Sunday, July 31, 2011

Updated: Breivik's Core Thesis is White Christian Nationalism v. Multiculturalism

{Updated 10:30 am ET/USA: 07/28/2011}

Chip Berlet

The commercial media is bean-counting how many times a name appears in Breivik's Manifesto. What seldom gets mentioned is that Breivik has a core thesis which Breivik articulates many times in many ways. Here it is in my short formula for explaining Breivik's thesis:

Cultural Marxism=Political  Correctness=Multiculturalism=Muslim Immigration=Destruction of Judeo-Christian nations

In other words, Breivik believes that "Political Correctness" should be exposed as a conspiracy by "Cultural Marxists" to destroy sovereign Christian nations and is the reason for political leaders  allowing mass Muslim migration into Europe.

The theoretical lineage of Breivk's thesis is primarily from cultural conservatives William S. Lind and the late Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation, and to a lesser extent articles published by the LaRouche network.

Most significant is a collection of essays published by the Free Congress Foundation in 2004 on cultural Marxism, political correctness, and multiculturalism. The editor of that collection was William S. Lind.

Some form of the term "Cultural Marxism" in English appears over 600 times in the Breivik manifesto and is a major focus of the Lind collection of essays with 29 mentions in a 51-page pamphlet. Lind and Weyrich, however, began writing about their concerns as early as 1997.

After dozens of hours and thousands of pages of reading I am confident that the work of William S. Lind of the Free Congress Foundation is a major conceptual influence on the core thesis of Breivik and his Manifesto.

You can watch Lind explain his thesis on this video: History of Political Correctness which features Lind, Islamophobe David Horowitz, and Nazi collaborator Laszlo Pasztor who denied his past and was celebrated as a heroic anti-communist while he was an advisor on Eastern Europe to Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation.

The video helps explain Brievik's views on sexuality and gender, especially the misogyny.

Since bean-counting matters:

  • Breivik's Manifesto includes some variation of the word multicultural 1164 times
  • Breivik's Manifesto includes some variation of the words Marx and Marxism 1137 times
  • Breivik's Manifesto includes some variation of "cultural Marxism" or "cultural Marxist" 647 times
  • Breivik's Manifesto includes the term "political correctness" 148 times

Breivik in his Manifesto, incorporates whole sections of other authors' work.  The Manifesto is a compilation and compendium with Breivik's comments, text, and a self-interview included.

According to Dennis King, the original party line in the LaRouche cadre organization was set in an essay by LaRouche himself in 1977, "The Case of Walter Lipmann". A long examination of LaRoucher's conspiracy theory appeared as "The New Dark Age: The Frankfurt School and `Political Correctness'" in Fidelio, Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter 1992 (KMW Publishing, Washington, DC). Fidelio was LaRouche's culture and arts magazine.

But since LaRouche considers himself an extension of Marx, Marxism itself is not critiqued, but a plot by the Frankfurt School ideologues to create a "New Dark Age" which crushes Christian nations. LaRouche wrote a book: The Science of Christian Economy, and other prison writings, by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., 1991, 506 pp, which expanded the framework for the attacks on the Frankfurt School theoreticians.

According to scholar Martin Jay, the Frankfurt School has long been a scapeoat for right-wing conspiracy theorists complaining about "political correctness."

See: Martin Jay, 2011, "Dialectic of Counter-Enlightenment: The Frankfurt School as Scapegoat of the Lunatic Fringe," Salmagundi, 169, (Fall 2010-Winter 2011) in which Jay traces the history of this mania including a discussion of the LaRouche connection.

Sarah Posner shows "How Breivik’s 'Cultural Analysis' is Drawn from the “Christian Worldview”

The U.S. Christian Right project against Secular Humanism spearheaded by Lind, Weyrich, xenophobic demagogue Pat Buchanan and Christian Right conspiracist Tim LaHaye appears to be aimed at the political Left and US Democratic Party liberals, but dig deeper and it invokes antisemitic tropes among some readers.

At first this Christian Right conspiracy claim was linked to godless communism as the puppet-master of secular humanism; and recently it has shifted to a primary linkage with liberals, the Democratic Party, and Islam as a false religion.

According to historian of religion George Marsden, the shift in focus from communism to a more generic secular humanist demon:

“revitalized fundamentalist conspiracy theory. Fundamentalists always had been alarmed at moral decline within America but often had been vague as to whom, other than the Devil, to blame. The “secular humanist” thesis gave this central concern a clearer focus that was more plausible and of wider appeal than the old mono-causal communist-conspiracy accounts. Communism and socialism could, of course, be fit right into the humanist picture; but so could all the moral and legal changes at home without implausible scenarios of Russian agents infiltrating American schools, government, reform movements, and mainline churches.”[Marsden, Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, p. 109.]

Popular theologian Francis A. Schaeffer helped develop the philosophical arguments for Christians to challenge secular humanism, but he didn’t make it a conspiracy theory. That was the task of Christian Right ideologues such as Tim LaHaye, who wrote series of books in the 1980s that elaborated on the liberal secular humanist conspiracy and how conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists had to become politically active to stop the plot.

LaHaye and others also began to link the battle against liberal secular humanism to a specific reading of prophecy in the book of Revelation.

So we are faced with a political opposition that is based on religious energy shaped by apocalyptic demonization and conspiracist scapegoating.

Brenda Brasher, a sociologist of religion, points out that:


"...once a political struggle has been raised to a level of cosmic significance, it is difficult to resolve:

In this form, apocalypticism leaves no room for ambiguity in the stories told about the “Other.” There is a real hardening of sides. We are good, they are evil. This is not a disagreement, but a struggle with evil incarnate, so there is no structure for a peaceful reconciliation.

People are cast in their roles as either enemy or friend and there is no such thing as middle ground. In the battle with evil, can you really say you are neutral?"

So we see whole sectors of the Christian Right seeking political power through various forms of dominionism, and in some cases pursuing a zealous form theocracy.

But few conservative Christian evangelicals really want a theocracy, so for us the issue is to find a way to reframe the public political debate to provide room for theological beliefs that we may disagree with, but to make transparent and public the problem of Christian Right leaders using dualistic apocalyptic beliefs and demonizing conspiracy theories as a narrative that trumps actual political debate in the secular arena provided under the Constitution and Bill of Rights. See Gorenberg: Left Behind series.

A few years after the LaRouchite article, perhaps around 1997, William S. Lind and Paul Weyrich (unwittingly or wittingly) expanded on the thesis of LaRouche. Much of this discussion appeared on the website of the Free Congress Foundation, but has now been removed.

An example of Lind's work is an essay on "What is Cultural Marxism?"

According to Lind:

Cultural Marxism is a branch of western Marxism, different from the Marxism-Leninism of the old Soviet Union. It is commonly known as "multiculturalism" or, less formally, Political Correctness. From its beginning, the promoters of cultural Marxism have known they could be more effective if they concealed the Marxist nature of their work, hence the use of terms such as "multiculturalism."

In a circa 1997-1998 essay, Lind writes:

The next conservatism should unmask multiculturalism and Political Correctness and tell the American people what they really are: cultural Marxism. Its goal remains what Lukacs and Gramsci set in 1919: destroying Western culture and the Christian religion.

This is almost identical to the core thesis of the Breivik manifesto. This version of Lind's views is currently (as of July 26, 2011) posted as an educartional resource at "The American Conservative Union Foundation: Conservative University: Transfering Conservatism to the Next Generation" as Unmasking Political Correctness by William S. Lind

According to Lind, apparently refering to a longer document or periodical:

In this edition, Paul Weyrich refers to "cultural Marxism." He asked me, as Free Congress Foundation's resident historian, to write this column explaining what cultural Marxism is and where it came from.

In February 1999 the late Paul Weyrich, founder of the Free Congress Foundation, wrote a short Manifesto in which he stated, "Those who came up with Political Correctness, which we more accurately call "Cultural Marxism," did so in a deliberate is impossible to ignore the fact that the United States is becoming an ideological state [under the] ideology of Political Correctness, which openly calls for the destruction of our traditional culture." The Weyrich statement was mischaracterized as a retreat from the Culture Wars when in fact Weyrich was arguing that Christians stop trying to reform secular society and expand their creation of alternative social, political, and cultural institutions. A longer examonation of Weyrich's work on political correctness is in this post:

A speech by Lind in early 2000,
"The Origins of Political Correctness" is posted on the website of Accuracy in Academia:

If we look at it analytically, if we look at it historically, we quickly find out exactly what it is. Political Correctness is cultural Marxism. It is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. It is an effort that goes back not to the 1960s and the hippies and the peace movement, but back to World War I. If we compare the basic tenets of Political Correctness with classical Marxism the parallels are very obvious...

For actual information on the Frankfurt School and its Theorists:

n his Manifesto's Glossary of Terms, Breivik includes a very large block of text to define in detail the concept of what he calls "Cultural Marxism/multiculturalism:"

Cultural Marxist/Multiculturalist Alliance: the alliance of European political, cultural and media elites (cultural Marxists/multiculturalists) who support the implementation of multiculturalism/cultural Marxism/cultural relativism.

Cultural Marxism/multiculturalism: term describing the current Western European/US political/moral systems based on "political correctness" - a mix of Marxism, extreme egalitarianism, suicidal humanism, anti-nationalism, anti-Europeanism and capitalist globalism.  The ML ideology or political platform (Maoist-Leninism)  ML which is also a European hate ideology, was later refined "toned down" and disguised and incorporated into politically correct movements such as; feminism, pro-drugs, pro-sexual revolusion, anti-racism, anti-fascism, anti-Christendom, anti-capitalism, gay and disability rights movements, environmentalism etc. (see chapters explaining the Frankfurt School).

The current ideology is in fact a "communism light" or a deceptive form of communism which was created and propagated as soon as the Marxist-Leninists' understood that the Europeans globally (Western Europe, US, Canada, Australia) would not follow the example of their Russian comrades (in early 20th century).

Feminism (including Sexual Revolution), egalitarianism, humanism are highly compatible and/or similar overlapping political concepts/ideologies. The purpose of cultural Marxism is to destroy or deconstruct Western Civilisation (where the Christian European patriarchy has dominated historically) and instead create the USASSR/EUSSR, a communist utopia based on Marxist-Leninist principles. In order to achieve this they must destroy traditional European social cohesion in society which is the basis for traditional European nation states.

They are therefore focused on the gradual deconstruction of European cultures, identities and the traditional structures (nuclear family, traditional morality and patriarchal structures) which has dominated humanity for the last 300 000 years. They understood early that political indoctrination would not be enough. They must destroy the very fabric of Europeanism so they (together with humanists and capitalist globalists) pushed for mass-third world immigraton.

However, they made one critical mistake. They underestimated Islam which proved to be simply too resilient to be assimilated/pacified/feminised, even for them. Communism is often used when describing a complete ideology (economical principles included) while "cultural Marxism" does not describe economical principles.

In an extraordinary piece of investigative journalism, Tom Walker found that Breivik had actually plagiarised Lind:

One of conservatism’s most important insights is that all ideologies are wrong. Ideology takes an intellectual system, a product of one or more philosophers, and says, “This system must be true.” Inevitably, reality ends up contradicting the system, usually on a growing number of points. But the ideology, by its nature, cannot adjust to reality; to do so would be to abandon the system. As Russell Kirk wrote, one of conservatism’s most important insights is that all ideologies are wrong. Ideology takes an intellectual system, a product of one or more philosophers, and says, “This system must be true.” Inevitably, reality ends up contradicting the system, usually on a growing number of points. But the ideology, by its nature, cannot adjust to reality; to do so would be to abandon the system.
Therefore, reality must be suppressed. If the ideology has power, it uses its power to undertake this suppression. It forbids writing or speaking certain facts. Its goal is to prevent not only expression of thoughts that contradict what “must be true,” but thinking such thoughts. In the end, the result is inevitably the concentration camp, the gulag and the grave. Therefore, reality must be suppressed. If the ideology has power, it uses its power to undertake this suppression. It forbids writing or speaking certain facts. Its goal is to prevent not only expression of thoughts that contradict what “must be true,” but thinking such thoughts. In the end, the result is inevitably the concentration camp, the gulag and the grave.
But what happens today to Europeans who suggest that there are differences among ethnic groups, or that the traditional social roles of men and women reflect their different natures, or that homosexuality is morally wrong? If they are public figures, they must grovel in the dirt in endless, canting apologies. If they are university students, they face star chamber courts and possible expulsion. If they are employees of private corporations, they may face loss of their jobs. What was their crime? Contradicting the new EUSSR ideology of “Political Correctness.” While some Americans have believed in ideologies, America itself never had an official, state ideology – up until now. But what happens today to Americans who suggest that there are differences among ethnic groups, or that the traditional social roles of men and women reflect their different natures, or that homosexuality is morally wrong? If they are public figures, they must grovel in the dirt in endless, canting apologies. If they are university students, they face star chamber courts and possible expulsion. If they are employees of private corporations, they may face loss of their jobs. What was their crime? Contradicting America’s new state ideology of “Political Correctness.”

Taken From Public Eye

| Updated: Breivik's Core Thesis is White Christian Nationalism v. Multiculturalism

| Updated: Breivik's Core Thesis is White Christian Nationalism v. Multiculturalism

The Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement

Published: July 30, 2011

The representative, a former fighter pilot named Rick Womick, said he had been studying the Koran. He declared that Shariah, the Islamic code that guides Muslim beliefs and actions, is not just an expression of faith but a political and legal system that seeks world domination. “Folks,” Mr. Womick, 53, said with a sudden pause, “this is not what I call ‘Do unto others what you’d have them do unto you.’ ”

Similar warnings are being issued across the country as Republican presidential candidates, elected officials and activists mobilize against what they describe as the menace of Islamic law in the United States.

Since last year, more than two dozen states have considered measures to restrict judges from consulting Shariah, or foreign and religious laws more generally. The statutes have been enacted in three states so far.

Voters in Oklahoma overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment last November that bans the use of Islamic law in court. And in June, Tennessee passed an antiterrorism law that, in its original iteration, would have empowered the attorney general to designate Islamic groups suspected of terror activity as “Shariah organizations.”

A confluence of factors has fueled the anti-Shariah movement, most notably the controversy over the proposed Islamic center near ground zero in New York, concerns about homegrown terrorism and the rise of the Tea Party. But the campaign’s air of grass-roots spontaneity, which has been carefully promoted by advocates, shrouds its more deliberate origins.

In fact, it is the product of an orchestrated drive that began five years ago in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in the office of a little-known lawyer, David Yerushalmi, a 56-year-old Hasidic Jew with a history of controversial statements about race, immigration and Islam. Despite his lack of formal training in Islamic law, Mr. Yerushalmi has come to exercise a striking influence over American public discourse about Shariah.

Working with a cadre of conservative public-policy institutes and former military and intelligence officials, Mr. Yerushalmi has written privately financed reports, filed lawsuits against the government and drafted the model legislation that recently swept through the country — all with the effect of casting Shariah as one of the greatest threats to American freedom since the cold war.

The message has caught on. Among those now echoing Mr. Yerushalmi’s views are prominent Washington figures like R. James Woolsey, a former director of the C.I.A., and the Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, who this month signed a pledge to reject Islamic law, likening it to “totalitarian control.”

Yet, for all its fervor, the movement is arguably directed at a problem more imagined than real. Even its leaders concede that American Muslims are not coalescing en masse to advance Islamic law. Instead, they say, Muslims could eventually gain the kind of foothold seen in Europe, where multicultural policies have allowed for what critics contend is an overaccommodation of Islamic law.

“Before the train gets too far down the tracks, it’s time to put up the block,” said Guy Rodgers, the executive director of ACT for America, one of the leading organizations promoting the legislation drafted by Mr. Yerushalmi.

The more tangible effect of the movement, opponents say, is the spread of an alarmist message about Islam — the same kind of rhetoric that appears to have influenced Anders Behring Breivik, the suspect in the deadly dual attacks in Norway on July 22. The anti-Shariah campaign, they say, appears to be an end in itself, aimed at keeping Muslims on the margins of American life.

“The fact is there is no Shariah takeover in America,” said Salam Al-Marayati, the president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, one of several Muslim organizations that have begun a counteroffensive. “It’s purely a political wedge to create fear and hysteria.”

Anti-Shariah organizers are pressing ahead with plans to introduce versions of Mr. Yerushalmi’s legislation in half a dozen new states, while reviving measures that were tabled in others.

The legal impact of the movement is unclear. A federal judge blocked the Oklahoma amendment after a representative of the Council on American- Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group, sued the state, claiming the law was an unconstitutional infringement on religious freedom.

The establishment clause of the Constitution forbids the government from favoring one religion over another or improperly entangling itself in religious matters. But many of the statutes are worded neutrally enough that they might withstand constitutional scrutiny while still limiting the way courts handle cases involving Muslims, other religious communities or foreign and international laws.

