Archive for April, 2007

Government of Sweden wet-nurses infants by force

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

A Swedish couple has run into trouble with authorities for trying to name their baby Metallica.

Michael and Karolina Tomaro are locked in a court battle with the country’s National Tax Authority about naming their daughter after the rock band.

The six-month-old has been baptised Metallica, but tax officials have dubbed the name “inappropriate”.

Under Swedish law, both first names and surnames need to win the approval of authorities before they can be used.

Offensive, unsuitable or inappropriate names, as well as those that could “cause discomfort for the one using it” cannot be used.

Last month, Goteburg’s County Administrative Court ruled there was no reason to block the name, adding that a Swedish woman already has the middle name Metallica.

Name battle

However, the Tomaro family ran into trouble when they tried to register the name with tax authorities before applying for a passport.

Tax officials objected to the decision, sending the case to a higher court.

“We’ve had to cancel trips and can’t get anywhere because we can’t get her a passport without an approved name,” said Mrs Tomaro.

Baby Metallica is not the first Swedish child to fall foul of Swedish name laws – the names Ikea and Veranda have also been rejected in the past.

The name Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 – pronounced Albin – was also rejected by authorities in 1996. The boy’s parents had chosen the name as a protest against Swedish naming laws.

But, the name Google managed to pass muster in 2005, when Oliver Google Kai was named by his parents, search engine expert Kelias Kai and his wife Carol.


Well, what can we say about this? ‘Sucks to live in Sweden’.

I wonder what the reaction would be if my blog title was the actual title of the story…probably nothing, since it appears that anything is now acceptable as long as it comes from the state.

In many cultures, names are not just ways to identify a person. They have power, literal power, in some cultures, in others they are used to identify the place of the child in the family, and in yet others, they are used to honor the ancestors. For whatever reason you name your child, in a free country, you can name your child whatever you like; it is your child and not the property of the state.

That is why you have people named Zowie Bowie, Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches, and anything else that you can imagine, and some things you cannot.

It is clear that naming a child ‘Metallica’ will do no damage to the child, but this is not the point. The parents of that child have the right to name him or her whatever they want. The state is a servant who should merely write down the child’s name and then that is it.

Heaven knows what other nonsense the poor Swedes have to put up with; one thing that I do know about is the absurd state of alcohol laws in Sweden:

In order to limit the consumption of alcohol and reduce alcohol related harm, Sweden has adopted the ’alkohollag’ which rules on all aspects of production and trade of alcohol. Within this framework, Sweden has established a retailer monopoly. Products that are not displayed in the shops can be requested by the consumer. If the products are from other countries, the import taxes must be paid by the client. Up to 2005, the monopoly could refuse to import alcohol. This provision has been removed from the law since then.

In other words, individuals do not have the right to import alcohol by themselves, unless it is restricted to their personal consumption.

The case is based on request from Mr Rosengren who tried to import Spanish wines without a licence. He ordered Spanish wines through a Danish website as well as directly in Spain therefore bypassing the national alcohol monopoly.


The Google

Crazy isn’t it? And why do they put up with any of it?

Just what kind of people are these?

On the Kids

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

The Scouts are prepared to help the Identity and Passport Service design a model procedure for checking people’s identities against the ID database.


CCTV cameras will bark orders at people who misbehave in the streets of eight major British cities as part of a government scheme to cajole people into respecting authority.
Using recordings of children’s voices will make it harder for those in opposition to the surveillance society to be defiant of the talking cameras. Moonies and rude gestures will most definitely be a no-no.


Two more examples of the State brainwashing children into supporting their repressive schemes. Frankly the Scouts should know better, how they got from empowering children and teaching survival skills to herding sheep is anyone’s guess.

We also know of Irdial’s foolproof system for the IPS using extant technology (of course this doesn’t require an ID database in the first place).

To say using children’s voices neuters opposition to the talking cameras is untrue, there are the issues of child exploitation and to think that anyone believes a young child is actually going to be berating them at midnight is nonsense.

The boys in blue

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

The latest Conservative Party proposals about policing have hit the news, they purport to be about decentralistaion and cutting bureaucracy (as you’d expect). Let’s rummage around.

