DUE TO THE CLOSURE OF THE COCO’S AT PARADISE VALLEY MALL THIS PAST YEAR, WE WILL BE HOLDING THE ARIZONA BREAKFAST CLUB AT THE HOME OF ERNEST AND DONNE HANCOCK UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE – WE WILL PROVIDE BREAKFAST – THE MEETING CHARGE WILL BE $10 PER HEAD TO COVER THE MEAL AND MEETING. IF ANYONE HAS ANY SUGGESTIONS AS TO A NEW LOCATION, PLEASE LET US KNOW (NEEDS TO BE A BUFFET STYLE BREAKFAST, MEETS ON THE 1ST SATURDAY OF EVERY MONTH, AND HAS TO HAVE A MEETING ROOM THAT WILL SEAT ATLEAST 30-35+ PEOPLE)
Join us for the October 3rd, 2015 meeting of the Arizona Breakfast Club held at the Hancock’s. There is much to discuss, from NSA security and privacy issues to the POTUS 2016 campaigns to foreign policy issues to new technologies, etc…
Also, if you are an Arizona Breakfast Club Attendee and would like to attend the Mises Circle Event here in Phoenix held at the Phoenix Airport Hilton on November 7th, 2015, we have provided a way for you to attend FOR FREE (it is usually $95 to attend). Must email Publisher at FreedomsPhoenix dot com, or let Ernest Hancock know, to get your name on the list. The Mises Circle Event is sponsored by the Mises Institute, and the guests include Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, Jeff Deist, William Boyes, and Charles Goyette – the topic is ‘What Must Be Done‘.
THE PRICE FOR THE MEETING IS $10
ARIZONA BREAKFAST CLUB – Meets on the first Saturday of every month. Will have breakfast ready at 8:15 a.m. Discussion begins around 8:30 a.m. Meeting ends at 10:00 a.m.
PLEASE R.S.V.P here or on the MeetUp
Unusual ripples in Saturn’s rings are revealing the mysterious inner workings of the great gas giant. Planetary scientists and modelers are slowly picking apart that mystery.
Billions of particles race around Saturn’s 170,000-mile-wide (273,600 kilometers) set of rings, which are mostly water ice with a smattering of rock. The rings are full of activity, including waves that ricochet outward in spiral patterns, most caused by the gravitational pull of Saturn’s 62 moons. Waves caused by the moons, which orbit outside the rings’ sphere, always travel outward.
But then there’s a set of waves heading inward. That means there’s something moving inside, too. [Video: Fly Through Space ‘In Saturn’s Rings’]
Most scientists’ models of Saturn and other gas giants assume the planet is pretty uniform — just a large gas envelope surrounding a small, dense core that’s perhaps the size of Earth. But by studying the rings’ waves, researchers are finding the picture much more complicated.
“The one thing that might produce this [series of waves] is that some sort of disturbance inside Saturn itself is spinning around with a period that’s less than 7 hours,” Phillip Nicholson, a planetary scientist at Cornell University in New York, told Space.com. Researchers first noticed hints of that disturbance in the 1990s, and Nicholson’s team used more precise measurements to fully document the ring waves’ structures, which reflect the oscillations of the planet within — sort of like recurring Saturn quakes.
Right now, measuring those oscillations offers scientists the best possible chance to grasp what’s going on far inside the planet, like Saturn’s internal rotation or structure, which appears to be more complicated than previously thought, scientists say.
“Even dropping a probe into the atmosphere would not necessarily help a lot, because the probe will only get down to a pressure of five or 10 atmospheres before it gets cooked or squashed,” Nicholson said. “We need to go much deeper to understand this.”
Everything is ringing
Saturn isn’t the only astronomical body with a groove; for many years, researchers have been watching the vibrations of the sun and other stars. Even Earth has a hum, and scientists use whole-Earth oscillations, triggered by large earthquakes, to discern what’s going on inside.
