Saturday, 2 June 2012

Search and Surveillance Bill passes DANYA LEVY Last updated 09:12 23/03/2012

Search and Surveillance Bill passes

Last updated 09:12 23/03/2012

Opposition parties say New Zealand has been turned into a "police state" after Parliament last night narrowly passed the Government's controversial Search and Surveillance Bill.

Parliament last night passed by the Bill by 61 votes to 57.

It was opposed by all Opposition parties and the Government's support partner the Maori Party.

Greens MP Stefan Browning said the legislation put the powers exercised by police in its heavily criticised 2007 so-called "terror raids" in Ruatoki in the hands of many government agencies.

Those raids led to the trial of the Urewera Four, who a jury this week failed to reach a verdict on the police's case they were part of an organised criminal group.

Browning told Parliament the law went too far.

"The evils of the Bill go to looking at people's texts, their voice mails, bugs in cars, chat room videos."

Thousands of innocent people could have their communications caught up in electronic monitoring, Browning said.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira said 70 different government agencies could obtain surveillance warrants based on suspicion a crime could be committed.

"This Bill goes way beyond what they have in Europe, in Canada and even in the US."

If someone was detained under the Bill, enforcement officers could search a person's workplaces and friends, he told Parliament.

"You don't have to be guilty of anything, you don't even have to be to be arrested. You only have to be detained."

Mana opposed the Bill because it led to a "police state".

"Where the liberties and freedoms most of us now enjoy will disappear, where the powers of the police will be extended without the approval of the judiciary, where the powers of government agencies will assume more authority that the rights of ordinary New Zealanders and where there will be an assumption of guilt not only on an alleged offender but on anyone who knows that person.

"Where enforcement officers can bug your granddaughter's phone, install a hidden camera in your daughter's bathroom, download the files from your wife's computer and steal your files without even having to prove a crime has been or will be committed."

Justice Minister Judith Collins said the new law brought "order, certainty, clarity and consistency" to "messy, unclear and outdated" laws.

There were a number of safeguards in the legislation to balance law enforcement and investigation powers with human rights values.

"We have achieved the right balance between the need for effective and modern search and surveillance powers, and protecting the rights of citizens."

The legislation was originally debated before the last election but concern about its wide-reaching powers saw it sent back to be redrafted.

A temporary "fix-it" law had been put in place until mid-April.

Collins said some of the law's provision's would come into effect on April 18 so the expiry of the Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Act 2011 did not endanger ongoing investigations using covert video surveillance.

*comments are now closed on this story

- © Fairfax NZ News

The appalling truth about the UN observers in Syria - - Koert Debeuf

The appalling truth about the UN observers in Syria

Inside Arab Spring

Koert Debeuf lives in Cairo, where he represents the EU parliament's Alde group. He is the former advisor of a Belgian prime minister. Reporting from post-revolutionary Egypt, his blog is a window on events in the Arab world.

Today a UN diplomat told me the appalling truth about the UN Observation Mission in Syria. The facts are based on direct information from observers on the ground. It is clear that, while some observers are doing a great job risking their life and even pay missions on their own expenses, most of the official UN observers are doing as good as nothing at all, as they are underpaid, too scared and too few.
The 300 UN observers are in reality with 270. They were quickly picked from several UN institutions and departments. A great lot of them do not speak English and only a few speak Arabic, which makes communication with the local people as good as impossible. As they were picked very quickly, almost none of the observers have any knowledge about Syria at all. They are not trained and have no experience whatsoever with the situation there brought in. That’s why most of them are terribly scared.
The daily allowance the observers receive is ridiculously low, being 230 dollars. One room in the safe Damascene hotel they all stay in costs 150 dollars a day. The problem is that with the other 80 dollars, they not only have to eat but pay for what they need to do their job. This is of course far from sufficient. If they want to do a mission to one of the Syrian cities, they have to pay the driver, the gasoline and other expenses. That is why only hundred of the 270 observers are actually doing observation missions, paying the expenses out of their own pocket. The other 170 just stay in the hotel, probably reading their newspaper, go for a swim or at best take a little walk in the neighbourhood. From these hundred active observers, only very few go to ‘far away places’ like Aleppo, Idlib, Deir Ez-Zor, Dera or even Homs. Most of them choose to visit Hama, as this is not far and thus not expensive.
Those who go on mission are secured by the Mukhabarat, the Syrian security and intelligence service. They follow the UN cars (German courtesy) with their own black cars. These intelligence people lead them to safe places and warn them for unsafe ones (read: where killings are going on). Of course it is up to the observers to decide whether to continue or not. If the observers reach the ‘no-man’s-land’ between the government’s and FSA territory, the black cars stop. From there on the observers are left on their own. We have seen in many videos the moving scenes when UN cars enter a city or a village. The cars are immediately surrounded by hundreds of people desperate to tell their story. The most speaking images came from the university of Aleppo where brave observers where overwhelmed by hundreds of students trying to share their fears and hopes.
Unfortunately, it goes not always like that. A lot of observers are frightened to death and don’t get out of the car. They even don’t open their window. Instead, they drive as soon as possible back to Damascus. The incident on May 15 in the outskirts of Damascus, where a bomb exploded next to one of the three UN cars there, was most probably the result of observers not wanting to get out of the car, or even open a window and people becoming angry about that. However, getting out of the car and talking to people has a downside as well, because it brings these people in danger. Some observers have even seen that – while driving back – the people they have been talking to were being arrested by the Syrian intelligence.
The situation on the ground is of course very complex. And it is not easy to operate. In some Syrian cities the affiliation of people towards regime or opposition is very fragmented and differs from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. But it is obvious that in order to be a little effective the UN observation mission needs much more and much better qualified people. The observers on the ground say at least 3000. Recently, the UK proposed to go to 800 but that was refused by Russia.

So that’s where we are, in a catch 22. With a mission that is not only a joke; it is even counterproductive. In the UN headquarters in New York they all know the Annan peace plan is dead. The problem is they do not have an alternative, as was even admitted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. That is why they keep on talking and trying and exhausting adjectives in condemning the crimes of the Assad regime. In the meantime, killings and massacres continue in Syria. It is time the UN admits its current mission in Syria has painfully failed.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Human rights groups criticise Queen's historic lunch of monarchs King of Bahrain, accused of brutally suppressing pro-democracy protests, among those included on controversial guest list Caroline Davies, Friday 18 May 2012 17.45 BST

Human rights groups criticise Queen's historic lunch of monarchs

King of Bahrain, accused of brutally suppressing pro-democracy protests, among those included on controversial guest list

The Queen poses for a formal picture with her guests before a sovereign monarchs jubilee lunchView larger picture
The Queen poses for a formal picture with her guests before a sovereign monarchs jubilee lunch at Windsor Castle. Photograph: John Stillwell/AFP/Getty Images

It was meant to be a monarchical milestone, an unprecedented meeting of the world's crowned heads gathered at Windsor Castle in celebration of theQueen's diamond jubilee.

But as the kings, queens, princes, one emperor, a grand duke and an emir posed for a historic photograph inside the castle's Waterloo Chamber, elsewhere human rights activists condemned it as a platform for "blood-stained despots and tyrants".

