Education News

Here, we will gather together some of the more interesting education news stories form around the world. With everyday stories of great success and the trials of fighting against an increasingly bureaucratic system there should be something to challenge and stretch every mind. You can also send us your suggestions for stories.

The Business Plot & General Smedley Butler

posted May 5, 2015, 3:54 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated ]

The original plan to form a dictatorship in the US and to put an end to the democratic presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933 to 1945) and his policies was masterminded by the wealthiest elites in the country. It was claimed by many that Roosevelt's removal of the gold standard was a threat to the wealth of the corporate masters of America. Considering it was a time of deep economic crises, and further considering the wealth and power of men behind it, the plot could well have been successful. However, one man, an insider, paradoxically chosen to lead the transformation, would play the important role of bringing this conspiracy to the attention of the US Congress and subsequently the public. His name was Major General Smedley Darlington Butler. A long forgotten true, avenger style, hero of America. A man who held two medals of honour, and who was supposed to lead 500,000 veterans against the U.S government, in a military coup.


Before we get into the main story let's take a little step back and study the lay of the land prior to the presidency of FDR. The initial thought to form an army of veterans to take over the country came from the examples of Mussolini's dictatorship in Italy and fascist military style organisations such as the Cross and Fire in France or the Storm Troopers in Germany. In the 1920s in the US, Mussolini was very popular not just among Italian Americans, but among some reformers, who were inspired by certain features of his dictatorship. By giving the unsatisfied veterans the hope and vision of a better future, they would be able to manipulate them into becoming the key instruments to make this transformation a reality.

In the USA, veterans got disgruntled when they got paid just 60 dollars and a train ticket back home for their military service following WW1. After numerous compromises and national protests, the US Congress passed legislation in 1924 and veterans received a pension in the form of bonus certificates. These certificates issued at the beginning of 1925 were redeemable with interest in 20 years, when the average veteran would receive around 1000 dollars. The waiting time to get paid was far from ideal for the veterans. Moreover, by the spring of 1930 the US economy was rocked by failed and shut-down businesses and foreclosed farms, following the deliberately disastrous policies of the US Federal Reserve.

The great depression began. This created despair and feelings of a doomed future among people and nervous veterans encouraged by populist politicians demanded the certificates be paid immediately. Government would need to pay 2.2 billion dollars, at that time more than half of the federal government budget for 1934, which was met with obvious political opposition. As a result 20,000 veterans calling themselves the Bonus Army, went with their families to protest in Washington. On July 28th 1932 army chief of staff Jim Douglas MacArthur led a regular army against the demonstrators, which ended infamously with many veterans being killed , beaten or gassed. Herbert Hoover, at that time the President of the US, with an already tarnished reputation, was also, at the time, blamed for the terrible incident.

With a new presidential election in 1932 new promises were already being made. Freshly elected Roosevelt was soon prepared to accomplish his agenda to transform the structure of the American economy. He announced his intentions to engage in, as he called it, ' bold persistent experimentation' and during his first 100 days in the administration he decided to take the nation off the gold standard as part of his, short term, program to stimulate the economy. Now, without the gold standard, the great wealth of the richest men in the nation would soon begin to devalue. Outraged, and at the same time worried, Wall Street elites started to discuss the possibility of replacing the president with a dictator, through the use of veterans. They even found a potential charismatic leader in Major General Smedley Butler, who was seen publicly as a champion of the veterans and a renown national hero.

General Smedley Butler has been described by many as one of the greatest generals in the history of the US. He was remembered by soldiers as always putting their welfare first, gaining for this a great and lasting respect. He was the stereotypical marine, accomplishing a given task no matter what. During his loyal 33-years in the military, Butler led invasions, quelled nationalist rebellions and instituted regime changes to benefit U.S. business interests in Mexico, Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and China. He however became subsequently one of the most outspoken military service man who opposed the actions of the military that he served in. These ideas were later condensed into a small book and when he retired from active duty he earned his living as a professional speaker.

Butler sympathized with the veterans, who sacrificed for their country, and in the summer of 1932 he traveled to Washington to show support for the Bonus Army.

