1130: Troll Union

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 55m
April 18th, 2019
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Executive Producers: MFDx, Sir Delliot

Associate Executive Producers: Jason Shiffer, Christopher Eisenhart, Sir Tim of the Tunnels

Cover Artist: Darren O'Neill

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
0:42
Mueller Time
Woodstock
8:51
Notre-Dame Fire
Woodstock
50:15
Gas Tax Discussion in Alberta Election Debate
Woodstock
1:02:32
Finland General Elections
Woodstock
1:05:30
Neodymium
Woodstock
1:06:46
Inflation
Woodstock
1:08:25
The Jimmy Dore Show: What Is Modern Monetary Theory And How It Works w/Stephanie Kelton
Woodstock
1:14:22
Max Keiser on the Future of Bitcoin
Woodstock
1:17:18
Credits
Woodstock
1:31:56
Alex Jones Appearance on Impaulsive Podcast
Woodstock
1:36:40
The Meme Union
Woodstock
1:40:11
Vaccines
Woodstock
1:57:58
Denver Schools Closed on Columbine Anniversary After Threats of a School Shooting
Woodstock
2:09:35
Michelle Obama Compares Trump to a Divorced Dad
Woodstock
2:11:31
Donations
Woodstock
2:24:09
Birthdays & Title Changes
Woodstock
2:27:07
Gimlet Media Podcast Studios
Woodstock
2:28:59
Greta Thurnberg's Address to the European Parliament
Woodstock
2:38:17
Nancy Pelosi Appearance on 60 Minutes
Woodstock
2:40:53
Fox News Hosts' Obama Criticism Supercut
Woodstock
2:45:57
Jimmy Kimmel Live: Can You Pronounce Buttigieg?
Woodstock
2:48:04
Untitled
Woodstock
2:50:02
End of Show
Woodstock
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Any Collusion?
Ukrainian Prosecutor Reopens Corruption Case Involving Biden
Sun, 14 Apr 2019 22:53
Commentary
The chief prosecutor in Ukraine recently revealed that he's reopening a corruption probe into Ukraine's largest private gas company that could have profound implications for the presidential aspirations of former Vice President Joe Biden.
The company, Burisma Holdings, appointed Biden's son, Hunter, to its board of directors in 2014, and reportedly paid him more than $3 million during a 14-month period to head its legal team.
Burisma was then facing a state investigation over allegations that company Chairman Nikolai Zlochevskiy had used his official position as Minister of Environment in the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych to award the company lucrative oil and gas permits.
While the probe was underway, then-Vice President Biden made more than a dozen trips to Ukraine, ostensibly to support the new government of Petro Poroshenko. But during one of those trips in 2016, the vice president threatened to withdraw U.S. aid if Poroshenko didn't fire the prosecutor general in charge of the Burisma probe.
Biden boasted of his success in getting Poroshenko to fire the prosecutor in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in January 2018, a year after leaving office.
''And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee,'' Biden said. When Poroshenko refused to fire the prosecutor, Biden said he had authority from President Barack Obama to pull the loan guarantee.
''I looked at them and said, 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money.' '... He got fired.''
Current Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told The Hill's John Solomon that he was reopening the investigation his office had closed after Biden succeeded in convincing the Ukrainian president to remove his predecessor, Viktor Shokin.
Shokin himself confirmed in written answers to questions from Solomon that before he was fired, he was planning to conduct ''interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the [Burisma] executive board, including Hunter Biden.''
Biden's staff and, indeed, the Democratic National Committee leadership should have seen this coming. It's not as if Hunter Biden's appointment to the Burisma board was a secret, nor the fact that he got paid large sums of money for his services, at the same time that his powerful father was intervening in the company's favor with the president of Ukraine.
This is no skeleton in Uncle Joe's closet. It's a raw cadaver, and it stinks to high heaven, despite the mounds of dirt piled on top of it by the national media.
The Wall Street Journal first announced Hunter Biden's appointment to the Burisma board in May 2014 in a Page 4 item; one columnist in The Washington Post called Hunter Biden's behavior ''nefarious.''
But when asked by a reporter around the time of the appointment to comment, then-White House press secretary Jay Carney said the White House saw no problem with the younger Biden's business dealings in Ukraine.
''Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family are obviously private citizens, and where they work does not reflect an endorsement by the administration or by the vice president or president,'' Carney said.
Following that White House comment, the media obediently buried Joe Biden's gross conflict of interest until 2018, when Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute, detailed the allegations in a book titled ''Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends.''
''The bottom line is, Joe Biden was the Obama administration's point-person on policy towards Ukraine,'' Schweizer said on April 2. ''He steered $1.8 billion in aid to that government, and while he was doing so, his son got a sweetheart deal with this energy company'--that we've been able to trace over just a 14-month period'--paid $3.1 million into an account where Hunter Biden was getting paid.''
Schweizer supported his allegation that the payments amounted to a sweetheart deal by noting that Hunter Biden had ''no background in Ukraine'' and ''no background in energy policy.''
''There's really no legitimate explanation as to why he got this deal with the energy company, other than the fact his father was responsible for doling out money in Ukraine itself,'' Schweizer said.
The Ukrainian prosecutor general promises to turn over investigative files to the U.S. Department of Justice, so Joe Biden's Ukraine scandal could just be getting started.
A source close to the prosecutor said last week that he was also investigating a corrupt intervention by Ukrainian authorities in the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, when they leaked the so-called ''black ledger'' of the pro-Russian Party of Regions to U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yavonovitch, an Obama appointee who remains on the job today.
They also leaked the ledger to The New York Times, which ran a front-page story alleging that the ledger included $12.7 million in payments to then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, leading candidate Trump to fire Manafort from the campaign.
''We know the black ledger is real, but knowing the Party of Regions, we can't say if money allegedly paid to Paul Manafort was actually given to Manafort,'' Ukrainian Member of Parliament Volodymyr Ariev told me.
Joe Biden might soon be looking back on the inappropriate touching allegations with regret. Not regret for his actions, but regret that public attention so quickly drifted off to other, more damaging scandals.
Kenneth R. Timmerman is the best-selling author of ''ISIS Begins'' and was a member of the national security and foreign policy advisory board of Trump for President. He was co-nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 with Ambassador John Bolton for his work on Iran.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Ukrainian Prosecutor Reopens Corruption Case Involving Biden
Sun, 14 Apr 2019 22:53
Commentary
The chief prosecutor in Ukraine recently revealed that he's reopening a corruption probe into Ukraine's largest private gas company that could have profound implications for the presidential aspirations of former Vice President Joe Biden.
The company, Burisma Holdings, appointed Biden's son, Hunter, to its board of directors in 2014, and reportedly paid him more than $3 million during a 14-month period to head its legal team.
Burisma was then facing a state investigation over allegations that company Chairman Nikolai Zlochevskiy had used his official position as Minister of Environment in the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych to award the company lucrative oil and gas permits.
While the probe was underway, then-Vice President Biden made more than a dozen trips to Ukraine, ostensibly to support the new government of Petro Poroshenko. But during one of those trips in 2016, the vice president threatened to withdraw U.S. aid if Poroshenko didn't fire the prosecutor general in charge of the Burisma probe.
Biden boasted of his success in getting Poroshenko to fire the prosecutor in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in January 2018, a year after leaving office.
''And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee,'' Biden said. When Poroshenko refused to fire the prosecutor, Biden said he had authority from President Barack Obama to pull the loan guarantee.
''I looked at them and said, 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money.' '... He got fired.''
Current Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told The Hill's John Solomon that he was reopening the investigation his office had closed after Biden succeeded in convincing the Ukrainian president to remove his predecessor, Viktor Shokin.
Shokin himself confirmed in written answers to questions from Solomon that before he was fired, he was planning to conduct ''interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the [Burisma] executive board, including Hunter Biden.''
Biden's staff and, indeed, the Democratic National Committee leadership should have seen this coming. It's not as if Hunter Biden's appointment to the Burisma board was a secret, nor the fact that he got paid large sums of money for his services, at the same time that his powerful father was intervening in the company's favor with the president of Ukraine.
This is no skeleton in Uncle Joe's closet. It's a raw cadaver, and it stinks to high heaven, despite the mounds of dirt piled on top of it by the national media.
The Wall Street Journal first announced Hunter Biden's appointment to the Burisma board in May 2014 in a Page 4 item; one columnist in The Washington Post called Hunter Biden's behavior ''nefarious.''
But when asked by a reporter around the time of the appointment to comment, then-White House press secretary Jay Carney said the White House saw no problem with the younger Biden's business dealings in Ukraine.
''Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family are obviously private citizens, and where they work does not reflect an endorsement by the administration or by the vice president or president,'' Carney said.
Following that White House comment, the media obediently buried Joe Biden's gross conflict of interest until 2018, when Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute, detailed the allegations in a book titled ''Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends.''
''The bottom line is, Joe Biden was the Obama administration's point-person on policy towards Ukraine,'' Schweizer said on April 2. ''He steered $1.8 billion in aid to that government, and while he was doing so, his son got a sweetheart deal with this energy company'--that we've been able to trace over just a 14-month period'--paid $3.1 million into an account where Hunter Biden was getting paid.''
Schweizer supported his allegation that the payments amounted to a sweetheart deal by noting that Hunter Biden had ''no background in Ukraine'' and ''no background in energy policy.''
''There's really no legitimate explanation as to why he got this deal with the energy company, other than the fact his father was responsible for doling out money in Ukraine itself,'' Schweizer said.
The Ukrainian prosecutor general promises to turn over investigative files to the U.S. Department of Justice, so Joe Biden's Ukraine scandal could just be getting started.
A source close to the prosecutor said last week that he was also investigating a corrupt intervention by Ukrainian authorities in the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, when they leaked the so-called ''black ledger'' of the pro-Russian Party of Regions to U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yavonovitch, an Obama appointee who remains on the job today.
They also leaked the ledger to The New York Times, which ran a front-page story alleging that the ledger included $12.7 million in payments to then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, leading candidate Trump to fire Manafort from the campaign.
''We know the black ledger is real, but knowing the Party of Regions, we can't say if money allegedly paid to Paul Manafort was actually given to Manafort,'' Ukrainian Member of Parliament Volodymyr Ariev told me.
Joe Biden might soon be looking back on the inappropriate touching allegations with regret. Not regret for his actions, but regret that public attention so quickly drifted off to other, more damaging scandals.
Kenneth R. Timmerman is the best-selling author of ''ISIS Begins'' and was a member of the national security and foreign policy advisory board of Trump for President. He was co-nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 with Ambassador John Bolton for his work on Iran.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Inslaw - Barr Wikipedia
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 03:42
Inslaw, Inc. is a Washington, D.C. based information technology company that markets case management software for corporate and government users.
Inslaw is known for developing Promis, an early case management software system. It is also known for a lawsuit that it brought against the United States Department of Justice in 1986 over Promis. Inslaw won damages in bankruptcy court, but these were overturned on appeal. The suit resulted in several Justice Department internal reviews, two Congressional investigations, the appointment of a special counsel by Attorney General William P. Barr, and a lengthy review of the special counsel's report under Attorney General Janet Reno. Inslaw's claims were finally referred by Congress to the Court of Federal Claims in 1995, and the dispute ended with the Court's ruling against Inslaw in 1998.
During the 12-year long legal proceedings, Inslaw accused the Department of Justice of conspiring to steal its software, attempting to drive it into Chapter 7 liquidation, using the stolen software for covert intelligence operations against foreign governments, and involvement in a murder. These accusations were eventually rejected by the special counsel and the Court of Federal Claims.
History of Inslaw [ edit ] Inslaw began as a non-profit organization called the Institute for Law and Social Research. The Institute was founded in 1973 by William A. Hamilton to develop case management software for law enforcement office automation.[1] Funded by grants and contracts from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA), the Institute developed a program it called "Promis", an acronym for Prosecutors' Management Information System, for use in law enforcement record keeping and case-monitoring activities.[2] When Congress voted to abolish the LEAA in 1980, Hamilton decided to continue operating as a for-profit corporation and market the software to current and new users. In January 1981 Hamilton established the for-profit Inslaw, transferring the Institute's assets over to the new corporation.[2]
Development of Promis [ edit ] Promis software was originally written in COBOL for use on mainframe computers; later a version was developed to run on 16 bit mini-computers such as the DEC PDP-11.[3] The primary users of this early version of the software were the United States Attorneys Office of the District of Columbia, and state and local law enforcement.[4] Both the mainframe and 16 bit mini-computer versions of Promis were developed under LEAA contracts, and in later litigation, both Inslaw and DOJ eventually agreed that the early version of Promis was in the public domain, meaning that neither the Institute nor its successor had exclusive rights to it.[5]
The Promis implementation contract [ edit ] In 1979, the DOJ contracted with the Institute to do a pilot project that installed versions of Promis in four US Attorneys offices; two using the mini-computer version, and the other two a "word-processor" version which the Institute was developing.[2] Encouraged by the results, the Department decided in 1981 to go ahead with a full implementation of locally based Promis systems, and issued a request for proposals (RFP) to install the mini-computer version of Promis in the 20 largest United States Attorneys offices. This contract, usually called the "implementation contract" in later litigation, also included developing and installing "word-processor" versions of Promis at 74 smaller offices.[6] The now for-profit Inslaw responded to the RFP, and in March 1982 was awarded the three year $10m contract by the contracting division, the Executive Office of United States Attorneys (EOUSA).[7]
Contract disputes and Inslaw bankruptcy [ edit ] The contract did not go smoothly. Disputes between EOUSA and Inslaw began soon after its execution.[7][8] A key dispute over proprietary rights had to be solved by a bi-lateral change to the original contract. (This change, "Modification 12," is discussed below.) EOUSA also determined that Inslaw was in violation of the terms of an "advance payment" clause in the contract. This clause was important to Inslaw's financing and became the subject of months of negotiations.[9] There were also disputes over service fees. During the first year of the contract, the DOJ did not have the hardware to run Promis in any of the offices covered by the contract. As a stopgap measure, Inslaw provided Promis on a time-share basis through a Vax computer in Virginia, allowing the offices to access Promis on the Inslaw Vax through remote terminals, until the needed equipment was installed on-site.[10] EOUSA claimed that Inslaw had overcharged for this service and withheld payments.[11]
The DOJ ultimately acquired Prime computers, and Inslaw began installing Promis on these in the second year of the contract, in August 1983.[12] The "word-processor" Promis installation, however, continued to have problems, and in February 1984 the DOJ cancelled this portion of the contract. Following this cancellation, the financial condition of Inslaw worsened, and the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 1985.[13]
Proprietary rights dispute [ edit ] The implementation contract called for the installation of the mini-computer version of Promis, plus some later modifications that had also been funded by LEAA contracts and like the mini-computer version were in the public domain.[14] In addition, the contract data rights clause "gave the government unlimited rights in any technical data and computer software delivered under the contract."[15] This presented a potential conflict with Inslaw's plans to market a commercial version of Promis which it called "Promis 82" or "Enhanced Promis." The issue came up early in the implementation contract, but was resolved by an exchange of letters in which DOJ signed off on the issue after Inslaw assured the DOJ that Promis 82 contained "enhancements undertaken by Inslaw at private expense after the cessation of LEAA funding."[16]
The issue arose again in December 1982 when the DOJ invoked its contract rights to request all the PROMIS programs and documentation being provided under the contract.[17] The reason the DOJ gave for this request in later litigation was that it was concerned about Inslaw's financial condition. At that point, DOJ had access to Promis only through the Vax time-sharing arrangement with Inslaw; if Inslaw failed, DOJ would be left without a copy of the software and data it was entitled to under the contract.[18] Inslaw responded in February 1983 that it was willing to provide the computer tapes and documents for Promis, but that the tapes it had were for the Vax version of Promis, and included proprietary enhancements. Before providing the tapes, Inslaw wrote, "Inslaw and the Department of Justice will have to reach an agreement on the inclusion or exclusion" of the features.[19]
The DOJ response to Inslaw was to emphasize that the implementation contract called for a version of PROMIS in which the government had unlimited rights and to ask for information about the enhancements Inslaw claimed as proprietary.[20] Inslaw agreed to provide this information, but noted that it would be difficult to remove the enhancements from the time-sharing version of Promis and offered to provide the Vax version of Promis if the DOJ would agree to limit their distribution.[21] In March 1983, the DOJ again informed Inslaw that the implementation contract required Inslaw to produce software in which the government had unlimited rights, and that delivery of software with restrictions would not satisfy the contract.[22]
Contract revisions [ edit ] After some back and forth, DOJ contracting officer Peter Videnieks sent a letter proposing a contract modification. Under the modification, in return for the software and data request, DOJ agreed not to disclose or disseminate the material "beyond the Executive Office for United States Attorney and the 94 United States Attorneys' Offices covered by the subject contract, until the data rights of the parties to the contract are resolved."[23] To resolve the data rights issue, the letter proposed that Inslaw identify its claimed proprietary enhancements and demonstrate that the enhancements were developed "at private expense and outside the scope of any government contract."[23] After these were identified, the government would then "either direct Inslaw to delete those enhancements from the versions of PROMIS to be delivered under the contract or negotiate with Inslaw regarding the inclusion of those enhancements in that software."[23] Inslaw eventually agreed to this suggestion, and the change, referred to as "Modification 12," was executed in April 1983. Inslaw then provided DOJ with tapes and documentation for the Vax version of Promis.[24]
Under this arrangement, however, Inslaw had substantial difficulty demonstrating the extent of the enhancements and the use of private funding in their development. It proposed several methods for doing this, but these were rejected by DOJ as inadequate.[25] Inslaw's attempts to identify the proprietary enhancements and their funding ended when it began installing Promis on the USAO Prime computers in August 1983. By the end of the contract in March 1983, it had completed installing Promis in all 20 of the offices specified in the implementation contract. Since none of the available versions of Promis was compatible with the Department's new Prime computers, Inslaw ported the Vax version, which contained Inslaw's claimed enhancements, to the Prime computers.[26]
Inslaw's bankruptcy case [ edit ] After Inslaw filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 1985, there were still disputes over implementation contract payments, and as a result the DOJ was listed as one of Inslaw's creditors. At the same time, the DOJ continued its office automation program and, in place of the originally planned "word-processor" version of Promis, it installed the version ported to Prime mini-computers in at least 23 more offices. When Inslaw learned of the installations, it notified EOUSA that this was in violation of Modification 12 and filed a claim for $2.9m, which Inslaw said was the license fees for the software DOJ self-installed.[27] Inslaw also filed claims for services performed during the contract, for a total of $4.1m. The DOJ contracting officer, Peter Videnieks, denied all these claims.[28]
Inslaw appealed the denial of the service fees to the Department of Transportation Board of Contract Appeals (DOTBCA).[29] For the data rights claim, however, Inslaw took a different approach. In June 1986 it filed an adversary hearing in the Bankruptcy Court, claiming that DOJ's actions violated the automatic stay provision of the bankruptcy code by interfering with the company's rights to its software.[27]
Inslaw's initial filing claimed that the contract disputes arose because the DOJ officials who administered the contract were biased against Inslaw.[30] The filing specifically mentioned Promis project manager, C. Madison Brewer, and Associate Attorney General, D. Lowell Jensen. Brewer had previously been Inslaw's general counsel, but according to Inslaw had been terminated for cause. Inslaw claimed that Brewer's dismissal caused him to be unreasonably biased against Inslaw and owner William Hamilton.[31] Jensen was a member of the project oversight committee at the time of the contract. He had helped to develop another competing case management software system several years earlier, and Inslaw claimed that this led him to be prejudiced against Promis, so that he ignored the unreasonable bias of Brewer.[32]
"Independent handling" proceeding [ edit ] In February 1987, Inslaw requested an "independent handling hearing", to force the DOJ to conduct the adversary hearing "independent of any Department of Justice officials involved in the allegations made" in the hearing.[33] The bankruptcy court judge assigned to handle Inslaw's Chapter 11 proceedings, Judge George F. Bason, granted the request, and scheduled the hearing for June.
Prior to the hearing, Inslaw owners William and Nancy Hamilton spoke to Anthony Pasciuto, then the Deputy Director of the Executive Office of the United States Trustees (EOUST), a DOJ component responsible for overseeing the administration of bankruptcy cases. Pasciuto told the Hamiltons that the Director of the EOUST, Thomas Stanton, had pressured the U.S. Trustee assigned to the Inslaw case, Edward White, to convert Inslaw's bankruptcy from chapter 11 (reorganization of the company), to chapter 7 (liquidation).[33] The Hamiltons had Inslaw's attorneys depose the people whom Pasciuto had named. One of them corroborated part of Pasciuto's claims: Cornelius Blackshear, then a U. S. Trustee in New York, swore in his deposition testimony that he was aware of pressure to convert the bankruptcy.[34] Two days later, however, Blackshear submitted an affidavit recanting his testimony, saying that he had mistakenly recalled an instance of pressure from another case.[34]
Blackshear repeated his retraction at the June hearing on Inslaw's request. Pasciuto also retracted part of his claims at this hearing, and said instead that he did not the use of the word "conversion." Judge Bason, however, chose to believe the original depositions of Pasciuto and Blackshear, and found that the DOJ, "unlawfully, intentionally and willfully" tried to convert INSLAW's Chapter 11 reorganization case to a Chapter 7 liquidation "without justification and by improper means."[35] In the ruling, Bason was harshly critical of the testimony of several DOJ officials, describing it as "evasive and unbelieveable," or "simply on its face unbelievable."[35] He enjoined the DOJ and the EOUST from contacting anyone in the U.S. Trustee's office handling the Inslaw case except for information requests.[35]
Adversary proceeding [ edit ] Inslaw's adversary proceeding followed a month after the "independent handling hearing." The proceeding lasted for two and half weeks, from late July to August. In a bench ruling on September 28, Judge Bason found that DOJ project manager Brewer, "believing he had been wrongfully discharged by Mr. Hamilton and INSLAW, developed an intense and abiding hatred for Mr. Hamilton and INSLAW," and had used his position at DOJ to "vent his spleen." He also found that the DOJ "took, converted, stole, INSLAW's enhanced PROMIS by trickery, fraud, and deceit."[36] Specifically, he found that DOJ had used the threat of terminating "advance payments" to get a copy of the enhanced Promis that it was not entitled to, and that it had negotiated modification 12 of the contract in bad faith, never intending to meet its commitment under the modification.[37] In his ruling, Judge Bason again called the testimony of DOJ witnesses "biased", "unbelievable", and "unreliable."[36]
Judge Bason Not Reappointed [ edit ] Bankruptcy Court Judge Bason was appointed to the District of Columbia Bankruptcy Court in February 1984 for a four-year term. He sought re-appointment early in 1987, but was informed in December that the Court of Appeals had chosen another candidate. Judge Bason then suggested in a letter to the Court of Appeals that DOJ might have improperly influenced the selection process because of his bench ruling for Inslaw.[38] After learning of this letter, DOJ lawyers moved to recuse Judge Bason from the Inslaw case, but their motion was rejected, and Judge Bason remained on the case until the expiration of his term on February 8, 1988.[38] In early February, Judge Bason filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the judge the Court of Appeals had selected for the District of Columbia Bankruptcy Court from taking office, but the suit was rejected. Bason's last actions in the case were to file a written ruling on Inslaw's adversary proceeding, and to award damages and attorneys fees to Inslaw.[39]
Appeals of the bankruptcy suit [ edit ] After Judge Bason left the bench, the Inslaw bankruptcy was assigned to Baltimore bankruptcy judge James Schneider.[40] Schneider accepted Inslaw's reorganization plan at the end of 1988 after a cash infusion from IBM.[41] In the meanwhile, DOJ filed an appeal of Judge Bason's adversary suit ruling in the District of Columbia Circuit Court.[42] In November 1989, Circuit Court Judge William Bryant upheld Bason's ruling. Reviewing the case under the "clear error" standard for reversal, Bryant wrote: "[T]here is convincing, perhaps compelling support for the findings set forth by the bankruptcy court."[43]
DOJ appealed the Circuit Court decision and in May 1991, the Court of Appeals found the DOJ had not violated the automatic stay provisions of the bankruptcy code and that the Bankruptcy Court therefore lacked jurisdiction over Inslaw's claims against DOJ.[44] It vacated the Bankruptcy Court's rulings and dismissed Inslaw's complaint.[45] Inslaw appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case.[44]
Federal investigations [ edit ] Inslaw's allegations against the Justice Department led to a number of investigations, including internal Department probes and Congressional investigations by the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) and the House Judiciary Committee. The DOJ eventually appointed a special counsel to investigate. After the special counsel issued his report, Inslaw responded with a lengthy rebuttal. The DOJ then re-examined the special counsel's findings, resulting in the release of a final Department review.
During these federal investigations, Inslaw began making allegations of a broad, complex conspiracy to steal Promis, involving many more people and many more claims than the bankruptcy proceedings had covered. These later allegations are described below under the investigations which examined them.
Justice Department investigations [ edit ] After Judge Bason's June 1987 bench ruling found several DOJ officials' testimony "unbelievable", DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) opened an investigation of DOJ staff who testified at the hearing, including C. Madison Brewer, Peter Videnieks, and EOUST director Thomas Stanton. It also opened a separate investigation of EOUST deputy director Anthony Pasciuto. OPR recommended Pasciuto be terminated, based on his hearing testimony that he had made false statements to the Hamiltons, but in its final report it found no evidence that the other officials investigated had applied pressure to convert Inslaw's bankruptcy or lied during the independent handling hearing.[46] After Judge Bason issued his written ruling in January 1988, Inslaw's attorneys also complained to the DOJ's Public Integrity Section that Judge Blackshear and U.S. Trustee Edward White had committed perjury. Public Integrity opened an investigation that ultimately found perjury cases could not be proven, and recommended declining prosecution.[47]
The Senate report [ edit ] The first Congressional investigation into the Inslaw case came from the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI). PSI's report was issued in September 1989, after a year and a half of investigation.[48] During the investigation, Inslaw made a number of new allegations, which take up most of the PSI report.
New allegations [ edit ] Inslaw's new allegations described the Justice Department dispute with Inslaw as part of a broad conspiracy to drive Inslaw into bankruptcy so that Earl Brian, the founder of a venture capital firm called Biotech (later Infotechnology), could acquire Inslaw's assets, including its software Promis. Inslaw owner William Hamilton told PSI investigators that Brian had first attempted to acquire Inslaw through a computer services corporation he controlled, called Hadron. Hamilton said that he rejected an offer from Hadron to acquire Inslaw, and that Brian then attempted to drive Inslaw into bankruptcy through his influence with Attorney General Edwin Meese.[49]
Both Meese and Brian had served in the cabinet of Ronald Reagan when he was governor of California, and Meese's wife had later bought stock in Brian's company, so that Meese was willing to do this, Hamilton claimed. The contract dispute with DOJ was contrived by Brian and Meese with the help of Associate Attorney General Jensen, and Promis project manager Brewer.[50]
Hamilton also complained that a DOJ automation program, 'Project Eagle', was part of a scheme to benefit Brian after he acquired Promis,[51] and that an AT&T subsidiary, AT&T Information Systems, had engaged with the DOJ in a conspiracy to interfere with Inslaw's efforts to reorganize.[52] He also told PSI investigators that the DOJ had undermined Bankruptcy Court Judge Bason's reappointment,[53] and had attempted to undermine Inslaw's lead counsel in the bankruptcy suit.[54]
Report findings [ edit ] Senate investigators found no proof for any of these claims. Their report noted that the bankruptcy court ruling had not concluded that Jensen had engaged in a conspiracy against Inslaw and that their own investigation had found no proof that Jensen and Meese had conspired to ruin Inslaw or steal its product, or that Brian or Hadron were involved in a conspiracy to undermine Inslaw and acquire its assets.[55]
The report did re-examine the bankruptcy finding that the DOJ had pressured the United States Trustee to recommend converting Inslaw's bankruptcy from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7, and found that EOUST director Thomas Stanton had improperly tried to get special handling for Inslaw's bankruptcy. He did this, the report stated, in order to gain support for the EOUST from the DOJ.
The report concluded that the Subcommittee found no proof for a broad conspiracy against Inslaw within the DOJ, or a conspiracy between DOJ officials and outside parties to force Inslaw into bankruptcy for personal benefit. However, it criticized DOJ for hiring a former Inslaw employee (Brewer) to oversee Inslaw's contract with EOUSA, and for failing to follow standard procedures in handling Inslaw's complaints. It also criticized the DOJ for a lack of cooperation with the Subcommittee, which delayed the investigation and undercut the Subcommittee's ability to interview Department employees.[56]
The House report [ edit ] Following the PSI report, the House Judiciary Committee began another investigation into the dispute.[57] By the time the report was released in September 1992, Inslaw's bankruptcy suit had been first upheld in the D.C. Circuit Court, then vacated by the D.C. Appeals court. The House report thus took a different approach to several of the legal issues that the Senate report had discussed. Like the Senate report, much of the House report dealt with new evidence and new allegations from Inslaw.
New allegations [ edit ] Inslaw's new evidence consisted of statements and affidavits from witnesses supporting Inslaw's previous claims. The most important of these witnesses was Michael Riconosciuto, who swore in an affidavit for Inslaw that businessman Earl Brian had provided him with a copy of Inslaw's enhanced Promis, supporting Inslaw's earlier claims that Brian had been interested in acquiring and marketing the software. A new allegation was also introduced in Riconosciuto's affidavit: Riconosciuto swore that he added modifications to enhanced Promis "to support a plan for the implementation of PROMIS in law enforcement and intelligence agencies worldwide." According to Riconosciuto, "Earl W. Brian was spearheading the plan for this worldwide use of the PROMIS computer software."[58]
Another important witness was Ari Ben-Menashe, who also provided affidavits for Inslaw that Brian had brought both public domain and enhanced versions of Promis to Israel, and eventually sold the enhanced version to the Israeli government.[59] Committee investigators interviewed Ben-Menashe in May 1991, and he told them that Brian sold enhanced Promis to both Israeli intelligence and Singapore's armed forces, receiving several million dollars in payment. He also testified that Brian sold public domain versions to Iraq and Jordan.[60][61]
Report findings [ edit ] On the issue of Inslaw's rights in "enhanced Promis", the House report found that "There appears to be strong evidence" supporting Judge Bason's finding that DOJ "acted willfully and fraudulently" when it "took, converted and stole" INSLAW's Enhanced PROMIS by "trickery, fraud and deceit."[62]
Like Judge Bason, the report found that DOJ did not negotiate with Inslaw in good faith, citing a statement by Deputy Attorney General Arnold Burns as "one of the most damaging statements received by the committee."[63] According to the report, Burns told OPR investigators that Department attorneys informed him in 1986 that INSLAW's claim of proprietary rights was legitimate and that DOJ would probably lose in court on this issue. House Investigator found it "incredible" that DOJ would pursue litigation after such a determination, and concluded "This clearly raises the specter that the Department actions taken against INSLAW in this matter represent an abuse of power of shameful proportions."[63]
On the new allegations brought by Inslaw, although the Committee conducted extensive investigations, the report did not make any factual findings on the allegations, it did conclude that further investigation was warranted into the statements and claims of Inslaw's witnesses.
The report also discussed the case of Danny Casolaro, a free-lance writer who became interested in the Inslaw case in 1990, and began his own investigation.[64] According to statements from Casolaro's friends and family, the scope of his investigation eventually expanded to include a number of scandals of the time, including the Iran-Contra affair, the October Surprise conspiracy claims, and the BCCI banking scandal. In August 1991, Casolaro was found dead in a hotel room where he was staying. The initial coroner's report ruled his death suicide, but Casolaro's family and friends were suspicious, and a lengthy second autopsy was conducted. This too ruled Casolaro's death a suicide, but House investigators noted that "The suspicious circumstances surrounding his death have led some law enforcement professionals and others to believe that his death may not have been a suicide," and strongly urged further investigation.[65]
The Democratic majority called upon Attorney General Dick Thornburgh to compensate Inslaw immediately for the harm that the government had "egregiously" inflicted on Inslaw. The Republican minority dissented and the committee divided along party lines 21''13.[61]
Bua Report [ edit ] In October 1991 William P. Barr succeeded Dick Thornburgh as Attorney General. In November, Barr appointed retired federal judge Nicholas J. Bua as a Special Counsel to investigate the allegations in the Inslaw case.[66] Bua was granted authority to appoint his own staff and investigators, to impanel a grand jury, and to issue subpoenas.[67] In March 1993 he issued a 267-page report.
The report concluded that there was no credible evidence to support Inslaw's allegations that DOJ officials conspired to help Earl Brian acquire Promis software, and that the evidence was overwhelming that there was no connection between Brian and Promis.[68] It found the evidence "woefully insufficient" to support the claim that DOJ obtained enhanced PROMIS through "fraud, trickery, and deceit," or that DOJ illegally distributed PROMIS inside or outside of DOJ.[68] It found no credible evidence that DOJ had influenced the selection process that replaced Judge Bason.[68] It found "insufficient evidence" to confirm the allegation that DOJ employees sought to influence the conversion of Inslaw's bankruptcy or commit perjury to conceal the attempt to do so.[68] Finally, it concluded that the DOJ had not sought to influence the investigation of Danny Casolaro's death, and that the physical evidence strongly supported the autopsy finding of suicide.[69]
Bua's report came to a number of conclusions that contradicted earlier proceedings and investigations. Judge Bason had found that DOJ's claim it was concerned about Inslaw's financial condition when it requested a copy of Promis was a false pretext. Bua rejected this finding as "just plain wrong."[70] The House report had cited Deputy Attorney General Burns' statements as evidence that DOJ knew it did not have a valid defense to Inslaw's claims. Bua found this interpretation "entirely unwarranted."[71]
Bua was particularly critical of several of Inslaw's witnesses. He found that Michael Riconosciuto had given inconsistent accounts in statements to the Hamiltons, his affidavit, and in testimony at his 1992 trial for manufacturing methamphetamine.[72] Bua compared Riconosciuto's story about Promis to "a historical novel; a tale of total fiction woven against the background of accurate historical facts."[73]
Bua found Ari Ben-Menashe's affidavits for Inslaw inconsistent with his later statements to Bua, in which Ben-Menashe said that he had "no knowledge of the transfer of Inslaw's proprietary software by Earl Brian or DOJ" and denied that he had ever said this elsewhere.[74] Ben-Menashe said that others simply assumed that he was referring in his previous statements to Inslaw's Promis, but acknowledged that one reason he failed to clarify this was because he was going to publish a book and "he wanted to make sure that his affidavit was filed in court and came to the attention of the public."[75]
Bua also noted that the House October Surprise Task Force had examined Ben-Menashe's October Surprise allegations and found them "totally lacking in credibility," "demonstrably false from beginning to end," "riddled with inconsistencies and factual misstatements," and "a total fabrication." He specifically observed that the Task Force found no evidence to substantiate Ben-Menashe's October Surprise allegations about Earl Brian.[76]
DOJ Review [ edit ] Inslaw responded to the Bua report with a 130-page Rebuttal,[77] and another set of new allegations in an Addendum. These allegations included the claim that the DOJ's Office of Special Investigations was "a front for the Justice Department's own covert intelligence service" and that "another undeclared mission of the Justice Department's covert agents was to insure that investigative journalist Danny Casolaro remained silent about the role of the Justice Department in the INSLAW scandal by murdering him in west Virginia in August 1991."[78]
By this time, Janet Reno had succeeded Barr as Attorney General after Bill Clinton's election as president. Reno then asked for a review of Bua's report with recommendations on appropriate actions. In September 1994, the Department released a 187-page review (written by Assistant Associate Attorney General John C. Dwyer) which concluded that "there is no credible evidence that Department officials conspired to steal computer software developed by Inslaw, Inc. or that the company is entitled to additional government payments."[79] The review also reaffirmed the earlier police findings that Casolaro's death was a suicide and rejected Inslaw's claim that OSI agents had murdered Casolaro as "fantasy," with "no corroborative evidence that is even marginally credible." [80]
Court of Federal Claims trial and ruling [ edit ] In May 1995, the United States Senate asked the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to determine if the United States owed Inslaw compensation for the government's use of Promis. On July 31, 1997, Judge Christine Miller, the hearing officer for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled that all of the versions of Promis were in the public domain and that the government had therefore always been free to do whatever it wished with Promis.[81][82] The following year, the appellate authority, a three-judge Review Panel of the same court, upheld Miller's ruling and in August 1998 informed the Senate of its findings.[81]
Later developments [ edit ] A 1999 book by the British journalist Gordon Thomas, titled Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad, repeated the claims of Ari Ben-Menashe that Israeli intelligence created and marketed a Trojan horse version of Promis in order to spy on intelligence agencies in other countries.[83]
In 2001, the Washington Times and Fox News each quoted federal law enforcement officials familiar with debriefing former FBI Agent Robert Hanssen as claiming that the convicted spy had stolen copies of a Promis-derivative for his Soviet KGB handlers. Later reports and studies of Hanssen's activities have not repeated these claims.
