ISIS’s attacks in Paris, the deadliest targeting of civilians in France since the end of World War II, will change the political and security landscape of Europe irrevocably.
President François Hollande has promised a merciless response. Borders have been sealed — in direct contravention of the Maastricht agreement signed more than 20 years ago that within the European Union, national boundaries would be dissolved.
And most consequential in the short term, since it now appears that at least one of the terrorists posed as a refugee, Western governments are reassessing their immigration policies.
But what does this mean for the United States? Is America less vulnerable because of the greater distance between our country and the ravaged territories of the Middle East and North Africa?
Recent trends in law enforcement and intelligence indicate that we aren’t safer. On the contrary: The probability of a Paris-style attack has dramatically increased.
As part of its support to law enforcement, the Threat Knowledge Group has been collecting and analyzing the open-source information on ISIS arrests in the United States.
This report, ISIS: The Threat to the United States, contains our findings.
Original article: http://goo.gl/T2M4eB
Tuatha Dé Danann
The meaning formerly given to Tuatha Dé Danann was “the men of science who were gods,” danann being here connected with dán, “knowledge.” But the true meaning is “the tribes or folk of the goddess Danu,” which agrees with the cognates Tuatha or Fir Dea, “tribes or men of the goddess.” The name was given to the group, though Danu had only three sons, Brian, Iuchar, and Iucharbar. Hence the group is also called fir tri ndea, “men of the three gods.” The equivalents in Welsh story of Danu and her folk are Don and her children.
We have seen that though they are described as kings and warriors by the annalists, traces of their divinity appear. In the Cúchulainn cycle they are supernatural beings and sometimes demons, helping or harming men, and in the Fionn cycle all these characteristics are ascribed to them. But the theory which prevailed most is that which connected them with the hills or mounds, the last resting-places of the mighty dead. Some of these bore their names, while other beings were also associated with the mounds (síd) — Fomorians and Milesian chiefs, heroes of the sagas, or those who had actually been buried in them. Legend told how, after the defeat of the gods, the mounds were divided among them, the method of division varying in different versions. In an early version the Tuatha Dé Danann are immortal and the Dagda divides the síd. But in a poem of Flann Manistrech (ob. 1056) they are mortals and die. Now follows a regular chronology giving the dates of their reigns and their deaths, as in the poem of Gilla Coemain (eleventh century). Hence another legend told how, Dagda being dead, Bodb Dearg divided the síd, yet even here Manannan is said to have conferred immortality upon the Tuatha Dé Danann. The old pagan myths had shown that gods might die, while in ritual their representatives were slain, and this may have been the starting-point of the euhemerising process. But the divinity of the Tuatha Dé Danann is still recalled. Eochaid O’Flynn (tenth century), doubtful whether they are men or demons, concludes, “though I have treated of these deities in order, yet have I not adored them.” Even in later times they were still thought of as gods in exile, a view which appears in the romantic tales and sagas existing side by side with the notices of the annalists. They were also regarded as fairy kings and queens, and yet fairies of a different order from those of ordinary tradition. They are “fairies or sprites with corporeal forms, endowed with immortality,” and yet also dei terreni or síde worshipped by the folk before the coming of S. Patrick. Even the saint and several bishops were called by the fair pagan daughters of King Loegaire, fir síde, “men of the síd,” that is, gods. The síd were named after the names of the Tuatha Dé Danann who reigned in them, but the tradition being localised in different places, several mounds were sometimes connected with one god. The síd were marvellous underground palaces, full of strange things, and thither favoured mortals might go for a time or for ever. In this they correspond exactly to the oversea Elysium, the divine land.
