Remus Cernea | 1 Oct 10:40 2008
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An article in Free Inquiry - "Secular Humanism Comes to Romania"

Dear friends,

The "Free Inquiry" magazine has published
in it's issue from August an article written by me
on secular humanism in Romania.
You may read this article online here:
http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=cernea_28_5

I hope you will find it useful regarding secular humanist themes in Eastern
Europe.

I worked hard in the last two months and I founded a new secular humanist
NGO called Romanian Humanist Association.
I will send you soon details on our projects and campaigns.

My best wishes,

Remus Cernea
President
Romanian Humanist Association

(former Executive Director of the secular humanist NGO called The Solidarity
for Freedom of Conscience)

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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EpSil0n-// | 1 Oct 14:26 2008

You Can't Live Without Them


Bacteria have been here for over 4.5 billion years. They lived on earth a
lot longer than we have. They were the only life on the earth for 80% of
earth's time-line. They seem to be in charge of much of the life here on
this planet. They can destroy life with their toxins or they can help life
to proliferate with their unique ability to emulsify fats, to break down
cellulose, etc.

No organism can grow and flourish without the presence of bacteria.

POINTER
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PNEWS | 1 Oct 16:29 2008
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File - SUBMISSION POLICIES


NEW submission policies for PNEWS-L and for DARK MATTER:

PNEWS is a distribution link-list for links to important news and views. [Not for promoting your site no commercial posting. Advertising will not be tolerated and all submissions will be reviewed before they are accepted.]. Links should include a short one or two paragraph summary as a preface and a link to the entire news or views item. Also see the CRYPT, a depository of articles from the Worm Hole and the Epsilon Weblog.

DARK MATTER has moved to dark-matter <at> yahoogroups.com
Dark Matter is a distribution list for articles. Nothing has change except the address so if you were subscribed at Dark Matter here, you must resubscribe at the following address:

Group Email Addresses
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PNEWS | 1 Oct 16:29 2008
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File - Ponder This


Are the laws of nature the same everywhere in the Universe?
Or, is our little piece of the Universe what it is because of the
environment where we live?

OR, is the Universe the way it is, our piece of it at least, just so
physicists can be here to observe it? (g) We live on a unique planet with
liquid water and our laws of nature have adapted to this unique
environment.

I think the Universe is a big random place, very inhospitable to our
kind of life, but for other forms of life the possiblities are unlimited.

I think each pocket of space has different laws of nature and vastly
different landscapes and much more than we can imagine is possible.

Ponder this: Dark Matter is 25%. Dark Energy is 70% of the Universe.
And Atoms only make up about 5% of the Universe.

Ponder This:

What if to the whole of everything we are small like subatomic human particles?

Or what if we are food for aliens who seeded this rock millions of
years ago with DNA and let it evolve and they will one day return to eat us.

Peter Wesson, a scientist in Canada recently wrote that our universe is
actually in a black hole and may be in another universe, which also might be in
a black hole, and so forth and so on. We know what we know but there is much we
do not know.

What if our human existence doesn't mean any more than the fact we are
here - and we have a brain? (because that is all I believe it means) And
if we have a brain we should be enlightened enough by the accumulated
wisdom of 500 years of books to want to be the species that saves the
world for us and for them (all the rest) and only by doing that can we
insure a quality of life that will make it all worth while and then we
won't be so insignificant after-all.

* Life on Earth is a product of evolution by natural selection
operating in the medium of carbon chemistry. However, in theory,
evolution is not limited to Earth, nor to carbon chemistry.

* Just as it may occur on other planets, it may also operate
in other media, such as the medium of digital computation

AND, "what-if" we are somebody else's computer simulation?

Also See: http://pnews.org/ArT/ZioN/EvO.shtml

Hank

TheCrypt - http://pnews.org/archives/
The WormHole - http://pnews.org/

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PNEWS | 1 Oct 16:29 2008
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File - ENIAC


ENIAC

ELECTRONIC NUMERICAL INTEGRATOR AND CALCULATOR

The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (Eniac), was
only a dream in the 40s. My interest in computers goes way back
to the late 50s to the ENIAC. I had been a Ham Operator since
1955 (K4EVY), when I was still in high school. There was no such
thing as a personal computer then.

