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The Declaration of White Independence: Fourth Political Theory

A unilateral assertion offered to and for consideration by the European Descended People of the fifty united States of America and all ...

31 December 2014

Ilias Panagiotaros: "Golden Dawn is Stronger Than Ever!"


Immediately after the fall of Samaras-Venizelos, comrade Ilias Panagiotaros made the following statements:

“The inspirers of this wretched para-judicial, political, unconstitutional conspiracy, the tragic duo Samaras-Venizelos has today fallen.

Golden Dawn is here, stronger than ever. We’re ready, as the third political power, to at the upcoming elections do battle for the fatherland and the people that support us so.

A note, for these elections to be free and genuine, the political prisoners, the leader of Golden Dawn and the imprisoned MPs must be released immediately. That’s why release requests will be filed immediately by everyone.”

More information available at http://xaameriki.wordpress.com

Cosmic evolution: New computer simulation creates a universe with galaxies

In this animation, a flight through 13 billion years of cosmic history takes us to 'our' Local Group in the Eagle simulation. The change in colours indicates how stars heat up the intergalactic gas to high temperatures
(credit: Richard Bower, Durham University)
  • Researchers at Durham University in the UK and Leiden University in the Netherlands have made an entire simulation of the universe 
  • They used two of the world's most powerful supercomputers to make it 
  • Called the Eagle simulation it charts the formation of stars and galaxies 
  • It allows researchers to go forwards and backwards in time and space 
  • And it could even be used to solve mysteries such as dark matter
Scientists have created an entire simulation of the universe in order to understand the formation of galaxies, stars and more. 


The man-made cosmos is a computer simulation in which galaxies similar to those observed by astronomers grow and evolve. 

Two of the world's most powerful supercomputers - the 'Cosmology Machine' at the University of Durham and 'Curie' in Paris - were used to conduct the simulations, which took several months in total to run. 

Previous attempts to model the formation of galaxies have met with little success, producing collections of stars that were often too massive, small, old or spherical. 

Those produced in the Eagle (the evolution and assembly of galaxies and their environments) simulation are much more realistic.

One key to its success is the recreation of galactic winds - cosmic gas gales driven by stars, supernova explosions and super-massive black holes - which are stronger than those in earlier simulations, say the scientists. 

The new simulation could reveal how galaxies and dark matter formed in the early universe. Here, gas in the Eagle Simulation shows hot bubbles (red colours) surrounding large galaxies, connected by colder filaments (blue and green colours). The insets show the distribution of gas, stars and dark matter

Galactic winds affect the development of galaxies by blowing away the gas from which stars form. 

The sizes and shapes of the thousands of galaxies produced in the Eagle simulation closely match their 'real' counterparts, and can be used to study the history of the universe almost as far back as the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.

Professor Richard Bower, from the University of Durham, said: 'The universe generated by the computer is just like the real thing. There are galaxies everywhere, with all the shapes, sizes and colours I've seen with the world's largest telescopes. 

'It is incredible. In the Eagle universe I can even press a button to make time run backwards.' 

Results from the research will appear in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society tomorrow. 


Co-author Dr Rob Crain, from Liverpool John Moores University, said: 'This is the start of a new era for us. We can now manipulate the conditions of the universe and study the evolution of galaxies throughout the past 14 billion years.'

The Eagle simulation may also help in the hunt for one of the universe's most elusive phenomena - dark matter. 

Physicists say the simulations show that 'halos' of matter that formed as the universe developed could be evidence of the elusive substance. 

Scientists believe that these clumps of dark matter, or halos, that emerged from the early universe trapped intergalactic gas and became the birthplaces of galaxies. 

Cosmological theory predicts that our own cosmic neighbourhood should be teeming with millions of small halos containing galaxies, but only a few dozen such small galaxies have been observed around the Milky Way. 

'I've been losing sleep over this for the last 30 years,' said Professor Carlos Frenk, Director of Durham University's Institute for Computational Cosmology. 

'Dark matter is the key to everything we know about galaxies, but we still don't know its exact nature. 

The simulation is hoped to solve the mystery as to why there isn't a galaxy in every dark matter halo. Here the visible galaxies in the Local Group simulation, shown in the lower right, only trace a tiny fraction of the vast number of dark matter halos, revealed in the upper left

'Understanding how galaxies formed holds the key to the dark matter mystery.' 

One of the biggest mysteries is why there isn't a galaxy in every halo. 

The researchers believe their simulations answer this question, showing explicitly how and why millions of halos around our galaxy and neighbouring Andromeda failed to produce galaxies and became barren. 

They say the gas that would have made the galaxy was sterilised by the heat from the first stars that formed in the universe, and was prevented from cooling and turning into stars. 

However, a few halos managed to bypass this cosmic furnace by growing early and fast enough to hold on to their gas and eventually form galaxies.

The findings, first presented at the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting in Portsmouth earlier this year, were funded by the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the European Research Council.

'We have learned that most dark matter halos are quite different from the 'chosen few' that are lit up by starlight,' Professor Frenk continued, referring to some that contain stars and some that do not. 

'Thanks to our simulations we know that if our theories of dark matter are correct then the universe around us should be full of halos that failed to make a galaxy. 

'Perhaps astronomers will one day figure out a way to find them.' 

Lead researcher Dr Till Sawala, in the Institute for Computational Cosmology, at Durham University, said the research was the first to simulate the evolution of our 'Local Group' of galaxies. 

This is a group of more than 54 galaxies that includes Andromeda and the Milky Way. 

'What we've seen in our simulations is a cosmic own goal,' said Dr Sawala. 

'We already knew that the first generation of stars emitted intense radiation, heating intergalactic gas to temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun. 

'After that, the gas is so hot that further star formation gets a lot more difficult, leaving halos with little chance to form galaxies. 

'We were able to show that the cosmic heating was not simply a lottery with a few lucky winners. 

The findings by the researchers were funded by the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the European Research Council. The team used the DiRAC Cosmology Machine, pictured, to create the simulation. It has 6720 Intel Xeon Cores and 53,760 gigabytes of ram

'Instead, it was a rigorous selection process and only halos that grew fast enough were fit for galaxy formation.'

The close-up look at the Local Group is part of the larger Eagle project currently undertaken by cosmologists at Durham University and the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. 