For Mr. Yerushalmi, the statutes themselves are a secondary concern. “If this thing passed in every state without any friction, it would have not served its purpose,” he said in one of several extensive interviews. “The purpose was heuristic — to get people asking this question, ‘What is Shariah?’ ”

The Road Map

Shariah means “the way to the watering hole.” It is Islam’s road map for living morally and achieving salvation. Drawing on the Koran and the sunnah — the sayings and traditions of the prophet Muhammad — Islamic law reflects what scholars describe as the attempt, over centuries, to translate God’s will into a system of required beliefs and actions.

In the United States, Shariah, like Jewish law, most commonly surfaces in court through divorce and custody proceedings or in commercial litigation. Often these cases involve contracts that failed to be resolved in a religious setting. Shariah can also figure in cases involving foreign laws, for example in tort claims against businesses in Muslim countries. It then falls to the American judge to examine the religious issues at hand before making a ruling based on federal or state law.

The frequency of such cases is unknown. A recent report by the Center for Security Policy, a research institute based in Washington for which Mr. Yerushalmi is general counsel, identified 50 state appellate cases, mostly over the last three decades. The report offers these cases as proof that the United States is vulnerable to the encroachment of Islamic law. But, as many of the cases demonstrate, judges tend to follow guidelines that give primacy to constitutional rights over foreign or religious laws.

The exceptions stand out. Critics most typically cite a New Jersey case last year in which a Moroccan woman sought a restraining order against her husband after he repeatedly assaulted and raped her. The judge denied the request, finding that the defendant lacked criminal intent because he believed that his wife must comply, under Islamic law, with his demand for sex.

The decision was reversed on appeal.

“It’s wrong to just accept that the courts generally get it right, but sometimes get it wrong,” said Stephen M. Gelé, a Louisiana lawyer who represents a nonprofit organization that has promoted Mr. Yerushalmi’s legislation. “There is no reason to make a woman play a legal game of Russian roulette.”

While proponents of the legislation have seized on aspects of Shariah that are unfavorable to women, Mr. Yerushalmi’s focus is broader. His interest in Islamic law began with the Sept. 11 attacks, he said, when he was living in Ma’ale Adumim, a large Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

At the time, Mr. Yerushalmi, a native of South Florida, divided his energies between a commercial litigation practice in the United States and a conservative research institute based in Jerusalem, where he worked to promote free-market reform in Israel.

After moving to Brooklyn the following year, Mr. Yerushalmi said he began studying Arabic and Shariah under two Islamic scholars, whom he declined to name. He said his research made clear that militants had not “perverted” Islamic law, but were following an authoritative doctrine that sought global hegemony — a mission, he says, that is shared by Muslims around the world. To illustrate that point, Mr. Yerushalmi cites studies in which large percentages of Muslims overseas say they support Islamic rule.

In interviews, Islamic scholars disputed Mr. Yerushalmi’s claims. Although Islam, like some other faiths, aspires to be the world’s reigning religion, they said, the method for carrying out that goal, or even its relevance in everyday life, remains a far more complex subject than Mr. Yerushalmi suggests.

“Even in Muslim-majority countries, there is a huge debate about what it means to apply Islamic law in the modern world,” said Andrew F. March, an associate professor specializing in Islamic law at Yale University. The deeper flaw in Mr. Yerushalmi’s argument, Mr. March said, is that he characterizes the majority of Muslims who practice some version of Shariah — whether through prayer, charitable giving or other common rituals — as automatic adherents to Islam’s medieval rules of war and political domination.

It is not the first time Mr. Yerushalmi has engaged in polemics. In a 2006 essay, he wrote that “most of the fundamental differences between the races are genetic,” and asked why “people find it so difficult to confront the facts that some races perform better in sports, some better in mathematical problem-solving, some better in language, some better in Western societies and some better in tribal ones?” He has also railed against what he sees as a politically correct culture that avoids open discussion of why “the founding fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to vote.”

On its Web site, the Anti-Defamation League, a prominent Jewish civil rights organization, describes Mr. Yerushalmi as having a record of “anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry.” His legal clients have also drawn notoriety, among them Pamela Geller, an incendiary blogger who helped drive the fight against the Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero.

A stout man who wears antique wire-rimmed glasses and a thick, white-streaked beard, Mr. Yerushalmi has a seemingly inexhaustible appetite for the arguments his work provokes. “It’s an absurdity to claim that I have ever uttered or taken a position on the side of racism or bigotry or misogyny,” he said.

When pressed for evidence that American Muslims endorse the fundamentalist view of Shariah he warns against, Mr. Yerushalmi argues that the problem lies with America’s Muslim institutions and their link to Islamist groups overseas. As a primary example, he and others cite a memorandum that surfaced in the federal prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Muslim charity based in Texas whose leaders were convicted in 2008 of sending funds to Hamas.

The 1991 document outlined a strategy for the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States that involved “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.” Critics emphasize a page listing 29 Muslim American groups as “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” Skeptics point out that on the same page, the author wrote, imagine if “they all march according to one plan,” which suggests they were not working in tandem.

Nevertheless, a study by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center to be released next week found that only a minority of American Muslims say that domestic Islamic groups represent them. It also concludes that American Muslims have as much confidence in the judicial system as members of other faiths and are more likely than the other groups to say that elections in the United States are “honest.”

“There’s a conflation between the idea of Islam being a universalist, proselytizing religion and reducing it to a totalitarian movement,” said Mohammad Fadel, an associate professor specializing in Islamic law at the University of Toronto. “All good propaganda is based on half-truths.”

Reaching Out

The movement took root in January 2006 when Mr. Yerushalmi started the Society of Americans for National Existence, a nonprofit organization that became his vehicle for opposing Shariah. On the group’s Web site, he proposed a law that would make observing Islamic law, which he likened to sedition, a felony punishable by 20 years in prison. He also began raising money to study whether there is a link between “Shariah-adherent behavior” in American mosques and support for violent jihad.

The project, Mapping Shariah, led Mr. Yerushalmi to Frank Gaffney, a hawkish policy analyst and commentator who is the president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington. Well connected in neoconservative circles, Mr. Gaffney has been known to take polarizing positions (he once argued that President Obama might secretly be Muslim). Mr. Gaffney would emerge as Mr. Yerushalmi’s primary link to a network of former and current government officials, security analysts and grass-roots political organizations.

Together, they set out to “engender a national debate about the nature of Shariah and the need to protect our Constitution and country from it,” Mr. Gaffney wrote in an e-mail to The New York Times. The center contributed an unspecified amount to Mr. Yerushalmi’s study, which cost roughly $400,000 and involved surreptitiously sending researchers into 100 mosques. The study, which said that 82 percent of the mosques’ imams recommended texts that promote violence, has drawn sharp rebuke from Muslim leaders, who question its premise and findings.

Mr. Yerushalmi also took aim at the industry of Islamic finance — specifically American banks offering funds that invest only in companies deemed permissible under Shariah, which would exclude, for example, those that deal in alcohol, pork or gambling.

In the spring of 2008, Mr. Gaffney arranged meetings with officials at the Treasury Department, including Robert M. Kimmitt, then the deputy secretary, and Stuart A. Levey, then the under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. Mr. Yerushalmi warned them about what he characterized as the lack of transparency and other dangers of Shariah-compliant finance.

In an interview, Mr. Levey said he found Mr. Yerushalmi’s presentation of Shariah “sweeping and, ultimately, unconvincing.”

For Mr. Yerushalmi, the meetings led to a shift in strategy. “If you can’t move policy at the federal level, well, where do you go?” he said. “You go to the states.”

With the advent of the Tea Party, Mr. Yerushalmi saw an opening. In 2009, he and Mr. Gaffney laid the groundwork for a project aimed at state legislatures — the same year that Mr. Yerushalmi received more than $153,000 in consulting fees from Mr. Gaffney’s center, according to a tax form filed by the group.

That summer, Mr. Yerushalmi began writing “American Laws for American Courts,” a model statute that would prevent state judges from considering foreign laws or rulings that violate constitutional rights in the United States. The law was intended to appeal not just to the growing anti-Shariah movement, but also to a broader constituency that had long opposed the influence of foreign laws in the United States.

Mr. Gaffney swiftly drummed up interest in the law, holding conference calls with activists and tapping a network of Tea Party and Christian groups as well as ACT for America, which has 170,000 members and describes itself as “opposed to the authoritarian values of radical Islam.” The group emerged as a “force multiplier,” Mr. Gaffney said, fanning out across the country to promote the law. The American Public Policy Alliance, a nonprofit organization formed that year by a political consultant based in Michigan, began recruiting dozens of lawyers to act as legislative sponsors.