Police authorities would be replaced by directly-elected commissioners who would take control of budgets, target setting and policing plans, leaving chief constables in “operational control” only of their force.

Failing police chiefs should be removed but replacement by election seems unwarrented, the role of the police is to uphold the law impartially (for better or worse, this is the case), therefore the efficacy of a police chief is primarily a matter of professional ability rather than policy (this being limited to how to prioritise resources) – it would seem that professional interview would be more effective than election. Additionally elections are unnecessarily costly with the need to fund the losing candidates, they also distract from the upholding of law and refocus upon populist agendas.

Under the Tory proposals, residents would get a “right to policing”, including cash to tackle local crime and safety issues by “hiring” a police officer or buying equipment.

A community has an absolute “right to policing”, in terms of ‘rights’ any group of people has the ‘right’ to employ anyone else to enforce any contract between themselves – including what they deem to be ‘the law’, as long as ‘the law’ is accepted by guests within the group or visitors upon its private properties (i.e. by the clear posting of bye-laws) then it can be further applied to these people too.
Back to the real situation, the impartiality of a police officer acting ‘for’ a certain community is compromised and may reduce the validity of their evidence in court.

And forces would also face tougher scrutiny from a new independent watchdog to look at value for money as well as standards.

Independent scrutiny is important but only worthwhile if it informs local decision making

It calls for more graduates to be recruited as well as professionals from outside the force, a new military-style senior staff college and a revamped promotion system.

Military-style in relation to the police seems un-British and makes me distinctly uneasy. In any case senior police officers need experience of day-to-day policing and combined with elections for commissioners you could be left with ‘career officers’ in charge of delivery with no real experience of community wishes (much like the UK Government)

More work should be handed over to civilian staff and private firms in a bid to allow officers more time on the beat, it says, to the point of paying commercial security firms to guard crime scenes, hunt down people who jump bail, monitor “at risk” prisoners and carry out security checks.

As I wrote, in theory there is no problem with private firms upholding private contracts, however these proposals will give private companies jurisdiction over third parties, i.e. ‘society’ as a whole which, in the UK, has not explicitly consented to anything.
Additionally in the light of NIR and the police DNA database these private companies will presumably have easy access to the personal details of many innocent persons.

Bits from the guardian

Instead of fiddling with the police service and presumably turning it into a political tinker toy as the NHS has become all political parties should be looking at removing unecessary laws and politically motivated knee-jerk regulations which the police are compelled to implement, they should be removing all apects of politicisation from the police so it reverts to being a simple public service.

You cannot be given what you already own

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

Home births offered to all pregnant women

All pregnant women in England will be offered the choice of a home birth overseen by a midwife, the health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, pledged today.

What a generous offer!

Home birth is the right of every women. There are no ‘laws’ or ‘rules’ which say a women must have her child in hospital. However, the NHS has a default setting of We Know Best© , which they clealy do not. Women are currently ‘persuaded’ away from home birth by the culture of paranoia and control-freakery which fills the NHS, and to the greatest extent this happens during pregnancy.

We had to stand firm against GP, NHS and cultural pressure in order to have our home birth. But the midwife team who assisted on the day were wonderful. They work by the assumption that, all being well, all the midwife should do is make tea and catch the baby. And maybe not even that much!

Under a new plan for maternity services expectant mothers will be offered a “full range of birthing choices,” including home births, by 2009. Setting out the plans, Ms Hewitt said pregnant women would be given minimum guarantees about the level of service they can expect from the NHS.

Let me make it clear. This witch is offering you a gift of nothing, wrapped up in falsehoods. It is your absolute right to demand a homebirth.

She said: “I am making it absolutely clear: if you have a baby at home or indeed in a midwifery-led unit, it is only a professionally qualified midwife who can supervise that birth.”

She lies! A mother, a taxi driver, a husband or a child can supervise a birth. Here we see the hand of control-freakery, and the lieing voice of a dictatorial system who does not want you to realise that YOU have the power. Through these subtle lies they take this power away, making you subservient and dependent upon The State.

“Everything will be all right. You are in my hands. I am here to protect you. You have nowhere to go. You have nowhere to go. “


“There are clearly far more women out there who would like to have a home birth and could do so safely, but aren’t at the moment getting that option,” she added.

