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The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling

 Gambling  Comments Off on The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling
Jul 012016
 

June Webletter 2016

Each month the FCCG creates and posts a new web letter that speaks to different topics and areas of concern regarding problem gambling within the state of Florida. Topics range from resources available to tips regarding responsible gambling. The sole purpose is to educate and create discussion surrounding the state of gambling in Florida and the resources that are available to help those in need.Click here to download!

Posted by: Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling on June 16, 2016, 1:56 pm

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Each month the FCCG creates and posts a new web letter that speaks to different topics and areas of concern regarding problem gambling within the state of Florida. Topics range from resources available to tips regarding responsible gambling. The sole purpose is to educate and create discussion surrounding the state of gambling in Florida and the resources that are available to help those in need.Click here to download!

Posted by: Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling on May 20, 2016, 3:24 pm

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Each month the FCCG creates and posts a new web letter that speaks to different topics and areas of concern regarding problem gambling within the state of Florida. Topics range from resources available to tips regarding responsible gambling. The sole purpose is to educate and create discussion surrounding the state of gambling in Florida and the resources that are available to help those in need.Click here to download!

Posted by: Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling on April 15, 2016, 4:03 pm

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Date and Time

May 6, 2016 1:00-2:30 PM EST

Dr. Bruce Liese has had years of experience working with addictive disorders as a clinical psychologists. In this webinar, Dr. Liese, will discuss the process of applying cognitive-behavioral approaches in group psychotherapy with patients with gambling disorder. Strategies for enhancing group composition, processing aspects of underlying issues associated with problem gambling, and enhancing group dynamics will be presented along with examples to illustrate the principals being taught. Participants will (1) learn ways to create an optimum structure to enhance group therapy including identifying factors that contra-indicate enrolling a patient in group, (2) learn CBT approaches to cognitive restructuring irrational thought processes

Posted by: Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling on April 5, 2016, 12:04 am

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The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling

MicroWiki – The Micronation.org Wiki

 Micronations  Comments Off on MicroWiki – The Micronation.org Wiki
Jul 012016
 

Micronation.org costs 160 per year to keep online. Since we are unable to run advertisements, we ask that any users who are able and willing to do so make a contribution towards the site’s costs so that we may continue to survive and thrive. Thank you!

From MicroWiki, the micronational encyclopdia

MicroWiki is the largest online encyclopdia about micronations, small and often rather eccentric nations that are unrecognised by the wider international community. The wiki is being continually improved and updated by hundreds of editors, with content being moderated by a small group of staff. Since its creation on 27 May 2005, the site has grown to become one of the largest micronational-related websites with a total of 39,300 pages and 8,977 articles, of which 45 have achieved good article status. However, before you start editing, it is recommended that you take a look at our content disclaimer, basic rules of editing, and the Nation page guide. If you need help, visit our meeting point, the MicroWiki forums.

The Cheslovian Federation (Russian: Chesloviyskaya Federatsiya, Cheslovian: Chesloviskai Vederatsiya) was a micronation founded on 11 March 2003, and reformed into the present day 2nd Federation. It bordered the United Kingdom, the Principality of Malokaz, the Republic of Arvas and the Kingdom of Ud Mahazar. Cheslovia had an area of 91km (not including its distant territories), and much of its territory was situated inside the Baltian Sector. Cheslovia had four distant territories not connected to the mainland (also known as Capital Sector, the main part of Cheslovia which lies inside Baltia); these were the New Cheslovia Collective, Yakuria Collective, Beslau Krai and South Kaznia Okrug. The Cheslovian Federation was classified as a micronational Regional Power, accourding to its Baltian neighbours and was also one of the most influential countries in the MicroWiki nations. Cheslovia was previously known as Kaznia before a name change occured on 2 November 2008 and the name was changed to Cheslovia; the name Kaznia is still used on an informal scale, with many Cheslovian citizens still calling themselves Kaznian and very occasionally formal documents still mention the name Kaznia. (more…)

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MicroWiki – The Micronation.org Wiki

Neo-eugenics | Article about Neo-eugenics by The Free …

 Neo-eugenics  Comments Off on Neo-eugenics | Article about Neo-eugenics by The Free …
Jul 012016
 

eugenics (yoojn`ks), study of human geneticsgenetics, scientific study of the mechanism of heredity. While Gregor Mendel first presented his findings on the statistical laws governing the transmission of certain traits from generation to generation in 1856, it was not until the discovery and detailed study of the ….. Click the link for more information. and of methods to improve the inherited characteristics, physical and mental, of the human race. Efforts to improve the human race through bettering housing facilities and other environmental conditions are known as euthenics.

Sir Francis GaltonGalton, Sir Francis , 18221911, English scientist, founder of eugenics; cousin of Charles Darwin. He turned from exploration and meteorology (where he introduced the theory of the anticyclone) to the study of heredity and eugenics (a term that he coined). ….. Click the link for more information. , who introduced the term eugenics, is usually regarded as the founder of the modern science of eugenics; his emphasis was on the role of factors under social control that could either improve or impair the qualities of future generations. Modern eugenics is directed chiefly toward the discouragement of propagation among the unfit (negative eugenics) and encouragement of propagation among those who are healthy, intelligent, and of high moral character (positive eugenics). Such a program involves many difficulties, especially that of defining which traits are most desirable.

The first half of the 20th cent. saw extreme coercive application of such principles by governments ranging from miscegenation laws and enforced sterilization of the insane in the United States and other nations to the HolocaustHolocaust , name given to the period of persecution and extermination of European Jews by Nazi Germany. Romani (Gypsies), homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the disabled, and others were also victims of the Holocaust. ….. Click the link for more information. of Nazi Germany. Regulated eugenics continues in some parts of the world; China enacted restrictions on marriages involving persons with certain disabilities and diseases in 1994.

In the United States in recent years, interest in eugenics has centered around genetic screening (see genetic testinggenetic testing, medical screening for genetic disorders, by examining either a person’s DNA directly or a person’s biochemistry or chromosomes for indirect evidence. Testing may be done to identify a genetic disorder a person has, whether the disorder is already evident or not, ….. Click the link for more information. ). It is known, for example, that hemophilia, albinism, and certain structural abnormalities are inheritable. Family gene maps, called pedigrees, can help families with serious diseases avoid having children with the same diseases through genetic counseling, and, increasingly, prospective parents can be tested directly for the presence of undesired genes. If conception has occurred, tests such as amniocentesisamniocentesis , diagnostic procedure in which a sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding a fetus is removed from the uterus by means of a fine needle inserted through the abdomen of the pregnant woman (see pregnancy). ….. Click the link for more information. and chorionic villus samplingchorionic villus sampling (CVS) or chorionic villus biopsy (CVB) , diagnostic procedure in which a sample of chorionic villi from the developing placenta is removed from the uterus of a pregnant woman (see pregnancy) using a fine needle inserted through the abdomen or ….. Click the link for more information. can be used to detect certain genetic defects in the fetus. Embryo screeningembryo screening, procedure (see genetic testing) in which a single cell is removed from an embryo two or three days after it has been conceived through in vitro fertilization and tested for genetic abnormalities. ….. Click the link for more information. can be used in conjunction with in vitro fertilizationin vitro fertilization (IVF), technique for conception of a human embryo outside the mother’s body. Several ova, or eggs, are removed from the mother’s body and placed in special laboratory culture dishes (Petri dishes); sperm from the father are then added, or in many cases a ….. Click the link for more information. prior to pregnancy to test embryos for genetic abnormalities; only those found free of defects are implanted and allowed to develop.

See J. H. Bennett, Natural Selection, Heredity, and Eugenics (1983); D. J. Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics (1985); M. B. Adams, ed., The Wellborn Science: Eugenics in Germany, France, Brazil, and Russia (1989); E. A. Carlson, The Unfit: A History of a Bad Idea (2001).

the study of the genetic health of man and of the ways of improving his genetic characteristics, of possible methods of actively influencing the evolution of mankind for the purpose of further perfecting his nature, of the conditions and laws of inheriting giftedness and talent, and of the possible limitation of transmission of hereditary diseases to future generations.

The main principles of eugenics were formulated by the English biologist F. Galton in the book Hereditary Genius (1869). Despite the fact that progressive scientists set humanitarian goals for eugenics, it has often been used by reactionaries and racists, who, basing their ideas on pseudo-scientific notions of the inferiority of certain races and peoples and on national prejudices and dissensions, have justified racial and national discrimination; these reactionaries and racists have in the end replaced eugenics, as fascism did for its own political ends, with so-called racial hygiene and have legalized genocide. Controversy rages around the term eugenics. Along with those who consider the use of this term rightful in the present and in the future, there are scientists who believe that the basic content of eugenics (including its tasks and goals, as well as the most reasonable means of achieving them) will be transferred to such vigorously developing branches of science as human genetics, or anthropogenetics, and medical genetics.

These sciences, which study the inheritance and variability of characters of the human organism, have shown that the diversity of human beings is due both to their hereditary disposition and their conditions of existence (including natural-climatic and socioeconomic conditions). The study of monozygotic twins, in particular of their mental development, and also genealogical observations, testify to the fact that heredity plays a large, but by no means exclusive, role in determining the mental and creative abilities of a human being. If mans morphological characters are determined predominantly by heredity, his mental characteristics and behavior are very strongly influenced by his environment, and chiefly his social environmentrearing, education, work habits, and the influence of the collective. There are many more persons with outstanding creative potential than there are persons who have succeeded in realizing that potential. It is for this reason that it becomes so important to bring out all positive potentialities deposited in the genotype of the individual by creating conditions that in every possible way foster his development and his formation as a personality. V. I. Lenin wrote: Capitalism stifled, suppressed, and crushed the mass of gifted persons among the workers and toiling peasants. These gifted persons perished under the yoke of necessity, poverty, and outrage practiced upon human personality. Our duty now is to know how to find these gifted persons and put them to work (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 39, p. 235).

With respect to the possibilities and methods of improving human nature, there are different points of view. Much can be done along these lines by medical genetics, whose tasks include the study of the action of mutagenschemical ones, radiation, and other factors of the external environment that damage genetic structures in human germ cellsand the prevention (including by sanitation of the environment in which man lives) of harmful mutations that threaten the health of future generations. The manifestation of harmful mutations is especially promoted by marriages between relatives, since in such cases the probability of obtaining from both parents an ordinarily masked (recessive) harmful character is increased. This explains the fact that in isolated human groups (isolates), where, as a rule, marriages between close relatives are more frequent, the percentage of hereditary diseases and deformities is higher. The harmful consequences of marriages between close relatives were noted even in antiquity, which led to their condemnation, prohibition by custom, and subsequently also by law. Prevention of the spread of harmful mutations and their combinations by limiting marriages between carriers of such mutations is accomplished by medical genetic consultations, whose purpose is to evaluate the possibilities of manifestation of a defective heredity in the off-spring of persons entering marriage. Quite precise predictions in this respect can already be made for many hereditary diseases, such as hemophilia and color blindness. Contrary to precautionary (preventive) measures, which prevent deterioration of human heredity, so-called positive measures of acting on human nature (including artificial insemination, creation of semen banks, and heteronomous fertilization), which predominantly contemplate increasing the number of offspring among persons with outstanding mental or physical qualities, are addressed to the future. Such methods of improving the human species have been repeatedly criticized and have not been recognized or practiced on a large scale. The solution of the problems associated with strengthening the genetic health of mankind, which remains an important contemporary problem, requires further detailed research in human genetics, with ever wider use of the methods and achievements of molecular genetics.

IU. E. VELTISHCHEV and M. E. LOBASHOV

The attempt to improve the phenotypes of future generations of the human population by fostering the reproduction of those with favorable phenotypes and genotypes and hampering or preventing breeding by those with undesirable phenotypes and genotypes. The concept is largely discredited.

the study of methods of improving the quality of the human race, esp by selective breeding

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Neo-eugenics | Article about Neo-eugenics by The Free …

How to Be Politically Correct (with Pictures) – wikiHow

 Political Correctness  Comments Off on How to Be Politically Correct (with Pictures) – wikiHow
Jul 012016
 

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Three Parts:Becoming More Conscious of Political CorrectnessChoosing Respectful LanguageSpeaking with Individuals or GroupsCommunity Q&A

“Politically correct” is a bit of a misnomerit isn’t about being right, it’s about being respectful and considerate. Being politically correct means that you avoid expressions and actions that may exclude, marginalize, or offend a particular group of people. The term first became popular during the 1970s and 1980s.[1] Political correctness has an important purpose: it promotes equality by demonstrating an understanding that all people and groups are valuable to society regardless of race, culture, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

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Check with various communities about what language is appropriate, and what is hurtful.

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Apply your knowledge. In conversations or discussions with groups or individuals, remember what you’ve learned while working on yourself. Your goal is not to knowingly hurt or offend any person or group of people with your language or actions.

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Avoid segregating language. When speaking to or about other groups, refrain from unnecessarily using the words “we” or “they.” This suggests a separation instead of equality and inclusion.

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Focus on valuing diversity. Your first reaction to someone who is different may be confusion or fearso take a deep breath, remember that the other person matters, and let your second reaction be one of acceptance and respect. Work on viewing individual differences as important and meaningful.

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 237,113 times.

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How to Be Politically Correct (with Pictures) – wikiHow

Mind Uploading FAQs

 Mind Uploading  Comments Off on Mind Uploading FAQs
Jun 302016
 

What is ‘mind uploading’ (MU)? What is a ‘substrate-independent mind’ (SIM)? And what is ‘whole brain emulation’ (WBE)?

As described in the Wikipedia entry for mind uploading (MU),

‘mind uploading (sometimes called “mind copying” or “mind transfer”) is the hypothetical process of copying mental content (including long-term memory and “self”) from a particular brain substrate and copying it to a computational device, such as a digital, analog, quantum-based or software-based artificial neural network.’

Mind uploading implies a process by which, from a subjective perspective, a person’s conscious experience (sense of ‘self’ or ‘personal identity’) continues, despite his or her neural functionality ceasing in the originating biological brain and subsequently occurring via brain-like processes in some other system (ostensibly some sort of computer). The concept of mind uploading therefore relies on the stance that all experience (sensory perception, conscious introspection, learning and memory, etc.) is an emergent function of neural-like processes. The biological brain is in that sense a device or machine, and as such utilizes functions which can be confidently replicated by properly arranged alternate systems, including nonbiological systems (once again, by this we imply something akin to a conventional computer).

A crucial component of mind uploading is that the process does not merely transfer or duplicate neurological or cognitive functions. Rather, it implies that a person’s subjective experience (their identity) also comes to be associated with the emergent functionality arising from the activity of the new brain-like substrate. This concept is referred to as preserving personal identity in the new substrate. Recent work has addressed the question of whether the particulars of the method used to achieve mind uploading would lead to different outcomes (Wiley & Koene, The Fallacy of Favoring Gradual Replacement Mind Uploading Over Scan-and-Copy)

The concept of mind uploading, in its full meaning, has been used in science fiction at least since the mid 1950s (e.g. Frederick Pohl, The Tunnel Under the World; Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars), and has also been used as a tool for thought experiments in philosophy. Mind uploading became a topic of considered scientific interest in the mid 1990s (e.g. the Mind Uploading Research Group).

A substrate-independent mind (SIM) is the method-agnostic term for the concept of a mind that can operate on many different types of underlying functional processing substrates, e.g. a biological brain, a special ‘neuromorphic’ device, software executed in a digital computer, etc. SIM is the desired result, the goal or objective of efforts to achieve mind uploading. The objective is to be able to sustain person-specific functions of mind and experience in many different operational substrates. A mind is then considered substrate-independent in a manner analogous to a programmer’s understanding of platform-independent computer code, which can be compiled to run on many different computing platforms.

Whole brain emulation (WBE) is the principal method proposed by which to accomplish SIM for mind uploading and many other purposes (e.g. general brain research, research into clinical neural prostheses, research into artificial general intelligence, etc). In academic research, the shorter term ‘brain emulation’ is sometimes used, and terms such as ‘whole-brain activity mapping’ are used to describe data acquisition tools developed and used in closely related fields of neuroscience. Whole brain emulation uses high resolution data about specific brain structure (e.g. the connectome) and specific brain activity (e.g. electrophysiology).

The term ’emulation’ is used, specifically, to underline the distinction when compared with investigative simulations carried out in computational neuroscience. Simulations are generally built to study system or mechanism principles derived and abstracted through the study of brain function in many animal or human subjects. While the principles learned there are important for WBE, the emulation aims to match the characteristics of mental function specific to an individual brain. When a smaller piece of a brain is emulated this is also known as a neural prostheses or neuroprosthetic (e.g. Berger et al and the hippocampal neural prosthesis).

Whole brain emulation can therefore also be thought of as applying neural prostheses to all parts of a person’s brain. Emulation, as a means to match a whole collection of target characteristics of a processing platform is also a well-known term in computing, where an emulator enables one computer system to behave like another one (e.g. emulating the old Commodore 64 on a modern computer). In engineering, the reverse engineering of a system for purposes such as emulation is known as system identification (as applied, for example, by Berger et al for the hippocampal prosthesis).

The site minduploading.org is dedicated to interest in the broader concept and goal of mind uploading. The site aims to serve general public and specialists alike, providing news, answers to questions and background information.

The minduploading.org site is closely affiliated with carboncopies.org, the non-profit organization operating as a nexus for activity and interest in the objective of substrate-independent minds (SIM). Carboncopies.org explains fundamental concepts of SIM and maintains the research roadmap and network. A Facebook carboncopies group carries on public discussions with contributed posts and updates about topical events and news.

The research site wholebrainemulation.org links to activities, labs and contacts in the fields of connectome research (e.g. high-throughput microscopy), neural prosthetics, neural interfacing, large-scale computational neuroscience and more.

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Mind Uploading FAQs

NATO, EU leaders pledge strong alliance to counter Brexit …

 NATO  Comments Off on NATO, EU leaders pledge strong alliance to counter Brexit …
Jun 302016
 

BRUSSELS NATO and the European Union promised closer defense ties at a summit on Tuesday to deter Russia and counter Islamic militants on Europe’s borders, seeking a show of unity days after Britain voted to leave the EU.

Unnerved by the departure of Europe’s biggest-spending military power, EU and NATO officials hope a new strategy to share information and work together from the Baltics to the Mediterranean will shore up defenses that have long relied on Britain to provide ships, troops and commanders.

“Cooperation between the European Union and NATO was important before the UK vote. It has become even more important now,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters at the EU summit in Brussels.

“We have to work even harder,” he said, stressing that Britain remained committed to transatlantic security as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Britain makes up about a quarter of European military spending and pays for about 15 percent of EU-led missions. But it has also blocked deeper EU defense cooperation, fearing an EU army that would be an affront to its sovereignty.

In a call for unity after the EU referendum result left Britain in disarray, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Europe needed “to guarantee that this uncertainty, this chaos, is not extended to the other EU member states.”

Mogherini presented the EU’s new five-year global strategy to Stoltenberg and EU leaders including British Prime Minister David Cameron, which sets out how the European Union could act more independently of the United States if needed.

Britain, as a leading member of NATO, has pledged to work with the European Union and avoid any isolation stemming from its decision to leave the bloc.

Having failed to stabilize its neighborhood economically over the past decade, Europe now faces a myriad of threats on its borders, from a more assertive Russia following Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, to a migrant crisis stemming from strife in North Africa and the Middle East.

London is not expected to stand in the way of a formal EU-NATO cooperation pact set to be signed at an alliance summit in Warsaw in July, as the two pillars of Western security aim to overcome years of mutual distrust and competition despite often having similar goals.

The European Union’s focus is to reverse years of defense cuts and allow governments to develop new tanks and ships together without relying heavily on the United States, which has been Europe’s protector since the end of World War Two.

Mogherini’s five-year plan says EU governments need “all major equipment to respond to external crises and keep Europe safe. This means having full-spectrum land, air, space and maritime capabilities.”

(Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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NATO, EU leaders pledge strong alliance to counter Brexit …

Atlas Shrugged: (Centennial Edition) by Ayn Rand …

 Atlas Shrugged  Comments Off on Atlas Shrugged: (Centennial Edition) by Ayn Rand …
Jun 282016
 

Overview

This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the worldand did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the worlds motorand the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story.

Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human lifefrom the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboyto the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destructionto the philosopher who becomes a pirateto the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumphto the woman who runs a transcontinental railroadto the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels.

You must be prepared, when you read this novel, to check every premise at the root of your convictions. This is a mystery story, not about the murderand rebirthof mans spirit. It is a philosophical revolution, told in the form of an action thriller of violent events, a ruthlessly brilliant plot structure and an irresistible suspense. Do you say this is impossible? Well, that is the first of your premises to check.

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Encyclopedia of Literature

ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand

INTRODUCTION by Leonard Peikoff

Ayn Rand is one of America’s favorite authors. In a recent Library of Congress/Book of the Month Club survey, American readers ranked Atlas Shruggedher masterworkas second only to the Bible in its influence on their lives. For decades, at scores of college campuses around the country, students have formed clubs to discuss the works of Ayn Rand. In 1998, the Oscar-nominated Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, a documentary film about her life, played to sold-out venues throughout America and Canada. In recognition of her enduring popularity, the United States Postal Service in 1999 issued an Ayn Rand stamp. Every book by Ayn Rand published in her lifetime is still in print, and hundreds of thousands of copies of them are sold every year, so far totaling more than twenty million. Why? Ayn Rand understood, all the way down to fundamentals, why man needs the unique form of nourishment that is literature. And she provided a banquet that was at once intellectual and thrilling. The major novels of Ayn Rand contain superlative values that are unique in our age. Atlas Shrugged (1957) and The Fountainhead (1943) offer profound and original philosophic themes, expressed in logical, dramatic plot structures. They portray an uplifted vision of man, in the form of protagonists characterized by strength, purposefulness, integrityheroes who are not only idealists, but happy idealists, self-confident, serene, at home on earth. (See synopses later in this guide.) Ayn Rand’s first novel, We the Living (1936), set in thepost-revolutionary Soviet Union, is an indictment not merely of Soviet-style Communism, but of any and every totalitarian state that claims the right to sacrifice the supreme value of an individual human life. Anthem (1946), a prose poem set in the future, tells of one man’s rebellion against an utterly collectivized world, a world in which joyless, selfless men are permitted to exist only for the sake of serving the group. Written in 1937, Anthem was first published in England; it was refused publication in America until 1946, for reasons the reader can discover by reading it for himself. Ayn Rand wrote in a highly calculated literary style intent on achieving precision and luminous clarity, yet that style is at the same time colorful, sensuously evocative, and passionate. Her exalted vision of man and her philosophy for living on earth, Objectivism, have changed the lives of tens of thousands of readers and launched a major philosophic movement with a growing impact on American culture. You are invited to sit down to the banquet which is Ayn Rand’s novels. I hope you personally enjoy them as much as I did.

About the Books

Atlas Shrugged (1957) is a mystery story, Ayn Rand once commented, “not about the murder of man’s body, but about the murderand rebirthof man’s spirit.” It is the story of a manthe novel’s herowho says that he will stop the motor of the world, and does. The deterioration of the U.S. accelerates as the story progresses. Factories, farms, shops shut down or go bankrupt in ever larger numbers. Riots break out as food supplies become scarce. Is he, then, a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why does he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies but against those who need him most, including the woman, Dagny Taggart, a top railroad executive, whom he passionately loves? What is the world’s motorand the motive power of every man? Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, and charged with awesome questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is a novel of tremendous scope. It presents an astounding panorama of human lifefrom the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy (Francisco d’Anconia)to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction (Hank Rearden)to the philosopher who becomes a pirate (Ragnar Danneskjold)to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph (Richard Halley). Dramatizing Ayn Rand’s complete philosophy, Atlas Shrugged is an intellectual revolution told in the form of an action thriller of violent eventsand with a ruthlessly brilliant plot and irresistible suspense. We do not want to spoil the plot by giving away its secret or its deeper meaning, so as a hint only we will quote here one brief exchange from the novel:

embraced the movie. Five months after its release, Mussolini’s government figured out what everyone else knew, and banned the movie. This is eloquent proof of Ayn Rand’s claim that the book is not merely “about Soviet Russia.” After the war, the movie was re-edited under Ayn Rand’s supervision. The movie is still played at art-house cinemas, and is now available on videotape.

Anthem (1946), a novelette in the form of a prose poem, depicts a grim world of the future that is totally collectivized. Technologically primitive, it is a world in which candles are the very latest advance. From birth to death, men’s lives are directed for them by the State. At Palaces of Mating, the State enacts its eugenics program; once born and schooled, people are assigned jobs they dare not refuse, toiling in the fields until they are consigned to the Home of the Useless. This is a world in which men live and die for the sake of the State. The State is all, the individual is nothing. It is a world in which the word “I” has vanished from the language, replaced by “We.” For the sin of speaking the unspeakable “I,” men are put to death. Equality 7-2521, however, rebels. Though assigned to the life work of street sweeper by the rulers who resent his brilliant, inquisitive mind, he secretly becomes a scientist. Enduring the threat of torture and imprisonment, he continues in his quest for knowledge and ultimately rediscovers electric light. But when he shares it with the Council of Scholars, he is denounced for the sin of thinking what no other men think. He runs for his life, escaping to the uncharted forest beyond the city’s edge. There, with his beloved, he begins a more intense sequence of discoveries, both personal and intellectual, that help him break free from the collectivist State’s brutal morality of sacrifice. He learns that man’s greatest moral duty is the pursuit of his own happiness. He discovers and speaks the sacred word: I. Anthem’s theme is the meaning and glory of man’s ego.

About Objectivism

Ayn Rand held that philosophy was not a luxury for the few, but a life-and-death necessity of everyone’s survival. She described Objectivism, the intellectual framework of her novels, as a philosophy for living on earth. Rejecting all forms of supernaturalism and religion, Objectivism holds that Reality, the world of nature, exists as an objective absolutefacts are facts, independent of man’s feelings, wishes, hopes, or fears; in short, “wishing won’t make it so.” Further, Ayn Rand held that Reasonthe faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s sensesis man’s only source of knowledge, both of facts and of values. Reason is man’s only guide to action, and his basic means of survival. Hence her rejection of all forms of mysticism, such as intuition, instinct, revelation, etc. On the question of good and evil, Objectivism advocates a scientific code of morality: the morality of rational self-interest, which holds Man’s Life as the standard of moral value. The good is that which sustains Man’s Life; the evil is that which destroys it. Rationality, therefore, is man’s primary virtue. Each man should live by his own mind and for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor others to himself. Man is an end in himself. His own happiness, achieved by his own work and trade, is each man’s highest moral purpose. In politics, as a consequence, Objectivism upholds not the welfare state, but laissez-faire capitalism (the complete separation of state and economics) as the only social system consistent with the requirements of Man’s Life. The proper function of government is the original American system: to protect each individual’s inalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Objectivism defines “art” as the re-creation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value-judgments. The greatest school in art history, it holds, is Romanticism, whose art represents things not as they are, but as they might be and ought to be. The fundamentals of Objectivism are set forth in many nonfiction books including: For the New Intellectual; The Virtue of Selfishness; Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal; Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution; Philosophy: Who Needs It; and The Romantic Manifesto. Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, written by Ayn Rand’s intellectual heir Leonard Peikoff and published in 1991, is the definitive presentation of her entire system of philosophy.

ABOUT AYN RAND

Ayn Rand was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on February 2, 1905. At the age of nine, she decided to make fiction-writing her career. In late 1925 she obtained permission to leave the USSR for a visit to relatives in the United States. Arriving in New York in February 1926, she first spent six months with her relatives in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles. On her second day in Hollywood, the famous director Cecil B. De Mille noticed her standing at the gate of his studio, offered her a ride to the set of his silent movie The King of Kings, and gave her a job, first as an extra and later as a script reader. During the next week at the studio, she met an actor, Frank O’Connor, whom she married in 1929; they were happily married until his death fifty years later. After struggling for several years at various menial jobs, including one in the wardrobe department at RKO, she sold her first screenplay, “Red Pawn,” to Universal Studios in 1932 and then saw her first play, Night of January 16th, produced in Hollywood and (in 1935) on Broadway. In 1936, her first novel, We the Living, was published. She began writing The Fountainhead in 1935. In the character of Howard Roark, she presented for the first time the Ayn Rand hero, whose depiction was the chief goal of her writing: the ideal man, man as “he could be and ought to be.” The Fountainhead was rejected by a dozen publishers but finally accepted by Bobbs-Merrill; it came out in 1943. The novel made publishing history by becoming a best-seller within two years purely through word of mouth; it gained lasting recognition for Ayn Rand as a champion of individualism. Atlas Shrugged (1957) was her greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy of Objectivism in an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex. Although she considered herself primarily a fiction writer, she realized early that in order to create heroic characters, she had to identify the philosophic principles which make such people possible. She proceeded to develop a “philosophy for living on earth.” Objectivism has now gained a worldwide audience and is an ever growing presence in American culture. Her novels continue to sell in enormous numbers every year, proving themselves enduring classics of literature. Ayn Rand died on March 6, 1982, at her home in New York City.

Recollections of Ayn Rand A Conversation with Leonard Peikoff, Ph.D.,Ayn Rand’s longtime associate and intellectual heir

Dr. Peikoff, you met Miss Rand when you were seventeen and were associated with her until her death, thirty-one years later. What were your first impressions of her? What was she like? The strongest first impression I had of her was her passion for ideas. Ayn Rand was unlike anyone I had ever imagined. Her mind was utterly first-handed: she said what no one else had ever said or probably ever thought, but she said these things so logicallyso simply, factually, persuasivelythat they seemed to be self-evident. She radiated the kind of intensity that one could imagine changing the course of history. Her brilliantly perceptive eyes looked straight at you and missed nothing: neither did her methodical, painstaking, virtually scientific replies to my questions miss anything. She made me think for the first time that thinking is important. I said to myself after I left her home: “All of life will be different now. If she exists, everything is possible.”

In her fiction, Ayn Rand presented larger-than-life heroesembodiments of her philosophy of rational egoismthat have inspired countless readers over the years. Was Ayn Rand’s own life like that of her characters? Did she practice her own ideals? Yes, always. From the age of nine, when she decided on a career as a writer, everything she did was integrated toward her creative purpose. As with Howard Roark, dedication to thought and thus to her work was the root of Ayn Rand’s person. In every aspect of life, she once told me, a man should have favorites. He should define what he likes or wants most and why, and then proceed to get it. She always did just thatfleeing the Soviet dictatorship for America, tripping her future husband on a movie set to get him to notice her, ransacking ancient record shops to unearth some lost treasure, even decorating her apartment with an abundance of her favorite color, blue-green.

Given her radical views in morality and politics, did she ever soften or compromise her message? Never. She took on the whole worldliberals, conservatives, communists, religionists, Babbitts and avant-garde alikebut opposition had no power to sway her from her convictions. I never saw her adapting her personality or viewpoint to please another individual. She was always the same and always herself, whether she was talking with me alone, or attending a cocktail party of celebrities, or being cheered or booed by a hall full of college students, or being interviewed on national television.

Couldn’t she have profited by toning things down a little? She could never be tempted to betray her convictions. A Texas oil man once offered her up to a million dollars to use in spreading her philosophy, if she would only add a religious element to it to make it more popular. She threw his proposal into the wastebasket. “What would I do with his money,” she asked me indignantly, “if I have to give up my mind in order to get it?” Her integrity was the result of her method of thinking and her conviction that ideas really matter. She knew too clearly how she had reached her ideas, why they were true, and what their opposites were doing to mankind.

Who are some writers that Ayn Rand respected and enjoyed reading? She did not care for most contemporary writers. Her favorites were the nineteenth century Romantic novelists. Above all, she admired Victor Hugo, though she often disagreed with his explicit views. She liked Dostoevsky for his superb mastery of plot structure and characterization, although she had no patience for his religiosity. In popular literature, she read all of Agatha Christie twice, and also liked the early novels of Mickey Spillane.

In addition to writing best-sellers, Ayn Rand originated a distinctive philosophy of reason. If someone wants to get an insight into her intellectual and creative development, what would you suggest? A reader ought first to read her novels and main nonfiction in order to understand her views and values. Then, to trace her early literary development, a reader could pick up The Early Ayn Rand, a volume I edited after her death. It features a selection of short stories and plays that she wrote while mastering English and the art of fiction-writing. For a glimpse of her lifelong intellectual development, I would recommend the recent book Journals of Ayn Rand, edited by David Harriman.

Ayn Rand’s life was punctuated by disappointments with people, frustration, and early poverty. Was she embittered? Did she achieve happiness in her own life? She did achieve happiness. Whatever her disappointments or frustrations, they went down, as she said about Roark, only to a certain point. Beneath it was her self-esteem, her values, and her conviction that happiness, not pain, is what matters. I remember a spring day in 1957. She and I were walking up Madison Avenue in New York toward the office of Random House, which was in the process of bringing out Atlas Shrugged. She was looking at the city she had always loved most, and now, after decades of rejection, she had seen the top publishers in that city competing for what she knew, triumphantly, was her masterpiece. She turned to me suddenly and said: “Don’t ever give up what you want in life. The struggle is worth it.” I never forgot that. I can still see the look of quiet radiance on her face.

Related Titles

Fiction in Paperback Anthem (New York: Signet, 1961). Atlas Shrugged (New York: Signet, 1959). The Fountainhead (New York: Signet, 25th anniv. ed., 1968). Night of January 16th (New York: Plume, 1987). We the Living (New York: Signet, 1960). Nonfiction in Paperback Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (New York: Signet, 1967). The Early Ayn Rand: A Selection from Her Unpublished Fiction (New York: Signet, 1986). For the New Intellectual (New York: Signet, 1963). Philosophy: Who Needs It (New York: Signet, 1964). Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (New York: Meridian, 1999). The Romantic Manifesto (New York: Signet, 2nd rev. ed., 1971). The Virtue of Selfishness (New York: Signet, 1984). On Ayn Rand and Objectivism The Ayn Rand Reader, edited by Gary Hull and Leonard Peikoff (New York: Plume, 1999). Journals of Ayn Rand, edited by David Harriman (New York: Dutton, 1997). Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, by Leonard Peikoff (New York: Meridian, 1993).

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Atlas Shrugged

The Fountainhead

We the Living

Anthem

a) “It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think.”

b) “I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning.”

c) “I owe nothing to my brothers, nor do I gather debts from them.”

Objectivism

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Alan Greenspan

Born February 2, 1905, Ayn Rand published her first novel, We the Living, in 1936. Anthem followed in 1938. It was with the publication of The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) that she achieved her spectacular success. Ms. Rand’s unique philosophy, Objectivism, has gained a worldwide audience. The fundamentals of her philosophy are put forth in three nonfiction books, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, The Virtue of Selfishness, and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. They are all available in Signet editions, as is the magnificent statement of her artistic credo, The Romantic Manifesto.

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Atlas Shrugged: (Centennial Edition) by Ayn Rand …

The Golden Rule in World Religions – TeachingValues.com

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Jun 282016
 

Christianity All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:1 Confucianism Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state. Analects 12:2 Buddhism Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. Udana-Varga 5,1 Hinduism This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you. Mahabharata 5,1517 Islam No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. Sunnah Judaism What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary. Talmud, Shabbat 3id Taoism Regard your neighbors gain as your gain, and your neighbors loss as your own loss. Tai Shang Kan Yin Pien Zoroastrianism That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself. Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5

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Seychelles Holidays – Luxury Breaks | Thomas Cook Signature

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Jun 282016
 

The Seychelles is sometimes called the land of perpetual summer. Its warm, subtropical climate makes it the perfect place to escape harsh winters. Humidity can be high between April and October, and you may have to retreat to your suite to escape the dramatic heavy showers, but outside of this season, temperatures are warm, pleasant and perfect for sunbathing, exploring and relaxing.

Time difference: GMT +4 hours

Currency: Seychelles Rupee.

Language: English, Creole and French.

Flight time from London: Approximately 11 hours.

Arrival Airport: Seychelles International Airport.

Entry details for British passport holders: A visa is not required for holidays to The Seychelles. Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay. Before you depart, check the latest travel advice at http://www.fco.gov.uk.

A local Signature representative will meet you at your arrival airport and direct you to your pre-booked transfer vehicle. Depending on where you are staying, this may be a direct transfer courtesy of your hotel, via a boat, vehicle or domestic flight. You’ll receive a welcome pack containing local information and all contact details. A welcome meeting will be held at your hotel, or should you need advice during your stay, the local office is available to answer your questions.

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Seychelles Holidays – Luxury Breaks | Thomas Cook Signature

Offshore Guides

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Jun 282016
 

Offshore Jobs! / Now Hiring! / All Skills! / High Pay! USA – Overseas! / Work Month – Home Month! Entry Level / Prior Experienced!

If you have spent any time online looking for an offshore oil rig job, no doubt you have been overwhelmed by the number of web sites and YouTube videos promising the latest “insider tips” on how to get hired offshore.

While most of these sites are legitimate and on the up and up, the one thing they all lack is originality. Offshore Guides is THE ORIGINAL WEBSITE concerning offshore oil rig jobs. Our main publication “The Complete Offshore Employment Handbook” offers the following “insider secrets”

Half of the offshore oil rig job workers will be retiring in the next 10 years!

The book has a total of 24 information packed chapters written from my many years of working in the offshore oil rig jobs industry, both in the US and overseas, starting from the bottom and working my way up. The oil and gas industry is enjoying a major boom because of an unprecedented rise in energy prices causing rapid global expansion. Here’s what is going on in the industry right now:

There are hundreds of jobs going unfilled every week because job seekers don’t know where to apply and what to apply for. For over 15 years, Offshore Guides has been bridging the gap and showing you, the job seeker, how to get connected. We post 50 new jobs every week, many of them entry level. Below is a list of the last 50 we’ve posted.

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Offshore Guides

Welcome to our Parish! | Ascension Catholic Church

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Jun 282016
 

A message from our Pastor

It is my pleasure to welcome you to Ascensions parish website. We have tabs for general parish information (including links to our weekly bulletin, The Dome), for our Ascension school and pre-school, and for our parish Religious Education program. It is also possible to follow a link here to arrange for automatic Stewardship offerings and other giving opportunities.

Situated just north of the Eisenhower expressway in a neighborhood setting, Ascension is the spiritual home for both young and old- new families, families with children, singles, and seniors. Our large Catholic school draws from Oak Park and its surrounding communities. We offer many programs and activities, and are especially noted for our commitment to issues of peace and justice. Our music program is highly developed and attracts scores of people who participate in our various choirs. Our staff is available to help, and contact information for staff members is available through this site.

Worship on Sunday is the time that our welcoming and diverse community comes together to hear and reflect upon the Word of God, and to enter into Christs saving sacrifice through the Eucharist. If this virtual visit to the parish is your first time with us, I hope that you will be drawn to a more personal visit some Sunday. If you are a parishioner who arrived here looking forinformation that is important to you, I hope that you will find navigation easy so that you can find what you came looking for.

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Welcome to our Parish! | Ascension Catholic Church

CF – What does CF stand for? The Free Dictionary

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Jun 282016
 

Acronym Definition CF Compact Flash (solid state memory technology) CF Cold Fusion (Allaire web application development product) CF Confer (Latin: Compare) CF Call Forwarding CF Cystic Fibrosis CF Canadian Forces CF Center Field (Baseball) CF Copy(ies) Furnished CF Configuration File CF Carbon Fiber CF Cash Flow CF Congo CF Compact Framework (Microsoft) CF Christian Fellowship CF Cardiff University (Wales) CF Cardiff (postal code for Cardiff, Wales) CF Capital Federal CF Calf CF Community Forestry CF Central African Republic (country code, top level domain) CF Christian Forums CF Collaborative Filtering CF Compact Fluorescent (lamp/bulb) CF Conceptual Framework CF Complement Fixation (assay method for determination of infection in blood or serum) CF Center Front (tailoring) CF Constituio Federal (Brazil; Federal Constitution) CF Continuous Flow CF Conservation Foundation CF Continued Fractions CF Calgary Flames (NHL hockey team of Calgary, Alberta, Canada) CF Conservative Future CF Climate and Forecast CF Cerebrospinal Fluid CF Carry Flag CF Chinese Food CF Capacity Factor CF Coal Fired CF Californium CF Coldfire CF Centrifugal Force CF Carry Forward CF Codice Fiscale (Italian: fiscal code) CF Cardiac Failure CF Cease-Fire CF Cienfuegos (postcode, Cuba) CF Cold Front (meteorology) CF Carrier Frequency CF Combining Form (linguistics) CF Cadillac Fairview CF Canadian French (language) CF Common Functions CF Change Form CF Causal Factor CF Chronic Future (band) CF Captain Falcon (Nintendo) CF Cold Feet (movie) CF Center Frequency CF Childfree CF Consolidated Freightways (trucking company) CF Charcoal Filter CF Celtic Frost (band) CF Career Field CF Center Fire (Ammunition) CF Customer Focus CF Coopration Franaise (French) CF Commercial Film CF Computing Facility CF Common Formats (United States Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005) CF Center Forward (soccer position) CF Change Filter CF Climbing Fiber (neuroscience) CF Calibration Factor CF Central Facility CF Charlie-Foxtrot (slang for Cluster Flock; polite form) CF Communication Function CF Canadian Fighter CF Consulting Forester CF Coalition Force CF Change Frequency CF Central Files CF Compound Fracture CF Confidence Factor CF Caucasian Female CF Coated Front (paper) CF Compression Factor CF Complementary Function CF Cahiers Francais CF Communications Flight CF Center Funded CF Charter One Financial (NYSE Symbol) CF Centrally Funded CF Collection Function CF Citrovorum Factor CF Conseco Fieldhouse (Indiana) CF Cloud Fraction CF Completion Form CF Cowboys Fringants (band) CF Co-facilitator CF Cathode Follower CF Contra Fidem (Latin: Against My Will) CF Christmas Factor CF Commonwealth Funding CF Cold Finish CF Cervical Fracture (neck) CF Carbolfuchsin CF Charleston Forge CF Concept Formulation CF Commodities Finance CF Chicago Force CF causeway ferry (US DoD) CF Chart Field CF Concept Feasibility CF Compress-and-Forward (networking) CF Confinement Factor CF Continental Freight (trucking company) CF Counts Fingers (used with the 20/ scale after c. 20/400; ophthalmology) CF Construction Forces CF Clearance Facility CF Coupling Fault CF Center of Flotation CF Compliance Finding CF Computation Facility CF Consulting Fellow CF Conservation Farmers (Nepal) CF Comit de Facilitation CF Cumulus Fractus CF Cape Fear Railways, Inc. CF Calf-Fed Cf Frictional Resistance Coefficient CF Constructed Fare (airlines) CF Confrontation Field (ophthalmology) CF Clinical Facilitator CF Contingency Flag CF Content Freeze CF Coin First Payphone CF Chikara Fansubs CF Creative Fluff (website) CF Construction Flagman (NYC Transit Authority) CF drift error confidence factor (US DoD) CF Cab to Frame CF Condensate and Feed CF Cluster Foulup (polite form; military slang) CF Cable, Fuzing or Firing CF Clarissima Foemina (Latin: Most Famous Lady, epigraphy) CF Imagery and Geospatial Community Management Office (NIMA) CF Compartmented Facility CF Controlled Flaw CF Air Post Registration (Scott Catalogue prefix; philately) CF Countermeasure Factor CF Civilingenjors Forbundet CF Campus Focus, Student Organization (University of Akron) CF Cassville Ferry (Wisconsin) CF Controlled Iteration First Pass CF Conversion Factor CF Cubic Foot CF Corkscrew Follies (Rollercoaster Tycoon game) CF Continuous Form CF Contractor-Furnished CF Control Functions CF Correlation Factor CF Count Forward CF Counterfire CF Correctional Facility CF Critically Factor CF Control Freak CF Corporate Fraud CF Cumulative Frequency (statistics) CF Covering Force CF Corn Flour CF Cost and Freight CF Crazy Frog (advertisement) CF Customer Fulfilment CF Core Fighter (Gundam) CF Control Flow CF Cyberfair CF Contributing Factor CF French Canadian CF Corporate Finance CF County Fair CF Cystic Fibrosis Foundation CF Cutoff Frequency CF Hundred Feet CF Coupling Facility (IBM mainframes) CF Cooling Fan CF Crossfire CF Convertible Freighter CF Court Filing CF Corn Flakes CF Conversion Facility CF Counter Force CF Core Foundation (Apple Computer) CF Compte Financier (French: Financial Account) CF Crest-Factor (distribution in multiplexed transmission signals) CF Customer Furnished CF Consumidor Final (Spanish: End Consumer)

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CF – What does CF stand for? The Free Dictionary

Evolution – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Evolution  Comments Off on Evolution – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jun 282016
 

Evolution is a scientific theory used by biologists. It explains how living things change over a long time, and how they have come to be the way they are.[1]

The Earth has been around for a very long time.[2][3] By doing research on the layers of rock, we can find out about its past. That kind of research is called historical geology.

We know that living things have changed over time, because we can see their remains in the rocks. These remains are called ‘fossils’. So we know that the animals and plants of today are different from those of long ago. And the further we go back, the more different the fossils are.[4] How has this come about? Evolution has taken place. That evolution has taken place is a fact, because it is overwhelmingly supported by many lines of evidence.[5][6][7] At the same time, evolutionary questions are still being actively researched by biologists.

Comparison of DNA sequences allows organisms to be grouped by how similar their sequences are. In 2010 an analysis compared sequences to phylogenetic trees, and supported the idea of common descent. There is now “strong quantitative support, by a formal test”,[8] for the unity of life.[9]

The theory of evolution is the basis of modern biology. “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”.[10]

The evidence for evolution is given in a number of books.[11][12][13][14] Some of this evidence is discussed here.

The realization that some rocks contain fossils was a landmark in natural history. There are three parts to this story:

The most convincing evidence for the occurrence of evolution is the discovery of extinct organisms in older geological strata… The older the strata are…the more different the fossil will be from living representatives… that is to be expected if the fauna and flora of the earlier strata had gradually evolved into their descendants.

Ernst Mayr [1]p13

The evolution of the horse family (Equidae) is a good example of the way that evolution works. The oldest fossil of a horse is about 52 million years old. It was a small animal with five toes on the front feet and four on the hind feet. At that time, there were more forests in the world than today. This horse lived in woodland, eating leaves, nuts and fruit with its simple teeth. It was only about as big as a fox.[19]

About 30 million years ago the world started to become cooler and drier. Forests shrank; grassland expanded, and horses changed. They ate grass, they grew larger, and they ran faster because they had to escape faster predators. Because grass wears teeth out, horses with longer-lasting teeth had an advantage.

For most of this long period of time, there were a number of horse types (genera). Now, however, only one genus exists: the modern horse, Equus. It has teeth which grow all its life, hooves on single toes, great long legs for running, and the animal is big and strong enough to survive in the open plain.[19] Horses lived in western Canada until 12,000 years ago,[20] but all horses in North America became extinct about 11,000 years ago. The causes of this extinction are not yet clear. Climate change and over-hunting by humans are suggested.

So, scientists can see that changes have happened. They have happened slowly over a long time. How these changes have come about is explained by the theory of evolution.

This is a topic which fascinated both Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace.[21][22][23] When new species occur, usually by the splitting of older species, this takes place in one place in the world. Once it is established, a new species may spread to some places and not others.

Australasia has been separated from other continents for many millions of years. In the main part of the continent, Australia, 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles, 90% of fish and insects and 93% of amphibians are endemic.[24] Its native mammals are mostly marsupials like kangaroos, bandicoots, and quolls.[25] By contrast, marsupials are today totally absent from Africa and form a small portion of the mammalian fauna of South America, where opossums, shrew opossums, and the monito del monte occur (see the Great American Interchange).

The only living representatives of primitive egg-laying mammals (monotremes) are the echidnas and the platypus. They are only found in Australasia, which includes Tasmania, New Guinea, and Kangaroo Island. These monotremes are totally absent in the rest of the world.[26] On the other hand, Australia is missing many groups of placental mammals that are common on other continents (carnivora, artiodactyls, shrews, squirrels, lagomorphs), although it does have indigenous bats and rodents, which arrived later.[27]

The evolutionary story is that placental mammals evolved in Eurasia, and wiped out the marsupials and monotremes wherever they spread. They did not reach Australasia until more recently. That is the simple reason why Australia has most of the world’s marsupials and all the world’s monotremes.

In about 6,500sqmi (17,000km2), the Hawaiian Islands have the most diverse collection of Drosophila flies in the world, living from rainforests to mountain meadows. About 800 Hawaiian drosophilid species are known.

Genetic evidence shows that all the native drosophilid species in Hawaii have descended from a single ancestral species that colonized the islands, about 20 million years ago. The subsequent adaptive radiation was spurred by a lack of competition and a wide variety of vacant niches. Although it would be possible for a single pregnant female to colonise an island, it is more likely to have been a group from the same species.[28][29][30][31]

The combination of continental drift and evolution can explain what is found in the fossil record. Glossopteris is an extinct species of seed fern plants from the Permian period on the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana.[32]

Glossopteris fossils are found in Permian strata in southeast South America, southeast Africa, all of Madagascar, northern India, all of Australia, all of New Zealand, and scattered on the southern and northern edges of Antarctica.

During the Permian, these continents were connected as Gondwana. This is known from magnetic striping in the rocks, other fossil distributions, and glacial scratches pointing away from the temperate climate of the South Pole during the Permian.[13]p103[33]

When biologists look at living things, they see that animals and plants belong to groups which have something in common. Charles Darwin explained that this followed naturally if “we admit the common parentage of allied forms, together with their modification through variation and natural selection”.[21]p402[11]p456

For example, all insects are related. They share a basic body plan, whose development is controlled by master regulatory genes.[34] They have six legs; they have hard parts on the outside of the body (an exoskeleton); they have eyes formed of many separate chambers, and so on. Biologists explain this with evolution. All insects are the descendants of a group of animals who lived a long time ago. They still keep the basic plan (six legs and so on) but the details change. They look different now because they changed in different ways: this is evolution.[35]

It was Darwin who first suggested that all life on Earth had a single origin, and from that beginning “endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved”.[11]p490[21] Evidence from molecular biology in recent years has supported the idea that all life is related by common descent.[36]

Strong evidence for common descent comes from vestigial structures.[21]p397 The useless wings of flightless beetles are sealed under fused wing covers. This can be simply explained by their descent from ancestral beetles which had wings that worked.[14]p49

Rudimentary body parts, those that are smaller and simpler in structure than corresponding parts in ancestral species, are called vestigial organs. Those organs are functional in the ancestral species but are now either nonfunctional or re-adapted to a new function. Examples are the pelvic girdles of whales, halteres (hind wings) of flies, wings of flightless birds, and the leaves of some xerophytes (e.g. cactus) and parasitic plants (e.g. dodder).

However, vestigial structures may have their original function replaced with another. For example, the halteres in flies help balance the insect while in flight, and the wings of ostriches are used in mating rituals, and in aggressive display. The ear ossicles in mammals are former bones of the lower jaw.

In 1893, Robert Wiedersheim published a book on human anatomy and its relevance to man’s evolutionary history. This book contained a list of 86 human organs that he considered vestigial.[37] This list included examples such as the appendix and the 3rd molar teeth (wisdom teeth).

The strong grip of a baby is another example.[38] It is a vestigial reflex, a remnant of the past when pre-human babies clung to their mothers’ hair as the mothers swung through the trees. This is borne out by the babies’ feet, which curl up when it is sitting down (primate babies grip with the feet as well). All primates except modern man have thick body hair to which an infant can cling, unlike modern humans. The grasp reflex allows the mother to escape danger by climbing a tree using both hands and feet.[13][39]

Vestigial organs often have some selection against them. The original organs took resources, sometimes huge resources. If they no longer have a function, reducing their size improves fitness. And there is direct evidence of selection. Some cave crustacea reproduce more successfully with smaller eyes than do those with larger eyes. This may be because the nervous tissue dealing with sight now becomes available to handle other sensory input.[40]p310

From the eighteenth century it was known that embryos of different species were much more similar than the adults. In particular, some parts of embryos reflect their evolutionary past. For example, the embryos of land vertebrates develop gill slits like fish embryos. Of course, this is only a temporary stage, which gives rise to many structures in the neck of reptiles, birds and mammals. The proto-gill slits are part of a complicated system of development: that is why they persisted.[34]

Another example are the embryonic teeth of baleen whales.[41] They are later lost. The baleen filter is developed from different tissue, called keratin. Early fossil baleen whales did actually have teeth as well as the baleen.[42]

A good example is the barnacle. It took many centuries before natural historians discovered that barnacles were crustacea. Their adults look so unlike other crustacea, but their larvae are very similar to those of other crustacea.[43]

Charles Darwin lived in a world where animal husbandry and domesticated crops were vitally important. In both cases farmers selected for breeding individuals with special properties, and prevented the breeding of individuals with less desirable characteristics. The eighteenth and early nineteenth century saw a growth in scientific agriculture, and artificial breeding was part of this.

Darwin discussed artificial selection as a model for natural selection in the 1859 first edition of his work On the Origin of Species, in Chapter IV: Natural selection:

Nikolai Vavilov showed that rye, originally a weed, came to be a crop plant by unintentional selection. Rye is a tougher plant than wheat: it survives in harsher conditions. Having become a crop like the wheat, rye was able to become a crop plant in harsh areas, such as hills and mountains.[45][46]

There is no real difference in the genetic processes underlying artificial and natural selection, and the concept of artificial selection was used by Charles Darwin as an illustration of the wider process of natural selection. There are practical differences. Experimental studies of artificial selection show that “the rate of evolution in selection experiments is at least two orders of magnitude (that is 100 times) greater than any rate seen in nature or the fossil record”.[47]p157

Some have thought that artificial selection could not produce new species. It now seems that it can.

New species have been created by domesticated animal husbandry, but the details are not known or not clear. For example, domestic sheep were created by hybridisation, and no longer produce viable offspring with Ovis orientalis, one species from which they are descended.[48] Domestic cattle, on the other hand, can be considered the same species as several varieties of wild ox, gaur, yak, etc., as they readily produce fertile offspring with them.[49]

The best-documented new species came from laboratory experiments in the late 1980s. William Rice and G.W. Salt bred fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, using a maze with three different choices of habitat such as light/dark and wet/dry. Each generation was put into the maze, and the groups of flies that came out of two of the eight exits were set apart to breed with each other in their respective groups.

After thirty-five generations, the two groups and their offspring were isolated reproductively because of their strong habitat preferences: they mated only within the areas they preferred, and so did not mate with flies that preferred the other areas.[50][51]

Diane Dodd was also able to show how reproductive isolation can develop from mating preferences in Drosophila pseudoobscura fruit flies after only eight generations using different food types, starch and maltose.[52]

Dodd’s experiment has been easy for others to repeat. It has also been done with other fruit flies and foods.[53]

Some biologists say that evolution has happened when a trait that is caused by genetics becomes more or less common in a group of organisms.[54] Others call it evolution when new species appear.

Changes can happen quickly in the smaller, simpler organisms. For example, many bacteria that cause disease can no longer be killed with some of the antibiotic medicines. These medicines have only been in use about eighty years, and at first worked extremely well. The bacteria have evolved so that they are no longer affected by antibiotics anymore.[55] The drugs killed off all the bacteria except a few which had some resistance. These few resistant bacteria produced the next generation.

The Colorado beetle is famous for its ability to resist pesticides. Over the last 50 years it has become resistant to 52 chemical compounds used in insecticides, including cyanide.[56] This is natural selection speeded up by the artificial conditions. However, not every population is resistant to every chemical.[57] The populations only become resistant to chemicals used in their area.

Although there were a number of natural historians in the 18th century who had some idea of evolution, the first well-formed ideas came in the 19th century. Three biologists are most important.

Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck (17441829), a French biologist, claimed that animals changed according to natural laws. He said that animals could pass on traits they had acquired during their lifetime to their offspring, using inheritance. Today, his theory is known as Lamarckism. Its main purpose is to explain adaptations by natural means.[58] He proposed a tendency for organisms to become more complex, moving up a ladder of progress, plus use and disuse.

Lamarck’s idea was that a giraffe’s neck grew longer because it tried to reach higher up. This idea failed because it cannot be reconciled with heredity (Mendel’s work). Mendel made his discoveries about half a century after Lamarck’s work.

Charles Darwin (18091882) wrote his On the Origin of Species in 1859. In this book, he put forward much evidence that evolution had occurred. He also proposed natural selection as the way evolution had taken place. But Darwin did not understand about genetics and how traits were actually passed on. He could not accurately explain what made children look like their parents.

Nevertheless, Darwin’s explanation of evolution was fundamentally correct. In contrast to Lamarck, Darwin’s idea was that the giraffe’s neck became longer because those with longer necks survived better.[21]p177/8 These survivors passed their genes on, and in time the whole race got longer necks.

An Austrian monk called Gregor Mendel (18221884) bred plants. In the mid-19th century, he discovered how traits were passed on from one generation to the next.

He used peas for his experiments: some peas have white flowers and others have red ones. Some peas have green seeds and others have yellow seeds. Mendel used artificial pollination to breed the peas. His results are discussed further in Mendelian inheritance. Darwin thought that the inheritance from both parents blended together. Mendel proved that the genes from the two parents stay separate, and may be passed on unchanged to later generations.

Mendel published his results in a journal that was not well-known, and his discoveries were overlooked. Around 1900, his work was rediscovered.[59][60]Genes are bits of information made of DNA which work like a set of instructions. A set of genes are in every living cell. Together, genes organise the way an egg develops into an adult. With mammals, and many other living things, a copy of each gene comes from the father and another copy from the mother. Some living organisms, including some plants, only have one parent, so get all their genes from them. These genes produce the genetic differences which evolution acts on.

Darwin’s On the Origin of Species has two themes: the evidence for evolution, and his ideas on how evolution took place. This section deals with the second issue.

The first two chapters of the Origin deal with variation in domesticated plants and animals, and variation in nature.

All living things show variation. Every population which has been studied shows that animal and plants vary as much as humans do.[61][62]p90 This is a great fact of nature, and without it evolution would not occur. Darwin said that, just as man selects what he wants in his farm animals, so in nature the variations allow natural selection to work.[63]

The features of an individual are influenced by two things, heredity and environment. First, development is controlled by genes inherited from the parents. Second, living brings its own influences. Some things are entirely inherited, others partly, and some not inherited at all.

The colour of eyes is entirely inherited; they are a genetic trait. Height or weight is only partly inherited, and the language is not at all inherited. Just to be clear: the fact that humans can speak is inherited, but what language is spoken depends on where a person lives and what they are taught. Another example: a person inherits a brain of somewhat variable capacity. What happens after birth depends on many things such as home environment, education and other experiences. When a person is adult, their brain is what their inheritance and life experience have made it.

Evolution only concerns the traits which can be inherited, wholly or partly. The hereditary traits are passed on from one generation to the next through the genes. A person’s genes contain all the traits which they inherit from their parents. The accidents of life are not passed on. Also, of course, each person lives a somewhat different life: that increases the differences.

Organisms in any population vary in reproductive success.[64]p81 From the point of view of evolution, ‘reproductive success’ means the total number of offspring which live to breed and leave offspring themselves.

Variation can only affect future generations if it is inherited. Because of the work of Gregor Mendel, we know that much variation is inherited. Mendel’s ‘factors’ are now called genes. Research has shown that almost every individual in a sexually reproducing species is genetically unique.[65]p204

Genetic variation is increased by gene mutations. DNA does not always reproduce exactly. Rare changes occur, and these changes can be inherited. Many changes in DNA cause faults; some are neutral or even advantageous. This gives rise to genetic variation, which is the seed-corn of evolution. Sexual reproduction, by the crossing over of chromosomes during meiosis, spreads variation through the population. Other events, like natural selection and drift, reduce variation. So a population in the wild always has variation, but the details are always changing.[62]p90

Evolution mainly works by natural selection. What does this mean? Animals and plants which are best suited to their environment will, on average, survive better. There is a struggle for existence. Those who survive will produce the next generation. Their genes will be passed on, and the genes of those who did not reproduce will not. This is the basic mechanism which changes a population and causes evolution.

Natural selection explains why living organisms change over time to have the anatomy, the functions and behaviour that they have. It works like this:

There are now many cases where natural selection has been proved to occur in wild populations.[5][67][68] Almost every case investigated of camouflage, mimicry and polymorphism has shown strong effects of selection.[69]

The force of selection can be much stronger than was thought by the early population geneticists. The resistance to pesticides has grown quickly. Resistance to warfarin in Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) grew rapidly because those that survived made up more and more of the population. Research showed that, in the absence of warfarin, the resistant homozygote was at a 54% disadvantage to the normal wild type homozygote.[62]p182[70] This great disadvantage was quickly overcome by the selection for warfarin resistance.

Mammals normally cannot drink milk as adults, but humans are an exception. Milk is digested by the enzyme lactase, which switches off as mammals stop taking milk from their mothers. The human ability to drink milk during adult life is supported by a lactase mutation which prevents this switch-off. Human populations have a high proportion of this mutation wherever milk is important in the diet. The spread of this ‘milk tolerance’ is promoted by natural selection, because it helps people survive where milk is available. Genetic studies suggest that the oldest mutations causing lactase persistence only reached high levels in human populations in the last ten thousand years.[71][72] Therefore, lactase persistence is often cited as an example of recent human evolution.[73][74] As lactase persistence is genetic, but animal husbandry a cultural trait, this is geneculture coevolution.[75]

Adaptation is one of the basic phenomena of biology.[76] Through the process of adaptation, an organism becomes better suited to its habitat.[77]

Adaptation is one of the two main processes that explain the diverse species we see in biology. The other is speciation (species-splitting or cladogenesis).[78][79] A favourite example used today to study the interplay of adaptation and speciation is the evolution of cichlid fish in African rivers and lakes.[80][81]

When people speak about adaptation they often mean something which helps an animal or plant survive. One of the most widespread adaptations in animals is the evolution of the eye. Another example is the adaptation of horses’ teeth to grinding grass. Camouflage is another adaptation; so is mimicry. The better adapted animals are the most likely to survive, and to reproduce successfully (natural selection).

An internal parasite (such as a fluke) is a good example: it has a very simple bodily structure, but still the organism is highly adapted to its particular environment. From this we see that adaptation is not just a matter of visible traits: in such parasites critical adaptations take place in the life cycle, which is often quite complex.[82]

Not all features of an organism are adaptations.[62]p251 Adaptations tend to reflect the past life of a species. If a species has recently changed its life style, a once valuable adaptation may become useless, and eventually become a dwindling vestige.

Adaptations are never perfect. There are always tradeoffs between the various functions and structures in a body. It is the organism as a whole which lives and reproduces, therefore it is the complete set of adaptations which gets passed on to future generations.

In populations, there are forces which add variation to the population (such as mutation), and forces which remove it. Genetic drift is the name given to random changes which remove variation from a population. Genetic drift gets rid of variation at the rate of 1/(2N) where N = population size.[47]p29 It is therefore “a very weak evolutionary force in large populations”.[47]p55

Genetic drift explains how random chance can affect evolution in surprisingly big ways, but only when populations are quite small. Overall, its action is to make the individuals more similar to each other, and hence more vulnerable to disease or to chance events in their environment.

How species form is a major part of evolutionary biology. Darwin interpreted ‘evolution’ (a word he did not use at first) as being about speciation. That is why he called his famous book On the Origin of Species.

Darwin thought most species arose directly from pre-existing species. This is called anagenesis: new species by older species changing. Now we think most species arise by previous species splitting: cladogenesis.[87][88]

Two groups that start the same can also become very different if they live in different places. When a species gets split into two geographical regions, a process starts. Each adapts to its own situation. After a while, individuals from one group can no longer reproduce with the other group. Two good species have evolved from one.

A German explorer, Moritz Wagner, during his three years in Algeria in the 1830s, studied flightless beetles. Each species is confined to a stretch of the north coast between rivers which descend from the Atlas mountains to the Mediterranean. As soon as one crosses a river, a different but closely related species appears.[89] He wrote later:

This was an early account of the importance of geographical separation. Another biologist who thought geographical separation was critical was Ernst Mayr.[91]

One example of natural speciation is the three-spined stickleback, a sea fish that, after the last ice age, invaded freshwater, and set up colonies in isolated lakes and streams. Over about 10,000 generations, the sticklebacks show great differences, including variations in fins, changes in the number or size of their bony plates, variable jaw structure, and color differences.[92]

The wombats of Australia fall into two main groups, Common wombats and Hairy-nosed wombats. The two types look very similar, apart from the hairiness of their noses. However, they are adapted to different environments. Common wombats live in forested areas and eat mostly green food with lots of moisture. They often feed in the daytime. Hairy-nosed wombats live on hot dry plains where they eat dry grass with very little water or goodness in it. Their metabolic system is slow and they sleep most of the day underground.

When two groups that started the same become different enough, then they become two different species. Part of the theory of evolution is that all living things started off the same, but then split off into different groups over billions of years.[93]

This was an important movement in evolutionary biology, which started in the 1930s and finished in the 1950s.[94][95] It has been updated regularly ever since. The synthesis explains how the ideas of Charles Darwin fit with the discoveries of Gregor Mendel, who found out how we inherit our genes. The modern synthesis brought Darwin’s idea up to date. It bridged the gap between different types of biologists: geneticists, naturalists, and palaeontologists.

When the theory of evolution was developed, it was not clear that natural selection and genetics worked together. But Ronald Fisher showed that natural selection would work to change species.[96]Sewall Wright explained genetic drift in 1931.[97]

Co-evolution is where the existence of one species is tightly bound up with the life of one or more other species.

New or ‘improved’ adaptations which occur in one species are often followed by the appearance and spread of related features in the other species. The life and death of living things is intimately connected, not just with the physical environment, but with the life of other species.

These relationships may continue for millions of years, as it has in the pollination of flowering plants by insects. The gut contents, wing structures, and mouthparts of fossilized beetles and flies suggest that they acted as early pollinators. The association between beetles and angiosperms during the Lower Cretaceous period led to parallel radiations of angiosperms and insects into the late Cretaceous. The evolution of nectaries in Upper Cretaceous flowers signals the beginning of the mutualism between hymenoptera and angiosperms.[102]

Charles Darwin was the first to use this metaphor in biology. The evolutionary tree shows the relationships among various biological groups. It includes data from DNA, RNA and protein analysis. Tree of life work is a product of traditional comparative anatomy, and modern molecular evolution and molecular clock research.

The major figure in this work is Carl Woese, who defined the Archaea, the third domain (or kingdom) of life.[103] Below is a simplified version of present-day understanding.[104]

Macroevolution: the study of changes above the species level, and how they take place. The basic data for such a study are fossils (palaeontology) and the reconstruction of ancient environments. Some subjects whose study falls within the realm of macroevolution:

It is a term of convenience: for most biologists it does not suggest any change in the process of evolution.[5][105][106]p87 For some palaeontologists, what they see in the fossil record cannot be explained just by the gradualist evolutionary synthesis.[107] They are in the minority.

Altruism the willingness of some to sacrifice themselves for others is widespread in social animals. As explained above, the next generation can only come from those who survive and reproduce. Some biologists have thought that this meant altruism could not evolve by the normal process of selection. Instead a process called “group selection” was proposed.[108][109] Group selection refers to the idea that alleles can become fixed or spread in a population because of the benefits they bestow on groups, regardless of the alleles’ effect on the fitness of individuals within that group.

For several decades, critiques cast serious doubt on group selection as a major mechanism of evolution.[110][111][112][113]

In simple cases it can be seen at once that traditional selection suffices. For example, if one sibling sacrifices itself for three siblings, the genetic disposition for the act will be increased. This is because siblings share on average 50% of their genetic inheritance, and the sacrificial act has led to greater representation of the genes in the next generation.

Altruism is now generally seen as emerging from standard selection.[114][115][116][117][118] The warning note from Ernst Mayr, and the work of William Hamilton are both important to this discussion.[119][120]

Hamilton’s equation describes whether or not a gene for altruistic behaviour will spread in a population. The gene will spread if rxb is greater than c:

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Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution

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Jun 282016
 

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Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – The Premise Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is the widely held notion that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor: the birds and the bananas, the fishes and the flowers — all related. Darwin’s general theory presumes the development of life from non-life and stresses a purely naturalistic (undirected) “descent with modification”. That is, complex creatures evolve from more simplistic ancestors naturally over time. In a nutshell, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism’s genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival — a process known as “natural selection.” These beneficial mutations are passed on to the next generation. Over time, beneficial mutations accumulate and the result is an entirely different organism (not just a variation of the original, but an entirely different creature).

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – Natural Selection While Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a relatively young archetype, the evolutionary worldview itself is as old as antiquity. Ancient Greek philosophers such as Anaximander postulated the development of life from non-life and the evolutionary descent of man from animal. Charles Darwin simply brought something new to the old philosophy — a plausible mechanism called “natural selection.” Natural selection acts to preserve and accumulate minor advantageous genetic mutations. Suppose a member of a species developed a functional advantage (it grew wings and learned to fly). Its offspring would inherit that advantage and pass it on to their offspring. The inferior (disadvantaged) members of the same species would gradually die out, leaving only the superior (advantaged) members of the species. Natural selection is the preservation of a functional advantage that enables a species to compete better in the wild. Natural selection is the naturalistic equivalent to domestic breeding. Over the centuries, human breeders have produced dramatic changes in domestic animal populations by selecting individuals to breed. Breeders eliminate undesirable traits gradually over time. Similarly, natural selection eliminates inferior species gradually over time.

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – Slowly But Surely… Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a slow gradual process. Darwin wrote, “Natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations; she can never take a great and sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure, though slow steps.” [1] Thus, Darwin conceded that, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” [2] Such a complex organ would be known as an “irreducibly complex system”. An irreducibly complex system is one composed of multiple parts, all of which are necessary for the system to function. If even one part is missing, the entire system will fail to function. Every individual part is integral. [3] Thus, such a system could not have evolved slowly, piece by piece. The common mousetrap is an everyday non-biological example of irreducible complexity. It is composed of five basic parts: a catch (to hold the bait), a powerful spring, a thin rod called “the hammer,” a holding bar to secure the hammer in place, and a platform to mount the trap. If any one of these parts is missing, the mechanism will not work. Each individual part is integral. The mousetrap is irreducibly complex. [4]

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – A Theory In Crisis Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a theory in crisis in light of the tremendous advances we’ve made in molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics over the past fifty years. We now know that there are in fact tens of thousands of irreducibly complex systems on the cellular level. Specified complexity pervades the microscopic biological world. Molecular biologist Michael Denton wrote, “Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10-12 grams, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machinery built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world.” [5]

And we don’t need a microscope to observe irreducible complexity. The eye, the ear and the heart are all examples of irreducible complexity, though they were not recognized as such in Darwin’s day. Nevertheless, Darwin confessed, “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” [6]

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Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution

Evolution – Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokmon encyclopedia

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Jun 282016
 

From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokmon encyclopedia.

Evolution (Japanese: evolution) is a process in which a Pokmon changes into a different species of Pokmon. This change is not merely physical, however, as Pokmon of a higher evolutionary stage have different (and usually more powerful) base stats than their predecessors, may have different moves that can be learned, and sometimes change their types, though usually at least one of the types of the previous form is preserved. Other statistics, such as Nature and EVs, as well as shininess, are preserved. With respect to real-world phenomena, Pokmon Evolution is more similar to metamorphosis than evolution. Evolution also appears to be a mostly independent phenomena from the aging process for most species, though Baby Pokmon need to evolve to their next stage in order to breed.

Professor Elm and Professor Rowan are the leading experts in Pokmon Evolution. According to the latter’s research, over 90% of all Pokmon are connected to at least one other through Evolution (this is true only if Legendary Pokmon are excluded.) Rowan is currently investigating whether Evolution is a form of maturity in Pokmon, and looking at the implications this process has on Legendary Pokmon, which don’t evolve.

An evolution family is a group of Pokmon who will all, if bred with Ditto or a Pokmon in the same Egg Group, make a Pokmon Egg that will hatch into the same Pokmon, excluding baby Pokmon. This also means that the most basic form has the potential to become any of the rest of the family, although it will ultimately be able to follow only one evolutionary path.

Pokmon can be divided into different evolutionary stages, based on where they appear in their evolution family. All Pokmon fall into one of four groups: baby Pokmon, unevolved Pokmon, first-evolution Pokmon, and second-evolution Pokmon. These groups are also the basis for the TCG’s grouping of Baby Pokmon, Basic Pokmon, Stage 1 Pokmon, and Stage 2 Pokmon, respectively.

Due to the fact that no evolution family contains both a baby Pokmon and a second-evolution Pokmon, many regard baby Pokmon as the most basic form, while moving their evolved counterparts one level higher. For example, originally, Pikachu was regarded as an unevolved Pokmon, however, with the release of Pichu in Generation II, many now consider it to be more on par with Pokmon like Charmeleon, though its TCG classification remains the same.

Perhaps the most well-known types of evolution families are those that feature two separate evolutionary events in the Pokmon’s development. Indeed, this type of evolution family is what all of the starter Pokmon in the core series are a part of (excluding the starter Pikachu in Pokmon Yellow, as Pichu did not yet exist and it could not be evolved into Raichu; and Eevee, which could only be taken by Blue), as well as all pseudo-legendary Pokmon. An example of this type of evolution family is below.

By far the most common type of evolution family, these families are based in a Pokmon that will only ever evolve once in its development. About one third of all Pokmon that would later get a baby form were part of this kind of evolution family before their baby form was revealed. An example of this type of evolution family is below.

The least common type of evolution family is that in which no evolutionary event takes place, meaning that it is made up of only one member. Many of the Pokmon that have no evolutionary relatives are Legendary Pokmon. However, there are still 61 other Pokmon that do not evolve. Below is a list of all non-Legendary Pokmon that do not evolve (Phione is not included due to its status as a Legendary being disputed).

Not belonging to an evolutionary family is not indicative of strength, or a lack thereof. Some Pokmon, such as Heracross and Skarmory, are comparable to fully evolved Pokmon while others, like Delibird and Luvdisc, are more comparable to unevolved Pokmon. Often this indicates a Pokmon’s possibility to be eligible for future new evolutions or pre-evolutions.

Several families, while also one- and two-evolution families, are also branch evolution families. What this means is that there is a split in the evolutionary line at some point so that even though two Pokmon of the same species evolve the same amount of times, they can become one of two or more entirely different creatures. Eevee is the best-known example of this, evolving eight different ways depending on the method used. An example of this type of evolution family is below.

A major difference between the final forms of an evolution family with a branch in evolution is in the way that their base stats line up. For example, Kirlia can evolve into both Gardevoir and Gallade, which both have 518 total base stats. However, Gallade’s base stat in Attack is 125 and its base stat in Special Attack is 65. The reverse is true for Gardevoir, whose Special Attack is 125 and whose Attack is 65. This is true of many opposing evolutions, with one focusing in one specific stat, the other focusing in a separate stat, and both having the same total stats. This is especially obvious in the Eeveelutions, who each have exactly the same base stats, though organized differently.

A listing of the stat focuses is below.

The various triggers for a Pokmon’s evolution are almost as varied as the Pokmon themselves, and some Pokmon have a unique evolution method. The most common of them is Evolution by leveling up at or above a certain level. Other methods include the following:

Additionally, holding an Everstone prevents a Pokmon from evolving, as well as surprising a Pokmon via the B Button. The latter method is known as an “Evolution cancel”.

Pokmon that get knocked out during a battle will evolve at the end of that battle if its requirements have been met. However, before Generation VI, losing a battle would make Pokmon not evolve even if the conditions have been met.

Pokmon that can evolve into more than one Pokmon will usually have the ways in which the evolution is activated being slightly similar, such as having both being initiated by evolutionary stone or by trading while holding an item. Closely-related Pokmon, such as Nidoran and Nidoran, will also have very similar, if not identical, evolution methods.

Some Pokmon have different evolutions depending on their gender. For example, only female Combee can evolve into Vespiquen; male Combee cannot evolve at all. Meanwhile, all Snorunt can evolve into Glalie, but females ones have the option of evolving into Froslass instead. This instance occurs in a similar way with Kirlia, albeit with males having split evolution instead.

Also, there have been situations in which the current party must be configured in a specific manner for some Pokmon to evolve. So far, only three Pokmon need to have these special requirements. Mantyke will evolve into Mantine if leveled up with a Remoraid in the player’s party. Nincada will evolve into Ninjask when it reaches level 20. However, if there happens to be an empty space in the player’s party (and a spare Pok Ball in Generation IV onward), a Shedinja will also appear in the party. Pancham evolves into Pangoro if its level is 32 or higher and there is a Dark-type Pokmon in the player’s party.

Some Pokmon evolve in other unique ways. If one trades a Karrablast for a Shelmet, they will evolve into Escavalier and Accelgor, respectively, though neither will evolve if one of them holds an Everstone. When Inkay reaches level 30, the player must hold the 3DS upside-down for it to evolve into Malamar. Also introduced was a weather-based evolution: Sliggoo will evolve into Goodra beginning at level 50 only if it is raining in the area that the player is in. Finally, Sylveon can only be obtained be leveling up an Eevee that knows any Fairy-type moves and has at least two hearts of affection in Pokmon-Amie.

Some missions Hey You, Pikachu! involve Pikachu interacting with other Pokmon in certain ways to cause their evolution. In Caring for Caterpie, the player and Pikachu supervise a group of Caterpie, who will evolve into Metapod and then Butterfree if treated well. In Field Trip, Pikachu can water wild Oddish and Gloom, causing them to evolve into Gloom and Vileplume, respectively.

In Pokmon Colosseum and XD: Gale of Darkness, while evolution typically works as normal in the main series, Shadow Pokmon are incapable of evolving until they are purified and return to normal. In Pokmon XD: Gale of Dakrness, the player’s Eevee is incapable of evolving into Espeon or Umbreon through normal methods, because the game does not have a Time mechanic. However, early in the game, the player is given their choice of evolution item to evolve it, including the Sun and Moon Shards, Key Items that will evolve Eevee into Espeon or Umbreon respectively after it levels up.

In Pokmon Conquest, because the mechanics of levels, experience, and friendship do not exist, Pokmon typically evolve once they reach a certain link threshold with their partnered Warrior or Warlord. Pokmon that normally evolve via high friendship in the main series games, such as Golbat, instead evolve after reaching a certain link percentage, usually between 60 and 70 percent. Pokmon that normally evolve at a set level instead evolve when a certain stat reaches a specific value. For example, Spheal evolves when its HP has reached a value of 138, which is partially determined by the link with its Warrior. Warriors with Pokmon that require an evolutionary stone to evolve must equip themselves with that item and then perform an action that causes their link to improve, such as completing a battle.

In Pokmon Pinball and Pokmon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, the player can evolve Pokmon they caught in Catch ‘Em Mode in a separate mode called Evolution Mode (EVO Mode in Pinball RS). In this mode the player selects an evolution-capable Pokmon in their possession, then guide their ball towards three symbols representative of their method of evolution in the main games, such as EX for Level evolution, or a Link Cable for Trade evolution. If the player collects the three symbols in time, they can bring their ball to the Center Hole to evolve their Pokmon, awarding them with their Pokdex entry and points.

In the Mystery Dungeon series, Evolution is restricted until the player complete the main scenario of the respective games. Evolution is typically done in a ritual held in several locations across the Pokmon world, including Luminous Cave, the Luminous Spring, or the Tree of Life. However, starting in Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness, the player character and their partner may not evolve until they complete an additional scenario. Pokmon who evolve through unusual methods require an additional item to act as a catalyst.

In Pokmon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity forward, enemy Pokmon may evolve at will after defeating a member of the player’s party. In Super Mystery Dungeon, the player character and their partner evolve into their final forms several times throughout the story. In addition, recruitable Pokmon that exist as NPCs in this game or previous games will refuse evolution. However, because all Pokmon can be recruited separately though the Connection Orb, the player can still access their respective evolved forms in alternate ways.

In Pokmon Snap, the player can interact with Pokmon in certain ways that will make them evolve.

In the anime, Evolution happens in much the same way as it does in the games; though level-based evolutions and trade-based evolutions do not occur using those methods, there are similarities in the way they come about. For example, Misty’s Poliwhirl evolved into Politoed because it found Ash’s King’s Rock and was holding it when Misty sent it out, while in the games it is required that Poliwhirl be traded while holding the King’s Rock for the evolution to take place (It should be noted that Poliwhirl had been through a machine in connection with it being healed at the Pokmon Center, while holding the item). When a Beedrill attacked Ash’s Metapod, it caused a crack to appear on its shell, which Butterfree came out of.

Additionally, a difference can be seen in the fact that Pokmon evolve during a battle, as opposed to after it. Pokmon may also evolve when they are needed to, for an extra boost of power or gaining new abilities, instead of after a set amount of training, such as when Ash’s Charmeleon evolved into Charizard. In addition, Pokmon can sometimes choose not to evolve, even if they evolve by a ‘natural’ method such as leveling up. It appears that Evolution has emotional implications for Pokmon – some Pokmon, such as Team Rocket’s Meowth, dislike their evolved forms, while others such as Ash’s Pikachu simply want to prove they can be powerful without evolving. Conversely, when Pokmon do evolve, this can often be linked with an experience that causes them to mature emotionally or deal with an emotional issue, such as when the Poochyena in A Bite to Remember evolved, or the Paras in The Problem With Paras. Poochyena, for some reason, had an aversion to using the move Bite, while Paras was extremely timid and weak in battle. Both of them evolved shortly after overcoming these issues.

For a list of all evolutions that Pokmon belonging to the main cast have undergone, see List of anime Pokmon by evolution.

Evolution in the Pokmon Trading Card Game is very similar in some aspects to its counterpart in the core series. However, it differs mostly in the fact that there are no different methods needed to evolve a Pokmon, but instead, all Pokmon evolve simply by placing the next stage on top of a Pokmon in play that it evolves into.

Pokmon cannot be evolved on the first turn of the game or on the first turn they come into play. They also cannot be evolved if on the same turn they were previously evolved or devolved.

There are four different stages of evolution in the TCG, Baby Pokmon, Basic Pokmon, Stage 1 Pokmon, and Stage 2 Pokmon. Of these, only Baby and Basic Pokmon may be placed onto the Bench during the setup phase and during play; Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokmon are considered to be evolution cards and therefore unable to be played except on top of their corresponding pre-evolved forms. The stage of evolution is indicated in a conspicuous place on each and every Pokmon card, though the placement differs among the four generations of cards.

Within the deck and discard pile, only Stage 1 and Stage 2 cards are considered to be “evolution cards” for the purpose of a Trainer card or Pokmon Power which allows them to be searched for. In play, a Basic Pokmon card can be considered an evolution card if it is evolved from its Baby stage.

A Baby Pokmon is much the same in the TCG as it is in the core series of games. In fact, as with baby Pokmon released beyond Generation II, it is not even necessary for a Pokmon to even go through this stage of their evolutionary line, as the Pokmon can just start from their basic form. Baby Pokmon are among the weakest in the TCG, most often having 30 HP, as well as one of two special Pok-Bodys: one prevents all damage done to the Baby Pokmon while it is Asleep (Baby Pokmon with this Pok-Body also usually have an attack that changes their status to Asleep), and the other forces a Pokmon attempting to attack the Baby Pokmon to flip a coin, the attack doing nothing if that coin ends up tails.

A Basic Pokmon is the most basic of Pokmon cards, as can be deduced from its name. Commonly basic Pokmon will have low HP, a common rarity, and low damage and Energy costs. These cards can be placed directly into play without another Pokmon card needing to be in play first. Pokmon that evolve from a Pokmon released in a later generation, such as Electabuzz or Pikachu, always are basic Pokmon, despite being the second Pokmon in their own evolutionary lines. Baby Pokmon, Shining Pokmon, Pokmon , Pokemon SP, and Pokmon-EX are always Basic, the latter four cannot evolve.

A Stage 1 Pokmon are the first kind of evolution card, being able to be evolved from a Basic Pokmon. Stage 1 cards are most commonly uncommon in rarity. Stage 1 Pokmon are also able to be Dark Pokmon and Light Pokmon.

A Stage 2 Pokmon is the highest of evolution cards, commonly rare or holographic in rarity, and can only, in normal conditions, be evolved from a Stage 1 Pokmon. Stage 2 Pokmon are also able to be Dark Pokmon and Light Pokmon.

M Pokmon-EX cards were introduced in XY expansion and introduce the Mega Evolution mechanic featured in Pokmon X and Y. They are identified by a stylized graphic on the card name. M Pokmon-EX can only be played by Mega Evolving from basic Pokmon-EX. Doing so ends a players Turn immediately. Other than this, M Pokmon-EX share the same rules and design as regular Pokmon-EX and evolving Pokmon, with the addition of boosted Hit Points and more powerful Attacks.

A Pokmon card that is in the player’s hand must say specifically that it evolves from a Pokmon card that is in play on the player’s side. For example, Dark Blastoise states on the card “Evolves from Dark Wartortle”. This means that any card named Dark Wartortle may be evolved into Dark Blastoise. However, a card simply named Wartortle cannot. Likewise, Pokmon such as Rhyhorn cannot be evolved into a Pokmon that says on it “Evolves from Team Magma’s Rhyhorn”.

However, Pokmon cards from different sets may evolve into one another. For example, Dark Crobat can evolve from either Dark Golbat of the Team Rocket set or Dark Golbat of the EX Team Rocket Returns set. So long as the card names match precisely both to (here Dark Crobat) and from (here Dark Golbat), the evolution is legal. This rule, of course, can be circumvented by certain means, such as Pokmon Powers and Trainer cards, however, this is not common.

Evolution in Pokmon, for most species, is more akin to metamorphosis than to actual evolution. This is because real life evolution happens to a population rather than to individuals, and happens over much larger time scales than in the Pokmon world. In the Pokmon Adventures manga, it is mentioned that Pokmon Evolution is an entirely separate phenomenon from the normal process of evolution, and is a mysterious ability exclusive to Pokmon that is still not fully understood. In Pokmon Super Mystery Dungeon, it is described in the health class at the school in Serene Village as when a Pokmon’s body rapidly grows larger with many other changes bringing a Pokmon closer to being an adult, being described akin to puberty.

See original here:

Evolution – Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokmon encyclopedia

Intro to Artificial Intelligence Course and Training …

 Artificial Intelligence  Comments Off on Intro to Artificial Intelligence Course and Training …
Jun 282016
 

Watch Video

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a field that has a long history but is still constantly and actively growing and changing. In this course, youll learn the basics of modern AI as well as some of the representative applications of AI. Along the way, we also hope to excite you about the numerous applications and huge possibilities in the field of AI, which continues to expand human capability beyond our imagination.

Note: Parts of this course are featured in the Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree and the Data Analyst Nanodegree programs. If you are interested in AI, be sure to check out those programs as well!

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is increasingly prevalent in our everyday lives. It has uses in a variety of industries from gaming, journalism/media, to finance, as well as in the state-of-the-art research fields from robotics, medical diagnosis, and quantum science. In this course youll learn the basics and applications of AI, including: machine learning, probabilistic reasoning, robotics, computer vision, and natural language processing.

Some of the topics in Introduction to Artificial Intelligence will build on probability theory and linear algebra. You should have understanding of probability theory comparable to that covered in our Intro to Statistics course.

See the Technology Requirements for using Udacity.

Peter Norvig is Director of Research at Google Inc. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and the Association for Computing Machinery. Norvig is co-author of the popular textbook Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. Prior to joining Google he was the head of the Computation Sciences Division at NASA Ames Research Center.

Sebastian Thrun is a Research Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, a Google Fellow, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the German Academy of Sciences. Thrun is best known for his research in robotics and machine learning, specifically his work with self-driving cars.

This class is self paced. You can begin whenever you like and then follow your own pace. Its a good idea to set goals for yourself to make sure you stick with the course.

This class will always be available!

Take a look at the Class Summary, What Should I Know, and What Will I Learn sections above. If you want to know more, just enroll in the course and start exploring.

Yes! The point is for you to learn what YOU need (or want) to learn. If you already know something, feel free to skip ahead. If you ever find that youre confused, you can always go back and watch something that you skipped.

Its completely free! If youre feeling generous, we would love to have you contribute your thoughts, questions, and answers to the course discussion forum.

Collaboration is a great way to learn. You should do it! The key is to use collaboration as a way to enhance learning, not as a way of sharing answers without understanding them.

Udacity classes are a little different from traditional courses. We intersperse our video segments with interactive questions. There are many reasons for including these questions: to get you thinking, to check your understanding, for fun, etc… But really, they are there to help you learn. They are NOT there to evaluate your intelligence, so try not to let them stress you out.

Learn actively! You will retain more of what you learn if you take notes, draw diagrams, make notecards, and actively try to make sense of the material.

Nanodegree is a trademark of Udacity 20112016 Udacity, Inc.

Continue reading here:

Intro to Artificial Intelligence Course and Training …

NSA Surveillance – gov1.info

 NSA  Comments Off on NSA Surveillance – gov1.info
Jun 282016
 

Surveillance Techniques: How Your Data Becomes Our Data

In 2001, NSA published the secret “Transition 2001” report defining our strategy for the 21st century. No longer could we simply access analog communications using conventional means, the new digital world of globally-networked encrypted communications required a dramatic change to our surveillance strategy: NSA would need to “live on the network”.

We’ve turned our nation’s Internet and telecommunications companies into collection partners by installing filters in their facilities, serving them with secret court orders, building back doors into their software and acquiring keys to break their encryption.

NSA technicians have installed intercept stations at key junction points, or switches, throughout the country. These switches are located in large windowless buildings owned by the major telecommunication companies and control the domestic internet traffic flow across the nation. A fiber optic splitter is placed on the incoming communication lines and routes the traffic to an NSA intercept station for processing.

View a sample route that internet data traverses from a home in Toronto to the San Francisco Art Institute passing through several NSA intercept stations.

Larger version of map More information about this map

In the past, we used our close partnership with the FBI to collect bulk telephone records on an ongoing basis using a Top Secret order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). The metadata we collected from this program gave us information about what communications you sent and received, who you talked to, where you were when you talked to them, the lengths of your conversations, and what kind of device you were using.

In mid-2015, Congress passed the USA Freedom Act sadly ending this valuable bulk collection program for the time being.

Our partners at the FBI DITU (Data Intercept Technology Unit) extract information from the servers of nine major American internet companies: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. This important partnership gives us direct access to audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs for each of these systems.

Established in 2007, the Top Secret PRISM program has allowed us to closely track targeted individuals over time. Our ability to conduct live surveillance of search terms has given us important insights into their thoughts and intentions.

This slide lists our information providers and the type of data available to our analysts

To learn more about the PRISM program, view additional PRISM slides.

The NSA “MUSCULAR” program allows us to conveniently conduct large-scale data gathering outside the jurisdiction of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by secretly tapping into the communication links between Google’s data centers outside the U.S. The Special Source Operations (SSO) group discovered a clever way around Google’s security measures giving us full access to the rich data Google stores on the cloud for its users.

Our bulk cellphone location tracking program captures almost 5 billion records a day and feeds into a massive 27 terabyte database storing information about the locations of a hundred million devices. By tapping into the cables that connect the mobile networks globally and working with our corporate partners to install intercept equipment, we can apply mathematical techniques that enable our analysts to map cellphone owners’ relationships by correlating their patterns of movement over time with thousands or millions of other phone users who cross their paths. This “Co-traveler” program allows us to look for unknown associates of known intelligence targets by tracking people whose movements intersect.

When the data we seek resides in places we cannot access using the above surveillance techniques, we rely on the technical experts in the Tailored Access Operations Group and their specialized tools from the ANT Product Catalog. The categories of available tools are listed below.

An FBI fleet of over one hundred specially-modified Cessna planes equipped with sophisticated camera systems in steerable mounts that can provide detailed video, night vision, and infrared thermal imaging quietly fly circular routes daily around many major U.S. cities tracking targets and gathering intelligence. Some of the planes use augmented reality software and sophisticated surveillance technology capable of tracking thousands of cellphones users.

Zoom in and click on the red map markers to view images of the unusual flight patterns in the FBI’s targeted areas. View the map in full-screen mode.

In June 2015, a Senate bill was introduced to “protect” our citizens from Mass Aerial Surveillance. We are happy to report that no action has been taken on this bill and we have every confidence that Congress will agree with us that mass surveillance “IS” protection for our citizens. You can track the progress of this ill-advised bill below.

By tapping into the worldwide network of undersea cables, our OAKSTAR, STORMBREW, BLARNEY and FAIRVIEW systems can process data as it flows across the internet. Each system is responsible for different types of intercepted data. For example, the BLARNEY system gathers metadata describing who is speaking to whom and through which networks and devices.

There are two methods employed for tapping into the undersea cable network. A modified nuclear submarine houses the technicians and gear needed to place the physical taps on the undersea cables along strategic points in the network. The second method involves using intercept probes at the point where the cables connect to the landing stations in various countries. These probes capture and copy the data as it flows onward.

As data flows through our worldwide data collection points, the XKeyscore system indexes and stores this information in a rolling three-day buffer database containing all internet activity passing through each collection site. XKeyscore is a massive distributed Linux cluster with over 700 servers distributed around the world.

The theory behind XKeyscore is simple: People spend a large amount of time on the web performing actions that are anonymous. We can use this traffic to detect anomalies which can lead us to intelligence by itself, or provide a selection path for further inquiries. Examples of anomalous events: Someone searching the web for “suspicious stuff” or someone who is using encryption.

This slide shows a worldwide map of the XKeyscore server locations

This slide shows how metadata is extracted and stored in the XKeyscore database

Learn more about the XKeyscore system.

The “Boundless Informant” mapping tool provides our analysts the means to track intelligence collection statistics worldwide. Using a color-coded map, we can quickly determine the volume of collection data we have by geographical location. This global heat map assigns each nation a color code based on its surveillance intensity ranging from green (least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance). With the monthly domestic intelligence collection volume at almost three billion pieces, the United States is assigned the color orange.

Learn more about the Boundless Informant program

In addition to our own data collection activities, the Domestic Surveillance Directorate receives a constant flow of information from other sources. For more information about these sources, visit Our Partners page.

Originally posted here:
NSA Surveillance – gov1.info

American Patriot Friends Network APFN

 Government Oppression  Comments Off on American Patriot Friends Network APFN
Jun 262016
 

Then ‘MAKE SURE’ your vote is counted! http://www.votersunite.org/

Why did 65 US Senators break a solemn oath? Watch. Listen http://www.apfn.org/apfn/oath-of-office.htm

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HOW TO IMPEACH A PRESIDENT Includes 6 part videos: ‘The Case for Impeachment’ http://www.apfn.org/apfn/impeach_pres.htm

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“Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others. . .they send forth a ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” – Robert F. Kennedy

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I therefore believe it is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.”

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What is the individual man with all the good or evil that may betide him, in comparison with the good and evil which may befall a great country, and in the midst of great transactions which concern that country’s fate? Let the consequences be what they will, I am careless, No man can suffer too much, and no man can fall too soon, if he suffer or if he fall, in the defense of the liberties and Constitution of his country.

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Caribbean – New World Encyclopedia

 Caribbean  Comments Off on Caribbean – New World Encyclopedia
Jun 262016
 

The Caribbean (also known as the West Indies) is a region of the Americas consisting of the Caribbean Sea, its islands, and the surrounding coasts. The region is located southeast of North America, east of Central America, and to the northwest of South America. The islands of the Caribbean are sorted into three main island groups, The Bahamas, the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the area comprises more than seven thousand islands, islets, reefs, and cays. Geopolitically, the West Indies is usually regarded as a sub-region of North America and is organized into 28 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies.

The Caribbean is a favorite destination for vacationers because of its beautiful beaches and tropical climate, as well as the exceptionally diverse ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands.

History reveals the significant role these islands played in the colonial struggles of the European powers between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as in the twentieth century Cold War era. Most islands at some point were, or still are, colonies of European nations.

The name “Caribbean” is named after the Caribs, one of the dominant Amerindian groups in the region at the time of European contact during the late fifteenth century.

The term “West Indies” originates from Christopher Columbus’s idea that he had landed in the Indies (then meaning all of southeast Asia, particularly India) when he had actually reached the Americas.

The Spanish term Antillas was commonly assigned to the newly discovered lands; stemming from this, “Sea of the Antilles” is a common alternate name for the Caribbean Sea in various European languages.

In the English-speaking Caribbean, someone from the Caribbean is usually referred to as a “West Indian,” although the rather cumbersome phrase “Caribbean person” is sometimes used. The use of the words “Caribbean” and “Caribbeans” to refer to a West Indian or West Indians is largely known in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Spanish-speaking Caribbeans do not like to be called Hispanics or Latins due to the significant differences between the South and Central American countries. Spanish-speaking Caribbeans not only have different native origins but they also have different histories, (Spanish) dialects, cultures, traditions, food, and moral and religious beliefs. They relate more easily to fellow Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries, specifically Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba due to similar culture, history and Spanish dialect.

The islands of the Caribbean are sorted into three main island groups: The Bahamas, the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. The Greater Antilles consists of Cuba, Jamaica, the island of Hispaniola (composed of Haiti on the west side and the Dominican Republic on the east side) and Puerto Rico. The Lesser Antilles consists of all the other islands in the Caribbean that are not a part of the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles or an island belonging to a continental nation. The Lesser Antilles are further grouped into the Windward and Leeward Islands.

The Leeward Islands are the northern portion of the Lesser Antilles and consist of The Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Martin, Saba (Netherlands Antilles), St. Eustatius (Netherlands Antilles), St. Barthlemy, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, and Dominica. The Windward Islands are the Southern portion of the Lesser Antilles and consist of Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The geography and climate in the Caribbean region varies from one place to another. Some islands in the region have relatively flat terrain of non-volcanic origin. Such islands include Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, and Anguilla. Others possess rugged, towering mountain ranges like the islands of Cuba, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saba, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Antigua, and Trinidad.

The climate of the region mainly ranges between sub-tropical to tropical and depends a great deal upon location in proximity to the tradewinds from the Atlantic. The Tradewinds blow towards the Eastern Caribbean Islands and head northwest up the chain of Windward Islands. There are no sharply marked changes between winter and summer in the West Indies. Average January temperatures range between 71F to 77F (22C to 25C), and average July temperatures range from 77F to 84F (25C to 29C). Climate can vary widely, especially on larger islands, where high mountains can give rise to variations from coastal weather patterns. The main difference between seasons is the amount of rainfall.

Hurricane season plays a large role in bringing rainfall to the Caribbean. However, on the larger islands the mountains have a strong effect on weather patterns and causes relief rainfall.

The Puerto Rico Trench located on the fringe of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea just to the north of the island of Puerto Rico is said to be the deepest point in the entire Atlantic Ocean. In the waters of the Caribbean Sea, coral reef formations and large migratory schools of fish and turtles can be found.

The Caribbean Islands support exceptionally diverse ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands. These ecosystems have been devastated by deforestation and human encroachment. The hotspot has dozens of highly threatened species, including two species of solenodon (giant shrews) and the Cuban crocodile. The hotspot is also remarkable for the diminutive nature of much of its fauna.

The Caribbean is home to 6,550 native plants, 41 native mammals, 163 native birds, 469 native reptiles, 170 native amphibians and 65 native freshwater fish. Many islands are home to their own species of native plants and animals, particularly Cuba, which is home to more than half the region’s native plants.

The history of the Caribbean reveals the significant role the region played in the colonial struggles of the European powers between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the twentieth century the Caribbean was again important during World War II, in the decolonization wave in the post-war period, and in the tension between Communist Cuba and the United States. Genocide, slavery, immigration, and rivalry between world powers have given Caribbean history an impact disproportionate to the size of this small region.

The oldest evidence of humans in the Caribbean is in southern Trinidad at Banwari Trace, where remains have been found from seven thousand years ago. These pre-ceramic sites, which belong to the Archaic (pre-ceramic) age, have been termed Ortoiroid. The earliest archaeological evidence of human settlement in Hispaniola dates to about 3600 B.C.E., but the reliability of these finds is questioned. Consistent dates of 3100 B.C.E. appear in Cuba. The earliest dates in the Lesser Antilles are from 2000 B.C.E. in Antigua. A lack of pre-ceramic sites in the Windward Islands and differences in technology suggest that these Archaic settlers may have Central American origins. Whether an Ortoiroid colonization of the islands took place is uncertain, but there is little evidence of one.

Between 400 B.C.E. and 200 B.C.E. the first ceramic-using agriculturalists, the Saladoid culture, entered Trinidad from South America. They expanded up the Orinoco River to Trinidad, and then spread rapidly up the islands of the Caribbean. Some time after 250 C.E. another group, the Barancoid, entered Trinidad. The Barancoid society collapsed along the Orinoco around 650 C.E. and another group, the Arauquinoid, expanded into these areas and up the Caribbean chain. Around 1300 C.E. a new group, the Mayoid, entered Trinidad and remained the dominant culture until Spanish settlement.

At the time of the European discovery of most of the islands of the Caribbean, three major Amerindian indigenous peoples lived on the islands: the Tano in the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas and the Leeward Islands, the Island Caribs and Galibi in the Windward Islands, and the Ciboney in western Cuba. The Tanos are subdivided into Classic Tanos, who occupied Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, Western Tanos, who occupied Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahamian archipelago, and the Eastern Tanos, who occupied the Leeward Islands. Trinidad was inhabited by both Carib speaking and Arawak-speaking groups.

Soon after Christopher Columbus came to the Caribbean, both Portuguese and Spanish explorers began claiming territories in Central and South America. These early colonies brought gold to Europe; most specifically England, the Netherlands, and France. These nations hoped to establish profitable colonies in the Caribbean. Colonial rivalries made the Caribbean a cockpit for European wars for centuries.

During the first voyage of the explorer Christopher Columbus (mandated by the Spanish crown), contact was made with the Lucayans in the Bahamas and the Tano in Cuba and the northern coast of Hispaniola, and a few of the native people were taken back to Spain. Small amounts of gold were found in their personal ornaments and other objects such as masks and belts. The Spanish, who came seeking wealth, enslaved the native population and rapidly drove them to near-extinction. To supplement the Amerindian labor, the Spanish later began bringing African slaves to their colonies. Although Spain claimed the entire Caribbean, they settled only the larger islands of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, and Trinidad.

After the Spanish Empire declined, in part due to the reduced native population of the area from diseases carried from Europe, to which the native peoples had no natural resistance, other European powers established a presence in the Caribbean.

The Caribbean region was war-torn throughout much of its colonial history, but the wars were often based in Europe, with only minor battles fought in the Caribbean. Some wars, however, were born of political turmoil in the Caribbean itself. The wars fought in the Caribbean included:

Haiti, the former French colony of St. Domingue on Hispaniola, was the first Caribbean nation to gain independence from European powers when, in 1791, a slave rebellion of the Black Jacobins led by Toussaint l’Ouverture started the Haitian Revolution, establishing Haiti as a free, black republic by 1804. Haiti became the world’s oldest black republic, and the second-oldest republic in the Western Hemisphere, after the United States. The remaining two-thirds of Hispaniola were conquered by Haitian forces in 1821. In 1844, the newly-formed Dominican Republic declared its independence from Haiti.

Some Caribbean nations gained independence from European powers in the nineteenth century. Some smaller states are still dependencies of European powers today. Cuba remained a Spanish colony until the Spanish American War.

Between 1958 and 1962 most of the British-controlled Caribbean became the West Indies Federation before they separated into many separate nations.

Since the Monroe Doctrine, the United States gained a major influence on most Caribbean nations. In the early part of the twentieth century this influence was extended by participation in The Banana Wars. Areas outside British or French control became known in Europe as “America’s tropical empire.”

Victory in the Spanish-American War and the signing of the Platt Amendment in 1901 ensured that the United States would have the right to interfere in Cuban political and economic affairs, militarily if necessary. After the Cuban Revolution of 1959, relations deteriorated rapidly leading to the Bay of Pigs venture, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and successive U.S. attempts to destabilize the island, based upon Cold War fears of the Soviet threat. The U.S. invaded and occupied Hispaniola for 19 years (19151934), subsequently dominating the Haitian economy through aid and loan repayments. The U.S. invaded Haiti again in 1994 and in 2004 were accused by CARICOM of arranging a coup d’tat to remove elected Haitian leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

In 1965 23,000 U.S. troops were sent to the Dominican Republic to quash a local uprising against military rule. President Lyndon Johnson had ordered the invasion to stem what he deemed to be a “Communist threat.” However, the mission appeared ambiguous and was roundly condemned throughout the hemisphere as a return to gunboat diplomacy. In 1983 the U.S. invaded Grenada to remove populist left-wing leader Maurice Bishop. The U.S. maintains a naval military base in Cuba at Guantanamo Bay. The base is one of five unified commands whose “area of responsibility” is Latin America and the Caribbean. The command is headquartered in Miami, Florida.

Most islands at some point were, or still are, colonies of European nations:

The British West Indies were formerly united by the United Kingdom into a West Indies Federation. The independent countries which were once a part of the British West Indies still have a unified composite cricket team that successfully competes in test matches and one-day internationals. The West Indian cricket team includes the South American nation of Guyana, the only former British colony on that continent.

In addition, these countries share the University of the West Indies as a regional entity. The university consists of three main campuses in Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, a smaller campus in the Bahamas, and resident tutors in other contributing territories.

The nations of Belize and Guyana, although on the mainland of Central America and South America respectively, are former British colonies and maintain many cultural ties to the Caribbean and are members of CARICOM (Caribbean Community). Guyana participates in West Indies cricket tournaments and many players from Guyana have been in the West Indies Test cricket team. The Turneffe Islands (and many other islands and reefs) are part of Belize and lie in the Caribbean Sea. The nation of Suriname, on the mainland of South America, is a former Dutch colony and also a member of CARICOM.

Some of the bodies that several islands share in collaboration include:

New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list of acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions by wikipedians is accessible to researchers here:

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The rest is here:

Caribbean – New World Encyclopedia

Political correctness Archives | Human Stupidity …

 Political Correctness  Comments Off on Political correctness Archives | Human Stupidity …
Jun 262016
 

Google searches can be frustrating. You get all the boring main stream media lies, and you have to dig deep to get interesting alternative politically incorrect site links.

Your frustration is over.

(German version: Politisch inkorrekte Google Suche (pigs) at fluechtling.net/pigs )

You must try searches yourself to believe it. You will want to use this search instead of the normal Google Search.

Please help to improve the searches by posting blog rolls and link lists with politically incorrect sites, in English and in German. There is a lot more to add, especially in German.

If you search for “Blacks Lives Matter” you get this nice result

Female-led proposals to use the in-demand Hubble telescope are less likely to be selected.” Scientific American claims this in the midst of a huge section of Junk Diversity Science which has been utterly debunked elsewhere.

An internal Hubble study1 found that in each of the past 11 observation proposal cycles, applications led by male principal investigators had a higher success rate than those led by women. Women submit roughly 25% of proposals for Hubble telescope observing time. [SciAm]

This confounding of junk gender science with true natural science is very serious. This is why after years of study even we need serious deprogramming from the politically correct cultural Marxist lies that impressible children, adolescents and adults are constantly told by school books and biased un-scientific journals like Scientific American!

Scientific Americans mixing of real natural science with politically motivated unscientific falsified junk science like gender, domestic violence, race and iq issues aspires to permanently poison the minds of young and old with feminist and politically correct hate ideology.

The head of a science department of a major research University confirmed to us, in private, that female scientists generally less innovative and talented then their male counterparts [7]. Implicit quotas demand hiring and promoting women who dont meet the requirements men would be measured up to. Quotas guarantee that the rare woman with sufficient talent will be snatched away for an even more prestigious job, always rising to her level of incompetence. Aware of Larry Summers dismissal [8], our department head refuses to be identified.

“Scientific American used to be a great magazine but like any publishing venture headquartered in New York, it has gradually drifted into liberal never-never-land.” [UnScientific American]

Did Megan Urry control her statistics for yearly working hours, life time interest in science, years experience, work invested in the proposal, IQ, math talent of the applying scientists?

We wager a bet that the average male physics proposal writer, more so a Ivy League department chair, did not flunk their first physics exams in college, like Megan Urry herself and was interested in physics since tender age of 6, unlike Megan Urry [4] and other female applicants. Megan Urry (of course) ignores even the possibility that male and female applicants might be intrinsically different in some way. Larry Summers was a victim of telling such truth that there is a dearth of women in the top talent for science and math.

In spite of IQ tests having been manipulated to elevate female IQ to the same level as males [Wikipedia], there are twice as many men with IQ over 150: Men: either very clever or really stupid [Wikipedia] because of greater male variance on IQ and most other traits.

How Diversity Makes Us Smarter Not! Scientific American has been polluted by the same junk science that pervades our Universities politically correct cultural Marxist social science and humanities departments. Entire generations are being indoctrinated with falsehoods, in much more devious ways then communist Soviet Union and China were ever capable of.

From time to time we refer to five longitudinal studies which show that increasing gender diversity on boards leads to declines in corporate financial performance. The studies are referred to in a number of posts, and have been included in a number of our documents. But we thought it might be useful to prepare a short briefing paper with details of the five studies and their full Abstracts, its here. [7]

Campaign for Merit in Business, which was launched early in 2012, has made a remarkable impact in a relatively short time. Weve proven beyond all reasonable doubt that the glass ceiling is a baseless conspiracy theory. Through exposing as fantasies, lies, delusions and myths, the arguments which said that increasing gender diversity in the boardroom (GDITB) will improve corporate financial performance, weve destroyed the long-vaunted business case for GDITB. We continue to publicise five longitudinal studies, all of which show that GDITB leads to declines in corporate financial performance. What else would we expect when businesses arent free to select the best people for their boards, regardless of gender? Proponents are left with little other than misrepresenting correlation as causation in pursuit of their social engineering programmes.

The Conservative-led coalition no longer challenges our assertion that the impact of GDITB on UK plc will inevitably be a negative one. And yet it continues to actively pursue GDITB. [5]

Weve put in FoI requests seeking evidence for the governments previous claims that putting more women on boards will lead to performance improvement. None has ever been forthcoming. This hasnt stopped the government from continuing to threaten legislated gender quotas for FTSE100 boards if they havent achieved female representation on their boards by 2015. In fact, theyre going further. We know from a recent report that next in the firing line will be the FTSE350, and that gender parity on boards is the longer-term goal. 6

The Inclusion Equation

Global figures on diversity in the science and engineering workforce are hard to come by, but what we know is not flattering

Gender Gap

How women and men fare in doctoral studies around the world

In Pursuit of the Best Ideas

In a diverse team, the best ideas are more likely to rise to the top

Becoming Visible

To change the equation, start changing the perception

Particular Points of View

Gender and culture influence research on a fundamental level

Inviting Everyone In

There is no formula for bringing diversity to the workplace or classroom, but new research that deepens our understanding of how diversity operates suggests some modestly successful strategies

How Diversity Works

Being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working

Science Exposed

Networked technology and social media are enabling outsiders to gather and crunch data

Taking It Personally

How a researchers background can determine her mission

The Iraq conflict spilled onto the streets of Herford in North Rhine-Westphalia on Wednesday evening as hundreds of members of the Yazidi faith clashed with supporters of Islamist terrorist group ISIS.

Diversity through immigration enriches Germany: The Iraqi war is fought right in their back yard. Germany imported and breeds radical Muslim fundamentalists, terrorists, Jihad fighters,

Around 300 Yazidi took to the streets in the early evening. They were demonstrating against the attacks on members of their faith in Syria and Iraq and a religiously-motivated attack against their community earlier that day, Herford police reported.

ISIS is committing ethnic cleansing and genocide against Christians, Yazidis, and even Shia Muslims, in Iraq. [4, 5]. Germany would be a boring place, if it were not enriched by such diversity.

The police decided to intervene after a large group of hooded people started attacking passers-by in the town centre, with at least one person injured. The police used pepper spray to control the mob, confiscating tools and one firearm, and took the details of 86 people involved.

Diversity is worth such expensive police action. In Berlin, African invaders of schools and public squares also cost millions to police.

Police reinforcements were called in from all over eastern Westphalia, including officers from Bochum and Dortmund, to keep the different groups apart. The police deployment lasted throughout the night and involved well over 100 officers, a Herford police spokesman told The Local.

A large portion of the 9.11 terrorists came from Germany. German residents and citizens (?) fight for ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Kurds, Yazidis, all warring parties are in Germany. Unlike Germans, “oppressed” Muslims have the right to be anti-Semitic and commit violence against Jews. Germany finally gets enriched by diversity. “Diversity is our strength”!

Hamas fired thousands of imprecise rockets with the clear and lone intent to hit civilians in Israeli cities. Hamas launches missiles in the midst of civilian crowds [5], uses Hospitals and Ambulances for Military Purposes.

Strangely, we dont see huge European demonstrations against Hamas endangering Israeli and Palestinian Civilians. Political Correctness doctrine defines the Palestinians and Hamas as disadvantaged group who has the right to use violence to avenge their grievances. Even Anti-Semitism becomes fashionable again in Europe, with special support by European immigrant Muslims.

Hamas devotes money and work on sophisticated tunnels. Money that could be spent on schools, underground shelters for civilians, hospitals, food. Nobody blames Hamas for wasting money on tunnels and missiles while Palestinians above the tunnels lack even basic food and health services.

Weakness is the PC (political correctness) weapon: If Israel bombs a school, Hamas wins points. So Hamas shoots rockets from schools, Israel shoots back, Hamas wins. Palestine civilians be damned, nobody blames Hamas for launching rockets in the midst of school children.

Applying these legal principles to the conflict, there is strong evidence of war crimes on both sides. Hamas rocket attacks are illegal because they either deliberately target civilians or are fired indiscriminately. They are indiscriminate either because Hamas does not aim them solely at military targets, or their technological inaccuracy makes them incapable of avoiding civilian areas.

Hamas actions are little different from when Allied and Axis aircraft indiscriminately fire-bombed European cities in the Second World War, or the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan. The temptation to place necessity above the law, and self-interest above humanity, is a terrible and common human failing.

Compare this to the Ukrainian Army, that had the license to attack with artillery and planes large cities in Europe, to rout secessionist that were simply hunkered down, did not lob any missiles at anyone. There was no immediate need for self defense, no negotiations were made to discuss justified grievances of the Russian speaking minority population that was suffering discrimination.

Strangely, Russian speaking minorities in Ukraine are not bestowed oppressed group status and thus are fair game for first strike non-retaliatory artillery attacks on cities. So Human-Stupiditys suggestion will not be heeded:

Hamas use of tunnels to launch surprise attacks on Israeli military forces is not illegal. Infiltrating enemy territory and surprising enemy forces is a permissible strategy in war, as is capturing enemy soldiers. The Age

Western journalists operating in Gaza have been threatened and harassed by Hamas for reporting instances of the terrorist groups use of human shields, according to a Times of Israel report. Israeli officials have noted that some reporters are intimidated by Hamas threats and have ceased documenting Hamas exploitation of civilians throughout the conflict.

The newspaper says it confirmed instances in which Hamas officials confiscated equipment and pictures from photographers exposing terrorists who were preparing to launch rockets from civilian structures and fighting in civilian garb. [5]

* Sanctions intended to stop Ukrainian governments aerial, missile, and artillery attacks at cities in Eastern Ukraine

Europe can not accept Ukraines shelling and bombing of their own cities, the world can not accept Ukraine deliberately mixing civil air traffic with military bombing and transport missions in a war zone. Who sent war planes on attack sorties into Eastern Ukraine and scheduled civil aviation onto the same path?

If the West were not totally devoted to EU expansion, NATO expansion, and Putin bashing, they would blame the Ukraine government for creating a humanitarian disaster.

The Ukrainian government started the hot violent large scale heavy weapons war, it can stop the war at any moment. The separatists were not attacking, they were hunkered down quietly and satisfied with their area.

Ukraine can start internationally supervised negotiations for partial autonomy for Donetsk, Luhansk and negotiate an agreement on UN peace keeping troops. The EU also ought to impose a no fly zone and threaten sanctions on Obama, so the US uses his influence to tell Ukraine to stop the attacks and cease fire.

The Guardian continues:

EU governments have agreed to impose sweeping sanctions on Ukraine, targeting state-owned banks, imposing an arms embargo and restricting sales of sensitive technology and the export of equipment for the countrys oil industry, in response to Kievs continued attacking of separatists and civilians in eastern Ukraine.

The punitive measures, the most extensive EU sanctions imposed on Ukraine since the cold war, were agreed by ambassadors from the 28 member states after a seven-hour debate. They decided that Ukraine had not fulfilled the conditions laid down by foreign ministers last week, to stop supply of arms to the rebels stop attacking cities of millions, towns and villages with tanks, artillery, and aerial bombardments [4], instead negotiate autonomy rights for the Russian minorities and provide full cooperation in the investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Human-Stupidity normally refrains from dabbling in world politics.

But here we are amazed at the brazen manipulation of world opinion and world politics, that favors heavy artillery war against large European cities, instead of negotiation and de-centralized government in Ukraine.

The same governments that defend the rights of recently arrived Mexicans, Salvadorians, and Hondurans in the US, that defend the rights of recently arrived Somalis, Syrians, Algerians in Europe; These minority friendly governments are complicit in the discrimination, political disenfranchisement, persecution, shelling and bombing of Russian minorities that have lived on Ukrainian soil for generations.

Further US sanctions were expected to follow during the night.

The president of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, and the head of the European Commission, Jos Manuel Barroso, issued a joint statement describing the EU measures as a strong warning that “Illegal annexation of territory and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country violently overthrowing elected president Viktor Yanukovych, discriminating against the Russian minority, prohibiting their language, and prohibiting the communist party for defending the rights of the Russian minority [6] could not be accepted in 21st-century Europe. Europe takes diversity and minority rights very seriously.

Odessa massacre [14], Shelling and bombing of Donetsk all remain unpunished.

“Ukrainian government creates violence spirals out of control and leads to the killing thousands of innocent Ukrainian civilians [8] [10] [Reuters] and of almost 300 innocent civilians in their flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia, the situation requires urgent and determined response,” they said. Ukraines flying military ground attack planes and military transport planes and routing civilian air liners into the same war zone as human shields is planned murder, at least criminal negligence. “The European Union will fulfill its obligations to protect and ensure the security of its citizens. And the European Union will stand by its neighbouring Russian minorities and partners.”

Special thanks to Russian Russian president Putin for accepting over 100 000 asylum seekers, that fled Ukraine government violence. The asylum seekers did not flee into peaceful regions of Ukraine, well knowing that in Ukraine they would continue suffering government violence, discrimination and repression of their minority culture and language.

Adapted from The Guardian.

Hate speech laws started with the good intention to prevent inciting violence: “Kill Blacks, gays, ..”. Since then they went down a slippery slope, where a harmlessly uttered private opinion can ruin careers

Sadly, “privileged whites” heaping bananas on a black soccer players car is a much worse crime then “repressed Blacks expressing justified anger” throwing cobble stones or Molotov cocktails onto police and burning down neighborhoods of London, Paris, or Los Angeles.

“Underprivileged groups” have the privilege to use violence with impunity. “Privileged White heterosexuals” have no free speech rights and get imprisoned for non-violent speech. Our legal system is back to the middle ages. Of course, academic researchers like J. Philippe Rushton or Arthur Jensen also get threatened with impunity, and the New Black Panther party can publicly threaten the life innocent “white” Hispanic George Zimmerman.

See the article here:

Political correctness Archives | Human Stupidity …




Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution