1049: Rent Men

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 46m
July 8th, 2018
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Executive Producers: Sir Dr. Sharkey, Sir Waistless Lost Baronet of Timber Hill

Associate Executive Producers: Anonymous Lesbian, Sir Pete of the high power Hammerheads, Sir Chris Wilson, Mariella Nolfo, Baroness Monica

Cover Artist: Mike Riley

Chapters

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Start of Show
Woodstock
7:37
Mike Pompeo in North Korea
Guest producer
13:17
Trump Montana Speach
rittdog
2:44:48
End of Show Mix
rittdog
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Google and Facebook Are Quietly Fighting California's Privacy Rights Initiative, Emails Reveal
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 04:54
Lobbyists for the largest technology and telecommunications firms have only three days to prevent the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, a ballot initiative that would usher in the strongest consumer privacy standards in the country, from going before state voters this November.
The initiative allows consumers to opt out of the sale and collection of their personal data, and vastly expands the definition of personal information to include geolocation, biometrics, and browsing history. The initiative also allows consumers to pursue legal action for violations of the law.
The idea that Californians might gain sweeping new privacy rights has spooked Silicon Valley, internet service providers, and other industries that increasingly rely on data collection, leading to a lobbying push to defeat the initiative before it gains traction. Their best hope may be to convince the sponsors of the initiative, including San Francisco real estate developer Alastair Mactaggart, to pull the proposal in exchange for compromise privacy legislation, AB 375, which would achieve some of the same goals of the initiative. Lawmakers behind the legislation, led by state Assembly Member Ed Chau, D-Monterey Park, and state Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, have promised to swiftly pass their bill this week if sponsors withdraw the CCPA.
Emails obtained by The Intercept reveal that tech giants are fighting behind the scenes to water down the privacy legislation, hoping to prevent an expensive and potentially losing ballot fight this year.
Andrea Deveau, a lobbyist for TechNet, a trade group for Google, Facebook, and other tech companies, has continually updated an ad-hoc business lobbying coalition formed to defeat the CCPA. In an update sent on Sunday evening, Deveau provided a ''compilation of feedback re: the most problematic aspects of AB 375.''
In her update, she listed a vast array of changes lobbyists are still seeking, including a rewrite of the privacy law's description of what counts as personal information, changes to the conditions under which a consumer can seek legal action, the preservation of arbitration clauses in consumer contracts, and the removal of the mandate that firms display a button on their homepage giving consumers a clear way of opting out of data collection, among other changes.
Lobbyists are seeking a rewrite of what counts as personal information, the preservation of arbitration clauses, and the removal of the mandate for a button to opt out of data collection.Over the last few days, Deveau has continued to update a coalition of Sacramento lobbyists of her team's efforts to ensure that if AB 375 passes, the bill provides significant changes compared to the original CCPA.
The lobbying coalition convened by Deveau over email includes Ryan Harkins, director of state affairs and public policy at Microsoft; Walter Hughes, the state director of government affairs at Comcast; Mufaddal Ezzy, the California manager of public policy and government relations for Google; Ann Blackwood, the head of public policy for western states at Facebook; Lisa Kohn, the senior manager for public policy at Amazon; Curt Augustine, the senior director of policy and government affairs for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; Brad Weltman, the vice president for public policy at the Interactive Advertising Bureau; and Kate Ijams, a public affairs specialist at AT&T.
The inclusion of a Facebook representative is notable, given the company's well-publicized announcement earlier this year that it would end its opposition to the initiative. In February, the company provided $200,000 to an account set up by the California Chamber of Commerce designed to defeat the CCPA initiative. But in April, following revelations about the extent to which British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica provided the Donald Trump campaign with illicit access to Facebook user data, Facebook announced that it would withdraw its opposition to CCPA and not provide additional funding to the Chamber account.
Facebook's lobbyist this week joined conference calls to strategize about ways to undermine CCPA and the email chains show that Facebook representatives have continued to receive updates from industry allies on ways in which to undermine the CCPA. The firm, however, has maintained its promise not to pledge new money to the opposition effort.
Facebook confirmed its ongoing involvement fighting CCPA. ''People should be in control of their information online and companies should be held to high standards in explaining what data they have and how they use it, especially when they sell data,'' read a statement provided to The Intercept and attributed to Will Castleberry, Facebook's vice president of state and local public policy. ''We are committed to being clear with people about how our services work, including the fact that we do not sell people's data. In that spirit, while not perfect, we support AB375 and look forward to working with policymakers on an approach that protects consumers and promotes responsible innovation.''
In addition to Facebook, Google, AT&T, Microsoft, Amazon, Verizon, and the California New Car Dealers Association have each contributed six figure donations to the Chamber account set up to defeat CCPA. Uber, the Data & Marketing Association, Cox Communications, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau have each contributed $50,000 to the account, according to disclosures.
''You should assume we are going to the ballot to fight the Initiative and determine your appetite to fight.''But experts believe the cost of the campaign could run into well over $100 million or more if the initiative goes before voters this fall. On Monday, the California Secretary of State officially qualified the CCPA initiative, confirming the campaign turned in enough valid signatures.
California campaign finance law mandates that the largest donors to a campaign are listed at the end of each advertisement. Though Silicon Valley firms have the most to lose from the enactment of the CCPA, brand names such as Google and Amazon are nervous to have their logos associated with a slash and burn election effort in opposition to privacy rights.
The tech and cable firms opposed to the bill have leaned heavily on their respective trade associations such as TechNet to head off the initiative.
In her email to the ad-hoc coalition, Deveau noted that AB 375 was moving fast, and that changes to the legislation would have to happen quickly over the coming days. If substantial changes were not made, she encouraged the lobbyists to prepare to begin raising cash for a pricey campaign over CCPA later this year.
''In the meantime, you should assume that we are going to the ballot to fight the Initiative and determine your appetite or the appetite of your clients/members to fight the ballot initiative (meaning push hard to get a sense of how much you/they might be willing to contribute to the opposition campaign) if they feel they cannot live with this new language,'' Deveau warned.
The current draft of AB 375, released yesterday, shows that the compromise legislation already differs in several key areas. The legislation, as opposed to CCPA, largely removes the right for consumers to take their own legal action, instead delegating power for enforcement to the attorney general in most circumstances.
''The Consumer Privacy Act prohibited businesses from denying services, charging different rates for the same services, or providing different levels or quality of services, in response to a consumer request that they stop selling data,'' said Lily Li, a privacy attorney and owner of Metaverse Law.
In contrast, Li said, ''AB 375 generally prohibits such price or service discrimination, but provides a carveout in situations where the difference in price or quality 'is directly related to the value provided to the consumer by the consumer's data.'''
The tech lobbying team met yesterday with Hertzberg and Gov. Jerry Brown's office, along with the leadership of both houses of the California legislature. In a follow-up email, Deveau confirmed the Monday morning meeting between Hertzberg and the ''folks leading the charge on the privacy initiative opposition campaign.''
The new bill, crafted behind closed doors by the sponsors and lobbyists, has pleased some privacy advocates as decent compromise that still provides strong new protections for consumers.
''The stakes are astronomical.''Consumer Watchdog, a consumer advocacy group, endorsed the new AB 375 legislation, calling it an agreement that enacts ''meaningful privacy protections'' while avoiding a costly ballot initiative battle. ''If the initiative ends up on the ballot, Consumer Watchdog will work for its passage. Now, however, we support the AB 375 compromise,'' declared John Simpson, director of the group's Privacy and Technology Project.
As the new bill was officially unveiled Tuesday morning, the tech lobby joined other industry groups in Sacramento to express their concerns that the revised AB 375 bill still provided too many risks for business
''The business community is in an untenable situation. Although AB 375 is deeply flawed, the privacy initiative is even worse. The stakes are astronomical because if the initiative is passed, the legislature will be virtually unable to amend the law in the future,'' said Sarah Boot, a lobbyist with the California Chamber of Commerce and the first person to testify in opposition to the legislation at the Senate Judiciary Committee, which in turn is the first committee to oversee the compromise legislation.
After Boot spoke, a parade of other lobbyists moved to the dais to register their disapproval and agree with Boot. No tech company executives or lobbyists appeared publicly, but multiple trade groups representing Silicon Valley spoke up to associate themselves with Boot's remarks. TechNet's Deveau, along with representatives of the Internet Association and the Computing Technology Industry Association, agreed that they deeply opposed AB 375, but found the legislation preferable over CCPA.
''Here we are, at the last minute, there's an initiative on the ballot,'' said state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, the chair of the committee, conceding that although the initiative was far from ideal, the issue had been forced because the legislature had not moved on any major privacy legislation.
''Somebody stepped forward and now we are in a Hobson's choice. Either this goes to the ballot and is a hundred million dollars or more I'm told is likely to be spent. Or if the bill is killed we're back at ground zero,'' Jackson said with a sigh.
After a brief debate, with Chau and Mactaggart answering questions about the bill, the committee passed the legislation. But whether it will be signed by the governor by Thursday to head off the initiative is yet to be seen.
Top photo: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the annual F8 summit in San Jose, Calif., on May 1, 2018.
Producer in NL 3 phones ADHD
Dear Adam,
In last show you talked again about the Study on phone
placement.
I also have a personal experience whit this, but i never
liked this to the phone before you guys brought this up in the show. (so thanks
for that)
When i was a kid, i got diagnosed whit ADHD, but because i
still had a real easy time whit school, (school not whit me) they gave me a IQ
test.
It came to 140, what made me compensate for the normal
shortcomings that normal ADHD people have (like lack of order and
concentration)
This all when i was 11 years old.
But i have a never ending drive and energy, so its like you
tourette, my super power. (thank got my parents refused to but me on meds for
it)
In my early/mid 20's i had a really hectic job travelling
all over the world for my Dude name Ben job in a big Pharma Company, working 60
to 80 (or more) a week.
What gave me a burn out after a few years, and got me home
for a few months. As i live in the Netherlands, i got in the health system, and
i got all the tests again,
Again diagnosed whit ADHD, and again i got the IQ test. This
time i got only to 131. A loss of 9 IQ points...
After 2 more burnouts, i quit my Pharma job, and now living
on my savings, and enjoying life. Pharma does pay well.
Because of the Dutch health system i still see doctors and a
psychologist. To be sure i am all good. What i must say do like.
I had them let me take the IQ test again, and this time it
was back to the 140 i had as a child.
At the time i had the 131 IQ test. I walked around whit 3!!
Mobile phones. I managed the phone systems among many other systems.
So i had a company Blackberry and iPhone to be able to
monitor the systems. And a Private Android.
After i quit my job i gave up on all the phones, i only have
1 now, and it lives 90% of the time on my desk, and i might look at it 4 times
a day.
So the last IQ test i had no phone on hand, or near
me, giving me the full score again. Having 3 phones whit you right in front of
you seems to give you a 9 IQ point drop of.
Of course i cant say for sure it is to blame, but it sounds
very plausible.
I hope you like my input,
Thanks for the great show,
And if you like to use my story, please keep my name out. I
have very bad experience in how people handle you after they know you might be
a bit smarter.
Facebook apologizes for flagging Declaration of Independence as hate speech - Business Insider
Fri, 06 Jul 2018 10:48
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images Facebook has apologized for taking down a post containing excerpts of the Declaration of Independence, saying that it was mistakenly flagged as hate speech.In addition to apologizing, Facebook has restored the post.This is just the latest high-profile example of Facebook's hate speech algorithm making a mistake. In yet another viral case of Facebook struggling to police hate speech on its platform, parts of the Declaration of Independence posted by a newspaper in Texas were taken down earlier this week after the social media giant flagged the excerpts as hate speech.
The post has since been restored and Facebook has apologized.
The Vindicator, a small community newspaper in Liberty County, Texas, started posting excerpts of the Declaration of Independence earlier this week leading up to the Fourth of July. While the newspaper was able to post the majority of the Declaration of Independence without any issue, one post contained the phrase "Indian Savages," which, out of context would appear to violate Facebook's community standards.
Here is the entire sentence:
"He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."
Facebook's automated systems could have detected the use of "Indian Savages," and triggered the platform to take the post down, the company said. But after The Vindicator's editors published a story about it on July 3 and notified Facebook, the company restored the post and apologized.
"The post was removed by mistake and restored as soon as we looked into it. We process millions of reports each week, and sometimes we get things wrong," a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider.
This is just the latest high profile example of a case of Facebook's hate speech algorithm making a mistake. Facebook uses a combination of humans and automation to review posts, and even though the company said it is aware of the complex issues surrounding hate speech '-- like intent and context '-- sometimes errors are made.
Facebook has said it plans to hire thousands more human reviewers, but this incident shows how the social media giant is still working out how best to remove hate speech without censoring legitimate expression.
More: Facebook Declaration of Independence Powered By Sailthru
London police chief 'completely comfortable' using facial recognition with 98 percent false positive rate - The Verge
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 11:28
The technology is being trialled in the UK but has so far led to zero arrests By James Vincent on July 5, 2018 5:49 am The head of London's Metropolitan Police force has defended the organization's ongoing trials of automated facial recognition systems, despite legal challenges and criticisms that the technology is ''almost entirely inaccurate.''
According to a report from The Register, UK Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick said on Wednesday that she did not expect the technology to lead to ''lots of arrests,'' but argued that the public ''expect[s]'' law enforcement to test such cutting-edge systems.
Facial recognition is used to scan the faces of crowds at public eventsThe Met's use of automated facial recognition technology (AFR) is controversial. The London force is one of several in the UK trialling the technology, which is deployed at public events like concerts, festivals, and soccer matches. Mobile CCTV cameras are used to scan crowds, and tries to match images of faces to mugshots of wanted individuals.
But while facial recognition performs well in controlled environments (like photos taken at borders), they struggle to identify faces in the wild. According to data released under the UK's Freedom of Information laws, the Metropolitan's AFR system has a 98 percent false positive rate '-- meaning that 98 percent of the ''matches'' it makes are of innocent people.
Of the two correct matches the Met's technology has made to date, there have been zero arrests. One match was for an individual on an out-of-date watch list; the other for a person with mental health issues who frequently contacts public figures, but is not a criminal and not wanted for arrest. The Met says that AFR systems are constantly monitored by police officers, and that no individuals have been arrested because of a false match.
In China, police have even started using facial recognition-enabled sunglasses.
Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Despite this, Big Brother Watch, the organization that requested the UK data, warns that facial recognition technology is being deployed without proper scrutiny or public debate. The non-profit says automated facial recognition risks turning any and all public spaces into biometric check points, and that the technology could have a chilling effect on free society, with individuals scared to join protests for fear of being misidentified and arrested.
Similar fears are being voiced in the US, where easy-to-use facial recognition tech like Amazon's Rekognition system is being marketed and sold to law enforcement agencies around the country. A recent report on the topic from advocacy group the EFF said ''face recognition is poised to become one of the most pervasive surveillance technologies.''
In the UK, there are two legal challenges underway questioning whether facial recognition technology undermines human rights to privacy and free expression. As The Register reports, when commissioner Dick was asked about this at a hearing this week, she replied that she was ''completely comfortable'' with the technology's use, and that the Met's lawyers were ''all over it and have been from the beginning.''
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Google Cloud changes abuse prevention process after viral customer complaint - Business Insider
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:43
Diane Greene, Google's cloud boss. Business Insider
Google Cloud says it is reviewing its abuse-prevention process after a customer complaint posted on Medium last week went viral.The author of that Medium post, an admin of an energy-monitoring operation, was spooked when Google threatened in an email to shut down all operations if proper documents weren't provided in three days.Google is owning up to the error, saying it will make changes so that the problem will never happen again. Google Cloud says it has begun reviewing its abuse-prevention process after a customer complaint posted on Medium last week generated a lot of criticism of the service.
The post was written by an anonymous administrator overseeing a system that monitors "hundreds of wind turbines and scores of solar plants." The admin said Google blocked the system's website, app and other services on June 28 without warning because it had detected "potential suspicious activity."
Google then threatened to shut down the system for good unless the admin could provide ID and other documents. Things never got to that point, though, as Google responded to the admin's request for help and settled the situation quickly.
Now Google is doing damage control to ensure that situation doesn't happen again and to spread the word to existing and prospective customers of its cloud business.
Brian Bender, an engineering support lead at Google Cloud, wrote on Medium that the situation had prompted a review of its "abuse prevention processes."
"To ensure this does not happen again," Bender said, Google Cloud will "re-evaluate the data sources" used "to assess potential fraudulent activity," implement "additional mechanisms for suspect accounts," and "improve the effectiveness of how we communicate account warnings."
"We sincerely apologize for this issue and are working quickly to make things better, not just for this customer but for all GCP customers," Bender wrote.
The fight is not just about technology The snafu was exactly the kind of news that Google Cloud doesn't need as it competes with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft's Azure for enterprise customers, and it highlights a potential weak spot in Google's plan to diversify from its longstanding advertising business.
Diane Greene, the CEO of Google Cloud, has said often that Google has superior technology and brainpower than rivals. But the battle may not be won on tech brawn alone.
When it comes to customer service '-- a critical feature for businesses staking their livelihoods on a cloud service '-- Google appears a lot more vulnerable. In the many discussions about this incident on Reddit and other online message boards, a big complaint that has surfaced is an inability of Google Cloud customers to contact human customer-service reps in emergencies. Bender didn't address that issue in his Medium post.
Read Google's full response >> More: Google Cloud Diane Greene Customer Service Amazon Powered By Sailthru
Why you should not use Google Cloud. '' Punch a Server '' Medium
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:44
UPDATE (2-July-2018): Thanks to the people from GCP support team who have reached out and assured us these incidents will not repeat. Here's a direct message from them '... ''there is a large group of folk (within GCP) interested in making things better, not just for you but for all GCP customers.''Follow discussions here. HACKERNEWS: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17431609REDDIT: https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/8v4wrh/why_you_should_not_use_google_cloud_this_is_about/
Note: This post is not about the quality of Google Cloud products. They are excellent, on par with AWS. This is about the ''no-warnings-given, abrupt way'' they pull the plug on your entire systems if they (or the machines) believe something is wrong. This is the second time this has happened to us.Background.We have a project running in production on Google Cloud (GCP) that is used to monitor hundreds of wind turbines and scores of solar plants scattered across 8 countries. We have control centers with wall-to-wall screens with dashboards full of metrics that are monitored 24/7. Asset Managers use this system to monitor the health of individual wind turbines and solar strings in real time and take immediate corrective maintenance. Development and Forecasting teams use the system to run algorithms on data in BigQuery. All these actions translate directly to revenue. We deal in a 'wind/solar energy''Š'--'Ša perishable commodity. If we over produce, we cannot store and sell later. If we under produce, there are penalties to be paid. For this reason assets need to be monitored 24/7 to keep up/down with the needs of the power grid and the power purchase agreements made.
What happened.Early today morning (28 June 2018) i receive an alert from Uptime Robot telling me my entire site is down. I receive a barrage of emails from Google saying there is some 'potential suspicious activity' and all my systems have been turned off. EVERYTHING IS OFF. THE MACHINE HAS PULLED THE PLUG WITH NO WARNING. The site is down, app engine, databases are unreachable, multiple Firebases say i've been downgraded and therefore exceeded limits.
It's a lonely cloud.Customer service chat is off. There's no phone to call. I have an email asking me to fill in a form and upload a picture of the credit card and a government issued photo id of the card holder. Great, let's wake up the CFO who happens to be the card holder.
We will delete project within 3 business days.''We will delete your project unless the billing owner corrects the violation by filling out the Account Verification Form within three business days. This form verifies your identity and ownership of the payment instrument. Failure to provide the requested documents may result in permanent account closure.''What if the card holder is on leave and is unreachable for three days? We would have lost everything'Š'--'Šyears of work'Š'--'Šmillions of dollars in lost revenue.
I fill in the form with the details and thankfully within 20 minutes all the services started coming alive. The first time this happened, we were down for a few hours. In all we lost everything for about an hour. An automated email arrives apologizing for 'inconvenience' caused. Unfortunately The Machine has no understanding of the 'quantum of inconvenience' caused.
You just can't turn things off and then ask for an explanation.I understand Google's need to monitor and prevent suspicious activity. But how you handle things after some suspicious activity is detected matters a lot. You need a human element here'Š'--'Šone that cannot be replaced by any amount of code/AI. You just can't turn things off and then ask for an explanation. Do it the other way round.
This is the first project we built entirely on the Google Cloud. All our previous works were built on AWS. In our experience AWS handles billing issues in a much more humane way. They warn you about suspicious activity and give you time to explain and sort things out. They don't kick you down the stairs.
I hope GCP team is listening and changes things for better. Until then i'm never building any project on GCP.
No Nations No Borders No Profit No ICE
Job guarantee - Wikipedia
Thu, 05 Jul 2018 20:14
A job guarantee (JG) is an economic policy proposal aimed at providing a sustainable solution to the dual problems of inflation and unemployment. Its aim is to create full employment and price stability, by having the state promise to hire unemployed workers as an employer of last resort (ELR).[1]
The economic policy stance currently dominant around the world uses unemployment as a policy tool to control inflation; when cost pressures rise, the standard monetary policy carried out by the monetary authority (central bank) tightens interest rates, creating a buffer stock of unemployed people, which reduces wage demands, and ultimately inflation. When inflationary expectations subside, these people will get their jobs back. In Marxian terms, the unemployed serve as a reserve army of labor. By contrast, in a job guarantee program, a buffer stock of employed people (employed in the job guarantee program) provides the same protection against inflation without the social costs of unemployment, hence potentially fulfilling the dual mandate of full employment and price stability.[1]
Conception [ edit ]
The job guarantee proposal is particularly associated with certain post-Keynesian economists,[2] particularly at the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (University of Newcastle, Australia), at the Levy Economics Institute (Bard College) and at University of Missouri '' Kansas City including the affiliated Center for Full Employment and Price Stability.[3]
JG draws from a social justice tradition of right to work, such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the US Employment Act of 1946, and an early form was proposed by Hyman Minsky.[4][5]
The JG proposal was conceived independently by Bill Mitchell (1998)[6] and Warren Mosler (1997''98).[7] It has since been developed further by authors, including Randall Wray (1998)[8] and a comprehensive treatment of it appears in Mitchell and Muysken (2008).[9]
Overview [ edit ]
The JG is based on a buffer stock principle whereby the public sector offers a fixed wage job to anyone willing and able to work thereby establishing and maintaining a buffer stock of employed workers. This buffer stock expands when private sector activity declines, and declines when private sector activity expands, much like today's unemployed buffer stocks.
The JG thus fulfills an absorption function to minimize the real costs associated with the flux of the private sector. When private sector employment declines, public sector employment will automatically react and increase its payrolls. So in a recession, the increase in public employment will increase net government spending, and stimulate aggregate demand and the economy. Conversely, in a boom, the decline of public sector employment and spending caused by workers leaving their JG jobs for higher paid private sector employment will lessen stimulation, so the JG functions as an automatic stabilizer controlling inflation. The nation always remains fully employed, with a changing mix between private and public sector employment. Since the JG wage is open to everyone, it will functionally become the national minimum wage.
Under the JG, people of working age who are not in full-time education and have less than 35 hours per week of paid employment would be entitled to the balance of 35 hours paid employment, undertaking work of public benefit at the minimum wage. The aim is to replace unemployment and underemployment with paid employment (up to the hours desired by workers), so that those who are at any point in time surplus to the requirements of the private sector (and mainstream public sector) can earn a reasonable living rather than suffer the indignity and insecurity of underemployment, poverty, and social exclusion.
Income support [ edit ]
A range of income support arrangements, including a generic work-tested benefit payment, would also be available to unemployed people, depending on their circumstances, as an initial subsistence income while arrangements are made to employ them. This would rarely be necessary once the system was well established, because in most circumstances JG jobs would be immediately available and offered instead of income support.
Inflation control [ edit ]
The fixed JG wage provides an in-built inflation control mechanism. Mitchell (1998) called the ratio of JG employment to total employment the buffer employment ratio (BER). The BER conditions the overall rate of wage demands. When the BER is high, real wage demands will be correspondingly lower. If inflation exceeds the government's announced target, tighter fiscal and monetary policy would be triggered to increase the BER, which entails workers transferring from the inflating sector to the fixed price JG sector. Ultimately this attenuates the inflation spiral. So instead of a buffer stock of unemployed being used to discipline the distributional struggle, the JG policy achieves this via compositional shifts in employment. Replacing the current non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU), the BER that results in stable inflation is called the non-accelerating inflation buffer employment ratio (NAIBER) (Mitchell 1998). It is a full employment steady state JG level, which is dependent on a range of factors including the path of the economy. There is an issue about the validity of an unchanging nominal anchor in an inflationary environment. The JG wage would be adjusted in line with productivity growth to avoid changing real relativities. Its viability as a nominal anchor relies on the fiscal authorities reining in any private wage-price pressures.
No relative wage effects [ edit ]
The JG introduces no relative wage effects and the rising demand per se does not necessarily invoke inflationary pressures because by definition it is satisfying the net savings desire of the private sector (see Mitchell and Muysken, 2008 for more details). Additionally, in today's demand constrained economies, firms are likely to increase capacity utilisation to meet the higher sales volumes. Given that the demand impulse is less than required in the NAIRU (Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment) economy, it is clear that if there were any demand-pull inflation it would be lower under the JG. There are no new problems faced by employers who wish to hire labour to meet the higher sales levels. Any initial rise in demand will stimulate private sector employment growth while reducing JG employment and spending. However, these demand pressures are unlikely to lead to accelerating inflation while the JG pool contains workers employable by the private sector.
