The Plight of Being “Different” In a Bully’s World

The Right View: Georgie-Porgie, Pudding Pie

By Madeleine Fletcher

Wicked Local Cambridge

I had the following thoughts after watching the video of the moving speech by Fort Worth Texas councilman Joel Burnswho recounted the recent suicides of teen aged boys in this country resulting from the harassing behavior of their peers who had taunted them with accusations of homosexuality. Burns sent a message of hope to gay teens.

I am moved to speak out, not just to teens. I address this to the country as a whole, because this is not an exclusively gay issue

Harassment in high school for whatever motivation is just one example of the general abasement of our customs and should be stopped by teachers, parents and clergy before it reaches anywhere near that point. I would like to alert all those who have lost the sense of collective behavioral norms since the breakdown of the previous social contract according to which bullying was seen as contemptible and specifically cowardly and specifically un-manly.

In previous times these rules of conduct were carefully inculcated in children by their parents their teachers and their clergy.

“Georgie-Porgie, pudding pie, kissed the girls and made them cry, but when the boys came out to play; Georgie-Porgie ran away.”

This rhyme, chanted in my childhood in Northampton Massachusetts, shows how everyone used to regard a child who habitually tormented younger or weaker children.  Social conditioning meant that this tormenting was seen as contemptible. In like manner a large number of children ganging up against one child was specifically and invariably condemned as cowardly.

I gather from T.V. and print journalism that this sensibility has been lost from our collective consciousness in the U.S. today. We are the poorer for it. We seem to lack the moral courage to set out norms and force their acceptance through social pressure. In its place there is only whining and a focus on the victimization of the child who was sinned against. In focusing on the victim qua victim the media are victimizing him again.

Of course we are more sophisticated now, and we know that torturing animals or younger children is a sign of psychological trouble. Young people with these problems should be helped, but to ignore this behavior is to condone it. According to the reports in the video, these bullying activities were carried out over relatively long periods of time. It seems incredible that in spite of this fact, no one in a position of authority ever seems to have noticed the bullying or taken it upon himself to make it stop.

There is a sense of surprise that this violence should be occurring which I think is out of place. We should know from all evidence, including our own personal experience that violence occurs among adolescents, especially in the absence of other outlets for their energy.  From the inner city we commonly hear of completely innocent young people with no connection to gangs being gunned down by violent contemporaries. It is up to us to articulate a new solution.

In this context, I note that their ideas on youth violence were the first thing the four gubernatorial candidates were asked to contribute at the meeting of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) on October 17, 2010. The strong audience response to the question showed that youth violence represents a major crisis for all residents of the inner city where it has grown to epidemic proportions. It seems to me that this city violence is a more heavily armed version of the out-of-control bullying which is visible in suburban schools, and that this phenomenon in both city and suburbs is symptomatic of a cultural virus in need of a cure.

For a start, we might begin by returning to the previous view of harassment as a despicable act and focus on controlling it and dissuading from it. As for the victim, we must realize that the victim can really be almost anyone conveniently at hand. Any victim of bullying needs to focus his thoughts on the truly contemptible nature of his tormentors’ behavior patterns, and in this way lessen his mental (but of course not his physical) suffering. It would be nice if Cambridge with its plentiful human and intellectual resources could lead the way towards a reset and strengthening of our collective behavioral norms.

In response to the current Massachusetts anti-harassment law, the city of Cambridge in its FY2010-11 budget has “request[ed] funding to advance an anti-bullying initiative.”

This effort to comply with the law merits a word of caution. The acceptability of behavioral norms is determined not by expert specialists in Psychology but by the collective will. It is only when it is commonly acknowledged that the difference between normal horseplay and harassment is defined according to the above two principles of 1) stronger against weaker and 2) many against one, that we can look forward to having made a stop to the slide of civil society into chaos.

Madeleine Fletcher is a member of the Cambridge Republican City Committee.

Copyright 2010 Cambridge Chronicle. Some rights reserved

Wikileaks Was Not “An Attack,” But State Dept. Actions Revealed, Definitely Were

Clinton blasts State Department leaks as ‘an attack’

By Evan Vucci, AP

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks about the Wikileaks document release Monday at the State Department in Washington.

By Mimi Hall and Richard Wolf, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration scrambled Monday to control the diplomatic damage from a quarter-million leaked State Department documents reverberating across the nation’s capital and around the globe.

The White House ordered a government-wide review of procedures to safeguard classified data and vowed to prosecute anyone who broke U.S. law by leaking the latest trove of documents to the online whistle-blower WikiLeaks.

"This disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said. "It is an attack on the international community — the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations, that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity."

