Archive for August, 2009

ID cards to be linked to police records for millions

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

A new press release from NO2ID. Once again, the precient Frances Stonor Saunders was right, and just recently, BLOGDIAL predicted that they would merge the databases and link them all off of the ID card ‘to save money’. Looks like it may happen NOW rather than later:

Millions of people working in education in health or as volunteers could come under pressure to be fingerprinted and obtain a national ID card, it was revealed today.

Research by online IT magazine The Register [1] has uncovered proposals to use ID cards and the national database behind them to support Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks which are due to be extended to many more categories of people.

From October this year people working in all sort of roles will be compelled to be registered with a new vetting body the Independent Safeguarding Authority, which may eventually keep tabs on around 11 million workers and volunteers at any one time. Enhanced CRB checks mean not just criminal records, but police intelligence files containing suspicions, opinions and unsubstantiated allegations, may be used for the purpose.[2]

To make this massive administrative task a manageable one, officials are aiming to use the Home Offices ID database, which is going ahead. ID records and police intelligence records would end up connected for millions. One of the most frightening predictions of campaigners against ID cards that the ID *scheme* will be an easy reference to all official files and a key to the most private information about every one of us could be coming true before a single ID card has been issued.

Phil Booth, National Coordinator of NO2ID [3] said: This is entirely consistent with the various forms of coercion strategy theyve been working on to create so-called volunteers for ID cards. Biometrics are part of the search for clean, unique identifiers. But its patently ridiculous given another part of the plan has people registering fingerprints in high street shops. Guy Herbert, General Secretary of NO2ID said:

Ministers are always quick to point out the ID database itself will not contain criminal records. The covert programme unearthed by The Register shows what a fatuous piece of misdirection that is. If the CRB gets its way, then for millions of people their ID card would be directly LINKED to a detailed police record and a scoring system designed to evaluate their suitability for various jobs.

[…]

http://press.mu.no2id.net/2009-08/

Of course the problem with all of this is that the Tories have pledged to scrap the ID Card and Contact Point. Once they do that, the whole lynch pin of the totalitarian biometric net will fall to pieces.

Then when you add on top that millions of people are going to refuse to register for this ID Card and you can see that this whole shabby, sordid, misguided, evil, disgusting, unneeded, filthy, abominable and tawdry episode of British history is soon going to come to a messy, expensive and embarrassing end.

That Neu Liebour are pressing ahead with this, with almost the entire country against them is indicative of their total contempt for the people of Britain. Any laws they introduce from now on are even more illegitimate than the laws introduced under Bliar… as impossible as that may seem.

What a debacle!

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Rothbard on Conservation, Ecology, and Growth

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Liberal Complaints
Left-liberal intellectuals are often a wondrous group to behold. In the last three or four decades, not a very long time in human history, they have, like whirling dervishes, let loose a series of angry complaints against free-market capitalism. The curious thing is that each of these complaints has been contradictory to one or more of their predecessors. But contradictory complaints by liberal intellectuals do not seem to faze them or serve to abate their petulance even though it is often the very same intellectuals who are reversing themselves so rapidly. And these reversals seem to make no dent whatever in their self-righteousness or in the self-confidence of their position. Let us consider the record of recent decades:

  1. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the liberal intellectuals came to the conclusion that capitalism was suffering from inevitable “secular stagnation,” a stagnation imposed by the slowing down of population growth, the end of the old Western frontier, and by the supposed fact that no further inventions were possible. All this spelled eternal stagnation, permanent mass unemployment, and therefore the need for socialism, or thoroughgoing State planning, to replace free-market capitalism. This on the threshold of the greatest boom in American history!
  2. During the 1950s, despite the great boom in postwar America, the [p. 243] liberal intellectuals kept raising their sights; the cult of “economic growth” now entered the scene. To be sure, capitalism was growing, but it was not growing fast enough. Therefore free-market capitalism must be abandoned, and socialism or government intervention must step in and force-feed the economy, must build investments and compel greater saving in order to maximize the rate of growth, even if we don’t want to grow that fast. Conservative economists such as Colin Clark attacked this liberal program as “growthmanship.”
  3. Suddenly, John Kenneth Galbraith entered the liberal scene with his best-selling The Affluent Society in 1958. And just as suddenly, the liberal intellectuals reversed their indictments. The trouble with capitalism, it now appeared, was that it had grown too much; we were no longer stagnant, but too well off, and man had lost his spirituality amidst supermarkets and automobile tail fins. What was necessary, then, was for government to step in, either in massive intervention or as socialism, and tax the consumers heavily in order to reduce their bloated affluence.
  4. The cult of excess affluence had its day, to be superseded by a contradictory worry about poverty, stimulated by Michael Harrington’s The Other America in 1962. Suddenly, the problem with America was not excessive affluence, but increasing and grinding poverty and, once again, the solution was for the government to step in, plan mightily, and tax the wealthy in order to lift up the poor. And so we had the War on Poverty for several years.
  5. Stagnation; deficient growth; overaffluence; overpoverty; the intellectual fashions changed like ladies’ hemlines. Then, in 1964, the happily short-lived Ad Hoc Committee on the Triple Revolution issued its then-famous manifesto, which brought us and the liberal intellectuals full circle. For two or three frenetic years we were regaled with the idea that America’s problem was not stagnation but the exact reverse: in a few short years all of America’s production facilities would be automated and cybernated, incomes and production would be enormous and superabundant, but everyone would be automated out of a job. Once again, free-market capitalism would lead to permanent mass unemployment, which could only be remedied you guessed it! by massive State intervention or by outright socialism. For several years, in the mid-1960s, we thus suffered from what was justly named the “Automation Hysteria.”
  6. By the late 1960s it was clear to everyone that the automation hysterics had been dead wrong, that automation was proceeding at no faster a pace than old-fashioned “mechanization,” and indeed that the 1969 recession was causing a falling off in the rate of increase of productivity. One hears no more about automation dangers nowadays; we are now in the seventh phase of liberal economic flip-flops.
  7. Affluence is again excessive, and, in the name of conservation, ecology, and the increasing scarcity of resources, free-market capitalism is growing much too fast. State planning, or socialism, must, of course, step in to abolish all growth and bring about a zero-growth society and economy in order to avoid negative growth, or retrogression, sometime in the future! We are now back to a super-Galbraithian position, to which has been added scientific jargon about effluents, ecology, and “spaceship earth,” as well as a bitter assault on technology itself as being an evil polluter. Capitalism has brought about technology, growth including population growth, industry, and pollution and government is supposed to step in and eradicate these evils.

It is not at all unusual, in fact, to find the same people now holding a contradictory blend of positions 5 and 7 and maintaining at one and the same time that (a) we are living in a “post-scarcity” age where we no longer need private property, capitalism, or material incentives to production; and (b) that capitalist greed is depleting our resources and bringing about imminent worldwide scarcity. The liberal answer to both, or indeed to all, of these problems turns out, of course, to be the same: socialism or state planning to replace free-market capitalism. The great economist Joseph Schumpeter put the whole shoddy performance of liberal intellectuals into a nutshell a generation ago: “Capitalism stands its trial before judges who have the sentence of death in their pockets. They are going to pass it, whatever the defense they may hear; the only success victorious defense can possibly produce is a change in the indictment.”2 And so, the charges, the indictments, may change and contradict previous charges but the answer is always and wearily the same.

The Attack on Technology and Growth
The fashionable attack on growth and affluence is palpably an attack by comfortable, contented upper-class liberals. Enjoying a material contentment [p. 245] and a living standard undreamt of by even the wealthiest men of the past, it is easy for upper-class liberals to sneer at “materialism,” and to call for a freeze on all further economic advance.1 For the mass of the world’s population still living in squalor such a cry for the cessation of growth is truly obscene; but even in the United States, there is little evidence of satiety and superabundance. Even the upper-class liberals themselves have not been conspicuous for making a bonfire of their salary checks as a contribution to their war on “materialism” and affluence.

The widespread attack on technology is even more irresponsible. If technology were to be rolled back to the “tribe” and to the preindustrial era, the result would be mass starvation and death on a universal scale. The vast majority of the world’s population is dependent for its very survival on modern technology and industry. The North American continent was able to accommodate approximately one million Indians in the days before Columbus, all living on a subsistence level. It is now able to accommodate several hundred million people, all living at an infinitely higher living standard and the reason is modern technology and industry. Abolish the latter and we will abolish the people as well. For all one knows, to our fanatical antipopulationists this “solution” to the population question may be a good thing, but for the great majority of us, this would be a draconian “final solution” indeed.

The irresponsible attack on technology is another liberal flip-flop: it comes from the same liberal intellectuals who, thirty-odd years ago, were denouncing capitalism for not putting modern technology to full use in the service of State planning and were calling for absolute rule by a modern “technocratic” elite. Yet now the very same intellectuals who not so long ago were yearning for a technocratic dictatorship over [p. 246] all of our lives are now trying to deprive us of the vital fruits of technology itself.

Yet the various contradictory phases of liberal thought never completely die; and many of the same antitechnologists, in a 180-degree reversal of the automation hysteria, are also confidently forecasting technological stagnation from now on. They cheerily predict a gloomy future for mankind by assuming that technology will stagnate, and not continue to improve and accelerate. This is the technique of pseudoscientific forecasting of the widely touted antigrowth Club of Rome Report. As Passell, Roberts, and Ross write in their critique of the report, “If the telephone company were restricted to turn-of-the-century technology 20 million operators would be needed to handle today’s volume of calls. Or, as British editor Norman Macrae has observed, “an extrapolation of the trends of the i88os would show today’s cities buried under horse manure.” Or, further:

While the team’s [Club of Rome’s] model hypothesizes exponential growth for industrial and agricultural needs, it places arbitrary, nonexponential, limits on the technical progress that might accommodate these needs . . . .
The Rev. Thomas Malthus made a similar point two centuries ago without benefit of computer printouts . . . . Malthus argued that people tend to multiply exponentially, while the food supply at best increases at a constant rate. He expected that starvation and war would periodically redress the balance . . . .
But there is no particular criterion beyond myopia on which to base that speculation. Malthus was wrong; food capacity has kept up with population. While no one knows for certain, technical progress shows no sign of slowing down. The best econometric estimates suggest that it is indeed growing exponentially.

What we need is more economic growth, not less; more and better technology, and not the impossible and absurd attempt to scrap technology and return to the primitive tribe. Improved technology and greater capital investment will lead to higher living standards for all and provide greater material comforts, as well as the leisure to pursue and enjoy the “spiritual” side of life. There is precious little culture or civilization available for people who must work long hours to eke out a subsistence living. The real problem is that productive capital investment is being siphoned off by taxes, restrictions, and government contracts for unproductive and wasteful government expenditures, including military and space boondoggling. Furthermore, the precious technical resource of scientists and engineers is being ever more intensively diverted to government, instead of to “civilian” consumer production. What we need is for government to get out of the way, remove its incubus of taxation and expenditures from the economy, and allow productive and technical resources once again to devote themselves fully to increasing the well-being of the mass of consumers. We need growth, higher living standards, and a technology and capital equipment that meet consumer wants and demands; but we can only achieve these by removing the incubus of statism and allowing the energies of all of the population to express themselves in the free-market economy. We need an economic and technological growth that emerges freely, as Jane Jacobs has shown, from the free-market economy, and not the distortions and wastes imposed upon the world economy from the liberal force-feeding of the 19508. We need, in short, a truly free-market, libertarian economy.

