Trolls: Lazy Bias

Trolls are often seen as loud malcontents and as such get little sympathy. We are all bias but some people are lazy bias. They simply adopt another person’s view as their own. No scrutiny is necessary; if they like it that’s it. You’ll find that they are most likely to pick it up if a statement has had some publicity, is trending on social media. Welcome to the world of the Troll!

Example of lazy bias:  T = Troll// Q = questioner

I hate the Daily Mail (newspaper).

  1. Why?

  2. Because.

  3. Because why?

  4. Because it’s right-wing.

  5. When did you last read it?

  6. I’ve never read it.

  7. How do you know its right-wing?

  8. I just do!

  9. Why don’t you read it and form your own opinion?

  10. What’s the point, it’s full of lies.

  11. How would you know if you’ve never read it?

  12. Everybody knows it!

  13. Give me some examples of everybody.

  14. Oh, piss off! You’re talking crap!

Unfortunately, people form opinions often without first trying to verify if true or otherwise. This is quite common; it is groupthink, a kinsman of fascism! A nicer term is ‘echo chamber’, but that lets some trolls away with not putting their thinking cap on.

The discussion above was a true exchange. There is little hope of moving that person from their fixed belief. Well, there was no time to discuss it any further. These people are, to my mind, LBP’s – lazy bias people.

I am a troll and I live in a hole, I only come out to shoot my bow.

Is this an accurate description of a Troll? Or are they just like us – highly sophisticated folk? Although trying to determine their motivation is equally difficult. We just don’t know what makes them tick.

Do they have an emotional hang-up, angry at the world? Have a need to be famous? Need a hug? Some make little attempt at empathy. Well, there’s no fun in that! They want to vent, perhaps let others feel their pain. They just feel the need to vent – against whom – anyone really, who cares. Mostly they follow others lead.

BIG Q. Should they be censored? No! They need to be challenged, to be asked to think. They need time and space to grow, to mature. Shutting them off may cause their anger to fester.

Is it more to do with de stressing by letting their anger burst out? Or does it have something to do with the need to belong by being part of a trend. Then, not happy with just criticism, they dig deep into their reservoir of sewage vocabulary; a need to stand out. If they could invent new caustic words, that others could understand; it would be like major – sergeant major – e.g. shut up, I’m talking!

Most people have an activity that they like to do and usually it is with others, e.g. football, tennis, hockey, cricket etc. Trolls just tend to troll. Are they isolated characters or are they one of your crowd? They might meet you on the street and smile and seem like nice people BUT once in their den environment Mr Hyde comes to the fore.

What is annoying is that these people have talent. Unfortunately, that talent is used in a negative way. If only they could be turned around to spend their time on the computer/phone to make positive things happen.

There are a myriad of good fights out there, e.g. the environment, education, kids need better schools, animal welfare and a host of others. If folks want to vent, aim at the politicians who take but don’t give. Bombard them with facts & figures. Ask them what they are doing to help the community, kids play areas etc. Oops. Have I become a dictator?

Do some research on the net and once you have good stuff, hit the politicians with it. A nice long email with oodles of info every couple of months might have them knocking on the door at the local looney bin. Give them a wave- bye. Have I morphed into a Troll?

Is negativity eating you? Get creative!!!

Pick a topic – play areas for kids – get on social media ask if anyone has good info and ask them to share. It would be interesting to find out how many respond. Start a trend, ask all respondents to follow your example and write to their local politician. Make a video of your campaign and put it on YouTube.

Put yourself on the map by making a difference. Be different, be hyper, and take the fight to those cretins who don’t really care. It’s good to be good! Or is it? Perhaps the buzz from attacking others brings more dopamine (reward chemical) to the pleasure centre of the brain. Hm, is evil good? I don’t think so; we all live in a community and, the better the environment the happier the people. More smiles, more chats, more making new friends. Hey, win, win, win!!! That’s the way to do it!!

 

Drawbridge Brothers (2) Diversity

Banksy

Diversity ‘the great leap forward’ engineered by the Liberal elite was set to lead the whole population in a new and dynamic direction. But, they didn’t bother or merely forgot to invite the rest of us on their planned run. Now we have to be corralled. Little wonder therefore that there’s been a backlash.

Being intimidated to follow a diktat rubs most people up the wrong way. Especially so, when they have to consider every utterance they make for fear that someone will report them to the politically correct (PC) Stasi.

However, it’s more than just being PC:

  1. University of Edinburgh – “Diversity aims to recognize, respect and value people’s differences to contribute and realize their full potential by promoting an inclusive culture…”
  2. University of Oregon – “It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences”. E.g. race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs etc.

http://www.ed.ac.uk/equality-diversity/about/equality-diversity

http://gladstone.uoregon.edu/~asuomca/diversityinit/definition.html

It would seem that the advocates of diversity do not fully comprehend their own philosophy as they find it difficult to talk of opponents without the use of abuse (racists, bigots and Neanderthals). In doing so they fail to:

  • Build an inclusive culture
  • Recognize individual differences.
  • Others political and religious beliefs.

A question arises as to, which ‘individual difference’ takes preference, e.g. if a Christian landlord refuses to have a homosexual guest; which has precedence? If a religious body cannot accept homosexuality as an ‘individual difference’, which has precedence?  If women in a certain section of society are downtrodden, which has precedence?

We fast move along to a political hierarchy! So, are we recognizing that the other ‘differences’ are more important than religious belief? In that case should we not have a prescribed list in order of importance? But wait, if we have a list of preference are we not moving away from an ‘inclusive culture’?

  1. So is religious tolerance in or out? Or must it conform to the ideological script to be allowed on board?

Let’s leave it to the courts and sneak further from democracy.

  1. Is it justified to put right yesterday’s wrongs by over indulgence of the present generation of minorities?
  • Justification?……….. Leave a reply!
  • What of equality before the law? Has it been kicked into the long grass temporarily or permanently?

