Thecuriousmail’s Weblog

Stephen Hawking calls for human colonization of space.

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 25, 2017

 

hawking

Speaking on Tuesday at the  Starmus Festival, Stephen Hawking has called for a concerted international effort on space exploration.

During his speech, titled “The future of humanity,” the 75-year-old black hole expert said that “Earth is under threat from so many areas that it is difficult for me to be positive.”

There are extraterrestrial apocalypses, such as asteroid impacts “guaranteed by the laws of physics and probability.” On Earth, Hawking cited melting polar ice caps and climate change, unforeseen consequences from genetic engineering, loss of animal life and dwindling physical resources, among other ill portents.

Hawking says we have a mere few hundred years to successfully move from the Earth before events overtake us.

“Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves,” he said.

A most unscientific sentiment Mr Hawking, that the upright ape can thru their behaviour so seriously jeopardize their existence on this planet, but just by moving planets the upright ape will be born anew, but better.  As meaningless as something happened/did not happen, because it was God’s will.  All threats cited by him, except one, are a consequence of human action. And in moving planets we will suddenly behave differently?? This is contrary to evidence.

When the white European spread out into Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, how did they behave? History records the enslavement, the exploitation, and the atrocities, and is witness to the desolation of indigenous cultures.

Hawking admits there are risks to the kind of audacious space exploration he’s calling for. We don’t know what or whom we’ll find when we venture further afield.

He said on Tuesday, with just a twinge of envy, “If there are beings on Alpha Centauri, they remain blissfully unaware of the rise of Donald Trump.”

Professor Hawking, if and when the upright ape moves off this planet to others, it will do again what it did here. Evidence says so. The upright ape has not grown up, perhaps cannot mature. And if there are beings on Alpha Centauri, they would understand that the human race is a spreading cancer.

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A Triffid In A Field Of Sunflowers

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 25, 2017

triffid

When is the last time you heard discussion of how the political process in Western democracies might be improved, might evolve? Less corrupt, more representative, more equitable, more accountable, more transparent? I say there is more discussion on whether there was sport in a possible ancient Martian civilization, than on such democratic issues.

Why is that? Have we reached some kind of democratic perfection that I am unaware of? Alas, no. It is possible that I am a triffid in a field of sunflowers, and such perfection has  passed me by? Again, alas, no (and yes).

Even Catholicism, that bastion of ignorance, tradition and conservatism, has changed more over the same period than the actual process of democracy.

Why is this so? Why even no general discussion? I maintain the privileged control society, including the parliamentary democratic process, and would see any change to the democratic process as a threat to their position. So no discussion from the politicians and the political parties they control, and no discussion in the mass media that they control.

There is an illusion  of choice, but in reality a fundamental sameness to the political parties –and politicians in a political party vote as the party directs– because the privileged set the parameters of the political parties, tho normally in secret and thru their influence, and lobbyists walk across the bones of Cleisthenes. It is a secure position for the privileged, as the masses think they have control, and no slave is as happy, and less of a threat,  as a willing slave.

Who nominates judges? Who promotes and dismisses the bureaucrats? Who makes laws? Control the politicians and the political process and you control society. An election every-so-often is of no consequence to the privileged.

However, a change has occurred that seems to indicate the privileged have gone beyond just a manipulation for their own interests. They seem to be deliberately attacking the poor and the powerless. So-called democracies around the world, thru the politicians and the political process they control, who in turn control the police and the courts,  are specifically targeting the poor and powerless.

Concomitant with the attacks by the privilege has been an increase in a semantic deception. In a dark Orwellian or Stalinesque manner, words are misused to disguise real motives and the intended effects. So ‘reform’, improvement’, ‘fairness’, ‘committed’, ‘solution’, ‘transparency’, and such like, have an import not consistent with the meaning of the words, but consistent with their intended deception.

 Re the 2017 Turnbull government welfare “reform” (vis-a-vis 48 of the richest Australians pay no income tax):

This is not about addressing fraud. It about terrorising poor people, the unemployed, the sick and students, to name a few. Much as it has done with the hyper-terrorism threat, the government is promoting fear for political and ideological purposes. The fearmongering is working. People are becoming suicidal.