“The basic idea is that we know of many stars, including our own sun, that oscillate at certain frequencies that are determined by the actual internal structure of the planet or the star,” Jim Fuller, a researcher at the California Institute of Technology, told Space.com. Fuller studies and models those oscillations, including those in Saturn, building off of initial work by Nicholson and his collaborator Matthew Hedman, now at the University of Idaho.
Tools like NASA’s orbiting Kepler Space Telescope, which precisely measures the brightness of distant stars while searching for planets orbiting around them, can send back information about changes in brightness detailed enough to see the stars’ shifting— a field called astroseismology. Helioseismology, which measures sound waves below the sun’s surface, has given researchers a detailed understanding of the flow of materials deep within the sun. Seismographs can measure whole-Earth vibrations directly, using the same process as ordinary seismology, which has told researchers about conditions deep inside Earth. But it is much more challenging to detect movements within planets humans aren’t sitting on.
Enter kronoseismology, the study of oscillations within Saturn. Nicholson and Hedman chose the name because Kronos (or Cronus) is the Greek equivalent of the Roman god Saturn, a mighty Titan, whose namesake planet has correspondingly mighty rings. Those rings act as a rare window into the movements at the heart of the planet.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which is currently exploring Saturn and its moons, has carefully measured how much light from individual stars shines through the rings with its Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer, which allows scientists to calculate the changes in the rings’ density at different locations. Researchers can pull out the patterns of ring density, in the form of waves, caused by the oscillations of mass within Saturn itself, and use those patterns to learn about the planet, like using the sounds made by a violin or a drum to determine its shape. [Star Tunes: Composer Sets Twinkling Data to Music]
When Nicholson put together the series of waves caused by Saturn’s movement for a 2013 paper, they didn’t quite add up. Instead of a regular pattern of vibrations all building on one another, he was seeing multiples of some waves and missing others.
“If Saturn were a nice big ball of liquid hydrogen and helium, liquid and gas, it really should only have one frequency associated with each of these overtones,” he said. Instead, the measurements were like a violin that plays multiple discordant tones when one string is strummed. There’s “something a bit wrong with your violin, if that’s the case,” he said.
Fuller has conducted follow-up research to try to find the possible causes of the discord. “Saturn must have a layer deep down inside of it that’s stably stratified,” he said. “For some reason, the fluid is very stable and doesn’t move around very much … And that part is new, because the conventional models of giant planets are just convective envelopes [where the materials move freely to exchange heat] all the way down to their core. But what I found is that those very simple models can’t explain what we’re seeing in the rings.”
Fuller suggested that the stable layers could have a number of causes. By modeling each potential scenario and measuring the waves it would create, he and others are hoping to narrow down the possibilities. One explanation, he said, is that the helium is separating from its mix with hydrogen lower down in the planet, because of higher pressure, and condensing into helium raindrops that fall even deeper. Then, the boundary between the high-helium area below and the mostly hydrogen area above would be a stable border, Fuller said.
Another explanation might be that the ice and rock of the core are dissolving upward into the hydrogen and helium that make up most of the planet. That, too, would create smooth layers of fluid beneath the turbulent gas above.
“In the past, people have thought of these ideas, but it’s been very hard to test them because we have no way of seeing what’s inside of Saturn,” Fuller said. “But with the seismology, for the first time, we’re starting to get a glimpse of that interior structure. It’s still pretty primitive, because we can only detect some of Saturn’s operations, but it’s enough to give us some interesting prospects, at the very least.
Lifting the veil
New models of a gas giant’s interior will help reveal which of these possibilities, or others, could match Saturn’s real oscillations. “We’re mainly waiting for theoretical developments,” Nicholson said. In the meantime, the Cassini orbiter is continuing to grab detailed data that will lend greater focus to the findings. When it spirals into even lower orbits, it might be able to reveal more about subtle changes in the planet’s gravity as well.
