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Freedom of speech, the false freedom and the hidden freedom.

August 18, 2017

What is meant in the west by freedom of expression, generally known as freedom of speech, is generally known. As a rough idea we can take the renaissance with names as Erasmus of Rotterdam,Galileo and Montaigne.  The rights have been won through centuries of struggle till today. Meanwhile they have been  changed, improved  and subverted.

I will start with the limitations most of us accept today.

Libel – you are not allowed to defame somebody by unfactual  statements.

Hate crimes – spoken or written. Here there is still a gray zone but in general racist symbols, speech or writings are not tolerated

Historical falsifications – denial of documented past atrocities such as the genocide of armenians or the holocaust are allowed sometimes.  The matter is discussed.

In general in Sweden you may say anything about anybody, however an open discussion about islam or its founder is impossible in practice.

Does this mean that freedom of speech is otherwise unlimited. Taking some thought this is shown to be wrong.

Limitations are usually based on the principle that everybody has the right to express themselves, undisturbed. You cannot enter a church and talk about whatever or in a closed meeting or disturb a  public meeting. You cannot sing at a public meeting  to interrupt a speaker etc.

By these limits you can see the outline of the hidden freedom.

But first, freedom of speech as a thought is a human right for the individual or groups of individuals to talk to  other individuals but is has been counterfeited,

The false freedom of speech is that money or power  gives someone more right to  present opinions or goods. Here you have taken way freedom of speech for the individuals to drown it in the loudspeaker of wealth. You are using the nature of freedom of speech to strangle freedom of speech. Neither mcdonald, volvo or  lotto are individuals.

Now let us try to give the hidden freedom a name. I suggest freedom from impression. That nobody must receive impressions that somebody else chooses. Here, as with freedom of speech, there are limits. Freedom from impression is not a bar to the free association between individuals  but to give individuals the ability to resist Power and Money’s obvious (obvious!!) priority . It  should not hinder the Contact between authorities and Citizens but can be tested from case to case to distinguish propaganda from information.

It is not meant to hinder individuals or groups of individuals from letting the public know their opinions (protected by freedom of speech). But with this and similar limits freedom from impressions is for one’s self  to decide what impressions to receive.

As an exempel how freedom from impression could appear. On the sidewalk there would only be a sign for what kind of business it is such as Ikea, Walmart, Ford. Inside, invisible from the street, the presentation would be as we  are used to.  Breaking these rules would lead to fines, Radio and Tv commercials only to those who clearly want it. Freedom from impressions, just as freedom of speech, couldn’t be given away. As a trial, impression free buildings or areas could be established. The reaction of the business community would give clearer idea of this freedom.

You may, hopefully find better exemples.

As for freedom from impressions, we have still 500 years to make up. We find it difficult just to imagine  what it is. It is considered as a matter of course that the individual is a funnel where Money and Power can pour anything they like. And what do you as an isolated individual have to resist.

You may feel the freedom from impressions is an ivory Tower Construction instead of a protection for free thoughts for individuals. That your feelings and opinions are trade goods although you haven’t offered them to anybody. Keep on that way and offer yourself and those following you to the  Cages  of Money and Power.

 
   

 

 

 

Terrorism: their and our

May 21, 2017

Instead of writing a final word on terrorism of today, I am trying to define the problem and discuss a possible way out. I leave “celebrity” terrorism aside since that is a different problem.

By terrorism I mean here attacks on civilians. In the middle east Muslims are attacked by Islamists and by Western (including russian and japanese) forces of ”law and order”. In parts of the middle east Muslims are killed as part of a civil war between sunni and shia and as part of resistance against western aggression. The West is there to protect access to raw materials and to prevent religious fanatics, instead of Western corporations, from controlling the region.  Both parties are killing innocent Muslim civilians.In other words a perfect whirlpool of mixed motives:

I don’t intend to give a complete rundown of terrorist activities or discuss the rights and wrongs of the situation. The main point is that civilians are being killed as a routine matter.

The difference is that Muslim fanatics are killing other Muslims to assert their power. The Western forces of “law and order” are killing Muslims because they simply don’t care. It is clear that in crowded cities and in firefights there is no automatic immunity for civilians, but weddings and funerals are bombed, schools and hospitals are attacked without anyone held responsible. Western state terrorists are not targeting Muslim civilians; they simply do not care. To the inhabitants of these areas the difference, between the two parties, is irrelevant. Dead is dead.

Considering the historical lessons of successful antiterrorist actions, I will outline a policy. When actions against terrorism have been successful (the British against IRA for exemple) this has been based on legality. This does not mean that brute force and extermination have not also been successful. But the cost to the host society and the incompleteness of the results has made this a very chancy proposition in a world where nuclear weapons are getting cheaper, more portable and finding disturbed fanatics to carry them easier all the time.

Legality has the following parts.

