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About NSA – National Sheriffs’ Association

 NSA  Comments Off on About NSA – National Sheriffs’ Association
Aug 312015
 

Chartered in 1940, the National Sheriffs’ Association is a professional association dedicated to serving the Office of Sheriff and its affiliates through police education, police training, and general law enforcement information resources. NSA represents thousands of sheriffs, deputies and other law enforcement, public safety professionals, and concerned citizens nationwide.

Through the years, NSA has provided programs for Sheriffs, their deputies, chiefs of police, and others in the field of criminal justice to perform their jobs in the best possible manner and to better serve the people of their cities, counties or jurisdictions.

The National Sheriffs’ Association headquarters is located in Alexandria, Virginia and offers police training, police information, court security training, jail information and other law enforcement services to sheriffs, deputies, and others throughout the nation. NSA has worked to forge cooperative relationships with local, state, and federal criminal justice professionals across the nation to network and share information about homeland security programs and projects.

NSA serves as the center of a vast network of law enforcement information, filling requests for information daily and enabling criminal justice professionals, including police officers, sheriffs, and deputies, to locate the information and programs they need. NSA recognizes the need to seek information from the membership, particularly the sheriff and the state sheriffs’ associations, in order to meet the needs and concerns of individual NSA members. While working on the national level, NSA has continued to seek grass-roots guidance, ever striving to work with and for its members, clients, and citizens of the nation.

NSA has through the years assisted sheriffs offices, sheriffs departments and state sheriffs associations in locating and preparing applications for state and federal homeland security grant funding. The NSA record and reputation for integrity and dependability in the conduction of such public safety programs among government agencies is well recognized and has led to continuing opportunities to apply for grants on the national, state, and local levels as well as management of service contracts.

NSA’s roots can be traced back to October 1888, when a group of sheriffs in Minnesota and surrounding states formed an organization, which they named the Inter-State Sheriffs’ Association. The purpose of this association was to give opportunity for a wider, mutual acquaintance, to exchange ideas for more efficient service, and to assist on another in the apprehension of criminals.

Over the years the name was changed several times. It is assumed that as laws changed and law enforcement grew and expanded along with the country, the organization felt compelled to change its name to fit its membership and the times. When law enforcement officials in other states and Canada expressed interest in taking part in the Inter-State Sheriffs’ Association, the group subsequently changed its name to the International Sheriffs’ and Police Association. In 1908 the organization was briefly known as the National Sheriffs’ Association before its name was amended as the International Sheriffs and Peace Officers Asociation and then later to the International Sheriffs and Police Association. The organization disbanded in 1938.

The Articles of Incorporation of the new National Sheriffs’ Association were filed with the Secretary of State of the state of Ohio on September 26, 1940. Sheriff Walter O’Neil of Akron, Ohio was NSA’s first president and held the first annual meeting in 1941 in St. Louis, Missouri. At this meeting a constitution was adopted and the organization’s goals, policies, and objectives were agreed upon. NSA began publishing its periodical, The National Sheriff magazine, in February of the same year. NSA’s first executive secretary (executive director) was Charles J. Hahn. It is believed that Hahn and the officials of the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association of Ohio set about to form a national association for sheriffs.

The National Sheriffs’ Association today is headquarted in Alexandria, VA and is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of criminal justice and public safety so that they may perform their jobs in the best possible manner and better serve the people of their cities, counties or jurisdictions.

For more on the history of NSA, consider ordering a copy of our 75th Anniversary Commemorative book. Click here to order today.

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About NSA – National Sheriffs’ Association

Fourth Amendment Body Search Home Search You rights …

 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on Fourth Amendment Body Search Home Search You rights …
Aug 302015
 

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”

The Fourth Amendment protection against “unreasonable searches and seizures” was adopted as a protection against the widespread invasions of privacy experienced by American colonists at the hands of the British Government. So-called “writs of assistance” gave royal officers broad discretion to conduct searches of the homes of private citizens, primarily as a way of discovering violations of strict British customs laws. This practice led to a unique awareness among our Founding Fathers of the threat to individual liberty and privacy that is created by unchecked government search powers.

Today, the Fourth Amendment has lost its preferred status among our cherished Bill of Rights Protections. In recent decades, growing concerns regarding crime and public safety in America have forced our Courts to balance the privacy rights contained in the Constitution with the ever-expanding needs of law-enforcement officers whose duty it is to investigate and arrest dangerous criminals. The Supreme Court’s rulings in Fourth Amendment cases demonstrate the challenge involved in reconciling these competing ideals.

Ultimately, the Constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures has been trimmed-down in recent years and tailored to suit the needs of modern law enforcement as we wage war against drugs and terrorism. For this reason, it is important for conscientious citizens to be familiar with the lawful parameters of police authority to conduct searches, as well as the legal doctrines by which that authority is limited.

The Fifth Amendment: Self-incrimination Clause

“…No person… shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself or be deprived of life liberty or property without due process of law…”

* The Supreme Court has made a new ruling that you must tell the police officer that you will NOT talk to him, you request a lawyer and then keep your mouth shut.

The right against self-incrimination has ancient roots in common law dating back to biblical times. While most provisions of the Fifth Amendment, such as the right to a jury trial and the right against double jeopardy, impose restrictions upon our courthouses, the right against self-incrimination has a profound effect upon the behavior of law-enforcement officers as they investigate crimes. For this reason, the meaning of the self-incrimination clause has remained one of the most controversial issues in criminal procedure since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Miranda v. Arizona.

At this time, it is required by the Supreme Court that police inform all criminal suspects of their right to remain silent prior to interrogation. This right extends from the point of arrest throughout the suspect’s involvement in the criminal justice system. While many in the law-enforcement community feel that this restriction unfairly limits the ability of police and prosecutors to obtain convictions, studies have shown that conviction rates have not changed significantly since the Court first required police to inform those arrested of their right against self-incrimination.

The Sixth Amendment: Right to Counsel Clause

“In all criminal proceedings, the accused shall enjoy the right to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is a critical component of the Bill of Rights in that it provides the accused with an advocate who is trained in the legal process and can provide a safeguard against violations of the suspect’s other Bill of Rights protections. Interestingly, it was not until 1963 that the Supreme Court held that states must provide a lawyer for all felony suspects, ending disparities in legal representation based on economic class.

Today, all person charged with a serious crime in the United States enjoy the assistance of a defense attorney regardless of economic status. State-employed public defenders represent clients who cannot afford their own attorneys, and contrary to popular belief, achieve roughly equal outcomes for their clients as do the more expensive privately-hired lawyers.

The Relationship Between Self-incrimination and the Right to Counsel

Many Americans, particularly young people, have become cynical about police practices and our legal system. It is not uncommon to lose hope when arrested or even become angry at the officer or the law he is enforcing. It is an important reality however, that our legal system does provide services for the accused. It cannot be overstated how important it is to wait for legal advice before attempting to discuss a criminal charge with police. The subtleties of the legal process require careful decisions about what to say and how to say it. A lawyer will help you prepare for tough questions and can emphasize your positive qualities to the judge, including qualities you didn’t know you had.

The constitution includes protections for criminal suspects because the legal system is incredibly complex, involving rules and regulations that everyday people would not understand. If you are charged with a crime, take advantage of the protections the constitution gives you. Don’t talk to police about what happened until you have spoken with a lawyer and discussed how to present your side of the story.

News and Information at:

PoliceCrimes.com

This Site Has Been Online Since 2004

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TOR Bundle Download – Tor Project: Anonymity Online

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on TOR Bundle Download – Tor Project: Anonymity Online
Aug 262015
 

You need to change some of your habits, as some things won’t work exactly as you are used to.

Tor does not protect all of your computer’s Internet traffic when you run it. Tor only protects your applications that are properly configured to send their Internet traffic through Tor. To avoid problems with Tor configuration, we strongly recommend you use the Tor Browser. It is pre-configured to protect your privacy and anonymity on the web as long as you’re browsing with the Tor Browser itself. Almost any other web browser configuration is likely to be unsafe to use with Tor.

Torrent file-sharing applications have been observed to ignore proxy settings and make direct connections even when they are told to use Tor. Even if your torrent application connects only through Tor, you will often send out your real IP address in the tracker GET request, because that’s how torrents work. Not only do you deanonymize your torrent traffic and your other simultaneous Tor web traffic this way, you also slow down the entire Tor network for everyone else.

The Tor Browser will block browser plugins such as Flash, RealPlayer, Quicktime, and others: they can be manipulated into revealing your IP address. Similarly, we do not recommend installing additional addons or plugins into the Tor Browser, as these may bypass Tor or otherwise harm your anonymity and privacy.

Tor will encrypt your traffic to and within the Tor network, but the encryption of your traffic to the final destination website depends upon on that website. To help ensure private encryption to websites, the Tor Browser includes HTTPS Everywhere to force the use of HTTPS encryption with major websites that support it. However, you should still watch the browser URL bar to ensure that websites you provide sensitive information to display a blue or green URL bar button, include https:// in the URL, and display the proper expected name for the website. Also see EFF’s interactive page explaining how Tor and HTTPS relate.

The Tor Browser will warn you before automatically opening documents that are handled by external applications. DO NOT IGNORE THIS WARNING. You should be very careful when downloading documents via Tor (especially DOC and PDF files) as these documents can contain Internet resources that will be downloaded outside of Tor by the application that opens them. This will reveal your non-Tor IP address. If you must work with DOC and/or PDF files, we strongly recommend either using a disconnected computer, downloading the free VirtualBox and using it with a virtual machine image with networking disabled, or using Tails. Under no circumstances is it safe to use BitTorrent and Tor together, however.

Tor tries to prevent attackers from learning what destination websites you connect to. However, by default, it does not prevent somebody watching your Internet traffic from learning that you’re using Tor. If this matters to you, you can reduce this risk by configuring Tor to use a Tor bridge relay rather than connecting directly to the public Tor network. Ultimately the best protection is a social approach: the more Tor users there are near you and the more diverse their interests, the less dangerous it will be that you are one of them. Convince other people to use Tor, too!

Be smart and learn more. Understand what Tor does and does not offer. This list of pitfalls isn’t complete, and we need your help identifying and documenting all the issues.

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In Defense of Posthuman Dignity – Nick Bostrom

 Posthuman  Comments Off on In Defense of Posthuman Dignity – Nick Bostrom
Aug 222015
 

ABSTRACT. Positions on the ethics of human enhancement technologies can be (crudely) characterized as ranging from transhumanism to bioconservatism. Transhumanists believe that human enhancement technologies should be made widely available, that individuals should have broad discretion over which of these technologies to apply to themselves, and that parents should normally have the right to choose enhancements for their children-to-be. Bioconservatives (whose ranks include such diverse writers as Leon Kass, Francis Fukuyama, George Annas, Wesley Smith, Jeremy Rifkin, and Bill McKibben) are generally opposed to the use of technology to modify human nature. A central idea in bioconservativism is that human enhancement technologies will undermine our human dignity. To forestall a slide down the slippery slope towards an ultimately debased posthuman state, bioconservatives often argue for broad bans on otherwise promising human enhancements. This paper distinguishes two common fears about the posthuman and argues for the importance of a concept of dignity that is inclusive enough to also apply to many possible posthuman beings. Recognizing the possibility of posthuman dignity undercuts an important objection against human enhancement and removes a distortive double standard from our field of moral vision.

Transhumanism is a loosely defined movement that has developed gradually over the past two decades, and can be viewed as an outgrowth of secular humanism and the Enlightenment. It holds that current human nature is improvable through the use of applied science and other rational methods, which may make it possible to increase human health-span, extend our intellectual and physical capacities, and give us increased control over our own mental states and moods.[1] Technologies of concern include not only current ones, like genetic engineering and information technology, but also anticipated future developments such as fully immersive virtual reality, machine-phase nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence.

Transhumanists promote the view that human enhancement technologies should be made widely available, and that individuals should have broad discretion over which of these technologies to apply to themselves (morphological freedom), and that parents should normally get to decide which reproductive technologies to use when having children (reproductive freedom).[2] Transhumanists believe that, while there are hazards that need to be identified and avoided, human enhancement technologies will offer enormous potential for deeply valuable and humanly beneficial uses. Ultimately, it is possible that such enhancements may make us, or our descendants, posthuman, beings who may have indefinite health-spans, much greater intellectual faculties than any current human being and perhaps entirely new sensibilities or modalities as well as the ability to control their own emotions. The wisest approach vis–vis these prospects, argue transhumanists, is to embrace technological progress, while strongly defending human rights and individual choice, and taking action specifically against concrete threats, such as military or terrorist abuse of bioweapons, and against unwanted environmental or social side-effects.

In opposition to this transhumanist view stands a bioconservative camp that argues against the use of technology to modify human nature. Prominent bioconservative writers include Leon Kass, Francis Fukuyama, George Annas, Wesley Smith, Jeremy Rifkin, and Bill McKibben. One of the central concerns of the bioconservatives is that human enhancement technologies might be dehumanizing. The worry, which has been variously expressed, is that these technologies might undermine our human dignity or inadvertently erode something that is deeply valuable about being human but that is difficult to put into words or to factor into a cost-benefit analysis. In some cases (e.g. Leon Kass) the unease seems to derive from religious or crypto-religious sentiments whereas for others (e.g. Francis Fukuyama) it stems from secular grounds. The best approach, these bioconservatives argue, is to implement global bans on swathes of promising human enhancement technologies to forestall a slide down a slippery slope towards an ultimately debased posthuman state.

While any brief description necessarily skirts significant nuances that differentiate writers within the two camps, I believe the above characterization nevertheless highlights a principal fault lines in one of the great debates of our times: how we should look at the future of humankind and whether we should attempt to use technology to make ourselves more than human. This paper will distinguish two common fears about the posthuman and argue that they are partly unfounded and that, to the extent that they correspond to real risks, there are better responses than trying to implement broad bans on technology. I will make some remarks on the concept of dignity, which bioconservatives believe to be imperiled by coming human enhancement technologies, and suggest that we need to recognize that not only humans in their current form, but posthumans too could have dignity.

The prospect of posthumanity is feared for at least two reasons. One is that the state of being posthuman might in itself be degrading, so that by becoming posthuman we might be harming ourselves. Another is that posthumans might pose a threat to ordinary humans. (I shall set aside a third possible reason, that the development of posthumans might offend some supernatural being.)

The most prominent bioethicist to focus on the first fear is Leon Kass:

Most of the given bestowals of nature have their given species-specified natures: they are each and all of a given sort. Cockroaches and humans are equally bestowed but differently natured. To turn a man into a cockroachas we dont need Kafka to show uswould be dehumanizing. To try to turn a man into more than a man might be so as well. We need more than generalized appreciation for natures gifts. We need a particular regard and respect for the special gift that is our own given nature[3]

Transhumanists counter that natures gifts are sometimes poisoned and should not always be accepted. Cancer, malaria, dementia, aging, starvation, unnecessary suffering, cognitive shortcomings are all among the presents that we wisely refuse. Our own species-specified natures are a rich source of much of the thoroughly unrespectable and unacceptable susceptibility for disease, murder, rape, genocide, cheating, torture, racism. The horrors of nature in general and of our own nature in particular are so well documented[4] that it is astonishing that somebody as distinguished as Leon Kass should still in this day and age be tempted to rely on the natural as a guide to what is desirable or normatively right. We should be grateful that our ancestors were not swept away by the Kassian sentiment, or we would still be picking lice off each others backs. Rather than deferring to the natural order, transhumanists maintain that we can legitimately reform ourselves and our natures in accordance with humane values and personal aspirations.

If one rejects nature as a general criterion of the good, as most thoughtful people nowadays do, one can of course still acknowledge that particular ways of modifying human nature would be debasing. Not all change is progress. Not even all well-intended technological intervention in human nature would be on balance beneficial. Kass goes far beyond these truisms however when he declares that utter dehumanization lies in store for us as the inevitable result of our obtaining technical mastery over our own nature:

the final technical conquest of his own nature would almost certainly leave mankind utterly enfeebled. This form of mastery would be identical with utter dehumanization. Read Huxleys Brave New World, read C. S. Lewiss Abolition of Man, read Nietzsches account of the last man, and then read the newspapers. Homogenization, mediocrity, pacification, drug-induced contentment, debasement of taste, souls without loves and longings these are the inevitable results of making the essence of human nature the last project of technical mastery. In his moment of triumph, Promethean man will become a contented cow.[5]

The fictional inhabitants of Brave New World, to pick the best-known of Kasss examples, are admittedly short on dignity (in at least one sense of the word). But the claim that this is the inevitable consequence of our obtaining technological mastery over human nature is exceedingly pessimistic and unsupported if understood as a futuristic prediction, and false if construed as a claim about metaphysical necessity.

There are many things wrong with the fictional society that Huxley described. It is static, totalitarian, caste-bound; its culture is a wasteland. The brave new worlders themselves are a dehumanized and undignified lot. Yet posthumans they are not. Their capacities are not super-human but in many respects substantially inferior to our own. Their life expectancy and physique are quite normal, but their intellectual, emotional, moral, and spiritual faculties are stunted. The majority of the brave new worlders have various degrees of engineered mental retardation. And everyone, save the ten world controllers (along with a miscellany of primitives and social outcasts who are confined to fenced preservations or isolated islands), are barred or discouraged from developing individuality, independent thinking and initiative, and are conditioned not to desire these traits in the first place. Brave New World is not a tale of human enhancement gone amok but a tragedy of technology and social engineering being used to deliberately cripple moral and intellectual capacities the exact antithesis of the transhumanist proposal.

Transhumanists argue that the best way to avoid a Brave New World is by vigorously defending morphological and reproductive freedoms against any would-be world controllers. History has shown the dangers in letting governments curtail these freedoms. The last centurys government-sponsored coercive eugenics programs, once favored by both the left and the right, have been thoroughly discredited. Because people are likely to differ profoundly in their attitudes towards human enhancement technologies, it is crucial that no one solution be imposed on everyone from above but that individuals get to consult their own consciences as to what is right for themselves and their families. Information, public debate, and education are the appropriate means by which to encourage others to make wise choices, not a global ban on a broad range of potentially beneficial medical and other enhancement options.

The second fear is that there might be an eruption of violence between unaugmented humans and posthumans. George Annas, Lori Andrews, and Rosario Isasi have argued that we should view human cloning and all inheritable genetic modifications as crimes against humanity in order to reduce the probability that posthuman species will arise, on grounds that such a species would pose an existential threat to the old human species:

The new species, or posthuman, will likely view the old normal humans as inferior, even savages, and fit for slavery or slaughter. The normals, on the other hand, may see the posthumans as a threat and if they can, may engage in a preemptive strike by killing the posthumans before they themselves are killed or enslaved by them. It is ultimately this predictable potential for genocide that makes species-altering experiments potential weapons of mass destruction, and makes the unaccountable genetic engineer a potential bioterrorist.[6]

There is no denying that bioterrorism and unaccountable genetic engineers developing increasingly potent weapons of mass destruction pose a serious threat to our civilization. But using the rhetoric of bioterrorism and weapons of mass destruction to cast aspersions on therapeutic uses of biotechnology to improve health, longevity and other human capacities is unhelpful. The issues are quite distinct. Reasonable people can be in favor of strict regulation of bioweapons while promoting beneficial medical uses of genetics and other human enhancement technologies, including inheritable and species-altering modifications.

Human society is always at risk of some group deciding to view another group of humans as fit for slavery or slaughter. To counteract such tendencies, modern societies have created laws and institutions, and endowed them with powers of enforcement, that act to prevent groups of citizens from enslaving or slaughtering one another. The efficacy of these institutions does not depend on all citizens having equal capacities. Modern, peaceful societies can have large numbers of people with diminished physical or mental capacities along with many other people who may be exceptionally physically strong or healthy or intellectually talented in various ways. Adding people with technologically enhanced capacities to this already broad distribution of ability would not need to rip society apart or trigger genocide or enslavement.

The assumption that inheritable genetic modifications or other human enhancement technologies would lead to two distinct and separate species should also be questioned. It seems much more likely that there would be a continuum of differently modified or enhanced individuals, which would overlap with the continuum of as-yet unenhanced humans. The scenario in which the enhanced form a pact and then attack the naturals makes for exciting science fiction but is not necessarily the most plausible outcome. Even today, the segment containing the tallest ninety percent of the population could, in principle, get together and kill or enslave the shorter decile. That this does not happen suggests that a well-organized society can hold together even if it contains many possible coalitions of people sharing some attribute such that, if they ganged up, they would be capable of exterminating the rest.

To note that the extreme case of a war between humans and posthumans is not the most likely scenario is not to say that there are no legitimate social concerns about the steps that may take us closer to posthumanity. Inequity, discrimination, and stigmatization against, or on behalf of, modified people could become serious issues. Transhumanists would argue that these (potential) social problems call for social remedies. One example of how contemporary technology can change important aspects of someones identity is sex reassignment. The experiences of transsexuals show that Western culture still has work to do in becoming more accepting of diversity. This is a task that we can begin to tackle today by fostering a climate of tolerance and acceptance towards those who are different from ourselves. Painting alarmist pictures of the threat from future technologically modified people, or hurling preemptive condemnations of their necessarily debased nature, is not the best way to go about it.

What about the hypothetical case in which someone intends to create, or turn themselves into, a being of so radically enhanced capacities that a single one or a small group of such individuals would be capable of taking over the planet? This is clearly not a situation that is likely to arise in the imminent future, but one can imagine that, perhaps in a few decades, the prospective creation of superintelligent machines could raise this kind of concern. The would-be creator of a new life form with such surpassing capabilities would have an obligation to ensure that the proposed being is free from psychopathic tendencies and, more generally, that it has humane inclinations. For example, a future artificial intelligence programmer should be required to make a strong case that launching a purportedly human-friendly superintelligence would be safer than the alternative. Again, however, this (currently) science-fiction scenario must be clearly distinguished from our present situation and our more immediate concern with taking effective steps towards incrementally improving human capacities and health-span.

Human dignity is sometimes invoked as a polemical substitute for clear ideas. This is not to say that there are no important moral issues relating to dignity, but it does mean that there is a need to define what one has in mind when one uses the term. Here, we shall consider two different senses of dignity:

On both these definitions, dignity is something that a posthuman could possess. Francis Fukuyama, however, seems to deny this and warns that giving up on the idea that dignity is unique to human beings defined as those possessing a mysterious essential human quality he calls Factor X[8] would invite disaster:

Denial of the concept of human dignity that is, of the idea that there is something unique about the human race that entitles every member of the species to a higher moral status than the rest of the natural world leads us down a very perilous path. We may be compelled ultimately to take this path, but we should do so only with our eyes open. Nietzsche is a much better guide to what lies down that road than the legions of bioethicists and casual academic Darwinians that today are prone to give us moral advice on this subject.[9]

What appears to worry Fukuyama is that introducing new kinds of enhanced person into the world might cause some individuals (perhaps infants, or the mentally handicapped, or unenhanced humans in general) to lose some of the moral status that they currently possess, and that a fundamental precondition of liberal democracy, the principle of equal dignity for all, would be destroyed.

The underlying intuition seems to be that instead of the famed expanding moral circle, what we have is more like an oval, whose shape we can change but whose area must remain constant. Thankfully, this purported conservation law of moral recognition lacks empirical support. The set of individuals accorded full moral status by Western societies has actually increased, to include men without property or noble decent, women, and non-white peoples. It would seem feasible to extend this set further to include future posthumans, or, for that matter, some of the higher primates or human-animal chimaeras, should such be created and to do so without causing any compensating shrinkage in another direction. (The moral status of problematic borderline cases, such as fetuses or late-stage Alzheimer patients, or the brain dead, should perhaps be decided separately from the issue of technologically modified humans or novel artificial life forms.) Our own role in this process need not be that of passive bystanders. We can work to create more inclusive social structures that accord appropriate moral recognition and legal rights to all who need them, be they male or female, black or white, flesh or silicon.

Dignity in the second sense, as referring to a special excellence or moral worthiness, is something that current human beings possess to widely differing degrees. Some excel far more than others do. Some are morally admirable; others are base and vicious. There is no reason for supposing that posthuman beings could not also have dignity in this second sense. They may even be able to attain higher levels of moral and other excellence than any of us humans. The fictional brave new worlders, who were subhuman rather than posthuman, would have scored low on this kind of dignity, and partly for that reason they would be awful role models for us to emulate. But surely we can create more uplifting and appealing visions of what we may aspire to become. There may be some who would transform themselves into degraded posthumans but then some people today do not live very worthy human lives. This is regrettable, but the fact that some people make bad choices is not generally a sufficient ground for rescinding peoples right to choose. And legitimate countermeasures are available: education, encouragement, persuasion, social and cultural reform. These, not a blanket prohibition of all posthuman ways of being, are the measures to which those bothered by the prospect of debased posthumans should resort. A liberal democracy should normally permit incursions into morphological and reproductive freedoms only in cases where somebody is abusing these freedoms to harm another person.

The principle that parents should have broad discretion to decide on genetic enhancements for their children has been attacked on grounds that this form of reproductive freedom would constitute a kind of parental tyranny that would undermine the childs dignity and capacity for autonomous choice; for instance, by Hans Jonas:

Technological mastered nature now again includes man who (up to now) had, in technology, set himself against it as its master But whose power is this and over whom or over what? Obviously the power of those living today over those coming after them, who will be the defenseless other side of prior choices made by the planners of today. The other side of the power of today is the future bondage of the living to the dead.[10]

Jonas is relying on the assumption that our descendants, who will presumably be far more technologically advanced than we are, would nevertheless be defenseless against our machinations to expand their capacities. This is almost certainly incorrect. If, for some inscrutable reason, they decided that they would prefer to be less intelligent, less healthy, and lead shorter lives, they would not lack the means to achieve these objectives and frustrate our designs.

In any case, if the alternative to parental choice in determining the basic capacities of new people is entrusting the childs welfare to nature, that is blind chance, then the decision should be easy. Had Mother Nature been a real parent, she would have been in jail for child abuse and murder. And transhumanists can accept, of course, that just as society may in exceptional circumstances override parental autonomy, such as in cases of neglect or abuse, so too may society impose regulations to protect the child-to-be from genuinely harmful genetic interventions but not because they represent choice rather than chance.

Jrgen Habermas, in a recent work, echoes Jonas concern and worries that even the mere knowledge of having been intentionally made by another could have ruinous consequences:

We cannot rule out that knowledge of ones own hereditary features as programmed may prove to restrict the choice of an individuals life, and to undermine the essentially symmetrical relations between free and equal human beings.[11]

A transhumanist could reply that it would be a mistake for an individual to believe that she has no choice over her own life just because some (or all) of her genes were selected by her parents. She would, in fact, have as much choice as if her genetic constitution had been selected by chance. It could even be that she would enjoy significantly more choice and autonomy in her life, if the modifications were such as to expand her basic capability set. Being healthy, smarter, having a wide range of talents, or possessing greater powers of self-control are blessings that tend to open more life paths than they block.

Even if there were a possibility that some genetically modified individuals might fail to grasp these points and thus might feel oppressed by their knowledge of their origin, that would be a risk to be weighed against the risks incurred by having an unmodified genome, risks that can be extremely grave. If safe and effective alternatives were available, it would be irresponsible to risk starting someone off in life with the misfortune of congenitally diminished basic capacities or an elevated susceptibility to disease.

Similarly ominous forecasts were made in the seventies about the severe psychological damage that children conceived through in vitro fertilization would suffer upon learning that they originated from a test tube a prediction that turned out to be entirely false. It is hard to avoid the impression that some bias or philosophical prejudice is responsible for the readiness with which many bioconservatives seize on even the flimsiest of empirical justifications for banning human enhancement technologies of certain types but not others. Suppose it turned out that playing Mozart to pregnant mothers improved the childs subsequent musical talent. Nobody would argue for a ban on Mozart-in-the-womb on grounds that we cannot rule out that some psychological woe might befall the child once she discovers that her facility with the violin had been prenatally programmed by her parents. Yet when it comes to e.g. genetic enhancements, arguments that are not so very different from this parody are often put forward as weighty if not conclusive objections by eminent bioconservative writers. To transhumanists, this looks like doublethink. How can it be that to bioconservatives almost any anticipated downside, predicted perhaps on the basis of the shakiest pop-psychological theory, so readily achieves that status of deep philosophical insight and knockdown objection against the transhumanist project?

Perhaps a part of the answer can be found in the different attitudes that transhumanists and bioconservatives have towards posthuman dignity. Bioconservatives tend to deny posthuman dignity and view posthumanity as a threat to human dignity. They are therefore tempted to look for ways to denigrate interventions that are thought to be pointing in the direction of more radical future modifications that may eventually lead to the emergence of those detestable posthumans. But unless this fundamental opposition to the posthuman is openly declared as a premiss of their argument, this then forces them to use a double standard of assessment whenever particular cases are considered in isolation: for example, one standard for germ-line genetic interventions and another for improvements in maternal nutrition (an intervention presumably not seen as heralding a posthuman era).

Transhumanists, by contrast, see human and posthuman dignity as compatible and complementary. They insist that dignity, in its modern sense, consists in what we are and what we have the potential to become, not in our pedigree or our causal origin. What we are is not a function solely of our DNA but also of our technological and social context. Human nature in this broader sense is dynamic, partially human-made, and improvable. Our current extended phenotypes (and the lives that we lead) are markedly different from those of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. We read and write; we wear clothes; we live in cities; we earn money and buy food from the supermarket; we call people on the telephone, watch television, read newspapers, drive cars, file taxes, vote in national elections; women give birth in hospitals; life-expectancy is three times longer than in the Pleistocene; we know that the Earth is round and that stars are large gas clouds lit from inside by nuclear fusion, and that the universe is approximately 13.7 billion years old and enormously big. In the eyes of a hunter-gatherer, we might already appear posthuman. Yet these radical extensions of human capabilities some of them biological, others external have not divested us of moral status or dehumanized us in the sense of making us generally unworthy and base. Similarly, should we or our descendants one day succeed in becoming what relative to current standards we may refer to as posthuman, this need not entail a loss dignity either.

From the transhumanist standpoint, there is no need to behave as if there were a deep moral difference between technological and other means of enhancing human lives. By defending posthuman dignity we promote a more inclusive and humane ethics, one that will embrace future technologically modified people as well as humans of the contemporary kind. We also remove a distortive double standard from the field of our moral vision, allowing us to perceive more clearly the opportunities that exist for further human progress.[12]

[1] N. Bostrom et al. 2003. The Transhumanist FAQ, v. 2.1. World Transhumanist Association. Webpage: http://www.transhumanism.org/resources/faq.html.

Homepage: http://www.nickbostrom.com

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In Defense of Posthuman Dignity – Nick Bostrom

Human Genetics Alert – Human Genetic Engineering resources

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Human Genetics Alert – Human Genetic Engineering resources
Aug 192015
 

1. Is human genetic engineering safe and effective?

With present techniques it is clearly unsafe: the techniques of inserting genes can disrupt other genes, with harmful consequences for the person and all his/her descendants. We do not know enough about how gene work to ensure that an inserted gene will work as desired. Future generations cannot consent to such risks. The chance that interventions will be effective is unknown. However, the technologies are improving constantly and may make human genetic engineering (HGE) feasible within five years.

No, it is not. Advocates argue that it is a general solution to the problem of genetic diseases and is superior to somatic gene therapy, since it could permanently eliminate the risk of inherited disease within a family. However, there are only a few very rare cases where HGE is the only option for producing a healthy child. Couples can choose not to have children, to adopt a child, or to use donor eggs or sperm. If it is consistent with their values, they can also use prenatal and pre-implantation genetic testing to avoid genetic disease and have a child that is 100% genetically related. Given this, it is clear that the real market for HGE is in ‘enhancement’ of appearance, height, athletic ability, intelligence, etc.

No, it is not, although Lee Silver and others like him very much want you to believe that it is. In a democratic society people agree on what rules they wish to live under. By 1998 twenty-seven industrial democracies had agreed to ban human cloning and germ line manipulation. In the U.S., the state of Michigan has made all forms of human cloning illegal. There is no reason we cannot choose to forgo these technologies, both domestically and as part of a global compact. It is often said that banning the use of a technology will not prevent someone from developing it elsewhere. This may be true, although the number of people competent to develop cloning and human genetic engineering is small. But even though the technology may be developed, we do not have to permit its use to become respectable and widespread.

No, we have the right to choose the science that we want and to define our own vision of progress. We should reject science which is not in the public interest. Proscribing the most dangerous techno-eugenic applications will allow us to proceed with greater confidence in developing the many potentially beneficial uses of genetic research for human society.

People do have the right to have children if they are biologically capable, but they do not have any ‘right’ to use cloning, or genetic engineering. Rights don’t exist in a vacuum; they are socially negotiated within a context of fundamental values. The question of access to particular technologies is a matter of public policy and depends on the social consequences of allowing that access. For example, people are not allowed access to nuclear technology, or dangerous pathogens and drugs, simply because they have the money to pay for them.

Traditionally, we see human beings as inviolable, and as endowed with rights: they must be accepted as they are. Human genetic engineering overthrows that basic conception, degrading human subjects into objects, to be designed according parents’ whim. Accepting such a change would have consequences both for individual humans and for society at large which we can barely imagine. Obvious consequences would be a disruption of parents’ unconditional love for children. Cloning and HGE represent an unprecedented intent to determine and control a child’s life trajectory: for the child, it would undermine their sense of free will and of their achievements. These concerns are what many people mean when they say that we should not play God with our children.

The social consequences of the use of cloning and HGE in our society would be disastrous. Parents would tend to engineer children to conform to social norms, with regard to physical ability, appearance and aptitudes, even though many of those social norms are inherently oppressive. For example, disabled people have often expressed fears that free-market eugenics would reduce society’s tolerance for those genetic impairments. If genes pre-disposing people to homosexuality are discovered, it is certain that many people would attempt to engineer these out of their offspring. A free-market techno-eugenics could also easily have the disastrous consequences spelled out in Lee Silver’s Re-making Eden. Since access to such expensive technology would be on the basis of ability to pay, we could see the emergence of biologically as well as financially advantaged ruling elites.

The environmental movement has recognised how, in Western societies over the last few hundred years, humans have tried to control and dominate nature, with the resultant environmental crisis which we currently face. Genetic engineering of plants and animals gives us the power to dominate nature in a new and more powerful way than ever before, which is why it has caused so much concern in environmental movements. Techno-eugenics extends the drive to control nature to the nature of human beings, threatening ultimately to make the human species, like other species, the object of the manipulative control of technocratic elites. It is obvious that if we cannot prevent this, we have little chance of winning the struggle to protect the environment. The environmental movement is the main guardian of the non-exploitative vision of the relation between humans and the rest of nature. Realising that such a relationship may soon be imposed upon ourselves, and our children, the environmental movement must take the lead in alerting society to the danger that it faces.

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Human Genetics Alert – Human Genetic Engineering resources

Download Tor – Tor Project: Anonymity Online

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on Download Tor – Tor Project: Anonymity Online
Aug 152015
 

Want Tor to really work?

You need to change some of your habits, as some things won’t work exactly as you are used to. Please read the full list of warnings for details.

Microsoft Windows

Everything you need to safely browse the Internet. Learn more

Contains just Tor and nothing else. You’ll need to configure Tor and all of your applications manually. This installer must be run as Administrator.

Apple OS X

Everything you need to safely browse the Internet. This package requires no installation. Just extract it and run. Learn more

GNU/Linux, BSD, and Unix

Everything you need to safely browse the Internet. This package requires no installation. Just extract it and run. Learn more

Install the Tor components yourself, run a relay, create custom configurations. All an apt-get or yum install away.

Tor for Smartphones

Source Code

Configure with: ./configure && make && src/or/tor

The current stable version of Tor is 0.2.6.10. Its release notes are available.

The current unstable/alpha version of Tor is 0.2.7.2-alpha. Its Changelog is available.

You need to change some of your habits, as some things won’t work exactly as you are used to.

Tor does not protect all of your computer’s Internet traffic when you run it. Tor only protects your applications that are properly configured to send their Internet traffic through Tor. To avoid problems with Tor configuration, we strongly recommend you use the Tor Browser. It is pre-configured to protect your privacy and anonymity on the web as long as you’re browsing with the Tor Browser itself. Almost any other web browser configuration is likely to be unsafe to use with Tor.

Torrent file-sharing applications have been observed to ignore proxy settings and make direct connections even when they are told to use Tor. Even if your torrent application connects only through Tor, you will often send out your real IP address in the tracker GET request, because that’s how torrents work. Not only do you deanonymize your torrent traffic and your other simultaneous Tor web traffic this way, you also slow down the entire Tor network for everyone else.

The Tor Browser will block browser plugins such as Flash, RealPlayer, Quicktime, and others: they can be manipulated into revealing your IP address. Similarly, we do not recommend installing additional addons or plugins into the Tor Browser, as these may bypass Tor or otherwise harm your anonymity and privacy.

Tor will encrypt your traffic to and within the Tor network, but the encryption of your traffic to the final destination website depends upon on that website. To help ensure private encryption to websites, the Tor Browser includes HTTPS Everywhere to force the use of HTTPS encryption with major websites that support it. However, you should still watch the browser URL bar to ensure that websites you provide sensitive information to display a blue or green URL bar button, include https:// in the URL, and display the proper expected name for the website. Also see EFF’s interactive page explaining how Tor and HTTPS relate.

The Tor Browser will warn you before automatically opening documents that are handled by external applications. DO NOT IGNORE THIS WARNING. You should be very careful when downloading documents via Tor (especially DOC and PDF files) as these documents can contain Internet resources that will be downloaded outside of Tor by the application that opens them. This will reveal your non-Tor IP address. If you must work with DOC and/or PDF files, we strongly recommend either using a disconnected computer, downloading the free VirtualBox and using it with a virtual machine image with networking disabled, or using Tails. Under no circumstances is it safe to use BitTorrent and Tor together, however.

Tor tries to prevent attackers from learning what destination websites you connect to. However, by default, it does not prevent somebody watching your Internet traffic from learning that you’re using Tor. If this matters to you, you can reduce this risk by configuring Tor to use a Tor bridge relay rather than connecting directly to the public Tor network. Ultimately the best protection is a social approach: the more Tor users there are near you and the more diverse their interests, the less dangerous it will be that you are one of them. Convince other people to use Tor, too!

Be smart and learn more. Understand what Tor does and does not offer. This list of pitfalls isn’t complete, and we need your help identifying and documenting all the issues.

The rest is here:
Download Tor – Tor Project: Anonymity Online

Stem cell therapy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Regenerative Medicine  Comments Off on Stem cell therapy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aug 152015
 

This article is about the medical therapy. For the cell type, see Stem cell.

Stem cell therapy is the use of stem cells to treat or prevent a disease or condition.

Bone marrow transplant is the most widely used stem cell therapy, but some therapies derived from umbilical cord blood are also in use. Research is underway to develop various sources for stem cells, and to apply stem cell treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and conditions, diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions.

With the ability of scientists to isolate and culture embryonic stem cells, and with scientists’ growing ability to create stem cells using somatic cell nuclear transfer and techniques to create induced pluripotent stem cells, controversy has crept in, both related to abortion politics and to human cloning. Additionally, efforts to market treatments based on transplant of stored umbilical cord blood have proven controversial.

For over 30 years, bone-marrow has been used to treat cancer patients with conditions such as leukaemia and lymphoma; this is the only form of stem cell therapy that is widely practiced.[1][2][3] During chemotherapy, most growing cells are killed by the cytotoxic agents. These agents, however, cannot discriminate between the leukaemia or neoplastic cells, and the hematopoietic stem cells within the bone marrow. It is this side effect of conventional chemotherapy strategies that the stem cell transplant attempts to reverse; a donor’s healthy bone marrow reintroduces functional stem cells to replace the cells lost in the host’s body during treatment. The transplanted cells also generate an immune response that helps to kill off the cancer cells; this process can go too far, however, leading to graft vs host disease, the most serious side effect of this treatment.[4]

Another stem cell therapy called Prochymal, was conditionally approved in Canada in 2012 for the management of acute graft-vs-host disease in children who are unresponsive to steroids.[5] It is an allogenic stem therapy based on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from the bone marrow of adult donors. MSCs are purified from the marrow, cultured and packaged, with up to 10,000 doses derived from a single donor. The doses are stored frozen until needed.[6]

The FDA has approved five hematopoietic stem cell products derived from umbilical cord blood, for the treatment of blood and immunological diseases.[7]

In 2014, the European Medicines Agency recommended approval of Holoclar, a treatment involving stem cells, for use in the European Union. Holoclar is used for people with severe limbal stem cell deficiency due to burns in the eye.[8]

Research has been conducted to learn whether stem cells may be used to treat brain degeneration, such as in Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.[9][10][11]

Healthy adult brains contain neural stem cells which divide to maintain general stem cell numbers, or become progenitor cells. In healthy adult animals, progenitor cells migrate within the brain and function primarily to maintain neuron populations for olfaction (the sense of smell). Pharmacological activation of endogenous neural stem cells has been reported to induce neuroprotection and behavioral recovery in adult rat models of neurological disorder.[12][13][14]

Stroke and traumatic brain injury lead to cell death, characterized by a loss of neurons and oligodendrocytes within the brain. A small clinical trial was underway in Scotland in 2013, in which stem cells were injected into the brains of stroke patients.[15]

Clinical and animal studies have been conducted into the use of stem cells in cases of spinal cord injury.[16][17][18]

The pioneering work[19] by Bodo-Eckehard Strauer has now been discredited by the identification of hundreds of factual contradictions.[20] Among several clinical trials that have reported that adult stem cell therapy is safe and effective, powerful effects have been reported from only a few laboratories, but this has covered old[21] and recent[22] infarcts as well as heart failure not arising from myocardial infarction.[23] While initial animal studies demonstrated remarkable therapeutic effects,[24][25] later clinical trials achieved only modest, though statistically significant, improvements.[26][27] Possible reasons for this discrepancy are patient age,[28] timing of treatment[29] and the recent occurrence of a myocardial infarction.[30] It appears that these obstacles may be overcome by additional treatments which increase the effectiveness of the treatment[31] or by optimizing the methodology although these too can be controversial. Current studies vary greatly in cell procuring techniques, cell types, cell administration timing and procedures, and studied parameters, making it very difficult to make comparisons. Comparative studies are therefore currently needed.

Stem cell therapy for treatment of myocardial infarction usually makes use of autologous bone marrow stem cells (a specific type or all), however other types of adult stem cells may be used, such as adipose-derived stem cells.[32] Adult stem cell therapy for treating heart disease was commercially available in at least five continents as of 2007.[citation needed]

Possible mechanisms of recovery include:[9]

It may be possible to have adult bone marrow cells differentiate into heart muscle cells.[9]

The first successful integration of human embryonic stem cell derived cardiomyocytes in guinea pigs (mouse hearts beat too fast) was reported in August 2012. The contraction strength was measured four weeks after the guinea pigs underwent simulated heart attacks and cell treatment. The cells contracted synchronously with the existing cells, but it is unknown if the positive results were produced mainly from paracrine as opposed to direct electromechanical effects from the human cells. Future work will focus on how to get the cells to engraft more strongly around the scar tissue. Whether treatments from embryonic or adult bone marrow stem cells will prove more effective remains to be seen.[33]

In 2013 the pioneering reports of powerful beneficial effects of autologous bone marrow stem cells on ventricular function were found to contain “hundreds” of discrepancies.[34] Critics report that of 48 reports there seemed to be just 5 underlying trials, and that in many cases whether they were randomized or merely observational accepter-versus-rejecter, was contradictory between reports of the same trial. One pair of reports of identical baseline characteristics and final results, was presented in two publications as, respectively, a 578 patient randomized trial and as a 391 patient observational study. Other reports required (impossible) negative standard deviations in subsets of patients, or contained fractional patients, negative NYHA classes. Overall there were many more patients published as having receiving stem cells in trials, than the number of stem cells processed in the hospital’s laboratory during that time. A university investigation, closed in 2012 without reporting, was reopened in July 2013.[35]

One of the most promising benefits of stem cell therapy is the potential for cardiac tissue regeneration to reverse the tissue loss underlying the development of heart failure after cardiac injury.[36]

Initially, the observed improvements were attributed to a transdifferentiation of BM-MSCs into cardiomyocyte-like cells.[24] Given the apparent inadequacy of unmodified stem cells for heart tissue regeneration, a more promising modern technique involves treating these cells to create cardiac progenitor cells before implantation to the injured area.[37]

The specificity of the human immune-cell repertoire is what allows the human body to defend itself from rapidly adapting antigens. However, the immune system is vulnerable to degradation upon the pathogenesis of disease, and because of the critical role that it plays in overall defense, its degradation is often fatal to the organism as a whole. Diseases of hematopoietic cells are diagnosed and classified via a subspecialty of pathology known as hematopathology. The specificity of the immune cells is what allows recognition of foreign antigens, causing further challenges in the treatment of immune disease. Identical matches between donor and recipient must be made for successful transplantation treatments, but matches are uncommon, even between first-degree relatives. Research using both hematopoietic adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells has provided insight into the possible mechanisms and methods of treatment for many of these ailments.[citation needed]

Fully mature human red blood cells may be generated ex vivo by hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are precursors of red blood cells. In this process, HSCs are grown together with stromal cells, creating an environment that mimics the conditions of bone marrow, the natural site of red-blood-cell growth. Erythropoietin, a growth factor, is added, coaxing the stem cells to complete terminal differentiation into red blood cells.[38] Further research into this technique should have potential benefits to gene therapy, blood transfusion, and topical medicine.

Hair follicles also contain stem cells, and some researchers predict research on these follicle stem cells may lead to successes in treating baldness through an activation of the stem cells progenitor cells. This treatment is expected to work by activating already existing stem cells on the scalp. Later treatments may be able to simply signal follicle stem cells to give off chemical signals to nearby follicle cells which have shrunk during the aging process, which in turn respond to these signals by regenerating and once again making healthy hair.

In 2004, scientists at King’s College London discovered a way to cultivate a complete tooth in mice[39] and were able to grow bioengineered teeth stand-alone in the laboratory. Researchers are confident that the tooth regeneration technology can be used to grow live teeth in human patients.

In theory, stem cells taken from the patient could be coaxed in the lab into turning into a tooth bud which, when implanted in the gums, will give rise to a new tooth, and would be expected to be grown in a time over three weeks.[40] It will fuse with the jawbone and release chemicals that encourage nerves and blood vessels to connect with it. The process is similar to what happens when humans grow their original adult teeth. Many challenges remain, however, before stem cells could be a choice for the replacement of missing teeth in the future.[41][42]

Research is ongoing in different fields, alligators which are polyphyodonts grow up to 50 times a successional tooth (a small replacement tooth) under each mature functional tooth for replacement once a year.[43]

Heller has reported success in re-growing cochlea hair cells with the use of embryonic stem cells.[44]

Since 2003, researchers have successfully transplanted corneal stem cells into damaged eyes to restore vision. “Sheets of retinal cells used by the team are harvested from aborted fetuses, which some people find objectionable.” When these sheets are transplanted over the damaged cornea, the stem cells stimulate renewed repair, eventually restore vision.[45] The latest such development was in June 2005, when researchers at the Queen Victoria Hospital of Sussex, England were able to restore the sight of forty patients using the same technique. The group, led by Sheraz Daya, was able to successfully use adult stem cells obtained from the patient, a relative, or even a cadaver. Further rounds of trials are ongoing.[46]

In April 2005, doctors in the UK transplanted corneal stem cells from an organ donor to the cornea of Deborah Catlyn, a woman who was blinded in one eye when acid was thrown in her eye at a nightclub. The cornea, which is the transparent window of the eye, is a particularly suitable site for transplants. In fact, the first successful human transplant was a cornea transplant. The absence of blood vessels within the cornea makes this area a relatively easy target for transplantation. The majority of corneal transplants carried out today are due to a degenerative disease called keratoconus.

The University Hospital of New Jersey reports that the success rate for growth of new cells from transplanted stem cells varies from 25 percent to 70 percent.[47]

In 2014, researchers demonstrated that stem cells collected as biopsies from donor human corneas can prevent scar formation without provoking a rejection response in mice with corneal damage.[48]

In January 2012, The Lancet published a paper by Steven Schwartz, at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute, reporting two women who had gone legally blind from macular degeneration had dramatic improvements in their vision after retinal injections of human embryonic stem cells.[49]

Diabetes patients lose the function of insulin-producing beta cells within the pancreas.[50] In recent experiments, scientists have been able to coax embryonic stem cell to turn into beta cells in the lab. In theory if the beta cell is transplanted successfully, they will be able to replace malfunctioning ones in a diabetic patient.[51]

Human embryonic stem cells may be grown in cell culture and stimulated to form insulin-producing cells that can be transplanted into the patient.

However, clinical success is highly dependent on the development of the following procedures:[9]

Clinical case reports in the treatment orthopaedic conditions have been reported. To date, the focus in the literature for musculoskeletal care appears to be on mesenchymal stem cells. Centeno et al. have published MRI evidence of increased cartilage and meniscus volume in individual human subjects.[52][53] The results of trials that include a large number of subjects, are yet to be published. However, a published safety study conducted in a group of 227 patients over a 3-4 year period shows adequate safety and minimal complications associated with mesenchymal cell transplantation.[54]

Wakitani has also published a small case series of nine defects in five knees involving surgical transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells with coverage of the treated chondral defects.[55]

Stem cells can also be used to stimulate the growth of human tissues. In an adult, wounded tissue is most often replaced by scar tissue, which is characterized in the skin by disorganized collagen structure, loss of hair follicles and irregular vascular structure. In the case of wounded fetal tissue, however, wounded tissue is replaced with normal tissue through the activity of stem cells.[56] A possible method for tissue regeneration in adults is to place adult stem cell “seeds” inside a tissue bed “soil” in a wound bed and allow the stem cells to stimulate differentiation in the tissue bed cells. This method elicits a regenerative response more similar to fetal wound-healing than adult scar tissue formation.[56] Researchers are still investigating different aspects of the “soil” tissue that are conducive to regeneration.[56]

Culture of human embryonic stem cells in mitotically inactivated porcine ovarian fibroblasts (POF) causes differentiation into germ cells (precursor cells of oocytes and spermatozoa), as evidenced by gene expression analysis.[57]

Human embryonic stem cells have been stimulated to form Spermatozoon-like cells, yet still slightly damaged or malformed.[58] It could potentially treat azoospermia.

In 2012, oogonial stem cells were isolated from adult mouse and human ovaries and demonstrated to be capable of forming mature oocytes.[59] These cells have the potential to treat infertility.

Destruction of the immune system by the HIV is driven by the loss of CD4+ T cells in the peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues. Viral entry into CD4+ cells is mediated by the interaction with a cellular chemokine receptor, the most common of which are CCR5 and CXCR4.1 Because subsequent viral replication requires cellular gene expression processes, activated CD4+ cells are the primary targets of productive HIV infection.[60] Recently scientists have been investigating an alternative approach to treating HIV-1/AIDS, based on the creation of a disease-resistant immune system through transplantation of autologous, gene-modified (HIV-1-resistant) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (GM-HSPC).[61]

On January 23, 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration gave clearance to Geron Corporation for the initiation of the first clinical trial of an embryonic stem cell-based therapy on humans. The trial aimed evaluate the drug GRNOPC1, embryonic stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, on patients with acute spinal cord injury. The trial was discontinued in November 2011 so that the company could focus on therapies in the “current environment of capital scarcity and uncertain economic conditions”.[62] In 2013 biotechnology and regenerative medicine company BioTime (NYSEMKT:BTX) acquired Geron’s stem cell assets in a stock transaction, with the aim of restarting the clinical trial.[63]

Scientists have reported that MSCs when transfused immediately within few hours post thawing may show reduced function or show decreased efficacy in treating diseases as compared to those MSCs which are in log phase of cell growth(fresh), so cryopreserved MSCs should be brought back into log phase of cell growth in invitro culture before these are administered for clinical trials or experimental therapies, re-culturing of MSCs will help in recovering from the shock the cells get during freezing and thawing. Various clinical trials on MSCs have failed which used cryopreserved product immediately post thaw as compared to those clinical trials which used fresh MSCs.[64]

There is widespread controversy over the use of human embryonic stem cells. This controversy primarily targets the techniques used to derive new embryonic stem cell lines, which often requires the destruction of the blastocyst. Opposition to the use of human embryonic stem cells in research is often based on philosophical, moral or religious objections.[103] There is other stem cell research that does not involve the destruction of a human embryo, and such research involves adult stem cells, amniotic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells.

Stem cell research and treatment was practiced in the People’s Republic of China. The Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China has permitted the use of stem cell therapy for conditions beyond those approved of in Western countries. The Western World has scrutinized China for its failed attempts to meet international documentation standards of these trials and procedures.[104]

State-funded companies based in the Shenzhen Hi-Tech Industrial Zone treat the symptoms of numerous disorders with adult stem cell therapy. Development companies are currently focused on the treatment of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disorders. The most radical successes of Chinese adult stem cell therapy have been in treating the brain. These therapies administer stem cells directly to the brain of patients with Cerebral Palsy, Alzheimer’s, and brain injuries.

Since 2008 many centres and doctors tried a diversity of methods; in Lebanon proliferative and non-proliferative, in-vivo and in-vitro techniques were used. The Regenerative Medicine also took place in Jordan and Egypt.

Stem cell treatment is currently being practiced at a clinical level in Mexico. An International Health Department Permit (COFEPRIS) is required. Authorized centers are found in Tijuana, Guadalajara and Cancun. Currently undergoing the approval process is Los Cabos. This permit allows the use of stem cell.

In 2005, South Korean scientists claimed to have generated stem cells that were tailored to match the recipient. Each of the 11 new stem cell lines was developed using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) technology. The resultant cells were thought to match the genetic material of the recipient, thus suggesting minimal to no cell rejection.[105]

As of 2013, Thailand still considers Hematopoietic stem cell transplants as experimental. Kampon Sriwatanakul began with a clinical trial in October 2013 with 20 patients. 10 are going to receive stem cell therapy for Type-2 Diabetes and the other 10 will receive stem cell therapy for emphysema. Chotinantakul’s research is on Hematopoietic cells and their role for the hematopoietic system function in homeostasis and immune response.[106]

Today, Ukraine is permitted to perform clinical trials of stem cell treatments (Order of the MH of Ukraine 630 “About carrying out clinical trials of stem cells”, 2008) for the treatment of these pathologies: pancreatic necrosis, cirrhosis, hepatitis, burn disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, critical lower limb ischemia. The first medical institution granted the right to conduct clinical trials became the “Institute of Cell Therapy”(Kiev).

Other countries where doctors did stem cells research, trials, manipulation, storage, therapy: Brazil, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, Israel, Japan, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, India and many others.

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Astronomy Online

 Astronomy  Comments Off on Astronomy Online
Aug 062015
 

Welcome to Astronomy Online A legally blind photographer/astronomer on disability so I use this site to contribute to society.

Last Updated: October 24, 2012 added graphics for the 88 constellations under Observation/The Night Sky.

This site is a testament that even though I have a physical disability – legally blind – I can still do things that helps other people. I even have a new project: Astro-Drummer, a site dedicated to my other hobby.

I also have a new image gallery. I call it Second Site Image Gallery.

This is an educational website. It’s never too late to learn astronomy, even for those who have not completed their primary (High School) education. A GED can get you in the door to college level courses.

InboxAstronomy:Telescopes Team Up to Find Distant Uranus-Sized Planet Through Microlensing The majority of planets discovered outside our solar system orbit close to their parent stars because these planets are the easiest to find. But to fully understand how distant planetary systems are put together, astronomers must conduct a census of all the planets around a star. So they need to look farther away from the star-from about the distance of Jupiter is from our sun, and beyond.

APOD:Stereo Pluto Image Credit: NASA, Johns Hopkins University/APL,

Southwest Research Institute – Stereo Assembly: Brian May Explanation: These two detailed, true color images of Pluto were captured during the historic New Horizons flyby last month. With slightly different perspectives on the now recognizeable surface features they are presented in this first high quality stereo pair intended for viewing by denizens of planet Earth. The left hand image (left eye) is a mosaic recorded when the spacecraft was about 450,000 kilometers from Pluto. The right single image was acquired earlier, a last full look before the spacecraft’s closest approach. Despite a difference in resolution, the pair combine for a stunning 3D perception of the distant, underworldly terrain.

APOD:X-ray Echoes from Circinus X-1 Image Credit: X-ray – NASA/CXC/Univ. Wisconsin-Madison/S.Heinz et al, Optical – DSS

Explanation: Circinus X-1 is an X-ray binary star known for its erratic variability. In the bizarre Circinus X-1 system, a dense neutron star, the collapsed remnant of a supernova explosion, orbits with a more ordinary stellar companion. Observations of the X-ray binary in months following an intense X-ray flare from the source in 2013 progressively revealed striking concentric rings – bright X-ray light echoes from four intervening clouds of interstellar dust. In this X-ray/optical composite, the swaths of Chandra Observatory X-ray image data showing partial outlines of the rings are in false colors. Remarkably, timing the X-ray echoes, along with known distances to the interstellar dust clouds, determines the formerly highly uncertain distance to Circinus X-1 itself to be 30,700 light-years.

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Astronomy Online

Human Genetics

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Human Genetics
Jul 312015
 

POST

It has been a long time since Human Genetics got introduced to mankind. One can definitely think of it as a great achievement in the entire history of humans. It is the alteration of genes in a human being for making him or her resistant to different kind of diseases that can prove deadly, because Read more

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Major area for human genetic engineering debate revolves around the ethics involved in testing of genetics. Other areas for debate include selective eugenics as well as genetic discrimination. Apart from the above debates, the scientists have now been found busy on making debates on some other frightening prospects of human genetic engineering. Human genetic engineering Read more

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Human genetics research is a revolutionary change in the field of medical science. It has made several advances in this field. It entered this field many years ago when Hippocrates discovered nature laws can easily describe the body workings. This revolution identified that contaminated water is a primary reason that leads to a disease like Read more

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Many human genetic engineering pros and cons are there that have stayed the same since its introduction to humanity. When the humans started harnessing the atomic powers, then just few years later they also start recognizing the effects of human genetic engineering on mankind. Many scientists have a belief that gene therapy can be a Read more

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A primary debate topic among the people from western civilization is the effects of human cloning and genetic engineering. This topic has given place to a lot of controversies in that civilization. It is an asexual reproduction using genetic engineering. There is a huge relation between human cloning and genetic engineering. In fact, cloning cannot Read more

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Human Genetics

Human Genetic Engineering Pros And Cons

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Human Genetic Engineering Pros And Cons
Jul 312015
 

Human Genetic Engineering Pros And Cons 3.78/5 (75.54%) 1970 votes

Many human genetic engineering pros and cons are there that have stayed the same since its introduction to humanity. When the humans started harnessing the atomic powers, then just few years later they also start recognizing the effects of human genetic engineering on mankind. Many scientists have a belief that gene therapy can be a mainstream for saving lives of many people. A lot of human genetic engineering pros and cons have been involved since the evolution of genetic engineering. Mentioned below are some important advantages or pros of genetic engineering:

Other human genetic engineering pros and cons include the desirable characteristics in different plants and animals at the same time convenient. One can also do the manipulation of genes in trees or big plants. This will enable the trees to absorb increased amount of carbon dioxide, and it will reduce the effects of global warming. However, there is a question from critics that whether man has the right to do such manipulations or alterations in the genes of natural things.

With human genetic engineering, there is always a chance for altering the wheat plants genetics, which will then enable it to grow insulin. Human genetic engineering pros and cons have been among the concern of a lot of people involved in genetic engineering. Likewise the pros, certain cons are there of using the genetic engineering. Mentioned below are the cons of human genetic engineering:

The evolution of genetic engineering gets the consideration of being the biggest breakthroughs in the history of mankind after the evolution of atomic energy, and few other scientific discoveries. However, human genetic engineering pros and cons together have contributed a lot in creating a controversial image of it among the people.

All these eventualities have forced the government of many countries to make strict legislation laws to put restrictions on different experiment being made on human genetic engineering. They have made this decision by considering different human genetic engineering pros and cons.

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Human Genetic Engineering Pros And Cons

Bloodlines of the Illuminati: Fritz Springmeier …

 Illuminati  Comments Off on Bloodlines of the Illuminati: Fritz Springmeier …
Jul 222015
 

The latest edition of Bloodlines of the Illuminati… Direct from the Distrubutor *************************** You’ve seen pieces of the puzzle, but still you wonder… Bloodlines of the Illuminati is a unique historical genealogical who’s-doing-it book, rich in detail, providing a devastating expos of the people and families who are THE movers and shakers of the United States and the entire world. You will recognize some of the names instantly. Many names have been purposely hidden from mainstream view. From international finance to war, presidents and dictators alike pay heed to these people. “Influence” doesn’t even come close to describing their power. They have plans for you. Who are they? Author, Fritz Springmeier provides a wealth of material and inside information based on eyewitnesses. His outstanding research provides facts that are not available elsewhere. When you finish reading this book, the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place and you’ll see the fascinating big picture. You will know who actually runs the New World Order conspiracy, and who is in the Illuminati. You may discover for yourself why Bloodlines of the Illuminati was a bestseller in Japan, a nation which thrives on detail. IF YOU ENJOYED THE PREVIOUS EDITION OF BLOODLINES, YOU’LL LOVE THE NEW EDITION EVEN MORE… completely revised, the new “Bloodlines of the Illuminati” has more info and better photos. The 3rd Edition’s large print size (7″ X 10″) makes for easier reading. * Hot new information exposing Wolf Head (a group similar to Skull & Bones). * New genealogy charts, one shows how 25 Presidents are related, another how Prince Charles is related to Count Dracula. * More information on all the bloodlines.

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Bloodlines of the Illuminati: Fritz Springmeier …

So You Think You Know the Second Amendment? – The New Yorker

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on So You Think You Know the Second Amendment? – The New Yorker
Jul 222015
 

Does the Second Amendment prevent Congress from passing gun-control laws? The question, which is suddenly pressing, in light of the reaction to the school massacre in Newtown, is rooted in politics as much as law.

For more than a hundred years, the answer was clear, even if the words of the amendment itself were not. The text of the amendment is divided into two clauses and is, as a whole, ungrammatical: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The courts had found that the first part, the militia clause, trumped the second part, the bear arms clause. In other words, according to the Supreme Court, and the lower courts as well, the amendment conferred on state militias a right to bear armsbut did not give individuals a right to own or carry a weapon.

Enter the modern National Rifle Association. Before the nineteen-seventies, the N.R.A. had been devoted mostly to non-political issues, like gun safety. But a coup dtat at the groups annual convention in 1977 brought a group of committed political conservatives to poweras part of the leading edge of the new, more rightward-leaning Republican Party. (Jill Lepore recounted this history in a recent piece for The New Yorker.) The new group pushed for a novel interpretation of the Second Amendment, one that gave individuals, not just militias, the right to bear arms. It was an uphill struggle. At first, their views were widely scorned. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, who was no liberal, mocked the individual-rights theory of the amendment as a fraud.

But the N.R.A. kept pushingand theres a lesson here. Conservatives often embrace originalism, the idea that the meaning of the Constitution was fixed when it was ratified, in 1787. They mock the so-called liberal idea of a living constitution, whose meaning changes with the values of the country at large. But there is no better example of the living Constitution than the conservative re-casting of the Second Amendment in the last few decades of the twentieth century. (Reva Siegel, of Yale Law School, elaborates on this point in a brilliant article.)

The re-interpretation of the Second Amendment was an elaborate and brilliantly executed political operation, inside and outside of government. Ronald Reagans election in 1980 brought a gun-rights enthusiast to the White House. At the same time, Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican, became chairman of an important subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he commissioned a report that claimed to find clearand long lostproof that the second amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for protection of himself, his family, and his freedoms. The N.R.A. began commissioning academic studies aimed at proving the same conclusion. An outr constitutional theory, rejected even by the establishment of the Republican Party, evolved, through brute political force, into the conservative conventional wisdom.

And so, eventually, this theory became the law of the land. In District of Columbia v. Heller, decided in 2008, the Supreme Court embraced the individual-rights view of the Second Amendment. It was a triumph above all for Justice Antonin Scalia, the author of the opinion, but it required him to craft a thoroughly political compromise. In the eighteenth century, militias were proto-military operations, and their members had to obtain the best military hardware of the day. But Scalia could not create, in the twenty-first century, an individual right to contemporary military weaponslike tanks and Stinger missiles. In light of this, Scalia conjured a rule that said D.C. could not ban handguns because handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.

So the government cannot ban handguns, but it can ban other weaponslike, say, an assault rifleor so it appears. The full meaning of the courts Heller opinion is still up for grabs. But it is clear that the scope of the Second Amendment will be determined as much by politics as by the law. The courts will respond to public pressureas they did by moving to the right on gun control in the last thirty years. And if legislators, responding to their constituents, sense a mandate for new restrictions on guns, the courts will find a way to uphold them. The battle over gun control is not just one of individual votes in Congress, but of a continuing clash of ideas, backed by political power. In other words, the law of the Second Amendment is not settled; no law, not even the Constitution, ever is.

Photograph by Mario Tama/Getty.

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So You Think You Know the Second Amendment? – The New Yorker

Libertarianism – RationalWiki

 Misc  Comments Off on Libertarianism – RationalWiki
Jun 202015
 

Libertarians secretly worried that ultimately someone will figure out the whole of their political philosophy boils down to ‘get off my property.’ News flash: This is not really a big secret to the rest of us.

Libertarianism is, at its simplest, the antonym of authoritarianism.[2] The term has been around since the beginning of the 20th century or earlier and was primarily used for self-identification with anarcho-syndicalism and labor movements. In the USA, the term was adopted by the Foundation for Economic Education think tank in the 1950’s[3] to describe a political and social philosophy that advocates laissez-faire capitalism as a panacea for virtually everything. Non-libertarians view this as synonymous with oligarchic plutocracy after the fashion of the American Gilded Age, while the reality-based community tends to realize that one cannot just yank economic theories out of the air and magically expect them to work.

This anti-government phenomenon is found primarily in the United States, likely due to Americans’ extensive experience with dysfunctional government, coupled with their unawareness of the existence of other countries. Historically, and almost everywhere other than America still today, the term has been associated with libertarian socialism and anarchism. The adoption of the libertarian label by advocates of free market economics is an ironic example of their tendency to take credit for other people’s ideas.

The US political party most aligned with libertarianism is the Libertarian Party, “America’s Third Largest Party,”[4] whose candidate obtained 1.3 million, or 0.99% of the popular vote in the 2012 Presidential election.[5] This, compared to 0.32% of the popular vote[6] in the 2004 Presidential election, was considered by many libertarians to be “an improvement.”

There is also an “Objectivist Party,” formed as a spin-off from the Libertarian Party by those who thought that the party’s 2008 presidential candidate, Bob Barr, was too left-wing,[7] and a Boston Tea Party (no connection other than ideological to that other tea party) formed as a spin-off by those who thought the Libertarian Party had become too right-wing on foreign policy and civil liberties after the LP deleted much of its platform in 2006.

Basically everyone agrees with libertarians on something, but they tend to get freaked out just as quickly by the ideologys other stances.

The dominant form of libertarianism (as found in the US) is an ideology based largely on Austrian school economics, which relies on axioms, rather than empirical analysis to inform economic and social policy. That said, the branch of libertarianism that has had the most success in influencing public policy is primarily informed by the Chicago school.

Proponents of libertarianism frequently cite the “Non-Aggression Principle” (NAP) as the moral basis of their ideology. The NAP states that everyone is free to do whatever they want with their lives and property, so long as it does not directly interfere with the freedom of others to do the same. Under this rule, you may only use “force” in response to prior inappropriate force against the life and/or property of yourself or others. Compare and contrast with John Stuart Mill’s “The Harm Principle.” The critical difference is that libertarians completely oppose the preemptive use of force. By contrast, Mill and other classical liberals believe that the preemptive use of force to prevent likely future harm can be justified. Under any logical scrutiny it becomes evident that the precise definition of aggression is highly subjective, supposes a strict libertarian view of property,[11] and hence the non-aggression principle can be used in almost any way its user intends, by changing the definition of aggression to suit their particular opinion/agenda. For example throwing someone in prison for massive tax evasion is seen as an act of aggression by the state, whereas selling someone cigarettes knowing they will kill them is not seen as aggression.

Libertarians frequently oppose taxation (as taxes are “theft of property by force”) for anything aside from a small wish list that libertarians like. The main exceptions are civil courts to handle contract disputes (including fraud) and to handle suits of harm (such as dumping of hazardous chemicals on your land; as opposed to dumping hazardous chemicals on public land, which isn’t an issue for libertarians, because every single person who doesn’t own the land and resources to allow for complete self-sufficiency deserves anything bad that happens to them), criminal courts, police, and an army. As one moves down the ideological spectrum towards the extremes, more and more things normally handled by the police and criminal courts are instead handled by civil courts, and eventually even the civil courts are privatized, i.e., anarcho-capitalism. Government, libertarians believe, is the biggest (and possibly the only) threat to freedom.

Specifically, libertarians are against the use of taxes to deal with externalities, commons, or free rider problems. The frequent answers to these problems involve the extensive use of civil suits to deal with (negative) externalities, and the privatization of all commons, which allows for civil suits to handle harms to this shared “private” property. Of course, these answers are woefully inadequate in practice.[12]

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Libertarianism – RationalWiki

Cosmic Heaven: The Marriage Of Heaven And Earth – The …

 Cosmic  Comments Off on Cosmic Heaven: The Marriage Of Heaven And Earth – The …
Jun 152015
 

(“Because in a world of ever more progressive depravity there is no penicillin for human stupidity, cruelty and systemic as conventional as pathological intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical disorientation to our native life and land as though for our own safety, security, salvation, survival or “ascension” and that of all Mankind. Such is a social repository or delta of psychologicalinvectivestantamount to and aptly demonstrated by doing as good a job as one could at compromising our social, familial and individual biological and psychological immune systems with vaccinations as much against the onset of infection from viruses as from any true safety or truly living intelligence worthy of the name. Because all crime, war and disease is as much a biological reality as a sociopolitical one in a cybernetic-industrial society, one contracts with Man for an exchange for anything like our native psychology of Life and Thought forwhat augmentations come currencies (bounties on the heads on the deaths and resurrections of our children) of infinite devaluations of our Life and Thought in terms of our born “debt” to God or State or both (a contract that would, surpassing that of gold for iron in a world where gold is nothing more than a worthless ingot, require no little embellishment and “incentivization”), a debt we can but pay, however spiritual or philanthropic the economics thereof (link), with our own blood, sweat and tears and that of our children though to a Sun or God of State or mass delusional psychosis obscured and revealed by and to strategic variations and distributions of competing thoughts and ideologies, clouds of war, disease, stupidity and conventional cruelty (moved as easily as toy boats across the pond of what used to constitute human thought) for which a child is born with absolutely no concept and in terms of whose “ignorance” of which are summarily and conventionally consigned, effectively if not intentionally (the benefit of any psychosis – that what one needs to do need having nothing to do with what one means to do) to but dumb animals or born murderers (whose clemency rests in conducting a transaction of the very though freshly spilled hemoglobin of Man or God, an occult Saturnalian rite utterly contradictory to the actual Teachings of Jesus or Krishna, Anastasia or Hiawatha) of that very Life or Christ without which Man cannot possibly maintain let alone advance his and her born coordination, body and soul, native feeling and genius, with the whole of cosmic Life at the force and fullness, substance and horizon of the entire Universe of Man’s mind and vast natural, emotional, intellectual and spiritual inheritance and heritage by birth.Written while visiting a local University and doing for free what I used to pay thousands of dollars in order to fight the entire current of cybernetic schooling in order to do – study, as a and in terms of being a human being by birth, the pathological and as perpetual denouement (and denuding) of human civilization both as we know it and as we have, one and all, long ceased to know it.Although having our own land anddirect contact with our ownliving home, food, water and air and thought is the goal and whole image of human existence coursing through our brains, memories, senses, elements, heavens and Earth, one can have one’s own land without creating sufficient space and time to gain the full value of one’s conscious capacity for Life and critical thought and so one can create a sufficient space for one’s conscious capacity for Life and critical thought without owning your own land orgrowing your own food,livingland, food, water, earth, air andthought runs to Man, if at greater expense to our food, land, air, earth, water and thought, wherever we may be, withoutany reserve but that which we, as Man, place upon it as though for our own “salvation” much as indigenous peoples had to beconvinced to disorient themselves to their native born coordinates of and coordination with their living destiny and memory and language (to create death) in order to be “saved fromdeath” according as much to State Christianity as Islam or Evolutionary theory.I have experiencedand researched this since I was born almost forty years ago to the day.At first, you will want to learn as much as you can from your intellectual superiors. Then, if you are lucky(sharing astatistical anomaly with that of any majorlottery winner), you might start to question whether ornot your intellectual”betters”are as competently informed as theyhave been trained to think (and are paid to train other people to think)they are, acelestial mantle conferred upon them asmuch by letters of parchment as by any actual qualifications as such as though daubed with the bloodof the condor and the hair of a three-toed frog. Then you will share a similarity with that of motes of cosmic dust which have successfully made their pilgrimage across all of known intergalactic space when or if you start to study why your instructors think what they do and why modern schooling operates with the equivalent belief as though the element of water does not exist. Then and only then will you begin the true process of learning as anyone but a three year old would mean it – which is, frankly, as insulting to three year olds as what is loosely called the education system, one as successful, by definition, at condemning Man to the privilege and prestige of a contagious psychosis as any cybernetic system on Earth, be it economic, medical, psychological or religious.”)-Axiom 120- Domestication

“When people study evolution or astrophysics they are flattered for having escaped the perverse superstitions of mere religions when in fact they have found the most sophisticated and perverse religions there have ever been, religions for which all previous religions and their monumentally devastating effects serve as but vastly inferior prototypes, never guessing that they themselves are encouraged to think their predecessors as ignorant as nature made them and their progeny progressively more enlightened by a guiding international metaphysical military intelligence mafia (MIMMI) who know full well and gain all their power from the fact that the precise opposite is true.”

-From “Back To The Flat Earth Theory”

Mark my words.

It is both a wonderful and terrible thing that our thought effects, feeds, and is fed by the whole Earth, the whole World.

For, mark my words, the self-proclaimed high priests of every respective society on Earth know that we did not descend from apes and that the Theory of Evolution is, for the most part, a total crock, that our ancient land-based ecstatic human existence (and divine natural inheritance) has been colonialized by a modern or technocratic way of Life the most perilous in all of human history, a way of Life we routinely send our children away to foreign lands to murder and die for, so effective has been the occupation by way of severely dimming the human speed of thought far beneath that of the self-proclaimed high priests, human beings who have led us down a path of almost complete atrophy of the human mind and imagination, much to the peril of the health of all people on Earth.

And then there is the invincibility of the dawn.

One Sun, for instance, produces Light that is translated or communicated, through a medium or various mediums (depending on your perspective), to diverse living systems in turn communicated to millions of human bodies and trillions of human cells and neurons through food and air and water and much else besides, not the least of which must include human kindness and warmth, something also, like the absolute phase of eternal Life, at once so visible and so invisible and so vital to our health, that of the harmonic or cosmic (all-embracing) order of every cellular, social, terrestrial and celestial system, that of the endless expansion not of disease but health and not of suffering and sorrow but of Happiness and understanding born of contact with our vast natural, emotional, spiritual and intellectual inheritance.

Just imagine the creative Light that can be created by a Man and a Woman in the conception of the entire living conditions for and of their child in terms of the cosmic beauty of one another, that of the reflected Universal Love (that of God’s own eternal Soul) in and of a mother (a Universe Woman) as of the power of God’s very own most inspired Dream the birth all that can be born the warmth of Man.

Anything or anyone that would complicate the direct communication among God, you, and your land is never true to God, you, or your Motherland. That I have discovered for certain.

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Cosmic Heaven: The Marriage Of Heaven And Earth – The …

Second Amendment | Wex Legal Dictionary / Encyclopedia …

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on Second Amendment | Wex Legal Dictionary / Encyclopedia …
May 282015
 

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Such language has created considerable debate regarding the Amendment’s intended scope. On the one hand, some believe that the Amendment’s phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” creates an individual constitutional right for citizens of the United States. Under this “individual right theory,” the United States Constitution restricts legislative bodies from prohibiting firearm possession, or at the very least, the Amendment renders prohibitory and restrictive regulation presumptively unconstitutional. On the other hand, some scholars point to the prefatory language “a well regulated Militia” to argue that the Framers intended only to restrict Congress from legislating away a state’s right to self-defense. Scholars have come to call this theory “the collective rights theory.” A collective rights theory of the Second Amendment asserts that citizens do not have an individual right to possess guns and that local, state, and federal legislative bodies therefore possess the authority to regulate firearms without implicating a constitutional right.

In 1939 the U.S. Supreme Court considered the matter in United States v. Miller. 307 U.S. 174. The Court adopted a collective rights approach in this case, determining that Congress could regulate a sawed-off shotgun that had moved in interstate commerce under the National Firearms Act of 1934 because the evidence did not suggest that the shotgun “has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated milita . . . .” The Court then explained that the Framers included the Second Amendment to ensure the effectiveness of the military.

This precedent stood for nearly 70 years when in 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court revisited the issue in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290). The plaintiff in Heller challenged the constitutionality of the Washington D.C. handgun ban, a statute that had stood for 32 years. Many considered the statute the most stringent in the nation. In a 5-4 decision, the Court, meticulously detailing the history and tradition of the Second Amendment at the time of the Constitutional Convention, proclaimed that the Second Amendment established an individual right for U.S. citizens to possess firearms and struck down the D.C. handgun ban as violative of that right. The majority carved out Miller as an exception to the general rule that Americans may possess firearms, claiming that law-abiding citizens cannot use sawed-off shotguns for any law-abiding purpose. Similarly, the Court in its dicta found regulations of similar weaponry that cannot be used for law-abiding purposes as laws that would not implicate the Second Amendment. Further, the Court suggested that the United States Constitution would not disallow regulations prohibiting criminals and the mentally ill from firearm possession.

Thus, the Supreme Court has revitalized the Second Amendment. The Court continued to strengthen the Second Amendment through the 2010 decision inMcDonald v. City of Chicago(08-1521). The plaintiff inMcDonaldchallenged the constitutionally of the Chicago handgun ban, which prohibited handgun possession by almost all private citizens. In a 5-4 decisions, the Court, citing the intentions of the framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment, held that the Second Amendment applies to the states through theincorporation doctrine.However, the Court did not have a majority on which clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the fundamental right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense. While Justice Alito and his supporters looked to the Due Process Clause, Justice Thomas in his concurrence stated that the Privileges and Immunities Clause should justify incorporation.

However, several questions still remain unanswered, such as whether regulations less stringent than the D.C. statute implicate the Second Amendment, whether lower courts will apply their dicta regarding permissible restrictions, andwhat level of scrutiny the courts should apply when analyzing a statute that infringes on the Second Amendment.

Recent case law since Heller suggests that courts are willing to, for example, uphold

See constitutional amendment.

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Second Amendment | Wex Legal Dictionary / Encyclopedia …

FATCA, Tax Havens, American Competitiveness And …

 Tax Havens  Comments Off on FATCA, Tax Havens, American Competitiveness And …
May 152015
 

While the Bureaucrat Hall of Fame and Moocher Hall of Fame already exist, the Hypocrite Hall of Fame is just a concept. But once it gets set up, Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida will definitely be a charter member. Here are some passages from a column in the Tampa Bay Times.

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, the outspoken, populist Democrat who thunders against Wall Street fat cats,and used to to joke about Mitt Romneys low tax bill, incorporated a couple hedge funds in the Cayman Islands so investors could avoid taxes. Grayson Fund Ltd. and Grayson Master Fund were incorporated in 2011 in the Cayman Islands That was the same year he wrote in the Huffington Post that the IRS should audit every Fortune 500 company because so many appear to be evading taxes through transfer pricing and offshore tax havens.

But apparently Grayson only wants other people to cough up more money to Washington.

Graysons financial disclosure statements indicate he has between $5-million and $25-million invested in the Grayson fund, and he lists no income from it.

The above sentence frankly doesnt make sense. How can Grayson have millions of dollars of personal wealth and not generate any income? The only plausible answer is that hes just as bad at managing his own money as he is at managing the money of taxpayers (he earned an F from the National Taxpayers Union). In any event, Grayson has plenty of company from fellow leftists who also use tax havens.

Including Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.

And the Presidents top trade negotiator.

Along with big donors to Obama.

Joined by huge donors to Democrats.

Politicians from Massachusetts also are hypocrites. They endorse higher taxes on everyone else, but use neighboring states to protect themselves from oppressive taxation. John Kerry is a prime example, as are run-of-the-mill hacks from the state legislature.

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FATCA, Tax Havens, American Competitiveness And …

Cosmic Heaven: Sun, Moon and Flat Earth – A Living School

 Cosmic  Comments Off on Cosmic Heaven: Sun, Moon and Flat Earth – A Living School
May 102015
 

Of all the beings in the Universe, only Man is given an experience like this, only Man striving for creation and co-creation under the great impulsion of love.

Humanity is not bad, but the devices of the dark forces obscure spirituality preventing him from experiencing God-given grace.

(Music: Toni Castells & Lyrics: Anastasia & Vladimir Megr)

https://youtu.be/hSL0Z-eru4E

Or go to Rome, which is the sepulchre, Oh, not of him, but of our joy: ’tis nought That ages, empires, and religions, there Lie buried in the ravage they have wrought; For such as he can lend, – they borrow not Glory from those who made the world their prey; And he is gathered to the kings of thought Who waged contention with their time’s decay, And of the past are all that cannot pass away.

XLVIII, Adonais, Percy Bysshe Shelley, spring 1821 (An elegy on the death of John Keats)

Sun, Moon and Flat Earth:

Knowing this, that of a religious image called the “ball Earth” that has been sold children for over fifty years from early ages (and even for five centuries at least), how can we know that we are not just trapped in a thirteenth century virtual reality deprives us of all native orientation to our land and cosmos (to each other, though the cells of our bodies and the people of the world, poisoning the well of all cellular and super-cellular communication through a psychopathic world-brain) but for a level of daily utility married to a proportional loss of native brain function accepts this, depends upon this and even protects this as normal with our very lives; or that any science, from nuclear physics to genetic biology, is any more “real” (or as useful) than the corporate fiction of any religious cult, much after the cultural microprocessor of Rome?

“Then let us throw caution to the wind and abbreviate a def. of fascism as a monopoly (through force and faith, often the same thing) on all of the means and resources of production and subsequently money and power. That is the microprocessor of all economies and ideologies today. Then you can spread whatever kind of fertilizer (or bullshit) you want on top of it. Capisce?

“State fascism (the corporate articulation amidst in order to gain the corporate human animation of systemic disorientation and tax farming of man, woman and child, based on a tacit monopoly on force and faith)” – Axiom 283 – Fascist Microprocessor

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Cosmic Heaven: Sun, Moon and Flat Earth – A Living School

Paedophiles sell child abuse images for bitcoin

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Paedophiles sell child abuse images for bitcoin
Apr 142015
 

Bitcoin is completely decentralised, which means that no single authority can prevent trades from being made, or blacklist buyers and sellers. Photograph: Siegfried Layda/Getty Images

Paedophiles are using the digital currency bitcoin to buy child sexual abuse images online, according to the Internet Watch Foundation.

In its annual report for 2014, the group, which is tasked with attacking the problem of child abuse images online, said a number of the most prolific commercial child sexual abuse websites started accepting the currency as a payment for images last year. It discovered 37 websites selling the images for bitcoins between January and April 2014.

The group said that illegal content was being sold in folders on legitimate websites which had been hacked, and that URLs for the websites were distributed via spam emails.

Bitcoin has a number of properties which make it well suited for trading illegal material such as child sex abuse images. The cryptocurrency is completely decentralised, which means that no single authority can prevent trades from being made, or blacklist buyers and sellers.

It is also largely pseudonymous, and there is nothing inherent to a bitcoin wallet that links it to any real-world individual. When the currency is used with care, it can be nearly impossible to discover the people behind online trades a fact which was responsible for bitcoins first major real-world use, underpinning the online drugs marketplace the Silk Road.

But while the currency is often described as anonymous and untraceable, there are a number of elements to its design which law enforcement authorities have been able to use to track down people attempting to use bitcoin illegally. The decentralised nature of the currency means that every single transaction is made in public, and in order to convert bitcoins into a conventional currency, they must typically be bought and sold through a bitcoin exchange. Those exchanges are often legally required to keep detailed records on customers, in order to comply with money-laundering regulations.

The IWF said it was working with several of the worlds largest bitcoin exchanges to share intelligence and develop strategies for preventing the currency being used by distributors of child sexual abuse images.

Emma Hardy, the IWFs director of external relations, said: One area we look at in particular is the commerciality of child sexual abuse images and videos people who want to buy and sell this type of content online.

We noticed for the first time ever last year that cryptocurrency or bitcoin was being used.

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Paedophiles sell child abuse images for bitcoin

Stakeholders demand the phasing out of plastic materials

 Beaches  Comments Off on Stakeholders demand the phasing out of plastic materials
Apr 132015
 

Health News of Friday, 20 March 2015

Source: GNA

Stakeholders at a days forum on cleanliness of the beaches held in Sekondi have called for the phasing out of the use of plastic materials.

The stakeholders, made up of civil society, fishermen, assembly members and representatives of various institutions came up with the suggestion at the forum organized by the Save Our Beaches Ghana, an Accra based NGO which has focus on the cleanliness of the countrys beaches.

It was held on the theme Our beaches, our heritage and our role.

The stakeholders said though the suggestion might not favour some people and institutions that was the solution to a sound, clean and healthy environment and the beaches as the plastic waste was menace to society.

Dr Augustine Kwesi Amoako, Senior Medical Officer at the Essikado Government Hospital, said 85 percent of pollution at the beaches and sea were plastics generated on the land caused by human activities.

He said pollution at the sea and off shore had health implication as they affected the marine creature which is passed on to humans through consumption thus affecting the human organs.

Mr Kobina Okyere Darko-Mensah, MP for Takoradi, called for the active involvement of traditional authorities in sanitation issues as they were in direct contact with the people and could easily impress on them to take up the task.

Mr Darko-Mensah called for strict enforcement of the regulation on sanitary matters and also empower the City Guards to cause the arrest those who break sanitary laws.

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Stakeholders demand the phasing out of plastic materials

Libertys Sydney Hopper excels on and off field

 Liberty  Comments Off on Libertys Sydney Hopper excels on and off field
Apr 122015
 

Originally published April 11, 2015 at 5:08 PM | Page modified April 12, 2015 at 2:19 PM

RENTON Sydney Hopper has enjoyed heroic moments in softball.

Winning hits at the plate, game-saving strikeouts in the pitching circle.

She is a key reason Liberty High School of Renton started the season 7-0 before recent back-to-back losses to Lake Washington.

But its the way Hopper conducts herself off the field that causes others to look up to her.

She believes in giving back. So, in addition to playing softball and carrying a rigorous academic schedule (with a 3.99 GPA), the 18-year-old senior volunteers to help others in a variety of programs, including two dealing with special needs youth Camp Casey and Athletes for Kids.

Freshman Jessie Tappan, who has ADHD and is developmentally delayed, is in her second year as Hoppers buddy through Athletes for Kids, and the two share a tight bond. Tappans smile in a photo with Hopper taken before a Liberty football game last fall tells you how much her mentor means to her. And Hoppers smile is even bigger.

Theyre relationship is awesome, said Jessies mother, Lori Tappan. Jessie doesnt do things with her peers, so Sydney gives her that bonding relationship that she lacks … Sydney has taken her to school sporting events which Jessie would normally not have the opportunity to do. Im impressed that Sydney does these things with Jessie. Many kids her age wouldnt even think of helping or hanging out with special-needs children.

Hopper considers herself fortunate to have many role models in her life, so this is a way to pay it forward.

Ive had a lot of people in my life that have really helped me out, that have been mentors for me, she said. I really do think I have the best parents in the world. They have supported everything Ive done, and coaches Ive had, teachers, friends Ive just had so many supportive people around me, and Im really grateful for that. So, I wanted to be that for other people.

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Libertys Sydney Hopper excels on and off field




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