According to Butler, his first contact with the right-wing radicals was in 1933, when he received a visit from WW1 veteran Gerald MacGuire and William McDoyle, a past Massachusetts state commander, but at that time he refused their offer to run for the office for the National Commander of the American Legion Convention. Nevertheless MacGuire did not give up and visited Butler several times to persuade him to attend the Convention anyway and to deliver a speech about a new deal which included policy about a restoration of the gold standard. McGuire also revealed to Butler that he worked as a bond salesman for a prominent Wall Street broker named Grayson M.P. Murphy and he also represented a group called the Committee For A Sound Dollar, whose primary goal was to convince President Roosevelt to reintroduce the gold standard. Butler as well found out that it was John Davis, a presidential candidate in 1924 for the Democratic party, who had written the speech he was expected to give. This whole complex situation tempted Butler to investigate further and after another visit from McGuire he insisted on personally meeting the people behind scenes.

In early September, as the American Legion Convention was about to begin in Chicago, one of the MacGuire's principal backers Robert Sterling Clark who was a former marine who once served general Butler, visited Butler at home. Clark was remembered by Butler as a millionaire, who had inherited a fortune from his grandfather who was one of the founders of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. He wanted Butler to galvanize the veterans at the Convention into forming an organization to oppose President Roosevelt and his new program. Clark's motive was to save his millions of dollars from devaluation and he was prepared to devote half of his fortune to the cause.

The scene in some parts of America looked very much like conditions in a devastated post-war Europe. According to MacGuire's strategy, Butler would become Secretary of General Affairs in a parallel government within the existing government, a Mussolini-like figure with nobody to answer to, ultimately making the important decisions for the country, whereas the presidency would be reduced just to a ceremonial job.

The conspirators were operating under the umbrella of the American Liberty League, a new high profile organisation, which was founded in 1934, exactly as had been forecasted by McGuire to Butler. Soon, it was clear that this organization emerged by itself as a formidable adversary to Franklin Roosevelt and his laws and quickly the organisation became quite popular as most of the corporate and wealthy Americans who joined it were once members of the Democratic party supporting Roosevelt. All the members were extremely charitable towards the organisation, most especially the Dupont family.

It was clear that having a dictatorship in the US was increasingly realistic and Butler wanted to stop it. Being worried about loosing his credibility in public Butler needed to find somebody who would validate his claims and conduct a discreet investigation. Advantageously for him, people behind the plot, did not really know him, just his public persona and so they assumed that he was on their side, loyal and discreet about their secret plan. Eventually, he found a reporter Paul Comly French whom he introduced to MacGuire who, during their meeting, openly talked about his visions about fascism and revealed that large funding would also come from JP Morgan Empire.

In the fall of 1934 the circulating rumours about the anti-Roosevelt plot reached the ears of already concerned congressmen Samuel Dickstein, a liberal democrat from New York, who got congressional approval for an investigation. Naturally, that led to questioning veterans and logically to Smedley Butler, who then decided to go public and called a press conference.

A couple of weeks later a new committee was formed to investigate Nazi propaganda and Anti- American activities. MacGuire, who was called up for investigation as well, portrayed a different story from Butler's and denied the whole conspiracy. The American Liberty League as well denied the story and tried to pin the attention back on Butler by questioning his mental stability. The committee, however, believed the testimonies of Butler and French, and stated so in its final report. However there was no legal action implemented towards the powerful individuals who Butler and French testified were behind the plot. It is believed that Roosevelt was advised, perhaps cautioned, not to continue with the investigation further. When Butler learned that part of his testimony was omitted he took his case to a public radio station and questioned the committee's action not to investigate the members of the wealthy elites involved. John Spivak, a reporter, from the socialist magazine New Masses, interviewed Butler and helped him to put the conspirator's names into the public record. Testimony showed that the plotters represented many notable families: Rockefeller, Mellon, Pew, Pitcairn, Hutton and Bush and also great enterprises: Morgan, Dupont, Remington, Anaconda, Bethlehem, Goodyear, GMC, Swift, Sun, and even General Motors.

In 1935 Butler published his book 'War is a Racket', nowadays considered one of the antiwar classics. What Butler fought so hard to do was to take the focus off moral and ideological arguments for war and concentrate on the geopolitical factors and economic interests that actually motivated war. He tried to raise awareness of what the real profit centered motivations of war were as well as the terrible personal and social consequences of unnecessary conflict.

Although all of the top U.S. fascists behind this 1930's plot are now dead, their corporations and their ideologies are still with us. These companies and rich families, with their roots firmly planted in the fascist milieu of the 1930s, are now among the world’s wealthiest trade corporations, banks and international power brokers. They continue to exert an enormous invisible influence over U.S. government policies, and over global matters of war and peace. Whether this influence is to good ends or bad it is for each person in themselves to reach their own, hopefully studied, opinion.

Written by
Zuzana Senkova
&
Graham W. Hendrey



Essential References:

The Business Plot: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Plot 

FDR: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt 


The summary of this article is based on some details of this documentary:

YouTube Video


Smedley Butler Biography:

YouTube Video


YouTube Video



YouTube Video






An Introduction To Austrian Economic Theory

posted Mar 12, 2015, 5:58 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Mar 12, 2015, 6:21 AM ]

A unique alternative understanding of the principles of political and social economy formed on universal facts about the world and people has been formulated over the last 100 years by The School of Austrian Economics.


'Principles of Economics', which was written in 1871 by Austrian born economist, Carl Menger, was the building block of an initially marginalist revolution in economic analysis. In this book he developed a theory of diminishing marginal utility, explaining that the economic values of goods and services are a factor subject to an individual’s preference which will probably in turn diminish with a growing amount of goods. Menger’s economic concept has had many, in the field of economics, well known followers, such as Eugen Bohm-Bawerk, Gustav Scholler and Friedrich Wieser, all of whom had studied at the University of Vienna.

In 1912, Ludwig von Mises, another famous Austrian economist linked the theory of marginal utility to money with his book ‘The Theory of Money and Credit’. His master-work however, as concluded by many economists, was 'Human Action' written in 1949, which sums up the whole notion of Austrian economics. In this Mises adopted 'praxeology', the study of human action, as the general conceptual foundation of the social sciences and set forth his methodological approach to economics which in turn spurred the Austrian movement forward.

Unlike other conventional economic approaches, the Austrian school does not rely on data and mathematical models but uses the logic of market forces and human desire as a base for the development of an universally applicable economic analysis. A further difference is the determination of the price of an object which consists of a individual’s purchase power and also on the value of alternative uses of scarce resources.

Within this model interest rates are unconventionally calculated by people’s decisions to spend either now or in the future. Furthermore, uneven inflation is the result of a money supply increase not accompanying an increase in the production of goods and services. The Austrian school argues that any government’s attempt to control money causes distortion in interest rates with the outcome of a recession.

This theory understands the market mechanism as a process and not a prescribed result of an economic scheme. This allows independent elements of self regulation to respectfully drive the business models that exist within it. Perhaps this could be viewed as a more accurate measurement of supply and demand than the more commonly adopted Keynesian top down method of dictated control.

The current concept of Austrian economics has been getting more and more recognition since the 1970s. Today, one of the most famous academies for learning Austrian economics is The Mises Institute, named after Ludwig von Mises and founded in 1982 in Alabama, in the USA. Many economists worldwide are critical of the current-day Austrian School and consider its rejection of data analyses to be outside of mainstream economic theory. Likewise, the Austrian economists are the prominent critics of neoclassical economists and the Keynesian approach which they believe has produced an economic system that only solves today's problems by putting future generations in debt even before they are born.

Perhaps most importantly, however, the Austrian school has recently helped to give a valuable insight into various economic issues which the ‘official’ approaches still struggle to resolve. The Austrian model rewards innovative and independent success and punishes failure to assess and judge the ebb and flow of free market forces. These successful premises and a strong liberal minded support base has gradually earned this system a stable position among modern economic theories. The effect of this has been an extraordinary underground revolution in economics based on logic, thoughts and individual liberty.


Written by:
Zuzana Senkova & Graham W. Hendrey
(2015)


Essential Additional Information:

Carl Menger:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Menger

Carl Menger: Concise Encyclopedia
http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Menger.html

The Mises Institute:
http://mises.org/

Ludwig von Mises:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_von_Mises

Praxeology:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praxeology


Videos:

Austrian School of Economics Explained: Ron Paul 

YouTube Video


Michael Ruppert: Collapse

YouTube Video



Extra Images of Interest:

A Graphic of Arguments for and against Austrian Economics: 
(Hosted Externally)

A Short History Of Money
(Hosted Externally)




State of Mind: The Psychology of Control

posted Jan 26, 2015, 3:53 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Jan 26, 2015, 4:16 AM ]

Are we living our lives based on our own decisions or does somebody else quietly guide us through subtle systems of manipulation to the conclusions that they would like us to have? We are born into an authority, as early as our childhood, and our survival depends on accepting this authority. This has always been a plan of the ruling elites, to harness our minds for their benefits through psychological techniques.


What follows are notes taken from the documentary film:

State of Mind: The Psychology of Control 

Cybernetics, the term which explains the controlling of nations, was introduced as far back as in Plato’s epic 'The Republic'. So how do they, the establishment, make us, the people, a part of their  overreaching machinery of social planning? Simply said, removing self reliance will make us dependent on a state or a collective mindset. Creating the notion of fear of scarcity with all of the autonomy and self teaching erased will suppress the creativity and individuality inside people. In turn leading to a docile and malleable general public whose opinions and desires could be shaped, with a little planning, at will.

In 1945 the Government of The UK  heavily funded the studying of human behaviour and many other innovations in controlling and shaping the thoughts and behaviour of the population. It was implemented gradually across the country, mainly through advertising and later in public schools and colleges. This is what they did but how did they do it?

The base of modern western education is copied from the 1819 Prussian Educational System of mind control. The Prussian government created it to make soldiers who would blindly obey the authorities. The system of schooling, where the young were forcibly removed from their families, was so successful that Prussia overran the neighbouring countries and grew to become Germany. Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920), a Prussian psychologist, was convinced that individual human beings did not have souls and so they could, and should, be reprogrammed as machines.
 
Previously, Social Darwinism had drawn the concept of the survival of the fittest, in essence the most adaptable, so the economic policies could be made for the benefit of the richest. This has its basis in Eugenics Theory. Eugenics, in effect the study of how to maintain hereditary power, went after the root foundation of humanity, that is, the ability to speak freely and to ask relevant questions. It may help the reader to see how the movement has altered its name each time the general public has come to understand what it really meant … Genetics → Eugenics → Bio-Ethics → Life Sciences.

B.F. Skinner, (1904-1990) an American psychologist formed Apron Conditioning. This was a study of negative and positive reinforcements and punishments which show transformative and effective results on people who have independent ideas and goals. This was integrated into school systems throughout the western world in the form of credits and tests. Throughout Nazi Germany, there were all types of inhuman mind controlling social experiments performed on human beings, from babies to pregnant women to concentration camp prisoners. After  WW2 countries, mainly America, Russia, England and Canada were fighting over the German scientists and access to the results of their work. A large majority of these scientists were used, through a Vatican sponsored plan called Project Paperclip, to found NASA where German rockets were then used in the US space program. 

One of the most famous mind control programs started in America in 1950s was called MK (Mind Control) Ultra. The Government used many unwitting citizens in their project, including hospital patients and disabled school children. It is also noteworthy that these experiments were not limited to the USA but also were secretly conducted under national security in other countries.

Although many people were involved in these social experiments, in the following few paragraphs we will focus on a few of the key players.

Dr Donald Ewen Cameron (1901-1967), who was deeply involved in MK Ultra, belongs to an elite group of most well known and respected psychiatrists in the 1960s. In his clinic, funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, he was performing various inhuman experiments, using electro-shock therapy and other forms of torture, on people mostly against their will. Furthermore, In the 1960’s The CIA opened safe houses where people could take LSD and other drugs while officials were recording them for their studies. The 20th century was also the age of conspicuous consumption which has more recently led to a culture of over-consumption. 

Edward Bernays (1891-1995), was the father of modern propaganda in public relations, and a nephew of Sigmund Freud. He applied psychological techniques, such as indirect suggestion and hidden desire, into modern advertising. He wrote many books and among them one well known called 'Propaganda' where he openly talks about the elite’s ability to control society and that the duty of the intellectual elite is to orchestrate the beliefs and behaviour of the public in order to have a cohesive society. Today's political science is mostly based on Bernay's work.

In 1928 a book was published by long forgotten author Albert Whitman about public relations and public opinions where he states that the public is not inherently irrational but that the establishment can use propaganda and the media to play upon people’s existing irrationalities instead of introducing to them intellectual concepts and clear definitions. Nowadays the distraction of television, (along with films, radio, magazines, newspapers, the internet and endless sporting events) is one of the main factors in keeping the public passive and controlled. Scientists have clearly shown that within 3 minutes of watching television people fall into a very suggestible mode  resembling a zombie state, where the commercials can easily prey upon your subconscious and unconscious mind, your rationality anchors and your inner fears.

