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Coordinates: 505234.16N 42519.24E / 50.8761556N 4.4220111E / 50.8761556; 4.4220111

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO; pron.: /neto/ NAY-toh; French: Organisation du trait de l’Atlantique Nord (OTAN)), also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4April 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. NATO’s headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium, one of the 28 member states across North America and Europe, the newest of which, Albania and Croatia, joined in April 2009. An additional 22countries participate in NATO’s “Partnership for Peace”, with 15other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the world’s defence spending.[3]

For its first few years, NATO was not much more than a political association. However, the Korean War galvanized the member states, and an integrated military structure was built up under the direction of two US supreme commanders. The course of the Cold War led to a rivalry with nations of the Warsaw Pact, which formed in 1955. The first NATO Secretary General, Lord Ismay, stated in 1949 that the organization’s goal was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” Doubts over the strength of the relationship between the European states and the United States ebbed and flowed, along with doubts over the credibility of the NATO defence against a prospective Soviet invasiondoubts that led to the development of the independent French nuclear deterrent and the withdrawal of the French from NATO’s military structure in 1966.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the organization became drawn into the breakup of Yugoslavia, and conducted their first military interventions in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 and later Yugoslavia in 1999. Politically, the organization sought better relations with former Cold War rivals, which culminated with several former Warsaw Pact states joining the alliance in 1999 and 2004. The September 2001 attacks signalled the only occasion in NATO’s history that Article5 of the North Atlantic treaty has been invoked as an attack on all NATO members.[5] After the attack, troops were deployed to Afghanistan under the NATO-led ISAF, and the organization continues to operate in a range of roles, including sending trainers to Iraq, assisting in counter-piracy operations[6] and most recently in 2011 enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1973. The less potent Article 4, which merely invokes consultation among NATO members has been invoked three times, and only by Turkey: once in 2003 over the Second Iraq War, and twice in 2012 over the Syrian civil war after the downing of an unarmed Turkish F-4 reconnaissance jet and after a mortar was fired at Turkey from Syria.[7]

The Treaty of Brussels, signed on 17March 1948 by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom, is considered the precursor to the NATO agreement. The treaty and the Soviet Berlin Blockade led to the creation of the Western European Union’s Defence Organization in September 1948. However, participation of the United States was thought necessary both to counter the military power of the USSR and to prevent the revival of nationalist militarism, so talks for a new military alliance began almost immediately resulting in the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in Washington, D.C. on 4April 1949. It included the five Treaty of Brussels states plus the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.[9] Popular support for the Treaty was not unanimous, and some Icelanders participated in a pro-neutrality, anti-membership riot in March 1949.

The members agreed that an armed attack against any one of them in Europe or North America would be considered an attack against them all. Consequently they agreed that, if an armed attack occurred, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence, would assist the member being attacked, taking such action as it deemed necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. The treaty does not require members to respond with military action against an aggressor. Although obliged to respond, they maintain the freedom to choose the method by which they do so. This differs from ArticleIV of the Treaty of Brussels, which clearly states that the response will be military in nature. It is nonetheless assumed that NATO members will aid the attacked member militarily. The treaty was later clarified to include both the member’s territory and their “vessels, forces or aircraft” above the Tropic of Cancer, including some Overseas departments of France.[10]

The creation of NATO brought about some standardization of allied military terminology, procedures, and technology, which in many cases meant European countries adopting U.S. practices. The roughly 1300Standardization Agreements codified many of the common practices that NATO has achieved. Hence, the 7.6251 NATO rifle cartridge was introduced in the 1950s as a standard firearm cartridge among many NATO countries. Fabrique Nationale de Herstal’s FAL became the most popular 7.62 NATO rifle in Europe and served into the early 1990s.[citation needed] Also, aircraft marshalling signals were standardized, so that any NATO aircraft could land at any NATO base. Other standards such as the NATO phonetic alphabet have made their way beyond NATO into civilian use.

The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 was crucial for NATO as it raised the apparent threat of all Communist countries working together, and forced the alliance to develop concrete military plans. SHAPE, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, was formed as a consolidated command structure, and began work under Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower in January 1951.[12] The 1952 Lisbon conference, seeking to provide the forces necessary for NATO’s Long-Term Defence Plan, called for an expansion to ninety-six divisions. However this requirement was dropped the following year to roughly thirty-five divisions with heavier use to be made of nuclear weapons. At this time, NATO could call on about fifteen ready divisions in Central Europe, and another ten in Italy and Scandinavia. Also at Lisbon, the post of Secretary General of NATO as the organization’s chief civilian was created, and Lord Ismay was eventually appointed to the post.[15]

In September 1952, the first major NATO maritime exercises began; Exercise Mainbrace brought together 200 ships and over 50,000 personnel to practice the defence of Denmark and Norway.[16] Other major exercises that followed included Exercise Grand Slam and Exercise Longstep, naval and amphibious exercises in the Mediterranean Sea,[17] Italic Weld, a combined air-naval-ground exercise in northern Italy, Grand Repulse, involving the British Army on the Rhine (BAOR), the Netherlands Corps and Allied Air Forces Central Europe (AAFCE), Monte Carlo, a simulated atomic air-ground exercise involving the Central Army Group, and Weldfast, a combined amphibious landing exercise in the Mediterranean Sea involving British, Greek, Italian, Turkish, and U.S. naval forces.[citation needed]

Greece and Turkey also joined the alliance in 1952, forcing a series of controversial negotiations, in which the United States and Britain were the primary disputants, over how to bring the two countries into the military command structure.[12] While this overt military preparation was going on, covert stay-behind arrangements initially made by the Western European Union to continue resistance after a successful Soviet invasion, including Operation Gladio, were transferred to NATO control.[citation needed] Ultimately unofficial bonds began to grow between NATO’s armed forces, such as the NATO Tiger Association and competitions such as the Canadian Army Trophy for tank gunnery.[citation needed]

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BEIJING – One of China’s top universities has urged students and teachers to “fight against” criticism of the ruling Communist Party, an influential party journal said, in the latest curbs on free expression.

The move by Peking University, which at one time was a bastion of free speech in China, underscores increasing anxiety of criticism among party leaders and is a sign of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s politically conservative agenda.

Curricula and speech at Chinese universities are tightly controlled by the government, though students at Peking University have at times pushed the limits, including during the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests that were brutally suppressed by the army.

“In recent years, some people with ulterior motives have added fuel to the flames on the Internet … ultimately targeting the Chinese Communist Party and the socialist system,” an article in the journal Qiushi, which means “seeking truth” in Chinese, said late on Sunday.

Those actions “created a very large negative impact on public opinion on the Internet and social consensus,” the article, written by the university’s party committee, said.

The committee called on teachers and students to “take a firm stand and be unequivocal, and fight against speech and actions that touch upon the party’s and country’s principles and bottom lines in a timely, efficient and resolute manner”.

The university has in the past few years established a 24-hour system to monitor public opinion on the Internet and take early measures to control and reduce the effects of negative speech, the article said.

Xi’s administration, which took control in March 2013, has stepped up a crackdown on dissent, detaining and jailing activists, muzzling Internet critics and strengthening restrictions on journalists in what some rights groups call the worst suppression of free expression in recent years.

China on Saturday ordered journalists of both traditional and online media to learn “Marxist news values” and uphold the principles of news as prescribed by the party.

In October, Peking University leaders voted to end the contract of then professor Xia Yeliang, 53, who had drawn the ire of school officials for his blog posts calling for democratic reforms and rule of law in China.

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Peking University warns against criticising Communist Party: journal

Aug 312014

A customer feeds cash into a Bitcoin ATM in a boutique in New York. Photo by Brendan McDermid, Reuters

NEW YORK – Bitcoin is catching on at U.S. online merchants including and Expedia, as customers use a digital currency that just a few years ago was virtually unknown but is now showing some staying power.

Though sales paid for in bitcoin so far at vendors interviewed for this article have been a fraction of one percent, they expect that as acceptance grows, the online currency will one day be as ubiquitous as the internet.

“Bitcoin isn’t going anywhere; it’s here to stay,” said Michael Gulmann, vice president of global products at Expedia Inc. in Seattle, the largest online travel agent. “We want to be there from the beginning.” Expedia started accepting bitcoin payments for hotel bookings on July 11.

Until recently a niche alternative currency touted by a fervent group of followers, bitcoin has evolved into a software-based payment online system. Bitcoins are stored in a wallet with a unique identification number and companies like Coinbase and Blockchain can hold the currency for the user.