Attorney General Eric Holder said the government was conducting a criminal investigation and would hold responsible "anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law."

The e-mails and other documents released by WikiLeaks provide a rare glimpse into government negotiations and unfolding world events.

Governments in Europe condemned the leaks. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini dubbed them "the Sept. 11 of world diplomacy."

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama was "not pleased," calling that reaction "an understatement."

At the center of the controversy were The New York Times and other news organizations that began publishing stories about the documents on Sunday. The Times defended publication of the documents as serving "an important public interest."

Few current or former U.S. officials agreed. Rep. Pete Hoekstraof Michigan, senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, called the leak a "catastrophic" breach of trust.

The documents, which WikiLeaks said would be released over a period of months, show:

•U.S. diplomats were instructed to collect personal data onUnited Nations officials, including flight schedules, credit card numbers, Internet passwords and even some biometric information.

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Boltonquestioned the authenticity of that cable. "I have never seen one like that," he said. Diplomats "are not competent to engage in espionage."

Clinton defended the diplomats’ work. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, "Our diplomats don’t break the law."

•Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, are far more concerned about Iran’s nuclear program than they have said publicly. "It should not be a surprise to anyone that Iran is a source of great concern, not only in the United States," Clinton said.

•The U.S. bartered with other countries to try to get them to take some of the terrorism suspects being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Contributing: Kevin Johnson and the Associated Press

Wikileaks Portray Hillary As Passive/Agressive “Margaret Thatcher”

[SEE: Former State Department intelligence chief says spy orders unprecedented]

Chavez: Clinton Should Resign over WikiLeaks

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez Monday called on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to resign after the leak of embarrassingly candid U.S. diplomatic correspondence by WikiLeaks.

“The empire stands naked… Mrs. Clinton should resign,” Chavez said in a speech, using his favorite description of the United States. “It’s the least you can do: resign, along with those other delinquents working in the State Department.”

Chavez zeroed in on a diplomatic cable with a request to the U.S. embassy in Argentina for information on President Cristina Kirchner’s “mental health.” The message asked if she was taking medication for “nerves and stress.”

“Somebody should study Mrs. Clinton’s mental stability,” said Chavez.

“I believe somebody should resign. I don’t mean it should be (U.S.) President (Barack) Obama, but the whole structure over there should fall apart, if only through embarrassment,” he added.

The United States “attacks… disrespects” other governments, including its allies and keeps tabs on other presidents, Chavez said.

“Whatever was left of its mask has finally dropped away,” he said, praising WikiLeaks for “its courage.”(AFP)

Learning Covert Hypnosis

What is Conversational Hypnosis?

Welcome to the International Conversational Hypnosis Society formerly the International Covert Hypnosis Society).

Our mission is to spread the knowledge of Conversational Hypnosis and Covert Hypnosis, as laid down by the world famous psychiatrist, Milton H. Erickson.

Milton Erickson

Conversational Hypnosis is the capacity to hypnotize another person and communicate with their subconscious mind without him or her noticing. Usually this is performed during an ostensibly innocent conversation (thus – ConversationalHypnosis). As the hypnotized person is not aware of being hypnotized, Conversational Hypnosis is also called CovertHypnosis. As it often uses non-conventional hypnosis techniques it is sometimes referred to as Underground Hypnosis or Black Ops Hypnosis.

Conversational Hypnosis is often used to alter and control the subject’s behavior. Careful use of words and body language can infiltrate a subject’s unconsciousness and significantly alter their behavior. Unaware of the hypnosis, however, the subjects feel it is they who made the decision.

Conversational Hypnosis effectively diminishes the subject’s use of analytical mind. This can be performed quickly and easily, as often seen with used car salesman: an experienced salesman may get you to purchase a car you wouldn’t have normally purchased, using seemingly innocent talk and body language alone. A i>good salesman will get you to buy the car, and a few days of hours later you’ll be surprised at yourself that you did so. An excellent salesman will get you to buy the car – with no second thoughts whatsoever.

Conversational Hypnosis is a very similar phenomenon to Erickson’s indirect hypnosis, but it is significantly characterized by the subject being completely unaware that they are being hypnotized during the seemingly innocent conversation.

Conversational Hypnosis blends traditional hypnosis methods along with NLP and social behavior. The Conversational Hypnosis mind control techniques effectively enable to control people’s behavior without them ever noticing they are being hypnotized, and if needed also never remembering any part of the hypnosis induced actions. Our members area shows a few extreme cases of abusing these powers.

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If you want to learn Conversational Hypnosis, click here to go to page 2.

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Former State Dept. Official Claims Hillary’s Intrusive Spy Tactics, Unprecedented

Former State Department intelligence chief says spy orders unprecedented

By Jeff Stein

Carl W. Ford, a former head of State Department intelligence, says tasking U.S. diplomats to collect foreign officials’ credit card numbers and other personal data is unprecedented, despite the department’s assurances to the contrary.

“I can’t recall anything like this,” Ford told SpyTalk by e-mail on Monday, adding that in the past, American diplomats focused on the personalities and political views of foreign officials, leaving the collection of cell phone numbers, e-mail addresses, credit card accounts and other personal data to the CIA, FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies.

Such information was considered “operational materials not diplomatic reporting,” said Ford, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR) from 2001 to 2003. Before that he was a senior Defense Department and National Intelligence Council official.

“I suspect much of that information was being passed by telephone and e-mail,” Ford said, “but even INR didn’t have access to it, the bureaus telling us that it was operational materials not diplomatic reporting.”

One of the documents surfaced by WikiLeaks Sunday is a July 31, 2009 State Department cable to U.S. diplomatic missions, entitled, “Reporting and collection needs: The United Nations.” that included a long list of targeted items.

It asked U.S. foreign services officers to collect foreign officials’ “numbers of telephones, cell phones, pagers and faxes; compendia of contact information, such as telephone directories … e-mail listings; internet and intranet ‘handles,’ internet e-mail addresses, web site identification-URLs; credit card account numbers; frequent flyer account numbers; work schedules, and other relevant biographical information.”

Robert E. White, a U.S. ambassador to Paraguay and El Salvador during the Carter and Reagan administrations, said diplomats were not tasked with such snooping in his time.

“No. If I, as a delegate to the [U.N. General Assembly] had an invitation from a government with which we did not have diplomatic relations, I would show it to the State Department security team,” White said. “If I decided to attend I would naturally write a report on anything non-routine. I would send the report to the Department and they would take care of the routing.”

White said espionage or counterintelligence work was best left to the professionals.

“For example, diplomats in NYC tend to frequent a small number of restaurants. It would be a simple matter for the FBI to gain the cooperation of the management for credit card numbers, etc.,” he said by e-mail.

“Someone apparently has persuaded the secretary that the war against terrorism justifies the use of diplomats as spies. This is just another example of throwing away an important principle for an illusory gain.”

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley maintained Sunday that tasking of diplomats for such information was nothing new.

“Our diplomats are just that, diplomats,” Crowley said in an interview with Foreign Policy columnist Josh Rogin.

“They represent our country around the world and engage openly and transparently with representatives of foreign governments and civil society. Through this process, they collect information that shapes our policies and actions. This is what diplomats, from our country and other countries, have done for hundreds of years.”

Traditional diplomatic reporting, however, emphasizes the personalities and views of important foreign officials, not their frequent flyer account numbers. A classic of the type surfaced Sunday in the WikiLeaks release of a diplomatic cable by the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Gene A. Cretz, reporting on Muammar al-Qadhafi.

“Qadhafi relies heavily on his long-time Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska, who has been described as a ’voluptuous blonde,’” Cretz reported on Sept. 29, 2009, part of a lengthy assessment of the Libyan leader.

“He also appears to have an intense dislike or fear of staying on upper floors, reportedly prefers not to fly over water, and seems to enjoy horse racing and flamenco dancing. His recent travel may also suggest a diminished dependence on his legendary female guard force, as only one woman bodyguard accompanied him to New York.”

2020 – The Outlook for An Alternative World Order

2020 – The region

  • Andrew MacIntyre

Our strategic future is bound up with continued growth and stability in the Asia-Pacific

A DECADE from now we will have moved a little further into an era in which the old powers of Europe and North America increasingly share the stage with the rising countries of the developing world. In this environment Australia’s welfare and security will be even more strongly influenced by developments in Asia and the Pacific.

Many of the factors that will determine Australia’s strategic environment in 2020 are already at work. Three stand out: the economic growth trajectories of key countries and the region as a whole, the stability of relations among the biggest powers and the potential for domestically destabilising political change in pivotal states.

Of these, economic performance is the most fundamental. Economic growth not only underpins the policy options open to a government and internal political dynamics, it also influences international perceptions of national capabilities.

There is a widely held expectation that Asia will grow strongly. However, the picture fragments when we shift our focus from the region as a whole to particular countries, particularly the biggest. Few analysts are optimistic about a sustained upsurge in the Japanese economy, but most expect China to continue growing strongly. For all its technological ingenuity, Japan remains bogged down domestically. By contrast, pro-growth politics seem entrenched in China. We know China is destined to face the challenge of an ageing population, but this will not begin to bite sharply by 2020. During the next decade, it will continue to enjoy the economic benefits of an expanding labour market. Not so Japan, where long-standing low fertility rates and restrictive immigration policies drive demographic decline.