Further to this it is worth noting that in 1964, a Spanish neuroscientist Jose Delgado (1915-2011) implanted radio controlled electrodes in the brain of an aggressive bull in an attempt to control its behaviour in a ring with a matador. With a punch of a button he could stop the bull right away, these tests followed with cats, monkeys and even human subjects. Could this have been the precursor of coming human microchip implants? Anyway, he was not the first to pursue such brutal scientific methods of control. Russian Scientist 'Ivan Pavlov' (1849 - 1936), commonly famous for his behavourist work on dogs, had also experimented with human subjects in an attempt to control human behaviour and reflexes. Some of these experiments involved drilling onto the heads of young children a sad precursor for later more brutal psychiatric experiments throughout the 20th century. 

The book 'Tragedy and Hope' written by the US Professor Carrol Quigley (1910-1977) in 1966 is one of the most credible pieces of evidence that we, as a collective society, are ruled by the Elites that formed secret societies, fraternities and brotherhoods funded by bankers. It covers the development of Western Political Cultures through source documents across the 19th and 20th centuries and gives many insights into who funded our present system into being. One possible outcome of studying this information is the understanding that if the systems of our society are training us to be resources for the global profit of elites, then, by becoming alert and by critically evaluating the information through methods of reasonable logic such as using the Trivium and Quadrivium in education we can act on a personal level and change our society for the better of everyone.

We should also be aware that those personality types that are considered the most disagreeable and anti-social, in general, were the ones that failed the Milgrim Social Conformity Experiment. This was a test conducted in the 1960s where it was discovered that random members of the public would without question inflict pain and even death on fellow humans if an external authority promised to accept responsibility for their actions. Those who did not follow orders directly were considered as socially awkward and non-conformist. An Interesting effect of this being saving lives, albeit theoretically. The effects of this experiment are still being studied today with many similar reconstructions having been carried out and producing the same results. Could it not be that the conformational irrationality of certain systems, Public School, Democracy, Health Care and Financial Institutions are all examples of how a lack of societal logic is used to cloud or fog the mind of individuals making them more susceptible to suggestion?
 
Whatever the truth is in this matter, giving up any of what little freedom we still have is never a good idea. In order to maintain a healthy mindset we must educate ourselves  to be ever more observant in a world of ever increasing technology which is taking incremental steps in one simple but sure direction.

The price of our personal ability to make choices is eternal vigilance through constant growth of the mind and sharing of resources. Or as Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American inventor, journalist, printer, diplomat, and statesman wrote: ''Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety''. This was first written by Franklin for the Pennsylvania Assembly in its Reply to the Governor (11 Nov. 1755) and it is relevant more than ever today if we are to have the possibility of maintaining a healthy state of mind.

Written by

Zuzana Senkova & Graham W. Hendrey
(2015)



Watch the film:

YouTube Video



Notes for Additional Study:

Key Players:

Carroll Quigley
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carroll_Quigley

Wilhelm Wundt

Donald Cameron

B. F. Skinner

Ivan Pavlov


Supporting Material:

Fake Media

Modern Methods of Control

Stop Watching TV

Sex Box

YouTube Video


The Milgram Experiment

The French Bread Experiment

Trivium

Quadrivium


(More links and resources to be added)


George Orwell vs Aldous Huxley

posted Dec 10, 2014, 6:50 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Dec 10, 2014, 7:30 AM ]

In his book “Amusing Ourselves To Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business,” the late media critic Neil Postman compares two dystopian futures — one, imagined by George Orwell in his book 1984, in which the government maintains its control by keeping us under constant surveillance; the other, conceived by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World, in which citizens are kept happy enough to never put up a fight:


We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another – slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. 

Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. 

As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions”. In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.”

This excerpt has prompted many to ponder the same question that Bill Moyers asked Marty Kaplan on this week’s program: Who’s proving the most successful prophet? Huxley or Orwell? What do you think?


