Friday, August 31, 2007
PROGRESSIVE BI-LATERAL SENSORI-NEURAL NERVE DEAFNESS
It is a dis-ability - which I have - and it's getting worse.
Tonight I have not been coping with this dis-ability at all well...and that would be an under-statement.
"Self-pity", I hear some of you say..."Snap out of it".
I have lost my job - which I loved - confidence, self-worth and sense of humour are 'shot through', as is my bank account. I am becoming very anxious - and almost impossible to live with at the moment....it's tough on the family
Why am I writing about this here ?
It is said that Man is primarily motivated by the pursuit of pleasure, and the avoidance of pain. Well, writing gives me enormous pleasure, and pain is avoided, so perhaps that is why I am writing this...to ease the pain and seek the pleasure ?
Maybe so - maybe not.
Whatever - I just want to feel happier than I'm feeling now.
And when I look at the idiots who govern us....ooooh, let's write about that...and divert attention from the inside out.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
NOAM CHOMSKY (GLOBAL POLITICAL ANALYST ET AL) IN FINE FORM - YET AGAIN
Comprehensive Chomsky article on Cold War II versus Iran
These are exciting days in Washington, as the government directs its energies to the demanding task of "containing Iran" in what Washington Post correspondent Robin Wright, joining others, calls "Cold War II."
During Cold War I, the task was to contain two awesome forces. The lesser and more moderate force was "an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost." Hence "if the United States is to survive," it will have to adopt a "repugnant philosophy" and reject "acceptable norms of human conduct" and the "long-standing American concepts of `fair play'" that had been exhibited with such searing clarity in the conquest of the national territory, the Philippines, Haiti and other beneficiaries of "the idealistic new world bent on ending inhumanity," as the newspaper of record describes our noble mission. The judgments about the nature of the super-Hitler and the necessary response are those of General Jimmy Doolittle, in a critical assessment of the CIA commissioned by President Eisenhower in 1954. They are quite consistent with those of the Truman administration liberals, the "wise men" who were "present at the creation," notoriously in NSC 68 but in fact quite consistently.
In the face of the Kremlin's unbridled aggression in every corner of the world, it is perhaps understandable that the US resisted in defense of human values with a savage display of torture, terror, subversion and violence while doing "everything in its power to alter or abolish any regime not openly allied with America," as Tim Weiner summarizes the doctrine of the Eisenhower administration in his recent history of the CIA. And just as the Truman liberals easily matched their successors in fevered rhetoric about the implacable enemy and its campaign to rule the world, so did John F. Kennedy, who bitterly condemned the "monolithic and ruthless conspiracy," and dismissed the proposal of its leader (Khrushchev) for sharp mutual cuts in offensive weaponry, then reacted to his unilateral implementation of these proposals with a huge military build-up. The Kennedy brothers also quickly surpassed Eisenhower in violence and terror, as they "unleashed covert action with an unprecedented intensity" (Wiener), doubling Eisenhower's annual record of major CIA covert operations, with horrendous consequences worldwide, even a close brush with terminal nuclear war.
But at least it was possible to deal with ..:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 />Russia, unlike the fiercer enemy, China. The more thoughtful scholars recognized that Russia was poised uneasily between civilization and barbarism. As Henry Kissinger later explained in his academic essays, only the West has undergone the Newtonian revolution and is therefore "deeply committed to the notion that the real world is external to the observer," while the rest still believe "that the real world is almost completely internal to the observer," the "basic division" that is "the deepest problem of the contemporary international order." But Russia, unlike third word peasants who think that rain and sun are inside their heads, was perhaps coming to the realization that the world is not just a dream, Kissinger felt.
Not so the still more savage and bloodthirsty enemy, China, which for liberal Democrat intellectuals at various times rampaged as a "a Slavic Manchukuo," a blind puppet of its Kremlin master, or a monster utterly unconstrained as it pursued its crazed campaign to crush the world in its tentacles, or whatever else circumstances demanded. The remarkable tale of doctrinal fanaticism from the 1940s to the '70s, which makes contemporary rhetoric seem rather moderate, is reviewed by James Peck in his highly revealing study of the national security culture, Washington's China.
In later years, there were attempts to mimic the valiant deeds of the defenders of virtue from the two villainous global conquerors and their loyal slaves – for example, when the Gipper strapped on his cowboy boots and declared a National Emergency because Nicaraguan hordes were only two days from Harlingen Texas, though as he courageously informed the press, despite the tremendous odds "I refuse to give up. I remember a man named Winston Churchill who said, `Never give in. Never, never, never.' So we won't." With consequences that need not be reviewed.
Even with the best of efforts, however, the attempts never were able to recapture the glorious days of Cold War I. But now, at last, those heights might be within reach, as another implacable enemy bent on world conquest has arisen, which we must contain before it destroys us all: Iran.
Perhaps it's a lift to the spirits to be able to recover those heady Cold War days when at least there was a legitimate force to contain, however dubious the pretexts and disgraceful the means. But it is instructive to take a closer look at the contours of Cold War II as they are being designed by "the former Kremlinologists now running U.S. foreign policy, such as Rice and Gates" (Wright).
The task of containment is to establish "a bulwark against Iran's growing influence in the Middle East," Mark Mazzetti and Helene Cooper explain in the New York Times (July 31). To contain Iran's influence we must surround Iran with US and NATO ground forces, along with massive naval deployments in the Persian Gulf and of course incomparable air power and weapons of mass destruction. And we must provide a huge flow of arms to what Condoleezza Rice calls "the forces of moderation and reform" in the region, the brutal tyrannies of Egypt and Saudi Arabia and, with particular munificence, Israel, by now virtually an adjunct of the militarized high-tech US economy. All to contain Iran's influence. A daunting challenge indeed.
And daunting it is. In Iraq, Iranian support is welcomed by much of the majority Shi'ite population. In an August visit to Teheran, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met with the supreme leader Ali Khamenei, President Ahmadinejad and other senior officials, and thanked Tehran for its "positive and constructive" role in improving security in Iraq, eliciting a sharp reprimand from President Bush, who "declares Teheran a regional peril and asserts the Iraqi leader must understand," to quote the headline of the Los Angeles Times report on al-Maliki's intellectual deficiencies. A few days before, also greatly to Bush's discomfiture, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Washington's favorite, described Iran as "a helper and a solution" in his country. Similar problems abound beyond Iran's immediate neighbors. In Lebanon, according to polls, most Lebanese see Iranian-backed Hezbollah "as a legitimate force defending their country from Israel," Wright reports. And in Palestine, Iranian-backed Hamas won a free election, eliciting savage punishment of the Palestinian population by the US and Israel for the crime of voting "the wrong way," another episode in "democracy promotion."
But no matter. The aim of US militancy and the arms flow to the moderates is to counter "what everyone in the region believes is a flexing of muscles by a more aggressive Iran," according to an unnamed senior U.S. government official – "everyone" being the technical term used to refer to Washington and its more loyal clients. Iran's aggression consists in its being welcomed by many within the region, and allegedly supporting resistance to the US occupation of neighboring Iraq.
It's likely, though little discussed, that a prime concern about Iran's influence is to the East, where in mid-August "Russia and China today host Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a summit of a Central Asian security club designed to counter U.S. influence in the region," the business press reports. The "security club" is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which has been slowly taking shape in recent years. Its membership includes not only the two giants Russia and China, but also the energy-rich Central Asian states Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan was a guest of honor at the August meeting. "In another unwelcome development for the Americans, Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov also accepted an invitation to attend the summit," another step its improvement of relations with Russia, particularly in energy, reversing a long-standing policy of isolation from Russia. "Russia in May secured a deal to build a new pipeline to import more gas from Turkmenistan, bolstering its dominant hold on supplies to Europe and heading off a competing U.S.-backed plan that would bypass Russian territory."
Along with Iran, there are three other official observer states: India, Pakistan and Mongolia. Washington's request for similar status was denied. In 2005 the SCO called for a timetable for termination of any US military presence in Central Asia. The participants at the August meeting flew to the Urals to attend the first joint Russia-China military exercises on Russian soil.
Association of Iran with the SCO extends its inroads into the Middle East, where China has been increasing trade and other relations with the jewel in the crown, Saudi Arabia. There is an oppressed Shi'ite population in Saudi Arabia that is also susceptible to Iran's influence – and happens to sit on most of Saudi oil. About 40% of Middle East oil is reported to be heading East, not West. As the flow Eastward increases, US control declines over this lever of world domination, a "stupendous source of strategic power," as the State Department described Saudi oil 60 years ago.
In Cold War I, the Kremlin had imposed an iron curtain and built the Berlin Wall to contain Western influence. In Cold War II, Wright reports, the former Kremlinologists framing policy are imposing a "green curtain" to bar Iranian influence. In short, government-media doctrine is that the Iranian threat is rather similar to the Western threat that the Kremlin sought to contain, and the US is eagerly taking on the Kremlin's role in the thrilling "new Cold War."