In light of the rise of One Nation, the government hopes that attacking “dole bludgers” will bring back some lost supporters to the fold.

Why concentrate on screwing poor people and those just above them in the income stakes but do nothing about the 679 big businesses which paid no income tax on gross revenue of $462 billion in 2014/15? The answer is simple. It is the same reason they do nothing about their own entitlement rorts or superannuation scheme. They are part of the 1% and share the culture of entitlement many capitalists have.

–(From Independent Australia).

Police: Will the corruption and abuse of power ever end?

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 23, 2017

qps

There is  a personality type drawn to employment in a police force, there is routinely an anti-social culture inculcated in the organization, and there are all-too-regular instances of police corruption and abuse of power. The police are a unique organization, and the community expects and insists on a higher standard of behaviour, performance, and accountability.

The larger the organization, the more difficult it is to address issues. Easier to turn around a row boat than an ocean liner, so it makes sense to put a limit on the size of a police organization.

Where hiring/dismissal, disciplinary action, and promotion are solely the province of police themselves, it must change so community members have an involvement, and in fact, have a veto on any decision (community members, not politicians, with a time-limited term).  All reasoning and decisions must be made public. Part of the reasoning for this is similar to as to why jury trials are important to a democratic society.  And the community must set the remuneration. A community that has a respected police service will suitably reward them.

Inculcation begins in a police academy. If such a central training academy is retained, there must be routine and widespread community involvement in the training of new police, and the training itself needs to include education in the mind (ethics, philosophy, reasoning, history etc).

Technology exists, with body cameras and GPS tracking, where the police can be monitored/recorded during their work/non work activities. It must be utilized. GPS tracking and body cameras must be activated and recording at all times while on duty, in the case of the camera, except for toilet breaks. GPS can always show where they were located. There must be penalties, including dismissal, for not having activated, or attempting to disable or circumvent, the camera or GPS. Extensive research shows that when people think they are being watched, they are demonstrably more inclined to do the right thing.  The police are a unique organization, and the community expects and insists on a higher standard of behaviour, performance, and accountability.

The issue of recruitment is problematic, as particular negative personality types are drawn to such employment, and there is a desperate need for diversity.

There have been many articles written about the political personality types of the police. One of the most influential is the 1972 work, The Police Personality: Fact or Fiction by Robert Balch. He explores several questions in an effort to crystallize the various arguments in the research on police psychology: are authoritarian personality types more likely to choose police work as a profession? Are police more or less likely to have authoritarian personality types than the general public? Does being a police officer exacerbate authoritarian impulses?

On the topic of authoritarianism and police, Balch summarized some characteristics:

  1. Conventionalism: rigid adherence to conventional, middle-class values.
  2. Authoritarian Submission: submissive, uncritical attitude toward idealized moral authorities of the ingroup.
  3. Authoritarian Aggression: tendency to be on the lookout for, and to condemn, reject, and punish people who violate conventional values.
  4. Anti-intraception: opposition to the subjective, the imaginative, the tender-minded.
  5. Superstition and Stereotypy: the belief in mystical determinants of the individual’s fate; the disposition to think in rigid categories.
  6. Power and “toughness”: preoccupation with the dominance-submission, strong-weak, leader-follower dimension; identification with power figures; overemphasis upon the conventionalized attributes of the ego; exaggerated assertion of strength and toughness.
  7. Destructiveness and Cynicism: generalized hostility, vilification of the human.
  8. Projectivity: The disposition to believe that wild and dangerous things go on in the world; the projection outwards of unconscious emotional impulses.
  9. Sex: Exaggerated concern with sexual “goings on.”

If such personality types are attracted to police work, then there must be great efforts made to address police culture and accountability

 

 I went to university  in Brisbane in the eighties. Queensland then was the closest I think Australia came to a “parliamentary/police dictatorship”. 

