1148: Twitter Rattling

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 50m
June 20th, 2019
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Executive Producers: Sir Therblig, Colin Preston

Associate Executive Producers: Dame Sheila the Lady of Lisboa, Sir Otaku - Baron of North East Texas and the Red River Valley, Michael Riniker

Cover Artist: Darren O'Neill


Start of Show
AC's Travel Update
HTTP Error 451 - Unavailable For Legal Reasons
Wine in Tube
UK's Next Prime Minister
Scottish National Party's MP Ian Blackford Calls Boris Johnson Racist in the House of Commons
France 24: 'Female EU Commission President 'Long Overdue', Says Margrethe Vestager'
Angela Merkel Shaking Visibly During German National Anthem at Ceremony
MH17 Investigation Team Identified 4 Russian Suspects
Iran Shoots Down US Drone
UN Nuclear Watchdog Says Iran Has Increased Uranium Enrichment
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Global Alliance for Responsible Media
The Verge: 'Inside The Traumatic Life of a Facebook Moderator'
Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act
AC's Gab Predicition
Apple CEO Tim Cook's Stanford Commencement Address
Breitbart: 'Apple Bans Gab from App Development After Company Makes Antitrust Case to DOJ'
Queens District Attorney Race Contestant Tiffany Cabán
Slavery Reparations
Trump Announces 2020 Reelection Campaign
2020 Elections
United Nations Report Finds Mohammed bin Salman Should Be Investigated Over Jamal Khashoggi's Murder
Birthdays, Meetups & Title Changes
Facebook Launches Stablecoin Cryptocurrency 'Libra'
JCD's Department of Social Security Spam Call
UK Bans Harmful Gender Stereotypes in Advertisements
Trump Suggests Iran Mistakenly Shot Down US Drone
US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan Resigns Over Domestic Violence Allegations
End of Show
Suggest a new chapter
Government warning students to not go to USA - BOTG
Dear Adam Curry,
We just received this.
The government of China already gave notice to students from High School
and College levels that they should not go to the United States. Now China will discourage the
English-language and international schools from hiring Americans by
discouraging the use of any American curriculum.
By the way, “test centers” refers to all high schools
(public and private) and universities that otherwise allow their classrooms to
be used as places where children would take the exams.
I teach the British curriculum and IB (the universal
European program)
Shanghai: China Studio Chiefs Debate Winter Chills and U.S. Rivalry '' Variety
Mon, 17 Jun 2019 02:46
The Shanghai International Film Festival pulled off the impressive feat of assembling leading executives from seven of China's top film studios. Their discussion focused on the problems that have recently beset the production sector and the industry's relationship with Hollywood.
''The film industry achieved great things in 2018, but it was also the year that the industry received most criticism from society,'' said Yu Dong, founder, chairman and CEO of Bona Film Group. ''Our directors, actors and company were all criticized. The tax examination at the end of the year shook up the industry. We all had so many grievances, we all felt wronged.''
Chinese tax authorities last year intervened in the film sector, following accusations made at movie star Fan Bingbing. They ordered companies and individuals to fully declare their earnings, and to cease some previously permitted tax avoidance structures. The move '' which netted some $1.7 billion of back taxes '' caused an abrupt disruption of film production, changed relations between producers and talent, and caused investors to take fright.
''It was the year that the supply of capital went into winter hibernation. Half of the publicly-listed film companies saw their market valuations fall. Eight film companies had their market values cut in half,'' said Yu. ''We had to adapt to new market conditions, adapt to new film topics, and change our ways with casting as well. The market is cold and we're losing our audience.''
''Morale is very low now. There is an acute drop in production numbers as everyone is sitting on the fence, watching. We need to rebuild morale and faith. Audience needs to rediscover its faith in Chinese film. We need capital support,'' said Wang Changtian, chairman of Enlight Media.
Huddling for warmth was a recurring theme of the seminar. ''Nowadays, movies aren't made by one or two film companies, but by seven or eight. We're all neighbors and brothers. To throw a good punch you need to bunch all your fingers together and make a fist,'' said Jiang Ping, GM of China Film group. ''The Rescue,'' an upcoming action film with seven companies listed as producers proved his point, Jiang said.
While the speakers carefully avoided the specific term ''trade war,'' U.S.-China rivalry was another recurring theme.
''It is only a matter of time before we outdo the U.S., but that is not an objective,'' said Fan Luyuan, chairman of Alibaba Pictures.
Bona's Yu argued that Chinese studios should push harder into international markets. ''China has had the biggest February box office in the world for the past five years, because of the Chinese New Year holidays. We should have the determination to play our movies in that at every Chinatown movie theater all over the world,'' Yu said.
The Shanghai International Film Festival pulled off the impressive feat of assembling leading executives from seven of China's top film studios. Their discussion focused on the problems that have recently beset the production sector and the industry's relationship with Hollywood. ''The film industry achieved great things in 2018, but it was also the year that [...]
A presentation at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday shed light on the welter of propaganda films that will compete with Hollywood blockbusters for the attention of Chinese cinema goers in the second half of this year. This year is laden with political significance for China's ruling Communist Party. It is 100 years since [...]
Hong Kong's Tony Leung Chiu-wai and mainland China's Duan Yihong will head the cast of the Shanghai Film Group's upcoming ''Fox Hunt.'' The film is based on real live events and depicts the activities of Operation Fox Hunt, a worldwide anti-corruption initiative managed by China's Ministry of Public Security. The operation seeks to find and [...]
''Wings over Everest,'' a new action adventure film from veteran producer Terence Chang and ''Wolf Warrior 2'' producer Lu Jianmin, is poised to join the burgeoning Chinese sub-genre of rescue movies. The Chinese- and English-language film stars Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu (''Project Gutenberg''; ''Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation''), Japanese actor Koji Yakusho (''Babel''; ''Memoirs of a [...]
Huayi Brothers Pictures CEO and media group VP Jerry Ye made no mention Sunday of the abrupt cancellation of the premiere for his firm's highly anticipated war epic ''The Eight Hundred,'' which was set to be the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival's opening film the night before. Instead, he looked to the future at a panel [...]
Leading film producers highlighted the challenges of developing good scripts in China and abroad at a panel during the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday. Wanda Media GM Jiang Wei (aka Wayne Jiang) recommended that producers remain aware of the real differences between the scriptwriting process for Chinese productions versus international and co-productions. The fundamental [...]
At a panel on indie film production at the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival, Chinese and foreign producers discussed the shifting funding landscape for their projects over the years. Nai An, the longtime collaborator of controversial sixth generation Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye, kicked off the talk with a look back at her producing career, which has [...]
james crabtree on Twitter: "Now that is a hell of a photo of the Hong Kong protests.'... "
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 05:05
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F15's BOTG
Hey Adam,
Don’t use
my name, but I was staying in a Hotel in Cambridge, UK on Thursday night of
last week, and there were several pilots and co-pilots of F-15s staying there.
They had
just flown over to the UK on their way to Iran, refuelling in mid-air 4 times
on the way over.
The planes
were being fitted out and checked before flying on, so something is liable to
occur there over the next few days.
Iran threatens more uranium enrichment if no new nuke deal
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 09:43
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) '-- Iran threatened Wednesday to enrich its uranium stockpile closer to weapons-grade levels in 60 days if world powers fail to negotiate new terms for its 2015 nuclear deal, raising regional tensions as a U.S. aircraft carrier and bombers headed to the Middle East to confront Tehran.
A televised address by President Hassan Rouhani, who once pledged that the landmark deal would draw Iran closer to the West, saw the cleric instead pressure Europe to shield Tehran from the sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump withdrawing the U.S. from the agreement exactly a year earlier.
Rouhani's threats put the world on notice that it cannot continue to rely on Iran complying with terms of the unraveling deal in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, a U.S. campaign of sanctions hammering Iran's anemic economy and blocking its sale of oil on the global market is only making life worse, putting further pressure on both its Shiite theocracy and its 80 million people.
Later Wednesday, Trump issued an executive order announcing new sanctions targeting Iran's steel, aluminum, copper and iron sectors, which provide foreign currency earnings for Tehran.
Rouhani earlier compared the situation to a medical emergency for the Islamic Republic, only 40 years after its founding.
''We felt that the nuclear deal needs a surgery, and the painkiller pills of the last year have been ineffective,'' Rouhani said. ''This surgery is for saving the deal, not destroying it.''
Iran on Wednesday stopped its sale of excess uranium and heavy water as a first step, Rouhani said, something required under the deal. The U.S. last week ended deals allowing Iran to exchange its enriched uranium for unrefined yellowcake uranium with Russia, and to sell its heavy water, which is used as a coolant in nuclear reactors, to Oman.
In 60 days, if no new deal is in place, Iran will increase its enrichment of uranium beyond the accord-permitted 3.67%, which can fuel a commercial nuclear power plant. Rouhani did not say how far Iran would be willing to enrich, although the head of its nuclear program again reiterated Iran could reach 20% enrichment within four days.
Once a country enriches uranium to around 20%, scientists say the time needed to reach the 90% threshold for weapons-grade uranium is halved. Iran long has maintained its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. However, Iranian state television's English-language service Press TV, citing sources close to presidency, said the country would withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty if Europeans sought to sanction Iran at the U.N. Security Council.
Rouhani also said that if the 60 days pass without action, Iran will halt a Chinese-led effort to redesign its Arak heavy water nuclear reactor. Such reactors produce plutonium that can be used in nuclear weapons.
Iran notified Britain, Russia, China, the European Union, France and Germany of its decision earlier in the day. All were signatories to the nuclear deal and continue to support it. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met Wednesday in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and offered a letter as well.
''If the five countries join negotiations and help Iran to reach its benefits in the field of oil and banking, Iran will return to its commitments according to the nuclear deal,'' Rouhani said.
Zarif separately issued his own warning from Moscow.
''After a year of patience, Iran stops measures that (the) US has made impossible to continue,'' he tweeted. World powers have ''a narrowing window to reverse this.''
Reaction came swiftly from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a staunch critic of Iran and the nuclear deal.
''I heard that Iran intends to continue its nuclear program. We will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons,'' Netanyahu said. ''We will continue to fight those who seek to take our lives, and we will thrust our roots even deeper into the soil of our homeland.''
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in London, said America ''will wait and observe'' what Iran does next.
''They have made have made a number of statements about actions they have threatened to do in order to get the world to jump,'' Pompeo said.
Rouhani also made an implicit threat as well to Europe, saying Iran now cooperates on issues like targeting Afghan opium and hashish traffickers and controlling immigration.
''You are obliged ... for your own security, for protecting your youths against drugs as well as controlling influx of immigrants,'' the president said.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called Iran's threat to resume higher enrichment of uranium an ''unwelcome step.'' French Defense Secretary Florence Parly was much more dire. ''Nothing would be worse than Iran leaving this deal,'' he told BMFTV.
Iran's move comes at a sensitive moment in the wider Middle East. The White House said it dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf over what it described as a new threat from Iran. Israel, which has conducted pre-emptive bombings of nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria, has vowed to never allow Iran to obtain an atomic weapon.
Apparently responding to that, the general staff of Iran's armed forces issued a statement applauding Rouhani's decision and warning its enemies.
''Any possible movement by them will face a regrettable response by Iranian nation and its armed forces,'' the statement said, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
The 2015 deal lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. It reached the deal after years of negotiations, including secret talks in Oman between Iran and the administration of former President Barack Obama.
The U.S. withdrew from the deal under Trump, whose administration contends the accord should have limited Iran's ballistic missile program and what it describes as Tehran's malign regional influence.
However, the U.N.'s atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, repeatedly has verified that Iran stuck to terms of the deal. The agency did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
After the U.S. withdrew from the accord, it restored the crippling sanctions, exacerbating a severe economic crisis. The Iranian rial, which traded at 32,000 to $1 at the time of the accord, traded Wednesday at 153,500.
That Iran chose to keep its excess uranium and heavy water first, rather than abandon the accord in its entirety, shows it still hopes to secure a deal. In years of negotiations over its nuclear program, Iran similarly has gone step-by-step in ramping its activities while holding talks. It also protects Rouhani, a relative moderate cleric within Iran's Shiite theocracy, from criticism by hard-liners who long maintained Iran gave up too much in the nuclear deal.
On the streets of Tehran, the mood was mixed as people are struggling to make ends meet as the Iranian currency collapses.
''It was a good but late decision by Iran,'' said Soroush Kamali, a 21-year-old geography student. ''The West should learn that they cannot remain idle while Iranian people are suffering from sanctions.''
Zahra Ahari, a 43-year-old homemaker, simply wished for things to get better.
''I do not understand the terms and words of officials. They should do something to make our life easier,'' Ahari said. ''I hope the new decision will have such an impact.''
Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writers Ilan Ben Zion in Jerusalem and Matthew Lee in London contributed.
Iran shoots down US drone | TheHill
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 10:42
Iran's Revolutionary Guard said on Thursday that it shot down a U.S. military drone, heightening already strained tensions between Washington and Tehran.
The Guard said it shot down the drone over Hormozgan Province in southern Iran, Tehran's state news agency, IRNA, reported.
Two U.S. officials, however, told The Associated Press that the incident happened in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
IRNA in its report identified the drone as an RQ-4 Global Hawk.
Major-General Hossein Salami, who commands the Guard, said that the incident sent a ''clear message'' that Iranian forces "are ready to give decisive response to any aggression," according to the news agency.
He reportedly said that Iran's "enemies" have "no choice" but to respect the nation's territorial integrity and interests.
He added that while Iran is not seeking war with any country, its armed forces are ready to defend the country against "aggression."
--This developing report was updated at 6:37 a.m.
UK pm reality show ziplining eating shitty bugs
AP Europe on Twitter: "VIDEO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel shook uncontrollably during a visit by Ukraine's new president on a hot day in Berlin. Merkel later told reporters she was fine and clearly hadn't drunk enough water. Read the full story here:
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 22:11
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French Protesters Hang Up Their Yellow Vests - WSJ
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 04:07
PARIS'--For months, Yves Garrec dedicated his Saturdays to slipping on a yellow road-safety vest and hitting the streets in protest. Not any more.
''I've put my yellow vest back in the car glove compartment,'' the 60-year-old chauffeur says.
Seven months after waves of demonstrations first washed over France'--bringing the government to its knees'--the yellow-vest movement has run out of steam.
Shops that once boarded their windows every Saturday, bracing for yellow-vest riots, are humming again. President Emmanuel Macron is rebooting the economic overhauls that once fueled yellow-vest ire. The weekly flood of protesters in Paris has become a trickle.
On Saturday, only 7,000 demonstrators took to the streets across the country, according to the French Interior Ministry. That is compared with a quarter million people on Nov. 17 when the movement began as a protest against fuel taxes.
''The movement has lost its essence,'' says Jacline Mouraud, a 52-year-old accordionist from Brittany, who sparked the yellow-vest unrest in October by posting online a video that went viral, accusing Mr. Macron of not ''giving a darn'' about the economic struggles of everyday commuters.
In the end, the yellow-vest movement devoured itself. Prominent protesters publicly turned on each other, creating a leadership vacuum that made it hard to translate public rage into political action.
That failure is apparent, former protesters say, in the movement's struggle to field candidates for the European Parliament elections, which were held at the end of May. A moment some hoped would mark the movement's emergence as a new political force on the Continent instead revealed its fragility. Yellow-vest candidates'--branded by many in the movement as ''sellouts'''--garnered less than 1% of the vote.
The flagging support has created an opening for Mr. Macron's government to regain its footing. On Wednesday, Prime Minister ‰douard Philippe detailed the administration's plans to overhaul the country's unemployment benefits and pension system. He also pledged to deliver quickly on promises to significantly cut taxes for the working middle class.
There are also signs that Mr. Macron's earliest reforms, including a loosening of labor-market rules, have begun to lift the economy. Last month, unemployment fell to its lowest level in 10 years, according to the national statistics agency. Consumer confidence, badly bruised at the peak of the yellow-vest crisis, has significantly picked up since the beginning of the year.
Given the volatile nature of the movement, violence could erupt again. Some 2,500 protesters and 1,800 police officers were injured during demonstrations, according to the Interior Ministry. Some yellow vests are planning to block roads across the country next Saturday in a bid to create disruption and recapture people's attention.
Still, those disturbances are a far cry from the hundreds of thousands who once brought France to a standstill.
Ingrid Levavasseur, a 32-year-old single mother, was targeted by violent yellow-vest demonstrators for her attempt to run for a seat in the European Parliament as the movement's standard-bearer. Today, she no longer considers herself a yellow vest.
''For me, it's over,'' says Ms. Levavasseur, who opposes violence at protests.
The protests began in November as an act of defiance against the government's plan to raise fuel taxes, a move intended to help France combat global climate change. It then became a rallying cry against Mr. Macron, perceived by many as an out-of-touch ''president of the rich.'' Tens of thousands of people started protesting every Saturday throughout the country demanding higher wages, as well as greater social and fiscal justice.
In December, the protests morphed into riots that rampaged down the Champs-‰lys(C)es Avenue, leaving stores shattered, cars torched and the Arc de Triomphe defaced.
Mr. Macron, who suffered from a tin ear at the start of the movement, showed some political agility. The president made a burst of concessions at the end of the year, calling off the fuel-tax increase and boosting the incomes of minimum-wage earners. He then mounted a monthslong listening tour that took him to small villages across the country, turning the tide of public opinion against the yellow vests.
On Saturday, life was back to normal on the Champs-‰lys(C)es Avenue. Tourists strolled by storefronts, or sipped wine on cafe terraces.
Some yellow vests have joined traditional political parties. Benjamin Cauchy ran as a candidate for a French far-right party in the EU elections.
Yellow vests, he says, ''go hiking every Saturday but they aren't moving forward.''
Mr. Cauchy failed to win a seat in the European Parliament but he is gearing up for municipal elections next year. He left his job as an insurance salesman in southern France to become the party's spokesman. He now spends most of his time in Paris.
Still, every week a small group of yellow vests continues to take to the streets demanding more direct democracy, among other things.
The atmosphere at the protests, however, has soured, says 21-year-old Stephen Broquin.
''The old tensions between the right and the left that people had forgotten when they joined the movement have resurfaced,'' Mr. Broquin says.
Ms. Mouraud, who lighted the yellow-vest fuse with her viral video, takes a philosophical view: ''There are only confetti left, but confetti can be hard to sweep off the streets.''
Write to Noemie Bisserbe at noemie.bisserbe@wsj.com
Agnes Callamard - Wikipedia
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:16
Agn¨s Callamard is a French Human Rights expert and Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).[1] She is also the Director of Columbia University's Global Freedom of Expression project.[2]
Early life and education [ edit ] In 1985, Callamard received her undergraduate degree from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Grenoble. Callamard has a master's degree from Başkent University in Turkey. In 1995, she received a PhD in Political Science from the New School for Social Research in New York.
Career [ edit ] Callamard is considered an expert on a number of international and UN human rights initiatives and has conducted human rights investigations in a number of countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.[3] She has published in the field of human rights, women's rights, refugee movements and accountability. Callamard has worked extensively in the field of international refugee movements with the Center for Refugee Studies in Toronto.
In May 2017, Callamard attended a conference in the Philippines, which led to her Wikipedia page being vandalized.[3][4] Callamard stated that the visit was not in an official capacity.[5]
Amnesty International [ edit ] From 1998 to 2001, Callamard served as Chef de Cabinet for the Secretary General of Amnesty International, and as the organisation's Research Policy Coordinator, she led Amnesty's work on women's human rights. Callamard has conducted human rights investigations in a large number of countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
HAP International [ edit ] In 2001, Callamard founded and led HAP International (the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership) where she oversaw field trials in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Sierra Leone and created the first international self-regulatory body for humanitarian agencies committed to strengthening accountability to disaster-affected populations. She was in this position until 2004.
Article 19 [ edit ] From 2004 to 2013, Callamard served as Executive Director of Article 19, a human rights organization.
Columbia University [ edit ] As of November 2013, Callamard is Director of Columbia University's Global Freedom of Expression Project.
United Nations [ edit ] Callamard is the UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions.[6]
Works and publications [ edit ] Callamard, Agnes (18 March 2009). "Protect the believers, not the belief". The Guardian. Callamard, Agn¨s; Amnesty International Dutch Section; Codesria (2000). Monitoring and Investigating Torture, Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, and Prison Conditions (PDF) . Dakar: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. ISBN 978-2-869-78088-0. OCLC 47863459. Callamard, Agnes (12 August 2015). "Comity for Internet? Recent Court Decisions on the Right to be De-indexed". The National Law Review. Callamard, Agnes (23 March 2017). "Are courts re-inventing Internet regulation?". International Review of Law, Computers & Technology: 1''17. doi:10.1080/13600869.2017.1304603. References [ edit ] External links [ edit ] Agnes Callamard at Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)Article 19Agnes Callamard on Twitter
So I was at target when the outage happened so I was
allowed to purchase my stuff. Basically it seemed like their POS system would
not recognize UPCs when hand keyed or scanned. But not all. It was weird. The
cashier next to my line would scan everything she could first. What they had to
do was scan the item with their store work scanner( Android based) for the
price. If it didn’t come up they would use the app on their personal phone and
get the price online. Then they would type a four digit code for general merch
or food merch and hand key the price. I actually got some of my items for
cheaper, including beer which I paid no tax or crv for. The problem with this
is that it did not individually remove the product from the store inventory.
This could be the reason why they eventually opted to close stores and no longer
do transactions. So, inventory integrity is important because of the online
market. Target also has this new drive up service where your product is ready
in like an hour or something. So, without inventory properly being deducted, it
would show products being fully in stock when they may not be. I work for a
company that has a similar concept except where I work, UPCs and very precisely
tracked. Big problem is, if they confirm to have the product to the customer
and they actually don’t, they likely have to give a gift card or a discount for
the inconvenience. It was quite a mess really but a strange problem.
Young generations growing head horns from mobile phone use
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 22:09
Younger generations seem to be developing horns in the back of their skulls due to the extended use of technology like smartphones and tablets.
Two Australian researchers made the bizarre discovery while examining hundreds of X-rays of people aged between 18 and 30, finding almost half had developed bone growths.
They're the kind of spurs normally seen in hunched-over elderly people who've subjected their bodies to long-term poor posture and significant stress loads on their bones.
But the presence of the ''horn-like'' skull growths raise serious concerns about what extended use of phones is doing to young people's bodies.
The findings by Dr David Shahar and Associate Professor Mark Sayers at The University of the Sunshine Coast flew under the radar when they were published at the end of last year, two years after their initial warning about the trend.
But a BBC article last week about how tech is changing the human body cited their research and saw an explosion in interest in the work.
Dr Shahar said the study looked at 218 X-ray images of people aged between 18 and 30 and found 41 per cent had developed a ''horn-like'' bony lump at the back of their heads, ranging in size from 10 millimetres to 30 millimetres.
Additional testing, including MRI scans, ruled out the possibility that the bone growths were the result of genetics or injury.
RELATED: This is what looking down at your phone does to your spine
These kinds of growths are typically found in older people and result from long-term stress on the skeleton and, until the advent of gadget technology, were rarely found in young people.
''This is evidence that musculoskeletal degenerative processes can start and progress silently from an early age,'' Dr Shahar said.
''These findings were surprising because typically they take years to develop and are more likely to be seen in the ageing population.
''It is important to understand that, in most cases, bone spurs measure a few single millimetres and yet we found projections of 10 to 30 millimetres in the studied young population.''
The findings offer a warning about the impact of poor posture, especially in young people, due to extended phone and gadget use.
''We hypothesise that the sustained increase load at that muscle attachment is due to the weight of the head shifting forward with the use of modern technologies for long periods of time,'' Dr Shahar said.
''Shifting the head forwards results in the transfer of the head's weight from the bones of the spine to the muscles at the back of the neck and head.''
Dr Sayers and Dr Shahar continue to examine the phenomenon and plan to develop resources to help avoid the growths, particularly in school kids.
''The thing is that the bump is not the problem, the bump is a sign of sustained terrible posture, which can be corrected quite simply,'' Dr Sayers said.
Younger generations are growing horns in the back of their head - NZ Herald
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 12:08
Younger generations seem to be developing horns in the back of their skulls due to the extended use of technology like smartphones and tablets.
Two Australian researchers made the bizarre discovery while examining hundreds of X-rays of people aged between 18 and 30, finding almost half had developed bone growths.
They're the kind of spurs normally seen in hunched-over elderly people who've subjected their bodies to long-term poor posture and significant stress loads on their bones.
But the presence of the "horn-like" skull growths raise serious concerns about what extended use of phones is doing to young people's bodies.
The findings by Dr David Shahar and Associate Professor Mark Sayers at The University of the Sunshine Coast flew under the radar when they were published at the end of last year, two years after their initial warning about the trend.
But a BBC article last week about how tech is changing the human body cited their research and saw an explosion in interest in the work.
Dr Shahar said the study looked at 218 X-ray images of people aged between 18 and 30 and found 41 per cent had developed a "horn-like" bony lump at the back of their heads, ranging in size from 10 millimetres to 30 millimetres.
Additional testing, including MRI scans, ruled out the possibility that the bone growths were the result of genetics or injury.
These kinds of growths are typically found in older people and result from long-term stress on the skeleton and, until the advent of gadget technology, were rarely found in young people.
"This is evidence that musculoskeletal degenerative processes can start and progress silently from an early age," Dr Shahar said.
"These findings were surprising because typically they take years to develop and are more likely to be seen in the ageing population.
"It is important to understand that, in most cases, bone spurs measure a few single millimetres and yet we found projections of 10 to 30 millimetres in the studied young population."
The findings offer a warning about the impact of poor posture, especially in young people, due to extended phone and gadget use.
"We hypothesise that the sustained increase load at that muscle attachment is due to the weight of the head shifting forward with the use of modern technologies for long periods of time," Dr Shahar said.
"Shifting the head forwards results in the transfer of the head's weight from the bones of the spine to the muscles at the back of the neck and head."
Dr Sayers and Dr Shahar continue to examine the phenomenon and plan to develop resources to help avoid the growths, particularly in school kids.
"The thing is that the bump is not the problem, the bump is a sign of sustained terrible posture, which can be corrected quite simply," Dr Sayers said.
USPS notifies banks and geico of move
Study finds that a GPS outage would cost $1 billion per day | Ars Technica
Mon, 17 Jun 2019 08:36
GP$ '-- 90 percent of the technology's financial impact has come since just 2010. Eric Berger - Jun 14, 2019 4:38 pm UTC
Enlarge / The first of the Air Force's new GPS 3 satellites launches on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in December, 2018.
Since becoming fully operational in 1995, Global Positioning System technology has become widely adopted in the United States and abroad. The concept of satellite-based navigation has become so essential that other world powers, including China, Russia, the European Union, India, and Japan, have all started building their own regional or global systems.
Now, one of the most comprehensive studies on the subject has assessed the value of this GPS technology to the US economy and examined what effect a 30-day outage would have'--whether it's due to a severe space weather event or "nefarious activity by a bad actor." The study was sponsored by the US government's National Institutes of Standards and Technology and performed by a North Carolina-based research organization named RTI International.
Economic effectAs part of the analysis, researchers spoke to more than 200 experts in the use of GPS technology for various services, from agriculture to the positioning of offshore drilling rigs to location services for delivery drivers. (If they'd spoken to me, I'd have said the value of using GPS to navigate Los Angeles freeways and side streets was incalculable). The study covered a period from 1984, when the nascent GPS network was first opened to commercial use, through 2017. It found that GPS has generated an estimated $1.4 trillion in economic benefits during that time period.
The researchers found that the largest benefit, valued at $685.9 billion, came in the "telecommunications" category, including improved reliability and bandwidth utilization for wireless networks. Telematics (efficiency gains, cost reductions, and environmental benefits through improved vehicle dispatch and navigation) ranked as the second most valuable category at $325 billion. Location-based services on smartphones was third, valued at $215 billion.
Notably, the value of GPS technology to the US economy is growing. According to the study, 90 percent of the technology's financial impact has come since just 2010, or just 20 percent of the study period. Some sectors of the economy are only beginning to realize the value of GPS technology, or are identifying new uses for it, the report says, indicating that its value as a platform for innovation will continue to grow.
Outage impactIn the case of some adverse event leading to a widespread outage, the study estimates that the loss of GPS service would have a $1 billion per-day impact, although the authors acknowledge this is at best a rough estimate. It would likely be higher during the planting season of April and May, when farmers are highly reliant on GPS technology for information about their fields.
To assess the effect of an outage, the study looked at several different variables. Among them was "precision timing" that enables a number of wireless services, including the synchronization of traffic between carrier networks, wireless handoff between base stations, and billing management. Moreover, higher levels of precision timing enable higher bandwidth and provide access to more devices. (For example, the implementation of 4G LTE technology would have been impossible without GPS technology).
In the case of an outage, there would be relatively minimal impacts over the first two days, but after that time, the wireless network would begin to degrade significantly. After 30 days, the study estimates that functionality would lie somewhere between 0 percent and 60 percent of normal operating levels. Landline phones would be largely unaffected.The study shows accelerating economic value from GPS use.
"GPS came along at a time of significant evolution in the telecom sector and played a critical role in the digitization of telecom infrastructure and the advent of wireless technology," the study states. "Wireless technology continues to evolve in ways that increase its reliance on highly precise timing, which in turn increases reliance on GPS. Multiple technological trends'--from autonomous cars to the internet of things'--will be stretching wireless technology to new limits in the coming years."
The study is likely to increase public calls for improved safety and security of the US GPS system, which the Air Force continues to modernize with its new fleet of GPS III satellites. The first of these new satellites, offering positioning and timing information with three times better accuracy and heightened anti-jamming capabilities, launched on a Falcon 9 rocket in December.
SIM swap horror story: I've lost decades of data and Google won't lift a finger | ZDNet
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 04:49
The most hacked passwords: Is yours one of them? Your name, your favorite football team and your favourite band: The UK's National Cyber Security Centre has released a list of the 100,000 most common passwords to appear in data breaches. Read more: https://zd.net/2UYNnKP At 11:30 pm on Monday, 10 June, my oldest daughter shook my shoulder to wake me up from a deep sleep. She said that it appeared my Twitter account had been hacked. It turns out that things were much worse than that.
After rolling out of bed, I picked up my Apple iPhone XS and saw a text message that read, "T-Mobile alert: The SIM card for xxx-xxx-xxxx has been changed. If this change is not authorized, call 611." Well, seeing as how T-Mobile took away my cell service, I could not call 611 for help so that is a worthless message. Thankfully, at the time I still had a Google Fi SIM in a Pixel 3 XL so I called T-Mobile and told them my physical SIM is still in my iPhone and I did NOT authorize any change to my account.
Also: Wave of SIM swapping attacks hit US cryptocurrency users
I was able to get T-Mobile to assign my phone number and service back to my phone by giving them the SIM card ID number and then having them send a text to one of the other four phone numbers in my account where I then read back the verification code. I asked why they would allow someone to call up and take my SIM without my approval. The representative said they can't discriminate or tell who is who over the phone and as long as some key information was given then a swap could be authorized. All seemed fine with T-Mobile at that time, but I still had to go find out what was up with Twitter and later Google.
Twitter woesI started using Twitter in 2006 to coordinate meetings with other mobile tech writers and as of last week I had nearly 10,000 followers with Twitter verification. My Twitter user ID is number 2,821 and I posted about 30,000 Tweets over the last 13 years. As of right now, that has all been stripped away from me.
Since my Twitter meant quite a bit to me, primarily for my mobile tech writing and the friendships I've developed through Twitter over the years, I made sure to have two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled with this service. It turns out that the 2FA with text messaging sent to a cell phone may be useless when hackers steal your SIM right out from under you.
Also: Two-factor authentication: A cheat sheet TechRepublic
Twitter has a form for you to fill out if your account has been stolen, but it requires your email address assigned to that Twitter account to work. Even when I regained my cell phone, sending a code to that number still won't let me get access to Twitter. I'm stuck in a circle of hell with Twitter and Google right now and Twitter support won't work with me via any other means to resolve the situation.
While Twitter is a free service, I would still expect some level of assistance for someone who has had the same account for 13 years and can get thousands of people to verify my identity. If I cannot get my Twitter account back, stay tuned for a new account that I will have to rebuild from scratch.
Google woesSince Twitter wasn't going to work with me until I had my Google account back, I went in to try to reset my Google services password. It turns out that the hacker was a few hours ahead of me and had already changed most of the verification fields I had set up to reset my password. If you have a Google account then I recommend you go into your settings and establish the following in case you need to reset your password on a stolen account:
Google AuthenticatorCell phone number for text code8-digit backup codeOther phone number associated with your accountEmail for recoveryMonth and year when you started using GmailI had some of this information, but the hacker changed everything in the list above except for one email address that was still controlled by me. I used this email to fill out the form for Google every day over the past week, adding in lots of other details about the situation, but have not yet been able to get Google to move forward with recovering my account.
A couple of days ago, a message appeared on my Pixel 3 XL that my Google Fi SIM card had been deactivated. I've been using Google Fi for a few years and lately have been enjoying a $200 service credit after buying my wife's Google Pixel 3. There is actually a number for Google Fi representatives, but repeated calls to them reveal nothing can be done without access to my Gmail account. My longtime Google Fi number and service credit may now be gone forever.
Also: How to use Google's Project Fi cellular service with any smartphone TechRepublic
Maybe I've been naive, but I had backed up a ton of personal information on Google Drive. This included tax returns, account passwords for my wife in case I died, personal documents and spreadsheets, and just about everything I had paper copies of at home. Since I change computers, share data with others, and wanted backups in case my house burned down, I trusted cloud services to store my data. I have to admit I am a bit freaked out at the moment and may be moving this data to external hard drives and paper once again.
We pay for Google Drive, Google Fi, and Google Play Movies so I was hoping there would be some level of customer service for paying customers. There are no phone numbers available for customers who pay for services or those who only use free services. Google prides itself on collecting my information and using it to help with search results. Thus, it has all sorts of information on how I conduct my daily life, including tracking my every movement, tracking my business trips, seeing who I contact daily, and much more. You would think it would be smart enough to see when some stranger appears and completely changes my account information.
According to Gmail, my Google account has now been deleted so I'm no longer trying to just reset the password, but instead I am trying to recover my account. I have countless PR folks, friends, family, and others who are in my long Gmail history and am currently unable to access any of that information. I also have thousands of photos that may be lost forever if Google won't work with me to get my account back.
If anyone has any information on how I can get Google to honestly verify my identification and recover my deleted account, I would greatly appreciate you leaving a comment below.
$25,000 for BitcoinGiven that I had 2FA enabled for my bank account and the bank account info on Google Drive, it was just a matter of time before the thief started stealing my money. While my wife was concerned about my lost Twitter and Google account, it wasn't until the criminal used my bank account to purchase $25,000 in Bitcoin that she went ballistic.
My bank initially took the money out of my accounts so we called and told them it was fraud. We were told the bank would investigate, but our accounts could be locked for up to 45 days. Thus, we immediately had everyone in the family run down to the ATM to get the maximum amount of cash out so that bills could be paid. We also had to call all of the new graduates we gave checks to for gifts to not cash them yet. It was an extremely stressful week and the adventure isn't over yet.
Also: Bitcoin blues: This is how much cyptocurrency was stolen last year
After a couple of days, our bank reversed the $25,000 charge and told us that the fraud department caught the ACH withdrawal before it was fully processed so that neither my family nor the bank lost this money forever. My first instinct was to then change my bank account numbers, but then I realized that every person and company I wrote a check to over the past couple of decades has this same information so I am trusting the bank to protect my assets.
T-Mobile woes and successMy T-Mobile SIM was first stolen on Monday, 10 June, and then I was able to get the company to give it back to me that evening. I headed out on a business trip, actually the Garmin Fitness Retreat, in Whitefish, Montana, on Tuesday, 11 June. While I enjoyed dinner with the group on Tuesday evening after I arrived in Montana, I was stressed out the next morning as so much was unknown about my Google account. Thankfully, the kind Garmin representative was sympathetic to my plight and took me to the town so I could obtain a T-Mobile connection and try to lock down everything.
I arrived in the middle of Whitefish, but for some reason I still had no T-Mobile cellular service. I toggled airplane mode on and off, without success. This was also when I discovered that the hacker had shut off my Google Fi service so I had no ability to call T-Mobile to find out what was going on. I found a local Safeway store with free Wi-Fi and then contacted my wife via Facebook Messenger. Through all of these hacks, it was interesting to find that Facebook was the one reliable and secure service under my control.
Read MoreYou've been hacked, now what? How the UK's cybersecurity and privacy watchdogs deal with incidentsWhat attackers want when they hack email accounts TechRepublicIf you've been hacked, don't count on the police for help CNETHackers are collecting payment details, user passwords from thousands of sitesWhile connected to my wife via Facebook Messenger, she contacted T-Mobile on my daughter's cell phone while at home. T-Mobile then confirmed that it had once again taken away my SIM and gave it to someone else. I became enraged while hearing this and told them that my same SIM was still in my iPhone XS and that I wanted T-Mobile to stop giving it away and leave it associated with the physical SIM in my phone. I was told that this request was not possible, but that notes could be added to my account. While I had a PIN associated with my SIM, I still do not know how the thief was able to get past this the first time, I changed this PIN on the call.
Thankfully, I have a good friend at T-Mobile who was very concerned with my plight and was able to get someone to contact me to indeed enable a requirement that my SIM could not be changed unless someone went into the store with at least one means of physical identification. Since that requirement was attached to my account, my T-Mobile service has remained under my control.
Lost services?Unfortunately, my Google account was tied to a number of services, including Google Chrome and I had saved hundreds of account passwords in Chrome that the criminal now had possession of. The first evening I immediately changed the email and password for all accounts related to financial data. Over the next several days I went through and changed every other account I could think of.
Also: Verizon wants to lock down phones to protect consumers CNET
A handy tip that has served me well, related to my role as a mobile tech reviewer, was to start one of my review phones and leave it in airplane mode. I then went into Chrome on the phone to view all of the sites where I had accounts and passwords saved. The thief could potentially hijack all of these so I have been meticulously going through them over the past week.
Unfortunately, some services and websites will not allow me to change my password or email associated with the service without having access to my Gmail account that I used to sign up for these services. Thus, I currently have no access to services like Redbox and Movies Anywhere, in addition to Twitter and Google, obviously.
Recommendations for your securityIn addition to contacting T-Mobile, Google (useless), and Twitter (useless), I took and recommend you take the following actions:
File a police report with your local authoritiesTurn on a credit freeze and fraud alert with the three credit reporting bureausFill out a report with the Federal Trade CommissionMake sure your financial institutions know of the possible identity theftChange the email and passwords for all accounts that may be connected with the stolen accountConsider using an email and password for logging into accounts rather than simply relying on Facebook, Google, or Twitter as your global login for services. If one service gets stolen, you could bring everything down like I did.Consider using password manager software or letting your device, like an iPhone, help you create extremely long and complicated passwords. I'm exploring some of these tools now to increase the level of security on all of my accounts.Close out old accounts that you never use. Going through my saved Chrome data I found many accounts and services I no longer use, but they are still all subject to damage by the hacker.While two-factor authentication is a minimal standard, look for options beyond having a text message sent for verification. If you get your SIM stolen like I did, 2FA is worthless.Also see: How to protect yourself against a SIM swap attack via WIRED
I've been considering changing my bank account number, social security number, and other accounts that are critical to living and working in the US. I am also freaked out about using cloud services so my strategy at the moment is to only use OneDrive for photo backup while writing my passwords down on paper and leaving everything else off the cloud.
If anyone has tips on how I might get my Google and Twitter accounts back, I would greatly appreciate the feedback. Also, if you have other tips for what to do before and after a security breach, I would love to hear more in the comments.
The reason why smart TVs are so affordable: They track your data - Business Insider
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 05:03
The vast majority of televisions available today are "smart" TVs, with internet connections, advertising placement, and streaming services built in. Despite the added functionality, TV prices are lower than ever '-- especially from companies like TCL and Vizio, which specialize in low-cost, high-tech smart TVs.There's a simple reason that smart TVs are priced so low: Some TV makers collect user data and sell it to third parties.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Massive TVs with razor-thin frames, brilliant image quality, and built-in streaming services are more affordable than ever thanks to companies like Vizio and TCL.
If you want a 65-inch 4K smart TV with HDR capability, one can be purchased for below $500 '-- a price that may seem surprisingly low for such a massive piece of technology, nonetheless one that's likely to live in your home for years before you upgrade.
But that low price comes with a caveat most people probably don't realize: Some manufacturers collect data about users and sell that data to third parties. The data can include the types of shows you watch, which ads you watch, and your approximate location.
The Roku TV interface on TCL's smart TVs comes with a prominent ad placement on the home screen. TCL/Roku
A January interview on The Verge's podcast with Vizio's chief technology officer, Bill Baxter, did a great job illuminating how this works.
"This is a cutthroat industry," Baxter said. "It's a 6% margin industry. The greater strategy is I really don't need to make money off of the TV. I need to cover my cost."
More specifically, companies like Vizio don't need to make money from every TV they sell.
Smart TVs can be sold at or near cost to consumers because Vizio is able to monetize those TVs through data collection, advertising, and selling direct-to-consumer entertainment (movies, etc.).
Or, as Baxter put it: "It's not just about data collection. It's about post-purchase monetization of the TV."
And there are a few ways to monetize those TVs after the initial purchase.
On TCL's Roku TVs, users can opt out of the full scope of ad tracking. How much you're able to block yourself from data tracking varies by TV manufacturer. Roku/TCL
"You sell some movies, you sell some TV shows, you sell some ads, you know," he said. "It's not really that different than the Verge website."
It's those additional forms of revenue that help make the large, beautiful smart TVs from companies like Vizio and TCL so affordable.
Even companies like Sony, which make high-end smart TVs with equally high price tags, are getting in on these additional forms of revenue. The most recent Android TV update introduced an entire row of sponsored content '-- advertising '-- to the home screen, Ars Technica reports.
Without that revenue stream, Baxter said, consumers would be paying more up front. "We'd collect a little bit more margin at retail to offset it," he said.
The exchange is fascinating and worth listening to in full '-- check it out right here.
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These Influencers Aren't Flesh and Blood, Yet Millions Follow Them - The New York Times
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 09:27
Image Balmain commissioned the former fashion photographer Cameron-James Wilson to create a ''virtual army'' of digital models, including, from left, Margot, Shudu and Zhi. Credit Credit Balmain The kiss between Bella Hadid and Miquela Sousa, part of a Calvin Klein commercial last month, struck many viewers as unrealistic, even offensive.
Ms. Hadid, a supermodel, identifies as heterosexual, and the ad sparked complaints that Calvin Klein was deceiving customers with a sham lesbian encounter. The fashion company apologized for ''queerbaiting'' after the 30-second spot appeared online.
But Ms. Hadid, at least, is human. Everything about Ms. Sousa, better known as Lil Miquela, is manufactured: the straight-cut bangs, the Brazilian-Spanish heritage, the bevy of beautiful friends.
Lil Miquela, who has 1.6 million Instagram followers, is a computer-generated character. Introduced in 2016 by a Los Angeles company backed by Silicon Valley money, she belongs to a growing cadre of social media marketers known as virtual influencers.
Each month, more than 80,000 people stream Lil Miquela's songs on Spotify. She has worked with the Italian fashion label Prada, given interviews from Coachella and flaunted a tattoo designed by an artist who inked Miley Cyrus.
Until last year, when her creators orchestrated a publicity stunt to reveal her provenance, many of her fans assumed she was a flesh-and-blood 19-year-old. But Lil Miquela is made of pixels, and she was designed to attract follows and likes.
Her success has raised a question for companies hoping to connect with consumers who increasingly spend their leisure time online: Why hire a celebrity, a supermodel or even a social media influencer to market your product when you can create the ideal brand ambassador from scratch?
That's what the fashion label Balmain did last year when it commissioned the British artist Cameron-James Wilson to design a ''diverse mix'' of digital models, including a white woman, a black woman and an Asian woman. Other companies have followed Balmain's lead.
Image Bella Hadid, left, an influencer on social media, and her digital counterpart Miquela Sousa in a Calvin Klein commercial. Credit Calvin Klein Human simulations have existed for years. They have dealt cards in Las Vegas, made music in the band Gorillaz and lived an approximation of real life in the Sims video game. But lately they have become more realistic and more engaging.
Fable Studio, which bills itself as ''the virtual beings company,'' created Lucy, a cartoonish character able to read and respond to viewers' reactions in real time. The company says it makes digital creations ''with whom you can build a two-way emotional relationship.''
Xinhua, the Chinese government's media outlet, introduced a virtual news anchor last year, saying it ''can work 24 hours a day.'' Coca-Cola and Louis Vuitton have used video game characters in their ads. Soul Machines, a company founded by the Oscar-winning digital animator Mark Sagar, produced computer-generated teachers that respond to human students. Last month, YouPorn got in on the trend with Jedy Vales, an avatar who promotes the site and interacts with its users.
Edward Saatchi, who started Fable, predicted that virtual beings would someday supplant digital home assistants and computer operating systems from companies like Amazon and Google.
''Eventually, it will be clear that the line between a Miquela and an Alexa is actually very slim,'' he said.
Virtual influencers come with an advantage for the companies that use them: They are less regulated than their human counterparts. And the people controlling them aren't required to disclose their presence.
Many of the characters advance stereotypes and impossible body-image standards. Shudu, a ''digital fabrication'' that Mr. Wilson modeled on the Princess of South Africa Barbie, was called ''a white man's digital projection of real-life black womanhood'' by The New Yorker.
The Federal Trade Commission acknowledged in a statement that it ''hasn't yet specifically addressed the use of virtual influencers'' but said companies using the characters for advertising should ensure that ''any claims communicated about the product are truthful, not misleading and substantiated.''
Image KFC worked with Generic Versatility to develop the virtual version of Colonel Sanders, here promoting Dr Pepper. Credit KFC In a way, virtual influencers are not so far removed from their real-life predecessors. It's no secret that the humans who promote brands on social media often project a version of daily life that is shinier and happier than the real thing. But when a brand ambassador's very existence is questionable '-- especially in an environment studded with deceptive deepfakes, bots and fraud '-- what happens to the old virtue of truth in advertising?
Bryan Gold, the chief executive of #Paid, which connects influencers to companies, said virtual influencers could lead companies into ''a dangerous area,'' adding, ''How can consumers trust the message being put out there?''
But the concerns faced by human influencers '-- maintaining a camera-ready appearance and dealing with online trolls while keeping sponsors happy '-- do not apply to beings who never have an off day.
''That's why brands like working with avatars '-- they don't have to do 100 takes,'' said Alexis Ohanian, a co-founder of Reddit and the self-described grandfather of the virtual influencer Qai Qai.
''Social media, to date, has largely been the domain of real humans being fake,'' Mr. Ohanian added. ''But avatars are a future of storytelling.''
KFC recently introduced a new Colonel Sanders on social media. He has a dusting of stubble on his jaw, tattooed abs, a silver coif worthy of a teen idol and bulging biceps beneath a perpetually unbuttoned white jacket.
The reimagined fried chicken kingpin '-- another virtual being '-- was designed to spoof the vast ecosystem of influencers, which includes nanoinfluencers, kidfluencers and petfluencers. His creators consulted an inspiration board plastered with photos of human Instagram celebrities to generate the mash-up that became the new Colonel.
''It was our opportunity to poke a little fun at the advertising world that we're a part of,'' said Steve Kelly, KFC's digital and media director. ''But the love around virtual influencers is very real.''
Image The creation of the virtual Colonel. Credit Edelman The rising presence of uncannily realistic computer-generated beings in ads can be off-putting, however, in a realm where a manipulated video can make Nancy Pelosi appear to be slurring her words and the Mona Lisa can be ''trained'' to speak.
''It's an interesting and dangerous time, seeing the potency of A.I. and its ability to fake anything,'' Mr. Ohanian said.
Lil Miquela operated for two years before it was revealed that she was the product of a secretive company, Brud. Its California business registration lists an address in Silver Lake blocked by thick vegetation, but workers, who must sign nondisclosure agreements, said the company actually operates out of downtown Los Angeles. Brud's public relations firm, Huxley, declined multiple interview requests.
On a public Google Doc that functions as the company's website, Brud bills itself as ''a transmedia studio that creates digital character driven story worlds'' and says Lil Miquela is ''as real as Rihanna.'' Its ''head of compassion,'' in Brud-speak, is Trevor McFedries, whom Lil Miquela has referred to in several posts as a father figure.
Before co-founding Brud, Mr. McFedries was known as Yung Skeeter, a D.J., producer, director and musician who has worked with Katy Perry, Steve Aoki, Bad Robot Productions and Spotify. He has helped raise millions of dollars in financing from heavyweights like Spark Capital, Sequoia Capital and Founders Fund, according to TechCrunch.
Last summer, Lil Miquela's Instagram account appeared to be hacked by a woman named Bermuda, a Trump supporter who accused Lil Miquela of ''running from the truth.'' A wild narrative emerged on social media: Lil Miquela was a robot built to serve a ''literal genius'' named Daniel Cain before Brud reprogrammed her. ''My identity was a choice Brud made in order to sell me to brands, to appear 'woke,''' she wrote in one post. The character vowed never to forgive Brud. A few months later, she forgave.
Fans followed along, rapt.
The online drama was as engineered as Lil Miquela herself, part of a ''story line written by Brud,'' according to Huxley. It echoed ''S1m0ne,'' a 2002 film starring Al Pacino as a film director who replaces an uncooperative actress with a digital ing(C)nue.
While virtual influencers are becoming more common, fans have engaged less with them than with the average fashion tastemaker online, according to data from Captiv8, which connects companies to social media influencers.
''An avatar is basically a mannequin in a shop window,'' said Nick Cooke, a co-founder of the Goat Agency, a marketing firm. ''A genuine influencer can offer peer-to-peer recommendations.''
There may be hope for the humans yet.
