A lot to do! President Barack Obama was reduced to tears when thanking his campaign staffers at his Chicago headquarters. The talk was captured on video and posted to YouTube. In his speech which lasted over five minutes, the president said he was really proud of everyone “because what you guys have done means that the work that I’m doing is important, and I’m really proud of that, and I’m really proud of all of you” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20264140
“Bishop Welby will become the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, replacing Rowan Williams who retires in December after 10 years in the role” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20264520 DARWIN – “questioning the (biblical) stability of species?” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7713340.stm
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” Orwell – “It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot, irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it” Bronowski
“Philosophers from Plato to William James have allowed their opinions as to the constitution of the universe to be influenced by the desire for edification. Knowing, as they supposed, what beliefs would make men virtuous, they invented arguments, often very sophistical, to prove that these are true” Bertrand Russell. Sophistry means, “The use of fallacious arguments, especially to deceive someone, or a fallacious argument”. Plato’s argument was philodoxical, ‘Half belief/faith and half reason’. Future damage to our children could be incalculable when we carry on taking advantage of their natural credulity, and purely on behalf of the aims of the captains of industry, or for the enhancing of the powers of control for the ideological (celebritized) leaders. The beguiling nurturing of children and young adults to accept, willy-nilly, the proposals of all forms of institutional programmes, however well meaning those programmes and ideologies maybe, and at first glance.
“The other way in which the comfortably-off traditionally talk of those less fortunate than themselves is, of course, to divide them into the Good Poor and the Bad Poor. In fact, when Tacitus wrote of the plebs sordida it was explicitly to contrast them with what he called “the respectable elements among the common people”. Talking about the death of the monstrous emperor Nero, he claimed the “filthy poor”, the squanderers and the racing addicts, lamented the death (for Nero had been an easy touch for entertainments and hand-outs). Predictably enough, the “respectable elements” were those who welcomed the new regime of austerity and cost-cutting under the in-coming emperor Galba. That division is still with us. The 19th Century notoriously had its “deserving” and “undeserving poor”. Our own equivalent of the “deserving poor” is “hard-working families”. Politicians of all parties are forever parroting this pious phrase on television or radio. It’s almost as if they’ve been told to never say the simple word “families” without its knee-jerk accompanying adjective.
Maybe I’m peculiarly counter-suggestible. But whenever I hear them at it, I feel a great well of support coming over me for the feckless and lazy, or – for heaven’s sake – for the singletons who don’t have families. Are you any less worthy of our political time and care just because you haven’t got kids? But there are more serious points at issue here. For a start, it doesn’t take much political calculation to see that if you treat some people as undeserving, they will quickly become so. There’s no surer way to turn a child into a problem then to relegate him or her to the “naughty step”. But – OK, at the risk of sounding a bit pious myself – there’s also a niggling question of human progress. It would be nice to think that we had actually “come on a bit” since the time of Ammianus more than 1,500 years ago. In some respects, of course, we have – let’s count ourselves lucky that the rich today don’t surround themselves with battalions of castrated servants. But wouldn’t it also be a sign of the advance of civilisation if we treated everyone as worth caring for, whether deserving or hard working or not. It would be nice to think, in other words, that we could make it a priority to look after the anti-social, the overweight, the smokers, the plebs sordida and the snorter too. I’m afraid we don’t do that yet. “Honk honk!” as the snorter would say” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20235692
6 (killer) Apps – Niall Ferguson’s ‘Civilization’; do seem quite good types of Apps at first glance, but they have led to 200,000,000 + + slaughtered/ethnic cleansed in the last century! Also, kids learning (crap – propagandist, rubbish) History in schools! “For roughly thirty years, young people at Western schools and universities have been given the idea of a liberal education, without the substance of historical knowledge. They have been taught ‘isolated’ modules, not narratives, much less chronologies. They have been trained in the formulaic analysis of document excerpts, not in the key skill of reading widely and fast. They have been encouraged to feel empathy with imagined Roman centurions or Holocaust victims, not to write essays about why or how their predicaments arose.” And, Niall Ferguson writes, ” In The History Boys, the playwrite Alan Bennet posed a ‘trilemma’: should history be taught as a mode of contrarian argumentation, a communion with the past Truth and Beauty, or just ‘one fucking thing after another’? He was evidently unaware that today’s sixth-formers are offered none of the above – at best, they get a handful of ‘fucking things’ in no particular order.” The conclusion for Niall Ferguson http://thevictoriansage.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/the-work-worship-nexus-niall-fergusons-civilization-2011/ Can’t put it better – https://charleslizzy.com/2012/05/07/hope-for-the-future-francois-hollande-to-set-france-on-new-course-after-win/
‘Not a primitive’ – “Mark Carney has been named as the new governor of the Bank of England by Chancellor George Osborne. Mr Carney, the governor of the Canadian central bank, will serve for five years and will hold new regulatory powers over banks” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20501990
“Melting of polar ice sheets has added 11mm to global sea levels over the past
two decades, according to the most definitive assessment so far” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20543483
Primitive Britain – ‘Then As Now’ And ‘Heinrich Hein’ – to the, “Coffin of a man who died while sleeping rough on the streets of a Devon town has been carried by local people during his funeral. Michael Gething, 42, died near the Methodist Church in Totnes. It is believed he died of hypothermia. Mr Gething is thought to have been living in the town for about 18 months. South Hams District Council said it would be assessing whether any premises in Totnes might be suitable for a shelter or hostel” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-20628497 And, Labour has called government plans to squeeze benefits a “strivers’ tax” which make a mockery of claims the Autumn Statement changes are fair. Battle over ‘strivers’ tax’ claim It says most of the benefits savings will come from working people. But the coalition hit back, saying “strivers” would be better off when all the changes – such as raising tax thresholds – were taken into account” Ref, ‘plebs sordida’ And, “Honk honk!” as the snorter (pig government) would say” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20621313 And, https://charleslizzy.com/2006/01/05/then-as-now-and-heinrich-hein/ “Government is at a stand, little better practised now than three or four thousand years ago” Barbara W Tuchman, Historian (1984). “One might add, why do the free, and democratic nations of the world, who collectively, would be infinitely more powerful than all the barbarian dictatorships put together, offer little, but concessions and smiles when they are challenged? Answer, ‘The civilised world (West) is frightened and has nothing better than concessions and smiles to offer to the assault of Barbarianism”. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian author – ‘Unreported World’ examines the increase in sexual assaults and harassment in Egypt. In this clip, Ramita Navai glimpses how intimidating it can be for a woman to walk along a Cairo street” http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/video/series-2012/episode-14/egypt-sex-mobs-and-revolution
Primitive ‘silly-billies’ – “The Church of England and Church in Wales will be banned in law from offering same-sex marriages, the government has announced. Other religious organisations will be able to “opt in” to holding ceremonies, Culture Secretary Maria Miller said. But she added that the Church of England and Church in Wales had “explicitly” stated strong opposition and would not be included. The plans are due to be introduced before the next election, in 2015. The Church of England and Roman Catholics, among other denominations, have voiced opposition to same-sex marriage and are expected to oppose the bill, even with its caveats. Ref, Sex-madness and the sex obsessed religion and church – ‘religious discrimination’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20680924 ‘The Religion of Sex’ https://charleslizzy.com/2006/01/23/the-clarity-and-wit-of-aldous-huxley-bertrand-russell-and-hg-wells/ Religion is so powerful, like the Bank of England believes in those figures of solvency from Commercial Banks (2008), because the layman, the less-knowledgeable and uneducated (partly), its priests, and also its leaders and the heads, all do believe, strongly, and mostly without any exception in their tenants and dogma – they therefore feel very much more comfortable about the inevitable resulting disasters in failures, inequalities, and the awe full barbaric atrocities. They run most of our inhabited country areas, Parishes, onward’s and upwards; a very poor show to be ‘sexually stuck in some ghastly rut’ (Catholics and Muslims – too). How out of date, and very bigoted some of these people are today – not a very good example, to or for any of our children! “The Church of England (The State Religion – UK, GB) has dropped its prohibition on gay clergy in civil partnerships becoming bishops. The announcement, from the Church’s House of Bishops, would allow gay clergy to become bishops if they promise to be celibate.” ” The dark heart of the Nazi holocaust, Treblinka was an extermination camp where over 800,000 Polish Jews perished from 1942. Only two men can bear final witness to its terrible crimes. Samuel Willenberg and Kalman Taigman were slave labourers who escaped in a dramatic revolt in August 1943. One would seek vengeance in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, while the other would appear in the sensational trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961. This film documents their amazing survivor stories and the tragic fate of their families, and offers new insights into a forgotten death camp” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01m1l9w
Census results: 25% tick ‘no religion’ – Census results published last week show a plunge in the number of people ticking ‘Christian’ in England and Wales from 72% in 2001 to 59%, in 2011, and an increase in the number of people ticking to say they have no religion from 15% in 2001 to 25% in 2011. This represents a 67% relative rise in the number saying ‘no religion’. You can see our infographic on the results here. Our Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘This is a really significant cultural shift. In spite of a biased question that positively encourages religious responses, to see such an increase in the non-religious and such a decrease in those reporting themselves as Christian is astounding. Of course these figures still exaggerate the number of Christians overall – the number of believing, practicing Christians is much lower than this and the number of those leading their lives with no reference to religion much higher. ‘Religious practice, identity, belonging and belief are all in decline in this country, and non-religious identities are on the rise. It is time that public policy caught up with this mass turning away from religious identities and stopped privileging religious bodies with ever increasing numbers of state-funded religious schools and other faith-based initiatives. They are decreasingly relevant to British life and identity and governments should catch up and accept that fact.’