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Theres been a great deal of celebration about UC Berkeley sticking to its invitation to Bill Maher as a commencement speaker. Free speech in the cradle of the free speech movement, students should be open to provocative views that differ from their own, and all that. Mahers invitation was decried by some student groups because of his recent questioning of Islam as a religion that he saw as perhaps inherently more violent and intolerant than others.

I think Cal is wrong.

Dont misunderstand. As a journalist and a fierce advocate of the rightthe necessityof providing forums for uncomfortable and dissenting speech, I think Maher and all manner of such speakers belong on campus, almost all the time.

Just not at commencement.

Commencement is a ceremony that belongs to the graduating students and their families. And though many of the best commencement speeches discomfit their audienceswhat better way to inspire people to action than by making them uncomfortable with the status quo?no racial, ethnic or religious group should be made to feel unhappily singled out on that day. Not that Maher would go out of his way to diss anyone during his speechthough you never know, the guy eats provocation for breakfastbut his comments would be hanging like a cloud over the ceremony for Muslim grads and their families.

In other events at school, students have the option of attending or not attending. In a classroom, theyre in attendance to learn about ideas that might not mesh with their own. But at a commencement ceremony, students are something like a captive audience, unless they want to give up this moment theyve been working toward all these years, at their own ceremony.

My two older kids are Cal grads, and I try to think of what it would have been like for us if the commencement speaker at one of their ceremonies had been Helen Thomas, the late White House correspondent who toward the end of her career said that the Jews should leave Israelwhich she refused to recognize at all, calling it Palestineand go back to where they came from, including Poland. In our family is an aunt who survived the concentration camps, including Auschwitz. She was one of Schindlers Jews. In a refugee camp after the war, she had nowhere to go, no country that would open its doors to her. She emigrated to then-Palestine, helping to found a kibbutz in the Negev where she still lives. Several of my husbands family live in Israel; he himself was born there shortly after it became a nation.

In many settings, I would have attended a speech by Thomas, who had many interesting things to say on a number of topics. I didnt need to feel comfortable with her or everything she says to listen to her. But not on the familys big day of celebration. We would have sat there seething the whole time, even if her speech was about the foibles of the Reagan White House. Or rather, our family would have skipped the ceremony. We dont need umbrage on that particular day.

Everything about college has become an arms race these days, including the race to find the biggest and often most controversial names as commencement speakers. I wish when they looked for provocative commencement speakers, they would define provocative a little differently: Stimulating deeper thought in all new grads and their families about whats happening around them, and their own role in world events. Personally, Id vote for finding less famous but nonetheless inspiring voices to give the commencement address, and donating the fat speakers fee to charity instead.

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Why UC Berkeley got it wrong on Bill Maher's speech

By DAVID J. SKORTON

In the first month of the fall semester, we have seen a growing activist spirit on many campuses, including our own, prompted by a wide array of local, national and international issues. Our Universitys financial contributions to the surrounding community, racial profiling and the militarization of police forces in the wake of events in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as escalating tensions in the Middle East are among the concerns that have prompted action by members of our campus community. One of the overriding issues of concern is the limits of free speech and the relationship between free speech and civility.

With very few exceptions, rallies, protests and other public events, as well as individual speech and writing intended to highlight the concerns mentioned above and others, are important, desired and expected features of our campus climate, and I commend everyone involved for allowing us to learn from each other while confronting important and difficult issues. But what of civility?

Civility is an important value in a university community and a community at large and one that we at Cornell must strive to maintain. However, as events on other campuses last spring and again this fall have shown, calls for civility in dealing with highly charged issues can be perceived as veiled assaults on free speech, which is also an essential university value and one deeply tied to academic freedom. Are these cherished principles of civility and free speech potentially antithetical? How can we reconcile them? Is there a bright line we must not cross?

It has been a fundamental precept of American law, reinforced by U.S. Supreme Court decisions, that odious, offensive or hateful speech is nonetheless protected speech. For this reason, hate speech codes at public universities that prohibited and punished persons for offensive speech that stigmatizes persons as a group on the basis of their race, national origin, sex or sexual orientation have been struck down as unconstitutional.

By contrast, disciplinary codes that focus narrowly on behavior or conduct that is threatening or harassing to individuals such as our own Campus Code of Conduct are consistent with First Amendment principles, and prudent to have as a policy matter.

As our Campus Code notes, In a university community, as in society as a whole, freedom of speech cannot be absolute. Speech that is libelous, or that incites a crowd to riot, deserves no protection. Perhaps no one, in real life, has ever falsely shouted Fire! in a crowded theater, but surely no one has a right to do so. Within such commonly accepted limits, however, freedom of speech should be the paramount value in a university community. Because it is a special kind of community, whose purpose is the discovery of truth through the practice of free inquiry, a university has an essential dependence on a commitment to the values of unintimidated speech. To curb speech on the grounds that an invited speaker is noxious, that a cause is evil, or that such ideas will offend some listeners is therefore inconsistent with a universitys purpose. [Article III A 2]

The Campus Code similarly recognizes that reasonable time, place and manner restrictions are appropriate to balance the right of free speech with other protected interests [Article III B 1]. Thistopic, controversial to some on campus, presently is the subject of discussion and review by the University Assembly.

Those who object to a speaker, as the Campus Code explains, also have rights to make their own position known by a variety of methods as long as they do not interfere with the speakers right to be heard or the right of others to listen. And, of course, they are free to organize their own events to offer alternate points of view.

In the interest of providing for the safety of all in our community, we cannot and must not tolerate speech that is harassing or threatening to individuals or that incites others to commit violent acts. As long as that line is not crossed, however, we must let free speech happen and, in fact, foster it. The antidote to odious, offensive or hateful speech must be more speech, not less speech. It remains the place of the University to encourage open and free expression, even about topics that generate strong feelings and even when the views being expressed may be seen by some as upsetting or offensive.

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SKORTON | Civility and Free Speech: Are They Incompatible?

Sep 152014

As election season enters full swing, Senate Democrats are taking the opportunity to garner votes by attempting to rewrite the Bill of Rights, something that hasnt been done since those rights were enshrined. They want to ask the nation to change the First Amendment so that it protects political speech only up to a point.

The timing is right. Nationally eight Senate races have already received more than $10 million each in outside spending, according to the Federal Election Commission. In Michigan, huge amounts of outside money have flooded into the race between Rep. Gary Peters and former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.

The group of senators supporting such a drastic move know it will never pass the extensive process needed to amend the Constitution. But it gives them an opportunity to try to convince Americans once again that corporations and wealthy individuals who give money to political candidates or campaigns should be stripped of their fundamental right to free speech.

The move is blatantly hypocritical, since the supporting senators have all received huge donations themselves. But it is unfortunately the logical end of the flawed Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as McCain-Feingold) signed into law under former President George W. Bush.

The Supreme Court has upheld the principle that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech to individuals, organizations and even corporations, and that dedicating time and money to political candidates and causes is protected speech.

Though there are limits on what amount an individual can give to any one political candidate, most other extreme limitations on spending and speech have been struck down by the court.

As much as this debate has already focused on Republican donors chiefly the Koch brothers, who fund mega-PACs such as Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Action and others Democrats benefit from huge campaign donations as much, if not more.

Climate change activist Tom Steyer has given more than $20 million to support Democratic candidates in this election cycle. Hes followed by former New York Mayor and gun control activist Michael Bloomberg, who has given more than $9 million this year, almost entirely to liberal groups.

Both sides take money from rich people and corporations. And certainly it would be nice if there were less money in politics.

But the Constitution does not permit politicians to place arbitrary restrictions on speech. Protecting the First Amendment should not give way to those so determined to gain a partisan edge that they are willing to rewrite the fundamental rights of Americans.

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Free speech needs no amending



Illuminati Exposed | David Icke – HUMAN RACE, GET OFF YOUR KNEES
Illuminati Exposed | David Icke – HUMAN RACE, GET OFF YOUR KNEES A Project Avalon Interview with Bill Ryan SUBSCRIBE OUR BRAND NEW CHANNEL ILLUMINATI EXPOSED!! TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE WITH US,…

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Illuminati Exposed | David Icke – HUMAN RACE, GET OFF YOUR KNEES – Video

Credit: CBS/Furniture Row

May 13, 2014 Denver, COLORADO The Colorado Freedom Memorial is proud to announce that Denver-based Furniture Row Racing will be honoring generations of Colorados fallen veterans when the No. 78 car competes in the 55th Annual Coca-Cola 600 this Memorial Day Weekend, with only the Colorado Freedom Memorial name emblazoned on its hood. The Colorado Freedom Memorial (CFM) honors every fallen Colorado military veteran by name, from every branch of service and every conflict dating back to the Spanish American War in 1896. The Memorial, which is located in Aurora, is made up of glass panels on which nearly 6000 Colorado heroes are honored. Donating the hood of our No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet SS to the Colorado Freedom Memorial is a small, but meaningful way that we can pay tribute to those who have offered the greatest sacrifice for our freedoms, said Furniture Row Racing Owner, Barney Visser. Visser, who is a Vietnam veteran, maintains a personal connection with the Colorado Freedom Memorial. Prior to the May 25 race, the Furniture Row Chevrolet will be unveiled at an event open to the public at the Colorado Freedom Memorial on Tuesday, May 20 from 4 6 p.m. The Memorial is located across the street from Buckley Air Force Base at Auroras Springhill Community Park: 756 Telluride St., Aurora, CO 80011. The tribute by Furniture Row Racing to the fallen veterans from their home state of Colorado is wonderful, said Colorado Freedom Memorial Founder and President Rick Crandall. Thousands of Colorado families will know their loss has not been forgotten on a weekend dedicated to their sacrifice. Artwork of the 78 Car featuring the Colorado Freedom Memorial logo is below. Hi-res versions available upon request. Prior to the race in North Carolina on May 25, the Colorado Freedom Memorial will be hosting its annual dedication ceremony in Aurora, Colo.

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Furniture Row Racing Dedicates Hood of No. 78 Car to Colorado Freedom Memorial for Coca-Cola 600 Memorial Day Race

SEO isn’t just about ranking for keywords. Many people fall into a keyword obsession rut and seem to forget that while keywords are important, SEO at its core is about indexation, crawlability, and creating a site that is effectively traversed by crawling search bots.

Many people also often forget how, when done effectively, SEO supports their brand. How your brand is displayed in search, as well as the many other online properties where you have a presence, is commonly forgotten in the race toward powerful rankings for desired non-branded keywords. Don’t get me wrong, I love to see non-branded organic visibility rise, but we can’t forget “The Brand.”

In order to give the brand its fair share of SEO attention, here are seven areas you should focus that will give some love to your company.

Do a search for your brand name. Hopefully you rank number one. If not, you’ve got more on your plate to worry about.

If you already rank number one, six sitelinks are likely showing under your main organic listings, like this:

Are these the pages that you most want new visitors to journey into? Are these the best six pathways into your site that speak to the brand and your message?

If not, you need to visit the sitelinks section and demote the unworthy links. They will disappear and Google will try again with an internal link offering. Continue to tweak this until you get the desired display.

Give Google and Bing formatted code in the language they want to read it: schema. By using brand logo schema you are doing a more complete job of conveying your brand image to search engines. I expect that in the future you will see small brand logos show up next to organic listings for brand searches.

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7 Tips to Ensure Your SEO Strategy Supports Your Brand

By Bong Lozada INQUIRER.net

Hundred Islands. Photo from pangasinantourism.com

MANILA, PhilippinesA grandiose chain of islands deserves an even grander celebration with a hundred-kilometer run in the world-famous tourist destination in Pangasinan.

With the Hundred Islands National Park under the governance of Alaminos City, the race would be the commemoration of the unique natural site and only fitting is an international ultra marathon be organized, a kilometer per island.

Slated onMarch 15 to March 16, the first ever 100-km ultra marathon would start from the Lucap Wharf of Alaminos City, then runners would traverse through the western Pangasinan towns of Bani, Anda and Bolinao, then back to Alaminos, a statement said.

A hundred-kilometer race may seem tiring and gruesome, but Alaminos pristine white sand beaches and perfect summer breeze is enough to nurse those tired calves.

This is the first time we are doing this in conjunction with our city fiesta, said Jones Campos, one of the organizers and whose city would celebrate a five-day festivity fromMarch 16 to 21.

This ultra marathon surely boosts the Hundred Islands as a tourism destination as we are positioning it to be international in nature.

Several elite runners have already laced up for one of the countrys biggest foot race.

Hardcore 100 miles champion Marcelo the local Kenyan Bautista, 2013 The North Face trail run champion Arnold Lozano, Laoag City ultra marathon champion Joey D., Kenyan, ultra-marathoner Albert Tomabaga and Natures Trail Run champion Gerald Sabal of the Philippine Army.

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Hundred-kilometer run set in Pangasinan

etta1234 Post 405

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. = illuminati

Illuminati or religion? Does it make a difference? Each demonize the other and each wants to control man for their own interests (which are not always in the best interests of man). If the illuminati encourage education and understanding and intellectual growth then maybe they’re the good guys. Religions tell you the way it is and you dare not dispute the message or break the faith or you’re out.

I prefer reason and logic as opposed to faith. I know exactly who I am, where I came from, and what my purpose is in life and so do you if you think about it. I am a product of my parents, just as they are a product of theirs. If you go back a million generations (say, 20 million years) do you think we would look the same as we do today? I may not be able to say what we looked like then but I would bet hard cash we didn’t look like we do today. Believe it or not people, that is evolution and it is no mystery and it doesn’t need you to believe.

As to my purpose in life? There are about 7 billion people on this one planet. We are the one species that has come to dominate this precious biosphere. Our purpose is simple. Our planet has nurtured us to this point. It’s time to return the favor. Is it possible to take care of our family, community, country, world-planet all at the same time? Yes. We owe our lives to planet earth and now we have to show we are worthy of that.

All 7 billion of us, no matter our race, religion, creed, whether we know it or not, that is and must be our purpose. We owe that to earth. This should have nothing to do with politics or nationality or religious beliefs. We are all citizens of earth.

Do I believe there is a group of people around the world who wield enormous power and control a lion’s share of the wealth? Yes. Do I believe that there is evil in this world? Yes. But all this talk about symbolism, mind control, MX Ultra, gangs talking, solstice sacrifices, etc., is really up to your own opinion based on your personal beliefs.

All this talk about the Illuminati does nothing but divide us through fear and hatred. I feel it is best to live our lives and be the best possible people we can be, rather than waste our time arguing over things that might not be true and would not have any control over if they were true. We are only given so much time on this earth. Care for yourself and the ones you love, because no one else is going to do it for you.

Open your eyes. Stop watching TV and stop listening to the radio. The Illuminati wants to dominate the world. Rise up against the new world order and rebel against the Illuminati. Spread this message.

The Catholic Church has been responsible for more deaths than anyone throughout the centuries. They also make up their own rules as they go along. After the Roman Empire fell, they had to control the masses so they lied about Jesus, Mary and everything else so they could control the ignorant population. There is so much more to it, but I’m tired and don’t feel like typing.

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What Is the Illuminati? (with pictures) – wiseGEEK



American Freedom Stories: George Wallace – “Segregation Forever”
When George Wallace first ran for Governor in 1958 he was considered a moderate on the race issue. But after he lost, he ran again in 1962 and won on a platf…

By: BIO

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American Freedom Stories: George Wallace – "Segregation Forever" – Video



MAY 18 2013 RACE 10 (1) KORNATI ISLANDS (d)1038

By: Carie Hoggle

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MAY 18 2013 RACE 10 (1) KORNATI ISLANDS (d)1038 – Video



GRAND THEFT AUTO IV LIBERTY CITY RACE TRACK OBJECTS MOD HD1268

By: Julietta Parthemore

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GRAND THEFT AUTO IV LIBERTY CITY RACE TRACK OBJECTS MOD HD1268 – Video

Liberty Global (LBTYA) reached a deal Monday to buy the rest of Dutch cable operator Ziggo for $9.44 billion in cash and stock, marking John Malones latest move to expand the media giants cable footprint in Europe.

The London-based company, which already has a 28.5% stake in Ziggo, was in pursuit of the cable company as early as October. Ziggo rejected an initial takeover attempt by Liberty Global, saying the bid was too low.

Ziggo shareholders are set to receive 11 a share, about $15 a share, in cash, plus Class A and Class C ordinary shares in Liberty Global. The price values Ziggo at roughly 34.53 a share, a 22% premium over its share price before Liberty Globals initial overture was turned down.

The deal is valued at a total of $13.7 billion, including debt.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, Ziggo chief financial officer Bert Groenewegen said at a press conference that he expects shareholders to welcome the Liberty Global offer.

Liberty Global said it intends to merge Ziggo with UPC, another Dutch cable provider in its portfolio. The combined companies will generate annual revenue of around 2.5 billion, or $3.4 billion.

Our combined operations will reach over 90% of all Dutch households, allowing us to compete more effectively with the other national telecommunications and satellite platforms in the Netherlands, Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries said.

The company added that it is confidence the European Commission will provide regulatory approval of the acquisition. It anticipates closing the transaction in the second half of 2014.

Malone led an effort last summer to acquire Kabel Deutschland, Germanys largest cable operator, but ultimately lost the race to Vodafone (VOD). Liberty Global already brought in two other German cable companies, including No. 2 Unitymedia, since 2009.

Last year, Liberty Global completed its $15.8 billion acquisition of U.K. cable giant Virgin Media.

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Liberty Global Snags Dutch Cable Company Ziggo

NZ Millennium Cup heads to Bay of Islands in 2015

The New Zealand Millennium Cup, the highly regarded sailing regatta for superyachts, will next be contested as part of the Bay of Islands Sailing Week in January 2015.

This years Bay of Islands Sailing Week included over 70 yachts contesting three days of intense racing across several divisions and four race courses utilising the inner harbour between Paihia and Russell and the outer bay toward Cape Brett.

Peter Montgomery officially announced the link-up between the New Zealand Millennium Cup and the Bay of Islands Sailing Week at the prize-giving for this years regatta on Friday 24 January.

Peter Busfield, CEO of the New Zealand Marine Export Group which hosts the New Zealand Millennium Cup, says creating a dedicated superyacht race series within the Bay of Islands Sailing Week offers superyacht owners a fantastic opportunity to enjoy this increasingly popular regatta in one of New Zealands most attractive and popular marine playgrounds.

For owners, guests and crew, the opportunity to sail a series of five races across three days in their own superyacht division within the well-run Bay of Islands Sailing Week regatta will be a lot of fun and have a real Kiwi vibe, Busfield says.

The regattas outer race courses offer deep water, great breezes and the splendour of racing past beautiful coves and islands in the third week of January, the height of the New Zealand summer.

Busfield says, as New Zealand Millennium Cup hosts, the NZ Marine Export Group will ensure the focus is on superyacht owners, guests and crew being able to enjoy a fun, relaxed and competitive regatta.

The timing, being mid-late January, works well for many superyachts who head to New Zealand for summer cruising, working their way down country from the Bay of Islands to Auckland and further south. Many often have maintenance and refit work completed with one of the many expert suppliers around New Zealand.

Incorporating the New Zealand Millennium Cup in a vibrant and well-run regatta offers another attraction for a superyacht to visit New Zealand and maybe stay longer, says Busfield. We also envisage a flow-on benefit to Auckland and beyond from a larger number of superyachts and other cruising yachts visiting the Bay of Islands.

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NZ Millennium Cup heads to Bay of Islands in 2015

S

At first glance, this rockabilly Batmobile looks like a retro-fetishist’s pet project. It’s not. In fact, this freak machine, hand-built by a ragtag team in an Illinois town of 1,200, is the deepest look into the future of cars you’ve ever clapped eyes on. One frigid day in Brooklyn, Gizmodo buckled in for a ride.

This suede-black torpedo is the Illuminati Motor Works Seven, a battery-powered electric car built for the 2010 Progressive Automotive X Prize, which offered $5 million to anyone who could build a 100 MPG car as roomy, fast and sure-footed as a modern family sedan.

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The Illuminati team didn’t win the jackpota mechanical issue disqualified the car in the final competitionbut team leader Kevin Smith and his shadetree crew have been improving their baby ever since. And when Kevin, author Jason Fagone, and two Illuminati team members arrived in the Seven for a Brooklyn book eventIngenious: A True Story of Invention, Automotive Daring, and the Race to Revive America, Jason’s new book, is a compelling look at the Automotive X Prize storyGizmodo called shotgun.

The Seven is sweeping: as long as a full-size pickup truck, as slender as a Toyota Prius, and low enough to rest my elbow on the roof. The arcing fenders exaggerate the comic book proportions, while chrome headlight trim from a 1937 Ford, spun aluminum wheel covers, and that sinister matte finish nod to the early days of homebrew hotrodding.

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The carbon fiber and kevlar body took shape in a sketchbook, the rise and run of the curves guided by Kevin’s imagination and pages he photocopied from an ancient textbook on aerodynamics. It’s draped over a frame of steel tubes that were heated in a wood stove and bent to shape by hand. “We’d just grind and muscle it into shape,” Kevin said. “One of the guys [from MIT's X Prize team] said, ‘they just beasted this thing together.’ And that’s what we did.”

The bizarre exterior gives way to a more familiar looking cockpit when you climb through the gullwing door, a feature Kevin opted for simply because he could. There’s a climate control system, a radio with auxiliary input, even cupholders for the front and backward-facing rear seats. Oh, that’s right; the rear seats face the cars behind you.

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Riding in the Car of the Future, Built in an Illinois Barn

Search unifies people across the globe, and search engines are the catalyst for making that connection. For global brands, optimizing for different search engines and different cultures increases awareness, visibility, traffic and conversions. Global SEO and content marketing are more importance than ever!

The 2013 year saw search engine heroes and underdogs fight for their share of market across the globe. Here in the U.S., Google continued to dominate the U.S. search market, and Yahoo saw a steady decline while Bing consistently grew.

Globally, Google reigned in terms of overall reach, but indigenous search engines worldwide in countries like Russia, China and South Korea claimed their stake as leading engines in their homeland and beyond.

The climate of global search and online usage is hot. Countries all over the world are online more and more each year, buying, selling, and engaging in social activities on both desktop and mobile.Marketers engaging in global SEO and digital marketing need to move fast to snatch up the opportunity and operate in a global market thats getting larger everyday, making the world a smaller place to do business.

Google set foot into 2013 with 67 percent U.S. market share the highest share claimed to date, with November 2012 being the first time it had done so. Themost recent datafrom comScore (November) showed Google close to finishing out the year a little below where it started in January, at 66.7 percent.

Bing started off the year with 16.5 percent U.S. search market share and proved that slow and steady wins the race, with stable growth month after month, holding steady in November 2013 at 18.1 percent.

For Yahoo, 2013 would bring a struggle to maintain share, with 12.1 percent being the highest it claimed all year. By October, its share had dropped to 11.1 percent, and most recent data from comScore in November showed search market share at 11.2 percent.

The comScore data this year continued to highlight the battle between Bing and Yahoo for search market share. Reports showed the percentage that Bing grew in June was the exact amount of share Yahoo lost.

Marissa Mayer saw the problem, stating that the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal wasnt working as it should: One of the points of the alliance is that we collectively want to grow share rather than just trading share with each other.

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The Global SEO & Content Marketing Landscape

Oct 262013

Wolverhampton. Click here to bet.

The five year old had had just two previous starts on the all-weather, winning once and the market spoke strongly in his favour in the seven-furlong Ladbrokes Handicap.

The 2/1 favourite scored by a length and a half from two horses trained by Marco Botti, Solar Deity (7/2) and Grey Mirage (6/1), who were separated by a half-length.

The winning jockey Silvestre de Sousa said: “He has done it well enough from a wide draw. He was spot on.”

De Sousa doubled his tally for the evening in the Download The Ladbrokes App Claiming Stakes as the Ian Williams-trained Alakhan (2/1 favourite) held off all challengers to score by half a length.

The third race on the card, the Class Two 32Red Handicap, was also worth over 12,000 to the winner and saw the James Tate-trained Bin Singspiel (7/2) win in excellent style.

The three year old took over the lead from Expert Fighter (3/1 Fav) entering the straight and ran on strongly under Luke Morris to score by four lengths with Kiama Bay another four and a half lengths back in third.

The winning rider said: “He has done it very well. He is an impressive horse and I would like to think he can go on to better things. He travelled through the race very smoothly and showed a good turn of foot.

“It has been a great year for me (this was his 141st winner) and hopefully there will be a few more to come.”

Referring to the All-Weather Championships, the jockey added: “This is the boost that All-Weather racing needed.”

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Freedom of Wolverhampton

Likes on Facebook are now protected by the First Amendment, thanks to a ruling by the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court ruled on the side of Bobby Bland, a former deputy sheriff from Hampton, Va., who says he and other employees were fired for liking the Facebook page of his bosss opponent. Their boss, sheriff B.J. Roberts, won his race and promptly fired the dissenting employees. He said the firings were the result of budget cuts and the workers disruption of office dynamics. Suspecting that the dismissal had less to do with the budget and more to do with disliking the likes, Bland and his fellow Facebook mutineers took the case to court.

In 2012, The U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia didnt buy their argument that the termination violated their First Amendment rights, and dismissed the case. Judge Raymond Jackson noted that Facebook posts were protected, but didnt think likes made the cut. Simply liking a Facebook page is insufficient. It is not the kind of substantive statement that has previously warranted constitutional protection, he wrote in his opinion.

But a different judge saw the situation from another perspective. Chief Judge William B. Traxler Jr. saw no difference between a like and actually writing that you like something. On the most basic level, clicking on the Like button literally causes to be published the statement that the user likes something, which is itself a substantive statement, he wrote.

The ruling reinforced the argument of one of the plaintiffs,Daniel R. Carter Jr., who explicitly defended himself by saying a like fell under protected speech.

This is an important decision for the First Amendment because it extends free speech protections to a simple click of the mouse. Its a common sense ruling, since publicly liking something on Facebook is a clear endorsement, even if it is one that requires zero creative thinking. The line of thinking the judge used to arrive at this decision would protect all sorts of actions on social media, such as favoriting a tweet or pressing the heart button under an Instagram photo.

Of course, you may be wondering why this case was brought to court at all why shouldnt a sheriff be able to fire people who work for him who expressed support for another candidate? While employees in the private sector can be fired for comments deemed inappropriate, public servants often have more robust employment protections in place that safeguard their jobs if they express their political views. That may be the case here.

DT

Kate Knibbs is a writer from Chicago. She is very happy that her borderline-unhealthy Internet habits are rewarded with a job. You can find her at @kateknibbs on Twitter. E-mail her tips, rants, comments, and pictures of your talented animal friends at kateknibbsfreelance@gmail.com

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Facebook ‘Likes’ are protected by the First Amendment



A New Race….The Spiral of Freemason and the Eye of Illuminati represent the same thing!
All videos and more at:http://douseewhateyec.blogspot.com/

By: nicholson1968

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A New Race….The Spiral of Freemason and the Eye of Illuminati represent the same thing! – Video

SALINAS, Calif.Freedom Autosport has a history with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca that includes three double podiums and two wins. When GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge visits the iconic track this weekend, Freedom Autosport hopes to make it three wins in a row.

#25 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5: Tom Long, Derek Whitis

Photo by: Luis Betancourt

Freedoms Mazda MX-5s have always been competitive at the 2.238-mile track. In 2009, Derek Whitis and Tom Long finished second in the No. 25 Mazda MX-5, followed by Andrew Carbonell and Rhett ODoski in the No. 26 Mazda MX-5.

The series did not return to Mazda Raceway until 2011, when the team got another double podium in the ST class. It was much sweeter that time, with ODoski and Carbonell taking the win, followed by their teammates in second.

Freedom Autosport repeated the one-two finish in 2012, with Whitis and Long leading the way.

Now, heading into round ten, the team has every reason to hope for their third victory. Going to Mazda Raceway is such a great feeling for us because of our history with that track, says Carbonell. Its exciting for us to go there each year, and the track is so perfect for the Mazda MX-5. Everything about Mazda Raceway is great: the layout, the elevation changes, the weather, and of course Monterey.

Mazda Raceway is a really important race for us, says Whitis. Not only do we want to perform well as a team, but its important to help put Mazda back into the manufacturer championship lead.

Considering our results there in the past, were very optimistic about this race, says ODoski. Race strategy has been a vital part of our season, and it will be no different at Mazda Raceway. We need to run a clean, smart race.

Freedom Autosport will also have a third entry this weekend. Freedom Autosport alumni and San Jose, California, resident Brad Rampelberg is teaming up with Mazda open-wheel and Rolex Series driver Joel Miller to pilot the No. 27 Mazda MX-5.

Read more:
Freedom Autosport aims for CTSCC three in a row at Laguna Seca

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands (MindaNews/03 July)Former Akbayan Rep. Arlene Kaka J. Bag-ao was sworn in Wednesday morning as Dinagat Islands representative in the bailiwick of her political nemesis here.

Bag-ao, dubbed the dragon slayer for defeating a member of the politically well-entrenched Ecleo family, took her oath before Annie Morales, village chair of Barangay Sta. Cruz in Loreto town.

She was sworn in before a large crowd of supporters at Barangay Aurelio in San Jose, the capital town of Dinagat Islands.

Joining Bag-ao during the oath taking were her father, 70-year old Francisco Bag-ao Sr., her siblings, relatives, friends and invited guests.

Baga-o, who also celebrated her 44th birthday Wednesday, said it was not impossible to defeat a dragon if you are on the right path in the quest for change and hope.

She defeated Gwendolyn Ecleo, former mayor of Dinagat town, in the race for the lone congressional district of Dinagat Islands last elections.

I ran on the platform of change and hope: Bag-ong Dinagat, Bag-aong Kaugma-on. We did not only run under the platform of change and hope. We strove to bring what is change and hope within the period of six months, she told the crowd.

Months before the May 13 elections, Bag-ao was appointed the caretaker of the provinces lone congressional district after its elected congressman, Ruben Ecleo Jr., was delisted in the roll of the House of Representatives in 2012 because of absences.

Ecleo Jr. was convicted in a graft case, which he appealed before the Sandiganbayan but was denied with finality. He was also convicted for killing his wife by a court in Cebu City in 2012.

Nine months ago, when I was still struggling whether to run as representative of Dinagat Islands, I spent sleepless nights weighing the pros and cons, the pluses and the minuses in running, hindi po talaga madali magdesisyon bumangga sa isang matigas na pader (its not easy deciding to go against a very tough opponent), she said.

Read more here:
Bag-ao sworn in as Dinagat rep, shares how she ‘slaughtered the dragon’



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