27 July 2014

Rising tide of anti-Semitism in Britain as Jewish people face backlash over bloodshed in Gaza

 
 
 
More than 1,000 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have died as a result of Israel’s military strikes against Hamas, Gaza’s Islamist rulers, since the start of the conflict. Images of the bloodshed and wholesale destruction of impoverished neighbourhoods has led to international condemnation of the violence.
 
Forty Israeli soldiers and three civilians have also been killed in fighting aimed at stopping Hamas firing rockets across the border.
 
In Britain, peaceful protests against the violence have been marred by vile placards including one declaring: ‘Hitler you were right!’
 
At a Central London march, protesters confronted a Jewish woman with her two young children and told them: ‘Burn in hell.’ 
 
 
Thousands of protesters yesterday marched in central London against Israel's military campaign in Gaza.
 
Activists and supporters of the Palestinian cause gathered outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington, west London, before marching towards Parliament Square.
 
Carrying Palestinian flags and placards with slogans such as Stop the Killing and Free Palestine, the protesters chanted 'Israel is a terror state', 'Gaza don't you cry, we will never let you die' and 'Allahu Akbar' (god is great).
 
There has been also been an explosion of anti-semitic abuse on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter.
 
One man called for a Jewish neighbourhood in London to be bombed so ‘Jews feel the pain’ of the Palestinians.
 
In a separate incident, a BBC journalist was reprimanded after seeming to suggest western politicians failed to intervene in the Middle East because they had been ‘bought’ by the Jews.
 
The anti-Semitic backlash has been mirrored on the other side of the Channel where there have been even more violent scenes.
 
 
Thousands of police officers were deployed in Berlin today as the authorities in Paris sought to ban further marches.
 
Protesters in France, which has the world’s third largest Jewish population, have attacked synagogues, smashed the windows of Jewish-owned businesses and set others on fire.
 
In Germany an Imam reportedly called on Muslims to murder ‘Zionist Jews’ and Jewish people have been attacked in the street.
 
Police had to step in to protect an Israeli tourist couple from protesters who charged at them shouting ‘Jew! We’ll get you.’

Israeli soldiers and members of the Breslauer Hassidic sect dance and bless artillery shells


This video was posted on the Facebook page of Tzinur Layla, a program of Israel’s Channel 10 that sources material from social media.
 
It shows members of the Breslauer Hassidim, a mystical Jewish sect, dancing and singing “Le’hiyot be simcha tamid” (“Always be joyful”) with Israeli soldiers manning an artillery battery.
 
The Breslauer Hassidim, a sect that typically attracts young men, affix stickers to artillery shells that may be about to be fired into the Gaza Strip
.
The stickers carry the phrase “na nach nachma nachman me’uman,” the mystical utterance that refers to the name of their spiritual founder, the eighteenth century Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.
 
The group explains that uttering the phrase “eases all the troubles and sweetens all the harsh judgements, all the sins and all the falls and all of the heresy of the world” and transforms everything “to good.”
 
They also say that the incantation “is enough to destroy the Other Side (the Evil Inclination).” This is a reference to taming their sexual libido, Israel expert Dena Shunra told The Electronic Intifada.
 
The video is reminiscent of a notorious image taken during Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon showing Israeli girls writing messages on artillery shells:

Israeli girls write messages on shells ready to be fired by a mobile artillery unit toward Lebanon on 17 July 2006.
 
------------------------------------------
 
 The "Light Unto the Nations" has displayed this sick, inhuman, pathological celebration of genocide many times before, with similar consequences:
 
Spiteful, hateful, monstrous Talmudic revenge.
 
