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NC NSA Softball – Who’s Playing

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Feb 082016
 

Sat Feb 21 Umpire ClinicFebruary 21-2016 / Salisbury/Harely Davidson Store / 0GG – $70.00Craig Brittian

Sun Feb 22 Umpire ClinicFebruary 22, 2016 / Rock Hill / N/AGG – $70.00Craig Brittian

Mar 5 Early Season Price BusterMarch 5-2016 / Burlington / 3GG – $90.00Howard Edwards

Mar 5 10U FREEMarch 5-2015 / Thomasville/East Davidsion complex / 3GG – $00.00Howard Edwards

14 Lady Aces

Mar 12-13 NSA Season Kick OffMarch 12-13 2016 / Salisbury / 4GG – $300.00Howard Edwards

Mar 19-20 South Carolina Season OpenerMarch 19-20 2016 / 295 Complex Spartanburg / 6GG – $325.00Chuck Laney

Mar 19 March MadnessMarch 19-2016 / Statesville/Saratoma / 3GG – $235.00Howard Edwards

Mar 26 Bunny Hop 1-dayMarch 26-2016 / Statesville / 3GG – $235.00Howard Edwards

Apr 2-3 Louisville Slugger World QualifierApril 2-3 2016 / Huntersville/Mooresville / 4GG – $300.00Chuck Laney

Apr 2-3 Swing into Spring April 2-3 2016 / Tyger River Spartanburg / 5GG – $300.00Howard Edwards

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NC NSA Softball – Who’s Playing

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Cupertino Beach hotels in San Jose, California – expedia.com

 Beaches  Comments Off on Cupertino Beach hotels in San Jose, California – expedia.com
Feb 082016
 

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Cupertino Beach hotels in San Jose, California – expedia.com

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Atheism: Pictures, Videos, Breaking News

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Feb 072016
 

Future Transhumanist City — Image by Sam Howzit Transhumanism–the international movement that aims to use science and technology to improve the h…

Zoltan Istvan

US Presidential candidate of Transhumanist Party; Creator of Immortality Bus; Author of novel ‘The Transhumanist Wager’

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m done with Richard Dawkins. As a teenager, the brilliant scientist was among the first to break through my bubble of petty fundamentalism and push me to think critically about the superstitions that envelope our cultures. I miss that guy and have no idea where he went.

Chris Sosa

Campaign Manager, Political Commentator

Without absorbing that the Constitution is the foundation of the United States, it is pointless to claim to be an American, except perhaps by coincidence of birth.

It seems it is not only the far right that seizes the opportunity of every calamity that befalls us and every terrorist attack to unleash their exclusionary and hateful rhetoric towards Islam and Muslims. Self-proclaimed enlightened liberals do too.

This article first appeared on the blog of Intentional Insights, a nonprofit organization that empowers people to refine and reach their goals by …

Gleb Tsipursky

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky runs a nonprofit that helps people reach their goals using science, Intentional Insights, authored Find Your Purpose Using Science, and is a tenure-track professor at Ohio State. Get in touch with him at gleb@intentionalinsights.org.

When did this happen? When did I lose faith in the fundamental beliefs of Christianity that I’d been raised to respect? What caused me to lean toward atheism? Did I miss something in confirmation class?

The idea and character of religious freedom has changed over the years, and unfortunately the change has not always been for the better. But celebrations like Religious Freedom Day can remind us of the full nature of religious freedom.

You pass through the long security line at the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC. While the line of tourists streams forward into the Exhibition Hall, you turn right, and head to the Senate appointment desk.

Gleb Tsipursky

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky runs a nonprofit that helps people reach their goals using science, Intentional Insights, authored Find Your Purpose Using Science, and is a tenure-track professor at Ohio State. Get in touch with him at gleb@intentionalinsights.org.

Whether you are a believer or secular, to gain a greater sense of purpose and meaning in life it helps to participate in civic engagement with others from your community.

Gleb Tsipursky

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky runs a nonprofit that helps people reach their goals using science, Intentional Insights, authored Find Your Purpose Using Science, and is a tenure-track professor at Ohio State. Get in touch with him at gleb@intentionalinsights.org.

Atheists are generally good people. They are certainly not the demons that some religious people have made them out to be. So why, then, do atheists tend to receive the cold shoulder from their religious fellow Americans?

My sacred ground is all around us. My only holy site is the one we are all standing on and, if we are not careful, it will be in ruins. It will be the graveyard of all humanity.

Recently, Massachusetts resident Lindsay Miller won the right to wear a colander in her State ID photo on account of her belief in Pastafarianism. There are two ways of interpreting this.

Isaac Fornarola

Journalist, satirist and teacher covering identity politics and LGBTQ issues. Based in New York City. Founder and editor of @FluxWeekly. Twitter: @isaacforn

It’s not enough for individual believers to worship God as they see fit — a right which I and most Americans are happy to acknowledge and protect. According to Scalia, the government must place its thumb on the scale and promote and advance religion over non-religion.

Ronald A. Lindsay

President & CEO, Center for Inquiry; Author of The Necessity of Secularism

I recently read excerpts from a website authored by a person who mocks those who are religious or spiritual. The writer repeated the familiar conde…

Elaine Ambrose

Author, syndicated blogger, featured humor speaker, publisher, and retreat organizer knows that laughter – with wine – is the best medicine.

The world? It’s something to deal with and find a place in and live your life in, possibly to make a better place. Nature? It’s something to study…

Brook Ziporyn

Professor of Chinese Philosophy, Religion and Comparative Thought, University of Chicago

Last year, I wrote that 2014 was a great year for the transhumanism movement. But 2015 was simply incredible — it might end up being called a breakout year.

Zoltan Istvan

US Presidential candidate of Transhumanist Party; Creator of Immortality Bus; Author of novel ‘The Transhumanist Wager’

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Atheism: Pictures, Videos, Breaking News

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Top 8 Tampa Bay Beaches – About.com Travel

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Feb 052016
 

Updated December 16, 2014.

Build sandcastles beneath blue skies, scan the sands for shells or sharks teeth, cast a line out in the surf and complete the day with a romantic evening stroll while watching the sun sink beneath the Gulf of Mexico. If any of this sounds tempting, check out these area beaches.

Accessible by private boat or by the Caladesi Connection ferry service from Honeymoon Island State Park, Caladesi is one of the few unspoiled natural islands along Floridas Gulf Coast. In addition to swimming, sunbathing and shelling, visitors can enjoy a three-mile nature trail or a glide through mangroves along the three-mile kayak trail. More

This 95-acre park rests on a barrier island just south of Clearwater Pass. More tranquil than neighboring Clearwater Beach, visitors will find cabana rentals, two beach wheel-chairs, nine outdoor shower towers and two bath houses. Lifeguards are on duty from March through September. More

Named No. 1 Beach by Dr. Beach in 2005 and Americas Top Beach by TripAdvisor in 2008, Fort De Soto County Parks pristine North Beach features soft white sand, clear waters and great shelling. Nearby picnic shelters, grills and playground equipment make it a favorite destination with residents and tourists. More

Egmont Key State Park is first and foremost a wildlife refuge, but the island offers excellent shelling opportunities and a chance to wander along secluded stretches of beach. Accessible only by boat, Egmont Key also is home to the ruins of Fort Dade and features nature trails, picnic areas and fishing. More

Located on the west side of Gulf Drive just south of the Longboat Key Bridge on Longboat Key, this beach offers no amenities other than beautiful beaches and fishing and thats precisely what makes it special. With the crowded Coquina Beach just the other side of the inlet, this lesser-known destination is a perfect place for a romantic stroll at sunset. More

Recognized at 1987s Great International White Sand Beach Challenge for having the whitest and finest sand in the world, Siesta Beach offers 2,400 linear feet of gulf beach frontage along with ball fields, concessions, a fitness trail, playground equipment, tennis and volleyball courts and special events scheduled throughout the year. Lifeguards are on duty year-round. More

Originally posted here:
Top 8 Tampa Bay Beaches – About.com Travel

 Posted by at 12:41 am  Tagged with:

Singularity – Microsoft Research

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Feb 012016
 

OS and tools for building dependable systems. The Singularity research codebase and design evolved to become the Midori advanced-development OS project. While never reaching commercial release, at one time Midori powered all of Microsoft’s natural language search service for the West Coast and Asia.

“…it is impossible to predict how a singularity will affect objects in its causal future.” – NCSA Cyberia Glossary

The Singularity Research Development Kit (RDK)2.0 is now available for academic non-commercial use. You can download it from CodePlex, Microsoft’s open source project hosting website, here.

Our recent article in Operating Systems Review, Singularity: Rethinking the Software Stack, is a concise introduction to the Singularity project. It summarizes research in the current Singularity releases and highlights ongoing Singularity research.

Singularity is a research project focused on the construction of dependable systems through innovation in the areas of systems, languages, and tools. We are building a research operating system prototype (called Singularity), extending programming languages, and developing new techniques and tools for specifying and verifying program behavior.

Advances in languages, compilers, and tools open the possibility of significantly improving software. For example, Singularity uses type-safe languages and an abstract instruction set to enable what we call Software Isolated Processes (SIPs). SIPs provide the strong isolation guarantees of OS processes (isolated object space, separate GCs, separate runtimes) without the overhead of hardware-enforced protection domains. In the current Singularity prototype SIPs are extremely cheap; they run in ring 0 in the kernels address space.

Singularity uses these advances to build more reliable systems and applications. For example, because SIPs are so cheap to create and enforce, Singularity runs each program, device driver, or system extension in its own SIP. SIPs are not allowed to share memory or modify their own code. As a result, we can make strong reliability guarantees about the code running in a SIP. We can verify much broader properties about a SIP at compile or install time than can be done for code running in traditional OS processes. Broader application of static verification is critical to predicting system behavior and providing users with strong guarantees about reliability.

Read more here:
Singularity – Microsoft Research

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Islands | ARKive

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Jan 312016
 

Over the past 400 years, around half of all animal extinctions have occurred on islands. Island species are often only present in relatively small numbers, putting them at greater risk, and the limited habitat available to them means they cannot easily disperse elsewhere. This also means that island species are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as rising temperature and sea levels, extreme weather events, and fires.

Island species are also vulnerable to the introduction of invasive species, as they have typically evolved in isolation with limited competition. Many island species also lack the adaptations to cope with introduced predators. As humans have travelled the world they have introduced large numbers of non-native species to islands, sometimes with devastating consequences, and on some islands the alien species now outnumber the native ones.

The other main risks to island species are natural disasters, habitat destruction, tourism development, overexploitation and pollution. These pressures show their impacts on islands before they would be visible on larger land masses.

Although once widespread throughout Southeast Asia, today the Bornean orangutan is restricted to the island of Borneo. Currently, the main threat to this species is the loss of forest habitat. In the past 20 years, 80 percent of this species habitat has been lost to illegal logging, gold mining and conversion to permanent agriculture such as oil palm plantations.

The Juan Fernndez petrel faces its greatest threats on its tiny breeding island, where numerous introduced species are causing extensive damage to the natural ecosystem.

The Lord Howe Island stick-insect was believed Extinct due to predation by introduced black rats until it was rediscovered surviving on a single island outcrop known as Balls Pyramid.

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Islands | ARKive

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The International Offshore Banking Guide – 2015 edition

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Jan 262016
 

Protect Yourself From The Ongoing Banking Crisis

Dont just Survive it … Thrive from it!

Karl Marx once infamously said, that … Religion is the Opium of the People

Today it seems that those who believe the current Banking & Financial system has gone back to normal, are just equally as hooked on a drug.

It is a drug thats now vital to the survival of the system, and hence perhaps even more addictive and persistent than religion itself.

That drug is commonly referred to as … Hope-ium.

The term Hope-ium was first coined in the 1870s, and is probably best defined as:

“The irrational belief that, despite all evidence to the contrary, things will turn out for the best”

Its also known in simpler terms as being delusional … and surely fits the put all your eggs in one basket approach that so many people employ with regard to how they bank and arrange their financial affairs.

In the wake of the recent rise in stock markets, a near universal state of psychological denial seems to permeate at least part of the psyche of those who invest in, and benefit most from, the current deeply flawed Banking & Financial system.

The denial is the refusal to see that the recovery from the Great Recession that began in 2008, has been anything other than an artificially contrived one.

Because of such denial then, the recent Hope-ium-fuelled Recovery has become infinitely more fabricated & fragile than most in the past, and hence infinitely more dangerous and misleading.

The wholly contrived economic Recovery has spurred on many savvy investors to diversify and protect themselves.

One of the tools that they have been using comes in the form of a Banking Guide that was first published back in 2007, before the 2008 Crash.

Value $197 Today Only $97

As you will soon see, this Guide is an invaluable route-map that has proven itself to be a cant do without for many of the most switched-on investors in the world.

The chart below amply demonstrates why the Guide is so crucial.

The chart graphically demonstrates the accelerating fragility and volatility, of the recent major crashes in the global economy.

Of course very few outside the core coterie of Central Bankers can predict with any degree of certainty exactly when the next bust will come, but, savvy observers and Central Banking watchers, recognize 2008 for what it was; a true watershed moment in financial history.

What marks the 2008-2015 recovery cycle out as being beyond interesting, is the forces that didnt so much allow it to happen naturally, but that created it extremely unnaturally!

And it is precisely because of the forced and unnatural conditions of the 2008-2015 Recovery, that discerning investors, entrepreneurs, and Central Banking watchers alike, became increasingly suspicious and were driven to action.

The seemingly blind believers in the system, on the other hand, appear completely oblivious to the dangers, despite knowing that their system only survived by the skin of its teeth, due to the injection of massive doses of yet another drug, the life support drug otherwise known as … Quantitative Easing.

That QE drug then, along with their own addiction to the drug of Hope-ium, are what has both inflated and sustained the 2009-2015 (and counting) Recovery Bull Run.

What well-informed group investors realise is that the can of the economic problem, was really only kicked down the road, ready to explode sometime later.

Of course, any success in the markets, however fabricated and short-sighted it may be, always has investors coming back for just one more fix as if nothing extraordinary had happened!

But we all know deep down inside that something extraordinary DID happen back in 2008, that despite mere appearances, the real economy, outside the Ivory Towers of Wall Street, is far from being out of the woods, almost 7 years later.

Despite the all clear being sounded by multiple talking heads on TV, the alarm bells are ringing louder than ever, with an increasing number of veteran investors, like Stanley Druckenmiller, George Soros, Ray Dalio, Jeremy Grantham, and Bill Gross, all warning that the Supercycle Bull Run is in dire jeopardy.

Discerning investors then instinctively know that a fundamental change occurred back in 2008 and ever since, they have been putting their insurance – and their escape plans – firmly in place.

The purpose of what follows then, is to introduce to you the most practical Banking Report that you will find, anywhere. It is a Report that will arm you with all you need to know in order to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your assets from potential harm.

