Saturday, 30 January 2010

An idea

The 'law of attraction' is something that's quoted widely in self help books.

The idea, basically, is that your thoughts are like magnets: bad thoughts create bad situations and good thoughts create happiness, success, wealth and prosperity.

You may believe this to be true.

Some say the theory dates back to 3,000BC. Legend has it William Shakespeare and Julius Caesar believed in the law of attraction. There are many others who will swear blind that the power of positive thought bought love, riches, happiness and abundance into their lives...

Me - I'm not sure about it.

It just seems a bit too... nebulous.

I don't believe that concentrating your thoughts on something is enough to make it happen (or not happen).

In my experience, positive results require ACTION.

But hey-ho.

If it works for some people, then fine. Having a positive outlook on life is never a bad thing, so you won't find me heaping too much scorn on the law of attraction or its advocates.

In any case, whether you believe in it or not is largely irrelevant to today's email. I bring it up merely to highlight the proven profit power of something else...

*******************
Public domain material
*******************

Come on - keep up!

You can make a fair bit of money online selling other people's products on a commission basis.

Your cut can sometimes be as much as 40-50%, net of shipping costs.

But if you sell your OWN product, 100% of the profit is yours.

That's where the real money is. But there's a problem: how do you go about writing your own eBook, producing your own 12-part home study course, or burning and duplicating your own CDs?

Where are you supposed to find the time to sit down and do all that? Isn't it simpler to sell other people's stuff - ready-made products - on a 'cut-of-profits' basis?

Well, yes... but you'll never make really good money doing that.

So what if there were a way to sell someone else's hard work AND keep all the cash yourself?

"Who in their right mind would let you do that?" You ask.

Someone who has been dead for 70 years, I reply.

I'm talking, of course, about works that exist in the public domain.

Public domain is a term that describes literary, musical, artistic and educational works that are no longer - or never were - protected by copyright.

It might be that they were created before copyright law was introduced... or they may have fallen into the public domain because their 70-year copyright term (73 years in the US) has expired.

Because these works are not protected by copyright law anyone can take them, reproduce them, modify them and sell them without paying a penny in royalties and without having to credit the original author or creator.

This is exactly what Australian TV presenter Rhonda Byrne did in 2004.

*****************************************
This secret made one woman $40million in 2 years
*****************************************

Rhonda found a 1910 book called The Science of Getting Rich, by Wallace Wattles in the public
domain.

The book was all about the law of attraction, and how you can use it to bring wealth, happiness and abundance into your life, simply by concentrating your thoughts appropriately.

As the book had fallen out of copyright, Rhonda was free to take it, use it, reproduce it and sell it, in any way she wanted.

She did just that - and a few months later, the global phenomenon known as "The Secret" was born. First, as an Internet-only pay-per-view film, which became a huge viral / underground hit. Then as a book, which has now been printed in 38 different languages. There are further spin-off books and movies in the pipeline.

It's been reported that the success of "The Secret" book, online film and DVD made its creator Rhonda Byrne around $40million in two years.

In 2007, Byrne was listed among Time Magazine's list of '100 people who shape the world'.

Not bad when you consider all of this came from a book she found in the public domain that had fallen out of copyright!

Now I'm sure Rhonda has worked extremely hard for her success. She's a very clever lady. She has repackaged Wallace Wattle's work very well - the marketing for her products is extremely slick, and she's acquired quite a following.

But the point is: she didn't create this work from scratch. She re-interpreted it and repackaged it.

****************
Nico can do this, too
****************


If the idea of making money on the Internet excites you - but you don't have either the time or talent to create your own product to sell, this is virtually on a plate for you.

There's a huge stockpile of public domain works available; hundreds of thousands of books, articles and pages there for the taking... and this cache grows daily.

Whatever kind of information product you want to create: fitness, investing, gardening, self-help, knitting, pets, you name it; there's a huge stash of ready-made content online that you can grab for
nothing, republish on the Internet in whatever format you'd like, sell on as many times as you like for as much money as you like - and, best of all, pocket all the profit!

The information is all there for you. You just need to know what to do with it. Here are three
suggestions - they may not make you the same money as "The Secret" has made for Rhonda Byrne, but we've all got to start somewhere...

1) You could update and rewrite the book, and sell it online - through a website, through affiliate
marketers or through an email, if you have an email list.

2) You could break the work up into chapters and sell each chapter as an eBook / report ... or the
whole thing as a multi-part home study course

3) You could even record yourself reading the book out chapter by chapter - then create a set of audio CDs you can sell as a home study course.

Of course there's some work involved whatever you decide to do - but it's a lot less hassle than having to write the whole thing yourself, from scratch.