Perhaps, the Queen's advisers may have reflected, this glittering anniversary bash was not such a good idea after all.

Taking his seat amid the heraldic splendour of St George's Hall, was King Hamad al-Khalifa of Bahrain, whose regime is accused of the brutal suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations.

Swaziland's controversial King Mswati III, who has amassed 13 wives and an estimated £60m personal fortune, according to Forbes magazine – while many of his 1.2 million subjects live in poverty – was seated nearby.

Saudi and Kuwaiti royals, criticised for their human rights records, also feasted from a menu which included English asparagus, Windsor lamb, wild mushrooms and Kent strawberries, paid for by the taxpayer, via the Sovereign's Grant.

The Queen had rolled out the full red-carpet treatment with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and princesses Beatrice and Eugenie among a 12-strong royal welcoming party. Prince Charles was not there, as he was hosting his own glittering dinner at Buckingham Palace on Friday night for the foreign rulers, excluding King Hamad, who was not attending.

The Queen welcomed the Bahraini ruler with a handshake and a laugh as the two shared a joke.

But detractors condemned the event as a "catastrophic error of judgment". It was, pronounced the chief executive of the pressure group Republic, Graham Smith, a "crisis of her [the Queen's] own making". "Thanks to the Queen's misjudgment, her jubilee will forever be associated with some of the most repressive regimes in the world," he added.

Denis MacShane, a former foreign office minister, said: "Given the amount of blood on the hands of the royal regime in Bahrain it's a shame he will stain the white linen of Windsor Castle at this event."

MacShane laid responsibility at the door of the Foreign Office. It has said invitations were sent by the royal household. Some 21 sovereign monarchs, and six representatives, made up the largest such gathering of foreign royals since Queen Victoria's golden jubilee celebrations, captured in a painting by Laurits Tuxen. Not all, though, still had thrones – the royals of Bulgaria, the former Yugoslavia and Romania, for example, and the Hellenes. In the formal photograph, King Hamad was a diplomatic distance away from the Queen, though that was because the seating appeared to be arranged on length of regal service.

Showing no indication of being aware of the controversy surrounding his attendance, the Bahraini ruler convulsed into a fit of giggles as the photographer began taking the picture. Also laughing was the Sultan of Brunei, sitting in front. "Are you supposed to be enjoying this?" joked the Queen.

In some respects the lunch was something of a family affair featuring Europe's three queens: Elizabeth II, 86, Margrethe II of Denmark, 72, and Beatrix, of the Netherlands.

Many guests were the Queen's "kissing cousins", which happily dispensed with protocol over who should pay obeisance to whom. Queen Beatrix flung open her arms as she approached the Queen, before kissing her.

Bowing and curtsying was limited. Lest anyone be doubt as to who had precedence, however, it was Her Majesty - with Great Britain and 15 other realms notched on her belt. This being lunchtime, it was lounge dress and no proper bling.

The ghost of Victoria loomed large. Not for nothing was she known as the "grandmother of Europe", with her descendants present including the Queen, Prince Philip, Margrethe, King Harald of Norway, 75, and King Carl Gustaf of Sweden, 66.

Another would have been Spain's Queen Sofia, but she was prevented from attending by her government, furious over a planned visit by the Earl of Wessex to Gibraltar, the UK overseas territory Spain wants back.

Protesters stayed away from Windsor, except one, who called himself Joe. Others were planning to demonstrate outside Buckingham Palace on Friday evening, an event, as it turned out, the Bahraini ruler was not due to attend.

The Swazi Vigil protest group had waved placards outside the Savoy hotel, where Mswati was said to be installed with a 30-strong entourage, rather than Windsor. They did not, said protest co-ordinator Thobile Gwebu, want to "spoil" the Queen's jubilee celebrations. But, she added, they had written to Her Majesty politely asking if she could perhaps "have a word" with the Sherborne-educated absolute monarch.

Joe, meanwhile, waved his placard as the crowned heads arrived in cars at the Long Walk at Windsor Castle. "I booed at the King of Bahrain's car," Joe said proudly. "But right behind it was the Emperor of Japan's car. I was still booing and the Empress had the window down and was waving. She looked a bit startled and stopped waving straight away," he said.

Alan Milburn: 'Threat to new era of social mobility' Major report warns that fewer people outside the middle class have a chance to join professions Daniel Boffey, policy editor, Saturday 26 May 2012 23.57 BST

Alan Milburn: 'Threat to new era of social mobility'

Major report warns that fewer people outside the middle class have a chance to join professions

Alan Milburn
Britain has a chance to recreate the 1950s ‘golden era’ of professional opportunities, says Alan Milburn. Photograph: Matthew Fearn/Press Association

The government's adviser on social mobility will warn in a major report that the country risks squandering the chance to recreate the golden era of the 1950s, when workers from all parts of society had the chance to join the professional classes.

Alan Milburn, the former Labour health secretary, will tell ministers that despite a huge growth in white-collar work, there is evidence that people from poorer backgrounds and those living outside the south-east of England are being left behind.

The report, due to be published on Wednesday, claims that 83% of all the jobs created over the next decade will be in the professions. Today, 42% of the working population (13 million people) work in a profession and by 2020 this will increase to 46%.

Yet, in an example of the increased social exclusivity of the top echelons in Britain, Milburn found that while 30% of members of parliament were privately educated in 1997, that proportion increased to 35% in 2010. In the Labour government's last cabinet, 32% were privately educated but this increased to 59% in the coalition cabinet that entered Downing Street in May 2010.

Speaking to the Observer, Milburn said the country had the opportunity to encourage a level of movement between the classes last seen in the 1950s but that he had found no evidence of this happening. He said: "The chances of social mobility are greater if there are more professional jobs being created. So it is no coincidence that the 1950s saw an unparalleled social mobility in Britain and that coincided with an upsurge in professional employment.

"In the 1950s, the academics say there was the creation of more room at the top. The economy was becoming more professional, more white-collar jobs created, demands [increased] for higher quality, higher skill level and the sucking up of labour into the white-collar, better-paid jobs.

"The primary reason that social mobility has stagnated in the last 30 years is that there has been another big change in the labour market: the advent of a more knowledge-based economy where there is a high premium on qualification and skill and if you have those you get into the inner circle, if not there is constant insecurity, low pay and endemic poverty."

Milburn added: "It seems that what is happening, as part of this growth of the middle class in our country, is that the jobs that are going to be created are overwhelmingly in professional careers. The question is: who gets the jobs? There is a real opportunity.

"And so the question at the heart of the report is whether the growth in professional employment is going to create a new social mobility dividend for Britain just as there was in the 1950s. And the short answer is: not yet."

Milburn's report – the first of three on social mobility commissioned by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg – will tell ministers that the recruiting policies of big employers are largely responsible for the lack of social progress.

He found that of the 115 universities in the country, on average only 19 are targeted by the UK's leading professional employers as part of their graduate recruitment drives. Milburn, who also examines the role of universities and government in causing and or, possibly, solving the problem, said: "Those universities are the more socially exclusive in the country so those recruitment practices merely enforce the social exclusivity of the professions. It is an interesting argument that of the 115 universities only 19 are capable of producing excellent graduates. I think there are 30-odd universities in the Russell Group alone. So they don't even get to all of them." Evidence suggests that the "socially exclusive" recruitment policies of the major employers exacerbate the north-south divide.

