Muslims Continue To Kill Christians

This past Tuesday an off-duty Muslim police officer boarded a train in Southern Egypt and opened fire on a group of Coptic Christians, killing one and wounding 4 others.  This comes less than 2 weeks after the New Years bombing massacre that killed 25 Coptic Christians at their church in Alexandria

The state news agency, MENA, quoted an Interior Ministry official as saying a Muslim police officer boarded a Cairo-bound train in the town of Samalut in Minya province and began firing a handgun. The official said a 71-year-old Coptic man was killed and his wife and four other Christians — three women and a man — were wounded.

I wonder if this Muslim police officer was a moderate or extremist.  You can’t really tell by looking at them can you?  Most people would assume that the good guys work for the cops, but that does not seem to be true anymore does it?

This just naturally leads into the next story.

David Briggs, writing in Tuesdays Huffington Post reports that a new study is showing that Muslim-controlled countries are far worse in allowing religious freedoms and human rights

He writes:
“Few nations keep their vows when it comes to religious freedom.

Churches are attacked on Christmas in India and Egypt. Religious believers in North Korea are tortured in prison camps. Hindus and Sikhs are harassed in Afghanistan.

“Despite routine constitutional promises to the contrary, religious freedoms are denied around the globe and violent persecution is pervasive,” Brian Grim of the Pew Research Center and Roger Finke of Pennsylvania State University report in a new book.

Yet even amid this widespread disregard for religious freedom, one group of countries stands out: Muslim-majority nations.

“Religious persecution is not only more prevalent among Muslim-majority countries, but it also generally occurs at more severe levels,” Grim and Finke write in The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century.”

So not only are Muslim-controlled countries persecuting more people, but they are much more severe in their persecution.  The Muslims really like to kill people…Jews and Christians particularly, for the smallest offense.  You know like writing about Islam and telling all just how stupid, evil and blood-thirsty the religion really is. Or maybe wanting to believe in another religion and leave Islam in the sh-t-heap of history where it belongs.  If I was writing this blog in Iraq or India or any of several dozen other countries that are bogged down in this horrible medieval cult of murderers, I would be, in a very short time, killed by a righteous Muslim gunman.

Islam cannot survive in the light of day; it cannot endure close rational, non-sectarian examination, by logical and truthful people.  It has even more problems than Christianity in its dogma and Koran with logic, misunderstanding, absurdities, inconsistencies, contradictions, ethics and precepts problems a-plenty.

Christian Fundamentalists and ALL Muslims hold it to be true that if the Bible or Koran is without error or inconsistency, it must be the work of God, and because it is the work of God, it must be without error or inconsistency. It seems not to matter which proposition comes first, the other is thought to follow.  Perfect example here of circular reasoning that is to be found in almost all religious thought.

Some of the findings that authors Grim and Finke write about in: “The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century.”

• 78 percent of Muslim-majority countries, compared with 10 percent of Christian-majority countries and 43 percent of other nations, had high levels of government restrictions on religion.

• Violent religious persecution is present in every country with a Muslim majority with a population of more than 2 million.

• 62 percent of Muslim-majority countries had at least moderate levels of persecution, with more than 200 people persecuted. In comparison, 28 percent of Christian-majority nations and 60 percent of other countries had similar levels of abuse.

• At the highest levels of persecution, 45 percent of Muslim-majority countries — more than four times the percentage of Christian-majority countries — were found to have more than a thousand people abused or displaced because of religion.

To me, this is a real good indicator of just how evil this religion is.  It talks peace and love, but is shown by cold hard statistics to be ruthless and unforgiving in the real world.  It doesn’t deserve any respect and should not be allowed in civilized company.
.
.
funny pictures - All he has to do is hang out the WELCOME sign
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
.

Logical Religion

Among all the religions that have contradictory Gods…only One or None can be right.  It is just as likely that none are right or that some other god with entirely different characteristics or that multiple gods with different characteristics exists. We have no irrefutable proofs of any kind that any proposed god exists.  All we have (or have ever had) is personal anecdotal attestations of belief.  As far as the Abrahamic religions go, two thirds of the world doesn’t think this  God exists.

Muslims believe in a god who is utterly transcendent, non-anthropomorphic, and to whom we humans are required to submit in total obedience.  The Christian god, however is partially transcendent, three persons in one, anthropomorphic, and whom we are supposed to show love.  The Jewish God is less transcendent, has a special role for the Jewish tribes, and they are singled out from all of humanity.  The Hindu God or gods are so alien to my Western way of thought that I can’t even go there yet.

All religions except possibly some small sects in India do not account for all the proven hundreds of thousands of years man has been on earth. Most all Jews, Christians and Muslims (the Abrahamic religions) believe life began on earth 10,000 years ago, or less, and this is despite all the fundamentalists’ claims provably false.  Some of the Christian denominations of late are recognizing that science is actually right on the long ages, and evolution and accepting this, but have so-far not fully integrated these facts into their dogma.  If you are a fundamentalist; Where do you think this god was for 190,000 +- years?

How is it rational for anyone to believe in something with logically contradictory characteristics?  It is not rational to believe in something that is defined one way…when the alleged same thing is defined in a different way down the street in another Temple/Church/Synagogue.

Christians maintain that serving their God is what gives them purpose and that all their morality comes from this God, seemingly disregarding the fact that billions of other people can find purpose to living and loving and can act with morality, all without belief in a transcendent being.

Albert Einstein denied the existence of the traditional monotheistic God and refused to believe that said God could even be moral if He and the religionist’s claims about Him were true.  If this God was omniscient and omnipresent as Christianity claims, He would be ultimately responsible for all of the suffering of humanity down through the ages.  Gods that reflect human frailty are not moral or real gods.

Some Christian sects/denominations define God as being so powerful that free-will is nonexistent, that who we are and what we do is entirely up to Gods interference.  Others will define god as one who gives us tremendous freedoms/free-will and hardly ever, or never, interferes.

A person looking at all these differences would be justified in just staying away from all of them.  After all only one or none of them could possibly be right, and us mere humans could not possibly pick the right one…if there even was a right one.

“While 40 million people died of starvation in the last decade, churches spent $10 billion on campuses.” Steve McSwain
.
submit to reddit

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Egypt, Ethiopia and the Beginning of Biblical Time

Recent DNA Genome studies of the human race, from all over the world, have shown that, long ago, we all came out of Africa.  From North and South America, Australia, China, Asia, Europe, India–All the world’s bloodlines converge in Africa, and the approximate time they came out of Africa can be tracked. This technology is less than three decades old now and it has changed genealogy and criminology forever. Looking into our human past is now very easy and I’m sure many more uses will be discovered.

Below are some short excerpts from a very smart lady writing of Egypt and Ethiopia in 1920’s/1930’s that I think is remarkably prescient. Science and archaeology seems to continue verifying her conclusions, as scientists have been saying for some time now that the Ethiopian area is probably the ‘Cradle of Life’, and we know that Egypt is the first truly great civilization. Much evidence coming out now that Libya, Egypt, and Ethiopia have been populated more than 10,000 years.

“Out of anthropology, ethnology, geology, paleontology, archaeology, as well as history, I have dug up an irrefutable arsenal of facts that Harvard or Yale or cowardly scholarship in our race dare not refute. How can a leadership point the forward way that is utterly ignorant of the past?”

“Stephanus of Byzantium, voicing the universal testimony of antiquity wrote, “Ethiopia was the first established country on earth and the Ethiopians were the first to set up the worship of the gods and to establish laws.” The later ages gained from this ancient empire, the fundamental principles upon which republican governments are founded. The basic stones of that wonderful dominion were equality, temperance, industry, intelligence and justice.”
*******
“The priests of Sais said to Solon, “You Greeks are novices in all the knowledge of antiquity. You are ignorant of what passed here or among yourselves in the days of old. The history of eight thousand years is deposited in our sacred books, but we can ascend to much higher antiquity and tell you what our fathers have done for nine thousand years. I mean their institutions, their laws, and their brilliant accomplishments.” Baldwin points out that neither Solon nor Plato thought this improbable. The Greeks could tell nothing of their progenitors and but little of the Pelasgian race that preceded them in Hellenic lands. “There can be no doubt,” says Baldwin, “that the Egyptians preserved old records of the early period of their history extending beyond Menes.” This knowledge was lost to our times by the destruction of the Alexandrian library and the fanatical zeal which destroyed all pagan manuscripts.”
*******
“Egypt falls into natural divisions, Lower and Upper. Lower Egypt stretches from the Mediterranean to the limit of the Delta. Upper Egypt extends six hundred miles south of the Delta to the first cataract. The broad plains of the Delta and the comparatively narrow valley higher up make up the divisions of Egypt. In the primitive days Upper Egypt was wholly Ethiopian. Bunsen says that the early monuments reveal the primitive Egyptian, with head low and elongated, the forehead not amply developed, the nose short, thick, the lips full and large, the chin short and receding. In those days the rulers of Egypt were wholly Ethiopian. Look at authentic plates of early Egyptian Pharaohs, they are undeniably Cushite. The Great Sphinx, emblematic of an earlier king, is the full featured Ethiopian type. Look at the astounding countenance of Cheops. The counterpart of such a face can only be found among Ethiopians today. He is a perfect representation of the Cushite Ethiopian race that cast such giant shadows on time’s dawn.”  Drusilla Dunjee Houston, writing in late 1920’s to early 1930’s, in public domain.

This is a pretty fascinating read for anyone interested in human beginnings and our path to civilization.  One thing I found interesting was that the Egyptians and Ethiopians were circumcising male children-before the Hebrews and their gods even thought about it.

“Circumcision was a rite universally practiced as a part of the religion of the old Egyptians, as long as the native institutions flourished. It was a rite of the ruling Ethiopian element. Under Greek and Roman rule it fell into disuse but was always retained by the priesthood and those who desired to cultivate ancient wisdom. Herodotus said that all Ethiopians circumcised. Lenormant calls it original with them. The Coptic Church practices it to this day. Abyssinians do the same. They did not adopt it from the Jews for they circumcise both sexes. Oldendorpe finds the rite in western Africa. It must be a relic of ancient African customs. It is older than Mohammed, who did not regard it as a religious rite. Southern Arabia had the rite from Ethiopia. Himyartic Arabs (Cushites), circumcise their children on the eighth day. Pocock found that other Semitic Arabs circumcise between the tenth and fifteenth years.”

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Old Religious Flood Stories

So I’m talking with this guy about Noah’s ark and the Great flood. He tells me that most cultures, religions, and races have a flood myth.

I say to him “yeah, that’s because most old societies back then gathered and created towns and villages near a water source, and those sources would occasionally flood.”

“No,” he says, “I’m talking about the stories they tell about their god’s flooding the whole world and choosing some ‘good’ people to survive on a boat or raft. You know like Noah.”

I ask for examples, but he really doesn’t know any, he just knows that other religions and races have flood stories. We talk of other things for awhile and finally we go our separate ways.

Once at home I decide to research the flood stories on the Internet. I’ve heard this before, and never really researched it much. I found that many of the flood myths contain similar qualities

  • Humans are guilty of sin or transgression against the gods
  • A god or gods sends a flood as punishment.
  • Instructions are sent to an individual to build a boat or craft of some kind.
  • The instructions include ensuring the survival of all species…or at least some of them
  • The flood destroys the old race of sinners
  • After the flood, a new, less sinful race emerges to regenerate the species.

The Hebrew (Noah’s) flood is one of the few that can…kind of…be dated. Most of the Christian religious sects agree on a window of from 2700 to 2200 BC, with around 2300 to 2500 BC being the average. Of course, as I have wrote here before, there is absolutely no evidence for a world-wide flood anywhere near those dates. In fact there is no evidence for world-wide flooding at any past age.

The oldest story I have found is the Epic of Gilgamesh, tentatively dated at about 1000 or more years before the OT Hebrew legend. Since the Hebrew story has so many similarities to Gilgamesh, and the Gilgamesh story is out of Babylon, where the Jews just happened to spend a lot of time (think of the ‘Exile), and is where many scholars think the majority a lot of the OT was put to papyrus. By the way, you can see this late composition of the scriptures by noting that there are some glaring anachronisms in Genesis.

There are a number of flood stories that some scholars think have been polluted by early Christian proselytizers. These are primarily American Indian and South American Indian. (Minus the really old South American tribes) As you read some of the old stories you can see the Biblical influence.

So, yes there are many flood stories from around the world, but most of them disagree on the details, but some of them kind of agree. Why do you think this would be? Is there some kind of ‘group’ human memory going on here?

Believe me, if the people that research these kinds of things (geologists, archaeologists, etc.) ever found some kind of proof for a historical world-wide flood, and they have been looking down through the years, you would hear about it. A find of that magnitude would make him/her rich and famous.

There is a man, George Valas, of the National Technical Information Centre and Library, in Hungary who has an interesting theory. The full paper can be read: Here:

He writes:

“It is an old enigma whether the myths of Flood obtained in different mythologies created independently of each other in different parts of the world are based on real events or not. The paleoclimatologic research obtained in the late eighties that the melting was extremely violent in some periods of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, creating “ideal” conditions for cataclysmic floods, more violent than we can imagine now. The period about 8250 B.C., the years after so called Younger Dryas episode of severe refreezing rises above the others of such periods with the second most violent melting of the whole Pleistocene-Holocene transition, with strongly increased seasonality concentrating the melting to a short period within the year, and a monsoon activity in the presently arid Middle East 30% stronger than it is observed in the contemporary monsoon zone. It is very likely that this coincidence of circumstances might cause such cataclysmic floods that may cause to born the myths of Flood.

A series of the largest natural catastrophes in the history of mankind can perhaps be discovered by comparison of recent results in paleoclimatology with traditions of religions. The origin of the biblical myth of the Flood is an ancient enigma that is complicated by similar myths in other beliefs in other parts of the world. An old hypothesis suggested that in the background of these myths there were real floods of cataclysmic size. Attempts to identify these real floods or find any connection between them have as yet been unsuccessful. However, recent paleoclimatic investigations have put this enigma in a new light, as a consequence of which it seems likely that all these floods took place during the last deglaciation period, during the transition from Pleistocene to Holocene. The most likely time for the biblical Flood is about 8,250 B.C. (10,200 B.P.), the end of the Younger Dryas cold episode.

Given that the text of the Old Testament should not be taken literally, one of the first questions is: Do verses 7:10-7:12, 7:17-7:24, and 8:2-8:11 of Genesis reflect some real event? Was there any real flood of unprecedented size in the background of the biblical myth of the Flood? Even though one of accepted answers is that indeed there was (Tokarev (ed.) 1982), attempts to identify the geological layers of that flood have been unsuccessful. One possible reason for this may be the incorrect dating of the supposed event.

The situation is complicated by other similar myths in other beliefs in other parts of the world, from Sumerian Ziusudra myth through different Indian and Chinese myths to a large variety of myths of flood among different native American nations and tribes (Tokarev (ed.) 1982). It is not likely at all that these myths are spread from one centre, because

i) There are too great differences between them (Tokarev (ed.)1982);

ii) The cultures in the Middle East, in India, in China, and in
Americas developed independently of each other in the last
20,000 years (Barraclough and Stone 1990).

A real flood of global size is simply impossible, because the amount of all water on the Earth is far not enough for a “global” flood: any real floods in the background of these different myths had to be different ones (except the Biblical and the Sumerian myths that can reflect the same event observed independently of each other by two different populations at two different places). Despite it being difficult to imagine that these different myths reflect events completely independent of each other, there is no evidence of any connection between these different floods.”

There is more to this paper, and it’s an easy read, you may want to follow the link. Here

That makes two theories now, if you also consider the Black Sea Deluge , that make infinitely more sense to explain this damnable flood story that the Hebrews wrote of and the Christians gloomed onto as the workings of Yahweh, Elohim, El, Jehovah, or whatever. The other cultures also attributed ‘their’ flood to their gods, but Christianity says they are false gods so their stories are not true…well maybe Yahweh is false too. These are just old stories and myths; they can’t be proven, but most of the assertions (Noah’s two or seven of every animal, only 8 people survived, etc.) can be disproved.

The Christians just keep trying to put a square peg into a round hole. Maybe they need to regroup and rethink the reality out here.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

For latest post go: Here

Make Me Famous 🙂
Add to Technorati Favorites

Should Religions be Allowed to Kill?

Warning: one cussword

A few weeks ago I was surfing the web and came across a blog from India. The subject, the murder of a young _______ boy, caught my attention so I read the whole thing.

Seems a young man who’s family was _______, which is fairly uncommon in India, was flirting with a ******* girl. The town this happened in was predominately ****** and they watch their young women quite closely.  There were lots of murmurings and whispers from those who watched the young man and his demeanor with the girl. This went on for a few days and apparently his parents, and others, warned him to stay away from the girl.  One evening he met up with the girl on the road and started talking with her, unaware that a group of men were watching nearby.

They men rushed up to the couple and grabbed the boy and started beating him, as the girl ran away.  Later that evening the boy’s dead body was found lying beside the road…he had been beaten to death.

The police were called and they investigated for a few days, but ultimately said they had no evidence against anybody, and there was nothing they could do.  This was despite there being several eyewitnesses to the beating.  They said they couldn’t see who had done it. The blog writer managed to convey an impression that the police weren’t really doing their job.

The person writing this blog was related, and heartbroken by the death, and was pouring out her sorrow in the blog. I was stricken by the story and thought about the waste that happened here, not only for the loss of an apparently honorable and upright young man, but the loss of an opportunity for two cultures, in however small a way, to approach each other in peace and show humanity to each other. A small rapprochement if you will, that could lead to more friendships and peace between rivals.

Feeling as I do about religious arrogance and the stupidity they show in many matters, I was moved to write a reply to the woman, where I kind of got carried away and called the people involved in the killing some pretty bad names.  Now I did sink my teeth into the *******’s, because its known that ******’s think it’s OK to kill ________ if they cross a very fine line…try to convert a ******* to _______ and its open season on your hide…literally.  ****** in this case really condones murder.  Pretty much the same outlook applies to a _______ man trying to get too friendly with a young ******* woman.

I don’t care what kind of logic or reason you try to apply in making this OK in the light of your religion…it is totally wrong.  There is no real God anywhere who would allow this to be the norm.

Anyway, it took about three days for the woman who wrote the blog to answer back.  I forget the actual words (I deleted her reply), but the gist of it was, I was talking ‘hate speech’ and she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, put my reply on her blog. For a split second I was mad, but then I got to thinking that the rules for public speech and writing were not the same in India, and my bad reply could/would put her in harms way if she published it.  So I tried to dismiss the matter from my mind.  But it wouldn’t go away.  I didn’t dwell on it, but my subconscious chewed on it for days and days.

Finally a few days ago the thoughts burst forth, fully formed in my mind.

Yes, I had written some bad things about a religious group and called it and the men who hid murder behind it some bad things, and yes by today’s standard of PC’ness, I was wrong…totally wrong.

I ask you though, who was more hateful and did more to upset the public order and well being of the citizenry?  Was it me, who called the men and their religion out for what they are…a murderous bunch of half-wits and imbeciles, and the religious mandate they think they were working under barbaric and hideous in its teachings?

Or, were the men who ganged up on, and murdered a young innocent boy in cold blood… the more hateful.  If I see or hear someone doing a totally wrong thing to a fellow human being, I will not say nice things about them. And I will not stand silently by knowing a particular religion seems to give some men the moral authority to kill the innocent. This is not right no matter what you say.  If the men and religion they practice that empowers them is not lashed out against, they will keep doing it…over and over.

In a “civilized” 🙂 world, one does not allow the citizenry, or a religious representative, to go around and kill people by their whim for religious reasons. Any Religion that allows this should be banned.  There is no room in today’s world for such a thing.

Do you think we should stand idly by and let such things happen without speaking out against them?  We know that the ******* religion allows murder of innocents.  Should we not speak against this?  Should we speak nicely about matters such as this…or should we rip them a new asshole?

Continuously give in and be nice to that kind of behavior and we all know who wins the game of life.

cat
more cat pictures

For latest post go: Here
Add to Technorati Favorites

More Evidence Against Noah’s Flood

Floods do not form mountains, but rather erode them away. Walter T. Brown, In the Beginning, 1986

All Biblical dates that I have seen for Noah’s flood fall within a period of the earth’s history known to historians the world over, as the “Bronze Age” This is a period in our collective history in which we humans discovered and used the metals copper and tin to make Bronze.

It started around 3500-3000 BCE in the Middle Eastern and African areas, and lasted until we learned how to make Iron (about 1200 BCE, probably in Africa) and thus entered the ‘Iron Age’ This time span also happens to encompass the beginning of writing and keeping records…so we have written records of what was going on at these times; in other words this was ‘historical’ time.

In those times the impetus for the development of the Bronze technology was war. Bronze was used in most weapons of the time, such as spear points, arrowheads, swords, axes, helmets, armor, and shields. Production of these items, in the quantities needed for the armies of the time, required much infrastructure and many people devoted to the making of them. This was not a fly-by-night operation

According to recorded history there were six well-established cultures or ‘civilizations’ at the time of Noah’s Flood. They were: Mesopotamia (Sumerian), Indus Valley, Egypt, the Minoan, the ‘Holy Land’ area, and China. Archaeological records such as ruins of cities, tools, pottery, skeletal remains, weapons, and other artifacts support the written records that survive. These records all show that humans and civilizations existed in almost all parts of the world at the time of the flood, and that there was a worldwide population of possibly 100 million people.

The civilizations of the time were using Bronze tools and had the potters wheel, looms to made textiles, had invented the plow and domesticated draft animals, they also traded with peoples hundreds of miles away. In other words a cultural revolution was going on. Man was changing from herders and hunter-gatherers to settled agriculture and cities that could support the new technologies. An infrastructure was developing. The written record and Archaeology support this view. Records of the Sumerian/Mesopotamian civilization show a continuous ongoing culture from about 3350 BCE to a period well past the Noachian flood.

Mesopotamia had great prosperity and expansion during the flood period under Sargon the Great and his grandson Naram-Sin. The area was a thriving center of culture and advancing civilization. There is no evidence for a cataclysmic flood wiping out the entire culture and infrastructure.

Egyptian civilization is probably familiar to most of us. Egypt’s dynastic history started with the uniting of Upper and Lower Egypt by King Menes, around 3100 BCE. The Egyptian period known as the “Old Kingdom” lasted from 2800 to 2175 BCE. During this time many of the pyramids were built. There is no record, written or archaeological, for a monster flood destroying and completely interrupting this countries infrastructure or it’s monuments such as the Sphinx, the Step Pyramid, or the Great Pyramids, which were built before ‘The Flood’

China has a reasonably accurate history starting around 3000 BCE. According to texts from a Chinese book called “Shu King” and verified by archaeological records, China was undergoing a prosperous period around 2400 to 2200 BCE during the early Yaou Dynasty. They have no record of a cataclysmic flood interrupting their whole civilization and destroying the infrastructure of the country.

The Indus valley civilization has a well-known history dating back to perhaps 3100 BCE. By 2500 BCE there were two major cities, Mohendaro (or Mohenjo-Daro) and Harrapa, which rivaled Egypt and Mesopotamia in population and technologies. This great Civilization also encompassed maybe 100 smaller cities, towns, and villages, and didn’t fall until about 1500 BCE. They have no record of a worldwide civilization-destroying flood.

The Minoan civilization was probably as old as Egypt. Based on the Island of Crete, this civilization grew quickly and was highly advanced by 2500 BCE. By the middle of the second millennium it had an alphabet, used bronze tools, had pottery, textiles, advanced architecture, and had established cities around the Islands. It continued to grow and was a center for trade and culture until about the mid-1400’s BCE  when it was suddenly destroyed by the violent eruption of the Thera volcano. There has been no evidence unearthed from this civilization that shows a flood destroying their whole infrastructure, at any time in their existence.

We do not have any archaeological evidence from the Japanese culture, Native American culture, or the Black tribes of Africa that indicate a world wide flood at any time in their existence. Think about this. How could all these civilizations, tribes, and world-wide culture along with sooo many people suddenly disappear from the earth and then suddenly reappear all over the world and bring the same culture, arts, pottery design, architecture, writing, language, and artifacts that was unique to them and their part of the world?

The entire history of the world does not show…any…of the known civilizations to have a large gap in their chronology or technologies as a result of being destroyed by a worldwide flood. It is not plausible that they were destroyed, and within a few short years, reappeared in their original numbers and with the same abilities and infrastructure. All the inventions and culture of the people of the time…would have had to be reinvented by new inhabitants…that did not happen. It just didn’t happen people. cat

For latest post go: Here

more animals Add to Technorati Favorites