Text Source:


Further Essential Material to Research:

Brave New World
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World

Nineteen Eighty-Four
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

Killswitch Infographic: Orwell vs. Huxley

All Art Is Propaganda: Christopher Hitchens on George Orwell

George Orwell: A Life in Pictures ... The Full Documentary

Hitchens: Talking About Orwell

The Ultimate Revolution | by Aldous Huxley

YouTube Video



Read this previous article by NSA:

RE: Visiting The Brave New World





Technological Addiction

posted Dec 8, 2014, 5:48 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Dec 8, 2014, 7:43 AM ]

"Experts," especially those quoted frequently by the media, are constantly warning us of dangers to our kids. What usually grabs our attention and instills fear in our hearts are the case stories they present. Some child, somewhere, was out playing without a parent nearby and was abducted and murdered. Therefore, anyone who allows his or her child to play outside, not closely watched by an adult, is a negligent parent. Some distraught young man in South Korea plays a video game for fifty straight hours without stopping to sleep or eat, goes into cardiac arrest, and dies. Therefore, video games are addictive, dangerous, and we must either ban them or curtail their use so our children don't die like that poor South Korean.


Case stories like these are tragic; and, yes, tragedies do happen, usually in ways that are completely unpredictable. But what we must remember when we hear such stories is that there are approximately 7 billion people in the world. That's 7,000,000,000. That young man in South Korea represents 0.000000014 percent of the world's population. With 7 billion people, some really weird thing is going to happen someplace every day. The fear-mongering "experts" and media will never run out of shocking stories to tell us.

Today, worldwide, hundreds of millions of people play video games. The vast majority of those players are perfectly normal people, meaning that nothing newsworthy ever happens to them, but some small percentage of them are killers, some are extraordinarily depressed, some are suicidal; and every day some video gamer somewhere does something terrible or experiences something terrible. All this is also true of the hundreds of millions of people who don't play video games. This is why case stories, by themselves, are worthless. If we want to know about the consequences of playing video games, or of anything else, we need well-designed research studies and statistics. The emphasis here is on the well-designed.

For many years now, researchers have been trying to prove that video games are bad. Much of the attention has focused on the violent content of some of the games, and many dozens of studies have been done in attempts to prove that playing violent video games causes real-world violence. This past year, the US Supreme Court was faced with the task of evaluating that research, in the case of Brown versus Entertainment Merchants Association. After much testimony and study, the court concluded, "Studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively." 

In 2010, the Australian government--faced with petitions to ban or restrict video games with violent content--reached a similar conclusion after evaluating all of the evidence. And social scientists who have scrutinized the studies and conducted meta-analyses of them have also come to that conclusion.


Read more of Peter Gray's article here:



Additional Essential Research:

Signs of Gaming Addiction in Adults:

Reasons Why Adults Who Play Video Games Are Happier:

Significiant Others Of Excessive Gamers:

Video Game Play May Provide Learning:

Video Game-Related Health Problems:


Video Game Addiction No Fun:

Game & Health Related Reseach Documents:

...............................................

Mobile Phone Overuse:

Students 'Addicted to Mobile Phones'

Tech-Addicted Kids?

Could We Disconnect For Just A Moment?

Our Obsessive Relationship With Technology


If you have something else that you would like me to add then drop me a link.

(G).

The School to Prison Pipeline

posted Oct 23, 2014, 7:49 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Oct 28, 2014, 8:30 AM ]

It begins with deep social and economic inequalities, and has taken root in the historic shortcomings of schooling in the USA. The civil and human rights movements of the 1960s and ’70s spurred an effort to “rethink schools” to make them responsive to the needs of all students, their families, and communities. This rethinking included collaborative learning environments, multicultural curriculum, student-centered, experiential pedagogy—we were aiming for education as liberation. The back-to-basics backlash against that struggle has been more rigid enforcement of ever more alienating curriculum.


The “zero tolerance” policies that today are the most extreme form of this punishment paradigm were originally written for the war on drugs in the early 1980s, and later applied to schools. As Annette Fuentes explains, the resulting extraordinary rates of suspension and expulsion are linked nationally to increasing police presence, checkpoints, and surveillance inside schools.

As police have set up shop in schools across the country, the definition of what is a crime as opposed to a teachable moment has changed in extraordinary ways. In one middle school we’re familiar with, a teacher routinely allowed her students to take single pieces of candy from a big container she kept on her desk. One day, several girls grabbed handfuls. The teacher promptly sent them to the police officer assigned to the school. What formerly would have been an opportunity to have a conversation about a minor transgression instead became a law enforcement issue.