Wage bargaining [ edit ]
While the JG policy frees wage bargaining from the general threat of unemployment, several factors offset this:
In professional occupational markets, while any wait unemployment will discipline wage demands, demand pressures may eventually exhaust this stock and wage-price pressures may develop. With a strong and responsive tertiary education sector, skill bottlenecks can be avoided more readily than with an unemployed buffer stock;
Private firms would still be required to train new workers in job-specific skills in the same way they would in a non-JG economy. However, JG workers are far more likely to have retained higher levels of skill than those who are forced to succumb to lengthy spells of unemployment. This changes the bargaining environment rather significantly because firms now have reduced hiring costs. Previously, the same firms would have lowered their hiring standards and provided on-the-job training and vestibule training in tight labour markets. The JG policy thus reduces the "hysteretic inertia" embodied in the long-term unemployed and allows for a smoother private sector expansion;
With high long-term unemployment, the excess supply of labour poses a very weak threat to wage bargaining, compared to a JG environment (Mitchell, 1998).
Comparison with other policies [ edit ]
Keynesianism [ edit ]
A crucial point is that the JG does not rely on the government spending at market prices and then exploiting multipliers to achieve full employment which characterizes traditional Keynesian aggregate demand management. The JG program differs in that it "would be targeted directly to households. It is a genuine bottom-up approach to economic recovery. It is a program that stabilizes the incomes and purchasing power of individuals at the bottom of the income distribution that trickles up and stabilizes the rest of economic activity. Strong and stable demand means strong and stable profit expectations. A program that stabilizes employment and purchasing power is a program that stabilizes cash flows and earnings. Stable incomes through employment also mean stable repayments of debts and greater overall balance sheet stability".[10]
This section
needs expansion.
You can help by adding to it. (April 2010)Full employability [ edit ]
The JG seeks to reorient labour market policy away from the current OECD emphasis on full employability whereby governments engage in programs to prepare the unemployed for work without guaranteeing that work will be available towards a focus on creating enough work. The full employability agenda has come under fire from a number of sources in recent years (see, for example ILO, 2004).[11]
Workfare [ edit ]
Workfare is a scheme where participation in activities is a requirement for obtaining social benefits. Workfare schemes may not cover all of the unemployed, and may not offer the same income as a full-time minimum wage job.
Implementation [ edit ]
There are now several countries which have implemented direct job creation schemes to counter the major problems associated with persistent unemployment. For example, the Argentine government introduced the Jefes de Hogar (Heads of Households) program in 2001 to combat the social malaise that followed the financial crisis in that year.
Similarly, the Indian Government introduced in 2005 a five-year plan called the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) to bridge the vast rural-urban income disparities that have emerged as India's information technology and service sector has boomed. The program has successfully empowered women and raised rural wages, but has also attracted the ire of landowners who have to pay farm laborers more due to a higher prevailing wage. The projects tend to be highly labor-intensive and low skill, like dam and road construction, and soil conservation, with modest but positive long-term benefits and mediocre management.
Programs enacted but not implemented [ edit ]
In the United States, the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act of 1978 allows the government to create a "reservoir of public employment" in case private enterprise does not provide sufficient jobs. These jobs are required to be in the lower ranges of skill and pay so as to not draw the workforce away from the private sector. However, the act did not establish such a reservoir (it only authorized it), and no such program has been implemented in the United States, even though the unemployment rate has generally been above the rate (3%) targeted by the act.
In popular culture [ edit ]
In the third season of the American political drama House of Cards, a job guarantee program, called "America Works," is a key policy proposal of protagonist Frank Underwood (portrayed by Kevin Spacey) after he becomes President of the United States. Details of the program are sparse, but it is portrayed as involving both public sector employment (in the form of public works programs) and private sector employment (with subsidies for employers who take on new workers), and is intended to be financed with cuts to Social Security and Medicare. America Works is not fully implemented, but a pilot program centered in Washington, D.C. is portrayed as having employed tens of thousands of people before funds are rescinded.
Advocacy [ edit ]
In 2011, the Institute for Public Policy Research, a UK think tank associated with the Labour Party, advocated a job creation program - with compulsory takeup, on pain of loss of benefits - for the long-term unemployed only. The Labour Party under Ed Miliband subsequently went into the 2015 general election with a promise to implement an even more limited Job Guarantee (specifically, part time jobs with guaranteed training included for long-term unemployed youth) if elected;[12] however, they lost the election. This is still Labour Party policy - however, they are looking at universal basic income as a possible alternative policy.
See also [ edit ]
Centre of Full Employment and Equity
Chartalism
Full Employment Abandoned
Guaranteed minimum income
Involuntary unemployment
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
Natural rate of unemployment
Non-accelerating inflation buffer employment ratio
[ edit ]
^ a b L. Randall Wray, "Job Guarantee"
^ Wray, L. Randall (Aug 2001), The Endogenous Money Approach (Working Paper No. 17), Center for Full Employment and Price Stability
^ Center for Full Employment and Price Stability
^ (Minsky 1965)
^ (Wray 2009)
^ W.F. Mitchell (1998) "The Buffer Stock Employment Model - Full Employment without a NAIRU" Journal of Economic Issues 32(2), 547-55
^ W.B. Mosler (1997-98) "Full Employment and Price Stability" Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 20(2), 167-182
^ R. Wray (1998) Understanding Modern Money: The Key to Full Employment and Price Stability, Edward Elgar: Northampton, MA.
^ W.F. Mitchell and J. Muysken (2008). Full Employment Abandoned: Shifting Sands and Policy failures,. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham. Revised: January 2009 [1]
^ Tcherneva, Pavlina R. [2]"Fiscal Policy Effectiveness: Lessons from the Great Recession", 2011
^ International Labour Organisation (ILO) (2004) "Macroeconomic policy for growth and employment" Committee on Employment and Social Policy, Governing Body, 291st Session. Geneva: International Labour Office
^ "Labour extends jobs guarantee for long-term unemployed". BBC News. 10 March 2014 . Retrieved 6 January 2017 .
References [ edit ]
The growing Occupy Ice movement: 'We're here for the long haul' | US news | The Guardian
Fri, 06 Jul 2018 10:43
A lmost seven years after Occupy Wall Street spawned encampments across the US to protest economic inequality, activists are borrowing the same title and method to create a series of Occupy Ice camps in protest against the government's immigration policies.
The first Occupy Ice camp popped up outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday 17 June. Since then, camps have been set up in Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and elsewhere.
Unlike the first Occupy Wall Street occupation, which took over Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan after months of planning, the Occupy Ice camp in Portland was unplanned.
Related: Woman to appear in court after Fourth of July Statue of Liberty protest
''There was a vigil being held to honor people who have suffered from these policies,'' said Whitney Handrich, one of the activists involved in Portland.
''After that vigil, people just started talking and thinking of ways about how we can do more. Some decided to stay, and it snowballed after that.''
On that first Sunday, five people spent the night under an open-sided gazebo; two nights later, there were 29 tents set up outside the Ice building, close to the Willamette river. Handrich, a 30-year-old nanny and yoga teacher, estimates that after a week more than 50 tents were in the camp.
''This was definitely spontaneous,'' Handrich said. ''But people have passed down knowledge from Occupy Wall Street, so that, I think, helps. So some of the lessons from that organization have been learned to make this more sustainable.''
A common criticism of the first iteration of Occupy was that protesters were big on energy but low on specific demands or goals. Occupy Ice Portland's ultimate aim, like that of other Occupy Ice groups, is simply to abolish Ice. But shorter-term goals include making sure Portland city council lives up to its commitment to be a sanctuary city and offering legal help and resources to undocumented immigrants.
The group's presence forced the Ice building to close for more than a week in June. In the process of federal law enforcement agents reopening the building on 23 June, eight protesters were arrested.
By then, though, activists elsewhere had begun to take note. On 2 July, a camp appeared outside an Ice office in Philadelphia. More than 20 people were arrested there on Tuesday '' police and homeland security officers told protesters they couldn't block Ice's garage doors. On Thursday afternoon, police forcibly dismantled the camp, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
As some camps are removed, other occupations are springing up, including in traditionally less-Democratic states. On Monday, a group of 20 people pitched their tents outside the Ice office in Louisville, Kentucky, and they plan to stay there indefinitely.
''We had been reading about Occupy Ice and watching the news like everyone else,'' said Jesºs Iba±ez, who is part of Occupy Ice Louisville. ''We didn't have any contact with Portland before we set up.''
The lack of centralized control is reminiscent of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which began with the New York City camp and led to Occupy rallies taking place in more than 900 cities across 82 countries.
Iba±ez and his group set up camp directly outside the Ice building, barricading the front and rear entrances to the building in the process. Within 45 minutes, officials from homeland security had dismantled the camp, ordering Iba±ez and the others to leave federal land. The activists set up their tents a few yards back, on city-owned land, and have no plans to leave.
''We plan on staying on there as long as it stays to abolish Ice,'' Iba±ez said. ''We're in this for the long haul.''
Iba±ez, 33, wasn't part of the Occupy movement in 2011, but he said a couple of others in the Louisville camp had been involved and had shared their experiences. Although the Louisville Occupy Ice branch did not communicate with the existing camps before setting up, Iba±ez said they had since been in contact with camps in Tacoma, Washington, and the original Portland camp.
''They've been telling us what works for them, what doesn't work for them,'' Iba±ez said. ''How to interact with counter protesters, things like that.''
Hardrich said that in Portland, people had stood near the camp holding pro-Trump signs, and someone had thrown feces at some of the tents. It hasn't deterred the occupiers, however '' just as the people taking part in New York City's Occupy Ice demonstration haven't been deterred by being unable to pitch tents.
Related: Occupy Ice: protest camps expand across US amid calls to shutter agency
''We have sleeping bags, blankets, pillows and yoga mats,'' said Abby Rojas, who has been camping at Foley Square, in lower Manhattan, since last week. Rojas, 24, and about 15 others established their demonstration after reading about Occupy Ice Portland. They chose Foley Square for its proximity to the courts that hear deportation cases.
''In NYC, our occupation is focused on getting resources to any immigrant families, like food, medicine, legal work. We're just trying to help out as much as we can,'' Rojas said.
Rojas said she felt the Occupy Ice movement was growing '' ''and it's a very positive sign that its growing'' '' but she wanted to make sure people retained their focus.
''It takes more than taping a 'we welcome refugees' poster to your window,'' Rojas said.
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Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism: What Exactly Is It, And Why Does It Hurt? | HuffPost
Thu, 05 Jul 2018 22:21
Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism, or TERF, is a loosely-organized collective with a message of hate and exclusion against transgender women in particular, and transgender people as a whole. They have attached themselves to radical feminism as a means to attempt to deny trans women basic access to health care, women's groups, restroom facilities, and anywhere that may be considered women's space.
Long time feminist and advocate, Gloria Steinem, used to hold an exclusionary opinion, but has since said that she fully supports the inclusion of trans women in the feminist movement, However, not all radical feminists agree. Janice Raymond, author of The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male authored a paper iIn the early 1980s that the Health and Human Services branch of the U.S. Government used to deny trans men and women trans-related medical care, for example.
Since then, they have continued to use anti-transgender rhetoric, using the banner of feminism in the same way that Westboro Baptist Church uses Christianity. They consistently use rhetoric suggesting that trans women are would-be rapists, that we are "men invading women's spaces" -- (Cathy Brennan, head of Gender Identity Watch) and are "forcing penises on lesbians" -- (Justin Norwood, Gender Identity Watch), intimating that "penis" is a threat, with the assumption that trans women are nothing more than whatever genitals they may have been born with. The statistics, however, consistently show disproportional sexual aggression against transgender women, and to a lesser degree transgender men, when compared with the cisgender (simply a term meaning those who's gender identity matches their assigned sex at birth) population.
When speaking out against the TERF movement, one is at risk of being "outed" on social media. In one instance, the group Gender Identity Watch worked with the right-wing anti-gay group, Pacific Justice Institute, to help prevent a Colorado teen from being able to use the women's restroom. The leader, Cathy Brennan, outed the teen, who was already being bullied, and she was subsequently put on suicide watch. Their actions often incite others to denigrate or discriminate a minority -- which is the definition of a hate group.
The verbiage often used by the TERF groups are problematic for the transgender community. Not because of the way in which they deliberately seek to dehumanize and denigrate trans women, but because of the reliance of tropes that medical science have for many years proven wrong, that feed into misunderstandings people may have regarding what being transgender truly means. In their words. a transgender woman is a nothing but a "self loathing gay man" and they claim that trans women are gay men who, rather than stand up and come out as gay, would rather "hide" by being transgender, as if it makes things more palatable for friends, family and co-workers. The reverse is unfortunately the truth.
We are often portrayed as fetishists by hate groups such as Gender Identity Watch -- the "Man in a Dress" trope is widely applied to us, and that transgender men are still women. TERFs hold the belief that if someone is born with a penis, they are male for life, and a vagina, female for life. The quandary to those who believe the misinformation spread by the TERF movement is that if someone was born with a functional vagina and clitoromegaly, for example, and the doctors decided to assign the baby as a male because they believed that the child would have a better normalization experience (the term that the medical profession use for butchering infants genitals that don't match Cathy Brennan's narrow definitions) -- then is that child a male, or a female? Nature has many variations of physical gender that occur naturally, in fauna and flora. Quite simply then, logic dictates that Cathy Brennan's definition of gender does not stand up to basic real-world scrutiny.
As a transgender woman, I can assure the readers that I have not met one trans person who would deliberately choose to stand out among their peers to be singled out for abuse, assault, for rape, or to be murdered in the horrific way that transgender women are being killed around the world. In the U.S., when a cisgender woman is murdered, the violence against the murdered woman is eclipsed by the way that trans women are more often than not mutilated, dismembered, or set on fire in an orgy of hate. Being transgender is not a choice, it is a scientific medical reality. It would be far easier for someone who is gay than transgender. Simply put, gay people generally look the same as everyone else. This does not mean that our brothers and sisters within the LGBT do not have their own struggles, many of which are part of the shared experience within the LGBT. However while we have many commonalities and shared goals, there are significant differences, such as access to healthcare and a significantly higher murder rate.
Another tactic of the TERF movement is using the widely discredited trope that being transgender is a mental health issue. It's true that because of societies reaction towards transgender people, particularly trans women and trans women of color, many trans people suffer from depression and bodily dysphoria. However, this is not the cause of someone being transgender, but the symptom of abuse that those such as the TERF groups like to perpetrate against them daily. No one is mentally ill for being transgender -- medical science has already proven this, and transgender is no longer listed in the DSM-V as a result, but this does not stop the TERFs from claiming that something must be "wrong" with a transgender person for "mutilating" themselves through surgery, according to Cathy Brennan.
Whenever a trans individual such as myself is critical of TERF ideology, we are labelled "misogynists" or "Men's Rights Activists", which is an interesting tactic and one that seems to actually make people question the TERF ethos more than swing the undecided towards their viewpoint. Merely by taking a stand against them, I and others like myself have been subjected to threats against our personal safety, been bombarded with spam, pornography, and signed up to various mailing lists in an attempt to silence our voices. Yet many transgender individuals are brave enough to continue pointing out where TERFs are wrong, in the hope that, at least for the transgender community, we can be treated as the men and women we truly are.
Lesbian erasure | GenderTrender
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 12:41
This is a GUEST POST by Bev Jo.
'When We Rise' miniseries logo. [ABC]
Defending Our Lesbian Lives and History from Male Erasure
By Bev Jo
We know about the trans cult appropriating our Lesbian and feminist identity, our organizations, our communities, our lives. Whatever they can't take over and mark as their territory, they destroy. Throughout this female-hating, Lesbian-hating vendetta, there is also a steady re-writing of Lesbian history by gay men and some women collaborators.
Some rewritings are conscious and aggressive, while others are just lazy erasure, such as the ''alternative facts'' in the recent gay male-produced and directed television ''docu-drama'' mini-series on the major US network channel, ABC. ''When We Rise,'' is set in San Francisco, starting in 1972 and continuing over decades. They combine bad drama with actual videos of the time, and include stories of some of the people who lived then, giving an air of authenticity to their travesty. This altering of Lesbian history is so upsetting that it would be better if they just called the show, ''When Gay Men Rise.'' But continuing the myth of Lesbians being part of their ''LGBTQIXYZ'' mess increases the power of not just gay men, but also their het brothers who identify as women. (No Lesbian I know, and I know hundreds, ever agreed to join the alphabet mess. We were added against our will.) This is too close to the trans cult's claiming all dead Lesbians from the past as ''transmen.'' I worry that this series will be linked to and referred to in the far future, including in university classes, as if it IS our history.
This is personal to me. Very personal. This is my life and community they are lying about for profit and propaganda. I am daily aware that when those of us who lived then are gone, no one will be able to protest the lies. So we have to keep telling the truth now. For those who came later, please be very careful about what you say about our history and our lives, to make sure it's not altered, and help continue the truth. (I can't believe I have to argue with Lesbians not even born by the Seventies who insist what they read about my own history is more valid than what I lived.)
So, were the producers/director of ''When We Rise'' being lazy, rather than deliberately re-writing Lesbian history? It's hard to know when it was such a sloppy, badly done show. Yes, there are tender, moving, and enraging moments, like when African-descent Ken Jones' Euro-descent longtime lover dies and his lover's family kicks him out of their home with only what he can carry in his arms because they had no legal protection. (This is part of what those against marriage rights forget. If marriage offends you, first remove het's marriage rights, but please allow Lesbians and gay men to finally get the same rights for basic survival, medical control if those we love can't communicate, immigration, etc. that hets have. No other documents are strong enough to protect us if Lesbian-hating families are powerful enough.)
So much of the show was trite and badly acted. Particularly jarring is how the later actors don't seem remotely connected to the earlier actors playing the same characters. Ken Jones becomes a born again christian and denounces himself for a while, but the earlier version of him is strong and courageous. The Cleve Jones' character suddenly has annoying exaggerated ''faggot'' mannerisms that his younger representation didn't have. It was annoying to see so much time wasted that could have instead focused on our real history spent by showing his various contorted expressions meant to convey emotion and pathos, including the side drama about his sudden obsession with wanting to adopt a baby '-- perhaps to humanize him to the het audience? They do the same thing with the two main Lesbian characters whose life suddenly is all about having a baby, in spite of the young version of Roma Guy being adamantly against it. With so little time to show our community or gay men's community histories, why place major focus on baby obsession other than that it's about assimilating Lesbians?
Particularly infuriating is when the series just lies, appropriating well-known NYC Lesbian history by portraying it as happening in San Francisco '-- like when Lesbians in NOW came out with their Lavender Menace shirts to protest Betty Friedan and NOW's Lesbian hating. Roma Guy, showcased in the series, is credited with that protest though it happened two years earlier than when the series begins and thousands of miles away. How can they just erase the real Lesbians who made that demonstration? It's not like it's a secret history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavender_Menace
The Roma Guy character also refers to Lesbian Feminist support for Inez Garcia, who had been on trial for murder, but repeats the myth that Inez acted in self defense. Inez said that after she was raped, she got a gun and went after the men who had attacked her (one had raped her and the second man had held her down). She killed the second man. She was convicted until she got help from a feminist attorney and massive support from our Lesbian Feminist community. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inez_Garc%C3%ADa
The filmmakers also appropriate the NYC Stonewall rebellion against police brutality as if happened in San Francisco '' including plagiarizing the ''''God Save Us Nelly Queens'' quote from documentaries about Stonewall. I wasn't around gay men, but I do remember drag queen shows in North Beach in San Francisco in the Sixties and later that were a significant part of the tourist industry where hets paid to see drag queen performers. Were the police as violent to gay men in SF as elsewhere? Yes, Harvey Milk was killed by another city supervisor, and yes, gay men burned police cars, but it's a different history than what happened at Stonewall.
I object to the mini-series erasing gay men in other ways also. They don't even seem to know how Lesbians and gay men looked. How hard could it have been to get accurate photos of gay men? Most of the gay men I saw in the Seventies looked like the gay men in photographs at Stonewall and many videos of the time, which was counter-culture young hippies and political activists. Later, there was the distinct ''Castro Clone'' look, which Freddie Mercury emulated. (An ageist reference to Harvey Milk in the series was that he looked like a hippie, but was too old '-- until he changed to get elected. Old hippies still can be seen in the Bay Area.)
I'm guessing the reason they altered our history was because they didn't know and didn't bother to try to find out. But it's even more upsetting when they present actual famous Lesbians and caricature them, like dynamic, outspoken Phyllis Lyon, who we owe so much to and who barely speaks in the series. Her lover, Del Martin, was played by Rosie O'Donnell as a caricature, with longer hair than Del. She's portrayed as being annoying because she was a Lesbian Feminist who cares about women, as opposed to prioritizing men. They attribute a quote to Del that I remember as being from Jackie Winnow, who wrote about the lack of support for Lesbians with cancer before she died at age 44.
http://mountainviewpeople.blogspot.com/2008/01/jackie-winnow-1947-1991-lesbian-breast.html
''Jackie Winnow was a feminist, lesbian and progressive activist who played a major role in transforming health care activism. She was the first coordinator of the Lesbian/Gay and AIDS unit of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, where her work focused on discrimination both within and without the LGBT communities. In 1985, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and she founded the Women's Cancer Resource Center in Berkeley the next year with Joanne Garrett, another friend of mine.
Winnow's involvement in the feminist health movement inspired her cancer activism. She once said, ''We have to stop being nice girls and start fighting as if our lives depend on it, because they do.'' She became an outspoken cancer activist and infused the movement with energy and focus.
She also was a forceful voice for people with AIDS and once stated, ''Both of these diseases are life-threatening and yet I have seen my community rally around one and overlook the other'...No one takes care of women or lesbians except women or lesbians, and we have a hard enough time taking care of ourselves, of finding ourselves worthy and important enough for attention.''
The series is full of digs and asides thrown in to discredit Lesbian Feminist activists, such as when Roma Guy is at a women only meeting, and her friend Cleve Jones rushes in to talk with her, belittling and ignoring the Lesbians objecting to his invading women only space, saying he's a ''feminist.''
Even worse was the series' scapegoating our beloved Pat Norman, who was played by a bizarrely feminized Whoopi Goldberg. I've seen a lot of documentaries and reports about the history of AIDS in SF, which names various male politicians in San Francisco as being the main obstructionists in education about how AIDS is spread, but never, ever saw a reference blaming Pat Norman '' until this series. Why did they do this to her?
It's as if they had a list of a few Lesbians and toss them out to make it look like they know Lesbian history. Meanwhile, the many Lesbians who were changing the world were just ignored. One segment of the series included the actual people talking about the history, and a gay man said how much more Lesbians were doing, but no details were shown in the series. A big fuss was made about the Women's Building in SF, which does have an exquisite mural, but I never thought of it as our space. A friend said they did have some good things in the early Eighties, but now it's available to anyone with enough money. Even soon after it began I remember hearing from a friend who did security there that businessmen would hire rooms to have strippers at their luncheon meetings. When we had our Separatist Gathering there in 1983, no one bothered to tell us that a man had called in a bomb threat.
I think there is racism and classism also in their ignoring Oakland and Berkeley, which was not separate from San Francisco. In that era, our Lesbian communities were combined. There is also ageism, as in the scene when Cleve Jones chastises younger ''gay people'' for not being as activist as he was. I see the charge of age divides among Lesbians being pushed by men claiming to be Lesbians, but the reality I still see is that Lesbian Feminists, and particularly Radical Lesbian Feminists, are allied across all ages.
I've been living in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1966. As soon as I was able, I tried to find Lesbians, but it was difficult since I was underage and so not able to join the Daughters of Bilitis or go to the bars. In 1970, I found the Lesbian Feminist community, which was a dream come true. I joined Gay Women's Liberation, which met in Berkeley at Alice Molloy and Carol Vorvolakos' house, and also alternated in SF at Judy Grahn and Wendy Cadden's apartment. (This was before ''Lesbian'' and ''Dyke'' became associated with proud Lesbian Feminism, while ''gay woman'' seemed to be used more by women afraid to say the terrifying word ''Lesbian.'')
Just look around now and see how Lesbians have gone backward to where women are still terrified and so choose to name themselves ''genderqueer'' and ''queer'' or anything but ''Lesbian.'' Never underestimate the fear of being called a Lesbian. (Even my mother who I talked to openly about being a Lesbian since I was a teenager seemed incapable of saying the word, and so would mumble something like L..s..b..n. I'd keep asking what the hell she was trying to say, until she'd switch to ''they,'' as in ''they can get married now,'' which wasn't even true at the time.) Continually trying to rename us into something less clear and less explicitly Lesbian feels like yet another kind of ''Lesbian and gay conversion therapy.'' Too reminiscent of ''I don't care what you do, but just don't use 'that' word!''
It's overwhelming to try to tell our true history since that would take a book (which I am writing). Also there was just so much that it's hard to remember it all. I'm sure I'm leaving a lot out, but just wanted to at least protest the series, which will be considered accurate as our/my history, unless we speak out. For instance, there are a large Bay Area Lesbian of Color communities and sub-communities based on race and nationalities, like Gente. Many Euro-descent Lesbians still don't know about the NIA Collective, created by and for Lesbians of African descent, begun in|1987.
1970 and afterward was an incredibly dynamic and exciting time. At first, our events, were usually in the large cheap rundown houses where Lesbians rented rooms and had collectives, and also in rented or donated spaces. (Few Lesbians owned houses, though that changed when there was a massive influx of ex-wives coming out who had money and property from their het marriages.
