".it is the duty of those who have accepted them [Allah's word and message] to strive unceasingly to convert or at least to subjugate those who have not. This obligation is without limit of time or space. It must continue until the whole world has either accepted the Islamic faith or submitted to the power of the Islamic state"
"In reading Muslim literature -- both contemporary and classical -- one can see that the evidence for the primacy of spiritual jihad is negligible. Today it is certain that no Muslim, writing in a non-Western language (such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu), would ever make claims that jihad is primarily nonviolent or has been superseded by the spiritual jihad. Such claims are made solely by Western scholars, primarily those who study Sufism and/or work in interfaith dialogue, and by Muslim apologists who are trying to present Islam in the most innocuous manner possible"
"Shortly after 9/11, there was a book published called How Did This Happen? that included an essay by Karen Armstrong in which she said a world religion has been hijacked by this band of fanatics. I don’t buy that for a minute"
Notice also that the members of these groups are not poor and destitute - they are often rich and well educated - as we discovered yesterday when the identity of jihadi john was revealed.
It is the ideology. It was suppressed from the mid 19th century until the 1970s becasue it was weak and the west looked like a good model to emulate - but now it is funded by oil and a combination of greed on the right and self doubt on the left has made the west look less attractive.
Thuis is just another example of people going on gut instincts and not realising that certain things look bigger than they really are. As a rule anything that is prominent in the media is probably less important to the economy than you think it is. Thus:
Hollywood TV Music Sport Well known branded goods Shrink wrap s/w
are all smaller than you think whereas
Energy (oil, utilities etc) Construction Clothing (outside major brands) Food (outside major brands like Coca-cola, McDonalds etc)
Major problem here - what happens if they start blackmailing people over the fact they are going to release "violent" criminals - and the only remedy is to pay them off? Or decide they will simply imprison the prisoner for life, budget be damned?
Case 1 they pay a big penalty under the contract and lose money.
Case 2 they exceed the budget and have to pay out of their own pockets and lose money.
Provided the contract is well written we all win. However I suggest that this scheme could start with low risk, non violent offenders at first and progress to the others one the companies build up the relevant experience.
Yeah, there are some things that should never be for-profit, and prisons are right up there near the top, along with law enforcement and healthcare.
Generally I incline to agree with you, however...
The critical issue here is whether the contract we write can be engineered to produce the outcomes we want. One of the problems with "corrections" is that it is easily influenced by political grandstanding. It is exactly this type of grandstanding that has produced the problem described in the article.
If we could engineer the private contract to favour the outcome we really want - which is minimum re-offending with minimum expenditure whilst avoiding physical punishment - then the laws of economics could drive the private companies towards innovative solutions that might improve things for everyone. The problem is that in general private prisons have been viewed simply as low cost providers of capacity.
Having said that I do believe that there is a small scale experiment along the lines that I described in the UK now.
The best solution would be to change the terms of the contract.
Instead of a sentence for each offender give a budget. The private prison would then be under no constraint to keep the offender in prison for any fixed length of time - but would simply be penalised if the prisoner re-offended after release.
This would save a lot of money, reduce the prison population and reduce crime - which is why it won't be tried!
Once the technical step is in place which allows a company to override the user's encryption, that means that (a) other countries can create their own legal step to compel the technical step to happen, and (b) the user loses the technical ability to keep their data secure.
Actually b) is: any smart hacker in the world can take the technical step without the authority of a government.
It is hard enough to create a secure system when you don't put such a "technical step" into the mix.
Actually these regional designations are better than standard trademarks in one important respect,. They are non transferable. A big company can't just come along, buy the company along with the trademark and move the production elsewhere. It's a bit like a copyright that can only remain with the originator.
At the end of the day it is about not misleading the public. There is nothing to stop a company producing a cheese just like Stilton and selling it. They just can't call it Stilton.
Americans whinge about it of course because they don't have much in the way of local produce that would be worth protecting in this way.