‘It’s difficult knowing the lengths some people went to topple me’ – Enda Bonner

first_imgOusted Fianna Fail county councillor Enda Bonner has vowed to return to local politics after being ousted at his party’s convention to contest the upcoming local elections on Friday night last.The well-known accountant lost out by two votes to local woman Noreen McGarvey at the Fianna Fail convention in the Burtonport Community Centre.Speaking in the wake of the defeat, the sitting county councillor and former Senator said he is disappointed but vowed to get back on the Fianna Fail ticket. “My initial shock and disappointment is being replaced more and more by the comfort and knowledge that so many people have expressed their support for me.“It is, without doubt, a difficult time for me, knowing the efforts some people went to in order to topple me at convention but I am extremely hopeful that I will be shortly added to the ticket,” he said.He revealed that he is to submit an appeal to be added to the party’s ticket and this will be lodged on Monday morning.He added “I have spoken to senior party figures over the weekend and I am optimistic that I will shortly be confirmed as a candidate.” He thanked all those who have sent him messages of support saying they have lifted his spirits immeasurably and given him great heart.“I am far from finished my friends,” he concluded.‘It’s difficult knowing the lengths some people went to topple me’ – Enda Bonner was last modified: March 12th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:county councildonegalelectionEnda Bonnerlast_img read more