Wrong! They are being told there is no option, but this is a lie! If you demand a home birth, it must be provided for you. It is not an ‘option’, it is a right.

And worst of all, that most heinous of crimes, misinformation through poor reporting:

Asked why the government was keen on promoting home births despite known increased risks for mother and child, she said: “I think the important thing here is to give women choice and give them the information so they can make an informed choice.”


Home births are safer. Home births have less problems, use less drugs, stand less chance of post partum infection, are less stressful to mother and child, give control back to the mother… need I go on?

These people will tell you the truth. More truth. And yet more.

From the NHS website: “Home birth is becoming increasingly popular. For a healthy woman experiencing a normal pregnancy with no major complications anticipated during the birth, studies have shown that it is equally safe to be attended by midwives in the comfort of your own home as to have your baby in hospital.”

Birth is a natural process, not a disease. Know your rights. Own your body.

Someone Clever Said about Home Schooling…

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

A lurker says…

I’ve been following the postings on home schooling on Blogdial with great interest and today I saw the topic linked to below on the BBC “Have your say” website regarding new powers for teachers. If ever there was a need to justify home schooling, this might prove to be another good reason.

What struck me most is this sentence in the BBC’s invitation to comment:

“Previously, teachers had been allowed to restrain pupils under common law with the same authority as parents.”

the next thing that struck me was how many people agreed that it was a good thing (discipline may well be, but it seems to me that we used to have that without needing a law to enforce it).
From the BBC’s Have Your Say Forums:
Have Your Say
Will new powers for teachers make a difference? How far should teachers be allowed to go? New legal powers for teachers and schools in England to restrain and discipline unruly pupils have come into effect. The new law allows teachers to physically restrain and remove unruly pupils and impose detentions outside school hours and on Saturdays.

Previously, teachers had been allowed to restrain pupils under common law with the same authority as parents. This new measure is the first major change in guidelines on discipline in a decade.

What is your reaction to this new law? Do you think teachers should be allowed to physically restrain their -students? Send us your views.
I had not heard anything about such a law anywhere until I saw this as all news coverage seems to be focused on the Iran hostages (I wonder what other laws are being sent through at the moment that I’ve missed).

You guys are probably much more up to date on this kind of thing than I am, but it strikes me that as things stand now, if this law actually exists and has been passed, the Gov’t gives teachers more powers in disciplining a child than it gives parents.

If this is the case, then it would appear that we are well on our way to having children removed from their parents and put into the hands of the state. Not physically removing removing them – if they did that parents may actually realise what is going on and might protest and also the state would have to house and feed them – but by shifting the disciplinary control from parents to teachers in schools they are weakening traditional family bonds.

Children tend to develop respect for those who can stand up to them (real authority figures) – be they teachers, parents, uncles aunts, the next door neighbour etc. If teachers are given more power than parents, then those are the people that children will develop a relationship with, respect and let themselves by guided by. Home will be a place that they go to watch, eat, sleep and eventually report on to the appropriate authorities should the parents not be behaving in the manner the children have been taught is good and proper by their teachers.

In a more alarmist interpretation, this might also give teachers the power to “adjust” students’ behaviour for questioning them, knowing more than they do or simply not towing the line that the teacher wants them to. By being able to restrain them and bring them in at all hours, particularly hard cases (as smart, literate kids with independent views might be regarded) could be worked on extra hard to see the error of their ways and bring back them into the fold.

If such a law actually has gone through, it smacks (no pun intended) of socialisation pure and simple. Get them young, get them impressionable and soon you will have your New Labour Youth. Who knows, in time they might even start wearing uniforms and help inspire or guide others to follow in their righteousness footsteps.

Have you heard anything about this? Am I getting overly worried?

Bye for now,

No, I do not think you are being overly worried…just thinking…and thats always good.

The problem with this goes right back to the relationship between the citizen and the state. Teachers in the state school system are servants of the citizen. Their relationship is one of a servant, obeying the commands of the parent, who is the citizen and the person who is paying for the school service through her taxes.

What has happened is that these and other public servants have forgotten who and what they are, and they have ideas above their station. They need to have their attention brought sharply into focus. They need to be reminded that they must at all times adopt the position and attitude of a servant and never as a dictator, director or owner.