A great starting point for finding free-to-reproduce work is Google. Type in "Public Domain books" and hit search.

Or you can visit one of the specialist online public domain depositories. The most famous of these is "Project Gutenberg" - named after the doe-eyed actor from the Police Academy films.

Not really... it's actually named after Johannes Gutenberg, the fifteenth century German printer who propelled the movable type printing press revolution - you knew that, didn't you?

You can visit the Project Gutenberg website by clicking here

A word of advice though - check the copyright laws VERY carefully before you start copying and pasting huge swathes of someone else's work.

Laws governing when works fall out of copyright differ from country to country - so make sure you know where you stand before you re-publish any work.

Ethnic cleansing in Sweden

It's happening....

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Haiti

When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone

When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on
Don't let yourself go, 'cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on

'Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on

Everybody hurts. You are not alone





Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Monday, 25 January 2010

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Ask questions...?

Nico

Maybe this will work

Song



Cain slew Abel Seth knew not why
For if the children of Israel were to multiply
Why must any of the children die?
So he asked the Lord
And the Lord said:

"Man means nothing he means less to me
than the lowiliest cactus flower
or the humblest yucca tree
he chases round this desert
cause he thinks that's where i'll be
that's why i love mankind

I recoil in horror from the foulness of thee
from the squalor and the filth and the misery
How we laugh up here in heaven at the prayers you offer me
That's why i love mankind"

The Christians and the Jews were having a jamboree
The Buddhists and the Hindus joined on satellite TV
They picked their four greatest priests
And they began to speak
They said "Lord the plague is on the world
Lord no man is free
The temples that we built to you
Have tumbled into the sea
Lord, if you won't take care of us
Won't you please please let us be?"

And the Lord said
And the Lord said

"I burn down your cities--how blind you must be
I take from you your children and you say how blessed are we
You must all be crazy to put your faith in me
That's why i love mankind
You really need me
That's why i love mankind"

Food Crisis

"The global deep freeze now striking North America, Europe, China and other regions may lead to severe food shortages and price hikes throughout 2010. Right now, rare freezing temperatures are destroying root crops in their ground, wiping out citrus orchards and devastating food producers around the world. The upshot of it all? Expect food shortages and rising food prices throughout 2010.

This global deep freeze is all part of the extreme weather now being unleashed on the planet due to human beings polluting the world and altering the atmosphere. Scientists can't agree on whether the trend is global warming or global cooling, but no one can argue that something's wrong with the weather.

Rainfall and temperature patterns that used to be reliable are now going haywire. Where there were once reliable seasonal rains, there are alternating periods of drought followed by floods. Where temperatures were once mild and predictable, they're now fluctuating out of control, becoming too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.

All this adds up to escalating crop failures that are now poised to have a real, noticeable impact on the global food supply."

Source:

can we grow our own?

"In 1963, we grew around 30 per cent of our own fruit; now it is closer to 5 per cent. Compare this with France, which in 1963 grew enough fruit to feed 90 per cent of the population and still produces enough to feed 80 per cent; or Italy which produced around 110 per cent of its fruit needs in 1963 and still does today. We may not have Italy’s sun-kissed orange groves, but we could still do better with the land we have. Over the past 13 years, our self-sufficiency in food overall has plummeted from 75 per cent to 60 per cent."

From The Telegraph:

"A new report launched on Tuesday entitled Food 2030 gives a warning that Britain can no longer afford to be complacent. "We need to think differently about food," said Gordon Brown in his foreword to the report, produced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Setting out a new food strategy for the next two decades, the report says that the industry needs to prepare for "sudden shocks" such as natural disasters or price spikes. Britain will need to produce more food, we are told, but will have to do so sustainably, "without damaging the air, soil, water and marine resources, biodiversity and climate that we all depend on".

Tim Lang from City University London said we are 'sleepwalking into a crisis' - the lecture notes are here....

In the End of Food, Paul Roberts
says that the global food system could be plunged into crisis in any number of ways... including flu pandemics, rises in oil price, or extreme weather conditions....

Check out this site and the graphic below....

Eric ( EricdeCarbonnel@marketskeptics.com ) writes in an article entitled Financial Armageddon:

"Early in 2009, the supply and demand in agricultural markets went badly out of balance. The world experienced a catastrophic fall in food production as a result of the financial crisis (low commodity prices and lack of credit) and adverse weather on a global scale. Meanwhile, China and other Asian exporters, in an effort to preserve their economic growth, were unleashing domestic consumption long constrained by inflation fears, and demand for raw materials, especially food staples, exploded as Chinese consumers worked their way towards American-style overconsumption, prodded on by a flood of cheap credit and easy loans from the government.

Normally food prices should have already shot higher months ago, leading to lower food consumption and bringing the global food supply/demand situation back into balance. This never happened because the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), instead of adjusting production estimates down to reflect decreased production, adjusted estimates upwards to match increasing demand from china. In this way, the USDA has brought supply and demand back into balance (on paper) and temporarily delayed a rise in food prices by ensuring a catastrophe in 2010."

So - what can be done?

Well....

1. Get used to eating less
2. Get used to eating only healthy unprocessed food - maybe a raw food diet?
3. Grow your own
4. Make soup from all vegetable leftovers
5. Eat chicken - use it all

Here's to the rest of 2010!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Final pic

Late night drinkers...

The influence of TOK


This is what happens when you finally understand something!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Watch this

Here

Sweden

Just thought you might like to read this...and weep (especially the comments)

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

They do things differently in Germany

...Celebrity Big Brother, that is...

Deception?

Haiti

This spreadsheet shows who has given what to Haiti.

Roman Catholicism is the official religion of Haiti, but voodoo may be considered the country's national religion

Note which countries are NOT on the donations list....rich countries...Saudi Arabia.....


It's never too late to be who you might have been

Make your OWN Bucket List



The movie "The Bucket List" features two terminally ill men who each decide to create a list of things to do before they die. While the subject matter is depressing, the concept is intriguing and inspiring to many people, maybe because of the high-pressured, time-starved, money orientated way we live our lives these days.

Few of us have the time to even think about what we really want in life, much less to actually achieve it, but creating a life list can be a way to focus on our true passions and achieve things we would otherwise barely even find time to dream about.

Creating a list of life goals can be done in one short brainstorming session, and once you have your list on paper you're likely to add to it and adapt it as you go through life. The idea of the bucket list is that it's your own personal wish list, so while your career, education and income might feature, it's more about personal goals that are important and meaningful to you as an individual.

If you want to create a meaningful list of life goals for yourself remember the following points:

Don't be influenced by what you think you should want. If you have see the Mona Lisa' on your list and you're not actually an art fan, or your goals involve a lot of world travel when really you hate to fly, you're probably falling into the trap of basing your list on collective values. Take some time to think about your own personal values and start coming up with goals based on those.

It might be useful to just "free write" for a while. Let your subconscious take over and don't think too hard about what you're putting down on paper. You may surprise yourself. There may be things on your list even you didn't know you wanted to do.

Be specific. If you want to go to Italy but don't really know why, think about what you want to see in Italy, where you want to stay, even what you want to eat. Craft a dream trip that will really inspire you to be motivated to achieve it.

Inspire yourself with your past. What did you want to be when you were a child? Is there anything you used to do that you would like to take up again and build on. What was your favorite childhood book or movie and why? What was it about? Where was it set? Clues to your true passions may be hidden in the life you lived before adult rules and responsibilities kicked in.

Make a plan to achieve your goals. Break them down into smaller chunks, especially if they require a big financial investment. Maybe you can't fly to Argentina today but you can start saving towards the air fare. Motivate yourself by setting achievable weekly and monthly goals and celebrating when you get there.

Edit your list regularly. Don't hesitate to add new things or cross off the ones that are no longer important to you. Changing your list can be a sign of personal growth. If your wish list remains static it probably means you're stuck in a rut and not really exploring life's possibilities as they present themselves.

Essentially, the aim of your list is to help you live a more meaningful, fulfilled and happy life, so go ahead and set those goals. Just make sure you believe they are worth achieving.

Also read this....

If you are not a member yet, it's free and easy to join by visiting www.mylifelist.org or if you have already created a Life List pick one goal and add it to the top of your list so others can help you achieve your goal!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Worldview - pre-IB

well done those who have handed in the essays so far.....

Worldview

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Crime pays

Well, financially anyway...

Dinner...nudge nudge

I expect people will either wish to bring their ancestor...








Or their girlfriend....








Or their other girlfriend....








.
Or their boyfriend....







Or their ex-boyfriend...








Or even group of boyfriends...








Who knows who you may meet...








42 people now coming - including five surprise guests.

The surprise guests include 3 Russians, 1 Korean, one Vietnamese....

Bring your cameras....maybe I should invite one for Dima....

Haiti





Mind Control

Saturday, 16 January 2010

He has come

Remember this:

Highlights of Maitreya's public emergence

The existence of great spiritual teachers, known as the Masters of Wisdom, became public knowledge in 1875 through the writings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society.