Milburn will call for employers to follow the example of the last two governments in moving civil service jobs to the regions.

He said: "We looked at where the Times top 100 graduate employers, who were overwhelmingly professional employers, were offering vacancies. In 2012, nine out of 10 of those companies were offering vacancies in London. Only 44% in the north-east; only 41% in East Anglia. Unsurprisingly in the next few years, over half the growth of jobs in higher-level occupations will occur in London and the south. It seems that regional disparities in being able to get on the professional career ladder are growing. And are set to go on doing so.

"Interestingly, the previous Labour government, and this one, have set a rather good example in that they have actively dispersed their civil service workforce . And as a consequence they created new white collar opportunities in the regions and other nations of the UK. What these regions have going for them from an employer's perspective is there is a youthful labour market and a cheaper labour market. Which is of course why the government has done it.Maybe where the government has led, the professions can follow."

the guardian - polly toynbee - Queen's diamond jubilee: a vapid family and a mirage of nationhood. What's to celebrate?


Updated 11.10

Queen's diamond jubilee: a vapid family and a mirage of nationhood. What's to celebrate?

If the very idea of monarchy diminishes us, the living reality is much more humiliating and damaging to our country
Joe Magee 0106
Illustration by Joe Magee
Polly Toynbee

The Guardian, Thu 31 May 2012 21.00 BST


The mighty royal jubilee bells will toll their way down the Thames on Sunday on a floating belfry leading a thousand boats, echoed by pealing church bells all down the riverside. Who could miss the spectacle of a hundred tall ships serenaded with Handel's Water Music played by a floating orchestra?
The more outrageously glorious the performance, the more preposterous its purpose. There at the heart, in the dead centre of all this pomp and circumstance, is the great emptiness, the nothingness, the Wizard of Oz in emperor's clothes. The louder the bells, the more gaping the grand vacuity. What are we celebrating? A singularly undistinguished family's hold on the nation, a mirage of nationhood, a majestic delusion.
How close to religion it is, with all the same feudal imagery, God as Lord and sovereign, sovereign anointed by God, knelt before in a divine hierarchy of power ordained by laws too ineffable to explain. The tyranny of the monarchy lies not in its residual temporal power but in its spiritual power. It subjugates the national imagination, infantilising us with false imaginings and a bogus heritage of our island story. For as long as they rule over us, we are obedient servants, worshipping an ermine-wrapped fantasy of Englishness. (Despite the kilts, the monarchy was never really British.)
Every country needs its founding myths, its binding identity rooted in a valiant story that rarely stands up to historical scrutiny. What matters is the nature of that story, and ours is as pitiful as our embarrassingly shoddy national anthem: no US "land of the free", just "long to reign over us".
But if the very idea of monarchy diminishes us, the living reality is even more humiliating. What are we doing paying homage to the unimpressive personages invested with this awe? They are the apogee of celebrity culture, because there is nothing there but empty celebrity. Ah, say the royalists, it's their very "ordinariness" that is their mystique. But they are not ordinary like next-door neighbours, only ordinary like all the other dull and talentless plutocrats with nothing remarkable about them but their bank balance. That the very rich are mostly very dull, lacking enterprise, initiative or inspiration is small solace.
The long line of royal nonentity is the ultimate lesson in the damage that inherited money and privilege does, the reason why inheritance tax – which the monarchy doesn't pay – is a way not just to collect funds for the Treasury but to stop the stultifying social effects of inherited wealth. How well the royal family illustrate the aristocratic phenomenon where those who have had the very best education and the greatest opportunity for intellectual enrichment emerge with so little to show for it, generation after generation. Hunting, shooting, horses, nightclubbing, none of the long royal line since time immemorial has exhibited much spark of intellectual curiosity or originality.
It is a joyful confirmation of the wonder of the human gene pool that talent, brains and charm spring up at random. These faculties are no more bred out of a fictional "underclass" than they are bred into a fictional "royal blood", though social circumstance conspires to knock it out of some at a young age, while promoting others with no attributes to heights they would never reach on merit. If royals have any value, they are the living, breathing negation of the myth of genetic superiority.
The most enjoyable reminder was theQueen's diamond jubilee "informal" lunch for 20 crowned heads, when the theatre of majesty descended into farce. If she thought collecting them together would add legitimacy to the bloodline idea, what a mistake. The display of dictatorship and delusion surely must have been devised by some secret palace republican, complete with group photo of the torturers of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland and Qatar, alongside dethroned fantasists from Romania and Greece, a showcase of royalty from horror to hilarity, from ruthless to Ruritanian.
With its usual thundering ineptitude, the government chose jubilee week to publish a report on Britain's social immobility. Alan Milburn offers a snapshot of a country where birth is destiny more surely than virtually every other OECD nation except the US. With 83% of new jobs in the next eight years in higher management and the professions, on the present trajectory the odds that many more children from blue collar backgrounds will shoot up the ladder to take them are vanishingly remote.
New opportunities, like the last decade's extra university places, are taken by dimmer, better-crammed children of a middle class more adept at cementing their children into the upper echelons than ever. The privileged are not about to let them slip down the ladder to make room for others any time soon, and Michael Gove's selective education policies will help prevent it. Income gaps stretch wider, as the bottom half has stagnated for a decade. Nick Clegg's claim that income difference is unlinked to opportunity defies every international comparison: only more equal countries produce more equal opportunities. But here we are, in a deeper depression than the 1930s, with austerity imposed hardest on the weakest, lavishly celebrating our figurehead of British class rigidity.
The cost of the monarchy, though a hundred times the price of the modestly likeable Irish presidency, is counted not in palaces and royal trains, but in the fantasy of imperial power the crown bestows on British politics. Punching above our weight, we have just ordered a new Trident to cling to an undeserved UN security council seat from which to hector the world about a democratic idea so weakly applied at home.
Meanwhile, defrauding ourselves and the world's treasuries, the sun never sets on the Queen's dominion over more tax havens than any other country, an archipelago of shame from the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, Gibraltar, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands – and the City itself. Beneath the splendour, the squalor.
The Republic protest takes place at City Hall at 1.30pm on Sunday

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

UK to deploy rape investigation squad to war zones Source: Guardian UK | Julian Borger

Traumatized woman, Bosnian Muslim rape victim. | Photo Anthony LLoyd, war correspondent and former British Army officer.Traumatized woman, Bosnian Muslim rape victim. | Photo Anthony LLoyd, war correspondent and former British Army officer.

Source: Guardian UK | Julian Borger

The UK is setting up a special rapid deployment unit to collect evidence on mass rape used as a weapon during global conflicts, as part of a broader initiative to be launched on Tuesday to combat sexual war crimes of the kind seen in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, central Africa, and now in Syria.

