Politics Scolar Stephen Cohen Tells The Truth
We have been blogging for four years about the US drive for war, provocation of Russia in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and elsewhere made it obvious. But I'm just a news junkie with a strong sense of curiosity and have wondered why the US seems set on this course. Good to see experts like Stephen Cohen, a prominent expert on, Russia are coming onside.

Another Reason To Get Out Of EU. UKIP MEP Hits Out At Fishing Policy That Penalises British Fishing Crews
As the General Election campaign starts to heat up, we try to shift focus away from the squabbling between Conservative and Labour about who can make the most promises they have no intention of keeping and to the real issues concerning jobs, social breakdown , mass immigration, and an often overlooked area in which our EU membership has perhaps done more damage than any other, the fishing industry.

Multi-Cultural England: Are You Feeling The Progressive Diversity.
As racial and sectarian tension increase on the streets of britain while politicians gear up for the election campaign, we take a look at the state of Britain today, Imigrant child abuse gangs, Clerics of alient faiths dictating moral strictures, and everywhere we look, foreigners being given provieged status. Is it any wonder the voters are angry?

Another Conspiracy Theory Becomes Fact: Oil Collapse Is All About Obama's Proxy War With Russia.
While we are distracted with sex scandals at home and terrorists rampaging through the middle east and Africa, the US / EU / NATO confrontation with Russia / China / Iran is geting into a very dangerous state. While the Chinese led move to dump the US dollar as global reserve currency is causing economic chaos, the USA attempts to provoke armed conflict with Russia are getting more reckless and desperate.

Seventy Years Down The Line And We Have Come Back To Appeasement As A Means To Peace.
As a spate of increasingly bloody and violent attacks on civilized values and the democratif freedoms of the western nations (free speech for example) continues to cause revulsion among the general population, our spineless leader are calling on us to be tolerant. The cowardly hypocrites who lead us may be ready to surrender, but anger is mounting in the cities and towns.

Another Blow To The US Dollar Reserve Currency Status As Russia Sings Up Turkey, India
The move led by Russian and China to dump the US dollar as global reserve currency continues to gain momentum. Most recent nations to sign bilateral agreements to settle cross border transactions in the currency of the vendor are India and Turkey.

Even The BIS Is Shocked At How Broken Markets Have Become.
If the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) the bank where banks and governments do business is worried about the state of the markets, we are in bigger trouble than anyone is letting on.

Everything The Science Whores Told You About Eating Fat Was A Lie.
We have been telling you so for years, but at last the world seems to be catching up with The Daily Stirrer. Another independent study confirms that the scientists ('A sack of rogues bought and paid for with corporate gold' to paraphrase Burns) have been lying about the health risks of eating saturated fat. It's processed vegetable fat, created in laboratories by scientists and other synthesized foods that damage human health.

What Would George Orwell Think Of The Screeching Left's Horror At Plans To Shrink The State. In part one of his classic social commentary, The Road To Wigan Pier, George Orwell wrote of the grinding poverty and appalling living conditions endured by people in industrial areas. The second part, which is more revevant to the 21st Century is a rant against the superiority of the upper class 'Fabian' socialists who have hijacked the Labour movement and whose Paternal Liberalism is in almost all ways more repugnant that the uncaring attitude of the old elite.

France’s President Hollande Says 'Non' To Obama’s Demand for Corporate Global Oligarchy
The embttled French President has become the first national leader to state categorically his country will not sign the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership being pushed by the USA's Obama Administration. Hollande's government is already the most unpopular France has ever had and the President know to give away French sovereignty to US Corporate businesses would be political suicide.