Blavatsky, who worked directly with the Masters, revealed that:

these perfected beings have guided humanity from behind the scenes of everyday life for countless millennia. Periodically, at times of great human crisis, they send one of their own into the world to show humanity the way forward. We know some of these teachers as Krishna, Confucius, Zoroaster, the Buddha, the Christ, and Mohammed. Anticipation of the imminent appearance of the Master of all the Masters, the World Teacher, Maitreya, grew and waned in the early part of the 20th century.

Near the end of World War II, Maitreya announced his intention to physically enter the everyday world at the earliest possible moment, along with a group of Masters, when humanity had achieved a measure of peace and had begun to implement the principle of sharing.

Since 1974, information about Maitreya's emergence has been presented to the public by Benjamin Creme, chief editor of Share International magazine. His training for this work, under a Master of Wisdom, began in 1959.

July 1977: Maitreya leaves his ancient Himalayan retreat, taking up residence in the Indian-Pakistani community of London. Since then he has lived in London as a seemingly ordinary man concerned with modern problems ― political, economic, and social ― directing his transforming energies to every part of the world. The timing of Maitreya's emergence has been governed by many factors. These include humanity's response to his energies and the need for humanity, through the world's media, to invite him forward, so that our free will is not infringed.

March 1978: Maitreya begins to emerge as a spokesman in the community where he lives. He is not a religious leader, but an educator in the broadest sense ― pointing the way out of the world's most critical problems.

May 1982: At a Los Angeles press conference, Benjamin Creme reveals that Maitreya lives in London, and invites the media to investigate. Reports of the press conference itself are the extent of the media's coverage.

August 1987: Creme announces that "in the coming three or four months, Maitreya will be working intensively to bring about a breakthrough in international relationships in the world." An armaments agreement soon follows between the USA and USSR that no one thought possible.

1988: Maitreya begins to appear, both in person and in dreams, to well-known leaders in various countries, and to many ordinary citizens. World détente, and the ensuing release of tensions, allows more open signs of his presence. Manifestations of crosses of light in the windows of people's homes are reported in the US media and seen by many thousands. Maitreya appears miraculously 'out of the blue' on June 11, 1988, at an open-air prayer/healing meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. He is photographed addressing thousands of people in their own language, who instantly recognize him as the Christ.

1988 - 1993: Through one of Maitreya's closest associates in the Indian-Pakistani community of London, Share International magazine receives a series of articles. These outline Maitreya's teachings and draw attention to developments and happenings which he expects to take place in the world, both in the short and the long term. Outer events have demonstrated Maitreya's insight. As early as 1988, he foresaw the release of Nelson Mandela (in 1990) and the process of détente in South Africa. In the same year he stated that governments everywhere would have to give way to the "voice of the people," a statement which found its most impressive proof in Eastern Europe. Furthermore, weeks or months ahead of time, Maitreya forecast the cease-fire between Iran and Iraq; the global rapprochement between guerrilla forces and national governments; the internal problems of the Soviet Union; the establishment of peace in Lebanon.

In early 1988, he also announced that there would be an international stock market crash which would cause governments to re-order their priorities.

In 1989 the Japanese stock market lost 40% of its value, and in subsequent years the crisis spread to Eastern Europe, the Asian 'tiger economies', the Soviet Union and Argentina. The financial collapse hit the US hard in 2008 and soon had further worldwide repercussions.

1990, April 21-22: Maitreya calls together
about 200 world leaders or their emissaries from the fields of government, business, science, religion and journalism for a weekend conference in London. Many pledge their cooperation to help implement his priorities.

1991 - present: Maitreya appears miraculously before large groups of people all over the world. In most cases, he magnetizes water in the vicinity before his appearance. Many people report healings from this water. In Tlacote (Mexico), Nordenau (Germany) and Nadana (India) healing wells charged by Maitreya attract growing numbers of visitors By means of these and other 'miracles', Maitreya seeks to create a climate of hope and expectancy into which he can emerge as the Teacher for all humanity

Upcoming events

Television interview: A major American television network has requested an interview with Maitreya, and he has accepted the offer. The interview will take place at a time of Maitreya's choosing, as yet unannounced. Important note Share International will NOT have any prior notification of the time of the interview. As soon as we have additional information about this interview, we will post it as a Special Bulletin on the home page.