Researchers are also looking at Uranus’ rings to see if they can discern anything about the inside of that planet — and there are many other rings to consider out in the solar system. But for now, Saturn offers the best glimpse into the depths of a gas giant, which can be compared and contrasted with the distant planets seen around other stars. Exoplanet researchers like Jonathan Fortney at University of California, Santa Cruz, are eager for anything that will pierce the veil of the gas giants. In fact, he said, one of his graduate students is waiting until Cassini plunges into Saturn, in 2017, to combine the new gravitational data with kronoseismology to get an even more detailed picture.
“There’s a paradigm of giant planets being pretty simple objects, where they have a core of ice and rock, and this tremendous envelope of hydrogen/helium on top of that,” Fortney told Space.com. “That’s how people have mostly modeled giant planets for 50 years. But what the kronoseismology tells us is, there’s some region that is strange, there’s some part of the bottom of the envelope that’s not simple, that’s not convective. It tells us that Saturn is not a simple object; there’s something more going on there.”
Last month, the Washington DC-based Physicians for Social Responsibility (PRS) released a landmark study concluding that the death toll from 10 years of the “War on Terror” since the 9/11 attacks is at least 1.3 million, and could be as high as 2 million.
The 97-page report by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning doctors’ group is the first to tally up the total number of civilian casualties from US-led counter-terrorism interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The PSR report is authored by an interdisciplinary team of leading public health experts, including Dr. Robert Gould, director of health professional outreach and education at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, and Professor Tim Takaro of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University.
Yet it has been almost completely blacked out by the English-language media, despite being the first effort by a world-leading public health organisation to produce a scientifically robust calculation of the number of people killed by the US-UK-led “war on terror”.
Mind the gaps
The PSR report is described by Dr Hans von Sponeck, former UN assistant secretary-general, as “a significant contribution to narrowing the gap between reliable estimates of victims of war, especially civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and tendentious, manipulated or even fraudulent accounts”.
The report conducts a critical review of previous death toll estimates of “war on terror” casualties. It is heavily critical of the figure most widely cited by mainstream media as authoritative, namely, the Iraq Body Count (IBC) estimate of 110,000 dead. That figure is derived from collating media reports of civilian killings, but the PSR report identifies serious gaps and methodological problems in this approach.
For instance, although 40,000 corpses had been buried in Najaf since the launch of the war, IBC recorded only 1,354 deaths in Najaf for the same period. That example shows how wide the gap is between IBC’s Najaf figure and the actual death toll – in this case, by a factor of over 30.
Such gaps are replete throughout IBC’s database. In another instance, IBC recorded just three airstrikes in a period in 2005, when the number of air attacks had in fact increased from 25 to 120 that year. Again, the gap here is by a factor of 40.
According to the PSR study, the much-disputed Lancet study that estimated 655,000 Iraq deaths up to 2006 (and over a million until today by extrapolation) was likely to be far more accurate than IBC’s figures. In fact, the report confirms a virtual consensus among epidemiologists on the reliability of the Lancet study.
Despite some legitimate criticisms, the statistical methodology it applied is the universally recognised standard to determine deaths from conflict zones, used by international agencies and governments.
PSR also reviewed the methodology and design of other studies showing a lower death toll, such as a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, which had a range of serious limitations.
That paper ignored the areas subject to the heaviest violence, namely Baghdad, Anbar and Nineveh, relying on flawed IBC data to extrapolate for those regions. It also imposed “politically-motivated restrictions” on collection and analysis of the data – interviews were conducted by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, which was “totally dependent on the occupying power” and had refused to release data on Iraqi registered deaths under US pressure.
In particular, PSR assessed the claims of Michael Spaget, John Sloboda and others who questioned the Lancet study data collection methods as potentially fraudulent. All such claims, PSR found, were spurious.
The few “justified criticisms,” PSR concludes, “do not call into question the results of the Lancet studies as a whole. These figures still represent the best estimates that are currently available”. The Lancet findings are also corroborated by the data from a new study in PLOS Medicine, finding 500,000 Iraqi deaths from the war. Overall, PSR concludes that the most likely number for the civilian death toll in Iraq since 2003 to date is about 1 million.
To this, the PSR study adds at least 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, killed as the direct or indirect consequence of US-led war: a “conservative” total of 1.3 million. The real figure could easily be “in excess of 2 million”.
