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plse use "MAIL PERCEPTIONS" to input

Date: Sun, 29 Nov 2015 15:38:39 -0000
Subject: Re: Re: "Most snow patches counted in Scotland's hills since 1994

Nope, don't think you're crazy at all - in fact think your point about pollution (and deforestation, over-fishing, over-urbanisation, over-mining etc) is maybe _the_ most important issue facing us at this moment.

But of course that's all related to over-population - and _that's_ all dependent on corruption and deprivation - because the more civilized, affluent states are actually shrinking in birth-rates, only the more overtly corrupt uncivilized states (and their migrants) maintain high birth rates (because they had / have no state pensions or welfare so have a culture of depending on their children maintaining them).

From: 'janis'
Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2015 9:41 PM
Subject: RE: Re: Re: "Most snow patches counted in Scotland's hills since 1994

Hi Ray!
So the Earth is stretching, clearing, rebalancing, and as cells on this Earthbody, we are called to adjust as well - and those of us with a clue taking advantage of the higher dimensional possibilities now open to us.

So, is `climate change' `real' or `man-caused'? Meh. Sort of, maybe, but that's not necessarily the most useful question. We would do well to do what we can to stop polluting, and to clean up what toxic pollution is there. Clean water is going is going to be a far bigger deal than oil ever was - need to stop fracking, which is polluting ground water tables, clean up the radiation from Fukushima, stop excessive deforestation, especially in the Amazon, etc. That is our responsibility and what we should focus on. I'm actually encouraged that all this is possible, if we can get and stay ahead of those greedy power-mongers who are hell-bent on destruction....

So! Now that you all are probably ready to write me off as a crazy woman,
Recklessly yours, and no doubt saying way too much,

Date: Sun, 29 Nov 2015 15:38:39 -0000
Subject: Re: Re: "Most snow patches counted in Scotland's hills since 1994

Hi Janis,
You got me wrong - I don't join `movements' - whether for or against.  And especially I don't _deny_ climate change, because I've seen it happening over my lifetime.  What has happened (in my UK experience) is a lessening of severe cold in winter (although there were regressions in late '80s for about five or six years); BUT at the same time in late autumn and early spring we began to get quite strong storms (there's a wind storm outside right now).  Maybe those are due to cyclic dips in the jetstream?

However I'm also aware that real records - of ice-cores, and other Arctic and Antarctic ice excavations - show there's been several long periods in the last ten to twelve thousand years when it was much warmer than now.

It has been so hot, several times and for maybe a thousand years each time, that women in northern (modern Scandinavia / Finland) Europe wore knotted-string skirts and other tropical type dress:
- and it was possible to cultivate grapevines (and to make wine from them) in northern England / southern Scotland.  None of that would be comfortable or even possible today.

During those warm eras European glaciers shrunk a great deal, some disappearing entirely, only to re-appear during the Little Ice Age of several hundreds of years (centered around 1700 CE), from which the Earth is still recovering (it was almost certainly caused by the Sun losing electo-magnetic energy for some reason - shown by a dearth of sunspots for some centuries).

So. being aware of cyclical (or quasi-cyclical) warming and cooling over long periods long before we humans could have had any effects on the climate, I'm a bit sceptical about all the political hype about CO2.  In fact when I checked all the evidence:

(which can all be seen in the graphs and abstracts at glacials.html )

- I realized what others have also seen: that [solar] warming comes first - then CO2 increases due to increased plant / bacteria and alga growth (and decay).  In fact there's more CO2 from photosynthesis [and then decay] in the oceans than in all the plant life on Earth.

So I think the whole `global-warming' deal is a scam - like a similar scientific / political scam back in the '70s which tried to convince all of us we were entering a new Ice Age.  I.e. `global cooling' - and mainstream media and science journals conspired to lie to us then, as they are now.


Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2015 21:15:06 -0000
Subject: "Most snow patches counted in Scotland's hills since 1994

Well, I'll trust this physical evidence (of cooling) rather than the doctored figures of the UK Met Office, NOAA, NASA and IPCC.
By Steven McKenzie | BBC Scotland | 27 November 2015
Most snow patches counted in Scotland's hills since 1994

Seventy-three patches of snow have survived on Scotland's hills from last winter - the most for 21 years, according to a man who counts them.
His records of the white stuff are published by the Royal Meteorological Society.
The total of 73 is the most since 1994. They have lingered through to this winter because of the cool spring and frequent snow showers until June.
Patches were recorded on mountains such as Creag Meagaidh, Ben Macdui and Ben Nevis.
Mr Cameron said snow had survived this in areas where the phenomenon was unusual.
He said: "This includes, also for the first time since 1994, mountains in the north west Highlands, where 12 patches survived.
"The reason so many patches survived is undoubtedly to do with the very cool spring, which saw frequent and heavy snow showers right through May and even into June.
"In fact, there are good grounds to believe that the maximum depth of snow recorded in the gullies of Ben Nevis was achieved in early June.
"Also because of the cool and overcast summer months. For example, the summit of Aonach Mor - 4,000ft - recorded only four days where the temperature exceeded 10C.
"July and August were also cool, and taken together this meant that melting rates were diminished."
Lasting snow - snow that has fallen recently and expected to linger - came about 10 days ago, Mr Cameron said.
It means many of the 73 patches could survive into next summer.

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2015 17:03:39 -0000
Subject: "Emirates' 'worst ever air-rage passenger' jailed

Heck - in the '80s sexual attacks [by Mid-East + Saudi Arabs] on air-stewardesses were commonplace, but unreported;  seems they couldn't stand the sight of an attractive and independent woman.  We ex-pats often had to defend the stewardesses.

Kate Ng 2 hours ago
Emirates' `worst ever air-rage passenger' jailed after abusing cabin crew and biting police officer

An air passenger has been jailed after displaying the "worst in-flight behaviour cabin crew have ever seen", a court heard.

Jasbir Singh Bharaj, 46, had been on an Emirates flight from Dubai to Birmingham in September 2014, when he launched a tirade of drunken abuse, made sexually explicit gestures to a female member of staff and bit a police officer when they tried to arrest him. (more ...) ---

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:35:20 -0000
Subject: "Flu arrives in London

Ha!  So the flu has arrived (in London at least).  This morning, at the start of the `Today' prog (06:00 am BBC R4), heard a groaning, spluttering (and even dribbling?) male presenter who was clearly feeling sorry for himself.  However the female anchor seemed fine.

Date: Sun, 22 Nov 2015 14:48:15 -0000
Subject: "The Dictatorship of Data

Am fairly sure that GCHQ and USA equivalent [CIA/NSA?] are already amassing all the personal data on us that they can get their hands on.   Are you on FB / Twitter / other social media?
Ray D
The Dictatorship of Data
The battle over big data, as some governments try to use information power to rule. (R)
On radio | Today | 17:00 | BBC RADIO 4

The big data revolution is here, with masses more personal information available. And for authoritarian governments, this information is another weapon to use against their people. Gordon Corera discovers how agencies like the Stasi always longed for such technological power, and explores what might now be possible for politicians armed with masses of data about everyone, and the means to analyse it. How have Western companies been caught up in this world, and what can be done in response? Big data promises huge benefits in many areas - but can its darker side be resisted?
Producer: Chris Bowlby
Editor: Richard Vadon.

Date: Sun, 22 Nov 2015 11:36:23 -0000
Subject: "How `equal' is your country? [Not very!]

Heck - and it seems most other countries are even worse!
How equal are you?
19 November 2015

Type / Pick your country to find out how it ranks for gender equality.
The figures are based on the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s annual Global Gender Gap report, which measures countries according to where women are more likely to be able to participate fully in political and economic life and enjoy the most equal access to education and healthcare.

Your country is among the most gender equal in the world. It ranks 18/145

Top ranking
1. Iceland
2. Norway
3. Finland
4. Sweden
5. Ireland
6. Rwanda
7. Philippines
8. Switzerland
9. Slovenia
10. New Zealand

Bottom ranking
145. Yemen
144. Pakistan
143. Syria
142. Chad
141. Iran
140. Jordan
139. Morocco
138. Lebanon
137. Mali
136. Egypt

In your country...
For every £100 a man earns, a woman earns £83
Proportion of university graduates who are men - 43%
Proportion of women and men in, or looking for, work - 70% Women  82% Men
Around three in five senior officials, managers and legislators are male.
Share of government ministers that are men - 77%
If the current rate of change continues, the economic gap between men and women will not close before 2133

Date: Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2015 09:43:08 -0000

Right, think you've about said it all:

all `religions' are first used as a tool of war - to inspire followers to fight against neighbours, oppression or to defeat a dominating empire;
then, just as soon as the country or empire is won, the same religion will be claimed (by the rulers) to be a religion of peace - i.e. used as a tool of people management / mind control.

You can see that in the Hebrew bible (justifying dashing out babies brains and killing nursing mothers on a huge scale as a genocidal `cleansing' of conquered cities), likewise with the Xtians, until the Roman emperor adopted it as a state control religion, and then again, as we saw from 900 CE - 1400 CE, with Islam.

PS don't leave out the Hindus:  the Mahabharata is the early justification of massive slaughters (one even seems to involve nuclear weapons);
while later the Institutes of Menu (Menhoo) became the "religious rules" on taxes, rents (and slavery of the majority):
1) The Adam Clarke Commentary, Section 2 - The Institutes of Menu - "It is a system of despotism and priestcraft"
2) Page 46 THE INSTITUTES OF MENU - "Neither in them, nor, it is affirmed, in the whole Indian literature, is there a single passage indicating a love of liberty";
and I think Mark Twain made some scathing remarks about the same "rules" in

Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2015 09:44:19 -0500 (EST)

All religions have a sordid past and have twisted what was written to suit their situations . Sitchin said that even the historical value of the Bible was tampered with to make one nationality of people appear better than another . I guess we must keep in mind that history was written by the victors .What is upsetting is that people blindly believe what they are told when the truth is as easy to find as the lies .


Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2015 13:20:02 +0800

Sure I have read it and ... I don't need to go word by words as when I was reading the bible and as for what they profess in Islam indeed there were earlier writings of peace and love but unlike other religion there is the hadis in the Quran where it is also taken as important as the Quranic verses which is written during the time of prophet Mohammad during the "Age of God" , I take it as valid for this period in question but those hadis are writings taken from "Oral Tradition" after 120 years since the passing of the prophet, and the elements of rivalry between kins and followers became the foundation of opposing sect as to the emergence of the Shiite and later on with the founding of Saudi Arabia thanks to American oil company then came the salafis and wahabi form of Islam., you know these mixtures of tribalism, tradition of abrogation in the faith and the contention between the hadis and what is in the Quran itself is truly a recipe of disaster, now we are witnessing the outcome of a sand dunes saga that has started 1,435 years ago that is bearing its fruit on everyone on earth.

On 19-Nov-15 11:55 PM, Dave wrote:

A Muslim Speaks

I'm impressed with this letter from a Muslim, and respect her desire/need to remain religious.

My personal bias is this: I think all religions and their tribes have damaged the development of women, and harmed the advancement of human rights across the globe. And they have acted to prevent -- or stymied -- science, world peace, and the progress/ development of civilizations.