Political belief is a hot potato and many on the right-wing do not like the concept of diversity and so, should be – disenfranchised – allow only Labour and Liberal and, maybe a smattering of Conservatives – but only if they denounce Thatcherism! That darn woman!

In America the concept is wrapped up in the political agenda of Affirmative Action (AA) which has been in force for over 50 years. Again the term ‘inclusive’ strikes a hypocritical chord with many because they feel excluded. Since the 1940s the U.S. government has issued executive orders to ensure that sub-contractors are employing workers on an equal opportunity basis. This has led to cries of ‘reverse discrimination’.

Others, such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggests it creates a “cult of victimization” because it implies that black people need a leg up. It has also met with political opposition with the states of: California, Washington, Michigan, and Nebraska refusing to implement AA.

A study by Thomas Espenshade and Chang Y. Chung (2005) found a bias against white and Asian students trying to enrol in ‘highly selective private research universities’. A further study carried out by T. Espenshade (2009) found a similar bias in college intake, with Asians at the bottom of the pile.

Such has been the build-up of resentment that a survey in 2007 found that 52% of whites thought that AA should be abolished. Of course this could be as a result of better right-wing propaganda or worryingly, a strong feeling of being left out. The latter is certainly the case among Asians as in 2015 a coalition of 60+ Asian-American groups filed legal battles to gain equal opportunities. Up to the present law cases are pending.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_action_in_the_United_States#Arguments_against_affirmative_action

It is true to say that AA has helped a lot of people and was perhaps, the best option at the time. This is the attitude of Noam Chomsky, but he also recognizes that, “… you find plenty of things to criticize”.

Noam Chomsky, How The World Works (pp211-212)

Some may argue that only the negative view has been expressed. However, if the intention of diversity is ‘inclusive’ then surely we must examine the voices of discord to ascertain where things are going wrong.

In the UK in recent times we have witnessed the Labour and Liberal parties institute an all-female panel for the election of prospective Members of Parliament (MP’s).

  • Is this justified?
  • Is it legal under equal opportunity?
  • Is it patronizing?
  • Will it cause any resentment?
  • Will the candidate have the respect of her fellows?
  • How will having more females in parliament make it more democratic or work better?
  • Is it all a cynical ploy to garner the female vote?

I suspect that many of the issues concerning women have more to do with the economic demands of the capitalist system than the backwardness of male MP’s. I could of course be wrong! It may be a combination of both.

The introduction of diversity was an attempt to dictate the thinking, acts and actions of the people. Which other regimes tried to dictate the thinking, acts and actions of their population? I’m thinking Germany and Russia, China etc.

It is a tough ask to change people’s thinking, acts and actions especially if it must be done now. There is nothing wrong with the concept, if we walk together. It’s just the terrible hash made of its introduction. It can only be considered thoughtless in the extreme. The Liberal elite and the political class have learned nothing from business that has long been aware that the top-down approach has serious drawbacks.

The political class have set back any hope of achieving diversity by their lack of vision and their childish rush. It may take two maybe three generations for it to take a hold on the psyche. Of course there’s always the possibility that it was a purposeful screw up!

A blanket approach to diversity as has been adopted is a severe weakness; pampering to every group and the individualist outlook is much too general. Individualism can only exist as long as the great majority are tolerant.

Moreover, a set agenda is a blind spot. Though it does lead to a piece of clarity from Karl Popper, “Who plans the planners”? Because, “…our actions in any case are likely to have unintended consequences”. Does this strike a chord??

Bryan Magee, Popper (p100)

Diversity was born of intolerance of others bias and grew in intolerance. Such was the zeal of improving the lot of many; it produced an army of zealots. That’s the nature of political emotion. The army of zealots and the patronizing attitude of the politicians played a major role in the advent of populism. Reap…..

Marchers Against Trump

Of course it is early days but can the movement set up to oppose Donald Trump, the new President of the United States be successful. Or is it all much ado about nothing? The turnout for the marches was very impressive. The question is whether it can be maintained. According to the NY times there was a four (4) hour meeting directly afterward in New York by the organisers to think of ways to keep and build on the momentum. The danger is that it will frizzle out like so many other spontaneous movements.

An article in the NY Times by Farah Stockman makes disturbing reading as it points out that the issue of race was raised almost immediately by black activists.  A comment by one such activist from Brooklyn wrote on the Facebook page encouraging participation, “…white allies. Listen more and talk less.”

On reading the above quote a wedding planner, Jennifer Willis from South Carolina was put off attending the rally. She had planned to do so with her daughters but felt that the message did not make her feel welcome.

While we may understand to a degree the activist’s attitude as black people are on the bottom rung in American society. Nonetheless, her belligerence put Jennifer Willis off. This was not an isolated incident as Stockman pointed out that the issue of race “erupted every day, exhilarating some and alienating others”. Tension was also visible in Tennessee and Louisiana.

Another damning point raised by Stockman was that Trump campaigned against ‘political correctness’ and won with half of white female voters supporting him. I’m sure that Trump had more than one issue on which he campaigned. However, the article highlights the divisions in American society which make it almost impossible to build a cohesive movement against his brand of politics.

A further divisive illustration comes from the Portland NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). The body refused to become a part of, “…a white – women kumbaya march”. The main grievance was that the organising committee was not diverse enough and no speaker was arranged on the question of race. www.wweek.com/2017/01/11

Nonetheless, the march did go ahead and 100,000 turned out in the pouring rain to show their opinion. It is unclear whether the NAACP found a solution and participated.

Division was also evident in the choice of partner organisations. It appears that pro-life groups were not welcomed as found by the New Wave Feminists whose stance includes: anti-abortion, anti-war and against the death penalty. The complaint of the group was that they had been accepted onto the rooster but later ‘kicked off’, as were similar groups; ‘Students for Life of America’ and ‘And Then There Were None’. They joined the march anyway. www.catholichearld.co.uk

One group Planned Parenthood, who had carried out 324,000 abortions (2014 Annual Report), was accepted as a partner organisation. Therefore from the outset a political agenda was formed. Thus it is no longer a women’s movement but a political one. It may appear as a decisive step but if it leads to alienation then it is non inclusive. This is a sizable weakness. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_Parenthood

The problem surrounding the abortion debate is the entrenchment on both sides. They are the ‘Bubble People’ they see only their point of view ergo there is no room for a cosy chat over a mug of coffee to find common ground.

