April 20th, 2014
How is it possible, that US researchers are now threatening to move to other countries, despite record revenue increases into the government by the Obama Regime? The answer lies within several areas, however, chief among them is the overall Elitist goal of the dumbing-down of America.
That, coupled with the chief aim of Socialist redistribution and economic justice, under Obama, has left the shining example which once was America, as a leader of the free world, has-been.
It's all part of the "Transformation of America, " however, one of the most telling arguments from these researchers, many of which probably voted for Obama, is the fact that a loss of free speech and censorship are chief among these researcher's worries....how ironic, indeed.
However, doesn't the angst from the scientific left, all of a sudden, sound hauntingly familiar (US Tea Party)?~BLS
The Slate/The New Scientist
On Oct. 1 last year, the U.S. federal government shut its doors after Congress failed to pass a budget. For 16 days, around 800,000 government employees twiddled their thumbs. Many of them were scientists.
The shutdown was the culmination of months of turmoil, which started in March when politicians failed to agree on a deficit reduction plan, triggering public spending cuts totaling $85 billion. Most federal science programs were slashed.
In the latest issue of Index on Censorship, the international freedom of expression magazine, Gretchen Goldman of the Union of Concerned Scientists discusses the impact on the scientific community. Eleven days into the shutdown, the UCS asked 20,000 of its members how it had affected their work. Scientists at all levels of seniority responded with stories of frustration and obstruction.
From these responses, Goldman argues that the double whammy of cuts and shutdown had a major effect on scientists' right to free speech.
Researchers reported all kinds of problems: once-in-a-lifetime trips or funding opportunities being missed, laptops being confiscated, access to laboratories and email being blocked, vital data sources being cut off, and peer review and journal publication being delayed.Andrew Rosenberg, director of the UCS's Center for Science and Democracy, described the shutdown as "a huge, unplanned experiment in what happens when we give up on science for two weeks."
To many people, the outcome of that experiment may appear rather undramatic. After all, the shutdown only lasted 16 days, and then presumably everything went back to normal.
But the survey also revealed wider concerns over the current and future direction of U.S. science, specifically about restrictions on freedom of expression.
After the cuts in March, many scientists were suddenly unable to travel to conferences, even ones they were due to deliver keynote speeches at. This restricted their opportunities to exchange ideas and find out about others' work—both important parts of scientific free speech.
The shutdown only made matters worse. Scientific freedom of expression also includes the right to publish research and contribute to discussions. Both were severely compromised. Another round of cuts is due this year.
Openness is, of course, vital to science. Through the ages scientists have worked to create institutions where they can have free debates and discussions to help them finesse their ideas or develop new ones.
Over the past century, some of the world's greatest minds have made huge sacrifices, leaving their home nations for places where they could work in a more open environment. The United States has always been at, or close to, the top of the list of places with such a research environment.
Another favored destination is Canada. But there, too, scientists are worrying about free speech. They complain that government procedures and red tape are silencing them or severely restricting their freedom to report on their research.
The cause of their concern is an official communications policy that came into force in 2006 and was updated in 2012. Federal scientists complain that the policy prevents them from speaking to the media unless they have the consent of press officers, leading to delays or vetoes on communications with the public.
In 2012, the presidents of six organizations representing government scientists and journalists wrote to Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper. They urged his government to introduce a policy of "transparent and timely communication," which would allow scientists to speak to the media without going through a press officer. This was followed by a high profile mock funeral, held in Ottawa, for the "death of scientific evidence."
Not much has improved. Science writer Mark Frary reports in Index on Censorship on a recent survey of 4,000 Canadian scientists. Only 14 percent said they felt they would be able to share a concern about public health and safety or a threat to the environment without fear of retaliation or censure from their department or agency.
Shutting down scientific discourse and suppressing scientists' freedom of speech is never a good idea. Democratic societies thrive on good scientific advice, and scientists are often the whistle-blowers when trouble is brewing. History is littered with deaths and disasters that could have been avoided if evidence had not been ignored or suppressed, including the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine controversy, and the delay in proving the link between smoking and lung cancer.
Governments also do themselves no favors by forcing scientists to stay silent when asked by the public or media for information. In enforcing silence, they undermine themselves and the reputation of their nation.
Across the planet, governments implementing spending cuts may believe budgets for conferences and other forms of scientific communication are easy targets. Most people won't be too bothered about researchers being unable to present at conferences, losing a few data points, or having to publish their paper next year rather than this. It doesn't provoke public anger in the way that closing a hospital ward or a school would.
But in going down this route, the United States and Canada are risking something important; their reputations as scientific leaders, and leaders in scientific openness.
One U.S. scientist responded to the UCS by saying he was seriously considering moving to a European country where support for science was more stable. For a nation once seen as a beacon of scientific freedom, that is a sorry state of affairs.
This article originally appeared in New Scientist.
April 20th, 2014
Nantes residents in France’s west rallied for their city’s reunification with Brittany where it historically belonged, and the greater autonomy of the area.
Those who gathered at the Saturday event demanded that Brittany’s rights be expanded and its historical boundaries restored. Among the main slogans that were shouted by the crowd, were: “Get Nantes back into Brittany”, “Reunite Brittany”, and “Live, work and decide in the reunited Brittany.”
The estimates of those present at the march range from 5,500 people, according to police, to up to 15,000 people, as the organizers claim.
The majority of the participants were representatives of the “Red Hats” movement who are known for speaking out against Francois Hollande’s economic policy last year.
“Currently, France is the most de-centralized state in Europe,” the mayor of the town of Carhaix, Christian Troadec, stated at the rally.
According to him, Brittany’s people have long deserved further autonomy in the country.
“It’s high time that we here, in Brittany, where 4.5 million people live, could be on the same level as are the states in Germany or large Spanish provinces, as Scotland and Wales are.”
The protests were triggered by a statement from the new French premier, who had promised to reduce the quantity of regions in France to curb administrative spending.
The regions were officially created in France by a law on decentralization in 1982. In France, the regions get all tax revenues from the center. However, they don’t have any legislative independence.
“It’s needed to review this debate absolutely, or we’ll demonstrate once again that France isn’t capable of reform. Our main ally in this is the government,” the senator of the European Greens party, Ronan Dantec, said.
Recommended at RT
April 19th, 2014
Join the highly successful (and controversial) Conservative writer and talk show host, Barry Secrest, and Exo-Government expert, Lee Daniel for a no-holds barred political, religious, paranormal discussion where anything goes!
Today's topics include:
- A stunning Conversation between CR extreme's Lee Daniel & a well-known source within the DHS, who wishes to remain anonymous, concerning the US and its place within the New World Order
- Prophetic minister, John Langford, to CR eXtreme, "We're only seeing the tip of the iceberg and the evil coming out"
April 19th, 2014
- Satellite in the atmosphere was accessed using Apple's satellite map app
- Shows a creature swimming below the surface of the world famous loch
- Location just south of Dores - only be viewed on some iPads and iPhones
- Creature in the water is about 50ft in length - half the size of a blue whale
So large that it can be seen from space, it is enough to send shockwaves through even the most cynical Nessie sceptic.
This shadowy form measuring around 100ft long and seemingly with two giant flippers powering it through the waters of Loch Ness was photographed by a satellite.
For six months the image has been studied by experts at the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club, where excitement is mounting after various explanations for it were ruled out... leaving them to conclude it is ‘likely’ to be the elusive beast.Club president Gary Campbell, who keeps a register of sightings, said: ‘We’ve been looking at it for a long time trying to work out exactly what it is.
‘It looks like a boat wake, but the boat is missing. You can see some boats moored at the shore, but there isn’t one here. We’ve shown it to boat experts and they don’t know what it is.
‘Whatever this is, it is under the water and heading south, so unless there have been secret submarine trials going on in the loch, the size of the object would make it likely to be Nessie.’
He said other ‘logical’ explanations – such as a floating log or a seal causing ripples – could not be used to account for the imposing shape either.
The image has ended a recent drought in ‘confirmed sightings’ of the creature. In February Mr Campbell announced that no one had come forward in the previous 18 months to say they had seen Nessie – the first time since 1925 this had happened.
The club was alerted to the new image by two people who noticed it at the end of last year on satellite pictures used by Apple for its smartphone maps.
One of the spotters, Andrew Dixon, 26, a charity worker for the Great North Air Ambulance, from Darlington, County Durham, said: ‘It was a total fluke that I found it. I was looking at satellite images of my town and then just thought I’d have a look at Loch Ness.
‘The first thing that came into my head when I saw it was, “That’s the Loch Ness Monster”. It was the shape of it, I thought it had to be something more than a shadow.
‘It was exciting. I’ve never been to Loch Ness but I’m always interested in that sort of stuff.’
Peter Thain, from Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland, also came across the same image through Apple’s satellite map app. Both he and Mr Dixon forwarded the image to the club.
Mr Campbell, 49, a chartered accountant who lives in Inverness, said: ‘Now that we have spies in the skies above Loch Ness, maybe we will get more sightings which will whet the appetite of more down to earth Nessie hunters to come north.
‘Furthermore, the use of satellite technology means that if Nessie is just swimming below the surface like in this case, we can still pick her up.’
He added: ‘Last year was the first time in almost 90 years that Nessie wasn’t seen at all. After Nessie “going missing” for 18 months, it’s great to see her back.’
Despite the club’s claim, however, another explanation for the shape seen in the image could simply be underwater currents in the loch.
April 18th, 2014
By Barry Secrest
A Cincinnati school teacher has been fired over controversial remarks concerning the Barack Obama presidency.
When a student reported the teacher to school officials for the cited offense, the teacher whose name is Gil Voigt, told officials that the student's account of the exchange was in error. Voigt indicated that what he had actually told the student was "that he doesn't think the nation can afford another president like Barack Obama, whether he's black or white."
According to the student's account, who is black, Voigt had told him "the nation didn't need another black commander in chief," after the student made his desire known to be president.
According to the The Cincinnati Enquirer, "the Fairfield Board of Education voted 4-0 on Thursday night to fire science teacher Gil Voigt from Fairfield Freshman School:
"The district felt that the evidence was sufficient to support the termination of Mr. Voigt's employment," Superintendent Paul Otten said in statement.
School officials who conducted an investigation into the events, surprisingly chose to accept the student's account of events, rather than the teacher's, while indicating that Voigt's recall of events were not credible. However, there were no secondary eyewitness accounts lending support to either the teacher's or his student's argument, according to existing information on the exchange between the two.
Voigt did not return return calls seeking comment Friday, but maintains that the student completely misquoted him, while noting that Voigt had been employed by the school district since the year 2000. The school board, however, did release a statement in defense of their position and alleged past offenses:
"Voigt repeatedly engaged in conduct that is harmful to the well-being of his students," the state referee wrote in an April 11 report given to the board of education. "He has made race-based, culturally based and insulting comments to students over a period of years. He was warned on multiple occasions that if his behavior continued that he would be subject to termination. Unfortunately, for both Voigt and his students, he did not alter his conduct."
Voigt has been on forced unpaid suspension since December, when the student's parents initially reported the student's account of events, to officials.
The Associated Press contributed to this article