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Ascension – SGCommand – Wikia

 Ascension  Comments Off on Ascension – SGCommand – Wikia
Jun 212016
 

“When the mind is enlightened, the spirit is freed, and the body matters not.” Oma Desala

Daniel Jackson ascends to a higher plane of existence

Ascension is a process that allows beings to be able to separate from their physical bodies and to live eternally as pure energy in a superior plane with agreater amount of knowledge and power. It can be a mental, spiritual or evolutionary processa direct result of obtaining a certain level of wisdom and knowledge as a civilization.

The Ancients were the first race to ascend and some of them, such as Oma Desala, attempted to teach the “lowers” to ascend without the use of technology. Dr. Daniel Jackson speculated that this is what the Earth religion of Buddhism is based on, and that Oma is Mother Nature along with the other Ancients as spirits.

According to research by Dr. Rodney McKay, once the brain achieves 90% synaptic activity, they must achieve an EEG of 0.1 to 0.9 hertz, during which they will learn how to convert their body into energy. If they do not achieve ascension before 96% synaptic activity is achieved, the lower functions of the brain will shut down. Ascension can happen in two ways: spiritually or evolutionary. Both cases, the physical body of a mortal being will become energy (leaving a heap of empty clothes), and a glowing light being will raise up through the ceiling. From then on the ascended being tends to take the form of the glowing light being. (SG1: “Meridian”) (ATL: “Tao of Rodney”)

Oma Desala in ascended form

A being previously or currently Ascended can help a mortal Ascend. The Ancient Oma Desala, found in Earth myths of Mother Nature, helped to Ascend many beings of this form, most significantly Dr. Daniel Jackson, and the entire population of Abydos. In this case, a being does not need to be morally good in the first place, although most Ascended beings would never promote a morally bad person. This happened to Anubis when Oma Ascended him and later realized what a horrible mistake it was. (SG1: “Maternal Instinct”, “Meridian”, “Full Circle”, “Threads”)

An Ori in ascended form

Ascension can also be a physical process, because, essentially, Ascended beings are still “strictly physical”. A human who has the ability to use approximately 90% of their cerebral capacity can learn to Ascend without much problem, gaining more and more power as a mortal (including telekinesis) until the person reaches this point (see Near ascension.) This is related to the myth of which the people only use 10% of their brains, with no real justification. Again, this form of Ascension does not require the being to be good of heart.

Some of the Ancients that Ascended naturally like Mesha reached this point without the aid of technology. Nevertheless, they also developed the DNA resequencer, a device able to make humans so advanced that they could obtain abilities like telekinesis, telepathy, healing, and more. They also created an Ascension machine to hasten the process. (SG1: “Prototype”) (ATL: “Tao of Rodney”)

An Asuran digitally ascending

Since the Atlantis expedition’s first contact with the Asurans, they’ve known that a splinter faction of the Replicators, led by Niam, had the aspiration to ascend, just as their creators the Ancients had done. However, this goal is impossible to achieve because they are machines, not humans.

After the rest of the Asurans and their home world were destroyed, Niam’s faction, now led by Dr. Elizabeth Weir, was able to pursue ascension without worry of any hindrance or fear of reprisal for not conforming. An individual named Koracen discovered a way to “ascend” into subspace as a means of reaching a higher plane. However, that plan didn’t work, as they were trapped in subspace. The experience is described as rather unpleasant, as they were constantly subjected to the background noise and transmissions sent through it. They were eventually forced to abandon that plan and retake corporeal form. (ATL: “Ghost in the Machine”)

Note that this is not technically ascension, as they did not gain any of the abilities of the ascended or move to a higher plane. Instead, those so ascended became, almost literally, ghosts in the machine; that is, a consciousness existing as electrical energy which can control technology. In this state, they could travel through subspace and take control of any machine after a short acclimation period.

According to what Dr. Daniel Jackson was told by Anubis/Jim, “There are many planes of existence between human existence and ascension.” When one exists in any of these planes beyond the corporeal, he is referred to as an Ascended Being because he has “ascended” to a higher plane as a form of intelligent energy. (SG1: “Threads”)

Oma Desala ascends Daniel

It appears that the various planes of existence not only dictate the powers an Ascended Being has, but also his level of understanding of the universe, or his degree of “enlightenment”. The higher level of ascension at which a being exists, the more power, knowledge, and understanding of the universe he possesses. When Dr. Daniel Jackson was helped to ascend by Oma Desala, he was only exposed to certain knowledge and understanding that Oma gave him. He told Colonel Jack O’Neill that all he knew was what Oma told him. She educated him at the “beginning of the journey” until he had managed to acquire all of the knowledge and power that an Ascended Being at Oma’s level could have. Oma had the power to take that knowledge away, but chose instead to bury it along with his memories into his subconscious mind upon returning him to human form. Daniel, during the early days of his ascension, told Jack, “I see things, I understand things, in a way I never could have before.” Near the end of Daniel’s year of ascension, he still did not know everything because he constantly insisted, “All I know is what Oma has taught me. Ascension doesn’t make you all knowing or all powerful. It is just the beginning of the journey.” This journey was Daniel’s Path to Enlightenment, the one on the road to the Great Path, which is most likely the ultimate level of ascension a being can reach. This ultimate level, however, Daniel has implied can never get a being to the level of being complete omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, but is something that Ascended Beings still endeavor to achieve. Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell stated it this way, “Look, just because we know there is some beings on a higher plane of existence than ourselves does not mean there’s not an order of being higher than them.” (SG1: “Abyss”, “Full Circle”, “Origin”)

How far up the planes of existence Daniel reached during his first ascension remains unanswered, but he demonstrated limited capabilities and knowledge during that period. The true extent of his powers were never revealed due to interference from the Others. During his second ascension, however, he was brought into one of the lowest planes of existence where he was self-aware, but did not possess any extraordinary powers or become any further enlightened. Oma described this low level as a “stop along the way” to ascension where Daniel could make the choice as to whether or not he’d like to give ascension another chance but be forbidden from interacting in the corporeal plane or end his life because his body was already dead. Daniel rephrased this choice as to “contemplate my own enlightenment.”

Oma Desala engages Anubis in eternal struggle

Anubis reached a high plane of existence when he tricked Oma into helping him to ascend. Although Anubis held a high degree of enlightenment as to what ascension was, his soul was not pure. The fact that Oma could be deceived proves that ascension doesn’t make one all-knowing, just as Daniel said. The Others sent Anubis down a few planes of existence, what Daniel described as “stuck somewhere between human existence and ascension.” Anubis was still left as a being of energy, but his powers were limited. The Others instructed him that he could only use the knowledge and power he would normally gain as a regular Goa’uld, and Anubis amazingly followed that rule without waver. He gained eternal life through ascension, but now this eternal life is being spent in a never-ending battle with Oma. Oma engaged him in order to prevent him from destroying all life in the Milky Way Galaxy and to take responsibility for breaking the rule, “No lone ascended being shall help a lower ascend.” Although higher ascended beings have the power to kill lower ones, the Others would have stopped her from destroying a lower being, especially as Anubis’s evil was her punishment. She was forced to fully ascend him to the same level as her in order to stop him, but this meant that neither one could win. (SG1: “Threads”)

The City of Celestis on the Plains of Celestis

When the original Ancients, the Alterans, were forced to flee their home galaxy for fear of their lives because of philosophical differences between them and the others of their society known as the Ori, they were on the evolutionary path toward ascension. The Ori, like the Altera, eventually ascended after this separation. The Ori’s galaxy is home to a second evolution of humanity, just as the Milky Way Galaxy is. When Daniel met the Ori through a psychic link with one of these humans, he found out that the Ori claimed that they were humanity’s creators. It is possible that the Ori did in fact create humanity in their home galaxy through the use of technology similar to what the Ancients used in the Milky Way Galaxy after life was nearly wiped out by the Ancient contagion that occurred five to ten million years ago. Anubis/Jim told Daniel that the Ancients used the advanced device on the planet Dakara to reseed life in the galaxy after the plague “some million odd years” ago. The circumstances of the Ori’s re-creation of humanity in their home galaxy is not known, but Daniel assumed that this occurred after all of the Ori had ascended. The Ori manifest themselves in a wall of fire near the temple in the City of Celestis on the Plains of Celestis. (SG1: “Origin”)

Followers of origin prostrating to the Ori

The Ori created a religion with which to interact and manipulate the second evolution of man in their home galaxy. This religion, called Origin, forced a human to relinquish their free will to the Ori with the promise of ascension. The Ori were manipulating humanity because they actually gained power through man’s worship, but were not intending to share that power with their worshipers, so the promise of ascension was a lie. It is hardly a simple thing, but the interrelationships of all living things in the universe is illustrated in this dependence amongst the planes of existence. (SG1: “Origin”)

The Ascended Alterans kept the existence of humanity in the Milky Way Galaxy a secret from the Ori because they feared that the Ori would become too powerful and disturb the balance in their planes of existence. Additionally, they feared that they themselves could become corrupted by the temptation of this power in order to achieve higher levels of enlightenment. Because of this fear, the Ascended Alterans established their non-interference policy. They were not certain what the outcome would be if they were to directly confront the Ori, so they decided that the best way to achieve the balance was through the actions of those opposing the Ori in the lowest plane of existence, the corporeal plane. (SG1: “The Pegasus Project”)

For their part, this work included permitting one of their own to sacrifice his ascension and the chance at further enlightenment to retake human form to help humanity any way he could. Daniel Jackson had decided this was the course of action he was willing to take by retaking human form from both his times as an Ascended Being, but his advanced knowledge was not accessible to him. (SG1: “Full Circle”, “Meridian”, “Threads”) Orlin was given the opportunity to keep some of his advanced knowledge as a human, but that knowledge was not permanent and was life-threatening because the human brain is not physically designed to harbor or use such knowledge. Any of the Ascended Beings who have selected to return to human form are aware that their trip is most likely one-way and that they will not be able to ascend again. (SG1: “Ascension”, “The Fourth Horseman, Part 1”, “The Fourth Horseman, Part 2”)

However, the Ascended are not against interfering in the lower planes if they feel there is a significant enough threat caused by one of their own descended beings. One example is when they sent Morgan Le Fay to stop Merlin’s creation of the Sangraal that could kill Ascended Beings. While Morgan did this as she essentially had no choice, she skirted her orders as she came to believe that Merlin was right and preserved him in stasis so he could one day rebuild the weapon which he and Daniel Jackson did. The only time an Ascended Ancient managed to ever directly interfere in the lower planes is when Morgan herself secretly aided SG-1 against Adria, the last remaining Ori and her followers. As they were in another galaxy with no Ancients, The Others were unable to interfere and Morgan used the free rein on her powers to aid as best she could, ultimately sacrificing herself to destroy Adria after SG-1 reduced her power. (SG1: “The Quest, Part 1”, “The Quest, Part 2”, “The Ark of Truth”)

A group of Ascended beings in the Astral Diner

The superior plane of existence in which the Ascended reside is inhabited by several different Ascended races, but is inhabited in large part by the Ancients, and was also inhabited by the Ori, until they were killed. These two foreign races were in fact of the same species, that is to say, “the first evolution” of humans (Alterans), but they differ due to their opposing beliefs and method of Ascension.

The ascended plane of existence seems to have several “levels” and “ranks”, evident because some Ascended beings must have more abilities than others. Those that have been Ascended for a long time, or who Ascended of their own wisdom, obtain a “higher Ascension”.

The Atlantis expedition stumbled upon a being that was being studied by the Ancients for the purpose of learning how to ascend. This creature seemed to be on a level of existence close to that of Anubis because it’s physical form was that of a large, nebulous black cloud. This creature is the only evidence that beings on a higher plane of existence does not necessitate greater intelligence since this creature seemed only capable of the most basic reasoning. (ATL: “Hide and Seek”)

The rules of the Ascended are that one cannot interfere in the mortal affairs, a rule that is sometimes broken, causing the one who broke the rule to be punished by the other Ascended beings (“The Others”); often, this punishment hurts the mortal world instead of the responsible being, so as to show the transgressor the effects of his actions. The only time someone managed to directly interfere without being stopped was when Morgan Le Fay aided SG-1 against Adria and the Ori followers in the Alteran Home Galaxy using her powers more freely to help them as The Others were not there and were unable to stop her. She clearly broke the rule of non-interference and while some of what she did The Others could possibly have let her do such as send visions to Dr. Daniel Jackson to steer him towards the Ark of Truth, the rest was clearly in violation of the rule such as when she healed a mortally wounded Teal’c so he could aid his friends. (SG1: “The Ark of Truth”)

Replicator Carter processes Daniel’s ascended knowledge

Ascended beings are described as having “all the knowledge and power of the universe”, which is essentially an infinite knowledge (and, possibly, power). However, this does not equate to omniscience, as there are a few means by which Ascended beings can be deceived. The Ancients, for example, apparently hid the existence of the entire Milky Way from their Ori brethren, at least until the Tau’ri made themselves known to the Ori. While ascended, Dr. Daniel Jackson stated that Ascension “doesn’t make one all-knowing,” but rather the individual’s talent in tapping into and understanding the infinite knowledge of the universe at any given moment is substantially increased. This can be done because there are no neurons required to store memory for ascended beings. Replicator Carter tried to download the Ascended knowledge from Daniel Jackson’s subconscious mind, but found that there wasn’t enough memory in the entire Replicator army to hold it. RepliCarter claimed that she and her brethren just needed time to process the information and create more of themselves to house it, but Daniel argued that the knowledge was more than information, but being able to understand on a level that she could never reach due to her corporeal machine status. Unfortunately for RepliCarter, her attempt to access this from Daniel’s mind also gave him access to some of the information which showed him how to enter her mind, overpower her and freeze her army, turning the tide of a losing battle his friends were fighting. (SG1: “Reckoning, Part 1”, “Reckoning, Part 2”, “Origin”)

Daniel Jackson fights Anubis with his Ascended powers

The Ascended plane offers many powers to its inhabitants. Ascended beings have been seen to be capable of miraculous things. Some of these powers include but aren’t limited to:

Morgan confronting Adria on equal strength levels.

Cassandra Fraiser levitating a chess piece

Chaya Sar uses her ascended powers to destroy Wraith Darts

Healing power of near ascended beings at work.

They also have power over other beings like themselves:

Morgan Le Fay talks with Daniel Jackson in Atlantis

With all of these great powers, Ascended Beings might appear to be invincible. Ascended beings have been known to destroy each other. As mentioned above, when Dr. Daniel Jackson was an Ascended Being, he gathered powerful energy orbs to direct at Anubis, and Anubis admits that he would not have survived such an attack. This is further corroborated by Replicator Carter, then Oma herself after she saved Daniel.

Merlin building the Sangraal

The possibility of overpowering an Ascended Being led SG-1 to search for a weapon developed by Merlin, a former Ascended Being who feared the Ori and knew that the Others wouldn’t directly confront them in their plane of existence. The Others claimed that they don’t know what the true outcome would have been if they were to have confronted the Ori directly, but concluded that it could have been very detrimental to all planes of existence. Based on Merlin’s notes, the weapon, called the Sangraal, didn’t actually destroy Ascended Beings, but channeled energy from subspace to interfere with the energy form of the Ascended in their dimension (plane of existence). Daniel stated, “Well, technically, Merlin’s research didn’t refer to killing. A better translation would be ‘neutralizing’ or ‘canceling out’.” In later conversations concerning the operation of Merlin’s weapon, however, the effect of the device was equated with killing the Ascended Beings in the scope of the galaxy wherein the Sangraal was detonated. SG-1 found Merlin, built another weapon, and sent that weapon through the Ori’s Supergate to their home galaxy on board one of their warships. The actual success of this attack was not immediately known, however it was later found to have worked.

Ascended beings can increase their power substantially over other ascended beings by having people in the physical plane worship them. This empowers the worshiped ascended being to such degree that they would be many times stronger than any othernormally ascended being. The Ori have capitalized upon this fact and created the religion of Origin centering around Ori worship with the promise of ascension of the faithful upon death.

This type of empowerment has its weakness, as the ascended being becomes dependent on such a power boost. After a long period of time, they would be substantially weaker than normal when or if this power boost is removed. This was demonstrated when the Ori Priors and Doci were turned from Origin, having been revealed the truth by the Ark of Truth. Adria was instantly weakened to a normal ascended being equal and potentially weaker than her Ancient counterpart Morgan Le Fay, and reduced to making threats instead of before being able to met out instant retribution.

The Sangraal being constructed

In 2006, Dr. Daniel Jackson deciphered the writings left by the Ancient Myrrdin that correspond to the Arthurian legend of Merlin. He was an Ascended Ancient who was investigating how to defeat the Ori, but the Others wanted him to stop. In order to continue without their knowledge, he de-ascended himself again to be human, and continued his investigation in an alternate dimension where Ascended beings could not see (showing again that they are limited and physical beings).

Merlin created a weapon that could ‘neutralize’ an Ascended being. This weapon in itself turns out to correspond to the myths of the Sangraal (Holy Grail). This has opened many more possibilities to defeat to the Ori, and also it suggests much on the nature of an Ascended beingAscension does not make you a god; it merely enhances your ability. Most beings in the universe, nevertheless, still believe all ascended beings to be immortal and invincible. Although the device can only be created by a former ascended being who retains the specific knowledge needed to build it. (SG1: “Arthur’s Mantle”)

Several Pegasus galaxy humans following in the path of the Ancients and trying to ascend

The Ancients in the Milky Way and the Pegasus galaxy had different reasons to Ascend. In the Milky Way, the Ancients were knocked down by a plague that they, with all their technological advances, could not cure; the only way they could avoid death was to Ascend. In the Pegasus Galaxy, they were at war with the Wraith. Once they began to lose the war, many were forced to Ascend to prevent capture. Those that did not Ascend died or escaped through the Stargate to the Milky Way.

