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The Evolutionary Perspective
Tag Archives: race
Posted: January 4, 2017 at 6:08 pm
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. 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”. 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. W. E. B. Du Bois believed “only fit blacks should procreate to eradicate the race’s heritage of moral iniquity.”
The American eugenics movement received extensive funding from various corporate foundations including the Carnegie Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortune. In 1906 J.H. Kellogg provided funding to help found the Race Betterment Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. 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. 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. The Eugenics Record Office later became the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Eugenics was widely accepted in the U.S. academic community. 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. 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.
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. 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. They promoted government intervention in attempts to promote the health of future citizens.[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.
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. 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. Unlike other eugenicists, she rejected euthanasia. For Sanger, it was individual women and not the state who should determine whether or not to have a child.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.[verification needed]
Beginning with Connecticut in 1896, many states enacted marriage laws with eugenic criteria, prohibiting anyone who was “epileptic, imbecile or feeble-minded” from marrying.
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, 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. 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.
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. An IQ of 70 or lower meant sterilization was appropriate in North Carolina. The North Carolina Eugenics Board almost always approved proposals brought before them by local welfare boards. Of all states, only North Carolina gave social workers the power to designate people for sterilization. “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.”
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.
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. 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.”
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.
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.[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. 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.
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. 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.
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. This reaffirmed the existing class and racial hierarchies and explained why the upper-to-middle class was predominantly white. Middle-to-upper class status was a marker of “superior strains.” In contrast, eugenicists believed poverty to be a characteristic of genetic inferiority, which meant that those deemed “unfit” were predominantly of the lower classes.
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. To this end, eugenicists often denied middle and upper class women sterilization and birth control.
Since poverty was associated with prostitution and “mental idiocy,” women of the lower classes were the first to be deemed “unfit” and “promiscuous.”
In 1907, Indiana passed the first eugenics-based compulsory sterilization law in the world. Thirty U.S. states would soon follow their lead. Although the law was overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1921, 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.
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. 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. 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. By 1961, 61 percent of the 62,162 total eugenic sterilizations in the United States were performed on women. 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.
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. Since women bore children, eugenicists held women more accountable than men for the reproduction of the less “desirable” members of society. Eugenicists therefore predominantly targeted women in their efforts to regulate the birth rate, to “protect” white racial health, and weed out the “defectives” of society.
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.
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. 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. 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.”
Native American women were also victims of sterilization abuse up into the 1970s. 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. 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).”
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.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.[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.[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.
First appearing in 1920 at the Kansas Free Fair, Fitter Family competitions, continued all the way up to World War II. Mary T. Watts and Dr. 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.
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. 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.
Doctors and specialists from the community would offer their time to judge these competitions, which were originally sponsored by the Red Cross. 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”.
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.
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.
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. 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.
The Rockefeller Foundation helped develop and fund various German eugenics programs, including the one that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.
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.
Eugenics researcher Harry H. Laughlin often bragged that his Model Eugenic Sterilization laws had been implemented in the 1935 Nuremberg racial hygiene laws. 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.”
After 1945, however, historians began to attempt to portray the US eugenics movement as distinct and distant from Nazi eugenics.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.”
Barbara Rothman and Gareth Thomas, writing for AMA Journal of Ethics, wrote that prenatal screening can be considered a form of contemporary eugenics because it prevents the birth of people with conditions considered undesirable.
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Posted: December 11, 2016 at 7:41 am
While future neo-Nazi Richard Spencer was struggling with white nationalism in theworld of political journalism, most of the people who would later comprise the alt-rights online shock troops were involved in a different venture. They were fighting hard to make former Texas congressman Ron Paul the Republican presidential nominee, first in 2008 and again in 2012. Its more than uncanny how many current alt-right leaders backed the former Texas congressman in his quixotic bids to stop GOP mainstream candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney.
Pretty much all of the top personalities at the Right Stuff, a neo-Nazi troll mecca, started off as conventional libertarians and Paul supporters, according to the sites creator, an anonymous man who goes by the name Mike Enoch.
We were all libertarians back in the day. I mean, everybody knows this, he said on an alt-right podcast last month. After Pauls second campaign failed, Enochcompletely disengaged from politics, he added.
Paul was also the favorite of Paul Gottfried and Richard Spencer, the two men who created the term alternative right and formed the annual conference where old-school right-wing racists met and mentored young and disaffected conservativeintellectuals.
The Texas congressman was also the preferred candidate of Jared Taylor and the readers of his white nationalist website American Renaissance.
That feeling of admiration was apparently mutual. In the 1990s, Paul in his famously racist newsletters repeatedly promoted Tayloras part of a paleolibertarian strategy designed to attract racist white people. (Paul subsequently denied writing them, however.) Later on, American Renaissance wrote a featured article stating that the race-realist section of the blogosphere is one of the most enthusiastic sources of support for Mr. Paul and praised his good instincts on race, despite the fact that the author believed that Paul was no longer interested in catering to overt racists, as he formerly had.
Paul had nonracist supporters as well who would later become alt-right figures. (The self-described neo-Nazi types refer to them as alt-lite.) Libertarian radio host Alex Jones of InfoWars, a man famous for his belief in lizard people and his elaborate 9/11 conspiracy theories, dislikes being identified with the alt-right. But he is an important figure in the movements history and a key link from Ron Paul to Donald Trump.Today Jones is known today as an ardent Trump supporter but his affection for Ron Paul and his son, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, was even greater while they were runningtheir respective presidential campaigns.
In the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, Ron Paul was also by farthe preferred presidential candidate of the racist Politically Incorrect board known as /pol/ on 4chan. Throughout both of his unsuccessful runs, the forum served as a critical organizing portal and talent incubator for Ron Pauls youthful, tech-savvy supporters to pull off fundraising and digital feats that many political observers incorrectly attributed to hisofficial campaign staff.
The energy and enthusiasm of /pol/ and its associated imitators and rivals completely disappeared after Ron Pauls candidacies ended. He did manage to become a meme within the site, however. The digital shock troops who would later become the alt-right were waiting for someone to re-energize them.
Rand Pauls staff hoped that hed be able to build on his fathers success in 2016. It didnt happen, however. In somepart,that was because the senatorcouldnt galvanize the emergentalt-right afterhe started pushinganti-racist policies and rhetoric.
It was a roadthat the younger Paul headed down after he faced an uproar in 2010 for saying that he opposed the Civil Rights Acts public accommodation provision, which requires most private businesses to serve customers regardless of their race. Paul retracted the stance and began a minority outreach program. He also began telling his fellow Republicans that they could not remain a party exclusively for white people.
If were going to be the white party, were going to be the losing party, Sen. Rand Paul said in 2014,at an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the law.
He has stuck to his new position, even in Republican presidential debates. Sen. Rand Paul has repeatedly embraced the campaign to equalize criminal sentencing, particularly for drug offenses, forwhites and nonwhites. He has also called for police to wear body cameras when on patrol and for local governments to stop using law enforcement as a revenue generator, both positions favored by Black Lives Matter activists and mainstream libertarians like those writing forReason magazine.