Joh Bjelke-Petersen of the National Party was the Premier. Later, when the dust settled, 2 ministers and the police commissioner were jailed. Joh was tried for perjury, but one, one only, jury member voted for his innocence. So hung jury. That jury member was a member of the National Party! The new ALP premier (and a crook himself) decided not to re-try Joh. An Australian state premier should have gone to jail.

There was a cosy corrupt relationship between the government and the police, where the police were allowed to do what they wanted, provided they supported the government.

There was widespread evidence of police involvement in illegal gambling, drug supply and dealing, extortion, stand-over tactics and assaults, prostitution, various corruptions, perjury, and verballing and planting of evidence on suspects.

It has been said that if you think qld police didn’t kill people thru their criminal activities you are naive. And there was some political and media discussion at the time, when the ALP came into government, but it was quickly and quietly dropped, because, it was said, it would have led to a public crises of confidence in the police. Yes, it sure would have!

Qld police (indeed all police services)  have a long history of corruption, criminal and violent behaviour, and there should be independent ongoing monitoring. In the time of Joh, any good cops were mostly forced out by bent cops, both co-workers and superiors. It wasn’t a good organization with a few bad apples. It was a criminal organization with a few good cops. People who lived thru Joh’s time wonder just how much Qld police culture has changed. Indeed, concerningly, if at all.

Successive governments have stripped away powers from the crime and corruption commission, the body that investigates political and police corruption, so much so, that soon the only official watchdog will actually have no power to investigate. Brave New/Old World.

So police and politicians went to jail,  but interestingly no judges. I would have sacked them all for gross incompetence and cowardice. You know, 45kg 19yo female uni student in a street march charged with assaulting 2 90+ kg policeman. Only they’re uninjured and she has a broken nose and black eye, and there’s credible defence witnesses saying she assaulted no cop.

COP: “Yes your honour, the defendant’s face assaulted my fist.”

JUDGE: “What a lovely man you are officer.  Yes, absolutely clear to me. GUILTY! “.

Crazy times.

it might be hard to fully  appreciate now, there’s been nothing comparable since (well as widespread, maybe, hopefully, err no, that’s incorrect), but at that time Qld was a laughingstock nationally and internationally, with a police culture of corruption, abuse of power, and cover-up.

“With firmness but courtesy”? What is this nonsense (substitute local police motto)? Sounds like “it’ll hurt me more than it’ll hurt you’ (which is rarely the case). Better it were ‘we serve with honesty and without favor’, or some such thing. A police force does not serve the police department,  or the government,  or the state; it serves the community. It is the community’s wish that people not murder, rape etc, and the community tasks the police (and pays for them ) to maintain that peace. And the police are accountable to that community. Police services the world over maintain a hostility, implicit and sometimes explicit,  to the community, or parts of the community, an ‘us and them’, and a fantasy that only they as good and right can control a community evil and wrong.

This police culture must change. It can only lead to police corruption and abuse of power. Police are members of the community,  charged with maintaining peace in the whole community, always with honesty and fairness and in a prescribed manner, and answerable to the whole community. If they either cannot understand their role, or they do not accept this role, their participation as police officers is immediately at  an end.

What can be said of all police forces? A substantial number of police –more than a few or some, maybe most or nearly all– are little different from the criminals they arrest.

Research is possible by googling something  like: how many police are convicted of a criminal offence. The percentage of serving police officers with criminal convictions is about 2.5% (I have seen much higher, but never lower).  The percentage of the general population with a criminal conviction is significantly lower than this. How is it that the police, tasked with upholding the law, demonstrate a higher rate of criminality than the wider community, and how is it that a person with a criminal conviction is hired into, or maintains their position in, the police force?

In Queensland in the last 12 months, serving police officers, on duty or off duty,  have been convicted of offences including murder, extortion, rape, underage sex, assault, and drug dealing. As it is, it is right and proper for the community to demand better, and to insist on a greater control of the police force.

Lightly scratch the surface of every police force and you will find widespread corruption and abuses of power.  I believe this is due to the personality type attracted to the police force, the laughably low entry requirements, and a lack of real accountability by the police to the general community.

The fiction of the ‘Rule of Law’, and why you must break the law

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 21, 2017

lady justice

A law has  been defined as an ordinance of reason, for the common good, made for the care of the community, and promulgated.

I say a law must be consistent with reason and common sense,  must be equitable, the reasoning made public, and must be for the overall good of the community. For a free agent, this is a precondition for acceptance and compliance. A law is not valid if it doesn’t meet these conditions, and as such may be broken.

If a law is not reasonable, equitable and such, it is not just permissible to protest and break the law, (and if desired, to take necessary steps to avoid detection), it is the duty of all free agents to oppose, disobey, and break that law. To acquiesce (as distinct to active opposition) to an unreasonable and inequitable law is to perpetuate it, gives tacit approval to the corrupt, compromised and inept lawmakers, and is contrary to the long-term interests of society.

Such laws must be opposed, must be broken, must be defied,  that is the responsibility of all free agents.

The ‘rule of law’ is an intent to rationalize and validate control, and it is often used merely as a weapon to support the privileged and to attack the powerless. It is a mechanism of such control.

The lawmaker’s half-plead, half-threat,  of “you may disagree with a law, but you can’t disobey it”, is a totally meaningless distinction, but more, it is an implicit acknowledgment by the lawmaker of the baselessness of their claim to the legitimacy of the law.

Your understanding of,  and personal consent to, the law, is not required, and reason and fairness and openness may be entirely absent, but (because the law  is an exercise of their power and control, and an expression  of their agenda,) you are simply required to obey without reason or explanation. You are permitted an internal non-effectual objection, and it must remain internal, and it must be without force or import,  but you must still and always obey regardless.

Yet if a law is consistent with reason and common sense,  is  equitable, the reasoning open, and in the overall interest of the community, ‘disagree but obey’ is simply nonsensical. But the rule of law cannot even limit its own absurdity: disagree with good reason, but you must obey the unreasonable, the discriminatory, the inequitable and unfair, the concocted and deceitful, and even the absurd.  See with new eyes, open.

The legal system is concerned with the legal system,  they are as vultures picking over a rancid carcass. It has been oft said,  but is worthwhile repeating: the legal system is concerned only with the law, and  not justice, not reason, not equity. If the government made ketchup ( tomato sauce) illegal,  the police — subject to regular corruption and abuse of power issues– would arrest anybody with ketchup, and the courts would contest interpretation and argue particulars, usually at considerable financial cost to the accused (and in this paradigm more costly legal representation usually equates to a better result for the defence, so all subject to the law, all being nominally equal, but more leniency if you are privileged).

To the police and the courts a strict intellectual obedience and subservience applies –the door to rationality and reason is slammed shut, and the door to absurdity flung open– and no law is ever too unjust or unreasonable or fanciful to disobey At best one might hear them muttering the mantra, ‘disagree but obey’. But never,  ‘on good reason I disagree, and therefore I do not obey’.

If a law is  unjust, if a law is nonsensical, how is redress possible?

It must be, it can only be,  the individual, the  free agent, taking action. You.

If a law isn’t consistent with reason and common sense,  isn’t equitable, the reasoning isn’t made public, and isn’t for the overall good of the community, it is the duty of all free agents to oppose, disobey, and break that law.

In these circumstances,  if the state uses force against you, or threatens to use force, it is your duty to respond in kind.

The single and sole purpose of the state is to provide the framework for the interactions
of free agents. It has no purpose,  no meaning, no justification , no legitimacy, beyond
this, and it is only with the approval , initial and ongoing, of  free agents that the state
has any reason for existence.  The modern state has come to act as if the only reason for
free agency is to support the state, and that the state exists as some separate and beyond
entity to free agency. This argument is the modern equivalent of the divine right of
kings,

 

See with new eyes, open

Victorian supreme court judge, Michael Croucher, in sentencing Sevdet Ramadan Besim, 19, for planning to kill a police officer: “It was also evil because, among other things, the planned behaviour was calculated to undermine the authority of the institutions of government.”

Any claim to authority by the institutions of government was long ago extinguished by their lies, deception, and manipulation.

Who does history applaud? Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Irena Sendler, for example (only two examples among many throughout history) who broke the law and moved Jews to safety,  or the german police officer who helped round up Jews, likely knowing their destination in a concentration camp, and their fate.

So who of the two does history applaud?
Bonhoeffer and Sendler.
But they were breaking German law.
So there must be times when the law is over-ruled by something else. Bonhoeffer and Sendler understood that at the time, and history honors people like them.
What might be a justification for action like his, a justification available in the moment,  that might successfully predict a future history’s positive conclusion?
I say,  a law must be consistent with reason and common sense,  must be equitable, the reasoning made public, and must be for the overall good of the community. And it is not sufficient to simply disagree; one must act. YOU must ACT.

The times they are a changin’.

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 17, 2017

tbilisi_police

In countries around the world, disenchantment and anger builds against the status quo.

The cynical ideology of neoliberalism has increased the power and wealth of the privileged, and wannabe-privileged, and increased inequality to obscene levels.

 Democracy manifests a sameness and has become much ado about nothing, where secret decisions based on hidden agendas entrench the position of the privileged, and the rights and freedoms of the governed are being steadily removed by corrupt and compromised politicians, only concerned with political power, and justified by lies and half-truths.

But a change is coming.

It may or may not be bloody. That depends on the actions of the privileged.

Will they engage and discourse, recognize the current problems and commit to a solution, a return of power to the people, an openness and accountability to decision-making,  and a fairer and more equitable future for us all?

History would say: no. The state will use all force available, force meant to protect will be used to harass, imprison and murder. The privileged, then as now, will use complicit and obedient police and courts to maintain their control, even as events take on an increasingly absurd, and violent,  air.

Is history to doom us to a bloody conflict?

Or can reason and an equanimity prevail, a commitment to a shared future as equals?

And as the political system must change, so must the economic system.

A Note On Free Agency

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 15, 2017

Reason must be our last judge and guide in everything-John Locke

Free agency is a natural right. The state has no justification to intervene in any arrangement between adult free agents exercising their reason and common-sense and in good faith, or the decision of a free agent exercising their reason and common-sense and in good faith, provided that arrangement does not deleteriously affect the experience of other free agents. The full expression of reason and common-sense means this provision should not arise, but there may be unforeseen or untoward consequences. Free agents acting in good faith can and do resolve issues and arrive at a consensus.

It is not the state’s right to otherwise intervene or to approve. The state may make procedural requirements, but the arrangement stands and is inviolable. Governments need the consent of the governed; free agents do not need the consent of the government. State intrusion into free agency has become so widespread that many think the social contract is now made null and void.

According to, for example, John Locke, when the government fails to secure our natural rights, free agents can withdraw their obligation to obey, and use any means, including, when necessary, violence, to re-assert their primacy.

Locke affirmed an explicit right to revolution in Two Treatises of Government: “whenever the Legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience, and are left to the common Refuge, which God hath provided for all Men, against Force and Violence. Whensoever therefore the Legislative shall transgress this fundamental Rule of Society; and either by Ambition, Fear, Folly or Corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other an Absolute Power over the Lives, Liberties, and Estates of the People; By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power, the People had put into their hands, for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty.”

Addressing a couple of contemporary issues:
1. People with an incurable disease wanting to end their own lives.
The state may make minimal procedural requirements, eg two doctors must be consulted, there must be a 7 day delay between decision and action, or such like, but the free agent can make such an arrangement without either the approval of, or hindrance by, the state. The means are provided, but the act must be of the free agent themselves.
2. A woman choosing pregnancy termination.
Being a free agent, a woman’s body is her own, and she is soley able to decide on such matters, The state may make minimal procedural requirements, eg to be performed by a doctor in a hospital or clinic, or such like, but the free agent can make such an arrangement without either the approval of, or hindrance by, the state.
3. Same sex marriage.
In regards to a community recognized relationship commitment, ie marriage, with its explicit responsibilities and obligations, any adult free agents are able to make that commitment to each other, same gender or different gender. Free agents can make such an arrangement without either the approval of, or hindrance by, the state.