All of this is presented without noticeable concern. Nevertheless, the recognition that the US government is modeling itself on Stalin and his successors in the new Cold War must be arousing at least some flickers of embarrassment. Perhaps that is how we can explain the ferocious Washington Post editorial announcing that Iran has escalated its aggressiveness to a Hot War: "the Revolutionary Guard, a radical state within Iran's Islamic state, is waging war against the United States and trying to kill as many American soldiers as possible." The US must therefore "fight back," the editors thunder, finding quite "puzzling...the murmurs of disapproval from European diplomats and others who say they favor using diplomacy and economic pressure, rather than military action, to rein in Iran," even in the face of its outright aggression. The evidence that Iran is waging war against the US is now conclusive. After all, it comes from an administration that has never deceived the American people, even improving on the famous stellar honesty of its predecessors.
Suppose that for once Washington's charges happen to be true, and Iran really is providing Shi'ite militias with roadside bombs that kill American forces, perhaps even making use of the some of the advanced weaponry lavishly provided to the Revolutionary Guard by Ronald Reagan in order to fund the illegal war against Nicaragua, under the pretext of arms for hostages (the number of hostages tripled during these endeavors). If the charges are true, then Iran could properly be charged with a minuscule fraction of the iniquity of the Reagan administration, which provided Stinger missiles and other high-tech military aid to the "insurgents" seeking to disrupt Soviet efforts to bring stability and justice to Afghanistan, as they saw it. Perhaps Iran is even guilty of some of the crimes of the Roosevelt administration, which assisted terrorist partisans attacking peaceful and sovereign Vichy France in 1940-41, and had thus declared war on Germany even before Pearl Harbor.
One can pursue these questions further. The CIA station chief in Pakistan in 1981, Howard Hart, reports that "I was the first chief of station ever sent abroad with this wonderful order: `Go kill Soviet soldiers'. Imagine! I loved it." Of course "the mission was not to liberate Afghanistan," Tim Wiener writes in his history of the CIA, repeating the obvious. But "it was a noble goal," he writes. Killing Russians with no concern for the fate of Afghans is a "noble goal." But support for resistance to a US invasion and occupation would be a vile act and declaration of war.
Without irony, the Bush administration and the media charge that Iran is "meddling" in Iraq, otherwise presumably free from foreign interference. The evidence is partly technical. Do the serial numbers on the Improvised Explosive Devices really trace back to Iran? If so, does the leadership of Iran know about the IEDs, or only the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Settling the debate, the White House plans to brand the Revolutionary Guard as a "specially designated global terrorist" force, an unprecedented action against a national military branch, authorizing Washington to undertake a wide range of punitive actions. Watching in disbelief, much of the world asks whether the US military, invading and occupying Iran's neighbors, might better merit this charge -- or its Israeli client, now about to receive a huge increase in military aid to commemorate 40 years of harsh occupation and illegal settlement, and its fifth invasion of Lebanon a year ago.
It is instructive that Washington's propaganda framework is reflexively accepted, apparently without notice, in US and other Western commentary and reporting, apart from the marginal fringe of what is called 'the loony left." What is considered "criticism" is skepticism as to whether all of Washington's charges about Iranian aggression in Iraq are true. It might be an interesting research project to see how closely the propaganda of Russia, Nazi Germany, and other aggressors and occupiers matched the standards of today's liberal press and commentators..
The comparisons are of course unfair. Unlike German and Russian occupiers, American forces are in Iraq by right, on the principle, too obvious even to enunciate, that the US owns the world. Therefore, as a matter of elementary logic, the US cannot invade and occupy another country. The US can only defend and liberate others. No other category exists. Predecessors, including the most monstrous, have commonly sworn by the same principle, but again there is an obvious difference: they were Wrong, and we are Right. QED.
Another comparison comes to mind, which is studiously ignored when we are sternly admonished of the ominous consequences that might follow withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. The preferred analogy is Indochina, highlighted in a shameful speech by the President on August 22. That analogy can perhaps pass muster among those who have succeeded in effacing from their minds the record of US actions in Indochina, including the destruction of much of Vietnam and the murderous bombing of Laos and Cambodia as the US began its withdrawal from the wreckage of South Vietnam. In Cambodia, the bombing was in accord with Kissinger's genocidal orders: "anything that flies on anything that moves" – actions that drove "an enraged populace into the arms of an insurgency [the Khmer Rouge] that had enjoyed relatively little support before the Kissinger-Nixon bombing was inaugurated," as Cambodia specialists Owen Taylor and Ben Kiernan observe in a highly important study that passed virtually without notice, in which they reveal that the bombing was five times the incredible level reported earlier, greater than all allied bombing in World War II. Completely suppressing all relevant facts, it is then possible for the President and many commentators to present Khmer Rouge crimes as a justification for continuing to devastate Iraq
But although the grotesque Indochina analogy receives much attention, the obvious analogy is ignored: the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan, which, as Soviet analysts predicted, led to shocking violence and destruction as the country was taken over by Reagan's favorites, who amused themselves by such acts as throwing acid in the faces of women in Kabul they regarded as too liberated, and then virtually destroyed the city and much else, creating such havoc and terror that the population actually welcomed the Taliban. That analogy could indeed be invoked without utter absurdity by advocates of "staying the course," but evidently it is best forgotten.
Under the heading "Secretary Rice's Mideast mission: contain Iran," the press reports Rice's warning that Iran is "the single most important single-country challenge to...US interests in the Middle East." That is a reasonable judgment. Given the long-standing principle that Washington must do "everything in its power to alter or abolish any regime not openly allied with America," Iran does pose a unique challenge, and it is natural that the task of containing Iranian influence should be a high priority.
As elsewhere, Bush administration rhetoric is relatively mild in this case. For the Kennedy administration, "Latin America was the most dangerous area in the world" when there was a threat that the progressive Cheddi Jagan might win a free election in British Guiana, overturned by CIA shenanigans that handed the country over to the thuggish racist Forbes Burnham. A few years earlier, Iraq was "the most dangerous place in the world" (CIA director Allen Dulles) after General Abdel Karim Qassim broke the Anglo-American condominium over Middle East oil, overthrowing the pro-US monarchy, which had been heavily infiltrated by the CIA. A primary concern was that Qassim might join Nasser, then the supreme Middle East devil, in using the incomparable energy resources of the Middle East for the domestic. The issue for Washington was not so much access as control. At the time and for many years after, Washington was purposely exhausting domestic oil resources in the interests of "national security," meaning security for the profits of Texas oil men, like the failed entrepreneur who now sits in the Oval Office. But as high-level planner George Kennan had explained well before, we cannot relax our guard when there is any interference with "protection of our resources" (which accidentally happen to be somewhere else).
Unquestionably, Iran's government merits harsh condemnation, though it has not engaged in worldwide terror, subversion, and aggression, following the US model – which extends to today's Iran as well, if ABC news is correct in reporting that the US is supporting Pakistan-based Jundullah, which is carrying out terrorist acts inside Iran. The sole act of aggression attributed to Iran is the conquest of two small islands in the Gulf – under Washington's close ally the Shah. In addition to internal repression – heightened, as Iranian dissidents regularly protest, by US militancy -- the prospect that Iran might develop nuclear weapons also is deeply troubling. Though Iran has every right to develop nuclear energy, no one – including the majority of Iranians – wants it to have nuclear weapons. That would add to the threat to survival posed much more seriously by its near neighbors Pakistan, India, and Israel, all nuclear armed with the blessing of the US, which most of the world regards as the leading threat to world peace, for evident reasons.
Iran rejects US control of the Middle East, challenging fundamental policy doctrine, but it hardly poses a military threat. On the contrary, it has been the victim of outside powers for years: in recent memory, when the US and Britain overthrew its parliamentary government and installed a brutal tyrant in 1953, and when the US supported Saddam Hussein's murderous invasion, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Iranians, many with chemical weapons, without the "international community" lifting a finger – something that Iranians do not forget as easily as the perpetrators. And then under severe sanctions as a punishment for disobedience.
Israel regards Iran as a threat. Israel seeks to dominate the region with no interference, and Iran might be some slight counterbalance, while also supporting domestic forces that do not bend to Israel's will. It may, however, be useful to bear in mind that Hamas has accepted the international consensus on a two-state settlement on the international border, and Hezbollah, along with Iran, has made clear that it would accept any outcome approved by Palestinians, leaving the US and Israel isolated in their traditional rejectionism.
But Iran is hardly a military threat to Israel. And whatever threat there might be could be overcome if the US would accept the view of the great majority of its own citizens and of Iranians and permit the Middle East to become a nuclear-weapons free zone, including Iran and Israel, and US forces deployed there. One may also recall that UN Security Council Resolution 687 of 3 April 1991, to which Washington appeals when convenient, calls for "establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery."
It is widely recognized that use of military force in Iran would risk blowing up the entire region, with untold consequences beyond. We know from polls that in the surrounding countries, where the Iranian government is hardly popular -- Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan -- nevertheless large majorities prefer even a nuclear-armed Iran to any form of military action against it.
The rhetoric about Iran has escalated to the point where both political parties and practically the whole US press accept it as legitimate and, in fact, honorable, that "all options are on the table," to quote Hillary Clinton and everybody else, possibly even nuclear weapons. "All options on the table" means that Washington threatens war.
The UN Charter outlaws "the threat or use of force." The United States, which has chosen to become an outlaw state, disregards international laws and norms. We're allowed to threaten anybody we want -- and to attack anyone we choose.
Washington's feverish new Cold War "containment" policy has spread to Europe. Washington intends to install a "missile defense system" in the Czech Republic and Poland, marketed to Europe as a shield against Iranian missiles. Even if Iran had nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, the chances of its using them to attack Europe are perhaps on a par with the chances of Europe's being hit by an asteroid, so perhaps Europe would do as well to invest in an asteroid defense system. Furthermore, if Iran were to indicate the slightest intention of aiming a missile at Europe or Israel, the country would be vaporized.
Of course, Russian planners are gravely upset by the shield proposal. We can imagine how the US would respond if a Russian anti-missile system were erected in Canada. The Russians have good reason to regard an anti-missile system as part of a first-strike weapon against them. It is generally understood that such a system could never block a first strike, but it could conceivably impede a retaliatory strike. On all sides, "missile defense" is therefore understood to be a first-strike weapon, eliminating a deterrent to attack. And a small initial installation in Eastern Europe could easily be a base for later expansion. Even more obviously, the only military function of such a system with regard to Iran, the declared aim, would be to bar an Iranian deterrent to US or Israel aggression.
Not surprisingly, in reaction to the "missile defense" plans, Russia has resorted to its own dangerous gestures, including the recent decision to renew long-range patrols by nuclear-capable bombers after a 15-year hiatus, in one recent case near the US military base on Guam. These actions reflect Russia's anger "over what it has called American and NATO aggressiveness, including plans for a missile-defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland, analysts said" (Andrew Kramer, NYT).
The shield ratchets the threat of war a few notches higher, in the Middle East and elsewhere, with incalculable consequences, and the potential for a terminal nuclear war. The immediate fear is that by accident or design, Washington's war planners or their Israeli surrogate might decide to escalate their Cold War II into a hot one – in this case a real hot war.
 Wright, WP, July 29 07
 Correspondent Michael Wines, NYT, June 13, 1999. Doolittle report, Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: the History of the CIA, Doubleday 2007
 Ibid., 77.
 Ibid., 180.
 Paul Richter, LAT, Aug. 10, 2007. Karzai, CNN, Aug. 5, 2007.
 Robin Wright, "U.S. Plans New Arms Sales to Gulf Allies," WP, July 28, 2007.
 Henry Meyer, Bloomberg, Aug. 16, 2007.
 Schmitz, Weiner.
 Weiner. Failed States.
 Brian Ross and Christopher Isham, "ABC News Exclusive: The Secret War Against Iran," April 3, 2007; Ross and Richard Esposito, ABC, "Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran," May 22, 2007.
 On Iran, see Gilbert Achcar, Noam Chomsky, and Stephen Shalom, Perilous Power (Paradigm, 2007), and Ervand Abrahamian, in David Barsamian, ed., Targeting Iran (City Lights, 2007). On Hamas, among many similar statements see the article by Hamas's most militant leader, Khalid Mish'al, "Our unity can now pave the way for peace and justice," Guardian, February 13, 2007. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly taken the same position. See among others Irene Gendzier, Assaf Kfoury, and Fawwaz Traboulsi, eds., Inside Lebanon (Monthly Review, 2007).
 Kramer, "Recalling Cold War, Russia Resumes Long-Range Sorties," Aug. 18, 2007.
Monday, August 27, 2007
INTERNATIONAL BANKING SCANDAL - A CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE ?
AN ODE TO BAD TEACHERS
“You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year,
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
“You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a different shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
“You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight
To hate all the people your relatives hate.
You’ve got to be carefully taught.”
Sunday, August 26, 2007
FREEMASONRY IN IFIELD AND WEST SUSSEX - IS IT A PROBLEM ?
Crawley's Mark Lemon was a "famous" Freemason (Globe Lodge No 23)...if you are unfamiliar with that name, look it up.
The Duke of Richmond - who lives in West Sussex's Goodwood Estate - even has his own Lodge (No 3143)...if you are unfamiliar with that name, look it up.
There are many other Freemasons in Ifield and West Sussex - the 'great & the good' and also the 'not-so-great & not-so-good' - past and present.
Freemasonry and Ifield appear to be inextricably linked historically, just as Quakers and Ifield are inextricably linked historically.
In 1962, St Margaret's Church Hall (Rusper Road/Ifield Green) was somehow sold off to become a Masonic Hall - which now appears to be the 'HQ' for the following :
Forest Oak Lodge (No 5240)
Crawley Lodge (No 7763)
Worth Lodge (No 7496)
Ifield Lodge (No 7931)
Handcross Lodge (No 8104)
Manor Royal Lodge (No 8296)
There also appears to be links with Freemasons in the United States...George W. Bush is one, I understand.
As I said, I'm not sure if this is a problem - but if it is...you'll know.
As always, contributions are more than welcome.
IT ALL DEPENDS WHAT YOU MEAN BY "UNSOUND", MR INSPECTOR
I have now read the Inspector's Report of the Crawley Borough Council (CBC) Core Strategy - which will have a significant impact on the Horsham District Council (HDC) Core Strategy - as it relates to Ifield Golf Club - and the WSCC/HDC/CBC Joint Area Action Plan (JAAP) - as it relates to Ifield Brook Meadows/Ifield Village Conservation Area.
I will quote the Inspector's Report directly - no further comment is necessary :
INSPECTOR'S REPORT ON THE EXAMINATION INTO THE CRAWLEY CORE STRATEGY (CS) - DEVELOPMENT PLAN DOCUMENT (DPD) - 20 AUGUST 2007
I have found aspects of unsoundness against tests iv, vi, vii & viii (4 out of 9 - Ed)...I have considered whether this...requires me to recommend withdrawal of the CS as unsound.
If housing were the only consideration to be placed in the balance, I would have been driven to the conclusion that the CS should be withdrawn as unsound.
In the circumstances, I find the housing provisions of the CS sound, but only in a heavily-qualified way.
I find it inappropriate for the Crawley CS not to include the Horsham reference to new development protecting the setting of Ifield Conservation Area* - especially as the Conservation Area is within Crawley, and the Study Area will now cover much of it
* "Ensure that new development protects and, where possible, enhances the setting of the Ifield Conservation Area" (HDC CP6)
I have found the CS (Core Strategy) sound. However, I have identified some serious failures of soundness...Crawley's particular circumstances require that a firm foundation is provided...and moves securely ahead...Those two important requirements could not be met if the CS were withdrawn.
Friday, August 17, 2007
"UNAVAILABLE FOR COMMENT" - ON HOLIDAY
So you can post anything you like here - criticisms, praise, insults, nonsense, jokes, titbits (which are more than welcome)...but I will be unable to benefit from such wisdom - or reply.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
THE IFIELD GOLF CLUB SCANDAL - PART 3
By Stacia Baldock
August 15 2007
A LOCAL campaigner laid Remembrance Day wreaths outside Ifield Golf and Country Club to protest against the threat of redevelopment.
Ifield conservationist Richard Symonds found the wreaths dumped on a tip in Lowfield Heath last year.
He placed them outside the club to symbolise that the land 'was dead' because he believed the company who owns the land, Ifield Golf Club Ltd, had sold it to big shot developers Taylor Woodrow.
But Ifield Golf Club Ltd Secretary, Richard Dawborn said: "It's a load of old rubbish, there's lots of rumours going around at the moment, lots of people stirring things up.
"The truth is we had a meeting that day to decide whether or not to begin talks with developers (not Taylor Woodrow) in allowing them to take options on the land. It's definitely not sold - nowhere near.
"In terms of the wreaths, I only saw them briefly, but I assume they were taken down fairly quickly".
The process of taking options means a developer will offer a lump-sum of money to the land owner in order to get first pickings of the site if it is eventually chosen for development.
Currently the land at Ifield Golf Course has been highlighted as a possible area for 60 per cent of Horsham's housing quota, along with shops, a primary school, doctors surgery and supporting infrastructure.
Other areas including Ifield Court Farm brownfield site and area near Ifield wood have also been highlighted but a proffered decision is set to be made on September 9.
What do you think?
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
By Linda Heard
Moscow and Beijing have teamed up and appear determined to send a message to the White House, singly and together, which translated could mean, “Don’t mess with us” and “Stay clear of our allies.”