Early versions of the law, which passed in Tennessee and then Louisiana, made no mention of Shariah, which was necessary to pass constitutional muster, Mr. Yerushalmi said. But as the movement spread, state lawmakers began tweaking the legislation to refer to Shariah and other religious laws or systems — including, in one ill-fated proposal in Arizona, “karma.”

By last fall, the anti-Shariah movement had gained new prominence. ACT for America spent $60,000 promoting the Oklahoma initiative, a campaign that included 600,000 robocalls featuring Mr. Woolsey, the former C.I.A. director. Mr. Gingrich called for a federal law banning courts from using Shariah in place of American law, and Sarah Palin warned that if Shariah law “were to be adopted, allowed to govern in our country, it will be the downfall of America.”

Also last fall, Mr. Gaffney’s organization released “Shariah: The Threat to America,” a 172-page report whose lead author was Mr. Yerushalmi and whose signatories included Mr. Woolsey and other former intelligence officials.

Mr. Yerushalmi’s legislation has drawn opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union as well as from Catholic bishops and Jewish groups. Mr. Yerushalmi said he did not believe that court cases involving Jewish or canon law would be affected by the statutes because they are unlikely to involve violations of constitutional rights.

Business lobbyists have also expressed concern about the possible effect of the statutes, as corporations often favor foreign laws in contracts or tort disputes. This is perhaps the only constituency that has had an influence. The three state statutes that have passed — most recently in Arizona — make corporations exempt.

“It is not preferable,” Mr. Yerushalmi said. “Is it an acceptable political compromise? Of course it is.”


Friday, July 29, 2011

In Benghazi, Questions Over the Rebel Military Leader Younes’s Death -

In Benghazi, Questions Over the Rebel Military Leader Younes’s Death -

House approves revised Boehner debt-ceiling plan -

House approves revised Boehner debt-ceiling plan -

Obama Calls for Debt Deal - Congress Still Widely Split -

Obama Calls for Debt Deal - Congress Still Widely Split -

The Information: James Gleick Chats with Robert Krulwich | Degrees of Freedom, Scientific American Blog Network

The Information: James Gleick Chats with Robert Krulwich | Degrees of Freedom, Scientific American Blog Network

10 Common Complaints about Alarm System Sales Tactics

Salespeople in general have been criticized for their pushiness in closing the deal. However, salespeople selling alarm systems have been under much scrutiny lately. In fact, some of the ‘techniques’ are quite questionable. Listed below are ten common complaints that are received about alarm system sales tactics.

  1. Claiming to be working with the police or local government. Salespeople have claimed to be working hand in hand with the local police department to cover the installation fee. When the claim was checked it was discovered to be false. Don’t be afraid to check on their claims, after all if they are legitimate they won’t have a problem with you verifying the information.
  2. Claiming to be with your current company. One tactic that has been used is to make you believe that they are working for your current alarm company to get in the door and then once inside they will use aggressive tactics to get you to sign a long term contract with their company. Most legitimate alarm companies do not send someone over to your house without an appointment first.
  3. Following you into your home. Some salespeople have been known to follow you into your home without being invited in. Remember it is not impolite or rude to say that you are not interested and then close the door; it’s for your personal safety.
  4. Limited time offer. Many different salespeople use this tactic, but for alarm system salespeople it is very useful. Since security systems tend to be an expensive purchase the salespeople will hook you with a limited time offer such as this is for today only, or I’m leaving town tonight, and I am the only one authorized to make this deal.
  5. Scare tactics. It is unfortunate that this is a popular one, but many of the salespeople will lie about recent burglaries or break-ins in your neighborhood to try and scare you into purchasing an alarm system.
  6. It’s free. Have you ever heard the term “nothing is free”? Well it usually is true. Companies wouldn’t stay in business if they gave their products away. If a salesperson tries to tell you that you can get the alarm system for free there is usually going to be strings attached. They may give you the equipment for free, but then lock you into a long term expensive contract. Make sure you get all the information and read the fine print before signing up for anything.
  7. Went out of business. Some salespeople will go around to homes that currently have an alarm system sign on their property and tell them that their current company went out of business, or that they have merged with a new company, and then try to get them to sign new contracts by scaring them into believing that their current alarm no longer works. Some have gone as far as cutting the phone lines so when you try to set it off it won’t work, and then reconnect them when installing your new alarm.
  8. Insurance discounts. While it is true that most homeowners insurance providers will give you a discount if you have an alarm system, many sale people will use this to give you false hopes of how much you will save. Many will claim that you will save enough on your insurance to cover the cost of the system. When in actuality the savings generally runs from around 5-12% which in no way would cover the alarm system. If your policy has a $1,000.00 a year premium, your savings are only going to be $50.00- $ 120.00.
  9. Offering a better discount. Sometimes they will try anything to get you to sign their contract prior to reading it. They may tell you that they have another appointment to get to and that if you go ahead and make the deal right now they will give you a better deal. Watch out for this and again, do not sign anything without reading it first. Tell them that they can go to their other appointment and come back so that you have time to read the fine print. A legitimate salesperson will have no problem with that, after all they want to make a sale.
  10. Breaking into your home. There have been instances of alarm salespeople being arrested because they broke into someone’s home just to prove to them that it could be done, and that they needed an alarm to prevent a ‘real’ intruder from doing the same.

Some states now have laws to protect homeowners from door to door salespeople making cold calls, and they are required to properly identify themselves. The federal government has also enacted a law that allows you 3 days to change your mind and get out of a contract signed through door to door sales. If the company is reputable they will allow you the time to compare bids and review their material without trying to pressure you.

Taken From Home Alarm Monitoring

10 Tips for Walking While you Text

Texting while walking can end up in accidents and rude encounters with people. It is pretty difficult to keep your eyes on your phone and where you are walking at the same time. Here are some tips that may help you accomplish this dual task.

Install one of these apps and use your phone’s camera to see where you’re going while you text.

  1. Road SMS – If you’ve got a Samsung phone, this app is the clear answer for texting while walking. The app utilizes your phone’s camera to act as a viewer so that you can see what is in front of you, while you are looking at the screen of your phone and texting away.
  2. Email ‘n Walk App – Got an iPhone? Then you can purchase this inexpensive program to accomplish the task in a similar way as the Road SMS app does. It also utilizes the camera to allow you to see what is ahead of you, while you type on the screen’s keyboard.
  3. Walk and Text for Android – The Android phones are not to be left out when it comes to texting on the go. Walk and Text is the name of the app for those devices that will allow you to see where you’re going using the camera to view the way through your screen. This app also has Voice2text, which makes texting in motion even easier.
  4. Text Vision – This is another app developed for the iPhone. In addition to texting while using the camera to gain a visual, this app includes facebook and Twitter.

Install one of these apps and they will convert your speech to text so that you don’t have to look down, or use your hands for typing.

  1. FlexT9 – This is an app for Android phones that is put out by Nuance, the makers of Dragonspeak voice recognition software. The app will convert your verbal speech into text for texting, email, facebook and twitter updates. Keep your eyes up and simply talk into your phone and then send. It also has input functions like ‘trace’ where you move your finger from one letter to the next to spell a word without tapping, and ‘write’ which allows you to draw your letters onto the screen and have it interpreted into text.
  2. Voice Text Pro – For your iPhone this is one of several apps available that will convert your speech to text. This one is specifically designed for texting, which makes it much more user friendly for texting than those that are designed to work with a variety of applications.
  3. Vlingo – This voice to text application is available for most cellphone operating systems, iOS, Android, Nokia, Blackberry and Windows Mobile. It isn’t limited to texting. Simply tell the phone what you want, text, email, search, get directions. It makes your smartphone even smarter.

For those without a smartphone that will accept these applications, there still are a few things you can do to make texting while walking safer.

  1. Peak Between Words – A word only takes a second to type; look up between each word to keep yourself aware of your surroundings and what is ahead of you. Remember, it isn’t the same as speaking into the phone. The person you’re texting gets the whole message at once, regardless of how long you take to type it.
  2. Qwerty – If you don’t have a qwerty keyboard on your phone, you should consider changing phones to one that has it. With a qwerty keyboard it is much easier to train your fingers to type your messages without have to look at the keyboard, just like you do on your computer keyboard.
  3. Walking Buddy – Don’t text when you’re walking by yourself. When you have another person with you, then can be your eyes for you as you respond to your text messages and you can do them the same favor.