  1. A clear dividing line between legal and illegal activities
  2. Those that are innocent are generally acquitted
  3. No punishment greater than the crime committed
  4. Members of military and paramilitary forces of “law and order” who have gone over the line are put on trial

The first time any officer is put on trial for “carelessness” resulting in civilian casualties will be  the el alamein of the fight against terrorism.

The first time any officer will be charged in an international court for the breach of point 4 will be the D-day of counterterrorism.

Legality is the first element but there is another element which the terrorists completely lack. The second element is kindness, which can be shown in many ways. Here is how you can think of kindness in today’s world, even if I hope you will find a better way. Apart of the manipulators, most terrorists are not very well acquainted with the Koran and its meaning.  One suggestion is that captured terrorists on the fringes of atrocities will serve their prison sentence building a mosque and their evenings studying Koran under a moderate mulla. The purpose of the studies is not to convert them but leave them informed.

The conflict between the muslim world and the west won’t be solved by violence.

 

The pig in Nato’s poke: what is missing?

March 1, 2017

For Sweden, to join Nato, is to choose between malaria and the plague. With malaria you don’t feel very well but the plague is usually deadly. From this viewpoint the question is not to join but how to join.  The first that strikes one is the unanalyzed negotiation situation. Some demands are difficult to get a hearing, others are important for Sweden but minor for Nato. I will mention two:a. Compensation for damage from military maneuvers to reindeer husbandry which is central to the same people, who are the original inhabitants of the area. b: An involuntary scarcity of women. To solve these is neither difficult or expensive for Nato.

Two major problems remain.  The first is the presence of nuclear weapons on swedish soil. Every possible aggressor will be convinced that these are present whether the government stonewalls or not. Nato will not accept such a restriction. But nuclear devices are not only a danger for Sweden but for each Nato country. Knowledge how to make smaller nuclear devices is becoming more common, knowledge how to move these is becoming more common (you don’t need missiles) and the will to offer one’s life to explode a nuclear device is becoming more common.

A more constructive solution is that Nato establishes a powerful authority for an international elimination of nuclear weapons coupled to an internationally accepted whistleblower law.  This is in the interest of Nato, just as much, as a military form of defence.

The second problem is practically absent in swedish Nato discussions. I present a few short scenarios to make it visible. a. A number of IKEA stores are burnt to the ground. Should Nato take military action? b. A country nationalizes french oil holdings without compensation. Should Nato take military action? c. A country prevents fishing vessels from Nato countries from fishing within its territorial waters. Should Nato take military action?

As you may notice, I have not listed any US corporations in these scenarios. It is no point in blaming others instead of starting to clean up our own back yard. The problem is just as much Europe’s.

To be exact. Nato membership means that  tin boxes with swedish soldiers can come from Moldavia, Svalbard and Afghanistan??!! (What Nato country borders on Afghanistan?) But this is done to defend Nato’s  borders and prevent even greater casualties.

Sweden should demand that no Swedish military action should be taken outside Nato’s borders unless it is followed within a month by a clear majority vote  in parliament. (the pearl harbor rule). Even if Nato does not agree, the question will not disappear and not only in Sweden.

Shall swedish soldiers die to defend Coca Cola, Ikea and Mcdonalds? Finally, does Sweden seek membership in a defence alliance or in an assembly  for economic aggression?

 

 

 

Sarajevo on the Baltic

September 26, 2016

The Balkans have traditionally been an the object of the great powers’  ambitions. 1914 in Sarajevo, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire was assasinated. This led
to a serie of events that became the First World War, the results of which still beset us today. The Great Powers of Europe were taken by surprise quite simply.
Today we have a similar situation in the Baltic. In articles, speeches, and plans it has been discussed how Nato and Russia, separately, or simultaneously can prepare an
armed conflict there. Here I wish to discuss something  nobody takes up: the risk for such a conflict when nobody wants it. I want to show that Tjernobil and Fukushima, the risk for an armed conflict is great, could happen at any moment, but can be limited by a thoughtout plan of action.

the fire hazard

After the invasion of Sovjet Russia at the end of the Second World War, the Baltic was treated as a part of Russia. People from Russia were moved there or were drawn there by various rewards.When the Iron Curtain fell in 1989 and the Baltic states regained their independence, these people were stranded. In this article I call them the Rbalts. The original inhabitants I designate as Urbalts. One possibility was that the Urbalts could have realized what an advantage this was and the Rbalts what an unique opportunity this offered, but the recent oppression and both groups unwillingness to integrate has been too great. We have in other words a firehazard that can be ignited at any moment by any spark of conflict. It is an illusion to imagine that, whoever runs the government, Russia would remain passive if Rbalts are killed. It is just a great illusion to imagine that Nato would remain passive if “volunteers” crossed the border of any Baltic state to support Rbalts who cause disturbances.