But, my excitement about computers really began when I saw the
first computer, the ENIAC, at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland
in the 50s. I was in military school in Georgia then but on one of
our family visits to Pennsylvania and Maryland my uncle invited me
to see his laboratory and the ENIAC.

As early as the 40s (1943) scientists at the University of Pennsylvania
proposed a machine which would calculate "firing tables" - settings used
for directing artillery under varying conditions vis-a-vis weather,
distance to the target, etc. to be used for aiming artillery, which
up to that time sometimes took hours to calculate. That is when the
computer age was actually launched. The ENIAC, which weighed 30 tons,
was funded by the U.S. Army.

Dr. Goldstine lobbied a committee headed by Oswald Veblen, mathematician,
who influenced the army to go forward with funding at the Aberdeen
Proving Grounds (in 1943) with a request for half a million dollars
to pay for the research and the computer. Up to that time the army
had been shipping their guns without firing tables. Col Leslie E. Simon
was then the director of the Army's Ballistics Laboratory, where my
uncle worked. Simons retired as a general. Dr. Goldstine was in charge
of the operation for the army. A team of scientists and engineers at
Penn's Moore School built the computer. The project was secret.

After three years of military school and one year of regular high
school I enlisted in the army. It was there that I was selected for
a secret assignment and after extensive investigations by the FBI and
the Secret Service I worked at the White House for the President of
the United States. I had a top secret clearance but also a crypto and
nuclear clearance. I was privy to everything the President said and
later on the Chiefs of Staff ("need to know" was extended to everything
I heard). In the 60s I worked in the War Room for the Chiefs of Staff at
the Pentagon (before going to helicopter school and before the Yom Kipper
War in 73).

My uncle was a physicist who died when he was only about 49 years old
from a cardiac condition but while he was employed as a scientist for
the army he invented the fastest camera in the world and he used the
very first computer in the ballistics lab at the base, which was also
his research facility for developing munitions for the military.

In 1957 I enlisted in the army because a war was about to
start and I wanted to get in on it.

One of the most exciting days of my life however was when I saw the
world's first computer, the ENIAC in the 50s, which was built at the
Ballistic Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland,
and was funded by the Ordnance Corps of the United States
Army.

My memory is admittedly a bit vague by now, because it was such a long
time ago, but I do remember, the ENIAC used thousands of vacuum tubes
and generated a lot of heat. Obviously there was very little memory and
it was extremely slow.

Later on a subsequent tour of duty in the War Room at the Pentagon, just
down the hall from where I worked they were using a newer generation
computer, which still used tubes - and I recall how huge it was also
and all those diode multipliers and bullion adders with their flashing
lights. I also remember the heat and an array of tubes which military
personnel were constantly replacing as they burned out. It seemed like
that was their only job. To this day I don't know what this equipment
was used for. But I do know the tubes were a problem and RCA had to
develop a new tube which had a longer life just for the application
there at the Pentagon.

I worked cryptology in the War Room and my equipment used mechanical
coding wheels and also used tubes. The wheels were metal rings which
had to be lined up in exactly the same configuration and started exactly
at the same time as those who we communicated with in the Six Fleet
or where-ever they were. Army Security Agency (ASA) kept trying to break
our codes but they couldn't.

These were not text devices. They generated synthesized speech which
did not sound at all like the person using them - and speech was encrypted.
We were armed with sawed off shotguns. And we not only guarded the equipment,
we swept the room for bugs and we monitored all of the speech.

My job was the same at the White House when I did a three year tour
there but included other things, a lot of other things and my training
was at Ft Monmouth and at NSA. I worked in all kinds of communications
including the first television hookups for the White House, which we
assisted in the engineering process. I taught single sideband and
various types of multiplexing, including packet communications when
it was new.

ENIAC was the first electronic computer which could compute a trajectory
in only one second (pretty damn fast when it took an hour before the
computer was developed). It was completed in 1945 and it was very BIG. It
was enormous. The system was 80 feet long and was 8 feet high. It
contained 18,000 vacuum tubes. The speed was 100,000 pulses per second.