Of the options listed above, the voice to text options seems like the best choice to me. Speech recognition software has become quite adept at translating the human voice into typeface.

Taken From Phone Service

A High-Tech Library Keeps Books at Faculty Fingertips—With Robot Help | LinkedIn

A High-Tech Library Keeps Books at Faculty Fingertips—With Robot Help | LinkedIn

10 Old Brands that Managed to Stay Modern

You might have more in common with your great-grandparents than that receding hairline or cleft chin; some of your favorite brands might have been used by your predecessors, even as early as the Civil War. And while your elders may not be transitioning into the digital age with ease (or at all), several of America's oldest brands have thrived through multiple technology changes. Here are 10 well known brands that appear a lot younger than they are.

  1. Jim Beam

    It's probably not surprising that alcohol is as in demand today as ever. But Jim Beam, the familiar brand of bourbon whiskey, has maintained success as one of the top sellers of whiskey since 1795 and is one of the oldest American liquor brands. Though it faced a little hiccup during Prohibition, it picked up where it left off after the big ban ended and now produces several variations of Jim Beam whiskey. Its recent marketing campaigns have brought the brand into the digital age, with a focus on music and sports by pairing with Kid Rock and ESPN, creating a series of webisodes for the latter. They are also now sponsoring a concert series featuring several well-known bands and musicians. This isn't the first time Jim Beam has focused on music, though. In the early '90s, they held a talent contest. The winning duo: Montgomery Gentry, a band that has since been nominated for Grammy Awards and played for millions of fans.

  2. Colgate

    Colgate started out making soaps in 1806 and has been making toothpaste since 1873. In fact, Colgate was the producer of the first toothpaste in a tube, creating the eternal debate between spouses over whether the tube should be squeezed from the bottom or middle. As a company, Colgate joined forces with Palmolive in 1928, but they maintained the popularity of Colgate Toothpaste. This may be due in part to Colgate's competition with Procter & Gamble's Crest Toothpaste starting in 1955, and the two are therefore pushed to be on the cutting edge of marketing. For example, both sponsored soap operas when TV was first gaining popularity, and they each are on top of the latest trends in oral care, such as whitening and gum care. Colgate, though, ingeniously repositioned its brand when dentists were recommending that people brush three times a day. Knowing that most people wouldn't follow that recommendation, Colgate Toothpaste promoted itself as "The toothpaste for people who can only brush twice a day," giving it an edge over competition that were presumably for the thrice-a-day brushers.

  3. Brooks Brothers

    Since Brooks Brothers first started in 1818, — which makes it the oldest clothing store in the U.S. — it has seen a lot of competitors rise and fall. Created as a men's clothing store in New York, Brooks Brothers now makes women's, boy's, and girl's clothes and has stores all over the world. In the mid-1900s, the company stayed modern by providing ready-to-wear, traditional suits during a time when men wore suits almost every day. Today the company has maintained its popularity by catering to executives, politicians, and movie stars. By creating an elite image, Brooks Brothers remains in the public eye, worn by actors on the big and small screen. Some of these include George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Will Smith. President Barack Obama even wore Brooks Brothers accessories at his inauguration, further cementing the company's place in modern American life.

  4. Tiffany & Co.

    When it comes to branding, Tiffany & Co. may be the best in the business. This famous jewelry store was started in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany and has come to be known as one of the strongest brands in the world. The company helped refine some of the traditions that go along with engagement and marriage, which has enabled it to keep its hold on the hearts of the country, or at least the women's hearts. In 1886, before diamonds were the traditional choice for an engagement ring, Tiffany created the Tiffany Setting diamond engagement ring, one diamond in a six-prong setting, the first of its kind. It became an iconic ring that many women dream of receiving from their boyfriends, even today. The trademark Tiffany Blue also became a symbol of exclusivity; you can only get the robin's egg blue box with a purchase. Tie that in with the hit movie Breakfast at Tiffany's and the status of Audrey Hepburn as a timeless style icon, and Tiffany & Co. can't be shaken, even in a recession.

  5. Mott's

    Known today for their juices and apple sauce, Mott's began in 1842 making apple cider and vinegar, pressed by a horse-powered mill. The company gained popularity by showcasing its products at world fairs and national exhibitions. The Mott's brand has stayed on top of the latest technologies and led the country in innovating fruit products, claiming to have introduced the American palate to apple juice. The company has managed to stay modern by refocusing marketing on the concerns of the contemporary woman. In the 1960s, when women were very concerned with watching their figures, Mott's started producing low-calorie juices and adult foods. Today, Mott's is capitalizing on the market of moms looking for quick, healthy snack choices for their children.

  6. American Express

    The longevity of the American Express brand lies in its ability to find new demands when its old purposes have gone out of fashion. It certainly wouldn't be around today if it had stuck with its original business of express mail. Sure, that was an important service in 1850 when American Express first started, but the company would've died long ago without frequent repurposing. In the 1880s, it introduced its own money order service and started the first large-scale traveler's check system as an alternative to letters of credit, which kept the company relevant then but are of little use to individuals today. The charge card, which is what we mainly know American Express for now, was introduced in 1958 and quickly became an indispensable financial tool. The company has been ranked as one of the top 25 most valuable brands in the world.

  7. Jell-O

    The idea for Jell-O goes all the way back to 1845 when a man got a patent for a gelatin dessert, but it wasn't until 1897 that a different man, Pearle B. Wait, added fruit flavoring and called it Jell-O. When Wait sold the company to Orator Francis Woodward in 1899, Jell-O's business began to take off. Jell-O's advertising campaigns from that point forward have kept the brand fresh. They started with salesmen going door to door to give away samples of Jell-O to housewives and have employed countless celebrities (including Kewpie Dolls and Bill Cosby) and marketing angles over the years. In the early 1900s, Jell-O was even served on Ellis Island to welcome new immigrants to America. Considered a children's snack for many years now, Jell-O is currently repositioning itself as a treat for adults, too, with commercials aimed at parents.

  8. John Deere

    The well known tractor company started with a guy named John Deere (no surprise there) in 1837. Deere was a blacksmith-turned-farmer who made a steel plow to fit his needs and then began selling it. The demand for the steel plows was high from the start because of the tough Midwestern land, and John Deere has managed to stay at the top of the farm equipment industry. This is partly due to the strong brand created from the beginning, using the leaping dear logo that was born in 1876, and partly due to the company's diversification through the years. As early as 1870, John Deere had five product lines, and today they make equipment to fit the needs of the modern American — everything from lawn mowers to golf clubs to foresting equipment.

  9. Levi Strauss

    It's hard to believe that blue jeans have been around since 1873 considering how much we continue to wear them 140 years later. Levi Strauss & Co. patented the idea, though it was first used on denim overalls, and when the modern jeans were introduced, they were worn only by the working class of the Western U.S. But the magic of Levi Strauss is in the quality of the idea. The changes over the years to Levi's Jeans have been minor adaptations to tailor the product to fashion fads, but despite the variations in cut and wash, jeans are still jeans. And though Levi Strauss isn't the only producer of jeans now that the patent has long since expired, they maintain a loyal following and a brand based around their history and the fact that they invented blue jeans.

  10. Coca-Cola

    Coca-Cola was invented in 1886, more than 10 years before its main competitor, Pepsi. The original appeal of the soda is obvious, but once cocaine was removed, the brand carried Coca-Cola through to success. Even as they've added new products and new variations of the Coke recipe, Coca-Cola has stayed modern, strangely, by playing up their classic roots. The branding has emphasized its vintage history by using the same logo since the beginning, and there is always some advertisement in circulation with a wholesome Americana feel to it. Norman Rockwell-like illustrations have shown Santa enjoying Coke from the classic glass bottle and photos of typical Americans, from cowboys to New Yorkers, enjoying Coca-Cola to promote the brand as a true American company. On the flip side of its branding, Coca-Cola has capitalized on product placement opportunities, showing that it remains a staple in modern life.

Taken From Business Insurance

20 Ingenious Engineers Every Student Should Study

Even if you’re an engineering student, you might not always give much thought to the minds behind developing the things you use every day. From electricity to computers to telephones, every device originated in the mind of an engineer or inventor, sometimes decades before they reached the technological point they’re at today. Why not pay homage to innovators of the past (and perhaps get inspired to pioneer your own inventions) by learning a bit more about some of the most amazing figures in engineering history? Here are twenty big names to get you started, but there are many more out there well worth learning about if you have the time.

  1. Eli Whitney

    Best known for inventing the cotton gin, Eli Whitney was a pivotal figure in shaping the Industrial Revolution here in the United States. While his invention would strengthen the economic foundation of slavery in the South (making cotton a profitable crop), that was likely never Whitney’s intention, and he spent most of his life embroiled in legal battles over patent infringement. Of course, the cotton gin wasn’t this enterprising inventor’s only contribution, as he revolutionized the use of interchangeable parts on weapons, though it is what helped put him on the map.

  2. Nikola Tesla

    A mechanical and electrical engineer and inventor, Tesla’s innovations are a big part of the things we use each and every day in our lives. Tesla was a key figure in developing commercial electricity, pushing forward alternating current systems (much to the chagrin of Thomas Edison, who favored direct current) and driving the Second Industrial Revolution. While regarded by many as a mad scientist for his unbridled enthusiasm and often bizarre claims, Tesla is nonetheless one of the most brilliant engineering minds in history — and a man whose ideas were often ahead of his time.

  3. The Wright Brothers

    Most students are quite familiar with the names of these two pioneers in manned flight. While the Wright Brothers were not the only ones working on airplanes, nor perhaps even the first to be successful, they are certainly the most well-known in the development of aeronautic technology. The brothers built and tested numerous prototypes before finding success with a three-axis controlled craft that could be easily steered and handled. While many may doubt their status as the first in flight, there is no doubt that the wind-tunnel research they conducted led to the engineering of more efficient propellers and wings.

  4. Leonardo da Vinci

    The term "Renaissance man" was coined for men like Leonardo, who dabbled in everything from math to music to art to engineering. While he was not solely an engineer, he left behind a record of numerous inventions, with plans for the construction of a wide range of devices — including musical instruments, mortar shells, steam cannons and a hydraulic pump. Some doubt his prowess as an inventor and engineer because not all of his devices worked when constructed (they were tested in 2003 on a BBC program), but his imagination and ability to think beyond the reach of his time were unrivaled by his peers.

  5. Thomas Edison

    Thomas Edison is often referred to as the "Wizard of Menlo Park," a title earned for the amazing amount of inventions and patents he produced during his lifetime — over 1,093 in the U.S. and Europe. Some of these would change the world, including the phonograph, motion picture camera, and a long-lasting light bulb, though there were many others with smaller (but still significant) impact. Engineers can also give thanks to Edison for pioneering the first industrial research laboratory, which helped accelerate the pace of invention.

  6. I.K. Brunel

    Brunel’s name might not be familiar to most Americans, but perhaps it should be. A British civil engineer, Brunel was responsible for revolutionizing modern transport and engineering not only in the UK, but around the world. Some of his biggest projects included the Great Western Railway (the first major railway in Britain), the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship and new designs for bridges, tunnels (including one under a river — the first of its kind) and roadways throughout the country. These are all still held up today as models of great civil engineering.

  7. Werner von Braun

    von Braun is a bit of a controversial figure, but one whom engineers should still study, as he helped revolutionize the field of rocket science and aerospace engineering. A leading figure in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany and a Nazi war hero, von Braun emigrated to the United States (as part of a secret government project called Operation Paperclip) after the war and begun working with NASA. It was there that he would become regarded as one of the preeminent engineers of the 20th century, developing the Saturn V booster rocket that helped to land the first men on the Moon.

  8. Gustave Eiffel

    The Eiffel Tower may be regarded as a cheesy tourist destination today, but when it was built it was an engineering marvel. Structural engineer Gustave Eiffel built the icon for the Great Exposition of 1900, and at the time it was the tallest man-made structure in the world (and would be for over 40 years). Eiffel would go on to design and build many more buildings and bridges around the world, using his tower to complete research on aerodynamics, meteorology and radio broadcasting.

  9. Charles Babbage

    Babbage dabbled in a wide range of pursuits from math to philosophy to mechanical engineering, for which he is perhaps best known. It was Babbage who first came up with the idea for the programmable computer, designing and building the first mechanical example as early as the 19th century. While Babbage lost funding and could not complete his research, modern constructions based on his plans worked like a charm. He truly was the father of the computer, with a working difference engine (a sort of primitive computer) and accompanying printer to his name.

  10. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

    This Russian scientist was a pioneer in rocketry and astronautics, and his research may have contributed to the success of the Russian space exploration program during the Cold War. A recluse and hermit, Tsiolkovsky spent a great deal of time working on astronautical theories, many of which are quite bizarre (he believed colonizing space would lead to the perfection of the human race, for example). Yet the science he create to help support his more philosophical ideas was groundbreaking, designing rockets, boosters, space stations, airlocks and even colonies — many of which were used in actual space exploration.

  11. Johannes Gutenberg

    Gutenberg was not an engineer by trade, but a printer and blacksmith. Nonetheless, the device he designed and built would go on to change the world in a way that few others have. His invention of moveable type and the printing press started a revolution that allowed books and other printed material to be widely distributed to the masses, with far-reaching effects.

  12. Alexander Graham Bell

    An engineer, scientist, inventor and innovator, Bell is still a household name almost a century after his death. He was responsible for some truly groundbreaking inventions throughout his lifetime, most notably the telephone, which revolutionized modern communication. His other research in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics were also impressive, and help make him a figure every engineering student should work to learn more about.

  13. Grace Murray Hopper

    While the field of computer science has been and continues to be dominated by men, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few key female figures in its development as well. Hopper is one of those women. While working in the Navy, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, going on to develop the first compiler for a programming language. Students who don’t know her name will know a term she is famous for, however. Hopper coined "debugging" when a moth got caught in the working parts of the computer she was working with.

  14. Archimedes

    Ancient engineers deserve some love on this list, too, and few are a better choice than Archimedes. A mathematician, physicist and astronomer in addition to being an engineer, he was one of the leading scientists recorded in Classical antiquity. Among his inventions were a screw pump (which bears his name), ship lifting machines and a variety of tactical weapons.

  15. Nicolaus Otto

    Otto didn’t necessarily invent the internal combustion engine; he just came up with a way to improve it that would revolutionize how it was used — specifically, becoming the engine of choice in automobiles. Otto’s engine was different from that of his predecessors in that implemented a four stroke process to efficiently burn fuel in a piston chamber. Today, while this model has been modified, the internal combustion engine can be found in everything from cars to boats to aircraft.

  16. George Westinghouse

    A rival of Edison and a proponent of Tesla, Westinghouse was an integral part of the first years of the electrical industry. While he would go on to make a sizeable fortune in this market, he was also a committed engineer and developed several of his own highly successful devices, including the railway air brake. Westinghouse also helped to revolutionize hydroelectric power and implemented the first large-scale transformers to efficiently move electrical power.

  17. Michael Faraday

    Like others on this list, Faraday wasn’t strictly an engineer, but his discoveries and inventions were to lead to some world-changing innovations later on down the line. A pioneer in physics and chemistry, he established the basis for the electromagnetic field, discovering electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and the laws of electrolysis in the process. This research helped him to develop the first electromagnetic rotary devices, which formed the foundation for electric motor technology.

  18. George Washington Carver

    While controversial, biological engineering and research has changed how we eat, farm and look at and use food. George Washington Carver made some amazing discoveries in this field at the turn of the 20th century, developing a number of products that could be made from peanuts — an alternative crop that saved the economy of a South struggling under poor cotton harvests. Carver also came up with dozens of new uses for other Southern crops like sweet potatoes, soybeans and pecans.

  19. Filippo Brunelleschi

    Many said that the dome on the Florence Cathedral simply couldn’t be built, but Brunelleschi proved them wrong. Perhaps his most notable engineering achievement, the dome was a marvel at the time and still provides an awe-inspiring look at the power of invention for visitors today. Brunelleschi didn’t limit himself to architectural engineering, however, and was responsible for designing and building everything from hydraulics to clockwork mechanisms. Not too shabby for an engineer and all around Renaissance man living in the 15th century.

  20. James Watt

    You don’t get a unit of measure named after you without being pretty darn cool (or at least pretty darn smart). Watt, an inventor and mechanical engineer, found new ways to modify the traditional stream engine, making it more efficient, powerful and cost-effective and helping spur on much of the Industrial Revolution. He developed the concept of horsepower, and as a result has the SI unit named after him.

Taken From Best Colleges Online

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Volcano on the moon's far side - TIME

Volcano on the moon's far side - TIME

Nintendo Posts Loss and Cuts Annual Outlook -

Nintendo Posts Loss and Cuts Annual Outlook -

Amy Winehouse, Bad Girl With a Touch of Genius -

Amy Winehouse, Bad Girl With a Touch of Genius -

A Blogosphere of Bigots -

A Blogosphere of Bigots -

10 Reasons People Always Start their Diets Tomorrow

How many times have you heard someone tell you that they are starting a diet ‘tomorrow’? It’s never today, for some reason. It is always tomorrow. Sometimes they have valid reasons for the delay, other times, it is just that…a delay.

  1. Good Foods -When there’s something really tasty in your house, or you’re out, and see something you “need to have”, it’s easy to decide to delay your dieting until tomorrow. You’ll start ‘right after’ I eat ‘this’.
  2. Time – The day is almost over so they think “Why start today? It’s almost over anyways.” A fresh start in the morning will make a big difference? Maybe.
  3. Health - If they’re not feeling well or are too tired, it’s easy to just put it off until the next day and use that as an excuse.
  4. Dining Out- They’ve been invited out to dinner for the evening, and the people they’re with will not be dieting, so they don’t want to be the outcast and the only one limiting their selections from the menu, plus the restaurant serves some really good dishes.
  5. Appearance - When they look at themselves in the mirror that day, they decide they look thinner than they usually look. Sometimes, just feeling better about yourself can make you put off the diet for one more day.
  6. Diet food- They haven’t gone grocery shopping yet, and they don’t have the right food for their diet in the house yet. This is an easy excuse for postponing the change in eating habits.
  7. Visitors – You have visitors for dinner, and you don’t want to make them feel self-conscious by eating different foods than you serve them, but you don’t want to restrict them to your diet. Another good excuse to put off the start of the diet until tomorrow.
  8. Weekend - MANY people use this excuse. “It’s the weekend.” They think it will be too hard to start a new routine and stick to it when they don’t have the routine of the weekdays to help keep them on track. Unfortunately, this reasoning can keep the procrastinating going even longer.
  9. Planning - Some people want to wait until tomorrow, so they can have more time to plan their dieting and exercising habits. This can be a good reason to delay, as long as you follow through on it.
  10. Support- It is always easier to start a new routine with a friend, than by yourself. If your friend isn’t ready to start today, you’ll likely put it off until tomorrow so you’re at the same pace, and have each other for moral support.

Making a change in your eating habits can be a difficult thing to do. Saying you’re going to do it, and doing it, are two different things. As long as you keep the beginning of the diet in the future tense, tomorrow, you don’t feel obligated to make any adjustments today.

Taken From Vitamins and Minerals

10 Most Popular Websites for Checking your Horoscope

Posted by admin on 06/30/2011 | 0 Comments

Many people used to check their daily horoscope in their daily newspaper. Now that less people are subscribing to newspapers, they are looking for their horoscope readings online. They are easy to find. Here are ten of the most popular websites for checking your horoscope.

  1. – This site gives you a quick click to your horoscope, but it also includes tabs for plenty of related means of viewing one’s destiny like tarot reading, numerology and physics.
  2. – In spite of the name, you can find more than your daily horoscope on the site. You can find the horoscope for your particular birthday and relationship orientated horoscopes as well.
  3. – For those who enjoy the MSNBC website, their horoscope page is as far as they need to travel to get their daily read on what to expect out of their day.
  4. – For the day, the week or the month, you can get the information on this site regarding what is written in the stars for you and those around you.
  5. – This astrology site is loaded with options, and romantic futures seem to be their specialty. You are encouraged to view your romantic future as predicted through your horoscope.
  6. – Another multi-faceted astrology site. You can check your current horoscope or your Chinese horoscope or the tarot cards. Get all the angles in one spot.
  7. – This is a simple straight-forward site that will provide you with your horoscope for the current month. Nothing too fancy, but a quick in and out without a lot of distractions.
  8. – You have some variations to choose from on this site. There is Chinese, Vedic and Mayan astrology readings in addition to your standard astrological readings.
  9. – If you’re looking for something more specific, you might want to try the website of astrologist Jonathan Cainer. He also provides personalized astrological services for those desiring something beyond the generic readings.
  10. – This site will provide you with your daily horoscope and has additional zodiac services available, such as customized birth charts.
These are just the top listings of websites available with horoscope readings. Most of the daily newspapers do still include daily horoscopes with their online versions. If you need your daily horoscope fix to start your day, pick a site and mark it as one of your homepages. That way it’ll popup the moment you logon in the morning.

Taken From Internet Providers

10 Love Lessons Learned from the Twilight Saga

10 Love Lessons Learned from the Twilight Saga

The Twilight books and movies have been a hit with all age groups and both male and female genders. Their romantic tales have intrigued many, but the teenage generation, especially. There are several lessons about romantic relationships that are presented through the series, whether or not those lessons are true to live or not, I’ll let you be the judge.

  1. Long distance relationships never work. Edward was so sure that their love could handle the separation. It may often seem like that, when a couple first becomes separated by distance, but over time, the lack of shared experience will take its toll. Long distance relationships are very hard to maintain for long periods of time.
  2. Love at first sight is real. Edward never really notices any other girl at his school after first seeing Bella. That was all it took, that ‘first sight’ of the one he was meant to be with.
  3. Love has no prejudice. When you’re really in love, you can see past all of the outward differences between two people, even when those differences are of a human and a vampire.
  4. Jealousy is a killer. The green-eyed monster, as jealousy has been referred to, showed itself in these stories between Jacob and Edward. Jacob’s jealousy aroused more than a little animosity towards his rival.
  5. Love is more than skin deep. Belle and Edward were not simply attracted to each other because of their physical looks. Edward enjoyed everything about Belle. He liked talking with her, because she was intelligent and had a strong personality. He admired her as much as he loved her. The same was true of Belle’s appreciation for Edward.
  6. When you really love someone, you can’t live without them. When Edward thought that Bella was dead he was going to expose himself. Bella felt the same way when Edward leaves in New Moon. Belle wanted to become a vampire, so that she would be able to be with Edward forever.
  7. Your best friend can’t be of the opposite sex. Belle thought that she and Jacob could just be best friends and not get romantically involved. Since Belle was already in love with Edward, it was true for her, but not for Jacob. The more he was with Belle, the more in love with her, he became.
  8. Love doesn’t care about other people’s opinion. Edward and Bella had to face the judgement of the other students and their friends. Their love for each other was able to sustain them through those experiences. They were able to see beyond the surface things that others saw.
  9. Love is self-sacrificing. Edward was willing to sacrifice his own desires for the well-being of Belle. He was willing to put her desires before his own. Her happiness and well-being were of more importance to him than his own.
  10. Love can totally change your perspective. Bella was so sure that moving to Forks was going to make her miserable, but after she meets Edward, she feels like she never wants to leave. Your feelings are powerful things, and being with someone you love can make all the difference in the world towards your perspective on your other circumstances.

Some of the ‘lessons’ learned through the series should be taken to heart. But others, well, they make for good romance stories but are seldom what you truly experience in real life. It usually takes a few decades of living to learn the difference, so if you want to know which ones are for real and which ones are not, ask someone whose been living life for a bit longer than you have.

Taken From Top Dating Sites

10 Technology Secrets Kids Keep from their Parents

10 Technology Secrets Kids Keep from their Parents

Kids are notorious for keeping secrets from their parents, and in today’s world of technology they have a whole new world of ways to keep secrets. Since kids are also incredibly adept at learning and using modern technology and the following list may help you keep better track of what your child may be hiding.