the fire alarm

To prevent this, an agreement must be signed, quickly, between Nato and ´Russia to handle the situation.A “direct line” must be established between Kreml and the Nato for swift intervention before the situation gets out of hand. In other words, an EU muddle such as in the migrant question is to ask for a military conflict in the Baltic.

the sparks

a. a Baltic government that faces an election defeat because it is too corrupt or incompetent, is tempted to play the ethnic card openly or behind the scenes.

b. Urbaltic or Rbaltic xenophobes. That means those that not only hate other ethnics but organize acts of violence against them. Note! That they may be only a minor part of  their group is of no importance; it is the threat of violence against people based on their origin. A fire alarm is the mass media content in the area or across the border.

c.  Ambitious high Russian officials. As long as there is peace in the area it remains a backwater. But if tensions increase so do the promotion opportunities  for higher officials.   Some “patriots” may be tempted to increase their influence.

the fire station

If tensions get out of hand immediate action is needed where the Balt states, Nato and Russia are informed. For this to be effective a crisis line must exist between the Kreml and Nato and a crisis center exist where both parties are represented.

Fire fighting

To start a fire is the work of a moment, but it takes time to extinguish one. I cannot prescribe how it should be done, but I can suggest how it could be done. Because preparation is necessary.

a. What kind of Nato troops?

It is important therefore that the troops don’t belong to the historical enemies or friends of Russia. A start at least should be made with soldiers from West of the Rhone.

b. What should they do?

Take over law enforcement duties from the local government, see that the laws of the land are followed, and maintain life in the turbulent areas till the situation calms down. Which means no Urbalts or Rbalts being harmed. They shall also prevent any “volunteers” as in Crimea and eastern Ukraine or any rightwing extremists like the “Azov brigade”from the Ukraine entering the area.

c. Human rights, a cause for conflict?.

Genocide, like in Rwanda, has often followed an official or tolerated  campaign in mass media which has whipped up hatred against the targeted group. On the other hand, freedom of speech is one of the tools a democratic society has developed to limit political power and its misuses.It is  important that Nato journalists have full freedom to investigate developments and write about them. But what if the government or organizations in the Baltic States misuse freedom of speech to spread ethnic hatred? Even this must be prepared against and not solved by some last minute improvisation. A court should be established where the crime would be massmedial preparation for genocide. The court should consist of lawyers and journalists and have its own investigative resources.

d. A tool from history

The following is an idea and not a proposal as above.There could be many other proposals. In Italy of the renaissance, when two powerful factions could not agree, and city life became paralyzed, a podesta was established. That is an authority constituted of people not related to either faction who were imported till the local parties realized that they could do things better themselves by working together. That is an emergency measure to cool things down until time has passed and at least a better solution than  quotas that has more or less paralyzed Bosnia.

e. Demagogues

Real differences of opinion can exist between Urbalts and Rbalts which can only be solved by mutual discussions. But some will want to use and deepen these differences for their own personal advantage.To counter this a court should be established against preparations for genocide and the convicted be exiled to west of Rhone or east of the Urals.

f. Sovereignity

It is obvious that the proposals above are  an interference with the sovereignity of the Baltic states in question. But does sovereignity give the right for a number of selfwilled men to set the whole of Europe on fire?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Religion, the Supreme Court and Public Schools.

July 16, 2016

If we could bring the signers of the Constitution to the present day and show them the place of religion in public schools they would be flabbergasted.  None of the signers were openly against religion and very few if any were antireligious at all.  Where is it?

The Bill of Rights says two things. The government can’t make any law that forces the citizens to follow any form of worship. It also stops the government from hindering any form of worship. And that includes religious instruction. Usually we call this the right of the citizens to liberty of conscience.

How does this apply to tax supported schools (public education) and what is all the commotion about?

In the past if parents were well off they could hire people to supply religious instruction if they themselves were busy working etc. If not, most of the population were farmers working with their children which meant that during the day, by exemple and by word, they could let them know what was the right way for contact with the eternal. But gradually during the years parents and minors were separated during the day and religion had a smaller and smaller place in public education in contrast to the case in the world outside the school. The reason: people should be able to send their children to school without being told what to think about religion. That is the first part of the first amendment to the constitution. The result has been the mess that exists today, not because people are less religious but because trying to be fair.

But what of the second part liberty of conscience which means the parental responsibility towards their minors to get what they consider is the proper religious instruction.?

I therefore propose that every public school could have a Spiritual Center built close by. How would it be run and financed? A Spiritual Center is simply a building with class rooms for worship and religious instruction to be carried out by reverends, priests and rabbis etc during the schoolday for students in public schools. The instructors will be paid by parents and the religious organizations that want the students to have religious instruction during the school week. The adjustment to the school demands will not be greater than the adjustment for football and the like. If there are not enough who want to follow a particular form of worship it will be up to the parents to cooperate (presbyterians and methodists for ex)

Those who are opposed to worship will have their own presentation of religion.