[…]

http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp

Doesn’t all of this sound VERY familiar?

If you read any book this year, it should be For A New Liberty The Libertarian Manifesto by Murray Rothbard.

Its clarity of thinking, its unassailable logic and perfect moral balance is simply breathtaking. And beautiful. And inspiring.

The All-Purpose Bedtime Story

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

In which we generalise commentary on ‘that report on government spending’ and find that it sticks; courtesy of The Guardian.

There is not enough money for what has already been promised. We need a serious review we’re not going to get it

The row refuses to lie down, however hard the government tries. Growing public unease is now compounded by the leaks from the report into procurement. In sum the author has pointed out that successive governments have been ordering programmes and operations they couldn’t or wouldn’t fund adequately.
This has been going on for years, as experienced insiders and senior staff have been telling me. And in fairness, they too have been telling me this for years. Here is just a sample; three salient lines that have been leaked so far from the report.

How can it be that it takes 20 years to procure a contract?
Why does it always seem to cost at least twice what was thought?
At the end of the wait, why does it never do what it supposed to do?

We have nowhere near the money in the allocated budget to pay for the equipment ordered; there are only funds today to pay for a fraction of what has been ordered for the next 20 years. This gap is so big according to some calculations that a 10-15% increase in tax revenues would not even cover it.
The seriousness of the situation has been underlined by two sobering pieces of comment this week. The first makes the point that it is the combination of lack of political will to replace defective or exhausted equipment, lack of realistic funding and internecine rivalry in the departments that has brought the present crisis, which is now probably the worst since 1945. The second observes that too much money has been spent on useless and very expensive kit in high profile projects and little elsewhere.
Because there is not enough money to pay for what has been ordered, the government, and the Treasury in particular, have indulged in a peculiar Through The Looking Glass mechanism of delay. This is hugely expensive, with extra fees for keeping the projects alive and managing them with large numbers of civil servants. Two multi-billion pound programmes have been put back five years which means they could cost twice the original tender price. The delay mechanism means billions are being wasted each year.
One of the most spectacular delays was in the order over a decade ago at the market value. Additional software would have cost an extra 20%. The department decided instead to make its own software, which has never worked. The additional cost now of putting this order right is as much as the original cost. Investigating this story over the years, I have never been able to establish who took the decisions over the procurement. The civil servants blame front-line staff, and the politicians blame vague and unnamed committees.

SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE.

So what should give here in the UK? The civil service, roughly three times the number doing the same job in the second world war, needs to be cut.
A new agency should be set up on commercial lines to take charge of all contracts. They should look at all of the programmes and devolve as much as possible.
There should also be a reduction of scope and state funding every year. The last UK review was years ago, and the programme it laid down was never properly accounted for by the Treasury. Instead we have been promised a review after the next general election, and that it will be “policy and security driven” which sounds awfully like a cop-out from the painful decisions the author has made plain for all to see.
The civil servants, managers and politicians will have to face up to serious cuts in personnel and programmes to say nothing of British policy claims and ambitions. To do otherwise is to court disaster, and real political defeat. But will it happen? I doubt it. For too many of those involved it would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.

We Have the Moral High Ground by Cindy Sheehan

Monday, August 24th, 2009

"Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love…” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1958

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal…” Dr. King, 1967

I remember back in the good ol’ days of 2005 and 2006 when being against the wars was not only politically correct, but it was very popular. I remember receiving dozens of awards, uncountable accolades and even was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Those were the halcyon days of the anti-war movement before the Democrats took over the government (off of the backs of the anti-war movement) and it became anathema to be against the wars and I became unpopular on all sides. I guess at that point, I could have gone with the flow and pretended to support the violence so I could remain popular, but I think I have to fiercely hold on to my core values whether I am “liked” or not.

Killing is wrong no matter if it is state-sanction murder or otherwise. Period. Not too much more to say on that subject, except what I quote above from Dr. King.

However, while the so-called left is obsessed over supporting a very crappy Democratic health care plan, people in far away countries are being deprived of their health and very lives by the Obama Regime’s continuation of Bush’s ruinous foreign policy.

I was never dismayed when the so-called right attacked me and called me names for protesting Bush. However, something inside me gets a little sick when I hear people who claim to be peace activists supporting the Obama Administration’s foreign policy, a policy that is not like Bush’s in the fact that it’s much worse.

I have been called a “racist” from the so-called left. In these people’s opinion, I was totally justified in protesting Bush, but I am a racist for protesting the same policies under Obama. When I opposed Bush’s policies, I was called traitor, anti-American, anti-Semitic, and other names I cannot print. Name-calling is a great way to shut down critical thinking and discussion. And, not to mention, I think the murder of innocent life in the Iraq-Af-Pak regions is racist and morally corrupt.

There are many people in this country who oppose Obama because they’re racist, but I am not one of them. I oppose Obama’s policies because they are wrong…again, period!

One cannot obfuscate when innocent lives are being destroyed, here and abroad. We cannot allow “political reality” to get in the way of morality. Human sacrifice is not worth the political reality. Violence, killing, war and more war are NEVER the solution to any problem. Period.

If Obama has violent shadow forces around him pulling him in the direction of violence, which begets more violence and more resistance; then we, especially people in the peace or anti-war movements need to gather and organize to pull him in the direction towards peaceful conflict resolution and solutions that aren’t based on exploiting people’s fears, anxieties or ignorance.

I am going to Martha’s Vineyard because we have the moral high ground. The war supporters aren’t going to protest Obama’s wars. They are strangely silent over his foreign policy, unless they are praising it.

I am going to Martha’s Vineyard because someone has to speak for the babies of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan that do not deserve the horrible fate that has been handed to them by the US Military Industrial Complex. The voiceless need a voice, and even if I am called every name in the book by all sides, I will speak up for them.

I am going to Martha’s Vineyard because so many people have been blinded to the fact that the system has momentum that rolls on and over and around no matter who is the titular head of the system.

Let's just pretend that elections are fair in this country and my candidate, Cynthia McKinney, won for president. If she wasn’t able to rein in the systemic violence, then I would be going wherever she vacationed to protest her policies, too. I guess at that point, I would not only be called “racist,” but I would be called a “self-hating female.”

In a recent conversation someone was trying to convince me that I should not be so stridently opposed to Obama’s policies and I responded that today 75 people were killed and 300 people were wounded in a bomb blast in Iraq and 26 mostly women and children were killed in a wedding party in Afghanistan this week and she said: “Oh, that wouldn’t be acceptable if it happened here.”

And that ‘s the problem: it’s not acceptable if it happens anywhere, to anybody, no matter who is President of the USA.

Not only is the death toll mounting for innocent civilians but also is once again climbing for our troops.

While the “festivities” are occurring on Martha’s Vineyard next week, there are families all over the world who will never again be able to fully feel festive. Ahhhh…. everyone should just stand down, relax and sip an Obamarita on the beach…Hope reigns once again in The Empire.

And, yes, we are going to Martha’s Vineyard to get attention. We vehemently want to call attention to all of the points I have made above.

Even though there is a small anti-war, peace movement in this country, there still is one and this movement has the moral high ground and punditry, personal attacks, glitzy marketing, or “political realities won’t drown us out.

Members of Dr. King's own caucus tried to convince him not to publicly speak out against the Vietnam war, and that's when he delivered his brilliant Beyond Vietnam speech at the Riverside Church in NYC exactly one year before he was assassinated. That speech was in response to the critics. Dr. King took the moral high ground when he said: "There comes a time when silence is betrayal."

That time has now come, once again. By our silence we are betraying humanity.

Love the President or hate him, or anywhere in between, but we must speak out loudly and without any timidity against the institutional violence of the US Empire.

Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox

[…]

All true. And we agree.

Scientist says, "EVERYONE CALM DOWN!"

Monday, August 24th, 2009

This article from New Scientist applies to everything, from panics and over reactions over hand guns causing irrational bans, to Home Education being banned… only in the case of Home Educating being banned, the risk is not real, but is instead a lie used to make people frightened and the cause is not to make people safe but to exercise control over free people:

[…]

"Perhaps the greatest danger of overreaction, though, happens when a government feels it must respond to popular clamour after a high-profile event involving an innocent or vulnerable victim. When a baby is killed, or there is a murder by someone identified as mentally ill or someone on probation, people are reasonably shocked and feel that "something must be done" to prevent such things happening again.

Why do they think that extra bureaucracy will help? While the causes of individual tragedies may be apparent, this does not mean that similar events can be easily prevented in future. That's because they are essentially unpredictable: the underlying problem is that the most shocking "bad" things happen to, or are done by, people deemed to be low-risk, and so attempts to prevent all "bad" things often have a high cost for little apparent gain. This idea is probably best explained through an example.

Let's consider what are officially termed "serious further offences" (SFOs) in the UK. Suppose 1 in 1600 of the total number of people on probation commits such an offence, but that some are more likely to offend than others. These high-risk people offend at three times the rate of the low-risk. Suppose 7.5 per cent of probationers are classified as high-risk. If you locked them all up, what might be the consequences? It is counter-intuitive, but you would make very little impact, and all for considerable cost and loss of liberty.

How so? Imagine you had 8000 people on probation. Of these, 600 (7.5 per cent) are high-risk, and 1 of them commits an SFO. The other 7400 are low-risk – only one-third as likely to commit an SFO – and 4 of these offend. Overall, by locking up all high-risk cases you will prevent only 1 out of the total of 5 offences: 80 per cent of the SFOs will still occur. So what appears to be a reasonable policy could be an overreaction."

David Spiegelhalter is Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge

New Scientist

Which brings us on to New Zealand, where it seems that people in government have at least half a working brain-cell:

Echoing then Minister of Education Dr Lockwood Smith in 1994, that he could not justify the expense of regular reviews on such a low-risk group as home educators, Chief Review Officer Graham Stoop wrote in February this year that reviews of home educators are not efficient or effective. Posted on the ERO website is the following: “From 1 July 2009 ERO will carry out reviews only when requested by the Secretary for Education, or in other particular circumstances.”

This is in line with the present central government’s drive to cut bureaucratic costs. Minister in charge of the ERO, Anne Tolley, said in February: “I have asked ERO to identify schools that are performing consistently well and, accordingly, from March 1, these schools will be exempt from the current three-yearly ERO reviews and will instead be reviewed every four to five years.”

In December 2008, the Finance Minister advised Cabinet to do a line-byline review of expenditure. Home Education reviews were found to account for $283,000 out of a total budget of $28,675,000 or 0.987% (less than 1%). Graham Stoop wrote: “This programme is considered to be low risk to the education priorities of the Government. In 2007/08 ERO completed 644 homeschooling reviews from a total of 6,169 homeschooled students [at an average cost of $439.44 per review]. ERO could not provide assurance that the terms of exemption were being met in only 35 of the 644 reviews [a 5.4% “failure” rate]. This has been the pattern over many years.”

About 35 reviews a year will continue to be made, reviews initiated by the MoE as a result of concerns brought to the Ministry’s notice about particular home educating families. It was felt by home educators in discussions with the ERO back in the years from 1994 to 1999 when no regular reviews were being held, that the bad eggs rose to the top and became very obvious to everyone. Consequently, more exemptions were revoked during that time, with fewer reviews being held, than in the years prior to 1994.

A senior member of the ERO, with with every race, every ethnic background and every level of citizen. It is best to have this experience when one is equipped to discern the difference between ability and pretense, morality and stupidity, propinquity and friendship. And when one can defend what one knows and believes. It is, after all,  crucial to understand and respect differences, but first one must establish one’s own identity. Education is slow; socialization is quick.  (From the foreward of Otto Scott’s Great Christian Revolution: How Christianity Transformed the World. The Reformer Library. Windsor, New York 1995) much experience in dealing with home education reviews, wrote the following in an email dated 30 July:

The reality is home schooling has been found to be low risk. Several things stand out in my mind relating to home schooling and they are:

  • home schooling families have support from other homeschoolers and access to people through support networks and
  • through the Internet;
  • home schooling families are no longer isolated unless they choose to be;
  • there is easy access to a considerable range of resources;
  • the skills of home schooling parents are well used;• home schooling is being seen more as a viable educational option;
  • ICT is a powerful communication and information gathering tool and home schooling families use this tool;
  • people liked the affirmation that home schooling reviews affirmed good practice; and
  • despite initial concerns the feedback ERO has received relating to the home school review process is mostly positive. This person also felt that home  education reviews would not be reinstated for quite some time.

Conjecture will not be slow among home eduators in relation to “what will the MoE do now? Will they make it more difficult to get an exemption?” There is no particular reason to believe this, apart from the obvious fact that National has the same totalitarian tendencies as does Labour…they only tend to move a bit slower. This coalition with the ACT Party, however, does changethings a bit.

Heather Roy of the ACT Party is an Associate Minister of Education… home education fits perfectly into their philosophy of freedom of choice for parents in education and freedom of self determination in how to order one’s family affairs.

Back in 1995, the MoE instituted, for one year only, voluntary written reviews wherein home educators wrote to the MoE about how their home education enterprise was doing. The MoE said they really enjoyed reading the reviews as it was the only feedback they ever got from home educators after issuing the exemptions, the ERO being the ones to contact home educators after that. But the MoE also caught a lot of flak as a result of requesting these reviews, being accused of going outside their statutory powers in asking for such reviews and of trying to get home educators to  incriminate themselves, etc.

What we home educators need to remember just now is that the current coalition government with ACT MPs holding Ministerial portfolios means we have friends in Parliament and an officially friendly MoE philosophy for the time being. This is a time to raise the flag of accomplishments, achievements,  discoveries, the joys, benefits and satisfactions of the home education option to the population at largeand to the MPs in particular.
From TEACH Bulletin
No 130 July 2009
To see the rest of the articles in the July 2009 TEACH Bulletin:
http://hef.org.nz/teach-bulletin/

And there you have it. Perhaps Home Educators in the UK will consider moving to New Zealand to remain free. All those who are fat need not apply of course.

Which brings us to this superb post from Sometimes its Peaceful:

I've been through the twelve parts of my critique of the Badman report [opens pdf] with a highlighting pen now, and it seems that the main points arising from it can be separated into five distinct categories:

  • Language issues, in which sentences are carefully crafted to partially obscure their full meaning, or selective quoting is employed, or certain key or trigger words are used to convey a message not explicitly stated;
  • Safeguarding and child protection issues;
  • Legal issues;
  • Logical issues – or otherwise! By which I mean those points that are contradictory or just not logically coherent; and
  • Financial issues.

In today's post I'm focusing on the main points arising in the category of 'Language':

1.4 I have taken account of the views of local authorities who are strongly of the opinion that the current guidelines are unworkable in that they are contradictory and confer responsibility without power.

(Carefully not mentioning the views of local authorities who are not of that opinion, thereby giving the appearance that they don't exist.)

1.5 However, there has to be a balance between the rights of the parents and the rights of the child.

– and several other similar phrases, such as:

11.2 I have sought to strike a balance between the rights of parents and the rights of the child..

– but nothing about the parental duty set out in Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act. This is reinforced so frequently throughout the report that I think it must be deliberately contrived to set up the erroneous implication that there is some conflict between children's and parents' rights.
From Recommendation 1:

■ Registration should be renewed annually.

But the proposal is not actually for registration, but for a system of licensing. There must be a reason why it's not given its proper name and this can only be to do with presentation.

Recommendation 7

■ That parents be required to allow the child through exhibition or other means to demonstrate both attainment and progress in accord with the statement of intent lodged at the time of registration.

– convoluted, illogical phraseology ('required to allow') straining to conceal its real meaning ('compelled to coerce') behind a mask of artificial geniality. The reason for this can only be that the author knows the true meaning is publicly unpalatable and I'm therefore delighted that home educators have been exposing it for what it is.

8.4 I understand the argument but do not accept it in its entirety in that attendance at school brings other eyes to bear, and does provide opportunity for the child to disclose to a trusted adult.

This is a cunningly slipped-in suggestion that the only trusted adults are to be found in schools. There are quite a few other similar semi-subliminal messages contained in the report.

There are also many explicit and implied references to 'support', in recommendations 1, 10, 12, 17, 18 and 20 as well as throughout the text, but nothing about the consequences to a family, parent or child who opts to decline such offers of 'support'. However, read in context the unspoken threat becomes apparent: permission to home educate will be denied. Such 'support' is actually therefore compulsory coercion and nothing resembling the "act of sustaining, advocacy, help, backing" or "encouragement" described in my dictionary's definition of the word.

With all of the above plus the liberal peppering of the report with such buzzwords as 'safeguarding', 'outcomes' (only certain varieties of these are acceptable), and 'targets' (set by governments, not families), amongst others, I think it's a strong defence to call the whole thing out, and for exactly what it is. Our language is being stolen from us, in this and the rest of the endless tsunami of reports, recommendations, guidances and regulations with which the people of England have been besieged in recent years. We need to claim it back.

In subsequent posts I'll briefly outline the main points of the other categories before moving onto the letter from Ed Balls. http://sometimesitspeaceful.blogspot.com/2009/08/stress-testing-badman-report-points.html

[…]

This is one of the most important posts on the Badman report.

What the report does, by a deliberate misuse of language is sneak in the licensing of Home Education. If you are a Home Educator, and you accept to 'register', you are in effect, applying for a license to be a parent, and if you fail to comply with the terms of what the Local Authority thinks you should be doing as a parent, then your license will be revoked, and they will take responsibility for your children by forcing you to send them to school.

Absolutely dastardly and unacceptable.

If the report had been written honestly, and had used English correctly, then the word 'license' would have been used to describe the recommended process or registration and annual review.

But you already know about the true nature and intent behind this report.

What Soviet Medicine Teaches Us

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Mises Daily by

The system had many decades to work, but widespread apathy and low quality of work paralyzed the healthcare system. In the depths of the socialist experiment, healthcare institutions in Russia were at least a hundred years behind the average US level. Moreover, the filth, odors, cats roaming the halls, drunken medical personnel, and absence of soap and cleaning supplies added to an overall impression of hopelessness and frustration that paralyzed the system. According to official Russian estimates, 78 percent of all AIDS victims in Russia contracted the virus through dirty needles or HIV-tainted blood in the state-run hospitals.

Irresponsibility, expressed by the popular Russian saying “They pretend they are paying us and we pretend we are working,” resulted in appalling quality of service, widespread corruption, and extensive loss of life. My friend, a famous neurosurgeon in today’s Russia, received a monthly salary of 150 rubles one third of the average bus driver’s salary.

In order to receive minimal attention by doctors and nursing personnel, patients had to pay bribes. I even witnessed a case of a “nonpaying” patient who died trying to reach a lavatory at the end of the long corridor after brain surgery. Anesthesia was usually “not available” for abortions or minor ear, nose, throat, and skin surgeries. This was used as a means of extortion by unscrupulous medical bureaucrats.

To improve the statistics concerning the numbers of people dying within the system, patients were routinely shoved out the door before taking their last breath.

Being a People’s Deputy in the Moscow region from 1987 to 1989, I received many complaints about criminal negligence, bribes taken by medical apparatchiks, drunken ambulance crews, and food poisoning in hospitals and child-care facilities. I recall the case of a fourteen-year-old girl from my district who died of acute nephritis in a Moscow hospital. She died because a doctor decided that it was better to save “precious” X-ray film (imported by the Soviets for hard currency) instead of double-checking his diagnosis. These X-rays would have disproven his diagnosis of neuropathic pain.

Instead, the doctor treated the teenager with a heat compress, which killed her almost instantly. There was no legal remedy for the girl’s parents and grandparents. By definition, a single-payer system cannot allow any such remedy. The girl’s grandparents could not cope with this loss and they both died within six months. The doctor received no official reprimand.

Not surprisingly, government bureaucrats and Communist Party officials, as early as 1921 (three years after Lenin’s socialization of medicine), realized that the egalitarian system of healthcare was good only for their personal interest as providers, managers, and rationers but not as private users of the system.

So, as in all countries with socialized medicine, a two-tier system was created: one for the “gray masses” and the other, with a completely different level of service, for the bureaucrats and their intellectual servants. In the USSR, it was often the case that while workers and peasants were dying in the state hospitals, the medicine and equipment that could save their lives was sitting unused in the nomenklatura system.

At the end of the socialist experiment, the official infant-mortality rate in Russia was more than 2.5 times as high as in the United States and more than five times that of Japan. The rate of 24.5 deaths per 1,000 live births was questioned recently by several deputies to the Russian Parliament, who claim that it is seven times higher than in the United States. This would make the Russian death rate 55 compared to the US rate of 8.1 per 1,000 live births.

Having said that, I should make it clear that the United States has one of the highest rates of the industrialized world only because it counts all dead infants, including premature babies, which is where most of the fatalities occur.

Most countries do not count premature-infant deaths. Some don’t count any deaths that occur in the first 72 hours. Some countries don’t even count any deaths from the first two weeks of life. In Cuba, which boasts a very low infant-mortality rate, infants are only registered when they are several months old, thereby leaving out of the official statistics all infant deaths that take place within the first several months of life.

In the rural regions of Karakalpakia, Sakha, Chechnya, Kalmykia, and Ingushetia, the infant mortality rate is close to 100 per 1,000 births, putting these regions in the same category as Angola, Chad, and Bangladesh. Tens of thousands of infants fall victim to influenza every year, and the proportion of children dying from pneumonia and tuberculosis is on the increase. Rickets, caused by a lack of vitamin D, and unknown in the rest of the modern world, is killing many young people.

Uterine damage is widespread, thanks to the 7.3 abortions the average Russian woman undergoes during childbearing years. Keeping in mind that many women avoid abortions altogether, the 7.3 average means that many women have a dozen or more abortions in their lifetime.

Even today, according to the State Statistics Committee, the average life expectancy for Russian men is less than 59 years 58 years and 11 months while that for Russian women is 72 years. The combined figure is 65 years and three months.[1] By comparison, the average life span for men in the United States is 73 years and for women 79 years. In the United States, life expectancy at birth for the total population has reached an all-time American high of 77.5 years, up from 49.2 years just a century ago. The Russian life expectancy at birth is 12 years lower.[2]

After seventy years of socialism, 57 percent of all Russian hospitals did not have running hot water, and 36 percent of hospitals located in rural areas of Russia did not have water or sewage at all. Isn’t it amazing that socialist government, while developing space exploration and sophisticated weapons, would completely ignore the basic human needs of its citizens?

The appalling quality of service is not simply characteristic of “barbarous” Russia and other Eastern European nations: it is a direct result of the government monopoly on healthcare and it can happen in any country. In “civilized” England, for example, the waiting list for surgeries is nearly 800,000 out of a population of 55 million. State-of-the-art equipment is nonexistent in most British hospitals. In England, only 10 percent of the healthcare spending is derived from private sources.

Britain pioneered in developing kidney-dialysis technology, and yet the country has one of the lowest dialysis rates in the world. The Brookings Institution (hardly a supporter of free markets) found that every year 7,000 Britons in need of hip replacements, between 4,000 and 20,000 in need of coronary bypass surgery, and some 10,000 to 15,000 in need of cancer chemotherapy are denied medical attention in Britain.

Age discrimination is particularly apparent in all government-run or heavily regulated systems of healthcare. In Russia, patients over 60 are considered worthless parasites and those over 70 are often denied even elementary forms of healthcare.

In the United Kingdom, in the treatment of chronic kidney failure, those who are 55 years old are refused treatment at 35 percent of dialysis centers. Forty-five percent of 65-year-old patients at the centers are denied treatment, while patients 75 or older rarely receive any medical attention at these centers.

In Canada, the population is divided into three age groups in terms of their access to healthcare: those below 45, those 4565, and those over 65. Needless to say, the first group, who could be called the “active taxpayers,” enjoys priority treatment.

Advocates of socialized medicine in the United States use Soviet propaganda tactics to achieve their goals. Michael Moore is one of the most prominent and effective socialist propagandists in America. In his movie, Sicko, he unfairly and unfavorably compares health care for older patients in the United States with complex and incurable diseases to healthcare in France and Canada for young women having routine babies. Had he done the reverse i.e., compared healthcare for young women in the United States having babies to older patients with complex and incurable diseases in socialized healthcare systems the movie would have been the same, except that the US healthcare system would look ideal, and the UK, Canada, and France would look barbaric.

[…]

http://mises.org/story/3650

Britain is dying – action is needed now

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

As I walk about the small town in the South Wales valleys that I now call home, I sometimes reflect on how vibrant and alive this place once was. I am not going back too far with my memories, but today the town is dying.

When I first came here to Blaenavon there was a butcher, a baker, a shop that sold all manner of things including the candlesticks, a number of florists, newsagents, hairdressers, greengrocers selling fresh fruit & veg, a plethora of book shops, cafe’s ranging from a greasy Joes to a bohemian meeting place. There was manned Police Station, a Fire Station, 3 petrol stations, 20 public houses, 2 Post Offices, a swimming and sports complex and a population of around 6,500 who had painfully recovered economically from the closure of the mining industry a decade earlier.

In its day it was much larger, with a peak in population in 1921 of 12,500 supporting the string of mines that were present on both sides of the valley, the finest steel works in Britain and an Iron works that today stands in ruins and is supported by Heritage funds as a museum. The largest of the mines, Big Pit, still remains, although unproductive as it is now open to the public as a living museum.

Today however, after 12 years of Labour interference and mis-management in the Economy and the daily lives of everyone who lives here, the town is dying. The Butcher sold up, the baker has gone, the shop that sells everything now sells very little, the book shops are all gone, so are the cafes. The Police station is closed after an experiment to only have it open 2 hours a day, the Fire Station is part time, only 1 petrol station remains, 11 of the 20 pubs are gone, 1 of the post offices has been up for sale for over a year, the Swimming pool originally built with miners funds has been torn down, sold to developers (who intend to build a new police station?) and an increasingly confused population wondering where their next job and income is going to come from.

Pushing them further are the regulations, the interference in their lives, the touring DVLA vans with the ANPR camera, the host of newly installed CCTV poles, the mass of double yellow lines, the cut back in bus services, seeing Heritage grants diverted elsewhere, seeing their public buildings sold to developers, lack of toleration for any minor infraction of the rules, a lack of police presence.

The town itself has for many years been used as a training ground by the utilities companies, with more test holes dug and road patches laid here than anywhere else I have ever seen. Ex miners and their families had retrained as carpenters, electricians, builders, window fitters as they followed government advice and gained work from the rise of the social housing trusts that sprang up in surrounding towns and villages, that work is now dry as the funds are no longer flowing. The majority of those who still work are in public sector jobs or with companies that support the public sector.

That the people of this town have a work ethic goes without saying, given the opportunities they are hard working, given the opportunities they are adventurous as they have proven in rebuilding their lives after the mine closures, but yet again the rug is being pulled from beneath them by the very politicians who say they support them. It is soul destroying to see a town where nearly 40% of the population is on benefits of one kind or another sinking slowly because the disposable incomes have gone, and over the past 10 years the entire local economy has become dependent on government work or companies that provide services to local government or quangos, even then there is only enough to survive the daily payouts.

This situation is not unique to the one place where I live, it is repeated in town after town right across the UK, consequently to look from the bottom up we can see this country dying on its feet. That vital element in the recovery of any economy, the sustainable element, disposable income, has either gone or is diminished to such a level that everything begins to grind to a halt.

The Libertarian Party sees the recovery in a very different light to the other political parties. We do not see that bailing out banks and factories with taxpayer funds is either desirable or sustainable, nor is the latest Conservative idea of community work for benefits (pure communitarian not conservative). We do not believe that central and local government should be the only employers, further increasing the burden on taxpayers to sustain this huge monolithic spending machine.

People here do not want more state involvement, they do not want more debt through bank loans to survive, and the few businesses that are left want to be able to survive and grow on profits, not bank loans, and to do this they need customers.

Libertarians want to see people who are working keep their earnings, not working on half pay, giving them the disposable income to spend in the Butchers, the bakers, the candlestick shop, the pubs and all the other shops in the area. We know that this will mean replacement and replenishment, providing orders and growth to the factories and support businesses, who in turn will need to order and buy more raw materials. This is how the local, and in turn the national economy will recover.

In order to do that, we have proposed along with major reforms in monetary and fiscal policy, a range of far reaching manifesto items not least of which is the initial reduction and then elimination of income tax, not fiddling around the edges of tax policy, but scrapping it altogether. Putting money back into the powerhouse of any economic strategy, purchasing power.

In order that businesses can rise to this challenge, and survive afterwards we also propose scrapping many of the regulatory controls that currently restrict both the opening of new business and the sustainability of SME’s. A huge reduction in Corporation Tax, setting it at a 10% flat rate and including a commitment to investigate the possibility of a 5 year exemption from Corporation Tax for start-ups (not deferment, an exemption).

We know that 10 factories paying the headline rate of corporation tax of 28% will not sustain the economy of this area, but 50 factories paying 10% will. Growth will be self sustaining as more people enter the workplace to support that growth, there will be more disposable income being spent, spurring even more factories and business to support and service that spending. The best bit however is that it can be done without reliance on bank lending, as it will be real money flowing up the chain, real profits creating that growth.

When growth is based on turnover in this way, taxation receipts will actually rise through volume, rather than decrease as it is at present by taking an ever bigger percentage of a diminishing pie, allowing everyone to gain and remove the need for government to borrow.The current level of spending by Government cannot continue, and the Conservative and LibDems are already to committed to either maintain or increase spending in many areas. This is unsustainable. Only today the PSBR (Public Sector Borrowing Requirement) has been released for July. In one month alone government has overspent and had to borrow the unsightly sum of 8.016 billion. That means the government was over-spending by more than 258 million per day last month, which is living beyond our collective means by more than 10 million an hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (H/T Guido) This means that the productive parts of our economy can no longer support such a huge government, the overspending and the restrictive regulations. (To give an example of how desperate these regulations have become, read this, punishment for attempting self help)

I look forward to the day when with the help of the Libertarian Party this small town that I live in can enjoy once again the vibrancy that it once knew, where it and its inhabitants can again be proud and self sustaining and above all self regulating as we diminish the power of the state to interfere and control.

[…]

The Libertarian Party (UK)

Prevent Gardasil Vaccine Injuries & Deaths

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

And in case you missed them, BLOGDIAL on Gardakil:

GardasilKILLS!
En Gardasil!
En Gardasil! Touche!
En Gardasil: an update
Doing the math on Gardasil
Gardasil or Chop?
The Mengele Agenda

The Quango That is Killing Britain

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Brain-jacking quangos turn British citizens into ‘zombies’.

Experts say they have discovered horrific cash-eating quangos which are able to infect British citizens and turn them into “zombies”.

The hapless victims are then compelled to toil away in a prominent high street location where their immobilised bodies – as they are gradually taxed from above, acting as money supply and nest to the ghastly quango offspring – can repeat state propaganda to seize control of more hosts.

For now, the terrifying Legislata Unilateralis quango appears to be focusing its zombie taxation campaign primarily on carpenters of the sort found in the McDonald’s of Tottenham.

The quango has accurately manipulated the infected workers into desiring what the government prefers them to be, by making the workers travel the ‘third way’ during the last years of their lives, says Dr David Hughes of Exeter and Harvard universities.

Having successfully taken over a person, the quango compels it to leave its normal haunts, perhaps getting high in the local park and directs the unfortunate person down into the dark, moist basement layers of the high street. There the luckless creature is compelled to clamber onto the underside of a multinational leading to the O unilateralis’ favoured rate of taxation – some 25pc above the base, on the management side of the takeaway or franchise in question.

Once in such a location, the dying worker is made to clap its hands and firmly grip onto the multinational, and then hangs lifelessly from them to become a money supply and home for the burgeoning, ghastly quango-children within. Most of the worker’s rights are gradually converted into tax and CCTV, but the muscles holding the burgers out are cunningly left alone.

In order to prevent any rivals trying to snaffle the nutritious worker’s income, the quango also forms a protective coating or “security blanket” over the hanging victim. Presently a chip or “RFID body” is implanted into the back of the worker’s head and begins to burble drifting thoughts down on the greasy floor beneath – each of which could infect another unlucky passerby.

The quangos’ dreadful capabilities were already well-known in the worker-zombification blogging community, but Hughes’ latest research has revealed just how precisely the hapless walking-dead citizens are controlled. He theorises that a deadly rain of mind-control BBC shows may be why the blogosphere tries to avoid the lower levels of prime-time as much as it can.

New Nationwide Study Confirms Homeschool Academic Achievement

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

As we have said before on BLOGDIAL, and as others have said, changing the laws on Home Education in the UK using the pretext of ‘child safety’ is utter nonsense. Thanks to AhED, we now know scientifically that Home Educated children are in fact SAFER than children who are sent to school. It has to be said that no matter what case they bring to the attention of the press, the fact is that the vast majority of families are perfectly safe, do not need to be spied upon and should be left alone to get on with the business of the pursuit of happiness. The current and nauseating fad of holding up exceptional cases as a pretext for putting everyone under suspicion is morally wrong, socially corrosive and the result of bad thinking.

But I digress…

The only other pretext they have left in their quiver of evil is to claim that Home Educated children are not achieving academically. This has already been proven to be false, and now it has been proven yet again; the HSLDA has just released a new study proving that Home Educated children out perform state schooled children in every way. There are those who say that exams should not be the sole way that success is measured, and I agree with them; how you as a parent measure success is your own affair. What the HSLDA is doing is proving that Home Education should not come under scrutiny because people believe that the families that do it cannot achieve anything.

Finally the only reason why Home Education is under attack in the UK is that a bunch of Hard Core Socialists are hell bent on eliminating what they see as privilege, and will do anything to prevent a free thinking, high achieving superclass from coming into being. The same jealous urges that drove Labour to vow to close Eton and Harrow drives the call to ban Home Education. An army of Home Educated people, vast in number, would be a real threat to the established order and to the Socialist Utopia that is the wet dream of Ed Balls and his ilk.

What this report shows is that Home Educated children perform well across the board, and that the factors that the insane Socialists think are the divisive causes of inequality make no difference to the level of achievement; in other words, when the state is left out of education, all people do better as a result and income, gender, level of education of the parents has no effect on the much beloved outcomes. This is what they hate even more than ‘privilege’; the fact that everyone can not only live without them, but that everyone would be better off without them entirely.

Children who are not brainwashed and who can think for themselves, numbering over 100,000, constitutes a game changing army. As the state system continues to churn out illiterate, immoral, violent and destroyed people, and as the penny drops about how and why this is happening, more and more people will opt for Home Education, normalizing it and forever breaking the poison spell that has hypnotized people for generations; the spell that made people believe that the only place children can learn is in a school with a professional teacher.

[…]

New Nationwide Study Confirms Homeschool Academic Achievement
Ian Slatter
Director of Media Relations HSLDA

August 10, 2009

Each year, the homeschool movement graduates at least 100,000 students. Due to the fact that both the United States government and homeschool advocates agree that homeschooling has been growing at around 7% per annum for the past decade, it is not surprising that homeschooling is gaining increased attention. Consequently, many people have been asking questions about homeschooling, usually with a focus on either the academic or social abilities of homeschool graduates.

As an organization advocating on behalf of homeschoolers, Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) long ago committed itself to demonstrating that homeschooling should be viewed as a mainstream educational alternative.

We strongly believe that homeschooling is a thriving education movement capable of producing millions of academically and socially able students who will have a tremendously positive effect on society.

Despite much resistance from outside the homeschool movement, whether from teachers unions, politicians, school administrators, judges, social service workers, or even family members, over the past few decades homeschoolers have slowly but surely won acceptance as a mainstream education alternative. This has been due in part to the commissioning of research which demonstrates the academic success of the average homeschooler.

The last piece of major research looking at homeschool academic achievement was completed in 1998 by Dr. Lawrence Rudner. Rudner, a professor at the ERIC Clearinghouse, which is part of the University of Maryland, surveyed over 20,000 homeschooled students. His study, titled Home Schooling Works, discovered that homeschoolers (on average) scored about 30 percentile points higher than the national average on standardized achievement tests.

This research and several other studies supporting the claims of homeschoolers have helped the homeschool cause tremendously. Today, you would be hard pressed to find an opponent of homeschooling who says that homeschoolers, on average, are poor academic achievers.

There is one problem, however. Rudners research was conducted over a decade ago. Without another look at the level of academic achievement among homeschooled students, critics could begin to say that research on homeschool achievement is outdated and no longer relevant.

Recognizing this problem, HSLDA commissioned Dr. Brian Ray, an internationally recognized scholar and president of the non-profit National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), to collect data for the 200708 academic year for a new study which would build upon 25 years of homeschool academic scholarship conducted by Ray himself, Rudner, and many others.

Drawing from 15 independent testing services, the Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics included 11,739 homeschooled students from all 50 states who took three well-known testsCalifornia Achievement Test, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and Stanford Achievement Test for the 200708 academic year. The Progress Report is the most comprehensive homeschool academic study ever completed.

The Results

Overall the study showed significant advances in homeschool academic achievement as well as revealing that issues such as student gender, parents education level, and family income had little bearing on the results of homeschooled students.

National Average Percentile Scores

Subtest Homeschool Public School
Reading 89 50
Language 84 50
Math 84 50
Science 86 50
Social Studies 84 50
Corea 88 50
Compositeb 86 50
a. Core is a combination of Reading, Language, and Math.
b. Composite is a combination of all subtests that the student took on the test.

There was little difference between the results of homeschooled boys and girls on core scores.

Boys87th percentile
Girls88th percentile

Household income had little impact on the results of homeschooled students.

$34,999 or less85th percentile
$35,000$49,99986th percentile

$50,000$69,99986th percentile
$70,000 or more89th percentile

The education level of the parents made a noticeable difference, but the homeschooled children of non-college educated parents still scored in the 83rd percentile, which is well above the national average.

Neither parent has a college degree83rd percentile
One parent has a college degree86th percentile

Both parents have a college degree90th percentile

Whether either parent was a certified teacher did not matter.

Certified (i.e., either parent ever certified)87th percentile
Not certified (i.e., neither parent ever certified)88th percentile

Parental spending on home education made little difference.

Spent $600 or more on the student89th percentile
Spent under $600 on the student86th percentile

The extent of government regulation on homeschoolers did not affect the results.

Low state regulation87th percentile
Medium state regulation88th percentile

High state regulation87th percentile

HSLDA defines the extent of government regulation this way:

States with low regulation: No state requirement for parents to initiate any contact or State requires parental notification only.

States with moderate regulation: State requires parents to send notification, test scores, and/or professional evaluation of student progress.

State with high regulation: State requires parents to send notification or achievement test scores and/or professional evaluation, plus other requirements (e.g. curriculum approval by the state, teacher qualification of parents, or home visits by state officials).

The question HSLDA regularly puts before state legislatures is, If government regulation does not improve the results of homeschoolers why is it necessary?

In short, the results found in the new study are consistent with 25 years of research, which show that as a group homeschoolers consistently perform above average academically. The Progress Report also shows that, even as the numbers and diversity of homeschoolers have grown tremendously over the past 10 years, homeschoolers have actually increased the already sizeable gap in academic achievement between themselves and their public school counterparts-moving from about 30 percentile points higher in the Rudner study (1998) to 37 percentile points higher in the Progress Report (2009).

As mentioned earlier, the achievement gaps that are well-documented in public school between boys and girls, parents with lower incomes, and parents with lower levels of education are not found among homeschoolers. While it is not possible to draw a definitive conclusion, it does appear from all the existing research that homeschooling equalizes every student upwards. Homeschoolers are actually achieving every day what the public schools claim are their goalsto narrow achievement gaps and to educate each child to a high level.

Of course, an education movement which consistently shows that children can be educated to a standard significantly above the average public school student at a fraction of the costthe average spent by participants in the Progress Report was about $500 per child per year as opposed to the public school average of nearly $10,000 per child per yearwill inevitably draw attention from the K-12 public education industry.

Answering the Critics

This particular study is the most comprehensive ever undertaken. It attempts to build upon and improve on the previous research. One criticism of the Rudner study was that it only drew students from one large testing service. Although there was no reason to believe that homeschoolers participating with that service were automatically non-representative of the broader homeschool community, HSLDA decided to answer this criticism by using 15 independent testing services for this new study. There can be no doubt that homeschoolers from all walks of life and backgrounds participated in the Progress Report.

While it is true that not every homeschooler in America was part of this study, it is also true that the Progress Report provides clear evidence of the success of homeschool programs.

The reason is that all social science studies are based on samples. The goal is to make the sample as representative as possible because then more confident conclusions can be drawn about the larger population. Those conclusions are then validated when other studies find the same or similar results.

Critics tend to focus on this narrow point and maintain that they will not be satisfied until every homeschooler is submitted to a test. This is not a reasonable request because not all homeschoolers take standardized achievement tests. In fact, while the majority of homeschool parents do indeed test their children simply to track their progress and also to provide them with the experience of test-taking, it is far from a comprehensive and universal practice among homeschoolers.

The best researchers can do is provide a sample of homeschooling families and compare the results of their children to those of public school students, in order to give the most accurate picture of how homeschoolers in general are faring academically.

The concern that the only families who chose to participate are the most successful homeschoolers can be alleviated by the fact that the overwhelming majority of parents did not know their children’s test results before agreeing to participate in the study.

HSLDA believes that this study along with the several that have been done in the past are clear evidence that homeschoolers are succeeding academically.

Final Thought

Homeschooling is making great strides and hundreds of thousands of parents across America are showing every day what can be achieved when parents exercise their right to homeschool and make tremendous sacrifices to provide their children with the best education available.

[…]

http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/200908100.asp

Government child supervision planned for American families

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

It looks like the Balls Badman effect is spreading to the USA. At least in America, the people are getting rowdy over it:

Dirty Secret No. 1 in Obamacare
by Chuck Norris

Health care reforms are turning into health care revolts. Americans are turning up the heat on congressmen in town hall meetings across the U.S.

While watching these political hot August nights, I decided to research the reasons so many are opposed to Obamacare to separate the facts from the fantasy. What I discovered is that there are indeed dirty little secrets buried deep within the 1,000-plus page health care bill.

Dirty secret No. 1 in Obamacare is about the government’s coming into homes and usurping parental rights over child care and development.

It’s outlined in sections 440 and 1904 of the House bill (Page 838), under the heading “home visitation programs for families with young children and families expecting children.” The programs (provided via grants to states) would educate parents on child behavior and parenting skills.

The bill says that the government agents, “well-trained and competent staff,” would “provide parents with knowledge of age-appropriate child development in cognitive, language, social, emotional, and motor domains … modeling, consulting, and coaching on parenting practices,” and “skills to interact with their child to enhance age-appropriate development.”

Are you kidding me?! With whose parental principles and values? Their own? Certain experts’? From what field and theory of childhood development? As if there are one-size-fits-all parenting techniques! Do we really believe they would contextualize and personalize every form of parenting in their education, or would they merely universally indoctrinate with their own?

Are we to assume the state’s mediators would understand every parent’s social or religious core values on parenting? Or would they teach some secular-progressive and religiously neutered version of parental values and wisdom? And if they were to consult and coach those who expect babies, would they ever decide circumstances to be not beneficial for the children and encourage abortions?

One government rebuttal is that this program would be “voluntary.” Is that right? Does that imply that this agency would just sit back passively until some parent needing parenting skills said, “I don’t think I’ll call my parents, priest or friends or read a plethora of books, but I’ll go down to the local government offices”? To the contrary, the bill points to specific targeted groups and problems, on Page 840: The state “shall identify and prioritize serving communities that are in high need of such services, especially communities with a high proportion of low-income families.”

Are we further to conclude by those words that low-income families know less about parenting? Are middle- and upper-class parents really better parents? Less neglectful of their children? Less needful of parental help and training? Is this “prioritized” training not a biased, discriminatory and even prejudicial stereotype and generalization that has no place in federal government, law or practice?

Bottom line: Is all this what you want or expect in a universal health care bill being rushed through Congress? Do you want government agents coming into your home and telling you how to parent your children? When did government health care turn into government child care?

Government needs less of a role in running our children’s lives and more of a role in supporting parents’ decisions for their children. Children belong to their parents, not the government. And the parents ought to have the right — and government support — to parent them without the fed’s mandates, education or intervention in our homes.

[…]

Town Hall

Poor old Chuck; he almost gets it right in the end; government needs less of a role and no role at all in supporting parent’s decisions for their children not MORE of a role. More of a role means MORE GOVERNMENT.

In any case, this sounds very much like the home invasions outlined by Balls and Badman, “for your own good”, to make sure that you are teaching your children ‘correctly’. It’s all completely bogus of course, but what is interesting is that there seems to be a simultaneous move both here and in the USA to usurp the parent and replace the state in that sacred role.

Americans will not have it, and they will go to war over it. Thank heavens for real people.

Viral marketing

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Soon you will be told to bend over.

You will have to decide whether to grab your ankles, or resist.

Greece is planning mandatory swine flu vaccination.

The Mediterranean country, which receives about 15 million tourists every year, has confirmed more than 700 swine flu cases and no deaths, but world health experts say the true number of cases globally is far higher as only a few patients get tested.

“We decided that the entire population, all citizens and residents, without any exception, will be vaccinated against the flu,” Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said after a ministerial meeting.

Greece has already earmarked 40 million euros for vaccines and has placed orders with Novartis, Glaxo and Sanofi for 8 million vaccine doses, to be received gradually by January.

Vaccine experts say people will likely need two doses of vaccine to be protected from H1N1 swine flu, so Greece would need a total of 24 million doses to vaccinate its entire population. Other countries are taking similar steps.

“Greece will order 16 million more doses from the same companies in the future,” a health ministry official who declined to be named told Reuters.

UAE is forcing all students over the age of 5 to be vaccinated.

Vaccination against swine flu will be mandatory for all students of private and public schools in the UAE when schools open in September, the director general of the Ministry of Health has said.

Vaccination will be mandatory for the countrys 630,000 students and will be free of charge, Dr Ali Bin Shakar told UAE daily Emarat Alyoum.
Only children over the age of five are included in the programme, which will cost the government around AED3.2m ($871,000).

Mandatory vaccination will be coming to your town, sooner or later.

And it could be enforcable, literally. Uncle Sam is already telling its people that this procedure is constitutional!

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has put states on notice that swine flu vaccinations will begin in October. The editor of the popular blog Pissed Off Former Democrat phoned the legal council at the Arkansas State Health Department to seek advice about obtaining waiver forms for a future mass swine flu vaccination program. Only to be told that mandatory vaccines were constitutional and could be enforced at gunpoint by the government if necessary.

Similarly;

“the federal government will buy vaccine from manufacturers and share it for free among the states, which must then “try and get this in the arms of the targeted population as soon as possible,”

The UK has already been primed to expect mass vaccination.

They seem to have decided

You need It.

You will get it.

Whether you like it or not.

All this is in the contest of less than 1000 deaths WORLDWIDE, from millions of cases. For some US perspective, for example: “regular winter flu, [] kills 36,000 Americans a year” … and there’s no mandatory vaccination.

In the UK, which has had around 30 deaths so far; In a normal outbreak of seasonal flu, some 6,000 people lose their lives. And in the last epidemic, that of 1999/2000, flu killed 21,000.

In its lethality, swine flu is milder than vanilla flu. Much milder. From reported cases we are told that the swine flu outbreak, still only in its early stages, is already worse than last year’s winter flu, which was itself the biggest outbreak for nine years. Yet last year many thousands of people died from winter flu.

Did you hear the calls for mandatory vaccination? No?

Therefore, given this push to inject anyone and everyone whose government can pay for the vaccine, one must ask the question: WTF!?!?!

That is, in this case, WHY THE FUCK!!!!???

If we start with a paranoid question, we could ask exactly what is it that They want you to bend over and be injected with? One could rationally argue that, given the poor medical justifications, neither the US or UK govs would risk a mandated programme (with all the public order problems that entails) just for a swine flu vaccine.

Of the more paranoid suggestions I have heard, one maintained that this was to be the first of a two-part killer jab The second part would be given at the next pandemic, thus bringing about the mass population reduction desired by The Elite/Bilderberg/NWO.

It’s immunologically possible (I dont know about chemically possible, but I assume so); they could try and sensitise people to a certain antigen and then induce disease (autoimmune type or acute allergy-type rather than bug-mediated) with a second dose of that same antigen. But its a very roundabout route.

The problems are that it would be a bit blatant, and needs a different pandemic for the second mandatory jab. It would be much easier just to release a really vicious virus. To which They would already have a vaccine, obviously.

Thus, having excluded the paranoid, we are left with the probable, which is all too obvious. This is nothing more than, as one clever person put it, sheep-shearing on a grand scale. You are being used as fodder for a corporate machine to make money. Nothing more, nothing less.

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline predicts swine flu gold rush

Britain’s biggest pharmaceutical company is preparing to sell 3bn worth of swine flu drugs this year, it emerged today.

GlaxoSmithKline revealed its vaccine, one of the world’s first, could be available by September after the UK government placed advance orders for 60m doses.

It also disclosed that international governments were stockpiling large supplies of GSK’s anti-viral treatment Relenza, which can relieve swine flu symptoms.

Worldwide sales from the two drugs are expected to reach 3bn by January, but the company rejected claims it was exploiting the pandemic stressing that profits would be much lower once development costs were taken into account.

Or, according to the FT

Drug groups to reap swine-flu billions

Some of the worlds leading pharmaceutical companies are reaping billions of dollars in extra revenue amid global concern about the spread of swine flu.

Analysts expect to see a boost in sales from GlaxoSmithKline, Roche and Sanofi-Aventis when the companies report first-half earnings lifted by government contracts for flu vaccines and antiviral medicines.

Not bad in a global recession, eh? We could go on, but you know where the G is.

Ever get the feeling youve been had?

So, lets assume youre still feeling a bit worried about swine flu and are still considering letting them give you a skin pop. Just read this update on why not to have the vaccine… from the WHO H1N1 site:

The reason why GBS developed in association with that specific vaccine has never been firmly established. The potential for the development of a similar risk with future vaccines can never be firmly excluded. However, the influenza A (H1N1) vaccine will be manufactured according to established standards and post marketing surveillance will be conducted to monitor potential development of any serious adverse events following administration of vaccine. Safety monitoring systems are an integral part of strategies for the implementation of the new pandemic influenza vaccines.

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/frequently_asked_questions/vaccine_preparedness/safety_approval/en/index.html

In other words;
If you die we will know the vaccine is Not Good.
You are the guinea pigs.
Do not complain.
You have been warned.
We already have your money.
NO REFUNDS.


National regulatory authorities have put into place expedited processes that do not compromise on the quality and safety of the vaccine.

No compromise necessary since there is no quality control or safety testing until it is in your arm.

Mass violations around the corner: Nine people charged with NIR Breach

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Now we see what the response will be to future escapes of data should the NIR go online:

Nine sacked over National Identity Scheme breaches

Nine staff have been sacked from their local authority jobs for snooping on personal records of celebrities and personal acquaintances held on the core database of the government's National Identity Scheme.

They are among 34 council workers who illegally accessed the Customer Information System (CIS) database, which holds the biographical data of the population that will underpin the government's multi-billion-pound ID card programme.

List of security breaches in full >>

The disclosures, obtained by Computer Weekly using the Freedom of Information Act, will add to calls for the government to come clean over the security of the National Identity Scheme.

The CIS database, run by the Department for Work and Pensions, stores up to 9,800 items of information on 92 million people, including sensitive data, such as ethnicity, relationship history, whether someone is being investigated for fraud and whether they have special needs.

Freedom of information requests by Computer Weekly, have uncovered a string of breaches by council workers:

  • Cardiff and Glasgow councils sacked staff after they looked up celebrities' personal records
  • Tonbridge and Bromley councils sacked workers for looking up their friends
  • Brent sacked someone who looked at their girlfriend's details
  • A worker at Torfaen was sacked for looking at his own details

But this may just be the tip of the iceberg. Many of the breaches were discovered after sample checks, raising concerns that other breaches may gone undetected.

Over 200,000 government officials have access to the database, including staff at 480 local authorities, and numerous government departments, including the Department of Work and Pensions, HM Revenue & Customs, and the Courts Service. The Child Support Agency uses the CIS to trace missing parents,
Gus Hosein, a management systems academic with the London School of Economics, said that breaches were inevitable.

"Human nature and the propensity of governments to abuse privacy means that the only real safeguard is to not collect this information in the first place," he said. "Create a central store and you will get abuse".

A DWP spokesman said, "The small number of incidents shows that the CIS security system is working and is protected by several different audit and monitoring controls, which actively manage and report attempts at unauthorised or inappropriate access."

In other breaches discovered by Computer Weekly, Exeter sacked someone for being unable to justify an access to the database. Hertsmere and Penwith (now part of Cornwall) councils sacked people for looking at records they shouldn't, but couldn't say what the records were.

Carmarthenshire Council disciplined a person who illegally used the CIS to look at the records in July 2008 of someone "known personally" to them, but refused to give details. Solihull took disciplinary action after a CIS breach in February 2008.

Peter Sommer, visiting professor at the London School of Economics Information Systems Integrity Group, said, "Any system in which you have a large number of users can never be secure. Instead of giving generalised assurances, the government should say explicitly what level of security failures they consider to be acceptable. Politically, that is a very awkward thing to say."

The government plans to extend use of the CIS, beyond its present community of DWP government partners and customers. Its next phase of development, called CISx (CIS cross-government), will give access to departments such as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

Computer Weekly

This is not just the 'tip of the iceberg'. It is the beginning of the mass violations.