Eagle is one of the first attempts to simulate what happened from the Big Bang to the present day in the formation of galaxies in the universe. 

By peering into the virtual universe, the researchers find galaxies that look remarkably like our own, surrounded by countless dark matter halos, only a small fraction of which contain galaxies. 

The Durham-led simulation was carried out on the 'Cosmology Machine', which is the part of the DiRAC national supercomputing facility for research in astrophysics and particle physics funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills through the STFC. 

The Cosmology Machine - based at Durham University - has more than 5,000 times the computing power of typical PCs, and over 10,000 times the amount of memory.

30 December 2014

The search for supersymmetry


Another approach, which has the virtue of requiring such a shift of perspective, is to accept that the Standard Model’s arbitrary assumptions are actually arbitrary realities. Physicists are reluctant to do this because even small changes in the numbers would cause the whole thing to break down. The result would be either a radically different universe or no universe at all. It beggars belief, the argument goes, that things could be so finely tuned as to produce this particular universe, the one humans live in, by accident.

The way out of this, for those unwilling to invoke an intelligent creator, is to allow that the observable universe is just one of an indefinite number of universes, each with its own laws of physics. In that case, only universes governed by the Standard Model, or something similar to it, could have the conditions needed for the emergence of physicists capable of observing it.

Such arguments shade into philosophy, for even if multiple universes do exist it may be impossible to observe them. But then, in Isaac Newton’s day, physics was known as “natural philosophy”. Perhaps it is time to revive the term.

Swedish Zionist-plutocratic politics risks pushing voters to patriotic right

"Unity, solidarity, tolerance": all the bullshit words Judah uses to mask his objectives

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A deal between Sweden's mainstream political parties aimed at neutralizing the patriotic right and avoiding a snap election could backfire by legitimizing the nationalist Sweden Democrats as the main opposition and focusing debate on immigration.

Last week's unprecedented accord between the center-left and center-right cements their hold on power by making it easier for minority governments to pass a budget.

But it also risks painting the Sweden Democrats as the only alternative for a growing number of voters disenchanted with the country's established parties.

"We are, in fact, the only opposition party now," Sweden Democrats spokesman Henrik Vinge told Reuters.

While Sweden has been a by-word for "tolerance", the party has surged in polls, moving from the extremist fringe a decade ago to become the country's third-biggest party in September elections with the support of around 13 percent of voters.

They flexed their muscles earlier this month, blocking the Social Democrat-Green coalition's budget and threatening to make Sweden ungovernable for either political bloc unless it curbed rising immigration.

Their support was boosted by riots in invader-heavy suburbs around Stockholm last year, raising fears that integration policies were failing. Attacks on mosques - including two firebombings in recent days - are a reminder of tensions still simmering.

To avoid deadlock and to sideline the Sweden Democrats -- who want to cut invader numbers by 90 percent -- the center-left and center-right opposition agreed rules to allow the minority coalition to continue in office.

A planned snap election -- which polls suggested would have given the Sweden Democrats even bigger support and left the major blocs still equally balanced -- has been canceled.

"The Sweden Democrats have strong momentum among voters and I don't think this agreement is going to stop that," said Magnus Hagevi, political scientist at Linnaeus University.

"If they can get voters to see them as the only opposition party, that could win them support."

A poll for Swedish television showed one in three Swedes saw the "December Agreement" between the mainstream groups as undemocratic.

GAINING GROUND

Pro-White parties have been gaining ground across Europe, blaming the region's economic malaise on the failure of mainstream politicians and the costs of immigration.

In the Nordics, the Danish People's Party heads polls ahead of next year's election and the populist right-wing Progress Party is part of the government in Norway.

In Sweden, the patriotic right has been able to couple a debate about falling standards in welfare and schools with record numbers of invaders -- as many as 105,000 next year, according to the Migration Board.

Continued support for the Sweden Democrats -- which recent polls put as high as 17 percent -- will depend on a number of factors, not least whether the four-party center-right Alliance can balance cooperation on key issues with adversarial politics in others.

"They have to convince voters that there are two sides who think differently in the questions that are important for voters," Ulf Bjereld, political science professor at Gothenburg University, said.

The cross-party agreement could open the door to greater debate on how to address the lack of housing, jobs and access to schools and welfare -- big barriers for invaders to Sweden and major reasons why many voters think integration policies are failing.

"I think that politicians are going to start talking about how we take in refugees, not whether we should take them in," said Gothenburg University's Bjereld.

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In other words, the ZOG Swedish regime is going to bring the invaders in, and to hell with what the indigenous Swedes want.

29 December 2014

UK reviews Falklands defence as Russia offers Su-24s to Argentina

The Su-24 has a potent anti-surface and anti-shipping capability, making it a serious threat to UK forces defending the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to conduct a review of its plans for the defence of the Falkland Islands following reports that Russia is to supply Argentina with Sukhoi Su-24 'Fencer' strike aircraft, UK media reported on 28 December.

The review follows a report in the Daily Express newspaper that Russia is to lease 12 Su-24s to the Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina - FAA) in return for foodstuffs.

According to the media report, the Su-24s would be delivered to the FAA ahead of the introduction into service of the first of the UK's two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers in 2020 (full-operating capability for the Queen Elizabeth is currently slated for 2023).

The potential arrival of Su-24s into Argentine service ahead of the introduction into service of the UK's new aircraft carriers could pose a "real window of vulnerability", MoD officials reportedly told the Daily Express .

With Argentina arguing sovereignty over the islands that it refers to as Islas Malvinas, the UK maintains a force of four Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft, Rapier surface-to-air missiles, and about 1,200 troops permanently stationed on the Falklands. These are supported by visiting Royal Navy warships, and while the MoD won't comment publically on such deployments it is understood that nuclear-powered attack submarines are often sent to the South Atlantic as a further layer of defence for the islands.

While the MoD declined to address the specific threat of the Su-24s with IHS Jane's , it did provide a statement which read, "The MoD undertakes regular assessments of potential military threats to the Falkland Islands to ensure that we retain an appropriate level of defensive capability to address any threats. We continue to remain vigilant and committed to the protection of the Falkland Islanders."