Star-sign: On December 12, 2008, Benjamin Creme announced that a large, brilliant star ― visible both night and day around the world ― would appear, heralding Maitreya's first interview. In January 2009, reports of extraordinary star sightings began to be reported. See photos and news reports here: Star Sign Day of Declaration

Maitreya will be invited by the international media to speak directly to the entire world through the television networks linked together by satellites. On this Day of Declaration, we will see his face on the television screen wherever we have access. The biblical statement, "All eyes will see him," will be fulfilled, in the only way in which it can be fulfilled. We will see his face, but he will not speak. His thoughts, his ideas, his call to humanity for justice, sharing, right relationships and peace, will take place silently, telepathically. Each of us will hear him inwardly in our own language.

In this way, he will re-enact on a worldwide scale the true happenings of Pentecost 2,000 years ago. At the same time, the energy which he embodies ― the Christ Principle, the energy of love ― will flow out in tremendous potency through the hearts of all humanity. He has said: "It will be as if I embrace the world. People will feel it even physically." This will evoke an intuitive, heartfelt response to his message. Simultaneously, on the outer, physical plane, there will be hundreds of thousands of miracle healings throughout the planet. In these three ways we will know that Maitreya is the World Teacher, come for all groups, religious and non-religious alike. Our response to this experience will determine the entire future of this planet. Maitreya will present us with a choice: either we continue as we are now, in the old, greedy, selfish, complacent ways of the past, and destroy ourselves, or we accept the principle of sharing, accept that we are one, and begin the creation of a civilization such as this world has never yet seen. Maitreya already knows our answer. He has said: "My heart tells me your answer, your choice, and is glad."

As foretold here, and also here, the Maitreya has now come.

Maitreya steps forward

The way prepared by His Herald the ‘star’, Maitreya, the World Teacher, has given His first interview on American television. Millions have heard Him speak both on TV and the internet.

His open mission has begun.

He was introduced not as Maitreya, the World Teacher and Head of our Spiritual Hierarchy, but simply as a man, one of us.In this way He “ensures that men follow and support Him for the truth and sanity of His ideas rather than for His status”.

He spoke earnestly of the need for peace, achievable only through the creation of justice and the sharing of the world’s resources.

This is the first of many such interviews which will be given in the USA, Japan, Europe and elsewhere, bringing His message of hope to the world


Haiti

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Emotions!

ieving his or her goals, while a good EIQ can help someone who might otherwise struggle achieve success in life.

Snapshot Report
Self-report Component
Subscale IQ score = 118
Subscale percentile = 90


118
According to your self-report answers, your emotional intelligence is average. People who score like you do feel that their ability to understand and deal with their own emotions and those of others is acceptable but could still use some improvement. Emotionally intelligent people have an easy time overcoming difficulties in their lives and they are generally able to control their moods. It's easy for them to motivate themselves to overcome obstacles and reach their goals. In addition, they find social interactions to be quite easy and fulfilling, for several reasons. They are comfortable allowing themselves to get close with others, and feel comfortable being vulnerable enough to establish intimacy. They also report having an easy time offering support to others; likely due to an empathetic nature and a clear mind when it comes to offering good advice. Perhaps by working on your problem areas, you can become more confident in dealing with your own emotions and those of others.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Remember....

Close your eyes, and go back . . .

Before the Internet or the Mac,
Before Uzis and crack.
Before Nike and Reebok, before the NBA.
Before Sega or Super Nintendo.
Before burglar proofing and KFC.
Before soca, dub and chutney
Before children's rights and women's lib.

Way back...way.. way back

I'm talking about hide and seek at dusk.
Looking through the window, sitting in the gallery,
Licking your lips over hops and condensed milk.
Going to Saturday afternoon confession.
Drinking chocolate tea and cocoa tea and green tea and shining bush tea.
Carrying sandwiches in a brown paper bag to school.
Eating chilibibi and press with green and red syrup, with or without milk.
Bathing in cold water from a barrel with a calabash.
Hopscotch, butterscotch, hoop, Jacks,
Police and Thief, Rounders !
Pass-out cricket in the road with a lime
Lying on the floor reading Mandrake and Katzenjammer Kids and Mutt and Jeff.
Borrowing books from the library.
Hula Hoops and jawbreakers and kaiser balls.
Bathing in the rain under the guttering.
Going for walks on Sunday afternoon.
Band Concerts. Window shopping.
Wearing old pants to the beach and collecting sea shells and pretty stones.

Wait. . .