Make no mistake, what happened from 2008 onwards represents possibly the biggest financial paradigm changing event that any of us will ever experience; one that savvy investors ever since then, have been quietly shifting their assets in order to take advantage of, as well as remain protected from.

The nature of the financial paradigm shift that is going on in front of our very eyes then, is perhaps best illustrated by looking at the following flat lining graph.

The graph represents a 7-year phenomenon that is without either parallel or precedent in all of modern financial history.

It is a shift that has truly broken the mould of 20th century economics, one that means we are currently in uncharted and inherently dangerous waters.

What it has meant too, is that the smart money has been preparing accordingly ever since.

We would urge everyone then, to join them, by getting yourself a copy of …

The Practical International Banking Guide

Value $197 Today Only $97

The Guide, now in its 8th Edition, has proven its worth many times over the years and has a core of avid readers who wait for every updated edition, and who truly understand its value.

As the name suggests, the 90+ page Guide is first of all practical, providing an extensive detailed resource list and database of direct contacts to banks and facilitators, who can help you to arrange your financial affairs in such a way as to shield yourself from the worst affects of the next, inevitable, Bust in the economic cycle.

The longer that the flat lining interest Rate trend is forced to continue, the more it becomes obvious that Central Banks are hamstrung and that what has always worked in the past, is simply no longer effective.

Whats worse, is not simply that Interest Rate Cuts may no longer be effective, but that they may no longer even be possible without tipping the entire economy into full blown depression and chaos. Such is the Catch 22 situation that Central Bankers, and by extension, every one of us, undeniably face.

The very Old Rules then, that traditional free market economics have always claimed to operate under, have been fundamentally challenged and changed.

We are now in a full blown financial world of contrived Artificial Reality, one dominated by High Speed Trading algorithms that literally fix and rig the markets, and of course, one of unlimited injections of fabricated money, supplied by increasingly desperate Central Banks.

Even The Don of Central Banking himself, Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan, fully reversed what by then was over 40 years of his own understanding of the markets, when, in October 2008, right after the Crash, he made the following astonishing, and all too late, admission :

I had been going for 40 years or more, with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well …

And what Im saying to you is, yes, I found a flaw … … a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure, that defines how the world works, so to speak.”

Now that is well worth reading again…..

What hes talking about here remember, is literally … How The World Works!

Over 40 years of accumulated market wisdom about how the very world itself works, and suddenly Greenspan admits to a flaw in his assumptions; a flaw so critical that he is forced to make an admission like that?

Rest assured then, Greenspans admission ranks as the most astonishing climb downs by any economist, in history, especially coming from one in a position of such unbridled power: power that by his own admission, means that the Federal Reserve Chairman is in a position that is beyond oversight even by the elected President of The United States himself!

About a year before the 2008 Crash, the looming sub-Prime crisis was well understood, although it had not yet exploded into a full blown crisis that it was to become.

In the September of 2007, a full year before that 2008 Crash, a still bullish and not yet chastened & contrite Alan Greenspan, was asked the following question by PBS anchor, Jim Lehrer :

What should be the proper relationship be, between a Chairman of the Fed and a President of the United States?

His reply, was illuminating to say the least. He said the following….

Well first of all, the Federal Reserve is an independent agency, and that means basically, that there is no other agency of government which can overrule actions that we take. So long as that is in place … then what the relationships are, don’t frankly matter.

So make no mistake, the Central Banking power of a Chairman of the Federal Reserve knows no bounds, is not even challenged by purportedly most powerful man in the world, The U.S. President. Such is the unheralded power that Central Banking possesses at its finger tips.

Clearly, Alan Greenspan knew even back then, that the interest Rate chart above would develop as it did, and he knew too, that the worn out tool and blunt instrument of mere Interest Rate Cuts, was never ever going to be enough to combat the consequences of his flaw.

And sure enough, even flat lining, near 0% Interest Rates proved to be as good as useless, in reviving the patient.

As Greenspan and other Central Bankers have since readily admitted … … Economics had changed forever.

If such slashed to the bone interest rates (which constituted virtually free money for banks) were still not enough, then what else could be done?

Remember, that on top of those virtually 0% rates, Central Bankers had already secured a TARP bail out that they had originally promised would be limited to an already eye-watering sum of $700 BILLION dollars in relief funding!

But of course, as we now know, that sum rapidly morphed and mutated into an out of control and unimaginable sum of over $25 TRILLION DOLLARS, all being made available to Banks to mop up their toxic bets and gambling debts and not just banks from the U.S.A. either, but from all around the world too.

Such already unprecedented interventions and over-rides of the so-called free market then, made the lack of movement in the real economy (rather than the manufactured micro-bubble of Wall Street) even more inexplicable.

Remember too, that those TRILLIONS of dollars of Bail Out money werent just sitting idly in some Rainy Day Fund in the basement of the Fed!

That money was essentially extorted from (and charged down to) the future earnings capacity of millions of as yet unborn tax payers in the future!

Central Bankers then, were clearly panicked by the total lack of response from this DOUBLE injection of life support drugs … and in desperation, they knew that they had no choice … they simply had to resort to the unthinkable.

And so it was, that the decision was made to once again, fire up the printing presses, and start printing literally tens of billions of dollars … every month!

All in order to keep the charade going for a little longer.

They even coined a new phrase to deflect attention away from such naked printing of money; they dubbed the furious printing that they were suddenly engaging in, Quantitative Easing.

It sounded almost benign, but make no mistake, what they were doing amounted to :

1. Blatant counterfeiting and currency debasement

2. An embarrassing admission of the failure of the old order of Economics

This THIRD overt and sustained injection of artificial QE life support into the Banking system did the trick and the stock exchanges at last had the funding necessary to recover and shoot for the stars.

But it was still a trick nonetheless … and a trick it surely remains.

Dont be fooled by the temporary lull in the U.S. Version of QE either.

QE continues, only in a different guise and through a different source.

Japan and the EU are currently filling the void, with the Mario Draghi of The European Central Bank, as recently as January 2015, announcing that they will pump 1.1 TRILLION EUROS … at a rate of 60bn a month (?!) … into European financial markets, until September 2016!

And whod bet against QE2, QE3, and on and on? Not many!

All of this of course, is an attempt to prevent the fragile Eurozone economy from grinding to a complete halt!

With youth unemployment still languishing at rates in excess of 50% in some Southern European countries, such financial artificial life support drugs are surely needed.

Historic 10-Year Treasury Bond Yields, 1870 – 2010. Notice Black Tuesday 1929, and Black Monday, 1987

The fact that such unprecedented measures have been needed, in order to reanimate the corpse of the global village economy, ought to have awakened everyone by now, to the illusory nature of the so-called safety of Western Banking and financial markets.

According to the Old Rules of free market economics, such unprecedented flat-lining Interest Rates alone ought to have been more than enough to jump start the economy.

But it wasnt enough. Far from it.

But the measures did serve one extremely useful purpose.

They provided savvy Central Bank watchers with all the data they needed to finally know that something was very wrong and uniquely different about the Bust of 2008.

What logically follows then is that the subsequent Post-Crash Boom in the Stock Markets must also be regarded as being equally suspect, fragile and fabricated.

So, while many savvy investors and readers of The Practical International Banking Guide have been happy enough to ride the wave up they are also well informed enough, and switched on enough to never have been fooled by the Smoke & Mirrors and Sleight of Hand that the Money Magicians of Central Banking have doled out.

Readers of the Banking Guide long ago saw the writing on the wall and have been quietly preparing themselves accordingly, ever since.

So we would again urge you to follow their example!

Prepare for and protect yourself against, what increasingly shows all the signs of being a massive shift away from the forced and contrived dominance, enjoyed by Western banking for centuries now.

So, while many savvy investors and readers of The Practical International Banking Guide have been happy enough to ride the wave up they are also well informed enough, and switched on enough to never have been fooled by the Smoke & Mirrors and Sleight of Hand that the Money Magicians of Central Banking have doled out.

It is a case of WHEN, not IF, such a turnaround comes

Dont get caught out

It is a trade that we simply cannot afford to be late getting into

The one common denominator realization that binds this small group of well informed people together then, is that they realise that the incoming financial hurricane is bound to make land fall with the most devastating impact, in the heart of the current Western financial capitals.

That is why, for years now, they have been quietly diversifying and moving their assets out of these seemingly invincible, but ultimately extremely vulnerable, jurisdictions.

They have instead, been moving them into safer, calmer waters of international jurisdictions where privacy and the rule of law still mean something, and where they are still relatively respected.

That is why we are proud to encourage you to access the latest, fully updated, 2015 Edition of

The Practical International Banking Guide – 2015 edition

The rest is here:
The International Offshore Banking Guide – 2015 edition

 Posted by at 11:42 pm  Tagged with:

Rhode Island Beaches – Best Beaches in Rhode Island

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Jan 252016
 

This tiny state, with the nickname of “The Ocean State,” has only 1,545 square miles of land area, but more than 400 miles of coastline, one of the highest proportions of land to coast in the US. This means that water sports, rock and shore fishing, and Rhode Island beaches are major state attractions. You’ll find scores of beaches in Rhode Island all along the coast, in the sheltered waters of Narragansett Bay, along the Blackstone River Valley that spreads northwest from Pawtucket, and in inland state parks elsewhere in the state. Most of the beaches in Rhode Island are open to the public, some for a nominal entry fee.

Narragansett Bay, New England’s largest river estuary, undoubtedly has the most sheltered Rhode Island beaches because of its breakwater barrier protection. There are numerous beaches in this sheltered bay, including on its more than thirty islands. They are excellent for novice swimmers and families with children. Narragansett Beach lies at the southern end of the bay, and benefits both from its location on the bay as well as its location on the scenic coastal Route 1A. The lovely mansions of Newport are just a short boat ride away, and just down the road is the historic nineteenth-century octagonal Point Judith Lighthouse that played such an important role in the state’s maritime history. Narragansett Beach also features a more varied and fluctuating surf, unlike the beaches directly facing the ocean. This is a half-mile long public beach with two full-service pavilions, lifeguards, dining concessions, restrooms and changing rooms, and rental cabanas. Narragansett Beach also has picnic areas and a beach access boardwalk. Surfing lessons are available and a number of events are held here, including musical concerts, sand sculpting contests, and a kite festival.

Along the coast, on the western part of the state, are miles and miles of Rhode Island beaches that continue on to the Connecticut coastline. Charlestown Beach and Westerly Beach are two of these. There are numerous vacation rentals available along this stretch of coastline, as well as golfing resorts.

Charlestown Beach is about halfway between Narragansett and Misquamicut Beach, which is near the Connecticut border. Charlestown Beach actually consists of two adjacent stretches of sandthe town beach, which is actually on Ninigret Pond, and Charlestown Breachway State Beach and Campground, located on the ocean. Between the two, you have long stretches of fine white sand, a boat ramp for fishing, and 75 camping sites. You’re also near some of the state’s wildlife refuges, with wonderful marine bird life including the magnificent fish-eating osprey.

The town of Westerly is so named because of its location on the state’s western border with Connecticut. Its Westerly Beach is a public town beach encompassing three acres, and with 300 feet of beach frontage. It adjoins the seven-mile long Misquamicut Beach, and is in close proximity to a number of local golfing resorts and several coastal fishing ponds. Westerly Beach is also within two miles of the only one of the airports in the state with flights to nearby Block Island.

Virtually no state or town beaches in Rhode Island allow pets. If you’re bringing a pet on your Rhode Island vacations and want it to accompany you to the beach, you will need to find pet friendly lodging with access to a private beach.

Original post:
Rhode Island Beaches – Best Beaches in Rhode Island

 Posted by at 3:41 pm  Tagged with:

Atheism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Jan 202016
 

Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[3][4][5] Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist.[4][5][6][7] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9][10][11]

The term “atheism” originated from the Greek (atheos), meaning “without god(s)”, used as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society.[12] With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves using the word “atheist” lived in the 18th century during the Age of Enlightenment. The French Revolution, noted for its “unprecedented atheism,” witnessed the first major political movement in history to advocate for the supremacy of human reason.[14]

Arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to social and historical approaches. Rationales for not believing in deities include arguments that there is a lack of empirical evidence;[15][16] the problem of evil; the argument from inconsistent revelations; the rejection of concepts that cannot be falsified; and the argument from nonbelief.[15][17] Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies (eg. humanism and skepticism),[18][19] there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.[20] Many atheists hold that atheism is a more parsimonious worldview than theism and therefore that the burden of proof lies not on the atheist to disprove the existence of God but on the theist to provide a rationale for theism.[21]

Since conceptions of atheism vary, accurate estimations of current numbers of atheists are difficult.[22] Several comprehensive global polls on the subject have been conducted by Gallup International: their 2015 poll featured over 64,000 respondents and indicated that 11% were “convinced atheists” whereas an earlier 2012 poll found that 13% of respondents were “convinced atheists.”[23][24] An older survey by the BBC, in 2004, recorded atheists as comprising 8% of the world’s population.[25] Other older estimates have indicated that atheists comprise 2% of the world’s population, while the irreligious add a further 12%.[26] According to these polls, Europe and East Asia are the regions with the highest rates of atheism. In 2015, 61% of people in China reported that they were atheists.[27] The figures for a 2010 Eurobarometer survey in the European Union (EU) reported that 20% of the EU population claimed not to believe in “any sort of spirit, God or life force”.[28]

Writers disagree on how best to define and classify atheism,[29] contesting what supernatural entities it applies to, whether it is a philosophic position in its own right or merely the absence of one, and whether it requires a conscious, explicit rejection. Atheism has been regarded as compatible with agnosticism,[30][31][32][33][34][35][36] and has also been contrasted with it.[37][38][39] A variety of categories have been used to distinguish the different forms of atheism.

Some of the ambiguity and controversy involved in defining atheism arises from difficulty in reaching a consensus for the definitions of words like deity and god. The plurality of wildly different conceptions of God and deities leads to differing ideas regarding atheism’s applicability. The ancient Romans accused Christians of being atheists for not worshiping the pagan deities. Gradually, this view fell into disfavor as theism came to be understood as encompassing belief in any divinity.

With respect to the range of phenomena being rejected, atheism may counter anything from the existence of a deity, to the existence of any spiritual, supernatural, or transcendental concepts, such as those of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Taoism.[41]

Definitions of atheism also vary in the degree of consideration a person must put to the idea of gods to be considered an atheist. Atheism has sometimes been defined to include the simple absence of belief that any deities exist. This broad definition would include newborns and other people who have not been exposed to theistic ideas. As far back as 1772, Baron d’Holbach said that “All children are born Atheists; they have no idea of God.”[42] Similarly, George H. Smith (1979) suggested that: “The man who is unacquainted with theism is an atheist because he does not believe in a god. This category would also include the child with the conceptual capacity to grasp the issues involved, but who is still unaware of those issues. The fact that this child does not believe in god qualifies him as an atheist.”[43] Smith coined the term implicit atheism to refer to “the absence of theistic belief without a conscious rejection of it” and explicit atheism to refer to the more common definition of conscious disbelief. Ernest Nagel contradicts Smith’s definition of atheism as merely “absence of theism”, acknowledging only explicit atheism as true “atheism”.[44]

Philosophers such as Antony Flew[45] and Michael Martin have contrasted positive (strong/hard) atheism with negative (weak/soft) atheism. Positive atheism is the explicit affirmation that gods do not exist. Negative atheism includes all other forms of non-theism. According to this categorization, anyone who is not a theist is either a negative or a positive atheist. The terms weak and strong are relatively recent, while the terms negative and positive atheism are of older origin, having been used (in slightly different ways) in the philosophical literature[45] and in Catholic apologetics.[46] Under this demarcation of atheism, most agnostics qualify as negative atheists.