The team of experts being created by the Foreign Office will be drawn from a pool of British police, forensic experts, doctors, psychologists and lawyers and is expected to be in action by the end of this year, ready to be sent to war zones at short notice wherever there are signs of sexual abuse on a large scale. One of their first destinations could well be Syria where William Hague, the foreign secretary, said there were "horrifying reports" of rape beginning to emerge.

"Despite the valiant efforts of many individuals and organisations, the perpetrators of the worst sexual crimes generally go unpunished," Hague will say at the launch of the initiative, according to early extracts of his speech released by the Foreign Office. "We want to use Britain's influence and diplomatic capability to rally effective international action."

The team will initially be funded out of a £20m urgent action fund, part of UK contingency spending set aside for helping mitigate the impact of global conflicts. The UK also intends to use its presidency of the G8 in 2013 to persuade other countries and organisations to put more resources into the fight against rape worldwide.

Angelina Jolie will be also be speaking at the launch at the Foreign Office, where there will be an advance UK screening of her film about the rape camps in the Bosnia war, In the Land of Blood and Honey. Up to 50,000 women are estimated to have been raped during the 1992-1995 conflict, but there have been only 30 prosecutions specifically for sex war crimes.

During the Rwanda genocide, the UN estimates that at least 250,000 women were raped. More than 50,000 were raped in the conflict in Sierra Leone in the 1990s, while almost half of all Liberian women have reported being the victim of at least one act of physical or sexual violence by a soldier or paramilitary fighter.

Two years ago the UN appointed a special representative on sexual violence in conflict, Margot Wallstrom, who named the worst offenders in her report to the security council in February, including the Lord's Resistance Army in the Central African Republic and South Sudan, various militias in Ivory Coast, and the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Wallstrom also gave examples of how sexual violence had undermined peace-building efforts in post-war zones such as Chad, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Bosnia, and during elections or political strife in Egypt, Guinee Kenya and Syria.

"Conflict-related sexual violence is not specific to one country or continent: it is a global risk, Wallstrom said. "Wars have entered the marketplaces where women trade; they follow children en route to school; and haunt the prison cells where political activists are detained."

British officials said the aim of the UK initiative was to support the work of Wallstrom's offices and local law enforcement, while allowing the UK to act on its own where it believes it can offer specific expertise in collecting forensic evidence, victim testimonies and eye-witness statements of a standard that would be admissible in court.

"The UN do a good job on this, but the thing about these horrific crimes is that you can always do more," a British official said.

Hague will say: "We want to help find practical ways to ensure that survivors feel confident to speak out, and regain the dignity, rights, and restitution that is their due. And we want to see a significant increase in the number of successful prosecutions so that we erode and eventually demolish the culture of impunity."

Shuna Kennedy, the head of a London-based advocacy group, Womankind Worldwide, gave the Hague initiative a guarded welcome last night, warning of the dangers of duplication of effort.

"While we're pleased to see the foreign office taking steps to tackle the issue of sexual violence in conflict, an important link in the chain seems to be missing," Kennedy said. "We are not starting from scratch, so the proposal for a squad of experts to gather evidence, provide training and support to human rights defenders in fragile states, whilst welcome, will waste resources if it fails to recognise and build on the expertise and experience already available in women's rights organisations."

Flame: world's most complex computer virus exposed - By Damien McElroy, Christopher Williams 7:06PM BST 28 May 2012 - The world's most complex computer virus, possessing a range of complex espionage capabilities, including the ability to secretly record

Flame: world's most complex computer virus exposed

The world's most complex computer virus, possessing a range of complex espionage capabilities, including the ability to secretly record conversations, has been exposed.

Flame: world's most complex computer virus exposed
An Iranian technician works at the Uranium Conversion Facility near Isfahan. Stuxnet attacked Iran's nuclear programme in 2010 Photo: AP

By , Christopher Williams

7:06PM BST 28 May 2012

Comments191 Comments

Middle Eastern states were targeted and Iran ordered an emergency review of official computer installations after the discovery of a new virus, known as Flame.

Experts said the massive malicious software was 20 times more powerful than other known cyber warfare programmes including the Stuxnet virus and could only have been created by a state.

It is the third cyber attack weapon targeting systems in the Middle East to be exposed in recent years.

Iran has alleged that the West and Israel are orchestrating a secret war of sabotage using yber warfare and targeted assassinations of its scientists as part of the dispute over its nuclear programme.

Stuxnet attacked Iran's nuclear programme in 2010, while a related programme, Duqu, named after the Star Wars villain, stole data.

Flame can gather data files, remotely change settings on computers, turn on computer microphones to record conversations, take screen shots and copy instant messaging chats.

The virus was discovered by a Russian security firm that specialises in targeting malicious computer code.

It made the 20 megabyte virus available to other researchers yesterday claiming it did not fully understand its scope and said its code was 100 times the size of the most malicious software.

Kaspersky Labs said the programme appeared to have been released five years ago and had infected machines in Iran, Israel, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

"If Flame went on undiscovered for five years, the only logical conclusion is that there are other operations ongoing that we don't know about," Roel Schouwenberg, a Kaspersky security senior researcher, said.

Professor Alan Woodward from the department of computing at the University of Surrey said the virus was extremely invasive. It could "vacuum up" information by copying keyboard strokes and the voices of people nearby.

"This wasn't written by some spotty teenager in his/her bedroom. It is large, complicated and dedicated to stealing data whilst remaining hidden for a long time," he said.

The virus contains about 20 times as much code as Stuxnet, which attacked an Iranian uranium enrichment facility, causing centrifuges to fail. Iran's output of uranium was suffered a severe blow as a result of the Stuxnet activities.

Mr Schouwenberg said there was evidence to suggest the code was commissioned by the same nation or nations that were behind Stuxnet and Duqu.

Iran's Computer Emergency Response Team said it was "a close relation" of Stuxnet, which has itself been linked to Duqu, another complicated information-stealing virus is believed to be the work of state intelligence.

It said organisations had been given software to detect and remove the newly-discovered virus at the beginning of May.

Crysys Lab, which analyses computer viruses at Budapest University. said the technical evidence for a link between Flame and Stuxnet or Duqu was inconclusive.

The newly-discovered virus does not spread itself automatically but only when hidden controllers allow it.

Unprecedented layers of software allow Flame to penetrate remote computer networks undetected.

The file, which infects Microsoft Windows computers, has five encryption algorithms, exotic data storage formats and the ability to steal documents, spy on computer users and more.

Components enable those behind it, who use a network of rapidly-shifting "command and control" servers to direct the virus, to turn microphone into listening devices, siphon off documents and log keystrokes.

Eugene Kaspersky, the founder of Kaspersky Lab, noted that "it took us 6 months to analyse Stuxnet. [This] is 20 times more complicated".

Once a machine is infected additional modules can be added to the system allowing the machine to undertake specific tracking projects.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Casseroles: pots and pans protest video from Montreal goes viral By Alina Seagal | Daily Brew – Sat, 26 May, 2012

Casseroles: pots and pans protest video from Montreal goes viral

By Alina Seagal | Daily Brew – Sat, 26 May, 2012

Striking Quebecers are getting creative. Protesters — dubbed 'casseroles' — took to the streets with pots and pans in Montreal and other Quebec cities this week. But loud noise wasn't the only thing they've created. Take a look at this beautiful black-and-white video going viral at the moment.