Correction:June 17, 2019An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misstated the order of three digital models created for Balmain. It also misstated the name of one of them. From left, they are Margot, Shudu and Zhi, not Margot, Xhi and Shudu.
Follow Tiffany Hsu on Twitter: @tiffkhsu.
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Hit by Ransomware Attack, Florida City Agrees to Pay Hackers $600,000 - The New York Times
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 05:07
U.S. | Hit by Ransomware Attack, Florida City Agrees to Pay Hackers $600,000 Image The city council in Riviera Beach, Fla., voted quietly to authorize a nearly $600,000 ransom payment after hackers paralyzed the city's computer systems. Credit Credit Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press MIAMI '-- The leaders of Riviera Beach, Fla., looking weary, met quietly this week for an extraordinary vote to pay nearly $600,000 in ransom to hackers who paralyzed the city's computer systems.
Riviera Beach, a small city of about 35,000 people just north of West Palm Beach, became the latest government to be crippled by ransomware attacks that have successfully extorted municipalities and forced them to dig into public coffers to restore their networks. A similar breach recently cost Baltimore $18 million to repair damages.
Even large cities, however, have had to pay smaller ransoms than Riviera Beach. On Monday, the City Council unanimously agreed to have its insurance carrier pay the hackers 65 Bitcoin, a hard-to-trace digital currency, amounting to about $592,000. By making the payment, the City Council hopes to regain access to data encrypted in the cyberattack three weeks ago, though there is no guarantee the hackers will release the data once payment is received.
Rose Anne Brown, a city spokeswoman, said on Wednesday that Riviera Beach was working with law enforcement, which does not typically endorse making ransom payments, and with security consultants, who sometimes do as a way for their clients to recoup years of valuable information.
''We are well on our way to restoring the city system,'' Ms. Brown said.
The relatively large ransom demanded from Riviera Beach suggests hackers have become emboldened by their increasingly sophisticated ability to target government agencies, said Jason Rebholz, who tracks ransomware payments and has helped victims of similar attacks.
''The complexity and severity of these ransomware attacks just continues to increase,'' said Mr. Rebholz, a principal for Moxfive, a technology advisory firm. ''The sophistication of these threat actors is increasing faster than many organizations and cities are able to keep pace with.''
Ransomware attacks against governments and companies have become unnervingly common worldwide as hackers have learned that holding data hostage is an effective way to quickly extort money from public and private entities. Some of the cybercriminals have used a tool, Eternal Blue, developed by the National Security Agency. The N.S.A. lost control of the program, which is now being used as a cyberweapon.
Even when they pay, victims find they cannot always recover all of their data, Mr. Rebholz said. And the costs to rebuild the system are usually far higher than the ransom itself. Atlanta estimated that recovering from a sustained attack that debilitated the city last year could cost $17 million.
Chief information officers for local governments across the country said in a 2016 survey that more than a third of them were using outdated technology, making them more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Fewer than half had purchased cybersecurity insurance.
The Riviera Beach attack began on May 29 after a police department employee opened an infected email attachment, The Palm Beach Post reported. Down went all of the city's online systems, including email and some phones, as well as water utility pump stations. Utility payments could not be accepted other than in person or by snail mail '-- and even then, only by check or cash.
''Anything that was done online, we did not have access to,'' Ms. Brown said. ''We were able to make payroll and make vendor payments.''
On June 4, the city authorized spending more than $900,000 to buy new computer hardware. The purchases had been planned for next year but were moved up as a result of the attack, Ms. Brown said. About a third of the cost will be covered by insurance.
By the time the City Council met in a little-noticed special meeting on Monday night, its information technology staff had managed to restore the Riviera Beach website and create new email addresses for all employees. A three-line online notice dated June 5 informed the public that the city had ''experienced a data security event.''
On Monday, Councilwoman KaShamba Miller-Anderson, the chairwoman of the board, asked Justin Williams, the interim information technology manager, for something seemingly simple. Could the elected officials' new email addresses be posted online for the public to get in touch with them?
Underscoring the enormity of the city's troubles, Mr. Williams explained that the webmaster hoped to get to that soon.
''He's been working very feverishly to get that done,'' Mr. Williams said.
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Apple, Google, and Facebook Are Raiding Animal Research Labs - Bloomberg
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 10:45
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection says photos of travelers were taken in a data breach - The Washington Post
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 11:56
Pedestrians and vehicles head into the United States in January along the Paso del Norte International Bridge, which connects the cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Jurez, Chihuahua. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Monday that photos of travelers had been compromised as part of a ''malicious cyberattack,'' raising concerns over how federal officials' expanding surveillance efforts could imperil Americans' privacy.
Customs officials said in a statement Monday that the images, which included photos of people's faces and license plates, had been compromised as part of an attack on a federal subcontractor.
CBP makes extensive use of cameras and video recordings at airports and land border crossings, where images of vehicles are captured. Those images are used as part of a growing agency facial-recognition program designed to track the identity of people entering and exiting the U.S.
Fewer than 100,000 people were impacted, said CBP, citing ''initial reports.'' The photographs were taken of people in vehicles entering and exiting the U.S. over a month and a half through a single land border entry port, which CBP did not name. Officials said the stolen information did not include other identifying information, and no passport or other travel document photos were compromised.
[Perspective: Don't smile for surveillance: Why airport face scans are a privacy trap]
The agency learned of the breach on May 31 and said that none of the image data had been identified ''on the Dark Web or Internet.'' But reporters at The Register, a British technology news site, reported late last month that a large haul of breached data from the firm Perceptics was being offered as a free download on the dark web.
CBP would not say which subcontractor was involved. But a Microsoft Word document of CBP's public statement, sent Monday to Washington Post reporters, included the name ''Perceptics'' in the title: ''CBP Perceptics Public Statement.''
Perceptics representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
CBP spokeswoman Jackie Wren said she was ''unable to confirm'' if Perceptics was the source of the breach.
Surveillance cameras stand above the U.S.-Mexico border fence in January 2017 in Tijuana, Mexico. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)One U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to lack of authorization to discuss the breach, said it was being described inside CBP as a ''major incident.'' The official said Perceptics was attempting to use the data to refine its algorithms to match license plates with the faces of a car's occupants, which the official said was outside of CBP's sanctioned use. The official said the data involved travelers crossing the Canadian border.
The breach, according to the official, did not involve a foreign nation, such as when China hacked the Office of Personnel Management in 2014 exposing the sensitive information of at least 22 million people.
News of the breach raised alarms in Congress, where lawmakers have questioned whether the government's expanded surveillance measures could threaten constitutional rights and open millions of innocent people to identity theft.
''If the government collects sensitive information about Americans, it is responsible for protecting it '-- and that's just as true if it contracts with a private company,'' Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a statement to The Post. ''Anyone whose information was compromised should be notified by Customs, and the government needs to explain exactly how it intends to prevent this kind of breach from happening in the future.''
Wyden said the theft of the data should alarm anyone who has advocated expanded surveillance powers for the government. ''These vast troves of Americans' personal information are a ripe target for attackers,'' he said.
Civil rights and privacy advocates also called the theft of the information a sign that the government's growing database of identifying imagery had become an alluring target for hackers and cybercriminals.
''This breach comes just as CBP seeks to expand its massive face recognition apparatus and collection of sensitive information from travelers, including license plate information and social media identifiers,'' said Neema Singh Guliani, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union. "This incident further underscores the need to put the brakes on these efforts and for Congress to investigate the agency's data practices. The best way to avoid breaches of sensitive personal data is not to collect and retain it in the first place.''
CBP said copies of ''license plate images and traveler images collected by CBP'' had been transferred to the subcontractor's company network, violating the agency's security and privacy rules. The subcontractor's network was then attacked and breached. No CBP systems were compromised, the agency said.
[ICE is tapping into a huge license-plate database, ACLU says, raising new privacy concerns about surveillance]
Perceptics and other companies offer automated license-plate-reading devices that federal officials can use to track a vehicle, or its owner, as it travels on public roads.
Immigration agents have used such databases to track down people who may be in the country illegally. Police agencies have also used the data to look for potential criminal suspects.
Perceptics, based in Tennessee, has championed its technology as a key part of keeping the border secure. "You want technology that generates data you can trust and delivers it when and where you need it most,'' a marketing website says.
The company also said recently that it had installed license-plate readers at 43 U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint lanes across Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, saying they offered border guards ''superior images with the highest license plate read rate accuracy in North America.''
[Oregon became a testing ground for Amazon's facial-recognition policing. But what if Rekognition gets it wrong?]
The federal government, as well as the group of private contractors it works with, has access to a swelling database of people's cars and faces, which it says is necessary to enhance security and enforce border laws.
The FBI has access to more than 640 million photos, including from passports and driver's licenses, that it can scan with facial-recognition systems while conducting criminal investigations, a representative for the Government Accountability Office told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at a hearing last week.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he intended to hold hearings next month on Homeland Security's use of biometric information.
''Government use of biometric and personal identifiable information can be valuable tools only if utilized properly. Unfortunately, this is the second major privacy breach at DHS this year,'' Thompson said, referring to a separate breach in which more than 2 million U.S. disaster survivors had their information revealed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "We must ensure we are not expanding the use of biometrics at the expense of the privacy of the American public. "
Nick Miroff, Ellen Nakashima and Tony Romm contributed to this report.
Delta flights delayed after technical issue halts check-ins, boarding
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 15:00
Joe Amon | Denver Post | Getty Images
Delta Air Lines warned Wednesday that flights may be delayed after a "technical issue" prevented passengers from booking, checking in and boarding.
"We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience they are experiencing as we work quickly to return our operations to normal," the airline said in a statement. "While we expect flight delays to extend into the evening at some of our busiest domestic hubs due to this issue and weather, we do not expect any technology-related cancellations."
Delta did not immediately say what caused the issue or how many flights were delayed.
The airline previously said a system-wide outage in August 2016 cost it $150 million in revenue. Outages have also hit American and United in recent years.
U.S. airlines suffered 34 computer outages between 2015 and 2017, and 85% of them caused flight delays and cancellations, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office that it published last week.
WATCH: Delta Airlines CEO on the new biometrics international terminal
The Purge
GOP Sen. Josh Hawley takes aim at Big Tech's legal protection with new bill | Fox News
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 16:00
Sen. Josh Hawley has announced legislation that would remove tech titans' protection from liability for third-party content on their platforms.
The Missouri senator's bill specifically targets Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
The Act, which became law in 1996, provides key legal protection to big tech. Section 230 states that ''no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.''
Hawley, however, says that the Communications Decency Act was passed when the Internet was still in its infancy, whereas big tech firms are now among the world's most powerful companies. His legislation, the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act, would remove the protection that big tech receives under Section 230 unless the firms submit to an external audit that proves their algorithms and content moderation are politically neutral.
File photo - U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) speaks during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee March 12, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
''With Section 230, tech companies get a sweetheart deal that no other industry enjoys: complete exemption from traditional publisher liability in exchange for providing a forum free of political censorship,'' said Sen. Hawley, in a statement. ''Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, big tech has failed to hold up its end of the bargain.''
Big tech firms such as Facebook and Google have repeatedly been accused of political bias, allegations that the companies deny.
''There's a growing list of evidence that shows big tech companies making editorial decisions to censor viewpoints they disagree with,'' Hawley added. ''Even worse, the entire process is shrouded in secrecy because these companies refuse to make their protocols public. This legislation simply states that if the tech giants want to keep their government-granted immunity, they must bring transparency and accountability to their editorial processes and prove that they don't discriminate.''
The Republican senator's legislation does not apply to small and medium-sized tech firms.
Under Hawley's bill, big tech firms would have to provide evidence to the FTC proving that their algorithms and content-removal practices are neutral. Tech titans would also be responsible for the costs of performing audits, and would also have to re-apply for immunity every two years.
Other politicians have also eyed Section 230. Earlier this year, for example, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, hinted that Silicon Valley could lose the protection it receives under the current legislation.
Supporters of Section 230, however, says that it is a cornerstone of the Internet that must be protected. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, for example, describes Section 230 as ''one of the most valuable tools for protecting freedom of expression and innovation on the Internet.''
''Though there are important exceptions for certain criminal and intellectual property-based claims, CDA 230 creates a broad protection that has allowed innovation and free speech online to flourish,'' the Electronic Frontier Foundation adds, on its website. ''This legal and policy framework has allowed for YouTube and Vimeo users to upload their own videos, Amazon and Yelp to offer countless user reviews, craigslist to host classified ads, and Facebook and Twitter to offer social networking to hundreds of millions of Internet users.''
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a nonprofit organization that describes its role as defending civil liberties in the digital world.
Critics of Hawley's bill say that it undermines free speech. "Senator Hawley's misguided legislation sets the table for stricter government control over free expression online," said Americans for Prosperity Policy Analyst Billy Easley, in a statement. "Eroding the crucial protections that exist under Section 230 creates a scenario where government has the ability to police your speech and determine what you can or cannot say online."
The legislation would also cement big tech's market dominance, according to Easley. "This bill would punish success in the next generation of innovative startups and prevent them from achieving their full potential," he said, urging lawmakers to reject the legislation.
Americans for Prosperity is a political advocacy group that promotes free-market policies and limited government.
Internet industry association NetChoice also condemned the legislation, warning that it would embolden extreme political groups. ''This bill prevents social media websites from removing dangerous and hateful content, since that could make them liable for lawsuits over any user's posting'' said Carl Szabo, General Counsel at NetChoice, in a statement. ''Sen. Hawley's bill creates an internet where content from the KKK would display alongside our family photos and cat videos.''
Fox News' Christopher Carbone contributed to this article.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers
Hawley Proposes a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet - TechFreedom
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 03:39
WASHINGTON D.C. '--­­ Today, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced legislation (press release), ''Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act,'' that would make popular social networks responsible for third party content '-- unless they receive certification from the Federal Trade Commission of their political ''neutrality.'' Companies would have to reapply every two years after receiving an external audit of how they moderate and prioritize user content, and re-certification would require the votes of four of five FTC Commissioners.
''Hawley's proposal would revive the Fairness Doctrine, an idea that Republicans have opposed since the Truman administration,'' said Berin Sz"ka, President of TechFreedom. ''For the first time, Internet services would effectively need a license issued by the U.S. government to operate. That would make them utterly dependent upon the goodwill of FTC Commissioners, and in turn, the White House. Any two Commissioners could block recertification. While the original Fairness Doctrine clearly skewed broadcast programming, actual showdowns were exceedingly rare: licenses were almost never canceled, broadcasters could rely on an expectation of renewal of their licenses every eight years, and the FCC at least tried to hide its partisan agenda. Hawley's bill would set up a partisan bloodmatch every other year, with the FTC having to take a public vote on each social network's political 'neutrality,' and companies having to prove themselves innocent each time. In short, the bill would give politicians a gigantic regulatory hammer to use against Big Tech '-- and transform the FTC overnight into the most politicized regulatory body in Washington. Sadly, that seems to be the point.''
In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last year at a hearing on anti-conservative bias, Sz"ka explained in detail the parallels between the Fairness Doctrine and proposals to amend Section 230 to require political neutrality.
''Hawley claims that Section 230 is some kind of subsidy for Big Tech, but this just isn't true,'' continued Sz"ka. ''Given the staggering scale and breathtaking speed at which users post content online, there's just no way for social networks to vet content the way newspapers vet letters to the editor. This makes Section 230's shield against liability for user-generated content as essential to social networks as a broadcast license was for broadcasters. Ironically, Hawley's approach essentially concedes the vital importance of Section 230: rather than proposing to tweak how the statute works, he proposes simply to tie its indispensable protections to a government-issued certification of political neutrality.''
''Hawley's bill would profoundly politicize how social media sites work,'' concluded Sz"ka. ''Second-guessing how broadcasters filled scarce airtime created a bland orthodoxy that excluded conservative views. Online, the problem isn't what views fill scarce airtime, but the opposite: how to deal with an endless explosion of content and tendency of the loudest, nastiest views to dominate online forums. Content moderation is what makes social networks usable for normal people, yet Hawley's bill would make social networks hesitate from combating misinformation and various forms of online abuse '-- lest they offend some politician. And if, as social science research suggests, such harmful content seems to help Republicans energize their base more than it helps Democrats, even truly 'neutral' enforcement of terms of service will, on net, hurt the Right. That which would explain why Republicans insist on framing content moderation as 'censorship' of their views.''
* * *
We can be reached for comment at media@techfreedom.org. See more of our work on free speech and Section 230 on our website, including:
Our op-ed ''Some conservatives need a First Amendment refresher''Our letter to AG Session ''DOJ Inquiry re Tech Companies Bias is Misguided''Our blogpost ''Reality Check for Trump and Republicans Crying 'Bias'''!President Berin Sz"ka's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on the filtering practices of social media platformsOur statement on the passage of SESTAOur statement on the takedown of Backpage and its implications for Section 230 and recent sex trafficking legislationTech Policy Podcast #226: The Fairness Doctrine: Next GenerationTech Policy Podcast #214: Information Intermediaries in a Nutshell
Big Advertisers and Social Media Form Alliance to Fight 'Unsafe' Content Online - WSJ
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 06:54
Major marketers, social-media giants and advertising-agency groups have formed a coalition to tackle hate speech, bullying and divisive fake content online.
The companies said the effort, called the Global Alliance for Responsible Media and announced during the ad industry's annual Cannes Lions festival, will develop specific steps to protect both people and brands from what marketers call ''unsafe'' content.
''We wanted to go from a position of chasing down breaches in a reactive way to a much more proactive dialogue and concrete steps that are going to drive industry change,'' said Rob Rakowitz, the head of global media at Mars Inc., one of the members.
Other participating companies include Procter & Gamble Co. , General Mills Inc., Diageo PLC, Mastercard Inc., Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Omnicom Group Inc.'s Omnicom Media Group and WPP PLC's GroupM, as well as several trade associations. The alliance plans to hold its first official meeting in Cannes, France, on Wednesday.
Working together will be more efficient than the usual method of holding a series of uncoordinated meetings, said Carolyn Everson, vice president of global marketing solutions at Facebook.
''We're in different businesses but we have similar objectives,'' Ms. Everson said of the alliance members. ''We want to create an ecosystem for advertisers that is healthy, that consumers feel really positive about'--that they feel safe and secure on the platforms, and feel good about the brands that support them.''
Digital advertising will make up more than half of global ad sales for the first time this year, according to the latest forecast by ad-buying group Magna Global USA Inc., part of the Interpublic Group of Co s.
But social-media platforms have been tarred by repeated revelations that they are hosting political disinformation and malicious content. In one of the most recent examples, AT&T Inc., Clorox Co. , Nestl(C) SA, McDonald's Corp. and ''Fortnite'' publisher Epic Games Inc. paused or halted their YouTube advertising in February following reports that viewers were making inappropriate comments on videos of young girls. YouTube later suspended comments on most videos that feature minors.
The platforms sometimes struggle to police the content users post on their sites, as was the case with video from a gun massacre earlier this year in New Zealand.
At other times, the platforms hesitate to police content, saying they worry about stifling free expression. And the policies vary from platform to platform.
That is part of what the alliance aims to address, said John Montgomery, global executive vice president of brand safety at GroupM. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube aren't likely to adopt identical policies over permissible speech, but the group might help develop a framework to make it easier on all of them to act quickly in certain cases, he said.
Other steps could include developing systems that can recognize policy violations more quickly and across platforms, and publishing a new measurement gauging progress in the effort, participants said.
But it is unclear whether a large, disparate group will make more progress than the players have made individually.
''We'll need to be judged by our actions and not our words,'' Ms. Everson said.
Write to Nat Ives at nat.ives@wsj.com
Digital ad industry backs a new alliance to self-regulate online safety - Axios
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 07:12
Dozens of the world's biggest advertising and content companies, including major tech firms, brands, ad agencies and industry groups, announced Tuesday their commitment to a newly-created alliance to take significant steps to improve digital safety.
Why it matters: It's the biggest and most comprehensive industry effort to date to tackle the ongoing brand safety crisis online. Competing groups are putting their differences aside to solve the problem quickly in the face of global regulatory threats.
"Because we don't know what the regulation is going to look like, we want to get out front and figure out how to solve the problem."'-- John Montgomery, EVP of Brand Safety at GroupMDetails: The immediate focus of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media is to create a working group that will prioritize a set of concrete steps to begin creating a set of actions, processes and protocols for protecting people and brands from nefarious content online.
The launch members of the Alliance will meet for the first time Wednesday at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France. The meeting will be hosted by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) Board.The group so far includes major advertisers like Adidas, Mastercard, Nestl(C), Procter & Gamble, Shell, and Unilever, as well as publishers like NBCUniversal and Verizon. It also includes Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter, and other tech platforms are close to signing on. GroupM, the ad buying arm of ad holding giant WPP is taking a lead role on the agency side, but says other ad holding groups will be committed to the effort. All of the major ad trade groups are in.The big picture: The coordinated industry effort comes as lawmakers around the world debate potential regulations for the digital advertising and content industries.
Be smart: While talks of growing regulation make new laws and rules feel inevitable, the advertising and digital content industries have been particularly good at coming together to self-regulate when their industries face existential crises.
In 2009, several advertising several trade organizations created the Digital Advertising Alliance to develop self-regulatory principles for online behavioral advertising per the recommendation of the Federal Trade Commission, which had been looking into data privacy rules online. In 2016, platforms raced to build sophisticated political advertising transparency tools, eventually beating lawmakers to regulating the problem before the Honest Ads Act won enough support in Congress. Today, the alliance is being launched as the industry is faces threats of national privacy legislation that would threaten the data collection necessary to execute many digital ad transactions. Between the lines: One of the goals of the Alliance would be to create cross-industry brand safety standards that Big Tech companies would use when evaluating content online.
This would unify tech companies in the decision-making process over what types of content remains on their platforms.Our thought bubble: We've seen several times in recent weeks that different standards across platforms about what type of content is considered safe on the internet causes confusion and frustration among lawmakers, brands and consumers.
The standardization of content rules across the major platforms would be a major step forward for the industry, and could help resolve growing skepticism around platform bias.Go deeper: Big Tech's shifting lobbying army
Marketers, publishers and platforms announce a global alliance for 'responsible media' | AdAge
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 07:00
Big media players like Unilever and Procter & Gamble Co. have been talking plenty about making media more responsible. Now they're getting more people to talk. The marketers are launching the Global Alliance for Responsible Media alongside 14 other global advertisers, the five leading agency holding companies and media companies that include Google, Facebook and NBC/Universal.
The Alliance will begin with an announcement session at WPP Beach in Cannes on Tuesday morning. Advertisers involved also include Adidas, Bayer, BP, Danone, Diageo, General Mills, GSK Consumer Healthcare, LVMH, Mars, Mastercard, Mondelez International, Nestle and Shell.
Media participants also include Teads, TrustX, Twitter, Unruly and Verizon Media (Fox has a Bungalow nearby down the Croisette, but hasn't signed on yet.)
Industry organizations have climbed on board too, including the Association of National Advertisers, 4A's, Interactive Advertising Bureau, ISBA, Mobile Marketing Association, Coalition for Better Ads, Effie Worldwide and World Federation of Advertisers.
After Tuesday's announcement, the first formal meeting happens Wednesday in Cannes. In a release, the group cryptically says its first order of business will be to form ''an inclusive working group charged with prioritizing a set of concrete steps already under consideration.''
Of course, some of the alliance's media members have been called out plenty of late for being less than responsible.
The New York Times in recent weeks has done deep dives into how YouTube's algorithms help lead people down the video rabbit holes of pedophilia and far-right extremism.
Alexander Nix, the former Cambridge Analytica CEO who allegedly mined Facebook data illicitly to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, among other things, is on the Cannes agenda later in the week.
Eric Feinberg, founder of the Global Intellectual Property Enforcement Center, whose system ferreted out some of the problems on Facebook and Instagram that P&G Global Brand Officer Marc Pritchard cited in an April speech calling for media responsibility, keeps finding more issues. On Monday, he emailed a link to a video made by the perpetrator of the March mass murder at a New Zealand mosque, which has remained up on Facebook for three months. In recent months, he's also found cases of two other executions housed on Facebook for days or weeks before they were taken down, along with ads for illicit drugs.
In a Monday panel held by MediaLink, a unit of Cannes owner Ascential, John Gerzema, CEO of the Harris Poll, said Facebook's ratings on ''trust and respect'' plummeted 43 percentage points in the past year in the firm's brand reputation tracking survey amid bad press on brand safety and privacy issues. ''It actually fell faster than Wells Fargo,'' Gerzema said. ''It's the biggest fall for a brand in the 20 years of our data.''
But he said the poll also found people hold brands twice as responsible for the content surrounding ads as they hold media companies, putting more pressure on advertisers.
'The status quo is untenable'Certainly the big digital players are listening''though it's not clear they can truly fix the problems.
In a statement announcing the alliance, Kirk Perry, a former P&G executive and now president-brand solutions at Google, says: ''Responsibility is critical to sustaining a healthy ecosystem and remains our number one priority.''
In an interview, Facebook Vice President-Global Account Partnerships Will Platt-Higgins says the new alliance should be taken seriously. ''They want to get runs on the board, not be a committee,'' he says. ''They and we believe that building an alliance of leading advertisers, leading agencies, media companies and the industry bodies is the best way of doing that versus just the clients or just the agencies.''
Through all the bad press and calls by advertisers for digital platforms to clean up their acts, the companies doing the complaining keep advertising on the platforms, whose ad revenues keep growing at a healthy clip. It leaves the impression that big brands feel they have no choice, calls for responsibility or no.
''I assure you we do not take the investments for granted or think they have to keep spending with us,'' Platt-Higgins says.
Facebook is making progress, he adds, including catching more than 90 percent of Isis and al-Qaeda posts and increasing the percentage of hate posts it finds and removes to around 60 percent.
''Sure it's not perfect,'' he says. ''But demonstrable change has been made. We're never going to be able to promise zero incidents at our scale.''
One thing of note: Being in the alliance does mean Facebook is identifying as a ''media company,'' something CEO Mark Zuckerberg took issue with in Congressional testimony last year.
Platt-Higgins says joining the group is ''definitely an acknowledgment of responsibility. But we're a technology company in the business of providing people a voice and a community.''
Some marketers put a little sharper edge on their alliance joining statements than others. Luis Di Como, executive VP-global media at Unilever, says: ''When industry challenges spill into society, creating division and putting our children at risk, it's on all of us to act.''
''The status quo is untenable,'' says Robert Rakowitz, global head of media for Mars. ''Our work through the alliance will allow us to shift from driving reach at all costs to building reach with responsibility.''
Gerry D'Angelo, global media director of P&G, says, ''For far too long, issues with trust in our industry have been managed one conversation at a time. Now for the first time, the formation of this alliance is an opportunity to harness our collective efforts for the greater good.''
Twitter fedrate like aol and scary internet
Gab admins fighting on Mastodon about domain blocking
The only thing missing from a federated social network model is the addictive part. The drugs known as likes, views and follows
The Most Popular Kids' Video Site in the World Isn't for Kids - Bloomberg
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 04:22
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New Zealand Man Gets 21 Months In Prison For Sharing Mosque Shooting Video | Zero Hedge
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 04:05
A New Zealand businessman who pleaded guilty to two charges of distributing footage of the March 15 Christchurch mosque shootings was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Tuesday, according to the Straits Times.
44-year-old Philip Arps admitted that he sent 30 people the unmodified video of Brenton Tarrant's rampage that killed 50 people in consecutive terrorist attacks on two Christchurch mosques. He also pleaded guilty to sending the video to another person to overlay crosshairs and a "kill count" onto the footage which he intended to distribute over the internet.
Tuesday morning in the Christchurch District Court, judge Stephen O'Driscoll said when Arps was asked for his opinion of the video, he said it was "awesome". Because of Arps' extreme ideological outlook, there was no prospect of his rehabilitation and his sentence should rule out home detention, said the judge.
Arps also faces six months of post-release conditions when he must attend psychological assessment, no access the internet and undergo assessment and counselling for alcohol and drug use. -Straits Times
Arps, who owns a neo-Nazi-themed insulation company, wanted to glorify the deaths of members of the local Muslim community, according to Judge O'Driscoll, who said that any sentence short of imprisonment would be inappropriate.
Arps is the owner of a company called Beneficial Insulation that uses a sunwheel, or black sun, as its logo, which is commonly used by neo-Nazis. The company states that it charges 14.88 NZ dollars per metre for insulation, a reference to a white supremacist slogan and to Adolf Hitler.
The company's full name is Beneficial Insulation Installs Guaranteed, shortened to BIIg, which is also the name of a barracks at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
In 2016, Arps was convicted of offensive behavior for filming himself giving a hitler salute while delivering boxes of pigs heads and offal to the Al Noor mosque, according to the New Zealand Herald, which added that Arps said: "White power. '... Bring on the cull."
Unless Facebook can gain our trust, we're not interested in its Bitcoin rival '' BGR
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 11:27
Facebook on Tuesday is widely expected to release a white paper that explains how its upcoming Bitcoin rival, tentatively called Libra, will work. Libra won't actually be available for users until next year, at which point it will likely support a variety of online transactions '-- some of them over Facebook's own apps.
However, if you're a fan of crypto and want to use digital money instead of real money to pay for stuff, your best bet might be to avoid Libra (or whatever Facebook ends up calling it) like the plague.
Facebook already knows so much about you that the last thing you need to give the company is access to how you spend your money online. Admittedly, Facebook might have an idea of what you buy already, but with Libra, it'll actually keep track of everything. In fact, it will have no choice but to do so.
Libra is expected to be a peer-to-peer payment solution, like Venmo and other apps that let you send money to your friends and family. But it'll also be available to merchants who will support it, allowing you to purchase physical or digital goods. Any cryptocurrency that's used for online payments and remittances is better than regular card payments and bank transfers because it reduces fees significantly. Both buyers and merchants would appreciate such a feature, as will people who regularly send money to their family abroad.
But Facebook, which created Libra, will have access to the way you spend your money, even if an independent Libra Association will govern the new coin. For security reasons, Facebook will have to track payments, and some of them will be performed over Messenger and WhatsApp apps, as TechCrunch explains. When I say track, I do not refer only to activity-related data that could tell Facebook what you purchased with Libra over the previous month. Facebook will have to track its coin for security reasons, too, to prevent money laundering schemes, as well as other activities that might allow criminals to profit from instant money transfers.
All Libra transactions will occur between entities which will be known to Facebook. Whether it's users who have to use their real names on the network '-- and you bet your ass you'll have to if you want to exchange fiat for Libra '-- or merchants, Facebook will know who you are. Anyone who's ever signed up for a crypto exchange knows these companies also have Know-Your-Customer (KYC) policies in place. But these companies do not have access to all your other data, nor do they make a living from selling your preferences for ad money.
So, you'll effectively be feeding Facebook precious data about your spending habits. For that reason alone, you might want to stay away from Libra until Facebook proves it has genuine respect over user privacy. But wait, there's more.
Image Source: Ben Cawthra/REX/Shutterstock
Unlike other coins out there, which can fluctuate from day to day, Libra is supposed to be pegged to the dollar and other main currencies '-- and Facebook is also considering placing ATMs that will allow users to exchange real currency for Libra coins. That's a plus for Libra, as it will never lose value.
But cryptocoins are decentralized, meaning there will be no governing body over one coin, as is the case with banks and real money. Facebook's Libra might not fit that profile, even though Facebook is supposedly building some sort of node-based system that would help govern the coin and validate transactions. The Wall Street Journal reported a few days ago that Facebook is charging partners $10 million to be a part of the Association, and become nodes in it.
Among the supposedly confirmed partners are Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal, or financial institutions that are involved both in online payments and remittances, and represent exactly what blockchain coins try to fight. Now, every merchant that convinces customers to pay with Libra instead of an online transaction will lose Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal money. The commissions of crypto purchases are supposed to be smaller than they are for card-based purchases. The same goes for wire transactions.
So, what's the incentive for these companies to sit on the Libra consortium? Will they make money of off their $10 million investment? Or will they get detailed insight on how people spend crypto, which will allow them to plan ahead for the next era of payments? Again, with a decentralized cryptocoin, you wouldn't be able to generate much meaningful data about what customers are doing. But Facebook made Libra, and Facebook tracks everything.
Facebook has more than 2.4 billion monthly users, which is probably why third parties would want in on the game '-- other companies, including Booking.com, Stripe, and MercadoLibre, have already signed up for it. And there are likely people in many markets who could genuinely benefit from instant, cheap transactions. That doesn't change the fact that you'll still have to trust Facebook with all that data.
If anything, what Libra could really do is better explain to people how blockchain tech works, and increase the popularity of all the other coins out there that can be used for online payments. Libra won't be available to users until 2020, which gives Facebook ample time to convince us that the product's purpose isn't to make Facebook more money from advertising. Which, by the way, is a legitimate question. How will Libra make Facebook any money?
Image Source: Richard Drew/AP/Shutterstock
There's a Second Token: A Breakdown of Facebook's Crypto Economy - CoinDesk
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 11:26
Actually, Facebook is launching two cryptocurrencies.
As part of Tuesday's big reveal of the social network's ambitious plan to create a global fiat-backed blockchain currency, Facebook said that in addition to Libra, the project will also issue a ''Libra investment token.''
Unlike Libra '' a currency that will be broadly available to the public '' the investment token is a security, according to Facebook. As such, the token will be sold to a much more exclusive audience: the founding corporate members of the project's governing consortium, known as the Libra Association, and accredited investors.
And while Libra will be backed by a basket of fiat currencies and government securities, interest earned on that collateral will go to holders of the investment tokens.
As previously reported ahead of the official announcement, each of the 28 companies that Facebook recruited to run validating nodes as founding members of the consortium invested at least $10 million for the privilege. The investment token is what they received as a financial reward.
But that reward will only be meaningful if the network takes off.
''Because the assets in the reserve are low risk and low yield, returns for early investors will only materialize if the network is successful and the reserve grows substantially in size,'' Facebook said in one of a series of documents that supplement the long-awaited Libra white paper.
Further, the tokens will give holders proportional clout in the early governance of Libra. An investor who buys the tokens doesn't have to run a node, but unless they do, they don't get to vote as members.
GovernanceThe Libra Association, a not-for-profit organization based in Switzerland, will have several layers of governance, the most powerful of which is a council, on which each member organization will have a representative.
''The council delegates many of its executive powers to the association's management but retains authority to override delegated decisions and keep key decisions to itself, with the most important ones requiring a greater than two-thirds supermajority,'' according to another supplementary document released by Facebook.
As mentioned, to become a member, the initial investors must put in at least $10 million. In addition, a business must meet at least one of several elite criteria, such as being on a list like the Fortune 500.
For every $10 million invested, a member gets one vote, subject to a cap of 1 percent of total votes, in order to prevent the concentration of power in any single entity. However, the financial reward remains proportional to the amount invested no matter how much.
The council will be responsible for standard governance matters, such as appointing an executive team for the association, led by a managing director, and a board of directors to oversee them; setting the top executive's compensation; and managing the currency's underlying reserves.
But the body will also have final say over technical questions, such as activating new features to the protocol and resolving situations ''where compromised validator nodes have resulted in many signed versions of the Libra Blockchain,'' according to the document.
While Facebook's newly created Calibra subsidiary will be a consortium member with a council seat, the social network stressed it won't be in charge for long.
''Once the Libra network launches, Facebook, and its affiliates, will have the same commitments, privileges, and financial obligations as any other Founding Member,'' the company said. ''As one member among many, Facebook's role in governance of the association will be equal to that of its peers.''
ReservesThe exact components of the basket of assets securing Libra are to be determined. But broadly, it will be '' structured with capital preservation and liquidity in mind,'' according to the social media giant.
Importantly, while the coin has been described in early press coverage as a stablecoin, Facebook noted that '' from the point of view of any specific currency, there will be fluctuations in the value of Libra.''
Rather than a fixed peg, the idea is to prevent bitcoin-style volatility:
''The makeup of the reserve is designed to mitigate the likelihood and severity of these fluctuations, particularly in the negative direction (i.e., even in economic crises).''
In this way, Libra will function more like a currency board such as Hong Kong's rather than a central bank.
The collateral will consist of '' bank deposits and government securities in currencies from stable and reputable central banks,'' according to Facebook. The latter will be limited to '' debt from stable governments '... that are unlikely to experience high inflation.''
Rather than putting all its debt eggs into any single basket, no matter how creditworthy, ''the reserve has been diversified by selecting multiple governments, rather than just one.''
To make sure it can easily raise cash by selling this paper, it will all be ''short-dated securities issued by these governments, that are all traded in liquid markets.''
While the composition of the basket may change over time, Facebook said, the currency will always be fully backed, discouraging ''runs on the bank'' that can happen with fractional reserve institutions.
Compliance and privacyTo comply with anti-money-laundering regulations that require traceability of funds, transactions on the Libra blockchain will be unencrypted, '' like many other blockchains, so it is possible for third parties to do analysis to detect and penalize fraud,'' Facebook said.
In other words, it appears that there will be no use of cryptographic mechanisms such as zero-knowledge proofs, used to obscure transaction details in privacy-focused coins such as zcash.
If that raises privacy concerns (particularly given Facebook's own reputation with user data), the company is offering similar assurances to those Satoshi Nakamoto gave in the 2008 bitcoin white paper.
Image from the bitcoin white paper.''Individuals or organizations will operate on the Libra Blockchain through user accounts, which are dissociated from their real-world identity,'' Facebook said. ''Only data relevant to each transaction, such as the public address of the sender and receiver, the timestamp, and the transaction amount, are recorded and publicly visible.''
Data storageAppearing to address concerns about Facebook's track record with user data, company literature released Tuesday was blunt: ''Calibra will not share account information or financial data with Facebook, Inc. or any third party without customer consent,'' adding:
''Calibra customers' account information and financial data will not be used to improve ad targeting on the Facebook, Inc. family of products.''
There are, however, ''limited cases'' where data may be shared, the document states, relating to the company's ''need to keep people safe, comply with the law, and provide basic functionality to the people who use Calibra.''
As part of its user experience, the app will allow people to import Facebook contacts to their Calibra wallets, to make sending funds easy. However, this feature will be opt-in, rather than automatic.
The company does intend to use aggregated Facebook data to inform upgrades for its product, including regional usage statistics for monitoring adoption rates.
''If someone fraudulently gains access to your account and you lose some Libra as a result, we'll offer you a refund,'' the release said. Password recovery will also be a feature, Facebook officials told CoinDesk.
Though the release noted that Facebook is ''still early in the process of developing Calibra,'' the product's aim is clear: to be ''safe, private and easy to use for everyone.''
Nikhilesh De contributed reporting.
Facebook image via Shutterstock
Libra White Paper | Blockchain, Association, Reserve
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 11:10
Libra's mission is to enable a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people.
This document outlines our plans for a new decentralized blockchain, a low-volatility cryptocurrency, and a smart contract platform that together aim to create a new opportunity for responsible financial services innovation.
Problem StatementThe advent of the internet and mobile broadband has empowered billions of people globally to have access to the world's knowledge and information, high-fidelity communications, and a wide range of lower-cost, more convenient services. These services are now accessible using a $40 smartphone from almost anywhere in the world.1 This connectivity has driven economic empowerment by enabling more people to access the financial ecosystem. Working together, technology companies and financial institutions have also found solutions to help increase economic empowerment around the world. Despite this progress, large swaths of the world's population are still left behind '-- 1.7 billion adults globally remain outside of the financial system with no access to a traditional bank, even though one billion have a mobile phone and nearly half a billion have internet access.2
For too many, parts of the financial system look like telecommunication networks pre-internet. Twenty years ago, the average price to send a text message in Europe was 16 cents per message.3 Now everyone with a smartphone can communicate across the world for free with a basic data plan. Back then, telecommunications prices were high but uniform; whereas today, access to financial services is limited or restricted for those who need it most '-- those impacted by cost, reliability, and the ability to seamlessly send money.
All over the world, people with less money pay more for financial services. Hard-earned income is eroded by fees, from remittances and wire costs to overdraft and ATM charges. Payday loans can charge annualized interest rates of 400 percent or more, and finance charges can be as high as $30 just to borrow $100.4 When people are asked why they remain on the fringe of the existing financial system, those who remain ''unbanked'' point to not having sufficient funds, high and unpredictable fees, banks being too far away, and lacking the necessary documentation.5
Blockchains and cryptocurrencies have a number of unique properties that can potentially address some of the problems of accessibility and trustworthiness. These include distributed governance, which ensures that no single entity controls the network; open access, which allows anybody with an internet connection to participate; and security through cryptography, which protects the integrity of funds.
But the existing blockchain systems have yet to reach mainstream adoption. Mass-market usage of existing blockchains and cryptocurrencies has been hindered by their volatility and lack of scalability, which have, so far, made them poor stores of value and mediums of exchange. Some projects have also aimed to disrupt the existing system and bypass regulation as opposed to innovating on compliance and regulatory fronts to improve the effectiveness of anti-money laundering. We believe that collaborating and innovating with the financial sector, including regulators and experts across a variety of industries, is the only way to ensure that a sustainable, secure and trusted framework underpins this new system. And this approach can deliver a giant leap forward toward a lower-cost, more accessible, more connected global financial system.
The OpportunityAs we embark on this journey together, we think it is important to share our beliefs to align the community and ecosystem we intend to spark around this initiative:
We believe that many more people should have access to financial services and to cheap capital.We believe that people have an inherent right to control the fruit of their legal labor.We believe that global, open, instant, and low-cost movement of money will create immense economic opportunity and more commerce across the world.We believe that people will increasingly trust decentralized forms of governance.We believe that a global currency and financial infrastructure should be designed and governed as a public good.We believe that we all have a responsibility to help advance financial inclusion, support ethical actors, and continuously uphold the integrity of the ecosystem.The world truly needs a reliable digital currency and infrastructure that together can deliver on the promise of ''the internet of money.''
Securing your financial assets on your mobile device should be simple and intuitive. Moving money around globally should be as easy and cost-effective as '-- and even more safe and secure than '-- sending a text message or sharing a photo, no matter where you live, what you do, or how much you earn. New product innovation and additional entrants to the ecosystem will enable the lowering of barriers to access and cost of capital for everyone and facilitate frictionless payments for more people.
Now is the time to create a new kind of digital currency built on the foundation of blockchain technology. The mission for Libra is a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people. Libra is made up of three parts that will work together to create a more inclusive financial system:
It is built on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain;It is backed by a reserve of assets designed to give it intrinsic value;It is governed by the independent Libra Association tasked with evolving the ecosystem.The Libra currency is built on the ''Libra Blockchain.'' Because it is intended to address a global audience, the software that implements the Libra Blockchain is open source '-- designed so that anyone can build on it, and billions of people can depend on it for their financial needs. Imagine an open, interoperable ecosystem of financial services that developers and organizations will build to help people and businesses hold and transfer Libra for everyday use. With the proliferation of smartphones and wireless data, increasingly more people will be online and able to access Libra through these new services. To enable the Libra ecosystem to achieve this vision over time, the blockchain has been built from the ground up to prioritize scalability, security, efficiency in storage and throughput, and future adaptability. Keep reading for an overview of the Libra Blockchain, or read the technical paper.
The unit of currency is called ''Libra.'' Libra will need to be accepted in many places and easy to access for those who want to use it. In other words, people need to have confidence that they can use Libra and that its value will remain relatively stable over time. Unlike the majority of cryptocurrencies, Libra is fully backed by a reserve of real assets. A basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities will be held in the Libra Reserve for every Libra that is created, building trust in its intrinsic value. The Libra Reserve will be administered with the objective of preserving the value of Libra over time. Keep reading for an overview of Libra and the reserve, or read more here.
The Libra Association is an independent, not-for-profit membership organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The association's purpose is to coordinate and provide a framework for governance for the network and reserve and lead social impact grant-making in support of financial inclusion. This white paper is a reflection of its mission, vision, and purview. The association's membership is formed from the network of validator nodes that operate the Libra Blockchain.
Members of the Libra Association will consist of geographically distributed and diverse businesses, nonprofit and multilateral organizations, and academic institutions. The initial group of organizations that will work together on finalizing the association's charter and become ''Founding Members'' upon its completion are, by industry:
Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU (Naspers' fintech arm), Stripe, VisaTechnology and marketplaces: Booking Holdings, eBay, Facebook/Calibra, Farfetch, Lyft, MercadoPago, Spotify AB, Uber Technologies, Inc.Telecommunications: Iliad, Vodafone GroupBlockchain: Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Inc., Xapo Holdings LimitedVenture Capital: Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square VenturesNonprofit and multilateral organizations, and academic institutions: Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Women's World BankingWe hope to have approximately 100 members of the Libra Association by the target launch in the first half of 2020.
Facebook teams played a key role in the creation of the Libra Association and the Libra Blockchain, working with the other Founding Members. While final decision-making authority rests with the association, Facebook is expected to maintain a leadership role through 2019. Facebook created Calibra, a regulated subsidiary, to ensure separation between social and financial data and to build and operate services on its behalf on top of the Libra network.
Once the Libra network launches, Facebook, and its affiliates, will have the same commitments, privileges, and financial obligations as any other Founding Member. As one member among many, Facebook's role in governance of the association will be equal to that of its peers.
Blockchains are described as either permissioned or permissionless in relation to the ability to participate as a validator node. In a ''permissioned blockchain,'' access is granted to run a validator node. In a ''permissionless blockchain,'' anyone who meets the technical requirements can run a validator node. In that sense, Libra will start as a permissioned blockchain.
To ensure that Libra is truly open and always operates in the best interest of its users, our ambition is for the Libra network to become permissionless. The challenge is that as of today we do not believe that there is a proven solution that can deliver the scale, stability, and security needed to support billions of people and transactions across the globe through a permissionless network. One of the association's directives will be to work with the community to research and implement this transition, which will begin within five years of the public launch of the Libra Blockchain and ecosystem.
Essential to the spirit of Libra, in both its permissioned and permissionless state, the Libra Blockchain will be open to everyone: any consumer, developer, or business can use the Libra network, build products on top of it, and add value through their services. Open access ensures low barriers to entry and innovation and encourages healthy competition that benefits consumers. This is foundational to the goal of building more inclusive financial options for the world.
The goal of the Libra Blockchain is to serve as a solid foundation for financial services, including a new global currency, which could meet the daily financial needs of billions of people. Through the process of evaluating existing options, we decided to build a new blockchain based on these three requirements:
Able to scale to billions of accounts, which requires high transaction throughput, low latency, and an efficient, high-capacity storage system.Highly secure, to ensure safety of funds and financial data.Flexible, so it can power the Libra ecosystem's governance as well as future innovation in financial services.The Libra Blockchain is designed from the ground up to holistically address these requirements and build on the learnings from existing projects and research '-- a combination of innovative approaches and well- understood techniques. This next section will highlight three decisions regarding the Libra Blockchain:
Designing and using the Move programming language.Using a Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus approach.Adopting and iterating on widely adopted blockchain data structures.''Move'' is a new programming language for implementing custom transaction logic and ''smart contracts'' on the Libra Blockchain. Because of Libra's goal to one day serve billions of people, Move is designed with safety and security as the highest priorities. Move takes insights from security incidents that have happened with smart contracts to date and creates a language that makes it inherently easier to write code that fulfills the author's intent, thereby lessening the risk of unintended bugs or security incidents. Specifically, Move is designed to prevent assets from being cloned. It enables ''resource types'' that constrain digital assets to the same properties as physical assets: a resource has a single owner, it can only be spent once, and the creation of new resources is restricted. The Move language also facilitates automatic proofs that transactions satisfy certain properties, such as payment transactions only changing the account balances of the payer and receiver. By prioritizing these features, Move will help keep the Libra Blockchain secure. By making the development of critical transaction code easier, Move enables the secure implementation of the Libra ecosystem's governance policies, such as the management of the Libra currency and the network of validator nodes. Move will accelerate the evolution of the Libra Blockchain protocol and any financial innovations built on top of it. We anticipate that the ability for developers to create contracts will be opened up over time in order to support the evolution and validation of Move.
To facilitate agreement among all validator nodes on the transactions to be executed and the order in which they are executed, the Libra Blockchain adopted the BFT approach by using the LibraBFT consensus protocol. This approach builds trust in the network because BFT consensus protocols are designed to function correctly even if some validator nodes '-- up to one-third of the network '-- are compromised or fail. This class of consensus protocols also enables high transaction throughput, low latency, and a more energy-efficient approach to consensus than ''proof of work'' used in some other blockchains.
In order to securely store transactions, data on the Libra Blockchain is protected by Merkle trees, a data structure used by other blockchains that enables the detection of any changes to existing data. Unlike previous blockchains, which view the blockchain as a collection of blocks of transactions, the Libra Blockchain is a single data structure that records the history of transactions and states over time. This implementation simplifies the work of applications accessing the blockchain, allowing them to read any data from any point in time and verify the integrity of that data using a unified framework.
The Libra Blockchain is pseudonymous and allows users to hold one or more addresses that are not linked to their real-world identity. This approach is familiar to many users, developers, and regulators. The Libra Association will oversee the evolution of the Libra Blockchain protocol and network, and it will continue to evaluate new techniques that enhance privacy in the blockchain while considering concerns of practicality, scalability, and regulatory impact.
For more details, read the technical paper on the Libra Blockchain. Detailed information is also available on the Move programming language and the LibraBFT consensus protocol. We've open sourced an early preview of the Libra testnet, with accompanying documentation. The testnet is still under development, and APIs are subject to change. Our commitment is to work in the open with the community and hope you will read, build, and provide feedback.
We believe that the world needs a global, digitally native currency that brings together the attributes of the world's best currencies: stability, low inflation, wide global acceptance, and fungibility. The Libra currency is designed to help with these global needs, aiming to expand how money works for more people around the world.
Libra is designed to be a stable digital cryptocurrency that will be fully backed by a reserve of real assets '-- the Libra Reserve '-- and supported by a competitive network of exchanges buying and selling Libra. That means anyone with Libra has a high degree of assurance they can convert their digital currency into local fiat currency based on an exchange rate, just like exchanging one currency for another when traveling. This approach is similar to how other currencies were introduced in the past: to help instill trust in a new currency and gain widespread adoption during its infancy, it was guaranteed that a country's notes could be traded in for real assets, such as gold. Instead of backing Libra with gold, though, it will be backed by a collection of low-volatility assets, such as bank deposits and short-term government securities in currencies from stable and reputable central banks.