The excitement of catching candle flies in a jar and batimamselles.
Putting the ti-marie to sleep.
Killing birds with sling shot, cooking and eating them.
Pitching marbles, running jockey in the canal.
When a calypso on the radio in Lent would have caused a scandal.
When going to town was a major outing requiring serious preparation.
Spending holidays by your grandmother and aunts.
Castor oil and senna pods at the end of August to clean you out!
Eating caimite and mammy seepote and downs and sapodilla and sugar apple and
tying up your mouth with lalay.
Climbing trees,and skipping rope and eating a bucket of long mango.
Making a Christmas tree from a Gauva branch with cotton for snow.
You thought apples and grapes only grew at Christmas time.
Cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, keeping an eye out for soucouyant and
la diablesse.
Sliding down the bannister, jumping on the bed.
Pillow fights.
Having a pet chicken, duck, rabbit or goat and crying when it became a meal.
Being tickled to death.
Running till you were out of breath.
Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt!
Being tired from playing....remember that?
Going to the Chinee shop for Trebor and a penny sweet biscuit.

There's more . . .

Scratching your mother's head.
Fighting for the bowl when your mother made a cake.
Churning coconut or custard ice cream on Sunday and licking the palette.
Peeling cane with your teeth.

Remember when . . .

When there were no sneakers, only watchekongs and you washed them every
Saturday and whitened them.
When you knew nothing of Rottweilers or pit bulls, only pot hounds.
When a penny was a decent allowance, and another penny a huge bonus.
When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny.
When fashionable young ladies wore crinoline and boleros.
When your mother wore stockings that came in two pieces and had garters.
When all of your male teachers wore ties and female teachers had buns.
When you had to be rich to have a car or a radio.
When there was no TV and you went to sleep at seven o'clock.
When there was no designer water.
When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the
box.
When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry
groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.
When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real
restaurant with your parents.
When every kitchen had a safe with wire mesh.
Milk came in rum bottles and had to be boiled and the cream was a great
treat.
When they threatened to keep kids "down" if they failed...and they did!
When your mother used to say that your licks hurt her more than it hurt you.
When adults spoke in code so "little ears" wouldn't hear.
Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn't because of drive-by
shootings, drugs, or gangs.
Disapproval of parents and grandparents, godparents,tanties... was a much
bigger threat!


If you can remember any of these things, Well, sir/madame, I swear you must
be my age!!!!!!

Terrorism

The terrible threats presented by terrorism have lead to a serious reconsideration of torture as a means of extracting information. While there is considerable debate regarding the legality of torture, this essay is focused on the morality of torture in the context of the fight against terror.

While most people regard torture as evil, there are reasonable moral arguments in its favor. The most common argument is a utilitarian one: the harm prevented by gathering information by torture can outweigh the moral harms inflicted by the practice of torture.

A favorite example used by torture proponents, such as Harvard's Alan Dershowitz, is the 1995 case of Abdul Hakim Murad. After being tortured for over a month by Philippine police, Murad revealed various terrorist plans, including a plot to kill the Pope. Because of cases like this, one might conclude that the evil of torture can be outweighed by its good consequences-such as preventing murder.

If the evil of using torture is outweighed by its potential good consequences, then the matter of its effectiveness needs to be resolved. If torture is not an effective means of gaining reliable information, then there will be no good consequences to outweigh the evil of engaging in torture. If this is the case, then torture cannot be justified in this manner.

While there is significant debate over the general effectiveness of torture, it appears that it is not a particularly effective means of acquiring accurate information.

First, consider the American and European witch trials. During these trials a significant number of people confessed, under brutal torture, to being witches. If torture is an effective means of acquiring truthful information, then these trials provided reasonable evidence for the existence of witches, magic, the Devil and, presumably, God. However, it seems rather odd that such metaphysical matters could be settled by the application of the rack, the iron maiden and the thumb screw. As such, the effectiveness of torture is rather questionable.

Second, extensive studies of torture show that it is largely ineffective as a means of gathering correct information. For example, the Gestapo's use of torture against the French resistance in the 1940s and the French use of torture against the Algerian resistance in the 1950s both proved largely ineffective. As another example, Diederik Lohman, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, found that the torture of suspected criminals typically yields information that is not accurate. A final, and rather famous example is that of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. Under torture, al-Libi claimed that Al Qaeda had significant links to Iraq . However, as he himself later admitted, there were no such links. Thus, the historical record seems to count against the effectiveness of torture.

Third, as history and basic human psychology show, most people will say almost anything to end terrible suffering. For example, a former prisoner from Abu Ghraib told the New York Times that, after being tortured, he confessed to being Osama Bin Laden to put and end to his mistreatment. Similar things occur in the context of domestic law enforcement in the United States : suspects subjected to threats and mistreatments have confessed to crimes they did not commit. As such, torture seems to be a rather dubious way of acquiring reliable intelligence.

Given that torture is not effective as a means of gathering reliable information, the utilitarian argument in its favor must be rejected. This is because torturing people is not likely to yield any good consequences.