Anticipating the economic trajectory of the US to 2020 is more difficult. For now, a pall of economic gloom lingers, in part due to a sense thatthe US political system is failing to deliver needed policy reforms. But though usually slow-moving, the political architecture in the US has and can again permit decisive action. As Joseph Nye reminds doubters, Washington refocused effectively once confronted with challenges from the Soviet Union in the 1950s and Japan in the 80s. And, uniquely among Western countries, the US economy can continue to count on a positive demographic trajectory.

Against this, the scale of US debt following the global financial crisis is staggering. A recent International Monetary Fund study projects total federal debt may equal gross domestic product by 2015, and this does not include public debt below the level of the federal government. Economic historian Niall Ferguson has declared: "This is how empires decline. It begins with a debt explosion." Washington insiders Roger Altman and Richard Haas have written about the adverse implications of fiscal profligacy for US power.

Economic growth trajectories are fundamental, but the variable with the greatest potential to destabilise our strategic environment is an outbreak of direct conflict among the big regional powers. The key is the three-way relationship among China, Japan and the US, given their military capabilities and economic centrality. (India and Russia are not yet in this category.)

The central issue here is the shifting power balance, driven by China’s economic trajectory relative to that of the US. The US National Intelligence Council projects that by 2025, "the US will remain the pre-eminent power, but that American dominance will be much diminished". The rapid expansion of China’s military capabilities and the increasing importance of international interests to China’s welfare mean that Deng Xiaoping’s old injunction about maintaining a low international profile and focusing on domestic development no longer resonates to the same extent.

There can be no doubting the reality of a shifting power balance in Asia. It has been going on for some time, with all countries in the region tacitly making adjustments for Chinese preferences. As against this, the underlying deterrent value of US military might will remain formidable through the next decade. US defence spending exceeds the combined total of China, Japan, Russia, India and the rest of NATO, and its strategic attention is increasingly concentrated on Asia. This, together with the reasonable prospect of caution in Beijing, underscore Richard Woolcott’s recent judgment that there is not yet any necessary reason to assume that China’s rise cannot remain peaceful.

The third driver of our strategic environment in 2020 is the potential for domestic political disruption in pivotal states. A decade ago Thailand was a stable success story and Indonesia was the next Yugoslavia. Here, too, much attention is given to China and anticipated political pressures stemming from its economic transformation. But, of all authoritarian regimes, Leninist systems are among the most durable.

Look instead to North Korea, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Despite its Leninist roots, the Pyongyang regime has become so personalised as to be inherently brittle. Any breakdown there would be fraught with danger for northeast Asia and the wider region. Indonesia has been the outstanding Southeast Asian success story of this past decade, but uninterrupted progress cannot be taken for granted. Pressures on democratic governance are likely to be greater a decade from now. Political disruption there would have serious implications for Australia. And, even closer to home, the vitality of democratic governance in PNG is under an ongoing, if quiet, challenge of corrosion. Serious political disruption is not probable, but neither can it be ruled out. Again, for Australia, the consequences would be serious .

Some elements of our present strategic environment will still apply in 2020: in all probability the US will still be the dominant power and China will be a stable economic powerhouse and the balance of power between them will still be shifting in China’s favour. But other key features may have changed. While the details are uncertain, the net effect will be to place ever more importance on Australia’s ability to project its interests co-operatively but effectively into the region. The challenge may become more familiar, but it won’t be easier.

Russia ready for innovative partnership with India, China”

Russia ready for innovative partnership with India, China”

Moscow, Nov 30 (PTI) Ahead of his visit to India, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today expressed Moscow”s readiness for innovative partnership with New Delhi and Beijing for "modernisation" of the Russian economy.
"We see the possibility of innovative partnership with nations like China, India in the five priority areas of Russia”s modernisation," Medvedev said during his annual state of the nation address before the Federal Assembly.
Space, energy, including civil nuclear, IT, pharmaceuticals are among the five priorities of Russia”s modernisation, he said.
Medvedev said the innovative partnership could be developed with India and China by creating Joint Ventures on the Russian soil for the production of "quality and affordable" products.
The bilateral innovative cooperation in hi-tech areas would also be high on the agenda of Medvedev”s India visit on December 21-22.
He said that high level bilateral interaction with the nations of Asia-Pacific Region is acquiring a "strategic character" for Russia.
"The high level bilateral interaction with China is transforming in the joint coordinated efforts on the international arena and leads to the rise in the authority of regional structures like Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRIC," the president said.
He said Russia also sees serious reserves in cooperation with the countries of Latin America and Africa.