A hilarious illustration of the very real divide:
North of the 2 SD gap, most concepts and ideas seem like either insanity or stupidity.
The woes of monitoring the Mohammedan invasion of Europe- poor MI5:
Because of his age, Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood does not fit the profile of a suicide attacker. Fifty-two is about double the norm.
But being a local-born extremist, and radicalised in prison, is typical.
The attackers of 7/7, Madrid, Paris, Nice, Charlie Hebdo and Lee Rigby were almost all local volunteers striking at soft targets – in common with the pattern seen for atrocities in the Islamic world.
There are relatively few exceptions to this, although they include the 9/11 hijackers and the Berlin truck attacker Anis Amri, a radical from Tunisia (via prison in Italy).
Masood shows the scale of the challenge MI5 faces. The security services are monitoring more than 3,000 Islamist extremists in the UK.
Masood (not his birth name) wasn’t among those “top” 3,000 threats, although he was long ago investigated, with little evidence to suggest the convert was more than a “peripheral” figure.
While Isis has claimed him as its “soldier”, there is no evidence the group knew in advance of the attack, or had any contact with him. Try stopping that.
Theresa May struck a dignified tone as she led tributes to PC Keith Palmer. The former Home Secretary left any talk of extra powers for MI5 for another day.
3,000!? If that was even close to the real number of problem persons, they would be lucky. I offer a better metric: anyone who does not fit the general British demographic of, say, 1900 (or 1800, or 1500) should be considered an invader and a threat. Better yet, just look for scenes like this:
That’s a sure sign there’s trouble in the neighborhood.
Over the past few years I have written extensively about the joke that is modern “higher” education. I started with my own experience. The only ideas I learned in college were essentially self-taught lessons in (elective) areas that interested me (philosophy, classics, etc.). Only too late did I realize my mistake with a business major. The only things I remember from business school is that: 1) about 3% of targeted people respond to advertising campaigns, and 2) let the calculator do the amortizations.
Law school was a similar fiasco. “Government good. Government all powerful. Government give some rights. Thanks be to government for government…” Bullsh!t! on that!
Lately I’ve explored the PC circus permanently encamped on our campuses. Outside of the hard sciences there is next to no education, just indoctrination in the wonders of victimhood, white guilt, and socialism. No formal learning. Anything of value actually picked up is done so incidentally and autodidactically. And they pay big money for all this garbage.
This is how it is possible for so many to come out of four, five, seven, and eight+ year programs and know nothing – literally with the experience and mentality of seven-year-olds (along with bad, snooty attitudes and loads of debt).
People outside the ivory towers are beginning to notice the decline. And they’re reacting accordingly:
Ernst & Young, one of the UK’s biggest graduate recruiters, has announced it will be removing the degree classification from its entry criteria, saying there is “no evidence” success at university correlates with achievement in later life.
In an unprecendented move, the accountancy firm is scrapping its policy of requiring a 2:1 and the equivalent of three B grades at A-level in order to open opportunities for talented individuals “regardless of their background”.
In other words, at Ernst, a college degree may be an enhancer for some, but it is no longer a base requirement. Why? Because, as stated, there’s no longer any evidence it means anything. Time was when a degree meant you had a smart, well-read, and hard-working man on your hands. Now, it likely means you’re interviewing an SJW, know-nothing, nitwit and future HR headache, someone who understands little and will accomplish even less. Ernst is not alone in this development.
Martin Armstrong also commented on this story:
The best education has ALWAYS been an apprenticeship – not some university course taught by someone who has never practiced what they teach.
In ancient Rome, at between nine and twelve years of age, boys from affluent families would leave their basic education behind and take up study with a grammaticus, who was a teacher that refined his students’ writing and speaking skills. They would be versed in the art of poetic analysis and taught them Greek if they did not yet know it. They would be taught logic and how to think. By this point, lower class boys would already be working as apprentices. If someone wanted to be a sculptor, he would apply to be an apprentice at a sculptor shop. Girls, both rich and poor, would be focused on making themselves attractive brides and, subsequently, capable mothers. It was the women who often ran the household.
We still have trade schools, which are regarded as less than university. Yet, our education in university was supposed to follow the Roman model of apprentice for the lower class and higher education for the upper class. But somehow, university moved beyond grammaticus and pretended to prepare someone for a skill, which the Roman system did not seek to accomplish – merely refine the character of the student.
Even economics at its beginning under Adam Smith was regarded as part of moral philosophy. Economics was not taught as a subject by itself until 1901.