It is important to highlight that this means one Libra will not always be able to convert into the same amount of a given local currency (i.e., Libra is not a ''peg'' to a single currency). Rather, as the value of the underlying assets moves, the value of one Libra in any local currency may fluctuate. However, the reserve assets are being chosen to minimize volatility, so holders of Libra can trust the currency's ability to preserve value over time. The assets in the Libra Reserve will be held by a geographically distributed network of custodians with investment-grade credit rating to provide both security and decentralization of the assets.
The assets behind Libra are the major difference between it and many existing cryptocurrencies that lack such intrinsic value and hence have prices that fluctuate significantly based on expectations. Libra is indeed a cryptocurrency, though, and by virtue of that, it inherits several attractive properties of these new digital currencies: the ability to send money quickly, the security of cryptography, and the freedom to easily transmit funds across borders. Just as people can use their phones to message friends anywhere in the world today, with Libra, the same can be done with money '-- instantly, securely, and at low cost.
Interest on the reserve assets will be used to cover the costs of the system, ensure low transaction fees, pay dividends to investors who provided capital to jumpstart the ecosystem (read ''The Libra Association'' here), and support further growth and adoption. The rules for allocating interest on the reserve will be set in advance and will be overseen by the Libra Association. Users of Libra do not receive a return from the reserve.
For more on the reserve policy and the details of the Libra currency, please read here.
To make the mission of Libra a reality '-- a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people '-- the Libra Blockchain and Libra Reserve need a governing entity that is comprised of diverse and independent members. This governing entity is the Libra Association, an independent, not-for-profit membership organization, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Switzerland has a history of global neutrality and openness to blockchain technology, and the association strives to be a neutral, international institution, hence the choice to be registered there. The association is designed to facilitate the operation of the Libra Blockchain; to coordinate the agreement among its stakeholders '-- the network's validator nodes '-- in their pursuit to promote, develop, and expand the network, and to manage the reserve.
The association is governed by the Libra Association Council, which is comprised of one representative per validator node. Together, they make decisions on the governance of the network and reserve. Initially, this group consists of the Founding Members: businesses, nonprofit and multilateral organizations, and academic institutions from around the world. All decisions are brought to the council, and major policy or technical decisions require the consent of two-thirds of the votes, the same supermajority of the network required in the BFT consensus protocol.
Through the association, the validator nodes align on the network's technical roadmap and development goals. In that sense, it is similar to other not-for-profit entities, often in the form of foundations, which govern open-source projects. As Libra relies on a growing distributed community of open-source contributors to further itself, the association is a necessary vehicle to establish guidance as to which protocols or specifications to develop and to adopt.
The Libra Association also serves as the entity through which the Libra Reserve is managed, and hence the stability and growth of the Libra economy are achieved. The association is the only party able to create (mint) and destroy (burn) Libra. Coins are only minted when authorized resellers have purchased those coins from the association with fiat assets to fully back the new coins. Coins are only burned when the authorized resellers sell Libra coin to the association in exchange for the underlying assets. Since authorized resellers will always be able to sell Libra coins to the reserve at a price equal to the value of the basket, the Libra Reserve acts as a ''buyer of last resort.'' These activities of the association are governed and constrained by a Reserve Management Policy that can only be changed by a supermajority of the association members.
In these early years of the network, there are additional roles that need to be performed on behalf of the association: the recruitment of Founding Members to serve as validator nodes; the fundraising to jumpstart the ecosystem; the design and implementation of incentive programs to propel the adoption of Libra, including the distribution of such incentives to Founding Members; and the establishment of the association's social impact grant-making program.
An additional goal of the association is to develop and promote an open identity standard. We believe that decentralized and portable digital identity is a prerequisite to financial inclusion and competition.
An important objective of the Libra Association is to move toward increasing decentralization over time. This decentralization ensures that there are low barriers to entry for both building on and using the network and improves the Libra ecosystem's resilience over the long term. As discussed above, the association will develop a path toward permissionless governance and consensus on the Libra network. The association's objective will be to start this transition within five years, and in so doing will gradually reduce the reliance on the Founding Members. In the same spirit, the association aspires to minimize the reliance on itself as the administrator of the Libra Reserve.
For more on the Libra Association, please read here.
Today we are publishing this document outlining our goals for Libra and launching libra.org as a home for the association and all things Libra. It will continue to be updated over the coming months. We are also open- sourcing the code for the Libra Blockchain and launching Libra's initial testnet for developers to experiment with and build upon.
There is much left to do before the target launch in the first half of 2020.
The Libra Blockchain:
Over the coming months, the association will work with the community to gather feedback on theLibra Blockchain prototype and bring it to a production-ready state. In particular, this work willfocus on ensuring the security, performance, and scalability of the protocol and implementation.
The Libra Association will construct well-documented APIs and libraries to enable users to interact with the Libra Blockchain.The Libra Association will create a framework for the collaborative development of the technology behind the Libra Blockchain using the open-source methodology. Procedures will be created for discussing and reviewing changes to the protocol and software that support the blockchain.The association will perform extensive testing of the blockchain, which range from tests of the protocol to constructing a full-scale test of the network in collaboration with entities such as wallet services and exchanges to ensure the system is working before launch.The association will work to foster the development of the Move language and determine a path for third parties to create smart contracts once language development has stabilized '-- after the launch of the Libra ecosystem.Together with the community, the association will research the technological challenges on the path to a permissionless ecosystem so that we can meet the objective to begin the transition within five years of the launch.
The Reserve:
The association will work to establish a geographically distributed and regulated group of global institutional custodians for the reserve.The association will establish operational procedures for the reserve to interact with authorized resellers and ensure high-transparency and auditability.The association will establish policies and procedures that establish how the association canchange the composition of the reserve basket.The Libra Association:
We will work to grow the Libra Association Council to around 100 geographically distributed and diverse members, all serving as the initial validator nodes of the Libra Blockchain.The association will develop and adopt a comprehensive charter and set of bylaws for the association on the basis of the currently proposed governance structure.We will recruit a Managing Director for the association and work with her/him to continue hiring for the association's executive team.We will identify social impact partners aligned with our joint mission and will work with them to establish a Social Impact Advisory Board and a social impact program.The association envisions a vibrant ecosystem of developers building apps and services to spur the global use of Libra. The association defines success as enabling any person or business globally to have fair, affordable, and instant access to their money. For example, success will mean that a person working abroad has a fast and simple way to send money to family back home, and a college student can pay their rent as easily as they can buy a coffee.
Our journey is just beginning, and we are asking the community to help. If you believe in what Libra could do for billions of people around the world, share your perspective and join in. Your feedback is needed to make financial inclusion a reality for people everywhere.
If you are a researcher or protocol developer, an early preview of the Libra testnet is available under the Apache 2.0 Open Source License, with accompanying documentation. This is just the start of the process, and the testnet is still an early prototype under development, but you can read, build, and provide feedback right away. Since the current focus is on stabilizing the prototype, the project may initially be slower to take community contributions. However, we are committed to building a community-oriented development process and opening the platform to developers '-- starting with pull requests '-- as soon as possible.If you want to learn about the Libra Association, read more here.If your organization is interested in becoming a Founding Member or applying for social impact grants from the Libra Association, read more here.The association will work with the global community in the coming months and continue to partner with policymakers worldwide to further the mission.
This is the goal for Libra: A stable currency built on a secure and stable open-source blockchain, backed by a reserve of real assets, and governed by an independent association.
Our hope is to create more access to better, cheaper, and open financial services '-- no matter who you are, where you live, what you do, or how much you have. We recognize that the road to delivering this will be long, arduous, and won't be achieved in isolation '-- it will take coming together and forming a real movement around this pursuit. We hope you'll join us and help turn this dream into a reality for billions of people around the world.
Libra LexiconThe technology underpinning cryptocurrency. Blockchain is a technology that can safely store transaction records on a peer-to-peer network instead of storing them in a single location. Independent servers around the world, called nodes, make up the network that operates the blockchain.
Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT)Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) is the ability of a decentralized system to provide safety guarantees in the presence of faulty, or "Byzantine" members. Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus protocols are designed to function correctly even if some validator nodes '-- up to one-third of the network '-- are compromised or fail.
Consensus protocol allows nodes to collectively reach an agreement on whether to accept or reject a transaction.
A digital currency that uses cryptography to verify and secure financial transactions.
A tool for protecting the integrity of information that is a key component of blockchain technology.
A decentralized network is a network where information is stored across a distributed peer-to-peer network, instead of being stored in a single location.
A type of currency designed to be used in the digital form. A cryptocurrency is a digital currency.
Fiat currency is an object (like a paper bill or metal coin) that has been established as money, often by a government.
The Founding Members of the Libra Association are a group of trusted, geographically distributed and diverse organizations who serve as the validator nodes that operate the Libra Blockchain.
Governance is the approach to decision making taken by the decentralized nodes on a blockchain.
The Libra Association is an independent, not-for-profit membership organization tasked with evolving the Libra ecosystem.
The Libra Blockchain uses the LibraBFT consensus protocol, adopting a Byzantine Fault Tolerant approach to consensus. See "Consensus Protocol" and "Byzantine Fault Tolerant" for more details.
Blockchain is a technology that can safely store transaction records on a peer-to-peer network, instead of storing them in a single location. The Libra Blockchain has been built from the ground up to prioritize scalability, security, efficiency in storage and throughput, and future adaptability.
Libra Core is the official name for the open-source implementation of the Libra protocol published by the Libra Association. This software is the first implementation of the Libra Protocol and the Move language.
The collection of entities that take part in the Libra economy, including wallets, exchanges, validators, developers, users, and more.
A basket of currencies and assets will be held in the Libra Reserve for every Libra that is created, building trust in its intrinsic value. The Libra Reserve is designed to preserve the value of the Libra currency over time.
Merkle tree is a type of authenticated data structure that allows for efficient verification of data integrity and updates.
Move is the name of a new programming language designed to make it safe and easy to program with digital assets. Move is used to implement custom transaction logic and smart contracts on the Libra Blockchain.
A node is a computer or server that operates the blockchain. A decentralized network is formed by many nodes.
Open source is a term used for software that makes the original source code freely available so that it can be distributed and modified.
On a permissioned network, an entity controls access to the network and oversees who can operate a node.
On a permissionless network, anyone who meets certain technical requirements can access the network or operate a node.
Smart contract is a commonly used term for code that is published on a blockchain that can be used to execute transactions. The Move programming language will implement smart contracts on the Libra Blockchain.
The Libra Association will establish a social impact grant-making program in support of financial inclusion.
The testnet is a live demonstration of an early prototype of the Libra Blockchain software.
Independent servers around the world, called nodes, make up the network that operates the blockchain. A validator node is an entity that validates the Libra Blockchain. It receives requests from clients and runs consensus, execution, and storage.
U.S. lawmaker calls for Facebook to pause cryptocurrency project - Reuters
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 03:40
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A leading U.S. House lawmaker on Tuesday called on Facebook Inc to halt development on its new cryptocurrency and for company executives to testify before Congress, adding to global concerns about what the digital currency could mean for data privacy and security.
A 3-D printed Facebook logo is seen on representations of virtual currency in this illustration picture, June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Maxine Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, said Facebook should halt development of the product, dubbed Libra, until Congress and regulators can review the issue, and called on company executives to testify before Congress.
''Facebook has data on billions of people and has repeatedly shown a disregard for the protection and careful use of this data,'' she said in a statement. ''With the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users.''
Her comments came after Representative Patrick McHenry, the senior Republican on her panel, also sought a hearing on Facebook's new initiative. A Facebook representative said the company looked forward to answering lawmakers' questions.
Facebook's announcement was met with immediate backlash from U.S. lawmakers and regulators across the globe, who are concerned that Facebook is already too massive and careless with users' privacy.
''Facebook is already too big and too powerful, and it has used that power to exploit users' data without protecting their privacy. We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight,'' said Senator Sherrod Brown, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, in a statement.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat who also sits on Senate Banking Committee, expressed concern that through Libra, Facebook was using its scale in social networking to achieve dominance in adjacent markets like mobile payments.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called for more regulation of tech companies.
''This instrument for transactions will allow Facebook to collect millions and millions of data, which strengthens my conviction that there is a need to regulate the digital giants,'' he said in an interview on Europe 1 radio.
But Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said he had an ''open mind'' on the potential utility of the product, while warning it could face strict regulation.
Facebook has engaged with regulators in the United States and abroad about the planned cryptocurrency, company executives said. They would not specify which regulators.
A U.S. regulatory source briefed on the matter said Facebook had been in communication with U.S. regulators but added it was still unclear how the currency would be structured and whether it would directly fall under any existing U.S. regulatory regimes.
Switzerland's financial watchdog said it was in contact with the initiators of the Libra project but declined to comment on whether it was obtaining specific regulatory permission or status.
Markus Ferber, a senior German lawmaker in the European parliament, said in a statement that Facebook's new coin should put ''regulators on high alert'' and called on the European Commission to start work on regulatory framework for virtual currencies.
Reporting by Pete Schroeder and Katie Paul; Editing by Lisa Shumaker
Facebook unveils 'its most invasive and dangerous form of surveillance yet' with launch of Libra cryptocurrency
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 23:05
FACEBOOK is launching cryptocurrency next year that will allow people to move money from their smartphone into a digital "wallet".
The currency is known as Libra, which the social network says it has "no special role" in governing and will manage equally with a group of big companies.
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is diving into the murky world of crypto cash Credit: AFP or licensorsExperts have branded the move a dangerous power grab that marks Facebook's "most invasive" form of surveillance yet.
So far, Facebook has enlisted 28 firms, including Spotify and Uber, who each had to invest a minimum of £8million to be a founding member of the Libra Association, an independent not-for-profit membership organisation.
It wants to attract 100 businesses in time for launch, which it is aiming for the first half of 2020.
Libra is supported by a reserve of the world's best assets and the world's most trusted central banks, who gave the cryptocurrency "general cautious support", according to David Marcus, who started exploring blockchain at Facebook a year ago.
The cryptocurrency "Libra" launches next year Credit: AFP or licensors"Libra holds the potential to provide billions of people around the world with access to a more inclusive, more open financial ecosystem," he explained.
The social network is hoping that its collaborative approach can ease volatility concerns of existing blockchains and cryptocurrencies.
Facebook will operate its own digital wallet for people to spend Libra, known as the Calibra Wallet, which will be available in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and as a standalone app.
Users will be able to send money to each other initially, at low to no cost, the social network said.
Eventually, it intends to open the Calibra Wallet up to additional services, so that people can pay bills, buy goods by scanning a code or accessing public transport.
Currently, Bitcoin is the world's most popular cryptocurrency Credit: Getty - ContributorAccount information from Calibra will not be shared with Facebook to improve things like ad targeting, except for "limited cases" where this data may be shared "to keep people safe, comply with the law, and provide basic functionality to the people who use Calibra", the social network added.
Libra is open source, meaning anyone will be able to launch their own digital wallet and include the currency.
"As a Founding Member of the Libra Network, Vodafone will extend its commitment to digital and financial inclusion by supporting the creation of a new global currency and encouraging a
wide range of innovative financial services to be developed through its open-source platform," said Stefano Parisse, group director of product and services at Vodafone Group.
"This has the potential to be truly transformative and will benefit those who have never used, or are struggling to access, financial services around the world."
What is a cryptocurrency?
Bitcoin got you baffled? Here's what you really need to know
A cryptocurrency is a virtual currencyExamples include Bitcoin and the new Facebook-led coin "Libra"It's traded between people without the help of a bankEvery transaction is recorded in a public ledger, or 'blockchain'Crypto cash is created by miningMining involves solving difficult maths problems using computer processorsCoins can be traded anonymously, which makes them a popular way of funding illegal activitiesA single Bitcoin is worth over £7,000 today, but the value fluctuates wildlyNot everyone was singing the project's praises.
Phil Chen, Decentralized Chief Officer at HTC, said the move was part of a "dangerous" power grab by Facebook.
"If you're concerned with Facebook knowing too much or having too much access to your private data or social graph, the GlobalCoin will give Facebook even more direct access to your financial information," he told The Sun. "It's not just access to the information of your transactions, it's direct access to your wealth and capital.
If the top-line question about Facebook and antitrust is about whether to break it up and spin off the likes of WhatsApp and Instagram '' well this global coin is the most invasive and dangerous form of surveillance they have devised thus far. This will easily become the most dangerous antitrust case in history.
If this is launched and adopted worldwide, we're bound to see Facebook as the top 10 biggest companies for the next 100 years that have complete ownership of the customer and their data from their social graph to every transaction recorded through Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
This project is the antithesis of bitcoin and is another step towards total control of data and users."
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368 . We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.
Facebook's Cryptocurrency Will Face 'Regulatory Hurricane,' Canaccord Analysts Say - CoinDesk
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 15:31
Analysts at investment bank Canaccord Genuity think Facebook's new cryptocurrency might benefit the world '' if regulators allow it.
In a note to clients Wednesday, analyst Michael Graham wrote that Facebook's Libra Network, unveiled on Tuesday, would seemingly benefit the blockchain space, unbanked individuals and (to some ''modest'' amount) Facebook's bottom line.
However, he highlighted that the project must first receive a seal of approval, or at least no resistance, from national governments worldwide.
''Regulatory headwinds could be hurricane force '' on one level, governments should appreciate Libra for the boost it might bring to global commerce. On another level, Libra is by far the most credible crypto threat yet to government-sponsored currencies.''
Indeed, lawmakers and regulators are already pushing back against the project. In the U.S., Representatives Maxine Waters and Patrick McHenry, respectively the chair and ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, have called for a hearing with Facebook executives to discuss libra, with Waters going as far as to ask Facebook to cease development '' at least temporarily.
Elsewhere, Markus Ferber, a German member of the European Parliament, said Facebook should not be ''allowed to operate in a regulatory nirvana,'' while French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the libra cannot become a sovereign currency.
Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, also weighed in, saying he held an open mind but that the libra should be examined closely.
'Global good'Regulatory hurdles aside, Graham appeared to be bullish about both the libra and the effect it may have worldwide.
''We see Libra as socially conscientious leverage of the company's global clout to bring financial inclusion to billions of Earth's citizens for the first time,'' he wrote.
As for the libra's implications for the blockchain space, he noted that Facebook's goal is to only hold 1/100 of the votes for the Libra Association, the governing council that will make decisions about the protocol. In his view, this is ''the right level of centralization.''
More importantly, if the libra succeeds, it might validate the blockchain payments model. He went so far as to suggest it may become the most valuable cryptocurrency, writing:
''However, if Libra fulfills its ambitions, it could potentially displace bitcoin and other existing digital assets that are primarily used as a payments vehicle or store of value.''
The note also touched on secondary benefits that Facebook's launch partners may see. Merchants that utilize the libra may see lower fees and an increased number of customers, he wrote, specifically mentioning Lyft, Uber, eBay, PayPal and Spotify.
On the other hand, companies like PayPal may also face issues if the libra model succeeds.
Graham returned to the potential number of users in his closing summary, writing that ''billions of potential Libra adopters can be targeted in minutes,'' if unbanked individuals suddenly gain access to financial services. He said:
''The scale of reach here is unprecedented.''
Facebook image via Shutterstock
bellingcat - Identifying the Separatists Linked to the Downing of MH17 - bellingcat
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 15:35
The full report can be viewed here (mirror)
The Bellingcat Investigation Team has previously published a number of reports demonstrating that the deployment of the Buk missile launcher used to shoot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) over Ukraine on 17 July 2014 involved senior officers of the Russian Ministry of Defense and its military intelligence agency, the GRU. However, questions still linger over the involvement in the downing of other previously unidentified individuals. Who were the people heard on the intercepted phone calls published by the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) in the aftermath of the downing? What role did infamous separatist leaders such as Igor Bezler, Aleksandr Khodakovsky, and Igor Strelkov play in the operation?
Today's new report from Bellingcat seeks to resolve these questions and to determine the identity of most of the individuals, hitherto unknown to the public, who were heard and/or referred to on the SBU intercepts. With this, the report provides further context around the intercepted phone conversations and reveals new potential suspects in the downing of MH17.
The first batch of phone intercepts allegedly linked to the downing of MH17 were released by the SBU on their YouTube channel in an attempt to convince the international community that the airliner was shot down from separatist- held territory. The published calls were just a small selection of the total inventory of intercepts captured in the period surrounding incident, and the JIT is known to have received from Ukrainian authorities data on about 150,000 intercepted phone conversations. An unknown portion of these calls contain evidence relevant to the MH17 case, and some were later published by the JIT both on their YouTube channel and during their press conferences as part of a call for witnesses, and as further evidence supporting their assertions regarding the events that led to and followed the tragedy.
Images of several recorded intercepted phone calls that were published by the SBU.
Intercepted phone conversations published by a government intelligence service, in this case the SBU, should not be trusted without verification, but there has already been a plethora of evidence from open sources corroborating the authenticity of the published calls. Several of these calls are intercepted phone conversations between separatists and Sergey ''Khmury'' Dubinsky, the (ex-)GRU officer and former head of the intelligence of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic (''DNR'') who oversaw the transport of the Buk-M1 missile launcher that downed MH17 over Ukraine. The transport route of the Buk-M1 discussed in these recorded conversations exactly matches the route along which the missile launcher was filmed and photographed in in eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014. Furthermore, separatist leaders Igor Bezler and Nikolay Kozitsyn have admitted that it was indeed their voices that are heard on the intercepts, and voice comparisons carried out by forensic analysts in two research institutions have confirmed the identity of Russian officers Nikolai ''Delfin'' Tkachev and Oleg ''Orion'' Ivannikov, as described in previous Bellingcat publications.
The report released today provides further evidence that the publicly released phone intercepts are unlikely to have been tampered with, as critics have continued to allege.
Screenshots of videos of SBU recorded intercepted phone calls, released by the JIT.
In this publication, Bellingcat releases the actual names of several militants who featured on the SBU intercepts along with a preliminary assessment on their respective level of involvement in the Buk transport and/or the downing of MH17. Some of these identities have not been published before by Bellingcat or other media organizations. Below, an organizational chart shows most of the individuals heard or mentioned on the intercepted conversations within the hierarchical structure of the DNR in July 2014 (click here to see the image in full resolution)
The following overview shows the key individuals, who had a role in organizing or facilitating the transport of the Buk missile launcher that downed MH17 on 17 July 2014 is eastern Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defense of the DNRIgor Girkin/Strelkov, call sign ''Strelok''Date of birth: 17 December 1970Place of birth: Moscow, Moscow oblast, Soviet RussiaNationality: RussianFunction in the summer of 2014: Minister of Defense of the DNR.
Link to MH17: We have identified former FSB colonel Igor Strelkov on one of the intercepts with Sergey Dubinsky from the morning of 18 July related to the removal of the Buk missile launcher from separatist-held territory in Ukraine to Russia. Since most of the separatists who can be linked to the downing of MH17 were his subordinates, it is likely that he was also fully aware of the procurement and import of the Buk from Russia. The full report describes his close cooperation in mid-July 2014 with Pulatov and Kharchenko, both of whom are believed to have provided security to the Buk near the launch site.
The GRU DNRThe ''GRU DNR'' (not to be confused with Russia's military intelligence agency '-- the GRU) was the military intelligence agency of the Donetsk People's Republic in 2014. It was headed by Sergey ''Khmury'' Dubinsky. The group coordinated the transport of the Buk through separatist-held territory on 17 and 18 July, and also provided security to the Buk at the launch site south of Snizhne. This group may have also been involved in the decision to shoot down MH17. Although the GRU DNR was formally independent from Russia, allegations have lingered that it was actually controlled in whole or in part by the Russian GRU. Given Bellingcat's previous reporting on the role of GRU's Oleg Ivannikov in coordinating the delivery of the Buk to separatist-held territory, there is little doubt that the GRU and the GRU DNR closely coordinated at least some of their efforts in the summer of 2014.
Sergey Nikolaevich Dubinsky, call sign ''Khmury'' Date of birth: 9 August 1962Place of birth: Neskuchnoe, Donetsk oblast, Soviet UkraineHometown: Rostov-on-Don, RussiaNationality: RussianFunction in the summer of 2014: Head of the GRU DNR, subordinate to Strelkov. According to Ukraine's official position, allegedly also a member of Russia's GRU.
Link to MH17: Several intercepted phone calls indicate that it was Dubinsky who requested the delivery of a battle-ready Buk missile launcher to aid his forces at the frontline south of Snizhne, and that he personally coordinated the transport of the arriving Buk missile launcher to the launch site on 17 July. He was also involved in the removal of the Buk back to Russia after the downing of MH17. Furthermore, the full report demonstrates that Dubinsky also ordered some of his subordinates to secure the Buk near the launch site south of Snizhne, and that it was his group that may have played a key role in the decision to shoot down MH17 under the presumption that it was an enemy aircraft.
Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov, call signs ''Gyurza'' and ''Khalif''Date of birth: 24 July 1966Hometown: Ulyanovsk, RussiaNationality: RussianFunction in the summer of 2014: Head of the 2nd Department of the GRU DNR, subordinate to Sergey Dubinsky.
Link to MH17: Oleg Pulatov is a (former) Lieutenant colonel in the Russian Armed Forces who has previously been identified as the man behind the call sign ''Gyurza'' who is mentioned on one of the intercepts. In the full report we provide new evidence confirming that Pulatov is indeed the man behind the call sign ''Gyurza'' and that he was likely involved in securing the Buk missile launcher at the launch site south of Snizhne.
Leonid Vladimirovich Kharchenko, call sign ''Krot''Date of birth: 10 January 1972Place of birth: Kostyantynivka, Soviet UkraineNationality: UkrainianFunction in the summer of 2014: Head of the Krot Reconnaissance Battalion of the 2nd Department of the GRU DNR since 6 July. Before then, he was the garrison commander in his hometown Kostyantynivka.
Link to MH17: Kharchenko is found to be involved in the securing of the Buk missile launcher near the launch site south of Snizhne. He may have also coordinated the transport of the Buk from Donetsk to the launch site, and the subsequent removal of the Buk from the launch site to Russia.
Eduard Mashutovich Gilazov, call sign ''Ryazan''Date of birth: 27 March 1984 (missing and presumed dead since 27 July 2015)Place of birth: Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk oblast, Soviet RussiaHometown: Ryazan, RussiaNationality: RussianFunction in the summer of 2014: Commander of the 1st Reconnaissance Company of the Krot Reconnaissance Battalion, subordinate to Kharchenko.
Link to MH17: Gilazov has been identified as the separatist commander who, in the aftermath of the downing, brought a member of the Buk crew who had lost the rest of the crew to his commander Leonid Kharchenko in Snizhne. He may also have been involved in securing the Buk near the launch site south of Snizhne.
Oleg Anatolevich Sharpov, call sign ''Zmey''Date of birth: 30 May 1972 (died on 3 November 2014)Hometown: Kostyantynivka, UkraineNationality: UkrainianFunction in the summer of 2014: Platoon commander within a Reconnaissance Company
Link to MH17: Sharpov has been identified as the separatist named Oleg in an intercepted phone call with Leonid ''Krot'' Karchenko from 17 July 2014 at 1:09 pm. In this conversation, Sharpov asks Kharchenko about directions to the location south of Snizhne from which the Buk system launched the missile that downed MH17. As this conversation took place more than two hours before the downing, Sharpov was very likely present at the launch site.
The Bezler GroupThe Bezler Group is named after ''Igor Bezler'' (nickname ''Bes''), a former officer in the Russian Armed Forces who, according to the SBU, was in service of the GRU during the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The Bezler Group controlled the area around Horlivka in the summer of 2014. Two telephone intercepts featuring Bezler have linked the Bezler Group to the downing of MH17.
Igor Nikolaevich Bezler, call sign ''Bes''Date of birth: 30 December 1965Place of birth: Simferopol, Crimean oblast, Soviet UkraineNationality: RussianFunction in the summer of 2014: Commander of the Bezler Group, alleged by Ukraine to be a member of GRU.
Link to MH17: Bezler is heard on the phone intercept with his subordinate Stelmakh who informs him that a ''birdie'' is flying towards him. Bezler instructs his subordinate to report this message ''upwards'', and as such may have facilitated the spotting of MH17 as an enemy aircraft. Bezler is also heard on an intercept in which he reports the shootdown of an airplane to a person whom the SBU identified as a GRU agent named Vasily Geranin. Bezler has claimed that this recording was actually from 16 July 2014 '-- one day before the downing of MH17 '-- but in the full report it is explained that it is more likely that the message was recorded on 17 July concerning the downing MH17.
Sergey Sergeyevich Povalyaev, call sign ''Botsman''Date of birth: 10 November 1976 (died of pneumonia in Russia on 6 January 2016)Place of birth: Kaliningrad, Soviet RussiaNationality: RussianFunction in the summer of 2014: Deputy commander of the Bezler Group, possibly a Russian GRU Spetsnaz officer
Link to MH17: In an intercepted phone call between Sergey Dubinsky and ''Botsman'' that took place shortly after MH17 was downed, Dubinsky tells ''Botsman'' that he received a Buk-M in the morning and that they just shot down a 'Sushka' (a Sukhoi aircraft). Aside from how ''Botsman'' was Bezler's deputy, there is no direct link between ''Botsman'' and the downing of MH17.
Valery Aleksandrovich Stelmakh, call signs ''Naemnik'' (''Naimanets'' in Ukrainian) and ''Batya'' Date of birth: 1 August 1955Place of birth: Dzerzhynsk, Donetsk oblast, Soviet UkraineFunction in July 2014: Militia commandant of Dzerzhynsk until 21 July 2014, subordinate to Bezler.
Link to MH17: Stelmakh has been identified as the person with the call sign ''Naemnik'' (''Naimanets'' in Ukrainian) who reported the spotting of MH17 as an enemy aircraft to Bezler a few minutes before the downing. Bezler also instructed him to report this message to ''higher up'', which might indicate that Stelmakh relayed this message to the GRU DNR or another authority that was in contact with the Buk crew. The full report features a reconstruction showing that it is indeed possible that it was this message that had reached the Buk crew shortly before the downing of MH17.
Igor Ivanovich Ukrainets, call sign ''Minyor''Date of birth: 24 December 1971Place of birth: Verbky, Dnipropetrovsk oblast, Soviet UkraineNationality: UkrainianFunction in the summer of 2014: Subordinate of Bezler and commander of an infantry unit known as the ''Minyor Unit''.
Link to MH17: Ukrainets has been identified as the commander of the Minyor Unit, which was mentioned by Bezler in one of the intercepts in relation to the downing of MH17. Although it has been possible to confirm that Ukrainets was at the time a subordinate to Bezler, we found no evidence that suggests Ukrainets was involved in the downing of MH17. In the full report we discuss the possible explanations why Bezler had mentioned him in relation to the shootdown of the aircraft.
The Vostok BattalionThe Vostok Battalion was one of the largest separatist groups in the summer of 2014 and was based in Donetsk. It was headed by Aleksandr Khodakovsky, a defector from the SBU's Alpha special forces unit. The phone intercepts indicate that the Vostok Battalion helped facilitate the transport of the arriving Buk missile launcher in Donetsk. Additional evidence suggests that its leadership also knew about the arrival of the Buk from Russia in advance.
Aleksandr Sergeyevich Khodakovsky, call sign ''Skif''Date of birth: 18 December 1972Place of birth: Donetsk, Donetsk oblast, Soviet UkraineNationality: UkrainianFunction: Head of the Vostok Battalion and until 16 July 2014 the Minister of State Security of the DNR.
Link to MH17: As the head of the Vostok Battalion, it is likely that Khodakovsky helped facilitate the arrival of the Buk system in Donetsk, since the intercepts indicate that his deputy Aleksandr Semyonov helped coordinate the transport of the Buk in Donetsk. After the shootdown of MH17, he admitted in an interview with Reuters that he knew beforehand that pro-Russian separatists were going to receive a Buk missile launcher that would be transported from Luhansk to Snizhne, but he later retracted these statements saying that they were taken out of context by Reuters. The SBU intercepts also reveal that he had briefly attempted to hide MH17's black boxes from the OSCE and other parties on behalf of Moscow, which he later also denied. In the full report we will provide further information that suggests Khodakovsy's statements to Reuters were not taken out of context, and that he was indeed willing to hide the black boxes, most likely on behalf of officials in Moscow.
Alexander Aleksandrovich Semyonov, nickname ''(San) Sanych''Date of birth: 21 December 1967Place of birth: Yenakieve, Soviet UkraineFunction: Deputy commander of the Vostok Battalion and the DNR's Deputy Prime Minister of Economy, subordinate to Khodakovsky.
Link to MH17: The phone intercepts indicate that Semyonov helped facilitate the arrival of the Buk in Donetsk in coordination with Sergey Dubinsky. One day before the downing, Semyonov was also informed by Dubinsky that the latter wished to receive a missile launcher for operations at the Marynivka front.
MH17-verdachte en rebellenleider Igor Girkin: Wij hebben dat vliegtuig niet neergehaald | ThePostOnline
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 16:57
Igor Girkin, de rebellencommandant die wordt verdacht van betrokkenheid bij het neerhalen van MH17, heeft tegenover Russische media ontkend dat de rebellen in Oekra¯ne verantwoordelijk zijn voor het neerhalen van het passagiersvliegtuig in 2014.
Lees ook '' Drie Russen en (C)(C)n Oekra¯ner verdacht van neerhalen MH17De vier verdachten bevinden zich volgens het Kremlin in Moskou. Daar wachten ze de officile aankondiging van de onderzoekscommissie in Nederland af.
Rusland heeft het onderzoek naar het neerschieten van het passagiersvliegtuig MH17 in het Oekra¯ense luchtruim als eenzijdig bekritiseerd. ''Rusland had geen kans om deel te nemen aan het onderzoek naar deze vreselijke ramp, hoewel we dat vanaf het begin hadden aangeboden'', zei een woordvoerder van het Kremlin.
De door Rusland gesteunde separatisten hebben ook woensdag weer Russische betrokkenheid met de lancering van de raket ontkend. ''Het was technisch niet eens mogelijk om het Buk-systeem van Rusland naar de Donbass te vervoeren'', zegt Andrej Poergin, plaatsvervangend regeringsleider in de zelfverklaarde Volksrepubliek Donetsk.
Het Buk-systeem dat voor de lancering werd gebruikt, kwam volgens de rebellen van de Oekra¯ense strijdkrachten. ''Er was niemand in Donetsk die het had kunnen bedienen. De beschuldigingen waren daarom absurd. In plaats daarvan had Oekra¯ne het personeel om het systeem te bedienen. In Rusland is de apparatuur praktisch niet meer in gebruik'', zei Poergin.
Het Openbaar Ministerie in Nederland gaat in maart 2020 vier mensen vervolgen voor het neerhalen van vlucht MH17. Ze worden verdacht van moord. Naast Igor Strelkov (38, ook bekend als Igor Girkin) zijn dat zijn rechterhand Sergej Doebinski (56), diens assistent Oleg Poelatov (52) en garnizoenscommandant Leonid Chartsjenko (47).
International Investigators Charge Four Suspects Including Former FSB Colonel In Ukraine Plane Crash That Killed 298 | The Daily Caller
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 16:57
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\n HomeVideoPoliticsUSWorldEntertainmentSportsBusinessOpinionOutdoorsComedyShopDaily Caller ShopDaily DealerWine ClubPatriots Only9:54 AM 06/19/2019 | WorldEvie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter
Nearly five years after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed in Ukraine killing 298 people, prosecutors brought their first criminal charges against four suspects Wednesday.
The Joint Investigation Team, which consists of officials from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, charged Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov as well as Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, reported BBC. The suspects are not accused of firing the missile that took down the plane but of acquiring the missile ''with the goal to shoot a plane,'' reported CNN.
The suspects are ''just as punishable as the person who committed the crime,'' Dutch prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said according to CNN. (RELATED: UN Releases Most Complete Report To Date On Jamal Khashoggi's Murder. The Findings Don't Look Good For Saudi Arabia)
Girkin is a former colonel in Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), Dubinskiy worked for Russian military intelligence agency GRU and Pulatov was in Russia's special forces, investigators said according to CNN.
Members of the Joint Investigation Team hold a press conference on June 19, 2019 in Nieuwegein, on the ongoing investigation of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash in 2014. (JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)
The wrecked cockpit of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is presented to the press during a presentation of the final report on the cause of the its crash at the Gilze Rijen airbase on Oct. 13, 2015. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Flight MH17 was shot down over a war-torn region of Ukraine near the Russian border on July 17, 2014. The missile was fired from a launcher belonging to the Russian military, investigators said in May 2018. However, Russia denies involvement and has tried to shift blame to Ukrainian forces, reported CNN.
MH17 was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital, when it went down over territory held by pro-Russian separatists, according to CNN. The suspects' court case starts in the Netherlands on March 9, 2020, according to BBC.
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Tags : malaysia airlines russia ukraineSearch
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Rechter Wilders-proces Hendrik Steenhuis gaat MH17-rechtszaak leiden | ThePostOnline
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 04:56
De rechter die is benoemd als voorzitter van de rechtbank die zich gaat buigen over het neerstorten van de vlucht MH17, Hendrik Steenhuis, was eerder voorzitter van de rechtbank in de zaak tegen PVV-leider Geert Wilders.
Lees ook '' Drie Russen en (C)(C)n Oekra¯ner verdacht van neerhalen MH17Steenhuis zat voor in de zaak over de 'minder Marokkanen'-uitspraak in 2016. De rechtbank werd toen (tevergeefs) gewraakt, maar dat had niet met Steenhuis te maken maar met vermeende vooringenomenheid van een andere rechter.
Het Openbaar Ministerie zegt dat ook de officieren van justitie in deze zaak zijn aangewezen. Hun namen worden pas later naar buiten gebracht.
De rechtszaak over vlucht MH17 begint op 9 maart volgend jaar in het Justitieel Complex Schiphol. De andere rechters worden later bekendgemaakt.
Lees ook '' MH17-verdachte en rebellenleider Igor Girkin: Wij hebben dat vliegtuig niet neergehaald
Reparations concept: stop illegal immigration that is proven to affect black Americans working and living standards
Text - H.R.40 - 113th Congress (2013-2014): Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 09:50
There is one version of the bill.
113th CONGRESS 1st Session
H. R. 40
To acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery, subsequently de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes.
Mr. Conyers introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery, subsequently de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of theUnited States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. Short title .
This Act may be cited as the ''Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act''.
SEC. 2. Findings and purpose .
(a) Findings .'--The Congress finds that'--
(1) approximately 4,000,000 Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States and colonies that became the United States from 1619 to 1865;
(2) the institution of slavery was constitutionally and statutorily sanctioned by the Government of the United States from 1789 through 1865;
(3) the slavery that flourished in the United States constituted an immoral and inhumane deprivation of Africans' life, liberty, African citizenship rights, and cultural heritage, and denied them the fruits of their own labor; and
(4) sufficient inquiry has not been made into the effects of the institution of slavery on living African-Americans and society in the United States.
(b) Purpose .'--The purpose of this Act is to establish a commission to'--
(1) examine the institution of slavery which existed from 1619 through 1865 within the United States and the colonies that became the United States, including the extent to which the Federal and State Governments constitutionally and statutorily supported the institution of slavery;
(2) examine de jure and de facto discrimination against freed slaves and their descendants from the end of the Civil War to the present, including economic, political, and social discrimination;
(3) examine the lingering negative effects of the institution of slavery and the discrimination described in paragraph (2) on living African-Americans and on society in the United States;
(4) recommend appropriate ways to educate the American public of the Commission's findings;
(5) recommend appropriate remedies in consideration of the Commission's findings on the matters described in paragraphs (1) and (2); and
(6) submit to the Congress the results of such examination, together with such recommendations.
SEC. 3. Establishment and duties .
(a) Establishment .'--There is established the Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the ''Commission'').
(b) Duties .'--The Commission shall perform the following duties:
(1) Examine the institution of slavery which existed within the United States and the colonies that became the United States from 1619 through 1865. The Commission's examination shall include an examination of'--
(A) the capture and procurement of Africans;
(B) the transport of Africans to the United States and the colonies that became the United States for the purpose of enslavement, including their treatment during transport;
(C) the sale and acquisition of Africans as chattel property in interstate and intrastate commerce; and
(D) the treatment of African slaves in the colonies and the United States, including the deprivation of their freedom, exploitation of their labor, and destruction of their culture, language, religion, and families.
(2) Examine the extent to which the Federal and State governments of the United States supported the institution of slavery in constitutional and statutory provisions, including the extent to which such governments prevented, opposed, or restricted efforts of freed African slaves to repatriate to their homeland.
(3) Examine Federal and State laws that discriminated against freed African slaves and their descendants during the period between the end of the Civil War and the present.
(4) Examine other forms of discrimination in the public and private sectors against freed African slaves and their descendants during the period between the end of the Civil War and the present.
(5) Examine the lingering negative effects of the institution of slavery and the matters described in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) on living African-Americans and on society in the United States.
(6) Recommend appropriate ways to educate the American public of the Commission's findings.
(7) Recommend appropriate remedies in consideration of the Commission's findings on the matters described in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4). In making such recommendations, the Commission shall address among other issues, the following questions:
(A) Whether the Government of the United States should offer a formal apology on behalf of the people of the United States for the perpetration of gross human rights violations on African slaves and their descendants.
(B) Whether African-Americans still suffer from the lingering effects of the matters described in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4).
(C) Whether, in consideration of the Commission's findings, any form of compensation to the descendants of African slaves is warranted.
(D) If the Commission finds that such compensation is warranted, what should be the amount of compensation, what form of compensation should be awarded, and who should be eligible for such compensation.
(c) Report to Congress .'--The Commission shall submit a written report of its findings and recommendations to the Congress not later than the date which is one year after the date of the first meeting of the Commission held pursuant to section 4(c).
SEC. 4. Membership .
(a) Number and appointment .'-- (1) The Commission shall be composed of 7 members, who shall be appointed, within 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, as follows:
(A) Three members shall be appointed by the President.
(B) Three members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(C) One member shall be appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate.
(2) All members of the Commission shall be persons who are especially qualified to serve on the Commission by virtue of their education, training, or experience, particularly in the field of African-American studies.
(b) Terms .'--The term of office for members shall be for the life of the Commission. A vacancy in the Commission shall not affect the powers of the Commission and shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.
(c) First meeting .'--The President shall call the first meeting of the Commission within 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act or within 30 days after the date on which legislation is enacted making appropriations to carry out this Act, whichever date is later.
(d) Quorum .'--Four members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may hold hearings.
(e) Chair and Vice Chair .'--The Commission shall elect a Chair and Vice Chair from among its members. The term of office of each shall be for the life of the Commission.
(f) Compensation .'-- (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), each member of the Commission shall receive compensation at the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay payable for GS''18 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5, United States Code, for each day, including travel time, during which he or she is engaged in the actual performance of duties vested in the Commission.
(2) A member of the Commission who is a full-time officer or employee of the United States or a Member of Congress shall receive no additional pay, allowances, or benefits by reason of his or her service to the Commission.
(3) All members of the Commission shall be reimbursed for travel, subsistence, and other necessary expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties to the extent authorized by chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.
SEC. 5. Powers of the Commission .
(a) Hearings and sessions .'--The Commission may, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act, hold such hearings and sit and act at such times and at such places in the United States, and request the attendance and testimony of such witnesses and the production of such books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents, as the Commission considers appropriate. The Commission may request the Attorney General to invoke the aid of an appropriate United States district court to require, by subpoena or otherwise, such attendance, testimony, or production.
(b) Powers of subcommittees and members .'--Any subcommittee or member of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action which the Commission is authorized to take by this section.
(c) Obtaining official data .'--The Commission may acquire directly from the head of any department, agency, or instrumentality of the executive branch of the Government, available information which the Commission considers useful in the discharge of its duties. All departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the executive branch of the Government shall cooperate with the Commission with respect to such information and shall furnish all information requested by the Commission to the extent permitted by law.
SEC. 6. Administrative provisions .
(a) Staff .'--The Commission may, without regard to section 5311(b) of title 5, United States Code, appoint and fix the compensation of such personnel as the Commission considers appropriate.
(b) Applicability of certain civil service laws .'--The staff of the Commission may be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, except that the compensation of any employee of the Commission may not exceed a rate equal to the annual rate of basic pay payable for GS''18 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5, United States Code.
(c) Experts and consultants .'--The Commission may procure the services of experts and consultants in accordance with the provisions of section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, but at rates for individuals not to exceed the daily equivalent of the highest rate payable under section 5332 of such title.
(d) Administrative support services .'--The Commission may enter into agreements with the Administrator of General Services for procurement of financial and administrative services necessary for the discharge of the duties of the Commission. Payment for such services shall be made by reimbursement from funds of the Commission in such amounts as may be agreed upon by the Chairman of the Commission and the Administrator.
(e) Contracts .'--The Commission may'--
(1) procure supplies, services, and property by contract in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and to the extent or in such amounts as are provided in appropriations Acts; and
(2) enter into contracts with departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Federal Government, State agencies, and private firms, institutions, and agencies, for the conduct of research or surveys, the preparation of reports, and other activities necessary for the discharge of the duties of the Commission, to the extent or in such amounts as are provided in appropriations Acts.
SEC. 7. Termination .
The Commission shall terminate 90 days after the date on which the Commission submits its report to the Congress under section 3(c).
SEC. 8. Authorization of appropriations .
To carry out the provisions of this Act, there are authorized to be appropriated $8,000,000.
Reconstruction era - Wikipedia
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 14:29
Era of military occupation in the Southern United States after the American Civil War (1865''1877)
Reconstruction eraDateDecember 8, 1863 '' March 31, 1877 ( 1863-12-08 '' 1877-03-31 ) Duration13 years, 3 months, 3 weeks and 2 daysLocationSouthern United StatesAlso known asReconstruction, Reconstruction era of the United States, Reconstruction of the Rebel States, Reconstruction of the South, Reconstruction of the Southern StatesCauseAmerican Civil WarOrganized byUnited States GovernmentParticipantsThe Reconstruction era was the period from 1863 to 1877 in American history. It was a significant chapter in the history of American civil rights.
The term has two applications: the first applies to the complete history of the entire country from 1865 to 1877 following the American Civil War; the second, to the attempted transformation of the 11 ex-Confederate states from 1863 to 1877, as directed by Congress. Reconstruction ended the remnants of Confederate secession and ended slavery, making the newly-free slaves citizens with civil rights ostensibly guaranteed by three new Constitutional amendments.
Three visions of Civil War memory appeared during Reconstruction: the reconciliationist vision, which was rooted in coping with the death and devastation the war had brought; the white supremacist vision, which included segregation and the preservation of the traditional cultural standards of the South; and the emancipationist vision, which sought full freedom, citizenship, and Constitutional equality for African Americans.[2]
When President Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, was assassinated at the end of the Civil War, Vice President Andrew Johnson, a Democrat from Tennessee and former slave holder, became President. Johnson favored rapid measures to bring the South back into the Union, allowing the southern states to determine the rights of former slaves. Radical Republicans in Congress sought stronger, federal measures to upgrade the rights of African Americans, including the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, while curtailing the rights of former Confederates, such as through the provisions of the Wade''Davis Bill. Johnson, the most prominent Southerner to oppose the Confederacy, followed a lenient policy toward ex-Confederates. Lincoln's last speeches show that he was leaning toward supporting the enfranchisement of all freedmen, whereas Johnson and the Democratic Party was strongly opposed to this.[3]
Johnson's weak Reconstruction policies prevailed until the Congressional elections of 1866. Those elections followed outbreaks of violence against blacks in the former rebel states, including the Memphis riots of 1866 and the New Orleans riot that same year. The subsequent 1866 election gave Republicans a majority in Congress, enabling them to pass the 14th Amendment, federalizing equal rights for freedmen, and dissolve rebel state legislatures until new state constitutions were passed in the south. A Republican coalition came to power in nearly all the southern states and set out to transform the society by setting up a free labor economy, using the U.S. Army and the Freedmen's Bureau. The Bureau protected the legal rights of freedmen, negotiated labor contracts, and set up schools and churches for them. Thousands of Northerners came south as missionaries, teachers, businessmen and politicians. Hostile whites began referring to these politicians as "carpetbaggers". In early 1866, Congress passed the Freedmen's Bureau and Civil Rights Bills and sent them to Johnson for his signature. The first bill extended the life of the bureau, originally established as a temporary organization charged with assisting refugees and freed slaves, while the second defined all persons born in the United States as national citizens with equality before the law. After Johnson vetoed the bills, Congress overrode his vetos, making the Civil Rights Act the first major bill in the history of the United States to become law through an override of a presidential veto. The Radicals in the House of Representatives, frustrated by Johnson's opposition to Congressional Reconstruction, filed impeachment charges. The action failed by one vote in the Senate. The new national Reconstruction laws '' in particular laws requiring suffrage (the right to vote) for freedmen '' incensed white supremacists in the South, giving rise to the Ku Klux Klan. During 1867-69 the Klan murdered Republicans and outspoken freedmen in the South, including Arkansas Congressman James M. Hinds.
Elected in 1868, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant supported Congressional Reconstruction and enforced the protection of African Americans in the South through the use of the Enforcement Acts passed by Congress. Grant used the Enforcement Acts to effectively combat the Ku Klux Klan, which was essentially wiped out, although a new incarnation of the Klan eventually would again come to national prominence in the 1920s. Nevertheless, President Grant was unable to resolve the escalating tensions inside the Republican Party between the Northerners on the one hand, and those Republicans originally hailing from the South on the other (this latter group would be labelled "scalawags" by those opposing Reconstruction). Meanwhile, "redeemers", self-styled conservatives in close cooperation with a faction of the Democratic Party, strongly opposed Reconstruction.[4] They alleged widespread corruption by the "carpetbaggers", excessive state spending, and ruinous taxes. Meanwhile, public support for Reconstruction policies, requiring continued supervision of the South, faded in the North after the Democrats, who strongly opposed Reconstruction, regained control of the House of Representatives in 1874. In 1877, as part of a Congressional bargain to elect Republican Rutherford B. Hayes as president following the disputed 1876 presidential election, U.S. Army troops were withdrawn from the three states (South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida) where they still remained. This marked the end of Reconstruction.