The NY times also reported that minority women feared that any success for the movement would only benefit the white working class. While this would not be true it is illustrative of the hurdles that must be gone over.

The article in the Times also mentioned that, “Now a wide range of groups”, are trying to keep the movement going. At first glance such a coming together can appear as a sign of strength; rather, it’s a weakness. It is a weakness that can unravel the movement at any given time. Each group may come to a meeting not to find a common objective but to promote their own agenda.

Individual groups may argue that their programme for change is one that promotes all women. One could condemn any such group as wearing blinkers or of being politically naïve. Any bid to promote a singular issue is wrong on several levels:

  • I have highlighted two contentious standpoints that of race and pro-life. Both of these areas have multiple bodies claiming to represent the whole and within their field there will be factions that want a more confrontational approach, while others will abhor any hint of violence.
  • A place at the top table and how it will be manufactured can be a very divisive block. The question of representation can be critical as noted above. Will it be by quota, e.g. said amount of black people – Asian – Hispanics – Latino – white? What of partner organisations, will their size determine their quota or seat at the top table? How will this reflect on the political stance of the movement? Many questions, there resolution will be critical.
  • Any attempt to list their priorities can also be fraught with problems. A danger rests in trying to accommodate all the partner organisations and thus the demands become too numerous to gain political traction. Some groups may feel that their particular issue has not been given sufficient prominence.
  • In future demonstrations will the organisers insist on ‘passive resistance’ (Mahatma Ghandi & Martin Luther King) or allow each group to form their own policy. Another problem is keeping anarchists and others from trying to usurp the demos. Therefore who will police any future protests?
  • It will be assumed that the organisation will be democratic; the problem will come in unrolling equal participation. How will they prevent any one group becoming dominant? Therefore causing others to walk away.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/22/us/after-success-of-womens-march-a-question-remains-whats-next.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-2&action=click&contentCollection=U.S.&region=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/09/us/womens-march-on-washington-opens-contentious-dialogues-about-race.html?_r=1

 

There are so many hurdles, so many pitfalls that it will be incredibly difficult to maintain a united stance. Some inspiration may be found in the Shriver Report of 2014 written by Sonia Pressman Fuentes of NOW (National Organisation for Women). The report highlights eighteen (18) issues that women should fight to implement.

www.shriverreport.org/top-18-issues-challenging-women-today

  1. Poverty: I was surprised to read that in 2014 some 70million women and their children live in poverty in the U.S. That America has the largest number of homeless women and children of any industrialised country. Who could not lift their banner of protest against such a picture of despair?
  2. Wages: It is a universal truth that women are disproportionately found in low-paying jobs. But according to Harvard economist Claudia Goldin if employers showed more flexibility on hours and location the pay gap could be greatly reduced. This would help women everywhere.
  3. Violence: I was staggered by the numbers -270,000 rapes or sexual assaults annually in USA. That 1 in 3 females murdered is killed by a partner. Of course this is a world issue so perhaps the ‘movement’ in the U.S. could link up with Ni Una Menos (Not One Less) who have held large demonstrations in Argentina in a struggle against a culture of machismo. The fight in Argentina has been followed by groups in Uruguay and Chile.
  4. Abortion Rights
  5. Maternal Mortality Rates
  6. Sick pay and parental leave
  7. Pregnant Workers Fairness Act – needs to be enforced.
  8. Affordable Child Care: This like some others is a world problem. Johnathan Cohn cited in the report, states, “The lack of quality, affordable day care is arguably the most significant barrier to full equality for women in the workplace.”
  9. Women in prison and their horrid treatment.
  10. Human Trafficking: where nightmares are 24/7.
  11. Female representation in many aspects of society. A world problem.
  12. Discrimination in academia.
  13. Under representation in the Justice system.
  14. Under representation in large companies.
  15. Under representation and unequal pay in entertainment industry.
  16. Keeping women in high tech jobs.
  17. Lack of health insurance, affects 30m women and girls in U.S.
  18. CEDAW Treaty – an international bill of rights for women. USA only major country that has not ratified it.

They are all good causes though some are U.S. specific. I have chosen five (5) issues which I believe are uncontentious but significantly are world issues that could help galvanize women everywhere.

Poverty: Nobody can deny that poverty affects millions all over the world and if women didn’t cope our global society would fall apart. By embracing the cause of poverty and, the numbers in America are significant, a message of hope is sent wherever the internet reaches.

Wages: An issue that women in the Western World can readily agree with. It is in the West that the cudgel can be thrown down. If women in the West are not to be trifled with a message of hope flies around the world faster than a jet.

Violence: Where in the world have women not been acquainted with violence? The fight back in South America can only be uplifting for women everywhere. The culture of machismo is world-wide. Men are conditioned towards violence and especially when they feel inadequate. It needs a massive input into education.

Child care: Governments keep talking about getting more women into the workplace but do little to encourage or enforce businesses to cater for those with children. The quote by Johnathan Cohn above tells us just how big an issue it is.

Human Trafficking: The powerlessness of these women and children surely has a resonance with all women to some extent. A global business generating some $32 billion annually: what price misery. What cost men’s libido? It’s a tsunami of barbarity, women and children used worse than pigs in a pen. There is no bright star in their sky. Unless….

Equality of Burden

By accepting the premise that all women, no matter their status, are treated as second class citizens in some aspect of their life then you have equality of burden. There is no race, no religious or class issues; these are barriers to unity. If women can see beyond their present status and they can on many issues, then they can organise/vote for change as a singular body.

America has pole position in the chase for change. However, much will depend on their ability to overcome their biases. It’s a huge problem as bias can debilitate any organisation. As noted earlier tensions arose immediately concerning race, while some minority groups feared that it may become a programme for the white working class.