Let's see what "God's Chosen People" have to say:
 
 
 

And here's God's Chosen cheering as Palestinian civilians get slaughtered:

------------------------------------------
 
But if you criticize these genocidal maniacs and their infernal machinations, you're an "anti-Semite":
 
“The Human Rights Council turned into the terrorists’ rights council long ago. We will continue to combat terrorism and we will continue to fight hypocrisy and anti-Semitism within bodies like the Human Rights Council.”  -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman
 
I have two words for you: Get lost.” -- Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni
 
Livni's response to Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, who said of recent Israeli military strikes on Gaza: “There seems to be a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”
 
 ------------------------------------------
 
There's the "Light Unto Nations." There's "God's Chosen People." Their "religion" - as exemplified by the above - can be encapsulated as follows: self-preservation for them; genocide for Whites.
 
http://www.fofnp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/The-Declaration-of-White-Independence1.pdf



26 July 2014

Afrikaners demand their own state

The Boer-Afrikaner Volksraad says forthcoming talks with the government is a step closer to their right for self-determination.
 
Pretoria - Members of an Afrikaner group who call themselves the Boer-Afrikaner Volksraad view forthcoming talks with the government as a step closer to their “right for self-determination for our own people in a peaceful way”.
 
“The Boer Afrikaner people are distinctive people and we have been fighting for the past two centuries to gain our independence,” Andries Breytenbach, chairman of the Boer-Afrikaner Volksraad, told reporters in Pretoria on Wednesday.
 
“We see the willingness of government to hold talks with us in a positive light.”
 
The discussions that according to Breytenbach will include President Jacob Zuma, or his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, or both, will be held before the end of August and will consist of the concept of territorial self-determination for what the organisation calls “Boer Afrikaner people”.
 
This follows a recent court application by the Boer-Afrikaner Volksraad to have their own state.
 
 
“In a letter received on 17 July from the State Attorney, the Volksraad was told that government chose to settle this issue through negotiations rather than litigation,” he said.
 
Breytenbach, who could not give the exact number of members belonging to their organisation, said that a possible poll among Afrikaners who want their own state would form part of the talks with government.
 
“We want a country of our own where we are allowed to run our own affairs.
 
We were a self-governing nation before 1994 and then we lost our independence. We are a minority and have no influence in the political course South Africa is taking,” he said.
 
“If we can attain our own territory we can be a stabilising factor for the whole southern Africa region.”
 

Israel’s ambassador to the United States says I.D.F. deserves the Nobel Peace Prize

Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States.
That’s why I said this week the I.D.F. deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. I wasn’t joking.”
 
More than two decades and a renounced American citizenship later, Mr. Dermer is the Israeli ambassador to the United States, with such a close relationship to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he has been called “Bibi’s brain.” He is now at liberty to make a full-throated case for Israel.
 
In recent weeks, he has countered criticism of Israel’s invasion of Gaza and its mounting civilian toll in at least 55 television, radio and print interviews. He has also made Israel’s case on Capitol Hill, in briefings with administration officials and at a Christians United for Israel summit on Monday night at the Washington Convention Center. There, he responded to protesters who shouted “war criminal” by calling them “moral idiots” and asserting, “The truth is that the Israeli Defense Forces should be given a Nobel Peace Prize.”
 
Because of Mr. Dermer’s unabashed hawkishness and his role in organizing Mitt Romney’s 2012 visit to Israel, White House officials — including Denis McDonough, President Obama’s chief of staff — long resisted his appointment, according to people close to the administration. But in the renewed push last year for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Secretary of State John Kerry, who attended Mr. Dermer’s Passover Seder this spring, thought having a Netanyahu confidant close at hand would present an opportunity to sway the prime minister.
That turned out to be a misreading. Nearly 10 months after Mr. Dermer became ambassador, it is clear in Washington that he is his boss’s ideological twin. “I can authoritatively speak for the prime minister here,” he said during a nearly two-hour interview on Thursday in the heavily fortified Israeli Embassy in Washington. “I think people understand that.”

 
--------------------------------------------------
 
"Unabashed hawkishness" is such a benign phrase, much better than "genocide apologist." But then again, this article is from the New York Times, the same rag whose editorial board recently advised Obama to "go big on immigration".
 
The NYT openly favors a racist, genocidal ethno-state for Jews, and nation-wrecking, open-border, genocidal immigration for Whites. And, but of course, Whites pay for both.

25 July 2014

Israeli undercover police in running street battles with Palestinian 'Day of Rage' protesters during Friday prayers in Jerusalem

An Israeli undercover policeman aims his gun at Palestinian demonstrators while his colleagues arrest a man during clashes following traditional Friday prayers near the Old City in East Jerusalem
 
Israeli undercover police were involved in street conflicts with Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem today as officers were put on high alert for flare-ups at the city's most important mosque during Friday prayers for the final stretch of the Ramadan Muslim holy month.

Hundreds of Palestinians protested in the traditionally Arab east of the city after Muslim noon prayers today. A dozen protesters threw rocks and fireworks at Israeli police, who fired stun grenades and water cannons.


Israeli aircraft meanwhile have struck 30 houses in the Gaza Strip today, killing a leader of the militant Islamic Jihad group and two of his sons, as Palestinians called for a 'Day of Rage' following the clashes between at least 10,000 protesters and Israeli security forces late yesterday in the West Bank and in east Jerusalem.

Last night's violence came after a UN school in Gaza, crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting, came under fire yesterday, killing at least 15 civilians and injuring more than 200.

 
A Palestinian protester brandishes a flare towards Israeli policemen during clashes following traditional Friday prayers near the Old City in East Jerusalem
 
A Palestinian man carries the body of one-year-old baby Noha Mesleh, who died of wounds sustained after a UN school in Beit Hanun came under fire, during her funeral today in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip
 
A Palestinian carries the body of one-year-old baby Noha Mesleh, who died of wounds sustained after a UN school in Beit Hanun came under fire yesterday, during her funeral today in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip
 
A Palestinian man inspects the rubble of a destroyed house after an Israeli air strike in the east of Khanyounis town in the southern Gaza Strip
 
 
State media said 'millions' of people joined the rallies nationwide, which were called to mark Iran's annual day of solidarity with Palestinians
Israeli aircraft have struck 30 houses in the Gaza Strip today. Pictured is a Palestinian man in an area damaged in an Israeli airstrike on a home in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip

Palestinian civilians inspect the rubble of a building following an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on Friday
The violence near Ramallah came after a UN school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire yesterday, killing at least 15 civilians and injuring more than 200

NICS Supercomputer Helps Recreate Universe’s Evolution


An international team of researchers used resources at UT’s National Institute for Computational Sciences to develop components that would serve as the basis for “Illustris,” a collaborative project which achieved the most ambitious simulation of galaxy formation ever done. Illustris allows one to journey back and see in high detail our universe twelve million years after the Big Seed and then watch the cosmos evolve over a period of 13.8 billion years.
 
This work has received worldwide news media coverage, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, CNN, BBC News, Der Spiegel (in Germany), Le Figaro (in France), The Times of India, and many others.
 
http://tntoday.utk.edu/2014/07/22/xsede-supercomputers-recreate-universe-evolution/
 

Far-right party in Hungary wants Israel boycott

http://news.yahoo.com/far-party-hungary-wants-israel-boycott-205621684.html
 
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The far-right Jobbik party says Hungary should suspend diplomatic ties with Israel until Palestinians achieve independence.
 
Speaking Thursday to several hundred protesters attending a rally near the Israeli embassy, Jobbik president Gabor Vona also called on a boycott of Israeli-made products.
 
The crowd later marched to the Palestinian embassy where Ambassador Marie Antoinette Sedin called for peaceful coexistence between a Palestine state and Israel, and thanked the protesters for their support.
 
Vona rejects accusations that Jobbik, which won 20.3 percent of the vote in April's parliamentary elections, is anti-Semitic. Organizers at the rally could be seen asking people to refrain from repeatedly shouting slogans like "Executioners of Tel Aviv!" and "Child Murderers!" — though many still did.

24 July 2014

Bombing of Gaza children gives me “orgasm”: Israelis celebrate slaughter on Facebook

http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/patrick-strickland/bombing-gaza-children-gives-me-orgasm-israelis-celebrate-slaughter-facebook
Right-wing nationalists attack a central Tel Aviv protest against Israel’s bombing of Gaza on Saturday, 12 July

Israel’s latest assault on the besieged Gaza Strip has been accompanied by yet another sharp increase in incitement against Palestinians and solidarity activists on social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter.
 