Children are being branded as criminals at ever-younger ages. Zero Tolerance in Philadelphia, a recent report by Youth United for Change and the Advancement Project, offers an example:

Robert was an 11-year-old in 5th grade who, in his rush to get to school on time, put on a dirty pair of pants from the laundry basket. He did not notice that his Boy Scout pocketknife was in one of the pockets until he got to school. He also did not notice that it fell out when he was running in gym class. When the teacher found it and asked whom it belonged to, Robert volunteered that it was his, only to find himself in police custody minutes later. He was arrested, suspended, and transferred to a disciplinary school.

Early contact with police in schools often sets students on a path of alienation, suspension, expulsion, and arrests. George Galvis, an Oakland, Calif., prison activist and youth organizer, described his first experience with police at his school: “I was 11. There was a fight and I got called to the office. The cop punched me in the face. I looked at my principal and he was just standing there, not saying anything. That totally broke my trust in school as a place that was safe for me.”

Read more at Rethinking Schools:
http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/26_02/edit262.shtml



(Click on the image above to enlarge the statistics)


Further Available Resources:

Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline That's Destroying Our Kids

Criminal U: America's Most Successful Institution Educating the Poor

Fact Sheet: How Bad Is the School-to-Prison Pipeline?

Race, Disability and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

School-to-Prison Pipeline

Why Many Inner City Schools Function Like Prisons

The School-To-Prison Pipeline Can Start Even Before Kindergarten, Mother Points Out

The School-to-Prison Pipeline Starts in Preschool

The School-to-Prison Pipeline


A little video:

YouTube Video


Something to think about:


(Click on the above image to enlarge)

The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

posted Sep 3, 2014, 4:04 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Sep 3, 2014, 4:11 AM ]

Getting Things Done is a time-management method, described in a book of the same title by productivity consultant David Allen. It is often referred to as GTD. The GTD method rests on the idea of moving planned tasks and projects out of the mind by recording them externally and then breaking them into actionable work items. This allows one to focus attention on taking action on tasks, instead of on recalling them.


In time management, task priorities play a central role. Allen's approach uses two key elements — control and perspective. He proposes a workflow process to control all the tasks and commitments that one needs or wants to get done. There are six "horizons of focus" to provide a useful perspective.

GTD is based on storing, tracking and retrieving the information related to the things that need to get done. Mental blocks we encounter are caused by insufficient 'front-end' planning. This means thinking in advance, generating a series of actions which can later be undertaken without further planning. The human brain's "reminder system" is inefficient and seldom reminds us of what we need to do at the time and place when we can do it. Consequently, the "next actions" stored by context in the "trusted system" act as an external support which ensures that we are presented with the right reminders at the right time. As GTD relies on external memories, it can be seen as an application of the theories of distributed cognition or the extended mind.

Read more:


More Links to Explore:

The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: David Allen at TEDx

YouTube Video



1. David Allen: Genius Network Interview

2. Time Management Magazine Interview With David Allen

3. GTD Explained in Minutes

4. Accelerated Learning: How To Get Good at Anything in 20 Hours

5. How to Implement Getting Things Done with David Allen

6. How David Allen Gets Things Done

7. How to Get Things Done in The USA


There is a lot more information about this subject online so feel free to search. 
(G)

The Philosophy of Law & Liberty

posted Sep 2, 2014, 1:19 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Sep 2, 2014, 1:31 AM ]

Law is, generally, a system of rules which are enforced through social institutions to govern behaviour, although the term "law" has no universally accepted definition. Laws can be made by legislatures through legislation (resulting in statutes), the executive through decrees and regulations, or judges through binding precedents (normally in common law jurisdictions). Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including (in some jurisdictions) arbitration agreements that exclude the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution (written or unwritten) and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.


A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions (including canon and socialist law), in which the legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, and common law systems, where judge-made binding precedents are accepted.

Historically, religious laws played a significant role even in settling of secular matters, which is still the case in some religious communities, particularly Jewish, and some countries, particularly Islamic. Islamic Sharia law is the world's most widely used religious law.

The adjudication of the law is generally divided into two main areas. Criminal law deals with conduct that is considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined. Civil law (not to be confused with civil law jurisdictions above) deals with the resolution of lawsuits (disputes) between individuals or organisations. These resolutions seek to provide a legal remedy (often monetary damages) to the winning litigant.

Under civil law, the following specialties, among others, exist: Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus ticket to trading on derivatives markets. Property law regulates the transfer and title of personal property and real property. Trust law applies to assets held for investment and financial security. Tort law allows claims for compensation if a person's property is harmed. Constitutional law provides a framework for the creation of law, the protection of human rights and the election of political representatives. Administrative law is used to review the decisions of government agencies. International law governs affairs between sovereign states in activities ranging from trade to military action.

Read more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law


Watch a video:

The Philosophy of LIberty:

YouTube Video


Stossel: What's Happening To Free Speech?:

YouTube Video




Futher Essential Information:

1. What is the rule of Law?
http://www.worldjusticeproject.org/what-rule-law

2. Jordan Maxwell on The UCC

3. Jordan Maxwell: The Law Series (Part 1)

4. Noam Chomsky on Corporate Personhood

5. The Corpoation: Full Film
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y888wVY5hzw

6. The Four Horsemen: Documentary

7. Philosophy of Liberty ... Expanded

8. Common Law vs Civil Law

Social Psychology Video Series

posted Jul 2, 2014, 5:43 AM by Graham William Hendrey

NSA has attempted to raise the standard of social education once again. We have published a series of videos that aim to encourage people to reflect on their own relationships with the people in their environment. This series looks at common problems and suggest possible steps to take to resolve personal conflicts.


It also acts as a brief introduction to social philosophy and the fundamental ideas of universally preferable behaviour (UPB) as an accurate moral standard for our modern western society.


More videos will be added in the near future so please return regularly to our You Tube channel to keep up to date with all of the latest developments.

(G)

You might also find these links useful:

Universally Preferable Behaviour:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZvTXFxPwb0

Universally Preferable Behaviour:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_Molyneux

The Pathology of Pooh

posted Dec 6, 2013, 5:51 AM by Graham William Hendrey   [ updated Dec 9, 2013, 1:13 AM ]

Abstract: Somewhere at the top of the Hundred Acre Wood a little boy and his bear play. On the surface it is nocent world, but on closer examination by our group of experts we find a forest where neurodevelopmental and psychosocial problems go unrecognized and untreated.



On the surface it is an innocent world: Christopher Robin, living in a beautiful forest surrounded by his loyal animal friends. Generations of readers of A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh stories have enjoyed these seemingly benign tales. However, perspectives change with time, and it is clear to our group of modern neurodevelopmentalists that these are in fact stories of Seriously Troubled Individuals, many of whom meet DSM-IV3 criteria for significant disorders. We have done an exhaustive review of the works of A.A. Milne and offer our conclusions about the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood in hopes that our observations will help the medical community understand that there is a Dark Underside to this world.

We begin with Pooh. This unfortunate bear embodies the concept of comorbidity. Most striking is his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), inattentive subtype. As clinicians, we had some debate about whether Pooh might also demonstrate significant impulsivity, as witnessed, for example, by his poorly thought out attempt to get honey by disguising himself as a rain cloud. We concluded, however, that this reflected more on his comorbid cognitive impairment, further aggravated by an obsessive fixation on honey. The latter, of course, has also contributed to his significant obesity. Pooh's perseveration on food and his repetitive counting behaviours raise the diagnostic possibility of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Given his coexisting ADHD and OCD, we question whether Pooh may over time present with Tourette's syndrome. Pooh is also clearly described as having Very Little Brain. We could not confidently diagnose microcephaly, however, as we do not know whether standards exist for the head circumference of the brown bear. The cause of Pooh's poor brain growth may be found in the stories themselves. Early on we see Pooh being dragged downstairs bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head. Could his later cognitive struggles be the result of a type of Shaken Bear Syndrome?

Pooh needs intervention. We feel drugs are in order. We cannot but wonder how much richer Pooh's life might be were he to have a trial of low-dose stimulant medication. With the right supports, including methylphenidate, Pooh might be fitter and more functional and perhaps produce (and remember) more poems.

Read more:
Canadian Medical Association Journal


Additional Supporting articles:

The Mental Disorders of Winnie-the-Pooh Characters

Winnie the Pooh Mental Disorders & Reading Between the Lines


Background Reading:

A. A. Milne

Pooh celebrates his 80th birthday

Made-up words in Winnie the Pooh and Harry Potter 'help children learn English'
Winnie-the-Pooh
The Original Language of Winnie-the-Pooh

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