1021: Sun Burps

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 57m
April 1st, 2018
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Executive Producers: Sir Midknight of the Rivers, Sir Josef Baron of Southern California, Anonymous, Daniel Warren

Associate Executive Producers: Charles Couch, Mister Pre Self-Radicalized, Roderick Veelo

Cover Artist: Comic Strip Blogger

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Migrants
US to seek social media details from all visa applicants
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 11:26
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- The State Department wants to require all U.S. visa applicants to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers, vastly expanding the Trump administration's enhanced vetting of potential immigrants and visitors.
In documents to be published in Friday's Federal Register, the department said it wants the public to comment on the proposed new requirements, which will affect nearly 15 million foreigners who apply for visas to enter the U.S. each year. Previously, social media, email and phone number histories were only sought from applicants identified for extra scrutiny, such as those who have traveled to areas controlled by terrorist organizations. An estimated 65,000 people per year are in that category.
The new rules would apply to virtually all applicants for immigrant and non-immigrant visas. The department estimates it would affect 710,000 immigrant visa applicants and 14 million non-immigrant visa applicants, including those who want to come to the U.S. for business or education, according to the documents.
The documents were posted on the Federal Register's website on Thursday but the 60-day public comment period won't begin until Friday's edition is published.
If the requirements are approved by the Office of Management and Budget, applications for all visa types would list a number of social media platforms and require the applicant to provide any account names they may have had on them over the previous five years. It would also give the applicant the option to volunteer information about social media accounts on platforms not listed in the application.
In addition to their social media histories, visa applicants will be asked for five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, international travel and deportation status, as well as whether any family members have been involved in terrorist activities.
Only applicants for certain diplomatic and official visa types may be exempted from the requirements, the documents said.
Jerry Brown Pardons 5 Ex-Convicts Facing Deportation, Provoking Trump - The New York Times
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:03
''We will definitely not sit by idly as the Trump administration tries to deport immigrants, throw people off health care, ignore climate change and steal our water,'' State Senator Scott Wiener, a Democrat, said in January. ''It's about playing defense to whatever the administration throws at us '-- but also offense in terms of continuing California's push for progressive social change.''
On Friday, the same day Mr. Brown announced the pardons, Mr. Trump declared April ''Second Chance Month,'' highlighting the need for ex-convicts to get an opportunity to become contributing members of society.
''I am committed to advancing reform efforts to prevent crime, improve re-entry and reduce recidivism,'' Mr. Trump said in a news release.
Mr. Brown, who is serving the final 12 months of his second stint as governor, has granted 1,115 pardons and 51 commutations since taking office in 2011, Evan Westrup, the governor's press secretary said on Saturday. It amounts to far more than his recent predecessors.
Some of these cases involved immigrants who faced deportation or who had already been deported. An exact breakdown was not immediately available.
In December, Mr. Brown pardoned two men who came to the United States as children, after their families fled the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, and who were scheduled to be deported for their crimes, The Sacramento Bee reported. Last year, he pardoned three veterans who had been deported to Mexico and in 2015, he pardoned a man who was fighting deportation after serving two decades for burglary and kidnapping, among other crimes.
For ex-convict immigrants, deportation is a severe punishment that is often unwarranted, said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, which seeks to change California's laws to help immigrants avoid deportation.
''We believe that deportation is an enhancement to their sentences that goes way too far,'' she said. ''They've actually paid their debt to society.''
Immigration law is ''so punitive, that it just does not forgive,'' she added. ''Most judges, their hands are tied behind their back,'' she said, and the inability to have any discretion promotes large-scale deportation.
Mr. Trump visited California in mid-March to inspect border wall prototypes designed to keep out undocumented immigrants. The trip came one week after Attorney General Jeff Sessions sued the state over three new immigration laws he called unconstitutional, saying they made it impossible for federal immigration officials to deport criminals who were born outside the United States.
Mr. Brown, a Democrat, said at the time that Mr. Sessions was ''basically going to war'' with California.
In Mr. Trump's weekly address on Saturday he took another swipe at California, blaming so-called sanctuary cities for the opioid epidemic, and referring to California as a ''sanctuary state'' that has become a hub for transporting heroin across the southern border. He also admonished Oakland's mayor for helping ''criminal aliens'' elude the authorities because of the city's ''dangerous sanctuary policies.''
''Sanctuary cities put innocent Americans at the mercy of hardened criminals and heartless drug dealers,'' Mr. Trump added. ''These are bad people.''
That argument '-- that immigrants bring crime to America '-- has influenced many of the Trump administration's policies on immigration. Studies have shown, however, that immigration does not drive crime. According to one recent analysis, a large-scale collaboration by four universities, the areas with the largest increases in immigrants all had lower levels of crime in 2016 than in 1980.
''The data is crystal clear that immigrants do not lead to an increase in crime,'' said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. ''I think opponents to immigration like to cherry-pick egregious cases where the individual does not belong in the U.S. and therefore marginalize an entire community.''
Continue reading the main story
FaceBag Analytica
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Whistle Blower Wylie is full of crap about gay guys in strip clubs
Greetings Adam,
As a gay guy, and No Agenda producer, I used to go to a strip club, up Rte. 10 from County College of Morris, in NJ for lunch with a friend a few times a week. They had excellent cheeseburgers.
I'd always have my folding cane on the bar in front of me which led to a lot of lovely conversations with the ladies. Plus some lovely supple boob handling. Even blind gay guys love books!
TYFYC,
Scott
Hey, Alexa, What Can You Hear? And What Will You Do With It? - The New York Times
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:33
One application details how audio monitoring could help detect that a child is engaging in ''mischief'' at home by first using speech patterns and pitch to identify a child's presence, one filing said. A device could then try to sense movement while listening for whispers or silence, and even program a smart speaker to ''provide a verbal warning.''
A separate application regarding personalizing content for people while respecting their privacy noted that voices could be used to determine a speaker's mood using the ''volume of the user's voice, detected breathing rate, crying and so forth,'' and medical condition ''based on detected coughing, sneezing and so forth.''
The same application outlines how a device could ''recognize a T-shirt on a floor of the user's closet'' bearing Will Smith's face and combine that with a browser history that shows searches for Mr. Smith ''to provide a movie recommendation that displays, 'You seem to like Will Smith. His new movie is playing in a theater near you.'''
In a statement, Amazon said the company took ''privacy seriously'' and did ''not use customers' voice recordings for targeted advertising.'' Amazon said that it filed ''a number of forward-looking patent applications that explore the full possibilities of new technology,'' and that they ''take multiple years to receive and do not necessarily reflect current developments to products and services.''
Google said it did not ''use raw audio to extrapolate moods, medical conditions or demographic information.'' The company added, ''All devices that come with the Google Assistant, including Google Home, are designed with user privacy in mind.''
Tech companies apply for a dizzying number of patents every year, many of which are never used and are years from even being possible.
Still, Jamie Court, the president of Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit advocacy group in Santa Monica, Calif., which published a study of some of the patent applications in December, said, ''When you read parts of the applications, it's really clear that this is spyware and a surveillance system meant to serve you up to advertisers.''
Photo A diagram included with an Amazon patent application showed how a phone call between friends could be used to identify their interests. Credit United States Patent and Trademark Office The companies, Mr. Court added, are ''basically going to be finding out what our home life is like in qualitative ways.''
Google called Consumer Watchdog's claims ''unfounded,'' and said, ''Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patent applications.''
A recent Gallup poll found that 22 percent of Americans used devices like Google Home or Amazon Echo. The growing adoption of smart speakers means that gadgets, some of which contain up to eight microphones and a camera, are being placed in kitchens and bedrooms and used to answer questions, control appliances and make phone calls. Apple recently introduced its own version, called the HomePod.
But many consumers are also becoming increasingly nervous that tech companies are eavesdropping on them in order to serve them targeted ads, no matter how often the companies deny it. The recent revelations that a British political data firm, Cambridge Analytica, improperly harvested the information of 50 million Facebook users has only added to the public's wariness over the collection and use of personal information.
Facebook, in fact, had planned to unveil its new internet-connected home products at a developer conference in May, according to Bloomberg News, which reported that the companyhad scuttled that idea partly in response to the recent fallout.
Both Amazon and Google have emphasized that devices with Alexa and Google Assistant store voice recordings from users only after they are intentionally triggered. Amazon's Echo and its newer smart speakers with screens use lights to show when they are streaming audio to the cloud, and consumers can view and delete their recordings on the Alexa smartphone app or on Amazon's website (though they are warned online that ''may degrade'' their experience). Google Home also has a light that indicates when it is recording, and users can similarly see and delete that audio online.
Amazon says voice recordings may help fulfill requests and improve its services, while Google says the data helps it learn over time to provide better, more personalized responses.
But the ecosystem around voice data is still evolving.
Take the thousands of third-party apps developed for Alexa called ''skills,'' which can be used to play games, dim lights or provide cleaning advice. While Amazon said it didn't share users' actual recordings with third parties, its terms of use for Alexa say it may share the content of their requests or information like their ZIP codes. Google saysit will ''generally'' not provide audio recordings to third-party service providers, but may send transcriptions of what people say.
And some devices have already shown that they are capable of recording more than what users expect. Google faced some embarrassment last fall when a batch of Google Home Minis that it distributed at company events and to journalists were almost constantly recording.
In a starker example, detectives investigating a death at an Arkansas home sought access to audio on an Echo device in 2016. Amazon resisted, but the recordings were ultimately shared with the permission of the defendant, James Bates. (A judge later dismissed Mr. Bates's first-degree murder charge based on separate evidence.)
Kathleen Zellner, his lawyer, said in an interview that the Echo had been recording more than it was supposed to. Mr. Bates told her that it had been regularly lighting up without being prompted, and had logged conversations that were unrelated to Alexa commands, including a conversation about football in a separate room, she said.
''It was just extremely sloppy the way the activation occurred,'' Ms. Zellner said.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has recommended more robust disclosure rules for internet-connected devices, including an ''algorithmic transparency requirement'' that would help people understand how their data was being used and what automated decisions were then being made about them.
Sam Lester, the center's consumer privacy fellow, said he believed that the abilities of new smart home devices highlighted the need for United States regulators to get more involved with how consumer data was collected and used.
''A lot of these technological innovations can be very good for consumers,'' he said. ''But it's not the responsibility of consumers to protect themselves from these products any more than it's their responsibility to protect themselves from the safety risks in food and drugs. It's why we established a Food and Drug Administration years ago.''
Correction: March 31, 2018Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated Jeff Bezos's role in Amazon's Super Bowl ad. He was trying to figure out what to do when Alexa lost her voice; he did not fill in for her.
Contact Sapna Maheshwari at sapna@nytimes.com or follow her on Twitter: @sapna.
A version of this article appears in print on April 1, 2018, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Hey, Alexa, What Can You Hear? And What Will You Do With It?.
Continue reading the main story
We need a nationalised alternative to Facebook '' and the BBC could provide the answer | The Independent
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 13:57
This week there have been a series of reports, claims and counterclaims about the strategic communications company Cambridge Analytica. As is often the case with such scandals, there are, at the heart of the story, some fairly narrow questions as to whether formal rules have been breached '' which in this case centre on the provision of Facebook data to a third party '' but also a broader set of political and ethical questions. Yet it has not always been clear in the reporting and commentary exactly what these wider problems and issues are, let alone how they might be resolved.
The gist of the story is that a rather mercenary and seemingly unethical group of political consultants made use of now fairly standard ''big data'' techniques to develop targeted political messaging. Many of the practices complained of, though, are not especially new, nor are they unique to the coterie of shady political advisors and financiers that have surrounded Donald Trump. Indeed, the Obama campaign made use of Facebook data in much the same way. This begs the question: would this be big news if there weren't an alleged breach?
The Cambridge Analytica story blends concerns about the power of Facebook and the other tech giants, with an anxiety about the collapse of a longstanding political consensus that has been discussed largely in terms of irrational voter behaviour and manipulative political messaging. We've seen a similar cluster of issues converge in the ongoing low level panics about ''fake news'', and in both cases there seems to be a failure to come to terms with problems in media and politics that were obvious long before the disruptive political victories of Trump and the ''No'' campaign.
Politicians have long made use of practical and academic expertise in communications to hone messaging, target key voters, and drive through unpopular policies, and such messaging is often negative and/or manipulative. The Thatcherites famously retained the advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi to target upwardly mobile voters and smear the Conservative's political opponents, whilst New Labour was notorious for its centralised communications operations, its ''spin'' and its targeting of swing voters in key marginals. In all these areas we have seen techniques originally developed by social scientists and professionals in marketing, advertising and the media, applied in political campaigning and strategy.
Mark Zuckerberg on Cambridge Analytica : 'I'm really sorry'
What has changed in recent years is the level of sophistication of these techniques, thanks to rapid technological advances. This has meant the marketing and advertising industry, which at one stage relied heavily on survey data and focus groups, can now draw on unprecedented volumes of highly personal data. Naturally these techniques have moved into politics, and in this particular case they were used to support a noxious political candidate, who then stole the White House from its heir apparent.
The antics of Cambridge Analytica aside, the story highlights some serious problems with both politics and big tech companies. We have a political system that is highly centralised and often uses manipulate communication techniques; but they now do so by utilising a massive private infrastructure of surveillance, which can be readily utilised not just by politicians and the state, but by corporate interests too.
The hope that the corporate giants could be effectively regulated to protect user privacy and data security fundamentally misunderstands the nature of these companies. Their entire business model is based on monitoring our online behaviour and monetising that data. They cannot therefore be reformed without undermining their commercial viability.
One obvious option is nationalisation. This isn't nearly as much of a political taboo as it was even a few years ago, but still seems very unlikely in the US, and it is hard to see how it would work internationally. More regulation of Facebook and other companies, though, seems inevitable, even if it will likely be rather ineffective.
At the same time there is an urgent need for the development of non-commercial alternatives which are able to offer users the great benefits of these new technologies, without the serious downsides that are becoming ever more apparent. In some contexts, this might mean the development of platform cooperatives under the control of their users which are able to offer data security and algorithmic transparency. In the UK though we have a very obvious alternative public provider in the BBC.
The national broadcaster was developed to act in the public interest, free from private interests or political control. Of course, the reality of has fallen rather short of that, but it is a vision that is salvageable and seems highly relevant today.
Though we think of the BBC primarily as a programme maker and broadcaster, and it also tends to think of itself in those terms, it is also a public communications technology company that has throughout its life developed technology in the public interest. With television a dying medium, the BBC has so far made only tentative steps into the digital space. But in technical terms it would be relatively straightforward for the Corporation to become a public platform and network that could offer its users total algorithmic transparency, data security and the opportunity participate equally in culture and public life free from political or commercial exploitation.
Tom Mills is the author of The BBC: The Myth of a Public Service.
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Amazon Transcribe '' Automatic Speech Recognition - AWS
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:57
Automatic speech recognition
Amazon Transcribe is an automatic speech recognition (ASR) service that makes it easy for developers to add speech to text capability to their applications. Using the Amazon Transcribe API, you can analyze audio files stored in Amazon S3 and have the service return a text file of the transcribed speech.
Amazon Transcribe can be used for lots of common applications, including the transcription of customer service calls and generating subtitles on audio and video content. The service can transcribe audio files stored in common formats, like WAV and MP3, with time stamps for every word so you can easily locate the audio in the original source by searching for the text. Amazon Transcribe is continually learning and improving to keep pace with the evolution of language.
AWS re:Invent 2017 Introducing Amazon Transcribe
Easy-to-Read TranscriptionsMost speech recognition systems output a string of text without punctuation. Amazon Transcribe uses deep learning to add punctuation and formatting automatically, so that the output is more reader-friendly and can be used without any further editing.
Support for Telephony AudioRecorded audio from phone conversations is typically low quality. Amazon Transcribe has been specifically designed to provide high accuracy when working with telephony quality audio to enable use cases like transcribing customer service calls.
Multiple LanguagesAmazon Transcribe can automatically transcribe US English and Spanish speech. Support for more languages will be coming soon.
Simple-to-Use APIThe Amazon Transcribe API makes it easy to convert speech to text. No complicated programming is required. Just call the API with a few lines of code, and Transcribe will return the text from your audio file stored in Amazon S3.
Support for Custom Vocabulary (Coming soon)Amazon Transcribe gives you the ability to expand and customize your speech recognition vocabulary. You can add new words (along with their pronunciations) to the base vocabulary and generate highly-accurate transcriptions specific to your use case, even when the utterances may include specialized terminology and jargon, or unique product names. This feature helps you save time and additional editing by removing the need for corrections down the road.
Timestamp GenerationAmazon Transcribe returns a timestamp for each word, so that you can easily locate the audio in the original recording by search for the text.
Recognize Multiple Speakers (Coming soon)Amazon Transcribe is able to recognize when the speaker changes and attribute the transcribed text appropriately. This can significantly reduce the amount of work needed to transcribe audio with multiple speakers like telephone calls, interviews, and television shows.
Amazon Transcribe can provide transcription for a wide range of use cases including customer service, subtitling, search and compliance.
Improving Customer ServiceBy converting audio input into text, Amazon Transcribe lets you build text analytics applications that can search and analyze voice input. Customer contact centers can use Amazon Transcribe to transcribe voice-based interactions, and mine the data for insights using other AWS services like Amazon Comprehend to extract meaning and intent from conversations.
Captioning/Subtitling WorkflowsAmazon Transcribe can help content generation and media distributors improve reach and access by automatically generating time-stamped subtitles that can be displayed along with the video content.
Cataloging Audio ArchivesThe service enables you to transcribe audio and video assets into fully searchable archives for compliance monitoring and risk management. Customers can use Amazon Transcribe to convert audio to text, and use Amazon ElasticSearch to index and perform text-based search across their audio/video library.
RingDNA is an enterprise sales acceleration engine and voice communications platform. Inside sales teams use RingDNA to dramatically increase productivity, engage in smarter sales conversations, gain predictive sales insight and coach reps to success faster than ever before.
''RingDNA is an end-to-end communications platform for sales teams. Hundreds of enterprise organizations use RingDNA to dramatically increase productivity, engage in smarter sales conversations, gain predictive sales insights, improve their win rate and coach reps to success faster than ever before. A critical component of RingDNA's Conversation AI requires best of breed speech-to-text to deliver transcriptions of every phone call. RingDNA is excited about Amazon Transcribe since it provides high-quality speech recognition at scale, helping us to better transcribe every call to text.''
Howard Brown '' CEO & Founder, RingDNA
Isentia, headquartered in Sydney, Australia, is a leading media-intelligence provider for the Asia-Pacific region. The company operates from 18 offices across the region and supports more than 5,000 clients worldwide, including 84 of the world's top 100 brands. Isentia's products help customers make more informed and timely business and communication decisions.
''At Isentia, we enable customers to analyze and monitor the media coverage for their brands. We create more than 13K summaries per day from radio and TV content. With Amazon Transcribe, we can transcribe all the audio/video content that we monitor and analyze the text data with Amazon Comprehend. Features like timestamps and punctuation make it very easy for us to search through the data and drill down and present key insights for our customers to review."
Andrea Walsh - CIO, Isentia
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Is Facebook one big social experiment with you as the lab rat? - Digital marketing for small businesses: Audana Ltd
Thu, 29 Mar 2018 22:45
Facebook tinkered with users' feeds for a massive psychology experiment
It turns out that some of the Facebook scientists have just published some research that reveals they manipulated content that was seen by more than half a million people!
That's a rather a lot of data!
This research called ''Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks,'' was published over in The Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences.
Essentially the paper indicates how Facebook scientists skewed news feeds with either a positive of negative sentiment for randomly selected users.
The analysis that then took place was to see how the users responded by either posting more negative or more positive posts themselves. At the heart of this was to reveal if emotional states can be influenced over social networks.
Now here's the good stuff, it can!!
OK, maybe not rocket science, as we all know our emotional states can very much be influenced by what we engage with online, and facebook statuses are no exception.
There is a quite a bit of fall out about this spinning around the web mind you, I mean how would you feel if you found out you were ''manipulated'' in this way?
Facebook is by no means silly, and of course the terms and conditions clearly have such manipulation covered. The policy does indicate that the data (which we do not own, facebook does) can be used in a variety of ways '' and the scientists apparently have stated this research use is covered in their policy.
Indeed many of the top facebook scientists are drawn to work for facebook due to having access to such ground-breaking data about the human race.
So I again put it to you, we are lab rats '' even though we can use the platform for our own gain in terms of marketing and advertising opportunities, we're all in this together really.
Facebook rat experiemt
Thu, 29 Mar 2018 22:48
Editorial Expression of Concern and CorrectionPSYCHOLOGICAL AND COGNITIVE SCIENCESPNAS is publishing an Editorial Expression of Concern re-garding the following article: ''Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion t hrough social networks,''by Adam D. I.Kramer, Jamie E. Guillory, and Jeffrey T. Hancock, whichappeared in issue 24, June 17, 2014, of Proc Natl Acad SciUSA (111:8788'' 8790; first published June 2, 2014; 10.1073/pnas.1320040111). This paper rep resents an important and emerg-ing area of social science research that needs to be approachedwith sensitivity and with vigilance regarding personal privacy issues. Questions have been raised about the principles of informedconsent and opportunity to opt out in connection with the re-search in this paper. The authors noted in their paper, ''[Thework] was consistent with Facebook 's Data Use Policy, to whichall users agree prior to creating an account on Facebook, con-stituting informed consent for this research. ''When the authorsprepared their paper for publication in PNAS, they stated that:'' Because this experiment was conducted by Facebook, Inc. forinternal purposes, the Cornell University IRB [Institutional Re-view Board] determined that the project did not fall under Cor-nell 's Human Research Protection Program. ''This statement hassince been confirmed by Cornell University .Obtaining informed consent and allowing participants to optout are best practices in most instances under the US Departmentof Health and Human Services Policy for the Protection of HumanResearch Subjects (the ''Common Rule'' ). Adherence to the Com-mon Rule is PNAS policy, but as a private company Facebook wasunder no obligation to conform to the provisions of the CommonRule when it collected the data used by the authors, and theCommon Rule does not preclude their use of the data. Based onthe information provided by the authors, PNAS editors deemedit appropriate to publish the paper. It is nevertheless a matter ofconcern that the collection of the data by Facebook may haveinvolved practices that were not fully consistent with the prin-ciples of obtaining informed consent and allowing participantsto opt out.Inder M. VermaEditor-in-Chiefwww.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1412469111PSYCHOLOGICAL AND COGNITIVE SCIENCESCorrection for ''Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotionalcontagion through social networks, ''by Adam D. I. Kramer,Jamie E. Guillory, and Jeffrey T. Hancock, which appeared inissue 24, June 17, 2014, of Proc Natl Acad Sci USA(111:8788''8790; first published June 2, 2014; 10.1073/pnas.1320040111). The authors note that, ''At the time of the study, the middleauthor, Jamie E. Guillory, was a graduate student at CornellUniversity under the tutelage of senior author Jeffrey T. Hancock,also of Cornell University (Guillory is now a postdoctoral fellowat Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, Universityof California, San Francisco, CA 94143). ''The author and af-filiation lines have been updated to reflect the above changesand a present address footnote has been added. The online versionhas been corrected. The corrected author and affiliation lines appear below.Adam D. I. Kramera,1, Jamie E. Guilloryb,2,and Jeffrey T. Hancockb,caCore Data Science Team, Facebook, Inc., Menlo Park, CA 94025; andDepartments ofbCommunication andcInformation Science, CornellUniversity, Ithaca, NY 148531To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: akramer@fb.com.2Present address: Center for Tobacco Contro l Research and Education, University ofCalifornia, San Francisco, CA 94143.www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1412583111www.pnas.org PNAS|July 22, 2014|vol. 111|no. 29|10779CORRECTION
Editorial Expression of Concern and CorrectionPSYCHOLOGICAL AND COGNITIVE SCIENCESPNAS is publishing an Editorial Expression of Concern re- garding the following article: ''Experimental evidence of massive- scale emotional contagion t hrough social networks,''by Adam D. I. Kramer, Jamie E. Guillory, and Jeffrey T. Hancock, whichappeared in issue 24, June 17, 2014, of Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (111:8788''8790; first published June 2, 2014; 10.1073/ pnas.1320040111). This paper rep resents an important and emerg- ing area of social science research that needs to be approached with sensitivity and with vigilance regarding personal privacy issues. Questions have been raised about the principles of informedconsent and opportunity to opt out in connection with the re-search in this paper. The authors noted in their paper, ''[The work] was consistent with Facebook 's Data Use Policy, to which all users agree prior to creating an account on Facebook, con-stituting informed consent for this research. ''When the authors prepared their paper for publication in PNAS, they stated that: '' Because this experiment was conducted by Facebook, Inc. for internal purposes, the Cornell University IRB [Institutional Re-view Board] determined that the project did not fall under Cor- nell 's Human Research Protection Program.''This statement has since been confirmed by Cornell University. Obtaining informed consent and allowing participants to optout are best practices in most instances under the US Department of Health and Human Services Policy for the Protection of Human Research Subjects (the ''Common Rule''). Adherence to the Com- mon Rule is PNAS policy, but as a private company Facebook was under no obligation to conform to the provisions of the Common Rule when it collected the data used by the authors, and the Common Rule does not preclude their use of the data. Based onthe information provided by the authors, PNAS editors deemedit appropriate to publish the paper. It is nevertheless a matter of concern that the collection of the data by Facebook may have involved practices that were not fully consistent with the prin-ciples of obtaining informed consent and allowing participants to opt out. Inder M. Verma Editor-in-Chiefwww.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1412469111PSYCHOLOGICAL AND COGNITIVE SCIENCESCorrection for ''Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks, ''by Adam D. I. Kramer, Jamie E. Guillory, and Jeffrey T. Hancock, which appeared inissue 24, June 17, 2014, of Proc Natl Acad Sci USA(111:8788'' 8790; first published June 2, 2014; 10.1073/pnas.1320040111). The authors note that, ''At the time of the study, the middle author, Jamie E. Guillory, was a graduate student at CornellUniversity under the tutelage of senior author Jeffrey T. Hancock, also of Cornell University (Guillory is now a postdoctoral fellow at Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, Universityof California, San Francisco, CA 94143). ''The author and af- filiation lines have been updated to reflect the above changes and a present address footnote has been added. The online version has been corrected.The corrected author and affiliation lines appear below. Adam D. I. Kramera,1, Jamie E. Guilloryb,2, and Jeffrey T. Hancockb,caCore Data Science Team, Facebook, Inc., Menlo Park, CA 94025; and Departments ofbCommunication andcInformation Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 148531To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: akramer@fb.com.2Present address: Center for Tobacco Contro l Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1412583111www.pnas.org PNAS|July 22, 2014|vol. 111|no. 29|10779CORRECTION
Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networksAdam D. I. Kramera,1, Jamie E. Guilloryb,2, and Jeffrey T. Hancockb,caCore Data Science Team, Facebook, Inc., Menlo Park, CA 94025; and Departments ofbCommunication andcInformation Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 Edited by Susan T. Fiske, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and approved March 25, 2014 (received for review October 23, 2013)Emotional states can be transf erredtoothersviaemotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. Emotional contagion is well established in laboratory experiments, with people transferring positive andnegative emotions to others. Data from a large real-world socialnetwork, collected over a 20-y period suggests that longer-lasting moods (e.g., depression, happiness) can be transferred through networks [Fowler JH, Christakis NA (2008) BMJ337:a2338], al- though the results are controversial. In an experiment with peoplewho use Facebook, we test whether emotional contagion occurs outside of in-person interaction between individuals by reducing the amount of emotional content in the News Feed. When positiveexpressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were re- duced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate thatemotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our ownemotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks. This work also suggests that, in contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and non-verbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion, andthat the observation of others 'positive experiences constitutes a positive experience for people.computer-mediated communication|social media|big dataEmotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading them to experience the same emotions as those around them. Emotional contagion is well established inlaboratory experiments (1), in which people transfer positive andnegative moods and emotions to others. Similarly, data froma large, real-world social network collected over a 20-y periodsuggests that longer-lasting moods (e.g., depression, happiness)can be transferred through networks as well (2, 3). The interpretation of this network effect as contagion of mood has come under scrutiny due to the study 's correlational nature, including concerns over misspecification of contextual variablesor failure to account for shared experiences (4, 5), raising im-portant questions regarding contagion processes in networks. Anexperimental approach can address this scrutiny directly; how-ever, methods used in controlled experiments have been criti-cized for examining emotions after social interactions. Interacting with a happy person is pleasant (and an unhappy person, un- pleasant). As such, contagion may result from experiencing aninteraction rather than exposure to a partner 'semotion.Prior studies have also failed to address whether nonverbal cues arenecessary for contagion to occur, or if verbal cues alone suffice.Evidence that positive and neg ative moods are correlated in networks (2, 3) suggests that this is possible, but the causalquestion of whether contagion processes occur for emotions inmassive social networks remains elusive in the absence of ex-perimental evidence. Further, others have suggested that inonline social networks, exposure to the happiness of othersmay actually be depressing to us, producing an ''alone together'' social comparison effect (6). Three studies have laid the groundwork for testing these pro- cesses via Facebook, the largest online social network. This research demonstrated that ( i) emotional contagion occurs via text-based computer-mediated communication (7); ( ii) contagion of psy- chological and physiological qualities has been suggested basedon correlational data for social networks generally (7, 8); and( iii) people's emotional expressions on Facebook predict friends' emotional expressions, even days later (7) (although some sharedexperiences may in fact last several days). To date, however, there is no experimental evidence that emotions or moods are contagious in the absence of direct interaction between experiencer and target. On Facebook, people frequently express emotions, which are later seen by their friends via Facebook 's''News Feed''product (8). Because people 's friends frequently produce much more content than one person can view, the News Feed filters posts, stories, and activities undertaken by friends. News Feed is theprimary manner by which people see content that friends share.Which content is shown or omitted in the News Feed is de-termined via a ranking algorithm that Facebook continuallydevelops and tests in the interest of showing viewers the contentthey will find most relevant and engaging. One such test isreported in this study: A test of whether posts with emotionalcontent are more engaging. The experiment manipulated the extent to which people ( N= 689,003) were exposed to emotional expressions in their NewsFeed. This tested whether exposure to emotions led people tochange their own posting behaviors, in particular whether ex-posure to emotional content led people to post content that wasconsistent with the exposure '--thereby testing whether exposure to verbal affective expressions leads to similar verbal expressions,a form of emotional contagion. People who viewed Facebook inEnglish were qualified for selection into the experiment. Two parallel experiments were conducted for positive and negative emotion: One in which exposure to friends 'positive emotional content in their News Feed was reduced, and one in which ex-posure to negative emotional content in their News Feed wasreduced. In these conditions, when a person loaded their NewsFeed, posts that contained emotional content of the relevantemotional valence, each emotional post had between a 10% and SignificanceWe show, via a massive ( N=689,003) experiment on Facebook, that emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. We provide experimental evidencethat emotional contagion occurs without direct interaction be-tween people (exposure to a friend expressing an emotion is sufficient), and in the complete absence of nonverbal cues.Author contributions: A.D.I.K., J.E.G., and J.T.H. designed research; A.D.I.K. performed research; A.D.I.K. analyzed data; and A.D.I.K., J.E.G., and J.T.H. wrote the paper. The authors declare no conflict of interest. This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.Freely available online through the PNAS open access option.1To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: akramer@fb.com.2Present address: Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143.8788 ''8790|PNAS|June 17, 2014|vol. 111|no. 24 www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1320040111
90% chance (based on their User ID) of being omitted from their News Feed for that specific viewing. It is important to note that this content was always available by viewing a friend 's con- tent directly by going to that friend 's''wall''or''timeline,''rather than via the News Feed. Further, the omitted content may have appeared on prior or subsequent views of the News Feed. Fi-nally, the experiment did not affect any direct messages sent from one user to another. Posts were determined to be positive or negative if they con- tained at least one positive or negative word, as defined by Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software (LIWC2007) (9) word counting system, which correlates with self-reported and physiological measures of well-being, and has been used in prior research on emotional expression (7, 8, 10). LIWC was adaptedto run on the Hadoop Map/Reduce system (11) and in the News Feed filtering system, such that no text was seen by the researchers. As such, it was consistent with Facebook 's Data Use Policy, to which all users agree prior to creating an account on Facebook, constituting informed consent for this research. Bothexperiments had a control condition, in which a similar pro- portion of posts in their News Feed were omitted entirely at random (i.e., without respect to emotional content). Separatecontrol conditions were necessary as 22.4% of posts contained negative words, whereas 46.8% of posts contained positive words. So for a person for whom 10% of posts containing posi- tive content were omitted, an appropriate control would with- hold 10% of 46.8% (i.e., 4.68%) of posts at random, comparedwith omitting only 2.24% of the News Feed in the negativity- reduced control. The experiments took place for 1 wk (January 11 ''18, 2012). Participants were randomly selected based on their User ID, resulting in a total of '¼155,000 participants per condition who posted at least one status update during the experimental period. For each experiment, two dependent variables were examined pertaining to emotionality expressed in people 's own status updates: the percentage of all words produced by a given person that was either positive or negative during the experimental period (as in ref. 7). In total, over 3 million posts were analyzed,containing over 122 million words, 4 million of which were positive (3.6%) and 1.8 million negative (1.6%). If affective states are contagious via verbal expressions on Facebook (our operationalization of emotional contagion), peo- ple in the positivity-reduced condition should be less positive compared with their control, an d people in the negativity- reduced condition should be less negative. As a secondary mea- sure, we tested for cross-emotional contagion in which theopposite emotion should be inversely affected: People in the positivity-reduced condition should express increased negativity, whereas people in the negativity-reduced condition should ex-press increased positivity. Emotional expression was modeled, on a per-person basis, as the percentage of words produced by that person during the experimental period that were either positive or negative. Positivity and negativity were evaluated separately given evidence that they are not simply opposite ends of thesame spectrum (8, 10). Indeed, negative and positive word use scarcely correlated [ r=''0.04,t(620,587)=''38.01,P
Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks | PNAS
Thu, 29 Mar 2018 22:47
SignificanceWe show, via a massive (N = 689,003) experiment on Facebook, that emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. We provide experimental evidence that emotional contagion occurs without direct interaction between people (exposure to a friend expressing an emotion is sufficient), and in the complete absence of nonverbal cues.
AbstractEmotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. Emotional contagion is well established in laboratory experiments, with people transferring positive and negative emotions to others. Data from a large real-world social network, collected over a 20-y period suggests that longer-lasting moods (e.g., depression, happiness) can be transferred through networks [Fowler JH, Christakis NA (2008) BMJ 337:a2338], although the results are controversial. In an experiment with people who use Facebook, we test whether emotional contagion occurs outside of in-person interaction between individuals by reducing the amount of emotional content in the News Feed. When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks. This work also suggests that, in contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and nonverbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion, and that the observation of others' positive experiences constitutes a positive experience for people.
Emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading them to experience the same emotions as those around them. Emotional contagion is well established in laboratory experiments (1), in which people transfer positive and negative moods and emotions to others. Similarly, data from a large, real-world social network collected over a 20-y period suggests that longer-lasting moods (e.g., depression, happiness) can be transferred through networks as well (2, 3).
The interpretation of this network effect as contagion of mood has come under scrutiny due to the study's correlational nature, including concerns over misspecification of contextual variables or failure to account for shared experiences (4, 5), raising important questions regarding contagion processes in networks. An experimental approach can address this scrutiny directly; however, methods used in controlled experiments have been criticized for examining emotions after social interactions. Interacting with a happy person is pleasant (and an unhappy person, unpleasant). As such, contagion may result from experiencing an interaction rather than exposure to a partner's emotion. Prior studies have also failed to address whether nonverbal cues are necessary for contagion to occur, or if verbal cues alone suffice. Evidence that positive and negative moods are correlated in networks (2, 3) suggests that this is possible, but the causal question of whether contagion processes occur for emotions in massive social networks remains elusive in the absence of experimental evidence. Further, others have suggested that in online social networks, exposure to the happiness of others may actually be depressing to us, producing an ''alone together'' social comparison effect (6).
Three studies have laid the groundwork for testing these processes via Facebook, the largest online social network. This research demonstrated that (i) emotional contagion occurs via text-based computer-mediated communication (7); (ii) contagion of psychological and physiological qualities has been suggested based on correlational data for social networks generally (7, 8); and (iii) people's emotional expressions on Facebook predict friends' emotional expressions, even days later (7) (although some shared experiences may in fact last several days). To date, however, there is no experimental evidence that emotions or moods are contagious in the absence of direct interaction between experiencer and target.
On Facebook, people frequently express emotions, which are later seen by their friends via Facebook's ''News Feed'' product (8). Because people's friends frequently produce much more content than one person can view, the News Feed filters posts, stories, and activities undertaken by friends. News Feed is the primary manner by which people see content that friends share. Which content is shown or omitted in the News Feed is determined via a ranking algorithm that Facebook continually develops and tests in the interest of showing viewers the content they will find most relevant and engaging. One such test is reported in this study: A test of whether posts with emotional content are more engaging.
The experiment manipulated the extent to which people (N = 689,003) were exposed to emotional expressions in their News Feed. This tested whether exposure to emotions led people to change their own posting behaviors, in particular whether exposure to emotional content led people to post content that was consistent with the exposure'--thereby testing whether exposure to verbal affective expressions leads to similar verbal expressions, a form of emotional contagion. People who viewed Facebook in English were qualified for selection into the experiment. Two parallel experiments were conducted for positive and negative emotion: One in which exposure to friends' positive emotional content in their News Feed was reduced, and one in which exposure to negative emotional content in their News Feed was reduced. In these conditions, when a person loaded their News Feed, posts that contained emotional content of the relevant emotional valence, each emotional post had between a 10% and 90% chance (based on their User ID) of being omitted from their News Feed for that specific viewing. It is important to note that this content was always available by viewing a friend's content directly by going to that friend's ''wall'' or ''timeline,'' rather than via the News Feed. Further, the omitted content may have appeared on prior or subsequent views of the News Feed. Finally, the experiment did not affect any direct messages sent from one user to another.
Posts were determined to be positive or negative if they contained at least one positive or negative word, as defined by Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software (LIWC2007) (9) word counting system, which correlates with self-reported and physiological measures of well-being, and has been used in prior research on emotional expression (7, 8, 10). LIWC was adapted to run on the Hadoop Map/Reduce system (11) and in the News Feed filtering system, such that no text was seen by the researchers. As such, it was consistent with Facebook's Data Use Policy, to which all users agree prior to creating an account on Facebook, constituting informed consent for this research. Both experiments had a control condition, in which a similar proportion of posts in their News Feed were omitted entirely at random (i.e., without respect to emotional content). Separate control conditions were necessary as 22.4% of posts contained negative words, whereas 46.8% of posts contained positive words. So for a person for whom 10% of posts containing positive content were omitted, an appropriate control would withhold 10% of 46.8% (i.e., 4.68%) of posts at random, compared with omitting only 2.24% of the News Feed in the negativity-reduced control.
The experiments took place for 1 wk (January 11''18, 2012). Participants were randomly selected based on their User ID, resulting in a total of '¼155,000 participants per condition who posted at least one status update during the experimental period.
For each experiment, two dependent variables were examined pertaining to emotionality expressed in people's own status updates: the percentage of all words produced by a given person that was either positive or negative during the experimental period (as in ref. 7). In total, over 3 million posts were analyzed, containing over 122 million words, 4 million of which were positive (3.6%) and 1.8 million negative (1.6%).
If affective states are contagious via verbal expressions on Facebook (our operationalization of emotional contagion), people in the positivity-reduced condition should be less positive compared with their control, and people in the negativity-reduced condition should be less negative. As a secondary measure, we tested for cross-emotional contagion in which the opposite emotion should be inversely affected: People in the positivity-reduced condition should express increased negativity, whereas people in the negativity-reduced condition should express increased positivity. Emotional expression was modeled, on a per-person basis, as the percentage of words produced by that person during the experimental period that were either positive or negative. Positivity and negativity were evaluated separately given evidence that they are not simply opposite ends of the same spectrum (8, 10). Indeed, negative and positive word use scarcely correlated [r = ''0.04, t(620,587) = ''38.01, P < >We examined these data by comparing each emotion condition to its control. After establishing that our experimental groups did not differ in emotional expression during the week before the experiment (all t < >P > 0.13), we examined overall posting rate via a Poisson regression, using the percent of posts omitted as a regression weight. Omitting emotional content reduced the amount of words the person subsequently produced, both when positivity was reduced (z = ''4.78, P < >z = ''7.219, P < >z = ''77.9, P < >As such, direct examination of the frequency of positive and negative words would be inappropriate: It would be confounded with the change in overall words produced. To test our hypothesis regarding emotional contagion, we conducted weighted linear regressions, predicting the percentage of words that were positive or negative from a dummy code for condition (experimental versus control), weighted by the likelihood of that person having an emotional post omitted from their News Feed on a given viewing, such that people who had more content omitted were given higher weight in the regression. When positive posts were reduced in the News Feed, the percentage of positive words in people's status updates decreased by B = ''0.1% compared with control [t(310,044) = ''5.63, P < >d = 0.02], whereas the percentage of words that were negative increased by B = 0.04% (t = 2.71, P = 0.007, d = 0.001). Conversely, when negative posts were reduced, the percent of words that were negative decreased by B = ''0.07% [t(310,541) = ''5.51, P < >d = 0.02] and the percentage of words that were positive, conversely, increased by B = 0.06% (t = 2.19, P < >d = 0.008).
The results show emotional contagion. As Fig. 1 illustrates, for people who had positive content reduced in their News Feed, a larger percentage of words in people's status updates were negative and a smaller percentage were positive. When negativity was reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results suggest that the emotions expressed by friends, via online social networks, influence our own moods, constituting, to our knowledge, the first experimental evidence for massive-scale emotional contagion via social networks (3, 7, 8), and providing support for previously contested claims that emotions spread via contagion through a network.
Fig. 1. Mean number of positive (Upper) and negative (Lower) emotion words (percent) generated people, by condition. Bars represent standard errors.
These results highlight several features of emotional contagion. First, because News Feed content is not ''directed'' toward anyone, contagion could not be just the result of some specific interaction with a happy or sad partner. Although prior research examined whether an emotion can be contracted via a direct interaction (1, 7), we show that simply failing to ''overhear'' a friend's emotional expression via Facebook is enough to buffer one from its effects. Second, although nonverbal behavior is well established as one medium for contagion, these data suggest that contagion does not require nonverbal behavior (7, 8): Textual content alone appears to be a sufficient channel. This is not a simple case of mimicry, either; the cross-emotional encouragement effect (e.g., reducing negative posts led to an increase in positive posts) cannot be explained by mimicry alone, although mimicry may well have been part of the emotion-consistent effect. Further, we note the similarity of effect sizes when positivity and negativity were reduced. This absence of negativity bias suggests that our results cannot be attributed solely to the content of the post: If a person is sharing good news or bad news (thus explaining his/her emotional state), friends' response to the news (independent of the sharer's emotional state) should be stronger when bad news is shown rather than good (or as commonly noted, ''if it bleeds, it leads;'' ref. 12) if the results were being driven by reactions to news. In contrast, a response to a friend's emotion expression (rather than news) should be proportional to exposure. A post hoc test comparing effect sizes (comparing correlation coefficients using Fisher's method) showed no difference despite our large sample size (z = ''0.36, P = 0.72).
We also observed a withdrawal effect: People who were exposed to fewer emotional posts (of either valence) in their News Feed were less expressive overall on the following days, addressing the question about how emotional expression affects social engagement online. This observation, and the fact that people were more emotionally positive in response to positive emotion updates from their friends, stands in contrast to theories that suggest viewing positive posts by friends on Facebook may somehow affect us negatively, for example, via social comparison (6, 13). In fact, this is the result when people are exposed to less positive content, rather than more. This effect also showed no negativity bias in post hoc tests (z = ''0.09, P = 0.93).
Although these data provide, to our knowledge, some of the first experimental evidence to support the controversial claims that emotions can spread throughout a network, the effect sizes from the manipulations are small (as small as d = 0.001). These effects nonetheless matter given that the manipulation of the independent variable (presence of emotion in the News Feed) was minimal whereas the dependent variable (people's emotional expressions) is difficult to influence given the range of daily experiences that influence mood (10). More importantly, given the massive scale of social networks such as Facebook, even small effects can have large aggregated consequences (14, 15): For example, the well-documented connection between emotions and physical well-being suggests the importance of these findings for public health. Online messages influence our experience of emotions, which may affect a variety of offline behaviors. And after all, an effect size of d = 0.001 at Facebook's scale is not negligible: In early 2013, this would have corresponded to hundreds of thousands of emotion expressions in status updates per day.
AcknowledgmentsWe thank the Facebook News Feed team, especially Daniel Schafer, for encouragement and support; the Facebook Core Data Science team, especially Cameron Marlow, Moira Burke, and Eytan Bakshy; plus Michael Macy and Mathew Aldridge for their feedback. Data processing systems, per-user aggregates, and anonymized results available upon request.
FootnotesAuthor contributions: A.D.I.K., J.E.G., and J.T.H. designed research; A.D.I.K. performed research; A.D.I.K. analyzed data; and A.D.I.K., J.E.G., and J.T.H. wrote the paper.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.
Freely available online through the PNAS open access option.
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Facebook Executive's 2016 Memo Shows Company Aware of Its Faults - Bloomberg
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 09:12
A 2016 memo from a Facebook Inc. executive made the case for the company's grow-at-all-costs culture, explaining that the negative consequences of the social network -- even deaths and terrorist attacks -- weren't reason to abandon its purpose of connecting people to one another.
Andrew Bosworth
Photographer: Christian Charisius/picture-alliance/dpa/Getty Images
Facebook has spent the last year reacting to a variety of crises including the spread of misinformation, manipulation by overseas actors, violent videos, racist ad-targeting and, in the past few weeks, a privacy scandal. In each case, the company has responded by saying it will review the issues and adjust to be better for the future. In the memo obtained by Buzzfeed News, entitled ''The Ugly,'' longtime executive Andrew Bosworth explained that Facebook believes the risks of growth are worth the larger goal: connecting people to one another across the globe.
''That's why all the work we do in growth is justified,'' Bosworth wrote in the memo. ''All the questionable contact importing practices. All the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends. All of the work we do to bring more communication in. The work we will likely have to do in China some day.
''That can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe it costs someone a life by exposing someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools,'' he said.
In response, Bosworth said Thursday on Twitter that he doesn't agree with the content of the post today and ''didn't agree with it when I wrote it.'' He said he was trying to shed more light on topics that are uncomfortable to talk about, because that's a critical part of building products.
''To see this post in isolation is rough because it makes it appear as a stance that I hold or that the company holds when neither is the case,'' he wrote. ''I care deeply about how our product affects people and I take very personally the responsibility I have to make that impact positive.''
In a second tweet, Bosworth responded to questions about why he wrote the memo by saying ''it was intended to be provocative. This was one of the most unpopular things I've ever written internally and the ensuing debate helped shape our tools for the better.''
Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you | Dylan Curran | Opinion | The Guardian
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 17:21
A slice of the data that Facebook keeps on the author: 'This information has millions of nefarious uses.' Photograph: Dylan Curran
W ant to freak yourself out? I'm going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it.
Google knows where you've beenGoogle stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where you've been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone.
Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/maps/timeline?'...
Here is every place I have been in the last 12 months in Ireland. You can see the time of day that I was in the location and how long it took me to get to that location from my previous one.
'A Google map of every place I've been in Ireland this year.' Photograph: Dylan CurranGoogle knows everything you've ever searched '' and deletedGoogle stores search history across all your devices. That can mean that, even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices.
Click on this link to see your own data: myactivity.google.com/myactivity
Google has an advertisement profile of youGoogle creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?) and income.
Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/settings/ads/
Google knows all the apps you useGoogle stores information on every app and extension you use. They know how often you use them, where you use them, and who you use them to interact with. That means they know who you talk to on Facebook, what countries are you speaking with, what time you go to sleep.
Click on this link to see your own data: security.google.com/settings/secur'...
Google has all of your YouTube historyGoogle stores all of your YouTube history, so they probably know whether you're going to be a parent soon, if you're a conservative, if you're a progressive, if you're Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if you're feeling depressed or suicidal, if you're anorexic '...
Click on this link to see your own data: youtube.com/feed/history/s'...
The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documentsGoogle offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. I've requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big, which is roughly 3m Word documents.
Manage to gain access to someone's Google account? Perfect, you have a diary of everything that person has done
This link includes your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files, all of the above information, your YouTube videos, the photos you've taken on your phone, the businesses you've bought from, the products you've bought through Google '...
They also have data from your calendar, your Google hangout sessions, your location history, the music you listen to, the Google books you've purchased, the Google groups you're in, the websites you've created, the phones you've owned, the pages you've shared, how many steps you walk in a day '...
Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/takeout
Facebook has reams and reams of data on you, tooFacebook offers a similar option to download all your information. Mine was roughly 600MB, which is roughly 400,000 Word documents.
This includes every message you've ever sent or been sent, every file you've ever sent or been sent, all the contacts in your phone, and all the audio messages you've ever sent or been sent.
Click here to see your data: https://www.facebook.com/help/131112897028467
'A snapshot of the data Facebook has saved on me.' Photograph: Dylan CurranFacebook stores everything from your stickers to your login locationFacebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things you've liked and what you and your friends talk about (I apparently like the topic ''girl'').
Somewhat pointlessly, they also store all the stickers you've ever sent on Facebook (I have no idea why they do this. It's just a joke at this stage).
They also store every time you log in to Facebook, where you logged in from, what time, and from what device.
And they store all the applications you've ever had connected to your Facebook account, so they can guess I'm interested in politics and web and graphic design, that I was single between X and Y period with the installation of Tinder, and I got a HTC phone in November.
(Side note, if you have Windows 10 installed, this is a picture of just the privacy options with 16 different sub-menus, which have all of the options enabled by default when you install Windows 10)
Privacy options in Windows 10. Photograph: Dylan CurranThey can access your webcam and microphoneThe data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to.
Here are some of the different ways Google gets your dataI got the Google Takeout document with all my information, and this is a breakdown of all the different ways they get your information.
'My Google Takeout document.' Photograph: Dylan CurranHere's the search history document, which has 90,000 different entries, even showing the images I downloaded and the websites I accessed (I showed the Pirate Bay section to show how much damage this information can do).
'My search history document has 90,000 different entries.' Photograph: Dylan CurranGoogle knows which events you attended, and whenHere's my Google Calendar broken down, showing all the events I've ever added, whether I actually attended them, and what time I attended them at (this part is when I went for an interview for a marketing job, and what time I arrived).
'Here is my Google calendar showing a job interview I attended.' Photograph: Dylan CurranAnd Google has information you deletedThis is my Google Drive, which includes files I explicitly deleted including my r(C)sum(C), my monthly budget, and all the code, files and websites I've ever made, and even my PGP private key, which I deleted, that I use to encrypt emails.
Google can know your workout routineThis is my Google Fit, which shows all of the steps I've ever taken, any time I walked anywhere, and all the times I've recorded any meditation/yoga/workouts I've done (I deleted this information and revoked Google Fit's permissions).
And they have years' worth of photosThis is all the photos ever taken with my phone, broken down by year, and includes metadata of when and where I took the photos
Google has every email you ever sentEvery email I've ever sent, that's been sent to me, including the ones I deleted or were categorised as spam.
And there is moreI'll just do a short summary of what's in the thousands of files I received under my Google Activity.
First, every Google Ad I've ever viewed or clicked on, every app I've ever launched or used and when I did it, every website I've ever visited and what time I did it at, and every app I've ever installed or searched for.
'They have every single Google search I've made since 2009.'They also have every image I've ever searched for and saved, every location I've ever searched for or clicked on, every news article I've ever searched for or read, and every singleGoogle search I've made since 2009. And then finally, every YouTube video I've ever searched for or viewed, since 2008.
This information has millions of nefarious uses. You say you're not a terrorist. Then how come you were googling Isis? Work at Google and you're suspicious of your wife? Perfect, just look up her location and search history for the last 10 years. Manage to gain access to someone's Google account? Perfect, you have a chronological diary of everything that person has done for the last 10 years.
This is one of the craziest things about the modern age. We would never let the government or a corporation put cameras/microphones in our homes or location trackers on us. But we just went ahead and did it ourselves because '' to hell with it! '' I want to watch cute dog videos.
' A caption was corrected on 28 March 2018 to replace ''privacy options in Facebook'' with ''privacy options in Windows 10''.
Why (almost) everything reported about the Cambridge Analytica Facebook 'hacking' controversy is'...
Sat, 31 Mar 2018 10:06
If you follow the Guardian or the New York Times, or any major news network, you are likely to have noticed that a company called Cambridge Analytica have been in the headlines a lot.
The basic story as reported is as follows:
A shady UK data analytics company, with the help of a 24 year old tech genius developed an innovative technique to 'hack' facebook and steal 50 million user profiles. Then they used this data to help the Trump and Brexit campaigns psychologically manipulate voters through targeted ads. The result was Vote Leave 'won' the UK's Brexit referendum and Trump was elected president in the US.
Unfortunately, almost everything in the above summary is false or misleading.
First, There was no hack.
The data collected was scraped from Facebook user profiles, after users granted permission for a third party app to access their data. You know those little confirmation windows that pop up when someone wants to play Candy Crush or use Facebook to log in, rather than make a new password, for a random site? Yeah those.
A Cambridge academic called Aleksandr Kogan'Š'--'ŠNOT Cambridge Analytica and NOT the whistleblower Christopher Wylie'Š'--'Šmade a 'Test Your Personality' app, helped to promote it by paying people $2''4 to install it on Amazon's Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing site, and used the permissions granted to harvest profile data. 270,000 users installed the app, so you might expect that 270,000 profiles were collected but the app actually collected data from 50 million profiles.
50 million?!?
Yes. You see back in the heady days of 2014, Facebook had a feature called 'friends permission' that allowed developers to access the profiles of not only the person who installed their app but all their friends too. The only way to prevent this from happening was to have toggled a privacy setting, which few Facebook users even knew existed (here is a blog from 2012 explaining how to do so). The friends permission feature is how Kogan multiplied 270,000 permissions into 50 million profiles worth of data.
That Facebook users were having their data shared by their friends without their knowledge or permission was a serious concern that many privacy advocates noted at the time. So in 2015, facing growing criticism and pressure, Facebook removed the feature citing a desire to give their users ''more control''. This decision caused consternation amongst developers as the ability to access friends profiles was extremely popular (see the comments under this 2014 post from Facebook announcing the changes). Sandy Parakilas, an ex-Facebook manager, reported to Bloomberg that ''tens or maybe even hundreds of thousands of developers'' were making use of the feature before it was discontinued.
To review, there are two key points to remember at this point:
None of what I just described involves 'hacking' Facebook or exploiting a bug. Instead, it all revolves around the use of a feature that Facebook provided to all developers and (at least) tens of thousands took advantage off.The data collected was not internal Facebook data. It was data that developers (s̵c̵r̵a̵p̵e̵d̵ ) accessed* from the profiles of people who downloaded their apps (and their friends). Facebook has a lot more data on users than is publically available and it has it for everyone who uses their platform. No-one but Facebook has access to that data. This is a point that almost all the journalists involved seem unable to grasp, instead they repeatedly equate 'Facebook's internal data' to 'data (s̵c̵r̵a̵p̵e̵d̵ )accessed from Facebook profiles using a third party app'. But these are VERY different things.(*changed term as per convincing suggestion provided in the responses.)
The importance of this second point becomes apparent when you read exchanges like this one:
Simon Milner, Facebook's UK policy director, when asked if Cambridge Analytica had Facebook data, told MPs: ''No. They may have lots of data, but it will not be Facebook user data. It may be data about people who are on Facebook that they have gathered themselves, but it is not data that we have provided.
This exchange is being reported as evidence that Facebook lied to politicians about its relationship with Cambridge Analytica. But when you understand the difference between Facebook's internal data and data collected on Facebook by outside developers it is clear that what Facebook's policy director is saying is very likely true.
So where does Cambridge Analytica come in to the story?
Well, they paid Kogan to collect those 50 million profiles. Whose idea that was originally is currently a matter of 'he said, she said'. Kogan says Cambridge Analytica approached him and Cambridge Analytica says Kogan came to them. Whatever the case may be, this is the part of the story where there was an actual breach; not of Facebook's internal data but of Facebook's data sharing policies. Developers were permitted to collect all the user data they wanted from their apps, but what they were not allowed to do'Š'--'Ševen back in 2014'Š'--'Šwas take that data and sell it to a third party.
And yet, regardless of Facebook's official policies, it seems that they did not expend much effort to police their developers or track how the data they collected was being used. This is likely why, when Facebook first uncovered that Kogan had sold some data to Cambridge Analytica in 2015, they were content to receive written confirmation from both that the data had been deleted.
The fact that there were (at minimum) tens of thousands of developers with access to such information meant that it was inevitable that data harvested on Facebook was being sold, or otherwise provided, to a wide array of third parties. Again, the disgruntled ex Facebook manager confirmed as much:
Asked what kind of control Facebook had over the data given to outside developers, he replied: ''Zero. Absolutely none. Once the data left Facebook servers there was not any control, and there was no insight into what was going on. Parakilas said he ''always assumed there was something of a black market'' for Facebook data that had been passed to external developers.
So given how prevalent Facebook data harvesting was and that there are many developers with more than 270,000 users to harvest from, why is Cambridge Analytica receiving so much media attention?
The answer to this seems to primarily be how journalists, particularly Carole Cadwalladr at the Observer, have framed the story. The majority of coverage has pushed two angles. First, that a whistleblower from Cambridge Analytica revealed 'a major breach' of Facebook's data, an issue covered above, and second, that this 'breach' was linked to the success of Trump's presidential campaign.
Chris Wylie the mastermind who 'hacked' Facebook'...This second angle is as dubious as the first and relies heavily on bombastic claims made by Chris Wylie'--the pink haired ex-Cambridge Analytica employee pictured above. Carole Cadwalladr, who spent years on the story, has explained in various interviews that she approached the story not as an investigative journalist but as a features writer. This meant that she focused on delving into 'the human side of the story', or put another way- Chris Wylie. There are pros and cons to such an approach but the biggest drawback is how invested and reliant it made her and subsequent coverage in accepting Wylie's narrative, which just so happens to paint him as a young mastermind at the center of global political conspiracies.
Cadwalladr fully endorses Wylie's presentation and fawningly describes him as: ''clever, funny, bitchy, profound, intellectually ravenous, compelling'' '... ''impossibly young'' '... ''His career trajectory has been, like most aspects of his life so far, extraordinary, preposterous, implausible'' '... ''Wylie lives for ideas. He speaks 19 to the dozen for hours at a time'' '... ''when Wylie turns the full force of his attention to something'Š'--'Šhis strategic brain, his attention to detail, his ability to plan 12 moves ahead'Š'--'Šit is sometimes slightly terrifying to behold'' '... ''his suite of extraordinary talents include the kind of high-level political skills that makes House of Cards look like The Great BritishBake Off.''
Wow'... what a guy.
Cadwalladr's person-focused approach might make for more accessible articles but it also helps to obscure the relevant technical details in favour of providing sensationalist quotes and personal anecdotes from Wylie and his friends and coworkers. Presenting these kinds of details could be insightful, if they were subjected to sufficient critical examination but this rarely occurs. Cadwalladr, instead, seems to have entirely bought into Wylie's narrative: ''by the time I met him in person, I'd already been talking to him on a daily basis for hours at a time.''
So let's address the oversight and take a bit more of a critical look at what Wylie's narrative claims:
That Steve Bannon wanted to weaponize big data'... No difficulty believing.That Cambridge Analytica claims to be able to provide effective tools for psychological targeting and manipulation'... Certainly true.That Chris Wylie, himself, was involved with some shady business and views himself as partly responsible'... Sure.That the self-promotional claims of Cambridge Analytica actually equate to how effective the services they provide are'... Hmmmm.This last point is the most important and yet it is also the one lacking almost any supporting evidence.
The temptation might be to point to Trump's surprising victory but there are a lot of confounding factors there. Trump won, yes. But he won against the most unpopular Democratic candidate in modern history, who was vying for a third Democratic term (something which had not been achieved since the 1940s). Furthermore, he won by a very slim margin and actually lost the popular vote.
Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica standing in front of lots of impressive graphs!Could all that just be evidence of how precise Cambridge Analytica's psychological targeting was? Maybe, but we start to run into the perils of dealing with an unfalsifiable hypothesis. A better approach would be to look at Cambridge Analytica's relative record of success and failure. Unfortunately, we do not have access to their full client list but we do know that when they first rose to prominence they were working for the Ted Cruz presidential campaign. That's right, Ted Cruz'Š'--'Šthe Republican senator who was crushed by Trump in the Republican primaries, despite having the power of Cambridge Analytica at his command. I am not the first to notice this apparent contradiction, Martin Robbins made the same point on Little Atoms last year:
So the story of the Republican primaries is actually that Cambridge Analytica's flashy data science team got beaten by a dude with a thousand-dollar website. To turn that into this breathtaking story of an unbeatable voodoo-science outfit, powering Trump inexorably to victory, is quite a stretch. Who else have they even worked for? Without a list of clients it's very easy to cherry-pick the winners.
The techniques that Cambridge Analytica purport to use involve using social network data to build algorithms that can accurately predict what kind of messages will be effective given an individual's personality and psychology. This is what the stories mean when they talk about using psychographics to micro-target voters. But a lot of the claims being made about the effectiveness of such techniques is widely exaggerated. Kogan'Š'--'Šthe Cambridge academic at the heart of the controversy'Š'--'Šhas made similar arguments. He claims that he is being scapegoated and argues that the personality profiles he gathered turned out to not be particularly useful for making the predictions needed for micro-targeting:
In fact, from our subsequent research on the topic,'' he wrote, ''we found out that the predictions we gave SCL were 6 times more likely to get all 5 of a person's personality traits wrong as it was to get them all correct. In short, even if the data was used by a campaign for micro-targeting, it could realistically only hurt their efforts.
Kogan is hardly an impartial source but his claim accords with various studies that have shown less than stellar results for nefarious social media manipulation. Take, for instance, the controversial Facebook 'mind control' study, which I've heard several journalists reference in recent days. What always seems to be missing from reporting on this study is just how underwhelming it was.
Facebook ran an experiment on almost 689,000 users in which it tweaked the algorithm running their news feed to display slightly more or slightly less status updates from friends that contained positive or negative words. As any researcher knows, with such a large sample you are guaranteed to find statistically significant differences between groups. A more important criteria with such massive groups is how large the effect observed was. In the Facebook study this equated to a truly terrifying difference: those who saw less negative updates used around 0.05 more positive words out of every 100 words in their status updates, whereas those who saw less positive updates used around 1 less positive word per 100 in their status updates. That's right Facebook might have been able to manipulate people to use around 1 less positive word for every 100 words in their updates. It would be wrong to paint this as Facebook being powerless, bigger interventions would have bigger effects, but it is important to keep things in perspective.
Note the starting point of the y-axis. There is a reason it isn't 0.The real story then is not that Kogan, Wylie, and Cambridge Analytica developed some incredibly high tech 'hack' of Facebook. It is that, aside from Kogan's data selling, they used methods that were common place and permitted by Facebook prior to 2015. Cambridge Analytica has since the story broke been outed as a rather obnoxious, unethical company- at least in how it promotes itself to potential clients. But the majority of what is being reported in the media about its manipulative power is just an uncritical regurgitation of Cambridge Analytica (and Chris Wylie's) self-promotional claims. The problem is that there is little evidence that the company can do what it claims and plenty of evidence that it is not as effective as it likes to pretend; see the fact that Ted Cruz is not currently president.
No one is totally immune to marketing or political messaging but there is little evidence that Cambridge Analytica is better than other similar PR or political canvassing companies at targeting voters. Political targeting and disinformation campaigns, including those promoted by Russia, certainly had an impact on recent elections but were they the critical factor? Did they have a bigger impact than Comey announcing he was 'reopening' the Hillary email investigation the week before the US election? Or Brexiteers claiming that £250 million was being stolen from the NHS by the EU every week? Colour me skeptical.
To be crystal clear, I'm not arguing that Cambridge Analytica and Kogan were innocent. At the very least, it is clear they were doing things that were contrary to Facebook's data sharing policies. And similarly Facebook seems to have been altogether too cavalier with permitting developers to access its users' private data.
What I am arguing is that Cambridge Analytica are not the puppet masters they are being widely portrayed as. If anything they are much more akin to Donald Trump; making widely exaggerated claims about their abilities and getting lots of attention as a result.
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You can find me talking about similar stuff on twitter:@C_Kavanagh
How to download a copy of everything Google knows about you
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:45
We've already published a pretty extensive guide on how to find out everything Google knows about you.
It knows a lot, particularly if you use its services such as Google Maps or search. I discovered late last year that it knows my name, gender, birthday, personal cell phone numbers, where I work, where I've been over the past several years, the types of hobbies I enjoy and more.
In the archive you're about to download, you'll get a copy of nearly everything Google has stored on its servers, including Gmail contacts, Chrome bookmarks, transactions from various Google services, locations stored in Google Maps, and more.
You'll find all sorts of data, including (in my case, dating back to Nov. 8, 2013):
Every single place I've searched in Google Maps.The apps I've opened on Android down to the exact second I opened it.Rewards cards I once used in Google Pay.Everything I've asked Google Assistant.Every comment I've left on YouTube and every video I've watched.Every Android app I've searched for or downloaded.Every news article I've read on Google News.Ads I viewed or visited in any of Google's products.All of my Gmail files including Spam and Trash.... and more.
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Houseless
San Diego unveils unorthodox homelessness solution: big tents | US news | The Guardian
Thu, 29 Mar 2018 21:30
Sylvia Saliman and her dog Daisy in the Alpha Project tent for the homeless in San Diego, California. Photograph: Dan Tuffs for the Guardian
Bob McElroy strode through the busy entrance of the vast, gleaming-white tent, greeting people right and left. The prominent homeless services provider calls the new structure, located on the outskirts of downtown San Diego, ''the Rolls-Royce of tents''.
It is double-insulated and has wifi. And it is the sunny seaside destination's millionaire-funded attempt to get a grip on an emergency that sees thousands of homeless people sleep on its streets every night.
The industrial-sized tent holds 324 people in neatly spaced, numbered bunks. People can bring their pets, and 70 dogs also live in the shelter. It offers a bed and services '' from healthcare to employment assistance to showers and laundry '' while people wait for a place of their own. In appearance, it evokes a military installation or a refugee camp.
outside in america''You come in here with nothing and they provide everything,'' said Sylvia Saliman, 58.
Saliman sat on her top bunk with Daisy, her American blue nose pitbull, who was napping after a long walk. Saliman said she had been homeless for 16 months and in the shelter for two. She said she'd lost everything except her dog. Thanks to the tent, ''I'm doing great right now,'' she said.