It didn't really begin to calculate firing tables until the war was over
since it took so long to build. From the time it was imagined in 43 to the
time it was completed in 1945.

It became public in 1946. It was built at the Moore school and moved to
Aberdeen in 1947 where it was utilized until 1955.

When I finally left the military I went to school under the G.I.Bill and I
got an LL.B degree but I also studied programming and systems design. I
learned COBOL, RPG, Lisp, BASIC and various other languages, including
assembly code. I built and owned several computers and all of the first
ones I learned to program them using their individual machine language. In
those days that was not uncommon. COBOL was probably my favorite
programming language because although bulky it was plain English
and easy to use - but still no personal computers then and I had
to program main frames using punch cards. My very first personal
computer was a Commodore 4K and later a Commodore 2001. My first
hard drive cost me $1,700 for that Commodore. My next computer
was better; it was an IBM XT. Since then I have had more computers
than I can remember and the operating system for most of them has
been Linux. I cut my teeth on UNIX. And I still prefer DOS to
Windows (g).

Hank Roth
Go to the Worm Hole at http://up-yours.us/
More Article in The Crypt at http://inyourface.info/
Bio - http://pnews.org/bio/

- PNEWS - http://pnews.org/ (on the InterNUT since 1982)

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EpSil0n-// | 1 Oct 20:04 2008

Cult of Obama


Obama exaggerates, embellishes, overstates, double-talks and outright
deceives. He is an effective politician. When Obama lies, which is most of
the time, it is no surprise and has become standard. That is not saying
others are not doing it too, but as stated here before, they don't mean us
harm a mole would. There is a big difference between self-promotion and
political double-talk and wanting to destroy America from within.

Is Obama a Mole?
http://inyourface.info/ArT/Delta/OBc.shtml

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EpSil0n-// | 3 Oct 06:06 2008

Funny Money


FUNNY MONEY
An auditor for the Federal Election Commission is attempting to have his
bosses seek a formal investigation into the collection by the Obama for
President campaign of more than $200 million in potentially illegal
political donations, including millions of dollars of illegal, foreign
donations, and has sought a request for assistance from the Department of
Justice or Federal Bureau of Investigation.

POINTER
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EpSil0n-// | 3 Oct 06:38 2008

How Dems Can Respect Themselves in the Morning


Many Democrats seem to be going through a period of conflict over this
election. They see Obama for what he is, a dishonest, snake oil salesman,
unfit and unqualified to be President, throwing out one sweet talking lie
after another at the political Mr. Goodbar, trying to pick up as many
votes as he can get. And while most reject him, they also are recoiling
over the idea of having a one night stand with a Republican, any
Republican, though the guilty pleasure of having Obama lose and cheating
on the cheater is too good to resist.But what they worry about the most is
, how will they feel in the morning?

POINTER

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(Ph0toN | 4 Oct 16:02 2008
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Palin and the Bailout


[I wrote a decent summation of all this topic yesterday and my computer
froze. That is what comes from using a really old computer and only Linux
with no graphics. Usually I save my data before I alter it, but I forgot
and it was lost to the ether so this will have to do.... Hank Roth]

=============================
Smearing Palin and the Bailout

Smears come faster than there is time to refute each and every one of them
and nobody would read all of that anyway. So the fibs, and there were many
of them from everyone (always are) stick and many are taken on faith.
Never take anything only on faith.

The FIBS get repeated and like all things on the InterNUT, it is like a
game of whisper (remember the game of whisper when you were a kid) and
they get repeated over and over again and each time just a bit different
until just like a speciation, when the circle of whispers gets back to the
beginning, things have changed so much, it is no longer at all what was
first whispered. With species it is no longer possible to breed - so the
most accepted view (which may be changing) is you have a new species.

There are sites which do refute the Palin smears. I have posted those
links before. Look for it in the blogrolls at the Crypt - [POINTER: See
http://inyourface.info/crypt/]

Most people on the InterNUT are lazy and they take information which backs
their views and use that information, whether it is right or wrong,
whether true or false, and they select what they want to believe. That is
just the way people are. It is human nature to want to be right and the
facts don't really matter. It is like my trying to explain to my daughter
about the units of mortgages; that is, how they are bundled and how some
of them go bad (like a sausage with a lot of junk in it) and the investors
no longer trust them so they don't buy them unless they are secured by
money from this so-called bailout. My daughter falsely assumed I was
supporting the bailout. I wasn't becuase nobody knows if it will work. BUT
McCain and even Obama and most of the Congress say there is NO CHOICE. We
must have the bailout.

What was astounding about the debate between Palin and Biden was the
number of people who watched it. 70,000,000 tuned in. That's a third more
than watched the presidential debates. Did it matter? Not much, but it
could if either Joe or Sarah had a big fall and neither did. The lies
hardly mattered because they were really more like fibs than intentional
lies.

But Palin held her own - considering much of what Biden argued was Senate
business and how would Palin know what is true or not when the Senate
can't keep track and I guarantee you, neither can Joe Biden who has been
there over 30 years - and neither can anyone else without looking at every
piece of legislation, at motivation, at replacement legislation, and also
knows what goes on behind closed doors in addition to what takes place in
the sunshine.

How is McCain going to stop the pork? Maybe as president? BUT he hasn't
been able to do it in the Senate and it didn't keep him from supporting
the bailout. He says the bailout was too important. Well, isn't that what
they usually say about other legislation with pork? Didn't he turn down
some legislation to fund the troops because it included a schedule to
return the troops before the mission was completed? Sure he did, but with
knowledge that the funing would be amended and the troops would still get
their funding. It was disengenous for Biden to use that as an debating
point against Palin? - But that is what they do.

Most of the Congress really believe the bailout is as urgent as they tell
us it is and we have no choice but to support it. It is too bad they
can't tell us the entire truth.

Blackmail

The bailout will not by itself solve the problem. Granted, the subject is
difficult for those of us who are not in the money business and simply
surviving day-by-day is our struggle. But I do remember when they first
talked about buying things with the "new" money, plastic cards, I told my
wife it would never work. Who would accept plastic in lieu of real money?
It seems we were wrong. That is how old fashioned - or perhaps just how
old we are.

We also agreed we would never use them. No credit cards for us. But like
everyone else in the world, credit cards have became a replacement for
carrying paper money. Who could resist them? After-all, the psyhology of
paying with plastic cards was like not paying at all which of course is
not true. Of course we have to pay and pay more. That which was once
considered usury is not common with credit card overcharges. And credit
cards, in spite of the failure of some to be able to pay for their debt
and be forced into bankruptcy, they have become a great cash cow for the
money industry.

The bailout bill may help for awhile, but do you think it will be an
end-all solution to the shape we have gotten ourselves into? Nobody saves.
Everyone who does put money aside puts them into 401K accounts which are
invested either by them or their employors in investment instruments which
carry risk (and would lose money without the bailout) and we have all
become victims of the credit card crunch and the difficult economic
catastrophe which both presidential candidates are advocating the bailout
to fix. That is really the big question. Will it fix it or just delay it?

The nose dive the stock market took when the House of Representatives
rejected the bailout was a wake up for a lot of legislators that
something had to stop the fall.

But even now with expectations of some relief that many corporations,
those with good profit expectations, are troublesome. Some can only get
money overnight and the everyone is becoming nostalgic for those days when
90 day money was considered short term.

I don't know about you, but I don't think 700 billion dollars and another
100 plus billion in pork is going to put the liquidity back into the
market. I think we're in for a bumpy ride. Maybe the bailout will get us
through the election?

I think this bailout (the need for something to be done) would ordinarily
hurt McCain's chances MORE than Obama. BUT it must be remembered both
candidates are on the same page with this. If that is hammered in the
upcoming debates it might save McCain. If nothing is mentioned it might
even be a better tact. The truth is, nobody knows.

But as for the only debate between the running mates, I thought Palin did
a DECENT good job of redeeming herself in the debate with JOE - who is
handicapped by being a man (how mean can he get with a women?) and in the
Senate too long not to have been on every side of every issue. And since
Obama also supported the bailout that almost becomes a non-issue. If he
uses the mantra he started before that only Republicans are to blame it
could come back to bite him in the ass - if McCain nips that lie in the
bud. Hopefully, he will. I think he will.

There are no innocent politicians in this terrible mess and none who of
the presidential contenders willing to distance themselves from this mess.
That is, even if they could!

Hank Roth

POINTER: See the Crypt at http://inyourface.info/crypt/
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Start at http://pnews.org/

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(Ph0toN | 4 Oct 18:30 2008
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The Government is the Mafia

George W. Bush is opposed to Democratic subversion of a bailout by making
it more than we can afford. Sure, it would be nice to put money into it
for the unemployed and for all the homes lost - but the more they load it
up with costs the less possibility there is for success.

Bush wants a bailout that is simple and can save the economy so there is
money in the kitty to keep the economy going. The Democrats were
flipping. At first House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was opposed to the idea and
said this was the administration's problem but now, not untypical of
Pelosi, the Democrat from California, now says, "We hope to move very
quickly. Time is of the essence." And move they did. After the Senate
added another 100 billion plus, including garbage, the House passed it and
the President signed it. So much pork the government can get into the
Chinese food business.

"Secretary Henry Paulson, the U.S. Treasury Secretary: "The capital
markets were frozen. We had a situation where American companies were
unable to borrow money. This could ultimately affect small banks, loans to
business, loans to farmers, jobs, people's retirement." (Andrea Seabrook -
NPR Weekend All Things Considered - September 21, 2008)

What did Senator Barack Obama say? He said the price tag was staggering.
He encouraged Democrats to support it. John McCain said it was "broken
institutions" that allowed the meltdown to happen, and as consistently
happens, each attacked the other's response to it but while Obama also
attacked McCain's response which included returning to Washington, when
push came to shove, all of them returned to Washington. No criticism of
McCain's response then. That's politics, Obama style.

The attempts at stablization began with the handouts, also called a
bailout of Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and insurer AIG. That
wasn't enough. 700 billion is touted as the next step. You can bet it
isn't the last step.

Secretary Paulson said there was no other choice. He said the government,
which is us, must buy the "toxic mortgage assets." The Bush
administration would create another bureaucratic entity to would decide
which assets they would buy and how they would manage them. That is the
plan. It is as incomplete as it is confusing and nobody is going to try to
explain it to the American public because even Congress doesn't understand
it. If it sounds like a scam, well......

But the good news is, we're expected to believe we're going to be making
money with those BAD assets. All we have to do is WAIT long enough. The
eventual tally is expected to be more than a trillion dollars. Maybe much
more. Budget deficits anyone? So, congress has given the administration
the GREEN light to take our money and keep the rich rich and the poor;
well, poor and poorer. Nothing in it for those losing their homes. Nothing
in it for those losing their jobs. But there is money for toy arrows.

Here's Richard Shelby (Republican, Alabama) from the Senate Banking
Committee saying on "Face the Nation" "They've been staggering from crisis
to crisis, and they haven't even said today that this will end the
crisis." Of course not. It is not expected to. Nobody knows anything.
You have all heard it said before that economics is not a precise science.
It isn't even science. It as imprecise as political pundits.

Henry Paulson went on to say, "It pains me. It pains me tremendously to
have the American taxpayer be put in this position, but it's better than
the alternative."

What exactly is the alternative? Nobody says what it is. That is because
nobody really knows. Nobody knows much of anything except how to throw
more of our money at the problems.

I'm sick of it.

Where is the oversight? Where is my cut?
And you thought Tony Soprano was a crook? The government is the real mob.
The real mafia resides in Washington, D.C.

Hank Roth

(There will be an article in the Crypt about this for you to post your
comments to, or go to Dark-Matter <at> yahoogroups.com and post your comments
there. You are subscribed, right? To subscribe, send email to
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POINTERS: TheCrypt http://inyourface.info/crypt/
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