When buying an item from a merchant’s website, a customer simply clicks on the bitcoin option and a pop-in window appears where he can type in his wallet ID number.

Still, broad-based adoption of bitcoin is at least five years away because most consumers still prefer to use credit cards, analysts said.

“Bitcoin is a new way of making payments, but it’s not solving a problem that’s broken,” said George Peabody, payments consultant at Glenbrook Partners in Menlo Park, California. “Retail payments aren’t broken.”

There are also worries about bitcoin’s volatility: its price in U.S. dollars changes every day. On Wednesday, bitcoin was up 0.4 percent at $514.09.

That risk is borne by the consumer and the bitcoin payment processor, such as Coinbase or Bitpay, not the retailer. The vendor doesn’t hold the bitcoin and is paid in U.S. dollars. As soon as a customer pays in bitcoin, the digital currency goes to the payment processor and the processor immediately pays the merchant, for a fee of less than 1 percent.

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Bitcoin shows staying power

Bitcoin evangelist Charles Shrem will plead guilty Thursday to one criminal count stemming from what prosecutors had alleged was a drug scheme involving his virtual-currency exchange and an online black market, according to court documents.

Shrem, a well-known bitcoin advocate, will enter the plea in federal court in Manhattan next week, he confirmed in an interview. He said he would plead to one count of aiding and abetting an unlicensed money transmission.

Im happy that its coming to a close, said Shrem in a telephone interview.

Shrem and his alleged accomplice, Robert Faiella, had previously pleaded not guilty to running an alleged money-laundering scheme that funneled the digital currency to users of the online alleged black-market site Silk Road.

It was unclear if Faiella, who has previously plead not guilty, would also change his plea. His lawyer didnt respond to requests for comment.

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The Wall Street Journal: Bitcoin advocate Charles Shrem to plead guilty

Article updated: 5/24/2014 8:50 PM

Winning regional titles is beginning to get habit-forming for Christian Liberty Academy.

For the second straight year, the Chargers are Class A regional champions after hanging on for a 3-2 victory over Kirkland Hiawatha at Hinckley-Big Rock on Saturday.

Christian Liberty scored 1 run in the first inning on doubles from seniors Aaron Cunningham and Aaron Karr.

The Chargers added to the lead with 2 more runs in the third on a triple by senior Dylan Antonides and a double by freshman Aiden Miller.

Winning pitcher Tom Keplar delivered a strong start, and Antonides closed out the game, which ended as Christian Liberty’s catcher, Miller, threw out a Hiawatha runner at second base.

Christian Liberty coach Jed Bennett said two keys for his team were its recent knack for solit hitting combined with good fielding.

Against both Hiawatha and Alden-Hebron (in a 7-4 regional semifinal win on Wednesday), the Chargers played error-free ball.

“I think this might even be a bigger win than last year,” said Christian Liberty coach Jed Bennett. “Last year we were the No. 1 seed in our regional, and this year we were the No. 3.”

Next up for Christian Liberty is an appearance in the Lena-Winslow sectional semifinals. They’ll meet Freeport Aquin at about 6:45 p.m. in the second of two semifinal games Wednesday, following the first semi featuring Shabbona Indian Creek and Lena Winslow (4 p.m. start).

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Christian Liberty repeats regional title feat

May 232014

Published: Thursday, May 22, 2014, 8:55p.m. Updated 9 hours ago

From the Nazis to the Stalinists, tyrants have always started out supporting free speech, and why is easy to understand. Speech is vital for the realization of their goals of command, control and confiscation. Basic to their agenda are the tools of indoctrination, propagandizing, proselytization.

Once they gain power, as leftists have at many universities, free speech becomes a liability and must be suppressed. This is increasingly the case on university campuses.

Back in 1964, it was Mario Savio, a campus leftist, who led the free speech movement at the Berkeley campus of the University of California, a movement that played a vital role in placing American universities center stage in the flow of political ideas, no matter how controversial, unpatriotic and vulgar.

The free speech movement gave birth to the hippie movement of the ’60s and ’70s. The longhair, unkempt hippies of that era have grown up and now often find themselves being college professors, deans, provosts and presidents. Their intolerance of free speech and other ideas has become policy and practice on many college campuses.