Yet even the PSR study suffers from limitations. Firstly, the post-9/11 “war on terror” was not new, but merely extended previous interventionist policies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Secondly, the huge paucity of data on Afghanistan meant the PSR study probably underestimated the Afghan death toll.
The war on Iraq did not begin in 2003, but in 1991 with the first Gulf War, which was followed by the UN sanctions regime.
An early PSR study by Beth Daponte, then a US government Census Bureau demographer, found that Iraq deaths caused by the direct and indirect impact of the first Gulf War amounted to around 200,000 Iraqis, mostly civilians. Meanwhile, her internal government study was suppressed.
After US-led forces pulled out, the war on Iraq continued in economic form through the US-UK imposed UN sanctions regime, on the pretext of denying Saddam Hussein the materials necessary to make weapons of mass destruction. Items banned from Iraq under this rationale included a vast number of items needed for everyday life.
Undisputed UN figures show that 1.7 million Iraqi civilians died due to the West’s brutal sanctions regime, half of whom were children.
The mass death was seemingly intended. Among items banned by the UN sanctions were chemicals and equipment essential for Iraq’s national water treatment system. A secret US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) document discovered by Professor Thomas Nagy of the School of Business at George Washington University amounted, he said, to “an early blueprint for genocide against the people of Iraq”.
In his paper for the Association of Genocide Scholars at the University of Manitoba, Professor Nagi explained that the DIA document revealed “minute details of a fully workable method to ‘fully degrade the water treatment system’ of an entire nation” over a period of a decade. The sanctions policy would create “the conditions for widespread disease, including full scale epidemics,” thus “liquidating a significant portion of the population of Iraq”.
This means that in Iraq alone, the US-led war from 1991 to 2003 killed 1.9 million Iraqis; then from 2003 onwards around 1 million: totalling just under 3 million Iraqis dead over two decades.
In Afghanistan, PSR’s estimate of overall casualties could also be very conservative. Six months after the 2001 bombing campaign, The Guardian‘s Jonathan Steele revealed that anywhere between 1,300 and 8,000 Afghans were killed directly, and as many as a further 50,000 people died avoidably as an indirect result of the war.
In his book, Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since 1950 (2007), Professor Gideon Polya applied the same methodology used by The Guardian to UN Population Division annual mortality data to calculate plausible figures for excess deaths. A retired biochemist at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Polya concludes that total avoidable Afghan deaths since 2001 under ongoing war and occupation-imposed deprivation amount to around 3 million people, about 900,000 of whom are infants under five.
Although Professor Polya’s findings are not published in an academic journal, his 2007 Body Count study has been recommended by California State University sociologist Professor Jacqueline Carrigan as “a data-rich profile of the global mortality situation” in a review published by the Routledge journal, Socialism and Democracy.
As with Iraq, US intervention in Afghanistan began long before 9/11 in the form of covert military, logistical and financial aid to the Taliban from around 1992 onwards. This US assistance propelled the Taliban’s violent conquest of nearly 90 percent of Afghan territory.
In a 2001 National Academy of Sciences report, Forced Migration and Mortality, leading epidemiologist Steven Hansch, a director of Relief International, noted that total excess mortality in Afghanistan due to the indirect impacts of war through the 1990s could be anywhere between 200,000 and 2 million. The Soviet Union, of course, also bore responsibility for its role in devastating civilian infrastructure, thus paving the way for these deaths.
Comment: …and the US bears ultimate responsibility for setting terrorists loose in the country in order to bait Russia into intervening.
Altogether, this suggests that the total Afghan death toll due to the direct and indirect impacts of US-led intervention since the early nineties until now could be as high 3-5 million.
According to the figures explored here, total deaths from Western interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan since the 1990s – from direct killings and the longer-term impact of war-imposed deprivation – likely constitute around 4 million (2 million in Iraq from 1991-2003, plus 2 million from the “war on terror”), and could be as high as 6-8 million people when accounting for higher avoidable death estimates in Afghanistan.