RELATED POSTS: Virtual ID has arrived – why you should resist taking it up
We told you some years ago when our publication appeared under a different name that the then Labour Government's plan for compulsory electronic ID cards was the step that would take us over the line from a seblance of liberal democracy into oligarchic fascism. Labour's plan was derailed by public opposition but now it has been rehashed and is presented with fluffy window dressing. A vote for Labour, Conservative Or Liberal Democrat is a vote for fascism. You have been warned. TTIP - The Anything But Free Trade Agreement
It was almost too late when the world woke up to the realities of the Trans Atlantic Trade And Investment Partnership (TTIP), this so called free trade treaty which really amoints to a licence for corporations to do as they like, was being negotiated in secret between the USA and the EU, with security surrounding it so tight that even our elected represenatives were not allowed to know what it contained. Needless to say what it contained was very nasty and undemocratic. European Union Euro - Nazis Block Democratic Challenge To TTIP Travesty Yet again the news slowly leaking out of the Trans Atlantic Trade And Investment Partnershi negotiations tess us just why there is so much secrecy surrounding this trade treaty being negotiated between the EU and the USA that even our elected governments are not allowed to know what the final treaty will include. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Another Big Result For The 'Conspiracy Theorists' - US CIA Corrupts Western Journalists. Ever wondered why anybody trying to report news truthfully or initiate intelligent discussion is branded a conspiracy theorist, especially if their news or opinion is critical of the American government of American business interests? Read the content of this page and you will know a lot more about what is going on.

Vaclav Klaus, the free world's last honest politician: the West’s lies about Russia are monstrous. There are few people in politics who will say in public the things that really think, thanks to the hypersensitivity of the American political establishment and their enthusiasm for bombing the crap out of anyone who upsets members of their anointed minorities. Its refreshing then to learn of comments made by veteran Czech Republic leader, putting the boot into the cowardly mealy mouthed sum who pass for conservative and libertarian politicians in the English Speaking countries. New Global Crisis Imminen, New Geneva Report Warns The Geneva Report refers to a “poisonous combination of high and rising global debt and slowing nominal GDP [gross domestic product], driven by both slowing real growth and falling inflation”. The total burden of world debt, private and public, has risen from 160 per cent of national income in 2001 to almost 200 per cent after the crisis struck in 2009 and 215 per cent in 2013. “Contrary to widely held beliefs, the world has not yet begun to delever and the global debt to GDP ratio is still growing, breaking new highs,” the report said. An Interesting Perspective From Across The Pond On The Scottish Referendum Result The almost inevitable accusations of fraud and vote rigging are beginning to emerge in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum. Surprisingly the likely culprit most fingers are pointing at is not the SNP, leaders of the YES campaign or the Westminster government which wanted to avoid the embarrassment of a no, but the Euronazis in Brussels whose plans for a single European nation would have suffered from a YES vote. Western Hypocrisy In Reporting News about Ukraine And Russia The opening paragraph of a CNN report on the latest developments in the crisis in Ukraine illusrate perfectly the hypocrisy of Western media in the way they cast Russia as the danger to world peace and America as bringer of freedom and democracy. In fact in the crisis over the US attempt to draw Ukraine into NATO the positions taken by the USA abd Russias are the opposite of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. NHS 'at mercy of predatory US healthcare firms' if controversial Washington trade deal goes through The whole world seems to be wising up to Washington's fascism and designed on creating a global empire. So how come our Conservative / Lib Dem coalition government is still sucking up to the American's and trying to be the corporate imperialists best friends when the rest of the developed world is distancing itself from the increasingly sinister Obama Administration? Henry Kissinger On The New World Order OK, let the Politically Correct screechers screech 'conspiracy Theory'. Kissinger has of course been a long time advocate of corporatist global totalitarian government by elitis oligarchs and has himself used the phrase New World Order to describe what he sees as the best hope for the future and what those of us outside his small elitist clique see as fascism Conspiracy Theorist me? OK Smartarse, So You Don't Believe Conspiracy Theories? Read This ..... I have a theory, not a conspiracy theory but about those who yell conspiracy theorit whenever government propaganda is challenged. I think these people are profoundly insecure and so afraid of the idea that we are on our own in thid big bad world, they have to convince themselves the government is their bestest friend and will protect them whatever happens. Sad really ... What Would The Future Look Like Without The Propaganda Happy Pills The arrogance, hubris and contempt for morality displayed by our ruling classes is gobsmacking. Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians seem to think they are untouchable, above the norms and ethics that apply to ordinary mortals and that they are able to rewrite the laws of nature on a whim. We are not just talking about politicians here, but bankers and business leaders, the legal, medical and education professions, public servants, academics and senior police officers. Germany Is Building a European Army Before Your Eyes The Dutch army is made up of three brigades, plus support staff and Special Forces. On June 12, one of those brigades, the 11th Airmobile, officially joined the German army.
This was the first time ever that European country has handed part of its army over to another country. “Never before has a state renounced this elementary and integral part of its sovereignty,” wrote Die Welt’s political editor Thorsten Jungholt. “The hour has come, finally, for concrete steps towards a European Army.” — Chairman of the German Parlaiment’s Defence Committee Hans-Peter Bartels ... New GMO Approval Will Go Ahead Despite Public Outcry. Corporate monopoly men and control freak politicians, aided by their Dr. Death scientists are determined to force genetically modified (GM) foods on an very sceptical public. If there was any truth in the claims that GM crops can feed the world and are safe, the public would not be sceptical, but the genetically engineered organisms now being developed are modified to be resistant to highly toxic chemicals to which humans and animals have no resistance. Independent Scientists Demolish The Lies About GMOs And The Safety Of Glyphosate The GMO battle goes on, one one side the corporate funded, government backed, global government supporting science lobby, on the other the part of the biological research community that still believes in hostesty, integrity and objectivity. This article reports a conference at which independent scientists (i.e. those not funded by biotech corporations) expose the lies and corruption behind claims that GM crops are safe. Say no to GMO. Astrophysicist Declares GMOs Safe - Is Demolished By A Biologist. The GMO battle goes on, one one side the corporate funded, government backed, global government supporting science lobby, on the other the part of the biological research community that still believes in hostesty, integrity and objectivity, supported by the masses of ordinary punters who support common sense solutions and whose suspicion of big money science is based on its track record of disaster, catastrophe and unforeseen consequences. Say no to GMO.

