20 01 20

first_imgO’Dayne Richards maintains he will be working hard to medal at the IAAF World Championships in London next year.The 27-year-old Richards has a bronze medal under his belt from last year’s Beijing World Championships.”I am always looking to not just maintain, but increase. If you are not number one, you still might have work to do to maintain it,” said Richards, who is all about medal contention in London.”Definitely, that is the way I have to think as a professional athlete. I always have to think I am able to win a global title, break records – and world records,” he continued.OPTIMISTICHe said he is optimistic about next year, due to his ability to “fight through injuries, surgery and still make it to the Olympic final” in Rio.”It kinda gives me hope that I will still manage to get into the top 10 or even top three in the world next year in London, so I am really looking forward to that,” he told The Gleaner, adding that he took lessons away from Rio ahead of the new season.”Patience is one of the things I took forward from 2016, to be mindful of the fact that anything can happen and not to pressure myself too much.”I look forward to the possibilities that are ready and waiting for me in 2017, if the Lord wills,” he added.Richards is also a 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Pan Am Games gold medal winner last year. He explained that despite not medalling in Rio, he will grow from the experience.”I am grateful for what happened this year. I had a few injuries and because of that I wasn’t able to perform as well as I would like, but I still managed to make it to the Olympic final and I am grateful,” he reiterated.last_img read more

30 12 19

first_img“Term limits (do) limit corruption, and lobbyists don’t like it,” said Spillane, referring to two of the study’s findings. “Lobbyists hate term limits because it prevents them from establishing long-term relationships. I was pleased with the report because it acknowledged the benefits of term limits more than most academic studies do. That’s significant to have that third-party validation.” The report said it did not find California’s term-limits law to be “significantly dysfunctional,” but that a 12-year plan would “improve some of its structural weaknesses.” The study also noted how rarely legislators serve the full 14 years – only 19 have done so since 1990. Often, the study’s author Sasha Horwitz said, legislators serve two or four years in the Assembly before jumping to the Senate; or, they serve just six years in the Assembly, unable – or often unwilling to even try – to unseat an incumbent senator. “It’s a myth,” Horwitz said, “that they’re serving the full 14 years.” Among the more interesting findings in the report is that the term-limits law has changed the face of the Capitol. From 1990 through 2008, 369 legislators will have served, compared to 296 in the previous 18-year period – an increase of 25 percent. More women and minorities have been elected, though the report acknowledges the shift in minority representation was just as influenced by demographics as term limits. The strongest gains among minorities are in Latino representation, up from 5.8 percent in 1991-1992 to 23.3 percent now. During that time, Latino population grew from 24 percent of the state’s population to 35 percent. Redistricting in 1991, which created more districts where minority groups were an electoral majority, was also influential. White representation has dropped from 87 percent to 63 percent – just as the white population in California has dipped from 57 percent to 44 percent. The idea of more citizen-legislators, however, was debunked in the study. The Legislature now includes more members who had previously served in local government than there were before term limits. And legislators are likely to continue to seek political office once termed out. “It’s always been people more politically involved and politically minded that tend to go into the Legislature,” Horwitz said. “There are not as many people as advocates had hoped who would return to civilian life.” But, there have been changes in the types of people running for the Legislature. There are fewer lawyers, farmers and ranchers and more business people and educators. The only professional area that has stayed consistent among legislators is in the health-care field. The good thing about shorter terms, the report says, is that legislators have less time to be corruptible. Newly arrived members are more skeptical of lobbyists and “lack the knowledge to exploit the political process for personal gain.” Longer tenures give legislators more time to understand where the perks are, establish deeper ties with lobbyists, and greater access to government resources, the report said, that “may lead to the appearance or actuality of corruption.” Or, put another way, the report concludes the best and worst of politicians: Loosening term limits would give lawmakers more time to understand complicated issues – and more time to take advantage of the system. sharmon@cctimes.com (916) 441-2101160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsIn other words, the report, “Termed Out: Reforming California’s Legislative Term Limits,” comes down squarely on both sides of Proposition 93. “Some of these changes are good for the state,” the report said. “Most are neutral; and a few are harmful.” The report ultimately did not take a position on Proposition 93, which voters will decide in February, although it left plenty of ammunition for both sides. “The core principle of Prop. 93 is to make the Legislature more effective and efficient by having the most experienced legislators,” said Richard Stapler, a spokesman for “Yes on 93.” “And Prop. 93 retains what’s good about term limits. We applaud the study’s findings.” Kevin Spillane, spokesman for the “No on 93” campaign, countered that the study affirms term limits’ benefits and debunks some claims made by proponents. SACRAMENTO – An expansive new report by the Center for Governmental Studies on term limits concludes that Proposition 93 is a mixed bag. So much so, in fact, that both sides of the ballot fight over loosening term limits claim the report supports their view. On one hand, the report likes that the measure will allow lawmakers to spend up to 12 years in either the Assembly or Senate – instead of the 6-year limit in the Assembly and the 8-year limit in the Senate. Loosening that restriction, the report says, will increase legislative experience, expertise and oversight. On the other hand, the report expresses reservations over a loophole in the proposition that would allow 41 of the 120 incumbent legislators to stay in office beyond the current 14-year limit. Those lawmakers are mostly senators who previously termed out in the Assembly but haven’t yet served 12 years in the Senate. last_img read more