However, any change in working conditions would by necessity of law include all who work in that environment. What has emerged is just how divided American society is and how perceptions can be skewed. It is a massive task for the women’s movement but a unique opportunity to transform society.

A further testing case for the organisers of the women’s movement will be their attitude to the 53% of white females who voted but voted for Trump. (NY times & Newsweek) Two points can be raised immediately e.g. will they be welcomed to participate in subsequent action or simply dismissed as beyond exorcizing.

Unfortunately, some will dismiss them as right-wing fascists and want nothing to do with them. Others will recognise that if you nick them they will bleed. Surely there are issues on which the vast majority of women can agree? It would be a failure of magnitude not to invite the Trump supporters to participate. The opposition would correctly admonish the women’s campaign as not representative of all women.

Not to welcome, not to embrace the white women who voted Trump would be akin to railroading yourself into a cul-de-sac. It must also be remembered that around 30% of Hispanics voted Trump. If women are to make a credible difference, a long lasting difference, then they need the overwhelming majority on their ticket. This necessitates that some, perhaps more than some, will have to burst their bubble and walk out into the sun to welcome the warmth that camaraderie brings.

And thus it has to be noted that abortion is an extremely contentious issue and organisers must be cognizant of the millions of Catholic women and other religious groups that cannot accept abortion on demand. It is in recognising differences that we gain strength. As a fillip to the abortionist lobby I would recommend, the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln, “I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.”

We Will Vote IF…

That is why non-contentious issues are vital. One such is violence. State the case by issuing an ultimatum: we will vote if your party will sanction stiffer penalties for violence against women and a fully paid programme in schools to educate about such violence.  If not fully implemented we will vote against you or abstain in the mid-term elections. Therefore you pick the battles you want to fight.

We will vote, IF… the government puts forward a programme to smash poverty by introducing legislation to build homeless shelters in every state. Produce a remit to subsidize specific charities to provide food and clothing to the most needy. No child should go hungry in America! No child should go without an equal chance in America! The same applies for the whole of the western world. A minimum wage can be a crucial element.

The issue of a minimum wage can be a winner as evidence shows it already has support from both Democrat and Republican women. At present the minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25. A proposition in 2014 to increase it to $10.10 over a two year period was defeated in the Senate by the Republicans.

However, the Republican states of: Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota all elected to increase their minimum wage.  This is a clear illustration that certain issues can bridge the gulf between the classes and race to gain cross political support. The measure would have affected 16.5 m workers and lifted 900,000 out of the poverty trap. A study of Claudia Goldin’s research might reveal a second route forward.

Furthermore, to have someone’s living standard dependant on the size of a tip is monstrous. It means that tipping becomes an expectation and a must, and, is thus an unfair burden on both the waiter and the diner. Surely the amount of a tip should be based on the quality of the meal and the standard of service and not as an obligation to help the worker survive.

It’s unbelievable that the worker gets around $2.13 an hour and has to make the rest up by tips. Does the owner of the establishment then take a cut if the tips go beyond the national minimum wage? The owner must be sitting in the back of the premises counting up his profit. Scrooge lives!

Further up the ladder would require legislative change to enforce employers to act accordingly with severe penalties if they do not. Example: Any employer found to be breaking the law should be made to pay full compensation to the employee- X – by the number of year’s service and face a fine of the equivalent of one year’s income for each employee affected, plus the cost of bringing the action.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_wage_in_the_United_States

child care

A simple must!

Child care is the one issue that affects every family though some much more than others. I was drawn to a TV news programme the 51% on France24.com. 31/01/17 The programme which focusses on women’s issues worldwide highlighted a growing dilemma for nations in Europe. Apparently women are having fewer children and a growing number are having none. This can be construed as a matter of choice but it has long term consequences.

The obvious downside is fewer young people which equates with less taxes = less to pay for pensions + less workers = less people available in care industry etc. The main solution was to greatly increase provision of affordable child care allowing more women to have a career and a family. It gives considerable credence to the view expressed by Johnathan Cohn cited earlier.

Discrimination against pregnant workers and new mothers is an ongoing problem. It should be a matter of law, an obligation of society, taken for granted that such provision is given. After all, were would we be without pregnant women? Again it requires government to get tough but it will only do so with your vote or threat of abstention.

Child care generally is patchy, haphazard and chaotic in places but its importance cannot be underestimated, “High quality early childhood programs are viewed by many educators as a critical way to help overcome the learning deficit many low-income kids face when they start kindergarten – an obstacle many never overcome”.

While 1.6 million families use federal subsidies the facilities and teaching are not always up to scratch. Overall there is $5 billion spent on subsidies but few reports on inspection or on background checks of the workers. www.cbsnews.com/news/review-finds-lax-child-care-rules-across-us

This investigation took place in 2013 and since then Obama has instituted a programme, Preschool for All with an estimated cost of $75bn over ten years, paid for by a tax increase on cigarettes. At the time over one (1) million were not receiving any preschool. The take up figures for those living below the poverty line was less than 50%. U.S. is one of the worse industrialised countries for preschool education and especially if your poor.

Moreover, Obama’s scheme has come under serious criticism from an educational specialist, Grover J. Whitehurst who argues that a study in Tennessee has more of, “…a positive effect on children’s social/emotional development”. He argues that Obama’s plan is lacklustre at best. Tennessee Voluntary Pre-K Program (TN – VPK) is aimed at 4 year olds from low-income families.

https://thinkprogress.org/update-obama-budget-includes-75-billion-to-fund-preschool-for-all-initiative-83a77a17d8d8#.pe1z6ghdx

https://www.brookings.edu/research/new-evidence-raises-doubts-on-obamas-preschool-for-all/

Exploitation

There is a road so dark that only evil walks there, it’s the route of the people traffickers. It has to be the most despicable of all trades and this should be reflected in the punishment. A minimum of 30yrs in prison and all assets seized. Every nation should have special units that cooperate worldwide.