Historian Eric Foner argues:
What remains certain is that Reconstruction failed, and that for blacks its failure was a disaster whose magnitude cannot be obscured by the genuine accomplishments that did endure.[5]
Dating the Reconstruction era [ edit ] In different states Reconstruction began and ended at different times; federal Reconstruction ended with the Compromise of 1877. In recent decades most historians follow Foner in dating the Reconstruction of the South as starting in 1863 (with the Emancipation Proclamation and the Port Royal Experiment) rather than 1865.[6] The usual ending for Reconstruction has always been 1877. Reconstruction policies were debated in the North when the war began, and commenced in earnest after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1, 1863.[7] Textbooks covering the entire range of American history typically use 1865-1877 for their chapter on the Reconstruction era. For example, Eric Foner does that in his general history of the United States, Give Me Liberty!. [8] However, in his monograph Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (1988), specializing on the situation in the South, he starts in 1863.
Overview [ edit ] As Confederate states came back under control of the U.S. Army, President Abraham Lincoln set up reconstructed governments in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana during the war. He experimented by giving land to blacks in South Carolina. By fall 1865, the new President Andrew Johnson declared the war goals of national unity and the ending of slavery achieved and reconstruction completed. Republicans in Congress, refusing to accept Johnson's lenient terms, rejected and refused to seat new members of Congress, some of whom had been high-ranking Confederate officials a few months before. Johnson broke with the Republicans after vetoing two key bills that supported the Freedmen's Bureau and provided federal civil rights to the freedmen. The 1866 Congressional elections turned on the issue of Reconstruction, producing a sweeping Republican victory in the North, and providing the Radical Republicans with sufficient control of Congress to override Johnson's vetoes and commence their own "Radical Reconstruction" in 1867.[9]That same year, Congress removed civilian governments in the South, and placed the former Confederacy under the rule of the U.S. Army (except in Tennessee, where anti-Johnson Republicans were already in control). The army conducted new elections in which the freed slaves could vote, while whites who had held leading positions under the Confederacy were temporarily denied the vote and were not permitted to run for office.
In ten states, not including Virginia, coalitions of freedmen, recent black and white arrivals from the North ("carpetbaggers"), and white Southerners who supported Reconstruction ("scalawags") cooperated to form Republican biracial state governments. They introduced various reconstruction programs including: funding public schools, establishing charitable institutions, raising taxes, and funding public improvements such as improved railroad transportation and shipping. Conservative opponents called the Republican regimes corrupt and instigated violence toward freedmen and whites who supported Reconstruction. Most of the violence was carried out by members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), a secretive terrorist organization closely allied with the southern Democratic Party. Klan members attacked and intimidated blacks seeking to exercise their new civil rights, as well as Republican politicians in the south favoring those civil rights. One such politician murdered by the Klan on the eve of the 1868 presidential election was Republican Congressman James M. Hinds of Arkansas. Widespread violence in the south led to federal intervention by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1871, which suppressed the Klan. Nevertheless, white Democrats, calling themselves "Redeemers", regained control of the south state by state, sometimes using fraud and violence to control state elections. A deep national economic depression following the Panic of 1873 led to major Democratic gains in the North, the collapse of many railroad schemes in the South, and a growing sense of frustration in the North.
The end of Reconstruction was a staggered process, and the period of Republican control ended at different times in different states. With the Compromise of 1877, military intervention in Southern politics ceased and Republican control collapsed in the last three state governments in the South. This was followed by a period which white Southerners labeled "Redemption", during which white-dominated state legislatures enacted Jim Crow laws and, beginning in 1890, disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites through a combination of constitutional amendments and electoral laws. The white Democratic Southerners' memory of Reconstruction played a major role in imposing the system of white supremacy and second-class citizenship for blacks using laws known as Jim Crow laws.[10]
Purpose [ edit ] Reconstruction addressed how the eleven seceding rebel states in the south would regain what the Constitution calls a "republican form of government" and be reseated in Congress, the civil status of the former leaders of the Confederacy, and the Constitutional and legal status of freedmen, especially their civil rights and whether they should be given the right to vote. Intense controversy erupted throughout the South over these issues.[11]
The laws and constitutional amendments that laid the foundation for the most radical phase of Reconstruction were adopted from 1866 to 1871. By the 1870s, Reconstruction had officially provided freedmen with equal rights under the constitution, and blacks were voting and taking political office. Republican legislatures, coalitions of whites and blacks, established the first public school systems and numerous charitable institutions in the South. White paramilitary organizations, especially the Ku Klux Klan and also the White League and Red Shirts formed with the political aim of driving out the Republicans. They also disrupted political organizing and terrorized blacks to bar them from the polls.[12] President Grant used federal power to effectively shut down the KKK in the early 1870s, though the other, smaller, groups continued to operate. From 1873 to 1877, conservative whites (calling themselves "redeemers") regained power in the Southern states. They constituted the Bourbon wing of the national Democratic Party.
In the 1860s and 1870s the terms "radical" and "conservative" had distinctive meanings. "Conservative" was the name of a faction, often led by the planter class. Leaders who had been Whigs were committed to economic modernization, built around railroads, factories, banks and cities.[13] Most of the "radical" Republicans in the North were men who believed in integrating African Americans by providing them civil rights as citizens, along with free enterprise; most were also modernizers and former Whigs.[14] The "Liberal Republicans" of 1872 shared the same outlook except they were especially opposed to the corruption they saw around President Grant, and believed that the goals of the Civil War had been achieved so that the federal military intervention could now end.
Passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments is the constitutional legacy of Reconstruction. These Reconstruction Amendments established the rights that led to Supreme Court rulings in the mid-20th century that struck down school segregation. A "Second Reconstruction", sparked by the Civil Rights Movement, led to civil rights laws in 1964 and 1965 that ended legal segregation and re-opened the polls to blacks.
Material devastation of the South in 1865 [ edit ] The Southern economy had been ruined by the war. Charleston, South Carolina: Broad Street, 1865
Reconstruction played out against an economy in ruins. The Confederacy in 1861 had 297 towns and cities, with a total population of 835,000 people; of these 162, with 681,000 people, were at some point occupied by Union forces. Eleven were destroyed or severely damaged by war action, including Atlanta (with an 1860 population of 9,600), Charleston, Columbia, and Richmond (with prewar populations of 40,500, 8,100, and 37,900, respectively); the eleven contained 115,900 people in the 1860 census, or 14% of the urban South. The number of people who lived in the destroyed towns represented just over 1% of the Confederacy's combined urban and rural populations. The rate of damage in smaller towns was much lower'--only 45 courthouses were burned out of a total of 830.[15]
Farms were in disrepair, and the prewar stock of horses, mules, and cattle was much depleted; 40% of the South's livestock had been killed.[16] The South's farms were not highly mechanized, but the value of farm implements and machinery in the 1860 Census was $81 million and was reduced by 40% by 1870.[17] The transportation infrastructure lay in ruins, with little railroad or riverboat service available to move crops and animals to market.[18] Railroad mileage was located mostly in rural areas; over two-thirds of the South's rails, bridges, rail yards, repair shops, and rolling stock were in areas reached by Union armies, which systematically destroyed what they could. Even in untouched areas, the lack of maintenance and repair, the absence of new equipment, the heavy over-use, and the deliberate relocation of equipment by the Confederates from remote areas to the war zone ensured the system would be ruined at war's end.[15] Restoring the infrastructure'--especially the railroad system'--became a high priority for Reconstruction state governments.[19]
The enormous cost of the Confederate war effort took a high toll on the South's economic infrastructure. The direct costs to the Confederacy in human capital, government expenditures, and physical destruction from the war totaled $3.3 billion. By early 1865, the Confederate dollar was worth little due to high inflation. When the war ended Confederate currency and bank deposits were worth zero, making the banking system a near-total loss. People had to resort to bartering services for goods, or else try to obtain scarce Union dollars. With the emancipation of the Southern slaves, the entire economy of the South had to be rebuilt. Having lost their enormous investment in slaves, white planters had minimal capital to pay freedmen workers to bring in crops. As a result, a system of sharecropping was developed, in which landowners broke up large plantations and rented small lots to the freedmen and their families. The main feature of the Southern economy changed from an elite minority of landed gentry slaveholders into a tenant farming agriculture system.[20]
The end of the Civil War was accompanied by a large migration of new freed people to the cities.[21] In the cities, African Americans were relegated to the lowest paying jobs such as unskilled and service labor. Men worked as rail workers, rolling and lumber mills workers, and hotel workers. The large population of slave artisans during the antebellum period had not been translated into a large number of freemen artisans during Reconstruction.[22] Black women were largely confined to domestic work employed as cooks, maids, and child nurses. Others worked in hotels. A large number became laundresses. The dislocations had a severe negative impact on the black population, with a large amount of sickness and death.[23]
Over a quarter of Southern white men of military age'--the backbone of the South's white workforce'--died during the war, leaving countless families destitute.[16] Per capita income for white southerners declined from $125 in 1857 to a low of $80 in 1879. By the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th century, the South was locked into a system of poverty. How much of this failure was caused by the war and by previous reliance on agriculture remains the subject of debate among economists and historians.[24]
Restoring the South to the Union [ edit ] A political cartoon of Andrew Johnson and Abraham Lincoln, 1865, entitled "The Rail Splitter At Work Repairing the Union". The caption reads (Johnson):
Take it quietly Uncle Abe and I will draw it closer than ever. (Lincoln):
A few more stitches Andy and the good old Union will be mended.During the Civil War, the Radical Republican leaders argued that slavery and the Slave Power had to be permanently destroyed. Moderates said this could be easily accomplished as soon as Confederate armies surrendered and the Southern states repealed secession and accepted the 13th Amendment '' most of which happened by December 1865.[25]
President Lincoln was the leader of the moderate Republicans and wanted to speed up Reconstruction and reunite the nation painlessly and quickly. Lincoln formally began Reconstruction in late 1863 with his Ten percent plan, which went into operation in several states but which Radical Republicans opposed. Lincoln pocket vetoed the Radical plan, the Wade''Davis Bill of 1864, which was much more strict than the Ten-Percent Plan.[9][26]
By late 1866, the opposing faction of Radical Republicans was skeptical of Southern intentions. White reactions included outbreaks of mob violence against blacks, such as the Memphis riots of 1866 and the New Orleans riot. Radical Republicans demanded a prompt and strong federal response to protect freed-people and curb southern racism. Congressman Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania and Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts led the Radicals. Sumner argued that secession had destroyed statehood but the Constitution still extended its authority and its protection over individuals, as in existing U.S. territories. Stevens and his followers viewed secession as having left the states in a status like new territories. The Republicans sought to prevent Southern politicians from "restoring the historic subordination of Negroes". Since slavery was abolished, the three-fifths compromise no longer applied to counting the population of blacks. After the 1870 census, the South would gain numerous additional representatives in Congress, based on the population of freedmen.[27] One Illinois Republican expressed a common fear that if the South were allowed to simply restore its previous established powers, that the "reward of treason will be an increased representation".[28]
Upon Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, who had been elected with Lincoln in 1864 as vice president, became president. Johnson rejected the Radical program of Reconstruction and instead appointed his own governors and tried to finish reconstruction by the end of 1865. Thaddeus Stevens vehemently opposed President Johnson's plans for an abrupt end to Reconstruction, insisting that Reconstruction must "revolutionize Southern institutions, habits, and manners ... The foundations of their institutions ... must be broken up and relaid, or all our blood and treasure have been spent in vain."[29] Johnson broke decisively with the Republicans in Congress when he vetoed the Civil Rights Act in early 1865. While Democrats cheered, the Republicans pulled together, passed the bill again, and overturned Johnson's repeat veto.[30] Full-scale political warfare now existed between Johnson (now allied with the Democrats) and the Radical Republicans.[31]
Congress rejected Johnson's argument that he had the war power to decide what to do, since the war was over. Congress decided it had the primary authority to decide how Reconstruction should proceed, because the Constitution stated the United States had to guarantee each state a republican form of government. The Radicals insisted that meant Congress decided how Reconstruction should be achieved. The issues were multiple: who should decide, Congress or the president? How should republicanism operate in the South? What was the status of the former Confederate states? What was the citizenship status of the leaders of the Confederacy? What was the citizenship and suffrage status of freedmen?[32]
The election of 1866 decisively changed the balance of power, giving the Republicans two-thirds majorities in both houses of Congress, and enough votes to overcome Johnson's vetoes. They moved to impeach Johnson because of his constant attempts to thwart Radical Reconstruction measures, by using the Tenure of Office Act. Johnson was acquitted by one vote, but he lost the influence to shape Reconstruction policy.[33]
The Republican Congress established military districts in the South and used Army personnel to administer the region until new governments loyal to the Union'--that accepted the 14th Amendment and the right of freedmen to vote'--could be established. Congress temporarily suspended the ability to vote of approximately 10,000 to 15,000 former Confederate officials and senior officers, while constitutional amendments gave full citizenship to all African Americans, and suffrage to the adult men.[34]
With the power to vote, freedmen started participating in politics. While many slaves were illiterate, educated blacks (including escaped slaves) moved down from the North to aid them, and natural leaders also stepped forward. They elected white and black men to represent them in constitutional conventions. A Republican coalition of freedmen, southerners supportive of the Union (derisively called scalawags by white Democrats), and northerners who had migrated to the South (derisively called carpetbaggers)'--some of whom were returning natives, but were mostly Union veterans '' organized to create constitutional conventions. They created new state constitutions to set new directions for southern states.[35]
Loyalty [ edit ] The issue of loyalty emerged in the debates over the Wade''Davis Bill of 1864. The bill required voters to take the "ironclad oath", swearing they had never supported the Confederacy or been one of its soldiers. Pursuing a policy of "malice toward none" announced in his second inaugural address,[36] Lincoln asked voters only to support the Union.[37] The Radicals lost support following Lincoln's veto of the Wade''Davis Bill but regained strength after Lincoln's assassination in April 1865.
Suffrage [ edit ] Monument in honor of the Grand Army of the Republic, organized after the war
Congress had to consider how to restore to full status and representation within the Union those Southern states that had declared their independence from the United States and had withdrawn their representation. Suffrage for former Confederates was one of two main concerns. A decision needed to be made whether to allow just some or all former Confederates to vote (and to hold office). The moderates in Congress wanted virtually all of them to vote, but the Radicals resisted. They repeatedly imposed the ironclad oath, which would effectively have allowed no former Confederates to vote. Historian Harold Hyman says that in 1866 Congressmen "described the oath as the last bulwark against the return of ex-rebels to power, the barrier behind which Southern Unionists and Negroes protected themselves".[38] Radical Republican leader Thaddeus Stevens proposed, unsuccessfully, that all former Confederates lose the right to vote for five years. The compromise that was reached disenfranchised many Confederate civil and military leaders. No one knows how many temporarily lost the vote, but one estimate was that it was as high as 10,000 to 15,000 out of a total white population of roughly eight million.[39]
Second, and closely related, was the issue of whether the four million freedmen were to be received as citizens: Would they be able to vote? If they were to be fully counted as citizens, some sort of representation for apportionment of seats in Congress had to be determined. Before the war, the population of slaves had been counted as three-fifths of a corresponding number of free whites. By having four million freedmen counted as full citizens, the South would gain additional seats in Congress. If blacks were denied the vote and the right to hold office, then only whites would represent them. Many conservatives, including most white Southerners, northern Democrats, and some northern Republicans, opposed black voting. Some Northern states that had referenda on the subject limited the ability of their own small populations of blacks to vote.
Lincoln had supported a middle position: to allow some black men to vote, especially army veterans. Johnson also believed that such service should be rewarded with citizenship. Lincoln proposed giving the vote to "the very intelligent, and especially those who have fought gallantly in our ranks".[40] In 1864, Governor Johnson said, "The better class of them will go to work and sustain themselves, and that class ought to be allowed to vote, on the ground that a loyal negro is more worthy than a disloyal white man."[41] As President in 1865, Johnson wrote to the man he appointed as governor of Mississippi, recommending, "If you could extend the elective franchise to all persons of color who can read the Constitution in English and write their names, and to all persons of color who own real estate valued at least two hundred and fifty dollars, and pay taxes thereon, you would completely disarm the adversary [Radicals in Congress], and set an example the other states will follow."[42]
Freedmen voting in New Orleans, 1867
Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens, leaders of the Radical Republicans, were initially hesitant to enfranchise the largely illiterate Freedmen. Sumner preferred at first impartial requirements that would have imposed literacy restrictions on blacks and whites. He believed that he would not succeed in passing legislation to disfranchise illiterate whites who already had the vote.[43]
In the South, many poor whites were illiterate as there was almost no public education before the war. In 1880, for example, the white illiteracy rate was about 25% in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia; and as high as 33% in North Carolina. This compares with the 9% national rate, and a black rate of illiteracy that was over 70% in the South.[44] By 1900, however, with emphasis within the black community on education, the majority of blacks had achieved literacy.[45]
Sumner soon concluded that "there was no substantial protection for the freedman except in the franchise." This was necessary, he stated, "(1) For his own protection; (2) For the protection of the white Unionist; and (3) For the peace of the country. We put the musket in his hands because it was necessary; for the same reason we must give him the franchise." The support for voting rights was a compromise between moderate and Radical Republicans.[46]
The Republicans believed that the best way for men to get political experience was to be able to vote and to participate in the political system. They passed laws allowing all male freedmen to vote. In 1867, black men voted for the first time. Over the course of Reconstruction, more than 1,500 African Americans held public office in the South; some of them were men who had escaped to the North and gained educations, and returned to the South. They did not hold office in numbers representative of their proportion in the population, but often elected whites to represent them.[47] The question of women's suffrage was also debated but was rejected.[48]
From 1890 to 1908, southern states passed new constitutions and laws that disfranchised most blacks and tens of thousands of poor whites with new voter registration and electoral rules. When establishing new requirements such as subjectively administered literacy tests, in some states, they used "grandfather clauses" to enable illiterate whites to vote.[49]
Southern Treaty Commission [ edit ] The Five Civilized Tribes that had been relocated to Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma) held black slaves and signed treaties supporting the Confederacy. During the war, a war among pro- and anti-Union Indians had raged. Congress passed a statute that gave the President the authority to suspend the appropriations of any tribe if the tribe is "in a state of actual hostility to the government of the United States ... and, by proclamation, to declare all treaties with such tribe to be abrogated by such tribe"(25 USC Sec. 72).[50]
As a component of Reconstruction, the Interior Department ordered a meeting of representatives from all Indian tribes which had affiliated with the Confederacy.[51] The Council, the Southern Treaty Commission, was first held in Ft. Smith, Arkansas in September 1865, was attended by hundreds of Indians representing dozens of tribes. Over the next several years the commission negotiated treaties with tribes that resulted in additional relocations to Indian Territory and the de facto creation (initially by treaty) of an unorganized Oklahoma Territory.
Lincoln's presidential Reconstruction [ edit ] Preliminary events [ edit ] President Lincoln signed two Confiscation Acts into law, the first on August 6, 1861, and the second on July 17, 1862, safeguarding fugitive slaves from the Confederacy that came over into Union lines and giving them indirect emancipation if their masters continued insurrection against the United States. The laws allowed the confiscation of lands for colonization from those who aided and supported the rebellion. However, these laws had limited effect as they were poorly funded by Congress and poorly enforced by Attorney General Edward Bates.[52][53][54]
In August 1861, Maj. Gen. John C. Fr(C)mont, Union commander of the Western Department, declared martial law in Missouri, confiscated Confederate property, and emancipated their slaves. President Lincoln immediately ordered Fr(C)mont to rescind his emancipation declaration stating, "I think there is great danger that ... the liberating slaves of traitorous owners, will alarm our Southern Union friends, and turn them against us '' perhaps ruin our fair prospect for Kentucky." After Fr(C)mont refused to rescind the emancipation order, President Lincoln terminated him from active duty on November 2, 1861. Lincoln was concerned that the border states would secede from the Union if slaves were given their freedom. On May 26, 1862, Union Maj. Gen. David Hunter emancipated slaves in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida stated all "persons ... heretofore held as slaves ... forever free". Lincoln, embarrassed by the order, rescinded Hunter's declaration and canceled the emancipations.[55]
On April 16, 1862 Lincoln signed a bill into law outlawing slavery in Washington D.C. and freeing the estimated 3,500 slaves in the city and on June 19, 1862 he signed legislation outlawing slavery in all U.S. territories. On July 17, 1862 under the authority of the Confiscation Acts and an amended Force Bill of 1795, he authorized the recruitment of freed slaves into the Union army and seizure of any Confederate property for military purposes.[54][56][57]
Gradual emancipation and compensation [ edit ] In an effort to keep border states in the Union, President Lincoln as early as 1861 designed gradual compensated emancipation programs paid for by government bonds. Lincoln desired Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri to "adopt a system of gradual emancipation which should work the extinction of slavery in twenty years". On March 26, 1862 Lincoln met with Senator Charles Sumner and recommended that a special joint session of Congress be convened to discuss giving financial aid to any border states who initiated a gradual emancipation plan. In April 1862, the joint session of Congress met, however, the border states were not interested and did not make any response to Lincoln or any Congressional emancipation proposal.[58] Lincoln advocated compensated emancipation during the 1865 River Queen steamer conference.
Colonization [ edit ] In August 1862, President Lincoln met with African-American leaders and urged them to colonize some place in Central America. Lincoln planned to free the Southern slaves in the Emancipation Proclamation and he was concerned that freedmen would not be well treated in the United States by whites in both the North and South. Although Lincoln gave assurances that the United States government would support and protect any colonies that were established for former slaves, the leaders declined the offer of colonization. Many free blacks had been opposed to colonization plans in the past because they wanted to remain in the United States. President Lincoln persisted in his colonization plan in the belief that emancipation and colonization were both part of the same program. By April 1863 Lincoln was successful in sending black colonists to Haiti as well as 453 to Chiriqui in Central America; however, none of the colonies were able to remain self-sufficient. Frederick Douglass, a prominent 19th-century American civil rights activist, criticized Lincoln by stating that he was "showing all his inconsistencies, his pride of race and blood, his contempt for Negroes and his canting hypocrisy". African Americans, according to Douglass, wanted citizenship and civil rights rather than colonies. Historians are unsure if Lincoln gave up on the idea of African-American colonization at the end of 1863 or if he actually planned to continue this policy up until 1865.[54][58][59]
Installation of military governors [ edit ] Starting in March 1862, in an effort to forestall Reconstruction by the Radicals in Congress, President Lincoln installed military governors in certain rebellious states under Union military control.[60] Although the states would not be recognized by the Radicals until an undetermined time, installation of military governors kept the administration of Reconstruction under Presidential control, rather than that of the increasingly unsympathetic Radical Congress. On March 3, 1862, Lincoln installed a loyalist Democrat, Senator Andrew Johnson, as Military Governor with the rank of Brigadier General in his home state of Tennessee.[61] In May 1862, Lincoln appointed Edward Stanly Military Governor of the coastal region of North Carolina with the rank of Brigadier General. Stanly resigned almost a year later when he angered Lincoln by closing two schools for black children in New Bern. After Lincoln installed Brigadier General George F. Sheply as Military Governor of Louisiana in May 1862, Sheply sent two anti-slavery representatives, Benjamin Flanders and Michael Hahn, elected in December 1862, to the House which capitulated and voted to seat them. In July 1862, Lincoln installed Colonel John S. Phelps as Military Governor of Arkansas, though he resigned soon after due to poor health.
Emancipation Proclamation [ edit ] Celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation in Massachusetts, 1862
In July 1862, President Lincoln became convinced that "a military necessity" was needed to strike at slavery in order to win the Civil War for the Union. The Confiscation Acts were only having a minimal effect to end slavery. On July 22, he wrote a first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves in states in rebellion. After he showed his cabinet the document, slight alterations were made in the wording. Lincoln decided that the defeat of the Confederate invasion of the North at Sharpsburg was enough of a battlefield victory to enable him to release the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation that gave the rebels 100 days to return to the Union or the actual Proclamation would be issued.
On January 1, 1863, the actual Emancipation Proclamation was issued, specifically naming ten states in which slaves would be "forever free". The proclamation did not name the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, and Delaware, and specifically excluded numerous counties in some other states. Eventually, as the Union Armies advanced into the Confederacy millions of slaves were set free. Many of these freedmen joined the Union army and fought in battles against the Confederate forces.[54][59][62] Yet hundreds of thousands of freed slaves died during emancipation from illness that devastated army regiments. Freed slaves suffered from smallpox, yellow fever, and malnutrition.[63]
Louisiana 10% electorate plan [ edit ] President Abraham Lincoln was concerned to effect a speedy restoration of the Confederate states to the Union after the Civil War. In 1863, President Lincoln proposed a moderate plan for the Reconstruction of the captured Confederate State of Louisiana. The plan granted amnesty to Rebels who took an oath of loyalty to the Union. Black Freedmen workers were tied to labor on plantations for one year at $10 a month pay.[64] Only 10% of the state's electorate had to take the loyalty oath in order for the state to be readmitted into U.S. Congress. The state was required to abolish slavery in its new constitution. Identical Reconstruction plans would be adopted in Arkansas and Tennessee. By December 1864, the Lincoln plan of Reconstruction had been enacted in Louisiana and the legislature sent two Senators and five Representatives to take their seats in Washington. However, Congress refused to count any of the votes from Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee, in essence rejecting Lincoln's moderate Reconstruction plan. Congress, at this time controlled by the Radicals, proposed the Wade''Davis Bill that required a majority of the state electorates to take the oath of loyalty to be admitted to Congress. Lincoln pocket-vetoed the bill and the rift widened between the moderates, who wanted to save the Union and win the war, and the Radicals, who wanted to effect a more complete change within Southern society.[65][66] Frederick Douglass denounced Lincoln's 10% electorate plan as undemocratic since state admission and loyalty only depended on a minority vote.[67]
Legalization of slave marriages [ edit ] Before 1864, slave marriages had not been recognized legally; emancipation did not affect them.[21] When freed, many made official marriages. Before emancipation, slaves could not enter into contracts, including the marriage contract. Not all free people formalized their unions. Some continued to have common-law marriages or community-recognized relationships.[68] The acknowledgement of marriage by the state increased the state's recognition of freedpeople as legal actors and eventually helped make the case for parental rights for freedpeople against the practice of apprenticeship of black children.[69] These children were legally taken away from their families under the guise of "providing them with guardianship and 'good' homes until they reached the age of consent at twenty-one" under acts such as the Georgia 1866 Apprentice Act.[70] Such children were generally used as sources of unpaid labor.
Freedmen's Bureau [ edit ] Northern teachers traveled into the South to provide education and training for the newly freed population.
On March 3, 1865 the Freedmen's Bureau Bill became law, sponsored by the Republicans to aid freedmen and white refugees. A federal Bureau was created to provide food, clothing, fuel, and advice on negotiating labor contracts. It attempted to oversee new relations between freedmen and their former masters in a free labor market. The Act, without deference to a person's color, authorized the Bureau to lease confiscated land for a period of three years and to sell it in portions of up to 40 acres (16 ha) per buyer. The Bureau was to expire one year after the termination of the War. Lincoln was assassinated before he could appoint a commissioner of the Bureau. A popular myth was that the Act offered 40 acres and a mule, or that slaves had been promised this.
With the help of the Bureau, the recently freed slaves began voting, forming political parties, and assuming the control of labor in many areas. The Bureau helped to start a change of power in the South that drew national attention from the Republicans in the North to the conservative Democrats in the South. This is especially evident in the election between Grant and Seymour (Johnson did not get the Democratic nomination), where almost 700,000 black voters voted and swayed the election 300,000 votes in Grant's favor.
Even with the benefits that it gave to the freedmen, the Freedmen's Bureau was unable to operate effectively in certain areas. Terrorizing freedmen for trying to vote, hold a political office, or own land, the Ku Klux Klan was the antithesis to the Freedmen's Bureau.[71][72][73]
Bans color discrimination [ edit ] Other legislation was signed that broadened equality and rights for African Americans. Lincoln outlawed discrimination on account of color, in carrying U.S. mail, in riding on public street cars in Washington D.C., and in pay for soldiers.[74]
February 1865 peace conference [ edit ] Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward met with three southern representatives to discuss the peaceful reconstruction of the Union and the Confederacy on February 3, 1865 in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The southern delegation included Confederate vice-president, Alexander H. Stephens, John A. Campbell, and Robert M. T. Hunter. The southerners proposed the Union recognition of the Confederacy, a joint Union-Confederate attack on Mexico to oust dictator Maximillian, and an alternative subordinate status of servitude for blacks rather than slavery. Lincoln flatly rejected recognition of the Confederacy, and said that the slaves covered by his Emancipation Proclamation would not be re-enslaved. He said that the Union States were about to pass the Thirteenth Amendment outlawing slavery. Lincoln urged the governor of Georgia to remove Confederate troops and "ratify this Constitutional Amendment prospectively, so as to take effect'--say in five years ... Slavery is doomed." Lincoln also urged compensated emancipation for the slaves as he thought the North should be willing to share the costs of freedom. Although the meeting was cordial, the parties did not settle on agreements.[75]
Historical legacy debated [ edit ] Lincoln continued to advocate his Louisiana Plan as a model for all states up until his assassination on April 14, 1865. The plan successfully started the Reconstruction process of ratifying the Thirteenth Amendment in all states. Lincoln is typically portrayed as taking the moderate position and fighting the Radical positions. There is considerable debate on how well Lincoln, had he lived, would have handled Congress during the Reconstruction process that took place after the Civil War ended. One historical camp argues that Lincoln's flexibility, pragmatism, and superior political skills with Congress would have solved Reconstruction with far less difficulty. The other camp believes the Radicals would have attempted to impeach Lincoln, just as they did to his successor, Andrew Johnson, in 1868.[65][76]
Johnson's presidential Reconstruction [ edit ] Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States
Northern anger over the assassination of Lincoln and the immense human cost of the war led to demands for punitive policies. Vice President Andrew Johnson had taken a hard line and spoke of hanging rebel Confederates, but when he succeeded Lincoln as President, Johnson took a much softer position, pardoning many Confederate leaders and former Confederates.[77]Jefferson Davis was held in prison for two years, but other Confederate leaders were not. There were no treason trials. Only one person'--Captain Henry Wirz, the commandant of the prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia'--was executed for war crimes. Andrew Johnson's conservative view of Reconstruction did not include blacks or former slaves involvement in government and he refused to heed Northern concerns when southern state legislatures implemented Black Codes that set the status of the freedmen much lower than that of citizens.[9]
Smith argues that, "Johnson attempted to carry forward what he considered to be Lincoln's plans for Reconstruction."[78] McKitrick says that in 1865 Johnson had strong support in the Republican Party, "It was naturally from the great moderate sector of Unionist opinion in the North that Johnson could draw his greatest comfort."[79] Billington says, " One faction, the Moderate Republicans under the leadership of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, favored a mild policy toward the South."[80] Lincoln biographers Randall and Current argued that:
It is likely that had he lived, Lincoln would have followed a policy similar to Johnson's, that he would have clashed with congressional Radicals, that he would have produced a better result for the freedmen than occurred, and that his political skills would have helped him avoid Johnson's mistakes.[81]
Historians agree that President Johnson was an inept politician who lost all his advantages by his clumsy moves. He broke with Congress in early 1866 and then became defiant and tried to block enforcement of Reconstruction laws passed by the U.S. Congress. He was in constant conflict constitutionally with the Radicals in Congress over the status of freedmen and whites in the defeated South.[82] Although resigned to the abolition of slavery, many former Confederates were unwilling to accept both social changes and political domination by former slaves. In the words of Benjamin F. Perry, President Johnson's choice as the provisional governor of South Carolina: "First, the Negro is to be invested with all political power, and then the antagonism of interest between capital and labor is to work out the result.'[83]
However, the fears of the mostly conservative planter elite and other leading white citizens were partly assuaged by the actions of President Johnson, who ensured that a wholesale land redistribution from the planters to the freedman did not occur. President Johnson ordered that confiscated or abandoned lands administered by the Freedmen's Bureau would not be redistributed to the freedmen but be returned to pardoned owners. Land was returned that would have been forfeited under the Confiscation Acts passed by Congress in 1861 and 1862.
Freedmen and the enactment of Black Codes [ edit ] Southern state governments quickly enacted the restrictive "black codes". However, they were abolished in 1866 and seldom had effect, because the Freedmen's Bureau (not the local courts) handled the legal affairs of freedmen.
The Black Codes indicated the plans of the southern whites for the former slaves.[84] The freedmen would have more rights than did free blacks before the war, but they would still have only a limited set of second-class civil rights, no voting rights and no citizenship. They could not own firearms, serve on a jury in a lawsuit involving whites or move about without employment.[85] The Black Codes outraged northern opinion. They were overthrown by the Civil Rights Act of 1866 that gave the freedmen full legal equality (except for the right to vote).[86]
The freedmen, with the strong backing of the Freedmen's Bureau, rejected gang-labor work patterns that had been used in slavery. Instead of gang labor, freedpeople preferred family-based labor groups.[87] They forced planters to bargain for their labor. Such bargaining soon led to the establishment of the system of sharecropping, which gave the freedmen greater economic independence and social autonomy than gang labor. However, because they lacked capital and the planters continued to own the means of production (tools, draft animals and land), the freedmen were forced into producing cash crops (mainly cotton) for the land-owners and merchants, and they entered into a crop-lien system. Widespread poverty, disruption to an agricultural economy too dependent on cotton, and the falling price of cotton, led within decades to the routine indebtedness of the majority of the freedmen, and poverty by many planters.[88]
Northern officials gave varying reports on conditions for the freedmen in the South. One harsh assessment came from Carl Schurz, who reported on the situation in the states along the Gulf Coast. His report documented dozens of extra-judicial killings and claimed that hundreds or thousands more African Americans were killed.[89]
The number of murders and assaults perpetrated upon Negroes is very great; we can form only an approximative estimate of what is going on in those parts of the South which are not closely garrisoned, and from which no regular reports are received, by what occurs under the very eyes of our military authorities. As to my personal experience, I will only mention that during my two days sojourn at Atlanta, one Negro was stabbed with fatal effect on the street, and three were poisoned, one of whom died. While I was at Montgomery, one negro was cut across the throat evidently with intent to kill, and another was shot, but both escaped with their lives. Several papers attached to this report give an account of the number of capital cases that occurred at certain places during a certain period of time. It is a sad fact that the perpetration of those acts is not confined to that class of people which might be called the rabble.[90]
The report included sworn testimony from soldiers and officials of the Freedmen's Bureau. In Selma, Alabama, Major J.P. Houston noted that whites who killed twelve African Americans in his district never came to trial. Many more killings never became official cases. Captain Poillon described white patrols in southwestern Alabama
who board some of the boats; after the boats leave they hang, shoot, or drown the victims they may find on them, and all those found on the roads or coming down the rivers are almost invariably murdered. The bewildered and terrified freedmen know not what to do'--to leave is death; to remain is to suffer the increased burden imposed upon them by the cruel taskmaster, whose only interest is their labor, wrung from them by every device an inhuman ingenuity can devise; hence the lash and murder is resorted to intimidate those whom fear of an awful death alone cause to remain, while patrols, Negro dogs and spies, disguised as Yankees, keep constant guard over these unfortunate people.[citation needed ]
Much of the violence that was perpetrated against African Americans was shaped by gendered prejudices regarding African Americans. Black women were in a particularly vulnerable situation. To convict a white man of sexually assaulting black women in this period was exceedingly difficult.[22] The South's judicial system had been wholly refigured to make one of its primary purposes the coercion of African Americans to comply with the social customs and labor demands of whites. Trials were discouraged and attorneys for black misdemeanor defendants were difficult to find. The goal of county courts was a fast, uncomplicated trial with a resulting conviction. Most blacks were unable to pay their fines or bail, and "the most common penalty was nine months to a year in a slave mine or lumber camp."[91] The South's judicial system was rigged to generate fees and claim bounties, not to ensure public protection. Black women were socially constructed as sexually avaricious and since they were portrayed as having little virtue, society held that they could not be raped.[92] One report indicates two freedwomen, Frances Thompson and Lucy Smith, describe their violent sexual assault during the Memphis Riots of 1866.[93] However, black women were vulnerable even in times of relative normalcy. Sexual assaults on African-American women were so pervasive, particularly on the part of their white employers, that black men sought to reduce the contact between white males and black females by having the women in their family avoid doing work that was closely overseen by whites.[94] Black men were construed as being extremely sexually aggressive and their supposed or rumored threats to white women were often used as a pretext for lynching and castrations.[22]
Moderate responses [ edit ] During fall 1865, out of response to the Black codes and worrisome signs of Southern recalcitrance, the Radical Republicans blocked the readmission of the former rebellious states to the Congress. Johnson, however, was content with allowing former Confederate states into the Union as long as their state governments adopted the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. By December 6, 1865, the amendment was ratified and Johnson considered Reconstruction over. Johnson was following the moderate Lincoln Presidential Reconstruction policy to get the states readmitted as soon as possible.[95]
Congress, however, controlled by the Radicals, had other plans. The Radicals were led by Charles Sumner in the Senate and Thaddeus Stevens in the House of Representatives. Congress, on December 4, 1865, rejected Johnson's moderate Presidential Reconstruction, and organized the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, a 15-member panel to devise reconstruction requirements for the Southern states to be restored to the Union.[95]
In January 1866, Congress renewed the Freedmen's Bureau; however, Johnson vetoed the Freedmen's Bureau Bill in February 1866. Although Johnson had sympathies for the plights of the freedmen, he was against federal assistance. An attempt to override the veto failed on February 20, 1866. This veto shocked the Congressional Radicals. In response, both the Senate and House passed a joint resolution not to allow any Senator or Representative seat admittance until Congress decided when Reconstruction was finished.[95]
Senator Lyman Trumbull of Illinois, leader of the moderate Republicans, took affront at the black codes. He proposed the first Civil Rights Law, because the abolition of slavery was empty if
laws are to be enacted and enforced depriving persons of African descent of privileges which are essential to freemen ... A law that does not allow a colored person to go from one county to another, and one that does not allow him to hold property, to teach, to preach, are certainly laws in violation of the rights of a freeman ... The purpose of this bill is to destroy all these discriminations.[96]
The key to the bill was the opening section:
All persons born in the United States ... are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States; and such citizens of every race and color, without regard to any previous condition of slavery ... shall have the same right in every State ... to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, and give evidence, to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property, and to full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property, as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, and penalties and to none other, any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The bill did not give Freedmen the right to vote. Congress quickly passed the Civil Rights bill; the Senate on February 2 voted 33''12; the House on March 13 voted 111''38.
Johnson's vetoes [ edit ] The debate over reconstruction and the
Freedmen's Bureau was nationwide. This 1866 Pennsylvania election poster alleged that the Bureau kept the Negro in idleness at the expense of the hard working white taxpayer. A racist
caricature of an African American is depicted.
[97]Although strongly urged by moderates in Congress to sign the Civil Rights bill, Johnson broke decisively with them by vetoing it on March 27, 1866. His veto message objected to the measure because it conferred citizenship on the freedmen at a time when eleven out of thirty-six states were unrepresented and attempted to fix by Federal law "a perfect equality of the white and black races in every State of the Union". Johnson said it was an invasion by Federal authority of the rights of the States; it had no warrant in the Constitution and was contrary to all precedents. It was a "stride toward centralization and the concentration of all legislative power in the national government".[98]
The Democratic Party, proclaiming itself the party of white men, north and south, supported Johnson.[99] However the Republicans in Congress overrode his veto (the Senate by the close vote of 33:15, the House by 122:41) and the Civil Rights bill became law. Congress also passed a toned-down Freedmen's Bureau Bill; Johnson quickly vetoed as he had done to the previous bill. Once again, however, Congress had enough support and overrode Johnson's veto.[100]
The last moderate proposal was the Fourteenth Amendment, whose principal drafter was Representative John Bingham. It was designed to put the key provisions of the Civil Rights Act into the Constitution, but it went much further. It extended citizenship to everyone born in the United States (except visitors and Indians on reservations), penalized states that did not give the vote to freedmen, and most importantly, created new federal civil rights that could be protected by federal courts. It guaranteed the Federal war debt would be paid (and promised the Confederate debt would never be paid). Johnson used his influence to block the amendment in the states since three-fourths of the states were required for ratification (the amendment was later ratified.). The moderate effort to compromise with Johnson had failed, and a political fight broke out between the Republicans (both Radical and moderate) on one side, and on the other side, Johnson and his allies in the Democratic Party in the North, and the conservative groupings (which used different names) in each southern state.
Radical Reconstruction [ edit ] 1868 Republican cartoon identifies Democratic candidates Seymour and Blair (right) with KKK violence and with Confederate soldiers (left).
Concerned that President Johnson viewed Congress as an "illegal body" and wanted to overthrow the government, Republicans in Congress took control of Reconstruction policies after the election of 1866.[101] Johnson ignored the policy mandate, and he openly encouraged Southern states to deny ratification of the 14th Amendment (except for Tennessee, all former Confederate states did refuse to ratify, as did the border states of Delaware, Maryland and Kentucky). Radical Republicans in Congress, led by Stevens and Sumner, opened the way to suffrage for male freedmen. They were generally in control, although they had to compromise with the moderate Republicans (the Democrats in Congress had almost no power). Historians refer to this period as "Radical Reconstruction" or "Congressional Reconstruction".[102] The business spokesmen in the North generally opposed Radical proposals. Analysis of 34 major business newspapers showed that 12 discussed politics, and only one, Iron Age, supported radicalism. The other 11 opposed a "harsh" Reconstruction policy, favored the speedy return of the Southern States to congressional representation, opposed legislation designed to protect the Freedmen, and deplored the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. [103]
The South's white leaders, who held power in the immediate postwar era before the vote was granted to the freedmen, renounced secession and slavery, but not white supremacy. People who had previously held power were angered in 1867 when new elections were held. New Republican lawmakers were elected by a coalition of white Unionists, freedmen and northerners who had settled in the South. Some leaders in the South tried to accommodate to new conditions.
Constitutional amendments [ edit ] Three Constitutional amendments, known as the Reconstruction Amendments, were adopted. The 13th Amendment abolishing slavery was ratified in 1865. The 14th Amendment was proposed in 1866 and ratified in 1868, guaranteeing United States citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States and granting them federal civil rights. The 15th Amendment, proposed in late February 1869 and passed in early February 1870, decreed that the right to vote could not be denied because of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude". The amendment did not declare the vote an unconditional right; it prohibited these types of discrimination. States would still determine voter registration and electoral laws. The amendments were directed at ending slavery and providing full citizenship to freedmen. Northern Congressmen believed that providing black men with the right to vote would be the most rapid means of political education and training.
Many blacks took an active part in voting and political life, and rapidly continued to build churches and community organizations. Following Reconstruction, white Democrats and insurgent groups used force to regain power in the state legislatures, and pass laws that effectively disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites in the South. From 1890 to 1910, Southern states passed new constitutions that completed the disfranchisement of blacks. U.S. Supreme Court rulings on these provisions upheld many of these new Southern constitutions and laws, and most blacks were prevented from voting in the South until the 1960s. Full federal enforcement of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments did not reoccur until after passage of legislation in the mid-1960s as a result of the Civil Rights Movement.
For details, see:
Redemption (United States history)Disfranchisement after Reconstruction era (United States)Jim Crow lawsUnited States v. Cruikshank (1875),[104][105] related to the Colfax MassacrePosse Comitatus Act (1878)Civil Rights Cases (1883)Civil rights movement (1896''1954)Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)Williams v. Mississippi (1898)Giles v. Harris (1903)Statutes [ edit ] The Reconstruction Acts as originally passed, were initially called "An act to provide for the more efficient Government of the Rebel States" the legislation was enacted by the 39th Congress, on March 2, 1867. It was vetoed by President Johnson, and the veto overridden by two-thirds majority, in both the House and the Senate, the same day. Congress also clarified the scope of the federal writ of habeas corpus to allow federal courts to vacate unlawful state court convictions or sentences in 1867 (28 U.S.C. §2254).
Military reconstruction [ edit ] Map of the five Reconstruction military districts
With the Radicals in control, Congress passed the Reconstruction Acts on July 19, 1867. The first Reconstruction Act, authored by Oregon Sen. George H. Williams, a Radical Republican, placed 10 of the former Confederate states'--all but Tennessee'--under military control, grouping them into five military districts:[106]
First Military District: Virginia, under General John SchofieldSecond Military District: North Carolina and South Carolina, under General Daniel SicklesThird Military District: Georgia, Alabama and Florida, under Generals John Pope and George MeadeFourth Military District: Arkansas and Mississippi, under General Edward OrdFifth Military District: Texas and Louisiana, under Generals Philip Sheridan and Winfield Scott Hancock20,000 U.S. troops were deployed to enforce the Act.
The four border states that had not joined the Confederacy were not subject to military Reconstruction. West Virginia, which had seceded from Virginia in 1863, and Tennessee, which had already been re-admitted in 1866, were not included in the military districts.
The ten Southern state governments were re-constituted under the direct control of the United States Army. One major purpose was to recognize and protect the right of African Americans to vote.[107] There was little or no combat, but rather a state of martial law in which the military closely supervised local government, supervised elections, and tried to protect office holders and freedmen from violence.[108] Blacks were enrolled as voters; former Confederate leaders were excluded for a limited period.[109] No one state was entirely representative. Randolph Campbell describes what happened in Texas:[110]
The first critical step ... was the registration of voters according to guidelines established by Congress and interpreted by Generals Sheridan and Charles Griffin. The Reconstruction Acts called for registering all adult males, white and black, except those who had ever sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and then engaged in rebellion ... Sheridan interpreted these restrictions stringently, barring from registration not only all pre-1861 officials of state and local governments who had supported the Confederacy but also all city officeholders and even minor functionaries such as sextons of cemeteries. In May Griffin ... appointed a three-man board of registrars for each county, making his choices on the advice of known scalawags and local Freedmen's Bureau agents. In every county where practicable a freedman served as one of the three registrars ... Final registration amounted to approximately 59,633 whites and 49,479 blacks. It is impossible to say how many whites were rejected or refused to register (estimates vary from 7,500 to 12,000), but blacks, who constituted only about 30 percent of the state's population, were significantly overrepresented at 45 percent of all voters.[111]
State constitutional conventions: 1867''69 [ edit ] The eleven Southern states held constitutional conventions giving black men the right to vote.,[112] where the factions divided into the Radical, Conservative, and in-between delegates.[113] The Radicals were a coalition: 40% were Southern white Republicans ("scalawags"); 25% were white Carpetbaggers, and 34% were black.[114] Scalawags wanted to disfranchise all of the traditional white leadership class, but moderate Republican leaders in the North warned against that, and black delegates typically called for universal voting rights.[115][116] The carpetbaggers inserted provisions designed to promote economic growth, especially financial aid to rebuild the ruined railroad system.[117][118] The conventions set up systems of free public schools funded by tax money, but did not require them to be racially integrated.[119]
Until 1872, most former Confederate or prewar Southern office holders were disqualified from voting or holding office; all but 500 top Confederate leaders were pardoned by the Amnesty Act of 1872.[120] "Proscription" was the policy of disqualifying as many ex-Confederates as possible. It appealed to the Scalawag element. For example, in 1865 Tennessee had disfranchised 80,000 ex-Confederates.[121] However, proscription was soundly rejected by the black element, which insisted on universal suffrage.[122] The issue would come up repeatedly in several states, especially in Texas and Virginia. In Virginia, an effort was made to disqualify for public office every man who had served in the Confederate Army even as a private, and any civilian farmer who sold food to the Confederate army.[123][124] Disfranchising Southern whites was also opposed by moderate Republicans in the North, who felt that ending proscription would bring the South closer to a republican form of government based on the consent of the governed, as called for by the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Strong measures that were called for in order to forestall a return to the defunct Confederacy increasingly seemed out of place, and the role of the United States Army and controlling politics in the state was troublesome. Increasingly, historian Mark Summers states, "the disfranchisers had to fall back on the contention that denial of the vote was meant as punishment, and a lifelong punishment at that ... Month by month, the unrepublican character of the regime looked more glaring."[125]
Politics [ edit ] Grant: the Radical President [ edit ] During the Civil War, many in the North believed that fighting for the Union was a noble cause '' for the preservation of the Union and the end of slavery. After the war ended, with the North victorious, the fear among Radicals was that President Johnson too quickly assumed that slavery and Confederate nationalism were dead and that the southern states could return. The Radicals sought out a candidate for President who represented their viewpoint.[126]
In 1868, the Republicans unanimously chose Ulysses S. Grant as their Presidential candidate. Grant won favor with the Radicals after he allowed Edwin Stanton, a Radical, to be reinstated as Secretary of War. As early as 1862, during the Civil War, Grant had appointed the Ohio military chaplain John Eaton to protect and gradually incorporate refugee slaves in west Tennessee and northern Mississippi into the Union War effort and pay them for their labor. It was the beginning of his vision for the Freedmen's Bureau.[127] Grant opposed President Johnson by supporting the Reconstruction Acts passed by the Radicals.[128][129]
Immediately upon Inauguration in 1869, Grant bolstered Reconstruction by prodding Congress to readmit Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas into the Union, while ensuring their constitutions protected every citizen's voting rights.[130] Grant met with prominent black leaders for consultation, and signed a bill into law that guaranteed equal rights to both blacks and whites in Washington D.C.[130]
A cartoon threatening that the KKK will lynch scalawags (left) and carpetbaggers (right) on March 4, 1869, the day Horatio Seymour, a Democrat, would supposedly become President.