The Art of Translating Darwinese

first_imgTranslating Darwinese primarily involves taking out the assumptions and assertions and seeing if anything is left.If, like the late Phillip Johnson argued, Darwinian evolution is naturalistic philosophy masquerading as science, then it follows that Darwinian ‘science’ is fake science. It may include some tangible objects, like fossils or genes, but it will be wrapped in rhetoric intended to promote naturalism. Consequently, a perceptive reader needs to learn how to translate Darwinese. The mystical language of Darwinese makes it seem as if observational data supports evolution, when it’s really the other way around; naturalism colors the data. A successful Darwinese translator is always focusing on the actual evidence. One must filter out the assumptions and assertions to see what the data are actually indicating. Here we teach by example.Before starting, one must vaccinate oneself against bluffing, intimidation and irrelevant details. A Darwinese article, for instance, is often dressed up with attractive photos, clean website designs, pictures of smiling Darwinists, and artwork supporting the evolutionary narrative. All of that must be ignored. It has nothing to do with the science. It is irrelevant. The Darwinese translator must keep a laser-sharp focus on the evidence.Stick to the EvidenceWas early stick insect evolution triggered by birds and mammals? (University of Göttingen). Most of the first paragraph of this press release simply states observable evidence. Then the writer inserts the word “phylogeny” — an evolutionary word to watch out for.Stick and leaf insects are a diverse and strikingly bizarre group of insects with a world-wide distribution, which are more common in tropical and subtropical areas. They are famous for their impressively large body size, compared to other insects, and their remarkable ability to camouflage themselves as twigs, leaves or bark in order to hide from potential predators. A team of international researchers led by the University of Göttingen has now generated the first phylogenomic tree of these insects.For animals below the rank of family, Michael Behe shows in his book Darwin Devolves, one can expect variability in genera and species. Many creationists accept this view as well. The stick insects belong to Phasmatodea, an order, the taxon above the level of family. So if the writer is trying to link all the families within Phasmatodea into a tree of common descent, the translator needs to be on guard. Does the evidence support it? The research team at University of Gottingen examined 2,000 genes for 38 species of globally-distributed stick insects. Watch what happened:The most surprising finding is that the relationships between the early emerging groups of stick and leaf insects largely disprove the earlier assumptions. In fact, the genealogy reflects more the geographic distribution than the anatomical similarity of the animals. The authors revealed a New World lineage of purely North and South American species and a group of Old World origin that comprises species from Africa to New Zealand.In short, there was no clear phylogenetic picture. The genes looked similar, but the animals did not. When new evolutionary stories disprove old evolutionary stories, probably both stories are wrong. Next, the team ramps up the perhapsimaybecouldness index to visualize moyboy ages:The age estimation of the phylogenetic tree suggests that most of the old lineages emerged after the dinosaurs became extinct 66 million years ago. Thus, the remarkable camouflage of stick and leaf insects most probably evolved afterwards as adaptation against predatory mammals and birds.We have an emergence-y. The team just leaped into fantasyland, saying these remarkable animals “emerged” somehow long, long ago. Do they have fossil evidence for this? No; stick insect fossils are rare. This is pure Darwinian speculation.To translate the article into science, the translator must filter out the Darwinese. The result should include the first paragraph up to the sentence about predators, and stop. It might mention the 2,000 genes of 38 species examined, and tabulate the similarities and differences, but leave it there. Science has no tolerance for “emergence” and speculations about what “might” have happened over millions of Darwin Years.Spitting for DarwinA secret in saliva: Food and germs helped humans evolve into unique member of great apes (University of Buffalo). The proposition needing translation from Darwinese goes like this:Two million years of eating meat and cooked food may have helped humans shift further from other great apes on the evolutionary tree. The evidence is in our saliva, according to new research from the University at Buffalo.After putting this press release through the Darwinese translator, there won’t be much left but a bucket of warm spit. These Darwinians are trying to buffalo readers into thinking you can use divination on saliva from apes and humans and perceive a story of evolution, visualizing humans losing their hair and learning to cook.Human saliva is unique in that it is waterier and contains a different mix of proteins. The findings came as a big surprise to the researchers, since humans are known to be genetically close relatives of the great apes, chimpanzees and gorillas.The evolutionary story is lubricated with perhapses and maybes, ending with futureware: “The study’s findings provide a necessary basis for future studies to assess whether the differences in human salivary proteins were caused by natural selection.” In other words, they don’t even know that natural selection had anything to do with spit. It’s illogical to think it might have anyway; the Stuff Happens Law doesn’t ’cause’ anything.The only evidence that can be salvaged from this article involves design in our salivary glands and the complex proteins that help us digest our food. After translation from Darwinese into science, therefore, the article will be very short.Darwinizing DarwinismAn evolution in the understanding of evolution (University of Virginia Engineering). The heroine of this article thinks that evolution needs evolution itself, in order to be understood. Kristen Naegle spent a lot of time running divination studies on proteins to praise Darwin, but all for naught. After running her work through the Darwinese translator, there would be precious little left. She and her student Roman Sloutsky try to impress readers with their wizardry. Such divination is not for laymen, she says. In order to justify the exercise, she tries to convince the peasants that it could cure cancer.Reconstructing evolutionary branches is tricky, especially when many species share a similar type of protein that might have evolved to perform somewhat different functions. Mathematically, the problem quickly becomes very big, but discovering the implications of this protein evolution could lead to a better understanding of how our bodies deal with cancer and other diseases.First of all, she incorrectly thinks that proteins, those amazingly sophisticated and sequence-specific molecular machines, are products of evolution. That’s a show stopper right there. Second, it’s a pipe dream to think that Darwinism is going to help understand or cure cancer. A Darwinist believes that cancer is one of those things that just happens. Third, the work leaves nothing accomplished for Darwin worship. It’s all futureware.Naegle made one statement that could be a redeeming feature, and worth saving in the translated article. “Most models of protein evolution in use today are probably wrong,” she said.Including hers.With a little practice, you, too, could become a skilled Darwinese translator. (Visited 302 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