But I think it's critical that we hear this woman.  In response to the Republican states closing their doors to Syrian refugees, she writes:
"Please understand this: People are afraid. It is understandable to be afraid. But the people in the media use your fear to make you hate.

"NO ONE is more afraid than Muslims! Muslims are afraid because ISIS and governments like Assad are killing us in our countries. They are not only killing us but they are using our name to do it. The so called Muslim countries are filled with leaders who care only about their power and wealth. Washington is nothing compared to the corruption and tyranny in Muslim countries. Which is why I am so blessed to be an American and would want nothing else. But Muslims all over the world are afraid when the killings keep happening. We are afraid in our countries, and we are afraid of the backlash against Muslims all over the world.

"NO ONE hates ISIS and all terrorist groups more than Muslims. We abhor them and we want to eradicate them. They have made us so scared all the time. They are the biggest enemies of Islam more than anyone else. Muslim women like myself who choose to cover their hair with a scarf simply because that is something we believe in, are the most noticeable.

"Can you imagine the fear Muslim women feel today? We are millions, and we are doctors, lawyers, dentists, accountants, teachers, business women, and we are mothers afraid every day for our children.

"We are scared to death when our sons or husbands go out, or travel, that they might get misidentified and killed.

"And please don't anyone ask why we don't denounce it. That would be the greatest lie. We have gone hoarse denouncing, and speaking and yelling out. But our cries don't help media ratings. No one covers this in the news.

"We don't ask Christians to apologize for slavery, the KKK, Oklahoma bombings, or abortion clinc bombings, and the violence between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, and on and on, Muslims don't need to apologize for the madmen and psychopaths who kill in God's name.

"But we have, we do and we will continue to shout how much we hate these terrorists. We are repulsed by them. They should burn in hell for what they have done to the whole world!!

My fear?  I feel relieved when Governors of states with Concealed Carry gun laws, and 'stand your ground' gun laws, say they don't want Syrian refugees, the most dispossessed, war-ravaged and weary people in the world today.  This, because I honestly fear for their lives in places like the American bible belt.

Your take?

Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2015 11:13:38 -0000
Subject: "Poorer dementia patients in England less likely to be prescribed drugs

Have a sneaking suspicion that a great many of this generation's increasing `mental problems' - including dementias and maybe even accelerating autisms etc. - are due to the load of psycho-active drugs which has been dumped onto the population over last twenty years or so, by greedy unscrupulous Big Pharma and their bribery of family doctors, psychiatrists etc..
PS - haven't seen my family doc for over twenty years, but earlier refused pain-killers / sedatives after surgery (the Army male nursing officer got very insistent and I had to tell him to go away sharply).
Poorer dementia patients in England less likely to be prescribed drugs

Dementia patients from more affluent areas in England are 27% more likely to be prescribed anti-dementia drugs than patients from poorer areas, finds a new UCL (University College London) study of 77,045 dementia patients across the UK. This inequality was not seen in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales.

The new research, published in Age and Ageing, also found that compared to English practices, anti-dementia drugs were prescribed more often in Northern Ireland and Scotland but less often in Wales.
(more at page ...)

Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2015 07:19:34 -0000
Subject: "Brain structure may be root of apathy

Ha!  Maybe I would've scored differently than their test groups (who were being judged on accepting rewards for making efforts);  that's because I'll often follow a line of research / investigation which eventually consumes a _lot_ of effort over a long time yet has _no_ reward attached.

(Except for that great feeling you get when you solve a problem.  Compared to that all other `work' is just drudgery.)
Brain structure may be root of apathy
Can't be bothered to read on? It might be due looser connections in your brain
Date: November 13, 2015 | Source: University of Oxford

Scientists have found evidence of a biological basis for apathy in healthy people. Research could shed light on the way some people become pathologically apathetic, for example after a stroke or with Alzheimer's disease.
(more at page ...)

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 19:17:22 -0000
Subject: "Is western civilisation in terminal decline?

He seems very negative and depressing, and I suspect there might be ulterior motives for that.
Long-term historical effects act on groups - of elites usually - not on `civilization' as a whole.
Maybe recall our discussion of ascendancies?

In each case the driving forces were only a tiny few percent of the populations involved - nearly everyone else carried on as they had for hundreds of years.

Ray D
Tuesday 17 November 2015 10.23 GMT

Is western civilisation in terminal decline?
Though prophecy is delusive, an agreed point of departure should be falling expectations. As Ipsos Mori's Social Research Institute reports: "The assumption of an automatically better future for the next generation is gone in much of the west."

In 1918, Oswald Spengler published The Decline of the West. Today the word `decline' is taboo. Our politicians shun it in favour of `challenges,' while our economists talk of `secular stagnation.' The language changes, but the belief that western civilisation is living on borrowed time (and money) is the same.

Why should this be? Conventional wisdom regards it simply as a reaction to stagnant living standards. But a more compelling reason, which has seeped into the public's understanding, is the west's failure, following the fall of the Soviet Union, to establish a secure international environment for the perpetuation of its values and way of life.

The most urgent example of this failure is the eruption of Islamist terrorism. On its own, terrorism is hardly an existential threat. What is catastrophic is the collapse of state structures in many of the countries from which the terrorists come.

The Islamic world contains 1.6 billion people, or 23% of the world's population. A hundred years ago it was one of the world's most peaceful regions; today it is the most violent. This is not the `peripheral' trouble that Francis Fukuyama envisioned in his 1989 manifesto The End of History. Through the massive influx of refugees, the disorder in the Middle East strikes at the heart of Europe.

This movement of peoples has little to do with the `clash of civilisations' foreseen by Samuel Huntington. The more mundane truth is that there have never been any stable successors to the defunct Ottoman, British, and French empires that used to keep the peace in the Islamic world. This is largely, though not entirely, the fault of the European colonialists who, in the death throes of their own empires, created artificial states ripening for dissolution.

Their American successors have hardly done better. I recently watched the film Charlie Wilson's War, which relates how the United States came to arm the Mujahideen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. At the end of the film, as America's erstwhile clients turn into the Taliban, Wilson, the American politician who got them the money, is quoted as saying: "We won a great victory, but fouled up the end game."
(more at page ...)

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 11:41:38 -0000
Subject: "University lecturers on the breadline: is the UK following in America's footsteps?

We've talked of this before - the increasing `corporatizing' of USA + UK seems designed to kill off the middle classes and turn everyone into casual labor - for the rich.
University lecturers on the breadline: is the UK following in America's footsteps?
In the US, 76% of academics are in casual posts with little job security, and some are even on food stamps. There are growing fears that it could happen in the UK
Mary O'Hara | Tuesday 17 November 2015 07.15 GMT

Recently Noura Wedell found herself contemplating something she never thought possible. Should she, a lecturer and researcher with almost two decades' experience, walk away from a profession she loves because it doesn't pay enough to live on or offer any long-term security?

Wedell, one of the rapidly expanding army of academics across the US struggling to survive on insecure low-paid contracts, where qualified professionals can earn as little as $15,000 (about £9,800) a year, says the situation is becoming untenable.

"The thing is the real economic hardship of this," says Wedell, who lectures at the University of Southern California Roski School of Art and Design. Her annual wages from non-permanent contracts in the past few years have oscillated between $21,000 and $24,000 depending on how many classes she's been given to teach. `Scrabbling around' for non-academic work to supplement her income has been essential. "I have to sublet my apartment during the summer and live with my mother - at 43. I have put off having a family because of this. The situation is obscene."

Wedell says the financial and psychological strain has got to many, as the US higher education (HE) jobs market has shifted from full-time, tenured posts towards insecure contracted work. "I go to school via an underpass which is a homeless encampment. The real, present fear is that this is awaiting me. I know I have a support system - but that reality is close. Everyone is scared."
(more at page ...)

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 09:27:29 -0000
Subject: "TSA fails to detect loaded gun at Atlanta airport

Can't really understand this TSA failure, with all their state-of-art detection tools.

Back in the days of (relative) innocence, I flew from Riyadh (Saudi) to Italy with some presents in my bags.  Two of them were imitation pistol cigarette lighters (I wouldn't advise buying those these days).  We got diverted to change planes at Jeddah and our baggage was checked again.  I was sitting in the lounge when two armed guards came to fetch me to the X-ray post and there was my bag with two "pistols" visible inside.  I shrugged and asked the operator to open the bag and try the "pistols" and everyone only relaxed when he clicked one and produced a flame at the end of the barrel.

So all the TSA had to do was use old-fashioned X-ray machines.

TSA fails to detect loaded gun at Atlanta airport
Published time: 16 Nov, 2015 20:41 | Kevork Djansezian / Reuters

A traveler who flew from Atlanta, Georgia to Chicago, Illinois says he accidentally carried a loaded semi-automatic handgun onto his plane his backpack. The Transportation Security Administration did not find the gun during pre-flight screening.

Blake Alford said over the weekend that he discovered the gun after he had landed in Chicago on a Southwest Airlines flight from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on November 5.

Alford, a retired truck driver, said it was an innocent mistake, and that he wanted to speak out to ensure such a security breach does not happen again.

"People need to know TSA needs to tighten up," Alford told WGCL. "If they'll take toothpaste. They'll make people get out of wheelchairs. They'll make me take off my belt buckle and my shoes. How did my gun go through?"

Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2015 09:35:30 -0000
Subject: "Change in sense of humour a sign of impending dementia

General reporting of this item is rather sloppy, but was just helped by hearing the researchers' interview (BBC Radio4 09:00).
It turns out that a _change_ to crude `humorous' reading of normally painful events is a possible sign - i.e. that's a loss of nuanced, or sophisticated perceptions.  Which is what you'd expect from a degenerating brain.

Predictably most MSM opted to misrepresent the headline into "Macabre or graveyard humour is a sign of dementia" which is NOT the case, because some folk have a sardonic humour all their lives, and, if old folk around here are anything to go by, stay mentally competent.

And other folk, due life experiences (like military, security + police etc) can develop an `in-group' humour which maybe sounds callous to civilians, but merely reflects reality.

PS - was slightly surprised by the relative youth of some sufferers of severe dementia.
Change in sense of humour 'a sign of impending dementia'
By Michelle Roberts | Health editor, BBC News online | 7 hours ago

An increasingly warped sense of humour could be an early warning sign of impending dementia, say UK experts.
The University College London study involved patients with frontotemporal dementia, with the results appearing in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.
Questionnaires from the friends and family of the 48 patients revealed many had noticed a change in humour years before the dementia had been diagnosed.
This included laughing inappropriately at tragic events.
(more at page ...)

Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2015 14:12:50 -0000
Subject: "Theresa May unveils surveillance measures in wake of Snowden claims

Seems no-one's realized (or even thought about it) that these claims of a "need to see what dangerous websites people are accessing" are just hypocritical lies.

Think about it  -  they (UK - USA + most western countries, probably in cahoots with Russia and maybe even China) already have a constantly updated check-list of all `terrorist' or `criminal' websites - Right?

So they can and probably do monitor those who access those sites anyway!