ANALYSIS

For some years now, Argentina has been trying to replace its antiquated and increasingly unserviceable Dassault Mirage IIIEA, IAI Dagger, and McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk fighter fleets with a newer and more capable type.

Reported procurements of surplus Spanish Mirage F1s, Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) Kfirs, Chengdu Aircraft Corporation FC-1/JF-17, and Saab Gripen E/Fs all appear to have stalled for either economic or political reasons (the proposed buy of the Gripen E/F was effectively vetoed by the UK, which manufactures many of the aircraft's systems).

What makes the Su-24 report so alarming for the UK government is that the proposed lease from Russia would not likely be affected by either economic or political reasons, and so is much more likely to progress.

The Su-24 is an old design, and so, on paper at least, should easily be defended against by the Royal Air Force's Typhoons and the Rapier surface-to-air missiles. However, wars aren't fought on paper, and the Su-24's combat radius of 565 n miles (1,046 km; 650 miles) - hi-lo-hi with 3,000 kg (6,615 lb) of weapons and two external tanks - means it would be able to strike at the Falkland Islands without the need for aerial refuelling. Its supersonic performance would also reduce the time afforded to the UK defences to react to any such attack.

While the Su-24's nine hardpoints means it can carry a wide range of air-to-surface weaponry, it is its ability to carry anti-shipping missiles such as the Kh-31A (AS-17 'Krypton') that make it such a potent threat to UK forces in the region. If Russia were to back up its offer of the leased aircraft with weapon systems such as these (Iran also makes its own weapon systems for the Su-24, which could be offered to Argentina), then the Su-24 could pose a real problem for UK plans for the defence of the Falkland Islands.

28 December 2014

Russia to build ‘Noah's Ark’: world's first DNA databank of all living things


Not quite the Biblical Noah’s Ark, but possibly the next best thing. Moscow State University has secured Russia’s largest-ever scientific grant to collect the DNA of every living and extinct creature for the world’s first database of its kind.

“I call the project ‘Noah’s Ark.’ It will involve the creation of a depository – a databank for the storing of every living thing on Earth, including not only living, but disappearing and extinct organisms. This is the challenge we have set for ourselves,” MSU rector Viktor Sadivnichy told journalists.

The gigantic ‘ark’, set to be completed by 2018, will be 430 sq km in size, built at one of the university’s central campuses.

“It will enable us to cryogenically freeze and store various cellular materials, which can then reproduce. It will also contain information systems. Not everything needs to be kept in a petri dish,” Sadivnichy added.

Moscow State University

The university’s press office has confirmed that the resulting database will contain collected biomaterials from all of MSU’s branches, including the Botanical Garden, the Anthropological Museum, the Zoological Museum and others. All of the university’s departments will be involved in research and collation of materials. The program, which has received a record injection of 1 billion rubles (US$194 million), will promote participation by the university’s younger generation of scientists.

Sadovnichy also said that the bank will have a link-up to other such facilities at home, perhaps even abroad.

“If it’s realized, this will be a leap in Russian history as the first nation to create an actual Noah’s Ark of sorts,” the rector said.

Russia is of course not the first to attempt something of this general scale - the quest to preserve biological life forms is one everyone should be engaged in. Britain has done just that with its Frozen Ark project, its venture into preserving all endangered life forms, also the first of its kind. They say it’s "the animal equivalent of the 'Millennium Seed Bank'," a project that encompasses all of the world's seeds.

27 December 2014

White genocide is good, says ZOG Germany's finance minister

Wolfgang Schaeuble counters growing patriotic marches by saying that White genocide results from immigration

Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German Finance minister, said that immigration is good for the country and politicians must explain better that everyone stands to gain from it, in response to the rise of a new movement opposing an influx of Muslim immigrants.

The number of asylum seekers in Germany, many from Syria, has more than doubled this year to around 200,000, and net immigration is at its highest level in two decades.

EU should “undermine national homogeneity”
 says UN migration chief Peter Sutherland
Many Germans are concerned about the related costs and worry about refugees taking jobs.

The sudden emergence of grass-roots movement PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, which last week held a 17,500-strong anti-immigrant rally in the eastern city of Dresden, has forced lawmakers to respond.

"The world is more open and immigration helps everyone. Just as we used millions of refugees and expellees after World War Two to rebuild .. so we need immigration today," Schaeuble told Bild Online when asked about the popularity of PEGIDA.

Supporters of the PEGIDA movement taking part in a rally in Dresden this month

Immigration has shot up the political agenda in Germany. Some members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc are worried that they risk losing support if they do not respond to peoples' fears.

Voters have already punished governments in several other European countries, including Britain and Sweden, for failing to address the highly charged issue of immigration.


Immigration is a particularly sensitive subject in Germany due to its Nazi past. Germany's asylum rules are among the most liberal in the world.

Schaeuble said politicians must get better at explaining the changes in daily life, and he echoed comments made by President Joachim Gauck this week saying people should not be afraid.

"People are right to fear Islamist terrorism. But not Islam," he said.

Sweden's Snap Vote Canceled After Deal to Curb Pro-White Nationalists


The acting party leader of the Sweden Democrats has hit out at Stefan Löfven and the Alliance parties for backing out of next year's planned election, and stated the nationalist party is now the main opposition as a result.

In the wake of the announcement, dubbed the 'December agreement' on Saturday morning, Mattias Karlsson has reacted with fury and plans to call for a vote of no confidence in the current Prime Minister. 

"He doesn't deserve to govern Sweden," Karlsson told the TT news agency.

The December agreement was thrashed out over the Christmas period and effectively means a minority government can rule without obstruction.

Both the ruling Social Democrat/Green ticket as well as the Alliance parties pushed through the arrangement after the Sweden Democrats sank the new government's budget in December and triggered a political crisis.

Only the Left Party and the Sweden Democrats were absent from the press conference in which the announcement was made.

In a press statement the Left party leader Jonas Sjöstedt said he welcomed the announcement and pledged to co-operate with the government and influence policies going forward.


"I think it's startling that they go against the fundamental principles of democracy. What it's done is introduce a set of rules where a minority can control a majority," said Karlsson.

He added; "The Alliance has practically given up its role as the opposition. With that the Sweden Democrats are now the leading opposition party."

Karlsson, who is filling in for Jimmie Åkesson who remains on sick leave, said he intends to call for a vote of no-confidence in Stefan Löfven as a matter of urgency.