Imagine if this sort of thing was being done by every worker in the public sector. If it was discovered, would they sack literally hundreds of thousands of people who would be effectively irreplaceable?

The fact of the matter is that they would not sack them, but would instead, discipline them. And of course, such disciplinary action would not put the data back in the database.

How do the people who ordered the sacking of these workers know that copies of the data were not made? For all they know, screen-grabs of the entries were made and passed around at the pub for fun.

This is the danger we have been talking about for almost a decade; once the data is out, it can never be put back.

No matter what they say, no matter what assurances they give, they will never be able to secure data in databases. Period.

And here we go again:

ContactPoint database could put 11 million children at risk
Every child in England could be at risk because of security failings in the Government’s controversial children’s database, experts have claimed.

ContactPoint is designed to help protect England’s 11 million children by giving officials a single register of their names, ages and addresses as well as details of their schools, parents and GPs.

But the database is riddled with security failings so serious that “even a child” could steal sensitive information from it, according to Overtis Systems, the data safety specialists.

The £224m system has already been delayed three times over security fears, but 800 pilot workers are currently using it and 390,000 teachers, social workers and other professionals will have access by the end of the year.

Ongoing faults mean the system is vulnerable to viruses and spyware, and users could have their sessions “hijacked” while away from their computers, Overtis Systems said.

The size of the database makes it difficult to monitor suspicious activity and it remains so easy to copy the data that a child would be capable of doing it, the data security specialists also claimed.

“Why the government has created this security headache in the first place, particularly when their track record on data handling raises serious questions, is something of a mystery,” said Richard Walters, Product Director at Overtis Systems.

He also called on the Government to drop the details of millions of children from the system, leaving only information about those who have received social care services, and said biometric finger-vein devices should be used to verify the identity of authorised users.

ContactPoint was proposed in the wake of Victoria Climbié’s murder in 2000 as a way to help social care professionals safeguard children, and has become a central plank of Labour’s policy.

But critics claim the system places children at greater risk, with the Conservatives promising to scrap it if they come to power.

Tim Loughton, the shadow children’s minister, said: “It’s becoming horribly clear that ContactPoint will be about as secure as a paper bag.

“We have to pull the plug on this expensive and dangerous project before it places millions of vulnerable children in harm’s way.”

A spokesman for the Department of Children, Schools and Families accused Overtis Systems of a “PR stunt” and dismissed their concerns.

“ContactPoint has numerous security controls in place which include procedural user controls and the effective management of those controls,” she said.

[…]

Telegraph

The only problem with this article is the title. ContactPoint WILL put 11 million children at risk, and that is a FACT.

In the end, should all of these databases they are proposing go live, some dunderhead will have a eureka moment and say, “Why don’t we put all of this data into one system? it is insane to have replication across so many different databases…think of the savings we could make! The NIR should be sole database holding absolutely everything….make it so!”.

The Evil That Men Do

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

A tip of the hat to the great and the good.

Rothbard on Education

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Public and Compulsory Schooling
Until the last few years there were few institutions in America that were held more sacred — especially by liberals — than the public school. Devotion to the public school had seized even those early Americans — such as Jeffersonians and Jacksonians — who were libertarian in most other respects. In recent years the public school was supposed to be a crucial ingredient of democracy, the fount of brotherhood, and the enemy of elitism and separateness in American life. The public school was the embodiment of the alleged right of every child to an education, and it was upheld as a crucible of understanding and harmony between men of all occupations and social classes who would rub elbows from an early age with all their neighbors.

Going hand in hand with the spread of public education have been compulsory attendance laws, which have forced all children up to a high — and continually increasing — minimum age, to attend either a public school or a private school certified as suitable by the state apparatus. In contrast to earlier decades, when a relatively small proportion of the population went to school in the higher grades, the entire mass of the population has thus been coerced by the government into spending a large portion of the most impressionable years of their lives in public institutions. We could easily have analyzed compulsory attendance laws [p. 120] in our chapter on involuntary servitude, for what institution is more evidently a vast system of incarceration? In recent years, Paul Goodman and other critics of education have trenchantly exposed the nation's public schools — and to a lesser extent their private appendages — as a vast prison system for the nation's youth, dragooning countless millions of unwilling and unadaptable children into the schooling structure. The New Left tactic of breaking into the high schools shouting "Jailbreak!" may have been absurd and ineffective, but it certainly expressed a great truth about the school system. For if we are to dragoon the entire youth population into vast prisons in the guise of "education," with teachers and administrators serving as surrogate wardens and guards, why should we not expect vast unhappiness, discontent, alienation, and rebellion on the part of the nation's youth? The only surprise should be that the rebellion was so long in coming. But now it is increasingly acknowledged that something is terribly wrong with America's proudest institution; that, especially in urban areas, the public schools have become cesspools of crime, petty theft, and drug addiction, and that little or no genuine education takes place amidst the warping of the minds and souls of the children.

Part of the reason for this tyranny over the nation's youth is misplaced altruism on the part of the educated middle class. The workers, or the "lower classes," they felt, should have the opportunity to enjoy the schooling the middle classes value so highly. And if the parents or the children of the masses should be so benighted as to balk at this glorious opportunity set before them, well, then, a little coercion must be applied — "for their own good," of course.

A crucial fallacy of the middle-class school worshippers is confusion between formal schooling and education in general. Education is a lifelong process of learning, and learning takes place not only in school, but in all areas of life. When the child plays, or listens to parents or friends, or reads a newspaper, or works at a job, he or she is becoming educated. Formal schooling is only a small part of the educational process, and is really only suitable for formal subjects of instruction, particularly in the more advanced and systematic subjects. The elementary subjects, reading, writing, arithmetic and their corollaries, can easily be learned at home and outside the school.

Furthermore, one of the great glories of mankind is its diversity, the fact that each individual is unique, with unique abilities, interests, and aptitudes. To coerce into formal schooling children who have neither the ability nor the interest in this area is a criminal warping of the soul and mind of the child. Paul Goodman has raised the cry that most children would be far better off if they were allowed to work at an early age, learn a trade, and begin to do that which they are most suited for. America was built by citizens and leaders, many of whom received little or no formal schooling, and the idea that one must have a high-school diploma — or nowadays, an A.B. degree — before he can begin to work and to live in the world is an absurdity of the current age. Abolish compulsory attendance laws and give children their head, and we will return to a nation of people far more productive, interested, creative, and happy. Many thoughtful opponents of the New Left and the youth rebellion have pointed out that much of the discontent of youth and their divorce from reality is due to the ever-longer period in which youth must remain at school, wrapped in a cocoon of dependence and irresponsibility. Well and good, but what is the main reason for this ever-lengthening cocoon? Clearly the whole system, and in particular the compulsory attendance laws, which preach that everyone must go perpetually to school — first to high school, now to college, and soon perhaps for a Ph.D. degree. It is the compulsion toward mass schooling that creates both the discontent and the ever-continuing shelter from the "real world." In no other nation and in no other age has this mania for mass schooling so taken hold.

[…]

http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp

The great exodus

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

It seems like the great and the good are finding that Britain has lost all of its appeal:

Cory Doctorow has written an article that sums up what is wrong with this country, and his piece chimes with what I have been writing.

Although he is a Candian native, Cory’s family came from the Soviet Union: he asked his grandmother why she didn’t stay there.

I asked her why she didn’t stay, and she shook her head like I’d asked the stupidest possible question. “It was the Soviet Union”, she said. She waved her hand, groped for the answer. “Papers,” she said, finally. “We had to carry papers. The police could stop you at any time and make you turn over your papers.” The floodgates opened. They spied on you. They made you spy on each other. Your grandfather wouldn’t have been allowed to stay he was Polish, they wouldn’t let him stay with the family in Russia, he’d have to go back to Poland.

There are many people who are simply not going to put up with what is happening in the UK and are either planning to leave or have already left. Many more will fight till the bitter end. This is not just ‘foreigners’, but British citizens also.

Only a total fool, having full knowledge of recent history, would wait around to be ‘Kristallnacht’d’; and of course, if that does not happen, there are an infinite gradation of bad things that can happen beneath that, like the state saying you cannot remove ‘your’ money or your property when you leave. There was a time in the very recent past where the maximum you could take out of the UK was 100. Anyone that does not think this can happen again is insane, especially with the economic chaos that is about to unfold before our eyes. The US has already passed laws that are aimed at stopping americans from leaving – the ‘Hotel California’ laws – what makes anyone think that Britain will not follow them? They follow them everywhere else, so why not there?

Cory then moved to Britain, where he foundas Bella hasthat his status here is at the whim of the disgusting, petty, spiteful little cunts in government, responding to the BNP dog-whistle morons who populate this green and increasingly unpleasant land.

Britain is run by disgusting, petty, spiteful little cunts; it is not populated by disgusting, petty, spiteful little cunts. The same Britain that we all remember and loved is still there, as are most of the people who inhabited it; its just hidden under a layer of grime that needs to be jetwashed off.

Britain can be great again. This next election is clearly its last chance; the things that have been done since the Bliar regime are so contrary to everything that is right, if the Tories do not move to undo them, Britain will be lost. I know many people who are going to leave this beleaguered island if the Tories do not clean house. There are only so many chances that people are willing to give a place, and if it does not improve, it is pointless to stay and suffer the indignities of a police state when you can simply get on a train and LEAVE.

People from all over the world have given up on Britain. They do not come here for medical treatment anymore (for example) instead, they fly to Dubai, where they get a high standard of treatment, equivalent or better than what you get in Britain, without having to be treated like a criminal. In the end, when this country starts to wither, as it becomes culturally isolated, they will either have to change their ways or end up being just like a Soviet satellite state; grey, grim, paranoid, devoid of innovation on all fronts, purged of individuals and individuality, freedom-less and inert… like soot, the chemically spent remains of combustion.

A few years later, I was living with my partner, and had fathered a British daughter (when I mentioned this to a UK immigration official at Heathrow, he sneeringly called her “half a British citizen”). We were planning a giant family wedding in Toronto when the news came down: the Home Secretary had unilaterally, on 24 hours’ notice, changed the rules for highly skilled migrants to require a university degree. My immigration lawyers confirmed it: people who’d established residence in the UK for years and years, who’d built businesses and employed Britons here, who owned homes and given birth to British children, were being thrown out of the country, taking their tax-payments, jobs and families with them.

My partner and I scrambled. We got married. We applied for a spousal visa. A few weeks later, I presented myself in Croydon at the Home Office immigration centre to turn over my biometrics and have a visa glued into my Canadian passport. I got two years’ breathing room. My family could stay in Britain.

Then came last week’s announcement: effective immediately, spousal visa holders (and foreign students) would be issued mandatory, biometric radio-frequency ID papers that we will have to carry at all times. And I started to look over my shoulder.

You must do what you think is right of course.

We have spoken about this before; about changing the rules half way through the game:

[…]

Many people came to the UK because the rules were favorable. Now, after settling down, doing good work, bringing prosperity and creativity to the UK, the government wants to change the rules halfway through the game. That is not cricket.

[…]

http://irdial.com/blogdial/?p=986

The financial crowd understands this better than anyone, “… if the rules can change in this way, arbitrarily, unfairly, insanely, then its best to get out NOW before some other, even worse, more insane rules come down the pipeline, locking us in here”. That is why so many financiers have already left and have vowed never to return.

When someone asks you to ‘hand over your biometrics’, which actually means GETTING FINGERPRINTED LIKE A CRIMINAL, it means that a fundamental line has been crossed. With the NIR, once you hand over your fingerprints, YOU ARE IN THE SYSTEM. It doesn’t matter if they issue an ID Card or not, the mobile fingerprint scanners they are going to deploy mean that your fingerprints ARE THE ID CARD.

Its pointless to now, after having submitted to violation, leave the UK because they are discriminating against foreigners by compelling them to carry ID Cards. You are already in their system to the exact same degree that you would be had you been made to get an ID Card right now.

Biometric (violating) VISAS are vendor driven garbage. They do not improve border security or stop illegal immigration. There are better ways to issue VISAS that do not threaten the recipient.

Canadians can get six month entry when they come to the UK at any port. It is a mistake to get a VISA if you are a Canadian, IMHO. Everyone has their limits, their pain threshold…

Yes, that’s right. And why should immigrants have to do this? They are easy targets, of course. I am now caught up in a similar situation: I am in a relationshipand have been for some timeand the continuance of that relationship is at the whim of bureaucrats and filthy, disgusting, morally bankrupt politicians and the filthy, disgusting, morally bankrupt morons who elect them.

This is a problem that is similar to stock traders and market timing; when is it the optimum moment to exit the market and cash out? If you leave too early, you might miss out on some market movements. If you leave too late, you might not get out at all.

I have seen, at first hand, the second-rate status accorded to those who want to live and work here, and the callousness with which their situation is dealt with. I have seen the way in which this country deals with immigrants, and I dislike it intensely.

The horror stories from Lunar House are legend.

Every one of these measures was beta-tested on less-advantaged groups before it was rolled out to the general public.

It is, quite simply, a divide et impera tactic and it is one that I, as a positive libertarian who believes that we are all human, find morally repugnant.

Libertarians know all about this. There are a growing number of Libertarians in the west. Sales of seminal individualist works are skyrocketing. If enough people get the message, and the coming collapse will make this more likely, then it is possible that we might get the sort of countries that we desire. By the way, if you have not seen it, see this.

I have constantly pointed out that all of these measures tested on minority “undesirables” will be applied to us sooner or laterand probably sooner.

CCTVs used the be the exclusive territory of bank vaults and prisons. Network wiretapping and censorship began in schools, “to protect children”.

Now, we immigrants are to be the beta testers for Britain’s sleepwalk into the surveillance society. We will have to carry internal passports and the press will say, “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to live here it’s unseemly for a guest to complain about the terms of the hospitality.” But this beta test is not intended to stop with immigrants. Government freely admits that immigrants are only the first stage of a universal rollout of mandatory biometric RFID identity cards. What happens to us now will happen to you, next.

Even if it were not the case hat what happens to immigrants now will happen to the natives next (Kristallnacht) it is wrong, and you should not put up with it.

Everyone, when they study Germany, wonders, “what would I have done if I was living in Germany then?”. Now is your chance to find out. As we have seen, some people run to legitimize themselves with the state, getting into a marriage at a time other than their choosing, and them to ‘turn over their biometrics’ for the sake of immigration status. Others opt to disappear, or leave or game the system. The ones with nothing to lose burn their fingerprints off and go hard core. There are many different responses to threats.

Of course, everyone with half a brain cell knows that no one would desire to come to Britain as a ‘sponger’ if there was no welfare state. Libertarians abhor the welfare / warfare state because it is founded on stealing. A Libertarian society would be able to accommodate ‘foreigners’ since the state would not be stealing from anyone to pay for the ‘scroungers’. All resentment of immigration would virtually disappear; the only people harboring ill feeling being the racists who have ethnic identity issues.

ID Cards are going to be justified as a way to control the scroungers, and set the world to rights. They are an unintended consequence of the welfare state; something started with good intentions but which has ended up almost destroying Britain.

No, we aren’t seeing people wandering around with yellow stars on their clothingbut we are seeing them forced to get ID cards that we would never wish to carry ourselves. And what do we do?

Nothing.

The conclusion is simple: had the Nazis risen here, we would have not put up any more protestas our neighbours were taken to the ghettos and then to the death campsthan the Germans did. In fact, we would probably complain less.

As the repulsive general population continue to make shitty jokes about “not mentioning the war”, they are blind to the fact thathad it happened herethey would have been happy to hassle those Jews onto the cattle trucks.

Because, as our own pogrom happens, I hear not a fucking spark from the “great British public”. They are too busy devouring Coronation Street to care.

If this is true, it means that you will have to do what the Doctorowictz family did. Leave, and never come back. This is the choice that you face; you either stay and fight risking everything, or preserve yourself and your wealth and leave. If the British really have degenerated to the degree that you describe, then they are beyond saving. Many people who felt that they owed a debt to this great country, and who fought to help it keep some semblance of sanity, like Doctorow, who in writing that article is contributing to a place that has been his home and which gave him his wife and daughter, are going to have to decide when the time is right to get out before it is too late. If they decide to flee.

Nothing lasts forever. And that really is literally true. The Britain that we all loved may well be gone forever… and we were lucky to have tasted it at all. From what I can tell, there are many people who are still The Real British™ they think like the British used to think, they act like the British used to think, and, most encouragingly, some of them are young.

Very encouraging.

On the other hand, we have, The Cancer That Is Killing Britain, the physical embodiment of which can be seen in the shapes of the presenters and talking heads in this clip:

This is, essentially, a battle against Cancer, a biological struggle. Either the body will survive, or the cancer will kill it.

We are encouraged to spy on our neighbours and report their suspicious activity. We can be stopped and searched with no particularised suspicion, and during these searches, police officers can and do examine such things as the books we’re reading and the personal notes we’ve made.

This is all true, and all horrible.

What we have to do is look to history, recent history, to see how it can all end. It is important to say not only the truth about how things are bad, but what can happen to turn it all around.

East Germany is my favorite example:

If the British are anything like the Germans, the ID Card alone will not be enough to force a massive change in Britain. They might be made of stronger stuff… who knows? One thing is for sure; the ID Card, if it is not scrapped entirely, along with the NIR, is just the beginning; the aparatchicks have many new monstrosities planned that will be hinged on the NIR/ID Card. When they roll them out, and they begin to bite, THEN we will see a Poll Tax style revolt in the UK.

The question is, once again, are you going to wait around for everyone to wake up, are you going to cut your loses and get out, or what?

It might take seventy years for Britain and its people to grow a backbone; if you are over thirty, you are not going to see it, that is for sure, and even if you do, the only pleasure you will get is seeing the evil apparatus destroyed on TV while you are on your deathbead.

This country is dead as a free nationwhen an article about a fundamentally unimportant subject such as computer OSes can get more comments than anything about civil liberties, it is an indication of the intellectual paucity of our citizensyes, even the bien pensant of the blogosphere.

OSes are actually VERY important. A free OS keeps you and your information private. In a country where omnipresent surveillance of computers and communications is on the horizon, the free OS is the modern equivalent of an unlicensed photocopier in the Soviet Union. It is a computer under YOUR control doing YOUR bidding, that cannot be hacked into by default under secret arrangements with the manufacturers.

But I digress…

Cory has said thatif nothing changeshe will leave this shithole we call Britain. I don’t know if I can do the samewhere is there to go?but for the very first time, I am seriously considering it.

Even if there is ‘nowhere to go’, which is not the case, wherever you go, if it is the same as Britain police state wise, at least the weather will be better.

I am ashamed and afraid: I thought that I lived in one of the world’s great and tolerant civilisations: over the last few years, I have come to realise that is it simply a gilded cage.

There is nothing to be ashamed of. If you did not make it this way, you are not to blame. You actually did live in one of the world’s greatest and tolerant countries; in many ways, it still is. Britain has just lost its way, and it is not too late for it to change course and restore its former greatness. There are still enough people to make it happen, and believe it or not, you are one of them.

It is why this end to V For Vendetta, desirable though it may be, will never happen.

I wouldn’t be so sure.

There is a reason why that film has struck such a chord with everyone who watches it.

Nor will the people of Britain walk the streets in masks. Our “respresentative democracy” is just a sympton of the greater malaisethe shits in Parliament simply reflect the shits who elected them.

Libertarians know what representative democracies really are, so lets not go there.

For every one person who thinks, and evaluates and tries to be just, there are ten thousand ignorant bigotsrepulsive in their stupidity and prejudicewhose voice carries far more weight (ten thousand times the weight, in fact) than that of those who can think. It is why this country is such a fucking shitholebecause the filth who live in it vastly outnumber those who are decent.

Cough! cough!:

[…]

And this, I fear, is the problem. This genial idiot is the sort of person who will be the interface between you and the NIR. They will accept anything that is put in front of them; they have no idea of literally any concept of morality or the reality of the other. They are the people who when told that pressing a button someone will recieve an electric shock, press the button without any hesitation. They are without imagination, human drones, Eloi, animals, sub human, and the worst thing about them is that they have the vote, which means that they have control by proxy over how the world evolves. This is unnaceptable to anyone with even half a brain cell.

[…]

BLOGDIAL 2006

Look out for the yellow stars: the concentration camps will not be far behind. And as their friends and neighbours are carted off to the gulags, then the British people take to the streets.

But it will not be in protest, it will not be to condemnno, it will be to cheer.

[…]

http://devilskitchen.me.uk/2009/08/no-it-isnt-greener.html

You can thank your lucky stars that you will not be (t)here to see and hear it.

The principles that you need to understand

Saturday, August 1st, 2009


Watch Pam Probst – History of Government Schools (The Libertarian Alternative) in Educational  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

10
Under the doctrine of Meyer v. Nebraska, we think it entirely plain that the Act of 1922 unreasonably interferes with the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control. As often heretofore pointed out, rights guaranteed by the Constitution may not be abridged by legislation which has no reasonable relation to some purpose within the competency of the state. The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.

[…]

http://openjurist.org/268/us/510

A beautiful part of the Supreme Court decision mentioned in that video. Sadly, the rest of the decision (as far as HE is concerned) is not what it should have been, but the principle here is spelled out correctly. Children are not creatures or property of the state. The state has no right to standardize children. Those who nurture children and direct their destiny, THE PARENTS, have THE RIGHT coupled with the HIGH DUTY to prepare them for additional obligations. Note how ‘additional obligations’ is not defined. What those obligations may be and to whom is up to THE PARENT and not THE STATE.

People who advocate the opposite of this, that children should be standardized, that the state has the right to do this, and to determine the obligations that a child must prepare for (the Every Child Matters outcomes) are, by definition, anti-liberty, anti-family and fundamentally wrong headed.

But you know this!