Everything was assumed to be women only, so we no longer had to deal with men perving on us or man-splaining to us. We had concerts, poetry readings, dances, parties, and then there were women's coffee houses, like the Full Moon caf(C) and Artemis caf(C) in SF, and bookstores, like Old Wives Tales in SF, A Woman's Place, in Oakland, and later Mama Bears in Oakland, and Bodacia's in Kensington.
There had always been Lesbian bars in the Bay Area, but there were more after Lesbian Feminism (like Ollie's and the Bacchanal) that had Lesbian Feminist concerts, dances and plays. Where now Lesbians go to a gym, Lesbians then often went to women's martial arts dojos and self defense schools. (I taught self defense for ten years.) All we accomplished is gone now. Even the bars that existed before Lesbian Feminism are gone. And no, it's not because we don't still need a community, as some say. We need community spaces more than ever. I've heard Lesbians talk about how important ''inclusivity'' is, yet don't see rich gay men expected to share their resources.
It was incredible to be in predominately Lesbian women only spaces. It is just not the same when men are present, even when they aren't leering and groping as they do now. (For years, men claiming to be Lesbians have in particular targeted anything defined as ''women only'' or ''Lesbian.'')
In 1972, some of us organized one of the first Lesbian Feminist conferences in the world in Berkeley. We had several Feminist newspapers in the Bay Area, and in 1973, I co-wrote and published Dykes and Gorgons, a Dyke Separatist newspaper. I also drew the cover. (The reference to ''East Bay Queers'' was about a Lesbian Feminist t-shirt that had Lesbian symbols and said ''East Bay Queers,'' and was not a reference to the way ''queer'' is used now as a trendy term meaning anyone.)
We also had publications that were appearing all over the US, including the books printed by the Women's Press Collective, like ''Lesbians Speak Out,'' published in 1974, which had photos by and of our local Lesbians and friends.
In 1980, the first Black Lesbian Conference began in San Francisco with nearly 200 Lesbians. (The Black Lesbian Caucus was created as an offshoot of the Gay Liberation Front in 1971, and later took the name of the Salsa Soul Sisters, Third World Wimmin Inc. Collective, which was the first ''out'' organization for Lesbians and Women of Color in New York. The Sisters are now known as African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change, and is the oldest black lesbian organization in the United States.)
One of the only ongoing Lesbian only organizations that ever existed in the Bay Area was the NIA Collective, which was created by and for Lesbians of African descent in 1987, ''HELPING TO EMPOWER LESBIANS OF AFRICAN DESCENT.''
And the music! We had strong political Lesbian Feminist and even Lesbian Separatist music, albums and concerts. If you ask most Lesbians about what they think of as ''Women's Music,'' they will name the later bland music with lyrics that could mean anything or nothing, that many of us remember as being what was the beginning of the loss of our Lesbian-identified culture. This diluted ''women's music'' was career-focused and drew more privileged Lesbians who were closeted, so they could bring their families and het friends and not have to worry they would be offended by our culture or even have to hear the word ''Lesbian.'' Similarly, collectives morphed into organization with Boards of Directors and hierarchies, with the goal being to get money and status rather than build community.
We had had wonderful music that proudly said ''Lesbian'' and talked about our real lives. The Berkeley Women's Music Collective (Susann P Shanbaum; Debbie Lempke; Nancy Henderson; Nancy Vogl; Janet Lampert; Bonnie Lockhart) might sound dated because they didn't have money to make more professional recordings, but in retrospect, the lyrics and politics are amazing. ''Thorazine,'' by Suzanne Shanbaum, described a Lesbian girl incarcerated and drugged in mental hospitals by her parents (as many in our community had experienced). ''Janet's Song'' was about being discovered with her lover by her parents and disowned. ''The Fury'' was about being oppressed as a woman and Lesbian, and how her she uses her anger to fight back. I still haven't heard another feminist song like Bonnie's ''Class Mobility.'' (Bonnie joined for their second album.)
Mary Watkins made Something Moving, an album of her instrumental music. (The cover is from the Lesbian-owned Brick Hut Caf(C).)
There was also the fantastic dance band, BeBe K'Roche, formed in Berkeley by Jake Lampert, Pamela ''Tiik'' Pollet, Peggy Mitchell, and Virginia Rubino in 1973. There were Lesbians and bands who never were able to record, which is a terrible loss. Some who did record, like S'irani Avedis, left out their most powerful and threatening Radical Lesbian Feminist songs.
Later, there were public organizations supposedly for Lesbians, like the National Center for Lesbian Rights in SF, which actually betrays Lesbians on behalf of men pretending to be Lesbians. The Lyon-Martin clinic for Lesbians in SF is now advertising as being for ''HIV, Transgender Health Services, Gynecologic Care, Mental Health,'' in that order. The Berkeley Women's Health Collective became the Berkeley Women's Health Center (for profit) and now is the Berkeley Women and Men's Health Center.
Though our community was very separate from gay men, I do know some of their history, such as that gay men have many things Lesbians never did, like an entire neighborhood (the Castro), countless businesses, clubs, bars, caf(C)s, restaurants, etc. around the Bay Area. As surviving here became too expensive for many Lesbians, gay men seemed to be doing fine.
I just wanted to be with Lesbians but did read the free Bay Times newspaper, which was one of the only ways to find out about upcoming Lesbian events. That meant wading through pages of gay male porn, male sado-masochism, and male prostitution ads. I also remember one gay male pool party where they advertised that Lesbians were not welcome because they said we were too ''dirty.'' Never once, in spite of all their privilege and resources, did I see any outreach from gay men to Lesbians '' until they asked for our blood (literally) and other help, even as dying Lesbians were kicked out of the Shanti Project (previously for dying Lesbians and gay men.)
For years, there was just one Lesbian and Gay Parade, and it was possible for Lesbians to just start marching with signs, without having to pay, unlike now, where the ''LBGTQI'' parade is corporate and expensive. (Meanwhile, the ''North American Man-Boy Love Association'' marched for years with a huge banner, which is another reason we were not in a community with gay men.)
And there was no ''T'' anywhere on banners, signs, etc.
Every Lesbian portrayed in the series who I know or knew personally is portrayed insultingly, including Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon, Pat Norman, Sally Gearhart, etc. And so many Lesbians who helped create our community aren't mentioned at all. One way to see what they really are or were like is, and is an essential antidote to the lies about our community, is to watch the video ''No Secret Anymore: The Times of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon'' by JEB (Joan E. Biren.) Phyllis and Del did so much to create our Bay Area Lesbian community. The video includes Del's famous public letter published now in 1970, and almost impossible to find online, ''Farewell to the Gay Men,'' explaining why she can't work with them any more due to their sexism and Lesbian-hating '-- and Lesbian-erasure, like the mini-series, almost fifty years later.
Below is the video and other links and photos and some of the work of Bay Area Lesbians who transformed our lives and helped create our community. They must never be forgotten. It's a travesty that such a heavily-funded, mainstream ''history'' just erases or lies about them. Keep spreading the word. Know that there are so many more Lesbians and stories I didn't include. We need more books that tell the truth.
We have lost our women only and rare Lesbian-only spaces, but continue to meet as Lesbians always have, gathering in public places, but as a community still. They cannot stop us.
Our Lesbian Feminist movement and culture in the Bay Area was influenced by and still influences Lesbian Feminists and communities across the world. We continue, with far less resources than before, but with far greater numbers, in so many countries, and in spite of other lies, all ages.
More of my personal and local RLF history is at my blog: https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/
'...
Some of Del's history:
'-- 1921 '' Born on May 5 in San Francisco
'-- 1950 '' Met the love of her life, Phyllis Lyon
'-- 1955 '' Co-founded groundbreaking lesbian organization Daughters of Bilitis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daughters_of_Bilitis
'-- 1960 '' Took over as editor of the Ladder, a monthly lesbian magazine
'-- 1964 '' Helped found the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, formed to overturn laws that criminalized homosexual behavior
'-- 1972 '' Co-wrote with Lyon the book ''Lesbian/Woman''
'-- 1972 '' Co-founded with Lyon the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, the first gay political club in the United States
'-- 1976 '' Published the book ''Battered Wives,'' which focused on domestic violence
'-- 1976 '' Appointed chairwoman of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women
'-- 1995 '' Served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging
'-- 2004 '' Wed Lyon in the first of about 4,000 same-sex weddings sanctioned by San Francisco but later ruled invalid by the California Supreme Court
'-- 2008 '' On June 16, married Lyon again, this time with the blessing of the state Supreme Court, which found the state ban on same-sex marriage illegal.
'...
For further information about Lesbian history, there is Myriam Foug¨re's film, LESBIANA'--A PARALLEL REVOLUTION/LESBIANA'--UNE R‰VOLUTION PARALLLLE, which shows many Lesbian Separatists, including at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. (Though it doesn't include our West Coast communities, it's still a wonderful history and conveys the spirit of what we had, which is even more important, now that after forty years, MichFest is gone.)
There also are books that are autobiographies about our community, like Judy Grahn's ''A Simple Revolution.'' http://judygrahn.org/book/a-simple-revolution/
And Patricia Lee Jackson's ''It Takes an Uprising.'' http://takesanuprising.com/
The video of Pat Parker and Judy Grahn's record of their poetry:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Parker
THREE POEMS BY PAT PARKER
WORK BY A RENOWNED AND REVERED LESBIAN-FEMINIST POET
In her writing, Pat Parker developed a fully authentic and revolutionary voice grounded in her experiences growing up Black and female in south Texas of the 1940s, and coming out as a lesbian in California of the late 1960s. The power of her poetry was profoundly fueled by three murders that directly impacted her life. Of course, all the usual harassments, injuries, insults, deprivations, exotifications and objectifications'--heaped on Black women especially'--came her way. The terror of being publicly gay, of losing community support as a person of color, of being misunderstood by her parents, also came her way. But I would say the murders pushed her over some edge of motivation to either withdraw completely or go to the front of the line with a big bad sword in hand and lead a revolution. This latter is what she did.
''Judy Grahn
Pat Parker:
In English Lit., they told me
Kafka was good because he created
the best nightmares ever ''
I think I should go find that professor
& ask why we didn't study the S.F. Police Dept.
For the white person who wants to know how to be my friend
The first thing you do is to forget that i'm Black.
Second, you must never forget that i'm Black.
You should be able to dig Aretha,
but don't play her every time i come over.
And if you decide to play Beethoven '' don't tell me
his life story. They made us take music appreciation too.
Eat soul food if you like it,
but don't expect me to locate your restaurants
or cook it for you.
And if some Black person insults you,
mugs you, rapes your sister, rapes you,
rips your house, or is just being an ass ''
please, do not apologize to me
for wanting to do them bodily harm.
It makes me wonder if you're foolish.
And even if you really believe Blacks are better lovers than
whites '' don't tell me. I start thinking of charging stud fees.
In other words '' if you really want to be my friend '' don't
make a labor of it. I'm lazy. Remember.
'...
The documentary, Last Call at Maud's, shows one of our favorite bars. The owner, Ricky Streicher, had another very popular bar called Amelia's. Every year, during the time of the Dyke March, the current bar owners, though it's now called Finnegan's Wake, commemorate Maud's, and the owners of the bar where Amelia's was, put up a the ''Amelia's'' sign so Lesbians marching past can see it.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107366/
'...
B.J. Maillette, who was the Butch who created our women-only self defense and JuJitsu Dojo:
http://www.ajjf.org/remembering-betty-jane-maillette/
'...
Silicon Valley firms face anger from a new source: Their own employees
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 15:23
Early last week, employees at Salesforce.com completed a task that's becoming common in Silicon Valley.
They protested.
Thousands of tech workers from top companies, including Google, Amazon and Microsoft, have recently led large-scale internal rebellions against their employers. The wave of employee outrage is largely over the use of companies' technology in controversial government contracts '-- from facial recognition software sold to law enforcement, to drone technology for the military and work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Harriet Taylor | CNBC
More than a thousand Google employees marched in protest on Jan. 30, 2017, against the Trump administration's immigration ban.
For an industry with a history of outsized CEOs making bold, unilateral decisions, the recent employee uprisings show how much Silicon Valley and its top executives are being forced to adapt to a changing era.
Historically, tech employees have rarely challenged executives on ethical grounds. Employee loyalty is also enforced by a thick layer of nondisclosure agreements. Dissenting tech workers can voice concerns and opinions, but in doing so are simultaneously at the risk of termination. There is no free speech in the private workplace. At-will employment gives companies the power to fire employees for virtually any reason aside from discrimination.
But tech employees are increasingly finding that public attention on some subjects of gravity is an effective cudgel against the historical strength of corporate management. At Microsoft and Salesforce, employees protested the companies' dealings with ICE after widespread outrage over the agency's role in separating migrant families. Workers at Amazon challenged the e-commerce giant to stop selling its facial recognition software to the police departments over fears of misuse by law enforcement. Google's employees were able to successfully coerce its management to abandon a controversial contract with the government, referred to as Project Maven. The project utilized Google's AI technology to improve drone strikes in the battlefield.
''I think this is an example of the power dynamic shifting,'' said Davida Perry, co-founder and partner at Schwartz Perry & Heller, which focuses on employment law. Citing the internal Microsoft protests over the detention of immigrant children at the border, Perry said, ''Employees will be supported by a wave of national outrage over what's going on at the border. If Microsoft were to let them all go, there would be an outcry from the public."
One reason tech employees are able to push the risk of termination relates to their skills. Top Silicon Valley firms are engaged in an intense competition for employees.
''These tech companies are all extremely dependent on scarce talent,'' said James Baron, professor at Yale School of Management. ''It would not serve companies well that are struggling mightily to attract top talent, to engage in actions that would antagonize employees and have them feel that their ability to express themselves would be forfeited upon their employment there. Other employers that are less dependent on top talent might be able to get away with a hard-line stance,'' Baron said.
Results '-- short of avoiding termination '-- have been mixed for tech employees. Google is the only major tech firm to cede to employee demands over a contract. Executives from Microsoft and Salesforce sidestepped the employee calls to drop ICE contracts: The companies argued that the software contracted to ICE was not involved in the agency's policy at the U.S.''Mexico border. As an alternative, Salesforce opted to donate $1 million to help families affected by the Trump administration's policy.
"We're proud of our employees for being passionate and vocal and will continue the conversation on this and other important matters," a Salesforce spokeswoman told CNBC.
"It would not serve companies well that are struggling mightily to attract top talent, to engage in actions that would antagonize employees and have them feel that their ability to express themselves would be forfeited upon their employment there." -James Baron, professor at Yale School of Management Microsoft publicly released an email its CEO Satya Nadella sent out to employees on LinkedIn, which played down the company's involvement with ICE as ''supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads,'' but not the agency's controversial detention policy.
Amazon refused to cede to employee demands over facial recognition software pilot programs with the two police departments, but the Orlando Police Department has decided to drop the software program. During the furor, Amazon Web Services defended its motives in a statement to the press that said, "Our quality of life would be much worse today if we outlawed new technology because some people could choose to abuse the technology."
Late last month facial recognition technology was used to identify the shooter in the attack on the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland.
Trump's role in shifting tech leadership landscapeThe movement by tech employees to challenge their own executives has been building from a more general protest ethos in the Trump era. Shortly after President Donald Trump came into office and implemented his controversial travel ban, many Silicon Valley workers, including Google workers, joined mass protests. A broad coalition of tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Tesla '-- 130 tech companies in all '-- not only voiced opposition to the travel ban in public statements but filed a legal brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals supporting opposition to it.
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for executive programs at Yale School of Management and founder and president of The Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute, said Google executives made the right decision with Project Maven. He doesn't view CEOs who cede to an employee protest as having forfeited their leadership status, even if it seems counterintuitive. Sonnenfeld said the model at the top is changing quickly, and CEOs who listen and abide by employees' complaints are being seen as stronger leaders.
He pointed to a recent milestone moment when CEOs rebelled against the highest leadership office. ''August 2017 was the first time in the nation's history that CEOs have declined the call of service from the Commander in Chief,'' Sonnenfeld said, referring to a cascade of CEO resignations from a business advisory council to Trump that followed the president's remarks on neo-Nazis and white supremacists. ''How can they stand as a leader if they don't stand behind the values they profess?" And that same privilege should cascade down the firm. "These employees are not slaves, and they're not soldiers,'' he said.
A Harris Poll Reputation Quotient released this week revealed an increase in the percentage of Americans who hold a positive view of CEOs. Nearly one-third of Americans, 32 percent, say today's CEOs have a ''very good reputation,'' up from 25 percent last year, according to the poll. In addition, Americans who believe that CEOs have a ''very bad reputation" dropped from 50 percent in 2017 to 43 percent this year. Researchers concluded that company and executive reputation is newly ''built around ideals, a new moral authority '-- equal parts capitalist and activist.''
The government contracts in question have so far been inconsequential to these cash-rich growing companies' balance sheet. For example, Google's contract with the military for Project Maven was reportedly only a sliver of its $110 billion in annual revenue '-- $9 million. Until there is much more shareholder money at stake, a decision like Google's won't be difficult to make on financial grounds.
"We maintain an ongoing dialogue both within our company and with outside stakeholders about how best to act," a Microsoft spokesman said.
According to Sonnenfeld, it has never been only about money for Silicon Valley companies, and shareholders need to adapt to the new environment '-- or invest elsewhere.
''Anybody who invested in these companies who harbored the misconception that these companies will do anything for money should quickly sell their stock and buy into a tobacco company," he said. "That's not what these companies stood for from the beginning. They stood for values beyond the quickest short-term buck that can be made.''
Brexit
Vote Leave broke electoral law, Electoral Commission expected to say - BBC News
Fri, 06 Jul 2018 10:50
Image caption Former Vote Leave chief Matthew Elliott defended his group's actions The official Brexit campaign is expected to be found guilty of four charges of breaking electoral law, the BBC has been told.
The draft of an investigation into Vote Leave concludes it broke spending limits and failed to comply with some of the rules.
It also imposes fines as a result of its findings.
But the group's former chief executive claimed the Electoral Commission had not followed due process.
Matthew Elliott has submitted a 500-page dossier to the Electoral Commission rebutting the claims.
The commission said Vote Leave had taken the "unusual step" of going public having seen the draft report.
According to Vote Leave's dossier, the commission finds the campaign group:
made an inaccurate return of campaign expenditureis missing invoices and receiptsfailed to comply with a statutory noticeexceeded its spending limitCrucially, the draft report is said to claim there was coordination between Vote Leave and a smaller campaign, BeLeave, which received a donation of more than £600,000 in the closing weeks of the referendum, after advice from the Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings.
For months there have been allegations that the two campaigns broke the rules by working together too closely. The electoral rules stipulate that different campaign groups can work loosely together but they must not have a "common plan".
This has always been denied by the two groups and has been investigated twice already by the Electoral Commission.
Vote Leave now admits there was email correspondence between a donor, Anthony Clake, and Mr Cummings about passing a donation on to BeLeave.
It is understood that this third investigation concludes that there was a "common plan", and therefore the law was broken.
Image copyright Reuters
A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission said: "The commission has concluded its investigation and, having reached initial findings, provided Vote Leave with a 28-day period to make any further or new representations. That period ended on Tuesday 3 July.
"The unusual step taken by Vote Leave in sharing its views on the Electoral Commission's initial findings does not affect the process set out in law."
It said it would give "due considerations" to representations it had received and then publish a "thorough and detailed closing report in order to provide a full and balanced account".
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Elliott said the commission had "listened to one side of the story".
"We offered to go in for interviews, both at board level and at staff level," he said.
"They haven't accepted any interviews from our side."
Mr Elliott said he thought Vote Leave had "acted both within the letter of the law and also the spirit of the law", and that it was perfectly legitimate that they would "work alongside other groups and encourage them and encourage their activities".
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Vote Leave was the official Leave campaign in the 2016 EU referendum He denied that he was simply trying to deflect the coming criticism of the campaign.
"We're saying 'can they look at our side of the story?''', he said, adding that they would take legal action to try to overturn the charges if they were not withdrawn.
Tamsin Allen, the solicitor who represents the whistleblowers who went public with claims that Vote Leave broke the law, said: "Vote Leave may not like this conclusion, but there is clearly a proper evidential basis for it.
"The commission should be permitted to complete its work and we await the release of its final report."
One of the whistleblowers, Christopher Wylie, called for the referendum to be rerun, saying: "If sanctions are issued against Vote Leave or their affiliates, this means the law was broken."
Another whistleblower, former Vote Leave activist Shahmir Sanni, said: "I'm waiting for the report, but just for clarity, I told you so."
During Prime Minister's Questions, Theresa May said she would not comment on "a leaked report" after the matter was raised by the SNP.
She added that the government would consider the final report and any recommendations.
A spokesman for Anthony Clake, whose donation was given to BeLeave at the suggestion of Mr Cummings, said: "Mr Clake was told by Mr Cummings that Vote Leave was reaching its spending limits, so he suggested that he could give it to BeLeave instead, which he did.
"Any alleged collusion between the campaigns is a matter for them."
PLASTIC TERROR!
Al Shabaab terror group bans single-use plastic bags - Sky News
Fri, 06 Jul 2018 12:06
The Islamist group, which has long had an interest in the environment, also announced a ban on the logging of rare trees.
By Lucia Binding, news reporter
10:52, UK, Friday 06 July 2018
Image: Terror group al Shabaab has banned single-use plastic bags
Terrorist group al Shabaab has banned single-use plastic bags.
The Somali militant Islamist group, which has links to al Qaeda, has long had an interest in environmental issues.
It made the official announcement on Radio Andalus, which is operated by al Shabaab.
Jubaland regional leader Mohammad Abu Abdullah said the group had come to the decision due to the "serious" threat posed by plastic bags to both humans and livestock.
He added that pollution caused by plastic was damaging to the environment.
In the same announcement, the group said it has banned the logging of rare trees.
Details of how the eco-friendly bans would be enforced were not shared with listeners.
Last year, Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada claimed Afghans should plant more trees because of their "important role in environmental protection, economic development and beautification of the Earth".
In 2016, a magazine published by the Yemeni branch of al Shabaab criticised former US president Barack Obama for failing to adequately combat climate change during his presidency.
The group, whose troops were estimated at 7,000 to 9,000 militants in 2014, retreated from major cities in 2015 but still controls large parts of rural areas.
Al Shabaab was responsible for a deadly terror attack at the Westgate shopping mall which killed 67 people in 2013.
Last October, twin bombings by the terror group in Mogadishu killed more than 500 people.
NOKO
DVD's for Kim Jung Il
Pompeo Brings 'Rocket Man' CD for Kim Jong-un | Chosunilbo AMP
Fri, 06 Jul 2018 17:07
World
By Kang In-sun Jul 06, 2018 09:31 U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left for North Korea on Thursday for denuclearization talks and brought two gifts for leader Kim Jong-un.
One is a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump and the other an Elton John CD with his song "Rocket Man."
Sources in Washington said the gifts reflect Trump's expectations that Kim will follow through on the pledges in an agreement the two signed at their summit.
One diplomatic source in Washington said, "The 'Rocket Man' CD was the subject of discussion during Trump's lunch with Kim. Kim mentioned that Trump referred to him as 'rocket man' when tensions ran high last year" after a series of nuclear tests and missile launches by the North. "Trump then asked Kim if he knew the song and Kim said no."
Trump remembered the conversation and told Pompeo to take a CD with the song for Kim. He reportedly wrote a message on it and signed it.
Pompeo arrives in Pyongyang on Friday for a two-day visit. This is his third trip to North Korea. He is accompanied by Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines and seasoned nuclear negotiator, Allison Hooker, a National Security Council adviser, Randall Schriver, an assistant secretary of defense for Asia Pacific security affairs, and Andrew Kim, the head of the CIA's Korea Mission Center. Six reporters are also on the plane.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo boards a plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Thursday. /AP-Yonhap
Trump softened his approach to denuclearization since the summit. Reuters on Wednesday said Trump appears to have "shelved an 'all or nothing' approach to North Korean denuclearization. The U.S. State Department furtively shifted its insistence on a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID) to a finally, fully-verified denuclearization (FFVD) after the North bristled against the former approach.
Pompeo is expected to discuss the return of the remains of U.S. soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War. Although the North agreed to return their remains, details need to be ironed out, and North Korea has not yet taken delivery of some 100 coffins that are waiting at the border.
The two sides will also discuss the timing of the North's dismantlement of the Tongchang-ri missile engine test site and whether to allow U.S. monitors to observe the process.
From left, Andrew Kim, Sung Kim, Allison Hooker and Randall Schriver
But the key is whether Pompeo can get Kim to act on his vague denuclearization pledge, agreeing to dismantle a specified amount of nuclear warheads by a given date.
U.S. officials remain skeptical whether Pompeo's visit will produce palpable results. North Korea experts in Washington are unconvinced of the North's sincerity, and U.S. intelligence reports leaked last week suggest that North Korea is hiding nuclear facilities and suggest it has no real intention of giving up its nuclear arsenal. Read this article in Korean
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North Korea says talks with Pompeo were 'regrettable'
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 18:10
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) '-- High-level talks between the United States and North Korea appeared to hit a snag on Saturday as Pyongyang said a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been "regrettable" and accused Washington of making "gangster-like" demands to pressure the country into abandoning its nuclear weapons.
The statement from the North came just hours after Pompeo wrapped up two days of talks with senior North Korean officials without meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but with commitments for new discussions on denuclearization and the repatriation of the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War.
While Pompeo offered a relatively positive assessment of his meetings, North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the U.S. betrayed the spirit of last month's summit between President Donald Trump and Kim by making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands on "CVID," or the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.
It said the outcome of the follow-up talks was "very concerning" because it has led to a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm."
"We had expected that the U.S. side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders' summit ... we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures," said the statement, released by an unnamed spokesman and carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.
"However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting (between the countries) was no doubt regrettable," the spokesman said. "Our expectations and hopes were so naive it could be called foolish."
According to the spokesman, during the talks with Pompeo the North raised the issue of a possible declaration to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which concluded with an armistice and not a peace treaty. It also offered to discuss the closure of a missile engine test site that would "physically affirm" a move to halt the production of intercontinental range ballistic missiles and setting up working-level discussions for the return of U.S. war remains.
However, the spokesman said the United States came up with a variety of "conditions and excuses" to delay a declaration on ending the war. The spokesman also downplayed the significance of the United States suspending its military exercises with South Korea, saying the North made a larger concession by blowing up the tunnels at its nuclear test site.
In criticizing the talks with Pompeo, however, the North carefully avoided attacking Trump, saying "we wholly maintain our trust toward President Trump," but also that Washington must not allow "headwinds" against the "wills of the leaders."
In comments to reporters before leaving Pyongyang, Pompeo said his conversations with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol had been "productive," conducted "in good faith" and that "a great deal of progress" had been made in some areas. He stressed that "there's still more work to be done" in other areas, much of which would be done by working groups that the two sides have set up to deal with specific issues.
Pompeo said a Pentagon team would be meeting with North Korean officials on or about July 12 at the border between North and South Korea to discuss the repatriation of remains and that working level talks would be held soon on the destruction of North Korea's missile engine testing facility.
In the days following his historic June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Trump had announced that the return of the remains and the destruction of the missile facility had been completed or were in progress.
Pompeo, however, said that more talks were needed on both.
"We now have a meeting set up for July 12 '-- it could move by one day or two '-- where there will be discussions between the folks responsible for the repatriation of remains. (It) will take place at the border and that process will begin to develop over the days that follow," he said as he boarded his plane for Tokyo.
On the destruction of the missile engine plant, Pompeo said, "We talked about what the modalities would look like for the destruction of that facility as well, and some progress there as well, and then we have laid out a path for further negotiation at the working level so the two teams can get together and continue these discussions."
Earlier, Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol both said they needed clarity on the parameters of an agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula that Trump and Kim Jong Un agreed to in Singapore. The trip was Pompeo's third to Pyongyang since April and his first since the summit.
Unlike his previous visits, which have been one-day affairs during which he has met with Kim Jong Un, Pompeo spent the night at a government guesthouse in Pyongyang and did not see the North Korean leader, although U.S. officials had suggested such a meeting was expected. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said no meeting had been planned.
As they began their talks on Saturday, Kim Yong Chol alluded to the fact that Pompeo and his delegation had stayed overnight in Pyongyang.
"We did have very serious discussions on very important matters yesterday," Kim said. "So, thinking about those discussions you might have not slept well last night."
Pompeo, who spoke with Trump, national security adviser John Bolton and White House chief of staff John Kelly by secure phone before starting Saturday's session, replied that he "slept just fine." He added that the Trump administration was committed to reaching a deal under which North Korea would denuclearize and realize economic benefits in return.
Kim later said that "there are things that I have to clarify" to which Pompeo responded that "there are things that I have to clarify as well."
There was no immediate explanation of what needed to be clarified, but the two sides have been struggling to specify what exactly "denuclearization" would entail and how it could be verified to the satisfaction of the United States.
Pompeo and Kim met for nearly three hours Friday and then had dinner amid growing skepticism over how serious Kim Jong Un is about giving up his nuclear arsenal and translating the upbeat rhetoric following his summit with Trump into concrete action.
___
Lee reported from Tokyo. Kim Tong-Hyung in Seoul, South Korea, contributed.
After talks, NKorea accuses US of 'gangster-like' demands
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 05:00
TOKYO (AP) '-- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has delivered a dose of harsh reality to Donald Trump, bashing hopes for a quick denuclearization deal in a pointed rebuke to the president's top envoy while accusing the U.S. of making "gangster-like" demands.
After the historic U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore, Trump declared the North was no longer a threat and would hand over the remains of Americans killed during the Korean War. Now, three weeks later, the two sides were still at odds on all issues, including exactly what denuclearization means and how it might be verified, after a third visit to Pyongyang by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And, the promised remains have yet to be delivered.
Pompeo wrapped up two days of talks in the North Korean capital on Saturday on an optimistic note even without meeting Kim Jong Un, as he had on his previous two trips. He said his discussions had been productive and conducted in good faith, but he allowed that much more work needed to be done. And, he and other U.S. officials said the two countries, still technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War, had set up working groups to deal with details of an agreement.
Pompeo said he had won commitments for new discussions on denuclearization and announced a Thursday meeting between U.S. and North Korean military officials on the repatriation of the remains. But in a harsh response issued just hours after Pompeo arrived in Tokyo, the North blasted the discussions, saying the visit had been "regrettable" and that Washington's "gangster-like" demands were aimed at forcing it to abandon nuclear weapons.
In a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, the foreign ministry said the outcome of Pompeo's talks with senior official Kim Yong Chol was "very concerning" because it has led to a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm."
"We had expected that the U.S. side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders' summit ... we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures," it said. "However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting (between the countries) was no doubt regrettable. Our expectations and hopes were so naive it could be called foolish."
It said the North had raised the issue of formally ending the Korean War, which concluded with an armistice and not a peace treaty, but the U.S. came up with a variety of "conditions and excuses" to delay a declaration. It downplayed the significance of the United States suspending its military exercises with South Korea, something trumpeted by Trump after the summit as a success, by saying it made a larger concession by blowing up the tunnels at a nuclear test site.
In criticizing the talks with Pompeo, however, it carefully avoided attacking Trump personally, saying "we wholly maintain our trust toward President Trump," but stressed that Washington must not allow "headwinds" against the "wills of the leaders." That appeared to be a reference to Trump's national security adviser John Bolton, a prominent North Korea hawk who has been vilified by Pyongyang in the past. Pompeo spoke with Trump, Bolton and White House chief of staff John Kelly on Saturday before his second round of meetings with Kim Yong Chol.
The North's statement, coming so soon after Pompeo's trip, was sure to fuel growing skepticism in the U.S. over how serious Kim Jong Un is about giving up his nuclear arsenal.
After his talks in Pyongyang, Pompeo stopped in Tokyo and met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and planned to brief him on his discussion with North Korean officials.
On North Korea talks just concluded, Pompeo said: "We raised a full range of issues with them, all the issues that are important to both the United States and Japan." He said "there is much work for us to do together and I'm honored to be with you here today."
A former top U.S. diplomat for Asia, Daniel Russel, said the setback with North Korea was to be expected and warned Trump he is engaged in a long negotiation that would not produce easy quick, made for television results that the president likely wants.
"Dealing with North Korea is hard because Kim Jong Un wants it to be hard," said Russel, who was assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Obama administration. "If you make the Americans fight for every inch, the Americans will start measuring progress in inches '-- and will wind up paying by the inch. At this point, even to get the North Koreans to follow through with the return of Korean War-era MIA remains, would feel like a big win for Pompeo, even though it wouldn't affect the nuclear threat."
"Kim can afford to play hardball because it's clear to him that Trump, who has already told Americans they can sleep soundly because the threat is now over, badly wants a deal," Russel said. "And when you want it bad, you get it bad. Why should the North Koreans make concessions to one of Trump's aides given the president's record of undercutting them?"
In his comments to reporters before leaving Pyongyang, Pompeo said he and Kim Yong Chol had made "a great deal of progress" in some areas. He stressed that "there's still more work to be done" in others, which will be handled by the working groups.
He said North Korea said it offered to discuss the closure of a missile engine test site, which would "physically affirm" a move to halt the production of intercontinental range ballistic missiles, that the two sides had agreed that a Pentagon team would meet North Korean officials on or about Thursday at the border between North and South Korea to discuss the repatriation of remains.
However, in the days following the June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Trump had already announced the return of the remains and the destruction of the missile facility had been completed or were in progress.
Pompeo said more talks were needed on both.
North Korea Says Talks With Pompeo Were 'Regrettable' '' Talking Points Memo
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 13:11
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) '-- North Korea said Saturday that high-level talks with a U.S. delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were ''regrettable'' and accused Washington of trying to unilaterally pressure the country into abandoning its nukes.
The North's statement came hours after Pompeo wrapped up two days of talks with senior North Korean officials without meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but with commitments for new discussions on denuclearization and the repatriation of the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War.
Before departing Pyongyang, Pompeo told reporters that his conversations with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol had been ''productive,'' conducted ''in good faith'' and that ''a great deal of progress'' had been made in some areas. He stressed that ''there's still more work to be done'' in other areas, much of which would be done by working groups that the two sides have set up to deal with specific issues.
The North provided a much harsher assessment of the talks, saying that the United States betrayed the spirit of last month's summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim by making ''one-sided and robber-like'' demands on ''CVID,'' or the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.
It said the outcome of the follow-up talks was ''very concerning'' because it has led to a ''dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm.''
''We had expected that the U.S. side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders' summit '... we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures,'' an unnamed spokesman of Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.
''However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting (between the countries) was no doubt regrettable,'' the spokesman said.
Pompeo said that a Pentagon team would be meeting with North Korean officials on or about July 12 at the border between North and South Korea to discuss the repatriation of remains and that working level talks would be held soon on the destruction of North Korea's missile engine testing facility.
In the days following his historic June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, President Donald Trump had announced that the return of the remains and the destruction of the missile facility had been completed or were in progress.
Pompeo, however, said that more talks were needed on both.
''We now have a meeting set up for July 12 '-- it could move by one day or two '-- where there will be discussions between the folks responsible for the repatriation of remains.
(It) will take place at the border and that process will begin to develop over the days that follow,'' he said as he boarded his plane for Tokyo.
On the destruction of the missile engine plant, Pompeo said, ''We talked about what the modalities would look like for the destruction of that facility as well, and some progress there as well, and then we have laid out a path for further negotiation at the working level so the two teams can get together and continue these discussions.''
Earlier, Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol both said they needed clarity on the parameters of an agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula that Trump and Kim Jong Un agreed to in Singapore. The trip was Pompeo's third to Pyongyang since April and his first since the summit.
Unlike his previous visits, which have been one-day affairs during which he has met with Kim Jong Un, Pompeo spent the night at a government guesthouse in Pyongyang and did not see the North Korean leader, although U.S. officials had suggested such a meeting was expected. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said no meeting with Kim Jong Un had been planned.
As they began their talks on Saturday, Kim Yong Chol alluded to the fact that Pompeo and his delegation had stayed overnight in Pyongyang.
''We did have very serious discussions on very important matters yesterday,'' Kim said. ''So, thinking about those discussions you might have not slept well last night.''
Pompeo, who spoke with Trump, national security adviser John Bolton and White House chief of staff John Kelly by secure phone before starting Saturday's session, replied that he ''slept just fine.'' He added that the Trump administration was committed to reaching a deal under which North Korea would denuclearize and realize economic benefits in return.
Kim later said that ''there are things that I have to clarify'' to which Pompeo responded that ''there are things that I have to clarify as well.''
There was no immediate explanation of what needed to be clarified, but the two sides have been struggling to specify what exactly ''denuclearization'' would entail and how it could be verified to the satisfaction of the United States.
Pompeo and Kim met for nearly three hours Friday and then had dinner amid growing skepticism over how serious Kim Jong Un is about giving up his nuclear arsenal and translating the upbeat rhetoric following his summit with Trump into concrete action.
On his flight to Pyongyang, Pompeo said both sides made commitments at the Singapore summit on the complete denuclearization of North Korea and on what a transformed relationship between their two countries might look like.
One hoped-for breakthrough on this trip would have been the return of the remains of U.S. troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War. North Korea committed at last month's summit to the ''immediate repatriation'' of remains already identified, but that hasn't happened yet.
Draining the Swamp
Health Insurers Warn of Market Turmoil as Trump Suspends Billions in Payments - The New York Times
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 13:04
Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said Trump administration officials had decided to suspend payments because of a February court ruling in New Mexico. Credit Evan Vucci/Associated Press WASHINGTON '-- The Trump administration said Saturday that it was suspending a program that pays billions of dollars to insurers to stabilize health insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, a freeze that could increase uncertainty in the markets and drive up premiums this fall.
Many insurers that enroll large numbers of unhealthy people depend on the ''risk adjustment'' payments, which are intended to reduce the incentives for insurers to seek out healthy consumers and shun those with chronic illnesses and other pre-existing conditions.
''Any action to stop disbursements under the risk adjustment program will significantly increase 2019 premiums for millions of individuals and small-business owners, and could result in far fewer health plan choices,'' said Justine G. Handelman, a senior vice president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ''It will undermine Americans' access to affordable care, particularly for those who need medical care the most.''
Trump administration officials said they decided to suspend payments under the program because of a ruling in February in Federal District Court in New Mexico. The judge tossed out the formula used to calculate payments, finding that it was flawed.
''We were disappointed by the court's recent ruling,'' said Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. ''As a result of this litigation, billions of dollars in risk adjustment payments and collections are now on hold.''
Ms. Verma said her agency had asked the court to reconsider its ruling and was hoping for a prompt resolution of the issue, to ''prevent more adverse impacts on Americans who receive their insurance in the individual and small group markets.''
But supporters of the Affordable Care Act said the move was the latest example of the Trump White House's efforts to undermine the health law.
''The Trump administration just keeps pushing their destructive repeal-and-sabotage agenda, no matter the cost to the American people,'' said Brad Woodhouse, the director of Protect Our Care, an advocacy group that supports the health law. ''Following through with this latest act of sabotage could raise rates for all consumers even more.''
Some insurers expressed alarm at the administration's decision, which comes just as insurance companies are developing premiums for 2019 and states are reviewing proposed rates.
''We are very discouraged by the new market disruption brought about by the decision to freeze risk adjustment payments,'' said Matt Eyles, the president and chief executive of America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group for insurers.
He predicted that costs to taxpayers would rise because the government provides subsidies that increase along with premiums. Those premium subsidies, for low- and moderate-income people, will continue.
The decision in February, by Judge James O. Browning, voided the formula used by the federal government to calculate risk adjustment payments each year from 2014 to 2018. The amount at stake just for 2017 is $10.4 billion. The payments shuffle money among insurers, from those with healthier customers to those with less healthy members who have a higher risk of using costly medical care.
Trump administration officials said they were caught between two conflicting court rulings. The New Mexico ruling prevents the government from making further collections or payments under the risk adjustment program using the current formula, they said. But, they added, in January a federal district judge in Massachusetts upheld the method used by the government to calculate risk adjustment payments.
While insurers warned of market turmoil if the payments were withheld, Dr. Martin E. Hickey, the founder of New Mexico Health Connections, the company that filed the lawsuit in that state, said the court ruling there would benefit consumers.
''The risk adjustment formula was extremely biased in favor of large, established insurers and discriminated against new and small insurers, including co-ops like ours,'' Dr. Hickey said in an interview on Saturday.
''People spin the administration's decision as Trump trying to do harm, but it's exactly the opposite,'' Dr. Hickey said. ''It will allow more companies to get into the insurance market. That will increase competition, and competition will help keep prices down.''
Risk adjustment payments are based, in part, on the health status of consumers. When the risk adjustment program began in 2014, some large insurers had a potential advantage: They knew the medical and claims history of many consumers because they had insured them in the past.
Judge Browning said the payment formula was flawed because federal officials ''assumed erroneously'' that collections and payments under the risk adjustment program had to offset each other so there would be no new cost to the federal government.
That might have been a rational policy choice, he said, but the government never articulated its reasons.
The Trump administration blamed President Barack Obama on Saturday, saying, ''This aspect of the risk adjustment methodology was promulgated as part of a regulation first issued by the Obama administration in 2013.''
Follow Robert Pear on Twitter: @ropear
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The Algos
The rise of 'pseudo-AI': how tech firms quietly use humans to do bots' work | Technology | The Guardian
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:07
It's hard to build a service powered by artificial intelligence. So hard, in fact, that some startups have worked out it's cheaper and easier to get humans to behave like robots than it is to get machines to behave like humans.
''Using a human to do the job lets you skip over a load of technical and business development challenges. It doesn't scale, obviously, but it allows you to build something and skip the hard part early on,'' said Gregory Koberger, CEO of ReadMe, who says he has come across a lot of ''pseudo-AIs''.
''It's essentially prototyping the AI with human beings,'' he said.
This practice was brought to the fore this week in a Wall Street Journal article highlighting the hundreds of third-party app developers that Google allows to access people's inboxes.
In the case of the San Jose-based company Edison Software, artificial intelligence engineers went through the personal email messages of hundreds of users '' with their identities redacted '' to improve a ''smart replies'' feature. The company did not mention that humans would view users' emails in its privacy policy.
The third parties highlighted in the WSJ article are far from the first ones to do it. In 2008, Spinvox, a company that converted voicemails into text messages, was accused of using humans in overseas call centres rather than machines to do its work.
In 2016, Bloomberg highlighted the plight of the humans spending 12 hours a day pretending to be chatbots for calendar scheduling services such as X.ai and Clara. The job was so mind-numbing that human employees said they were looking forward to being replaced by bots.
In 2017, the business expense management app Expensify admitted that it had been using humans to transcribe at least some of the receipts it claimed to process using its ''smartscan technology''. Scans of the receipts were being posted to Amazon's Mechanical Turk crowdsourced labour tool, where low-paid workers were reading and transcribing them.
''I wonder if Expensify SmartScan users know MTurk workers enter their receipts,'' said Rochelle LaPlante, a ''Turker'' and advocate for gig economy workers on Twitter. ''I'm looking at someone's Uber receipt with their full name, pick-up and drop-off addresses.''
Even Facebook, which has invested heavily in AI, relied on humans for its virtual assistant for Messenger, M.
In some cases, humans are used to train the AI system and improve its accuracy. A company called Scale offers a bank of human workers to provide training data for self-driving cars and other AI-powered systems. ''Scalers'' will, for example, look at camera or sensor feeds and label cars, pedestrians and cyclists in the frame. With enough of this human calibration, the AI will learn to recognise these objects itself.
In other cases, companies fake it until they make it, telling investors and users they have developed a scalable AI technology while secretly relying on human intelligence.
Gregory Koberger (@gkoberger)How to start an AI startup1. Hire a bunch of minimum wage humans to pretend to be AI pretending to be human
2. Wait for AI to be invented
March 1, 2016Alison Darcy, a psychologist and founder of Woebot, a mental health support chatbot, describes this as the ''Wizard of Oz design technique''.
''You simulate what the ultimate experience of something is going to be. And a lot of time when it comes to AI, there is a person behind the curtain rather than an algorithm,'' she said, adding that building a good AI system required a ''ton of data'' and that sometimes designers wanted to know if there was sufficient demand for a service before making the investment.
This approach was not appropriate in the case of a psychological support service like Woebot, she said.
''As psychologists we are guided by a code of ethics. Not deceiving people is very clearly one of those ethical principles.''
Research has shown that people tend to disclose more when they think they are talking to a machine, rather than a person, because of the stigma associated with seeking help for one's mental health.
A team from the University of Southern California tested this with a virtual therapist called Ellie. They found that veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder were more likely to divulge their symptoms when they knew that Ellie was an AI system versus when they were told there was a human operating the machine.
Others think companies should always be transparent about how their services operate.
''I don't like it,'' said LaPlante of companies that pretend to offer AI-powered services but actually employ humans. ''It feels dishonest and deceptive to me, neither of which is something I'd want from a business I'm using.
''And on the worker side, it feels like we're being pushed behind a curtain. I don't like my labour being used by a company that will turn around and lie to their customers about what's really happening.''
This ethical quandary also raises its head with AI systems that pretend to be human. One recent example of this is Google Duplex, a robot assistant that makes eerily lifelike phone calls complete with ''ums'' and ''ers'' to book appointments and make reservations.
After an initial backlash, Google said its AI would identify itself to the humans it spoke to.
''In their demo version, it feels marginally deceptive in a low-impact conversation,'' said Darcy. Although booking a table at a restaurant might seem like a low-stakes interaction, the same technology could be much more manipulative in the wrong hands.
What would happen if you could make lifelike calls simulating the voice of a celebrity or politician, for example?
''There's already major fear around AI and it's not really helping the conversation when there's a lack of transparency,'' Darcy said.
Contact the author: olivia.solon@theguardian.com
Deep neural networks are easily fooled: High confidence predictions for unrecognizable images | Evolving AI Lab
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:25
Main Figure:
Figure 1: Evolved images that are unrecognizable to humans, but that state-of-the-art DNNs trained on ImageNet believe with >= 99.6% certainty to be a familiar object. This result highlights differences between how DNNs and humans recognize objects.Left: Directly encoded images. Right: Indirectly encoded images.
Abstract:
Deep neural networks (DNNs) have recently been achieving state-of-the-art performance on a variety of pattern-recognition tasks, most notably visual classification problems. Given that DNNs are now able to classify objects in images with near-human-level performance, questions naturally arise as to what differences remain between computer and human vision. A recent study revealed that changing an image (e.g. of a lion) in a way imperceptible to humans can cause a DNN to label the image as something else entirely (e.g. mislabeling a lion a library). Here we show a related result: it is easy to produce images that are completely unrecognizable to humans, but that state-of-the-art DNNs believe to be recognizable objects with 99.99% confidence (e.g. labeling with certainty that white noise static is a lion). Specifically, we take convolutional neural networks trained to perform well on either the ImageNet or MNIST datasets and then find images with evolutionary algorithms or gradient ascent that DNNs label with high confidence as belonging to each dataset class. It is possible to produce images totally unrecognizable to human eyes that DNNs believe with near certainty are familiar objects. Our results shed light on interesting differences between human vision and current DNNs, and raise questions about the generality of DNN computer vision.
Full Citation: Nguyen A, Yosinski J, Clune J. Deep Neural Networks are Easily Fooled: High Confidence Predictions for Unrecognizable Images. In Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR '15), IEEE, 2015. (pdf)
Our paper was identified as the 63rd most talked about scientific paper worldwide in 2015 (source: alt metrics). It was also selected for Oral presentation at CVPR (3% acceptance rate) and received a Community Top Paper award.
A 5-min video summary of the paper.
Figure 2: Evolving images to match DNN classes produces a tremendous diversity of images. The mean DNN confidence scores for these images is 99.12% for the listed class, meaning that the DNN believes with near-certainty that the image is that type of thing. Shown are images selected to showcase diversity from 5 independent evolutionary runs. The images shed light on what the DNN network cares about, and what it does not, when classifying an image. For example, a school bus is alternating yellow and black lines, but does not need to have a windshield or wheels.
Figure 3: Top: Directly encoded, thus irregular, images that a cutting edge deep neural network (LeNet) believes with 99.99% confidence are digits 0-9. Each column is a type of digit (e.g. 2 or 7) and each row shows the images produced by an independent run of an evolutionary algorithm that tries to produce digits the DNN is most confident are 2s, 7s, etc. Bottom: Indirectly encoded, thus regular, images that LeNet believes with 99.99% confidence are digits 0-9.
Figure 4: Some evolved images do resemble their target class. In each pair, an evolved, indirectly encoded image (left) is shown with a training set image from the target class (right).
Figure 5: A poster of 10 x 7 = 70 images evolved with the CPPN encoding technique. Many images resemble art work and are recognizable to humans given the labels. Click here to view the high quality version.
Figure 6: Dileep George told us (via Alexander Terekhov) that he pointed an image recognition iPhone app powered by Deep Learning at our "fooling images" displayed on a computer screen and the iPhone/app was equally fooled! That's very interesting given the different lighting, angle, camera lens, etc. It shows how robustly the DNN feels these images are the genuine articles.
Download
High quality figures from the paper here. Original CPPN images evolved from our experiments: 5 runs x 1000 images = 5000 images. Note that: even if your model is not fooled by much of our images, that is only a generalization test. It still could be the case that evolution could fool that network if specifically targeting it (see section A.2 in the paper supplementary).The entire code base to conduct the experiments in this paper are available here.Press coverage:
MIT Technology Review: ''Smart'' Software Can Be Tricked into Seeing What Isn't ThereThe Economist: Rise of the MachinesNature: Can we open the black box of AI?Wired: Simple Pictures That State-of-the-Art AI Still Can't RecognizeScientific American: Do Androids dream?The Atlantic: How to fool a computer with optical illusionsNew Scientist: Optical illusions fool computers into seeing thingsPhys.org: Researchers find a way to fool deep neural networks into 'recognizing' images that aren't thereDiscovery: What Computers Think The World Looks LikeExtremeTech: Bad news, future: Computer brains are easily tricked by optical illusions, tooiProgrammer: The Deep Flaw In All Neural NetworksOur work was also on the homepage of Slashdot, was the #1 news article on HackerNews, and was published on Slate.Frequently Asked Questions Were you trying to fool the network?No. We were not trying to produce adversarial, unrecognizable images. Instead, we were trying to produce recognizable images, but these unrecognizable images emerged.
Would the network be fooled again if you retrain it to recognize these fooling images as garbage?We tried that. The answer is: ''It's complicated.'' See sections 3.6, 3.7, and 3.8 in the paper for the results.
Can the images be considered art?Yes. In fact, to test that hypothesis we submitted them to the "University of Wyoming 40th Annual Juried Student Exhibition'' and they were accepted. We're also in contact with an artist that wants to show them in art galleries.
Do these networks have a ''none of the above'' option, or are they forced to choose a class?In response to an unrecognizable image, the networks could have output a low confidence for each of the 1000 classes, instead of an extremely high confidence value for one of the classes. In fact, they do just that for randomly generated images (e.g. those in generation 0 of the evolutionary run) : see Fig. 6 & 7 in the paper. Thus, they effectively have a way to communicate ''none of the above''. It would be interesting to try training them with a specific ''none of the above'' class, but that would require assembling a set of pictures to put in that class that we are sure do not belong in one of the other 1000 classes. We'd like to do that, but assembling these images will take some time. Stay tuned.
How are the certainty (confidence) scores calculated?The neural network outputs its confidence in the image belonging to each of 1000 classes. The confidence scores across all 1000 classes must sum to 1, meaning that if one class is given 99.9% confidence then the rest of the classes combined have less than 0.1% confidence. In other words, in that case it is really declaring that it's suuuuure the image is of that class. It could also split its confidence between classes more evenly. For example, looking at a child climbing a tree it could give 60% confidence to a ''tree'' class and 40% confidence to a ''child'' class, but for most of the images in our paper the network is certain the image belongs to one class.
Can you fool the network if it only gives you a label to an image, but not confidence scores? In other words, do you need a gradient to follow or would a binary (yes/no) answer from the network suffice?The gradient helps tremendously, but we think it is possible to fool a network even without a gradient (i.e. with a binary answer). For example, even if the only answer provided by Google's image filter is that they do, or do not, filter an image, and a hacker is given no other information, we still think the network could be fooled. One way is brute force: simply try a lot and see if you get lucky. A smarter way is to utilize the result from our paper that images that fool one network often fool another. Given that, hackers can train their own network, use its gradient to produce fooling images, and then try those on Google's image filters. Since Google's filters (in all likelihood) also use deep neural networks, the attack is much more likely to work than the brute force method.
Does this optical illusion phenomenon happen to animals or humans?Yes. Humans are susceptible to optical illusions. Such illusions are designed to hack the way our brains see the world. Similarly, these images hack the way neural networks see the world.
Also of interest: Nikolaas Tinbergen found that natural neural networks are also susceptible to a related phenomenon, which he called supernormal stimuli. See https://imgur.com/a/ibMUn for more.
Is this a Rorschach test for neural networks? Is it similar to seeing the face of Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich, or a unicorn in a cloud?The concepts are related, but the difference is that you say to yourself ''that cloud looks like a unicorn'', but you don't actually believe you are seeing a unicorn with certainty. These networks are certain that the images are really the everyday objects they declare them to be.
Does this phenomenon happen to other classification models also?We think that all AI techniques that create decision boundaries between classes (e.g. SVMs, deep neural networks, etc.), which are known as discriminative models, are subject to this fooling phenomenon. The below image helps explain why. With discriminative models, when generating images that a DNN maximally believes are members of the class, the produced image (red triangle) will be placed far away from the decision boundary, and thus far away from exemplars of the class (and therefore will likely be unrecognizable).Another approach is to model the data in each class, instead of simply draw a boundary between classes. That is possible with generative models. With such generative models, the red triangle is likely to be closer to class exemplars (though it is still an open question as to whether it would look natural/recognizable, as the space within the manifold could still be large and consist of many unrecognizable images). We think that a perfect generative model would not be fooled, although making such a model for high-dimensional data (such as the natural images in our experiment) is currently beyond the technical abilities of scientists.
Note that a recent paper suggests that generative models are also susceptible to adversarial examples.
Can you share the code used to produce these images?The deep neural network is the pre-trained network modeled on AlexNet provided by Caffe.To evolve images, both the directly encoded and indirectly encoded images, we use the Sferes evolutionary framework. The entire code base to conduct the evolutionary experiments can be download here. The code for the images produced by gradient ascent is available here.
Pub. Info:
In Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR '15), IEEE, 2015. Community Top Paper Award. Oral presentation (3% acceptance rate)
Agenda 2030
UK weather: Heatwave to continue for another two weeks - BBC News
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 14:59
Image copyright Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire Britain is set to swelter for another two weeks, forecasters say, as water companies urge customers to use less water.
The BBC's weather team says temperatures will stay high across most of the UK over the next fortnight.
People are being told to conserve water and a hosepipe ban remains in place in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, figures show last month was the driest June on record in south-east and central southern England.
Scotland also had its highest temperature ever recorded, with 33.2C reached on 28 June in Motherwell, according to provisional figures from the Met Office.
The forecast for more hot weather comes as firefighters tackle a grass and corn field on fire near Marlow in Buckinghamshire.
More than 20 fire engines are battling the blaze, near Wyevale Garden Centre, which has closed several roads in the area.
A Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said it was too early to give a cause but "what's burning is very combustible and dry" due to the weather and that they would likely be battling the blaze through the night.
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Forecasters say high pressure will continue across much of Britain throughout the next two weeks, "bringing plenty more very warm sunshine".
Provisional figures show the highest temperature on Monday was 30.7C recorded at Bournemouth Airport.
BBC forecaster Gemma Plumb said England and Wales saw temperatures of between 25C and 29C while Scotland and Northern Ireland reached between 20C and 24C.
"Tomorrow will be much more of the same although with more cloud for the north and east of Scotland," she said.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Environment Agency rescues more than 130 trout and salmon from River TemeEastern coastal areas may also see more mist while showers are a possibility in the Channel Islands and southwest England.
Pollen levels will be high or very high across most of the country, although they will be slightly less in areas with cloud.
Ms Plumb said: "It's going to be dry, fine warm weather into at least next week."
Image copyright PA/Pauline McGinley Gilgallon on Twitter Image caption Sun lovers enjoy the weather on Portobello beach in Edinburgh Image copyright PA Image caption London's parks and public spaces were packed as workers soaked up the sun It comes after a week of hot temperatures across the UK, with the record for the hottest day of the year being set on four consecutive days.
All four UK nations reached 30C for the first time in five years.
But the UK still has a way to beat the record of the 1976 heatwave, which saw temperatures of 32C and over for 15 consecutive days.
'Use water wisely'Southern Water, which supplies water to parts of Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said it was asking customers to help "keep taps flowing across our region".
It said it had boosted its supply this week by an extra 87 million litres of water a day compared with a week ago.
"We are not in drought restrictions but we are asking customers to use water wisely in the garden and avoid washing cars and windows until it begins to cool down."
United Utilities, which operates in the north-west of England, said it has seen a "massive increase in water consumption across our area" and it was "struggling to get enough water around the system quick enough".
"Yesterday an additional half a billion litres was used and it has been the same today," the company said on Friday.
"We urgently need your help and support to avoid a hosepipe ban. You can help us by turning off your garden sprinklers, not using your hosepipes, not washing your car and taking shorter showers and not baths this weekend."
Severn Trent said it was pumping millions of extra litres into the network and asked people to avoid using the garden sprinkler or hose pipe.
Northern Ireland saw its first hosepipe ban in 23 years on Friday evening, imposed by NI Water.
Gardeners face fines of up to £1,000 if caught using a hosepipe, but the use of watering cans is still allowed.
Zes redenen om gasverbod niet voor lief te nemen - Elsevier Weekblad
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 14:17
Voor de burgers van Nederland is het natuurlijk niet nieuw dat ze worden overvallen door maat­regelen waar ze niet om hebben gevraagd, die ze op kosten jagen en waarvan de doelmatigheid dubieus is. Zo zijn de Nederlandse burgers murw gebeukt. 'Het zal mijn tijd wel duren, ze doen toch waar ze zin in hebben, dit overleven we ook wel weer' '' dat werk.
Je kunt het hoofd ook te snel laten hangen. Daarom in dit ­Zomernummer een opgewekte oppepper in zesvoud, tegen het gasverbod dat aan Nederland en de Nederlanders wordt op­gelegd, te beginnen met het gasverbod voor nieuwbouw dat deze zomer is ingegaan. Dat gasverbod werkt contraproductief, wordt met valse argumenten aan de man gebracht, is schijnheilig, peperduur en autoritair en het product van irrationele getuigenispolitiek. Kijk maar.
Lees ook deze column van Syp Wynia: Politici duiken weg voor hun eigen gasverbod
E(C)n: Het gasverbod is contraproductiefAls het tot doel heeft de uitstoot van CO2 in Nederland te reduceren omwille van het klimaat, dan deugt het niet. De Groningse hoogleraar Machiel Mulder heeft overtuigend uitgerekend dat het afsluiten van ­Nederlandse huizen van het gas leidt tot een hogere gasconsumptie, omdat de elektriciteitscentrales voor meer stroom moeten zorgen, die alleen met gas kan worden opgewekt. Zon en wind zijn immers onzeker en ontoereikend als stroombron, opslag van stroom zit er nauwelijks in en kolen, kernenergie en hout mogen niet meer of zijn viezer dan gas.
Twee: Het gasverbod wordt met drogredenen aan de man gebrachtDe indruk wordt gewekt dat het afsluiten van woningen van gas een noodzakelijk, of zelfs 'solidair' gevolg is van het geleidelijk stoppen van de aardgaswinning in Groningen. Gesuggereerd wordt dat het niet willen accepteren van het nationale gasverbod een harteloze houding is, zonder enig medeleven met getroffen Groningers en harteloos jegens 'volgende generaties' bovendien. Het is agitprop, volgens de slechtste ondemocratische tradities. Gas komt niet uitsluitend uit Groningen. Er is voor vele, vele eeuwen aardgas in de ­wereld en het is overal populair, omdat het schoner en klimaatvriendelijker is dan enige andere beschikbare brandstof.
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Thousands evacuated due to fast-moving California wildfire | US news | The Guardian
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 13:07
Thousands were force to leave their homes in Santa Barbara County on Saturday as a fast-moving wildfire driven by strong winds and triple-digit temperatures destroyed 20 homes and other buildings, and officials declared a local emergency.
The Holiday Fire, one of more than three dozen major blazes burning across the US west, broke out on Friday evening near the beach community of Goleta, California, south of Santa Barbara, and raced through the seaside foothills.
The flames forced more than 2,000 people to flee their homes, and left thousands more without power, prompting the emergency declaration which frees additional funds for the firefighting effort.
About 350 firefighters took advantage of a period of light winds early on Saturday to contain as much as possible of the blaze, which has burned through 50 to 80 acres (20 to 32 hectares), fire officials said.
''It was a small fire but it had a powerful punch to it,'' spokesman Mike Eliason said.
Dozens of blazes have broken out across the western US, fanned by scorching heat, winds and low humidity in a particularly intense fire season.
This year's fires had burned more than 2.9 million acres (1.17 million hectares) through Friday, already more than the annual average of about 2.4 million acres (971,000 hectares) over the last 10 years, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
On Friday, the remains of an unidentified person were found near a home burned to the ground by the Klamathon fire, which broke out on Thursday near California's border with Oregon. It marked the first fatality of the fire season in California.
The Klamathon, which has destroyed 15 structures and blackened nearly 22,000 acres (8,900 hectares), was only 5% contained as of Saturday.
Elsewhere in northern California, the County Fire has charred 88,375 acres (35,764 hectares) in sparsely populated wooded areas of Napa and Yolo Counties.
About 3,660 firefighters faced with inaccessible terrain, high temperatures and low humidity, were battling the fire, which was only 48% contained. It has destroyed 10 structures, damaged two and threatened 110.
In Colorado, officials said crews had made ''much progress'' battling the Spring Creek fire, which broke out on 27 June and has consumed 106,985 acres (43,295 hectares). It was 43% contained on Saturday, officials said.
Remember how hot it used to get before 'global warming'?
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 14:20
The record-high temperature in Springfield was 112 on July 14, 1954, and it was over 100 for 29 days in 1954 during the 1945-1976 global cooling period.
1936 heat wave culminated 75 years ago today; 50 deaths resulted
It's July. It's Illinois. It's hot. It's normal.
But 75 years ago, summer 1936 was anything but normal for Springfield and the rest of the Midwest.
Four of Springfield's 10 hottest days ever came during July 1936, including a then-all-time high of 110 degrees on July 14. That record was broken on the same date in 1954, which registered a high of 112.
The temperature reached triple digits on 29 days that year, including 12 consecutive days from July 4 through 14.
Since I was 16 months old in July 1954 and running around in a cloth diaper, I am trying to picture what my parents did because it was so hot. They must have turned on the TV to see what Al Roker was saying as to how many millions were under the heat dome and what the heat index was. Nope '' they didn't have a TV, and the heat index was not developed until 1978, around the time the current global warming scare started. How convenient.
How could they keep me safe when no one told them to keep me out of the sun and try to keep cool? Did they know to drink water? What if the heat index was 120? Would that have changed anything?
They did have a box fan on the second floor (we know how well a box fan in hot temperatures worked). We also had a 1950 Ford with 4-65 air conditioning: four windows down at 65 MPH. That worked well also.
As I got older, when it was hot after a baseball game, I would get in my skivvies, and they would spray me with a hose. The rich people had a three-ring pool and sprinklers. Life is so unfair.
My evil parents even had me walk on hot days to a school that didn't have air conditioning.
I can imagine Helen and Eddie sitting around on the porch, yearning for the days before fossil fuels and humans warmed the Earth. Life was great with no electricity, burning wood, horses, dirt roads, and no sewage or water treatment plants. They could also expect to live to around 50 before fossil fuels. If only we could go back when temperatures and sea levels never changed, when the ice at the Arctic and Antarctica was the same from year to year. Then fossil fuels changed that.
The heat index was developed in 1978 by George Winterling as the "humiture" and was adopted by the USA's National Weather Service a year later.
I think Obama; Al Gore; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old socialist from New York; Bernie; and others who say fossil fuels are the problem should give us a lecture on how wonderful life would be without them and exactly how they could control the climate, temperatures, sea levels, and storm activity forever if only they were allowed to confiscate trillions more dollars from us.
They should focus their discussion on all the contradictory, wrong, dire predictions of the past. Here is a good start.
Maybe they could focus on the statements below from 1998, 2006, and 2007 that admit that the global warming-climate change garbage is all about money and that the climate has always changed naturally.
Anthony Watts provides a trip down memory lane:
A brief history of climate panic and crisis ... both warming and cooling
For at least 114 120 years, climate "scientists" have been claiming that the climate was going to kill us...but they have kept switching whether it was a coming ice age, or global warming.
(A timeline of claims follows, updated to 2014)
1895 '' Geologists Think the World May Be Frozen Up Again '' New York Times, February 1895 1902 '' "Disappearing Glaciers'...deteriorating slowly, with a persistency that means their final annihilation'...scientific fact'...surely disappearing." '' Los Angeles Times 1923 '' "Scientist says Arctic ice will wipe out Canada" '' Professor Gregory of Yale University, American representative to the Pan-Pacific Science Congress, 1933 '' "'...wide-spread and persistent tendency toward warmer weather'...Is our climate changing?" '' Federal Weather Bureau "Monthly Weather Review." 1954 '' Climate '' the Heat May Be Off '' Fortune Magazine 1959 '' "Arctic Findings in Particular Support Theory of Rising Global Temperatures" '' New York Times 1974 '' Global cooling for the past forty years '' Time Magazine 1974 '' "As for the present cooling trend a number of leading climatologists have concluded that it is very bad news indeed" '' Fortune magazine, who won a Science Writing Award from the American Institute of Physics for its analysis of the danger 1988 '' I would like to draw three main conclusions. Number one, the earth is warmer in 1988 than at any time in the history of instrumental measurements. Jim Hansen, June 1988 testimony before Congress, 1998 '' No matter if the science [of global warming] is all phony . . . climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world." '--Christine Stewart, Canadian Minister of the Environment, Calgary Herald, 1998 2003 '' Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue, and energy sources such as "synfuels," shale oil and tar sands were receiving strong consideration" '' Jim Hansen 2006 '' "What we have fundamentally forgotten is simple primary school science. Climate always changes. It is always'...warming or cooling, it's never stable. And if it were stable, it would actually be interesting scientifically because it would be the first time for four and a half billion years." '--Philip Stott, emeritus professor of bio-geography at the University of London 2007'' "I gave a talk recently (on fallacies of global warming) and three members of the Canadian government, the environmental cabinet, came up afterwards and said, 'We agree with you, but it's not worth our jobs to say anything.' So what's being created is a huge industry with billions of dollars of government money and people's jobs dependent on it." '' Dr. Tim Ball, Coast-to-Coast, Feb 6, 2007 2013 '' Global-warming 'proof' is evaporating. The 2013 hurricane season just ended as one of the five quietest years since 1960. But don't expect anyone who pointed to last year's hurricanes as "proof" of the need to act against global warming to apologize; the warmists don't work that way. New York Post, Dec 5, 2013 There is a crisis brewing in England. They are short of CO2, and I believe they should blame Obama, Kerry, and the Paris climate accord.
Beer is being rationed in the United Kingdom because of a shortage of carbon dioxide.
I am nostalgic for the days before the great global warming and climate change panic.
Yesterday in Springfield, Illinois it was forecasted to be 97 degrees, but it only hit 92. The record high for this day was 104 in 1934. It is a shame that it has only been colder for 84 straight years. In reverence to Michael Mann and others we should adjust the 1930s temperatures down because they just don't match the agenda.
The record-high temperature in Springfield was 112 on July 14, 1954, and it was over 100 for 29 days in 1954 during the 1945-1976 global cooling period.
1936 heat wave culminated 75 years ago today; 50 deaths resulted
It's July. It's Illinois. It's hot. It's normal.
But 75 years ago, summer 1936 was anything but normal for Springfield and the rest of the Midwest.
Four of Springfield's 10 hottest days ever came during July 1936, including a then-all-time high of 110 degrees on July 14. That record was broken on the same date in 1954, which registered a high of 112.
The temperature reached triple digits on 29 days that year, including 12 consecutive days from July 4 through 14.
Since I was 16 months old in July 1954 and running around in a cloth diaper, I am trying to picture what my parents did because it was so hot. They must have turned on the TV to see what Al Roker was saying as to how many millions were under the heat dome and what the heat index was. Nope '' they didn't have a TV, and the heat index was not developed until 1978, around the time the current global warming scare started. How convenient.
How could they keep me safe when no one told them to keep me out of the sun and try to keep cool? Did they know to drink water? What if the heat index was 120? Would that have changed anything?
They did have a box fan on the second floor (we know how well a box fan in hot temperatures worked). We also had a 1950 Ford with 4-65 air conditioning: four windows down at 65 MPH. That worked well also.
As I got older, when it was hot after a baseball game, I would get in my skivvies, and they would spray me with a hose. The rich people had a three-ring pool and sprinklers. Life is so unfair.
My evil parents even had me walk on hot days to a school that didn't have air conditioning.
I can imagine Helen and Eddie sitting around on the porch, yearning for the days before fossil fuels and humans warmed the Earth. Life was great with no electricity, burning wood, horses, dirt roads, and no sewage or water treatment plants. They could also expect to live to around 50 before fossil fuels. If only we could go back when temperatures and sea levels never changed, when the ice at the Arctic and Antarctica was the same from year to year. Then fossil fuels changed that.
The heat index was developed in 1978 by George Winterling as the "humiture" and was adopted by the USA's National Weather Service a year later.
I think Obama; Al Gore; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old socialist from New York; Bernie; and others who say fossil fuels are the problem should give us a lecture on how wonderful life would be without them and exactly how they could control the climate, temperatures, sea levels, and storm activity forever if only they were allowed to confiscate trillions more dollars from us.
They should focus their discussion on all the contradictory, wrong, dire predictions of the past. Here is a good start.
Maybe they could focus on the statements below from 1998, 2006, and 2007 that admit that the global warming-climate change garbage is all about money and that the climate has always changed naturally.
Anthony Watts provides a trip down memory lane:
A brief history of climate panic and crisis ... both warming and cooling
For at least 114 120 years, climate "scientists" have been claiming that the climate was going to kill us...but they have kept switching whether it was a coming ice age, or global warming.
(A timeline of claims follows, updated to 2014)
1895 '' Geologists Think the World May Be Frozen Up Again '' New York Times, February 1895 1902 '' "Disappearing Glaciers'...deteriorating slowly, with a persistency that means their final annihilation'...scientific fact'...surely disappearing." '' Los Angeles Times 1923 '' "Scientist says Arctic ice will wipe out Canada" '' Professor Gregory of Yale University, American representative to the Pan-Pacific Science Congress, 1933 '' "'...wide-spread and persistent tendency toward warmer weather'...Is our climate changing?" '' Federal Weather Bureau "Monthly Weather Review." 1954 '' Climate '' the Heat May Be Off '' Fortune Magazine 1959 '' "Arctic Findings in Particular Support Theory of Rising Global Temperatures" '' New York Times 1974 '' Global cooling for the past forty years '' Time Magazine 1974 '' "As for the present cooling trend a number of leading climatologists have concluded that it is very bad news indeed" '' Fortune magazine, who won a Science Writing Award from the American Institute of Physics for its analysis of the danger 1988 '' I would like to draw three main conclusions. Number one, the earth is warmer in 1988 than at any time in the history of instrumental measurements. Jim Hansen, June 1988 testimony before Congress, 1998 '' No matter if the science [of global warming] is all phony . . . climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world." '--Christine Stewart, Canadian Minister of the Environment, Calgary Herald, 1998 2003 '' Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue, and energy sources such as "synfuels," shale oil and tar sands were receiving strong consideration" '' Jim Hansen 2006 '' "What we have fundamentally forgotten is simple primary school science. Climate always changes. It is always'...warming or cooling, it's never stable. And if it were stable, it would actually be interesting scientifically because it would be the first time for four and a half billion years." '--Philip Stott, emeritus professor of bio-geography at the University of London 2007'' "I gave a talk recently (on fallacies of global warming) and three members of the Canadian government, the environmental cabinet, came up afterwards and said, 'We agree with you, but it's not worth our jobs to say anything.' So what's being created is a huge industry with billions of dollars of government money and people's jobs dependent on it." '' Dr. Tim Ball, Coast-to-Coast, Feb 6, 2007 2013 '' Global-warming 'proof' is evaporating. The 2013 hurricane season just ended as one of the five quietest years since 1960. But don't expect anyone who pointed to last year's hurricanes as "proof" of the need to act against global warming to apologize; the warmists don't work that way. New York Post, Dec 5, 2013 There is a crisis brewing in England. They are short of CO2, and I believe they should blame Obama, Kerry, and the Paris climate accord.
Beer is being rationed in the United Kingdom because of a shortage of carbon dioxide.
NASA's James Hansen Knew Climate Models Are Fudged | PSI Intl
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 14:21
Published on February 6, 2018
Written by Kyoji Kimoto
New study from Japan reveals climate scientists who originally calculated the greenhouse gas effect knowingly used a wrong calculation that is ''theoretically meaningless'' when determining the impact of carbon dioxide (CO2) on atmospheric temperatures.
Independent climate researcher, Kyoji Kimoto identifies that two of the most relied upon studies of CO2 in the atmosphere (Manabe (1964/67) & Hansen (1981)) are riddled with known guesswork and error such that they should now be dismissed as ''fake science.''
Crucially, Syukuro Manabe (a Japanese meteorologist) confesses he did not resolve the problem of the tropospheric lapse rate and made an estimate which was falsely entered as ''fact,'' contrary to modern government expert claims that such work was rigorous ''settled science.''
Kyoji Kimoto has carefully pinpointed the precise errors that invalidate the work of these 'climate experts' whose papers have become cornerstones in determining the alleged global warming impacts of CO2.
The detailed rebuttal is featured in full below as 'Hansen Knows Models Are Fudged' (Kyoji Kimoto, January 29, 2018):
HANSEN KNOWS MODELS ARE FUDGED
1. LACK OF PARAMETER SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS IN 1DRCM STUDIESThe anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a fake science based on one dimensional radiative convective model (1DRCM) studies by Manabe (1964/67) & Hansen (1981), which gave the Planck response (zero feedback climate sensitivity) of 1.2~1.3K.
Manabe and Hansen utilized the fixed lapse rate assumption of 6.5K/km (FLRA) for 1xCO2 and 2xCO2 causing uniform warming throughout the troposphere and the surface (see Case B in Fig.1). This is physically wrong because radiative forcing is ~4W/m2 for 2xCO2 at the tropopause while it is ~1W/m2 for 2xCO2 at the surface due to much higher humidity.
The assumption was initiated by Manabe (1964/67) bearing a careless understanding on the perturbed atmosphere with 2xCO2 as follows:
''The observed tropospheric lapse rate of temperature is approximately 6.5K/km. The explanation for this fact is rather complicated. It is essentially the result of a balance between (a) the stabilizing effect of upward heat transport in moist and dry convection on both small and large scales and (b), the destabilizing effect of radiative transfer. Instead of exploring the problem of the tropospheric lapse rate in detail, we here accept this as an observed fact and regard it as a critical lapse rate for convection.'' [Emphasis added]
Lapse rate (LR) for 2xCO2A A: LR = 6.1K/km (-6%)B: LR = 6.5K/km (basis): Manabe methodB C: LR = 6.9 K/km (+6%)
H 1xCO2: 6.5K/km C(km) (Observed lapse rate)
T (K) Planck response 0K 1.3K 2.6KFig. 1 Parameter sensitivity analysis of the lapse rate for 2xCO2 in the Manabe method
The lapse rate of 6.5K/km is defined for 1xCO2 in the U.S. Standard Atmosphere (1962). There is no theoretical guarantee, however, that the same lapse rate will be maintained in the perturbed atmosphere with 2xCO2 because it depends on radiation, convection, large scale dynamics and moisture etc.. Therefore the lapse rate for 2xCO2 is aparameter requiring a sensitivity analysis.
In Fig.1 the Planck response varies as much as 100% with only a 6% variation of the lapse rate for 2xCO2, while it varies from 4K/km to 10K/km generally. Therefore the Planck response of 1.2~1.3K by Manabe (1964/67) & Hansen (1981) is theoretically meaningless though they furnish a theoretical basis of the Planck response of 1.2K toGCMs with uniform warming throughout the troposphere and the surface.
Soden (2006) showed all GCMs for the IPCC 4th Assessment Report (2007) utilized the Planck feedback parameter of -3.21 (W/m2)/K (see Fig.2), giving the Planck response of 1.2K with the radiative forcing of 3.7(W/m2) for 2xCO2 at the tropopause. It is uniform warming throughout the troposphere and the surface in line with the 1DRCM studiesabove. A climate sensitivity of 3K is obtained by the following calculations:
Planck response= -Radiative forcing/Planck feedback parameter=3.7(W/m2)/3.21(W/m2)/K=1.2KClimate sensitivity=Planck response x Feedbacks=1.2K x 2.5=3K
Here, feedbacks are (water vapor + lapse rate), surface albedo and cloud feedback.
2. HANSEN KNOWS MODELS ARE FUDGEDHansen admitted that the 1DRCM study was fudged because its results strongly depended on the lapse rate used in an interview with Spencer Weart held on October 23, 2000 at NASA. An excerpt from the interview follows:
Weart: This was a radiative convective model, so where's the convective part come in. Again, are you using somebody else's'...Hansen: That's trivial. You just put in'...Weart: '... a lapse rate'...Hansen: Yes. So it's a fudge. That's why you have a 3D model to do it properly. In the 1D model, it's just a fudge, and you can choose different lapse rates and you get somewhat different answers. So you try to pick something that has some physical justification. But the best justification is probably trying to put in the fundamental equations into a 3D model.Source: Interview of James Hansen by Spencer Weart on 2000 October 23, Niels Bohr Library & Archives, American Institute of Physics, College Park, MD USA, www.aip.org/history-programs/niels-bohr-library/oralhistories/243091
On November 10, 2016, I sent an email to Hansen accusing him of the flawed AGW scares. Then Hansen changed his saying as follows:
Old View (July 2006):''We have at most ten years'--not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions'' he wrote in his July 2006 review of Al Gore's book/movie, An Inconvenient Truth. ''We have reached a critical tipping point,'' he assured readers, adding ''it will soon be impossible to avoid climate change with far-ranging undesirable consequences.''
Revised View''Worse Than Thought (2009)Several years later, with the publication of his 2009 manifesto Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save the Planet, he shared ''some bad news'' (p. 139) with readers: The dangerous threshold of greenhouse gases is actually lower than what we told you a few years ago. Sorry about that mistake. It does not always work that way. Sometimes our estimates are off in the other direction, and the problem is not as bad as we thought. Not this time. ''The climate system is on the verge of tipping points,'' Hansen stated (p. 171). ''If the world does not make a dramatic shift in energy policies over the next few years, we may well pass the point of no return.''
Also in 2009, he told the press:
''We cannot afford to put off [climate policy] change any longer. We have to get on a new path within this new administration. We have only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. America must take the lead.''
Revised View''Need to Go Emissions Negative (October 2016)
''Contrary to the impression favored by governments, the corner has not been turned toward declining emissions and GHG amounts. The world is not effectively addressing the climate matter, nor does it have any plans to do so, regardless of how much government bureaucrats clap each other on the back.'.... Negative CO2 emissions, i.e., extraction of CO2 from the air, is now required.''
My mail to Hansen on November 10, 2016:
Dear Dr. J. Hansen:You said ''1DRCM is fudged because its results are strongly dependent on the lapse rate used'' here. https://www.aip.org/history-programs/niels-bohr-library/oral-histories/24309-1I completely agree with your idea as shown in my article ''Collapse of the AGW theory of the IPCC'' attached. Could you please explain why you are talking about the AGW scares such as rapid sea level rise and extreme weather when CO2 doubling, which are produced by 3DGCMs based on 1DRCM studies in Manabe (1964/67) and Hansen (1981) ?Sincerely,Mr. K. Kimoto
New View (December 2016):''Stopping human-made climate change is inherently difficult, because of the nature of the climate system: it is massive, so it responds only slowly to forcings; and, unfortunately, the feedbacks in the climate system are predominately amplifying on time scales of decades-centuries.
The upshot is that there is already much more climate change ''in the pipeline'' without any further increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs). That does not mean the problem is unsolvable, but it does mean that we will need to decrease the amount of GHGs in the relatively near future.
The ponderous response of the climate system also means that we don't need to instantaneously reduce GHG amounts. However, despite uncertainties about some climate processes, we know enough to say that the time scale on which we must begin to reduce atmospheric GHG amounts is measured in decades, not centuries. Given the fact that the fastest time scale to replace energy systems is decades, that means that we must get the political processes moving now. And that won't happen until the public has understanding of what is actually needed and demands it.''
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/03/shock-the-father-of-global-warming-james-hansen-dials-back-alarm/
Fame & fund is main driving force for climate scientists to advocate the AGW theory. In the farewell lecture held on October 26, 2001 in Tokyo, Manabe talked as follows:
''Research funds have been $3 million per year and $120 million for the past 40 years. It is not clever to pursue the scientific truth. A better way is choosing the relevant topics to society for the funds covering the staff and computer cost of the project.''
Source: Dr. Syukuro Manabe's Farewell Lecture and Interview held on October 26, 2001. Resume of ''Climate Research: Breaking through difficulties'' (in Japanese) http://hydro.iis.utokyo.ac.jp/~taikan/WebRep/2001/manabe2001/
3. PHYSICAL REALITY VS. MODEL OUTPUTSIn the orthodox AGW theory, radiation height increases from point a to point b in Fig. 3 due to increased IR opacity when CO2 is doubled. This decreases the temperature at the effective radiation height of ~5km causing an energy imbalance between the Absorbed Solar Radiation of 240W/m2 and Outgoing Long wave Radiation.
In order to restore the balance of energy, the radiation temperature increases from point b to point c. Based on the Stefan-Boltzmann law, a warming of 1K at the effective radiation height is enough to remove the energy imbalance caused by the radiative forcing of ~4W/m2 for 2xCO2.
Surface temperature Ts increases in the same degree of 1K with the Manabe method since the FLRA is utilized for 1xCO2 and 2xCO2 (see Fig.3). It is, however, erroneous because the Manabe method fails in Fig. 1. On the contrary, surface temperature increase is negligibly small in Kimoto model with a slight decrease of the lapse rate from 6.5K/km to 6.3K/km. It is in line with the physical reality that surface radiative forcing is much smaller than that of the upper troposphere thanks to higher humidity.
In conclusion the AGW confusion for more than 50 years is an illusion produced with the careless FLRA by Manabe (1964/67) obstructing genuine climate science.
Thanks to the erroneous Planck response of 1.2K, GCMs for the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (2013) show much larger troposphere temperature increase than observations in the model comparison project (CMIP-5) (see Fig.4).
Fig.4 Comparison between model outputs and observationsSource: U.S. House Committee on Science, Space & Technology, 2 Feb 2016, Testimony of John R. Christy, University of Alabama in Huntsville
http://docs.house.gov/meetings/SY/SY00/20160202/104399/HHRG-114-SY00-Wstate-ChristyJ-20160202.pdf
As to sea surface temperature (SST) governing climate, physicist and oceanographer criticize model outputs. They claim that it violates a physics law that water is opaque to IR radiation of CO2 at the interface of the atmosphere-ocean (see Fig.5).
Fig.5 Comparison between IPCC model and physical reality
4. WARMER PERIOD OF 1930sD. Dahl-Jensen et al. shows the 1930s is 0.5K warmer than the present time based on a bore-hole study of Greenland ice sheet in Science Vol. 282, 268-271(1998). If there is no data tampering by NOAA and NASA, this could be seen in their surface temperature time series. The following data will support D. Dahl-Jensen's finding.
(NASA)
The strongest hurricane Labor Day hit in 1935. (U.S .National Hurricane center)
1935 892 hPa Labor Day1969 909 hPa Camille2005 920 hPa Katrina1992 922 hPa Andrew1886 925 hPa Indianola2017 929hPa Irma2017 938hPa Harvey
The strongest typhoon Muroto hit in 1934. (Japan Meteorological Agency)
1934 912 hPa Muroto1945 916 hPa Makurazaki1961 925 hPa Second Muroto1959 929 hPa Isewan1993 930 hPa 1993, No.13
PDO index was positive during 1925-1945. (Japan Meteorological Agency)
*) Increasing solar activity with positive PDO index caused higher daytime hightemperature, the highest heat wave index and the strongest storm in 1930s.
5. GLOBAL COOLING THANKS TO DECREASING SOLAR ACTIVITYIn my book (2010), I predicted that global cooling might occur in 2018 with wavy jet stream caused by decreasing solar activity. My prediction was based on a 44-year cycle of heavy snowfall in Japan as follows:
1833/heavy snowfall Dalton minimum (1795-1830)(44 years)1877/heavy snowfall(41 years)1918/heavy snowfall Gleissberg minimum (1898-1923)(45 years)1963/heavy snowfall(43 years)2006/heavy snowfall Dalton or Gleissberg minimum¼Ÿ
*) Global cooling might occur in 2017~2020 with the following calculation.2006 (solar phase change) + 11~14 (ocean time lag) = 2017~2020
44-year cycle of heavy snowfall in Japan (Kimoto Cycle)ã
Sunspot maximum year (NASA) heavy snowfall (HS) or famine(Type of coming minimum)Maunder minimum¼1645-1715¼‰ ¼probability:20%¼‰Dalton minimum ¼1795-1830¼‰ ¼probability:40%¼‰Gleissberg minimum¼1898-1923¼‰ ¼probability:40%¼‰
Maunder Dalton Gleissberg What type minimum?
4 upward arrows: HS years and 2 downward arrows: JU-CM-CS event years
References:Hansen, J., Johnson, D., Lacis, A., Lebedeff, S., Lee, P., Rind, D. and Russell, G., Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, Science 1981, 213, 957~966.Kimoto, K., Will coal save Japan and the world?, Energy & Environment, 2015, 26, 1055~1067.Manabe, S. and Strickler, R.F., Thermal equilibrium of the atmosphere with a convective adjustment, J. Atmospheric Sciences, 1964, 21, 361~385.Manabe, S. and Wetherald, R.T., Thermal equilibrium of the atmosphere with a given distribution of relative humidity, J. Atmospheric Sciences, 1967, 24, 241~259.Soden, B.J. and Held, I.M., An assessment of climate feedbacks in coupled ocean-atmosphere models. J. Climate, 2006, 19, 3354~3360.
About the author:
Kyoji Kimoto holds a Master degree in organic synthesis from Kyusyu University. He is a retired fuel cell researcher having a 5-year experience of computer simulations in chemical processes and currently works as an independent climate researcher. Kimoto has two papers published in the journal Energy & Environment,
Kids in Cages
AP's report that US Army is purging immigrants is wrong, but that didn't stop Jeb Bush from jumping
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 13:43
The Pentagon is pushing back against claims that immigrants are being purged from the U.S. Armed Forces.
Calling out a misleading report by the Associated Press, a U.S. Defense official said ''there is no new policy'' for immigrants who wish to join the U.S. military, Fox News reported.
In a report published this week, the Associated Press claimed that the U.S. Army is ''quietly discharging immigrant recruits.'' But the implied message that the administration is targeting immigrants even in the military, while met with outrage, turned out to be not what it appeared.
The AP story quoted a retired U.S. Army colonel about 40 recruits who were hoping to obtain citizenship and had been abruptly dismissed from the military recruiting program, known as MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest), which began in 2009 under former President George W. Bush to meet the military's need for immigrants with certain special language skills, Fox News reported.
The program, which was suspended last year due to concerns that the Defense Department was unable to properly vet candidates, saw 10,000 immigrants become naturalized citizens since its start. The 40 recruits in question in the AP report had issues with their security clearances and were not summarily ''discharged.''
''Any recruit '... who receives an unfavorable security screening is deemed unsuitable for military service and is administratively discharged,'' Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Nina Hill said Friday.
''The notification that they have not been accepted into the program is their notice,'' Maj. Carla M. Gleason, a Pentagon spokesperson, said, according to the Washington Examiner. ''There has been no change in policy.''
But many reacting to the Associated Press headline on the story expressed outrage that President Trump and his administration seemed to be targeting immigrants.
From former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush who called it ''disappointing'' to film producer Adam Best who directly stated the recruits were being discharged because they were immigrants. Former DNC Deputy National Press Secretary, Jose Aristimuno, blasted the Trump administration for ''going after immigrants.''
''With all due respect because this administration from day one has been trying to do everything in their power to literally go after immigrants,'' he told Fox News' Dana Perino on Friday.
NPR's Tim Mak expressed that ''here is less than meets the eye here'' in the report. He noted that the AP did ''not answer the simple question.'' National security analyst, John Noonan, echoed the explanations and offered his own breakdown in a series of tweets. In all, while the AP report created much outrage, it seems the muddy reporting with a misleading presentation of what was actually happening was caught by many.
Anne Frank's family tried to leave for US but their requests were never processed | Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 15:17
(Flickr Commons)
AMSTERDAM (JTA) '-- Contrary to widely held beliefs, Anne Frank and her family were never denied entry visas to the United States, a new study by the museum for the young Holocaust diarist confirmed.
On Friday, the Anne Frank House published its report on the immigration attempts of the Frank family, which included Anne, sister Margot and their parents, Otto and Edith. They were sent to concentration camps and only Otto survived.
''Although the United States had a far from generous policy with regard to Jewish refugees, it is clear that Otto, Edith, Margot and Anne Frank were not refused entry to the United States,'' the new study states. Due to rapidly changing circumstances connected to World War II, the family's ''immigration visa application to the American consulate in Rotterdam was never processed.''
Anne Frank penned journals of her time in hiding from Nazi occupation for two years until 1944, and the journals became the famed ''Diary of a Young Girl.''
The finding on the Frank family follows decades of uncertainty as to how exactly U.S. immigration authorities handled their immigration applications. And it contradicts an oft-repeated claim of critics of past and current U.S. visa policies, including from Washington Post columnist Elahe Izadi, who in 2015 wrote an op-ed titled ''Anne Frank and her family were also denied entry as refugees to the U.S.''
More recently, journalists Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan made the same claim on the ''Democracy Now!'' show syndicated by Pacifica Radio. ''The U.S. Rejected Refugee Anne Frank '-- Let's Not Make the Same Mistake Again,'' read the title of its article from February.
According to the study, one delay to the Franks' immigration process followed the bombing of the U.S. Consulate in Rotterdam in May 1940. All documents, including Otto Frank's visa application, were lost and had to be resubmitted.
Otto Frank's friend in the United States, Nathan Straus, used his financial resources and political connections in an attempt to help the Franks immigrate. But this was complicated by the fact that the United States closed all German consulates, whereupon Nazi Germany closed all American consulates in Germany and Nazi-occupied territory.
After the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and the suspension of transatlantic shipping traffic, travel to Cuba was impossible, thwarting Otto Frank's plan to immigrate to the United States through there. He decided then to go into hiding with his family.
''There were also obstacles from the United States,'' the study's authors wrote. ''In the absence of an asylum policy, Jews seeking to escape Nazi persecution in Europe had to go through a protracted emigration procedure. There was limited willingness to accept Jewish refugees.''
Poop
California Proposition 47 (2014) - Wikipedia
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 04:57
Proposition 47, also known by its ballot title Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. Initiative Statute, was a referendum passed by voters in the state of California on November 4, 2014. The measure was also referred to by its supporters as the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.[2] It recategorized some nonviolent offenses as misdemeanors, rather than felonies, as they had previously been categorized. The proposition would have expired on November 4, 2017, though governor Jerry Brown approved a bill that extended the deadline to November 4, 2022.[3]
Proposition 47Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. Initiative Statute.LocationCaliforniaDateNovember 4, 2014 ( 2014-11-04 ) Source: California Secretary of State[1]Contents
Effects Edit The measure's main effects were to convert many nonviolent offenses, such as drug and property offenses, from felonies to misdemeanors. These offenses include shoplifting, writing bad checks, and drug possession. The measure also required that money saved as a result of the measure would be spent on "school truancy and dropout prevention, victim services, mental health and drug abuse treatment, and other programs designed to keep offenders out of prison and jail."[4] The measure included exceptions for offenses involving more than $950 and criminals with records including violence or sex offenses.[5] For example, forgery had previously been a "wobbler" offense that could be charged by the prosecutor as a misdemeanor or a felony. Now with the passage of Proposition 47, prosecutors cannot charge a forgery involving less than $950 as a felony unless the defendant has a criminal record. [6]
The measure both affects future convictions and allows for people currently incarcerated for crimes covered by the measure to petition for re-sentencing.[7]
In November 2015, a report by the Stanford University Justice Advocacy Project authored by the co-author of Proposition 47, found that Proposition 47 had reduced the state's prison population by 13,000, and that it would save the state about $150 million that year.[8]
A 2018 study maintains that Prop 47 was not a ''driver'' for recent upticks in crime.[9]
Support Edit The measure was endorsed by the editorial board of the New York Times, which praised it as a way to reduce overcrowding in the state's prisons.[10] It was also endorsed by the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times, which wrote that the measure was a "good and timely measure that can help the state make smarter use of its criminal justice and incarceration resources."[11] The American Civil Liberties Union also supported the measure and donated $3.5 million to support it.[12]
Prominent individual supporters included Jay-Z and Newt Gingrich.[13]
Opposition Edit Opponents of the measure include Mark A. Peterson, the District Attorney of Contra Costa County, who wrote before its passage that the measure "would make our neighborhoods and schools less safe".[14] It was also criticized by Nancy O'Malley, the District Attorney of Alameda County, who said it would "expose Californians to significant harm" and called it a "Trojan horse".[15]
Among the most prominent arguments made against the law was that possession of the date-rape drug Rohypnol would, under the law, be punished as a misdemeanor rather than a felony, which critics described as a "slap on the wrist".[16] Critics also argued that not being able to use incarceration to force drug users into treatment would make it more difficult for drug users to enter into a treatment program.[17]
Impact on crime rates Edit As of 2014, the outcome of the measure was still uncertain with respect to future crime rates, but Hayley Munguia of FiveThirtyEight has argued that in three of other four states'--Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas'--that passed similar laws, crime rates decreased afterward.[18] It also remains uncertain whether the measure will actually keep people out of prison, though the Legislative Analyst's Office has concluded that it will decrease the state's prison population by "several thousand" inmates.[18] It has been estimated that the measure will affect about 40,000 felony convictions per year, which would be reduced from felonies to misdemeanors, representing about one-fifth of annual convictions in California.[5] The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has estimated that under the measure, almost 4,800 state prisoners are eligible to petition for resentencing.[19]
Several commentators contrasted Proposition 47 with the three-strikes law that had been passed in California two decades earlier.[20][21] Before the initiative passed, political science professor Thad Kousser said that it "would officially end California's tough-on-crime era" if it was passed.[21]
In 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported that "law enforcement officials and others have blamed Proposition 47 for allowing repeat offenders...to continue breaking the law with little consequence."[22] Also that year, a spokesman for George Gasc"n, the district attorney of San Francisco, said that the law "has made it easier for drug offenders to avoid mandated treatment programs." The mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, has also suggested that the law may explain why his city's crime rates went from decreasing to increasing.[23] In a 2015 story in the Washington Post, the police chief of San Diego, Shelley Zimmerman, described Proposition 47 as "a virtual get-out-of-jail-free card." She and other police chiefs also expressed concern about the increasing phenomenon of "frequent flier" criminals''people who exploit Proposition 47 to commit crimes. For example, one criminal allegedly brought a calculator into a store to avoid stealing more than $950 worth of goods.[24] The ACLU responded by releasing a report saying that those who linked Proposition 47 and crime were "making irresponsible and inaccurate statements."[25]
The director of the Stanford Justice Advocacy Project and co-author of Proposition 47, Michael Morano, said in November 2015 that, with respect to Proposition 47, "In the long term, this reallocation of resources should significantly improve public safety". Mr. Morano authored a study supporting his conclusion.[8]
A March 2016 report released by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice concluded that it was still too early to determine whether Proposition 47 had an effect on California's crime rates.[26]
References Edit ^ "Statement of Vote, November 4, 2014 General Election" (PDF) . California Secretary of State . Retrieved September 1, 2015 . ^ "California Proposition 47, Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative (2014)". Ballotpedia . Retrieved November 18, 2014 . ^ Rokos, Brian (September 29, 2016). "New law gives felons more time to get record changed under Prop. 47". The Press Enterprise . Retrieved March 10, 2018 . ^ "Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. Initiative Statute". California Secretary of State . Retrieved November 18, 2014 . ^ a b St. John, Paige (October 11, 2014). "Prop. 47 would cut penalties for 1 in 5 criminals in California". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved November 16, 2014 . ^ "Text of Proposition 47" (PDF) . Retrieved July 20, 2017 . ^ Pishko, Jessica (October 29, 2014). "Can Proposition 47 Solve California's Problem With Mass Incarceration?". Pacific Standard . Retrieved November 26, 2014 . ^ a b Parker, Clifton (November 2, 2015). "California's early release of prisoners proving effective so far, Stanford experts say". Stanford University . Retrieved February 5, 2016 . ^ https://news.uci.edu/2018/03/07/proposition-47-not-responsible-for-recent-upticks-in-crime-across-california-uci-study-says/ ^ Editorial Board (October 30, 2014). "California Leads on Justice Reform". New York Times . Retrieved November 16, 2014 . ^ Times Editorial Board (October 6, 2014). "Endorsement: Yes on Proposition 47". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved November 16, 2014 . ^ El Nasser, Haya (November 14, 2014). " ' Walking out of jail': Prop 47 frees felons with downgraded charges". Al Jazeera America . Retrieved November 16, 2014 . ^ Ford, Matt (November 5, 2014). "Californians Vote to Weaken Mass Incarceration". The Atlantic . Retrieved November 16, 2014 . ^ Peterson, Mark (October 31, 2014). "Guest commentary: Prop. 47 will make our neighborhoods less safe". Contra Costa Times . Retrieved November 16, 2014 . ^ O'Malley, Nancy (September 19, 2014). "Vote No on Prop. 47: Measure ends effective crime intervention". San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved November 16, 2014 . ^ Greene, Robert (October 29, 2014). "What does California's Proposition 47 have to do with date rape?". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved November 16, 2014 . ^ Editorial Board (November 10, 2014). "Prediction: California crime wave coming". San Diego Union-Tribune . Retrieved November 16, 2014 . ^ a b Vara, Vauhini (November 7, 2014). "Will California Again Lead the Way on Prison Reform?". The New Yorker . Retrieved November 16, 2014 . ^ Kurhi, Eric (November 11, 2014). "Santa Clara County hears first crop of post-Proposition 47 crime-reduction petitions". San Jose Mercury News . Retrieved November 26, 2014 . ^ Mcevers, Kelly (October 21, 2014). "California Proposition Re-evaluates Approach To Crime". NPR . Retrieved November 16, 2014 . ^ a b Chokshi, Niraj (October 31, 2014). "California voters seem ready to end the state's 'tough on crime' era". Washington Post . Retrieved November 16, 2014 . ^ Chang, Cindy (November 6, 2015). "Unintended consequences of Prop. 47 pose challenge for criminal justice system". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved December 5, 2015 . ^ Saunders, Debra (August 16, 2015). "In the Wake of Proposition 47, California Sees a Crime Wave". RealClearPolitics . Retrieved December 5, 2015 . ^ Saslow, Eli (October 10, 2015). "In California, Prop 47 has turned into a 'virtual get-out-of-jail free card ' ". Washington Post . Retrieved February 5, 2016 . ^ Poston, Ben (November 10, 2015). "ACLU faults California law enforcement response to Prop. 47". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved December 5, 2015 . ^ Males, Mike (March 15, 2016). "New Report! Is Proposition 47 to Blame for California's 2015 Increase in Urban Crime?". Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice . Retrieved May 11, 2017 .
How Gov. Brown, lawmakers just jeopardized criminal justice reform - The San Diego Union-Tribune
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 11:49
AP
Prisoners at the San Quentin State Prison play cards in this AP file photo.
Prisoners at the San Quentin State Prison play cards in this AP file photo. (AP)
The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board has supported criminal justice reform for years, arguing that mass incarceration policies unique to America are destructive, counterproductive and unnecessary for public safety. But efforts to address this issue in California have been plagued by a lack of vetting and thorough debate. This problem is now so acute that reformers risk triggering a backlash via a ballot initiative that could undo the good they have done as well as correct some terrible mistakes.
In 2014, voters approved Proposition 47, which reclassified several nonviolent felonies as misdemeanors in a ham-handed way that didn't make crucial distinctions. Few people, for instance, would think possession of date rape drugs should be seen as a minor offense, but that wasn't even the worst flaw. A Los Angeles Times analysis found that the law had emboldened repeat offenders, especially drug addicts who steal to pay for their habits. A recent Public Policy Institute of California study found little evidence that the measure had increased overall crime rates, but the measure desperately needed a mechanism to force chronic offenders into drug treatment. Incredibly, the California Police Chiefs Association says that participation in drug rehabilitation programs has decreased because of the law.
Yet Proposition 47's crafting was superior to what Californians witnessed in Proposition 57, which voters approved in 2016. This law made it easier for ''nonviolent'' felons to win parole. But again, its authors failed to sweat the details, using an existing, over-broad list of nonviolent crimes that included rape of an unconscious person and violent child abuse. The worst fears about Proposition 57 were confirmed in February, when a state judge ruled that the state could not retroactively rewrite the measure in a way that denied possible early release to thousands of violent sex offenders.
Now, in the worst example of rushed reform yet, Gov. Jerry Brown this week signed into law Assembly Bill 1810 '-- a budget ''trailer bill'' with no credited author that takes effect immediately. It includes a provision that appears to allow defendants charged with any crime to get the charges put on hold and perhaps eventually dismissed if they can persuade a judge that the offense resulted from a mental disorder that a mental health expert says is treatable.
A case can be made that a defendant's mental illness should be considered by prosecutors and judges '-- it's certainly relevant. Senate Bill 215, now before the Legislature, would have allowed this in defined, limited circumstances. But instead of vetoing AB 1810 and letting this debate proceed, Brown short-circuited it. He did so despite being warned by San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan that this is ''the most irresponsible legislation our state has ever seen'' and that it would ''wreak havoc in our criminal justice system.''
The Los Angeles County Association of Deputy District Attorneys blasted the maneuvering that led to the new law as a ''scandalous abuse of the legislative process.'' But that doesn't go far enough. What Brown and state lawmakers have done is an outrageous simultaneous display of arrogance and incompetence '-- one that seems certain to haunt the criminal justice reform movement. Get ready for a signature-gathering push that seeks to overturn AB 1810 '-- and maybe Propositions 47 and 57 as well.
Even after decades of declining crime, tough-on-crime rhetoric often resonates with the public. But such rhetoric will be all the more potent to voters who know of the sheer recklessness that led to AB 1810's stealth adoption. If the governor and the Legislature don't promptly repeal the law, they will do grave harm to a cause they purport to support.
Twitter: @sdutIdeas
Facebook: San Diego Union-Tribune Ideas & Opinion
Crime Jerry Brown
New state law assailed for giving defendants get out of jail free card | KABC-AM
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 18:12
Some criminal defendants are getting a 'get out of jail card' if their lawyers tell the judge that mental illness was a factor.
Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, says this change in the law was slipped into an uncontroversial Assembly health bill, without any proper debate, and yet the change is significant.
''It allows a court to give diversion, which means divert them from criminal proceedings for anyone who has a mental illness where it is proved that the crime was related to that mental illness. And the problem is not that it gives people with true mental illness a chance for diversion, it's the manner in which this was done and the lack of checks and balances in the law as written.''
On top of that, she says the prosecution has no right to rebut.
Michele Hanisee was a guest on McIntyre in the Morning.
By Sandy Wells
KABC News'‹
Austin Misdemeanor Lawyers | Minton, Burton, Bassett & Collins, P.C.
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 04:59
Also serving the Travis County cities of Bee Caves, Briarcliff, Creedmoor, Del Valle, Jonestown, Lago Vista, Lake Travis, Lakeway, Manchaca, Manor, McNeil, Oak Hill, Pflugerville, Spicewood, Sunset Valley, and West Lake Hills.
Defending people against all kinds of criminal charges, including misdemeanors, has been the mission of Minton, Burton, Bassett & Collins, P.C., for the last four decades. Throughout Central Texas, including Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, Comal, Burnet, Caldwell and Travis counties, we have helped thousands of individuals solve their legal troubles. Our experience extends to felonies and misdemeanors alike. If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges for a misdemeanor offense, call us today at (512) 476-4873 or contact us through this online form.
Generally, a crime punishable by imprisonment of one year or more is considered a felony. People convicted of felonies are sentenced to state or federal prison. Certain felonies are punishable by death. In contrast, misdemeanors are less serious offenses such as shoplifting or trespassing. Misdemeanors are punishable by less than one year of imprisonment and those who are convicted may be sentenced to local, city or county jail.
In Texas, misdemeanors are categorized into three classes '-- A, B and C.Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail as well as a fine not to exceed $4,000. Under Texas law, Class A misdemeanors include assault causing bodily injury, second offenses of driving while intoxicated (DWI), and theft of property with a value of $500 to $1,500.Class B misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or confinement in jail of up to six months (180 days). Examples of Class B misdemeanors are first offenses of driving while intoxicated (DWI), possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, and theft of property with a value of $50 to $500.Class C misdemeanors do not include any jail time. Public intoxication, traffic offenses, minors in possession of alcohol, and disorderly conduct offenses are types of Class C misdemeanors.Class A and Class B misdemeanors are heard in the County Courts-at-Law, while Class C misdemeanors are heard either in Municipal Court (if the offense allegedly occurred in the city limits) or in the Justice of the Peace courts (if the offense allegedly occurred outside the city limits). Penalties can also include probation and community service.
Having a misdemeanor conviction on your record is less serious than a felony conviction but it can still impact your future by affecting your ability to get everything from a job to a loan to a professional license. For example, many employers perform background checks and may not hire an applicant with a criminal background, and schools may reject applications from students with criminal records.
We Help You With Your Case
If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges for a misdemeanor offense, protect yourself by contacting Minton, Burton, Bassett & Collins, P.C. We are also available by phone at (512) 476-4873. Let our Board Certified Criminal Law Specialists put their experience to work for you.
If you have already been convicted of a criminal offense, we may be able to assist you in expunging your criminal record. Don't delay.
We represent clients charged with misdemeanors in Austin, TX and the surrounding communities, including: Hays County (Buda, Dripping Springs, Kyle, San Marcos, Wimberley); Travis County (Creedmoor, Elroy, Manor, Pflugerville); Williamson County (Cedar Park, Georgetown, Liberty Hill, Florence, Leander, Round Rock, Taylor); Bastrop County (Bastrop, Clearview, Elgin, Rockne, Smithville); Comal County (Bulverde, Canyon Lake, Gruene, New Braunfels, Sattler, Startzville); Burnet County (Bertram, Burnet, Marble Falls); and Caldwell County (Lockhart, Luling).
Net Neutrality
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Hate Trumps Love
A Giant Inflatable 'Trump Baby' Will Fly Above London During the U.S. President's Visit
Fri, 06 Jul 2018 10:36
The 20 feet high inflatable portrays the U.S. President as an angry baby
The mayor of London has give the green light to plans for a giant blimp depicting President Donald Trump as a diapered baby to fly over the British capital during his visit on July 13.
British environmentalist Leo Murray, who raised over $23,000 to build the inflatable, said the city had ''rediscovered its sense of humor'' in granting permission for ''Trump Baby'' to fly for two hours next Friday morning, the BBC reports.
Murray's creation is about 20 feet high and portrays the U.S. President as an angry baby clutching a cellphone in one of his tiny hands. ''This is not a protest against America or Americans,'' he told TIME when the blimp was unveiled June 26, ''this is a protest against what Donald Trump is turning America into.''
In a statement to the BBC, the office of London mayor Sadiq Khan said he ''supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms.''
Trump has previously clashed with Khan on Twitter, criticizing the mayor's response to a deadly terrorist attack in London last June and using it to justify his travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries.
Mass protests are scheduled to greet the President's July 13 visit to the U.K., during which he will meet the Queen and British Prime Minister Theresa May. Activists told the BBC that more than 10,000 people signed a petition requesting permission for the blimp to fly over London's Parliament Square.
Donald Trump's biggest flaw: He's not that bright - Chicago Tribune
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 05:07
Donald Trump has many serious flaws, including incorrigible dishonesty, rampant narcissism, contempt for women and a fashion sense that makes him think that hairstyle of his is flattering. But nothing compares to his most prominent, crippling and incurable defect: He's dimmer than a 5-watt bulb.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was reported to have called the president a ''moron'' '-- emphasizing that term with an adjective I can't repeat here. Forced to hold a news conference to praise the president's intelligence, Tillerson was too honest to deny what he had said.
The late William T. Kelley, who taught Trump at the University of Pennsylvania, said, ''Donald Trump was the dumbest goddamn student I ever had.'' Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of ''The Art of the Deal,'' says Trump had ''a stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance.''
Trump's feeble-mindedness is on daily view. When an Uzbek immigrant was arrested for allegedly driving a truck down a Manhattan bike path, killing eight people, the president responded in thunderously stupid ways. First, he tweeted that he had ''just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program.'' If you can step it up, why didn't you do that before?
He fumed that the alleged killer wanted an Islamic State flag for his hospital room. Really? The guy reportedly killed eight people, and the flag is what steams you? Trump demanded the death penalty '-- opening the way for the suspect's lawyers to argue that the president has made it impossible for him to get a fair trial.
Trump has learned nothing from his past blunders. As a candidate, he said Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was a traitor who should be executed. Asked about the case as president, he doubled down: ''I think people have heard my comments in the past.''
The military judge announced he would count Trump's statement as ''mitigating evidence'' '-- which may be why he ended up giving Bergdahl no prison time. Not only was Trump's remark unnecessary and inappropriate; it was self-defeating.
He's just not bright enough to make connections between his conduct and its consequences. Trump's travel ban has lost repeatedly in court because he has made clear he has an unconstitutional goal: shutting out Muslims because of their religion. If he had kept quiet, he might have gotten his way.
The evidence of his dimwittedness flows as continuously and voluminously as the Mississippi River. His tweets are studded with misspellings, random capitalizations and mystifying quotation marks.
He taps out tweets that flagrantly contradict what he tweeted when Barack Obama was president, making himself look ridiculous. When he holds forth on policy issues, it's excruciatingly apparent he has no idea what he's talking about.
Trump relies on a vocabulary the size of a second-grader's. To combat opioid abuse among teens, he favors ''telling them, 'No good, really bad for you in every way.' '' Those paper towels he tossed to a crowd in Puerto Rico were ''very good towels.'' He wanted to call the tax reform bill ''the Cut Cut Cut Act.''
He pretends to be a master negotiator, but he has failed to get the Republican Congress to repeal Obamacare, enact protections for immigrants brought here illegally as children, and fund his border wall.
Trump tries to conceal his intellectual deficiency by insisting how smart he is. ''I went to an Ivy League college,'' he said last month. ''I'm a very intelligent person.'' He has to make such affirmations because all the evidence indicates his cranium contains an airless void.
I don't mean to suggest his supporters are dumb. There are plenty of intelligent people who voted for him and plenty of stupid ones who didn't. But the smart Trump supporters don't hold his intellect in awe.
After Tillerson's ''moron'' comment was reported, Trump said, ''I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.''
I'm sure plenty of readers are now saying I'm the stupid one, with a brain far inferior to Trump's. They may be right. So I put a challenge to him: We both take an IQ test, administered by an independent body, with the results to be made public.
This is a great chance to dazzle the world with his peerless mind. It's a chance for him to humiliate someone in the ''fake news media'' with his towering intellect.
But I'm betting Trump will never submit to any process that would document his actual intelligence for the public to see. He's dumb. But not that dumb.
Steve Chapman, a member of the Tribune Editorial Board, blogs at www.chicagotribune.com/chapman.
Download "Recalculating: Steve Chapman on a New Century" in the free Printers Row app at www.printersrowapp.com.
schapman@chicagotribune.com
Twitter @SteveChapman13
D¼sseldorf carnival: Float shows Donald Trump mounted by Russian bear - Business Insider
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 13:06
The Trump/Russia metaphor was not subtle. Reuters
Donald Trump and a metaphorical Russian bear were the stars of a parade held in D¼sseldorf, Germany.The traditional Rosenmontag procession satirises political subjects.Angela Merkel and Theresa May were also featured. A carnival held in the German city of D¼sseldorf played host to an array of eye-catching parade floats '-- including one attempting to visualise Donald Trump's relationship with Russia.
The float, which was paraded through the streets on Monday, showed a naked representation of the US president being mounted by a bear wearing a Russian ushanka hat emblazoned with a red star.
On the side of the bear was written Russland-Aff¤re, which translates to "Russia affair". Like its English equivalent, Aff¤re has a sexual connotation.
Reuters
The float was a number of uncompromising satirical effigies offering a take on international affairs.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, was depicted on one as a black widow spider. Around her are bones representing other politicians, and underneath it says "next, please!"
Reuters
It refers to ongoing coalition negotiations in Germany after their general election, which have seen many prominent figures leave government while Merkel maintains power.
A third float depicts British Prime Minister Theresa May, wearing a Union Jack dress in bed and, doting on a deformed creature labelled "Brexit" to which she appears to have just given birth.
Reuters
The procession is part of Germany's annual "Rosenmontag" celebrations, which come just before Lent. It is a tradition for the carnival floats to mock the political themes of the day.
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#MeToo
Reporter who accused Trudeau of groping says she won't pursue incident | World news | The Guardian
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 05:05
The woman who accused Justin Trudeau in 2000 of groping her at a music festival in British Columbia has spoken out, saying that the incident took place as described and that she is not interested in pursuing the matter further.
On Friday '' a day after the Canadian prime minister acknowledged he had apologised to her '' the woman, identified as Rose Knight, issued a statement saying that she was ''reluctantly'' addressing the issue in the face of mounting media pressure.
Knight offered no additional details on what had happened. ''The incident referred to in the editorial did occur, as reported,'' she said. ''Mr. Trudeau did apologise the next day.''
Related: Trudeau: I apologised to reporter behind groping claim
At the time of the allegation, Trudeau was a 28-year-old teacher. The festival had raised thousands of dollars to support avalanche safety, a cause Trudeau had become involved with after his brother Michel died in an avalanche in 1998.
Days after the event, an unsigned editorial appeared in the Creston Valley Advance, a local newspaper, accusing Trudeau of ''groping'' and ''inappropriately handling'' an unnamed female reporter who was covering the event.
While the editorial offered no specifics on what had happened, it claimed the woman felt ''blatantly disrespected'' and Trudeau had apologised for his behaviour. ''I'm sorry,'' the editorial alleged Trudeau to have said. ''If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward.''
The editorial read: ''But shouldn't the son of a former prime minister be aware of the rights and wrongs that go along with public socializing? Didn't he learn, through his vast experiences in public life, that groping a strange young woman isn't in the handbook of proper etiquette, regardless of who she is, what her business is or where they are?''
The accusation has dominated Canada's political conversation after it was highlighted by a political commentator last month.
Justin Trudeau on groping claims: 'I'm confident I did not act inappropriately' '' videoAfter initially telling reporters that he did not remember any ''negative interactions'' on the day of the event, Trudeau conceded on Thursday that he had apologised to the woman at the time. ''I do not feel that I acted inappropriately in any way,'' he told reporters. ''But I respect the fact that someone else might have experienced that differently.''
In her statement, Knight said she had not had any subsequent contact with Trudeau, either before or after he became prime minister. ''I did not pursue the incident at the time and will not be pursuing the incident further.''
The former reporter said that she had initially avoided speaking out in order to protect her and her family's privacy and noted that she did not intend to issue any further statements or grant interviews. ''The debate, if it continues, will continue without my involvement,'' she said.
Miss America Organization Split by #MeToo Era Swimsuit Decision - WSJ
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 12:22
Nearly half of Miss America's board has quit or been forced to resign in the wake of the organization's decision to eliminate the swimsuit competition from the contest, and 22 state pageant leaders are seeking to oust Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson over concerns about the pageant's new direction.
Ms. Carlson, a former Miss America and an early leader in the #MeToo movement, announced on June 5 that Miss America was dropping the swimsuit and evening-gown competitions and replacing them with an extended onstage interview. She said it was important to make women's voices heard during a ''cultural revolution in our country.''
Some former directors and state pageant heads said they felt pressured by Ms. Carlson and other executives to choose to end the swimsuit competition or risk having the pageant not being broadcast on television.
When asked for Ms. Carlson's comment, the Miss American Organization said in a statement that no binary choice between swimsuit and a television deal was ever posed.
The TV broadcast is of critical importance to the pageant as it generates a significant amount of the organization's revenue. The organization has long been on precarious financial footing, with a net loss of $575,000 in 2016'--the latest available figures'--on revenue of $9.8 million, according to federal filings.
The elimination of the swimsuit competition is testing the ability of a nearly 100-year-old institution to adapt to a fast-changing culture. Miss America started as a swimsuit competition in 1921, at a time when it was considered modern and liberating for women to pose in bathing suits.
Many volunteers who run the state and local competitions that lead up to Miss America said the change has been disorienting.
The change has also divided the close-knit group of former Miss Americas, 29 of whom released a Saturday statement supporting Ms. Carlson and her team. But dozens of others didn't sign on, said Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2004. ''This much dissension clearly means that we need to make some major changes or we will not have Miss America,'' she said.
The Miss America Organization said in a statement Saturday that the March vote to eliminate the swimsuit portion was unanimous. It said the deal with ABC was finalized in January, two months before the vote.
Miss Tennessee pageant's co-executive director Allison DeMarcus said she and other state pageant directors were told on a late March conference call with longtime Miss America board member Regina Hopper before the vote that no television partner would want to be associated with a swimsuit competition, given the sensitivities of the #MeToo era. Ms. Hopper became the organization's chief executive in May.
In a follow-up email to another state director reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Miss America board member Jessie Bennett said ''we don't have any production company or television partner that is open to continuing swimsuit. Regina mentioned that on the call.''
In the Saturday statement, the Miss America organization said ''it is patently false to allege that Miss America representatives claimed that the elimination of the swimsuit competition was a prerequisite to airing the telecast on ABC.'' However, the organization said there were ''extensive production company and creative partner negotiations in which the elimination of swimsuit was noted as a prerequisite to partner with [the Miss America Organization].''
A spokeswoman for ABC said it already had a broadcast deal and it ''had nothing to do'' with the swimsuit decision.
''It's been hard for everyone to move on,'' said Ms. DeMarcus, a television host and one of the leaders of a petition drive to oust Ms. Carlson, Ms. Hopper and all board members. ''It's not about whether swimsuit is a category or not a category, but because of the mistrust.''
Two members of the nine-person board, former Miss Americas Kate Shindle and Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss, quit in late June, citing a lack of governance and a toxic culture, according to a joint post explaining their decisions on a private Facebook page for former titleholders and state directors.
In the same post, two other members, former Miss North Carolina Jennifer Vaden Barth and former Miss Maine Valerie Crooker Clemens, said they were forced to resign by the board, which executed a pre-written resignation letter they had submitted when they were originally named interim members. Ms. Barth and Ms. Clemens said the resignation letters should no longer have been enforceable since they were subsequently elected as full board members.
In a response on the same page, Ms. Carlson and the remaining board members said the former members had tried to wrest control of the organization. The former members had denied doing so in their post.
The remaining board members also said in their post that the letters signed by Ms. Barth and Ms. Clemens were validly enforced.
Ms. Carlson, a former Fox News anchor, helped launch the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment two years ago, when she sued former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, saying that he retaliated against her because she rebuffed his unwanted advances.
Mr. Ailes, who died last year, denied the allegations. The lawsuit set in motion an investigation that led to his ouster.
21st Century Fox , the Fox News parent company, reached a $20 million settlement with Ms. Carlson and apologized in a statement for the fact that she wasn't treated with the respect she deserved. Fox and Wall Street Journal parent News Corp share common ownership.
Ms. Carlson, a former Miss America board member, was a leading voice pushing for the ouster last year of former Chief Executive Sam Haskell and the resignation of most board members after leaked emails showed Mr. Haskell made crude remarks about Ms. Carlson and other former titleholders.
Mr. Haskell apologized for some lapses in judgment but said the emails were stolen from him and misrepresented by his critics.
The current turmoil at the Miss America Organization comes as state queens crowned in May and June are preparing for September's nationwide pageant with new judging criteria just released Thursday.
At the Miss Texas competition in suburban Dallas last weekend, three former Miss Texas winners'--serving as emcees'--wore T-shirts designed to look like swimsuits.
''If we don't have swimsuit, we're leaving out a vital part of Miss Texas and Miss America,'' said Dana Rogers Martin, Miss Texas 1983. ''It's about fitness and nutrition. I'm hoping it will come back.''
Write to Valerie Bauerlein at valerie.bauerlein@wsj.com
Moguls Converging on Sun Valley Risk Some Awkward Moments - Bloomberg
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 15:14
When the billionaires and corporate moguls converge on Idaho's Sun Valley resort in early July for Allen & Co.'s annual conference, the investment bank may need to give a lot of thought to the seating chart.
Quite a few attendees expected to be at this year's confab are at each other's throats. Take CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves. He's locked in a legal fight for control of the broadcast company with top shareholder Shari Redstone, who is also on the guest list.
Comcast Corp. Chairman Brian Roberts is invited as well. He's battling Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger for control of 21st Century Fox Inc.'s entertainment assets, a deal worth at least $52 billion. Fox founder Rupert Murdoch, along with his sons Lachlan and James, are also invited, according to a list of guests obtained by Bloomberg.
The Sun Valley conference, held annually at the bucolic resort after the July 4 holiday, is a chance for many of the world's richest and most powerful people to mingle and attend panels on politics, technology and other issues. Some of the most memorable deals in media history have been hatched there, including Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos's purchase of the Washington Post.
Charlie RoseCharlie Rose
Photographer: Steve Mack/Getty Images
Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, a regular guest in years past, is not on the list. But former CBS TV anchor Charlie Rose, who stepped down from hosting his multiple shows amid harassment allegations, is slated to attend. A now-defunct show by Rose was taped at Bloomberg Television headquarters in New York.
The guest list also includes Tom Brokaw, who has strenuously denied allegations of harassment, including claims he tried to force a coworker to kiss him on more than one occasion. Jerry Richardson, who recently agreed to sell his Carolina Panthers football team amid an investigation of workplace misconduct, has been invited too.
Being on the guest list is no guarantee that someone will attend. Two years ago -- when Shari Redstone was fighting to oust Viacom's then CEO, Philippe Dauman -- both were invited but Dauman was a no-show.
Others listed as attending this year include Walmart Inc. CEO Doug McMillon, General Motors Co.'s chief Mary Barra and Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s Warren Buffett. The world of sports is represented by, among others, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, National Hockey League commission Gary Bettman, and agent Casey Wasserman, who heads the group bringing the Olympics to Los Angeles in 2028.
(Adds Richardson in sixth paragraph. )
Vaccine$
Australia Now Issuing Fines to Citizens Who Refuse Vaccines for Their Kids
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 14:54
Australia's Minister for Social Service, Dan Tehan, announced July 1st, the Australian Government will monetarily penalize any citizen whose children are not up to date on their vaccinations. The penalty, in the form of a reduction of government payments, amounts to $56 (AUD) monthly.
Called the ''No Jab No Pay'' program, Australia aims to increase compliance with government mandated vaccination programs by taking money away from its citizens. Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children may continue to do so under religious or medical grounds, but will not be allowed to keep the money they were previously receiving from the government.
No Jab No Pay appears to be working. According to Tehan's press release:
Since the Turnbull Government introduced No Jab, No Pay in 2016 about 246,000 children and their families have taken action to ensure they meet the immunisation requirements.
Reasons for financially penalizing its citizens are for safety, according to the Minister of Social Service. Tehan writes:
Immunization is the safest way to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases.
It is no question that the subject of vaccines is profoundly controversial. On both sides of the argument exists truth and lies that can hinder the ability of some to make rational decisions.
While we have everyone from attorneys to biologists, to political scientists who write for the Free Thought Project, none of us are doctors, so we do not make recommendations about what you and your family should do in regards to vaccination. It is important to note, however, that this information is almost always absent from the mainstream media which is why we find it necessary to report.
Fullly-funding the vaccination program, the Australian government provides over 14 million dollars annually to help parents catch-up on their vaccinations. Yet while Australia, as well as many governments around the world are more than happy to fund vaccinations, the practice of injecting the world's children with inoculations manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry is disturbing to many, and they're not antivaxer quacks as unscrupulous reporting by IFL Science purports them to be. Presumably comparing them to rats and cockroaches by slanted word choice, IFL Science writes:
Anti-vaxxers have infested the Southern Hemisphere
The characterization of antivaxers is likened to WWII-era caricatures of the Jew, a rat-like repulsive view of people who are sincerely trying to protect their children from potential adverse reactions. Even doctors who provide medical exemptions for the vaccination of certain susceptible patients are caught up in vaccination shaming and governmental penalization.
As TFTP reported last week, California's Robert Sears, MD, was placed on probation last week after he provided his medical opinion vaccinations would be too risky for his patient, a 2-year-old boy whose mother said he suffered severe reactions to a previous vaccine.
As a consequence of his medical decision to exempt a patient from government-mandated vaccines, Sears was punished and is now subjected to intense scrutiny of every medical decision he makes, simply for standing up for the overall health of one of his patients. In a Facebook post he explained he agreed to the probation in lieu of a costly court case where he may have actually lost his license to practice medicine altogether.
Mocking antivaxers for refusing vaccines on the basis of religious or medical reasons, and penalizing doctors' medical decisions runs counter-productive to preventing and minimizing actual risks associated with vaccines.
As TFTP has reported, the U.S. Government has paid out well over 3 billion dollars in damages to citizens who claim vaccines caused them harm and even death. Known as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, the program lists a myriad of complications with which those who receive vaccines can become afflicted.
Those payouts have time-limits established from the time the onset of symptoms occurred to the time a payout can be requested. Often, the sick do not put two and two together, that their vaccine has made them sick, in time enough to file a request for compensation for damages.
Last year, an Arizona nurse we will call ''Andy'' took the flu vaccine. The hospital where she worked forced her to take the flu vaccine, even though she objected, and threatened her with the loss of her job if she didn't kowtow to their demands.
Immediately after taking the flu vaccine she developed debilitating complications. Chronic pain, weakness, numbness tingling, and subsequent depression set in. She was diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy caused by the flu vaccine she contends. She can no longer work as a nurse but is not about to give up her fight. She's suing the hospital as well as the manufacturer of the flu vaccine for the very real damages she's sustained.
Still, advocates for the vaccinating of all humans contend the health risks associated with not vaccinating children and adults far outweigh the suffering associated with complications.
The story of the history of vaccinations demonstrate the power Big Pharma has over the people. Not only will CDC scientists lie, omit, and cover-up the fact some of these vaccines are not safe but they will demonize and penalize anyone who disagrees with their findings. All the while they quietly pay billions in damages to victims of bad medicine.
Clips
VIDEO - Rx Drugs Under Fire - YouTube
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 15:05
VIDEO - AP's report that US Army is purging immigrants is wrong, but that didn't stop Jeb Bush from jumping Conservative News Today
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 14:50
The Pentagon is pushing back against claims that immigrants are being purged from the U.S. Armed Forces.
Calling out a misleading report by the Associated Press, a U.S. Defense official said ''there is no new policy'' for immigrants who wish to join the U.S. military, Fox News reported.
In a report published this week, the Associated Press claimed that the U.S. Army is ''quietly discharging immigrant recruits.'' But the implied message that the administration is targeting immigrants even in the military, while met with outrage, turned out to be not what it appeared.
The AP story quoted a retired U.S. Army colonel about 40 recruits who were hoping to obtain citizenship and had been abruptly dismissed from the military recruiting program, known as MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest), which began in 2009 under former President George W. Bush to meet the military's need for immigrants with certain special language skills, Fox News reported.
The program, which was suspended last year due to concerns that the Defense Department was unable to properly vet candidates, saw 10,000 immigrants become naturalized citizens since its start. The 40 recruits in question in the AP report had issues with their security clearances and were not summarily ''discharged.''
''Any recruit '... who receives an unfavorable security screening is deemed unsuitable for military service and is administratively discharged,'' Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Nina Hill said Friday.
''The notification that they have not been accepted into the program is their notice,'' Maj. Carla M. Gleason, a Pentagon spokesperson, said, according to the Washington Examiner. ''There has been no change in policy.''
But many reacting to the Associated Press headline on the story expressed outrage that President Trump and his administration seemed to be targeting immigrants.
From former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush who called it ''disappointing'' to film producer Adam Best who directly stated the recruits were being discharged because they were immigrants.
Disappointing https://t.co/URSw3yyUAG
'-- Jeb Bush (@JebBush) July 5, 2018
GOP Congressmen spent the Fourth of July in Moscow.
A Chinese factory is making Donald Trump's 2020 American flags.
US Army recruits are being discharged because they are immigrants.
The Republican Party no longer gets to pretend it is patriotic.
'-- Adam Best (@adamcbest) July 6, 2018
Former DNC Deputy National Press Secretary, Jose Aristimuno, blasted the Trump administration for ''going after immigrants.''
''With all due respect because this administration from day one has been trying to do everything in their power to literally go after immigrants,'' he told Fox News' Dana Perino on Friday.
NPR's Tim Mak expressed that ''here is less than meets the eye here'' in the report.
My first impression on this AP story about the Army discharging immigrant recruits is that there is less than meets the eye here.
What the AP needs to show is evidence of a policy shift in the Army. It hasn't done that.https://t.co/56sp4tYZCi
'-- Tim Mak (@timkmak) July 6, 2018
This AP article is about immigrants who have enlisted but not gone to basic training.
People who enlist but then cannot go to basic for whatever reason are discharged all the time.
I bet I could find 40 recruits discharged bf basic for being too fat.
'-- Tim Mak (@timkmak) July 6, 2018
He noted that the AP did ''not answer the simple question.''
There are a number of innocuous explanations for these discharges.
Perhaps these immigrant recruits could not pass a background check (by the way there are jobs in the military that don't require clearance)
The AP does not answer the simple question: Did a policy change here?
'-- Tim Mak (@timkmak) July 6, 2018
National security analyst, John Noonan, echoed the explanations and offered his own breakdown in a series of tweets.
So here's where I think the @AP reporter got a little confused. When you raise your hand and take an oath, you belong to the military. But you're not technically *in* the military. It's common to get the oath out of the way while initial background checks are on-going.
'-- John Noonan (@noonanjo) July 6, 2018
If you clear a background investigation, great! Offto basic training and then to specialty training. Congrats private, airman, or sailor, you're in. But, if you have some issues pop up during the background investigation and *don't* go off to training, it's a canceled contract
'-- John Noonan (@noonanjo) July 6, 2018
If you separate within 180 days of service, you are given an entry-level separation. It's not an honorable discharge. It's not a dishonorable discharge. It's just ''hey, this isn't going to work.'' This 180 days requirement reiterated in Section 3A of the memo (above)
'-- John Noonan (@noonanjo) July 6, 2018
To summarize:1. Immigrants are still welcome to earn citizenship through service.2. DoD is not conducting widespread expulsion of non-citizens.3. Participation in this program is down, but may be do to external factors like strong economy or stricter federal immigration law.
'-- John Noonan (@noonanjo) July 6, 2018
In all, while the AP report created much outrage, it seems the muddy reporting with a misleading presentation of what was actually happening was caught by many.
We know first-hand that censorship against conservative news is real. Please share stories and encourage your friends to sign up for our daily email blast so they are not getting shut out of seeing conservative news.
VIDEO - From Macy's store to homeless shelter - BBC News
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 12:51
One of the corners of what used to be a Macy's store at a mall in Alexandria, Virginia, has become a temporary home to 60 homeless people.
The Carpenter's Shelter moved into the empty store in early June and will occupy the space for 18 months, while its new headquarters is built.
Filmed and produced by Luciani Gomes
VIDEO - Gerard Batten on UKIP, Farage, Brexit and Britishness - YouTube
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 12:45
VIDEO - Lesbians Protest Erasure At London Pride March (7/7/2018) | highlights - YouTube
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 12:34
VIDEO - WATCH: Rabid Protesters Threaten GOP's McConnell Outside Restaurant; "We Know Where You Live!" (Video) '' True PunditTrue Pundit
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 11:56
Politics SecurityWATCH: Rabid Protesters Threaten GOP's McConnell Outside Restaurant; ''We Know Where You Live!'' (Video)These liberals are getting rabid. Now they are openly threatening the Senate Majority leader.
Protesters confronted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as he was leaving a restaurant in his home state on Saturday.
The group threatened to vote McConnell out of office as he walked out of the Bristol Bar & Grille in Louisville and got into his car, The Courier Journal reported.
Video recordings of the encounter show other demonstrators chanting ''Abolish ICE'' and ''No justice, no peace.''
A protester demanded to know where the migrant children where after being separated from their families.
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VIDEO - Indianapolis man seriously hurt in motorized scooter crash - TheIndyChannel.com Indianapolis, IN
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 11:23
INDIANAPOLIS -- When companies like Bird and Lime brought electric scooters to Indianapolis, Kathryn Kutan says she thought it was an interesting idea '' until her 21-year-old son seriously injured himself riding one.
Ty Kutan planned to find a Bird scooter in Broad Ripple and work his way downtown. His mom says he made it to 22nd and Meridian streets, but then hit a small pothole he failed to see.
''He hit the brake and flew over it and landed on his face,'' Kutan said.
Ty was left with a broken orbital bone and needed a dozen stitches. He wasn't wearing a helmet.
''I cannot believe that a scooter that supposedly goes 15 miles per hour could have done that much damage to his face,'' Kutan said.
A spokesperson for Bird says the company urges all riders to wear a helmet. Bird also says it provides free helmets to all riders who request one. RTV6 asked how to get a helmet, and was told they are available through the Bird app.
ALSO READ | Lime to pull scooters off Indy streets following cease-and-desist letter | City asks Bird scooters to suspend operations for 30 days while they work out ordinances
Bird requires riders to upload a valid driver's license, but doesn't have a way to verify if they are wearing helmets.
The Indianapolis City-County Council will consider an ordinance later this month that could allow companies like Bird and Lime to legally operate in the city after receiving a business license. Lime agreed to pull its scooters off the streets earlier this week after receiving a cease-and-deists letter from the city.
READ MORE | Motorized scooter ordinance heading to Indy Council as companies flaunt city code
While the council considers the proposed ordinance, Kutan says she just wants people to know about the potential risks that come with using the scooters.
''He's a young adult and is going to have to have plastic surgery and probably be scarred for life,'' she said.
RTV6 reached out to Bird for clarification on how to get helmets. As of Saturday afternoon, we were still waiting for a response.
MORE TOP STORIES | Victim identified in deadly crash on Indianapolis' southeast side | Racist note left on door of new Irvington business | West side dad faces double whammy when trying to get 4-year-old daughter Pre-K grant | Man accused of bringing loaded gun into IKEA charged with recklessness | Mark your property: 'Purple Paint Law' goes into effect July 1
VIDEO - YouTube - Campaign to abandon liberalism goes viral
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 11:15
VIDEO - VIDEO : N Korea accuses US of 'bad attitude" in nuclear talks | Euronews
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 05:14
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VIDEO - VIDEO : Brussels protesters demonstrate against Trump visit | Euronews
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VIDEO - After Pompeo departs, North Korea calls talks with U.S. 'regrettable'
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 04:59
The statement by an unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman accused the U.S. of betraying the spirit of the Trump-Kim summit.
It said the outcome of the follow-up talks was "very concerning" because it has led to a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm."
Pompeo had earlier said both sides were still committed to ''complete denuclearization,'' as agreed to in a joint statement following June's summit between Trump and Kim.
''No one walked away from that, they're still equally committed, Chairman Kim is still committed,'' Pompeo said from the tarmac in Pyongyang. ''I had a chance to speak to President Trump this morning, I know my counterpart spoke with Chairman Kim during the course of our negotiations as well.''
But what ''complete denuclearization'' looks like is not yet clear, despite both sides agreeing to work towards it in the joint statement in Singapore.
The State Department has pushed back on reports that the U.S. is softening its position with North Korea, the spokesperson telling reporters Friday ''nothing could be further from the truth.''
But previous demands by the U.S. for ''complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization,'' had seemingly made way for the phrase ''final, fully verified denuclearization,'' as used in a tweet by Pompeo, Friday.
"Our expectation is exactly what the President and Kim Jong Un agreed to and the Singapore Summit, and that's the denuclearization of North Korea,'' Nauert said Saturday. ''There's a lot of hard work that's left to be done. We never thought this was going to be easy, that's why the consultations continue."
Earlier Saturday, Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol noted that ''the world is paying close attention to our meeting.''
''We consider this very important too since it is the first senior level face-to-face meeting since the summit between our two leaders,'' said Pompeo in response. ''President Trump is committed to a brighter future for North Korea. So the work that we do the path toward complete denuclearization building a relationship between our two countries is vital for a brighter North Korea and the success that our two presidents demand of us.''
''Of course it is important,'' Vice Chairman Kim told the U.S. Secretary. ''There are things that I have to clarify.''
''There are things that I have to clarify as well,'' said Pompeo.
Pompeo had met with Kim Jong Un on both previous visits to the country but State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said there was no expectation of a meeting with the North Korean leader on this occasion.
The State Department did confirm that a letter had been delivered from Trump to Kim Jong Un. Nauert said that a copy of the Elton John CD Rocket Man had not been delivered, despite earlier reports.
The next round of discussions on the repatriation of Americans remains from the Korean War will take place around July 12 in the demilitarized zone at between the border of North and South Korea.
Trump announced last month that 200 sets of remains had already been returned to the U.S. but the administration later said that was not the case. The Department of Defense will take the lead in the mid-July discussions.
The North Koreans also confirmed the existence of a missile engine testing facility. Pompeo said negotiations on a path for the destruction of that facility will continue at the working level.
The U.S. and North Korea agreed to the establishment of working groups led on the U.S. side by Ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim. Kim, who previously held the position of Special Envoy for North Korea Policy, met with his North Korean counterparts Sunday in Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea shortly before Pompeo's trip.
Pompeo has now landed in Tokyo where he is expected to brief his Japanese and South Korean counterparts Sunday morning.
VIDEO - Susan David: The gift and power of emotional courage | TED Talk
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 17:09
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VIDEO - Anne Frank's family tried fleeing to the US and Cuba, research says - CNN
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 14:24
By Nicole Chavez, CNN
Updated at 7:58 AM ET, Fri July 6, 2018
03:57
A conversation with a digital survivor of the Holocaust
02:54
Holocaust survivor talks Jewish center threats
03:36
Holocaust survivors living in poverty
00:45
Holocaust survivor becomes US citizen because ...
02:42
Pope Francis sees the horrors of Auschwitz
01:16
Hand-dug Holocaust escape tunnel discovered in Lithuania
03:30
Renowned holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel dead at 87
02:38
Former Nazi officer Oskar Groening gets 4-year sentence
02:13
Holocaust survivors fear rise of hate and nationalism
00:46
Treasures found in Auschwitz mug
02:04
Holocaust survivor: Silence is 'approval' of racism
03:31
The lie that saved Holocaust survivor's life
02:45
Holocaust survivor: Trump needs to apologize
04:27
2015: Auschwitz survivor warns about future genocides
01:03
Holocaust Remembrance Day observed in Israel
03:57
A conversation with a digital survivor of the Holocaust
02:54
Holocaust survivor talks Jewish center threats
03:36
Holocaust survivors living in poverty
00:45
Holocaust survivor becomes US citizen because ...
02:42
Pope Francis sees the horrors of Auschwitz
01:16
Hand-dug Holocaust escape tunnel discovered in Lithuania
03:30
Renowned holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel dead at 87
02:38
Former Nazi officer Oskar Groening gets 4-year sentence
02:13
Holocaust survivors fear rise of hate and nationalism
00:46
Treasures found in Auschwitz mug
02:04
Holocaust survivor: Silence is 'approval' of racism
03:31
The lie that saved Holocaust survivor's life
02:45
Holocaust survivor: Trump needs to apologize
04:27
2015: Auschwitz survivor warns about future genocides
01:03
Holocaust Remembrance Day observed in Israel
A portrait of Anne Frank stands in front of a black marble wall with the names of the Hungarian holocaust victims at the memorial of Central Europe's first Holocaust museum in Budapest on January 27, 2014.
A portrait of Anne Frank stands in front of a black marble wall with the names of the Hungarian holocaust victims at the memorial of Central Europe's first Holocaust museum in Budapest on January 27, 2014.
(CNN) '-- The efforts of Anne Frank's family to emigrate to the United States were thwarted by "American bureaucracy, war, and time," historians say.
New joint research by the Anne Frank House and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum indicates the family applied for American visas twice and Anne's father, Otto Frank, applied for a Cuban visa. But these efforts were undermined by suspicious and skeptical immigration officials, wartime events and endless bureaucratic hurdles here and in Europe.
"I am forced to look out for emigration and as far as I can see the USA is the only country we could go to," Otto Frank wrote in a letter to a friend living in New York.
Anne was 13 when she went into hiding from the Nazis with her family in the "Secret Annex," a hidden enclave at the back of her father's former office in Amsterdam, Netherlands. After her family was arrested by the German secret police in 1944, she was taken to a concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen, where she died shortly before the end of World War II.
She kept a diary throughout her time in hiding, and after her death, her father published it in 1947. The book remains one of the world's best-read, and it transformed a young girl who had perished in the Holocaust into a potent symbol. An English version, The Diary of a Young Girl, was issued in 1952.
Based on new documents and interviews, the museums' historians said the family appears to have collected numerous documents around 1938 and filed visa applications at the US consulate in Rotterdam, Netherlands -- the only one in the country issuing visas.
But the consulate was destroyed in 1940 during a German bombardment as the family waited for an answer.
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
Two pages, written in 1942, from the diary. "Her inner life and her voice seem almost shockingly contemporary, astonishingly similar to the voices of the teenagers we know," says Francine Prose, author of "Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife."
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
When her diary was almost full, Anne continued writing, using several notebooks. In 1944, she decided to rewrite her diary entries in the form of a novel, intending to publish it after the war, according to curators at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Shown here are the different versions of her diary, known now as versions A, B and C.
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
"The Diary of Anne Frank" has been translated into more than 70 languages in more than 60 nations.
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
Anne Frank in 1941. Her diary is often many young people's introduction to the horrors of the Holocaust.
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
Friday, August 1, 2014, marked the 70th anniversary of Anne Frank's final diary entry. Three days later, she was arrested with her family in the "secret annex" of a house in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where they had hidden for two years. She later died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when she was 15. In her diary, Anne describes a 1942 picture of herself: "This is a photo as I would wish myself to look all the time. Then I would maybe have a chance to come to Hollywood." Click through the gallery to see other pages from her diary:
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
For her 13th birthday, Anne Frank received a red plaid diary, her first journal. She brought it with her into hiding and began writing in it in 1942. After her death, her father, Otto Frank, edited and compiled the diary. It was published in the Netherlands in 1947 as "The Secret Annex. Diary Letters From June 14, 1942, to August 1, 1944."
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
Pages with text and photos from Anne Frank's diary, written in October 1942.
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
A handwritten page of Anne Frank's diary includes photos of herself on the beach during a holiday with her sister, Margot. The two sisters would live hidden in the annex with their mother, Edith; father, Otto; and another family.
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
Two pages, written in 1942, from the diary. "Her inner life and her voice seem almost shockingly contemporary, astonishingly similar to the voices of the teenagers we know," says Francine Prose, author of "Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife."
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
When her diary was almost full, Anne continued writing, using several notebooks. In 1944, she decided to rewrite her diary entries in the form of a novel, intending to publish it after the war, according to curators at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Shown here are the different versions of her diary, known now as versions A, B and C.
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
"The Diary of Anne Frank" has been translated into more than 70 languages in more than 60 nations.
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
Anne Frank in 1941. Her diary is often many young people's introduction to the horrors of the Holocaust.
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
Friday, August 1, 2014, marked the 70th anniversary of Anne Frank's final diary entry. Three days later, she was arrested with her family in the "secret annex" of a house in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where they had hidden for two years. She later died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when she was 15. In her diary, Anne describes a 1942 picture of herself: "This is a photo as I would wish myself to look all the time. Then I would maybe have a chance to come to Hollywood." Click through the gallery to see other pages from her diary:
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
For her 13th birthday, Anne Frank received a red plaid diary, her first journal. She brought it with her into hiding and began writing in it in 1942. After her death, her father, Otto Frank, edited and compiled the diary. It was published in the Netherlands in 1947 as "The Secret Annex. Diary Letters From June 14, 1942, to August 1, 1944."
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
Pages with text and photos from Anne Frank's diary, written in October 1942.
Photos: Anne Frank: The girl who wanted to write
A handwritten page of Anne Frank's diary includes photos of herself on the beach during a holiday with her sister, Margot. The two sisters would live hidden in the annex with their mother, Edith; father, Otto; and another family.
When the consulate reopened, the family was not denied entry to the US. Instead, new findings show their application was never processed, historians said.
Otto Frank started anew to collect the paperwork needed for their visas and even asked his friend in the US for help to speed the process but once again, the war intervened and his effort was interrupted.
With the German invasion of western Europe, applications spiked. Immigration rules became stricter and finally the American consulate in the Netherlands as well as those in German-occupied Europe were closed in retaliation for the US closing German diplomatic offices. What's more, American public opinion was not in favor of more immigrants, particularly from Germany. This stemmed in part from suspicion of spy infiltration.
Otto Frank then turned his attention to Cuba, where he hoped to use admission to the island as a "jumping board to the United States," the new report says.
That application was later canceled, four days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
"Those seeking to escape Nazi persecution in Europe, like the families of Otto Frank and Hermann van Pels, had to clear the same bureaucratic hurdles as other immigrants," the historians wrote.
VIDEO - Socialist Ocasio-Cortez Had Very Different Views When She Ran A Business | Daily Wire
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 14:22
Newly unearthed reports from socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's past show that the progressive political candidate had very different views on taxes when she used to run a business.
Ocasio-Cortez, who is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, has campaigned on expanding big government welfare programs through raising taxes on businesses and wealthy Americans.
Now that she is in the political spotlight, many of Ocasio-Cortez's previous views are coming to light, particularly those surrounding raising taxes, since much of her platform revolves around taking more of people's hard-earned money and giving it to those who did not earn it. The Daily Caller News Foundation reports:
But Ocasio-Cortez appeared to have a different outlook on capitalism and taxes in 2012 when she was running a business of her own, Brook Avenue Press, an incorporated publishing firm for children's books set in the Bronx. As a business owner, she came out in support of a bill that would provide tax deductions for business start-up costs, arguing that taxes directly impacted her business profits.
Ocasio-Cortez complained about the burden that taxes put on her business in a 2012 news article, saying, "You don't really make a profit in your first year," later adding that getting taxed was "a real whammy."
Ocasio-Cortez also used to tweet out articles and quotes from entrepreneur and venture capitalist Paul Graham:
The DCNF also notes that Ocasio-Cortez was a member of a business organization that attracted numerous entrepreneurs and gave talks on entrepreneurship at Boston University where she praised free market enterprise.
Now, with a $174,000 salary in her sights, Ocasio-Cortez is championing views that conflict with that entrepreneurial spirit she formerly promoted mainly centered around the government providing for its citizens.
VIDEO - A look at the rise of NYC Democratic Socialists of America
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 04:46
Sen. Bernie Sanders helped put them on the map, but now the group seems to be on everyone's lips in this city: The Democratic Socialists of America.
The Democratic Socialists's New York City chapter was instrumental in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's upset win over Rep. Joe Crowley in their Democratic primary, providing hundreds of volunteers to canvass for her.
Now, many observers are asking what exactly Democratic Socialism means.
"The definition of Democratic Socialism to me, again, is the fact that in a modern, moral, and wealthy society, no American should be too poor to live," Ocasio-Cortez said.
The group's priorities include issues like universal health care, labor rights, and, in recent weeks, the movement to abolish U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, known as ICE.
It's an activist group rather than a political party, and it's very picky in choosing candidates to get behind.
Decision 2018: Keep up with the latest election year news"When we endorse someone, we don't just do a paper endorsement; we send an army," said Ren(C)e Paradis of NYC Democratic Socialists of America.
That army is holding its fire in some of this year's hotly-contested state primaries. The group is not endorsing any of the progressive challengers to former members of the Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC, which helped keep Republicans in power in the New York state Senate. It also has yet to decide whether to back candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez victory has striking similarities to a 1972 trailblazing winFor now, its only endorsed candidate is Julia Salazar, who is trying to unseat longtime Brooklyn State Sen. Martin Dilan.
"It's an incumbent who takes a huge amount of money from real estate interests, has been in power for decades, is sort of an ossified creature of the old Democratic machine," Paradis said.
Ocasio-Cortez's victory bodes well for Salazar, who's seen a spike in fundraising since last week.
VIDEO - CTV News Channel: PM Trudeau addresses allegation | CTV News
Fri, 06 Jul 2018 04:04
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Hitler speech transmitted over Chicago police radios | SaukValley.com
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 14:31
An unauthorized audio transmission over Chicago police radio frequencies Wednesday night seems to be a partial rebroadcast of an Adolf Hitler speech from a 1935 Nazi propaganda film, an expert said.
Based on numerous key words in the fragmented transmission, the audio seems to be from a Hitler speech in Leni Riefenstahl's film, ''Triumph of the Will,'' said Imke Meyer, a professor of Germanic studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
''Numerous key words were audible, among them 'Deutschland' (Germany), 'Partei' (party), 'Volk' (the people '' the German people would be referenced in this context), 'Jahrtausende' (millennia '' a reference to the idea that the Third Reich would endure for thousands of years to come), 'Reich' and 'Fuhrung' (leadership),'' Meyer, who is also director of the School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics at UIC, said in an email.
The audio interrupted police radio frequencies for about 4 minutes Wednesday evening.
Melissa Stratton, spokeswoman for the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, has said the city is investigating. She said it was a ''rogue radio transmission,'' a general term for unauthorized transmissions, and not a city user accidentally broadcasting his or her own audio.
Stratton said she couldn't confirm anything about the content of the audio.
Meyer said the movie is a ''pseudo-documentay of the German National Socialist Party's 1934 convention in Nuremberg.'' The audio transmission that interrupted police frequencies seems to be from ''the part of the film that presents Hitler's closing speech at the convention.''
At one point during the rogue transmission, a radio dispatcher told police units to switch to a different channel if they had any emergencies.
''We have a rogue radio,'' the dispatcher said.
As the interruption continued, the same dispatcher later said, ''A little bit of an officer safety hazard on the zone at the moment, so anybody with any emergency please switch over to a citywide.''
Rogue transmissions occur ''periodically,'' Stratton said, ''but we have worked with the police and federal authorities to investigate when it has occurred.''
Speaking generally, she said police dispatchers will switch radio zones if there's a ''substantial issue'' with a channel.
gpratt@chicagotribune.com
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