Daniel Henninger, deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, updates us on the campus attack on free speech and different ideas in his article titled Obama Unleashes the Left: How the government created a federal hunting license for the far left (

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, one of the nation’s most accomplished women, graciously withdrew as Rutgers University’s commencement speaker after two months of campus protests about her role in the Iraq War. Some students and professors said, War criminals shouldn’t be honored. One wonders whether these students would similarly protest Hillary Clinton, who, as senator, voted for the invasion of Iraq.

Brandeis University officials were intimidated into rescinding their invitation to Somali writer and American Enterprise Institute scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose criticisms of radical Islam were said to have violated the school’s core values. Brandeis decided that allowing her to speak would be hurtful to Muslim students. I take it that Brandeis students and officials would see criticism of deadly Islamist terrorist gang Boko Haram’s kidnapping of nearly 300 Nigerian girls, some of whom have been sold off as brides, as unacceptable and violative of the university’s core values.

Earlier this year, faculty and students held a meeting at Vassar College to discuss a particularly bitter internal battle over the school’s movement to boycott Israel. Before the meeting, an English professor announced the dialogue would not be guided by cardboard notions of civility. That professor might share the vision of Adolf Hitler’s brown-shirted thugs of the paramilitary wing of the Nazi party in their effort to crush dissent.

Western values of liberty are under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. These people want to replace personal liberty with government control; they want to replace equality with entitlement. As such, they pose a far greater threat to our way of life than any terrorist organization or rogue nation.

Americas budding tyrants

In this post, we cover the basics of negative search engine optimization (SEO) and look at what you can do to fight negative SEO link spam. This being a hot topic in the industry, I encourage readers to comment at the end of the article.

First, lets take a moment to define negative SEO. Negative SEO is the act of performing some type of action that damages competitors organic search rankings.

There are many ways negative SEO can be done. Someone could hack a website and riddle the code with HTML hyperlinks or inject malware. Even making multiple duplicate copies of a website or stealing a websites content could result in decreased rankings for that site, which could be seen as a method of negative SEO. Anything that hurts a websites rankings, which is done intentionally, could fall into this category.

For the purposes of this article, we are simply referring to someone (usually a competitor or black hat SEO company) building low quality links which point at the website they are trying to get penalized.

The first step in discovering if you are the target of negative SEO from links is reviewing your backlink profile. In most cases, it is a good idea to do this once a week or once a month, depending on how concerned you are and how cutthroat and competitive your industry is.

You can view the links to your site report in Google Webmaster Tools to get a decent high-level view of the links Google is seeing and utilizing as authority indicators when reviewing your site.

There are also other excellent tools out there, such as Majestic SEO, Opensite Explorer and Ahrefs, that can often surface additional inbound links not listed in the Google Webmaster Tools report. We do know that you can get a manual action for links not listed in Webmaster Tools, so its a good idea to get as much information as possible.

When you review these links, keep an eye out for the following:

Outside of just looking at the links, it is also a good idea to occasionally check to see if you have a manual action.

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Negative SEO From Links What Can You Do If Youre Hit? recently queried nearly 30 SEO experts and rounded up their advice into a list of the “Top 10 Technical SEO Issues (and How to Fix Them).” The following seven quick-hit SEO tips offer additional best practices that are well worth your attention.

1) Keep Your Sitemap Updated

“If you’re updating your website, make sure you keep your sitemap up to date so that it makes it easier for search engine robots to index your website correctly.” — Sameep Shah, founder of SimpleWebDesign

2) Don’t Worry Too Much About Keywords

Google’s recent “Hummingbird” algorithm shifted the general focus from keywords to topics. “No longer do you have to mention ‘blue widgets’ 20 times on the page to help drive top rankings for ‘blue widgets,’ as long as the entire content of your article closely talks about ‘blue widgets’.” — Johnny Ewton, Web analyst for

3) Don’t Overlook On-Page Optimization Opportunities

“It’s still important to ensure that each page has unique content with the right headings (such as H1, H2) and unique HTML title tags and meta descriptions. Also, make sure that on every page the visitor is able to engage in social sharing. You only have a few seconds before your visitor either leaves your site or you draw them further into it, so it’s important that every page is tweaked with that in mind.” — Mike Waller, owner of SEO Zones, Inc.

Keep title tags under 65 characters and meta descriptions under 150 characters to avoid truncation in Google search results. “The title tag is an ideal place for the keyword(s) you want a given page to rank for. Think of the meta description as a headline. Use it to try and convince search users to click on your site rather than a competing site.” —’s Johnny Ewton

4) Use “robots.txt” Correctly

The “robots.txt” file exists for the sole reason of telling search engines which pages on your site shouldn’t be crawled. “I’ve seen many small business sites and some mid-market sites redesign their sites only to shoot themselves in the foot at launch with the robots meta tag. During the development process, it’s a good idea to block search engines from indexing your site when it isn’t finished, or on a development server. But forgetting to remove the ‘robots.txt’ instructions to block your site to search engines once it’s finished can be catastrophic for a successful site launch.” — Scott Benson, founder and president, Benson SEO

7 Quick Tips to Make Your Site More Search Friendly

People who cannot win arguments soon discover that a good tactic is to avoid debate by bullying potential opponents into silence. From imposing campus speech codes to protesting commencement speakers to passing laws that make it harder for others to speak out, this tactic has been deployed with great effectiveness in recent years.

Now, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, with the backing of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, is taking it to its ultimate end point. He is pushing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would amend the First Amendment to allow the government to curtail citizens’ speech.

The amendment, proposed by Sen. Mark Udall and co-sponsored by Shaheen, is almost five times as long as the First Amendment, which it would cripple.

It would give both Congress and the states the “power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents” and “the amount of contributions to candidates” and “the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates” under the broad justification that such restrictions are to “advance the fundamental principle of political equality for all, and to protect the integrity of the legislative and electoral processes.”

Orwell could not have written it better himself. In the name of protecting the people, the government would assume for itself the power to control the people’s political participation.

The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….” Udall’s amendment states: “Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press.” Notice the exclusion of the words “freedom of speech.” That was not by accident.

Shaheen has signed on to a constitutional amendment designed to give government the power to regulate political speech by regulating the amount of money that can be raised and spent on it. If you think Congress would judiciously use this power only in public-spirited and high-minded ways, and only against the super-wealthy, you have not paid much attention to Congress.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has documented 145 instances since 1987 of college commencement speakers who have been uninvited or protested or who have withdrawn their names from consideration under pressure, The Washington Post reported this week. Nearly 100 of those came in the last five years.

Last week the state Legislature passed a bill (SB 120) that would dramatically expand state power to regulate the activity of people who organize to participate in political campaigns. The impulse to silence other Americans is increasing.

This amendment is the ultimate realization of that impulse. It is the desired end result of everyone who would rather force an opponent to shut up than engage in an open debate.

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'Shutup,' they explained Crippling the First Amendment

Two teams from Freedom Christian and one from Fayetteville Academy will be competing for state titles this weekend in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association playoffs.

Freedom’s baseball team will be going to Wilson to face Greenfield School for the 1-A title. The softball team will go to Greenville’s Oakwood Academy for the 1-A softball finals against three other schools.

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Freedom Christian, Fayetteville Academy vie for NCISAA titles

Fred Wilson: Bitcoin is About Freedom
Fred Wilson, co-founder of Union Square Ventures and an early investor in companies including Twitter and Etsy, says Bitcoin is hugely important to the entir. Full Article: Bitcoin |…

By: andre don

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Fred Wilson: Bitcoin is About Freedom – Video

Who isnt curious about Bitcoin, the virtual currency whose origin story is rife withunderground marketplaces, instant millionaires, and massive scams? And the best way to learn more is to start participating yourself.

Sure, you could hit up an exchange and drop four hundred dollars or more on a single bitcoin, but you can also get in for free by mining the coins yourself. Bitcoin has become too hard for regular people to mine, but the world of bitcoin-like altcoins is still wide-open to hobbyist miners. Here’s everything you need to know to get started mining altcoins.

This article assumes youve at least heard of Bitcoin, but you might not have heard of altcoins. Altcoin is a catch-all term for cryptocurrencies based on the Bitcoin system, which arent actually Bitcoin. Because Bitcoin is open-source software, anyone with some development experience can copy it and create their own currency.

The Dogecoin logo.

Of course, like Bitcoin, the value of any altcoin is equal only to how much someone will pay you for it. Some altcoins, such as Litecoin, Peercoin, and even Dogecoin have active communities and economiesyou can view a list of altcoins sorted by market cap herebut currently none are even a tenth as valuable as Bitcoins. Many altcoins have a devoted following, but be wary of anyone aggressively hyping a new altcoin or trying to convince you to get in on the ground floorit could just be a modern version of the pump and dump scam thats been around for decades.

