Tag Archives: interview

Political Correctness Watch

Posted: December 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm

The subtext here is that male ballet dancers are frequently homosexual — and a mother is entitled to discourage her son from such an unhealthy and unhappy lifestyle. Just for starters, there is a very high incidence of spousal abuse among homosexual couples

It may have once been traditional for boys to play football and girls to do ballet but nowadays many children feel free to take up activities regardless of gender.

However, one pushy parent took to Mumsnet to ask for advice on how to discourage her son from taking ballet lessons.

The woman said her son is an aspiring model and explained that she doesn’t think the extra-curricular activity ‘is going to fit in’.

In her post, Mumsnet user Ironriver said: ‘How do I put my son off wanting to do ballet? I’m showing him how cool football, rugby and karate are but he’s having none of it. ‘He does modelling and I don’t think ballet is going to fit in. Lots of the boys do football and other sports so I would like him to do that. Any ideas?’

Many commenters were outraged at the mother’s behaviour and suggested she should let her son pursue his own interests.

Concerned commenter OohhThatsMe said: ‘Your poor child, having such a sexist mother.’

Shocked reader coolaschmoola added: ‘Stop being so bloody sexist and let him do the thing he is interested in and actually wants to do.

‘It’s 2016! Boys don’t just play football. Just like not all girls do ballet.’

Other commenters were surprised that the woman had already decided her should would become a model.

Dodobookends said: ‘He’s nine and you have already chosen his career for him? Absurd.’

Some even suggested that taking up ballet would be beneficial to any future modelling aspirations.

OlennasWimple said: ‘Ballet would give him excellent posture, teach him to move well and have a better idea how to use his body effectively. ‘And less chance he’ll break his nose or get a cauliflower ear.’

OohhThatsMe added: ‘Actually ballet would REALLY help a modelling career. In what way would football do that?

‘Look at the girls doing modelling – most will have studied ballet.’

SOURCE

Israeli Bill to Hush Mosque Call to Prayer Stokes Controversy Among Muslims–Others Too

Proposed legislation in Israels parliament to prohibit the use of loudspeakers to transmit the five-times daily Muslim call to prayer is causing dismay among adherents of more than one religious group.

A preliminary vote on the so-called muezzin bill (a muezzin is the mosque official who recites the call to prayer) is scheduled for early next week.

It is not clear how the legislation, if adopted, would impact numerous areas of Israel and the West Bank that are under complex jurisdictional ruling and home to a mixture of religions.

In Jerusalem and elsewhere throughout the country, the three monotheistic faiths contribute to the cacophony of sounds at various times and on different days of the week.

The daily Muslim calls to prayer begin at about 4 a.m. and can be heard to differing degrees, depending on where you are. Where mosques are in close proximity to one another, there is a lot of overlap and duplication.

In Jerusalem, the Jewish shabbat alarm, which is essentially an air-raid siren, sounds every Friday at sundown to tell residents the sabbath has begun. Church bells ring on Sunday and important holidays.

Yaakov Litzman, Israels ultra-Orthodox deputy health minister, initially blocked the bill over concerns that it could be extended to include the shabbat alarm. Last week, Litzman withdrew his opposition after a loophole was added for the alarm, Haaretz reported.

In Bethlehem, which is heavily dependent on Christian pilgrims for tourism at several points during the year, the towns main tourist center is home to a mosque with a loudspeaker set at a very high volume. The mosque towers over Manger Square, and faces the Church of the Nativity, the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

The towns Christmas tree stands right in front of the church and numerous Christmas holiday traditions take place in or near the square.

Local business owners, many of whom are Arab Christians, dont seem to mind the blend of sounds, though.

Im not against it, for sure, said Sami Khouri, general manager of the Visit Palestine visitor center and gift shop-cafe a few hundred feet from Manger Square. Turning down the volume is somewhat okay, but preventing them from doing it isnt right.

Khouri, who also runs a tourism company and lives in Jerusalem, says its just part of life in the region.

Even where I live in Jerusalem, there are two mosques [making the call to prayer] nearby, five times a day. I just think this is co-existence, he said. The mosque has been there for who knows how long and we also ring the church bells. For tourists, its part of the flavor. For me its part of the sounds of Jerusalem, the ambience.

However, Khouri and others do suggest that if multiple mosques are situated in a given area they could possibly coordinate their broadcasts. The caveat is popular sentiment, but is not part of the bill before the Israeli parliament.

Some areas in the West Bank technically under full Palestinian Authority control have protested by staging multifaith demonstrations, with hundreds of Muslims, Christians, and Jewish Samaritans singing the call to prayer together.

Nablus is the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank and home to hundreds of mosques, which together produce a wall of uncoordinated sound.

The ultra-Orthodox Jewish community is almost evenly divided on the issue, according to a poll on one of the communitys websites, Kikar HaShabat (Sabbath Corner). The poll found that 42 percent of respondents were against the bill.

There are also individuals working together behind the scenes, with unlikely, discreet alliances between some Arab and ultra-Orthodox lawmakers, according to a report in Al-Monitor.

Disputes over mosque calls to prayer are not uncommon, both in Western and Muslim countries. In 2004, some of the 23,000 residents of the Detroit suburb of Hamtramck, Michigan were at odds over mosque loudspeakers, with some telling local media they were simply too loud.

In Dubai in 2011, the volume of a mosque was checked twice for decibel level after residents complained about crying children being woken up at 4 a.m.

An online Indonesian housing forum for expats recommends visiting a potential new home to make sure you can handle the disruption to the peace and quiet of your home during the call to prayer.

SOURCE

The left is creating a new kind of apartheid

The student union at Kings College London will field a team in University Challenge that contains at least 50 per cent self-defining women, trans or non-binary students. The only bad thing Ken Livingstone could bring himself to say about the brutal dictator Fidel Castro was that initially he wasnt very good on lesbian and gay rights. The first page of Hillary Clintons campaign website (still up) has links to African Americans for Hillary, Latinos for Hillary, Asian Americans and Pacific islanders for Hillary, Women for Hillary, Millennials for Hillary, but none to men for Hillary, let alone white people for Hillary.

Since when did the left insist on judging people by to paraphrase Martin Luther King the colour of their skin rather than the content of their character? The left once admirably championed the right of black people, women and gays to be treated the same as white, straight men. With only slightly less justification, it then moved on to pushing affirmative action to redress past prejudice. Now it has gone further, insisting everybody is defined by his or her identity and certain victim identities must be favoured.

Given the history of such stereotyping, it is baffling that politicians on the left cannot see where this leads. The prime exponents of identity politics in the past were the advocates of apartheid, of antisemitism, and of treating women as the legal chattels of men. We are sleepwalking our way to segregation, Trevor Phillips says.

Identity politics is thus very old-fashioned. Christina Hoff Sommers, author of Who Stole Feminism, says equality feminism fair treatment, respect and dignity is being eclipsed in universities by a Victorian fainting couch feminism, which views women as fragile flowers who require safe spaces, trigger warnings and special protection from micro-invalidations. Sure enough, when she said this at Oberlin College, Ohio, 35 students and a therapy dog sought refuge in a safe room.

It is just bad biology to focus on race, sex or sexual orientation as if they mattered most about people. Weve known for decades and Marxist biologists such as Dick Lewontin used to insist on this point that the genetic differences between two human beings of the same race are maybe ten times as great as the average genetic difference between two races. Race really is skin deep. Sex goes deeper, for sure, because of developmental pathways, but still the individual differences between men and men, or women and women, or gays and gays, are far more salient than any similarities.

The Republican sweep in the American election cannot be blamed solely on the culture wars, but they surely played a part. Take the bathroom wars that broke out during the early stages of the campaign. North Carolinas legislature heavy-handedly required citizens to use toilets that corresponded to their birth gender. The Obama administration heavy-handedly reacted by insisting that every school district in the country should do no such thing or lose its federal funding. This was a gift to conservatives: Should a grown man pretending to be a woman be allowed to use . . . the same restroom used by your daughter? Your wife?, asked Senator Ted Cruz.

White men played the identity card at the American ballot box There is little doubt that to some extent white men played the identity card at the ballot box in reaction to the identity politics of the left. In a much-discussed essay for The New York Times after the election, Mark Lilla of Columbia University mused that Hillary Clintons tendency to slip into the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, LGBT and women voters at every stop was a mistake: If you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them.

He argues that the fixation on diversity in our schools and the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life . . . By the time they reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse, and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good. As many students woke up to discover on November 9, identity politics is expressive, not persuasive.

Last week, in an unbearably symbolic move, Hampshire College in Massachusetts removed the American flag a symbol of unity if ever there was one from campus in order to make students feel safer. The university president said the removal would enable us to instead focus our efforts on racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviours. There are such attitudes in America, for sure, but I am willing to bet they are not at their worst at Hampshire College, Massachusetts.

The one group that is increasingly excluded from campuses, with never a peep of complaint from activists, is conservatives. Data from the Higher Education Research Institute show the ratio of left-wing professors to right-wing professors went from 2:1 in 1995 to 6:1 today. The 1 is usually in something such as engineering and keeps his or her head down. Fashionable joke: whats the opposite of diversity? University.

This is not a smug, anti-American argument. British universities are hurtling down the same divisive path. Feminists including Germaine Greer, Julie Bindel and Kate Smurthwaite have been no-platformed at British universities, along with speakers for Ukip and Israel, but not Islamic State. Universities are becoming like Victorian aunts, brooking no criticism of religion, treating women as delicate flowers and turning up their noses at Jews.

The government is conducting an independent review into Britains sharia courts, which effectively allow women to be treated differently if they are Muslim. The review is chaired by a Muslim and advised by two imams. And far too many government forms still insist on knowing whether the applicant is (I have taken the list from the Office for National Statistics guidance): Gypsy or Irish Traveller, White and Black Caribbean, White and Black African, White and Asian, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese, African, Caribbean, Arab, or any other ethnic group. So bleeding what?

The left has vacated the moral high ground on which it won so many fine battles to treat human beings equally. The right must occupy that ground and stand for universal human values and equal treatment for all.

SOURCE

Fake news and posttruth: the handmaidens of Western relativism

It isnt Macedonian teens who killed truth and objectivity

Internet-savvy 16-year-old boys in Macedonia are undermining Western journalism and democracy. Have you ever encountered a faker news story than that? This is the great irony of the fake-news panic that has swept the Western media in recent days, with observers now claiming that the promotion of made-up news on Facebook may have swung the election for Donald Trump and done GBH to the Western ideals of objectivity and reason: it is underpinned by illusions of its own; by a refusal to grapple with hard truths about the Wests own jettisoning of those values; and by an urge to invent bogeymen that is every bit as dislocated from reality as are those myth-peddling kids in the East.

Still reeling from the failure of their idol Hillary Clinton to get to the White House, mainstream observers and politicians this week came up with another thing to blame: BS news. They claim the spread of stories like The pope loves Trump and Hillary is a paedophile, many of which originate on phoney-news websites in Eastern Europe and get loads of likes among Westerners on Facebook, is a threat to truth and to the very practice of democracy. Angela Merkel bemoaned the fake sites, bots, trolls which manipulate public opinion and make politics and democracy harder. President Obama slammed this active misinformation, arguing that if everything seems to be the same and no distinctions are made, then we lose so much of what weve gained in terms of democratic freedoms.

Liberal columnists, wounded that so much of the public ignored their overtures first on Brexit and then on Trump, claim good, decent, supposedly elitist journalism must now assert itself. Our role in seeking the truth must be harnessed with steely determination, says one. CNNs Christiane Amanpour says the tsunami of fake-news sites is an affront to journalism and the thing that journalism helps to facilitate: democracy. We must now fight hard for the truth in this world where the Oxford English Dictionary just announced that its word of 2016 [is] post-truth, she says. Numerous hacks have been despatched to Macedonia and Russia to confront the fresh-faced youths who run these fake-news sites for cash. How teens in the Balkans are duping Trump supporters, says one headline. Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election, says another. The image were left with is of dastardly Easterners suckering stupid Westerners and undermining the democratic tradition, and now pain-faced, well-minded columnists must stand up to this foreign threat to reason.

Its the fakest news story of the week. It might not be as utterly invented as the one about Hillarys people abusing children in a pizza restaurant in Washington, DC. But it involves a profounder avoidance of truth, a deeper unwillingness to face up to facts. In particular the fact that the rise of fake news, alternative news and conspiracy theories speaks not to the wicked interventions of myth-spreaders from without, but to the corrosion of reason within, right here in the West. It speaks to the declining moral and cultural authority of our own political and media class. It is the Western worlds own abandonment of objectivity, and loss of legitimacy in the eyes of its populace, that has nurtured something of a free-for-all on the facts and news front. Those Macedonian kids arent denting democracy or damaging objectivity theyre merely milking a Western crisis of objectivity that began long before they were born.

The first striking thing about the fake-news panic is its naked paternalism. The suggestion is that voters, especially those of a low-information, redneck variety, were hoodwinked into voting Trump by outlandish stories about how evil Hillary is. Fake news whacks people who could not recognise [or] fact-check, says Amanpour. Its a post-truth era where you can play [people] like a fiddle, says a liberal writer in the US. A Guardian columnist says people easily believe lies that play to their prejudices and then pass them on thoughtlessly. Were given the impression that masses of people are incapable of deciphering fact from fiction. They cast their votes on the basis of a daft pizza-paedo link they saw on Facebook. With a loud sneer, observers write off the general publics capacity for reason and willingness to engage seriously with democratic decisions. Ironically, this demeaning of the demos, this calling into question of the very idea that underpins modern politics that the public is reasoned and must be allowed to steer the fate of their nation does far greater damage to the value and standing of democracy than any spotty Macedonian with a laptop could ever do.

Then came the paternalistic solutions. We need new gatekeepers, columnists claim: professionals who have the resources and brains to work out whats true and whats a lie and ensure that people see more of the former. Obama and others suggest Facebook must get better at curating news, sorting truth from falsehood on behalf of its suggestible users. The suggestion is that the internet, having thrown open the world of reportage and commentary to everyone, having enabled anyone with a computer or phone to say their piece, has disoriented truth and democracy and now must be tamed, or at least better managed.

This echoes the elite fears that greeted the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. Then, the religious authorities the gatekeepers of their day worried that all sorts of heresy might now find its way into the publics minds and hearts, unfiltered by their wise, godly counsel. Todays aspiring gatekeepers panic that fake news will get into and warp the minds of the little people in this era when knowledge filtering has been stripped back even further, so that increasingly the citizen stands alone before the claims and counter-claims of those who publish. And apparently this fake news often contains heresies of its own. In his interview with the New Yorker, Obama strikingly bemoaned the fake news of climate-change scepticism, where an explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers payroll. This cuts to the 15th-century-echoing fear that motors the panic over fake news: the belief that it will allow not only outright lies, but new heresies, new blasphemies, different ways of thinking, to make an appeal to peoples beliefs and convictions. The call to filter social media is a paternalistic call to protect the public from bad or mad or dangerous thoughts, in a similar way that early clampdowns on the printing press were designed to keep evil from the swarm.

What this censorious, anti-demos view overlooks is the positive side to todays unprecedented throwing-open of debate and news and politics: the fact that it implicitly calls on the citizen to use his own mental and moral muscles, to confront the numerous different versions of the world offered to him and decide which one sounds most right. Surely the internets downside of fake news is more than outweighed by its invitation to us to negotiate the rapids of public debate for ourselves and make up our own minds? Ideally, in a democracy, everybody would agree that climate change is a consequence of man-made behaviour, because thats what 99 per cent of scientists tell us, said Obama in his handwringing over fake news. No. The ideal thing in a democracy isnt that we believe something because scientists, or politicians, or priests, have told us its true; its that we believe something because we have considered it, thought about it, weighed it up against other things, and then deployed our own judgement. Believing something because others tell you its true isnt democracy its oligarchy.

Even the extent to which fake news is a bad thing and of course it can be its rise is not a result of wicked foreign poking into Western politics and debate. Rather, it speaks to the hollowing-out of the whole idea of truth in the West, to the march of the relativistic notion that objectivity is not only difficult but undesirable. The image of the old gatekeepers of knowledge, or just news, being elbowed aside either by new technologies or by interfering Easterners is wrong; it is more accurate to say that these gatekeepers gave up, and abandoned their posts, on the basis that it is arrogant to assume that any one way of seeing or reporting the world is better than another.

For the past two decades, Western news reporting has openly called into question its own definitiveness. It has thrown open news items to ceaseless commenting below the line, on the basis that news coverage is a partnership, as the BBCs Richard Sandbrook said in 2005. It celebrated citizen journalism as a realer, less top-down form of newsgathering. And it has jettisoned the very thing that distinguished it from other, more opinionated views on world events: its objectivity. From the rise of the journalism of attachment in the 1990s, in which journalists eschewed the apparently cold, forensic habit of objectivity and took sides with the most victimised groups in certain conflicts and situations, to the medias embrace of data journalism in the 2000s, where churning through thousands of leaked documents took the place of discovering stories and faithfully reporting them, Western journalism has redefined its mission from one of objectively discovering truth to simply offering its increasingly technical or emotional take on what might, or might not, have happened.

Journalists have explicitly disavowed objectivity, and with it their gatekeeping role. It is time to toss out objectivity as a goal, said Harvard journalism expert Dan Gilmor in 2005. By 2010, even Time magazine, self-styled epitome of the Western journalistic style, was celebrating The End of Objectivity. The new-media openness [has] upended the old medias poker-faced stoicism and its about time, it said. The Western media started to replace the ideal of objectivity with values such as fairness, transparency and balance. And as one European observer pointed out, these are very different to objectivity: where objectivity points to the active quest for truth, these newer, more technical values reduce the news media to just another voice among the many voices in a pluralistic world. When someone like Amanpour says Western journalism and democracy are in mortal peril, largely thanks to foreign powers like Russia paying to churn out false news, she overlooks journalisms weakening of its own ideals and authority, including by her and others in the 1990s when they ditched objectivity in preference for taking sides in conflicts like the one in Bosnia. She conspiratorially displaces on to Russia a crisis of objectivity that has its origins in the newsrooms and academies and political chambers of the West.

The abandonment of objectivity in journalism did not happen in a vacuum. It sprung from, and in turn intensified, a rejection of reason in the West, a disavowal of the idea of truth, and its replacement either by the far more technical ambition of being evidence-based or by highly emotional responses to world events. Indeed, the greatest irony in the fake-news panic, and in the whole post-Brexit, post-Trump talk of a new post-truth era, is that it was the very guardians of Western culture and knowledge, the very establishment now horrified by how the little people think and vote, who made us post-truth; who oversaw the turn against Enlightenment in the academy, the calling into question of male science, the throttling of the idea of any one, clear morality to which people might subscribe, and the rubbishing of the entire project of objectivity, even of news as we understood it. When Obama says we live in an era where everything seems to be the same and no distinctions are made, he isnt wrong. Only that refusal to distinguish, to judge, to elevate truer things over questionable things, is not down to Facebook or Macedonians or allegedly dumb Trump voters it is an accomplishment of the very post-Enlightenment, self-doubting, technocratic elites Obama is part of.

And what happens when you give up your conviction that truth can be discovered, and instead promote the idea that all ways of looking at the world, and interpreting the world, and feeling the world, have validity? You disorientate public discussion. You slay your own cultural authority. You create a situation where people doubt you, often with good reason, and go looking for other sources of information. You create the space for other claims of truth, some of them good and exciting, some of them mad and fake. Dont blame Russia, or us, for the crisis of journalism and democracy or for our so-called post-truth times. You did this. You, the gatekeepers. Well be our own gatekeepers now, thanks.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American “liberals” often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America’s educational system — particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if “liberals” had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.

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Political Correctness Watch

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Artificial Intelligence – IndiaBIX

Posted: November 23, 2016 at 10:00 pm

Why Computer Science Artificial Intelligence?

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Artificial Intelligence – IndiaBIX

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Mars One – Wikipedia

Posted: October 25, 2016 at 7:35 am

This article is about the one-way manned trip to Mars proposed for 2026. For the first Soviet spacecraft for Mars, see Mars 1. For other uses, see Mars 1 (disambiguation).

Mars One is an organization based in the Netherlands that has proposed to land the first humans on Mars and establish a permanent human colony there by 2026.[1] The private spaceflight project is led by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, who announced the Mars One project in May 2012.[2] The project’s schedule, technical and financial feasibility, and ethics, have been criticized by scientists, engineers and those in the aerospace industry.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Mars One’s original concept included launching a robotic lander and orbiter as early as 2016 to be followed by a human crew of four in 2022. Organizers plan for the crew to be selected from applicants who paid an administrative fee, to become the first permanent residents of Mars with no plan of returning to Earth. Partial funding options, which have yet to be realized, include a proposed reality television program documenting the journey. In February 2015, the primary contractors on the initial pre-Phase A contracts had completed all studies paid for by Mars One at that time.[11] The current state of the Mission Plan Deliverables (either in the form of Studies or actual Hardware) will be tracked in Table 2 in the Technology section.

The Mars One organization is the controlling stockholder of the for-profit Interplanetary Media Group.

The concept for Mars One began in 2011 with discussions between the two founders, Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders.[12]

The Mars One project has no connection with Inspiration Mars, a similarly-timed project to send a married couple on a Mars flyby and return them to Earth over a period of 500 days.[13]

Mars One publicly announced the concept in May 2012 for a one-way trip to Mars, with the intention of an initial robotic precursor mission in 2020 and transporting the first human colonists to Mars in 2024.[14] In a 2015 debate, Bas Lansdrop clarified that “were not going to do, I think, the current design of the mission” and “Mars One’s goal is not to send humans to Mars in 2027 with a $6 billion budget and 14 launches. Our goal is to send humans to Mars, period.”[15] According to Mars One’s website, “It is Mars One’s goal to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars.”[16]

Notes:

In December 2013, Mars One announced its concept of a robotic precursor mission in 2018, two years later than had been conceptually planned in the 2012 announcements. The robotic lander would be “built by Lockheed Martin based on the design used for NASA’s Phoenix and InSight missions, as well as a communications orbiter built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.”[26] In February 2015, Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology confirmed that contracts on the initial study phase begun in late 2013 had run out and additional contracts had not been received for further progress on the robotic missions. Plans have been disclosed to raise the US$200 million or more needed to support the initial robotic mission,[11][26] but some critics do not find the economic plans to raise money from private investors and exclusive broadcasting rights to be sufficient to support the initial, or follow-on, mission(s).

Mars One selected a second-round pool of astronaut candidates in 2013 of 1058 people”586 men and 472 women from 107 countries”from a larger number of 202,586 who initially showed interest on the Mars One website, although this number is heavily disputed. Former Mars One candidate Dr. Joseph Roche claims the number of initial applicants was only 2,761,[27] which Mars One later conceded via YouTube video.[28]

Mars One announced a partnership with Uwingu on 3 March 2014, stating that the program would use Uwingu’s map of Mars in all of their planned missions.[29][30]Kristian von Bengtson began work on Simulation Mars Home for crew on 24 March 2014.

The second-round pool was whittled down to 705 candidates (418 men and 287 women) in the beginning of May 2014. 353 were removed due to personal considerations.[31] After the medical physical requirement, which was similar to a normal FAA exam plus EKG, due either to financial, health or access reasons, only 660 candidates remained.[28] Notably, some applicants were notified of life-threatening conditions such as early-stage cancer and were able to immediately begin treatment.[32] These selected persons will then begin the interview process following which several teams of two men and two women will be compiled. The teams will then begin training full-time for a potential future mission to Mars, while individuals and teams may be selected out during training if they are not deemed suitable for the mission.[31]

On June 2, 2014, Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP) announced it has gained exclusive access to Mars One.[33]

On June 30, 2014, it was made public that Mars One seeks financial investment through a bidding process to send company experiments to Mars. The experiment slots will go to the highest bidder and will include company-related ads, and the opportunity to have the company name on the robotic lander that is proposed to carry the experiments to Mars in 2018.[34]

Mars One selected a third-round pool of astronaut candidates in 2015 of 100 people “50 men and 50 women who successfully passed the second round. The candidates come from all around the world, namely 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania”.

In a video posted on 19 of March 2015, Lansdorp said that because of delays in the robotic precursor mission, the first crew will not set down on Mars until 2027.[35] In August 2015, Lansdorp reiterated that their 12-year plan for landing humans on Mars by 2027 is subject to constant improvement and updates.[36]

The Space Review reported in October 2016 that while Mars One was “successful in generating a tremendous amount of publicity as well as enormous excitement about Mars, … its proposal lacked substance both in mission architecture and in workable funding mechanisms. As such, it has faded from the public consciousness.”[37]

According to their schedule as of March 2015, the first crew of four astronauts would arrive on Mars in 2027, after a seven-month journey from Earth. Additional teams would join the settlement every two years, with the intention that by 2035 there would be over twenty people living and working on Mars.[18] The astronaut selection process began on 22 April 2013.[38]

As of July 2015[update], the fourth round astronaut selection process, planned for Sept 2016, by which Mars One will choose six teams of four out of the 100 people selected in the third round, was announced.[39]

In December 2013, mission concept studies for an unmanned Mars mission were contracted with Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology for a demonstration mission to be launched in 2017 and land on Mars in 2018. It would be based on the design of the successful 2007 NASA Phoenix lander,[40] and provide proof of concept for a subset of the key technologies for a later permanent human settlement on Mars.[41] Upon submission of Lockheed Martin’s Proposal Information Package,[40] Mars One released a Request for Proposals[42] for the various payloads on the lander. The total payload mass of 44kg is divided among the seven payloads as follows:[42]

In 2022, an unmanned rover will be launched to Mars in order to pick a landing site for the 2027 Mars One landing and a site for the Mars One colony. At the same time, a communication satellite will be launched, enabling continuous communication with the Mars One colony.[43]

In 2024, the 6 cargo missions will be launched in close succession, consisting of two living units, two life-support units, and two supply units.[43]

A spacecraft containing four astronauts will be launched from Earth to meet a Transit vehicle bound for Mars.[43]

In 2027, the landing module will land on Mars, containing four astronauts. They will be met by the rover launched in 2020, and taken to the Mars One colony.[43]

The application was available from 22 April 2013 to 31 August 2013.[44][45] This first application consists of applicants general information, a motivational letter, a rsum and a video. More than 200,000 people expressed interest, so Mars One plans to hold several other application periods in the future.

By 9 September 2013, 4,227 applicants[46] had paid their registration fee and submitted public videos in which they made their case for going to Mars in 2023.[47] The application fee varies from US $5 to US $75 (the amount depending on the relative wealth of the applicant’s country).[48]

Distribution of the 1,058 applicants selected for Round 2 according to the academic degree[49]

Other (37%)

The results of applicants selected for round 2 were declared on 30 December 2013. A total of 1,058 applicants from 107 countries were selected.[26] The gender split is 586 male (55.4%) and 472 female (44.6%). Among the people that were selected for round 2, 159 have a master’s degree, 347 have bachelor’s degrees and 29 have Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degrees. The majority of the applicants are under 36 and well educated.[50][51][52]

Medically cleared candidates were interviewed, and 50 men and 50 women from the total pool of 660 from around the world were selected to move on to the third round of the astronaut selection process:[53][54]

Although initial plans were for the Mars One selection committee to perform regional interviews around the world, applicants were ultimately remotely interviewed and recorded by Mars One over a relatively short Skype/SparkHire call regarding Martian-related orbital, temp/pressure, geological and historical parameters and the specific elements of the Mars One one-way mission.[27][55][56] Dr. Joseph Roche, one of the finalists, has accused the selection process of being based on a point system that is primarily dependent on how much money each individual generated or gave to the Mars One organization, despite many of the round three selectees having not spent any money in the process, apart from the application fee, which varied as a function of each applicant’s country GDP.[27][55][56] Lansdorp acknowledges a “gamification” point system but denies that selection is based on money earned.[56] Roche also stated that if paid for interviews, they are asked to donate 75% of the payment to Mars One.[27][56] This was confirmed by Lansdorp.[27][56]

It was originally planned that the pool of roughly one thousand successful applicants would be narrowed through regional contests. These events did not take place, and the above-mentioned group of 100 candidates were selected through the remote interview process and selected directly to round 3 in February 2015.

In late 2013, details of the 2015 selection phases had not been agreed upon due to ongoing negotiations with media companies for the rights to televise the selection processes.[57][needs update]

It was planned that the regional selection may be broadcast on TV and Internet in countries around the world. In each region, plans included 2040 applicants participating in challenges including rigorous simulations, many in team settings, with focus on testing the physical and emotional capabilities of the remaining candidates, with the aim of demonstrating their suitability to become the first humans on Mars. The audience was to select one winner per region, and the experts could select additional participants, if needed, to continue to the international level.[58][59][needs update]

Round three takes place in 2016[needs update], over the course of 5 days. At the start of the event, the candidates organize themselves into groups of 105 men and 5 women of diverse nationalities and age groups.

The Mars One selection committee then sets up group dynamic challenges and provide study materials related to each challenge. This allow them to observe how the candidates work in a group setting and choose candidates for elimination.[39][needs update]

At the end of each day all the teams except the winner lose members; then they reorganize themselves for the following day. At the end 40 candidates remain.

The remaining 40 candidates are spending nine days in an isolation unit. The candidates are observed closely to examine how they act in situations of prolonged close contact with one another. This test is implemented because, during the journey to Mars and upon arrival, the candidates will spend 24 hours a day with each other and during this time the simplest things may start to become bothersome. It takes a specific team dynamic to be able to handle this, and the goal of this selection round is to find those that are best suited for this challenge.

After the isolation round, 30 candidates are chosen to partake in a Mars Settler Suitability Interview.[39]

The Mars Settler Suitability Interview measures suitability for long duration Space missions and Mars settlement and will last approximately 4 hours. 24 candidates are selected after the interview and will be offered full-time employment with Mars One.[39]

From the previous selection series, six groups of four are to become full-time employees of the Mars One astronaut corps, after which they are to train for the mission. Whole teams and individuals might be deselected during training if they prove not to be suitable for the mission. Six to ten[citation needed] teams of four people are to be selected for seven years of full-time training.

Mars One funding comes from private investment (undisclosed), intellectual property (IP) rights, the sale of future broadcasting rights, and astronaut application fees.[48]

Mars One’s investment of revenues[60]

Concept design studies (78.3%)

Travel expenses (11.6%)

Legal expenses (3.3%)

Website maintenance (2.4%)

Communications (2.3%)

Office and other (2.1%)

On January 29, 2013, Mars One announced its initial batch of investors[61] from the Netherlands and South Africa. The value of the investment remains undisclosed.

Mars One initially estimated a one-way trip, excluding the cost of maintaining four astronauts on Mars until they die, at 6 billion USD.[62] Lansdorp has declined questions regarding the cost estimate because he believes “it would be very stupid for us to give the prices that have been quoted per component”.[63] For comparison, an “austere” manned Mars mission (including a temporary stay followed by a return of the astronauts) proposed by NASA in 2009 had a projected cost of $100 billion USD after an 18-year program, including a NASA-required return component.[64]

Mars One, the not-for-profit foundation, is the controlling stockholder of the for-profit Interplanetary Media Group.[65] A proposed global “reality-TV” media event was intended to provide funds to finance the expedition, however, no such reality TV show has emerged and no contracts have been signed. The astronaut selection process (with some public participation) was to be televised and continue on through the first years of living on Mars.[66][67]

Discussions between Endemol, producers of the Big Brother series, and Mars One ended with Endemol subsidiary Darlow Smithson Productions issuing a statement in February 2015 that they “were unable to reach agreement on the details of the contract” and that the company was “no longer involved in the project.”[68] Lansdorp updated plans to no longer include live broadcasts from Mars but instead rely on a documentary-style production, adding “Just like the Olympics, we watch highlights, we don’t watch things that athletes do when they’re not performing their abilities.”[69]

On 31 August 2012, company officials announced that funding from its first sponsors had been received.[62] Corporate sponsorship money will be used mostly to fund the conceptual design studies provided by the aerospace suppliers.[62]

Since the official announcement of their conversion to a Stichting, Mars One has been accepting one-time and regular monthly donations through their website. As of 4 July 2016, Mars One had received $928,888 in donations and merchandise sales.[70] The recent donation update adds the Indiegogo campaign ($313,744) to the private donation and merchandise total.

Over three quarters of the investment is in concept design studies. Mars One states that “income from donations and merchandise have not been used to pay salaries”. To date, no financial records have been released for public viewing.[71]

On 10 December 2013, Mars One set up a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to fund their 2018 demonstration mission. The 2018 mission includes a lander and communications satellite, and aims to prove several mission critical technologies in addition to launch and landing. The campaign goal was to raise $400,000 USD by 25 January 2014. Since the ending date was drawing near, they decided to extend the ending date to 9 February 2014. By the end of the campaign, they had received $313,744 in funds. Indiegogo will receive 9% ($28,237) of the $313,744 for the campaign failing to achieve its goal.[72]

Mars One has identified at least one potential supplier for each component of the mission.[73][74] The major components are planned to be acquired from proven suppliers.[75] As of May 2013[update], Mars One has a contract with only one company, Paragon Space Development Corporation, for a preliminary life support study.[76]

The Falcon Heavy from SpaceX was the notional launcher in the early Mars One conceptual plan,[75] which included the notional use of SpaceX hardware for the lander and crew habitat, but, as of May 2013, SpaceX had not yet been contracted to supply mission hardware, and SpaceX has stated that it did “not currently have a relationship with Mars One.”[76] By March 2014, SpaceX indicated that they had been contacted by Mars One, and were in discussions, but that accommodating Mars One requirements would require some additional work and that such work was not a part of the current focus of SpaceX.[77][24]

A manned interplanetary spacecraft, which would transport the crew to Mars, would be assembled in low Earth orbit and comprise two propellant modules: a Transit Living Module (discarded just before arrival at Mars) and a lander (see “Human Lander” below).[75][78]

A potential supplier for the Transit living module as of November 2012[update] was Thales Alenia Space.[79][non-primary source needed]

Contract has been signed with Lockheed Martin to build the Demo Lander with the same designs as the Phoenix lander that went to Mars.[21]

In December 2013 Mars One awarded a contract to Surrey Satellite Technology for a study of the satellite technology required to provide 24/7 communication between Earth and the Mars base.[80][81] Mars One proposed at least two satellites, one in areostationary orbit above Mars and a second at the Earth Sun L4 or L5 point to relay the signal when Mars blocks the areosynchronous satellite from line of sight to Earth.[81] It is possible that a third satellite will be required to relay the signal on the rare occasions when the Sun blocks the first relay satellite from line of sight with Earth.[81]

An early notional Mars One lander was shown in concept art as a 5 meters (16ft)-diameter variant of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule. SpaceX has not agreed for their technoogy to be used by the Mars One project.[24]

The rover would be unpressurized and support travel distances of 80km (50 miles).[82] A potential supplier for the rover as of November 2012[update] was Astrobotic Technology.[79][non-primary source needed]

The Mars suit would be flexible to allow the settlers to work with both cumbersome construction materials and sophisticated machinery when they are outside the habitat while protecting them from the cold, low pressure and noxious gases of the Martian atmosphere.[83] The likely supplier of the suits is ILC Dover.[84] On 12 March 2013, Paragon Space Development Corporation was contracted to develop concepts for life support and the Mars Surface Exploration Spacesuit System. The Paragon Space Development Corporation study was stated to be finished late summer 2013; Mars One released the results of this (ECLSS portion only) study to the public in June 2015.[85][86] The Mars suit study portion of the original contract has just entered ITAR review, with a publicly accessible copy available once passed through review.

Mars One has received a variety of criticism, mostly relating to medical,[87] technical and financial feasibility. There are also unverified claims that Mars One is a scam designed to take as much money as possible from donors, including reality show contestants.[88][89] Many have criticized the project’s US$6 billion budget as being too low to successfully transport humans to Mars, to the point of being delusional.[10][90] A similar project study by NASA estimated the cost of such a feat at US$100 billion, although that included transporting the astronauts back to Earth. Objections have also been raised regarding the reality TV project associated with the expedition. Given the transient nature of most reality TV ventures, many believe that as viewership declines, funding could significantly decrease, thereby harming the entire expedition. Further, TV reality show contestants have reported that they were ranked based on their donations and funds raised.[88][91]

John Logsdon, a space policy expert at George Washington University, criticized the program, saying it appears to be a scam[90] and not “a credible proposition”.[92]

Chris Welch, director of Masters Programs at the International Space University, has said “Even ignoring the potential mismatch between the project income and its costs and questions about its longer-term viability, the Mars One proposal does not demonstrate a sufficiently deep understanding of the problems to give real confidence that the project would be able to meet its very ambitious schedule.”[93]

Gerard ‘t Hooft, theoretical physicist and ambassador[94] to Mars One, has stated that he thought both their proposed schedule and budget were off by a factor of ten.[27][95] He said he still supported the project’s overall goals.[95]

A space logistics analysis conducted by PhD candidates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that the most optimistic of scenarios would require 15 Falcon Heavy launches that would cost approximately $4.5 billion.[96] They concluded that the reliability of Environmental Control and Life Support systems (ECLS), the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), and in situ resource utilization (ISRU) would have to be improved. Additionally, they determined that if the costs of launch were also lowered dramatically, together this would help to reduce the mass and cost of Mars settlement architecture.[96] The environmental system would result in failure to be able to support human life in 68 days if fire safety standards on over-oxygenation were followed, due to excessive use of nitrogen supplies that would not then be able to be used to compensate leakage of air out of the habitat, leading to a resultant loss in pressurization, ending with pressures too low to support human life.[97] Lansdorp replied that although he has not read all the research, supplier Lockheed Martin says that the technologies were viable.[98]

Another serious concern uncovered in the research conducted by MIT is replacement parts. The PhD candidates estimated the need for spare parts in a Mars colony based on the failure rates of parts on the ISS. They determined that a resupply mission every two years would be necessary unless a large space in the initial launch were to be reserved for extra materials. Lansdorp commented on this saying, “They are correct. The major challenge of Mars One is keeping everything up and running. We don’t believe what we have designed is the best solution. It’s a good solution.”[98]

In March 2015, one of the Mars One finalists, Joseph Roche,[99] stated to media outlets that he believes the mission to be a scam. Roche holds doctorate degrees in physics and astrophysics, and shared many of his concerns and criticisms of the mission. These claims include that the organization lied about the number of applicants, stating that 200,000 individuals applied versus Roche’s claim of 2,761, and that many of the applicants had paid to be put on the list. Furthermore, Roche claimed that Mars One is asking finalists for donations from any money earned from guest appearances (which would amount to a minimal portion of the estimated $6 billion required for the mission). Finally, despite being one of 100 finalists, Roche himself has never spoken to any Mars One employee or representative in person, and instead of psychological or psychometric testing as is normal for astronaut candidates (especially for a lengthy, one-way mission), his interview process consisted of a 10-minute Skype conversation.[88][100]

Robert Zubrin, advocate for manned Martian exploration, said “I don’t think the business plan closes it. We’re going to go to Mars, we need a billion dollars, and we’re going to make up the revenue with advertising and media rights and so on. You might be able to make up some of the money that way, but I don’t think that anyone who is interested in making money is going to invest on that basis invest in this really risky proposition, and if you’re lucky you’ll break even? That doesn’t fly.”[101] Despite his criticisms, Zubrin became an adviser to Mars One on 10 October 2013.[102]

Canadian former astronaut Julie Payette said during the opening speech for an International Civil Aviation Organization conference that she does not think Mars One “is sending anybody anywhere”.[56]

In January 2014, German former astronaut Ulrich Walter strongly criticized the project for ethical reasons. Speaking with Tagesspiegel, he estimated the probability of reaching Mars alive at only 30%, and that of surviving there more than three months at less than 20%. He said, “They make their money with that [TV] show. They don’t care what happens to those people in space… If my tax money were used for such a mission, I would organize a protest.”[103]

Space tourist Richard Garriott stated in response to Mars One, “Many have interesting viable starting plans. Few raise the money to be able to pull it off.”[104]

Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin said in an interview that he wants to see humans on Mars by 2035, but he does not think Mars One will be the first to achieve it.[105]

Wired magazine gave it a plausibility score of 2 out of 10 as part of their 2012 Most Audacious Private Space Exploration Plans.[106]

The Daily Mail enumerated reasons why the project will never happen, calling the project “foolish”. The project lacks current funding as well as sources for future funding. The organization has no spacecraft or rocket in development or any contracts in place with companies that could provide a spacecraft or rocket. While plans point to SpaceX for both resources, the company has no contracts with Mars One in an industry that typically plans contracts decades in advance.[24] The organization has not shared any research into the effects of microgravity on crews in flight or reduced gravity on the Mars surface. The organization has yet to provide plans or even study how crews might survive dust storms, supply challenges or the increased radiation on Mars.[107]

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Whats Trumps Position on NATO?

Posted: October 8, 2016 at 10:23 pm

Hillary Clinton went too far when she claimed that Donald Trump said we should pull out of NATO. Trump has said that he would certainly look at pulling the United States out of the international security alliance, because it is obsolete and is costing us a fortune. But the Clinton campaign provided nothing indicating that Trump advocates pulling out now.

Trump, who has nearlyclinched the Republican nomination for president, has been critical of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which was established in 1949 by the U.S., Canada and 10 Western European nations to defend against the former Soviet Union. Trumps main criticisms of NATO, which now has 28 member nations, are that the alliance no longer serves its founding purpose and that it is too costly to the U.S., which pays about 22 percent of direct spending by NATO, the most of any nation, according to budget information. The U.S. also pays a much larger portion of the organizations indirect costs, NATO says.

During a campaign speech in Milwaukee on March 28, Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, said that Trump wants us to pull out of NATO. That was the week after Trump, during campaign events and interviews with the editorial boards of the Washington Post and the New York Timesandothers, talked about the U.S. role in NATO.

In an interview with CBS News John Dickerson that aired May 8, Clinton again claimed that Trump, whom she referred to as a loose cannon, wants out of NATO.

Clinton, May 8: Being a loose cannon is saying we should pull out of NATO, the strongest military alliance in the history of the world and something that we really need to modernize, but not abandon.

While Trump has gone so far as saying that, as president, he would consider pulling the U.S. out of NATO if it is not restructured, weve found no instance of him saying he wants to do so at this point. And the Clinton campaign hasnt been able to point to an example of Trump saying that either.

In fact, it was during the interview with the Post, which initially brought attention to Trumps feelings about NATO, that Trump said that he doesnt want the U.S. to leave the alliance.

Charles Lane, Washington Post, March 21:So, Id like to hear you say very specifically, you know, with respect to NATO, what is your ask of these other countries?Right, youve painted it in very broad terms, but do you have a percent of GDP that they should be spending on defense?Tell me more, because it sounds like you want to just pull the U.S. out.

Trump: No, I dont want to pull it out. NATO was set up at a different time. NATO was set up when we were a richer country. Were not a rich country anymore. Were borrowing, were borrowing all of this money. Were borrowing money from China, which is sort of an amazing situation. But it was a much different thing. NATO is costing us a fortune and yes, were protecting Europe with NATO but were spending a lot of money. Number one, I think the distribution of costs has to be changed. I think NATO as a concept is good, but it is not as good as it was when it first evolved.

Later on March 21, during a CNN town hall event with Wolf Blitzer, Trump said the U.S. should reconsider its role in NATO, especially with concern to how much itspends compared with other nations.

Blitzer: Do you think the United States needs to rethink U.S. involvement in NATO?

Trump: Yes, because its costing us too much money. And frankly they have to put up more money. Theyre going to have to put some up also. Were paying disproportionately. Its too much. And frankly its a different world than it was when we originally conceived of the idea. And everybody got together.

But were taking care of, as an example, the Ukraine. I mean, the countries over there dont seem to be so interested. Were the ones taking the brunt of it. So I think we have to reconsider keep NATO, but maybe we have to pay a lot less toward the NATO itself.

Blitzer: When we say keep NATO, NATO has been around since right after World War II in 1949. Its been a cornerstone of U.S. national security around the world. NATO allies hear you say that, theyre not going to be happy.

Trump: Well, they may not be happy but, you know, they have to help us also. It has to be we are paying disproportionately. And very importantly if you use Ukraine as an example and thats a great example, the country surrounding Ukraine, I mean, they dont seem to care as much about it as we do. So there has to be at least a change in philosophy and there are also has to be a change in the cut out, the money, the spread because its too much.

Blitzer: So youre really suggesting the United States should decrease its role in NATO?

Trump: Not decrease its role but certainly decrease the kind of spending. We are spending a tremendous amount in NATO and other people proportionately less. No good.

Then, on March 25, in an interview with the New YorkTimes editorial board, Trump again said that NATO needed to be changed to deal with costs and other issues, such as terrorism.

Trump, March 25:Ill tell you the problems I have with NATO. Number one, we pay far too much. We are spending you know, in fact, theyre even making it so the percentages are greater. NATO is unfair, economically, to us, to the United States. Because it really helps them more so than the United States, and we pay a disproportionate share. Now, Im a person that you notice I talk about economics quite a bit, in these military situations, because it is about economics, because we dont have money anymore because weve been taking care of so many people in so many different forms that we dont have money and countries, and countries. So NATO is something that at the time was excellent. Today, it has to be changed. It has to be changed to include terror. It has to be changed from the standpoint of cost because the United States bears far too much of the cost of NATO.

It was on March 23, during an interview withBloomberg Politics Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, that Trump, when asked, said he would certainly look at getting rid of NATO because it may be obsolete (16:12 in the video).

Halperin, March 23: Should America be the leader of NATO or not necessarily?

Trump: I think NATO may be obsolete. NATO was set up a long time ago many, many years ago when things were different. Things are different now. We were a rich nation then. We had nothing but money. We had nothing but power. And you know, far more than we have today, in a true sense. And I think NATO you have to really examine NATO. And it doesnt really help us, its helping other countries. And I dont think those other countries appreciate what were doing.

Heilemann: So, just to be clear, you made two slightly different arguments there and I just want to clarify. One of them is that you might want to see the U.S. pay less money into NATO because

Trump: That one definitely. That one definitely.

Heilemann: But its possible that NATO is obsolete and should be gotten rid of?

Trump: Its possible. Its possible. I would certainly look at it. And Id want more help from other people. The one thing definitely were paying too much. As to whether or not its obsolete, Ill make that determination.

Then, at a campaign rally in Milwaukee on April 4, Trump said that he wasnt saying thatNATO should disband during his interview with CNNs Blitzer. Instead, he said he meant that if countries cant pay their bills theyve got to go.

Trump, April 4: And Wolf Blitzer asked me a question on television. He said, let me just ask you about NATO. And he asked me about it. Now, I havent been asked about NATO a lot, but I understand NATO and I understand common sense and Im, like, a smart person, like many of the people in this room, hopefully all of the people in this room.

But he asked me about NATO. I said its obsolete. This is my first thing. And you know what? Im the first one. Guys that study NATO and good people, but they study NATO and they say, I dont believe it, what he just said, I never thought of that. They study it because theyre so into it that they dont realize.

Because it was really put there you had the Soviet Union and now you have Russia, which is different, but Russia is very powerful, so we can sort of say thats a balance, so well leave it. But it doesnt really cover terrorism like its supposed to. It doesnt have the right countries. I mean, many of the countries in there arent, you know, that you associate with terrorism.

And so I said, number one, its obsolete. I said, number two, to the best of my knowledge, the United States pays far too much proportionately, and why are we always paying the bills to protect other people?

And the press, which is so totally dishonest, the press goes headlines the next day Trump doesnt want NATO, wants to disband. Thats not what I said. I said youve got to pay your bills. And you know what? If they cant pay their bills, honestly there should be theyve got to go. Because we cant do this.

And most recently, in his April 27 foreign policy speech, Trump said that theU.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves if they are unwilling to pay more.

Trump, April 27:They look at the United States as weak and forgiving and feel no obligation to honor their agreements with us. In NATO, for instance, only fourof 28 other member countries besides America, are spending the minimum required 2 percent of GDP on defense. We have spent trillions of dollars over time on planes, missiles, ships, equipment, building up our military to provide a strong defense for Europe and Asia. The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense, and if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves. We have no choice.

So, Trump has clearly outlined changes he would like to see made to NATO. And he has said that, under a Trump administration, the U.S. might no longer be a part of the alliance if it isnt restructured and other nations dont start to pick up more of the costs. But even that isnt the same thing as saying that we should pull out of NATO, as Clinton claims Trump said.

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Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: Whats …

Posted: August 10, 2016 at 9:12 pm

Weve all seen the words complementary, alternative, and integrative, but what do they reallymean?

This fact sheet looks into these terms to help you understand them better and gives you a brief picture of NCCIHs mission and role in this areaofresearch.

Many Americansmore than 30 percent of adults and about 12 percent of childrenuse health care approaches developed outside of mainstream Western, or conventional, medicine. When describing these approaches, people often use alternative and complementary interchangeably, but the two terms refer to differentconcepts:

True alternative medicine is uncommon. Most people who use non-mainstream approaches use them along with conventionaltreatments.

There are many definitions of integrative health care, but all involve bringing conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated way. The use of integrative approaches to health and wellness has grown within care settings across the United States. Researchers are currently exploring the potential benefits of integrative health in a variety of situations, including pain management for military personnel and veterans, relief of symptoms in cancer patients and survivors, and programs to promote healthybehaviors.

Chronic pain is a common problem among active-duty military personnel and veterans. NCCIH, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and other agencies are sponsoring research to see whether integrative approaches can help. For example, NCCIH-funded studies are testing the effects of adding mindfulness meditation, self-hypnosis, or other complementary approaches to pain management programs for veterans. The goal is to help patients feel and function better and reduce their need for pain medicines that can have serious sideeffects.

More information on pain management for military personnel andveterans

Cancer treatment centers with integrative health care programs may offer services such as acupuncture and meditation to help manage symptoms and side effects for patients who are receiving conventional cancer treatment. Although research on the potential value of these integrative programs is in its early stages, some studies have had promising results. For example, NCCIH-funded research has suggestedthat:

More information oncancer

Healthy behaviors, such as eating right, getting enough physical activity, and not smoking, can reduce peoples risks of developing serious diseases. Can integrative approaches promote these types of behaviors? Researchers are working to answer this question. Preliminary research suggests that yoga and meditation-based therapies may help smokers quit, and NCCIH-funded studies are testing whether adding mindfulness-based approaches to weight control programs will help people lose weight moresuccessfully.

More information on quittingsmoking

More information on weightcontrol

NCCIH generally uses the term complementary health approaches when we discuss practices and products of non-mainstream origin. We use integrative health when we talk about incorporating complementary approaches into mainstream healthcare.

Most complementary health approaches fall into one of two subgroupsnatural products or mind and bodypractices.

This group includes a variety of products, such as herbs (also known as botanicals), vitamins and minerals, and probiotics. They are widely marketed, readily available to consumers, and often sold as dietary supplements.

According to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which included a comprehensive survey on the use of complementary health approaches by Americans, 17.7 percent of American adults had used a dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals in the past year. These products were the most popular complementary health approach in the survey. (See chart.) The most commonly used natural product was fishoil.

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Researchers have done large, rigorous studies on a few natural products, but the results often showed that the products didnt work. Research on others is in progress. While there are indications that some may be helpful, more needs to be learned about the effects of these products in the human body and about their safety and potential interactions with medicines and other naturalproducts.

Mind and body practices include a large and diverse group of procedures or techniques administered or taught by a trained practitioner or teacher. The 2012 NHIS showed that yoga, chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation, meditation, and massage therapy are among the most popular mind and body practices used by adults. The popularity of yoga has grown dramatically in recent years, with almost twice as many U.S. adults practicing yoga in 2012 as in2002.

Other mind and body practices include acupuncture, relaxation techniques (such as breathing exercises, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation), tai chi, qi gong, healing touch, hypnotherapy, and movement therapies (such as Feldenkrais method, Alexander technique, Pilates, Rolfing Structural Integration, and Trager psychophysicalintegration).

The amount of research on mind and body approaches varies widely depending on the practice. For example, researchers have done many studies on acupuncture, yoga, spinal manipulation, and meditation, but there have been fewer studies on some otherpractices.

The two broad areas discussed abovenatural products and mind and body practicescapture most complementary health approaches. However, some approaches may not neatly fit into either of these groupsfor example, the practices of traditional healers, Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and naturopathy.

NCCIH is the Federal Governments lead agency for scientific research on complementary and integrative healthapproaches.

The mission ofNCCIHis to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative health interventions and their roles in improving health and healthcare.

NCCIHs vision is that scientific evidence will inform decisionmaking by the public, by health care professionals, and by health policymakers regarding the use and integration of complementary and integrative healthapproaches.

To learn more, visit the NCCIH Facts-at-a-Glance and Mission page.

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Evolution : Pictures , Videos, Breaking News

Posted: August 2, 2016 at 4:38 pm

Mostly evolution this week, except for one excellent piece on “what about that 3% of climate scientists who reject the consensus?” Could they be on to…

Ann Reid

Executive Director, National Center for Science Education

Let’s pretend for a moment that you are a giraffe. You live on the grasslands of the African savannah. You have a neck that is 7 feet long (2.1 meter…

James Clear

Entrepreneur, weightlifter, and travel photographer at http://jamesclear.com

One thousand years ago, when the United States of America did not exist and Oxford and Cambridge were backwaters of ignorance, the light of human reason shone brightly in places like Tunis, Cairo, and Baghdad. During the Abbasid caliphate for much of the 8th through middle 11th centuries, and also sporadically thereafter, tolerance of certain non-Muslim groups was enshrined in law.

What do you think? Does the sacred express itself in the material world? Or are we mortals pretty much on our own here in this humongous universe? Here’s what a friend of mine, neonatal pathologist Geoff Machin has to say on the question:

Lots of great stuff last week, but if you only have time to read one thing this week, read the interview with Mary Schweitzer below. What might the wo…

Ann Reid

Executive Director, National Center for Science Education

“So shall I do to the freshest things now reigning, and make stale the glistering of this present” (TIME, as the Chorus in The Winter’s Tale by Shakes…

Ajay Chaturvedi is the founder of HarVa, the first BPO set up in rural India which employs only women and author of the widely acclaimed, Lost Wisdom …

Ajay Chaturvedi

Entrepreneur, Thinker, Author, Wanderer, Yogi, Apprentice to a Himalayan Master! Founder – HarVa, Author – ‘Lost Wisdom of The Swastika’, http://www.ajaychaturvedi.in

We must realize we aren’t grown up. We must realize we have to grow up and extend the vision that change is possible. We must learn about the nature of the human mind and ego and how it traps us in limited, fear-based thinking, and then teach our children how to be greater.

Cate Montana

Author of The E Word: Ego, Enlightenment & Other Essentials

One of the great things about the minds of creatives is how well they think outside the box. They – or you – have the ability to see things not only f…

We all are guilty of procrastination from time to time, putting off those important tasks and saying ‘oh, I’ll do it tomorrow.” For many of us though, tomorrow never comes. So how do we defeat procrastination?

Atif Rashid

Freelance writer, community events organiser, speaker on religious platforms and aspiring journalist.

I concur with the New York Times editorialists who, among others, declared President Obamas speech in Dallas this week a rhetorical highpoint…

STEM is steadily earning a place as the dazzling star in the high school curriculum and for good reason. The benefit of high-level science and math co…

We are a species. Perhaps thats a bit of a blow to our modern, so-over-biology, Homo sapien arrogance; but its true just the same. Lik…

Owing to a technical difficulty, I can’t provide any illustration to accompany today’s What We’re Reading feature. But hey, you don’t only read it for…

Ann Reid

Executive Director, National Center for Science Education

While a bunch of NCSE staff members are rafting down the majestic Colorado River and another is making his way to Washington DC for the National Edu…

Ann Reid

Executive Director, National Center for Science Education

Playing ‘Spore’ is a good way to explore evolution. ‘Spore’ screenshotBy Alex Leith, Michigan State University You look down from the …

The Conversation US

Independent source of news and analysis, from the academic and research community.

Original post:

Evolution : Pictures , Videos, Breaking News

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Alan Watt: The Neo-Eugenics War On Humanity Alex Jones …

Posted: July 12, 2016 at 5:33 am

Infowars.com October 22, 2010

Alan Watt continues to divulge his fascinating in-depth insights into how culture is created from the top down and used by the elite to manipulate and pervert natural human instincts towards their own ends. Every change in culture, right down to fashion and music, points out Watt citing Plato, had to be authorized and promoted from the top. This science of mass mind control is still taught today by the insiders and mediums such as television are used as weapons of social control to prevent humanity from ever realizing its full potential.

Watt talks about how the elite technocrats plan for the long term, in 50, 100 and even 150 year cycles in which to implement the different aspects of their agenda, and how each cultural shift was deliberately timed to be implemented at a certain time. The current cultural bombardment surrounds the emergence of neo-eugenics, with big foundations and organizations like the Optimum Population Trust pushing the idea that humans are superfluous, virus-like, and therefore worthless.

Watt discusses how sperm counts across Europe and America have dropped at an alarming rate of up to 80 per cent over the past 50 years, and how the medias complete ignorance of this crisis proves that it was authorized as a deliberate program of de-population. Watt traces the program back to its origins in the 1950s, where synthetic female hormones like estrogen were put in baby foods by companies like Proctor and Gamble, as well as baby milk bottles washed with Bisphenol A, the very substance that attacks male genitalia and prevents it from developing properly. Watt also outlines how Bisphenol A in womens cosmetic products contributes to toxifying their bodies, leading to an environment for male babies that leads them to have a reduced sperm count or even become sterile.The foundation of the agenda can be discovered in the writings of people like Bertrand Russell and the Huxley brothers, who talked about the need to sterilize the masses as far back as the 1930s.

Watt also divulges how the elites ultimate goal for every human allowed to be born is for them to serve the state and be deceived into accepting this enslavement as a natural form of existence. The elites greatest fear is that the inferiors will out-breed the superiors, which is why they continually push neo-eugenics and are obsessed with inter-breeding to keep their own genetics intellectually pure.

This one hour interview is part two to the previous Alan Watt feature video Shock And Awe The Manipulation Of The Human Psyche and we encourage all our subscribers to watch it now by visiting the video reports section at http://www.prisonplanet.tv not a subscriber or have let your subscription lapse? Please consider becoming a member at http://prisonplanet.tv/signup.html

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Ayn Rand Institute eStore : Ayn Rand

Posted: July 5, 2016 at 7:20 am

The first volume to offer a comprehensive scholarly treatment of Rands entire corpus (including her novels, her philosophical essays, and her analysis of the events of her times), this Companion provides vital orientation and context for scholars and educated readers grappling with a controversial and understudied thinker whose enduring influence on American (and…See More

The Atlas Shrugged app contains the novel and a selection of manuscript pages; notes from Ayn Rands journals; video and audio excerpts from her talks; information about her life and major works; and a photo gallery. Readers can share quotes from the novel in social media and take a quiz to test their knowledge of the book.

As part of their celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first Playboy Interview, the editors of Playboy have republished their interview with Ayn Rand, from the March 1964 issue. (Kindle Edition)

Ayn Rand was an American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system known as Objectivism.

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Ayn Rand Institute eStore : Ayn Rand

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Bill Gates, Monsanto, and eugenics: How one of the worlds …

Posted: June 19, 2016 at 3:41 am

http://www.naturalnews.com/035105_Bill_Gates_Monsanto_eugenics.html

The Gates Foundation, aka the tax-exempt Gates Family Trust, is currently in the process of spending billions of dollars in the name of humanitarianism to establish a global food monopoly dominated by genetically-modified (GM) crops and seeds. And based on the Gates family’s history of involvement in world affairs, it appears that one of its main goals besides simply establishing corporate control of the world’s food supply is to reduce the world’s population by a significant amount in the process.

Gates also admitted during the interview that his family’s involvement in reproductive issues throughout the years has been extensive, referencing his own prior adherence to the beliefs of eugenicist Thomas Robert Malthus, who believed that populations of the world need to be controlled through reproductive restrictions. Though Gates claims he now holds a different view, it appears as though his foundation’s initiatives are just a modified Malthusian approach that much more discreetly reduces populations through vaccines and GMOs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Robert_Malthus).

The Gates Foundation has admittedly given at least $264.5 million in grant commitments to AGRA (www.gatesfoundation.org/about/Documents/BMGFFactSheet.pdf), and also reportedly hired Dr. Robert Horsch, a former Monsanto executive for 25 years who developed Roundup, to head up AGRA back in 2006. According to a report published in La Via Campesina back in 2010, 70 percent of AGRA’s grantees in Kenya work directly with Monsanto, and nearly 80 percent of the Gates Foundation funding is devoted to biotechnology (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_21606.cfm).

The same report explains that the Gates Foundation pledged $880 million in April 2010 to create the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), which is a heavy promoter of GMOs. GAFSP, of course, was responsible for providing $35 million in “aid” to earthquake-shattered Haiti to be used for implementing GMO agricultural systems and technologies.

Back in 2003, the Gates Foundation invested $25 million in “GM (genetically modified) research to develop vitamin and protein-enriched seeds for the world’s poor,” a move that many international charities and farmers groups vehemently opposed (http://healthfreedoms.org). And in 2008, the Gates Foundation awarded $26.8 million to Cornell University to research GM wheat, which is the next major food crop in the crosshairs of Monsanto’s GM food crop pipeline (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_21606.cfm).

Rather than promote real food sovereignty and address the underlying political and economic issues that breed poverty, Gates and Co. has instead embraced the promotion of corporately-owned and controlled agriculture and medicine paradigms that will only further enslave the world’s most impoverished. It is abundantly evident that GMOs have ravished already-impoverished people groups by destroying their native agricultural systems, as has been seen in India (http://www.naturalnews.com/030913_Monsanto_suicides.html).

Some may say Gates’ endeavors are all about the money, while others may say they are about power and control. Perhaps it is a combination of both, where Gates is still in the business of promoting his own commercial investments, which includes buying shares in Monsanto while simultaneously investing in programs to promote Monsanto.

Whatever the case may be, there is simply no denying that Gates now has a direct interest in seeing Monsanto succeed in spreading GMOs around the world. And since Gates is openly facilitating Monsanto’s growth into new markets through his “humanitarian” efforts, it is clear that the Gates family is in bed with Monsanto.

“Although Bill Gates might try to say that the Foundation is not linked to his business, all it proves is the opposite: most of their donations end up favoring the commercial investments of the tycoon, not really “donating” anything, but instead of paying taxes to state coffers, he invests his profits in where it is favorable to him economically, including propaganda from their supposed good intentions,” wrote Silvia Ribeiro in the Mexican news source La Jornada back in 2010.

“On the contrary, their ‘donations’ finance projects as destructive as geoengineering or replacement of natural community medicines for high-tech patented medicines in the poorest areas of the world … Gates is also engaged in trying to destroy rural farming worldwide, mainly through the ‘Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa’ (AGRA). It works as a Trojan horse to deprive poor African farmers of their traditional seeds, replacing them with the seeds of their companies first, finally by genetically modified (GM).”

Sources for this article include:

http://www.guardian.co.uk

http://www.seattleglobaljustice.org

http://english.pravda.ru

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_21606.cfm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Eugenics_Society

http://www.naturalnews.com/033148_seed_companies_Monsanto.html

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Jitsi –

Posted: May 24, 2016 at 5:45 pm

^ “Index of /jitsi/windows”. Download.jitsi.org. Retrieved 2015-02-01.

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^ Jitsi team and contributors page with information on used libraries

^ “ice4j.org”.

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Jitsi –

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