Despite its ineffectiveness as a means of extracting information directly, torture does seem to be an effective means towards another end, namely that of intimidation. History has shown that authoritarian societies successfully employed torture as a means of political control and as a means of creating informers. Ironically, while actual torture rarely yields reliable information, the culture of fear created by the threat of torture often motivates people to bring information to those in power.

Given its effectiveness as a tool of coercion and intimidation, torture and the threat of torture could be used as weapons against terror. If the threat of torture is both credible and terrible enough, then the likelihood of terrorist activity could be reduced and the number of useful informants could increase significantly.

From a moral standpoint, if torture were to prove effective as a means of reducing terrorist activity then it could be argued that the use of torture is morally acceptable. The gist of the argument is that the moral harms of threatening and utilizing torture are outweighed by the moral consequences-namely a reduction in terrorist activity.

While this argument has a certain appeal, it faces three problems. First, it seems likely that adopting torture and the threat of torture as weapons would be morally harmful to the society in question. To see that this is likely, one needs to merely consider the nature of societies that have already embraced the use of torture. Second, the use of torture as a means of coercion and intimidation certainly seems to be a form of terrorism. As such, the reduction in one type of terrorism would be, ironically, offset by the increase in another. Third, terrorism is denounced as a moral evil and its alleged opponents, such as George Bush, seem to revel in claiming the moral high ground. However, a society that accepts the use of torture cannot claim the moral high ground-they are walking the same ground as the terrorists. Thus, it would seem that the use of torture is not morally acceptable.

Poison

In a far away land, it was known that if you drank poison, the only way to save yourself is to drink a stronger poison, which neutralizes the weaker poison. The king that ruled the land wanted to make sure that he possessed the strongest poison in the kingdom, in order to ensure his survival, in any situation. So the king called the kingdom's pharmacist and the kingdom's treasurer, he gave each a week to make the strongest poison. Then, each would drink the other one's poison, then his own, and the one that will survive, will be the one that had the stronger poison.
The pharmacist went straight to work, but the treasurer knew he had no chance, for the pharmacist was much more experienced in this field, so instead, he made up a plan to survive and make sure the pharmacist dies. On the last day the pharmacist suddenly realized that the treasurer would know he had no chance, so he must have a plan. After a little thought, the pharmacist realized what the treasurer's plan must be, and he concocted a counter plan, to make sure he survives and the treasurer dies. When the time came, the king summoned both of them. They drank the poisons as planned, and the treasurer died, the pharmacist survived, and the king didn't get what he wanted.
What exactly happened there?

Answer

The treasurer's plan was to drink a weak poison prior to the meeting with the king, and then he would drink the pharmacist's strong poison, which would neutralize the weak poison. As his own poison he would bring water, which will have no effect on him, but the pharmacist who would drink the water, and then his poison would surely die. When the pharmacist figured out this plan, he decided to bring water as well. So the treasurer who drank poison earlier, drank the pharmacist's water, then his own water, and died of the poison he drank before. The pharmacist would drink only water, so nothing will happen to him. And because both of them brought the king water, he didn't get a strong poison like he wanted.

Fallacies - 1

Poisoning the Well

Etymology:

The phrase "poisoning the well" ultimately alludes to the medieval European myth that the black plague was caused by Jews poisoning town wells—a myth which was used as an excuse to persecute Jews.

The phrase was first used in its relevant sense by Cardinal John Henry Newman during a controversy with Charles Kingsley:

…[W]hat I insist upon here…is this unmanly attempt of his, in his concluding pages, to cut the ground from under my feet;—to poison by anticipation the public mind against me, John Henry Newman, and to infuse into the imaginations of my readers, suspicion and mistrust of every thing that I may say in reply to him. This I call poisoning the wells.

"I am henceforth in doubt and fear," he says, "as much as any honest man can be, concerning every word Dr. Newman may write. How can I tell that I shall not be the dupe of some cunning equivocation?" …

Well, I can only say, that, if his taunt is to take effect, I am but wasting my time in saying a word in answer to his foul calumnies… We all know how our imagination runs away with us, how suddenly and at what a pace;—the saying, "Caesar's wife should not be suspected," is an instance of what I mean. The habitual prejudice, the humour of the moment, is the turning-point which leads us to read a defence in a good sense or a bad. We interpret it by our antecedent impressions. The very same sentiments, according as our jealousy is or is not awake, or our aversion stimulated, are tokens of truth or of dissimulation and pretence. There is a story of a sane person being by mistake shut up in the wards of a Lunatic Asylum, and that, when he pleaded his cause to some strangers visiting the establishment, the only remark he elicited in answer was, "How naturally he talks! you would think he was in his senses." Controversies should be decided by the reason; is it legitimate warfare to appeal to the misgivings of the public mind and to its dislikings? Any how, if Mr. Kingsley is able thus to practise upon my readers, the more I succeed, the less will be my success. … The more triumphant are my statements, the more certain will be my defeat.