In last September's general election the Sweden Democrats earned 13 percent of the vote, with recent opinion polls suggesting they could increase that margin by several percentage points in the now abandoned 2015 snap election.

"The only party that moved forward in the opinions polls since the election is the Sweden Democrats...it was the election losers who stood there holding a press conference. All of them were losers and the Sweden Democrats were the winners," said Karlsson.


Karlsson said he would be speaking further with Jimmie Åkesson to frame the party's strategy in the aftermath of the canned election.  

Had the election gone ahead as planned on March 22nd it would have been the first snap election in Sweden in more than half a century.

Stefan Löfven's centre left coalition of the Social Democrats and the Greens was only elected last September after Fredrik Reinfeldt's centre-right Alliance had been in charge between 2006 - 2014.

All of the major parties have consistently stated that they are not willing to enter into any political arrangements with the Sweden Democrats. 

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26 December 2014

Anti-Cop Suspect Says Dead Cops 'Should Have Been White'


A Queens man overheard at a bank talking about killing cops vowed to unleash another attack on the NYPD before Christmas, adding that the next victim should be white — for maximum impact.

They should have killed two white cops, instead of a Hispanic and an Asian, if the guy really wanted to send a message,” Elvin Payamps, 38, allegedly said while talking on his cell phone inside a TD Bank branch in Middle Village, Queens, on Wednesday.


"I’m going to kill another cop,” he said, according to prosecutors. “Another cop should be killed before Christmas. It should be a white cop.”

Payamps, sporting a gray hoodie, was arraigned Thursday on charges that include weapon and pot possession, aggravated harassment and criminal impersonation. He did not speak during the brief appearance.

“He was one step away from making good on his word,” prosecutor Talia Seidel said in court of Payamps’ alleged vow to kill a white cop, arguing that bail be set at $1 million.

Russian leaders suggest trying US for WWII nuke attacks


The Russian Lower House speaker wants to instigate an international investigation into the 1945 nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US military – a possible crime against humanity with no statute of limitation.

“Next year we will have the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trial and also the same anniversary of the first and only nuclear bombings of two civilian cities – Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is not incidental that I mention these events together. I think we should discuss this topic together with lawyers and specialists in international law – for crimes against humanity have no statute of limitation,” Sergey Naryshkin told the presidium of the Russian History Society.

The Russian parliamentary chief recalled that the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hardly justifiable from the pure military position, as the defeat of Japan was practically decided after the Soviet Army’s victories in Manchuria.


“The nuclear bombing of two peaceful cities was a pure act of intimidation resulting in the deaths of several thousand Japanese civilians. Let us get back to this issue within the next year,” Naryshkin said.

The nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place in early August, 1945, and resulted in the deaths of between 150,000 and 250,000 people, most of them civilians. The US authorities said the demonstration of force sped up Japan’s capitulation and prevented a land operation on the island that could have inflicted heavy casualties to the US military. At the same time, the two attacks, especially the Hiroshima bombing, have been repeatedly denounced by the international rights community as fundamentally immoral and violating the spirit of conventions that banned the use of weapons of mass destruction against the enemy’s civilian population.

Japanese officials and international rights activists raise the issue of the bombings to this day, noting that the radioactive fallout damaged Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s children, causing various illnesses in some, and costly medical checks and constant fears for the health of the rest.

24 December 2014

Russia is winning the "colder war"


In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley last Sunday, President Obama addressed critics who believed he was too soft on Russia and that he was allowing Russian president Vladimir Putin to “roll America.” According to Obama:
There was a spate of stories about how he is the chess master and outmaneuvering the West and outmaneuvering Mr. Obama and this and that and the other. And right now, he's presiding over the collapse of his currency, a major financial crisis and a huge economic contraction. That doesn't sound like somebody who has rolled me or the United States of America.
The ruble has fallen sharply in the past few weeks and there are current stories coming out of Russia about potential bank runs. Last week the ruble became the world’s worst performing currency. This week, however, the Russian currency does appear to be stabilizing-- it's back up by 30%. So have sanctions and falling oil prices sunk Russia?

Not really says Marin Katusa, author of “The Colder War,” and chief energy investment strategist at Casey Research. Katusa believes that falling oil prices will eventually give Russia the upper hand and deeply injure the U.S. energy industry. The falling ruble makes Russian oil less expensive and more desirable to other countries—Russia also produces oil quite cheaply while the American shale industry has a larger cost of operation. Russia is more than able to weather the current storm, Katusa says. “They have a $200 billion a year trade surplus. They have over $400 billion in reserve currency. They’ve increased their gold reserve. They have much lower debt to their GDP than America. So yes there’s pain in the economy… [but] it's far from terminal.”

On Tuesday the Ukrainian Parliament voted to drop its “non-aligned” status and begin work towards a NATO membership. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this “unproductive” move would only increase tension between Russia and Ukraine. Katusa believes that this is the beginning of another cold war. “The Ukraine parliament only did this after Obama guaranteed hundreds of billions of dollars in military support to fight the Russians,” he says. “And what is critical here is we all know that the logarithmic rule in war when you commit hundreds of millions - it means billions of dollars and through these actions Obama has declared the colder war on Russia.”

Katusa believes that this move will result in more atrocities on both sides of the border, but mostly in Ukraine. According to Katusa, sanctions have only made it so that Russia must work more closely with emerging markets like China. “We’ve seen billions of dollars of increase in the currency swaps between China and Russia and it’s going to continue,” he says. Currently about 9% of China’s oil exports come from Russia but Katusa predicts that number will grow significantly in the decades to come.

22 December 2014

Victory for the cosmic Brotherhood of Sentience: Argentine court extends human right to freedom to orangutan


In an unprecedented decision, an Argentine court has ruled that the Sumatran orangutan 'Sandra', who has spent 20 years at the zoo in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires, should be recognized as a person with a right to freedom.

The ruling, signed by the judges unanimously, would see Sandra freed from captivity and transferred to a nature sanctuary in Brazil after a court recognized the primate as a "non-human person" which has some basic human rights. The Buenos Aires zoo has 10 working days to seek an appeal.

