A number of studies on people who kill animals

The Vancouver Sun newspaper published an article today titled Convicted animal killer Kayla Bourque granted unescorted day passes, which got me thinking about what type of person deliberately kills an animal.

A Michigan University study in 2008 (a) titled Cruelty to Animals and Violence Towards People found: “Cruelty to animals and violence towards people have something in common: both types of victims are living beings, feel pain, experience distress, and may die from their injuries. [1] Until recently, however, violence towards animals had been considered to be unrelated to violence towards children and the elderly, and other forms of domestic violence. [2] A correlation has now been established between animal abuse, family violence, and other forms of community violence. [3] A growing body of research indicates that people who commit acts of cruelty towards animals rarely stop there. [4] Murderers and people who abuse their spouse or children had frequently harmed animals in the past. [5] People who abuse animals may also be dangerous to people. [6]  “

A Pyschology Today article in September, 2013, titled Animal Cruelty and the Sadism of Everyday Life (b) found “… that a statistical analysis revealed that sadism was a bigger factor in predicting animal cruelty.”

A 2010 article on PETA (c) titled Only Sociopaths Intentionally Hurt Animals: A Professional View stated “An individual who is able to engage in cruelty to animals appears to have no conscience and thus no remorse for his or her behavior. The act of cruelty to animals results from an apparent need for power and control, and this need is accompanied by a lack of empathy. Animals are targeted, especially helpless and defenseless ones, because the perpetrator does not recognize or care that they have feelings and can experience not just physical pain but also emotional pain.”

An article (d) in HG law web site titled Animal Abuse is a Predictor of other Crimes, Including Domestic Abuse, Murder, Rape & More had this to say; “Animal abuse is like a crystal ball into the future of the abusers. Many people realize that animal abusers are likely to commit a host of other offenses, including murder, rape, and robbery, and a plethora of studies backs this up. Still, animal laws in most states, including New York, treat animals as chattel and animal abuse and neglect as mostly misdemeanor charges at most.

As readers of my blog know, my now ex-wife killed my dog during the divorce she initiated and during the time she repeatedly refused to comply with multiple court orders to turn over her bank statements showing what she had done with the not so trivial amount of money she removed from our joint account before filing for divorce.

I’m not suggesting Liz is going to go out and murder anyone or do anything like that mentioned in the articles listed to anyone or any child or dog she comes across in the lower mainland of BC or wherever, for I’m not qualified to formulate such a consideration, but I believe I’m beginning to get a glimpse as to the type of people who kill animals.

(a) https://www.animallaw.info/article/link-cruelty-animals-and-violence-towards-people

(b) https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animals-and-us/201309/animal-cruelty-and-the-sadism-everyday-life

(c) http://prime.peta.org/2010/04/only-sociopaths-intentionally-hurt-animals-a-professional-view

(d) http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=8011

(e) Final Decree, Dead Dog Divorce is my ebook based in parts upon my divorce. You can find it at most online ebook retailers.

Technology could kill 5 million jobs by 2020

Developments in artificial intelligence, robotics, and biotechnology, would disrupt the business world in a similar way to previous industrial revolutions, the World Economic Forum said in a report published Monday.

Administrative and white collar office jobs are most at risk from a “fourth industrial revolution,” the forum said on the eve of its annual meeting in Davos this week.

It found that as many as 7.1 million jobs in the world’s richest countries could be lost through redundancy and automation. Those losses would be partially offset by the creation of 2.1 million new opportunities in sectors such as tech, professional services and media.

Countries will have to invest in transforming their workforce if they want to keep up with the changes and avoid a worse case scenario of “talent shortages, mass unemployment and growing inequality,” said Klaus Schwab, the founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Investing in education and adult learning programs is a good place to start.

You may download the World Economic Forum report on the Future of Jobs here… WEF_Future_of_Jobs

The brave new world of cyber warfare

‘Cyber warfare: the great wild card that can turn the world’s most advanced technology against itself.’ Photograph: Aaron Tilley for the Guardian

‘Cyber warfare: the great wild card that can turn the world’s most advanced technology against itself.’ Photograph: Aaron Tilley for the Guardian

In an operations room at the Nato command compound in Mons, Belgium, is another bank of screens, this time depicting near-constant real-life attacks, in the form of red lines of data. Ian West, head of cyber security at Nato’s Communications and Information Agency, puts the success of its team in the Locked Shields exercise down to the experience gleaned here. “Every single day, we are operational, experiencing attacks and defending against them,” the former RAF officer says.

West’s agency logs around 200m suspicious events a week. Many of those are automatically discarded by filters, but that still leaves 250-350 serious cases each week against Nato HQ and bases around the world, each of them requiring intervention from the 200-strong multinational group of security analysts and programmers gathered here. There are many more attacks on the national infrastructures of member states.

Right now, the greatest constraint on Nato’s ability to defend itself against attack is the scarcity of security specialists. The Russian and Chinese security establishments are known to have corralled networks of hackers. In China, the now infamous Unit 61398 of the People’s Liberation Army was discovered, in 2013, to have been running an almost constant cyber-offensive against western companies and governments for seven years, from a 12-storey building in Shanghai; the offensive involved thousands of English-speaking hackers. A mass networked assault on Nato infrastructure from China two years ago is believed to have been the work of the same unit; more recently, there have been constant attacks on Nato from hacktivist groups such as CyberBerkut, backing Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine.

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An engineer on the Nato research vessel Alliance. Photograph: CMRE

An engineer on the Nato research vessel Alliance. Photograph: CMRE

For half a century, big missile submarines, known as boomers, have been arguably the most decisive weapon systems in modern warfare – the queen on the strategic chessboard – because of their capacity to remain unseen until the critical moment, unleashing enormous destructive force without warning. Now that dominant position is under threat. A submarine can hide from a few noisily obvious ships and planes, but it is harder to hide from a swarm of small, virtually undetectable drones. The robots being developed here can potentially be made cheap and expendable, and capable of being deployed in large numbers to cover vast expanses of sea. Once fully developed, they could tilt the balance of power beneath the waves – much as airborne drones are already doing in the sky. It is unclear how far other countries have got with underwater drone technology; it is known that the Russian navy is working on it intensively.

The implications of these advances are far-reaching for all military powers, but none more so than the UK, which depends on the invisibility and stealth of submarines for its Trident nuclear missiles. The government is in the process of placing a £31bn gamble that its submarines will stay invisible for the foreseeable future – a bet that might be splitting the Labour party but is little debated outside it. Yet these developments could drastically change the debate: from whether an independent British nuclear deterrent is good, bad or necessary, to whether Trident would even function as a deterrent in the long term.

Critics point in particular to the Royal Navy’s decision to install a variant of Windows XP as the operating system on its missile-carrying Vanguard-class submarines. It was cheaper than the alternatives, but Windows for Submarines, as it is called, is also more vulnerable to malware as it comes off-the-shelf. This also means there are more bugs in circulation that could affect it, and every time a submarine comes to port and gets a software patch, it is newly vulnerable.

But the Ministry of Defence insists that Trident “remains safe and secure. Submarines operate in isolation by design, and this contributes to their cyber resilience. We take our responsibility to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent extremely seriously and continually assess the capability of our submarines to ensure their operational effectiveness, including against threats from cyber and unmanned vehicles.”

Peter Roberts, a former Royal Navy officer now at Royal United Services Institute, tells me that British technicians are well aware of the potential software vulnerabilities and have instituted special safeguards. He says predictions of the submarine’s demise as a stealth weapon are premature.

“None of this anti-submarine technology has been perfected,” he says. “And what you are not able to do with drones is get them to work together, because of the problems of communications underwater. I can’t see a breakthrough in the next 15 years, and you are never going to see the whole ocean. We are talking about a water space that covers two-thirds of the world’s surface. This is not a needle in haystack. It’s way beyond that.”

Read the complete articlle on The Guardian newspaper website.

Richest 62 billionaires as wealthy as half the world population combined

 Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

A new Oxfam report shows that the 62 richest billionaires own as much wealth as the poorer half of the world’s population.

Mark Goldring, the Oxfam GB chief executive, said: “It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich – so few, you could fit them all on a single coach.

“World leaders’ concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action to ensure that those at the bottom get their fair share of economic growth. In a world where one in nine people go to bed hungry every night, we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever bigger slice of the cake.”

Leading figures from Pope Francis to Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, have called for action to reverse the trend in inequality, but Oxfam said words had not been translated into action. Its prediction that the richest 1% would own the same wealth as the poorest 50% by 2016 had come true a year earlier than expected.

The World Economic Forum in Davos comes amid fears that the turmoil in financial markets since the turn of the year may herald the start of a new phase to the global crisis that began eight years ago – this time originating in the less-developed emerging countries.

Oxfam said a three-pronged approach was needed: a crackdown on tax dodging; higher investment in public services; and higher wages for the low paid. It said a priority should be to close down tax havens, increasingly used by rich individuals and companies to avoid paying tax and which had deprived governments of the resources needed to tackle poverty and inequality.

Three years ago, David Cameron told the WEF that the UK would spearhead a global effort to end aggressive tax avoidance in the UK and in poor countries, but Oxfam said promised measures to increase transparency in British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, such as the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands, had not been implemented.

Goldring said: “We need to end the era of tax havens which has allowed rich individuals and multinational companies to avoid their responsibilities to society by hiding ever increasing amounts of money offshore.

Read the complete article in The Guardian newspaper web site.