Cities throughout the western and southern US, such as San Diego, face a dilemma: they are grappling with visible, intransigent street homelessness, and the supply of affordable housing is meager and increasing only slowly. This tent, along with two others built by the city, fills the gap '' it is known as a ''bridge'' shelter.
Officials from California cities large and small, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno and Oxnard, have come to tour the structures. The Fresno city council member Steve Brandau brought a group to San Diego in February and said a huge tent could be the solution for his city's shortage of about 150 beds. ''We like the San Diego structure,'' he said, ''the feel of it, the types of services provided.''
It is not the first time San Diego has housed people in large tents. For nearly three decades, two such structures, one for veterans and one for adults, went up during winter months. But that program was scrapped in 2015.
''In the communities where they're solving homelessness, they're not doing it with tents,'' the then city council member Todd Gloria told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
A tent for homeless people, run by the Alpha Project, in San Diego. Photograph: Dan Tuffs for the GuardianA spike in homelessness, especially downtown, and, last year, a deadly outbreak of hepatitis A that killed 20 people and had the city washing its sidewalks in bleach, forced city leaders to reconsider. Two wealthy San Diego businessmen, Dan Shea, a restaurateur, and Peter Seidler, managing partner of the San Diego Padres baseball team, told Mayor Kevin Faulconer they would put up $1.5m for new tents if the city would fund the operations for at least two years.
Shea and Seidler say they represented a larger San Diego business community frustrated by a lack of action on the part of elected officials. It will take years to build the necessary housing, Shea said in an interview with KPBS radio. ''Do we just leave those people on the street for five years, seven years, 10 years waiting for housing to be built?''
Beds are prioritized for people with mental or physical disabilities who qualify for housing subsidies. They are also available for people who just need a few months of respite to get back on their feet. Everyone in the shelter is paired with a housing ''navigator'' whose job is to find appropriate housing as quickly as possible. Altogether, the three tents have almost 700 beds.
''Without this, can you imagine how hard it is to find a client on the streets?'' said Amy Gonyeau, chief operating officer for Alpha Project, the service provider that runs the tent for adults. ''Now we know where they are '' well, at least 700 of them.''
Bob McElroy chats with Danila Hendrix in the tent. Photograph: Dan Tuffs for the GuardianThe goal is for providers to move about two-thirds of shelter residents into permanent housing within four months, yet early data shows meeting this goal might prove challenging. During its first four months of operation, 44 people from the largest tent, with its capacity of more than 300, moved into permanent housing. Another 15 exited to other programs or moved in with family or friends.
As elsewhere in California, ''there is no permanent housing,'' McElroy said about the lagging housing placements. ''Folks with jobs and good credit and college educations, they can't find places to rent '... If [housing] was there, we'd be taking them out by the friggin' busload.''
Despite the delays, McElroy said, a tent is still better than a street corner.
A few bunks over from Saliman was Danila Hendrix, also 58, who had been in the shelter since early January. She had been in the tent that closed in 2015, then back out on the street, where she was the victim of multiple assaults. A housing navigator is helping her find a new home.
''I'm getting weary,'' she said. ''I just want a key to my own door.''
Census
LGBTQ pissed about exclusion
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 09:56
LGBTQ advocacy groups are outraged after proposed questions regarding sexual orientation and gender identity were quickly removed Tuesday from a just-released draft of the 2020 U.S. Census.
The U.S. Census Bureau, which is part of the Department of Commerce, is required to issue a list of categories it plans to track three years before the survey is conducted. Tuesday's list showed categories ranging from race and gender to the type of plumbing in homes and the length of a person's daily commute to work. Each category is followed by a table showing the federal agencies that rely on the data to make decisions about law enforcement, health care, equal employment opportunities and more.
No previous U.S. Census has ever included LGBTQ Americans, which makes it challenging for federal agencies and researchers to accurately track the size, demographics and needs of the community. In addition, the more detailed American Community Survey also leaves out LGBTQ categories. Tuesday's initial release from the Census Bureau proposed including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people on both surveys.
Advocacy groups have been campaigning for years to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity, and were briefly elated when the 2020 Census draft was released. But hopes were dashed when the proposed addition suddenly disappeared, and a statement was issued by the Census bureau that called the LGBTQ inclusion a mistake.
"The Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey report released today inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix," the U.S. Census Bureau said in a statement to NBC News. "This topic is not being proposed to Congress for the 2020 Census or American Community Survey. The report has been corrected."
The National LGBTQ Task Force published both versions of the 2020 Census plan to its website, showing the removed row in the ''Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey'' section.
Illustration: The National LGBTQ Task Force http://www.thetaskforce.org/sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity-erased-from-2020-census-and-the-american-community-survey-acs/ "If the government doesn't know how many LGBTQ people live in a community, how can it do its job to ensure we're getting fair and adequate access to the rights, protections and services we need?" Meghan Maury, Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force, asked in a statement Tuesday.
Maury told NBC News her organization plans to ask Congress for an oversight hearing, demanding answers from the Trump administration about why the category was suddenly removed.
"The National LGBTQ Task Force will continue to push for accurate data collection on LGBTQ people," Maury added. "Whether it's through lobbying for legislation in Congress, pushing the administration to adopt new policies or serving on the U.S. Census Bureau's National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations."
The removal of the LGBTQ category came just over a week after the Trump administration removed questions about LGBTQ senior citizens from the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants. Those questions, which helped determine funding for groups that work with older LGBTQ Americans, had been added to the annual survey in 2014.
The push to tally LGBTQ Americans in the census has been ramping up in recent years. In April 2016, a bipartisan group of nearly 80 members of Congress asked that the census and the American Community Survey add questions about sexual orientation and gender identity.
In 2009, the National LGBTQ Task Force launched a campaign encouraging LGBTQ people to place "Queer the Census" stickers on their survey packets when they mailed them back to the government. According to the Task Force, more than 100,000 LGBTQ people included the sticker on their 2010 census envelopes.
In a statement, GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said the census confusion was just the latest in a series of Trump administration moves against the LGBTQ community'--starting with the immediate removal of all LGBTQ-related content from the White House website on January 20 and continuing with moves to roll back protections for transgender students, remove LGBTQ people from two other federal surveys and cut funding for HIV/AIDS research.
''By erasing LGBTQ Americans from the 2020 U.S. Census, the Trump Administration is adding a disgusting entry to a long list of tactics they've adopted to legally deny services and legitimacy to hard-working LGBTQ Americans," Ellis said.
NBC News reached out to the White House for comment and was told through email, "Since this simply is a mistake, as Commerce explained in their statement, we won't be commenting any further."
On Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson posted a statement on the bureau's blog addressing the ''error."
''There have been a number of questions raised about the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity due to an error in the appendix of the report. Our proposal to Congress was that the planned subjects remain unchanged from the 2010 Census and will cover gender, age, race/ethnicity, relationship and homeownership status. It did not include sexual orientation or gender identity,'' Thompson stated.
"In April 2016, more than 75 members of Congress wrote to the Census Bureau to request the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity as a subject for the American Community Survey. We carefully considered this thoughtful request and again worked with federal agencies and the [Office of Management and Budget] Interagency Working Group on Measuring Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to determine if there was a legislative mandate to collect this data. Our review concluded there was no federal data need to change the planned census and ACS subjects,'' Thompson's statement continued.
Editor's Note: The original version of this article was updated to include a statement from the director of the U.S. Census Bureau.
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Novochocks
Moscow confronts London with 14 questions on 'fabricated' Skripal case '-- RT World News
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:26
Russia's Embassy in London has sent a list of 14 questions to the UK Foreign Ministry, demanding that it reveals details of the investigation into the nerve-agent poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
The questions, provided in full below, include a demand to clarify whether samples of the nerve agent А-234 (also known as ''Novichok'') have ever been developed in the UK. The embassy's statement calls the incident that started the recent diplomatic row a ''fabricated case against Russia.''
READ MORE: 'US expelling America's friends': Russian Ambassador decries Trump's move as diplomats leave DC
1. Why has Russia been denied the right of consular access to the two Russian citizens, who came to harm on British territory?
2. What specific antidotes and in what form were the victims injected with? How did such antidotes come into the possession of British doctors at the scene of the incident?
3. On what grounds was France involved in technical cooperation in the investigation of the incident, in which Russian citizens were injured?
4. Did the UK notify the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) of France's involvement in the investigation of the Salisbury incident?
5. What does France have to do with the incident, involving two Russian citizens in the UK?
6. What rules of UK procedural legislation allow for the involvement of a foreign state in an internal investigation?
7. What evidence was handed over to France to be studied and for the investigation to be conducted?
8. Were the French experts present during the sampling of biomaterial from Sergei and Yulia Skripal?
9. Was the study of biomaterials from Sergei and Yulia Skripal conducted by the French experts and, if so, in which specific laboratories?
10. Does the UK have the materials involved in the investigation carried out by France?
11. Have the results of the French investigation been presented to the OPCW Technical Secretariat?
12. Based on what attributes was the alleged ''Russian origin'' of the substance used in Salisbury established?
13. Does the UK have control samples of the chemical warfare agent, which British representatives refer to as ''Novichok''?
14. Have the samples of a chemical warfare agent of the same type as ''Novichok'' (in accordance to British terminology) or its analogues been developed in the UK?
READ MORE: Moscow expels diplomats of countries that kicked out Russians over Skripal case
A similar list, containing 10 questions, was sent to the French Foreign Ministry by the Russian Embassy in Paris. According to the document, Moscow wanted to know on what grounds France was involved in the British investigation into the Skripal poisoning.
It demanded that Paris reveal what kind of evidence was handed over to France by the UK, and also inquired if French experts were in possession of the samples of the nerve agent А-234 (also known as ''Novichok'') or biomaterials from Sergei and Yulia Skripal.
Russia also demanded explanations on what made French experts conclude that the substance used in Salisbury attack was nerve agent А-234 and that it was of Russian origins. The final question on the list read: ''Have the samples of a chemical warfare agent of this type or its analogues been developed in France and if so, for what purpose?''
Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were discovered on a bench in Salisbury in early March, with the UK claiming a Soviet-designed nerve agent was used against them. Without a proper investigation being carried out, London said it was ''highly likely'' that Russia was responsible for the attack and introduced sanctions against the country, including the expulsion of Russian diplomats.
Moscow has denied all accusations, decrying them as a ''provocation,'' and demanded proof from the British side. However, London refused to cooperate with Russia on the case, denying its consular staff access to Russian citizen Yulia Skripal and turning down the request to provide a sample of the toxic substance in question.
The Unraveling False Flag Skripal Incident - Stephen Lendman
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 10:49
The Unraveling False Flag Skripal Incident
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org '' Home '' Stephen Lendman)
According to ABC News, citing unnamed US intelligence sources, 38 Brits were affected by exposure to a military-grade nerve agent.
It's fake news. Military-grade nerve agents are the most toxic known chemical substances. Exposure assures death in minutes at most.
The Skripal incident lacks credibility, including the official narrative claiming father and daughter Skripal are seriously ill from alleged nerve agent poisoning, not dead.
They and anyone else would have died near-instantly if exposed to a deadly military-grade nerve agent.
Russia's London embassy said said UK authorities refused a request to grant consular access to Skripal and his daughter, Russian citizens.
No information about their condition or whereabouts was provided '' flagrant Vienna Convention violations. Russian chemical weapons expert Leonid Rink explained the following:
''Why do you think the British refuse to give (a) sample (of the alleged nerve agent) to Moscow?''
''Because no matter how hard the specialists try, the manufacturing technology always differs a little.''
''It's a kind of a 'handwriting sample.' It will immediately become clear that this is not a Russian technology,'' adding:
Forensic analysis ''could easily (prove the alleged nerve agent) was not 'cooked' in Russia'' -exposing the official narrative Big Lie.
Britain earlier had access to ''Novichok'' technology, Rink explained. If a poisoning incident occurred as claimed, UK operatives are the likely culprit.
Novichok-type technology ''is commonly available for professionals'...Any pharmaceutical corporation, any chemical corporation is capable of manufacturing it in their laboratories,'' Rink stressed.
''It is absolutely certain that there are (Novichok-type) specialists in the UK.'' Blaming Russia for the alleged Skripal poisoning incident is a bald-faced lie.
Media scoundrels are complicit for failing to expose it, disgracefully going along with the official fake news narrative.
According to The Times of London, three people in Britain alone are seriously ill from some kind of ''significant poisoning'' '' no one else as ABC News and UK counterterrorism head Neil Basu claimed.
Dr. Stephen Davies, a Salisbury, UK NHS Foundation Trust emergency medicine consultant, wrote The Times, saying:
No patients experienced ''significant poisoning'' symptoms other than Skripal, his daughter, and UK police detective Nick Bailey, adding:
''Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed.''
''None ha(ve) had symptoms of poisoning and none ha(ve) needed treatment.''
''(B)lood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.''
If a deadly military-grade nerve agent was released, everyone exposed would die near-instantly. Clearly, the Skripals and detective Nick Bailey were not affected by something this dangerous.
The cause of their condition remains unexplained. The official narrative is a bald-faced lie '' irresponsibly blaming Russia for an incident it had nothing to do with.
Yet disturbing accusations persist, escalating tensions more than already, risking possible East/West confrontation if this ruse is carried too far.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home '' Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled ''Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.''
www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Stephen LendmanStephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.
Exposed: Court documents cast doubt on Boris Johnson's claim nerve gas is in 'no doubt' Novichok '-- RT UK News
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 10:44
Boris Johnson has insisted that British chemical lab Porton Down told him the nerve agent used to attack the Skripals was definitely Novichok. However, court documents suggest there is no such certainty.
In an interview with Deutsche Welle on Thursday, the UK foreign secretary claimed that a Porton Down scientist was ''absolutely categorical'' in confirming to him that the source of the nerve agent, identified by the UK as A-234 '' also known as Novichok '' was Russian. Johnson said: ''Let me be clear with you'... the people from Porton Down, the laboratory'... they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, 'Are you sure?' And he said there's no doubt.''
A judgment from the High Court on Thursday, however, has allowed new blood samples to be taken from Sergei and Yulia Skripal and analyzed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
In his judgment, Justice David Basil Williams included a summary of the evidence, revealing Porton Down's analysis. The judgment, which includes sworn court evidence from a Porton Down chemical and biological analyst, reads: ''Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analyzed and the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok-class nerve agent or closely related agent.''
Read more
Former British ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray wrote in his blog that the evidence therefore does not unequivocally confirm that the agent is Novichok. Murray also claimed that scientists at Porton Down have failed to find evidence of Russian ''culpability.''
The judgment comes despite multiple affirmations from the UK government that the nerve gas came from Russia. The evidence given in court raises questions over the information provided by the government to parliament, the EU, NATO, the United Nations and the public.
On Sunday, Boris Johnson told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show that Russia has ''stockpiles'' of the chemical weapon. ''We actually had evidence within the last 10 years that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but it is has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok,'' Johnson said. The following day, he said in Brussels that Russia was ''not fooling anyone'' with its ''increasingly absurd'' denials of engineering Novichok to attack the Skripals.
On March 13, Theresa May gave Moscow a midnight deadline to prove that they hadn't manufactured the chemical weapon used in the Salisbury attack. In a statement to the House of Commons, the prime minister said the evidence showed that Skripal had been targeted by a ''military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia.'' When Moscow asked to see samples of the agent before responding to May's ultimatum, she told MPs in the House of Commons that ''there is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian state was culpable for the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter'...''
The judgment also provided an update on the condition of the Skripals. ''It is not possible to say when or to what extent Mr or Ms Skripal may regain capacity,'' it read.
READ MORE: 'Reckless Russians': BoJo and NATO head need no proof to blame Moscow
According to evidence given by the Skripals' treating doctor, ''[The Skripals are] heavily sedated following injury by a nerve agent.'' It also said that ''Mr Skripal is unable to communicate in any way'' and ''Ms Skripal is unable to communicate in any meaningful way.''
Justice Williams ruled that ''it is in the best interests of Mr Skripal and Ms Skripal for the samples to be taken, tested and the notes provided'' to the OPCW.
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Toxic storm for Royal Marines in major chemical exercise
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 10:41
It is vital we can make rapid decisions and are able to protect and support specialists who come in to deal with any incident
Major Rob Garside RM, Officer Commanding Bravo Company40 Commando would be first on the ground in the event of a CBRN incident as the Lead Commando Group, but their brawn requires scientific brain behind it; at DSTL's headquarters a team is on hand to provide the crucial information to tell them what dangers they face and how to deal with them.
''Because the threat is a technical, scientific one, the ability to reach out to organisations with specialist skills greater than ours is crucial,'' said Lieutenant Colonel Paul Maynard, 40 Cdo's Commanding Officer.
The three-week exercise included company-level attacks and various CBRN scenarios based on the latest threats for ultimate realism, such as a raid on a suspected chemical weapons lab.
It climaxes with a full-scale exercise involving government and industry scientists and more than 300 military personnel, including the RAF Regiment and the RM Band Service '' casualty treatment was a key part of the Salisbury Plain exercise.
A chemical decontamination area was set up not merely to treat 'polluted' commandos, but also any wounded prisoners they may have brought in; once cleansed, casualties can be treated in field/regular hospitals.
Everything is a lot slower because of the chemical agents we come across with chemical casualties there's the clean/dirty process to go through which is manpower intensive. First there is dry decontamination, a clean area to remove contaminate clothes, before moving to the wet area, where the naked casualty is hosed down.
''It's quite hard work because everyone needs to get involved moving casualties '' big lads with all their equipment on, they are quite heavy,'' explained B/Sgt Caitlin O'Malley of RM Band Plymouth, helping to run the casualty clearance station.
"The chemical weapons suits and respirators don't merely make stretcher bearing more difficult '' they make everything more difficult. Walking. Talking. Breathing. Shooting."
"So it's good that every year the Corps refreshes its skills with such an exercise", says Bravo's Officer Commanding Maj Rob Garside.
''Working with DSTL means we have the most up-to-date information and a realistic exercise. This ensures we are well prepared for a CBRN operating environment.
''It is vital we can make rapid decisions and are able to protect and support specialists who come in to deal with any incident. On operations these specialists are on hand to advise and we must ensure we already have a strong understanding of their capabilities and what they require of us as a military force.''
Yulia Skripal is getting better
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 13:28
The attack on Skripal, a former colonel in Russian military intelligence who betrayed dozens of Russian agents to Britain's MI6 spy service, has plunged Moscow's relations with the West to a new post-Cold War low.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said late on Wednesday the Kremlin had underestimated the Western response to the attack, which also injured a British policeman.
Johnson told an audience of ambassadors in London that 27 countries had now moved to expel Russian diplomats over Moscow's suspected involvement.
"These expulsions represent a moment when a feeling has suddenly crystallised, when years of vexation and provocation have worn the collective patience to breaking point, and when across the world '' across three continents '' there are countries who are willing to say enough is enough," Johnson said.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry, told reporters in Moscow on Thursday Britain was breaking international law by refusing to provide information on Yulia Skripal despite the fact she was a Russian citizen.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was watching closely a media report that Britain might limit London's role in marketing Russian debt to investors.
Skripal, recruited by British spies while in Spain, ended up in Britain after a Cold War-style spy swap that brought 10 Russian spies captured in the United States back to Moscow in exchange for those accused by Moscow of spying for the West.
His house, which featured a good-luck horseshoe on the front door, was bought for 260,000 pounds in 2011. Skripal was listed as living there under his own name.
Since emerging from the world of high espionage and betrayal, he has lived modestly in the cathedral city of Salisbury and kept out of the spotlight until he and his daughter were found unconscious on March 4.
In the years since he found refuge in Britain, he lost both a wife and son.
The attack on Skripal has been likened to the killing of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in Britain. Litvinenko, a critic of Putin, died in London in 2006 after drinking green tea laced with radioactive polonium 210.
Russia denied any involvement in that killing.
An inquiry led by senior British judge Robert Owen found that former KGB bodyguard Andrei Lugovoy and another Russian, Dmitry Kovtun, carried out the murder of Litvinenko as part of an operation probably directed by Russia's Federal Security Service.
FBI
BREAKING: AG Sessions names PROSECUTOR to investigate claims of FBI abuse'... '' The Right Scoop
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 10:25
AG Jeff Sessions has just officially named a prosecutor (not Special) who will be investigating the FBI for bias and abuse on a range of issues, from Uranium One to the handling of Hillary Clinton's email case to claims of FISA abuse and likely more.
Here's more:
CNN '' Attorney General Jeff Sessions revealed Thursday that Utah's top federal prosecutor, John Huber, has been examining a cluster of Republican-driven accusations against the FBI and has decided that no second special counsel is needed '-- at least for now.
Huber has been looking into allegations that the FBI abused its powers in surveilling a former Trump campaign adviser, and more should have been done to investigate Hillary Clinton's ties to a Russian nuclear energy agency, but his identity had remained a secret.
But Sessions' decision to stop short of formally appointing a special counsel like Robert Mueller, detailed in a lengthy written response to three Republican chairmen on Capitol Hill, will likely anger those in the GOP who have recently ramped up calls to investigate claims of political bias at the nation's top law enforcement agencies.
It also comes one day after the Justice Department's internal watchdog office confirmed it would review how the FBI obtained a warrant to monitor Trump foreign policy aide Carter Page, as well as the bureau's relationship with Christopher Steele, the author of the Trump dossier.
Huber, who currently serves as the US attorney in Utah, may now find himself thrust into the middle of a fierce partisan struggle '-- with Republicans arguing anything short of a special counsel is insufficient because the Justice Department cannot investigate its own people, and Democrats maintaining that any allegations of bias are an unfounded ploy to distract from Mueller's investigation into possible coordination between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials.
Originally appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015, Huber, along with many other US attorneys, resigned after President Donald Trump took office early last year, but was reappointed by Trump shortly thereafter.
Here's the official letter Sessions sent to Congress, where he says Huber will look into whether a special prosecutor is actually needed:
In related news, Time Magazine has put Jeff Sessions on the front cover today, using an ugly photo that is sure to demean him:
Of course.
Fundraiser by Friends of Andrew McCabe : Andrew McCabe Legal Defense Fund
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 09:49
**This is the only official crowdfunding campaign for Andrew McCabe**UPDATE: The response to this effort has been remarkable and beyond our expectations. As a result, we have raised the goal.
Andrew McCabe's FBI career was long, distinguished, and unblemished. He embraced the most daunting, difficult, and important challenges that the FBI and the country could assign to him over the past 21 years. He served the United States with courage and distinction in the days following the President's summary dismissal of former Director James Comey, in one of the most tumultuous periods in the Bureau's history.
His reward for that has been a termination that was completely unjustified, amidst repeated ad hominem attacks by the President of the United States.
The support for Mr. McCabe has been overwhelming, humbling, and deeply appreciated. He and his family continue to deal with the very public and extended humiliation that the Administration, and the President personally, have inflicted on them over the past year.
Unfortunately, the need for a legal defense fund is a growing reality. Media reports indicate that at a minimum, there are a number of congressional inquiries that he will be required to respond to, as well as the broader Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigation that is ongoing, and any potential lawsuits he might consider.
Mr. McCabe's legal team is being led by former Department of Justice Inspector General Michael R. Bromwich at Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber LLP.
Please note: Mr. McCabe and his team are working to gain clarity around the lasting impact his firing '' 26 hours before his planned retirement '' will have on the pension and healthcare benefits he earned over his two decades of service to the FBI. However, no funds raised for the Andrew McCabe Legal Defense Fund will be used for anything beyond his defense of the allegations against him. He will continue to fight for the pension and benefits he deserves, rather than accept any crowdfunding for that purpose. Following the conclusion of any related legal proceedings, any funds that remain in the Legal Defense Fund will be donated to charitable organizations of the McCabes' choosing.
Thank you for your support, and please help spread the word by sharing this GoFundMe with your network.
#MeToo
Mount Holyoke Women's College Orders Professors Not To Call Students ''Women'' '' JONATHAN TURLEY
Thu, 29 Mar 2018 22:13
We have previously discussed the national trend in colleges and universities to require faculty to use an increasing number of different pronouns for students. Faculty questioning such alternative pronouns have been subject to discipline or condemnation. There is even a move in states like California to criminalize the failure to use alternative pronouns. Now, the women's college Mount Holyoke has ordered faculty to avoid calling its students ''women'' since some students may identify as non-genders or different genders.
Mount Holyoke College was created by Mary Lyon as an all-women educational institution. However, the college now maintains that the use of the word ''women'' will result in ''misgendering'' students and even warns against such language as '''We're all women here'...'''
These new designations have led to an equally elastic list of pronouns. So at the University of Vermont, students can choose ''he,'' ''she,'' ''they,'' and ''ze,'' as well as ''name only.'' Other options are captures on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee card given to faculty and students:
What is interesting about Mount Holyoke is how it can maintain its gender-exclusive identity if it rejects gender identification. If a student born a woman identifies as a male, why shouldn't a male be allowed to enroll? The school still declares itself to be a ''Women's College'' and states ''We have remained a women's college by choice '-- and, reflecting the College's commitment to human rights and social justice, we welcome transgender students.'' If gender is now completely a matter of self-identification, why the exclusion of people born as opposed to identified as male?The school may want in the very least to examine its long-standing slogan:
That our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace '-- Psalms 144:12
Creator Of ''Ren & Stimpy'' Accused Of Preying On Underage Girls Who Wanted Animation Careers
Thu, 29 Mar 2018 23:14
Robyn Byrd thought her plan was working when the letter from her hero arrived in the mail. It was 1994, and the 13-year-old had sent the creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show a video of herself talking about her drawings and the animation career she envisioned; she thought if she got the attention of the studio behind the hit Nickelodeon show, she might get a job there someday. John Kricfalusi's effusive letter, Byrd said, seemed like the first step toward her dream.
She could hardly believe he'd responded. ''I had built up these characters and this mythos of Ren & Stimpy in my head,'' Byrd, now 37, told BuzzFeed News. ''It was exciting.''
Soon, she said, she began receiving boxes of toys and art supplies from 39-year-old Kricfalusi, better known as John K. He helped her get her first AOL account, through which he convinced her he could help her become a great artist. He visited her at the trailer park where she lived in Tucson, Arizona. ''I thought I was still his little cute friend,'' she said. And then, when she was still in 11th grade, he flew her to Los Angeles to show her his studio and talk about her future. She said that on the same trip, in a room with a sliding glass door that led to his pool, he touched her genitals through her pajamas as she lay frozen on a blanket he'd placed on the floor. She was 16.
In the summer of 1997, before her senior year of high school, he flew her to Los Angeles again, where Byrd had an internship at Spumco, Kricfalusi's studio, and lived with him as his 16-year-old girlfriend and intern. After finishing her senior year in Tucson, the tiny, dark-haired girl moved in with Kricfalusi permanently at age 17. She told herself that Kricfalusi was helping to launch her career; in the end, she fled animation to get away from him.
Since October, a national reckoning with sexual assault and harassment has not only felled dozens of prominentmen, but also caused allegations made in the past to resurface. In some ways, the old transgressions are the most uncomfortable: They implicate not just the alleged abusers, but everyone who knew about the stories and chose to overlook them.
Albert L. Ortega / WireImage Although sexual abuse allegations against Kricfalusi have never been made public before, his relationship with Byrd has been an open secret within animation '-- so open that ''a girl he had been dating since she was fifteen years old'' was referenced briefly in a book about the history of Ren & Stimpy. Tony Mora, an art director at Warner Bros., and Gabe Swarr, a producer at Warner Bros., worked alongside Byrd at Spumco. The male artists said stories of how Kricfalusi sexually harassed female artists, including teenage girls, were known through the industry. ''It's always been there,'' Mora said. Moreover, Kricfalusi made his fixation on teenage girls plainly obvious in his art, even as he worked on animated projects for the likes of Cartoon Network, Fox Kids, and Adult Swim. In an interview with Howard Stern in the mid-'90s, the radio host asked him about a character in the comic book anthology the cartoonist was then promoting. Stern called Sody Pop ''a hot chick with big cans and nice legs.'' Kricfalusi responded with a smile: ''She's underage, too.''
And yet Kricfalusi, 62, continues to be widely celebrated as a pioneer in the male-dominated field of animation. Creators of shows including SpongeBob SquarePants, Adventure Time, and Rick and Morty have cited Ren & Stimpy as an influence. After Nickelodeon fired the perpetually behind-schedule artist from Ren & Stimpy in 1992, he became an early proponent of art and shows made just for the internet. His output has slowed down, but he enjoys a living-legend stature that prompted 3,562 people to fund a Kickstarter campaign for his short Cans Without Labels, which he screened at a prestigious animation film festival in 2016. He made art for Miley Cyrus's 2014 Bangerz tour; he animated two credit sequences on The Simpsons, the most recent in 2015. His portrait still hangs on the wall at Nickelodeon.
On Kricfalusi's behalf, an attorney responded to a detailed list of allegations in this story with the following statement:
''The 1990s were a time of mental and emotional fragility for Mr. Kricfalusi, especially after losing Ren and Stimpy, his most prized creation. For a brief time, 25 years ago, he had a 16-year-old girlfriend. Over the years John struggled with what were eventually diagnosed mental illnesses in 2008. To that point, for nearly three decades he had relied primarily on alcohol to self-medicate. Since that time he has worked feverishly on his mental health issues, and has been successful in stabilizing his life over the last decade. This achievement has allowed John the opportunity to grow and mature in ways he'd never had a chance at before.''
Courtesy Rice A photo sent to Rice by Kricfalusi
While Byrd felt deeply alone when she left animation, she later realized she hadn't been the only underage girl Kricfalusi groomed for a relationship. In 2008, long after she last saw Kricfalusi, Byrd reconnected with an old internet friend: the artist Katie Rice. Kricfalusi introduced them through AOL in the mid-'90s, when they were still children, telling them he'd hire them both at Spumco someday. Although Kricfalusi never had a physical sexual relationship with Rice, he began hitting on her when she was a minor, she said, behavior that ranged from writing her flirty letters (''I bet you'll be up to no good. Just like me,'' he wrote in 1996) to masturbating while she was on the phone. In 2000, when Rice was 18 and trying to break into animation, Kricfalusi offered her a job. Once she started working for him, Rice said, he persistently sexually harassed her.
''I know a lot of people struggle with the 'art vs. artist' thing.''
Old letters, emails, and transcripts of AOL conversations between the women and Kricfalusi back up many of their claims. They each have witnesses to parts of their stories. Yet both women worried that they sounded ''crazy.'' For years, they chose to keep their experiences private, because coming forward didn't seem like it was worth the risk. Rice feared retribution from his many supporters. Neither woman thought they'd be taken seriously.
Now they believe the world has changed. Byrd feels the time has come for Kricfalusi to be held accountable, particularly, she said, after the police told her in December that Kricfalusi's alleged crimes against her were too old to investigate. ''He shouldn't be able to get away with that,'' she said.
Courtesy Byrd and Rice Left: A drawing Kricfalusi sent Byrd; Right: A mix CD he sent Rice
And while Byrd teaches philosophy and undergraduate writing classes, Rice still works in animation and regularly encounters people asking her what it was like to work for ''a legend.'' It made her hesitant to criticize him, as if it would be her fault for tainting his work. But, sitting in a Burbank restaurant, she said, ''I know a lot of people struggle with the 'art vs. artist' thing, and I get it. Like, I love Rosemary's Baby. But would I watch another movie that he made, knowing what I know now?'' she said, referring to the multiple rape allegations against filmmaker Roman Polanski.
''I would say no, I don't want to watch it. I don't want any part of that. There's nice people you can hire. There's nice people who can make things, there's nice people who make cartoons. '... They're just as fucking good.''
Jessica Pons for BuzzFeed News Katie Rice, photographed in Burbank on March 28
Rice wanted to be an artist from the time she was in the fourth grade. In the summer before fifth grade, when she started watching the original Nicktoons '-- Doug, Rugrats, and Ren & Stimpy '-- the tween decided to become a cartoonist. Her parents were skeptical. Her mother told BuzzFeed News that she worried her daughter was being unrealistic.
So when Rice wrote to Kricfalusi when she was around 14, and then they began corresponding over AOL, Rice said it was a source of validation for her and her family: A powerful man who had recently been nominated for an Emmy Award saw that she had potential.
They continued chatting online and on the phone into her sophomore year of high school, and Kricfalusi's messages made her feel special. In an AOL conversation he told her not to copy and send to her friends, he said, ''I wnat [sic] to squeeze you,'' and ''I'm crazy about you, Katie''; he asked her, ''Do I ever make you tingle?'' In an email she printed and saved from a few days after she turned 15, the 41-year-old man wrote, ''I'm thinking about you very hard right now. And I have a little tickle in my chest.'' Now 36, Rice looks at these old pages with some of the compliments underlined in purple gel pen and cringes.
''I think this 40 year old man is hitting on me,'' Rice wrote in her diary. ''But he's never perverted. He is also very nice. He gives me a lot of drawing tips.''
At the time, she didn't see the harm. ''I think this 40 year old man is hitting on me,'' she wrote in a diary entry from between December 1995 and March 1996, saying her friend agreed with her. (Speaking to BuzzFeed News, the friend recalled having this conversation, and that she thought Kricfalusi was hitting on Rice.) Rice, then 14, continued in her diary, ''But he's never perverted. He is also very nice. He gives me a lot of drawing tips.''