And if anybody has taken the trouble and expense to `anonymise' their internet access, then THEY can be a person of interest to security agencies, NOT the vast majority of the population.

No, this legislation is what Richard Feynman warned us about in 1964:-

"I believe that one of the greatest dangers to modern society is the possible resurgence and expansion of the ideas of thought control ... I think that one of the greatest dangers is that this shall increase until it encompasses all of the world."

As we've already seen, gov'ts don't care about the criminals OR the terrorists, they want to control - and hoodwink - the majority of ordinary folk.

Ray D
Theresa May unveils surveillance measures in wake of Snowden claims
Home secretary announces new powers for police and security services tracking UK citizens' internet use without need for judicial check
(more ...)

Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2015 10:24:31 -0000
Subject: "Planes flying out of thick fog at Heathrow Airport (VIDEO)

Came back from Singapore (as a young soldier) on a British Eagle charter flight full of service wives+children, plus one young Navy guy.  So we two helped out the stewardess, who had problems with the kitchen (galley) and stores at the front of the aircraft.  She was grateful, + told us to sit in nearest (front) seats then she kept us supplied with cans of beer.

Descending to Heathrow we saw London covered in low cloud/fog, with tops of tall buildings sticking up out of the white.  We were almost landing, sounding as if undercarriage was lowering, when suddenly the engines roared and the aircraft pointed itself almost straight up.

Everyone started screaming - all the women then all the kids, and it was mayhem for a few seconds until we two stood up and shouted for calm.  As service wives they were used to `authority', so they quietened down and the stewardess said "Thanks" again.

Shortly she told us there'd been another aircraft on our landing runway, either crossing or just parked, and it was only seen at the last minute.
The mists of Avalon? Planes flying out of thick fog at Heathrow Airport (VIDEO)
Amid very poor visibility, planes seem to be emerging out of nowhere - and a YouTube video shows aircraft flying out of thick fog as they land in Heathrow Airport in London.

(embedded youtube vid)
Thick fog again this morning at London Heathrow airport

Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2015 10:37:14 -0000
Subject: "Touchability index"

Ha!  As said the other day (archived/edited at answers038.html#space - scroll down for a Russian bear hug), I prefer a wide personal space, and even dislike shaking hands these days (after working in Europe where you might have to shake hands with the same person up to four or even five times a day).  That said, in southern Italy I had to gracefully put up with being kissed, often on both cheeks, by young Italian women & girls AND by males, especially if re-meeting after an absence.

Think I'm more in tune with the Far Eastern attitude, where, maybe because of the heat / humidity, people tend to keep their distance in public life, maybe coming together in private for mutual enjoyment.
A `touchability index' created by scientists at Oxford University working with Aalto University - who have clearly run out of deadly viruses to fight - showed that compared to France, Italy, Finland and Russia, the British are the least keen on being touched by people they didn't know.

The study of 1,500 people showed we are very specific about who we allow to touch us and where.
If we are putting it on a scale it doesn't surprise me that the UK is the least touchy-feely nation. The difference between loving touch and being sexual with someone is interesting. In many cultures there's no difference between one and the other, and with many people loving touch can also be sexual touch. But if we're really screwed up, we can do sexual touch but we don't allow ourselves be touched lovingly.
The `body map' research will probably not surprise many - one of the fallouts of patriarchy is that women's bodies are constantly under scrutiny by men, and we are often judged as either sexually attractive or not. Men have been given permission to sexualise pretty much all physical contact with women. That said, I don't believe that men have no off-limits so long as a woman is doing the touching, but I think they feel it would be a bit soft to admit to what makes them uncomfortable.
On greeting a stranger, offering to shake hands is the most commonly used gesture and is appropriate for both social and professional meetings. Traditionally, the handshake was viewed as a sign of friendship; it indicated that you were unarmed and so came in peace. These values hold true today, making the handshake the safest option when greeting somebody you haven't met before. If in doubt, opt for the handshake. It is never viewed as rude, and carries little risk of making the other person feel uncomfortable.

Social kissing, although increasingly taking over from the traditional handshake, is not appropriate in all situations and on the whole it should only be used among friends, and not upon a first meeting. Social kissing varies according to the people and cultures involved, so use your judgment. While commonplace among younger people, kissing is rare among the older generation, within more traditional professions or in very rural areas.

In terms of how to kiss upon greeting, the double-kiss, which is usually the man kissing the woman's right cheek first, is the norm amongst the younger generation. An air kiss, with no contact at all, may seem rude or impersonal, but at least it is not intrusive - it is simply a social kiss, not a sign of affection. A very slight contact is best, and no sound effects are needed! If you're subjected to an unwanted social kiss, you may extend a straight arm and offer to shake hands, which should give a clear message. Finally, never force kisses on people who extend their hand as a sign.

Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2015 09:55:32 -0000
Subject: Media knowledge level

On this morning's `Today' prog (Radio 4 - 06:00 to 09:00) the usual pompous BBC presenter, with the usual BBC brief (spin it to a pro-UK view) was intro-ing the subject of LIBYA with (I think) our recent ambassador Sir Dominic Asquith, and asked what we could've done better "after toppling SADDAM".

Ha!  Wrong dictator, wrong decade, wrong war, wrong country, wrong continent - so about the level of knowledge of our own rulers.


Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2015 11:33:54 +0000
Subject: Help protect the FOI Act!
secrecy stampsCampaign for Freedom of Information
27 October 2015
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Help protect the FOI Act!
The Commission on Freedom of Information which is looking at new restrictions to the FOI Act is due to report by the end of 2015.

There are 4 ways you can get can involved and help protect FOI.

1. Respond to the consultation drawing on your own experience of the value of the FOI Act

Include examples of your own or others' use of FOI and how it has helped.  If you have obtained the internal discussions of a public authority and made effective use of them, it would be helpful to describe that since restricting access to such material is being considered.

The Commission is also considering ways to reduce the 'burden' of FOI on public authorities, such as the introduction of charges for requests. If you've had good reason to make a series of requests which would be affected by charges, it would be worth referring to this. We have produced an explanation of the key issues.

Please send us a copy of your response if you don't mind sharing it.

The closing date for responses is midnight 20 November 2015.

2. Write to your MP

Email or write to your MP today and ask them to help protect the Freedom of Information Act.

The website can be useful for doing this.

Explain why the Freedom of Information Act is important to you!  We have produced guidance to help you write to your MP on this issue, but try and use your own words if you can.  MPs are more likely to take your letter or email seriously if they see that you are expressing your own views, not just following a standard template.

Please send a copy of your MP's reply to us.

3. Sign a petition

Have you signed the 38 Degrees petition to Protect FOI laws?  Over 100,000 have now done so.  If you're a journalist, you can also sign the Hands Off FOI petition launched by Press Gazette as part of the Society of Editors' Hands Off FOI campaign.

4. Submit your stories to

#saveFOI is an initiative by our friends at medConfidential and others in the FOI community.

If you or your organisation has used FOI and the information has made a difference please write it up for #saveFOI.  You can find out how to contribute here.

Our mailing address is:
Campaign for Freedom of Information
c/o ARTICLE 19, Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road
London, EC1R 3GA
United Kingdom

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2015 10:08:22 -0000
Subject: Reminder to check Blair's new guilty demeanor

Someone posted me this article (below) the other day (thanks BTW) and hadn't given it much thought but last night realized I'd also failed to pick up on the change in Tony Blair's face+body language.

[Don't usually attend to politics or celebrity stuff but Blair _is_ a notable war criminal (& more?) after all]

Previously Blair has always worn the lightly-disguised arrogance of the `Yes-Man' with all-powerful friends (masters?), but, glancing at online news, now I see a subtle change.

[Years of instructing and assessing groups of people from various countries has made me `instinctively' read unspoken attitudes and emotions. See mil-time.html#italy1. ]

Clearly Blair is still protected from war-crimes investigation or prosection, because his masters? control MI5/6, the Special Branch of the Met., Whitehall (top bureaucrats), and the real owners of main political parties - BUT he's now looking worried.  Why?

The article reminded me that Blair, as was his habit, had continued Thatcher's policy of covering-up the powerful VIP pedophile networks in parliament, Whitehall and the City (and Blair _did_ send his son to an elite pedophile-tainted school, presumably for the useful connections to be made).

Then it struck me:  the only people who could inspire fear in Blair are those same thieves/pedos who've ruled him for years - and they have the habit of knee-jerk assassination if risk of exposure looms.  Just ask who killed Jill Dando and the others - at laworjustice.html#distract.

So maybe those long-delayed (+reluctant) investigations into VIP pedo-networks, which I'd assumed would be a whitewash cover-up, might actually be coming close?
And, looking back over recent months it seems several highly placed politicos, Vatican cardinals, bishops etc. _have_ opted for sudden death rather than face questions!

"Yet as Panorama knows (or should know) there is strong evidence to indicate that Brittan had a sexual interest in children. As I have reported elsewhere, tucked in the files of Operation Fairbank/Fernbridge is a formal 2014 statement from the ex-customs officer. This, of course, denounces Exaro's bogus story about the 1982 videos and films; but it also contains the startling - and detailed - account of how at a later date the ex-customs officer stopped Brittan as he arrived at Dover. A search of Brittan's car yielded a child pornography videotape which, even 30 years later, the contents of which the ex-customs officer was able to describe."
more at page ...)

Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2015 11:49:54 +0000
Subject: Submit your views to the FOI Commission
secrecy stampsCampaign for Freedom of Information
20 October 2015
View this email in your browser

Submit your views to the FOI Commission
After sitting for 3 months, the Commission on Freedom of Information has finally invited the public to submit evidence to it.

The consultation paper suggests the Commission is considering sweeping restrictions to the FOI Act, including:

imposing charges for requests;
making it easier to refuse requests on cost grounds;
making it more difficult to obtain public authorities' internal discussions, or excluding some from access altogether;
strengthening ministers' powers to veto disclosures;
changing the way the Act is enforced.

The case for strengthening the Act is not on the agenda.

We are strongly encouraging people to respond to the consultation drawing on their own experience of the value of the FOI Act.  The deadline for responses is midnight on 20 November. Our Stop FOI restrictions page has further information on the key issues.

Our mailing address is:
Campaign for Freedom of Information
c/o ARTICLE 19, Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road
London, EC1R 3GA
United Kingdom

Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2015 08:21:39 +0100
Subject: A disgusting subject - and a warning to all

A disgusting subject

Hate to say `told you so', especially on such a disgusting subject as this - but nearly a year ago wrote (at answers035.html#b-g-r and above) these words on "India" - meaning the cultural / geographical area - I.e. much of Pakistan, most of India and maybe Bangladesh).

Today, unfortunately, a combination of too-early use of modern technology and general ignorance has resulted in some primitive national groups opting for `killing-off' female embryos (and even infants) because their still-primitive culture prizes boys only - and because they were too stupid [and too corrupt] to think through the consequences of their actions.

This has resulted in India becoming a nation of psychotic males, unfit for civilization.  A human female is not safe in India - she will be mobbed and gang-raped (and, as a sign that the rape was psychotic, she'll probably then be murdered; with maybe even the body being burned, a further sign of psychotic male self-disgust).

