All posts by Gofishing

MY Bad

I made a serious mistake on this week’s post. When I transferred the text from word to the blog I failed to notice that the chart I was referring to did not make it. Please see below and accept my apologies:

Democracy Index 2018 
Rank Country Score Electoral processFunctioning ofPoliticalPoliticalCivilRegime
and pluralism government participation culture liberties type 
1  Norway 9.87109.6410109.71Full democracy 
2  Iceland 9.58109.298.89109.71Full democracy 
3  Sweden 9.399.589.648.33109.41Full democracy 
4  New Zealand 9.26109.298.898.1310Full democracy 
5  Denmark 9.22109.298.339.389.12Full democracy 
6  Ireland 9.159.587.868.331010Full democracy 
 Canada 9.159.589.647.788.7510Full democracy 
8  Finland 9.14108.938.338.759.71Full democracy 
9  Australia 9.09108.937.788.7510Full democracy 
10   Switzerland 9.039.589.297.789.389.12Full democracy 
11  Netherlands 8.899.589.298.338.139.12Full democracy 
12  Luxembourg 8.81108.936.678.759.71Full democracy 
13  Germany 8.689.588.578.337.59.41Full democracy 
14  United Kingdom 8.539.587.58.338.139.12Full democracy 
15  Uruguay 8.38108.576.117.59.71Full democracy 
16  Austria 8.299.587.868.336.888.82Full democracy 
17  Mauritius 8.229.178.215.568.759.41Full democracy 
18  Malta 8.219.178.216.118.758.82Full democracy 
19  Spain 8.089.177.147.787.58.82Full democracy 
20  Costa Rica 8.079.587.56.677.59.12Full democracy 
21  South Korea 89.177.867.227.58.24Flawed democracy[a] 
22  Japan 7.998.758.216.677.58.82Flawed democracy 
23  Chile 7.979.588.574.448.139.12Flawed democracy 
 Estonia 7.979.588.216.676.888.53Flawed democracy 
25  United States 7.969.177.147.787.58.24Flawed democracy 

Democracy

Democracy

Our country has always been the beacon of democracy, not unlike the earlier example in Greece. It seems just that this establishing this form of government does not ensure the system’s longevity. While the US has been an example for many other countries how are we doing after over 240 years?                                      Below from Wikipedia:                                                                                                 “The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a UK-based company. Its intention is to measure the state of democracy in 167 countries, of which 166 are sovereign states and 164 are UN member states.

The index was first published in 2006, with updates for 2008, 2010 and later years. The index is based on 60 indicators grouped in five different categories, measuring pluralism, civil liberties and political culture. In addition to a numeric score and a ranking, the index categorizes each country in one of four regime types: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes.

As described in the report, the democracy index is a weighted average based on the answers of 60 questions, each one with either two or three permitted alternative answers. Most answers are “experts’ assessments”. Some answers are provided by public-opinion surveys from the respective countries. In the case of countries for which survey results are missing, survey results for similar countries and expert assessments are used in order to fill in gaps.

The questions are grouped into five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation, and political culture. Each answer is converted to a score, either 0 or 1, or for the three-answer questions, 0, 0.5 or 1. With the exceptions mentioned below, within each category the scores are added, multiplied by ten, and divided by the total number of questions within the category. There are a few modifying dependencies, which are explained much more precisely than the main rule procedures. In a few cases, an answer yielding zero for one question voids another question; e.g. if the elections for the national legislature and head of government are not considered free (question 1), then the next question, “Are elections… fair?“, is not considered, but automatically scored zero. Likewise, there are a few questions considered so important that a low score on them yields a penalty on the total score sum for their respective categories, namely:

  1. “Whether national elections are free and fair”;
  2. “The security of voters“;
  3. “The influence of foreign powers on government”;
  4. “The capability of the civil servants to implement policies””.

While we are still a democracy, I would expect that we have been in a state of decline in recent decades while others have been on the improve. It is interesting that our lowest score is on the elements that make up the “functioning of government”.

Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Civilizations

In the past several decades there have been a few discoveries that have caused a re-write of history. Following are a few examples:

The Kiffian culture is a prehistoric industry, or domain, that existed between approximately 8,000 BC and 6,000 BC in the Sahara Desert, during the Neolithic Subpluvial. Human remains from this culture were found in 2000 AD at a site known as Gobero, located in Niger in the Ténéré Desert.[1] The site is known as the largest and earliest grave of Stone Age people in the Sahara desert.[2]

The Indigenous Australians

Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonization. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous Australians is a matter of debate among researchers. The earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP.

An incredible discovery was made in South Africa, around 150 km west of port Maputo. There, we find the remains of a huge metropolis that measures, according to tests, around 1500 square kilometers.                                                                                                                                                          This ancient city is, according to researchers, part of an even larger community with about 10,000 square kilometers and is believed to have been constructed 160,000 to 200,000 years before Christ.                                                                                                                                                  The region is somewhat remote and the “circles” have often been encountered by local farmers who assumed they were made by some indigenous people in the past. But, oddly, no one ever bothered to inquire about who could have made them or how old they were.             This changed when researcher and author, Michael Tellinger, in association with Johan Heine, a local fireman and pilot who had looked at these ruins for years, decided to investigate them. Heine had the unique opportunity to see these incredible structures from the air and knew that their significance was not appreciated.                                                                                          When Johan first introduced me to the ancient stone ruins of southern Africa, he had no idea of the incredible discoveries we would make in the following years. The photographs, artifacts and evidence we accumulated, point towards a lost civilization that has never before been and precedes all others – not for a few hundred years, or a few thousand years … but many thousands of years.” – Tellinger                                                                                               According to Tellinger, these discoveries are so incredible that It will need a complete paradigm shift in how we view our human history.                                                                                         The surrounding geology is interesting due to the numerous gold mines located in the vicinity. Researchers have proposed that a vanished civilization from the distant past, could have lived and proposed in that part of the world while mining gold.

The San or Saan peoples, also known as the Bushmen are members of various Khoesān-speaking indigenous hunter-gatherer groups that are the first nations of Southern Africa, and whose territories span Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho[2] and South Africa. There is a significant linguistic difference between the northern peoples living between the Okavango River in Botswana and Etosha National Park in northwestern Namibia, extending up into southern Angola; the central peoples of most of Namibia and Botswana, extending into Zambia and Zimbabwe; and the southern people in the central Kalahari towards the Molopo River, who are the last remnant of the previously extensive indigenous Sān of South Africa.

The ancestors of the hunter-gatherer Sān are thought to have been the first inhabitants of what is now Botswana and South Africa. The historical presence of the San in Botswana is particularly evident in northern Botswana’s Tsodilo Hills region. In this area, stone tools and rock art paintings date back over 70,000 years and are by far the oldest known art.

New Evidence Puts Man In North America 50,000 Years Ago

Date:  November 18, 2004Source:  University Of South Carolina                                                              Summary:

“Radiocarbon tests of carbonized plant remains where artifacts were unearthed last May along the Savannah River in Allendale County by University of South Carolina archaeologist Dr. Albert Goodyear indicate that the sediments containing these artifacts are at least 50,000 years old, meaning that humans inhabited North American long before the last ice age.”

There is some evidence that the first inhabitants originated from Western Europe.