EU Boss Argues That Their Work With Banks And Corporate Interests Should Be Concealed From The Public. Shills for global government and corporate fascism are always quick to shout 'conspiracy theorist' when anybody questions things like the EU federalisation project, the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP) The obvious response is to ask why representatives of supra national bureaucracies are so desperate to ensure progress on these peojects is shrounded in secrecy? Obama Goes Full - On Nazi: with Europe, and it’s headlined on July 18th, “US Accused of Forcing EU to Accept Tar Sands Oil Trade The secret negotiations around the 'New World Order' free trade treaties, TPP and TTIP that will strip democratically elected governments of sovereign power lumber on. There are positive signs however that the world is waking up to the neo Nazi nature of these sleazy so - called trade treaties cooked up by the Obama Andministration and some of the biggest and most evil corporate businesses in the world. Was The Missile Attack On Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Over Ukraine A False Flag Event. The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine shocked the world. A second disaster for the airline within six months involving the same type of aircraft? Those things are probably coincidence, but when we start to dig a little deeper, the conincidences are quickly stretched to breaking point. So as the conspiracy theories start to emerge we look at the bizarre train of events leading up to the disaster. The New World Order And Not A Reptillian Alien In Sight The phrase New World Order is guaranteed to attract shouts of 'conspiracy theorist' from the useful idiots who think the political elite would be their friends (if only the right political party were in power). But with all parties offering an identical package of policies, isn't it time to explore what this New World Order the elite have been talking about for over a hundred years will mean to us if we let it come into being. Told You So - You Wouldn't Vote UKIP, Now The Nazis Are In Charge As the new EU President Jean - Claude Drunkard usurps another power that belongs to the parliaments of sovereign nations by telling leaders who they may and may not nominate to 'his' commission, we try to ramp up anti European feeling a little more. The sooner ?Britain is out of this corrupt bureaucratic dictatorship (and we'll be followed by Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, Austria and Hungary for starters) the better.