Rice and Kricfalusi met a few times in Los Angeles, and they kept talking after she moved with her parents from California to Lake Tahoe in 1996 when she was entering 10th grade at age 14. They never had physical sexual contact, but when Rice lived in Nevada, she remembers several late-night phone calls during which Kricfalusi said, ''Repeat after me: John's dick slides in my puzzy'' (his pronunciation of the word) while he masturbated on the other end of the line. She refused. Rice, who was naive about sex, said she didn't realize what he was doing at first '-- until, all of a sudden, she did. Christine Nockels, a high school friend of Rice who later worked at Spumco, said Rice told her about the masturbation when they were classmates.
The conversations left Rice shaken, but she trusted him. Lonely in her new school in Nevada, she viewed him as her only friend. He attended her 15th birthday party, which he later confirmed on a DVD extra for the 2003 Ren & Stimpy reboot. (''I was at her 15th birthday party. We'll tell you that backstory a little bit later,'' he said with a grin.) She was devastated when he abruptly stopped talking to her in early 1997.
Courtesy Byrd Kricfalusi and a 15-year-old Byrd in 1996
That same winter, Kricfalusi flew out to visit Byrd, then a high school junior, at home in Arizona. They had sex for the first time at a nearby hotel, she said, and put into motion a series of decisions that would reshape the rest of her teenage years. She'd move in with Kricfalusi for the summer and intern at Spumco, then complete her senior year at a private school in Arizona, and he would cover the tuition. He told her he could give her an animation career in Los Angeles when she graduated. She and her mother believed him.
So when the young artist and writer moved in with Kricfalusi in the summer of 1997, part of her was happy. As an intern, she was making copies, keeping art organized, and learning how to be an animator. ''I made my dream come true,'' Byrd said. ''That's why I sent the tape when I was 13.'' Everything in California was new and exciting, including, to some degree, her boyfriend. ''I believed, as a 16-year-old dating him, 'Oh, the world's against us. It shouldn't be wrong for him to date me. We're cool and rebellious because we're breaking the rules of society,''' Byrd told BuzzFeed News. She said he told her their 25-year age difference was ''romantic.''
But she struggled. In a letter she wrote to herself during the internship '-- her method of working out her feelings at the time '-- she frets about all the ways she's alienating her 41-year-old boyfriend with her ''nagging'' and her ''guilt-inflicting''; she says Kricfalusi doesn't care about her emotional well-being. ''He may like my figure & face. He may adore my mind & ideas. But he does not have regard for my feelings as I do his,'' she wrote. The artist she shared an office with, Swarr, who was in his early twenties at the time, remembers her frequently crying.
''I was like, 'Who's that little girl?'''
Despite the volatility, this seemed like a break to her: Kricfalusi was teaching her a trade. And, over the course of more than 600 blog posts reviewed by BuzzFeed News, Kricfalusi portrays himself as a uniquely qualified molder of young minds. It's the same image he presented to Byrd and Rice, and to many of the fans, mostly men in their twenties, who he hired at Spumco in the 1990s and early 2000s. They were inexperienced young people who, Mora and Swarr said, believed deeply in the art Spumco was making. It was a small studio that usually had between 10 and 30 artists at a time, most of them convinced they were doing something defiant by working there. Derrick J. Wyatt, an artist who started working at Spumco in 1999, told BuzzFeed News the studio was a ''cult of personality'' centered on Kricfalusi.
After Byrd graduated from high school at 17 in 1998, Kricfalusi hired her to work at Spumco and she moved back into his Los Angeles home.
Courtesy Robyn Byrd A photo Kricfalusi took of Byrd poolside in 1998 at age 17
As Byrd grew up in the studio, her coworkers, many of whom were not much older than she was, were aware of the teen's romantic relationship with their boss. Mora got an internship at Spumco in 1997, around the age of 24, and when he first started seeing Byrd around the studio, ''I was like, 'Who's that little girl?''' he said. The relationship was odd to him, but it seemed to be accepted at the studio, where former employees say Kricfalusi fostered a libertine atmosphere in which taking offense was itself offensive. They were making shows with sexual themes; there were raunchy nude drawings on display. Mora said Kricfalusi left out a drawing he made of Byrd, naked, with a dog ejaculating on her.
Sometime between 1998 and 2000, Mora went to a party at Kricfalusi's house that has bothered him for years. He remembered Byrd, who was no older than 20, was drunk and seemed to be drifting in and out of consciousness when Kricfalusi called Mora over to him. ''And then he pulled out these Polaroids of Robyn basically '-- how can you say it? '-- going down on him. '... He's like, 'What do you think of that?'''
''My entire life had been suspended in John's since I was fourteen.''
Byrd doesn't remember Kricfalusi taking explicit photos of her; she also wasn't aware, she said, that he showed explicit photos of her to other people. But Wyatt recounted an interaction with his then-boss that was similar to Mora's. He said that at a party at Kricfalusi's house between 1999 and 2002, Kricfalusi showed him ''a stack of Polaroids'' of Kricfalusi and Byrd having sex. He never mentioned the photographs to Byrd, nor did he confront Kricfalusi about the interaction. During another party at Kricfalusi's house, Swarr said the artist pulled out a binder of photos that showed Byrd naked in his pool. ''It was gross,'' Swarr said. Affecting a gruff voice when he spoke as Kricfalusi, Swarr recalled, ''He was like, 'Oh, you like that?' I was like, 'No!'''
At the time Byrd started working at Spumco, the age of consent in California had been 18 for decades. But because no one in the studio told her to leave Kricfalusi, it took longer for Byrd to realize the extent of the problem she had. ''My entire life had been suspended in John's since I was fourteen,'' she wrote to Rice in 2008. She told BuzzFeed News this year, ''I just kind of got swept up in the whole thing.'' When it came to sex with an adult man, she remembers thinking as a teen that it was something ''I was supposed to do as an adult woman.''
Courtesy Robyn Byrd Kricfalusi and Byrd on Christmas Eve in 2000
In 2000, Byrd briefly broke up with Kricfalusi and moved out of the house she shared with him in LA. The pair would reunite a few months later, but in the meantime, Kricfalusi contacted Rice, who was then 18 years old and reeling from an art school rejection letter. He asked her to come work at Spumco. Receipts signed by Kricfalusi and saved by Rice show he paid for her stay at the Voyager Motor Inn in June 2000.
Rice worked for Kricfalusi on and off from age 18 to about 25, starting as an inker and moving on to layout and character design. In 2000, Byrd and Rice both worked at the studio, but the childhood internet friends never spoke face-to-face; Swarr remembers the women working at opposite ends of Spumco. Mora and Swarr believed that Kricfalusi hired Rice as a replacement for Byrd. At 19, Byrd thought so, too. She said it seemed to her at the time that Kricfalusi was replacing her with a younger woman.
Byrd left Kricfalusi for good in 2002. Once she was gone, he focused more attention on Rice. In emails, Kricfalusi demanded her professional loyalty. He also continued to pressure her for affection. Through a lawyer, Kricfalusi denied harassing Rice, saying, "John's avid pursuit of her romantically was all after the company went out of business and he was no longer her employer." But around the time of the new Ren & Stimpy show, which was produced by Spumco and employed Rice, he wrote her a letter expressing sadness over his breakup, and also told Rice she was pretty and that he wished he could cuddle with her.
Spumco / Spike Animation Studio Rice and Kricfalusi on the DVD intro to the Ren and Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon "Naked Beach Frenzy."
On Oct. 19, 2004, when Rice was working at Disney, 49-year-old Kricfalusi contacted Rice via her work email. He wrote that he'd been resentful, as a 41-year-old man, of the classmate Rice liked when she was 15. ''You used to make me very jealous '... and you would never admit you liked me in a romantic way.'' At the end of that email, he begged her to be in a relationship with him, writing, ''I would worship you and bve [sic] your best partner and friend and everything that would be good to be.''
Rice said the sexual harassment got worse when she worked from Kricfalusi's home office, particularly when they were working on a music video commissioned by ''Weird Al'' Yankovic. (The musician said he was not aware of any of the behavior described in this story and declined to comment further.) In an email reviewed by BuzzFeed News, Rice told Byrd in 2008 that Kricfalusi ''was doing all sorts of bizarre stuff- waiting naked in his living room for when I let myself into his house to work in the morning, walking around with his weiner hanging out of his pants, telling me that his friend's advice to 'get' me was to just rape me one day.''
Through an attorney, Kricfalusi denied exposing himself to Rice, and said that the rape comment was just a joke.
Courtesy of Katie Rice Kricfalusi and Rice at her 15th birthday party
Rice's voice rose in frustration. ''I know what everybody's gonna say: Why didn't you just leave? Well, because this asshole told me when I was 13 that I was special, and I don't have any self-esteem, so I believe it.'' And the fact was that he had hired her, when she had no prospects, right after she was rejected from art school. As she had argued in forums online, she really did think he was a great artist. She thought that she owed her mentor and friend, and she felt a certain twisted pride in putting up with his harassment.
''I know what everybody's gonna say: Why didn't you just leave? Well, because this asshole told me when I was 13 that I was special, and I don't have any self-esteem, so I believe it.''
Rice said she finally did leave after two incidents that happened in relatively close succession: The first was his half-threat of rape during the Weird Al job, and then, she said, she found child porn on his computer. Rice said she found images of girls she didn't recognize, naked; she remembered one photo in particular, with a naked girl who appeared to be around 10 years old, lying on her back with her legs spread and an expression on her face that Rice described as fearful. An ex-girlfriend of Kricfalusi's, who asked not to be named in this story, said she, too, saw naked images of prepubescent girls who appeared to be between 12 and 14 on his personal computer around 2007.
Through an attorney, Kricfalusi said he has never possessed child porn, and that he had never been contacted by the police regarding an investigation. His attorney added, ''I assure you that there are significant differences between your outline and what actually happened and when.'' The attorney did not provide specifics prior to publication.
Rice said it took her three attempts to report the child porn she saw on Kricfalusi's computer. On two occasions, she said, she panicked while filling out an online form for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Rice successfully reported seeing child porn to the police at the end of 2017. Byrd said she spoke to a detective on the case as well, thinking that, even though the statute of limitations for her allegations was up, her account might bolster the investigation. The LAPD declined to comment on the case, but Rice said she was told that they wouldn't be able to get a warrant. It was after receiving that phone call from the police that she decided to go on the record. She hopes making her story public will relieve her of the burden she feels to warn young women thinking of working for him.
Alyssa Schukar for BuzzFeed News Robyn Byrd, photographed at her home on March 23
''It's been easy for us to disconnect the artist from the person, because as an artist, he's unparalleled,'' Mora told BuzzFeed News. He said it was hard thinking about things he and Swarr could have done to help Byrd and Rice, and he struggled to reconcile his feelings about Kricfalusi. ''If I ever won an award, he would be one of the first people I would thank,'' he said. ''But there is that other side of John '-- John the man, not John the artist '-- and that's the part that is conflicting.''
In a busy restaurant in Burbank, Swarr still expressed some sympathy for Kricfalusi. ''I owe John a lot,'' he said. ''He has a lot of problems, and he can't see them. It's tragic. I don't feel bad enough to not talk about this, though.'' Swarr said he began distancing himself from Kricfalusi after Rice told him around 2002 that their mentor had started hitting on her when she was a child. ''I wish I could've done more back then. This'' '-- talking to a reporter to corroborate the women's stories '-- ''is the only thing I can do now.''
The Paramount Network '-- the current iteration of Spike TV, which ran Ren & Stimpy's 2003 reboot, Adult Party Cartoon '-- said it had never received reports of sexual harassment against Kricfalusi and has ''specific policies and procedures to ensure our employees feel empowered to report inappropriate behavior.'' A spokesperson for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim said that the networks were not aware of any sexual harassment claims against Kricfalusi, that ''harassment will not be tolerated'' by their parent company, and that neither network planned to work with him in the future. Nickelodeon declined to comment on Byrd and Rice's allegations, or on the future of the Kricfalusi portrait that hangs on its wall.
Allegations of sexual misconduct have long been treated as a proverbial footnote for important men. In an industry that continues to exclude women and that has a widespread problem with sexual harassment, as more than 200 women and gender-nonconforming people working in animation attested in an open letter in October, it's unclear whether Rice and Byrd making Kricfalusi's abuse public will lead people to rethink his legacy. What is clear, however, is that #MeToo can't move forward without reexamining the past.
Byrd is resolute. ''He ruined a good bit of my childhood and my early adulthood, gave me PTSD, and forced me to change careers, putting my life 10 years or more behind,'' she wrote in an email. In an interview, she said, ''He is an abuser in the way that he will pull you into a relationship with him and then tell you who to be and what he wants from you. '... Everybody needs to know about it.''
Rice, too, is unequivocal about Kricfalusi: ''I became a better artist by working for him,'' she said. ''I'm not grateful for it. I wish I hadn't. I wish I were a worse artist now and I didn't have all this bullshit to deal with.'' '—
Ariane Lange is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Ariane Lange at ariane.lange@buzzfeed.com.
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Ryan Seacrest Accuser: I Won't Be Silenced, and I've Filed a Police Report (Guest Column) | Hollywood Reporter
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 09:33
Editor's note: Ryan Seacrest and NBC Universal's responses to the allegations in this column are included below.
It's been four months since I sent a letter to Ryan Seacrest and E! detailing the sexual assault and harassment I endured while I was Ryan's personal stylist from 2007 to 2012. To give a little context to my job, I didn't just style Ryan for the E! News show in studio. I packed clothes for him to wear on American Idol, I traveled with him and styled him for New Year's Rockin' Eve in Times Square, I got him ready for red carpet shows for the Grammys, Golden Globes and Oscars. We worked the Disney Christmas parade every year. I made late-night runs to his house to get his looks together for countless appearances and events. I was his personal stylist as much as I was anything.
When the #MeToo movement empowered so many women to come forward with their truths, I did so as well. In response to the letter, E! owner NBC Universal conducted an incomplete investigation of the facts and declared the results "inconclusive." Ryan chose to immediately author a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter falsely claiming he had been vindicated and attempting to portray himself as the victim. I finally said "enough is enough" and went public with my name and the ugly details of what I endured.
And then '... nothing. Sure, some celebrities avoided Ryan on the red carpet at the Oscars, and his ratings were way down. But the silence since then has been deafening. Ryan continues to cheerfully co-host Live With Kelly and Ryan each morning with Kelly Ripa's full support. He's the smiling host of American Idol twice a week on ABC. And E! continues to back him. NBC News invited me to tell my story on the Megyn Kelly show, but after the Oscars (and an extensive pre-interview I did with her producers), that invitation disappeared. "We need to reschedule," they said. I'm still waiting for that.
So much for "Let's believe the women," right? Unless you're the president of the United States or a TV cash cow, apparently. Those who work with Ryan seem to hope I will just go away. Well, I'm not going away. I'm thriving in the truth and feel more inspired than ever. I recently contacted the LAPD and filed a police report so I'm guaranteed a real investigation this time. (Editor's note: THR confirmed a police report has been filed and the case is being investigated.) Ryan's team of lawyers, who are also representing Harvey Weinstein, do not intimidate me. If Ryan is so innocent, why hasn't he called me a liar or sued me or presented evidence of my so-called extortion plot?
These were not new allegations to Ryan, E! and many in my close-knit circle of family and friends. I gave a full account of my experience to the E! HR department in 2012, while I was still employed. Soon after my truthful confession, I was let go without severance, compensation or any credible explanation. After six years of faithful work and dedication that included humiliating episodes of inappropriate advances, touching, groping and assault, I was gone, just like that.
It was never my intention to go public. When I was enduring harassment, I stayed away from HR because I was informed it was a one-way ticket to the unemployment line. But because so many of the incidents occurred in front of other people, HR actually called me in to ask if there was something going on romantically between my boss and me. When asked on the spot, I spilled everything to them '... and then was systematically flushed.
I told many people, including my boyfriend at the time, what was happening. He was furious and suggested I call a prominent women's rights lawyer, but she had a conflict of interest. Another good friend put me in touch with a lawyer, but I felt the deck was stacked against me and I had no chance going up against the powerful machine that was letting me go. I was even told by a high-powered entertainment attorney, "You didn't sleep with him; you have no case." Shocked, I learned of a "standard" agreement most women are presented in the industry to silence them after a sexual encounter with an employer. I was devastated and angry. I did the right thing! I didn't sleep with him, I didn't kiss him, he never touched me consensually and there's no agreement for that? For being a professional? For laughing off this buffoon's unwanted advances for years? That anger and confusion stayed with me while I did my best to reinvent myself and find new employment in a different field. I found work for much less money, but the anger and humiliation has never gone away.
All I wanted was an apology, some validation and some real action to protect women in the workplace. What I got was NBC promising to do a thorough and confidential investigation of my claims. Sadly, NBC did not interview 10 of the witnesses I provided, including my therapist and my boyfriend at the time. After closing the books on its "inconclusive" investigation, NBC refused to provide me with any of its findings or even the HR reports from my 2012 claims.
Ryan chose to take this public, not me. But I will not stand by silently and let Ryan or the sycophants that employ him get away with this. Not when teenagers, with their voices shaking, can speak up to Congress on gun control. I can face this too! Ryan is not a victim; he is the instigator and the assaulter. He did everything I asserted in my original HR report and in my private letter to him and E! in November. Everyone in Hollywood who stands by Ryan now is choosing not to believe me. That includes every guest on his shows, every studio and network that does business with him, every celebrity who talks to him on a red carpet. Know that this is a choice you are making.
In reliving all these incidents lately, one thing has stuck with me: Ryan seemed to really enjoy humiliating me. He would say out loud, 'Look how red Suzie's face is. Look how embarrassed she is!" Then he would laugh, like some next-level corporate tool I didn't even know existed. When your boss is the golden boy of a network, when they've given him his own production company and his own show and moved his radio program into the building, and he is motioning for you to bend down and tie his shoes, you do it.
So, joke all you want, Kelly Ripa. NBC and ABC, keep spinning and deflecting. You're all making a big mistake. And Ryan, stop trying to bully me. It's not going to work.
Seacrest has denied any inappropriate behavior, calling the claims "reckless allegations." An investigation conducted by an outside law firm cleared him Feb. 1, finding "insufficient evidence to support the claims." The company's investigation focused on witnesses with firsthand knowledge of interactions between Seacrest and Hardy. NBC and Seacrest have said Hardy was not terminated; her contract ended when Seacrest's tenure on E! News came to a close. NBC declined to comment further.
In a statement, Seacrest's attorney, Andrew Baum, said: "After Mr. Seacrest denied each and every one of Ms. Hardy's decade old claims, after Mr. Seacrest refused to pay Ms. Hardy any money whatsoever, and after an independent legal investigation did not support her claims, Ms. Hardy went to the press attacking the legitimacy of the investigation. Now, after being refused money and unhappy with the independent legal investigation, Ms. Hardy now claims to have spoken to the authorities. We will continue to cooperate and we remain confident that Mr. Seacrest will once again be cleared of any wrongdoing."
March 29, 10:48 a.m. Updated with new statement from Seacrest's attorney.
Emotional Support Goat
Untold story of the Stockyards: Judas goats | Local Lifestyles | siouxcityjournal.com
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 11:59
SIOUX CITY -- Twenty centuries ago, as the story goes, Judas Iscariot sold out Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver.
Half a century ago in Sioux City, a different type (and species) of Judas sold out its friends frequently for an undetermined amount of cigarettes.
Greg Dunn, a retired vice president at IBP Inc./Tyson Foods, held a part-time job at the old Swift meatpacking plant as a college student in the mid-1960s. He remembers the so-called "Judas goats" well -- as a tale of life, death, betrayal and tobacco-loving animals in Sioux City's fabled stockyards.
'You couldn't drive the sheep'
Sioux City's long-closed meatpacking plants -- Cudahy, Swift and Armour -- operated in multi-story buildings, with the top floor reserved for slaughter. The idea was that gravity, with the help of chutes, would bring the meat and all leftovers to the lower floors for further processing and/or disposal.
The animals had to be led up to that top floor, via fire-escape-like ramps on the outside of the buildings. For hogs and cows, walking up the ramps was no issue.
"You could drive the hogs up these steps, you could drive the cattle, but you couldn't drive the sheep," Dunn said. This was because the sheep were (perhaps wisely) afraid of walking up into an enclosed area they couldn't see well.
What was a worker at Swift or Armour to do with these animals? The sheep refused to trust the humans who tried to lead them up there.
The meatpackers needed an inside agent of some sort -- an animal that the sheep could trust as a leader, which could convince them to walk up to the killing floor.
Into that role stepped the Judas goats.
Judas goats would lead the sheep up the ramps -- and the sheep had no problem following an animal they trusted.
"And if they hesitated, he'd look back, and he'd bleat, and encourage them, and he'd walk them all the way up," Dunn said. "And then as he got to the top, there was a little indent like a closet without a door. He'd step aside, and then the sheep would just keep going. And they'd go right into the kill floor."
+1 In this photo, taken circa 1945, a Judas goat leads a group of sheep up a ramp to their deaths at the Cudahy meatpacking plant in Sioux City.
Provided 'He just loved tobacco'
But don't judge the Judas goats too harshly -- for they developed a taste for something only the stockyards workers would give them.
After a Judas goat had completed his devilish task and the sheep were facing death, he was rewarded with Lucky Strike or Camel cigarettes.
"And then they'd give him a cigarette, and he just loved tobacco. He'd eat that cigarette, and that was his incentive. Well actually, he was addicted to nicotine is what he was," Dunn said.
These special goats were a valuable asset for the stockyards -- without a Judas goat, getting sheep up to the kill floor would become problematic, if not completely impossible. Which meant that the workers had to be prepared in the event of an incapacitated or dying goat.
"One day I came, and there was another goat tied to (the Judas goat), like with a two-foot rope," Dunn said. "That was his apprentice."
After spending a while tied to the elder Judas goat, walking up and down the stairs with him and eating cigarettes alongside him, the next generation of Judas goat would be ready for service.
Longtime Sioux City photographer George Lindblade, who like Dunn spent some time around Judas goats, said that the use of these "specially trained" animals ("I would use that term loosely"), only ended when Sioux City's venerable old meat businesses collapsed in the latter half of the 20th century.
"I don't think they ever stopped using them," he said.
EuroLand
In Five Years Euro Will Become a Thing of the Past '' German Financial Analyst - Sputnik International
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 11:36
Business09:26 30.03.2018(updated 09:29 30.03.2018) Get short URL
The European single currency project is doomed to failure, German financial analyst Marc Friedrich told Sputnik. While IMF boss Christine Lagarde is insisting on the Eurozone's further economic integration, Brussels' real objective is to tighten control over the EU member-states, which amounts to nothing short of a dictatorship, he opined.
Nobody can save the euro, Marc Friedrich, an analyst at financial advisory firm Friedrich & Weik told Sputnik Germany, adding that the European currency is likely to become a thing of the past in just five years.
According to the analyst, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde's call for the creation of the bloc's "rainy-day fund" will lead to nothing less than Brussels' dictatorship.
"The head of the IMF is French," Friedrich noted. "Now Christine Lagarde behaves like her compatriot [French President Emmanuel] Macron. She has set herself a goal to rescue the EU and Eurozone. Of course, they are in cahoots. Both are former [investment] bankers and know each other well. Germany will undoubtedly become the 'champion of payments.' This is a pre-agreed game. Together with the banking union and the introduction of a unified deposit insurance system, this is yet another step towards EU dictatorship. They are desperately trying to save the euro. But the euro cannot be saved. One can only hope that German policy-makers will resist it. Hope is always the last to die, but, eventually it dies."
Germany Would Have to Fork Out 11.4 Billion Euros
(C) Sputnik/ Evgeny Biyatov
While delivering a speech on March 26 at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, Christine Lagarde proposed obligating each EU member state to contribute 0.35 percent of GDP per year to a special EU fund "to build up assets in good times.""Then, depending on the depth of a downturn, countries would receive transfers to help them offset budget shortfalls," she said.
However, for Germany the annual contribution to the "rainy-day fund" would amount to 11.4 billion euros ($14 billion), Friedrich pointed out.
According to the analyst, the euro, Europe's single currency experiment, is doomed regardless of whether or not the IMF is able to turn its plans into reality.
The Euro Project Doesn't Work
The problem is that the euro project does not work, Friedrich underscored: the European currency still remains "too weak" for Germany and "too strong" for the countries of the Eurozone in Southern Europe.
"This situation will not change in the future," the analyst opined. "Of course, 'life-prolonging' measures are being taken. Perhaps, this or that attempt by the European Central Bank (ECB) or central banks across [Europe] will breathe a little life in [the European currency], but eventually the euro is doomed to failure. This is all about buying time, because the fundamental problems of the flawed structure of the system cannot be solved."
Transfer Union Has Long Been Existing in EU
Lagarde tries at all costs to avoid giving the impression that the proposed fund will finally lead to the creation of a European transfer union. In her speech she particularly emphasized '-- using the German expression '-- that the EU member states should continue to "take personal responsibility" "for putting their own houses in order." Additionally, she offered certain mechanisms to prevent European states from "pursu[ing] less prudent fiscal policies" while other countries pay for them. At the same time, the transfer union has existed for a long time, the analyst stressed. Although it was not stipulated by the Lisbon Treaty, the relevant item was included into it "through the back door". According to Friedrich, the ECB engages in prohibited state funding by buying up government bonds.
"We have a transfer union from the North to the South," the financial analyst highlighted. "We communitize debts. One day Eurobonds will come into play. They will be called and 'packaged' differently. But in general, we have everything that was initially excluded. This is an unprecedented scandal."
The EU Dictatorship: Where It All Goes
However, no later than after the introduction of the European system of protection of deposits, citizens will have to withdraw their money from accounts. And then it will not be long before some feeble Spanish or Italian bank collapses and then the others '-- and first of all, the Germans '-- will have to fork out. To preserve one's property, real assets are the best choice, Friedrich remarked. Crypto-currencies may also serve as a means of payment in the future, he added.
As for Europe's prospects, his prognosis is rather gloomy.
"[Europe] is being headed towards a major dictatorship of the EU: a common minister of finance, a common budget, its own armed forces etc. It will remain a dream, but of course they take every effort to push ahead with this idea. One can easily imagine where this is going. We have already been deprived of some rights here, in Germany. EU law has always been above national laws. What is happening at the moment is undemocratic and should frighten [German] citizens. Now they [EU] are trying to create a super-state through the back door which will have no legitimacy," Friedrich emphasized.
The views and opinions expressed by Marc Friedrich are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
Ministers want to send refugees back to Germany and Belgium to discourage travel - DutchNews.nl
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 11:50
The Dutch cabinet wants to make agreements within the EU on sending asylum seekers back to the European country they were in before reaching their final destination.
Junior justice minister Mark Harbers, who focuses on refugee policy, said in an interview with the Volkskrant on Friday that this would mean asylum seekers who entered the Netherlands from Belgium or Germany would be sent back to those countries.
In turn, Belgium and Germany could send the refugee back to the EU country they had traveled though to reach the Belgian and German borders.
'If refugees know this is how Europe works, they will be discouraged from moving on,' Harbers told the paper.
The Netherlands has already raised the issue with some member states and it is due to be discussed in April, Harbers said. However, the Volkskrant pointed out, the plan is likely to be resisted by Greece and Italy, which currently have to deal with most new arrivals.
'An asylum seeker who arrives in Europe should apply for asylum in that country,' Harbers said. 'They often don't because they want to reach the Netherlands or Sweden.'
Under the current Dublin rules which date from 2003, refugees can be sent back to the first safe third country they arrived in, as long as that country accepts the evidence that the person was there.
New rules
The new government's get-tough policy on refugees centres on making deals with other countries in Africa and the Middle East to ensure people fleeing war and hardship remain in the region they come from.
Once in the Netherlands, refugees will only be given residency permits for three years rather than five and they will no longer be able to claim welfare benefits or extra help in paying rent and health insurance for the first two years.
Some 16,000 refugees came to the Netherlands last year. In addition, 14,000 people arrived to join families who had been given residency rights.
Shut Up Slave!
Pay-as-you-go water metering for social housing proposed by Government
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 11:39
The new machines are expected to accept credit and debit card payments.
The Government is to propose the roll-out of pay-as-you-go water metering for social housing in a move likely to spark fresh protests and political opposition.
As authorities struggle to contain leaks in the wake of Storm Emma last month, costs are likely to eat into the next Budget and Irish Water may seek a subvention from central government. The Government is already under pressure to increase public sector pay ahead of Budget 2019 meaning the cost of fixing leaks will further impact the public finances.
In response, the Government wants to raise extra money and has proposed the introduction of pay-as-you go mains supplies in the State's social housing stock and on a voluntary basis for private householders.
A proposal expected before Cabinet in the coming weeks says the aim of the move is two-fold - to cut down on wastage by imposing a financial barrier to over-use and, secondly, to provide a source of revenue to help fund repairs on the water network.
The document, seen by The Irish Times, proposes that all new social housing stock is fitted with pay-as-you go devices as standard and a retrofitting programme would begin early in 2019. Private landlords benefiting from the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme will be encouraged to have the devices installed in properties they own and will be able to write off the full cost of installation against tax as an incentive.
Irish Water confirmed in February that plans are in place to introduce excess water charges from next year. A report from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) confirmed the suspension of water charges would continue until December 31st, 2018.
Excess use charges will not begin until January 1st, 2019, ''at the earliest'' while bills for excess use charges will not be issued until July 1st next year ''at the earliest''. It is understood the pay-as-you-go initiative would be introduced in unison with the excess charges scheme.
Customers would be able to top up their water accounts using debit or credit cards but coin operated devices are not planned.
The new pay-as-you-go "Aquashaft 2000" devices will take debit or credit cardHowever, authorities are said to be looking at a system whereby extra water credit could be earned by households which commit to having no more than one shower per person every two days as showers have been shown to be extremely wasteful.
''Pay-as-you-go customers must be encouraged to take extra measures to cut down on excess use of water,'' the document states. ''Limiting personal showering frequency may be rewarded with extra or cheaper water credit under any scheme going forward and all things being equal. Householders who can show they have laid tarmac in their back gardens, thereby removing the need to use hose pipes in the summer, may also be rewarded,'' it adds.
A Government source said: ''This proposals outlined in this document are necessary but Fianna Fil are not going to be happy.
''We will just have to deal with that issue when it happens, but we have to stop the water wastage,'' she added.
Under the confidence and supply arrangement agreed in 2016 Fianna Fil said it would support the minority Fine Gael-led Government but part of the deal was that plans for widespread water charges were abandoned.
A Fianna Fil spokesman was unable to comment.
The Bathrooms on American Airlines' New Cramped Planes Are 'The Most Miserable Experience In the World,' says a Pilot | Inc.com
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:56
Just how much will passengers tolerate?
CREDIT: Getty Images
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Some say American Airlines is going down the toilet.
Oh, not because it's not making enough money.
Instead, too many people are severely disliking the bathrooms on the airline's new Boeing 737 MAX planes.
I've written before how flight attendants have complained about these planes, which have even more seats than ever. And about how the airline's CEO, Doug Parker, admitted he's never flown on the plane.
Because, why would he?
Now it's the pilots' turn to explain just how awful the plane's new configuration--one that will be extended to many other types of American's aircraft--truly is.
As View From the Wing reports, employees were having a little open exchange of views with the airline's president, Robert Isom.
He has, American told me, flown on the plane.
Still, one pilot tried to explain to him just how bad those bathrooms are.
"It's the most miserable experience in the world," he said.
The data is simple. There are 12 more seats and only two bathrooms at the back for 160 passengers.
Oh, and those bathrooms are 75 percent the size they used to be.
"I can't turn around in it. The sink is the most miserable thing going, and you cram those people in those little tiny seats you just bragged about to the point that I can't sit back there," he said.
He added that he'd refuse to sit in the back of this plane if he was asked by the airline to fly in it.
Isom contended that removing the seat-back screens (which saves money) and inserting larger overhead bins "are different and allow us to serve customers in a way that we haven't before."
Yes, the passengers certainly haven't seen toilets like this before either.
I've not heard one person praise these loos or, frankly, the Economy Class seats that surely try patience when you're in them for five hours or more.
The question is whether the airline will do something about any of it.
My guess is no, but I did contact the airline to see how it feels after this pilot's withering criticism. It referred me to Isom's words, in which he said that nothing is permanent. (Although Parker insists American will always make a profit.)
Isom also explained that it's all the passengers' fault.
"Today, there is a real drive within the industry and with the traveling public to want to have really, at the end of the day, low cost seats. And we've got to be cognizant of what's out there in the marketplace and what people want to pay," he said.
The Economy Class seat space on these planes has been reduced to a 30-inch pitch.
Perhaps, though, that's American's secret psychology.
You'll be cramped in the seats--though American insists it still feels like 31 inches because the seats are thinner.
But they'll feel like heaven if you go to the toilet first.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
These are the ways student loans stop people from buying a house
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 13:26
And he's not alone, 85 percent of student loan borrowers say difficulty in saving has delayed their ability to buy a house, according to the National Association of Realtors.
"It's challenging with student loans to be able to put together $40,000," said Grant Simmons, vice president of search marketing for Homes.com.
(The median home price in America is $241,700).
Stephanie Pennycuff graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis with $43,000 in student debt.
She works at a non-profit, helping formerly incarcerated people transition back into their communities, making around $30,000. Her monthly student loan payment is $450.
That's made accumulating money almost impossible.
"Pretty much one paycheck a month goes to loans," Pennycuff, 28, said. "Every time I manage to save up a couple of thousand dollars, something happens and it's immediately drained back to nothing. I can't put down any sort of payment on a home."
As student debt continues to compound, the primary way many Americans build wealth and stability '-- through owning a house '-- is likely to become more endangered.
In the two decades after McKinley was forced to leave, he's still been stuck renting. His loans have wavered in and out of default and mushroomed to more than $100,000.
Sometimes he drives past the house that was almost his.
"There was a lot of wildlife, opportunities for outdoor recreation," McKinley said. "It was really beautiful there."
He imagines what would have happened had he been able to stay. His monthly mortgage payments were going to be around $500 a month. He might have even paid them all off by now, he figures.
And the last time he checked, the house's value had swelled from $65,000 to more than $200,000.
More from Personal Finance:
Trump opens a door to student loan forgiveness
College students use financial aid money to invest in bitcoin
Graduates of this college get a starting salary of $80,000
Brexit
Brexit: European Commission Wants to Cancel 317,000 .eu Domains Owned by Brits
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 12:38
The European Commission announced on Wednesday plans to cancel new registration and domain renewals for .eu domains owned by British citizens. EU citizens residing in the UK are also barred from registering or renewing domains.
The decision comes as UK officials officially confirmed this week plans to leave the European Union on March 30, 2019.
The European Commission hopes that by that date, no UK citizen will hold a .eu domain, as they would be ineligible under the Commission's rules.
According to a quarterly report from EURid, the organization that manages .eu domains, there were 317,286 .eu domains registered by UK citizens at the end of last year (Q4 2017).
The UK holds the fourth most .eu domains among all EU countries and is ranked 8th in terms of quarter-to-quarter growth of new .eu domains.
"Wiping out this number of registrations will have a negative impact on the .eu ccTLD as a whole, as well as a negative impact on many European based businesses serving the registrants of the 300 thousand plus names," said Michele Neylon, founder and managing director of domain registrar and hosting company Blacknight.
But despite Neylon's perfectly sound analysis, the European Commission seems intent on applying the letter of the law when it comes to .eu domain ownership, and has issued an official communiqu(C) about its plans in regards to .eu domains.
This week's controversial decision regarding .eu domains is just the latest jab between the EU and UK, currently in the midst of a very thorny breakup.
HRC
Hillary Clinton is back in N.J. today for a sold-out event at Rutgers. She'll be paid $25K. | NJ.com
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 09:32
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is back in New Jersey Thursday for a rare public appearance since she lost in her bid for the White House against President Donald Trump.
Clinton is expected to talk politics, American democracy and her role in shaping women's political history.
Rutgers will pay Clinton $25,000 from an endowment but use no money from tuition or state aid, according to the university.
A Clinton spokesperson told NBC the former secretary of state plans to donate the honorarium for the speech to charity.
Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics will host the event to be held at Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway.
It's sold out. Anyone interested in tickets can join the waitlist, or watch it on Rutgers University's livestream.
This early Murphy supporter just dissed his first budget
Clinton made at least three public appearances in the Garden State since the presidential election: She campaigned for then-gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy for governor in October, and then returned for another pro-Murphy event that same month with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Hillary Clinton was in New Jersey the month before for a book signing in Montclair.
New Jersey isn't a swing state, so the former secretary of state wasn't here much before the election either. But she had some visits.
Clinton railed against what she called Trump's "reckless" and "dangerous" agenda on the campaign trail in Blackwood in May 2016 and was welcomed back to the state a short time later by rocker Jon Bon Jovi.
Matt Arco may be reached at marco@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewArco or Facebook.
Gen Z
Micro-Generation Born Between 1977-1983 Given New Name
Thu, 29 Mar 2018 22:12
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SIDE HUSTLE-Women Are Making Decent Amounts Of Money Selling Designer Boxes And Bags That They Get For Free
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 13:49
Then "posher" of this item above, named Amelia Ritter, told BuzzFeed News she is selling it because you can't buy it in a store.
"If someone likes the brand they might want to use them for storage or as decoration," she said.
She said she has sold boxes from Pandora and Michael Kors.
"I'm selling it because many people always need a gift box, especially for brands they buy in other stores that aren't specifically for that name brand (such as TJ Maxx, Ross, or Marshall's)," she said. "I thought that by selling it, someone who needed that gift box could have easy access to it since I don't need it anymore and it's cute."
The seller clarified in the description that the $95 was for all the bags.
You can also spend "$15 each for each large bag and small blue bag. $10 each for small red bags."
BuzzFeed News contacted both Glossier and Lululemon about this phenomenon, but didn't immediately hear back.
Neither did Poshmark, when asked about selling practices on its site.
Mockingbird
How America's Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump's War On The Media
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:12
Read more!
Earlier this month, CNN's Brian Stelter broke the news that Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner or operator of nearly 200 television stations in the U.S., would be forcing its news anchors to record a promo about ''the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country.'' The script, which parrots Donald Trump's oft-declarations of developments negative to his presidency as ''fake news,'' brought upheaval to newsrooms already dismayed with Sinclair's consistent interference to bring right-wing propaganda to local television broadcasts.
You might remember Sinclair from its having been featured on John Oliver's Last Week Tonight last year, or from its requiring in 2004 of affiliates to air anti-John Kerry propaganda, or perhaps because it's your own local affiliate running inflammatory ''Terrorism Alerts'' or required editorials from former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn, he of the famed Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that failed to mention Jewish people. (Sinclair also owns Ring of Honor wrestling, Tennis magazine, and the Tennis Channel.)
The net result of the company's current mandate is dozens upon dozens of local news anchors looking like hostages in proof-of-life videos, trying their hardest to spit out words attacking the industry they'd chosen as a life vocation.
Not that any of it matters to Sinclair, which, with the help of a friendly federal government, is about to swallow up another 40 television stations'--increasing its reach and its lead over competitors like Hearst and Scripps. The script, as transcribed by ThinkProgress based on the KOMO (Seattle) version, reads:
Hi, I'm(A) ____________, and I'm (B) _________________'...
(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Northwest communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.
(A) But we're concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.
(B) More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories'... stories that just aren't true, without checking facts first.
(A) Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control 'exactly what people think''...This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.
(B) At KOMO it's our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically 'left nor right.' Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.
(A) But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair please reach out to us by going to KOMOnews.com and clicking on CONTENT CONCERNS. We value your comments. We will respond back to you.
(B) We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual'... We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.
(A) Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback.
For a list of stations owned or operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, check here. If you're a Sinclair employee who has something to say'--anonymity guaranteed on request'--let me know or use our anonymous SecureDrop.
War on Men
Race, Gender & Income: Who Works in the Jobs with the Most Contamination Exposure?
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 12:37
This post is adapted from the blog of Ode to Clean, a Priceonomics Data Studio customer. Does your company have interesting data? Become a Priceonomics customer.
***
Which occupations expose workers to the most contaminants? How often are American workers exposed to these contaminants, who are these workers, and how much are they paid? We decided to attempt to answer these questions by exploring the data.
We analyzed this data along with Priceonomics customer, Ode, a company that creates environmentally-conscious cleaning products. Using resources from the Occupational Information Network and the Bureau of Labor Statistics , we were able to investigate the relationship between different job categories, demographics, and levels of contamination.
We found that automotive service technicians have the most contaminant-heavy job in America: they are exposed to pollutants, dust, gases or odors on a daily basis. HVAC and refrigeration technicians, truck drivers and tractor operators experience similar levels of contamination. Workers who are exposed to contaminants more than once a week make nearly one-third less than those who are exposed less than once a month.
Of the occupations with the highest level of contaminant exposure'--more than once a week'--farmworkers make the least, and dental hygienists make the most. Men are disproportionately exposed to high levels of contamination, as are people identifying as Hispanic. Salaries for jobs with very frequent contaminant exposure run the gamut, with the most highly paid workers making more than three times as much as the lowest-paid.
***
The data provided by the Occupational Information Network (O*Net) uses a scale from 0 to 100: employees in occupations with level 0 are never exposed to contaminants, while those in occupations with level 100 are exposed every day. The following chart shows the twenty occupations that expose employees to the highest levels of contamination:
Original source: Ode. Chart created with Onomics.
Many of the most contaminant-heavy occupations involve cars or trucks, while others involve heavy machinery. It's particularly interesting that dental hygienists (the tenth-most-exposed to contamination) also happen to be the highest paid of all occupations very frequently exposed to contaminants, as we'll see further down.
How much are these workers paid? And are workers paid differently across different levels of contaminant exposure? The chart below shows average wages across occupations for four different frequencies of contaminant exposure:
Original source: Ode
Average salaries decrease substantially as contaminant exposure gets more frequent. The average wage for occupations that are only rarely exposed to contaminants exceeds the average wage for those that are very frequently exposed by about 25%. Each progressively higher contamination bucket works out to a drop of about $10,000 in annual wages.
Let's look up close at the data-- in particular, let's look at the ''Very Frequent'' contamination bucket, in which workers are exposed to contaminants at least once a week. The chart below lists the ten best-paying occupations at the highest contamination level:
Original source: Ode. Chart created with Onomics.
D ental hygienists, who are among the employees most often exposed to contaminants, are also among the most highly paid. Though automotive service technicians and dental hygienists are both exposed to contaminants more often than once a week, hygienists make almost twice as much annually. Now, let's take a look at the lowest-paying jobs in the category of very frequent contaminant exposure:
Original source: Ode. Chart created with Onomics.
The lowest-paid group of workers in the entire ''Very Frequent'' contaminant exposure category are Farmworkers and Laborers. These workers are very poorly paid indeed: Maintenance and Repair Workers, the tenth-lowest-paid workers in our dataset, make over 50% more than farmworkers!
We can dig into these result deeper by exploring the demographics of different occupations and levels of contamination. The chart below breaks down the occupations with very frequent contaminant exposure by demographic. It's important to note that the categories are not totally exclusive: the ''Hispanic'' category can include individuals who identify as either white or black.
Original source: Ode
About one in every seven Hispanic workers is exposed to contaminants more than once a week; that's nearly twice the proportion of workers who identify as Asian. Though this could be a function of the overlapping racial categories used in this dataset, it could also be evidence of larger societal dynamics at play. As we saw above, farmworkers hold the lowest-paid high-contamination job. Although only 18% of Americans are Hispanic, 80% of all farmworkers are .
Now that we've seen how contaminant exposure breaks down across racial categories, let's take a look at the gender distribution. The chart below breaks down contaminant exposure by gender. Are either men or women more likely to be exposed to high levels of contaminants?
Original source: Ode
About one in every six men'--and one in fourteen women'--is employed in an occupation where they are exposed to contaminants more often than once a week. More than half of women are employed in occupations where they are rarely or occasionally exposed to contaminants, though roughly similar proportions of men and women occupy these professions.
According to public data, occupations with exposure to contaminants such as pollutants, gases, dust or odors achieve progressively lower average wages with more frequent exposure. Both the lowest- and highest-paid high-contamination jobs tend to involve manual labor or heavy machinery. We discovered that Hispanic workers are the group most frequently exposed to contaminants, and that men disproportionately occupy high-contaminant jobs. In general, it looks as though certain groups are frequently exposed to contaminants-- and paid less for their trouble.
***
Note: If you're a company that wants to work with Priceonomics to turn your data into great stories, learn more about the Priceonomics Data Studio .
Ulster rape trial: Toxic masculinity culture must not win | Irish Examiner
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 13:44
For generations in Ireland, women's sexuality has been seen as a dangerous force that needed to be controlled, says Louise O'Neill
Media swarm around Paddy Jackson as he leaves Belfast Crown Court yesterday afternoon. Picture: Alan Lewis
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SJWBLMLGBBTQQIAAPK
Nadege C. Green on Twitter: "A group of Black students from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High called a press conference today to say they have concerns that may not mirror those of their white peers. And that the media should listen. #MSDStrong'... https://t.
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 13:47
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Agenda 2030
Scientists say we're on the cusp of a carbon dioxide''recycling revolution | Science | AAAS
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:05
Within a few years, we could be capturing the carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and recycling it into fuel.
Victor Lauer/Shutterstock By Matt WarrenMar. 29, 2018 , 12:00 PM
Every year, the billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) we release into the atmosphere add to the growing threat of climate change. But what if we could simply recycle all that wasted CO2 and turn it into something useful?
By adding electricity, water, and a variety of catalysts, scientists can reduce CO2 into short molecules such as carbon monoxide and methane, which they can then combine to form more complex hydrocarbon fuels like butane. Now, researchers think we could be on the cusp of a CO2-recycling revolution, which would capture CO2 from power plants'--and maybe even directly from the atmosphere'--and convert it into these fuels at scale, they report today in Joule.
Science talked with one of the study's authors, materials scientists and graduate student Phil De Luna at the University of Toronto in Canada, about how CO2 recycling works'--and what the future holds for these technologies. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Q: Why CO2 recycling?
A: The developed world has been emitting CO2 almost frivolously for a really long time, and there's a lot that can be done there. But I could imagine a day when the entire energy mix is fueled by renewable energy sources, and then all of the hydrocarbon products'--consumable plastics, the fuels that you need for long-term energy storage and heating your home in the winter'--all of that could be derived from CO2 conversion. And then when that happens, CO2 becomes a way to store renewable energy, in chemical form, over long periods of time, in a stable way. And that's kind of the goal'--to have CO2 be a carrier of energy rather than just being a waste or an emission.
Q: Where did the idea come from?
A: The idea stems from artificial photosynthesis: Whereas nature has been able to take light, CO2, and water and create food, we're looking at ways of engineering devices to take CO2, renewable energy, and water, and reduce that into more value-added products.
Q: How does this technology convert CO2 into fuel?
A: [It's] kind of like a reverse fuel cell. There's a cathode and an anode; at the anode, water is split into protons and oxygen gas, and at the cathode, CO2 is electrochemically reduced to other value-added chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, methane, ethylene. So you are feeding CO2 protons and electrons [from the water and the electricity], and you are electrochemically reducing them.
Q: It sounds like you can make a lot of molecules from this process. How would you decide which ones to produce?
A: We took an economic approach, and looked at all the hydrocarbon fuels which you could potentially make with CO2. Even though [molecules with more carbon atoms] are more energy dense, it takes more energy to make them. So for the current technology that we have, it makes more sense to stick with [molecules with fewer carbon atoms] such as ethylene or carbon monoxide, and then to upgrade those molecules using other processes.
Q: Is this technology ready to use now?
A: The scale-up and the advancements that have been happening in the last couple of years are really quite incredible. In terms of how close we are to industrial impact'--it's really a matter of maybe 5 to 10 years.
Q: What other methods could be used for recycling CO2 in the future?
A: In photocatalysis the driving force is sunlight [rather than electricity]. Biohybrid systems combine something like electrocatalysis or photocatalysis with enzymes or microbes that can upgrade the products of CO2 conversion into finer chemicals. Molecular machines are this idea that we could make molecular-scale factories that can take in CO2, break apart the bonds, and rearrange the atoms all on the atomic scale. That's a really far out and optimistic idea, but '... it may one day be a possibility.
Q: What do you think will decide which technology ultimately wins out?
A: At the end of the day it's always going to be the market'--which technology can get enough industrial sponsorship and acceptance from industry. That's the one that's going to win out, that's the one that'll be implemented at scale, and that's the one the one that'll be competitive. These large energy companies are looking for ways to diversify their portfolios and technology. And this idea '... fits perfectly into what they're skilled at, and it really hedges the bets against becoming irrelevant.
What Should We Make with CO2 and How Can We Make It?: Joule
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:06
Electrochemical Utilization of CO2 to Address the Energy Needs of the FutureAs the standard of living continues to increase around the globe, especially in emerging economies, access to inexpensive and reliable energy sources will be essential to maintain the pace of technological and societal progress. Historically, the cheapest forms of electricity production have relied on the combustion of fossil fuels, resulting in the emission of carbon dioxide. However, the cost of renewable electricity has decreased so much that it is now competitive with electricity production from coal. Also, less carbon-intensive sources such as methane have taken off due to the emergence of fracking.
While low-cost electricity from renewable sources is desirable, the issues of intermittency and grid balancing remain.1x On the Path to SunShot: Emerging Issues and Challenges in Integrating High Levels of Solar into the Electrical Generation and Transmission System. Denholm, P., Clark, K., and O'Connell, M.
Google Scholar See all References,2x Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study. Bloom, A., Townsend, A., Palchak, D., Novacheck, J., King, J., Barrows, C., Ibanez, E., O'Connell, M., Jordan, G., Roberts, B. et al.
Crossref | Google Scholar See all References,3x Western Wind and Solar Integration Study. Bloom, A., Townsend, A., Palchak, D., Novacheck, J., King, J., Barrows, C., Ibanez, E., O'Connell, M., Jordan, G., Roberts, B. et al.
Google Scholar See all References Energy storage is essential to enable even deeper penetration of renewables; to this end, it is important to take renewable electrons directly to fuels. Electrolyzing water to hydrogen is one possible solution that can integrate deeply in the energy and chemical production economy.4x H2 at Scale: Deeply Decarbonizing Our Energy System. Pivovar, B.
Google Scholar See all References The production of liquid fuels that can integrate with the existing transportation system, as well as more complex chemical feedstocks for chemical production would be tremendously beneficial.
The electrochemical conversion of CO2 to fuels and feedstocks'--the CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR)'--is an elegant solution to closing the carbon cycle when it is powered by renewable energy.5x Materials for solar fuels and chemicals. Montoya, J.H., Seitz, L.C., Chakthranont, P., Vojvodic, A., Jaramillo, T.F., and Norskov, J.K. Nat. Mater. 2017 ; 16 : 70''81
Crossref | Scopus (62) | Google Scholar See all References In this process, CO2 is converted to hydrocarbons using water and renewable electricity. From a capital equipment perspective, the systems hold analogy with commercialized hydrogen electrolyzers. As in the case of the net-carbon-neutral H2/H2O couple, the hydrocarbon/CO2 couple is also net carbon neutral when powered by renewables.
Electrochemical transformation of renewable energy into high-energy-density liquid fuels using captured CO2 offers the prospect of long-term, large-scale, seasonal energy storage; and it allows for integration of renewable electricity into the transportation system and in chemical production. A carbon-based strategy has advantages in implementation and logistics; it takes advantage of an expansive already-built infrastructure created for gaseous and liquid fossil fuels.6x The path towards sustainable energy. Chu, S., Cui, Y., and Liu, N. Nat. Mater. 2017 ; 16 : 16''22
Crossref | Scopus (114) | Google Scholar See all References CO2 can be captured from emission point sources using carbon capture technologies. The long-term seasonal storage of renewables holds the potential to increase the adoption of renewable energy sources.
CO2 is a notoriously inert molecule, and catalysts are needed to activate and convert it into higher value products.7x Catalysts and reaction pathways for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. Kortlever, R., Shen, J., Schouten, K.J.P., Calle-Vallejo, F., and Koper, M.T.M. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2015 ; 6 : 4073''4082
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (181) | Google Scholar See all References Major advances in recent years have focused on nanostructured metal and metal-oxide-derived catalysts for the conversion of CO2 to fuels and feedstocks.8x Enhanced electrocatalytic CO2 reduction via field-induced reagent concentration. Liu, M., Pang, Y., Zhang, B., De Luna, P., Voznyy, O., Xu, J., Zheng, X., Dinh, C.T., Fan, F., Cao, C. et al. Nature . 2016 ; 537 : 382''386
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (108) | Google Scholar See all References,9x CO2 reduction at low overpotential on Cu electrodes resulting from the reduction of thick Cu2O films. Li, C.W. and Kanan, M.W. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012 ; 134 : 7231''7234
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (534) | Google Scholar See all References,10x Rational design of efficient palladium catalysts for electroreduction of carbon dioxide to formate. Klinkova, A., De Luna, P., Dinh, C.T., Voznyy, O., Larin, E.M., Kumacheva, E., and Sargent, E.H. ACS Catal. 2016 ; 6 : 8115''8120
Crossref | Scopus (18) | Google Scholar See all References,11x Catalyst electro-redeposition controls morphology and oxidation state for selective carbon dioxide reduction. De Luna, P., Quintero-Bermudez, R., Dinh, C.T., Ross, M.B., Bushuyev, O.S., Todorović, P., Regier, T., Kelley, S.O., Yang, P., and Sargent, E.H. Nat. Catal. 2018 ; 1 : 103''110
Crossref | Google Scholar See all References The most relevant metrics for CO2RR catalysts are the Faradaic efficiency (FE) (the product selectivity of the reaction), the overpotential (the energy beyond the thermodynamically determined reduction potential needed to drive the reaction); and the current density (the rate of reaction).
Different compounds, including hydrocarbons, can be produced via CO2RR depending on the catalyst being utilized. C1 products such as carbon monoxide, methane, and formic acid, C2 products such as ethylene, ethanol, and acetate, and even C3 products such as n-propanol have been directly electrochemically produced from CO2.12x New insights into the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide on metallic copper surfaces. Kuhl, K.P., Cave, E.R., Abram, D.N., and Jaramillo, T.F. Energy Environ. Sci. 2012 ; 5 : 7050''7059
Crossref | Scopus (532) | Google Scholar See all References The limits for CO2RR products have not yet been fully exhausted, with potential for even higher hydrocarbons and more complex chemicals to be synthesized.
This raises the question: Which products should we produce from CO2? In particular, which promise to disrupt the current fossil carbon economy, and which have the greatest chance of widespread implementation? Ultimately, if a chemical could be produced by CO2RR from renewable electrons at a lower cost than conventional chemical synthesis, powerful economic forces will drive innovation in capturing and converting CO2.
What Should We Make Using CO2?Reductive coupling of CO2 to higher-carbon products comes at a substantial energy cost; hence the high energy density of hydrocarbon fuels. While reduction to CO or formic acid only requires two proton-coupled electron transfers, the reduction of CO2 to ethylene or ethanol consumes 12 electrons.13x A review of catalysts for the electroreduction of carbon dioxide to produce low-carbon fuels. Qiao, J., Liu, Y., Hong, F., and Zhang, J. Chem. Soc. Rev. 2014 ; 43 : 631''675
Crossref | PubMed | Google Scholar See all References Moreover, the coupling step poses additional constraints on the reaction, as the reaction intermediates must be present at the surface in close proximity to one another, thus requiring morphological and electronic characteristics from the catalyst.14x Morphology matters: tuning the product distribution of CO2 electroreduction on oxide-derived cu foam catalysts. Dutta, A., Rahaman, M., Luedi, N.C., Mohos, M., and Broekmann, P. ACS Catal. 2016 ; 6 : 3804''3814
Crossref | Scopus (43) | Google Scholar See all References Further, higher kinetic overpotentials are generally needed to produce more complex carbon products. Conventional wisdom supports the production of longer-chain carbon fuels because of the increasing energy density of such compounds with increased chain length; indeed, the present-day chemical fuel infrastructure requires production of long-chain (C4''C12) carbon products. All this suggests that there is a trade-off between energy efficiency, electron intensity, and product selectivity that makes only certain products economically viable. Therefore, the highest priority should be placed on electrosynthesis of the highest gross margin products based on the efficiency of electrical energy transformation. When we examine non-branched alcohols from the point of view of energy density, we note that, while the volumetric and gravimetric energy density increase with chain length, the energy density normalized to the number of electrons transferred decreases (Figure 1Figure 1 A). This trend necessitates that longer-chain compounds must be produced with much higher energy efficiency compared with shorter-chain molecules to achieve similar overall energy storage capacity, which favors the production of simple and small building-block molecules from CO2.
Figure 1 Rationalizing the Choice of Carbon Dioxide Conversion Products
(A) Comparison of energy density and normalized energy density of unbranched alcohols.
(B) Schematic representation of two possible pathways of CO2RR development: synthesis of chemically active building-block molecules versus direct electrosynthesis of long-chain compounds.
Thus, from a fuel (energy storage) perspective, only when any length of a hydrocarbon/alcohol in the reduction reaction step can be produced with same efficiency (akin to insertion polymerization reactions where a monomer adds to a growing macromolecule through an active metal site) should efforts be focused on high-energy-density C4+ fuels. Importantly, state-of-the-art catalysts allow production of C1 products with over 95% FE,8x Enhanced electrocatalytic CO2 reduction via field-induced reagent concentration. Liu, M., Pang, Y., Zhang, B., De Luna, P., Voznyy, O., Xu, J., Zheng, X., Dinh, C.T., Fan, F., Cao, C. et al. Nature . 2016 ; 537 : 382''386
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (108) | Google Scholar See all References and C2 with around 60% FE,15x One-step electrosynthesis of ethylene and ethanol from CO2 in an alkaline electrolyzer. Ma, S., Sadakiyo, M., Luo, R., Heima, M., Yamauchi, M., and Kenis, P.J.A. J. Power Sources . 2016 ; 301 : 219''228
Crossref | Scopus (37) | Google Scholar See all References while C3 production is limited to less than 10% FE.16x Mechanistic insights into the enhanced activity and stability of agglomerated Cu nanocrystals for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to n-propanol. Ren, D., Wong, N.T., Handoko, A.D., Huang, Y., and Yeo, B.S. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2016 ; 7 : 20''24
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (23) | Google Scholar See all References The current approach to electrocatalytic coupling involves a cascade of second-order proton/electron coupling reactions occurring at the surface competing with hydrogen evolution, which reduces FE.7x Catalysts and reaction pathways for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. Kortlever, R., Shen, J., Schouten, K.J.P., Calle-Vallejo, F., and Koper, M.T.M. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2015 ; 6 : 4073''4082
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (181) | Google Scholar See all References The costs for separation of products from a catalyst with poor selectivity, despite high activity, make this prohibitively uncompetitive.17x The technical and energetic challenges of separating (photo)electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction products. Greenblatt, J.B., Miller, D.J., Ager, J.W., Houle, F.A., and Sharp, I.D. Joule . 2018 ; 2 : 381''420
Abstract | Full Text | Full Text PDF | Scopus (0) | Google Scholar See all References Unless a method is developed to produce higher-carbon products selectively and with extraordinarily high FEs, it would be more economical to focus on producing useful building blocks (methanol, CO, ethylene, aldehydes) that can be upgraded in further chemical or electrochemical processes,18x Structure-sensitive electroreduction of acetaldehyde to ethanol on copper and its mechanistic implications for CO and CO2 reduction. Ledezma-Yanez, I., Gallent, E.P., Koper, M.T.M., and Calle-Vallejo, F. Catal. Today . 2016 ; 262 : 90''94
Crossref | Scopus (15) | Google Scholar See all References such as the Fischer-Tropsch or methanol to olefin process.19x A review of advanced catalyst development for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of hydrocarbons from biomass derived syn-gas. Jahangiri, H., Bennett, J., Mahjoubi, P., Wilson, K., and Gu, S. Catal. Sci. Tech. 2014 ; 4 : 2210''2229
Crossref | Google Scholar See all References (Figure 1Figure 1 B) These technologies can be applied to upgrade the building-block renewable chemicals to long-chain hydrocarbons for direct replacements of gasoline, diesel, or jet fuels.
To understand the economic viability of certain target molecules, we performed a simplified techno-economic analysis that considers the costs of CO2, electricity, separation, capital and maintenance, and operation, and the known product selectivity; and that outputs the levelized cost of the chemical produced. Results of this analysis for several target molecules are given in Figure 2Figure 2 . The argument for energy storage can be justified by analyzing the currently achievable combination of crucial performance parameters, FE, and current density (Figure 2Figure 2 B), which suggests a focus on small-molecule C1 and C2 products. Energy conversion efficiency aside, the adoption of any CO2RR to fuel process will ultimately be determined by market forces; and currently these also favor the production of short-chain molecules. Recent analyses point to CO and formic acid as economically viable and atom-economic targets.20x A gross-margin model for defining technoeconomic benchmarks in the electroreduction of CO2. Verma, S., Kim, B., Jhong, H.-R.M., Ma, S., and Kenis, P.J.A. ChemSusChem . 2016 ; 9 : 1972''1979
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (24) | Google Scholar See all References By benchmarking cost parameters to the commercial hydrogen electrolyzers (cost of $500/kW and energy conversion efficiency of 60%), fixing the electricity cost at 2/kWh (expected to be achievable using renewable sources), assuming a CO2 cost of 30$/ton and performing levelized cost calculations, we add ethylene glycol and propanol as economically attractive targets. The cost of CO2, which is sensitive to parameters such as capture expenses, transportation, and, in some countries, taxation, serves as another crucial input parameter for economical CO2RR. The interplay between the costs of electricity and input CO2 on reduction of CO2 to CO can be assessed in Figure 2Figure 2 C. It can be concluded from this preliminary analysis that, even at the current level of CO2RR technology, CO2 reduction could potentially be made economical with access to low-cost renewable electricity. Advances in CO2 reduction to higher value products such as ethylene glycol and propanol holds even greater economic promise.
Figure 2 Techno-economic Analysis of CO2 Electroreduction
(A) Comparison of the cost of various chemicals between the current market price and the levelized cost from CO2 reduction assuming an electrolyzer cost of $500/kW, energy conversion efficiency of 60%, Faradaic efficiency of 90%, electricity cost of 2 /kWh, and CO2 cost of 30$/ton.
(B) Comparison of CO2-derived molecules based on technical parameters of Faradaic efficiency and current density.
(C) Contour plot of economics of CO production based on electricity and CO2 cost.
Need for Greater Understanding of the Basic Science of CO2RRDespite significant advances in the production of C1 products, CO2RR is far from being mastered and fully understood. To date, products such as CO and formate can be produced with an impressive 95+% FE;8x Enhanced electrocatalytic CO2 reduction via field-induced reagent concentration. Liu, M., Pang, Y., Zhang, B., De Luna, P., Voznyy, O., Xu, J., Zheng, X., Dinh, C.T., Fan, F., Cao, C. et al. Nature . 2016 ; 537 : 382''386
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (108) | Google Scholar See all References,21x Partially oxidized atomic cobalt layers for carbon dioxide electroreduction to liquid fuel. Gao, S., Lin, Y., Jiao, X., Sun, Y., Luo, Q., Zhang, W., Li, D., Yang, J., and Xie, Y. Nature . 2016 ; 529 : 68''71
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (247) | Google Scholar See all References methane production is less well understood. Density functional theory can be used to model the reaction and determine the most likely reaction pathway from calculating the interactions between the reaction intermediates and the surface.22x How copper catalyzes the electroreduction of carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels. Peterson, A.A., Abild-Pedersen, F., Studt, F., Rossmeisl, J., and Norskov, J.K. Energy Environ. Sci. 2010 ; 3 : 1311''1315
Crossref | Scopus (536) | Google Scholar See all References,23x CO-CO coupling on Cu facets: coverage, strain and field effects. Sandberg, R.B., Montoya, J.H., Chan, K., and N¸rskov, J.K. Surf. Sci. 2016 ; 654 : 56''62
Crossref | Scopus (11) | Google Scholar See all References,24x Understanding trends in the electrocatalytic activity of metals and enzymes for CO2 reduction to CO. Hansen, H.A., Varley, J.B., Peterson, A.A., and N¸rskov, J.K. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2013 ; 4 : 388''392
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (150) | Google Scholar See all References The most effective catalysts rely on expensive metals, while cheaper catalysts tend to have problems with long-term stability.8x Enhanced electrocatalytic CO2 reduction via field-induced reagent concentration. Liu, M., Pang, Y., Zhang, B., De Luna, P., Voznyy, O., Xu, J., Zheng, X., Dinh, C.T., Fan, F., Cao, C. et al. Nature . 2016 ; 537 : 382''386
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (108) | Google Scholar See all References The task of producing C2 products is even more complex. Despite some encouraging results, such as 50%''60% C2 products reported in several papers,14x Morphology matters: tuning the product distribution of CO2 electroreduction on oxide-derived cu foam catalysts. Dutta, A., Rahaman, M., Luedi, N.C., Mohos, M., and Broekmann, P. ACS Catal. 2016 ; 6 : 3804''3814
Crossref | Scopus (43) | Google Scholar See all References,15x One-step electrosynthesis of ethylene and ethanol from CO2 in an alkaline electrolyzer. Ma, S., Sadakiyo, M., Luo, R., Heima, M., Yamauchi, M., and Kenis, P.J.A. J. Power Sources . 2016 ; 301 : 219''228
Crossref | Scopus (37) | Google Scholar See all References C2+ production is still nascent; crucial intermediates and reaction pathway branches of the process differ between materials, and are not universally known.25x Identification of possible pathways for C''C bond formation during electrochemical reduction of CO2: new theoretical insights from an improved electrochemical model. Goodpaster, J.D., Bell, A.T., and Head-Gordon, M. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2016 ; 7 : 1471''1477
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (33) | Google Scholar See all References,26x Proton-coupled electron transfer in the electrocatalysis of CO2 reduction: prediction of sequential vs. concerted pathways using DFT. Gottle, A.J. and Koper, M.T.M. Chem. Sci. 2017 ; 8 : 458''465
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Coupling to multi-carbon products requires arrival and adsorption of several CO2 molecules to the surface, stepwise transformation, and spatial positioning. On a macro- or mesostructured catalytic surface, such coupling will necessarily obey statistical constraints.27x Mechanistic explanation of the pH dependence and onset potentials for hydrocarbon products from electrochemical reduction of CO on Cu (111). Xiao, H., Cheng, T., Goddard, W.A., and Sundararaman, R. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016 ; 138 : 483''486
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (41) | Google Scholar See all References Highly selective or quantitative reactions would benefit from perfectly sized compartments (akin to metal-organic framework cavities) and a defined cooperative manner; that is, no reaction will occur until all adsorbed reagent molecules arrive in the reactor. Another possible solution may involve mimicking biological enzymatic processes or metal-catalyzed insertion polymerization processes. Without cooperativity and defined reactor sites, it is unlikely that we will ever reach 99.9% efficiency of transformation, as higher or lower carbon products will be present when the reaction is indiscriminate. A heterogeneous metal surface is unlikely to yield the solution to C2+ product synthesis, since to mimic such a nano-reactor will require preparation of large-area defined multi-metal surfaces with atomic precision. Stochastic mixtures will lack the proper geometric and chemical control, and thus alloys,28x Synergistic geometric and electronic effects for electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide using gold''copper bimetallic nanoparticles. Kim, D., Resasco, J., Yu, Y., Asiri, A.M., and Yang, P. Nat. Commun. 2014 ; 5 : 4948
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (217) | Google Scholar See all References solgels,29x Homogeneously dispersed, multimetal oxygen-evolving catalysts. Zhang, B., Zheng, X., Voznyy, O., Comin, R., Bajdich, M., Garc­a-Melchor, M., Han, L., Xu, J., Liu, M., Zheng, L. et al. Science . 2016 ; 352 : 333''337
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (221) | Google Scholar See all References or any other mixture methods may not yield efficient C3 production. In the next section, we present research into promising technologies that may provide the precise geometric and chemical control to yield C3 products.
Vision for the Future of Fuels and Chemicals from CO2 for the Coming DecadesDespite the ongoing challenges of CO2RR to higher-carbon products, recent advances in the field offer untapped potential for the realization of CO2 transformation. We envisage at least six potentially disruptive CO2 catalytic conversion technologies that are currently topics of intense research (Figure 3Figure 3 ). Some of these technologies are close to commercialization, others are at the benchtop scale, and some have yet to be scientifically proven. We envision a time line for realization on a large scale between 5 and 70+ years. Ours is an optimistic prediction of technology advancement in the future assuming that carbon dioxide conversion remains a topic of widespread interdisciplinary interest and global activity. The specific technologies we have identified are by no means an exhaustive list of the potential viable solutions.
Figure 3 Proposed Timeline of CO2 Utilization Methods
Note the specific time ranges are based on extrapolation of time line development of other disruptive technologies such as the advent of 3D printing, solar energy adoption, and electric vehicle development.
The technologies based on electrochemical conversion of CO2 are closest to commercialization with startup and established companies such as Opus-12, Mitsui Chemicals, Carbon Recycling International, Dioxide Materials, and Carbon Electrocatalytic Recycling Toronto currently leading the pack to monetize the technology.30x See all References As the price of renewable energy continues to decrease, reaching 2 /kWh in some jurisdictions,31x Wind Technologies Market Report 2015. US Department of Energy.
Google Scholar See all References the electrochemical conversion of CO2 becomes more attractive as the electricity cost is the largest expense.
Direct solar to fuel conversion using semiconductor catalysts in gas-phase CO2 reactors are another attractive technology that has seen great advances. These integrated photochemical (PC) systems mimic natural photosynthesis and hold an advantage of mobility afforded by being independent of an electricity source, relying purely on solar radiation to produce fuels.
Biohybrid systems couple inorganic water-splitting catalysts with enzymes or genetically modified bacteria that convert CO2. These systems have potential to utilize natural enzymatic pathways to convert CO2 into a wide range of products. This bioelectrochemical approach has only started to be explored,32x Water splitting''biosynthetic system with CO2 reduction efficiencies exceeding photosynthesis. Liu, C., Col"n, B.C., Ziesack, M., Silver, P.A., and Nocera, D.G. Science . 2016 ; 352 : 1210''1213
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (108) | Google Scholar See all References but holds great promise if key issues such as long-term stability can be solved.
Thermocatalysis in nanoporous materials for the conversion of hydrocarbons has been known for some time and has been industrially implemented. However, nanoporous materials have primarily been explored for capture of CO2 gas as solid sorbents or as supports for thermal catalysis; they have seldom been explored as catalysts for electrochemical conversion of CO2. Tunable porous materials such as metal-organic frameworks have recently been shown to drive electrochemical conversion of CO2 when functionalized with catalytically active sites, albeit to primarily C1 compounds.33x Plasmon-enhanced photocatalytic CO2 conversion within metal''organic frameworks under visible light. Choi, K.M., Kim, D., Rungtaweevoranit, B., Trickett, C.A., Barmanbek, J.T.D., Alshammari, A.S., Yang, P., and Yaghi, O.M. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017 ; 139 : 356''362
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (42) | Google Scholar See all References,34x The role of reticular chemistry in the design of CO2 reduction catalysts. Diercks, C.S., Liu, Y., Cordova, K.E., and Yaghi, O.M. Nat. Mater. 2018 ;
Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (0) | Google Scholar See all References
Two promising technologies that have not yet been realized for CO2 conversion include polymerization chemistry such as chain insertion catalysts using activated CO2 and molecular machines for dynamic CO2 catalysis. The ability to use CO2 as a monomeric unit directly would be transformative in the production of consumer goods, and allow for the sequestration of gaseous CO2 into solid products. Molecular machines are made up of rotating ring units around rigid struts in porous materials such as metal-organic frameworks; the ability to mechanically control the movement of molecules at the atomic level has the potential to unlock artificial molecular factories not dissimilar to enzymes.
The future of energy and carbon utilization hinges on the fundamental discovery of materials and catalysts that efficiently and selectively convert CO2. Here, we have presented a preliminary techno-economic analysis that shows the promise of CO2 utilization in the production of chemicals if barriers can be overcome. We have reviewed the currently achievable current densities and FEs of various chemicals. Finally, we have proposed several rapidly progressing catalytic processes that have the potential to provide a disruptive solution to carbon dioxide conversion. With the large number of hydrocarbon molecules that can be made from the CO2 building blocks, the question remains: which products should we pursue and which products should we forego? Our analysis has identified a series of possible target molecules that could be made economically using CO2RR powered by renewable electricity. For energy storage needs, hydrogen, methane, and ethane are all excellent fuels. In addition, ethylene and ethanol are versatile CO2-derived chemical feedstocks. We pose the question whether there exists a niche for C3+ products considering the difficulties that are likely to be faced? Is there a catalytic method yet to be realized that will efficiently, selectively, and consistently convert CO2 into complex molecules? We are unsure, but we are excited to find out.
War on Weed
People Are Bleeding From Their Eyes and Ears After Smoking Synthetic Pot in Illinois
Sat, 31 Mar 2018 04:11
Stay far, far away from synthetic pot products.Photo: Kelley McCall (AP Photo)
It's a sentence that just about sums up 2018 so far: Illinois is dealing with an outbreak of synthetic weed that makes its users bleed from their eyes and ears.
On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported that since March 7, at least 22 people have developed severe bleeding soon after taking synthetic pot products. The bleeding has not only occurred from their eyes and ears, but from their noses and gums as well. Patients have also vomited up and urinated blood, experienced large, unexplainable bruises, and had extremely heavy menstrual bleeding.
There's been no single product tied to all the cases, though the majority of patients recalled buying their products from dealers, stores, and friends around the Chicago area. As of yet, there have been no reported deaths.
''Despite the perception that synthetic cannabinoids are safe and a legal alternative to marijuana, many are illegal and can cause severe illness,'' said Nirav D. Shah, director of the IDPH, in a statement this week. ''The recent cases of severe bleeding are evidence of the harm synthetic cannabinoids can cause.''
Manufacturers of these products either spray chemicals believed to mimic the high of conventional marijuana onto smokable herbs or sell the mixtures in a liquid form that can be vaped. The products, packaged as Spice, K2, or a hundred other names, contain an unregulated and ever-changing cocktail of chemicals that can lead to widely different experiences for users.
Leaving aside the Ebola-like trips from hell seen with these recent cases, users have reported psychotic effects, including extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Others have died.
With the federal and state governments scrambling to ban the ingredients commonly found in these products, manufacturers have continuously formulated new, untested combinations of cannabinoids, a 2015 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted.
At this point, though, there's still no concrete answer as to how exactly the pot products are causing the bleeding. An earlier report by the IDPH speculated that something in them seems to behave like a ''superwarfarin'''--referencing the commonly used blood thinner'--by quickly blocking the effects of vitamin K in the body. What's scary is that these sorts of blood thinners take a long time to flush out of the system, meaning the bleeding episodes will likely last a while. Already, the IDPH reports, some patients have been readmitted to a hospital after suffering a relapse.
The IDPH has not immediately responded to a request for comment from Gizmodo.
In response to the outbreak, the agency has warned coroners, schools, and hospitals to remain on the lookout for more cases. It has also advised pharmacies to stock up on their supplies of vitamin K, which potentially could be used to treat a patient suffering from excess bleeding.
People who have purchased these products in the past month should avoid using them, the IDPH says, and any users who experience symptoms of severe bleeding or unexplained bruising should immediately have someone take them to the hospital or call 911.
[Illinois Department of Public Health]
Repeal the 2nd
Twenty-first Amendment - U.S. Constitution - FindLaw
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:39
Amendment Text | Annotations
Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress. Effect of Repeal
21st Amendment AnnotationsThe operative effect of Sec. 1, repealing the Eighteenth Amendment, is considered in the commentary dealing with that Amendment.
Scope of Regulatory Power Conferred upon the States
Discrimination as Between Domestic and Imported Products.--In a series of interpretive decisions rendered shortly after ratification of this Amendment, the Court established the proposition that States are competent to adopt legislation discriminating against imported intoxicating liquors in favor of those of domestic origin and that such discrimination offends neither the commerce clause of Article I nor the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Thus, in State Board of Equalization v. Young's Market Co., 1 a California statute was upheld which exacted a $500 annual license fee for the privilege of importing beer from other States and a $750 fee for the privilege of manufacturing beer; and in Mahoney v. Triner Corp., 2 a Minnesota statute was sustained which prohibited a licensed manufacturer or wholesaler from importing any brand of intoxicating liquor containing more than 25 percent alcohol by volume and ready for sale without further processing, unless such brand was registered in the United States Patent Office. Also validated in Brewing Co. v. Liquor Comm'n 3 and Finch & Co. v. McKittrick 4 were retaliation laws enacted by Michigan and Missouri, respectively, by the terms of which sales in each of these States of beer manufactured in a State already discriminating against beer produced in Michigan or Missouri were rendered unlawful.
Conceding, in State Board of Equalization v. Young's Market Co., 5 that ''prior to the Twenty-first Amendment it would obviously have been unconstitutional to have imposed any fee for . . . the privilege of importation . . . even if the State had exacted an equal fee for the privilege of transporting domestic beer from its place of manufacture to the [seller's] place of business,'' the Court proclaimed that this Amendment ''abrogated the right to import free, so far as concerns intoxicating liquors.'' Inasmuch as the States were viewed as having acquired therefrom an unconditioned authority to prohibit totally the importation of intoxicating beverages, it logically followed that any discriminatory restriction falling short of total exclusion was equally valid, notwithstanding the absence of any connection between such restriction and public health, safety or morals. As to the contention that the unequal treatment of imported beer would contravene the equal protection clause, the Court succinctly observed that a ''classification recognized by the Twenty-first Amendment cannot be deemed forbidden by the Fourteenth.'' 6
In Seagram & Sons v. Hostetter 7 a case involving a state statute regulating the price of intoxicating liquors, the Court upheld the statute, asserting that the Twenty-first Amendment bestowed upon the States broad regulatory power over the liquor sales within their territories. 8 It was also noted that States are not totally bound by traditional commerce clause limitations when they restrict the importation of toxicants destined for use, distribution, or consumption within their borders. 9 In such a situation the Twenty- first Amendment demands wide latitude for regulation by the State. 10 The Court added that there was nothing in the Twenty-first Amendment or any other part of the Constitution that required state laws regulating the liquor business to be motivated exclusively by a desire to promote temperance. 11
Recent cases have undercut the expansive interpretation of state powers in the Young's Market and Triner Corp. cases. Twenty-first Amendment and Commerce Clause principles are to be harmonized where possible. The Court now phrases the question in terms of ''whether the interests implicated by a state regulation are so closely related to the powers reserved by the Twenty-first Amendment that the regulation may prevail, notwithstanding that its requirements directly conflict with express federal policies.'' 12 ''[T]he central power reserved by Sec. 2 of the Twenty-first Amendment [is] that of exercising 'control over whether to permit importation or sale of liquor and how to structure the liquor distribution system.''' 13 Because ''[t]he central purpose of the [Amendment] was not to empower States to favor local liquor industries by erecting barriers to competition,'' the ''central tenet'' of the Commerce Clause will control to invalidate ''mere economic protectionism,'' at least where the state cannot justify its tax or regulation as ''designed to promote temperance or to carry out any other purpose of the . . . Amendment.'' 14
Regulation of Transportation and ''Through'' Shipments.--When passing upon the constitutionality of legislation regulating the carriage of liquor interstate, a majority of the Justices seemed disposed to by-pass the Twenty-first Amendment and to resolve the issue exclusively in terms of the commerce clause and state power. This trend toward devaluation of the Twenty-first Amendment was set in motion by Ziffrin, Inc. v. Reeves 15 wherein a Kentucky statute, forbidding the transportation of intoxicating liquors by carriers other than licensed common carriers, was enforced as to an Indiana corporation, engaged in delivering liquor obtained from Kentucky distillers to consignees in Illinois but licensed only as a contract carrier under the Federal Motor Carriers Act. After acknowledging that ''the Twenty-first Amendment sanctions the right of a State to legislate concerning intoxicating liquors brought from without, unfettered by the Commerce Clause,'' 16 the Court then proceeded to found its ruling largely upon decisions antedating the Amendment which sustained similar state regulations as a legitimate exercise of the police power not unduly burdening interstate commerce. In the light of the cases enumerated in the preceding paragraph, wherein the Twenty-first Amendment was construed as according a plenary power to the States, such extended emphasis on the police power and the commerce clause would seem to have been unnecessary. Thereafter, a total eclipse of the Twenty- first Amendment was recorded in Duckworth v. Arkansas 17 and Carter v. Virginia, 18 wherein, without even considering that Amendment, a majority of the Court upheld, as not contravening the commerce clause, statutes regulating the transport through the State of liquor cargoes originating and ending outside the regulating State's boundaries. 19
Regulation of Imports Destined for a Federal Area.--Intoxicating beverages brought into a State for ultimate delivery at a National Park located therein but over which the United States retained exclusive jurisdiction has been construed as not constituting ''transportation . . . into [a] State for delivery and use therein'' within the meaning of Sec. 2 of the Amendment. The importation having had as its objective delivery and use in a federal area over which the State retained no jurisdiction, the increased powers which the State acquired from the Twenty-first Amendment were declared to be inapplicable. California therefore could not extend the importation license and other regulatory requirements of its Al coholic Beverage Control Act to a retail liquor dealer doing business in the Park. 20 On the other hand, a state may apply nondiscriminatory liquor regulations to sales at federal enclaves under concurrent federal and state jurisdiction, and may require that liquor sold at such federal enclaves be labelled as being restricted for use only within the enclave. 21
Foreign Imports, Exports; Taxation, Regulation.--The Twenty- first Amendment did not repeal the export-import clause, Art. I, Sec. 10, cl. 2, nor obliterate the commerce clause, Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 3. Accordingly, a State cannot tax imported Scotch whiskey while it remains ''in unbroken packages in the hands of the original importer and prior to [his] resale or use'' thereof. 22 Likewise, New York is precluded from terminating the business of an airport dealer who, under sanction of federal customs laws, acquired ''tax-free liquors for export'' from out-of-state sources for resale exclusively to airline passengers, with delivery deferred until the latter arrive at foreign destinations. 23 Similarly, a state ''affirmation law'' prohibiting wholesalers from charging lower prices on out-of-state sales than those already approved for in-state sales is invalid as a direct regulation of interstate commerce. ''The Commerce Clause operates with full force whenever one State attempts to regulate the transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages destined for distribution and consumption in a foreign country . . . or another State.'' 24
Effect of Section 2 upon Other Constitutional Provisions.-- Nothwithstanding the 1936 assertion that ''[a] classification recognized by the Twenty-first Amendment cannot be deemed forbidden by the Fourteenth,'' 25 the Court has now in a series of cases acknowledged that Sec. 2 of the Twenty-first Amendment did not repeal provisions of the Constitution adopted before ratification of the Twenty-first, save for the severe cabining of commerce clause application to the liquor traffic, but it has formulated no consistent rationale for a determination of the effect of the later provision upon earlier ones. In Craig v. Boren, 26 the Court invalidated a state law that prescribed different minimum drinking ages for men and women as violating the equal protection clause. To the State's Twenty-first Amendment argument, the Court replied that the Amendment ''primarily created an exception to the normal operation of the Commerce Clause'' and that its ''relevance . . . to other constitutional provisions'' is doubtful. '''Neither the text nor the history of the Twenty-first Amendment suggests that it qualifies individual rights protected by the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment where the sale or use of liquor is concerned.''' 27 The square holding on this point is ''that the operation of the Twenty-first Amendment does not alter the application of the equal protection standards that would otherwise govern this case.'' 28 Other decisions reach the same result but without discussing the application of the Amendment. 29 Similarly, a state ''may not exercise its power under the Twenty-first Amendment in a way which impinges upon the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.'' 30
The Court departed from this line of reasoning in California v. LaRue. Supp.1 There, the Court sustained the facial constitutionality of regulations barring a lengthy list of actual or simulated sexual activities and motion picture portrayals of these activities in establishments licensed to sell liquor by the drink. In an action attacking the validity of the regulations as applied to ban nude dancing in bars, the Court considered at some length the material adduced at the public hearings which resulted in the rules demonstrating the anti-social consequences of the activities in the bars. It conceded that the regulations reached expression that would not be deemed legally obscene under prevailing standards and reached expressive conduct that would not be prohibitable under prevailing standards, 32 but the Court thought that the constitutional protection of conduct that partakes ''more of gross sexuality than of communication'' was outweighed by the State's interest in maintaining order and decency. Moreover, the Court continued, the second section of the Twenty-first Amendment gave an ''added presumption in favor of the validity'' of the regulations as applied to prohibit questioned activities in places serving liquor by the drink. 33
A much broader ruling was forthcoming when the Court considered the constitutionality of a state regulation banning topless dancing in bars. ''Pursuant to its power to regulate the sale of liquor within its boundaries, it has banned topless dancing in establishments granted a license to serve liquor. The State's power to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages entirely includes the lesser power to ban the sale of liquor on premises where topless dancing occurs.'' 34 This recurrence to the greater-includes-the-lesser-power argument, relatively rare in recent years, 35 would if it were broadly applied give the States in the area of regulation of alcoholic beverages a review-free discretion of unknown scope. In 44 Liquormart, Inc. v. Rhode Island, Supp.2 the Court disavowed LaRue and Bellanca, and reaffirmed that, ''although the Twenty-first Amendment limits the effect of the dormant Commerce Clause on a state's regulatory power over the delivery or use of intoxicating beverages within its borders, 'the Amendment does not license the States to ignore their obligations under other provisions of the Constitution,' '' Supp.3 and therefore does not afford a basis for state legislation infringing freedom of expression protected by the First Amendment. There is no reason, the Court asserted, for distinguishing between freedom of expression and the other constitutional guarantees (e.g., those protected by the Establishment and Equal Protection Clauses) held to be insulated from state impairment pursuant to powers conferred by the Twenty-first Amendment. The Court hastened to add by way of dictum that states retain adequate police powers to regulate ''grossly sexual exhibitions in premises licensed to serve alcoholic beverages.'' 'Entirely apart from the Twenty-first Amendment, the State has ample power to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages in inappropriate locations.'' Supp.4
Effect on Federal Regulation
The Twenty-first Amendment of itself did not, it was held, bar a prosecution under the Sherman Antitrust Act of producers, wholesalers, and retailers charged with conspiring to fix and maintain retail prices of alcoholic beverages in Colorado. 36 In a concur ring opinion, supported by Justice Roberts, Justice Frankfurter took the position that if the State of Colorado had in fact ''authorized the transactions here complained of, the Sherman Law could not override such exercise of state power. . . . [Since] the Sherman Law . . . can have no greater potency than the Commerce Clause itself, it must equally yield to state power drawn from the Twenty-first Amendment.'' 37
Following a review of the cases in this area, the Court has observed ''that there is no bright line between federal and state powers over liquor. The Twenty-first Amendment grants the States virtually complete control over whether to permit importation or sale of liquor and how to structure the liquor distribution system. Although States retain substantial discretion to establish other liquor regulations, those controls may be subject to the federal commerce power in appropriate situations. The competing state and federal interests can be reconciled only after careful scrutiny of those concerns in a 'concrete case.''' 38 Invalidating under the Sherman Act a state fair trade scheme imposing a resale price maintenance policy for wine, the Court balanced the federal interest in free enterprise expressed through the antitrust laws against the asserted state interests in promoting temperance and orderly marketing conditions. Since the state courts had found the policy under attack promoted neither interest signficantly, the Supreme Court experienced no difficulty in concluding that the federal interest prevailed. Whether more substantial state interests or means more suited to promoting the state interests would survive attack under federal legislation must await further litigation.
Congress may condition receipt of federal highway funds on a state's agreeing to raise the minimum drinking age to 21, the Twenty- first Amendment not constituting an ''independent constitutional bar'' to this sort of spending power exercise even though Congress may lack the power to achieve its purpose directly. 39
Footnotes
[Footnote 1] 299 U.S. 59 (1936).
[Footnote 2] 304 U.S. 401 (1938).
[Footnote 3] 305 U.S. 391 (1939).
[Footnote 4] 305 U.S. 395 (1939).
[Footnote 5] 299 U.S. 59, 62 (1936).
[Footnote 6] Id. at 63-64. In the three decisions rendered subsequently, the Court merely restated these conclusions. The contention that discriminatory regulation of imported liquors violated the due process clause was summarily rejected in Brewing Co. v. Liquor Comm'n, 305 U.S. 391, 394 (1939).
[Footnote 7] 384 U.S. 35 (1966).
[Footnote 8] Id. at 42. See United States v. Frankfort Distilleries, 324 U.S. 293, 299 (1945) and Nippert v. Richmond, 327 U.S. 416, 425 (1946).
[Footnote 9] Id. at 384 U.S. 35 . See, e.g. Hostetter v. Idlewild Liquor Corp., 377 U.S. 324, 330 (1964) and State Bd. of Equalization v. Young's Market Co., 299 U.S. 59 (1936).
[Footnote 10] 384 U.S. at 35 . The Court went on to assert that it was not deciding then whether the mode of liquor regulation chosen by a State in such circumstances could ever constitute so grave an interference with a company's operations elsewhere as to make the regulation invalid under the commerce clause. Id. at 42-43.
[Footnote 11] Id. at 47.
[Footnote 12] Capital Cities Cable, Inc. v. Crisp, 467 U.S. 691, 714 (1984).
[Footnote 13] 467 U.S. at 715 (quoting California Retail Liquor Dealers Ass'n. v. Midcal Aluminum, Inc., 445 U.S. 97, 110 (1980)).
[Footnote 14] Bacchus Imports, Ltd., v. Dias, 468 U.S. 263, 276 (1984). See also Brown-Forman Distillers Corp. v. New York State Liquor Auth., 476 U.S. 573 (1986) (attempt to regulate prices of out-of-state sales); Capital Cities Cable, Inc. v. Crisp, 467 U.S. 691 (1984) (state's limited interest in banning wine commercials carried on cable TV while permitting various other forms of liquor advertisement is outweighed by federal interest in promoting access to cable TV); and 324 Liquor Corp. v. Duffy, 479 U.S. 335 (1987) (retail price maintenance in violation of Sherman Act).
[Footnote 15] 308 U.S. 132 (1939).
[Footnote 16] Id. at 138.
[Footnote 17] 314 U.S. 390 (1941).
[Footnote 18] 321 U.S. 131 (1944). See also Cartlidge v. Raincey, 168 F.2d 841 (5th Cir. 1948), cert. denied, 335 U.S. 885 (1948).
[Footnote 19] Arkansas required a permit for the transportation of liquor across its territory, but granted the same upon application and payment of a nominal fee. Virginia required carriers engaged in similar through- shipments to use the most direct route, carry a bill of lading describing that route, and post a $1000 bond conditioned on lawful transportation; and also stipulated that the true consignee be named in the bill of lading and be one having the legal right to receive the shipment at destination.
[Footnote 20] Collins v. Yosemite Park Co., 304 U.S. 518, 537 -38 (1938). The principle was reaffirmed in United States v. Mississippi Tax Comm'n, 412 U.S. 363 (1973), holding that Mississippi could not apply its tax regulations to liquor sold to military officers' clubs and other nonappropriated fund activities located on bases within the State and over which the United States had obtained exclusive jurisdiction. ''Absent an appropriate express reservation . . . the Twenty-first Amendment confers no power on a State to regulate--whether by licensing, taxation, or otherwise--the importation of distilled spirits into territory over which the United States exercises exclusive jurisdiction.'' Id. 375. Nor may states tax importation of liquor for sale at bases over which the United States exercises concurrent jurisdiction only. United States v. Mississippi Tax Comm'n, 421 U.S. 599 (1975).
[Footnote 21] North Dakota v. United States, 495 U.S. 423 (1990) (also upholding application to federal enclaves of a uniform requirement that shipments into the state be reported to state officials).
[Footnote 22] Department of Revenue v. Beam Distillers, 377 U.S. 341 (1964). The Court distinguished Gordon v. Texas, 355 U.S. 369 (1958) and De Bary v. Louisiana, 227 U.S. 108 (1913).
[Footnote 23] Hostetter v. Idlewild Liquor Corp., 377 U.S. 324 (1964).
[Footnote 24] Brown-Forman Distillers Corp. v. New York State Liquor Auth., 476 U.S. 573, 585 (1986) (citation omitted). Accord, Healy v. Beer Institute, 491 U.S. 324 (1989).
[Footnote 25] State Bd. of Equalization v. Young's Market Co., 299 U.S. 59, 64 (1936). In Craig v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190, 206 -07 (1976), this case and others like it are distinguished as involving the importation of intoxicants into a State, an area of increased state regulatory power, and as involving purely economic regulation traditionally meriting only restrained review. Neither distinguishing element, of course, addresses the precise language quoted. For consideration of equal protection analysis in an analogous situation, the statutory exemption of state insurance regulations from commerce clause purview, see Western & Southern Life Ins. Co. v. State Bd. of Equalization, 451 U.S. 648, 655 - 74 (1981).
[Footnote 26] 429 U.S. 190 (1976).
[Footnote 27] Id. at 206 (quoting P. Brest, Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking--Cases and Materials 258 (1975).
[Footnote 28] Id. at 209-10.
[Footnote 29] E.g., Moose Lodge No. 107 v. Irvis, 407 U.S. 163, 178 -97 (1972) (invalidating a state liquor regulation as an equal protection denial in a racial context); Wisconsin v. Constantineau, 400 U.S. 433 (1971) (invalidating a state law authorizing the posting of someone as an ''excessive drinker'' and thus barring him from buying liquor, as reconstrued in Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, 707 -09 (1976)).
[Footnote 30] Larkin v. Grendel's Den, Inc., 459 U.S. 116, 122 n.5 (1982).
[Footnote 1 (1996 Supplement)] 409 U.S. 109 (1972).
[Footnote 31] Deleted in 1996 Supplement.
[Footnote 32] Cf. Schad v. Borough of Mount Ephraim, 452 U.S. 61 (1981) (ban on live nude dancing in Borough); Doran v. Salem Inn, 422 U.S. 922 (1975) (ban on nude dancing in ''any public place'' applied to topless dancing in bars).
[Footnote 33] 409 U.S. at 114 -19. In Doran v. Salem Inn, 422 U.S. 922, 932 -33 (1975), the Court described its holding in LaRue more broadly, saying that ''we concluded that the broad powers of the States to regulate the sale of liquor, conferred by the Twenty-first Amendment, outweighed any First Amendment interest in nude dancing and that a State could therefore ban such dancing as part of its liquor license control program.''
[Footnote 34] New York State Liquor Auth. v. Bellanca, 452 U.S. 714, 717 (1981).
[Footnote 35] For a rejection of the argument in another context, contemporaneously with Bellanca, see Western & Southern Life Ins. Co. v. State Bd. of Equalization, 451 U.S. 648, 657 -68 (1981). And for utilization of the argument in the commercial speech context, see Posadas de Puerto Rico Associates v. Tourism Co. of Puerto Rico, 478 U.S. 328, 345 -46 (1986). But see Capital Cities Cable, Inc. v. Crisp, 467 U.S. 691 (1984), not addressing the commercial speech issue but holding state regulation of liquor advertisements on cable TV to be preempted, in spite of the Twenty-first Amendment, by federal policies promoting access to cable TV).
[Footnote 2 (1996 Supplement)] 116 S. Ct. 1495 (1996) (statutory prohibition against advertisements that provide the public with accurate information about retail prices of alcoholic beverages is not shielded from constitutional scrutiny by the Twenty-first Amendment).
[Footnote 3 (1996 Supplement)] Id. at 1514 (quoting Capital Cities Cable, Inc., v. Crisp, 467 U.S. 691, 712 (1984)).
[Footnote 4 (1996 Supplement)] Id.
[Footnote 36] United States v. Frankfurt Distilleries, 324 U.S. 293, 297 - 99 (1945).
[Footnote 37] Id. at 301-02. For application of federal laws, see William Jameson & Co. v. Morgenthau, 307 U.S. 171 (1939); Kiefer-Stewart Co. v. Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, 340 U.S. 211 (1951); Schwegmann Bros. v. Calvert Corp., 341 U.S. 384 (1951); Joseph E. Seagram & Sons v. Hostetter, 384 U.S. 35 (1966); Burke v. Ford, 389 U.S. 320 (1967).
[Footnote 38] California Retail Liquor Dealers Ass'n v. Midcal Aluminum, 445 U.S. 97, 110 (1980).
[Footnote 39] South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203, 210 (1987).
Tenth Amendment Center | Repeal of the 2nd Amendment would not Abolish any Right
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:39
Following the recent school shooting in Connecticut, American citizens have once again displayed their total ignorance concerning the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Second Amendment. Facebook postings, comments to so-called news articles and letters to the editor are calling for repeal of the Second Amendment. These individuals believe the right to own a firearm is based on the Second Amendment and the right will vanish if the Amendment can be repealed. Unless the Second Amendment created the right, then repeal of the Amendment cannot constitutionally abolish the right.
Following the Federal [Constitutional] Convention of 1787 and the subsequent ratification of the Constitution in 1788, the several States began submitting amendments to Congress for consideration. By September of 1789, Congress had reduced approximately 210 separate amendments to 12. The amendments were inserted into a congressional resolution and submitted to the several States for consideration. Of these, numbers 2-12 were ratified by the States in 1791 and became the so-called Bill of Rights.
A little known fact about this resolution is that it contained a preamble declaring the purpose of the proposed amendments. Most modern editions of the Bill of Rights either do not contain the preamble or only include the last paragraph. The most important paragraph is the first one because it discloses the intent of the proposed amendments.
A review of this paragraph shows that the sole purpose of the proposed amendments was to prevent the federal government from ''misconstruing or abusing its powers.'' To accomplish this, ''further declaratory and restrictive clauses'' were being proposed. The amendments, if adopted, would place additional restraints or limitations on the powers of the federal government to prevent that government from usurping its constitutional powers. Every clause of the Bill of Rights, without exception, is either a declaratory statement or a restrictive provision.
If the Bill of Rights had granted rights, then the word ''granted'' would have to appear each and every time a right was being established. A review of the Bill of Rights shows that the word ''granted'' does not appear in any Amendment.
In reality, the Bill of Rights placed additional or secondary restraints on the powers of the federal government concerning the rights of the people and powers reserved to the States. That is why the words ''no,'' ''not'' and ''nor'' appear throughout the Amendments instead of the word ''granted.''
Since the Second Amendment did not create or grant any right concerning firearms, the right enumerated in the Amendment has to be an existing right separate from the Amendment. Thus, repealing the Second Amendment would not eliminate any right because the right enumerated in the Amendment was not created by the Amendment. The right to keep and bear arms exists independent of the Constitution or the Second Amendment.
In order to help explain this constitutional principle, I reluctantly decided to reference a United States Supreme Court case from 1875. Normally, I would not cite a court case to support a constitutional principle because too many opinions do not reflect the true intent of the Framers. However, I decided to make an exception because this decision states this constitutional principle clearly and concisely and has never been overturned.
In the case of United States v Cruikshank, the United States Supreme Court held that the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights were not granted by the Amendments and are not dependent upon the Constitution for their existence. The Court also ruled that the Amendments were restraints on the powers of the federal government and it is the duty of States to secure the individual rights of the American people.
One of the most definitive and succinct interpretations of the Second Amendment is found in the Court's second holding:
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''The right there specified is that of 'bearing arms for a lawful purpose.' This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second Amendment declares that it shall not be infringed: but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress. This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the National [Federal] Government'...''
The Second Amendment did not create or grant any right to keep and bear arms. It placed an additional restraint on the powers of the federal government concerning the existing right to keep and bear arms. Thus, all a repeal could do, from a federal standpoint, is remove the secondary restraint imposed on federal power by the Amendment. And since many States have a right to keep and bear arms clause in their constitution, separate and apart from the Federal Constitution or the Second Amendment, the existence or non-existence of the Second Amendment would not affect the right because the federal government was not granted and does not have the general power to abolish a natural or individual right secured by a State Constitution.
Note : There is a school of thought that the Fourteenth Amendment made, through a doctrine known as incorporation, the Second Amendment applicable to the individual States. Since the Second Amendment did not create a right, then repeal of the Amendment could not abolish the right in the individual States through the Fourteenth Amendment.
Bob GreensladeBob Greenslade [send him email] has been writing for www.thepriceofliberty.org since 2003.Bob focuses his writing on issues surrounding the federal government and the Constitution. He believes politicians at the federal level, through ignorance or design, are systematically dismantling the Constitution in an effort to expand their power and consolidate control over the American people. He has dedicated himself to resurrecting the true intent of the Constitution in the hope that the information will contribute, in some small way, to restoring the system of limited government established by the Constitution.Latest posts by Bob Greenslade (see all) The 10th Amendment
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Eighteenth Amendment - U.S. Constitution - FindLaw
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:39
Amendment Text | Annotations
Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
18th Amendment AnnotationsValidity of Adoption
Cases relating to this question are presented and discussed under Article V.
Enforcement
Cases produced by enforcement and arising under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments are considered in the discussion appearing under the those Amendments.
Repeal
This Amendment was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment, and titles I and II of the National Prohibition Act 1 were subsequently specifically repealed by the act of August 27, 1935, 2 federal prohibition laws effective in various Districts and Territories were repealed as follows: District of Columbia--April 5, 1933, and January 24, 1934; 3 Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands--March 2, 1934; 4 Hawaii--March 26, 1934; 5 and Panama Canal Zone--June 19, 1934. 6
Taking judicial notice of the fact that ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment was consummated on December 5, 1933, the Supreme Court held that the National Prohibition Act, insofar as it rested upon a grant of authority to Congress by the Eighteenth Amendment, thereupon become inoperative, with the result that prosecutions for violations of the National Prohibition Act, including proceedings on appeal, pending on, or begun after, the date of repeal, had to be dismissed for want of jurisdiction. Only final judgments of conviction rendered while the National Prohibition Act was in force remained unaffected. 7 Likewise a heavy ''special excise tax,'' insofar as it could be construed as part of the machinery for enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment, was deemed to have become inapplicable automatically upon the latter's repeal. 8 However, liability on a bond conditioned upon the return on the day of trial of a vessel seized for illegal transportation of liquor was held not to have been extinguished by repeal when the facts disclosed that the trial took place in 1931 and had resulted in conviction of the crew. The liability became complete upon occurrence of the breach of the express contractual condition and a civil action for recovery was viewed as unaffected by the loss of penal sanctions. 9
Footnotes
[Footnote 1] Ch. 85, 41 Stat. 305.
[Footnote 2] Ch. 740, 49 Stat. 872.
[Footnote 3] Ch. 19, 48 Stat. 25; ch. 4, 48 Stat. 319.
[Footnote 4] Ch. 37, 48 Stat. 361.
[Footnote 5] Ch. 88, 48 Stat. 467.
[Footnote 6] Ch. 657, 48 Stat. 1116.
[Footnote 7] United States v. Chambers, 291 U.S. 217, 222 -26 (1934). See also Ellerbee v. Aderhold, 5 F. Supp. 1022 (N.D. Ga. 1934); United States ex rel. Randall v. United States Marshal for Eastern Dist. of New York, 143 F.2d 830 (2d Cir. 1944). The Twenty-first Amendment containing ''no saving clause as to prosecutions for offenses therefore committed,'' these holdings were rendered unavoidable by virtue of the well-established principle that after ''the expiration or repeal of a law, no penalty can be enforced, nor punishment inflicted, for violations of the law committed while it was in force. . . .'' The General Pinkney, 9 U.S. (5 Cr.) 281, 283 (1809), quoted in United States v. Chambers, supra, 291 U.S. at 223 .
[Footnote 8] United States v. Constantine, 296 U.S. 287 (1935). The Court also took the position that even if the statute embodying this ''tax'' had not been ''adopted to penalize violations of the Amendment,'' but merely to obtain a penalty for violations of State liquor laws, ''it ceased to be enforceable at the date of repeal,'' for with the lapse of the unusual enforcement powers contained in the Eighteenth Amendment, Congress could not, without infringing upon powers reserved to the States by the Tenth Amendment, ''impose cumulative penalties above and beyond those specified by State law for infractions of . . . [a] State's criminal code by its own citizens.'' Justice Cardozo, with whom Justices Brandeis and Stone were associated, dissented on the ground that, on its face, the statute levying this ''tax'' was ''an appropriate instrument of . . . fiscal policy. . . . Classification by Congress according to the nature of the calling affected by a tax . . . does not cease to be permissible because the line of division between callings to be favored and those to be reproved corresponds with a division between innocence and criminality under the statutes of a state.'' Id. 294, 296, 297-98. In earlier cases it was nevertheless recognized that Congress also may tax what it forbids and that the basic tax on distilled spirits remained valid and enforceable during as well as after the life of the Amendment. See United States v. Yuginovich, 256 U.S. 450, 462 (1921); United States v. Stafoff, 260 U.S. 477 (1923); United States v. Rizzo, 297 U.S. 530 (1936).
[Footnote 9] United States v. Mack, 295 U.S. 480 (1935).
Net Neutralitiy
Netflix Names Ambassador Susan Rice to Board of Directors | Hollywood Reporter
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 13:17
9:05 AM PDT 3/28/2018 by Paul Bond
Netflix has added Obama administration official Susan Rice to its board of directors.
Rice, 53, was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and served for four years as President Barack Obama's national security advisor, which was when she was thrust into the limelight due to the 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
In the days and weeks following Benghazi, Rice appeared on TV news shows saying that the violence was a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video that insulted Islam, though conservative media maintained that it was a coordinated terrorist attack and that Rice was blaming a video to make it appear that Islamic terrorism was largely a thing of the past under Obama. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham were among those who said Rice was participating in a political cover-up to boost Obama in an election year, and eventually the president acknowledged the attacks on Benghazi were pre-planned terrorism.
Four Americans died in Benghazi, an event memorialized in Michael Bay's 2016 film, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, and some Washington insiders said at the time that Rice's role in the controversy may have cost her an appointment to secretary of state after the resignation of Hillary Clinton, as Obama considered her a top candidate until she withdrew her name from consideration.
''We are delighted to welcome Ambassador Rice to the Netflix board,'' said Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings. ''For decades, she has tackled difficult, complex global issues with intelligence, integrity and insight and we look forward to benefiting from her experience and wisdom.''
Rice was also assistant secretary of state for African affairs under President Bill Clinton; a former Brookings Institute fellow; and she was a foreign policy advisor to Sen. John Kerry when he ran for president in 2004. She is also a contributing opinion writer for TheNew York Times.
''I am thrilled to be joining the board of directors of Netflix, a cutting-edge company whose leadership, high-quality productions, and unique culture I deeply admire,'' said Rice.
Netflix, the $124 billion streaming-media company, boasts nearly 118 million subscribers worldwide who have access to more than 140 million hours' worth of TV shows and movies, including original content like House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Stranger Things and, starting next month, a reboot of the 1960s show Lost in Space.
In midday trading, shares of Netflix were down 4 percent while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up fractionally.
War on Crazy
Apo-Paroxetine - Uses, Side Effects, Interactions - MedBroadcast.com
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 13:20
" Particularly in the first few weeks or when doses
are adjusted, a small number of patients taking drugs of this type may feel
worse instead of better; for example, they may experience unusual feelings of
agitation, hostility or anxiety, or have impulsive or disturbing thoughts such
as thoughts of selfharm or harm to others. Should this happen to you, consult
your doctor immediately; do not discontinue your medication on your own. "
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Paroxetine belongs to the class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia (social anxiety disorder), generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It works by affecting the balance of chemicals in the brain that are associated with depression and anxiety disorders.
It may take several weeks before the full beneficial effects of this medication are felt. Continue taking the medication until you have consulted with your doctor, even if you feel your symptoms are not improving.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
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What form(s) does this medication come in?
10 mg
Each bright yellow, oval, biconvex, film-coated tablet, engraved "APO" on one side and "10" on the other, contains paroxetine HCl equivalent to 10 mg of paroxetine. Nonmedicinal ingredients: anhydrous lactose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol 8000, sodium starch glycolate, titanium dioxide, D&C Yellow No. 10, and FD&C Yellow No. 6.
20 mg
Each pink, oval, biconvex, scored, film-coated tablet, engraved "APO" on one side and scored and engraved "20" on the other, contains paroxetine HCl equivalent to 20 mg of paroxetine. Nonmedicinal ingredients: anhydrous lactose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol 8000, sodium starch glycolate, titanium dioxide, and D&C Red No. 30.
30 mg
Each blue, oval, biconvex, film-coated tablet, engraved "APO" on one side and "30" on the other, contains paroxetine HCl equivalent to 30 mg of paroxetine.Nonmedicinal ingredients: anhydrous lactose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol 8000, sodium starch glycolate, titanium dioxide, and FD&C Blue No. 2.
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How should I use this medication?
For adults being treated for depression, the recommended starting dose is 20 mg taken once daily. This is also the dose that most people find effective. If necessary, your doctor may suggest you increase the dose slowly to a maximum of 50 mg daily.
For people being treated for obsessive-compulsive disorder, the usual starting dose of paroxetine is 20 mg taken once daily. Gradually, your doctor will have you increase the dose to the recommended dose of 40 mg daily. If necessary, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 60 mg daily.
For people being treated for panic disorder, the usual starting dose is 10 mg once daily. It should then be slowly increased to the recommended dose of 40 mg daily. If necessary, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 60 mg daily.
For social phobia (social anxiety disorder), generalized anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder, the starting dose is 20 mg taken once daily. The maximum dose for treating any of these conditions is 50 mg daily.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones given here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
In all cases, this medication is usually taken first thing in the morning. It may be taken with or without food. Swallow the tablet whole '' do not chew or crush it.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take paroxetine if you:
are allergic to paroxetine or any ingredients of the medication
are taking an MAO inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine, moclobemide) or have taken a MAO inhibitor within the past 2 weeks (do not start treatment with an MAO inhibitor until at least 2 weeks after stopping paroxetine treatment)
take the medication pimozide
take the medication thioridazine
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
constipation
decreased appetite
decreased sexual desire or ability
diarrhea
dizziness
drowsiness
dry mouth
headache
increased sweating
increased sensitivity to sun
menstrual period changes
nausea
nervousness
nightmares
tremor
trouble sleeping
unusual tiredness or weakness
vomiting
weight gain
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
agitation
blurred vision
feeling restless
hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren't there)
increased cholesterol levels
low blood pressure (dizziness or fainting when rising from a sitting or lying position)
new or worsening signs of depression (such as feeling sad, losing interest in things you used to enjoy, weight changes, changes in sleep habits, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, thoughts of suicide)
problems with urination
restless legs syndrome (irresistible urge to move the legs)
signs of bleeding (e.g., bloody nose, blood in urine, coughing blood, bleeding gums, cuts that don't stop bleeding)
signs of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools)
skin rash
symptoms of glaucoma (e.g., eye pain, blurred vision)
symptoms of low blood sodium (confusion, seizures, drowsiness, dryness of mouth, increased thirst, lack of energy)
talking, feeling, and acting with excitement and activity you cannot control
uncontrollable movements of the body or face
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
seizure or convulsions
serotonin syndrome (signs include agitation, confusion, diarrhea, fever, overactive reflexes, poor coordination, restlessness, shivering, sweating, talking or acting with excitement you cannot control, trembling or shaking, twitching)
signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
signs of bleeding in the stomach (e.g., bloody, black, or tarry stools, spitting up of blood, vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds)
signs of a severe skin reaction such as blistering, peeling, a rash covering a large area of the body, a rash that spreads quickly, or a rash combined with fever or discomfort
thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Abnormal bleeding: Paroxetine, like other similar medications, may cause abnormal bleeding, including bleeding in the stomach or intestines. People who have or have had a history of bleeding disorders should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Report any unusual bruising or bleeding to your doctor, especially if you are taking other medications that affect blood clotting. These medications include acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), clopidogrel, dipyridamole, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; e.g., ibuprofen or naproxen), other anticoagulant medications (e.g., warfarin), and certain antipsychotic medications.
Bone fracture: This medication may increase the risk of bone fractures (breaks) when taking this medication. If you have osteoporosis or any other illness that increases your risk for breaking bones, or are at risk for developing osteoporosis, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Although paroxetine is not known to cause drowsiness, it is advisable to avoid driving or operating hazardous machinery until you determine how paroxetine affects your ability to do these things safely.
Glaucoma: Paroxetine can cause an increase in the pressure in the eye, making symptoms of glaucoma worse. If you have narrow-angle glaucoma, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Heart disease: If you have heart disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Kidney function: People with kidney disease may need lower doses of this medication. If you have kidney disease or reduced kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.
If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.
Mania: Paroxetine may cause symptoms of mania to worsen or return. If you have a history of mania or bipolar disorder, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Seizures: There have been occasional reports of seizures occurring with paroxetine. If you have a history of seizures discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Anyone who develops seizures should seek immediate medical attention.
Serotonin syndrome: Severe reactions are possible when paroxetine is combined with other medications that act on serotonin, such as tricyclic antidepressants, "triptan" medications for migraine and some medications to treat nausea due to chemotherapy. These combinationsshould be avoided. Symptoms of a reaction may include muscle rigidity and spasms, difficulty moving, changes in mental state including delirium and agitation. Coma and death are possible.
If you are taking other medications that affect serotonin, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Stopping the medication: Stopping this medication suddenly may lead to side effects such as dizziness, abnormal dreams, numbness or tingling sensations, agitation, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, sweating, or other symptoms. If you are thinking of stopping the medication, check with your doctor first. Your doctor may want you to decrease the dose of the medication gradually when it is time to stop taking paroxetine.
Suicidal or agitated behaviour: People taking this medication may feel agitated (restless, anxious, aggressive, emotional, and feeling not like themselves), or they may want to hurt themselves or others. These behavioural changes may be more likely to occur in children and adolescents, however they are possible for all age groups that use this medication. These symptoms may occur within several weeks after starting this medication. If you experience these side effects or notice them in a family member who is taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. You should be closely monitored by your doctor for emotional and behaviour changes while taking this medication.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Paroxetine has been reported to cause an increase in birth defects, primarily of the heart, in babies born to women who have taken it in the first trimester. It has also been reported that babies born to women who took medications of this kind during the last trimester of their pregnancy may experience adverse effects (such as breathing problems, seizures, trouble feeding, vomiting, low blood sugar, shaking, jitteriness, irritability, and constant crying) that result in an increase in the length of hospital stay. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking paroxetine, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children and adolescents: The safety and effectiveness of paroxetine for those less than 18 years of age have not been established. The use of this medication by children and adolescents less than 18 years old may cause behavioural and emotional changes, such as suicidal thoughts and behaviour.
Seniors: Seniors may need lower doses of this medication, and they should be closely monitored by their doctor when taking paroxetine.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between paroxetine and any of the following:
abiraterone
acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)
alcohol
alfuzosin
alteplase
amiodarone
amphetamines (e.g., dextroamphetamine, lisdexamphetamine, methamphetamine)
antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine)
antipsychotic medications (e.g., chlorpromazine, haloperidol, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
apixaban
atomoxetine
barbiturates (e.g., butalbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital)
benzodiazepines (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam)
beta-blockers (e.g., carvedilol, metoprolol, propranolol)
bromocriptine
bupropion
buspirone
cabergoline
captopril
celecoxib
certain antiarrhythmic medications (e.g., disopyramide, flecainide, propafenone)
chloral hydrate
chloroquine
cimetidine
cinacalcet
clopidogrel
cobicistat
cyclophosphamide
dabigatran
darifenacin
dasatinib
diabetes medications (e.g., chlorpropamide, glipizide, glyburide, insulin, metformin, nateglinide, rosiglitazone)
desmopressin
dextromethorphan
dipyridamole
dofetilide
domperidone
doxorubicin
dronedarone
efavirenz
ergot alkaloids (e.g., ergotamine, dihydroergotamine)
galantamine
general anesthetics (medications used to put people to sleep before surgery)
glucosamine
heparin
herbal products that affect blood clotting (e.g., cat's claw, chamomile, fenugreek, evening primrose, feverfew, garlic, ginger, ginseng, turmeric)
ifosfamide
irinotecan
ketoconazole
levothyroxine
linezolid
lithium
losartan
low molecular weight heparins (e.g., dalteparin, enoxaparin, tinzaparin)
macrolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin)
MAO inhibitors (e.g., linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine)
methadone
methylene blue
metoclopramide
metyrosine
mexiletine
mifepristone
mirabegron
mirtazapine
multivitamins/minerals
muscle relaxants (e.g., baclofen, cyclobenzaprine, methocarbamol, orphenadrine, tizanidine)
narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine, fentanyl, methadone, morphine, oxycodone)
nefazodone
nilotinib
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs; diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)
omega-3 fatty acids
olopatadine
peginterferon Alfa-2b
pentoxifylline
pimozide
pravastatin
quinidine
quinine
quinolone antibiotics (e.g., levofloxacin, moxifloxacin)
rasagiline
ritonavir
rivaroxaban
scopolamine
seizure medications (e.g., carbamazepine, clobazam, felbamate, levetiracetam, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate, valproic acid, zonisamide)
serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs e.g., desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, venlafaxine)
other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., citalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline)
5-HT3 antagonists (e.g., granisetron, ondansetron)
St. John's wort
tamoxifen
tamsulosin
tapentadol
terbinafine
tetrabenazine
thiazide diuretics (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide, indapamide)
ticagrelor
ticlopidine
tolterodine
tramadol
trazodone
tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., nortriptyline, amitriptyline, imipramine, desipramine)
"triptan" migraine medications (e.g., sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, rizatriptan)
tryptophan
tyrosine kinase inhbitors (e.g., imatinib, lapatinib, pazopanib, sunitinib)
vitamin E
warfarin
zolpidem
zopiclone
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
stop taking one of the medications,
change one of the medications to another,
change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 '' 2018. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Apo-Paroxetine
Quebec City shooter supported Trump's immigration policies, newly public court documents show | CBC News
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 13:19
The week before he killed six Muslims, Alexandre Bissonnette returned home to live with his parents where, "anxious and unstable," he declared his support for Donald Trump's immigration policies.
Bissonnette, 28, admitted to the attack on Wednesday, pleading guilty to killing six Muslim men, and critically injuring five others.
Bissonnette initially pleaded not guilty during a pretrial hearing earlier this week, and Crown prosecutors had prepared a large body of evidence for trial, which was to begin next month.
Some of that evidence can now be made public, and includes sections from a search warrant application filed by Quebec provincial police a week after the shooting.
Though parts of the application are redacted, it nevertheless offers insight into Bissonnette's state of mind just before, and after, the deadly attack on the mosque.
In a summary of an RCMP interview with the suspect's mother, Manon Marchand, the affidavit notes: "He would agree with the statements of [U.S. President] Donald Trump to the effect that all immigration should be blocked."
It is unclear if this referred to a specific policy, but two days before the shooting Trump signed an executive order that barred citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.
The order also temporarily suspended the admission of refugees. It was popularly referred to as a "travel ban" or an "immigrant ban."
Flowers lay at the men's entrance of the Quebec mosque on February 1, 2017 in Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press) 'Anxious and unstable'Last year, one of Bissonnette's friends told CBC News that the day before the shooting they discussed the travel ban in a private Facebook exchange.
'‹"He told me he just wanted white immigration to Canada and Quebec, exclusively," said Martin Robin, who knew Bissonnette from Laval University.
"He told me that in the long run, this non-white, non-European immigration may perhaps lead to the marginalization of whites. That's pretty much what struck me and what keeps popping up in my mind."
On Wednesday, after pleading guilty, Bissonnette read a statement in which he said: "I am not a terrorist, nor an Islamophobe, rather a person who was carried away by fear, negative thoughts and a horrible form of despair."
According to the affidavit, Bissonnette's mother told police her son was very "anxious and unstable" in the week before the shooting.
Though he shared an apartment with his twin brother not far from the mosque he attacked, Bissonnette was staying with his parents at the time.
His doctor had recently given him a new prescription, for the drug apo-paroxetine, which is commonly used to treat depression and anxiety, Marchand told police.
In the days after the shooting, people left flowers and candles under the police tape surrounding the perimeter of the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre. (Christinne Muschi/Reuters) Call from highway On the night of Jan. 29, 2017, Bissonnette had dinner with his parents, according to sections of the warrant application that were previously made public.
Afterward he borrowed his father's Mitsubushi RVR and told his mother he was heading to the Castors de Charlesbourg, a gun club where he was a member and an accredited handgun shooter.
Crown prosecutors intended to tell the jury that not long before 8 p.m. ET, Bissonnette stopped at a corner store and bought a lemon-flavoured alcoholic cooler.
He then drove to the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre, and started shooting as he walked toward the front door.
Bissonnette's parents leaving the Quebec City courthouse Wednesday, after their son's guilty plea. (Radio-Canada) At 8:11 p.m. Bissonnette placed a call to 911. The information released Wednesday reveals he was about 16 kilometres away from the mosque at the time, parked on the F(C)lix Leclerc Highway, with the Mitsubushi's flashers on.
The 911 call lasted 50 minutes. Bissonnette identified himself as the shooter and told the dispatcher he wanted to turn himself in, according to the affidavit. He was crying and mentioned being able to see a bridge.
"He says he wants to go walk in the woods and fire a bullet in his head. He says he will cooperate 100 per cent. He is tired and wants the police to intervene," the summary of the call reads.
A tactical unit eventually arrived on the scene. The affidavit indicates Bissonnette was taken into custody and read his rights at 9:11 p.m.
Professor Ted
Lawyers for Uber Victim's Family Say Issue Is 'Resolved' - WSJ
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 13:32
A law firm hired by the family of an Arizona woman who died after being struck by a self-driving Uber Technologies Inc. vehicle said Thursday the issue ''has been resolved.''
The Uber vehicle, which was in self-driving mode but had a human operator behind the wheel, hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg while she was walking her bike outside of a crosswalk March 18, Tempe police said. She ultimately died from her injuries.
Terms of the settlement weren't available.
''The daughter and the husband of the late Ms. Herzberg have no further comments on this matter as it has been resolved,'' Cristina Perez Hesano, an attorney for Glendale, Ariz.-based Bellah Perez PLLC, said in an email to The Wall Street Journal.
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Uber declined to comment.
In the wake of the fatal accident, Uber has suspended its autonomous car program in the four cities where it was testing it. The company also decided not to renew its permit to test those kinds of vehicles in California.
Additionally, an Uber executive who worked on technology for autonomous vehicles, Lior Ron, is leaving the company.
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About a year ago, shortly after a self-driving Uber vehicle was involved in a crash in Tempe, law firm Bellah Perez wrote on its website the concept of negligence will have to evolve as autonomous vehicles become more prevalent on roadways.
''As personal injury attorneys, we at Bellah Perez want to ensure any victims of negligence out on the road receive justice for their suffering,'' the post said.
In the March 2017 accident, Tempe police said the accident wasn't the Uber vehicle's fault and that there were also no major injuries.
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'--Cara Lombardo contributed to this article
Write to Allison Prang at allison.prang@wsj.com
Fatal Tesla Crash Raises New Questions About Autopilot System - The New York Times
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:44
The accident renews questions about Autopilot, a signature feature of Tesla vehicles, and whether the company has gone far enough to ensure that it keeps drivers and passengers safe.
''At the very least, I think there will have to be fundamental changes to Autopilot,'' said Mike Ramsey, a Gartner analyst who focuses on self-driving technology. ''The system as it is now tricks you into thinking it has more capability than it does. It's not an autonomous system. It's not a hands-free system. But that's how people are using it, and it works fine, until it suddenly doesn't.''
On Saturday, Tesla declined to comment on the California crash or to make Mr. Musk or another executive available for an interview. In its blog post on Friday about the crash, the company acknowledged that Autopilot ''does not prevent all accidents,'' but said the system ''makes them much less likely to occur'' and ''unequivocally makes the world safer.''
For the company, the significance of the crash goes beyond Autopilot. Tesla is already reeling from a barrage of negative news. The value of its stock and bonds has plunged amid increasing concerns about how much cash it is using up and the repeated delays in the production of the Model 3, a battery-powered compact car that Mr. Musk is counting on to generate much-needed revenue.
It is also facing an investor lawsuit related to Tesla's acquisition of SolarCity, a solar-panel maker where Mr. Musk was serving as chairman. Meanwhile, competition is mounting from other luxury car makers that have developed their own electric cars, while Waymo, the Google spinoff, General Motors and others seem to have passed Tesla in self-driving technology.
''There's a lot going on that undermines Elon's credibility right now,'' said Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book.
Autopilot uses radar and cameras to detect lane markings, other vehicles and objects in the road. It can steer, brake and accelerate automatically with little input from the driver. Tesla readily points out that Autopilot '-- despite the implications in its name '-- is only a driver-assistance system and is not intended to pilot cars on its own.
Drivers are given warnings on the dashboard and in the owner's manual to remain engaged and alert while using it. Tesla originally described it as a ''beta'' version, a term that usually refers to software still in the developmental stage.
At the time of the Florida crash, it was possible to engage Autopilot and cruise on highways for several minutes without the driver holding the steering wheel. In that crash, the Autopilot's camera, then the primary sensor in the system, failed to recognize a white truck as it was crossing a rural highway. Tesla said the camera was confused because the truck appeared against a bright sky.
Software modifications introduced that fall included more frequent warnings to drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel. After three warnings, the new software prevents Autopilot from operating until the driver stops, turns off the car and restarts.
The new version also made radar the primary sensor, and Mr. Musk said the new radar would have been able to see the truck in the Florida crash despite the bright sky.
Autopilot does not use lidar '-- a kind of radar based on lasers '-- that Waymo and others have maintained are crucial for fully autonomous vehicles. Mr. Musk has said he believes lidar is not necessary for Autopilot be safe.
At least three people have now died while driving with Autopilot engaged. In January 2017, a Chinese owner was at the wheel of a Model S when the car crashed into a road sweeper on a highway.
The National Transportation Safety Board is now investigating the March 23 crash that killed Mr. Huang. Its investigation of the 2016 Florida accident concluded that Autopilot ''played a major role,'' and said that it lacked safeguards to prevent misuse by drivers.
An earlier investigation, by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, said that the company's Autopilot-enabled vehicles did not need to be recalled. That inquiry, however, focused only on the question of whether any flaws in the system had led to the crash; it found no such flaws.
A version of this article appears in print on April 1, 2018, on Page A21 of the New York edition with the headline: New Questions About Tesla's Self-Driving System.
Continue reading the main story
Tesla says crashed vehicle had been on autopilot prior to accident
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:42
Tesla said on Friday that a Tesla Model X involved a fatal crash in California last week had activated its Autopilot system, raising new questions about the semi-autonomous system that handles some driving tasks.
Tesla also said vehicle logs from the accident showed no action had been taken by the driver soon before the crash and that he had received earlier warnings to put his hands on the wheel.
"The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider with the crushed crash attenuator, but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken," Tesla said.
The statement did not say why the Autopilot system apparently did not detect the concrete divider.
The fatal crash and vehicle fire of the Tesla near Mountain View, California, involved two other cars and delayed traffic for hours. The 38-year-old Tesla driver died at a nearby hospital shortly after the crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which launched an investigation into the crash earlier this week, did not immediately comment late Friday. The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the fatal crash.
Autopilot allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel for extended periods under certain conditions. Tesla requires users to agree to keep their hands on the wheel "at all times" before they can use autopilot, but users routinely tout the fact they can use the system to drive hands-free.
The NTSB faulted Tesla in a prior fatal autopilot crash.
In September, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said operational limitations in the Tesla Model S played a major role in a May 2016 crash that killed a driver using autopilot.
That death '-- the first fatality in a Tesla vehicle operating in Autopilot mode '-- raised questions about the safety of systems that can perform driving tasks for long stretches with little or no human intervention, but which cannot completely replace human drivers.
The NTSB said Tesla could have taken further steps to prevent the system's misuse, and faulted the driver for not paying attention and for "overreliance on vehicle automation."
In January, NHTSA and NTSB launched investigations into a Tesla vehicle, apparently traveling in semi-autonomous mode, that struck a fire truck in California. Neither agency nor Tesla has offered any update.
The government probes raise the risk for Tesla and automakers at a time when the industry is seeking federal legislation that would ease deployment of self driving cars.
The crash comes soon after an Uber vehicle in Arizona in self-driving mode struck and killed a pedestrian in the first death linked to an autonomous vehicle.
Tesla said late Friday that "Autopilot does not prevent all accidents '-- such a standard would be impossible '-- but it makes them much less likely to occur. It unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists."
Tesla said that in the United States "there is one automotive fatality every 86 million miles across all vehicles from all manufacturers. For Tesla, there is one fatality, including known pedestrian fatalities, every 320 million miles in vehicles equipped with Autopilot hardware."
Tesla in September 2016 unveiled improvements to Autopilot, adding new limits on hands-off driving.
On Thursday, Tesla said it was recalling 123,000 Model S sedans built before April 2016 in order to replace bolts in the power steering component that can begin to corrode after contact in cold temperatures with road salt. No accidents or injuries were reported.
NAB Show Conference Showcases Machine, Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence for Filmmaking | Business Wire
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 13:23
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE )--NAB Show will present a new half-day program within the Next-Generation Media Technologies Conference titled ''Get Ready for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.'' The program, which takes place Tuesday, April 10, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will include six sessions that highlight the various ways machine intelligence is impacting content creation.
The panels will explore how machine intelligence can increase productivity, efficiencies and creativity in production planning, animation, visual effects, post-production and localization. Attendees will learn the current capabilities of neural network-based tools while also seeing the potential of these innovations to alter jobs, workflows and the nature of content itself.
The program will begin with the presentation ''The Evolution of Content Production Aided by Machine Learning,'' by Usman Shakeel, WW Technical Leader, Media and Entertainment at Amazon Web Services. The talk ''Optimizing Production With Neural Networks,'' will follow from Jean Bolot, VP, Research and Innovation, Technicolor. Lastly, Norman Hollyn, editor and professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts will address ''How Machine Intelligence Is Transforming Editorial'' and explore the topic with Todd Burke, principal solutions engineer, Adobe Systems.
''Machine and deep learning and artificial intelligence have the potential to dramatically transform content creation,'' said Chris Brown, NAB executive vice president, Conventions and Business Operations. ''We're looking forward to hosting some of the industries' leading creatives and technologists as they reveal how neural networks and other advancements are enabling production techniques previously thought impossible.''
The next set of sessions will begin with Rick Grandy, Sr. Solutions Architect, Nvidia, speaking about ''New Frontiers in Animation and Computer Graphics,'' while the following session, ''From Dailies to Master: Machine Intelligence Comes to Video Workflows'' will feature Weyron Enriques, VP of product development at Deluxe Technology, Barbara Ford Grant, SVP, Digital Production Services, Home Box Office, Inc. and Adrian Graham, cloud solutions architect, M&E, Google. Finally, with ''The Future of Content With Machine Intelligence'' Jeff Kember, technical director, Office of the CTO, Google Cloud, will discuss where these new algorithms and compute power are likely to take entertainment in the near future.
About NAB Show
NAB Show, held April 7-12, 2018 in Las Vegas, is the world's largest convention encompassing The M.E.T. Effect, the convergence of media, entertainment and technology. With 103,000 attendees from 161 countries and 1,800+ exhibitors, NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, NAB Show is where global visionaries convene to bring content to life in new and exciting ways. For complete details, visit www.nabshow.com.
About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.
Fracking
Netherlands to Close Key Natural Gas Field by 2030 due to Earthquakes
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 14:56
Europe19:35 29.03.2018(updated 15:07 30.03.2018) Get short URL
As most European countries are net importers of crude oil and natural gas, they have largely relied on Russia's vast natural resources to meet domestic demand for energy. Russia is particularly important to Europe as a natural gas supplier, as it's well-positioned to provide much of Europe with natural gas via pipelines.
Dutch authorities announced on Thursday that they will be reducing production at the Groningen natural gas field and will close the facility by 2030.
The field was once Europe's largest source of natural gas, with it producing 53.8 billion cubic meters (bmc) of gas in 2013. Its output has fallen sharply since then, and the Groningen field will produce 21.6 bcm of natural gas in 2018 according to estimates.
The Dutch government is scaling back production in a bid to reduce the number and intensity of small earthquakes caused by the field, which have damaged thousands of properties.
''Our intention is to get towards 12 bcm in the coming four or five years, and to zero at the end of the coming decade,'' Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced in a press conference.
Data released by the Dutch Economy Ministry forecasts that the country's natural gas output will fall considerably over the next few years.
Users of Dutch gas in Germany and Belgium will be told to look for other sources to meet their energy needs, as the Netherlands won't be renewing contracts. Meanwhile, domestic users are likely to look to alternative sources in lieu of natural gas and fossil fuels.
Despite exporting a record amount of gas to Europe last year, Norway '' another large European supplier of natural gas '' is also forecasting its output to fall over the coming decades.
The falling natural gas production capabilities of Europe has been expected for some time, and a number of EU member states, especially Germany, are looking to Russia to make up for the shortfall.
READ MORE: May's Search for Alt. Gas Suppliers Will Hit Brits '' Russian Energy Minister
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will operate in addition to the existing Nord Stream pipeline, will significantly boost Russia's capacity to easily and securely supply natural gas to Europe.
A number of countries have criticized Europe's continued cooperation with Russia in the energy sphere, and have unsuccessfully attempted to halt the construction of Nord Stream.
The construction of the pipeline is set to continue, with Germany issuing all necessary permits for the pipeline earlier this week.
Trumpism
'Roseanne' Reboot Sprang From ABC's Heartland Strategy After Trump's Victory - The New York Times
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 09:48
Channing Dungey, the president of ABC Entertainment, said the success of ''Roseanne'' was a direct result of the post-Election Day initiative to pursue an audience that the network had overlooked.
''We had spent a lot of time looking for diverse voices in terms of people of color and people from different religions and even people with a different perspective on gender,'' Ms. Dungey said. ''But we had not been thinking nearly enough about economic diversity and some of the other cultural divisions within our own country. That's been something we've been really looking at with eyes open since that time.''
As the Nielsen numbers for ''Roseanne'' rolled in, ABC executives went from gobsmacked '-- Mr. Sherwood said he thought the early figures he had seen were a mistake '-- to euphoric.
''People gather round and they see themselves in this family,'' Mr. Sherwood said. ''It speaks to a large number of people in the country who don't see themselves on television very often.''
By Thursday, this dusted-off sitcom centered on a highly opinionated matriarch had become a flash point in the nation's culture wars. It had also spurred a cathartic response from many conservatives, who counted its opening-night success as their own.
Among those celebrating was President Trump, who called Ms. Barr to congratulate her on the ''huge'' ratings. On Thursday, he gave a shout-out to the Emmy-winning star during a rally in Ohio.
''Look at Roseanne! Look at her ratings!'' President Trump told the crowd of union workers, adding: ''They were unbelievable! Over 18 million people! And it was about us!''
Right-wing pundits praised the show as a mic-drop moment for conservatives weary of being portrayed unflatteringly or ignored altogether on network shows. On Fox News, Sean Hannity congratulated her on her ''massive audience,'' and Laura Ingraham approvingly played a ''Roseanne'' clip, saying, ''Funny what can happen when Hollywood makes programming that's not condescending toward half the country.''
On Thursday, via Twitter, Mr. Hannity invited Ms. Barr to guest-host his show. ''DM me,'' Ms. Barr replied.
Ms. Barr, 65, supported Mr. Trump in2016, but she makes for an unlikely conservative standard-bearer: Aside from her support of same-sex marriage and abortion rights, she was once denounced by the elder President George Bush as ''disgraceful'' after delivering a lewd, off-key rendition of the national anthem at a 1990 baseball game.
On television, however, she plays a grandmother who is worried about paying the bills and grappling with a grandson who prefers to wear girl's clothing. The onscreen Roseanne makes for a sharp foil to Ms. Metcalf's character, who wears a ''nasty woman'' T-shirt and accuses Trump supporters of ''wrapping yourselves up in the flag and clinging to your guns.''
''The show doesn't advocate for Trump voters, but it respects them,'' said Alex Castellanos, a veteran Republican strategist based in Florida. ''Apparently, this is still news to people in the entertainment business, that there is an American working class.''
For years, ABC focused on other demographic groups. With series like ''The Bachelor,'' ''black-ish,'' ''Grey's Anatomy'' and ''Modern Family,'' the network's lineup was notably diverse. But it was also geared toward upper-middle-class viewers, Ms. Dungey said.
By November 2016, ABC was coming off a TV season when it had finished in last place among the four major broadcast networks, with little hope of escaping the ratings basement in the near future. Like other networks, it was also losing viewers to Netflix and other streaming platforms.
The meeting that took place on the morning after Mr. Trump's surprise victory led the network to reconsider its strategy. Mr. Sherwood summed up what was going through his mind that day: ''Given the declines of broadcast television, the year-after-year declines, are we programming in a way that is turning people off?''
In response, ABC decided to back the singing competition show ''American Idol'' less than two years after it had been canceled on Fox, its original network home.
''We went after it because that's a show that, fundamentally, is about the American dream,'' Mr. Sherwood said. ''It's about a girl with a cowboy hat and a boy with a banjo and people from small towns where music has saved their lives in different ways.''
''Roseanne,'' which had its first run on ABC from 1988 to 1997, was another prime candidate for a reboot. It was a top-rated comedy that had won its share of Emmys and Golden Globes '-- not to mention that the woman who played its title character had become a vocal Trump supporter.
Even as the president portrayed the success of ''Roseanne'' as a win of his own, however, ABC executives and ''Roseanne'' producers rejected the notion that the show's popularity was mainly because of its appeal to Trump supporters.
''I would compare this to 'All in the Family,''' said Tom Werner, an executive producer of ''Roseanne'' and other hit sitcoms like ''The Cosby Show'' and ''3rd Rock From the Sun.'' ''A number of people watching 'All in the Family' said, 'Archie's a conservative and therefore it's a show about a conservative.' Well, it was made by Norman Lear.
''Part of the reason the show is successful is because it taps into the frustration and disappointment that working-class people feel about the economy right now,'' he continued. ''But if you watch all the episodes, we don't really mention politics as much as we did in the pilot.''
Mr. Werner pointed out that ''Roseanne'' will deal with the opioid epidemic and immigration in its seven remaining episodes, adding that the president does not come up much as the show goes on.
As a topical, working-class sitcom led by a Trump supporter, ''Roseanne'' is unique '-- for now. Its early ratings success is likely to spur copycats in Hollywood, which is not known for its high percentage of conservatives.
''Money is the ideology of Hollywood,'' said Martin Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center for media and society at the University of Southern California. ''I can't imagine an executive who would turn down something for ideological reasons that they think has a chance to do a good number.''
A version of this article appears in print on March 30, 2018, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Network Rediscovers Trump Country With Reboot of 'Roseanne'.
Continue reading the main story
CYBER!
Passwords of some 3.3 million Dutch on online search engine | NL Times
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 09:10
A large number of emails and some 3.3 million passwords of Dutch people can be found easily online through a special search engine, newspaper AD discovered on Friday. The emails and passwords of employees of manly large Dutch organizations, companies and government institutions are found on this search engines, including of organizations that fulfill a vital function, the newspaper writes.
The database AD investigated contains a total of 1.4 billion email addresses and passwords from all over the world. Online search engines are now also available to make this data more accessible. The passwords and email addresses likely come from large data leaks over the past years, like from LinkedIn, Dropbox, Playstation, Uber and eBay, among others.
Organizations usually let their customers know about hacks, so that they can change their passwords. But these password databases are still dangerous, because people tend to reuse passwords. "People are registered on so many websites that they often have no idea how many, often with the same password", Herbert Bos, professor of Systems and Network Security at the VU university in Amsterdam, said to the newspaper. "Even if you vary it a bit with numbers in your password, malicious parties can quickly find out about that via automated programs. And if people have your email and password, they have your identity."
The email addresses and passwords of various Dutch parliamentarians and celebrities can be found on the search engine AD looked at. Many people registered themselves on sites using their work email. As a result the database contains numerous emails from the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs, among others.
Former SP parliamentarian Sharon Gesthuizen is one of the people on the lists, using her Tweede Kamer email. "I was shocked that you had found them. I used that email and password a few years ago, not for the Tweede Kamer [the lower house of Dutch parliament], but to log in to LinkedIn. I've changed that by now", she said to the newspaper. A bit later she added in a message: "A quick check showed that I stull used that old password for Europcar, the Rotterdam film festival and another (important!) service. I'm going to change that quickly now."
Hundreds of email addresses from Defense employees are on the database. The Ministry is aware that in the past employee data was captured in a hack. "We urged our employees to change their passwords and told them that it is not desirable to use defense data such as an email address for commercial accounts, but it is not forbidden", a spokesperson said to the newspaper. The Ministry also reports that "all employees are obliged to periodically change their defense password, which is done by an automated system. The chance that the data hacked at that time can give access to defense system is hereby excluded."
Professor Bos is not so sure about this. "Even if people periodically change their passwords, it is often a variant of the previous password: for example with a 1 behind it. That means knowing a previous password makes it much easier for attackers to guess the rest of the password."
AD became aware of this search engine for passwords when one of their journalists was contacted by a "worried" hacker, the newspaper writes. The hacker tweeted the journalist three passwords with the question 'do these belong to you?'. They all did. A few seconds later the journalist had the passwords of basically all of AD's editors.
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VIDEO - David Hogg on Laura Ingraham: 'A bully is a bully' - YouTube
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 14:28
VIDEO - Pentagon Identifies U.S. Soldier Killed In Syria This Week - YouTube
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 14:17
VIDEO - Vladimir Putin is paying attention to US military gains: Gen. Keane - YouTube
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 14:11
VIDEO - "ISRAEL WARNS OF LARGER MILITARY RESPONSE TO GAZA PROTESTS!" - YouTube
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 14:06
VIDEO - "Chinese Space Station Will Crash To Earth By Monday!" - YouTube
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 14:01
VIDEO - The Hidden Enemy: Inside Psychiatry's Covert Agenda
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 13:03
cchr-hidden-enemy-documentary /video-playback/cchr-hidden-enemy-documentary/master.m3u8 /video-playback/cchr-hidden-enemy-documentary/vmap.xml https://files.akamaized.net/imagecache/cropfit@w=1280/data/www.scientology.tv/cchr-documentary-the-hidden-enemy_en.jpg Inside Psychiatry's Covert AgendaDisturbing examination of how the psychiatric industry successfully conspired to infiltrate the military and the devastating effects it has had on service members and their families. Included is archival footage that suggests military members were targeted by psychiatry as the perfect control group on which to conduct mind-altering experiments. Former service members and family members speak out about the corruption and the mass-drugging responsible for the high-rate of suicides among veterans.
Citizens Commission on Human RightsRequest a free Information Kit
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VIDEO - NRA board member Ted Nugent calls Parkland students poor, pathetic liars with no soul
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 11:53
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TED NUGENT: The level of ignorance goes beyond stupidity. Again, the National Rifle Association are a bunch of American families who have a voice to stand up for our God-given Constitutionally-guaranteed right to keep and bear arms. We have no blood on our hands. No NRA member have ever been involved in any mass shootings at all, in fact the National Rifle Association is the lone organization that has taught firearm safety in schools, and for law enforcement, and for military, and for childrens organizations and family organizations around the country for 100 years. So once again, this poor pathetic individual is a liar.
JOE PAGLIARULO (HOST): I'm going to pick it up from there. And then she continues and then the David Hogg kid who everybody's talking about lately jumps in.
['...]
NUGENT: The dumbing down of America is manifested in the culture deprivation of our academia that have taught these kids the lies, media that have prodded and encouraged and provided these kids lies. I really feel sorry for them because it's not only ignorant and dangerously stupid, but it's soulless. To attack the good law-abiding families of America when well known predictable murderers commit these horrors is deep in the category of soulless. These poor children, I'm afraid to say this and it hurts me to say this, but the evidence is irrefutable, they have no soul.
Previously:
NRATV spotlights ex-sheriff who said Parkland survivors sound like Hitler
NRA board member Ted Nugent pushes conspiracy theory that Parkland school shooting survivors are actors
Video: How conspiracy theories and attacks on the Parkland shooting survivors spread across the internet and right-wing media
VIDEO - We Ask Kids How Trump is Doing - YouTube
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 11:45
VIDEO - Opening ceremony of the new U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands - YouTube
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 11:31
VIDEO - Deadline White House on Twitter: ""This kid's not scared. He's not scared of the NRA. He's not intimidated and scared by Laura Ingraham ... Half the Republican party is hiding under the table, under their bed. They're so scared ... Not these kids,
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 12:02
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VIDEO - Clinton calls 2016 election 'traumatic,' admits she'd like to 'take back' some things she said | Fox News
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 09:30
Almost a year and a half since losing her bid for president, former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton still is talking about election woes, calling it a ''traumatic'' experience.
Speaking at Rutgers University Thursday, Clinton spoke primarily about being a woman in politics '-- and being targeted as a result, the problem Republicans face as a disjointed unit, the upcoming elections and her hopes that the recent events under the Trump administration would motivate people enough to vote for change.
When asked about being told to get off the public stage and ''shut up,'' Clinton said she was ''struck'' by the fact that ''they never said that to any man,'' citing unsourced research from ''one of the young people'' on her staff.
Clinton also mentioned being called ''shrill'' by the media, which she said never commented on her opponent's habit of ''finger waving.''
''It's about time that women were allowed to be themselves the way men are allowed to be themselves,'' she said.
The former secretary of state also said she's regretted some things she said.
''I can do better. There are things I've said I'd like to take back.''
She might have been referring to remarks she made earlier this month in India where she said women face ''ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband'' thinks they should. Critics slammed the comments as sexist.
She made similar remarks in September, seemingly blaming women in part for her loss.
Clinton agreed to do Thursday's speech for $25,000 from a university endowment, NJ.com reported.
Clinton also took the opportunity to bash the Republican Party saying it slowly was coming undone by ''a very small group of powerful forces,'' who could fund another candidate if one does not appeal to the ''far right.'' She said she was referring to groups including the National Rifle Association.
Clinton talked about the upcoming elections and the number of Republicans who have announced their retirement or that have said that they will not seek reelection.
''They're leaving,'' she said, ''because they know they will be shown no understanding by the hard right and the money that funds it.''
Clinton also took jabs at the Trump administration ahead of the important 2018 midterm elections, although she mentioned Donald Trump by name only once, but alluded to him several other times.
''I really hope this is a turning point,'' she said, speaking of the upcoming midterm elections.
''I'm hoping in this election, this midterm election, enough people will, maybe for the first time or maybe for the first time in a long time say, 'Look, I was really moved by what happened at Parkland, or I'm sick we're the only country in the world not in the Paris agreement on climate change, or I don't like what they tried to do to healthcare' or whatever the motivator is'' to ensure enough people will go out to vote.
Clinton spoke to a crowd of just over 5,000 people.
VIDEO - Alex Jones Ex-Wife Starts Bevy Of New Websites, YouTube & Twitter Channel, Says She Needs Help
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:23
Alex Jones Ex-Wife Starts Bevy Of New Websites, YouTube & Twitter Channel, Says She Needs HelpAlex Jones Ex-Wife Starts Bevy Of New Websites, YouTube & Twitter Channel, Says She Needs Help
LibertyFight.com
Kelly Jones says she is going to help others fight against corruption and for their constitutional rights in the family court system, and she has ammassed over 22,000 Twitter followers in the past few days.
"I am Alex Jones' ex-wife. I was with him for 15 years and married to him for twelve. We had three children together, and I have been battling for the past three and a half years for the custody of our children. I'm ashamed to say that I had a big part in the beginning of Alex's career, and produced his radio show and website for many years. I am speaking out publicly because I can, and I should. I feel a need to publicly apologize in my part for helping Alex disseminate disturbing content for his personal gain. When I was at my most vulnerable, Alex convinced me to work with him and subsequently to marry him. Over time, my life morphed into almost complete isolation as Alex indoctrinated me into his cultish mentality by using a domestic violence loop of cruelty, apology and threat. I accept responsibility for my actions. I can no longer live with myself unless I reveal a tiny taste of the truth. At the beginning, Alex's content was never partisan, and leaned heavily on libertarian principles, and a constitutional stance, focusing on privacy, big brother, and our over-reaching police actions. As the story of our divorce and custody case unravels, through the media and on my sites... the American public will discover the degree to which Alex has become the very thing which he originally professed to hate. While Alex has always been a disturbed, troubled, cruel and violent man, he has seriosuly deteriorated over the past ten years, as his meglomania was fueled by success and wealth. He is almost unrecognizable from the man I married." - [Kelly Jones, in a YouTube video posted 9/20/17.]
UPDATE: Kurt Nimmo, who worked for Infowars for many years, has confirmed to LibertyFight that the woman in the videos is indeed Kelly Jones, Alex Jones ex-wife.
This was posted today:
The following is shocking, and I'm surprised I never heard of or saw any of this until today. A blond-haired woman claiming to be Alex Jones ex-wife "Kelly Jones" has launched a bevy of websites, YouTube videos and tweets discussing what she describes as her relationship with Alex Jones, their divorce, custody issues, and the injustices of the family court system.
I recall only once seeing Alex on video with his ex-wife, then girlfriend Kelly Jones in a very brief scene in his Bohemian Grove video.
In examining these matters, it is important to verify the veracity of ths woman's claims. One should never just naively believe what someone says just because tbey start a website or post a video. The first question one should ask is, is this woman really Alex Jones ex-wife Kelly Jones, and can it be verified?
Jones, who reportedly earns $15 million dollars per year, or his ex wife Kelly for that matter, surely would not tolerate an imposter claiming to be someone she is not.
The next matter is, if this woman is indeed Alex's ex-wife, why is this relevant, or is it relevant at all?
For people who have followed Alex's work for many years and watched his trajectory towards Zionism over the past few years, this is a somewhat interesting and sad glimpse into his operation. Personally, regardless of what one thinks of Jones, I think it's sad that when any couple divorces and when a family gets split up. Not intending to divert this article before it's even begun on to a religious debate, but I also dont know how Jones, who has always presented himself as a proudly and unapologetic professed Christian, or any Christian for that matter, can divorce their wife and re-marry someone else, given the fact that Jesus Christ clearly forbid it in Matthew 19:9. ["And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery."]
The videos and links are below. And also, below that, is some interesting history regarding this site and Alex Jones.
At any rate, these videos and websites of Kelly Jones linked below are likely of interest to truth-seekers who follow the independent media.
In this first clip, at minute 4, the woman talks about how she is ashamed of the part she played in Alex's career.
This is the most recent video, posted March 23, 2018. It currently has only 185 views. The video description reads:Alex Jones Ex: Report Abuse and Get Gaslit in Family Court
Alex Jones Ex's CustodyWars
I'm Alex Jones' ex-wife. None of hired "experts" believed me when I reported serious domestic abuse during my marriage to Alex Jones. I know you believe it. Please share this to let people know that when you say #mefamilycourttoo in a divorce case you can lose your child to your abuser.
In this clip she explains why she is starting two new websites in 2018, because of the rampant corruption in family court in Travis County, Texas and to help others in similar situations.
In this very dramatic video entitled "What if Alex Jones was after you?" it intersperses footage with Jones spouting rageful, violent and vulgar lines with a tearful Kelly pleading for her kids back, saying "enough is enough!" and reminding him that she's the one who showed him the court's corruption.
This is from 9/20/17
This one is from late 2017:Links:If you're interested in some history as far as this site, Alex Jones ran many of my articles and videos on his websites Infowars.com and PrisonPlanet.com for about ten years, which I appreciated. He discussed my work specifically twice on his show, and surprisingly, continued to run my stuff despite the fact that I was occasionally critical of his websites stance on Israel and Zionism. When Jason Bermas said that Jew critics should electrocute themselves in a bathtub with a toaster and commit suicide, a story I broke which subsequently went super-viral, Bermas and Jones discussed my article on air. Texe Marrs, a minister and author who is rumored to have married Alex and Kelly, even published my article on the matter on his own website at the time. Marrs by the way has also linked to my articles for many years and even wrote an exclusive opinion piece for my site Rand Paul Zionist in 2015. [Zionist Puppets for President By Texe Marrs, 1/12/2015.]In 2010, Jones discussed amother article I wrote when a Texas candidate for governor whom Jones had endorsed said that 9/11 Truthers beliefs are "despicable." In discussing my article on the matter, referring to me, Jones said that "I'm familiar with the writer, he's done a lot of good reports in the past." That video is here:
I met Alex twice at his 9/11 conference in Los Angeles in 2006, got my picture taken with him a few times. Incidentally, I also met Mark Dice at the same time. I was familiar with Dice's work calling into mainstream radio shows injecting 9/11 truth. Dice (actually Shouldice) was standing at Alex's booth when I walked up, and he asked me to take their picture together. We also briefly discussed freemasonry. A few years later Alex ran all of my stories covering the Michael Reagan death threat against Mark Dice, "I'll pay for the bullets." Here is the archive with links to all those articles.
In recent years I covered occasional aspects of Jones' operation such as when Paul Joseph Watson, whose work and writing I used to respect, absurdly insisted that there is no Jewish influence anywhere. What an unbelievably absurd, preposterous and dishonest claim to make!
When Alex Jones had Donald Trump on his radio show, the two gaggled on about how it was "Muslims" who cheered and celebrated on 9/11 in New Jersey. That really pissed me off since I knew that Alex knows full well that they were Jewish "dancing Israelis." Jones and Watson had covered the arrested Israelis extensively on their sites at the time. Jones even published my specific article on the matter, which is still on his website today. [See "Dancing Israelis" Arrested On 9/11 Later Sued The Govt, But Lost Their Case.]
So for Jones to gratuitously pander to Donald Trump and not correct him that it was Israelis, not Muslims, cheering in New Jersey was in my view, egregiously dishonest and immoral, literally bearing false witness..And that is one of the reasons I felt compelled to confront Trump in person on live international television that same month and set the record straight. To which he surprisingly and oddly replied that I was "very committed, got a lot of energy, is a Trump guy, and is on our side."
RELATED:
Hysterical Alex Jones Weeps & Prays For Bibi: "Globalists Clearly Trying To Overthrow Israel" & Arrest Netanyahu. 'All You That Hate Jews' Get Ready for Islamic Rule in the U.S. 1/3/17Ron Paul Tells Alex Jones "You're Buying Into All The Garbage of the Deep State; Alex, You're Speaking For The Neoconservatives!"Alex Jones Called Out About Zionism Again, Calls It 'Mental Illness' 1/2/17'InfoWarrior' Jason Bermas: Jew Critics Are 'Anti-Semites' Who Should Hang Or Electrocute ThemselvesInfowars Paul Joseph Watson: There Is No Jewish Influence Anywhere 6/6/16 Infowars' Paul Joseph Watson opines: "People who are obsessed with Jews controlling the world never seem to present any evidence. I mean, I read the news everyday, I track narratives that the main stream media comes out with. I don't see a big Jewish influence. I mean, Jewish people are not really that present. I don't really notice them anywhere. I don't believe in this Jewish conspiracy because nobody presents any real credible hard-core evidence that it's taking place. So I mean- it is an obsession. I mean that's why people avoid it, let's be honest, because it's an obsession you don't want to be associated with; neo-Nazis and white supremacists. And even just- you know, if I saw actual evidence where it was a grand conspiracy then I would talk about it, but I just don't see it!"Co-host: "Okay! Well answered!"
It's "THE JEEEWWWS!" Alex Jones Angry Rant Against "All These Mentally Ill Jew-Obsessed People." 12/10/15Flashback: Alex Jones asked about Zyklon B gas chambers and the Protocols of Zion Gee, I wonder why this super-researcher & "exposer of false government narratives" falls right in line with the establishment and has never even once dared to question or scrutinize the story of the holohoax?Alex Jewns Bombshell: "Criminal Elements of Our Government With Saudi Arabia Ran 9/11!"Insanity Unbound: Infowars Characterizes "Dancing Israelis" Arrested in New Jersey on 9/11/01 as Arab MUSLIMS 11/27/15Fabricated 'History:' Alex Jones Claims Nazis Were Months Away From Starting Nuclear WarCalling The Dental Office of Alex Jones Dad For A Fluoride TreatmentWOW: Alex Jones Official Youtube Channel Declares "Alex Jones Is Not A Zionist!Alex Jones: "I'm Going To Visit Israel Soon"Live Traffic Stats
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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleo-conservative and civil rights advocate. In 2015, President Donald J. Trump in front of a live international TV audience, said Hill was "very committed" and "got a lot of energy," adding that "he's on our side" and "is a Trump guy."
In addition to being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast, Hill's work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, RedState.com, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, HenryMakow.com, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, InvestmentWatchBlog, Strike-The-Root.com, Antiwar.com, Mark Glenn's 'The Ugly Truth' Blog & radio show, Michael Hoffman's RevisionistHistory.org, John Friend's TheRealistReport.com, Sophia Smallstorm's Blog, DrDay.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, SaveTheMales.ca, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com, BeforeItsNews.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.
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Alex Jones Ex-Wife Starts Bevy Of New Websites, YouTube & Twitter Channel, Says She Needs HelpAlex Jones Ex-Wife Starts Bevy Of New Websites, YouTube & Twitter Channel, Says She Needs Help
LibertyFight.com
Kelly Jones says she is going to help others fight against corruption and for their constitutional rights in the family court system, and she has ammassed over 22,000 Twitter followers in the past few days.
"I am Alex Jones' ex-wife. I was with him for 15 years and married to him for twelve. We had three children together, and I have been battling for the past three and a half years for the custody of our children. I'm ashamed to say that I had a big part in the beginning of Alex's career, and produced his radio show and website for many years. I am speaking out publicly because I can, and I should. I feel a need to publicly apologize in my part for helping Alex disseminate disturbing content for his personal gain. When I was at my most vulnerable, Alex convinced me to work with him and subsequently to marry him. Over time, my life morphed into almost complete isolation as Alex indoctrinated me into his cultish mentality by using a domestic violence loop of cruelty, apology and threat. I accept responsibility for my actions. I can no longer live with myself unless I reveal a tiny taste of the truth. At the beginning, Alex's content was never partisan, and leaned heavily on libertarian principles, and a constitutional stance, focusing on privacy, big brother, and our over-reaching police actions. As the story of our divorce and custody case unravels, through the media and on my sites... the American public will discover the degree to which Alex has become the very thing which he originally professed to hate. While Alex has always been a disturbed, troubled, cruel and violent man, he has seriosuly deteriorated over the past ten years, as his meglomania was fueled by success and wealth. He is almost unrecognizable from the man I married." - [Kelly Jones, in a YouTube video posted 9/20/17.]
UPDATE: Kurt Nimmo, who worked for Infowars for many years, has confirmed to LibertyFight that the woman in the videos is indeed Kelly Jones, Alex Jones ex-wife.
This was posted today:
The following is shocking, and I'm surprised I never heard of or saw any of this until today. A blond-haired woman claiming to be Alex Jones ex-wife "Kelly Jones" has launched a bevy of websites, YouTube videos and tweets discussing what she describes as her relationship with Alex Jones, their divorce, custody issues, and the injustices of the family court system.
I recall only once seeing Alex on video with his ex-wife, then girlfriend Kelly Jones in a very brief scene in his Bohemian Grove video.
In examining these matters, it is important to verify the veracity of ths woman's claims. One should never just naively believe what someone says just because tbey start a website or post a video. The first question one should ask is, is this woman really Alex Jones ex-wife Kelly Jones, and can it be verified?
Jones, who reportedly earns $15 million dollars per year, or his ex wife Kelly for that matter, surely would not tolerate an imposter claiming to be someone she is not.
The next matter is, if this woman is indeed Alex's ex-wife, why is this relevant, or is it relevant at all?
For people who have followed Alex's work for many years and watched his trajectory towards Zionism over the past few years, this is a somewhat interesting and sad glimpse into his operation. Personally, regardless of what one thinks of Jones, I think it's sad that when any couple divorces and when a family gets split up. Not intending to divert this article before it's even begun on to a religious debate, but I also dont know how Jones, who has always presented himself as a proudly and unapologetic professed Christian, or any Christian for that matter, can divorce their wife and re-marry someone else, given the fact that Jesus Christ clearly forbid it in Matthew 19:9. ["And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery."]
The videos and links are below. And also, below that, is some interesting history regarding this site and Alex Jones.
At any rate, these videos and websites of Kelly Jones linked below are likely of interest to truth-seekers who follow the independent media.
In this first clip, at minute 4, the woman talks about how she is ashamed of the part she played in Alex's career.
This is the most recent video, posted March 23, 2018. It currently has only 185 views. The video description reads:Alex Jones Ex: Report Abuse and Get Gaslit in Family Court
Alex Jones Ex's CustodyWars
I'm Alex Jones' ex-wife. None of hired "experts" believed me when I reported serious domestic abuse during my marriage to Alex Jones. I know you believe it. Please share this to let people know that when you say #mefamilycourttoo in a divorce case you can lose your child to your abuser.
In this clip she explains why she is starting two new websites in 2018, because of the rampant corruption in family court in Travis County, Texas and to help others in similar situations.
In this very dramatic video entitled "What if Alex Jones was after you?" it intersperses footage with Jones spouting rageful, violent and vulgar lines with a tearful Kelly pleading for her kids back, saying "enough is enough!" and reminding him that she's the one who showed him the court's corruption.
This is from 9/20/17
This one is from late 2017:Links:If you're interested in some history as far as this site, Alex Jones ran many of my articles and videos on his websites Infowars.com and PrisonPlanet.com for about ten years, which I appreciated. He discussed my work specifically twice on his show, and surprisingly, continued to run my stuff despite the fact that I was occasionally critical of his websites stance on Israel and Zionism. When Jason Bermas said that Jew critics should electrocute themselves in a bathtub with a toaster and commit suicide, a story I broke which subsequently went super-viral, Bermas and Jones discussed my article on air. Texe Marrs, a minister and author who is rumored to have married Alex and Kelly, even published my article on the matter on his own website at the time. Marrs by the way has also linked to my articles for many years and even wrote an exclusive opinion piece for my site Rand Paul Zionist in 2015. [Zionist Puppets for President By Texe Marrs, 1/12/2015.]In 2010, Jones discussed amother article I wrote when a Texas candidate for governor whom Jones had endorsed said that 9/11 Truthers beliefs are "despicable." In discussing my article on the matter, referring to me, Jones said that "I'm familiar with the writer, he's done a lot of good reports in the past." That video is here:
I met Alex twice at his 9/11 conference in Los Angeles in 2006, got my picture taken with him a few times. Incidentally, I also met Mark Dice at the same time. I was familiar with Dice's work calling into mainstream radio shows injecting 9/11 truth. Dice (actually Shouldice) was standing at Alex's booth when I walked up, and he asked me to take their picture together. We also briefly discussed freemasonry. A few years later Alex ran all of my stories covering the Michael Reagan death threat against Mark Dice, "I'll pay for the bullets." Here is the archive with links to all those articles.
In recent years I covered occasional aspects of Jones' operation such as when Paul Joseph Watson, whose work and writing I used to respect, absurdly insisted that there is no Jewish influence anywhere. What an unbelievably absurd, preposterous and dishonest claim to make!
When Alex Jones had Donald Trump on his radio show, the two gaggled on about how it was "Muslims" who cheered and celebrated on 9/11 in New Jersey. That really pissed me off since I knew that Alex knows full well that they were Jewish "dancing Israelis." Jones and Watson had covered the arrested Israelis extensively on their sites at the time. Jones even published my specific article on the matter, which is still on his website today. [See "Dancing Israelis" Arrested On 9/11 Later Sued The Govt, But Lost Their Case.]
So for Jones to gratuitously pander to Donald Trump and not correct him that it was Israelis, not Muslims, cheering in New Jersey was in my view, egregiously dishonest and immoral, literally bearing false witness..And that is one of the reasons I felt compelled to confront Trump in person on live international television that same month and set the record straight. To which he surprisingly and oddly replied that I was "very committed, got a lot of energy, is a Trump guy, and is on our side."
RELATED:
Hysterical Alex Jones Weeps & Prays For Bibi: "Globalists Clearly Trying To Overthrow Israel" & Arrest Netanyahu. 'All You That Hate Jews' Get Ready for Islamic Rule in the U.S. 1/3/17Ron Paul Tells Alex Jones "You're Buying Into All The Garbage of the Deep State; Alex, You're Speaking For The Neoconservatives!"Alex Jones Called Out About Zionism Again, Calls It 'Mental Illness' 1/2/17'InfoWarrior' Jason Bermas: Jew Critics Are 'Anti-Semites' Who Should Hang Or Electrocute ThemselvesInfowars Paul Joseph Watson: There Is No Jewish Influence Anywhere 6/6/16 Infowars' Paul Joseph Watson opines: "People who are obsessed with Jews controlling the world never seem to present any evidence. I mean, I read the news everyday, I track narratives that the main stream media comes out with. I don't see a big Jewish influence. I mean, Jewish people are not really that present. I don't really notice them anywhere. I don't believe in this Jewish conspiracy because nobody presents any real credible hard-core evidence that it's taking place. So I mean- it is an obsession. I mean that's why people avoid it, let's be honest, because it's an obsession you don't want to be associated with; neo-Nazis and white supremacists. And even just- you know, if I saw actual evidence where it was a grand conspiracy then I would talk about it, but I just don't see it!"Co-host: "Okay! Well answered!"
It's "THE JEEEWWWS!" Alex Jones Angry Rant Against "All These Mentally Ill Jew-Obsessed People." 12/10/15Flashback: Alex Jones asked about Zyklon B gas chambers and the Protocols of Zion Gee, I wonder why this super-researcher & "exposer of false government narratives" falls right in line with the establishment and has never even once dared to question or scrutinize the story of the holohoax?Alex Jewns Bombshell: "Criminal Elements of Our Government With Saudi Arabia Ran 9/11!"Insanity Unbound: Infowars Characterizes "Dancing Israelis" Arrested in New Jersey on 9/11/01 as Arab MUSLIMS 11/27/15Fabricated 'History:' Alex Jones Claims Nazis Were Months Away From Starting Nuclear WarCalling The Dental Office of Alex Jones Dad For A Fluoride TreatmentWOW: Alex Jones Official Youtube Channel Declares "Alex Jones Is Not A Zionist!Alex Jones: "I'm Going To Visit Israel Soon"Live Traffic Stats
Outstanding Mission for Lent on The Four Last Things: DEATH, JUDGMENT, HEAVEN & HELL AudioSancto.org (Must-hear! Given by a great traditional Latin Mass priest. You can listen in the car while driving. Highly recommended.)
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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleo-conservative and civil rights advocate. In 2015, President Donald J. Trump in front of a live international TV audience, said Hill was "very committed" and "got a lot of energy," adding that "he's on our side" and "is a Trump guy."
In addition to being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast, Hill's work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, RedState.com, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, HenryMakow.com, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, InvestmentWatchBlog, Strike-The-Root.com, Antiwar.com, Mark Glenn's 'The Ugly Truth' Blog & radio show, Michael Hoffman's RevisionistHistory.org, John Friend's TheRealistReport.com, Sophia Smallstorm's Blog, DrDay.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, SaveTheMales.ca, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com, BeforeItsNews.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.
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