Any politician found to be involved must immediately stand down and all their assets seized even if it leaves their family without a home. Tough, but then they are the perpetrators of unimaginable misery.

This is a long term proposal over a ten (10) year period but action must be seen to be taken. It is also a critical issue because it mainly affects women and girls. If you can’t send out that message of hope – then go home.

The NOW organisation was founded in 1966 by 49 members of whom two were male. Only nine of the stalwarts are still active but seem to have their finger on the pulse.

Moreover, the folks at NOW might have a lot more to contribute to today’s organisers. What has inspired them to keep going all these years? What have they learned and what can they impart. There must be many stories about achievements and disappointments. There will also be lots of contacts; not forgetting the stored ability of those still standing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Organization_for_Women

http://now.org/

 

If the road was clear, with no traffic, then the women’s movement could march straight ahead gaining momentum as they pass each village and town. (Ghandi’s Salt March) Unfortunately, there are many actors who are cocksure of their direction and are adamant that their voice should rise above all others. They are a hindrance because they cannot hear the others sing. They are the soloist who feels superior to the choir.

It is these soloists that will hold back and eventually break a movement that holds a mountain of promise. They must be told to leave their baggage at the door. If they cannot burst their own bubble it must be broken for them.

There is abundant evidence that at grassroots there is massive support to push forward women’s issues. It is the collective noun that is the vital ingredient to the mix. There is an overwhelming wealth of talent out there, it would be a catastrophic failure to restrict it or allow it to fritter away. There is also solid evidence that a victory can be won by promoting a National Minimum Wage.

This is a win – win issue that can galvanize the whole movement and give heart to those on both sides of the track that all can contribute. It can be a significant stepping stone. Be careful Donald, there’s an army on your doorstep!

Vote or Abstain:  the power lies with you!

 

Migrants 2: In or Out?

When the bubbles of emotion burst or drift in the knowing wind, when the hardship of winter comes along, reality bites. In some places it will bite very hard, very hard. The migration to Europe is a human tragedy, as is any war, but rends the heart. Some want to reach out while others are fearful of what the migrants bring.

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Fear may not be rational but then neither is love. Emotion assists us in every decision thus we may never be rational or as rational as we would judge ourselves.

A big decision on the migrants has to be made and that decision concerns the cost we thMC31RS4Vare willing to bear. To make that decision we need facts but the government are not forthcoming with the information that would help us make a rational decision. And so, we are trapped in an emotional whirlwind, that’s where we are when making life changing decisions.

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Can we trust ourselves when in a high emotional state to make the right decision? If only government were like caring parents and sat us down to explain the facts of life. The cost of infrastructure, of housing, 240,000 new homes each year, for how many years (?) and where would we build them.

www.migrationwatchuk.org/key-topics-housing.php

How many new towns are we prepared to tolerate?  How many new roads shall we build and the consequential increase in cars and pollution and the taxes to pay for it all? The impact on the Green Belt and the countryside generally, shall we follow one emotion and build or the other and maintain. Decisions are at every turn but we cannot find rational answers without sound knowledge.

Politicians talk about the needs of the country, in reality their first concern is to be re-elected. Their second is to follow their emotional attachment which is their political bias. Opposition parties look for attack lines. Neither work for the benefit of the ordinary people. Our politicians are busy with political point scoring. Ping-pong, ping-pong!

Our government won’t hold a discussion with us because they are scared of what we may say or demand. Instead they let the media bombard us with their brand of bias. We are left bewildered as to what to do. The extreme left and extreme right politically scream at each other to see who can score the highest decibel count. Meanwhile, those of us who have long left the school playground are wandering nowhere fast, through a lack of knowledge.

Hence we witness actions that concern us:

  • Counter demonstrations
  • Over 200 attacks on asylum seekers, Germany. Partners in government with Angela Merkel openly critical   . www.nyt/2015/09/08
  • Hungary to imprison illegals – up to 3 years.
  • Russia sending more weapons to Assad regime in Syria.

Some people may criticise the nations of; Poland, Hungary, Slovakia etc. for their stance on the migrant dilemma. However, they may have some justification according to Professor Abdur Chowdhury,

“…some countries simply can’t step up in any meaningful way”,

experiencing 0% economic growth and could suffer if too much is needed for migrants.  www.marketplace.org/topics/world/cost-misery-migrant-europe

However, a number of people simply see the politics and jump head first in with accusations. Politics creates blind spots in our psyche.

Is fear a justified feeling in the midst of such an upheaval? It may depend on how you are connected to your community and your outlook on many of the points raised. Are house prices rising out of your reach?

  • Migrant population: 33.5 million people born outside the EU 28 living in EU as of 1 January 2014.
  • Number getting citizenship in EU in 2013 was 984,800 a 20% increase on 2012.  www.ec.europa.eu/eurostat

Panic has begun to creep in. The government of Denmark has taken out adverts in Lebanese newspapers to dissuade migrants.  The Sweden Democrats, (right-wing) are now ahead of the two leading parties in opinion polls. In Austria the right-wing Freedom Party has made big gains. NY Times

What of those who advocate open borders? It would appear that they have no concerns but does that mean they have not thought it through. Should they be demonstrating outside the Russian embassy demanding an end to arm sales to Syria? Be stood outside the embassy of Turkey demanding an end to profiteering at migrants’ expense.

Emotion is a powerful determinant but can often be erratic and short lived. Talking about the support for the migrants in Austria the columnist Hoffmann-Ostenhof from the centre-left newspaper Profil writes, “These feeling are transitory, of course, but they won’t fade without leaving some trace”. NY Times

Hoffmann-Ostenhof’s belief that a positive emotion harbours hope is tempered by his rational understanding of how fickle people are? Sadly peoples’ attention will last as long as the media coverage. Me-ism blocks long-term outlook!

The world cannot grow until man learns how to.

 

 

The Bias War

thBZNBAEI3This war is a bitter struggle to control our thinking. It is waged across the media and most aspects of our lives. The conflict is between the Left (incorporating the Liberals) and the Right in politics. Their concern is not you but your temporary acquiescence at election time. Over the decades it has become a war of attrition. Both present a tablet of stone and etched on each is the route to a promised land.