We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.
Ayn Rand.

The Age Of Deception

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 11, 2017

british parliament

Capitalism and parliamentary democracy  are 2 very destructive  and essentially corrupt mental constructs that have evolved together, and continually re-enforce each other, and together have reached a point of being virtually unreformable.

The citizen in a parliamentary democracy has abrogated ALL personal decision-making in the polity, EXCEPT for the every-so-often marker of an election, where we are asked to express a general satisfaction/dissatisfaction.

In the meantime politicians and bureaucrats make compromised decisions largely in secret. In fact it is secrecy they demand, and lies abound. Deception is the coin of the realm.

The type of person attracted to a political career seems mostly to be the worst of us: not too bright, wanting the opportunity to let loose their prejudices into prescriptions,  and willing to be bought for the right price.

Nowadays the state can conceive of no significant polity; provided the state endures, the citizenry may number just one. And increasingly no action by the state against the citizenry is considered taboo, no liberty or right they cannot exclude or reject or modify into meaninglessness.  As long as the pigs can play in the mud, they are happy little pigs; the colours vary, but these little piggies have learnt to fly.

If in my power I would do away with parliamentary democracy and party politics tomorrow. I am happy for the future to judge me in this desire. I am happy for the citizenry to discuss what might come after this Age of Deception.

A question all people should address, as they are free agents able to use reason and common-sense. You need not listen to the oink, grunt and squeal, of the piggies. Remember tho, the pigs will defend the pigsty, and their place in the pigsty. You are a free agent, and you can rely on reason and your common-sense. You will overcome.

 

Terrorism paranoia allows Australian politicians to erode individual rights

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 9, 2017

NEWS REPORT:The Council of Australian Governments has come to an agreement over a number policy issues, including reforming bail and parole laws.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the heads of the nation’s states and territories have agreed to legislate on a presumption against parole and bail for people with terror links.  (Charged, NOT yet convicted)

COAG also agreed senior parole board and corrections staff will be briefed by ASIO on terror suspects, and all the leader were reconvene for a special terrorism summit to discuss pre and post jail control orders and surveillance of terror suspects

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the gathering would take place as soon as possible.

‘This is not an area of policy where you can set and forget,’ he told reporters following the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Hobart on Friday.  (Yes, the state will take every opportunity to erode individual rights)

‘We’re going to be very proactive, constantly upgrading our defences.’

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the special COAG meeting was very important.

‘I think the community will take a very dim view of each of us if, after that meeting, we do not have a detailed list of concrete, common sense steps, doing what has to be done to keep every Australian safe,’ Mr Andrews said (We must keep the sheep afraid, very afraid, so they do not object to their loss of personal rights).

George Williams:  “Of greater importance is the reach of the laws in introducing restrictions on speech through sedition offences and censorship; detention and questioning by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation of Australian citizens not suspected of any crime; the banning of organisations by government; control orders that can enable house arrest for up to a year; detention without charge or trial; covert surveillance of non-suspects; and warrantless searches of private property by police.

As these examples demonstrate, exceptional powers and sanctions thought to lie outside the rules of a liberal democracy, except during wartime, have become part of Australian law.”

Number of people killed in Australia between 2010 and 2016

by terrorist acts,  3  (plus 3 perpetrators)

by bee and wasp stings, 51

by being struck by lightning,  64

women and children, by ex partners,  253

in motor vehicle accidents,  8,762

by heart disease and stroke,  272, 352

Does a terrorist kill civilians? Yes.  In Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, have American, Australian, and British forces, killed civilians? Yes, in the tens of thousands.

It seems the definition of terrorist depends on what side of the rifle, and what side of the bible, you are on.

And there is a connection between foreign policy abroad and home Islamic attacks, denied by politicians in successive governments, because to acknowledge it means to accept responsibility and culpability, and this they just will not do. Western governments have for no valid reason put the soldiers in harm’s way and civilians in peril, and their answer to the danger they created is to remove the rights and freedoms of their citizens! Oh what a sordid bloody mess they create.