That's all due to the boy-girl ratio in India now being tilted much too heavily towards the male - so boys don't see many girls and girls can't trust boys (can you blame them?).

Toddler and five-year-old girl gang raped in India
The girls were seriously injured in separate attacks in Delhi on Friday night
Lizzie Dearden

Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2015 01:16:20 +0100
Subject: row over pork comes as a surprise in France, where couscous is a favourite food

Ha!  All this crap about food taboos is due to ignorance of history and of physiology / medicine.

Admittedly I wouldn't eat pork in a roadside joint anywhere in the Middle-East or even in North Africa.  Why?  Because the SAS don't.
[Seems many SAS have got stuck in that habit and stay away from pig-meat even back home in Europe]

That's because some `hot country swine' can have blood / brain parasites that attack the human brain - and are incurable apparently.
Which is why both Jews and Muslims have long held an identical taboo against pork.

But northern Europe's peoples have, for millennia lived mainly on a pork diet - with no ill effects.

And, regarding the article's content, my tastiest couscous was in southern Italy (the proprietor / chef had lived in Morocco).

And an equivalent meal, although more gorgeous, expansive and elegantly formal, was served up at the home of a Saudi princeling (a student of mine) where the meat content of the main course (the couscous type) was apparently young camel.
Ray Friday 16 October 2015 17.58 BST
The row over pork comes as a surprise in France, where couscous is a favourite food

Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2015 21:45:52 +0100
Subject: Can 100,000-year-old teeth change human history?

Well, well - as we've discussed many times before, this backs up our suspicion that the mainstream theory of `out of Africa 60,000 yrs ago' was way too short, and that human lineages are more complex and extend further back than thought.
Can 100,000-year-old teeth change human history?
Archaeologists unearth human teeth in China from 50,000 years before humans were thought to live there, in 'one of the most important finds coming out of Asia in the last decade.'
By Eva Botkin-Kowacki, Staff writer OCTOBER 14, 2015

Archaeologists found 47 teeth in a cave in southern China that could put a fresh perspective on ancient humans.

These teeth belong to Homo sapiens, that is, anatomically modern humans - ones who, according to current archaeological theories, didn't exist in Asia at that time.

Dated between 80,000 and 120,000 years old, these teeth place Homo sapiens in Asia tens of thousands of years earlier than previous research, dramatically rewriting the story of how modern humans spread out of Africa, say researchers.

Modern humans supposedly arrived in Asia 50,000 years ago, according to the dominant "Out of Africa" hypothesis that describes the migration of modern humans out of the region where they are thought to have evolved.

But these teeth change that timeline, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

"They are from 30,000 to 70,000 years earlier in China than it was generally accepted that our species would have reached this region," wrote study co-author María Martinón­-Torres in an email to The Christian Science Monitor.

"This is stunning. It's major league," said Michael Petraglia, an Oxford archaeologist not involved in the research, to Nature. "It's one of the most important finds coming out of Asia in the last decade."

A dental match
These ancients are certainly our ancestors, the scientists say.

"In terms of dental anatomy they are indistinguishable from us," says Dr. Martinón­-Torres.

The 47 teeth are the only human remains found in the southern China cave, as teeth, with their hard enamel coating, often survive much longer than any other kind of bone. And fortunately, teeth offer many forensic clues.

"Teeth can provide a lot of information about the species we belonged to because their size and morphology are highly inheritable," Martinón­-Torres says. "They can also provide information about diet, about pathologies suffered from these groups and about culture, as depending on what you use the teeth for you can live some specific patterns of wear."

How did modern humans out-compete the muscular Neanderthals?
Scientists have long discussed what could have caused the extinction of our Neanderthal cousins, Homo neanderthalensis, the ancient human that lived in Europe before H. sapiens moved in.

This new understanding of modern human migration out of Africa could paint a clearer picture of the stronger, older species's demise, says Martinón­-Torres.

"For a long time, it was thought that the entry of H. sapiens into Europe triggered Neanderthal's extinction," she explains, but knowing H. sapiens trekked thousands of miles from Africa long before they appeared in Europe suggests a more long-standing tension.

"Neanderthals may have been a barrier for the entrance of H. sapiens," she says. "It may have not been easy for them to take over the land that H. neanderthalensis were occupying for hundreds of thousands of years."

Instead of H. sapiens pushing out the brawny Neanderthals as soon as they migrated out of Africa, it likely took generations to supplant them.

A barrage of difficult climatic conditions could have weakened the Neanderthals over hundreds of thousands of years, giving H. sapiens an opportunity to move into the region and push the earlier humans to extinction.

The archaeological site
Geographical location and interior views of the Fuyan Cave, Doaxian with dating sample (lower left), plan view of the excavation area with stratigraphy layer marked (center), the spatial relationship of the excavated regions and researcher finding human tooth (right). COURTESY OF Y-J CAI, X-X YANG, AND X-J WU These history-changing teeth were unearthed in Fuyan Cave, a limestone cave in Daoxian. The southern China site also yielded remains of hyenas, extinct giant pandas, and other animals, but few clues to life in the region 100,000 years ago.

"We do not know much," says Martinón­-Torres. "Unfortunately, there are not stone tools at the site and because of taphonomic (conservation) problems, only the hardest parts of our body (teeth) in both the case of the humans and the animals survived to our days."

Based on the limited evidence of human activity, she says, humans probably did not live in the cave.

More questions to answer
Researchers still don't know how the humans migrated to Asia from Africa or what happened next. Martinón­-Torres says she and her colleagues will compare the Daoxian specimens, other Late Pleistocene human fossils, and modern humans to better tell the story. Genetic information and other archaeological data will help them map the route between the continents and shed more light on these early travelers.

"Asia has an important role in the study about the evolution of our own species, H. sapiens, which has been classically attributed solely to Africa," says Martinón­-Torres. ---

Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2015 09:09:08 +0100
Subject: Feynman foresaw modern `Mind Control' - demanded "Freedom to Doubt"

In 1964, on the anniversary of Galileo's birthday, Richard P Feynman addressed the Galileo Symposium in Italy, on `The Role of Scientific Culture in Modern Society'.

He began:

"I believe that one of the greatest dangers to modern society is the possible resurgence and expansion of the ideas of thought control ... I think that one of the greatest dangers is that this shall increase until it encompasses all of the world."

"Now the freedom to doubt, which is absolutely essential for the development of the sciences, was born from a struggle with the constituted authorities of the time who had a solution to every problem, namely the church."

I.e. that the `Powers That Be' (PTB) of Galileo's day practised `mind control' using the weapon of religion, backed up by brute force, torture and burning folk to death (like they tortured and murdered Giordano Bruno a few years earlier).

He went on to explain how logical sciences - e.g. like physics, history, economics or even philosophy - can never prove a theory correct, only prove it wrong.  That is, there can never be a `settled science' - because at any time further discovery can disprove your precious theory.

Summing up he said:

"I should hope that ... governments ought not to be empowered to decide the validity of scientific theories, that that is a ridiculous thing for them to try to do;  that they are not to decide the various descriptions of history or of economic theory or of philosophy."

Of course we now know that modern gov'ts (PTBs) have chosen to make the sciences their new weapons of mind control - but only the bits that they decree to be "correct" - by (political) `consensus'.

Ray D
PS - always respected Feynman's scientific acumen, now (Dec. 2015) begin to think he was prescient.

PPS - Feynman's insistence on `freedom to doubt' now reminds me of a similar insistence from Roger Penrose:

"it should be made clear that majority opinion, no matter how important it may be for democratic government, should in no way be used as the criterion for scientific acceptability."
Roger Penrose - `The Road to Reality' - p. 13

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 2015 16:34:08 +0000
Subject: Sweeping restrictions to FOI being considered

Campaign for Freedom of Information | 9 October 2015
New consultation document confirms that sweeping restrictions to FOI being considered

Sweeping restrictions to the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act are being considered by the body set up to consider the legislation, according to the Campaign for Freedom of Information.

After sitting for 3 months, the Commission on Freedom of Information, set up by the government this July, has today finally invited the public to submit evidence to it [1].  Its consultation document confirms that it is considering whether public authorities' internal discussions should be made more difficult to obtain and whether ministers' ability to veto disclosures should be strengthened.  It is also considering changing the way the Act is enforced, which could reduce the public's rights, and reducing the Act's `burden' on public authorities.  Off the record briefings suggest this could include charging for FOI requests.

The Campaign for Freedom of Information's director, Maurice Frankel, said "charges would be likely to deter large numbers of requests.  When a £15 application fee was introduced under Ireland's freedom of information act in 2003, it resulted in the number of requests falling to 25% of its previous level.  The same could occur here, reducing the scrutiny of public authorities and making it easier for them to say they are doing one thing when they are really doing the opposite." [2]

The consultation document also describes a range of options for protecting an authority's internal discussions from disclosure, including removing such material from the Act's scope altogether.  Currently internal discussions can be disclosed on public interest grounds, but the consultation document says this creates "uncertainty" which could lead to less frank recording of views

Mr Frankel said that some of the options being considered "could mean that a public authority's internal discussions would remain secret for decades even if they revealed that critical mistakes had been made, inconvenient evidence had been ignored or poor decisions taken to satisfy commercial or other lobby groups".

The Campaign pointed out that Jack Straw, one of the Commission's five members, is on record as calling for the Act to be amended to prevent internal discussions being disclosed in the public interest and for charges to be made for FOI requests.

Last month more than 140 organisations wrote to the Prime Minister expressing concern about the Commission's membership and terms of reference, pointing out that the government would normally expressly avoid appointing members who had already reached and expressed firm views on the issues [3].

[1] The consultation document can be downloaded from  The deadline for evidence is 20 November 2015.

[2] For the impact of fees in Ireland see, Review of the Operation of the Freedom of information (Amendment) Act 2003, June 2004  Last year, the Irish government scrapped application fees.


[Please note that the Campaign has recently moved - our new contact details are below]
Our mailing address is:

Campaign for Freedom of Information
c/o ARTICLE 19, Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road
London, EC1R 3GA
United Kingdom

Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2015 21:25:01 +0100
Subject: Panorama's VIP paedophile "investigation"

Ha!  Heard about last night's TV prog on today's radio review.  It seems it was propaganda, not an "investigation", and consisted of casting doubts on victims.

A media professional noted that the program never mentioned the fact that policemen have come forward to confirm they were warned-off from investigating VIP homo-pedos in parliament and Westminster (i.e. politicians and top bureaucrats) at the `highest level'.

But the situation is even murkier than mainstream media are willing to publish:

Evidence says that the BBC was actively covering-up homo-pedos, and even pimping for them (by drawing in young boys - usually schoolboys - to be `groomed' by BBC VIPs), and that this has been happening at least since the 1950's.

Don't mention "Harding" (or Braden for that matter - although he was just a sort-of witness)

Ray D
Panorama's VIP paedophile investigation exposes tensions in BBC
Former producer Meirion Jones said the report revealed how the broadcaster's attitude to victims of alleged abuse has not changed since Jimmy Savile affair

Panorama's report on an alleged VIP paedophile ring has reopened deep wounds at the BBC, which is still recovering from the impact of the Jimmy Saville affair.