Doesn't it sound like a hymn to the protesters? Thousands of Facebook and Twitter references have been made to the short film since it went live on Vimeo 24 hours ago. It had more than 100,000 views since then.

The pots and pans movement came from Chile, where it has been used as a loud but peaceful way to express discontent since the '70s. In Canada, Montreal police declared the event illegal on Thursday, but allowed it to proceed as long as it remained peaceful.

In the mean time, a tornado hit Quebec on Friday night but failed to stop the locals from marching again. The protests began more than 100 days ago over university tuition fee hikes in the province. But they have since focused on a new issue: Bill 78. The province pushed through the new controversial law to crack down on the demonstrators. But it hardly helped to calm the masses.

Police have made at least 2,500 protest-related arrests in the province so far.

Check out these links to find out more about the latest protests, the students taking legal action and the Bill 78.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Manning backers oppose ‘outrageous secrecy’ of trial - Supporters of WikiLeaks informer Bradley Manning say he is being tried amid far more secrecy than any terrorist in Guantanamo. They want prosecution motions, transcripts of proceeding and other ma

Manning backers oppose ‘outrageous secrecy’ of trial

Published: 25 May, 2012, 15:15

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning leaves the courthouse after his motion hearing at Fort Meade in Maryland (REUTERS/Jose Luis Magaua)

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning leaves the courthouse after his motion hearing at Fort Meade in Maryland (REUTERS/Jose Luis Magaua)

TAGS: CrimeProtestPoliticsUSAWikiLeaks

Supporters of WikiLeaks informer Bradley Manning say he is being tried amid far more secrecy than any terrorist in Guantanamo. They want prosecution motions, transcripts of proceeding and other material to be released to the public.

Led by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, a specially formed coalition supporting Manning calls unconstitutional the military trial of the man, who allegedly handed over thousands of US secret papers to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

Manning is facing 22 charges related to the infamous leak. He was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq, where he was working as intelligence analyst at a US military base.

So far not one of the motions submitted by the prosecution to the court-martial has been released. Neither were prosecution replies to defense motions, orders issued by the court or transcripts of the proceedings – even those that were fully open to the media.

Manning’s defense lawyer David Coombs published several documents related to the trial in his blog. Among them are motions pleading to dismiss 10 charges his client is facing. Eight of those are said to use unconstitutionally vague working, such as "to the injury of the US”, or “to the advantage of any foreign nation" and "relating to the national defense."

Coombs also complains that Manning was not allowed to review some 7,000 documents handed to the defense team by the army. The documents are only accessible in Rhode Island and Maryland, while the suspect is being held in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Arranging a way to study the papers was not possible.

The coalition’s petition for making the trial transparent was signed by Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks as well as several news outlets and individuals. They argue that the importance of the trial is comparable to that of Lt William Calley for the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the legal tussle over the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Thus, they say, the public must not be kept in the dark over Manning’s prosecution.

The next pre-trial hearings are to be held on June 6.

RT - $10 million a year: the average salary of an American CEO

$10 million a year: the average salary of an American CEO

© Autonomous Nonprofit Organization “TV-Novosti”, 2005–2012. All rights reserved.

Published: 25 May, 2012, 19:53

Image from

Image from

TAGS: USAEconomyFinance

If you weren’t sold on the whole Occupy Wall Street thing before, then listen up — despite the United States still in the process of picking itself out of a major recession, the average corporate CEO raked in nearly $10 million apiece in 2011.

The results of a study published on Friday by the Associated Press reveal that, on average, the chief executive officers at public companies raked in around $9.6 million each last year.

But how does that rack up when compared to the average American? The median pay for a worker in the US in 2011 was clocked in at only $39,300 last year.

The AP has analyzed the payouts from 2011 issued to CEOs of public companies to come to these results and, for the average American, the findings may be beyond depressing. The highest CEO, in fact — David Simon — brought in $137.2 million last year, a 458 percent increase from the year before.

Simon’s company, the Simon Property Group, is a commercial real estate group founded in 1993 that primarily manages properties licensed to shopping malls and other consumer centers where you’d be hard off to find an employee making above middle wage. For a simple comparison, look at how the AP puts just that one man’s salary into perspective:

“Simon makes about 342 times the $400,000 annual salary of President Barack Obama. In fact, if you add the salaries of Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, the Cabinet, the Supreme Court justices, all the members of the Senate and House of Representatives and all 50 governors, it is less than $110 million, so Simon makes well more than government’s top 600 leaders.”

Legislation passed only last year allows public company shareholders to vote on proposed CEO pay and give it the yay or nay, and while the vote is nonbinding, higher-ups are apt to avoid disappointing investors. Given the latest findings, though, outrage over the distribution of wealth might soon have shareholders asking questions. Just this month, in fact, shareholders voiced opposition to Simon’s pay package with 73 percent of investors saying they were not in favor of his hefty handout. Since the law makes these votes nonbinding, however, Simon shouldn’t expect to see his paychecks grow smaller in the coming months.

Oh, and before you forget — 20.5 million Americans — or 6.7 percent — have incomes that leave them to be grouped below half of the official poverty line. In Washington, DC, one-in-ten are grouped to be among the poorest of the poor.

The AP adds that, going back one century, US taxpayers have paid, taking into account inflation, only $80.6 million to Uncle Sam. Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS, was paid $68.4 million last year, a raise of 20 percent from 2011. If that trend continues, he’ll crack that $80 million during 2012.

Family From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Family (disambiguation).

Ending of[show]
Human practices[show]

In human context, a family (from Latin: familia) is a group of people affiliated by consanguinityaffinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children. Anthropologists most generally classify family organization as matrilocal (a mother and her children); conjugal (a wife, husband, and children, also called nuclear family); and consanguinal (also called an extended family) in which parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent's family.

There are also concepts of family that break with tradition within particular societies, or those that are transplanted via migration to flourish or else cease within their new societies. As a unit of socialization the family is the object of analysis for sociologists of the familyGenealogy is a field which aims to trace family lineages through history. In science, the term "family" has come to be used as a means to classify groupsof objects as being closely and exclusively related. In the study of animals it has been found that many species form groups that have similarities to human "family"—often called "packs." Sexual relations among family members are regulated by rules concerning incest such as the incest taboo.

Extended from the human "family unit" by affinity and consanguinity are concepts of family that are physical and metaphorical, or that grow increasingly inclusive extending tocommunityvillagecityregionnationhoodglobal village and humanism.