While Martin, for example, asserts that agnosticism entails negative atheism,[33] many agnostics see their view as distinct from atheism,[47][48] which they may consider no more justified than theism or requiring an equal conviction.[47] The assertion of unattainability of knowledge for or against the existence of gods is sometimes seen as indication that atheism requires a leap of faith.[49][50] Common atheist responses to this argument include that unproven religious propositions deserve as much disbelief as all other unproven propositions,[51] and that the unprovability of a god’s existence does not imply equal probability of either possibility.[52] Scottish philosopher J. J. C. Smart even argues that “sometimes a person who is really an atheist may describe herself, even passionately, as an agnostic because of unreasonable generalised philosophical skepticism which would preclude us from saying that we know anything whatever, except perhaps the truths of mathematics and formal logic.”[53] Consequently, some atheist authors such as Richard Dawkins prefer distinguishing theist, agnostic and atheist positions along a spectrum of theistic probabilitythe likelihood that each assigns to the statement “God exists”.

Before the 18th century, the existence of God was so accepted in the western world that even the possibility of true atheism was questioned. This is called theistic innatismthe notion that all people believe in God from birth; within this view was the connotation that atheists are simply in denial.[55]

There is also a position claiming that atheists are quick to believe in God in times of crisis, that atheists make deathbed conversions, or that “there are no atheists in foxholes”.[56] There have however been examples to the contrary, among them examples of literal “atheists in foxholes”.[57]

Some atheists have doubted the very need for the term “atheism”. In his book Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris wrote:

In fact, “atheism” is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a “non-astrologer” or a “non-alchemist”. We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.

The source of man’s unhappiness is his ignorance of Nature. The pertinacity with which he clings to blind opinions imbibed in his infancy, which interweave themselves with his existence, the consequent prejudice that warps his mind, that prevents its expansion, that renders him the slave of fiction, appears to doom him to continual error.

The broadest demarcation of atheistic rationale is between practical and theoretical atheism.

In practical or pragmatic atheism, also known as apatheism, individuals live as if there are no gods and explain natural phenomena without reference to any deities. The existence of gods is not rejected, but may be designated unnecessary or useless; gods neither provide purpose to life, nor influence everyday life, according to this view.[60] A form of practical atheism with implications for the scientific community is methodological naturalismthe “tacit adoption or assumption of philosophical naturalism within scientific method with or without fully accepting or believing it.”[61]

Practical atheism can take various forms:

Theoretical (or theoric) atheism explicitly posits arguments against the existence of gods, responding to common theistic arguments such as the argument from design or Pascal’s Wager. Theoretical atheism is mainly an ontology; more precisely, a physical ontology.

Epistemological atheism argues that people cannot know a God or determine the existence of a God. The foundation of epistemological atheism is agnosticism, which takes a variety of forms. In the philosophy of immanence, divinity is inseparable from the world itself, including a person’s mind, and each person’s consciousness is locked in the subject. According to this form of agnosticism, this limitation in perspective prevents any objective inference from belief in a god to assertions of its existence. The rationalistic agnosticism of Kant and the Enlightenment only accepts knowledge deduced with human rationality; this form of atheism holds that gods are not discernible as a matter of principle, and therefore cannot be known to exist. Skepticism, based on the ideas of Hume, asserts that certainty about anything is impossible, so one can never know for sure whether or not a god exists. Hume, however, held that such unobservable metaphysical concepts should be rejected as “sophistry and illusion”.[63] The allocation of agnosticism to atheism is disputed; it can also be regarded as an independent, basic worldview.[60]

Other arguments for atheism that can be classified as epistemological or ontological, including logical positivism and ignosticism, assert the meaninglessness or unintelligibility of basic terms such as “God” and statements such as “God is all-powerful.” Theological noncognitivism holds that the statement “God exists” does not express a proposition, but is nonsensical or cognitively meaningless. It has been argued both ways as to whether such individuals can be classified into some form of atheism or agnosticism. Philosophers A. J. Ayer and Theodore M. Drange reject both categories, stating that both camps accept “God exists” as a proposition; they instead place noncognitivism in its own category.[64][65]

One author writes:

“Metaphysical atheism… includes all doctrines that hold to metaphysical monism (the homogeneity of reality). Metaphysical atheism may be either: a) absolute an explicit denial of God’s existence associated with materialistic monism (all materialistic trends, both in ancient and modern times); b) relative the implicit denial of God in all philosophies that, while they accept the existence of an absolute, conceive of the absolute as not possessing any of the attributes proper to God: transcendence, a personal character or unity. Relative atheism is associated with idealistic monism (pantheism, panentheism, deism).”[66]

Logical atheism holds that the various conceptions of gods, such as the personal god of Christianity, are ascribed logically inconsistent qualities. Such atheists present deductive arguments against the existence of God, which assert the incompatibility between certain traits, such as perfection, creator-status, immutability, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, omnibenevolence, transcendence, personhood (a personal being), nonphysicality, justice, and mercy.[15]

Theodicean atheists believe that the world as they experience it cannot be reconciled with the qualities commonly ascribed to God and gods by theologians. They argue that an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent God is not compatible with a world where there is evil and suffering, and where divine love is hidden from many people.[17] A similar argument is attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.[68]

Philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach[69] and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud have argued that God and other religious beliefs are human inventions, created to fulfill various psychological and emotional wants or needs. This is also a view of many Buddhists.[70]Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, influenced by the work of Feuerbach, argued that belief in God and religion are social functions, used by those in power to oppress the working class. According to Mikhail Bakunin, “the idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty, and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind, in theory and practice.” He reversed Voltaire’s famous aphorism that if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him, writing instead that “if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.”[71]

Atheism is acceptable within some religious and spiritual belief systems, including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Syntheism, Ralism,[72] and Neopagan movements[73] such as Wicca.[74]stika schools in Hinduism hold atheism to be a valid path to moksha, but extremely difficult, for the atheist can not expect any help from the divine on their journey.[75] Jainism believes the universe is eternal and has no need for a creator deity, however Tirthankaras are revered that can transcend space and time [76] and have more power than the god Indra.[77]Secular Buddhism does not advocate belief in gods. Early Buddhism was atheistic as Gautama Buddha’s path involved no mention of gods. Later conceptions of Buddhism consider Buddha himself a god, suggest adherents can attain godhood, and revere Bodhisattvas[78] and Eternal Buddha.

Axiological, or constructive, atheism rejects the existence of gods in favor of a “higher absolute”, such as humanity. This form of atheism favors humanity as the absolute source of ethics and values, and permits individuals to resolve moral problems without resorting to God. Marx and Freud used this argument to convey messages of liberation, full-development, and unfettered happiness.[60] One of the most common criticisms of atheism has been to the contrarythat denying the existence of a god leads to moral relativism, leaving one with no moral or ethical foundation,[79] or renders life meaningless and miserable.[80]Blaise Pascal argued this view in his Penses.[81]

French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre identified himself as a representative of an “atheist existentialism” concerned less with denying the existence of God than with establishing that “man needs… to find himself again and to understand that nothing can save him from himself, not even a valid proof of the existence of God.” Sartre said a corollary of his atheism was that “if God does not exist, there is at least one being in whom existence precedes essence, a being who exists before he can be defined by any concept, and… this being is man.” The practical consequence of this atheism was described by Sartre as meaning that there are no a priori rules or absolute values that can be invoked to govern human conduct, and that humans are “condemned” to invent these for themselves, making “man” absolutely “responsible for everything he does”.

Sociologist Phil Zuckerman analyzed previous social science research on secularity and non-belief, and concluded that societal well-being is positively correlated with irreligion. He found that there are much lower concentrations of atheism and secularity in poorer, less developed nations (particularly in Africa and South America) than in the richer industrialized democracies.[85][86] His findings relating specifically to atheism in the US were that compared to religious people in the US, “atheists and secular people” are less nationalistic, prejudiced, antisemitic, racist, dogmatic, ethnocentric, closed-minded, and authoritarian, and in US states with the highest percentages of atheists, the murder rate is lower than average. In the most religious states, the murder rate is higher than average.[87][88]

People who self-identify as atheists are often assumed to be irreligious, but some sects within major religions reject the existence of a personal, creator deity.[90] In recent years, certain religious denominations have accumulated a number of openly atheistic followers, such as atheistic or humanistic Judaism[91][92] and Christian atheists.[93][94][95]

The strictest sense of positive atheism does not entail any specific beliefs outside of disbelief in any deity; as such, atheists can hold any number of spiritual beliefs. For the same reason, atheists can hold a wide variety of ethical beliefs, ranging from the moral universalism of humanism, which holds that a moral code should be applied consistently to all humans, to moral nihilism, which holds that morality is meaningless.[96]

Philosophers such as Slavoj iek,[97]Alain de Botton,[98] and Alexander Bard and Jan Sderqvist,[99] have all argued that atheists should reclaim religion as an act of defiance against theism, precisely not to leave religion as an unwarranted monopoly to theists.

According to Plato’s Euthyphro dilemma, the role of the gods in determining right from wrong is either unnecessary or arbitrary. The argument that morality must be derived from God, and cannot exist without a wise creator, has been a persistent feature of political if not so much philosophical debate.[100][101][102] Moral precepts such as “murder is wrong” are seen as divine laws, requiring a divine lawmaker and judge. However, many atheists argue that treating morality legalistically involves a false analogy, and that morality does not depend on a lawmaker in the same way that laws do.[103]Friedrich Nietzsche believed in a morality independent of theistic belief, and stated that morality based upon God “has truth only if God is truthit stands or falls with faith in God.”[104][105][106]

There exist normative ethical systems that do not require principles and rules to be given by a deity. Some include virtue ethics, social contract, Kantian ethics, utilitarianism, and Objectivism. Sam Harris has proposed that moral prescription (ethical rule making) is not just an issue to be explored by philosophy, but that we can meaningfully practice a science of morality. Any such scientific system must, nevertheless, respond to the criticism embodied in the naturalistic fallacy.[107]

Philosophers Susan Neiman[108] and Julian Baggini[109] (among others) assert that behaving ethically only because of divine mandate is not true ethical behavior but merely blind obedience. Baggini argues that atheism is a superior basis for ethics, claiming that a moral basis external to religious imperatives is necessary to evaluate the morality of the imperatives themselvesto be able to discern, for example, that “thou shalt steal” is immoral even if one’s religion instructs itand that atheists, therefore, have the advantage of being more inclined to make such evaluations.[110] The contemporary British political philosopher Martin Cohen has offered the more historically telling example of Biblical injunctions in favour of torture and slavery as evidence of how religious injunctions follow political and social customs, rather than vice versa, but also noted that the same tendency seems to be true of supposedly dispassionate and objective philosophers.[111] Cohen extends this argument in more detail in Political Philosophy from Plato to Mao, where he argues that the Qur’an played a role in perpetuating social codes from the early 7th century despite changes in secular society.[112]

Some prominent atheistsmost recently Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, and following such thinkers as Bertrand Russell, Robert G. Ingersoll, Voltaire, and novelist Jos Saramagohave criticized religions, citing harmful aspects of religious practices and doctrines.[113]

The 19th-century German political theorist and sociologist Karl Marx called religion “the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”. He goes on to say, “The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.[114]Lenin said that “every religious idea and every idea of God “is unutterable vileness… of the most dangerous kind, ‘contagion’ of the most abominable kind. Millions of sins, filthy deeds, acts of violence and physical contagions… are far less dangerous than the subtle, spiritual idea of God decked out in the smartest ideological constumes…”[115]

Sam Harris criticises Western religion’s reliance on divine authority as lending itself to authoritarianism and dogmatism. There is a correlation between religious fundamentalism and extrinsic religion (when religion is held because it serves ulterior interests)[117] and authoritarianism, dogmatism, and prejudice.[118] These argumentscombined with historical events that are argued to demonstrate the dangers of religion, such as the Crusades, inquisitions, witch trials, and terrorist attackshave been used in response to claims of beneficial effects of belief in religion.[119] Believers counter-argue that some regimes that espouse atheism, such as in Soviet Russia, have also been guilty of mass murder.[120][121] In response to those claims, atheists such as Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins have stated that Stalin’s atrocities were influenced not by atheism but by dogmatic Marxism, and that while Stalin and Mao happened to be atheists, they did not do their deeds in the name of atheism.[123]

In early ancient Greek, the adjective theos (, from the privative – + “god”) meant “godless”. It was first used as a term of censure roughly meaning “ungodly” or “impious”. In the 5th century BCE, the word began to indicate more deliberate and active godlessness in the sense of “severing relations with the gods” or “denying the gods”. The term (asebs) then came to be applied against those who impiously denied or disrespected the local gods, even if they believed in other gods. Modern translations of classical texts sometimes render theos as “atheistic”. As an abstract noun, there was also (atheots), “atheism”. Cicero transliterated the Greek word into the Latin theos. The term found frequent use in the debate between early Christians and Hellenists, with each side attributing it, in the pejorative sense, to the other.[12]

The term atheist (from Fr. athe), in the sense of “one who… denies the existence of God or gods”,[125] predates atheism in English, being first found as early as 1566,[126] and again in 1571.[127]Atheist as a label of practical godlessness was used at least as early as 1577.[128] The term atheism was derived from the French athisme,[129] and appears in English about 1587.[130] An earlier work, from about 1534, used the term atheonism.[131][132] Related words emerged later: deist in 1621,[133]theist in 1662,[134]deism in 1675,[135] and theism in 1678.[136] At that time “deist” and “deism” already carried their modern meaning. The term theism came to be contrasted with deism.

Karen Armstrong writes that “During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the word ‘atheist’ was still reserved exclusively for polemic… The term ‘atheist’ was an insult. Nobody would have dreamed of calling himself an atheist.”

Atheism was first used to describe a self-avowed belief in late 18th-century Europe, specifically denoting disbelief in the monotheistic Abrahamic god.[137] In the 20th century, globalization contributed to the expansion of the term to refer to disbelief in all deities, though it remains common in Western society to describe atheism as simply “disbelief in God”.

While the earliest-found usage of the term atheism is in 16th-century France,[129][130] ideas that would be recognized today as atheistic are documented from the Vedic period and the classical antiquity.