In general, Ascension can be used as large-scale ways of escape. When Colonel Jack O’Neill was captured by Ba’al in 2002, Dr. Daniel Jackson tried to persuade him to ascend as it was his only form of escape (at the time). (SG1: “Abyss”)

Cosmically, Ascension seems to be the final goal of all life; at least, this is the idea that is beginning to be considered in the Milky Way. The Free Jaffa Nation attempted to unite with the Ori in its search for Ascension.

Daniel and Bra’tac meditate with a monk in a temple on Kheb

The first known Tau’ri encounter with Ascension was when SG-1 arrived at Kheb, a legendary planet where they found the Harcesis. There, they also found a Buddhist monk in the temple not responding directly to questions, instead quoting Zen Koans. Dr. Daniel Jackson decides to sit with the monk and to learn about Oma Desala, a.k.a. Mother Nature. He learns how the monk can stoke a fire with his mind, and Daniel imitates this effect, only to realize later that it was actually Oma performing this action for him.

When the Goa’uld found the temple, they killed the monk, whom Oma then ascended. As SG-1 left, Oma created lightning and struck down the Jaffa. The storm then disappeared and Oma left through the Stargate. (SG1: “Maternal Instinct”)

A few years later Major Samantha Carter met Orlin, an Ascended being who fell in love with her. Orlin was punished for making a weapon for a foreign race that was under attack. Orlin de-ascended himself so he could be with Carter. He later re-ascended, presumably with help from the other Ancients, when he died. He de-ascended again later to use the knowledge of the Ancients to help Carter to cure an Ori plague on Earth. (SG1: “Ascension”, “The Fourth Horseman, Part 1”, “The Fourth Horseman, Part 2”)

Dr. Daniel Jackson, after ascending, became mortal again after failing to fulfill the non-interference rule by trying to destroy Anubis, a “half-ascended” being who lacked the power of his fully ascended brethren but was still immune to conventional weapons. Having returned to his human form, Daniel was initially totally amnesic, but eventually regained his memories of his human life, although he only remembered brief moments of his time as an Ascended being, and all of his regained memories from this time occurred while he was operating on the lower planes rather than while he was interacting with other Ascended. Despite his conscious loss of memory, Daniel was able to use Ascended knowledge still locked away in his mind to help destroy the Replicators and convinced Oma Desala to take on Anubis in an eternal struggle in order to stop him before he was apparently sent back by The Others, this time retaining his full memories of the experience. (SG1: “Full Circle”, “Fallen”, “Homecoming”, “Orpheus”, “Reckoning, Part 1”, “Reckoning, Part 2”, “Threads”)

Another transgressor was Chaya Sar, an ascended Lantean living in the Pegasus Galaxy. She used the ‘Destructive Energy’ form to defend Proculus from a large Wraith fleet. She was punished in a similar way, protecting Proculus forever without being able to offer aid to anybody else. (ATL: “Sanctuary”)

Rodney McKay accidentally uses the Ascension machine

Ascension Machine

In 2006, an Ancient Ascension machine genetically modified Dr. Rodney McKay’s DNA putting him on the path of Ascension. However, these changes meant that he either needed to release his burdens or die from the changes wrought on his body. Ultimately, Dr. Carson Beckett was given the necessary information by McKay on reversing the machine’s effects, which removed the modifications. (ATL: “Tao of Rodney”)

After being turned into an Asuran, Doctor Elizabeth Weir led a faction searching for a way to Ascend. They eventually tried digital ascension, but instead got trapped in subspace. After returning to physical form, the surviving Asurans were lured into space through a Spacegate and deactivated. However, this was not the end for Weir who was Ascended for real by Ascended Asgard Ran. Weir later guided Teyla Emmagan towards the truth of the Wraith in dreams and saved Rodney McKay’s life from a suicide mission into a sun. For this, she was returned to mortal form, human once more but with no memory. Like Doctor Daniel Jackson, she eventually regained it. (ATL: “Ghost in the Machine”, “The Furies”, “Inheritors”, “Stargate Atlantis: Unascended”, “Stargate Atlantis: The Third Path”)

An Asgard that managed to Ascend before the Asgard began their process of cloning and thus started to suffer genetic degradation. After Doctor Elizabeth Weir was trapped in space as a Replicator, having lured the others through a Spacegate, Ran helped her Ascend, but after she broke the rules to save a friend, had to descend her. However, like Oma Desala and Doctor Daniel Jackson, she made it so that Weir could be found by her friends and regain her memory. The Vanir, a rogue faction of Asgard and the last of the race began hunting for Ran to force her to descend as they believed that her uncorrupted DNA and eggs could be used to reverse the genetic degradation and save the Asgard race. At the suggestion of Weir, Vanir leader Dis traveled to Earth on an old Asgard scoutship where he visited a shrine made by the Ancients where they could be communicated with. Dis made a plea for Ran’s help in saving their race. Even though the Others were unsure of what to do, Ran felt that the extinction of a race was more important than the Ascended rules and returned to mortal form to help, aware that she may not be able to Ascend again. She warns though that even though she has returned to help, it may not be enough to reverse the extensive damage done to the Vanir by their centuries of cloning. (ATL: “Stargate Atlantis: Unascended”, “Stargate Atlantis: The Third Path”)

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Ascension – SGCommand – Wikia

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World War 3 | WWIII | Endtime Ministries with Irvin Baxter

 Ww3  Comments Off on World War 3 | WWIII | Endtime Ministries with Irvin Baxter
Jun 212016
 

Fear nothing but God, only fear God. Never be afraid of Wars, deaths, pain, blood, and anything else that is a Sin against God. Satan is trying his hardest to make all this fear, a fear of Worldy/Earthly things like War, deaths, blood, all that violent stuff. He does not want you all to fear God, but to fear Sin and Evil. Everything is quiet right now: gun shots, music, cars, tvs are all not sounds, they are just limited and illuminated wave lengths created by God to make this World seem like a loud place. Wait until you listen and watch Gods 2nd coming, the 2nd coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. You will know what true sounds and violence is. Im not even afraid of getting killed when WW3 begins, because I know God will take those out of this World that believes in him, and leave the Anti-Christ people on Earth to feel a temporary suffer and pain to get a taste of what Hell will really be like. You all call this Earth, hell and going through hard times. Wait until you Anti-Christ people see what God will really show you what true pain and suffering is. God is not a man of Peace, God is a man of Justice. Thats why the Bible says you must repent of all your Sins and accept God for who he is if you want to be saved. Most people take Sins for granted, and expect to be forgiven by God without praying to him and asking for forgivness. Most people go a head and Sin all they want and think God will grant them Heaven in the after life. This world shows that God is near, all these events occuring from the Bible. As a Christian, I am still confused and dont fully understand God, but all I know he is ready to come back soon, and not in a Peaceful way like we expect. He is coming with anger, fear, pain, and suffering that no human ever expierenced, he is coming with more Power than those Anti-Christ who brutally crucified Jesus Christ 2016 years ago, he is coming with more Power than all the Nuclear bombs/missiles combined. He wont come sucker punching us all, he will come with everything in his Power he has, and that Power is everything we cant stop. Nothing can never and will never stop Gods power, not even Satan and his Anti-Christ can stop God. God is the creator of all, he created Satan too, and gave Satan limited Power. Just like all of us Humans, Satan too has his own Free Will because God gave us all Free Will. The Earth WILL SHAKE, those who believe in God and repent their Sins and accepts God will be saved, all the Anti-Christ will be left on Earth to Wage War against one another, to feel the Sucker Punch of Hell, to get a taste of what Hell will be like. Imagine the fear, pain, suffering, and INFINITY NON-STOP burning that Hell will really be like. Pinch yourself on your arm as soft as you could, it will hurt. Slap yourself on your cheek, it will hurt. Get a paper cut, and it will hurt. Imagine all the Pain, fear and suffering God has prepared in Hell for all Anti-Christ. In Hell, the pain, suffering and fears wont be from Satan, but from God. God said in the Bible that Satan too will burn and suffer in Hell forever. Right now there is no Heaven and Hell yet, that will be set when God arrives on his 2nd coming. Thats why we put Rest in Peace on all crosses of death, everyone dead right now is unconcsious and resting in death, until God comes. When God comes, all the Dead will arise then, the dead is not risen yet on Earth until God comes. Thats why many places on Earth have demons and haunting in their homes where Violence or death once took place, all the dead Anti-Christ will never rest, never rest, never rest. Thats why you feel peacful about a Christian death, and feel bad inside when a Anti-Christ dies. God is all one, he hears and sees everything from beginning to end. He knows all your secrets and gossips, he knows every single one of your Sins. God knew you before you were born on this Earth. Im glad I grew up in a Christian home, I see many Anti-Christ that are already going through the hardest times Ive ever seen! Ive witness a murder, and all these Anti-Christ are suffering more. Ive been through many trials in my life where I supposed to die in the ER and not even survive, but praying to God saved me. Praying to God saved me. Doctors were speechless, they didnt feel like doctors when they gave everything they got to keep me alive. They gave me the Maximum amount of all pain meds, shots, pills, and IV, they said all that was enough meds to knock out a cancer patient and a big animal like an elephant at the same time from the same dose of pain meds. I dont believe in chemicals thats why it never help me in the ER when i almost died a lot of times from alcohol poisoning. Only thing that kept me going was praying to God.

A lot of people believe in coincidence, what exactly does coincidence mean to them, what is their understanding defintion of coincidence? Everything is meant to happen for a reason, and God created all those reasons. They are not coincidence, a word of the Anti-Christ. Just like God told us, he sees all, he knows all. Everything happens for a reason, and that reason is Gods reason that everything happens, not from coincidence. If you have gone this far in reading and trying to understand more about God and how Satan is at work right now on Earth. Here is your good chance to understand why everything happens for a reason. We all get confused when something happens, oh my god what just happened?, jesus christ, what happened?. We all say those things without realizing it when we are confused, we dont know what happened but we know God had something to do with it and everything else that happens.

One example of something meant to be or meant to happen is not a coincidence, but a true reason of God. I was a witness of a brutal murder on September 8, 2007, a man murdered for his booze and money by a gang of violent alcoholics. It all happened so fast but yet felt so slow to watch it happen. The leader of that violent gang died on May 17th, 2016 from suicide, after he murdered another person, on May 12th, 2016. My best friend died from suicide on March 9, 2013, and my best friends birthday was May 12th, the same day the leader of that gang made his 2nd murder. Coincidence? Nope, reason of God. You see, how can God put it in a more perfect time frame, and you all call it coincidence? Coincidence is a word of Satan, a confusing word he uses that doesnt let you full understand why everything is happening the way they are. Satan doesnt want you to know that everything is happening because of God. Satan doesnt want you to know that God is in control of everything. Satan wants you to be blind and not understand God.

Us Humans, our minds are weaker than we think, it is very easy for Satan to take advantage of your life style without you knowing it. Alcohol, drugs, mixed martial arts fighting, all the violent stuff we see everyday is the hard work of Satan, not the entertainment for ourselves that we think we get, but just a brain-washed violent activity that God hates, called Sin. Satans biggest way of taking over lives and brain-washing lives is through Entertainment. People will say, f*** reading the Bible, im going to go drink, play video games, and watch Mixed Martial Arts all day, and have some beautiful sex with your cousins. Yeah man, all this numb feeling you had is finally turning into pain of understandment of what is really going on. Sin! Sin! Sin! We all think were going to get away with Sin and somehow make it to Heaven. Of course we all think we are going to Heaven, that is a sign of brain-washed by Satan, when you think you can Sin all you want and still make it to Heaven. Lot of people think they are so special and cool or bad a** when they are doing violent things. Those kind of people want to be hugged and kissed and congradulated for their violent things they do. They want to be awarded for their doings and be known to the World. They want the whole attention when they Sin.

You can never be prepared for the unexpected. God will come like a unknown robber, you never know what time and day he will come, just like you never know when a robber will rob your house. We never know when God will come, but he will come unexpected. His angels do not know his time and day of coming to Earth, only God himself knows. Satan is at his best right now, just like any violent Sinner is at their best right now. ISIS, wars, all these violent deaths are occuring because of Satans power and Sin. All these are the signs from the Bible that Satan and all the Anti-Christ will be scavenging the Earth at their best Power trying to destroy all lives to believe there is no God.

Let me put it in words this way, for you people who do not understand about God yet. Satan and his Anti-Christ are a bunch of violent Sinners, and God is a man of Justice. This world is like the Door of Gods house. We are just at the Door of Gods house, and Satan and his Anti-Christ are scavenging this Earth to try rob much souls as they could. We never know when and what God will come out that door with, but we do know he will come out that door pissed off and ready for Justice.

Its like a bunch of people are violently knocking on someones door forever and not giving them rest, we never know what the owner will do when he opens that door, we never know what kind of Justice the owner will have when he opens his door, but we know the owner will be pissed off and want Justice when be opens that door of violent people knocking. Never mess with God, never bang on his door (Sin). Pray (Call) to him before you go to his house, let him know when youre coming. Dont just go knocking on Gods door and expect forgivness and peace. God will come out that door with Justice.

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World War 3 | WWIII | Endtime Ministries with Irvin Baxter

Financial Independence: The Final Stage of Money Management

 Financial Independence  Comments Off on Financial Independence: The Final Stage of Money Management
Jun 192016
 

This is the last of a five-part series about the stages of personal finance. These stories have intentionally been less polished than most articles at Get Rich Slowly. This is a chance for me to think out loud, to explore an idea with you in an informal way.

In February, I wrote that I was entering the third stage of personal finance. As I made my way out of debt and began to save, I had noticed that many people passed through similar phases of financial development. We took similar steps along the way. In my own journey, the progress looked like this:

Financial Independence is my ultimate goal. Its the state in which I will no longer have to worry about money. I would have enough saved so that I could do whatever I pleased. But what exactly does this mean?

Defining Financial Independence One of the underlying philosophies of this site is that different things work for different people. We each have different goals, different strengths, and different weaknesses. Though Financial Independence is the goal for many Get Rich Slowly readers, we each mean something different by it.

In Yes, You CanAchieve Financial Independence [my review], James Stowers states: No person is free, in an economic sense, who does not have adequate investment income entirely unrelated to work. In other words, Financial Independence means that you earn enough from non-work income to fund your current lifestyle. I think this is the traditional definition of the term.

But the classic Your Money or Your Life offers a little more nuance:

When you are financially independent, the way money functions in your life is determined by you, not by your circumstances. In this way money isnt something that happens to you, its something you include in your life in a purposeful wayFinancial Independence is being free of the fog, fear, and fanaticism so many of us feel about money.

If this sounds like peace of mind, it is. Financial bliss. And if this sounds as unattainable as being rich, it isnt.

[…]

Financial Independence has nothing to do with rich. Financial Independence is the experience of having enough and then someThe old notion of Financial Independence as being rich forever is not achievable. Enough is. Enough for you may be different from enough for your neighbor but it will be a figure that is real for you and within your reach.

Another view of Financial Independence is presented by George Kinder in The Seven Stages of Money Maturity. Kinder argues that when you understand what you want to do with your life, you can make financial choices that reflect your values. In his view, the final two stages of money management are what he calls Vision and Aloha. (Note that Kinders approach contains a spiritual element. He uses language in his definitions that some may find odd.)

With Vision we understand further that money is a conduit through which our souls flow into the world. We have produced as much as we personally need. We discover within us a capacity to reach out farther than we have ever imagined toward meeting the needs of our families and communities. We find no obstacle between what we want to accomplish and what we do.

[…]

Aloha conveys kindness, generosity, at-one-ness, and compassionWe give without expectation of return, understanding that living is giving. We know both the limitations and the power of money, yet money no longer agitates us. We rest calm before it. In that calmness we can serve one another from the natural generosity that lies within and waits to be offered tot he world.

In some ways, Financial Independence is just another term for retirement. Think about it. Most people retire at 60 or 65 because thats when they have enough saved to last the rest of their lives. If they dont have enough saved, they continue working. If they manage to save the money earlier, then they retire earlier. When you retire, youre essentially declaring that you are financially independent.

Moving forward What will Financial Independence, the fourth stage of money management, mean to me? Will it be a purely monetary state in which I have enough investment income to do whatever I like? Will it be the point at which I have enough? Or will it be something deeper, more spiritual, as suggested by George Kinder?

I dont know. In fact, I dont know if Ill ever actually reach this goal. But I intend to stick to the path, working my way through this third stage of personal finance, hoping one day to reach that destination.

Your turn: What does Financial Independence mean to you? If you were financially independent, what would you do? How would it change your life? Is this one of your goals? Why? If not, why not?

GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, and more.

This article is about Planning, Basics, Planning, Retirement

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Financial Independence: The Final Stage of Money Management

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WW3 – More About Albert Pike and Three World Wars

 Ww3  Comments Off on WW3 – More About Albert Pike and Three World Wars
Jun 192016
 

Continued from Part 1.

Albert Pike received a vision, which he described in a letter that he wrote to Mazzini, dated August 15, 1871. This letter graphically outlined plans for three world wars that were seen as necessary to bring about the One World Order, and we can marvel at how accurately it has predicted events that have already taken place.

It is a commonly believed fallacy that for a short time, the Pike letter to Mazzini was on display in the British Museum Library in London, and it was copied by William Guy Carr, former Intelligence Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. The British Library has confirmed in writing to me that such a document has never been in their possession. Furthermore, in Carr’s book, Satan, Prince of this World, Carr includes the following footnote:

“The Keeper of Manuscripts recently informed the author that this letter is NOT catalogued in the British Museum Library. It seems strange that a man of Cardinal Rodriguez’s knowledge should have said that it WAS in 1925”.

It appears that Carr learned about this letter from Cardinal Caro y Rodriguez of Santiago, Chile, who wrote The Mystery of Freemasonry Unveiled.

To date, no conclusive proof exists to show that this letter was ever written. Nevertheless, the letter is widely quoted and the topic of much discussion.

Following are apparently extracts of the letter, showing how Three World Wars have been planned for many generations.

“The First World War must be brought about in order to permit the Illuminati to overthrow the power of the Czars in Russia and of making that country a fortress of atheistic Communism. The divergences caused by the “agentur” (agents) of the Illuminati between the British and Germanic Empires will be used to foment this war. At the end of the war, Communism will be built and used in order to destroy the other governments and in order to weaken the religions.” 2

Students of history will recognize that the political alliances of England on one side and Germany on the other, forged between 1871 and 1898 by Otto von Bismarck, co-conspirator of Albert Pike, were instrumental in bringing about the First World War.

“The Second World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences between the Fascists and the political Zionists. This war must be brought about so that Nazism is destroyed and that the political Zionism be strong enough to institute a sovereign state of Israel in Palestine. During the Second World War, International Communism must become strong enough in order to balance Christendom, which would be then restrained and held in check until the time when we would need it for the final social cataclysm.” 3

After this Second World War, Communism was made strong enough to begin taking over weaker governments. In 1945, at the Potsdam Conference between Truman, Churchill, and Stalin, a large portion of Europe was simply handed over to Russia, and on the other side of the world, the aftermath of the war with Japan helped to sweep the tide of Communism into China.

(Readers who argue that the terms Nazism and Zionism were not known in 1871 should remember that the Illuminati invented both these movements. In addition, Communism as an ideology, and as a coined phrase, originates in France during the Revolution. In 1785, Restif coined the phrase four years before revolution broke out. Restif and Babeuf, in turn, were influenced by Rousseau – as was the most famous conspirator of them all, Adam Weishaupt.)

“The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the “agentur” of the “Illuminati” between the political Zionists and the leaders of Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way that Islam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel) mutually destroy each other. Meanwhile the other nations, once more divided on this issue will be constrained to fight to the point of complete physical, moral, spiritual and economical exhaustionWe shall unleash the Nihilists and the atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil. Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with Christianity, whose deistic spirits will from that moment be without compass or direction, anxious for an ideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the true light through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view. This manifestation will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time.” 4

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001, world events, and in particular in the Middle East, show a growing unrest and instability between Modern Zionism and the Arabic World. This is completely in line with the call for a Third World War to be fought between the two, and their allies on both sides. This Third World War is still to come, and recent events show us that it is not far off.

Next: The New World Order

Previous: Introduction to Conspiratorial History

If you found this article interesting and want access to other carefully researched and well written articles, you might want to see what others are saying about the ThreeWorldWars newsletter.

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You might be interested in the following external links:

Albert Pike Defense: Defenses of certain Pike assertions taken from Walter Lee Brown, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and his book “A Life of Albert Pike,” published by the U. of Arkansas press, 1997.

Freemasonry Inside Out: This sensational new analysis of the Masonic brotherhood examines the basic question asked for almost 300 years by the general public and surprisingly by many masons themselves; If Freemasonry is simply a fraternal and charitable organisation, why is there an almost fanatical obsession with secrecy and mysterious rituals? E-book.

Proof that Freemasonry is lying about Albert Pike 33 and the Ku Klux Klan

Evidence that Albert Pike was Chief Judiciary Officer of the Ku Klux Klan

A Collection of places named after Albert Pike (Schools, streets, towns, counties, temples, windows, paintings, medals, bronzes, rocks and river pools)

Layout of Washington D.C. and discussion of how President Andrew Johnson considered himself to be the subordinate to Albert Pike, the leader of North American Freemasonry.

Speech by Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche stating that World War III had already begun (October 25, 1992).

Looking for pictures of Albert Pike?

Footnotes

1. Lady Queensborough: Occult Theocracy, pp. 208-209.

2, 3, 4. Cmdr. William Guy Carr: Quoted in Satan: Prince of This World.

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Transcranial magnetic stimulation – Wikipedia, the free …

 Tms  Comments Off on Transcranial magnetic stimulation – Wikipedia, the free …
Jun 192016
 

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a magnetic method used to stimulate small regions of the brain. During a TMS procedure, a magnetic field generator, or “coil”, is placed near the head of the person receiving the treatment.[1]:3 The coil produces small electric currents in the region of the brain just under the coil via electromagnetic induction. The coil is connected to a pulse generator, or stimulator, that delivers electric current to the coil.[2]

TMS is used diagnostically to measure the connection between the brain and a muscle to evaluate damage from stroke, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, movement disorders, motor neuron disease and injuries and other disorders affecting the facial and other cranial nerves and the spinal cord.[3]

Evidence suggests it is useful for neuropathic pain[4] and treatment-resistant major depressive disorder.[4][5] A 2015 Cochrane review found not enough evidence to make any conclusions in schizophrenia.[6] For negative symptoms another review found possible efficacy.[4] As of 2014, all other investigated uses of rTMS have only possible or no clinical efficacy.[4]

Matching the discomfort of TMS to distinguish true effects from placebo is an important and challenging issue that influences the results of clinical trials.[4][7][8][9] The greatest risks of TMS are the rare occurrence of syncope (fainting) and even less commonly, induced seizures.[7] Other adverse effects of TMS include discomfort or pain, transient induction of hypomania, transient cognitive changes, transient hearing loss, transient impairment of working memory, and induced currents in electrical circuits in implanted devices.[7]

The use of TMS can be divided into diagnostic and therapeutic uses.

TMS can be used clinically to measure activity and function of specific brain circuits in humans.[3] The most robust and widely accepted use is in measuring the connection between the primary motor cortex and a muscle to evaluate damage from stroke, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, movement disorders, motor neuron disease and injuries and other disorders affecting the facial and other cranial nerves and the spinal cord.[3][10][11][12] TMS has been suggested as a means of assessing short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) which measures the internal pathways of the motor cortex but this use has not yet been validated.[13]

For neuropathic pain, for which there is little effective treatment, high-frequency (HF) repetitive TMS (rTMS) appears effective.[4] For treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, HF-rTMS of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) appears effective and low-frequency (LF) rTMS of the right DLPFC has probable efficacy.[4][5] The Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has endorsed rTMS for treatment resistant MDD.[14]

The FDA approved use of a single-pulse TMS device for treating migraine with aura on the basis of a randomized, double-blinded study in 164 people; 39% of the treatment arm were pain free two hours after treatment vs 22% of people in the control arm.[15]

Although TMS is generally regarded as safe, risks increase for therapeutic rTMS compared to single or paired TMS for diagnostic purposes.[16] In the field of therapeutic TMS, risks increase with higher frequencies.[7]

The greatest immediate risk is the rare occurrence of syncope (fainting) and even less commonly, induced seizures.[7][17]

Other adverse short-term effects of TMS include discomfort or pain, transient induction of hypomania, transient cognitive changes, transient hearing loss, transient impairment of working memory, and induced currents in electrical circuits in implanted devices.[7]

During a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) procedure, a magnetic field generator, or “coil” is placed near the head of the person receiving the treatment.[1]:3 The coil produces small electric currents in the region of the brain just under the coil via electromagnetic induction. The coil is positioned by finding anatomical landmarks on the skull including, but not limited to, the inion or the nasion.[18] The coil is connected to a pulse generator, or stimulator, that delivers electric current to the coil.[2]

Nexstim obtained 510(k) FDA clearance of Navigated Brain Stimulation for the assessment of the primary motor cortex for pre-procedural planning in December 2009.[19]

Nexstim obtained FDA 510K clearance for NexSpeech navigated brain stimulation device for neurosurgical planning in June 2011.[20]

MagVenture received FDA 510K clearance to market its MagVita Therapy System as a medical device for the delivery of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a treatment for major depressive disorder in July 2015.[21]

Neuronetics obtained FDA 510K clearance to market its NeuroStar System for use in adults with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (December 2008).[22]

The use of single-pulse TMS was approved by the FDA for treatment of migraines in December 2013.[23] It is approved as a Class II medical device under the “de novo pathway”.[24]

In 2013, several commercial health insurance plans in the United States, including Anthem, Health Net, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and of Rhode Island, covered TMS for the treatment of depression for the first time.[25] In contrast, UnitedHealthcare issued a medical policy for TMS in 2013 that stated there is insufficient evidence that the procedure is beneficial for health outcomes in patients with depression. UnitedHealthcare noted that methodological concerns raised about the scientific evidence studying TMS for depression include small sample size, lack of a validated sham comparison in randomized controlled studies, and variable uses of outcome measures.[26] Other commercial insurance plans whose 2013 medical coverage policies stated that the role of TMS in the treatment of depression and other disorders had not been clearly established or remained investigational included Aetna, Cigna and Regence.[27]

Policies for Medicare coverage vary among local jurisdictions within the Medicare system,[28] and Medicare coverage for TMS has varied among jurisdictions and with time. For example:

The United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issues guidance to the National Health Service (NHS) in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. NICE guidance does not cover whether or not the NHS should fund a procedure. Local NHS bodies (primary care trusts and hospital trusts) make decisions about funding after considering the clinical effectiveness of the procedure and whether the procedure represents value for money for the NHS.[33]

NICE evaluated TMS for severe depression (IPG 242) in 2007, and subsequently considered TMS for reassessment in January 2011 but did not change its evaluation.[34] The Institute found that TMS is safe, but there is insufficient evidence for its efficacy.[34]

In January 2014, NICE reported the results of an evaluation of TMS for treating and preventing migraine (IPG 477). NICE found that short-term TMS is safe but there is insufficient evidence to evaluate safety for long-term and frequent uses. It found that evidence on the efficacy of TMS for the treatment of migraine is limited in quantity, that evidence for the prevention of migraine is limited in both quality and quantity.[35]

TMS uses electromagnetic induction to generate an electric current across the scalp and skull without physical contact. A plastic-enclosed coil of wire is held next to the skull and when activated, produces a magnetic field oriented orthogonally to the plane of the coil. The magnetic field passes unimpeded through the skin and skull, inducing an oppositely directed current in the brain that activates nearby nerve cells in much the same way as currents applied directly to the cortical surface.[36]

The path of this current is difficult to model because the brain is irregularly shaped and electricity and magnetism are not conducted uniformly throughout its tissues. The magnetic field is about the same strength as an MRI, and the pulse generally reaches no more than 5 centimeters into the brain unless using the deep transcranial magnetic stimulation variant of TMS.[37] Deep TMS can reach up to 6cm into the brain to stimulate deeper layers of the motor cortex, such as that which controls leg motion.[38]

From the BiotSavart law

it has been shown that a current through a wire generates a magnetic field around that wire. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is achieved by quickly discharging current from a large capacitor into a coil to produce pulsed magnetic fields between 2 and 3 T.[39] By directing the magnetic field pulse at a targeted area of the brain, one can either depolarize or hyperpolarize neurons in the brain. The magnetic flux density pulse generated by the current pulse through the coil causes an electric field as explained by the Maxwell-Faraday equation,

This electric field causes a change in the transmembrane current of the neuron, which leads to the depolarization or hyperpolarization of the neuron and the firing of an action potential.[39]

The exact details of how TMS functions are still being explored. The effects of TMS can be divided into two types depending on the mode of stimulation:

MRI images, recorded during TMS of the motor cortex of the brain, have been found to match very closely with PET produced by voluntary movements of the hand muscles innervated by TMS, to 522mm of accuracy.[42] The localisation of motor areas with TMS has also been seen to correlate closely to MEG[43] and also fMRI.[44]

The design of transcranial magnetic stimulation coils used in either treatment or diagnostic/experimental studies may differ in a variety of ways. These differences should be considered in the interpretation of any study result, and the type of coil used should be specified in the study methods for any published reports.

The most important considerations include:

With regard to coil composition, the core material may be either a magnetically inert substrate (i.e., the so-called air-core coil design), or possess a solid, ferromagnetically active material (i.e., the so-called solid-core design). Solid core coil design result in a more efficient transfer of electrical energy into a magnetic field, with a substantially reduced amount of energy dissipated as heat, and so can be operated under more aggressive duty cycles often mandated in therapeutic protocols, without treatment interruption due to heat accumulation, or the use of an accessory method of cooling the coil during operation. Varying the geometric shape of the coil itself may also result in variations in the focality, shape, and depth of cortical penetration of the magnetic field. Differences in the coil substance as well as the electronic operation of the power supply to the coil may also result in variations in the biophysical characteristics of the resulting magnetic pulse (e.g., width or duration of the magnetic field pulse). All of these features should be considered when comparing results obtained from different studies, with respect to both safety and efficacy.[45]

A number of different types of coils exist, each of which produce different magnetic field patterns. Some examples:

Design variations in the shape of the TMS coils allow much deeper penetration of the brain than the standard depth of 1.5-2.5cm. Circular crown coils, Hesed (or H-core) coils, double cone coils, and other experimental variations can induce excitation or inhibition of neurons deeper in the brain including activation of motor neurons for the cerebellum, legs and pelvic floor. Though able to penetrate deeper in the brain, they are less able to produce a focused, localized response and are relatively non-focal.[7]

Early attempts at stimulation of the brain using a magnetic field included those, in 1896, of Jacques-Arsne d’Arsonval in Paris and in 1910, of Silvanus P. Thompson in London.[47] The principle of inductive brain stimulation with eddy currents has been noted since the 20th century[citation needed]. The first successful TMS study was performed in 1985 by Anthony Barker and his colleagues at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, England.[48] Its earliest application demonstrated conduction of nerve impulses from the motor cortex to the spinal cord, stimulating muscle contractions in the hand. As compared to the previous method of transcranial stimulation proposed by Merton and Morton in 1980[49] in which direct electric current was applied to the scalp, the use of electromagnets greatly reduced the discomfort of the procedure, and allowed mapping of the cerebral cortex and its connections.

TMS research in animal studies is limited due to early FDA approval of TMS treatment of drug-resistant depression. Because of this, there has been no specific coils for animal models. Hence, there are limited number of TMS coils that can be used for animal studies.[50] There are some attempts in the literature showing new coil designs for mice with an improved stimulation profile.[51]

Areas of research include:

It is difficult to establish a convincing form of “sham” TMS to test for placebo effects during controlled trials in conscious individuals, due to the neck pain, headache and twitching in the scalp or upper face associated with the intervention.[4][7] “Sham” TMS manipulations can affect cerebral glucose metabolism and MEPs, which may confound results.[61] This problem is exacerbated when using subjective measures of improvement.[7] Placebo responses in trials of rTMS in major depression are negatively associated with refractoriness to treatment, vary among studies and can influence results.[62]

A 2011 review found that only 13.5% of 96 randomized control studies of rTMS to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex had reported blinding success and that, in those studies, people in real rTMS groups were significantly more likely to think that they had received real TMS, compared with those in sham rTMS groups.[63] Depending on the research question asked and the experimental design, matching the discomfort of rTMS to distinguish true effects from placebo can be an important and challenging issue.[4][7][8][9]

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Biomimetic Underwater Robot Program

 Neurotechnology  Comments Off on Biomimetic Underwater Robot Program
Jun 192016
 

We are developing neurotechnology based on the neurophysiology and behavior of animal models. We developed two classes of biomimetic autonomous underwater vehicles (see above). The first is an 8-legged ambulatory vehicle that is based on the lobster and is intended for autonomous remote-sensing operations in rivers and/or the littoral zone ocean bottom with robust adaptations to irregular bottom contours, current and surge. The second vehicle is an undulatory system that is based on the lamprey and is intended for remote sensing operations in the water column with robust depth/altitude control and high maneuverability. These vehicles are based on a common biomimetic control, actuator and sensor architecture that features highly modularized components and low cost per vehicle. Operating in concert, they can conduct autonomous investigation of both the bottom and water column of the littoral zone or rivers. These systems represent a new class of autonomous underwater vehicles that may be adapted to operations in a variety of habitat

We are collaborating with investigators at The University of California, The University of Alabama and Newcastle University to apply principles of synthetic biology to the integration of a hybrid microbot. The aim of this research is to construct Cyberplasm, a micro-scale robot integrating microelectronics with cells in which sensor and actuator genes have been inserted and expressed. This will be accomplished using a combination of cellular device integration, advanced microelectronics and biomimicry; an approach that mimics animal models; in the latter we will imitate some of the behavior of the marine animal the sea lamprey. Synthetic muscle will generate undulatory movements to propel the robot through the water. Synthetic sensors derived from yeast cells will be reporting signals from the immediate environment. These signals will be processed by an electronic nervous system. The electronic brain will, in turn, generate signals to drive the muscle cells that will use glucose for energy. All electronic components will be powered by a microbial fuel cell integrated into the robot body.

This research aims to harness the power of synthetic biology at the cellular level by integrating specific gene parts into bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells to carry out device like functions. Moreover this approach will allow the cells/bacteria to be simplified so that the input/output (I/O) requirements of device integration can be addressed. In particular we plan to use visual receptors to couple electronics to both sensation and actuation through light signals. In addition synthetic biology will be carried out at the systems level by interfacing multiple cellular /bacterial devices together, connecting to an electronic brain and in effect creating a multi-cellular biohybrid micro-robot. Motile function will be achieved by engineering muscle cells to have the minimal cellular machinery required for excitation/contraction coupling and contractile function. The muscle will be powered by mitochondrial conversion of glucose to ATP, an energetic currency in biological cells, hence combining power generation with actuation.

We are also developing neuronal circuit based controllers for both robots and neurorehabilitative devices. These controllers are based on

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Biomimetic Underwater Robot Program

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Automation – Cloud process & workflow automation | Microsoft …

 Automation  Comments Off on Automation – Cloud process & workflow automation | Microsoft …
Jun 192016
 

Save time while lowering overhead costs

Now you can automate all of those frequent, time-consuming, and error-prone cloud management tasks. Azure Automation helps you spend more of your time focused on work that adds business value. By reducing errors and boosting efficiency, it can also help lower your operational costs.