The "habeas corpus" ruling in favor of the orangutan was requested last November by the Association of Professional Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) alleging that Sandra suffered "unjustified confinement of an animal with proven cognitive ability."


Lawyers argued that just as a person, the ape is capable of maintaining emotional ties and has the ability to reason, while feeling frustrated with her confinement. Furthermore, the legal team claimed that the 29-year old orangutan can make decisions, has self-awareness and perception of time. And therefore, all things considered, Sandra's presence at the Zoo constituted illegal deprivation of liberty.

Habeas corpus is a fundamental legal term in human rights, dating back to the early fourteenth century during the reign of Edward I in England. At that time courts began requiring the monarchy to report the reasons behind restricted freedom of a subject.

"This opens the way not only for other Great Apes, but also for other sentient beings which are unfairly and arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in zoos, circuses, water parks and scientific laboratories," the daily La Nacion newspaper quoted AFADA lawyer Paul Buompadre as saying.


Sandra who was born in 1986 in the German zoo of Rostock, arrived in Buenos Aires in September 1994, where she’s spent 20 years behind bars. The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) claims Sumatran orangutan to be the most endangered of the orangutan species. Found only in the northern and western provinces of Sumatra, Indonesia, the species is fast losing its natural habitat to agriculture and human settlements.

Sandra's case is not the first in which "habeas corpus" was invoked to secure the release of wild animals in human captivity. However, in the US the two recent cases failed. A New York court, earlier this month has ruled that Tommy chimpanzee was not legally a person and is therefore not entitled to human rights. And in 2011, a lawsuit against SeaWorld to free five wild-captured orca whales was dismissed by the San Diego court.


More below:

"to reaffirm the unwavering support of the people and the government of the United States for the security of Israel as a Jewish state"

Elevating US-Israel alliance, Obama hails his role


WASHINGTON – Israel is now officially a strategic partner of the United States, a classification held by no other nation, according to a bill signed into law by US President Barack Obama on Friday.

The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 took more than a year to draft in Congress, and became an omnibus bill for the US-Israel relationship, reinforcing cooperation across industries with a focus on defense.

Signing the law, the president hailed its bipartisan support and said it “reflects the importance placed by my administration on strengthening and deepening US-Israel bilateral cooperation and ties.”

“It reinforces critical defense and security programs, which have reached an unprecedented level under my administration,” Obama said. “It also lays the groundwork for increased trade and cooperation across a range of cutting-edge fields, including energy, water, agriculture and technology.”

Recommitting the US to maintaining Israel’s “qualitative military edge” over its neighbors in the Middle East, the act expands authority for the forward deployment of US-made weapons stockpiles in Israeli conflicts.

It is the policy of the United States, the bill reads, “to reaffirm the unwavering support of the people and the government of the United States for the security of Israel as a Jewish state.”

The law expands cooperation on energy policies in significant ways.

Both countries are committed to “leveraging natural gas to positively impact regional stability,” it reads, urging engagement with the private sector on regulatory provisions, deep-water exploration and alternative transportation fuels.

Absent from the bill, however, is any commitment by the US to incorporate Israel into the visa-waiver program in the near future, as long sought by Jerusalem. Israeli border policies require adjustment before the country qualifies, the State Department said.

That provision held up progress on the bill for months, as organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbied for its incorporation.

Ultimately, the law included a provision that states Israel “shall be” included in the program “when Israel satisfies, and as long as Israel ments for inclusion in such program specified in such section.”

Members of Congress Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), Ted Deutch (D-Florida), Ed Royce (R-California), Eliot Engel (D-New York) and Senators Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) authored the law.

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More here:

US Congress passes bill increasing weapons in Israel by $200 million

The US Senate has unanimously passed a bill supplying Israel with military equipment that would enable it to execute an air strike on Iran. The bill, titled the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, includes the sale of advanced aerial refueling tankers, which refuel fighter jets in midflight – necessary for Israeli fighter jets to reach targets in Iran. This is particularly noteworthy since the Bush administration had refused to provide Israel with refueling tankers.

The sale of the refueling tankers follows a 2013 arms sale to Israel that included V-22 Ospreys. Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution stated shortly after the sale that Ospreys are "the ideal platform for sending Israeli special forces into Iran."

The bill, which was also passed in the House earlier this year, expands the US weapons stockpile in Israel by a value of $200 million, to a total of $1.8 billion. Israel used weapons from this stockpile during its most recent military operation against Gaza, "Operation Protective Edge." Israel also used the stockpile during its 2006 invasion of Lebanon.

The bill has generated concern among experts. Mike Coogan, legislative coordinator at US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, told us that the air refueling capabilities, expanded satellite cooperation, and access to US satellite data that the bill would grant Israel "sounds quite dangerous."

"It sounds like a formula for attacking Iran."

The bill may also be in violation of the Leahy Law, which prohibits US weapons exports to military units responsible for consistent human rights violations. Israel's most recent major military offensive, "Protective Edge," would seem to have violated elementary human rights.

File photo of US V22 Osprey aircraft

Richard Falk, former UN special rapporteur on Palestinian rights and professor of international law at Princeton, at the time of the operation remarked, "the evidence that I'm aware of suggests the commission of serious crimes against humanity and war crimes in the course of this operation."

The UN high commissioner for human rights likewise suggested that there was "a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes." The UN secretary general condemned the high civilian death toll Israel inflicted upon the Palestinians: "I condemn this atrocious action. Israel must exercise maximum restraint and do far more to protect civilians." Amnesty International called on the UN to "impose an arms embargo on Israel/Gaza."

Andrew Feinstein, former minister of Parliament for South Africa and arms industry expert, told us that the bill is "in flagrant violation of the International Arms Trade Treaty, which the US supported and which prohibits the export of weaponry to countries engaged in conflict or where conflicts are likely to be extended or intensified by such exports."

"It is further proof of the heinous role that the US plays as the biggest seller of weapons globally and reminds us again of US complicity in the continued occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people, which violates numerous international laws, conventions and UN resolutions. Israel continues to act as a shop window for US weapons at the cost of the lives of thousands of innocent Palestinians."

Coogan was also critical of the expanded access to weapons stockpiles that the bill would afford Israel. He said, "it's morally, financially, and legally problematic to continue to give Israel access to the weapons stockpiles, particularly in light of how they used them in their war on Gaza this summer."