The vortex of complaint

first_imgTim CohenIt’s not often you can generalise about a nation, particularly South Africa, but it’s probably true to say that South Africans in general have at least one common quality. We like to complain.By reputation, the British keep a stiff upper lip. By reputation, the French make light of things, and waft them away in a dazzling display of philosophising. By reputation, the Chinese keep stum, and seek solace in the learned balance of Confucius. By reputation, the Japanese blame themselves.But given half a chance, particularly in private, South Africans let loose in blathering explosion of anger and bile in which every conceivable thing or person is to blame, other than, of course, themselves. It’s evident on seemingly interminable talk shows on the country’s many problems and particularly on the anonymous feedback commentary on the internet. Frequently, it must be said, it has a bit of racial edge.It wasn’t always thus. It may just be a kind of wishful interpretation of history, but it does seem as if the stultification of free speech during the apartheid years has invoked a swing in the opposite direction now that speech is all too free. Now, given half a chance, everybody goes wild, so much so that the point is often lost as the arguments move away from the topic and get sucked down more familiar and emotional by-ways. Friends of mine describe this process as the vortex; the great whirl-wind of noise a wobbly nation makes as it desperately tries to keep its balance.So the country’s recent electricity cuts, termed “load shedding” for reasons best known to politicians and people who throw switches, have provided a truly magnificent opportunity for the vortex to be released. The arguments about the electricity cuts have a truly splendid way of allowing the protagonists to simply justify their pre-existing beliefs. Power utility Eskom is a state-owned, corporate entity. It’s a vertically integrated utility and as such, it not only owns, operates and maintains the national transmission grid but is also responsible for generating almost all the country’s capacity. This allows the left to blame government for corporatising the entity, and the right to blame government for not corporatising the entity enough.Whatever the case, it’s well known that Eskom provides some of the cheapest electricity in the world, and not by small margins either. The average wholesale cost of electricity is a full 60% lower than its nearest rival, which apparently is Canada. One of the reasons for this extraordinary proficiency is that South Africa has huge coal reserves and, consequently, generation is close to supply and, consequently, electricity in South Africa is cheap but also dirty.But cheap electricity in South Africa also has a historical explanation too. When Eskom was established as a self-funding organisation, it expanded its generating capacity in line with the growth expectations the organisation’s management anticipated at the time. The big-boom period was in the 1970s when gold was, well, the same price it is now. The country’s growth rate was impressive, and because the lead time in establishing large coal fired furnaces is so long, Eskom built like crazy.The result was overcapitalisation of the company and, for years, Eskom had a surplus generating capacity. Consequently, nobody bothered much. And so the electricity blackouts have caught everyone a bit by surprise, intensifying the vortex into a veritable cacophony of complaint.But in fact, in a way, electricity shortages are the kind of problem you want to have. Most often they suggest strong underlying and democratic economic growth. It means consumers are stepping up and buying electronic goods in small mountains. It means lives are improving in incremental but significant ways with washing machines and stove cookers.Of course, it would be nice if someone had their eye on the ball and managed to plan correctly. And strangely enough, someone did. A government white paper produced eight years ago suggested that at the current growth rates, South Africa would run out of electricity in – you guessed it – 2008.Personally, I blame it on the vortex. Sometimes complaining takes you further away from the problem rather than closer to it. A culture of complaint is often lauded as the first step in recognising a problem. But when it turns a kind of campaigning negative, it constitutes a retreat into argument rather than a spur to better planning. In short, the vortex sucks.Tim Cohen is a freelance journalist writing for a variety of South African publications. He is currently contracted as a columnist to Business Day and the Weekender, where he worked for most of his career, and financial website Moneyweb where he writes on business and corporate activity for an associate site called Dealweb. He was the 2004 Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year.last_img read more

Scott Metzger, Nov. 27

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We finished everything up last Friday night. We got the double-crop beans done to get harvest wrapped up. That is always a good feeling but you’d always like another 500 acres of corn.I think the double-crop beans were around 42 or 43 bushels per acre for an average.  I think the highest we had for a field average was maybe 47 bushels and maybe the low was 40 — they were good. In 2011 we had some that were pretty similar to that in the 40s. We just had the right growing season for them this year. Having a late frost and rains at the right time really helped. They look like the quality of the first crop beans. It was still wet, but most of our double-crops were on tiled ground so that helped.This was the best corn crop we have ever had. The beans were above trend line but not a record for us. Overall, 2017 was a challenging year but it all really panned out weather wise.We are contemplating whether we put on a shot of insecticide and a low rate of herbicide on the wheat this fall to get a little more protection out there. We haven’t pulled that trigger yet and I don’t know with the price of wheat if that will pay. A couple of neighbors have tried and had quite a bit of success with it.We also wanted to get a cover crop on all of bean stubble so we are going to get the drills out today and run hard this week to see how much we can get done. We may try to get some corn stalks fall sprayed too.last_img read more