Who are we to believe?

Neither! Their thoughts are not truly centred on the people though that is the claim. They demand the help of the public to banish the opposition. Otherwise, your voice, your vote is irrelevant to them.

Who has the upper hand?

The Right, they control most of the media, are more united in their approach and have already won over many converts from the electorate. On the economic front, their boys, the neoclassical school of economics hold sway over the world’s economy. They are supported by a raft of powerful friends: the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) a grouping of the world’s most successful countries, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). You have to admit a host of influential bodies. But I can assure you on sound medical grounds that they all fart.

Why don’t we support them?

Because they couldn’t give monkeys toss for the people. It was these storm troopersthBZDCK3J2 that caused the banking crisis of 2008 which is still hurting millions of ordinary Joes’ around the world. It is they who want to dismantle the welfare state and leave the poor without any assistance. It was they who made the taxpayer cough up the tab for the banking crisis $ billions x 100 and they who okayed the continuation of huge bonuses for their buddies in the banking sector. Meanwhile the Joes’ of this world lost their jobs, their homes, livelihood and happiness.

History is littered with the anguish of the poor at the hands of such mercenaries. These are the true soldiers of fortune. They force the poor to pay the tab and then the government introduce quantitative easing, pouring $ £ millions into the economy, which is in reality like a super tax cut for the rich. Life is only fair if you’re rich.

Should we support the Left?

thHQSWHLW4No! The Left have forgotten what struggle is all about. They treat the citizenry with utter contempt. In the eyes of the Left, the general public are too thick to understand what they need and so, the Left take it upon themselves to lead. The Left don’t have the time to sit around and chat and to explain their ideology to the beer swigging, pot- bellied, pork pie guzzling, disinterested, short-sighted morons from the council estates and elsewhere. Sorry I’m a burden mate.

Both sides in this ideological war don’t really care one way or the other what the Joes’th2PIIXDFP think. Joe is just piggy in the middle. In fact, the people are a distraction but necessary cannon fodder at election time; otherwise they should be good little doggies and SHUT UP.

Wait a minute mate, what’s the alternative?

There is no easy, straightforward way that the people can make a decisive impact on decision making. Some will call for revolution because they are angry or it simply sounds good. However, revolution has too many variables and the poor will pick up the tab in death and destruction and the cost of rebuilding. Also, the outcome of the revolution is not guaranteed think communism and close the door on revolution.

th04F898NFIn the short term the best route forward is the democratic process. Democracy requires commitment without the ego and that makes it a very difficult landscape to manoeuvre. The first step is easy enough always vote but not for one of the big boys’ enforcers: Conservative, Labour or Liberal. Soon the strategists, the number crunchers will note the change in pattern and the toilet seats in parliament will be booked well in advance.

A no- vote is not an option; it does not register your disgust with the politician. Quite the opposite it’s just one person less to canvas. It doesn’t matter whether a MP gets a 5 vote majority or 10,000 they still have one cushy job.

The next step is to look for a plausible alternative political group. You may not agree with their agenda but it’s the message to your sitting MP that’s important. Collectively the people have more power than they envisage. The difficulty lies in trying to organise any strike back at the establishment. The prospect exists by collecting 100,000 clicks on the net. Do one on MP’s expenses?

It can be done, bombard your MP with letters, email, give them something to do. Let them know in simple terms that you are dissatisfied with their performance and that of their Party.

E.g. I am unhappy at the extent of immigration and want to see it reduced dramatically. If your party cannot do it then my family and I will vote accordingly.

I choose immigration because it is the number 1 issue of the day. (See later post)

Ask friends to send a similar brief letter or email. Send it to a newspaper. If enough people do it you may be surprised how you can influence public opinion.

Unfortunately, for many too busy with their social life, Instagram, twitter etc. life itself just rolls by. They only operate on instant – how cool am I – feedback. They are the perfect sap for the political elite! As long as Santa continues to come they don’t care.

People power exists, join the revolution!

 

 

The Left and the Brickwall.

 

th83MEZBW5The Left in UK politics as elsewhere are remnants of lost tribes. There are so many groups and factions, so many one-dimensional believers. Their voices do not resonate with the people but rather sound like interference over an inaudible crackle. Little wonder that the public are left bemused by the Lefts’ call for change. The vision of the Left is blurred by yesterday and the lack of a policy of representation and comradeship. Past infamies forgotten, the Left in politics strive to keep their dream alive.

Many on the Left cannot understand why capitalism continues remorselessly, and why the people do not rise in opposition. However, like their (so called) intellectual brothers the people have no vision of a future as they are too tired from everyday routine and pondering every night on a tomorrow that will be the same.

The poor retreat into a come-what-may attitude and religion. Meanwhile their erstwhile leaders scramble for a foothold in tomorrow’s world by borrowing a Liberal overcoat. All the people hear is rabble-rousing of a thousand diverse voices challenging them to join the battle. But food must be put on the table and a semblance of self must be given space.

In essence, the Left are more lost in the political wilderness than their poor brethren. Karl Popper, sums it up neatly, “…we hate the very idea that we may be mistaken. So we cling dogmatically to our conjectures, as long as possible”. Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

Reluctance to change has been emphasized just recently at the World Economic ForumthXCVP4YWC in Davos, Switzerland, when a couple of the protesting groups decided to end their campaigns at the venue after 15 years. For over 20 years various groups on the Left have been protesting against the participants at Davos and what they represent. Sad to say but the protesters have achieved nothing.

Attacking the Dmen on site is a waste of time and energy. It brings the media to their defence and has the protesters demonized. What good does it do for the ordinary Joe?

Scenario:

Pub commentator: What’s it gonna change? Nutting mate. So, what’s the point mate, thN7AC3ES5eh? (Should be on Radio 4)

Old Granny: They should do something with their lives instead of all that screaming and stuff; causing trouble. Why don’t they get a job?