References [ edit ] ^ Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (1989-09-01). Staff study of allegations pertaining to the Department of Justice's handling of a contract with INSLAW, Inc. p. 1. ^ a b c Senate Staff Study, p. 1 ^ Karten, Howard A. (5 June 1978). Indiana County Prosecutor Gets First Mini Promis. Computerworld. pp. 13''. ^ Bua, Nicholas J. (1993-03-01). Report of Special Counsel Nicholas J. Bua to the Attorney General of the United States Regarding the Allegations of INSLAW, Inc (PDF) . p. 13 . Retrieved 2017-05-24 . ^ Bua Report, p. 16 ^ Senate Staff Study, p. 1. According to the House report (p. 26), the "word processor" version was designed for Lanier word processors. ^ a b Senate Staff Study, p. 2 ^ Bua Report, pp. 21-25 ^ Senate Staff Study, p. 3. Bua Report, p. 24-25. ^ Bua report, pp. 26 ^ Senate Staff Study, p. 3 ^ Bua report, p. 34 ^ Senate Staff Study, p. 4. ^ There were disputes earlier over which modifications were included in the contract and whether various versions of Promis were in the public domain (Bua Report, p. 17 fn 7). These were resolved in the litigation, where the modified version called for in the contract is usually referred to as the "Pilot Project Promis plus the BJS enhancements" (Bua Report, p. 19). ^ Bua Report, p. 19 ^ The Bua Report, pp. 21-23, gives a detailed account of the dispute. The quote is from Bua Report, p. 23. The Senate Staff Study, p. 2, gives a much briefer description, and the House Investigation (pp. 16-18) adopts the Bankruptcy Court's characterization of the incident as an example of DOJ Project Manager C. Madison Brewer's hostility towards Inslaw. ^ Senate Staff Study, p. 3; House Investigation, p. 26-27; Bua Report, p. 25-27. ^ The Bankruptcy Court rejected this explanation for the DOJ request. The Senate investigators do not discuss this in detail, but do present some of the reasoning used in the Bankruptcy Court's finding of fact (Senate Staff Study, p. 3). The House investigators mention the incident, but do not express any views on it (House Investigation, p. 26-27). The Bua Report (p. 129-132), and later the Court of Federal Claims, both accept the DOJ explanation. ^ Bua Report, pp. 27-28 ^ Bua Report, p. 28. ^ Bua Report, p. 29. According to Bua (fn. 17), the reason for the difficulty and expense in producing an unenhanced version of Promis was that Inslaw maintained only the enhanced version of Promis on its servers; providing an unenhanced version would have required Inslaw to "manually back out each enhancement out of each module of the program." ^ Bua Report, p. 29 ^ a b c Bua Report, p. 31 ^ Bua Report, p. 31-32. ^ Bua Report, pp. 32-34. ^ Bua Report, p. 35. The report states that according to the bankruptcy trial testimony, Inslaw chose to port the Vax version, rather than the pilot project version, because it was easier and less expensive. ^ a b Bua Report, p. 35 ^ Review of the Bua Report, p. 174 ^ The Department of Justice did not at that time have its own Board of Contract Appeals. Bua Report, p. 37, fn 20. ^ The Bua Report summarizes Inslaw's main allegations on pp. 3-10. ^ Bua Report summary, pp.3-6. Bua's own conclusions on this issue are on pp. 256-261. ^ Bua Report summary, pp.4-5. ^ a b Senate Staff Study, p. 6 ^ a b Senate Staff Study, p. 7 ^ a b c Senate Staff Study, p. 8 ^ a b Senate Staff Study, p. 9 ^ Bua Report, p. 124. Judge Bason's bench ruling is reprinted in the Senate Staff Study, pp. 68-80 ^ a b Bua Report, p. 175 ^ Bua Report, p. 180. ^ Two other judges, including the D.C. bankruptcy court judge, recused themselves."Federal Bytes". Federal Computer Week. 1988-10-24. p. 1. ^ Tucker, Elizabeth (1988-12-28). "Inslaw back in business, but loses crucial battle". Washington Post. ^ DOJ argued that the suit was actually a contract dispute and did not belong in bankruptcy court. Rivenbark, Leigh (1988-10-03). "Inslaw Responds to DOJ Appeal Amid Lengthy Court Delays". Federal Computer Week. ^ House Investigation, p. 37 ^ a b Bua Report, p. 9. ^ Bua Report, p. 36. ^ Bua Report, pp. 196-198. ^ Bua Report, pp. 198-200. ^ Inslaw contacted the PSI as early as November 1987 about its legal struggle with DOJ, but the PSI did not begin an official inquiry until April 1988. Senate Staff Study, pp. 11, 14 ^ Senate Staff Study, p. 12 ^ Senate Staff Study, p. 20 ^ Senate Staff Study, p. 21 ^ Senate Staff Study, p. 11-12 ^ Senate Staff Study, p.36 ^ Senate Staff Study, p. 30-31 ^ Senate Staff Study, pp. 15-38. ^ Senate Staff Study, pp. 50-51 ^ According to the House report (p. 93), its investigation actually began in August 1989, before the official release of the PSI report. ^ The March affidavit is quoted in the Bua report, p. 45. The House report does not cite the March affidavit. Its discussion of Riconosciuto's claims (pp. 50-52) is based a second affidavit Riconosciuto provided to the Committee in April 1991. ^ Bua report, pp. 73-74. The House report mentions the Inslaw affidavits, but does not discuss their content, limiting its discussion to Ben-Menashe's testimony to Committee investigators. ^ House report, p. 64. ^ a b Committee on the Judiciary (1992-09-10). "House Report 102-857:THE INSLAW AFFAIR, Investigative Report". Archived from the original on 2008-10-24 . Retrieved 2008-08-22 . ^ House report, p. 3-4. ^ a b House report, p. 7. ^ House report, pp. 69-71 ^ House report, p. 10. ^ Bua report, p. 1. ^ Bua report, p. 1-2. Because of the laws requiring confidentiality for grand jury inquiries, the report redacts all names and testimony of persons who appeared before the grand jury. Bua report, p. 2 fn. 2. ^ a b c d Bua report, p. 13. ^ Bua report, p. 247. ^ Bua report, pp. 130-131. ^ Bua report p. 126, fn. 61. ^ Bua report, pp. 49-53 ^ Bua report, p. 72. ^ Bua report, p. 76. ^ Bua report, pp 77-78. ^ Bua report, p. 79, fn. 52. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-11-03 . Retrieved 2008-12-09 . CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) ) ^ Cited in DOJ Review, p. 86 ^ Dwyer's review is available in the same file that includes the Bua report. ^ Review, p. 86 ^ a b three-judge Review Panel (1998-05-11). "INSLAW v. THE UNITED STATES, No. 95-338X, 48 C.F.R. § 3.101-1" (PDF) . Court of Federal Claims . Retrieved 2008-09-13 . ^ Katz-Stone, Adam (1997-09-17). "Judge says Justice Dept. didn't steal from Inslaw". Washington Business Journal . Retrieved 2008-09-11 . ^ Thomas, Gordon (1999). Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-25284-6. Further reading [ edit ] The Last Circle: Danny Casolaro's Investigation into the Octopus and the PROMIS Software Scandal by Cheri Seymour (Trine Day, September 26, 2010 ISBN 1936296004)The Attorney General's refusal to provide congressional access to "privileged" INSLAW documents: hearing before the Subcommittee on Economic and Commercial Law of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred First Congress, second session, December 5, 1990. Washington : U.S. G.P.O. : For sale by the Supt. of Docs., Congressional Sales Office, U.S. G.P.O, 1990. Superintendent of Documents Number Y 4.J 89/1:101/114PROMIS : briefing series. Washington, D.C. : Institute for Law and Social Research, 1974-1977. "[A] series of 21 Briefing Papers for PROMIS (Prosecutor's Management Information System), this publication was prepared by the Institute for Law and Social Research (INSLAW), Washington, D.C., under a grant from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA), which has designated PROMIS as an Exemplary Project." OCLC Number 5882076External links [ edit ] Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (1989-09-01). Staff study of allegations pertaining to the Department of Justice's handling of a contract with INSLAW, Inc. /. House Judiciary Committee (1992-09-10). The Inslaw affair: Investigative report . Retrieved 2017-05-22 . Inslaw related documents on the Internet Archive
PRISM's Controversial Forerunner '' Consortiumnews
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 03:35
Using a powerful computer program known as PRISM, the U.S. government has been downloading vast amounts of communications data and mining it for counterterrorism purposes. But these capabilities began more than three decades ago with the controversial PROMIS software, Richard L. Fricker reports.
By Richard L. Fricker
Long before Edward Snowden's claims or revelations that the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency were monitoring and tracking the Internet, cell phones, e-mails and any other electronic communication they could get their hands on using a program known as PRISM, there existed PROMIS [Prosecutors Management Information Systems].
PROMIS was designed in the late 1970s and '80s to bring Department of Justice criminal case management from the dark ages into the light of the computer age. In the spring of 1981, the Reagan Administration hailed PROMIS as one of law enforcements greatest assets. By 1983, PROMIS had morphed into the behemoth of intelligence gathering. It was not state of the art it was the art.
Bill Hamilton, developer of the PROMIS software, and his wife Nancy, who founded Inslaw Inc.
Over the ensuing decades PROMIS is reported to have been used by the DOJ, CIA, NSA, and several foreign intelligence agencies including Israel's Mossad. The ownership of PROMIS has been the subject of federal court hearings and a congressional investigation.
The capabilities of PROMIS as a data collection and tracking program have never been a secret. But the only discussion of PROMIS has been about theft and black-market sales. Neither the courts nor Congress have ever inquired as to privacy issues or the ethics of the program. There has been no rending of political robes as seen with the Snowden case. In fact, the function of PROMIS has been discussed in open court and various public arenas.
PROMIS is a tracking program with enhancements by Washington, DC-based Inslaw Inc., owned by Bill and Nancy Hamilton. PROMIS was developed under a Law Enforcement Assistance Administration [LEAA] grant. Bill Hamilton was employed by NSA for six years. He left the agency in 1966.
PROMIS was designed to track the vast amount of criminal cases piling up in DOJ offices across the country. Bill Hamilton, in an interview for this story, recounted, ''It was always a tracking program. It was designed to keep track of cases in local U.S. Attorneys' offices, which means street crimes, keep track of the scheduled events in court, what actually takes place, who's there, witnesses, police officers, conclusions, convictions, acquittals, whatever.''
As the LEAA dissolved in the late days of the Carter Administration, the Hamiltons formed Inslaw and began to make modifications to the public domain PROMIS. The short version: as originally designed, PROMIS ran only on 16-bit computers, using their own funds. INSLAW converted the program to run on 32-bit VAX computers which were massive for their time.
The Reagan administration was very taken with the Inslaw version of PROMIS. In March 1982 Inslaw was awarded $9.6 million to install the program in 20 U.S. Attorney's offices, with further installations in the remaining 74 offices, if successful. This would be the last government contact the Hamiltons would receive, not because the system failed quite the contrary, it was too successful.
Hamilton explained, ''We developed it originally just for prosecutors. But some of our users wanted to have it shared with the courts and the police. So, the software was engineered to make it adaptable. In making it highly adaptable, a byproduct was to make it useable for non-prosecutor tracking and that made it adaptable totally outside the criminal justice system.''
It became obvious with the latest round of modifications any data system could be integrated into PROMIS. And those data systems could interact that is, combine with each other forming a massive tracking data base of people via government documents such as birth and death certificates, licenses, mortgages, lawsuits or anything else kept in a data base. PROMIS could also track banking transactions, arms shipments, communications, airplane parts again, anything kept in a data base.
With the discovery of these new capabilities Inslaw's problems began. Unknowingly, the Hamiltons had embarked on an odyssey winding from the White House and the heart of the Reagan inner circle, bankruptcy court, a congressional investigation, secret informants, the CIA, NSA, and the Mossad.
The odyssey began in February 1983 when Dr. Ben Orr, an Israeli prosecutor, came to Hamilton's office for a demonstration. He left, never placed an order and was never seen again. This was just one of the many demonstrations the company provided potential customers and the press. There was no shroud of secrecy about PROMIS or its capabilities.
Shortly after Dr. Orr's visit, DOJ terminated payments to Inslaw, but refused to return the software. The company soon [June 1986] found its way into bankruptcy court. Inslaw put forth the claim that DOJ had stolen their software and made a concerted effort to drive them out of business. Bankruptcy Judge George Bason agreed.
In a 216-page opinion delivered in 1987, Judge Bason wrote that DOJ used ''trickery, fraud and deceit'' to steal PROMIS. He was later overruled by the DC District Court of Appeals on jurisdictional grounds. A previous district court supported his findings that PROMIS had been stolen. Bason became one of the very few Bankruptcy judges to not be re-appointed.
As the PROMIS odyssey continued, information began to surface that DOJ had provided the NSA and CIA with the enhanced 32-bit PROMIS. Stories began to circulate that friends of the Reagan Administration were selling black-market versions of PROMIS to anyone willing to pay the price.
Time and time again the veracity of government employees was called into question. In 1989 the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jack Brooks D-Texas, launched what would become a three-year investigation into the theft of PROMIS and DOJ efforts to drive INSLAW out of business.
The Brooks report dated Aug. 11, 1992 not only agreed with Bason's findings but went further: ''High government officials were involved individuals testified under oath that Inslaw's PROMIS software was stolen and distributed internationally in order to provide financial gain and to further intelligence and foreign policy objectives.''
The report includes scathing comments about former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh and several ranking DOJ staffers. Brooks recommended a settlement of Inslaw claims for damages and the appointment of a special prosecutor. Neither happened. Brooks said in an interview at the time, ''[Inslaw] was ravaged by the Justice Department.'' They were, he said, ''treated like dogs.''
By this time nothing in the report surprised the Hamiltons. Seven months earlier they had discovered that their 1983 visitor, Dr. Ben Orr, was in fact Rafael Etian, chief of the Israeli Defense Force's [IDF] anti-terrorism intelligence unit. They further learned he left Washington carrying a copy of PROMIS.
The DOJ explanation was that he was given the 16-bit version, not the new improved 32-bit VAX version. The question would be: why the subterfuge? And why show off the superior 32-bit VAX version and then only provide the cheaper model? DOJ has never answered the question.
Through all this, Inslaw has survived; Ireland installed PROMIS for case management, to track land records and in the bank credit system. Hamilton noted that every credit card transaction is tracked by PROMIS.
The Netherlands uses the program to keep track of all the inmates in their prison system. The city of Rome has PROMIS for use in their tax office. In fact PROMIS is being legally used in several countries around the world.
Illegally? Who knows. The Canadian government once wrote Inslaw asking for an operating manual. Inslaw never sold PROMIS to Canada. A similar event popped up with Lithuania when a member of their parliament asked for help with their PROMIS program. In each case, when told they may have a bootleg version, the reply was, it must be a different PROMIS.
To date, Inslaw has never received a dime for any government recommended settlements, some as high as $50 million.
Hamilton has declined to suggest that PROMIS was the frontrunner to PRISM. He said flatly in the interview for this article that his only information about PRISM is from news accounts.
Regardless of the Inslaw affair, PROMIS is still out there, still tracking whatever its masters require. And still, to this day, no one in government or otherwise has inquired, not about what PROMIS can do, but rather what is PROMIS doing, for whom and why.
PROMIS has been toiling in the intelligence caverns for nearly 30 years that's a lot of data consumption, that's a lot of tracking. Where is the PROMIS data? Compared to 30 years of information gathering and tracking by PROMIS, PRISM could be considered the equivalent of digital binge drinking.
Richard L. Fricker lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer, where this article first appeared. His latest book, The Last Day of the War, is available at https://www.createspace.com/3804081 or at www.richardfricker.com. The entire story of the PROMIS software, Inslaw and what became known as ''The Octopus'' can be found in Fricker's article that appeared in Wired magazine: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1.01/inslaw.html
Former Obama White House Counsel Indicted for Lying About Foreign Lobbying
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 14:53
Federal prosecutors in Washington indicted former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig on April 11, accusing him of making false statements in connection to his foreign lobbying work in Ukraine.
Prosecutors say Craig lied to both his law firm and government investigators about the extent and nature of his contacts with the media in connection to a report he prepared on Ukraine.
The prosecutors allege Craig knowingly perpetrated the scheme in order to avoid registering as a foreign agent, which would undermine the perception of independence of both the report and Craig and ''impair the ability of Craig and others at the law firm to later return to government positions.''
''Mr. Craig is not guilty of any charge and the government's stubborn insistence on prosecuting Mr. Craig is a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion,'' the attorneys, William Taylor and William Murphy, said in a statement on April 10, the day before their client was indicted.
Craig, 74, faces a five-year sentence for each of the two charges. The prominent Washington attorney has long been rumored to be the subject of a federal investigation resulting from the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller.
The special counsel has already successfully prosecuted a case connected to the Ukraine report at the center of Craig's case. Alex van der Zwaan, a Belgian-born Dutch national, was sentenced to 30 days in prison in April 2018 for lying about his work related to the report.
Craig's former law firm has already paid more than $4.6 million and acknowledged that it failed to register as a foreign agent for Ukraine. The civil settlement with the firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, laid much of the blame for the violations on Craig.
According to the indictment (pdf), Ukraine engaged Craig and Skadden in 2012 to prepare a report about the trial, conviction, and sentencing of Yulia Tymoshenko, which has been perceived by Western government and media as unfair and politically motivated. Ukraine sought the report as part of a lobbying campaign to improve its international image.
Craig was aware of the registration requirements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act but didn't want to register, the prosecutors say. Registering ''would have required Craig to disclose that a third party had paid the law firm more than $4 million for the report and that the law firm had a parallel engagement with Ukraine to assist in the prosecution of Tymoshenko on additional charges,'' the indictment stated.
The $4 million was paid by a private Ukrainian citizen whose identity Craig and his colleague concealed, and instead drafted false, backdated invoices showing that the funds came from the Ukrainian government.
The probe into Craig comes as the Justice Department is reportedly cracking down on violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a decades-old law meant to allow Americans to know when foreign entities are trying to influence public opinion or policymakers.
Veteran political operative Paul Manafort was sentenced in March to 7 1/2 years in prison for illicit foreign lobbying and other as part of Mueller's Russia investigation.
Mueller concluded his investigation in March, finding that neither President Donald Trump nor anyone in his campaign colluded with Russia. Attorney General William Barr is expected to release Mueller's final report within a week.
Craig was the first White House counsel to former President Barack Obama. In private practice, his clients have included former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was investigated and charged for leaking classified information.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Follow Ivan on Twitter: @ivanpentchoukov
Notre Dame
The Notre-Dame Rooster and Other Statues That Escaped the Fire - The New York Times
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 11:20
Arts | The Notre-Dame Rooster and Other Statues That Escaped the Fire Video Sculptures of the Twelve Apostles and four New Testament evangelists were removed for restoration just days before the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire on Monday. Credit Credit Georges Gobet/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images PARIS '-- For years, restoration experts worried that the fragile copper figures risked plunging to earth from Notre-Dame cathedral's 19th-century spire.
Instead, in a miracle of timing, the sculptures of the Twelve Apostles and four New Testament evangelists escaped a fiery end when they were plucked by cranes and removed just days before the blaze in Paris on Monday. It was a small cause for celebration after the destruction of two-thirds of Notre-Dame's roof and spire. People were also cheered to learn that crosses, a crown of thorns and the famous rose window also survived the flames.
It was a relief not to contemplate the likely fate of the spire's sculptures if they had stayed where they had been for the last 160 years. A cock '-- the Gallic rooster that topped the spire, and the unofficial national symbol of France '-- was found in the debris with significant damage.
Image The statues had been taken to the SOCRA workshop in the Dordogne region, in southwest France. Credit Georges Gobet/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images The badly tarnished copper statues, with their heads detached for transportation, were in a warehouse in the Dordogne region in southwestern France on Tuesday. Restoration experts were preparing to clean and restore them to their natural brown color before returning them to Paris in 2022.
But now those plans were delayed, said Patrick Palem, a veteran restoration expert with SOCRA, the company overseeing the makeover. In an interview, he said the project was halted temporarily while workers helped in Paris with more pressing needs, such as protecting Notre-Dame's famous gargoyles, some of which had been damaged in the fire.
The new focus, he said, was on the ''reconstruction and renovation of Notre-Dame, which could take between 10 and 20 years, probably for a cost of several hundred million euros.''
Image One of the copper statues from the Notre-Dame spire was hoisted over Paris after it was removed on Thursday. Credit Bertrand Guay/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images The 16 sculptures, each weighing about 500 pounds, were removed on Thursday, delicately hoisted into the sky and then transported by truck to SOCRA's workshop. They were installed during major reconstruction of the cathedral in 1859 and 1860 by the architect Eug¨ne Viollet-le-Duc, whose face was a model for one of the figures, the apostle Saint Thomas.
''So he will have survived the fire, but imagine how his heart would break learning about this,'' Stephen Murray, an expert in French medieval architecture at Columbia University, said in a telephone interview.
Viollet-le-Duc was a Gothic Revival architect who was famous for his own creative restorations, introducing the gargoyles, which served as rain spouts from the roof and appeared to have survived the fire. He was also fiercely attacked for his vision and accused of vandalizing history. Viollet-le-Duc restored the facade of Notre-Dame, inside and out, including replacing 60 statues.
Image A statue of Saint John was removed from the spire of Notre-Dame cathedral by crane on Thursday. Credit Philippe Wojazer/Reuters When his sculptures were removed last week, it was the first time since the 1860s that experts could get a close-up glimpse. In the SOCRA workshop, Mr. Palem and other experts examined the head of Saint Thomas and the interior of the sculpture to look for weaknesses and cracks. They had extensive experience working on other restoration projects at the Palace of Versailles and the basilica of Mont-Saint-Michel.
The original plan was to restore the sculptures two by two since time and pollution had dramatically changed the original surfaces. The strategy was to weld cracks and clean the works to expose the original copper color that had been covered by a layer of chalky green tarnish.
Instead, the restorers woke up to a nightmare, with damages that mounted by Tuesday morning. For Mr. Palem, it was an incalculable loss.
''For me, it's like losing a dear friend, like your grandparents have died,'' he said. ''I think it's terrible. It's not just because of religion, but because it is such a grand part of our patrimony.''
Alex Marshall contributed reporting from London.
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Catholic Churches Are Being Desecrated Across France'--and Officials Don't Know Why
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 19:22
France has seen a spate of attacks against Catholic churches since the start of the year, vandalism that has included arson and desecration.
Vandals have smashed statues, knocked down tabernacles, scattered or destroyed the Eucharist and torn down crosses, sparking fears of a rise in anti-Catholic sentiment in the country.
Last Sunday, the historic Church of St. Sulpice in Paris was set on fire just after midday mass on Sunday, Le Parisien reported, although no one was injured. Police are still investigating the attack, which firefighters have confidently attributed to arson.
Built in the 17th century, St. Sulpice houses three works by the Romantic painter Eugene de la Croix, and was used in the movie adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown.
Police officers patrol Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, on September 10. French churches have been targeted by vandals in a spate of attacks since the start of the year. MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
Last month, at the St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Houilles, in north-central France, a statue of the Virgin Mary was found smashed, and the altar cross had been thrown on the ground, according to La Croix International, a Catholic publication.
Also in February, at Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, in south-central France, an altar cloth was burned and crosses and statues of saints were smashed. The attack prompted Lavaur Mayor Bernard Canyon to say in a statement: ''God will forgive. Not me.''
And in the southern city of Nimes, near the Spanish border, vandals looted the altar of the church of Notre-Dame des Enfants (Our Lady of the Children) and smeared a cross with human excrement.
Consecrated hosts made from unleavened bread, which Catholics believe to be the body of Jesus Christ, were taken and found scattered among rubbish outside the building.
Bishop Robert Wattebled of Nimes said in a statement: ''This greatly affects our diocesan community. The sign of the cross and the Blessed Sacrament have been the subject of serious injurious actions.
''This act of profanation hurts us all in our deepest convictions,'' he added, according to The Tablet, which reported that in February alone there had been a record 47 documented attacks on churches and religious sites.
The Vienna-based Observatory of Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, which was founded in cooperation with the Council of European Bishops Conferences (CCEE) but is now independent said there had been a 25 percent increase in attacks on Catholic churches in the first two months of the year, compared with the same time last year.
Its executive director, Ellen Fantini, told Newsweek that while in many cases the motive for the attacks was not known, France faced growing problems with anti-Christian violence, especially by anarchist and feminist groups.
''I think there is a rising hostility in France against the church and its symbols," but "it seems to be more against Christianity and the symbols of Christianity.
''These attacks are on symbols that are really sacred to parishioners, to Catholics. Desecration of consecrated hosts is a very personal attack on Catholicism and Christianity, more than spray-painting a slogan on the outside wall of a church.''
She said that while France had a long tradition of secularism, it was seen as a culturally Christian country, and so any "attack on the church as a symbol of religion was also an attack on authority and patrimony.
"The pressure is coming from the radical secularists or anti-religion groups as well as feminist activists who tend to target churches as a symbol of the patriarchy that needs to be dismantled," she added.
On February 9, the altar at the church of Notre-Dame in Dijon, the capital of the Burgundy region, was also broken into. The hosts were taken from the tabernacle, which adorns the altar at the front of the church, and scattered on the ground.
Last month, the Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe met French church leaders and said in a statement: ''In our secular Republic, places of worship are respected. Such acts shock me and must be unanimously condemned.''
Senior Figures within the French Catholic Church expressed their sorrow at the rise in attacks on symbols of their faith.
Last month, the secretary general of the Bishops' Conference, Olivier Ribadeau-Dumas, told France Culture that desecration of a church was not the same as a common burglary.
''To open the tabernacle, to take the hosts and to profane what for us is the basis of our faith, that is to say the presence of Jesus Christ in the hosts is something that is terrible for us.''
Update: This article has been updated to more accurately reflect the transubstantiation belief of the Catholic Church. It also clarifies that the Observatory of Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians is now an independent organization from the Council of European Bishops Conferences.
An ISIS Plot to Blow Up Notre Dame Cathedral'--and Rule the World?
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 11:26
The probable attack was uncovered in Paris on Sunday morning, at about 7 a.m., but the average citizen did not hear about it until Wednesday when French news outlets reported it as the confiscation of a car filled with seven propane tanks on a street near Notre Dame cathedral.
No detonators or other explosive devices were found inside, but documents in Arabic were.
The vehicle, a Peugeot 607, raised suspicions in the 5th arrondissement because it had been parked improperly with its lights still on and the license plates had been removed, possibly because the car had been listed as stolen.
Then, late Tuesday evening, two unnamed suspects, a 34-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman, both known to France's domestic intelligence service, as BFMTV reported, ''for espousing the ideology of Daesh,'' were taken into custody at police headquarters, where they remain as of this writing.
Little else is known about them or their connection to Daesh, which is the impolite Arabic acronym for the Islamic State, or ISIS.
Were these operatives, like the previous Paris attackers led by Abdelhamid Abaaoud, trained up in Syria and dispatched back into the Continent to lie in wait until called upon to execute their ghastly mission? Or were they ''lone wolves'' or ''stray dogs'' merely inspired by ISIS to commit mass murder, in this case against a cosmopolitan world capital in a popular tourist destination where many practicing Catholics would be attending Mass on Sunday?
This is the way we live now, in fear of the next headline from anywhere on planet Earth heralding another near miss or stunningly successful atrocity. And the Notre Dame plot, if we can safely assume it was a plot, came just days after the confirmed demise of the veteran jihadist who arguably did the most to transform the age of sacred terror into a new age of anxiety.
Abu Muhammed al-Adnani's last communique as ISIS's spokesman and overseer of international operations came in late May of this year. Anticipating the further loss of cities and villages, he cautioned the faithful not to despair and again emphasized the exportation of holy war as an obligation of all Muslims, a motif that has been serially mischaracterized in the media as a shift or pivot in ISIS's long-term strategy.
In reality, it is the culmination of a long-held fever dream of world domination, one that began in the late 1990s and was intermittently implemented, mainly in Mesopotamia and the Levant, under the guidance of the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founding father of ISIS's first incarnation, al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Zarqawi's expansionism was ultimately apocalyptic: He was fond of citing a hadith, or saying attributable to the Prophet Muhammed, that foretold the inevitable clash between the Armies of Rome and the Armies of Islam in a scruffy little town in the Syrian province of Aleppo known as Dabiq, now also the name of ISIS's two-year-old propaganda magazine. ''The spark has been lit here in Iraq,'' Zarqawi said, in one of his own sayings that has furnished the epigraph of every issue of this grim periodical, ''and its heat will continue to intensify'--by Allah's permission'--until it burns the crusader armies in Dabiq.'' (ISIS holds Dabiq, although in the coming weeks it will likely lose it either to American-backed Kurdish guerrillas or Turkish-backed Arabs rebels, assuming they're not too busy fighting each other.)
Lately, Zarqawi's fever dream has been reified as a declaration of total war against disbelievers wherever they may be and as his early recruit and confidant Adnani envisaged. Does this mean then, in the near term, that ISIS envisages driving Abrams tanks and Humvees down Pennsylvania Avenue or the Champs-‰lys(C)es the way it drove them into Mosul two years ago? No. It means sowing mayhem and destruction in the Land of Disbelievers and watching these societies cannibalize themselves in advance of the future Islamic conquest. The sequence of war was written up centuries ago.
''O soldiers of the Islamic State,'' Adnani intoned in May, ''examine and tend to your intentions! Mend your thoughts! And be happy with the news that you are supported by Allah, for verily we are upon clear guidance and we were not deceived. By Allah, we were not deceived. Give the news to Al Salul [an impolite way of referring to the Saudi monarchy] of that which will soon harm them, by Allah's permission. They will be the first to be defeated, if Allah wills'... Though the fuqaha [jurisprudents] of old differed about the meaning of conquering the Arabian Peninsula, its meaning today is very clear! Our Prophet was truthful and did not lie. Determination! Determination! You'-- on behalf of the Ummah'-- are fighting against all nations. If you are resolute, you will win. If you flinch, you will fail and lose.''
This injunction to kill wantonly in Saudi Arabia came after a more infamous one, delivered in 2014, in which Adnani encouraged Muslims to shoot, stab, bludgeon, or run over infidels in the West.
So came the question: Was the updated sermon a geographical relocation of ISIS's international priorities? Was taking the fight to the Wahhabist kingdom, where during the holy month of Ramadan this year the agents of Adnani struck near the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, blew up a Shia mosque in Qatif, and horrified even Salafi-jihadists by setting off a bomb in Medina, near the burial site of the Prophet Muhammed, now of greater urgency than destroying the ''filthy French''?
And what did Adnani mean by age-old clerical disputes about conquering the Arabian Peninsula?
He was alluding to a hadith, which runs thus: ''You will attack Arabia and Allah will enable you to conquer it, then you would attack Persia and He would make you to conquer it. Then you would attack Rome and Allah will enable you to conquer it, then you would attack the Dajjal [Islam's version of the AntiChrist] and Allah will enable you to conquer him.''
In a second, clarifying hadith, the Prophet is asked which city will be conquered first: Rome or Constantinople, used here as a synecdoche for Byzantium, which at the time included parts of the contemporary state of Syria. Muhammed responds that ''the city of Heraclius'' will be conquered first, meaning Constantinople.
As it happens, this second hadith closes out the inaugural issue of Rumiyah, or Rome, ISIS's newest propaganda magazine (PDF), which was hastily edited and rushed into publication this week in order to eulogize Adnani and expand on his encompassing definition of those marked for death. Who are these unlucky many, exactly? An unsigned article at the back of the book entitled, ''The Kafir's Blood is Halal For You, So Shed It,'' helpfully provides a detailed set of answers.
ISIS's targets around the world are the mushrikin, or polytheists, who do not fall under the category of people with a valid covenant, or non-Muslims who believe in the one true God and are thus eligible to inhabit in Muslim lands in a state of dhimmah, second- or third-class citizenship, provided they abide by sharia law and pay jizya, the tax levied against them. Needless to add, the majority of Christians and Jews do not live nor wish to live under such conditions.
ISIS grades into hermeneutical specifics, legitimating their spate of terrorist attacks against anyone who wittingly or unwittingly serves as an accomplice to the disbelievers: In practice, this could be any person who is not an agent of ISIS living in any country with an army or air force participating in the coalition war'--or even any country sitting out that war and yet still culpable for ''tyrannical'' practices. Adnani did not exaggerate when he said that ISIS was fighting ''all nations.''
Rumiyah notes, this time quoting the Quran, that once the ''sacred months'' have passed, it is the duty of Muslims to ''kill the mushrikin wherever you find them and take them, surround them, and wait for them at every outpost.''
Women and children needn't be killed, Rumiyah explains, not because doing so is inherently evil but because it is inexpedient. ''Our opinion regarding this'--and Allah knows best'--is that the restriction exists so that they can become slaves, which is more beneficial than killing them, and killing them does not harm the enemy; so making them slaves is more optimal than killing them,'' the article states, no doubt keeping in mind the still-thriving trade of sex slaves and the possibility for brainwashing prospective ''cubs of the Caliphate'' to carry out martyrdom operations.
As for those with a valid covenant who nevertheless consort with the people ''at war'' with Muslims or voluntarily fight with them or help them in any way'--well, these, too, are slated for extermination. ISIS cites a Sunni jurisprudent of the Hanafi school who explains: ''So the priest and wandering ascetic who mix with the people are to be killed, as are those who have fits of insanity, and the deaf and mute, and the one with a severed hand or foot, even if they did not fight. This is because they are from the same people who are at war [with the Muslims].''
In other words, this is how ISIS determines that Catholics worshipping at Notre Dame, or tourists wandering by, can be murdered with impunity even if they are monotheists. Their crime is to be in Paris and not Raqqa.
For all Muslims consigned to inhabit the realm of the kufar (i.e. anywhere ISIS does not reign), they ''must be reminded that the blood of the disbelievers is halal and killing them is a form of worship to Allah, the Lord, King, and God of mankind.''
Here, too, ISIS has a rather baggy definition of viable victims; it includes ''the businessman riding to work in a taxicab, the young adults (post-pubescent 'children') engaged in sports activities in the park, and the old man waiting in line to buy a sandwich. Indeed, even the blood of the kafir street vendor selling flowers to those passing by.'' Rumiyah insets a photograph of the now-shocked 64-year-old English florist Stephen Leyland, who professes to cater to ''footballers' wives'' and to not know any jihadists, by way of example.
Whereas the U.S.-led coalition may strive (with mixed result) to avoid civilian casualties in favor of ensuring only armed jihadists get bombed or shot, ISIS is bound by no such humane restriction.
''There is no shar'i requirement to target soldiers and policemen nor judges and politicians, but all kufar who are not under the covenant of dhimmah are fair game. How can the disbelievers ever dream of safety and security while Muslims are anywhere in the world and while the rule of Allah is mockingly replaced by manmade monstrosities of democracy?''
Such are the ideologized terms of the so-called Islamic State's asymmetric jihad contra mundum.
France jails 'jihadist' woman (22) accused over foiled 2016 terror attack in Paris
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 11:24
ONE OF THREE women allegedly involved in a foiled plot in 2016 to blow up a car packed with gas canisters near the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was today sentenced to eight years in prison by a French court for earlier offences.
Ines Madani, 22, was sentenced following a three-day trial during which she was accused of encouraging would-be jihadists to go to Syria and participate in attacks against France between March 2015 and June 2016.
She used Telegram '' an encrypted messaging app widely used by jihadists to communicate.
Judge Isabelle Prevost-Desprez said that Madani was ''recruited'' by Oumar Diaw, also known as Abou Barrou, an influential jihadist of the Islamic State group.
She used different pseudonyms on social networks, pretending for example to be Abu Souleymane, a jihadist returned from Raqa to carry out attacks in France.
''You had some autonomy in the management of your personality'.... Your determination marks your dangerousness,'' Prevost-Desprez said.
Madani's lawyer, Laurent Pasquet-Marinacce, said her client, aged 18 at the time, was ''a girl in search of recognition and love''.
''This (the sentence) is an acceptable decision,'' she said.
Madani's trial for trying to set fire to the car filled with six gas cylinders near Notre Dame will begin on 23 September.
- (C) AFP 2019
Arson Finding Could Spark Backlash Against Muslims - henrymakow.com
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 11:21
(left, attack on iconic national symbol, France's 9-11?)
875 French Churches were vandalized in 2018.
The Notre Dame Cathedral fire Monday was
the most recent blow.
If this proves to be the work of "radicalized Muslims,"
(aka Mossad) it may ignite a conflagration
between Christians and Muslims.
by Brabantian
(henrymakow.com)
The spectacular fire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris will never be forgotten by the French seeing the dramatic news films ... just as Americans will never forget the day the New York towers fell on 9-11.
Whatever the real truth - accident or arson - as to what started the fire, there are major emotion-driving factors at work here, risking a '9-11' level of the social conflagration:
- There have been many, many attacks on European and especially French churches over the last few years, literally hundreds, which, not too long ago, media stories would sometimes suggest 'might be inspired by ISIS (Islamic State)', i.e., Muslims.
- The burning of Notre Dame, is exactly one month after the 15 March 2019 'Christchurch New Zealand mosque massacre' ... and in France which is approximately 10% (or slightly more) Muslim, it is quite possible, that one or more of the many renovation workers who were in Notre Dame before the fire, were Muslim.
- Discussion of deteriorating societal relations in France has been increasing, as for example in the remarks by Emmanuel Macron's former Interior Minister, G(C)rard Collomb, after he resigned from office, suggesting that France could in a few years be in a sectarian civil war type of situation. Collomb said:
"Relationships between people are very hard, people don't want to live together ... Communities in France are fighting each other more and more and it's becoming very violent ... Yes, we have five, six years to avoid the worst."
Before the events at Notre Dame, there have been news stories of literally hundreds of attacks on churches in France over the past several years - attacks, attacks which have been escalating in number recently:
In the past, media stories about such vandalism would sometimes speculate that the attacks might be the work of radicalized Muslims, somewhat parallel to the way churches are often attacked in Egypt, which is about 10% Christian.
In the above recent news stories, though, a different suggestion is now made - that the attacks on French churches may be the work of "neo-feminist and left-wing anarchist groups ... radical secularists or anti-religious groups" ... this is, however, unlikely to be the only speculation of the common European in the caf(C) or on the street.
And indeed what is of concern now, is first, what the common person is thinking and talking about with close friends regarding this incident, given the background of church attacks, and tense societal relations in France ... regardless of official assurances that the church fire was an 'accident' ... a conclusion perhaps a little too quickly distributed to the media, given that the fire was still raging, preventing investigators from getting a good look inside the church shell.
And secondly, we now have a situation where, if the authorities were to later 'discover through investigation', that the fire was started in an act of sectarian revenge ... we have truly frightening social consequences in Europe ... the potential for a sectarian-ethnic conflict that may arrive much sooner, than even the former French Minister Mr Collomb had feared.
----
Note-
Thugs set fire to churches and smear poo on walls amid warnings France's Christian heritage is under attack from 'militant secularism'
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 11:20
CHURCHES across France have been set on fire and poo smeared on walls as the country's Christian heritage is said to be under attack from ''militant secularism''.
Recent incidents have included a fire in Saint-Sulpice church in Paris, human poo daubed on a wall in Notre-Dame-des-Enfacts in Nimes, and an organ vandalised at Saint-Denis basilica outside Paris.
Reuters
Cops said the fire at Saint-Sulpice had been started deliberatelySome politicians have claimed the country's Christian heritage is under threat from petty criminals encouraged by ''militant secularism''.
Figures released by French police showed that 875 of France's 42,258 churches were vandalised last year.
A further 129 churches reported thefts from the premises.
The interior ministry said that 59 cemeteries were also vandalised.
While the figures are down on the previous year when there were 1,045 acts of vandalism and 109 thefts they are still at a ''worrying level'', according to Le Figaro.
Republicans MP Valerie Boyer said: ''Every day, at least two churches are profaned.''
Critics of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe's government have said it is not doing enough to stop the problem.
Following the fire at Saint-Sulpice, which cops say was started deliberately, the leader of the Republicans Laurent Wauquiez said the media had failed to give the issue more prominence.
He said: ''Saint-Sulpice is not only a church, it's a part of who we are. That's enough of this code of silence.''
Opposition MPs Annie Genevard and Philippe Gosselin have called for a parliamentary investigation into anti-Christian acts in France.
Bishops have tended to play down the extent of the vandalism, with some pointing out that their problems are less severe than those of French Jews who have suffered from a rise in antisemitisim in recent months.
Historian Francois Huguenin, said that while only about five percent of French people were practising Catholics, the church still remained the depository of social markers. It is therefore more difficult for [Christians] to express indignation than it is for other communities''.
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He added that the anti-Christian acts came against the spread of ''fundamentalist secularism that is no different from religious fundamentalism''.
Officially France is a secular country.
It banned wearing a face-covering veil or other masks in public places in April 2011.
AFP or licensors
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has come under fire for not doing more about the problemReuters
Opposition MPs in France have said the country's Christian heritage is under threat from petty criminals encouraged by 'militant secularism'Getty - Contributor
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The Technology 202: Notre Dame cathedral fire reveals tech companies' struggle to combat misinformation - The Washington Post
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 13:16
Ctrl + N Firefighters carry out inspections on the damaged roof of Notre-Dame Cathedral following a major fire. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
YouTube's defenses against misinformation just backfired in a big way -- and ended up contributing to baseless speculation online that the Notre Dame cathedral fire resulted from a terrorist attack.
As news organizations and others used the service to broadcast the collapse of the spire in Paris, YouTube's algorithms mistakenly displayed details about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York in "information panels" below the videos.
While these fact-checking tools are designed to counter hoaxes, they likely fed false rumors online, as my colleagues Drew Harwell and Craig Timberg reported. People falsely claimed Muslim terrorists caused the incident, even as Paris officials said the fire was likely due to ongoing renovations and there was no sign of a terrorist attack. And while the boxes noted the "extensive death and destruction" from attacks that took down New York's World Trade Center and killed thousands of people, there appeared to be few injured in the Paris fire.
From BuzzFeed News reporter Ryan Broderick:
I'm so glad we let tech platforms eat the journalism industry.Now, I can sit and watch a live stream of Notre Dame burning while YouTube's fake news widget tells me about 9/11 for some reason. pic.twitter.com/FhAtE4DqtB
'-- Ryan Broderick (@broderick) April 15, 2019 From journalist James Ball:
As the result of an anti-fake news and misinformation initiative, just to put the cherry on top. https://t.co/B3MUUiYedp
'-- James Ball (@jamesrbuk) April 15, 2019 Technology companies are increasingly promising investments in artificial intelligence and algorithms will be a crucial component of their arsenal of tools to combat violent content, disinformation or other hoaxes. But yesterday's high-profile mistake '-- on the heels of another recent failure to quickly stop the spread of violent videos of the terrorist attack in New Zealand last month '-- underscore how this technology is still error-prone and unreliable.
And it's raising questions about the efficacy of leaving such decisions to machines. ''At this point, nothing beats humans,'' David Carroll, an associate professor of media design at the New School in New York and a critic of social media companies, told my colleagues. ''Here's a case where you'd be hard pressed to misclassify this particular example, while the best machines on the planet failed.''
Pedro Domingos, a machine-learning researcher and University of Washington professor, told my colleagues he wasn't surprised YouTube's algorithms made such a mistake. Algorithms don't have the comprehension of human context or common sense, which makes them seriously unprepared for news events.
''They have to depend on these algorithms, but they all have sorts of failure modes. And they can't fly under the radar anymore,'' Domingos told Drew and Craig. ''It's not just Whac-a-Mole. It's a losing game.''
YouTube's mistake is highlights the uphill challenge for companies under pressure from policymakers across the globe as they seek new ways to combat misinformation. YouTube began rolling out the so-called ''information panels'' to provide factual information about hoaxes in recent months. The computer algorithms likely detected visual similarities between yesterday's fire and the 9/11 tragedy '-- which is frequently a target of conspiracy theories on the service. BuzzFeed News reported that the widget appeared on at least three news organizations' streams.
''We are deeply saddened by the ongoing fire at the Notre Dame cathedral,'' YouTube said in a statement to my colleagues. ''Last year, we launched information panels with links to third-party sources like Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia for subjects subject to misinformation. These panels are triggered algorithmically and our systems sometimes make the wrong call. We are disabling these panels for live streams related to the fire.''
YouTube wasn't the only platform that struggled in its response to the cathedral fire. Twitter also was racing to address the rapid spread of hoaxes and conspiracy theories on its own platform.
Jane Lytvynenko of BuzzFeed News found numerous examples of fake claims about the fire yesterday afternoon on Twitter, including an account impersonating CNN that attributed the fires to terrorists, and a fake Fox News account posted fabricated comments purporting to be from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Lytvynenko reported both those examples were removed.
6. A fake CNN account is spreading a hoax about the cause of the fire. pic.twitter.com/4ehiUJZiFh
'-- Jane Lytvynenko ðŸ¤...🏽''¸ðŸ¤...🏽''¸ðŸ¤...🏽''¸ (@JaneLytv) April 15, 2019 A Twitter spokesperson told me the company is reviewing reports of disinformation related to the fires. "The team is reviewing reports and if they are in violation suspending them per the Twitter Rules," the spokesperson said. "Our focus continues to be detecting and removing coordinated attempts to manipulate the conversation at speed and scale."
The Verge's Casey Newton noted last night that it didn't appear any of the disinformation immediately went viral. But he said there's still cause for concern.
"And even if you think some level of conspiracy theorizing is inevitable after a catastrophe, it's possible to wish social media companies didn't so powerfully enable their spread," Newton wrote.
You are reading The Technology 202 , our guide to the intersection of technology and politics.
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BITS, NIBBLES AND BYTES
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, listens during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
BITS: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is quitting Facebook and scaling back all of her social media use, my colleague Hamza Shabhan reports. But the New York Democrat who leveraged social media to fuel her political rise still has several active ads on the social network yesterday via her campaign. She also appeared to still be active on Facebook-owned Instagram, where she re-posted a joke about how she is similar to "Game of Thrones" character Jon Snow on her Instagram story.
Ocasio-Cortez is known for using social media to share intimate moments from her life. But she said it is a "public health risk" in a Sunday podcast interview and that the services can cause ''increased isolation, depression, anxiety, addiction, escapism."
"Ocasio-Cortez, 29, who burst onto the national stage after defeating a high-ranking incumbent, said her departure from Facebook was a 'big deal' because the platform had been crucial to her campaign," Hamza wrote. "She still has accounts on the site, she said, and according to the company's ad library, her official Facebook account has dozens of active advertisements sponsored by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Congress. Among the ads are calls to support her signature Green New Deal, and fundraising pleas to support progressive legislation and to counteract a super PAC aligned against her."
People ride a Uber Technologies Inc. Jump Bike pedal electric bicycle, right, and a Bird Rides Inc. shared electric scooter in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Friday, April 13, 2018. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
NIBBLES: Uber acknowledged it quietly repaired some of its electric bikes that were having a braking problem similar to Lyft's recently recalled fleet, my colleague Faiz Siddiqui reports. Uber and Lyft both rely on the same Japanese manufacturer for their electric bicycles' braking systems, but Lyft is publicly recalling many of its bikes this week while Uber never previously publicized its changes.
Uber, which operates JUMP bikes, wouldn't say when it made the repairs. Lyft announced its own recall this week after people were falling or slipping off the bikes due to the front wheels locking up.
Long before Lyft grounded the e-bikes it operates this weekend, Uber pulled and modified its JUMP Bikes over the same issue, which sent people flying over the handlebars. So why didn't it tell anyone? https://t.co/WiM8KZUBbe
'-- Faiz Siddiqui (@faizsays) April 16, 2019 "Uber declined to say when it first learned of the issue, when the bikes were retrofitted or why it didn't publicize the safety change earlier so that Lyft could have taken similar action," Faiz wrote.
Uber and Lyft are both heavily investing in electric bikes, as well as other so-called micromobility services. The ride-hailing giants are locked in fierce competition as Uber prepares for its IPO, following Lyft which began trading publicly late last month.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses while testifying before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
BYTES: As Facebook made public proclamations about protecting users' data, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and other top executives were ''treating its users' data as a bargaining chip'' in their efforts to consolidate the company's power, according to an NBC News report by Olivia Solon and Cyrus Farivar.
''In some cases, Facebook would reward favored companies by giving them access to the data of its users,'' they wrote. ''In other cases, it would deny user-data access to rival companies or apps.''
NBC News obtained emails, webchats, presentations and media summaries from a trove of thousands of pages of documents stemming from a court case between the social network and the California startup Six4Three. About 400 pages of the 4,000 pages of documents have previously been reported by outlets like the Post.
''For example, Facebook gave Amazon extended access to user data because it was spending money on Facebook advertising and partnering with the social network on the launch of its Fire smartphone,'' NBC News wrote. ''In another case, Facebook discussed cutting off access to user data for a messaging app that had grown too popular and was viewed as a competitor, according to the documents.'' (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post).
Facebook also considered many ways for third-parties to compensate it for data access, including direct payment. Facebook ultimately decided not to sell data access, but instead doled it out to companies that shared their own valuable data or to developers considered ''friends'' of Zuckerberg. ''Facebook denied that it gave preferential treatment to developers or partners because of their ad spending or relationship with executives,'' NBC wrote. ''The company has not been accused of breaking the law.''
PRIVATE CLOUD
Tech news from the private sector:
Twitter's verification pause is bogus.
Mashable
"I'm disappointed to hear about any behavior in our workplace that falls short of the diverse and inclusive culture we are striving to create," Nadella wrote in an email.
Quartz
Panel members in the U.K. chafed at lack of information access, authority and independence from Google.
Wall Street Journal
Have you ever had something you posted mysteriously disappear from the internet? It's a bizarre experience, especially when it's a result of an overreaching copyright claim.
Columbia Journalism Review
PUBLIC CLOUD
-- European Union countries gave final approval to tough new copyright rules yesterday -- yet another example of the bloc's broad crackdown on Facebook and Google, Foo Yun Chee reports for Reuters.
In a move policymakers say is aimed at protecting competition in Europe's $1 trillion creative industry, Google will have to pay publisher for news snippets. Facebook will have to filter out protected content. The platforms will have to sign licensing agreements with artists, journalists and musicians to use their work.
''When it comes to completing Europe's digital single market, the copyright reform is the missing piece of the puzzle,'' the Commission's president Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement.
More tech news from the public sector:
Questions have emerged on Capitol Hill about how Twitter handles death threats on its platform.
Buzzfeed News
Vietnam and Thailand are among the Southeast Asian nations warming to a governance model that twins sweeping content curbs with uncompromising data controls -- because it helps preserve the regime in power.
Bloomberg
The UK's data watchdog proposes restrictions on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat among others.
BBC News
#TRENDING
The first folding smartphone is finally about to arrive, and our tech columnist answers some critical questions about what's good '-- and bad.
Geoffrey A. Fowler
WIRED IN
Philippe Karsenty - Wikipedia
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 12:20
Philippe Karsenty (born 25 June 1966) is a French media analyst and the founder of Media-Ratings, a company monitoring the French media for bias. Karsenty came to widespread public attention when he was sued for libel by the public French television network, France 2, over accusations of staged footage by France 2 over the killing of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Muhammad al-Durrah, libel for which he was eventually and definitively convicted.
Early life [ edit ] Karsenty was born into a family of Jewish immigrants from North Africa. When he was in his 20s, he set up a share-trading company on the Paris Bourse, and continued to work as a broker until 1997.
Career [ edit ] In 1996, he set up a business consultancy, and in 2002, he ran for parliament on a center-right ticket, obtaining only 3% of the vote.[1] He was then condemned to one-year ineligibility for not deposing his campaign budget.[2] The same year, he was pro-active in a tentative to censor the diffusion of a pro-palestinian book "Rªver la Palestine" (i.e., "dreaming of Palestine") edited by renowned french editor Flammarion.[3] In 2008, he was elected a deputy mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine.[4]
Muhammad al-Durrah Controversy [ edit ] Karsenty came to public attention in 2004, when he was sued for libel by the French television network, France 2, after accusing the network of having broadcast a staged footage of the reported killing of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Muhammad al-Durrah, during a gun battle in the Gaza Strip in 2000.[1] France 2 won its case in October 2006,[5] but the judgment was overturned by the Paris Court of Appeal in May 2008, with France 2 refusing to release the full footage taken by their stringer on that day.[6] France 2 has appealed the decision to the Cour de cassation, France's highest court.[7] In February 2012, the Cour de cassation cancelled the ruling of the Court of Appeal which had acquitted Karsenty.[8] On 26 June 2013, the Paris Court of Appeals once again convicted Karsenty of defamation, and fined him '‚¬7000.[9][10]
In parallel, on 10 June 2010, a court in Nanterre sentenced Canal Plus and Tac Press for defaming Philippe Karsenty in a documentary entitled Rumors, Brainwashing: The New News War,[11] broadcast by this channel on 24 April 2008.
2012 Legislative Election [ edit ] He stood as a dissident right-wing candidate, against the candidate endorsed by Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement, in the Eighth constituency for French residents overseas (which includes French residents in Israel, as well as in Italy, Turkey, Greece and several other countries) for the 2012 legislative election.[12] He finished third, with 14.45% of the vote, and did not advance to the run-off vote.[13] In February 2013, the Constitutional Council found irregularities in the funding of his electoral campaign, and barred him from standing for public office for a period of one year.[14]
References [ edit ] ^ a b Schwartz, Adi. In the footsteps of the al-Dura controversy, Haaretz, 8 November 2007. ^ "D(C)cision n° 2002-2818 et autres AN du 6 f(C)vrier 2003". Conseil Constitutionnel. Retrieved 2017-12-08. ^ "Retour sur un rªve de Censure". Le Nouvel Observateur 16/01/03. ^ "La Mairie", Neuilly-sur-Seine local council, accessed 22 January 2010. ^ Durand-Souffland, St(C)phane. "France 2 blanchie pour l'image choc de l'intifada". Le Figaro, 20 October 2006. ^ "Al-Durra case revisited", Wall Street Journal Europe, 28 May 2008. ^ "Reportage sur la mort d'un enfant palestinien: Charles Enderlin d(C)bout(C) en appel", Lib(C)ration, 21 May 2008. ^ "La Cour de Cassation annule la relaxe de Philippe Karsenty", Le Petit Journal ^ "Leading critic of French al-Dura coverage convicted". The Times of Israel. 26 June 2013 . Retrieved 27 June 2013 . ^ "hFrenchman guilty of defamation in Mohammed al-Dura case". BBC News. 27 June 2013 . Retrieved 27 June 2013 . ^ 20 minutes Rumeurs, intox : les nouvelles guerres de l'Info, ^ "Combat sans merci droite pour le vote des Fran§ais d'Isral", Rue 89, 23 June 2011 ^ Official results of the first round, French Ministry for Foreign Affairs ^ "Le Conseil constitutionnel annule l'(C)lection de deux d(C)put(C)es PS des Fran§ais de l'(C)tranger", Le Monde, 15 February 2013 External links [ edit ] Philippe Karsenty Site de campagne l(C)gislative.(fr.)The al-Dura controversy published in Haaretz 1 November 2007 by Adi Schwartz (engl.)Fallows, James. "Who shot Mohammed al-Durra?", The Atlantic Monthly, June 2003.Karsenty, Phillipe. French Court Vindicates Al-Dura Hoax Critic, Pajamas Media, 21 May 2008.
What Happened to Notre-Dame's Precious Art and Artifacts? | Smart News | Smithsonian
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 11:22
Smart News Keeping you current Officials say the 'main works of art' were saved. But others have been lost or seriously damaged Religious artifacts saved from Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral stored in a room of the Paris City Hall on April 16. (Chesnot/Getty Images) smithsonian.com April 16, 2019
People around the world watched with heavy hearts as a fire tore through the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris yesterday. It took firefighters 12 hours to extinguish the flames. When all was said and done, the cathedral's iconic spire collapsed, its roof has been destroyed, but not all was lost in the blaze.
On Tuesday, officials announced that an initial inspection suggested the cathedral is structurally sound. And as Emanuella Grinberg and Jack Guy, report for CNN, many of the treasured relics, paintings, sculptures and artifacts that were housed inside Notre-Dame appear to have survived.
The Paris Fire Brigade said in a tweet that the ''main works of art'' were rescued from the cathedral. Franck Riester, France's culture minister, posted photos of the evacuation efforts. ''Agents of the culture ministry, aided by the archbishop's staff, the Paris fire brigade and the security services, are evacuating the works inside the cathedral,'' he wrote yesterday, per a translation by the Guardian's Jon Henley and Naaman Zhou. ''They are being progressively brought to safety.''
Jean-Francois Martins, Paris' deputy mayor for tourism and sports, told CBS News that public servants on the scene formed a ''human chain'' to get the items out of the cathedral as quickly as possible. Among them was Father Jean-Marc Fournier, chaplain of the Paris fire department, who reportedly rushed into the building to save two of its most precious relics: the Crown of Thorns, which is believed to have been placed on Jesus' head during the crucifixion, and the Blessed Sacrament, items for church services representative of Jesus' blood and body.
A nail believed to have been used during the crucifixion and a purported fragment of the cross were also pulled from the cathedral, according to the Guardian. A 13th-century tunic said to have been worn by Louis IX, the only French king canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, was saved as well. There's good news to report on the Rose Windows, three stunning stained-glass artworks that light up the cathedral. During a press conference, the culture minister said they ''don't appear to have suffered catastrophic damage.''
In a fortunate twist of fate, copper statues of the 12 apostles and four New Testament evangelists were removed from Notre-Dame's spire just days before the fire broke out, reports the New York Times' Doreen Carvajal. Badly tarnished, the sculptures had been taken to a warehouse in southwestern France for cleaning and restoration.
Other artworks and artifacts, however, were not so lucky. A depiction of a Gallic rooster'--France's unofficial symbol'--that sat atop the spire is in bad shape, according to the Times. A grandiose organ of 8,000 pipes, some of which date back to the Medieval period, was not burned, but it is not yet known if the instrument sustained water damage that might stop it from functioning. Four large-scale 17th- and 18th- century paintings depicting the apostles were at least partly damaged, the Guardian reports. A separate fragment of the Crown of Thorns, along with relics of two saints, are known to have been destroyed.
The condition of many other items is unclear. According to the Associated Press, state employees will have to wait 48 hours before they can enter the cathedral and care for the artworks that are still inside. Those items that have been removed are being transferred to the Louvre and to the Paris City Hall for safekeeping.
While the flames were still burning, French President Emmanuel Macron promised that Notre-Dame would be restored: ''I say to you very solemnly this evening: this cathedral will be rebuilt by us all together,'' he said as the flames still burned. ''We will rebuild Notre-Dame because that is what the French expect, because that is what our history deserves, because it is our destiny.''
But the road to recovery will not be easy. The effort to rebuild the damaged structure will likely take years and cost billions of dollars. And it remains to be seen how many of Notre-Dame's original artworks will return to the cathedral once the project is completed.
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Green New Deal
The West's First Climate Election Leaves Finland Deeply Divided | Need to Know | OZY
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 13:59
This is an OZY Special Briefing, an extension of the Presidential Daily Brief. The Special Briefing tells you what you need to know about an important issue, individual or story that is making news. Each one serves up an interesting selection of facts, opinions, images and videos in order to catch you up and vault you ahead.
WHAT TO KNOW What happened? On Sunday, 72 percent of Finnish voters turned out to elect new leaders, handing victory to the country's leftist Social Democrats for the first time in 20 years. It was a tight race. The progressives '-- one of Finland's many parties '-- won just 17.7 percent of the vote, with xenophobic populists from the Finns Party trailing only slightly at 17.5 percent. The ruling Center Party, which has lost popularity with the introduction of austerity measures, is forecast to come in fourth.
Why does it matter? Finland is the latest in a series of sharply divided European governments, resulting in slim majorities and hard-to-form coalitions. Meanwhile, populist parties are looking ahead to this spring's European elections, where they hope to make inroads not just with anti-immigration policies, but with staunch climate skepticism '-- a position tested out, with relative success, by the Finns Party in Sunday's election. It was dubbed the first ''climate election'' in the West.
HOW TO THINK ABOUT IT A more political climate. When Social Democrat leader Antti Rinne gave his victory speech, he listed ''sustainable climate, social and economic policies'' as the incoming government's priorities. For the first time in a major developed nation, the climate was a defining issue, particularly for Rinne's reinvigorated party. Greenpeace is calling Sunday's contest the ''climate election'' in a country with a third of its land area located above the Arctic Circle. The Greens Party, hoping to make the nation carbon-neutral by 2030, had its best results ever with 11.5 percent of the vote. That's compared to 3.2 percent for Norway's Green Party in 2017, and 8.9 percent for the German Greens that same year. But the issue cuts both ways, with the right-wing populist Finns Party, which ended up just behind the Social Democrats, opposing tougher emissions curbs as harming industry, and consequently workers.
Nordic roots are showing. While right-wing parties have been on the rise across Western Europe, that trend seems to have hit a wall in the left-wing heartland of Finland and its Scandinavian neighbors. Sweden and Iceland have left-of-center prime ministers, while Denmark's Social Democrats are leading in polls for this summer's elections. A conservative coalition continues to govern Norway, along with an anti-immigrant party. Such a coalition is unlikely in Finland, where every other party has forsworn joining up with the right-wing populist Finns Party '-- a shunning similar to that faced by the like-minded AfD party in Germany. In Finland, where ultra-progressive ideas like universal basic income have taken root, the leftward shift is seen as a reaction to austerity programs of the Center Party's governing coalition.
Nothing but a number. Finland's not just dealing with climate change and immigration. Like many other European states, the country is concerned about its aging population '-- prompting the Social Democrats to campaign largely on reforming the welfare system. It's a project that didn't work out well for the Center Party, which a month ago saw its government collapse and prime minister resign over an inability to make reforms work.
Next steps. Fresh off its second-place finish, the Finns Party will join fellow populists from Germany, Italy and Denmark for next month's European Union elections, in which they will challenge immigration, social and environmental policies. Working together, populist leaders hope they can control the bloc by outnumbering centrists. But that harmony may be short-lived, as the populist parties don't all align even on issues like immigration. Their alliance, therefore, could easily crumble.
WHAT TO READThe Right's New Rallying Cry in Finland: 'Climate Hysteria,' by Ellen Barry and Johanna Lemola in the New York Times
''Finland's general election has broken a well-established pattern in northern Europe, where one political cycle after another has been powerfully defined by the issue of immigration.''
The Man Who Would Be Finland's Next Prime Minister, by Leo Laikola in Bloomberg
''Social Democratic leader Antti Rinne may now have to appeal to his inner diplomat if, as polls suggest, he's to succeed in pushing through tax and public spending increases at the helm of a governing coalition that will likely have to include parties from both the left and the right.''
WHAT TO WATCH Social Democrats Claim Narrow Win Over Populists in Finland Election
''Dear friends, I have to say that honestly I expected a better result.''
Watch on France 24 on YouTube:
Italy's Salvini: 'We Are Working Towards a New European Dream'
''Today for many citizens, for many people, the European Union represents a nightmare, not a dream.''
Watch on the Wall Street Journal:
WHAT TO SAY AT THE WATERCOOLEREquality now. While Finland is already better at including women in its halls of government than most nations, Sunday's election nearly achieved parity in its 200-seat parliament, with 92 women winning seats '-- nine more than in the previous election in 2015. Finnish women's issues have even found their way into U.S. politics, with former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, a Republican, suggesting last month via Twitter that Finland was ''skimping'' on caring for new moms. She was immediately countered by Helsinki's U.N. envoy, who pointed out that Finland has the lowest maternal mortality rate in the world. American mothers are four times as likely as Finnish moms to die during childbirth.
These millennials are going on ''birth strike'' due to climate change '-- Quartz
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 12:58
Adam Leylange and Jessica Johannesson had decided that 2018 was going to be the year they would try for a baby.
The couple, who live in the English city of Bath, had gone back-and-forth over that decision for all the usual reasons, including timing and money, but had finally decided, ''Ok, this is when it's going to happen,'' Johannesson says. Then, in October, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report showing that the world has to start cutting emissions drastically and do it soon if we are to keep global warming under 1.5°C, after which ''even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.''
The report prompted Johannesson and Leylange, who were already involved in climate activism, to join BirthStrike, a mostly online community of about 300 people that was founded in England by 33-year-old singer/songwriter Blythe Pepino. The group members ''declare our decision not to bear children due to the severity of the ecological crisis and the current inaction of governing forces in the face [of] this existential threat.''
BirthStrike is one iteration of a small but growing movement of people around the world (paywall) who are hesitating over whether or not to have children due to worries about climate change. It's a concern that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman to serve in the US Congress, recently voiced when she told her 3 million Instagram followers that ''there's scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult'' as a result of climate change. ''It does lead young people to have a legitimate question: Is it OK to still have children?''
This question is fundamental and controversial. Some argue that giving up on parenthood won't make a meaningful difference in resolving climate change. Others fear it might distract people from the more systemic issues contributing to the problem, and absolve lawmakers of the responsibility of coming up with solutions. But the members of BirthStrike don't believe that everyone should stop having children, or that their movement will solve this crisis. Some of them took the pledge because they felt hopeless; others say nothing gives them more hope for the future of the planet. Their individual stories of grief and loss bring a different human facet to the universal story of climate change.
#BirthStrike: Making the personal politicalPepino says she became anxious about climate change in her mid-20s. She was hitting her stride in the music business in London, performing as lead singer in the band formerly known as Vaults'--an experience she describes as ''giving capitalism a go.'' But she soon realized that this kind of lifestyle wasn't for her. So she packed up her bags and moved to Calais, France, where she began volunteering with Help Refugees, an activist group fighting for immigrant rights, and joined a new band, Mesadorm.
When Pepino read the IPCC report last year, she says something clicked. Around the same time, she attended a lecture organized by Extinction Rebellion, a group best known for throwing buckets of fake blood in front of the British parliament and blocking bridges to draw attention to climate change. The lecture, entitled ''Heading For Extinction: What To Do About It,'' inspired her to action.
Pepino had already decided she wouldn't have children because of climate change. Her next step was to turn that decision into a movement. ''BirthStrike came about because I realized I didn't feel like we had a chance of surviving,'' she says. ''I felt very faithless that humans could turn this around. So, I've given myself five years to try my best to be part of the movement.''
BirthStrike's members publicize their views via a Facebook group, an Instagram account, and YouTube videos. Pepino says about 300 people have taken the pledge. (She takes care to point out that although members come from around the world, the group is not as diverse as she'd like. ''As a white, middle-class Englishwoman, I put it out to my mostly white, English middle-class and female surroundings,'' she explains.)
Many BirthStrike members want children. ''In some ways, it almost feels like the choice is being taken away from me, which makes me quite angry,'' Nikki Saville, a 24-year-old masters student, says in a video for the group's website.
And yet, despite the emotional weight of their decision, BirthStrike members aren't under the illusion that it will make a huge difference. ''We are not hoping that everyone is going to stop having babies and that will solve the crisis, that would be completely stupid,'' says Pepino. ''We are hoping to galvanize political will by making our current decisions '... public in this way.''
''This is not a solution,'' Johannesson says. Rather, ''it's a massive alarm saying to people in power, this is how '... dysfunctional our society has become.'' Her partner, Leylange, believes that BirthStrike can serve as a gateway to environmental activism: ''Thinking about not having kids isn't going to be what motivates everyone to get involved, but it'll motivate some people, and the grief that you feel as a result of that makes you want to do something,'' he said.
BirthStrikers don't want their activism to be prescriptive. Pepino especially doesn't want her movement conflated with the highly-controversial anti-natalist position that ''life is so bad, so painful, that human beings should stop having children for reasons of compassion.'' The BirthStrike declaration states that the group ''stands in compassionate solidarity with all parents, celebrates their choice, and doesn't seek to judge anyone intending to bear children.'' ''It's a very personal choice, and there's no judgement for people who decide that that's not a choice they want to make,'' says Leylange.
What BirthStrike members say the movement does for them, however, is to let them know they're not alone. ''In everyday life, trying to speak to people about climate change is really difficult,'' says Leylange. ''Most people don't want to hear it, because it's terrifying. So, I think it's the fact that you know you're not alone and you're not crazy to think this.''
Having children in an era of climate changeMembers of BirthStrike are not the only ones asking themselves whether parenthood in the era of climate change is morally defensible. In a recent Business Insider online poll of more than a thousand Americans between 18 and 29 years old, 38% of respondents said that climate change ''should be a factor in a couple's decision about whether to have children.'' And in a 2018 New York Times/Morning Consult poll (paywall) of almost 2,000 men and women between 20 and 45, 33% of people who said they had or expected to have fewer children than they considered ideal said their decision was tied to worries about climate change.
This has prompted environmental scientists, ethicists, and philosophers to weigh in on the debate. ''Given that life is already quite risky, unpredictable, and often utterly miserable, the environmental factor might be a tipping point for the question, 'Is life a worthwhile risk?''' writes Rivka Weinberg, a philosophy professor at Scripps College and author of The Risk of a Lifetime, a book about deciding whether to parent.
Others argue the decision to have children shouldn't be made based on environmental factors, because scientists don't yet agree whether having fewer kids will have enough of an immediate impact on climate change. One recent study by Lund University in Sweden posited that having one less child is the most effective thing people can do to reduce carbon emissions. But Lyman Stone, an agricultural economist, writes in Vox that ''no amount of population control achieves'' the goal of reducing global emissions enough to reach less than 2°C increase in global temperatures. In fact, some argue people should be having more children, not fewer: As Tyler Cowen writes in Bloomberg, ''those kids of yours are more likely to be part of the solution than the problem.''
In the face of this contradiction, Guardian environmental correspondent Matthew Taylor writes that some people believe ''we should focus instead on overconsumption, and that putting the onus on individuals to address climate change obscures the systematic nature of the crisis,'' letting ''the real culprits'--fossil fuel corporations and successive global governments' inaction'--off the hook.''
Others believe that, because we don't know exactly what a 2°C warmer planet will look like, committing to not having children, especially when many countries' birth rates are already below replacement level, is foolish. Weinberg echoes this concern:
''Predicting the future isn't easy. In 1798, Thomas Malthus predicted that the human population would inevitably outstrip the food supply. It didn't, mostly due to technological advances that Malthus could not foresee. Imagine if everyone had decided to stop having children back then, to avoid the 'inevitable' famine!''
BirthStrike members say they might yet change their minds, and are within their rights to do so. But it's clear that their decision not to have kids right now because of climate change has had a profound impact on them regardless. As Johannssen says, ''There are big losses to be reckoned with, as with everything in this mess that we're in.''
Cold weather to grip WORLD as solar minimum to DEEPEN, NASA says | Science | News | Express.co.uk
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 17:32
Express. Home of the Daily and Sunday Express. A DEEP solar minimum is set to bring a prolonged period of colder temperatures across the globe, NASA has predicted. PUBLISHED: 14:18, Mon, Apr 15, 2019 | UPDATED: 14:27, Mon, Apr 15, 2019
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In 2019, the Sun has been without sunspots for 59 percent of days - a sign that the solar minimum has arrived. The Sun follows cycles of roughly 11 years where it reaches a solar maximum and then a solar minimum. During a solar maximum, the Sun gives off more heat and is littered with sunspots. Less heat in a solar minimum is due to a decrease in magnetic waves.
Fewer magnetic waves equates to the Sun being slightly cooler, and experts are expecting the solar minimum to deepen even further before it gets warmer.
This could mean a slight temperature drop around the planet.
Cosmic forecasting site Space Weather said: ''An international panel of researchers led by NASA and NOAA has released a new prediction for the solar cycle: The current solar minimum is going to deepen, potentially reaching a century-class low in the next year or so.
''This will be followed by a new Solar Max in the years 2023-2026.''
Cold weather to grip WORLD as solar minimum to DEEPEN, NASA says (Image: GETTY)
The last time a deep solar minimum was in effect was the Maunder minimum, which saw seven decades of freezing weather, began in 1645 and lasted through to 1715, and happened when sunspots were exceedingly rare.
During this period, temperatures dropped globally by 1.3 degrees celsius leading to shorter seasons and ultimately food shortages.
Vencore Weather, a meteorological website, said: ''Low solar activity is known to have consequences on Earth's weather and climate and it also is well correlated with an increase in cosmic rays that reach the upper part of the atmosphere.
''The blank Sun is a sign that the next solar minimum is approaching and there will be an increasing number of spotless days over the next few years.''
The difference in activity during a solar minimum (L) and solar maximum (Image: NASA)
NASA explains on its website: ''All weather on Earth, from the surface of the planet out into space, begins with the Sun.
''Space weather and terrestrial weather (the weather we feel at the surface) are influenced by the small changes the Sun undergoes during its solar cycle.''
The space agency adds on its Thermosphere Climate Index (TCI) ''a weather metric that tells us how the top of Earth's atmosphere (or 'thermosphere') is responding to solar activity'' that ''the top of Earth's atmosphere is approximately 10 times cooler than it was during the record-setting Solar Max of 1957-58''.
Boom in Mining Rare Earths Poses Mounting Toxic Risks - Yale E360
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 12:34
The mining of rare earth metals, used in everything from smart phones to wind turbines, has long been dominated by China. But as mining of these key elements spreads to countries like Malaysia and Brazil, scientists warn of the dangers of the toxic and radioactive waste generated by the mines and processing plants.
By Mike Ives ' January 28, 2013
In November, the first shipment of raw ''rare earth'' minerals arrived at an $800 million processing plant on Malaysia's east coast near the home of Tan Bun Teet. The plant, run by Australia's Lynas Corporation, has since begun refining the rare earth metals, essential components in wind turbines, hybrid cars, smart phones, cruise missiles, and other high-tech products. Once fully operational, the plant would become the world's largest processing facility of rare earths, breaking China's near-monopoly on producing the prized elements.
But Tan and others in the region are concerned that the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant, known as LAMP, will be plagued by the severe environmental problems that have been the hallmark of rare earths processing plants in China and, more than two decades ago, in Malaysia itself. The plant lies in an industrial zone atop reclaimed swampland, just 12 miles from Kuantan, a city of 600,000. The chief worry is that the rare earth elements are bound up in mineral deposits with the low-level radioactive element thorium, exposure to which has been linked to an increased risk of developing lung, pancreatic, and other cancers.
The Lynas plant in Malaysia is set to become the world's largest processing facility of rare earths. LYNAS CORPORATION LTD
''We are not against rare earths processing,'' says Tan, a retired schoolteacher who leads a citizens' group opposed to the plant. ''We're only against the inappropriate choice of site, and the way they're going to keep the waste.'' Tan echoes scientists' concerns that the plant's toxic wastewater will leach into groundwater, and that its storage ponds are vulnerable to the monsoons that slam the swampy coastline every autumn.
As global demand has surged in recent years for rare earth elements, fears have grown that China, which accounts for more than 95 percent of rare earths output, will withhold supplies, as it did temporarily two years ago during a dispute with Japan. As a result, across five continents and numerous countries '-- including the United States, Brazil, Mongolia, and India '-- rare earth processing projects are being launched or revived. With them comes the potential threats to the environment and human health that have plagued China's processing sites.
''As the world's hunger for these elements increases'... the waste is going to increase,'' says Nicholas Leadbeater, a chemist at the University of Connecticut whose research focuses on developing green technologies. ''The more mines there are, the more trouble there's going to be.'' To avoid such problems, Leadbeater says some researchers are now looking into ways of recovering rare earths from existing products, and of manufacturing products capable of running without rare earths. Toyota, for example, is developing an electric motor that does not use rare earths in its battery, as most currently do.
Market pressures for cheap rare earths may lead managers to skimp on environmental protections.Contrary to their name, the 17 rare earth elements are relatively common '-- their rarity comes from the labor involved in separating them from surrounding rock. The process requires a cocktail of chemical compounds and produces a ''tremendous amount'' of solid waste, according to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. China's rare earths mines have used only a fraction of the world's total supply, and substantial untapped reserves are found in Australia, the United States, parts of the former Soviet Union, and other countries. Global demand for rare earths dipped last year on the heels of a speculative bubble, but the EPA said in December there is a ''high likelihood'' that some of the elements will be in short supply by 2014.
In California, Molycorp Minerals recently reopened a rare earths processing operation that it abandoned in 2002 near Death Valley, after retooling its operation to meet environmental concerns over contaminated groundwater. In Brazil, mining giant Vale is considering whether to process rare earths at a copper mine in the Amazon. India recently agreed to export rare earths to Japan, and a Toyota subsidiary is preparing to mine rare earths in Vietnam. In Greenland, several companies are preparing to mine and process that island's abundant rare earth resources, which will become more accessible as Greenland's ice sheet continues to melt.
All of these projects, however, must come to grips with the toxic and radioactive legacy of rare earth mining. Scientists say under-regulated rare earths projects can produce wastewater and tailings ponds that leak acids, heavy metals and radioactive elements into groundwater, and they point out that market pressures for cheap and reliable rare earths may lead project managers to skimp on environmental protections.
In Malaysia, Mitsubishi Chemical is now engaged in a $100 million cleanup of its Bukit Merah rare earths processing site, which it closed in 1992 amid opposition from local residents and Japanese politicians and environmentalists. It is one of Asia's largest radioactive waste cleanup sites, and local physicians said the thorium contamination from the plant has led to an increase in leukemia and other ailments. The legacy of that project has led many Malaysians to be wary of rare earths mines.
Few independent studies chart the industry's global ecological fallout. But no country has as many rare earths processing plants, and their attendant environmental problems, as China. Last year, China's State Council reported that the country's rare earths operations are causing ''increasingly significant'' environmental problems. A half century of rare earths mining and processing has ''severely damaged surface vegetation, caused soil erosion, pollution, and acidification, and reduced or even eliminated food crop output,'' the council reported, adding that Chinese rare earths plants typically produce wastewater with a ''high concentration'' of radioactive residues.
A half-century of rare earths mining in China has caused serious environmental problems.Bayan-Obo, China's largest rare earths project, has been operating for more than four decades. According to the Germany-based Institute for Applied Ecology, the site now has an 11-square-kilometer waste pond '-- about three times the size of New York City's Central Park '-- with toxic sludge that contains elevated concentrations of thorium.
China's lax environmental standards have enabled it to produce rare earths at roughly a third the price of its international competitors, according to a 2010 report on the country's rare earths industry by the Washington-based Institute for the Analysis of Global Security. The report noted that China ''has never actually worked out pollutant discharge standards for the rare earth industry.''
Like nuclear power plants, rare earths projects require strict independent auditing in order to prevent environmental damage, according to Peter Karamoskos, a nuclear radiologist and the public's representative at Australia's Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency. But as the rare earths industry expands to developing countries like Malaysia and Vietnam, such oversight will be unlikely. ''A regulator will either be in the pocket of the industry or a government,'' he says.
Tan Bun Teet leads a protest against the Malaysia rare earths plant. GREEN LEFT TV
According to Gavin Mudd, an environmental engineer at Australia's Monash University, rare earths mining provides a wide range of economic and social benefits and can be exploited in a responsible way. However, he says no company '-- including Mitsubishi and Lynas '-- has managed to set a good example.
Mudd says Lynas decided to process its rare earths in Malaysia rather than Australia, where they are mined, because it received tax incentives. But he says that Lynas hasn't meaningfully engaged Malaysian communities to hear their concerns. A key problem with the company's proposals, he adds, is that it never took a baseline sample of the environment before it began operations, making it difficult to gauge the future environmental impacts. ''Their approach to solid waste management has been very haphazard,'' says Mudd, who has offered unpaid advice to both the company and the activists who oppose its plans.
Lynas executives, including Executive Chairman Nicholas Curtis, say the plant will operate under high environmental standards and will dilute the thorium-tainted waste by mixing it with lime until it is below accepted international concentrations for the radioactive material. The lime mixture will be turned into solid structures that could be used for sea walls or construction materials, Lynas has said, although it remains unclear where those structures would be exported, and whether the process would use all of the plant's toxic waste. Curtis has said that there is no comparison between his facility and the old Mitsubishi one, which ''never should have been built.''
A recently released study of the plant by the Institute for Applied Ecology sketches a less sanguine portrait of the potential environmental impacts.
The Malaysian plant sits atop reclaimed wetland that is prone to flooding and lies only two miles from the sea. The study faults a Lynas plan to dispose of wastewater through an open channel rather than a closed pipeline; a refusal by the company to disclose what the plant's exact chemical byproducts will be; and a temporary waste storage facility that the institute predicts will cause radioactive leakage ''even under normal operating conditions.'' A Lynas spokesperson from the company's Australia headquarters did not respond to a request for comment.
Over the next two decades, the plant is expected to produce about 1.2 million metric tons of ''residue,'' according to 2011 report prepared by Lynas for Malaysia's nuclear regulatory agency. It said the plant's waste will fall within radioactivity limits set by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and may be safely disposed of in ''landfill type facilities with limited regulatory control.''
The waste, however, will emit low levels of carcinogenic radioactivity for centuries, according to scientists. The International Atomic Energy Association recommended in 2011 that Malaysia's nuclear regulatory agency grant Lynas an operating license only after it submits a permanent decommissioning plan. Unlike Australia, Malaysia is not a party to the IAEA's legally binding 2001 convention governing appropriate and safe disposal of radioactive waste.
For most of last year, Lynas was locked in court battles against retired schoolteacher Tan Bun Teet and his grassroots coalition ''Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas!,'' which challenged the government's January decision to grant the company a temporary operating license. This fall, Lynas finally won its temporary operating license after clearing legal appeals, and Tan says the first truckload of rare earths from the company's Australia mine rolled into its new Malaysia refinery on November 30 under police escort. But four Malaysian cabinet ministers warned in December that the company must export the radioactive waste from its new plant or risk losing its license.
Tan Bun Teet and his fellow activists, whose street protests in the Malaysian capital have faced tear gas and water cannons, are keeping up their legal fight by filing new appeals. Tan is especially concerned that the 247-acre Lynas plant sits atop reclaimed wetland that is prone to flooding and lies only about two miles from the South China Sea. The area receives about 10 feet of rainfall per year, and recent monsoon rains left the area drenched.
''We are worried,'' he says. ''We don't want our environment to be destroyed as it was in China.''
Neodymium - Wikipedia
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 12:34
chemical element with atomic number 60
Chemical element with atomic number 60
Neodymium, 60 Nd NeodymiumPronunciation '‹ ( NEE -oh- DIM -ee-Ém) Appearancesilvery whiteStandard atomic weight Ar, std(Nd) 7002144242000000000' 144.242(3) [1]Neodymium in the periodic table Atomic number (Z) 60Group group n/a Periodperiod 6 Blockf-block Element category lanthanideElectron configuration[Xe] 4f4 6s2Electrons per shell
2, 8, 18, 22, 8, 2Physical propertiesPhase at STP solidMelting point1297 K '‹(1024 °C, '‹1875 °F) Boiling point3347 K '‹(3074 °C, '‹5565 °F) Density (near r.t.) 7.01 g/cm3 when liquid (at m.p.) 6.89 g/cm3 Heat of fusion7.14 kJ/mol Heat of vaporization289 kJ/mol Molar heat capacity27.45 J/(mol·K) Vapor pressureP (Pa) 1101001 k10 k100 kat T (K) 159517741998(2296)(2715)(3336)Atomic propertiesOxidation states+2, +3 , +4 (a mildly basic oxide)ElectronegativityPauling scale: 1.14 Ionization energies1st: 533.1 kJ/mol 2nd: 1040 kJ/mol 3rd: 2130 kJ/mol Atomic radiusempirical: 181 pm Covalent radius201±6 pm Spectral lines of neodymiumOther propertiesNatural occurrenceprimordialCrystal structure '‹double hexagonal close-packed (dhcp)Speed of sound thin rod 2330 m/s (at 20 °C) Thermal expansionα, poly: 9.6 µm/(m·K) (at r.t.)Thermal conductivity16.5 W/(m·K) Electrical resistivityα, poly: 643 nÎ(C)·m Magnetic orderingparamagnetic, antiferromagnetic below 20 K[2] Magnetic susceptibility+5628.0·10''6 cm3/mol (287.7 K)[3]Young's modulusα form: 41.4 GPa Shear modulusα form: 16.3 GPa Bulk modulusα form: 31.8 GPa Poisson ratioα form: 0.281 Vickers hardness345''745 MPa Brinell hardness265''700 MPa CAS Number7440-00-8 HistoryDiscoveryCarl Auer von Welsbach (1885) Main isotopes of neodymium | referencesNeodymium is a chemical element with symbol Nd and atomic number 60. Neodymium belongs to the lanthanide series, or it can be known to belong to the rare earths family. It is a hard, slightly malleable silvery metal, that quickly tarnishes in air and moisture. When oxidized, Neodymium reacts quickly to produce pink, purple/blue and yellow compounds in the +2, +3 and +4 oxidation state[4]. Neodymium was discovered in 1885 by the Austrian chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach. It is present in significant quantities in the ore minerals monazite and bastn¤site. Neodymium is not found naturally in metallic form or unmixed with other lanthanides, and it is usually refined for general use. Although neodymium is classed as a rare earth, it is a fairly common element, no rarer than cobalt, nickel, or copper, and is widely distributed in the Earth's crust.[5] Most of the world's commercial neodymium is mined in China.
Neodymium compounds were first commercially used as glass dyes in 1927, and they remain a popular additive in glasses. The color of neodymium compounds'--due to the Nd3+ ion'--is often a reddish-purple but it changes with the type of lighting, due to the interaction of the sharp light absorption bands of neodymium with ambient light enriched with the sharp visible emission bands of mercury, trivalent europium or terbium. Some neodymium-doped glasses are also used in lasers that emit infrared with wavelengths between 1047 and 1062 nanometers. These have been used in extremely-high-power applications, such as experiments in inertial confinement fusion.
Neodymium is also used with various other substrate crystals, such as yttrium aluminium garnet in the Nd:YAG laser. This laser usually emits infrared at a wavelength of about 1064 nanometers. The Nd:YAG laser is one of the most commonly used solid-state lasers.
Another important use of neodymium is as a component in the alloys used to make high-strength neodymium magnets'--powerful permanent magnets.[6] These magnets are widely used in such products as microphones, professional loudspeakers, in-ear headphones, high performance hobby DC electric motors, and computer hard disks, where low magnet mass (or volume) or strong magnetic fields are required. Larger neodymium magnets are used in high-power-versus-weight electric motors (for example in hybrid cars) and generators (for example aircraft and wind turbine electric generators).[7]
Characteristics [ edit ] Physical properties [ edit ] Neodymium, a rare-earth metal, was present in the classical mischmetal at a concentration of about 18%. Metallic neodymium has a bright, silvery metallic luster, but as one of the more reactive lanthanide rare-earth metals, it quickly oxidizes in ordinary air. The oxide layer that forms then peels off, exposing the metal to further oxidation. Thus, a centimeter-sized sample of neodymium completely oxidizes within a year.[8]
Neodymium commonly exists in two allotropic forms, with a transformation from a double hexagonal to a body-centered cubic structure taking place at about 863 °C.[9]
Chemical properties [ edit ] Neodymium metal tarnishes slowly in air and it burns readily at about 150 °C to form neodymium(III) oxide:
4 Nd + 3 O2 '†' 2 Nd2O3Neodymium is a quite electropositive element, and it reacts slowly with cold water, but quite quickly with hot water to form neodymium(III) hydroxide:
2 Nd (s) + 6 H2O (l) '†' 2 Nd(OH)3 (aq) + 3 H2 (g)Neodymium metal reacts vigorously with all the halogens:
2 Nd (s) + 3 F2 (g) '†' 2 NdF3 (s) [a violet substance]2 Nd (s) + 3 Cl2 (g) '†' 2 NdCl3 (s) [a mauve substance]2 Nd (s) + 3 Br2 (g) '†' 2 NdBr3 (s) [a violet substance]2 Nd (s) + 3 I2 (g) '†' 2 NdI3 (s) [a green substance]Neodymium dissolves readily in dilute sulfuric acid to form solutions that contain the lilac Nd(III) ion. These exist as a [Nd(OH2)9]3+ complexes:[10]
2 Nd (s) + 3 H2SO4 (aq) '†' 2 Nd3+ (aq) + 3 SO 2''4 (aq) + 3 H2 (g)Compounds [ edit ] Neodymium compounds include
halides: neodymium(III) fluoride (NdF3); neodymium(III) chloride (NdCl3); neodymium(III) bromide (NdBr3); neodymium(III) iodide (NdI3)oxides: neodymium(III) oxide (Nd2O3)sulfides: neodymium(II) sulfide (NdS), neodymium(III) sulfide (Nd2S3)nitrides: neodymium(III) nitride (NdN)hydroxide: neodymium(III) hydroxide (Nd(OH)3)phosphide: neodymium phosphide (NdP)carbide: neodymium carbide (NdC2)nitrate: neodymium(III) nitrate (Nd(NO3)3)sulfate: neodymium(III) sulfate (Nd2(SO4)3)Some neodymium compounds have colors that vary based upon the type of lighting.
Neodymium compounds in fluorescent tube light'--from left to right, the sulfate, nitrate, and chloride
Neodymium compounds in normal daylight
Isotopes [ edit ] Naturally occurring neodymium is a mixture of five stable isotopes, 142Nd, 143Nd, 145Nd, 146Nd and 148Nd, with 142Nd being the most abundant (27.2% of the natural abundance), and two radioisotopes, 144Nd and 150Nd. In all, 31 radioisotopes of neodymium have been detected as of 2010[update], with the most stable radioisotopes being the naturally occurring ones: 144Nd (alpha decay with a half-life (t1/2) of 2.29—1015 years) and 150Nd (double beta decay, t1/2 = 7—1018 years, approximately). All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives that are shorter than eleven days, and the majority of these have half-lives that are shorter than 70 seconds. Neodymium also has 13 known meta states, with the most stable one being 139mNd (t1/2 = 5.5 hours), 135mNd (t1/2 = 5.5 minutes) and 133m1Nd (t1/2 ~70 seconds).
The primary decay modes before the most abundant stable isotope, 142Nd, are electron capture and positron decay, and the primary mode after is beta minus decay. The primary decay products before 142Nd are element Pr (praseodymium) isotopes and the primary products after are element Pm (promethium) isotopes.
History [ edit ] Neodymium was discovered by Baron Carl Auer von Welsbach, an Austrian chemist, in Vienna in 1885.[11][12] He separated neodymium, as well as the element praseodymium, from a material known as didymium by means of fractional crystallization of the double ammonium nitrate tetrahydrates from nitric acid, while following the separation by spectroscopic analysis; however, it was not isolated in relatively pure form until 1925. The name neodymium is derived from the Greek words neos (νέÎς), new, and didymos (διδύμÎς), twin.[13][14]
Double nitrate crystallization was the means of commercial neodymium purification until the 1950s. Lindsay Chemical Division was the first to commercialize large-scale ion-exchange purification of neodymium. Starting in the 1950s, high purity (above 99%) neodymium was primarily obtained through an ion exchange process from monazite, a mineral rich in rare-earth elements. The metal itself is obtained through electrolysis of its halide salts. Currently, most neodymium is extracted from bastn¤site, (Ce,La,Nd,Pr)CO3F, and purified by solvent extraction. Ion-exchange purification is reserved for preparing the highest purities (typically >99.99%). The evolving technology, and improved purity of commercially available neodymium oxide, was reflected in the appearance of neodymium glass that resides in collections today. Early neodymium glasses made in the 1930s have a more reddish or orange tinge than modern versions which are more cleanly purple, due to the difficulties in removing the last traces of praseodymium in the era when manufacturing relied upon fractional crystallization technology.
Occurrence and production [ edit ] Neodymium is rarely found in nature as a free element, but rather it occurs in ores such as monazite and bastn¤site (these are mineral group names rather than single mineral names) that contain small amounts of all rare-earth metals. In these minerals neodymium is rarely dominant (as in the case of lanthanum), with cerium being the most abundant lanthanide; some exceptions include monazite-(Nd) and kozoite-(Nd).[15] The main mining areas are in China, the United States, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, and Australia. The reserves of neodymium are estimated at about eight million tonnes. Although it belongs to the rare-earth metals, neodymium is not rare at all. Its abundance in the Earth's crust is about 38 mg/kg, which is the second highest among rare-earth elements, following cerium. The world's production of neodymium was about 7,000 tonnes in 2004.[13] The bulk of current production is from China. As of January 2010[update] the Chinese government has imposed strategic material controls on the element, raising some concerns in consuming countries and causing skyrocketing prices of neodymium and other rare-earth metals.[16] As of late 2011, 99% pure neodymium was traded in world markets for US$300 to US$350 per kilogram, down from the mid-2011 peak of US$500/kg.[17] The price of neodymium oxide fell from $200/kg in 2011 to $40 in 2015, largely due to illegal production in China which circumvented government restrictions.[18] The uncertainty of pricing and availability have caused companies (particularly Japanese ones) to create permanent magnets and associated electric motors with fewer rare-earth metals; however, so far they have been unable to eliminate the need for neodymium.[19][20]
Neodymium is typically 10''18% of the rare-earth content of commercial deposits of the light rare-earth-element minerals bastn¤site and monazite.[citation needed ] With neodymium compounds being the most strongly colored for the trivalent lanthanides, it can occasionally dominate the coloration of rare-earth minerals when competing chromophores are absent. It usually gives a pink coloration. Outstanding examples of this include monazite crystals from the tin deposits in Llallagua, Bolivia; ancylite from Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada; or lanthanite from the Saucon Valley, Pennsylvania, United States. As with neodymium glasses, such minerals change their colors under the differing lighting conditions. The absorption bands of neodymium interact with the visible emission spectrum of mercury vapor, with the unfiltered shortwave UV light causing neodymium-containing minerals to reflect a distinctive green color. This can be observed with monazite-containing sands or bastn¤site-containing ore.
Applications [ edit ] Neodymium has an unusually large specific heat capacity at liquid-helium temperatures, so is useful in cryocoolers.Probably because of similarities to Ca2+, Nd3+ has been reported[21] to promote plant growth. Rare-earth-element compounds are frequently used in China as fertilizer.Samarium''neodymium dating is useful for determining the age relationships of rocks[22] and meteorites.Magnets [ edit ] Neodymium magnets (actually an alloy, Nd2Fe14B) are the strongest permanent magnets known. A neodymium magnet of a few grams can lift a thousand times its own weight. These magnets are cheaper, lighter, and stronger than samarium''cobalt magnets. However, they are not superior in every aspect, as neodymium-based magnets lose their magnetism at lower temperatures and tend to rust, while samarium''cobalt magnets do not.
Neodymium magnets appear in products such as microphones, professional loudspeakers, in-ear headphones, guitar and bass guitar pick-ups, and computer hard disks where low mass, small volume, or strong magnetic fields are required. Neodymium magnet electric motors have also been responsible for the development of purely electrical model aircraft within the first decade of the 21st century, to the point that these are displacing internal combustion''powered models internationally.[citation needed ] Likewise, due to this high magnetic capacity per weight, neodymium is used in the electric motors of hybrid and electric automobiles, and in the electricity generators of some designs of commercial wind turbines (only wind turbines with "permanent magnet" generators use neodymium). For example, drive electric motors of each Toyota Prius require one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of neodymium per vehicle.[7]
Neodymium doped lasers [ edit ] Neodymium ions in various types of ionic crystals, and also in glasses, act as a laser gain medium, typically emitting 1064 nm light from a particular atomic transition in the neodymium ion, after being "pumped" into excitation from an external source
Certain transparent materials with a small concentration of neodymium ions can be used in lasers as gain media for infrared wavelengths (1054''1064 nm), e.g. Nd:YAG (yttrium aluminium garnet), Nd:YLF (yttrium lithium fluoride), Nd:YVO4 (yttrium orthovanadate), and Nd:glass. Neodymium-doped crystals (typically Nd:YVO4) generate high-powered infrared laser beams which are converted to green laser light in commercial DPSS hand-held lasers and laser pointers.
The current laser at the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), the HELEN (High Energy Laser Embodying Neodymium) 1-terawatt neodymium-glass laser, can access the midpoints of pressure and temperature regions and is used to acquire data for modeling on how density, temperature, and pressure interact inside warheads. HELEN can create plasmas of around 106K, from which opacity and transmission of radiation are measured.[23]
Neodymium glass solid-state lasers are used in extremely high power (terawatt scale), high energy (megajoules) multiple beam systems for inertial confinement fusion. Nd:glass lasers are usually frequency tripled to the third harmonic at 351 nm in laser fusion devices.
Neodymium glass for other applications [ edit ] Neodymium glass (Nd:glass) is produced by the inclusion of neodymium oxide (Nd2O3) in the glass melt. Usually in daylight or incandescent light neodymium glass appears lavender, but it appears pale blue under fluorescent lighting. Neodymium may be used to color glass in delicate shades ranging from pure violet through wine-red and warm gray.
The first commercial use of purified neodymium was in glass coloration, starting with experiments by Leo Moser in November 1927. The resulting "Alexandrite" glass remains a signature color of the Moser glassworks to this day. Neodymium glass was widely emulated in the early 1930s by American glasshouses, most notably Heisey, Fostoria ("wisteria"), Cambridge ("heatherbloom"), and Steuben ("wisteria"), and elsewhere (e.g. Lalique, in France, or Murano). Tiffin's "twilight" remained in production from about 1950 to 1980.[24] Current sources include glassmakers in the Czech Republic, the United States, and China.
The sharp absorption bands of neodymium cause the glass color to change under different lighting conditions, being reddish-purple under daylight or yellow incandescent light, but blue under white fluorescent lighting, or greenish under trichromatic lighting. This color-change phenomenon is highly prized by collectors. In combination with gold or selenium, beautiful red colors result. Since neodymium coloration depends upon "forbidden" f-f transitions deep within the atom, there is relatively little influence on the color from the chemical environment, so the color is impervious to the thermal history of the glass. However, for the best color, iron-containing impurities need to be minimized in the silica used to make the glass. The same forbidden nature of the f-f transitions makes rare-earth colorants less intense than those provided by most d-transition elements, so more has to be used in a glass to achieve the desired color intensity. The original Moser recipe used about 5% of neodymium oxide in the glass melt, a sufficient quantity such that Moser referred to these as being "rare-earth doped" glasses. Being a strong base, that level of neodymium would have affected the melting properties of the glass, and the lime content of the glass might have had to be adjusted accordingly.[25]
Light transmitted through neodymium glasses shows unusually sharp absorption bands; the glass is used in astronomical work to produce sharp bands by which spectral lines may be calibrated. Another application is the creation of selective astronomical filters to reduce the effect of light pollution from sodium and fluorescent lighting while passing other colours, especially dark red hydrogen-alpha emission from nebulae.[26] Neodymium is also used to remove the green color caused by iron contaminants from glass.
Neodymium is a component of "didymium" (referring to mixture of salts of neodymium and praseodymium) used for coloring glass to make welder's and glass-blower's goggles; the sharp absorption bands obliterate the strong sodium emission at 589 nm. The similar absorption of the yellow mercury emission line at 578 nm is the principal cause of the blue color observed for neodymium glass under traditional white-fluorescent lighting.
Neodymium and didymium glass are used in color-enhancing filters in indoor photography, particularly in filtering out the yellow hues from incandescent lighting.
Similarly, neodymium glass is becoming widely used more directly in incandescent light bulbs. These lamps contain neodymium in the glass to filter out yellow light, resulting in a whiter light which is more like sunlight.[27]
The use of neodymium in automobile rear-view mirrors, to reduce the glare at night, has been patented.[citation needed ]
Similar to its use in glasses, neodymium salts are used as a colorant for enamels.[citation needed ]
Precautions [ edit ] Neodymium metal dust is combustible and therefore an explosion hazard. Neodymium compounds, as with all rare-earth metals, are of low to moderate toxicity; however, its toxicity has not been thoroughly investigated. Neodymium dust and salts are very irritating to the eyes and mucous membranes, and moderately irritating to skin. Breathing the dust can cause lung embolisms, and accumulated exposure damages the liver. Neodymium also acts as an anticoagulant, especially when given intravenously.[13]
Neodymium magnets have been tested for medical uses such as magnetic braces and bone repair, but biocompatibility issues have prevented widespread application. Commercially available magnets made from neodymium are exceptionally strong, and can attract each other from large distances. If not handled carefully, they come together very quickly and forcefully, causing injuries. For example, there is at least one documented case of a person losing a fingertip when two magnets he was using snapped together from 50 cm away.[29]
Another risk of these powerful magnets is that if more than one magnet is ingested, they can pinch soft tissues in the gastrointestinal tract. This has led to at least 1,700 emergency room visits and necessitated the recall of the Buckyballs line of toys, which were construction sets of small neodymium magnets.[30][31]
Further reading [ edit ] The Industrial Chemistry of the Lanthanons, Yttrium, Thorium and Uranium, by R. J. Callow, Pergamon Press, 1967.Lindsay Chemical Division, American Potash and Chemical Corporation, Price List, 1960.Chemistry of the Lanthanons, by R. C. Vickery, Butterworths, 1953.References [ edit ] ^ Meija, Juris; et al. (2016). "Atomic weights of the elements 2013 (IUPAC Technical Report)". Pure and Applied Chemistry. 88 (3): 265''91. doi:10.1515/pac-2015-0305 . ^ Gschneidner, K. A.; Eyring, L. (1978). Handbook on the Physics and Chemistry of Rare Earths. Amsterdam: North Holland. ISBN 0444850228. ^ Weast, Robert (1984). CRC, Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Boca Raton, Florida: Chemical Rubber Company Publishing. pp. E110. ISBN 0-8493-0464-4. ^ "Neodymium(Revised)" . Retrieved 2019-04-17 . Neodymium Oxidation states & Compounds ^ See Abundances of the elements (data page). ^ Toshiba Develops Dysprosium-free Samarium-Cobalt Magnet to Replace Heat-resistant Neodymium Magnet in Essential Applications. Toshiba (2012-08-16). Retrieved on 2012-09-24. ^ a b As hybrid cars gobble rare metals, shortage looms, Reuters, August 31, 2009. ^ "Rare-Earth Metal Long Term Air Exposure Test" . Retrieved 2009-08-08 . ^ C. R. Hammond (2000). The Elements, in Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (81st ed.). CRC press. ISBN 0-8493-0481-4. ^ "Chemical reactions of Neodymium". Webelements . Retrieved 2012-08-16 . ^ v. Welsbach, Carl Auer (1885). "Die Zerlegung des Didyms in seine Elemente". Monatshefte f¼r Chemie und verwandte Teile anderer Wissenschaften. 6 (1): 477''491. doi:10.1007/BF01554643. ISSN 0343-7329. ^ Krishnamurthy, N.; Gupta, C. K. (2004). Extractive Metallurgy of Rare Earths. CRC Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-203-41302-9. ^ a b c John Emsley (2003). Nature's building blocks: an A''Z guide to the elements. Oxford University Press. pp. 268''270. ISBN 0-19-850340-7. ^ Weeks, Mary Elvira (1932). "The discovery of the elements. XVI. The rare earth elements". Journal of Chemical Education. 9 (10): 1751. Bibcode:1932JChEd...9.1751W. doi:10.1021/ed009p1751. ISSN 0021-9584. ^ Hudson Institute of Mineralogy (1993''2018). "Mindat.org". www.mindat.org . Retrieved 14 January 2018 . ^ Milmo, Cahal (2010-01-02). Concern as China clamps down on rare earth exports, The Independent. ^ "Prices of Rare Earth Metals Declining Sharply". The New York Times. November 17, 2011. ^ Rare Earths. Archive United States Geological Survey, January 2016. ^ "Honda co-develops first hybrid car motor free of heavy rare earth metals". Reuters. 12 July 2016. ^ "Honda's Heavy Rare Earth-Free Hybrid Motors Sidestep China". 12 July 2016 '' via www.bloomberg.com. ^ Y. Wei et al. "The Effect of Neodymium (Nd3+) on Some Physiological Activities in Oilseed Rape during Calcium (Ca2+) Starvation" 10th International Rapeseed Congress. ^ "Team finds Earth's 'oldest rocks ' ". London: BBC news. 2008-09-26 . Retrieved 2009-06-06 . ^ Norman, M. J.; Andrew, J. E.; Bett, T. H.; Clifford, R. K.; et al. (2002). "Multipass Reconfiguration of the HELEN Nd:Glass Laser at the Atomic Weapons Establishment". Applied Optics. 41 (18): 3497''505. Bibcode:2002ApOpt..41.3497N. doi:10.1364/AO.41.003497. PMID 12078672. ^ "Chameleon Glass Changes Color". Archived from the original on 2008-04-03 . Retrieved 2009-06-06 . ^ Charles Bray (2001). Dictionary of glass: materials and techniques. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 102. ISBN 0-8122-3619-X. ^ Baader Neodymium Filter, First Light Optics. ^ "History of Light, subheading "Timeline", 2001". Archived from the original on 2010-02-13 . Retrieved 2010-08-23 . ^ https://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/aldrich/261157?lang=en&region=US ^ Swain, Frank (March 6, 2009). "How to remove a finger with two super magnets". Seed Media Group LLC . Retrieved 2013-03-31 . ^ Abrams, Rachel (July 17, 2014). "After Two-Year Fight, Consumer Agency Orders Recall of Buckyballs". New York Times . Retrieved 2014-07-21 . ^ William F. Balistreri (2014). "Neodymium Magnets:Too Attractive?". Medscape Gastroenterology. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) External links [ edit ] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Neodymium.Look up neodymium in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.USGS Rare Earth Commodity Summary 2006It's Elemental'--Neodymium
Vaccines
Prevalence of cervical disease at age 20 after immunisation with bivalent HPV vaccine at age 12-13 in Scotland: retrospective population study | The BMJ
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 13:55
ResearchPrevalence of cervical...Prevalence of cervical disease at age 20 after immunisation with bivalent HPV vaccine at age 12-13 in Scotland: retrospective population study Tim Palmer , clinical lead for cervical screening in Scotland 1, Lynn Wallace , information analyst 2, Kevin G Pollock , senior epidemiologist and senior research fellow 3 4, Kate Cuschieri , director 5, Chris Robertson , head of statistics, senior research fellow, and professor 3 6 7, Kim Kavanagh , lecturer 7, Margaret Cruickshank , honorary consultant gynaecologist 81Department of Pathology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK2Information Services Division, NHS Scotland, Glasgow, UK3Health Protection Scotland, Glasgow, UK4School of Health and Life Science, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK5Scottish Human Papillomavirus Reference Laboratory, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK6International Prevention Research Institute, Lyon, France7Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK8Institute of Applied Health Services, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UKCorrespondence to: T Palmer timothy.palmer{at}nhs.net Accepted 4 March 2019AbstractObjective To quantify the effect on cervical disease at age 20 years of immunisation with bivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine at age 12-13 years.
Design Retrospective population study, 1988-96.
Setting National vaccination and cervical screening programmes in Scotland.
Participants 138'‰692 women born between 1 January 1988 and 5 June 1996 and who had a smear test result recorded at age 20.
Main outcome measures Effect of vaccination on cytology results and associated histological diagnoses from first year of screening (while aged 20), calculated using logistic regression.
Results 138'‰692 records were retrieved. Compared with unvaccinated women born in 1988, vaccinated women born in 1995 and 1996 showed an 89% reduction (95% confidence interval 81% to 94%) in prevalent cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 3 or worse (from 0.59% (0.48% to 0.71%) to 0.06% (0.04% to 0.11%)), an 88% reduction (83% to 92%) in CIN grade 2 or worse (from 1.44% (1.28% to 1.63%) to 0.17% (0.12% to 0.24%)), and a 79% reduction (69% to 86%) in CIN grade 1 (from 0.69% (0.58% to 0.63%) to 0.15% (0.10% to 0.21%)). Younger age at immunisation was associated with increasing vaccine effectiveness: 86% (75% to 92%) for CIN grade 3 or worse for women vaccinated at age 12-13 compared with 51% (28% to 66%) for women vaccinated at age 17. Evidence of herd protection against high grade cervical disease was found in unvaccinated girls in the 1995 and 1996 cohorts.
Conclusions Routine vaccination of girls aged 12-13 years with the bivalent HPV vaccine in Scotland has led to a dramatic reduction in preinvasive cervical disease. Evidence of clinically relevant herd protection is apparent in unvaccinated women. These data are consistent with the reduced prevalence of high risk HPV in Scotland. The bivalent vaccine is confirmed as being highly effective vaccine and should greatly reduce the incidence of cervical cancer. The findings will need to be considered by cervical cancer prevention programmes worldwide.
IntroductionCervical carcinoma is the fourth most common cancer in women and a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.1 In developed countries where organised cervical screening programmes have been implemented, the incidence and mortality from cervical cancer has decreased, although in many there is either no further diminution or even an increase in incidence. Many factors might contribute to these trends, including decreased uptake of screening, increased rates of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, and changes in sexual behaviour.23 Middle and lower income countries mostly do not have the resources to support organised screening, and cervical cancer remains a considerable problem. The development of vaccines against the most important oncogenic HPV types has the potential to be a major step in the prevention of cervical cancer.
In 2008, Scotland introduced a national immunisation programme against HPV using the bivalent vaccine, which was used until 2012. The immunisation programme was school based, targeted girls aged 12 and 13 (routine vaccination), and was supplemented with a three year catch-up programme to age 18. Uptake in the catch-up cohort was about 65% overall, but uptake in the routinely immunised cohorts has consistently exceeded 85%.45
Up to and including 5 June 2016, women in Scotland were invited for cervical screening at age 20. Thereafter, they are screened from age 25. Women from the catch-up cohorts have been screened since 2010 and women from the routinely immunised cohorts have been screened since 2015. Scotland has comprehensive cervical screening data that contain a woman's entire screening record, immunisation status, and unique personal identifier (community health index (CHI) number). We have been able to show the effectiveness of immunisation on various outcomes, including HPV prevalence, herd immunity, cervical disease, colposcopy outcomes, and uptake of cervical screening. This constitutes a comprehensive programme of immunisation surveillance.6789101112
Recently we reported on the effect of the bivalent HPV vaccine on prevalence of HPV types in women who were immunised at age 12-13 years and attended for screening at age 20.12 In the 1995 birth cohort (associated with 90% uptake of vaccine at age 13) a virtual eradication of infection related to HPV types 16 and 18 and a statistically significant reduction in cross protective types was observed. Furthermore, no evidence of replacement by other HPV types was evident and statistically significant herd protection in unvaccinated women was identified. Similar reductions have been reported in the Netherlands, where the bivalent vaccine is used.13 The considerable reduction in the most carcinogenic HPV types clearly has implications for associated disease and the way it is managed clinically.
In the present study, we report at a national, programme level and through linkage to screening records the effect of routine immunisation of girls aged 12-13 years with the bivalent HPV vaccine on levels of cytological abnormalities and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). These findings supplement previous studies in Scotland and the Netherlands, which indicate that the bivalent vaccine will afford protection against most HPV related cervical cancers.
MethodsScottish cervical screening programmeScotland has an organised, national cervical screening programme, which achieves about 70% uptake.14 Up to and including 5 June 2016 women aged between 20 and 60 were eligible for screening and thereafter the age range changed to between 25 and 64, 364 days in line with the rest of the United Kingdom. Eligible women are screened every three years until age 50 and then every five years until age 65. Screening is extended for a further five years if needed to complete follow-up of screen detected abnormalities. Scotland uses Thinprep liquid based cytology with image assisted screening (ThinPrep Imaging System; Hologic, Marlborough, MA). Eight National Health Service cytology laboratories served the programme during the period reported and processed around 400'‰000 samples a year. Cytological and histological findings are classified according to British Association for Cytopathology and NHS cervical screening programme criteria.1516Table 1 compares the three commonly used reporting systems.
Table 1Comparison of reporting systems used to classify cervical cytology
Women are referred for colposcopy after one finding of high grade dyskaryosis or ASCH (atypical squamous cells, cannot rule out high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion), two findings of low grade dyskaryosis or three findings of borderline change during an episode of abnormal follow-up, or three abnormal results in the past 10 years. Women with low grade dyskaryosis or borderline changes are followed up with cytology at six months if not referred for colposcopy. Smear tests are repeated within three months if results are unsatisfactory, and women with three consecutive unsatisfactory results are referred for colposcopy. Ablation or excision is routinely carried out for CIN grade 2 or worse. Conservative management is the expected treatment for low grade disease. Scotland does not use HPV testing for the triage of low grade cytology.
Data extraction, annotation, and exclusionsThe Scottish Cervical Call-Recall System (SCCRS) is a national IT system, which contains comprehensive data relating to screening and acts as an active management tool. We interrogated SCCRS for screening data on all women born between 1 January 1988 and 5 June 1996 from the date of first eligibility for screening (age 20) to the date of data extraction (August 2017). Data extracted included CHI number, postcode of residence, date of birth, attendance, immunisation status, cytology result, colposcopy referral, and related histological diagnosis. The postcode of residence was used to derive the Scottish index of multiple deprivation fifth (where the first fifth represents the most deprived), and rurality index (derived from the Scottish government eight level indicator, with three levels: urban, accessible rural (30-60 minute drive to a settlement of '‰¥10'‰000), and remote rural (>60 minute drive to a settlement of '‰¥10'‰000)). Duplicate records for a woman are linked in SCCRS under the most recent CHI number, and personal data (including postcode) are updated daily from the Scottish national population register used throughout the Scottish school and healthcare systems.
For all cohorts we restricted the data to those who had cytology tests and colposcopy appointments at age 20. The results for most women corresponded to their first smear test or first colposcopy examination; for the few women with more than one smear test or biopsy in their first year of screening, we used the most severe result. We excluded records without a deprivation and rurality score from analysis. Although data on all screening events were extracted, for this analysis we only used data on attendance in the first year of eligibility, minimising bias resulting from differences in age at time of screening and opportunity for disease detection. Age at immunisation was calculated based on age at first vaccination. Figure 1 shows the relation between immunisation, year of first screen, and data extraction.
Fig 1Schedule of immunisation, screening, and data collection. Only a few birth years in the 1990s were eligible. Girls born in 1994 not covered in first year of catch-up and immunised either side of 15th birthday, depending on date of birth. For first invitation to screening at age 20, women born in 1996 only eligible if date of birth was before 6 June. Data collated for all screening related events in first year of screening. Women born in 1996 had at least 15 months between initial invitation to screening and data extraction
Download figureOpen in new tabDownload powerpointMeasures of effect and outcomesCytology was recorded as negative (no evidence of disease), borderline (including borderline glandular changes), and low, moderate, or severe grade dyskaryosis (including glandular abnormalities). Histology was coded as normal (no CIN detected), CIN grade 1, CIN grade 2, and CIN grade 3 or worse (glandular neoplasia or cancer). We categorised women not referred for colposcopy as having no CIN detected. Wilson's method was used to calculate the confidence intervals for the percentages of women in the outcome groups. We used multivariate multinomial logistic regression models to explore the associations between cytology results, referral for colposcopy and histological diagnosis, and immunisation and demographic variables. Odds ratios for the cytological and histological outcomes are reported with 95% confidence intervals. Vaccine effectiveness for three doses compared with no doses was calculated as 100—(1''odds ratio), and for those fully vaccinated we estimated vaccine effectiveness separately by age at vaccination with reference to unvaccinated women in the pre-immunisation cohorts (born 1988-90). We used interaction tests to determine if the trend over time was the same between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated women. In addition to the number of doses of vaccine, we investigated the influence of birth cohort, Scottish index of multiple deprivation fifth, and the urban rural indicator on vaccine effectiveness. The pre-immunisation cohorts (born 1988-90) acted as the comparator group, although a small proportion of women born in 1990 were eligible for immunisation. Girls in the catch-up group (1991-94) are more likely to have been exposed to HPV before immunisation, whereas the routinely immunised group (1995-96) are considered more likely to be HPV na¯ve. We investigated herd protection by comparing the disease rates among unvaccinated women in the 1991-92, 1993-4, and 1995-96 cohorts with unvaccinated women in the 1989-90 cohort. The statistical analysis was carried out in R version 3.5.1 and SPSS version 21.
