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Posts Archive

April, 2019

Magical Newton

August, 2017

Not the briar patch, Brer Trump!

March, 2017

A Serious Case of the DTs

January, 2017

The American Yeltsin
Sunlight Through Troubled Times
Beyond Zealots and Cold-War Warriors

December, 2016

A Vandal at the Gates of Rome

October, 2016

Are you conscious?

September, 2016

Brave New World?

August, 2016

Stop, for a moment.

July, 2016

Rupert's Coup

March, 2016

Between a Shill and a Hard Case

July, 2015

Swimming in a sea of sugar

June, 2015

Information Rich, Attention Poor
Nerds need to get out more ...

March, 2015

There is a homunculus at the end of the garden path

October, 2014

Welcome Home
Determination, not dreams
Addicted to GDP
Irony?Karma? - take your pick

August, 2014

History? Whose story?
Marketing Ebola

July, 2014

As above, so below

December, 2013

A time for tolerance

November, 2013

Thinking out of the xBox
The old ones are the best ones ...
Welcome to the Gulag

October, 2013

A timely response to spying

September, 2013

Obedience and the Machine
Ban the bible?
Fracticide - don't do it.

July, 2013

Serfing, USUK

June, 2013

Deafened by gossip

May, 2013

Who needs words...?

April, 2013

It must be true
Why would they stop?

March, 2013

Beyond belief

February, 2013

RBS: doing Fine, not Time
Pillars tumbling down
Trouble with models
A matter of perspective

January, 2013

Royal Promo
Boiling the Lance
Boson Brains Rule

November, 2012

Burning symbols

October, 2012

Charles and Jimmy's little secret
Happy Birthday
Beach bums and Magi
A Reality Check

August, 2012

A journey through riotous times

July, 2012

Caring for life
Not everyone for Tennis?
A banker lie? Unthinkable!

June, 2012

A cynical ploy
Collateral damage for The United States of Europe
Will you walk into my parlour?
Beams and motes
From one Jubilee to another

May, 2012

A crazy idea
The course of time
Sorry, Harry

April, 2012

Cracks in the Rear-View Mirror
A keeper of sheeple
Principled Policing
Say goodbye to Betty
Lessons learned
Causality and good news
Manufactured irrelevance
Corporate responsibility

March, 2012

Poppycock - without question
Who's pushing your buttons?
Investigate the Blair-Murdoch Conspiracy

February, 2012

In Praise of The Seven Liberal Arts
The real story
When giving is taking
Giving it all away

November, 2011

Poking a hornets nest
Wealth of Nations poured away
Squeaky and the Paedophile Prince
Boiling frogs
Death of an industry
Change blindness
What a world ...

October, 2011

Pictures and words
Screeching to a halt.
Taxing noise

September, 2011

Hand over your money
Breeding psychopaths
Mr Fox, is the hen house safe?
A ludicrous Conspiracy Theory
Can you believe your eyes?
Getting eye contact
Partners in Crime

July, 2011

It was the Wettins 'wot won it'

May, 2011

Heir apparently

April, 2011

Putting Emergencies in Context
Underground networks travelling First Class

March, 2011

Be careful what you ask for
Water - a tale of two countries
Here we go again ...
Wake up!!!

February, 2011

The right stuff
Revolution! ... and yet, and yet.
Follow the money
Shh - don't tell the children
Does the MoD have a Cunning Plan?

January, 2011

Met Office caught in winter weather whitewash
Read between the lines
The new parable of Noah
Banking on People

November, 2010

Wettins don't say sorry
It's just not fair ...
Remember, remember ...

October, 2010

Kindness sees no crime
Pundits in the frame
Killer drones target the middle class
A tale of two Charlies

September, 2010

A failure to discriminate ...
Good Grief
A rent-boy's rent-boy

August, 2010

Size psycho-fancy
Baiting a Wikid Trap?

July, 2010

... at the gates of Rome
Monday musings

June, 2010

Guilty - but not charged
Psychopaths at the door

May, 2010

ConDemned to the Shock Doctor
Driven by metaphor
Guns and Banksters
Death of Old Conker

April, 2010

Bankster at bay ...
Nuke Iceland?

March, 2010

It's how you say it ...
Bullying Manner
Quelle surprise!
Iceland - showing the way.

February, 2010

Small steps to a far place
Seeds of silence

January, 2010

So who needs people?
Late and censored
Freedom for life

December, 2009


October, 2009

Fools served by Zombies
BBC dogs that didn't bark ...

September, 2009

Taken Hostage

August, 2009

Have a good weekend ...
High Frequency Trading ...
Money money money
Fit for a politician

July, 2009

Inside clouds

June, 2009

Fond thoughts of Tony Blair ...
A good day ...
Midnight musing

May, 2009

aaah diddums
Zal may ...

April, 2009

Echos of a dark past
Sharks in the Shadows
Worlds Apart

January, 2009

Money Matters
Killing History

December, 2008

Home improvements
Get the Picture?

November, 2008

Barak - the movie

October, 2008

Won't get fooled again
Bankers, all of them!

September, 2008

And The Winner is ...
Light relief
A Financial 9/11
That's Lucky!
On this day

August, 2008

Mark My Words

July, 2008

The Management Myth
Sense Making Questions

June, 2008

Beware this Griffin
42 Day Folly
A Tortured Silence

May, 2008

A new Dawn needed
Is Justin Webb A Neo-Con?
The Puppy, the Mountain and the Fascists

April, 2008

Attention Pays

March, 2008

Fat Cats and Pork Pies
Fed up Darling?
Swearing - it's just not British!
Ban the bible?   15 September 2013

When I moved back to Europe from living in Chicago in 1999, people asked me about America. One observation I made was that husbands were afraid of their wives, wives were afraid of other women and parents were afraid of their children. It seemed very much a land of fear (rather than a land of the free). It is now clear that the first decade of the twenty-first century has magnified the condition of fear many-fold.

To a European, who grew up exploring woods and common land away from adults; at first taking a couple of city buses, then later riding a bicycle five miles to school, the schizophrenia towards American children is extraordinary.

On the one hand they are extolled as paragons of virtue, to be endlessly protected. They are 'the future'. They are the subject of endless marketing propaganda, both commercially and by government. Policies are given child-centric labels like 'No Child left behind'.

For example, one of the most serious crimes a motorist can commit is to overtake a big yellow school bus when it has stopped at a bus stop! These vehicles are a site to behold: bright yellow, with big red stop signs that pop up when the bus stops together with lots of flashing red lights. When the school bus is taking on or dropping off passengers, all vehicles, on both sides of the road, have to stop. Extraordinary. Talk about over-protective!

But, and there is a big but, underneath that overprotectiveness is a really serious cultural psychosis, to do with control. Deep down it is as if American society is so afraid of it's children that it goes to extremes to punish and keep them subservient.

Spearheaded by powerful religious groups, but widespread, is the idea that children must learn self-discipline through pain, early on. Not too early, as Dr James Dobson, one of the most influential religious broadcasters said: "There is no excuse for spanking babies or children younger than fifteen to eighteen months of age." (Clearly it is okay to spank a baby of twenty months.)

Mind you there are others, like the Pearls, who advocate beating babies as young as six months. To such people, any form of independence or questioning of authority is entirely unacceptable. As the Pearls say:

"Never reward delayed obedience by reversing the sentence. And, unless all else fails, don’t drag him to the place of cleansing. Part of his training is to come submissively. However, if you are just beginning to institute training on an already rebellious child, who runs from discipline and is too incoherent to listen, then use whatever force is necessary to bring him to bay. If you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally. Accept no conditions for surrender. No compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final."

This need for total control and obedience is driven by fear and insecurity. Fear is manifest in the way young people are not allowed to drink alcohol until they are twenty-one, and the ruthless aggression showed by ordinary policemen when they are called to an incident. They really do jump all over a non-violent suspect, pin them to the ground, kneel on and handcuff them.

The idea that laws should be interpreted rather than religiously obeyed is not accepted. The USA (and increasingly the UK, to whom much of this now applies) has adopted the wrong mental model for people. We are complex, adaptive, self-organising systems and are innately uncontrollable. We can be appealed to and resonated with, but in the long term we can not be controlled from the outside. When we attempt to assert control over each other, we simply build in trouble - rebellion will happen, somehow.

Perhaps it is time that we recognised how big a problem religion has become. Not Christion, or Muslim, or Buddhist or Hindu religion, but religion itself. The word religion comes from a latin root 'ligare' meaning 'to bind'. Although the individuals on whom a religion are based, such as Jesus of Nazareth, might seek to set people free, their religions do not. They are the epitome of top-down hierarchical control systems.

Christianity is an excellent example. The modern Christian church was founded by a Roman citizen, Saul of Tarsus (later known as Saint Paul), a man dedicated to destroying the works of Jesus. Although never trusted by the other disciples (his values and beliefs were in sharp contrast to those of Jesus), he appeared to change his mind and set about creating a religion structurally modelled on the Roman Empire.

In hierarchical systems, authority comes from above and obedience to that authority is necessary to maintain order. In an increasingly church-dominated society, that is why children are subject to such brutally destructive regimes. Fragile, fearful  human beings, who feel lost and adrift in the accelerating complexity of modern life, look outside of themselves for salvation. They reach for books written for a different age, in the hope that if they obey their writings they will be okay. 'God must save me, look at how I beat my children in his name!'

And finally, they find a vent for their anger and frustration by sending those very same, tragically unloved children off to suffer and die in a war, fighting against people who believe in a different book.

Perhaps it is time we listed quoting the bible as a hate crime.

Posted by Nicholas Moore    6:49:13 pm