Teachers have a special place in society as most trusted and valued servants; the profession of teacher is one of the most honorable and important occupations in the world, but the high regard in which we hold them does not grant them power over us or the children that are entrusted to them. They remain servants whose job it is to carry out the will of parents.

Here is an example of a teacher forgetting this. I know of a school in the USA, a private school, where one of the tutors took it upon himself to pronounce to his class of 8 year olds, just before Christmas that,

“there is no Santa Claus; your parents buy all the presents and put them under the tree while you are asleep”.

The children came home with this knowledge, and of course the parents went ballistic. This teacher betrayed the trust of the parents that sent their children into that class, and, because it is a private school, that teacher was FIRED immediately for breaching that trust. The facts of Santa Claus are irrelevant; no teacher has the right to divulge sensitive cultural information without the consent of the parent. The true nature of the Santa Claus fable was not part of the curriculum, and by going outside it, in this heartless, senseless and stupid way, that teacher did harm, even though he was telling the truth.

Because he was teaching in a private school, the parents had a remedy. Children in the state schools are taught all sorts of things without the parents consent or approval or choice, and there is nothing that they can do about it. This is absolutely wrong, and it is one of the factors that is pushing parents to remove their children from environments that are out of their control.

If you cannot give control over the agenda to parents with children in the state schools, fine; leave the parents who want to go private (wether this be private school or home schooling) alone. They can find their own ways of educating their children, and this is their absolute right.

This new law is fascinating. What they are trying to do is put humpty dumpty back together again. Instead of doing it the intelligent way, by removing the legislation that caused the problem in the first place they are adding more legislation to fix the problems caoused by ever zealous legislation.

The laws that stopped corporal punishment, and which shackled teachers are the cause of all the discipline problems with the feral youths running wild in the cities. Everyone knows it. This patching exercise is absurd and is actually an admission of the failure of the child centered ‘philosophy’ brought in by nincompoops and tinkering social engineers who are now not able to clean up the mess they have created, let alone admit that they were wrong in engineering the environment that caused it all.

Once again, what needs to be done is to roll back the law and the school systems, including the examinations, to a 1950s state, when things actually worked. This is not a new idea, and there have been informal experiments to see how the wild children of today would fare in a 1950s school. Everyone knows that the situation has been in steady decline. Now we are almost at the bottom of the cuve, with teachers being assulted as well as the students, and everyone not knowing what do do about it except run for the hills.

The depths to which this insanity has sunk could not be made up by Brian Aldiss:

Police send four police officers to tackle boy, 11, who called schoolmate ‘gay’

When two policemen turned up unannounced at Alan Rawlinson’s home asking to speak to his young son, the company director feared something serious had happened.

So he was astounded when the officers detailed 11-year-old George’s apparent crime – calling one of his schoolfriends ‘gay’.

They said primary school pupil, George, was being investigated for a ‘very serious’ homophobic crime after using the comment in an e-mail to a 10-year-old classmate.

‘Terrified’: George Rawlinson with his mother Gaynor, who is a magistrate

But now his parents have hit out at the police, who they accused of being heavy-handed and pandering to political correctness.

“It is completely ridiculous,” Mr Rawlinson said.

“I thought the officers were joking at first, but they told me they considered it a very serious offence.

“The politically correct brigade are taking over. This seemed like a huge waste of resources for something so trivial as a playground spat.”

Cheshire police launched the investigation last month after a complaint from the parents of the 10-year-old younger boy who received George’s e-mail.

They said their son had been called a ‘gay boy’ and were concerned that there was more to the comment than playground banter and that their child was being bullied.

As a consequence, two officers were sent to the boys’ school, Farnworth Primary, in Widnes, Cheshire, to speak to the headteacher who directed them to the Rawlinsons’ home in nearby St Helens, Merseyside.

George told his parents that the comment was in no way meant to be homophobic and that he had simply been using the word gay instead of ‘stupid’.

Mr Rawlinson, 41, who runs his own business, and whose wife, Gaynor, also 41, is a magistrate, said his son was terrified when the police arrived at their home.

He feared he was going to be arrested and locked up in a cell because of it, he added. “I feel very aggrieved about this,” Mr Rawlinson, who has lodged a formal complaint against the police, said.

“We are law-abiding citizens who have paid taxes all our lives.

“I’ve constantly contacted police about break-ins at my business and never get a suitable response.

“George was really upset, he thought he was going to be locked up. This just seemed like a huge waste of resources for something so trivial.”

Inspector Nick Bailey, of Cheshire police, said no further action would be taken against George. However, he said the force had been obliged to record the incident as a crime and that they had dealt with it in a ‘proportionate’ manner.

“The parents of the boy believed it was more sinister that just a schoolyard prank,” Inspector Bailey said.

“We were obliged to record the matter as a crime and took a proportionate and maybe old fashioned view.

“Going to the boy’s house was a reasonable course of action to take. This e-mail message was part of some behaviour which had been on going.

“The use of the word ‘gay’ would imply that it was homophobic, but we would be hard pushed to say it was a homophobic crime.

“This boy has not been treated as an offender.”

This is a latest in a series of incidents where police have been accused of heavy handedness for interviewing or threatening children with prosecution for seemingly trivial crimes.

Last October the Daily Mail revealed how 14-year-old Codie Scott was arrested and thrown in a police cell for almost four hours after she was accused of racism for refusing to sit next to a group of Asian pupils in her class.

Teachers reported the youngster, from Harrop Fold High School in Worsley, Greater Manchester, after she claimed it was impossible for her to get involved in the class ‘discussion’ because only one of the Asian pupils spoke English.

She had her fingerprints and DNA taken but was eventually released without charge.

The incident followed that of a 15-year-old boy from Burnley, Lancashire, who was arrested, thrown in a police cell, hauled before the courts and landed with a criminal record simply for throwing a snowball at a car.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was prosecuted under a little used 160-year-old law last March, and fined £100 in a case which provoked a public outcry.

My emphasis, and that is from today’s Evening Standard. Like I keep saying, you cant make stuff like this up.

These people’s priorities are completely inside out and upside down. They cannot be trusted to run anything, let alone a school, and what’s worse, they will not admit it, and they now want to bring this insanity right into every home. Only a mad dog would allow them to do this, and of course, ten years down the line, when Americans have 50% home schooling, the imbeciles here will say, “Me Too®” and then Home Schooling will suddenly be their idea.

But I digress.

There needs to be a roll back, no question about it. New legislation means more trouble. Legislation does not solve problems, structure solves problem, the type of structure that used to exist in the UK, and which was a natural excrescence of the citizen, the family and their central position in society.

Once again, beer guides us. Its foam is lofted above the beer because each bubble does its own thing cooperatively an automagically. You cannot make a head on a glass of beer by setting up complex rules that have to be monitored and obeyed by the bubbles.

Let the bubbles be bubbles and the foam will be frothy and the beer will be beer.

A revolution is happening in American education.

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

As it grows in size, it should frighten teachers everywhere.


And how deeply do conservative Americans distrust their government?

One answer to both these questions is provided by the growth of home schooling. As many as 2m American students—one in 25—may now be being taught at home.

The growth of home schooling is all the more remarkable when you consider two facts. The first is the commitment of the parents. They give up not just a free public education, but also often the chance of a second income as well, because one parent (usually the mother) has to stay at home to educate the children.

The next (second) is that the practice challenges most of the assumptions behind public education. For most of the past 150 years, compulsory mass education has been the hallmark of a civilized society. Sociologists such as Max Weber have hailed the state’s domination of education as a natural corollary of “modernization”. Yet in the most advanced country on the planet (on many measures), more than 2m parents insist that education ought to be the work of the family. How has this come about?


The 2m figure comes from the Home School Legal Defense Association. The most recent (1999) survey by the Department of Education put the number at only 850,000. The chances are that the HSIDA is closer to the truth. Rod Paige, the education secretary, uses its figure in his speeches, and, although home schoolers tend to refuse to answer government surveys, a wealth of anecdotal evidence suggests that home schooling is on the rise.

The market for teaching materials and supplies for home schoolers is worth at least $850 m a year. More than three-quarters (75 %) of universities now have policies for dealing with home schooled children. Support networks have sprung up in hundreds of towns and cities across the country to allow parents to do every-thing from establishing science labs to forming sports teams and defending their rights and reputation. When J .C. Penney started selling a T-shirt in 2001 that featured “Home Skooled” with a picture of a trailer home, the store faced so many complaints that it withdrew the item from sale.

Home-schooling is a fairly recent phenomenon. When Ronald Reagan came to power, in 1981, it was illegal for parents to teach their own children in most states. Today it is a legal right in all 50 states. Twenty-eight states require home schooled children to undergo some kind of official evaluation, either by taking standardized tests or submitting a portfolio of work. Thirteen states simply require parents to inform officials that they are going to teach their children at home. In Texas, a parent doesn’t have to tell anyone anything.

The main reason why legal restrictions on home schooling have been swept away across so much of America is the power of the Christian right. Not all home schoolers, of course, are religious conservatives. One of the first advocates of home schooling, John Holt, was a left-winger who regarded schools as instruments of the bureaucratic-industrial complex. A lively subdivision of the home school movement, called ‘unschooling’, argues that children should more or less be left to educate themselves. And the number of black home schoolers is growing rapidly.

Yet the Praetorian Guard of the home schooling movement are social conservatives. They turned to home schooling in the 1970s in response to what they saw as the school system’s lurch to the secular left—and they still provide most of the movement’s political muscle on Capitol Hill. Senator Rick Santorum home schools his children — or, rather, his wife does. Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, sponsored a bill to clear up various legal confusions about grants and scholarships for home schooled children.

George Bush has tried hard to keep home schoolers on his side. During the 2000 campaign, he said: “In Texas we view home schooling as something to be respected and something to be protected. Respected for the energy and commitment of loving mothers and loving fathers. Protected from the interference of government.” As president, he has held several receptions for home schooled children in the White House.

Just as the teachers’ unions provide so many of the Democrats’ volunteers, home schoolers are important Republican foot-soldiers. According to the HSLDA, 76% of home schooled young people aged 18-24 vote in elections, compared with 29% in that age group in the general population. Home-schoolers are also significantly more likely to contribute to political campaigns and to work for candidates—normally Republican ones.


So there is certainly an ideological edge to many home schoolers. But do not be misled. First, this is a bottom-up movement with parents of whatever political stripe making individual decisions to withdraw their children (rather than following orders from higher up). Second, the movement has a utilitarian edge. Home schoolers simply believe that they can offer their children better education at home

One-to-one tuition, goes the argument, enables children to go at their own pace, rather than at a pace set for the convenience of teaching unions. And children can be taught “proper” subjects based on the Judeo-Christian tradition of learning, rather than politically correct flimflam. Some home schoolers favor the classical notion of the trivium, with its three stages of grammar, dialectic and rhetoric (which requires children to learn Greek and Latin).

This sounds backward-looking but home schoolers claim that technology is on their side. The internet is making it ever easier to teach people at home, ever more teaching materials are available, and virtual communities now exist that allow all home schooler to swap information.

The other factor working in home schooling’s favor is its own success. Many parents have been nervous about home schooled children being isolated. With almost every town in America now boasting its ow home schooling network, that worry really declines. Home-schooled children can play baseball with other home schooled children; they go on school trips and so on.

What about academic standards? The home schooling network buzzes with good news: a family with three home schooled children at Harvard ; a home schooled child with a best-selling novel; first, second and third place in the 2000 National Spelling Bee; a first university for home schooled children (see next story). Systematic evidence is more difficult to find.

There are certainly signs that home schoolers are thriving . One recent survey by the HSLDA showed that three-quarters (75 %) of home educated adults aged 18-24 have taken college level courses compared with 46% of the general population But this is hardly conclusive. Home-schoolers do not have to report bad results. Moreover, home schoolers may simply come from the more educated part of the population.

Yet these arguments point to change in the way the debate is unfolding . It is no longer about whether home schooled children are losing out, or whether they are doing unfairly well . “Maybe we should subcontract all of public education to home schooler? Bill Bennett Pres. Reagan’s education secretary, once wondered mischievously. That looks unlikely. But America’s home schoolers represent an assault on public education that teachers everywhere should pay attention to.