  1. Surfing the Internet: Today, kids have almost unlimited access to computers, and now computers are small enough to carry, enabling access to the internet literally anywhere. This gives kids easy access to sites parents may disapprove of, not to mention “adult only” sites that only ask the user to click a link stating they are over 18 years of age. That’s an easy button to click if you want to keep secrets from parents. Close monitoring of your child’s computer history, password protection and parental blocks can keep your child away from inappropriate sites.
  2. Downloads: Kids love to download- anything they can: pictures, jokes, videos, etc. These downloads may be putting your computer at risk for viruses that could cause permanent damage. Parents need to know the source of any download and that it is safe, as well as keeping up-to-date antivirus protection on all computers.
  3. Music Downloads: What kind of music are your kids downloading and listening to? Even if the site is safe, the music might not be. Listen to the music downloads. If you are not able to understand the lyrics of the songs, you may want to check them out. You can find an internet music site that has song lyrics available to read. Be careful, though, if you do not allow your child to download certain titles, he/she will probably change the file name of the prohibited song to something allowable.
  4. Uploads: Kids are not very discerning when it comes to what others should or should not know about themselves, and their families. Find out what sorts of pictures, text and other files your child might be sharing on social networking sites or shared folders.
  5. Games: What games are your kids playing? Playstation, X-box, computer games, both individual and interactive-online are filled with violence and “adult” themes. Monitor the games your child buys or rents; most are labeled with age guidelines and parental notices. Also, monitor your child’s history with online games. Install a computer block that allows access to only approved sites.
  6. Friends: Kids have many friends. Some of them, they don’t even know. Facebook and other online social networking sites make it easy for children to fall prey to predatory abusers disguised as “friends.” If your child has a Facebook or other social networking accounts, make sure that you know their username and password, and check in on their activity once in awhile.
  7. Cell phone use: How much time your kids spend on the phone, when they are calling and who they are calling are important to know. Read the itemized portion of your bill each month to double check, and if there is a number you don’t recognize or don’t want your child accessing, have it blocked through your service carrier.
  8. Texting: With unlimited texting capabilities on cell phone plans, your kids can text anyone at any time, day or night. Parents need to know who they are texting and the language they are both reading and using while they are texting.
  9. Abbreviations: LOL, and CUL maybe be familiar “social” abbreviations, and ROLOFLMHO may be used by your kids without any qualms, but ROLOFLMAO might be offensive to some parents. Do you know the difference? Also, new abbreviations are added to the lexicon of technical communication on a daily basis. As a parent you need to be familiar with abbreviations so as to know what your kids are saying. You can check the internet for sites that list abbreviations and meanings.
  10. Plagiarism and cheating: That kids are able to access information which expedites learning in ways never before thought of, is a wonderful outcome of technology today. That kids can also use this information to cheat in ways never before thought of, isn’t.

Kids will be kids, and they will try to “get away” with anything they can; this will never change. But the world of technology changes every day, and if parents remain technologically savvy, kids will have to work very hard to continue keeping those secrets.

Taken From Internet Providers

10 Every Day Technologies that are Now Dying

It wasn't that long ago that computers took up entire rooms and apparently sliced bread was the big innovation of the day. And now smartphones and the Internet are taking over the world. Smartphones act as all-in-one devices with access to the all-knowing Internet. Is there anything these things can't do? It won't be long before they develop cognitive powers, build themselves into robots and replace the human race. But before that happens, let's all take a moment to look at technology that will likely die before we do.

  1. Watches

    When you ask someone if they know what time it is, you generally expect them to reach into their pocket or purse to pull out their cell phone for your answer. And if they say they don't know, you assume they're just too lazy to find their phone, because your own phone-fetching laziness is probably why you asked in the first place. It's rare, especially in the under-30 generation, for someone to quickly glance at their wrist for the answer. A study last fall found that people under the age of 25 were 50% less likely to wear a wristwatch than the older generation. Other reports suggest that those who do sport wristwatches probably think of it more as a fashion accessory than a time-telling necessity; 60% of young adults who own a watch still look at a handheld device for the time, according to a 2006 survey. As long as smartphones and laptops can do the same thing as a watch, plus much more, it's not likely that wristwatch sales will pick up again. Also being buried in the chronometer graveyard by cell phones: the alarm clock. Sixty-one percent of smartphone users say they're phone has replaced their traditional alarm clock.

  2. Manual transmissions

    Stick shifts have steadily become less popular over the last 20 years, and the number of cars sold with manual transmissions recently may indicate that this technology is on its deathbed. In 1985, almost a quarter of the cars sold were manual, and more than half of male buyers wanted to drive a stick. By 2008, only 7% of new car sales were manual and just 11% of men wanted to purchase one. Some reasons for this drop are the low number of new drivers learning on a stick, married couples who buy an automatic car because one spouse can't drive manual and because, frankly, driving a stick shift is just too much work. To top it off, more motorcycles are now being built with automatic or semi-automatic transmissions, so even the manual transmission's once-loyal leather-clad cronies are starting to make the switch.

  3. DVD players

    DVDs themselves are arguably on the way out as well, but DVD players have been rendered almost completely useless. The DVD player has one obvious purpose: to play DVDs. But computers and video game consoles also have this power, plus many other, cooler capabilities. It's no wonder DVD player sales are steadily declining. The rising popularity in DVR devices has also meant people are using their DVD players less since DVR customers can record movies and shows being played on TV and watch them later, rather than bothering with clumsy DVDs. The final nail in the coffin for DVD players could be the recent change in Netflix prices and packages. Users of the service now have to choose between receiving DVDs in the mail and the extremely popular option of instantly streaming movies and TV shows online, or they can pay full price for both. This move will likely push many to forget the DVDs altogether and put their DVD player in that closet (or landfill) where they keep their VCR.

  4. Landlines

    The imminent death of the landline telephone isn't surprising considering that cell phones and the Internet are displacing many different technologies. There are now more cell phones in the U.S. than landlines, and adults with cell phones talk on them about five times a day, according to the Pew Research Center. Even worse news for landlines, almost 30% of homes in the U.S. don't have landlines and another 15% have landlines but only use their cell phones. At the rate that landline sales are declining, they could almost disappear in the next 15 years. It's almost surprising that the death of landlines isn't faster with text messages, free services like Skype, and other telemarketer-free communications available.

  5. Music players

    That is, music players that don't do anything else. The cycle of musical life continues as the MP3 player follows in the footsteps of the Discman and Walkman before it and becomes outdated technology. Even the king of the MP3 player, the Apple iPod, has seen decreases as high as 17% since last year. And this is after growing declines in the two years before. While Apple may not be crying over the loss since they are still selling plenty of iPhones, which they say are the best "iPods" they've ever made, those of us who are nostalgic for a simpler time, one when you could listen to music without checking Facebook, talking to your mom, and playing Tetris all at the same time, mourn the death of the music player.

  6. Digital cameras

    Another victim of the smartphone and our own impatience to wait for something to upload through a cord rather than the Internet, the digital camera is dying in its point-and-shoot form. The digital camera sales numbers still look good and are predicted to do well until they drop off in 2014, but this is mainly because so many people are now "into photography" and buying the pricey digital SLR models. As camera phones have become more advanced and the improvements in digital cameras have slowed, it has become less important for consumers to buy a new camera or to own one at all. Forty-four percent of people with smartphones say their phone has replaced a digital camera. Producers may try to revive the faltering digital camera market with HD and 3D options, but it's yet to be seen whether these gimmicks can overcome the convenience of a smartphone camera.

  7. Video cameras

    High-tech video cameras will still be used to film movies and low-tech versions will still be showing your every move to mall security guards, but you won't find every nerdy dad walking around with a video camera affixed to his hand like you would in the good old days. Even the well-received Flip camera, which had the potential to bring video cameras into the digital age, was killed off by its parent company last April. The smartphone is stepping in to fill this role in the same way it is replacing digital still cameras. More than a third of smartphone users feel like they no longer need a separate video camera. Factor in the widespread use of webcams and the ability to record video using your computers, and it's obvious why the video camera may not be around much longer.

  8. Fax machines

    It's surprising that fax machines aren't already dead in this paperless world. In a few small circles, documents sent over fax machines are seen as more legitimate than ones with an electronic signature, but the average person doesn't use a fax machine more than, say, once or twice a year. And you'd be hard pressed to find an individual who actually owns one of these dinosaurs. In an age of email and electronic storage, fax machines are double the paper and double the hassle. While they may still have some uses in the work place, it won't be long until scanning a document and sending it through email will become the norm.

  9. USB flash drives and hard drives

    All the technology leaders have joined the cloud movement, which allows users to store their files and data on a remote server network and then access them from anywhere. This means just one thing for external storage devices like flash drives and hard drives: doomsday. Sure, people will still probably back up their most important files on some device or another, but how can a bulky hard drive or an easily lost flash drive compete with the convenience of the cloud? It's simple to use Dropbox, email a file to yourself or keep and share a document on a service like GoogleDocs. The Internet is essentially a virtual hard drive now, and the physical hard drives will become less useful as the cloud technology progresses.

  10. GPS devices

    We were all thankful when personal GPS systems got rid of the need to ever fold a map again. Soon we may be thankful that GPS devices are obsolete so we don't have to deal with it falling off our windshield every time we make a turn. People are just as bad at navigating as ever, but they are increasingly turning to their smartphones for guidance rather than a windshield GPS. More than half of smartphone or tablet users said they now use their phone or tablet instead of a GPS device. Some research firms predict that sales of GPS devices will start to decline this year, due also to the increasing availability of in-dash navigation and communication systems.

Taken From Top Online Colleges