Such figures could well be too high, but we will never know for sure. US and UK armed forces, as a matter of policy, refuse to keep track of the civilian death toll of military operations – they are an irrelevant inconvenience.
Due to the severe lack of data in Iraq, almost complete non-existence of records in Afghanistan, and the indifference of Western governments to civilian deaths, it is literally impossible to determine the true extent of loss of life.
In the absence of even the possibility of corroboration, these figures provide plausible estimates based on applying standard statistical methodology to the best, if scarce, evidence available. They give an indication of the scale of the destruction, if not the precise detail.
Much of this death has been justified in the context of fighting tyranny and terrorism. Yet thanks to the silence of the wider media, most people have no idea of the true scale of protracted terror wrought in their name by US and UK tyranny in Iraq and Afghanistan.
About the author
Nafeez Ahmed PhD is an investigative journalist, international security scholar and bestselling author who tracks what he calls the ‘crisis of civilization.’ He is a winner of the Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his Guardian reporting on the intersection of global ecological, energy and economic crises with regional geopolitics and conflicts. He has also written for The Independent, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Scotsman, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, Prospect, New Statesman, Le Monde diplomatique, New Internationalist. His work on the root causes and covert operations linked to international terrorism officially contributed to the 9/11 Commission and the 7/7 Coroner’s Inquest.
On our images taken on September 28.4, 2015 we can confirm the presence of an optical counterpart with R-CCD magnitude 9.5 at coordinates:
R.A. = 18 03 32.77, Decl.= -28 16 05.3
(equinox 2000.0; UCAC4 catalogue reference stars).
Our annotated confirmation image. Click on it for a bigger version:
An animation showing a comparison between my confirmation image and the archive POSS1 Blue plate (1958-04-18).
According to CBET nr. 4145, issued on 2015, September 30, , PNV J18033275-2816054 is now NOVA SAGITTARII 2015 No. 3. This nova has been discovered K. Itagaki (Teppo-cho,Yamagata, Japan) on an unfiltered CCD frame taken on Sept. 27.429 UT using a 180-mm-focal-length camera lens.
A spectrogram (resolution about 500 at H-beta) taken of PNV J18033275-2816054 by M. Fujii (Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan) with a 0.4-m telescope on Sept. 27.487 UT shows Balmer emission lines, with the H-beta line having a P-Cyg profile that indicates an expansion velocity of about 1100 km/s. Emission lines of Fe II (37), (42), and (49) also have P-Cyg profiles. The Na D absorption is remarkable. (see image below).
Source Article from http://www.sott.net/article/303019-Possible-nova-in-Sagittarius
Researchers at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business have found that white people respond to evidence that they are privileged by their race by insisting that they face greater hardships in life.
In a study published in the November issue of Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, L. Taylor Phillips and Brian S. Lowery point out that progress on racial equality is limited by the fact that many whites deny the existence of inequities.
“Despite this reality, policy makers and power brokers continue to debate whether racial privilege even exists and whether to address such inequity,” the researchers noted. “One reason for this inaction might be an unwillingness among Whites to acknowledge racial privilege — acknowledgment that may be difficult given that Whites are motivated to believe that meritocratic systems and personal virtues determine life outcomes.”
“However, claiming personal life hardships may help Whites manage the threatening possibility that they benefit from privilege.”
The researchers argued that understanding the reaction to evidence of racial inequality was important because whites who did not feel that they personally benefited from their ethnicity would be less willing to support policies that were designed to reduce racial inequality.
Subjects in the study were separated into two groups. The group that was shown evidence of white privilege “claimed more hardships than those not exposed to evidence of privilege,” the study found.
A second experiment suggested “that people claim more life hardships in response to evidence of in-group privilege because such information is threatening to their sense of self.” Researchers observed that whites who read self-affirming statements before completing the survey claimed less hardships, and they found that self-affirmations could actually reverse the denial of white privilege.