An Spiritual Center doesn’t have to be there but if there are enough parents who want it they will have to pay for it. (the free exercise of religion again). One way is to do it by fundraising from the public, another by issuing bonds. Labor can also be contributed as part of or instead of money. None of these involves government efforts or tax money. Payment for instruction and upkeep will be collected from the parents. Then the question arises. Is there going to be a money bar for those who can’t afford or will the religious organizations make up the deficit. In other words is religious instruction (or instruction about religion) something only  for the rich or for all children. This is a fundamental question but one for the parents involved and not for the Supreme Court.

The constitution forbids the government to favor one religious expression over another which means using tax money for this purpose. But it also forbids the government from interfering with liberty of conscience. In other words religion in schools is not allowed but religion at schools is.

Bye, Bye U.S Democratic Elections

May 9, 2016

 

Can voting by electronic voting machines or any version which doesn’t involve a paper trail be democratic? First we have to understand what a paper trail is. It is a ballot (piece of paper) which counts for one vote and where nobody can see that just you have cast that vote.

Why couldn’t an electronic ballot be democratic? That is free, secret and correct?

I will tell you what convinced me, but it is up to you to decide if it makes sense.

You, as a voter have no control over the electronic voting machines or networks. As a matter of fact, only a minority of the democratically elected officials do and how much control do they have? The supplier of these systems is out to make money.

A. There is no way for you to know if a deal has been made and the results have been fixed.

B.What is just as bad, there is no large system which hasn’t been hacked. That is to say, where  the results have been changed either from mischief or for profit or for political reasons.

In either case there is no way for you as a voter to trace if the vote you cast is the vote that is counted. Paper leaves a trail, particularly in the system which is still in force in most places.

Electrons leave no trail. Just as you cannot be a bit pregnant, so you cannot have elections that are partly democratic.

In other countries you need riot police and armor to prevent a democratic election. In the US you just need a keyboard.

China gains by granting autonomy to Tibet

November 2, 2009


There are major questions. Why now? What will it involve for China and Tibet? Why should China do it?

I. Why now?

The Dalai Lama is still alive and is world renowned. An agreement where he is involved will have greater effect in Tibet than his replacement and China will reap maximum benefits.

II.What does autonomy mean for China and Tibet

Any autonomy agreement depends on the parties involved, not on general principles or foreign ideas. But to show that that autonomy is not unthinkable I present the following proposal to get the discussion started.

a. No interference with Tibetan religious practices except as stated out in the AA (autonomy agreement) nor involving the abuse of human beings.

Komment: On the one hand many abuses of human rights can be covered up as a religious practice. Forced employment in monasteries as an exempel. On the other hand meddling with religious practices can be camouflaged as a defense of human rights.

b. The status of the Dalai Lama will be respected and the succession a Tibetan matter.

c. Defence and foreign relations will be reserved for the Chinese government

Komment: This means that Tibetans will not be armed, and that they will undergo civil conscription served within Tibet. Also that no foreigners will be admitted to Tibet without the consent of the Chinese government and after discussions with the Tibetan autonumous authority.

d. The presence of non-tibetan speakers in the government (this includes scientific and health services) or in private equivalents will be reduced with a measurable reduction each year.

e. No commercial activities will be carried out except by Tibetan nationals and with the consent of the Chinese governmnt.

Komment: This will be the hardest part to accept by either side. What does it mean? First Tibet will not, by the AA, be allowed to be a base for commercial penetration of China and that Chinese commercial law, with due consideration of RP (religious practices) will be the rule for business activities aimed at China or abroad. On the other hand Tibetan commercial law modified by RP will be the rule in autonomous Tibet itself. This to prevent religious symbols or places to be exploited by ruthless businessmen native to Tibet

For another that Han nationals will not be allowed to own property or engage in commercial activities in Tibet itself and thus by economic weight subvert the AA.

Either part can delay decisions or subvert the AA but then why make it in the first place.

One fundamental problem is that China is so large so that local officials out of greed or ambition can subvert the AA despite the intentions or the interest of the Chinese government. Even if not there may be differences of opinion between Han and Tibetans . To create an impartial tribunal to resolve such differences is one of the important task of the AA negotiators.

III. What does China gain?

The major question for China is whether it will exchange the semblance of power for the the substance of power. A necessary ingredient in both is military strength. This exists. However the substance of power is a well ordered society supported by its citizens and respected by the international community. By its present policy towards Tibet, China signals that it is an unjust society and a danger to its neighbors.

The disadvantages to China of a truly autonomous Tibet are trivial and the benefits great. And in this world of predators, Tibet, protected by the might of China could become one of the brightest jewels in the dragon’s crown and both make their contribution to world harmony.