Independent Monitor, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, September 1, 1868.
[131]In Grant's two terms he strengthened Washington's legal capabilities to directly intervene to protect citizenship rights even if the states ignored the problem.[132] He worked with Congress to create the Department of Justice and Office of Solicitor General, led by Attorney General Amos Akerman and the first Solicitor General Benjamin Bristow. Congress passed three powerful Enforcement Acts in 1870''71. These were criminal codes which protected the Freedmen's right to vote, to hold office, to serve on juries, and receive equal protection of laws. Most important, they authorized the federal government to intervene when states did not act. Grant's new Justice Department prosecuted thousands of Klansmen under the tough new laws. Grant sent federal troops to nine South Carolina counties to suppress Klan violence in 1871. Grant supported passage of the Fifteenth Amendment stating that no state could deny a man the right to vote on the basis of race. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1875 giving people access to public facilities regardless of race.[133]
To counter vote fraud in the Democratic stronghold of New York City, Grant sent in tens of thousands of armed, uniformed federal marshals and other election officials to regulate the 1870 and subsequent elections. Democrats across the North then mobilized to defend their base and attacked Grant's entire set of policies.[134] On October 21, 1876 President Grant deployed troops to protect black and white Republican voters in Petersburg, Virginia.[135]
Grant's support from Congress and the nation declined due to scandals within his administration and the political resurgence of the Democrats in the North and South. By 1870, most Republicans felt the war goals had been achieved, and they turned their attention to other issues such as economic policies.[136]
Congressional investigation (1871''1872) [ edit ] On April 20, 1871, the U.S. Congress launched a 21-member investigation committee on the status of the Southern Reconstruction states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Congressional members on the committee included Rep. Benjamin Butler, Sen. Zachariah Chandler, and Sen. Francis P. Blair. Subcommittee members traveled into the South to interview the people living in their respective states. Those interviewed included top-ranking officials, such as Wade Hampton, former South Carolina Gov. James L. Orr, and Nathan B. Forrest, a former Confederate general and prominent Ku Klux Klan leader (Forrest denied in his Congressional testimony being a member). Other southerners interviewed included farmers, doctors, merchants, teachers, and clergymen. The committee heard numerous reports of white violence against blacks, while many whites denied Klan membership or knowledge of violent activities. The majority report by Republicans concluded that the government would not tolerate any Southern "conspiracy" to resist violently the Congressional Reconstruction. The committee completed its 13-volume report in February 1872. While Grant had been able to suppress the KKK through the Enforcement Acts, other paramilitary insurgents organized, including the White League in 1874, active in Louisiana; and the Red Shirts, with chapters active in Mississippi and the Carolinas. They used intimidation and outright attacks to run Republicans out of office and repress voting by blacks, leading to white Democrats regaining power by the elections of the mid-to-late 1870s.[137]
African-American officeholders [ edit ] Republicans took control of all Southern state governorships and state legislatures, except for Virginia.[138] The Republican coalition elected numerous African Americans to local, state, and national offices; though they did not dominate any electoral offices, black men as representatives voting in state and federal legislatures marked a drastic social change. At the beginning of 1867, no African American in the South held political office, but within three or four years "about 15 percent of the officeholders in the South were black'--a larger proportion than in 1990." Most of those offices were at the local level.[139] In 1860 blacks constituted the majority of the population in Mississippi and South Carolina, 47% in Louisiana, 45% in Alabama, and 44% in Georgia and Florida,[140] so their political influence was still far less than their percentage of the population.
About 137 black officeholders had lived outside the South before the Civil War. Some who had escaped from slavery to the North and had become educated returned to help the South advance in the postwar era. Others were free blacks before the war, who had achieved education and positions of leadership elsewhere. Other African-American men elected to office were already leaders in their communities, including a number of preachers. As happened in white communities, not all leadership depended upon wealth and literacy.[141][142]
There were few African Americans elected or appointed to national office. African Americans voted for both white and black candidates. The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guaranteed only that voting could not be restricted on the basis of race, color or previous condition of servitude. From 1868 on, campaigns and elections were surrounded by violence as white insurgents and paramilitary tried to suppress the black vote, and fraud was rampant. Many Congressional elections in the South were contested. Even states with majority African-American population often elected only one or two African-American representatives to Congress. Exceptions included South Carolina; at the end of Reconstruction, four of its five Congressmen were African American.[citation needed ]
Social and economic factors [ edit ] Organized religion [ edit ] Eastman Johnson's 1863 painting
The Lord is My Shepherd, of a man reading the Bible
Freedmen were very active in forming their own churches, mostly Baptist or Methodist, and giving their ministers both moral and political leadership roles. In a process of self-segregation, practically all blacks left white churches so that few racially integrated congregations remained (apart from some Catholic churches in Louisiana). They started many new black Baptist churches and soon, new black state associations.
Four main groups competed with each other across the South to form new Methodist churches composed of freedmen. They were the African Methodist Episcopal Church; the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, both independent black denominations founded in Philadelphia and New York, respectively; the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (which was sponsored by the white Methodist Episcopal Church, South) and the well-funded Methodist Episcopal Church (Northern white Methodists). The Methodist Church had split before the war due to disagreements about slavery.[146][147] By 1871 the Northern Methodists had 88,000 black members in the South, and had opened numerous schools for them.[148]
Blacks in the South made up a core element of the Republican Party. Their ministers had powerful political roles that were distinctive since they did not depend on white support, in contrast to teachers, politicians, businessmen, and tenant farmers.[149] Acting on the principle as stated by Charles H. Pearce, an AME minister in Florida: "A man in this State cannot do his whole duty as a minister except he looks out for the political interests of his people," more than 100 black ministers were elected to state legislatures during Reconstruction, as well as several to Congress and one, Hiram Revels, to the U.S. Senate.[150]
In a highly controversial action during the war, the Northern Methodists used the Army to seize control of Methodist churches in large cities, over the vehement protests of the Southern Methodists. Historian Ralph Morrow reports:
A War Department order of November, 1863, applicable to the Southwestern states of the Confederacy, authorized the Northern Methodists to occupy "all houses of worship belonging to the Methodist Episcopal Church South in which a loyal minister, appointed by a loyal bishop of said church, does not officiate".[151][152][153]
Across the North most evangelical denominations, especially the Methodists, Congregationalists and Presbyterians, as well as the Quakers, strongly supported Radical policies. The focus on social problems paved the way for the Social Gospel movement. Matthew Simpson, a Methodist bishop, played a leading role in mobilizing the Northern Methodists for the cause. His biographer calls him the "High Priest of the Radical Republicans".[154] The Methodist Ministers Association of Boston, meeting two weeks after Lincoln's assassination, called for a hard line against the Confederate leadership:
Resolved, That no terms should be made with traitors, no compromise with rebels ... That we hold the National authority bound by the most solemn obligation to God and man to bring all the civil and military leaders of the rebellion to trial by due course of law, and when they are clearly convicted, to execute them.[155][156]
The denominations all sent missionaries, teachers and activists to the South to help the freedmen. Only the Methodists made many converts, however.[157] Activists sponsored by Northern Methodist Church played a major role in the Freedmen's Bureau, notably in such key educational roles as the Bureau's state superintendent or assistant superintendent of education for Virginia, Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina.[158]
Many Americans interpreted great events in religious terms. Historian Wilson Fallin contrasts the interpretation of Civil War and Reconstruction in white versus black Baptist sermons in Alabama. White Baptists expressed the view that:
God had chastised them and given them a special mission '' to maintain orthodoxy, strict biblicism, personal piety, and traditional race relations. Slavery, they insisted, had not been sinful. Rather, emancipation was a historical tragedy and the end of Reconstruction was a clear sign of God's favor.
In sharp contrast, Black Baptists interpreted the Civil War, emancipation and Reconstruction as:
God's gift of freedom. They appreciated opportunities to exercise their independence, to worship in their own way, to affirm their worth and dignity, and to proclaim the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. Most of all, they could form their own churches, associations, and conventions. These institutions offered self-help and racial uplift, and provided places where the gospel of liberation could be proclaimed. As a result, black preachers continued to insist that God would protect and help him; God would be their rock in a stormy land.[159]
Public schools [ edit ] Historian James D. Anderson argues that the freed slaves were the first Southerners "to campaign for universal, state-supported public education".[160] Blacks in the Republican coalition played a critical role in establishing the principle in state constitutions for the first time during congressional Reconstruction. Some slaves had learned to read from white playmates or colleagues before formal education was allowed by law; African Americans started "native schools" before the end of the war; Sabbath schools were another widespread means that freedmen developed to teach literacy.[161] When they gained suffrage, black politicians took this commitment to public education to state constitutional conventions.
The Republicans created a system of public schools, which were segregated by race everywhere except New Orleans. Generally, elementary and a few secondary schools were built in most cities, and occasionally in the countryside, but the South had few cities.[162][163]
The rural areas faced many difficulties opening and maintaining public schools. In the country, the public school was often a one-room affair that attracted about half the younger children. The teachers were poorly paid, and their pay was often in arrears.[164] Conservatives contended the rural schools were too expensive and unnecessary for a region where the vast majority of people were cotton or tobacco farmers. They had no vision of a better future for their residents. One historian found that the schools were less effective than they might have been because "poverty, the inability of the states to collect taxes, and inefficiency and corruption in many places prevented successful operation of the schools."[165] After Reconstruction ended and the whites disfranchised the blacks and imposed Jim Crow, they consistently underfunded black institutions, including the schools.
After the war, northern missionaries founded numerous private academies and colleges for freedmen across the South. In addition, every state founded state colleges for freedmen, such as Alcorn State University in Mississippi. The normal schools and state colleges produced generations of teachers who were integral to the education of African-American children under the segregated system. By the end of the century, the majority of African Americans were literate.
In the late 19th century, the federal government established land grant legislation to provide funding for higher education across the United States. Learning that blacks were excluded from land grant colleges in the South, in 1890 the federal government insisted that southern states establish black state institutions as land grant colleges to provide for black higher education, in order to continue to receive funds for their already established white schools. Some states classified their black state colleges as land grant institutions. Former Congressman John Roy Lynch wrote, "there are very many liberal, fair-minded and influential Democrats in the State [Mississippi] who are strongly in favor of having the State provide for the liberal education of both races."[166][167]
Railroad subsidies and payoffs [ edit ] Every Southern state subsidized railroads, which modernizers believed could haul the South out of isolation and poverty. Millions of dollars in bonds and subsidies were fraudulently pocketed. One ring in North Carolina spent $200,000 in bribing the legislature and obtained millions in state money for its railroads. Instead of building new track, however, it used the funds to speculate in bonds, reward friends with extravagant fees, and enjoy lavish trips to Europe.[168] Taxes were quadrupled across the South to pay off the railroad bonds and the school costs.
There were complaints among taxpayers because taxes had historically been low, as the planter elite was not committed to public infrastructure or public education. Taxes historically had been much lower in the South than in the North, reflecting the lack of government investment by the communities.[169] Nevertheless, thousands of miles of lines were built as the Southern system expanded from 11,000 miles (17,700 km) in 1870 to 29,000 miles (46,700 km) in 1890. The lines were owned and directed overwhelmingly by Northerners. Railroads helped create a mechanically skilled group of craftsmen and broke the isolation of much of the region. Passengers were few, however, and apart from hauling the cotton crop when it was harvested, there was little freight traffic.[170] As Franklin explains, "numerous railroads fed at the public trough by bribing legislators ... and through the use and misuse of state funds." The effect, according to one businessman, "was to drive capital from the State, paralyze industry, and demoralize labor".[171]
Taxation during Reconstruction [ edit ] Reconstruction changed the means of taxation in the South. In the U.S. from the earliest days until today, a major source of state revenue was the property tax. In the South, wealthy landowners were allowed to self-assess the value of their own land. These fraudulent assessments were almost valueless, and pre-war property tax collections were lacking due to property value misrepresentation. State revenues came from fees and from sales taxes on slave auctions.[172] Some states assessed property owners by a combination of land value and a capitation tax, a tax on each worker employed. This tax was often assessed in a way to discourage a free labor market, where a slave was assessed at 75 cents, while a free white was assessed at a dollar or more, and a free African American at $3 or more. Some revenue also came from poll taxes. These taxes were more than poor people could pay, with the designed and inevitable consequence that they did not vote.
During Reconstruction, the state legislature mobilized to provide for public need more than had previous governments: establishing public schools and investing in infrastructure, as well as charitable institutions such as hospitals and asylums. They needed to increase taxes which were abnormally low. The planters had provided privately for their own needs. There was some fraudulent spending in the postwar years; a collapse in state credit because of huge deficits, forced the states to increase property tax rates. In places, the rate went up to ten times higher'--despite the poverty of the region. The planters had not invested in infrastructure and much had been destroyed during the war. In part, the new tax system was designed to force owners of large plantations with huge tracts of uncultivated land either to sell or to have it confiscated for failure to pay taxes.[173] The taxes would serve as a market-based system for redistributing the land to the landless freedmen and white poor. Mississippi, for instance, was mostly frontier, with 90% of the bottomlands in the interior undeveloped.
The following table shows property tax rates for South Carolina and Mississippi. Note that many local town and county assessments effectively doubled the tax rates reported in the table. These taxes were still levied upon the landowners' own sworn testimony as to the value of their land, which remained the dubious and exploitable system used by wealthy landholders in the South well into the 20th century.
Called upon to pay taxes on their property, essentially for the first time, angry plantation owners revolted. The conservatives shifted their focus away from race to taxes.[174] Former Congressman John R. Lynch, a black Republican leader from Mississippi, later wrote,
The argument made by the taxpayers, however, was plausible and it may be conceded that, upon the whole, they were about right; for no doubt it would have been much easier upon the taxpayers to have increased at that time the interest-bearing debt of the State than to have increased the tax rate. The latter course, however, had been adopted and could not then be changed unless of course they wanted to change them.[166]
Ending Reconstruction [ edit ] Southern Democrats [ edit ] While the "Scalawag" element of Republican whites supported measures for black civil rights, the conservative whites typically opposed these measures. Some supported armed attacks to suppress black power. They self-consciously defended their own actions within the framework of an Anglo-American discourse of resistance against tyrannical government, and they broadly succeeded in convincing many fellow white citizens says Steedman.[175]
The opponents of Reconstruction formed state political parties, affiliated with the national Democratic party and often named the "Conservative party". They supported or tolerated violent paramilitary groups, such as the White League in Louisiana and the Red Shirts in Mississippi and the Carolinas, that assassinated and intimidated both black and white Republican leaders at election time. Historian George C. Rable called such groups the "military arm of the Democratic Party". By the mid-1870s, the Conservatives and Democrats had aligned with the national Democratic Party, which enthusiastically supported their cause even as the national Republican Party was losing interest in Southern affairs.
Historian Walter Lynwood Fleming, associated with the early 20th-century Dunning School, describes the mounting anger of Southern whites:
The Negro troops, even at their best, were everywhere considered offensive by the native whites ... The Negro soldier, impudent by reason of his new freedom, his new uniform, and his new gun, was more than Southern temper could tranquilly bear, and race conflicts were frequent.[176]
Often, these white Southerners identified as the "Conservative Party" or the "Democratic and Conservative Party" in order to distinguish themselves from the national Democratic Party and to obtain support from former Whigs. These parties sent delegates to the 1868 Democratic National Convention and abandoned their separate names by 1873 or 1874.[177]
Most [white] members of both the planter/business class and common farmer class of the South opposed black power, carpetbaggers and military rule, and sought white supremacy. Democrats nominated some blacks for political office and tried to steal other blacks from the Republican side. When these attempts to combine with the blacks failed, the planters joined the common farmers in simply trying to displace the Republican governments. The planters and their business allies dominated the self-styled "conservative" coalition that finally took control in the South. They were paternalistic toward the blacks but feared they would use power to raise taxes and slow business development.[178]
Fleming described the first results of the insurgent movement as "good," and the later ones as "both good and bad". According to Fleming (1907), the KKK "quieted the Negroes, made life and property safer, gave protection to women, stopped burnings, forced the Radical leaders to be more moderate, made the Negroes work better, drove the worst of the Radical leaders from the country and started the whites on the way to gain political supremacy".[179] The evil result, Fleming said, was that lawless elements "made use of the organization as a cloak to cover their misdeeds ... the lynching habits of today [1907] are largely due to conditions, social and legal, growing out of Reconstruction."[180] Historians have noted that the peak of lynchings took place near the turn of the century, decades after Reconstruction ended, as whites were imposing Jim Crow laws and passing new state constitutions that disenfranchised the blacks. The lynchings were used for intimidation and social control, with a frequency associated with economic stresses and the settlement of sharecropper accounts at the end of the season, than for any other reason.
Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer (a northern scholar) in 1917 explained:
Outrages upon the former slaves in the South there were in plenty. Their sufferings were many. But white men, too, were victims of lawless violence, and in all portions of the North and the late "rebel" states. Not a political campaign passed without the exchange of bullets, the breaking of skulls with sticks and stones, the firing of rival club-houses. Republican clubs marched the streets of Philadelphia, amid revolver shots and brickbats, to save the negroes from the "rebel" savages in Alabama ... The project to make voters out of black men was not so much for their social elevation as for the further punishment of the Southern white people'--for the capture of offices for Radical scamps and the entrenchment of the Radical party in power for a long time to come in the South and in the country at large.[181]
As Reconstruction continued, whites accompanied elections with increased violence in an attempt to run Republicans out of office and suppress black voting. The victims of this violence were overwhelmingly African American, as in the Colfax Massacre of 1873. After federal suppression of the Klan in the early 1870s, white insurgent groups tried to avoid open conflict with federal forces. In 1874 in the Battle of Liberty Place, the White League entered New Orleans with 5,000 members and defeated the police and militia, to occupy federal offices for three days in an attempt to overturn the disputed government of William Kellogg, but retreated before federal troops reached the city. None were prosecuted. Their election-time tactics included violent intimidation of African-American and Republican voters prior to elections, while avoiding conflict with the U.S. Army or the state militias, and then withdrawing completely on election day. Conservative reaction continued in both the north and south; the "white liners" movement to elect candidates dedicated to white supremacy reached as far as Ohio in 1875.[182][183]
Redemption 1873''77 [ edit ] The so-called "Redeemers" were the Southern wing of the Bourbon Democrats, the conservative, pro-business faction in the Democratic Party. They sought to regain political power, reestablish white supremacy, and oust the Radical Republicans. Led by rich former planters, businessmen, and professionals, they dominated Southern politics in most areas from the 1870s to 1910.
Republicans split nationally: Election of 1872 [ edit ] As early as 1868 Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, a leading Radical during the war, concluded that:
Congress was right in not limiting, by its reconstruction acts, the right of suffrage to whites; but wrong in the exclusion from suffrage of certain classes of citizens and all unable to take its prescribed retrospective oath, and wrong also in the establishment of despotic military governments for the States and in authorizing military commissions for the trial of civilians in time of peace. There should have been as little military government as possible; no military commissions; no classes excluded from suffrage; and no oath except one of faithful obedience and support to the Constitution and laws, and of sincere attachment to the constitutional Government of the United States.[184]
By 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant had alienated large numbers of leading Republicans, including many Radicals, by the corruption of his administration and his use of federal soldiers to prop up Radical state regimes in the South. The opponents, called "Liberal Republicans", included founders of the party who expressed dismay that the party had succumbed to corruption. They were further wearied by the continued insurgent violence of whites against blacks in the South, especially around every election cycle, which demonstrated the war was not over and changes were fragile. Leaders included editors of some of the nation's most powerful newspapers. Charles Sumner, embittered by the corruption of the Grant administration, joined the new party, which nominated editor Horace Greeley. The badly organized Democratic party also supported Greeley.
Grant made up for the defections by new gains among Union veterans and by strong support from the "Stalwart" faction of his party (which depended on his patronage), and the Southern Republican parties. Grant won with 55.6% of the vote to Greeley's 43.8%. The Liberal Republican party vanished and many former supporters'--even former abolitionists'--abandoned the cause of Reconstruction.[185]
Republican coalition splinters in South [ edit ] In the South, political''racial tensions built up inside the Republican party as they were attacked by the Democrats. In 1868, Georgia Democrats, with support from some Republicans, expelled all 28 black Republican members from the state house, arguing blacks were eligible to vote but not to hold office. In most states, the more conservative scalawags fought for control with the more radical carpetbaggers and their black allies. Most of the 430 Republican newspapers in the South were edited by scalawags '' only 20 percent were edited by carpetbaggers. White businessmen generally boycotted Republican papers, which survived through government patronage.[186][187] Nevertheless, in the increasingly bitter battles inside the Republican Party, the scalawags usually lost; many of the disgruntled losers switched over to the conservative or Democratic side. In Mississippi, the conservative faction led by scalawag James Lusk Alcorn was decisively defeated by the radical faction led by carpetbagger Adelbert Ames. The party lost support steadily as many scalawags left it; few recruits were acquired. The most bitter contest took place inside the Republican Party in Arkansas, where the two sides armed their forces and confronted each other in the streets; no actual combat took place in the Brooks''Baxter War. The carpetbagger faction led by Elisha Baxter finally prevailed when the White House intervened, but both sides were badly weakened, and the Democrats soon came to power.[188]
Meanwhile, in state after state the freedmen were demanding a bigger share of the offices and patronage, squeezing out carpetbagger allies but never commanding the numbers equivalent to their population proportion. By the mid-1870s, "The hard realities of Southern political life had taught the lesson that black constituents needed to be represented by black officials."[189] The financial depression increased the pressure on Reconstruction governments, dissolving progress.
Finally, some of the more prosperous freedmen were joining the Democrats, as they were angered at the failure of the Republicans to help them acquire land. The South was "sparsely settled"; only ten percent of Louisiana was cultivated, and ninety percent of Mississippi bottomland were undeveloped in areas away from the riverfronts, but freedmen often did not have the stake to get started. They hoped government would help them acquire land which they would work. Only South Carolina created any land redistribution, establishing a land commission and resettling about 14,000 freedmen families and some poor whites on land purchased by the state.[190]
Although historians such as W. E. B. Du Bois celebrated a cross-racial coalition of poor whites and blacks, such coalitions rarely formed in these years. Writing in 1915, former Congressman Lynch, recalling his experience as a black leader in Mississippi, explained that,
While the colored men did not look with favor upon a political alliance with the poor whites, it must be admitted that, with very few exceptions, that class of whites did not seek, and did not seem to desire such an alliance.[191]
Lynch reported that poor whites resented the job competition from freedmen. Furthermore, the poor whites
with a few exceptions, were less efficient, less capable, and knew less about matters of state and governmental administration than many of the former slaves ... As a rule, therefore, the whites that came into the leadership of the Republican party between 1872 and 1875 were representatives of the most substantial families of the land.[191]
Democrats try a "New Departure" [ edit ] A Republican Form of Government and No Domestic Violence, by
Thomas Nast, a political cartoon about the (Wheeler) Compromise in Louisiana, published in
Harper's Weekly, March 6, 1875
By 1870, the Democratic''Conservative leadership across the South decided it had to end its opposition to Reconstruction and black suffrage to survive and move on to new issues. The Grant administration had proven by its crackdown on the Ku Klux Klan that it would use as much federal power as necessary to suppress open anti-black violence. Democrats in the North concurred with these Southern Democrats. They wanted to fight the Republican Party on economic grounds rather than race. The New Departure offered the chance for a clean slate without having to re-fight the Civil War every election. Furthermore, many wealthy Southern landowners thought they could control part of the newly enfranchised black electorate to their own advantage.
Not all Democrats agreed; an insurgent element continued to resist Reconstruction no matter what. Eventually, a group called "Redeemers" took control of the party in the Southern states.[192] They formed coalitions with conservative Republicans, including scalawags and carpetbaggers, emphasizing the need for economic modernization. Railroad building was seen as a panacea since northern capital was needed. The new tactics were a success in Virginia where William Mahone built a winning coalition. In Tennessee, the Redeemers formed a coalition with Republican governor DeWitt Senter. Across the South, some Democrats switched from the race issue to taxes and corruption, charging that Republican governments were corrupt and inefficient. With continuing decrease in cotton prices, taxes squeezed cash-poor farmers who rarely saw $20 in currency a year but had to pay taxes in currency or lose their farm. But major planters, who had never paid taxes before, often recovered their property even after confiscation.[190]
In North Carolina, Republican Governor William Woods Holden used state troops against the Klan, but the prisoners were released by federal judges. Holden became the first governor in American history to be impeached and removed from office. Republican political disputes in Georgia split the party and enabled the Redeemers to take over.[193]
In the North, a live-and-let-live attitude made elections more like a sporting contest. But in the Deep South, many white citizens had not reconciled with the defeat of the war or the granting of citizenship to freedmen. As an Alabama scalawag explained, "Our contest here is for life, for the right to earn our bread ... for a decent and respectful consideration as human beings and members of society".[194]
Panic of 1873 [ edit ] The Panic of 1873 (a depression) hit the Southern economy hard and disillusioned many Republicans who had gambled that railroads would pull the South out of its poverty. The price of cotton fell by half; many small landowners, local merchants and cotton factors (wholesalers) went bankrupt. Sharecropping for black and white farmers became more common as a way to spread the risk of owning land. The old abolitionist element in the North was aging away, or had lost interest, and was not replenished. Many carpetbaggers returned to the North or joined the Redeemers. Blacks had an increased voice in the Republican Party, but across the South it was divided by internal bickering and was rapidly losing its cohesion. Many local black leaders started emphasizing individual economic progress in cooperation with white elites, rather than racial political progress in opposition to them, a conservative attitude that foreshadowed Booker T. Washington.[195]
Nationally, President Grant was blamed for the depression; the Republican Party lost 96 seats in all parts of the country in the 1874 elections. The Bourbon Democrats took control of the House and were confident of electing Samuel J. Tilden president in 1876. President Grant was not running for re-election and seemed to be losing interest in the South. States fell to the Redeemers, with only four in Republican hands in 1873, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina; Arkansas then fell after the violent Brooks''Baxter War in 1874 ripped apart the Republican party there.
Violence [ edit ] In the lower South, violence increased as new insurgent groups arose, including the Red Shirts in Mississippi and the Carolinas, and the White League in Louisiana. The disputed election in Louisiana in 1872 found both Republican and Democratic candidates holding inaugural balls while returns were reviewed. Both certified their own slates for local parish offices in many places, causing local tensions to rise. Finally, Federal support helped certify the Republican as governor.
Slates for local offices were certified by each candidate. In rural Grant Parish in Red River Valley, freedmen fearing a Democratic attempt to take over the parish government reinforced defenses at the small Colfax courthouse in late March. White militias gathered from the area a few miles outside the settlement. Rumors and fears abounded on both sides. William Ward, an African-American Union veteran and militia captain, mustered his company in Colfax and went to the courthouse. On Easter Sunday, April 13, 1873, the whites attacked the defenders at the courthouse. There was confusion about who shot one of the white leaders after an offer by the defenders to surrender. It was a catalyst to mayhem. In the end, three whites died and 120''150 blacks were killed, some 50 that evening while being held as prisoners. The disproportionate numbers of black to white fatalities and documentation of brutalized bodies are why contemporary historians call it the Colfax Massacre rather than the Colfax Riot, as it was known locally.[196]
This marked the beginning of heightened insurgency and attacks on Republican officeholders and freedmen in Louisiana and other Deep South states. In Louisiana, Judge T. S. Crawford and District Attorney P. H. Harris of the 12th Judicial District were shot off their horses and killed from ambush October 8, 1873, while going to court. One widow wrote to the Department of Justice that her husband was killed because he was a Union man and "... of the efforts made to screen those who committed a crime ..."[197]
Political violence was endemic in Louisiana. In 1874 the white militias coalesced into paramilitary organizations such as the White League, first in parishes of the Red River Valley. The new organization operated openly and had political goals: the violent overthrow of Republican rule and suppression of black voting. White League chapters soon rose in many rural parishes, receiving financing for advanced weaponry from wealthy men. In the Coushatta Massacre in 1874, the White League assassinated six white Republican officeholders and five to twenty black witnesses outside Coushatta, Red River Parish. Four of the white men were related to the Republican representative of the parish, who was married to a local woman; three were native to the region.[198]
White Leaguers attacking the New Orleans integrated police force and state militia, Battle of Liberty Place, 1874
Later in 1874 the White League mounted a serious attempt to unseat the Republican governor of Louisiana, in a dispute that had simmered since the 1872 election. It brought 5000 troops to New Orleans to engage and overwhelm forces of the Metropolitan Police and state militia to turn Republican Governor William P. Kellogg out of office and seat John McEnery. The White League took over and held the state house and city hall, but they retreated before the arrival of reinforcing Federal troops. Kellogg had asked for reinforcements before, and Grant finally responded, sending additional troops to try to quell violence throughout plantation areas of the Red River Valley, although 2,000 troops were already in the state.[199]
Similarly, the Red Shirts, another paramilitary group, arose in 1875 in Mississippi and the Carolinas. Like the White League and White Liner rifle clubs, to which 20,000 men belonged in North Carolina alone, these groups operated as a "military arm of the Democratic Party", to restore white supremacy.[200]
Democrats and many northern Republicans agreed that Confederate nationalism and slavery were dead'--the war goals were achieved'--and further federal military interference was an undemocratic violation of historic Republican values. The victory of Rutherford Hayes in the hotly contested Ohio gubernatorial election of 1875 indicated his "let alone" policy toward the South would become Republican policy, as happened when he won the 1876 Republican nomination for president.
An explosion of violence accompanied the campaign for the Mississippi's 1875 election, in which Red Shirts and Democratic rifle clubs, operating in the open, threatened or shot enough Republicans to decide the election for the Democrats. Hundreds of black men were killed. Republican Governor Adelbert Ames asked Grant for federal troops to fight back; Grant initially refused, saying public opinion was "tired out" of the perpetual troubles in the South. Ames fled the state as the Democrats took over Mississippi.[201]
The campaigns and elections of 1876 were marked by additional murders and attacks on Republicans in Louisiana, North and South Carolina, and Florida. In South Carolina the campaign season of 1876 was marked by murderous outbreaks and fraud against freedmen. Red Shirts paraded with arms behind Democratic candidates; they killed blacks in the Hamburg and Ellenton SC massacres; and one historian estimated 150 blacks were killed in the weeks before the 1876 election across South Carolina. Red Shirts prevented almost all black voting in two majority-black counties.[202] The Red Shirts were also active in North Carolina.
Election of 1876 [ edit ] Reconstruction continued in South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida until 1877. The elections of 1876 were accompanied by heightened violence across the Deep South. A combination of ballot stuffing and intimidating blacks suppressed their vote even in majority black counties. The White League was active in Louisiana. After Republican Rutherford Hayes won the disputed 1876 presidential election, the national Compromise of 1877 (a corrupt bargain) was reached.
The white Democrats in the South agreed to accept Hayes' victory if he withdrew the last Federal troops. By this point, the North was weary of insurgency. White Democrats controlled most of the Southern legislatures and armed militias controlled small towns and rural areas. Blacks considered Reconstruction a failure because the Federal government withdrew from enforcing their ability to exercise their rights as citizens.[203]
Hayes ends Reconstruction [ edit ] On January 29, 1877 President Grant signed the Electoral Commission Act, which set up a 15-member commission of 8 Republicans and 7 Democrats to settle the disputed 1876 election. The Electoral Commission awarded Rutherford B. Hayes the electoral votes he needed; Congress certified he had won by one electoral vote. The Democrats had little leverage'--they could delay Hayes' election, but they could not put their man (Tilden) in the White House. However, they agreed not to block Hayes' inauguration based on a "back room" deal. Key to this deal was the understanding that federal troops would no longer interfere in southern politics despite substantial election-associated violence against blacks. The Southern states indicated that they would protect the lives of African Americans, however such promises were largely not kept. Hayes' friends also let it be known that he would promote Federal aid for internal improvements, including help for a railroad in Texas (this never happened) and name a Southerner to his cabinet (this did happen). With the end to the political role of Northern troops, the President had no method to enforce Reconstruction, thus this "back room" deal signaled the end of American Reconstruction.[204]
After assuming office on March 4, 1877, President Hayes removed troops from the capitals of the remaining Reconstruction states, Louisiana and South Carolina, allowing the Redeemers to have full control of these states. President Grant had already removed troops from Florida, before Hayes was inaugurated, and troops from the other Reconstruction states had long since been withdrawn. Hayes appointed David M. Key from Tennessee, a Southern Democrat, to the position of Postmaster General. By 1879, thousands of African-American "Exodusters" packed up and headed to new opportunities in Kansas.[205]
The Democrats gained control of the Senate, and had complete control of Congress, having taken over the House in 1875. Hayes vetoed bills from the Democrats that outlawed the Republican Enforcement Acts; however, with the military underfunded, Hayes could not adequately enforce these laws. Blacks remained involved in Southern politics, particularly in Virginia, which was run by the biracial Readjuster Party.[206]
Numerous blacks were elected to local office through the 1880s, and in the 1890s in some states, biracial coalitions of Populists and Republicans briefly held control of state legislatures. In the last decade of the 19th century, southern states elected five black U.S. Congressmen before disfranchising constitutions were passed throughout the former Confederacy.
Legacy and historiography [ edit ] The interpretation of Reconstruction has been a topic of controversy. Nearly all historians hold that Reconstruction ended in failure but for very different reasons.
The first generation of Northern historians believed that the former Confederates were traitors and Johnson was their ally who threatened to undo the Union's constitutional achievements. By the 1880s, however, Northern historians argued that Johnson and his allies were not traitors but had blundered badly in rejecting the 14th Amendment and setting the stage for Radical Reconstruction.[207]
The black leader Booker T. Washington, who grew up in West Virginia during Reconstruction, concluded later that, "the Reconstruction experiment in racial democracy failed because it began at the wrong end, emphasizing political means and civil rights acts rather than economic means and self-determination."[208] His solution was to concentrate on building the economic infrastructure of the black community, in part by his leadership and the southern Tuskegee Institute.
Dunning School: 1900 to 1920s [ edit ] The Dunning School of scholars were trained at the history department of Columbia University under Professor William A. Dunning analyzed Reconstruction as a failure after 1866 for different reasons. They claimed that Congress took freedoms and rights from qualified whites and gave them to unqualified blacks who were being duped by corrupt "carpetbaggers and scalawags". As T. Harry Williams (who was a sharp critic of the Dunning school) notes, the Dunningites portrayed the era in stark terms:
Reconstruction was a battle between two extremes: the Democrats, as the group which included the vast majority of the whites, standing for decent government and racial supremacy, versus the Republicans, the Negroes, alien carpetbaggers, and renegade scalawags, standing for dishonest government and alien ideals. These historians wrote literally in terms of white and black.[209]
Revisionists and Beardians, 1930s''1940s [ edit ] In the 1930s, historical revisionism became popular among scholars. As disciples of Charles A. Beard, revisionists focused on economics, downplaying politics and constitutional issues. The central figure was a young scholar at the University Wisconsin, Howard K. Beale, who in his PhD dissertation, finished in 1924, developed a complex new interpretation of Reconstruction. The Dunning School portrayed Freedmen as mere pawns in the hands of the Carpetbaggers. Beale argued that the Carpetbaggers themselves were pawns in the hands of northern industrialists, who were the real villains of Reconstruction. These industrialists had taken control of the nation during the Civil War, and set up high tariffs to protect their profits, as well as a lucrative national banking system and a railroad network fueled by government subsidies and secret payoffs. The return to power of the southern whites would seriously threaten all their gains, and so the ex-Confederates had to be kept out of power. The tool used by the industrialists was the combination of the Northern Republican Party and sufficient Southern support using Carpetbaggers and black voters. The rhetoric of civil rights for blacks, and the dream of equality, was rhetoric designed to fool idealistic voters. Beale called it "claptrap," arguing, "Constitutional discussions of the rights of the negro, the status of Southern states, the legal position of ex-rebels, and the powers of Congress and the president determined nothing. They were pure sham."[210][211]
President Andrew Johnson had tried, and failed, to stop the juggernaut of the industrialists. The Dunning school had praised Johnson for upholding the rights of the white men in the South and endorsing white supremacy. Beale was not a racist, and indeed was one of the most vigorous historians working for black civil rights in the 1930s and 1940s. In his view, Johnson was not a hero for his racism, but rather for his forlorn battle against the industrialists. Charles A. Beard and Mary Beard had already published The Rise of American Civilization (1927) three years before Beale, and had given very wide publicity to a similar theme. The Beard-Beale interpretation of Reconstruction became known as "revisionism," and replaced the Dunning school for most historians, until the 1950s.[212][213]
The Beardian interpretation of the causes of the Civil War downplayed slavery, abolitionism, and issues of morality. It ignored constitutional issues of states rights and even ignored American nationalism as the force that finally led to victory in the war. Indeed, the ferocious combat itself was passed over as merely an ephemeral event. Much more important was the calculus of class conflict, as the Beards explained in The Rise of American Civilization (1927), the Civil War was really a:
social cataclysm in which the capitalists, laborers, and farmers of the North and West drove from power in the national government the planting aristocracy of the South.[214]
The Beards were especially interested in the Reconstruction era, as the industrialists of the Northeast and the farmers of the West cashed in on their great victory over the southern aristocracy. Historian Richard Hofstadter paraphrases the Beards as arguing that in victory:
the Northern capitalists were able to impose their economic program, quickly passing a series of measures on tariffs, banking, homesteads, and immigration that guaranteed the success of their plans for economic development. Solicitude for the Freedman had little to do with northern policies. The Fourteenth Amendment, which gave the Negro his citizenship, Beard found significant primarily as a result of a conspiracy of a few legislative draftsman friendly to corporations to use the supposed elevation of the blacks as a cover for a fundamental law giving strong the protection to business corporations against regulation by state government.[215]
Wisconsin historian William Hesseltine added the point that the Northeastern businessmen wanted to control the Southern economy directly, which they did through ownership of the railroads.[216] The Beard-Beale interpretation of the monolithic Northern industrialists fell apart in the 1950s when it was closely examined by numerous historians, including Robert P. Sharkey, Irwin Unger, and Stanley Coben.[217][218][219] The younger scholars conclusively demonstrated that there was no unified economic policy on the part of the dominant Republican Party. Some wanted high tariffs and some low. Some wanted Greenbacks and others wanted gold. There was no conspiracy to use Reconstruction to impose any such unified economic policy on the nation. Northern businessmen were widely divergent on monetary or tariff policy, and seldom paid attention to Reconstruction issues. Furthermore, the rhetoric on behalf of the rights of the Freedman was not claptrap but deeply held and very serious political philosophy.[220][221]
Black historians [ edit ] The black scholar W. E. B. Du Bois, in his Black Reconstruction in America, 1860''1880, published in 1935, compared results across the states to show achievements by the Reconstruction legislatures and to refute claims about wholesale African-American control of governments. He showed black contributions, as in the establishment of universal public education, charitable and social institutions and universal suffrage as important results, and he noted their collaboration with whites. He also pointed out that whites benefited most by the financial deals made, and he put excesses in the perspective of the war's aftermath. He noted that despite complaints, several states kept their Reconstruction constitutions for nearly a quarter of a century. Despite receiving favorable reviews, his work was largely ignored by white historians of his time.
Neo-Abolitionists [ edit ] In the 1960s neoabolitionist historians emerged, led by John Hope Franklin, Kenneth Stampp, Leon Litwack, and Eric Foner. Influenced by the Civil Rights Movement, they rejected the Dunning school and found a great deal to praise in Radical Reconstruction. Foner, the primary advocate of this view, argued that it was never truly completed, and that a "Second Reconstruction" was needed in the late 20th century to complete the goal of full equality for African Americans. The neo-abolitionists followed the revisionists in minimizing the corruption and waste created by Republican state governments, saying it was no worse than Boss Tweed's ring in New York City.[222]
Instead, they emphasized that suppression of the rights of African Americans was a worse scandal and a grave corruption of America's republican ideals. They argued that the tragedy of Reconstruction was not that it failed because blacks were incapable of governing, especially as they did not dominate any state government, but that it failed because whites raised an insurgent movement to restore white supremacy. White elite-dominated state legislatures passed disfranchising constitutions from 1890 to 1908 that effectively barred most blacks and many poor whites from voting. This disfranchisement affected millions of people for decades into the 20th century, and closed African Americans and poor whites out of the political process in the South.[223][224]
Re-establishment of white supremacy meant that within a decade African Americans were excluded from virtually all local, state, and federal governance in all states of the South. Lack of representation meant that they were treated as second-class citizens, with schools and services consistently underfunded in segregated societies, no representation on juries or in law enforcement, and bias in other legislation. It was not until the Civil Rights Movement and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that segregation was outlawed and suffrage restored, under what is sometimes[when? ] referred to as the "Second Reconstruction".
In 1990 Eric Foner concluded that from the black point of view, "Reconstruction must be judged a failure."[225] Foner stated Reconstruction was "a noble if flawed experiment, the first attempt to introduce a genuine inter-racial democracy in the United States".[9] According to him, the many factors contributing to the failure included: lack of a permanent federal agency specifically designed for the enforcement of civil rights; the Morrison R. Waite Supreme Court decisions that dismantled previous congressional civil rights legislation; and the economic reestablishment of conservative white planters in the South by 1877. Historian William McFeely explained that although the constitutional amendments and civil rights legislation on their own merit were remarkable achievements, no permanent government agency whose specific purpose was civil rights enforcement had been created.[226]
More recent work by Nina Silber, David W. Blight, Cecelia O'Leary, Laura Edwards, LeeAnn Whites, and Edward J. Blum, has encouraged greater attention to race, religion, and issues of gender while at the same time pushing the end of Reconstruction to the end of the 19th century, while monographs by Charles Reagan Wilson, Gaines Foster, W. Scott Poole, and Bruce Baker have offered new views of the Southern "Lost Cause".[227]
Dating the end of the Reconstruction Era [ edit ] At the national level, textbooks typically date the era from 1865 to 1877. Eric Foner's textbook of national history Give Me Liberty is an example.[228] His monograph Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (1988) focusing on the situation in the South, covers 1863 to 1865. While 1877 is the usual date given for the end of Reconstruction, some historians such as Orville Vernon Burton extend the era to the 1890s to include the imposition of segregation.[229]}
Economic role of race [ edit ] Economists and economic historians have different interpretations of the economic impact of race on the postwar Southern economy. In 1995, Robert Whaples took a random survey of 178 members of the Economic History Association, who studied American history in all time periods. He asked whether they wholly or partly accepted, or rejected, 40 propositions in the scholarly literature about American economic history. The greatest difference between economics PhDs and history PhDs came with questions on competition and race. For example, the proposition originally put forward by Robert Higgs, "in the postbellum South economic competition among whites played an important part in protecting blacks from racial coercion" was accepted in whole or part by 66% of the economists, but by only 22% of the historians. Whaples says this highlights, "A recurring difference dividing historians and economists. The economists have more faith in the power of the competitive market. For example, they see the competitive market as protecting disfranchised blacks and are less likely to accept the idea that there was exploitation by merchant monopolists."[230]
The "failure" issue [ edit ] Reconstruction is widely considered a failure, though the reason for this is a matter of controversy.
The Dunning School considered failure inevitable because it felt that taking the right to vote or hold office away from Southern whites was a violation of republicanism.A second school sees the reason for failure as northern Republicans' lack of effectiveness in guaranteeing political rights to blacks.[citation needed ]A third school blames the failure on not giving land to the freedmen so they could have their own economic base of power.[citation needed ]A fourth school sees the major reason for the failure of Reconstruction as the states' inability to suppress the violence of Southern whites when they sought reversal for blacks' gains. Etcheson (2009) points to the "violence that crushed black aspirations and the abandonment by Northern whites of Southern Republicans".[231] Etcheson wrote that it is hard to see Reconstruction "as concluding in anything but failure". [232] Etcheson adds:W. E. B. DuBois captured that failure well when he wrote in Black Reconstruction in America (1935): "The slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery."
Other historians emphasize the failure to fully incorporate Southern Unionists into the Republican coalition. Derek W. Frisby points to "Reconstruction's failure to appreciate the challenges of Southern Unionism and incorporate these loyal Southerners into a strategy that would positively affect the character of the peace."[233]Historian Donald R. Shaffer maintained that the gains during Reconstruction for African Americans were not entirely extinguished. The legalization of African-American marriages and families and the independence of black churches from white denominations were a source of strength during the Jim Crow era. Reconstruction was never forgotten within the black community and it remained a source of inspiration. The system of sharecropping granted blacks a considerable amount of freedom as compared to slavery.[234]
However, in 2014 historian Mark Summers argues that the "failure" question should be looked at from the viewpoint of the war goals; in that case, he argues:
If we see Reconstruction's purpose as making sure that the main goals of the war would be fulfilled, of a Union held together forever, of a North and South able to work together, of slavery extirpated, and sectional rivalries confined, of the permanent banishment of the fear of vaunting appeals to state sovereignty, backed by armed force, then Reconstruction looks like what in that respect it was, a lasting and unappreciated success.[235]
In popular culture [ edit ] The journalist Joel Chandler Harris, writing as "Joe Harris" for the Atlanta Constitution (mostly after Reconstruction), tried to advance racial and sectional reconciliation in the late 19th century. He supported Henry Grady's vision of a New South during Grady's time as editor from 1880 to 1889. Harris wrote many editorials encouraging southern acceptance of the changed conditions and some Northern influence, although he also asserted his belief that it should proceed under white supremacy.[236]
In popular literature, two early 20th-century novels by Thomas Dixon'--The Clansman (1905) and The Leopard's Spots: A Romance of the White Man's Burden '' 1865''1900 (1902)'--romanticized white resistance to Northern/black coercion, hailing vigilante action by the Ku Klux Klan.[237]D. W. Griffith adapted Dixon's The Clansman for the screen in his anti-Republican movie The Birth of a Nation (1915); it stimulated the formation of the 20th-century version of the KKK. Many other authors romanticized the benevolence of slavery and the (C)lite world of the antebellum plantations in memoirs and histories published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy promoted influential works by women in these genres.[238]
Of much more lasting impact was the story "Gone with the Wind" in the form of a best-selling novel Gone with the Wind (1936), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for its author Margaret Mitchell, and an award-winning Hollywood blockbuster, Gone with the Wind (1939). In each case the second half focuses on Reconstruction in Atlanta. The book sold millions of copies nationwide; the film is regularly rebroadcast on television. In 2018 it remains at the top of List of highest-grossing films adjusted for inflation. The New Georgia Encyclopedia argues:
Politically, the film offers a conservative view of Georgia and the South. In her novel, despite her southern prejudices, Mitchell showed clear awareness of the shortcomings of her characters and their region. The film is less analytical. It portrays the story from a clearly Old South point of view: the South is presented as a great civilization, the practice of slavery is never questioned, and the plight of the freedmen after the Civil War is implicitly blamed on their emancipation. A series of scenes whose racism rivals that of D. W. Griffith's film The Birth of a Nation (1915) show Reconstruction mainly as a time when southern whites were victimized by freed slaves, who themselves were exploited by northern carpetbaggers.[239] Reconstruction state-by-state '' significant dates [ edit ] Only Georgia has a separate article about its experiences under Reconstruction. The other state names below link to a specific section in the state history article about the Reconstruction era.[240] Georgia was first readmitted to the US Congress on July 25, 1868 than expelled on March 3, 1869. Virginia had been represented in the US Senate until March 3, 1865 by the Restored Government of Virginia.
Reconstructionin each StateDeclaredSecessionJoinedConfederacyReadmittedto CongressDemocratic PartyEstablishes ControlSouth CarolinaDecember 20, 1860February 8, 1861 [241]June 25, 1868April 11, 1877MississippiJanuary 9, 1861February 8, 1861 [241]February 23, 1870January 4, 1876FloridaJanuary 10, 1861February 8, 1861 [241]June 25, 1868January 2, 1877AlabamaJanuary 11, 1861February 8, 1861 [241]June 25, 1868November 16, 1874GeorgiaJanuary 19, 1861February 8, 1861 [241]July 15, 1870November 1, 1871LouisianaJanuary 26, 1861February 8, 1861 [241]June 25, 1868January 2, 1877TexasFebruary 1, 1861March 2, 1861 [241]March 30, 1870January 14, 1873VirginiaApril 17, 1861May 7, 1861 [242]January 26, 1870October 5, 1869ArkansasMay 6, 1861May 18, 1861 [243]June 22, 1868November 10, 1874North CarolinaMay 20, 1861May 20, 1861 [244][245]June 25, 1868November 28, 1870TennesseeJune 8, 1861July 2, 1861 [246][247]July 24, 1866October 4, 1869See also [ edit ] Reconstruction Era National MonumentCategory:African-American politicians during the Reconstruction EraNotes [ edit ] ^ "The First Vote" by William Waud Harpers Weekly Nov. 16, 1867 ^ David W. Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2001). ^ James M. Campbell & Rebecca J. Fraser (2008). Reconstruction: People and Perspectives. ABC-CLIO. p. 15. ISBN 9781598840216. ^ John C. Rodrigue (2001). Reconstruction in the Cane Fields: From Slavery to Free Labor in Louisiana's Sugar Parishes, 1862''1880. LSU Press. p. 168. ISBN 9780807152638. ^ Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's unfinished revolution, 1863''1877 (1988) p 604 reprinted in Francis G. Couvares, ed. (2000). Interpretations of American History Vol. I Through Reconstruction (7th ed.). p. 409. ISBN 9780684867731. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863''1877 (1988) p xxv. ^ W. J. Rorabaugh; Donald T. Critchlow; Paula C. Baker (2004). America's Promise: A Concise History of the United States. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 302. ISBN 9780742511910. ^ See "CHAPTER 15 "What Is Freedom?": Reconstruction, 1865''1877" ^ a b c d Foner, Eric (Winter 2009). "If Lincoln hadn't died ..." American Heritage Magazine. 58 (6) . Retrieved July 26, 2010 . ^ Bruce E. Baker, What Reconstruction Meant: Historical Memory in the American South (2007). ^ A somewhat similar "reconstruction" process took place in the border states of Missouri, Kentucky and West Virginia, but they had never left the Union and were never controlled by Congress. ^ Nicholas Lemann, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War (2007), p. 75''77. ^ Thomas B. Alexander, "Persistent Whiggery in the Confederate South, 1860''1877", Journal of Southern History, (1961) 27#3 pp. 305''329 JSTOR 2205211. ^ Allen W. Trelease, "Republican Reconstruction in North Carolina: A Roll-Call Analysis of the State House of Representatives, 1866''1870", Journal of Southern History, (1976) 42#3 pp 319''344 JSTOR 2207155. ^ a b Paul F. Paskoff, "Measures of War: A Quantitative Examination of the Civil War's Destructiveness in the Confederacy," Civil War History (2008) 54#1 pp 35''62 doi:10.1353/cwh.2008.0007 ^ a b McPherson, James M (1992). Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution. Oxford University Press. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-19-507606-6. ^ William B. Hesseltine, A History of the South, 1607''1936 (1936), pp. 573''574. ^ John Samuel Ezell, The South since 1865 (1963), pp. 27''28. ^ Jeffrey N. Lash, "Civil-War Irony-Confederate Commanders And The Destruction Of Southern Railways." Prologue-Quarterly Of The National Archives 25.1 (1993): 35-47. ^ Claudia D. Goldin, and Frank D. Lewis, "The economic cost of the American Civil War: Estimates and implications." Journal of Economic History 35.2 (1975): 299-326. online ^ a b Jones, Jacqueline (2010). Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work, and the Family, from Slavery to the Present. New York: Basic Books. p. 72. ^ a b c Hunter, Tera W. (1997). To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors after the Civil War. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 21''73. ^ Jim Downs, Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction (2015) ^ Ransom, Roger L. (February 1, 2010). "The Economics of the Civil War". Archived from the original on December 13, 2011 . Retrieved March 7, 2010 . Direct costs for the Confederacy are based on the value of the dollar in 1860. ^ Donald, Civil War and Reconstruction (2001), ch. 26. ^ Simpson (2009); William C. Harris, With Charity for All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union (1999). ^ All blacks would be counted in 1870, whether or not they were citizens. ^ Valelly, Richard M. (2004). The Two Reconstructions: The struggle for black enfranchisement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-226-84530-2. ; Hans Trefouse, The Radical republicans (1975). ^ McPherson, James M (1992). Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution. Oxford University Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-19-507606-6. ^ Leslie Alexander (2010). Encyclopedia of African American History. ABC-CLIO. p. 699. ISBN 9781851097746. ^ Donald, Civil War and Reconstruction (2001); Hans L. Trefousse, Andrew Johnson: A Biography (1989). ^ Donald, Civil War and Reconstruction (2001), ch. 26''27. ^ Donald, Civil War and Reconstruction (2001), ch. 28''29. ^ Donald, Civil War and Reconstruction (2001), ch. 29. ^ Donald, Civil War and Reconstruction (2001), ch. 30. ^ "The Second Inaugural Address". ^ Harris, With Charity for All (1999). ^ Harold Hyman, To try men's souls: loyalty tests in American history (1959) p 93 ^ Foner 1988, pp. 273''276. ^ William Gienapp, Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America (2002), p. 155. ^ Patton, p. 126. ^ Johnson to Gov. William L. Sharkey, August 1865 quoted in Franklin (1961), p. 42. ^ Donald, Charles Sumner, p. 201. ^ Ayers, The Promise of the New South p. 418. ^ James D. Anderson, The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860''1935, pp. 244''245. ^ Randall and Donald, p. 581. ^ Eric Foner, Freedom's lawmakers: a directory of Black officeholders during Reconstruction (1993). ^ Ellen DuBois, Feminism and suffrage: The emergence of an independent women's movement in America (1978). ^ Glenn Feldman, The Disfranchisement Myth: Poor Whites and Suffrage Restriction in Alabama (2004), p. 136. ^ "Act of Congress, R.S. Sec. 2080 derived from act July 5, 1862, ch. 135, Sec. 1, 12 Stat. 528". Archived from the original on March 17, 2012 . Retrieved February 7, 2012 . ^ Perry, Dan W. (March 1936). "Oklahoma, A Foreordained Commonwealth". Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 14, No. 1. Oklahoma Historical Society. p. 30 . Retrieved February 8, 2012 . ^ Cimbala, Miller, and Syrette (2002), An uncommon time: the Civil War and the northern home front, pp. 285, 305. ^ Wagner, Gallagher, and McPherson, The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference, pp. 735''736. ^ a b c d Williams (2006), "Doing Less" and "Doing More", pp. 54''59. ^ Guelzo, Allen C. (1999). Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President. pp. 290, 291. ^ Trefousse (1991), Historical dictionary of reconstruction, p. viiii. ^ "Abraham Lincoln" . Retrieved July 21, 2010 . ^ a b Guelzo, Allen C. (1999). Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President. pp. 333''335. ^ a b Catton (1963), Terrible Swift Sword, pp. 365''367, 461''468. ^ Guelzo, Allen C. (1999). Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President. p. 390. ^ Hall, Clifton R. (1916). Andrew Johnson: military governor of Tennessee. Princeton University Press. p. 19 . Retrieved July 24, 2010 . ^ Guelzo (2004), Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America, p. 1. ^ Sick from Freedom, First Edition, New York, Oxford University Press, 2012. ^ Stauffer (2008), Giants, p. 279. ^ a b Peterson (1995) Lincoln in American Memory, pp. 38''41. ^ McCarthy (1901), Lincoln's plan of Reconstruction, p. 76. ^ Stauffer (2008), Giants, p. 280. ^ Harris, J. William (2006). The Making of the American South: a Short History 1500''1977. Malden: Blackwell Publishing. p. 240. ^ Edwards, Laura F. (1997). Gendered Strife and Confusion: The Political Culture of Reconstruction. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-252-02297-5. ^ Hunter, "To 'Joy My Freedom", p. 34. ^ Mikkelson, David. " ' Black Tax' Credit". ^ Kathleen Zebley (1998). "Freedmen's Bureau" . Retrieved April 29, 2010 . ^ Belz (1998), Abraham Lincoln, constitutionalism, and equal rights in the Civil War era, pp. 138, 141, 145. ^ Rawley (2003), Abraham Lincoln and a nation worth fighting for. p. 205. ^ McFeely (2002), Grant: A Biography, pp. 198''207. ^ William C. Harris, With Charity for All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union (1997). ^ Trefousse c.1989. ^ Smith, John David (2013). A Just and Lasting Peace: A Documentary History of Reconstruction. Penguin. p. 17. ISBN 9781101617465. ^ Eric L. McKitrick (1988). Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction. Oxford UP. p. 172. ISBN 9780195057072. ^ Billington, Ray Allen; Ridge, Martin (1981). American History After 1865. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 3. ISBN 9780822600275. ^ Lincove, David A. (2000). Reconstruction in the United States: An Annotated Bibliography. Greenwood. p. 80. ISBN 9780313291999. ^ McFeely-Woodward (1974), p. 125. ^ Barney, William L., The Passage of the Republic: An Interdisciplinary History of Nineteenth-Century America (1987), p. 245. ^ Donald, Civil War and Reconstruction (2001), ch. 31. ^ Oberholtzer 1:128''9. ^ Donald (2001), p. 527. ^ Hunter, p. 67. ^ Barney, The Passage of the Republic, p. 251, pp. 284''286. ^ Report on the Condition of the South / Schurz, Carl, 1829''1906 Archived October 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine: ^ Carl Schurz, 'Report on the Condition of the South', December 1865 (U.S. Senate Exec. Doc. No. 2, 39th Congress, 1st session). ^ Blackmon, Douglas A. (2009). Slavery by Another Name: the Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II. New York: Anchor Books, a division of Random House, Inc. p. 16. ^ Edwards, Laura F. (1997). Gendered Strife and Confusion: The Political Culture of Reconstruction. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-252-02297-5. ^ Farmer-Kaiser, Mary (2010). Freedwomen and the Freedmen's Bureau: Race, Gender, and Public Policy in the Age of Emancipation. New York: Fordham University Press. p. 160. ^ Jones, "Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow", p. 70. ^ a b c Schouler, James (1913). History of the United States of America under the Constitution, Volume 7 The Reconstruction Period. pp. 43''57 . Retrieved July 3, 2010 . ^ Rhodes, History 6:65''66. ^ See "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 24, 2006 . Retrieved October 11, 2006 . CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) based America's Reconstruction: People and Politics After the Civil War, by Eric Foner and Olivia Mahoney. Online source is: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 1, 2006 . Retrieved October 11, 2006 . CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) ^ Rhodes, History 6:68. ^ Trefousse 1989. ^ Alexander (2010). Encyclopedia of African American History. p. 699. ^ Badeau (1887) Grant in Peace, pp. 46, 57. ^ See Paul E. Teed & Melissa Ladd Teed (2015). Reconstruction: A Reference Guide. ABC-CLIO. pp. 51, 174ff. . Foner (1988) entitles his chapter 6, "The Making of Radical Reconstruction." Benedict argues the Radical Republicans were conservative on many other issues in Michael Les Benedict, "Preserving the Constitution: The Conservative Basis of Radical Reconstruction." Journal of American History (1974): 65''90 JSTOR 1918254. ^ Peter Kolchin, "The Business Press and Reconstruction, 1865-1868." Journal of Southern History 33.2 (1967): 183-196. [https://www.jstor.org/stable/2204965 online] ^ Pope, James Gray (Spring 2014). "Snubbed landmark: Why United States v. Cruikshank (1876) belongs at the heart of the American constitutional canon". Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. 49 (2): 385''447. Pdf. ^ Greene, Jamal (November 2012). "Thirteenth Amendment optimism". Columbia Law Review. 112 (7): 1733''1768. JSTOR 41708163. Archived from the original on January 7, 2015. Pdf. Archived November 17, 2015, at the Wayback Machine ^ Foner 1988, ch. 6. ^ Chin, Gabriel Jackson (September 14, 2004). "Gabriel J. Chin, "The 'Voting Rights Act of 1867': The Constitutionality of Federal Regulation of Suffrage During Reconstruction," 82 North Carolina Law Review 1581 (2004)". Papers.ssrn.com. SSRN 589301 . ^ Foner 1988, ch. 6''7. ^ Foner 1988, pp. 274''275. ^ Randolph Campbell, Gone to Texas 2003, p. 276. ^ Rhodes (1920) v 6, p. 199. ^ Foner, Reconstruction (1988) pp 316''33 ^ Hume, Richard L.; Gough, Jerry B. (2008). Blacks, Carpetbaggers, and Scalawags: the Constitutional Conventions of Radical Reconstruction. LSU Press. ^ Jenkins, Jeffery A.; Heersink, Boris (2016). "Republican Party Politics and the American South: From Reconstruction to Redemption, 1865''1880" (PDF) : 18. ^ Russ, William A., Jr. (1934). "The Negro and White Disfranchisement During Radical Reconstruction". Journal of Negro History. 19 (2): 171''192. doi:10.2307/2714531. JSTOR 2714531. ^ Mark Wahlgren Summers, The Ordeal of the Reunion: A New History of Reconstruction (2014), 130-31, 159. ^ Foner, Reconstruction (1988) pp 323''25 ^ Summers, Mark Wahlgren (2014). Railroads, Reconstruction, and the Gospel of Prosperity: Aid Under the Radical Republicans, 1865''1877. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-61282-9. ^ Tyack, David; Lowe, Robert (1986). "The constitutional moment: Reconstruction and Black education in the South". American Journal of Education. 94 (2): 236''256. doi:10.1086/443844. JSTOR 1084950. ^ Cooper, William J., Jr.; Terrill, Thomas E. (2009). The American South: A History. p. 436. ISBN 9780742564503. ^ Richard Zuczek, ed. Encyclopedia of the Reconstruction Era (2006) 2:635. ^ Michael Perman, The road to redemption: Southern politics, 1869''1879 (1985) pp 36''37; Foner, Reconstruction, p 324. ^ Gillette, Retreat from Reconstruction, 1869''1879 (1982), p 99. ^ Zuczek, ed. Encyclopedia of the Reconstruction Era (2006) 1:323, 2:645, 698. ^ Summers, The Ordeal of the Reunion pp 160''61. ^ Smith Grant (2001), pp. 455''457. ^ Simpson, Brooks D. "Ulysses S. Grant and the Freedmen's Bureau", in The Freedmen's Bureau and Reconstruction: Reconsiderations, edited by Paul A. Cimbala and Randall M. Miller. New York: Fordham University Press, 1999. ^ Smith (2001). ^ Grant, pp. 437''453, 458''460. ^ a b Simon (1967), Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, Vol. 19, pp. xiii. ^ A full-scale scholarly history analyzes the cartoonː Guy W. Hubbs, Searching for Freedom after the Civil War: Klansman, Carpetbagger, Scalawag, and Freedman Ì(2015) excerpt. ^ Robert J. Kaczorowski, "Federal Enforcement of Civil Rights During the First Reconstruction." Fordham Urban Law Journal 23 (1995): 155+ online. ^ Bertram Wyatt-Brown, "The Civil Rights Act of 1875." Western Political Quarterly (1965): 763''775. JSTOR 445883 ^ David Quigley, "Constitutional Revision and the City: The Enforcement Acts and Urban America, 1870''1894," Journal of Policy History, January 2008, Vol. 20, Issue 1, pp. 64''75. ^ Blair (2005), p. 400. ^ Smith (2001), Grant, p. 547. ^ Franklin (1961), pp. 168''173. ^ Georgia had a Republican governor and legislature, but the Republican hegemony was tenuous at best, and Democrats continued to win presidential elections there. See 1834 March 28 article in This Day in Georgia History compiled by Ed Jackson and Charles Pou; cf. Rufus Bullock. ^ McPherson, James M. (1992). Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution. Oxford University Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-19-507606-6. ^ "Date of Secession Compared To 1860 Black Population" Archived August 16, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, America's Civil War website, accessed 9 April 2014 ^ Foner 1988, ch. 7; Foner, Freedom's Lawmakers, introduction. ^ Steven Hahn, A Nation under Our Feet ^ Rhodes (1920) v 6 p. 199; no report on Arkansas. ^ The statistics of the population of the United States, embracing the tables of race, nationality, sex, selected ages, and occupations. To which are added the statistics of school attendance and illiteracy, of schools, libraries, newspapers, periodicals, churches, pauperism and crime, and of areas, families, and dwellings Table 1. United States Census Bureau. Last Retrieved 2007-10-20 ^ E. Foner, Reconstruction: America's unfinished revolution, 1863''1877 (NY: Harper & Row, 1988), pp. 354''5 ^ Daniel W. Stowell (1998). Rebuilding Zion: The Religious Reconstruction of the South, 1863''1877. Oxford UP. pp. 83''84. ISBN 9780198026211. ^ Clarence Earl Walker, A Rock in a Weary Land: The African Methodist Episcopal Church During the Civil War and Reconstruction (1982) ^ William W. Sweet, "The Methodist Episcopal Church and Reconstruction," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1914) 7#3 pp. 147''165 JSTOR 40194198 at p. 157 ^ Donald Lee Grant (1993). The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia. U. of Georgia Press. p. 264. ISBN 9780820323299. ^ Foner, Reconstruction, (1988) p 93 ^ Ralph E. Morrow, "Northern Methodism in the South during Reconstruction," Mississippi Valley Historical Review (1954) 41#2 pp. 197''218, quote on p 202 JSTOR 1895802 ^ Ralph E. Morrow, Northern Methodism and Reconstruction (1956) ^ Stowell, Rebuilding Zion: The Religious Reconstruction of the South, 1863''1877, pp 30''31 ^ Robert D. Clark, The Life of Matthew Simpson (1956) pp 245''67 ^ Fredrick A. Norwood, ed., Sourcebook of American Methodism (1982), p. 323 ^ William W. Sweet, "The Methodist Episcopal Church and Reconstruction," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1914) 7#3 pp. 147''165, quote on p 161 JSTOR 40194198 ^ Victor B. Howard, Religion and the Radical Republican Movement, 1860''1870 (1990) pp 212''13 ^ Morrow (1954) p 205 ^ Wilson Fallin Jr., Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (2007), pp 52''53 ^ Anderson, James D. (1988). The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860''1935. U of North Carolina Press. p. 4. ^ Anderson 1988, pp. 6''15. ^ Tyack and Lowe. "The constitutional moment: Reconstruction and Black education in the South." (1986): ^ William Preston Vaughn, Schools for All: The Blacks and Public Education in the South, 1865'--1877 (University Press of Kentucky, 2015). ^ Foner 365''8 ^ Franklin 139 ^ a b Lynch 1913. ^ B. D. Mayberry, A Century of Agriculture in the 1890 Land Grant Institutions and Tuskegee University, 1890''1990 (1992). ^ Foner 387. ^ Franklin pp 141''48; Summers 1984 ^ Stover 1955. ^ Franklin pp. 147''8. ^ Foner 375. ^ Foner 376. ^ Foner 415''16 ^ Marek D. Steedman, "Resistance, Rebirth, and Redemption: The Rhetoric of White Supremacy in Post-Civil War Louisiana," Historical Reflections, Spring 2009, Vol. 35#1, pp. 97''113. ^ Fleming, Walter L. (1919). The Sequel of Appomattox: A Chronicle of the Reunion of the States. Chronicles of America series, vol. 32. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 21. ISBN 9780554271941. ^ Perman 1984, p. 6. ^ T. Harry Williams, An Analysis of Some Reconstruction Attitudes," Journal of Southern History Vol. 12, No. 4 (November 1946), pp. 469''486 JSTOR 2197687. ^ Walter L. Fleming, Documentary History of the Reconstruction (1907), II, p. 328. ^ Fleming, Documentary History of the Reconstruction (1907), II, pp. 328''9. ^ Oberholtzer, vol. 1, p. 485. ^ Trelease, White Terror. ^ McFeely (2002), Grant: A Biography, pp. 420''422. ^ J. W. Schuckers, The Life and Public Services of Salmon Portland Chase, (1874), p. 585; letter of May 30, 1868 to August Belmont. ^ McPherson 1975. ^ Stephen L. Vaughn, ed., Encyclopedia of American journalism (2007) p 441. ^ Richard H. Abbott, For Free Press and Equal Rights: Republican Newspapers in the Reconstruction South (2004). ^ Earl F. Woodward, "The Brooks and Baxter War in Arkansas, 1872''1874," Arkansas Historical Quarterly (1971) 30#4 pp. 315''336 JSTOR 40038083 ^ Foner 537''41. ^ a b Foner 374''5. ^ a b Lynch 1915 ^ Perman 1984, ch. 3. ^ Foner, ch. 9. ^ Foner p. 443. ^ Foner pp. 545''7. ^ Nicholas Lemann, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Pbk. 2007, pp. 15''21. ^ US Senate Journal January 13, 1875, pp. 106''107. ^ Danielle Alexander, "Forty Acres and a Mule: The Ruined Hope of Reconstruction", Humanities, January/February 2004, vol. 25/No. 1. Retrieved 2008-04-14. ^ Foner 555''56. ^ George C. Rable, But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction, Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1984, p. 132. ^ Foner ch. 11. ^ Nicholas Lemann, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, paperback, 2007, p. 174. ^ Foner 604. ^ C. Vann Woodward, Reunion and reaction: the compromise of 1877 and the end of reconstruction (1956), pp. 3''15 ^ Nell Irvin Painter, Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction (1976) ^ James T. Moore, "Black Militancy in Readjuster Virginia, 1879''1883," Journal of Southern History, Vol. 41, No. 2 (May 1975), pp. 167''186 JSTOR 2206012. ^ Fletcher M. Green, "Walter Lynwood Fleming: Historian of Reconstruction," The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 2, No. 4 (November 1936), pp. 497''521. ^ Louis R. Harlan, Booker T. Washington in Perspective (1988), p. 164; A. A. Taylor, 'Historians of the Reconstruction,' The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 23, No. 1 (January 1938), pp. 16''34. ^ T. Harry Williams, 'An Analysis of Some Reconstruction Attitudes,' Journal of Southern History Vol. 12, No. 4 (November 1946), pp. 469''486 JSTOR 2197687 quote at p. 473 ^ Beale, The Critical Year, p 147 ^ Hugh Tulloch (1999). The Debate On the American Civil War Era. Manchester UP. p. 226. ISBN 9780719049385. ^ Allan D. Charles, 'Howard K Beale,' in Clyde N. Wilson, ed. Twentieth-century American Historians (Gale Research Company, 1983) pp 32''38 ^ T. Harry Williams, 'An Analysis of Some Reconstruction Attitudes,' Journal of Southern History (1946) 12#4 pp: 469''486 JSTOR 2197687; Williams was a Northerner trained at Wisconsin. ^ Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard, The Rise of American Civilization (1927), 2:54 ^ Richard Hofstadter (2012) [1968]. Progressive Historians. Knopf Doubleday. p. 303. ISBN 9780307809605. ^ William B. Hesseltine, 'Economic Factors in the Abandonment of Reconstruction.' Mississippi Valley Historical Review (1935) 22#2 pp: 191''210 JSTOR 1898466 ^ Stanley Coben, 'Northeastern Business and Radical Reconstruction: A Re-Examination.' Mississippi Valley Historical Review (1959): 67''90. in JSTOR ^ Pressly, Thomas J. (1961). "Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction (review)". Civil War History. 7: 91''92. doi:10.1353/cwh.1961.0063. ^ David Montgomery, "Radical Republicanism in Pennsylvania, 1866''1873." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (1961): 439''457 JSTOR 20089450. ^ Kenneth M. Stampp and Leon F. Litwack, eds., Reconstruction: An Anthology of Revisionist Writings (1969) pp 85''106 ^ Foner 1982; Montgomery, pp vii''ix. ^ Williams, 469; Foner p. xxii. ^ Glenn Feldman, The Disfranchisement Myth: Poor Whites and Suffrage Restriction in Alabama, Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2004, pp. 135''136. ^ Richard H. Pildes, "Democracy, Anti-Democracy, and the Canon", Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 17, 2000, p. 27. Retrieved 2008-03-15. ^ Foner, A Short History of Reconstruction (1990), p. 255. Foner adds, "What remains certain is that Reconstruction failed, and that for blacks its failure was a disaster whose magnitude cannot be obscured by the accomplishments that endured." p. 256. ^ Although Grant and Attorney General Amos T. Akerman set up a strong legal system to protect African Americans, the Department of Justice did not set up a permanent Civil Rights Division until the Civil Rights Act of 1957. McFeely (2002), Grant: A Biography, pp. 372''373; 424, 425. ^ Bruce E. Baker, What Reconstruction Meant: Historical Memory in the American South (2007); Thomas J. Brown, ed. Reconstructions: New Perspectives on the Postbellum United States (2008). ^ See Give Me Liberty ^ See, e.g., Orville Vernon Burton, The Age of Lincoln (2007), p. 312. ^ Whaples, Robert (March 1995). "Where Is There Consensus Among American Economic Historians? The Results of a Survey on Forty Propositions" (PDF) . The Journal of Economic History. 55 (1): 139''154. doi:10.1017/S0022050700040602. JSTOR 2123771 '' via JSTOR. (Registration required (help )) . ^ See Vernon Burton, 'Civil War and Reconstruction,' in William L. Barney (ed.), A Companion to 19th-century America (2006), pp. 54''56. ^ Nicole Etcheson, "Reconstruction and the Making of a Free-Labor South," Reviews in American History, Vol. 37, No. 2, June 2009. ^ Frisby, 'A Victory Spoiled: West Tennessee Unionists during Reconstruction,' in Paul Cimballa, ed., The Great Task Remaining Before Us: Reconstruction as America's Continuing Civil War (2010), p. 9. ^ Zuczek (2006), Encyclopedia of the Reconstruction Era, A-L, pp. 20, 22. ^ Mark Wahlgren Summers (2014). The Ordeal of the Reunion: A New History of Reconstruction. University of North Carolina Press. p. 4. ISBN 9781469617572. ^ Wayne Mixon, 'Joel Chandler Harris, the Yeoman Tradition, and the New South Movement.' Georgia Historical Quarterly 61#4 (1977): 308''317. in JSTOR ^ Maxwell Bloomfield, 'Dixon's "The Leopard's Spots": A Study in Popular Racism.' American Quarterly 16.3 (1964): 387''401. online ^ Sarah E. Gardner, Blood And Irony: Southern White Women's Narratives of the Civil War, 1861''1937, University of North Carolina Press, 2006, pp. 128''130. ^ Gone With the Wind (Film)Hugh Ruppersburg and Chris Dobbs, "Gone With the Wind (Film)" New Georgia Encyclopedia (2017) ^ Richter (2009) ^ a b c d e f g Matthews, James M., ed. (1864). The Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America, from the Institution of the Government, February 8, 1861, to its Termination, February 18, 1862, Inclusive; Arranged in Chronological Order. Richmond: R. M. Smith. p. 8 '' via Internet Archive. ^ Matthews, James M., ed. (1864). The Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America, from the Institution of the Government, February 8, 1861, to its Termination, February 18, 1862, Inclusive; Arranged in Chronological Order. Richmond: R. M. Smith. p. 104 '' via Internet Archive. ^ Matthews, James M., ed. (1864). The Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America, from the Institution of the Government, February 8, 1861, to its Termination, February 18, 1862, Inclusive; Arranged in Chronological Order. Richmond: R. M. Smith. p. 120 '' via Internet Archive. ^ Matthews, James M., ed. (1864). The Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America, from the Institution of the Government, February 8, 1861, to its Termination, February 18, 1862, Inclusive; Arranged in Chronological Order. Richmond: R. M. Smith. pp. 118''19 '' via Internet Archive. ^ Journal of the convention of the People of North Carolina, Held on the 20th Day of May, A. D. 1861. Raleigh: Jno. W. Syme. 1862. p. 18. LCCN 02014915. OCLC 6786362. OL 13488372M '' via Internet Archive. ^ Matthews, James M., ed. (1864). The Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America, from the Institution of the Government, February 8, 1861, to its Termination, February 18, 1862, Inclusive; Arranged in Chronological Order. Richmond: R. M. Smith. p. 119 '' via Internet Archive. ^ "Tennessee Admitted as a Member of the Confederacy". Louisville Daily Courier. 33 (6). July 6, 1861. p. 1. Bibliography [ edit ] Scholarly secondary sources [ edit ] For much more detail see Reconstruction: Bibliography
Barney, William L. Passage of the Republic: An Interdisciplinary History of Nineteenth Century America (1987). D. C. Heath ISBN 0-669-04758-9Behrend, Justin. Reconstructing Democracy: Grassroots Black Politics in the Deep South after the Civil War. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2015.Blair, William (2005). "The use of military force to protect the gains of reconstruction". Civil War History. 51 (4): 388''402. doi:10.1353/cwh.2005.0055. Blum, Edward J. Reforging the White Republic: Race, Religion, and American Nationalism, 1865''1898 (2005).Bradley, Mark L. Bluecoats and Tar Heels: Soldiers and Civilians in Reconstruction North Carolina (University Press of Kentucky, 2009), 370 pp. ISBN 978-0-8131-2507-7Brown, Thomas J., ed. Reconstructions: New Perspectives on Postbellum America (2006), essays by 8 scholars excerpt and text searchCimbala, Paul Alan; Miller, Randall M.; Simpson, Brooks D. (2002). An uncommon time: the Civil War and the northern home front. Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-8232-2195-0. Cruden, Robert. The Negro in reconstruction () [ online]Donald, David H. et al. Civil War and Reconstruction (2001).Downs, Gregory P. After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015.Du Bois, W. E. B. Black Reconstruction in America 1860''1880 (1935), Counterpoint to Dunning School explores the economics and politics of the era from Marxist perspectiveDu Bois, W. E. B. 'Reconstruction and its Benefits,' American Historical Review, 15 (July 1910), 781'--99 online editionDunning, William Archibald. Reconstruction: Political & Economic, 1865''1877 (1905). Influential summary of Dunning School; blames Carpetbaggers for failure of Reconstruction. online editionEgerton, Douglas (2014). The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America's Most Progressive Era. Bloomsbury Press. ISBN 978-1-60819-566-4. Etcheson, Nicole. 'Reconstruction and the Making of a Free-Labor South,' Reviews in American History, Volume 37, Number 2, June 2009 in Project MUSEFitzgerald, Michael W. Splendid Failure: Postwar Reconstruction in the American South (2007), 224pp; excerpt and text searchFitzgerald, Michael R. Reconstruction in Alabama: From Civil War to Redemption in the Cotton South (LSU Press, 2017) 464 pages; a standard scholarly historyFleming, Walter L. The Sequel of Appomattox, A Chronicle of the Reunion of the States(1918). From Dunning School.Fleming, Walter L. Civil War and Reconstruction in Alabama (1905). the most detailed study; Dunning School full text online from Project GutenbergFoner, Eric and Mahoney, Olivia. America's Reconstruction: People and Politics After the Civil War. ISBN 0-8071-2234-3, short well-illustrated surveyFoner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863''1877 (1988). ISBN 0-06-015851-4. Pulitzer-prize winning history and most detailed synthesis of original and previous scholarship.Foner, Eric. Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction. 2005.Franklin, John Hope. Reconstruction after the Civil War (1961), 280 pages. ISBN 0-226-26079-8. By a leading black historianGuelzo, Allen C. (2004). Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. ISBN 9781416547952. Guelzo, Allen C. Reconstruction: A Concise History (2018), 180pp by a leading scholarHarris, William C. With Charity for All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union (1997) portrays Lincoln as opponent of Radicals.Henry, Robert Selph. The Story of Reconstruction (1938), popularHolzer, Harold; Medford, Edna Greene; Williams, Frank J. (2006). The Emancipation Proclamation: three views (social, political, iconographic). Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 9780807131442. Hubbs, G. Ward. Searching for Freedom after the Civil War: Klansman, Carpetbagger, Scalawg, and Freedman. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2015.Jenkins, Wilbert L. Climbing up to Glory: A Short History of African Americans during the Civil War and Reconstruction. (2002).Litwack, Leon. Been in the Storm So Long (1979). Pulitzer Prize; social history of the freedmenMcPherson, James and James Hogue. Ordeal By Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction (2009)Milton, George Fort. The Age of Hate: Andrew Johnson and the Radicals. (1930). online edition; from Dunning SchoolMcCarthy, Charles Hallan (1901). Lincoln's plan of reconstruction. New York: McClure, Philips, & Company. McFeely, William S (1974). C. Vann Woodward (ed.). Responses of the Presidents to Charges of Misconduct. New York, New York: Delacorte Press. ISBN 978-0-440-05923-3. Patrick, Rembert/ The Reconstruction of the Nation (1967) onlinePerman, Michael. The Road to Redemption: Southern Politics, 1869''1879. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1984 ISBN 0-8078-4141-2, 9780807841419Perman, Michael. Emancipation and Reconstruction (2003). 144 pp.Peterson, Merrill D. (1994). Lincoln in American Memory. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198023043. Randall, J. G. The Civil War and Reconstruction (1953). Long the standard survey, with elaborate bibliographyRhodes, James G. History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the McKinley''Bryan Campaign of 1896. Volume: 6. (1920). 1865''72; Volume: 7. (1920). ''77; Highly detailed narrative by Pulitzer prize winner; argues was a political disaster because it violated the rights of white Southerners. vol. 6 1865''1872 online; vol. 7 online vol. 6 online at Google.books vol. 7 in Google.booksRichter, William L. (2009). A to Z of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-6336-1. Roberts, Blain; Kytle, Ethan J. (January 17, 2018). "When the South Was the Most Progressive Region in America". The Atlantic. Simpson, Brooks D. The Reconstruction Presidents (2009).Stampp, Kenneth M. The Era of Reconstruction, 1865''1877 (1967); short survey; rejects Dunning School analysis. onlineSummers, Mark Wahlgren. The Ordeal of the Reunion: A New History of Reconstruction (2014) text search; onlineSummers, Mark Wahlgren. A Dangerous Stir: Fear, Paranoia, and the Making of Reconstruction (2009) excerpt and text searchThompson, C. Mildred. Reconstruction In Georgia: Economic, Social, Political 1865''1872 (1915; 2010 reprint); full text online freeTrefousse, Hans L. Historical Dictionary of Reconstruction (Greenwood, 1991), 250 entriesWagner, Margaret E.; Gallagher, Gary W.; McPherson, James M. (2002). The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. ISBN 978-1-4391-4884-6. Woodward, C. Vann (1966). Reunion and reaction: the compromise of 1877 and the end of reconstruction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-506423-0. Zuczek, Richard. Encyclopedia of the Reconstruction Era (2 vols. 2006).Historiography [ edit ] Foner, Eric (2014). "Introduction to the 2014 Anniversary Edition". Reconstruction Updated Edition: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-18. ISBN 9780062383235. Ford, Lacy K., ed. A Companion to the Civil War and Reconstruction. Blackwell, 2005. 518 pp.Frantz, Edward O. ed. A Companion to the Reconstruction Presidents 1865''1881 (2014) 30 essays by scholarsPerman, Michael and Amy Murrell Taylor, eds. Major Problems in the Civil War and Reconstruction: Documents and Essays (2010)Simpson, Brooks D. (2016). "Mission Impossible: Reconstruction Policy Reconsidered". The Journal of the Civil War Era. 6: 85''102. doi:10.1353/cwe.2016.0003. Smith, Stacey L. (November 3, 2016). "Beyond North and South: Putting the West in the Civil War and Reconstruction". The Journal of the Civil War Era. 6 (4): 566''591. doi:10.1353/cwe.2016.0073. Stalcup, Brenda, ed. Reconstruction: Opposing Viewpoints (Greenhaven Press: 1995). Uses primary documents to present opposing viewpoints.Stampp, Kenneth M., and Leon M. Litwack, eds. Reconstruction: An Anthology of Revisionist Writings,' (1969), essays by scholarsWeisberger, Bernard A. 'The dark and bloody ground of Reconstruction historiography.' Journal of Southern History 25.4 (1959): 427''447. JSTOR 2954450Yearbooks [ edit ] Primary sources [ edit ] Barnes, William H., ed.,History of the Thirty-ninth Congress of the United States. (1868) summary of Congressional activity.Berlin, Ira, ed. Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861''1867 (1982), 970 pp. of archival documents; also Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War ed by Ira Berlin, Barbara J. Fields, and Steven F. Miller (1993).Blaine, James.Twenty Years of Congress: From Lincoln to Garfield. With a review of the events which led to the political revolution of 1860 (1886). By Republican Congressional leader vol. 2 online.Fleming, Walter L. Documentary History of Reconstruction: Political, Military, Social, Religious, Educational, and Industrial 2 vols (1906). Presents a broad collection of primary sources; vol. 1 on national politics; vol. 2 on states vol. 2 online.Memoirs of W. W. Holden (1911), North Carolina Scalawag governorHyman, Harold M., ed. The Radical Republicans and Reconstruction, 1861''1870 (1967), collection of long political speeches and pamphlets.Lee, Stephen D. (1899). "The South Since the War". In Evans, Clement A. (ed.). Confederate Military History. XII. Atlanta, Ga.: Confederate Publishing Company. pp. 267''568 '' via Internet Archive. Lynch, John R. The Facts of Reconstruction (New York: 1913)Full text online One of the first black congressmen during Reconstruction.Edward McPherson, The Political History of the United States of America During the Period of Reconstruction (1875), large collection of speeches and primary documents, 1865''1870, complete text online. [The copyright has expired.]Palmer, Beverly Wilson and Holly Byers Ochoa, eds. The Selected Papers of Thaddeus Stevens 2 vols (1998), 900pp; his speeches plus and letters to and from Stevens.Palmer, Beverly Wilson, ed. The Selected Letters of Charles Sumner, 2 vols (1990); vol. 2 covers 1859''74.Pike, James Shepherd The prostrate state: South Carolina under negro government (1874)Reid, Whitelaw After the war: a southern tour, May 1, 1865 to May 1, 1866. (1866) by Republican editor.Smith, John David, ed. We Ask Only for Even-Handed Justice: Black Voices from Reconstruction, 1865''1877 (University of Massachusetts Press, 2014). xviii, 133 ppSumner, Charles 'Our Domestic Relations: or, How to Treat the Rebel States' Atlantic Monthly September 1863, early abolitionist manifesto.Newspapers and magazines [ edit ] External links [ edit ] Reconstruction: The Second Civil War 2004 PBS film and transcript connecting the replacement of civil rights with segregation and disfranchisement at the end of 19th-century during the Jim Crow Era.Guide to Reconstruction History links to primary and secondary sourcesPBS' American Experience: Reconstruction Historians Eric Foner, David Blight and Ed Ayers discuss "Civil Rights During Reconstruction"Proclamation of August 1866, declaring the Insurrection at an end.Lincoln and Freedom: ReconstructionReconstruction in Mississippi by Donald J. MabryReconstruction Historiography: A Source of Teaching Ideas by Robert P. Green, Jr. (1991)W. S. Simkins, "Why the Ku Klux", 4 The Alcalde (June 1916): 735''748. onlineThe Civil War: Reconstruction: This is part of an extensive assessment of the Civil War and slavery which gives particular attention to children.HIST 119: The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845''1877 with Professor David Blight. Full semester course in text/audio/video from Open Yale Courses. Materials free under the Creative Commons license.Reconstruction on The History ChannelReconstructing the South: A Role Play on the Zinn Education ProjectThe Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy on Facing History and OurselvesReconstruction in Georgia, New Georgia EncyclopediaLinks to related articles
Burgess Owens - Wikipedia
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 14:11
Clarence Burgess Owens (born August 2, 1951) is a former American football safety who played ten seasons in the National Football League for the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders. He graduated from Rickards High School in Tallahassee, Florida in 1969,[1] and then attended the University of Miami, where he was a 1st-Team All-American defensive back, Most Valuable Defensive Player of the North''South All Star Game, and MVP of the Coaches All-American Game. He was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall Of Fame in 1980, and its Orange Bowl "Ring of Honor" in 1999.
Owens was a first round draft pick of the Jets in 1973. During his rookie season, he returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos on October 28. This was the Jets' only TD scored on a kickoff return during the 1970s. He then became a continuous starting player for the Jets, and was a part of the Raiders' 1980 championship team.
Personal life [ edit ] Owens is married with six children and is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[1] He has publicly shared about his faith to large audiences.[2]
Owens is the author of an ebook published in August 2012 with the title, It's All About Team: Exposing the Black Talented Tenth. The book examines how the black community has fared since the start of the twentieth century, especially in following the thinking of W. E. B. Du Bois and progressive liberalism.[3] Owens is also the author of Liberalism or How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps (2016) which offers a history and analysis of the Black experience in the United States with suggestions for moving past conventional ideas of moving the Black community forward. In 2018, Owens released Why I Stand, which discusses socialism as the driving force behind modern American socio-political movements.[4]
On June 19, 2019, Burgess was one of many to speak to a House Judiciary subcommittee on the topic of reparations for slavery, which he spoke out against.[5]
References [ edit ] ^ a b Ensley, Gerald (April 10, 2008). "Ex-NFL player with Tallahassee roots speaks Friday". Tallahassee Democrat. Archived from the original on 2008-04-12 . Retrieved 2008-04-15 . ^ Kay Raftery (June 17, 1997)., "Pro Football Players Share Their Mormon Faith Ty Detmer, Burgess Owens And Vai Sikahema Told A Packed Sanctuary Of The Role Of Religion In Their Lives,". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 28, 2015. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Its-All-About-Team-ebook/dp/B008YKSJJ2 ^ Owens, Burgess (2018-10-30). Why I Stand: From Freedom to the Killing Fields of Socialism. Post Hill Press. ISBN 9781682617403. ^ Segers, Grace (June 19, 2019). "House committee confronts the "inheritance of slavery" in panel on reparations". CBS News . Retrieved June 19, 2019 .
4 Myths about Testosterone - Scientific American Blog Network
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 03:48
In May of this year, the sports world's self-appointed judiciary, the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), upheld a controversial regulation that prevents women with naturally high testosterone (T) from competing in the women's category in long sprint and middle distance running events. South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya brought the case, with Athletics South Africa, against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), arguing that IAAF's rule is unscientific, unethical and discriminatory.
The CAS panel affirmed that the rule is discriminatory because it only applies to the women's category, and only to some women within that category. But in a two-to-one decision, CAS deemed the discrimination to be ''justified'' based on the IAAF's arguments about sex differences and T. Men are, on average across athletics events, 9''12 percent better than women. The IAAF claims that T is ''the main driver'' of this difference. By extension, it also claims that women with T levels in the typical male range have an ''insuperable advantage'' over women with T in the typical female range.
While this case raises important questions of ethics, human rights and medical harm, the IAAF defends the rule with claims about scientific consensus, glossing over profound disagreements about the evidence. Here, we address four myths central to these debates.
Myth 1: T is the ''master molecule of athleticism.'' T's effect on athletic performance isn't always positive, as the IAAF's own data on elite women athletes well demonstrates. Its initial analysis of data from two world championship competitions showed that women with higher T had significantly better performances in only five of 21 events.
Serious methodological problems with the IAAF paper prompted independent researchers to call for the paper's retraction, and the IAAF issued a correction. But the corrected version still undermines the regulation. In three of 11 running events, the lowest T group did better, and the strongest association across all events was the negative association between T and performance in the 100 meters, where lower T athletes ran 5.4 percent faster than the highest T athletes. In none of the events where high T athletes performed better was the gap greater than 2.9 percent.
One independent group requested and obtained a subset of the IAAF data, concluding: ''The results of [the IAAF's first study] are clearly unreliable, and those of [the second study] are of unknown validity,'' making it ''impossible'' to discern the real relationship, if any, between T and performance. Clearly, though, neither this study nor the broader sports science literature support the IAAF's claim that targeted athletes ''have the same advantages over [other] women as men do over women.''
Many studies across a range of sports show similar mixed relationships between performance and T. Consider a recent analysis of teenage Olympic weightlifters, in which the best predictor of strength was lean body mass, which has a complicated relationship to T. Among girls, body mass was initially the only significant predictor of weightlifting performance, and T was a predictor of body mass. But, counterintuitively, once the investigators controlled for the girls' size, they unmasked a strong negative relationship between T levels and performance: girls with lower T lifted more weight.
The researchers noted that T affects muscle, which is crucial to force, but T also affects breast tissue and fat localization in the lower limbs; the latter may be especially important for certain powerlifting moves. Controlling for body mass, there were no relationships between any hormones and performance in boys, even though their T levels ranged from 0.5 to 30.2 nanomoles per liter. In short, T (and other steroids) affect multiple body systems, and the relationships sometimes work in a positive synergy to improve performance, but they sometimes detract from performance.
Myth 2: The best way to see what T does for athletic performance is to compare men and women. It's simple, some people argue: men have ''greater lean body mass (more skeletal muscle and less fat), larger hearts (both in absolute terms and scaled to lean body mass), higher cardiac outputs, larger hemoglobin mass, larger VO2 max (a person's ability to take in oxygen), greater glycogen utilization and higher anaerobic capacity''; these all affect athletic performance, and are all affected by T, so men's greater athletic performance must be due to their higher average T levels.
This is a series of linked, but not necessarily logically connected propositions. The wide range of physiological and social differences between women and men athletes confound those comparisons. Even characteristics that are influenced by T are also affected by multiple other factors. They can't simply be boiled down to T, either in adulthood or during earlier development.
Scientists overwhelmingly prefer within-sex comparisons to answer most questions about the factors influencing sports performance, though sometimes it's useful to analyze data both within and across sexes. Emerging research using both types of analysis reveals that some factors long thought to be fundamentally sex- differentiated turn out to hinge on other elements. For instance, most studies have shown that men have a greater proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers, a difference traditionally attributed to genetics.
A recent study of elite weightlifters, though, found women had as many, or more, fast-twitch fibers as men, and concluded that ''athlete caliber and/or years competing in the sport influence [muscle fiber proportion] more than sex per se.'' T also likely has a relationship with fiber type via body mass, but as the teenage weightlifter study shows, the relationship with T and body mass isn't straightforward. Simple comparisons of women and men athletes can't reveal the specific relationships that underlie athletes' physiologies, and can obscure the recursive, sometimes positive and sometimes -negative relationships with T that are in the mix.
Myth 3: Suppressing an athlete's T reduces performance, so different T levels between athletes must similarly affect performance. The IAAF says it has data showing women athletes' performance suffers following abrupt and dramatic T suppression. While this may be true, the organization isn't justified in using this observation to conclude that women with higher T levels ''possess a very clear performance advantage'' over their peers, on par with what men typically have over women.
The IAAF narrative suggests that manipulating T only affects athletically-relevant aspects of function, disregarding the fatigue, sleep disturbance, metabolic changes and other physical problems that accompany significant hormonal disruption. The drop in performance might be attributable to these many side effects, physiological changes and psychological influences.
Moreover, manipulating T in individuals can't illuminate how T levels figure in differences across athletes: this confuses intra-individual analysis for inter-individual analysis. There's not just a logical problem with this conflation, but a data problem, which P.J. Vazel, an elite track and field coach and member of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians, underscores when he notes that in individuals, ''raising or lowering T will show a relationship with performance,'' but in analyses across athletes, often ''there is no relationship found with performance.''
Faryal Mirza, a clinical endocrinologist at the University of Connecticut Medical Center, suggested that one reason studies don't always find consistent links between T level and physiological variables is that sometimes high T signals that a person isn't very efficient at using T: the body is producing more precisely to arrive at ''typical'' function. (Faryal Mirza, conversation with the authors.)
Myth 4: These regulations are solely about T and performance. Scientific claims are central to this debate, but so is the broader context in which IAAF officials communicate their beliefs about women's bodies. The vehicle for performance differences is supposed to be T but, as the IAAF has been forced repeatedly to defend the T regulations, it has revealed its concern lies less with the T level than with the source of the T.
The IAAF has made this concern explicit by narrowing the group of women to whom the regulations apply. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the most common reason that women have naturally high T levels, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) were recently explicitly excluded from the 2019 regulations even when their levels exceed the threshold, though the IAAF has argued that women with PCOS and CAH derive ''advantage'' from high T.
Likewise, recent IAAF statements highlight sex-atypical chromosomes and gonads, which functions as a dog whistle to suggest that the targeted women athletes are not ''really'' women. Yet this rule was supposed to be different from prior sex testing regulations, precisely because it focused on T rather than on other aspects of sex biology that are variable among women (and men). Even for those who accept that endogenous T makes an outsized contribution to athletic performance, the defining feature is supposed to be the level of T, not the source of it.
The IAAF's enforcement of gender normativity is also evident in its rebuttal of concerns raised by the World Medical Association and the United Nations, among others, about mandating that healthy athletes undergo medically unnecessary interventions in order to compete. Rather than viewing the serious and long-term consequences of lowering testosterone as ''side effects,'' the IAAF proposes that they are ''the desired effects.'' These changes'--including reduced muscle and increased fat'--are supposed to produce the kind of body that St(C)phane Bermon, Director of the IAAF Health and Science Department, has presented as the ''ideal female phenotype'' at scientific conferences.
La Maja Desnuda by Francisco Goya (c. 1797''1800) presented by the IAAF as the ideal female phenotype. Credit: Wikimedia.Disregarding women athletes who have resisted these interventions, even to the point of bringing legal challenges against the regulation, the IAAF insists that these ''medications are gender-affirming'' and ''change their body to better reflect their chosen gender.'' The latter statement insinuates that women athletes who do not willingly modify their bodies to fit IAAF standards actively ''choose'' their gender, which deliberately encourages confusion with transgender athletes.
These four myths are subtle yet powerful. Owing to the ubiquity of what we call ''T Talk,'' it can be hard even to recognize them. A jumble of science and folklore, T Talk directs attention away from the most important consequences of the regulations by doing what it does best: making challenges to ''common sense'' thinking about T and gender seem antiscience. Meanwhile, the building criticisms of the interventions as medically unnecessary intrusions in women's health are, unquestionably, based on science.
The unwanted manipulations of women athletes' bodily integrity also contravene both international human rights law and medical ethics. At the end of May, Semenya filed an appeal to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland saying ''I am a woman and I am a world-class athlete. The IAAF will not drug me or stop me from being who I am.''
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)Rebecca M. Jordan-YoungRebecca M. Jordan-Young is a Professor of Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Barnard College. She is the co-author, with Katrina Karkazis, of Testosterone: An Unauthorized Biography.
Katrina KarkazisKatrina Karkazis is the Carole Zicklin Chair in the Honors Academy at Brooklyn College and a Senior Visiting Fellow in the Global Health Justice Partnership at Yale University. She is the co-author, with Rebecca M. Jordan-Young, of Testosterone: An Unauthorized Biography.
Call immigrant detention centers what they really are: concentration camps - Los Angeles Times
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 04:23
If you were paying close attention last week, you might have spotted a pattern in the news. Peeking out from behind the breathless coverage of the Trump family's tuxedoed trip to London was a spate of deaths of immigrants in U.S. custody: Johana Medina L(C)on, a 25-year-old transgender asylum seeker; an unnamed 33-year-old Salvadoran man; and a 40-year-old woman from Honduras.
Photos from a Border Patrol processing center in El Paso showed people herded so tightly into cells that they had to stand on toilets to breathe. Memos surfaced by journalist Ken Klippenstein revealed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement's failure to provide medical care was responsible for suicides and other deaths of detainees. These followed another report that showed that thousands of detainees are being brutally held in isolation cells just for being transgender or mentally ill.
Also last week, the Trump administration cut funding for classes, recreation and legal aid at detention centers holding minors '-- which were likened to ''summer camps'' by a senior ICE official last year. And there was the revelation that months after being torn from their parents' arms, 37 children were locked in vans for up to 39 hours in the parking lot of a detention center outside Port Isabel, Texas. In the last year, at least seven migrant children have died in federal custody.
When a leader puts people in camps to stay in power, history shows that he doesn't usually stop with the first group he detains.
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Preventing mass outrage at a system like this takes work. Certainly it helps that the news media covers these horrors intermittently rather than as snowballing proof of a racist, lawless administration. But most of all, authorities prevail when the places where people are being tortured and left to die stay hidden, misleadingly named and far from prying eyes.
There's a name for that kind of system. They're called concentration camps. You might balk at my use of the term. That's good '-- it's something to be balked at.
The goal of concentration camps has always been to be ignored. The German-Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt, who was imprisoned by the Gestapo and interned in a French camp, wrote a few years afterward about the different levels of concentration camps. Extermination camps were the most extreme; others were just about getting ''undesirable elements '... out of the way.'' All had one thing in common: ''The human masses sealed off in them are treated as if they no longer existed, as if what happened to them were no longer of interest to anybody, as if they were already dead.''
Euphemisms play a big role in that forgetting. The term ''concentration camp'' is itself a euphemism. It was invented by a Spanish official to paper over his relocation of millions of rural families into squalid garrison towns where they would starve during Cuba's 1895 independence war. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered Japanese Americans into prisons during World War II, he initially called them concentration camps. Americans ended up using more benign names, like ''Manzanar Relocation Center.''
Even the Nazis' camps started out small, housing criminals, Communists and opponents of the regime. It took five years to begin the mass detention of Jews. It took eight, and the outbreak of a world war, for the first extermination camps to open. Even then, the Nazis had to keep lying to distract attention, claiming Jews were merely being resettled to remote work sites. That's what the famous signs '-- Arbeit Macht Frei, or ''Work Sets You Free'' '-- were about.
Subterfuge doesn't always work. A year ago, Americans accidentally became aware that the Trump administration had adopted (and lied about) a policy of ripping families apart at the border. The flurry of attention was thanks to the viral conflation of two separate but related stories: the family-separation order and bureaucrats' admission that they'd been unable to locate thousands of migrant children who'd been placed with sponsors after crossing the border alone.
Trump shoved that easily down the memory hole. He dragged his heels a bit, then agreed to a new policy: throwing whole families into camps together. Political reporters posed irrelevant questions, like whether President Obama had been just as bad, and what it meant for the midterms. Then they moved on.
It is important to note that Trump's aides have built this system of racist terror on something that has existed for a long time. Several camps opened under Obama, and as president he deported millions of people.
But Trump's game is different. It certainly isn't about negotiating immigration reform with Congress. Trump has made it clear that he wants to stifle all non-white immigration, period. His mass arrests, iceboxes and dog cages are part of an explicitly nationalist project to put the country under the control of the right kind of white people.
As a Republican National Committee report noted in 2013: ''The nation's demographic changes add to the urgency of recognizing how precarious our position has become.'' The Trump administration's attempt to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census was also just revealed to have been a plot to disadvantage political opponents and boost ''Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites'' all along.
That's why this isn't just a crisis facing immigrants. When a leader puts people in camps to stay in power, history shows that he doesn't usually stop with the first group he detains.
There are now at least 48,000 people detained in ICE facilities, which a former official told BuzzFeed News ''could swell indefinitely.'' Customs and Border Protection officials apprehended more than 144,000 people on the Southwest border last month. (The New York Times dutifully reported this as evidence of a ''dramatic surge in border crossings,'' rather than what it was: The administration using its own surge of arrests to justify the rest of its policies.)
If we call them what they are '-- a growing system of American concentration camps '-- we will be more likely to give them the attention they deserve. We need to know their names: Port Isabel, Dilley, Adelanto, Hutto and on and on. With constant, unrelenting attention, it is possible we might alleviate the plight of the people inside, and stop the crisis from getting worse. Maybe people won't be able to disappear so easily into the iceboxes. Maybe it will be harder for authorities to lie about children's deaths.
Maybe Trump's concentration camps will be the first thing we think of when we see him scowling on TV.
The only other option is to leave it up to those in power to decide what's next. That's a calculated risk. As Andrea Pitzer, author of ''One Long Night,'' one of the most comprehensive books on the history of concentration camps, recently noted: ''Every country has said their camps are humane and will be different. Trump is instinctively an authoritarian. He'll take them as far as he's allowed to.''
Shoa - Wikipedia
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:29
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to searchShoa may refer to:
The Holocaust, also known as "the Shoah" or Ha-Shoah in HebrewShewa, a region of Ethiopia, sometimes spelled ShoaShoah (film), 1985 French documentary film about the HolocaustAmata shoa, a moth of the family ErebidaeSHOA, Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Chilean NavySee also [ edit ] Shuwa Arabic, also known as the Chaddian Arabic dialect or referred to the Baggara Arabs Disambiguation page providing links to topics that could be referred to by the same search term
This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the title Shoa. If an internal link led you here, you may wish to change the link to point directly to the intended article.
Green New Deal
'Avian Incident' Knocks Out 84% of Massive California Solar Farm
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Without swift action on climate change, heat waves could kill thousands in U.S. cities
Sun, 16 Jun 2019 22:05
If global warming sometimes seems like a distant or abstract threat, new research casts the phenomenon in stark, life-or-death terms. It predicts that in the absence of significant progress in efforts to curb emissions of temperature-raising greenhouse gases, extreme heat waves could claim thousands of lives in major U.S. cities.
If the global average temperature rises 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels '-- which some scientists say is likely if nations honor only their current commitments for curbing emissions '-- a major heat wave could kill almost 6,000 people in New York City. Similar events could kill more than 2,500 in Los Angeles and more than 2,300 in Miami.
But the new research also indicates that if the U.S. and other nations take aggressive steps to limit warming, many of those deaths from extreme heat might be avoided.
''There is, actually, still hope, and a very small window of opportunity'' to keep global warming below international targets and prevent some heat-related deaths, said Eunice Lo, a climate scientist at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom and a co-author of a paper describing the research, published June 5 in the journal Science Advances.
For the research, Lo and her collaborators focused on so-called ''1-in-30 events,'' severe heat waves that strike every few decades and which pose a major threat to children, older adults, outdoor workers and people living in poverty. Heat waves are especially dangerous in urban areas, where paved surfaces and densely packed buildings create super-hot ''urban heat islands.''
To see how global warming could affect death rates, the scientists simulated three possible climate scenarios. In one, the world's nations do only the bare minimum to curb carbon emissions, limiting the rise of the global average temperature to 3 degrees Celsius by 2100. In the other two scenarios, the nations go above and beyond in their efforts, limiting the global average temperature rise to 2 or 1.5 degrees Celsius.
For each scenario, the scientists used climate models to predict heat wave temperatures for 15 major U.S. cities, including Detroit, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. Then they estimated how many would die at each temperature based on a few decades' worth of real-world data on heat-related deaths.
At 3 degrees of warming, the scientists estimated that a once-in-a-generation heat wave could claim more than 20,000 lives across the 15 cities. Keeping warming to 2 degrees could save hundreds or thousands of lives in most of the cities, the study showed. At 1.5 degrees of warming, more than half of some cities' projected deaths could be prevented.
''You might think, what's the difference 1.5 degrees will make to human lives?'' Lo said. ''Actually, thousands of lives in one year can be saved in a city. Meeting the 1.5-degree target is essential and would be substantially beneficial to public health in the United States.''
Aaron Bernstein, co-director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, praised the study for its city-by-city breakdown of preventable heat-related deaths. He called it ''a much more sophisticated and accurate way to look at the question'' than relying on national data alone.
Stark as the numbers are, Bernstein said the study might have underestimated the toll taken by heat waves by failing to consider non-fatal heat-related injuries, which send patients to American emergency rooms about 65,000 times each summer. ''They focused on heat and death,'' he said of the researchers, ''but there are a lot of things that are bad for people that aren't death.''
Lo said the study has some limitations, notably that the scientists were unable to predict what each city's population '-- including its numbers of older and low-income residents '-- might look like at the turn of the century. Cities, and humans themselves, could also adapt to higher temperatures over time, resulting in fewer deaths than predicted.
Shubhayu Saha, a health scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Climate and Health Program, declined to comment on the new study, but acknowledged the risk posed by rising temperatures. ''The projections are that the number of deaths and illness will increase in the years to come as the summers become longer and the heat becomes more intense,'' he said.
Many municipal health departments open climate-controlled cooling centers during the summer months for those who don't have air conditioning at home. And the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that cities issue warnings ahead of heat waves, create more green spaces to mitigate the heat island effect and raise awareness about who is most vulnerable to heat-related illness and death.
Vulnerable or not, ''ultimately we're all going to be affected or are already affected by climate change,'' Lo said, calling for action to keep climate change down to a life-saving 1.5 degrees Celsius.
''We're talking about human lives,'' she added. ''Not just changes in temperature, but actually our lives.''
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New York to Approve One of the World's Most Ambitious Climate Plans - The New York Times
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 16:38
The state would pledge to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with all its electricity coming from carbon-free sources.
Image New York will be required to get 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and shift entirely to carbon-free power a decade later. Credit Credit Benjamin Norman for The New York Times New York lawmakers have agreed to pass a sweeping climate plan that calls for the state to all but eliminate its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, envisioning an era when gas-guzzling cars, oil-burning heaters and furnaces would be phased out, and all of the state's electricity would come from carbon-free sources.
Under an agreement reached this week between legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act would require the state to slash its planet-warming pollution 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and offset the remaining 15 percent, possibly through measures to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
If the state manages to hit those targets, it would effectively create a so-called net-zero economy, the ultimate goal of environmentalists and others seeking to slow the pace of global warming.
Many Democratic-led states have passed laws designed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, in response to the Trump administration's sustained efforts to loosen or abandon environmental regulations on power plants and vehicles.
But New York's bill, which comes amid a number of Democratic presidential candidates proposing net-zero targets for the United States, would set one of the most ambitious climate targets by a legislature anywhere in the world.
''This unquestionably puts New York in a global leadership position,'' said Jesse Jenkins, an energy expert and postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.
The challenges of reaching such goals are daunting. New York has so far only managed to reduce its emissions 8 percent between 1990 and 2015, according to the most recent state inventory.
''New Yorkers are going to pay a lot for their electricity because of this bill,'' said Gavin Donohue, the president of the Independent Power Producers of New York, whose members produce about three-quarters of the state's electricity. ''There's no doubt about that.''
There are also numerous questions about whether the energy, real estate and business communities can adapt by 2050, and how much it would cost to do so. Business groups in the state had derided the bill as impractical and potentially disastrous for companies forced to move to green energy sources.
The bill requires New York to get 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and hydropower by 2030 and shift entirely to carbon-free power a decade later.
But every corner of the state's economy would need to become drastically cleaner, including industrial facilities, heating for residential homes and office buildings and the transportation system, including approximately 10 million cars, trucks and buses.
Image New York gets about 60 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources, most of it from hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants, with small amounts of wind and solar power. Credit Julie Jacobson/Associated Press New York currently produces about 60 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources, mostly from hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants, with small amounts of wind and solar power. To help meet its new targets, the state plans to erect massive offshore wind turbines, ramp up rooftop solar programs and install large new batteries to juggle all that renewable power.
But transportation, which makes up one-third of the state's emissions, will be tougher to tackle. The Trump administration is seeking to roll back federal vehicle efficiency rules and prevent states, like New York, from setting their own stricter standards.
And about one-quarter of New York's emissions come from homes and commercial buildings, which typically burn natural gas or fuel oil for heating. Most of those systems would need to be revamped to run on carbon-free electricity or renewable gas.
While New York City recently passed a law requiring its biggest skyscrapers to become more energy efficient, the new law could mean retrofitting thousands of buildings statewide. For building owners to just comply with the city's law, the estimated cost exceeded $4 billion.
''It's going to be a major lift,'' said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.
He noted that technology to curb emissions from certain sectors, like cement plants or airplanes, is still in its infancy. To offset those sources, the state may have to pursue methods to remove carbon from the atmosphere, like tree-planting, wetlands restoration or carbon capture.
Image The state's plan bears some similarities to the Green New Deal backed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has also endorsed New York's plan. Credit Cliff Owen/Associated Press If the measure becomes law, New York would join California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington, who have all passed bills aiming to get 100 percent of their electricity from carbon-free sources '-- such as wind, solar, hydropower dams and in some cases nuclear power '-- by midcentury or sooner.
In September, Jerry Brown, then the outgoing governor of California, signed an executive order that set a goal of making the entire state's economy carbon-neutral by 2045, though that has not been approved by the legislature.
Mr. Donohue, of the Independent Power Producers of New York, said that while the state's bill had ''some laudable goals,'' there were not ''a lot of details on how to get there.''
The bill, which was expected to come to a vote before the State Senate as early as Tuesday evening, is the latest and perhaps most far-reaching accomplishment for a newly elected Democratic majority in Albany, including a coterie of new progressive lawmakers for whom fighting climate change is a top priority.
The bill had previously passed the Democrat-dominated State Assembly on three occasions before bogging down in the Republican-led Senate. But November's blue wave changed the balance of power in Albany, even as climate activists began to demand action at the state level.
''This is going to change the way every New Yorker lives,'' said state Senator Todd Kaminsky, the bill's sponsor in Albany's upper chamber. ''We are going to be deriving our power from clean energy sources, running our cars on renewable energy and going to work in buildings that do not emit carbon.''
It would also be the first major legislation from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's home state to embrace elements of the Green New Deal, including that plan's emphasis on using environmental law to help low-income communities.
New York's bill would funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into economically disadvantaged areas around the state, particularly those that have been devastated by pollution and other industrial byproducts.
Image State Senator Todd Kaminsky, the Senate sponsor of the climate change bill, said the measure would ''change the way every New Yorker lives.'' Credit Hans Pennink/Associated Press For supporters, the bill added a measure of certainty that previous environmental orders by the governor did not. ''They don't live and die on the whims of an executive,'' said Peter M. Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York.
The bill's passage would be the culmination of several years of activism by groups like New York Renews, a coalition of nearly 200 organizations, which repeatedly rallied in Albany and pushed policymakers to act. Those officials included Mr. Cuomo, who said earlier this month that he had doubts about climate legislation that ''put forward goals and dates that we cannot make.''
In a radio interview on Tuesday, however, Mr. Cuomo called the negotiated bill ''the most aggressive climate change program in the United States of America, period.''
Image The Nine Mile Point nuclear power plant in Oswego, N.Y., is one example of a carbon-free source of power that New York will increasingly rely upon. Credit Mike Groll/Associated Press ''I think climate change is the issue of our lifetime, frankly,'' the governor, a third-term Democrat, said. ''And the legacy we leave our children.''
The bill codified several initiatives of Mr. Cuomo's from earlier this year into law, including greatly increasing New York's offshore wind goals, solar deployment and energy storage.
Supporters said the mandates handed down would likely require a vast work force to weatherize homes, swap out furnaces and install solar panels, and build wind farms and other clean energy infrastructure.
''This new law will spur the growth of green jobs across the state for decades,'' said Julie Tighe, the president of the New York League of Conservation Voters.
But Greg Biryla, the New York director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said the bill offered few details of how small companies, working on small margins, would rejigger their manufacturing and other operations.
''There doesn't appear to be a fiscal impact statement for something that aims to completely reinvent our state's economy,'' he said, adding it would inevitably lead to companies migrating elsewhere. ''This just makes other states that much more attractive for investment.''
The nuts and bolts of how to implement the plan would be left to a 22-person ''climate action council'' comprising top state officials, covering an array of topics like health, economic development, energy, labor and the environment, and advised by smaller working groups with expertise in everything from land use to forestry.
The council would be required to issue recommendations for how to meet the goals in two years, after which the state's regulatory agencies would issue rules to compel industries and residents to meet the standards outlined in the bill.
Alphonso David, the counsel to Mr. Cuomo, said that while the aggressive goals might lead to measures to curb gas-powered cars or inefficient furnaces, there was no knowing how exactly the state would get there.
''There's new technology we are discovering every single day,'' said Mr. David. ''We may be talking about a very different world in terms of how we think about cars, how we think about airplanes and how we think about gasoline.''
Jesse McKinley is The Times's Albany bureau chief. He was previously the San Francisco bureau chief, and a theater columnist and Broadway reporter for the Culture Desk. @ jessemckinley
Brad Plumer is a reporter covering climate change, energy policy and other environmental issues for The Times's climate team. @ bradplumer
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Clean Power Plan repeal: Trump's EPA replaces Obama plan with weaker rule - Vox
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 17:09
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday killed President Obama's signature climate change policy, the Clean Power Plan. It's one of the few definitive wins in the Trump administration's full-court press to undo and weaken environmental regulations.
With the release of a replacement plan before an audience that included coal miners wearing reflective shirts and hard hats, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler finalized the end of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The plan required states to meet targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and aimed to reduce US power sector emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
Wheeler said the CPP hurt US competitiveness and placed a financial burden on low- and middle-income Americans. And the CPP's replacement, the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, is drastically weaker. The ACE rule would lower emissions between 0.7 percent and 1.5 percent by 2030. The EPA noted that long-term industry trends are expected to still push emissions down 35 percent, but that's largely independent of the ACE rule.
It also cements an alarming reversal in US greenhouse gas emissions trends. US greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise after years of decline. White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Wednesday that emissions are ''flat or down,'' but that is dead wrong.
According to some researchers, the new policy itself could actually increase greenhouse gas emissions, even compared to business as usual. And according to the EPA's own assessments, the proposal will lead to thousands more deaths from air pollution.
However, environmental groups are gearing up to file legal challenges of their own.
The EPA is required to regulate greenhouse gases, but the law doesn't say it has to be enthusiastic about itAs much as the Trump administration doesn't want to do it, the EPA must regulate greenhouse gases. In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Massachusetts v. EPA that the agency has to limit greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act if they're a threat to public health. The EPA's 2009 endangerment finding for carbon dioxide determined just that.
So the Trump administration couldn't just repeal the CPP; it needed a plausible replacement. The ACE rule is just that.
''I believe this is the first rule in EPA's history that acknowledges the existential threat of climate change but by the agency's own admission does absolutely nothing to stop it,'' said former Obama EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a statement.
The critical detail here is how the ACE rule intends to lower emissions compared to the CPP. The EPA is required to lay out a standard known as ''best system of emission reduction.'' Under the Obama administration, this included pricing carbon dioxide, switching to cleaner power generation fuels, or capturing carbon dioxide emissions.
The new ACE rule leans on one method: efficiency. The technical term is ''heat rate improvement,'' but what it means is that fossil fuel-burning power plants would be pushed to draw more energy from the same amount of fuel. This would lower the carbon intensity of the energy generated.
However, generating more energy from the same amount of fuel makes the fuel more cost-effective. That in turn could lead to a rebound effect where utilities end up burning more fuels like coal and natural gas. According to a study published in April in Environmental Research Letters, the ACE rule would lead to 28 percent of the power plants modeled in the study to emit more carbon dioxide by 2030 compared to a scenario with no policy at all.
This rebound effect can also lead to an increase of other air pollutants like particulates, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides. In the EPA's own regulatory impact assessment for the ACE rule published last year, the agency noted that these extra pollutants could cause between 460 and 1,400 additional deaths per year by 2030, in addition to exacerbating other ailments like asthma.
The Affordable Clean Energy rule obviates one legal headache for the EPA, but is creating another oneTrump's EPA has argued that the Obama plan exceeded the agency's authority and that the new proposal fits within the confines of the law. When the CPP was announced, 27 states sued to block it. Then, in an unusual move, the Supreme Court in 2016 ruled 5-4 to stay the Clean Power Plan to allow state lawsuits to proceed, preventing it from ever going into effect.
With the Affordable Clean Energy rule finalized, those lawsuits are now moot.
The latest repeal is at the intersection of two Trump Administration priorities outlined in executive orders: to roll back regulations and to promote US energy development, particularly fossil fuels. And unlike other environmental rollbacks at the EPA that have been delayed, bogged down in bureaucratic muck, or stalled by lawsuits, the ACE rule, now that it has been finalized, might stick.
But New York Attorney General Letitia James has already announced her intent to sue the Trump administration over the ACE rule and expects other states to join the litigation. That means another wave of court cases could stall the EPA's new rule.
Polar bear spotted in Russian city, far from normal habitat - ABC News
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 05:20
An emaciated polar bear has been sighted in a Russian industrial city in Siberia, far south of its normal hunting grounds.
Interested in Russia? Add Russia as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Russia news, video, and analysis from ABC News.Emergency officials in the city of Norilsk in a statement on Tuesday warned local residents about a bear that has been spotted in one city district.
Anatoly Nikolaichuk, chief of the local hunting department, told the Tass news agency said that the last time a polar bear was seen in the area around Norilsk was more than 40 years ago. He said that local officials will now decide whether they can catch the animal and airlift it back to the north.
Environmentalists say wild animals are suffering from the shrinking hunting environment and the receding ice as the Arctic is getting warmer, and some of them have ventured south in search of food.
Timmy O' Toole on Twitter: "A 50B bad bank soon owned by the german state aka taxpayer .. Finally $DB is facing it's future head on. What's left of the mighty $DB ?'... https://t.co/fWDOVIR7ja"
Sun, 16 Jun 2019 22:06
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Donald J. Trump on Twitter: "The story in the @nytimes about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia's power grid is Fake News, and the Failing New York Times knows it. They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I dou
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 04:34
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Fake News
Lawyers: Files sent by Alex Jones contained child porn | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 09:24
Conspiracy theorist Infowars host Alex Jones sent families of Sandy Hook victims files that contained child porn, lawyer claimsA defamation lawsuit was filed in a Connecticut court last year in response to discussions on Jones' show about the school shooting being a hoaxThe pornography was found in email metadata files Jones' attorneys turned over to the families' lawyers Jones' attorney, Norman Pattis, said the child pornography was in emails sent to Jones that were never opened and he denied Jones did anything wrong Federal authorities are investigating who sent the emails By Associated Press
Published: 16:23 EDT, 17 June 2019 | Updated: 02:34 EDT, 18 June 2019
Lawyers for the families of children and adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School disclosed Monday that child pornography was found in electronic files sent to them by conspiracy theorist Infowars host Alex Jones.
The pornography was found in email metadata files Jones' attorneys turned over to the families' lawyers as part of the discovery process of a defamation lawsuit, which was filed in a Connecticut court last year in response to discussions on Jones' show about the school shooting being a hoax.
Jones' attorney, Norman Pattis, said the child pornography was in emails sent to Jones that were never opened and he denied Jones did anything wrong. Pattis said federal authorities are investigating who sent the emails.
Appearing angry on his web show based in Austin, Texas, Jones accused one of the families' lawyers, Christopher Mattei, of planting the child pornography in the files in an effort to frame Jones. He also offered a $1 million reward for information on who sent the emails containing child porn.
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Lawyers for the families of children and adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School disclosed Monday that child pornography was found in electronic files sent to them by conspiracy theorist Infowars host Alex Jones. Jones (L) is seen above speaking to cameras outside a hearing where Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified before the House Judiciary Committee at the Rayburn House Office Building on December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC
Family members who have lost loved ones to gun violence gather with members of Congress during a press conference four days before the second anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School December 10, 2014 in Washington, DC
In a motion filed in Waterbury Superior Court on Monday, lawyers for the families accused Jones of threatening Mattei by naming him on the show, showing his photo and wrongly accusing him of planting the child pornography. The motion will be discussed at a court hearing on Tuesday. Pattis denied that Jones threatened Mattei.
'Total war! You want it, you got it!' Jones said on the show while talking about Mattei, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for state attorney general last year. 'I'm not into kids like your Democratic party. ... So get ready!'
Other lawyers for the families, William Bloss, Alinor Sterling and Matthew Blumethal, said in the motion that they notified the FBI about the numerous child porn images.
The chaotic scene outside the fire station in Sandy Hook after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012
The two sides have been battling over documents and discovery issues in the lawsuit for months.
'Unfortunately this drama has taken on a life of its own with each side parrying for position,' Pattis said.
The families of eight victims of the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and an FBI agent who responded to the massacre are suing Jones, Infowars and others for promoting a theory that the shooting was a hoax.
A 20-year-old gunman killed 20 first-graders, six educators and himself at the school, after having killed his mother at their Newtown home.
The plaintiffs said they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones' followers because of the hoax conspiracy.
Jones has since said he believes the shooting occurred.
WHO IS ALEX JONES?Alex Jones is a controversial radio and podcast host based in Austin, Texas.
Jones says his 'InfoWars' shows, which are broadcast on radio, YouTube and other platforms, reach at least 70 million people a week.
Among other claims, he has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting a hoax.
He was sued for defamation by families of some of the children killed in that attack, which left 20 children and six adults dead.
Among other claims, Alex Jones (file photo) has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting a hoax. He was sued for defamation by families of some of the children killed in that attack, which left 20 children and six adults dead
He now admits the shooting occurred but says his claims were free speech. He has sought to have the lawsuit dismissed.
Jones has also claimed that the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington were staged by the US government.
While he began broadcasting his shows in 1999, Jones' profile has spread from the far-right fringe in recent years.
While running for president in 2015, Donald Trump told Jones his reputation was 'amazing.'
Dogs are People too
Evolution of facial muscle anatomy in dogs | PNAS
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 22:07
Juliane Kaminski , Bridget M. Waller , Rui Diogo , Adam Hartstone-Rose , and Anne M. Burrows
Edited by Brian Hare, Duke University, Durham, NC, and accepted by Editorial Board Member C. O. Lovejoy May 10, 2019 (received for review December 5, 2018)
SignificanceDogs were shaped during the course of domestication both in their behavior and in their anatomical features. Here we show that domestication transformed the facial muscle anatomy of dogs specifically for facial communication with humans. A muscle responsible for raising the inner eyebrow intensely is uniformly present in dogs but not in wolves. Behavioral data show that dogs also produce the eyebrow movement significantly more often and with higher intensity than wolves do, with highest-intensity movements produced exclusively by dogs. Interestingly, this movement increases paedomorphism and resembles an expression humans produce when sad, so its production in dogs may trigger a nurturing response. We hypothesize that dogs' expressive eyebrows are the result of selection based on humans' preferences.
AbstractDomestication shaped wolves into dogs and transformed both their behavior and their anatomy. Here we show that, in only 33,000 y, domestication transformed the facial muscle anatomy of dogs specifically for facial communication with humans. Based on dissections of dog and wolf heads, we show that the levator anguli oculi medialis, a muscle responsible for raising the inner eyebrow intensely, is uniformly present in dogs but not in wolves. Behavioral data, collected from dogs and wolves, show that dogs produce the eyebrow movement significantly more often and with higher intensity than wolves do, with highest-intensity movements produced exclusively by dogs. Interestingly, this movement increases paedomorphism and resembles an expression that humans produce when sad, so its production in dogs may trigger a nurturing response in humans. We hypothesize that dogs with expressive eyebrows had a selection advantage and that ''puppy dog eyes'' are the result of selection based on humans' preferences.
facial muscle anatomydomestic dogswolvesdomesticationThe dog''human bond is unique and diagnostic of the evolution of human cultures. Dogs were domesticated over 33,000 y ago (1), and, during that time, selection processes have shaped both their anatomy and behavior and turned them into human's best friend (2). The most remarkable among dogs' behavioral adaptations, as a result of selection during domestication, is their ability to read and use human communication in ways that other animals cannot (3, 4). Dogs are more skillful in using human communicative cues, like pointing gestures or gaze direction, even than human's closest living relative, chimpanzees, and also than their own closest living relatives, wolves, or other domesticated species (5). Recent research suggests that eye contact between humans and dogs is crucial for dog''human social interaction. Dogs, but not wolves, establish eye contact with humans when they cannot solve a problem on their own (6, 7). Eye contact also helps dogs to know when communication is relevant and directed at them, as dogs tend to ignore human pointing gestures when the human's eyes are not visible (8, 9). Dogs, but not wolves, seem to be motivated to establish eye contact with humans from an early age (10, 11), and dogs' motivation to establish eye contact with humans seems to be an indicator of the level of attachment between humans and dogs (12). Thus, mutual gaze between dogs and humans seems to be a hallmark of the unique relationship between both species during human cultural evolution.
Nagasawa et al. (13) showed that, between dogs and humans (but not wolves and humans), mutual gaze seems to lead to an oxytocin feedback loop analogous to the one that exists between human mothers and infants. Oxytocin has a fundamental role during affiliative behaviors in mammals and during the onset of maternal behavior and mother''infant attachment (14). Similarly, mutual gaze between dogs and humans seems to trigger an increase of oxytocin in both species, which then increases the motivation to establish eye contact (13). As this cross-species oxytocin loop can be found in dogs and humans, but not between dogs' closest living relative (the wolf) and humans, selection processes during domestication must have played an important role whereby dogs hijacked the human caregiving response (15). The most likely evolutionary scenario is that dogs' ancestor must have, to some extent, expressed characteristics that elicited a caregiving response from humans. Humans then consciously or unconsciously favored and therefore selected for those characteristics, leading to the analogous adaptations we see in dogs today.
Selection for traits that facilitate eye contact between dogs and humans might have, therefore, led to 1) anatomical differences in the facial musculature around the eyes between dogs and wolves and 2) behavioral differences between the species in terms of how they use these muscles to promote eye contact. We know that humans favor dogs that show paedomorphic (infant-like) anatomical features like a large forehead, large eyes, and so on; in studies asking people to select pictures presenting dog (or cat) faces, people prefer the faces that present paedomorphic features over others (16). Importantly, paedomorphic facial features can be even further exaggerated by facial muscle movements, which act to enhance the appearance of specific facial features (particularly the eyes). Waller et al. (17) showed that a specific facial muscle movement around the eyes (which they termed AU101: inner eyebrow raise) seems to be particularly attractive to humans. The movement makes the eyes appear bigger, hence more infant-like and potentially more appealing to humans. This inner brow raise also resembles a facial movement humans produce when they are sad, potentially eliciting a nurturing response from humans (17, 18). The study showed that dogs that produce this facial movement more were rehomed from a shelter more quickly than those that produced the movement less often, suggesting that the production of this eye movement gives dogs a potential selection advantage. No other facial movement had the same effect (17). However, thus far, it has been unknown whether domestication has shaped this phenomenon, and whether dogs show marked differences from wolves in anatomy and behavior in relation to this facial movement.
ResultsTo determine whether domestication has shaped facial muscles to facilitate dog''human communication in this way, we 1) conducted a detailed comparative facial dissections of gray wolves (Canis lupus, n = 4) and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris, n = 6) and 2) quantified wolves' and dogs' AU101 facial movements in their frequency and intensity during social interactions with humans in both wolves (C. lupus, n = 9) and domestic dogs (C. familiaris, n = 27).
The main finding is that facial musculature between domestic dogs and gray wolves was relatively uniform and differed only around the eye (Fig. 1 and Table 1). While the levator anguli oculi medialis muscle (LAOM) was routinely present in dogs, in the gray wolves, it was typically represented only by scant muscle fibers surrounded by a high quantity of connective tissue. In the wolves, a tendon was sometimes observed that blended with the medial aspect of the fibers of the orbicularis occuli muscle, near the region where an LAOM would normally be expected (Fig. 2). Thus, wolves have less ability to raise the inner corner of their brows independent of eye squinting relaxation'--the anatomical basis for the difference in expression of the AU101 movement.
Fig. 1.Facial musculature in the wolf (C. lupus) (animal's left) and dog (C. familiaris) (right) with differences in anatomy highlighted in red. Image courtesy of Tim D. Smith (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK).
Table 1.Muscle presence/absence between gray wolf (C. lupus) and domestic dog (C. familiaris)
Fig. 2.Right-side facial masks from domestic dog (C. familiaris) and gray wolf (C. lupus). B, buccinator muscle; C, caninus muscle; DS, depressor septi muscle; F, frontalis muscle; LLM, levator labii maxillaris (deep to LN); LN, levator nasolabialis muscle; M, mentalis muscle; OOc, orbicularis oculi muscle; OOM, orbicularis oris muscle; P, platysma muscle (note that this muscle is cut away in the gray wolf to reveal the SCP); SCP, sphincter coli profundus muscle; Z, zygomaticus muscle. Green line encircles the LAOM in the domestic dog and the typically reduced LAOM in the gray wolf. Terminology based on ref. 33.
Other facial muscles around the eye, for instance, the orbicularis oculi muscle and frontalis muscle, that did not differ either within or between species. The only exception was the retractor anguli oculi lateralis muscle (RAOL). RAOL was highly variable in size and presence (Table 1)'--present in most of the gray wolves but typically more gracile than in the domestic dog, consisting of scant bundles of muscle fibers. The RAOL pulls the lateral corner of the eyelids toward the ears. All domestic dogs routinely possessed this muscle, except for the Siberian husky specimen, which interestingly belongs to the more ancient dog breeds, more closely related to wolves than many other breeds (19). Thus, most of the dogs in our sample had a greater ability than gray wolves to pull the lateral corners of their eyelids posterolaterally toward their ears. There was no other substantial variability in the facial musculature within the gray wolf sample, except for the RAOL, which was present in only three of the four specimens.
These anatomical differences between dogs and wolves correspond to our behavioral analysis of the facial movements oriented toward a human in 27 dogs (C. familiaris) and nine wolves (C. lupus). The dogs came from several shelters across the United Kingdom and were observed by a stranger who approached their kennel and filmed their behavior for 2 min each. The wolves came from two different wolf parks where they lived in groups and were filmed by a stranger individually for '¼2 min each. We analyzed the frequencies of AU101 movements both species produced as well as the level of intensity of those movements, from low intensity (A) to high intensity (E). We first compared the frequency of AU101 between species and found that, overall, dogs produced significantly more AU101 movements [median (Mdn) = 10] than wolves (Mdn = 2, Mann''Whitney: U = 36, z = ''3.13, P = 0.001). We then looked at the frequencies of AU101 movements by intensity level (A to E). Comparisons revealed that, while dogs and wolves seem to produce movements at lowest intensity (A) at the same frequency (Mdn dogs = 0.167, Mdn wolves = 0.75, Mann''Whitney: U = 74.5, z = ''1.74, P = 0.086), all higher intensity levels are produced at higher frequency in dogs (intensity level B: Mdn dogs = 0.32, Mdn wolves = 0, Mann''Whitney: U = 67.5, z = ''1.99, P = 0.047; intensity level C: Mdn dogs = 0.17, Mdn wolves = 0, Mann''Whitney: U = 32.5, z = ''3.35, P = 0.001) or produced exclusively by dogs (intensity levels D and E).
DiscussionOverall, our findings therefore show that selection pressures during domestication have shaped the facial muscle anatomy of dogs. While we have known for a long time that dog body shape and skeletal anatomy has been subject to artificial selection pressures, this is evidence that anatomical differences are also seen in the soft tissue'--a striking difference for species separated only about 33,000 y ago. Soft tissue changes are inherently hard to document given that soft tissues do not readily fossilize. Moreover, we show that these remarkably fast muscular changes can be linked directly to enhanced social interaction with humans. The rest of the facial anatomy did not differ between the species, so this anatomical difference translates to behavioral differences between dogs and wolves as dogs produce more common and exaggerated AU101 eyebrow facial movements than do wolves. Differences in intensity levels could also be due, in part, to a differential presence of connective tissue in the face between dogs and wolves, which might explain why, at very low intensity, no differences can be found between both species.
The AU101 movement causes the eyes of the dogs to appear larger, giving the face a more paedomorphic, infant-like appearance, and also resembles a movement that humans produce when they are sad (20). It therefore has the potential to elicit a caregiving response from humans, giving individuals that inherit the trait a selection advantage with humans. The likely evolutionary scenario was that humans consciously or unconsciously preferred (and therefore cared more for) individuals that produced the movement, which led to a selection advantage and manifestation of the trait. Since Waller et al. (17) found that dogs that produce this facial movement more were rehomed from a shelter more quickly, if that rehoming provides a genetic survivability advantage (i.e., if rehomed dogs are not sterilized and are more likely to produce offspring), then this type of selection is still happening to some extent.
There might be an additional reason why the AU101 movement is potentially of great significance for the dog''human bond: not just because it might elicit a caring response, but also because it might play a role during dog''human communicative interactions. In humans, eyebrow movements are seen as part of a set of cues, so-called ostensive cues, which are of particular significance during communicative interactions (21). In humans, eyebrow movements seem to be particularly relevant to boost the perceived prominence of words and act as focus markers in speech (22, 23). During communicative interactions, observers seem to pay particular attention to the upper facial area for prominence detection (23), and humans prefer utterances in which pitch and eyebrow movements are aligned on the same word and downscale the prominence of unaccented words in the immediate context of the eyebrow-accented words (24). Ostensive cues, like eyebrow movements, are seen as particularly relevant in the so-called pedagogical context, that is, when infants are learning something from others like, for instance, the meaning of words (25). The hypothesis is that humans are specifically adapted to being attentive to these kinds of ostensive cues and that this is a uniquely human feature (21).
Thus, it could be that humans consciously or unconsciously selected for exaggerated eyebrow movements in dogs, as they would be perceived as markers during communicative interactions. During communicative interactions, human observers not only pay particular attention to the upper facial area of other humans but also automatically pay attention to the upper facial area, in particular the eye region, while looking at pictures of animals, including dogs (26). As dogs seem to be specifically selected to respond to (and attend to) communicative interactions with humans, flexible eyebrow movements in dogs could have been a side product of that selection process.
Wolves, in comparison with other canids, are described as having an intense gaze-signaling face (27). Wolves have a lighter-colored iris compared with other canid species, which, as shown by Ueda et al. (27), correlates with longer-duration facial gaze signals. While this might have formed a basis for human attention to the wolf eyes, selection for more exaggerated eyebrow movements could have been what created the illusion of human-like communication. The heightened eyebrow movements may have been perceived by humans as markers similar to those established during human''human communicative interactions. Interestingly a recent study shows that dogs seem to produce significantly more AU101 when a human is looking at them, which might support the hypothesis that this is the context within which this trait evolved (28).
An alternative hypothesis could be that more-exaggerated AU101 movements are attractive for humans because they expose the white parts of the sclera in the dogs' eyes. Humans, unlike other primates which have gaze-camouflaging eyes, have a visible white sclera (29, 30). The depigmentation and visibility of the human sclera is hypothesized to be an adaptation to support cooperative social and communicative interactions (''cooperative eye hypothesis'') as it helps indicate gaze direction much more saliently (30, 31). Indeed there is evidence that humans have a preference for interacting with targets with a visible white sclera (29). When presenting participants with a series of stuffed animals (e.g., dogs), which only varied around the eyes in eye size, color, and the presence of a white sclera, Segal et al. (29) showed that children and adults significantly preferred animals with a visibly white sclera over other targets.
Overall, the data suggest that selection'--perhaps mainly unconscious'--during social interactions can create selection pressures on the facial muscle anatomy in dogs strong enough for additional muscles to evolve. This opens up interesting questions for future research, such as questions on other domestic species like cats and domestic horses and also breed differences in dogs as, well as questions on the kind of selection pressure necessary for this to emerge. One highly relevant question in this regard would be whether selection for tameness alone might create the same scenario. Here the domesticated silver foxes (32) would be relevant and interesting model taxa.
Materials and MethodsAnatomical Data.The specimens for the comparative facial dissections came from four wild wolves (C. lupus) and six domestic dogs (C. familiaris; see Table 2 for details on subspecies/breed for each specimen). Two specimens for the wolves were purchased from the taxidermy industry but were not killed for the purpose of this study, and the two other wolf specimens were obtained from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Specimens for the dogs were obtained from the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM). All anatomical samples were procured from cadaveric specimens that were not euthanized for our research and were therefore exempt from Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee oversight. The behavioral study was carried out in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour/Animal Behaviour Society guidelines for the use of animals in research and was approved by the University of Portsmouth Animal Ethics Committee.
Table 2.Subspecies/breed of specimen used in the dissection portion of this study
The main finding is that facial musculature between domestic dogs and gray wolves differed only around the eye. While the LAOM was present in dogs, in the gray wolves, it was never present. In wolves, a tendon was sometimes observed that blended with the medial aspect of the fibers of the orbicularis occuli muscle, near the region where an LAOM would normally be expected (see Fig. 2 for examples of pictures of the dissections).
Behavioral Data.Behavioral data were collected from nine wolves from two different animal parks (New Forest Wildlife Park, United Kingdom, for C.l. occidentalis and Tierpark Petersberg, Germany, for C.l. arctos) and 27 dogs from multiple shelters across the United Kingdom. The dogs were randomly selected from shelters, but formed a rather homogenous group of mainly Staffordshire Bullterriers (n = 20) and some mixed-breed dogs (n = 7). Each subject was videotaped for 2 min, by a stranger standing in front of the animal at a distance of '¼2 m to 5 m with her body oriented toward the animal. The person filming the dogs was the same for all dogs and was also the person filming the wolves at New Forest Wildlife Park, while the wolves at Tierpark Petersberg were filmed by a different experimenter. The frequency of AU101 movements was coded from videotape by a trained FACS (Facial Action Coding System) coder who was blind to the research hypothesis using Dog FACS [Waller et al. (17), www.animalfacs.com). AU101 movements were coded by intensity ranging from low (A) to high (E) intensity (see Movies S1''S8 for examples). Reliability coding on the intensities of the AU101 movements for the different species was performed by another trained FACS coder who was also blind to the hypothesis of the study. A good degree of reliability was found between measurements. The average measure intraclass correlation coefficient was = 0.76 with a 95% confidence interval.
AcknowledgmentsWe thank the following for access to their shelter dogs: Portsmouth City Dog Kennels; Wood Green, The Animal's Charity in Cambridge; The Dog's Trust, West London, Harefield; and Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Southridge Animal Centre, London. We thank New Forest Wildlife Park, United Kingdom, and Tierpark Petersberg, Germany, for access to their wolf groups for the behavioral study. We thank Kate Peirce for coding the behavioral data, Hoi-Lam Jim for reliability coding, Katrin Schuman for help with data collection, and Tim Smith for the production of Fig. 1. We thank the reviewers for their very helpful reviews.
FootnotesAuthor contributions: J.K., B.M.W., and A.M.B. designed research; J.K., B.M.W., R.D., A.H.-R., and A.M.B. performed research; J.K., B.M.W., A.H.-R., and A.M.B. analyzed data; and J.K., B.M.W., R.D., A.H.-R., and A.M.B. wrote the paper.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. B.H. is a guest editor invited by the Editorial Board.
This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1820653116/-/DCSupplemental.
Copyright (C) 2019 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND).
View Abstract
Dockless Mobility
Opinion | Scooter Madness - The New York Times
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 22:21
Cities are swarming with electric scooters. But this is not the 'micro-mobility revolution' we need.
June 17, 2019 Image Scooter riders near the Nashville intersection where Brad Gaulke was killed. Credit Credit William DeShazer for The New York Times NASHVILLE '-- Old friends of ours like to tell the story of the time they looked out their front window and saw a grown man propelling himself down their street on a child's push scooter. Peeking over his shoulder was a baby in a backpack, squealing with glee.
It was my baby.
When they rolled up to our duplex a little while later, both the pink-cheeked baby and his father were exultant. I was not exultant. I was very, very far from exultant.
In the unspoken division of parenting labor in our family, I was the cautious parent, the restrained parent, the consult-the-American-Academy-of-Pediatrics parent. My husband was the fun parent, the adventurous parent, the parent who sees a broken scooter, free for the taking, fixes it up and then takes it for a joy ride down a suburban commuter corridor with a baby strapped to his back.
That baby is currently 27 years old and backpacking around Europe on his summer break from teaching. I'm glad he grew up with a daring parent. I'm glad he also grew up with a vigilant parent who insisted on helmets and kneepads and safety goggles and sunscreen '-- a yen for adventure whispering in one ear; a sober respect for 7,000 pounds of barreling Yukon whispering in the other.
I hadn't thought about that little green push scooter in years, but the tension between adventure and safety is playing out on the streets of Nashville '-- and many other cities across the United States and Europe '-- on a grand scale these days. Since May of last year, more than 4,000 electric scooters have appeared on the streets of Nashville, and they have been wreaking havoc ever since.
Yes, there are good arguments for these vehicles. They're convenient, easy to use, and affordable (about a dollar to unlock using a smartphone app and about 15 cents per minute to ride). They don't contribute to urban heat or pollution. Finding a parking space is not a problem. And apparently they're hellacious fun '-- in Nashville, they've already racked up nearly 1 million rides.
Image A scooter rider weaving through traffic in downtown Nashville. Credit William DeShazer for The New York Times Nevertheless, the arguments in favor of electric scooters are nothing compared to the problems they cause. Let's start with the least noxious: People abandon them in the middle of sidewalks, in doorways, at street corners where pedestrians are trying to cross. In a city dense with tourists, many of them drunk out of their minds, the introduction of more than 4,000 tripping hazards is not a civic boon. In cities like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, according to The Los Angeles Times, fed-up residents ''are taking matters into their own hands and waging a guerrilla war against the devices'' '-- setting them on fire, throwing them from balconies and burying them at sea.
The dangers to pedestrians pale in comparison with the dangers to riders. In a study conducted in Austin, Tex., nearly half the people injured on an electric scooter sustained head injuries, and 15 percent of those head injuries were classified as ''traumatic.'' Less than 1 percent of the injured riders were wearing helmets.
In the year since electric scooters arrived here, the city has passed increasingly stringent rules for using them, but injuries continue to rise. Last month, the inevitable happened: Brady Gaulke, a 26-year-old Nashville man, was killed in a collision with an S.U.V. while riding a scooter. His grieving parents have started a petition to ban the devices in Nashville. ''[E]-scooters are unsafe at any speed, and we are calling on Mayor David Briley and the Metro Council to ban them from the streets immediately,'' the petition reads, arguing that Mr. Gaulke should be ''the last victim of an epidemic that the e-scooter companies and local government both refuse to acknowledge.''
Rented scooters are now in more than 100 cities in the United States and Europe, and similar stories are playing out nearly everywhere. Last week, a man was killed by a van in Paris while riding a scooter. The week before that, a man was killed in Helsingborg, Sweden, the day after the scooters were introduced. In Oklahoma, a 5-year-old boy died when he fell off the scooter he was sharing with his mother and was hit by a car. Less catastrophic injuries are common, and they range from broken bones and lacerations to traumatic brain injury. ''Right now, a stunning number of e-scooter users are getting seriously hurt,'' said William Wallace, a senior policy analyst for Consumer Reports.
It's not hard to identify the problems. In many places, it's against the law to ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk, and neophyte scooter riders, unlike veteran cyclists, aren't trained in the safest ways to share the road with cars. All over Nashville, scooters snake between moving lanes of traffic, run red lights and stop signs, turn against the light and generally break every traffic law we have. And they're doing it all without their riders wearing protective gear: These scooters are available almost everywhere now, and the decision to ride one is often impulsive. Tourists don't tend to travel with bicycle helmets in tow.
Despite the dangers, scooters continue to grow in popularity, part of what is being hailed as the ''micro-mobility revolution.'' Start-up companies like Bird and Lime are raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in investment capital, and ride-sharing veterans Uber and Lyft have entered the skyrocketing market.
Cities, though, are often caught off guard when these vehicles appear on their streets overnight. They can scramble to regulate the industry with new laws, but they may not have the enforcement resources to give those new laws teeth. And while there is no question that this country needs a micro-mobility revolution, it takes years to build the kind of infrastructure that would make it safer for people to ride scooters on city streets: Dedicated lanes protected by medians don't magically appear with an emergency vote by a city council. And people aren't going to make a habit of bringing helmets with them everywhere until such vehicles cease to be a novelty and become part of a concerted plan to reduce a city's carbon footprint.
Electric scooters are fun, and joy should never be discounted, but a city needs to be the municipal equivalent of the sober parent, the safety-conscious parent, and either ban the devices altogether or commit the resources to make them safer. Mayor Briley, who is running for re-election in Nashville, has asked for draft legislation that would ban the scooters outright if companies don't respond adequately to a list of safety concerns.
''I had the opportunity to speak to the mother of the young man who died last week,'' he said at a candidates' forum sponsored by Walk Bike Nashville, ''and any time we have that sense of loss in our community as a result of something we have put out there without necessarily thinking it all the way through, we have to go back and readdress the system.'' The seven scooter companies currently operating in Nashville have until June 22 to respond.
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Newly Released FBI Docs Shed Light on Apparent Mossad Foreknowledge of 9/11 Attacks
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 16:40
N EW YORK '-- For nearly two decades, one of the most overlooked and little known arrests made in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks was that of the so-called ''High Fivers,'' or the ''Dancing Israelis.'' However, new information released by the FBI on May 7 has brought fresh scrutiny to the possibility that the ''Dancing Israelis,'' at least two of whom were known Mossad operatives, had prior knowledge of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Shortly after 8:46 a.m. on the day of the attacks, just minutes after the first plane struck the World Trade Center, five men '-- later revealed to be Israeli nationals '-- had positioned themselves in the parking lot of the Doric Apartment Complex in Union City, New Jersey, where they were seen taking pictures and filming the attacks while also celebrating the destruction of the towers and ''high fiving'' each other. At least one eyewitness interviewed by the FBI had seen the Israelis' van in the parking lot as early as 8:00 a.m. that day, more than 40 minutes prior to the attack. The story received coverage in U.S. mainstream media at the time but has since been largely forgotten.
The men '-- Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Oded Ellner, Yaron Shimuel and Omar Marmari '-- were subsequently apprehended by law enforcement and claimed to be Israeli tourists on a ''working holiday'' in the United States where they were employed by a moving company, Urban Moving Systems. Upon his arrest, Sivan Kurzberg told the arresting officer, ''We are Israeli; we are not your problem. Your problems are our problems, The Palestinians are the problem.''
For years, the official story has been that these individuals, while they had engaged in ''immature'' behavior by celebrating and being ''visibly happy'' in their documenting of the attacks, had no prior knowledge of the attack. However, newly released FBI copies of the photos taken by the five Israelis strongly suggest that these individuals had prior knowledge of the attacks on the World Trade Center. The copies of the photos were obtained via a FOIA request made by a private citizen .
A high-quality photo, top, shows the area the dancing Israelis were staged. Credit | Panamza
According to a former high-ranking American intelligence official who spoke to the Jewish Daily Forward in 2002, the FBI concluded in its investigation that the five Israelis arrested ''were conducting a Mossad surveillance mission and that their employer, Urban Moving Systems of Weehawken, NJ, served as a front.'' At least two of the men arrested were determined to have direct links to the Mossad after their names appeared in a CIA-FBI database of foreign intelligence operatives. According to one of their lawyers, one of the men, Paul Kurzberg, had previously worked for the Mossad in another country prior to arriving in the United States. Another of those arrested, Oded Ellner, subsequently stated on Israeli TV that the five Israelis had been in New York at the time ''to document the event,'' meaning the attack on the World Trade Center.
The FOIA release of the photos is notable because responses to prior FOIA requests to the Department of Justice, which oversees the FBI, had previously claimed that all of the photos taken by the Israeli nationals had been destroyed in January 2014. The photos themselves are heavily redacted, making it impossible to see the Israelis' facial expressions. However, previously declassified yet heavily redacted FBI reports state that the Israelis are ''visibly happy'' in nearly every photo, even when the burning towers are in the background. The photos released are also not original copies and instead appear to be photocopies of photocopies of the original pictures. In addition, of the original 76 pictures developed by authorities from the camera in the Israelis' possession, only 14 were released.
However, three of these photos '-- despite the heavy redaction and poor quality '-- are damning. Since 2001, even though the photos were never released until now, it had been known that one of the Israelis arrested '-- Sivan Kurzberg '-- was seen in a photo ''holding a lighted lighter in the foreground, with the smoldering wreckage [of the twin towers] in the background,'' according to Steven Noah Gordon, then-lawyer for the five Israelis, as cited in a New York Times report from November 2001.
The picture of Kurzberg with the lit lighter appears to be photo #5 in the new FOIA release. Yet, the picture released includes a visible date of September 10, 2001, the day before the attacks, as do two other photos '-- images #7 and #8 in the collection '-- whereas all other photos with dates show only the month and the year (9 '01). The FOIA release did not provide any information as to the apparent discrepancy in dates.
While this could be explained away as the camera in question being programmed with a slightly inaccurate date, that doesn't seem to be the case for two reasons. First, only two out of the 14 pictures carry that date and, second, previously declassified FBI reports report an eyewitness adamantly stating that Sivan Kurzberg had visited the Doric Apartments on September 10, 2001 at around 3 p.m. with at least one other man, with whom he was conversing in a foreign language, and had identified himself as a ''construction worker'' to a tenant (page 61 of declassified FBI report ).
Sivan Kurzberg holds a lit lighter with the Manhattan skyline in the background. The date September 10, 2001 visible in the bottom right corner | Photo #5
In addition, the FBI report noted that a van from Urban Moving Systems, the company that employed the five Israelis at the time of their arrest, was present and was involved in moving a tenant out of the complex on September 10 and that the movers all had foreign accents. Thus, images 5, 7 and 8 strongly appear to have been taken at the same complex a day before the attacks. Kurzberg is seen in both images that display the visible date of September 10, 2001.
This raises two possibilities. First, that there are two images of Kurzberg with a lit lighter in front of the towers, one taken before the attack and one taken at the time of the attack, and that the FBI released only one of them. Second, that Kurzberg took the picture with the lighter only the day before the attack and his lawyer misrepresented the contents of the photo to the New York Times. Given that the background of the photo '-- particularly the state of the towers '-- is indiscernible in the recently released photo, it is difficult to determine which is the case.
One of the Israelis points to what is presumably the World Trade Center, in Manhattan on September 11, 2001 | Photo #2
Yet, in either scenario, Kurzberg had simulated the burning of the World Trade Center the day before the attacks took place. That the FBI concluded that Kurzberg was party to a Mossad surveillance operation at the time of his arrest would then suggest that Israeli intelligence also had foreknowledge of the attacks.
Notably, the relevant section of the FBI report that asks ''1. Did the Israeli nationals have foreknowledge of the events at WTC and were they filming the events prior to and in anticipation of the explosion?'' is redacted in its entirety, suggesting that the FBI did not determine the answer to that question to be an emphatic ''no.''
One of the 9/11 loose-ends coverups? If images 5 and 7 were indeed taken the day prior to the attack, the question then becomes why the FBI officially concluded that the arrested Israelis had no prior knowledge of the attacks? One report from ABC News dated June 2002 suggests that the Bush administration intervened in the investigation. That report states that ''Israeli and U.S. government officials worked out a deal '-- and after 71 days, the five Israelis were taken out of jail, put on a plane, and deported back home [to Israel].'' If the Bush administration had cut a deal with Israel's government to cover up the incident, it certainly would not have been the first time a U.S. presidential administration had done so on Israel's behalf.
Further evidence that higher-ups in the administration intervened is the fact that then-Attorney General John Ashcroft personally signed off on the detainees' release. Upon his entering the private sector as a lobbyist and consultant in 2005, the Israeli government became one of Ashcroft's first clients .
A cover-up certainly seems to have happened to some extent, between the destruction of records of the investigation and the fact that official conclusions of the investigation do not add up. In the latter case, the FBI '-- in a file dated September 24, 2001'' officially stated that they ''determined that none of the Israelis were actively engaged in clandestine intelligence activities in the United States.'' However, that conclusion was directly contradicted by U.S. officials a year later and by the fact that Israel's own government subsequently acknowledged that the five Israelis had indeed been involved in ''clandestine intelligence activities in the United States.''
In addition, the new FOIA release of the photos suggests that another FBI conclusion '-- that ''none of the pictures developed from the film found inside the 35-mm camera depicted the twin towers prior to the attack'' '-- was inaccurate. This may explain why the images released via the recent FOIA request were heavily edited leaving details in the background greatly obscured, making it impossible to determine whether the photos were taken prior to or during the attacks based solely on the state of the towers.
''Tourists'' with cash-stuffed socks, box cutters, and explosives? Beyond the photos and observed activities of the so-called ''Dancing Israelis,'' it is worth revisiting several other suspicious circumstances linked to their arrest that clearly show that the men in question were hardly the ''tourists'' they had claimed to be. One often cited example is the fact that one of the men, Oded Ellner, had a ''white sock-like sack filled with $4,700 in cash ,'' as well as maps of the city with certain places highlighted, and box cutters. In addition, the van in which the Israelis were arrested was ''oddly'' lacking ''equipment typically used in a moving company's daily duties,'' according to the FBI, and residue of explosives was found in the van.
Of the explosive residue, the declassified FBI report states:
A search of the van and individuals was conducted at the time of the vehicle stop. The vehicle was also searched by a trained bomb-sniffing dog which yielded a positive result for the presence of explosive traces. Swabs of the vehicle's interior were taken, and those samples were sent to the FBI laboratory for further analysis. Final results are still pending.''
In total, the FBI reported that four items related to explosives were found in the ban and are labeled in the report as ''Fabric Sample (Explosive Residue),'' ''Control Swabs '' SA [ '' ] Gloves,'' ''Control Swabs '' (Bomb Suits),'' and ''Blanket Samples For Explosive Residue.'' In addition, a VHS tape and some still photographs found in the van ''were sent to Laboratory Examiner [ redacted ] (Explosives Unit).''
In addition to the strange nature of some of the Israelis' possessions in the van and on their person, the company that employed them '-- Urban Moving Systems '-- was of special interest to the FBI, which concluded that the company was likely a ''fraudulent operation.'' Upon a search of the company's premises, the FBI noted that ''little evidence of a legitimate business operation was found.'' The FBI report also noted that there were an ''unusually large number of computers relative to the number of employees for such a fairly small business'' and that ''further investigation identified several pseudo-names or aliases associated with Urban Moving Systems and its operations.''
The FBI presence at the Urban Moving Systems search site drew the attention of the local media and was later reported on both television and in the local press. A former Urban Moving Systems employee later contacted the Newark Division with information indicating that he had quit his employment with Urban Moving Systems as a result of the high amount of anti-American sentiment present among Urban's employees. The former employee stated that an Israeli employee of Urban had even once remarked, ''Give us twenty years and we'll take over your media and destroy your country'' (page 37 of the FBI report ).
The FBI returned to search the premises of Urban Moving Systems a month later, but by that time found:
The building and all of its contents had been abandoned by'...the owner of Urban Moving Systems. This [was] apparently being done to avoid criminal prosecution after the 09/11/2001 arrest of five of his employees and subsequent seizure of his office computer systems by members of the FBI-NK on or around 09/13/2001.''
The company's owner '-- Dominik Otto Suter, an Israeli citizen '-- had fled to Israel on September 14, 2001, two days after he had been questioned by the FBI. The FBI told ABC News that ''Urban Moving may have been providing cover for an Israeli intelligence operation.'' Surprisingly, since at least 2016, Suter has been living in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he works for a contractor for major tech companies like Google and Microsoft. According to the public records database Intelius , in 2006 and 2007 Suter also worked for a telecommunications company '-- Granite Telecommunications '-- that works for the U.S. military and several other U.S. government agencies.
In addition to Urban Moving Systems, another moving company, Classic International Movers, became of interest in connection with the investigation into the ''Dancing Israelis,'' which led to the arrest and detention of four Israeli nationals who worked for this separate moving company. The FBI's Miami Division had alerted the Newark Division that Classic International Movers was believed to have been used by one of the 19 alleged 9/11 hijackers before the attack, and one of the ''Dancing Israelis'' had the number for Classic International Movers written in a notebook that was seized at the time of his arrest. The report further states that one of the Israelis of Classic International Movers who was arrested ''was visibly disturbed by the Agents' questioning regarding his personal email account.''
A crowded dance floor While the case of the ''Dancing Israelis'' has long been treated as an outlier in the aftermath of September 11, what is often overlooked is the fact that hundreds of Israeli nationals were arrested in the aftermath of the attacks.
According to a FOX News report from December 2001, 60 Israelis were apprehended or detained after September 11, with most deported, and a total of 140 Israelis were arrested and detained in all of 2001 by federal authorities. That report claimed that the arrests, ostensibly including the ''Dancing Israelis,'' were in relation to an investigation of ''an organized [Israeli] intelligence gathering operation designed to 'penetrate government facilities.'''
The report also added that most of those arrested, in addition to having served in the IDF, had ''intelligence expertise'' and worked for Israeli companies that specialized in wiretapping. Some of those detained were also active members of the Israeli military; and several detainees, including the ''Dancing Israelis,'' had failed polygraph tests when asked if they had been surveilling the U.S. government.
Watch | FOX News December 2001 report on Mossad spying prior to 9/11
. A key aspect of that report, compiled by journalist Carl Cameron, also states that federal investigators widely suspected that Israeli intelligence had prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks. In the report, Cameron stated:
The Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are 'tie-ins' but when asked for details he flatly refused to describe them saying: 'Evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified. I cannot tell you about the evidence that has been gathered. It is classified information.'''
One exchange between Cameron and host Brit Hume included in the report is particularly telling:
HUME : ''Carl, what about this question of advanced knowledge of what was going to happen on 9/11? How clear are investigators that some Israeli agents may have known something?''
CAMERON : ''Well it's very explosive information obviously and there is a great deal of evidence that they say they have collected. None of it necessarily conclusive. It's more when they put it all together a big question they say is, 'How could they have not known?' '-- almost a direct quote, Brit.''
9/11 as a big '-- and acknowledged '-- Israeli win If the ''Dancing Israelis'', and more broadly the Mossad and the Israeli government, had foreknowledge of September 11, why would they remain silent and not attempt to warn the American government or public of the coming attacks? In the case of the ''Dancing Israelis,'' why would Israelis celebrate such an attack?
One of the detained ''Dancing Israelis,'' Omer Marmari, told police the following about why he viewed the September 11 attacks in a positive light:
Israel now has hope that the world will now understand us. Americans are na¯ve and America is easy to get inside. There are not a lot of checks in America. And now America will be tougher about who gets into their country.''
While Marmari's statement may suggest one reason some of the ''Dancing Israelis'' were so ''visibly happy'' in their photographs, there are also other statements made by top Israeli politicians that suggest why the Israeli government and its intelligence agency declined to act on apparent foreknowledge of the attack.
When asked, on the day of the 9/11 attacks, how the attacks would affect American-Israeli relations, Benjamin Netanyahu '-- the current Israeli prime minister '-- told the New York Times that ''It's very good,'' before quickly adding ''Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.'' He then predicted, much as Marmari had, that the attacks would ''strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we've experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.''
Netanyahu, in a candid conversation recorded in 2001, also echoed Marmari's claim that Americans are na¯ve. In that recording, Netanyahu said :
I know what America is. America is something that can easily be moved. Moved to the right direction. '... They won't get in our way. They won't get in our way'... 80 percent of the Americans support us. It's absurd.''
In addition, also on the day of the September 11 attacks, Netanyahu '-- who at the time was not in political office '-- held a press conference in which he claimed that he had predicted the attacks on the World Trade Center by ''militant Islam'' in his 1995 book, Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism. In that book, Netanyahu had posited that Iranian-linked ''militants'' would set off a nuclear bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center.
During his press conference on the day of the attacks, Netanyahu also asserted that the 9/11 attacks would be a turning point for America and compared them to the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Netanyahu's statement echoes the infamous line from the '' Rebuilding America's Defenses '' document authored by the neoconservative think tank, the Project for a New Ameican Century (PNAC). That line reads. ''Further, the process of transformation [towards a neo-Reaganite foreign policy and hyper-militarism], even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event '-- like a new Pearl Harbor.''
Then again, years later In 2008, the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported that Netanyahu had stated that the September 11 attacks had greatly benefited Israel. He was quoted as saying : ''We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq.''
Indeed, it goes without saying that the aftermath of 9/11 '-- which involved the U.S. leading a destructive effort throughout the Middle East '-- has indeed benefited Israel. Many of the U.S.' post-9/11 ''nation-building'' efforts have notably mirrored the policy paper '' A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm ,'' which was authored by American neoconservatives '-- PNAC members among them '-- for Netanyahu's first term as prime minister.
That document calls for the creation of a ''New Middle East'' by, among other things, ''weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria'' and ''removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq '-- an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right.'' As is known now, both of those main objectives have since come to pass, each with strong Israeli involvement .
Feature photo | Four of the Israeli nationals arrested for ''puzzling behavior'' during the September 11 attacks are seen casually posing together in front of the Manhattan skyline while the September 11 attacks were in progress | Photo #1
Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.
Any Collusion?
FBI, warned early and often that Manafort file might be fake, used it anyway | TheHill
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 03:10
When the final chapter of the Russia collusion caper is written, it is likely two seminal documents the FBI used to justify investigating Donald Trump Donald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE 's 2016 campaign will turn out to be bunk.
And the behavior of FBI agents and federal prosecutors who promoted that faulty evidence may disturb us more than we now know.
The first, the Christopher Steele dossier, has received enormous attention. And the more scrutiny it receives, the more its truthfulness wanes. Its credibility has declined so much that many now openly question how the FBI used it to support a surveillance warrant against the Trump campaign in October 2016.
At its best, the Steele dossier is an ''unverified and salacious'' political research memo funded by Trump's Democratic rivals. At worst, it may be Russian disinformation worthy of the ''garbage'' label given it by esteemed reporter Bob Woodward.
The second document, known as the ''black cash ledger,'' remarkably has escaped the same scrutiny, even though its emergence in Ukraine in the summer of 2016 forced Paul Manafort Paul John ManafortJustice Department intervenes, keeps Manafort from being sent to Rikers Island: report Justice Department intervenes, keeps Manafort from being sent to Rikers Island: report The Hill's 12:30 Report '-- Presented by MAPRx '-- Supreme Court double jeopardy ruling could impact Manafort MORE to resign as Trump's campaign chairman and eventually face U.S. indictment.
In search warrant affidavits, the FBI portrayed the ledger as one reason it resurrected a criminal case against Manafort that was dropped in 2014 and needed search warrants in 2017 for bank records to prove he worked for the Russian-backed Party of Regions in Ukraine.
There's just one problem: The FBI's public reliance on the ledger came months after the feds were warned repeatedly that the document couldn't be trusted and likely was a fake, according to documents and more than a dozen interviews with knowledgeable sources.
For example, Ukraine's top anticorruption prosecutor, Nazar Kholodnytsky, told me he warned the U.S. State Department's law enforcement liaison and multiple FBI agents in late summer 2016 that Ukrainian authorities who recovered the ledger believed it likely was a fraud.
''It was not to be considered a document of Manafort. It was not authenticated. And at that time it should not be used in any way to bring accusations against anybody,'' Kholodnytsky said, recalling what he told FBI agents.
Likewise, Manafort's Ukrainian business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, a regular informer for the State Department, told the U.S. government almost immediately after The New York Times wrote about the ledger in August 2016 that the document probably was fake.
Manafort ''could not have possibly taken large amounts of cash across three borders. It was always a different arrangement '-- payments were in wire transfers to his companies, which is not a violation,'' Kilimnik wrote in an email to a senior U.S. official on Aug. 22, 2016.
He added: ''I have some questions about this black cash stuff, because those published records do not make sense. The timeframe doesn't match anything related to payments made to Manafort. '... It does not match my records. All fees Manafort got were wires, not cash.''
Special counsel Robert Mueller Robert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE 's team and the FBI were given copies of Kilimnik's warning, according to three sources familiar with the documents.
Submitting knowingly false or suspect evidence '-- whether historical or to support probable cause '-- in a federal court proceeding violates FBI rules and can be a crime under certain circumstances. ''To establish probable cause, the affiant must demonstrate a basis for knowledge and belief that the facts are true,'' the FBI operating manual states.
But with Manafort, the FBI and Mueller's office did not cite the actual ledger '-- which would require agents to discuss their assessment of the evidence '-- and instead cited media reports about it. The feds assisted on one of those stories as sources.
For example, agents mentioned the ledger in an affidavit supporting a July 2017 search warrant for Manafort's house, citing it as one of the reasons the FBI resurrected the criminal case against Manafort.
''On August 19, 2016, after public reports regarding connections between Manafort, Ukraine and Russia '-- including an alleged 'black ledger' of off-the-book payments from the Party of Regions to Manafort '-- Manafort left his post as chairman of the Trump Campaign,'' the July 25, 2017, FBI agent's affidavit stated.
Three months later, the FBI went further in arguing probable cause for a search warrant for Manafort's bank records, citing a specific article about the ledger as evidence Manafort was paid to perform U.S. lobbying work for the Ukrainians.
''The April 12, 2017, Associated Press article reported that DMI [Manafort's company] records showed at least two payments were made to DMI that correspond to payments in the 'black ledger,' '' an FBI agent wrote in a footnote to the affidavit.
There are two glaring problems with that assertion.
First, the agent failed to disclose that both FBI officials and Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, who later became Mueller's deputy, met with those AP reporters one day before the story was published and assisted their reporting.
An FBI record of the April 11, 2017, meeting declared that the AP reporters "were advised that they appeared to have a good understanding of Manafort's business dealings" in Ukraine.
So, essentially, the FBI cited a leak that the government had facilitated and then used it to support the black ledger evidence, even though it had been clearly warned about the document.
Secondly, the FBI was told the ledger claimed to show cash payments to Manafort when, in fact, agents had been told since 2014 that Manafort received money only by bank wires, mostly routed through the island of Cyprus, memos show.
During the 2014 investigation, Manafort and his partner Richard Gates voluntarily identified for FBI agents tens of millions of dollars they received from Ukrainian and Russian sources and the shell companies and banks that wired the money. ''Gates stated that the amounts they received would match the amounts they invoiced for services. Gates added they were always paid late, and in tranches,'' FBI memos I obtained show.
Liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz said FBI affidavits almost never cite news articles as evidence. ''They are supposed to cite the primary evidence and not secondary evidence,'' he said.
''It sounds to me like a fraud on the court, possibly a willful and deliberate fraud that should have consequences for both the court and the attorneys' bar,'' he added.
Former FBI intelligence chief Kevin Brock was less critical. He said mentioning the ledger in an affidavit for its historical relationship to Manafort's firing and the start of the investigation might be defensible, but any effort to use the ledger to support probable cause would be ''puzzling'' since it clearly was not needed to strengthen either affidavit and only risked tainting the warrant. He said it could raise questions about why the special counsel believed it necessary to refer to the ledger in the probable cause narrative.
In the end, the best proof that the FBI knew the black ledger was a sham is that prosecutors never introduced it to jurors in Manafort's trial.
Rep. Mark Meadows Mark Randall MeadowsRep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump House Oversight votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt MORE , a senior Republican on the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, told me Wednesday night he is asking the Justice Department inspector general to investigate the FBI and prosecutors' handling of the Manafort warrants, including any media leaks and evidence that the government knew the black ledger was potentially unreliable or suspect evidence.
The question of whether the Mueller team should have used the ledger in search warrant affidavits before that is for the courts to decide.
But the public has a substantial interest in questioning whether, more broadly, the FBI should have sustained a Trump-Russia collusion investigation for more than two years based on the suspect Steele dossier and black ledger.
Understandably, there isn't much public sympathy for foreign lobbyists such as Manafort. But the FBI and prosecutors should be required to play by the rules and use solid evidence when making its cases.
It does not appear to have been the prevailing practice in the Russia collusion investigation. And that should trouble us all.
John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists' misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He serves as an investigative columnist and executive vice president for video at The Hill. Follow him on Twitter @jsolomonReports.
Editor's note: This article was updated with new information.
Second Dem Staffer Charged For Helping Leaker During Kavanaugh Smear Job - MAGA Conservative
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 04:32
A second ex-aide to Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan has been charged in federal court for computer fraud.
Specifically, for helping another Dem staffer leak personal information on GOP Senators during the Brett Kavanaugh smear job.
That staffer pleaded guilty and will be sentenced today '' prosecutors are asking for 5 years. From Politico:
A second former aide to Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) was charged in federal court Wednesday with evidence of tampering and aiding and abetting computer fraud in connection with a scheme that led to personal information of several Republican senators being posted online during the confirmation fight over Justice Brett Kavanaugh last year.
Samantha Deforest Davis, who worked as a staff assistant for Hassan until last December, is expected to plead guilty to the two misdemeanor charges, a person familiar with the case said.
The charges against Davis were formally filed just hours before another ex-Hassan aide, Jackson Cosko, was set to be sentenced on far more serious, felony charges he previously pleading guilty to stemming from the same hacking and doxing scheme.
Prosecutors say that after Cosko '-- a computer specialist '-- was fired from Hassan's office last year, he used Davis's keys to repeatedly return to the office, copy dozens of gigabytes of sensitive data, and install sophisticated keyloggers that captured the work and personal computer passwords of Hassan staffers as they logged in.
Prosecutors say Davis didn't give Cosko permission to use her keys the first time he surreptitiously entered Hassan's office, but Davis later agreed to loan Cosko her office key and agreed to ''wipe down'' computers in the office to erase traces of Cosko's fingerprints. Davis and Cosko had a ''close relationship'' and she also borrowed money from Cosko to pay her rent, court papers say.
Cosko's initial intent appears to have been to harass and intimidate his former colleagues in Hassan's office, including those responsible for his firing, prosecutors contend. However, Cosko has admitted that in a rage last September over Republicans' handling of the Kavnaugh nomination, Cosko used the data he'd stolen to publish the home addresses and telephone numbers of Senators Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, and Mike Lee.
Following initial media coverage of the doxing of the three Republican senators, Cosko published the home addresses and telephone numbers of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul.
Prosecutors say Cosko also threatened to release health information on senators' children and appeared to engage in an extortion effort by declaring in one post on Paul's Wikipedia page: ''Send us bitcoins.''
Prosecutors have asked U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan to sentence Cosko to nearly five years in prison.
No arraignment has been set yet for Davis.
Biden Admaker Departs Amid Candidate's Praise of Segregationists
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 05:18
Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign had its first high-profile departure on Wednesday, amid a mounting controversy over the candidate's praise of two fervent segregationists.Mark Putnam, a political strategist and television ad maker, told The New York Times he was leaving Biden's campaign.
''I wish the vice president well,'' Putnam said, before refusing to discuss the parameters of his exit.
He ''declined to address the reasons for his departure,'' according to the Times report, ''though they did not appear to be related to Mr. Biden's struggles over the last few weeks concerning abortion rights and race.''
On Tuesday, the Democrat frontrunner invoked his friendship with the late Sens. James Eastland (D-MS) and Herman Talmadge (D-GA) while arguing he was the best candidate to forge a bipartisan ''consensus'' if elected president.
''I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland,'' Biden said in an exaggerated Southern drawl. ''He never called me boy, he always called me son.''
''Well guess what?'' the former vice president continued. ''At least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn't agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today you look at the other side and you're the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don't talk to each other anymore.''
When Biden's praise of the senators' ''civility'' was reported it quickly caused stirs because both men were well-known segregationists. During their long tenures in the Senate, Eastland and Talmadge were at the forefront of the resistance to integration and civil rights.
The backlash grew throughout Wednesday, especially after Biden's White House competitors began denouncing the comments as insensitive and inappropriate. The situation was only aggravated when Biden's campaign attempted to dismiss the controversy by suggesting criticism of the vice president's praise of the Democrat segregationists was ''disingenuous.''
Biden, himself, only added to the troubles by standing defiant when asked if he would issue an apology on Wednesday.
''Apologize for what?'' Biden said, adding he ''could not have disagreed with Jim Eastland more.''
The former vice president also took a shot at his fellow 2020 Democrat presidential hopeful, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who earlier in theday delivered an impassioned rebuke of Biden's remarks.
''Cory should apologize. He knows better,'' Biden said. ''There's not a racist bone in my body. I've been involved in civil rights my whole career, period, period, period.''
Six Week Cycle
What we know about Brian Clyde, the gunman who opened fire at the federal courthouse in downtown Dallas | Dallas | Dallas News
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 12:00
Updated at 1:40 p.m. June 18: Revised to include information about the suspect's discharge from the military.
The 22-year-old man who opened fire Monday morning on the Earle Cabell Federal Building in downtown Dallas had shared images and a video of weapons on social media in recent days.
Brian Clyde is seen in two photos posted to his Facebook page, most recently in the one (right) posted May 8, 2019. Clyde opened fire at the Earle Cabell Federal Building in downtown Dallas.
Brian Isaack Clyde, who authorities confirmed was the gunman, served in the Army for two years. Soldiers who served with Clyde said he came from a family of military veterans and often participated in war re-enactments.
But in 2017, Clyde felt the military wasn't for him as he struggled with training and tests in preparation for possible deployment, they said.
Clyde was photographed with a large knife and multiple high-capacity magazines fastened to a belt as he opened fire on the federal building before 9 a.m. Monday.
Federal authorities leading the investigation have not offered a motive for his attack, which ended when he was fatally wounded during an exchange of gunfire.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno said Clyde was not on any federal watchlist or otherwise "of investigative interest."
An Army spokesman confirmed Clyde was a private first class and served as an infantryman in the Army from August 2015 to February 2017.
Clyde was honorably discharged from the military, an FBI spokeswoman said Tuesday. No further details about his discharge have been released.
'We lived with guns in our hands'Dennis Bielby, 22, served with Clyde in the 101st Airborne Division, stationed in Fort Campbell, Ky.
He said Clyde struggled with the high stress of military life but was "kind and gentle."
Bielby said veterans, including himself, sometimes struggle with mental health issues as they're transitioning back to civilian life. But he said the shooting was inexplicable.
"In the military and the younger generation, it's very common to joke about suicidal depressive thoughts," Bielby said.
But he said he couldn't say for sure whether Clyde had made those sorts of jokes.
"Everyone makes those jokes," he said.
Bielby said that after Clyde was discharged in 2017, he didn't stay in close contact with him. When he heard the news of the shooting, Bielby thought immediately of a photo Clyde had posted on Facebook of several gun magazines two days before the shooting.
"2 40 rounders and 8 30 rounders total," Clyde wrote in the post.
But Bielby said that wasn't a red flag.
"We lived with guns in our hands," he said.
Matthew Newell, who also served with Clyde in Kentucky, said Clyde felt pressure to stay in the military but after 2017 wanted to look for a ''new path."
''He didn't want to let anyone down,'' Newell said. ''He was looking forward to finding another option.''
He said Clyde left the Army to enroll in school and find a job.
Newell said Clyde was a gun enthusiast who was fascinated with military history and medieval weapons.
Gabriel Wadsworth, who was stationed with Clyde at Fort Campbell in 2015, said, he was "still shaking" at the news.
Wadsworth said that he and Clyde exchanged messages on Facebook on Sunday night and that Clyde didn't share any information that worried him.
"Nobody knew that he would have done something like this," he said.
Clyde, who did not appear to have any criminal history, had lived in Corpus Christi and Austin, public records show. It was unclear whether he was living in Dallas before the shooting, but records indicate he had relatives who lived in the area.
A man who answered the door at the Plano home where public records show Clyde's family lives declined to comment.
Reached by telephone Monday afternoon, Clyde's grandfather, Rodney Clyde, said he had "nothing to say at this time" and declined to comment further before he hung up.
In a video Brian Clyde posted on Facebook in which he appears to be receiving an outstanding student award from Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, he said he had served in the Army. Clyde's Facebook page was taken down Monday afternoon.
"Military has always been big in my family, so has education," he said. "When I got out, I really didn't have any other options, so I figure go to school."
He was one of 983 prospective graduates from Del Mar this spring, according to the school.
Clyde graduated from Leander ISD's Vandegrift High School in 2015. School district records indicated that he was a member of the JROTC program.
Prior to transferring to Vandegrift, Clyde attended Dallas ISD schools. He went to E.D. Walker Middle School and spent two-thirds of his freshman year at East Dallas' Woodrow Wilson High School.
Watch exclusive video from Dallas Morning News photographer Tom Fox, who witnessed the shooting: Social mediaClyde posted frequently on Facebook, sharing political memes that made light of '-- among other things '-- incest and the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Several memes included Confederate flag imagery.
One meme he shared referred to a ''Chad rampage'' vs. a ''virgin shooting'' '-- the Chad vs. virgin trope is a common ''incel'' meme, which is short for ''involuntary celibate.'' The meme contrasted how two men '-- a "Chad" and a "virgin" '-- would go about carrying out a shooting.
In the memes, "Chads" are strong men who can attract women, unlike weaker "virgins."
The term ''incels'' usually refers to an online community of men who blame women for not having sex with them. In some cases, the internet subculture makes its way offline, such as when a man killed 10 people after he drove into a crowd in Toronto last year and pledged allegiance to the ''incel rebellion.''
On June 9, the day a sudden, violent storm blew through Dallas, Clyde posted a video to Facebook in which he is illuminated by candlelight.
"I don't know how much longer I have, but the [expletive] storm is coming. However, I'm not without defense," he says in the video, holding up what appears to be a rifle wrapped with duct tape. "[Expletive] ready. Let's do it."
In a post in April, he wrote, "God i love gun shows."
Staff writers Cary Aspinwall, Sarah Sarder, Dave Boucher, Kevin Krause and Corbett Smith contributed to this report.
VIDEO - VIDEO : Khashoggi killing 'was not a rogue operation', says UN investigator | Euronews
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:14
Saudi Arabia had knowledge of and is responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to a UN special investigation into the killing. The report says Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, should be investigated over the brutal death of the journalist in October 2018.
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Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:09
VIDEO - Heckling, drama mark House hearing on slavery reparations as top Dem asks, 'Why not now?' | Fox News
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 11:01
The question of slavery reparations for black Americans was the subject of a fiery and emotional House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday as Democrats called for measures to address America's ''original sin'' -- while Republicans described such payments as an ''injustice'' and ''almost certainly unconstitutional.''
The Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties subcommittee held the hearing on H.R. 40 -- a bill by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, to set up a commission to study and develop a response to the question of reparations for slavery.
Democrats such as former President Barack Obama and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton opposed such a costly plan in the past. But amid a steady shift in the party to the left, the issue has been given new life with endorsements from 2020 hopefuls and others -- though details remain vague as to what form such reparations should take, with estimates for a controversial direct payment to slave descendants running into the trillions.
''The role of the federal government in supporting the institution of slavery and subsequent discrimination directed against blacks is an injustice that must be formally acknowledged and addressed,'' Jackson-Lee said.
"I just simply ask: Why not and why not now?" she said.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who is running for president and has introduced a version of Jackson-Lee's bill in the Senate, said it is wrong to present the issue as one American writing a check for another, and called on lawmakers to deal with what he said is continued racism in America.
Citing racial disparities on issues such as health and education, he said America has a criminal justice system ''that is indeed a form of new Jim Crow.''
''And so we as a nation have not yet truly acknowledged and grappled with racism and white supremacy that has tainted this country's founding and continues to persist in those deep racial disparities and inequalities today,'' he said.
Republicans, meanwhile, recognized the horrors of slavery but said that reparations were not the way forward. Congressman Mike Johnson, R-La., was booed and heckled during his remarks.
''Putting aside the injustice of monetary reparations from current taxpayers for the sins of a small subset of Americans from many generations ago, the fair distribution of reparations would be nearly impossible when one considers the complexity of the American struggle to abolish slavery,'' he said.
He quoted a former NAACP assistant director in calling reparations ''an illogical diversionary and paltry way out for guilt-ridden whites'' -- and was booed for saying such measures would ''almost certainly be unconstitutional on their face.''
His remarks echo those of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who said Tuesday he didn't agree with plans for reparations.
"I think we're always a work in progress in this country, but no one currently alive was responsible for that, and I don't think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it. First of all, it would be pretty hard to figure out who to compensate," he said. "No, I don't think reparations are a good idea.''
At another point in the hearing, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert accused Democrats of having racists in the ranks decades ago and added: "It is important that we know our history and we not punish people for the sins of their predecessors in the Democratic Party." At that point someone in the audience shouted out: "You lie."
Activist and actor Danny Glover testified at the hearing, as did author Ta-Nehisi Coates, who wrote an influential 2014 essay on the subject and criticized McConnell by name in Wednesday's hearing. He said that America was paying out pensions to heirs of Civil War veterans into this century, and still honors hundred-year-old treaties.
''Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for, but we are American citizens and thus bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach,'' he said.
But Quilette writer Coleman Hughes said that while he believed the failure to pay reparations directly to freed slaves after the Civil War to be "one of the greatest injustices ever perpetrated by the U.S. government," he asked whether "our desire to fix the past compromises our ability to fix the present."
"Black people don't need another apology, we need safer neighborhoods and better schools, we need a less punitive criminal justice system, we need affordable health care and none of these things can be achieved with reparations for slavery," he said, to some boos from onlookers.
"If we were to pay reparations today, we would only divide the country further, making it harder to build the political coalitions required to solve the problems facing black people today."
When he finished his testimony, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., told boo-ers to "chill" and, but appeared to show his own irritation at some of Hughes' remarks when he said that the witness was "presumptive, but he still had a right to speak."
Meanwhile, former NFL player and conservative author Burgess Owens pointed to the Democratic Party as historically responsible for injustices against black Americans, from slavery to the Ku Klux Klan to the literacy rates for black Americans in Democratic states and cities.
"How about the Democratic Party pay for all the misery brought to my race, and those who after they learn our history decide to stay there ... and every white American, Republican or Democrat that feels guilty because of their white skin should need to pony up also -- that way we can get past this reparation and recognize that this country has given us greatness," he said.
Amid the back and forth on whether reparations should be considered, there were scant details on what form such a package would take. Democrats brushed off the idea that such a payment would be a direct monetary payment.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said that ''most serious reparations models proposed to date have focused on restorative community-based programs of employment, health care, housing and education initiatives -- righting wrongs that cannot be fixed by checks alone.''
This echoes proposals by top 2020 Democrats, who have been vague about the form reparations would take. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., suggested to The Grio in February that it could include a generic tax credit to families making under $100,000 -- a much less controversial proposal.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., meanwhile, has gone a step further and said that Native Americans should be ''part of the conversation.''
The caution about specific cash payments from Democrats reflects an opposition to such measures from the public-at-large. The New York Times cited estimates by experts that said that reparation policies could cost several trillion dollars.
A Fox News poll in April found that 60 percent of Americans oppose paying cash reparations to descendants of slaves, while just 32 percent support it. However, the poll also found that among Democratic primary voters, 54 percent said they were likely to support a candidate who backed reparations, while 33 percent said they were not likely to do so.
VIDEO - Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee describes historical abuses and impact of slavery | Fox News Video
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 09:47
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VIDEO - Burgess Owens Says Democrats Should Pay Reparations - YouTube
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 17:16
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VIDEO - Eating Their Own: Bill Maher Throws Hillary Under The Bus - Freedoms Phoenix
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 17:01
News Link ' Politics 06-19-2019 ' https://www.dcclothesline.com Kirsters Baish's Opinion | Bill Maher slammed former Secretary of State/failed Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton this week, saying that she is guilty of committing obstruction of justice when she destroyed evidence having to do with her infamous private email scandal.
"I don't have a lot of faith because, you know, we don't live in the era of news division as loss leaders like we used to. The news division didn't have to make a profit," Maher stated on Monday during an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo. His comments came response to a question regarding how the press should be policing our elections.
He continued, "Then that changed and then you have to report to the board like everybody else and show your earnings and in that atmosphere they're always going to be looking for eyeballs. That's going to be the most important thing is getting people to click, getting people to watch. And in that atmosphere, I mean look at how much they over covered Hillary's emails in 2016. And what effect that had on the election? Now there's a lot of reasons why the Democrats lost and many of them were Hillary was a terrible candidate."
Cuomo then stated that Clinton's actions during the email scandal didn't help her situation any.
"Absolutely, right," Maher explained. He went on, "And she committed obstruction of justice."
Cuomo stated that the fact that Clinton had smashed phones was "bad optics."
Later on in the interview, Maher said that political correctness within the Democratic Party had turned into a "cancer."
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VIDEO - Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "Chris Cuomo says the phrase ''concentration camps'' has no Nazi connotations but ''America First'' does This is CNN https://t.co/XLjJYGiDcg"
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 05:05
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VIDEO - House Minority Ldr McCarthy: Ocasio-Cortez 'Owes the Country an Apology' | Breitbart
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 04:50
Tuesday on Fox News Channel's ''Fox News @ Night,'' House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reacted to his House colleague Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-CA) accusation that the Trump administration was holding migrant families in the equivalent of ''concentration camps.''
McCarthy suggested it was a misunderstanding of history on Ocasio-Cortez's part and called on her to apologize to the country.
''I think she should understand what history is and not compare the both,'' McCarthy said. ''The other thing she has to understand, too, is what is happening on the border, has she been there to see it? These are people who are illegally crossing that are coming over. This is a country that is actually caring for, and providing their health care, taking care of the children. And the majority of the children coming over are not with their parents. So it is fundamentally different, and she is trying to use something without understanding history, and I would never compare the two. She actually owes the country an apology.''
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VIDEO - US: We Should Not Yield to Nuclear Extortion by Iranian Regime - YouTube
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 04:47
VIDEO - Why Google Capital Led $100M CrowdStrike Investment - YouTube
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 13:49
VIDEO - Iran tanker attacks: U.S. sending 1,000 more troops to Middle East amid rising tensions - CBS News
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 04:59
Pentagon deploying another 1,000 troops
The U.S. is sending 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East as tensions with Iran continue to rise after recent attacks on two oil tankers , which the U.S. says were carried out by Iranian forces.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced the new troop deployment in a statement Monday, saying U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) requested the forces "for defensive purposes to address air, naval and ground-based threats in the Middle East."
"The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region," Shanahan said. "The United States does not seek conflict with Iran. The action today is being taken to ensure the safety and welfare of our military personnel working throughout the region and to protect our national interests."
The move comes just days after the attacks on the oil tankers in one of the world's most important shipping routes, which the U.S. says were carried out by Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Last week, the Pentagon released footage purporting to show an Iranian vessel affixing an unexploded mine to one of the ships. On Monday, the military released new photos of the aftermath, including an image showing a gaping hole in the side of one of the tankers.
The side of an oil tanker that was attacked in the Gulf of Oman on June 13, 2019. Department of Defense On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told "Face the Nation" the administration was considering a "full range" of options to counter Iranian aggression, including a possible military strike. Pompeo traveled on Monday to Florida to meet with officials from CENTCOM, which oversees military operations in the Middle East.
The Iranian government has denied involvement in the attacks. The country's atomic agency said Monday it was increasing its production of uranium and will surpass the limit allowed under the 2015 nuclear deal within 10 days. President Trump announced he was withdrawing the U.S. from that accord in 2018.
In late May, President Trump ordered 1,500 troops deployed to the region, following earlier coordinated attacks on four oil tankers.
VIDEO - Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Mueller Upends Rule of Law, In Final Appearance'--Sidney Powell - YouTube
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 04:36
VIDEO - Ryan Saavedra on Twitter: "FBI Asst. Director of Counterterrorism Michael McGarrity has to repeatedly explain to Ocasio-Cortez that domestic terrorists are not charged with domestic terrorism because no domestic terrorist statute exists AOC, who i
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 04:33
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VIDEO - Trump 'thinks he knows' who was behind 9/11 '-- RT USA News
Mon, 17 Jun 2019 23:08
US President Donald Trump has cryptically suggested he knows who is responsible for the 9/11 attacks, but would not name the names.
Speaking to ABC's George Stephanopoulos in the Rose Garden of the White House this weekend, the president digressed from the subject of the 2003 invasion of Iraq to the infamous terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York and Washington in 2001.
''By the way, Iraq did not knock down the World Trade Center,'' the president said.
It was not Iraq. It was other people. And I think I know who the other people were.
''And you might also,'' he added, looking at Stephanopoulos.
It is not clear who Trump was talking about, but Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda terrorist network are widely considered to be the culprits behind the attacks '' even though bin Laden himself denied all involvement on several occasions before his death in 2011.
READMORE: Trump kicks guy out for interrupting his rant on 'FANTASTIC' financial statement with cough (VIDEO)
The Bush administration cited the 9/11 attacks to invade Iraq in March 2003, claiming the country had weapons of mass destruction it could give to terrorists.
Also on rt.com 'More secrets': New batch of 'Dark Overlord' 9/11 papers leaked online President Trump went on to criticize American involvement in the Middle East, which he called ''the worst decision made in the history of our country'' that has cost the US trillions of dollars.
On September 11, 2001, hijackers commandeered commercial airliners and flew them into the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon. The fourth jet, said to have been aimed at either the White House or the Capitol, crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
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VIDEO - WATCH: Students condemn 'racist' remarks they believe President Trump made '-- and find themselves speechless when they learn the quotes came from Joe Biden - TheBlaze
Mon, 17 Jun 2019 16:19
Students at Marymount University in Virginia blasted "racist" remarks that they believed President Donald Trump made '-- but they quickly changed their tunes when they discovered that Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden actually uttered them.
What are the details? Cabot Phillips with Campus Reform visited the Arlington, Virginia, campus recently, where he discussed the quotes with students.
Phillips presented students with a number of quotes that some people considered to be offensive and racist.
Every student told Phillips that they believed the president was behind the quotes. When they learned that it was Biden who actually made the offending remarks, many of the students were left speechless and shocked.
Some of the quotes included soundbites like "You cannot go into a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."
Another included, "They're going to put y'all back in chains," and yet another remark read, "[Y]ou got the first mainstream African-American [former President Barack Obama] who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."
Every last student said that they believed Trump made the remarks.
Here are some of the more interesting responses when the students discovered that all of the remarks belonged to the Democratic presidential candidate:
"All right, there it is. That's surprising." "That's crazy. That's surprising.""Oh, snap. Oh, that's bad. That's bad. They're all pretty racist, so, not really good." "Ah, that's surprising." "That's really surprising. I've never heard any of those things before, the fact that you told me that, now I'm like 'Damn is he really who he say he is?'""I don't think that's something I want to really support."Here's what the students said when Phillips asked them if this would impact their vote for president.
"Of course. Well, I mean, like, since I thought all that was Trump, I thought that was going to be a slam dunk, but apparently I've got to reconsider that." "Yeah. Definitely, absolutely." "Personally, I have to do my research [now].""Yeah, I think it would." "Yes, absolutely." Biden Supporters Shocked By His 'Racist' Quoteswww.youtube.com
VIDEO - TicToc by Bloomberg on Twitter: "''This industry is becoming better known for a less-noble innovation: the belief that you can claim credit without accepting responsibility.'' Apple CEO Tim Cook chides the tech industry's ''harmful outcomes'
Mon, 17 Jun 2019 03:08
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VIDEO - Why US soccer star Megan Rapinoe doesn't sing the national anthem - ABC News
Mon, 17 Jun 2019 03:03
As the national anthem played before the U.S. women's national team took on Thailand in the FIFA Women's World Cup last week, the team stood in a row on the field.
A camera panned down the line of players during the broadcast, showing each with her hand over her heart, mouthing along to the song.
At the end of the line was Megan Rapinoe, the co-captain and one of the biggest stars of the team. She stood impassively, hands at her sides, not singing along.
Rapinoe's silent observance of the anthem is part of a years-long protest by the athlete.
Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties.In September 2016, Rapinoe was one of the first athletes to follow then-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's lead in kneeling during the anthem to protest racial oppression and police brutality against black people.
"Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it," she said at the time, according to The Associated Press. "It's important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this. We don't need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that's really powerful."
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images, FILE PHOTO:Megan Rapinoe #15 kneels during the National Anthem prior to the match between the United States and the Netherlands at Georgia Dome, Sept. 18, 2016, in Atlanta.She further explained her demonstration in an October 2016 piece for The Players' Tribune, where she cited "over-policing, racial profiling, [and] police brutality."
U.S. Soccer, the governing body of the sport and national team, while not naming her, did not support her kneeling, according to reports at the time. "As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the National Anthem is played," the group said in a September 2016 statement, according to a tweet from sports reporter John D. Halloran.
Months later, U.S. Soccer added a policy requiring players to "stand respectfully during the playing of the national anthems at any event in which the Federation is represented." U.S. Soccer declined to comment to ABC News.
Since then, Rapinoe has followed that rule, standing during the anthem, but she regularly does not put her hand to her heart nor does she sing along like her teammates.
"I'll probably never put my hand over my heart," she told Yahoo! Sports in May. "I'll probably never sing the national anthem again."
Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire/AP PHOTO:Megan Rapinoe and teammates stand during the national anthem during the International Friendly match between the USA and Russia on April 6, 2017, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.She told Yahoo! Sports she's still driven by inequality and injustice and added that she believes under the presidency of Donald Trump -- who she called "sexist," "racist" and "not a good person" -- she is "a walking protest." (Trump for his part has said he's the "least racist" person and insisted that he respects women.)
Like, of course it's a privilege for me to pull on the jersey. Part of that privilege is representing America, and representing America is representing all of America.In the Yahoo Sports interview, Rapinoe did not back down from criticizing U.S. Soccer, who she is also suing -- along with her 2015 World Cup teammates -- for gender discrimination, which the organization has denied.
She called U.S. Soccer's references to patriotism to stop her protest "pretty cowardly," likening it to the NFL.
"We can actually have a conversation, instead of just telling me that it's a privilege to pull on the jersey," Rapinoe added. "Like, of course it's a privilege for me to pull on the jersey. Part of that privilege is representing America, and representing America is representing all of America."
VIDEO - Robby Starbuck on Twitter: "This is not the way @GStephanopoulos would run an interview with Hillary Clinton. Someone George agrees with would be given the benefit of not having an outtake used to embarrass them. They do this stuff and wonder why
Mon, 17 Jun 2019 02:50
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VIDEO - Trump was right to slam Macron after the French president naively painted America as the enemy | Fox News
Sun, 16 Jun 2019 21:19
President Trump was right to tweet an outraged response Saturday to remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron after Macron said in a radio interview that France and Europe need an army to defend against America, Russia and China.
By saying that ''we have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,'' Macron naively paints America as a potential enemy. In so doing, he ignores the hundreds of thousands of American lives sacrificed on French and European soil to save the free world during World War I and World War II.
Landing in France Saturday to join leaders of other nations in ceremonies commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, President Trump tweeted: ''President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!''
Macron could not have levied a greater insult at America and its veterans on this 100th anniversary of the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 to end World War I and, ironically, save Europe.
The French and U.S. presidents met Saturday and Macron tried to backpedal from his earlier comments, saying he had been misunderstood, and that what he really meant was the Europeans needed to spend more on their own defense and be less dependent on America to defend them, as President Trump has called on them to do.
Nonetheless, Macron's diplomatic moonwalking does not alleviate his insult to American veterans.
Macron should be more appreciative of what America has done for France and for all of Europe in the past 100 years. He should take some quiet time for himself and walk among one of the 11 cemeteries maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission in France where over 60,000 Americans rest eternally, their headstones standing guard against further invasion.
As many have pointed out before, without the United States the people of France would all be speaking German today.
To further underscore Macron's misunderstanding of his country's security environment, his remarks about building a European defense force came in response to President Trump's opening gambit to remove the United States from the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia '' a treaty that Russia has already violated and obviated.
Macron would kneel before the Russian nuclear threat, unable to understand the overarching security implications of encouraging American withdrawal from collective security in Europe.
Of course, America will never withdraw from protecting Europe, chiefly because Europe's economy is central to the health of the American and world economies.
Likewise, President Trump's National Security Strategy states that China and Russia are our peer competitors.
The strategy states: ''A strong and free Europe is of vital importance to the United States. We are bound together by our shared commitment to the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law. Together, we rebuilt Western Europe after World War II and created institutions that produced stability and wealth on both sides of the Atlantic. Today, Europe is one of the most prosperous regions in the world and our most significant trading partner.''
Further, the strategy identifies Russian subversive actions intended to drive a wedge between the United States and Europe and says: ''Russia is using subversive measures to weaken the credibility of America's commitment to Europe, undermine transatlantic unity, and weaken European institutions and governments.''
In other words, Macron is playing into the hands of the enemy. He fails to recognize both the sacrifice and the commitment of the United States to European security. Macron's ignorance is outpaced, though, by his disrespect.
Calling America a potential enemy on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War is an unmitigated insult to American veterans everywhere.
Instead of spitting in our soup, Macron has shamefully spit on the graves of the Americans who saved his country and on Americans who defend it today.


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All Clips

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