Casless Society - The Resistance Begins Here A seaside market town in Norfolk may be less than 100 miles from the world's financial capital, London, , it may be the commercial centre of West Norfolk’ as the town website boasts, it may be home to 45,000 people — but there, unlike in London, cash is king. Senior Obama Aide Petraeus Extols North American Superstate. Why are we bothered about the suicide of the USA as a nation you might well ask. Well the NAFTA which would effectively weld USA, Canada and Mexicio into a single nation on the lines of what EU bureaucrats wouls like to see in Europe is being negotiated in concert with the tans atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans Pacific Partnership and all of these 'free' trade treaties will make trade anything but free. What they are designed to do you see is make global corporations free to do WTF they like by sidelining elected governments. Want A Good Laugh? Try This: Tony Blair Says Invasion Of Iraq Did Not Trigger Current Crisis Iraq under the very unpleasant (to western minds) dictator Saddam Hussein was the most prosperous and secular on muslim states in the middle east until saddam fell out with the USA. The first Gulf War of 1991 and sanctions that followed ruined Iraqi prosperity but the people remained loyal to Saddam until the Bush administration, aided by the British Labour government of Tony Blair invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam. Since then the nation has slid into dystopian chaos and has now broken up into tribal and sectarian mini states
How your government criminally wastes your efforts and your money The invasion of Iraq was done on the basis of government fraud about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" they knew did not exist. They killed over one million Iraqis. Whether its manslaughter or murder, its still a crime. That's why Bilderberger Foreign Secretary William Hague is so desperate to silence the chief prosecution witness, Julian Assange, whose Wikileaks website has published the documentation that convicts ... Transhumanism - New Mind Reading Research Aims to Synchronize Humans Do you fancy being made into something half human, half machine? A cyborg like The Terminator? Or how about having some of you DNA (according to scientists the stuff that makes us human) tweaked to make you half human, half gorilla, or hald crocodile? "Kewl", you may say, thinking you will have superhuman powers. Your brain however will be controlled via the internet so you will lose the ability to function as an individual. Not so "kewl". Join the resistance, always think for yourself Will Bilderberg End Privacy As We Know It? Agenda Suggests The Elite Will Know Everything About You The sinister and secretive Bilderberg Group are meeting in Copenhagen this week (June 1 -8, 2014). Forced by pressure from new media and public opinion to reveal some details of its proceedings the group, the existence of which was denied from it's inauguration in 1952 to the beginning of the current century, seems set on a course of increasing surveillance of private individuals legitimate activities. It seems the less of a threat you pose to society, they more these bastards feel they can exploit your very natural fears. It is not al Qaeda you need to fear, but the elite. Will Anti European Union Feeling Lead To More Integration Many people who are part of the media luvvieocracy seem to think the anti EU surge revealed in elections to the European Parliament earlier this week will lead to an intensification of the EU ruling bureaucray push for the integration of the 28 European Union member states into a single federal superstate. A more realistic view is that many who voted for the stus quo were not so much supportive of the pan - European project as fearful of what will happen when the EU falls apart How Can Mainstream Politics Respond To The Anti EU Surge Across Europe? As the hysteria intensifies following the enormoust anti EU swing in elections for the European Parliament, we look at what options are available to the mostly pro EU, pro federalisation leaders of the main European Union nations, that will not result in the citizens if Europe becoming further alienated from the political and technocratic classes. Here's How Working Class Organisations Out Of Which the Labour Movement Grew Were Hijacked By Elitist Control Freaks. A while ago I posted an article on the new elite, the meritocracy they like to call themselves although they are of no more merit than the old aristocracy whose role they have tried to usurp. The the aristocrats they thing they are a higher order of being than the masses. The evidence (and these science fans love evidence) suggests otherwise Government's Illegal Spying on Citizens is Turning Democratic Nations Into Totalitarian States As public outrage grows the politicians show how out of touch with reality they are by trying to use ever more intrusive surveillance and draconian sanctions on those who object to completely intimidate the population. Do the idiots know no history or have they been so barinwashed by academics that they really feel media lies can rewrite the past. If so, they are courting catastrophic social breakdown Why Do Those On The Political Left Assume They Have A Monopoly On Goodness And Truth Political philosophy: As politics and society become more binary and polarise so that according to a self sppoined elite there are only two possible points of view on any issue, public debate is stifled and the polarised left and right end up attacking the other's right to free speech. It has nothing to do with liberal democracy Swine Flu Scam Exposed: Useless Drugs And Vaccines - Lying Science Whores The propaganda aimed at convincing us medical science can provide a vaccine to immunise us against death is not about the greatest good of the greatest number, it is about corporate profit and political power. Five years after the even the lies and fraud that created the swine flu 'pandemic' of 2009 are exposed. It was just a scam to sell a drug the scientists and manufacturers knew was no good. The Mummers: The Controlling system And The Illusion Of Freedom We live in a world of deception, where truth is an ephemeral thing, slippery as an eel and shadowy as a spectre. What we are expercted to perceive as reality is just spin and misinformation designed to ensure the elite maintain their control. There's eff all you can do just get on with your life, say the shills for big government and authoritarianism. But are we really nothing more than slaves of the system? US-EU Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) Will Have Devastating Social and Environmental Consequences Can a free trade treaty really be called that when the 'free' is refers to is freeing nasty corporations like Monsanto, Dow Chemical, BP, Exxon, the Drugs and mudicine cartel or the big bankers from having to compley with laws enacted by electrd governments that the corporate interests don't like. Of course not. Read below to learn how globalisation became a polite word for fascism. Agenda 21: Wyoming welder faces $75,000 a day in EPA fines for building pond on his property Agenda 21 may not have gained much traction here in Europe yet but it is forging ahead with its agenda of seizing control of private property and abolishing individual freedom in the USA where the fascist excesses of The Emperor Obama and his tyrannical administration are at war with the people. Think I'm exaggerating? Fools... USA, Russia, Economic War Over Ukraine - an explainer As economic war between the EU / USA and Russia lookes more likely than a shooting war between east and west over Ukraine, we look at the reasons why it has come to this and the likely consequences for our readers. Transatlantic Trade And Investment Partnership Attacks Democracy The fascist global government lobby is up to iut's tricks again, not content with trying to force the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Asian nations and only succeeding in driving those nations closer politically and economically to Russia and China, the neo Nazi New World Order is not trying the same trick to rob European nations of their sovereign powers and put the banking / corporate cartel above all national interests. Former US Presidential nomination runner Dennis Kucinich says US instigated Ukraine Crisis We told you so - and now a US politician who once ran for the democratic nomination in the Presidential election has confirmed it, the USA and Europe were behind the revolution in Ukraine exactly as they have been in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, not to mention the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and as they were when The Balkans expoloded into war in the 1990s World On The Brink - USA And Russia Square Up In Ukraine It looks like this might be the big one. With all America's plans to destabilise non supine nations in ruins as phase 2, the intstallation of a puppet government proved impossible, Obama who has already been bested by Putin several times cannot back down again. And this time the Russians have forced the crisis in their own backyard where the USA cannot possibly win. Interesting Whistleblower Sacked For Revealing Unauthorised Experiments On Humans There is no community in busdiness that turns quite as viciously on those who challence its orthodoxies as the detatched academics do when one of their number steps out of line, or in the case of medical researchers, puts patients welfare before corporate profit and individual ambition and tells the truth ... How The New World Order Global Dictatorship Conspiracy Plan To Control The Food Supply More on how our elected governments are working against us as the collaborate with corporate and academic elitists to advance the scientific dictatorship. The science being used against us here is biotechnology as genetically modified food is being pushed by corrupt politicians against the wishes of voters. New World Order: How The Wealthy Elite Rule The World. The World Bank Whistleblower Karen Hudes has been revealing from the perspective of somebody who was an insider what we Stirrers have told you from our perspective based vast experience in business and industry. MK Ultra, Mind Control And The Micromanagement Of Society. To be able to control the minds of the population has been a goal of governments from Nazi Germant and Stalinist Russia to leaders of the irnically described 'free world' today. Here is information on one of the social engineering programs governments are using, MK Ultra. So You Think "THE NEW WORLD ORDER" Is Just A Nutty Conspiracy Theory? Many of us libertarians, lovers of individual treaty, of national community and ethnic cultures have written of the movement towards globalism with its focuse on suppression of cultural and religious differences have been called conspiracy theorists, right wing nut jobs etc. for many years. But is the political right is about power and control, surely libertarianism is the antithesis of that? Read what the global elite say about The New World Order in their own words, then decide for yourself if the conspiracy is just a theory.