Atheistic schools are found in early Indian thought and have existed from the times of the historical Vedic religion.[138] Among the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, Samkhya, the oldest philosophical school of thought, does not accept God, and the early Mimamsa also rejected the notion of God.[139] The thoroughly materialistic and anti-theistic philosophical Crvka (also called Nastika or Lokaiata) school that originated in India around the 6th century BCE is probably the most explicitly atheistic school of philosophy in India, similar to the Greek Cyrenaic school. This branch of Indian philosophy is classified as heterodox due to its rejection of the authority of Vedas and hence is not considered part of the six orthodox schools of Hinduism, but it is noteworthy as evidence of a materialistic movement within Hinduism.[140] Chatterjee and Datta explain that our understanding of Crvka philosophy is fragmentary, based largely on criticism of the ideas by other schools, and that it is not a living tradition:

“Though materialism in some form or other has always been present in India, and occasional references are found in the Vedas, the Buddhistic literature, the Epics, as well as in the later philosophical works we do not find any systematic work on materialism, nor any organized school of followers as the other philosophical schools possess. But almost every work of the other schools states, for refutation, the materialistic views. Our knowledge of Indian materialism is chiefly based on these.”[141]

Other Indian philosophies generally regarded as atheistic include Classical Samkhya and Purva Mimamsa. The rejection of a personal creator God is also seen in Jainism and Buddhism in India.[142]

Western atheism has its roots in pre-Socratic Greek philosophy, but did not emerge as a distinct world-view until the late Enlightenment.[143] The 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher Diagoras is known as the “first atheist”,[144] and is cited as such by Cicero in his De Natura Deorum.[145]Atomists such as Democritus attempted to explain the world in a purely materialistic way, without reference to the spiritual or mystical. Critias viewed religion as a human invention used to frighten people into following moral order[146] and Prodicus also appears to have made clear atheistic statements in his work. Philodemus reports that Prodicus believed that “the gods of popular belief do not exist nor do they know, but primitive man, [out of admiration, deified] the fruits of the earth and virtually everything that contributed to his existence”. Protagoras has sometimes been taken to be an atheist but rather espoused agnostic views, commenting that “Concerning the gods I am unable to discover whether they exist or not, or what they are like in form; for there are many hindrances to knowledge, the obscurity of the subject and the brevity of human life.”[147] In the 3rd-century BCE the Greek philosophers Theodorus Cyrenaicus[145][148] and Strato of Lampsacus[149] did not believe gods exist.

Socrates (c. 470399 BCE) was associated in the Athenian public mind with the trends in pre-Socratic philosophy towards naturalistic inquiry and the rejection of divine explanations for phenomena. Although such an interpretation misrepresents his thought he was portrayed in such a way in Aristophanes’ comic play Clouds and was later to be tried and executed for impiety and corrupting the young. At his trial Socrates is reported as vehemently denying that he was an atheist and contemporary scholarship provides little reason to doubt this claim.[150][151]

Euhemerus (c. 300 BCE) published his view that the gods were only the deified rulers, conquerors and founders of the past, and that their cults and religions were in essence the continuation of vanished kingdoms and earlier political structures.[152] Although not strictly an atheist, Euhemerus was later criticized for having “spread atheism over the whole inhabited earth by obliterating the gods”.[153]

Also important in the history of atheism was Epicurus (c. 300 BCE). Drawing on the ideas of Democritus and the Atomists, he espoused a materialistic philosophy according to which the universe was governed by the laws of chance without the need for divine intervention (see scientific determinism). Although he stated that deities existed, he believed that they were uninterested in human existence. The aim of the Epicureans was to attain peace of mind and one important way of doing this was by exposing fear of divine wrath as irrational. The Epicureans also denied the existence of an afterlife and the need to fear divine punishment after death.[154]

The Roman philosopher Sextus Empiricus held that one should suspend judgment about virtually all beliefsa form of skepticism known as Pyrrhonismthat nothing was inherently evil, and that ataraxia (“peace of mind”) is attainable by withholding one’s judgment. His relatively large volume of surviving works had a lasting influence on later philosophers.[155]

The meaning of “atheist” changed over the course of classical antiquity. The early Christians were labeled atheists by non-Christians because of their disbelief in pagan gods.[156] During the Roman Empire, Christians were executed for their rejection of the Roman gods in general and Emperor-worship in particular. When Christianity became the state religion of Rome under Theodosius I in 381, heresy became a punishable offense.[157]

During the Early Middle Ages, the Islamic world underwent a Golden Age. With the associated advances in science and philosophy, Arab and Persian lands produced outspoken rationalists and atheists, including Muhammad al Warraq (fl. 7th century), Ibn al-Rawandi (827911), Al-Razi (854925), and Al-Maarri (9731058). Al-Ma’arri wrote and taught that religion itself was a “fable invented by the ancients”[158] and that humans were “of two sorts: those with brains, but no religion, and those with religion, but no brains.”[159] Despite being relatively prolific writers, nearly none of their writing survives to the modern day, most of what little remains being preserved through quotations and excerpts in later works by Muslim apologists attempting to refute them.[160] Other prominent Golden Age scholars have been associated with rationalist thought and atheism as well, although the current intellectual atmosphere in the Islamic world, and the scant evidence that survives from the era, make this point a contentious one today.

In Europe, the espousal of atheistic views was rare during the Early Middle Ages and Middle Ages (see Medieval Inquisition); metaphysics and theology were the dominant interests pertaining to religion.[161] There were, however, movements within this period that furthered heterodox conceptions of the Christian god, including differing views of the nature, transcendence, and knowability of God. Individuals and groups such as Johannes Scotus Eriugena, David of Dinant, Amalric of Bena, and the Brethren of the Free Spirit maintained Christian viewpoints with pantheistic tendencies. Nicholas of Cusa held to a form of fideism he called docta ignorantia (“learned ignorance”), asserting that God is beyond human categorization, and thus our knowledge of him is limited to conjecture. William of Ockham inspired anti-metaphysical tendencies with his nominalistic limitation of human knowledge to singular objects, and asserted that the divine essence could not be intuitively or rationally apprehended by human intellect. Followers of Ockham, such as John of Mirecourt and Nicholas of Autrecourt furthered this view. The resulting division between faith and reason influenced later radical and reformist theologians such as John Wycliffe, Jan Hus, and Martin Luther.[161]

The Renaissance did much to expand the scope of free thought and skeptical inquiry. Individuals such as Leonardo da Vinci sought experimentation as a means of explanation, and opposed arguments from religious authority. Other critics of religion and the Church during this time included Niccol Machiavelli, Bonaventure des Priers, Michel de Montaigne, and Franois Rabelais.[155]

Historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote that the Reformation had paved the way for atheists by attacking the authority of the Catholic Church, which in turn “quietly inspired other thinkers to attack the authority of the new Protestant churches”.[162]Deism gained influence in France, Prussia, and England. The philosopher Baruch Spinoza was “probably the first well known ‘semi-atheist’ to announce himself in a Christian land in the modern era”, according to Blainey. Spinoza believed that natural laws explained the workings of the universe. In 1661 he published his Short Treatise on God.[163]

Criticism of Christianity became increasingly frequent in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially in France and England, where there appears to have been a religious malaise, according to contemporary sources. Some Protestant thinkers, such as Thomas Hobbes, espoused a materialist philosophy and skepticism toward supernatural occurrences, while Spinoza rejected divine providence in favour of a panentheistic naturalism. By the late 17th century, deism came to be openly espoused by intellectuals such as John Toland who coined the term “pantheist”.[164]

The first known explicit atheist was the German critic of religion Matthias Knutzen in his three writings of 1674.[165] He was followed by two other explicit atheist writers, the Polish ex-Jesuit philosopher Kazimierz yszczyski and in the 1720s by the French priest Jean Meslier.[166] In the course of the 18th century, other openly atheistic thinkers followed, such as Baron d’Holbach, Jacques-Andr Naigeon, and other French materialists.[167]John Locke in contrast, though an advocate of tolerance, urged authorities not to tolerate atheism, believing that the denial of God’s existence would undermine the social order and lead to chaos.[168]

The philosopher David Hume developed a skeptical epistemology grounded in empiricism, and Immanuel Kant’s philosophy has strongly questioned the very possibility of a metaphysical knowledge. Both philosophers undermined the metaphysical basis of natural theology and criticized classical arguments for the existence of God.

Blainey notes that, although Voltaire is widely considered to have strongly contributed to atheistic thinking during the Revolution, he also considered fear of God to have discouraged further disorder, having said “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.”[169] In Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), the philosopher Edmund Burke denounced atheism, writing of a “literary cabal” who had “some years ago formed something like a regular plan for the destruction of the Christian religion. This object they pursued with a degree of zeal which hitherto had been discovered only in the propagators of some system of piety… These atheistical fathers have a bigotry of their own…”. But, Burke asserted, “man is by his constitution a religious animal” and “atheism is against, not only our reason, but our instincts; and… it cannot prevail long”.[170]

Baron d’Holbach was a prominent figure in the French Enlightenment who is best known for his atheism and for his voluminous writings against religion, the most famous of them being The System of Nature (1770) but also Christianity Unveiled. One goal of the French Revolution was a restructuring and subordination of the clergy with respect to the state through the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. Attempts to enforce it led to anti-clerical violence and the expulsion of many clergy from France, lasting until the Thermidorian Reaction. The radical Jacobins seized power in 1793, ushering in the Reign of Terror. The Jacobins were deists and introduced the Cult of the Supreme Being as a new French state religion. Some atheists surrounding Jacques Hbert instead sought to establish a Cult of Reason, a form of atheistic pseudo-religion with a goddess personifying reason. The Napoleonic era further institutionalized the secularization of French society.

In the latter half of the 19th century, atheism rose to prominence under the influence of rationalistic and freethinking philosophers. Many prominent German philosophers of this era denied the existence of deities and were critical of religion, including Ludwig Feuerbach, Arthur Schopenhauer, Max Stirner, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Nietzsche.[171]

G.J. Holyoake was the last person (1842) imprisoned in Great Britain due to atheist beliefs.[172]Stephen Law states that Holyoake “first coined the term ‘secularism'”.[173]

Atheism in the 20th century, particularly in the form of practical atheism, advanced in many societies. Atheistic thought found recognition in a wide variety of other, broader philosophies, such as existentialism, objectivism, secular humanism, nihilism, anarchism, logical positivism, Marxism, feminism,[174] and the general scientific and rationalist movement.

In addition, state atheism emerged in Eastern Europe and Asia during that period, particularly in the Soviet Union under Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, and in Communist China under Mao Zedong. Atheist and anti-religious policies in the Soviet Union included numerous legislative acts, the outlawing of religious instruction in the schools, and the emergence of the League of Militant Atheists.[175][176] After Mao, the Chinese Communist Party remains an atheist organization, and regulates, but does not completely forbid, the practice of religion in mainland China.[177][178][179]

While Geoffrey Blainey has written that “the most ruthless leaders in the Second World War were atheists and secularists who were intensely hostile to both Judaism and Christianity”,[180] Richard Madsen has pointed out that Hitler and Stalin each opened and closed churches as a matter of political expedience, and Stalin softened his opposition to Christianity in order to improve public acceptance of his regime during the war.[181] Blackford and Schklenk have written that “the Soviet Union was undeniably an atheist state, and the same applies to Maoist China and Pol Pot’s fanatical Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia in the 1970s. That does not, however, show that the atrocities committed by these totalitarian dictatorships were the result of atheist beliefs, carried out in the name of atheism, or caused primarily by the atheistic aspects of the relevant forms of communism.”[182]

Logical positivism and scientism paved the way for neopositivism, analytical philosophy, structuralism, and naturalism. Neopositivism and analytical philosophy discarded classical rationalism and metaphysics in favor of strict empiricism and epistemological nominalism. Proponents such as Bertrand Russell emphatically rejected belief in God. In his early work, Ludwig Wittgenstein attempted to separate metaphysical and supernatural language from rational discourse. A. J. Ayer asserted the unverifiability and meaninglessness of religious statements, citing his adherence to the empirical sciences. Relatedly the applied structuralism of Lvi-Strauss sourced religious language to the human subconscious in denying its transcendental meaning. J. N. Findlay and J. J. C. Smart argued that the existence of God is not logically necessary. Naturalists and materialistic monists such as John Dewey considered the natural world to be the basis of everything, denying the existence of God or immortality.[53][183]

Other leaders like Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, a prominent atheist leader of India, fought against Hinduism and Brahmins for discriminating and dividing people in the name of caste and religion.[184] This was highlighted in 1956 when he arranged for the erection of a statue depicting a Hindu god in a humble representation and made antitheistic statements.[185]

Atheist Vashti McCollum was the plaintiff in a landmark 1948 Supreme Court case that struck down religious education in US public schools.[186]Madalyn Murray O’Hair was perhaps one of the most influential American atheists; she brought forth the 1963 Supreme Court case Murray v. Curlett which banned compulsory prayer in public schools.[187] In 1966, Time magazine asked “Is God Dead?”[188] in response to the Death of God theological movement, citing the estimation that nearly half of all people in the world lived under an anti-religious power, and millions more in Africa, Asia, and South America seemed to lack knowledge of the Christian view of theology.[189] The Freedom From Religion Foundation was co-founded by Anne Nicol Gaylor and her daughter, Annie Laurie Gaylor, in 1976 in the United States, and incorporated nationally in 1978. It promotes the separation of church and state.[190][191]

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the number of actively anti-religious regimes has reduced considerably. In 2006, Timothy Shah of the Pew Forum noted “a worldwide trend across all major religious groups, in which God-based and faith-based movements in general are experiencing increasing confidence and influence vis–vis secular movements and ideologies.”[192] However, Gregory S. Paul and Phil Zuckerman consider this a myth and suggest that the actual situation is much more complex and nuanced.[193]

A 2010 survey found that those identifying themselves as atheists or agnostics are on average more knowledgeable about religion than followers of major faiths. Nonbelievers scored better on questions about tenets central to Protestant and Catholic faiths. Only Mormon and Jewish faithful scored as well as atheists and agnostics.[194]

In 2012, the first “Women in Secularism” conference was held in Arlington, Virginia.[195] Secular Woman was organized in 2012 as a national organization focused on nonreligious women.[196] The atheist feminist movement has also become increasingly focused on fighting sexism and sexual harassment within the atheist movement itself.[197] In August 2012, Jennifer McCreight (the organizer of Boobquake) founded a movement within atheism known as Atheism Plus, or A+, that “applies skepticism to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, politics, poverty, and crime”.[198][199][200]

In 2013 the first atheist monument on American government property was unveiled at the Bradford County Courthouse in Florida: a 1,500-pound granite bench and plinth inscribed with quotes by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Madalyn Murray O’Hair.[201][202]

New Atheism is the name given to a movement among some early-21st-century atheist writers who have advocated the view that “religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises.”[203] The movement is commonly associated with Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Victor J. Stenger, and Christopher Hitchens.[204] Several best-selling books by these authors, published between 2004 and 2007, form the basis for much of the discussion of New Atheism.