Source: John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua

Type: Argumentum ad Hominem

Example:

I wish it were possible for men to get really emotionally involved in this question [abortion]. It is really impossible for the man, for whom it is impossible to be in this situation, to really see it from the woman's point of view. That is why I am concerned that there are not more women in this House available to speak about this from the woman's point of view.

Source: House of Commons Debates of Canada, Volume 2, November 30, 1979, p. 1920

Analysis

Exposition:

To poison the well is to commit a pre-emptive ad hominem strike against an argumentative opponent. As with regular ad hominems, the well may be poisoned in either an abusive or circumstantial way. For instance:

  1. "Only an ignoramus would disagree with fluoridating water." (Abusive)
  2. "My opponent is a dentist, so of course he will oppose the fluoridating of water, since he will lose business." (Circumstantial)

Anyone bold enough to enter a debate which begins with a well-poisoning either steps into an insult, or an attack upon one's personal integrity. As with standard ad hominems, the debate is likely to cease to be about its nominal topic and become a debate about the arguer. However, what sets Poisoning the Well apart from the standard Ad Hominem is the fact that the poisoning is done before the opponent has a chance to make a case.

Exposure:

Poisoning the Well is not, strictly speaking, a logical fallacy since it is not a type of argument. Rather, it is a logical boobytrap set by the poisoner to tempt the unwary audience into committing an ad hominem fallacy. As with all forms of the ad hominem, one should keep in mind that an argument can and must stand or fall on its own, regardless of who makes it.

Analysis of the Example:

This is a common type of circumstantial poisoning of the well, which claims that men should either not make a judgment about abortion, or should keep it to themselves if they do. This illustrates the effect that poisoning the well tends to have, which is to forestall opposition in debate. It also shows the mistake underlying all poisoning of the well, since the sex of the arguer is irrelevant to the merits of the argument. No doubt one could always find a woman to advance the argument, whatever it is.

Sources:

Fallacies - 2

Alias: Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

Translation: After this, therefore because of this, Latin

Type: Non Causa Pro Causa

Forms

Event C happened immediately prior to event E.
Therefore, C caused E.

Events of type C happen immediately prior to events of type E.
Therefore, events of type C cause events of type E.

Examples

The only policy that effectively reduces public shootings is right-to-carry laws. Allowing citizens to carry concealed handguns reduces violent crime. In the 31 states that have passed right-to-carry laws since the mid-1980s, the number of multiple-victim public shootings and other violent crimes has dropped dramatically. Murders fell by 7.65%, rapes by 5.2%, aggravated assaults by 7%, and robberies by 3%.

…[E]vidence shows that even state and local handgun control laws work. For example, in 1974 Massachusetts passed the Bartley-Fox Law, which requires a special license to carry a handgun outside the home or business. The law is supported by a mandatory prison sentence. Studies by Glenn Pierce and William Bowers of Northeastern University documented that after the law was passed handgun homicides in Massachusetts fell 50% and the number of armed robberies dropped 35%.

Source: "The Media Campaign Against Gun Ownership", The Phyllis Schlafly Report, Vol. 33, No. 11, June 2000.

Source: "Fact Card", Handgun Control, Inc.

Analysis of the Examples

Counter-Example:

Roosters crow just before the sun rises.
Therefore, roosters crowing cause the sun to rise.

Exposition:

The Post Hoc Fallacy is committed whenever one reasons to a causal conclusion based solely on the supposed cause preceding its "effect". Of course, it is a necessary condition of causation that the cause precede the effect, but it is not a sufficient condition. Thus, post hoc evidence may suggest the hypothesis of a causal relationship, which then requires further testing, but it is never sufficient evidence on its own.

Exposure:

Post Hoc also manifests itself as a bias towards jumping to conclusions based upon coincidences. Superstition and magical thinking include Post Hoc thinking; for instance, when a sick person is treated by a witch doctor, or a faith healer, and becomes better afterward, superstitious people conclude that the spell or prayer was effective. Since most illnesses will go away on their own eventually, any treatment will seem effective by Post Hoc thinking. This is why it is so important to test proposed remedies carefully, rather than jumping to conclusions based upon anecdotal evidence.

Sibling Fallacy: Cum Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

Source:

T. Edward Damer, Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments (Third Edition) (Wadsworth, 1995), pp. 131-132.

Resources: