Unconditioned

Gatestone Institute – We must face up to it. The Western democracies have a great and serious problem which appears only to be growing: the general public are developing views highly questionable to those in positions of power. Larger and larger swaths of people, when asked their opinion of certain matters, keep coming back with the wrong opinion. Whether it is opposition to the EU in Europe, or to Obamacare in the U.S., or to a hopeless deal with Iran to keep it from producing nuclear weapons, something, surely, must be done about this!

Take the latest example, a different matter that came to light with a school in Glasgow, Scotland. The institution was recently forced to call in a crack-squad of head-scarf wearing Muslim women to help correct what the school felt was a “racist” view of Islam held by some of their students.

When the school asked the pupils to say which which words came to mind when people talked about Muslims — and the response included “terrorist,” “oppressed,” “a threat” and “scary” — re-educating the pupils was found to be necessary. Some pupils even, outrageously, said “9/11.”

After the BBC and other media promptly picked up this disturbing story and asked what more can be done to “educate” Scottish youngsters, the school apparently corrected this problem.

But what to do about the recognition that problems like these may well be more widespread?

The reaction to the Glasgow story was reminiscent to that which followed the publication of a poll carried out by BBC Radio 1 in June of this year. When it was released in September, it transpired that of 1,000 young people polled, 27% said that they did not trust Muslims, with 44% saying they thought Muslims did not share the same views as the rest of the population. On that occasion, too, the BBC and other media went into overdrive to work out what had gone wrong and how Britain could better “address” the problem that so many people thought this way.

Conversely, when the same poll showed that 15% of young people did not trust Jews, 13% did not trust Buddhists and 12% did not trust Christians, those facts were not deemed figures of significance.

As so often is the case today, a poll is carried out on public opinion and when it turns out that the public have the wrong views on whatever is the Dictate of the Day — the question then is asked, ‘What can people in positions of power do to ensure the public are made to think the right way?’

What is striking, is that despite the attempts to re-educate and otherwise alter the attitudes of the majority of the population, the population continue to understand — in ever larger numbers — that the problems lie not with them but with what is happening around them. As Daniel Pipes pointed out recently, for example, across much of Europe, Islam appears not to be growing as fast as negative perceptions of it.

As Pipes also cited, in Germany last year, a poll revealed that only 7% of Germans associate Islam with “openness, tolerance or respect for human rights.” 64% connect it with violence; 68% with intolerance towards other faiths, and 83% with discrimination against women. A poll in France earlier this year revealed that 67% of people believe Islamic values to be “incompatible with those of French society,” 73% view Islam negatively and 74 % consider it intolerant. If the problem of perception of Islam were limited to Dundee, that would be one thing. But the Dundee schoolchildren clearly perceive something which a growing number of people across Western Europe also perceive — as other people do about other problems surrounding them.

Of course, as some of us continue to try to point out, there are really only two ways to tackle these “problems.” The first is to change the opinions of all of the public. This could be tricky. It would require suppressing stories, misrepresenting events, possibly covering over the occasional beheading, the nuclear cheating, the circumvented law, the cancelled doctor, the terminated insurance policy, the high-handed directive, the repeated deception, the unequal application of the law, the unworkable economic model, the contorted cover-up, the inferior product, the false accusation, and generally trying to ensure that the general public stop noticing what is happening in the world around them.

Except that there is the internet of course, which is a nuisance. Although it is possible that some way could be found to shut down all social-networking and news sites and also persuade Google to bring up “daisies” and “recipes for apple pie” whenever anyone types “beheading” or “redistribution” or “uranium enrichment” or “Greece” into his search engine.

That is the start of one option. The other option is to de-link Islam and violence by ensuring that people stop carrying out acts of violence in the name of Islam; or to create ways for people actually to receive quality healthcare at affordable prices; or to seriously prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb, or to stop those in power from ‘making up the rules as they go along’, which as Daniel Hannan puts it, “means, in short, that there is no effective rule of law.” Those options are not easy either, but they are far easier than the first option, and ever less frequently tried.

