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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mystery Spots and Gravity Hills

http://paranormal.about.com/library/weekly/aa120301a.htm



Mystery Spots and Gravity Hills
Cars and balls seem to roll uphill, people appear able to stand at impossible angles - all in contradiction to the laws of gravity and physics. What's really happening at these curious locations?




Related Resources
Spooklights: Where to Find Them
Haunted Lighthouses
The Haunted Railroad Crossing

From Other Guides
Travel Talk: Healing Places to Visit

Elsewhere on the Web
Gravitational Mystery Spots
Roadside America

There are dozens of mystery spots to be found around the U.S., and many more gravity hills - places where gravity itself seems to be warped. Our perceptions of up, down, straight and crooked are confused by what some say are powerful gravitational anomalies and dizzying magnetic vortexes. Is that the case, or are our senses being fooled by clever man-made and natural optical illusions?

Here are just some of the more well-known locations:

The Mystery Spot - Santa Cruz, Ca.
Discovered in the 1940s, this site on Branciforte Drive in Santa Cruz just might be the most well-known "mystery spot" in the U.S. Tour guides walk visitors through the "Mystery Shack" that stands on this spot and demonstrate the many weird effects that seem to take place there. Balls roll uphill, brooms stand on end at odd angles, people's heights seem to change as they walk about, among other weird effects of perspective and gravity. Even the trees in the area do not stand straight. Some visitors actually feel faint within the shack. MORE INFORMATION

Spook Hill - Lake Wales, Fl.
Located between Orlando and Tampa, this stretch of road off Hwy. 27 is said to have gravity-defying effects on cars. The phenomenon on the sloping road is so well known that there is a sign on the roadside explaining its legend:

"Many years ago, an Indian village on Lake Wales was plagued by raids of a huge gator. The chief, a great warrior, killed the gator in a battle... The chief war buried on the north side. Pioneer mail riders first discovered their horses laboring down hill, thus naming it 'Spook Hill.' When the road was paved, cars coasted uphill. Is this the gator seeking revenge, or the chief still trying to protect his land."

The story is local folklore, obviously, but drivers do attest that when they stop their cars at a certain spot and shift their transmissions into neutral, the cars do seem to roll up the incline of the road. MORE INFORMATION

The Mystery Spot - St. Ignace, Mi.
Like the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot, this one in Michigan's upper peninsula also features an old shack situated on a sharply sloped landscape. Balls and water appear to defy gravity by moving uphill. People seem to be able to stand at impossible angles. MORE INFORMATION

Mystery Hill - Marblehead, Ohio
"See Mystery Hill defy the laws of nature and gravity..." declares the promotional material for this anomaly-plagued site in Ohio. Visitors to this place say that you can feel perfectly okay standing in one spot, then just a few inches away feel totally strange. Here, too, water seemingly flows uphill, a pendulum swings only to the south and people appear to change height right before your eyes. MORE INFORMATION

The Oregon Vortex - Gold Hill, Or.
Some kind of magnetic vortex - a spherical field of force, half above the ground and half below - is said to be responsible for the peculiar effects experienced at this site's House of Mystery. Those who visit the spot, it is claimed, cannot stand erect anywhere within the vortex, but are always inclined toward magnetic north. Distortions in perceived perspective are also affected, giving the impression, in some spots, that as a person approaches you he or she becomes shorter. There are other weird effects as well. MORE INFORMATION

Gravity Hill - Bedford County, Pa.
It's a place where gravity goes haywire, says one article about this hill near New Paris, Pa. A "GH" spray-painted on the road tells you when you've found the spot where you can stop your car, shift it into neutral, then sit in amazement as it seems to slowly begin to roll uphill. If you're still in doubt, you can do as other experimenters have done and pour water on the road - and watch as it flows uphill. MORE INFORMATION



Gravity Hill - Franklin Lakes, N.J.
This gravity hill on the Ewing Avenue exit of Rt. 208 South has one of those "ghost child" stories attached to it. The reason cars appear to roll uphill in defiance of gravity is because the ghost of a little girl pushes them that way. The little girl, the story goes, was killed by a passing car when she dashed into the road to fetch a ball. It's either that or some kind of anomalous magnetic field, they say, which also causes balls to roll up the hill instead of down. MORE INFORMATION

Mystery Hill - Blowing Rock, N.C.
The Mystery House in this N.C. attraction is said to have a stronger-than-normal gravitational pull to the north. A person can apparently stand at a 45-degree angle, they say, and balls can be shown to roll up an incline. The site also features some other optical illusions and puzzles. MORE INFORMATION

Cosmos Mystery Area - Rapid City, S.D.
Situated just six miles from the Mount Rushmore National Monument, the Cosmos Mystery Area on Hwy. 16 features a house where no one appears to be able stand up straight. A ball placed on a plank will appear to roll up it. "You can even stand on the wall!" says the promotional literature. MORE INFORMATION

Gravity Hill - Salt Lake City, Utah
This gravity hill is located a few blocks northwest of the Capitol building in Salt Lake City. On a road that leads down into a canyon, supposedly, gravity works against known physics. If you stop at the bottom of the hill here, they say, and put your car in neutral, the car will coast back uphill out of the canyon. There's a legend behind this one, too. Someone named Elmo is buried in the area, so the story goes, and his gravestone glows blue at midnight. It's the force of this ghostly presence that warps gravity.

What's the Explanation?

Is something paranormal taking place at all these mystery spots and gravity hills? Are there strange magnetic vortexes and bizarre gravity anomalies to account for the apparent phenomena reported by hundreds and hundreds of visitors? Or are these simply optical illusions?

Although it is well known that gravity is not uniform everywhere on Earth, there are no known areas where it has been scientifically proven that gravity does not act the way it is supposed to act. Of course this does not prove that such areas can exist or do exist, but the mystery spot attractions around the country and the hundreds of "gravity hills" are probably not among them.

As fun, entertaining, even baffling as these spots can be, it's unlikely that the cause is paranormal in any way - no vortexes, gravity anomalies or even ghost children.

As made clear at "Mystery Spots Explained," they are "cleverly engineered tourist attractions" designed to create convincing optical illusions. The "mystery houses," always constructed on steep inclines, take advantage of the fact that the human eye and brain can be easily fooled by deliberate distortions in perspective and odd angles. In this way, people can appear to always be standing at impossible angles, even on walls; balls and water only seem to move uphill; and pendulums just look as though they don't work quite right.

Similar illusions are at work on the so-called "gravity hills." Cars and tennis balls that look as though they are rolling uphill are actually being pulled downhill by gravity. Optical illusions created by the lay of the land and surrounding landscape fool the eye into thinking that the laws of physics are being defied. (If you want to check out these places for yourself, roadsideamerica.com offers a "Mystery Spot Test Kit.")

Despite these scientific explanations, mystery spots and gravity hills can be a source of wonder, curiosity and fun. Just don't expect anything paranormal to occur.

Arts Education in America

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/quincy-jones/arts-education-in-america_b_201127.html
Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones

Posted May 9, 2009 | 03:30 PM (EST)

Arts Education in America


Retweet this story!


In 1943, the United States Armed Forces Institute published a second edition of War Department Education Manual EM 603 Discovering Music: A Course in Music Appreciation by Howard D. McKinney and W.R. Anderson. The material presented in the book was a reprint of educational material taken from existing standard textbook matter used in American schools and colleges at that time and is significant to this discussion because the text included the following when discussing jazz:

Some may start with an enthusiasm for music of the jazz type, but they cannot go far there, for jazz is peculiarly of an inbred, feeble-stock race, incapable of development. In any case, the people for whom it is meant could not understand it if it did develop. Jazz is sterile. It is all right for fun, or as a mild anodyne, like tobacco. But its lack of rhythmical variety (necessitated by its special purpose), its brevity, its repetitiveness and lack of sustained development, together with the fact that commercial reasons prevent its being, as a rule, very well written, all mark it as a side issue, having next to nothing to do with serious music; and consequently it has proved itself entirely useless as a basis for developing the taste of the amateur.


The ambitious listener might better start from the level of Chopin's melodious piano music, or Grieg's northern elegiacs or Tchaikovsky's gorgeous colorfulness.

Fast-forward 56 years to 1999 where I had the distinct pleasure of contributing to 250 Ways To Make America Better, a collection of suggestions for improving America published by JFK, Jr. and the editors of George magazine. Among my eight suggestions to better the country was:

Give utmost attention to at-risk youth, Pay teachers higher wages, and Appoint an American minister of culture (Don't worry - I am NOT rallying for the job. I have a job. I have several jobs!).

I cite the text from these two publications because I believe they provide the perfect bookends from which an honest and earnest discussion about the importance of the arts in America can begin. As a musician, and at my core a jazz musician, my natural inclination is to gravitate to my area of specialty where this subject is concerned. But make no mistake, every artistic vocation whether it is music, dance, painting, literature, the moving image or architecture is vitally important to the fabric of our country's history and deserves to be protected, promoted and nurtured. As my friend Frank Gehry says, if architecture is frozen music, then music is liquid architecture.

For far too long, dating back to the emergence of Jazz and the Blues, our country has treated its only indigenous music as something unworthy of value because it was born on plantations and reared in jook joints. But the power that it possessed was mighty. From the time that I first traveled abroad as a 19 year-old trumpeter with Lionel Hampton in 1951 to being the music director for Dizzy Gillespie's State Department Tour in 1956 -- the first United States sponsored goodwill tour -- to the unifying power of "We Are The World" in 1985, I witnessed firsthand the transformational effects of our Gospel, Blues and Jazz, and its ability to transcend geographic and cultural boundaries.

And without fail, it was and remains America's artistic contributions, especially its music, that is universally embraced by other cultures, pushing aside their own indigenous music and adopting ours as their Esperanto. But today, we sit as one of two Western nations in the world without a Minister of Culture. When Jaime Austria and Peter Weitzner, two New York musicians, took the initiative after hearing a radio interview that I did several months ago to create an on-line petition calling for the appointment of a Secretary of the Arts -- an idea which I had originally suggested more than 10 years ago -- my belief in the power of the arts to bring people together for a common cause was reaffirmed yet again as the petition gained steam across America with an enormous outpouring of support.

It is so disheartening to me that today our children have no idea of their country's cultural heritage. For example, last fall while I was in Seattle during the opening ceremony of the performance arts center at my alma mater Garfield High School, a group of students gathered around me and one young man said that he was a musician and wanted advice on how to further his career. I told him "that first he had to really learn and master his craft." Then I asked him, "Do you know who Louis Armstrong was?" He said, "I think I've heard of him." I asked, "Do you know who Duke Ellington was?" He said, "No." Again I asked, "Do you know who Dizzy Gillespie was?" Again he responded "No." "Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk?" I asked, and again he said "No." It tore my heart apart that on this day that my alma mater was naming a building after me, that this young man had no idea who the men were that put me on their shoulders and helped shaped who I was as a young musician. Men who will forever stand at the foundation of popular music, and who I believe in years to come will be regarded as America's Chopins, Griegs and Tchaikovskys.

We currently have prestigious institutions tasked with overseeing the promotion and caretaking of our cultural legacy but regrettably, they have been unable to open up the vast treasures of our culture to all segments of our society.

In the face of our record business collapsing around the world, I consider it a tragedy on the part of our educational institutions that our children are virtually devoid of their home-grown culture while that same culture is accepted and celebrated all over the world. With the belief that we must first clean our own house in regard to preserving our cultural legacy, I recently hosted a gathering of some of our nation's leaders in music education, the music industry, corporations, foundations and philanthropists to share resources, networks and ideas to make music education an ongoing part of the lives of children in the United States.

The objective of this initial consortium will be to identify a 12-month plan of very specific action steps that will serve as the foundation achieving the goals of

1. Creating a program that ensures our children are thoroughly grounded in the history of American music and its importance to the cultural identity of our nation.

2. Increase the percentage of children that are participating in at-school and after-school programs.

3. Increase the quality and number of the most qualified music educators in the United States.

4. Through partnership with the participants, develop shared advocacy and funding initiatives for youth music programs.

Our culture is as much a part of and just as important to our American history as Washington's crossing of the Delaware, the invasion of Normandy and the landing of a man on the moon and is just as important to our children's educational development.

It has been proven time and time again in countless studies that students who actively participate in arts education are twice as likely to read for pleasure, have strengthened problem-solving and critical thinking skills, are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, four times more likely to participate in a math and science fair, three times more likely to win an award for school attendance, and four times more likely to win an award for writing an essay of poem. Can you imagine what that does for the self esteem of a child? The confidence it instills in them to overcome any obstacle that they are presented with?

Every great society from the Egyptians, to the Greek and Roman Empires, has been defined by its cultural contributions. The commercial benefits of the arts not withstanding -- our artistic endeavors are a consistent source of revenue in the United States and our nation's largest export -- can we really run the risk of becoming a culturally bankrupt nation because we have not inserted a curriculum into our educational institutions that will teach and nurture creativity in our children? That when future generations look back our cultural legacy is an age of disposable, vapid pabulum.

I am of the mindset that you have to know where you come from to get to where you're going. The time has come to make a concerted effort from both the public and private sectors to put in place a system whereby our children and future generations will be aware of our county's rich cultural legacy and contributions to the world. The arts, particularly our music, are the soul of our country. They are an expression of our spiritual ideals and a timeline of the emotional state of our nation... scars and all. It is a disservice to every American not to recognize them in their proper light.

Regarding jazz, the War Department Education Manual EM 603 Discovering Music: A Course in Music Appreciation would go on to conclude that:

Jazz is too fixed in its limitations and too narrow in the variety and quality of its content to be able to maintain itself long in a world of flux and change. Influential as it has been as a factor in the cultivation of present-day taste, it can hardly be looked upon as a real basis for the development of an American musical idiom.

As a jazz man, I'm thrilled that they were wrong. Our country has a long history of discarding and devaluing our cultural resources particularly where music is concerned. And although we have thankfully evolved in this pursuit, we still have much further to go before we can claim that we are diligent protectors of our cultural heritage.

In the global landscape that we live in today where ideas are exchanged with the stroke of a send key, what better way to influence nations than by exposing them to the basic belief in freedom of expression that is inherent in our nation and witnessed through our culture.

Arts Education in America

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/quincy-jones/arts-education-in-america_b_201127.html
Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones

Posted May 9, 2009 | 03:30 PM (EST)

Arts Education in America


Retweet this story!


In 1943, the United States Armed Forces Institute published a second edition of War Department Education Manual EM 603 Discovering Music: A Course in Music Appreciation by Howard D. McKinney and W.R. Anderson. The material presented in the book was a reprint of educational material taken from existing standard textbook matter used in American schools and colleges at that time and is significant to this discussion because the text included the following when discussing jazz:

Some may start with an enthusiasm for music of the jazz type, but they cannot go far there, for jazz is peculiarly of an inbred, feeble-stock race, incapable of development. In any case, the people for whom it is meant could not understand it if it did develop. Jazz is sterile. It is all right for fun, or as a mild anodyne, like tobacco. But its lack of rhythmical variety (necessitated by its special purpose), its brevity, its repetitiveness and lack of sustained development, together with the fact that commercial reasons prevent its being, as a rule, very well written, all mark it as a side issue, having next to nothing to do with serious music; and consequently it has proved itself entirely useless as a basis for developing the taste of the amateur.


The ambitious listener might better start from the level of Chopin's melodious piano music, or Grieg's northern elegiacs or Tchaikovsky's gorgeous colorfulness.

Fast-forward 56 years to 1999 where I had the distinct pleasure of contributing to 250 Ways To Make America Better, a collection of suggestions for improving America published by JFK, Jr. and the editors of George magazine. Among my eight suggestions to better the country was:

Give utmost attention to at-risk youth, Pay teachers higher wages, and Appoint an American minister of culture (Don't worry - I am NOT rallying for the job. I have a job. I have several jobs!).

I cite the text from these two publications because I believe they provide the perfect bookends from which an honest and earnest discussion about the importance of the arts in America can begin. As a musician, and at my core a jazz musician, my natural inclination is to gravitate to my area of specialty where this subject is concerned. But make no mistake, every artistic vocation whether it is music, dance, painting, literature, the moving image or architecture is vitally important to the fabric of our country's history and deserves to be protected, promoted and nurtured. As my friend Frank Gehry says, if architecture is frozen music, then music is liquid architecture.

For far too long, dating back to the emergence of Jazz and the Blues, our country has treated its only indigenous music as something unworthy of value because it was born on plantations and reared in jook joints. But the power that it possessed was mighty. From the time that I first traveled abroad as a 19 year-old trumpeter with Lionel Hampton in 1951 to being the music director for Dizzy Gillespie's State Department Tour in 1956 -- the first United States sponsored goodwill tour -- to the unifying power of "We Are The World" in 1985, I witnessed firsthand the transformational effects of our Gospel, Blues and Jazz, and its ability to transcend geographic and cultural boundaries.

And without fail, it was and remains America's artistic contributions, especially its music, that is universally embraced by other cultures, pushing aside their own indigenous music and adopting ours as their Esperanto. But today, we sit as one of two Western nations in the world without a Minister of Culture. When Jaime Austria and Peter Weitzner, two New York musicians, took the initiative after hearing a radio interview that I did several months ago to create an on-line petition calling for the appointment of a Secretary of the Arts -- an idea which I had originally suggested more than 10 years ago -- my belief in the power of the arts to bring people together for a common cause was reaffirmed yet again as the petition gained steam across America with an enormous outpouring of support.

It is so disheartening to me that today our children have no idea of their country's cultural heritage. For example, last fall while I was in Seattle during the opening ceremony of the performance arts center at my alma mater Garfield High School, a group of students gathered around me and one young man said that he was a musician and wanted advice on how to further his career. I told him "that first he had to really learn and master his craft." Then I asked him, "Do you know who Louis Armstrong was?" He said, "I think I've heard of him." I asked, "Do you know who Duke Ellington was?" He said, "No." Again I asked, "Do you know who Dizzy Gillespie was?" Again he responded "No." "Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk?" I asked, and again he said "No." It tore my heart apart that on this day that my alma mater was naming a building after me, that this young man had no idea who the men were that put me on their shoulders and helped shaped who I was as a young musician. Men who will forever stand at the foundation of popular music, and who I believe in years to come will be regarded as America's Chopins, Griegs and Tchaikovskys.

We currently have prestigious institutions tasked with overseeing the promotion and caretaking of our cultural legacy but regrettably, they have been unable to open up the vast treasures of our culture to all segments of our society.

In the face of our record business collapsing around the world, I consider it a tragedy on the part of our educational institutions that our children are virtually devoid of their home-grown culture while that same culture is accepted and celebrated all over the world. With the belief that we must first clean our own house in regard to preserving our cultural legacy, I recently hosted a gathering of some of our nation's leaders in music education, the music industry, corporations, foundations and philanthropists to share resources, networks and ideas to make music education an ongoing part of the lives of children in the United States.

The objective of this initial consortium will be to identify a 12-month plan of very specific action steps that will serve as the foundation achieving the goals of

1. Creating a program that ensures our children are thoroughly grounded in the history of American music and its importance to the cultural identity of our nation.

2. Increase the percentage of children that are participating in at-school and after-school programs.

3. Increase the quality and number of the most qualified music educators in the United States.

4. Through partnership with the participants, develop shared advocacy and funding initiatives for youth music programs.

Our culture is as much a part of and just as important to our American history as Washington's crossing of the Delaware, the invasion of Normandy and the landing of a man on the moon and is just as important to our children's educational development.

It has been proven time and time again in countless studies that students who actively participate in arts education are twice as likely to read for pleasure, have strengthened problem-solving and critical thinking skills, are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, four times more likely to participate in a math and science fair, three times more likely to win an award for school attendance, and four times more likely to win an award for writing an essay of poem. Can you imagine what that does for the self esteem of a child? The confidence it instills in them to overcome any obstacle that they are presented with?

Every great society from the Egyptians, to the Greek and Roman Empires, has been defined by its cultural contributions. The commercial benefits of the arts not withstanding -- our artistic endeavors are a consistent source of revenue in the United States and our nation's largest export -- can we really run the risk of becoming a culturally bankrupt nation because we have not inserted a curriculum into our educational institutions that will teach and nurture creativity in our children? That when future generations look back our cultural legacy is an age of disposable, vapid pabulum.

I am of the mindset that you have to know where you come from to get to where you're going. The time has come to make a concerted effort from both the public and private sectors to put in place a system whereby our children and future generations will be aware of our county's rich cultural legacy and contributions to the world. The arts, particularly our music, are the soul of our country. They are an expression of our spiritual ideals and a timeline of the emotional state of our nation... scars and all. It is a disservice to every American not to recognize them in their proper light.

Regarding jazz, the War Department Education Manual EM 603 Discovering Music: A Course in Music Appreciation would go on to conclude that:

Jazz is too fixed in its limitations and too narrow in the variety and quality of its content to be able to maintain itself long in a world of flux and change. Influential as it has been as a factor in the cultivation of present-day taste, it can hardly be looked upon as a real basis for the development of an American musical idiom.

As a jazz man, I'm thrilled that they were wrong. Our country has a long history of discarding and devaluing our cultural resources particularly where music is concerned. And although we have thankfully evolved in this pursuit, we still have much further to go before we can claim that we are diligent protectors of our cultural heritage.

In the global landscape that we live in today where ideas are exchanged with the stroke of a send key, what better way to influence nations than by exposing them to the basic belief in freedom of expression that is inherent in our nation and witnessed through our culture.

Justice Dept. pressed to explain Panthers dropped charges





http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/07/civil-rights-panel-to-push-for-panthers-explanatio/




Justice Dept. pressed to explain Panthers dropped charges

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The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is expected to approve Friday the sending of a second letter to the Justice Department, asking it to justify its decision in May to drop charges against members of the New Black Panther Party accused of intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place in the November election.

Martin Dannenfelser, staff director, said a majority of the commissioners were not satisfied with a response by the department to a June 16 letter, in which the commission said the decision to drop the case had caused it "great confusion" since the NBPP members were "caught on video blocking access to the polls, and physically threatening and verbally harassing voters."

That letter said that even after a federal judge ruled that the department had won the case since the NBPP members failed to appear it court, it "took the unusual move of voluntarily dismissing the charges," which, it said, sent "the wrong message entirely - that attempts at voter suppression will be tolerated and will not be vigorously prosecuted so long as the groups or individuals who engage in them fail to respond to the charges."

Mr. Dannenfelser said the commission, an independent fact-finding body, could hold hearings on its own in the case and call witnesses to testify, or it could conduct its own inquiry and make referrals for action to the federal government.

But he questioned who would enforce any subpoenas the commission might issue or who would act on any referrals it might approve -- both would be directed to the Justice Department.

In an undated letter received by the commission June 20, the Justice Department said the complaint was dismissed because "the facts and the law did not support" the accusations, and came after a "careful and thorough review by Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King."

The department also noted in its letter, made public Thursday by Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, that the NBPP member who wielded the nightstick, King Samir Shabazz, was named in a separate judgment prohibiting him from "displaying a weapon within 100 feet of any open polling location of any election day in the city of Philadelphia."

The letter also said a judgment against a second Panther, Jerry Jackson, was not sought because police called to the polling place ordered Samir Shabazz to leave but allowed Mr. Jackson, a certified Democratic poll watcher, to stay.

According to its letter, the department also did not seek a default judgment against Malik Zulu Shabazz, the NBPP leader accused of having managed and directed the polling place incident, because the evidence did not support the accusations. It said the party posted statements on its Web site specifically disavowing the activities at the polling place and suspended the Philadelphia charter because of its activities.

Earlier this week, Commission Chairman Gerald A. Reynolds said the Justice Department's response to why it dismissed the case was "weak," adding that he feared the legal precedent set in the case might encourage "other hate groups" to act similarly at polling locations in the future.

Mr. Reynolds, a former deputy associate attorney general and assistant secretary of education for the Office for Civil Rights under President George W. Bush, also charged that other groups might not have been treated so leniently.

"If you swap out the New Black Panther Party in this case for neo-Nazi groups or the Ku Klux Klan, you likely would have had a different outcome," he said.

In January, career lawyers at Justice filed a civil complaint in Philadelphia against the New Black Panther Party, but four months later, Justice officials dropped the charges after Ms. King, in her acting role as a political appointee, met with Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, the department's No. 3 political appointee.

Mr. Perrelli ultimately approved the decision, according to interviews with department officials who sought anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

US won't investigate Black Panthers for voter intimidation

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is expected to approve Friday the sending of a second letter to the Justice Department, asking it to justify its decision in May to drop charges against members of the New Black Panther Party accused of intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place in the November election.

Martin Dannenfelser, staff director, said a majority of the commissioners were not satisfied with a response by the department to a June 16 letter, in which the commission said the decision to drop the case had caused it "great confusion" since the NBPP members were "caught on video blocking access to the polls, and physically threatening and verbally harassing voters."

In an undated letter received by the commission June 20, the Justice Department said the complaint was dismissed because "the facts and the law did not support" the accusations, and came after a "careful and thorough review by Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King."



http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/07/civil-rights-panel-to-push-for-panthers-explanatio/

All civilizations die the same way

As archaeologist Timothy Pauketat's cautious but mesmerizing new book, "Cahokia: Ancient America's Great City on the Mississippi," makes clear, Cahokia -- the greatest Native American city north of Mexico -- definitely belongs to human history. At its peak in the 12th century, this settlement along the Mississippi River bottomland of western Illinois, a few miles east of modern-day St. Louis, was probably larger than London, and held economic, cultural and religious sway over a vast swath of the American heartland.

Well into the 19th century, many white Americans refused to believe that the "savages" they encountered in their ruthless drive across the continent could have built the impressive mounds or earthen pyramids found at numerous places in the Midwest and Southeast. Cahokia is by far the biggest such site, but by no means the first. There are several mound complexes in the Deep South that predate the time of Christ, and one in Louisiana has been dated to 3,400 B.C., well before the building of the Egyptian or Maya pyramids.

..snip..

This led to the idea that some ancient, superior "Mound Builder" civilization -- variously proposed to be Viking, Greek, Chinese or Israelite in origin -- had originally settled the continent before being overrun by the wild and warlike American Indians.

..snip..

He seems on firmer intuitive ground in suggesting that outlying agrarian villages, whose populations were ethnically and culturally distinctive, much poorer than Cahokians and predominantly female, may have provided the Cahokia elite with sacrificial victims.

[ The answer stares him in the face: the Cahokians were a higher version of the tribes found today, who were created when the elites got overwhelmed by their slave populations, which is why the new population didn't build great cities like Cahokia. The article does a lot of hand-waving about human sacrifice to obscure this fact. ]

http://www.salon.com/books/review/2009/08/06/cahokia/index1.html

Dwindling water, food, oil and time

But the first detailed assessment of more than 800 oil fields in the world, covering three quarters of global reserves, has found that most of the biggest fields have already peaked and that the rate of decline in oil production is now running at nearly twice the pace as calculated just two years ago. On top of this, there is a problem of chronic under-investment by oil-producing countries, a feature that is set to result in an "oil crunch" within the next five years which will jeopardise any hope of a recovery from the present global economic recession, he said.

[ This issue has faded from the media lens but is just as present as it ever was. In addition, fresh water, food supplies and open spaces are dwindling. Looks like when people told us to be tolerant and accept every stupid idea that came along, we were building a nightmare for the future. Imagine that! The average voter cannot, which is why smart people oppose democracy. ]

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/warning-oil-supplies-are-running-out-fast-1766585.html

Suddenly, they wake up

"At this point in my life, I have never seen my America turned into what it has turned into, and I want my America back," said one woman, on the verge of tears. "

[ The problem is not blacks; it's multiculturalism and liberalism, both of which encourage the herd to gang up on the few people who are realistic. Like the revolutions in 1789, 1917 and 1968, this is another power grab by the people without a clue -- but a burning desire for revenge. The normal, European-American is now an endangered species, and some of them are shaking off their TV-stupor long enough to figure that out. ]

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/8/6/762609/-White-Racists-Want-Their-America-Back.-

Legitimizing psychological re-programming

Scientific evidence shows the main influences of climate change are behavioral â€" population growth and energy consumption. "What is unique about current global climate change is the role of human behavior," said task force chair Janet Swim, PhD, of Pennsylvania State University. "We must look at the reasons people are not acting in order to understand how to get people to act."

[ Yeah, well, people are overwhelmed because our society is neurotic. How about fixing that first, instead of trying to legitimize your propaganda? Environmentalism is important, but the way this society goes about it is so tainted by illusion that it's more of an excuse for a power grab than an honest "green" direction. ]

http://www.apa.org/releases/climate-change.html?imw=Y

Pro-Nazi author "rehabilitated"

All this week, Norway is feting a writer who was lucky to escape being shot for his shameless collaboration with the Nazis. Knut Hamsun was either, according to taste, one of the greatest figures in world literature, or a vile old man with a head full of nasty ideas who betrayed his country.

[ You have the "freedom" to choose any political party you like, so long as the Herd doesn't dislike it. If not, your books will be ignored even if they're better than anything the herdists are currently writing. ]

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/rehabilitated-nobel-prize-winner-who-fell-for-hitler-1768518.html

Eight Christians burnt to death in Pakistan after Koran is 'defiled'

Paramilitary troops patrolled the streets of a town in eastern Pakistan yesterday after Muslim radicals burnt to death eight members of a Christian family, raising fears of violence spreading to other areas.

Hundreds of armed supporters of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an outlawed Islamic militant group, set alight dozens of Christian homes in Gojra town at the weekend after allegations that a copy of the Koran had been defiled.

The mob opened fire indiscriminately, threw petrol bombs and looted houses as thousands of frightened Christians ran for safety. "They were shouting anti-Christian slogans and attacked our houses," Rafiq Masih, a resident of the predominantly Christian colony, said. Residents said that police stood aside while the mob went on the rampage. "We kept begging for protection, but police did not take action," Mr Masih said.

[ Pluralism = fail ]

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6736696.ece

Israelis pay to adopt Romanian children so they can sell their organs

Romanian authorities are looking into possible links between Israeli adoption agencies and an illegal global conspiracy to sell organs for transplants.

The Romanian Embassy in Israel has asked for, and received from the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry, a list of all children born in Romania who have been brought to Israel for adoption in recent years. The Romanian officials are trying to ascertain if all such children arrived in Israel with all organs in their bodies.

Responding to complaints and rumors, Romanian authorities have taken the highly unusual step in the past year of withholding authorization for the adoption of 16 Romanian babies destined for Israeli parents. This delay has been enforced although the Israeli couples have paid $20,000 each to adopt the infants, and have already become acquainted with the babies in the foster homes and institutions where they are being held. Romanian authorities insist they will not give the go ahead for the adoptions until inquiries about possible wrong-doing are completed.

[ As the white race - the only people willing and able to enforce humane standards of behaviour - shrinks, so the risk of such exploitation increases. What will the future be for our grandchildren's generation? ]

http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=105107&sw=Romania

Germany's pro-Hitler party plans 'training centre'

Germany's far-right National Democratic party (NPD) has triggered outrage with plans for a Third Reich-style "training centre" in a small village.

The mastermind of the scheme is Jargen Rieger, a lawyer and deputy leader of the anti-immigrant, anti-EU party that is steeped in pride for Adolf Hitler and the "achievements" of the Nazi regime. The idea is for the old Hotel Gerhus at Fassberg, near Hanover, to become a place of pilgrimage for NPD devotees, where they can learn about the "menace" of immigration, the "criminality" of Roma gypsies and the "innate decency of law-abiding German nationalists".

Mr Rieger, 61, has also tried to open Boys From Brazil-style "breeding centres" in other locations; the plan being for all white, Ayran racists like himself to produce offspring to people the Fourth Reich, which he believes is coming one day.

[ That last part is a rather sad reflection on the white race. It really seems that these days whites have to feel they are on some kind of serious MISSION in order to reproduce enough to even replace ourselves. ]

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germanys-prohitler-party-plans-training-centre-1764700.html

More than hockey at stake in this game

http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/More+than+hockey+stake+this+game/1872256/story.html



-


More than hockey at stake in this game

Hockey going out of style in Canada? I doubt it, notwithstanding Lethbridge sociology professor Reg Bibby's latest study. However, in showing how new arrivals to Canada don't get hockey--and even less do their children--Bibby points out what everybody knows, but hates to talk about: Immigration changes a country.

So, what exactly do we want to become?

First, the study, though. Bibby is a veteran researcher and a respected authority on social trends. He has in the past alerted us to Canadians' diminished sense of threat from crime, the progressive decline of organized religion, and then --to our surprise--rays of hope for it, and changing attitudes to marriage.

Now, his latest report makes this challenging claim: We aren't nearly as keen on hockey as we think.

"It's one of the few Canadian myths we have, this alleged (nationwide) love of hockey," he says, and what's worse, it's the younger generation that's not engaged.

"We can no longer take it for granted that growing up in Canada means you're going to be in love with hockey, or the NHL specifically."

It is good that he made the pro-am distinction, though. Hockey is absolutely not fading away: Trying to negotiate one's way through any of Calgary's residential mazes on a weekend usually involves a slalom around hockey nets, among which small boys present a further obstacle to progress. Professional sports trying to scare up millions of dollars to pay their stars may have a problem. Kids however, still like to take a stick to a piece of rubber. Or each other. Either way, it's hockey.

But, if Bibby's right, kids are losing interest in the NHL, especially the children of immigrants. His research, published in his new book, The Emerging Millennials, indicates four in 10 teenagers born to Canadian-born parents are interested in professional hockey, but among those with parents born outside Canada, only a third pay much attention to Canada's supposed national sport.

Of course, if even a third of the younger generation is as much as somewhat interested in something, that something is not in much trouble. There could also be a number of reasons why professional hockey is in decline that have nothing to do with culture: for instance, competing amusements. And maybe team performance? The Calgary Flames do well--the number of hits on the Herald's Flames website is astonishing-- so perhaps it's no accident 48 per cent of young people Bibby surveyed here say they're keen.

Then there's Toronto whose Maple Leafs I have heard compared to the Titanic-- both look great until they hit the ice--where only 20 per cent of young people care. It figures.

Still, none of this detracts from a point upon which Bibby is explicit: Despite hockey's long-standing cultural enshrinement here, immigration patterns are reprogramming our national DNA.

How could they not?

When the French arrived in New France 400 years ago, they did things differently to the Indians there. Then came the British, who had for instance, an entirely different approach to law and government than did the French. And so on.

Immigrants are by definition products of a different country, and therefore the vast majority of them spring from a different culture.

They bring their own expectations, prejudices, cultural quirks and acquired behaviours. Some mindsets work well here; some, those favouring female circumcision for example, we can do without.

Sadly, the people who rewrote Canada's immigration laws in the '60s either did not understand this, or wilfully ignored it for short-term political gain.

They erected a shibboleth called multiculturalism, declared all cultures equally valuable, and set about promoting them as part of a so-called Canadian mosaic, lest anyone think we were an American melting pot.

But, while all people are equal before the law, all cultures are not equally valuable.

Canadians who read of Bibby's hockey research may well blow a patriotic gasket. But, hockey is not in nearly such danger as some of the good old rights and freedoms those same Canadians continue to believe they have, despite 27 years of headlines about bizarre human rights tribunal rulings (that seek in effect to establish that, contrary to repetitive patterns of disturbing behaviour that embarrass certain demographics, all cultures are equal really).

Defining Canadian culture can be like trying to nail jelly to the wall, but even so there is a very fine basic working consensus: Government prefers no particular religion, men and women have the same opportunities and rights to own property and choose with whom they will share their lives, and one common law founded on Judeo-Christian traditions shall decide among us.

As long as we continue to attract people who will attach themselves to this recipe for liberty, these shared values will flourish.

The reverse is also true.

There being more than hockey at stake, it is time for those who value liberty to speak up.

nhannaford@theherald.canwest.com

Last of 3 Ind. State Prison escaped inmates caught

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5huozdJihiGnf3_Jka9J489-Rle0gD99KBC7O4




Last of 3 Ind. State Prison escaped inmates caught

INDIANAPOLIS — The last of three convicts who escaped from the maximum-security Indiana State Prison was captured at a hotel in Indianapolis on Thursday after 11 days on the run, authorities said.

About 20 members of a U.S. Marshals fugitive task force arrested convicted murderer Mark Booher around noon on the northwest side of the city, Supervisory Inspector Shannon Robinson said. He was alone and unarmed in the hotel room, which was not registered in his name, she said.

Booher and two other inmates escaped July 12 through the underground tunnel system of the prison in Michigan City.

Convicted murderer Charles Smith, of New Castle, was captured the following day about eight miles from the prison in Grand Beach, Mich. Authorities arrested Lance Battreal, who was convicted of rape, on Tuesday at his parents' home in the southern Indiana town of Rockport.

Booher, 46, also from New Castle, about 40 miles east of Indianapolis, was taken to the Indiana Department of Correction intake center in Plainfield, Robinson said.

"Everyone is tremendously elated to have this over," she said.

U.S. marshals learned Wednesday that Booher was in the Indianapolis area, and investigators found out he was staying at InTown Suites, an extended stay hotel, the marshals said in a statement. Authorities did not provide many details about how they located Booher, but Robinson said it didn't come from a tip.

Investigators were piecing together how Booher got from Michigan City to Indianapolis and whether the escapees had help, she said. The investigation was still "in its infancy" and likely will be taken over by state authorities, Robinson said.

"I think ... these guys thought about this for a long time and they thought of a lot of contingencies," she said.

A woman who answered the phone at InTown Suites said the hotel would have no comment.

European colonization of the Americas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_colonization_of_the_Americas
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European colonization of the Americas

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North America: Territorial Sovereignty, 1750-present
European colonization
of the Americas
History of the Americas
British colonization
Courland colonization
Danish colonization
Dutch colonization
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Decolonization
South America: Territorial Sovereignty, 1700-present

The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492, although there was at least one earlier colonization effort. The first known Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings (Norse) during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in the area the Norse called Vinland, present day Newfoundland. Settlements in Greenland survived for several centuries, during which time the Greenland Norse and the Inuit people experienced mostly hostile contact. By the end of the 15th century, the Norse Greenland settlements had collapsed[1].

In 1492, a Spanish expedition headed by Christopher Columbus reached the Americas, after which European exploration and colonization rapidly expanded, first through much of the Caribbean Sea region (including the islands of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and Cuba) and, early in the 16th century, parts of the mainlands of North and South America. Although Christopher Columbus is credited for discovering America, he was preceded by John Cabot who was the first to land in North America. Eventually, the entire Western Hemisphere would come under the domination of European nations, leading to profound changes to its landscape, population, and plant and animal life. In the 19th century alone over 50 million people left Europe for the Americas.[2] The post-1492 era is known as the period of the Columbian Exchange.

Contents

[]

[] Early conquests, claims, and colonies

Territories in the Americas colonized or claimed by a European great power in 1750.

The first conquests were made by the Spanish and the Portuguese. In the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, ratified by the Pope, these two kingdoms divided the entire non-European world between themselves, with a line drawn through South America. Based on this Treaty, and the claims by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa to all lands touching the Pacific Ocean, the Spanish rapidly conquered territory, overthrowing the Aztec and Inca Empires to gain control of much of western South America, Central America and Mexico by the mid-16th century, in addition to its earlier Caribbean conquests. Over this same timeframe, Portugal conquered much of eastern South America, naming it Brazil.

Other European nations soon disputed the terms of the Treaty of Tordesillas, which they had not negotiated. England and France attempted to plant colonies in the Americas in the 16th century, but these met with failure. However, in the following century, the two kingdoms, along with the Dutch Republic, succeeded in establishing permanent colonies. Some of these were on Caribbean islands, which had often already been conquered by the Spanish or depopulated by disease, while others were in eastern North America, which had not been colonized by Spain north of Florida.

Early European possessions in North America included Spanish Florida, the English colonies of Virginia (with its North Atlantic off-shoot, The Somers Isles) and New England, the French colonies of Acadia and Canada, the Swedish colony of New Sweden, and the Dutch New Netherland. In the 18th century, Denmark–Norway revived its former colonies in Greenland, while the Russian Empire gained a foothold in Alaska.

As more nations gained an interest in the colonization of the Americas, competition for territory became increasingly fierce. Colonists often faced the threat of attacks from neighboring colonies, as well as from indigenous tribes and pirates.

[] Early state-sponsored colonists

The first phase of European activity in the Americas began with the Atlantic Ocean crossings of Christopher Columbus (1492-1504), sponsored by Spain, whose original attempt was to find a new route to India and China, known as "the Indies." He was followed by other explorers such as John Cabot, who reached Newfoundland and was sponsored by England. Pedro Álvares Cabral reached Brazil and claimed it for Portugal. Amerigo Vespucci, working for Portugal in voyages from 1497 to 1513, established that Columbus had reached a new set of continents. Cartographers still use a Latinized version of his first name, America, for the two continents. Other explorers included Giovanni da Verrazzano, sponsored by France; the Portuguese João Vaz Corte-Real in Newfoundland; and Samuel de Champlain (1567-1635) who explored Canada. In 1513, Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and led the first European expedition to see the Pacific Ocean from the west coast of the New World. In an action with enduring historical import, Balboa claimed the Pacific Ocean and all the lands adjoining it for the Spanish Crown. It was 1517 before another expedition from Cuba visited Central America, landing on the coast of Yucatán in search of slaves.

Spanish and Portuguese Empires in the period of their personal union (1581-1640).

These explorations were followed, notably in the case of Spain, by a phase of conquest: The Spaniards, having just finished the Reconquista of Spain from Muslim rule, were the first to colonize the Americas, applying the same model of governing to the former Al-Andalus as to their territories of the New World. Ten years after Columbus's discovery, the administration of Hispaniola was given to Nicolás de Ovando of the Order of Alcántara, founded during the Reconquista. As in the Iberian Peninsula, the inhabitants of Hispaniola were given new landmasters, while religious orders handled the local administration. Progressively the encomienda system, which granted land to European settlers, was set in place.

A relatively small number of conquistadores conquered vast territories, aided by disease epidemics and divisions among native ethnic groups. Mexico was conquered by Hernán Cortés in 1519-1521, while the conquest of the Inca, by Francisco Pizarro, occurred from 1532-35.

Over the first century and a half after Columbus's voyages, the native population of the Americas plummeted by an estimated 80% (from around 50 million in 1492 to eight million in 1650[3]), mostly by outbreaks of Old World diseases but also by several massacres and forced labour (the mita was re-established in the old Inca Empire, and the tequitl – equivalent of the mita – in the Aztec Empire). The conquistadores replaced the native American oligarchies, in part through miscegenation with the local elites. In 1532, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor imposed a vice-king to Mexico, Antonio de Mendoza, in order to prevent Cortes' independantist drives, who definitively returned to Spain in 1540. Two years later, Charles V signed the New Laws (which replaced the Laws of Burgos of 1512) prohibiting slavery and the repartimientos, but also claiming as his own all the American lands and all of the autochthonous people as his own subjects.

When in May 1493, the Pope Alexander VI enacted the Inter caetera bull granting the new lands to the Kingdom of Spain, he requested in exchange an evangelization of the people. Thus, during Columbus's second voyage, Benedictine friars accompanied him, along with twelve other priests. As slavery was prohibited between Christians, and could only be imposed in non-Christian prisoners of war or on men already sold as slaves, the debate on Christianization was particularly acute during the 16th century. In 1537, the papal bull Sublimis Deus recognized that Native Americans possessed souls, thus prohibiting their enslavement, without putting an end to the debate. Some claimed that a native who had rebelled and then been captured could be enslaved nonetheless. Later, the Valladolid controversy opposed the Dominican priest Bartolomé de Las Casas to another Dominican philosopher Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, the first one arguing that Native Americans were beings doted with souls, as all other human beings, while the latter argued to the contrary and justified their enslavement. The process of Christianization was at first violent: when the first Franciscans arrived in Mexico in 1524, they burned the places dedicated to pagan cult, alienating much of the local population[4]. In the 1530s, they began to adapt Christian practices to local customs, including the building of new churches on the sites of ancient places of worship, leading to a mix of Old World Christianity with local religions[4]. The Spanish Roman Catholic Church, needing the natives' labor and cooperation, evangelized in Quechua, Nahuatl, Guarani and other Native American languages, contributing to the expansion of these indigenous languages and equipping some of them with writing systems. One of the first primitive schools for Native Americans was founded by Fray Pedro de Gante in 1523.

To reward their troops, the Conquistadores often allotted Indian towns to their troops and officers. Black African slaves were introduced to substitute for Native American labor in some locations - most notably the West Indies, where the indigenous population was nearing extinction on many islands.

During this time, the Portuguese gradually switched from an initial plan of establishing trading posts to extensive colonization of what is now Brazil. They imported millions of slaves to run their plantations.

The Portuguese and Spanish royal governments expected to rule these settlements and collect at least 20% of all treasure found (the Quinto Real collected by the Casa de Contratación), in addition to collecting all the taxes they could. By the late 16th century American silver accounted for one-fifth of Spain's total budget.[5] In the 16th century perhaps 240,000 Europeans entered American ports.[6][7]

[] Economic immigrants

Inspired by the Spanish riches from colonies founded upon the conquest of the Aztecs, Incas, and other large Native American populations in the sixteenth century, the first Englishmen to settle permanently in America hoped for some of the same rich discoveries when they established their first permanent settlement in Jamestown, Virginia. They were sponsored by common stock companies such as the chartered Virginia Company (and its off-shoot, the Somers Isles Company) financed by wealthy Englishmen who understood the economic potential of this new land. The main purpose of this colony was the hope of finding gold or the possibility (or impossibility) of finding a passage through the Americas to the Indies. It took strong leaders, like John Smith, to convince the colonists of Jamestown that searching for gold was not taking care of their immediate needs for food and shelter and that "he who shall not work shall not eat." (A direction based on text from the New Testament.) The extremely high mortality rate was quite distressing and cause for despair among the colonists. Tobacco later became a cash crop, with the work of John Rolfe and others, for export and the sustaining economic driver of Virginia and nearby colonies like Maryland.

From the beginning of Virginia's settlements in 1587 until the 1680s, the main source of labour and a large portion of the immigrants were indentured servants looking for new life in the overseas colonies. During the 17th century, indentured servants constituted three-quarters of all European immigrants to the Chesapeake region. Most of the indentured servants were English farmers who had been pushed off their lands due to the expansion of livestock raising, the enclosure of land, and overcrowding in the countryside. This unfortunate turn of events served as a push for thousands of people (mostly single men) away from their situation in England. There was hope, however, as American landowners were in need of labourers and were willing to pay for a labourer’s passage to America if they served them for several years. By selling passage for five to seven years worth of work they could hope to start out on their own in America.

In the French colonial regions, the focus of economy was the fur trade with the natives. Farming was set up primarily to provide subsistence only, although cod and other fish of the Grand Banks were a major export and source of income for the French and many other European nations. The fur trade was also practiced by the Russians on the northwest coast of North America. After the French and Indian War, the British were ceded all French possessions in North America east of the Mississippi River, aside from the tiny islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.

After 1840, the Irish arrived in large numbers, in part because of the famines of the 1840s. Mortality rates of 30% aboard the coffin ships were common.[8]

[] Religious immigration

Roman Catholics were the first major religious group to immigrate to the New World, as settlers in the colonies of Portugal and Spain (and later, France) were required to belong to that faith. English and Dutch colonies, on the other hand, tended to be more religiously diverse. Settlers to these colonies included Anglicans, Dutch Calvinists, English Puritans, English Catholics, Scottish Presbyterians, French Huguenots, German and Swedish Lutherans, as well as Quakers, Mennonites, Amish, Moravians and Jews of various nationalities.

Many groups of colonists came to the Americas searching for the right to practice their religion without persecution. The Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century broke the unity of Western Christendom and led to the formation of numerous new religious sects, which often faced persecution by governmental authorities. In England, many people came to question the organization of the Church of England by the end of the sixteenth century. One of the primary manifestations of this was the Puritan movement, which sought to "purify" the existing Church of England of its many residual Catholic rites that they believed had no mention in the Bible.

A strong believer in the notion of rule by divine right, England's Charles I persecuted religious dissenters. Waves of repression led to the migration of about 20,000 Puritans to New England between 1629 and 1642, where they founded multiple colonies. Later in the century, the new Pennsylvania colony was given to William Penn in settlement of a debt the king owed his father. Its government was set up by William Penn in about 1682 to become primarily a refuge for persecuted English Quakers; but others were welcomed. Baptists, Quakers and German and Swiss Protestants flocked to Pennsylvania.

The lure of cheap land, religious freedom and the right to improve themselves with their own hand was very attractive to those who wished to escape from persecution and poverty. In the Americas, all these groups gradually worked out a way to live together peacefully and cooperatively.

[] Forced immigration

Slavery existed in the Americas, prior to the presence of Europeans, as the Natives often captured and held other tribes' members as captives.[9] Some of these captives were even forced to undergo human sacrifice under some tribes, such as the Aztecs. The Spanish followed with the enslavement of local aborigines in the Caribbean. As the native populations declined (mostly from European diseases, but also and significantly from forced exploitation and careless murder), they were often replaced by Africans imported through a large commercial slave trade. By the 18th century, the overwhelming number of black slaves was such that Native American slavery was less commonly used. Africans, who were taken aboard slave ships to the Americas, were primarily obtained from their African homelands by coastal tribes who captured and sold them. The high incidence of disease nearly always fatal to Europeans kept nearly all the slave capture activities confined to native African tribes. Rum, guns and gun powder were some of the major trade items exchanged for slaves. In all, approximately three to four hundred thousand black slaves streamed into the ports of Charleston, South Carolina and Newport, Rhode Island until about 1810. The total slave trade to islands in the Caribbean, Brazil, Mexico and to the United States is estimated to have involved 12 million Africans.[10][11] Of these, 5.4% (645,000) were brought to what is now the United States.[12] In addition to African slaves, poor Europeans were brought over in substantial numbers as indentured servants, particularly in the British Thirteen colonies.[13][14]

[] Disease and indigenous population loss

The European and Asian lifestyle included a long history of sharing close quarters with domesticated animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, and various domesticated fowl, which had resulted in epidemic diseases unknown in the Americas. Thus the large-scale contact with Europeans after 1492 introduced novel germs to the indigenous people of the Americas. Epidemics of smallpox (1518, 1521, 1525, 1558, 1589), typhus (1546), influenza (1558), diphtheria (1614) and measles (1618) swept ahead of initial European contact,[15][16] killing between 10 million and 20 million[17] people, up to 95% of the indigenous population of the Americas.[18][19][20] The cultural and political instability attending these losses appears to have been of substantial aid in the efforts of various colonists to seize the great wealth in land and resources of which indigenous societies had customarily made use.[21]

Such diseases yielded human mortality of an unquestionably enormous gravity and scale – and this has profoundly confused efforts to determine its full extent with any true precision. Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of the Americas vary tremendously.

Certain critics of anti-colonialism, however, have charged that estimates on the high end arise not from incomplete historical evidence, but from left-wing ideological bias and academic bad faith. Robert Royal writes that "estimates of pre-Columbian population figures have become heavily politicized with scholars who are particularly critical of Europe often favoring wildly higher figures."[22]

Others have argued that significant variations in population size over pre-Columbian history are reason to view higher-end estimates with caution. Such estimates may reflect historical population maxima, while indigenous populations may have been at a level somewhat below these maxima or in a moment of decline in the period just prior to contact with Europeans. Indigenous populations hit their ultimate lows in most areas of the Americas in the early twentieth century; in a number of cases, growth has returned.[23]

The Requerimiento: The proclamation set by Spain to the Native Americans:

"We ask and require you to acknowledge the church as the ruler and superior of the whole world and the high priest called pope and in his name the king of Spain as lords of this land. If you submit we shall receive you in all love and charity and shall leave you, your wives and children and your lands free without servitude, but if you do not submit we shall powerfully enter into your country and shall make war against you, we shall take you and your wives and your children and shall make slaves of them and we shall take away your goods and shall do you all the harm and damage we can."

[] See also

[] Notes

  1. ^ Kirsten Seaver,The Frozen Echo: Greenland and the Exploration of North America, C.A.D.1000-1500, chapter Nine, Greenland 1450-1500
  2. ^ David Eltis Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic slave trade
  3. ^ "La catastrophe démographique" (The Demographic Catastrophe) in L'Histoire n°322, July-August 2007, p.17
  4. ^ a b "Espagnols-Indiens: le choc des civilisations", in L'Histoire n°322, July-August 2007, pp.14- 21 (interview with Christian Duverger, teacher at the EHESS)
  5. ^ Conquest in the Americas
  6. ^ "The Columbian Mosaic in Colonial America" by James Axtell
  7. ^ The Spanish Colonial System, 1550-1800. Population Development
  8. ^ Early Emigrant Letter Stories
  9. ^ Welcome to Encyclopædia Britannica's Guide to Black History
  10. ^ Ronald Segal (1995). The Black Diaspora: Five Centuries of the Black Experience Outside Africa. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. pp. 4. ISBN 0-374-11396-3. "It is now estimated that 11,863,000 slaves were shipped across the Atlantic. [Note in original: Paul E. Lovejoy, "The Impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on Africa: A Review of the Literature," in Journal of African History 30 (1989), p. 368.] ... It is widely conceded that further revisions are more likely to be upward than downward."
  11. ^ "Quick guide: The slave trade". bbc.co.uk. March 15, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/6445941.stm. Retrieved on 2007-11-23.
  12. ^ Stephen D. Behrendt, David Richardson, and David Eltis, W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research, Harvard University. Based on "records for 27,233 voyages that set out to obtain slaves for the Americas". Stephen Behrendt (1999). "Transatlantic Slave Trade". Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. New York: Basic Civitas Books. ISBN 0-465-00071-1.
  13. ^ Indentured Servitude in Colonial America
  14. ^ The curse of Cromwell
  15. ^ ,American Indian Epidemics
  16. ^ Smallpox: Eradicating the Scourge
  17. ^ Mann, Charles C. (2005). 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. ISBN 1-4000-3205-9. Publisher= Knopf.
  18. ^ Smallpox's history in the world
  19. ^ The Story Of... Smallpox
  20. ^ Smallpox: The Disease That Destroyed Two Empires
  21. ^ 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (ISBN 1-4000-4006-X), Charles C. Mann, Knopf, 2005.
  22. ^ Jennings, p. 83; Royal's quote
  23. ^ Thornton, p. xvii, 36.

[] References

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