The two countries are currently playing war games together with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, all members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), considered a buffer to US oil and gas ambitions in the Caspian.
The SCO claims its mission is counterterrorist but while Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia have been invited to attend an associated Aug. 16 summit, the US has been rebuffed.
This comes hard on the heels of a not subtle Chinese threat to the American economy.
Last week, two Chinese officials made statements, which did nothing to settle market jitters.
In essence, they warned the US to quit pressuring China to revalue its yuan or else it could decide to dump its dollar reserves, worth $1,330 billion and cash in its US Treasury bonds, roughly valued at $900 billion.
In the unlikely event of China following through on the implied threat, the ensuing economic carnage could make the 1929 Wall Street Crash look like a picnic because other countries would be panicked into following suit.
Incredibly, some 45 percent of America’s foreign debt is held by foreigners, which leaves the US in an extremely vulnerable position.
Not to be outdone in the audacity-stakes, Russia claims to have buzzed a US airbase on the Pacific island of Guam in a show of its military resurgence.
According to the Russian military, two of its bombers were intercepted by US jets.
The pilots smiled at one another, says Russia, before going their separate ways. The Pentagon denies any such interception ever took place.
Russia’s new confidence derives from its friends in powerful places plus the fact it is swimming in oil and gas wealth, partly because Bush’s wars and aggressive Middle East foreign policy has driven up prices.
Its recent foray into the Arctic where divers erected rustproof titanium Russian flag on the seabed of the North Pole was interpreted by some as Russia having laid claim to some of the world’s largest untapped petrochemical reserves.
In the past, the logistics of tapping into those reserves were daunting, not to mention uneconomical, but now that ice caps are melting and prices are rising, Russia sees an opportunity.
It seems so does Canada and Denmark.
Last week Canada announced the opening of two military bases in the region, while a group of 40 Danish scientists are traveling to the Arctic on an icebreaker to stake Denmark’s claim.
Now Georgia has stepped into the fray by asserting a Russian military aircraft has violated its airspace, leaving behind a missile that failed to explode in a farmer’s field, near the disputed region of Ossetia.
Russia has denied the incident and accused Georgia of putting on a “theatrical presentation” aimed at canceling scheduled talks over the breakaway area’s future status.
Russia has further made it crystal clear that it does not approve of George Bush’s anti-missile defense shield being erected in Poland and the Czech Republic out of concern it could be directed at it rather than Iran and North Korea, as claimed. President Vladimir Putin initially proposed a joint missile defense venture with the US — an idea that was not well received.
And so he has decided to beef up his own defense system, modernize his army and navy and, in the event Bush’s star wars plan proceeds on his doorstep, he has threatened to direct his missiles toward Europe.
Russia’s relations with Britain have also gone south. Their erosion began when people Russia termed as British spies working under cover of the British Embassy in Moscow were filmed concealing a telecommunications device inside a dummy rock, through which secret messages could be transmitted via a palm-sized computer.
Diplomacy succeeded in papering over that embarrassing incident that was shown to viewers around the world on Russian TV. But nothing could put a lid on the mysterious death of
Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned by Polonium-210 after meeting with two former KGB agents and an Italian friend in London.
Following investigation, Britain’s director of public prosecutions requested the extradition of Andrei Lugovoi, a Russian citizen and was told in no uncertain terms that Article 61 of Russian Constitution forbids the extradition of Russian citizens to foreign countries and any such trial must take place within Russia. Russia also accuses Britain of refusing to extradite Russian citizens wanted by Moscow.
The contretemps is still ongoing and has thus far resulted in the tit-for-tat expulsions of both Russian and British diplomats.
This is all a far cry from those cozy post-Cold War years when President Bush said he looked his Russian counterpart in the eye and sensed his soul. The only looks they’ll be giving one another nowadays would be decidedly shifty.
It seems to be a terrible shame that such a wealth of goodwill has been so cavalierly wasted.
If the Bush administration hadn’t been so intent on pushing its global weight around to fulfill a neocon agenda of full spectrum dominance we might have enjoyed a world where major powers worked together for the good of all.
Together they could have striven toward alleviating poverty and disease, reducing conflict and tackling climate change.
Instead, untold billions will go toward weapons of death and destruction. This is Cold War Mark II folks — a deadlier sequel to Mark I now that China is on board.
Fasten your seatbelts for an uncomfortable ride ahead!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
"POLITICS AND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE" BY GEORGE ORWELL
Essay - 1946
Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent, and our language--so the argument runs--must inevitably share in the general collapse.
It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.
Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks.
It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible.
Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step towards political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers.
I will come back to this presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have said here will have become clearer. Meanwhile, here are five specimens of the English language as it is now habitually written. These five passages have not been picked out because they are especially bad--I could have quoted far worse if I had chosen--but because they illustrate various of the mental vices from which we now suffer. They are a little below the average, but are fairly representative samples. I number them so that I can refer back to them when necessary:
(1) I am not, indeed, sure whether it is not true to say that the Milton who once seemed not unlike a seventeenth-century Shelley had not become, out of an experience ever more bitter in each year, more alien (sic) to the founder of that Jesuit sect which nothing could induce him to tolerate. PROFESSOR HAROLD LASKI (Essay in FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION)
(2) Above all, we cannot play ducks and drakes with a native battery of idioms which prescribes such egregious collocations of vocables as the Basic PUT UP WITH for TOLERATE or PUT AT A LOSS for BEWILDER. PROFESSOR LANCELOT HOGBEN (INTERGLOSSA)
(3) On the one side we have the free personality; by definition it is not neurotic, for it has neither conflict nor dream. Its desires, such as they are, are transparent, for they are just what institutional approval keeps in the forefront of consciousness; another institutional pattern would alter their number and intensity; there is little in them that is natural, irreducible, or culturally dangerous. But ON THE OTHER SIDE, the social bond itself is nothing but the mutual reflection of these self-secure integrities. Recall the definition of love. Is not this the very picture of a small academic? Where is there a place in this hall of mirrors for either personality or fraternity? Essay on psychology in POLITICS (New York)
(4) All the "best people" from the gentlemen's clubs, and all the frantic fascist captains, united in common hatred of Socialism and bestial horror of the rising tide of the mass revolutionary movement, have turned to acts of provocation, to foul incendiarism, to medieval legends of poisoned wells, to legalize their own destruction of proletarian organizations, and rouse the agitated petty-bourgeoisie to chauvinistic fervor on behalf of the fight against the revolutionary way out of the crisis. Communist pamphlet
(5) If a new spirit is to be infused into this old country, there is one thorny and contentious reform which must be tackled, and that is the humanization and galvanization of the B.B.C. Timidity here will bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul. The heart of Britain may lee sound and of strong beat, for instance, but the British lion's roar at present is like that of Bottom in Shakespeare's MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM--as gentle as any sucking dove. A virile new Britain cannot continue indefinitely to be traduced in the eyes, or rather ears, of the world by the effete languors of Langham Place, brazenly masquerading as "standard English." When the Voice of Britain is heard at nine o'clock, better far and infinitely less ludicrous to hear aitches honestly dropped than the present priggish, inflated, inhibited, school-ma'am-ish arch braying of blameless bashful mewing maidens. Letter in TRIBUNE
Each of these passages has faults of its own, but quite apart from avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision.
The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing.
As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of WORDS chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of PHRASES tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house.
I list below, with notes and examples, various of the tricks by means of which the work of prose-construction is habitually dodged:
A newly-invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically "dead" (e.g., IRON RESOLUTION) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness.
But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves.
Examples are: RING THE CHANGES ON, TAKE UP THE CUDGELS FOR, TOE THE LINE, RIDE ROUGHSHOD OVER, STAND SHOULDER TO SHOULDER WITH, PLAY INTO THE HANDS OF, AN AXE TO GRIND, GRIST TO THE MILL, FISHING IN TROUBLED WATERS, ON THE ORDER OF THE DAY, ACHILLES' HEEL, SWAN SONG, HOTBED.
Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a "rift," for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying. Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning without those who use them even being aware of the fact. For example, TOE THE LINE is sometimes written TOW THE LINE. Another example is THE HAMMER AND THE ANVIL, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying would be aware of this, and would avoid perverting the original phrase.
OPERATORS, or VERBAL FALSE LIMBS.
These save the trouble of picking out appropriate verbs and nouns, and at the same time pad each sentence with extra syllables which give it an appearance of symmetry. Characteristic phrases are: RENDER INOPERATIVE, MILITATE AGAINST, PROVE UNACCEPTABLE, MAKE CONTACT WITH, BE SUBJECTED TO, GIVE RISE TO, GIVE GROUNDS FOR, HAVING THE EFFECT OF, PLAY A LEADING PART (RÔLE) IN, MAKE ITSELF FELT, TAKE EFFECT, EXHIBIT A TENDENCY TO, SERVE THE PURPOSE OF, etc., etc.
The keynote is the elimination of simple verbs. Instead of being a single word, such as BREAK, STOP, SPOIL, MEND, KILL, a verb becomes a PHRASE, made up of a noun or adjective tacked on to some general-purposes verb as PROVE, SERVE, FORM, PLAY, RENDER. In addition, the passive voice is wherever possible used in preference to the active, and noun constructions are used instead of gerunds (BY EXAMINATION OF instead of BY EXAMINING).
The range of verbs is further cut down by means of the '-IZE' AND 'DE-' formations, and banal statements are given an appearance of profundity by means of the NOT 'UN-' formation.
Simple conjunctions and prepositions are replaced by such phrases as WITH RESPECT TO, HAVING REGARD TO, THE FACT THAT, BY DINT OF, IN VIEW OF, IN THE INTERESTS OF, ON THE HYPOTHESIS THAT; and the ends of sentences are saved from anti-climax by such resounding commonplaces as GREATLY TO BE DESIRED, CANNOT BE LEFT OUT OF ACCOUNT, A DEVELOPMENT TO BE EXPECTED IN THE NEAR FUTURE, DESERVING OF SERIOUS CONSIDERATION, BROUGHT TO A SATISFACTORY CONCLUSION, and so on and so forth.
Words like PHENOMENON, ELEMENT, INDIVIDUAL (as noun), OBJECTIVE, CATEGORICAL, EFFECTIVE, VIRTUAL, BASIS, PRIMARY, PROMOTE, CONSTITUTE, EXHIBIT, EXPLOIT, UTILIZE, ELIMINATE, LIQUIDATE, are used to dress up simple statements and give an air of scientific impartiality to biased judgments.
Adjectives like EPOCH-MAKING, EPIC, HISTORIC, UNFORGETTABLE, TRIUMPHANT, AGE-OLD, INEVITABLE, INEXORABLE, VERITABLE, are used to dignify the sordid processes of international politics, while writing that aims at glorifying war usually takes on an archaic color, its characteristic words being: REALM, THRONE, CHARIOT, MAILED FIST, TRIDENT, SWORD, SHIELD, BUCKLER, BANNER, JACKBOOT, CLARION.
Foreign words and expressions such as CUL DE SAC, ANCIEN RÉGIME, DEUS EX MACHINA, MUTATIS MUTANDIS, STATUS QUO, GLEICHSCHALTUNG, WELTANSCHAUUNG, are used to give an air of culture and elegance.
Except for the useful abbreviations I.E., E.G., and ETC., there is no real need for any of the hundreds of foreign phrases now current in English. Bad writers, and especially scientific, political and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones, and unnecessary words like EXPEDITE, AMELIORATE, PREDICT, EXTRANEOUS, DERACINATED, CLANDESTINE, SUB-AQUEOUS and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their Anglo-Saxon opposite numbers. [Note 1, below]
The jargon peculiar to Marxist writing (HYENA, HANGMAN, CANNIBAL, PETTY BOURGEOIS, THESE GENTRY, LACKEY, FLUNKEY, MAD DOG, WHITE GUARD, etc.) consists largely of words and phrases translated from Russian, German or French; but the normal way of coining a new word is to use a Latin or Greek root with the appropriate affix and, where necessary, the '-ize' formation.
It is often easier to make up words of this kind (DE-REGIONALIZE, IMPERMISSIBLE, EXTRAMARITAL, NON-FRAGMENTARY and so forth) than to think up the English words that will cover one's meaning. The result, in general, is an increase in slovenliness and vagueness.
[Note: 1. An interesting illustration of this is the way in which the English flower names which were in use till very recently are being ousted by Greek ones, SNAPDRAGON becoming ANTIRRHINUM, FORGET-ME-NOT becoming MYOSOTIS, etc. It is hard to see any practical reason for this change of fashion: it is probably due to an instinctive turning-away from the more homely word and a vague feeling that the Greek word is scientific. (Author's footnote.)]
In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning. [Note, below]
Words like ROMANTIC, PLASTIC, VALUES, HUMAN, DEAD, SENTIMENTAL, NATURAL, VITALITY, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but are hardly even expected to do so by the reader. When one critic writes, "The outstanding feature of Mr. X's work is its living quality," while another writes, "The immediately striking thing about Mr. X's work is its peculiar deadness," the reader accepts this as a simple difference of opinion.
If words like BLACK and WHITE were involved, instead of the jargon words DEAD and LIVING, he would see at once that language was being used in an improper way. Many political words are similarly abused. The word FASCISM has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable."
The words DEMOCRACY, SOCIALISM, FREEDOM, PATRIOTIC, REALISTIC, JUSTICE, have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like DEMOCRACY, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides.
It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of régime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.
Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like MARSHAL PÉTAIN WAS A TRUE PATRIOT, THE SOVIET PRESS IS THE FREEST IN THE WORLD, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS OPPOSED TO PERSECUTION, are almost always made with intent to deceive.
Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: CLASS, TOTALITARIAN, SCIENCE, PROGRESSIVE, REACTIONARY BOURGEOIS, EQUALITY.
[Note: Example: "Comfort's catholicity of perception and image, strangely Whitmanesque in range, almost the exact opposite in aesthetic compulsion, continues to evoke that trembling atmospheric accumulative hinting at a cruel, an inexorably serene timelessness . . . Wrey Gardiner scores by aiming at simple bullseyes with precision. Only they are not so simple, and through this contented sadness runs more than the surface bittersweet of resignation." (POETRY QUARTERLY.) (Author's footnote.)]
Now that I have made this catalogue of swindles and perversions, let me give another example of the kind of writing that they lead to. This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one. I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from ECCLESIASTES:
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth
Here it is in modern English:
Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account. This is a parody, but not a very gross one.
Exhibit (3), above, for instance, contains several patches of the same kind of English. It will be seen that I have not made a full translation. The beginning and ending of the sentence follow the original meaning fairly closely, but in the middle the concrete illustrations--race, battle, bread--dissolve into the vague phrase "success or failure in competitive activities." This had to be so, because no modern writer of the kind I am discussing--no one capable of using phrases like "objective consideration of contemporary phenomena"--would ever tabulate his thoughts in that precise and detailed way. The whole tendency of modern prose is away from concreteness.
Now analyze these two sentences a little more closely. The first contains 49 words but only 60 syllables, and all its words are those of everyday life. The second contains 38 words of 90 syllables: 18 of its words are from Latin roots, and one from Greek. The first sentence contains six vivid images, and only one phrase ("time and chance") that could be called vague. The second contains not a single fresh, arresting phrase, and in spite of its 90 syllables it gives only a shortened version of the meaning contained in the first. Yet without a doubt it is the second kind of sentence that is gaining ground in modern English.
I do not want to exaggerate. This kind of writing is not yet universal, and outcrops of simplicity will occur here and there in the worst-written page. Still, if you or I were told to write a few lines on the uncertainty of human fortunes, we should probably come much nearer to my imaginary sentence than to the one from ECCLESIASTES.
As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing, is that it is easy. It is easier--even quicker, once you have the habit--to say IN MY OPINION IT IS A NOT UNJUSTIFIABLE ASSUMPTION THAT than to say I THINK.
If you use ready-made phrases, you not only don't have to hunt about for words; you also don't have to bother with the rhythms of your sentences, since these phrases are generally so arranged as to be more or less euphonious.
When you are composing in a hurry--when you are dictating to a stenographer, for instance, or making a public speech--it is natural to fall into a pretentious, Latinized style. Tags like A CONSIDERATION WHICH WE SHOULD DO WELL TO BEAR IN MIND OR A CONCLUSION TO WHICH ALL OF US WOULD READILY ASSENT will save many a sentence from coming down with a bump.
By using stale metaphors, similes and idioms, you save much mental effort at the cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself. This is the significance of mixed metaphors. The sole aim of a metaphor is to call up a visual image. When these images clash--as in THE FASCIST OCTOPUS HAS SUNG ITS SWAN SONG, THE JACKBOOT IS THROWN INTO THE MELTING POT--it can be taken as certain that the writer is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is naming; in other words he is not really thinking.
Look again at the examples I gave at the beginning of this essay. Professor Laski (1) uses five negatives in 53 words. One of these is superfluous, making nonsense of the whole passage, and in addition there is the slip ALIEN for akin, making further nonsense, and several avoidable pieces of clumsiness which increase the general vagueness.
Professor Hogben (2) plays ducks and drakes with a battery which is able to write prescriptions, and, while disapproving of the everyday phrase PUT UP WITH, is unwilling to look EGREGIOUS up in the dictionary and see what it means.
(3), if one takes an uncharitable attitude towards it, is simply meaningless: probably one could work out its intended meaning by reading the whole of the article in which it occurs.
In (4), the writer knows more or less what he wants to say, but an accumulation of stale phrases chokes him like tea leaves blocking a sink.