Conspiracy theorist: It’s a gang of fascists paid by the Dmen to make sure they get publicity. No kidding!

The Davos meeting is of the rich and famous in business and the political wanna-bes who have been holding an annual meeting for over 40 years. The blurb they issue says they’re committed to improving the state of the world by:

  • Sustained economic growth
  • Mitigating global risks
  • Promoting health for all
  • Improving social welfare
  • Fostering environmental sustainability

I’m afraid the Dmen have not been very successful; 40 + years on and they haven’t achieved any of their goals. During their watch we have had several financial crises culminating in the debacle of 2008 which is still smouldering. And every day the environment takes another battering: oil spills, plastic islands in the ocean’s and rain forest depletion. Throughout Europe and elsewhere wages are falling, employment rights ‘tossed in the dustbin of history’ (Trotsky), welfare payments cut and slavery on the increase.

thB7VOPRTBIt is simply incredulous that they have the balls to turn up every year. Well, with 5* accommodation, 5* food, 5* wine and 5* scotch (can I join?) lots of hobnobbing to size up a good deal and photo shoots galore to impress the natives back home, who wouldn’t. After all, they are of the Clan ‘Id’ which Freud describes as “…knows no judgements of value: no good or evil and no morality…” The Clan ‘Id’ thrive on instinctive and primitive urges of the pleasure principle. For us, well, there’s always a pint and a kebab.           www.psychology.about.com

“Professional men, they have no cares;

Whatever happens, they get theirs.”    

Ogden Nash

And where are the defenders of the people? Marxists, Leninists, Trotskyists, Stalinists, Anarchists and piss-artists, so many ‘ists’, factions by the score. The sheer number of groups is evidence that the Left is split asunder. Out of date and out of touch, for the workers they won’t do much. That they cannot agree on a platform is an indication of the number of little Stalinist’s out there. It’s their way or no way. The people don’t need a shepherd, some understanding and a touch of guidance would help. The hearts of the Left are beating soundly but their solutions are awry. They need to stop chasing rainbows! It is not about equality in life, it’s about quality of life.

We will never be equal in all aspects of life. There are too many variances of input into a child’s upbringing and a whole myriad of interpretations that determine the adult outcome. This is why we have artists, bookworms, those who love figures – the maths kind, and others who will be happy to do-up old bangers. It’s what makes us so damn beautiful. But one thing we should all agree upon is that no human being is more important than another. It’s about fairness and a tad of respect.

A failure to understand, a failure to listen, and thus a failure to open their mind to new possibilities is what has the Left stuck in a mire of righteousness. Their dogma conditions them to push, demand and force the people into their vision. The die-hards scream and the sycophants follow as they seek to impose their philosophy on the majority, blind to the fact that such a move is fascist. Stand-up Josef Stalin!

“We become the makers of our fate when we have ceased to pose as its prophets”. Karl Popper   The Open Society and its Enemies

In cahoots with the Liberal and wishy-washy Conservatives, the workers are entitled to feel abandoned by the Left. A case in point is that of political correctness. There was no discussion with the people, no opinions sought, just accept or you’re a —- train load of abuse. It was a forced-march and many felt violated by the incursion into their everyday use of language and violated by the abuse they had to endure. The same can be said about multiculturalism. Again many felt they were being frogmarched into an ill-conceived agenda and it all seemed very much one way traffic.

But to treat Human Rights (HR) as a political whip is inexcusable. Again holding onto the coat tails of the professional classes the Left made HR a source of ridicule and much pub banter to such an extent that it is almost discredited. HR is too important to be bandied about as a politically correct minority case study. And then to try to create divisions in society by suggesting a split between the older and younger generation is the ‘last refuge of a scoundrel’. (Samuel Johnson)

Made brazen by their fervour for minority point scoring they let their passion rip on a biased political agenda. No thought, except of contempt, for the majority view is indicative of what is wrong in politics in the UK. This is not the politics for the people but the indoctrination of the people. Fascists everywhere will be amused by the flexibility of democracy.

A belief has grown among politicians and those who term themselves the intelligentsia that democracy can be utilised to impose their specific political agenda. Beware of arrogance or you may find that when your Lexus breaks down you may need a tank to get back.

Left to rot or to fester the people are let loose to make do as best they can. To contendthZL6SLM4X with the vagaries of the system and at the mercy of the capitalists who are riding roughshod over them. The belief in the democratic process will wane in consequence and poverty will raise its ugly head and snare many more aimless drifters. The traditional ‘life net’ afforded by the Left and the unions are gone; for the parties are estranged. The future is now a guessing game and a case of come-what-may.                                                  Out of context but nonetheless poignant:

“Something was dead in each of us,

And what was dead was Hope.”

Oscar Wilde   The Ballad of Reading Gaol

 

 

 

 

Multiculturalism: Dam to Progress. (Blindland 8)

Multiculturalism is the great hope of the Liberal elite and the offspring the politically

Utopia?

Utopia?

correct (PC) claque. For them the concept is self-explanatory; we all live in the one nation and we must therefore be tolerant towards all other sections of society no matter their religion, ethnic origin or culture. That this policy has been adopted by the government is a cause for celebration for the advocates of multiculturalism. This is after all a great pluralist experiment which illustrates how we can all live in a cohesive, cross pollinating vibrant way. An alternative view would suggest that multiculturalism is not a panacea for the new world but a barrier to change.

It is an ideal world where everyone is different but can understand and accept the ways of others. Where there is no conflict of ideas or of methods of doing things. No one culture dominates. We are equals but own our separate identities. Is such a society any less utopian than Christianity, than Communism? What happens when one or more cultures decide not to accept further change, want to remain steadfast to the ancient ways. Are the leaders of those cultures entitled to force their community to adhere to that diktat? Would each group/community have their own schools to teach their perspective on life or would all schools be forced to teach an all embracing curriculum?

There is a powerful tendency for new migrants to band together in close-knit communities where they feel more relaxed, more likely to receive a welcome and initial help. However, these same communities tend to consolidate in that area. Few venture beyond its confines into the wider society. They become insular, they shop at ethnic stores and the store owners buy from ethnic cash and carry establishments. In that sense they become entombed in the culture they left behind, which is contrary to integration. In their area the old culture dominates and its archaic customs prevail.

The holding on to one’s culture is in contrast to the view of Will Kymlicka a strong advocate of multiculturalism, “Immigrants chose to relinquish access to their native culture by migrating”. www.plato.stanford.edu/entries/multicultualism/

Multiculturalism thus builds its own barriers, “Diversity can and has meant the creation of religious ghettoes with little traffic between or among them”. Diana L. Eck, Pluralism project at Harvard University. In such circumstances as ghettoes it is little wonder that the old ways predominate. In some communities we have the emergence of ‘patriarchal cultures’ and internal discrimination against residents of those communities.

In the recent past we have had stories highlighted on news bulletins about; vote rigging in Council elections (UK) and the more barbaric female genital mutilation (FGM). Of course such practices are widely condemned by the government and have been given due prominence in the national media. The Independent, 03/07/2014 reported that

children never win

children never win

some 170,000 women and girls living in Britain have suffered FGM and a further 65,000 girls under 13 years are at risk. The paper cites the government’s Home Affairs Select Committee as denouncing the practice of FGM as an “extreme form of child abuse”. The practice has been illegal since 1985 but obviously continues. An estimated 125 million females have suffered FGM worldwide.

Another cultural custom is that of ‘arranged marriages’ whereby young women/girls are taken from their country of birth (UK) to be married in some Asian nation. As with FGM, arranged marriages are illegal in the UK but the law is ignored. The numbers of those females affected clearly point to widespread abuse and thP5JCL2I0a total disregard for the rule of law in the UK. The practices are an anachronism in today’s society and anathema to equality. “Like it or not-and many from Plato to Marx have disliked it-law is the central concept in human society; without it, indeed, there would be no society”. Quoted from Lloyd’s The Idea of Law 1966 www.jstor.org/discovery/10.2307/

The young people who follow the jihadist trail to Syria would suggest that some communities are lost to UK society when grouped with FGM, ballot rigging and forced marriage. The gulf between us seems unbridgeable, “Mere diversity without real encounter and relationship will yield increasing tensions in our societies”. The isolation of some groups maybe the result of intimidation, indoctrination, fear or belief; nonetheless, if a majority think contrary to the practices mentioned but remain silent, the wider public are left to assume whatever they wish. www.plualism.org/pages/pluralism/what_is_pluralism

Moreover, those who promote multiculturalism and representation of minorities on various political bodies are in fact saying that democracy is inefficient to meet their particular mindset. However, to deny the principle of democracy is to deny the ‘rights’ of the majority population. It is the notion of democratic rights that maintains consensus which allows society to continue on a peaceful course. To undermine the democratic principle would be to undermine one of the main tenets of our society. But as with the pluralists, the liberal elite and the claque seem to have little regard for democracy and the “stolid mass”. Michael Young

A considerable number of the websites visited about this subject matter stress the point of no one culture being dominant. If no culture is to dominate does that include language? Would everyone in the country need to become multilingual? In his book, Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam highlighted a poignant observation; while the folks he studied did not display any overt racism, “Rather, inhabitants of diverse communities tend to withdraw from collective life, to distrust their neighbours”.

It also raises a very pertinent question about democracy and the place of the majority population. Under a democratic framework the majority vote holds sway and therefore it is anticipated that the majority culture will likewise take precedence. To undermine democracy is to let the dogs out and the consequences could be severe.

I would assume that the Liberal elite and their PC claque are not advocating a duality of rights and a duality of law in the country. And hopefully they would not countenance turning a blind eye towards inequality. Nonetheless, it is the Liberal elite and their claque that have demonised the ordinary Joe for not being tolerant. In its strictest sense, “Tolerance is a necessary public virtue, but does not require Christians and Muslims, Hindus, Jews, and ardent secularists to know anything about each other”. Pluralism .org (ibid) A duality of approach would be a seed for the most pernicious weed.

Furthermore, a tolerant society is not one which fails to challenge inequities of any nature. A tolerant society is one that insists that all are treated equally, has a transparency of objectives, with an expectation that all will abide by. However, ‘all’ does not mean ‘all’ to the liberal elite, the claque and their pluralist soul mates. Therein lies the base hypocrisy of this elitist brigade. They talk boldly about equality but massage its definition.

There are two key issues that sum up an equal society, the place of women and the rights of children. For me a woman’s right is quite straightforward: any woman must be able to walk down any street at any time with any one of her choice and have that choice accepted as normal.

As for children they must have the right to grow and be educated without any form of indoctrination. Decisions on religion etc. can be taken by the individual once they have reached an age of maturity, at present 18 years. This may accelerate change in ways we can’t quite grasp at this time but that is the nature of some change. We can jockey with equality through the smokescreen of our politics until the concept becomes meaningless or step back from our biases and truly put children first.

Multiculturalism as noted has not achieved the desired result and we now have communities stuck in their narrow outlook. This creates a polarization on all sides. Diversity thus becomes a drag on building a better society. It condemns many within some groups from experiencing the full rigour of the culture of the wider society and vice versa. It becomes a system of enclosures that allows better control by the Overlords. Multiculturalism is therefore an anchor on progress.

Moreover, culture is a transient phenomenon, look no further than gay rights and our more open society. How different is today’s world from that of the 1950s? This was not a forced change but a gradual transition from the 1945 election, the Teddy Boys, and the Hippie period of the early 1960s. The advent of mass media, its exploitation and the growth of multinational companies, all brought new ideas in a whirlwind. Thus culture is a temporary chain, a chain made from rope which will eventually rot. If culture is a chain made of titanium then we must ready ourselves for many wars ahead.

Note the sentiment of E. Adamson Hoebel, “Hoebel describes culture as an integrated system of learned behaviour patterns which are characteristic of members of a society and which are not a result of biological inheritance”. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture

We can all learn new behaviours!