Present and former executives at the BBC disagreed over whether it was appropriate for Panorama to question whether a VIP paedophile ring had operated out of flats in Dolphin Square in Westminster in a programme broadcast on Tuesday night.

Meirion Jones, the producer who was prevented from airing an investigation into Jimmy Savile by the BBC, was furious about the special hour-long programme. In an interview, he said: "There are still people at the BBC trying to make the case that you can't trust victims and therefore they were right not to run the Savile programme."

Jones, who no longer works for the BBC and went on to win awards for his work on the Savile scandal, said the corporation had behaved `disgracefully' in its treatment of another victim of historical child abuse, Karin Ward, and that this week's Panorama showed how little the corporation had changed.

Panorama's report, The VIP Paedophile Ring - What's the Truth? casts doubt on the testimony of an alleged victim of such historical abuse, a sensitive subject for a broadcaster that had been accused of failing to air allegations about Savile and mishandling false allegations about Lord McAlpine.
(more ...)

Well, well - like they say "birds of a feather ..."
BTW - "public school" in UK means expensive private school - usually male-only, where homo-pedos are bred.

Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2015 21:35:14 +0100 | Subject: VIP pervs again
Bishop escaped abuse charges after MPs and a royal backed him, court told
Peter Ball, former bishop of Lewes, sentenced to 32 months after admitting abuse of 18 young men between 1977 and 1992
A member of the royal family, a senior judge, cabinet ministers and public school headmasters all supported a Church of England bishop who escaped prosecution for sexual abuse 22 years ago, the Old Bailey has heard.

The scale of the backing of senior establishment figures when Peter Ball was first accused in 1993 by a vulnerable young man of sexual exploitation and abuse was revealed for the first time on Wednesday.

Ball, 83, was in court to be sentenced for 15 years of grooming, sexual exploitation and abuse of 18 vulnerable young men aged 17-25, who had come to him for spiritual guidance and inspiration between 1977 and 1992 when he was bishop of Lewes.

Jailing him for two years and eight months, Mr Justice Wilkie said Ball had abused his position as a senior member of the established church. "You pursued selected individuals to commit or submit to acts of physical or sexual debasement under the guise of it being part of an austere regime of devotion," Wilkie said. "These acts were committed at your suggestion for your own sexual gratification."

Ball, who counted the Prince of Wales as a loyal friend, had first been accused in 1993 by Neil Todd, who had attempted suicide three times as a result of his abuse, and went on to kill himself in 2012.

The police investigated and six other victims came forward. But support flooded in for Ball from within the establishment and he was never charged. Instead he received a caution for gross indecency, resigned his post as bishop and was allowed to continue officiating at ceremonies for many years by the then archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey.

Bobbie Cheema QC, prosecuting, said: "The police report that accompanied the papers sent to the CPS in 1993 after the police had done their work stated they had received telephone calls supportive of Peter Ball `from many dozens of people - including MPs, former public school headmasters, JPs and even a lord chief justice'".

She said there were many more letters of support, including from cabinet ministers and a member of the royal family.

After accepting the caution, Ball resigned and rented a cottage on the Prince of Wales's Duchy of Cornwall estate.

Clarence House in a statement said: "The Prince of Wales made no intervention in the judicial process on behalf of Peter Ball."

The decision not to prosecute Ball was finalised by the then DPP, Barbara Mills, Cheema said.

At the time of the allegations, Ball told other young men in his charge that Todd's story was `total fantasy' and tried to deter them from coming forward.

Todd's sister, Mary Mills Knowles, said in a victim impact statement: "Neil had already made three attempts on his life in 1993 before he summoned the courage to speak out - The church wanted to sweep this under the carpet. They had no concern for Neil's wellbeing. He was very distressed, vulnerable and distraught. He felt nobody believed him."

He killed himself in 2012 - unable, she said, to bear the weight of what had happened to him when a new police inquiry began.

Ball was arrested and charged after the 2012 investigation. After months in which Ball attempted to avoid justice by pleading unfit to stand trial and arguing his role as a bishop was not a public office he finally admitted his years of offending last month.

He pleaded guity to misconduct in public office relating to the exploitation of 16 young men and two counts of indecent assault on two young men.

The court heard he ran a scheme to encourage young people to give a year of their life to the church, through which he met his victims, many of whom lived in his home.

Cheema said: "He was highly regarded as a godly man who had a special affinity with young people. The truth was that he used those 15 years in the position of bishop to identify, groom and exploit sensitive and vulnerable young men who came within his orbit.

"For him, religion was a cloak behind which he hid in order to satisfy his sexual interest in those who trusted him."

The court heard the abuse included beatings, and victims who were in his sway were made to strip naked during baptisms in which Ball also was naked. One victim said he saw Ball as a `living saint'.

Another said: "It seemed to be the better-looking boys, we were taken from the chapel and we would then remove all our clothing and be naked in front of the bishop, in front of the altar, in front of God."

Defending, Richard Smith QC said the offending was part of the former bishop's "dark side".

Bishop Paul Butler, lead bishop on safeguarding in the Church of England, said the case was a matter of `deep shame and regret'. "There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systematic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over decades," he said. "We apologise unreservedly to those survivors of Peter Ball's abuse and pay tribute to their bravery in coming forward."

The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has commissioned an independent review of the way the church has handled the case.

Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2015 08:04:35 +0100
Subject: "Child abuse survivors slam 'shambolic' inquiry delays

Ha!  The fact that cases from the sixties onwards are still un-investigated tells you something about the offenders - they are very important people with the power to delay all actions until they are safely retired or dead!

And it also tells you that the machinery of the State is corrupt and complicit in the abuse.

Child abuse survivors slam 'shambolic' inquiry delays
By Reevel Alderson

Survivors' groups have criticised a "lack of progress" in the work of a public inquiry into historical allegations of child abuse in Scotland.
They said they felt let down by delays which looked 'shambolic' and suggested incompetence.
The inquiry, announced in December 2014, formally began its work on Thursday, although no panel members have been appointed.
It followed a series of disclosures of abuse in childcare institutions.
In May 2015, leading QC, Susan O'Brien was appointed to chair the inquiry, which will have statutory powers to compel witnesses to give evidence.
Although its work has officially started, no hearings are yet planned. Only a website has been launched.
Education Secretary Angela Constance said in December 2014 the government would lift the three-year time legal limit on civil actions.
She said this would include compensation claims for damages in cases of historical abuse that took place after 1964.
(more ...)

Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2015 07:30:28 +0100
Subject:"Greedy "lord" taking $600 per hour of OUR MONEY

So this "lord" was making expenses claims based on a half-hour's attendance?   That's up to £600 per hour - of our money!
Tory Lord Hanningfield charged over expenses fraud
Published time: 30 Sep, 2015 14:37

Former Conservative council leader Lord Hanningfield has been charged with false accounting in relation to allegations of expenses fraud, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said. Hanningfield, 75, said he is`very disappointed' at the CPS's decision to charge him with false accounting over a series of claims made against him in July 2013.

House of Lords members do not receive a salary, but they are eligible to claim between £150 and £300 for every day they sit in the Lords.

The purpose of this allowance is to fund members' overnight stays, meals and office costs.

However, it is understood the former leader of Essex County Council allegedly claimed a daily allowance after `clocking in' to parliament on 11 separate dates for no more than 28 to 38 minutes per visit.

Scotland Yard launched an investigation into these allegations last November.
(more ...)

Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2015 12:15:52 +0000
Subject: 140 press and campaign bodies urge PM not to weaken FOI Act
Campaign for Freedom of Information | 22 September 2015

140 press and campaign bodies urge PM not to weaken FOI Act

The Campaign has co-ordinated a joint letter to the Prime Minister signed by 140 media bodies, campaign groups and others expressing `serious concern' at the government's approach to the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

The organisations are particularly concerned at the Commission on Freedom of Information, announced on July 17th this year.  They say its terms of reference make clear that `its purpose is to consider new restrictions to the Act' and that there is no indication that it is expected to consider how the right of access might need to be improved.

It is particularly critical of the fact that one of the Commission's members, former Home Secretary Jack Straw, `has repeatedly maintained that the Act provides too great a level of disclosure'.  It says he has called for information about government policy formulation to be automatically withheld, regardless of any public interest in disclosure; criticised the Supreme Court for `exceeding its powers' by overturning the ministerial veto in the Prince Charles correspondence case; called for charges to be introduced for FOI requests and said it should be significantly easier to refuse requests on cost grounds.  Mr Straw's publicly expressed views cover all the main areas within the Commission's terms of reference, the letter says.

Another Commission member is Dame Patricia Hodgson, Ofcom's chair.  In 2012 Ofcom stated that `there is no doubt' that the FOI Act had had a `chilling effect', discouraging the proper recording of information by public authorities.  The letter points out that deciding whether there has been a `chilling effect' is likely to be one of the Commission's priorities.  Ofcom has also called for it to be made easier for authorities to refuse requests on cost grounds.

The letter says:

"An independent Commission is expected to reach its views based on the evidence presented to it rather than the pre-existing views of its members.  Indeed, in appointing members to such a body we would expect the government to expressly avoid those who appear to have already reached and expressed firm views.  It has done the opposite.  The government does not appear to intend the Commission to carry out an independent and open minded inquiry.  Such a review cannot provide a proper basis for significant changes to the FOI Act."

The letter and the Campaign's accompanying press release are here.

Our mailing address is:

Campaign for Freedom of Information
Unit 109 Davina House
137-149 Goswell Road
London, EC1V 7ET
United Kingdom

Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2015 23:57:04 +0100

Hi Ray,

Health and Wellness Resources for Senior Citizens

Guide to a Happy Retirement

Talking To Your Kids About Your/Parent's Terminal Illness

Caregiver Guide to Senior Health Issues

Eating Well as You Age

Most Common Health Concerns for Seniors

Get the Facts on Alzheimer's

What To Ask Your Doctor

The health and happiness of our seniors is one of my top priorities, and that is why I have shared this information with you.


Angela Tollersons ǀ ǀ A Health & Happiness Resource for Families.
500 Westover Dr. #9372 ǀ Sanford, NC ǀ 27330

Date: Sun, 20 Sep 2015 17:55:25 +0100
Subject: "CPS: Prosecutors on Trial

Ha!  Far as I know most police forces were doing a good job of prosecuting - maybe _too_ good.

I.e. up to 1985/6 quite a few judges, diplomats,(and magistrates and politicos) were getting caught dabbling in pedo-porn (mainly homo-pedo), often caught by Customs officers (when the perps were returning from pedophile "holidays" in the Philippines or west Africa etc) and were getting prosecuted by Customs or by working-class police.

Clearly this couldn't be allowed to continue, so the Crown Prosecution Service was invented (1985/6) to take the power of prosecution away from police, and then judges (and diplomats, politicos) rigged a campaign to stop Customs officers prosecuting also.

Since then there've been virtually NO prosecutions of pedophile judges, diplomats, politicos etc..