In (5), words and meaning have almost parted company. People who write in this manner usually have a general emotional meaning--they dislike one thing and want to express solidarity with another--but they are not interested in the detail of what they are saying.
A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:
What am I trying to say?
What words will express it?
What image or idiom will make it clearer?
Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?
And he will probably ask himself two more:
Could I put it more shortly?
Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?
But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you--even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent-and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself.
It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear. In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a "party line."
Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading articles, manifestoes, White Papers and the speeches of under-secretaries do, of course, vary from party to party, but they are all alike in that one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid, home-made turn of speech.
When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases--BESTIAL ATROCITIES, IRON HEEL, BLOODSTAINED TYRANNY, FREE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD, STAND SHOULDER TO SHOULDER--one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker's spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them.
And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance towards turning himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the responses in church.
And this reduced state of consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favorable to political conformity.
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.
Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of political parties.
Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called PACIFICATION. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called TRANSFER OF POPULATION or RECTIFICATION OF FRONTIERS. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called ELIMINATION OF UNRELIABLE ELEMENTS.
Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.
Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, "I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so."
Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:
While freely conceding that the Soviet régime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.
The inflated style is itself a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outlines and covering up all the details.
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.
When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were instinctively, to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.
In our age there is no such thing as "keeping out of politics." All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.
When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. I should expect to find--this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify--that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years as a result of dictatorship. But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation, even among people who should and do know better.
The debased language that I have been discussing is in some ways very convenient. Phrases like A NOT UNJUSTIFIABLE ASSUMPTION, LEAVES MUCH TO BE DESIRED, WOULD SERVE NO GOOD PURPOSE, A CONSIDERATION WHICH WE SHOULD DO WELL TO BEAR IN MIND, are a continuous temptation, a packet of aspirins always at one's elbow.
Look back through this essay, and for certain you will find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against. By this morning's post I have received a pamphlet dealing with conditions in Germany. The author tells me that he "felt impelled" to write it. I open it at random, and here is almost the first sentence that I see: "[The Allies] have an opportunity not only of achieving a radical transformation of Germany's social and political structure in such a way as to avoid a nationalistic reaction in Germany itself, but at the same time of laying the foundations of a cooperative and unified Europe."
You see, he "feels impelled" to write--feels, presumably, that he has something new to say--and yet his words, like cavalry horses answering the bugle, group themselves automatically into the familiar dreary pattern. This invasion of one's mind by ready-made phrases (LAY THE FOUNDATIONS, ACHIEVE A RADICAL TRANSFORMATION) can only be prevented if one is constantly on guard against them, and every such phrase anesthetizes a portion of one's brain.
I said earlier that the decadence of our language is probably curable. Those who deny this would argue, if they produced an argument at all, that language merely reflects existing social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development by any direct tinkering with words and constructions. So far as the general tone or spirit of a language goes, this may be true, but it is not true in detail. Silly words and expressions have often disappeared, not through any evolutionary process but owing to the conscious action of a minority. Two recent examples were EXPLORE EVERY AVENUE and LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED, which were killed by the jeers of a few journalists.
There is a long list of fly-blown metaphors which could similarly be got rid of if enough people would interest themselves in the job; and it should also be possible to laugh the NOT 'UN-' formation out of existence, [Note, below] to reduce the amount of Latin and Greek in the average sentence, to drive out foreign phrases and strayed scientific words, and, in general, to make pretentiousness unfashionable. But all these are minor points.
The defense of the English language implies more than this, and perhaps it is best to start by saying what it does NOT imply. [Note: One can cure oneself of the NOT 'UN-' formation by memorizing this sentence: A NOT UNBLACK DOG WAS CHASING A NOT UNSMALL RABBIT ACROSS A NOT UNGREEN FIELD. (Author's footnote.)]
To begin with, it has nothing to do with archaism, with the salvaging of obsolete words and turns of speech, or with the setting-up of a "standard-English" which must never be departed from. On the contrary, it is especially concerned with the scrapping of every word or idiom which has outworn its usefulness. It has nothing to do with correct grammar and syntax, which are of no importance so long as one makes one's meaning clear, or with the avoidance of Americanisms, or with having what is called a "good prose style."
On the other hand it is not concerned with fake simplicity and the attempt to make written English colloquial. Nor does it even imply in every case preferring the Saxon word to the Latin one, though it does imply using the fewest and shortest words that will cover one's meaning. What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way about. In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is to surrender them.
When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualizing, you probably hunt about till you find the exact words that seem to fit it.
When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning. Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one's meaning as clear as one can through pictures or sensations. Afterwards one can choose--not simply ACCEPT--the phrases that will best cover the meaning, and then switch round and decide what impressions one's words are likely to make on another person.
This last effort of the mind cuts out all stale or mixed images, all prefabricated phrases, needless repetitions, and humbug and vagueness generally. But one can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails.
I think the following rules will cover most cases:
(i) Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. (ii) Never use a long word where a short one will do.
(iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
(iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.
(v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
(vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.
These rules sound elementary, and so they are, but they demand a deep change of attitude in anyone who has grown used to writing in the style now fashionable. One could keep all of them and still write bad English, but one could not write the kind of stuff that I quoted in these five specimens at the beginning of this article.
I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought. Stuart Chase and others have come near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism.
Since you don't know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism?
One need not swallow such absurdities as this, but one ought to recognize that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.
If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself.
Political language-and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists-is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable. and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one's own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase--some JACKBOOT, ACHILLES' HEEL, HOTBED, MELTING POT, ACID TEST, VERITABLE INFERNO or other lump of verbal refuse--into the dustbin where it belongs.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
"YOU AND THE ATOM BOMB" BY GEORGE ORWELL
You and the Atomic Bomb
Essay - 1945
Considering how likely we all are to be blown to pieces by it within the next five years, the atomic bomb has not roused so much discussion as might have been expected.
The newspapers have published numerous diagrams, not very helpful to the average man, of protons and neutrons doing their stuff, and there has been much reiteration of the useless statement that the bomb 'ought to be put under international control.'
But curiously little has been said, at any rate in print, about the question that is of most urgent interest to all of us, namely: 'How difficult are these things to manufacture?'
Such information as we--that is, the big public--possess on this subject has come to us in a rather indirect way, apropos of President Truman's decision not to hand over certain secrets to the USSR. Some months ago, when the bomb was still only a rumour, there was a widespread belief that splitting the atom was merely a problem for the physicists, and that when they had solved it a new and devastating weapon would be within reach of almost everybody. (At any moment, so the rumour went, some lonely lunatic in a laboratory might blow civilisation to smithereens, as easily as touching off a firework.)
Had that been true, the whole trend of history would have been abruptly altered. The distinction between great states and small states would have been wiped out, and the power of the State over the individual would have been greatly weakened.
However, it appears from President Truman's remarks, and various comments that have been made on them, that the bomb is fantastically expensive and that its manufacture demands an enormous industrial effort, such as only three or four countries in the world are capable of making. This point is of cardinal importance, because it may mean that the discovery of the atomic bomb, so far from reversing history, will simply intensify the trends which have been apparent for a dozen years past.
It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons. In particular, the connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance.
Thus, for example, thanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon--so long as there is no answer to it-- gives claws to the weak.
The great age of democracy and of national self-determination was the age of the musket and the rifle. After the invention of the flintlock, and before the invention of the percussion cap, the musket was a fairly efficient weapon, and at the same time so simple that it could be produced almost anywhere. Its combination of qualities made possible the success of the American and French revolutions, and made a popular insurrection a more serious business than it could be in our own day. After the musket came the breech-loading rifle. This was a comparatively complex thing, but it could still be produced in scores of countries, and it was cheap, easily smuggled and economical of ammunition. Even the most backward nation could always get hold of rifles from one source or another, so that Boers, Bulgars, Abyssinians, Moroccans--even Tibetans-- could put up a fight for their independence, sometimes with success.
But thereafter every development in military technique has favoured the State as against the individual, and the industrialised country as against the backward one. There are fewer and fewer foci of power. Already, in 1939, there were only five states capable of waging war on the grand scale, and now there are only three--ultimately, perhaps, only two. This trend has been obvious for years, and was pointed out by a few observers even before 1914.
The one thing that might reverse it is the discovery of a weapon--or, to put it more broadly, of a method of fighting--not dependent on huge concentrations of industrial plant. From various symptoms one can infer that the Russians do not yet possess the secret of making the atomic bomb; on the other hand, the consensus of opinion seems to be that they will possess it within a few years.
So we have before us the prospect of two or three monstrous super-states, each possessed of a weapon by which millions of people can be wiped out in a few seconds, dividing the world between them.
