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Atheism: Pictures, Videos, Breaking News

 Atheism  Comments Off on Atheism: Pictures, Videos, Breaking News
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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Spratly Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Islands  Comments Off on Spratly Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jan 242016
 

The Spratly Islands (Chinese: ; pinyin: Nnsh Qndo, Malay: Kepulauan Spratly, Tagalog: Kapuluan ng Kalayaan,[8]Vietnamese: Qun o Trng Sa) are a disputed group of more than 750 reefs, islets, atolls, cays and islands in the South China Sea.[9] The archipelago lies off the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Vietnam. Named after the 19th-century British whaling captain Richard Spratly who sighted Spratly Island in 1843, the islands contain approximately 4km2 (1.5sq mi) of land area spread over a vast area of more than 425,000km2 (164,000sq mi).

The Spratlys are one of the major archipelagos in the South China Sea that comprise more than 30,000 islands and reefs, and which complicate governance and economics in this part of Southeast Asia due to their location in strategic shipping lanes. The islands have no indigenous inhabitants, but offer rich fishing grounds and may contain significant oil and natural gas reserves.[10][11] and as such are important to the claimants in their attempts to establish international boundaries.

The area northeast of the Spratlys is known to mariners as Dangerous Ground and is characterized by its many low islands, sunken reefs, and atolls with coral often rising abruptly from ocean depths greater than 1,000 metres (3,300ft) – all of which makes the area dangerous for navigation.

In addition to various territorial claims, some of the features have civilian settlements, but of the approximately 45 islands, reefs, cays and other features that are occupied all contain structures that are occupied by military forces (from China (PRC), Taiwan (ROC), Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia). Additionally, Brunei has claimed (but does not occupy) an exclusive economic zone in the southeastern part of the Spratlys, which includes the Louisa Reef. These claims and occupations have led to escalating tensions between these countries over the status and “ownership” of the islands.

The Spratly Islands contain almost no significant arable land, have no indigenous inhabitants, and very few of the islands have a permanent drinkable water supply. Natural resources include fish and guano, as well as the possible potential of oil and natural gas reserves.[12]Economic activity has included commercial fishing, shipping, guano mining, and more recently, tourism.

The Spratlys are located near several primary shipping lanes.

The Spratly Islands consist of reefs, banks and shoals that consist of biogenic carbonate. These accumulations of biogenic carbonate lie upon the higher crests of major submarine ridges that are uplifted fault blocks known by geologists as horsts. These horsts are part of a series of parallel and en echelon, half-grabens and rotated fault-blocks. The long axes of the horsts, rotated fault blocks and half-grabens form well-defined linear trends that lie parallel to magnetic anomalies exhibited by the oceanic crust of the adjacent South China Sea. The horsts, rotated fault blocks, and the rock forming the bottoms of associated grabens consist of stretched and subsided continental crust that is composed of Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous strata that include calc-alkalic extrusive igneous rocks, intermediate to acid intrusive igneous rocks, sandstones, siltstones, dark-green claystones, and metamorphic rocks that include biotite-muscovite-feldspar-quartz migmatites and garnet-mica schists.[13][14][15]

The dismemberment and subsidence of continental crust into horsts, rotated fault blocks and half-grabens that underlie the Spratly Islands and surrounding sea bottom occurred in 2 distinct periods. They occurred as the result of the tectonic stretching of continental crust along underlying deeply rooted detachment faults. During the Late Cretaceous and Early Oligocene, the earliest period of tectonic stretching of continental crust and formation of horsts, half-grabens, and rotated fault-blocks occurred in association the rifting and later sea-floor spreading that created the South China Sea. During the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene additional stretching and block faulting of continental crust occurred within the Spratly Islands and adjacent Dangerous Ground. During and after this period of tectonic activity, corals and other marine life colonised the crests of the horsts and other ridges that lay in shallow water. The remains of these organisms accumulated over time as biogenic carbonates that comprise the current day reefs, shoals and cays of the Spratly Islands. Starting with their formation in Late Cretaceous, fine-grained organic-rich marine sediments accumulated within the numerous submarine half-grabens that underlie sea bottom within the Dangerous Ground region.[13][14][15]

The geological surveys show localised areas within the Spratly Islands region are favourable for the accumulation of economic oil and gas reserves. They include thick sequences of Cenozoic sediments east of the Spratly Islands. Southeast and west of them, there also exist thick accumulations of sediments that possibly might contain economic oil and gas reserves lie closer to the Spratly Islands.[10][16]

In some cays in the Spratly Islands, the sand and pebble sediments form the beaches and spits around the island. Under the influence of the dominant wind direction, which changes seasonally, these sediments move around the island to change the shape and size of the island. For example, Spratly Island is larger during the northeast monsoon, (about 700 300 meters), and smaller during the southwest monsoon (approximately 650 320 meters).[17]

Some islands may contain fresh groundwater fed by rain. Groundwater levels fluctuate during the day with the rhythm of the tides.[18]

Phosphates from bird faeces (guano) are mainly concentrated in the beach rocks by the way of exchange-endosmosis. The principal minerals bearing phosphate are podolite, lewistonite and dehonite.[19]

Coral reefs are the predominant structures of these islands; the Spratly group contains over 600 coral reefs in total.[9] In April 2015 the New York Times reported that China were using “scores of dredgers” to convert Fiery Cross Reef and several other reefs into military facilities (runways, etc.).[20][21]

Little vegetation grows on these islands, which are subject to intense monsoons. Larger islands are capable of supporting tropical forest, scrub forest, coastal scrub and grasses. It is difficult to determine which species have been introduced or cultivated by humans. Taiping Island (Itu Aba) was reportedly covered with shrubs, coconut, and mangroves in 1938; pineapple was also cultivated there when it was profitable. Other accounts mention papaya, banana, palm, and even white peach trees growing on one island. A few islands that have been developed as small tourist resorts had soil and trees brought in and planted where there was none.[9]

A total of 2,927 marine species have been recorded in the Spratly Sea, including 776 benthic species, 382 species of hard coral, 524 species of marine fish, 262 species of algae and sea grass, 35 species of seabirds, 20 species of marine mammals and sea turtles, etc.[22]

Terrestrial vegetation in the islands includes 103 species of vascular plants of magnolia branches (Magnoliophyta) of 39 families and 79 genera.[22]

The islands that do have vegetation provide important habitats for many seabirds and sea turtles.[9]

Both the green turtle (Chelonia mydas, endangered) and the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata, critically endangered) formerly occurred in numbers sufficient to support commercial exploitation. These species reportedly continue to nest even on islands inhabited by military personnel (such as Pratas) to some extent, though it is believed that their numbers have declined.[9]

Seabirds use the islands for resting, breeding, and wintering sites. Species found here include: streaked shearwater (Calonectris leucomelas), brown booby (Sula leucogaster), red-footed booby (S. sula), great crested tern (Sterna bergii), and white tern (Gygis alba). Little information is available regarding the current status of the islands’ seabird populations, though it is likely that birds may divert nesting sites to smaller, less disturbed islands. Bird eggs cover the majority of Song Tu, a small island in the eastern Danger Zone.[9]

This ecoregion is still largely a mystery. Scientists have focused their research on the marine environment, while the ecology of the terrestrial environment remains relatively unknown.[9]

Political instability, tourism and the increasing industrialisation of neighbouring countries has led to serious disruption of native flora and fauna, over-exploitation of natural resources, and environmental pollution. Disruption of nesting areas by human activity and/or by introduced animals, such as dogs, has reduced the number of turtles nesting on the islands. Sea turtles are also slaughtered for food on a significant scale. The sea turtle is a symbol of longevity in Chinese culture and at times the military personnel are given orders to protect the turtles.[9]

Heavy commercial fishing in the region incurs other problems. Although it has been outlawed, fishing methods continue to include the use of bottom trawlers fitted with chain rollers. In addition, during a recent[timeframe?] routine patrols[by whom?], more than 200kg of Potassium cyanide solution was confiscated from fishermen who had been using it for fish poisoning. These activities have a devastating impact on local marine organisms and coral reefs.[9]

Some interest has been taken[by whom?] in regard to conservation of these[which?] island ecosystems. J.W. McManus[who?] has explored the possibilities of designating portions of the Spratly Islands as a marine park. One region of the Spratly Archipelago, named Truong Sa, was proposed by Vietnam’s Ministry of Science, Technology, and the Environment (MOSTE) as a future protected area. The site, with an area of 160km2 (62sq mi), is currently managed by the Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee of Vietnam.[9]

Military groups in the Spratlys have engaged in environmentally damaging activities such as shooting turtles and seabirds, raiding nests and fishing with explosives. The collection of rare medicinal plants, collecting of wood, and hunting for the wildlife trade are common threats to the biodiversity of the entire region, including these islands. Coral habitats are threatened by pollution, over-exploitation of fish and invertebrates, and the use of explosives and poisons as fishing techniques.[9]

Chinese texts of the 12th century record these islands being a part of Chinese territory and that they had earlier (206BC) been used as fishing grounds during the Han dynasty.[23][not in citation given] Further records show the islands as inhabited at various times in history by Chinese and Vietnamese fishermen, and during the second world war by troops from French Indochina and Japan.[24][25][26] However, there were no large settlements on these islands until 1956, when Filipino adventurer Toms Cloma, Sr., decided to “claim” a part of Spratly islands as his own, naming it the “Free Territory of Freedomland”.[27]

Evidence of man’s presence in the region extends back nearly 50,000 years at Tabon Caves on Palawan. Therefore, it is difficult to say when man first came upon this island group. Within historical times, several groups may have passed through or occupied the islands. Between 600BCE to 3BCE there was an East to West migration by members of the seafairing Sa Hunh culture. This may have led them through the Spratly Islands on their way to Vietnam. These migrants were the forebears of the Cham people that founded the Old Champa empire that ruled what was known for centuries as the Champa Sea.[28][29]

In the Song Dynasty work Zhu fan zhi by Zhao Rugua, the name “Thousand Li Stretch of Sands” (Qianli Changsha , ) and the “Ten-Thousand Li of Stone Pools/Beds” (Wanli Shitang , or Wanli Shichuang ) were given, interpreted by some to refer to Paracel and Spratly respectively.[30]Wanli Shitang is also recorded in the History of Yuan to have been explored by the Chinese during the Yuan dynasty and may have been considered by them to have been within their national boundaries.[31][32][33] They are also referenced, sometimes with different names, in the Ming dynasty.[34] When the Ming Dynasty collapsed, the Qing dynasty continued to include the territory in maps compiled in 1724,[35] 1755,[36] 1767,[37] 1810,[38] and 1817.[39]

A Vietnamese map from 1834 also combines the Spratly and Paracel Islands into one region known as “Vn L Trng Sa”[citation needed], a feature commonly incorporated into maps of the era () that is, a combination of half of the 2 aforementioned Chinese island names, “Wanli” and “Changsha”.[40] According to Hanoi, Vietnamese maps record Bi Ct Vng (Golden Sandbanks, referring to both the Spratly and Paracel Islands), which lay near the coast of the central Vietnam, as early as 1838.[41] In Ph Bin Tp Lc (The Frontier Chronicles) by scholar L Qu n, both Hong Sa and Trng Sa were defined as belonging to the Qung Ngi District. He described it as where sea products and shipwrecked cargoes were available to be collected. Vietnamese text written in the 17th century referenced government-sponsored economic activities during the L dynasty, 200years earlier. The Vietnamese government conducted several geographical surveys of the islands in the 18th century.[41]

Despite the fact that China and Vietnam both made a claim to these territories simultaneously, at the time, neither side was aware that its neighbour had already charted and made claims to the same stretch of islands.[41]

The islands were sporadically visited throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries by mariners from different European powers (including Richard Spratly, after whom the island group derives its most recognisable English name).[42] However, these nations showed little interest in the islands.

In the 1950s, a group of individuals claimed sovereignty over the islands in the name of Morton F. Meads, supposedly an American descendant of a British naval captain who gave his name to Meads Island (Itu Aba) in the 1870s. In an affidavit made in 1971, the group claimed to represent the Kingdom of Humanity/Republic of Morac-Songhrati-Meads,[43] which they asserted was in turn the successor entity for a supposed Kingdom of Humanity established between the two world wars on Meads Island, allegedly by the son of the British captain. This claim to this would-be micronation fell dormant after 1972, when several members of the group drowned in a typhoon.[44][45][46][47]

In 1883, German boats surveyed the Spratly and the Paracel Islands but eventually withdrew the survey, after receiving protests from the Guangdong government representing the Qing dynasty. Many European maps before the 20th century do not even mention this region.[48]

The following are political divisions for the Spratly Islands claimed by various area nations (in alphabetical order):

In the 19th century, Europeans found that Chinese fishermen from Hainan annually sojourned on the Spratly islands for part of the year, while in 1877 it was the British who launched the first modern legal claims to the Spratlys.[51][52]

When the Spratlys and Paracels were being surveyed by Germany in 1883, China issued protests against them. The 1887 Chinese-Vietnamese Boundary convention signed between France and China after the Sino-French War said that China was the owner of the Spratly and Paracel islands.[53][54] China sent naval forces on inspection tours in 1902 and 1907 and placed flags and markers on the islands. The Qing dynasty’s successor state, the Republic of China, claimed the Spratly and Paracel islands under the jurisdiction of Hainan.[54]

In 1933, France asserted its claims to the Spratly and Paracel Islands[55] on behalf of its then-colony Vietnam.[56] It occupied a number of the Spratly Islands, including Taiping Island, built weather stations on two of the islands, and administered them as part of French Indochina. This occupation was protested by the Republic of China (ROC) government because France admitted finding Chinese fishermen there when French warships visited nine of the islands.[57] In 1935, the ROC government also announced a sovereignty claim on the Spratly Islands. Japan occupied some of the islands in 1939 during World War II, and it used the islands as a submarine base for the occupation of Southeast Asia. During the Japanese occupation, these islands were called Shinnan Shoto (), literally the New Southern Islands, and together with the Paracel Islands (), they were put under the governance of the Japanese colonial authority in Taiwan.