The Bitcoin software works this way: Every time somebody spends a bitcoin, that transaction is recorded in a public ledger. For example, if you have 10 bitcoins in your wallet and send 7 to someone else, that transaction goes in the ledger, and everyone knows that your wallet only has 3 bitcoins now. If you try to send somebody else 5 bitcoins tomorrow, that transaction will be rejected because its a matter of public record that your wallet doesnt have the coins.

For the system to work, the public ledger has to be completely trustworthy. It has to be impossible for anyone to record a fraudulent transaction. Bitcoin accomplishes this using cryptography (hence the crypto in cryptocurrency), in a process that requires many computers, all connected in a single peer-to-peer network. In order to incentivize people to participate in this transaction-verifying network, bitcoins are periodically generated and awarded to the machines engaged in maintaining the public ledger.

As bitcoin values have soared over the last couple of years, bitcoin mining has become a very lucrative business. As a result, companies have designed chips solely for running the cryptographic algorithms bitcoin uses for mining. These chips, called ASICs, are so good at mining that its pretty much impossible for normal, general-purpose hardware to compete. Even the burliest desktop PC with huge gaming GPUs wont be able to generate enough money mining bitcoin to cover the cost of the electricity used in the process.

Its still possible to be successful at altcoin mining using traditional PC graphics cards, like AMDs Radeon R9-280.

Because altcoins are less popular, and because many altcoins use a different kind of mining algorithm called scrypt that cant be solved by the ASIC boards, you can still feasibly earn these altcoins by running the mining program on your personal computer. You can then spend the altcoins or swap them for bitcoins at a cryptocurrency exchange.Unlike most altcoins,bitcoins can be spent at a number of e-tailers like and Tiger Direct.

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Beginner's guide to mining Litecoin, Dogecoin, and other Bitcoin variants

Perhaps the most offensive display at the Bundy Ranch Standoff was the posting by the BLM representatives of a sign FIRST AMENDMENT AREA for protestors April 1. This coming days before the standoff certainly demonstrated their foreknowledge of impending opposition. An expandable red plastic three-foot-high wall encircled the area. In other words, those verbalizing disagreement with the BLMs heavy-handed confiscation of Bundy cattle could only express themselves within this restricted area or risk being arrested.

Such was offensive to participants who promptly added to the sign 1st AMENDMENT IS NOT AN AREA and thereafter refused to do their protesting where allowed by the government. Besides the area was too far away from the action causing the protesting. A sympathizer posted on the Internet a map of the United States with the words FREE SPEECH ZONE written over the length of the nation from California to South Carolina; this was the Founders interpretation and reverenced as so until more recent times.

Dave Bundy was the first to be arrested for taking video footage from a state highway of BLM agents rounding up his familys cattle refusing to remain in the restricted area. Video footage now available showed that armed snipers had their guns trained on the family during the incident. Family members were told that they, had no first amendment rights except for up by the bridge where they had established an area for that. One does not have to wonder why the Bundy ordeal attracted freedom buffs from as far away as Connecticut.

I first heard of free speech zones during the George W. Bush Administration when there were so many demonstrations against invading Iraq. College campuses initiated the zones in what appeared to be designed to intentionally limit opposition. They were always too small and if more than one zone were allowed they were separated, seemingly to minimize the size of the opposition. A nephew, in San Francisco demonstrating against the war, was arrested because he could not fit within one of the small circles. He and hundreds more, also unable to fit within the approved dissent areas, were taken to warehouses somewhere in the city and housed until all were processed. He was confined for three days. The slow processing he considered intentional punishment for his dissent. I have spoken out against these 1st Amendment areas since. They do not exist in a free country.

The First Amendment clearly states that, Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Since Congress is the only entity that can make law as per Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution and since they have never passed such a law; the Executive Branch has no authority to pen dissent.

Unfortunately such has been altered by recent court decisions stipulating that the government may regulate the time, place, and mannerbut not contentof expression, hence the origin of free speech zonesdecidedly a court perversion. Though free speech zones existed in limited forms prior to the Presidency of George W. Bush; it was during Bush’s presidency that their scope was greatly expanded (Wikipedia). After September 11, they were common. President Bush used the Secret Service to make certain such were not near where he might speak or pass by, a procedure closely emulated by President Barack Obama. Dissent is therefore noticeably reduced and less likely to be filmed. If such had been used against Martin Luther King, Jr. the Civil Rights Movement may never have gotten off the ground. Those refusing to dissent only in the governments proper areas are charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, or trespassing. If the approved dissent areas are far from the president (some a half mile away) he may never know that the people are unhappy with him.