None of that went unnoticed by the online racists who formerly had supported RandPauls father, especially since they had found a new champion in Donald Trump, after he descended his golden elevator and denounced Mexico for sending drug dealers and rapists across the U.S. border. As one of them put it onhis personal blog:
Ron Pauls performance in the 2008 and 2012 elections was due to disaffected voters, including many White Nationalists who supported him, not ideological libertarians. All those people have since abandoned Rand Paul and thrown their support behind Donald Trump because of his foolish decision to go mainstream.
During the 2016 presidential election, Jones and his team supported the younger Paul for the GOP nomination until the very end ofhis short-lived bid.Shortly after Trump declared his candidacy,Jones top lieutenant created his own anti-Trump conspiracy theory,declaring the former television star to be a stooge for Democrats, designed to make the GOP lose to Hillary Clinton. InJanuary shortly before the Iowa caucuses, a distraught Jones pleaded with Paul to come up witha possible strategy to save his campaign.Id really like to see you as president,Jones said. How do we get you elected president?
With 16other Republican candidates competing in the Iowa caucuses, Pauls loss of the white nationalists doomed his chances in the Hawkeye State, where every sliver of vote share mattered greatly. In the words of an anonymous Paul campaign strategist quoted by Politico: Trump got in, Trump zoomed ahead, we collapsed, he had a massive impact in caging our people from us.
Return forPart 3: How the American conservative movement paved the way for white nationalism by embracing the Christian right
View original post here:
How the alt-right became racist, Part 2: Long before Trump …
Posted: November 12, 2016 at 5:20 pm
“Genome sequencing” redirects here. For the sequencing only of DNA, see DNA sequencing.
Whole genome sequencing (also known as WGS, full genome sequencing, complete genome sequencing, or entire genome sequencing) is a laboratory process that determines the complete DNA sequence of an organism’s genome at a single time. This entails sequencing all of an organism’s chromosomal DNA as well as DNA contained in the mitochondria and, for plants, in the chloroplast.
Whole genome sequencing should not be confused with DNA profiling, which only determines the likelihood that genetic material came from a particular individual or group, and does not contain additional information on genetic relationships, origin or susceptibility to specific diseases. Also unlike full genome sequencing, SNP genotyping covers less than 0.1% of the genome. Almost all truly complete genomes are of microbes; the term “full genome” is thus sometimes used loosely to mean “greater than 95%”. The remainder of this article focuses on nearly complete human genomes.
High-throughput genome sequencing technologies have largely been used as a research tool and are currently being introduced in the clinics. In the future of personalized medicine, whole genome sequence data will be an important tool to guide therapeutic intervention. The tool of gene sequencing at SNP level is also used to pinpoint functional variants from association studies and improve the knowledge available to researchers interested in evolutionary biology, and hence may lay the foundation for predicting disease susceptibility and drug response.
The shift from manual DNA sequencing methods such as Maxam-Gilbert sequencing and Sanger sequencing in the 1970s and 1980s to more rapid, automated sequencing methods in the 1990s played a crucial role in giving scientists the ability to sequence whole genomes.Haemophilus influenzae, a commensal bacterium which resides in the human respiratory tract was the first organism to have its entire genome sequenced (Figure 2.1). The entire genome of this bacterium was published in 1995. The genomes of H. influenzae, other Bacteria, and some Archaea were the first to be sequenced – largely due to their small genome size. H. influenzae has a genome of 1,830,140 base pairs of DNA. In contrast, eukaryotes, both unicellular and multicellular such as Amoeba dubia and humans (Homo sapiens) respectively, have much larger genomes (see C-value paradox).Amoeba dubia has a genome of 700 billion nucleotide pairs spread across thousands of chromosomes. Humans contain fewer nucleotide pairs (about 3.2 billion in each germ cell – note the exact size of the human genome is still being revised) than A. dubia however their genome size far outweighs the genome size of individual bacteria.
The first bacterial and archaeal genomes, including that of H. influenzae, were sequenced by Shotgun sequencing. In 1996, the first eukaryotic genome ( the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae) was sequenced. S. cerevisiae, a model organism in biology has a genome of only around 12 million nucleotide pairs, and was the first unicellular eukaryote to have its whole genome sequenced. The first multicellular eukaryote, and animal, to have its whole genome sequenced was the nematode worm: Caenorhabditis elegans in 1998. Eukaryotic genomes are sequenced by several methods including Shotgun sequencing of short DNA fragments and sequencing of larger DNA clones from DNA libraries (see library (biology)) such as Bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) and Yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs).
In 1999, the entire DNA sequence of human chromosome 22, the shortest human autosome, was published. By the year 2000, the second animal and second invertebrate (yet first insect) genome was sequenced – that of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster – a popular choice of model organism in experimental research. The first plant genome – that of the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana – was also fully sequenced by 2000. By 2001, a draft of the entire human genome sequence was published. The genome of the laboratory mouse Mus musculus was completed in 2002.
In 2004, the Human Genome Project published the human genome.
Currently, thousands of genomes have been sequenced.
Almost any biological sample containing a full copy of the DNAeven a very small amount of DNA or ancient DNAcan provide the genetic material necessary for full genome sequencing. Such samples may include saliva, epithelial cells, bone marrow, hair (as long as the hair contains a hair follicle), seeds, plant leaves, or anything else that has DNA-containing cells.
The genome sequence of a single cell selected from a mixed population of cells can be determined using techniques of single cell genome sequencing. This has important advantages in environmental microbiology in cases where a single cell of a particular microorganism species can be isolated from a mixed population by microscopy on the basis of its morphological or other distinguishing characteristics. In such cases the normally necessary steps of isolation and growth of the organism in culture may be omitted, thus allowing the sequencing of a much greater spectrum of organism genomes.
Single cell genome sequencing is being tested as a method of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, wherein a cell from the embryo created by in vitro fertilization is taken and analyzed before embryo transfer into the uterus. After implantation, cell-free fetal DNA can be taken by simple venipuncture from the mother and used for whole genome sequencing of the fetus.
Sequencing of nearly an entire human genome was first accomplished in 2000 partly through the use of shotgun sequencing technology. While full genome shotgun sequencing for small (40007000 base pair) genomes was already in use in 1979, broader application benefited from pairwise end sequencing, known colloquially as double-barrel shotgun sequencing. As sequencing projects began to take on longer and more complicated genomes, multiple groups began to realize that useful information could be obtained by sequencing both ends of a fragment of DNA. Although sequencing both ends of the same fragment and keeping track of the paired data was more cumbersome than sequencing a single end of two distinct fragments, the knowledge that the two sequences were oriented in opposite directions and were about the length of a fragment apart from each other was valuable in reconstructing the sequence of the original target fragment.
The first published description of the use of paired ends was in 1990 as part of the sequencing of the human HPRT locus, although the use of paired ends was limited to closing gaps after the application of a traditional shotgun sequencing approach. The first theoretical description of a pure pairwise end sequencing strategy, assuming fragments of constant length, was in 1991. In 1995 the innovation of using fragments of varying sizes was introduced, and demonstrated that a pure pairwise end-sequencing strategy would be possible on large targets. The strategy was subsequently adopted by The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) to sequence the entire genome of the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae in 1995, and then by Celera Genomics to sequence the entire fruit fly genome in 2000, and subsequently the entire human genome. Applied Biosystems, now called Life Technologies, manufactured the automated capillary sequencers utilized by both Celera Genomics and The Human Genome Project.
While capillary sequencing was the first approach to successfully sequence a nearly full human genome, it is still too expensive and takes too long for commercial purposes. Since 2005 capillary sequencing has been progressively displaced by next-generation sequencing technologies such as Illumina dye sequencing, pyrosequencing, and SMRT sequencing. All of these technologies continue to employ the basic shotgun strategy, namely, parallelization and template generation via genome fragmentation.
Other technologies are emerging, including nanopore technology. Though nanopore sequencing technology is still being refined, its portability and potential capability of generating long reads are of relevance to whole-genome sequencing applications.
In principle, full genome sequencing can provide raw data on all six billion nucleotides in an individual’s DNA. However, it does not provide an analysis of what that information means or how it might be utilized in various clinical applications, such as in medicine to help prevent disease. Work toward that goal is continuously moving forward.
Because sequencing generates a lot of data (for example, there are approximately six billion base pairs in each human diploid genome), its output is stored electronically and requires a large amount of computing power and storage capacity. Full genome sequencing would have been nearly impossible before the advent of the microprocessor, computers, and the Information Age.
A 2015 study done at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City detailed the use of full genome sequencing including full analysis. The process took a record breaking 26 hours and was done using Illumina HiSeq machines, the Edico Genome Dragen Processor, and several custom designed software packages. Most of this acceleration was achieved using the newly developed Dragen Processor which brought the analysis time down from 15 hours to 40 minutes.
A number of public and private companies are competing to develop a full genome sequencing platform that is commercially robust for both research and clinical use, including Illumina,Knome,Sequenom,454 Life Sciences, Pacific Biosciences,Complete Genomics,Helicos Biosciences,GE Global Research (General Electric), Affymetrix, IBM, Intelligent Bio-Systems, Life Technologies and Oxford Nanopore Technologies. These companies are heavily financed and backed by venture capitalists, hedge funds, and investment banks.
In October 2006, the X Prize Foundation, working in collaboration with the J. Craig Venter Science Foundation, established the Archon X Prize for Genomics, intending to award US$10million to “the first Team that can build a device and use it to sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days or less, with an accuracy of no more than one error in every 1,000,000 bases sequenced, with sequences accurately covering at least 98% of the genome, and at a recurring cost of no more than $1,000per genome”. An error rate of 1in 1,000,000bases, out of a total of approximately six billion bases in the human diploid genome, would mean about 6,000errors per genome. The error rates required for widespread clinical use, such as predictive medicine is currently set by over 1,400 clinical single gene sequencing tests (for example, errors in BRCA1 gene for breast cancer risk analysis).
The Archon X Prize for Genomics was cancelled in 2013, before its official start date.
In 2007, Applied Biosystems started selling a new type of sequencer called SOLiD System. The technology allowed users to sequence 60 gigabases per run.
In June 2009, Illumina announced that they were launching their own Personal Full Genome Sequencing Service at a depth of 30 for $48,000 per genome.
In August 2009, the founder of Helicos Biosciences, Stephen Quake, stated that using the company’s Single Molecule Sequencer he sequenced his own full genome for less than $50,000.
In November 2009, Complete Genomics published a peer-reviewed paper in Science demonstrating its ability to sequence a complete human genome for $1,700.
In May 2011, Illumina lowered its Full Genome Sequencing service to $5,000 per human genome, or $4,000 if ordering 50 or more. Helicos Biosciences, Pacific Biosciences, Complete Genomics, Illumina, Sequenom, ION Torrent Systems, Halcyon Molecular, NABsys, IBM, and GE Global appear to all be going head to head in the race to commercialize full genome sequencing.
A series of publications in 2012 showed the utility of SMRT sequencing from Pacific Biosciences in generating full genome sequences with de novo assembly.
With sequencing costs declining, a number of companies began claiming that their equipment would soon achieve the $1,000 genome: these companies included Life Technologies in January 2012,Oxford Nanopore Technologies in February 2012 and Illumina in February 2014.
However, as of 2015, the NHGRI estimates the cost of obtaining a whole-genome sequence at around $1,500.
Full genome sequencing provides information on a genome that is orders of magnitude larger than that provided by the previous leader in genotyping technology, DNA arrays. For humans, DNA arrays currently provide genotypic information on up to one million genetic variants, while full genome sequencing will provide information on all six billion bases in the human genome, or 3,000times more data. Because of this, full genome sequencing is considered a disruptive innovation to the DNA array markets as the accuracy of both range from 99.98% to 99.999% (in non-repetitive DNA regions) and their consumables cost of $5000 per 6 billion base pairs is competitive (for some applications) with DNA arrays ($500per 1 million basepairs).Agilent, another established DNA array manufacturer, is working on targeted (selective region) genome sequencing technologies. It is thought that Affymetrix, the pioneer of array technology in the 1990s, has fallen behind due to significant corporate and stock turbulence and is currently not working on any known full genome sequencing approach. It is unknown what will happen to the DNA array market once full genome sequencing becomes commercially widespread, especially as companies and laboratories providing this disruptive technology start to realize economies of scale. It is postulated, however, that this new technology may significantly diminish the total market size for arrays and any other sequencing technology once it becomes commonplace for individuals and newborns to have their full genomes sequenced.
Whole genome sequencing has established the mutation frequency for whole human genomes. The mutation frequency in the whole genome between generations for humans (parent to child) is about 70 new mutations per generation. An even lower level of variation was found comparing whole genome sequencing in blood cells for a pair of monozygotic (identical twins) 100-year-old centenarians. Only 8 somatic differences were found, though somatic variation occurring in less than 20% of blood cells would be undetected.
In the specifically protein coding regions of the human genome, it is estimated that there are about 0.35 mutations that would change the protein sequence between parent/child generations (less than one mutated protein per generation).
In cancer, mutation frequencies are much higher, due to genome instability. This frequency can further depend on patient age, exposure to DNA damaging agents (such as UV-irradiation or components of tobacco smoke) and the activity/inactivity of DNA repair mechanisms. Furthermore, mutation frequency can vary between cancer types: in germline cells, mutation rates occur at approximately 0.023 mutations per megabase, but this number is much higher in breast cancer (1.18-1.66 mutations per Mb), in lung cancer (17.7) or in melanomas (~33).
Inexpensive, time-efficient full genome sequencing will be a major accomplishment not only for the field of genomics, but for the entire human civilization because, for the first time, individuals will be able to have their entire genome sequenced. Utilizing this information, it is speculated that health care professionals, such as physicians and genetic counselors, will eventually be able to use genomic information to predict what diseases a person may get in the future and attempt to either minimize the impact of that disease or avoid it altogether through the implementation of personalized, preventive medicine. Full genome sequencing will allow health care professionals to analyze the entire human genome of an individual and therefore detect all disease-related genetic variants, regardless of the genetic variant’s prevalence or frequency. This will enable the rapidly emerging medical fields of predictive medicine and personalized medicine and will mark a significant leap forward for the clinical genetic revolution. Full genome sequencing is clearly of great importance for research into the basis of genetic disease and has shown significant benefit to a subset of individuals with rare disease in the clinical setting. Illumina’s CEO, Jay Flatley, stated in February 2009 that “A complete DNA read-out for every newborn will be technically feasible and affordable in less than five years, promising a revolution in healthcare” and that “by 2019 it will have become routine to map infants’ genes when they are born”. This potential use of genome sequencing is highly controversial, as it runs counter to established ethical norms for predictive genetic testing of asymptomatic minors that have been well established in the fields of medical genetics and genetic counseling. The traditional guidelines for genetic testing have been developed over the course of several decades since it first became possible to test for genetic markers associated with disease, prior to the advent of cost-effective, comprehensive genetic screening. It is established that norms, such as in the sciences and the field of genetics, are subject to change and evolve over time. It is unknown whether traditional norms practiced in medical genetics today will be altered by new technological advancements such as full genome sequencing.
In March 2010, researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin announced the first successful use of whole-genome sequencing to inform the treatment of a patient.
Currently available newborn screening for childhood diseases allows detection of rare disorders that can be prevented or better treated by early detection and intervention. Specific genetic tests are also available to determine an etiology when a child’s symptoms appear to have a genetic basis. Full genome sequencing, in addition has the potential to reveal a large amount of information (such as carrier status for autosomal recessive disorders, genetic risk factors for complex adult-onset diseases, and other predictive medical and non-medical information) that is currently not completely understood, may not be clinically useful to the child during childhood, and may not necessarily be wanted by the individual upon reaching adulthood. In addition to predicting disease risk in childhood, genetic testing may have other benefits (such as discovery of non-paternity) but may also have potential downsides (genetic discrimination, loss of anonymity, and psychological impacts). Many publications regarding ethical guidelines for predictive genetic testing of asymptomatic minors may therefore have more to do with protecting minors and preserving the individual’s privacy and autonomy to know or not to know their genetic information, than with the technology that makes the tests themselves possible.
Due to recent cost reductions (see above) whole genome sequencing has become a realistic application in DNA diagnostics. In 2013, the 3Gb-TEST consortium obtained funding from the European Union to prepare the health care system for these innovations in DNA diagnostics.Quality assessment schemes, Health technology assessment and guidelines have to be in place. The 3Gb-TEST consortium has identified the analysis and interpretation of sequence data as the most complicated step in the diagnostic process. At the Consortium meeting in Athens in September 2014, the Consortium coined the word genotranslation for this crucial step. This step leads to a so-called genoreport. Guidelines are needed to determine the required content of these reports.
The majority of ethicists insist that the privacy of individuals undergoing genetic testing must be protected under all circumstances. Data obtained from whole genome sequencing can not only reveal much information about the individual who is the source of DNA, but it can also reveal much probabilistic information about the DNA sequence of close genetic relatives. Furthermore, the data obtained from whole genome sequencing can also reveal much useful predictive information about the relatives present and future health risks. This raises important questions about what obligations, if any, are owed to the family members of the individuals who are undergoing genetic testing. In the Western/European society, tested individuals are usually encouraged to share important information on the genetic diagnosis with their close relatives since the importance of the genetic diagnosis for offspring and other close relatives is usually one of the reasons for seeking a genetic testing in the first place. Nevertheless, a major ethical dilemma can develop when the patients refuse to share information on a diagnosis that is made for serious genetic disorder that is highly preventable and where there is a high risk to relatives carrying the same disease mutation. Under such circumstances, the clinician may suspect that the relatives would rather know of the diagnosis and hence the clinician can face a conflict of interest with respect to patient-doctor confidentiality.
Another major privacy concern is the scientific need to put information on patient’s genotypes and phenotypes into the public scientific databases such as the locus specific databases. Although only anonymous patient data are submitted to the locus specific databases, patients might still be identifiable by their relatives in the case of finding a rare disease or a rare missense mutation.
The first nearly complete human genomes sequenced were two caucasians in 2007 (J. Craig Venter at 7.5-fold coverage, and James Watson at 7.4-fold). This was followed in 2008 by sequencing of an anonymous Han Chinese man (at 36-fold), a Yoruban man from Nigeria (at 30-fold), and a female caucasian Leukemia patient (at 33 and 14-fold coverage for tumor and normal tissues).Steve Jobs was among the first 20 people to have their whole genome sequenced, reportedly for the cost of $100,000. As of June 2012[update], there are 69 nearly complete human genomes publicly available.Commercialization of full genome sequencing is in an early stage and growing rapidly.
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Whole genome sequencing – Wikipedia
Posted: November 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm
Space exploration has captured the worlds interest ever since the famous Space Race between the Soviet Union and the U.S. during the Cold War, which cu…
Space exploration has captured the worlds interest ever since the famous Space Race between the Soviet Union and the U.S. during the Cold War, which culminated in the U.S. landing the first humans on the moon in 1969. In fact, it was only mere decades ago that the idea of space tourismnot just for astronauts and scientific research but for leisure and recreationwas the stuff of science fiction: Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Today, space travel for the common man is no longer a matter of if but when, thanks to the ingenuity and imagination of self-funded business magnates with an eye on the sky.
A few major players have emerged in the race towards the first commercial flights to space. Prototypes from Richard Bransons Virgin Galactic space line are readying to take its first passengers on a suborbital space flight to the edge of Earths atmosphere. Meanwhile, SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer founded by Tesla Motors CEO and investor Elon Musk, has begun launching rockets into orbit, with the ambitious end goal of enabling human colonization on Mars.
Of course, the price of airfare to space is still well beyond most anyones meansa single seat on Virgin Galactic will put you out of $250,000. Luckily, the rest of us can still gaze upon the worlds beyond ours from our backyards. Stargazing remains a beloved nightly pastime, where views of phenomena like the northern lights and lunar eclipses can be seen for free with just the naked eye.
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Posted: October 20, 2016 at 11:33 pm
Donald Trump would not commit Wednesday night to accepting the results of the presidential election if he loses on Nov. 8, in a striking moment during his final debate with Hillary Clinton that underscored the deepening tensions in the race as the bitter rivals defined the choice for voters on an array of issues not three weeks from Election Day.
The debate in Las Vegas, moderated by Fox News Chris Wallace, started with a measured discussion on policy disputes ranging from gun rights to abortion to immigration. But it ended with the candidates hurling a grab-bag of accusations and insults at each other.
Trump called Clinton a nasty woman. Clinton called Trump the most dangerous person to run for president in modern history.
The most pointed moment came when Trump who for weeks has warned of a rigged election was asked whether he will commit to accept the results of the election.
I will look at it at the time, Trump said, citing his concerns about voter registration fraud, a corrupt media and an opponent he claimed shouldnt be allowed to run because she committed a very serious crime with her emails.
Pressed again whether hes prepared to concede if he loses, Trump again said: I will tell you at the time. Ill keep you in suspense.
Clinton delivered a sharp rejoinder: Thats horrifying.
That is not the way our democracy works, she said. He is denigrating, hes talking down our democracy and I for one am appalled.
Trump responded by calling the Justice Departments handling of her email probe disgraceful.
The exchange was among many contentious moments at Wednesdays debate, which covered several issues including the national debt that have gotten little attention in the race so far but flared with arguments between the candidates over WikiLeaks, over Russia, over the Clinton Foundation and over womens allegations of groping against Trump.
Through the thicket of accusations and personal animus they never shook hands on stage the candidates tried generally to mount a closing debate-stage argument about experience.
For 30 years, youve been in a position to help. The problem is you talk, but you dont get anything done, Hillary, Trump said. If you become president, this country is going to be in some mess, believe me.
Clinton countered by contrasting some of her experiences against Trumps. She said when she was monitoring the Usama bin Laden raid in the Situation Room, He was hosting The Celebrity Apprentice.
Im happy to compare my 30 years of experience with your 30 years, and I will let the American people make that decision, Clinton said.
Trump, meanwhile, again disputed the multiple allegations of groping that women have leveled against him since the candidates last encounter. He also said he thinks the Clinton campaign is behind the claims, charging, They either want fame or her campaign did it.
Clinton said, Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. Trump repeated that nobody has more respect for women than him.
Trump then shifted to blast the Clinton Foundation as a criminal enterprise. He pointed to donations from countries like Saudi Arabia to question Clintons commitment to womens rights. He asked her if she would return money from countries that treat certain groups of people horribly, which she did not answer directly.
The candidates third and final debate now sets a bitter tone for the homestretch of the 2016 presidential campaign a race that already stands out as arguably the most personal, caustic and unpredictable White House battle in modern politics.
Trump, slipping in the polls amid various campaign controversies, said at the last debate that Clinton should be in jail. Clinton has blasted Trump all along as temperamentally unfit for office.
Since the second debate, numerous women have come forward to accuse Trump of groping them, allegations he denies. WikiLeaks also has embarrassed the Clinton campaign by releasing thousands of hacked emails purportedly from her campaign chairmans account. FBI files alleging a State Department official sought a quid pro quo to alter the classification on a Clinton server email added to the campaigns and Obama administrations woes.
The WikiLeaks controversy came up Wednesday night when Clinton asked if Trump would condemn Russian espionage. He denied knowing Vladimir Putin but said the issue is the Russian president has no respect for her.
Thats because hed rather have a puppet, Clinton shot back.
Trump responded, Nope. youre the puppet.
Trump later said he condemns any interference by Russia in the election.
The candidates also sparred over gun rights, with the Republican nominee charging that the Second Amendment is under absolute siege and would be eroded if his opponent wins.
We will have a Second Amendment which will be a very, very small replica of what we have now if Clinton wins, Trump said.
The Democratic nominee countered, I support the Second Amendment.
In a graphic exchange, Trump said Clintons position on abortion is nearing a point where one could rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month. Clinton accused him of scare rhetoric.
They also clashed on immigration, with Trump saying they need to deport drug lords and deal with bad hombres in the country. Clinton said violent offenders should be deported but then mocked Trump for not pushing his controversial border wall proposal during his high-profile meeting with the Mexican president. He choked, she said.
Trump said Clinton wanted a wall when she voted for an immigration overhaul a decade ago and now wants open borders, which she denied.
To date, the mounting controversies facing both campaigns have appeared to hurt Trump more than Clinton, who gradually has expanded her lead over the GOP nominee in recent polls.
A Fox News national poll released on the eve of the Las Vegas debate showed Clinton with a 6-point, 45-39 percent lead over Trump in a match-up that includes Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Trump, in the final three weeks, is thought to be zeroing in on several key battlegrounds including Florida, Ohio and North Carolina but the polls suggest his path to the presidency remains narrow, as even once-reliably red states like Texas are being contested by the Clinton campaign.
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Trump, Clinton Clash Over Second Amendment At Debate
Posted: October 1, 2016 at 1:51 am
The Libertarian presidential candidate is the subject of intensifying ridicule following his latest televised flub when he couldn’t name a world leader he admired during a Wednesday interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. That follows another embarrassing on-air moment last month when, in response to a question about how he would alleviate the plight of the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo, he responded: “What is Aleppo?”
The gaffes, combined with his failure to make the debate stage and his infinitesimal chance of winning the White House, raise a pressing question: Why is Johnson still in the race?
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton ribbed Johnson Thursday by pretending to struggle when she was asked to name a world leader she admired. But she made clear her view that she and her Republican counterpart, Donald Trump, are the only viable candidates.
“Either Donald Trump or I will be the President of the United States,” she told reporters on her campaign plane, sending a clear warning to disaffected Democrats flirting with Johnson. “People have to look carefully in making their decision. It will be either him or me.”
But Johnson isn’t going anywhere.
William Weld, Johnson’s running mate, said the latest stumble doesn’t leave him with any doubts.
“He’s a deep person in terms of his thinking and he thinks through things in a way that many other people don’t,” Weld told CNN’s Randi Kaye Thursday on Anderson Cooper 360. “Pop quizzes on television are obviously not his forte but depth of analysis and surprising lines of analysis are his forte. I think he just needs time to expound what he’s thinking.”
Johnson’s decision to stay in the race isn’t just an academic question. He and Weld are doing well enough in swing states to pull votes from both Trump and Clinton. In the latest CNN/ORC poll of Colorado a state Clinton must win and which her campaign thought was already safe Johnson is polling at 13% among likely voters while Clinton trails Trump 42% to 41%.
Third party candidates have traditionally had a rough ride in the two-party US election system none have made a significant national impact since billionaire Ross Perot grabbed 19% of the vote in 1992.
But amid the most polarizing election in years featuring two major party nominees with historic unfavorability ratings, there may be a market for Johnson’s character and ideas.
“Something is obviously different this time,” said Kyle Saunders, a political analyst at Colorado State University. “Part of it is the unpopularity of the two major party candidates. The strongest of partisans are behaving the way they always behave.”
He added: “Those other people who are not the strongest partisans are looking for some other places to cast their ballot.”
And the more that the chattering classes disdain Johnson, the more stubborn he seems to get.
“It’s been almost 24 hours … and I still can’t come up with a foreign leader I look up to,” Johnson tweeted defiantly Thursday.
Johnson’s campaign manager, Ron Nielson, blasted Johnson’s critics as being guilty of “gotcha-ism at its worst” in a Facebook post and said that the oversight just proved that his candidate was just like other Americans.
“Gary Johnson is a real person. A pragmatist and the kind of leader that people can respect and trust,” Nielson wrote. “Unfortunately, as most Americans have come to realize, this is not the case with Clinton and Trump.”
It was not the first time that a presidential candidate has stumbled in a world leader pop quiz that raised doubts about their credentials to be President. In 1999, then-GOP frontrunner George W. Bush was stumped when asked by a Boston reporter to name the leaders of Chechnya, Taiwan, India and Pakistan.
And gaffes don’t seem to derail a candidate in 2016 the way they once did.
After all, Trump has made statements that are far more outrageous than Johnson’s comments — on an almost daily basis — and he is locked in a tight race with Clinton.
It’s debatable whether true Libertarian voters those who support the party because it favors a disentangling from foreign quagmires and a less robust US global role are that bothered that their candidate is not deeply acquainted with the details of the Syrian civil war.
But it’s not just verbal stumbles that are beginning to build pressure on Johnson.
His political position is also eroding because of his failure to hit the 15% polling threshold needed to muscle his way into the debates between Clinton and Trump.
Back in June, Johnson told The New Yorker that if he missed what he called the political “Super Bowl” “There’s no way to win.”
There are reasons — beyond the disdain that a large proportion of the electorate appears to hold for Clinton and Trump — for Johnson to stay in the race.
First, he appears to have the chance to make tangible progress for the Libertarian Party across the nation. In 2012, Johnson ran for President and won just under 1% of the electoral vote. Even if he only cracks 5% this time, that would represent an undeniable step forward for the party.
But there’s a more fundamental reason why Johnson may resist calls to quit.
He explained in an op-ed piece in the New York Times on Wednesday that the American political system, by producing such alienating rivals as Clinton and Trump, has failed. That, he argued, means reformers have no choice but to fight.
“Hyper-partisanship may be entertaining, but it’s a terrible way to try to run a country. We’re the alternative and we’re the only ticket that offers Americans a chance to find common ground,” Johnson wrote.
Johnson also appears to be building a significant base of support among millennial voters — a demographic that Clinton needs to dominate to make it to the White House — but which could fuel Libertarian Party growth in future.
A Bloomberg News/Selzer & Co. poll released Monday found Clinton’s 10-point advantage among younger voters cut to a statistically insignificant four points when Johnson and Stein are included in the race.
While some Democrats who abhor Clinton might be tempted by a fling with Johnson, he is also providing a refuge with Republicans who cannot stomach Trump. Antipathy for the billionaire prompted the Detroit News Thursday to do something it has never done in its 143 year history — endorse someone other than the Republican presidential candidate.
Still, Johnson’s resilience is causing genuine concern for top Democrats.
“There’s one message I want to deliver to everybody: If you don’t vote, that’s a vote for Trump. If you vote for a third-party candidate who’s got no chance to win, that’s a vote for Trump,” President Barack Obama said on the Steve Harvey radio show this week.
Vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine is warning wavering Democrats attracted to Johnson that they risk bringing about an electoral catastrophe similar to the one in Florida in 2000 when Ralph Nader siphoned votes away from Vice President Al Gore. That allowed Bush to claim Florida after the vote count showdown in the US Supreme Court.
“If Gore had been president, we probably wouldn’t had a war in Iraq,” Kaine told Yahoo News’ Katie Couric last week. “Casting a vote, a protest vote, for a third-party candidate that’s going to lose may well affect the outcome. It may well lead to a consequence that is deeply, deeply troubling. That’s not a speculation, we’ve seen it in our country’s history.”
CNN’s Eli Watkins contributed to this report.
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Posted: September 11, 2016 at 5:22 pm
The Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO) is a cyber-warfare intelligence-gathering unit of the National Security Agency (NSA). It has been active since at least circa 1998. TAO identifies, monitors, infiltrates, and gathers intelligence on computer systems being used by entities foreign to the United States. The NSA terms these activities “computer network exploitation”.
TAO is reportedly “now the largest and arguably the most important component of the NSA’s huge Signals Intelligence Directorate (SID) (SIGINT), consisting of more than 1,000 military and civilian computer hackers, intelligence analysts, targeting specialists, computer hardware and software designers, and electrical engineers.”
A document leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden describing the unit’s work says[not in citation given] TAO has software templates allowing it to break into commonly used hardware, including routers, switches, and firewalls from multiple product vendor lines”. According to The Washington Post, TAO engineers prefer to tap networks rather than isolated computers, because there are typically many devices on a single network.
TAO’s headquarters are termed the Remote Operations Center (ROC) and are based at the NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland. TAO also has expanded to NSA Hawaii (Wahiawa, Oahu), NSA Georgia (Fort Gordon, Georgia), NSA Texas (San Antonio, Texas), and NSA Colorado (Buckley Air Force Base, Denver).
Since 2013, the head of TAO is Rob Joyce, a 25-plus year employee who previously worked in the NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate (IAD). In January 2016, Joyce had a rare public appearance when he gave a presentation at the Usenixs Enigma conference. 
In the Remote Operations Center, 600 employees gather information from around the world. Their motto is “Your data is our data, your equipment is our equipment – anytime, any place, by any legal means.”
Details on a program titled QUANTUMSQUIRREL indicate NSA ability to masquerade as any routable IPv4 or IPv6 host. This enables an NSA computer to generate false geological location and personal identification credentials when accessing the Internet utilizing QUANTUMSQUIRREL.
The NSA ANT catalog is a 50-page classified document listing technology available to the United States National Security Agency (NSA) Tailored Access Operations (TAO) by the Advanced Network Technology (ANT) Division to aid in cyber surveillance. Most devices are described as already operational and available to US nationals and members of the Five Eyes alliance. According to Der Spiegel, which released the catalog to the public on December 30, 2013, “The list reads like a mail-order catalog, one from which other NSA employees can order technologies from the ANT division for tapping their targets’ data.” The document was created in 2008. Security researcher Jacob Appelbaum gave a speech at the Chaos Communications Congress in Hamburg, Germany, in which he detailed techniques that the simultaneously published Der Spiegel article he coauthored disclosed from the catalog.
The TAO has developed an attack suite they call QUANTUM. It relies on a compromised router that duplicates internet traffic, typically HTTP requests, so that they go both to the intended target and to an NSA site (indirectly). The NSA site runs FOXACID software which sends back exploits that load in the background in the target web browser before the intended destination has had a chance to respond (it’s unclear if the compromised router facilitates this race on the return trip). Prior to the development of this technology, FOXACID software made spear-phishing attacks the NSA referred to as spam. If the browser is exploitable, further permanent “implants” (rootkits etc.) are deployed in the target computer, e.g. OLYMPUSFIRE for Windows, which give complete remote access to the infected machine. This type of attack is part of the man-in-the-middle attack family, though more specifically it is called man-on-the-side attack. It is difficult to pull off without controlling some of the Internet backbone.
There are numerous services that FOXACID can exploit this way. The names of some FOXACID modules are given below:
By collaboration with the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) (MUSCULAR), Google services could be attacked too, including Gmail.
Finding machines that are exploitable and worth attacking is done using analytic databases such as XKeyscore. A specific method of finding vulnerable machines is interception of Windows Error Reporting traffic, which is logged into XKeyscore.
QUANTUM attacks launched from NSA sites can be too slow for some combinations of targets and services as they essentially try to exploit a race condition, i.e. the NSA server is trying to beat the legitimate server with its response. As of mid-2011, the NSA was prototyping a capability codenamed QFIRE, which involved embedding their exploit-dispensing servers in virtual machines (running on VMware ESX) hosted closer to the target, in the so-called Special Collection Sites (SCS) network worldwide. The goal of QFIRE was to lower the latency of the spoofed response, thus increasing the probability of success.
COMMENDEER [sic] is used to commandeer (i.e. compromise) untargeted computer systems. The software is used as a part of QUANTUMNATION, which also includes the software vulnerability scanner VALIDATOR. The tool was first described at the 2014 Chaos Communication Congress by Jacob Appelbaum, who characterized it as tyrannical.
QUANTUMCOOKIE is a more complex form of attack which can be used against Tor users.
According to a 2013 article in Foreign Policy, “TAO has become increasingly accomplished at its mission, thanks in part to the high-level cooperation it secretly receives from the ‘big three’ American telecom companies (AT&T, Verizon and Sprint), most of the large US-based Internet service providers, and many of the top computer security software manufactures and consulting companies.” A 2012 TAO budget document claims that these companies, on TAO’s behest, “insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems, IT systems, networks and endpoint communications devices used by targets”. A number of US companies, including Cisco and Dell, have subsequently made public statements denying that they insert such back doors into their products.Microsoft provides advance warning to the NSA of vulnerabilities it knows about, before fixes or information about these vulnerabilities is available to the public; this enables TAO to execute so-called zero-day attacks. A Microsoft official who declined to be identified in the press confirmed that this is indeed the case, but said that Microsoft can’t be held responsible for how the NSA uses this advance information.
Posted: August 25, 2016 at 4:26 pm
Immortality Power/Ability to:
The power to never age and recover from almost any injury. Opposite to Mortality.
Users possess an infinite life span, and can shrug off virtually any kind of physical damage. Some users are the defensive type, simply preventing such damage from appearing (invulnerability/protection), while others are the regenerative type, surviving and quickly recovering from anything you throw at them.
Some may only possess the power of:
Reliant Immortality (Concept-Dependent Immortality, Self-Puppetry)
See Also: Immortality and Complete Immortality.
Zeus (Greek mythology) is immortal Father of Gods and ruler of Olympus.
Sun Wukong (Journey Into The West) become unable to die or be harmed in any way after eating both the food of the heavens and erasing his name off death’s register.
Teitoku Kakine (A Certain Magical Index) achieved a form of immortality by creating a human tissues (and a new body) out of his Dark Matter.
Ladylee (A Certain Magical Index) is an immortal, in that when she grew weary of living, she sought to use powerful magic to kill her, which did not work.
Tenzen Yakushiji (Basilisk) having his symbiote “eat” away his wounds and restoring any ravages of time or battle, even reattaching his head by sealing the cut.
Creed Diskenth (Black Cat) possesses the God’s Breath nano-machines within his body, regenerating even fatal wounds in seconds and maintaining his youth, thus granting him immortality aside from any brain damage being irreparable.
Ssuke Aizen (Bleach) gained immortality after fusing with the Hgyoku.
C.C (Code Geass) is immortal.
V.V (Code Geass) is immortal.
Garlic Jr. (Dragon Ball) made a wish via the Dragon Balls for eternal life, and will regenerate from any and all injuries seamlessly.
Kager (Flame of Recca) using a forbidden spell that opens a time portal, but it traps her outside of space-time, rendering her completely immortal.
The Truth (Fullmetal Alchemist) is invincible, immortal and invulnerable.
Utsuro (Gintama) possesses immortality by harnessing the Altana energy of Earth to prevent aging and recover from wounds and diseases.
Kouka (Gintama) possessed immortality by harnessing the Altana energy of Kouan to prevent aging and recover from wounds and diseases. However, when she left the planet for good, she weakened overtime and died.
Yta (Mermaid Saga) is a 500 years old immortal since unwittingly eating mermaid’s flesh.
Mana (Mermaid Saga) is a 15 years old immortal since being fed mermaid’s flesh.
Masato (Mermaid Saga) is an 800 years old immortal since eating mermaid’s flesh.
Orochimaru (Naruto) considers himself immortal with his Living Corpse Reincarnation to transfer his soul to another body and his Cursed Seals as anchors of his conscious.
Hidan’s (Naruto) main advantage is his inability to die by physical damage, though he is vulnerable to death by lack of nutrient.
Kakuzu (Naruto) attained a form of immortality (though he denies to think of it as such) by tearing hearts out of others and integrating them into himself, extending his lifespan. He kept five inside him at all times.
Madara Uchiha (Naruto) claims he has achieved complete immortality due to hosting the Shinju, as he regenerated form his torso being blown apart. Only when the tailed beasts were all pulled out of him did he die.
Kaguya tsutsuki (Naruto) is immortal, in that she has tremendous regenerative powers, and that the only way to defeat her is to seal her person away by splitting her chakra into the nine tailed beasts.
Gemma Himuro (Ninja Scroll) putting his severed body parts back together, even his head is possible, rendering him immortal.
Due to her race, Jibril (No Game No Life) has age 6407 years old, she has incredibly vast knowledge and high magical abilities, in two words; she live with gathering many old and new knowledge, in other words; she can no longer age or die.
Rin Asogi (RIN ~Daughters of Mnemosyne~) is immortal, due to a magic spore from Yggdrasil. she can even handle more alcohol than a normal person.
Free (Soul Eater) is a werewolf from the Immortal Clan, and therefore, immortal. He can only be harmed and killed by the “Witch-Hunt”.
Koj Akatsuki (Strike the Blood) is revealed to be immortal, even by vampire standards after regenerating from complete decapitation.
Tta Konoe (UQ Holder) cannot regrow limbs unless they are completely destroyed, but otherwise is immortal and can reattach any of it, including his head.
Karin Yki (UQ Holder) has one of the highest ranked forms of immortality, stating that she’s “not permitted to get hurt or die”
Elder Toguro (Yu Yu Hakusho) stated that his regenerative powers enables him from dying. This prevented him from dying from Kurama’s torturous Sinning Tree.
Zeref (Fairy Tail) was cursed by Ankhseram with his contradiction curse which gives him uncontrollable Death Magic and Immortality.
Ban (Nanatsu no Taizai) acquired immortality after drinking the Fountain of Youth.
Porky Minch (Earthbound) has abused Time Travel so much that his body is stuck in the current timeline and cannot age nor die.
It is believed that Ganondorf (The Legend of Zelda) is immortal due to the Triforce of Power.
Clockwerk (Sly Cooper) has kept himself alive for millennia thanks to his cybernetic body and his jealousy and hatred of the Cooper Clan.
Solaris (Sonic the Hedgehog) is a super-dimensional life form and the Sun God of Solenna, and exists in all timelines that he is immortal unless he is killed simultaneously in every temporal point.
Presea Combatir (Tales of Symphonia) is immortal and invulnerable because of a combination of her exsphere and her special ability Suppress
Kaguya Houraisan (Touhou Project) drank the Hourai Elixir, which grants her immortal in every sense of the word: she does not age, is immune to disease, and can regenerate from even being completely disintegrated.
Though he can be imprisoned and sealed away, Grima (Fire Emblem) can only be truly and permanently killed by his own hand.
Snow White (Valkyrie Crusade) is a immortal princess that is always trying to die, but nothing works.
Shadow the Hedgehog (Sonic the Hedgehog)
Chip/Light Gaia (Sonic the Hedgehog)
Dogmeat (Fallout 4) cannot die
Doomsday (DC Comics), being immune to all that once killed him.
Ra’s al Ghl (DC Comics) is granted immortality by the Lazarus Pit’s effects.
Lobo (DC Comics) possessing regenerative powers of such a level that he can recreate his entire body from nothing more than a puddle of his blood, as he is banned from Death.
Resurrection Man (DC Comics) is immortal, and will return to life no matter how many times he is killed, returning with a new power associated to how he was killed.
Hercules (Marvel Comics) an Olympic half God.
Deadpool (Marvel Comics) is in the same boat as Thanos, both banished from death.
Gaea (Marvel Comics), the Elder Goddess of Nature.
Loki (Marvel Comics), the God of Mischief, is immortal.
Zeus (Marvel Comics), the King of the Olympic Gods.
Atlas (Marvel Comics) no longer ages and is functionally immortal because of the ionic energy that empowers him.
Adam Destine (Marvel Comics) is immortal and invulnerable to physical harm.
Mr. Immortal (Marvel Comics) having evolved beyond death cannot be killed permanently, and will always come back to life without so much as a scar.
Count Nefaria (Marvel Comics) no longer ages and is functionally immortal because of the ionic energy that empowers him.
Wonder Man (Marvel Comics) no longer ages and is functionally immortal because of the ionic energy that empowers him.
Dr. Manhattan (Watchmen) is immortal due to his physiology.
Pariah Dark (Danny Phantom) is the powerful immortal, former king of ghosts.
Peter Griffin (Family Guy) Peter Griffin has survived many life threatening situations and came back unscathed.
Ernie the Giant Chicken (Family Guy) always comes back for a rematch despite Peter Griffin always dealing a fatal blow on Ernie.
Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter) acquired immortality by splitting his soul and hiding the fragments in various objects as anchors, though when his body was destroyed, he existed as a spectral form that many others would prefer death over.
Fawkes (Harry Potter) is a phoenix, who will be reborn with all of his memories intact upon death, and thus immortal, being the only known creatures in the wizarding world to have natural immortality.
Adam Monroe (Heroes) possessed immortality due to his tremendously advanced regeneration ability, though once the ability is taken away from him, he died within seconds.
The Dog Talisman (Jackie Chan Adventures) grants its master invincibility.
Nathan Young (MisFits) is immortal.
General Immortus (Teen Titans) knows the strategy of every battle in history because he was there to see it.
Starscream (Transformers G1) possesses an immortal Spark, soul energy, meaning even if his physical vessel is destroyed he will live on.
Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th) can only be truly and permanently killed by his own family members.
The Beast (Doctor Who) claims to have existed before our universe was created
Candyman (Candyman) has lived for centuries
Ashildr AKA Me (Doctor Who) is effectively immortal due to being given a Mire computer chip.
Posted: August 10, 2016 at 9:22 pm
The Libertarian Party ticket, facing what polls show are two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in modern American history, is seeing a bump in support as the general election race moves into full swing and a surge in interest that could carry nominee Gary Johnson onto the prized debate stage this fall.
Despite Donald Trump and Hillary Clintons popularity issues and trust gap with voters, few expect the Libertarian ticket to pose a Ross Perot-style threat this year.
But the party is far more than a political curiosity in 2016. Rumors are swirling in the wake of the major-party conventions that high-profile Republicans are now considering backing the ticket; a recent video from Johnson and running mate William Weld generated considerable buzz; and the polls show Johnson getting close to 15 percent the threshold he needs to reach to land him on the debate stage with Trump and Clinton this fall.
The RealClearPolitics average has Johnson at 8.4 percent in a four-way race with Trump, Clinton and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, up from 4.5 percent in June. The latest Fox News poll released Wednesday, after the conventions, put Johnson at 12 percent.
An NBC poll taken toward the end of the Democratic convention put Johnson at 9 percent, roughly where he was in prior polling.
Party officials said the unpopularity of the Republican and Democratic candidates gives the party an unprecedented opportunity.
It goes from week to week and day to day watching for what new thing [Clinton and Trump are] going to do to become more unpopular with the American people, and frighten people, Nicholas Sarwark, chairman of the Libertarian National Committee, told FoxNews.com. Those candidates are the gift that keeps on giving. Were running as the qualified adult in the room.
Sarwark pointed to Johnsons record as a two-term New Mexico governor, re-elected as a Republican in a Democratic state, in touting his credentials and appeal.
Unclear is whether the support in the polls will translate into support at the ballot box. In 2012, Johnson won just 0.99 percent of all votes cast — making him the most successful White House candidate in Libertarian history, but not making much of a dent in the race as a whole.
But this year, there are plenty of signs more voters are seeking an alternative candidate. At the Democratic convention last week, many Bernie Sanders supporters were getting on board with the Green Partys Stein. But so far, Johnson is polling the best among third-party candidates.
He and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Weld, generated some buzz before the conventions with a slick video ad listing their accomplishments.
Weve been there … And done that! the candidates say.
Johnson said in an interview Monday with the Los Angeles Times that he believes in addition to appealing to disenfranchised Republicans on issues like free trade, low taxes and smaller government, the Libertarian stance on social issues and foreign policy could bring Sanders voters on board.
Sarwark said the party is banking that while Trump and Clinton are about as well-known as they are going to be, Johnson still can introduce himself to voters not familiar with his story especially if he is able to get on the debate stage.
This is far from a foregone conclusion.
So far, while Johnsons support is higher than in past years, an 8.4 percent average is still a distance from the 15 percent hed need to make the debates.
And he would need to get there by Aug. 15 to qualify, hitting 15 percent in not just one poll but an average of five recent polls chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
Politically, where we stand, is we have to get into those presidential debates to really stand a chance, Weld told The Wall Street Journal last week. If we catch a break or two, we may get there.
Even then, the record for third-party or independent candidates is not strong.
In recent political history, the one who came closest to the presidency was businessman Perot in 1992 who was an independent, not technically a third-party candidate. At one point, Perot was leading in some polls against then-President George H. W. Bush and Democratic challenger Bill Clinton. However, after dropping out of the race before re-entering, he lost support. He eventually garnered 19 percent of the vote, with some Republicans arguing he split the GOP vote and handed the election to Clinton.
Republicans, meanwhile, were arguably given a boost by Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in 2000, when Nader picked up 2.7 percent of the vote against Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush.
Johnsons potential impact is hard to gauge. The latest Fox News poll found Johnson siphoning support about equally from the Democratic and GOP candidates.
But he could get a boost in the coming weeks as some Republicans reportedly consider backing him.
Most notably, 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush reportedly are mulling endorsements for Johnson. Marvin Bush, youngest brother of Jeb and George W., also endorsed Johnson last week.
From what Ive heard from the Bush and Romney camps, theyre still considering it, Sarwark claimed.
Asked if the party is looking just to make a strong showing, or go all the way, Sarward was bullish: Theres a path to the presidency. The ground is there.
Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for FoxNews.com. He can be reached here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.
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