Where ‘We Steal Secrets,’ The Wikileaks Film, Falls Short

first_imgbrian s hall Manning’s story demands to take center stage, but unfortunately, the film fails to deliver. Wikileaks was as much a vehicle for Manning as it was the instigator of his deeds. A young man who seemed to have lived his entire life utterly unsure of his identity sought to define himself through a singular stunning act. For good or ill, he succeeded.Sadly, all this is underplayed in We Steal Secrets.Missed OpportunityMeanwhile, the larger implications of Wikileaks and what it has wrought go largely unexplored. The documentary fails to give us the full story – or even a very good story – on Manning, government secrecy, the explosion of personal digitized data, the tension between security and privacy, or what all of that portends. We StealSecrets features war, leaks, terrorism, cover-ups, social media, identity crises, intrigue and an upending of traditional power structures. Yet after a well-paced introduction, it somehow barely manages to holds the viewer’s interest. Just one more sad, inexplicable failing in a saga replete with sad, inexplicable failings.Images courtesy of We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Instead, We Steal Secrets devotes an inordinate amount of time to Assange himself – in particular, to the sexual assault allegations lodged against him in Sweden. (Those formed the basis for an extradition warrant that forced Assange to seek refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he’s now lived for more than a year.) Such charges are, of course, serious in their own right. But in the context of this film, they amount to a distraction from the much bigger issues at stake.People, Not MachinesThe film traces the creation of the Wikileaks site, focusing primarily on Assange’s troubled past and conflicted present. It then quickly touches on several of Wikileaks’ greatest hits – the so-called “collateral murder” video from Iraq, the release of State Department diplomatic cables spanning decades, and leaked documents from the financial industry following the 2008 financial collapse.The prim, arrogant, self-serving Assange, as the film depicts him, was the right person at the right time to seize upon the opportunities presented by a new world, one in which everything is online and therefore accessible. Wikileaks was a audacious, highly visible attempt to encourage the uncovering and exposure of long-guarded secrets inside the halls of established power, both government and corporate. Tags:#film#Government#privacy The high-profile documentaryWe Steal Secrets:The Story of Wikileaks expanded into wider release in theaters and video-on-demand on Friday. Which would seem to be fortuitous timing, given this week’s revelations that the NSA has been rifling through email and personal documents stored by Internet giants like Google and Apple and collecting months of call-related data from Verizon.And yet We Steal Secrets, which sets out to show how the post-9/11 American security state collided with the rise of global connectivity and social media, regrettably fails to probe what it all means. The documentary, directed by the undeniably talented (and Oscar-winning) Alex Gibney, doesn’t even bother to ask – much less answer – the biggest questions raised by the entire Wikileaks saga, such as:When does purportedly protective surveillance overreach, threatening personal privacy and constitutional protections?Is the U.S. safer because of Wikileaks? Or more democratic?Is it even possible to keep state secrets anymore?Where should we draw the line between government transparency and legitimate security? Related Posts Unexpectedly, the long-running U.S. war in Iraq provided Assange with just the opportunity he needed – in particular, when a tormented Army private named Bradley Manning enters the story. Portrayed as a mostly tragic, slightly heroic figure, Manning served unhappily in Iraq, tormented by his objections to the war and his own uncertainty about his sexual identity.He was assigned the job of “intelligence analyst” and given near-unfettered access to shocking amounts of rather shocking military data. Which he then proceeded to hand over to Wikileaks, at least until he was arrested a few months later after an online “buddy” he’d confided in turned him in. (Manning’s espionage trial, by the way, also started this week.) Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Three Maoists killed in Chhattisgarh

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Bucks expecting another hard-fought matchup with Celtics

first_imgSEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte “It’s going to be those kind of games where you have to grind it out, earn every possession and you can’t take anything for granted,” he said. “It’s about going out there and outworking the other team.”NOT JUST ABOUT GIANNISAs much confidence as the Bucks have in putting the ball in Antetokounmpo’s hands, Khris Middleton said they know everyone will have to be playing at their best to close out games against the Celtics.In their first-round series the Pistons never got within five points of the Bucks in the final five minutes of any of their four games. The Celtics have had only one double-digit win in the series.“Last year me and Giannis carried a lot of the load. (Eric Bledsoe) too,” Middleton said. This year we’re a complete team from top to bottom. Giannis is going to do his thing, I’m going to do my thing, Bled is going to do his thing. But the supporting cast is much more ready this year to step up and provide big minutes for us.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Giannis Antetokounmpo is having a career season and is one of the leading contenders for league MVP honors.And it is East top-seeded Milwaukee and not Boston that will tipoff Sunday’s Eastern Conference semifinals matchup with home-court advantage and as the favorite to advance to the conference finals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“A lot of things have changed,” Antetokounmpo said. “They haven’t changed as much. They play great basketball. They defend aggressively. They’re going to play with a lot of pace. Obviously, they have Kyrie this year. We’re just going to go out there, play hard and try to win games.”And Antetokounmpo has bigger goals than just trying to avenge last year’s first-round loss — though the sting of that setback remains with the Bucks. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated FILE – Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving (11) forces a jump ball against Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, center, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Much has changed since the Celtics outlasted the Bucks during their seven-game slugfest in the first round of last year’s NBA playoffs.For starters, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward are both healthy after injuries sidelined them for the entire postseason last year.ADVERTISEMENT “At this point, it’s five versus five, and who’s better at the end of the day.”Here are some other things to watch for in the Eastern Conference semifinals matchup between Boston and Milwaukee:INJURY UPDATEBoth teams will be short-handed in Game 1. Boston guard Marcus Smart is still recovering from the partial tear to his left oblique abdominal muscle that he suffered on April 7. And Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon is out for Games 1 and 2 as he continues deal with plantar fascia in his right foot.Smart was originally given a 4- to 6-week recovery window for the injury and sat out the entire first-round series with Indiana. But he was shooting and running sprints after practice on Friday.Coach Mike Budenholzer said they remain hopeful Brogdon can return at some point during the series.“He’s been on track but he’s still got some hurdles to cover,” Budenholzer said. “We’ll assess it when we get through this next little wave.”CLOSE GAMES EXPECTEDThe Bucks won two out of the three meetings with Boston during the regular season, with their wins coming by single digits.Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez believes the familiarity the teams have with each other will play a factor. “It’s a different situation, but there’s always ego and pride,” he said. “You want to win and avenge the loss last year. I don’t think the guys who were here last year forgot what we went through. We lost Game 7. Hopefully we have that in our mind, focus on what we’ve got to do now and try to win this series. And not repeat what we did last year.”Milwaukee has thrived in their first season under coach Mike Budenholzer, posting a league-best 60-22 record during the regular season and sweeping the Detroit Pistons in the first round, winning by an average of 24 points per game.The Celtics had an up and down year but found some missing cohesion during their first-round sweep of Indiana. They’ve been led by big scoring games by Irving, an increased comfort level by Hayward that was missing in the regular season and some late-game poise across the board.While Irving respects how much the Bucks have improved, he doesn’t see Boston as an underdog just because they are the lower seed.“To be honest, I don’t really care about the seeding. As long as we’re in there. It’s an even playing field,” he said. “All the regular season stats and the hype around the regular season? You can have it.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ LATEST STORIES Rockets eager for another chance at defending champion Warriors DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more