It has been rather hastily assumed that this means bigger and bloodier wars, and perhaps an actual end to the machine civilisation. But suppose--and really this the likeliest development--that the surviving great nations make a tacit agreement never to use the atomic bomb against one another? Suppose they only use it, or the threat of it, against people who are unable to retaliate? In that case we are back where we were before, the only difference being that power is concentrated in still fewer hands and that the outlook for subject peoples and oppressed classes is still more hopeless.
When James Burnham wrote THE MANAGERIAL REVOLUTION it seemed probable to many Americans that the Germans would win the European end of the war, and it was therefore natural to assume that Germany and not Russia would dominate the Eurasian land mass, while Japan would remain master of East Asia. This was a miscalculation, but it does not affect the main argument. For Burnham's geographical picture of the new world has turned out to be correct.
More and more obviously the surface of the earth is being parceled off into three great empires, each self-contained and cut off from contact with the outer world, and each ruled, under one disguise or another, by a self-elected oligarchy. The haggling as to where the frontiers are to be drawn is still going on, and will continue for some years, and the third of the three super-states--East Asia, dominated by China--is still potential rather than actual. But the general drift is unmistakable, and every scientific discovery of recent years has accelerated it.
We were once told that the aeroplane had 'abolished frontiers'; actually it is only since the aeroplane became a serious weapon that frontiers have become definitely impassable. The radio was once expected to promote international understanding and co-operation; it has turned out to be a means of insulating one nation from another.
The atomic bomb may complete the process by robbing the exploited classes and peoples of all power to revolt, and at the same time putting the possessors of the bomb on a basis of military equality. Unable to conquer one another, they are likely to continue ruling the world between them, and it is difficult to see how the balance can be upset except by slow and unpredictable demographic changes.
For forty or fifty years past, Mr. H. G. Wells and others have been warning us that man is in danger of destroying himself with his own weapons, leaving the ants or some other gregarious species to take over. Anyone who has seen the ruined cities of Germany will find this notion at least thinkable.
Nevertheless, looking at the world as a whole, the drift for many decades has been not towards anarchy but towards the reimposition of slavery. We may be heading not for general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity.
James Burnham's theory has been much discussed, but few people have yet considered its ideological implications--that is, the kind of world-view, the kind of beliefs, and the social structure that would probably prevail in a state which was at once UNCONQUERABLE and in a permanent state of 'cold war' with its neighbors.
Had the atomic bomb turned out to be something as cheap and easily manufactured as a bicycle or an alarm clock, it might well have plunged us back into barbarism, but it might, on the other hand, have meant the end of national sovereignty and of the highly-centralised police state.
If, as seems to be the case, it is a rare and costly object as difficult to produce as a battleship, it is likelier to put an end to large-scale wars at the cost of prolonging indefinitely a 'peace that is no peace'.
THE UNHOLY TRINITY OF ATHEISTS - PART 2 - RICHARD DAWKINS
Part 2 will be a personal critique of Richard Dawkins' twin ideas of Atheism & Evolution - as described in "The God Delusion" (2006) and "The Selfish Gene" (1976) - in relation to my primary criticism, as cited in Part 1 :
"This little 'trinity' of atheists...especially Dawkins...do little to heal a broken world...their little crusade will prove to be divisive to humanity".
HYPOTHESIS 1 - NON-RELIGIOUS, EVOLUTIONARY, ATHEISTIC IDEAS - SUCH AS THOSE OF RICHARD DAWKINS - ARE USED (AND WILL BE USED) TO JUSTIFY MAN'S INHUMANITY TO MAN, JUST AS MUCH AS RELIGIOUS, "IN-THE-BEGINNING-GOD", THEISTIC IDEAS...POSSIBLY MORE SO ...FOR EXAMPLE :
1. SOCIAL DARWINISM VIA DARWINISM
To quote Dawkins himself ("The God Delusion" - Chapter 6 "The roots of morality : why are we good" - Page 246) :
"Isn't goodness incompatible with the theory of the 'selfish gene'. No. This is a common misunderstanding of the theory - a distressing (and, with hindsight, foreseeable) misunderstanding.*
* I (Dawkins - Ed) was mortified to read in The Guardian ('Animal Instincts', 27 May 2006) that "The Selfish Gene" is the favourite book of Jeff Skilling, CEO of the infamous Enron Corporation, and that he derived inspiration of a Social Darwinist character from it...
...I have tried to forestall similar misunderstandings in my new preface to the thirteenth anniversary edition of 'The Selfish Gene', just brought out by Oxford University Press."
2. NEO-CONSERVATISM VIA NEO-DARWINISM
3. MORAL RELATIVISM VIA LOGICAL POSITIVISM
HYPOTHESIS 2 - IF THERE IS SOME TRUTH TO THE ABOVE, THEN A COUNTER-ARGUMENT CAN BE MADE AGAINST DAWKINS, WHO MAKES IT CLEAR THAT PEOPLE WITH A RELIGIOUS FAITH SHOULD DISCARD THEIR CHERISHED BELIEFS BECAUSE OF THE MASSIVELY DAMAGING AFFECTS OF THOSE BELIEFS...
IF HIS SECULAR 'FAITH' ALSO IS MASSIVELY DAMAGING, THEN PEOPLE SHOULD DISCARD SUCH NON-RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.
PR ADVERTISING & PROPAGANDA AS WEAPONS OF SOCIAL CONTROL - INSTEAD OF BRAIN-WASHING & TORTURE
Saturday, 11 August 2007
Noam Chomsky: How Propaganda Works in the West
The American approach to social control is so much more sophisticated and pervasive that it deserves a new name. It not propaganda any more, it's “prop-agenda”. It's not so much the control of what we think, but the control of what we think about.
Remember, children. Propaganda works because we don't know we're being propagandarized.
How could anyone suggest that in this beacon of 'freedom and democracy', the magnificent United States of Amnesia, that we are programmed to follow an ideology ?
Propaganda for Dummies
In the West, the calculated manipulation of public opinion to serve political and ideological interests is much more covert and therefore much more effective than a propaganda system imposed in a totalitarian regime.
Its greatest triumph is that we generally don't notice the influence of propaganda — or laugh at the notion it even exists.
We watch the democratic process taking place - heated debates in which we feel we could have a voice — and think that, because we have “free” media, it would be hard for the Government to get away with anything very devious without someone calling them on it.
The American approach to social control is so much more sophisticated and pervasive that it really deserves a new name. It isn't just propaganda any more, it's “prop-agenda.”
It's not so much the control of what we think, but the control of what we think about.
When our governments want to sell us a course of action, they do it by making sure it's the only thing on the agenda, the only thing everyone's talking about.
And they pre-load the ensuing discussion with highly selected images, devious and prejudicial language, dubious linkages, weak or false “intelligence” and selected “leaks”.
With the ground thus prepared, governments are happy if you then “use the democratic process” to agree or disagree — for, after all, their intention is to mobilise enough headlines and conversation to make the whole thing seem real and urgent.
The more emotional the debate, the better.
Emotion creates reality, reality demands action.
Keeping the People Passive & Obedient
The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views.
That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.
Since the voice of the people is allowed to speak out in democratic societies, those in power better control what that voice says — in other words, control what people think.
One of the ways to do this is to create political debate that appears to embrace many opinions, but actually stays within very narrow margins.
You have to make sure that both sides in the debate accept certain assumptions — and that those assumptions are the basis of the propaganda system. As long as everyone accepts the propaganda system, the debate is permissible.
One reason that propaganda often works better on the educated than on the uneducated is that educated people read more, so they receive more propaganda.
Another is that they have jobs in management, media, and academia and therefore work in some capacity as agents of the propaganda system — and they believe what the system expects them to believe.
By and large, they're part of the privileged elite, and share the interests and perceptions of those in power.
It is much more difficult to see a propaganda system at work where the media are private and formal censorship is absent.
This is especially true where the media actively compete, periodically attack and expose corporate and government malfeasance, and aggressively portray themselves as spokesmen for free speech and the general community interest.
What is not evident (and remains undiscussed in the media) is the limited nature of such critiques, as well as the huge inequality of the command of resources, and its effect both on access to a private media system and on its behavior and performance.
Propaganda & the Ruling Ideology
When a leading journalist or TV news presenter is asked whether they are subject to pressure or censorship, they say they are completely free to express their own opinions.
So how does thought control work in a democratic society?
We know how it works in dictatorships.
Journalists are an integral part of the ruling ideology.
They are so well 'integrated' that they can't see outside the ideological box they inhabit.
Their journalism is balanced, fair and tolerant of other points of view.
But that is part of the 'value system' they are promulgating.
'Truth' is their version of the world.
To return to the original question. If one suggests there is censorship in the Western media, journalists immediately reply: “No one has been exerting any pressure on me. I write what I want.” And it’s true.
But if they defended positions contrary to the dominant norm, someone else would soon be writing editorials in their place.
Obviously it is not a hard-and-fast rule: the US press sometimes publishes even my work, and the US is not a totalitarian country.
But anyone who fails to fulfil certain minimum requirements does not stand a chance of becoming an established commentator.
It is one of the big differences between the propaganda system of a totalitarian state and the way democratic societies go about things.
Exaggerating slightly, in totalitarian countries the state decides the official line and everyone must then comply.
Democratic societies operate differently.
The line is never presented as such, merely implied.
This involves brainwashing people who are still at liberty. Even the passionate debates in the main media stay within the bounds of commonly accepted, implicit rules, which sideline a large number of contrary views.
The system of control in democratic societies is extremely effective. We do not notice the line any more than we notice the air we breathe. We sometimes even imagine we are seeing a lively debate.
The system of control is much more powerful than in totalitarian systems.
Look at Germany in the early 1930s. We tend to forget that it was the most advanced country in Europe, taking the lead in art, science, technology, literature and philosophy. Then, in no time at all, it suffered a complete reversal of fortune and became the most barbaric, murderous state in human history.
All that was achieved by using fear: Fear of the Bolsheviks, the Jews, the Americans, the Gypsies – everyone who, according to the Nazis, was threatening the core values of European culture and the direct descendants of Greek civilisation (as the philosopher Martin Heidegger wrote in 1935).
However, most of the German media who inundated the population with these messages were using marketing techniques developed by US advertising agents.The same method is always used to impose an ideology.
Violence is not enough to dominate people: some other justification is required.When one person wields power over another – whether they are a dictator, a colonist, a bureaucrat, a spouse or a boss – they need an ideology justifying their action.
And it is always the same: their domination is exerted for the good of the underdog.
Those in power always present themselves as being altruistic, disinterested and generous.
In the 1930s the rules for Nazi propaganda involved using simple words and repeating them in association with emotions and phobia.
When Hitler invaded the Sudetenland in 1938 he cited the noblest, most charitable motives: the need for a humanitarian intervention to prevent the ethnic cleansing of German speakers.
Henceforward everyone would be living under Germany’s protective wing, with the support of the world’s most artistically and culturally advanced country.
When it comes to propaganda (though in a sense nothing has changed since the days of Athens) there have been some minor improvements. The instruments available now are much more refined, in particular – surprising as it may seem – in the countries with the greatest civil liberties, Britain and the US.
The contemporary public relations industry was born there in the 1920s, an activity we may also refer to as opinion forming or propaganda.
Both countries had made such progress in democratic rights (women’s suffrage, freedom of speech) that state violence was no longer sufficient to contain the desire for liberty.
So those in power sought other ways of manufacturing consent. The PR industry produces, in the true sense of the term, concept, acceptance and submission.
It controls people’s minds and ideas.
It is a major advance on totalitarian rule, as it is much more agreeable to be subjected to advertising than to torture.
Posted by Left Turn at 14:33
Friday, August 10, 2007
BANKERS AND WANKERS
Even so, it doesn't take a Greenspan to work out that people like me - "wankers" - and others, are being well shafted at the moment by the "bankers" - such as The Federal Reserve System ($), The World Bank, The Bank of England (£) and the European Central Bank (Euros).
But I can't quite 'put my finger on' it' how these "bankers" are screwing the "wankers" (and others)...because I'm not very good with money...and I have even less of it now...especially thankx to...
Can anyone explain to a simple "wanker" exactly what is going on at the moment ?
"HOW TO WRITE, THINK AND SPEAK CORRECTLY"
This is the title of a book, published by Odhams Press in 1939 and edited by - and it's really good...especially on "logic". For example :
SECTION 2 - THE ART OF THINKING
Chapter 10 - Some Obstacles To Clear Thinking
Chapter 11 - How Self-Interest Influences Our Beliefs
Chapter 12 - Speaking The Same Language
Chapter 13 - Cherished Beliefs
Chapter 14 - The Power of Suggestion
Chapter 15 - Some Logical Errors
Chapter 16 - How We Form Our Judgements
Chapter 17 - Some Unfair Tricks Of Argument
As I read it, nothing much has changedin 68 years - and what is said is as relevant now as it was then - perhaps more so.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
THE IFIELD SOCIETY 'BALLS & FAIRWAYS' RAMBLETTE
Following last Wednesday's "Fate of Ifield Golf Club" Lecturette, there will be an Ifield Society
Summer Evening Ramblette - "Balls and Fairways" - next Thursday 16th August.
This short walk will start at 6.30pm from The Plough, Ifield Street, Ifield Village - and will end at St Margaret's Parish Church, Ifield Village, at 8pm (approx).
All two-legged and four-legged animals warmly invited - except ostriches and elephants.
Richard W. Symonds
THE IFIELD SOCIETY
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
IFIELD GOLF CLUB - R.I.P.
Last Friday, there was a meeting at Ifield Golf club "to pass a resolution to ratify the directors' action in signing an option agreement with a developer (possibly Taylor-Wimpey)...
"The resolution was passed.
"This now means that the Board of Directors have carte-blanche to sell the land to whoever they want - at whatever price they want - to build what shit cardboard noddy-boxes they want - without further consultation with the shareholders, or anyone else."
The Ifield Society will therefore be pulling out of any further formal discussions and/or Public Consultations, believing the whole democratic process to be a sham and a scam - and a total waste of taxpayers' money.
It would appear that Ifield Golf Club Ltd's Board of Directors (and 'partners') have 'sold its members down the River Mole' - and those within this ancient Parish.
As George Orwell said - his last-known published words - "Don't let it happen. It depends on you"
Are we already too late ?
GOD, MAN AND CARL GUSTAV JUNG
Here is something more on Jung :
"Was Jung a mystic?
My short answer is, yes of course Jung was a mystic. His work makes no sense otherwise.
But what kind of mysticism was it?
In a 1959 interview on the BBC program "Face to Face," John Freeman asked Jung whether he believed in God. Jung's answer was, “I do not need to believe in God; I know.” Here is the excerpt from the interview:
Freeman: And did he make you attend church regularly?
Jung: Always, that was quite natural. Everybody went to the church on Sunday.Freeman: And did you believe in God?Jung: Oh, yes.
Freeman: Do you now believe in God.Jung: Yes. Now? …[long pause] Difficult to answer. I know. I needn't… I don't need to believe. I know.
You may be interested in hearing this interview. An audio clip of this excerpt is available on the website of the Jung Society of Atlanta.
After giving the BBC interview, Jung received letters from many people who had heard the radio broadcast. Jung then clarified his views in a letter to The Listener, January 21, 1960 [1A]. In some ways his clarification raises even more issues. Jung wrote:
Sir - So many letters I have received have emphasized my statement about 'knowing' (of God) [in Face to Face, The Listener, October 29].
My opinion about knowledge of God is an unconventional way of thinking, and I quite understand if it should be suggested that I am no Christian.
Yet I think of myself as a Christian since I am entirely based upon Christian concepts.
I only try to escape their internal contradictions by introducing a more modest attitude, which takes into consideration the immense darkness of the human mind.
The Christian idea proves its vitality by a continuous evolution, just like Buddhism. Our time certainly demands some new thought in this respect, as we cannot continue to think in an antique or medieval way, when we enter the sphere of religious experience.
I did not say in the broadcast, "There is a God." I said "I do not need to believe in God; I know."
Which does not mean: I do know a certain God (Zeus, Jahwe, Allah, the Trinitarian God, etc.) but rather: I do know that I am obviously confronted with a factor unknown in itself, which I call 'God' in consensu omnium [consent of everyone] "'quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus creditur"). ["What has been believed always, everywhere, and by all"] I remember Him, I evoke Him, whenever I use His name overcome by anger or by fear, whenever I involuntarily say: "Oh God!"That happens when I meet somebody or something stronger than myself.
It is an apt name given to all overpowering emotions in my own psychical system subduing my conscious will and usurping control over myself. This is the name by which I designate all things which cross my willful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans, and intentions and change the course of my life for better or worse.
In accordance with tradition I call the power of fate in this positive as well as negative aspect, and inasmuch as its origin is beyond my control, 'god', a 'personal god', since my fate means very much myself, particularly when it approaches me in the form of conscience as a vox Dei, with which I can even converse and argue. (We do and, at the same time, we know that we do. One is subject as well as object.)Yet I should consider it an intellectual immorality to indulge in the belief that my view of a god is the universal, metaphysical Being of the confessions or 'philosophies'.
I do neither commit the impertinence of a hypostasis, nor of an arrogant qualification such as: 'God can only be good.' Only my experience can be good or evil, but I know that the superior will is based upon a foundation which transcends human imagination.
Since I know of my collision with a superior will in my own psychical system, I know of God, and if I should venture the illegitimate hypostasis of my image, I would say, of a God beyond good and evil, just as much dwelling in myself as everywhere else: Deus est circulus cuius centrum est ubique, cuis circumferentia vero nusquam. [God is a circle whose center is everywhere, but whose circumference is nowhere]
Carl Gustav Jung