20 12 19

first_imgKlay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!HOUSTON — Will the Warriors leave here with a sweep? Will the Warriors return with a road split? Or will the Houston Rockets tie the series?All scenarios seem plausible. The Rockets are a good team, after all. And all season long, the Warriors’ effort level has fluctuated. Hence, Warriors fans are wondering if they will see the same Warriors team as they saw in …last_img

19 12 19

first_img(Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 According to one Darwinist, selfish societies evolve into egalitarian ones, for selfish reasons.  It’s all in the math, the genes, and natural selection.Sergey Gavrilets, a “Distinguished Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics” at the University of Tennessee according to his webpage, decided to show that the French ideals of “liberty, equality and fraternity,” along with charity, mercy and all morality is really just dressed-up selfishness that evolved by natural selection.  His paper, titled “On the evolutionary origins of the egalitarian syndrome,” was published in PNAS this week (August 13, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201718109).  The abstract promised to show that his model “creates the conditions for the emergence of inequity aversion, empathy, compassion, and egalitarian moral values via the internalization of behavioral rules imposed by natural selection.”  It’s genetically determined: he spoke of “the evolution of a particular, genetically controlled psychology” that produces egalitarian behavior in his model.  The paper makes it clear he is including the conscience and all moral behavior.From the outset, he had to admit that explaining human kindness (altruism) has been a difficult challenge for Darwinists.  “The evolutionary emergence of the egalitarian syndrome is one of the most intriguing unsolved puzzles related to the origins of modern humans,” he admitted.  “Standard explanations and models for cooperation and altruism—reciprocity, kin and group selection, and punishment—are not directly applicable to the emergence of egalitarian behavior in hierarchically organized groups that characterized the social life of our ancestors.”  This immediately renders those earlier catch-phrases like “kin selection” obsolete.  Would Gavrilets be the man of the hour, able to solve the puzzle?The paper looks scientific.  It has charts, equations and graphs.  It ends with 59 references.  It includes predictions about how human social groups with bullies and victims will arrive at egalitarianism over time.  But the upshot is really an attempt to “naturalize” morality– to undercut the ontological significance of all human love and charity, and replace it with genetic determinism.  As Gavrilets explains in his conclusion, it is his contribution to a complete reduction of everything in biology to genes and uncaring natural laws, forces that make humans act as if they really cared for one another when they really only care about their own survival:The origins of moral values have intrigued scholars for millennia. Darwin saw human morality as derived from animal “social instincts” that transform to a “moral sense or conscience as soon as . . . intellectual powers become . . . well developed” (ref. 59, p. 8). In a modern perspective, viewing human conscience as a mere by-product of intelligence is an oversimplification. Boehm (6) convincingly argues that additional processes and factors such as moralistic punishment, internalization of culturally enforced norms, symbolic language and gossiping, and social selection for altruism and self-restraint applied by groups to its members need to be considered. That notwithstanding, identifying evolutionary roots for and the dynamics of genetically controlled egalitarian social instincts is a necessary step in getting a better understanding of the origins of a uniquely human sense of right and wrong.So is he right?  What is right?  If it’s just a “uniquely human sense,” how would he know?  For more on Gavrilets’ evolutionary theories, see the 11/06/2006, 2/09/2009 (bullet 4), and 6/10/2012 entries.This is a prime example of why Darwinism, when taken to its logical conclusion, is pure, unmitigated evil.  This is not to call Gavrilets himself evil; his Maker will judge that.  He may be a pawn of the training he had that indoctrinated him into the notion that everything in biology must be reduced to natural selection.  He is, after all, a Distinguished Professor of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics, if he says so himself.  But whether he intended it or not, his model means, as C. S. Lewis called it, the Abolition of Man.  Think of it: all the ideals, the philosophy, the instruction in right living has been destroyed by Darwin and his committed disciple, Sergey Gavrilets.  Throw out the Declaration of Independence.  Throw out the Ten Commandments.  Throw out the whole Library of Congress while you’re at it.  It doesn’t matter.  Mother Theresa was a fool.  Soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for sacrificing themselves on the battlefield for their comrades are dupes.  Voting is in vain.  All of us are pawns of our genes; all our behavior are necessary consequences of equations.  Nothing we value in life matters.  In Darwinland, where Natural Selection works aimlessly and pointlessly on random mutations, the only morality is Self, Self, Self.  