But why were the Tuatha Dé Danann associated with the mounds? If fairies or an analogous race of beings were already in pagan times connected with hills or mounds, gods now regarded as fairies would be connected with them. Dr. Joyce and O’Curry think that an older race of aboriginal gods or síd-folk preceded the Tuatha Dea in the mounds. 1 These may have been the Fomorians, the “champions of the síd,” while in Mesca Ulad the Tuatha Dea go to the underground dwellings and speak with the síde already there. We do not know that the fairy creed as such existed in pagan times, but if the síde and the Tuatha Dé Danann were once distinct, they were gradually assimilated. Thus the Dagda is called “king of the síde”; Aed Abrat and his daughters, Fand and Liban, and Labraid, Liban’s husband, are called síde, and Manannan is Fand’s consort. Labraid’s island, like the síd of Mider and the land to which women of the síde invite Connla, differs but little from the usual divine Elysium, while Mider, one of the síde, is associated with the Tuatha Dé Danann. The síde are once said to be female, and are frequently supernatural women who run away or marry mortals. Thus they may be a reminiscence of old Earth goddesses. But they are not exclusively female, since there are kings of the síde, and as the name Fir síde, “men of the síde,” shows, while S. Patrick and his friends were taken for síd-folk.
The formation of the legend was also aided by the old cult of the gods on heights, some of them sepulchral mounds, and now occasionally sites of Christian churches. The Irish god Cenn Cruaich and his Welsh equivalent Penn Cruc, whose name survives in Pennocrucium, have names meaning “chief or head of the mound.” Other mounds or hills had also a sacred character. Hence gods worshipped at mounds, dwelling or revealing themselves there, still lingered in the haunted spots; they became fairies, or were associated with the dead buried in the mounds, as fairies also have been, or were themselves thought to have died and been buried there. The haunting of the mounds by the old gods is seen in a prayer of S. Columba’s, who begs God to dispel “this host (i.e. the old gods) around the cairns that reigneth.” An early MS also tells how the Milesians allotted the underground part of Erin to the Tuatha Dea who now retired within the hills; in other words, they were gods of the hills worshipped by the Milesians on hills. But, as we shall see, the gods dwelt elsewhere than in hills.
Tumuli may already in pagan times have been pointed out as tombs of gods who died in myth or ritual, like the tombs of Zeus in Crete and of Osiris in Egypt. Again, fairies, in some aspects, are ghosts of the dead, and haunt tumuli; hence, when gods became fairies they would do the same. And once they were thought of as dead kings, any notable tumuli would be pointed out as theirs, since it is a law in folk-belief to associate tumuli or other structures not with the dead or with their builders, but with supernatural or mythical or even historical personages. If síde ever meant “ghosts,” it would be easy to call the dead gods by this name, and to connect them with the places of the dead.
Original article: http://goo.gl/JOOv1A
It’s being called a ‘revolt’ by intelligence pros who are paid to give their honest assessment of the ISIS war—but are instead seeing their reports turned into happy talk.
More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials, The Daily Beast has learned.
The complaints spurred the Pentagon’s inspector general to open an investigation into the alleged manipulation of intelligence. The fact that so many people complained suggests there are deep-rooted, systemic problems in how the U.S. military command charged with the war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State assesses intelligence.
“The cancer was within the senior level of the intelligence command,” one defense official said.
Two senior analysts at CENTCOM signed a written complaint sent to the Defense Department inspector general in July alleging that the reports, some of which were briefed to President Obama, portrayed the terror groups as weaker than the analysts believe they are. The reports were changed by CENTCOM higher-ups to adhere to the administration’s public line that the U.S. is winning the battle against ISIS and al Nusra, al Qaeda’s branch in Syria, the analysts claim.
That complaint was supported by 50 other analysts, some of whom have complained about politicizing of intelligence reports for months. That’s according to 11 individuals who are knowledgeable about the details of the report and who spoke to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity.
The accusations suggest that a large number of people tracking the inner workings of the terror groups think that their reports are being manipulated to fit a public narrative. The allegations echoed charges that political appointees and senior officials cherry-picked intelligence about Iraq’s supposed weapons program in 2002 and 2003.
In recent months, members of the Obama administration have sought to paint the fight against ISIS in rosy hues—despite the terror army’s seizure of major cities like Mosul and Fallujah.
“ISIS is losing,” John Allen, the retired Marine general charged with coordinating the ISIS campaign, said in July.
“I am confident that over time, we will beat, we will, indeed, degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in March, using the government’s preferred acronym for the group.
“No, I don’t think we’re losing,” President Obama said in May.
Yet a growing group of intelligence analysts persisted with their complaints. For some, who have served at CENTCOM for more than a decade, scars remained from the run-up to the 2003 war in Iraq, when poorly written intelligence reports suggesting Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, when it did not, formed the basis of the George W. Bush administration’s case for war.
“They were frustrated because they didn’t do the right thing then” and speak up about their doubts on Iraq’s weapons program, the defense official told The Daily Beast.
Original article: http://goo.gl/n1AWST
The astonishing incompetence, inexperience, and cowardice of the Obama administration towards extremists of a murderous system with whom they clearly ’empathize’, continues to endanger us, our allies, and the world.
The sooner we are able to elect a competent Commander-in-Chief, and the sooner we annihilate these violent heathens, the better off we’ll all be.
The Recent African Origins (RAO) theory is on tenuous ground. It relies deeply on the Standard Neutral Model of evolution (SNM), but every assumption behind SNM and, therefore, RAO has been openly questioned in the evolutionary literature. If real-world populations violate the central assumptions of SNM, the conclusions of studies that assume SNM are not the final word on the subject. The real situation is much more complicated than the simplifying assumptions allow, and several of these assumptions are either biased in favour of the conclusion or are contrary to the data: crossing over is not random, population structure exists at all scales, and population admixture and gene conversion overly complicate the models. The presence of natural selection among human mitochondria removes the ‘neutral’ part of SNM as far as RAO’s ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ is concerned. Finally, RAO and SNM are based on the belief that evolution can occur, but that it cannot affect the things that control the speed of evolution. There is no room for differences in mutation rates among populations caused by environmental stress, nutrition, demographics or mutations in the DNA copying, proofreading or correcting mechanisms. The most popular evolutionary model of recent human evolution is unsatisfactory, but the biblical model for human genetic history is still in its infancy. Outlined are several lines of thought that may be productive to creationist research.
‘The challenge of genetic studies of human history is to use the small amount of genetic differentiation among populations to infer the history of human migrations’ (Rosenberg et al. 2002).
This quote illustrates an important point. Modern geneticists are struggling to understand human genetic history. In the end, they are forced to make certain inferences based on limited data and a suite of simplifying assumptions. The purpose of this article is to look at the underpinnings of the Recent African Origins (RAO) model of human evolution, first popularized by claims of the discovery of ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ in Africa. Each of the fundamental assumptions behind the theory has been openly questioned in the evolutionary literature. If any one of the assumptions behind RAO falls, the entire theory may be made moot. By listing the assumptions and then systematically showing how each one is impractical, impossible, contradictory or biased in favour of evolutionary theory, I hope to bring RAO down a few notches.
The term ‘recent’ is used by RAO supporters in a deep-time sense and is not meant, by them, to be taken as support of a young Earth. According to RAO, humans evolved in Africa, existed as a small population for some hundreds of thousands of years, and then rapidly expanded into the rest of the world about 200,000 years ago. As an explanatory tool, it stands in direct opposition to the biblical model, where the most important genetic signals should be the Creation (which limits overall human diversity), the Flood (a bottleneck event), and the Tower of Babel event (which led to significant population subdivision and a world-wide migration). The last two are expected to yield similar results to the hypothetical RAO model, but with a different timescale.
I will caution the reader at this point. This article might seem to overthrow all arguments based on neutral evolution or bottleneck theories (both terms will be defined below). Creationists sometimes use those theories to their advantage, and it is not my intent to completely discount them. In fact, RAO uses much of the same mathematics many creationists would like to apply to the biblical model. My intent is to take a more ‘surgical’ approach, cutting out the ‘cancer’ of bad science, while leaving untouched any science that may yet be valid and useful. And in arguing against RAO, I am actually arguing for a more recent origin of humanity, though this is not my focus here and will not come through strongly in this article.
Full article: http://goo.gl/HJL74G
When you have finally had enough for a contrived, 19th century (pre-genetics era), Anglo-supremacist myth, and if you can ever mount a non-bias review of the actual mathematical, archaeological, paleontological, biological, and genetic evidence…
An entirely different picture will emerge.