Japan occupied the Paracels and the Spratlys from February 1939 to August 1945.[58] Japan administered the Spratlys via Taiwan’s jurisdiction and the Paracels via Hainan’s jurisdiction.[51] Parts of the Paracels and Spratlys were occupied by Republic of China after the 1945 surrender of Japan,[59] since the Allied powers assigned the Republic of China to receive Japanese surrenders in that area,[54] however no successor was named to the islands.[59]

In November 1946, the ROC sent naval ships to take control of the islands after the surrender of Japan.[58] It had chosen the largest and perhaps the only inhabitable island, Taiping Island, as its base, and it renamed the island under the name of the naval vessel as Taiping. Also following the defeat of Japan at the end of World War II, the ROC re-claimed the entirety of the Spratly Islands (including Taiping Island) after accepting the Japanese surrender of the islands based on the Cairo and Potsdam Declarations. The Republic of China then garrisoned Itu Aba (Taiping) island in 1946 and posted Chinese flags and markers on it along with Woody island in the Paracels. France tried, but failed, to make them leave Woody island.[51] The aim of the Republic of China was to block the French claims.[54][60] The Republic of China drew up the map showing the U-shaped claim on the entire South China Sea, showing the Spratly and Paracels in Chinese territory, in 1947.[54] Japan had renounced all claims to the islands in the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty together with the Paracels, Pratas and other islands captured from the Chinese, and upon these declarations, the government of the Republic of China reasserted its claim to the islands. The KMT force of the ROC government withdrew from most of the Spratly and Paracel Islands after they retreated to Taiwan from the opposing Communist Party of China due to their losses in the Chinese Civil War and the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949.[56] The ROC quietly withdrew troops from Taiping Island in 1950, but then reinstated them in 1956 in response to Toms Cloma’s sudden claim to the island as part of Freedomland.[61] As of 2013[update], Taiping Island is administered by the ROC.[62]

After pulling out its garrison in 1950 when the Republic of China evacuated to Taiwan, when the Filipino Tomas Cloma uprooted an ROC flag on Itu Aba laid claim to the Spratlys and, the Republic of China (now Taiwan) again regarrisoned Itu Aba on 1956.[63] In 1946, the Americans reminded the Philippines at its independence that the Spratlys was not Philippine territory, both to not anger Chiang Kai-shek in China and because the Spratlys were not part of the Philippines per the 1898 treaty Spain signed with America.[51] The Philippines then claimed the Spratlys in 1971 under President Marcos, after Taiwanese troops attacked and shot at a Philippine fishing boat on Itu Aba.[64]

Taiwan’s garrison from 19461950 and 1956-now on Itu Aba represents an “effective occupation” of the Spratlys.[64][65] China established a coastal defence system against Japanese pirates or smugglers.[66]

North Vietnam recognised China’s claims on the Paracels and Spratlys during the Vietnam War as it was being supported by China. Only after winning the war and conquering South Vietnam did North Vietnam retract its recognition and admitted it recognised them as part of China to receive aid from China in fighting the Americans.[67]

In 1988, the Vietnamese and Chinese navies engaged in a skirmish in the area of Johnson South Reef (also called Yongshu reef in China and Mabini reef in Philippines).[68]

Under President Lee Teng-hui, Taiwan stated that “legally, historically, geographically, or in reality”, all of the South China Sea and Spratly islands were Taiwan’s territory and under Taiwanese sovereignty, and denounced actions undertaken there by Malaysia and the Philippines, in a statement on 13 July 1999 released by the foreign ministry of Taiwan.[69] Taiwan and China’s claims “mirror” each other; during international talks involving the Spratly islands, China and Taiwan have cooperated with each other since both have the same claims.[64][70]

It was unclear whether France continued its claim to the islands after WWII, since none of the islands, other than Taiping Island, was habitable. The South Vietnamese government took over the Trng Sa administration after the defeat of the French at the end of the First Indochina War. In 1958, the PRC issued a declaration defining its territorial waters that encompassed the Spratly Islands. North Vietnam’s prime minister, Phm Vn ng, sent a formal note to Zhou Enlai, stating that the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) respected the Chinese decision regarding the 12nmi (22km; 14mi) limit of territorial waters.[71] While accepting the 12-nmi principal with respect to territorial waters, the letter did not actually address the issue of defining actual territorial boundaries.

In 1999, a Philippine navy ship (Number 57 – BRP Sierra Madre) was purposely run aground near Second Thomas Shoal to enable establishment of an outpost. As of 2014[update] it had not been removed, and Filipino troops have been stationed aboard since the grounding.[72][73]

Taiwan and China are largely strategically aligned on the Spratly islands issue, since they both claim exactly the same area, so Taiwan’s control of Itu Aba (Taiping) island is viewed as an extension of China’s claim.[53] Taiwan and China both claim the entire island chain, while all the other claimaints only claim portions of them. China has proposed co-operation with Taiwan against all the other countries claiming the islands. Taiwanese lawmakers have demanded that Taiwan fortify Itu Aba (Taiping) island with weapons to defend against the Vietnamese, and both China and Taiwanese NGOs have pressured Taiwan to expand Taiwan’s military capabilities on the island, which played a role in Taiwan expanding the island’s runway in 2012.[74] China has urged Taiwan to co-operate and offered Taiwan a share in oil and gas resources while shutting out all the other rival claimaints. Taiwanese lawmakers have complained about repeated Vietnamese aggression and trespassing on Taiwan’s Itu Aba (Taiping), and Taiwan has started viewing Vietnam as an enemy over the Spratly Islands, not China.[75] Taiwan’s state run oil company CPC Corp’s board director Chiu Yi has called Vietnam as the “greatest threat” to Taiwan.[74] Taiwan’s airstrip on Taiping has irritated Vietnam.[76] China views Taiwan’s expansion of its military and airstrip on Taiping as benefiting China’s position against the other rival claimaints from southeast Asian countries.[65] China’s claims to the Spratlys benefit from legal weight because of Taiwan’s presence on Itu Aba, while America on the other hand has regularly ignored Taiwan’s claims in the South China Sea and does not include Taiwan in any talks on dispute resolution for the area.[77]

Taiwan performed live fire military exercises on Taiping island in September 2012; reports said that Vietnam was explicitly named by the Taiwanese military as the “imaginary enemy” in the drill. Vietnam protested against the exercises as violation of its territory and “voiced anger”, demanding that Taiwan stop the drill. Among the inspectors of the live fire drill were Taiwanese national legislators, adding to the tensions.[78]

On 23 May 2011, the President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, warned visiting Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie of a possible arms race in the region if tensions worsened over disputes in the South China Sea. Aquino said he told Liang in their meeting that this could happen if there were more encounters in the disputed and potentially oil-rich Spratly Islands.[79]

In May 2011, Chinese patrol boats attacked 2 Vietnamese oil exploration ships near the Spratly Islands.[80] Also in May 2011, Chinese naval vessels opened fire on Vietnamese fishing vessels operating off East London Reef (Da Dong). The 3 Chinese military vessels were numbered 989, 27 and 28, and they showed up with a small group of Chinese fishing vessels. Another Vietnamese fishing vessel was fired on near Fiery Cross Reef (Chu Thap). The Chief Commander of Border Guards in Phu Yen Province, Vietnam reported that a total of 4 Vietnamese vessels were fired upon by Chinese naval vessels.[verification needed] These incidents involving Chinese forces sparked mass protests in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City,[81] and in various Vietnamese communities in the West (namely in the US state of California and in Paris) over attacks on Vietnamese citizens and the intrusion into what Vietnam claimed was part of its territory.[82]

In June 2011, the Philippines began officially referring to the South China Sea as the “West Philippine Sea” and the Reed Bank as “Recto Bank”.[83][84]

In July 2012, the National Assembly of Vietnam passed a law demarcating Vietnamese sea borders to include the Spratly and Paracel Islands.[85][86]

In 2010, it was reported that the former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad believed Malaysia could profit from China’s economic growth through co-operation with China,[87] and said that China “was not a threat to anyone and was not worried about aggression from China”, as well accusing the United States of provoking China and trying to turn China’s neighbours against China.[88] Malaysia displayed no concern over China conducting a military exercise at James Shoal in March 2013.[89] Malaysia also suggested that it might work with China with Malaysian Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein saying that Malaysia had no problem with China patrolling the South China Sea, and telling ASEAN, America, and Japan that “Just because you have enemies, doesn’t mean your enemies are my enemies”.[90] However, until present Malaysia still maintained a balance relations with the countries involved in this dispute.[91] But since China has start enroaching its territorial waters,[92] Malaysia has become active in condemning China.[93][94]

The editorial of the Taiwanese news website “Want China Times” accused America for being behind the May 2014 flareup in the South China Sea, saying that Vietnam rammed a Chinese vessel on 2 May over an oil rig drilling platform and the Philippines detained 11 Chinese fishermens occurred because of Obama’s visit to the region and that they were incited by America “behind the scenes”. “Want China Times” claimed America ordered Vietnam on 7 May to complain about the drilling platform, and noted that a joint military exercise was happening at this time between the Philippines and America, and also noted that the American “New York Times” newspaper supported Vietnam.[95]

In a series of news stories on 16 April 2015, it was revealed, through photos taken by Airbus Group, that China had been building an airstrip on Fiery Cross Reef, one of the southern islands. The 10,000-foot-long (3,048m) runway covers a significant portion of the island, and is viewed as a possible strategic threat to other countries with claims to the islands, such as Vietnam and the Philippines.

Various factions of the Muslim Moro people are waging a war for independence against the Philippines. The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) of Nur Misuari declared its support for China against the Philippines in the South China Sea dispute, calling both China and the Moro people as victims of Philippine colonialism, and noting China’s history of friendly relations with the Sultanate of Sulu in the region.[96] The MNLF also denounced America’s assistance to the Philippines in their colonization of the Moro people in addition to denouncing the Philippines claims to the islands disputed with China, and denouncing America for siding with the Philippines in the dispute, noting that in 1988 China “punished” Vietnam for attempting to set up a military presence on the disputed islands, and noting that the Moros and China maintained peaceful relations, while on the other hand the Moros had to resist other colonial powers, having to fight the Spanish, fight the Americans, and fight the Japanese, in addition to fighting the Philippines.[97]

While the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a peace deal with the Philippines, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) did not and renewed armed resistance against Philippine rule in Zamboanga; on September 15, 2013, in response to the MNLF’s fighting against the Philippine Army, the New York Times published an article crediting every Philippine government for having struggled to bring peace to the Muslims of Mindanao since 1946 when it became independent and claimed that it is the belief of the Muslims that they are being subjected to oppression and exploitation by the Christians that is the problem which is causing the conflict and the newspaper also claimed that the conflict stretched back to 1899 when Moro insurrectionists were quelled by the American army.[98] On January 26, 2014 the New York Times published another article claiming that “every Philippine government” has “struggled to bring peace to Mindanao” and claimed that reports of exploitation and oppression by the Filipino Christians originated from what Muslims “say” and the newspaper also praised President Benigno S. Aquino III’s “landmark peace deal” with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).[99] The New York Times labelled Moro fighters as “Muslim-led groups” and as “violent”.[100] The New York Times blamed “Islamic extremist groups” for carrying out attacks in the Philippines.[101] The New York Times editorial board endorsed Philippine President Benigno Aquino’s planned peace deal and the passage of “Bangsamoro Basic Law”, blaming the “Muslim insurgency” for causing trouble to the “largely Catholic country”.[102] The New York Times claimed that “Islamic militants” were fighting the Philippine military.[103]

The New York Times claimed the peace deal between the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) “seeks to bring prosperity to the restive south and weaken the appeal of the extremist groups”, and linked the winding down of an American military counterterrorism operation to increased American military cooperation with the Philippines against China.[104] The New York Times hailed Mr Aquino’s “peace agreement” as an “accomplishment” as it reported on Aquino raising the “alarm” on China in the South China Sea.[105] The New York Times editorial board published an article siding with the Philippines against China in the South China Sea dispute and supporting the Philippines actions against China.[106][107] The New York Times editorial board endorsed aggressive American military action against China in the South China Sea.[108][109]

American and Filipino forces launched a joint operation against the Moros in the Mamasapano clash, in which Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters manage to kill 44 Filipino police commandos and caused massive blow back for the botched raid, putting a decisive halt to American plans for its Asia military “pivot” in the Philippines.[110] Moros have reported that 4 caucasian-looking (American) soldiers were killed in the Mamasapano clash along with the 44 Filipinos.[111]

The Moro National Liberation Front published an open letter to the United States President Barack Hussein Obama and demanded to know why America is supporting Philippine colonialism against the Moro Muslim people and the Filipino “war of genocide” and atrocities against Moros, reminding Obama that the Moro people have resisted and fought against the atrocities of Filipino, Japanese, American, and Spanish invaders, and reminding Obama of past war crimes also committed by American troops against Moro women and children like the Moro Crater massacre at Bud Dajo.[112]

The Moro National Liberation Front accused the Philippines, Japan, America, and Spain of conspiring against the Moros and recounted their invasions, imperialism, and atrocities against the Moros and demanded that they end the current colonization against the Moro people, the MNLF recounted that the Spanish were greedy colonizers, that the Americans committed massacres of Moro children and women at Mount Bagsak and Bud Dajo, and that the Japanese “exhibited tyranny, cruelty and inhumanity at its lowest level”, and “had to suffer their worst defeat and highest death mortality at the hands of the Bangsamoro freedom fighters”, demanding an apology from Japan for crimes committed against the Moros.[113]

The Moro National Liberation Front questioned the humanity and morality of the Philippines, Japan, America, and Spain, noting that they have done nothing to end the colonialism and war inflicted upon the Moros and reminded them that they have resisted and fought against Japanese, American, and Spanish atrocities and war crimes while the Filipinos bent over, capitulated and submitted to the invaders, the MNLF brought up the massacre committed by American troops at Bud Dajo against Moro women and children and boasted that compared to the Japanese casualty rate in the Visayas and Luzon, the amount of Japanese imperialists slaughtered by the Moro freedom fighters was greater by the thousands and that there was no capitulation like the “Fall of Bataan” to the Japanese by the Moros while the Luzon Filipinos submitted.[114] The MNLF said that the Japanese, American, and Spanish cruelty has been continued by Filipino rule.[115]

Japanese scholar Taoka Shunji criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for trying to falsely portray China as a threat to Japan and that it was invading its neighbors like the Philippines, and pointed out that the Spratly islands were not part of the Philippines when the US acquired the Philippines from Spain in the Treaty of Paris in 1898, and the Japanese ruled Taiwan itself had annexed the Spratly islands in 1938 and the US ruled Philippines did not challenge the move and never asserted that it was their territory, he also pointed out that other countries did not need to do full land reclamation since they already control islands and that the reason China engaged in extensive land reclamation is because they needed it to build airfields since China only has control over reefs.[116]

Champa historically had a large presence in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese broke Champa’s power in an invasion of Champa in 1471, and then finally conquered the last remnants of the Cham people in an invasion in 1832. A Cham named Katip Suma who received Islamic education in Kelantan declared a Jihad against the Vietnamese, and fighting continued until the Vietnamese crushed the remnants of the resistance in 1835. The Cham organisation Front de Libration du Champa was part of the United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races, which waged war against the Vietnamese for independence in the Vietnam War along with the Montagnard and Khmer Krom minorities. The last remaining FULRO insurgents surrendered to the United Nations in 1992. Vietnam has settled over a million ethnic Vietnamese on Montagnard lands in the Central Highlands. The Montagnard staged a massive protest against the Vietnamese in 2001, which led to the Vietnamese to forcefully crush the uprising and seal the entire area off to foreigners.

The Vietnamese government fears that evidence of Champa’s influence over the disputed area in the South China Sea would bring attention to human rights violations and killings of ethnic minorities in Vietnam such as in the 2001 and 2004 uprisings, and lead to the issue of Cham autonomy being brought into the dispute, since the Vietnamese conquered the Hindu and Muslim Cham people in a war in 1832, and the Vietnamese continue to destroy evidence of Cham culture and artefacts left behind, plundering or building on top of Cham temples, building farms over them, banning Cham religious practices, and omitting references to the destroyed Cham capital of Song Luy in the 1832 invasion in history books and tourist guides. The situation of Cham compared to ethnic Vietnamese is substandard, lacking water and electricity and living in houses made out of mud.[117]

The Cham in Vietnam are only recognised as a minority, and not as an indigenous people by the Vietnamese government despite being indigenous to the region. Both Hindu and Muslim Chams have experienced religious and ethnic persecution and restrictions on their faith under the current Vietnamese government, with the Vietnamese state confisticating Cham property and forbidding Cham from observing their religious beliefs. Hindu temples were turned into tourist sites against the wishes of the Cham Hindus. In 2010 and 2013 several incidents occurred in Thnh Tn and Phc Nhn villages where Cham were murdered by Vietnamese. In 2012, Vietnamese police in Chau Giang village stormed into a Cham Mosque, stole the electric generator, and also raped Cham girls.[118] Cham Muslims in the Mekong Delta have also been economically marginalised and pushed into poverty by Vietnamese policies, with ethnic Vietnamese Kinh settling on majority Cham land with state support, and religious practices of minorities have been targeted for elimination by the Vietnamese government.[119]

In 2005, a cellular phone base station was erected by the Philippines’ Smart Communications on Pag-asa Island.[122]

On 18 May 2011, China Mobile announced that its mobile phone coverage has expanded to the Spratly Islands. The extended coverage would allow soldiers stationed on the islands, fishermen, and merchant vessels within the area to use mobile services, and can also provide assistance during storms and sea rescues. The service network deployment over the islands took nearly one year.[123]

Links to related articles

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Spratly Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Days Inn Le Roy/Bloomington Southeast | Le Roy, IL 61752 Hotel

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Jan 242016
 

Enjoy comfort and convenience at our Days Inn Le Roy/Bloomington Southeast hotel, located off Interstate 74, midway between Bloomington and Champaign. Our non-smoking Le Roy, IL, hotel is also just 15 miles from Bloomington-Normal Airport (BMI) and offers easy access to Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University and companies like Pioneer Hi-Bred and Vestas Wind Energy, as well as golf and recreational activities, making us your ideal choice for hotels and motels in the Bloomington area.

Wake up each morning to a free Daybreak continental breakfast with hot waffles, surf the web or check your email using our free Wi-Fi, and take advantage of our ample free parking, including large-vehicle parking. Our in-room amenities include a microwave, mini-refrigerator and flat-screen HDTV, and kids 17 and under stay free with an adult at our pet-friendly hotel.

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS

Those seeking to commune with nature can fish, go horseback riding and rent paddle boats at Moraine View State Park, just seven miles from our Le Roy, IL, hotel or take the drive to Clinton Lake State Recreation Area, just 20 miles away. Golfers can hit the links at nearby Le Roy Country Club, and those in the area visiting students will find Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University just 20 miles from our Le Roy hotel, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign just 35 miles away.

DINING OPTIONS

You will find several restaurants close by our hotel in Le Roy. Jacks Caf serves up hearty family-style fare, and Woodys Family Restaurant features an all-you-can-eat-buffet. Teddy Buckmens offers zesty southern fare, while China King is the place to go if you are craving Chinese food. For those on the run, familiar, tasty cheap eats including McDonalds, Arbys and Subway are all within a half-mile of our Le Roy, Illinois hotel.

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Days Inn Le Roy/Bloomington Southeast | Le Roy, IL 61752 Hotel

International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology: Libertarianism

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Oct 262015
 

This essay first appeared in the International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology, edited by Jens Beckert and Milan Zafirovski (London and New York: Routledge, 2006, pp. 403-407). It was posted as a Notablog entry on 5 January 2006. Comments welcome (post here).

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“LIBERTARIANISM”

By Chris Matthew Sciabarra

Libertarianism is the political ideology ofvoluntarism, a commitment to voluntary action in a social context, where no individual or group of individuals can initiate the use of force against others. It is not a monolithic ideological paradigm; rather, it signifies a variety of approaches that celebrate therule of law and the free exchange of goods, services, and ideas a laissez-faire attitude towards what philosopher Robert Nozick (1974) once called capitalist acts between consenting adults.

Modern libertarians draw inspiration from writings attributed to the Chinese sage Lao Tzu, as well as the works of Aristotle, among the ancients; [seventeenth-,] eighteenth- and nineteenth-century classicalliberalism (e.g. John Locke, the Scottish Enlightenment, the American founders, Carl Menger, andHerbert Spencer); individualist anarchism (e.g. Benjamin Tucker and Lysander Spooner); Old Right opponents of Franklin D. Roosevelts New Deal (e.g. Albert Jay Nock, John T. Flynn, Isabel Paterson andH. L. Mencken); modern Austrian economics (e.g. Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek and Murray Rothbard), as well as the economics of the Chicago school(Milton Friedman) and Virginia school (James Buchanan); and the Objectivist philosopherAyn Rand.

Classical liberalism is the most immediatepredecessor of contemporary libertarianism. Locke and the American founders had an impact on those libertarians, such as Rothbard and Rand, who stress individual rights, while the Scottish Enlightenment and Spencer had a major impact on thinkerssuch as Hayek, who stress the evolutionary wisdom of customs and traditions in contradistinctionto the constructivist rationalism of state planners.

Among evolutionists, Spencer in particularmade important contributions to what would become known as general systems theory; some consider him to be the founder of modern sociology. Indeed, he authored Principles of Sociology and TheStudy of Sociology, which was the textbook used for the first sociology course offered in the United States, at Yale University. A contemporary of Charles Darwin, he focused on social evolution the development of societies and organizational structuresfrom simple to compound forms. In such works as The Man Versus the State, he presented a conception of society as a spontaneous, integrated growth and not amanufacture, an organically evolving context for the development of heterogeneity and differentiation among the individuals who compose it. Just as Spencer emphasized organic social evolution, so too did he focus on the organic evolution of the state with its mutually reinforcing reliance onbureaucracy and militarism, and how it might be overcome.

The Austrian-born Carl Menger, a founder along with W. S. Jevons and Lon Walras of the marginalist revolution in economics, held a similar view of social life as a dynamic, spontaneous, evolving process. Influenced by Aristotle in his methodological individualism, Menger wasfervently opposed to the historical relativism of the German historicists of the Methodenstreit. Menger focused on the purposeful actions of individuals in generating unintended sociologicalconsequences a host of institutions, such as language, religion, law, the state, markets, competition and money.

In the twentieth century, the Nobel laureate Austrian economist F. A. Hayek carried on Mengers evolutionist discussion and praised it for providing outstanding guidelines for general sociology. For Hayek (1991), Menger was among the Darwinians before Darwin those evolutionists,such as the conservative Edmund Burke and the liberals of the Scottish Enlightenment, who stressed the evolution of institutions as the product of unintended consequences, rather than deliberate design. Hayek drew a direct parallel between hisown concept of spontaneous order and Adam Smiths notion of the invisible hand. Hayek argued that, over time, there is a competition among various emergent traditions, each of which embodies rivalrules of action and perception. Through a process of natural selection, those rules and institutions that are more durable than others will tend to flourish, resulting in a relative increase in population and wealth. Though he didnt argue for a theory of inevitable progress, as Spencer had, heclearly assumed that liberalism was the social system most conducive to such flourishing.

Like Karl Marx, Hayek criticized utopiansfor their desire to construct social institutions as if from an Archimedean standpoint, external to history and culture. But Hayek turned this analysis on Marx; he developed a full-fledged critique of socialism and central planning as utopian requiring an unattainable synoptic knowledge of all the articulated and tacit dimensions of social life. Hayek argued that market prices were indispensable to rational entrepreneurial calculation. He also focused on the sociological and psychological ramifications of the movement away from markets. He maintains in The Road to Serfdom (1944), for example, that there is a structural connection between social psychology and politics: to the extent that the stateimposes collectivist arrangements on individuals, it is destructive of individualchoice, morals and responsibility, and this destruction of individualism reinforces the spread of statism. And the more the state comes to dominate social life, says Hayek, the more state power will be the only power worth having which is why theworst get on top.

The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises was similarly opposed to statism and collectivism, and presented, in [1922], an influential book entitled Socialism, which was an economic and sociological analysis of all forms of state intervention from fascism to communism. Mises used the tools of praxeology, the science of humanaction, to demonstrate the calculational problems that all non-market systems face, due to their elimination of private property, entrepreneurialism and the price system. More important, perhaps, is Misess development of a non-Marxist, libertarian theoryof class. Like Charles Dunoyer, Charles Comte, James Mill and other classical liberals, Mises argued that traders on the market share a mutuality of benefit that is destroyed by political intervention. For Mises, the long-term interests of marketparticipants are not in fundamental conflict. It is only with government action that such conflict becomes possible, Mises claims,because it is only government that can create a caste system based on the bestowal of special privileges.

Mises located the central caste conflictin the financial sector of the economy. In such books as The Theory of Money and Credit, he contends that government control over money and banking led to the cycle of boom and bust. A systematicincrease in the money supply creates differentialeffects over time, redistributing wealth to those social groups, especially banks and debtor industries, which are the first beneficiaries of the inflation.

Mises student, Murray Rothbard, developed this theory of caste conflict into a full-fledged libertarian class analysis. Rothbard views central banking as a cartelizing device that has created a powerful structure of class privilege in modern political economy. These privileges growexponentially as government restricts market competition and free entry, thereby creating monopoly through various coercive means (e.g. compulsory cartelization, price controls, output quotas, licensing, tariffs, immigration restrictions, labourlaws, conscription, patents, franchises, etc.).

Rothbards view of the relationship between big business and government in the rise of American statism draws additionally from the work of New Left historical revisionists, such as Gabriel Kolko andJames Weinstein. These historians held that big business was at the forefront of the movement towards government regulation of the market. That movement, according to Rothbard, had both a domestic and foreigncomponent, since it often entailed both domestic regulation and foreign imperialism to secure global markets. The creation of a welfare-warfare state leads necessarily to economic inefficiencies and deep distortions in the structure of production. Like Marx, Rothbard views these internal contradictions as potentially fatal to the economic system; unlike Marx, Rothbard blames these contradictions not on the free market, but on the growth of statism.