From Greco-Roman through Victorian times, all trades worked through apprenticeships. All – cobblers, chimney-sweeps, sailors, lawyers, doctors, economists, teachers, masons, carpenters, manufacturers, salesmen, architects, fishermen – all of them offered apprenticeships.
Higher education, elite education, existed all throughout those times. It was intended, for those of given aptitude and circumstance, to gain a level of understanding and intellectual exposure above and beyond the ordinary – and above what was required in their chosen field of employment.
Socrates – no degrees. Leonidas Drosis (Athens) / Wikipedia.
Today, there are a precious few institutions still in business that provide the basics of a real advanced education. Very few and very far between. We’re lucky to have them.
We’re even luckier to have the internet. Essentially 100% of the contents of a good college curriculum are available on-line and mostly for free. Any enterprising person with a basic grasp of reading and math (all that’s afforded by most “lower” schools anyway) can learn anything they like about any given subject.
Share this information with young people you might know and care about. If you, at any age, want an education, then get one. Don’t fall for the modern college/student loan slavery trap. Learn what you like, in your own time, at your own pace. And forget the degrees – there’s “no evidence” they mean anything and they are no longer golden tickets (manacles, maybe; tickets, no).
Sometimes one finds after trials that what one wants isn’t really what one needs. The unknown need is often what should be desired. So it is with both the lesson behind The Allegory of the Cave and in my method of discovering it.
Long ago I wandered aimlessly but unintrepidly into the University of Georgia. I was convinced I was destined to study business and become a real life Gordon Gekko or something similar. I have yet to make millions or be investigated by the SEC. I have experienced some very attractive women and sunrise on the beach, so it has not been a total loss. Whatever.
Back in Athens, entering my senior year, I found myself faced with a host of required elective classes. I had essentially finished my business education which did turn out to mostly be a total loss. Hoping to get out into the “real world” as fast and as easily as possible I signed up for what I thought would be the easiest classes offered. I loaded up on philosophy and classical studies.
These I did find easy and I earned above average grades. However, my ease of completion, my excellence, derived from my immense enjoyment of the subject matter. Only at the end of my tenure did I discover the misdirection of my education.
Plato, being one of the greatest minds of all history, was required reading in one or more classics courses. Plato’s thoughts and methodology have influenced scholars since, to include Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, More and Kant.
Deep inside Plato’s Republic one will find The Allegory of the Cave. It is a metaphorical conversation between Socrates (Plato’s mentor) and Glaucon (Plato’s brother). Ancient philosophy frequently featured dialectic parables to stimulate thought about the conveyed concepts. The Cave is such a story about human experience and education.
Socrates and Glaucon discussed a cave where were chained a group of people. The prisoners sat in a row facing a smooth black wall at the back of the cave. None had ever lived outside; their imprisoned condition was all they ever known. However, they were not without entertainment.
Behind the chained men burned a fire. Someone would regularly hold in front of the fire but behind the prisoners a series of shapes and models. These forms were representations of real things from the outside world. The shapes cast shadows on the wall. These were viewed by the captive audience. The shadow figures were the only substance ever viewed by the captives. As they viewed the apparitions the men would murmur sounds. Over time they came to assume these sounds came from the images and, thus, emanated from them. This spectacle provided a multi-dimensional element to life in the cave.
Still it was a false life, a fantasy. None had ever experienced reality. What they knew were only representative approximations of actual reality. Immersed in this setting the men assumed the shadow forms to be all of existence.
Suppose one of the captive viewers broke free and ventured back to where the models resided. Suppose he escaped the cave entirely and saw, for the first time, the real world. Given his shadow education he would eventually correlate those images to their real forms. Given a little longer he might come to appreciate his whole world view had been a mere theatrical production, a myth.
Initially, such a man would experience confusion and perhaps fear. Then what? Depending on his disposition, intelligence, and fortitude he would either become ecstatic in his newfound freedom or else he would shun reality in favor of his former imaginary life.
Suppose this escapee went back to the cave to teach the other prisoners about the truth. How would they receive his message? If history is a guide, then the reception would be cool at best. Intelligent people are frequently seen as crazed by their simple contemporaries. The ignorant are generally suspicious of the enlightened. Sometimes they persecute them. See the examples of Socrates, Archimedes, Galileo, and Jesus.
Art imitates life. The Matrix movie is the space age telling of Plato’s Cave. Neo barely overcomes his desire to remain in fantastic perfection over entering the more sober real world. He needed convincing too.
Life imitates art. Today many live out the allegory, not in a cave but in the comfort of their homes. The chains are mental rather than physical. Modern electronics have replaced the fire and shadow show. The allegory of the television.