Online shills paid to control your perception by spreading propaganda using up to 10 online personas
Libertarian and freethinking bloggers and new media writers are having a great time. For years our efforts to warn people about the opush towards global fascism earned us hate attacks and accusations that we were conspiracy theorists. And now, alomst daily, another of those conspiracy theories is being proved true

What Is All That Aid Money Really being Used For The marketing hype accompanying wars becomes progressively more boring and predictable. Whenever a "coalition of the willing" of western governments and their rather unsavoury regional allies deploys military intervention, it is certain the European Union will host or participate in a “donors’ conference”. These grotesque charades have become a feature Afghan campaign since 2001. When Gaza was bombed for three weeks in late 2008 and early 2009, the EU rushed... What Is All That Aid Money Really being Used For The marketing hype accompanying wars becomes progressively more boring and predictable. Whenever a "coalition of the willing" of western governments and their rather unsavoury regional allies deploys military intervention, it is certain the European Union will host or participate in a “donors’ conference”. These grotesque charades have become a feature Afghan campaign since 2001. When Gaza was bombed for three weeks in late 2008 and early 2009, the EU rushed... Just How Close Are We To World War Three Have you read or heard in your news supplier of choice of the recent massive troop movements in Israel, the massive build up of British, French and American warships around the approaches to the Persian gulf or just how badly the situations in Egypt and Libya have deteriorated since ...
Populist Authoritarianism - The New Politics Many attempts have been made to find a convenient label for the New Politics. My favourite is Populist Authoritarianism because the technique for obtaining a majority is to say something vague and hard to pin down but difficult to disagree with and then demonise those who ask ... > Obama Talks The Talk But Dare Not Visit Afghanistan In DaylightTodays mainstream news papers and broadcast bulletins are full of the Superhero Barack Obama's daredevil visit to Afghanistan. The man who liberated Libya single handed and took out Osama Bin Laden (or a Pakistani pensioner with a beard) in a daring solo raid behind enemy lines stormed into the Afghan capital, Kabul, made a speech that left hundreds of Taliban fighters dead and saw others fleeing for the mountains with their arses on fire then left again all in the space of ... UN Panel Says Redesign The World Economy For SustainabilityPoliticians can phrase their press communiques in fine words and soaring rhetoric but in the end they cannot disguise the fact that their latest initiatives on saving civilizartion are just another thinly disguised move towards global government, a global economy and culture the suppression of the individual and a New World Order. The Two Faces Of The Politics Of FailureWhat a mess the modern way of doing politics based on a politically correct consensus and social engineering has produced. The daily stirrer looks at how the bipolar left - right divide stops things getting better rather than helping get the developed world back on track. The Flight From FreedomFleeing from freedom seems like a contradiction, after all we usually asdsiciate flight with escaping from captivity. In this first part of Existentialism for Beginners however the author identifies a human instinct that predisposes us to seek illusory safety by conforming and being part of the crowd rather than embarking on the lonely life of the free thinker, the person who truly makes their own decisions and follows their own path. Can We Change? Mystics Say Yes, Science Says No - Or Does It?
Medical science has always insisted we cannot change the way our brain works but now that view is changing. A number of scientific studies have proved various things that have nade a lot of science fanatics look silly. The brain can be rewired after traumatic injury, meditation can change the way we think, prayer, ritual and superstition are all beneficial and the placebo effect is a powerful healing tool.

The PanopticonEver had that feeling you are being watched, unseen eyes are monitoring your every move, recording your every action, even knowing what you think. We live in a surveillance society but few really understand how intrusive the activiries of the watchers are. Welcome to the Panopticon. Jeremy Bentham's ideal prison has become a metaphor for the world we have created.
The Patriotism Conspiracy/span>Whenever the word conspiracy is mentioned someone is bound to shout 'Tin Foil Hat Wearer.' The shouter is obviously involved in some kind of conspiracy and trying to divert attention from their activities. Conspiracies are all around us, large and small. Governments may not be beaming radio signals into our brains to control us but if such a technology was available you can bet they would be. This conspiracy theory concerns< Dr. Pangloss Said All Is For The Best
Ever been irritated all those exhortations to "look on the bright side"and "be positive" Felt let down by hopey-changey stuff and people who say "lets join hands and sing kumbiya to create utopia" but fail to deliver. This article might be just what you need to read So You Think You're An Anarchist (Anarchy for Beginners - part 2)
Anarchy as has been said in these pages before is not lawlessness but a well thought out political philosophy which rejects the kind of collectivism imposed by certral governmet hierarchies. Supporters of anarchism are not the bearded conspirators of cheap fiction but people who believe in individualism, self determination and minimal government interference in personal lives. Anarchy is the thing oligarchs fear most because it is the hardest to control...