For the Bundy friends and neighbors, the governments First Amendment Area had the same shape and similarity as a cattle pen where the people would be cordoned off and neutralized. How can this be seen as petitioning the Government for a redress of grievances? No government! This is nothing more than a ploy to reduce dissent and the more regimental that you are, as in the case of the Bundy Standoff, the more you will use it. Court approval or not it is clearly unconstitutional. The Founders would have called it tyranny.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit

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PEASE: Free speech zones on Bundy Ranch violated First Amendment

Apr 262014

From New World Encyclopedia

Coordinates: 505234.16N, 42519.24E

NATO countries shown in green

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); French: Organisation du Trait de l’Atlantique Nord (OTAN); (also called the North Atlantic Alliance, the Atlantic Alliance, or the Western Alliance) is a military alliance established by the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, the organization constitutes a system of collective defense in which its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.

For its first few years, NATO was not much more than a political association. However the Korean War galvanized the member states, and an integrated military structure was built up under the direction of two U.S. supreme commanders. The first NATO Secretary General Lord Ismay, famously described the organization’s goal was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down”.[2] Throughout the Cold War doubts over the strength of the relationship between the European states and the United States ebbed and flowed, along with doubts over the credibility of the NATO defense against a prospective Soviet invasiondoubts that led to the development of the independent French nuclear deterrent and the withdrawal of the French from NATO’s military structure from 1966.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the organization became drawn into the Balkans while building better links with former potential enemies to the east, which culminated with the former Warsaw Pact states joining the alliance. Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, NATO has attempted to refocus itself to new challenges and has deployed troops to Afghanistan and trainers to Iraq.

The Treaty of Brussels, signed on March 17, 1948 by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France and the United Kingdom is considered the precursor to the NATO agreement. The treaty and the Soviet Berlin Blockade led to the creation of the Western European Union’s Defense Organization in September 1948.[3] However, participation of the United States was thought necessary in order to counter the military power of the USSR, and therefore talks for a new military alliance began almost immediately.

These talks resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in Washington, D.C. on April 4, 1949. It included the five Treaty of Brussels states, as well as the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Support for the Treaty was not unanimous; Iceland suffered an anti-NATO riot in March 1949 which may have been Communist-inspired. Three years later, on 18 February 1952, Greece and Turkey also joined.

The Parties of NATO agreed that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all. Consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense will assist the Party or Parties being attacked, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force does not necessarily mean that other member states will respond with military action against the aggressor(s). Rather they are obliged to respond, but maintain the freedom to choose how they will respond. This differs from Article IV of the Treaty of Brussels (which founded the Western European Union) which clearly states that the response must include military action. It is however often assumed that NATO members will aid the attacked member militarily. Further, the article limits the organization’s scope to Europe and North America, which explains why the invasion of the British Falkland Islands did not result in NATO involvement.

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NATO – New World Encyclopedia

NATO - State

NATO Comments Off
Apr 262014

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Formed in 1949 with the signing of the Washington Treaty, NATO is a security alliance of 28 countriesfrom North America and Europe. NATO’s fundamental goal is to safeguard the Allies’ freedom and security by political and military means. NATO remains the principal security instrument of the transatlantic community and expression of its common democratic values. It is the practical means through which the security of North America and Europe are permanently tied together. NATO enlargement has furthered the U.S. goal of a Europe whole, free, and at peace.

Article 5 of the Washington Treaty — that an attack against one Ally is an attack against all — is at the core of the Alliance, a promise of collective defense. Article 4 of the treaty ensures consultations among Allies on security matters of common interest, which have expanded from a narrowly defined Soviet threat to the critical mission in Afghanistan, as well as peacekeeping in Kosovo and new threats to security such as cyber attacks, and global threats such as terrorism and piracy that affect the Alliance and its global network of partners.

In addition to its traditional role in the territorial defense of Allied nations, NATO leads the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has ongoing missions in the Balkans andthe Mediterranean; it also conducts extensive training exercises and offers security support to partners around the globe, including the European Union in particular but also the United Nations and the African Union.

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NATO – State

Digital technology and the way consumers are using it is evolving at a pace never seen before, and the platforms and tools used by digital marketers are trying to keep up with it all.

We all know content is still king. In order to win the battle for the consumers attention, or Google rankings, you need to provide quality content and lots of it. (See my article, 3 Tips To Beat The Volume Game, forin-depth discussion on massive internet contentgrowth.)

To satisfy this insatiable demand, content management systems and platforms have had to evolve and allow for the agile and dynamic creation and deployment of content. As you take any SEO recommendation and distill it down, a single message appears: Build more pages.

This brings me to the root of this article performing SEO audits in the enterprise-level world where the number of website pages has become limitless.

Simply put, websites are getting increasingly larger and search marketers have to work with dynamically generated pages, master-detail sets, online directories, e-commerce pages, product reviews, shopping carts, dynamic comparison pages, mobile-only content, tags and read-more links, making the average number of pages skyrocket.

Along comes the search marketer who used to have to optimize 50 pages and thought that was challenging; now we are looking at thousands of pages, which creates huge technological and resource challenges when performing technical audits.

Our crawling tool of choice for technical audits is Screaming Frog. Its an amazing program that will perform any technical SEO audit in the blink of an eye with an incredible level of detail and flexibility. However, like any desktop audit tool, it has four major limitations caused by the simple fact that it is a desktop application.

Note: This is not intended to be a comparison between DeepCrawl (described below) and Screaming Frog; they both have their own unique strengths and applications, and we utilize both of them heavily.

We set out to evaluate a number of different solutions that would allow us to perform technical audits on a larger scale. We excluded any of the Suite providers, as we had very specific needs and wanted a partner that focuses purely on auditing, instead a ranking tool that also does XYZ.

We came across DeepCrawl. DeepCrawl is a server-based solution, so it removes all the limitations you experience with a desktop audit tool it can run at any time, and the size of your computers memory doesnt matter.

Enterprise SEO Audits Go Beyond The Desktop Crawl

Obama's Clemency Announcement. Illuminati Freemason Symbolism. Rapture watch.
An investigative look into the April 21 Article about Obama's Clemency.–162714911.html Revelation 12:13 And when the…

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Obama’s Clemency Announcement. Illuminati Freemason Symbolism. Rapture watch. – Video

Guns And Ammo Editor Apologizes Then Resigns For Article Saying Second Amendment Needs Reg

By: Micheal Norton

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The nonprofit alleges that coach Dabo Swinney crosses the line by using his position to promote Christianity.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter of complaint to Clemson University, citing concerns about how much religious influence coaches have on football players,according to The Greenville News.

According to the foundation, Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney has promoted a culture in the program that violates constitutional stipulations of the separation of church and state.

A spokesman for the athletic department declined to comment on the letter. Cathy Sams, the university’s chief public affairs officer, said her department has not completed its review of the letter but said Swinney hasn’t forced his religion onto his players.

The foundation does not plan to bring this to litigation, and according to the article, it does not want to infringe on Swinney’s rights of religious freedom. However, it wants to ensure that the Clemson players are protected for instance, it wants to make sure that some players aren’t given preferential treatment on the basis of religion. It also wants to make sure Swinney’s position as head coach doesn’t pressure athletes into becoming more religious.

“What we have observed in the records is that the football coaching staff is doing a number of things to promote Christianity to their student-athletes,” foundation staff attorney Patrick Elliott said.

“What we’d like to see is the end of this chaplaincy position and end to Bible distributions by coaches, an end to devotionals scheduled and put on by coaches and staff. The coaches need to step back and just coach (football) and not coach in religious matters.”

Under Swinney, Clemson has had an outwardly religious program,which was discussed in a Chronicle of Higher Education feature last year. According to the piece, there are Bible studies for coaches twice a week, three other devotionals each week and a voluntary chapel for players the night before each game. Star receiver DeAndre Hopkins was baptized in a livestock trough on the 50-yard line after a practice in 2012. Swinney says he is up front about his faith.

Before they ever joined the team, some of them prayed with coaches on the phone during recruiting calls. On recruiting visits, they heard from Mr. Swinney: “I’m a Christian. If you have a problem with that, you don’t have to be here.”

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Freedom From Religion Foundation complains about Clemson football program

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