"It looked like, for a time, the Obama admin actually suspended a shipment of weapons to Israel – specifically, hellfire missiles – but then apparently started to resend those. But the thought behind the original suspension was that Israel was using it in violation of international law and US law."

"I think it was shown by numerous human rights organizations that Israel was using ammunition stored in those forward-deployed stockpiles in clear violation of US and int'l law. So it's a mystery to us why a country of laws – purportedly – would continue to give Israel access to weapons that it uses in flagrant violations of those laws."

Retired political science professor and Israel expert Norman Finkelstein told us that the significance of the bill is that, "for all the bad blood between Obama and Netanyahu, nothing fundamental has changed in the US-Israel strategic relationship."

Scientific method: Defend the integrity of physics

Attempts to exempt speculative theories of the Universe from experimental verification undermine science

This year, debates in physics circles took a worrying turn. Faced with difficulties in applying fundamental theories to the observed Universe, some researchers called for a change in how theoretical physics is done. They began to argue — explicitly — that if a theory is sufficiently elegant and explanatory, it need not be tested experimentally, breaking with centuries of philosophical tradition of defining scientific knowledge as empirical. We disagree. As the philosopher of science Karl Popper argued: a theory must be falsifiable to be scientific.

Chief among the 'elegance will suffice' advocates are some string theorists. Because string theory is supposedly the 'only game in town' capable of unifying the four fundamental forces, they believe that it must contain a grain of truth even though it relies on extra dimensions that we can never observe. Some cosmologists, too, are seeking to abandon experimental verification of grand hypotheses that invoke imperceptible domains such as the kaleidoscopic multiverse (comprising myriad universes), the 'many worlds' version of quantum reality (in which observations spawn parallel branches of reality) and pre-Big Bang concepts.

These unprovable hypotheses are quite different from those that relate directly to the real world and that are testable through observations — such as the standard model of particle physics and the existence of dark matter and dark energy. As we see it, theoretical physics risks becoming a no-man's-land between mathematics, physics and philosophy that does not truly meet the requirements of any.

The multiverse is motivated by a puzzle: why fundamental constants of nature, such as the fine-structure constant that characterizes the strength of electromagnetic interactions between particles and the cosmological constant associated with the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe, have values that lie in the small range that allows life to exist. Multiverse theory claims that there are billions of unobservable sister universes out there in which all possible values of these constants can occur. So somewhere there will be a bio-friendly universe like ours, however improbable that is.

Some physicists consider that the multiverse has no challenger as an explanation of many otherwise bizarre coincidences. The low value of the cosmological constant — known to be 120 factors of 10 smaller than the value predicted by quantum field theory — is difficult to explain, for instance.

Billions of universes — and of galaxies and copies of each of us — accumulate with no possibility of communication between them or of testing their reality. But if a duplicate self exists in every multiverse domain and there are infinitely many, which is the real 'me' that I experience now? Is any version of oneself preferred over any other? How could 'I' ever know what the 'true' nature of reality is if one self favours the multiverse and another does not?

In our view, cosmologists should heed mathematician David Hilbert's warning: although infinity is needed to complete mathematics, it occurs nowhere in the physical Universe.

We agree with theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder: post-empirical science is an oxymoron. Theories such as quantum mechanics and relativity turned out well because they made predictions that survived testing. Yet numerous historical examples point to how, in the absence of adequate data, elegant and compelling ideas led researchers in the wrong direction, from Ptolemy's geocentric theories of the cosmos to Lord Kelvin's 'vortex theory' of the atom and Fred Hoyle's perpetual steady-state Universe.

The consequences of overclaiming the significance of certain theories are profound — the scientific method is at stake. To state that a theory is so good that its existence supplants the need for data and testing in our opinion risks misleading students and the public as to how science should be done and could open the door for pseudoscientists to claim that their ideas meet similar requirements.

What to do about it? Physicists, philosophers and other scientists should hammer out a new narrative for the scientific method that can deal with the scope of modern physics. In our view, the issue boils down to clarifying one question: what potential observational or experimental evidence is there that would persuade you that the theory is wrong and lead you to abandoning it? If there is none, it is not a scientific theory.

Such a case must be made in formal philosophical terms. A conference should be convened next year to take the first steps. People from both sides of the testability debate must be involved.

In the meantime, journal editors and publishers could assign speculative work to other research categories — such as mathematical rather than physical cosmology — according to its potential testability. And the domination of some physics departments and institutes by such activities could be rethought.

The imprimatur of science should be awarded only to a theory that is testable. Only then can we defend science from attack.

Record 17,000 join nationalist march in Germany


Many in Berlin shocked by emergence of pro-White patriotic group Pegida, as growing numbers join weekly Dresden protest 

A record 17,000 people have joined the latest in a string of demonstrations against Islam in Dresden, eastern Germany, celebrating the rise of their pro-White populist movement by singing Christmas carols.

The march on Monday night was organised by Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West – a group that has grown rapidly since its first protest in October.

Politicians from all major parties have been stunned by the emergence of the pro-White nationalists who vent their anger against what they consider a broken immigration and asylum system.

About 4,500 anti-Whites marched through the city under the slogan “Dresden Nazi-free”, warning that there was no space for White self-defense and patriotism in the city that was firebombed by the Judeo-plutocratic Allies.

Most Pegida followers insist they are not "Nazis" but patriots who worry about the “watering down” of their Christian-rooted culture and traditions. They often accuse mainstream political parties of betraying them and the media of lying.

Braving cold and wet weather, they gathered outside the historic Semperoper concert hall for their pre-Christmas recital. Police put their numbers at about 17,500, up from the previous high of 15,000 a week earlier.

The management of the opera house signalled its intolerance by turning the building’s lights off and flying flags outside that read: “Keep your eyes closed”, “Close your minds”, “Open borders” and “German dignity is meaningless”, the real meaning of the Allied-imposed "national" constitution.

The Protestant bishop of Saxony state, Jochen Bohl, said the Pegida followers, by singing Christmas carols, were seeking “to exploit a Christian symbol and a Christian tradition” for political purposes, German news agency DPA reported. [Whereas invoking the Cross to legitimize open borders is fine.]

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, of the centre-left Social Democrats, called for concerned citizens to launch a “rebellion of the brain-dead” against the pro-White movement, saying “that’s the kind of choreographed reaction the Judeo-plutocracy needs now”.

Pegida, born in a city that was part of communist East Germany until the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago, has inspired similar groups in western areas that will soon be attracting similar crowds.

Smaller clone groups rallied Monday in the western cities of Bonn, Kassel and Wuerzburg, but they only drew up to 200 followers each and were all vastly outnumbered by anti-White counter-demonstrations that drew 20,000 nationwide.

Police reported no major violence but said eight people were temporarily detained after confrontations in Kassel, reported German news agency DPA.

The biggest anti-Pegida march was held in the southern city of Munich, where at least 12,000 rallied under the banner “Make space – invaders are welcome”.

“We have space for people of different skin colour, ethnic origin and mother tongue: We have no problem with White genocide.” city mayor Dieter Reiter told the crowd.

The movement has emerged at a time when Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, has become the continent’s top destination for asylum seekers, and the world’s number two destination for migrants after the United States.

The influx of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and several African and Balkan countries has strained local governments, which have scrambled to house the newcomers in old schools, office blocks and army barracks.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has cautioned Germans against falling prey to any form of self-preservation or critical-thinking, while other ZOG-puppets have deplored the new “pin-striped Patriots”.

21 December 2014

Third of Italians back anti-immigrant Northern League


ROME – More than one third of Italians — including many in the once-hostile south — are ready to vote for the anti-EU, anti-immigration Northern League, a poll showed Sunday.

Matteo Salvini, the youthful leader of the pro-White regional party, confirmed his status as the rising star of Italian politics with approval ratings of 35 percent in a Demos & Pi poll published by La Repubblica newspaper — up five percent on November.

Salvini, 41, who launched a bid to extend his party’s appeal to the poorer south of the country amid much fanfare on Friday, came second in the poll to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, 39, who it said has the confidence of exactly half of Italians.

His rise is often compared with that of France’s pro-White leader Marine Le Pen, who has tried to steer the National Front closer to the mainstream in a bid for power.

But Salvini has had to overcome Italy’s much wider regional divisions and his party’s demands that the wealthier north, which he calls “Padania,” be allowed to break away.

The party has also traditionally held the rest of the country south of Tuscany in contempt. Even so the poll seems to show the party’s center of gravity shifting south on the back of Salvini’s popularity.

In fact, 19 percent of voters in the center of the country said they would vote for it — 1 percent higher than in its northern heartlands — with seven percent of southerners saying they would support it.

Italy has seen an unprecedented surge of illegal immigrants this year, with more than 150,000 rescued from rickety boats attempting to reach its southern shores from North Africa.

Sunday’s poll appears to show support for the government stabilizing, with Renzi’s popularity, which stood at 69 percent in June before falling back to 43 percent in November, bouncing back to 46 percent in December.

20 December 2014

NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities for Venus Exploration


It has been accepted for decades that Mars is the next logical place for humans to explore. Mars certainly seems to offer the most Earth-like environment of any other place in the solar system, and it’s closer to Earth than just about anyplace else, except Venus. But exploration of Venus has always been an enormous challenge: Venus’s surface is hellish, with 92 atmospheres of pressure and temperatures of nearly 500 °C.

Image: NASA Langley Research Center

The surface of Venus isn’t going to work for humans, but what if we ignore the surface and stick to the clouds? Dale Arney and Chris Jones, from the Space Mission Analysis Branch of NASA’s Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at Langley Research Center, in Virginia, have been exploring that idea. Perhaps humans could ride through the upper atmosphere of Venus in a solar-powered airship. Arney and Jones propose that it may make sense to go to Venus before we ever send humans to Mars.

To put NASA’s High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) mission in context, it helps to start thinking about exploring the atmosphere of Venus instead of exploring the surface. “The vast majority of people, when they hear the idea of going to Venus and exploring, think of the surface, where it’s hot enough to melt lead and the pressure is the same as if you were almost a mile underneath the ocean,” Jones says. “I think that not many people have gone and looked at the relatively much more hospitable atmosphere and how you might tackle operating there for a while.”

At 50 kilometers above its surface, Venus offers one atmosphere of pressure and only slightly lower gravity than Earth. Mars, in comparison, has a “sea level” atmospheric pressure of less than a hundredth of Earth’s, and gravity just over a third Earth normal. The temperature at 50 km on Venus is around 75 °C, which is a mere 17 degrees hotter than the highest temperature recorded on Earth. It averages -63 °C on Mars, and while neither extreme would be pleasant for an unprotected human, both are manageable.

What’s more important, especially relative to Mars, is the amount of solar power available on Venus and the amount of protection that Venus has from radiation. The amount of radiation an astronaut would be exposed to in Venus’s atmosphere would be “about the same as if you were in Canada,” says Arney. On Mars, unshielded astronauts would be exposed to about 0.67 millisieverts per day, which is 40 times as much as on Earth, and they’d likely need to bury their habitats several meters beneath the surface to minimize exposure. As for solar power, proximity to the sun gets Venus 40 percent more than we get here on Earth, and 240 percent more than we’d see on Mars. Put all of these numbers together and as long as you don’t worry about having something under your feet, Jones points out, the upper atmosphere of Venus is “probably the most Earth-like environment that’s out there.”

It’s also important to note that Venus is often significantly closer to Earth than Mars is. Because of how the orbits of Venus and Earth align over time, a crewed mission to Venus would take a total of 440 days using existing or very near-term propulsion technology: 110 days out, a 30-day stay, and then 300 days back—with the option to abort and begin the trip back to Earth immediately after arrival. That sounds like a long time to spend in space, and it absolutely is. But getting to Mars and back using the same propulsive technology would involve more than 500 days in space at a minimum. A more realistic Mars mission would probably last anywhere from 650 to 900 days (or longer) due to the need to wait for a favorable orbital alignment for the return journey, which means that there’s no option to abort the mission and come home earlier: If anything went wrong, astronauts would have to just wait around on Mars until their return window opened.

Venus Colony in 5 Steps
Phase 1: Robotic exploration.


Phase 2: Crewed mission to orbit for 30 days.


Phase 3: Crewed mission to atmosphere for 30 days.


Phase 4: Crewed mission to atmosphere for 1 year.