Monday, 24 October 2016

The Panopticon - Total Surveillance Society

by Ian R Thorpe, reposted 24 October 2016

Ever had that feeling you are being watched, unseen eyes are monitoring your every move, recording your every action, even knowing what you think. We live in a surveillance society but few really understand how intrusive the activiries of the watchers are. Welcome to the Panopticon. Enlightenment philosopher Jeremy Bentham's ideal prison has become a metaphor for the world we have created. We are told electronic surveillance and tracking are necessary for our security but we all know that's bollocks, don't we?

We live in a surveillance society. We are watched every day by cameras in our towns and along main roads, details of our financial transactions and social interactions via the internet are saved to databases and analyzed by software to build a picture of our lifestyle, habits, preferences and peccadillos which will be available to those willing to pay. The government through its obsession with form filling and a matrix of cross indexed references knows everything about our health, career progress, what car we drives, whether we have ever been late paying out taxes.

The Panopticon can be reinterpreted as a world envisaged by many writers, George Orwell in his novel 1984, written in 1948 predicted not only a totalitarian government obsessed with power and control but an agency called The Thought Police whose function was to identify people whose minds might be straying "off - message", by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World and by the post-modern philosopher Michel Foucault in his book “Discipline and Punish” which introduced to fiction the idea of The Watchers, borrowed perhaps from a middle eastern text of the early Biblical era, The Book of Enoch. (Enoch : The Watchers). Enoch, though thought to be the earliest text of the people we now call Hebrews, is not part of The Old Testament. Although not included in the modern Bible, Enoch is referred to in Ezekiel, Jude and several other Biblical books and very obviously had a great influence on The Apocalypse of St. John the Divine (aka Revelations). Clearly however, the worlds envisioned by those books is made possible by modern technology.

Foucault’s image of the Panopticon reflected his belief that our modern social order is based on our love of technical rationality. The Panopticon embodies the modern love of surveillance and control. The Panopticon is a system (not necessarily a tower as is often imagined, think of it as a metaphorical tower although it may well be a subterranean computer centre. Its purpose was to keep the subject under continual observation and thus through the unarticulated threat of sanction would pressure subject into a regime of strict self discipline.

The Panopticon, was first conceived and designed by the English philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham in 1791. Bentham was founder of the Utilitarian movement in philosophy, his ideas being built around the goal of achieving "the greatest good of the greatest number." He described his idea of The Panopticon as the “ideal” prison for modern times. It consisted of a central observation tower with an encircling building containing prison cells. The observers in the tower could see everybody in the cells all of the time, but the people in the cells could not see the observers, who were hidden from sight in the tower, which was darkened.

"Morals reformed - health preserved - industry invigorated, instruction diffused - public burthens lightened - Economy seated, as it were, upon a rock - the gordian knot of the Poor-Laws are not cut, but untied - all by a simple idea in Architecture!" the thinker proclaimed. "A building circular... The prisoners in their cells, occupying the circumference—The officers in the centre. By blinds and other contrivances, the Inspectors concealed... from the observation of the prisoners: hence the sentiment of a sort of omnipresence—The whole circuit reviewable with little, or... without any, change of place. One station in the inspection part affording the most perfect view of every cell." (from: Proposal for a New and Less Expensive mode of Employing and Reforming Convicts (Jeremy Bentham, London, 1798)

Jeremy Bentham's ideas on how the greatest greatest good of the greatest number principle might be achieved were not always thoroughly thought through. In common with many moral and social philosophers, his ideas looked great on paper but in practical terms were unworkable. Bentham spent much of his time and fortune on designs for the Panopticon. The Panopticon ("all-seeing") was a prison (but might be thought of in terms of a dystopian society like those depicted in Orwell's 1984, Franz Kafka's The Trial, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Terry Gilliam's film Brazil or Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. The idea was to allow constant and total surveillance of the inmates by their supervisors. Bentham's intention was humanitarian; but the penal system was perhaps not the best place to start putting his utilitarian philosophies into practice.

The greatest happiness principle, if we take Bentham's ideas to their conclusion, dictates the construction, not of prisons, but the secular equivalent of Heaven-on-Earth. When harnassed to biotechnology, this utopian-sounding vision is feasible - albeit implausible. Yet the ideological obstacles to global happiness may prove greater than the practical challenges: the contemporary utilitarian project needs more visually compelling symbols than an image of discipline and punishment. On utilitarian grounds, the Panopticon is perhaps best forgotten.

Foucault felt Bentham's Panopticon captured not the highest ideal of the Utilitarian movement but the essence of the modern age: the powerless are exposed to the relentless gaze of the powerful. The powerless are coerced to internalize and act in accordance with the standards and expectations of the powerful, without the powerful actually have to touch or come in contact with the powerless (forget all the high minded windbaggery of lefties, the elite might talk of fairness and equality but truly despise the masses). Furthermore, at any given moment the powerless people do not actually know whether or not they are being actively watched and so can never let down their guard. They must must always act in accordance with the expectations of the powerful. In other words, vigilance supplants torture. The powerful don’t have to touch you nor be seen by you in order to exert their power over you.

In government propaganda, in education, news media, most mainstream literature, films, television we are taught to admire and trust this particular small group of elite people, since only they are noble enough, selfless enough, intelligent enough to “save” us from our ignorance and stupidity. It is the blueprint for domination followed by every fascistic regime since ancient Egypt, Babylon and Sumeria. Understanding of how it works throws light on much of the apparent insanity going on today. Ironically the Utilitarians, along with romantics, Chartists, existentialists and other social and philosophical movements of the era known as "The Enlightenment" fought for and won for the masses the right to education.

Suddenly, about half way through the twentieth century, the elites found that the educated proletariat were asking a lot of difficult questions and no longer placed a childlike trust in elitists to ensure that "all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds." (More on that in a later article) The outcome of allowing the masses to escape from the darkness threatened the superiority of the elites. Their response was dumbing down in education, the promotion of a shallow, materialistic cultures and the development of huge industries dedicated to manipulating the minds of ordinary people.

(Copyright © Ian R Thorpe, 2012 (Creative Commons terms apply - Attrib, Non - comm, no derivs)


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Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Pursuit Of Mediocrity

Education? It's overrated in our opinion. Former teacher fatsally who quit the profession to run a pub tells us why she gave up on education.

The Sats results for pupils at KS2 and KS3 were finally published yesterday, amidst continuing grumblings about the marking process. This follwed hot on the heels of news that secondary schools regularly re-test the children when they enter Y7 as they have found that the grades they receive at KS2 are not compatible with the childs performance generally. A further concern is that the number of children attaining Level 5, the highest level available to a child sitting a KS2 paper, has dropped. This has led to concerns that brighter children are being neglected. Too damn right they are. When Labour came to power in 1997 Tony Blair said his priorities were,"Education, education education." The first attempt to get over 75% of pupils achieving level 4 in each of the core subjects was quite simply to lower the pass mark on the papers and make the questions easier. When SATS were first introduced in 1993 it was impossible to get a Level 4 on the English reading paper without answering what are termed 'higher order questions' where to answer correctly a child would have to form an opinion, or read between the lines and give reasons for their answers. All this changed after 1997, it became possible to achieve the pass mark, which was lower anyway, just by answering multiple choice questions, or simple comprehension type questions. The same applies to Maths and Science where children were expected to be able to explain how they worked out an answer, how they would solve a problem, design an experiment or draw conclusions from a set of data. However having instigated this change it was still not enough to achieve the target the government had set itself. So then they brought in booster classes. Teachers were asked to identify those children who were at a predicted level 3A or 3B, and these children were given extra tuition, funded by the government, in an effort to boost them up to level 4. In many cases thase children would be removed from the ordinary class to be taught separately, in small groups, whereas the other kids, now the ones from both ends of the ability range, were left in the classroom. But the trouble with cramming is that it just doesn't stick. It's OK if you've got the knowledge there, but if you are trying to get the knowledge in in the first place that is a different kettle of fish, so even though some of the children improved enough to get that coveted level 4 more often than not it wasn't a genuine improvement, as the secondary teachers soon noted. Now, 11 years down the line education is once again in turmoil, this year's SATS ara a fiasco and standards do not seem to improve, only 61% of children who took SATS this year achieved Level 4 in all three subjects. Meanwhile the brighter kids get bored and are turned off education, cruising along without ever being challenged, because despite Mr. Blair's belief that sleight of hand, smoke and mirrors could convince the public that things were changing it should now be obvious to anyone who cares to look that the only change has been the pursuit of mediocrity at the expense of excellence. RELATED POSTS: Academics Warn Politically Correct Universities ‘Are Killing Free Speech’
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