Only problem is, as the CPS is being run by upper-class (pervy) twerps, they can't organize a piss-up in a brewery!
CPS: Prosecutors on Trial
Controversial charging decisions in the cases of Lord Janner, Operation Elveden and a doctor accused of female genital mutilation have brought a hostile reaction in the media to the Director of Public Prosecutions and increasing concern about the health of her organisation - the Crown Prosecution Service.

Over the past five years the CPS has seen budget cuts of over 25% resulting in job losses and internal reforms. Despite this, the organisation maintains that it continues to improve performance - measured by conviction rates in both magistrates' and Crown Courts.

However, there are increasing concerns about staff morale, the quality of decision-making and the standard of advocacy in court. BBC Home Affairs Correspondent, Danny Shaw has been hearing frank testimony from both inside and outside the CPS which presents a revealing picture of the justice system in England and Wales.

Release date: 15 September 2015
Available now

Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2015 00:38:32 +0100
Subject: Shall we save the life of pervert/thief Conway?

Sad to say, have to make a statement which might protect a `pervert in power'.

That is, yesterday's claim by our (pedophile) MI5/6 has made it obvious that they will have to eradicate a main witness against them.

No - I don't mean those pedo-homo MPs or members of the `House of Lords'; although many of them are culpable.

I mean the man who kept written evidence of _all_ the pedophiles and murderers in Parliament.  Because that was his job.

The thief MP Conway, chief whip of the Conservative Party kept a written record of all the crimes - especially pedophile crimes - committed by his party members.
[None of them were prosecuted - because MI5 and corrupt Met. police & judges protected them.]

But now - as the noose is tightening around MI5/6 (a corrupt and pervert organization run mainly by establishment* homo-pedos), there seems to be a strong incentive to get rid of Conway - as they got rid of Jill Dando.

Ray D

Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 17:14:30 +0100
Subject: "MI5 interview marks first salvo of campaign to revive snooper's charter

Ha!  Before voting to give him carte blanche, maybe it'd be wise to recall his organization (MI5/6) has spent much of the last thirty / forty or more years _running_ pedophile networks for their pervy friends in political government, senior bureaucrats, bent police-chiefs and of course Church of England's bishops.

And the evidence say they've also been - and probably still are - murdering ordinary folk to keep those pedophile networks secret.  Maybe see laworjustice.html#distract

D'you feel like giving him absolute power now?
Ray D
The Guardian | UK | Surveillance | Alan Travis Home affairs editor | Thursday 17 September 2015 12.12 BST

MI5 interview marks first salvo of campaign to revive snooper's charter While intelligence agencies are becoming more transparent, their demands for a bigger surveillance state never change

The first live radio interview with a head of MI5 - a person whose identity was once so secret they were known only as M - was certainly a broadcasting coup; but it was also the first public drumbeat of a carefully choreographed campaign by the government to revive its snooper's charter legislation.

It was no accident that Andrew Parker's warning of the scale of the terror threat and the need for new powers to meet it followed a rather less well-publicised Whitehall meeting on Tuesday after the home secretary, Theresa May, had invited the internet and phone companies in for discussions.

May told them that she was keen to secure their practical support for the investigatory powers bill that is expected to overhaul Britain's surveillance laws in the wake of Edward Snowden's disclosures of the security services' unwarranted bulk collection of personal communication data.

If, as expected, that legislation includes powers compelling the US and British internet and phone companies to store their customers' data (which tracks their internet, phone and social media use), and give the security services access to it on request, then the home secretary needs the industry's practical support to make it workable.

It is reported that she has only a "very narrow window" to secure that, as the government wants to publish a workable draft bill in October. The companies, including BT, Vodafone, Virgin Media and EE, are said to have raised concerns about cost, impact on customer trust, civil liberties and the need for strong judicial oversight.

In his unprecedented interview, Parker made clear that the current nature of the terror threat requires an overhaul of Britain's surveillance laws and attempted to make the case for the voluntary cooperation of the internet companies, with new forms of mass surveillance based on an "ethical responsibility" to track terror suspects and paedophiles.

While insisting it was not his job to put forward detailed proposals, Parker made clear he was happy to see new legislation drawn up on the basis of reports by the intelligence and security committee (ISC) and by the official terror law watchdog, David Anderson QC.

The ISC, partly in response to Snowden, called for the existing patchwork of surveillance laws to be swept away, saying they were "incomprehensible to all but a tiny band of initiates".

Anderson insisted that the security agencies made out "a detailed operational case" before there was any further extension of mass surveillance powers such as, for example, the bulk collection of everyone's personal web browsing history and the use of data-mining programmes to throw up possible suspect alerts.

The terror watchdog did make out a strong case that the 2,000 or so ministerial warrants issued each year to intercept the content of suspects' phone calls, to read their emails or texts, should be issued by a judge rather than a politician.

But, as Parker pointed out, Anderson did not call for the replacement of existing oversight powers, which allow the police and other public bodies to make 500,000 requests a year for their customers' communications data without the need for individual ministerial or judicial approval.

There are those who will say that the increasing move to encrypted web services renders even these extra snooper's charter powers out of date even before they reach the statute book. David Cameron has made clear his ambition to tackle the even more complicated question of encryption, but not until 2016 at the earliest.

Going back to that "ethical responsibility" the head of MI5 says the internet and phone companies owe the security services. These US companies already cooperate in individual cases when there is a risk to life such as a named terror suspect, an active paedophile or a kidnapped child. Facebook even has a dedicated team in Dublin handling such British police requests.

What is being asked now is something different. That the US companies themselves should proactively monitor their customers' data to alert the British security services of a potential terror or crime suspect. To make the case Parker cited the failure of Facebook to report postings by the murderer of the soldier Lee Rigby as an example where the companies had failed.

But as the ISC report into the Woolwich terror attack showed, the security services regarded Michael Adebowale, one of the two men convicted for the murder, as a low-level threat and so "intrusive action would not have been justified". It is hard to see how, if it was not justified for MI5 to take intrusive action to monitor Adebowale's online activity so as to detect a threat to kill a British soldier, it could be justified for a US internet firm to do so. It also, by the way, documented nine separate failings by the police and intelligence services in the case.

The head of MI5 may now be known as Andrew Parker rather than simply "M", but the familiar script of a fresh demand to build a bigger surveillance state never seems to change.

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2015 14:56:58 +0100
Subject: "I'm with Helen Mirren on arms round necks"

OK, fair enough and I'll go with that, because I like my `personal space' (about 3 foot - more if they're armed).  But it's a two-way street.

I.e.  my most recent `corporate' job was in PC Networking, usually, when not out on field work or installations, working in an open-plan office with maybe a half-dozen or more girls (18s to late 20's) who were mostly doing high-speed sales-enquiry calls, handing lines to me if people wanted in-depth tech-info etc.

We all got along fine, 'cos I took turns making tea/coffee etc., and most of us shared a sense of humour.  So on Friday they'd drag me along to a pub if we got away early, or later cruised the nightclubs - and that's where my problems started.  Some of the girls were well aware of my `personal space' thing and took it as a challenge:  so little Kathy would organize `group hugs' (for me) on the dance floor, knowing it really made me cringe;  and Roberta? (the sexy 18 year old) would pepper me with all the _really_ dirty jokes she'd collected in last few days (tele-sales girls all over the country swap female-jokes that would make men's hair curl) - and sometimes make moves on me that I was only saved from by my two `best friends' among the girls, who sort-of looked after me.  (If I had to sleep over - 'cos I lived way out in the country - it would be at one of their pads.)

It was sometimes a bit embarrassing for me - and got strange looks from `bouncers' / security etc., who saw this middle-aged bearded guy (from out-of-town) regularly being escorted - and pestered - by a bunch of giggling teens and twenties girls.  I'm sure those blokes (and maybe local cops?) had me down as a pusher or somesuch.

So I go along with `hands off' - for all.
"I'm with Helen Mirren on arms round necks"
Lucy Mangan
Take, for instance, Helen Mirren's pronouncement on men who put their arms round women's necks. It annoys her. She sees it as a sign of ownership, and it annoys her. "Of course when you are young, you want the guy to take your hand and look after you. But when I see girls being leaned on, I want to say `Tell him to get his damned arm off your shoulder'."
(more ...)

Russian bear-hug
Re: `personal space' and `embarrassing hugs' - at one time I would call into a convenience store to quickly pick up food/drink on the way home in the evening.  The usual staff were two petite girls in their mid-teens, an English blonde into competitive netball and a Russian-born brunette with a lively sense of humour - both friendly and chatty.

Maybe a year or so later, working with that bunch of youngish women in PC Networking, one Friday or Saturday night was, as usual, being dragged by them around the nightclubs when we entered a new pub/nightclub with me in the lead.  Pushing a way through the crowded foyer, I was suddenly stopped by a glamorous brunette, in a sexily draped leopard-skin, who held my shoulders, saying "D'you remember me?".

Luckily I realized it was the (previously petite) Russian girl, who'd clearly gone through a transition many Nordic / Finn / Slav girls experience - putting on height and weight, four to six inches and maybe ten or more pounds, by seventeen or eighteen or so - and replied "Of course - You look fantastic".

She grinned, immediately relieved and happy, and grabbed me in a tight hug (felt my feet almost lifting).  After a few endearments (saying where she was working and to call by), thankfully, she let me de-clinch.

After exchanging `see you soons', turned to collect my colleagues - the teens and twenties girls I worked with - and they were all staring at me.  Later they had questions ...
BTW - recall similarly being made an unwilling judge of female beauty long time ago

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2015 13:27:04 +0100
Subject: Logic + Psychology - & Alien Logic + Communication

You might not guess it but have occasionally thought about problems of communication
i) between different peoples and cultures (because that's been part of my job(s) at various times); and  ii) between people and animals and maybe wider (and wilder) beings (maybe because of meetings with wild animals).

Despite all the thought, didn't come to any more than hazy conclusions - and now I know why!  My data - wide as it was - wasn't quantified or even quantifiable.  So what to do?

Here's the answer - or at least part of it ( + thanks to whoever gave me the link to Robert A. Freitas' `Xenopsychology' page ):

It's a great read and very illuminating, so if you have the time go for it.  However if you are in a rush and want particular aspects or points here's a few links (it's all on one HTML page, these links take you to the relevant paragraph):  Alien Logic, Time, Space  How to quantify all `brain efficiencies'  What about humans?  Is communication really possible?  Present investigation  Future Problems / Impossibilities?

Ray D

Date: Sat, 12 Sep 2015 06:26:37 +0100
Subject: "Scientists call for more`diversity' in messages aimed at aliens

Oh Yeah?  So we message them how "equal" and "diverse" and "unbiased" Earth is - Right?

So then they come here and find that Earth is mostly ruled by thievish oppressors & perverts!  And that nearly all public pronouncements are lies - and known to be lies.

What then?

Ray D
A team of British philosophers and astronomers from the United Kingdom's SETI Research Network (UKSRN) are now planning to update the [1972] pictorial message by sending new plaques into space.

At a recent conference in Leeds, members of the UKSRN decided to send out an updated version of the Pioneer 10's pictorial message, this time to reflect the diversity of life and gender equality on Earth.