Facebook groups have been set up to call for the collective punishment of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Others host incitement against Palestinian students at Israeli universities, including posting pictures of and personal information about individual students. 
 
The radical and violent anti-Palestinian climate in Israel is not divorced from reality.
After more than a week of Israeli government threats to do so, commandos launched the first ground incursion into the northern Gaza Strip early Sunday morning, reported Ma’an News Agency.
 
At the time of writing, there have been no Israeli deaths as a result of rockets fired by armed Palestinian groups in Gaza, though much of the mainstream media have focused on the impact of rocket fire on Israel rather than the staggering death toll in the Gaza Strip.
 
As Israel’s latest military offensive enters its sixth day, the Ministry of Health in Gaza reports that 170 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,000 injured.
 
Thousands displaced
 
“Four thousand people and rising are fleeing this heavy bombardment in the north; they are in eight different UNRWA schools,” said Chris Gunness, spokesperson for UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees.
 
“We call on all parties to respect obligations under international humanitarian law, and to respect the sanctity of civilian life and the inviolability of United Nations buildings,” he told The Electronic Intifada by telephone.
 
Gunness explained that during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead (December 2008-January 2009), more than 50,000 Palestinians took shelter in UNRWA installations across the Gaza Strip as Israel’s bombs destroyed buildings and homes. “They believed in the sanctity and safety of UN properties,” he said of those Palestinians who took shelter in UNRWA’s facilities.
 
“As a result of military operations, the main office of UNRWA was directly struck and the main warehouse was burned to the ground after [Israeli military forces] fired white phosphorous” during Cast Lead, Gunness said. 
 
Approximately 1,400 Palestinians were killed by Israel’s military during the three-week long military assault.  
 
“Gaza, Gaza a graveyard!”
 
Meanwhile, Israelis are taking to social media to call for a yet higher body count in Gaza.
 
A Facebook page for the group LEAVA — “Preventing Assimilation in the Holy Land” — is dedicated to preventing romantic relationships between Palestinian men and Jewish women and has more than 37,000 followers. The page regularly posts pictures of its “activists” patrolling parts of Jerusalem and other cities.
 
On 11 June, a picture was posted on LEAVA’s page of a young man standing next to an Israeli flag at a protest and wearing a shirt with the group’s emblem. Written above the photo is the following: “Citizens of Ashdod are also standing with LEAVA. Waiting for Gaza to be turned into a big blaze!” It received more than 2,300 “likes” in just two days:


A post published later that the same day gives what it said were words for a protest chant: “Gaza, Gaza a graveyard! Very soon!” It received more than six hundred “likes.”
 
With more than 5,300 Facebook followers, a Jerusalem-based house moving company, though ostensibly non-political, posted the following “status” in poorly-written Hebrew on 7 July, the first day of Israel’s latest attack on Gaza:  
One of our advantages: we don’t observe Ramadan!!! We look after our clients and we don’t abandon them […] we keep our word and go to every delivery. If you already closed a deal for a delivery with a company that employs our cousins [commonly used in Hebrew to refer to Arabs], it’s time to cancel and move to us. 0525530344. Why provide for those who kidnap our children? Have a good and peaceful day!

Many Israeli Facebook users have posted violent and disturbing content on their personal accounts.
 
Talya Shilok Edry, who has more than one thousand followers, posted the following “status”: “What an orgasm to see the Israeli Defense Forces bomb buildings in Gaza with children and families at the same time. Boom boom.”


Edry’s Facebook timeline shows a pattern of calls for bloodshed against Palestinians. Writing about the murdered sixteen-year-old Muhammad Abu Khudair, who was kidnapped and burned alive by Israeli youth, she stated: “Sweet settlers, next time you kidnap an Arab boy, call me and let me torture him!! Why do you get to have all the fun?”


Edry deleted the statuses on Sunday after screenshots of them went viral on Twitter and Facebook.
 
Journalist David Sheen reported for Mondoweiss last week about the “terrifying tweets of pre-army Israeli teens.” After searching on Twitter using the Hebrew word for “Arabs,” Sheen found dozens upon dozens of Israeli youths “proclaiming their desire for all Arabs to die and in some cases be tortured to death.”
 
“Feels like Kristallnacht” 
 
Another Israeli Facebook page, “Dismiss Abu Hussein from Netanya Academic College,” was created for the purpose of incitement against a Palestinian student at Netanya Academic College.
 
More than five hundred Israeli students have “liked” the page, which was created on 11 July after Palestinian student Tamer Abu Hussein arrived on campus wearing a t-shirt with the word “Palestine” and a kuffiyeh (traditional Palestinian scarf):


After a confrontation with a campus security guard, a post on the page claims that “many students panicked and fled for fear of a hostile act of terrorism.”
 
It adds that police detained and interrogated Abu Hussein, though there is no proof whatsoever that he did anything wrong. Ostensibly referring to Palestinians under bombardment in Gaza, the post added: “Abu Hussein and every other student who identifies with the enemy should be removed from the college.”
 
Netanya Academic College students also started a petition demanding Abu Hussein’s expulsion from the school, claiming without proof that he “glorifies terrorism.”
 
Muhammad Abu Toameh, a friend of Abu Hussein and a student at Tel Aviv University, said he and many others have also been harassed by rightwing Israeli groups on Facebook throughout the past week. A group of students posted photos of him and other friends on a Facebook page for students at Tel Aviv University which he said mocked the safety concerns of Arab students on campus.
 
“The madness and winds of racism in the air, along with the pogrom-like actions taking place in Jerusalem and other places, feels like Kristallnacht,” Abu Toameh told The Electronic Intifada.
 
Deep-seated racism
 
This hate speech and incitement is not limited to fringe groups and individuals.
 
As Electronic Intifada contributor and award-winning author Max Blumenthal demonstrates in his recent book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, deep-seated racism is pervasive throughout Israeli institutions and society.
 
Writing for the +972 Magazine website, Israeli journalist Haggai Mattar reported that leftwing demonstrators were attacked on Saturday night by a mob of Israelis chanting “Death to Arabs!” in Tel Aviv. Mattar recalls:
By the end of the protest (and a little after it, when they chased us through the streets) one person who had a chair broken over his head was injured and evacuated to hospital, another got punched hard in the head, and one came out with a black eye, someone else had their expensive video camera stolen, and dozens of others hit, pushed, or eggs thrown at them. Some also said that the fascists attacked them with pepper spray.
Leading Israeli politicians and public figures play an integral role in spreading anti-Palestinian incitement.
 
Ali Abunimah reported on Friday that Moshe Feiglin, the deputy speaker of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, called for Israel to cut off all electricity to the Gaza Strip. “The blood of a dialysis patient in Gaza is not redder than the blood of our IDF soldiers who will, God forbid, need to enter [Gaza],” he said last Wednesday during a speech in the Knesset.
 
And just one day before the kidnapping and murder of  Muhammad Abu Khudair by Israeli youth, lawmaker Ayelet Shaked, a senior figure in the Habeyit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) political party, posted a Facebook “status” calling for genocide against “the entire Palestinian people.”
 
In a public letter written in Hebrew, an Israeli military commander declared a “holy war” on Palestinians, who he referred to as “the enemy who defames” God.
 
The racist calls for violence are not limited to “times of war,” either. As I reported for The Electronic Intifada last month, an Israeli Facebook page called for killing “a terrorist every hour” until three Israeli youths who were then missing were returned (the teens were found dead in the West Bank on 30 June).
 
Although the content of that page made it clear that the Facebook users consider all Palestinians as legitimate targets, Facebook has refused to remove the page, despite dozens and dozens of requests to do. Nearly 21,000 Facebook users “like” the page.
 
As the vast majority of the Facebook pages and posts mentioned in this article and others about pervasive Israeli racism on social media have not been removed, it appears Facebook has no problem with anti-Palestinian incitement, even though it poses no idle threat.
 