These atheists generally seek to disassociate themselves from the mass political atheism that gained ascendency in various nations in the 20th century. In best selling books, the religiously motivated terrorist events of 9/11 and the partially successful attempts of the Discovery Institute to change the American science curriculum to include creationist ideas, together with support for those ideas from George W. Bush in 2005, have been cited by authors such as Harris, Dennett, Dawkins, Stenger, and Hitchens as evidence of a need to move society towards atheism.[206]

It is difficult to quantify the number of atheists in the world. Respondents to religious-belief polls may define “atheism” differently or draw different distinctions between atheism, non-religious beliefs, and non-theistic religious and spiritual beliefs.[207] A Hindu atheist would declare oneself as a Hindu, although also being an atheist at the same time.[208] A 2010 survey published in Encyclopdia Britannica found that the non-religious made up about 9.6% of the world’s population, and atheists about 2.0%, with a very large majority based in Asia. This figure did not include those who follow atheistic religions, such as some Buddhists.[209] The average annual change for atheism from 2000 to 2010 was 0.17%.[209] A broad figure estimates the number of atheists and agnostics on Earth at 1.1 billion.[210]

According to global studies done by Gallup International, 13% of respondents were “convinced atheists” in 2012 and 11% were “convinced atheists” in 2015.[24][211] As of 2012, the top ten countries with people who viewed themselves as “convinced atheists” were China (47%), Japan (31%), the Czech Republic (30%), France (29%), South Korea (15%), Germany (15%), Netherlands (14%), Austria (10%), Iceland (10%), Australia (10%), and the Republic of Ireland (10%) [212]

According to the 2010 Eurobarometer Poll, the percentage of those polled who agreed with the statement “you don’t believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force” varied from: France (40%), Czech Republic (37%), Sweden (34%), Netherlands (30%), and Estonia (29%), down to Poland (5%), Greece (4%), Cyprus (3%), Malta (2%), and Romania (1%), with the European Union as a whole at 20%.[28] In a 2012 Eurobarometer poll on discrimination in the European Union, 16% of those polled considered themselves non believers/agnostics and 7% considered themselves atheists.[214] According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 22% of Australians have “no religion”, a category that includes atheists.[215]

According to a Pew Research Center survey in 2012 religiously unaffiliated (including agnostics and atheists) make up about 18% of Europeans.[216] According to the same survey, the religiously unaffiliated are the majority of the population only in two European countries: Czech Republic (75%) and Estonia (60%).[216] There are another four countries where the unaffiliated make up a majority of the population: North Korea (71%), Japan (57%), Hong Kong (56%), and China (52%).[216]

In the US, there was a 1% to 5% increase in self-reported atheism from 2005 to 2012, and a larger drop in those who self-identified as “religious”, down by 13%, from 73% to 60%.[217] According to the World Values Survey, 4.4% of Americans self-identified as atheists in 2014.[218] However, the same survey showed that 11.1% of all respondents stated “no” when asked if they believed in God.[218] In 1984, these same figures were 1.1% and 2.2%, respectively. According to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Center, 3.1% of the US adult population identify as atheist, up from 1.6% in 2007, and within the religiously unaffiliated (or “no religion”) demographic, atheists made up 13.6%.[219] According to the 2015 General Sociological Survey the number of atheists and agnostics in the US has remained relatively flat in the past 23 years since in 1991 only 2% identified as atheist and 4% identified as agnostic and in 2014 only 3% identified as atheists and 5% identified as agnostics.[220]

A study noted positive correlations between levels of education and secularism, including atheism, in America.[87] According to evolutionary psychologist Nigel Barber, atheism blossoms in places where most people feel economically secure, particularly in the social democracies of Europe, as there is less uncertainty about the future with extensive social safety nets and better health care resulting in a greater quality of life and higher life expectancy. By contrast, in underdeveloped countries, there are virtually no atheists.[221] In a 2008 study, researchers found intelligence to be negatively related to religious belief in Europe and the United States. In a sample of 137 countries, the correlation between national IQ and disbelief in God was found to be 0.60.[222]

Links to related articles

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Getting started with Bitcoin mining What is Bitcoin Mining …

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Getting started with Bitcoin mining What is Bitcoin Mining …
Jan 192016
 

Price … Global Vol. … Diff. … You will learn (1) how bitcoin mining works, (2) how to start mining bitcoins, (3) what the best bitcoin mining software is, (4) what the best bitcoin mining hardware is, (5) where to find the best bitcoin mining pools and (6) how to optimize your bitcoin earnings.

Bitcoin mining is difficult to do profitably but if you try then this Bitcoin miner is probably a good shot.

Before you start mining Bitcoin, it’s useful to understand what Bitcoin mining really means. Bitcoin mining is legal and is accomplished by running SHA256 double round hash verification processes in order to validate Bitcoin transactions and provide the requisite security for the public ledger of the Bitcoin network. The speed at which you mine Bitcoins is measured in hashes per second.

The Bitcoin network compensates Bitcoin miners for their effort by releasing bitcoin to those who contribute the needed computational power. This comes in the form of both newly issued bitcoins and from the transaction fees included in the transactions validated when mining bitcoins. The more computing power you contribute then the greater your share of the reward.

Purchasing Bitcoins – Although it’s not yet easy to buy bitcoins, it’s getting simpler every day. You may want to check the bitcoin charts.

To begin mining bitcoins, you’ll need to acquire bitcoin mining hardware. In the early days of bitcoin, it was possible to mine with your computer CPU or high speed video processor card. Today that’s no longer possible. Custom Bitcoin ASIC chips offer performance up to 100x the capability of older systems have come to dominate the Bitcoin mining industry.

Bitcoin mining with anything less will consume more in electricity than you are likely to earn. It’s essential to mine bitcoins with the best bitcoin mining hardware built specifically for that purpose. Several companies such as Avalon offer excellent systems built specifically for bitcoin mining.

Currently, based on (1) price per hash and (2) electrical efficiency the best Bitcoin miner options are:

Manufacturer

$1,589.00

$499.97

$33.87

Once you’ve received your bitcoin mining hardware, you’ll need to download a special program used for Bitcoin mining. There are many programs out there that can be used for Bitcoin mining, but the two most popular are CGminer and BFGminer which are command line programs.

If you prefer the ease of use that comes with a GUI, you might want to try EasyMiner which is a click and go windows/Linux/Android program.

You may want to learn more detailed information on the best bitcoin mining software.

Once you’re ready to mine bitcoins then we recommend joining a Bitcoin mining pool. Bitcoin mining pools are groups of Bitcoin miners working together to solve a block and share in it’s rewards. Without a Bitcoin mining pool, you might mine bitcoins for over a year and never earn any bitcoins. It’s far more convenient to share the work and split the reward with a much larger group of Bitcoin miners. Here are some options:

For a fully decentralized pool, we highly recommend p2pool.

The following pools are believed to be currently fully validating blocks with Bitcoin Core 0.9.5 or later (0.10.2 or later recommended due to DoS vulnerabilities):

The next step to mining bitcoins is to set up a Bitcoin wallet or use your existing Bitcoin wallet to receive the Bitcoins you mine. A Bitcoin wallet is like a traditional wallet and can be software, mobile or web-based. Bitcoin hardware wallets are also available.

Bitcoins are sent to your Bitcoin wallet by using a unique address that only belongs to you. The most important step in setting up your Bitcoin wallet is securing it from potential threats by enabling two-factor authentication or keeping it on an offline computer that doesn’t have access to the Internet. Wallets can be obtained by downloading a software client to your computer.

For help in choosing a Bitcoin wallet then you can get started here.

You will also need to be able to buy and sell your Bitcoins. For this we recommend:

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Swimming Beaches in Kentucky | USA Today

 Beaches  Comments Off on Swimming Beaches in Kentucky | USA Today
Jan 192016
 

In addition to swimming, many Kentucky lakes feature largemouth bass fishing. (Photo: Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images )

While the landlocked state of Kentucky doesn’t have an ocean or gulf coast beaches, it has many lakes. Kentucky’s park system operates eight state parks that feature public beaches where swimming is allowed. Many of these parks also feature recreational pools and camping facilities. Resort-style parks offer additional lodging, dining and recreation activities, giving families plenty to do after leaving the beach.

Barren River Lake State Resort Park (parks.ky.gov), located near the south-central Kentucky town of Lucas, features a public lake-front beach. The sandy shores offer many opportunities for swimming, sunbathing and building sand castles. Also at Barren River Lake, guests will find a large marina and boat dock and plenty of fishing, as the lake features largemouth bass, striped bass, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie and rough fish. Make your stay on the shore of Barren River Lake an overnight stay by pitching a tent in the park’s 99-site seasonal campground, renting an on-site cottage or booking a room in the park’s lodge. After a day of swimming, grab a bite to eat in the Driftwood Restaurant, specializing in fresh-caught fish dishes and burgers.

In Eastern Kentucky, swimmers and sunbathers flock to the Buckthorn Lake State Park (parks.ky.gov) beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Guests wishing to take a dip in the lake may make use of the lakeside bathhouse, changing rooms and shower areas. Other recreation opportunities include pontoon boat and fishing boat rentals, as well as a guest-use marina open from April through October. For overnight accommodations, Buckhorn Lake features a handful of rental cabins and rooms in the park lodge. Guests staying in the Lodge or renting a cabin also have access to the exclusive park pool, providing a swimming escape when the beach becomes too crowded. Grab breakfast, lunch or dinner from the Bowlington Country Kitchen. The restaurant specializing in homestyle country cooking.

Lake Barkley State Park (parks.ky.gov), in southern Kentucky, sits along the eastern shore of Lake Barkley, Kentucky’s largest man-made lake. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, guests flock to the public beach for lake swimming and recreation. At this beach, guests have access to a bathhouse for cleaning up and showering after a day of splashing around in the lake. Challenge each other to game of beach volleyball on the available courts. Take a tour of the 52,000 acre lake by renting an available pontoon, fishing or ski boats. Host a fish fry after catching largemouth bass, bluegill, white bass and Kentucky bass. Extend a day-trip into a family vacation by booking a room in the Lake Barkley Lodge or renting a cabin. The park also features a campsite welcoming both RV and tent camping.

The Rough River Dam State Park (parks.ky.gov) sits along the shores of a 5,000-acre lake, in western Kentucky. During the summer vacation season, the park staff opens up the public Rough River Dam beach for swimming. Guests to the beach may use the public bathhouse for changing. Despite its moniker, Rough River is an ideal beach for family swimming, as the water remains fairly gentle. Winds blow in gentle waves. After swimming head to the Grayson Landing Restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant specializes in local Kentucky dishes such as ham and catfish. Extend your stay at Rough River by booking a stay in the lodge or renting a lakeside cottage. From mid-March through November, guests may also bring an RV and camp in the 74-site campground. Cottage and lodge guests also have access to the swimming pool, which overlooks the beach.

Pennyrile Forest State Park (parks.ky.gov) offers a public beach for swimming in the western Kentucky town of Dawson Springs. The public beach sits on the shores of the Pennyrile Lake, offers swimming in gentle waters, featuring small waves. The sandy beach sits adjacent to the lake’s boat dock, which offers paddle boats, row boats, canoes and trolling motor boats. Enjoy some lake fishing, catching bluegill, channel catfish, crappie and largemouth bass. At Pennyroyal, like other Kentucky state parks, guests may rent rooms in the lodge or rental cottages. Lodge and cottage guests also have access to the park’s swimming pool. A full service campground features addition accommodations with 68 sites. Enjoy a meal at the Clifty Creek Restaurant when swimming makes the family work up an appetite. The restaurant features country, Kentucky favorites such as catfish, fried chicken and baby back ribs.

Carr Creek State Park sits in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, offering a marsh eco-system fairly unique to the area. Guests may enjoy this alpine Kentucky marsh park, which features a number of recreational activities. In the summer, guests flock to the sandy beach, which is the longest of any in the Kentucky state park system. Fishing opportunities abound at Carr Creek with bass, crappie and walleye being the most commonly caught fish. Guests interested in exploring more of the 750-acre lake may rent pontoon or fishing boats at the nearby marina. Take advantage of this park’s rustic setting by camping in the 39-site campground. This beach has no no bathhouses or restaurants.

In central Kentucky, Green River State Park provides an excellent opportunity for beach side camping and lake swimming. On the shores of a 8,200 lake, guests will find public beach access in front of the Green River park’s campground. Open seasonally, the park’s beach features a volleyball sand court, which commonly hosts pick-up games throughout the summer. Guests will find gentle waves along the beach and calm waters for swimming. Bring along the family boat for bass, crappie, bluegill and muskie. From March through November, camp along the shores, with 157 sites. The campground features a grocery store, shower room, bathhouses and guest laundry.

Lake Malone State Park, in western Kentucky, offers guests access to a 788-acre lake. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Lake Malone features public beach access. Ideal for swimming and playing, the beach features several amenities to help guests enjoy their stay. During the summer season, Lake Malone offers a bathhouse with showers and vending machines. Plan a family camping trip and bring along a fishing boat. Lake Malone offers a public boat ramp and the lake features channel catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and redear sunfish. Camp accommodations include 30 sites for tent camping and 25 RV hookups. Laundry, showers and restrooms are also available for campers.

A freelance writer for various online publications, Erin Maurer covers travel destinations, gardening and home decorating projects. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from Widener University in Chester, Pa.

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Plymouth County Beaches | Plymouth, MA | Destination …

 Beaches  Comments Off on Plymouth County Beaches | Plymouth, MA | Destination …
Jan 182016
 

Plymouth Beach

137 Warren Avenue

Take Rt. 3A south from Plymouth Center, about 2.5 miles. The Beach entrance is on your left just after passing Plimoth Plantation (137 Warren Ave). Restrooms and snack bar are located on the beach. There are signs posted regarding the area dogs are allowed in. No lifeguards after Labor Day. Read more about Plymouth Beach

Sandwich Street South end of Waterfront (off Union Street)

Stephens Field is located in Downtown Plymouth with entrances on Sandwich and Union streets. The park features playground, basketball court, baseball field and four tennis courts. Visitors can sit by the duck pond and enjoy a picnic, or take advantage of the small boat launch. Read more about Stephen’s Field Park

Standish Street

Great for lounging and walking. However, be mindful that this beach is extremely rocky. There is a port a potty off the beach and a small snack bar. Lifeguards Snack Bar Restrooms Basketball Courts Resident Stickered Parking Non-resident parking $10 daily, $15 weekends & holidays Read more about Rexhame Beach

Scusset Beach Road

Scusset Beach is located on Cape Cod Bay at the east end of the Cape Cod Canal. It is a popular swimming and year-round camping area. There are 98 sites with water and electric utilities for RV campers and 5 tent only campsites. For salt water anglers, the area offers a popular fishing pier, a 3000 foot breakwater and 1 1/2 miles of frontage along the canal. Read more about Scusset Beach

Taylor Avenue

This is a beautiful public beach, however there is very limited parking and a resident parking sticker is needed, no lifeguards, no dogs allowed and no restrooms. Please plan accordingly. Hours open are 9am-5pm. Take Rt. 3A south to Rocky Hill Road. Take a left onto the road, follow to end, take a left. Read more about White Horse Beach

State Road Route 3A

Ellisville Harbor offers views of a barrier beach, a sphagnum bog, forested upland, open meadows and, sometimes, small fishing boats. Recreation activities include walking, bird watching, beach combing, swimming and sightseeing. In fall and winter, harbor seals can often be seen just offshore. Read more about Ellisville Harbor State Park

Duxbury Beach Duxbury, MA

Coming from the north or south – Rt 3 to exit 11- take a right off the ramp- go straight onto Rt 139 past the Duxbury police station at the fork in the road bear left for 2 miles. At the intersection, go straight across, go 3 miles- there will be a large green highway sign on your right with an arrow pointing to Duxbury Beach- go right- follow to the end of the road.

213 Nantasket Ave

Open year-round, dawn to dusk. Lifeguards on duty from late June to early September. Nantasket Beach has been a popular summer destination for city dwellers since the middle of the 19th century. The historic Paragon Carousel evokes memories of the area’s amusement park history. Read more about Nantasket Beach

182 Onset Avenue Exit 1 off Rte. 25

Onset Beach, located in the Onset section of Wareham is a smooth, sandy beach with warm Buzzards Bay water. This area is popular, so be prepared for crowds. Amenities consist of a bandstand for summer events. Lifeguard – Food concession – Restrooms – Parking charge Read more about Onset Beach

3031 Cranberry Hwy

Its family fun for everyone at Southern New Englands only water park. Water Wizz! Surfs always up at the Muscle Beach Wave pool. Get wet n wild at Captain Kids Island! Or relax on the Lazy River. For the more adventurous, take the Pirates Plunge, challenge yourself on Squid Row or fly down Hurricane Hill. Only an hour from Boston and Providence. Near Buzzards Bay. 5 minutes off Rts. Read more about Water Wizz

Beach Street & Bay Ave

Lifeguards Resident Stickered Parking. Beach Street extension, Post office (dirt lot), Avon Street Beach accessible by Beach Street extension via boardwalk. Porta Potties Read more about Green Harbor Beach

Nelson Street Waterfront area (North end of Water Street)

The newly renovated Nelson Memorial Park is a popular destination for many Plymouth residents and visitors. Families with children will enjoy the playground and picnic area. There is also a new “splash pad” area where kids can cool off on hot summer days. Other features include a new small boat ramp and a bike path that follows the harbor to Hedge Road in North Plymouth. Read more about Nelson Memorial Park

Funding, in part, by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Plymouth County Development Council and the Town of Plymouth Promotions Fund.2012 Destination Plymouth County. All rights reserved. Powered by Shields Design Studio, Plymouth MA

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Plymouth County Beaches | Plymouth, MA | Destination …

 Posted by at 6:41 am  Tagged with:

Beaches & Ocean Fun – Long Island New York

 Beaches  Comments Off on Beaches & Ocean Fun – Long Island New York
Jan 122016
 

Long Island, New York beaches are world-renowned for their fine white sand, spectacular waves, miles of boardwalks, beach trails, restaurants, picnic areas, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Of all the fun activities in Long Island, New York, spending a day on the shore is at the top of the list. From Jones Beach State Park, a west Long Island beach less than an hour from NYC, to Robert Moses State Park, Sunken Meadow State Park, Orient Point Beach State Park, Wildwood State Park, Montauk State Park, Smith Point County Park, and Hither Hills State Park on the east end of Long Island.

Beaches here are popular vacation destinations for those who love to swim, fish, kayak, surf and scuba diveyou’ll never tire of all the things to do on Long Island, New York beaches.And since two of our beaches were ranked number one in Dr. Beach’sTop Ten Beacheslist, you’re sure to be impressed with what we have to offer.View our interactive map to explore the coastline and discover more places to go and things to do in the Long Island outdoors. Browse Suffolk County vacation packages and deals for an affordable way to stay and explore the Long Island beach scene.

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Beaches & Ocean Fun – Long Island New York

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Eugenics – Rotten.com

 Eugenics  Comments Off on Eugenics – Rotten.com
Jan 112016
 

rotten > Library > Medicine > Eugenics Eugenics means selective breeding — not in the sense that you are individually selective regarding persons with whom you breed, but rather that someone else is pulling the strings in order to get a specific result. Eugenics techniques are used all over the world, every day, for all manner of God’s creatures, but if you try using them on humans, people get very upset.

The theory behind eugenics is simple: When good people bone good people, good babies with good genes result. The trouble comes when trying to apply eugenics in an organized way to society, with the biggest problem being that someone has to decide who the “good people” are. Anyone who concludes that he or she is qualified to make this determination is generally the last person in the world who should have such power.

Early human civilizations had no special qualms about killing children who were sick or deformed, although they were not likely thinking about the genetic repercussions of doing so. The concept of selective breeding to enhance certain traits reaches back to prehistoric times, about 10,000 years ago, at least as far as animals are concerned. “Eugenics” is the word for a social mandate to impose selective breeding on a human population for the presumed good of all mankind, with the operative word being “presumed.”

The idea appears to have first been extended to humans by Plato, of all people, who recommended in his Republic that the ruling class should be carefully maintained by a secret program of selective breeding in which seemingly random orgies would be staged in order to breed desirable qualities. Strangely, this program tends to be left out of high school history books.

The actual word “eugenics” was invented by Francis Galton, a British scientist who was distantly related to Charles Darwin. In addition to studying the weather and analyzing fingerprints, Galton was deeply interested in how intelligence and talent passed from generation to generation. He invented the word “eugenics” to describe how he believed his insights should be employed — a social program designed to engineer racial superiority through coerced optimized breeding.

Galton believed people should be bred for success just like cattle. That is not a rhetorical flourish — Galton literally argued that people should be bred in the same manner as cattle, racehorses and dogs.

Darwin himself did not endorse his cousin’s views, although he conceded that there was a certain logic in the view that natural selection was no longer working to improve the human species:

Although some of Galton’s observations on social mating and inheritance were scientifically inspired, the overall thrust of his musings on genetics tended toward an aggressive defense of colonial-style racism, with much discussion of Britons — and especially upper-crust British nobility — as the master race, best suited to govern the “lower races,” especially people of (any) color. (The fallacy of this view is painfully obvious.)

Building on Galton’s ideas, a small group of intellectuals seized on the idea of eugenics and began working to promote the idea to governments and other cultural institutions. They succeeded in winning support from such luminaries as a young Winston Churchill who served as vice president of the First International Congress of Eugenics in 1912, and the Catholic Church. The esteemed elders of the Church had no beef with using eugenics to stamp out “undesirable” traits and prevent race-mixing, although they did object to the use of contraception. The 1914 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia explained their position:

In the wake of World War II and the Holocaust, Western civilization conveniently edited the history books to obscure the fact that the eugenics movement had been quite popular all around the world. Although the modern mind would love to lump the responsibility for the horrors of eugenics onto the Third Reich, the movement originally garnered substantial momentum in the United States in the early 20th century.

America had already had its fair share of racial troubles, from the genocide of the continent’s original inhabitants to longstanding laws against interracial marriage to the “single drop” rule. A number of factors fed racial discontent in the U.S. as the 20th century began — the emancipation of blacks, a flood of immigration, the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan and an economic depression.

The American eugenics movement took on steam with the discovery of genetic coding and the rise of such revolutionary figures as Margaret Sanger, a nurse who has been lionized by history and the abortion rights movement as an early advocate of contraception education.

Sanger was a screaming racist and a founding member of the Eugenics Society of America. Among other things, she advocated the sterilization of the mentally and physically disabled and endorsed the use of birth control to suppress what she saw as the tendency of the lower classes and “inferior races” to breed like rabbits. Later, she apparently reformed her views (although a substantial amount of controversy endures on this topic).

Sanger was hardly alone in her views. During the first 40 years of the 20th century, Americans embarked on a eugenics program that was in many ways as ambitious in scope as any of Adolf Hitler’s wet dream. In 1921, then-vice president and future president Calvin Coolidge wrote an anti-immigration rant for Good Housekeeping Magazine in which he bemoaned the mix of good Nordic (i.e., white) stock with “inferior” races:

Later, as president, Coolidge signed the Immigration Restriction Act of 1924 — which targeted dirty Italians and those dirty, dirty Jews — declaring that “America must remain American!” The law clamped lid on the good old “melting pot”, but then that was mostly a myth to begin with.

Other prominent American supporters of eugenics included Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, biologist Charles Davenport, steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh and coprologist Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Several U.S. states instituted a variety of eugenics-inspired laws — including bans on mixed-race marriage and the first laws in history to compel the sterilization of the “unfit” or disabled.

Many of these laws remained on the books for decades. Virginia’s forced sterilization law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in an opinion written by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., now remembered by history as one of the greatest legal minds of the 20th century. Holmes not only upheld the compulsory sterilization law; he complained that it was not broad enough.

But, it is said, however it might be if this reasoning were applied generally, it fails when it is confined to the small number who are in the institutions named and is not applied to the multitudes outside.

At least 60,000 people were involuntarily sterilized for the greater good of eugenics in the United States, and that number is almost certainly a whitewash of a substantially more depressing reality. The figure also fails to include the effects of a wide array of secretive medical experiments conducted under the auspices of the U.S. government, such as feeding radioactive mush to the mentally disabled.

The man perhaps most responsible for the success and influence of the American eugenics movement was also unintentionally responsible for its eventual fall from grace. Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller financed hundreds of thousands of dollars of research through his “philanthropic” foundations, and the inflation-adjusted equivalent of millions of dollars given directly to Germany’s budding Nazi pursuit of a master race, including funds that indirectly helped underwrite the playscape of Josef Mengele.

Although America had incubated the eugenics movement, Germany mechanized it to levels of efficiency never seen before (and hopefully never to be seen again). The Germans decided that their nation had to restore its pure blonde, blue-eyed Aryan heritage by purging foreign bloodlines, particularly Jews.

Putting aside the ensuing carnage for the moment, this concept is hilariously, ludicrously wrong. The mythopoetic blue-eyed ideal human race that dominated the Nazi imagination was itself a bastardization of the genuine Aryan stock, brought about by race-mixing. The original Aryans were Semites from Iran, more closely related to Jews than to Scandanavians.

After absorbing the rhetoric of American eugenicists and the money of American “philanthropists,” the Germans began an institutionalized eugenics program after Hitler took power in 1933. Initially, the program was directly based on U.S. eugenics laws. First, they mandated sterilization for anyone with an inherited condition such as congenital blindness or deafness, most forms of mental illness and alcoholism. This program prompted the New England Medical Journal to gush: “Germany is perhaps the most progressive nation in restricting fecundity among the unfit.”

American eugenicists were proud of inspiring Germany’s program, while American government officials eyed Hitler’s progress with envy. Many wrote that Germany’s efforts would be the seed of a worldwide movement and looked forward to the day when America’s leaders would follow the Nazi example.

Although the earlier efforts had largely concerned themselves with overt “unfitness”, the subtext of Jewish inferiority and other racial hate had continued to play out at every level of German society. It didn’t take long for this aspect of the Nazi agenda became clearer.

In 1935, the Nazis passed a law requiring couples to receive “racial hygiene” counseling before marriage, including answering questions about whether they had any Jewish blood. The government cranked out propaganda films intended to discourage race mixing. Jews and Gypsies were the biggest targets, and blacks, Slavs and gays were all designated “unfit” by the Reich.

As we all know (well, most of us), the Germans quickly determined that sterilization was a slow process, and that genocide went much faster. Although the Holocaust was arguably carried out in the name of eugenics, the scope of what happened next far exceeded anything Galton probably envisioned and is best discussed elsewhere. By the end of World War II, suffice it to say, the excesses of the Nazi regime had crushed most of the momentum that the eugenicists had built during the preceding 40 years.

Amazingly, the world’s shock and horror at the depravities of the Nazi extermination machine failed to completely derail the eugenics movement. It lingered through the late 1960s and even into the ’70s, but in a much quieter mode. By the early 1980s, forced sterilizations and anti-miscegenation laws had become a thing of the past.

In part, the disenchantment with eugenics came about due to the fatal flaw with the concept, that of the self-appointed arbiter of what is a desirable trait and what is not. As civil rights and racial equality rose in prominence, the eugenicists began to slink off into the woodwork.

The word is still bandied about, often by religious conservatives who believe that abortion rights and family planning programs are camouflaged eugenics programs. However, nearly everyone advancing this argument is anti-abortion first, and anti-eugenics second.

As genetic science became more sophisticated in the 1990s, some scientists also began to tiptoe around the notion of controlled breeding again, although no one is suggesting such a plan be imposed by the government any more. Instead, researchers cautiously note that certain conditions — such as Autism and specifically Asperger’s Syndrome — are extremely heritable among certain types of parents, with the gentle hint that maybe engineers shouldn’t marry other engineers. (The fact that Asperger’s may be part of a forward step in human evolution is quietly underplayed in such discussions.)

Fortunately, perhaps, there is little foreseeable use for the concept of controlled breeding, sterilization of “undesirables” and anti-miscegenation laws. The idea of manipulating the human animal through selective breeding is obsolete.

Future zealots who wish to “improve” the human race according to their own master plan will use the tools of genetic engineering to accomplish their goals. Why mess around with people’s sex lives when you can just inject them with an RNA retrovirus and magically remove all the undesirable qualities from their DNA? No muss, no fuss, no Nuremberg Tribunal!

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Eugenics – Rotten.com

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Home – The Future of Freedom Foundation

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Jan 032016
 

Latest From Our Contributors Book Review: An Enjoyable Guide to Economics by Richard M. Ebeling January 1, 2016

Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You about Economics by John Tamny (Washington, D.C.: Regnery …

The December 2013 Future of Freedom contained my article A Supreme Rebuff for USDAs Ruinous Raisin Regime. The legal case surrounding that controversy kept …

I am writing to seek your financial support to help us continue the battle for liberty …

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.George Santayana,The Life of Reason, Vol. 1 In Harold Ramis classic 1993 comedyGroundhog Day, TV …

Each week, FFF president Jacob Hornberger and Richard M. Ebeling discuss the hot topics of the day. This week, …

The year that is just closing, 2015, has been full of events that continue to dominate the news, including renewed racial tensions on the …

The essence of libertarianism is that a person should be free to live his life in any manner he chooses as long as his …

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Founded in 1989, The Future of Freedom Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit educational foundation whose mission is to present an uncompromising moral, philosophical, and economic case for the free society.

We hold that the welfare-state, warfare-state way of life that has come to characterize our nation violates not only the founding principles of the United States, as reflected by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but also the fundamental principles of freedom.

Our methodology revolves around the spreading of ideas on liberty, which we believe is the best way to restore a free, prosperous, and harmonious society to our land. We invite you to explore freedom with us and to support our efforts to advance the principles of freedom.

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free speech fundamentalists – New Statesman

 Free Speech  Comments Off on free speech fundamentalists – New Statesman
Jan 022016
 

Dear liberal pundit,

You and I didnt like George W Bush. Remember his puerile declaration after 9/11 that either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists? Yet now, in the wake of another horrific terrorist attack, you appear to have updated Dubbyas slogan: either you are with free speech . . . or you are against it. Either vous tes Charlie Hebdo . . . or youre a freedom-hating fanatic.

Im writing to you to make a simple request: please stop. You think youre defying the terrorists when, in reality, youre playing into their bloodstained hands by dividing and demonising. Us and them. The enlightened and liberal west v the backward, barbaric Muslims. The massacre in Paris on 7 January was, you keep telling us, an attack on free speech. The conservative former French president Nicolas Sarkozy agrees, calling it a war declared on civilisation. So, too, does the liberal-left pin-up Jon Snow, who crassly tweeted about a clash of civilisations and referred to Europes belief in freedom of expression.

In the midst of all the post-Paris grief, hypocrisy and hyperbole abounds. Yes, the attack was an act of unquantifiable evil; an inexcusable and merciless murder of innocents. But was it really a bid to assassinate free speech (ITVs Mark Austin), to desecrate our ideas of free thought (Stephen Fry)? It was a crime not an act of war perpetrated by disaffected young men; radicalised not by drawings of the Prophet in Europe in 2006 or 2011, as it turns out, but by images of US torture in Iraq in 2004.

Please get a grip. None of us believes in an untrammelled right to free speech. We all agree there are always going to be lines that, for the purposes of law and order, cannot be crossed; or for the purposes of taste and decency, should not be crossed. We differ only on where those lines should be drawn.

Has your publication, for example, run cartoons mocking the Holocaust? No? How about caricatures of the 9/11 victims falling from the twin towers? I didnt think so (and I am glad it hasnt). Consider also the thought experiment offered by the Oxford philosopher Brian Klug. Imagine, he writes, if a man had joined the unity rally in Paris on 11 January wearing a badge that said Je suis Chrif the first name of one of the Charlie Hebdo gunmen. Suppose, Klug adds, he carried a placard with a cartoon mocking the murdered journalists. How would the crowd have reacted? . . . Would they have seen this lone individual as a hero, standing up for liberty and freedom of speech? Or would they have been profoundly offended? Do you disagree with Klugs conclusion that the man would have been lucky to get away with his life?

Lets be clear: I agree there is no justification whatsoever for gunning down journalists or cartoonists. I disagree with your seeming view that the right to offend comes with no corresponding responsibility; and I do not believe that a right to offend automatically translates into a duty to offend.

When you say Je suis Charlie, is that an endorsement of Charlie Hebdos depiction of the French justice minister, Christiane Taubira, who is black, drawn as a monkey? Of crude caricatures of bulbous-nosed Arabs that must make Edward Said turn in his grave?

Lampooning racism by reproducing brazenly racist imagery is a pretty dubious satirical tactic. Also, as the former Charlie Hebdo journalist Olivier Cyran argued in 2013, an Islamophobic neurosis gradually took over the magazine after 9/11, which then effectively endorsed attacks on “members of a minority religion with no influence in the corridors of power”.

It’s for these reasons that I can’t “be”, dont want to be”, Charlie if anything, we should want to be Ahmed, the Muslim policeman who was killed while protecting the magazines right to exist. As the novelist Teju Cole has observed, It is possible to defend the right to obscene . . . speech without promoting or sponsoring the content of that speech.

And why have you been so silent on the glaring double standards? Did you not know that Charlie Hebdo sacked the veteran French cartoonist Maurice Sinet in 2008 for making an allegedly anti-Semitic remark? Were you not aware that Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that published caricatures of the Prophet in 2005, reportedly rejected cartoons mocking Christ because they would provoke an outcry and proudly declared it would in no circumstances . . . publish Holocaust cartoons?

Muslims, I guess, are expected to have thicker skins than their Christian and Jewish brethren. Context matters, too. You ask us to laugh at a cartoon of the Prophet while ignoring the vilification of Islam across the continent (have you visited Germany lately?) and the widespread discrimination against Muslims in education, employment and public life especially in France. You ask Muslims to denounce a handful of extremists as an existential threat to free speech while turning a blind eye to the much bigger threat to it posed by our elected leaders.

Does it not bother you to see Barack Obama who demanded that Yemen keep the anti-drone journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye behind bars, after he was convicted on terrorism-related charges in a kangaroo court jump on the free speech ban wagon? Werent you sickened to see Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of a country that was responsible for the killing of seven journalists in Gaza in 2014, attend the unity rally in Paris? Bibi was joined by Angela Merkel, chancellor of a country where Holocaust denial is punishable by up to five years in prison, and David Cameron, who wants to ban non-violent extremists committed to the overthrow of democracy from appearing on television.

Then there are your readers. Will you have a word with them, please? According to a 2011 YouGov poll, 82 per cent of voters backed the prosecution of protesters who set fire to poppies.

Apparently, it isnt just Muslims who get offended.

Yours faithfully,

Mehdi.

Mehdi Hasan is a New Statesman contributing writer and the political director of the Huffington Post UK, where this column is crossposted

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free speech fundamentalists – New Statesman

 Posted by at 8:40 am  Tagged with:

Mexico Travel – Sights – Lonely Planet

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Dec 252015
 

Jungles, deserts; teeming cities, one-street pueblos; fiesta fireworks, Fridas angst: Mexico conjures up so many vivid images. And the reality lives up to the expectation.

Mexico is packed with culture and history. Its pre-Hispanic civilizations built some of the worlds great archaeological monuments, from Teotihuacns towering pyramids to the exquisitely decorated Maya temples. The Spanish colonial era left beautiful towns full of tree-shaded plazas and richly sculpted stone churches and mansions. Modern Mexico has seen a surge of great art from the likes of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Top-class museums and galleries around the country document Mexicos fascinating history and its endless creative verve. Popular culture is just as vibrant, from the underground dance clubs of Mexico City to the wonderful handicrafts of the indigenous population.

By John Noble, Writer

I first felt Mexico’s pull when reading, as a teenager, the barely credible story of Corts and the Aztecs. My first visit was three months backpacking from the US border to the Guatemalan border, and I found a kind of spiritual home in the green highlands of Chiapas. Since then I’ve wandered over most parts of Mexico on 12 extended trips, and come to love its deserts, coasts, jungles and volcanoes too – and its endless variety of tasty foods, the spectacular evidence of its ancient civilizations, its inspired art and handicrafts, and, most of all, its charming, hospitable people.

At the heart of your Mexican experience will be the Mexican people. A super-diverse crew from city hipsters to shy indigenous villagers, theyre justly renowned for their love of color and frequent fiestas but are also philosophical folk, to whom timetables are less important than simpata (empathy). You will rarely find Mexicans less than courteous; theyre often positively charming, and they know how to please their guests. They might despair of ever being well governed, but they are fiercely proud of Mexico, their one-of-a-kind homeland with all its variety, tight-knit family networks, beautiful-ugly cities, deep-rooted traditions, unique agave-based liquors and sensationally tasty, chili-laden food. It doesnt take long to understand why.

Travel in Mexico is what you make it and the country caters to all types of visitor. Stay in pampering resorts, budget beach huts or colonial mansions. Eat cutting-edge fusion food in chic gourmet restaurants or grandmothers’ recipes at a busy market comedor (food stall). Getting from A to B is easy thanks to comfortable buses that run almost anywhere and an extensive domestic flight network. Or try renting a car: Mexico has some excellent roads, and outside the cities traffic is mostly light.

From the southern jungles to the smoking, snowcapped volcanoes and the cactus-dotted northern deserts, all surrounded by 10,000km of coast strung with sandy beaches and wildlife-rich lagoons, Mexico is an endless adventure for the senses. A climate that ranges from temperate to hot almost everywhere makes for a life spent largely in the open air. Take it easy lying on a beach, dining alfresco or strolling pretty streets, or get out and snorkel warm Caribbean reefs, hike mountain cloud forests or take a boat in search of dolphins or whales.

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Mexico Travel – Sights – Lonely Planet

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Coffeeville, AL Homes for Sale – AL.com

 Beaches  Comments Off on Coffeeville, AL Homes for Sale – AL.com
Dec 252015
 

We’re sorry, no listings were found that match your criteria.

AL.com real estate wants you to have all of the right information to help you make the best decision possible when searching for homes for sale in Coffeeville. We know that the search can be difficult and we strive to make it easier for you. Since we have thousands of homes for sale for you to browse through, there’s no need to go anywhere else.

You can also browse all real estate types and MLS listings by Coffeeville above or you can also view results by neighborhoods or regions.

Whether you’re considering buying or selling property in Alabama or you’re looking for any other information about AL real estate in Coffeeville, you have come to the right place. AL.com can help you find Coffeeville real estate agencies & realtors or AL broker who will help you buy or sell a home, rent an apartment and get you useful information about schools in the area, real estate market conditions and more!

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Coffeeville, AL Homes for Sale – AL.com

 Posted by at 12:41 pm  Tagged with:

Beach and Water Activities in Mississippi’s Gulf Coast

 Beaches  Comments Off on Beach and Water Activities in Mississippi’s Gulf Coast
Dec 252015
 

Theres nothing better than a day at the beach. And the Mississippi Gulf Coast is just the place to kick off your shoes, put your feet in the sand and relax awhile. With sixty-two miles of scenic shoreline, its easy to find a perfect place to set up for a day in the sun.

Care to switch up the sand youre on? Hop on a Ship Island Excursion from Gulfport Small Craft Harbor to West Ship Island, part of Gulf Islands National Seashore. 12 miles offshore from Gulfport, the island offers gorgeous Gulf waters for swimming, sunbathing, shelling and more. In fact, a chain of Gulf Coast islands, including East & West Ship Island, limits the amount of strong waves reaching the mainland beaches, creating calm, gentle waters across the Coast.

Paddle sports anyone? Theres more than enough water around here to keep a paddle sports party going. Or should we say flowing?

And if you want to do a little bird watching, stop by our designated nesting areas for the Least Terns species and grab a photo.

Its a good day for a beach day, dont you think? For a sneak peek of our shores, check out our live beach cam.

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Beach and Water Activities in Mississippi’s Gulf Coast

 Posted by at 12:41 pm  Tagged with:

Eugenics and pandemics | AGAINST THE GLOBALIST POPULATION …

 Eugenics  Comments Off on Eugenics and pandemics | AGAINST THE GLOBALIST POPULATION …
Dec 202015
 

I have been working on my submission to the state prosecutor here in Larisa for the past few days. And driving my Greek translator crazy by my frequent changes. But the effort is paying off, I think. The key evidencethat Greeces Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Billionaire George Soros both have direct knowledge of my blog, and evencopy from my blog (spelling mistakes and all!), now appears in aclearer order and is laid out in a better visual way. Its the best I can do, anyway,given my lack of skills with the Paint programme. What do you think?

TSIPRAS SOROS EVID

The evidence that Tsipras and Soros read my blog and copy from my blog reinforces the notion that they believemy blogis credible, factual and accurate. By extension, it is reasonable to say they believe my accusations against them are credible, factual and accurate. And that they believeothers also findthese credible. At any rate, with such illustrious readers as Soros and Tsipras, I can no longer be dismissed as a conspiracy theorist.

As for the progress of my case, the police in Ajia questioned two key witnesses at the beginning of November. The file is now back in Larisa. Due to the Christmas breakI will not be able to view it until the New Year, indeed from 10th January onwards. Painful experience in Austria has taught me this is the stage where key evidence disappears from the file or the file disappears altogether. This time, I am going to watch overthe filelike a hawk. Its time for somejustice!

It seems, the state prosecutor should take about amonth to determine whether the case goes to trial. If, given the overwhelming evidence of a crime, he or she does not decide to let it go to trial, I will take legal action because it will be a clear case of corruption.

The whole process may, however,be delayed if Tsipras calls yet another election in the New Year as he and banksters like Soros bring Greece evercloser to total financial and social collapse. After all, strong evidence thatTsipras is one of my readers implicates him directlyin the attempt to silence me in April 2015, and gives him a motive to suppress the case by various means.

Anyway, this is the latest, and hopefully, the final draft of my submission on the involvement of Tsipras and Soros. Information concerning individuals who have been stalked and harassed by Theodekti Vallianatou is omitted for the sake of privacy. It is staggering that the Bishop of Volos and Archbishop of Athens have held their protective hand over Theodekti Vallianatou. But then again, the Archbishop of Athens has had numerous meeting with Tsipras and seems to have good relations with him. Tsiprasabandoned plans for more church taxes.

Most of the rest of the information in this reportis already in the public domain.

SUMMARY

You dont write on your blog what everyone else does. Ive called the police. They are coming to confine you.

These were the words of Theodekti Vallianatou after I escaped from an attempt to lock me in an office. It happened just as I was about to leave a monastery in Anatoli, Greece, in April 2015. I thought my end had come.

Meanwhile, new facts in my case, which emerged in September and in October, establish that both Greeces Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Billionaire George Soros have direct and personal knowledge of my blog, birdflu666. That underlines that even if I do not write what anyone else does as Theodekti Vallianatou, my blog is, nevertheless, factual, accurate and credible. Powerful people like Soros and Tsipras do not waste time on reading the blogs of minor conspiracy theorists.

In this report, I will demonstrate Soros and Tsipras had

* knowledge of my blog as proved (Section A.I ) by the reproduction by Alexis Tsipras in his Greek language tweets of a rare spelling mistake I make in my blog post reporting on Tsipras meeting with Austrian Chancellor Werner Fay(n)mann and as proved (Section A.II) by a linguistic analysis of a text written by George Soros.

* a motive for silencing me for disclosing information about their wrongful activities in relation to finance, epidemics and vaccines which pose a significant danger to the public health (Section B).

Proof that Soros and Tsipras not only read my blog, but copy my blog, even a spelling mistake, underlines that they consider the information on my blog to be credible. By extension, they also consider my accusations against them both as credible. Threatened by the exposure of their wrongdoing on my blog, I allege they looked for ways to silence me.

* a means to do it in the form of networks in Greece, which could improperly influence Theodekti Vallianatou, particularly her brother Grigories Vallianatos, by offering financial or other benefits (Section C).

Vallianatos is a graduate of the London School of Economics as is George Soros and Soros close associate former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. Vallianatos is also a long timer former advisor of Papandreou.

* an opportunity in the form of the isolated location of the monastery under the control of Theodekti Vallianatou, the sister of Grigoris Valliantos, as the Abbess of St John the Forerunner monastery, Anatoli, in Greece (Section D).

Ordering native English speaker and Oxford graduate Theoktisti to leave the office (Theoktisti would have testified that my blog met the criteria of investigative journalism), Theodekti tried to use a special law that allows a person to be forcibly confined for one month on the basis of the testimony of only two people. Her plan was to lock me into the office and have me escorted by police and pyschiatric nurses straight from there to a waiting ambulance. I would have been taken to a pyschiatric unit within a collapsing country, whose medical institutions are rife with corruption, an easy picking for any international medical mafia flush with cash to offer bribes, kickbacks and other inducements to staff entrusted with treatign me.

Only after one month of forced medication does Greek law requires that the victim is presented to a judge to assess their state. My lawyer is of the view I would never have come out alive. Indeed, it is likely that forced medication would have made me so incoherent that any judge would have ordered me to continued to be detained. Even if I had been discharged, something which likely would have happened only after forced medication, I would have been left on the streets of Greece with no money, no ID, no phone and no language. Either way my fate would have been sealed.

Theodekti Vallianatou could reasonably have expected that her actions would have set in motion a chain of events that would have resulted in my death. That is why her actions can be called a murder attempt. Her use of physical violence as she attempted to lock me into her office and on other occasions that day and the next underlines the malevolence of her motivation.

I was a victim of the trend of using pyschiatry to silence whistleblowers. Four tax inspectors in Hessen, Germany, have been awarded compensation after they were classified as paranoid and suspended from their jobs and an investigation into a CDU party donation scandal.

http://www.welt.de/debatte/kolumnen/deutsch-sued-west/article149957266/Hessen-schickt-seine-Steuerfahnder-zum-Psychiater.html

A government official who warned about the deficiences in the G36 gun had to take legal action to avoid being sent to a pyschiatrist and declared mad by his employer, the German army.

http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article141784634/Bundeswehr-soll-Waffenexperten-drangsaliert-haben.html

And in April, 2015, just as the snow was beginning to thaw on top of the mountain where the monastery, it was my turn. Yet again.

I was an investigative journalist performing a public watchdog function and about to disappear under the pretext of being mentally ill. There would have been no immediate dead body to have to explain away. Yes, there is even a possibility that the readers of this blog would not have noticed I was no longer writing it. My blog has been hacked before. It could have been continued by an unseen hand, albeit without the punch or even coherence of my usual posts to discredit me in a new, more subtle way. That is a possibility.

You dont speak Greek. No one will believe you. Everyone will believe me. The sisters will say whatever I want them to, Theodekti had said, confident that her plan would work.

Your blog posts show you are mentally ill, she continued, mocking me.

Fast forward eight months later and I can present two new separate pieces of evidence proving that both Tsipras and Soros read my blog. These separate proofs emerged within ten days of each other, implying that Tsipras and Soros have a close working relationship when it comes to me.

According to the Wirtschafts Woche, Soros sponsored Alexis Tsipras as early as 2012. I have reported on the links between Soros and Tsipras on my blog as early as January and February 2015.I have accused Tsipras of being a puppet of the banks injuring the Greek people.

The new proof that both Tsipras and Soros have knowledge of my blog also corroborates claims I made in my police report in July that they were the ones who had the motive, networks and opportunity to silence me. I allege, it makes them, in fact, the prime suspects as the ultimate orchestrators in a premedidated, carefully planned attempt to murder me in April, 2015 by Theodekti Vallianatou.

I allege Soros and Tsipras are at the top of the chain of command and Theodekti Vallianatou at the bottom. The brother of Theodekti, Grigoris Vallianatos is a journalist, and a mayoral candidate for Athens, Grigoris Vallianatos is interested in obtaining high political office and is dependent on donations.

http://www.taz.de/!5048278/

In addition, Grigories Vallianatos, Soros and Papandreou as well as Maurice Saatchi are all graduates of the London School of Economics, creating a particularly close network.

On my blog, I have presented evidence that Soros is at the centre of a shadowy network of Billionaires with mulitple links to key scientists and organizations and media at the centre of the engineered Ebola outbreak. The Billionaires call themselves the Good Club and met in New York in 2009. They discussed ways of curbing overpopulation according to the Sunday Times, including infectious diseases.

Bill Gates and David Rockefeller are other members. I note that David Rockefeller has close links to David Petraeus, the head of KKR, a company which benefits from the policies of Tsipras. A sub company of KKR is Singular Logic, which is in control of every aspect of Greeces elections, and apparently with independent few controls.

Presenting their activities as philanthropy, my blog has presented evidence that they were, in fact, violating laws, funding shady scientists and a complex network of media, NGOs and organizations hiding vital information from the publc. Indeed, their enterprise are dangerous to the public and their success depends entirely on their ability to keep their activities out of the public eye.

As a journalist and a blogger, who had credibility because of my accurate reporting of the swine flu scandal of 2009, I allege I represented an obstacle to their plans for mass epidemic vaccination campaigns with risky vaccines.

I have also explained how the creation of money in the hands of private banks and the resultant interest is crushing countries like Greece. As a science journalist who has some knowledge of economics (my father had a doctorate in economics) I was able to connect the global plans for mass vaccination with the financial crisis. Martial law to control a financial collapse due to debt can be declared under the pretext of having to stop an epidemic.

Knowing the legal avenue of defamation was closed to them because my reports were factual, I allege they chose an illegal avenue.

Threatened by my exposure of their wrong doing on a truly vast scale, I suggest they have considering ways and means to silence me for a long while.

I allege that their desire to silence me took on a new urgency after an Open Letter I wrote to the Chair of the health committee of the UK Parliament in February 2015 warning about Lord Maurice Saatchis Medical Innovation Bill seemed to produce a result. I also called for an investigation into the activities of Soros and Bill Gates in relation to the Ebola epidemic.

At the end of my Open Letter in February, I wrote that I lived in fear of my life because of my investigative journalism activities, which exposed the crimes of a powerful elite. Within two months carefully premeditated attempt was to deprive me of my civil liberties without due process and silence me was made.

The evidence I present in this report suggests a plausible chain of events is that Lord Maurice Saatchi contacted fellow LSE graduate George Soros about my role in blocking his legislation. Soros, in turn contacted his friend in Greece, Papandreou, also an LSE graduate. Papandreou, in turn, contacted his friend and long time advisor Grigoris Vallianatos, also an LSE graduate. He rang Theodekti Vallianatou in the monastery, and told her to come to Athens immediately to flesh out the details of a plan they already had to remove me.

At ay rate, the fact is Theodekti Vallianatou made what she called a spontaneous visit to Athens immediately Lord Saatchis Medical Innovation Bill was unexpectedly blocked by the Liberal Democrats in February. There she stayed for six weeks giving her plenty of time to plan my removal in secrecy together with her brother, a lawyer. Although she is an Abbess and although Easter is a special time, and although the second in command, Theoktisti was away much of the time giving a pre scheduled talk in the USA, Theodekti did not return to the monastery until just before Easter Sunday. Shortly afterwards, Theodekti seized her first and also, as she thought, her last opportunity. She put into effect a coldly, premeditated plan to deprive me of my civil liberties without due process and silence me.

She was thwarted when the local police realized the law was being abused and refused to come, something Theodekti Vallianatou had not reckoned with.

Since then, Theodekti Vallianatou has made every effort to cover up her crime. She actively seeks out information about where I am in Larissa and seizes opportunities to harrass, intimidate and threaten people around me. I note that the Bishop of Volos has held his protective hand over her and empowered her to engage in stalking and harassment against me and another person in Germany involved in a civil defamation case with Theodekti.

A. I) PROOF OF KNOWLEDGE OF MY BLOG ALEXIS TSIPRAS

i. Evidence

Documents

1) A screenshot of tweet by Alexis Tsipras with the incorrect spelling Faynmann from October 6th 2015.

2) A screenshot of tweet Alexis Tsipras sent with the correct spelling of Faymann on 9th February 2015.

3) A screenshot of Google search page of the date of my report with the incorrect spelling Faynmann from 9th February 2015.

4) A screenshot of my report on the meeting between Tsipras and Faymann in Vienna on 9th February, 2015.

5) A screenshot of my cartoon on the meeting between Tsipras and Faymann in Lesbos in October 2015.

6) A screenshot of Google search page of Werner Faynmann showing only 620 results for the incorrect spelling Faynmann in in an English and or German language language Google.

7) A screenshot of Google search page of Werner Faymann showing 482,000 results for the correct spelling Faymann in an English and or German language Google.

8) A screenshot of Greek language Google search page of Werner Faynmann showing 11,800 results for the incorrect spelling Faynmann in Greek letters.

9) A screenshot of Greek language Google search page of Werner Faymann showing 89,000 results for the correct spelling Faymann in Greek letters.

10) A screenshot of Alexis Tsipras Greek language twitter account.

11) A screenshot of the Google search date of publication 10th February 2015 of my report on the funding of Tsipras by Soros.

12) A screenshot of the beginning of my report on the funding of Tsipras by Soros.

13) A screenshot of my report on the choice of the bank Lazard by Tsipras and of the Google search date of publication 29th January 2015.

14) A screenshot of the beginning of above report.

15) A report on the links between Tsipras, Yannis Vaourfakis and Soros I published on 30th January 2015.

ii. Discussion

The proof that Alexis Tsipras has knowledge of my blog comes in the form of tweets that Tsipras sent on 6th October, 2015, reproducing in the Greek language exactly the same spelling mistake of the surname of Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann that I also made on my blog posts in the English language reporting on 9th February 2015 on their meeting in Vienna. [1]

Tsipras writes Faynmann in Greek letters. That is, he adds an extra n in Greek language tweets he sent during his visit with Faymann to the island of Lesbos. [1]

In a cartoon, I drew attention to the meeting between Tsipras and Faymann on Lesbos. The cartoon illustrates Tsipras and Faymann discussing an orchestrated cholera or Ebola outbreak in Greece. [5]

The Tsipras character jokes that any such plans will be published all over my blog, and notes that even Soros reads it as a textual analysis in the next part of the report will demonstrate.

Tsipras started to add the extra n in his tweets in Greek after his personal meeting with Faymann in Vienna on 9th February 2015.

http://diepresse.com/home/politik/aussenpolitik/4658551/Tsipras-bei-Faymann_Konnte-einen-neuen-Freund-gewinnen

In his first tweet in the Greek language on arriving in Vienna, and apparently before his personal meeting of Faymann, Tsipras spelled Faymanns name correctly, that is, he did not add an n in his tweet. [2]

The fact that Tsipras spelled Faymann in Greek letters correctly in his first tweet raises the question of how he came to introduce a spelling mistake and exactly the same one I make.

S

ince Tsipras first spelled Faymann correctly, it means that any Google searches he may have made would have used the correct spelling Faymann in Roman or Greek letters. Where exactly did Tsipras get the idea that the correct spelling was, in fact, Faynmann? I believe the most plausible explanation is that Tsipras read my post about the meeting between him and Faymann in February, saw my incorrect spelling in Roman letters and reproduced it exactly using Greek letters.

I misspelled Faymann by adding an extra n, in my report about the meeting between Tsipras and Faymann in Vienna on 9th February, 2015. [3] [4]

http://diepresse.com/home/politik/aussenpolitik/4658551/Tsipras-bei-Faymann_Konnte-einen-neuen-Freund-gewinnen

I corrected the spelling mistake on my blog. For the purposes of this case I put back the original spelling mistake, which can also be seen on the Google search page showing the date of my report.

My misspelling is very rate. There are only 620 cases of Faymann mispelled as Faynmann on non Greek language Google search engines as of 15th December 2015. [6]

This compares to 482,000 correct spellings of Faymann. [7]

In Greek letters, the incorrect spelling Faynmann appears in 11, 800 Google searches. [8]

Werner Faymann is spelled correctly in 89,000 Google searches in Greek letters. [9]

Tsipras has 325 000 followers on Twitter as of today, about two months after his visit to Lesbos. [10]

The most likely explanation for the unusually large number of cases of the misspelling of Faynmann in the Greek speaking world is, therefore, that Greek speakers reproduced Tsipras spelling mistake after reading it on his twitter account.

Searching in the Greek language Google with Werner Faynmann in quotation marks in Roman letters produces results similar to 620 in the German and English language. But a search in Greek language Google with Werner Faynmann without quotation marks and in Roman letters produced about 480,000 results. It is not clear why so many cases of Faynmann appear in the Greek language Google when there are so few cases in the non Greek language Google. It is not clear what factor has skewered the result. However, the fact is established tha Tsipras spelled Faymann correctly in his first ever tweet in February 2015 in Greek letters. It can, therefore, be ruled out that he picked up the spelling by doing a Google search with Faynmann in Roman letters.

The date when Tsipras picked up the spelling mistake establishes the basis for believing that Tsipras may have became familiar with my blog in February 2015 through Faymann, althougth it is also possible he became familiar with it through George Soros himself given the evidence that Soros reads my blog.

More plausible I believe, is that Tsipras read my blog post on his meeting between him and Faymann on 9th February 2015, saw my wrong spelling of Faynmann and reproduced it. The date of the first correct spelling forms the basis of believing that Faymann himself showed Tsipras my blog. In the light of subsequent events, I believe Faymann suggested to Tsipras the need to remove me as well as the use of the method.

I note the same method as Theodekti Vallianatou used was used by Austrian government officials, including Professor Lukas Kenner, a member of the government bioethics committee. Kenner twice twice attempted to deprive me of my civil liberty without due process when I was performing a public watchdog function on the internet as a journalist. He offered inducements to a pyschiatrist Dr Verena Strausz to confine me illegally. She twice refused, recognizing it was illegal.

I reported alleged links between Tsipras and Soros in my blog posts on 29th January 2014. [11]

I argued that Tsipras and Yannis Varoufakis were working for the banks and were injuring the interests of the Greek people. I said they performed a function of a puppet or controlled opposition in my blog posts in January and February 2015. [12] [13] [14] [15]

According to the Wirtschafts Woche, Soros sponsored Alexis Tsipras as early as 2012.

http://www.wiwo.de/politik/europa/portraet-rettungsplaene-fuer-den-euro/7751122-4.html

With respect to these searches, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that Google uses server location as one of the factors determining the location and targeting of the site. Google also uses Page Rank algorithms to rank sites based on each sites so called truth factor score. After I published evidence on my blog that Tsipras reads my blog, the search results I obtained for Werner Faynmann were significantly different depending on whether I used a wifi connection in a familiar location (hacked?) or an Wifi connection in an unfamiliar one. Using familiar and possibly hacked wifi connections, the results for the wrong spelling Faynmann were suddenly much higher at about 1,700 compared to 620 in may be be a bid to skew the evidence by filtering results.

A. II) PROOF OF KNOWLEDGE OF MY BLOG GEORGE SOROS

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Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism