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Second Amendment – Conservapedia

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on Second Amendment – Conservapedia
Oct 192015

See also gun control.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states:[1]

For several decades, the lower federal courts had interpreted the Second Amendment as protecting merely a collective right of state militias.[2] However, the U.S Supreme Court has always called it an individual right. The 2008 Supreme Court decision of District of Columbia v. Heller ruled 5-4 that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.

In 1786, the United States existed as a loose national government under the Articles of Confederation. This confederation was perceived to have several weaknesses, among which was the inability to mount a Federal military response to an armed uprising in western Massachusetts known as Shays’ Rebellion.

In 1787, to address these weaknesses, the Constitutional Convention was held with the idea of amending the Articles. When the convention ended with a proposed Constitution, those who debated the ratification of the Constitution divided into two camps; the Federalists (who supported ratification of the Constitution) and the Anti-Federalists (who opposed it).

Among their objections to the Constitution, anti-Federalists feared a standing army that could eventually endanger democracy and civil liberties. Although the anti-Federalists were unsuccessful at blocking ratification of the Constitution, through the Massachusetts Compromise they insured that a Bill of Rights would be made, which would provide constitutional guarantees against taking away certain rights.

One of those rights was the right to bear arms. This was intended to prevent the Federal Government from taking away the ability of the states to raise an army and defend itself and arguably to prevent them from taking away from individuals the ability to bear arms.

The meaning of this amendment is controversial with respect to gun control.

The National Rifle Association, which supports gun rights, has a stone plaque in front of its headquarters bearing the words “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The slogan means that individual citizens have the right to own and use guns.

American law has always said that the militia includes ordinary private citizens, and gun rights advocates say that the amendment means individuals have the right to own and use guns. Gun control advocates began in the late 20th century to say it means only that there is only some sort of collective or state-controlled right.

Supreme Court opinions have all been consistent with the individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment, but the lower court opinions are mixed.

As of 2007, people argue about the meaning of the Second Amendment, but there is no definitive answer. The latest ruling is Parker v District of Columbia, in which the DC Circuit court of appeals ruled on March 9, 2007 that the DC gun ban violated individual rights under the Second Amendment.

The One Comma vs. The Three Comma Debate

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.””’

Quoted from:

Down to the Last Second (Amendment)

Participants in the various debates on firearms, crime, and constitutional law may have noticed that the Second Amendment is often quoted differently by those involved. The two main variations differ in punctuation- specifically, in the number of commas used to separate those twenty-seven words. But which is the correct one? The answer to this question must be found in official records from the early days of the republic. Therefore, a look into the progression of this declaratory and restrictive clause from its inception to its final form is in order.

Before beginning, one must note that common nouns, like “state” and “people,” were often capitalized in official and unofficial documents of the era. Also, an obsolete formation of the letter s used to indicate the long s sound was in common usage. The long ‘s’ is subject to confusion with the lower case ‘f’ ,therefore, Congress” is sometimes spelled as “Congrefs,” as is the case in the parchment copy of the Bill of Rights displayed by the National Archives. The quotations listed here are accurate. With the exception of the omission of quotations marks, versions of what is now known as the Second Amendment in boldface appear with the exact spelling, capitalization, and punctuation as the cited originals.

During ratification debates on the Constitution in the state conventions, several states proposed amendments to that charter. Anti-Federalist opposition to ratification was particularly strong in the key states of New York and Virginia, and one of their main grievances was that the Constitution lacked a declaration of rights. During the ratification process, Federalist James Madison became a champion of such a declaration, and so it fell to him, as a member of the 1st Congress, to write one. On June 8, 1789, Madison introduced his declaration of rights on the floor of the House. One of its articles read:

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.1

On July 21, John Vining of Delaware was appointed to chair a select committee of eleven to review, and make a report on, the subject of amendments to the Constitution. Each committeeman represented one of the eleven states (Rhode Island and North Carolina had not ratified the Constitution at that time), with James Madison representing Virginia. Unfortunately, no record of the committee’s proceedings is known to exist. Seven days later, Vining duly issued the report, one of the amendments reading:

A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms. 2

In debates on the House floor, some congressmen, notably Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts and Thomas Scott of Pennsylvania, objected to the conscientious objector clause in the fifth article. They expressed concerns that a future Congress might declare the people religiously scrupulous in a bid to disarm them, and that such persons could not be called up for military duty. However, motions to strike the clause were not carried. On August 21, the House enumerated the Amendments as modified, with the fifth article listed as follows:

5. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the People, being the best security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person. 3

Finally, on August 24, the House of Representatives passed its proposals for amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the Senate for their consideration. The next day, the Senate entered the document into their official journal. The Senate Journal shows Article the Fifth as:

Art. V. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person. 4

On September 4, the Senate debated the amendments proposed by the House, and the conscientious objector clause was quickly stricken. Sadly, these debates were held in secret, so records of them do not exist. The Senators agreed to accept Article the Fifth in this form:

…a well regulated militia, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall net be infringed. 5

In further debates on September 9, the Senate agreed to strike the words, “the best,” and replace them with, “necessary to the.” Since the third and fourth articles had been combined, the Senators also agreed to rename the amendment as Article the Fourth. The Senate Journal that day carried the article without the word, “best,” but also without the replacements, “necessary to.” Note that the extraneous commas have been omitted:

A well regulated militia being the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. 6

With two-thirds of the Senate concurring on the proposed amendments, they were sent back to the House for the Representatives’ perusal. On September 21, the House notified the Senate that it agreed to some of their amendments, but not all of them. However, they agreed to Article the Fourth in its entirety:

Resolved, That this House doth agree to the second, fourth, eighth, twelfth, thirteenth, sixteenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, twenty-fifth, and twenty-sixth amendments… 7

By September 25, the Congress had resolved all differences pertaining to the proposed amendments to the Constitution. On that day, a Clerk of the House, William Lambert, put what is now known as the Bill of Rights to parchment. Three days later, it was signed by the Speaker of the House, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, and the President of the Senate, Vice President John Adams. This parchment copy is held by the National Archives and Records Administration, and shows the following version of the fourth article:

Article the Fourth. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. 8

The above version is used almost exclusively today, but aside from the parchment copy, the author was unable to find any other official documents from that era which carry the amendment with the extra commas. In fact, in the appendix of the Senate Journal, Article the Fourth is entered as reading:

Art. IV. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.9

Also, the Annals of Congress, formally called The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, show the proposed amendment as follows:

Article the Fourth. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.10

Further, once two-thirds of both chambers of the Congress agreed to the proposed amendments, the House passed a resolve to request that the President send copies of them to the governors of the eleven states in the Union, and to those of Rhode Island and North Carolina. The Senate concurred on September 26, as recorded in their journal:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be requested to transmit to the executives of the United States, which have ratified the constitution copies of the amendments proposed by Congress, to be added thereto; and like copies to the executives of the states of Rhode Island and North Carolina.11

Fortunately, an original copy of the amendments proposed by the Congress, and sent to the State of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations, does survive. Certified as a true copy by Assembly Secretary Henry Ward, it reads in part:

Article the Fourth, –A well regulated Militia being neceffary to the Security of a free State, the Right of the People to keep and bear Arms fhall not be infringed. 12

And so, the proposed amendments to the Constitution were sent to the states for ratification. When notifying the President that their legislatures or conventions had ratified some or all of the proposed amendments, some states attached certified copies of them. New York, Maryland, South Carolina, and Rhode Island notified the general government that they had ratified the fourth amendment in this form:

Article the Fourth. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. 13

Articles the First and Second were not ratified by the required three-fourths of the states, but by December 15, 1791, the last ten articles were. These, of course, are now known as the Bill of Rights. Renumbering the amendments was required since the first two had not been ratified. The 1796 revision of The Federalist on the New Constitution reflects the change as such:


A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.14

This version is carried throughout the 19th Century, in such legal treatises as Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833) and Thomas Cooley’s Principles of Constitutional Law (1898). It is also transcribed in this manner in the 1845 Statutes at Large, although the term “state” is capitalized in that text. The latter are the official source for acts of Congress.15,16, 17

This version still appears today, as is the case with the annotated version of the Constitution they sponsored on the Government Printing Office web site (1992, supplemented in 1996 and 1998). The Second Amendment is shown as reading:

A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. 18

(The Senate-sponsored GPO site does carry a “literal print” of the amendments to the Constitution showing the Second Amendment with the additional commas. The punctuation and capitalization of the amendments transcribed there are the same as those found on the parchment copy displayed in the Rotunda of the National Archives.)19

Thus, the correct rendition of the Second Amendment carries but a single comma, after the word “state.” It was in this form that those twenty-seven words were written, agreed upon, passed, and ratified.

Why the Commas are Important

It is important to use the proper Second Amendment because it is clearly and flawlessly written in its original form. Also, the function of the words, “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,” are readily discerned when the proper punctuation is used. On the other hand, the gratuitous addition of commas serve only to render the sentence grammatically incorrect and unnecessarily ambiguous. These points will be demonstrated later in the Second Amendment Series.

Footnotes to Comment section:

1. Amendments Offered in Congress by James Madison, June 8, 1789. The Constitution Society., 16 January 2000.

2. Amendments Reported by the Select Committee. July 28, 1789. The Constitution Society., 16 January 2000.

3. U.S. House Journal. 1st Cong., 1st sess., 21 August 1789.

4. U.S. Senate Journal. 1st Cong., 1st sess., 25 August 1789.

5. U.S. Senate Journal, 1st Cong., 1st sess., 4 September 1789.

6. U.S. Senate Journal, 1st Cong., 1st sess., 9 September 1789.

7. U.S. House Journal. 1st Cong., 1st sess., 21 September 1789.

8. Bill of Rights. National Archives and Records Administration., 22 January 2000.

9. U.S. Senate Journal. 1st Cong., 1st sess., Appendix.

10. Annals of Congress, 1st Cong., 1st sess., Appendix

11. U.S. Senate Journal. 1st Cong. 1st sess., 26 September 1789.

12. A True Bill. The Constitution for the United States, Its Sources and Its Applications., 27 January 2000.

13. U.S. House Journal, 1st Cong., 3rd sess., Appendix Note: Maryland and South Carolina capitalized the “m” in “Militia.”

14. The Federalist on the New Constitution, 1796. The Constitution for the United States, Its Sources and Its Applications., 17 February 2000.

15. Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution Society., 18 February 2000.

16. Quotes from Constitutional Commentators. Gun Cite., 2 February 2000.

17. Statutes at Large 1845, 21.

18. Second Amendment–Bearing Arms. The Constitution of the United States of America., 18 February 2000.

19. Text of the Amendments (Literal Print). The Constitution of the United States of America., 18 February 2000.

Liberals have made various efforts to subvert the Second Amendment by enacting unconstitutional gun laws which restrict the ability of individuals to protect themselves against the excesses of government. Examples include:

See also list of celebrities against Second Amendment

Bill of Rights: 1 – Freedom of speech, press, etc. 2 – Right to bear arms 3 – Quartering of soldiers 4 – Warrants 5 – Due process 6 – Right to a speedy trial 7 – Right by trial of a jury 8 – No cruel or unusual punishments 9 – Unenumerated rights 10 – Power to the people and states

11 – Immunity of states to foreign suits 12 – Revision of presidential election procedures 13 – Abolition of slavery 14 – Citizenship 15 – Racial suffrage 16 – Federal income tax 17 – Direct election to the United States Senate 18 – Prohibition of alcohol 19 – Women’s suffrage 20 – Terms of the presidency 21 – Repeal of Eighteenth Amendment 22 – Limits the president to two terms 23 – Electoral College 24 – Prohibition of poll taxes 25 – Presidential disabilities 26 – Voting age lowered to 18 27 – Variance of congressional compensation

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Second Amendment – Conservapedia

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Ocean Beaches Near Pennsylvania | eHow

 Beaches  Comments Off on Ocean Beaches Near Pennsylvania | eHow
Oct 162015


Pennsylvania and ocean beaches might not seem to go together, but the Keystone State has had a long and happy association with the New Jersey Shore and its beaches. Throughout much of the last century special trains traveled from Philadelphia to the Jersey Shore, mainly to the Atlantic City area. Today, the Atlantic City Expressway and Highways 55 and 49 link Pennsylvania residents to south Jersey Shore beaches. Other beach going opportunities are in Maryland and Delaware.

Atlantic City, New Jersey, is the traditional beach destination for people from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The coast is easily accessible and has miles of beaches surrounding its famous Boardwalk. Brigantine, north of the city, offers six miles of beaches that are much less crowded. Ocean City and Margate, to the south, has both Atlantic and inlet beaches. Lifeguards are on hand at many beaches and some areas allow surfing. Fishing is permitted on all non-bathing beaches, either from the beach or from the many piers and jetties along the shore.

South of Atlantic City are miles and miles of beach, with relatively few towns along the way. Wildwood and Cape May, at the extreme southern tip of New Jersey, are the best-known communities, but Sea Isle City and Avalon are also nearby. Cape May is famous for its bird-watching. Beach-side motels and cabins are scattered throughout the area. This region is readily accessible from Pennsylvania, mainly from Highways 55 and 49.

The area north of Atlantic City offers miles of beaches reaching up to Asbury Park and Long Branch. This includes such places as Island Beach State Park, Long Beach Island and communities like Spring Lake and Belmar. The latter two locales have many luxurious homes. Asbury Park and nearby communities offer a noted beach and recreational area with many entertainment options beyond sand and sun.

Maryland and Delaware also offer ocean beach options for Pennsylvanians. Delaware beaches stretch from the mouth of Delaware Bay near Dover and south to the famous barrier islands like Chincoteague. The barrier islands south of Ocean City are government protected areas. They have no highways, communities or tourist facilities. Both Delaware and Maryland have beaches along Chesapeake Bay. The region north of Washington D.C. is densely populated but the southern extremes are less crowded.

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Ocean Beaches Near Pennsylvania | eHow

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Repeal the Second Amendment – Baltimore Sun

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on Repeal the Second Amendment – Baltimore Sun
Oct 042015

In 2008, the Supreme Court of the United States decided in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects a civilian’s right to keep a gun in his home. In 2010, the court decided in McDonald v. Chicago that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment limits the power of state and local governments to outlaw the possession of handguns by private citizens. The vote in each case was five-to-four not exactly a ringing endorsement of the court’s reasoning in either case. But for now, the law of the land with regard to easy access to guns is settled.

The Second Amendment is enthroned mistakenly, but as a matter of law as a fundamental dimension of individual freedom. The practical result is that we must live with carnage by firearms as a daily fact of American life.

Surely, the timid voices of reason and humanity whisper, there is some limit to the atrocities that Americans will tolerate. When Adam Lanza, with no prior criminal history nor treatment for mental illness, killed 26 people including 20 first-grade students at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on December 14, 2012, the nation was riveted and horrified. Something this unspeakable, this ghastly, this straight-out-of-hell, changed exactly nothing in federal law.

Then, in June of this year, a gunman killed nine churchgoers in Charleston, S.C. Two months later, a Virginia TV news crew was slaughtered on air, and the deed posted almost immediately to social media by the killer. And Thursday, a gunman killed at least 9 people and wounded others on the campus of Oregon’s Umpqua Community College.

What will it take to shock us out of our torpor? Another dead president? Not likely half the country will applaud it. How about a dozen people inspired by ISIS slipping simultaneously into the Mall of America and unveiling the assault weapons they have obtained in perfectly legal ways? I cannot imagine what level of gun violence will serve more to horrify than to entertain.

It is certainly a respectable idea to accept the Second Amendment and treat death by firearms as a public health issue. It is doomed to fail, however, because it isn’t the criminal or the psychotic who produces the murder, it’s the easy means to act out one’s fantasies that produces the criminal and the psychotic. Millions of guns, thousands of gun deaths.

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, the leading dissenter in Heller and McDonald, has published a wise little book, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution.” He suggests five words be added to the Second Amendment so that it reads “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

I say, let’s get rid of the Second Amendment altogether. Let the states and Congress regulate firearms as they see fit. Some states, most of them without big-city violence, will retain laws that allow citizens to carry concealed firearms. Gang-ridden Chicago will try again to crack down on guns. Congress will reconsider universal background checks and the prohibition of assault weapons.

As Justice Stevens informs us in his book, “legislatures are in a far better position than judges to assess the wisdom of such rules and to evaluate the costs and benefits that rule changes can be expected to produce. It is those legislators, rather than federal judges, who should make the decisions that will determine what kinds of firearms should be available to private citizens, and when and how they may be used. Constitutional provisions that curtail the legislative power to govern in this area unquestionably do more harm than good.”

And we’ve all already seen enough harm.

Hal Riedl retired from the Maryland Division of Correction in 2010, and from the office of the state’s attorney for Baltimore City in December 2014. His email is

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Repeal the Second Amendment – Baltimore Sun

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Liberty House Restaurant – Jersey City, NJ

 Liberty  Comments Off on Liberty House Restaurant – Jersey City, NJ
Oct 022015

Perfect Night Reviewed on 12/03/2012 Tracy S

The Liberty House was the site of our perfect Thanksgiving weekend wedding. Our family and friends were blown away at absolutely everything: the views, the gardens, the cocktail room, the reception space, and the food. Danielle was an AMAZING help for the year we planned our… Read More wedding and was always quick to respond to our many requests and the evening went off without a hitch. The staff at the Liberty House were phenomenal and worked so hard to make sure we were comfortable, fed, and filled with liquor! The space was beautiful and I can’t wait to return year after year to have an anniversary dinner at their restaurant.

I got married the week Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast. The entire state of New Jersey was in chaos and devastation. The Liberty House helped me have my dream wedding. Despite power loss and generator usage, they did everything in their power to make sure the wedding was as… Read More perfect as it could get. The entire venue was filled with candle light, the food was AMAZING, and the service was outstanding. My wedding turned out absolutely amazing – even without power!

I just had my wedding at the Liberty House and it was an AMAZING wedding. The staff, especially Danielle, Miriam and Virginia went above and beyond! Everything was great from the food to the service. My guests were raving to me all night (and still are) about how wonderful the… Read More place was. There really is no better backdrop for your wedding than the amazing views of NYC.

My wedding day was everything I hoped for, and more. I originally planned on having my wedding at a venue in Brooklyn, since that is where I reside. After my first walk through at the Liberty House I was convinced this was where I would marry the love of my life. Alex Argenio… Read More was my wedding coordinator and she was absolutely Amazing!!! She helped with planning all the details and made sure to be there on the big to ensure everything went as planned. We had the ceremony at the garden with 150 guest and I couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out. Having the ceremony and reception at the same location was the best decision for us, I think it helped in keeping everything on schedule and made it convenient for the guest to transition. I am so grateful for Vicky the maitre’d who took care of everything the groom and I needed for the night, she was phenomenal!!! I wanted a real wedding where family and friends could eat, drink and have a good time and The Liberty House was the perfect venue for such a special occasion. Following the wedding our guest were raving about the great customer service from the staff, how delicious the food was and the amazing back drop. The city view across the water combined with the greenery of the garden as well as the fire pits and modern chic outdoor decor made it for a stunning ambiance. Deciding where to have a once in a lifetime event it’s hard as It is, pick a place where they understand that notion and how much you’ll treasure these moments. Good luck bride to be !!!

The Liberty House is an amazingly beautiful venue for a wedding. The views of the city are breathtaking, and all our guests were blow away. We were married in the Liberty Room on the main level. What made our wedding unique is that during the reception we didnt have people… Read More all crammed on the dancefloor. Some people were dancing, some were sitting outside by the firepits toasting marshmallows, others were lighting sparklers, and others were enjoying a cigar and espresso. There was something for everyone. The food is also amazing, and there is tons of it! All our guests commented on how great the food was, and how wonderful and attentive the waitstaff was. The entire staff at the Liberty House was professional, helpful, and very kind. They are masters of creating an amazing wedding day and a countless number of our guests said it was the best wedding they have ever attended. It was the perfect venue for us, and I cant thank the Liberty House staff enough for helping create my dream wedding day!

Flawless Wedding First let me start by saying if Danielle Villa is not your coordinator then she should be! As she is AMAZING!! We had chosen the LH house due to the amazing views of NYC, which would allow for us to have a personal wedding with ~60 guests. The benefits… Read More that Danielle brought We are very busy with our jobs as both my wife and I do a lot of global travel, and we no longer live in NJ, so planning a remote wedding around our work schedules was hectic to say the least. So when we had a question we were delighted to get a quick and concise response from Danielle within 24 hours, and most of the time is was in less than 3 hrs. She was great at detailing out the next steps, as well as offering suggestions for the event. She set up the room, ceremony and our special champagne celebration perfectly! She made it a flawless, drama free day! Benefits of the Liberty house.our guests loved loved loved the food at the cocktail hour. And the views of Manhattan were amazing, especially since it was a blue moon that night. For our event we chose to do the cocktail hour first, this gave our guests time to get to know the venue and mingle with each other. From there we moved to the ceremony where we had the chairs set up in a heart shape, and a champagne bucket in each row allowing for an immediate toast after our I dos. We then moved back to cocktails for a short period before starting dinner. Dinner quickly moved to dancing, more pictures of the skyline, cake and Smores (which were a HUGE hit!). The service the day of our wedding was over the top. We had Chris that ensured things flowed as scheduled, and Elizabeth as our personal attendant and she made sure we had everything we needed. Our goal was to have an informal, fun event that our friends and family would rave about. And that is exactly what we got. Every guest could not say enough about the venue, food, view, and overall day. Overall, would not change a thing when it comes to the Liberty House. And can not stress enoughDanielle is a MUST to have in your corner!

Had our wedding reception at The Liberty House on June 7. Could not have asked for a better experience! Being an event planner, I had high expectations….Danielle Villa and the entire Liberty House staff blew me AWAY. I am more than thrilled with the way everything turned out…. Read More The view is to die for, the food is amazing, and the staff is so attentive (my bridal consultant, Leslie was a DOLL!). You don’t find this combination anywhere else. Our guests can’t stop talking about our wedding. Said it is the best they’ve ever been to! All thanks to the amazing Liberty House. To Danielle and team — thank you for EVERYTHING. it was my dream day!

Our wedding was almost a month ago and we are still getting compliments. All our guest raved about how beautiful the Liberty House was and how delicious the food tasted. My now husband and I had such a pleasant experience dealing with all the staff throughout our… Read More planning. On the day of our wedding, they made it such a special experience. We did not have to go to the bar once as our drinks were always being filled by the bridal attendant. My sister need a pin for my hair and the attendant appeared and had one for her to use. Everything was amazing and we are still talking about how much fun we had at the Liberty House.

When we visited the Liberty House for a friends wedding, we were in awe. We aspired that the venue would be our own one day and it was! We loved our wedding experience there too! We scheduled an appointment and got assigned Danielle. What a fire cracker! I loved her from the… Read More moment I met her. She was friendly, honest, professional, and REAL! When my fiance and I got home the appointment that night, we were still glowing! We called Danielle the next day and locked in our date! We got to know Danielle pretty well over the next few months, especially my husband who I assigned to our payments. We inundated her with silly questions, which were new to us, and she answered them all in a timely matter. She was always one step ahead and knew what documents/info to send over at the appropriate times. The days leading up to the wedding were stressful but having Danielle’s final meeting was soothing. We finalized all the details and made a checklist. She was so well organized that it made everything easy. The day of the wedding, everything went off without a hitch! Everything was set up where it was supposed to be and my bridal assistant, Leslie was a gem! Always pleasant and always asking if I needed anything! She was so accommodating; Ive never been so attended to and it felt great on such a special day! Thank you for the memories Liberty House! You are what we dreamt of! Lastly, leaving you with a few helpful tips: – Bring 4 people to your tasting trial. It makes it more fun and its a great way to include your bridal party. Six people was a little too crowded, especially when you had to share a salad. – You get what you pay for. Is the LH more than other locations, sure, but you cant beat the location. Perhaps, switch your wedding to the afternoon to save some bucks. We did. – Make a list of all supplies dropped off at the LH prior to the wedding. This ensures that nothing gets left behind!

My experience with the Liberty House was AMAZING! From beginning to end, Danielle was professional, knowledgeable, and extremely reliable. Throughout the planning process she was very helpful and easy to reach. We had both our ceremony and reception at the Liberty House. Our… Read More reception was in the Liberty Room downstairs, which also gave us access to the outdoor patio. I was very concerned about the weather, but Danielle continually assured me that they would make it work. We ended up having perfect weather, but I knew even if we didnt that Danielle would work hard to make sure everything was beautiful. You cant beat the food or atmosphere of the Liberty House. Our guests said it was the best food they ever tasted! The staff and service at the Liberty House is experienced and efficient. Leslie was my bridal assistant and I have to say that she was a life saver. From the second I stepped off the bus she was right there to help me with my dress and continued to be attentive until I stepped back on the bus at the end of the night. She was experienced and knowledgeable and helped the day to run smoothly for not only myself and my husband, but for our parents and the rest of the bridal party as well. Overall, the Liberty House was just wonderful! I would recommend them to anyone!

The Liberty House far exceeded all my expectations for our wedding reception. The room was stunning, the food was amazing, and the service was beyond compare. I worked closely with Danielle Villa through my two year engagement – she provided us great, responsive service and had… Read More amazing ideas on how to enhance our reception. We were fortunate enough to have a beautiful, clear, October night where people were able to hang out outside in the park during cocktail hour and on the balcony during the reception – and the view of NYC provided the perfect backdrop. Our bridal attendant Leslie was so amazing- she knew exactly what I needed before I knew I needed it!! I felt so taken care of all day and knew I was in capable hands from the moment we selected The Liberty House to host our reception. People are still raving about our beautiful wedding!!

Liberty House Restaurant was the perfect place for our wedding! The food was outstanding, the space is gorgeous, and the views of downtown Manhattan are stunning. Mara McMullen and her team kept me sane the months, weeks, and days leading up to our wedding and helped me with… Read More planning every step of the way. We could not have been happier with the Liberty House and look forward to spending our anniversaries at the restaurant year after year!

I got married at the Liberty House on November 7, 2014 and my guests are STILL talking about it. It was the most amazing wedding and it was everything I had ever dreamed of. I worked with Mara who was incredibly professional, responsive, and super sweet to deal with. She… Read More answered every question I had and worked with me on anything and everything I needed. I would highly recommend her to any bride looking for someone to help make your day a special one. The day/night was unbelievable. First of all the food is exceptional. My guests were raving about it (and still are). Everything from the cocktail hour to the main course and was just absolutely delicious. The view is unbeatable. I love Manhattan and having that be the backdrop of our wedding venue was magical. Walking into the room truly takes your breath away. I had Leslie as my bridal attendant that day and she was beyond amazing. She was there for anything I needed and was such a pleasure. Ladies ask for Leslie because she is amazing and such a wonderful person. She made every request I had and saw them through perfectly. I really cannot say enough about the wonderful experience I had at the Liberty House. Everyone there is amazing and the service the staff provided was outstanding. Here we are almost two weeks later and people who attended our wedding said two things: One, it was the best wedding they have ever been to, and two, the Liberty House was beautiful, the food was excellent, and its a one of a kind place. If you are a bride looking to steer clear from the typical catering hall feel, definitely look into Liberty House. Also the pictures you will get will blow you away. The backdrop of Manhattan is beautiful and my pictures came out amazing. Overall I was so incredibly happy with everything. It truly was the best day of our lives and we have to thank the wonderful staff there for all they did for us but especially to Mara, Leslie, and of course our maitre d Chris who made our day so special. We couldnt have asked for a better day and a better place to have our wedding.

The Liberty House was an amazing wedding venue from start to finish. I initially chose the wedding for the NYC skyline and it did not disappoint. My guest were all amazed with the view and all wanted to know how I found this venue space. In terms of the event the liberty house… Read More was great in adding little extras to my decorations and details to ensure a great reception look. They were very attentive during the entire event and made sure all of my needs and guests needs were met. I couldn’t be happier with the venue or service.

My daughter & son in law chose this venue for the breathtaking view of Manhattan. That turned out to be just one of the outstanding attributes of this venue. The food was exceptional, the service was above & beyond. We worked with Danielle as coordinator and Leslie as the… Read More bridal attendant. They both outdid themselves and couldn’t do enough for my daughter on the most important day of her life. Thank you to all at The Liberty House for a night we will never forget.

Our son and daughter in law held their wedding reception at The Liberty House in New Jersey earlier this month. We cannot say enough about the venue and the service. Our journey began with Danielle Villa as our coordinator and we were thrilled to be working with her. She was… Read More delightful and answered all of our questions. She responded almost immediately to every question or request. She was as happy as we were to be having this event. She made it oh so easy and fun. Stressless as it were. Jeanne Cretella, the owner of the venue also went out of her way to welcome us and make certain we were pleased with the service. The food was plentiful and very delicious. The service was a 10. The venue looked spectacular and the Manhattan view cannot be duplicated. We could not have asked for more. It was wonderful – a 15 out of 10 !!! We highly recommend this for your special day. Our guests would as well.

First things first.. My wedding was held on October 11th 2014. I am at a complete loss for words at how amazing it all turned out. The liberty house is a beautiful location and Danielle was amazing to work with. She helped bring my vision to life. From the beginning to the end I… Read More felt like a princess. My bridal attendant was on top of everything as well. My guests are still raving about the cocktail hour, dinner and viennese hour. I couldn’t be more happier that I chose the liberty house as the venue to work with and working with Danielle made it that much smoother. She is efficient and on top of things 110% and whoever else has their wedding here will feel the exact same way. Thank you landmark hospitality and Danielle for making my wedding fabulous!!

The Liberty House truly exceeded our expectations. To begin, the venue is spectacular with clear views of the downtown skyline. We worked with Danielle to coordinate and she was 100% on top of every last detail, helping to ease any concerns prior to the big day. Our maitre d and… Read More bridal attendant were phenomenal as well and the service was top notch from cocktail hour to end. We were so we’ll taken care of, I don’t know how anyone could do without this awesome team!

Our wedding coordinator Vivian was amazing! My friends and family loved the venue. The staff in the Liberty Room did a great job! A big thanks to the Liberty House Staff!!!!

We had both our wedding ceremony and reception at Liberty House and everything exceeded our expectations! Everyone we worked with was amazing, Mara was great, super helpful and easy to work with. The location and view are spectacular, add to that fantastic food, signature… Read More drinks, gorgeous fire pits, s’mores, people are still talking about it weeks later! I cannot recommend this venue enough, our day was magical and I couldn’t imagine having it anywhere else.

We had our wedding at the Liberty House and if you are at all considering having your wedding there, do it. NOW. Everything about it was amazing. Even if you can forget about the beautiful view and grounds (which you can’t), the food, staff, location – anything you can think… Read More of for a venue, was just perfect. We received so many compliments throughout the night and people are still talking about it days later. We loved every second of this experience and that is in large part thanks to the amazing people at Liberty House – especially Mara (our fantastic coordinator), Leslie (our amazing bridal attendant), Chris and another woman whose name I unfortunately can’t remember.

Liberty House was wonderful! It’s expensive but definitely worth it! The food, service, views and professionalism was outstanding. Our guest raved about the reception. Mara was our event coordinator and she was extremely personable, organized and professional. By husband and… Read More I had some last minute changes the week before the wedding and she was more than accommodating. My bridal attendant was fabulous! She brought us water a couple times while we were taking pictures and went above and beyond. Liberty House also packaged up all of our items for the reception and had them ready within 20 minutes. It was wonderful because we did not lose anything!

Danielle and the entire staff at The Liberty House made my wedding day the most amazing day of my life! No detail was left out and Danielle was incredible to work with. It was raining until 30 minutes before my wedding ceremony but Danielle had faith that everything would work… Read More out and it did! She had her entire staff wiping down chairs and tables up until minutes before guests arrived to ensure I had the wedding of my dreams. From the most delicious food to the most breathtaking grounds, I would recommend The Liberty House to anyone looking for the whole package. Thank you Danielle!

I have to say that I was nervous about this place, but my “Dreammaker” was the best ever. She never broke a sweat, and made our whole day amazing and flawless. They have the most attentive staff! My family is vegetarian, but they loved everything from the cocktail hour to the… Read More buffet dinner. There were soo many options for both the vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

I mean this place is truly amazing. From the views to the food to the service there was not a place they faltered even a little. Danielle was my coordinator and she was warm and helpful and answered all mine and my parents questions without a hint of annoyance. We had a bridal… Read More attendant the night of the event and let me tell you she was amazing as well. Never was my glass empty or my veil out of place. My wedding was perfect and I love that all of guests were able to enjoy the scenic views! Not a single complaint. I would also like to note that we were initially interested in Maritime Parc(across the parking lot) but have found their service lacking and of course their views are not as amazing. With the lawn at Liberty House as a wedding ceremony option, we are so so happy we chose Liberty House instead!

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Liberty House Restaurant – Jersey City, NJ

Eugenics in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Eugenics  Comments Off on Eugenics in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sep 072015

Early proponents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Eugenics in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Second Amendment | United States Constitution |

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on Second Amendment | United States Constitution |
Sep 022015

Second Amendment,Second AmendmentNARAamendment to the Constitution of the United States, adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, that provided a constitutional check on congressional power under Article I Section 8 to organize, arm, and discipline the federal militia. The Second Amendment reads, A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Referred to in modern times as an individuals right to carry and use arms for self-defense, the Second Amendment was envisioned by the framers of the Constitution, according to College of William and Mary law professor and future U.S. District Court judge St. George Tucker in 1803 in his great work Blackstones Commentaries: With Notes of Reference to the Constitution and Laws of the Federal Government of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as the true palladium of liberty. In addition to checking federal power, the Second Amendment also provided state governments with what Luther Martin (1744/481826) described as the last coup de grace that would enable the states to thwart and oppose the general government. Last, it enshrined the ancient Florentine and Roman constitutional principle of civil and military virtue by making every citizen a soldier and every soldier a citizen. (See also gun control.)

Until 2008 the Supreme Court of the United States had never seriously considered the constitutional scope of the Second Amendment. In its first hearing on the subject, in Presser v. Illinois (1886), the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment prevented the states from prohibit[ing] the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the public security. More than four decades later, in United States v. Schwimmer (1929), the Supreme Court cited the Second Amendment as enshrining that the duty of individuals to defend our government against all enemies whenever necessity arises is a fundamental principle of the Constitution and holding that the common defense was one of the purposes for which the people ordained and established the Constitution. Meanwhile, in United States v. Miller (1939), in a prosecution under the National Firearms Act (1934), the Supreme Court avoided addressing the constitutional scope of the Second Amendment by merely holding that the possession or use of a shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length was not any part of the ordinary military equipment protected by the Second Amendment.

For more than seven decades after the United States v. Miller decision, what right to bear arms that the Second Amendment protected remained uncertain. This uncertainty was ended, however, in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), in which the Supreme Court examined the Second Amendment in exacting detail. In a narrow 54 majority, delivered by Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court held that self-defense was the central component of the amendment and that the District of Columbias prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court also affirmed previous rulings that the Second Amendment ensured the right of individuals to take part in the defending of their liberties by taking up arms in an organized militia. However, the court was clear to emphasize that an individuals right to an organized militia is not the sole institutional beneficiary of the Second Amendments guarantee.

Because the Heller ruling constrained only federal regulations against the right of armed self-defense in the home, it was unclear whether the court would hold that the Second Amendment guarantees established in Heller were equally applicable to the states. The Supreme Court answered this question in 2010, with its ruling on McDonald v. Chicago. In a plurality opinion, a 54 majority held that the Heller right to possess a handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense is applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendments due process clause.

However, despite the use of person in the Fourteenth Amendments due process clause, the McDonald plurality opinion did not extend to noncitizens. Clarence Thomass fifth and decisive vote only extended the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller to citizens. Thomas wrote, Because this case does not involve a claim brought by a noncitizen, I express no view on the difference, if any, between my conclusion and the plurality with respect to the extent to which States may regulate firearm possession by noncitizens. Thomas further came to this conclusion because he thought the Second Amendment should be incorporated through the Fourteenth Amendments privileges or immunities clause, which only recognizes the rights of citizens.

The relatively narrow holdings in the McDonald and Heller decisions left many Second Amendment legal issues unsettled, including the constitutionality of many federal gun-control regulations, whether the right to carry or conceal a weapon in public was protected, and whether noncitizens are protected through the equal protection clause.

The origins of the Second Amendment can be traced to ancient Roman and Florentine times, but its English origins developed in the late 16th century when Queen Elizabeth I instituted a national militia where individuals of all classes were required by law to take part in defending the realm. Although Elizabeths attempt to establish a national militia failed miserably, the ideology of the militia would be used as a political tool up to the mid-18th century. The political debate over the establishment and control of the militia was a contributing factor in both the English Civil Wars (164251) and the Glorious Revolution (168889).

Despite recognition in the early 21st century by the Supreme Court that the Second Amendment protected armed individual self-defense in the home, many constitutional historians disagreed with the court that the Second Amendment protected anything but the right to participate in a militia force as the means of defending their liberties. For over two centuries there was a consensus that the Second Amendment protected only the right of individuals to keep and bear Arms in order to take part in defending their liberties as a militia force. However, by the late 20th century the popular consensus had shifted, many believing that the Second Amendment was framed to protect armed self-defense in the home.

In England, following the Glorious Revolution, the Second Amendments predecessor was codified in the British Bill of Rights in 1689, under its Article VII, which proclaimed that the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law. Often misinterpreted as a right to defend ones person, home, or property, the allowance to have arms ensured that Parliament could exercise its sovereign right of self-preservation against a tyrannical crown by arming qualified Protestants as a militia.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution undoubtedly had in mind the English allowance to have arms when drafting the Second Amendment. The constitutional significance of a well regulated Militia is well documented in English and American history from the late 17th century through the American Revolution; it was included in the Articles of Confederation (1781), the countrys first constitution, and was even noted at the Constitutional Convention that drafted the new U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia in 1787. The right to keep and bear Arms was thus included as a means to accomplish the objective of a well regulated Militiato provide for the defense of the nation, to provide a well-trained and disciplined force to check federal tyranny, and to bring constitutional balance by distributing the power of the sword equally among the people, the states, and the federal government.

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Hampton Roads – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Aug 312015

2013 Fortune 500 Corporations[53]

Hampton Roads has become known as the “world’s greatest natural harbor”. The port is located only 18 miles (29km) from open ocean on one of the world’s deepest, natural ice-free harbors. Since 1989, Hampton Roads has been the mid-Atlantic leader in U.S. waterborne foreign commerce and is ranked second nationally behind the Port of South Louisiana based on export tonnage. When import and export tonnage are combined, the Port of Hampton Roads ranks as the third largest port in the country (following the ports of New Orleans/South Louisiana and Houston). In 1996, Hampton Roads was ranked ninth among major U.S. ports in vessel port calls with approximately 2,700. In addition, this port is the U.S. leader in coal exports. The coal loading facilities in the Port of Hampton Roads are able to load in excess of 65 million tons annually, giving the port the largest, most efficient and modern coal loading facilities in the world.

It is little surprise therefore that the Hampton Roads region’s economic base is largely port-related, including shipbuilding, ship repair, naval installations, cargo transfer and storage, and manufacturing related to the processing of imports and exports. Associated with the ports’ military role are almost 50,000 federal civilian employees.

The harbor of Hampton Roads is an important highway of commerce, especially for the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (formerly Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company), was created in 2008 as a spinoff of Northrop Grumman Newport News and is the world’s largest shipyard. It is located a short distance up the James River. In Portsmouth, a few miles up the Elizabeth River, the historic Norfolk Naval Shipyard is located. BAE Systems, formerly known as NORSHIPCO, operates from sites in the City of Norfolk. There are also several smaller shipyards, numerous docks and terminals.

Massive coal piers and loading facilities were established in the late 19th and early 20th century by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O), Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W), and Virginian Railway (VGN). The latter two were predecessors of the Norfolk Southern Railway, a Class I railroad which has its headquarters in Norfolk, and continues to export coal from a large facility at Lambert’s Point on the Elizabeth River. CSX Transportation now serves the former C&O facility at Newport News. (The VGN’s former coal facility at Sewell’s Point has been gone since the 1960s, and the property is now part of the expansive Norfolk Navy Base).

Almost 80% of the region’s economy is derived from federal sources. This includes the large military presence, but also NASA and facilities of the Departments of Energy, Transportation, Commerce and Veterans Affairs. The region also receives a substantial impact in government student loans and grants, university research grants, and federal aid to cities.

The Hampton Roads area has the largest concentration of military bases and facilities of any metropolitan area in the world. Nearly one-fourth of the nations active-duty military personnel are stationed in Hampton Roads, and 45% of the region’s $81B gross regional output is Defense-related.[54][55] All five military services operating forces are there, as well as several major command headquarters: Hampton Roads is a chief rendezvous of the United States Navy, and the area is home to the Allied Command Transformation, which is the only major military command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on U.S. soil. Langley Air Force Base is home to Air Combat Command (ACC). The Norfolk Navy Base is located at Sewell’s Point near the mouth, on the site used for the tercentennial Jamestown Exposition in 1907. For a width of 500 feet (150m) the Federal government during 1902 through 1905 increased its minimum depth at low water from 25.5 to 30 feet (8 to 9m), and the channel has now been dredged to a depth of 55 feet (17m) in some places.

NASA’s Langley Research Center, located on the Peninsula adjacent to Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, is home to scientific and aerospace technology research. The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (commonly known as Jefferson Labs) is located nearby in Newport News.

The area’s experiences with commercial and retail centers began early in 1918. Afton Square, located in the Cradock naval community of Portsmouth, was the first planned shopping center in the USA and has served as template for future developments throughout the nation.[56]

Hampton Roads experienced tremendous growth during and after World War II. In the 1950s, a trend in retail was the shopping center, a group of stores along a common sidewalk adjacent to off-street parking, usually in a suburban location.

In 1959, one of the largest on the east coast of the USA was opened at the northeast corner of Military Highway and Virginia Beach Boulevard on property which had formally been used as an airfield. The new JANAF Shopping Center, located in Norfolk, featured acres of free parking and dozens of stores. Backed by retired military personnel, the name JANAF was an acronym for Joint Army Navy Air Force.[57]

During the 1950s and early 1960s, other shopping centers in Hampton Roads were developed, such as Wards Corner Shopping Center, Downtown Plaza Shopping Center and Southern Shopping Center in Norfolk; Mid-City Shopping Center in Portsmouth; Hilltop Shopping Center (now known as The Shops at Hilltop) in Virginia Beach; Riverdale Shopping Center in Hampton and the Warwick-Denbigh Shopping Center in Newport News.

In the late-1960s, a new type of shopping center came to Hampton Roads: the Indoor Shopping Mall. In 1965, South Hampton Roads broke ground on its first shopping mall in Virginia Beach, known as Pembroke Mall. The mall opened in 1966, and became Hampton Road’s newest indoor shopping destination. The Virginia Peninsula had its first indoor shopping mall in 1973, with Coliseum Mall. Coliseum Mall drew so much traffic from Interstate 64, that a towering flyover was built at the Mercury Boulevard and Coliseum Drive intersection, to accommodate eastbound mall traffic, from the Mercury Boulevard interchange. Coliseum Mall was demolished to make way for the open air mixed-use development Peninsula Town Center. Also in the 1970s, Tower Mall was built in Portsmouth, but was torn down and turned into the Victory Crossing shopping development. In Norfolk, Military Circle Mall on Military Highway was built across Virginia Beach Boulevard from the large JANAF Shopping Center with its own high-rise hotel right in the center. In 1981, Greenbrier Mall gave Chesapeake a shopping mall of its own as well, and Virginia Beach got the massive Lynnhaven Mall the same year.

MacArthur Center opened in March 1999, which made downtown Norfolk a prime shoppers destination, with the region’s first Nordstrom department store anchor. MacArthur Center is compared to other downtown malls, such as Baltimore’s Harborplace, Indianapolis’ Circle Centre Mall, Atlanta’s Lenox Square Mall and most comparably to The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Virginia.

Currently, Virginia Beach’s Lynnhaven Mall is the region’s largest shopping center with nearly 180 stores, and is one of the region’s biggest tourist draws, with the Virginia Beach oceanfront, Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens Williamsburg: The Old Country and MacArthur Center.

For a long time, the indoor shopping malls were seen as largely competitive with small shopping centers and traditional downtown type areas. However, in the 1990s and since, the “big-box stores” on the Peninsula and Southside, such as Wal-mart, Home Depot, and Target have been creating a new competitive atmosphere for the shopping malls of Hampton Roads.

Several older malls such as Pembroke and Military Circle have since their grand openings been renovated, and others have been closed and torn down. Newmarket North Mall is now NetCenter, a business center (the Sears store remains). Coliseum Mall, in Hampton, has been redeveloped as Peninsula Town Center in a new style, in step with the latest commercial real estate trend: the nationwide establishment of “lifestyle centers”. Additional malls which have closed include Mercury Mall in Hampton (converted to Mercury Plaza Shopping Center in the mid-1980s, then completely torn down in 2001), and Tower Mall in Portsmouth (Built in the early 1970s, then torn down in 2001).

In late 2006, the Hampton Roads Partnership, a non-profit organization representing 17 localities (ten cities, six counties, and one town), all local universities and major military commands as well as leading businesses in southeastern Virginia, commenced a campaign aimed at branding the land area of Hampton Roads as “America’s First Region”.

The new title is based on events in 1607 when English Captain Christopher Newport’s three ships the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery landed at Cape Henry along the Atlantic Coast in what is today Virginia Beach. After 18 days of exploring the area, the ships and their crews arrived at Jamestown Island where they established the first English speaking settlement to survive in the New World on May 14, 1607.

Because the region’s east-west boundaries (now the City of Virginia Beach and James City County) have not changed since 1607, the Partnership felt justified in labeling Hampton Roads “America’s First Region”. It unveiled the new brand before 800 people at the annual meeting of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce on December 13, 2006. A video shown that afternoon included endorsements from mayors and county board of supervisors chairs representing Hampton, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and James City County as well as the Governor of Virginia, Timothy Kaine.[58][citation needed]

The mission of Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (HREDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to business attractionmarketing the Hampton Roads region as the preferred location for business investment and expansion. HREDA represents the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Franklin, as well as the counties of Gloucester, James City, Isle of Wight, York, and Southampton.[59]

In 1998, a flag representing the Hampton Roads region was adopted. The design of the flag was created by a contest. The winner, sixteen-year-old Andrew J. Wall of Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach, raised the new regional flag for the first time on the mast of a ship moored in the harbor.

As conceived by student Andrew Wall and embellished by the selection committee, his flag is highly symbolic:

The area is most often associated with the larger American South. People who have grown up in the Hampton Roads area have a unique Tidewater accent which sounds different from a stereotypical Southern accent. Vowels have a longer pronunciation than in a regular southern accent.[61]

There’s also a wealth of other points of history to explore in the Hampton Roads area. Led by the Historic Triangle area, Hampton Roads consistently rates among the top tourism destinations in the world.

Cultural attractions include museums, historical sites, and venues from tiny to massively large for such things as art and musical shows. The region hosts two week-long visits by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus each year with multiple performances at Norfolk Scope and the Hampton Coliseum, and even attracts a group of Circus Train Enthusiasts, railfans who watch, photograph and report on the blue or red unit trains as they make their move between the two sites, requiring a long inland trip through Petersburg and Richmond in order to avoid crossing the 10-mile (16km) geographical distance across the harbor (a trip impassable directly by modern trains; the two bridge-tunnel facilities operated by VDOT accommodate only highway traffic).

The Historic Triangle is located on the Virginia Peninsula and includes the colonial communities of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, with many restored attractions linked by the Colonial Parkway.

The National Park Service’s Colonial Parkway joins the three popular attractions of Colonial Virginia with a scenic and bucolic roadway carefully shielded from views of commercial development. This helps visitors mentally return to the past, and there are often views of wildlife and waterfowl. This two lane roadway is the best (but not quickest) way to move between the three points. Near the James River and York River ends of the parkway, there are several pull-offs, where some families allow their children to feed bread to the seagulls. Commercial vehicles, except for tour buses, are prohibited.

For an even better experience, approach the area from the south by water from Surry County with a ride aboard one of the Jamestown Ferrys, which include the Pocahontas and Williamsburg. As passengers cross, they can walk about the boat or go up to an enclosed viewing level with restrooms. Weather and daylight permitting, passengers usually see Jamestown Island much as the first colonists may have approached it. In fact, the replicas of Christopher Newport’s the three tiny ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery are docked near the northern ferry landing at Glass House Point. Both the Jamestown Ferry and Colonial Parkway are toll-free.

The first permanent English settlement in the New World which was established at Jamestown in 1607. The 350th anniversary celebration at Jamestown Festival Park in 1957 was so popular, tourism has been continuously increasing ever since. The 400th anniversary was celebrated with an 18-month-long celebration called Jamestown 2007.

Today, at Jamestown, you can visit recreations of an American Indian village and colonial fort, and archaeological sites where current work is underway by archaeologistss from the Jamestown Rediscovery project, with recently recovered archaeological artifacts in a new display building. Replicas of the three ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery are docked nearby.

The two major attractions, which are complementary to each other, are the state-sponsored Jamestown Settlement near the entrance to Jamestown Island, and the National Park Service’s Historic Jamestowne, on Jamestown Island itself.

In 1699, the first capital of Virginia was moved to Middle Plantation at the suggestion of students from the College of William & Mary (established 1693). It was soon renamed to Williamsburg, but became a largely forgotten little town after the capital was moved to Richmond in 1780. Largely due to the 20th-century preservation efforts of the Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, rector of Bruton Parish Church and the generosity of Standard Oil heir John D. Rockefeller Jr., today Colonial Williamsburg is a large living museum of early American life. It has dozens of restored and recreated buildings and reenactors. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The Visitor’s Center (right off the Colonial Parkway) features a short movie and is an excellent place to start (and leave automobiles, which are restricted from the restored area, where wheelchair-accessible shuttle bus service is provided).

Bassett Hall, an 18th-century farmhouse, is located in Williamsburg just southeast of the Historic Area, was the Williamsburg home for over 25 years of the family of John D. Rockefeller Jr and his family from the mid-1930s until 1960, following over 7 years of restoration and expansions. The Rockefeller family bequeathed Bassett Hall to Colonial Williamsburg in 1979.[62] The home is now open to the public and appears much as it did in the 1930s and 1940s when the Rockefellers made it their home.[63]

The third point of the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia is Yorktown where General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington in 1781, ending the American Revolution. There are two large visitor centers, battlefield drives, and a waterfront area.

Notwithstanding the amazingly successful efforts to provide a non-commercial atmosphere at the three Historic Triangle areas (and on the Colonial Parkway between them), there are many hotels, motels, campgrounds, restaurants, shops and stores, gasoline stations, and amusements close by.

The Mariners’ Museum, founded in 1930 by Archer and Anna Huntington, is an institution dedicated to bringing maritime history to the world. It is currently home to the USS Monitor Center where 210 tons of artifacts recovered from the USS Monitor are held, including the gun turret. The museum also consists of a 550-acre park and Lake Maury, through which is the five-mile Noland Trail. The permanent collection at the museum totals about 32,000 objects, equally divided between works of art and three-dimensional objects. The Mariners’ Museum Library and Archive, now located in the Trible Library at Christopher Newport University, consists of over 78,000 books, 800,000 photographs, films and negatives, and over one million archival pieces, making it the largest maritime library in the Western hemisphere.[64]

The Virginia War Museum covers American military history. The Museum’s collection includes, weapons, vehicles, artifacts, uniforms and posters from various periods of American history. Highlights of the Museum’s collection include a section of the Berlin Wall and the outer wall from Dachau Concentration Camp.[65]

The Virginia Living Museum, first established in 1966, combines the elements of a native wildlife park, science museum, aquarium, botanical preserve, and planetarium. The exhibits are themed on the geographic regions of Virginia, from the Appalachian Mountains to the offshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and includes more than 245 different animal species.[66]

The Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News contains a rotating gallery of art exhibits. The Center also contains a Studio Art School of private and group instruction for all ages. It maintains a permanent “Hands On For Kids” gallery designed for children and families to interact in what the Center describes as “a fun, educational environment that encourages participation with art materials and concepts.”[67]

The Hampton University museum was established in 1868 in the heart of the historic Hampton University campus. The Museum is the oldest African American museum in the United States and one of the oldest museums in the State of Virginia. It contains over 9,000 objects, including African American fine arts, traditional African, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island, and Asian art.[68]

The Charles H. Taylor Arts Center is Hampton’s public access arts center. It offers a series of changing visual art exhibitions as well as a quarterly schedule of classes, workshops and educational programs.[69]

The Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in SE Newport News contains a community-based art gallery, as well as arts classrooms and the Ella Fitzgerald Theater.[70]

The Casemate Museum (where former Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned) is at Fort Monroe in the historic Phoebus area at Old Point Comfort in Hampton.[71]

NASA Langley Research Center is in Hampton, the original training ground for the Mercury Seven, Gemini, and Apollo Astronauts. Visitors are able to learn about the region’s aviation history at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton.[72]

Air Power Park is an outdoor on-site display of various aircraft and a space capsule. It is located on Mercury Boulevard at the intersection of LaSalle Blvd, near the AF Base.

The Biblical Art Gallery at Ivy Farms Baptist Church is Virginia’s largest collection of pre-1900s religious art.

The Chrysler Museum of Art, located in the Ghent district of Norfolk, is the region’s foremost art museum and is considered by the New York Times to be the finest in the state.[74] Of particular note is the extensive glass collection and American neoclassical marble sculptures.

Nauticus, the National Maritime Center, opened on the downtown waterfront in 1994. It features hands-on exhibits, interactive theaters, aquaria, digital high-definition films and an extensive variety of educational programs. Since 2000, Nauticus has been home to the battleship USS Wisconsin, one of the last battleships to be built in the United States. It served briefly in World War II and later in the Korean and Gulf Wars.[75] The General Douglas MacArthur Memorial, located in the 19th-century Norfolk court house and city hall in downtown, contains the tombs of the late General and his wife, a museum and a vast research library, personal belongings (including his famous corncob pipe) and a short film that chronicles the life of the famous General of the Army.[76]

Also in downtown Norfolk and inside Nauticus is the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, an official U.S. Navy museum that focuses on the 220 plus year history of the Navy within the region.

The Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth has one of the largest collection of model electric trains and other toys.

The Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth is one of the oldest shipyards and has the first dry dock on display.

The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (in Suffolk and Chesapeake) is accessed from U.S. Route 17 in Chesapeake.

The Suffolk-Nansemond Museum is in the restored Seaboard and Virginian Railway passenger train station in Suffolk.

The Isle of Wight Museum is in Smithfield.

The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia located in Virginia Beach features the significant art of our time.

The Hampton Roads region has a thriving music scene, with a heavy concentration thereof in the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk areas. Many clubs, venues, and festivals exist within the region, all playing host to a wide variety of musical styles. There are a few hundred bands that play routinely in the region, spanning multiple genres. There are also twenty to thirty musical acts based in the region that perform throughout Hampton Roads and its surrounding areas on a “full-time” basis.

In addition, plenty of well known acts have come from the area. Some of the major rock/pop artists include Bruce Hornsby, Gary “U.S.” Bonds, Juice Newton, Mae, Seven Mary Three, Gene Vincent, Keller Williams, and Steve Earle. Ella Fitzgerald is the most recognizable jazz musician from the area. Robert Cray and Ruth Brown are both prominent blues and R&B artists. Tommy Newsom is another famous jazz musician. Many prominent rap and hip hop artists come from the area including Chad Hugo, Clipse, Magoo, Missy Elliott, Nicole Wray, Pharrell Williams, Quan, Teddy Riley, and Timbaland.

The region has a number of venues hosting live music and performances. Several of the larger (in order of maximum seating capacity) are:

Dozens of much smaller commercial establishments offer live music and other entertainment such as comedy shows and mystery dinner-theater throughout the region.

The Norfolk Botanical Garden, opened in 1939, is a 155-acre (0.6km2) botanical garden and arboretum located near the Norfolk International Airport. It is open year round.[77]

The Virginia Zoological Park, opened in 1900, is a 65-acre (260,000m2) zoo with hundreds of animals on display, including the critically endangered Siberian Tiger and threatened White Rhino.[78]

First Landing State Park and False Cape State Park are both located in coastal areas in Virginia Beach. Both offer camping facilities, cabins, and outdoor recreation activities in addition to nature and history tours. First Landing is the site of Cape Henry while False Cape is located at the southeastern end of Virginia Beach.[79][80]

Newport News Park is located in the northern part of the city of Newport News. The city’s golf course also lies within the Park along with camping and outdoor activities. There are over 30 miles (48km) of trails in the Newport News Park complex. The park has a 5.3-mile (8.5-km) multi-use bike path. The park offers bicycle and helmet rental, and requires helmet use by children under 14. Newport News Park also offers an archery range, disc golf course, and an “aeromodel flying field” for remote-controlled aircraft, complete with a 400ft (120m) runway.[81]

The region also has amusement parks which attract tourists and locals alike. Ocean Breeze Waterpark, Shipwreck Golf, and Motor World are Virginia Beach’s amusement parks, which were formerly called Ocean Breeze Fun Park. As separate parks, they provide miniature golf, go-karts, water slides, pools, climbing wall, paintball area, and kiddie rides.[82][83]Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA are the major theme parks in Williamsburg.

normal seating capacity in parentheses

Hampton Roads has a number of public and private golf courses.[85]

Three daily newspapers serve Hampton Roads: The Virginian-Pilot in the Southside, the The Daily Press on the Peninsula, and the six days a week Suffolk News-Herald that serves Suffolk and Franklin.[90] Smaller publications include the Williamsburg-James City County area’s twice-weekly Virginia Gazette (the state’s oldest newspaper[91]), the New Journal and Guide, and Inside Business, the area’s only business newspaper.

Newspapers serving the Hampton Roads area include:

Coastal Virginia Magazine is one of the region’s city and lifestyle magazine. The publication is published eight times a year and covers all of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore of Virginia.[92]Coastal Virginia Magazine was formerly known as Hampton Roads Magazine.

Hampton Roads Times (web site) serves as an online magazine for the region.

Suffolk Living Magazine is another of the region’s city and lifestyle magazines. The publication is published four times a year and covers the City of Suffolk. Suffolk Publications also produces Virginia-Carolina Boomers, a regional guide for Boomers in the area, which comes out twice a year.[93]

The Hampton Roads designated market area (DMA) is the 42nd largest in the U.S. with 712,790 homes (0.64% of the total U.S.).[94] The major network television affiliates are WTKR-TV 3 (CBS), WAVY 10 (NBC), WVEC-TV 13 (ABC), WGNT 27 (CW), WTVZ 33 (MyNetworkTV), WVBT 43 (Fox), and WPXV 49 (ION Television). The Public Broadcasting Service station is WHRO-TV 15. WUND 2(UNC-TV/PBS member station), broadcasting out of Edenton, NC, serves as another PBS affiliate for the area. Area residents also can receive independent stations, such as WSKY broadcasting on channel 4 from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, WGBS-LD broadcasting on channel 11 from Hampton, and WTPC 21, a TBN affiliate out of Virginia Beach. Most Hampton Roads localities are served by Cox Cable which provides LNC 5, a local 24-hour cable news television network. Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight, and Southampton are served by Charter Communications.[95]Verizon FiOS service is currently available in parts of the region and continues to expand, offering a non-satellite alternative to Cox. DirecTV and Dish Network are also popular as an alternative to cable television.

Norfolk is served by a variety of radio stations on the FM and AM dials, with towers located around the Hampton Roads area. These cater to many different interests, including news, talk radio, and sports, as well as an eclectic mix of musical interests.[96]

Norfolk serves as home to two professional franchises, the Norfolk Tides of the International League and the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.[97][98] The Tides play at Harbor Park, seating 12,067 and opened in 1993. The Admirals play at Norfolk Scope Arena, seating 8,725 or 13,800 festival seating, which opened in 1971.

The Peninsula Pilots play in the Coastal Plain League, a summer baseball league. The Pilots play in Hampton at War Memorial Stadium seating 5,125 and opened in 1948.[99]

On the collegiate level, four Division I programstwo on the Southside and two on the Peninsulafield teams in many sports, including football, basketball, and baseball; three currently play football in the second-tier FCS, while ODU recently moved up to the FBS football. The Southside boasts the Old Dominion Monarchs and the Norfolk State Spartans, both in Norfolk, while the Peninsula features the William & Mary Tribe in Williamsburg and Hampton Pirates in Hampton. W&M is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. Norfolk State and Hampton, both historically black institutions, compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.[100][101][102][103] ODU joined Conference USA, an FBS football conference, as a full FBS member in 2015. The area also has two Division III programs, one in each subregionthe Virginia Wesleyan Marlins on the border of Virginia Beach and Norfolk,[104] and the Christopher Newport University Captains in Newport News. The Captains sponsor fourteen sports and currently compete in the USA South Athletic Conference,[105] but will move to the Capital Athletic Conference in July 2013.

The Hampton Coliseum, seating 10,761 to 13,800 festival seating, hosts the annual Virginia Duals wrestling events, and the annual Hampton Jazz Festival. The arena opened in 1970 and has previously hosted Hampton University basketball along with NBA and NHL preseason exhibition games.

Virginia Beach serves as home to two soccer teams, the Hampton Roads Piranhas, a men’s team in the USL Premier Development League, and a women’s team by the same name in the W-League. The Piranhas play at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. The Virginia Beach Sportsplex, seating 11,541 and opened in 1999, contains the central training site for the U.S. women’s national field hockey team.[106] The Sportsplex will be expanded to accommodate the Virginia Destroyers, an expansion franchise in the United Football League for the 2011 UFL season. The North American Sand Soccer Championships, a beach soccer tournament, is held annually on the beach in Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach is also home to the East Coast Surfing Championships, an annual contest of more than 100 of the world’s top professional surfers and an estimated 400 amateur surfers. This is North America’s oldest surfing contest, and features combined cash prizes of $40,000.[107]

Langley Speedway in Hampton, seating 6,500, hosts stock car races every weekend during Spring, Summer, and early Fall.[108]

The Kingsmill Championship, an event on the LPGA Tour, is contested annually on Mother’s Day weekend at Kingsmill Resort near Williamsburg.

The Norfolk Nighthawks were a charter member of the Arena Football League’s minor league, af2. They ceased operations in 2003 after their fourth season. Also, the Virginia Beach Mariners of soccer’s USL First Division were active from 1994 until 2006.

Hampton Roads has hosted many professional wrestling events throughout the years. The Norfolk Scope has served as the site of these events, including Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s Destination X, World Championship Wrestling’s Starrcade and World War 3, and WWF/WWE’s The Great American Bash and the 2011 Slammy Awards.[109] Norfolk Scope was also the site of an infamous episode of WCW Monday Nitro, where several members of the World Wrestling Federation stable D-Generation X literally drove a tank to the entryway of the Scope, thus “invading” the competition. The Hampton Coliseum has also hosted many events, including RAW, in April 1998, August 2005, May 2007, January 2008, and July 2011, as well as SmackDown! and for ECW on Sci Fi on December 2006. In January 2008, WWE broadcast its first television show taped in high definition from Hampton, VA.

The Hampton Roads area is also home to at least one professional wrestling promotion, Vanguard Championship Wrestling, which holds events throughout the region, and has a weekly television show on the local Fox affiliate.

In 1997, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring an expansion hockey team to Hampton Roads. But that initiative failed. The team was going to be called the Hampton Roads Rhinos.

In 2002, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring the Charlotte Hornets basketball team to southeastern Virginia, but New Orleans won the bid for the team, renaming it the New Orleans Hornets.

In 2004, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring the Montreal Expos baseball team to the metro area, but Washington, D.C. won the bid for the team, renaming it the Washington Nationals.

In 1998, 2001, 2006, and 2010 Hampton Roads was hosting the AAU Junior Olympics.[110]

In 2012, there were talks of the Sacramento Kings of the NBA moving to a proposed new arena in Virginia Beach near the Oceanfront.[111]

Hampton Roads is 130 miles (210km) from the nearest major sports teams in Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, North Carolina. Another significant issue with the area as a sports market is internal transportation. The metropolitan area is split into two distinct parts by its eponymous harbor; as of 2012, the harbor has only three widely separated road crossings (the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, and James River Bridge), each with two lanes of traffic in each direction. In addition, the area has two other major tunnels, plus several drawbridges on key highway corridors.

Hampton Roads previously hosted a successful franchise in the American Basketball Association, although it was never a full-time home for that team. Its highest-ranking teams as of 2012 are the Virginia Destroyers of the UFL, the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL, and the Norfolk Tides of the IL. Virginia is also the most populous state without a major team playing within its borders, though its northern reaches are served by the Washington clubstwo of which, the NHL’s Capitals and NFL’s Redskins, have their operational headquarters and practice facilities in Virginia. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, through a separate company, owns two radio stations, WXTG and WXTG-FM, in the Norfolk market. The Hampton Roads television market is ranked 42nd in the U.S.

Articles Relating to The Hampton Roads Area

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About NSA – National Sheriffs’ Association

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Aug 312015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Freedom (Franzen novel) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Aug 292015

Freedom is a novel by American author Jonathan Franzen. It was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and released on August 31, 2010.

Freedom received general acclaim from book critics, and was ranked one of the best books of 2010 by several publications.

Freedom follows several members of an American family, the Berglunds, as well as their close friends and lovers, as complex and troubled relationships unfold over many years. The book follows them through the last decades of the twentieth century and concludes near the beginning of the Obama administration.

Freedom opens with a short history of the Berglund family from the perspective of their nosy neighbors. The Berglunds are portrayed as the most ideal liberal middle-class family, and they are among the first families to move back into urban St. Paul, Minnesota, after years of white flight to the suburbs. Patty Berglund is an unusually young and pretty homemaker with a self-deprecating sense of humor; her husband Walter is a mild-mannered lawyer with strong environmentalist leanings.

They have one daughter, Jessica, and a son, Joey, who early on displays an independent streak and an interest in making money. Joey becomes sexually involved with a neighborhood teen named Connie and begins to rebel against his mother, going so far as to move in with Connie, her mother, and her mother’s boyfriend Blake, making Patty and Walter increasingly unstable. After several unhappy years, the family relocates to Washington, D.C., abandoning the neighborhood and house they worked so hard to improve. Walter takes a job with an unorthodox environmental project, tied to big coal.

The second portion of the book takes the form of an autobiography of Patty Berglund, composed at the suggestion of her therapist. The autobiography tells of Patty’s youth as a star basketball player, and her increasing alienation from her artistically inclined parents and sisters. Instead of attending an East Coast elite college like her siblings, she gets a basketball scholarship to the University of Minnesota and adopts the life of the athlete. She meets an attractive but unattainable indie rock musician named Richard Katz, and his nerdy but kind roommate, Walter Berglund. After her basketball career-ending knee injury, Patty suddenly becomes desperate for male affection, and after failing to woo Richard, she settles down with Walter, who had been patiently courting her for more than a year. We learn that Patty retained her desire for Richard and eventually had a brief affair with him at the Berglunds’ lakeside cabin.

The novel then jumps ahead to New York City in 2004 and shifts to the story of Walter and Patty’s friend Richard, who has finally succeeded in becoming a minor indie rock star in his middle age. His hit album Nameless Lake tells the story of his brief love affair with Patty at the Berglunds’ lakeside cabin in Minnesota. Richard is uncomfortable with commercial success, throws away his new-found money, and returns to building roof decks for wealthy people in Manhattan. Walter calls him out of the blue to enlist his help as a celebrity spokesman for an environmental campaign. Walter has taken a job in Washington, D.C. working for a coal mining magnate who wants to strip mine a section of West Virginia forest before turning it into a songbird preserve of future environmental value. Walter hopes to use some of this project’s funding to hold a concert to combat overpopulation, the common factor behind all his environmental concerns, and he believes that Richard will be able to rally well-known musicians to his cause. Meanwhile, Walter’s marriage to Patty has been deteriorating steadily, and his pretty young assistant Lalitha has fallen deeply in love with him.

In parallel, the Berglunds’ estranged, Republican son Joey attempts to finance his college life at the University of Virginia by taking on a dubious subcontract to provide spare parts for outdated supply trucks during the Iraq War. While at college, he marries his childhood sweetheart but dares not tell his parents. After visiting his roommate’s family in the DC suburbs, he also pursues his friend’s beautiful sister Jenna and is exposed to her father’s Zionist, neoconservative politics. After months of pursuing Jenna, when she finally wants him to have sex with her, he cannot maintain an erection. Later he becomes conflicted after making $850,000 selling defective truck parts to military suppliers in Iraq. In the end Joey gives away the excess proceeds of his profiteering, reconciles with his parents, settles down with Connie, and moves into a sustainable coffee business with the help of his father Walter.

Now, Richard’s re-appearance destroys Walter and Patty’s weakening marriage. Richard tries to convince Patty to leave Walter, but she shows Richard the autobiography she wrote as “therapy”, trying to convince him that she’s still in love with Walter. Richard deliberately leaves the autobiography on Walter’s desk, and Walter reads Patty’s true thoughts. Walter kicks Patty out of the house, and she moves to Jersey City to be with Richard, but the relationship only lasts six months. Later, she moves to Brooklyn alone and takes a job at a private school, discovering her skill for teaching younger children. When Patty leaves him, Walter has a catharsis on live television, revealing his contempt for the displaced West Virginian families and his various commercial backers. Local rednecks respond by dragging him from the platform and beating him up. He is promptly fired by the environmental trust, but his TV debacle makes him a viral video hero to radical youth across the nation. He and his assistant Lalitha become lovers and continue their plans to combat overpopulation through a concert to rally young people in the hills of West Virginia. Lalitha is killed in a suspicious car accident a few days before the concert is due to take place. Shattered, and having lost both of the women who loved him, Walter retreats to his family’s lakeside vacation house back in Minnesota. He becomes known to a new street of neighbors as a cranky old recluse, obsessed with house cats killing birds nesting on his property.

After a few years living in Brooklyn, Patty’s father dies and she is forced to settle the fight that erupts within her family of spoiled bohemians as they attempt to split up the much-diminished family fortune. This experience helps Patty to mature. After a few years of living alone, she appraises the emptiness of her life and honestly faces her advancing age. She decides to hunt down Walter, the only man who had ever really loved her. She drives to the lakeside cabin in Minnesota, and despite his rage and confusion, he eventually agrees to take her back. The book ends in 2008 as they leave as a couple to return to Patty’s job in New York City, after turning their old lakeside vacation home into a cat-proof fenced bird sanctuary, named in memory of Lalitha.

After the critical acclaim and popular success of his third novel The Corrections in 2001, Franzen began work on his fourth full-length novel. When asked during an October 30, 2002 interview on Charlie Rose how far he was into writing the new novel, Franzen replied:

I’m about a year of frustration and confusion into it…Y’know, I’m kind of down at the bottom of the submerged iceberg peering up for the surface of the water…I don’t have doubt about my ability to write a good book, but I have lots of doubt about what it’s going to look like.[1]

Franzen went on to suggest that a basic story outline was in place, and that his writing of the new novel was like a “guerilla war” approaching different aspects of the novel (alluding to characters, dialogue, plot development etc.).[1] Franzen also agreed that he would avoid public appearances, saying that “…getting some work done is the vacation” from the promotional work surrounding The Corrections and How To Be Alone.[1]

An excerpt entitled “Good Neighbors” appeared in the June 8 and June 15, 2009 issues of The New Yorker.[2] The magazine published a second extract entitled “Agreeable” in the May 31, 2010 edition.[3]

On October 16, 2009, Franzen made an appearance alongside David Bezmozgis at the New Yorker Festival at the Cedar Lake Theatre to read a portion of his forthcoming novel.[4][5] Sam Allard, writing for North By Northwestern website covering the event, said that the “…material from his new (reportedly massive) novel” was “as buoyant and compelling as ever” and “marked by his familiar undercurrent of tragedy”.[5] Franzen read “an extended clip from the second chapter.”[5]

On March 12, 2010, details about the plot and content of Freedom were published in the Macmillan fall catalogue for 2010.[6]

In an interview with Dave Haslam on October 3, 2010 Franzen discussed why he had called the book Freedom:

The reason I slapped the word on the book proposal I sold three years ago without any clear idea of what kind of book it was going to be is that I wanted to write a book that would free me in some way. And I will say this about the abstract concept of ‘freedom’; it’s possible you are freer if you accept what you are and just get on with being the person you are, than if you maintain this kind of uncommitted I’m free-to-be-this, free-to-be-that, faux freedom.[7]

Freedom received general acclaim from book critics, particularly for its writing and characterization. Shortly after the book’s release, the front cover of a TIME magazine issue showed a picture of Franzen above the words “Great American Novelist,” making him the first author to appear on the front cover in a decade.

Sam Tanenhaus of The New York Times and Benjamin Alsup of Esquire believed it measured up to Franzen’s previous novel, The Corrections. Tanenhaus called it a “masterpiece of American fiction,” writing that it “[told] an engrossing story” and “[illuminated], through the steady radiance of its authors profound moral intelligence, the world we thought we knew.”[8] Alsup called it a great American novel. “[9] In The Millions, Garth Risk Hallberg argued that readers who enjoyed The Corrections would enjoy Freedom. He also wrote that they’re “likely to come away from this novel moved in harder-to-fathom waysand grateful for it.”[10] An editor for Publishers Weekly wrote that it stood apart from most modern fiction because “Franzen tries to account for his often stridently unlikable characters and find where they (and we) went wrong, arriving atincrediblygenuine hope.”[11]

Benjamin Secher of The Telegraph called Franzen one of America’s best living novelists, and Freedom the first great American novel of the “post-Obama era.”[12] In The Guardian, Jonathan Jones called him “a literary genius” and wrote that Freedom stood on “a different plane from other contemporary fiction.”[13]

Michiko Kakutani called the book “galvanic” and wrote that it showcased Franzen’s talent as a storyteller and “his ability to throw open a big, Updikean picture window on American middle-class life.” Kakutani also praised the novel’s characterization, going on to call it a “compelling biography of a dysfunctional family and an indelible portrait of our times.”[14]The Economist wrote that the novel contained “fully imagined characters in a powerful narrative.” The reviewer went on to say that it had “all its predecessor’s power and none of its faults.”[15]

Not all reviews were raving. Most lukewarm reviews praised the novel’s prose, but believed the author’s left-wing political stance was too obvious. Sam Anderson, in a review for New York magazine, thought the characterization was strong, but perceived the politics as sometimes too heavy-handed: “Franzen the crankmighty detester of Twitter, ATVs, and housing developments” occasionally “overpower[s] Franzen the artist […] but if crankiness is the motor that powers Franzen’s art, I’m perfectly willing to sit through some speeches.”[16]Ron Charles of The Washington Post also felt less favorably, remarking that it lacked the wit and “[freshness]” of The Corrections. Charles praised Franzen’s prose and called him “an extraordinary stylist,” but questioned how many readers would settle for good writing as “sufficient compensation for what is sometimes a misanthropic slog.”[17] In addition, Ruth Franklin of The New Republic believed the novel resembled a “soap opera” more than it did an epic, and that Franzen had forgotten “the greatest novels must […] offer […] profundity and pleasure.”[18]

Alexander Nazaryan criticized its familiarity in the New York Daily News remarking that the author “can write about a gentrifying family in St. Paul. Or maybe in St. Louis. But that’s about it. Nazaryan also didn’t believe Franzen was joking when he suggested “being doomed as a novelist never to do anything but stories of Midwestern families.”[19]Alan Cheuse of National Public Radio found the novel “[brilliant]” but not enjoyable, suggesting that “every line, every insight, seems covered with a light film of disdain. Franzen seems never to have met a normal, decent, struggling human being whom he didn’t want to make us feel ever so slightly superior to. His book just has too much brightness and not enough color.”[20]

Ross Douthat of First Things praised the “stretches of Freedom that read like a master class in how to write sympathetically about the kind of characters” with an abundance of freedom. Yet, Douthat concluded the novel was overlong, feeling the “impression that Franzen’s talents are being wasted on his characters.”[21]

Freedom won the John Gardner Fiction Award. Additionally, it was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. The American Library Association also named it a notable fiction of the 2010 publishing year.

Oprah Winfrey made Freedom her first book club selection of 2010, saying, “this book is a masterpiece.”[22][23] US President Barack Obama called it “terrific” after reading it over the summer.[24]

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eugenics | genetics |

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Jul 212015

eugenics,the selection of desired heritable characteristics in order to improve future generations, typically in reference to humans. The term eugenics was coined in 1883 by the British explorer and natural scientist Francis Galton, who, influenced by Charles Darwins theory of natural selection, advocated a system that would allow the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable. Social Darwinism, the popular theory in the late 19th century that life for humans in society was ruled by survival of the fittest, helped advance eugenics into serious scientific study in the early 1900s. By World War I, many scientific authorities and political leaders supported eugenics. However, it ultimately failed as a science in the 1930s and 40s, when the assumptions of eugenicists became heavily criticized and the Nazis used eugenics to support the extermination of entire races.

Galton, Sir FrancisCourtesy of The National Portrait Gallery, LondonAlthough eugenics as understood today dates from the late 19th century, efforts to select matings in order to secure offspring with desirable traits date from ancient times. Platos Republic (c. 378 bce) depicts a society where efforts are undertaken to improve human beings through selective breeding. Later, Italian philosopher and poet Tommaso Campanella, in City of the Sun (1623), described a utopian community in which only the socially elite are allowed to procreate. Galton, in Hereditary Genius (1869), proposed that a system of arranged marriages between men of distinction and women of wealth would eventually produce a gifted race. In 1865, the basic laws of heredity were discovered by the father of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel. His experiments with peas demonstrated that each physical trait was the result of a combination of two units (now known as genes) and could be passed from one generation to another. However, his work was largely ignored until its rediscovery in 1900. This fundamental knowledge of heredity provided eugenicistsincluding Galton, who influenced his cousin Charles Darwinwith scientific evidence to support the improvement of humans through selective breeding.

The advancement of eugenics was concurrent with an increasing appreciation of Charles Darwins account for change or evolution within societywhat contemporaries referred to as Social Darwinism. Darwin had concluded his explanations of evolution by arguing that the greatest step humans could make in their own history would occur when they realized that they were not completely guided by instinct. Rather, humans, through selective reproduction, had the ability to control their own future evolution. A language pertaining to reproduction and eugenics developed, leading to terms such as positive eugenics, defined as promoting the proliferation of good stock, and negative eugenics, defined as prohibiting marriage and breeding between defective stock. For eugenicists, nature was far more contributory than nurture in shaping humanity.

During the early 1900s, eugenics became a serious scientific study pursued by both biologists and social scientists. They sought to determine the extent to which human characteristics of social importance were inherited. Among their greatest concerns were the predictability of intelligence and certain deviant behaviours. Eugenics, however, was not confined to scientific laboratories and academic institutions. It began to pervade cultural thought around the globe, including the Scandinavian countries, most other European countries, North America, Latin America, Japan, China, and Russia. In the United States, the eugenics movement began during the Progressive Era and remained active through 1940. It gained considerable support from leading scientific authorities such as zoologist Charles B. Davenport, plant geneticist Edward M. East, and geneticist and Nobel Prize laureate Hermann J. Muller. Political leaders in favour of eugenics included U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, Secretary of State Elihu Root, and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall Harlan. Internationally, there were many individuals whose work supported eugenic aims, including British scientists J.B.S. Haldane and Julian Huxley and Russian scientists Nikolay K. Koltsov and Yury A. Filipchenko.

Pearson, KarlCourtesy of Professor D.V. Lindley; photograph, J.R. Freeman & Co. Ltd.Galton had endowed a research fellowship in eugenics in 1904 and, in his will, provided funds for a chair of eugenics at University College, London. The fellowship and later the chair were occupied by Karl Pearson, a brilliant mathematician who helped to create the science of biometry, the statistical aspects of biology. Pearson was a controversial figure who believed that environment had little to do with the development of mental or emotional qualities. He felt that the high birth rate of the poor was a threat to civilization and that the higher races must supplant the lower. His views gave countenance to those who believed in racial and class superiority. Thus, Pearson shares the blame for the discredit later brought on eugenics.

In the United States, the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was opened at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, N.Y., in 1910 with financial support from the legacy of railroad magnate Edward Henry Harriman. Whereas ERO efforts were officially overseen by Charles B. Davenport, director of the Station for Experimental Study of Evolution (one of the biology research stations at Cold Spring Harbor), ERO activities were directly superintended by Harry H. Laughlin, a professor from Kirksville, Mo. The ERO was organized around a series of missions. These missions included serving as the national repository and clearinghouse for eugenics information, compiling an index of traits in American families, training field-workers to gather data throughout the United States, supporting investigations into the inheritance patterns of particular human traits and diseases, advising on the eugenic fitness of proposed marriages, and communicating all eugenic findings through a series of publications. To accomplish these goals, further funding was secured from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the Battle Creek Race Betterment Foundation, and the Human Betterment Foundation.

Prior to the founding of the ERO, eugenics work in the United States was overseen by a standing committee of the American Breeders Association (eugenics section established in 1906), chaired by ichthyologist and Stanford University president David Starr Jordan. Research from around the globe was featured at three international congresses, held in 1912, 1921, and 1932. In addition, eugenics education was monitored in Britain by the English Eugenics Society (founded by Galton in 1907 as the Eugenics Education Society) and in the United States by the American Eugenics Society.

Following World War I, the United States gained status as a world power. A concomitant fear arose that if the healthy stock of the American people became diluted with socially undesirable traits, the countrys political and economic strength would begin to crumble. The maintenance of world peace by fostering democracy, capitalism, and, at times, eugenics-based schemes was central to the activities of the Internationalists, a group of prominent American leaders in business, education, publishing, and government. One core member of this group, the New York lawyer Madison Grant, aroused considerable pro-eugenic interest through his best-selling book The Passing of the Great Race (1916). Beginning in 1920, a series of congressional hearings was held to identify problems that immigrants were causing the United States. As the countrys eugenics expert, Harry Laughlin provided tabulations showing that certain immigrants, particularly those from Italy, Greece, and Eastern Europe, were significantly overrepresented in American prisons and institutions for the feebleminded. Further data were construed to suggest that these groups were contributing too many genetically and socially inferior people. Laughlins classification of these individuals included the feebleminded, the insane, the criminalistic, the epileptic, the inebriate, the diseasedincluding those with tuberculosis, leprosy, and syphilisthe blind, the deaf, the deformed, the dependent, chronic recipients of charity, paupers, and neer-do-wells. Racial overtones also pervaded much of the British and American eugenics literature. In 1923, Laughlin was sent by the U.S. secretary of labour as an immigration agent to Europe to investigate the chief emigrant-exporting nations. Laughlin sought to determine the feasibility of a plan whereby every prospective immigrant would be interviewed before embarking to the United States. He provided testimony before Congress that ultimately led to a new immigration law in 1924 that severely restricted the annual immigration of individuals from countries previously claimed to have contributed excessively to the dilution of American good stock.

Immigration control was but one method to control eugenically the reproductive stock of a country. Laughlin appeared at the centre of other U.S. efforts to provide eugenicists greater reproductive control over the nation. He approached state legislators with a model law to control the reproduction of institutionalized populations. By 1920, two years before the publication of Laughlins influential Eugenical Sterilization in the United States (1922), 3,200 individuals across the country were reported to have been involuntarily sterilized. That number tripled by 1929, and by 1938 more than 30,000 people were claimed to have met this fate. More than half of the states adopted Laughlins law, with California, Virginia, and Michigan leading the sterilization campaign. Laughlins efforts secured staunch judicial support in 1927. In the precedent-setting case of Buck v. Bell, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., upheld the Virginia statute and claimed, It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.

During the 1930s, eugenics gained considerable popular support across the United States. Hygiene courses in public schools and eugenics courses in colleges spread eugenic-minded values to many. A eugenics exhibit titled Pedigree-Study in Man was featured at the Chicago Worlds Fair in 193334. Consistent with the fairs Century of Progress theme, stations were organized around efforts to show how favourable traits in the human population could best be perpetuated. Contrasts were drawn between the emulative, presidential Roosevelt family and the degenerate Ishmael family (one of several pseudonymous family names used, the rationale for which was not given). By studying the passage of ancestral traits, fairgoers were urged to adopt the progressive view that responsible individuals should pursue marriage ever mindful of eugenics principles. Booths were set up at county and state fairs promoting fitter families contests, and medals were awarded to eugenically sound families. Drawing again upon long-standing eugenic practices in agriculture, popular eugenic advertisements claimed it was about time that humans received the same attention in the breeding of better babies that had been given to livestock and crops for centuries.

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Religious freedom debate continues at Iowa Capitol

 Freedom  Comments Off on Religious freedom debate continues at Iowa Capitol
Apr 142015

DES MOINES Religious leaders and state lawmakers tried Monday to navigate the area between religious freedom and individual civil liberties.

Supporters of religious freedom spoke at a ceremony in the Capitol on Monday, praising Iowa for being a state that allows for the religious expression of varied faiths.

Speakers also acknowledged the national discussion over religious freedom as new laws in Indiana and Arkansas have been both praised for protecting religious freedom and criticized for serving as legal shields for discrimination.

It is a hallmark of a civil society, as opposed to anarchy, that our freedoms will be limited in some way when they harm others, said Sarai Rice, executive director of the Des Moines Area Religious Council. What is not limited is our freedom to believe and to think and to speak in public.

Iowa Sens. Jake Chapman, R-Adel, and Jeff Danielson, D-Waterloo, sponsored and spoke at the event.

Chapman said Mondays event was purely about celebrating Iowans right to practice any religion. It originally was scheduled for Jan. 16, Religious Freedom Day in Iowa as proclaimed by Gov. Terry Branstad.

But Branstads inauguration was held Jan. 16, so the religious freedom event was rescheduled to coincide with the birthdate of Thomas Jefferson, who authored the original Virginia statute on religious freedom.

That caused Mondays event to overlap with a national dialogue on religious freedom laws, a debate that spilled Monday into the Iowa House.

Rep. Steve Holt, R-Denison, spoke on the House floor in favor of religious freedom and business owners ability to refuse services to activities such as same-sex marriages that go against their religious beliefs.

Holt said requiring businesses to perform such services places people of faith in a position of violating their religious principles.

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Virginia Cop-Insulting Someone on Facebook Is Not Free Speech – Video

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Apr 112015

Virginia Cop-Insulting Someone on Facebook Is Not Free Speech
The President of the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police said, “Free speech doesn't say you have the right to insult somebody,” and that using bad language online should also be considered a…


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Virginia Cop-Insulting Someone on Facebook Is Not Free Speech – Video

Ted Cruz ‘imagines’ 2016 Presidency in Liberty Speech – Video

 Liberty  Comments Off on Ted Cruz ‘imagines’ 2016 Presidency in Liberty Speech – Video
Apr 052015

Ted Cruz 'imagines' 2016 Presidency in Liberty Speech
Lynchburg, Virginia (CNN)Sen. Ted Cruz, the conservative firebrand from Texas, became the first Republican to announce his campaign for the presidency, and he spent Monday morning telling a…

By: The Richard Fowler Show

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Ted Cruz ‘imagines’ 2016 Presidency in Liberty Speech – Video

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Two California beaches make top 10 list for family friendliness

 Beaches  Comments Off on Two California beaches make top 10 list for family friendliness
Apr 032015

California beaches in Carlsbad and Lake Tahoe (lake beaches count!) made Family Vacation Critic’s list of the 10 best U.S. beaches for families in 2015.

Lincoln City Beach in Lincoln, Ore., won top honors.

What makes for a family-friendly beach? Editors at the website, which is part of TripAdvisor, looked for beautiful beaches that also had nearby lodgings, restaurants and entertainment options that would be convenient for families.

The presence of lifeguards (a big plus), family activities, beach rentals and food stands were taken into consideration too.

Carlsbad State Beach, sometimes called Tamarack Beach for the street it’s near, was singled out at No. 5 for its welcoming family atmosphere. Parking is free if you get there early, and kids and their parents can enroll insurfing classes at the beach during summer months.

No. 10 Kings Beach on the north side of Lake Tahoe near the California-Nevada border received high marks as a good picnic spot. It includes a state recreation area and is close toTahoe Central Market, where you can stock up for a gourmet outdoor meal.

If you’re planning a beach vacation this summer, let the list be your guide.

1. Lincoln City Beach in Lincoln, Ore., on the coast about 100 miles southwest of Portland.

2. Virginia Beach in Virginia Beach, Va.

3. Ogunquit Beach in Ogunquit, Maine

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Two California beaches make top 10 list for family friendliness

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NASA Invites Public to April Hubble 25th Anniversary Events

 Hubble Telescope  Comments Off on NASA Invites Public to April Hubble 25th Anniversary Events
Apr 022015

GREENBELT, Md., April 1, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope celebrates 25 years of science this April 2015 with a variety of events open to the public around the U.S. Here is a sampling of events happening this month in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. Some events charge admission.

The IMAX movie, “Hubble 3D” has re-opened at select theatres across the U.S. and showings continue in April. Hubble images come to vast, three-dimensional life and take audiences through the telescope’s 20-year existence and puts them in orbit with astronauts during the latest servicing mission. For more information and the trailer, visit:

Hubble will be featured at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space museum in Washington throughout April. For details and dates:

From April 23 to May 2, a Hubble imagery exhibit called “Heaven’s Carousel,” created by the European Space Agency will be at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

On April 23 from 9 to 9:45 a.m. EDT, NASA will unveil the official Hubble 25th anniversary image at the Newseum in Washington. NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate John Grunsfeld, and Hubble Senior Project Scientist Jennifer Wiseman, will speak about Hubble’s achievements.

On April 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Smithsonian’s NASM Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Virginia will hold a Family Day Event with astronauts. For information:

On April 25, Hubble information and displays will be featured at a table during the University of Maryland Day at College Park, Maryland. For information:

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASAand ESA (European Space Agency). NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center inGreenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute(STScI) in Baltimore conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASAby the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington.

For more information about the Hubble telescope and other upcoming events, visit:

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NASA Invites Public to April Hubble 25th Anniversary Events

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Photos: Nation's 10 Best Family Beaches Revealed

 Beaches  Comments Off on Photos: Nation's 10 Best Family Beaches Revealed
Apr 012015

Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor’s family travel site, has announced the winners of its annual Best Beaches for Families list, naming the top family-friendly beaches of the year, along with fun, insider tips for each destination. Pictured here, Cape May, New Jersey.

Craig Terry/Cape May County Tourism

Lincoln City Beach, Lincoln City, Oregon. Insider Tip: “Search the sand for glass floats – they’re part of a program called Finders Keepers, in which ‘Float Fairies’ disperse beautiful ornaments on the beach for vacationers to find and take home.”

Lincoln City Visitor & Convention Bureau

Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach, Virginia . Insider Tip: “Don’t leave Virginia Beach without a photo in front of King Neptune, a 34-foot-tall statue of the mythological sea god. Families can also enjoy free concerts and live entertainment across the boardwalk in the summer. ”

Virginia Beach CVB

Ogunquit Beach, Ogunquit, Maine. Insider Tip: “Use the Ogunquit Trolley to get to the beach and around town – fare is just $2.00 per adult and $1.50 per child (ages 10 and under).”

Audrey Gottlieb

Manatee County Beach , Holmes Beach, Florida. Insider Tip: “Reserve a Nesting Beach Tour at the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch to join federally permitted volunteers as they analyze nests and hatched (and unhatched) shells during turtle nesting season.”

Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

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Photos: Nation's 10 Best Family Beaches Revealed

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How Indianas religious freedom law escalated to such national prominence

 Freedom  Comments Off on How Indianas religious freedom law escalated to such national prominence
Mar 312015

All eyes are on Indiana after Governor Mike Pence (R) signed a controversial religious freedom bill into law. The Posts Sarah Pulliam Bailey explains what exactly is in the law and why both sides are so vocal. (Pamela Kirkland/The Washington Post)

Indiana, a largely conservative state that votes pretty reliably Republican in presidential races, has become symbolic ina clash between politics and culture, religious rights and LGBT rights.

Last week, Indiana Gov. MikePence (R) signed into law a controversial religious freedom bill: Opponentsare concerned that it could allow discrimination against gay people.The law in question is called theReligious Freedom Restoration Act, more commonlyknown as RFRA.

The new law allows corporations to make an RFRA claim, expanding the number and type of groups that could make those claims in court. The law also makes it clear that RFRA can be used in lawsuits between individuals, when those claims usually apply only to conflicts between the government and individuals. However, its still unclear how exactly it could be used in court.

[Opinion: Tim Cook: Pro-discrimination religious freedom laws are dangerous]

Lawmakers are attempting to address the firestorm over the law that has prompted some convention organizers and businesses to threaten to cancel plansin the state over concerns of discrimination. The law has drawn attention from across the nation, as Seattle and San Francisco mayorshave urgeda boycott of Indiana.

A new Indiana law designed to keep the government from forcing business owners to act against their religious beliefs draws fierce criticism. (Reuters)

University of Virginia law professorDouglas Laycock, one of the nations foremost law-and-religion scholars, says the conversation has escalated over misunderstandings over previous cases.RFRA has become a national controversy in the past year since Kansas and Arizona considered and abandonedreligious freedom legislation. And last summer,RFRA was raised during last yearsHobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court.

Theres bad behavior on both sides. Gay rights groups, as they become stronger and stronger and get more support for same-sex marriagekeep demanding more and more. Now they dont want any religious exceptions for anybody, Laycocksaid. Republican legislators are pandering to the base and saying we need to protect against gay marriage. These statements from the right fuel the outrage on the left.

[Opinion: What will the Indiana religious freedom law really do?]

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How Indianas religious freedom law escalated to such national prominence

Liberty University Hosts Simulated BioTerror Attack

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Mar 292015

Lynchburg, VA- A group of students at Liberty University learned how you would respond to a bioterror attack Saturday morning.

The demonstration involved the State Police and was at the Vines Center. The students learned that there’s a whole lot to responding to a bioterrorist attack.

The Virginia State Police Counter Terrorism & Criminal Interdiction Unit led the demonstration.

“We’ve heard not only from the news media ,but from throughout the world, there are attacks on Christians, there are attacks throughout the world. And we’re trying to prepare not only our students but local law enforcement agencies about how to handle a bioterrorist attack,” said Dr. James Mcclintok, the director of Forensic Science at Liberty University.

This simulated fog represents a dangerous micro-organism contaminating the air.

“Everyone’s afraid of a biological weapons attack, but no one really knows how to respond if it occurs of what to do, they’re just be wide-spread panic. So the more education there is for the public, the greater the chance lives will be saved if one of these events does occur,” said student Samuel Giovanucci, a Strategic Intelligence Major.

Liberty University students first needed to learn how to properly test it.

“It could potentially cause harm to us, our health and cause illness or even death. So we’re looking at the release of a biological agent and then our students will identify that agent for identification purposes,” said Mcclintok.

Students signed up to participate, some working on forensics, criminology, or biology classes, others just wanted to learn more and be prepared.

“Trying to prepare our students when they enter the working environment, how to be better prepared for such an attack,” said Mcclintok.

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Liberty University Hosts Simulated BioTerror Attack

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Who's Going After D.C.'s Gun Laws? Marco Rubio Edition.

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on Who's Going After D.C.'s Gun Laws? Marco Rubio Edition.
Mar 272015

Because he’s probably running for President and he can, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) is messing with D.C.’s gun laws. Under a bill he introduced with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), all of D.C.’s gun laws would not only be undone, but local legislators would be restricted in their ability to pass any future laws restricting gun ownership.

The bill, whichshockeris backed by the National Rifle Association, would eliminate the District’s current concealed carry laws, allowing anyone to more easily obtain a concealed carry permit. Additionally, the bill, dubbed the The Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2015, would allow D.C. residents to buy handguns from Maryland or Virginia, the latter of which has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the country.

Naturally, local legislators aren’t too happy with Rubio and Jordan’s bill. It should shock no one that Senator Rubio, who is widely expected to soon announce a run for President, would try to raise his national profile and conservative bona fides, but they should be shocked to hear that he would try to use our local jurisdiction and laws to violate his own support for the principle of local control, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said in a statement. Such bullying is not very presidential.”

On Twitter, Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) said that “Senators are elected to pass or amend federal laws. If Rubio, Cruz, et al want to pass local laws, they should run for election in [sic] DC.”

Of course, this is hardly the first time a politician who does not represent the District tried to meddle with the city’s gun laws. Last summer, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced an amendment to a House appropriations bill today to stop D.C. from enforcing its local gun laws. It was ultimately struck down, but a Supreme Court decision led to the District’s concealed carry law, in which certain residents can apply for concealed carry permits.

You can read the full bill below:

Second Amendment Enforcement Act

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Who's Going After D.C.'s Gun Laws? Marco Rubio Edition.

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Heres why Liberty University has become a pilgrimage site for GOP candidates

 Liberty  Comments Off on Heres why Liberty University has become a pilgrimage site for GOP candidates
Mar 262015

The marriage of conservative religion and politics at Liberty University has always been transparent. When Religious Right icon Jerry Falwell founded the school in 1971, its statement of purposecalled for commitment to a Christian worldview that includes Creationism, political conservatism and a firm support for Americas economic system of free enterprise.

The clarity worked. Since Ronald Reagan, Republican leaders have been making the pilgrimage to the mountains of central Virginia to speak at Liberty, which boomed under Falwell and his ability to draw evangelicals out of their churches and into public and political life.

But the cachet of appearing at Liberty has grown even more in the past decade as the school has exploded in size, financial resources and in its presence in places like Capitol Hill, where its alumni are now a familiar sight. Almost every single GOP presidential contender in recent years has spoken at Liberty, usually at its massive thrice-weekly chapel, which is held in a 12,000-seat sports arena and also watched by thousands of its 95,000 on-line students. It is the worlds largest Christian university with nearly 110,000 students.

But Ted Cruzs announcement Monday was the first time a candidate has actually unveiled their run for president at Liberty, solidifying it further as the symbolic hub of conservative Christianity.

Liberty has become to the academy what Fox News is to the media, said Johnnie Moore, an author, pastor and a former senior vice president at Liberty, where he was responsible for organizing the chapel sessions, called convocations. Appearances by more centrist GOP candidates John McCain (in 2006) and Mitt Romney (in 2012) helped establish its place, he said. No one was talking anymore about whether Liberty was the heart of conservatism. It became an institution that, whether you liked it or not, everyone in America has to pay attention to.

Liberty exemplifies in some ways the journey of conservative evangelicals in public life.

Just in the last decade it has created a law school, a medical school, an engineering school and has gone from $30 million in debt when Falwell died in 2007 to having $1.2 billion in cash reserves, buoyed by its on-line students. Libertys convocation is a must-stop not only for candidates but is also popular with well-known athletes, actors, political movers and shakers and megapastors who typically speak about religions essential role in public life. At a time when its common to hear about the death of the Religious Right, Libertysdaily existence pushes back, an argument for the success and relevance of conservative evangelical Christianity.

Yet some feel evangelical political power is still a work in progress. While half of GOP primary voters are evangelical, according to states with exit polls, the candidate they pick hasnt been selected as the nominee since George W. Bush, and no leader since Falwell has been able to assemble coalitions of such impact. Evangelicals are also somewhat more divided on some of the core issues that united them in Falwells day including issues of human sexuality and church-state relations.

To a group of Americans who wonder if their way of life is sustainable, Liberty is a promise that evangelicals can still thrive in the United States. Everywhere else you see churches with empty pews or Christian organizations that are bankrupt, said Liberty graduate Jonathan Merritt, son of a pastpresident of the Southern Baptist Convention and author of a book criticizing aspects of conservative evangelical culture. Liberty embodies a hope that a lot of conservative evangelicals need right now.

Merritt believes that part of the appeal of Liberty for a candidate looking to announce themselves to religious conservatives is that there arent other obvious options.

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Heres why Liberty University has become a pilgrimage site for GOP candidates

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