Space policy expert Jill Stuart at the London School of Economics (LSE) said that the original message plaques placed onboard the Pioneer 10, which were meant to convey the spacecraft's origin and to provide information on the inhabitants of Earth, presented several issues to modern observers.

She pointed out that the pictorial message portrays an image of a man with his hand raised in a manly fashion while an image of a woman is depicted as standing behind him, seemingly meek and submissive.
As for the human figures featured in the Pioneer 10 plaques being depicted as white, Stuart said that she does not favor sending out messages or images that depict material dominated by Western ideals.

To carry out the next pictorial message project, the UKSRN researchers will take part in the Breakthrough Message competition, which offers participants a prize worth $1 million for developing a digital missive that best represents the civilization of man.
(more ...)

Date: Sun, 6 Sep 2015 09:22:45 +0100
Subject: "The Abolition of Man"

It's happening already - folk are choosing babies by sex (boys only) in India etc., and in the West people are surreptitiously trying to "improve" the intelligence (or physique) of unborn babies.

All this without any idea of the long-term consequences of their actions.
The Abolition of Man
A Point of View | Available now - 10 minutes

John Gray warns about the dangers of science that attempts to enhance human abilities. He says such knowledge can jeopardize the very things that make us human.

More than 70 years after C.S. Lewis wrote "The Abolition of Man", John Gray argues that Lewis' questions are even more relevant today than they were then. "The scientists of Lewis's generation were dissatisfied with existing humankind" he writes. "Using new techniques, they were convinced they could design a much improved version of the species".

But Gray says that while the scientific knowledge needed to remould humanity hardly existed then, it is rapidly developing at the present time.

He believes that the sciences of bioengineering and artificial intelligence carry serious risks. "If at some unknown point in the future it becomes feasible to remould ourselves according to our dreams" he writes, "the result can only be an impoverishment of the human world".

Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2015 08:54:34 +0100
Subject: "Extra hour of screen time per day associated with poorer GCSE grades

Yup , said it for some years, and now the experts are agreeing:  "TV viewing was found to be the most detrimental" (see below).

Have been observing this since 2002, when a Columbia Uni survey (of 700 children for 17 years) came to same conclusions: see violence7.txt

What was the response in UK?  The BBC got a `psychology expert' (who was secretly on the BBC payroll) to badmouth the report, claiming it was `flawed; etc.

My own comment/coverage is at self.html#codicil.
Ray D
September 3, 2015

Extra hour of screen time per day associated with poorer GCSE grades

An extra hour per day spent watching TV, using the internet or playing computer games during Year 10 is associated with poorer grades at GCSE at age 16 - the equivalent of the difference between two grades - according to research from the University of Cambridge. In a study published today in the open access International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, researchers also found that pupils doing an extra hour of daily homework and reading performed significantly better than their peers. However, the level of physical activity had no effect on academic performance.

The link between physical activity and health is well established, but its link with academic achievement is not yet well understood. Similarly, although greater levels of sedentary behaviour - for example, watching TV or reading - have been linked to poorer physical health, the connection to academic achievement is also unclear.

To look at the relationship between physical activity, sedentary behaviours and academic achievement, a team of researchers led by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge studied 845 pupils from secondary schools in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, measuring levels of activity and sedentary behaviour at age 14.5 years and then comparing this to their performance in their GCSEs the following year. This data was from the ROOTS study, a large longitudinal study assessing health and wellbeing during adolescence led by Professor Ian Goodyer at the Developmental Psychiatry Section, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge.

The researchers measured objective levels of activity and time spent sitting, through a combination of heart rate and movement sensing. Additionally the researchers used self-reported measures to assess screen time (the time spent watching TV, using the internet and playing computer games) and time spent doing homework, and reading for pleasure.

The team found that screen time was associated with total GCSE points achieved. The average (median) amount of screen time per day was four hours: an extra hour per day of time spent in front of the TV or online at age 14.5 years was associated with 9.3 fewer GCSE points at age 16 years - the equivalent to two grades, for example from a B to a D. Two extra hours was associated with 18 fewer points at GCSE.

Screen time and time spent reading or doing homework were independently associated with academic performance, suggesting that even if participants do a lot of reading and homework, watching TV or online activity still damages their academic performance.

The researchers found no significant association between moderate to vigorous physical activity and academic performance, though this contradicts a recent study which found a beneficial effect in some academic subjects. However, both studies conclude that engaging in physical activity does not damage a pupil's academic performance. Given the wider health and social benefits of overall physical activity, the researchers argue that it remains a public health priority both in and out of school.

As well as looking at total screen time, the researchers analysed time spent in different screen activities. Although watching TV, playing computer games or being online were all associated with poorer grades, TV viewing was found to be the most detrimental.

As this was a prospective study (in other words, the researchers followed the pupils over time to determine how different behaviours affected their academic achievement) the researchers believe they can, with some caution, infer that increased screen time led to poorer academic performance.

"Spending more time in front of a screen appears to be linked to a poorer performance at GCSE," says first author Dr Kirsten Corder from the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) in the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge. "We only measured this behaviour in Year 10, but this is likely to be a reliable snapshot of participants' usual behaviour, so we can reasonably suggest that screen time may be damaging to a teenager' grades. Further research is needed to confirm this effect conclusively, but parents who are concerned about their child's GCSE grade might consider limiting his or her screen time."

Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that teenagers who spent their sedentary time doing homework or reading scored better at GCSE: pupils doing an extra hour of daily homework and reading achieved on average 23.1 more GCSE points than their peers. However, pupils doing over four hours of reading or homework a day performed less well than their peers - the number of pupils in this category was relatively low (only 52 participants) and may include participants who are struggling at school, and therefore do a lot of homework but unfortunately perform badly in exams.

Dr Esther van Sluijs, also from CEDAR, adds: "We believe that programmes aimed at reducing screen time could have important benefits for teenager' exam grades, as well as their health. It is also encouraging that our results show that greater physical activity does not negatively affect exam results. As physical activity has many other benefits, efforts to promote physical activity throughout the day should still be a public health priority."

Explore further: Five year-olds who watch TV for 3+ hours a day more likely to be antisocial
Journal reference: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Provided by: University of Cambridge

Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2015 18:09:12 +0000
Subject: Defending and extending FOI

Campaign for FOI news, September 2015

Stop FOI restrictions
It's now more than 5 weeks since the Government announced a new Commission to review the FOI Act.  The composition and terms of reference suggest the intention is to introduce significant new restrictions to the Act.

The Commission is due to report by the end of November, but is yet to even invite evidence from the public.  We will be responding comprehensively when and if an invitation is finally issued, but you can see what we've said so far here.

If you're concerned about the Government's proposal to introduce fees for FOI Tribunal appeals, don't forget the deadline for submitting your views is the 15th September.  A note explaining which bit of the Ministry of Justice's baffling consultation paper you need to address is here.

Using the FOI Act - training on 5th October
The Campaign's next training course for requesters on how to make effective use of the FOI Act is on Monday 5th October in London.  Details will be on our website later this week, but if you'd like to reserve a place, please let us know.

Extending FOI rights in Scotland
The Scottish Government has published a very disappointing consultation paper on extending coverage of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA) to more organisations.  The proposed list of organisations being considered for inclusion is extremely narrow: contractors who run privately-managed prisons; providers of secure accommodation for children; grant-aided schools, and independent special schools.

The Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland is urging the Scottish Government to extend FOISA much further, in particular to housing associations, contractors delivering public services, arms length companies and public private partnerships.  It has launched a crowd-funding appeal to help fund a programme of work involving awareness raising, responding to the Scottish Government's consultation, encouraging other organisations to respond or to support the Campaign's response, briefing MSPs and seeking to influence post consultation deliberations within the Scottish Government. Time is tight as the consultation closes on the 4th September.

Our mailing address is:

Campaign for Freedom of Information
Unit 109 Davina House
137-149 Goswell Road
London, EC1V 7ET
United Kingdom

Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2015 17:31:10 +0100
Subject: "Monica Ali chooses Richard Francis Burton

Ha!  Have a feeling Mathew Paris (and the BBC) don't like Burton very much - too heterosexual, too intelligent (spoke 29 languages apparently), too brave (lone explorer, intelligence agent etc.).  [Mathew studiously refused to call him "Sir Richard" at any time in the prog.].

There's a link to Burton's `Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah' (in disguise) at Front Page#burton  (think there's a foreword by Isabel).  Also think it's maybe significant that Monica Ali (a goodlooking + v. intelligent woman) felt drawn to Burton's persona.

Knew Burton's wife and last love Isabel edited his writings - even the most racy (like the Kama Sutra and Perfumed Garden) - but was surprised to find - from Wiki - that they were finally entombed together - see "tomb" link at foot for rather weird pictures (exterior and interior)
Available now | 28 minutes
Great Lives

Series 37, Monica Ali chooses Richard Francis Burton
Great Lives, Series 37 Episode 5 of 9

Sir Richard Francis Burton was an explorer, adventurer, soldier, author, poet, sexologist and translator. He brought us the Kama Sutra and spoke 29 languages. The author Monica Ali champions this racy character and tells Matthew Parris why this 19th-century explorer is a Great Life. They are also joined by historian and broadcaster Matthew Ward.
5/9 Author Monica Ali champions the life of controversial explorer Richard Francis Burton.

Sir Richard's and Isabel's Tomb [pictures / interiors]

Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:42:25 +0100
Subject: "Vatican ex-envoy dies ahead of trial

Ha! While ago posted heads-up re sudden deaths to be expected (Leon Brittan's tipped me off) - here's the quote:
"Royal household scrutinized in child sex abuse inquiry"
If she/they are telling the truth then I suspect we might see some sudden deaths (disguised as illness, suicide, accident etc.) in high places [for [royal] precedents maybe see past evidence - - re: "Jack the Ripper" and a homo-pedo `brothel' in London]...
Now do we see another clear-up /cover-up starting?
Vatican ex-envoy dies ahead of trial
Former archbishop and Vatican envoy Jozef Wesolowski, due to go on trial on charges of child sex abuse, has died
This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version

Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:11:49 +0100
Subject: "Robots will cut 25% of US jobs in 4 years, transform workforce - report

Obviously going to vary widely between types of work - can see that standardised factory / workshop / office and even freight work can be done by robots, but generalist work (esp. troubleshooting of systems, inc. human systems) would be difficult or maybe impossible to fully mechanize.
Robots will cut 25% of US jobs in 4 years, transform workforce - report
Published time: 27 Aug, 2015 02:14 | © Brian Snyder / Reuters

The encroachment of self-help kiosks and grocery store scanners has led doomsayers to suggest automation threatens the workforce of the future. A new report argues it will create new business sectors and new jobs as well.
By studying large companies in various industries, from Delta Airlines Inc. to Whole Foods Market Inc., as well as many startups, analysts have forecast that automation will erase 22.7 million jobs by 2025, or 16 percent of today's total.

The prediction comes in a report titled "The Future of Jobs, 2025: Working Side-By-Side with Robots," published by Forrester Research this week. The study's findings were drawn from government employment data, and interviews with businesses and academics.