To read more about phenomenon of Israeli racism on social media, see The Electronic Intifada’s past coverage: 
With thanks to Hanan Darawsha for translation.

10,000 Palestinian protesters have marched on an Israeli checkpoint, sparking clashes with the military



 
The demonstration comes just hours after 15 men, women and children were killed and more than 200 injured when a school operated by the United Nations came under attack in Beit Hanoun.
    
The continuing fighting sparked a massive street protest in the West Bank, raising the possibility that Israel could face disturbances in areas where Palestinians and Israeli settlers often live in uncomfortable proximity to one another.

Reuven Rivlin: genocide was never this "affable"

http://news.yahoo.com/reuven-rivlin-affable-face-israels-far-222655327.html#

Jerusalem (AFP) - Reuven Rivlin, who was sworn in on Thursday as Israel's 10th president, is a far-right hawk with a quirky sense of humour who is known as the guard-dog of democracy.
 
Popular and affable, 74-year-old "Ruby" Rivlin was a veteran member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rightwing Likud party and a former parliament speaker.
 
He has made no secret of his vision of a Greater Israel encompassing all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
 
But during his tenure as speaker, he also earned a reputation as a fierce defender of democracy, winning him support from the left and even Israel's Arab minority.
 
Considered to be among the Likud's most hawkish members, Rivlin has never hidden his opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state and is a staunch backer of Jewish settlements.
 
"Rivlin won't be the State of Israel's president, but Greater Israel's president," wrote commentator Ari Shavit in Haaretz newspaper about the largely ceremonial post.
 
"He will exploit the presidential institution to advance the West Bank settlement project, which he worships, and the one-state solution he believes in," he wrote.
 
Rivlin, a former military intelligence officer, was quoted in 2010 as saying he would "rather accept Palestinians as Israeli citizens than divide Israel and the West Bank in a future two-state peace solution".
 
He also opposed Israel's 2005 withdrawal of all settlers and troops from Gaza.
 
But his jocular approach, coupled with a determined stance on democratic and human rights, has won him plaudits and respect from across the political spectrum.
 
Indeed, it is his views on other issues that have garnered him support from the left and even the Arab minority, which makes up one fifth of Israel's population.

Twitter has too many Whites

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2457800/twitter-employees-mainly-male-and-white-says-it-has-lot-of-work-to-do.html
Twitter disclosed the gender and ethnicity breakdown of its employees on Wednesday, less than a week after U.S. civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson called on the company to release its employee diversity information.
 
The data is more or less in line with that released earlier by the company’s Silicon Valley peers like Google, Facebook, Yahoo and LinkedIn, which showed that both women and blacks are a minority in their companies.
 
Silicon Valley tech companies have been under pressure to release their employee diversity data after Jackson initiated a campaign to highlight the underrepresentation of African-Americans in Silicon Valley companies, starting with a delegation in March to Hewlett-Packard’s annual meeting of shareholders.
 
Research shows that more diverse teams make better decisions, and companies with women in leadership roles produce better financial results, wrote Janet Van Huysse, Twitter’s vice president for diversity and inclusion in a blog post. She admitted that like its peers the company had “a lot of work to do.”
 
Men dominate Twitter’s worldwide workforce, accounting for 70 percent of all staff, 90 percent of tech staff, and 50 percent of non-tech staff. Male employees also make up 79 percent of the company’s leadership.
 
Twitter has about 3,000 employees worldwide, of which 50 percent are engineers, according to its website.
 
Whites account for 59 percent of its total U.S. employees, followed by Asians with 29 percent. Blacks make up for 2 percent of the U.S. staff while Hispanic or Latino workers were at 3 percent. Twitter, like other tech companies, only provided ethnicity data for its U.S. workers.
 
 
Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition said that over 25,000 petitions were delivered to Twitter this past weekend demanding that they release their workforce data. “While slow to release these paltry and pathetic numbers, it’s a step in the right direction,” the coalition said in a statement. The Rainbow Push Coalition joined black empowerment group, ColorOfChange.org, to launch a Twitter-based campaign to challenge the company.
 