In Automation, Windows PowerShell scripts and workflowsknown as runbookshelp you work smarter by handling the creation, deployment, monitoring, and maintenance of Azure resources and third-party applications. The Automation Runbook Gallery puts samples, utilities, and scenario runbooks right at your fingertips, so that you can get up and running quickly with your automation tasks. The Runbook Gallery lets you browse and import runbooks to your Automation account without ever having to leave the Azure portal.

Automation runbooks work with Web Apps in Azure App Service, Azure Virtual Machines, Azure Storage, Azure SQL Database, and other popular Azure services. You can also use them with any service that offers public Internet APIs. Easy-to-read dashboard charts and log records make runbooks easier to monitor.

By efficiently handling processes that span tools, systems, and department silos, Automation lets you deliver services faster and more consistently. Its highly reliable and you can create checkpoints to resume your workflow after unexpected errors, crashes, and network issues.

Author and manage PowerShell Desired State Configurations (DSC), import DSC resources, and generate DSC node configurations, all in the cloud. With Azure Automation DSC, you can easily and reliably monitor and automatically update machine configuration across physical and virtual machines, Windows or Linux, in the cloud or on-premises.

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Automation – Cloud process & workflow automation | Microsoft …

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Socio-Economic Collapse | Prometheism.net

 Socio-economic Collapse  Comments Off on Socio-Economic Collapse | Prometheism.net
Jun 172016
 

In archaeology, the classic Maya collapse refers to the decline of Maya civilization and abandonment of Maya cities in the southern Maya lowlands of Mesoamerica between the 8th and 9thcenturies, at the end of the Classic Mayan Period. Preclassic Maya experienced a similar collapse in the 2nd century.

The Classic Period of Mesoamerican chronology is generally defined as the period from 250 to 900, the last century of which is referred to as the Terminal Classic.[1] The classic Maya collapse is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in archaeology. Urban centers of the southern lowlands, among them Palenque, Copn, Tikal, Calakmul, went into decline during the 8th and 9thcenturies and were abandoned shortly thereafter. Archaeologically, this decline is indicated by the cessation of monumental inscriptions and the reduction of large-scale architectural construction at the primary urban centers of the classic period.

Although termed a collapse, it did not mark the end of the Maya civilization; Northern Yucatn in particular prospered afterwards, although with very different artistic and architectural styles, and with much less use of monumental hieroglyphic writing. In the post-classic period following the collapse, the state of Chichn Itz built an empire that briefly united much of the Maya region,[citation needed] and centers such as Mayapn and Uxmal flourished, as did the Highland states of the Kiche and Kaqchikel Maya. Independent Maya civilization continued until 1697 when the Spanish conquered Nojpetn, the last independent city-state. Millions of Maya people still inhabit the Yucatn peninsula today.

Because parts of Maya civilization unambiguously continued, a number of scholars strongly dislike the term collapse.[2] Regarding the proposed collapse, E. W. Andrews IV went as far as to say, in my belief no such thing happened.[3]

The Maya often recorded dates on monuments they built. Few dated monuments were being built circa 500 around ten per year in 514, for example. The number steadily increased to make this number twenty per year by 672 and forty by around 750. After this, the number of dated monuments begins to falter relatively quickly, collapsing back to ten by 800 and to zero by 900. Likewise, recorded lists of kings complement this analysis. Altar Q shows a reign of kings from 426 to 763. One last king not recorded on Altar Q was Ukit Took, Patron of Flint, who was probably a usurper. The dynasty is believed to have collapsed entirely shortly thereafter. In Quirigua, twenty miles north of Copn, the last king Jade Sky began his rule between 895 and 900, and throughout the Maya area all kingdoms similarly fell around that time.[4]

A third piece of evidence of the progression of Maya decline, gathered by Ann Corinne Freter, Nancy Gonlin, and David Webster, uses a technique called obsidian hydration. The technique allowed them to map the spread and growth of settlements in the Copn Valley and estimate their populations. Between 400 and 450, the population was estimated at a peak of twenty-eight thousand between 750 and 800 larger than London at the time. Population then began to steadily decline. By 900 the population had fallen to fifteen thousand, and by 1200 the population was again less than 1000.

Some 88 different theories or variations of theories attempting to explain the Classic Maya Collapse have been identified.[5] From climate change to deforestation to lack of action by Mayan kings, there is no universally accepted collapse theory, although drought is gaining momentum as the leading explanation.[6]

The archaeological evidence of the Toltec intrusion into Seibal, Peten, suggests to some the theory of foreign invasion. The latest hypothesis states that the southern lowlands were invaded by a non-Maya group whose homelands were probably in the gulf coast lowlands. This invasion began in the 9thcentury and set off, within 100years, a group of events that destroyed the Classic Maya. It is believed that this invasion was somehow influenced by the Toltec people of central Mexico. However, most Mayanists do not believe that foreign invasion was the main cause of the Classic Maya Collapse; they postulate that no military defeat can explain or be the cause of the protracted and complex Classic Collapse process. Teotihuacan influence across the Maya region may have involved some form of military invasion; however, it is generally noted that significant Teotihuacan-Maya interactions date from at least the Early Classic period, well before the episodes of Late Classic collapse.[7]

The foreign invasion theory does not answer the question of where the inhabitants went. David Webster believed that the population should have increased because of the lack of elite power. Further, it is not understood why the governmental institutions were not remade following the revolts, which actually happened under similar circumstances in places like China. A study by anthropologist Elliot M. Abrams came to the conclusion that buildings, specifically in Copan, did not actually require an extensive amount of time and workers to construct.[8] However, this theory was developed during a time period when the archaeological evidence showed that there were fewer Maya people than there are now known to have been.[9] Revolutions, peasant revolts, and social turmoil change circumstances, and are often followed by foreign wars, but they run their course. There are no documented revolutions that caused wholesale abandonment of entire regions.

It has been hypothesized that the decline of the Maya is related to the collapse of their intricate trade systems, especially those connected to the central Mexican city of Teotihuacn. Preceding improved knowledge of the chronology of Mesoamerica, Teotihuacan was believed to have fallen during 700750, forcing the restructuring of economic relations throughout highland Mesoamerica and the Gulf Coast.[10] This remaking of relationships between civilizations would have then given the collapse of the Classic Maya a slightly later date. However, after knowing more about the events and the time periods that they occurred, it is now believed that the strongest Teotihuacan influence was during the 4th and 5thcenturies. In addition, the civilization of Teotihuacan started to lose its power, and maybe even abandoned the city, during 600650. This differs greatly from the previous belief that Teotihuacano power decreased during 700750.[11] But since the new decline date of 600650 has been accepted, the Maya civilizations are now thought to have lived on and prospered for another century and more[12] than what was previously believed. Rather than the decline of Teotihuacan directly preceding the collapse of the Maya, their decline is now seen as contributing to the 6thcentury hiatus.[12]

The disease theory is also a contender as a factor in the Classic Maya Collapse. Widespread disease could explain some rapid depopulation, both directly through the spread of infection itself and indirectly as an inhibition to recovery over the long run. According to Dunn (1968) and Shimkin (1973), infectious diseases spread by parasites are common in tropical rainforest regions, such as the Maya lowlands. Shimkin specifically suggests that the Maya may have encountered endemic infections related to American trypanosomiasis, Ascaris, and some enteropathogens that cause acute diarrheal illness. Furthermore, some experts believe that, through development of their civilization (that is, development of agriculture and settlements), the Maya could have created a disturbed environment, in which parasitic and pathogen-carrying insects often thrive.[13] Among the pathogens listed above, it is thought that those that cause the acute diarrheal illnesses would have been the most devastating to the Maya population. This is because such illness would have struck a victim at an early age, thereby hampering nutritional health and the natural growth and development of a child. This would have made them more susceptible to other diseases later in life. Such ideas as this could explain the role of disease as at least a possible partial reason for the Classic Maya Collapse.[14]

Mega-droughts hit the Yucatn Peninsula and Petn Basin areas with particular ferocity, as thin tropical soils decline in fertility and become unworkable when deprived of forest cover,[15] and due to regular seasonal drought drying up surface water.[16] Colonial Spanish officials accurately documented cycles of drought, famine, disease, and war, providing a reliable historical record of the basic drought pattern in the Maya region.[17]

Climatic factors were first implicated in the Collapse as early as 1931 by Mayanists Thomas Gann and J.E.S. Thompson.[18] In The Great Maya Droughts, Richardson Gill gathers and analyzes an array of climatic, historical, hydrologic, tree ring, volcanic, geologic, lake bed, and archeological research, and demonstrates that a prolonged series of droughts probably caused the Classic Maya Collapse.[19] The drought theory provides a comprehensive explanation, because non-environmental and cultural factors (excessive warfare, foreign invasion, peasant revolt, less trade, etc.) can all be explained by the effects of prolonged drought on Classic Maya civilization.[20]

Climatic changes are, with increasing frequency, found to be major drivers in the rise and fall of civilizations all over the world.[21] Professors Harvey Weiss of Yale University and Raymond S. Bradley of the University of Massachusetts have written, Many lines of evidence now point to climate forcing as the primary agent in repeated social collapse.[22] In a separate publication, Weiss illustrates an emerging understanding of scientists:

Within the past five years new tools and new data for archaeologists, climatologists, and historians have brought us to the edge of a new era in the study of global and hemispheric climate change and its cultural impacts. The climate of the Holocene, previously assumed static, now displays a surprising dynamism, which has affected the agricultural bases of pre-industrial societies. The list of Holocene climate alterations and their socio-economic effects has rapidly become too complex for brief summary.[23]

The drought theory holds that rapid climate change in the form of severe drought brought about the Classic Maya collapse. According to the particular version put forward by Gill in The Great Maya Droughts,

[Studies of] Yucatecan lake sediment cores provide unambiguous evidence for a severe 200-year drought from AD800 to 1000 the most severe in the last 7,000years precisely at the time of the Maya Collapse.[24]

Climatic modeling, tree ring data, and historical climate data show that cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere is associated with drought in Mesoamerica.[25] Northern Europe suffered extremely low temperatures around the same time as the Maya droughts. The same connection between drought in the Maya areas and extreme cold in northern Europe was found again at the beginning of the 20thcentury. Volcanic activity, within and outside Mesoamerica, is also correlated with colder weather and resulting drought, as the effects of the Tambora volcano eruption in 1815 indicate.[26]

Mesoamerican civilization provides a remarkable exception: civilization prospering in the tropical swampland. The Maya are often perceived as having lived in a rainforest, but technically, they lived in a seasonal desert without access to stable sources of drinking water.[27] The exceptional accomplishments of the Maya are even more remarkable because of their engineered response to the fundamental environmental difficulty of relying upon rainwater rather than permanent sources of water. The Maya succeeded in creating a civilization in a seasonal desert by creating a system of water storage and management which was totally dependent on consistent rainfall.[28] The constant need for water kept the Maya on the edge of survival. Given this precarious balance of wet and dry conditions, even a slight shift in the distribution of annual precipitation can have serious consequences.[16] Water and civilization were vitally connected in ancient Mesoamerica. Archaeologist and specialist in pre-industrial land and water usage practices, Vernon Scarborough, believes water management and access were critical to the development of Maya civilization.[29]

Critics of the drought theory wonder why the southern and central lowland cities were abandoned and the northern cities like Chichen Itza, Uxmal, and Coba continued to thrive.[30] One critic argued that Chichen Itza revamped its political, military, religious, and economic institutions away from powerful lords or kings.[31] Inhabitants of the northern Yucatn also had access to seafood, which might have explained the survival of Chichen Itza and Mayapan, cities away from the coast but within reach of coastal food supplies.[32] Critics of the drought theory also point to current weather patterns: much heavier rainfall in the southern lowlands compared to the lighter amount of rain in the northern Yucatn. Drought theory supporters state that the entire regional climate changed, including the amount of rainfall, so that modern rainfall patterns are not indicative of rainfall from 800 to 900. LSU archaeologist Heather McKillop found a significant rise in sea level along the coast nearest the southern Maya lowlands, coinciding with the end of the Classic period, and indicating climate change.[33]

David Webster, a critic of the megadrought theory says that much of the evidence provided by Gill comes from the northern Yucatn and not the Southern part of the peninsula, where Classic Maya civilization flourished. He also states that if water sources were to have dried up, then several city-states would have moved to other water sources. The fact that Gill suggests that all water in the region would have dried up and destroyed Maya civilization is a stretch, according to Webster.[34]

A study published in Science in 2012 found that modest rainfall reductions, amounting to only 25 to 40 percent of annual rainfall, may have been the tipping point to the Mayan collapse. Based on samples of lake and cave sediments in the areas surrounding major Mayan cities, the researchers were able to determine the amount of annual rainfall in the region. The mild droughts that took place between 800-950 would therefore be enough to rapidly deplete seasonal water supplies in the Yucatn lowlands, where there are no rivers.[35][36][37]

Some ecological theories of Maya decline focus on the worsening agricultural and resource conditions in the late Classic period. It was originally thought that the majority of Maya agriculture was dependent on a simple slash-and-burn system. Based on this method, the hypothesis of soil exhaustion was advanced by Orator F. Cook in 1921. Similar soil exhaustion assumptions are associated with erosion, intensive agricultural, and savanna grass competition.

More recent investigations have shown a complicated variety of intensive agricultural techniques utilized by the Maya, explaining the high population of the Classic Maya polities. Modern archaeologists now comprehend the sophisticated intensive and productive agricultural techniques of the ancient Maya, and several of the Maya agricultural methods have not yet been reproduced. Intensive agricultural methods were developed and utilized by all the Mesoamerican cultures to boost their food production and give them a competitive advantage over less skillful peoples.[38] These intensive agricultural methods included canals, terracing, raised fields, ridged fields, chinampas, the use of human feces as fertilizer, seasonal swamps or bajos, using muck from the bajos to create fertile fields, dikes, dams, irrigation, water reservoirs, several types of water storage systems, hydraulic systems, swamp reclamation, swidden systems, and other agricultural techniques that have not yet been fully understood.[39] Systemic ecological collapse is said to be evidenced by deforestation, siltation, and the decline of biological diversity.

In addition to mountainous terrain, Mesoamericans successfully exploited the very problematic tropical rainforest for 1,500years.[40] The agricultural techniques utilized by the Maya were entirely dependent upon ample supplies of water. The Maya thrived in territory that would be uninhabitable to most peoples. Their success over two millennia in this environment was amazing.[41]

Anthropologist Joseph Tainter wrote extensively about the collapse of the Southern Lowland Maya in his 1988 study, The Collapse of Complex Societies. His theory about Mayan collapse encompasses some of the above explanations, but focuses specifically on the development of and the declining marginal returns from the increasing social complexity of the competing Mayan city-states.[42] Psychologist Julian Jaynes suggested that the collapse was due to a failure in the social control systems of religion and political authority, due to increasing socioeconomic complexity that overwhelmed the power of traditional rituals and the kings authority to compel obedience.[43]

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Entheogens & Existential Intelligence: The Use of Plant …

 Entheogens  Comments Off on Entheogens & Existential Intelligence: The Use of Plant …
Jun 172016
 

Used with permission. The official published version : http://www.csse.ca/CJE/Articles/FullText/CJE27-4/CJE27-4-tupper.pdf

Painting by Yvonne McGillivray

In light of recent specific liberalizations in drug laws in some countries, this article investigates the potential of entheogens (i.e. psychoactive plants used as spiritual sacraments) as tools to facilitate existential intelligence. Plant teachers from the Americas such as ayahuasca, psilocybin mushrooms, peyote, and the Indo-Aryan soma of Eurasia are examples of both past- and presently-used entheogens. These have all been revered as spiritual or cognitive tools to provide a richer cosmological understanding of the world for both human individuals and cultures. I use Howard Gardners (1999a) revised multiple intelligence theory and his postulation of an existential intelligence as a theoretical lens through which to account for the cognitive possibilities of entheogens and explore potential ramifications for education.

In this article I assess and further develop the possibility of an existential intelligence as postulated by Howard Gardner (1999a). Moreover, I entertain the possibility that some kinds of psychoactive substancesentheogenshave the potential to facilitate this kind of intelligence. This issue arises from the recent liberalization of drug laws in several Western industrialized countries to allow for the sacramental use of ayahuasca, a psychoactive tea brewed from plants indigenous to the Amazon. I challenge readers to step outside a long-standing dominant paradigm in modern Western culture that a priori regards hallucinogenic drug use as necessarily maleficent and devoid of any merit. I intend for my discussion to confront assumptions about drugs that have unjustly perpetuated the disparagement and prohibition of some kinds of psychoactive substance use. More broadly, I intend for it to challenge assumptions about intelligence that constrain contemporary educational thought.

Entheogen is a word coined by scholars proposing to replace the term psychedelic (Ruck, Bigwood, Staples, Ott, & Wasson, 1979), which was felt to overly connote psychological and clinical paradigms and to be too socio-culturally loaded from its 1960s roots to appropriately designate the revered plants and substances used in traditional rituals. I use both terms in this article: entheogen when referring to a substance used as a spiritual or sacramental tool, and psychedelic when referring to one used for any number of purposes during or following the so-called psychedelic era of the 1960s (recognizing that some contemporary non-indigenous uses may be entheogenicthe categories are by no means clearly discreet). What kinds of plants or chemicals fall into the category of entheogen is a matter of debate, as a large number of inebriantsfrom coca and marijuana to alcohol and opiumhave been venerated as gifts from the gods (or God) in different cultures at different times. For the purposes of this article, however, I focus on the class of drugs that Lewin (1924/1997) termed phantastica, a name deriving from the Greek word for the faculty of imagination (Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 1973). Later these substances became known as hallucinogens or psychedelics, a class whose members include lysergic acid derivatives, psilocybin, mescaline and dimethyltryptamine. With the exception of mescaline, these all share similar chemical structures; all, including mescaline, produce similar phenomenological effects; and, more importantly for the present discussion, all have a history of ritual use as psychospiritual medicines or, as I argue, cultural tools to facilitate cognition (Schultes & Hofmann, 1992).

The issue of entheogen use in modern Western culture becomes more significant in light of several legal precedents in countries such as Brazil, Holland, Spain and soon perhaps the United States and Canada. Ayahuasca, which I discuss in more detail in the following section on plant teachers, was legalized for religious use by non-indigenous people in Brazil in 1987i. One Brazilian group, the Santo Daime, was using its sacrament in ceremonies in the Netherlands when, in the autumn of 1999, authorities intervened and arrested its leaders. This was the first case of religious intolerance by a Dutch government in over three hundred years. A subsequent legal challenge, based on European Union religious freedom laws, saw them acquitted of all charges, setting a precedent for the rest of Europe (Adelaars, 2001). A similar case in Spain resulted in the Spanish government granting the right to use ayahuasca in that country. A recent court decision in the United States by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 4th, 2003, ruled in favour of religious freedom to use ayahuasca (Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, 2003). And in Canada, an application to Health Canada and the Department of Justice for exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is pending, which may permit the Santo Daime Church the religious use of their sacrament, known as Daime or Santo Daimeii (J.W. Rochester, personal communication, October 8th, 2003)

One of the questions raised by this trend of liberalization in otherwise prohibitionist regulatory regimes is what benefits substances such as ayahuasca have. The discussion that follows takes up this question with respect to contemporary psychological theories about intelligence and touches on potential ramifications for education. The next section examines the metaphor of plant teachers, which is not uncommon among cultures that have traditionally practiced the entheogenic use of plants. Following that, I use Howard Gardners theory of multiple intelligences (1983) as a theoretical framework with which to account for cognitive implications of entheogen use. Finally, I take up a discussion of possible relevance of existential intelligence and entheogens to education.

Before moving on to a broader discussion of intelligence(s), I will provide some background on ayahuasca and entheogens. Ayahuasca has been a revered plant teacher among dozens of South American indigenous peoples for centuries, if not longer (Luna, 1984; Schultes & Hofmann, 1992). The word ayahuasca is from the Quechua language of indigenous peoples of Ecuador and Peru, and translates as vine of the soul (Metzner, 1999). Typically, it refers to a tea made from a jungle liana, Banisteriopsis caapi, with admixtures of other plants, but most commonly the leaves of a plant from the coffee family, Psychotria viridis (McKenna, 1999). These two plants respectively contain harmala alkaloids and dimethyltryptamine, two substances that when ingested orally create a biochemical synergy capable of producing profound alterations in consciousness (Grob, et al., 1996; McKenna, Towers & Abbot, 1984). Among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, ayahuasca is one of the most valuable medicinal and sacramental plants in their pharmacopoeias. Although shamans in different tribes use the tea for various purposes, and have varying recipes for it, the application of ayahuasca as an effective tool to attain understanding and wisdom is one of the most prevalent (Brown, 1986; Dobkin de Rios, 1984).

Notwithstanding the explosion of popular interest in psychoactive drugs during the 1960s, ayahuasca until quite recently managed to remain relatively obscure in Western cultureiii. However, the late 20th century saw the growth of religious movements among non-indigenous people in Brazil syncretizing the use of ayahuasca with Christian symbolism, African spiritualism, and native ritual. Two of the more widespread ayahuasca churches are the Santo Daime (Santo Daime, 2004) and the Unio do Vegetal (Unio do Vegetal, 2004). These organizations have in the past few decades gained legitimacy as valid, indeed valuable, spiritual practices providing social, psychological and spiritual benefits (Grob, 1999; Riba, et al., 2001).

Ayahuasca is not the only plant teacher in the pantheon of entheogenic tools. Other indigenous peoples of the Americas have used psilocybin mushrooms for millennia for spiritual and healing purposes (Dobkin de Rios, 1973; Wasson, 1980). Similarly, the peyote cactus has a long history of use by Mexican indigenous groups (Fikes, 1996; Myerhoff, 1974; Stewart, 1987), and is currently widely used in the United States by the Native American Church (LaBarre, 1989; Smith & Snake, 1996). And even in the early history of Western culture, the ancient Indo-Aryan texts of the Rig Veda sing the praises of the deified Soma (Pande, 1984). Although the taxonomic identity of Soma is lost, it seems to have been a plant or mushroom and had the power to reliably induce mystical experiencesan entheogen par excellence (Eliade, 1978; Wasson, 1968). The variety of entheogens extends far beyond the limited examples I have offered here. However, ayahuasca, psilocybin mushrooms, peyote and Soma are exemplars of plants which have been culturally esteemed for their psychological and spiritual impacts on both individuals and communities.

In this article I argue that the importance of entheogens lies in their role as tools, as mediators between mind and environment. Defining a psychoactive drug as a toolperhaps a novel concept for someinvokes its capacity to effect a purposeful change on the mind/body. Commenting on Vygotskys notions of psychological tools, John-Steiner and Souberman (1978) note that tool use has . . . important effects upon internal and functional relationships within the human brain (p. 133). Although they were likely not thinking of drugs as tools, the significance of this observation becomes even more literal when the tools in question are plants or chemicals ingested with the intent of affecting consciousness through the manipulation of brain chemistry. Indeed, psychoactive plants or chemicals seem to defy the traditional bifurcation between physical and psychological tools, as they affect the mind/body (understood by modern psychologists to be identical).

It is important to consider the degree to which the potential of entheogens comes not only from their immediate neuropsychological effects, but also from the social practicesritualsinto which their use has traditionally been incorporated (Dobkin de Rios, 1996; Smith, 2000). The protective value that ritual provides for entheogen use is evident from its universal application in traditional practices (Weil, 1972/1986). Medical evidence suggests that there are minimal physiological risks associated with psychedelic drugs (Callaway, et al., 1999; Grinspoon & Bakalar, 1979/1998; Julien, 1998). Albert Hofmann (1980), the chemist who first accidentally synthesized and ingested LSD, contends that the psychological risks associated with psychedelics in modern Western culture are a function of their recreational use in unsafe circumstances. A ritual context, however, offers psychospiritual safeguards that make the potential of entheogenic plant teachers to enhance cognition an intriguing possibility.

Howard Gardner (1983) developed a theory of multiple intelligences that originally postulated seven types of intelligence (iv). Since then, he has added a naturalist intelligence and entertained the possibility of a spiritual intelligence (1999a; 1999b). Not wanting to delve too far into territory fraught with theological pitfalls, Gardner (1999a) settled on looking at existential intelligence rather than spiritual intelligence (p. 123). Existential intelligence, as Gardner characterizes it, involves having a heightened capacity to appreciate and attend to the cosmological enigmas that define the human condition, an exceptional awareness of the metaphysical, ontological and epistemological mysteries that have been a perennial concern for people of all cultures (1999a).

In his original formulation of the theory, Gardner challenges (narrow) mainstream definitions of intelligence with a broader one that sees intelligence as the ability to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in at least one culture or community (1999a, p. 113). He lays out eight criteria, or signs, that he argues should be used to identify an intelligence; however, he notes that these do not constitute necessary conditions for determining an intelligence, merely desiderata that a candidate intelligence should meet (1983, p. 62). He also admits that none of his original seven intelligences fulfilled all the criteria, although they all met a majority of the eight. For existential intelligence, Gardner himself identifies six which it seems to meet; I will look at each of these and discuss their merits in relation to entheogens.

One criterion applicable to existential intelligence is the identification of a neural substrate to which the intelligence may correlate. Gardner (1999a) notes that recent neuropsychological evidence supports the hypothesis that the brains temporal lobe plays a key role in producing mystical states of consciousness and spiritual awareness (p. 124-5; LaPlante, 1993; Newberg, DAquili & Rause, 2001). He also recognizes that certain brain centres and neural transmitters are mobilized in [altered consciousness] states, whether they are induced by the ingestion of substances or by a control of the will (Gardner, 1999a, p.125). Another possibility, which Gardner does not explore, is that endogenous dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in humans may play a significant role in the production of spontaneous or induced altered states of consciousness (Pert, 2001). DMT is a powerful entheogenic substance that exists naturally in the mammalian brain (Barker, Monti & Christian, 1981), as well as being a common constituent of ayahuasca and the Amazonian snuff, yopo (Ott, 1994). Furthermore, DMT is a close analogue of the neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine, or serotonin. It has been known for decades that the primary neuropharmacological action of psychedelics has been on serotonin systems, and serotonin is now understood to be correlated with healthy modes of consciousness.

One psychiatric researcher has recently hypothesized that endogenous DMT stimulates the pineal gland to create such spontaneous psychedelic states as near-death experiences (Strassman, 2001). Whether this is correct or not, the role of DMT in the brain is an area of empirical research that deserves much more attention, especially insofar as it may contribute to an evidential foundation for existential intelligence.

Another criterion for an intelligence is the existence of individuals of exceptional ability within the domain of that intelligence. Unfortunately, existential precocity is not something sufficiently valued in modern Western culture to the degree that savants in this domain are commonly celebrated today. Gardner (1999a) observes that within Tibetan Buddhism, the choosing of lamas may involve the detection of a predisposition to existential intellect (if it is not identifying the reincarnation of a previous lama, as Tibetan Buddhists themselves believe) (p. 124). Gardner also cites Czikszentmilhalyis consideration of the early-emerging concerns for cosmic issues of the sort reported in the childhoods of future religious leaders like Gandhi and of several future physicists (Gardner, 1999a, p. 124; Czikszentmilhalyi, 1996). Presumably, some individuals who are enjoined to enter a monastery or nunnery at a young age may be so directed due to an appreciable manifestation of existential awareness. Likewise, individuals from indigenous cultures who take up shamanic practicewho have abilities beyond others to dream, to imagine, to enter states of trance (Larsen, 1976, p. 9)often do so because of a significant interest in cosmological concerns at a young age, which could be construed as a prodigious capacity in the domain of existential intelligencev (Eliade, 1964; Greeley, 1974; Halifax, 1979).

The third criterion for determining an intelligence that Gardner suggests is an identifiable set of core operational abilities that manifest that intelligence. Gardner finds this relatively unproblematic and articulates the core operations for existential intelligence as:

the capacity to locate oneself with respect to the farthest reaches of the cosmosthe infinite no less than the infinitesimaland the related capacity to locate oneself with respect to the most existential aspects of the human condition: the significance of life, the meaning of death, the ultimate fate of the physical and psychological worlds, such profound experiences as love of another human being or total immersion in a work of art. (1999a, p. 123)

Gardner notes that as with other more readily accepted types of intelligence, there is no specific truth that one would attain with existential intelligencefor example, as musical intelligence does not have to manifest itself in any specific genre or category of music, neither does existential intelligence privilege any one philosophical system or spiritual doctrine. As Gardner (1999a) puts it, there exists [with existential intelligence] a species potentialor capacityto engage in transcendental concerns that can be aroused and deployed under certain circumstances (p. 123). Reports on uses of psychedelics by Westerners in the 1950s and early 1960sgenerated prior to their prohibition and, some might say, profanationreveal a recurrent theme of spontaneous mystical experiences that are consistent with enhanced capacity of existential intelligence (Huxley, 1954/1971; Masters & Houston, 1966; Pahnke, 1970; Smith, 1964; Watts, 1958/1969).

Another criterion for admitting an intelligence is identifying a developmental history and a set of expert end-state performances for it. Pertaining to existential intelligence, Gardner notes that all cultures have devised spiritual or metaphysical systems to deal with the inherent human capacity for existential issues, and further that these respective systems invariably have steps or levels of sophistication separating the novice from the adept. He uses the example of Pope John XXIIIs description of his training to advance up the ecclesiastic hierarchy as a contemporary illustration of this point (1999a, p. 124). However, the instruction of the neophyte is a manifest part of almost all spiritual training and, again, the demanding process of imparting of shamanic wisdomoften including how to effectively and appropriately use entheogensis an excellent example of this process in indigenous cultures (Eliade, 1964).

A fifth criterion Gardner suggests for an intelligence is determining its evolutionary history and evolutionary plausibility. The self-reflexive question of when and why existential intelligence first arose in the Homo genus is one of the perennial existential questions of humankind. That it is an exclusively human trait is almost axiomatic, although a small but increasing number of researchers are willing to admit the possibility of higher forms of cognition in non-human animals (Masson & McCarthy, 1995; Vonk, 2003). Gardner (1999a) argues that only by the Upper Paleolithic period did human beings within a culture possess a brain capable of considering the cosmological issues central to existential intelligence (p. 124) and that the development of a capacity for existential thinking may be linked to a conscious sense of finite space and irreversible time, two promising loci for stimulating imaginative explorations of transcendental spheres (p. 124). He also suggests that thoughts about existential issues may well have evolved as responses to necessarily occurring pain, perhaps as a way of reducing pain or better equipping individuals to cope with it (Gardner, 1999a, p. 125). As with determining the evolutionary origin of language, tracing a phylogenesis of existential intelligence is conjectural at best. Its role in the development of the species is equally difficult to assess, although Winkelman (2000) argues that consciousness and shamanic practicesand presumably existential intelligence as wellstem from psychobiological adaptations integrating older and more recently evolved structures in the triune hominid brain. McKenna (1992) goes even so far as to postulate that the ingestion of psychoactive substances such as entheogenic mushrooms may have helped stimulate cognitive developments such as existential and linguistic thinking in our proto-human ancestors. Some researchers in the 1950s and 1960s found enhanced creativity and problem-solving skills among subjects given LSD and other psychedelic drugs (Harman, McKim, Mogar, Fadiman & Stolaroff, 1966; Izumi, 1970; Krippner, 1985; Stafford & Golightly, 1967), skills which certainly would have been evolutionarily advantageous to our hominid ancestors. Such avenues of investigation are beginning to be broached again by both academic scholars and amateur psychonauts (Dobkin de Rios & Janiger, 2003; Spitzer, et al., 1996; MAPS Bulletin, 2000).

The final criterion Gardner mentions as applicable to existential intelligence is susceptibility to encoding in a symbol system. Here, again, Gardner concedes that there is abundant evidence in favour of accepting existential thinking as an intelligence. In his words, many of the most important and most enduring sets of symbol systems (e.g., those featured in the Catholic liturgy) represent crystallizations of key ideas and experiences that have evolved within [cultural] institutions (1999a, p. 123). Another salient example that illustrates this point is the mytho-symbolism ascribed to ayahuasca visions among the Tukano, an Amazonian indigenous people. Reichel-Dolmatoff (1975) made a detailed study of these visions by asking a variety of informants to draw representations with sticks in the dirt (p. 174). He compiled twenty common motifs, observing that most of them bear a striking resemblance to phosphene patterns (i.e. visual phenomena perceived in the absence of external stimuli or by applying light pressure to the eyeball) compiled by Max Knoll (Oster, 1970). The Tukano interpret these universal human neuropsychological phenomena as symbolically significant according to their traditional ayahuasca-steeped mythology, reflecting the codification of existential ideas within their culture.

Narby (1998) also examines the codification of symbols generated during ayahuasca experiences by tracing similarities between intertwining snake motifs in the visions of Amazonian shamans and the double-helix structure of deoxyribonucleic acid. He found remarkable similarities between representations of biological knowledge by indigenous shamans and those of modern geneticists. More recently, Narby (2002) has followed up on this work by bringing molecular biologists to the Amazon to participate in ayahuasca ceremonies with experiences shamans, an endeavour he suggests may provide useful cross-fertilization in divergent realms of human knowledge.

The two other criteria of an intelligence are support from experimental psychological tasks and support from psychometric findings. Gardner suggests that existential intelligence is more debatable within these domains, citing personality inventories that attempt to measure religiosity or spirituality; he notes, it remains unclear just what is being probed by such instruments and whether self-report is a reliable index of existential intelligence (1999a, p. 125). It seems transcendental states of consciousness and the cognition they engender do not lend themselves to quantification or easy replication in psychology laboratories. However, Strassman, Qualls, Uhlenhuth, & Kellner (1994) developed a psychometric instrumentthe Hallucinogen Rating Scaleto measure human responses to intravenous administration of DMT, and it has since been reliably used for other psychedelic experiences (Riba, Rodriguez-Fornells, Strassman, & Barbanoj, 2001).

One historical area of empirical psychological research that did ostensibly stimulate a form of what might be considered existential intelligence was clinical investigations into psychedelics. Until such research became academically unfashionable and then politically impossible in the early 1970s, psychologists and clinical researchers actively explored experimentally-induced transcendent experiences using drugs in the interests of both pure science and applied medical treatments (Abramson, 1967; Cohen, 1964; Grinspoon & Bakalar, 1979/1998; Masters & Houston, 1966). One of the more famous of these was Pahnkes (1970) so-called Good Friday experiment, which attempted to induce spiritual experiences with psilocybin within a randomized double-blind control methodology. His conclusion that mystical experiences were indeed reliably produced, despite methodological problems with the study design, was borne out by a critical long-term follow-up (Doblin, 1991), which raises intriguing questions about both entheogens and existential intelligence.

Studies such as Pahnkes (1970), despite their promise, were prematurely terminated due to public pressure from a populace alarmed by burgeoning contemporary recreational drug use. Only about a decade ago did the United States government give researchers permission to renew (on a very small scale) investigations into psychedelics (Strassman 2001; Strassman & Qualls, 1994). Cognitive psychologists are also taking an interest in entheogens such as ayahuasca (Shanon, 2002). Regardless of whether support for existential intelligence can be established psychometrically or in experimental psychological tasks, Gardners theory expressly stipulates that not all eight criteria must be uniformly met in order for an intelligence to qualify. Nevertheless, Gardner claims to find the phenomenon perplexing enough, and the distance from other intelligences great enough (1999a, p. 127) to be reluctant at present to add existential intelligence to the list . . . . At most [he is] willing, Fellini-style, to joke about 8 intelligences (p. 127). I contend that research into entheogens and other means of altering consciousness will further support the case for treating existential intelligence as a valid cognitive domain.

By recapitulating and augmenting Gardners discussion of existential intelligence, I hope to have strengthened the case for its inclusion as a valid cognitive domain. However, doing so raises questions of what ramifications an acceptance of existential intelligence would have for contemporary Western educational theory and practice. How might we foster this hitherto neglected intelligence and allow it to be used in constructive ways? There is likely a range of educational practices that could be used to stimulate cognition in this domain, many of which could be readily implemented without much controversy.vi Yet I intentionally raise the prospect of using entheogens in this capacitynot with young children, but perhaps with older teens in the passage to adulthoodto challenge theorists, policy-makers and practitioners.vii

The potential of entheogens as tools for education in contemporary Western culture was identified by Aldous Huxley. Although better known as a novelist than as a philosopher of education, Huxley spent a considerable amount of timeparticularly as he neared the end of his lifeaddressing the topic of education. Like much of his literature, Huxleys observations and critiques of the socio-cultural forces at work in his time were cannily prescient; they bear as much, if not more, relevance in the 21st century as when they were written. Most remarkably, and relevant to my thesis, Huxley saw entheogens as possible educational tools:

Under the current dispensation the vast majority of individuals lose, in the course of education, all the openness to inspiration, all the capacity to be aware of other things than those enumerated in the Sears-Roebuck catalogue which constitutes the conventionally real world . . . . Is it too much to hope that a system of education may some day be devised, which shall give results, in terms of human development, commensurate with the time, money, energy and devotion expended? In such a system of education it may be that mescalin or some other chemical substance may play a part by making it possible for young people to taste and see what they have learned about at second hand . . . in the writings of the religious, or the works of poets, painters and musicians. (Letter to Dr. Humphrey Osmond, April 10th, 1953in Horowitz & Palmer, 1999, p.30)

In a more literary expression of this notion, Huxleys final novel Island (1962) portrays an ideal culture that has achieved a balance of scientific and spiritual thinking, and which also incorporates the ritualized use of entheogens for education. The representation of drug use that Huxley portrays in Island contrasts markedly with the more widely-known soma of his earlier novel, Brave New World (1932/1946): whereas soma was a pacifier that muted curiosity and served the interests of the controlling elite, the entheogenic moksha medicine of Island offered liminal experiences in young adults that stimulated profound reflection, self-actualization and, I submit, existential intelligence.

Huxleys writings point to an implicit recognition of the capacity of entheogens to be used as educational tools. The concept of tool here refers not merely the physical devices fashioned to aid material production, but, following Vygotsky (1978), more broadly to those means of symbolic and/or cultural mediation between the mind and the world (Cole, 1996; Wertsch, 1991). Of course, deriving educational benefit from a tool requires much more than simply having and wielding it; one must also have an intrinsic respect for the object qua tool, a cultural system in which the tool is valued as such, and guides or teachers who are adept at using the tool to provide helpful direction. As Larsen (1976) remarks in discussing the phenomenon of would-be shamans in Western culture experimenting with mind-altering chemicals: we have no symbolic vocabulary, no grounded mythological tradition to make our experiences comprehensible to us . . . no senior shamans to help ensure that our [shamanic experience of] dismemberment be followed by a rebirth (p. 81). Given the recent history of these substances in modern Western culture, it is hardly surprising that they have been demonized (Hofmann, 1980). However, cultural practices that have traditionally used entheogens as therapeutic agents consistently incorporate protective safeguardsset, settingviii, established dosages, and mythocultural respect (Zinberg, 1984). The fear that inevitably arises in modern Western culture when addressing the issue of entheogens stems, I submit, not from any properties intrinsic to the substances themselves, but rather from a general misunderstanding of their power and capacity as tools. Just as a sharp knife can be used for good or ill, depending on whether it is in the hands of a skilled surgeon or a reckless youth, so too can entheogens be used or misused.

The use of entheogens such as ayahuasca is exemplary of the long and ongoing tradition in many cultures to employ psychoactives as tools that stimulate foundational types of understanding (Tupper, in press). That such substances are capable of stimulating profoundly transcendent experiences is evident from both the academic literature and anecdotal reports. Accounting fully for their action, however, requires going beyond the usual explanatory schemas: applying Gardners (1999a) multiple intelligence theory as a heuristic framework opens new ways of understanding entheogens and their potential benefits. At the same time, entheogens bolster the case for Gardners proposed addition of existential intelligence. This article attempts to present these concepts in such a way that the possibility of using entheogens as tools is taken seriously by those with an interest in new and transformative ideas in education.

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Transhuman – Transformers Wiki – TFWiki.net

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Jun 172016
 

After Shockwave is critically injured protecting Sephie, she looks for a way to defend herself against the Autobots.

The Decepticons put the finishing touches on a stellar spanner built within the volcano their ship crashed in, and use it to contact Cybertron. They’re overjoyed to get in touch with Heatwave, whom they thought may have perished in the Autobots’ spanner experiments. They transmit the spanner schematics across.

A week later, a spanner has been constructed on Cybertron. The Decepticons, Cliffjumper, Professor Arkeville, Will, and Rick are there to greet the new ambassador Shockwave to Earth, along with his aide, Fistfight. Some of the Decepticons are picked for a troop exchange with Cybertron, however when they try to use the spanner again, an overload shuts it down, and they will need to recalibrate it to try again.

Rick goes to talk to Sephie, who missed Shockwave’s arrival, but she has news for him of her ownshe’s been offered a job by oil tycoon R.J. Blackrock. Sephie is not at her new job for long when she’s called to Blackrock’s office. Blackrock is looking forward to unveiling the company’s new Mega-Rig next week, and wants Sephie to invite her Decepticon friends along in case the Autobots put in an appearance.

The Decepticons agree, and attend the unveiling, but Blackrock’s speech is cut off by the arrival of a group of Autobots. The humans seek shelter, only to run into Seaspray. Seaspray recognizes Sephie and fires at her, but Shockwave protects the girl, taking the missile’s impact. Shockwave is badly damaged, but not critically, and the Decepticons take him back to base for repairs. Sephie is particularly upset at his sacrifice. She makes contact with her mysterious Internet contact, Stormbringer99, who turns out to be Jetstorm. She meets him near Tucson, and he gives her a gift with which to “save her species”.

Tailgate and his pet human Butch Witwicky are terrorizing the students of Franklin Burns High School when Sephie, now outfitted with golden electrical wiring covering her body, confronts them. Though Tailgate scoffs at the upstart human, Sephie is more than a match for him, blasting him until he retreats with Butch. The effort fries Sephie’s wiring, and her clothing, but the grateful students lend her clothing. Grabbing Arkeville’s cybernetic research, Sephie returns to Jetstorm and asks him for more help. Some time later, Sephie reveals her new upgrades to Rick and Will, who are duly horrified at her having replaced half her body with Cybertronian tech.

Elsewhere, Blackrock meets with Rodimus Prime and some other Autobots, and presents them with a gift of refined oil. Blackrock seeks weapons, which Goldbug regards as a bad idea, but Rodimus’s interest is raised.

Sephie shows her enhancements to Starscream and Soundwave, who are just as worried as the others at what she’s done. Starscream confines her to quarters until he and Arkeville can find some way to reverse the enhancements. She doesn’t take it well. In her quarters, she’s contacted on her oPhone by Blackrock, who claims the Autobots are forcing him to supply them with oil, and wants the Decepticons to arrange a trap. Sephie decides to go stop the Autobots herself. The Decepticons find out and prepare to go after her. Rick wants to go to, and Cliffjumper’s talk of Nebulans gives them the idea to modify Fistfight into an exosuit for Rick.

Currently Sephie isn’t in need of any help. Having downed Groove, she duplicates the abilities of his power chip rectifier and, introducing herself to Elita-One as “Emulator”, uses Groove’s fuel draining power and Tailgate’s magnetic power to disable her too. Rick finds Sephie at Arizona Bay, looking to attack the Autobot base, and tries to talk her out of it. They’re confronted by Rodimus, who distracts them while Wheeljack uses a microwave emitter to disable Sephie. Rick is blasted, and wakes up to see Wheeljack and Ratchet preparing to vivisect Sephie. Beachcomber detects a jamming field, which means the Decepticons are on their way.

Starscream’s team arrives, but the Autobots have two hostages, not to mention a bunch of hidden Autobots who surprise and overwhelm the Decepticons. The prisoners are dutifully bound and a firing squad prepared, however Soundwave reveals he’s not the one doing the jamming. As everyone looks up, a transport plane overhead drops off a massive robotic formBlackrock in his huge Centurion mech. While Blackrock fights the Autobots, Soundwave uses high-frequency vibrations to free himself, however he’s immediately incapacitated by Blackrock, who views both Autobot and Decepticon as potential technology goldmines. Rick, meanwhile, leaves Fistfight so he can help Sephie. Though Rick intends them to flee, Sephie wants to help stop the Autobots and Blackrock. She first frees Cliffjumper, knowing he’s pragmatic enough to free the other Decepticons before going after her, and then attacks the Centurion. With casualties mounting in the Autobot ranks, Rodimus sounds a retreat and they flee. Sephie uses Groove’s fuel evaporating powers on the Centurion, and Blackrock ejects as it begins to go critical. Sephie is forced to take the giant high into the air before it explodes. Sephie survives the explosion using Elita-One’s time-bubble power, returning to earth where she’s hugged by a relieved Rick. Starscream wants to turn Blackrock over to the authorities, but he points out that they’ve trespassed on his land and destroyed his machinery, so they’re the ones in the wrong. Also, he fires Sephie.

The Decepticons return to base, where Shockwave is repaired enough to be up and about, thanks to some hints from scans Starscream took of Sephie’s cybernetic systems. Starscream offers Sephie a place in the Decepticon team, but she turns him down, deciding to strike out on her own.

In the Autobot base, Rodimus gives a speech to his discouraged troops, announcing double energon rations, and promising pay bonuses for anyone who snuffs a Decepticon or obtains technology or oil. Morale rises.

Jetstorm helps Sephie replace her blood with mech fluid. Sephie is unsure what she’ll do next, but Jetstorm says she’ll be a great hero and end the Great War. Also, he asks if she got Soundwave’s talent, as there’s something he needs her to find…

In a darkened room, Jetstorm and Demolishor communicate by hologram with a third party. They discuss the success of the Transhuman project, and their manipulation of the two Cybertronian factions. The meeting is interrupted by Star Saber, who is shocked to find Side Burn talking to a Decepticon and whatever Jetstorm is. He blasts Side Burn… but only reveals the fact that Side Burn isn’t Cybertronian. Side Burn grabs Star Saber by the neck and knocks the Autobot offline with a surge of electricity, before proclaiming that the Underbase will be whole once again.

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

“Inverted vortex capacitor?” “Inverted vortex capacitor operational!” “Barium shield capacitors?” “Barium shield capacitors operational!” “Pipefor?” “Pipefor… wait. What’s a pipefor?” “For blowin’ exhaust, dude!”

“Huh. You talk exactly like you type.” “I do not type.”

“Butch, your temperature’s going up. You want a new friend? I don’t see its car… it’s a stray! We can take it home and you can play together.”

“Humanity plus, humanity squared, transhuman… Theyre all accurate. I’m what humanity needs to be the next step; a self-determined, self-defined, self-designed being. You can call me Emulator.”

“Whoah, whoah… Somebody’s got manufacturer issues. Scrappin’ me ain’t gonna make daddy Starscream love you, little girl, or whatever it is you’re after. Oh for the luvva… now the fat kid’s got power armor? This is gettin’ outta hand.”

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The Origins of Political Correctness – Accuracy In Academia

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Jun 152016
 

February 5, 2000, Bill Lind, 221 Comments

An Accuracy in Academia Address by Bill Lind

Variations of this speech have been delivered to various AIA conferences including the 2000 Consevative University at American University

Where does all this stuff that youve heard about this morning the victim feminism, the gay rights movement, the invented statistics, the rewritten history, the lies, the demands, all the rest of it where does it come from? For the first time in our history, Americans have to be fearful of what they say, of what they write, and of what they think. They have to be afraid of using the wrong word, a word denounced as offensive or insensitive, or racist, sexist, or homophobic.

We have seen other countries, particularly in this century, where this has been the case. And we have always regarded them with a mixture of pity, and to be truthful, some amusement, because it has struck us as so strange that people would allow a situation to develop where they would be afraid of what words they used. But we now have this situation in this country. We have it primarily on college campuses, but it is spreading throughout the whole society. Were does it come from? What is it?

We call it Political Correctness. The name originated as something of a joke, literally in a comic strip, and we tend still to think of it as only half-serious. In fact, its deadly serious. It is the great disease of our century, the disease that has left tens of millions of people dead in Europe, in Russia, in China, indeed around the world. It is the disease of ideology. PC is not funny. PC is deadly serious.

If we look at it analytically, if we look at it historically, we quickly find out exactly what it is. Political Correctness is cultural Marxism. It is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. It is an effort that goes back not to the 1960s and the hippies and the peace movement, but back to World War I. If we compare the basic tenets of Political Correctness with classical Marxism the parallels are very obvious.

First of all, both are totalitarian ideologies. The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of which at this point are small ivy covered North Koreas, where the student or faculty member who dares to cross any of the lines set up by the gender feminist or the homosexual-rights activists, or the local black or Hispanic group, or any of the other sainted victims groups that PC revolves around, quickly find themselves in judicial trouble. Within the small legal system of the college, they face formal charges some star-chamber proceeding and punishment. That is a little look into the future that Political Correctness intends for the nation as a whole.

Indeed, all ideologies are totalitarian because the essence of an ideology (I would note that conservatism correctly understood is not an ideology) is to take some philosophy and say on the basis of this philosophy certain things must be true such as the whole of the history of our culture is the history of the oppression of women. Since reality contradicts that, reality must be forbidden. It must become forbidden to acknowledge the reality of our history. People must be forced to live a lie, and since people are naturally reluctant to live a lie, they naturally use their ears and eyes to look out and say, Wait a minute. This isnt true. I can see it isnt true, the power of the state must be put behind the demand to live a lie. That is why ideology invariably creates a totalitarian state.

Second, the cultural Marxism of Political Correctness, like economic Marxism, has a single factor explanation of history. Economic Marxism says that all of history is determined by ownership of means of production. Cultural Marxism, or Political Correctness, says that all history is determined by power, by which groups defined in terms of race, sex, etc., have power over which other groups. Nothing else matters. All literature, indeed, is about that. Everything in the past is about that one thing.

Third, just as in classical economic Marxism certain groups, i.e. workers and peasants, are a priori good, and other groups, i.e., the bourgeoisie and capital owners, are evil. In the cultural Marxism of Political Correctness certain groups are good feminist women, (only feminist women, non-feminist women are deemed not to exist) blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals. These groups are determined to be victims, and therefore automatically good regardless of what any of them do. Similarly, white males are determined automatically to be evil, thereby becoming the equivalent of the bourgeoisie in economic Marxism.

Fourth, both economic and cultural Marxism rely on expropriation. When the classical Marxists, the communists, took over a country like Russia, they expropriated the bourgeoisie, they took away their property. Similarly, when the cultural Marxists take over a university campus, they expropriate through things like quotas for admissions. When a white student with superior qualifications is denied admittance to a college in favor of a black or Hispanic who isnt as well qualified, the white student is expropriated. And indeed, affirmative action, in our whole society today, is a system of expropriation. White owned companies dont get a contract because the contract is reserved for a company owned by, say, Hispanics or women. So expropriation is a principle tool for both forms of Marxism.

And finally, both have a method of analysis that automatically gives the answers they want. For the classical Marxist, its Marxist economics. For the cultural Marxist, its deconstruction. Deconstruction essentially takes any text, removes all meaning from it and re-inserts any meaning desired. So we find, for example, that all of Shakespeare is about the suppression of women, or the Bible is really about race and gender. All of these texts simply become grist for the mill, which proves that all history is about which groups have power over which other groups. So the parallels are very evident between the classical Marxism that were familiar with in the old Soviet Union and the cultural Marxism that we see today as Political Correctness.

But the parallels are not accidents. The parallels did not come from nothing. The fact of the matter is that Political Correctness has a history, a history that is much longer than many people are aware of outside a small group of academics who have studied this. And the history goes back, as I said, to World War I, as do so many of the pathologies that are today bringing our society, and indeed our culture, down.

Marxist theory said that when the general European war came (as it did come in Europe in 1914), the working class throughout Europe would rise up and overthrow their governments the bourgeois governments because the workers had more in common with each other across the national boundaries than they had in common with the bourgeoisie and the ruling class in their own country. Well, 1914 came and it didnt happen. Throughout Europe, workers rallied to their flag and happily marched off to fight each other. The Kaiser shook hands with the leaders of the Marxist Social Democratic Party in Germany and said there are no parties now, there are only Germans. And this happened in every country in Europe. So something was wrong.

Marxists knew by definition it couldnt be the theory. In 1917, they finally got a Marxist coup in Russia and it looked like the theory was working, but it stalled again. It didnt spread and when attempts were made to spread immediately after the war, with the Spartacist uprising in Berlin, with the Bela Kun government in Hungary, with the Munich Soviet, the workers didnt support them.

So the Marxists had a problem. And two Marxist theorists went to work on it: Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary. Gramsci said the workers will never see their true class interests, as defined by Marxism, until they are freed from Western culture, and particularly from the Christian religion that they are blinded by culture and religion to their true class interests. Lukacs, who was considered the most brilliant Marxist theorist since Marx himself, said in 1919, Who will save us from Western Civilization? He also theorized that the great obstacle to the creation of a Marxist paradise was the culture: Western civilization itself.

Lukacs gets a chance to put his ideas into practice, because when the home grown Bolshevik Bela Kun government is established in Hungary in 1919, he becomes deputy commissar for culture, and the first thing he did was introduce sex education into the Hungarian schools. This ensured that the workers would not support the Bela Kun government, because the Hungarian people looked at this aghast, workers as well as everyone else. But he had already made the connection that today many of us are still surprised by, that we would consider the latest thing.

In 1923 in Germany, a think-tank is established that takes on the role of translating Marxism from economic into cultural terms, that creates Political Correctness as we know it today, and essentially it has created the basis for it by the end of the 1930s. This comes about because the very wealthy young son of a millionaire German trader by the name of Felix Weil has become a Marxist and has lots of money to spend. He is disturbed by the divisions among the Marxists, so he sponsors something called the First Marxist Work Week, where he brings Lukacs and many of the key German thinkers together for a week, working on the differences of Marxism.

And he says, What we need is a think-tank. Washington is full of think tanks and we think of them as very modern. In fact they go back quite a ways. He endows an institute, associated with Frankfurt University, established in 1923, that was originally supposed to be known as the Institute for Marxism. But the people behind it decided at the beginning that it was not to their advantage to be openly identified as Marxist. The last thing Political Correctness wants is for people to figure out its a form of Marxism. So instead they decide to name it the Institute for Social Research.

Weil is very clear about his goals. In 1917, he wrote to Martin Jay the author of a principle book on the Frankfurt School, as the Institute for Social Research soon becomes known informally, and he said, I wanted the institute to become known, perhaps famous, due to its contributions to Marxism. Well, he was successful. The first director of the Institute, Carl Grunberg, an Austrian economist, concluded his opening address, according to Martin Jay, by clearly stating his personal allegiance to Marxism as a scientific methodology. Marxism, he said, would be the ruling principle at the Institute, and that never changed. The initial work at the Institute was rather conventional, but in 1930 it acquired a new director named Max Horkheimer, and Horkheimers views were very different. He was very much a Marxist renegade. The people who create and form the Frankfurt School are renegade Marxists. Theyre still very much Marxist in their thinking, but theyre effectively run out of the party. Moscow looks at what they are doing and says, Hey, this isnt us, and were not going to bless this.

Horkheimers initial heresy is that he is very interested in Freud, and the key to making the translation of Marxism from economic into cultural terms is essentially that he combined it with Freudism. Again, Martin Jay writes, If it can be said that in the early years of its history, the Institute concerned itself primarily with an analysis of bourgeois societys socio-economic sub-structure, and I point out that Jay is very sympathetic to the Frankfurt School, Im not reading from a critic here in the years after 1930 its primary interests lay in its cultural superstructure. Indeed the traditional Marxist formula regarding the relationship between the two was brought into question by Critical Theory.

The stuff weve been hearing about this morning the radical feminism, the womens studies departments, the gay studies departments, the black studies departments all these things are branches of Critical Theory. What the Frankfurt School essentially does is draw on both Marx and Freud in the 1930s to create this theory called Critical Theory. The term is ingenious because youre tempted to ask, What is the theory? The theory is to criticize. The theory is that the way to bring down Western culture and the capitalist order is not to lay down an alternative. They explicitly refuse to do that. They say it cant be done, that we cant imagine what a free society would look like (their definition of a free society). As long as were living under repression the repression of a capitalistic economic order which creates (in their theory) the Freudian condition, the conditions that Freud describes in individuals of repression we cant even imagine it. What Critical Theory is about is simply criticizing. It calls for the most destructive criticism possible, in every possible way, designed to bring the current order down. And, of course, when we hear from the feminists that the whole of society is just out to get women and so on, that kind of criticism is a derivative of Critical Theory. It is all coming from the 1930s, not the 1960s.

Other key members who join up around this time are Theodore Adorno, and, most importantly, Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse. Fromm and Marcuse introduce an element which is central to Political Correctness, and thats the sexual element. And particularly Marcuse, who in his own writings calls for a society of polymorphous perversity, that is his definition of the future of the world that they want to create. Marcuse in particular by the 1930s is writing some very extreme stuff on the need for sexual liberation, but this runs through the whole Institute. So do most of the themes we see in Political Correctness, again in the early 30s. In Fromms view, masculinity and femininity were not reflections of essential sexual differences, as the Romantics had thought. They were derived instead from differences in life functions, which were in part socially determined. Sex is a construct; sexual differences are a construct.

Another example is the emphasis we now see on environmentalism. Materialism as far back as Hobbes had led to a manipulative dominating attitude toward nature. That was Horkhemier writing in 1933 in Materialismus und Moral. The theme of mans domination of nature, according to Jay, was to become a central concern of the Frankfurt School in subsequent years. Horkheimers antagonism to the fetishization of labor, (heres were theyre obviously departing from Marxist orthodoxy) expressed another dimension of his materialism, the demand for human, sensual happiness. In one of his most trenchant essays, Egoism and the Movement for Emancipation, written in 1936, Horkeimer discussed the hostility to personal gratification inherent in bourgeois culture. And he specifically referred to the Marquis de Sade, favorably, for his protestagainst asceticism in the name of a higher morality.

How does all of this stuff flood in here? How does it flood into our universities, and indeed into our lives today? The members of the Frankfurt School are Marxist, they are also, to a man, Jewish. In 1933 the Nazis came to power in Germany, and not surprisingly they shut down the Institute for Social Research. And its members fled. They fled to New York City, and the Institute was reestablished there in 1933 with help from Columbia University. And the members of the Institute, gradually through the 1930s, though many of them remained writing in German, shift their focus from Critical Theory about German society, destructive criticism about every aspect of that society, to Critical Theory directed toward American society. There is another very important transition when the war comes. Some of them go to work for the government, including Herbert Marcuse, who became a key figure in the OSS (the predecessor to the CIA), and some, including Horkheimer and Adorno, move to Hollywood.

These origins of Political Correctness would probably not mean too much to us today except for two subsequent events. The first was the student rebellion in the mid-1960s, which was driven largely by resistance to the draft and the Vietnam War. But the student rebels needed theory of some sort. They couldnt just get out there and say, Hell no we wont go, they had to have some theoretical explanation behind it. Very few of them were interested in wading through Das Kapital. Classical, economic Marxism is not light, and most of the radicals of the 60s were not deep. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for our country today, and not just in the university, Herbert Marcuse remained in America when the Frankfurt School relocated back to Frankfurt after the war. And whereas Mr. Adorno in Germany is appalled by the student rebellion when it breaks out there when the student rebels come into Adornos classroom, he calls the police and has them arrested Herbert Marcuse, who remained here, saw the 60s student rebellion as the great chance. He saw the opportunity to take the work of the Frankfurt School and make it the theory of the New Left in the United States.

One of Marcuses books was the key book. It virtually became the bible of the SDS and the student rebels of the 60s. That book was Eros and Civilization. Marcuse argues that under a capitalistic order (he downplays the Marxism very strongly here, it is subtitled, A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud, but the framework is Marxist), repression is the essence of that order and that gives us the person Freud describes the person with all the hang-ups, the neuroses, because his sexual instincts are repressed. We can envision a future, if we can only destroy this existing oppressive order, in which we liberate eros, we liberate libido, in which we have a world of polymorphous perversity, in which you can do you own thing. And by the way, in that world there will no longer be work, only play. What a wonderful message for the radicals of the mid-60s! Theyre students, theyre baby-boomers, and theyve grown up never having to worry about anything except eventually having to get a job. And here is a guy writing in a way they can easily follow. He doesnt require them to read a lot of heavy Marxism and tells them everything they want to hear which is essentially, Do your own thing, If it feels good do it, and You never have to go to work. By the way, Marcuse is also the man who creates the phrase, Make love, not war. Coming back to the situation people face on campus, Marcuse defines liberating tolerance as intolerance for anything coming from the Right and tolerance for anything coming from the Left. Marcuse joined the Frankfurt School, in 1932 (if I remember right). So, all of this goes back to the 1930s.

In conclusion, America today is in the throes of the greatest and direst transformation in its history. We are becoming an ideological state, a country with an official state ideology enforced by the power of the state. In hate crimes we now have people serving jail sentences for political thoughts. And the Congress is now moving to expand that category ever further. Affirmative action is part of it. The terror against anyone who dissents from Political Correctness on campus is part of it. Its exactly what we have seen happen in Russia, in Germany, in Italy, in China, and now its coming here. And we dont recognize it because we call it Political Correctness and laugh it off. My message today is that its not funny, its here, its growing and it will eventually destroy, as it seeks to destroy, everything that we have ever defined as our freedom and our culture.

More:

The Origins of Political Correctness – Accuracy In Academia

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wage slavery – Why Work

 Wage Slavery  Comments Off on wage slavery – Why Work
Jun 152016
 

What is a wage slave?

So what exactly IS a wage slave, anyway? It’s doubtful that you’d be exploring this web site if you didn’t have some idea at least, but for the sake of ease, we’ll clarify further.

Here are some brief and incomplete definitions from CLAWS members:

“Wage slavery is the state where you are unable to perceive choices and create courses of action different from the grind of the job.”

“Wage slave: A wage earner whose livelihood is completely dependent on the wages earned.”

The point here, of course, is that we don’t have a single agreed-upon definition of wage slavery. Many of us prefer to focus on wage slavery as a state of mind, while others prefer to focus on the external aspects of wage slavery such as the wage economy. But overall, we seem to sense something rotten at the core of what we’ve been taught about “making a living”, and that’s the place to begin our questioning.

Have you ever noticed how many of us seem to live “lives of quiet desperation”, as Henry David Thoreau puts it? We feel trapped by forces beyond our control, trapped in a mindless job, for the sake of money, status or recognition. We complain that we never seem to have the time for what’s really important to us, because our jobs take so much energy and focus that we hardly have anything left over. We plod along day to day; sometimes we even dread getting out of bed in the morning.

We see the futility of the standard, socially approved path in America. It goes something like this: Go to school, get good grades, so you can get a “good” job, make lots of money, get a mortgage and a car and a spouse, keep up with the Joneses, and be “successful”. We know it’s not the path for us; we want to define success for ourselves. But we don’t know how to forge a new path for ourselves, because, well, what would we do for money if we quit? How would we support ourselves? Sometimes there’s a glazed look in our eyes; it’s as if some part of us has died. We are just doing time, working hard and hoping for the next promotion, waiting for the day when we can throw off our shackles, quit our dull jobs, and finally live life. Everything gets put on hold until we have more time, or more money. Meanwhile, life is passing us by.

Perhaps you are one of these people. If so, CLAWS was created for your benefit. We have news for you: You do not have to live your life that way. CLAWS is here to inspire you to greater fulfillment, and to help you figure out how to get out of the endless cycle of living paycheck to paycheck and feeling chained to a job you don’t care about.

We have other news, too: It won’t necessarily be the easiest thing you’ve ever done. You have a choice, but you may have to re-examine your way of thinking very thoroughly. The pull of the socially accepted way of doing things is amazingly strong, and trips up the best of us despite our good intentions. It takes a certain kind of independent thinker to be “job-free”. We use that term rather than “unemployed”, in an effort to convey to people that we’re proud, not ashamed, of not having regular jobs. We also make an important distinction between jobs and work. All of us do some kind of work, though not necessarily for monetary compensation.

Another thing you’ll need if you decide to rethink your beliefs about jobs and money is the willingness to challenge conventional wisdom. It will take perseverence, and a commitment to throw out the limiting beliefs you may have unwittingly adopted. This is not the path for everyone. If your priority is comfort or social approval, or if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t rock the boat, CLAWS probably won’t meet your needs.

If you embark on this path, it’s important to know what it will ask of you. It may require you to disassemble, dissect, and tear apart your old beliefs, let go of some mighty persistent and tempting illusions, and build a new foundation for your thinking, sometimes from scratch. Are you prepared to do this? If so, you’re in the right place.

Even if you have seen through the false sense of “security” a normal job offers you, and already questioned that approach to life, you may not really believe you can do it. You may still have questions about how to bridge the gap from the old way of life to a new one that you envision. That’s where we can help, dear reader. CLAWS would like to see you devote yourself to the life you’ve dreamed of, the life your heart desires. We don’t want to see you waste your precious days any longer. Life is short, and the time to pursue your dreams is NOW.

In the words of Norman Cousins:

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”

“The debt and work cycle is an ingenious tool of subjugation. Make people think they need all these things, then they must have a job, and they give up control of their lives. It’s as simple as that. We live in one of the most free countries in the world, but we fix it so we are not free at all. ” – Larry Roth

“Capitalism only supports certain kinds of groups, the nuclear family for example, or ‘the people I know at my job’, because such groups are already self-alienated & hooked into the Work/Consume/Die structure.” – Hakim Bey

“Supposing we suddenly imagine a world in which nearly everybody is doing what they want. Then we don’t need to be paid in order to work and the whole issue of how money circulates, how we get things done, suddenly alters.” – Robert Theobald

“When survival or mere subsistence is at stake, a society can focus only on the overwhelming needs of the moment, and questions of meaningful work and leisure are considered purely academic. But we believe that the world has enough wealth to move all of humanity above survival and subsistence.” – Alfonso Montuori & Isabella Conti, From Power to Partnership: Creating the Future of Love, Work, and Community

Here is the original post:

wage slavery – Why Work

 Posted by at 3:25 pm  Tagged with:

Online Gambling Sites & Games Guide | Gambling.com

 Gambling  Comments Off on Online Gambling Sites & Games Guide | Gambling.com
Jun 132016
 

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Online bingo has been growing at a rapid rate. The latest figures estimate that in the UK alone there are more than four million players — great news for this quick-fire group game with a highly social core.

While some countries have resisted the move from brick-and-mortar casinos to online gambling, many have welcomed the phenomenon, changing the landscape and culture of casino gambling forever.

Fantasy sports have been around for decades, tracing its roots back to 1980 when the original fantasy league started around Americas pastime, baseball. From that early league, fantasy sports have grown to encompass a huge variety of sports and formats, including the dramatic rise of Daily Fantasy Sports.

Recent advances in technology have meant that, while some lotteries are only open to residents of the same country, others can now be played by a global audience. This makes lottery betting today a more exciting and varied prospect than ever before.

According to Adweek, as of 2014 mobile users were spending over 85% of their time using apps, with 32% of this spent gaming and 17% on social media site Facebook. With so many more people reliant on their phones, the gambling industry responded, finding new and exciting ways for gamers to get online.

Switching from conventional multi-currency gambling websites to Bitcoin-only sites might seem a bit daunting, but it can also be a lucrative opportunity. There are a range of pros and cons that users should consider before signing up, especially now that Bitcoin gambling sites are becoming increasingly competitive.

The online poker scene has exploded in the last decade, offering an altogether different experience from live poker games in brick-and-mortar casinos, while retaining the high level of skill required to master the deck.

Online betting is more than just having your local bookies at your fingertips, it’s about finding creative ways to maximise enjoyment and profit from some of the greatest, most exciting and even the most obscure events from around the world.

The term “betting markets” covers a broad swath of events, basically anything that one could reasonably take bets on. While the sports world is the largest, odds on non-sports events can all be found at various online casinos.

When one thinks of bingo, variety is not the first thing that springs to mind, even though it is an integral part of the online bingo world. Most people think of bingo as one all-encompassing game, but that is not the case.

Casino games are the ‘Bell-of-the-Ball’ in terms of gambling offerings, as most top operators ensure their development teams concentrate a majority of their power on creating and optimizing casino games above even poker or bingo games.

Daily Fantasy Games represent a new paradigm in sports betting, and are also lightning rods for legislation in the United States. Regulation in that country appears imminent, and once a system for oversight is in place these games have the potential to drastically alter how players around the world enjoy sports.

Most popular casino games have a companion Live Dealer version offered by at least one operator if not them all. From the fan-favourite blackjack to the more risky Roulette, Live Dealer casino games should never be hard to find.

Long gone are the days when physical location limited a player’s gaming options thanks to online casinos. One such feature that is growing in popularity is lottery betting, which now allows customers to participate in the world’s largest lotteries from the comfort of their own home.

Poker has experienced a surge in popularity in the last decade or so, and nowhere has that translated into growth more than the world of online poker.

Slots and poker are the two games perhaps most associated with online casinos (and casinos in general), so it makes sense that gaming providers figured out a way to combine them years ago in the form of video poker.

Whether in a physical gambling hall or a digital one, slot games are afforded prime real estate, and for good reason as they are among the most popular and entertaining games around.

Poker Networks allow online casinos to draw from a massive player base to ensure that their games are always full. By offering multiple sites the same base software with personalized design schemes, both parties benefit alongside the players.

Depositing and withdrawing funds from an online casino account has never been easier, thanks to the rise of dedicated payment services and improvements in software that allow sites to accept funds from many different sources.

The software provider that an online casino chooses to partner with is one of the most crucial aspects of that casino’s identity. Beyond determining site functionality, the games available at a given casino is also affected by who they work with.

Community has long been at the heart of bingo’s success but with the iGaming revolution taking the industry by storm, it’s no surprise some are beginning to consider bingo software the primary engine of online bingo.

It can be easy to overlook the underlying software at an online betting hub, especially when getting lost in the flurry of numbers and odds on screen. The design and organization of these sites certainly play a major role in the betting experience.

Mobile gambling is one of the fastest growing sectors of the gaming industry. A quality mobile platform is a must-have for internet casinos, and a variety of studios have specialists dedicated to creating those platforms, much to the delight of gamers on the go.

Go here to read the rest:

Online Gambling Sites & Games Guide | Gambling.com

 Posted by at 12:56 pm  Tagged with:

Living in Freedom Every Day

 Freedom  Comments Off on Living in Freedom Every Day
May 312016
 

Freedom (LIFE) groups are based on a small group Bible study followed by a conference experience that is designed to help believers move from the experience of salvation to the abundant life that Jesus desires for them. The mission of Freedom (LIFE) groups is to equip participants to remove every obstacle to intimacy with God and walk in the true freedom provided through the work of the cross.

The 12-week course focuses on six areas of personal growth:

Gods desire for us was never the life of pursuing dead religion. His heart for us is that we would know Him personally through the Tree of Life and ultimately know our true identity as children of the King.

The Spirit-led life that the Bible talks about eludes many of us. In Freedom (LIFE) groups we learn to understand the principle of spiritual order. Feeding our spirit over our emotions and flesh is the key to walking in the Spirit.

God calls us to be a people whose love for Him supersedes all other desires and goals. He must be Lord of our lives so that we may grow in our purpose, live a life of forgiveness, and receive His blessings.

The Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue. By learning to speak words of life that line up with Gods Word, we have the power to change our environment and break the power of the enemys words off our life.

God has a unique plan and purpose for each of us. Our enemys goal is to keep us from realizing that purpose, but we have the authority in Jesus to overcome sin and the enemys schemes to walk in victory and live a life of purity thats full of purpose.

Jesus said a time was coming when true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth. The ultimate purpose we were all created for is to worship the King. A Spirit-led life of purity and surrender produces a heart for worship.

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Living in Freedom Every Day

 Posted by at 1:42 am  Tagged with:

Chocolatey Gallery | Jitsi 2.8.5426

 Jitsi  Comments Off on Chocolatey Gallery | Jitsi 2.8.5426
May 282016
 

Private CDN cached downloads available for licensed customers. Never experience 404 breakages again! Learn more…

This package was approved by moderator ferventcoder on 4/24/2015.

Jitsi (formerly SIP Communicator) is a free and open source multiplatform voice (VoIP), videoconferencing and instant messaging application for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. It supports several popular instant messaging and telephony protocols, including open recognised encryption protocols for chat (OTR) and voice/video/streaming and voice/video conferencing (SIP/RTP/SRTP/ZRTP), as well as built-in IPv6, NAT traversal and DNSSEC. Jitsi and its source code are released under the terms of the LGPL.

To install Jitsi, run the following command from the command line or from PowerShell:

To upgrade Jitsi, run the following command from the command line or from PowerShell:

In cases where actual malware is found, the packages are subject to removal. Software sometimes has false positives. Moderators do not necessarily validate the safety of the underlying software, only that a package retrieves software from the official distribution point and/or validate embedded software against official distribution point (where distribution rights allow redistribution).

Chocolatey Pro provides runtime protection from possible malware.

This package has no dependencies.

20042012 Emil Ivov

https://jitsi.org/Main/News

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Chocolatey Gallery | Jitsi 2.8.5426

Second Amendment – lawbrain.com

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on Second Amendment – lawbrain.com
May 192016
 

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms.

The Second Amendment, a provision of the U.S. Constitution, was ratified on December 15, 1791, forming what is known as the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution[1] reads:

The subject matter and unusual phrasing of this amendment led to much controversy and analysis, especially in the last half of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, the meaning and scope of the amendment have long been decided by the Supreme Court.

Firearms played an important part in the colonization of America. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, European colonists relied heavily on firearms to take land away from Native Americans and repel attacks by Native Americans and Europeans. Around the time of the Revolutionary War, male citizens were required to own firearms for fighting against the British forces. Firearms were also used in hunting.

In June 1776, one month before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Virginia became the first colony to adopt a state constitution. In this document, the state of Virginia pronounced that “a well regulated Militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State.” After the colonies declared their independence from England, other states began to include the right to bear arms in their constitution. Pennsylvania, for example, declared that

The wording of clauses about bearing arms in late-eighteenth-century state constitutions varied. Some states asserted that bearing arms was a “right” of the people, whereas others called it a “duty” of every able-bodied man in the defense of society.

Pennsylvania was not alone in its express discouragement of a standing (professional) army. Many of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution rejected standing armies, preferring instead the model of a citizen army, equipped with weapons and prepared for defense. According to Framers such as Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts and George Mason of Virginia a standing army was susceptible to tyrannical use by a power-hungry government.

At the first session of Congress in March 1789, the Second Amendment was submitted as a counterweight to the federal powers of Congress and the president. According to constitutional theorists, the Framers who feared a central government extracted the amendment as a compromise from those in favor of centralized authority over the states. The Revolutionary War had, after all, been fought in large part by a citizen army against the standing armies of England.

The precise wording of the amendment was changed two times before the U.S. Senate finally cast it in its present form. As with many of the amendments, the exact wording proved critical to its interpretation.

In 1791 a majority of states ratified the Bill of Rights, which included the Second Amendment. In its final form, the amendment presented a challenge to interpreters. It was the only amendment with an opening clause that appeared to state its purpose. The amendment even had defective punctuation; the comma before shall seemed grammatically unnecessary.

Legal scholars do not agree about this comma. Some have argued that it was intentional and that it was intended to make militia the subject of the sentence. According to these theorists, the operative words of the amendment are “[a] well regulated Militia shall not be infringed.” Others have argued that the comma was a mistake, and that the operative words of the sentence are “the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.” Under this reading, the first part of the sentence is the rationale for the absolute, personal right of the people to own firearms. Indeed, the historical backdrophighlighted by a general disdain for professional armieswould seem to support this theory.

Some observers argue further that the Second Amendment grants the right of insurrection. According to these theorists, the Second Amendment was designed to allow citizens to rebel against the government. Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying that “a little rebellion every now and then is a good thing.”

Prior to the courts ruling in Heller v. District of Columbia[2], 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008)(see infra), the Supreme Court had made the ultimate determination of the Constitution’s meaning, and it defined the amendment as simply granting to the states the right to maintain a militia separate from federally controlled militias. This interpretation first came in United States v. Cruikshank,[3] 92 U.S. 542, 23 L. Ed. 588 (1875). In Cruikshank, approximately one hundred persons were tried jointly in a Louisiana federal court with felonies in connection with an April 13, 1873, assault on two AfricanAmerican men. One of the criminal counts charged that the mob intended to hinder the right of the two men to bear arms. The defendants were convicted by a jury, but the circuit court arrested the judgment, effectively overturning the verdict. In affirming that decision, the Supreme Court declared that “the second amendment means no more than that [the right to bear arms] shall not be infringed by Congress, and has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government.”

In Presser v. Illinois,[4] 116 U.S. 252, 6 S. Ct. 580, 29 L. Ed. 615 (1886), Herman Presser was charged in Illinois state court with parading and drilling an unauthorized militia in the streets of Chicago in December 1879, in violation of certain sections of the Illinois Military Code. One of the sections in question prohibited the organization, drilling, operation, and parading of militias other than U.S. troops or the regular organized volunteer militia of the state. Presser was tried by the judge, convicted, and ordered to pay a fine of $10.

On appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Presser argued, in part, that the charges violated his Second Amendment right to bear arms. The Court disagreed and upheld Presser’s conviction. The Court cited Cruikshank for the proposition that the Second Amendment means only that the federal government may not infringe on the right of states to form their own militias. This meant that the Illinois state law forbidding citizen militias was not unconstitutional. However, in its opinion, the Court in Presser delivered a reading of the Second Amendment that seemed to suggest an absolute right of persons to bear arms: “It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States,” and “states cannot prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms.”

Despite this generous language, the Court refused to incorporate the Second Amendment into the Fourteenth Amendment. Under the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, passed in 1868, states may not abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States. The privileges and immunities of citizens are listed in the Bill of Rights, of which the Second Amendment is part. Presser had argued that states may not, by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment, abridge the right to bear arms. The Court refused to accept the argument that the right to bear arms is a personal right of the people. According to the Court, “The right to drill or parade with arms, without, and independent of, an act of congress or law of the state authorizing the same, is not an attribute of national citizenship.”

The Presser opinion is best understood in its historical context. The Northern states and the federal government had just fought the Civil War against Southern militias unauthorized by the federal government. After this ordeal, the Supreme Court was in no mood to accept an expansive right to bear arms. At the same time, the Court was sensitive to the subject of federal encroachment on states’ rights.

Several decades later, the Supreme Court ignored the contradictory language in Presser and cemented a limited reading of the Second Amendment. In United States v. Miller,[5] 307 U.S. 174, 59 S. Ct. 816, 83 L. Ed. 1206 (1939), defendants Jack Miller and Frank Layton were charged in federal court with unlawful transportation of firearms in violation of certain sections of the National Firearms Act of June 26, 1934 (ch. 757, 48 Stat. 12361240 [26 U.S.C.A. 1132 et seq.]). Specifically, Miller and Layton had transported shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches long, without the registration required under the act.

The district court dismissed the indictment, holding that the act violated the Second Amendment. The United States appealed. The Supreme Court reversed the decision and sent the case back to the trial court. The Supreme Court stated that the Second Amendment was fashioned “to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of militia forces.”

The Miller opinion confirmed the restrictive language of Presser and solidified a narrow reading of the Second Amendment. According to the Court in Miller, the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to own a firearm unless the possession or use of the firearm has “a reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.”

However, in Heller v. District of Columbia, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008), the Supreme Court reviewed a case where D.C. residents challenged an ordinace which banned the possession of handguns. The Supreme Court held that the constitution protects the right of individuals to possess a firearm.

The legislative measures that inspire most Second Amendment discussions are gun control laws. Since the mid-nineteenth century, state legislatures have been passing laws that infringe a perceived right to bear arms. Congress has also asserted the power to regulate firearms. No law regulating firearms has ever been struck down by the Supreme Court as a violation of the Second Amendment.

Historically, the academic community has largely ignored the Second Amendment. However, gun control laws have turned many laypersons into scholars of the Second Amendment’s history. The arguments for a broader interpretation are many and varied. Most center on the original intent of the Framers. Some emphasize that the Second Amendment should be interpreted as granting an unconditional personal right to bear arms for defensive and sporting purposes. Others adhere to an insurrection theory, under which the Second Amendment not only grants the personal right to bear arms, it gives citizens the right to rebel against a government perceived as tyrannical.

In response to these arguments, supporters of the prevailing Second Amendment interpretation maintain that any right to bear arms should be secondary to concerns for public safety. They also point out that other provisions in the Constitution grant power to Congress to quell insurrections, thus contradicting the insurrection theory. Lastly, they argue that the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with a changing society and that the destructive capability of semiautomatic and automatic firearms was not envisioned by the Framers.

In response to the last argument, critics maintain that because such firearms exist, it should be legal to use them against violent criminals who are themselves wielding such weapons.

In the 2000s, federal courts continue to revisit the scope and detail of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. In particular federal courts have recast much of the debate as one over whether the Second Amendment protects a “collective” right or an “individual” right to bear arms. If the Second Amendment protects only a collective right, then only states would have the power to bring a legal action to enforce it and only for the purpose of maintaining a “well-regulated militia.” If the Second Amendment protects only an individual right to bear arms, then only individuals could bring suit to challenge gun-control laws that curb their liberty to buy, sell, own, or possess firearms and other guns.

Not surprisingly, courts are conflicted over how to resolve this debate. In United States v. Emerson,[6][7] 270 F.3d 203 (5th Cir. 2001), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that the original intent of the Founding Fathers supported an individual-rights interpretation of the Second Amendment, while the Ninth Circuit came to the opposite conclusion in Nordyke v. King,[8] 319 F.3d 1185 (9th Cir. 2003). Although no court has concluded that the original intent underlying the Second Amendment supports a claim for both an individual- and a collective rights based interpretation of the right to bear arms, the compelling historical arguments marshaled on both sides of the debate would suggest that another court faced with the same debate may reach such a conclusion.

Becker, Edward R. 1997. “The Second Amendment and Other Federal Constitutional Rights of the Private Militia.” Montana Law Review 58 (winter).

Bogus, Carl T., ed. 2000. The Second Amendment in Law and History: Historians and Constitutional Scholars on the Right to Bear Arms. New York: New Press.

Dolan, Edward F., and Margaret M. Scariano. 1994. Guns in the United States. New York: Watts.

Dunlap, Charles J., Jr. 1995. “Revolt of the Masses: Armed Civilians and the Insurrectionary Theory of the Second Amendment.” Tennessee Law Review 62 (spring).

Hanson, Freya Ottem. 1998. The Second Amendment: The Right to Own Guns. Springfield, N.J.: Enslow.

Hook, Donald D. 1992. Gun Control: The Continuing Debate. Washington, D.C.: Second Amendment Foundation.

Hoppin, Jason. 2003. “Ninth Circuit Upholds Controversial Ruling on Second Amendment.” Legal Intelligencer (May 8).

. 2003. “Second Amendment Fight Steals Show in Gun Ban Case: Panel Enters Fray over Individual Rights.” San Francisco Recorder (February 19).

McAffee, Thomas B. 1997. “Constitutional Limits on Regulating Private Militia Groups.” Montana Law Review 58 (winter).

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Internet Marketing Portland | Effective Web Solutions

 SEO  Comments Off on Internet Marketing Portland | Effective Web Solutions
May 122016
 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

We use cutting edge SEO strategies combined with ethical best practices to help your business achieve and maintain a strong presence in the major search engines for search terms relevant to the products and services you offer.

There is no question, websites are a crucial marketing tool for any business in this day and age, and still so many businesses are neglecting the importance of a well-designed, aesthetically pleasing and responsive website.

After potential customers leave your website, with Remarketing, we are able to still target them to make the sale. A targeted ad campaign, that will actually follow the user as they browse, will be created.

Reputation is incredibly important in the digital world. Its easy to access reviews wherever you are, and polls have shown that negative experiences are more likely to elicit reviews than positive ones.

Pay-Per-Click is a perfect way for a new business to generate leads, or for older businesses who are new to the Internet market and looking for fast results. Set a target, a budget, and we’ll manage the rest.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ are all very valuable and useful social media platforms for your business. Utilizing them properly can improve rankings and consumer reach.

With professional internet marketing, Portland businesses can receivethe kind ofpersonally managed online presence that makes a business competitive in todays marketplace. Growing a company requires hands-on work, and Effective Web Solutions stays on the cutting edge to provide our clients with state-of-the-art services that expand their reach.

A range of internet marketing Portland services are overseen by teams of experts in their field, customized for the individual needs of every client. We create cohesive and targeted internet marketing campaigns with our clients in order to convey the image, tone, and total presence that speaks to their customer base, builds trust, and leads to conversion.

For affordable internet marketing, Portland companies need a marketing firm that can scale with them. We offer a variety of packages, perfect for businesses of all size. These include a range of options for web design,social media services, reputation management, pay-per-click campaigns and more, all performed by search engine optimization experts.

With SEO internet marketing, Portland business owners can compete on a local and national scale, capturing more mobile, local, and organic consumersright when they need your services. We use researched and tested methods to design sites that rank for your services. Make this your best year yet with internet marketing from EWS.

At Effective Web Solutions, we want your company to succeed. Our core ambition is to drive your company to higher levels than it has ever been before through the power of internet marketing and effective SEO. We work hard to understand you, your business and your goals so that we can customize your seo marketing approach.

We understand that a successful seo and internet marketing campaign must include a perfect union of creativity and practicality a poor combination of the two could cost you potential business. We at Effective Web Solutions consists of specialists who understand all aspects of internet marketing and SEO factors.

We are digital and internet marketing experts, digital strategists, SEO and marketing specialists, designers and developers.

We share a unique spirit of optimism and enthusiasm for each new seo project we take in.

We understand that without the expertise from each and every team member, we wouldn’t be who we are today. We provide opportunities for training and research to ensure that we are always on top of the ever-changing online SEO and Web Design markets. We take pride in the talent that has cultivated within our team and continue to harvest the very best.

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NSA | New York City Chapter

 NSA  Comments Off on NSA | New York City Chapter
May 052016
 

When you attend an NSA NYC event, you will find a diverse group of professionals who use their passion for the power of the spoken word to create the life and business they love.

This year our programming has been created to support our theme of FUN. As a national keynote speaker on optimism and happiness in the workplace, it is not surprising that FUN would find a way into my leadership style however that theme goes much deeper as we welcome some of the top speaking professionals in our industry to share their tools for success at our monthly meetings.

Here are the 4 aspects of FUN you can expect NSA NYC events to cover this year:

Please have a look around our website to meet some of our successful members, to find out more about professional speaking, and to schedule your visit to our next meeting.

We are thrilled you are here and look forward to you joining us for a warm and welcoming experience filled with engaging content, educational instruction, and some serious FUN.

Whether you are a long time professional or this is your first visit to the world of speaking I say with all my heart

Welcome Home!

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The Fourth Amendment – Privacilla

 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on The Fourth Amendment – Privacilla
Apr 222016
 

Home > Privacy and Government > Privacy Law Governing the Public Sector > The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment is the primary, essential limit on the power of governments in the U.S. to inquire into people’s lives, arrest them, and take their property. It is also what prevents governments and their agents from invading citizens’ privacy.

The Fourth Amendment says:

The Fourth Amendment requires a search to be based on probable cause. That is, government investigators must have a rational belief that a crime has been committed and that evidence or fruits of the crime can be found. The question courts will ask when a citizen claims to have been unconstitutionally searched is whether that person had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place, papers, or information that government agents have examined or taken.

In a society that both deplores crime and values liberty, there will always be a tension between law enforcement interests and the privacy of individuals. The modern age has increased the ability of criminals to hide crime and its proceeds, and law enforcement sometimes struggles to keep up. This sometimes inspires investigative methods that trample on the privacy expectations and Fourth Amendment rights of innocent citizens. The U.S. Supreme Court has not been a powerful guardian of the Fourth Amendment in recent years, further eroding some Fourth Amendment protections.

In addition, the growth of both the U.S. and state governments during the 20th century vastly increased the amount of information that governments collect. When information is collected for “administrative” purposes, like issuing licenses and benefits or collecting taxes, the government does not have to satisfy the Fourth Amendment. Unfortunately, sometimes this information is used by investigators, released or sold by government agencies, or just misused by rogue government employees. This invades citizens’ expectations of privacy and violates their Fourth Amendment rights.

Links:

Rescuing Search and Seizure by Stephen Budiansky, The Atlantic Monthly (October 2000)

Comments? comments@privacilla.org (Subject: FourthAmendment)

[updated 10/30/00]

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Products for Factory Automation, Process Control …

 Automation  Comments Off on Products for Factory Automation, Process Control …
Mar 272016
 

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