“Furthermore, Whites’ claims of life hardships mediated their denials of personal privilege, supporting our hypothesis that hardship claims help people deny they personally benefit from privilege — that White privilege extends to themselves,” Phillips and Lowery wrote. “Importantly, these denials of personal privilege were in turn associated with diminished support for affirmative action policies — policies that could help alleviate racial inequity.”
Researchers recommended that efforts to reduce racial inequalities also include the education of advantaged populations.
“Our work suggests that privilege reduction efforts might need to focus not only on convincing or educating advantaged group members about privilege, but also on reducing the feelings of self-threat this information induces,” Phillips and Lowery explained. “The existence of hardships does not reduce racial privilege, since racial privilege entails comparison to someone of a different race with equivalent hardships. People may erroneously think privilege entails complete ease in life and that the presence of any hardships denotes an absence of privilege.”
In conclusion, the study postulated that whites may claim hardship “to maintain not only a positive sense of self, but also the material benefits associated with racial privilege.”
“Whites’ claims of hardship might also serve to legitimize the racial advantages they enjoy, and thereby justify a system that benefits their group.”
For 38 years, a few black-and-white photographs of a nurse cradling a baby provided comfort to a woman who suffered terrible burns and endured years of playground taunts and painful surgeries thereafter. For all that time, until Tuesday, she dreamed of meeting her again.
The photos show Amanda Scarpinati at just 3 months old, her head thickly wrapped in gauze, resting calmly in the nurse’s arms. Shot for the Albany Medical Center’s 1977 annual report, the images have a beatific, “Madonna and Child” quality.
As a baby, she had rolled off a couch onto a boiling steam vaporizer. Melted mentholated ointment scalded her skin. The burns would require many reconstructive surgeries over the years. The photos helped.
“Growing up as a child, disfigured by the burns, I was bullied and picked on, tormented,” she said. “I’d look at those pictures and talk to her, even though I didn’t know who she was. I took comfort looking at this woman who seemed so sincere, caring for me.”
Scarpinati now lives Athens, 25 miles south of Albany, and works as a human resources manager. All her life, she wanted to thank the nurse who showed her such loving care, but she didn’t even know her name. She tried to find out 20 years ago, without success. The pictures were taken by photographer Carl Howard, but his subjects weren’t identified. At a friend’s urging, she tried again this month, posting the photos on Facebook and pleading for help.
“Within 12 hours, it had gone viral with 5,000 shares across the country,” said Scarpinati. She had her answer within a day: The fresh-faced young nurse with the long wavy hair was Susan Berger, then 21. Angela Leary, a fellow nurse at the medical center back then, recognized her and sent Scarpinati a message, saying Berger “was as sweet and caring as she looks in this picture.”
Preserved by the photos, their encounters in the pediatric recovery room turned out to have a lasting impact on both their lives.
“I remember her,” Berger said before they met face to face on Tuesday. “She was very peaceful. Usually when babies come out of surgery, they’re sleeping or crying. She was just so calm and trusting. It was amazing.”
Berger had been fresh out of college, and baby Amanda was one of her first patients. Now she’s nearing the end of her career, overseeing the health center at Cazenovia College in New York’s Finger Lakes region.
Both women were thrilled to see each other again Tuesday, sobbing and embracing as cameras clicked all around them in a medical center conference room.
“Oh my God, you’re real! Thank you!” Scarpinati said.
“Thank YOU!” Berger responded.
If any scars remain, Scarpinati doesn’t show them, from her long dark hair to the butterfly tattoo just above her ankle. Berger also seems youthful and upbeat, with shoulder-length blonde hair, slightly shorter than how she wore it in 1977.
“I’m over the moon to meet Sue … I never thought this day would come,” Scarpinati said. Berger said she feels even more blessed.
“I don’t know how many nurses would be lucky enough to have something like this happen, to have someone remember you all that time,” Berger said. “I feel privileged to be the one to represent all the nurses who cared for her over the years.”
Someone asked if their reunion might be the start of a lifelong friendship. Scarpinati had a quick answer to that: “It already has been a lifelong friendship. She just didn’t know.”
Source: The Associated Press