Patient and public involvementThere was no patient or public involvement in the design or analysis of this study. The records were anonymised before analysis, with preservation of linkage between immunisation, cytology, and histology when appropriate. Caldicott Guardian approval, a UK process to ensure that the use of personal data complies with legal requirements for data protection and is in the public interest, was obtained for the use of data. The data were generated through the routine activity of the Scottish cervical screening programme. Participation in the programme gives implied consent for the use of data derived from this participation for service monitoring and improvement. Management of individual patients is not affected by this study, and no individuals can be identified from the anonymised dataset used by the researchers.
ResultsIn total, 138'‰692 women born between 1 January 1988 and 5 June 1996 had a smear test result recorded at age 20. Table 2 and supplementary table 1 show the distribution of the records by year of birth and immunisation status. Three groups are identified, broadly corresponding to unvaccinated women (born 1988-90, age 18-20 in 2008), women vaccinated during the catch-up programme (born 1991-94, age 14-17 at vaccination), and women routinely vaccinated (born 1995-96, age 12-13 at vaccination). Cumulatively within the extract, 64'‰026 women were unvaccinated and 68'‰480 had three doses of vaccine (fully vaccinated). Only 2051 women received one dose and 4135 women received two doses. The number of women born in 1996 in the dataset is less than in other years as only those born before 6 June were eligible for screening because of changes to the age range for the screening programme. The number of women who had their first dose at age 14 is lower than in other years because of the phasing of the catch-up programme (fig 1).
Table 2Number (percentage) of records in data extract stratified by year of birth, number of doses of bivalent human papillomavirus vaccine, cytological abnormality, referral for colposcopy, and histological diagnosis
Tables 3 and 4 show the adjusted odds ratios for cytological and histological outcomes by immunisation status and age at which the first dose was administered and by year of birth in unvaccinated women, respectively. Figures 2 and 3 show the trends in cytological abnormalities and histologically confirmed CIN by percentage of the screened population stratified by no or complete immunisation.
Table 3Cytological and histological abnormalities at age 20 by age at first dose of bivalent human papillomavirus vaccine and immunisation status. Values are adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) unless stated otherwise
Table 4Cytological and histological abnormalities at age 20 in women who did not receive bivalent human papillomavirus vaccine, by year of birth. Values are adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) unless stated otherwise
Fig 2Cytological abnormality (% of women screened) by year of birth and immunisation status. 1988-90=pre-immunisation programme cohort; 1991-94=catch-up cohort; 1995-96=routinely immunised cohort. Whiskers represent 95% confidence intervals. ASCUS=atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance; LSIL=low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion; HSIL=high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL-M=mild dyskaryosis; HSIL-S+=severe dyskaryosis)
Download figureOpen in new tabDownload powerpoint Fig 3Histological abnormality (% of women screened) by year of birth and immunisation status. Whiskers represent 95% confidence intervals. CIN=cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; 1988-90=pre-immunisation programme cohort; 1991-94=catch-up cohort; 1995-96=routinely immunised cohort
Download figureOpen in new tabDownload powerpointCytological outcomesThe overall rate of severe dyskaryosis or worse decreased from 0.75% (0.63% to 0.89%) for women born in 1988 to 0.06% (0.04% to 0.11%) for women born in 1995-96, and moderate dyskaryosis decreased from 1.18% (1.04% to 1.36%) to 0.27% (0.21% to 0.35%), representing reductions of 92% (85% to 95%) and 77% (69% to 83%), respectively (table 2). Rates of severe and moderate dyskaryosis in unvaccinated compared with fully vaccinated women born in 1995 and 1996 were not significantly different (fig 2). Overall, borderline/ASCUS rates declined by 34% (30% to 39%), with a similar trend over the cohort in vaccinated and unvaccinated women (interaction test P=0.11), although the rate was lower in vaccinated women (15%, 11% to 19%). The reporting of low grade dyskaryosis/LSIL increased during the period of observation. The trend with birth cohort was the same for vaccinated and unvaccinated women (interaction test P=0.17); vaccinated women had 19% (14% to 24%) lower rates (table 2 and fig 2).
Vaccine effectiveness in fully immunised women, vaccinated at ages 12-13, compared with unvaccinated women in 1988-90 was 42% (38% to 46%) for borderline/ASCUS, ''38% (''48% to''28%) for low grade dyskaryosis/LSIL, 80% (72% to 86%) for moderate dyskaryosis/HSIL-M, and 93% (86% to 97%) for high grade dyskaryosis/HSIL-H (table 3).
Histological outcomesHigh grade CIN showed a significant overall decline (table 2 and fig 2). The rates of CIN grade 3 or worse decreased by 89% (81% to 94%), from a pre-immunisation rate of 0.59% (0.48% to 0.71%) in women born in 1988, to 0.06% (0.04% to 0.11%) in women born in 1995-96. CIN grade 2 or worse decreased by 88% (83% to 92%), from a pre-immunisation rate of 1.44% (1.28% to 1.63), to 0.17% (0.12% to 0.24%) in women born in 1995-96. No CIN grade 2 or worse (upper confidence limit 0.7%) was found in unvaccinated women in this age group (n=545). The decline in high grade CIN was steeper in fully vaccinated women (P=0.005 interaction test), but by the 1995-96 cohort, rates of high grade CIN were not significantly different between unvaccinated and vaccinated women (P=0.47) (fig 3).
CIN grade 1 decreased from 0.69% (0.58% to 0.63%) of women before immunisation (1988 cohort) to 0.15% (0.10% to 0.21%) overall for women born in 1995-96: a 79% (69% to 86%) reduction (table 2). The trend over birth cohort was the same for fully immunised and unimmunised women (interaction test P=0.90), and there was no evidence that the rates differed between fully immunised and unimmunised women (P=0.17; fig 3).
For fully immunised women, first vaccinated at age 12-13, vaccine effectiveness for CIN grade 1 was 78% (66% to 86%), for CIN grade 2 was 89% (81% to 94%), and for CIN grade 3 or worse was 86% (75% to 92%), compared with unvaccinated women in the 1988-90 cohorts. Vaccine effectiveness was lower for women first vaccinated at age 17: 41% (14% to 59%) for CIN grade 1, 56% (35% to 70%) for CIN grade 2, and 45% (17% to 64%) for CIN grade 3 or worse (table 3).
Herd protection was observed for the unvaccinated women in the 1995-96 cohort, with a 63% reduction in the odds of CIN grade1 (11% to 85%), 67% reduction for CIN grade 2 (19% to 86%), and 100% (69% to 100%) reduction for CIN grade 3, compared with unvaccinated women in 1988-90. Similar reductions were noted for moderate dyskaryosis/HSIL-M (58%, 21% to 78%) and high grade dyskaryosis/HSIL-H (85%, 38% to 96%) but not for borderline/ASCUS or low grade dyskaryosis/LSIL (table 4).
One and two dose outcomesTables 2 and 3 show the number of women with one dose or two doses of vaccine and outcomes. Although reductions occurred in both cytological and histological outcomes with two doses, no statistically significant effect was seen for either one dose or two doses. The numbers were too small to allow analysis by year of birth.
DiscussionThis study reports statistically significant reductions in all grades of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), equating to vaccine effectiveness estimates of 80% or greater after routine immunisation at age 12-13 years. The prevalence of high grade dyskaryosis was similarly reduced. Herd protection has been shown in unvaccinated women in the cohort offered routine immunisation. The changes in cytological abnormality and histologically confirmed cervical disease in women attending for their first cervical screen aged 20 associated with routine vaccination at age 12-13 years with the bivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in a setting that offered both a catch-up programme and that achieved high and consistent uptake. The results of this study were derived from data that directly link immunisation status and screening outcome at the level of the individual. We are confident that the reduction in disease does not relate to the inability of cytological screening to detect disease in vaccinated women, given previous data on cytology performance that showed no loss of sensitivity in vaccinated compared with unvaccinated women, and the deterioration in the clinical significance or positive predictive value of cytologically defined low grade disease described elsewhere.5
The increase in reporting of low grade dyskaryosis/LSIL in immunised women was statistically significant, in contrast with the reduction in all other cytological categories and all grades of CIN. Scottish surveillance data indicate that vaccine types and cross protected types (HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, and 45) are found in a higher proportion of samples with borderline/ASCUS cytology than in samples with low grade dyskaryosis/LSIL cytology and this could, in part, explain this observation. The human papillomavirus (HPV) types that remain after immunisation might not be associated with persistent disease. The cytological differential diagnosis of borderline/ASCUS changes is often moderate dykaryosis/HSIL rather than low grade dyskaryosis/LSIL (cases of borderline, atypical squamous cells, cannot rule out high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (ASCH) are reported but not recorded separately). Also, changes have occurred in the classification of HPV related cytological changes, and the management of CIN grade 1 or less at colposcopy that will have affected the relation between low grade cytology and a diagnosis of CIN grade 1.
Strengths and limitations of this studyThe strengths of this study include direct linkage of data between immunisation status and screening outcomes, and that the data are from the screened population rather than a selected cohort. The completeness of the screening database and the longstanding, organised nature of the surveillance programme means that it is possible to show trends and to examine their correlation to several variables. The data therefore form a sound basis for development of cervical cancer prevention strategies.
This study has limitations. The analysis was confined to women attending for cervical screening at age 20. Uptake of screening in fully vaccinated women aged 20 or 21 is 51%, and only 23% in unvaccinated women.1418 It is possible therefore that vaccine effectiveness was over-estimated. However, the high uptake of vaccination, similarity in distribution of HPV type in attenders and non-attenders, and appearance of herd protection give reassurance that the observations can be extrapolated to the general population.19
The shorter follow-up time for women born in 1995 and 1996 necessarily affects the robustness of the estimation of vaccine effectiveness for younger women; however, further planned longitudinal studies will help elucidate true protection from the effects of routine vaccination. The formal adoption of a conservative management protocol for women with CIN grade 1 at colposcopy over the study period could have affected the numbers of biopsies carried out. However, it is unlikely that this change in practice accounted for the magnitude of the reductions in CIN grade 1, particularly when considered along with the reductions in CIN grades 2 and 3, for which there were no changes in clinical management or treatment over the study period.
CIN grade 3 is now considered the best predictor of risk of invasive cancer, but a proportion will still regress. It is known that the likelihood of developing CIN grade 3 varies with the HPV genotype and is highest with HPV types 16, 31, and 33.20 The propensity for the CIN to regress is also related to the HPV type, and there are fewer cancers attributable to HPV type 33 than would be expected from the prevalence of this genotype in CIN grade 3 lesions.21 As the most oncogenic types have been effectively removed from the population it might be that regression of CIN grade 3 is more likely in vaccinated women, increasing vaccine effect on rates of CIN grade 3.
Another unavoidable limitation of high compliance with full vaccine schedules is the inability to assess the impact of fewer than three doses. The characteristics of partially immunised women in Scotland have been described previously.5 Briefly, partial immunisation was associated with increased deprivation, having left school, and increasing age. In girls offered routine, in-school vaccination, only 1.6% were partially immunised compared with 9.8% in the first full year of catch-up.
Comparison with other studiesThese results are the clinical counterpart of the reductions in type specific HPV infection shown in routinely vaccinated women.12 Kavanagh and colleagues showed statistically significant vaccine effectiveness against HPV types 16 and 18 (90%) and cross protective HPV types (80-85%), with cross protection lasting a minimum of seven years. Herd protection against HPV 16 and 18 related infection was also found in unvaccinated women in the routine vaccination cohort. The reduction of CIN grade 3 and the estimates of vaccine effectiveness reported are of a similar magnitude to those reported by Kavanagh and colleagues for HPV infection.12 The vaccine specific and cross protected HPV types covered by the vaccine (HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, and 45) are implicated in 90% of cancers in Scotland.22 CIN grade 3 is the precursor of invasive cervical carcinoma, with the least diagnostic variability and lowest rate of spontaneous regression, and it is recognised as the best indicator of the risk of invasive cancer.232425 It is therefore reasonable to expect that the reduction in CIN grade 3 will lead to a reduction in cervical cancer in future years. The anticipated impact of immunisation on cancer will take more time to become apparent.
A recent Cochrane review of the effectiveness of bivalent and quadrivalent HPV vaccination in randomised trials has shown unequivocal, high quality evidence of the benefits of immunisation.26 Our results are in keeping with this review. Population studies in other settings have shown a major impact of the quadrivalent vaccine on infection and associated benign and neoplastic disease.2728293031323334 The present work complements these studies in being the first to report on the impact of the bivalent vaccine on disease when delivered to girls aged 12-13 years within a national programme. It will now be of interest to see the impact of the nonavalent vaccine at the population level. It is postulated that the nonavalent vaccine will protect against 90% of cervical cancers globally.35 However, worthwhile additional protection against cancer because of the nonavalent vaccine will be difficult to show in Scotland, given the distribution of HPV types in the UK, the effect of the bivalent vaccine, and the absence of type replacement to date, although the effect on genital warts is clear.27 The Scottish cervical screening programme is incorporating HPV immunisation into its routine programme monitoring statistics. This, along with the projected move to HPV primary screening, will facilitate the monitoring of changes in vaccine effectiveness in the future.
Policy implicationsLow levels of cervical cancer after routine vaccination clearly have ramifications for screening vaccinated women. Although major disease is reduced in Scotland, it has not been eradicated, and continued screening is therefore necessary, particularly as for some years most women within the screening programme will not have been vaccinated. Previous work has suggested that the performance of cytology based and HPV based screening deteriorates in vaccinated women, despite preservation of sensitivity.78 This can be attributed to reduced disease levels leading to a higher number of false positive test results and a lower positive predictive value for important disease. The effectiveness of HPV primary screening in highly immunised populations will need close monitoring. Novel methods for improving uptake of screening, the effectiveness of the screening and, crucially, the triage test will be needed to maintain the performance of cervical screening as a process. The reduced rate of disease in those referred for colposcopy will likewise make the maintenance of colposcopy standards challenging.1011 Different modelling approaches have been used to inform optimal scenarios for screening of vaccinated women but have converged on the conclusion that, for some women, two or three screens in a lifetime using HPV testing might be sufficient.3637 Such sporadic screening, coupled with much reduced disease and decreasing numbers of women referred for colposcopy and treatment, necessitates redesign of cervical screening programmes. Ultimately, the clinical and economic rationale for cervical screening will need to be reviewed.
ConclusionWe have presented linked data, from a population with high vaccine uptake and a comprehensive catch-up programme, which show routine immunisation with three doses of bivalent vaccine at age 12-13 years is associated with a profound reduction of cervical disease seven years later, measured by cytological and histological abnormalities and referral for colposcopy. Disease was also reduced in unvaccinated women, possibly because of herd protection. Routinely vaccinated populations will also have a lower risk of other HPV related diseases.38 The reduction in disease in routinely immunised women, who will form the bulk of the screened population in years to come, mandates revision of screening and referral guidelines. The findings emphasise the credibility of using high risk HPV infection as an early marker of the effectiveness and success of the vaccine and underpin the recent call for global action on cervical cancer from the World Health Organization.
What is already known on this topicImmunisation against human papillomavirus (HPV) reduces the prevalence of target HPV types and cervical disease in women immunised in catch-up programmes
Population data on the effect on HPV prevalence in women routinely immunised at age 12-13 years show substantial reductions in target and cross protected HPV types
Population data on the effect on disease in routinely immunised women are lacking
What this study addsRoutine immunisation using the bivalent HPV vaccine against high grade cervical disease was found to be highly effective
In the setting of high uptake and a catch-up programme, unvaccinated women also show a reduction in disease, possibly because of herd protection
Cervical cancer prevention programmes and colposcopy services will need reappraisal, and data from Scotland will feed into models to support such review
AcknowledgmentsThe manuscript was reviewed by Jo's Trust, which supports the conclusions. It made the following statement: We think (it has) massive implications for the screening programme, vaccine and also impact on diagnoses in the future. It gives weight for activity to increase vaccine uptake, has implications on screening intervals. The clinically relevant herd protection is very interesting too. It also feeds into our policy calls for a new IT infrastructure (for the screening programme in England) to record and enable invitations based on whether someone has at the vaccine if intervals can be extended.
FootnotesContributors: TP was the lead author, conducted the literature search, produced the initial drafts, and collated comments. He specified the data extracted and worked with LW, CR, and the Cervical Screening system managers to confirm the quality of the extracted data. TP is the guarantor for this study. LW undertook the data analysis under the guidance of CR and reviewed early drafts. CR directed the statistical analysis and reviewed successive drafts. KC and KP provided support with analysis or interpretation, contextualisation, and generation of manuscript drafts. KK and MC provided additional statistical and clinical input and reviewed the later drafts. The corresponding author attests that all listed authors meet authorship criteria and that no others meeting the criteria have been omitted.
Funding: This study has been undertaken as part of the programme of surveillance of immunisation against human papillomavirus in Scotland, included within the routine work of Health Protection Scotland, a part of the Scottish National Health Service. No funding has been received from industry.
Competing interests: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf and declare: KP has received travel monies from both Merck and GSK to attend conferences. KC's institution has received monies to deliver research, or associated consumables to support research, from: Qiagen, Hologic, Selfscreen, GeneFirst, Euroimmun, Cepheid, Genomica, and LifeRiver. No personal conflicts of interest are declared.
Ethical approval: No ethical approval was required for this study as patient treatment was not altered by the observations. Caldicott approval for use of personal data was obtained.
Data sharing: No additional data available.
Transparency: The manuscript's guarantor (TP) affirms that this manuscript is an honest, accurate, and transparent account of the study being reported; that no important aspects of the study have been omitted; and that any discrepancies from the study as planned (and, if relevant, registered) have been explained.
This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
References'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µ'†µPan J, Kavanagh K, Cuschieri K, et al. Increased risk of HPV-associated genital cancers in men and women as a consequence of pre-invasive disease. IJC, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijc.3212.
View Abstract
Texas Bill Would Increase Vaccine Safety, Reject Federal Narrative | | Tenth Amendment Center Blog
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 02:32
AUSTIN, Texas (April 8, 2019) '' A bill introduced in the Texas Senate would prohibit vaccines from being administered unless certain safety criteria are met. Passage of the bill would significantly strengthen vaccine safety testing requirements and push back against any future federal vaccine mandates.
Sen. Bob Hall (R) introduced Senate Bill 2350 (SB2350) on March 8. The legislation would only permit a health care provider to administer a vaccine if all of the following criteria are met.
The study the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relied upon for approval of the vaccine evaluated the vaccine against a placebo control group or against another vaccine or substance that the FDA approved based upon a placebo-controlled study;The study relied upon by the FCA for approval of the vaccine evaluated the safety of the vaccine for a sufficient time to identify potential autoimmune, neurological, or chronic health conditions that may arise on or after a year from the vaccine being administered;The vaccine has been evaluated for its potential to cause cancer, mutate genes, affect fertility, cause infertility and cause autism spectrum disorder;The Texas Department of State Health Service has posted on its website disclosure of any known injuries or diseases caused by the vaccine and the rate at which the injuries or diseases have occurred; andThe chemical, pharmacological, therapeutic, and adverse effects of the vaccine and the rate of injury of the vaccine when administered with other vaccines, have been studied and verified.Effect on Federal Policy
After recent comments by former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb in February of 2019 just prior to his resignation, some believe that federal vaccine mandates are imminent. According to CNN, Gottlieb said, ''[I]f states don't require more schoolchildren to get vaccinated, the federal government might have to step in.'' Gottlieb also reportedly said, ''You could mandate certain rules about what is and isn't permissible when it comes to allowing people to have exemptions.'' [1] As discussed below, current vaccine safety testing requirements are far less stringent than most would assume. Passage of SB 2350 would bolster these requirements and make enforcement of any federal vaccine mandates more difficult.
Number of Recommended Vaccines Steadily Rise Since Removal of Liability
Vaccine mandates are generally based upon the vaccine schedules recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Because vaccines pose a risk of injury or death, liability is associated with them. Many Americans are unaware that the pharmaceutical industry is shielded from liability for harm caused by most vaccines. This unique legal protection was put into place as a result of legislation passed in 1986, after extensive lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry. Manufacturers of other products don't enjoy this freedom from liability. Due to lack of liability, vaccines are the pharmaceutical industry's most lucrative product.
The 1986 law also created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), which is essentially a special system outside of the normal litigation process to hear claims of harm caused by vaccines. Any compensation granted by the NVICP is paid by the public, through a surcharge on vaccines, and not by vaccine manufacturers. To date, over four billion dollars has been paid under this system to compensate for harm caused by vaccines. [2]
Further, although discovery is a right afforded to litigants in most other legal forums, discovery is not permitted in the NVICP process. This protects vaccine manufacturers from having to search for, and produce, relevant information, including damaging information. In cases involving prescription medication, which are heard in other legal forums, information unfavorable to the pharmaceutical industry has come to light through discovery, such as the damaging e-mails which were required to be produced in the Vioxx litigation. [3]
In the absence of pharmaceutical industry liability for most vaccines, the number of vaccines recommended by the industry and the CDC is steadily rising. For example, in 1983, the CDC recommended that children receive 23 doses of seven vaccines. By 2017, the number of vaccines it was recommending rose to 69 doses of 16 vaccines starting on the day of birth to age 18, with 50 doses of 14 vaccines given before age 6. [4] Since 2002, a CDC adult vaccine schedule has also existed. [5] Like with the childhood schedule, the number of recommended vaccines and doses on the adult schedule has continued to rise. Furthermore, there are hundreds of new vaccines in the developmental process and the number of CDC recommended vaccines is expected to continue to rise.
Inadequate Vaccine Safety Testing
Lack of adequate safety testing is a common concern of opponents of mandatory vaccines and SB 2350 addresses this critical issue.
Many Americans believe that vaccines undergo the same safety testing as drugs prior to their approval. However, this is incorrect. In fact, vaccines and drugs are subject to different rules because the FDA has chosen to classify vaccines as ''biologics'' rather than ''drugs.'' Drugs are required to undergo multi-year, double-blind inert placebo studies, widely known as the gold standard of safety science, prior to licensing. Vaccines, on the other hand, are not required to undergo inert placebo-controlled studies for approval. [6] Furthermore, unlike the lengthy periods required for drug safety studies, vaccine safety studies monitor for adverse reactions for very short periods of time, often of fourteen days or less. [7] Additionally, although children frequently receive multiple vaccines at the same time in accordance with the CDC's recommended schedule, vaccine manufacturers are not required to test the safety of the vaccines in these combinations. [8]
In fact, there is a multitude of reasons, in addition to inadequate safety testing, to question the mandating of vaccines. For example, the ingredients in them are often cited as a source of concern. The ingredients in each type of vaccine differ but, generally, vaccines contain a myriad of toxic or concerning substances such as aluminum, antibiotics, formaldehyde, Polysorbate 80, bovine extract, egg protein, monosodium glutamate (MSG), squalene, and aborted human fetal tissue. [9], [10]. Additionally, several recently published books set forth scientific information which raises concerns about vaccines, including the book Miller's Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers by Neil Z. Miller, which contains over 400 peer-reviewed scientific studies. [11] In another book, Vaccines '' A Reappraisal, Dr. Richard Moskowitz, a family physician with over fifty years of experience, discusses a wide range of troubling information concerning vaccines, such as: epidemiological research which indicates that vaccines may interfere with the normal development of a healthy immune system; information concerning the role that vaccines can play in causing infectious disease outbreaks; and evidence of the surprisingly low effectiveness levels of many vaccines. [12] J.B. Handley's book How to End the Autism Epidemic also contains a wealth of information concerning potential harm caused by vaccines, particularly focusing on aluminum, a toxic metal used as an adjuvant in many vaccines, and on evidence of a causal link between vaccines and autism. [13] As these works clearly indicate, the science is not settled with regard to whether vaccines are safe or necessary.
State Action Needed
Federal regulation becomes ineffective when states enact contradictory policies. If multiple states ban mandatory vaccinations or pass laws which conflict with the CDC's recommended schedules, it will become extremely difficult for the federal government to enforce future federal mandates. Such state laws will also undermine the federal narrative and make it harder for the feds to generate support for nationwide mandatory vaccine policies. By passing SB 2350, Texas has the opportunity to lead on this important issue and to become the potential standard bearer for resisting federal vaccine policy at the state level.
WHAT'S NEXT
NOTES
[1] Cohen, Elizabeth and Bonifeld, John, ''FDA chief: Federal government might step in if states don't change lax vaccine laws.'' CNN.com. Cable News Network. Web. 20 Feb 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/20/health/vaccine-exemptions-fda-gottlieb/index.html. Accessed 7 April 2019.
[2] Children's Health Defense. ''$4 Billion and Growing: U.S. Payouts for Vaccine Injury and Deaths Keep Climbing.'' www.ChildrensHealthDefense.org. Web. 19 Nov. 2018, https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/4-billion-and-growing-u-s-payouts-for-vaccine-injuries-and-deaths-keep-climbing/. Accessed 7 April 2019.
[3] Berensen, Alex, ''Jury Finds Merck Liable in Vioxx Death and Awards $253 Million.'' nytimes.com. Web. 19 Aug. 2005, https://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/19/business/jury-finds-merck-liable-in-vioxx-death-and-awards-253-million.html. Accessed 7 April 2019.
[4] National Vaccine Information Center. ''A Guide to Reforming Vaccine Policy and Law.'' www.nvic.org. Web. 26 Sept. 2018, https://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/state-vaccine-requirements/Reforming-Vaccine-Policy'--Law-Guide.aspx. Accessed 7 April 2019.
[5] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Immunization Schedules, Table 1. Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule for ages 19 years or older, United States, 2019. Web. 5 Feb. 2019, https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult.html. Accessed 7 April 2019.
[6] Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. ''Vaccines and the Liberal Mind.'' Children's Health Defense. www.ChildrensHealthDefense.org. Web. 14 June 2018, https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/vaccines-and-the-liberal-mind/. Accessed 7 April 2019.
[7] Moskowitz, Richard, Vaccines '' A Reappraisal. New York, New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2017. 31-42. Print.
[8] Imus, Deirdre. ''Toxic Vaccine Ingredients: The Devil is in the Details.'' www.ChildrensHealthDefense.org. Web. 6 March 2018, https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/toxic-vaccine-ingredients-the-devils-in-the-details/. Accessed 7 April 2019.
[9] Ibid
[10] National Vaccine Information Center. ''New Human Fetal Cell Lines Available for Vaccine Production.'' www.nvic.org. Web. 15 Jan. 2018, https://www.nvic.org/nvic-vaccine-news/january-2018/new-human-fetal-cell-lines-for-vaccine-production.aspx. Accessed 7 April 2019.
[11] Miller, Neil Z., Miller's Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers, Santa Fe, New Mexico: New Altantean Press, 2016. Print.
[12] Moskowitz, Richard, Vaccines '' A Reappraisal. New York, New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2017. Print.
[13] Handley, J.B., How to End the Autism Epidemic. White River Junction, Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2018. Print.
Tags: SB2350, Texas, Vaccines
Ministry of Truthiness
CNN's Acosta Wins 'Truth to Power' Award
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 01:52
Follow Matt on TwitterApparently integrity in journalism means nothing to the media anymore. That's why we continue to tell you to support Independent Media like The DC Patriot.
Press credibility just took another major hit when CNN's mouthy and interrupting nuisance Jim Acosta scored the coveted 2019 ''Truth To Power'' award in a display of how low that the media has sunk in this sad era of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
The trophy will be presented to the clownish ''reporter'' at the upcoming New York Press Club Journalism Awards soiree in another one of those self-serving ceremonies similar to those that are conducted by the entitled narcissists in the entertainment industry.
Acosta has become a hero of the so-called Resistance for his childish shtick that includes the constant rude badgering of White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and shouting at President Trump '' most infamously during the historic peace talks between the Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last year.
From our friends over at The Wrap;
CNN's Jim Acosta will be honored with the New York Press Club's ''Truth to Power'' award, the organization said in a press release Friday. The award honors ''an individual whose body of work challenges the power establishment and/or defends journalists.''
''We are proud to honor a man such as Jim Acosta, who has proven himself throughout his storied, decades-long career to be a journalist of the utmost integrity, '' Jane Tillman Irving, president of the Press Club, said in the release. ''For his unwavering commitment to fact and journalism, we are pleased to add to Jim's many accolades with the Gabe Pressman 'Truth to Power' award.''
Acosta, the channel's chief White House correspondent, spent years in relative obscurity on CNN until Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election. Trump has made CNN the primary target of his attacks on the media and has disparaged the network as ''fake news.''
In his role as White House correspondent, Acosta has often butted heads with Trump and his top surrogates from the White House briefing room and elsewhere. Things came to a head last November after Trump moved to revoke Acosta's White House press credentials.
You can also read more from our friends at ILoveMyFreedom.org
Facebook, Google, Amazon Silent For Days After Twitter Drops SPLC | The Daily Caller
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 13:24
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2020
Secret tapes linger over Buttigieg's meteoric rise | TheHill
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 12:41
Pete Buttigieg Peter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegDemocratic proposals to overhaul health care: A 2020 primer Buttigieg slams Electoral College for overruling popular vote 'twice in my lifetime' Buttigieg calls for 'a new American spring' in campaign launch MORE 's meteoric rise as a presidential candidate is putting a spotlight on his years as mayor of South Bend, Ind., including his demotion of an African American police chief.
An Indiana judge will rule soon on whether to release five cassette tapes of secretly recorded conversations between South Bend police officers that led to the 2012 demotion of Police Chief Darryl Boykins, the city's first ever black police chief.
The South Bend City Council subpoenaed Buttigieg to win release of the tapes, which were at the center of a police department shake-up and a series of lawsuits.
Buttigieg's critics say he's gone to great lengths to conceal the contents of the tapes, which some believe could include racist language by white police officers.
There is roiling anger in South Bend over the allegations of racism. Black leaders in the city say that if there is evidence of racism, it could call into question scores of convictions that stemmed from white police officers investigating black suspects in a city that is 25 percent black.
Members of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH coalition met with Buttigieg in 2014 and urged him to ask for a federal investigation into allegations of police misconduct.
''There's a level of frustration,'' said Karen White, a city councilwoman and Democrat who is black. ''We want this issue to be brought to closure to ensure this issue does not polarize our community further. We have a right to know [what's on the tapes], as do our citizens.''
'¨Buttigieg's defenders say he's not trying to conceal the tapes, but rather is seeking to ensure that releasing the recordings does not run afoul of federal or state wiretapping laws. No one in the mayor's office has listened to the recordings, sources say. The mayor's allies say he was put in a tough spot, eager to discover whether the allegations of racism are true but not wanting to expose the city to further legal action if a judge ruled the tapes violated federal and state recording laws. ''The mayor's stance from day one has been that he won't do anything unless it's cleared by a court of law,'' said a Buttigieg ally. ''These are serious matters. Serious allegations. His oath and his job every day is to follow the law, so that's what he's doing. Whatever the court decides, whether the tapes are to be released or destroyed, he'll do that.'' The matter currently sits with St. Joseph County Superior Court Judge Steve Hostetler, who could rule on a summary judgement within weeks, although further appeals are expected. The issue has potential ramifications in the Democratic primary. Buttigieg, 37, a Harvard graduate, Rhodes Scholar, and military veteran, launched his presidential campaign from a former Studebaker factory in South Bend on Sunday, saying his policies had revitalized the once-dying Midwest town. African American voters will be a force in the primary, where 18 Democrats and counting are battling to be heard. If the judge rules that the tapes should be released, their contents will immediately become a national story. The Hill dug through court documents and interviewed more than a dozen people to look at the roots of the story, which began in early 2011, before Buttigieg had been elected mayor. The mayor's office and South Bend Police Department declined to comment. Secret recordings
In 2011, Karen DePaepe, a 25-year veteran of the South Bend Police Department in charge of the dispatch and communications center, informed Boykins that the desk phone line for Detective Bryan Young was being taped. A previous police chief had authorized taping the phone line because the detective at the time didn't want to miss any possible tips. Boykins allowed the taping, now on Young's phone line, to continue but did not inform the detective that his calls were being recorded.
About a year later, shortly after Buttigieg had been elected to his first term in office at the age of 29, DePaepe discovered recordings on the line that she said revealed racist remarks and a potential criminal conspiracy between officers. DePaepe took the allegations to Boykins, who confronted the officers. The officers, upset over the secret recordings, went to the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) to ask for an investigation. They contended the recordings were illegal, and their complaints prompted U.S. Attorney David Capp to open an investigation. Buttigieg steps in
Buttigieg only learned of the investigation into the recordings in early 2012 when the FBI alerted him to the probe. Buttigieg's allies say he was frustrated that Boykins did not tell him about the existence of the investigation. The mayor was alarmed by allegations the officers had been improperly recorded. Though he had initially asked Boykins to remain on as police chief after his mayoral win, Buttigieg, upon learning of the investigation, asked him to resign. Boykins complied, but a day later, after consulting with legal counsel and hearing from supporters in the community, he reversed course and asked to be reinstated. In an interview with The Hill, Boykins's attorney, Tom Dixon, accused the mayor's office of misleading his client and trying to scare him into leaving. In a court filing, Boykins said he had stepped down under ''the false pretense that the Mayor was being directed into this course of action by the U.S. Attorney's office.'' Buttigieg relented to a degree, removing Boykins as police chief but keeping him on the force with a demotion to captain. The mayor also fired DePaepe, believing she had intentionally eavesdropped on the officers to dig up dirt on them. DePaepe disputed that characterization, saying in a court filing that she had ''inadvertently stumbled upon conversations'' between officers. Lawsuits
The firing and demotion led to a string of lawsuits. Boykins sued the city for racial discrimination, arguing that the taping policy existed under previous police chiefs, who were white. In a court filing, Boykins argued that Buttigieg had used the taping scandal as an excuse to get rid of him. Boykins said that since Buttigieg had been elected, the top three ranking African-American officials in the city had retired, been forced out or demoted. The men who replaced them, Boykins said, were white. ''The Mayor seized the 'tape scandal' to make a clean sweep of the heretofore African American leadership in South Bend,'' Boykins's tort claim says. DePaepe sued for wrongful termination, claiming the recordings under wraps contained ''racially derogatory statements relating to other ranking officers'' and a plot to convince the new mayor to oust Boykins. A third lawsuit was filed by a group of four police officers and one officer's wife, who said they had been illegally recorded and defamed. The city settled with everyone. Boykins received $75,000, DePaepe got $235,000 and the group of officers received $500,000. At the time, Buttigieg justified the settlements by saying that going to court would have been more expensive for the city's taxpayers. ''Even though I'm confident our administration did the right thing, there is still a big cost, financially and in terms of energy and attention, to defending and winning these claims in court,'' he said. ''Each passing day these cases were lingering was bad for the city, and a chance to reach an agreement and resolve them was in the best interest of the city.'' The U.S. attorney closed the book on the case, saying there was no evidence a crime had been committed in recording the officers. Suing for the tapes
The city council and local activists were alarmed by the allegations of racism and corruption within the police department.Former city council member Henry Davis, Jr., a Democrat, asked for a federal investigation in a 2012 letter to Tom Perez Thomas Edward PerezClinton's top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor's 'wasteful spending and mismanagement'' at Workers' Comp MORE , who at the time was the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division at the DOJ.
''There is a high level of discontent brewing,'' Davis wrote. ''This letter is a plea to the Justice Department for immediate intervention for the protection and safety of our residents and police officers in South Bend.'' The police officers are suing Davis for defamation. Dan Pfeiffer, an attorney for the police officers, told The Hill there is nothing criminal on the recordings. Pfeiffer accused Boykins of using the tapes as blackmail to threaten his political rivals, some of whom were angling for the police chief job in the new administration. The city council issued a subpoena for the tapes. An attorney for the council members argued that there is no expectation of privacy inside a police station and that officers are told as part of their training that they should expect their phone lines are being recorded. The mayor challenged the subpoena in federal court, arguing that a judge should decide whether it's legal for anyone to listen to the recordings. The fight over the tapes has been winding through the courts ever since. The controversy has hung over Buttigieg's two terms in office but his approval rating in South Bend is sky-high. South Bend is about 55 percent Democratic. Buttigieg won reelection to a second term with over 80 percent of the vote. Buttigieg's backers say he's made strides in repairing the racial divide. ''This happened very early on in his administration and the mayor has since spent a lot of quantity time with communities of color to build trust,'' said the Buttigieg ally. ''It was really hard, especially happening so early on in his time in office. But he's been able to build deeper relationships because of it.'' But some think Buttigieg mishandled the situation, particularly with Boykins, who is well-regarded within the community. ''I personally felt it could have been handled differently with Chief Boykins,'' said White, who is excited to see Buttigieg get into the presidential race but isn't endorsing a candidate at this point. ''There was a perception within the community that Boykins '... was painted to be someone that was not in line with his character.''
OMG-LOL! Beto O'Rourke's terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad 'tax return release' just keeps getting WORSE and worse '' twitchy.com
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 17:41
Gotta hand it to Beto O'Rourke, when he screws up he REALLY screws up. We suppose since Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders released their tax returns that Beto felt like he needed to as well BUUUUT it's not exactly gone all that well for the only furry running for president in 2020.
Seems he's not quite as charitable as Democrats would like to believe AND he's made an over-deduction here and there '...
Beto's tax return rollout could be going better pic.twitter.com/CwdqE1t3KJ
'-- Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) April 16, 2019
So many OOPSIES.
When will Swalwell release his tax returns? You know THAT will be a hoot and a half.
His medical expense deduction = self employed med/dental insurance premiums. In 2014, this was $7684 (for a family of 4). Anybody else not in congress paying that low? And who's the CPA who doesn't instantly recognize he was nowhere close to the threshold for deductibility?
'-- SavageInviteDeadPool (@SavageDP2018) April 16, 2019
Ruh-roh.
Hypocrites! Talk big taxes and helping people but aren't very charitable and take every deduction offered (and more) and pay no extra. Exactly why I don't give a ðŸ'(C) about seeing Trump's tax returns as long as he wants to cut mine.
'-- Donna (@preimaDonna) April 16, 2019
True dat.
pic.twitter.com/EXderdenbG
'-- JM (@jollygoat) April 16, 2019
Such a shame.
Who needs charity when we could simply raise tax rates?
'-- Seizing and Pouncing (@NotchLickKat) April 16, 2019
It's the Democrat way after all.
HA!
Amazing how frugal progressives are with their hard earned money, yet are desperate to yank every last dollar out of my wallet. I'm a retired police officer, and I donated more to charity than he did. What a bunch of hypocritical tools. pic.twitter.com/aSYdl4r8Zf
'-- Paul Geren (@KeysRetired) April 16, 2019
Democrats LOVE giving money to others, just not their own money.
Cheapskate Beto seems like the kind of guy who conveniently gets up to use the restroom when the check is about to arrive.
'-- Sha (@quip1) April 16, 2019
pic.twitter.com/ECC159ofPr
'-- A0C's Only Lonely Brain Cell (@mike86681) April 16, 2019
They. Would. COMBUST.
This is why you don't release your taxes. It's stupid, no one wants to see your taxes to say good job you paid your fair share. The only reason to look at them is to say you didn't something wrong or bad, bc by law, no person pays the right amount of taxes. It's not possible.
'-- Me (@TreyMcMillan83) April 16, 2019
Tell that to the Democrats who keep demanding Trump release his.
It's all just one big political game and it looks like Beto LOST.
Related:
Some things NEVER change! Obama couldn't wait to make the #NotreDameCathedralFire about '... Obama
Oh NO you don't! Sen. Dianne Feinstein tries pinning CA's astronomical taxes on GOP tax cuts and gets fact-WRECKED
F for effort! AOC tweets alternate headline for an article she CLEARLY didn't read trying to DUNK on the GOP
False Prophets
Nipsey Hussle
DJ Khaled, Luol Deng and Nipsey Hussle Join Syndicate's Bid for Viceroy Santa Monica
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 18:34
LOS ANGELES , March 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- An investment syndicate led by Los Angeles -based developer and investor David Gross and real estate icon, R. Donahue Peebles , are leading a bid to acquire the leasehold for the historic Viceroy Santa Monica , a luxury hotel located on Ocean Avenue in Downtown Santa Monica . Gross, the CEO of The Confluent Group, and Peebles, Chairman and CEO of The Peebles Corporation, are partnering with a prominent group of entertainers and entrepreneurs in their pursuit of the 162 room luxury, beach hotel.
The group of investors also includes:
Bracket VC, VC and Real Estate Investment Firm with offices in Los Angeles and Doha, Qatar D3N9, Santa Monica based Private Equity and Real Estate Investment Firm Luol Deng , National Basketball Association Player, Real Estate Investor and Philanthropist Nipsey Hussle , Record Label Owner, Musician and EntrepreneurDJ Khaled, Record Label Executive, Producer and Television Star
LaSalle Hotel Properties, leaseholders of the Viceroy Santa Monica, started shopping the property in early August 2017 . This group led by Gross would likely be the most notable collective of names to express interest in the Viceroy.
Said Gross of the group's bid, "The Viceroy is one of my favorite hotels in the Los Angeles area. It has an incredible location and an understated, cool vibe. My partners and I are uniquely capable of repositioning the property as the luxury, boutique hotel with the most dynamic hospitality experience in Santa Monica , and the Westside of LA generally."
If Gross and team are able to secure the deal, the investment firm will make history by being the first minority led group to own a high-end hotel in the coveted Santa Monica area.
About David Gross David Gross is the CEO of The Confluent Group, a private investment organization comprised of a portfolio of real estate holdings, public investments and private companies. Confluent's investments are most heavily concentrated in real estate, hospitality and media. Adjacent to his role at Confluent, David is a strategic advisor to a targeted group of ultra- affluent entertainers, athletes and entrepreneurs.
Apart from his myriad responsibilities at The Confluent Group, David is the founder of Vector90, an inner city based coworking space and incubator. He is also on the board of SRVE, an on demand private chef service, and Saus, an app that redefines the mobile dating experience for women.
David attended Cornell University for his undergraduate studies, with concentrations in Economics and Government. He obtained an MBA in Quantitative Finance from New York University and a Master of Real Estate Development from Columbia University .
About R. Donahue Peebles Recognized as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the nation, R. Donahue Peebles is Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Peebles Corporation, one of the country's few national privately held real estate investment and development companies with a multi-billion dollar portfolio of projects in New York , Washington D.C. , Philadelphia , Boston , Miami and Miami Beach .
A partnership between The Peebles Corporation, Claridge Properties and Macfarlane Partners was recently approved to develop a $1.2 billion project in Downtown, Los Angeles . Current plans call for both SLS and Mondrian hotels, 250 condos, open space, shops and restaurants, and a charter elementary school. Upon completion, the 88-story skyscraper would be one of the tallest on the West Coast.
In addition to his role as CEO of The Peebles Corporation, Mr. Peebles is a top-selling author (The Peebles Principles and The Peebles Path to Real Estate Wealth), a regular guest on CNN, CNBC and FOX, and a highly sought-after speaker who has addressed educational, business and professional audiences across the United States .
Media Contact(s): Black Ash Marketing Ashley Blackwood , (917) 410-0857Ashley@BlackAshMaketing.com
SOURCE The Confluent Group
Nipsey Hussle - Victory Lap Lyrics and Tracklist | Genius
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 16:10
After releasing a string of mixtapes, Nipsey Hussle dropped his long-awaited debut studio album Victory Lap on February 16, 2018, through All Money In No Money Out and Atlantic Records. The album received favorable reviews from multiple publications, and Nipsey said the following when asked by HighSnobiety if he thinks it is his best work:
I really do, and I know that's the correct thing to say, but it really is in terms of consistency in a body of work, especially with the song writing and lyrics. I can listen to it top to bottom and it will throw up a few different emotions for me with each track. The content feels so honest, and I think the production is really elevated. Victory Lap really does represent my life and what is real to me.
The album debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200, selling 53,000 album-equivalent units. The album also peaked at number 3 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. It seems the long-awaited debut had the impact it was intended for, resulting in a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album in 2019.
After Nipsey's death on March 31, 2019, Victory Lap re-entered the Billboard 200 chart at number 2 with 66,000 copies sold. At the same time, the songs ''Double Up,'' ''Last Time That I Checc'd'' with YG, and ''Dedication'' with Kendrick Lamar entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at #65, #82, and #93, respectively.
Introducing the Cultural Leadership Fund '' Andreessen Horowitz
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 19:04
Yo, the sun don't shine foreverBut as long as it's here then we might as well shine together ''Sean ''Diddy'' Combs, '' Victory''
In the early days of the technology industry, there was no thought about consumers, because consumers were not our customers. The first computer was sold to the United States government and in general we sold technology to technologists trying to build solutions to difficult problems. Tom Watson, the founder of IBM, famously said in 1943 that the worldwide market for computers was 5. While that seems impossible in retrospect, at the time computers were exceptionally expensive, hard to use, and difficult to sell. Logically, this meant that the industry built technology for people in priority order of how much money they had '-- first to governments, then to big business, then to small business and almost never to consumers. One could see this in popular culture as James Bond had all kinds of cool technology gadgets that consumers could only dream about.
This changed slightly with the advent of the PC, but the consumer market was still relatively small compared to the government and business markets. Once the Internet and then the smartphone hit the scene, the economics reversed themselves: technology became cheap, easy to use, and often free to distribute. As a result, new technologies now go to markets in priority of their size '-- first to consumers then to small businesses then to big businesses and finally to governments. And now James Bond just uses a smartphone.
As a result, consumer behavior '-- in other words, culture '-- has become central to successfully building, marketing, and selling new technologies.
In the meanwhile, one group of people has been responsible for more cultural influence than any other and perhaps all other groups combined. African Americans invented all modern forms of music from jazz to blues to rock and roll to hip hop. In the United States, most fashion, dance, and language innovation has come from this relatively small community. This is especially significant, because worldwide no culture influenced consumer behavior more than U.S. culture.
So, when we started the firm in 2009, it made logical sense to us that as software eats the world and technology's primary target audience becomes consumers we would focus on this unique talent pool. In the early days, this meant hiring African Americans in the firm and backing the best African American entrepreneurs such as Paul Judge, Tristan Walker, Diishan Imira, Donnel Baird, Steve Stoute, Ryan Williams, Debo Olaosebikan, and most recently Chris Bennett.
Still, we felt that we were leaving opportunity on the table in two important dimensions. First, we had not systematically partnered with the established cultural leaders and second, we were not increasing the number of African Americans entering the technology business. Today we announce the Andreessen Horowitz Cultural Leadership Fund to address both issues.
The basic goals of the CLF are twofold:
Connect the greatest cultural leaders in the world to the best new technology companiesEnable more young African Americans to enter the technology industryTo accomplish this, we created a new fund with Limited Partners who are exclusively cultural leaders including Sean ''Diddy'' Combs, Shonda Rhimes, Will and Jada Smith, Quincy Jones, Kevin Durant, Chance the Rapper, Nasir Jones, Charles Phillips, Edith Cooper, John Thompson, Robin Washington, Richelieu Dennis, Shellye Archambeau, and more. The fund was raised by our partner Chris Lyons. He will invest it in companies in the Andreessen Horowitz portfolio who are interested in partnering with the cultural leaders who invested in the fund.
Next, all of the fees and carry associated with the fund will be donated to non-profit organizations that enable African Americans to enter the technology industry.
We are extremely excited to unite cultural and technology leaders to facilitate a better future for everyone.
The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (''a16z'') personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation.
This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments and certain publicly traded cryptocurrencies/ digital assets for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly) is available at https://a16z.com/investments/.
Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.
The Purge
Instagram Memers Are Unionizing - The Atlantic
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:11
They're hoping to solve some of the new economy's problems with an old tactic: collective bargaining.
Taylor Lorenz 11:58 AM ET @UnionizedMemes / InstagramInstagram memers have had enough.
They generate the engagement that helps keep Instagram growing'--but, they argue, the multibillion-dollar platform doesn't pay them for their work, or give them any control. So they're fighting back. And before you write off IG Meme Union Local 69-420 as a joke, the organizers of the collective would like you to know that they are very serious.
''Solidarity actions with memers. Memers of the world unite,'' the Instagram page for the union reads, encouraging followers to ''seize the memes of production.''
The IG Meme Union will probably never be recognized by the National Labor Relations Board, but organizers say it can still act as a union for all intents and purposes. ''We're calling it a union and doing union-organizing tactics,'' Paul Praindo, a representative of the organizing committee, told me. ''We stand in firm support of others who are working to organize anti-labor industries. We think these movements mark the beginning of a labor renaissance.'' Some other ''unions'' function this way: The Freelancers Union, for instance, doesn't have a formal management structure to negotiate with, but does advocate collectively for independent workers.
Similarly, the IG Meme Union, which is currently taking applications through an online form, hopes to negotiate better working conditions for memers who say they have been exploited by Instagram and other tech platforms for too long. ''People are doing a lot of work, doing it for free or little compensation, or not recognized for the work they're doing,'' Praindo said. ''All these people are bringing revenue to Instagram, producing this major profit margin for this company, and they're subject to really little job security.''
Read: Why some of Instagram's biggest memers are locking their accounts
Instagram follows the same business model as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social platforms. The service itself is free to use, but the platform monetizes the content posted to it to sell ads based on metadata attached to that content. Users themselves, who are the ones posting the photos, videos, and memes that keep people coming back to the app, don't get a cut of that revenue.
''We as content creators want to have worker protections,'' Praindo said. ''Even if you're producing funny pictures of Shrek, that should not determine whether you're taken seriously as a creator or your livelihood is imperiled at the drop of a hat '... We are a meme union; the whole point of it is to work for protections for other content creators.''
Instagram declined to say explicitly on the record whether it supports the union. Instead, a company spokesperson offered a statement: ''We're always listening to feedback from the community,'' it said. ''We're happy to have the feedback so we can improve. Hearing these concerns is useful for us.''
A few things the IG Meme Union wants: a more open and transparent appeals process for account bans; a direct line of support with Instagram, or a dedicated liaison to the meme community; and a better way to ensure that original content isn't monetized by someone else. ''Having a public and clear appeal process is a big thing,'' Praindo said. ''People appeal now and get turned down, and they won't know why.'' (In a statement, an Instagram spokesperson said, ''Each week we review millions of reports and there are times when we make mistakes.'' She also said the company would soon be rolling out an option to appeal post removals.)
So far, the union's message has been well received by the broader meme community. Administrators for accounts with millions of followers said they support the group's efforts and would stand in solidarity with them. ''I think the union is a good thing. There should be something like this,'' said Sonny5ideUp, a memer with more than 1 million followers on Instagram. Jackson Weimer, a writer for Meme Insider who has also created several successful Instagram meme pages, said he thinks the union is a ''good idea'' and a necessary way to get Instagram to finally take memers seriously.
Memers represent a burgeoning sector of the labor force that currently has no job security or formal protection. ''If you're spending all your time as a Twitch broadcaster or creating memes, that is work,'' says John Ahlquist, an associate professor at the University of San Diego's School of Global Policy and Strategy, who has done research on the changing nature of work. ''People that are trying to earn a living on these platforms are recognizing how vulnerable they are on an individual basis with respect to the platform, and so they're turning to this tried-and-true model of collective action.''
Memers aren't direct employees of these tech platforms, nor are they independent contractors for them. But they produce, directly or indirectly, the bulk of these platforms' income. And current labor protections don't cover this type of ''mediated work,'' Ahlquist told me.
Read: Memes are becoming harder to monetize
''All the basic labor-market regulations we have in place to try to give people fallback in the event of illness or the recession or aging'--they're all designed and counted under a particular set of contractual arrangements that no longer fit many people,'' he said. ''That labor contract [and those jobs] looks like things we're familiar with from the middle of the 20th century.''
This isn't the first time internet influencers and creators have tried to band together to make their voices heard'--with varying results. Top YouTubers often join multichannel networks, which bargain for higher rates and facilitate a direct line to YouTube. In 2015, more than 20 of Vine's top stars joined together to attempt to negotiate a payment structure from the app. When talks broke down between the Viners and the platform, they walked; Vine's user base and engagement plummeted, and the app later shuttered. In 2016, more than 100 top Facebook pages reaching more than 10 million users collectively banded together to form the Meme Alliance, which argued for more transparent enforcement of the platform's community standards. Facebook did end up revamping its moderation policies, though it did not directly acknowledge the Meme Alliance.
While previous efforts by small groups of creators may have stalled, William Fitzgerald, a volunteer with the Tech Workers Coalition, a worker-led organizing group for the tech industry, told me that the IG Meme Union is forming at an optimal time. Tech giants such as Facebook, Apple, Google, and Amazon have come under fire recently for exploitative labor practices, and the public is becoming aware of just how much power these companies exert over our lives and economy.
Amazon was recently forced to scrap its plans for its New York City expansion after backlash. Employees at Google staged a 20,000-person walkout and protest last fall over the company's mishandling of sexual-harassment claims, forcing the company to revise its policy. Uber and Lyft drivers have attempted to unionize, as have staff at the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and in tech-adjacent sectors such as animation and digital media. Polygon recently declared that 2019 could be ''the year video game unions go big.''
People are ''seeing that across the tech sector you have this handful of really big tech companies with control over the livelihoods of so many creators,'' Fitzgerald said. ''There are so few platforms with so much power and no accountability or rules.''
Weimer said that he hopes the conversation around the memers' union will help open a discussion about these creators' value to the platforms and their impact on broader culture. ''We need to recognize the people who are creating these trends and give them respect for their accounts and what they're doing,'' he said. ''Memers need to be respected for the power they have as creators.''
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.
Taylor Lorenz is a staff writer at
The Atlantic, where she covers technology.
Assange
US Government Admits It Doesn't Know If Assange Cracked Password For Manning - Slashdot
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 13:19
binspamdupenotthebestofftopicslownewsdaystalestupidfreshfunnyinsightfulinterestingmaybedescriptive 108092014 story US Government Admits It Doesn't Know If Assange Cracked Password For Manning (vice.com) Postedby BeauHDon Tuesday April 16, 2019 @09:00AM from the password-cracking dept.An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard:
The U.S. government does not have any evidence that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange succeeded in cracking a password for whistleblower Chelsea Manning, according to a newly unsealed affidavit written by an FBI agent. Last week, Assange was escorted out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and arrested for breaching bail in connection to allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden. The day of Assange's arrest, the U.S. government unsealed an indictment against Assange with a hacking conspiracy charge. The Department of Justice accused WikiLeaks' founder of agreeing to help Manning crack a password that would have helped the former military analyst get into a classified computer system under a username that did not belong to her, making it harder for investigators to trace the eventual leak.On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia unsealed the affidavit, which is dated December 21, 2017. The document contains more details on the interactions between Assange and Manning. And, most significantly, contains the admission that the U.S. government -- as of December of 2017 -- had no idea whether Assange actually cracked the password. Until now, we knew that the U.S. was aware that Assange attempted to crack a password for Manning once, but didn't know if it had more evidence of further attempts or whether it thought Assange was successful. "Investigators have not recovered a response by Manning to Assange's question, and there is no other evidence as to what Assange did, if anything, with respect to the password," FBI agent Megan Brown said in the affidavit.
According to lawyers, the simple offer to help can be
considered part of a conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
"For purposes of a conspiracy charge, it is not necessary for the action to be successful. All that is needed is an overt action in furtherance of the conspiracy, namely Assange's efforts to crack the password for Manning," Bradley, a lawyer at the Mark Zaid P.C law firm in Washington, DC, told Motherboard via email. "That he failed is irrelevant."
"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance."-- Cal Keegan
Working...
Freedom of Speech - HISTORY
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 15:56
ContentsFirst Amendment Flag Burning When Isn't Speech Protected? Freedom Of Expression Free Speech In Schools SOURCES Freedom of speech'--the right to express opinions without government restraint'--is a democratic ideal that dates back to ancient Greece. In the United States, the First Amendment guarantees free speech, though the United States, like all modern democracies, places limits on this freedom. In a series of landmark cases, the U.S. Supreme Court over the years has helped to define what types of speech are'--and aren't'--protected under U.S. law.
The ancient Greeks pioneered free speech as a democratic principle. The ancient Greek word ''parrhesia'' means ''free speech,'' or ''to speak candidly.'' The term first appeared in Greek literature around the end of the fifth century B.C.
During the classical period, parrhesia became a fundamental part of the democracy of Athens. Leaders, philosophers, playwrights and everyday Athenians were free to openly discuss politics and religion and to criticize the government in some settings.
First Amendment In the United States, the First Amendment protects freedom of speech.
The First Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights'--the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. The Bill of Rights provides constitutional protection for certain individual liberties, including freedoms of speech, assembly and worship.
The First Amendment doesn't specify what exactly is meant by freedom of speech. Defining what types of speech should and shouldn't be protected by law has fallen largely to the courts.
In general, the First Amendment guarantees the right to express ideas and information. On a basic level, it means that people can express an opinion (even an unpopular or unsavory one) without fear of government censorship.
It protects all forms of communication, from speeches to art and other media.
Flag Burning While freedom of speech pertains mostly to the spoken or written word, it also protects some forms of symbolic speech. Symbolic speech is an action that expresses an idea.
Flag burning is an example of symbolic speech that is protected under the First Amendment. Gregory Lee Johnson, a youth communist, burned a flag during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas to protest the Reagan administration.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in 1990, reversed a Texas court's conviction that Johnson broke the law by desecrating the flag. Texas v. Johnson invalidated statutes in Texas and 47 other states prohibiting flag burning.
When Isn't Speech Protected? Not all speech is protected under the First Amendment.
Forms of speech that aren't protected include:
Obscene material such as child pornographyPlagiarism of copyrighted materialDefamation (libel and slander)True threatsSpeech inciting illegal actions or soliciting others to commit crimes aren't protected under the First Amendment, either.
The Supreme Court decided a series of cases in 1919 that helped to define the limitations of free speech. Congress passed the Espionage Act of 1917, shortly after the United States entered into World War I. The law prohibited interference in military operations or recruitment.
Socialist Party activist Charles Schenck was arrested under the Espionage Act after he distributed fliers urging young men to dodge the draft. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction by creating the ''clear and present danger'' standard, explaining when the government is allowed to limit free speech. In this case, they viewed draft resistant as dangerous to national security.
American labor leader and Socialist Party activist Eugene Debs also was arrested under the Espionage Act after giving a speech in 1918 encouraging others not to join the military. Debs argued that he was exercising his right to free speech and that the Espionage Act of 1917 was unconstitutional. In Debs v. United States the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Espionage Act.
Freedom Of Expression The Supreme Court has interpreted artistic freedom broadly as a form of free speech.
In most cases, freedom of expression may be restricted only if it will cause direct and imminent harm. Shouting ''fire!'' in a crowded theater and causing a stampede would be an example of direct and imminent harm.
In deciding cases involving artistic freedom of expression the Supreme Court leans on a principle called ''content neutrality.'' Content neutrality means the government can't censor or restrict expression just because some segment of the population finds the content offensive.
Free Speech In Schools In 1965, students at a public high school in Des Moines, Iowa, organized a silent protest against the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to protest the fighting. The students were suspended from school. The principle argued that the armbands were a distraction and could possibly lead to a danger for the students.
The Supreme Court didn't bite'--they ruled in favor of the students' right to wear the armbands as a form of free speech in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District. The case set the standard for free speech in schools. However, First Amendment rights typically don't apply in private schools.
SOURCES What does free speech mean?; United States Courts.Tinker v. Des Moines; United States Courts.Freedom of expression in the arts and entertainment; ACLU.
Freedom of the Press - HISTORY
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 15:55
ContentsOrigins Of Free Press Cato's Letters Media Freedom And National Security Press Freedom Around The World SOURCES Freedom of the press'--the right to report news or circulate opinion without censorship from the government'--was considered ''one of the great bulwarks of liberty,'' by the Founding Fathers of the United States. Americans enjoy freedom of the press as one of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. New technologies, however, have created new challenges to media freedom.
The First Amendment, which protects freedom of the press, was adopted on December 15, 1791, as part of the Bill of Rights.
The Bill of Rights provides constitutional protection for certain individual liberties, including freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to assemble and petition the government.
Origins Of Free Press Before the thirteen colonies declared independence from Great Britain, the British government attempted to censor the American media by prohibiting newspapers from publishing unfavorable information and opinions.
One of the first court cases involving freedom of the press in America took place in 1734. British governor William Cosby brought a libel case against the publisher of The New York Weekly Journal, John Peter Zenger, for publishing commentary critical of Cosby's government. Zenger was acquitted.
Cato's Letters American free press ideals can be traced back to Cato's Letters, a collection of essays criticizing the British political system that were published widely across pre-Revolutionary America.
The essays were written by Brits John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon. They were published under the pseudonym of Cato between 1720 and 1723. (Cato was a statesman and outspoken critic of corruption in the late Roman Republic.) The essays called out corruption and tyranny in the British government.
A generation later, Cato's Letters frequently were quoted in newspapers in the American colonies as a source of revolutionary political ideas.
Virginia was the first state to formally protect the press. The 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights stated, ''The freedom of the Press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic Governments.''
More than a decade later, Virginia Representative (and later president of the United States) James Madison would borrow from that declaration when drafting the First Amendment.
Media Freedom And National Security In 1971, United States military analyst Daniel Ellsberg gave copies of classified documents to The New York Times. The documents, which would become known as the Pentagon Papers, detailed a top-secret Department of Defense study of U.S. political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967.
The Pentagon Papers exposed government knowledge that the war would cost more lives than the public had been told and revealed that the presidential administrations of Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson all had misled the public about the degree of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
The government obtained a court order preventing The New York Times from publishing more excerpts from the papers, arguing that the published materials were a national security threat. A few weeks later, the U.S. government sought to block publication of the papers in the Washington Post as well, but the courts refused this time.
In the New York Times Co. v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the newspapers, making it possible for The New York Times and Washington Post to publish the contents of the Pentagon Papers without risk of further government censorship.
Former CIA employee Edward Snowden leaked classified documents from the National Security Administration to newspapers in the U.K., United States and Germany in 2013. His leaks revealed several government surveillance programs and set off a global debate about government spying.
Some denounced Snowden as a traitor while others supported his actions, calling him a whistleblower and champion of media freedom.
Press Freedom Around The World In 2017, a U.S.-based nonprofit, Freedom House, found that just 13 percent of the world's population enjoys a free press'--a media environment where political news coverage is robust and uncensored, and the safety of journalists is guaranteed.
The world's 10 worst-rated countries and territories include: Azerbaijan, Crimea, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The United States ranked 37 of 199 countries and territories for press freedom in 2017. Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden were the top ranking countries.
SOURCES The Origins of Freedom of Speech and Press; Maryland Law Review.Freedom of the Press 2017; Freedom House.
M4A
More restaurants embrace trend of putting health care surcharges on diners' checks | Fox News
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 16:11
A few restaurants in Austin, Texas, are the latest to ask diners to chip in a little extra for the sake of their employees' health and well-being.
Foreign & Domestic, in Austin's North Loop, and Hoover's Cooking, in Cherrywood, have recently added surcharges to patrons' checks to help cover the cost of health insurance and paid sick leave, respectively.
Foreign & Domestic's optional 3 percent surcharge was added to each bill after co-owners Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley started providing ''great'' health insurance for employees as of Jan. 1, but patrons can request to decline the charge '-- though Heard told Fox News that most diners haven't.
DENNY'S CUSTOMER ATTACKED WHILE DEFENDING DENNY'S EMPLOYEES
''Our guests have mostly been not only accepting, but excited about the practice,'' Heard told Fox News. ''Since January 1 we have had less than five guests ask to have the fee removed.''
Lemley further told KVUE that Foreign & Domestic chose to institute the surcharge rather than raise the prices of food, which he said would ''actually cost the guest more'' than 3 percent.
Hoover's Cooking, meanwhile, institutes a mandatory $1 ''community value contribution,'' the details of which are outlined in a note from owner Hoover Alexander, which is provided with menus.
''Just as we value you as a patron, we want to do right by our team of cooks, servers and support staff. An extra dollar might not seem like a lot, but added to your bill, you're helping provide Paid Time Off [PTO] for each and every employee at Hoover's Cooking,'' the note reads in part.
''The extra portion of comfort and security PTO brings means that the staffer is healthier, happier, and they enjoy working at Hoover's because our patrons show they care,'' Alexander added.
SEE IT: PIZZA RESTAURANT APOLOGIZES FOR NOTE SPOTTED ON RECEIPT
Though relatively new in Austin, however, the idea of a surcharge to pay for health care costs incurred by employees is not unheard of in major U.S. cities.
Earlier this year, the owners of Fat Rice in Chicago instituted a 4 percent surcharge to cover costs including employee health care, according to the Chicago Tribune. Another nearby restaurant, Daisies, added a 2 percent surcharge in 2017, CBS Chicago reported.
As of October 2018, two sets of restaurant owners the Minneapolis area, who oversee a total of at least 11 restaurants, had instituted ''health and wellness charges'' to help offset the cost of employees' health plans, according to WFMY.
Diners in San Francisco, however, might be the most familiar with the concept, as many restaurants have included an ''SF Mandates'' or ''Healthy SF'' charge to checks, following an ordinance that requires employers of businesses with at least 20 employees to set aside money for health insurance, paid sick time or parental leave, as detailed in a 2018 San Francisco Chronicle article.
Over in Austin, Heard claims the law is on the restaurateurs' side, too, telling Fox News that Foreign & Domestic has received the go-ahead from the attorney general, via the Texas Restaurant Association.
In Foreign and Domestic's case, Heard specified that the restaurant is using the funds from the surcharge toward 50 percent of employees' health insurance premium, with the employee covering the other half. Many have opted in, though it's not mandatory, she said.
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS
And while only a handful of the restaurant's diners have complained, Heard said the practice still has its critics '-- although most of them never come through the dining room.
''We have received the most negative feedback from sources who have never dined with us, may not understand how small we are, [and] are generally unaware of how the [restaurant] industry works.''
Wes Clark 7
Arab Spring comes later in Sudan and Algeria - Reuters
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 15:01
DUBAI/TUNIS (Reuters) - The armed forces of Algeria and Sudan, which pushed out the long-serving rulers of those countries after mass protests, are following a script that has failed millions of Arabs since the 2011 uprisings.
Those ''Arab Spring'' upheavals raised hopes of political and economic reforms in countries such as Egypt, where the army watched patiently from the sidelines and then capitalized on the turmoil to widen its influence in politics.
Egypt's armed forces chief effectively brushed President Hosni Mubarak aside when it became clear security forces could not contain street protests against the veteran leader.
A military council took charge, overseeing a turbulent and sometimes violent transition during which Egypt's first democratic elections took place.
Two years later, army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led the overthrow of Egypt's first freely elected president, Mohamed Mursi. Sisi then won elections in 2014 and 2018, on both occasions with 97 percent of the vote.
Parliament has proposed constitutional reforms that could allow him to remain in power until 2034.
''What I think caused a lot of the uprisings in 2011 and what's causing them today in Sudan and Algeria is the politics of deception: when the president says I won by 85 or 99 percent at the polls but wherever you go everyone disapproves of him,'' said Mohammed Alyahya, a Saudi political analyst and editor-in-chief of Al Arabiya English TV.
''That can be viable when you have robust economic development. But if you don't have that and you're not granting people political and civil rights, then you're essentially giving them nothing but repression, and that is ultimately unsustainable.''
Sudan appears to be following the Egyptian model, at least for now, after long-serving leader Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a military coup last week after sustained protests.
Crowds had gathered outside the Ministry of Defence to ask the army to help them topple Bashir.
The new head of Sudan's military council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdelrahman, said on Saturday a civilian government would be formed after consultations with the opposition and promised a transition period of no more than two years.
He had just succeeded the officer who announced Bashir's arrest, Defence Minister Awad Ibn Auf, who stepped down as head of the military council after only a day in the face of demands for a civilian government.
PRESSURE FOR CHANGE Protesters, however, kept up the pressure for change, just as they did in Egypt when Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi - who was defence minister for two decades - ran the country after Mubarak's fall.
A common chant amongst the Sudanese was ''either victory or Egypt'', a reference to their objection to following that script. Social media in both countries latched on to Sisi and Burhan's identical first names to humorously warn of a similar fate.
''The biggest blunder was the hope that the army would be an ally. I understand the emotions around the army but it's a misunderstanding of what the army is and what it does,'' said Sudanese commentator Magdi El Gizouli.
''If you call on the army to intervene to resolve a crisis, this is what it can do, it can't do better.''
Algeria's Army Chief, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah, took a softer approach. He declared the ailing Bouteflika, 82, unfit for office when he attempted to extend his fourth term, raising the prospect of prolonged demonstrations.
A Sudanese demonstrator gestures while riding atop a military truck as he protests against the army's announcement that President Omar al-Bashir would be replaced by a military-led transitional council, near Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan April 12, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer In a matter of days, parliament named a new interim leader who was part of the ruling elite, the army expressed support for a transition and a date was set for a presidential election - providing what analysts say is political cover for the army, a long-time kingmaker in Algeria.
Any future civilian leader in Sudan or Algeria needs the support of the army - a common arrangement in the Arab World - while also facing huge economic and political challenges.
Problems that triggered the unrest across the Middle East in 2011 have since become more acute. Ousted autocrats have been replaced by leaders who also failed to create jobs, and eradicate poverty and corruption
BREAD PRICES More than one in four people below the age of 30 in Algeria are unemployed - a central grievance of protesters who want the economy liberalized and diversified to reduce reliance on oil and gas.
In Sudan, what started as a protest about bread prices and poor living conditions turned into one about the regime.
Echoing 2011, their cry is: ''The people want the regime to fall.''
But Elsheikh Ali, a 29-year-old Sudanese sales manager, said this was not exactly a second Arab Spring because the present protests were more about economic hardships than politics.
''Sudan and Algeria aren't a second wave. They're about hunger and the dire economic situation, and a wave of oppressed youth that haven't gotten their full freedoms,'' Ali said.
''It's not a victory in any way. People want to see accountability for all the people who brought us to this point.''
Fawaz Gerges, professor of Middle Eastern politics at the London School of Economics and author of two recent books about the Arab Spring, agrees.
''The term Arab Spring is very misleading because it implies that everything will blossom, that there's a magic bullet to resolve a severe crisis that has been in the making for decades,'' he said.
''What we are talking about is social protests that are symptoms of economic and political vulnerabilities.''
As Algerians and Sudanese seek more freedom and better prospects, turmoil elsewhere in the region suggests their hopes for a better future may be disappointed.
Tunisia has been hailed as a success story for its democratic development, although an economic crisis has eroded living standards.
But its problems seem minor in comparison to other Arab Spring nations. In Libya, military strongman Khalifa Haftar, whom critics call the new Gaddafi, is waging war to take over a country that had already descended into bloodshed since 2011.
Hundreds of thousands have been killed in Syria's civil war. Four years of conflict have pushed Yemen, already one of the poorest Arab states, to the brink of famine.
In Sudan and Algeria, meanwhile, democracy lacks a clear way forward.
Slideshow (2 Images) ''The army wants to stay in control, whether with a civilian cover in Algeria or a direct way in Sudan,'' said prominent Tunisian journalist Ziad Krichen.
''The military that has tasted the sweetness of power and privileges sees itself as the only one capable of protecting those countries.''
Additional reporting by Tarek Amara in Tunis, Nafisa Eltaher in Dubia, Lamine Chikhi in Algiers, and Stephen Kalin in Riyadh; Editing by Giles Elgood
Cake Mashing
From Producer
Adam,
I've
written several messages to you but never sent them because I've yet to donate.
During episode 1130 however you and John addressed a topic which I could not
permit to pass without comment.
Mushing
the cake: you called it "lame" but really it goes a lot farther than
that. It's flatly disrespectful.
I
always found the practice to be in bad taste but it really came into light when
my grandfather, a retired minister, advised my cousins and I that nearly all of
the weddings in which the bride and groom caked each other resulted in
marriages that had critical problems, many times ending in collapse. I come
from a long line of ministers (my father, his father, his father's father, his
father's father's father) so while I don't particularly have standing in this
issue (I did not follow the family's professional line) my ancestors certainly
do. Their reasoning isn't difficult to work out:
The
problem isn't so much the caking itself, but that a couple's willingness to
humiliate each other in front of a crowd is a symptom of deeper underlying
issues in their relationship which should never have been permitted to arrive
at the altar unaddressed. When undertaking a marriage ceremony the two spouses
commit to caring for each other on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level
until terminated by death, but throwing cake at one's partner's face like a
child is a fairly clear indication that at least half of the new union fails to
grasp the gravity of the commitment. Couples that show such disregard for each
others' dignity - in front of their most treasured loved ones, no less - tend
also to lack respect, humility, and trust for each other. Anyone can go through
the motions of a wedding, but successful unions are forged by people who take
seriously the idea that their partner is the single most important person in
their life and should be treated accordingly.
Furthermore,
couples that place importance on the pageantry of a wedding ahead of the
significance of their legal and religious bond tend to discover shortly
thereafter that their relationship was built on fantasies rather than
hard-earned truths. After they have exhausted the traditional showmanship of
weddings-for-the-sake-of-weddings such sandy marriages can be expected to
encounter major problems, if not total collapse. When a couple gets home from
their honeymoon they have to spend the subsequent decades nurturing each other,
not throwing cake at each other and posting it online. A wedding is a joyful
but serious undertaking - not a prom.
As
an aside, in my work as management at a modest hotel there are some behaviors I
see frequently which fall into a similar cake-like category. Most
notably, extremely often (I mean at least once weekly) when I ask a
guest if they have a pet with them they will gesture to their spouse and say
"just her" or "just him". How could any self- or
spouse-respecting individual liken their life-partner to a dog? In these
situations I feel embarrassed from the other side of the desk; I can only
imagine how the "pet" in question must feel.
Couples
that act as a team and treat each other with respect tend to last longer.
Couples that throw cake in each others' faces tend to be about as successful as
one would expect children to be.
It
is pleasing to hear about how you and The Keeper seem to commit to each others'
livelihoods and well-being. When you speak in-depth about her work with Ronald
McDonald House and other exploits it shows that you take an active interest in
her life as hers, and I would wager that she likewise takes a participating
interest in your life as yours. It is no surprise that such oriented people
would forego the flinging of foodstuffs in each others' faces.
Congratulations
to you and may you continue to have a long and prosperous union.
-- Nicholas P. H.
What's the Deal With Smashing the Wedding Cake? | HowStuffWorks
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 12:04
Weddings are by their very nature fraught with tradition, from the serious (swapping rings) to the playful (retrieving and tossing the garter belt). And at some point, couples decided to up the tradition of feeding the cake to each other by opting instead to smash the confection in each other's faces.
"Newlyweds typically feed each other the first slice of wedding cake as a symbol of their commitment to provide for one another," says Rachel Sylvester, associate Real Weddings editor with The Knot in an email. "However, the symbolism is often lost and replaced with the tradition of smashing cake in each other's faces."
This messy tradition is just the latest evolution of the wedding cake's role in nuptials. As far back as ancient Rome, the bride could expect to conclude the festivities by having a barley cake smashed upside her head. This dubious tradition was done to symbolize male dominance and encourage fertility, according to Ren(C)e Strauss, wedding expert and founder of WEDAWAYS.
"Crumbs would fall and the guests would rush in to scoop up what they could for their own good fortune and fertility," she explains in an email. "In the days of King Charles, II of England, icing was added and the modern wedding cake was born. This is when slicing the cake on the table became the practical way of sharing the slices."
It's tough to pinpoint when cake smashing began, but it has been around for several decades. The practice was lamented in a 2011 Dear Abby column, in which she referred to it as "demeaning to women" and referenced a 1987 book, "Curious Customs," which said it was a "comedic ritual that sustains masculine prerogatives in the very act of supposedly subverting them."
In other words, the groom is supposed to hold the bride's hand as she cuts the cake; she then attempts to feed him but smashes the cake in his face. The next step is to wipe off the goo "apologetically" which then "brings the play back to the beginning, as she is once again obedient to his wiser judgment," according to the book.
Most people are probably unaware of what the ritual is supposed to signify, seeing it either as a fun riff on the typical cake-cutting ceremony or else a silly custom that needs to go away.
"Like the bouquet and garter toss, cake smashing is a so-called 'tradition' that's been in decline," The Knot's Sylvester says. "This could be because more and more couples realize that it's not worth ruining a bespoke suit or covering your gown in blue buttercream simply for a dramatic photo op."
Cake smashing can actually be risky on other levels, as well. First, it's a waste of perfectly good cake, which checks in at anywhere between $1.50 and $12 per slice, depending on how elaborate it is. Cake smashing also comes with unsubstantiated, but rampant rumors that the practice is a predictor of future divorce.
Sometimes, it can even be downright painful, as evidenced by this video of a cake-smashing gone wrong.
Courtney Geigle, co-owner of the online wedding marketplace My Wed Style, and former wedding DJ, says most of the brides he's worked with don't like the cake smash. "Once the cake starts flying, there is no control over where it may fall, including on the white dress she's been trying so hard to keep spotless, her hair which took hours to style, or even her eyes," he emails. "I've even seen a bride lose a contact lens in battle. Let's just say the groom was lucky that she couldn't land her punches as accurately without it."
Despite the potential problems, lots of people defend cake smashing as a way to add humor to a celebratory occasion. "Some guests think it is disrespectful and demeaning, while others see the fun and excitement of it all," says DiCianni. "They can't wait for that last second to see what the couple will do. The suspense gets the guests every time. We love it either way because the smiles and laughter it brings is still what we want at the end of the day."
To ensure those smiles, both members of the bridal couple need to be on board with the ritual before it begins. "Overall, weddings should be a display of love and affection, not a battle for dominance over 'who takes the cake.'" says Geigle.
Build the Wall
Cher: Los Angeles 'Can't Take Care of Its Own, How Can It Take Care of' More Immigrants
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 01:53
Pop icon Cher said Sunday that Los Angeles, California, ''can't take care of its own'' residents, much less newly arrived illegal and legal immigrants.Cher said she failed to understand how the city of Los Angeles in the sanctuary state of California could afford to admit and take care of any more immigrants when city officials have failed to care for homeless, veterans, and poverty-stricken Americans.
I Understand Helping struggling Immigrants,but MY CITY (Los Angeles) ISNT TAKING CARE OF ITS OWN.WHAT ABOUT THE 50,000+Citizens WHO LIVE ON THE STREETS.PPL WHO LIVE BELOW POVERTY LINE,& HUNGRY? If My State Can't Take Care of Its Own(Many Are VETS)How Can it Take Care Of More,'' Cher said.
I Understand Helping struggling Immigrants,but MY CITY (Los Angeles) ISNT TAKING CARE OF ITS OWN.WHAT ABOUT THE 50,000+🇺🇸Citizens WHO LIVE ON THE STREETS.PPL WHO LIVE BELOW POVERTY LINE,& HUNGRY? If My State Can't Take Care of Its Own(Many Are VETS)How Can it Take Care Of More
'-- Cher (@cher) April 14, 2019
The post came after President Trump threatened to bus border crossers and illegal aliens into sanctuary cities and states, like California, if the country's asylum laws were not changed. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that the White House is considering the plan.
In response, Democrat mayors across the country '-- like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Oakland, California Mayor Libby Schaaf '-- have welcomed bringing illegal aliens and border crossers to their cities.
While left-wing mayors say they will continue to admit any and all illegal and legal immigrants, Los Angeles is home to the second largest homeless population in the country, second to only New York City. About 50,000 residents of Los Angeles are homeless and about 7.5 percent of California's American Veteran population is homeless.
As the city remains crippled by homelessness and skyrocketing housing costs, Los Angeles metro area is also home to the second largest illegal alien population '-- with nearly a million illegal aliens living in the region, according to Pew Research Center.
Last year, economists at Canada's Deakin University found that immigration '-- both illegal and legal '-- drives up housing prices on average, with the researchers writing ''we find no evidence that house prices sink as a result of immigration.''
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.
Elite$
COURT DOCS: Prosecutors Ask To Present Evidence That NXIVM Sex Cult Leaders Illegally Bundled Money For Hillary Clinton Campaign - Big League Politics
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 04:00
Prosecutors have asked to present evidence in the NXIVM sex cult racketeering trial showing that NXIVM leaders including Nancy Salzman and Clare Bronfman illegally bundled money for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign by compelling members to donate to Clinton and then reimbursing the members. (READ: Ex-NXIVM Employees: Kirsten Gillibrand's Father and Stepmother, Second Cousins, Were Very Active In The Cult, Acted As Broker To Democrat Politicians).
''I was there, and I knew that the contributions were made by more than a dozen NXIVM members to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign,'' former NXIVM employee Frank Parlato tells Big League Politics, confirming that the court documents refer to Clinton's campaign. Bronfman's donations to Clinton are recorded here.
Document 414 '' Memorandum Of Law In Support Of Government's Motion To Admit Certain Rackleteering Evidence (03.12.2019)
Latest: President Trump Delivers Opportunity Zones For Small Business Dreamers and Black Americans
The prosecutors state:
''Campaign Contribution Evidence i. Facts At trial, the government intends to introduce witness testimony and documents demonstrating that in 2007, the defendants and their co-conspirators were involved in an illegal scheme to exceed contribution limits to a presidential primary campaign.
Witness testimony, corroborated by documentary evidence, will demonstrate that at least 14 members of the Nxivm community, including at least five defendants and co-conspirators, made the maximum campaign donation to a primary campaign with the understanding that they would be reimbursed by Bronfman or Nancy Salzman.
At the suggestion of a political operative, who has since pleaded guilty to an unrelated New York state bribery charge also involving campaign contributions, the contributions were ''bundled'' and presented to the candidate at a fundraising event attended by conspirators, including Nancy Salzman.
A cooperating witness who attended the event will testify that the defendants and their co-conspirators made the contributions in hopes of obtaining political influence to advance their own agenda, including targeting perceived enemies of Raniere. The government will also seek to introduce evidence of similar conduit contributions to other elected officials, as well as use of other political lobbyists in attempts to gain influence.
ii. Admissibility The defendants' and co-conspirators' involvement in the conduit contribution scheme and related acts described above, is direct evidence of the charged racketeering conspiracy. Their work together to commit crimes as part of a coordinated effort to curry political favor, evidenced in part by the records of maximum contributions by members of Nxivm on the same day, demonstrates the relationship of trust among the defendants and coconspirators, which is proof of the Enterprise's existence.
'... The same evidence also demonstrates the nature of the criminal relationships between the defendants, which defendants are attempting to portray as a purely legitimate association. The evidence of the conduit contributions is also direct evidence of the existence of the Enterprise and the pattern of racketeering activity because it is probative of the defendant and co-conspirators' ''us[e of] harassment, coercion and abusive litigation to intimidate and attack perceived enemies and critics of RANIERE,'' (Indictment ¶ 6(f)).
Specifically, the bundled campaign contributions were part of an attempt to curry favor with a presidential nominee to advance the goals of the defendants and co-conspirators, including by obtaining indictments against enemies and gaining advantages in litigation.
The evidence of the conduit contributions also demonstrates the relatedness of the predicate acts, because it demonstrates the attitude of defendants and co-conspirators that they must ''cheat to win'' to fight the conspiracy they believed was operating against them.
'... Moreover, the conduit contributions is also probative of motive and intent as to the DOS-related acts and charges, because the evidence at trial will demonstrate that one of the defendants and co-conspirators purposes in forming DOS was to have a pyramid of collateralized powerful women who he could order to do things for him or order to vote in a group to ''turn elections.''
Finally, because several cooperating witnesses are implicated in the campaign contribution scheme, such evidence is also admissible to corroborate their testimony and to front issues that are expected to be raised on cross-examination.''
Court document passage ends
I reported:
Democrat senator and presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand's family ties to the NXIVM sex cult are coming to light, raising serious questions about her relationship with the cult that she once denied knowing about.
Gillibrand's father and stepmother, who are second cousins, were both heavily involved in the cult in the period shortly before they got married, according to eyewitness accounts from ex-NXIVM employees who spoke on the record to Big League Politics, and according to court documents proving that Gillibrand's father Doug Rutnik was employed by NXIVM.
Gillibrand's father served as a broker between NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere '-- whose initials were branded on his female sex slaves '-- and then-New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer to resolve Raniere's financial problems with the state, according to ex-employee whistleblower Joseph O'Hara, whose revelations are printed below.
Gillibrand's stepmother Gwenn Belcourt got ''hooked'' on the cult as did Bill Clinton's close friend Richard Mays, according to the whistleblower. Nancy Salzman, the NXIVM president, acted as a personal ''guru'' for Gillibrand's stepmother.
Ex-cult employee Frank Parlato '-- who exposed the fact that Raniere was branding women '-- is working with Big League Politics to uncover the deep longstanding links between Gillibrand, the Clintons, and NXIVM.
''The very first time I ever met Gillibrand she was at an event for Hillary Clinton in the Hall of Springs in the State Park. This was in 2006. I was at a table with a Russian friend and Mike Roohan and his wife. I was on the Democratic committee at the time and was given two comp tickets. Gillibrand came up to me introduced herself and said she was running against John Sweeney. This was before all the stories of his drunken behavior came out. He was still congressman kickass at that time. I promised my support and wished her well. i than commented to Mike that with her baby voice and demeanor that she was a lightweight. Boy was I wrong. But the kicker was when the mixing was over and Clinton went to speak. Gillibrand sat with one of the front tables. Yeah the three front VIP tables were all brought by NXIVM and she was sitting with Nancy Salzman. You can quote me on that,'' said witness John Tighe in a statement provided to Big League Politics.
Nancy Salzman has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy while her daughter Lauren Salzman admitted to enslaving a woman, stating in court, ''I knowingly and intentionally harbored Jane Doe 4, a woman whose identity is known to me, in a room in the home in the Northern District of New York'' and ''threatened to deport Jane Doe 4 back to Mexico if she did not complete labor requested by myself and others.''
JOSEPH O'HARA TELLS BIG LEAGUE POLITICS HIS NXIVM STORY
Joseph O'Hara was living in Saratoga Springs at the time, and a woman he met socially called him up out of the blue and asked for him to meet with the leaders of NXIVM.
''I agreed to meet with them. We met the very next day. We had coffee and that's when I was introduced to Nancy Salzman, the president of NXIVM, and she described to me the various problems they were having,'' O'Hara said, referring to lawsuits, public relations issues, and governmental issues stemming from trying to get a building permit for a NXIVM center.
''I said give me a day or two,'' O'Hara said. ''After I thought about it, I wrote back to them and said I don't think there's anything I can do personally but I can play centerfielder and pull in people you need. I think you need a bigger law firm on this. Yes I can get you a PR firm that can come in and help you. That's what I proposed to them, that I would be a middle man.''
''They hired me in October of 2003 and I worked for them for 15 months. At the end of 2004 a variety of issues had come up and I resigned.''
O'Hara, whose official title was ''consultant,'' said he ''met primarily with Keith'' Raniere and with bookeeper Cathy Russell and legal liaison Kristin Keefe. O'Hara remembers Raniere vividly.
''I thought he was a little strange. He was an odd fellow. Before I met him I had been told a lot about him. I guess when I met him I was a little underwhelmed,'' O'Hara said, referring to a tall tale about how Raniere supposedly tied a record in the hundred-yard dash. Raniere held volleyball games with the women in his cult, but O'Hara did not attend.
Kirsten Gillibrand's Father Doug Rutnik Acted As A Broker Between NXIVM and then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
''I had known Doug Rutnik for a number of years. He was one of the people I thought of immediately for a couple of the problems that he (Raniere) had,'' O'Hara said, including the fact that Raniere agreed to pay a certain amount of money to New York State stemming from the bankruptcy of his previous venture Consumer's Buyline. ''Keith never made the payments. I think it was around 45 or 50 thousand dollars.''
''I contacted Doug, and explained to him the situation. Doug could be the broker between Keith and the attorney general'' O'Hara said. The attorney general was then Eliot Spitzer.
''Doug and I, Nancy and Keith had lunch at a little club. Keith came in and looked like a young middle-aged business exec. Doug said let's check this out a little further,'' O'Hara remembers. NXIVM was trying to get a license for a school.
The meeting occurred at the Fort Orange Club in Albany in 2004, according to O'Hara.
O'Hara hired a third party attorney in Albany to take a 5-day executive course at NXIVM, and the attorney expressed concerns about the group potentially not paying taxes and ''living off the grid.''
Doug Rutnik's Second Cousin, Gillibrand's Future Stepmother, Got Very Involved
''Doug said I know somebody else I could send in. It's his cousin Gwenn Belcourt. She comes back with rave reviews and Doug gets hired. Keith comes up with the money and pays off the attorney general.''
Thus, Gillibrand's father acted as the broker between NXIVM and attorney general Eliot Spitzer after Gillibrand's future stepmother Gwenn Belcourt gave NXIVM her full seal of approval.
''Doug was the one, I don't know who he talked to, but he was the one who got the okay for'...NXIVM sent Doug the check, and it was expressly to resolve the issue over Consumers Buyline. And then the issue went away.''
''Gwenn and I met. Doug said let's have Gwenn go in and take a week-long course. She went in and she wrote up a report and was extremely positive. No issues with the schooling. No issues with the curriculum'' at the NXIVM Center, O'Hara recalled.
''He told me this is my second cousin Gwenn. She was engaged at the time. She was a lawyer, someone Doug trusted.''
''Things were happening, one right after the other. Gwenn comes in, she writes the report, and Doug is doing work for them.''
''Meanwhile Gwenn does her thing and she starts taking more classes on her own. We paid for the one class she took'...at some point Doug says, this is getting a little weird with Gwenn. He said she broke off her engagement because Nancy told her she needed to re-think her life. Nancy Salzman became Gwenn's personal guru. She wanted to bring Gwenn in as full-time in-house counsel.''
''I know that she was taking a lot of classes at NXIVM,'' O'Hara said of Gwenn Belcourt.
''NXIVM initiates a lawsuit against me and Doug, and Gwenn is still involved in NXIVM at that point. Doug goes in like a rescue mission. He finally convinces her what's going on there and she leaves NXIVM. The next thing I know all of a sudden he said Gwenn and I are dating now. Shortly after that they're engaged.''
''For several years, I saw them after they were married,'' O'Hara said, noting that the couple was no longer in the cult.
Clinton Friend Richard Mays and Gillibrand's Stepmother Gwenn Belcourt Both Got ''Hooked'' on the Cult
''I had done work down in Arkansas, I had met Richard (Mays) down there. He had great connections with Governor Clinton. His lieutenant governor Tucker became governor. I was trying to get in to make a presentation to the governor. Richard got me the meeting. He got me the meeting with Jim Guy Tucker,'' O'Hara said.
''One of the other problems Keith had, he had an unpaid bill in Arkansas and he wanted to get an exoneration in Arkansas so he brought Richard Mays in and he got involved. Richard Mays started taking classes and got his daughter taking classes'' at NXIVM.
''There were people who got hooked on it. Richard Mays was one. Gwenn Belcourt was another,'' O'Hara said.
''I Had Created This Monster''
O'Hara said that he uncovered Raniere evading taxes and illegally obtaining private investigator information on his enemies, which led him to quit. NXIVM then waged lawfare against him.
''They destroyed me. I had created this monster. They didn't know how to get political consultants. They didn't know how to hire former senator D'Amato, they didn't know how to hire Richard Mays out of Arkansas, best friends with the Clintons. They had all these people now in their arsenal and they destroyed me in short order,'' O'Hara said.
Raniere once admitted in a videotape pulled from the Internet, ''I am just a demon.''
PROOF RUTNIK WORKED FOR NXIVM
Former NXIVM employee Frank Parlato provided Big League Politics with copies of the court documents in NXIM's suit against Rutnik, which prove Rutnik's employment by the group. (READ THE FULL DOCUMENTS HERE).
''I worked as the publicist,'' Frank Parlato told Big League Politics. ''We ran into a major disagreement and we split. At the time I worked for them I thought they were a little peculiar but it wasn't until the end that I realized they were a downright evil group.''
''There are women on the record who are now adults who have accused Raniere of statutory rape and there are some very suspicious incidents where Mexican girls came under the perimeters of Raniere's control and left under suspicious circumstances. They came from Chihuahua Mexico. I reported this to the authorities,'' Parlato said.
''Her father Doug Rutnik came to work as a consultant for NXIVM'...he was fired, they sued him, and he had to pay them $100,000,'' Parlato said, referring Gillibrand's father.
Parlato is the NXIVM whistleblower who blew the lid off the case, including the revelation that NXIVM leader Keith Raniere's cult was branding women with his initials.
''Her father's wife, her stepmother, was also a member of NXIVM'...Doug got her into the cult, Gillibrand's father got Gillibrand's future stepmother into the cult. Doug left the cult because he was sued. Clare Bronfman after her father was sued donated money to Gillibrand. Gillibrand accepted it.''
''One is inclined to call her a liar,'' Parlato says of Gillibrand.
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Clips
VIDEO - Larry Kudlow Tells Reporter 'No You May Not' Ask About Trump's Audit Excuse for Not Releasing Taxes
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 14:59
White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow flatly declared that Donald Trump will not be releasing his tax returns despite years of promises to do so, and repeatedly dodged questions about Trump's excuse that he's under audit, even telling one reporter ''No you may not'' ask about the audit.
During a brief gaggle with reporters on the White House driveway Monday morning, NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker immediately began trying to question Kudlow about Trump's tax returns, but Kudlow opened by joking it up a little first.
''Larry, as you know, it is tax day'...''Welker began, but Kudlow interrupted.
''Hi folks, did you all pay your taxes?'' Kudlow asked. ''I want to take a poll. Yes, up, down, thumbs up, did you pay your taxes?''
Welker and others answered ''Yes.''
''Larry, since it's tax day, should the president release his tax returns?'' Welker asked.
''The president is not releasing his tax ref'... his tax forms today,'' Kudlow said, adding ''I refer you to Secretary of Treasury Mnuchin all about that. It's under audit. He's submitted hundreds of pages, you know the arguments.''
''But past presidents have been under audit, Larry,'' Welker pressed.
Kudlow ignored her, instead telling the reporters ''One thing I want to say is echo the Secretary of the Treasury, my good friend Steve Mnuchin, this administration has no intention to weaponize the IRS the way the Nixon Administration did, and all this looks a little too political for us, but I'll leave it there and refer you to the Treasury Secretary. That's all I have on that.''
''Can I just ask you about the audit portion of that? Because past'...'' Welker began, but Kudlow cut her off.
''No you may not,'' Kudlow said, adding ''I have nothing else to say on the matter. I refer you to the Treasury Department.''
Trump's own chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, recently admitted that even if Trump is under audit, that would not prevent him from releasing his tax returns.
Watch the clip above, via C-Span.
Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com
VIDEO - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says Social Media Can Trigger Depression, Quits Facebook '' CBS New York
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 14:55
April 15, 2019 at 10:11 pmNEW YORK (CBSNewYork) '' Bronx and Queens congresswoman
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she's quitting
Facebook.
She told a Yahoo podcast that she's given up her personal account.
Ocasio-Cortez acknowledges she started her campaign on Facebook, but she says she now believes social media poses a public health risk that can increase feelings of isolation and depression.
READ: Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Brings Twitter 101 Lessons To Capitol
In January, Ocasio-Cortez helped lead a session hosted by the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee ''on the most effective ways to engage constituents on Twitter and the importance of digital storytelling.''
Comments
VIDEO - Doctors Take On The Myths About Measles, Vaccinations '' CBS New York
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 14:51
April 11, 2019 at 9:03 pmNEW YORK (CBSNewYork) '' Health authorities say one big reason why
measles is spreading is misinformation.
Milly Fernandez of the Upper West Side has some lively spring break stay-cation plans for son Thaeden that include the Bronx Zoo and, ''the parks, the water parks.''
''Are you worried about measles,'' CBS2's Dave Carlin asked.
''Oh yes, definitely yes,'' Fernandez replied.
She frets about the highly contagious illness, even though she swears everyone in her family is protected from measles by the appropriate 2-shot vaccinations.
The holiday travel season makes the fear of measles cases multiplying even worse.
ACTIVE MEASLES INFECTIONS AS OF EARLY APRIL 2019
New York City: 285 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn and QueensElsewhere In New York: 180 in Rockland County, 17 in Orange County, 8 in Westchester County and 2 in Sullivan CountyIn New Jersey: 4 in Monmouth County and 7 in Ocean County''We're definitely going to see more,'' Dr. Rabia Agha, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Maimonides Children's Hospital said.
Dr. Agha wants to bust myths surrounding measles that she knows some parents misguidedly use to justify not getting any vaccines at all.
''The biggest myth from my perspective is that they think measles is a mild viral illness with just a rash and fever.''
The consequences for infants up to six months, kids with cancer and others who must forgo vaccinations for health reasons can be deadly. Side effects range from pneumonia to permanent brain damage.
MEASLES HEALTH EMERGENCY RESOURCES
NYC.gov Measles Information PageWhere To Get Immunizations In New York CityCitywide Immunization Registry (CIR)Signs And SymptomsCDC Measles Statistics''Sometimes parents want to delay the giving of the vaccine, but that would be like putting a child in the seatbelt after you've already made the travel to the store,'' Dr. Jeffrey Avner explained.
Dr. Avner added that some people can perhaps be more concerned about their own risks than they need to be.
Booster shots are not necessary and if you've had the two vaccinations, Dr. Avner says you're good.
''If you're born before 1957 '' because measles was so prevalent '' it's a general assumption that you've been exposed and probably contracted measles,'' Avner added.
His plea to others '' get vaccinated. If you don't, you won't be welcome in many public places, especially in New York now.
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VIDEO - Did The FBI Admit The Six Week Cycle Is Real? - YouTube
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 11:24
VIDEO - OPUS 141 Frenchie False Flag Notre Dame - YouTube
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 11:14
VIDEO - Details emerge about American Airlines jet that "nearly crashed" at JFK - CBS News
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 03:33
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VIDEO - Stunning Supercut Video Exposes The Fox News Double Standard On Trump And Obama | HuffPost
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 18:41
A new supercut video shows Fox News hosts slamming former President Barack Obama for the same actions that they either ignore or praise when it comes to President Donald Trump.
The footage, assembled by NowThis News, highlights personalities on the right-wing network attacking the former president for golfing, tweeting, executive actions, criticizing the press and being ''almost obsessed with cable TV,'' among other things. However, the footage was edited to remove Obama's name '• and with that context excised, most of the commentary could just as easily refer to Trump:
What if Fox News covered Trump the way it covered Obama? It would look like this pic.twitter.com/dLfhHToieL
'-- NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 16, 2019The video features Fox News personalities who were on the air during the Obama years, and several are no longer with the network. Bill O'Reilly, for example, left in disgrace in 2017 amid New York Times reports that he spent a total of $45 million to settle multiple sexual harassment allegations.
Many of the hosts who've joined Fox News since then are very supportive of Trump. A few on the ''news side'' of the operation, including anchor Shep Smith, have been more critical of the president and the network's hosts who uncritically support him.
''Some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining,'' Smith told Time magazine last year. ''I get that. I don't work there. I wouldn't work there.''
VIDEO - Online blog reveals more about Sol Pais, woman 'infatuated' with Columbine
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 18:29
An apparent online journal belonging to Sol Pais offers a deeper look at the 18-year-old Florida woman who is "infatuated" with the Columbine High School massacre. The blog contains posts about guns and suicide and alluded to "plans" she was making. April 17, 2019
VIDEO - Be Like Mike Remastered | Gatorade - YouTube
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:05
VIDEO - The Moment LARRY ELDER changed DAVE RUBINS Mind Forever (Systemic Racism) - YouTube
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 16:14
VIDEO - The Candace Owens Show: Larry Elder - YouTube
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 16:12
VIDEO - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "(YouTube version with captions here: https://t.co/qMpDYSZt3g)"
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 16:03
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VIDEO - MSNBC's Kornacki: Wealthy White 'Wine-Track' Liberals Behind Buttigieg Boomlet | Breitbart
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 15:57
MSNBC analyst Steve Kornacki on Tuesday pointed out that presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's (D) support is coming mostly from wealthy white liberals like many so-called ''wine-track'' Democrats before him.Kornacki said that ''a bit of a profile'' about who is behind the Buttigieg ''boomlet'' is emerging. He said, based on the most recent national polls, ''the higher the income, the more interest there is in Buttigieg,'' the South Bend, Indiana, mayor.
WATCH: @SteveKornacki breaks down what kind of voters are more inclined to vote for Mayor Buttigieg. #TrackingKornacki pic.twitter.com/bTsZAv1NOC
'-- MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 16, 2019
The vastly underrated MSNBC analyst pointed out that Buttigieg received the most support in three recent national polls'--Morning Consult, Emerson, Quinnipiac'--from voters making more than $100,000 annually.
Kornacki noted that Buttigieg is ''doing better among white voters'' and poorly among black voters'--Buttigieg received 2%, 0%, and 2% support from black voters in the three most recent national polls'--and described him as the ''wine-track'' candidate who is appealing to ''more liberal'' and ''highly politically engaged'' voters.
Buttigieg has only started to register in polls and the subgroup sizes for these can be very small.
But patterns are beginning to emerge and the Buttigieg base coming into focus seems to skew higher income, more liberal, and white: pic.twitter.com/pw6UcPohLf
'-- Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) April 16, 2019
In essence, Buttigieg is basically the ''Morning Joe'' candidate adored by highly-educated white liberals who have perfected the art of speaking for hours and ''sounding smart'' without saying anything of substance while making everyone who is taking part in the conversation feel ''intelligent'' at dinner parties and self-perpetuating conferences.
This is the top skill that is taught at America's top colleges, graduate schools, and consulting companies populated by Americans from homogenous zip codes who went to similar high schools. And it is arguably the most important trait for getting the lazy and often dimwitted chattering class to take a candidate seriously.
Via the Emerson 2020 Democratic primary poll released yesterday:
'' 53% (55/103) of Bernie Sanders supporters were black, Hispanic/Latinx, or Asian
-46% (39/85) for Biden
-45% (13/29) for Beto
-44% (12/27) for Harris
-33% (8/24) for Warren
-19% (6/32) for Buttigieg pic.twitter.com/Mcmx3wkmBY
'-- Jonathan Walczak (@jonwalczak) April 16, 2019
But, as Kornacki pointed out, ''wine-track'' candidates like Buttigieg rarely win the Democratic nomination no matter how much support a candidate like Bill Bradley received from someone like Phil Jackson.
''I said yesterday that the Buttigieg base taking shape reminds me of Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean. Worth noting that they all struggled to win black voters, who will make up about 1/4 of the Dem primary electorate next year,'' Kornacki tweeted. ''The last Dem to win the nomination without a majority of the black vote was Michael Dukakis in 1988, when Jesse Jackson won ~ 95% of the black vote. Bill Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, and Hillary Clinton all won the black vote in their primary races.''
I said yesterday that the Buttigieg base taking shape reminds me of Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean. Worth noting that they all struggled to win black voters, who will make up about 1/4 of the Dem primary electorate next year.
'-- Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) April 16, 2019
The last Dem to win the nomination without a majority of the black vote was Michael Dukakis in 1988, when Jesse Jackson won ~ 95% of the black vote. Bill Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, and Hillary Clinton all won the black vote in their primary races.
'-- Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) April 16, 2019
On Monday, Buttigieg reportedly acknowledged that he was aware of the lack of racial diversity at his campaign events and fundraisers and even asked his supporters to help him reach out to more people of color.
VIDEO - TODAY on Twitter: "''A police source is telling @NBCNews that a computer glitch may have initially sent security officers to the wrong part of the cathedral when that fire first broke out, perhaps costing some precious minutes,'' @craigmelvin re
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 14:14
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VIDEO - Snoop Dogg and other rappers are outraged at Laura Ingraham and want her fired '-- here's why - TheBlaze
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 13:55
Popular rapper Snoop Dogg and other black entertainers expressed outrage over comments Fox News host Laura Ingraham made about the funeral of Nipsey Hussle, a beloved rapper and community leader in Los Angeles, California.
Ingraham pointed out that Hussle recorded an expletive-ridden protest song against President Donald Trump, and went on to ridicule at the lyrics of the song.
Hussle, whose real name is Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was shot and killed outside of his store in South Los Angeles in March. His massive funeral was attended by many celebrities and leaders of the African-American community in celebration of his artistic contributions and political activism.
Rapper "The Game" called Ingraham a "disrespectful c***" and called on his 10.3 million followers on Instagram to demand she be fired by putting pressure on her advertisers.
"I'm asking all of my followers, fans, friends & family to spread this video with demands of #LauraIngrahams termination immediately !!!!!" he commented.
Snoop Dogg added simply, "I'm in."
Video of Ingraham's comments were also circulated on Twitter.
Rapper T.I. posted a video of Ingraham's comments and excoriated her reaction on his Instagram account.
"This is Disgusting! You both are vile despicable, poor excuses for people," he commented. "Neither of you WILL EVER know or experience the level of love, appreciation and respect that Nip has... EVEN IN DEATH!!! So let that sizzle in ya lil hateful,demonic spirits."
Actress Nia Long commented on his post, saying, "Both need to be fired. PERIOD!!"
A petition with more than 40,000 signatures is being circulated for the purpose of terminating Ingraham from Fox News over the comments she made.
Four people were shot during the funeral procession for Hussle through Watts, and one later died.
Here's a video about the wrath against Ingraham: Rappers call for the firing of Fox News' Laura Ingraham over Hussle commentswww.youtube.com
VIDEO - Those born between 1957 and 1989 may not be protected from measles, despite getting vaccine
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 12:31
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. '-- It's not just children who need the measles vaccine. Health experts warn those born between 1957 and 1989 may not be as protected from the national outbreaks as they think.
People in their 30s to early 60s could be at a greater risk of contracting the virus because they may have only gotten one dose of the MMR vaccine. In 1989, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its recommendations by asking people to get two shots rather than just one. Those who've been vaccinated against measles but haven't received the second dose may not have enough measles antibodies to protect them.
At least 465 cases of measles have been reported in the U.S. since January 1, 2019.
According to the CDC, there are currently measles outbreaks in Rockland County in New York and New York City, Washington, Santa Cruz County in California, Butte County in California, New Jersey and Michigan. In Michigan, it's the largest outbreak since 1991. According to the CDC, the majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.
The virus is so contagious that, without being vaccinated, if just one person has it they can infect 90 percent of the people close to them who are also not immune. Symptoms usually start within seven to 14 days after exposure. They can also appear 21 days after. Symptoms of the measles include: high fever, runny nose, cough, the tell-tale blotchy rash and tiny white spots in the mouth.
So what can you do? Know your status. If you have documentation proving you got the two doses, you are in the clear. If you aren't sure, a simple blood test can check for your immunity to measles. Doctors can test your blood for measles antibodies and see if you have enough to offer the vaccine's full protection.
Copyright 2019 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
VIDEO - Ernie Plumley on Twitter: "''Duuhh I don't know. Let me think. Oh, oh, I think we should impeach because, uh, uh because, well, we should impeach because he's too smart for me, and, and, because I think...well there are so many reasons you kn
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 12:13
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VIDEO - Michelle Obama compares Donald Trump to 'divorced dad' in scathing remarks | The Independent
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 18:23
Michelle Obama has dismissed the US president as being akin to a ''divorced dad'' while noting the indictments levied against him.
The former first lady juxtaposed the Donald Trump administration to Barack Obama's presidency during a wide-ranging interview on Sunday to promote her autobiography Becoming in London, venting her frustrations at the president's decision to radically overhaul her husband's legacy.
Ms Obama took aim at the billionaire property developer in a series of jibes during which she did not mention him by name. ''For anyone who had any problems with Barack Obama, let's just think about what we were troubled by '' there were never any indictments,'' she told a crowd of around 15,000 at the O2.
We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.From 15p '‚¬0.18 $0.18 USD 0.27 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.
The Chicago native, who was interviewed by US late-night host Stephen Colbert, jokingly compared the US with Mr Trump in the White House to being a teenager.
leftCreated with Sketch. rightCreated with Sketch.
1/10 On the key to a successful marriage''In our house we don't take ourselves too seriously, and laughter is the best form of unity, I think, in a marriage.''On Live with Regis and Kelly in February 2011.
Getty Images
2/10 On not underestimating yourself"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own."In a speech to schoolgirls at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in North London in April 2009.
Getty Images
3/10 On inspiring young people''I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong, so don't be afraid. You hear me? Young people, don't be afraid. Be focused, be determined, be hopeful, be empowered'... Lead by example with hope, never fear, and know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life.''In her final White House address in January 2017.
Getty Images
4/10 On double standards regarding parenting''When a father puts in long hours at work, he's praised for being dedicated and ambitious. But when a mother stays late at the office, she's sometimes accused of being selfish, neglecting her kids.''At the "Let Girls Learn Event" in Madrid, Spain in June 2016.
Getty Images
5/10 On the importance of diversity in film and TV''For so many people, television and movies may be the only way they understand people who aren't like them'... I come across many little black girls who come up to me over the course of this 7½ years with tears in their eyes, and they say: 'Thank you for being a role model for me. I don't see educated black women on TV, and the fact that you're first lady validates who I am.'''In an interview with Variety in August 2016.
AFP/Getty Images
6/10 On maintaining hopeful following the election of Donald Trump''See, now we are feeling what not having hope feels like, you know. Hope is necessary. It is a necessary concept. What do you give your kids if you can't give them hope?''In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in December 2016.
Getty Images
7/10 On motherhood"My most important title is 'mom-in-chief'. My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the centre of my world."At the Democratic National Convention in September 2012.
AFP/Getty Images
8/10 On championing women's education''Men in every country need to look into their hearts and souls and ask themselves whether they truly view and treat women as their equals. And then when you all encounter men in your lives who answer no to that question, then you need to take them to task. You need to tell them that any man who uses his strength to oppress women is a coward, and he is holding back the progress of his family and his country.''In a speech at the summit of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, July 2014.
Getty Images
9/10 On dealing with bullies''When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.''At the Democratic convention, July 2016.
Getty Images
10/10 On the meaning of success"Success isn't about how your life looks to others. It's about how it feels to you. We realised that being successful isn't about being impressive, it's about being inspired."In a speech at the Oregon State University commencement, June 2012.
Getty Images
1/10 On the key to a successful marriage''In our house we don't take ourselves too seriously, and laughter is the best form of unity, I think, in a marriage.''On Live with Regis and Kelly in February 2011.
Getty Images
2/10 On not underestimating yourself"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own."In a speech to schoolgirls at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in North London in April 2009.
Getty Images
3/10 On inspiring young people''I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong, so don't be afraid. You hear me? Young people, don't be afraid. Be focused, be determined, be hopeful, be empowered'... Lead by example with hope, never fear, and know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life.''In her final White House address in January 2017.
Getty Images
4/10 On double standards regarding parenting''When a father puts in long hours at work, he's praised for being dedicated and ambitious. But when a mother stays late at the office, she's sometimes accused of being selfish, neglecting her kids.''At the "Let Girls Learn Event" in Madrid, Spain in June 2016.
Getty Images
5/10 On the importance of diversity in film and TV''For so many people, television and movies may be the only way they understand people who aren't like them'... I come across many little black girls who come up to me over the course of this 7½ years with tears in their eyes, and they say: 'Thank you for being a role model for me. I don't see educated black women on TV, and the fact that you're first lady validates who I am.'''In an interview with Variety in August 2016.
AFP/Getty Images
6/10 On maintaining hopeful following the election of Donald Trump''See, now we are feeling what not having hope feels like, you know. Hope is necessary. It is a necessary concept. What do you give your kids if you can't give them hope?''In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in December 2016.
Getty Images
7/10 On motherhood"My most important title is 'mom-in-chief'. My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the centre of my world."At the Democratic National Convention in September 2012.
AFP/Getty Images
8/10 On championing women's education''Men in every country need to look into their hearts and souls and ask themselves whether they truly view and treat women as their equals. And then when you all encounter men in your lives who answer no to that question, then you need to take them to task. You need to tell them that any man who uses his strength to oppress women is a coward, and he is holding back the progress of his family and his country.''In a speech at the summit of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, July 2014.
Getty Images
9/10 On dealing with bullies''When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.''At the Democratic convention, July 2016.
Getty Images
10/10 On the meaning of success"Success isn't about how your life looks to others. It's about how it feels to you. We realised that being successful isn't about being impressive, it's about being inspired."In a speech at the Oregon State University commencement, June 2012.
Getty Images
''We come from a broken family, we are a little unsettled,'' Ms Obama said. ''Sometimes you spend the weekend with divorced dad. That feels like fun but then you get sick. That is what America is going through. We are living with divorced dad.''
Ms Obama, who has been married to the former president for 27 years, said her family's life had been profoundly different before entering the White House '' describing them as a ''normal family'' who had no time to ''adjust to the rarified air of politics'' when they arrived in Washington.
''We were always ourselves '' the presidency does not change who you are, it reveals who you are,'' she added in what appeared to be another dig at the current president.
''It is like swimming in the ocean with great waves. If you are not a great swimmer, you are not going to learn in the middle of a tidal wave. You are going to resort to your kicking and drowning and what you knew how to do in the pool.''
Ms Obama, who left the White House over two years ago, later explained she did not hesitate to discuss Mr Trump in her book which has sold more than 10 million copies and is on track to become the most popular memoir in history.
The former first lady, who enjoyed consistently high popularity ratings, said she struggled to watch the news at the moment.
''When I am not emotionally able to deal with it I turn it off for a moment,'' she said. ''I only let some of that stuff into my world when I'm ready. You can't have a steady diet of fear and frustration coming in.''
The lawyer told the crowd that while the world was currently in a ''dark'' place there was still hope for the future.
Obama: 'We are going to have to find ways in which we improve the conversation on the internet and in social media'
She said: ''This may feel like a dark chapter but any story has its highs and lows but it continues. Yes, we are in a low but we have been lower. We have had tougher times, we have had more to fear. We have lived through slavery, the Holocaust and segregation.
''We have always come out at the other end '' better and stronger. We are moving in a direction of diversity and inclusion. No-one ever said it would be easy. We are just in the throes of the uneasy path of change.''
Ms Obama, who said she was most anxious about Mr Trump's policies on healthcare, cast her mind back to the struggles the former first family experienced during their time in the White House.
''I don't know if there has been a president who has been accused of not being born in this country? Who has been asked to show his transcripts? Who has been accused of being unpatriotic? There was a lot of stuff that had not happened before that happened to us.''
She added: ''There was a time when people accused me of not loving my country. They accused me of being loud and rude and obnoxious.''
Ms Obama, who said there was ''trepidation'' and ''anxiety'' both in America and all over the world, said she wanted to ''remind people'' that her husband was elected twice.
She added: ''That really did happen. People would have voted for him for a third time. What is going on today is true but what happened before was also true. That should give us some solace at some level. For eight years, the president they saw in their country was Barack Obama. He was somebody who people thought was smart and would do the right thing.''
VIDEO - Climate activist Greta Thunberg addresses the European Parliament | Metro Video
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 17:29
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16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg spoke at the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.
VIDEO -BTC SPIKE FED MINUTES - Keiser Report: China in the Gold Buying Spree (E1371) - YouTube
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 15:59
VIDEO - Glenn Greenwald pwns NPR over Julian Assange Arrest - YouTube
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 15:03
VIDEO - GAMING THE SYSTEM: Mike Rowe On The College Admissions Scandal '-- Tucker Carlson Tonight 4/15/19 - YouTube
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 14:07
VIDEO - The real reason Boeing's new 737 Max crashed twice - Vox
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 12:49
In the past six months, two airplanes have fallen out of the air and crashed shortly after takeoff. Both flights were operating the same plane: the Boeing 737 Max 8.
In October, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in Indonesia, killing 189 people. And last month, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in Bishoftu, Ethiopia, killing 157 people.
At first, the story Boeing tried to tell was that it was a software problem; the automated stall-prevention system was malfunctioning, the company said. And the accident reports seem to support this statement.
But there's a much deeper and scandal-ridden story about how this plane got to market, and it starts with Boeing's fierce rivalry with Airbus '-- and their race to put a new engine in their planes.
The video above shows how those business problems led to technical ones '-- and, eventually, two terrible tragedies.
To see more Vox videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.
VIDEO - Paul "The Book Guy" Alves on Twitter: "@adamcurry #CLIP'... "
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 12:46
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VIDEO - How Will New WikiLeaks Revelations Affect Diplomatic Candor? - YouTube
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 11:47
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Tue, 16 Apr 2019 02:31
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\n HomeVideoPoliticsUSWorldEntertainmentSportsBusinessOpinionOutdoorsShopDaily Caller ShopDaily DealerWine ClubIssuesDefenseEducationEnergyHealthMediaSend a Tip9:23 PM 04/15/2019 | EnergyMichael Bastasch | Energy Editor
Presidential candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders warned that humanity only has 12 years left to tackle global warming or face catastrophic consequences.
''And I'm sure you're familiar with the scientific reports that tell us that we have all of 12 years to significantly cut carbon emissions or else they will be irreparable damage to United States and countries all over the world,'' Sanders said during a town hall with Fox News Monday night.
So we have a moral responsibility, in my view, to transform our energy system and leave this planet healthy and habitable for our children and our grandchildren, and by the way, when we do that that, we create millions of good-paying jobs,'' Sanders said during the Fox News town hall.
WATCH:
The ''12 years left'' talking point originates from an October United Nations climate report that found global greenhouse gas emissions need to fall 45 percent by 2030 to keep future warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100.
Environmental activists and the media took that to mean the world had 12 years left to avoid catastrophic global warming '-- prominent climate scientists did little to moderate or fact-check those claims for months. (RELATED: Liz Warren Unveils Her Plan For Federal Lands: Ban Drilling, Make National Parks Free)
The claim gained steam as youth activists blared it at protests and as prominent politicians, like Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, warned there were only 12 years left in promoting the Green New Deal.
U.S. 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders participates in a moderated discussion at the We the People Summit in Washington, U.S., April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria.
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a news conference to introduce the ''Medicare for All Act of 2019'' on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein.
When questioned by fact-checkers, however, experts admitted there was no 12-year deadline to avert climate catastrophe.
Sanders also told the town hall audience ''we should phase out'' nuclear power plants '-- the country's largest source of greenhouse gas-emissions free electricity. Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum pushed back, however, questioning Sanders' opposition to nuclear power.
''You think we should eliminate nuclear power, which I know they did in Vermont, but it ended up actually moving her emissions higher by 16 percent in Vermont because nuclear doesn't have any emissions,'' MacCallum said.
Sanders disagreed with MacCallum, but state-level data shows emissions did, in fact, increase after the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant closed in 2014. That plant provided 70 percent of Vermont's electricity.
The Yankee plant was largely replaced by natural gas generation, which means more carbon dioxide emissions. Vermont's emissions are now 16 percent above 1990 levels, the opposite direction it needs to go to meet its goal of cutting emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
''I fear very much the kind of world that we are leaving to our kids in terms of more drought, more flooding, more extreme weather disturbances, more rising ocean levels,'' Sanders said. ''And when those things happen, by the way, they become a national security issue because people migrate.''
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Tags : bernie sanders energy fox news channel martha maccallum vermontSearch
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VIDEO - Notre Dame Fire: Fox News' Shep Smith, Neil Cavuto Shut Down Conspiracy Theories
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 02:27
During two separate occasions on Monday afternoon, Fox News anchors Shepard Smith and Neil Cavuto had to dump out of interviews after their guests wildly speculated and parroted conspiracy theories that the blaze that suddenly destroyed much of the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was an intentionally malicious act.
While anchoring breaking-news coverage of the fire, Smith interviewed witness Philippe Karsenty, the deputy mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine and a controversial right-wing media figure. Early in the call, Karsenty suggested that the Notre Dame blaze'--which is currently being investigated as an accident'--was a terrorist attack.
''It's like a 9/11, a French 9/11,'' Karsenty declared. ''It's a big shock. This church was there for more than 850 years. You need to know that for the past years, we've had churches desecrated each and every week all over France. Of course, you will hear the story of the politically'--the political correctness, which will tell you it's probably an accident.''
Smith interrupted, informing Karsenty, who was once convicted of defamation for accusing a French media outlet of staging a Palestinian boy's death, that he would not allow such speculation on-air. Smith noted that if his guest had any concrete information, however, ''we would love to hear it.''
Karsenty, meanwhile, continued to try to raise the possibility'--without evidence'--that the fire was intentional, prompting Smith to cut off the interview for good.
''No, sir, we're not doing that here, not now, not on my watch,'' Smith exclaimed. ''The man on the phone with us has absolutely no information of any kind about the origin of this fire and neither do I.''
The Fox News anchor concluded: ''The fire investigators will at some point come to a determination about what caused this and conspiracy theories about anything are worthless and in many cases counterproductive and injurious to society. And those who entertain them are not acting in the best interests of the people of this planet.''
Several hours later, Cavuto had a similar experience with Catholic League president Bill Donohue, who immediately raised the notion that this inferno was tied to other church burnings.
''Well, Neil, if it is an accident, it's a monumental tragedy,'' Donohoe said. ''But forgive me for being suspicious.''
He added: ''Just last month, a 17th-century church was set on fire in Paris. We have seen Tabernacles knocked down, crosses have been torn down, statues have been smashed.''
Cavuto went on to request that Donohue avoid bringing up his suspicions as no connections have been made by officials. The Catholic League leader, however, was unable to help himself, eventually asserting: ''I'm sorry, when I find out that the Eucharist is being destroyed and excrement is being smeared on crosses, this is what's going on now.''
The Fox News anchor interjected, letting Donohue that while he appreciates his time, ''we cannot make conjectures about this.'' Cavuto then dropped the call.
''I do want to let people know, and again we're not trying to be rude to our guests here, there is so much we do not know about what happened here,'' Cavuto concluded.
''We do know four hours ago, something started here. There are incidents that have been raised against the Catholic Church on popular tourist sites in and around Paris, no stranger to attacks, but another leap to take views like that when we don't know.''
VIDEO - Rob Smith: I'm gay and support Mike Pence '' don't believe Pete Buttigieg's claim that Pence is anti-gay | Fox News
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 19:35
I'm someone those on the left would have you believe doesn't exist: a gay, black, conservative, Republican Christian. I'm glad that anti-gay bias doesn't seem to be hurting South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg in his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, but I plan to vote to re-elect President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in November 2020.
It's an important sign of progress that Buttigieg's sexual orientation, along with his marriage to another man, isn't considered disqualifying in his bid for the presidency. It certainly would have been a few years ago. Thankfully, more and more Americans are realizing that sexual orientation is irrelevant unless you are looking for a romantic partner.
I know Buttigieg could make history by becoming the first openly gay major party presidential nominee '' just as Hillary Clinton made history as the first female nominee and Barack Obama made history as the first black nominee and president.
MIKE PENCE HITS BACK AT PETE BUTTIGIEG AFTER CRITICISM: 'HE KNOWS BETTER'
But while I hope no one opposes Mayor Pete's White House bid just because he is gay, I'm not ready to support him just because we share that one demographic characteristic.
And I think it's unfortunate that Buttigieg has tried to portray Vice President Pence as anti-gay. Based on my own research, the work of the Log Cabin Republicans (an LGBT group) and my own experience recently meeting Pence, I know he is absolutely not anti-gay. That false accusation needs to be rejected once and for all.
But isn't Pence an evangelical conservative Christian? Guilty as charged. So that means he must hate all gays and lesbians and wants to take away our rights, doesn't it? Actually, no, it doesn't.
The left has branded Pence as the No. 1 enemy of gays and lesbians, so Buttigieg needs to show he can take Pence on, regardless of the cordial and respectful relationship they shared as Indiana politicians of different parties.
Campaigning at an event Sunday hosted by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, Buttigieg said: "If me being gay was a choice, it was made far, far above my pay grade ... that's the thing that I wish the Mike Pence's of the world would understand '' that if you got a problem with who I am '' your problem is not with me, your quarrel sir, is with my creator."
I love God and God loves me. I came to a deeper understanding of that particular fact after a tour in Iraq while I proudly served in the U.S. Army. Wartime service in combat helps you see the world in a completely different way.
Whether or not others interpret Christianity in the same way I do is none of my concern. Whether or not they believe I was born gay is also none of my concern until it starts to negatively impact my life. In 2019 it does not.
This message triggers those on the left because they've been very successful at convincing a generation of young gays and lesbians to reject God in favor of their cult of intersectionality and identity politics.
When religion is left behind, identity becomes religion. Politics becomes religion. And for many of these disaffected gay youth that I meet, far-left identity politics has become their religion. They worship its most prominent faces and voices like gods. Their Twitter feeds and Instagram posts become their Bible. And when their gods tell them that a politician is the enemy, they listen.
But here's the truth: In the more than two years President Trump and Vice President Pence have been in office, gay and lesbian Americans have seen very little in terms of anti-gay legislation from this administration.
And according to many news reports, when Pence was governor of Indiana and Buttigieg was mayor of South Bend, the two got along well.
As The Associated Press reported Friday: ''During the four years in which they overlapped in Indiana politics, Buttigieg, the South Bend mayor, had a cordial relationship with Pence. The two collaborated on economic development issues. Buttigieg presented Pence with a South Bend promotional T-shirt that said 'I (heart) SB.' And at ceremonial events, Pence would lavish Buttigieg with praise.''
For example, in June 2015, then-Gov. Pence called Buttigieg ''a dedicated public servant and a patriot.'' These aren't the words of a homophobe, despite what many Democrats would like you to believe about Pence.
So why is Buttigieg woke-signaling now? Obviously, to get votes and campaign contributions from the gay community and others on the left.
The left has branded Pence as the No. 1 enemy of gays and lesbians, so Buttigieg needs to show he can take Pence on, regardless of the cordial and respectful relationship they shared as Indiana politicians of different parties.
A few weeks back, I was invited to the Midwest Regional Conference of Turning Point USA, an advocacy group for young conservatives. Pence spoke at the conference and I had the opportunity to take a photo with him and interact with his team as a part of my duties as a contributor to the organization. As a conservative, I was thrilled. As a gay man, I was unsure.
Why? Because I had heard and read many times that Pence supported so-called ''conversion therapy'' '' the absurd and discredited ''treatment'' to make gay people straight, as if we were afflicted with a mental illness and needed to be cured. The very concept of ''conversion therapy'' is demeaning and insulting.
So I decided to get to the root of where this all came from, and was furious when I learned that it was based on a lie and a smear. I stumbled onto a Fox News op-ed written by former Log Cabin Republican Executive Director Gregory Angelo that delved into the origins of the smear.
Angelo found that Pence never advocated trying to change anyone's sexual orientation. Instead, the governor supported reauthorizing funding to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS only if resources were ''directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.''
Angelo, who is gay, wrote: ''Changing one's 'sexual behavior' is far different than changing one's 'sexual orientation.' In fact, at the time of Pence's proclamation, LGBT advocates were working to promote safer sexual behaviors themselves with condom distribution programs and public education campaigns about HIV transmission.''
That's it. A stance that then-Gov. Pence had taken involving the reauthorization of HIV/AIDS funding was twisted by the left, repeated again and again, and used to exploit the deepest fears of gays and lesbians to get them to support Democrats and oppose Republican Pence.
I searched more and more for any other information that supported the claim that Pence supported ''conversion therapy'' but I couldn't find anything. I was furious, realizing I and many others had been lied to by the left yet again.
So I went to the Turning Point USA conference. I posed for a photo with Pence and smiled bright and wide. I was proud to be there.
The vice president was welcoming and cordial to this gay, black, Iraq war combat veteran and conservative Republican. Like he was to our gay ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell when swearing him in as Grenell's longtime partner Matt Lashey held the Bible.
Gays and lesbians are here to stay. Yes, even in the GOP. The vice president respects that. And I, as a gay conservative, can respect his right to his traditional Christian beliefs '' even if they aren't mine.
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I support the Trump-Pence team because I think these two men are doing a great job for America and can do more if given another four years in office.
I realize many Americans are opposed to President Trump and Vice President Pence for a variety of reasons. But if this opposition is based on a belief that the occupants of our nation's highest offices are anti-gay, it is based on a lie of the left.
VIDEO - Kyle Griffin on Twitter: "Pete Buttigieg: "We can't say it's much of a democracy when twice in my lifetime, the Electoral College has overruled the American people ... Let's pick our President by counting up all the ballots and giving it to the wo
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 19:33
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VIDEO - From the "60 Minutes" archives: Nancy Pelosi - CBS News
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 16:25
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VIDEO - Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: The 2019 "60 Minutes" interview - CBS News
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 15:28
Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful woman in American political history. She's been speaker of the House not once, but twice. And President George W. Bush's nickname for her was "3" because of her place in line for the presidency.
Under her leadership last year, the Democrats won back control of the House. The San Francisco liberal is now the voice of her party and chief critic of President Trump; she's also keeping close tabs on at least six House committees investigating the president. And she's pressing for release of the full, unredacted Mueller report.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with correspondent Lesley StahlSpeaker Nancy Pelosi: The Mueller report is about an attack on our elections by a foreign government. And we want to know about that. We wanna know about that in terms of being able to prevent it from happening again. So it's bigger even than Donald Trump.
She says she doesn't trust Attorney General William Barr.
Lesley Stahl: Do you think that the attorney general is covering anything up?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: I have no idea. I have no idea. He may be whitewashing, but I don't know if he's covering anything up. There's no use having that discussion. All we need to do is see the Mueller report.
Lesley Stahl: And asking for the president's tax returns?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: It should not have taken this long for the president-- he said he was under audit. When I was in a-- I was going to a Martin Luther King breakfast in San Francisco and one of the waiters there said to me, "Madame Speaker, when the president says the Mueller report's going on too long just tell him not as long as your audit." (LAUGHTER) Everybody has released their returns and we will have legislation to say that everyone should-- must, but for the moment he's been hi-- so what's he hiding?
She's just hit her 100th day as speaker. She recently called the president to ask for a meeting on infrastructure, but there's no sign that the gridlock that has plagued Congress for years is easing.
Lesley Stahl: One of the complaints we've heard is that you don't reach across the aisle because it seems like right now nothing is getting done. You pass things-- whatever it is dies in the Senate.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Nothing died. Nothing's died. We already put together 100 days, the fact that we even passed them in the House is a victory. Let's figure out the places-- figure out where we can find common ground. There's always been bipartisan support for Dreamers, bipartisan support for gun safety, bipartisan support for infrastructure.
Lesley Stahl: But why doesn't anything get done--
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: We just started.
Lesley Stahl: --with the Dreamers?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: We just started. We're three months since we were in-- in office.
Lesley Stahl: But you're talking about 100 days. This president's been in office for two years plus.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: And we've been here three months. Hey, may I introduce you to the idea of the spout-- power of the speaker is to set the agenda. We didn't have a speaker who would bring a gun bill to the floor. We didn't have a speaker who would bring a Dreamers issue to the floor. We do now. And that's a very big difference. The power of the speaker is awesome. Awesome.
But her becoming speaker was in doubt last December when a group in her caucus agitated for a change to someone younger. It was the president, of all people, who rescued her, in that now famous Oval Office meeting.
President Trump in Oval Office meeting: You know, Nancy's in a situation where it's not easy for her to talk right now.That did not sit well with her.
Speaker Pelsoi in Oval Office meeting: Mr. President, please don't characterize the strength I bring to this meeting as a leader of the House Democrats who just won a big victory'...
Right after the meeting, she walked to the mics in her orange coat, with a whole new image, her ascendance to the speakership no longer in jeopardy.
Lesley Stahl: You seem to be one of the very, very few people who have stood up to him and won.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: No, people do. People do. It-- it is--
Lesley Stahl: Maybe not so much in public the way-- this was televised.
Win McNamee / Getty Images Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Well, that was his problem. In other words I tried to say let's not have this conversation in the public domain because you're saying things that we have to contradict because they're not true. And he said, "Oh, I want the public to see it." Well, you want them to see that you don't-- don't know what you're talking about? Really?
Lesley Stahl: Here's what you've said. You've said, "If someone's ripping your face off. You rip their face off." (LAUGH)
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Oh yeah, I would do that.
Lesley Stahl: And that's what it was like. (LAUGH) And, you know, you have this--
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Yeah, I probably said that. Yeah. They just have to know. You throw a punch, you better take a punch.
Lesley Stahl: From a grandmother.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Yeah.
Then, at the State of the Union, she did her mocking clap and it went viral.
Now, if you go to her own campaign website, you'll see she's touting herself as "The Patron Saint of Shade."
Lesley Stahl: This is your new branding of Nancy Pelosi. Kind of like a giant slayer almost, or--
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Well, I think that it--
Lesley Stahl: --muscular.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: No, I think I happen to be a manifestation of the women power that is coming forth now, but only one manifestation.
Today she's a more self-assured Nancy Pelosi, more willing to promote herself.
Speaker Pelosi at November 7, 2018, press conference: I think I'm the best person to go forward.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images She told us that our Democratic values are being threatened, and says unabashedly, that she is the right person to stand up for them.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: As our founders said, when they declared independence and established a new nation, The times have found us. The times found Lincoln. Not to be presumptuous to put ourselves in those categories, but the times have found us, not because we're so great, but because of the urgency that-- of the-- situation that our country faces because of the situation in the White House.
In January she swore in the 116th Congress. That includes 43 new Democrats from Republican districts who are called "the moderates."
Plus, the most diverse caucus in history with unprecedented numbers of people of color and a record 91 women. She is given high marks, even among Republicans we spoke to, for her skills as a legislator and effective negotiator.
We spoke to a group of Democratic congresswomen, veterans and freshmen, to ask how she wields her power.
Rep. Anna Eshoo: She constantly is weaving, weaving people together.
Rep. Karen Bass: I-- I like the way that the president can't figure out--
Rep. Anna Eshoo: And she is a moderating force.
Rep. Karen Bass: --how to deal with her.
VOICES: Yes. (CLAPPING)
Rep. Karen Bass: The president has no idea.
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici: But-- but part of that is because she has the experience. It's not easy to get through-- the legislative process in congress.
Rep. Primila Jayapa: As the co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, she doesn't try to shut something down before it needs to be shutdown.
Lesley Stahl: How many of you are going to be willing to tell me how afraid you are of her?
Rep. Ann McLane Kuster: She's the first person in my life that has (LAUGH) scared the heck out of me. (LAUGH) I'm honestly-- but I have so much respect for her. And it's this combination of courage and grace.
Lesley Stahl: But why were you afraid of her?
Rep. Ann McLane Kuster: Trust me. You don't wanna cross her. (LAUGH)
Lesley Stahl: It's what I heard.
Rep. Ann McLane Kuster: There were times early on where we had to take difficult votes. (LAUGH) I'm kind of embarrassed. We would run to the ladies room after the vote.
Lesley Stahl: You'd run and hide?
Rep. Ann McLane Kuster: Yeah.
Lesley Stahl: Some of them told us that they're afraid of you.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Oh, no, they're not.
Lesley Stahl: And if they vote against you, if they don't toe the line, that they run out the back--
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Oh, they do that, yeah.
Lesley Stahl: --and they hide in phone booths, and they run--
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: But the men do that, too. That's not just the women.
Win McNamee / Getty Images But she does get pushback, for instance, from 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AOC, who has proposed some out-of-the-mainstream measures.
Lesley Stahl: So you are contending with a group in Congress: Over here on the left flank are these self-described socialists, on the right, these moderates. And you yourself said that you're the only one who can unify everybody. And the question is can you?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: By and large, whatever orientation they came to Congress with, they know that we have to hold the center. That we have to be m-- go down the mainstream.
Lesley Stahl: They know that--
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: They do.
Lesley Stahl: But it doesn't look like that. It looks as if it-- you're-- it's fractured.
She likes to minimizes the conflicts within her caucus. Between the moderates and the progressives.
Lesley Stahl: You have these wings-- AOC, and her group on one side--
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: That's like five people.
Lesley Stahl: No, it's-- the progressive group is more than five.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Well, the progressive-- I'm a progressive. Yeah.
Lesley Stahl: Well, as I understand it the progressives want radical change. They wanna get rid of Obamacare and replace it with Medicare for all. I was under the impression that you had said that you do not favor Medicare for all, that-- ACA, Obamacare is better.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Well, Affordable Care Act is better than Medicare, there's no question about that. The Affordable Care Act benefits are better. Medicare doesn't have a catastrophic plan. So if you want Medicare for all you're gonna have to change Medicare and let's take a look at that.
Lesley Stahl: Well, Medicare for all-- it's not only being pushed by some members of your caucus, but also some of the presidential candidates. And it is allowing the president to say you're all socialists.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Do you know that when we did Med-- when Medicare was done by the Congress at the time, under Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan said, Medicare will lead us to a socialist dictatorship. This is-- this is an ongoing theme of the Republicans. However-- I do reject socialism as an economic system. If people have that view, that's their view. That is not the view of the Democratic Party.
Speaker Pelosi is now the most public face of the Democratic Party. Its most successful fundraiser and the agenda setter.She works tirelessly, always on the move - in three-inch heels '' at 79.
From the "60 Minutes" archives: Nancy PelosiEven when she takes time to visit one of her 9 grandchildren, as she did recently with Bella and her mother Christine, Nancy's second, it's brief.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: This weekend, I came from Washington to San Francisco. On Sunday-- I'll be in Los Angeles. Monday, St. Louis. And then Chicago and then New York.
Lesley Stahl: Wow.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: And then Boston. And then Florida. (LAUGH) And then back to California. And then back to Washington.Lesley Stahl: That's one week?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Yeah. (LAUGH) Yes, that's one week. A lot of peanuts and pretzels on the plane. (LAUGH)It's not exactly an accident that Nancy Pelosi became speaker, given how she grew up. Politics was the family business: her father, Thomas D'Alesandro, was a congressman from Baltimore and then the mayor.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: I was born into a family that was devoutly Catholic, deeply patriotic and staunchly Democratic.
She got married right after college to Paul Pelosi, an investment banker, and had five children in six years.
At age 46 she was drafted to run for Congress and won in 1987, when there were only 23 women in the House.
Lesley Stahl: When there were only 23-- did any of the big bulls, the men-- it was a men's club, obviously-- encourage you to run for leadership, to lift your head up?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: You have to understand. When they're only 23, men are not threatened by the women in Congress, you understand? They're not threatened by that. "That's-- that's nice. That's nice, we have some women here--"
Lesley Stahl: Pat you on the top of your head?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: But when you get to have numbers and you wanna be-- run for leader, then that's a different story. Then they're, like, "Why are they all gathering in the well?" They all have the same color on today. What are they up to?"
In her prime, at nearly 80, she's deploying everything she's got into keeping the House in Democratic hands, flipping the Senate and, above all, defeating the president.
Lesley Stahl: How would you describe President Trump?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: How would I describe him. I think that he describes himself on a daily basis and-- I think that there's nobody in the country who knows better that he should not be president of the United States than Donald Trump.Lesley Stahl: You think he knows it himself?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: I think he does. Yeah. But I respect the office he holds and, uh, he's not-- worth the trouble of saying you're so horrible we can't work together. No, we need to work together.
Lesley Stahl: You have complained, I'm quoting you, President Trump h-- is engaged in an "unconstitutional assault on the Constitution."
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: That's right. He has.
Lesley Stahl: And what do you think the future of our system is if that's true?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Well, I think our future-- is strong enough-- built on a strong foundation to withstand everything including the current occupant of the White House. I don't think for two terms though.
Produced by Ruth Streeter and Kaylee Tully.
(C) 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO - Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "AOC says people shouldn't show pictures of 9/11 anymore because they are ''triggering'' https://t.co/JSya0LYKt0"
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 14:45
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VIDEO - Bill Clinton Just Got World-Class-OWNED During His Own Conference! - YouTube
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 13:57
VIDEO - David Gregory: Omar facing death threats 'because of something the President has directly done' | TheHill
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 13:30
CNN political analyst David Gregory said early Monday that the increase in death threats against Rep. Ilhan Omar Ilhan OmarOmar says she has faced increase in death threats since Trump tweet Fox's Wallace not 'comfortable' playing full 9/11 video tweeted by Trump Yemeni bodega owners call for New York Post boycott over Omar cover MORE (D-Minn.) is due to something Trump ''has directly done.'' Gregory, speaking on "New Day," ripped Trump for posting a video Friday with images of the 9/11 terror attack spliced with words from the freshman lawmaker, one of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress.
''It's an extraordinary situation that she is facing this kind of danger because of something the President has directly done, which is completely wrong,'' Gregory said.
.@davidgregory says it's "extraordinary" that Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has experienced an increase in death threats, is "facing this danger because of something the President has directly done, which is completely wrong." https://t.co/btDTgZ8IO1 pic.twitter.com/cQFZbsFrYG
'-- New Day (@NewDay) April 15, 2019Omar said at a speech last month at the Council on American-Islamic Relations that CAIR was founded after 9/11 because "some people did something" and Muslims "were starting to lose access to our civil liberties."
In a statement Sunday night, she said she has faced an increase in death threats since the video was posted by Trump.
Gregory added on Monday that while Omar should face some scrutiny for her controversial comments about the 9/11 attacks, Trump went too far.
''That she should be targeted with death threats because of something the president said is completely wrong,'' Gregory said.
Gregory also said that he thought Trump was using Omar as his most recent foil, something he has done with other new and prominent Democratic lawmakers.
CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin noted that the one thing in common with everyone Trump has attempted to vilify is that they are all people of color.
''He's always after people of color, and that is not a coincidence,'' Toobin said.
VIDEO - BANYON- BBC Politics on Twitter: "#Marr: "That was an unacceptable comparison, wasn't it?" Lammy: "Andrew, I would say that that wasn't strong enough" Labour MP David Lammy defends his choice of language around the Conservative Party's ERG #Brex
Sun, 14 Apr 2019 23:02
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VIDEO - Heckler Interrupts Clinton Event To Tell Them How Boring They Are | The Daily Caller
Sun, 14 Apr 2019 20:36
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MSNBC obessses ove Buttigieg fund raising-ADVERTISING INCOME-HORSE RACE.mp3
MSNBC response to Barr Presser.mp3
Michelle Obama Stephen Colbert Trump is like Divorced Dad.mp3
Fed minutes moves bitcoin-BTC update from Max and Stacey.mp3
Great Thornberg is now 16 and still being abused to talk to EU Parliment.mp3
FOX News Hypocrisy flashback to Obama vs Trump.mp3
Pelosi Rewind 23 years ago - still the same hate.mp3
Alex Jones on Logan Paul needs setup.mp3
CBS on Mueller report with interesting skew.mp3
climate change debate in canada.mp3
Columbine anniversary sick teacher.mp3
columbine major report CBS.mp3
columbine sub clip police or whatever.mp3
France 24 on Notre Dame endless accolades.mp3
Haiti versus Domican Republic PBS.mp3
Huge million pill drug busts.mp3
Picenik Notre Dame One.mp3
Picenik Notre Dame TWO.mp3
Pronouncing buttigieg Kimmel.mp3
tax returns demanded with odd result PBS.mp3
ALBERTA debate KHAN DEConstruct.mp3
ALBERTA debate KHAN FOUR.mp3
ALBERTA debate Mandell THREE.mp3
ALBERTA debate Notley TWO.mp3
ALBERTA debates FIVE.mp3
ALBERTA debates one Kenny ONE.mp3
Alberta global news pre election.mp3
Stephanie Kelton-2-printing money has no aparent downside in MMT.mp3
Stephanie Kelton-1-prof econ-Bernie econ advisor on Jimmy Dore about Modern Monetary Theory.mp3
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Notre Dame eyewitness colors of smoke - accellerants maybe.mp3
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Notre Dame-Neal Cavuto-Catholic League President Bill Donohue gets cut off for conspiracy.mp3
Notre Dame-Shep Smith - Fillipe Karsenty fire conspiracy.mp3
Today Show-GLITCH sent firefighters to the wrong area of Notre Dame.mp3
Producer Matt calls CSPAN FBI Agents Association representative Rey Tariche about six 6 week cycle-2014.mp3
ABC Nashville airs Tamoa report on adults needing 2nd MMR vaccine.mp3
CNN mmr vaccine israeli stewardess in coma 93 vs 97 percent.mp3
NPR on mmr herd immunity and boosters etc.mp3
WCBC New York MMR vaccine report 2019.mp3
  • 0:11
    this is no agenda Adam Curry and from
  • 0:25
    northern Silicon Valley where I'm
  • 0:27
    pledging sixty billion dollars for the
  • 0:29
    restoration of the note freedom I'm John
  • 0:32
    Sita for you sir are such a
  • 0:38
    philanthropist yes and atop them there's
  • 0:47
    a bunch of toppers going on is become a
  • 0:49
    news item especially in Canada where
  • 0:52
    they mock the French oh really I'm
  • 0:55
    celebrating here what no it's more time
  • 1:01
    baby
  • 1:02
    Oh mulch are you gonna go to Muller
  • 1:04
    rather than the church
  • 1:05
    let's do Muller yeah I don't have any
  • 1:08
    Muller I mean I read all the Muller
  • 1:09
    stuff today and I said oh here we go
  • 1:11
    another round of Trump bashing cuz
  • 1:17
    there's a there's a very slight crack in
  • 1:20
    in the in the mortar so they're gonna go
  • 1:23
    after him what crack was there with
  • 1:28
    cracks the crack is that when molars he
  • 1:31
    says in the report apparently he says
  • 1:34
    that Trump said oh there's the end of my
  • 1:35
    presidency I'm toast or something like
  • 1:38
    that oh okay and so then he fought then
  • 1:41
    he told people to fire Muller and do all
  • 1:43
    this stuff that he never did he never
  • 1:45
    did but they figured that's good enough
  • 1:48
    hmm I do it the one clip I guess well
  • 1:50
    okay play what you're doing go go what
  • 1:53
    what what I get what I did is I got the
  • 1:59
    immediate responses right after bars
  • 2:02
    this morning
  • 2:03
    attorney general bar did a press
  • 2:06
    conference in which he kind of
  • 2:08
    reiterated what he already said I guess
  • 2:10
    and there were a couple of questions
  • 2:13
    you know I was watching I was monitoring
  • 2:15
    all morning people all GD also geo oh
  • 2:19
    boy
  • 2:20
    oh we can't wait forever so here this
  • 2:26
    was this was MSNBC is the only one
  • 2:28
    really worth listening to because it's
  • 2:30
    so you'll hear it and we have was it
  • 2:35
    who's the the NBC liar guy who was that
  • 2:37
    guy yeah all of them no no no Brian
  • 2:41
    Brian oh Williams Brian Williams that's
  • 2:45
    all of them Brian Williams with Nicole
  • 2:50
    Wallace who is in a turn I think you see
  • 2:53
    attorney
  • 2:54
    they should make old Wallace yeah I have
  • 2:57
    a feeling she's in it well most of those
  • 2:58
    people are attorneys anyway you'll hear
  • 3:06
    her first with her before she thought
  • 3:09
    the mic was open and then Brian and then
  • 3:12
    you'll hear what she has to say that was
  • 3:15
    extraordinary
  • 3:17
    I'm strong we are joined here by Nicole
  • 3:19
    Wallace and Neil Katya all I think a
  • 3:23
    conservative reading of what we just
  • 3:25
    witnessed is at the age of 68 bill Barr
  • 3:29
    has decided his legacy he is fine with
  • 3:32
    his legacy being the AG who took one for
  • 3:35
    the team
  • 3:51
    [Music]
  • 3:55
    now what was the one thing MSNBC was
  • 3:59
    saying over and over and over again for
  • 4:02
    the past two years
  • 4:04
    the Trump campaign and Trump colluded
  • 4:07
    with the Russians to - that's it you
  • 4:10
    don't have to say anymore just colluding
  • 4:12
    with the Russians all right exactly that
  • 4:15
    is that's exactly right any collusion he
  • 4:18
    is fine with his legacy being the AG who
  • 4:21
    took one for the team well I think it
  • 4:24
    also explains why we haven't seen Sarah
  • 4:25
    Sanders in a while the administration
  • 4:27
    has a new face and a new messenger and
  • 4:29
    one with a lot more stature he's the
  • 4:31
    country's attorney general the most
  • 4:32
    extraordinary piece of that statement
  • 4:35
    was was twofold one around collusion I
  • 4:38
    think he said half a dozen times no
  • 4:40
    collision no occlusion no lawyer no
  • 4:42
    legal presentation presents its
  • 4:45
    conclusion six times a political
  • 4:47
    messenger and I know a little bit about
  • 4:48
    that having a political messenger all of
  • 4:50
    my career underscores the central
  • 4:52
    message particularly a political
  • 4:57
    messenger which I've been all my career
  • 5:00
    she's supposed to be a news person of
  • 5:03
    some sort but what she's literally
  • 5:05
    saying is only political operatives not
  • 5:08
    news people not attorneys only political
  • 5:11
    operatives will repeat something
  • 5:13
    incessantly Wow I think he said half a
  • 5:18
    dozen times no collision occlusion no
  • 5:20
    lawyer no legal presentation presents
  • 5:23
    its conclusion six times a political
  • 5:25
    messenger and I know a little bit about
  • 5:27
    that having been a political messenger
  • 5:28
    all of my career underscores the central
  • 5:31
    message particularly if it's on shaky
  • 5:32
    ground multiple times to use that room
  • 5:35
    to use that podium to underscore Donald
  • 5:38
    Trump's refrain on his twitter feed for
  • 5:41
    the last two years of no clusion was
  • 5:43
    just an extraordinary thing to witness
  • 5:44
    the second was on obstruction it's like
  • 5:47
    as a parent if you say yeah my kid
  • 5:49
    vandalized the school but he was
  • 5:51
    frustrated by having a hard time in that
  • 5:54
    came out instead yes Donald Trump may
  • 5:56
    have been obstruction II came into
  • 6:01
    office they were bugging him
  • 6:03
    they were bugging him about Mike Flynn
  • 6:05
    lyin they were bugging him about all
  • 6:07
    those contacts with brushes he was fresh
  • 6:09
    it was an extraordinary excuse we
  • 6:14
    finally see Robert molars report again
  • 6:16
    it's also the fifth presentation from
  • 6:18
    Bob Barr about a report we still haven't
  • 6:21
    seen yeah okay I just thought it was
  • 6:23
    funny that she's just can sit there with
  • 6:26
    a straight face and say anyone who
  • 6:28
    repeats something like that is clearly a
  • 6:30
    political operative yes Nicole Wallace
  • 6:33
    correct I can't find my CNN clip but it
  • 6:37
    was exactly the same why did he keep
  • 6:38
    repeating that it's not even a thing
  • 6:42
    collusion here's a snippet I took from
  • 6:46
    the CBS report the day before with it
  • 6:51
    which I noted it had an interesting skew
  • 6:54
    because they just can't read they just
  • 6:55
    can't get away from it
  • 6:57
    you'll see a lot of very strong things
  • 7:00
    come out tomorrow the president's
  • 7:01
    personal attorneys have prepared a
  • 7:03
    counter report to emphasize there were
  • 7:05
    no charges of collusion or obstruction
  • 7:08
    against the President or anyone else