Phase 5: Permanent human presence.


Images: NASA Langley Research Center

HAVOC comprises a series of missions that would begin by sending a robot into the atmosphere of Venus to check things out. That would be followed up by a crewed mission to Venus orbit with a stay of 30 days, and then a mission that includes a 30-day atmospheric stay. Later missions would have a crew of two spend a year in the atmosphere, and eventually there would be a permanent human presence there in a floating cloud city.

The defining feature of these missions is the vehicle that will be doing the atmospheric exploring: a helium-filled, solar-powered airship. The robotic version would be 31 meters long (about half the size of the Goodyear blimp), while the crewed version would be nearly 130 meters long, or twice the size of a Boeing 747. The top of the airship would be covered with more than 1,000 square meters of solar panels, with a gondola slung underneath for instruments and, in the crewed version, a small habitat and the ascent vehicle that the astronauts would use to return to Venus’s orbit, and home.

Getting an airship to Venus is not a trivial task, and getting an airship to Venus with humans inside it is even more difficult. The crewed mission would involve a Venus orbit rendezvous, where the airship itself (folded up inside a spacecraft) would be sent to Venus ahead of time. Humans would follow in a transit vehicle (based on NASA’s Deep Space Habitat), linking up with the airship in Venus orbit.

Since there’s no surface to land on, the “landing” would be extreme, to say the least. “Traditionally, say if you’re going to Mars, you talk about ‘entry, descent, and landing,’ or EDL,” explains Arney. “Obviously, in our case, ‘landing’ would represent a significant failure of the mission, so instead we have ‘entry, descent, and inflation,’ or EDI.” The airship would enter the Venusian atmosphere inside an aeroshell at 7,200 meters per second. Over the next seven minutes, the aeroshell would decelerate to 450 m/s, and it would deploy a parachute to slow itself down further. At this point, things get crazy. The aeroshell would drop away, and the airship would begin to unfurl and inflate itself, while still dropping through the atmosphere at 100 m/s. As the airship got larger, its lift and drag would both increase to the point where the parachute became redundant. The parachute would be jettisoned, the airship would fully inflate, and (if everything had gone as it’s supposed to), it would gently float to a stop at 50 km above Venus’s surface.


Near the equator of Venus (where the atmosphere is most stable), winds move at about 100 meters per second, circling the planet in just 110 hours. Venus itself barely rotates, and one Venusian day takes longer than a Venusian year does. The slow day doesn’t really matter, however, because for all practical purposes the 110-hour wind circumnavigation becomes the length of one day/night cycle. The winds also veer north, so to stay on course, the airship would push south during the day, when solar energy is plentiful, and drift north when it needs to conserve power at night.

Meanwhile, the humans would be busy doing science from inside a small (21-cubic-meter) habitat, based on NASA’s existing Space Exploration Vehicle concept. There’s not much reason to perform extravehicular activities, so that won’t even be an option, potentially making things much simpler and safer (if a bit less exciting) than a trip to Mars.

Image: NASA Langley Research Center
It will take multiple launches and descents to get there and back again.

The airship has a payload capacity of 70,000 kilograms. Of that, nearly 60,000 kg will be taken up by the ascent vehicle, a winged two-stage rocket slung below the airship. (If this looks familiar, it’s because it’s based on the much smaller Pegasus rocket, which is used to launch satellites into Earth orbit from beneath a carrier aircraft.) When it’s time to head home, the astronauts would get into a tiny capsule on the front of the rocket, drop from the airship, and then blast back into orbit. There, they’ll meet up with their transit vehicle and take it back to Earth orbit. The final stage is to rendezvous in Earth orbit with one final capsule (likely Orion), which the crew will use to make the return to Earth’s surface.

The HAVOC team believes that its concept offers a realistic target for crewed exploration in the near future, pending moderate technological advancements and support from NASA. Little about HAVOC is dependent on technology that isn’t near-term. The primary restriction that a crewed version of HAVOC would face is that in its current incarnation it depends on the massive Block IIB configuration of the Space Launch System, which may not be ready to fly until the late 2020s. Several proof-of-concept studies have already been completed. These include testing Teflon coating that can protect solar cells (and other materials) from the droplets of concentrated sulfuric acid that are found throughout Venus’s atmosphere and verifying that an airship with solar panels can be packed into an aeroshell and successfully inflated out of it, at least at 1/50 scale.

Many of the reasons that we’d want to go to Venus are identical to the reasons that we’d want to go to Mars, or anywhere else in the solar system, beginning with the desire to learn and explore. With the notable exception of the European Space Agency’s Venus Express orbiter, the second planet from the sun has been largely ignored since the 1980s, despite its proximity and potential for scientific discovery. HAVOC, Jones says, “would be characterizing the environment not only for eventual human missions but also to understand the planet and how it’s evolved and the runaway greenhouse effect and everything else that makes Venus so interesting.” If the airships bring small robotic landers with them, HAVOC would complete many if not most of the science objectives that NASA’s own Venus Exploration Analysis Group has been promoting for the past two decades.

Image: NASA Langley Research Center
The airship will begin its plummet into the atmosphere at 7200 meters per second.

“Venus has value as a destination in and of itself for exploration and colonization,” says Jones. “But it’s also complementary to current Mars plans.…There are things that you would need to do for a Mars mission, but we see a little easier path through Venus.” For example, in order to get to Mars, or anywhere else outside of the Earth-moon system, we’ll need experience with long-duration habitats, aerobraking and aerocapture, and carbon dioxide processing, among many other things. Arney continues: “If you did Venus first, you could get a leg up on advancing those technologies and those capabilities ahead of doing a human-scale Mars mission. It’s a chance to do a practice run, if you will, of going to Mars.”

It would take a substantial policy shift at NASA to put a crewed mission to Venus ahead of one to Mars, no matter how much sense it might make to take a serious look at HAVOC. But that in no way invalidates the overall concept for the mission, the importance of a crewed mission to Venus, or the vision of an eventual long-term human presence there in cities in the clouds. “If one does see humanity’s future as expanding beyond just Earth, in all likelihood, Venus is probably no worse than the second planet you might go to behind Mars,” says Arney. “Given that Venus’s upper atmosphere is a fairly hospitable destination, we think it can play a role in humanity’s future in space.”