You’re not merciful; you’re selfish.  You just don’t know it.  So why not give up on any attempt to better yourself or your society, and just let Self be your god?  What’s the use?  You can’t help it anyway.If you’re not ready for that, maybe you’re worried that Gavrilets has shown scientifically that this must be the case.  After all, he is a Distinguished Professor of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics, if he says so himself.  Notice something before we proceed: even if egalitarianism were to “emerge” over time in a human social group, it does not validate his claim that genes and natural selection did it.  Intelligent design and traditional morality can predict this behavior better.  Because we are souls, and because we have consciences, and because we have a moral compass, we care (genuinely) that bullies not succeed; we make intelligent, moral choices to act in ways that will guarantee equal justice under the law, to the limits of our power to achieve it.Don’t be intimidated by the charts, graphs and equations.  Gavrilets said something foolish, and we can prove it.  We’re not saying he’s stupid; obviously, he knows his math.  A fool in the Biblical sense is someone who walks according to his own will, and by ignoring the Creator, turns wisdom into folly, light into darkness.  Two simple points prove his ideas are folly.First, he admits that the “emergence” of human kindness and morality remains “an unsolved puzzle” in human origins.  Whether or not you think he solved it, consider that!  How long has Darwinism been trying to solve this puzzle?  153 years!  Good grief, how long do you give these guys before you call foul?  Look: science is not an endless license to mislead people on fruitless quests.  Sooner or later you have to face the music: Darwinism is incapable of explaining the main thing that makes us human: our moral sense.  Say you were with a group trying to find a treasure.  A self-proclaimed leader takes charge, and spends his whole lifetime leading your group on a failed quest, calling it “one of the most intriguing puzzles” he has ever seen.  He insists on going over the same failed pathway over, and over, and over, with little detours for variety.  For the sake of our story, imagine that the treasure is in the opposite direction.  Wouldn’t you want to call the guy’s bluff and tell him his approach has been an utter failure, and it’s time to try a different path?  Darwinists: your time is up!  You have lost.  You’re out.  Stop leading, and become a follower.Second, his argument is self-refuting.  Why?  Because he must include himself in the universe of humans predestined by natural selection.  He cannot really mean what he is saying, because evolution made him say it.  Don’t let him get away with making himself an exception.  He is not Yoda on some exalted plane above the rest of humanity.  He cannot, for instance, claim that his model provides “understanding” because that word has no meaning in the Darwin Dictionary.  He cannot claim that natural selection does not preclude individual choice.  It absolutely does.  Don’t you remember how apostate-Christian-turned-Darwinist-professor William Provine emphasized this?  He used his free will to insist this is what Darwinism means: we have no free will.  Consistent Darwinists make this point from time to time (see PhysOrg about Anthony Cashmore’s views).  True moral choices (including truth claims) are in the universe of concepts, ideas – immaterial entities involving intelligent design and reasoning.  They refer to unchanging realities that are true, universal, necessary and certain.  You can’t get there from natural selection.  Concepts do not reside in the universe of material particles and forces.  This proves that Gavrilets is a creationist in spite of himself.  He argues for Darwin not realizing that rationality requires creationism.That being the case, we already know Gavrilets has presented a certifiably foolish idea.  Remember: any statement that is self-refuting is necessarily false.  It cannot possibly be true, neither now, nor in the past, nor in the future.  What do you call someone who propounds ideas that are necessarily false?  Gavrilets is teaching, in a nutshell, that morality (a concept) came about by natural selection (particles and forces).  This means that his own concepts, written up in his paper, so came about.  But anything that emerges from particles and forces cannot refer to concepts that are true, universal, necessary and certain.  This requires logically that his own ideas have been refuted: they are not true, they are not universal, they are not necessary, they are not certain.  The “evolution of morality” is refuted.  Q.E.D.Dr. Gavrilets needs to cure his Yoda Complex and put himself in the universe of evolved apes for just a minute, until he realizes for himself, that he is not an evolved ape.  If he tries to act like a human soul, we must rebuke him for breaking the rules.  If he tries to act like an evolved ape, we who maintain rationality and morality as ontological realities have the right and privilege to laugh at anything he says and feed him bananas.  But, being the altruistic, unselfish, moral individuals we are, we will have mercy on him and quote him the Ten Commandments in a soft, rational tone of voice.  We will not, however, suffer him to teach self-refuting nonsense unchallenged, lest it frighten the children.last_img read more

18 12 19

first_imgAccess to affordable funding was seen as critical for the empowerment of women in the agriculture sector. A call was also made at the African Union summit session for African groups to fund African initiatives. Recently during a session at the 25th AU Summit about making finance accessible and affordable to women, it was said that it’s important that women from different backgrounds connect with each other. (Image: Dirco ZA via Flickr) • Africa urged to invest in artists as visionaries • Africa Progress Report speaks of continent’s green energy leaders • Recollections of 16 June 1976 • Documentary focuses on plight of albinos • AU seeks solutions to problems in Africa Melissa JavanMaking finance accessible, affordable and timely for women in the agriculture sector was discussed during a session on agriculture at the 25th African Union (AU) summit on 11 June. The summit is running from 7 to 15 June, at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. More than 50 heads of states gathered in South Africa to find resolutions to these issues.Delegates from organisations such as Young Enterprises in Malawi, Graça Machel Trust and Gambia Women’s Finance Association (Gawfa), among others, had an opportunity to explain how they had made a difference in women’s lives.The theme of this year’s AU summit is “Year of women empowerment and development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”. Ministers and more than 50 head of states are attending, and the programme includes discussions on migration, Ebola, and agriculture growth and transformation.Women in agricultureEbrima Ganna, of Gawfa, said the organisation had three main branches and 19 sub-stations. “A total of 90% of women [who are] part of our project come from rural areas.”Gawfa is the first and largest microfinance institution. Ganna said it was easy for women to get financing through the group. “Within an hour their data are processed, and the following day they get their financing needs.“We have a loan portfolio of 70% agriculture and over 1 200 borrowers,” he said. “We reach more people outside of towns. Donors can monitor their funds at any time.”Projects such as Young Enterprises in Malawi focus on skills training for female entrepreneurs. They also source funding for girls who want to further their studies.The Graça Machel Trust has programmes in eight countries. A member said it was important that women who had access to banks connected with women who did not have this access. This allowed those who had access to banks to help others. Projects under the trust were not about investing money, but were about linkages and imports.Support needed from African leadersDelegates at the session heard that most of these initiatives were supported financially by Spanish funders through the assistance of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad).Nepad, an African Union strategic framework for pan-African socio-economic development, is both a vision and a policy framework for Africa in the 21st century. Nepad is a radical intervention, spearheaded by African leaders, to address critical challenges facing the continent, namely poverty, development and international marginalisation.One of the delegates – who does not want to be named in the press – said it was good that not millions of dollars were used to make these initiatives a success.However, while noting that these African initiatives were supported by a Spanish funder, he asked: “What will happen to these initiatives if this funder runs out of money?”African governments needed to support their continent’s initiatives too, he stressed.The session concluded with discussions on seeking collective ways of supporting more women in the agricultural sector. African Union Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma with American actress Angelina Jolie talking about the importance of women’s rights. (Image: Dirco ZA via Flickr)Progress too slow?On Friday 12 June, American actress and humanitarian, Angelina Jolie was a guest at this event. Eyewitness News reports Jolie had been invited by African Union (AU) Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Jolie said it is good that women’s rights are put at the heart of this summit and the AU’s agenda. “That is unbelievably important.”But, she said the world has a long way to go. “We all know that while there is more awareness of women’s rights today, progress is slow, uneven and fragile. In some parts of the world it’s being erased.”last_img read more

18 12 19

first_imgSouth African isiXhosa-language movie Inxeba movingly explores the conflict of traditional rites of manhood, when initiates “go to the mountain”, with awakening pride in gay identity.Inxeba, also known as The Wound, had its African premiere at the 38th Durban International Film Festival in July. It opens in South African theatres in February 2017. (Image: IMDb)Brand South Africa reporterThe team behind the South African film Inxeba – internationally titled The Wound – scooped up local and international awards this year, two from the 38th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF).It was announced at the DIFF’s closing ceremony that the best director award went to John Trengrove and the best actor to Nakhane Touré. The festival was held from 13 to 23 July 2017.Inxeba had its African premiere at the festival, screening held at The Playhouse in Durban. It was in competition with Serpent (South Africa), Le Clair Obscur (Turkey), La Belle et la Meute (Tunisia), El Hombre que Cuida (Dominican Republic), Asinamali! (South Africa), Liyana (South Africa), Atanyn Kereezi (Kyrgyzstan) and Basta (Morocco).Inxeba tells the story of Xolani, a factory worker in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape. During initiation season he is also a caregiver for young men on the mountain. Xolani is gay, but no-one knows. But during the few weeks of one initiation his orientation is exposed, and drama follows.Watch the trailer:An IOL review of Inxeba highlights the strict rule in Xhosa culture that what happens on the mountain stays on the mountain. “Then add in a gay theme, which is often frowned upon by conservative people, not only in Africa but in the rest of the world, and there is potential for Inxeba to become the Once Were Warriors of Xhosa initiation,” wrote IOL reviewer Theresa Owen.Director John Trengrove said in a press release: “From the very beginning, the process of making Inxeba was characterised by intense collaboration and risk-taking. This film demanded everything from those who came on board.”Trengrove added: “I am so grateful to the incredible cast and crew who put their faith and trust in this journey. This film is a testament to their efforts. I want to dedicate this award to the silent and faceless queers throughout the African continent who face insurmountable obstacles every day in a struggle for identity and dignity.”Other accoladesThe Inxeba premiere outside Africa was at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah, USA.  The film later opened the Panorama section of the 67th Berlin Film Festival.One Sundance review described the movie: “John Trengove’s hard-edged but beautifully wrought study of clashing Xhosa models of masculinity will be an eye-opener to outsiders – and some South Africans too.”Inxeba was a 2014 Durban Film Mart project. This initial pitch enabled the team behind it to get funding from a number of international financiers, resulting in a co-production between South Africa, France, Germany and the Netherlands.Nakhane Touré plays Xolani in the film. The actor is also an indie rock musician and a novelist.“I always think having one dream come true is a miracle, but to have all these things happening at once is frightening,” he told City Press.“I keep thinking the rug is going to be pulled from under my feet. On the other hand, I worked really hard on this.”The film also cleaned up at Spain’s Valencia International Film Festival, winning best film and best actor at the Cinema Jove section. Inxeba also won the best film Award in the International New Talent Competition at the Taipei Film Festival in Taiwan.Other international awards are:Best Feature Film at the 32nd Lovers Film FestivalThe Jury Prize for Best Narrative at the 19th annual Sarasota Film Festival in FloridaWatch an interview with Inxeba film’s Executive Producer Batana Vundla:It is said that Inxeba will continue to travel around the world, having been sold to 19 countries for theatrical release so far. It will be distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution. Inxeba will open nationwide on 2 February 2018.Sources: Urucu Media, The Huffington Post South Africa, IOL, City Press and Jacaranda FM.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

3 12 19

first_imgOpposition Congress members in Gujarat on Monday disrupted the Governor’s speech in the Assembly on the first day of the five-day Budget session that began in the State capital on Monday. The Congress members did not allow Governor Om Prakash Kohli to complete his speech, prompting him to leave the House midway. The Opposition raised slogans seeking farm loan waiver, amidst calls by the Speaker to maintain decorum.When Mr. Kohli began his speech, the opposition benches started shouting slogans seeking farm debt waiver. As the Governor continued with his speech amidst calls by the Speaker to maintain decorum, the opposition members became more aggressive and raised slogans. Finance Minister Nitin Patel will present the vote-on-account on Tuesday.last_img