In a way, by taking those elective classes I stumbled out of my own cave. What’s that? The allegory of the allegory? Years have passed and I still battle to convince myself of reality. It’s not always the most pleasant of places. I imagine you, dear reader, face similar dilemmas. Realization does not, by itself, breed happiness. It is however close kin with freedom. I’ll take that over being chained in the cave.
Living in Georgia and having practiced law here a while I know something more about the legal and political environment of the State. In general, it is a broken mess. Yet, every once in a while, something good emerges from the murk of Peach State mediocrity. Recently, a federal judge held Georgia’s unconstitutional garnishment statute a violation of due process. Now, the State Supreme Court has aimed the same barrels at Georgia’s DUI law.
DUI laws, like drug laws (and most laws), are a failure. They do not deter dangerous driving. The continually high numbers of DUI arrests attest to this fact. The true intent should be to punish or prevent harm to the innocent. Other, ancient laws, grounded in Natural Law, can already do that.
The real purposes of modern DUI laws are three-fold:
One, they generate revenue for the useless government.
Two, they allow that government a degree of control over the people. In a free society it should be the other way around.
Third, these laws placate the ignorant, the state-worshipping, and those aggrieved few desperate for corrective action.
Failure aside, some hold dear to DUI enforcement (and not just the MADD moms). Part of this is reasonable. Most people drive and are potentially at risk of encountering an intoxicated motorist. Drunk drivers can afflict harm or death on others which is a bad thing. Other crimes are far worse but are much harder to understand or relate to – treason, currency debasement, suicidal immigration, toxic foreign policy, etc. Those evils are not quite so “in your face.” Still, if any crime is to be prosecuted, the enforcement must be carried out with respect for natural rights. The balancing is precarious but necessary if arbitrary tyranny is not a thing desired.
Georgia law states that by possessing a driver’s license and operating an automobile one automatically and impliedly consents to roadside sobriety and other tests in the case of a suspected DUI. An officer will read a driver an implied consent warning (they all carry little script cards) which, ultimately, gives the driver two choices. One, consent and forgo the rights against unwarranted searches and against self-incrimination. Two, refuse and suffer a suspension of the driver’s license – to the detriment of the right to freely travel.
The right to travel being universal, no state should issue permits for the same. States should also never place a person in a position of choosing which of his freedoms to sacrifice for the expediency of the government. There are proper investigative methods to solve crimes but usually the lazy state is dependent on the suspect’s cooperation or acquiescence. A man from a large metro-Atlanta county put an unusual spin on these concepts as part of his DUI defense.
John Williams was stopped in Gwinnett County for suspicion of driving under the influence. The officer read Williams his consent warning. Williams allegedly consented to a blood test which showed he was, in fact, legally intoxicated. The test would be the State’s primary evidence. Accordingly, Williams filed a motion to suppress the test results. He argued he was too intoxicated at the time, as demonstrated by the test results, to give his consent knowingly. “The defendant wasn’t actually capable of an informed waiver of his constitutional rights,” William’s attorney argued.
The trial court denied the motion but the Supreme Court held such argument must be considered given the importance of a suspect’s intelligent interaction with the legal system.
Catch twenty-two! Prosecutors are now in the position of arguing a DUI defendant was sober – sober enough to waive his critical Constitutional rights in a situation with serious (jail) consequences. If a man is so sober concerning important legal decisions why would he not also be sober enough to operate an automobile?
Thinkstock, Getty Images.
As a freedom advocate I do not hold much hope this ruling will have any lasting effects. Trial judges and prosecutors could question the State’s witness as to whether he was satisfied, at the time, the defendant truly understood what he was doing. The General Assembly, ever eager to maintain control over its minions while providing them with the appearance of safety, could similarly change the wording of the implied consent warning.
I’ve seen such catches fall out in the government’s favor before. I’ve heard a state psychologist testify a defendant was utterly insane. So crazed he was a threat to society and himself and, thus, should be held without bond. So psychotic he lives in his own world, detached from ours. But, just for a brief second, while allegedly committing a crime, he knew and understood what he was doing. This happens all the time in America, a place from which honest reasoning has departed.
If the government maintains its war on intoxicated drivers (and it will), then it should rely on independently gathered evidence – evidence which does not involve the suspect’s compromised cooperation. Even better the state could concern itself with real crimes and the victims thereof. If a drunk driver causes property damage or physical harm to another, there are many ways to address the malfeasance. Best of all, government being as failed as any of its laws, it could merely go away.
The best scenario will not happen anytime soon. Government’s hate to admit their failure just as much as they hate you and your rights.