Drawing inspiration from Franz Oppenheimers and Albert Jay Nocks distinction between state power and social power, or state and market, and from John C. Calhouns class theory, as presented in Disquisition on Government, Rothbard sawsociety fragmenting, ultimately, into two opposing classes: taxpayers and tax-consumers. In his book Power and Market, Rothbard identifies bureaucrats, politicians and the net beneficiaries of government privilege as among the tax-consumers. Unlike his Austrian predecessors Hayek andMises, however, Rothbard argues that it is only with the elimination of the state that a fully just and productive society can emerge. His anarcho-capitalist ideal society would end the states monopoly on the coercive use of force, as well as taxation and conscription, and allow for the emergence of contractual agencies for the protectionof fully delineated private property rights (thereby resolving the problems of externalities and public goods) and the adjudication of disputes. His scenario had a major impact on Nozick, whose Anarchy,State, and Utopia was written in response to the Rothbardian anarchist challenge.

Ayn Rand, the Russian-born novelist and philosopher, author of best-selling novels TheFountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, was one of those who eschewed the libertarian label, partially because of its association with anarchism. An epistemological realist, ethical egoist and advocate of laissez-faire capitalism, Rand maintained that libertarians had focused too much attention on politics to the exclusion of the philosophical and cultural factors upon which it depended. But even though she saw politics as hierarchically dependent on these factors, she often stressed the reciprocal relationships among disparate elements, from politicsand pedagogy to sex, economics and psychology. She sought to transcend the dualities of mind and body, reason and emotion, theory and practice, fact and value, morality and prudence, and theconventional philosophic dichotomies of materialism and idealism, rationalism and empiricism, subjectivism and classical objectivism (which she called intrinsicism). Yet, despite her protestations, Rand can be placed in the libertarian tradition, given her adherence to its voluntarist political credo.

From the perspective of social theory, Rand proposed a multi-level sociological analysis of human relations under statism. Echoing the Austrian critique of state intervention in her analysis of politics and economics, Rand extended her critique toencompass epistemology, psychology, ethics and culture. She argued that statism both nourished and depended upon an irrational altruist and collectivist ethos that demanded the sacrifice of the individual to the group. It required and perpetuated a psychology of dependence and a groupmentality that was destructive of individual authenticity, integrity, honesty and responsibility. Rand also focused on the cultural preconditions and effects of statism since coercive social relations required fundamental alterations in the nature of language, education, pedagogy, aesthetics and ideology. Just as relations of power operatethrough ethical, psychological, cultural, political and economic dimensions, so too, for Rand, the struggle for freedom and individualism depends upon a certain constellation of moral, psychological, cultural and structural factors that support it. Randadvocated capitalism, the unknown ideal, as the only system capable of generating just social conditions, conducive to the individuals survival and flourishing.

See also: inflation; laissez faire; monopolyand oligopoly.

References and further reading

Calhoun, John C. ([1853]1953) A Disquisition onGovernment and Selections from the Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.

Hayek, F. A. (1944) The Road to Serfdom, Chicago:University of Chicago Press.

(1991) The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek,Volume 3: The Trend of Economic Thinking: Essays on Political Economists and Economic History, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Mises, Ludwig von ([1912]1981) The Theory ofMoney and Credit, Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Classics.

(1936) Socialism: An Economic and SociologicalAnalysis, London: Jonathan Cape.

Nozick, Robert (1974) Anarchy, State, and Utopia,New York: Basic Books.

Rand, Ayn (1967) Capitalism: The UnknownIdeal, New York: New American Library.

Rothbard, Murray ([1970]1977) Power and Market:Government and the Economy, Kansas City, MO: Sheed Andrews and McMeel.

(1978) For a New Liberty: The LibertarianManifesto, revised edition, New York: Collier Books.

Sciabarra, Chris Matthew (1995) Ayn Rand: TheRussian Radical, University Park, PA: PennsylvaniaState University Press.

(1995) Marx, Hayek, and Utopia, Albany,NY: State University of New York Press.

(2000) Total Freedom: Toward a DialecticalLibertarianism, University Park, PA: PennsylvaniaState University Press.

Spencer, Herbert (1873) The Study of Sociology,New York: D. Appleton.

(188298) The Principles of Sociology, threevolumes, London: Williams and Norgate.

([1940]1981) The Man Versus the State, withSix Essays on Government, Society, and Freedom, Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Classics.

CHRIS MATTHEW SCIABARRA

______ Note: [bracketed words] above are corrections to online version

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Beaches and Islands – Krabi

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Oct 052015
 

>> Back To Visitor Guide Main Page

:: Beaches & Islands in the Sun

Visitors to Krabi beaches and islands are of many different backgrounds. Some are on their honeymoon and are overseas for the first time, others are adventurists who barely unpack their bags before leaving on their next adventure. We have visitors who have traveled the world over who have enjoyed travels on continents around the world, hot and cool climates. When you read about the islands and beaches of Krabi you will see that there is truly something to enjoy and love for everyone.

Ao Nang Beach

Krabi is hardly 18 km away from the bay and the bay has some 83 islands scattered around. Each one of these islands are a short distance away from one another. And during low tides, you can even wade your way to the neighboring island. In this sort of a natural set up, there is little shortage for sandy beaches and crystal clear water. But among them all, Ao Nang beach is supposed to be the best.

Ao Nang has the cleanest of environments in the area. This is the most developed beach in the area. And the beach is accessible by road from Krabi. Less crowded and more quiet, it gives a more peaceful atmosphere to the tourist than the Krabi. The majestic looking limestone cliffs rising straight from calm, clear waters of the sea and the long beach line that runs the whole length of the resort are great attractions claimed exclusively by Ao Nang. The shallow coast line is very safe for children to play with the waves. The deserted beach of Pai Plong is easily accessible on foot when the tide is low. There are 83 islands of various sizes in the bay off this beach. And the facilities for boat trips are well organized in the beach. Tourism sector takes care of the food requirements at the sea front itself. With widest range of accommodation facilities , transports either by boat or road, excellent facilities for tasty foods, tourists often make this area a base camp to make their foray further deep to discover the caves or for trekking and rock climbing.

Hat Noppharat Thara

This beach is on the western side of the Krabi town. The park covers an extensive area of the main land and 80 islands including Phi Phi Islands.

20 km west of Krabi and 3 miles long, this beach is lined with a majestic Casuarina forest. The beach is a part of Koh Phi Phi National Marine Park. Just as in the case of Ao Nang , during low tides, it is possible to reach other islands in the bay on foot.

Railay or Railey Beach & ( Hat Tham Beaches )

Two of the most popular beaches in Ao Phra Nang peninsula are Rai Leh and Hat Tham. This is just to the south of Ao Nang. Phra Nang area is a hilly terrain with craggy limestone cliffs. There are no proper roads in this area. The beaches are accessible by long tail boats. This scenario gives a secluded feel to the place.

In Rai Leh, excellent accommodation is available which gives an added attraction to this beach. There are plenty of rock formations in the area. And caves with stalactites and stalagmites are spectcular attraction in Rai Leh. As is quite typical of this area, the limestone geology has forged many interesting rock formations.

Besides, these beaches provide opportunities for rock climbing enthusiasts. A spectacular view of the surrounding areas from the top of the cliff is a rewarding experience to the hardship and strain you take to climb the hill side. The facilities including supplies of climbing gear and training for the novice are also available.

Pristine beaches with pure white sand and shallow clear water make the Rai Leh beach a favorite to the tourists. Swimming and sunbathing in this beach is much popular. Rai Leh beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches of the world. And this is one of Krabi’s most unique areas.

Pra Nang Beach

Connected to Rai Lei by a small path is Phra Nang (not to be confused with Ao Nang) on the outer most point of the headland, backed by a limestone cliff which soars above the beach providing some welcome shade in the hot afternoon. At the bottom of the cliff lies the Princess Cave or Tham Phra Nang Nok – local legend surrounds the cave and local fishermen leave offerings for good fortune. It’s a great beach to simply hang out. In the late morning the “sandwich boats” arrive. Local longtail boats equipped with ice boxes, bread and sandwich ingredients. Fancy a cheese and ham baguette? Freshly made and not expensive, the ladies on the boats will serve with a smile and often a free piece of fruit. A path Swimming and snorkeling can be enjoyed off this pristine, white sandy beach, and from here it is possible to hike to the top of the headland to get spectacular views of the entire area.

Klong Muang Beach/Tubkaak

Krabi’s latest beach destination, Muang Klong is aiming upmarket with 5 star and boutique hotels like the Sheraton Krabi Resort, the Nakamanda and the Tubkaak Resort. Unlike Ao Nang it doesn’t have the impressive cliffs immediately towering over the beach, but it does have powder white sand and safe swimming

The Lanta Island Group

About 53 islands are included in this group, which form the southern most district of Krabi Province.

Koh Lanta Yai The largest of the islands, it was formerly known as Pulao Satak, its name in the Malay language, which means Long Beach Island. The island is a favourite spot for those seeking peace and solitude, and is the home of the District and National Park offices. Mountainous and rugged in some spots, especially near the southern tip; with a combination of gravely and fine white sandy beaches, the island is also home to a clan of Chao Ley, or Sea Gypsies – an ethnic group who preserve many of their ancient customs and ceremonies. In recent years accommodation has increased in Lanta with a range from basic bungalows to upmarket resorts now available. You can get to Lanta on the regular ferry from Jao Fah Pier in Krabi Town.

Koh Taleng Beng Lies in the Lanta district and is similar in shape to Phi Phi Ley. Swallows also nest at this island which at low tide has a small beach and tunnel.

Mu Koh Hah Still in the Lanta area, this is a group of 5 islands featuring coral gardens and good diving spots.

Koh Ngai, Koh Rock Nai and Koh Rock Nok South of Lanta Island, these 3 islands are close to Trang Province. Koh Ngai is easily accessed via ferry from Pak Meng Beach, others are accessed by hired boat and feature both beaches and coral gardens.

Poda Beach

This is another location much favored by tourists. Lying off the coast of Ao Nang , Poda Beach is famous for its pure white sandy beach and warm waters. Diving and snorkeling , sun bathing and boating are the favorite activities in this beach. This is considered to be an ideal place for fun and relaxation.

Phi Phi Island Beaches

These islands are some of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world. This is one of the much sought after locations in Krabi province. The superb scenery of these islands are not just limited to the silvery sand beaches but the Emerald green sea, the multi colored coral reefs and the abundance of the underwater marine life. Hardly 2 hrs journey by boat from Ao Nang beach, the twin islands Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh provide excellent entertainments.

Phi Phi Don is the larger of the two islands. Covering some 28 square km area, this is in the northern part of the island. Phi Phi Don has several long white sand beaches. Long ,white curved beach, fringed by palms and between mountain ranges provide sheltered calm waters for beach sports. Plenty of accommodation is available at the site. You can have beach side bungalows or smaller resorts as you please. Bars are available adjacent to the Muslim areas where you have to be discrete. Sun bathing and swimming in the shallow waters are the popular enjoyment here.

There are very many restaurants in Phi Phi Don. In fact, Thailand as a whole is considered to be a land of restaurants. This may perhaps be the only place in the world where you have more number of restaurants and eateries on a per capita basis. And Phi Phi Don is no exception. Both European cuisine and tasty Thai foods are available at the beach restaurants. Bars, cabaret, souvenir shops, fishing excursions and chartered boats are all available at the site.

Phi Phi Leh is only some six sq.km in area. The main attraction is the rocks and caves. Rugged cliff surfaces with sparse vegetation rising staraight from the sea bed to several metres to the sky provide real challenge to the rock climbing enthusiasts.

There are several caves where birds roost in their multitudes. The sea swallows make their gelatinous nests in these caves. And these nests are some delicacy in the Chinese cuisine. The Viking cave is famous for the murals inside. These paintings depict Viking-like sailing vessels and sailors there by giving the name for the cave.

The underwater life is also much captivating. The colorful coral reef and underwater creatures give a feast to the divers. Snorkeling is a favorite sport in these beaches. In short, Phi Phi Islands are a real treat to the tourist and one of the best choices in the Andaman Bay.

Ko Paid ( Bamboo Island ) This is another of the Phi Phi Islands but uninhabited. This has some of the most beautiful beaches in the area. And the beaches are unspoiled as the area is uninhabited.

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Beaches and Islands – Krabi

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Eugenics in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sep 072015
 

Early proponents

The American eugenics movement was rooted in the biological determinist ideas of Sir Francis Galton, which originated in the 1880s. Galton studied the upper classes of Britain, and arrived at the conclusion that their social positions were due to a superior genetic makeup.[8] Early proponents of eugenics believed that, through selective breeding, the human species should direct its own evolution. They tended to believe in the genetic superiority of Nordic, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon peoples; supported strict immigration and anti-miscegenation laws; and supported the forcible sterilization of the poor, disabled and “immoral”.[9] Eugenics was also supported by African Americans intellectuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Thomas Wyatt Turner, and many academics at Tuskegee University, Howard University, and Hampton University; however they believed the best blacks were as good as the best whites and “The Talented Tenth” of all races should mix.[10] W. E. B. Du Bois believed “only fit blacks should procreate to eradicate the race’s heritage of moral iniquity.”[10][11]

The American eugenics movement received extensive funding from various corporate foundations including the Carnegie Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortune.[6] In 1906 J.H. Kellogg provided funding to help found the Race Betterment Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.[8] The Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was founded in Cold Spring Harbor, New York in 1911 by the renowned biologist Charles B. Davenport, using money from both the Harriman railroad fortune and the Carnegie Institution. As late as the 1920s, the ERO was one of the leading organizations in the American eugenics movement.[8][12] In years to come, the ERO collected a mass of family pedigrees and concluded that those who were unfit came from economically and socially poor backgrounds. Eugenicists such as Davenport, the psychologist Henry H. Goddard, Harry H. Laughlin, and the conservationist Madison Grant (all well respected in their time) began to lobby for various solutions to the problem of the “unfit”. Davenport favored immigration restriction and sterilization as primary methods; Goddard favored segregation in his The Kallikak Family; Grant favored all of the above and more, even entertaining the idea of extermination.[13] The Eugenics Record Office later became the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Eugenics was widely accepted in the U.S. academic community.[6] By 1928 there were 376 separate university courses in some of the United States’ leading schools, enrolling more than 20,000 students, which included eugenics in the curriculum.[14] It did, however, have scientific detractors (notably, Thomas Hunt Morgan, one of the few Mendelians to explicitly criticize eugenics), though most of these focused more on what they considered the crude methodology of eugenicists, and the characterization of almost every human characteristic as being hereditary, rather than the idea of eugenics itself.[15]

By 1910, there was a large and dynamic network of scientists, reformers and professionals engaged in national eugenics projects and actively promoting eugenic legislation. The American Breeder’s Association was the first eugenic body in the U.S., established in 1906 under the direction of biologist Charles B. Davenport. The ABA was formed specifically to “investigate and report on heredity in the human race, and emphasize the value of superior blood and the menace to society of inferior blood.” Membership included Alexander Graham Bell, Stanford president David Starr Jordan and Luther Burbank.[16][17] The American Association for the Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality was one of the first organizations to begin investigating infant mortality rates in terms of eugenics.[18] They promoted government intervention in attempts to promote the health of future citizens.[19][verification needed]

Several feminist reformers advocated an agenda of eugenic legal reform. The National Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and the National League of Women Voters were among the variety of state and local feminist organization that at some point lobbied for eugenic reforms.[20]

One of the most prominent feminists to champion the eugenic agenda was Margaret Sanger, the leader of the American birth control movement. Margaret Sanger saw birth control as a means to prevent unwanted children from being born into a disadvantaged life, and incorporated the language of eugenics to advance the movement.[21][22] Sanger also sought to discourage the reproduction of persons who, it was believed, would pass on mental disease or serious physical defect. She advocated sterilization in cases where the subject was unable to use birth control.[21] Unlike other eugenicists, she rejected euthanasia.[23] For Sanger, it was individual women and not the state who should determine whether or not to have a child.[24][25]

In the Deep South, women’s associations played an important role in rallying support for eugenic legal reform. Eugenicists recognized the political and social influence of southern clubwomen in their communities, and used them to help implement eugenics across the region.[26] Between 1915 and 1920, federated women’s clubs in every state of the Deep South had a critical role in establishing public eugenic institutions that were segregated by sex.[27] For example, the Legislative Committee of the Florida State Federation of Women’s Clubs successfully lobbied to institute a eugenic institution for the mentally retarded that was segregated by sex.[28] Their aim was to separate mentally retarded men and women to prevent them from breeding more “feebleminded” individuals.

Public acceptance in the U.S. was the reason eugenic legislation was passed. Almost 19 million people attended the PanamaPacific International Exposition in San Francisco, open for 10 months from February 20 to December 4, 1915.[29][30][31] The PPIE was a fair devoted to extolling the virtues of a rapidly progressing nation, featuring new developments in science, agriculture, manufacturing and technology. A subject that received a large amount of time and space was that of the developments concerning health and disease, particularly the areas of tropical medicine and race betterment (tropical medicine being the combined study of bacteriology, parasitology and entomology while racial betterment being the promotion of eugenic studies). Having these areas so closely intertwined, it seemed that they were both categorized in the main theme of the fair, the advancement of civilization. Thus in the public eye, the seemingly contradictory[clarification needed] areas of study were both represented under progressive banners of improvement and were made to seem like plausible courses of action to better American society.[32][verification needed]

Beginning with Connecticut in 1896, many states enacted marriage laws with eugenic criteria, prohibiting anyone who was “epileptic, imbecile or feeble-minded”[33] from marrying.[citation needed]

The first state to introduce a compulsory sterilization bill was Michigan, in 1897 but the proposed law failed to garner enough votes by legislators to be adopted. Eight years later Pennsylvania’s state legislators passed a sterilization bill that was vetoed by the governor. Indiana became the first state to enact sterilization legislation in 1907,[34] followed closely by Washington and California in 1909. Sterilization rates across the country were relatively low (California being the sole exception) until the 1927 Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell which legitimized the forced sterilization of patients at a Virginia home for the mentally retarded. The number of sterilizations performed per year increased until another Supreme Court case, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 1942, complicated the legal situation by ruling against sterilization of criminals if the equal protection clause of the constitution was violated. That is, if sterilization was to be performed, then it could not exempt white-collar criminals.[35] The state of California was at the vanguard of the American eugenics movement, performing about 20,000 sterilizations or one third of the 60,000 nationwide from 1909 up until the 1960s.[36]

While California had the highest number of sterilizations, North Carolina’s eugenics program which operated from 1933 to 1977, was the most aggressive of the 32 states that had eugenics programs.[37] An IQ of 70 or lower meant sterilization was appropriate in North Carolina.[38] The North Carolina Eugenics Board almost always approved proposals brought before them by local welfare boards.[38] Of all states, only North Carolina gave social workers the power to designate people for sterilization.[37] “Here, at last, was a method of preventing unwanted pregnancies by an acceptable, practical, and inexpensive method,” wrote Wallace Kuralt in the March 1967 journal of the N.C. Board of Public Welfare. “The poor readily adopted the new techniques for birth control.”[38]

The Immigration Restriction League was the first American entity associated officially with eugenics. Founded in 1894 by three recent Harvard University graduates, the League sought to bar what it considered inferior races from entering America and diluting what it saw as the superior American racial stock (upper class Northerners of Anglo-Saxon heritage). They felt that social and sexual involvement with these less-evolved and less-civilized races would pose a biological threat to the American population. The League lobbied for a literacy test for immigrants, based on the belief that literacy rates were low among “inferior races”. Literacy test bills were vetoed by Presidents in 1897, 1913 and 1915; eventually, President Wilson’s second veto was overruled by Congress in 1917. Membership in the League included: A. Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard, William DeWitt Hyde, president of Bowdoin College, James T. Young, director of Wharton School and David Starr Jordan, president of Stanford University.[39]

The League allied themselves with the American Breeder’s Association to gain influence and further its goals and in 1909 established a Committee on Eugenics chaired by David Starr Jordan with members Charles Davenport, Alexander Graham Bell, Vernon Kellogg, Luther Burbank, William Ernest Castle, Adolf Meyer, H. J. Webber and Friedrich Woods. The ABA’s immigration legislation committee, formed in 1911 and headed by League’s founder Prescott F. Hall, formalized the committee’s already strong relationship with the Immigration Restriction League. They also founded the Eugenics Record Office, which was headed by Harry H. Laughlin.[40] In their mission statement, they wrote:

Society must protect itself; as it claims the right to deprive the murderer of his life so it may also annihilate the hideous serpent of hopelessly vicious protoplasm. Here is where appropriate legislation will aid in eugenics and creating a healthier, saner society in the future.”[40]

Money from the Harriman railroad fortune was also given to local charities, in order to find immigrants from specific ethnic groups and deport, confine, or forcibly sterilize them.[6]

With the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, eugenicists for the first time played an important role in the Congressional debate as expert advisers on the threat of “inferior stock” from eastern and southern Europe.[41][verification needed] The new act, inspired by the eugenic belief in the racial superiority of “old stock” white Americans as members of the “Nordic race” (a form of white supremacy), strengthened the position of existing laws prohibiting race-mixing.[42] Eugenic considerations also lay behind the adoption of incest laws in much of the U.S. and were used to justify many anti-miscegenation laws.[43]

Stephen Jay Gould asserted that restrictions on immigration passed in the United States during the 1920s (and overhauled in 1965 with the Immigration and Nationality Act) were motivated by the goals of eugenics. During the early 20th century, the United States and Canada began to receive far higher numbers of Southern and Eastern European immigrants. Influential eugenicists like Lothrop Stoddard and Harry Laughlin (who was appointed as an expert witness for the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization in 1920) presented arguments they would pollute the national gene pool if their numbers went unrestricted.[44][45] It has been argued that this stirred both Canada and the United States into passing laws creating a hierarchy of nationalities, rating them from the most desirable Anglo-Saxon and Nordic peoples to the Chinese and Japanese immigrants, who were almost completely banned from entering the country.[42][46]

Both class and race factored into eugenic definitions of “fit” and “unfit.” By using intelligence testing, American eugenicists asserted that social mobility was indicative of one’s genetic fitness.[47] This reaffirmed the existing class and racial hierarchies and explained why the upper-to-middle class was predominately white. Middle-to-upper class status was a marker of “superior strains.”[28] In contrast, eugenicists believed poverty to be a characteristic of genetic inferiority, which meant that that those deemed “unfit” were predominately of the lower classes.[28]

Because class status designated some more fit than others, eugenicists treated upper and lower class women differently. Positive eugenicists, who promoted procreation among the fittest in society, encouraged middle class women to bear more children. Between 1900 and 1960, Eugenicists appealed to middle class white women to become more “family minded,” and to help better the race.[48] To this end, eugenicists often denied middle and upper class women sterilization and birth control.[49]

Since poverty was associated with prostitution and “mental idiocy,” women of the lower classes were the first to be deemed “unfit” and “promiscuous.”[28] These women, who were predominately immigrants or women of color[citation needed], were discouraged from bearing children, and were encouraged to use birth control.

In 1907, Indiana passed the first eugenics-based compulsory sterilization law in the world. Thirty U.S. states would soon follow their lead.[50][51] Although the law was overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1921,[52] the U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, upheld the constitutionality of the Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924, allowing for the compulsory sterilization of patients of state mental institutions in 1927.[53]

Some states sterilized “imbeciles” for much of the 20th century. Although compulsory sterilization is now considered an abuse of human rights, Buck v. Bell was never overturned, and Virginia did not repeal its sterilization law until 1974.[54] The most significant era of eugenic sterilization was between 1907 and 1963, when over 64,000 individuals were forcibly sterilized under eugenic legislation in the United States.[55] Beginning around 1930, there was a steady increase in the percentage of women sterilized, and in a few states only young women were sterilized. From 1930 to the 1960s, sterilizations were performed on many more institutionalized women than men.[28] By 1961, 61 percent of the 62,162 total eugenic sterilizations in the United States were performed on women.[28] A favorable report on the results of sterilization in California, the state with the most sterilizations by far, was published in book form by the biologist Paul Popenoe and was widely cited by the Nazi government as evidence that wide-reaching sterilization programs were feasible and humane.[56][57]

Men and women were compulsorily sterilized for different reasons. Men were sterilized to treat their aggression and to eliminate their criminal behavior, while women were sterilized to control the results of their sexuality.[28] Since women bore children, eugenicists held women more accountable than men for the reproduction of the less “desirable” members of society.[28] Eugenicists therefore predominately targeted women in their efforts to regulate the birth rate, to “protect” white racial health, and weed out the “defectives” of society.[28]

A 1937 Fortune magazine poll found that 2/3 of respondents supported eugenic sterilization of “mental defectives”, 63% supported sterilization of criminals, and only 15% opposed both.[58]

In the 1970s, several activists and women’s rights groups discovered several physicians to be performing coerced sterilizations of specific ethnic groups of society. All were abuses of poor, nonwhite, or mentally retarded women, while no abuses against white or middle-class women were recorded.[59] Although the sterilizations were not explicitly motivated by eugenics, the sterilizations were similar to the eugenics movement[according to whom?] because they were done without the patients’ consent.

For example, in 1972, United States Senate committee testimony brought to light that at least 2,000 involuntary sterilizations had been performed on poor black women without their consent or knowledge. An investigation revealed that the surgeries were all performed in the South, and were all performed on black welfare mothers with multiple children. Testimony revealed that many of these women were threatened with an end to their welfare benefits until they consented to sterilization.[60] These surgeries were instances of sterilization abuse, a term applied to any sterilization performed without the consent or knowledge of the recipient, or in which the recipient is pressured into accepting the surgery. Because the funds used to carry out the surgeries came from the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, the sterilization abuse raised older suspicions, especially amongst the black community, that “federal programs were underwriting eugenicists who wanted to impose their views about population quality on minorities and poor women.”[28]

Native American women were also victims of sterilization abuse up into the 1970s.[61] The organization WARN (Women of All Red Nations) publicized that Native American women were threatened that, if they had more children, they would be denied welfare benefits. The Indian Health Service also repeatedly refused to deliver Native American babies until their mothers, in labor, consented to sterilization. Many Native American women unknowingly gave consent, since directions were not given in their native language. According to the General Accounting Office, an estimate of 3,406 Indian women were sterilized.[61] The General Accounting Office stated that the Indian Health Service had not followed the necessary regulations, and that the “informed consent forms did not adhere to the standards set by the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW).”[62]

One of the methods that was commonly suggested to get rid of “inferior” populations was euthanasia. A 1911 Carnegie Institute report mentioned euthanasia as one of its recommended “solutions” to the problem of cleansing society of unfit genetic attributes. The most commonly suggested method was to set up local gas chambers. However, many in the eugenics movement did not believe that Americans were ready to implement a large-scale euthanasia program, so many doctors had to find clever ways of subtly implementing eugenic euthanasia in various medical institutions. For example, a mental institution in Lincoln, Illinois fed its incoming patients milk infected with tuberculosis (reasoning that genetically fit individuals would be resistant), resulting in 30-40% annual death rates. Other doctors practiced euthanasia through various forms of lethal neglect.[63]

In the 1930s, there was a wave of portrayals of eugenic “mercy killings” in American film, newspapers, and magazines. In 1931, the Illinois Homeopathic Medicine Association began lobbying for the right to euthanize “imbeciles” and other defectives. The Euthanasia Society of America was founded in 1938.[64]

Overall, however, euthanasia was marginalized in the U.S., motivating people to turn to forced segregation and sterilization programs as a means for keeping the “unfit” from reproducing.[65]

Mary deGormo, a former classroom teacher was the first person to combine ideas about health and intelligence standards with competitions at state fairs, in the form of “better baby” contests. She developed the first such contest, the “Scientific Baby Contest” for the Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport, in 1908. She saw these contests as a contribution to the “social efficiency” movement, which was advocating for the standardization of all aspects of American life as a means of increasing efficiency.[18] deGarmo was assisted by the pediatrician Dr. Jacob Bodenheimer, who helped her develop grading sheets for contestants, which combined physical measurements with standardized measurements of intelligence.[66] Scoring was based on a deduction system, in that every child started at 1000 points and then was docked points for having measurements that were below a designated average. The child with the most points (and the least defections) was ideal.[67][verification needed]

The topic of standardization through scientific judgment was a topic that was very serious in the eyes of the scientific community, but has often been downplayed as just a popular fad or trend. Nevertheless, a lot of time, effort, and money were put into these contests and their scientific backing, which would influence cultural ideas as well as local and state government practices.[68][verification needed]

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People promoted eugenics by hosting “Better Baby” contests and the proceeds would go to its anti-lynching campaign.[10]

First appearing in 1920 at the Kansas Free Fair, Fitter Family competitions, continued all the way until WWII. Mary T. Watts and Florence Brown Sherbon, both initiators of the Better Baby Contests in Iowa, took the idea of positive eugenics for babies and combined it with a determinist concept of biology to come up with fitter family competitions.[69]

There were several different categories that families were judged in: Size of the family, overall attractiveness, and health of the family, all of which helped to determine the likelihood of having healthy children. These competitions were simply a continuation of the Better Baby contests that promoted certain physical and mental qualities.[70] At the time, it was believed that certain behavioral qualities were inherited from your parents. This led to the addition of several judging categories including: generosity, self-sacrificing, and quality of familial bonds. Additionally, there were negative features that were judged: selfishness, jealousy, suspiciousness, high temperedness, and cruelty. Feeblemindedness, alcoholism, and paralysis were few among other traits that were included as physical traits to be judged when looking at family lineage.[29]

Doctors and specialists from the community would offer their time to judge these competitions, which were originally sponsored by the Red Cross.[29] The winners of these competitions were given a Bronze Medal as well as champion cups called “Capper Medals.” The cups were named after then Governor and Senator, Arthur Capper and he would present them to “Grade A individuals”.[71]

The perks of entering into the contests were that the competitions provided a way for families to get a free health check up by a doctor as well as some of the pride and prestige that came from winning the competitions.[29]

By 1925 the Eugenics Records Office was distributing standardized forms for judging eugenically fit families, which were used in contests in several U.S. states.[72]

After the eugenics movement was well established in the United States, it spread to Germany. California eugenicists began producing literature promoting eugenics and sterilization and sending it overseas to German scientists and medical professionals.[65] By 1933, California had subjected more people to forceful sterilization than all other U.S. states combined. The forced sterilization program engineered by the Nazis was partly inspired by California’s.[7]

The Rockefeller Foundation helped develop and fund various German eugenics programs,[73] including the one that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.[6][74]

Upon returning from Germany in 1934, where more than 5,000 people per month were being forcibly sterilized, the California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe bragged to a colleague:

“You will be interested to know that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought . . . I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people.”[75]

Eugenics researcher Harry H. Laughlin often bragged that his Model Eugenic Sterilization laws had been implemented in the 1935 Nuremberg racial hygiene laws.[76] In 1936, Laughlin was invited to an award ceremony at Heidelberg University in Germany (scheduled on the anniversary of Hitler’s 1934 purge of Jews from the Heidelberg faculty), to receive an honorary doctorate for his work on the “science of racial cleansing”. Due to financial limitations, Laughlin was unable to attend the ceremony and had to pick it up from the Rockefeller Institute. Afterwards, he proudly shared the award with his colleagues, remarking that he felt that it symbolized the “common understanding of German and American scientists of the nature of eugenics.”[77]

After 1945, however, historians began to attempt to portray the US eugenics movement as distinct and distant from Nazi eugenics.[78]Jon Entine wrote that eugenics simply means “good genes” and using it as synonym for genocide is an “all-too-common distortion of the social history of genetics policy in the United States.” According to Entine, eugenics developed out of the Progressive Era and not “Hitler’s twisted Final Solution.”[79]

Read more:

Eugenics in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Henry Makow

 Illuminati  Comments Off on Henry Makow
Aug 192015
 

(left, Dalai Lama with the guru Shoko Asahara of the AUM sect of Japan,

responsible for the Tokyo sarin gas attack onMarch 20, 1995.)

A reader, Matt, senses something sinister

about the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism.

“Tibet is a stronghold of both spiritual and temporal power, connected with the highest secret orders and globalist councils in the world. The common goal is world domination through a saviour king to bring this about.”

“Today, the media focuses on the crimes of Islamic fanatics, but when is the last time you heard about fanatic Buddhist monks inciting violence? Is Buddhism a sacred cow for some reason?”

Will Planned Antichrist be a Lama?

From Nov. 13, 2014 (Updated with Graph below in English)

by Matt

(henrymakow.com)

Something may be rotten in the state of Tibet. Ever suspicious of the Dalai Lama’s status as being the universal “holy” friend of seemingly all political and religious leaders of the world, I decided to learn more information about this character and the institution he represents. Something about the man seemed fake and deceptive to me, as if he had been fooling the world with his perma-smile all along. Check outThe Darkness Over Tibet, an excellent, brief summary on this subject. Example:

– The Dalai Lama is only a marketing program to make Tibet look good. He and his 100 servitors could never have exiled Tibet without the agreement from the Chinese government. The Chinese government and Lamaist (Tibetan Buddhist) organization are closely linked on an occult level. The true “spiritual” leader of Lamaism is the Panchen Lama, who is almost unknown at all outside of Tibet. He’s considered as the “black pope” (the Catholic pope is the “white pope”).

– The Catholic Church (Jesuits) and Lamaism are closely linked. Jesuits have been traveling to Tibet and helped to setup the hierarchical lamaist organization (the first Dalai Lama was named in the 14th century), which in turn offered help to the Vatican (this confirms many theories according to which all the major world religions are secretly linked at the very top). Many spiritual leaders in Tibet are in fact Jesuits. Both hierarchies are arranged scientifically to optimize the function of black magic rituals.

– He mentions Maitreya, who is supposed to be the upcoming reincarnation of Buddha, but which will be used by those in power as a false messiah to “save the world”, from problems which are mostly illusory because created by those in power.

My searches led me to the online tomeThe Shadow of the Dalai Lamaby Victor and Victoria Trimondi. Here, my suspicions of the Dalai Lama were confirmed when I read that his Holiness worked with the guru Shoko Asahara of the AUM sect of Japan, responsible for the Tokyo sarin gas attack onMarch 20, 1995. Asahara apparently was very much connected to the Tibetan religion and met with many high Tantra masters. This is just one of a myriad of examples pointing to something seriously wrong with this institution.

I found a few good articles discussing the feudal, hellish society that existed under the greedy Lamas who ruled with an iron fist and treated the masses like animals.When the Dalai Lamas Ruled – Hell On EarthandThe True Face Of The Dalai Lamaprovide a decent summary on the feudal Lamaist theocracy of Tibet.

Today, the media focuses on the crimes of Islamic fanatics, but when is the last time you heard about fanatic Buddhist monks inciting violence? Is Buddhism a sacred cow for some reason? For a brief summary on this, readThe Long and Strange History of Buddhist Violence. In the Kalachakra Tantra, war and violence is discussed as the means to cleanse the world of undesirables Read about theAggressive War Myth here.

If you’ve seen Twin Peaks, you may remember the strange references to Tibet. In one episode, Windom Earle uses the Tibetan word ‘Dugpa’:

“… these evil sorcerers, dugpas, they call them, cultivate evil for the sake of evil and nothing else. They express themselves in darkness for darkness, without leavening motive. This ardent purity has allowed them to access a secret place of great power, where the cultivation of evil proceeds in exponential fashion. And with it, the furtherance of evil’s resulting power. These arenot fairy tales, or myths. This place of power is tangible, and as such, can be found, entered, and perhaps, utilized in some fashion. The dugpas have many names for it, but chief among them is the Black Lodge.”

Did David Lynch place occult secrets in plain sight in Twin Peaks? Was this “Revelation of the Method”?

There is also a strong connection between Theosophy (Blavastky, et al) and Tibetan Buddhism. Theosophist Charles Webster Leadbeater wrote about an occult Buddhist hierarchy of the world and the Great White Brotherhood is an important aspect of Theosophical teachings.The Occult Hierarchy and the Mastersdiscusses this in detail.

According toThe Shadow of the Dalai Lama, German authors have written of “an occulthierarchia ordinisof the Lamaist theocracy, which invisibly influences and steers the East.”

“J. Strunk’s arguments (Zu Juda und Rom –Tibet, [To Juda and Rome –Tibet], 1937) are more far reaching; he tries to uncover a conspiracy of an international ecclesiastical elite (with members from all the world religions) with the living Buddha, the Dalai Lama from Lhasa as their visible head. “What there are of organizations and new spiritual currents running alongside and in all directions nearly always end up on the ‘roof of the world’, in a Lama temple, once one has progressed through Jewish and Christian lodges”(Strunk, 1937, p. 28).”

“General Ludendorff and his wife likewise took to the field with great vigor against the “Asian priests”and warned that the Tibetan Lamas had emplaced themselves at the head of Jewish and Jesuit secret orders (Europa den Asiatenpriestern?[Europe of the Asian priests)], 1941).”

On pg. 32 ofGeheime Weltmchte [Secret World Powers]by S. Ipares, possibly the most accurate chart of the world hierarchy can be found, (see above) placing the Lamas at the top with the Theosophists possibly being the liaison between the Lamas and the European leadership.

Lastly, the famous German author Gustav Meyrink (The Golem) had a very interesting mystical experience (Read the story inpart 1andpart 2) in which he saw a Dugpa (red hat Lama) in a vision. I believe anecdotal information like this can help us just as much or even more to find the truth.

More scrutiny of Tibetan Buddhism is warranted. I see a lot of deception and attempts to conceal the truth. Tibet to be a stronghold of both spiritual and temporal power, connected with the highest secret orders and globalist councils in the world. Their common goal is world domination through a saviour king to bring this about. The effort to gradually sell this agenda to the world is most seen in the carefully engineered public adulation of the Dalai Lama, which has me wondering if a planned World King will actually be a Lama.

The idea of a Lamaist theocracy being the ultimate rulers of the world will sound far-fetched to many, but there is a good reason why it can only be found in old and untranslated German books.

Related:

1. Dalai lama articles on this site:

Tibetan Buddhism- A Racket Posing as a Religion

2. Critical Links to Lamaism

Buddhists, Occultists and Secret Societies in Early Bolshevik Russia: an interview with Andrei Znamenski

‘Red Shambhala’: Telepathy, Mental Powers, Electronic Surveillance & Mysticism in the U.S.S.R.

Red Star Over Shambhala: Soviet, British and American Intelligence & the Search for Lost Civilisation in Central Asia

Occult Secrets of the Dalai Lama

Rudra Chakrin: King of the World, Tantric Apocolyptic Redeemer, and Dajjal

Colbert Gets Paul McCartney To Suggest Dalai Lama Cannibalism

Red Caps and Sect Worship

The Inner Government of the World

The Phantom Kingdom – The Nazi Tibet Connection

Cricket Magic by Gustav Meyrink

First Comment by Ryan, author of “In Defence of the Dalai Lama”

In short your latest bashing of Tibetan Buddhism is just another example of someone with an axe to grind who criticizes something he has no idea about, based solely upon other overly-critical, antiquated and misinformed articles. As evidenced by the numerous factual flaws in his article he obviously doesn’t have the least bit of knowledge, superficial or otherwise about Tibetan Buddhism.

Just a few of many points:

-“Lamaism” is an incorrect, very antiquated term for Vajrayana Buddhism.

-To quote “Twin Peaks” – an American TV series? as an authoritative source on the Drugpas undermines any seriousness of this article. Really! Yes a Drukpa school exists, but this cannot be used as a general term.

-The Trimondis are an interesting example. The Dalai Lama has thousands of students who praise him. Why quote only the rare few who were disenchanted by the Dalai Lama and don’t even publish their highly critical book under their real name.

-I am amused by his German language sources from the 1930’s. Can/did the author actually read the material he is quoting. The chart only contains general Buddhist terms and seems to put Pratyeda (solitary) Buddhas at the pinnacle (Herr der Welt/Ruler of the World) . Pratyeka Buddhas are practitioners of Theravada Buddhism and are held in very low esteem by Tibetan Buddhists.

-It is worthwhile to read other parts of the original “Geheime Weltmchte” text. Reading the short last chapter “Asiatisches Geheimbundwesen” it becomes clear just how little the author knew about Buddhism in general. This being the case what validity can their conclusions in the chart have?

-As far as the visions of Gustav Meyrink: What makes them more valid than mine or yours? If the author is really looking for who might control the world shouldn’t he look more into the Theosophist Illuminati connection.

Dan writes:

There’s not enough room here to even begin on the topic of how we’ve been bamboozled about the Dalai Lama and Tibet, and why.

Tibet was the last fully intact feudal theocracy on Earth till 1951, when Mao seized the moment to occupy and incorporate it. At that time an Australian journalist wrote that the concept of human rights had been unknown in Tibet. A tiny elite of lamas and ancient aristocracy were literally worshiped by the serfs as demigods. Belief in soul evolution through reincarnation invariably produces a rigid caste system, on the logical assumption that serfs are ‘born that way’ because of karma and dharma. The ruling castes equally so. Got a problem with being a serf? Obey your masters, and maybe in a few hundred lifetimes your status may improve – but not in this one. The Tibetan serfs fully believed this. So did the lamas and ‘nobility’. Serfs were whipped an tortured for trivial offenses. Mutilation was a standard punishment – cutting off ears, fingers, gouging out eyes, etc. These acts were carried out by an army of thugs formalized as warrior caste, or brutal order of low born monks who served as muscle for the lamas.

There are ‘high and low’ castes of Tibetan monks. The ‘tulku lamas’ are supposed to be reincarnations of historical men of renown. The vast majority of monks are from the lower castes and serve the Tulkus as slaves. Inside one of those magnificent medieval monasteries in Tibet it was discovered that the Tulka and all the elite lamas in that monastery were very active homosexuals, taking any peasant boy that struck their fancy for the ‘honor’ of becoming a monk-slave in that monastery. But this monastery also provided many of the especially brutal thug-monks sent out to serve as guards and enforcers at other monasteries.

Why didn’t we hear any of this in school? Where were the specials on National Geographic and History Channel about the reality that the Dalai Lama is as much a feudal throwback as the Royal family?

Politics. The Dalai Lama* was important to the CIA when the State Department was against China’s expansion. But the real money poured into the Dalai Lama’s organization in exile through the United Nations NGO’s. Between the two of these backers, there was a very real blackout on the reality of Tibetan lack of a “concept of human rights” well into the 20th century. Even right now, if you Google “Tibet human rights” you will get a pile of articles talking about modern Chinese violations of human rights. The template for this skewed history comes from Amnesty International. They’re not going to tell you that the Tibetan theocrats think most of us are no better than sheep to be herded, accordingly.

The ‘Elite’ wet dream is a “New” World Order that is in fact a resurrection of ancient Theocratic Feudalism. That’s they push Tibetan Buddhism.

There’s not space left for me to recount my own experience with the Tibetan network in America. I’ll just say that it was consistent with this dark mind set from the past. Just volunteer to go into one of the Tibetan ashrams out west and the pseudo-Christ candy coating melts off the Dalai Lama very quickly.

* Dalai Lama – The Worst Dictator in this Modern Day

Excerpt from:
Henry Makow

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Astronomy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Jul 282015
 

Astronomy is a natural science which is the study of celestial objects (such as stars, galaxies, planets, moons, asteroids, comets and nebulae), the physics, chemistry, and evolution of such objects, and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth, including supernovae explosions, gamma ray bursts, and cosmic microwave background radiation. A related but distinct subject, physical cosmology, is concerned with studying the universe as a whole.[1]

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. The early civilizations in recorded history, such as the Babylonians, Greeks, Indians, Egyptians, Nubians, Iranians, Chinese, and Maya performed methodical observations of the night sky. However, the invention of the telescope was required before astronomy was able to develop into a modern science. Historically, astronomy has included disciplines as diverse as astrometry, celestial navigation, observational astronomy and the making of calendars, but professional astronomy is nowadays often considered to be synonymous with astrophysics.[2]

During the 20th century, the field of professional astronomy split into observational and theoretical branches. Observational astronomy is focused on acquiring data from observations of astronomical objects, which is then analyzed using basic principles of physics. Theoretical astronomy is oriented toward the development of computer or analytical models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena. The two fields complement each other, with theoretical astronomy seeking to explain the observational results and observations being used to confirm theoretical results.

Astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs can still play an active role, especially in the discovery and observation of transient phenomena and Amateur astronomers have made and contributed to many important astronomical discoveries.

Astronomy (from the Greek from astron, “star” and – -nomia from nomos, “law” or “culture”) means “law of the stars” (or “culture of the stars” depending on the translation). Astronomy should not be confused with astrology, the belief system which claims that human affairs are correlated with the positions of celestial objects.[5] Although the two fields share a common origin they are now entirely distinct.[6]

Generally, either the term “astronomy” or “astrophysics” may be used to refer to this subject.[7][8][9] Based on strict dictionary definitions, “astronomy” refers to “the study of objects and matter outside the Earth’s atmosphere and of their physical and chemical properties”[10] and “astrophysics” refers to the branch of astronomy dealing with “the behavior, physical properties, and dynamic processes of celestial objects and phenomena”.[11] In some cases, as in the introduction of the introductory textbook The Physical Universe by Frank Shu, “astronomy” may be used to describe the qualitative study of the subject, whereas “astrophysics” is used to describe the physics-oriented version of the subject.[12] However, since most modern astronomical research deals with subjects related to physics, modern astronomy could actually be called astrophysics.[7] Few fields, such as astrometry, are purely astronomy rather than also astrophysics. Various departments in which scientists carry out research on this subject may use “astronomy” and “astrophysics,” partly depending on whether the department is historically affiliated with a physics department,[8] and many professional astronomers have physics rather than astronomy degrees.[9] One of the leading scientific journals in the field is the European journal named Astronomy and Astrophysics. The leading American journals are The Astrophysical Journal and The Astronomical Journal.

In early times, astronomy only comprised the observation and predictions of the motions of objects visible to the naked eye. In some locations, early cultures assembled massive artifacts that possibly had some astronomical purpose. In addition to their ceremonial uses, these observatories could be employed to determine the seasons, an important factor in knowing when to plant crops, as well as in understanding the length of the year.[13]

Before tools such as the telescope were invented, early study of the stars was conducted using the naked eye. As civilizations developed, most notably in Mesopotamia, Greece, India, China, Egypt, and Central America, astronomical observatories were assembled, and ideas on the nature of the universe began to be explored. Most of early astronomy actually consisted of mapping the positions of the stars and planets, a science now referred to as astrometry. From these observations, early ideas about the motions of the planets were formed, and the nature of the Sun, Moon and the Earth in the universe were explored philosophically. The Earth was believed to be the center of the universe with the Sun, the Moon and the stars rotating around it. This is known as the geocentric model of the universe, or the Ptolemaic system, named after Ptolemy.[14]

A particularly important early development was the beginning of mathematical and scientific astronomy, which began among the Babylonians, who laid the foundations for the later astronomical traditions that developed in many other civilizations.[15] The Babylonians discovered that lunar eclipses recurred in a repeating cycle known as a saros.[16]

Following the Babylonians, significant advances in astronomy were made in ancient Greece and the Hellenistic world. Greek astronomy is characterized from the start by seeking a rational, physical explanation for celestial phenomena.[17] In the 3rd century BC, Aristarchus of Samos estimated the size and distance of the Moon and Sun, and was the first to propose a heliocentric model of the solar system.[18] In the 2nd century BC, Hipparchus discovered precession, calculated the size and distance of the Moon and invented the earliest known astronomical devices such as the astrolabe.[19] Hipparchus also created a comprehensive catalog of 1020 stars, and most of the constellations of the northern hemisphere derive from Greek astronomy.[20] The Antikythera mechanism (c. 15080 BC) was an early analog computer designed to calculate the location of the Sun, Moon, and planets for a given date. Technological artifacts of similar complexity did not reappear until the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks appeared in Europe.[21]

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9 ways in which Nehru was a bad pioneer

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Apr 132015
 

1. The first snooper: So Indias first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru is also the allegedmastermind for Indias first #Snoopgate when it appears that the family of Netaji SubhasChandra Bose was spied upon for the whole of his term as PM.

Information was also exchanged with British intelligence about Netaji and it is clear that Nehrufeared that Netaji was his rival and also may have known that Netaji did not die in a plane crashin 1945. This is an ongoing case and the results are eagerly awaited.

2. The first to suppress dissent: Nehrus rivals like Sardar Vallabhai Patel and CRajagopalachari were suppressed by Mahatma Gandhi before Independence. However after 1947the attitude continued.

Nehru introduced the First Amendment curbing free speech and saw more than half of hisCabinet quit on him. He suppressed regional leaders at the State level too.

3. The first to lose land: After Independence Kashmir was in limbo land and Field MarshallSam Manekshaw has gone on record saying that while Nehru dithered, it was only Patel whoforced the situation for India to take control of Kashmir.

We failed to get the land that is now called Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

4. The first to lose a war: You can defend Nehru for the above saying that in 1947-48 we hadjust won our Independence or that our defence forces were led by British or that the Mahatmawent on a fast unto death to release Pakistani funds which would have been a great bargainingchip.

However 1962 was nothing but disaster. The Chinese first officially asked to buy Aksai Chin andwhen we refused they made moves to take it forcefully. Nehru ignored the plans and woreblinkers even when the Chinese invaded our territory.

Finally at that time the Indian Air Force was far superior to the Chinese Air Force and still Nehrurefused to use it!

5. The first scams: Its not that we have suddenly become corrupt today or after liberalization.Nehrus Licence Raj festered corruption right from Day 1. Nehru and VK Krishna Menon werebest friends.

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China defends reclamation of islands in disputed territory

 Islands  Comments Off on China defends reclamation of islands in disputed territory
Apr 112015
 

Analysts say the pictures show how China is attempting to create facts in the water to bolster its sovereignty claims

7 AREAS: Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr presents photos of China’s reclamation projects in West Philippine Sea

The Philippines one of the most vocal of China’s neighbours in defending its competing territorial claim reacted strongly, calling for the Asian giant to “dismantle” the reclaimed land. (READ: PH fears ‘miscalculation’ in West PH Sea)

“They have to dismantle it,” said Peter Paul Galvez, spokesman for Manila’s defense department. “It is a concern not only of our country and region but of the whole international community.”

A series of satellite images posted on the website of the Center for Strategic and International Studies show a flotilla of Chinese vessels dredging sand onto Mischief Reef and the resulting land spreading in size.

Before-and-after images of other outcrops in the Spratly Islands record runways appearing from jungle, smooth-sided solid masses where coral once lay, and man-made harbors replacing natural reefs.

Analysts say the pictures show how China is attempting to create facts in the water to bolster its sovereignty claims.

Beijing asserts sovereignty over almost the whole of the South China Sea, including areas close to the coasts of other littoral states, using a nine-segment line based on one that first appeared on Chinese maps in the 1940s.

The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all have overlapping claims.

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NATO reporting name – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 NATO  Comments Off on NATO reporting name – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mar 202015
 

NATO reporting names are code names for military equipment of the Eastern Bloc (Soviet Union and other nations of the Warsaw Pact) and China. They provide unambiguous and easily understood English language words in a uniform manner in place of the original designations which may have been unknown (to the West) at the time or easily confused codes.[1]

NATO maintains lists of these names. The assignment of the names for the Russian and Chinese aircraft was once managed by the five-nation Air Standardization Coordinating Committee (ASCC) (now called the Air and Space Interoperability Council, or ASIC, which includes representatives of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States). This is no longer the case.

The United States Department of Defense expands on the NATO reporting names in some cases. NATO refers to surface-to-air missile systems mounted on ships or submarines with the same names as the corresponding land-based systems, but the US DoD assigns a different series of numbers with a different suffix (i.e., SA-N- vs. SA-) for these systems. The names are kept the same as a convenience. Where there is no corresponding system, a new name is devised. Some US DoD nomenclature is included in the following pages and is noted as such.

The Soviet Union did not always assign official popular names to its aircraft, although unofficial nicknames were common as in any air force. Generally the Soviet pilots have not used the NATO names, preferring a different Russian nickname. An exception was that Soviet airmen appreciated the MiG-29’s codename ‘Fulcrum’ as an indication of its pivotal role in Soviet air defence.[2] Hundreds of names had to be chosen, so the names covered a wide variety of subjects and include some obscure words.

To reduce the risk of confusion, unusual or made-up names were allocated, the idea being that the names chosen would be unlikely to occur in normal conversation, and be easier to memorise. For fixed-wing aircraft, single-syllable words denoted piston-prop and turboprop, while multiple-syllable words denoted jets. Bombers had names starting with the letter B and names like Badger (2 syllables: jet), Bear (single syllable: propeller), and Blackjack were used. Frogfoot, the reporting name for the Sukhoi Su-25, references the aircrafts close air support role. Transports had names starting with C (as in cargo), which resulted in names like Condor or Candid.

A fictional NATO reporting name “Firefox” for a fictional “MiG-31” appears in the novel Firefox and subsequent movie. The real MiG-31 from 1979 was assigned the reporting name “Foxhound”.

The initial letter of the name indicated the use of that equipment.

The first letter indicates the type of aircraft, like Bear for a bomber aircraft, or Fulcrum for a fighter aircraft.

For fixed-wing aircraft, one syllable names were used for propeller-powered craft (turboprops included), while two-syllable names indicated jet engines.

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China reiterates sovereignty over Diaoyu Islands – Video

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Mar 182015
 



China reiterates sovereignty over Diaoyu Islands
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Tuesday reiterated China's absolute sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. He stressed that Chinese ownership of the islands has a solid historical…

By: CCTV News

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Why bitcoin wont go away

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Mar 132015
 

China’s craze for bitcoins has been well-documented over the past year, but a new report highlights just how dominant of a player the country is.

About 80 percent of bitcoin volume is now driven by the Chinese yuan, according to data from Goldman Sachs. The U.S. dollar is the second most used currency for transactions, followed by the euro, the bank said in a new report.

The bank’s findings correlate with data from Bitcoinity, a popular website used to track market data. A look at trading volume over the past six months reveals China’s yuan accounted for 77 percent of total market share, compared with 19 percent for the greenback and just 1 percent for the euro.

China’s high trading activity comes despite recent moves by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) to clamp down on the crypto-currency. The central bank banned financial institutions from bitcoin trading in December after warning that the currency was essentially a vehicle for speculation. Earlier in 2014, the PBoC also took measures to prevent bitcoin companies from gaining access to payment processors.

However, Goldman Sachs believes the mood is gradually improving: “However, in light of a somewhat stabilizing Bitcoin economy in China, a few payment processors have reemerged, such as BTC China’s JustPay.”

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Is Hong Kongs academic freedom under Chinese attack?

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Mar 132015
 

BEIJING Scholars in Hong Kong are growing concerned that the territorys cherished academic freedom is coming under renewed attack from China in the aftermath of last years student-led pro-democracy protests.

Attacks in Communist Party-backed newspapers on a leading liberal professor, reports of government interference in academic appointments and renewed calls for patriotic education to be introduced into schools have stirred up emotions in the former British colony.

Academics are concerned that China and its conservative backers in Hong Kong are trying to subtly exert more control over universities and schools in order to gradually rein in criticism and silence a source of unrest.

We are very worried about the erosion of freedom of expression in Hong Kong we see this happening in the media and it is now happening in academia, said Dora Choi Po-king, an associate professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and member of a new Concern Group of academics.

Hundreds of academics signed a petition letter this month expressing their concerns about political intervention in the territorys universities and a serious threat to academic freedom, one of the core values held dear in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong enjoys very considerable academic freedom at the moment, and any attempt to curb that freedom is likely to be both subtle and fiercely resisted.

There is no comparison to the savage clampdown that universities in mainland China faced after the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, but many academics are worried, nevertheless.

This year the onslaught has been pretty substantial, said Michael Davis, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, complaining of an attempt to rein in government critics or pro-democracy voices.

Hong Kong media report that the territorys Beijing-backed chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, has been attempting to block the appointment of a leading liberal academic to a key post at Hong Kong University.

The former dean of HKUs law faculty, Johannes Chan Man-mun, was critical of the government during last years protests. One of his faculty members, law professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting, was a leader of the Occupy Central movement.

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Is Hong Kongs academic freedom under Chinese attack?

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3 of 4 overseas islands up for auction sold to Chinese bidders

 Islands  Comments Off on 3 of 4 overseas islands up for auction sold to Chinese bidders
Mar 122015
 

PTI Mar 6, 2015, 01.10PM IST

(In an unusual auction, four)

BEIJING: In an unusual auction, four islands in Fiji, Greece, Britain and Canada were put up for sale on China’s largest online shopping platform Taobao with three of them being sold within 12 hours.

Any Chinese citizen who put up a 1,000 yuan (USD 159) deposit was qualified to bid.

Starting at 10 am (local time) on Wednesday, at least 48 bidders took part in the auction. Except for the UK property, which had a starting price of 4 million yuan and was not sold, the other three islands had a starting price of only 1 yuan.

The island in Fiji was sold with 99-year rental property rights while the others were sold freehold, state-run reported.

When the auction ended at 10 pm on Wednesday, a construction magnate in Yunnan province had bought the islands in Greece and Canada for 4.8 million yuan and 1.7 million yuan, respectively.

A businessman in Zhejiang province bought the island in Fiji for 5 million yuan, according to Beijing-based Ilongterm, the real estate firm that held the auction.

“We chose to work with Taobao as a strategic partner, because it is undoubtedly the most influential online shopping platform in China right now. Our bidders in this auction were long-time users of Taobao who have spent about 10 million yuan on it” so far, Ilongterm said.

Ilongterm will take the winning bidders to their islands for on-site inspections and the completion of procedures such as paying taxes, commissions and legal expenses.

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A Few Words About Bitcoin… Because Fiat Is Not Just A Car

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Mar 092015
 

With more and more companies around the world accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment, fiat has once again become part of the mainstream conversation, and is not only synonymous with those cute Italian cars. Fiat actually has a strong relation to money, which is why Im writing about this subject. So, why is fiat currency important? There are global discussions on this topic, which are taking place in boardrooms across the globe. Now, its time to move those discussions to your dining room and get your children and grandchildren involved in the conversation.

Start with what fiat currency is. It is actually money that a government, or group of people, decides has value. The money itself has no value; it is what it represents. The word fiat is actually Latin for it shall be. After the government (in most cases) establishes that it will accept this representation of value, it becomes what we call a medium of exchange, which means that people can exchange it for goods and services.

The first use of fiat currency was recorded in China around 1000 A.D. In the United States, fiat currency dates back to the beginnings of North American colonization. During the Civil War, the Federal Government issued United States Notes, a form of paper fiat currency popularly known as greenbacks. Later, in 1944, the Bretton Woods Agreement was created, which fixed the value of 35 U.S. dollars to one troy ounce of gold. In this case, the U.S. government promised to redeem the dollars in gold; however, during what we call the Nixon Shock in 1971, the ability to convert dollars into gold ended.

Why is this important? Because our offspring are experiencing a world full of fiat currency and they may not even realize it frankly, some of us dont even realize it. The biggest phenomenon around fiat currency today: Bitcoin. What is attracting attention around Bitcoin as a fiat currency is that it is NOT controlled by any singular government entity.

Many Millennials think the concept of fiat currency of this kind is a new phenomenon. It is not. A case in point: when I was discussing what I considered a recent phenomenon with my close friend, Dr. Samuel Guillory, he pointed out that Baby Boomers grew up with this. He said, Remember S&H Green Stamps? Of course, I did! Every time we went to the supermarket, we were given S&H Green Stamps. My job was to lick those stamps and put them into the books. Im sure my tongue is still green.

During the 1960s, S&H Green Stamps catalog was the largest publication in the U.S. and the company issued three times as many stamps as the U.S. Postal Service. How many of us where thrilled when we had saved enough to redeem those booklets for an ugly lamp? The lamp is not really the point; as consumers, we felt we were getting something for nothing. This fiat currency offered us that.

At a recent presentation at MoneyShow University in Orlando, Steve Forbes talked about fiat currency. He noted that we readily accept many things as an exchange of value. He also spoke about how a coat check person hands you a chit in exchange for your coat, which you will redeem later. He asked the audience to think of fiat as a measurement. We agree upon measurements like: pounds, time, miles, frequent flier miles, etc. This is a great conversation starter for you to have with your younger children and grandchildren. Allow them to come up with other examples.

Nostalgia makes for wonderful dinner conversation, but this article is not meant to create space for you to reminisce about your childhood. The fact is that many fiat currencies throughout history have failed. The Chinese had flying money, which was aptly named because these original paper banknotes would have a tendency to fly out of your hands. Ultimately, it failed because inflation crept in. Louis XV found that his paper currency became oversupplied, i.e., inflation took over and people demanded real coins that were made of gold and silver. We all know the stories of Germany, post-World War I, when the only way to repay war debt was to run the printing presses. The inflation was so huge that it was cheaper to heat your furnace using Germanys currency than to buy firewood with it. To give you a dramatic example of this, the equivalent of one U.S. dollar would be 12 marks in 1919 and by 1923, that same U.S. dollar was equivalent to 4.2 trillion marks. Recently, the Russian ruble has become just another fiat currency to avoid because of deflation.

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Grand Theft Auto IV Expansion Episodes from Liberty City Walkthrough 3 Chinese Takeout – Video

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Mar 062015
 



Grand Theft Auto IV Expansion Episodes from Liberty City Walkthrough 3 Chinese Takeout

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Grand Theft Auto IV Expansion Episodes from Liberty City Walkthrough 3 Chinese Takeout – Video

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Hubble at 25: the cosmos at its most breathtaking in …

 Hubble Telescope  Comments Off on Hubble at 25: the cosmos at its most breathtaking in …
Mar 012015
 

THE CARINA NEBULA

One of the largest regions of star-birth in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula is made up of vast towers of cool hydrogen that are laced with dust and which are rising from the nebulas wall. This strikingly beautiful image of stellar creation, taken in 2010, reveals the head of a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being pushed apart from within, as infant stars buried deep inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks like arrows sailing through the air.

THE CRAB NEBULA

The Crab Nebula is a six-light-year-wide expanding remnant of a supernova explosion. Japanese and Chinese astronomers recorded its eruption in 1054. This composite image was assembled from 24 individual exposures taken with the Hubble Space Telescopes Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 in 1999 and 2000. It is one of the largest images taken by Hubble and is the highest-resolution photograph that has ever been made of the Crab Nebula. At the centre of the nebula, astronomers have detected the Crab Pulsar, a 30-kilometre-diameter neutron star.

A ROSE MADE OF GALAXIES

This ravishing image is made up of a pair of interacting galaxies that are known as Arp 273. The larger of the spiral galaxies, UGC 1810, has a disc that is being tidally distorted into a rose-like shape by its companion, UGC 1813. The swath of blue jewels across the top is made up of clusters of intensely hot, young blue stars that glow fiercely in ultraviolet light. The smaller galaxy shows signs of intense star formation at its nucleus, perhaps triggered by the galactic encounter. The image was taken in 2010.

GANYMEDE AND JUPITER

Hubble is mostly known for the images that it has taken of distant stars and galaxies. However, the telescope has also made considerable contributions to the study of objects, mainly planets, found within our own solar system. This image, taken in April 2014, is a close-up view of the giant planet Jupiter, which Hubble was monitoring in order to study changes in its immense Great Red Spot, a persistent atmospheric storm that dominates the planets appearance. During the exposures taken by Hubble, the shadow of Ganymede, one of the moons of Jupiter, swept across the Great Red Spot, giving the planet the appearance of having a pupil at the centre of a 10,000-mile-diameter red eye.

HUBBLE SERVICE

Sent into space in 1990, the Hubble telescope, built by Nasa in collaboration with the European Space Agency, was found to have a serious optical flaw in its main mirror within weeks of its launch. In 1993, a service mission carrying a corrective optics package was flown to the telescope and successfully installed. This photograph shows astronauts Story Musgrave (on the robotic arm) and Jeffrey Hoffman during the mission. A further four service missions were flown to the Hubble, in 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2009. With the remaining craft in the US space shuttle fleet having been grounded, there is now no way to reach the Hubble, which orbits 340 miles above the Earth. When its last components fail, hopefully not for a few years, the telescope will no longer be able to point at stars accurately.

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NSA director wants gov't access to encrypted communications

 NSA  Comments Off on NSA director wants gov't access to encrypted communications
Feb 242015
 

The U.S. should be able to craft a legal framework to let government agencies read encrypted data, Rogers says

It probably comes as no surprise that the director of the U.S. National Security Agency wants access to encrypted data on computers and other devices.

The U.S. should be able to craft a policy that allows the NSA and law enforcement agencies to read encrypted data when they need to, NSA director Michael Rogers said during an appearance at a cybersecurity policy event Monday.

Asked if the U.S. government should have backdoors to encrypted devices, Rogers said the U.S. government needs to develop a “framework.”

“You don’t want the FBI and you don’t want the NSA unilaterally deciding, ‘So, what are we going to access and what are we not going to access?'” Rogers said during his appearance at the New America Foundation. “That shouldn’t be for us. I just believe that this is achievable. We’ll have to work our way through it.”

Justsecurity.org has a transcript of an exchange between Rogers and Yahoo CISO Alex Stamos at Monday’s event.

Rogers isn’t the first member of President Barack Obama’s administration to call for encryption workarounds in recent months. In September, after Apple and Google announced encryption features on their smartphone OSes, both FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Eric Holder raised concerns that additional encryption tools would hinder law enforcement investigations.

Stamos questioned whether it is a good idea to build backdoors in encryption. “If we’re going to build defects/backdoors or golden master keys for the U.S. government, do you believe we should do so …. for the Chinese government, the Russian government, the Saudi Arabian government, the Israeli government, the French government?” he said, according to the Justsecurity transcript.

Rogers objected to using the word “backdoor”. “When I hear the phrase ‘backdoor’, I think, ‘Well, this is kind of shady. Why would you want to go in the backdoor? It would be very public,'” he said. “Again, my view is: We can create a legal framework for how we do this. It isn’t something we have to hide, per se.”

An NSA spokeswoman wasn’t immediately available for further comment.

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