43 Comments

  1. I have been a subscriber to the journal ‘Science’ for 25 years now and have found it mostly fascinating. Lately I am getting fed up with the bias and structure of the journal. Something needs to be done regarding the weight these journals hold in the scientific community.

    Randy Schekman hits the nail on the head.
    http://phys.org/news/2013-12-free-stifling-luxury-journals.html#firstCmt

    Last week was the most memorable week of my scientific career. Accompanied by family, friends and colleagues, I was honored with the award of a Nobel Prize in an unforgettable ceremony and banquet. That same week, I also chose to express highly critical views about deficiencies I perceive in the system scientists use for publishing and rewarding scientific research, for which I was both attacked and praised.
    My remarks focused on the power of certain journals, which I refer to as luxury journals, that have distorted how science and scientists operate.
    I was not surprised by the range of opinions my comments provoked, but I have been impressed by their quantity. The evidence that the scientific community wants and needs this discussion could not be stronger. I write this to respond to some of the criticisms, to expand on some points I made, and to suggest some next steps.
    It is understandable that some see hypocrisy in my criticism of a system that has served my own career well. I have published extensively in Nature, Cell and Science. I have now, of course, won the Nobel Prize. It is therefore easy, some have said, for me to voice my concerns. But that, in some ways, is exactly the point. I am saying what many others believe but feel they cannot say, because they fear their careers might be damaged.
    Yet others have spoken out. I recognize that I am not the only person to criticise luxury journals and an academic reward system that relies too much on them. I applaud those who reached this view long before me. I accept that I could have spoken out earlier in my career, but the Nobel Prize has afforded me a platform from which to speak loudly. The charge of hypocrisy would be fair were I still submitting my own research work to luxury journals. I see none in speaking out, while doing as I say.
    It has also been pointed out that I have a conflict of interest. I have edited a major subscription journal (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS), and now edit an open access one (eLife), both of which compete with the luxury journals in different ways. But I have long held a negative view of the role of impact factors, an imperfect measure of the importance of a journal and its content, and shared my views with the staff and editorial board members who served with me during my term as editor-in-chief of PNAS. The problems with the scientific rewards system extend beyond the competition among the journals.
    I have also been clear as to the extent of this conflict. As was declared in the Guardian article, I am leading a challenge to the luxury journals as editor-in-chief of eLife. I am doing this work because I believe that journals need to be radically improved and we have the means to achieve this. Though I draw an employee’s salary, I have no wider financial stake in eLife’s success, and I have always been entirely open about my role. I believe my argument would be weaker if I were not also attempting to change the system in some ways.
    I understand, too, concerns that my stance will have career implications for junior colleagues in my lab. I shared these concerns, which is why I discussed the issue with them more than two years ago, when I took on the editorship of eLife. My colleagues agreed then, as they do now, that we should be challenging the big journals, and that papers we would once have submitted to Science, Cell and Nature should go elsewhere.
    I am deeply committed to developing the careers of younger scientists I work with – that, indeed, is a major motivation for my argument. I do not want them to have to play a system where the artificial scarcity of prestige publications makes recognition and advancement such a lottery. It is gratifying that several of my lab colleagues have publicly supported me.
    My purpose in avoiding luxury journals, other than being seen to walk the walk, is not necessarily to prompt others to do the same. Rather it is to prompt reflection among researchers, institutions and funders, who are in a position to limit the poor incentives that the reliance on luxury journals has created. I want scientists and administrators, especially those involved in funding, promotion, recruitment and tenure, to think hard about the influence that publishing decisions and research assessments have. That is the way we will drive change.
    One of the most important changes we need is for journals to exploit the advantages of publishing online rather than in print. Too many journals remain wedded to print, artificially limiting the number of papers they accept. This made sense when journals were constrained by page counts, but makes much less in a digital world. It makes journals more selective than they need to be, driving extreme competition for space that is good for subscription businesses but bad for science.
    Intense competition for space in key journals means that the editorial process often involves multiple rounds of revision, review and resubmission, causing long delays in publication. Additional experimental data and information are often demanded by reviewers who might later, as authors, be competing for space in the same journals. Much of this data is then relegated to supplementary appendices. The experience can be highly dispiriting for researchers.
    I see a solution in open-access journals. They generally cover their costs upfront, for example using a business model whereby a fee is levied for publication. This model is more suited to the digital medium: all the work that meets the editorial criteria for the journal can be published, and it can be made freely available to everyone. As high quality science grows, so can the number of articles published. This, more than anything, is what makes eLife not like the luxury journals: it is selective, but will publish everything that meets the editors’ standards. There is no picking and choosing to meet a quota. It also tries to address some of the other issues listed above, for example using a much more efficient editorial process. And when eLife receives an impact factor, it will not be promoted.
    Journals, however, are only one half of this equation. We also need to address the demand for luxury journals, from researchers themselves and from the institutions that use them to judge scientific quality. We need to discuss what researchers, universities and funders can do to remove the incentives that make it rational to publish under the biggest brands. I would like to suggest four places to start.
    Academics who serve a role in research assessment could shun all use of journal names and impact factors as a surrogate measure of quality. New practices and processes must be devised and shared so that we can rapidly move forward. My Berkeley colleague Michael Eisen has added an important point: we must speak up in appointment and funding committees when we hear others use journal names this way. Here we need peer pressure as much as we need peer review.
    1. Researchers applying for positions, funding and tenure should avoid any mention of impact factors in their applications or CVs. Article metrics might have a role to play, but narrative explanations of research significance and accomplishments would be more helpful.
    2. Funders, universities and other institutions should make it clear to their review committees that journal brand cannot be used as a proxy for scientific quality. If reviewers object, they should find different reviewers.
    3. Many of us serve as editors or editorial board members of journals – and we could insist that the publishers of these journals stop promoting impact factors. Instead, the journals could emphasise the other valuable services they provide to authors and readers to promote their worth to the community.
    No doubt others will come up with bigger and better ideas to move us away from the problems that we currently face. If I have helped to spark a discussion, I’m delighted. Now we have to turn our attention to action.

    More from Randy Schekman

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/09/how-journals-nature-science-cell-damage-science

  2. The Klan couldn’t have put together a better ad. We will have an honest discussion of race in this country when certain people are willing to admit they are their own worst enemies.

    Blaming the total failure of blacks on the rest of society is a shameless dodge. Many minorities have come after them, stepped over them and prospered. And frankly, white people didn’t like the other minorities any better than the blacks already here. So what’s the excuse?

    Nothing but excuses, and you can’t build a society on excuses, can’t eat them, can’t sell them for money.

    When, exactly, do we start focusing on the content of your character, rather than the color of your skin? When you give us a good reason to do so. Until then, you’re just a scary group of motherfuckers.

  3. It all began when a local newspaper, the “Times Free Press,” began pressuring local officials to do something about the rampant crime in the city of 176,000. The paper began publishing a series on the rising problem of black mob violence in Chattanooga, and the denials that it was even an issue, called “Speak No Evil.”

    As in many cities with similar crime problems, pointing out the source of the violence was met with cries of bigotry. Nevermind that it is impossible to combat a problem if you can’t even discuss it in an open, honest manner. Forget that those who are harmed the most by the violence are the very same people who scream racism when the problem is addressed.

    Two weeks after the arrests the paper organized a public forum designed to “convince residents in high-crime neighborhoods to give up the code of silence and start calling police when they see a crime.” Around 200 residents showed up for the meeting, most of them black. The paper reported that the forum:

    “quickly turned into a diatribe about prejudice and racism in Chattanooga. A number of comments revealed a strong belief that the black community has been treated unfairly by whites. Several speakers referred specifically to the November arrest of 32 black men that police called the ‘worst of the worst’ criminals in Chattanooga.”

    “‘Don’t just single out our kids,’ one black man said, speaking into the microphone. ‘Are they the only ones that commit crime?’ he asked to cheers and hollers.”

    Members of a group known as Concerned Citizens for Justice claim that “white racism” is behind the poverty and injustice that creates so much violent crime. The group says that white people often commit similar crimes, but the police ignore them.

    Flaherty’s report says members of the group who packed the meeting refused to acknowledge the newspaper’s facts:

    “Of the 122 shooting victims in Chattanooga from Jan. 1 through Nov. 21 of this year, 114 were black, six were white and two were Hispanic, according to figures provided by police. Of the 63 known suspects, only one was white.”

    Facts are racist too it seems. The “Times Free Press” reported that “Kevin Muhammad, a Nation of Islam youth worker, said the white community also has a code of silence. He also compared the High Point Initiative to the days when police would round up slaves. When he did, much of the crowd cheered.”

    The reaction from black residents in Chattanooga is very similar to those in other cities around the country who have tried to combat the problem of black mob violence. In every instance city officials have been accused of racism. Flaherty reports that in Kansas City, Mo. earlier this year, “after three years of regular and frequent and often intense black mob violence, much of it centered at upscale County Club Plaza and created by as many as 1,000 black people, the city council imposed a curfew.”

    In April, a councilman complained that all of the 34 people cited for curfew violations were black. “The data is the data,” city councilman Jermaine Reed told KMBC news. “That’s what I’m looking at. We’ve got to be honest and have an honest conversation. Say, ‘Here’s what it says and have an honest conversation, as well.’”

    The report from Flaherty also quotes Congressman (and former mayor) Emanuel Cleaver, who Flaherty says “got about as honest as it gets: When reporters asked what he thought about the curfew he tried to warn the council away: ‘All we are going to do is make a lot of black kids angry and they are going to take out their anger somewhere else.’”

    Flaherty points to similar responses from black leaders in other cities:

    “The Atlanta Black Star published an article in December that denied that black mob violence was out of proportion, but nevertheless gave “5 Reasons Young Black Men Resort To Violence,’ he writes.”

    “The brutal treatment of Black people continued well after slavery legally ended, through the days of Jim Crow, Civil Rights, and, to a certain extent today. The trauma caused by this psychological brutality resulted in severe damage to the mind of the victims, which manifested as an identity crisis, self hate, low self worth, and a distrust of the world at large. This mentality has been passed down through generations.”

    “In Wilmington, Del. – another city even ahead of Chattanooga on the many “most dangerous” lists – had similar push back: Councilwoman Hanifa H. G. Shabazz said the hyper violence in Wilmington is a remnant of slavery and is causing mental illness, causing black people to become self-destructive. She said she came to that realization after watching the movie 12 Years of Slavery.”

    Unless and until the black community recognizes and admits the problem, it will only get worse. Unfortunately there is no indication that is even close to happening. Everywhere black mob violence is an issue, black leaders continue to blame the problem on white racism.

    As the saying goes, there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

    I think we have moved beyond anything that’s going to be solved by an “Honest Discussion”.

    I mean even if you could somehow make them understand / admit that they are the problem, there’s no real possibility of self-correction.

    The clock is ticking on a military solution.

  4. there’s no real possibility of self-correction.

    Hard to believe all they can see is racism and whitey. In Kansas we worked a middle class Black neighborhood that was hardly different than any white hood. My bro showed me the black ghetto side with vacant lots where houses use to be and boarded up condemned houses everywhere. This was before the meltdown of housing. We were desperate for work and was offered a job others didn’t want. Board up windows and access of a large abandoned factory/warehouse in the ghetto area. We talked about hiring security and arming everyone. We let the job go. One Missouri boy summed up everything. “I don’t care what they do as long as they do it over there” Forcing integration with these idiot blacks makes us suffer their bullshit.

  5. Been pointed out here many times. It’s a number s game.
    Blacks have a different culture and where they dominate things are shit. Where Muslims dominate there will be strife. They don’t even like each other and we are the blame? How fucking nore stupid can we possibly become.

  6. Interesting insight into how they think about us:

    Diary-of-a-Negress: 21 Harsh Truths White People Don’t Want to Hear

    From RT’s comment above:

    The trauma caused by this psychological brutality resulted in severe damage to the mind of the victims, which manifested as an identity crisis, self hate, low self worth, and a distrust of the world at large. This mentality has been passed down through generations.”

    I believe this is true. Why do the powers that be allow war refugees and oppressed and poverty stricken people to come to our lands in huge swathes? Its just asking for trouble. Do they want trouble? It seems they do.

  7. Do you know why I allow your comments to go through? To show the members of my family that you, The Caucasian, are completely and totally unable to self-reflect.

    I’m going to give you the same advice I give ALL whites that dare to challenge the system that your forefathers created.

    Instead of coming on here to “prove a point”, which you won’t be able to do, go back to your own people and show them the error of their ways. Teach them why the world is the way it is.

    Explain to them the definition of colonialism and show them how their arrogance will be their eventual downfall.

    Then tell them that blacks want NOTHING to do with them. Tell them to leave us alone in peace for all eternity.

    Then go away and never return to this tiny spot that I created just for my people. I’m not asking you. I’m telling you.

    ..Farrakhan lives,but is now in dragg..

  8. To put it brutally, you breed prime grandchildren by breeding prime cattle.

    ..wonder if her linage goes back to Jefferson..oh wouldn`t that be a hoot..

    ‘Blacks are reluctant to talk about the white side of their family, and whites are reluctant to talk about the black side of their family,’

    ..a interesting point..

    “la quenelle”
    I like it….

  9. When you read the Negress’s 21 “harsh truths” it is apparent that any honest discussion would be pointless. There is nothing we can do to change the reality of the situation as perceived by her and no doubt others of her ilk. Oprah Winfrey is of the same opinion as her when she stated that the problem would only go away once we are all dead.

    Thinking about Oprah I was reading the reviews of the film The Butler, which she appears in. The film is about an African American Butler who served under many different Presidents. A reviewer writes:

    I saw it first and then I read about it. This movie is simply meant to make liberals angry at the mistreatment of the butler. They are angered by: 1. the murder of his father in front of him by a white man 2. the rape of his mother by the same white guy 3. his journey off the farm in which he finds himself living in a culvert. 4. his crushing rise in his profession 5. his wife’s alcoholism 6. the death of his son in VN 7. the radicalization of his son by the Black Panthers 8. his mistreatment by the republicans 9. his wonderful treatment by the dems 10. how the election of BO set everything right

    The problems with all of this meant to anger people.

    1. his father was not murdered, let alone in front of his eyes by a white man 2. his mother was not raped 3. his life in a ditch never happened 4. his rise in his professional was steady and uneventful 5. his wife was not an alcoholic 6. he had only one son who did not die in the white man’s VN war 7. this same son did not become a BP 8. the GOP voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 64 and 65 in a higher percentage than did the Dems in congress 9. the Dems saw and continue to see the blacks as nothing more than a path to power. Keep in mind it was the Dems who wanted to stop fighting the Civil War and allow the South to continue with slavery. It was the GOP that pushed the abolishment of slavery. Lincoln was a Republican. It was the GOP that pushed Reconstruction empowering southern blacks. It was the Dems who ended Reconstruction putting south blacks into a century nearly as bad as slavery. 10. BO wants to keep the black on the dem political plantation.

    Bullshit movies like these only reinforce these Negro’s opinions, doesn’t help at all, just race-baiting really. Why do people put up with it?

  10. Bullshit PC sneaking into The Hobbit. Stills from the latest movie of a crowd scene at the lake town of Esgaroth:

    Hobbit-Crowd-1.jpg

    and

    Hobbit-Crowd-2.jpg

  11. I remember the guy you’re talking about Rob.

    I dont recall his name though.

    I do remember that he also commented over at IBA about the same time frame.

    …… I have no idea what happened to him.

    ….. Probably got offended by something here …… who hasn’t? Whistling

    ……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.