“There is no talent deficit, there’s an opportunity deficit,” the coalition said. It has previously criticized tech companies for claiming that they find it difficult to recruit and retain women and minorities.
 
Jackson said last week that tech companies cannot explain away their hiring disparities by citing an issue with talent among blacks. Google, for example, has pointed to data that showed that blacks and Hispanics each account for under 10 percent of U.S. college graduates and each earn fewer than 10 percent of degrees in computer science majors. The argument ignores the fact that black people are also severely underrepresented in nontechnical Silicon Valley roles, Jackson said.
 
Twitter has employee-led groups to promote inclusiveness and has also partnered with several organizations that address the same issue.

23 July 2014

Creationist Ken Ham Says Aliens Will Go To Hell


Creationist Ken Ham has said that the U.S. space program is a waste of money because any alien life that scientists found would be damned to hell.
 
“I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life,” Ham wrote in a Sunday column on his Answers in Genesis website.
 
Ham argued that “secularists are desperate to find life in outer space” as a part of their “rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution.”
 
“Life did not evolve but was specially created by God, as Genesis clearly teaches. Christians certainly shouldn’t expect alien life to be cropping up across the universe,” he continued. “Now the Bible doesn’t say whether there is or is not animal or plant life in outer space. I certainly suspect not.”
But regardless of whether there was life in outer space, Ham asserted that it could not be truly “intelligent.”
 
“You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation,” he explained. “Jesus did not become the ‘GodKlingon’ or the ‘GodMartian’! Only descendants of Adam can be saved. God’s Son remains the ‘Godman’ as our Savior.”
 
Friendly Atheist blogger Hemant Mehta called Ham’s quest to end the space program “a new low even for him.”
 
“Jesus Christ, Ken Ham is talking about the eternal damnation of alien life forms,” Mehta wrote. “They’re all going to hell, apparently, and why go in search of life on other planets if they’re all doomed to a lake of fire?”
 
“To whine about the pittance we spend on space exploration because ‘Christians certainly shouldn’t expect alien life to be cropping up across the universe’ has to be a new low even for him.”
 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/22/ken-ham-aliens-go-to-hell_n_5608368.html

22 July 2014

The Big Seed: Beyond Energy, Matter, Time and Space

 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/22/science/beyond-energy-matter-time-and-space.html?_r=0

Though he probably didn’t intend anything so jarring, Nicolaus Copernicus, in a 16th-century treatise, gave rise to the idea that human beings do not occupy a special place in the heavens. Nearly 500 years after replacing the Earth with the sun as the center of the cosmic swirl, we’ve come to see ourselves as just another species on a planet orbiting a star in the boondocks of a galaxy in the universe we call home. And this may be just one of many universes — what cosmologists, some more skeptically than others, have named the multiverse.
 
Despite the long string of demotions, we remain confident, out here on the edge of nowhere, that our band of primates has what it takes to figure out the cosmos — what the writer Timothy Ferris called “the whole shebang.” New particles may yet be discovered, and even new laws. But it is almost taken for granted that everything from physics to biology, including the mind, ultimately comes down to four fundamental concepts: matter and energy interacting in an arena of space and time.
     
There are skeptics who suspect we may be missing a crucial piece of the puzzle. Recently, I’ve been struck by two books exploring that possibility in very different ways. There is no reason why, in this particular century, Homo sapiens should have gathered all the pieces needed for a theory of everything. In displacing humanity from a privileged position, the Copernican principle applies not just to where we are in space but to when we are in time.
 
 
Since it was published in 2012, “Mind and Cosmos,” by the philosopher Thomas Nagel, is the book that has caused the most consternation. With his taunting subtitle — “Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False” — Dr. Nagel was rejecting the idea that there was nothing more to the universe than matter and physical forces. He also doubted that the laws of evolution, as currently conceived, could have produced something as remarkable as sentient life. That idea borders on anathema, and the book quickly met with a blistering counterattack. Steven Pinker, a Harvard psychologist, denounced it as “the shoddy reasoning of a once-great thinker.”
 
What makes “Mind and Cosmos” worth reading is that Dr. Nagel is an atheist, who rejects the creationist idea of an intelligent designer. The answers, he believes, may still be found through science, but only by expanding it further than it may be willing to go.
 
“Humans are addicted to the hope for a final reckoning,” he wrote, “but intellectual humility requires that we resist the temptation to assume that the tools of the kind we now have are in principle sufficient to understand the universe as a whole.”
 
Dr. Nagel finds it astonishing that the human brain — this biological organ that evolved on the third rock from the sun — has developed a science and a mathematics so in tune with the cosmos that it can predict and explain so many things.
 
Neuroscientists assume that these mental powers somehow emerge from the electrical signaling of neurons — the circuitry of the brain. But no one has come close to explaining how that occurs. 
That, Dr. Nagel proposes, might require another revolution: showing that mind, along with matter and energy, is “a fundamental principle of nature” — and that we live in a universe primed “to generate beings capable of comprehending it.” Rather than being a blind series of random mutations and adaptations, evolution would have a direction, maybe even a purpose.
 
 
“Above all,” he wrote, “I would like to extend the boundaries of what is not regarded as unthinkable, in light of how little we really understand about the world.”

Bacteria discovered that exist on pure energy

 
Microbiologists based in California have discovered bacteria that survive by eating pure electrons rather than food, bringing an entirely new method of existence to awareness and raising questions about possibilities for alien life.
 
The ‘electric bacteria’ – as they have been dubbed by the team that discovered them – take energy from rocks and metal by feasting directly on their electrons. The hair-like filaments the bacteria produce carry electrons between the cells and their environment.

The biologists from the University of Southern California (USC) found that the new discovery joins more than ten other different specific type of bacteria that also feed on electricity – although none in quite the same way.

“This is huge. What it means is that there’s a whole part of the microbial world that we don’t know about,” Kenneth Nealson of USC told New Scientist.

Nealson explained the process by which the bacteria function. “You eat sugars that have excess electrons, and you breathe in oxygen that willingly takes them,” he said. Human cells break down the sugars in order to obtain the electrons – making the bacteria that only absorb the electrons that much more efficient.

“That's the way we make all our energy and it's the same for every organism on this planet,”
Nealson said. “Electrons must flow in order for energy to be gained.”

COSMIC VITAL FORCE

Some of the bacteria even have the ability to make ‘bio-cables’ – a kind of microbial collection of wires that can conduct electricity as well as copper – renowned for its high electrical conductivity.

Such ‘nanowires’ were first discovered in a separate study conducted by researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark. Their presence raises the possibility that one day bacteria could be used in making subsurface networks for people to use.

“Tens of thousands of bacteria can join to form a cable that can carry electrons over several centimeters,” the New Scientist video on the subject points out.  
 
Nealson and his team discovered the bacteria by taking ocean sediment, and placing electrodes in it in the laboratory. As higher voltages were pumped into the water, the bacteria started to consume electrons from it.

When a lower voltage was pumped into the water the bacteria emitted electrons, making an electric current. The scientists carefully cut off all other possible nutrition sources for the bacteria. Nealson compared their method of survival to a human attempting to power up by sticking their finger in a DC electrical socket instead of eating.

Two of the most well-known bacteria which have ‘electrical’ properties already’ include the marine bacteria Shewanella and Geobacter – some species of which can metabolize certain collections of chemicals, producing electrons in the process, leading some scientists to theorize that a sort of natural battery could be created using it.

Last month, at the Goldschmidt geoscience conference in Sacramento, California, results were presented.

Nealson’s PhD student Annette Rowe has identified some eight different kinds of the bacteria.

NASA has also expressed interest in the “dark energy biosphere” – microorganisms lurking beneath the seabed – because they survive on such little energy that their means of living could theoretically be used by other beings living in other areas of the solar system.

“If nothing is going to eat it or destroy it then, theoretically, we should be able to maintain that organism indefinitely,” Yuri Gorby, a microbiologist at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, speculated.