Main article: Family planning

One of the primary functions of the family is to produce and reproduce persons, biologically and socially. This can occur through the sharing of material substances (such as semen, and food); jural ties of rights and obligations; and moral and sentimental ties.[1][2] Thus, one's experience of one's family shifts over time. From the perspective of children, the family is a "family of orientation": the family serves to locate children socially and plays a major role in their enculturation and socialization.[3] From the point of view of the parent(s), the family is a "family of procreation," the goal of which is to produce and enculturate and socialize children.[4] It is important to know for children to know the differences in families. As long as you have people to take care of you, that is what a family is about ([5]). However, producing children is not the only function of the family; in societies with a sexual division of labor, marriage, and the resulting relationship between two people, it is necessary for the formation of an economically productive household.[6][7][8]

A "conjugal" family includes only the husband, the wife, and unmarried children who are not of age. The most common form of this family is regularly referred to in sociology as anuclear family.[9] A "consanguineal" family consists of a parent and his or her children, and other people. Although the concept of consanguinity originally referred to relations by "blood," cultural anthropologists[who?] have argued that one must understand the idea of "blood" metaphorically and that many societies understand family through other concepts rather than through genetic distance.Genes give a background of behavioral types that can be passed on to the child. In most aspects, genetics are important, but do not make a family a loving family. Genetics is helpful for diseases or problems you may see with your child.[10] A "matrilocal" family consists of a mother and her children. Generally, these children are her biological offspring, although adoption of children is a practice in nearly every society. This kind of family is common where women have the resources to rear their children by themselves, or where men are more mobile than women.

[edit]History of the family

Main article: History of the family
A group portrait of a mother, son and daughter on glass, Ancient Rome, c. 250 AD.

The diverse data coming from ethnography, history, law and social statistics, establish that the human family is an institution and not a biological fact founded on the natural relationship of consanguinity.[11][12]

Early scholars of family history applied Darwin's biological theory of evolution in their theory of evolution of family systems.[13]American anthropologist Lewis H. Morgan published Ancient Society in 1877 based on his theory of the three stages of human progress from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization.[14] Morgan's book was the "inspiration for Friedrich Engels' book" The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State published in 1884.[15]

Engels expanded Morgan's hypothesis that economical factors caused the transformation of primitive community into a class-divided society.[16] Engels' theory of resource control, and later that of Karl Marx, was used to explain the cause and effect of change in family structure and function. The popularity of this theory was largely unmatched until the 1980s, when other sociological theories, most notably structural functionalism, gained acceptance.

[edit]Kinship terminology

Family tree showing the relationship of each person to the orange person. Cousins are colored green. The genetic kinship degree of relationship is marked in red boxes by percentage (%).
Family chart. Note that not all relatives are shown in the chart (specially at step-relatives).
Main article: Kinship terminology

Anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan (1818–1881) performed the first survey of kinship terminologies in use around the world. Although much of his work is now considered dated, he argued that kinshipterminologies reflect different sets of distinctions. For example, most kinship terminologies distinguish between sexes (the difference between a brother and a sister) and between generations (the difference between a child and a parent). Moreover, he argued, kinship terminologies distinguish between relatives by blood and marriage (although recently some anthropologists have argued that many societies define kinship in terms other than "blood").

Morgan made a distinction between kinship systems that use classificatory terminology and those that use descriptive terminology. Classificatory systems are generally and erroneously understood to be those that "class together" with a single term relatives who actually do not have the same type of relationship to ego. (What defines "same type of relationship" under such definitions seems to be genealogical relationship. This is problematic given that any genealogical description, no matter how standardized, employs words originating in a folk understanding of kinship.) What Morgan's terminology actually differentiates are those (classificatory) kinship systems that do not distinguish lineal and collateral relationships and those (descriptive) kinship systems that do. Morgan, a lawyer, came to make this distinction in an effort to understand Seneca inheritance practices. A Seneca man's effects were inherited by his sisters' children rather than by his own children.[17] Morgan identified six basic patterns of kinship terminologies:

  • Hawaiian: only distinguishes relatives based upon sex and generation.
  • Sudanese: no two relatives share the same term.
  • Eskimo: in addition to distinguishing relatives based upon sex and generation, also distinguishes between lineal relatives and collateral relatives.
  • Iroquois: in addition to sex and generation, also distinguishes between siblings of opposite sexes in the parental generation.
  • Crow: a matrilineal system with some features of an Iroquois system, but with a "skewing" feature in which generation is "frozen" for some relatives.
  • Omaha: like a Crow system but patrilineal.

[edit]Western kinship

See also: Cousin chart
Georgian family of writer Vazha-Pshavela (in the middle, sitting)
Chilean family from Población,Chile, in 1987.

Most Western societies employ Eskimo kinship terminology. This kinship terminology commonly occurs in societies based on conjugal (or nuclear) families, where nuclear families have a degree of relative mobility. Members of the nuclear use descriptive kinship terms:

An infant, his mother, his maternalgrandmother, and his great-grandmother.

Such systems generally assume that the mother's husband has also served as the biological father. In some families, a woman may have children with more than one man or a man may have children with more than one woman. The system refers to a child who shares only one parent with another child as a "half-brother" or "half-sister." For children who do not share biological or adoptive parents in common, English-speakers use the term "stepbrother" or "stepsister" to refer to their new relationship with each other when one of their biological parents marries one of the other child's biological parents. Any person (other than the biological parent of a child) who marries the parent of that child becomes the "stepparent" of the child, either the "stepmother" or "stepfather." The same terms generally apply to children adopted into a family as to children born into the family.

Typically, societies with conjugal families also favor neolocal residence; thus upon marriage a person separates from the nuclear family of their childhood (family of orientation) and forms a new nuclear family (family of procreation). However, in the western society the single parent family has been growing more accepted and has begun to truly make an impact on culture. The majority of single parent families are more commonly single mother families than single father. These families face many difficult issues besides the fact that they have to rear their children on their own, but also have to deal with issues related to low income. Many single parents struggle with low incomes and must cope with other issues, including rent, child care, and other necessities required in maintaining a healthy and safe home. Members of the nuclear families of members of one's own (former) nuclear family may class as lineal or as collateral. Kin who regard them as lineal refer to them in terms that build on the terms used within the nuclear family:

  • Grandparent
    • Grandfather: a parent's father
    • Grandmother: a parent's mother
  • Grandson: a child's son
  • Granddaughter: a child's daughter

For collateral relatives, more classificatory terms come into play, terms that do not build on the terms used within the nuclear family:

  • Uncle: father's brother, mother's brother, father's sister's husband, mother's sister's husband
  • Aunt: father's sister, mother's sister, father's brother's wife, mother's brother's wife
  • Nephew: sister's son, brother's son, wife's brother's son, wife's sister's son, husband's brother's son, husband's sister's son
  • Niece: sister's daughter, brother's daughter, wife's brother's daughter, wife's sister's daughter, husband's brother's daughter, husband's sister's daughter

When additional generations intervene (in other words, when one's collateral relatives belong to the same generation as one's grandparents or grandchildren), the prefixes "great-" or "grand-" modifies these terms. Also, as with grandparents and grandchildren, as more generations intervene the prefix becomes "great-grand-," adding an additional "great-" for each additional generation. Most collateral relatives have never had membership of the nuclear family of the members of one's own nuclear family.

  • Cousin: the most classificatory term; the children of aunts or uncles. One can further distinguish cousins by degrees of collaterality and by generation. Two persons of the same generation who share a grandparent count as "first cousins" (one degree of collaterality); if they share a great-grandparent they count as "second cousins" (two degrees of collaterality) and so on. If two persons share an ancestor, one as a grandchild and the other as a great-grandchild of that individual, then the two descendants class as "first cousins once removed" (removed by one generation); if they shared ancestor figures as the grandparent of one individual and the great-great-grandparent of the other, the individuals class as "first cousins twice removed" (removed by two generations), and so on. Similarly, if they shared ancestor figures as the great-grandparent of one person and the great-great-grandparent of the other, the individuals class as "second cousins once removed". Hence one can refer to a "third cousin once removed upwards."

Cousins of an older generation (in other words, one's parents' first cousins), although technically first cousins once removed, are often classified with "aunts" and "uncles." Similarly, a person may refer to close friends of one's parents as "aunt" or "uncle," or may refer to close friends as "brother" or "sister," using the practice of fictive kinship. English-speakers mark relationships by marriage (except for wife/husband) with the tag "-in-law." The mother and father of one's spouse become one's mother-in-law and father-in-law; the female spouse of one's child becomes one's daughter-in-law and the male spouse of one's child becomes one's son-in-law. The term "sister-in-law" refers to three essentially different relationships, either the wife of one's sibling, or the sister of one's spouse, or, in some uses, the wife of one's spouse's sibling. "Brother-in-law" expresses a similar ambiguity. The terms "half-brother" and "half-sister" indicate siblings who share only one biological or adoptive parent.

[edit]Family in the West

[edit]Family types

Family arrangements in the United States have become more diverse with no particular household arrangement representing half of the United States population.[18]

The different types of families occur in a wide variety of settings, and their specific functions and meanings depend largely on their relationship to other social institutions. Sociologists have a special interest in the function and status of these forms in stratified (especially capitalist) societies. The term "nuclear family" is commonly used, especially in North America and Europe, to refer to conjugal families. Sociologists distinguish between conjugal families (relatively independent of the kindred of the parents and of other families in general) and nuclear families (which maintain relatively close ties with their kindred). The term "extended family" is also common, especially in North America and Europe. This term has two distinct meanings. First, it serves as a synonym of "consanguinal family" (consanguine means "of the same blood"). Second, in societies dominated by the conjugal family, it refers to "kindred" (an egocentric network of relatives that extends beyond the domestic group) who do not belong to the conjugal family. These types refer to ideal or normative structures found in particular societies. Any society will exhibit some variation in the actual composition and conception of families. Much sociological, historical and anthropological research dedicates itself to the understanding of this variation, and of changes in the family that form over time. Times have changed; it is more acceptable and encouraged for mothers to work and fathers to spend more time at home with the children. The way roles are balanced between the parents will help children grow and learn valuable life lessons. Their is great importance of communication and equality in families, in order to avoid role strain. [19]

According to the work of scholars Max WeberAlan MacfarlaneSteven OzmentJack Goody and Peter Laslett, the huge transformation that led to modern marriage in Western democracies was "fueled by the religio-cultural value system provided by elements of Judaism, early Christianity, Roman Catholic canon law and the Protestant Reformation".[20]

[edit]Less-known family types

In contemporary Europe and North America, people in academic, political and civil sectors have called attention to single-father-headed households, and families headed by same-sex couples,[citation needed] although academics point out that these forms exist in other societies. Also the term blended family or stepfamily describes families with mixed parents: one or both parents remarried, bringing children of the former family into the new family.[21] Also in sociology, particularly in the works of social psychologist Michael Lamb,[22]traditional family refers to "a middleclass family with a bread-winning father and a stay-at-home mother, married to each other and raising their biological children," and nontraditionalto exceptions from this rule. Most of the US households are now non-traditional under this definition.[23]

In terms of communication patterns in families, there are a certain set of beliefs within the family that reflect how its members should communicate and interact. These family communication patterns arise from two underlying sets of beliefs. One being conversation orientation (the degree to which the importance of communication is valued) and two, conformity orientation (the degree to which families should emphasize similarities or differences regarding attitudes, beliefs, and values).[24]

Family members

[edit]Sociological views

Contemporary society generally views the family as a haven from the world, supplying absolute fulfilment.[citation needed] Zinn and Eitzen discuss the image of the "family as haven [...] a place of intimacylove and trust where individuals may escape the competition of dehumanizing forces in modern society".[25] During industrialization, "[t]he family as a repository of warmth and tenderness (embodied by the mother) stands in opposition to the competitive and aggressive world of commerce (embodied by the father). The family's task was to protect against the outside world."[26] However, Zinn and Eizen note, "The protective image of the family has waned in recent years as the ideals of family fulfillment have taken shape. Today, the family is more compensatory than protective. It supplies what is vitally needed but missing in other social arrangements."[27]

"The popular wisdom", according to Zinn and Eitzen, sees the family structures of the past as superior to those today, and families as more stable and happier at a time when they did not have to contend with problems such as illegitimate children and divorce. They respond to this, saying, "there is no golden age of the family gleaming at us in the far back historical past."[28] "Desertion by spouses, illegitimate children, and other conditions that are considered characteristics of modern times existed in the past as well."[29]

Others argue that whether or not one views the family as "declining" depends on one's definition of "family". The high rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births indicate a decline in the institution of the family[citation needed]. Married couples have dropped below half of all American households. This drop is shocking from traditional forms of the family system. Only a fifth of households were following traditional ways of having married couples raising a family together. [30]No longer are marriages arranged for political or economic gain, and children are not expected to contribute to family income. Instead, people choose mates based on love. This increased role of love indicates a societal shift toward favoring emotional fulfilment and relationships within a family, and this shift necessarily weakens the institution of the family.[31]

Margaret Mead considers the family as a main safeguard to continuing human progress. Observing, "Human beings have learned, laboriously, to be human", she adds: "we hold our present form of humanity on trust, [and] it is possible to lose it" ... "It is not without significance that the most successful large-scale abrogations of the family have occurred not among simple savages, living close to the subsistence edge, but among great nations and strong empires, the resources of which were ample, the populations huge, and the power almost unlimited"[32]

As an agent of socialization, family is the primary source of influence behind the formation of personality and the growth of a child[33], due to its influence on the basics of personality and its role providing gender identity. This impact is large as the family confers its social position onto the child when it is brought into the world.

[edit]Oedipal family model and fascism

The model, common in the western societies, of the family triangle, husband-wife-children isolated from the outside, is also called the oedipal model of the family, and it is a form ofpatriarchal family. Many philosophers and psychiatrists analyzed such a model. In the family, they argue, the young develop in a perverse relationship, wherein they learn to love the same person who beats and oppresses them. Young children grow up and develop loving the person that is oppressing them physically or mentally. These children are taught differently than the appropriate way of raising affectionate children.[34]The family therefore constitutes the first cell of the fascist society, as they will carry this attitude of love for oppressive figures in their adult life.[35][36] Fathers torment their sons.[37][38] Deleuze and Guattari, in their analysis of the dynamics at work within a family, "track down all varieties of fascism, from the enormous ones that surround and crush us to the petty ones that constitute the tyrannical bitterness of our everyday lives".[35]

As it has been explained by Deleuze, Guattari and Foucault, as well as other philosophers and psychiatrists such as Laing and Reich, the patriarchal-family conceived in the West tradition serves the purpose of perpetuating a propertarian and authoritarian society.[39] The child grows according to the oedipal model, which is typical of the structure of capitalist societies,[11][12] and he becomes in turn owner of submissive children and protector of the woman.[38][40][41][42][43]

As the young undergoes physical and psychological repression from someone for whom they develop love, they develop a loving attitude towards authority figures. They will bring such attitude in their adult life, when they will desire social repression and will form docile subjects for society.[39] Michel Foucault, in his systematic study of sexuality, argued that rather than being merely repressed, the desires of the individual are efficiently mobilized and used,[35] to control the individual, alter interpersonal relationships and control the masses. Foucault believed organized religion, through moral prohibitions, and economic powers, through advertising, make use of unconscious sex drives. Dominating desire, they dominate individuals.[44] According to the analysis of Michel Foucault, in the west:

the [conjugal] family organization, precisely to the extent that it was insular and heteromorphous with respect to the other power mechanisms, was used to support the great "maneuvers" employed for the Malthusian control of the birthrate, for the populationist incitements, for the medicalization of sex and the psychiatrization of its nongenital forms.
—Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality vol I, chap. IV, sect. Method, rule 3, p. 99


Natalism is the belief that human reproduction is the basis for individual existence, and therefore promotes having large families. Many religions, e.g., IslamChristianity andJudaism,[45] encourage their followers to procreate and have many children, however many of them also propound stewardship and responsibility to care for the environment and society. In recent times, however, there has been an increasing amount of family planning and a following decrease in the total fertility rate in many parts of the world, in part due to improvements in health care, concerns of overpopulation, decreasing need for manual labor and increasing cost of raising a child as workers need to be more skilled. Many countries with population decline offer incentives for people to have large families as a means of national efforts to reverse declining populations.

[edit]See also

[edit]Balance of role strain within family system


  1. ^ Schneider, David 1984 A Critique of the Study of Kinship. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. p. 182
  2. ^ Deleuze-Guattari (1972). Part 2, ch. 3, p. 80
  3. ^ Russon, John, (2003) Human Experience: Philosophy, Neurosis, and the Elements of Everyday Life, Albany: State University of New York Press. pp. 61–68.
  4. ^ George Peter Murdoch Social Structure p. 13
  5. ^ Northey, William F. Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, October 2009, Vol. 33 Issue 4, p531-532, Database: Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson)
  6. ^ Wolf, Eric. 1982 Europe and the People Without History. Berkeley: University of California Press. 92
  7. ^ Harner, Michael 1975 "Scarcity, the Factors of Production, and Social Evolution," in Population. Ecology, and Social Evolution, Steven Polgar, ed. Mouton Publishers:the Hague.
  8. ^ Rivière, Peter 1987 "Of Women, Men, and Manioc", Etnologiska Studien (38).
  9. ^, Nuclear family – "A family group consisting of wife, husband (or one of these) and dependent children." – Definitions of Anthropological Terms – Anthropological Resources – (Court Smith) Department of Anthropology, Oregon State University
  10. ^ “Family: An Institution Of Culture And Part Of Human.” Institute for Age Studies. Published Apr 19, 2008.
  11. a b Lacan 1938–2001, pp. 24–25, 56
  12. a b Fugier Pascal, 2007, p.226-8
  13. ^ "Sociology/Founding the discipline"Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2009-07-26.
  14. ^ Morgan 1877
  15. ^ "Cultural Anthropology". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  16. ^ "The Marxists Internet Archive". Retrieved 2009-07-17.
  17. ^ Tooker, Elisabeth. "Another View of Morgan on Kinship." Current Anthropology20, no. 1 (March 1979): 131–134.
  18. ^ Williams, Brian; Stacey C. Sawyer, Carl M. Wahlstrom (2005). Marriages, Families & Intinamte Relationships. Boston, MA: Pearson. 0-205-36674-0.
  19. ^ Levitan, Sara. 2010. What Happens to Family Life?
  20. ^ "The Collapse of Marriage by Don Browning – The Christian Century". February 7, 2006. pp. 24–28. Retrieved 2007-07-10.
  21. ^ Blended and Blessed – Encouraging Step-Families,[dead link]
  22. ^ "Department of Social and Developmental Psychology: PPSIS Faculty, Academic Profile". Retrieved 2011-03-26.
  23. ^ [1] paragraph 17
  24. ^ McCornack, Steven (2010). Reflect & Relate an introduction to interpersonal communication. Boston/NY: Bedford/St. Martin's. pp. 369–370.
  25. ^ Zinn, Maxine Baca; D. Stanley Eitzen (2002). Diversity in families (6 ed.). Allyn and Bacon. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-205-33522-0. Retrieved 2012-01-06. "This 'family as haven' image of a refuge from an impersonal world characterizes the family as a place of intimacy, love, and trust in which individuals may escape the competition of dehumanizing forces in modern society. Christopher Lasch (1977:8) has named this image a 'haven in a heartless world' and described it as a glorification of private life made necessary by the deprivations experienced in the public world."
  26. ^ Zinn and Eitzen (1987) Diversity in American families, p. 3
  27. ^ Zinn and Eitzen (1987) Diversity in American families, p. 3
  28. ^ Zinn and Eitzen (1987) Diversity in American families, p. 8
  29. ^ Zinn and Eitzen (1987) Diversity in American families, p. 8
  30. ^ Tavernise, Sabrina. (2011). Married Couples Are No Longer a Majority, Census Finds.
  31. ^ Coontz, Stephanie. 2005. Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage. New York: Viking/Penguin Books.
  32. ^ Male and Female, New York, 1949. pp. 193-194
  33. ^ Macionis, John J. "Sociology: 7th Canadian Edition". (Toronto: Pearson, 2011), 112
  34. ^ “About Family.” Word Press. Published 31 March 2012.
  35. a b c Foucault (1984) Preface to the American edition of Anti-Œdipus pp. xiii–xvi).
  36. ^ Wilhelm Reich (1933) The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Chapter V, The Sex-Economic Presuppositions of the Authoritarian Family
  37. ^ John Phillips Structural Linguistics and Anthropology,
  38. a b Wilhelm Reich [1936] The Sexual Revolution, Chapter V, The compulsive family as educational apparatus, pp. 71–77
  39. a b Deleuze-Guattari (1972). Part 2, ch. 7, pp. 129–31
  40. ^ (Italian) Gianni Vattimo Tutto in famiglia (article appeared on Il ManifestoOctober 15, 2004), (Italian)
  41. ^ (Italian) Luttazzi, Daniele Bollito misto con mostarda (2005) p. 262,
  42. ^ Theodor W. Adorno and Stephen Crook Adorno ISBN 0-415-27099-5, p. 9-10,
  43. ^ E. James Anthony, The Family and the Psychoanalytic Process in Children(1980). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 35:3–34,
  44. ^ Foucault, The History of Sexuality
  45. ^ Joys of A Large Family, by Rebbetzin Faige Twerski.


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[edit]External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Family
For a list of words relating to family, see the en:Familycategory of words inWiktionary, the free dictionary.

Family rights
Substantive human rights
Note: What is considered a human right is controversial and not all the topics listed are universally accepted as human rights.
Civil and political
Economic, social
and cultural
War and conflict

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