Automation in daily life is already prevalent and expanding beyond the grocery store scanner. Robots are now delivering room service to guests in the Aloft hotel in San Francisco, and self-service kiosks filling orders at delis rather than humans.
(more at page)

Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2015 08:31:52 +0100
Subject: "Stock up on canned food for stock market crash

Ha!  Wonder if he's got any investments or friends in canned food or bottled water (or burglar friends - with all that cash laying around folks' homes / under the mattress etc.).
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser

Damian McBride said a coming economic crisis would be worse than the 2008 recession JON STONE | Monday 24 August 2015

A former adviser to Gordon Brown has urged people to stock up on canned goods and bottled water as stock markets around the world slide.

Damian McBride appeared to suggest that the stock market dip could lead to civil disorder or other situations where it would be unreasonable for someone to leave the house.

"Advice on the looming crash, No.1: get hard cash in a safe place now; don't assume banks & cashpoints will be open, or bank cards will work," he tweeted.

"Crash advice No.2: do you have enough bottled water, tinned goods & other essentials at home to live a month indoors? If not, get shopping.

"Crash advice No.3: agree a rally point with your loved ones in case transport and communication gets cut off; somewhere you can all head to."

Mr McBride credited his former boss Gordon Brown with preventing a cataclysm by nationalising the banking system during the 2008 crash.

"We were close enough in 2008 (if the bank bailout hadn't worked)," he said. "and what's coming is on 20 times that scale".

Financial markets are unstable and periodically suffer crises which can have devastating consequences for the wider economy.

China's "Black Monday" has plunged the global financial markets into chaos. The Shanghai Composite Index, China's most important stock market index, was down 8.45 per cent, erasing a year's gains in a day's trading.

The FTSE100 fell 4.5 per cent, hoping £60bn off the price of UK shares, and the Dow Jones in the US fell by over a thousand points in its first minute of trading.

Some analysts have suggested that the stock market slide could be the start of a new global financial crisis.

Mr McBride's suggestions about stocking up on canned goods, setting rally points and stocking up on bottled water were ridiculed by some users on Twitter as over the top, however.

Mr McBride was special adviser to Gordon Brown and head of communications at the Treasury for a period during the last Labour government.

Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2015 14:20:34 +0100
Subject: Prof Piff - and "assholes"!

Bridget Christie, writing in today's online Guardian newspaper, mentioned recent academic research led by a Professor Piff (UCI).  Its findings?

"Piff believes that being wealthy can make people less ethical, more selfish and less compassionate. "The rich are way more likely to prioritise their own self-interests above the interests of other people," he says. "It makes them more likely to exhibit characteristics that we would stereotypically associate with, say, assholes." Yes, that's right. There is a professor, called Piff, who used the word asshole in an academic study."

Yup, and the brave prof is joining the growing ranks of those who're seeing reality (for the first time?) - check call.html#greed-incomp

Maybe consider that before voting for _any_ gov't of millionaires.

Current Issue | vol. 109 no. 11 | Paul K. Piff, 4086 - 4091, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1118373109

Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior Paul K. Piffa,1, Daniel M. Stancatoa, Stéphane Côtéb, Rodolfo Mendoza-Dentona, and Dacher Keltnera

Edited* by Richard E. Nisbett, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, and approved January 26, 2012 (received for review November 8, 2011)

Abstract Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving, relative to lower-class individuals. In follow-up laboratory studies, upper-class individuals were more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies (study 3), take valued goods from others (study 4), lie in a negotiation (study 5), cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize (study 6), and endorse unethical behavior at work (study 7) than were lower-class individuals. Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals' unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.

1To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:
Author contributions: P.K.P., D.M.S., S.C., and D.K. designed research; P.K.P. and D.M.S. performed research; P.K.P. analyzed data; and P.K.P., D.M.S., S.C., R.M.-D., and D.K. wrote the paper.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

This article contains supporting information online at

Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2015 10:29:21 +0100
Subject: "10 worst pieces of advice ever given to parents

Right, `tip of the iceberg'.  We've already talked about all the "expert advice" we're always getting from Gov'ts and professionals (and Media), and one thing stands out - eventually it almost always turns out to be crap advice.
Maybe folk are influenced because we're indoctrinated to feel inferior to experts and authorities - and who's doing the indoctrination?  Right - the same "experts" and "authorities" who profit from our acceptance of their (crap) advice!
PS - maybe see `Wrong: Why experts keep failing us' by David H. Freedman, and `Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Are Next to Worthless, and You Can Do Better' by Daniel Gardner
The 10 worst pieces of advice ever given to parents
From hanging babies out of windows to giving children opium
HARVEY DAY Friday 21 August 2015

A doctor's claim that parents should not kiss their children on the lips because it is "too sexual" has sparked widespread criticism.
We take a look at some of the more esoteric advice given to parents over the years:

1. In an overcrowded 1930s London, one parenting group came up with an ingenious idea for parents with no outside space: why not just hang your baby out the window?

These deathly contraptions were issued by the Chelsea Baby Club to families with no gardens who lived at the top of tall buildings.

2. In 1962, the same year as the Cuban Missile Crisis, an American paediatrician warned parents that the only way to avoid raising a socialist baby was to be as unloving as possible.

Walter Sackett's book Bringing Up Babies said: "If we teach our offspring to expect everything to be provided on demand, we must admit the possibility that we are sowing the seeds of socialism."

Too right - babies ought to learn to pull themselves up by their own bootie straps.

3. In 1916, a husband and wife doctor duo, the Sadlers, warned that if a woman breastfed her baby while angry she would run the risk of giving her baby colic.

They also warned that `worry, grief, or nagging' would cause a woman to run totally dry of milk.

4. Around about 1900, parents were commonly told that it was essential to cover new-born babies from head to toe in lard, olive oil or fresh butter. After two weeks you were allowed to wash down your now fully basted baby.

5. A century ago, women were told the best way to treat nipples sore from breastfeeding was to apply the affected area with boric acid. This acidic compound is nowadays used as an industrial-grade insecticide.

6. Well into the 19th century babies and children were routinely given opium to treat asthma and restlessness. One company even made opium-filled, cherry-flavoured cough drops just for kids.

7. In 1999, Education Secretary David Blunkett announced the Superhighway Safety pack. Although the aim of protecting children online was a noble one, the rigid list of approved websites and the demand that parents monitor every click their child made on the internet now seems slightly Orwellian.

8. Accounts of lobotomies are some of the most gruesome tales in medical history and as late as the 1960s, some parents were advised that they were beneficial to their children. The notorious American doctor, Walter Freeman, committed thousands of these grisly medical acts on his patients, including many children.

9. A 19th century parenting advice book instructed mothers on the importance of a baby's head always pointing north when put to bed.

10. It's a shocking fact that the idea of using alcohol on a baby's gums to soothe teething pain is still relatively commonly practised.

Ann Summers, a nurse practitioner, says she still gets asked by parents how much alcohol should be used. "There isn't a safe dose of alcohol for children," she helpfully informs.

Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2015 08:26:28 +0100
Subject: "Report debunks marijuana harm claims

An impartial observer (from Mars maybe?) can check the facts (these 5 news items showing the elite are free to use cocaine while ordinary folk are bullied, harassed and jailed for smoking relatively harmless herbs), and work out the _actual_ motives of Government, shown by this research.  I.e. Gov't uses "drug law" as a tool of oppression.

As many other laws are misused and abused by Gov't.
Ray D
Published time: 13 Aug, 2015 16:10 | Edited time: 13 Aug, 2015 17:02

Report debunks marijuana harm claims at core of Canadian PM's drug policy

A Toronto-based research group published report that debunks claims of health and social harm of marijuana that hits the core of the drug policies advocated by Prime Minister Stephen Harper amid the ongoing election campaign. Harper, the leader of Conservative party, is fighting against calls to legalize marijuana by rival politicians, particularly Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. The PM revealed his party's three-pronged plan to strengthen its national drug strategy at a campaigning event earlier this week.

"The statistics in places like Colorado are very clear on this, that, when you go down that route [toward legalization], marijuana becomes more readily available to children, more people become addicted to it and the health outcomes become worse," he told a rally Tuesday in Markham, north of Toronto, as cited by the Globe and Mail.

The assertions are among the 13 claims about marijuana harm that the Toronto-based International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) attacked it its report released on Wednesday. The report said the science behind most of the claims was weak and accused pot opponents of cherry-picking facts to further their position.

"It's funny; it's almost like [Harper] read the report in advance and decided to repeat a lot of the most oft-discredited ideas," said M. J. Milloy, an infectious-disease epidemiologist with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and member of the drug-policy center. Speaking to Vice news, he also stressed that the report's release was not timed with the election campaign.

Of the 13 claims selected for the report, which includes cannabis perception as a gateway drug leading to the use of more potent substances, the claim that its use may cause schizophrenia and that its legalization would create a `Big Marijuana' industry akin to the tobacco industry, it says only two had moderately convincing evidence in science publications to back it.

Indeed the potency of THC, the substance responsible for the psychoactive effect of cannabis, has grown over the decades of its cultivation for recreational use, the report said. There are also studies suggesting that cannabis may impair cognitive functions, although evidence on severity, persistence and reversibility of such effects are inconclusive, it added, labeling the scientific basis of the claims as moderate. The other 11 claims were called "weak" in terms of scientific evidence.

"We are at a critical juncture, as more and more jurisdictions are reconsidering their policies on cannabis," said in a statement Dr. Dan Werb, ICSDP director and co-author of the report.

"Yet, the public discourse around cannabis is filled with frequently repeated claims that are simply not supported by the scientific evidence. Given that policy decisions are influenced by public opinion and media reports, there is a serious danger that misrepresenting the evidence on cannabis will lead to ineffective or harmful policy," said the researcher.

Some of the claims the group cited came from Kevin Sabet, head of the US anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana. In comments to Huffington Post, Sabet blasted the report.

"This reads like Big Tobacco propaganda of the 1950s," he wrote in an email. "It's not surprising that a small group of well-known legalization advocates and funders continue to deny the threat of Big Marijuana and advertising and promotion related to addiction."

Cannabis has been legalized in 23 states and the District of Columbia in the US over the past few years, although most stop short from allowing recreational pot and allow it for medicinal purposes only.

Date: Sun, 9 Aug 2015 09:50:24 +0100
Subject: Re: Why low IQs are dangerous - in cops and politicos

Ha!  Latest results from psychology show that _some_ realistic work is going on - luckily it's only statistical analysis so even our incompetent "psychiatrists" can't avoid the obvious conclusion:

that lower-IQ individuals are much more prone to psychotic fits and breakdowns [-1% IQ = +3.8% Psychosis] - which maybe explains the tendency of today's very low-IQ cops (see 7cnote2.txt and pol-semi-lit.txt for details) for resorting to brutality / murder when under stress.

The statistical analyses are at low-iq-psycho.txt (check header note), and the probable reasons for the steady lowering of police IQ standards are discussed at power-of-zero.html#probs - and the conclusions apply to judges (and politicos?) also.

Ray D


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