1162: Thank You Comrade

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 5m
August 8th, 2019
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Executive Producers: Anonymous, Sir JB, Baron of the Chesapeake Bay & The Outer Banks, Rudolf Vesely, Sir Morgan of ANSI C, Sir Acid of the Candinavian Woods

Associate Executive Producers: Robert Reichenberg, Nissa Norelle

Cover Artist: Comic Strip Blogger

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
1:25
MSNBC Contributor Frank Figliuzzi Suggests Trump Made 'Heil Hitler' Reference
Woodstock
7:32
MSNBC Host Nicole Wallace Accuses Trump of Talking About Exterminating Latinos
Woodstock
11:05
Trump's Speech on Mass Shootings
Woodstock
20:37
Former Department of Justice Official Suggests Evading the 4th Amendment Through Foreign Governments
Woodstock
22:05
Homeland Security Employee Suggests Evading the 4th Amendment Through Private Corporations
Woodstock
25:26
BBC World News on Trump's Texas Visit
Woodstock
26:32
Democratic Socialists of America National Convention
Woodstock
1:11:21
Anderson Cooper Admits Antidepressants Saved His Life
Woodstock
1:12:42
Anderson Cooper Appearance at Turner Upfront
Woodstock
1:15:59
Credits
Woodstock
1:39:43
David Icke: "5G Does Not Like Mature Urban Trees"
Woodstock
1:44:08
5G Networking
Woodstock
1:45:38
OTG: AC's Cloaked iPhone
Woodstock
1:49:36
OTG: ATSC 3.0
Woodstock
1:55:57
One America News Network: 'How Private Browser "DuckDuckGo" May Be Giving Your Data to Google'
Woodstock
1:59:36
Wall Street Journal: 'How To Build Your Own Smartphone for $70'
Woodstock
2:05:08
Hong Kong Protests
Woodstock
2:17:42
Donations
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2:23:15
Meetups
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2:27:58
Birthdays & Title Changes
Woodstock
2:30:46
National Public Media CEO Gina Garrubbo: "This Is The Sponsorship, Brand Advertiser World"
Woodstock
2:36:48
Bernie Sanders Appearence on The Joe Rogan Experience
Woodstock
2:38:52
Democracy Now!: 'Progressive Insurgent Tiffany Cabán Concedes to Melinda Katz in Queens DA Race'
Woodstock
2:40:55
Mass Shootings
Woodstock
2:42:16
SoulCycle Boycott
Woodstock
2:45:38
2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Julián Castro's Brother Tweets List of Trump Donators
Woodstock
2:47:51
Untitled
Woodstock
2:51:24
Canadian Human Rights Regarding Gender Identity
Woodstock
2:59:58
Steve Sweeney on Bill Burr's Podcast: "I Took a Shit On The Sidewalk"
Woodstock
3:01:34
End of Show
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Dayton/El Paso
The Dayton shooter had an extreme left Twitter feed
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 09:26
A Twitter account that appears to belong to Dayton shooter Connor Betts retweeted extreme left-wing and anti-police posts as well as tweets supporting the violent protest group Antifa.
The most recent tweet on the @iamthespookster account was on Aug. 3, the day of the shooting, when he retweeted a post saying, ''Millenials have a message for the Joe Biden generation: hurry up and die.'' He also retweeted support for Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Under the Twitter handle @iamthespookster, the user description says, ''He/him / anime fan / metalhead / leftist / I'm going to hell and I'm not coming back.'' One tweet used the hashtag #HailSatan.
In the hours before the Dayton shooting, the account ''liked'' several tweets about the El Paso shooting, including one supporting gun control and others that called the El Paso shooting suspect a ''terrorist,'' and a ''white supremacist.''
The account also retweeted posts against US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, including one that said, ''These people are monsters,'' as well as multiple posts condemning police, and supporting Antifa. There were also many tweets of selfies, photos with a friend and ordinary memes and non-political content.
The account is no longer active, but Twitter would not confirm to CNN whether it had removed the account, only saying in a statement, ''We're proactively removing content that violates our policies and will be engaged with law enforcement, as appropriate.''
Texas grandma heroically foils grandson's mass shooting plot by bringing him to hospital - ABC News
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 10:06
A Texas grandmother was hailed as a hero by federal authorities after she foiled a potential mass shooting by taking her grandson to a hospital after he allegedly made threats.
William Patrick Williams, 19, was taken into custody by federal agents in Lubbock, Texas, after he told his grandmother about a plot to "shoot up" a local hotel and then commit suicide by cop, according to the Department of Justice.
According to a criminal complaint, the plot came to light on July 13, just weeks before a pair of mass shootings claimed the lives of at least 31 people in one weekend, when Williams told his grandmother that he'd purchased an AK-47.
STOCK PHOTO/Shutterstock An AK-47 assault rifle and ammunition are pictured in an undated stock photo.Sensing he could be both homicidal and suicidal, federal officials said the grandmother convinced Williams to go with her to a local hospital instead of carrying out the shooting, averting a potential tragedy.
"This was a tragedy averted," U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox said in a statement. "I want to praise the defendant's grandmother, who saved lives by interrupting this plot, as well as the Lubbock police officers and federal agents who investigated his unlawful acquisition of a deadly weapon."
"If you suspect a friend or loved one is planning violence against themselves or others, do not hesitate to seek help immediately by calling law enforcement," he added.
Lubbock County Jail William Williams, 19, was charged with making false statements to a federally-licensed firearms dealer in Lubbock, Texas.Police said Williams gave officers permission to search a room a he'd rented at a Texas hotel, where they discovered an AK-47 rifle, 17 loaded magazines and multiple knives, according to the statement.
Officers also found a black trench coat, black tactical pants, black tactical gloves with the fingers cut off and a black t-shirt with the words "Let 'Em Come" written on it.
After looking into the suspect's background, authorities later discovered that he listed false information and misrepresented his address when he purchased the firearm from a federally-licensed dealer last month, according to the DOJ.
Williams was arrested last Thursday, after a brief hospital stay by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI for allegedly making false statements to a firearms dealer. If convicted as charged, authorities said he could face up to five years in federal prison.
Remarks by President Trump on the Mass Shootings in Texas and Ohio | The White House
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 12:23
Diplomatic Reception Room
10:08 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. My fellow Americans, this morning, our nation is overcome with shock, horror, and sorrow. This weekend, more than 80 people were killed or wounded in two evil attacks.
On Saturday morning, in El Paso, Texas, a wicked man went to a Walmart store, where families were shopping with their loved ones. He shot and murdered 20 people, and injured 26 others, including precious little children.
Then, in the early hours of Sunday morning in Dayton, Ohio, another twisted monster opened fire on a crowded downtown street. He murdered 9 people, including his own sister, and injured 27 others.
The First Lady and I join all Americans in praying and grieving for the victims, their families, and the survivors. We will stand by their side forever. We will never forget.
These barbaric slaughters are an assault upon our communities, an attack upon our nation, and a crime against all of humanity. We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil, the cruelty, the hatred, the malice, the bloodshed, and the terror. Our hearts are shattered for every family whose parents, children, husbands, and wives were ripped from their arms and their lives. America weeps for the fallen.
We are a loving nation, and our children are entitled to grow up in a just, peaceful, and loving society. Together, we lock arms to shoulder the grief, we ask God in Heaven to ease the anguish of those who suffer, and we vow to act with urgent resolve.
I want to thank the many law enforcement personnel who responded to these atrocities with the extraordinary grace and courage of American heroes.
I have spoken with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, as well as Mayor Dee Margo of El Paso, Texas, and Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio, to express our profound sadness and unfailing support.
Today, we also send the condolences of our nation to President Obrador of Mexico, and all the people of Mexico, for the loss of their citizens in the El Paso shooting. Terrible, terrible thing.
I have also been in close contact with Attorney General Barr and FBI Director Wray. Federal authorities are on the ground, and I have directed them to provide any and all assistance required '-- whatever is needed.
The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul. We have asked the FBI to identify all further resources they need to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism '-- whatever they need.
We must recognize that the Internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts. We must shine light on the dark recesses of the Internet, and stop mass murders before they start. The Internet, likewise, is used for human trafficking, illegal drug distribution, and so many other heinous crimes. The perils of the Internet and social media cannot be ignored, and they will not be ignored.
In the two decades since Columbine, our nation has watched with rising horror and dread as one mass shooting has followed another '-- over and over again, decade after decade.
We cannot allow ourselves to feel powerless. We can and will stop this evil contagion. In that task, we must honor the sacred memory of those we have lost by acting as one people. Open wounds cannot heal if we are divided. We must seek real, bipartisan solutions. We have to do that in a bipartisan manner. That will truly make America safer and better for all.
First, we must do a better job of identifying and acting on early warning signs. I am directing the Department of Justice to work in partisan '-- partnership with local, state, and federal agencies, as well as social media companies, to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike.
As an example, the monster in the Parkland high school in Florida had many red flags against him, and yet nobody took decisive action. Nobody did anything. Why not?
Second, we must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately. Cultural change is hard, but each of us can choose to build a culture that celebrates the inherent worth and dignity of every human life. That's what we have to do.
Third, we must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment, but, when necessary, involuntary confinement. Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.
Fourth, we must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms, and that, if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process. That is why I have called for red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders.
Today, I am also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty, and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay.
These are just a few of the areas of cooperation that we can pursue. I am open and ready to listen and discuss all ideas that will actually work and make a very big difference.
Republicans and Democrats have proven that we can join together in a bipartisan fashion to address this plague. Last year, we enacted the STOP School Violence and Fix NICS Acts into law, providing grants to improve school safety and strengthening critical background checks for firearm purchases. At my direction, the Department of Justice banned bump stocks. Last year, we prosecuted a record number of firearms offenses. But there is so much more that we have to do.
Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside '-- so destructive '-- and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love. Our future is in our control. America will rise to the challenge. We will always have and we always will win. The choice is ours and ours alone. It is not up to mentally ill monsters; it is up to us.
If we are able to pass great legislation after all of these years, we will ensure that those who were attacked will not have died in vain.
May God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo . May God protect them. May God protect all of those from Texas to Ohio. May God bless the victims and their families. May God bless America.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
END
10:18 A.M. EDT
Six Week Cycle
Parents Catch FBI In Plot To Force Mentally Ill Son To Be A Right Wing Terrorist
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 01:47
Loading ...The parents of a severely mentally disabled man are speaking out on how the FBI groomed him as a right-wing terrorist, knowing he's paranoid schizophrenic.Originally Released 08/17/17 '' ( TFTP ) It's become a near-weekly occurrence. Somewhere in some state, the FBI will announce that they've foiled yet another terrorist plot and saved lives. However, as the data shows, the majority of these cases involve psychologically diminished patsies who've been entirely groomed, armed, and entrapped by FBI agents . Simply put, the FBI manufactures terror threats and then takes credit for stopping them.
While many of these cases have garnered attention and been exposed in the alternative media , a recent case out of Oklahoma sets a new low for FBI and exposes how insidious these plots can be.
Through the hundreds of 'foiled terror plots' the FBI has 'busted' over the years, many of them have been focused on people of Middle Eastern descent or people associated with ISIS or al-Qaeda. This time, in the case of Jerry Drake Varnell, the 23-year-old diagnosed schizophrenic, accused of attempting to bomb a bank, the FBI fomented terror from a right wing dialogue .
In a June meeting with the agent, according to FBI documents, Varnell described himself as a believer in ''Three Percenter'' ideology, a right-wing group claiming to be committed to standing against and exposing corruption and injustice.
According to federal documents, Varnell drove what he believed was a stolen van containing a 1,000-pound ammonium nitrate bomb on Saturday morning to blow up an Oklahoma City bank. Vile, indeed.
However, if we backtrack just a bit, to when the FBI began grooming their would-be right-wing militia terrorist, the vileness comes directly from the government.
''The FBI knew he was schizophrenic,'' Varnell's parents declared on Wednesday in an open letter bravely published by NewsOK .
''Underneath his condition, he is a sweet-hearted person and we are extremely shocked that this event has happened. However, what truly has us flabbergasted is the fact that the FBI knew he was schizophrenic. The State of Oklahoma found him mentally incompetent and we, his parents have legal guardianship over him by the Court. These documents are sealed from the public, which is why no news media outlet has been able to obtain them. The FBI clearly knew that he was schizophrenic because they have gathered every ounce of information on him.''
Yet they knowingly continued to groom him, despite the clear immoral implications.
When they began grooming him, according to the family, the FBI knew that Varnell was declared mentally unfit to live by himself and that he was a paranoid schizophrenic. Without their criminal informant and the FBI tactics playing mind games with this vulnerable man, the idea of him committing an act of terror would have likely never materialized.
''What the public should be looking at is the fact that the FBI gave our son the means to make this happen. He has no job, no money, no vehicle, and no driver's license, due to the fact that he is schizophrenic and we; his parents do everything we can possible to keep him safe and functional'..... He has suffered through countless serious full-blown schizophrenic delusional episodes and he has been put in numerous mental hospitals since he was 16 years old. The FBI came and picked him up from our home, they gave him a vehicle, gave him a fake bomb, and every means to make this happen none of which he had access to on his own.''
The parents noted that during the setup, they suspected something was going on and Jerry's father told the informant to stay away from their son. However, according to the parents, the informant ''continued to sneak onto our residence. The FBI paid him to continue this operation and I believe they have cleared his criminal record.''
Because they knew Varnell had severe mental disabilities, the FBI should have had stopped their plans to do this and immediately sought an option of hospitalization. However, they pressed on.
Knowing a sane person would likely never attempt to blow up a bank, the FBI deliberately targeted a severely delusional and mentally ill person. This is wrong on so many levels. Will the next mass murderer they groom come directly from a mental institution?
''The FBI should have filed conspiracy on our son and had him committed to a mental institution. They should not have aided and abetted a paranoid schizophrenic to commit this act. There are many more facts that I will not make public that will support my son and the disturbing acts made by the FBI.
I realize that many will say my son could have found another person to commit this act. Yet, any person that has access to the materials and the state of mind necessary to bomb a building would not have any need for a schizophrenic who has no resources to contribute.''
Clifford and Melonie Varnell, Jerry's parents make a powerful point. No one '-- other than the FBI '-- would've attempted to get a schizophrenic man with nothing to contribute to do their bidding as it would most likely be a futile effort '-- unless you are the FBI looking for an easy patsy to keep fear alive .
David Steele, a 20-year Marine Corps intelligence officer, the second-highest-ranking civilian in the U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence, and former CIA clandestine services case officer, had this to say about these most unscrupulous operations:
'' Most terrorists are false flag terrorists , or are created by our own security services. In the United States, every single terrorist incident we have had has been a false flag, or has been an informant pushed on by the FBI. In fact, we now have citizens taking out restraining orders against FBI informants that are trying to incite terrorism. We've become a lunatic asylum.''
Indeed, we've become a lunatic asylum.
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Hong Kong
Hong Kong Charges Dozens of Protesters With Rioting, and Clashes Erupt - The New York Times
Sun, 04 Aug 2019 22:03
Asia Pacific | Hong Kong Charges Dozens of Protesters With Rioting, and Clashes Erupt Image Protesters clashed with the riot police outside Kwai Chung police station in Hong Kong on Tuesday after dozens of people were charged with rioting over recent violence. Credit Credit Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times HONG KONG '-- Hundreds of protesters surrounded a police station in Hong Kong on Tuesday, some scuffling with officers, after the authorities said they had charged dozens of people with rioting over clashes with the police days earlier.
The rioting charges were a distinct escalation in the government's response to protests that have shaken Hong Kong for weeks. The rallies began over a proposal, since shelved, that would allow extraditions to mainland China, but have since grown to include a variety of grievances including a lack of direct elections and the police's use of force with demonstrators.
On Monday, officials in Beijing expressed support for Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong leader, and signaled that they expected her government to resolve the political crisis.
The charges will most likely add to the public anger. The government said Tuesday evening that 44 people who were arrested Sunday night had been accused of rioting. In addition, a 33-year-old man would also be charged with assaulting a police officer, and a 24-year-old man was charged with possession of offensive weapons.
Image Chinese officials have signaled that they expect Hong Kong's government to resolve the political crisis. Credit Isaac Lawrence/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images Rioting carries a prison term of up to 10 years.
As news of the charges spread, hundreds of people dressed in black, the color of the protest movement, gathered around Kwai Chung Police Station, where the suspects were being held. The police told the crowds to disperse and used pepper spray against some demonstrators.
''I feel very unhappy,'' said Jax Liu, a 21-year-old computer technician who went to the police station to support the arrested protesters. ''I can't accept that the one making the mistake was the government, but we are those who get punished.''
Around 11 p.m., a small number of officers came out of the station to confront protesters, including one police officer holding a shotgun that he pointed at some of those gathered, but he did not fire. The gun did not have the distinct orange color of those the police have been using to fire rubber bullets, raising fears they were deploying more lethal weapons.
A police spokeswoman said she had no immediate information about the incident.
The Hong Kong Journalists Association said an officer charged a reporter outside the station, knocking him over with a shield, and chased another with a baton. Several reporters were also hit with pepper spray.
The confrontations quieted after officers went back inside the station. Those charged were released throughout the evening, with about 10 people still held at 1 a.m.
Protesters gathered outside two other police stations overnight. At one, in the satellite town of Tin Shui Wai, someone launched fireworks from a moving car at those gathered outside. Several people were treated for burns.
Image The charges are expected to add to public anger. Credit Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times The clashes Sunday night were a tumultuous end to a weekend of protests in Hong Kong. Police officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at hundreds who had gathered around the Chinese government's representative office in the city. A week earlier, protesters painted graffiti on the building, known as the liaison office, and threw ink and eggs at the Chinese national crest over the entrance, acts that were widely condemned by mainland officials.
The protest on Sunday began in the Central district, with a gathering that had been authorized by the police. It then broke out into unauthorized marches, with thousands walking to the commercial district of Causeway Bay, where demonstrators set up barricades. Others gathered near the liaison office, where riot officers appeared determined to prevent the building from being surrounded.
The police fired tear gas around 7 p.m., sending protesters and bystanders alike into a dense urban district of apartment buildings and shops. Officers continued using tear gas and rubber bullets against demonstrators for hours, pushing them back for more than a mile through the city center.
The police said that protesters had thrown bricks, wielded sharpened poles and pushed a cart of burning material toward their lines. Barriers made from sidewalk railings and trash cans were left at intersections across the heart of the city. Tourists and residents watched the confrontations bewildered, as the police urged them to clear the streets.
Officers beat some protesters with batons and shields, and at least 16 people were wounded, hospital officials said.
The police were noticeably more aggressive about grabbing protesters and had detained at least 49 by Monday morning. They included 32 men and 17 women, aged 16 to 41. Two were temporarily released, while another two were granted bail pending further investigation, the authorities said. Those charged were expected to appear in court Wednesday morning.
Follow Austin Ramzy on Twitter: @austinramzy.
Ezra Cheung contributed reporting.
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ADOS
The Truth Behind '40 Acres and a Mule' | African American History Blog | The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 03:27
We've all heard the story of the ''40 acres and a mule'' promise to former slaves. It's a staple of black history lessons, and it's the name of Spike Lee's film company. The promise was the first systematic attempt to provide a form of reparations to newly freed slaves, and it was astonishingly radical for its time, proto-socialist in its implications. In fact, such a policy would be radical in any country today: the federal government's massive confiscation of private property '-- some 400,000 acres '-- formerly owned by Confederate land owners, and its methodical redistribution to former black slaves. What most of us haven't heard is that the idea really was generated by black leaders themselves.
It is difficult to stress adequately how revolutionary this idea was: As the historian Eric Foner puts it in his book, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, ''Here in coastal South Carolina and Georgia, the prospect beckoned of a transformation of Southern society more radical even than the end of slavery.'' Try to imagine how profoundly different the history of race relations in the United States would have been had this policy been implemented and enforced; had the former slaves actually had access to the ownership of land, of property; if they had had a chance to be self-sufficient economically, to build, accrue and pass on wealth. After all, one of the principal promises of America was the possibility of average people being able to own land, and all that such ownership entailed. As we know all too well, this promise was not to be realized for the overwhelming majority of the nation's former slaves, who numbered about 3.9 million.
What Exactly Was Promised?General William Tecumseh Sherman in May 1865. Portrait by Mathew Brady.
We have been taught in school that the source of the policy of ''40 acres and a mule'' was Union General William T. Sherman's Special Field Order No. 15, issued on Jan. 16, 1865. (That account is half-right: Sherman prescribed the 40 acres in that Order, but not the mule. The mule would come later.) But what many accounts leave out is that this idea for massive land redistribution actually was the result of a discussion that Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton held four days before Sherman issued the Order, with 20 leaders of the black community in Savannah, Ga., where Sherman was headquartered following his famous March to the Sea. The meeting was unprecedented in American history.
Today, we commonly use the phrase ''40 acres and a mule,'' but few of us have read the Order itself. Three of its parts are relevant here. Section one bears repeating in full: ''The islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. Johns river, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes [sic] now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States.''
Section two specifies that these new communities, moreover, would be governed entirely by black people themselves: '' '... on the islands, and in the settlements hereafter to be established, no white person whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside; and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be left to the freed people themselves '... By the laws of war, and orders of the President of the United States, the negro [sic] is free and must be dealt with as such.''
Finally, section three specifies the allocation of land: '' '... each family shall have a plot of not more than (40) acres of tillable ground, and when it borders on some water channel, with not more than 800 feet water front, in the possession of which land the military authorities will afford them protection, until such time as they can protect themselves, or until Congress shall regulate their title.''
With this Order, 400,000 acres of land '-- ''a strip of coastline stretching from Charleston, South Carolina, to the St. John's River in Florida, including Georgia's Sea Islands and the mainland thirty miles in from the coast,'' as Barton Myers reports '-- would be redistributed to the newly freed slaves. The extent of this Order and its larger implications are mind-boggling, actually.
Who Came Up With the Idea?Here's how this radical proposal '-- which must have completely blown the minds of the rebel Confederates '-- actually came about. The abolitionists Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens and other Radical Republicans had been actively advocating land redistribution ''to break the back of Southern slaveholders' power,'' as Myers observed. But Sherman's plan only took shape after the meeting that he and Stanton held with those black ministers, at 8:00 p.m., Jan. 12, on the second floor of Charles Green's mansion on Savannah's Macon Street. In its broadest strokes, ''40 acres and a mule'' was their idea.
Stanton, aware of the great historical significance of the meeting, presented Henry Ward Beecher (Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous brother) a verbatim transcript of the discussion, which Beecher read to his congregation at New York's Plymouth Church and which the New York Daily Tribune printed in full in its Feb. 13, 1865, edition. Stanton told Beecher that ''for the first time in the history of this nation, the representatives of the government had gone to these poor debased people to ask them what they wanted for themselves.'' Stanton had suggested to Sherman that they gather ''the leaders of the local Negro community'' and ask them something no one else had apparently thought to ask: ''What do you want for your own people'' following the war? And what they wanted astonishes us even today.
Who were these 20 thoughtful leaders who exhibited such foresight? They were all ministers, mostly Baptist and Methodist. Most curious of all to me is that 11 of the 20 had been born free in slave states, of which 10 had lived as free men in the Confederacy during the course of the Civil War. (The other one, a man named James Lynch, was born free in Maryland, a slave state, and had only moved to the South two years before.) The other nine ministers had been slaves in the South who became ''contraband,'' and hence free, only because of the Emancipation Proclamation, when Union forces liberated them.
Their chosen leader and spokesman was a Baptist minister named Garrison Frazier, aged 67, who had been born in Granville, N.C., and was a slave until 1857, ''when he purchased freedom for himself and wife for $1000 in gold and silver,'' as the New York Daily Tribune reported. Rev. Frazier had been ''in the ministry for thirty-five years,'' and it was he who bore the responsibility of answering the 12 questions that Sherman and Stanton put to the group. The stakes for the future of the Negro people were high.
And Frazier and his brothers did not disappoint. What did they tell Sherman and Stanton that the Negro most wanted? Land! ''The way we can best take care of ourselves,'' Rev. Frazier began his answer to the crucial third question, ''is to have land, and turn it and till it by our own labor '... and we can soon maintain ourselves and have something to spare '... We want to be placed on land until we are able to buy it and make it our own.'' And when asked next where the freed slaves ''would rather live '-- whether scattered among the whites or in colonies by themselves,'' without missing a beat, Brother Frazier (as the transcript calls him) replied that ''I would prefer to live by ourselves, for there is a prejudice against us in the South that will take years to get over '... '' When polled individually around the table, all but one '-- James Lynch, 26, the man who had moved south from Baltimore '-- said that they agreed with Frazier. Four days later, Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15, after President Lincoln approved it.
What Became of the Land That Was Promised?The response to the Order was immediate. When the transcript of the meeting was reprinted in the black publication Christian Recorder, an editorial note intoned that ''From this it will be seen that the colored people down South are not so dumb as many suppose them to be,'' reflecting North-South, slave-free black class tensions that continued well into the modern civil rights movement. The effect throughout the South was electric: As Eric Foner explains, ''the freedmen hastened to take advantage of the Order.'' Baptist minister Ulysses L. Houston, one of the group that had met with Sherman, led 1,000 blacks to Skidaway Island, Ga., where they established a self-governing community with Houston as the ''black governor.'' And by June, ''40,000 freedmen had been settled on 400,000 acres of 'Sherman Land.' '' By the way, Sherman later ordered that the army could lend the new settlers mules; hence the phrase, ''40 acres and a mule.''
And what happened to this astonishingly visionary program, which would have fundamentally altered the course of American race relations? Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's successor and a sympathizer with the South, overturned the Order in the fall of 1865, and, as Barton Myers sadly concludes, ''returned the land along the South Carolina, Georgia and Florida coasts to the planters who had originally owned it'' '-- to the very people who had declared war on the United States of America.
Fifty of the 100 Amazing Facts will be published on The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross website. Read all 100 Facts on The Root.
OTG
What a No-Carrier Phone Could Look Like '' Purism
Mon, 05 Aug 2019 15:25
Now that we are in the home stretch for the Librem 5 launch, it's a good time to start discussing some visions for the future. While the Librem 5 can operate as a traditional cellular phone today, in this post we are going to discuss its potential as a ''no-carrier phone.''
The term ''no-carrier phone'' is used for a mobile phone that does not get its phone number from a carrier. This can take a couple of forms: a WiFi connection-only phone, or a Cellular Data connection-only phone.
In other industries, for instance in media distribution, this is called ''Over-The-Top'' (OTT); the underlying idea is that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should be, and are just, ''dumb pipes''. Why?, because they provide internet data only''and all the services ride over-the-top of the internet connection. Netflix paved the way for OTT in media when it moved from DVD to streaming (the ''Net'' part of their name) and offered television and movie-content to any internet connected device. This was done against the wishes of many entrenched media groups and ISPs, of course''but the majority of us have now adopted the OTT model: we call them streaming services.
Over-The-Top can (and, in my humble opinion, should) apply to every form of service on the internet.We do not need to get our primary mobile phone number from a carrier'--routing all our voice data, messaging data and internet data. If the carriers were just ''dumb pipes'', they would offer us data-only connections, allowing us to get personal services from any competitor offering an internet tool we need or like''including a phone number. Sure, the carriers could bundle their own a la carte offering of services, but as the US Congress established a while ago with the FCC during the phone-number-lock-in wars (from the US Telco providers) people should be able to keep their phone number and just switch providers.
Over-The-Top means you would have a fully-functioning phone''and a phone number''portable to whatever internet connection you desire; be that a cellular carrier, a prepaid SIM card, a coffee-shop WiFi, tethered to a friend's device, USB hotspot or whatever other fun thing you'd like to try (BlueTooth mesh network, anyone?).
This No-Carrier vision could be realized with the Librem 5 combined with Librem Dial''a future part of Librem One bundle.Once Librem Dial is released in the future, it would mean you could have a non-carrier-provided phone number which could be used no matter what connection you have over-the-top; that you could make or receive calls to your primary phone number if you are on WiFi and no Cellular connection. You could flip the Cellular Modem Hardware Kill Switch (HKS) on your Librem 5 and still call or text from your primary phone number while at that coffee-shop WiFi.
This would offer you the ability to have a no-carrier phone''in either form''that now you only have when on WiFi''which means no triangulation-location tracking from cellular towers. Or you could have it tethered via WiFi to another device; or a no-carrier phone number whereby you use a prepaid data-only SIM card, or even opt to have a data-only SIM card from a carrier. I would still call this a no-carrier phone, as the phone's number is not attached to any carrier.
This approach of over-the-top has many added benefits''and only one down-side:Because cellular carriers offer voice and SMS messaging even when you are outside of cellular data regions, you can still make or receive a call (or send and receive text messaging) with very weak data signals. This is why you can still call and text even if you turn off cellular data on your phone. In a no-carrier model'--where the service rides purely over the data connection'--your services would only work when there is data connection to your phone, be that WiFi or cellular data. Even with this downside, the benefits are tremendous of course''including having complete privacy control of your device's location, control over when you'd like to connect and use your cellular data plan, and the ability to switch providers without ever having to reconfigure your accounts or settings.
As you can see, Purism has grandiose plans, and we continue to advance towards them rapidly.Triple-digit, year-over-year growth offers us a unique opportunity to serve society''as our Social Purpose Corporation status requires''changing society for the better all along the way.
By pre-ordering the Librem 5 phone and signing-up for Librem One services, you will be supporting a platform with the potential to cut the cord from your carrier and move toward the no-carrier phone!
Get Librem One
Pre-Order Librem 5
Clips
VIDEO - Former FBI Asst. Director of Counter Intelligence Floats Conspiracy of President Trump Using Code Words To Trigger Nazis'... | The Last Refuge
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 12:10
If you ever wondered why the FBI would ignore warnings from Russia about the Boston Marathon bombers; or if you ever wondered how the FBI could overlook the warnings from local residents about the San Bernardino terrorists; or if you ever wondered how and why the FBI would ignore reports from the Florida sheriff about the Pulse Nightclub terrorist; or if you ever wondered why the FBI ignored the repeated warnings about the Parkland shooter'.... well, here's the answer. Try to fathom this focused stupidity.
Mr. Frank Figliuzzi is the former Asst. Director of the FBI for Counterintelligence. Figliuzzi is now an MSNBC expert. The former FBI official is promoting a conspiracy theory that President Trump is sending secret coded signals to white supremacists. According to Figliuzzi, the President told government to keep U.S. flags flying at half-staff until August 8th, because Donald Trump was really saying heil Hitler. WATCH (02:48)
This is a former FBI Counterintelligence Asst. Director. According to the FBI logic President Trump is now ''redflagged'' as a subversive agent of a terrorist ideology.
If this level of total moonbattery was/is the focus of the FBI, then clearly this is the level of incompetence that explains why the FBI has failed miserably in their duties.
VIDEO - Joe Biden on whether his admin is 'going to come' for people's guns: 'Bingo' (VIDEO) '' True Pundit
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 11:09
Former Vice President Joe Biden told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday that gun owners who are worried he's coming for their firearms are right to have that fear.
''So to gun owners out there who say well, a Biden administration means they're going to come for my guns,'' Cooper began.
''Bingo,'' Biden quickly replied. ''You're right if you have an assault weapon. The fact of the matter is they should be illegal, period. Look, the Second Amendment doesn't say you can't restrict the kinds of weapons people can own. You can't buy a bazooka. You can't have a flame thrower. The guys who make these arguments are the people who say, 'The tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots. We need the protection against the government.'''
Biden later clarified that he did not mean he was immediately going to try to implement confiscation programs, but rather that he wanted to ''institute a national buy back program'' to get ''assault weapons'' off the street. However, he seemed to leave the door open for further measures. '' READ MORE
VIDEO - (2) Sorry for the inconvenience, common sense will prevail - YouTube
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 17:02
VIDEO - (2) Gilroy Festival shooter had target list, FBI set to open domestic terror investigation - YouTube
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 16:41
VIDEO - Bernie Sanders
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 16:01
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VIDEO - Nancy Pelosi The 'Wrap Up' Smear | C-SPAN.org
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 15:47
June 22, 2017 | Clip Of House Minority Leader Weekly Briefing This clip, title, and description were not created by C-SPAN. User-Created ClipOctober 7, 2018 2017-06-22T11:18:00-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/cca/20170622111950001_hd.jpg House Minority Leader Weekly BriefingHouse Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke to reporters and took their questions at her weekly press briefing.House Minority Leader Weekly BriefingHouse Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke to reporters and took their questions at her weekly press briefing.
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
User Created Clips from This Video View all clips from this video Related Video March 2, 2017 Minority Leader Weekly BriefingHouse Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) briefed reporters and responded to questions on her party's legislative agenda. She'...
February 16, 2017 House Minority Leader Weekly BriefingHouse Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) briefed reporters and responded to their questions at her weekly briefing.'...
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May 4, 2017 House Minority Leader Weekly BriefingHouse Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held her weekly press briefing with reporters. She called Republican lawmakers' Affordable Care Act'...
VIDEO - (2) How private browser 'DuckDuckGo' may be giving your data to Google - YouTube
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 15:24
VIDEO - British Airways flights delayed after airports report 'IT glitch' - Daily Star
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 14:37
British Airways has cancelled 81 flights due to operate to or from Heathrow while 10 Gatwick flights were cancelled.
More than 200 other flights were delayed, with some more than five hours behind schedule.
Many holidaymakers flocked to social media angry about the delays.
Images posted on social media showed long queues as well as error messages with the British Airways app.
DELAYS: Gatwick and Heathrow airports are experiencing delays after a British Airways 'glitch' (Pic: TWITTER)
''Major computer failure with British Airways at Gatwick this morning''
Twitter userOne passenger said: "Major computer failure with British Airways at Gatwick this morning.
"Currently stuck on ground cos pilot can't get data.
"Set off early if you have a flight."
This comes as a fire at London Victoria Station led to further delays for passengers attempting to get the Gatwick Express.
Another tweeted at British Airways: "Stuck on the ground at Gatwick because your systems are down.
Related Articles Heathrow Airport strike suspended at last minute '' but flights STILL cancelled British Airways flight emergency as smoke fills cabin with passengers 'terrified' BREAKING: Fire breaks out near London Victoria station '' all trains to Gatwick cancelled "Do you really have no idea how long this will go on?"
One more said: "Sat on a British Airways plane which won't take off '' the crew don't even know why as they are not getting information.
"No idea when we will actually fly. After getting up so early to travel to get this flight I could do without this."
Some of the website appears to be down, with a message reading: "ba.com - please try again. Sorry, there seems to be a technical problem.
"Please try again in a few minutes.
ANGRY: One disgruntled passenger was stuck on a stationary plane (Pic: TWITTER)
GLITCH: British Airways is experiencing issues with its computer systems (Pic: GETTY)
"We apologise for any inconvenience."
The airline is using back-up and manual systems to try and cope with the issues.
A British Airways spokesman said: "We are experiencing some systems problems this morning which are affecting check-in and flight departures."
He added: "We are working as quickly as possible to resolve a systems issue which has resulted in some short-haul cancellations and delays from London airports.
"A number of flights continue to operate but we are advising customers to check ba.com for the latest flight information before coming to the airport."
Related articles Horrifying moment two-year-old boy gets sucked into airport conveyor belt Ryanair cabin crew set to strike in August as Brits face flight chaos Ryanair makes more from in-flight extras than economic turnover of 30 countries
VIDEO - (2) OPUS 169 Economic War China Style - YouTube
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 12:54
VIDEO - Sir WakWak ðŸ¼: "@adam I actually found the entire conference! 8 v'..." - No Agenda Social
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 04:49
@ adam this should be noted as well:
"The 2019 Socialism Conference, sponsored by American leftist juggernauts the DSA, Jacobin magazine, and ISO's Haymarket Books, features regime-change activists from multiple US government-funded NGOs."
https:// thegrayzone.com/2019/07/06/dsa -jacobin-iso-socialism-conference-us-funded-regime-change/
These people are complete tools.
VIDEO - NBC News contributor reveals that Trump has ordered flags flown at half-staff to honor Adolf Hitler '' twitchy.com
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 04:47
OK, here's the truth: At first we were going to do this post, and then we weren't going to do it, because wading through all of the responses to this tweet was absolutely soul-crushing. This nation is utterly broken if the number of people who believe this guy's theory can be extrapolated to the general population.
We get that CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times (after it was shamed into line) are all going full-blast with the news that President Trump is a white supremacist. Beto O'Rourke can't shut up about it. And Saturday's mass shooting in El Paso can be laid at Trump's feet for inciting violence against people of color.
But in the absence of Alex Jones, NBC News has turned to its national security contributor to explain exactly why the president has ordered the American flag flown at half-staff until August 8. 8/8? And the eighth letter of the alphabet is H, which stands for Hitler. 88 = Heil Hitler.
Good God. Chilling. @FrankFigliuzzi1 pic.twitter.com/YKJu8E2YmO
'-- Jason Overstreet (@JasonOverstreet) August 6, 2019
It's not like the Resistance to overplay their hand like this. Oh, wait, it's exactly like them to overplay their hand like this. Again, this is MSNBC, where ''real'' journalists ply their trade, not those crazy bloggers Trump invited over.
5/
More coincidence, I'm sure. Why raise the flag on 8/8?
''KKK was at height of its popularity when more than 30,000 members '-- racists & anti-Semites marching 22 abreast and 14 rows deep '-- paraded down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington on Aug. 8, 1925.''https://t.co/hqoqWKzUDv
'-- Jason Overstreet (@JasonOverstreet) August 6, 2019
Wow, the cover's totally blown off.
MSNBC is InfoWars. https://t.co/3M065SQkQs
'-- RBe (@RBPundit) August 6, 2019
Looks as if there is a conscious effort to make Alex Jones look reasonable.
'-- Skin that smokewagon! (@heatpacker) August 6, 2019
It's also Michael Irvin.
The truth is out there, people.
'-- C Johnson'" Free J Assange (@CJlegalBeagle) August 6, 2019
🤣
'-- thomas joseph (@notime61) August 6, 2019
You guys.
Did you hear?
Trump ordered the flags to half staff until August 8.
8/8
In honor of white supremacists. 88. Or HH.
Someone on MSNBC actually said this.
'-- RBe (@RBPundit) August 6, 2019
Our media is terrible and actively fanning the flames with garbage like this.
'-- I'm To Blame (@im2blame4) August 6, 2019
pic.twitter.com/MZJxzcJuX6
'-- GAGirl1967 T-Sizzles psychic dark energy! (@Tamaraw68415067) August 6, 2019
All they had to do is not be insane. Trump broke them.
'-- Dan Goldwasser (@dgoldwas) August 6, 2019
pic.twitter.com/4DsVcxkWTO
'-- Tw!tter Rando (@_Anmarie_) August 6, 2019
I'm sure @brianstelter is going to slam MSNBC for floating this nuttery.
LOLOL Just kidding. He only criticizes Fox. https://t.co/WdgeuCMJ9P
'-- RBe (@RBPundit) August 6, 2019
Again, here's where we'd embed some tweets of people who buy this theory, but the numbers are frightening. Even ordering flags flown at half-staff in honor of the mass shooting victims is a white supremacist act now.
And InfoWars was the one banned from all social media while this guy collects a paycheck from NBCUniversal for floating theories the 4chan guys would be embarrassed to use for a prank. And The Babylon Bee gets fact-checked and flagged as fake news?
Related:
In-kind contribution: Tony Schwartz says you can only support Trump if you hate blacks, women, the poor https://t.co/pXG7hmzr1k
'-- Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) August 6, 2019
VIDEO - (1) Chuck Ross on Twitter: "Former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi broke out some numerology last night on MSNBC in what was truly one of the most insane segments that the network has aired in a while (including the ones with Mensch) https://t.co/cwF
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 03:18
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VIDEO - Donald J. Trump on Twitter: "Thank you Mr. Wonderful, I like you too! @kevinolearytv @CNBC https://t.co/8n5qcTVSp2" / Twitter
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 03:01
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VIDEO - JimmyTwoTimes on Twitter: "@adamcurry @THErealDVORAK https://t.co/BYUXhSPCEo" / Twitter
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 03:01
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VIDEO - DC Basement on Twitter: "@adamcurry find a better version of this clip, they are losing their minds... https://t.co/Uih67sGXpp" / Twitter
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 02:59
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VIDEO - (2) Best Moments of DSA National Convention 2019 - YouTube
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 22:34
VIDEO - 1min40 - Trump To Reporters: You Do The Vetting For Me - YouTube
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 16:25
VIDEO - How to Build Your Own Smartphone - for $70 - YouTube
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 16:17
VIDEO - A World To Win: Funding the Socialist Future - DSA 2019 National Convention - YouTube
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 16:07
VIDEO - Disney Only Wants FEMALE-LED TV Shows?! Passes on STALLONE! - YouTube
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 14:48
VIDEO - Trump: We must condemn white supremacy - YouTube
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 12:27
VIDEO - Mike on Twitter: "@realDonaldTrump @Google @adamcurry someone is listening to your show." / Twitter
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 03:36
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VIDEO - (1) 飾å(C) on Twitter: "@adamcurry a bit noisy but good summary of what's going on in hk https://t.co/i92C5mt96i" / Twitter
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 01:50
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VIDEO - (1) Channel 4 News on Twitter: ""He's not tolerating racism, he's promoting racism." Democrat Presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke lashes out after an emotional day, telling the press to "connect the dots about what [Trump] has been doing in the c
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 01:50
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VIDEO - (2) Cindy Armstrong #IMPEACHTRUMP on Twitter: "@NorahODonnell @weijia Bullshit... there you trying to normalize him... thanks for nothing Norah..." / Twitter
Mon, 05 Aug 2019 18:55
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VIDEO - The Charlottesville Lie | PragerU
Mon, 05 Aug 2019 15:59
Politicians lie.
We all know that.
That is not an indictment of all politicians'--it's simply part of the game.
It's our job, as informed citizens, to figure out the truth. And that's where journalists and the media come in. They are supposed to help us ferret out fact from fiction. So when they get a fact wrong, that's bad.
When they get a fact wrong, know it's wrong, and don't correct it, that's worse. That's not getting a fact wrong; that's a lie. And that's journalistic malfeasance.
The best (or maybe worst) example of this followed a presidential press conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday, August 15, 2017.
You remember what happened that previous weekend: A group of white supremacists held a
''white pride'' rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The ostensible reason was to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
An Antifa group showed up to counter-protest. The mayor and the police were totally unprepared to deal with the violence that ensued. Tragically, a young woman, Heather Heyer, was run over and killed by a neo-Nazi.
The press conference itself was raucous. The media was antagonistic. The president was combative.
Out of it all, one phrase eclipsed the thousands of words exchanged: The media reported that President Trump described neo-Nazis as ''very fine people.''
Only, he didn't. In fact, he didn't even hint at it. Just the opposite: he condemned the neo-Nazis in no uncertain terms. So then, who were the ''fine people'' he mentioned?
The answer: He was referring to another group of Charlottesville demonstrators who came out that weekend'--protestors who wanted the Robert E. Lee statue removed and protestors who wanted to keep the statue and restore the park's original name.
This is what President Trump said about those peaceful protestors: ''You also had some very fine people on both sides. . . . You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of'--to them'--a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.''
A few moments later, in case there would be any misunderstanding, he makes his meaning even more explicit. '''...I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists. They should be condemned totally.''
Lest you have any doubts that good people were in Charlottesville to protest the removal of the Robert E Lee statue, the New York Times confirmed it in a story they published the next day, August 16.
'''Good people can go to Charlottesville,' said Michelle Piercy, a night shift worker at a Wichita, Kansas retirement home, who drove all night with a conservative group that opposed the planned removal of a statue of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee. After listening to Mr. Trump on Tuesday, she said it was as if he had channeled her and her friends'... who had no interest in standing with Nazis or white supremacists'...''
There's another simple test that we can employ to prove that the president was not referring to the neo-Nazis as ''fine people.'' It's so obvious, it's painful to mention: The president's daughter and son-in-law are Orthodox Jews. His grandchildren are Jewish.
And if that is still not enough to convince you, how about this: Does anyone believe that Donald Trump thinks there are ''good'' Antifa, the leftist thugs who were counter-protesting the neo-Nazi thugs? After all, if those two groups were the only ones involved, and there were ''fine people on both sides,'' that means the president believed that there were fine Antifa people.
Even MSNBC should have found that hard to swallow.
Again, the ''very fine people on both sides'' President Trump described at the press conference were the people who wanted to remove the Robert E. Lee statue and the people who wanted to keep it. Both of these groups were non-violent protesters'--fine people with very different ideological views.
The scandal of Charlottesville is not what President Trump said about neo-Nazis. It's what the media said President Trump said about neo-Nazis. It's a scandal because news reporting is supposed to be about gathering facts, not promoting an agenda.
In Charlottesville, they got it exactly backwards. We have been living with the consequences ever since.
Plainly put: ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the others spread a malicious lie that has poisoned our national dialogue.
They should apologize to the American people for what they have done.
Don't hold your breath.
Actually, I have a better idea. Let out a big sigh of relief.
Because now you know the truth.
I'm Steve Cortes, CNN political commentator and columnist for Real Clear Politics, for Prager University.
VIDEO - Conan Talks About His 2022 Renewal With Anderson Cooper & Shaq @ Team Coco
Mon, 05 Aug 2019 15:09
Conan Talks About His 2022 Renewal With Anderson Cooper & ShaqConan sat down with Anderson Cooper and Shaquille O'Neal at the Turner Upfronts to discuss his show's extension on TBS through 2022 and what it's like to be a 74-year-old influencer / sex symbol.
VIDEO - (14) Lilith Lovett on Twitter: "This isn't from some comedy skit making fun of SJWs, this is real and they are 100% unironic. 🂠https://t.co/dQ0jubVpjK" / Twitter
Mon, 05 Aug 2019 14:59
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VIDEO - Amy G Dala on Twitter: "@Komei365TKO @adamcurry Hong Kong protest info for your podcast promise" / Twitter
Mon, 05 Aug 2019 04:14
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VIDEO - Beto O'Rourke: 'Need to connect the dots' on Trump's rhetoric and mass shooting - YouTube
Sun, 04 Aug 2019 22:15
VIDEO - How to lose forever - YouTube
Sun, 04 Aug 2019 20:11
STORIES
Kamala Harris Didn't Send 1500 People To Jail For Pot '-- It Was More Than That | The Daily Caller
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 15:34
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Judge greenlights libel suit against NPR over Seth Rich reports - POLITICO
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 12:13
NPR is being sued for libel for its reporting on conspiracy theories about the death of a DNC staffer. | Charles Dharapak/AP Photo
A federal judge has rejected National Public Radio's bid to dismiss a Texas investment adviser's libel suit over news reports about conspiracy theories surrounding the death of a Democratic National Committee staffer during the 2016 campaign.
Judge Amos Mazzant of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ruled Wednesday that the $57 million suit brought by Ed Butowsky makes plausible claims that the network may be liable for defamation for a series of online stories about Butowsky's role in publicizing assertions that the murdered DNC staffer, Seth Rich, may have been involved in leaking Democratic emails.
Story Continued Below
NPR's attorneys argued that the reports by NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik accurately described a separate, prior lawsuit filed by Rod Wheeler, a private investigator and former Washington, D.C., homicide detective whom Butowsky hired to explore the Rich case and who wound up suing Fox News and Butowsky for defamation after accusing Fox of fabricating quotations in a story about Rich's murder.
Fox eventually retracted the online story it published, although Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity publicly declared that he was not retracting his statements about Rich's murder, including unproven claims that Rich might have been killed because of some role in leaking Democratic National Committee emails that U.S. officials say Russia hacked into and handed off to WikiLeaks.
Rich's parents also sued Fox News and Butowsky for defamation over their roles in the Fox reports. A federal judge in New York dismissed that case, but the ruling is on appeal.
In his 37-page ruling Wednesday, Mazzant said Butowsky's suit against NPR, Folkenflik and top NPR editors met the legal standard to proceed.
''Plaintiff has alleged sufficient facts which plausibly show the Reports were not fair, true, and impartial accounts of the Wheeler complaint,'' Mazzant wrote. ''Additionally, even if the statements are considered a true report of the Wheeler complaint, as Defendants argue, the organization of the comments combined with the speculative commentary imply wrongdoing.''
Most worrisome for NPR may be the judge's conclusion that Butowsky did not appear to qualify as a public figure as a result of his financial support for Wheeler's probe and various actions taken to publicize it. If the judge persists in that view, the network could lose the protections that normally shield news outlets from liability when reporting on matters of public concern.
''At this stage of the proceedings, the facts do not show Plaintiff had anything more than a tangential role in the controversy surrounding the Seth Rich investigation,'' the judge wrote.
The ruling means the lawsuit will proceed to the discovery process, including demands for documents and depositions from the journalists involved, Butowsky and others. Both sides in the case filed a motion Wednesday to facilitate that fact-gathering.
NPR spokeswoman Isabel Lara downplayed the significance of the judge's decision and said the network remained confident in the stories.
''This is an early ruling,'' Lara said in a statement. ''NPR stands behind its reporting and will continue to defend the lawsuit vigorously. NPR is a public service news organization. We are a trusted source of information for millions of Americans and we take this responsibility very seriously, as we did in this coverage.''
An attorney for Butowsky, Ty Clevenger, said he hoped the decision would prompt NPR to resolve the case.
''If NPR and Folkenflik are smart, they will try to settle quickly,'' the attorney said.
NPR argued that many of the claims in its reports, like assertions that Fox's reporting on the Rich murder was ''baseless'' and ''fake news,'' amounted to opinion and not the kind of factual claims that can be the basis for a libel suit.
But Mazzant disagreed.
''The statements made by Folkenflik were made as verifiable statements of fact,'' the judge wrote. ''The statements at issue were not merely expressing a subjective view. Looking at the context of the verifiable facts, nothing shows the statements expressed Folkenflik's opinion or merely offer Folkenflik's personal perspective on disputed facts.''
Clevenger said he thinks the ruling ''bodes well'' for several other libel suits Butowsky is pursuing, including against CNN, Vox and The New York Times, as well as Wheeler and his attorneys.
The cases are all pending before Mazzant, who is an appointee of President Barack Obama. The judge was nominated in 2014 as part of a compromise with Texas' Republican senators. Mazzant has repeatedly been sought out by conservative litigants seeking to challenge Obama policies.
This article tagged under: DNC NPR Texas Missing out on the latest scoops? Sign up for POLITICO Playbook and get the latest news, every morning '-- in your inbox.
Hollywood Film Depicts Trump Supporters Being Hunted for Sport by Liberals | Trending
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 12:04
Kathy Griffin claims she can't get work following her photoshoot with a decapitated and bloody Trump head, but don't let that fool you. Hollywood clearly still likes the idea of promoting violence against people who aren't good and obedient leftists, because Universal Pictures is set to release a thriller called The Hunt on September 27, which features left-wing ''elites'' hunting Trump supporters for sport.
In the past few days we've been hearing a lot about how Donald Trump's rhetoric is apparently to blame for the El Paso shooting, yet Hollywood apparently lacked the foresight to think that a movie promoting violence against ''deplorables'' might be in bad taste until after the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, as only now is Universal rethinking their promotional strategy for the film.
"Did anyone see what our ratf**ker-in-chief just did?" one character asks early in the screenplay for The Hunt, a Universal Pictures thriller set to open Sept. 27. Another responds: "At least The Hunt's coming up. Nothing better than going out to the Manor and slaughtering a dozen deplorables."In the aftermath of mass shootings within days of one another that shocked and traumatized the nation, Universal is re-evaluating its strategy for the certain-to-be-controversial satire. The violent, R-rated film from producer Jason Blum's Blumhouse follows a dozen MAGA types who wake up in a clearing and realize they are being stalked for sport by elite liberals.
Over the Aug. 3 weekend, ESPN pulled an ad for the film that it had previously cleared, while AMC ran the spot during the season premiere of its drama The Preacher. It's unclear whether the ads were identical, but the one yanked by ESPN opened with a sound resembling an emergency broadcast signal. A rep for ESPN parent Disney declined to comment on the move, but an ESPN source says no spots for the film will appear on the network in the coming weeks.
According to THR, the movie ''features guns blazing along with other ultra-violent killings as the elites pick off their prey.''
You can watch the trailer for The Hunt here:
The original title for the film was Red State Vs. Blue State, so the political themes of the movie are clearly important to the plot. THR says that The Hunt ''made some executives at Universal skittish back in May 2018, when film chief Donna Langley acquired the script and fast-tracked it at a modest $18 million budget,'' but several studios ''did not pursue it because of the explosive premise.'' One studio executive reportedly didn't even bother reading the script because "The idea seemed crazy." The movie was produced by Jason Blum, who also produced other well-known horror flicks like The Purge, Paranormal Activity, and Get Out.
The script for The Hunt features the red-state characters wearing trucker hats and cowboy shirts, with one bragging about owning seven guns because it's his constitutional right. The blue-state characters '-- some equally adept with firearms '-- explain that they picked their targets because they expressed anti-choice positions or used the N-word on Twitter. "War is war," says one character after shoving a stiletto heel through the eye of a denim-clad hillbilly.How exactly did anyone think this was a good idea even before the El Paso and Dayton shootings? In June 2017, a Bernie Sanders supporter and left-wing activist shot at Republican members of Congress who were practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for charity. The shooter had specifically inquired as to whether the team practicing was made of Republicans or Democrats. The same year, Senator Rand Paul was assaulted by his own neighbor and just this past week had part of his lung surgically removed because of injuries sustained in that attack. Apparently, some in Hollywood are more than willing to promote violence against Trump supporters. Meanwhile, Democrats and liberals in the media want us to believe that it's Trump's rhetoric that needs to be toned down.
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Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis
https://pjmedia.com/trending/hollywood-film-depicts-trump-supporters-being-hunted-for-sport-by-liberals/
The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea: Our choices are grim
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 11:58
Credit: CC0 Public DomainThe California coast grew and prospered during a remarkable moment in history when the sea was at its tamest.
But the mighty Pacific, unbeknownst to all, was nearing its final years of a calm but unusual cycle that had lulled dreaming settlers into a false sense of endless summer.
Elsewhere, Miami has been drowning, Louisiana shrinking, North Carolina's beaches disappearing like a time lapse with no ending. While other regions grappled with destructive waves and rising seas, the West Coast for decades was spared by a rare confluence of favorable winds and cooler water. This "sea level rise suppression," as scientists call it, went largely undetected. Blinded from the consequences of a warming planet, Californians kept building right to the water's edge.
But lines in the sand are meant to shift. In the last 100 years, the sea rose fewer than 9 inches in California. By the end of this century, the surge could be greater than 9 feet.
Wildfire and drought dominate the climate change debates in the state. Yet this less-talked-about reality has California cornered. The coastline is eroding with every tide and storm, but everything built before we knew better'--Pacific Coast Highway, multimillion-dollar homes in Malibu, the rail line to San Diego'--is fixed in place with nowhere to go.
But the world is getting hotter, the great ice sheets still melting, the rising ocean a slow-moving disaster that has already swept past California's front door. Seaside cliffs are crumbling in Pacifica, bringing down entire buildings. Balboa Island, barely above sea level, is spending $1.8 million to raise the wall that separates it from the ocean.
Winter storms pummeled a Capistrano Beach boardwalk, turning the idyllic shoreline into a construction zone as bulldozers rushed to stack boulders into a barricade. From San Diego to Humboldt counties, homeowners scramble to fend off increasing erosion and storm surges, pleading with officials for bigger seawalls that can hold back the even bigger ocean.
There are only so many ways to play against the rising sea. Seawalls are one option, but they come with a hidden cost'--forcing the sand before them to wash away. For every new seawall protecting a home or a road, a beach for the people is sacrificed.
Adding sand to disappearing beaches is another tactic, but that race against nature lasts only so long as there's money and enough sand.
Then there's what scientists and economists and number-crunching consultants call "managed retreat": Move back, relocate, essentially cede the land to nature. These words alone have roiled the few cities bold enough to utter them. Mayors have been ousted, planning documents rewritten, campaigns waged over the very thought of turning prime real estate back into dunes and beaches.
Retreat is as un-American as it gets, neighborhood groups declared. To win, California must defend.
But at what cost? Should California become one long wall of concrete against the ocean? Will there still be sandy beaches or surf breaks to cherish in the future, oceanfront homes left to dream about? More than $150 billion in property could be at risk of flooding by 2100'--the economic damage far more devastating than the state's worst earthquakes and wildfires. Salt marshes, home to shorebirds and endangered species, face extinction. In Southern California alone, two-thirds of beaches could vanish.
The state has both no time and too much time to act, spiraling into paralyzing battles over the why, who, when and how. It's not too late for Californians to lead the way and plan ahead for sea level rise, experts say, if only there is the will to accept the bigger picture.
Returning after mudslides and wildfire. Rebuilding in flood zones. The human urge to outmatch nature is age-old. We scoff at the fabled frog that boiled to death in a pot of slowly warming water'--but refuse to confront the reality of the sea as it pushes deeper into our cities.
We've all played by the shore and built castles in the sand, but seem to forget what happens next: The ocean always wins.
Pacifica'--A town on the edge
On the bluffs and shores of Pacifica, a postcard stretch of coastal hamlets just south of San Francisco, residents fear that planning for sea level rise means condemning their own community to extinction.
Here, what other cities in California are only beginning to worry about in the abstract is already a much-lived reality. Powerful waves crest over the main pier and threaten roads with names such as Beach Boulevard and Shoreview Avenue. Blasts of sand batter walls and homes. Windows shatter. Cliffs collapse. Residents bear witness to entire chunks of hillside crumbling into the surf below.
In one part of town, the ocean chewed away more than 90 feet of bluff in less than a decade.
People were able to walk Pacifica as an entire stretch of beach in the 1970s, but the open shoreline shrank over the years as the city built seawalls, piled rocks, coated its fragile sandstone cliffs with special concrete to protect what nature was taking by force.
Today, most of Pacifica's coast is armored. But even with these defenses, the city still had to buy out a row of bluff-top homes, later converting the street into a trail. Down by the sand, more homes were removed and a public parking lot rebuilt 50 feet farther inland.
Along Beach Boulevard, signs caution dog walkers and joggers that waves may break over the seawall. The pavement is often wet from high surf. Cars are urged to keep moving. Locals are wise enough to not linger too long by the aging pier.
A woman who did was hit in 2006 by a wave that blew over. When she was finally able to breathe and open her eyes, she was stunned to find she had been swept to the back of someone's garage, her arm hooked through a barbecue pit.
The shocks continued. Years of drought followed by heavy storms in 2016 forced more than a dozen bluff-top residences to be tagged as unsafe. Three apartment buildings'--suddenly dangling off the edge'--could not be saved and were demolished.
Responding to just this most recent El Nino season has cost Pacifica $16 million'--no small change for a town whose $36 million operating budget relies mostly on property taxes. Officials are still seeking funds to cover damage from 2016 and remain mired in an eminent domain battle over two of the buildings.
Pacifica has become this story of unplanned, forced retreat, experts say, and the public got stuck with the bill.
"There's a public cost and a private cost in any choice that we make, and we need to start doing that cost-benefit analysis," said Charles Lester, director of UC Santa Barbara's Ocean and Coastal Policy Center, who has consulted for a number of towns, including Pacifica, on sea level rise planning. "If we don't start managing retreat now, how much is it going to cost later?"
In hundreds of pages of planning documents, officials concluded that moving inland in future decades might pencil out to be the most cost-effective option for a number of neighborhoods. Seawalls keep failing, they said, and the ocean is winning. Much of the shoreline protection could be overwhelmed with as little as 1 foot of sea level rise.
But many lambasted the proposal, fired up by a property rights campaign by the real estate industry. Homeowners flooded city meetings, knocked on neighbors' doors and plastered signs around town. The mayor became the town punching bag, and new leaders were voted in to help Pacifica stand its ground.
"'Managed retreat' is code word for give up'--on our homes and the town itself," said Mark Stechbart, who worries that Pacifica, and in turn his own home's value, will be dismissed by future developers, insurers and buyers. "This is not just some intellectual exercise. These are real people and a real town at stake."
For Suzanne Drake, a volunteer at the historical society who cobbled together enough money during the recession to buy "the ugliest house on the prettiest street in town," talk of managed retreat has kicked up an anger she didn't know she had.
The words are like a scarlet letter, she said. How could anyone get a 30-year-mortgage if city documents say the entire street might be condemned in the future and turned into a beach? How will she get insurance or permits to remodel her home?
"The public has rights to the beach, but I apparently don't have rights to my house," she said after one particularly heated meeting that pitted homeowners against conservationists. "I'm a left-of-left Democrat, but these environmental zealots are next level."
The issue has divided this close-knit town, whose residents open conversations by touting the number of years they've lived here and'--in recent months'--by how many feet they live above sea level. Outbursts at council meetings have become the norm, and depending on who's angriest that day, environmentalists, the real estate industry, the city or the California Coastal Commission is Enemy No. 1.
The specter of managed retreat has galvanized retired engineers, policy wonks'--even the president of the local Democrats club'--to speak alongside real estate groups, worried that Pacifica will become "an economic wasteland" if the long-term vision is retreat. They accuse the city's study of undervaluing homes, businesses, hiking trails and golf courses when calculating the public benefits of letting go. Preserving tourism, businesses and development opportunities, they said, should play into any future plan.
Others say Pacifica has already outlived its time. There's a reason why an empty parcel by the water has failed for years to attract developers, they said, and why the Taco Bell can still afford prime oceanfront views.
How much Pacifica ultimately decides to retreat, both sides agree, could be the litmus test for what's going to happen to the rest of California.
One recent morning, Drake stood on her second-story deck and talked over the roar of sand dozers clearing roads. The area floods whenever waves top the seawall or there's a break in the berm. The city brings in a pump during the winter to push stormwater back into the ocean.
Without that seawall or berm, her neighborhood and the nearby golf course would easily flood. Without these kinds of defenses, sewage lines, wastewater treatment plants, schools and other public infrastructure would be at risk.
What officials need to do, Drake said, is build larger seawalls and commit to saving the town. She sees Pacifica on the cusp of becoming something special'--a town that could finally have a nice library, perhaps, or a beautiful downtown with coffeehouses and places to shop.
The big white house next door sold not long ago for more than $1.5 million, she said. Pacifica is still worth something, so why would officials let it go?
City officials have heeded the backlash and rewritten their plan to address the rising sea. Key seawalls will be extended, and the words "managed retreat" have been replaced with references to environmental triggers for "adaptation strategies" in the coming decades.
Many still distrust where this document is headed. John Keener, who championed the issue as mayor before losing his bid for reelection, wonders how much will change under the new leaders in power.
Walking along Esplanade Avenue one recent afternoon, Keener points to the orange tape and bits of foundation still poking out from where apartment buildings once stood. Only the odd-numbered homes on this block remain, the even-numbered side making way for sweeping ocean views.
Keener, a retired biochemist, winces at the words "managed retreat" and said he didn't want to devalue anyone's home or give up on the town. He just looked at the data and tried to think ahead.
The city has little money to build bigger seawalls, no money for sand replenishment, no money to compensate homeowners for the loss of their property. So he reasoned that Pacifica had a better shot of getting outside funding by showing it had thought through every option and come up with a plan.
Worrying about what this planning document would do to home values is a privilege with an expiration date. He fears that by 2050, "this stuff will all become moot."
"We'll be in survival mode," he said. "The other aspects of climate change are going to simply just overwhelm us as a society."
He takes out his new business card, embossed with the words "Environmental Advocate." "What kind of world," he wondered, "are we leaving for our kids and grandkids?"
Seawalls'--Protection at what cost?
Your home is your castle, the biggest investment most families make. So the impulse, of course, is to defend it.
The go-to tactic is the seawall. Made from piles of boulders, gunite-coated cliffs or concrete slabs as high as two stories, seawalls dissipate wave energy and fend off surging water. But these defenses aren't cheap. A single homeowner can spend as much as $200,000. A mile-long wall can cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Repairs sometimes cost as much as the wall itself.
Defending the entire state could cost homeowners and taxpayers more than $22 billion in the next 20 years if the sea rises even a moderate amount, according to a recent study by the Center for Climate Integrity.
And each seawall is a choice, conscious or not, to sacrifice the beach in front. The barriers disrupt the natural replenishment of sand, stripping away beaches until they narrow or vanish altogether. Some states have banned new seawalls: Oregon, North Carolina, Maine. Others have imposed significant restrictions.
In California, environmentalists have called seawalls a coastal crisis. The Coastal Commission, in charge of regulating and shaping the state's 1,200-mile shoreline, has historically OK'd them in emergencies'--temporary solutions after a rough storm.
But temporary often becomes permanent. About 30% of Southern California's shoreline today is behind some form of seawall'--locking in Navy bases, rail lines, harbors and multimillion-dollar homes at the expense of open space.
"Seawalls kill beaches," said Jennifer Savage, California policy manager for the Surfrider Foundation. "I feel like a broken record saying this, but there is still such a disconnect with the public on such a key, simple message: Sea level rise doesn't just impact homeowners; it impacts every person who wants to go to the beach."
And the beach, state law declares, belongs to everyone. So the Coastal Commission in recent years has gotten tougher on seawalls. It urged city leaders to do everything within their power to consider alternative options, including managed retreat.
But that position has not won the commission friends among homeowners and local planners. City leaders often blame the state and the commission when taking unpopular steps. But the commission, when confronted by the public, says it's just offering guidance.
More than 30 cities and counties are now left paralyzed, tugged left and right to do something'--but not sure what that is. There's no clear set of directions, no one-size-fits-all solution.
For the homeowner, insurance policies, hazard grants and federal disaster relief are all set up in a way that encourages rebuilding rather than relocating. There's no incentive for owners to consider options beyond hunkering down with bigger and better walls. The way the state pushes down insurance prices also masks the true cost of living in a hazardous area.
But the more hazardous it gets, the more the public could pay: As rising seas and storms exacerbate property damage, experts worry that the inability of insurers to charge prices that reflect actual risk could lead them to stop offering coverage in California.
If insurers stop covering risky properties, the state becomes the last resort.
That happened with earthquake insurance, when California stepped in to stabilize the market with insurance that companies could sell in lieu of their own. Officials are now confronting this in wildfire areas. Similar pressures are playing out in hurricane-prone states, according to a Stanford study led by a former coastal commissioner.
And so states, and ultimately taxpayers, are the ones subject to the biggest financial risks when a disaster hits.
Judy Taylor, a state director of the California Association of Realtors who has lived along the coast in the Half Moon Bay area for 45 years, said uncertainty over sea level rise planning has upended her world of clear rules and clean transactions.
Realtors are in a bind. Unlike other hazard zones in California, there are no mandatory disclosures for homes that might be subject to relocation or other sea level rise plans in the future. Clearly defined disclosures would help people better understand whether the home they're buying could actually be a long-term investment.
"Right now if we over-disclose, it's going to sabotage the seller's transaction," Taylor said. "If we under-disclose, then the buyer is going to have serious heartburn."
What's debated by her industry is not so much climate change, she said, but how much longer owners can extend the life and value of homes'--and how they can do so while navigating the bureaucratic system of coastal permits.
"We have dealt with property being taken for bridges, for roads, for even shopping centers. But we have never before dealt with the fact that Mother Nature's going to do what she's going to do, and we can't do anything about it," Taylor said. "So how do we treat this issue sanely and fairly? Do these policies actually further the goal, do they create a better environmental outcome'--and is your ox getting gored and mine left free?"
San Francisco'--Choosing casualties
On one side of San Francisco, a century-old seawall keeps the city's iconic towers and skyscrapers firmly on land.
On the other side, a rock wall protects a road, a parking lot and a sewage treatment system'--squeezing away one of the city's few beaches.
Something needs to give. But even in a city as climate-aware as San Francisco, making sacrifices is not easy.
What is now the city's commercial core was once mostly a marsh'--the shoreline a muddy half-mile farther inland. Over the decades, settlers filled in these wetlands and created more than 500 acres of new land atop old coves and abandoned ships.
Holding back all the water is the Embarcadero, doubling as a tourist attraction and bustling today with visitors and schoolkids, markets and museums. Humming beneath their feet is a network of critical infrastructure'--sewer and water systems, utility lines, public transportation, communication cables'--that could cave to the ocean without this seawall.
There's no doubt defenses here must survive. This colossal feat of rock and concrete keeps San Francisco Bay from drowning the financial district and Market Street, safeguarding some $100 billion in business and buildings.
But the wall is crumbling and in desperate need of backup. High tides routinely spill over and flood sections of the boardwalk. With just 3 more feet of sea level rise, the iconic Ferry Building could flood every single day.
Updating this seawall will cost at least $2 billion, probably much more. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey recently found that the cost of building levees, seawalls and other measures to withstand 6 { feet of sea level rise and a 100-year storm could cost as much as $450 billion for San Francisco Bay.
Making people care has not been an overnight process. Lindy Lowe, the Port of San Francisco's resilience officer, reflected on all the neighborhood meetings, family nights and door-knocking to get taxpayers to understand the issue.
It was crucial, she learned, to actually work with the community from the beginning rather than doing all the research behind the scenes and then dropping a report full of government mumbo-jumbo declaring the city doomed.
"Never start a conversation with sea level rise is what we learned. Start the conversation with: 'What do you care about? What do you want your community to look like?' " Lowe said. "We're asking people to do some really big things, and we need to make sure we're not asking them to do it all at once."
So San Francisco started by asking voters for $425 million to lay the foundation for a bigger seawall. Last fall, 82% of them said yes'--a huge feat in a world where shelling out this much money usually comes only after a big disaster.
Defense proved to be a feasible sell, but retreat on the other side of town took much more convincing.
At South Ocean Beach, a popular spot for big surf and bonfires, more than 275 feet could disappear by 2100. The waves once devoured more than 40 feet of bluff in one season. For years, city officials fought'--even sued the state'--to keep a protective rock wall.
There was Great Highway to defend, they argued, and also critical facilities underground. The city, in compliance with the Clean Water Act, had just spent close to $1 billion building infrastructure to prevent untreated sewage from overflowing into the ocean. Utility officials balked at the thought of retreat. But with each season, more beach disappeared.
It was a choice between two environmental imperatives: Preserve a popular beach or have clean water? SPUR, the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association, finally stepped in to referee all the city, state and federal agencies as they picked their casualties.
They had few examples to look to for guidance. Only a handful of managed retreat efforts were underway in California at that time'--and each was a lesson in the cost and time it takes to give something up.
More than 200 miles south on the coastal highway, by Hearst Castle and the Piedras Blancas Light Station, Caltrans spent $57 million moving a 2.8-mile stretch of Highway 1 more than 400 feet inland. Coastal bluffs by then were eroding an average of almost 5 feet a year. Planning and approvals took almost 15 years.
Moving the roadway and three homes was a win for the public, adding 75 acres to Hearst San Simeon State Park and creating new coastal trails. The open area is now a popular stop for motorists, who marvel at the many elephant seals returning each year to mate and care for their pups.
Officials in Ventura County spent nearly two decades getting all the pieces in place to turn an eroding parking lot and collapsing bike path into a cobble beach backed by vegetated dunes. This has fended off storm surges, and the beach is now one of the most popular in the county.
And across the nation, buyout programs so far have occurred mostly after disasters and predominantly in less wealthy communities. These, too, have taken time. Two years after Hurricane Harvey, some residents in Texas are still waiting their turn. In New York, numerous neighborhoods begged for buyouts after Superstorm Sandy'--but officials could afford only so many. And even with $120 million, which bought out 300 homes on Staten Island, that funding would probably amount to 10 or so homes in Malibu.
After years of deliberation, San Francisco finally agreed to take down the rock wall, remove two lanes of the coastal highway and turn the open space into a coastal trail.
Even this plan for retreat came with some compromises: A shorter, "low-profile wall" will protect the wastewater treatment facilities. Sand replenishment, on the order of 2 million cubic yards every few decades, will balance any beach loss from this wall.
Homes and personal fortunes weren't even at stake in this case, but choosing one public good versus another proved similarly fraught.
"Nobody was in charge of thinking about the big picture," said Benjamin Grant, who led SPUR's Ocean Beach Master Plan. "But if you start early, it can be considerably less painful ... than waiting for a crisis."
Officials have since convened a sea level rise task force, created an action plan, established new regional strategies. Finding the long-term answers, many now say, requires thinking beyond parcel by parcel and instead coordinating across city boundaries and looking at the entire shoreline.
"The whole region is going to need to see these trade-offs on a grand scale. It may well be that you wipe out beaches in one section of coast and preserve them on other sections of coast ... but we're ill-equipped for that," said Aaron Peskin, a San Francisco supervisor who serves on both the California Coastal Commission and San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. "It's either planned retreat or unplanned retreat. One way or another, we'll have to give something up. ... So if we're going to do it right, shouldn't we have a sensible set of plans?"
Big-picture planning has proved possible elsewhere. In the state of Washington, leaders are pledging no overall net loss of the coast's remaining wetlands. A similar approach in California could help decide what to save and what to abandon: Destroy a beach here to protect critical infrastructure; move back elsewhere and restore a beach.
David Revell, a coastal geomorphologist who has consulted for a number of cities, said this kind of policy forces leaders to consider what sacrifices could be made versus where along the coast must be defended.
"Pick where," he said. "Just don't say everywhere."
Replenishing beaches'--A race against nature
People often talk about the beach as a thing, a place, an area that doesn't move. In reality, a beach is more of a process.
Imagine a river of sand moving parallel to the shore, from Malibu to Santa Monica to Manhattan Beach, until the ocean pulls it offshore. This sand is always on the move, flowing down from mountain streams and waterways and stopping only temporarily on any specific beach.
Any human disruption to this river of sand could reveal itself elsewhere. Pacifica may be eroding so quickly in part because of all the sand dredging farther up the coast in San Francisco Bay. Many Malibu beaches have lost significant amounts of sand after the building of Pacific Coast Highway. In Santa Monica, fresh sediment rarely reaches the coast now that humans have dammed up the creeks and turned the L.A. River into a concrete channel.
Los Angeles responded to these alterations of nature with more alterations. Adding sand to the beach began as early as the 1930s in Santa Monica Bay. Breakwaters, jetties and other retention structures have also been constructed to help hold in all the sand. As a result, these iconic beaches are 150 to 500 feet wider than normal.
Beach towns like Del Mar, a tiny affluent enclave north of San Diego, have all but declared this to be their survival tactic.
Tucked among sandstone bluffs, two lagoons and the rarest pine trees in America, the picturesque town bustles every summer when the fairgrounds and horse track come to life. Prime real estate clusters around where the San Dieguito River meets the Pacific.
Dry sand here was once abundant, the beach twice as wide today. Private seawalls now protect multimillion-dollar homes that early settlers had built right on the sand. On the southern end of town, train tracks run precariously close to the edge of rapidly crumbling cliffs.
But as word got out that those in charge were considering managed retreat, the town exploded. Relocating could mean allowing the ocean to claim as many as 600 homes.
If you start retreating, residents demanded, where do you stop?
"If you let the first row of homes go, the whole area behind it floods," said Jon Corn, a resident and attorney representing dozens of homeowners in the Del Mar Beach Preservation Coalition. "And then what about the next road? And the road after that? ... At some point, everyone is going to say: 'No, we're not just going to retreat away from the ocean.'"
City leaders finally agreed and said they would keep an open mind about relocating the rail line, the fire station and other city-owned infrastructure'--but took out any mention of private property. The land here is too valuable, they reasoned, and the threat of lawsuits too high. Adding sand will be the solution for now.
Terry Gaasterland, a data scientist who led the sea level task force and ended up running for office over the issue, said she's confident more studies and more time will uncover ways to coexist with the ocean and save the town.
Del Mar can afford to both protect homes and save the beach, said Gaasterland, who's now on the City Council. "We're not going to be packing our bags."
But if past sand projects are any indicator, Del Mar and its neighbors might be in for a surprise. For every jetty and breakwater that has helped keep Santa Monica and Venice wide and sandy, Dockweiler and beaches farther down the coast in turn needed their own supply of sand, which then disappeared and flowed onto beaches farther south.
Sand, although it might seem limitless, is not free. It's the most exploited and consumed natural resource in the world after fresh water. Federal agencies, states, cities and private companies across the nation are all trying to stake their claim.
And because sand is always on the move, adding more of it is anything but permanent. Erosion runs its course all the same.
This makes "beach nourishment" difficult to sustain. Adding 240,000 cubic yards of sand'--the amount, for example, to make a half-mile-long beach about 100 feet wide'--requires 24,000 dump trucks full of sand. Even working seven days a week, it would take more than 16 months to bring in that much sand. Depending on how fast the sand washes away, a project of this scale would need to be repeated every few years, according to reports by Gary Griggs, who has studied coastal systems across California and taught at UC Santa Cruz's Institute of Marine Sciences for more than 50 years.
In 2001, officials in San Diego County pumped about 2 million cubic yards of sand from offshore onto 12 beaches'--the first large-scale attempt by California officials to add sand to disappearing beaches. It cost city, state and federal taxpayers $17.5 million.
The effort was short-lived. Most of the beaches had narrowed significantly by the following year. The extra sand, Griggs found, "was removed within a day when the first large waves of the winter arrived." A second attempt by the county'--with twice as much money'--yielded similar results.
These costs have also paralyzed communities along Malibu's disappearing shoreline. Broad Beach, once so wide that dunes had room to grow along the sand, now hardly lives up to its name. Building mansions on the sand also took up about 200 feet of the beach and dunes, leaving only a narrow buffer against the rising sea.
Sand was disappearing so rapidly that a rock wall was built to protect the septic system and the homes. These days, there is little beach left during high tide. The public stairs drop straight down into water.
Owners years ago agreed to pay $19 million to add sand to the beach. The project has been delayed by disputes over the source of sand and legal challenges over the costs, which keep going up. The current price tag to save this stretch of beach: $65 million.
Imperial Beach'--Grappling with retreat
At the very southernmost edge of California, a world away from Malibu, the border town of Imperial Beach seems to be living on borrowed time.
One-fifth of the residents here are lower-income. High tide soaks the road every winter. Sewage spilling from Tijuana regularly shuts down the beach. Those living below sea level recall floodwaters so high in the 1980s that they had to use canoes.
Today, they board up windows and brace for storms. Surrounded by the ocean, a bay and a river, Imperial Beach is looking at losing one-third of the town if nothing is done, one official said. Hazard maps show blocks and blocks of homes that could be flooded by 2100. A beach nourishment effort seven years ago went awry because the sand grains were too coarse. Sand berms and rock walls will last only so long. Moving back seems inevitable, even if the community isn't ready to say so.
The reptilian frenzy over managed retreat has overtaken Imperial Beach, as it has in other cities. Fear overwhelms reason. Conspiracy theories and misinformation abound. Some think the mayor, an environmentalist known for his history of preserving open space, just wants to turn the town into one giant lagoon.
With the city barely able to scrap together a $20-million budget every year, others say letting go of prime real estate means abandoning the whole town.
"If you get rid of the waterfront, the municipal tax base, how do you support the city?" said City Councilman Ed Spriggs, who lives along the water and questioned managed retreat as a strategy. He points to the city's first upscale hotel, which was built in 2013 with coastal defenses, as a sign that Imperial Beach has time to survive and thrive well into the future.
As chair of the coastal cities group for the League of California Cities, Spriggs sees what's been happening across the state and calls managed retreat an ideology being pushed by extreme environmentalists with no rules or standards.
"Nobody has explained how urbanized managed retreat works, what it would look like and how it would be paid for," he said. "We need time to build a consensus. We don't even have money for ... more detailed studies on what the actual costs will be."
But time is ticking. Earlier this year, a group of scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography gathered on an apartment balcony and watched in awe as the ocean devoured more than 3 feet of sand in one morning.
"When that surge came over the seawall, it was just a blanket of water. There was so much force," said Mark Merrifield, director of Scripps' Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation. "It was just crazy."
His team has been studying ways to forecast floods and were watching that morning because they knew the waves would be particularly powerful. Their data had projected that this would come just ahead of a king tide'--when the sun, moon and Earth are aligned closest together, creating a higher-than-high tide. They had alerted Imperial Beach, which filled more than 500 sandbags just in time and warned residents to board up their homes.
These king tides are becoming a new normal, said Merrifield, whose team hopes to fill in data gaps that could help more communities better understand their risks. Imperial Beach doesn't even track the number of times the ocean tops the seawall'--crews just clean the road before most residents wake up.
Tracking the frequency of flood events, and how much it's increasing, will make these truths harder to ignore. There's no debate, he said. "Sea level rise is the heart of climate change. That's where all the heat is going: into the ocean."
That rising ocean, for decades, had spared California. Much of the state's coastal development took place in the years after World War II, during the less stormy period of a climate cycle known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Favorable winds pulled warmer water offshore and the West Coast had cool, denser water that took up less volume'--suppressing the rate of sea rise below the global average.
But scientists in the last decade have seen a dramatic shift: The waters off the West Coast are now much warmer; the sea is now rising faster here than elsewhere in the world.
The morning after the worst of the surge, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina parked his Prius and hopped around puddles still pooling down Seacoast Drive. Waves, still breaking over the rock barriers, spewed sand across the road. A maintenance worker sprinted toward the nearest driveway, startled by yet another rush of water.
An avid surfer, Dedina has watched this ocean obsessively his whole life. But taming the water has been all-consuming. Cleaning up just from this king tide cost Imperial Beach $16,000 and left 350 hours of calls unanswered and other work unattended to around town.
Imperial Beach can't afford more seawalls, more sand, more meetings filled with 150 people yelling at him about managed retreat, he said. The town doesn't even have a Parks Department. It just got its first real grocery store.
The city and its consultants have come up with some big ideas'--but lack the political support and capital to get started. Buy out these first few row of homes along the coast, for example, and rent them at market value. Three decades of rent should be enough to recoup the costs. The city or a land trust at that time could then decide what to do with the properties.
For now, Dedina is focused on relocating some public infrastructure and building more homes and businesses further inland. He's also suing a number of oil companies in hopes of funding, arguing that they should be held responsible for the costs of coastal flooding because their emissions contribute to sea level rise.
"Ultimately, the city can't protect private property owners. We need to be upfront about that," he said. "The insurance industry or the state needs to figure that one out."
The state has taken some action but is largely still confronting this 21st-century problem with decades-old laws and thinking. The California Coastal Act'--the defining road map to managing the state's shoreline'--did not factor in sea level rise when it was written in 1976.
Lawmakers are aware of the problem, and they have told cities they must start addressing climate adaptation in their planning. But Sacramento has otherwise shied away from issuing mandatory directions. The California Coastal Commission, through modest grants and some general guidance, has been encouraging local officials to consider "everything in the toolkit, including managed retreat," when updating city policies.
Phil King, an economist and professor at San Francisco State University who has consulted for a number of beach cities, said that what Californians need is a clear statewide plan. Managed retreat sounds scary, but it just means retreating with everyone knowing what the rules are, he said. Will there be a public subsidy, how is it going to be applied, who's going to get it, and does everyone think it's fair?
Bankruptcy law could be a model, he said, because it makes a messy process as orderly as possible. Managed retreat is similar: Dealing with a loss and making sure that everyone absorbs the loss in the most reasonable, equitable way.
"Right now, managed retreat is just a slogan. It needs to become a reality where we actually talk about: How are we going to actually manage the retreat?" said King, whose studies showed that retreat does end up penciling out for many communities as the most cost-effective solution in the long run. "If we start to think about managed retreat today, we can avoid the problems that people had with the fires in Paradise, where all of a sudden everything just disappears."
Imperial Beach's buyback-and-rent proposal is one idea, he said. And if a seawall has to exist in the short term to protect private property or infrastructure, perhaps a greater authority like the State Lands Commission could charge rent for it. These funds could then be used toward other efforts to manage and preserve the coastline.
Much of California's climate change efforts have centered on reducing carbon emissions and the rate of global warming, rather than dealing with how to live with these increasing hazards, said Heather Cooley, research director of the Pacific Institute, an Oakland think tank that has studied the economic impact of sea level rise.
"We need to do both," she said. "We're already locked into a certain amount of climate change, and we need to adapt to the effects that we know we're going to be experiencing."
A few bills under consideration now in Sacramento acknowledge these problems'--appointing a chief climate resilience officer, calling for a plan to reuse dredged sand for coastal restoration projects, creating an inventory of the state's wetlands and a special fund for "coastal adaptation, access and resilience"'--but none tackles managed retreat head-on.
"Living shorelines," which substitute seawalls with vegetation that could serve both as protection and public open space, has been gaining popularity as a less politically fraught approach. Some lawmakers see this as a way to buy more time as the backlash over relocation continues.
The fear of political suicide should not paralyze those in power from studying the how, where and why of managed retreat, said Katharine Mach, a senior research scientist at Stanford who has helped lead national and global climate change assessments.
In the same way state leaders paved the way on other environmental issues, what California does now on managed retreat could help set some standards for others across the country, she said.
Jack Ainsworth, executive director of the Coastal Commission, points to the work his agency has done within its legal power.
Commissioners are tough on any new construction that gets in the way of the rising sea. They passed a resolution last year pledging that seawalls would be permitted only if absolutely necessary. They're butting heads with homeowners and real estate groups, drafting a new guidance document for cities to use to balance preserving coastal resources and protecting homes.
Beyond that, he said, the commission is stuck. Only lawmakers can establish new disclosure laws. Only state, city and federal leaders can determine how much money they are willing to spend to come up with a clear plan for the future, and ultimately, how to pay for the retreat where necessary.
Across the state, and the nation, many people know the sea is coming and exactly what's at risk'--but no one seems ready to drop that first domino and rattle the status quo. "This conspiracy of silence," as one economist from the Union of Concerned Scientists publicly called it, can go on for only so long. Society as a whole saves $6 in avoided costs for every $1 spent to acquire or demolish flood-prone buildings before disaster hits, Ainsworth said.
When staff is short or pressure comes from those wealthy enough to fight back in perpetuity, the Coastal Commission has in the past pushed tough issues down the road. But Ainsworth said California cannot afford that with sea level rise.
"People have to understand," he said, "that this is a crisis."
Gleason Beach'--A lost coast
A few winding turns past Bodega Bay, about an hour north of San Francisco, relentless waves pound against a stretch of coastline whose fate has been paralyzed by political inaction.
Once referred to as Malibu North, Gleason Beach now feels more like the edge of the world'--a window into the future if California does not change course. Nine homes perch on crumbling cliffs that drop 30 some feet onto a beach that appears only during low tide. A pile of seawalls, smashed into pieces, clutters the shore.
Rebar and bits of concrete poke out here and there'--a graveyard of more than 10 other homes that once also faced the sea. Highway 1, hanging inches from the edge, had to shut one traffic lane this year.
"Behold your highway tax dollars falling into the ocean," locals say. But efforts to move 0.6 miles of this critical road about 400 feet inland have taken more than a decade. Residents, environmentalists, and state, county and transportation officials are still arguing over the details.
Mary Cook remembers moving into a seaside cottage from the 1930s. Photos back then showed the house with a 20-foot yard. Stairs led down to the beach.
Her husband, an architect, made a few additions to their home as the bluff continued to erode about a foot a year. They put up a seawall. But then in the winter of 1997, one big storm took out the entire cliffside. Officials came in and declared an emergency.
When Cook opened her sliding door, "there was nothing," she said. "You looked straight down into the ocean."
Life for her neighbors eventually carried on. The storm ebbed from memory. The sun reemerged. The Cooks, however, were tired of buying time.
They jacked their home up from its foundation, called in a truck and moved to higher ground.
(C)2019 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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Warren Joins O'Rourke in Calling Trump a White Supremacist - The New York Times
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 11:51
Politics | Warren Joins O'Rourke in Calling Trump a White Supremacist Image Senator Elizabeth Warren, a leading Democratic presidential candidate, said in an interview that she believed Donald Trump was a white supremacist. Credit Credit Bridget Bennett for The New York Times COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa '-- Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said on Wednesday night that she believed President Trump was a white supremacist, broadly accusing him of dividing Americans along racial lines and providing direct and tacit support to those who believe white people are superior to other races.
Asked in a brief interview with The New York Times if she thought Mr. Trump was a white supremacist, Ms. Warren responded without hesitation: ''Yes.''
''He has given aid and comfort to white supremacists,'' Ms. Warren said during a campaign swing in western Iowa. ''He's done the wink and a nod. He has talked about white supremacists as fine people. He's done everything he can to stir up racial conflict and hatred in this country.''
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Ms. Warren's comments amounted to one of the starkest condemnations to date from a leading Democratic presidential candidate about Mr. Trump's language toward minorities and immigrants. She spoke hours after former Representative Beto O'Rourke of Texas gave the same assessment of Mr. Trump. Asked by MSNBC if Mr. Trump was a white supremacist, Mr. O'Rourke replied, ''He is.''
''He's dehumanized or sought to dehumanize those who do not look like or pray like the majority here in this country,'' Mr. O'Rourke said.
Mr. Trump has a long history of using race for his own gain, and his time in the White House has been no exception.
After pushing the ''birther'' lie about President Barack Obama, Mr. Trump began his campaign for the presidency by disparaging Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals. As president, he sought to bar people from predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States; said there were ''very fine people on both sides'' of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.; and used an obscenity to describe African nations.
He has warned of an ''invasion'' of migrants at the southern border. And last month, he said that four congresswomen of color should ''go back'' to the countries they came from; only one of the women was born outside the United States.
Mr. Trump has faced condemnations from Democratic presidential candidates in the wake of the mass shooting on Saturday in El Paso. The suspect in the attack is believed to have described it in a manifesto as ''a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas'' '-- echoing Mr. Trump's language.
In a speech in Iowa on Wednesday, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. argued that Mr. Trump had ''fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation.''
Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey also cast blame on Mr. Trump in a speech at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., where a white supremacist gunman killed nine people in 2015.
[Read more about the speeches by Mr. Biden and Mr. Booker.]
Ms. Warren, for her part, said Mr. Trump was intent on dividing people.
''Donald Trump has a central message,'' she said. ''He says to the American people, if there's anything wrong in your life, blame them '-- and 'them' means people who aren't the same color as you, weren't born where you were born, don't worship the same way you do.''
Follow Thomas Kaplan on Twitter: @thomaskaplan.
Bitcoin Safe Haven Sucking in Money From China, Says Blockchain Executive
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 11:47
Bitcoin (BTC) really does function as a safe haven asset in 2019, another source has told mainstream media as the United States-China trade war rages.
Bitcoin increasingly important amid economic uncertaintySpeaking to Forbes in an interview on Aug. 8, Chris Reinertsen, chief marketing officer of blockchain consultancy Rhythm Technologies, said investors were pouring into Bitcoin in addition to traditional safe haven assets.
''There is a flight of capital to safe-haven assets across the board, which now includes Bitcoin,'' he told the publication.
He added:
''Throughout the last few years, we have been seeing the trend of Bitcoin increasingly becoming fundamentally correlated to more macro moves as increased economic uncertainty in the world increases.''
Bitcoin as a hedge against inflationAs Cointelegraph reported, Reinertsen is far from alone in his hypothesis. The latest dispute involving China, which saw the U.S. government brand Beijing a currency manipulator, appeared to fuel a fresh upturn in the Bitcoin price this week.
Thereafter, investors were happy to go on record about the cryptocurrency's appeal as a hedge against volatility in fiat markets.
''It's been an amazing run, it's fantastic technology; some people are using it as a way to hedge against inflation,'' the CEO of consultancy firm Agecroft Partners, Don Steinbrugge, told CNBC on Tuesday.
Reinertsen likewise pointed to China's deliberate devaluation of the yuan to an 11-year low against the dollar as a factor driving money into Bitcoin.
His view on China more broadly was shared by Circle CEO, Jeremy Allaire, who similarly mentioned macroeconomic motivation while explaining Bitcoin's sudden bull market this week.
''I think the broader theme of, you know, Bitcoin specifically, crypto more broadly participating in these global macro forces is becoming more and more clear,'' he said.
UN climate change report: we must change how we use land and grow food - Vox
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 11:45
To combat climate change, we must make major changes to how we manage farmland, forests, and our own food, the United Nations said Thursday in a sprawling new report.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's special report on land, announced in Geneva, takes on two complicated questions: how land use contributes to climate change and how climate change affects land. Its scope is colossal: the 197 million square miles of land on Earth.
The conclusions lay out a crucial paradox. Humans have harnessed land to develop into the highly successful species we are today. But our destructive patterns of land use '-- particularly agriculture, deforestation, and development of wetlands '-- now contribute 23 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
As average global temperatures rise, the land, and all the species that live on it, suffer: heat waves, droughts, and dust storms are growing more intense, the report notes. Meanwhile, climate change and other ways in which we've degraded forests, prairies, and shorelines around the world now put food security, human health, and ecosystems at grave risk.
The last major IPCC report, released in October, looked at what it would take to limit warming this century to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. That report found that it's still possible, but the world may have to halve emissions by as soon as 2030, reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and become carbon-negative thereafter.
The new report shows there's a huge opportunity to use land differently to emit less, restore ecosystems we've wrecked, and store more carbon. But it's not simple: conserving, restoring, and better managing land requires coordination and careful planning, bridging fraught political and social fault lines.
''It really calls on us this think across the entire food production chain,'' said Debra Roberts, co-chair of the IPCC's Working Group II during a press conference announcing the report's findings. ''There's no single silver bullet. It means we're going to have to tackle complex issues and complex needs.''
It's also an enormous technical challenge from developing new stress-tolerant crops to optimizing where to plant trees. And there are powerful economic forces pushing the world in the wrong direction. Let's walk through it.
What we eat and how we get it is warming the planetLike all IPCC reports, this new report on lands doesn't introduce new findings, but rather pools and evaluates the existing body of research. It takes input from 107 authors and examines more than 7,000 research articles. And the science shows that it's hard to overstate how much we've altered the land we live on, and even the places we don't.
''Human use directly affects more than 70 percent (likely 69-76 percent) of the global, ice-free land surface,'' according to the report.
Around the world, humans have utilized between a quarter and one-third of all land for food, feed, fiber, timber, and energy, driving the loss of 46 percent of all trees since the dawn of civilization. This dramatic reshaping of the Earth in turn has had a massive impact on the climate. About 22 percent of anthropogenic emissions arise from agriculture, forestry, and other land use.
Deforestation in the Amazon could soon reach a tipping point where the entire forest degrades into savanna.Cris Bouroncle/AFP/Getty Images Our food choices are a major driver of these changes. Half of global human-caused emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas roughly 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide, comes from agriculture, namely livestock and rice cultivation. Up to 75 percent of nitrous oxide emissions '-- almost 300 times more the warming potential of carbon dioxide '-- comes from nitrogen fertilizer.
The United States is a case in point of diets driving land use. Of the 1.9 billion acres in the 48 contiguous states, 654 million acres are used as pasture land for livestock, 538 million acres are forested, and 391.5 million acres are used to grow crops. But of that cropland, only one-fifth is used for the food we directly eat. One-third of US cropland is allocated to growing feed for livestock, like corn and soy.
The looming concern now is what will happen to the world's lands if other countries start to adopt American tastes for burgers and hot dogs. ''Emissions from agricultural production are projected to increase ... driven by population and income growth and changes in consumption patterns,'' according to the report.
How we use land affects the climate, and changes in the climate affect how we use landThe interplay between the land and the climate is incredibly complex. Mangroves suck carbon dioxide out of the air and bury it in the sediment below them. Swampland belches methane into the sky. Forests send out particles that trigger rain. Snow-sheathed tundra reflects sunlight back into space while rock and sand absorb heat.
And all of this activity can change depending on the region, the time of year, and the climate. ''At the regional scale, changing land conditions can reduce or accentuate warming and affect the intensity, frequency and duration of extreme events,'' according to the report. ''The magnitude and direction of these changes vary with location and season.''
As a result, terra firma can be both a source and a sink of carbon dioxide and contribute to warming or cooling. That means changing how we use the land can serve as a valuable way to nudge the planet's thermostat. Scientists are just starting to understand these relationships, but climate change is now shifting the baseline.
That's particularly alarming when it comes to our food. Global warming has helped extend the growing season for plants in some parts of the world. But in others, the greater frequency of extreme heat and volatility of precipitation have damaged forests and food crops. Research also shows that more carbon dioxide in the air is making some crops less nutritious.
How we raise crops changes the climate and changes in the climate can affect the nutritional value of crops. Christophe Gateau/Picture Alliance/Getty Image Current farming methods can also degrade soil more than 100 times faster than new soil is formed. That's fueling desertification, which will make the more than 500 million people living in degraded areas more vulnerable to further changes in the climate.
With declining land quality in some parts of the world, farmers have to devote an increasing amount of resources to grow food: more energy, more fertilizer, more water. That is also creating more demand for new land, which then drives people to repurpose more pristine areas, according to the IPCC:
Expansion of areas under agriculture and forestry, including commercial production, and enhanced agriculture and forestry productivity have supported consumption and food availability for a growing population ... With large regional variation, these changes have contributed to increasing net GHG emissions ... loss of natural ecosystems (e.g. forests, savannahs, natural grasslands and wetlands) and declining biodiversity.
That means pressure for more land is causing more carbon dioxide emissions and degrading nature's ability to soak up carbon, leading to more warming. ''Risks, including cascading risks, are projected to become increasingly severe with increasing temperatures,'' according to the report.
The planet has already warmed between 0.8 degrees and 1 degree Celsius on average since the industrial revolution. Land areas, however, have warmed at a rate almost double the global average, about 1.5 degrees Celsius on average since 1850.
Temperatures over land are increasing faster than the global average. IPCC The increased carbon dioxide in the air and the warming of the planet is feeding into other changes people are making in the land, like deforestation and urbanization. Drier weather and the loss of plant cover has fueled the increasing frequency and intensity of dust storms, for example. Cities with extensive paved surfaces have diminished natural watersheds, leading to more extensive flooding. Higher temperatures are also causing permafrost to thaw, releasing, yes, more carbon.
Better land management can limit climate change, but it means taking on thorny issues like land tenure and dietary changeNatural systems, like forests and coastal mangroves, can be a powerful tool pull carbon from the atmosphere and slow warming. The IPCC estimates that animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria across the world's land ecosystems have taken in close to 29 percent of human-sourced greenhouse gas emissions. Though further warming threatens these ecosystems, there are a number of ways to support them while also serving human needs.
One option is to restore forests that have been lost. However, a forest is more than its trees; it's the animals that spread seeds, the bacteria that fix nitrogen in the soil, and the fungi that digest decaying leaf litter. You need the whole community to create a healthy forest ecosystem, so restoring a forest requires carefully cultivating and balancing all of these elements.
The environmental upshot of doing so could be massive. One recent calculation found that forest restoration across all viable areas could soak up hundreds of billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide.
The next step beyond this is afforestation, which involves growing forests in areas where there were none before. Growing biofuel crops and coupling them with carbon capture and sequestration could also be a way to check off multiple boxes at the same time, providing energy and potentially negative greenhouse gas emissions.
Rice paddies like this one in Nepal can emit upward of one-fifth of human-produced methane, a potent greenhouse gas.Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images But there is only so much land we can deliberately alter to curb warming before we start to run into other environmental tradeoffs. ''While land can make a valuable contribution to climate change mitigation, there are limits to the deployment of land-based mitigation measures such as bioenergy crops or afforestation,'' according to the report. ''Widespread use at the scale of several millions of [square kilometers] globally could increase risks for desertification, land degradation, food security and sustainable development.''
Changes on such massive scales also require delving into the thorny issues of land tenure, particularly issues of property rights for marginalized communities directly impacted by large-scale environmental restoration programs. Historically, indigenous peoples and groups like women have been left out of the decision-making process for these kinds of initiatives. Without their buy-in and on-the-ground expertise, even the most well-intentioned land restoration programs could fail:
Policies that enable and incentivise sustainable land management for climate change adaptation and mitigation include improved access to markets for inputs, outputs and financial services, empowering women and indigenous peoples, enhancing local and community collective action, reforming subsidies and promoting an enabling trade system (high confidence). Land restoration and rehabilitation efforts can be more effective when policies support local management of natural resources, while strengthening cooperation between actors and institutions, including at the international level.
However, there are land-based climate mitigation options that don't involve negotiating over scarce resources. One relatively easy option is to reduce food waste. More than a quarter of all food produced in the world is wasted, which contributes almost 10 percent of anthropogenic emissions. Better supply chain management to limit food rotting in the field and reducing excess consumption can make a dent in food waste emissions.
Some of the biggest reductions in emissions relating to land will have to come from changing diets to consume less livestock and fewer resource-intensive crops. The IPCC estimates that making changes to how we use forests, grow crops, and raise livestock could yield upward of 9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions reductions per year by 2050. Changing diets could yield up to 8 gigatonnes in reductions:
Diversification in the food system (e.g., implementation of integrated production systems, broad-based genetic resources, and diets) can reduce risks from climate change (medium confidence). Balanced diets, featuring plant-based foods, such as those based on coarse grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and animal-sourced food produced in resilient, sustainable and low-[greenhouse gas] emission systems, present major opportunities for adaptation and mitigation while generating significant cobenefits in terms of human health (high confidence). By 2050, dietary changes could free several [million square kilometers] (medium confidence) of land and provide a technical mitigation potential of 0.7 to 8.0 [gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent per year], relative to business as usual projections (high confidence).
''There are certain types of diets that have a lower carbon footprint and put less pressure on land,'' said Jim Skea, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III, during a press conference. However, he noted the report was not prescriptive. ''The IPCC does not recommend people's diets.''
The IPCC report on lands summarizes the science, but activists see a call to actionThe new report makes it clear that in addition to eliminating emissions from fossil fuels, deploying clean energy, and using energy more efficiently, countries must make changes to what they reap from the ground.
For some activists, the means we urgently need a policy response. ''This IPCC report signals in flashing red lights that we need to take far better care of our forests, wetlands, grasslands, and natural places,'' said Matt Lee-Ashley, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, in a statement. ''With a football field's worth of America's natural areas disappearing to development every 30 seconds, policymakers must step up local and national conservation efforts and do so in a way that meets the needs of every community in the United States.''
A cornfield carved with the slogan ''Fridays for Future,'' a global youth climate change activist movement led by 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg.Ina Fassbender/AFP/Getty Images Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, chief program officer for the Natural Resources Defense Council said in a statement that avoiding some of the worst scenarios outlined in the report would require ''aggressively protecting at least 30 percent of the world's lands and 30 percent of our oceans by 2030 if we are to avert, and not hasten, the worst impacts of the climate crisis.''
However, the window to act is closing, and once it does, the changes to the climate may be irreversible. In a call with reporters ahead of the release of the IPCC report, Carlos Nobre, a a senior scientist at the University of S£o Paulo and a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute Brasil, warned that the rapid loss of tropical rainforests is especially concerning given how much carbon these ecosystems store and how quickly they are being lost.
Recent reports have showed that the Amazon rainforest is losing a soccer field-sized area every minute. Once deforestation reaches around 25 percent, the forest may not be able to move enough water to sustain itself and may degrade into a savanna, releasing gobs of carbon into the air. Right now, the Amazon has seen roughly 15 to 17 percent deforestation. ''The Amazon may be closer to a tipping point than every before,'' Nobre said.
El Paso shooter's mother warned police about her son weeks before massacre '-- RT USA News
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 11:31
The Dallas-based mother of the El Paso mass shooter who killed 22 people, claims she called the police weeks prior to the shooting to share her concerns about his ownership of an assault rifle.
The woman allegedly called the Allen Police Department claiming she was worried her son wasn't mature or experienced enough to own an ''AK''-type firearm.
Also on rt.com 'Human rights crisis': Amnesty issues US travel warning, pushes for gun control after mass shootings The suspect's lawyers, Chris Ayres and R. Jack Ayres, allege that the call was expressing ''informational'' concern rather than worries that he might pose an actual threat to anyone.
''This was not a volatile, explosive, erratic-behaving kid,'' Chris Ayres said. ''It's not like alarm bells were going off.''
Patrick Crusius, from the Dallas suburb of Allen, drove 650 miles (1,046km) to the border city of El Paso where he opened fire at patrons of a Walmart. The majority of the 22 people killed were Hispanic, including eight Mexican citizens. Authorities are investigating the massacre as both a hate crime and an act of domestic terrorism.
A public safety officer with whom Crusius' mother spoke told her that, based on the description she gave of her son, he was legally allowed to buy the weapon in question.
Also on rt.com Trump points to 'no political appetite' for rifle ban, says he's open to better background checks Prusius' alleged manifesto which appeared online, believed by authorities to be authentic, declared his attack to be a ''response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.''
Allen police listed three minor interactions with the suspect throughout his life prior to the shooting, including a false burglar alarm, a minor accident on a school bus, and the suspect running away from home briefly in 2014.
Governor Greg Abbott said Wednesday that he was unaware of any so-called ''red flags'' in Prusius' past, and made no mention of introducing any gun control measures in the state. Abbott stated that racism and violent extremism must be confronted head-on and that he would be seeking the death penalty for the El Paso shooter.
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Elizabeth Warren is surging. This one big question looms over her. - The Washington Post
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 11:24
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks to Andrew Wang at James Clyburn's World Famous Fish Fry in June. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post) Aaron BlakeSenior political reporter, writing for The Fix
August 8 at 6:00 AM
There has been only one sustained-momentum candidate early in the 2020 Democratic primary contest: Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She's risen to second place in some polls after what those same polls suggest was the strongest performance of last week's debate.
But for as long as she's been talked about as a presidential hopeful, one potential problem has loomed over her like Joe Btfsplk's perpetual rain cloud: electability. Warren is not only among the most liberal candidates in the 2020 field; she's also an older, white, intellectual woman running in the aftermath of the Hillary Clinton debacle, and she follows in a long line of failed presidential nominees from Massachusetts. Dukakis '88. Kerry '04. Romney '12. It's entirely too easy to caricature her as a liberal-elite former Harvard professor whom President Trump could drub with those oh-so-important working-class white voters.
But is that fair? And what do the numbers say? These are questions that need to be broken into two parts:
Whether she is electable, and Whether Democrats perceive her as electable (and the impact it might have on her primary support) Let's take that second one first. A Quinnipiac University poll Tuesday showed Warren rising to 21 percent in the Democratic primary field '-- six points higher than last week, and her best showing to date in any national poll. The same poll, though, showed just 9 percent of Democratic primary voters viewed her as the most electable. So more than half of her supporters say they'll vote for her but don't say she's the most likely to beat Trump.
As has been the case throughout 2019 '-- including in recent Washington Post-ABC News polling '-- that distinction belongs to former vice president Joe Biden, with 49 percent saying he had the best chance.
What's interesting here, though, is that the last person to get a debate bounce '-- Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) '-- did so while cutting into Biden's electability edge. After the first debate, the number viewing Harris as the most electable jumped from 2 percent early in the race to 14 percent '-- close to her 20 percent share of the vote '-- while Biden's most-electable number dropped down to 42 percent. So while Harris got a polling bounce and an electability bounce, Warren only got the former.
That could have been due to Biden's abject first-debate performance more than anything else, though. And just because voters might not view Warren as the most electable doesn't mean they don't see her as electable, period.
Other polls suggest Democratic voters don't necessarily view this as a huge liability, but they may need some convincing. A new HuffPost/YouGov survey asked people to select each candidate they felt could beat Trump, and Warren ranked second behind Biden, with 46 percent of Democratic-leaning voters picking her as among the electables:
Biden: 61 percent Warren: 46 Harris: 43 Sanders: 43 Pete Buttigieg: 25 Cory Booker: 21 Julin Castro: 18 Beto O'Rourke: 14 A June Monmouth poll, meanwhile, asked people to assign a number value (from 0 to 10) to each candidate's electability. Warren's average (6.4) was third-highest, behind Biden (7.1) and barely behind Sanders (6.5). At the same time, just 32 percent ranked her between an 8 and a 10, compared with 59 percent for Biden. People were much more likely to choose a midrange number for her, suggesting they're yet to be convinced she'd be as much of a favorite.
The question from there, as with nearly all early polling, is how much that has to do with views of the candidates' relative strengths, and how much it has to do with name ID and familiarity. Biden could be viewed as the most electable in large part because he's more moderate than some other 2020 Democrats and has already been vice president, or it could be he's simply the candidate that casual voters know well. As other hopefuls make names for themselves, it may not be as difficult to see them in a presidential light.
Let's set that aside for the moment, though, and go back to the first question: Who actually is electable?
Again, whatever the reasons (name ID or something else), Biden is the obvious leader on this question. Polls nationally and in key states show him leading Trump by as much as double digits, while other Democrats like Warren are in much closer races. Biden leads Trump by 8.1 points in the national RealClearPolitics average, while Sanders leads by 5 and Warren leads by 2.4 '-- within almost every poll's margin of error. The recent Post-ABC poll (among others) suggested this is in large part thanks to moderates. While Biden led them by 29 points, Warren's lead was 18.
A new poll from Stanley Greenberg of left-leaning Democracy Corps, though, provides some more encouraging signs for Warren. It tested both her and Biden against Trump, seeking to find out how the leading candidates from the party's two flanks might compare in a 2020 general election. The answer is: pretty similarly.
While Biden leads by eight points (49-41) in a race that includes Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) as the Libertarian nominee, Warren leads by six (49-43). What's more, Greenberg finds that, while Biden does better among independents (+10 vs. Warren's +5), Warren consolidates Democrats better (getting 90 percent of their support vs. Biden's 86 percent). And while Biden gets 21 percent of Republican moderates, Warren gets a respectable 15 percent.
Perhaps most importantly for Warren, she actually does just as well as Biden among working-class white voters. Both trail by 19 points with a group Trump won by 27 points in 2016 '-- a margin he'll probably need to match in 2020.
This is but one poll, of course, and most polls show Biden clearly doing better than Warren against Trump. That could change as Warren becomes better-known. There's also something to be said for motivating the base (if Democrats don't feel like unseating Trump is motivation enough). These early general-election polls test a static universe of voters that doesn't change with each potential nominee, but that nominee could matter in some voters' decisions about whether it's worth showing up '-- on both sides.
It's also worth emphasizing that this is a question as old as time, and early prognostications often don't pan out. As Dan Balz was written, there was a time when electability was supposed to be a hurdle for Ronald Reagan. People wondered whether the United States would elect a black president before Barack Obama answered that pretty emphatically. And electability was supposed to be Clinton's calling card, before the supposedly unelectable Trump made us all look like fools.
Underlying all of this are very valid questions about whether being a female candidate is an asset or a liability '-- questions that one election three years ago couldn't possibly answer definitively.
Warren, for her part, seems to recognize that rising in the polls will only lead to these kinds of questions, and she offered a pretty emphatic statement about the importance of electability in last week's debate.
''I get it: There is a lot at stake, and people are scared,'' she said. ''But we can't choose a candidate we don't believe in just because we're too scared to do anything else.''
Polls suggest, for now, that Democratic voters are more concerned with beating Trump than with ideological purity. Warren's job will be to convince them that she's got enough of the former for people to vote for the candidate with the latter.
China blames US for backing Hong Kong '²violent separatists'² | News | DW | 08.08.2019
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 11:20
The US should stop sending the wrong signals to "violent" protesters in Hong Kong, China has warned. Washington has raised a travel warning as further demonstrations are planned.
The Hong Kong office of China's Foreign Ministry on Thursday slammed US politicians for supporting "radical rioters" and interfering in the internal affairs of the Asian financial hub.
A statement on the office's website urged US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other US politicians "to stop colluding with the violent offenders in Hong Kong, immediately stop advancing the relevant bills, and refrain from meddling with Hong Kong affairs and China's domestic affairs as a whole."
Hong Kong has witnessed nearly two months of sometimes violent protests against a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be tried in China.
The protests against the extradition law have since morphed into a broader movement against the Hong Kong government and the encroachment of Beijing on the city's autonomy.
The protests represent the most serious political crisis in Hong Kong since it returned to China in 1997. They also pose a challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping and come as the US and China are engaged in a escalating trade warand geopolitical competition in the Asia-Pacific.
Beijing has tried to discredit the protest movement by linking it to foreign powers.
"Pelosi and some other American politicians have time and again whitewashed and endorsed the radical rioters on the pretext of upholding 'democracy' and 'freedoms,' fueled radical violence in Hong Kong, and arbitrarily smeared the just efforts by the SAR Government [Hong Kong] and the police to punish violence and defend the rule of law," the statement by the foreign ministry Hong Kong office continued.
"It is exactly because of the open connivance and support by the foreign forces that the violent offenders have been further emboldened to defy the law."
Congress mobilizes, Trump holds back
Pelosi on Tuesday issued a statement praising "the extraordinary outpouring of courage from the people of Hong Kong [that] stands in stark contrast to a cowardly government that refuses to respect the rule of law or live up to the 'one country, two systems' framework which was guaranteed more than two decades ago."
Hong Kong was returned to China under the promise of "one country, two systems," which provides the city political, civil and economic freedoms not allowed under Communist Party rule on the mainland.
In the statement, Pelosi vowed to advance a bi-partisan Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act when Congress reconvenes from recess.
The legislation would reaffirm US support for democratization and Hong Kong's autonomous status, while potentially impacting the city's special trade status. It would also require the president to apply sanctions on individuals identified as responsible for the surveillance, abduction, detention, or forced confessions of booksellers and journalists in Hong Kong, as well as for other actions suppressing freedoms.
Last week, US President Donald Trump described the protests in Hong Kong as "riots," borrowing the same terminology used by Beijing.
"Hong Kong is a part of China, they'll have to deal with that themselves," he said, indicating the administration might take a hands-off approach.
Travel warning
The US state department urged increased caution by citizens traveling to the city-state.
"The protests and confrontations have spilled over into neighbourhoods other than those where the police have permitted marches or rallies," its travel advisory stated.
"These demonstrations, which can take place with little or no notice, are likely to continue," it added.
The advisory was raised to level two on a four-point scale.
cw/rt (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)
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SpaceIL's Crashed Spacecraft Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon | WIRED
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 04:39
The Arch Mission Foundation sent its first archive to space in 2018 in the glove compartment of Elon Musk's Tesla, which is now in a 30-million-year orbit around the sun. That archive contains Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy, which is inscribed in a quartz disc using an experimental 5D optical technology developed by physicists at the University of Southampton. But that storage medium has limitations. Digital technologies and encoding standards are great for compressing lots of information into a small amount of space, but they are also short-lived'--how many people do you know who could play a VHS tape today? If you want to create a library for humans thousands or millions of years in the future, your best bet is to keep it analog.
But analog storage takes up a lot of room. So sending the bulk of human knowledge to space will require a lot of compression. To do this, Spivack tapped Bruce Ha, a scientist who developed a technique for engraving high-resolution, nano-scale images into nickel. Ha uses lasers to etch an image into glass and then deposits nickel, atom by atom, in a layer on top. The images in the resulting nickel film look holographic and can be viewed using a microscope capable of 1000x magnification'--a technology that has been available for hundreds of years.
The lunar library on the Beresheet lander consisted of 25 layers of nickel, each only a few microns thick. The first four layers contain roughly 60,000 high-resolution images of book pages, which include language primers, textbooks, and keys to decoding the other 21 layers. Those layers hold nearly all of the English Wikipedia, thousands of classic books, and even the secrets to David Copperfield's magic tricks.
The lunar library includes thousands of high-resolution images of book pages compressed into just a few square inches.
Bruce Ha A copy of the first layer of the lunar library on the Beresheet lunar lander. The actual lunar library has the center image removed.
Bruce HaSpivack had planned to send DNA samples to the moon in future versions of the lunar library, not on this mission. But a few weeks before Spivack had to deliver the lunar library to the Israelis, however, he decided to include some DNA in the payload anyway. Ha and an engineer on Spivack's team added a thin layer of epoxy resin between each layer of nickel, a synthetic equivalent of the fossilized tree resin that preserves ancient insects. Into the resin they tucked hair follicles and blood samples from Spivack and 24 others that he says represent a diverse genetic cross-section of human ancestry, in addition to some dehydrated tardigrades and samples from major holy sites, like the Bodhi tree in India. A few thousand extra dehydrated tardigrades were sprinkled onto tape that was attached to the lunar library.
The promising thing about the tardigrades, says Spivack, is that they could hypothetically be revived in the future. Tardigrades are known to enter dormant states in which all metabolic processes stop and the water in their cells is replaced by a protein that effectively turns the cells into glass. Scientists have revived tardigrades that have spent up to 10 years in this dehydrated state, although in some cases they may be able to survive much longer without water. Although the lunar library is designed to last for millions of years, scientists are just beginning to understand how tardigrades manage to survive in so many unforgiving environments. It's conceivable that as we learn more about tardigrades, we'll discover ways to rehydrate them after much longer periods of dormancy.
Spivack says that adding the DNA-filled resin to the lunar library at the last minute was a major risk, because any mistakes in how it was incorporated could have ruined the nickel engravings. In retrospect, however, it may have been what saved the library from destruction. The resin layers added a significant amount of strength to the lunar library, which made it less likely to break apart upon impact. Moreover, Spivack says that the heat generated by the impact wasn't high enough to melt the nickel layers, which were themselves encased in several protective layers to block radiation. ''Ironically, our payload may be the only surviving thing from that mission,'' Spivack says.
Opinion | Who's Afraid of a White Minority? - The New York Times
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 04:20
The battle over how to project the future population of the United States has profound political implications.
By Thomas B. Edsall
Mr. Edsall contributes a weekly column from Washington, D.C. on politics, demographics and inequality.
Aug 30, 2018 Image Voters waiting to cast their ballots in Florida on Tuesday. Credit Credit Brynn Anderson/Associated Press The question of whether America will become a majority-minority nation '-- and when that might happen '-- is intensely disputed, of enormous political import and extraordinarily complex.
Two articles that appeared in the opinion section of The Times over the past few years made the case that misleading statistical artifacts used by the Census Bureau have increased the fear of a majority-minority America, a fear that played a crucial role in the 2016 election.
Both Richard Alba, of CUNY, in ''The Myth of the White Minority,'' and Herbert Gans, of Columbia, in ''The Census and Right Wing Hysteria,'' argued that questionable census classifications led to an undercount of America's white majority. This anxiety over the decline of white hegemony, in turn, helped propel a segment of conservative voters to cast ballots for Donald Trump.
Not so fast, say William Frey of Brookings, Lilliana Mason of the University of Maryland and Justin Gest of George Mason University. They argue that mixed-race Americans who identify as white are not always viewed '-- or accepted '-- as white by other Americans. As Mason put it to me in an email, ''people who are racially motivated to dislike immigrants'' will ''not be assuaged by the argument that one day immigrants will just be white people.''
But before continuing with this point, let's turn back to Alba. Following up in the Washington Post in 2017, Alba addressed the interrelated questions of how mixed-race Americans classify themselves, how the census classifies them and how the census classification deals with the offspring of racially and ethnically mixed parents.
Alba writes:
Currently, 14 to 15 percent of infants born in the United States are multiethnic or multiracial, a number that was just 11 to 12 percent in 2000. But despite the fact that most of those children have a white parent, inadequacies in the census classifications mean that the great majority of them are identified as nonwhites. This is important, because most partly white individuals behave like whites in sociological terms. They grow up in neighborhoods with many whites, have white friends as adults, think of themselves mostly as white or partly white, and marry whites.
In addition, according to Alba, ''when individuals report having Hispanic ancestry, the Census Bureau assumes, following the O.M.B. standards, that they are only Hispanic regardless of their answers to the race question.'' In other words, Hispanics who describe themselves as white are classified as minorities, not as whites.
The census provides data illuminating Alba's argument. From 2000 to 2017, non-Hispanic whites fell from 69.1 percent of the population to 60.7 percent. The declining percentage of non-Hispanic whites is the basis for census predictions that whites will become a minority sometime in the early 2040s.
The census defines as Hispanic or Latino ''a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.'' In the 2010 census, there were 50.48 million Hispanics, 53 percent of whom self-identified as white.
The Census Bureau explains that it
considers race and ethnicity to be two separate and distinct concepts. What is race? An individual can report as White, Black or African-American, Asian, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, or some other race. Survey respondents may report multiple races. What is ethnicity? Ethnicity determines whether a person is of Hispanic origin or not. For this reason, ethnicity is broken out in two categories, Hispanic or Latino and Not Hispanic or Latino. Hispanics may report as any race.
When Hispanics who identify themselves as white are added in, the white share of the population actually grew modestly between 2000 and 2017 from 75.1 percent to 76.6 percent.
This raises a question: If the census dropped the binary non-Hispanic white-minority division and instead stressed the large number of people of mixed ancestry who self-identify as white, would the anxieties of whites fearful of a majority-minority America be lessened?
A second question is how many Americans who are currently inclined to see immigrants as outsiders and as threats to the nation's culture will perceive those coming from Asian, Latin American, African, Middle Eastern and North African nations as part of the American mainstream '-- even as more of those migrants intermarry. And what about the second-, third- and fourth-generation offspring of increasing numbers of Latino-white and Asian-white unions?
Trump has driven home not only to his base but to many others the message of a threatening majority-minority future.
Alba himself worries that the majority-minority prediction has become lodged in American thinking. In an email, he wrote that
the notion of the majority-minority society has a powerful hold on the public imagination at the moment. But I continue to believe (or hope) that another view of the evolution of our society can eventually win out, especially given the toxic impact on our politics of the majority-minority idea.
Alba's hopes received a boost from a survey of 2,600 non-Hispanic whites conducted in July 2016, during the campaign, by Dowell Myers and Morris Levy, political scientists at the University of Southern California.
They asked one half of the respondents to read a story about the ''conventional narrative about the decline of non-Hispanic whites'' and the other half to read a story detailing ''the growth of Hispanic and Asian-American populations'' but that ''also mentioned the rise of intermarriage and reported the Census Bureau's alternative projection of a more diverse white majority persisting the rest of the century.''
Of those who read the first version, ''46 percent of white Democrats and a whopping 74 percent of Republicans expressed anger or anxiety when reading about the impending white-minority status.'' Of those who read the second version, ''only 35 percent of white Democrats and 29 percent of white Republicans expressed anger or anxiousness.''
Justin Gest, a professor of public policy at George Mason University and the author of the book ''The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality,'' is far less optimistic. He wrote by email:
The image of these immigrants has been contaminated by Trumpian portrayals of criminals, benefit hunters, and opportunistic job competitors. Further, the vision of a more hybridized whiteness is still a couple decades away, and political minds are notoriously myopic.
It is not, Gest argued,
a strategy to reassure white Trump supporters, ''Don't worry. Those immigrants will soon be white too.'' There is a pervasive perception that Latinos, Africans and Asians are simply too different, too far removed from what Sam Huntington called the ''American creed.''
Lilliana Mason, a political scientist at the University of Maryland, shares Gest's pessimistic assessment. As a general rule of thumb, Mason argued, ''people don't respond well to being told that they'll think differently one day. It comes across as patronizing and can cause them to stick to their original idea even more strongly.''
Mason believes that even though growing numbers of those with mixed parentage think of themselves as white, many other whites are not currently prepared to accept that claim:
It doesn't matter if someone identifies as white as long as other people consider them to be nonwhite. In fact, I'd argue that the Dubois concept of the ''wages of whiteness'' requires that some groups NOT be white.
Bart Bonikowski, a professor of sociology at Harvard, argues that in the contemporary political climate, the fear of cultural disruption has become so pervasive on the right that realistic facts and figures make little difference. As he wrote in an email:
My sense is that actual levels of migration, shifts in immigrants' ethnic identification, and changing rates of intermarriage are, at best, only loosely coupled with perceptions of cultural threat among white voters, particularly those with moderate levels of education and those living outside of urban centers. Even though actual levels of undocumented migration from Mexico '-- and net migration from that country in general '-- have decreased in recent years, this in no way diminished the potency of Donald Trump's xenophobic discourse in the 2016 presidential election. Indeed, this was true despite the fact that aggregate favorability toward immigrants has been steadily increasing in the United States over the past decade.
Bonikowski elaborated:
The reason for this is that many Trump supporters have long held strong ethnonationalist sentiments, but these sentiments have only recently become politically salient, as Trump, and other Republicans before him, have actively stoked fears of demographic and cultural change and channeled them into powerful resentments toward minority groups. For many voters, such resentments are not rooted in everyday experience, not least because they tend to live in ethnically homogeneous, predominantly white communities, but rather, they are shaped by powerful nativist narratives perpetuated by right-wing politicians, partisan organizations, and media outlets.
From another vantage point altogether, William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, defended census majority-minority calculations in an email, arguing that it is important for the country to face what he has called the ''diversity explosion'':
Given the slow and in fact, last year, negative growth of the white population along with its rapid aging '-- it is important for older whites to understand that the only way we will have a growing labor force will be to embrace the younger racial minority populations.
Frey described projections that many young people of mixed racial and ethnic backgrounds will self-identify as white as ''quite speculative.'' He questioned putting forth such projections
for the sole purpose of potentially appealing to Trump supporters '-- many of whom do not seem to be interested in other demographic facts such as last decade's decline of undocumented immigration to the U.S., or the greater number of migrants coming from Asia than from Latin America.
Howard Lavine, a professor of political science and psychology at the University of Minnesota, staked out a middle ground, pessimistic in the short term, less so in the long term:
Intermarriage '-- especially among whites and Hispanics '-- may produce a substantial percentage of children (and grandchildren) who identify as white, but I doubt that such predictions will go far in currently assuaging the race-based status threat that many working class-whites feel today, and that Donald Trump exploited so successfully.
Over time, however, Lavine argued, as
races and cultures become less distinct (more assimilated), Republican voters who are dispositionally intolerant of difference (e.g., authoritarians) will find the political climate less threatening and the category of race per se less politically relevant.
Could a more multifaceted narrative than the binary white vs. minority projection into the future lessen the anxiety of some whites? Michael Barber, a political scientist at Brigham Young, doubts it:
The actual date at which the U.S. becomes majority-minority is probably irrelevant to the typical Trump voter or Republican in general. My guess is that perceptions matter much more than reality.
In support of his view, Barber cited an intriguing research paper. ''The Parties in Our Heads: Misperceptions about Party Composition and Their Consequences,'' by Douglas J. Ahler, a political scientist at Florida State University, and Gaurav Sood, then a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown.
Their research shows, Barber writes, that partisans have extremely biased perceptions of the ''other'' party, including survey data showing that people ''think that 32 percent of Democrats are LGBT (vs. 6 percent in reality) and 38 percent of Republicans earn over $250,000 per year (vs. 2 percent in reality).'' With this in mind, Barber argued, ''it isn't a stretch to imagine that people think we're already a majority-minority country when in fact we aren't at all.''
Some of those I contacted suggested that only Trump and his fellow Republicans have the power to change the anti-immigrant, anti-minority tone of the political conversation. Nathan Kalmoe, a political scientist at Louisiana State University, argued, for example, that
Politicians and other opinion leaders play an important role in helping citizens make sense of the threats and opportunities they face. I expect the views of many white Americans would shift if President Trump and other leaders who deploy ethnonationalist messages collectively changed their tune, at least in terms of attitude intensity and priority.
In the highly unlikely event that that happened, ''prejudices wouldn't vanish, but they would be less politically potent for most people.'' More realistically, Kalmoe wrote, ''as long as prominent leaders continue to mobilize white fear and anger on the issue, citizens who trust them will follow.''
From a broader perspective, the current majority-minority controversy is a continuation of the never-ending, never-resolved struggle in this country over how to deal with a rapidly transforming multiracial, multiethnic society.
Robert Jones, the C.E.O. of the Public Religion Research Institute, put the problem this way in an email:
Throughout American history in particular, the question of whiteness has been at the center of these debates, fueled by the fact that social privileges and political rights were tied to whiteness.
Historically, this has played out in the practices of the Census Bureau and the Citizenship and Immigration Services that ''recorded race and ethnicity categories over time, e.g., 'Celt' and 'Hebrew' once appeared outside of the 'Caucasian' category.''
Jones argues that
at the current moment in U.S. history, we actually need the admittedly fictional concept of ''whiteness'' to understand recent events that are driven by a motivation to defend a perceived threat to white demographic and cultural dominance: the mass murder of nine worshipers in Charleston by the Confederate flag wielding Dylann Roof, the white supremacists marching in Charlottesville chanting ''you/Jews will not replace us,'' and even the unlikely but unflagging support for Donald Trump among white evangelical Protestants nostalgic to resurrect the cultural world of the 1950s.
Jones captures the strength of the racial and ethnic divisions that have characterized the nation since its founding:
The troubling truth of American history is that it's precisely the binary understanding of white vs. nonwhite that has been at the center of our bloodiest battles, harshest laws, and fiercest debates. The U.S. social and political landscape would be unrecognizable but for the power of the concept of whiteness.
It's certainly a problem we keep coming up against.
I invite you to follow me on Twitter, @Edsall.
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Thomas B. Edsall has been a contributor to The Times Opinion section since 2011. His column on strategic and demographic trends in American politics appears every Thursday. He previously covered politics for The Washington Post. @ edsall
Suicide rates for U.S. teens and young adults are the highest on record - Los Angeles Times
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 03:44
The rate at which young Americans took their own lives reached a high-water mark in 2017, driven by a sharp rise in suicides among older teenage boys, according to new research.
In that year alone, suicide claimed the lives of 5,016 males and 1,225 females between 15 and 24 in the United States, researchers reported Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
While reporting standards for suicide have changed over the decades, the authors of the JAMA study said the youth suicide rate '-- 14.6 per 100,000 '-- appears to be the highest it's been since the government began collecting such statistics in 1960.
For girls and young women, suicide rates have mostly followed a steady upward trajectory since 2000, roughly doubling between then and 2017.
The grim escalation of self-destruction has followed a slightly different path for boys and young men. Their suicide rate saw modest, steady increases for just over a decade beginning in 2000. Then it turned up sharply starting three to four years ago, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show.
By 2017, young men between 15 and 19 killed themselves at a rate of 17.9 per 100,000, up from 13 per 100,000 in 2000. Not since 1980 '-- when the HIV/AIDS epidemic touched off widespread despair among young gay males across the United States '-- has the suicide rate for this group been so high (it was 18 per 100,000 that year).
The increase among older teen boys raised the overall suicide rate for Americans ages 15 to 24 to its highest level since 1960, said Harvard University's Oren Miron, the lead author of the new research.
READ MORE: Mental health problems are on rise among American teens and young adults, study finds >>
Suicide rates have been rising among men and women across the age spectrum in the United States. In November, the CDC reported that an average American's likelihood of dying by suicide at any given age rose 33% between 1999 and 2017.
Miron and his colleagues suggest a litany of factors that have contributed to the increase in reported youth suicides, including high rates of depression and anxiety, unprecedented levels of social media use, and a greater willingness of families and officials to acknowledge suicide as a cause of death.
But Miron, a bioinformatics specialist, said ''there are a lot of reasons to suspect'' that the opioid crisis has played a role too.
Fueling that suspicion is the fact that coroners and medical examiners often find themselves puzzling over poisoning deaths in which the individual's intent was unclear. But Miron said that even when a young person's suicide is carried out with a firearm or by asphyxiation, it is often set against the despair of a community wracked by the opioid epidemic.
''When you have that hopelessness all around you and when it afflicts the family, it can definitely be a factor,'' he said. ''The increased risk for heroin or opioid users to commit suicide is really staggering.''
The CDC has noted that in 2017, suicide rates in the country's most rural counties were 80% higher than they were in large metropolitan counties. While the evolving epidemic of opioid addiction and death has begun to infect the nation's cities, it first took root in rural, largely white populations.
Across the country, rising rates of suicide, fatal drug overdoses and deaths due to alcohol abuse have collectively driven up the average American's probability of dying at any age. In recent years, these so-called ''deaths of despair'' have also reduced the average life expectancy of Americans.
Suicide is now thought to be the second leading cause of death for Americans between 10 and 34.
''I don't think it is an exaggeration at all to say that we have a mental health crisis among adolescents in the U.S.,'' said San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge, whose research focuses on generational differences in emotional well-being.
Suicide rates for teens and young adults appear to be the highest they've been since the government began collecting such statistics in 1960.
(Antonio Guillem/Dreamstime/TNS)
Twenge noted that by many measures, teens and young adults have become more depressed over the past decade and suffered higher levels of psychological distress than their predecessors. Research has failed to root out the causes for this distress, she acknowledged. But there's evidence to suggest that this generation's unique relationship to digital technology is a key factor, she said.
Youth suicide trends do not align well with economic explanations or with public traumas like school shootings or terrorist attacks, Twenge has shown. But as smartphones and social media use have become ubiquitous, there's been a fundamental shift in the way teens spend their leisure time. Activities that benefit mental health '-- including sleep and face-to-face interaction with family and friends '-- have declined as American youths have deepened their engagement with digital media.
''I do not think that is a coincidence,'' Twenge said.
Clinical psychologist Lisa Damour, who specializes in treating adolescents and young adults, said the grim new statistics cannot be separated from rising rates of depression and anxiety in young Americans.
It's a reminder, she said, that ''depression is a treatable condition, and it needs to be treated.'' Parents, teachers and peers should be particularly attentive to the distress of teens and young adults who are socially isolated, who don't get enough sleep (often because their digital lives interfere) and who are stressed by the world's problems, she said.
It's important to remember that depression is a chronic condition which, in teens particularly, is often marked by passing episodes of sadness, crankiness and irritability, Damour added. While parents might readily dismiss a teen's mercurial moods as normal, it's never wrong to press.
''Asking kids if they feel down or suicidal will not cause them to be down or suicidal,'' she said. ''Don't be afraid to ask.''
Health officials urge people with suicidal thoughts to seek help by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255, or to use the Crisis Text Line by texting ''Home'' to 741741 for immediate assistance.
Barack Obama calls on internet platforms to reduce the influence of hate groups
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 03:41
Former US president Barack Obama has weighed in on the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio by calling on internet platforms to come up with better strategies to reduce the influence of online hate groups.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Obama suggested that the El Paso shooting was the result of online radicalization via white nationalist websites and called for internet platforms to do more to combat these hate groups:
''While the motivations behind these shootings may not yet be fully known, there are indications that the El Paso shooting follows a dangerous trend: troubled individuals who embrace racist ideologies and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy. Like the followers of ISIS and other foreign terrorist organizations, these individuals may act alone, but they've been radicalized by white nationalist websites that proliferate on the internet. That means that both law enforcement agencies and internet platforms need to come up with better strategies to reduce the influence of these hate groups.''
While Obama didn't mention the online imageboard 8chan directly, his comments are likely referring to multiple media reports alleging that the El Paso shooter posted a racist manifesto to 8chan minutes before the shooting began. These reports led to mass calls for 8chan to be shut down with many of these calls being directed at Cloudflare '' a company which provides content delivery network (CDN) services and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack protection to websites. Cloudflare ultimately terminated service to 8chan following these calls.
Obama's comments reflect the sentiments of many who feel that in the wake of these recent mass shootings, more needs to be done to combat online hate. They're also similar to the comments former UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid made in the wake of the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand when he called on multiple social platforms to ''do more'' to stop violent online extremism. At the time, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) warned that calls for stricter enforcement could lead to excessive censorship and the silencing of innocent voices.
Since the Christchurch shooting, multiple internet platforms have made changes to reduce the influence of online hate groups, with many of these changes being directed at online white nationalist groups. In March, Facebook banned white nationalism and white separatism. In June, YouTube banned hateful and supremacist content.
As a result of these policy changes, there have been multiple examples of the excessive censorship the EFF warned about with YouTube taking down or demonetizing content from history teachers, independent journalists, and others.
We've also seen examples of extreme and dangerous policies being used to tackle online hate. For example, Facebook started compiling internal lists of ''hate agents'' and even temporarily allowed ''threats that could lead to death'' if they're against designated ''dangerous individuals.''
These examples show that internet platforms introducing new policies to tackle online hate is not always the right answer. Even Cloudflare's CEO Matthew Prince admitted that removing 8chan does little to tackle the real problems of online hate and the wider issues that allow it to flourish:
''While removing 8chan from our network takes heat off of us, it does nothing to address why hateful sites fester online. It does nothing to address why mass shootings occur. It does nothing to address why portions of the population feel so disenchanted they turn to hate. In taking this action we've solved our own problem, but we haven't solved the Internet's.''
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"Fallon," "Colbert," "Kimmel," More Advertising Special / Surprise Guests For August 8 Episode
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 21:04
As of Friday evening, the major late-night talk shows had all revealed their lineups for next week's string of episodes.
Most of the lineups have one thing in common: a promise of a special guest on the August 8 episode.
CBS says that a ''special guest'' will appear on the August 8 ''Late Show With Stephen Colbert'' and ''Late Late Show With James Corden.'' NBC confirms a ''special guest'' for the August 8 ''Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'' and a ''special guest TBA'' for the August 8 ''Late Night With Seth Meyers.'' ABC lists a ''special guest'' for that night's ''Jimmy Kimmel Live.''
TBS, meanwhile, teases a ''surprise guest'' for the August 8 edition of ''Conan.''
There is obviously no guarantee the shows are all referring to the same guest, but it is hard to imagine the teases not being connected in some way.
Headline Planet will share any additional details as they emerge. For now, here are the official listings for each show's August 8 episode.
August 8 Colbert '' Special Guest + Niecy NashAugust 8 Fallon '' Special Guest + Lil Rel Howery + Lester Holt + musical guest Natalie MerchantAugust 8 Corden '' Josh Gad + Special Guest + Rick SchwartzAugust 8 Meyers '' Special Guest TBA + Billy Crudup + Robin ThedeAugust 8 Kimmel '' Special Guest + Leslie Jones + musical guest MONSTA X ft. French MontanaAugust 8 Conan '' Surprise Guest
(Update: Earlier this week, a tentative listing said Will Ferrell would be appearing on the August 8 ''Late Night With Seth Meyers.'' His name was quickly removed. Astute observers, naturally, questioned why his name was pulled. Was it because he was definitely not scheduled for the episode or because the listing accidentally spoiled his involvement in the ''surprise guest'' campaign?
If a new report from W Magazine is to be believed, the answer is the latter. The publication says the various shows will air pre-taped footage of Will Ferrell hyping his ''Ron Burgundy'' podcast.
As this has not been confirmed by network sources, please treat it as a rumor.)
Five Late Night Shows Have a Mysterious "Surprise Guest" This Thursday - PRIMETIMER
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 21:00
Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon are three of the late night hosts scheduled to welcome a special "surprise guest" on their shows this coming Thursday night.
When Sue Trowbridge spots something anomalous in the world of late night guest line-ups, she knows of what she speaks.
For the last 23 years, Trowbridge has published her late night line-ups page, providing fans and industry insiders alike with an exhaustive, frequently updated list of which guests are scheduled to appear on which shows (and when).
So people took notice when Trowbridge tweeted last Friday that she'd noticed something seemingly unprecedented -- four late night shows are listing a "Special TBA Guest " this Thursday Night, August 8th.
So a lot of the late night talk shows -- including Colbert, Conan, Fallon, Seth Meyers -- are advertising a "surprise" guest or "special" guest who will appear on Thursday, August 8. Who could possibly be appearing on talk shows across multiple networks? pic.twitter.com/XheB9Fiunc
'-- Sue Trowbridge (@trow125) August 2, 2019Since that initial tweet, Jimmy Kimmel Live! has added a Special Guest TBA to his lineup, as well. And as Trowbridge points out, Conan O'Brien appears to be interrupting three weeks of repeats to his new "Special Guest" episode this Thursday.
Trowbridge told us this is the first time she can recall more than one of the talkers listing an unnamed special guest (let alone five of them, across four networks).
So what's going on? Who are all these surprise guests? (Or could it be the same person on all the shows?)
Might it be a multi-show crossover, like the recent Jimmy Fallon/Stephen Colbert shared cold open (or the 2008 writer's strike collaboration between Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert)?
At this point, speculation is all over the map. Trowbridges's own best guess is that it's multiple big name celebrities promoting the launch of a joint charitible initiative, while others have wondered if it might be a political announcement (could Oprah be throwing her hat in the ring after all?), something Marvel-related, or the surprise launch of a new album from a Beyonce or another pop superstar.
For now, the networks aren't talking (nor are the various hosts). As they say on TV, stay tuned...
A Review of Bronze Age Mindset by Bronze Age Pervert
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 20:55
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Bronze Age Mindset by Bronze Age Pervert (Self-published, June 2018)
Two months ago, I bought Bronze Age Mindset, the debut book from dissident right figure and self-styled ''aspiring nudist bodybuilder'' Bronze Age Pervert, with the intent of reading it and reviewing it not long after. And yet, whenever I sat down and tried to put my thoughts into a comprehensible format, I ended up staring at a blank screen. Terror House Editor-at-Large Calvin Westra put it like this: ''[Bronze Age Mindset] is a tough book to talk about [because] you either get it or you don't, and explaining it to normies without ruining the magic of it is impossible.''
He had a point, but in nearly a decade of writing, I've only encountered one book that defied reviewing, and that's just because the writing style gave me a major headache. BAP's book, on the other hand, was a joy to read from beginning to end, so there's no excuse for me not to push this one out, like a Bronze Age woman giving birth on the poop deck of a Phoenician trireme. And for some reason, an incident I witnessed the weekend I started reading Bronze Age Mindset kept coming back to me.
I was in Mukachevo, an out-of-the-way Ukrainian city that lives up to every American stereotype about the ex-Soviet Union. I was walking to Palanok Castle, a medieval Hungarian castle and the city's only real tourist attraction, when I saw an old guy who was drunk out of his mind on the other side of the street, stumbling and wobbling around despite it only being one in the afternoon. A tubby woman on a bike, too absorbed in her smartphone to notice the drunk's ambling gait, slammed right into him, sending both of them to the pavement.
The fat girl recovered pretty quickly, but the drunk simply lay on the ground moaning like a masturbating retard. She walked to him and started cursing him out in Ukrainian, presumably screaming about how he had gotten in her way, but the drunk just kept moaning, ignoring her. She eventually got on her bike and sped off. I considered crossing the street to help the old guy, but thought better of it. Being a good Samaritan can be hazardous in Ukraine.
The day before, I'd been poking around the side streets of downtown Mukachevo when I saw a guy who'd clearly been fucked up in a fight: he was walking with a severe limp and his face and shirt were covered in blood. I told these stories to Terror House Senior Editor Glahn and he commented that it ''sounds like [you're] in the Wild West, Matt.''
I've been through more harrowing situations'--attempted shakedowns, getting lost in third-world slums, running for my life from angry cucks'--but the point was made. Mukachevo is one of those places close to the edge, where you can see the dirt and grime poking up through holes in the thin veneer of civilization.
It's also one of those places where the lines on the map start to blur. Originally known as Munkcs, it and the surrounding Transcarpathia region were part of the Kingdom of Hungary for a thousand years, before getting traded to Czechoslovakia after the first World War and annexed by the Soviet Union after the second. Transcarpathia's native Hungarian population was ethnically cleansed and replaced with Ukrainians and Russians from other parts of the U.S.S.R., while Mukachevo's sizable Jewish population was liquidated in the Holocaust.
Perhaps that's why Bronze Age Mindset resonated with me so strongly: I was in a place where its principles and ideas were just simmering below the surface.
I don't know Bronze Age Pervert, but I know of him: his name cast a long shadow even before his book came out. Despite the jokey title'--Gorilla Mindset is three years old, people, that meme is expired'--Bronze Age Mindset stands above the fray as a genuine work of art. It's not politics, it's not philosophy'--indeed, BAP says it is ''not book of philosophy'' [sic], but a book of ''exhortation'''--but a thunderclap, a lonely yell from a bygone era that is intruding on our soy-filled world.
Caveat emptor, however: your ability to enjoy Bronze Age Mindset is contingent on you getting past BAP's bizarre prose style. The book isn't merely unedited in the way that many self-published books are; BAP writes like a man who barely understands the English language itself. Here's a sample from the opening chapters:
The most noble animals refuse to breed in captivity. Many animal, not just man, choose death when trapped. But I thought all life strove for mere survival and reproduction; but this not enough? But if not enough then must understand animal in some other way. Very much when thinkers talk about ''evolutionary psychology'' they abstract from way of yeast to way of animals and man, but this is backward.
Glahn describes BAP as writing like Tarzan, like a man who has just ambled into the petting zoo of civilization after a lifetime in the wilderness, and I agree. While some of his stylistic tics can be annoying at first (such as his penchant for beginning sentences with ''is'' or writing paragraphs that stretch on for pages), I gradually came to enjoy BAP's diction. The book roars at you like a lion, getting your attention without relying on subtlety or trickery.
Bronze Age Mindset is a book-length digression on the ills of the modern world as contrasted with the glories of epochs past, delving into history, biology, current events, and conspiracy theories. In particular, the book explains why Bronze Age Pervert chose his name, as he explains that the Bronze Age was when humanity peaked:
'...Many times I'm asked, why the Bronze Age? Because it's the heroic age you see in Iliad and Odyssey, yes, but don't forget what hero really means. Thucydides says the men of that time enjoyed piracy, and saw nothing wrong with it, and this is true. And what is the pirate but the original form of the free man and of all ascending life! How pathetic, when you are told now about ''living life,'' or ''having a life'''--these people know nothing about what true life means. Compare the intensity of Alcibiades, that super-pirate, or of what I am about to describe here, to the ''life'' you're encouraged to ''have'' today. How worthless the vaunting of these anxious creatures who live on pharmaceuticals, cheap wine, the rancid fart-fumes of status and approval they beg from each other'...
In BAP's estimation, the Bronze Age was when men lived free: truly free, not the freedom of being able to choose which trendy restaurant to eat dinner at or which butt on Tinder to fuck, but the freedom to impose your will on the world. It was the age that laid the foundation of the modern world through myths of larger-than-life characters such as Odysseus and Achilles. Throughout the book, BAP names several modern figures who embody what he calls the spirit of the ''Bronze Age pirate,'' including one of my favorites, the French mercenary Bob Denard:
'...His greatest feat was to overthrow the government of the Comoros four times. Each time France had to send special forces to the islands to dislodge him. Otherwise he would have surely become a hereditary ruler. He had many wives and won many properties by the power of his hand. At the end of his life'...well'...this life lasted too long. He should have died in defense of his territory, younger, and without descending into the dementia and pain that took him in old age. France repaid his service with persecution; no longer needed to fight communists in Africa, his vainglory and ferocity became a liability'...
At the forefront of Bronze Age Mindset is the sterility of modern life, the way it cages men and forces them to live like domesticated animals. He attributes this in part to the way in which men have allowed women to assume positions of power, referring to women scientists as ''spiritual lesbians'' and calling women's liberation the ''greatest weakening and self-own a civilization has ever visited on itself.'' Despite this, BAP doesn't call for white sharia or the rollback of women's rights, viewing them as a weapon that can be repurposed for bringing about a new Bronze Age:
'...Women, after all, can still, even in the most debased condition, be made to call on their deep passions by a great leader. They voted for Hitler, Mussolini, and many others, with some enthusiasm. The enemy who ''freed'' them has made use of a great weapon: he has increased his power immensely and introduced a war into the house and life of every man. But this enemy also made a gamble and I believe, ultimately, a mistake'...because women more than others will set their bodies on fire with passion for a savior and be willing to abandon the fear and love of comfort on which the modern state depends'...them more than others, out of a wild and stupid enthusiasm.
It is in this that the true magic of Bronze Age Mindset is revealed. Bronze Age Pervert deftly avoids falling into the pit of political writing through wit, perspective, and comedy. In this, his closest literary analogue can be found in Jonathan Bowden, a British writer who served as a major influence on modern dissident culture.
Early in his career, Bowden published Mad and Sade, two books that are superficially similar to Bronze Age Mindset, featuring unusual spelling, constant shifts in subject matter, and run-on paragraphs, yet still forming a cohesive whole. Mad was a lament against the state of the modern world and is the lesser of the two works, while Sade was a study of the life of the Marquis de Sade, who Bowden argued was one of the most influential figures of modern civilization.
The Marquis de Sade was the polar opposite of BAP's ''Bronze Age pirate.'' He was a man who lived not for glory, honor, or country, but to sate his unending material lusts. Feminists like Andrea Dworkin who excoriated Sade for his ''misogyny'' ignored the fact that by late 1700's standards, he was a feminist, seeking to liberate women from patriarchal bonds so they could better indulge his sexual fantasies. Despite being of noble blood, he disclaimed his aristocratic titles following the French Revolution so that he could join in the regicide. Sade was the original bugman, focused entirely on amusing himself in the moment and demanding that society aid him in this goal.
The French Revolution was the event that begat our modern, sterilized world. From the legalization of homosexuality to the emancipation of women to the division of politics into left and right wings, our modern society was planted in the poisoned earth bequeathed by the burning of the Bastille. The Marquis de Sade represented the inevitable conclusion of that revolution against God, the king, and tradition: a man who sought nothing but pleasure, unrestrained by law, morality, or familial bonds. ''Veal wrapped in cotton,'' as Common Filth put it.
No wonder Sade was killed by his fellow revolutionaries: he was a living, breathing Dorian Grey portrait of the Jacobins. Or, as Heath Ledger's Joker might put it, Sade wasn't a monster: he was just ahead of the curve.
Bowden's monograph on Sade serves a purpose not unlike Bronze Age Mindset: a full-throated cry against the lies of the modern world. Sade is purely reactive, showing how Sade was the id of the Enlightenment, unshackled by the Revolution and set loose on the catamites and whores of France; Bronze Age Mindset is proactive, showing what life was like before managerialism turned men into housecats, back during the age of the pirate.
The ''Bronze Age pirate'' that BAP describes is not simply a hedonistic freebooter: he is a man with a mission, a man who seeks to leave a legacy, a man who refuses to be caged. Nor is he an onanistic self-improver in the mold of Norman Vincent Peale, but a hero who sees his mind and body as inseparable halves of a whole. The Bronze Age pirate seeks to transcend the limitations of his surroundings and make a name for himself, guided by his moral code, his tribal loyalties, and his force of will.
Bronze Age Mindset doesn't have solutions for the problems of modern society. While Bronze Age Pervert offers some practical advice for young men, the book as a whole doesn't bill itself as a roadmap to escaping modernity. It doesn't need to. Bronze Age Mindset is a thunderclap in printed form, a reminder of humanity's origin and purpose, where it has come from and what it can become. Bronze Age Pervert's street preacher-esque tone and garbled prose sell these idea far better than any history book or documentary could.
One wonders how much longer Bronze Age Mindset will be available for sale. With Amazon and other book distributors now pulling popular un-PC titles, I can't imagine that BAP's runaway success will go unnoticed. It's something I'm thinking about as I lay the preparations for Terror House Press. With that in mind, you should read Bronze Age Mindset before doing so becomes illegal.
Click here to buy Bronze Age Mindset.
Matt Forney is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Terror House Magazine. He is an American author, journalist, and radio host based in Europe. Matt blogs at MattForney.com and is also on Anchor, BitChute, Telegram, Twitch, and YouTube. He is the author of eight books, available from Matt Forney Books, Amazon, and other retailers. Matt's work has been featured at Return of Kings, Reaxxion, Taki's Magazine, Right On, Red Ice, Affirmative Right, and other sites. He has also served as an editor at Return of Kings and Reaxxion.
(26) Mike Cernovich on Twitter: "I won't dox people as @JoaquinCastrotx did, but can confirm that his target list omitted Latino donors in San Antonio for Trump. This means that Castro specifically singled out donors for their race, in violation of fede
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 20:48
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Dayton shooter was 'exploring violent ideologies,' investigators say | Fox News
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 18:52
Authorities said Tuesday the gunman who killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio over the weekend showed an interest in "violent ideologies" as the FBI announced it will take a central role in the investigation.
Federal investigators will try to determine what ideologies influenced 24-year-old Connor Betts, who might have helped him, and why he chose Dayton's Oregon entertainment district as the target for the early Sunday shooting, Special Agent Todd Wickerham, the head of the FBI's Cincinnati field office.
Wickerham declined to get into what specific ideologies the shooter was exploring, nor did he say whether the FBI is looking into whether the case could be treated as domestic terrorism.
OHIO SHOOTING VICTIMS INCLUDE GUNMAN'S SISTER, MOTHER OF TWO WHO WAS A NURSING STUDENT
Investigators have not offered a motive as to why the shooter opened fire outside a strip of nightclubs early Sunday morning with an AR-15 style gun. One of the victims was his younger sister.
It was not clear if the victims were targeted. Six of the nine victims were black, police said, but there was no evidence race was a factor, Wickerham said.
Hospital officials said 37 people - including 14 with gunshot wounds - were treated for injuries.
EL PASO, DAYTON COULD DEFINE AUGUST -- A HISTORICALLY TURBULENT MONTH
Meanwhile, a woman who claimed she briefly dated the gunman earlier this year said in an online essay that he had "dark thoughts" and "didn't want to seek help" for mental illness "because of the stigma."
Adelia Johnson, 24, said the two met in a college psychology class.
"When he started joking about his dark thoughts, I understood," she wrote. "Dark thoughts for someone with a mental illness are just a symptom that we have to learn how to manage."
Two former classmates said told The Associated Press the shooter was suspended in high school after a hit list was found written in the school bathroom. He was suspended earlier for coming to school with a list of female students he wanted to sexually assault, they said.
OHIO GUNMAN HAD BULLETPROOF VEST, WAS STOPPED WITHIN 30 SECONDS OF OPENING FIRE OUTSIDE BAR, POLICE SAY
"It's baffling and horrible that somebody who's been talking for 10 years about wanting to shoot people could easily, so easily, get access to a military-grade weapon and that much ammo," said Hannah Shows, a former high classmate who remembered seeing the shooter imitate shooting at people.
Dayton Police Cheif Richard Biehl told reporters Tuesday that the gunman had expressed "a desire to commit a mass shooting."
During the rampage in Dayton's entertainment district, the shooter was wearing a bulletproof vest and body armor. He was killed less than a minute into the shooting by responding police officers.
Authorities do not believe the shooting was connected to another massacre earlier Saturday in El Paso, Texas that left 22 people dead.
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A search of the gunman's Twitter feed revealed he had leftist leanings and opposed the elected of President Trump.
Ohio's GOP Gov. Mike DeWine called on the Republican-led legislature to pass laws requiring background checks for gun purchases, allow courts to restrict firearms access for people perceived as threats, and improving access to in-patient psychiatric care for those who need it most.
"If we, after a tragedy, only confine ourselves to doing those things that would have prevented this tragedy, we are missing a real opportunity," DeWine said. "So we need to look at these tragedies together."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Inside Hezbollah's American sleeper cells: Waiting for Iran's signal to strike U.S. and Israeli targets - U.S. News - Haaretz.com
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 18:10
After Iran shot down an American drone in the Gulf last month, U.S. forces were reportedly ten minutes away from firing missiles at Iranian targets when the President suddenly called off the attack.
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The missile strikes would have killed too many Iranians, he later said, adding he was in no hurry to attack Iran but that "our military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go." U.S. officials insist that a "full range of options" remain on the table to deal with Iran's malign activities, including military options.
But those military options could have significant implications for the security of Washington's allies in the region, including Israel, especially as they relate to the activities of Iran's increasingly capable proxies.
With Missiles More Accurate Than Hezbollah's, Iran Entrenchment in Iraq Threatens Israel >> Arrow 3 missile test ties Israel's hands on striking Iran - just as Trump intended
As tensions spike between Iran and the West - especially over oil sanctions and freedom of navigation in the Gulf - Iran has been able to draw upon its network of militant proxies to carry out attacks on Iran's behalf. In the words of former IRGC commander Gen Mohammad Ali Jafari, "The upside of the recent (conflicts) has been the mobilization of a force of nearly 200,000 armed youths in different countries in the region."
Overseen by the IRGC's Qods Force, this informal "Shia Liberation Army" includes Iraqi Shia militias, Yemeni Houthi rebels, and of course Lebanese Hezbollah.
Houthi rebels have targeted Saudi airports, border towns, oil facilities, and even targeted a Saudi warship using an Iranian-designed remote-controlled boat filled with explosives.
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Meanwhile, Iraqi militias have fought in Syria, reshaped the Iraqi political and security landscape in Iran's favor, fired rockets at U.S. diplomatic and military facilities in Iraq, and carried out a drone attack targeting Saudi oil facilities.
Iran loaded rockets into launchers on Iranian commercial boats in the Gulf in May, just weeks after U.S. intelligence determined Tehran told its proxies to prepare to take a more confrontational approach to the U.S.
Israel is very much within these proxies' crosshairs as well. "If the U.S. attacks us, only half an hour will remain of Israel's lifespan," threatened Mojtaba Zolnour, chairman of Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.
Hyperbole aside, Iran has reportedly begun providing Iraqi Shia militia groups precision missiles capable of hitting targets anywhere in Israel, perhaps to compensate for the attack platforms Iran lost in Syria as a result of Israeli airstrikes. Recently, press reports claim Israeli jets targeted Iranian missile shipments in Iraq that were meant to be transferred on to Hezbollah.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah addresses supporters ahead of the Shiite Ashura commemorations, in Beirut's southern suburbs. Nov. 3, 2014. Hussein Malla,AP Indeed, Hezbollah is clear that if it comes to an American war with Iran, it wants in on the fight. Interviewed on the group's own al-Manar TV, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah asked and answered his own rhetorical question about what the group would do in the event of a war between Iran and the United States: "Are we going to sit back and watch? Iran won't be alone in the war, that is clear."
In the unlikely event of a truly full-scale war with Iran, Hezbollah would surely target Israel with salvos of artillery, missile and rocket bombardments. Nasrallah recently bragged that this arsenal has "doubled or tripled" since the 2006 war and that it includes weapons capable of hitting anything from the northern border to Eilat.
Nasrallah claims Hezbollah could attack northern Israel for as long as any conflict persisted, but also stressed the vulnerability of Israeli population centers and critical infrastructure along the coast from Netanya to Ashdod. "This is the Stone Age," Nasrallah concluded. "We shall see who will turn the other into the Stone Age."
But for all his rhetoric, Nasrallah does not want war with Israel at the present time - especially now that Israel exposed and destroyed Hezbollah attack tunnels burrowing into Israel, and given Israel's continued offensive against Hezbollah's budding military and intelligence buildup on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
Moreover, in the context of any conflict short of all-out war, Tehran is unlikely to want to put at risk the most tangible achievement of its proxy strategy, namely the strong military, political and social position of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran may still want Hezbollah to act under such circumstances, and Nasrallah was clear that Hezbollah would not sit back and watch.
Which is where Hezbollah's external operations apparatus, the Islamic Jihad Organization or Unit 910, comes into play.
Over the past several years, Hezbollah IJO activities have been on the rise. The uptick began in 2008 as a means of avenging the assassination of Hezbollah arch terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, and later continued as a factor of Iran's shadow war with the West over Tehran's nuclear program.
Smoke rising after a terrorist blast at Bulgaria's Burgas airport July 18, 2012. Reuters Hezbollah's last successful attack targeted Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria, in 2012. But a long list of other plots have since been foiled around the world in places as far afield as Bolivia, Cyprus, Peru, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Hezbollah preoperational surveillance occurred in Canada, Panama, the U.S., and elsewhere.
The most alarming case took place in the United States and Canada. According to U.S. prosecutors, two U.S.-based Hezbollah IJO operatives - Ali Kourani and Samer el Debek - were tasked with carrying out pre-operational surveillance for potential Hezbollah attacks in the United States and Panama.
Authorities allege Debek was sent to Thailand to shut down a Hezbollah explosives lab, and that Ali Kourani was directed to identify Israelis in New York who could be targeted by Hezbollah and to find people from whom he could procure arms that Hezbollah could stockpile in the area. Kourani also conducted surveillance of New York and Toronto airports as well as of FBI, Secret Service and U.S. military facilities in New York City.
The case also offers a unique insight into how and when Iran might ask Hezbollah IJO cells to carry out attacks. During one of Kourani's meetings with the FBI, an interviewing agent recalled, Kourani "sat back in his chair, squared his shoulders and stated, 'I am a member of 910, also known as Islamic Jihad or the Black Ops of Hezbollah. The unit is Iranian-controlled.'"
Within Hezbollah, the unit reports directly to Nasrallah, according to Kourani, but Iran oversees the unit's operations.
Iranian protesters burn Israeli and U.S. flags in their annual anti-Israeli Al-Quds, Jerusalem, Day rally in Tehran, Iran, Friday, June 8, 2018 AP Photo/Ebrahim NorooziKourani went on to describe himself to the FBI as being part of a "sleeper cell," and explained, "There would be certain scenarios that would require action or conduct by those who belonged to the cell."
Kourani said that in the event that the United States and Iran went to war, the U.S. sleeper cell would expect to be called upon to act. And if the United States were to take certain unnamed actions targeting Hezbollah, Nasrallah himself, or Iranian interests, Kourani added, "in those scenarios the sleeper cell would also be triggered into action."
In the event of war with Iran, Qods Force allies around the region could fire rockets or carry out other attacks targeting Israel. Iran appears to have brokered an agreement with Hamas whereby the group would carry out attacks targeting Israel from Gaza in the event that hostilities break out along Israel's northern borders. Iraqi militants could fire rockets at Israel from Western Iraq, or help Iran transport missiles to Lebanon for Hezbollah's use there. Hezbollah operatives could target Israel from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, or across the Lebanese border.
But any of these scenarios invite fierce Israeli retaliation, while terrorist attacks by covert cells often present no easy targets for retaliation.
Israeli preemptive measures targeting Iranian proxies' weapons shipments, attack tunnels, and logistics and financing streams are proving effective at undermining their capabilities and denying them various attack options.
But if hostilities do break out between Washington and Tehran, both America and Israeli interests are likely to be targeted by Iranian proxy groups, including the "Black Ops of Hezbollah."
Dr. Matthew Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler fellow and directs the Reinhard program on counterterrorism and intelligence at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. A former FBI and Treasury Department official, he is the author of "Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God." Twitter: @Levitt_Matt
'
Ricardo Rossell" Steps Down as Puerto Rico's Governor, and Pedro Pierluisi Is Sworn In - The New York Times
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 18:02
Image Pedro R. Pierluisi in the Capitol in San Juan, P.R., on Friday. Puerto Rico's House voted to confirm him as the island's secretary of state. He is still awaiting a vote in the Senate. Credit Credit Erika P. Rodriguez for The New York Times SAN JUAN, P.R. '-- As the clock ticked toward 5 p.m. on Friday, when Ricardo A. Rossell" was to step down as Puerto Rico's governor, no one knew who the next governor would be. Not the lawmakers inside the Capitol who had voted on his possible successor an hour earlier. Not the protesters who gathered outside the governor's mansion to celebrate Mr. Rossell"'s departure.
''It is not known who will govern at 5,'' read the chyron on a local television news station. It was 4:58 p.m.
Only once Mr. Rossell"'s resignation became effective did the outgoing governor reveal that Pedro R. Pierluisi, whom he had recently nominated to be the island's secretary of state, would take the oath of office as his successor. Mr. Pierluisi was sworn in immediately by an appellate judge at his sister's house.
''We will proceed according to existing law,'' Mr. Rossell" said in a carefully written statement outlining his thinking.
But the announcement did little to resolve the turmoil that has roiled Puerto Rico for three weeks, following a popular rebellion that forced Mr. Rossell" out of office. Mr. Pierluisi's ascent to the governor's seat will probably be contested in court, thrusting the island into a period of constitutional uncertainty.
''The people of Puerto Rico can be confident that their government is in good hands,'' Mr. Pierluisi said at a news conference after he was sworn in as governor.
He acknowledged, however, that he may be in office for only a few days. ''I could be very short-lived. I hope not,'' he said.
Outside La Fortaleza, the governor's mansion in San Juan, the capital, revelers celebrated Mr. Rossell"'s exit by blowing whistles, banging pots and pans, and eating roasted pork '-- even if they did not rejoice in Mr. Pierluisi's arrival. ''No lo queremos!'' people chanted. We don't want him.
''It's a moment of celebration beyond the poor decision by the Legislature to confirm Pierluisi,'' said Willmai Rivera, a lawyer who attended the protest with her 78-year-old mother. ''I'm not entirely happy because we know that difficult times are ahead, but this was historic, and we have to celebrate it.''
The House of Representatives confirmed Mr. Pierluisi, 60, as secretary of state on Friday afternoon. But the Senate has yet to take up his nomination, leaving the legality of the appointment unclear. At least one senator has said he intends to challenge the process in court on Monday.
Puerto Rico's Constitution requires that a secretary of state be confirmed by both chambers of the Legislative Assembly. But Mr. Rossell" availed himself of a legal statute from 1952 that was amended in 2005 to exempt the secretary of state '-- but no other official in the line of succession '-- from legislative confirmation.
Most legal experts on the island consider the amended statute to be unconstitutional. But because it has never been challenged, it must be presumed valid until a court rules otherwise, said Carlos E. Ramos Gonzlez, a law professor at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico.
''It's absurd,'' he said. ''How is it possible, if the successor were the secretary of treasury or justice, to have to comply with all the constitutional requirements of confirmation, but not the secretary of state?''
The Senate could make any legal challenge moot if it confirms Mr. Pierluisi before the courts take up the issue, Mr. Ramos Gonzlez said. The Senate is scheduled to vote in a special session on Monday.
Senator Eduardo Bhatia of the opposition Popular Democratic Party said he was preparing to sue.
''This is kindergarten in terms of leadership,'' Mr. Bhatia said. ''There is no way in hell someone like him, a secretary of state, can become governor unless he has been approved by both chambers.''
Mr. Rossell" was forced to resign last week following intense protests prompted by the publication of hundreds of mean and profane messages that the governor and members of his inner circle exchanged in a private group chat on the Telegram messaging app. The leaked chat transcripts unleashed a torrent of pent-up anger in Puerto Rico over financial mismanagement, broken promises and corruption.
The secretary of state is supposed to take over when the governor steps down. The previous secretary of state, Luis Rivera Mar­n, resigned last month when he was caught up in the chat scandal. Mr. Rossell" nominated Mr. Pierluisi, the island's former nonvoting representative in Congress, to the position only on Wednesday, a week after announcing his resignation.
The House confirmation helped advance Mr. Pierluisi's position as successor. But before 5 p.m., it was unclear if he would become governor '-- or whether the job would go to the next in line under the Constitution, Wanda Vzquez, the secretary of justice.
Image Carlos J. M(C)ndez Nº±ez, center, the House speaker, in the Capitol on Friday. He said the governorship should go to the island's secretary of justice, Wanda Vzquez, because Mr. Pierluisi has not been confirmed as secretary of state by the Senate. Credit Erika P. Rodriguez for The New York Times Ms. Vzquez, an ally of Mr. Rossell", had said she had no interest in the governor's position but would fulfill her constitutional duties if needed. She was not expected to challenge Mr. Pierluisi's swearing in.
Mr. Pierluisi said the Senate would be able to ''ratify'' his position as governor next week. If it fails to do so, he said, then Ms. Vzquez would take over. He encouraged senators to think hard about their role and urged them to bring legitimacy to the situation to avoid a court fight.
''I recognize there is a novel legal controversy here,'' he said.
It appeared that at least some senators were not prepared to quickly concur. ''He's making up his own constitution,'' Mr. Bhatia said. ''Inviting the Senate to ratify him. Ratify what? What is that?'' The Legislative Assembly, he said, confirms secretaries of state, not governors.
Two minutes after Mr. Rossello left office, Ms. Vzquez's Justice Department announced that it had notified the special prosecutor's office in charge of cases against elected officials that it had begun a preliminary investigation of whether any crimes were committed in the Telegram chat.
Carlos J. M(C)ndez Nº±ez, the House speaker and a leader of the ruling New Progressive Party, which supports statehood for Puerto Rico, said before Mr. Pierluisi's confirmation hearing that no matter the outcome, the governorship should go to Ms. Vzquez, because Mr. Pierluisi had not been confirmed as secretary of state by the Senate. After Mr. Pierluisi was sworn in, Representative Jenniffer Gonzlez-Col"n, Puerto Rico's nonvoting resident commissioner in Congress, belatedly agreed.
For Mr. Pierluisi, the confirmation hearing amounted to a rare job interview for a potential governor. He called the chat scandal ''sad and unfortunate'' and said he would forbid the sharing of sensitive government information with people outside his administration, as Mr. Rossell"'s aides did on Telegram.
''You will not find a public servant more committed, judicious and hard-working than me,'' Mr. Pierluisi said.
He overcame concerns, at least for those who voted to confirm him in the House, about his potential conflicts of interest. Until earlier this week, Mr. Pierluisi had worked as a lawyer for a firm that was hired by the unpopular federal oversight board that manages Puerto Rico's finances. The oversight board has repeatedly clashed with the Legislative Assembly over the imposition of austerity measures.
Mr. Pierluisi's brother-in-law, Jos(C) B. Carri"n III, is the board's chairman, though Mr. Pierluisi is in the middle of a divorce, according to Puerto Rico news reports.
But Mr. Pierluisi argued that his extensive knowledge of Promesa, the bankruptcy law that Congress wrote to create the board, as well as his contacts on the board and on Capitol Hill, made him more qualified to serve as governor.
''Who better than me to advocate for our people before the board?'' Mr. Pierluisi said. ''Who better than me to lead the process for the board to leave? That's what we all want.''
Mr. Pierluisi received the minimum 26 votes needed for confirmation. He faces strong opposition from Thomas Rivera Schatz, the powerful Senate president who wants to run for governor himself next year. Mr. Pierluisi declined to say if he would run for governor in 2020.
Mr. Rivera Schatz, who has said that Mr. Pierluisi does not have the votes to be confirmed in the Senate, decried Mr. Rossell"'s final action as governor '-- announcing Mr. Pierluisi as his successor '-- as offensive.
''Those who betrayed Puerto Rico want to remain in power unscrupulously,'' he wrote in a Facebook post. ''Law, order, morality and the common good will prevail.''
Before serving for eight years as the nonvoting resident commissioner in Congress, Mr. Pierluisi was Puerto Rico's secretary of justice. He is a Democrat when it comes to national politics, though political parties on the island do not neatly match up with those on the mainland.
Several labor unions opposed Mr. Pierluisi's nomination. Mr. Pierluisi said he would have continued the policies put forward by Mr. Rossell", who was elected to a four-year term in 2016. (He defeated Mr. Pierluisi in the New Progressive primary.)
Mr. Pierluisi backed public-private partnerships and the privatization of the troubled public power utility. He opposed the closure of more public schools '-- hundreds have been shuttered as a result of a population drop and budget cuts '-- and the elimination of a popular Christmas bonus for public employees, as the oversight board has suggested.
On his way out of office, Mr. Rossell" signed several bills into law, including one moving the Democratic presidential primary in 2020 to March from June.
''By making Puerto Rico an early voting state, candidates will be forced to pay attention to our needs,'' Mr. Rossell" said.
Later, the departing governor posted a short goodbye on Instagram with a video of a setting sun. ''It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve our people,'' he said.
Frances Robles reported from San Juan, and Patricia Mazzei from Miami. Edmy Ayala and Alejandra Rosa contributed reporting from San Juan.
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Investigation Of American Red Cross Finances Finds 'Fundamental Concerns' : NPR
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 16:52
Haitians outside a Red Cross field hospital in Carrefour, Haiti, on Dec. 14, 2010, 11 months after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit the country's capital, Port-au-Prince. Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images Haitians outside a Red Cross field hospital in Carrefour, Haiti, on Dec. 14, 2010, 11 months after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit the country's capital, Port-au-Prince.
Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images The American Red Cross spent a quarter of the money people donated after the 2010 Haiti earthquake '-- or almost $125 million '-- on its own internal expenses, far more than the charity previously had disclosed, according to a report released Thursday by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.
This story was reported in partnership between NPR News Investigations and ProPublica, an investigative journalism organization.
The report also says the charity's top officials stonewalled congressional investigators and released incomplete information about its Haiti program to the public. It concludes "there are substantial and fundamental concerns about [the Red Cross] as an organization."
The report follows a nearly yearlong investigation by the Iowa Republican and his staff, launched after coverage by NPR and ProPublica of the Red Cross' Haiti response. The venerated charity raised nearly $500 million after the disaster, more than any other nonprofit, but an ambitious plan to build housing resulted in just six permanent homes, NPR and ProPublica found.
Other findings in Sen. Grassley's report:
The charity insisted to congressional investigators that $70 million spent on "program expenses" included funds to oversee and evaluate its Haiti programs. But Grassley's office found that the charity "is unable to provide any financial evidence that oversight activities in fact occurred." Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern told Grassley's office the charity "gave [the Government Accountability Office] everything that they asked for" during an earlier review. The report, however, says the organization did not provide everything requested, "contrary to Ms. McGovern's multiple claims that it did." The Red Cross has kept the charity's own internal investigations and ethics unit "severely undermanned and underfunded," the report says, and the charity "appears to be reluctant to support the very unit that is designed to police wrongdoing within the organization." Red Cross officials defended the charity's work in a statement responding to the Grassley report, calling the organization's spending "entirely justifiable given the size and complexity of the Haiti program." They also noted that the Red Cross receives favorable ratings for accountability from charity watchdog groups.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, arrives for a committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Feb. 23. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption
toggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, arrives for a committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Feb. 23.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in an interview that even after a year of back-and-forth with the Red Cross, "we did not get satisfactory answers '-- like pulling teeth, it was very difficult."
The Red Cross, including McGovern, repeatedly has told the public that all but 9 percent of donations spent go to humanitarian programs. But Grassley's office found that 25 percent of donations sent to Haiti '-- or nearly $125 million '-- were spent on fundraising and management, a contingency fund and the catchall category the Red Cross calls "program expenses."
The Red Cross sent the bulk of the remaining donated money to other nonprofits to do the work on the ground. Those other nonprofits then took their own cuts '-- as high as 11 percent '-- for their own expenses.
"The most important thing [from the report] is an unwillingness to level with the people exactly where the money went," Grassley says. "There's too many questions in regard to how the money was spent in Haiti ... it gives me cause to wonder about other money being donated for other national disasters."
"One of the reasons that they don't want to answer questions is it's very embarrassing," Grassley adds.
In its statement, the American Red Cross notes that it has not yet seen Grassley's report, but that the organization and McGovern have been transparent, and that donors' money was properly spent. The statement also notes "the scale of the destruction and the challenging and sometimes dangerous conditions of working in Haiti."
The Red Cross, created by a congressional charter more than a century ago, receives a range of special benefits from the U.S. government.
Here are more details from the report:
The Red Cross Didn't Explain How Money Was Spent
In general, the Red Cross itself doesn't know how much money it spent on each project in Haiti because of a "complex, yet inaccurate" accounting system, the report found.
The report echoes the confidential findings of consultants hired by the Red Cross, which previously were reported by NPR and ProPublica. One internal evaluation of one of the group's water and sanitation projects found there was "no correct process for monitoring project spending." Another assessment found that the group's figures on how many people were helped by a hygiene project were "fairly meaningless."
Documents provided by the Red Cross suggest that the charity sometimes spent large sums of money on management costs even when it enlisted other organizations to run relief operations.
In 2010, the American Red Cross wrote a check for $4.3 million to its sister organization the International Federation of the Red Cross for disaster preparedness work. On top of the $4.3 million, according to budget figures the charity provided to Grassley, the American Red Cross spent another $2 million on its own to manage the grant. That's after it already took out hundreds of thousands of dollars in administrative fees.
Partners like the IFRC typically take out their own overhead and administrative costs before using the money to help Haitians.
When asked what the $2 million was used for, the Red Cross said it covered the costs "incurred to ensure accountability, monitoring and evaluation of work performed and ensure our partners meet their contractual requirements."
"It's sort of a shocking amount of money," said Jake Johnston, a research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, who has spent years digging into the Red Cross' finances. "Maybe a little bit more than half that ends up going to a project."
Investigators' Questions Go Unanswered
The report lists eight examples of things the Red Cross declined to provide to government investigators working for the GAO as part of an inquiry that began in 2014. Those include descriptions of the charity's internal oversight processes, as well as interviews with chapter officials involved in the response to Superstorm Sandy.
In its statement, the Red Cross says that "at no point did the Red Cross refuse to provide requested information." But Grassley's report calls that claim "contrary to the documentary evidence."
McGovern has portrayed the Red Cross as a beacon of openness. "We made a commitment that we want to lead the effort in transparency," she said at the National Press Club in 2011.
American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern attends a roundtable with President Obama regarding the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans on Aug. 27, 2015. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption
toggle caption Andrew Harnik/AP American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern attends a roundtable with President Obama regarding the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans on Aug. 27, 2015.
Andrew Harnik/AP Grassley also says that, as NPR reported last year, McGovern tried to kill the GAO investigation '-- and that while the Red Cross couldn't kill the investigation, its "lack of cooperation led GAO to modify its scope."
In meetings and email correspondence over several months, Red Cross General Counsel David Meltzer questioned GAO's legal authority to look at the Red Cross.
The Red Cross argued that investigators' "requests for internal decision-making, internal oversight, and internal funding allocation are outside of GAO's authority," according to the GAO's account.
The Red Cross Undercut Its Own Ethics Unit
The Red Cross has about 20,000 employees, but its ethics office '-- which investigates waste, fraud and abuse '-- is composed of three people, according to the Grassley report. That is down from roughly 65 staffers after Hurricane Katrina a decade ago, the report says.
The Office of Investigations, Compliance and Ethics was left so "understaffed and underfunded" that it is "unable to perform its primary function; namely, to perform investigations, ensure compliance, and maintain ethical standards," the report found.
The report doesn't explain why the size of the office was slashed, but it does note that the Red Cross sometimes relies on outside law firms to conduct internal investigations.
One of the three remaining employees, the "compliance coordinator," performs only intakes and triages and does not actually do investigations. Another, the chief investigator, is based in New York, away from Red Cross headquarters in Washington.
Requests by the head of the unit, Teala Brewer, for more staff have gone unfulfilled, the report says.
Secret texts cast light on UK's early role in Trump-Russia inquiry | US news | The Guardian
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 16:49
Two of the most senior intelligence officials in the US and UK privately shared concerns about ''our strange situation'' as the FBI launched its 2016 investigation into whether Donald Trump's campaign was colluding with Russia, the Guardian has learned.
Text messages between Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the FBI at the time, and Jeremy Fleming, his then counterpart at MI5, now the head of GCHQ, also reveal their mutual surprise at the result of the EU referendum, which some US officials regarded as a ''wake-up call'', according to a person familiar with the matter.
While Russia had previously been viewed as a country that would seek to interfere in western elections, the Brexit vote was viewed by some within the FBI as a sign that Russian activities had possibly been successful, the person said.
Their exchanges offer new insights into the start of the FBI's Russia investigation, and how British intelligence appears to have played a key role in the early stages.
In one exchange in August 2016, Fleming noted that members of the FBI and MI5 had ''met on our strange situation'', a veiled reference to discussions about Russian activities, according to the source.
The text messages between the two men were infrequent and cryptic and did not contain specific or sensitive materials, but occurred with some regularity after the referendum in June 2016.
A spokesperson for McCabe declined to comment.
The exchanges underscore a sensitive issue in the US '' namely the role foreign intelligence services played in the FBI's decision to initiate an investigation into the Trump campaign.
On 31 July 2016, the FBI opened a covert counterintelligence investigation codenamed ''Crossfire Hurricane'' into the then presidential candidate's possible collusion with Russia.
The investigation was eventually taken over by the special counsel Robert Mueller, who has said there were ''multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election'' by Russia.
Mueller's 448-page report did not establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, but it did identify incidents in which Trump attempted to obstruct justice in the investigation, and did not clear the president of wrongdoing.
US and UK intelligence agencies frequently share information, but the exchanges between McCabe and Fleming appear to reflect a desire for a direct line of communication given what was seen as a developing problem on both sides of the Atlantic.
In his text message about the August 2016 meeting, Fleming appeared to be making a reference to Peter Strzok, a senior FBI official who travelled to London that month to meet the Australian diplomat Alexander Downer. Downer had agreed to speak with the FBI about a Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, who had told him that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in the race. The meeting was first reported by the New York Times.
When Boris Johnson, the UK foreign secretary at the time, was asked in November 2017 whether Russia had played any role in British elections, he told MPs in a select committee that he had not seen any evidence of such an occurrence.
When asked in a follow-up if Russia had sought to play a role, Johnson said: ''I don't know about sought to play, but as far as I know they played no role.''
The new revelation comes as authorities in the UK are investigating the funding behind a pro-Brexit campaign, and whether it might have included illegal foreign donations. The National Crime Agency (NCA) is investigating the insurance executive and political donor Arron Banks, who was suspected by the UK's Electoral Commission of not being the ''true source'' of £8m in funding to the Leave.EU campaign. The matter was referred to the NCA by the commission after it said it had ''reasonable grounds'' to suspect a number of criminal offences.
Banks has said there was ''no Russian money, no interference'' behind the £8m he gave to the unofficial Brexit campaign.
The Guardian reported in 2017 that Britain's spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Trump's campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives. GCHQ became aware in late 2015 of suspicious ''interactions'' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they said.
Strzok and almost every senior FBI official who was involved in the initial Trump investigation has since left the FBI, including McCabe. In many cases, they were dismissed by Trump officials, ostensibly for unrelated reasons. Fleming was elevated to head GCHQ in 2017.
During his period as a senior official at MI5, Fleming served as director for intelligence collection and led MI5's preparations for the 2012 Olympics. He was appointed deputy director of MI5 in 2013.
Gilroy shooter had 'target list,' FBI says | PBS NewsHour
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 16:39
The FBI says it has discovered a ''target list'' compiled by the gunman in a California mass shooting that listed nationwide religious institutions, federal buildings, courthouses and both major political parties.
The list has prompted the FBI to open a domestic terrorism investigation into the case in which gunman Santino William Legan shot and killed three people, including two children, on July 28 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. The festival was also listed as a target.
John Bennett, the FBI's agent in charge in San Francisco, says authorities still have not determined a motive and Legan appeared to be interested in conflicting ideologies.
A separate shooting that killed 22 people at a crowded El Paso, Texas, store over the weekend is also being handled as a domestic terrorism case.
Nicolle Wallace on Twitter: "I misspoke about Trump calling for an extermination of Latinos. My mistake was unintentional and I'm sorry. Trump's constant assault on people of color and his use of the word ''invasion'' to describe the flow of immigra
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 15:40
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Behind The Illusion; Ellen Degeneres '' Tiffany Fitzhenry
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 13:36
There's a life rule I try to abide by; feed what you want to grow, starve what you want to die. It's a simple, well-known, universal truth that whatever you put your focus on grows, and whatever you neglect withers and dies. Once you understand this principal, you become very picky about what you focus on. You become intentional about what you give your time and energy to, and equally as intentional about what you starve.
ENTER ANDY AND JAKE
That's why, last week, when the executive producer of The Ellen Degeneres Show, Andy Lassner, and CNN's Jake Tapper used their collective reach to take 30 seconds of an hour and a half interview I did out of context in order to smear me and grossly misinform as many people as possible, my instinct was, of course, not to respond.
Isn't that exactly what you would tweet if she *were* a Deep State asset, Andrew?
'-- Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 2, 2019
My instinct was to starve it. I don't want to start a war with Jake Tapper or Andy Lassner, cause frankly, I don't care about people like them; entitled elites, clinging to the bones of a dying world.
They must realize how many of us view them, for good reason, as nothing more than establishment drones, a couple of lackey Agent Smiths.
To anyone who's been paying attention AT ALL over the last couple of years one thing is very clear; guys like Andy Lassner and Jake Wikileaks Tapper are not the future.
The future belongs to those who refuse to sell their soul, those who refuse to feed the eye, those thinking original thoughts, asking questions, researching, speaking the truth, and encouraging others to do the same. Those who aren't merely foreground shills for something else.
When I look at them I see ignorant wizards, who never leave the city of Oz, working furiously behind a curtain that's already been pulled back. Nothing is sillier or more pathetic.
The Twittersphere they roam in is replete with Harvey Weinstein enablers, pedophile island visitors, and people anxiously awaiting Kim Kardashians next contour kit. Basically, those who are asleep, and the soulless monsters who exploit them '' not exactly the saviors of the human race.
But, as much as I hate to feed this beast, it's a good opportunity to educate not just the arrogant, ignorant likes of Lassner and Tapper, but any lost sleeping souls who actually still listen to them. Did they come after me because I'm over the target? Are they trying to make a joke out of this because it's true? You decide.
JAKE THE PUPPET MAN
I sometimes forget that there are people who still don't know how Wikileaks revealed that Jake Tapper is a puppet of the power establishment. This is the same power establishment that started all our wars, rigged the election against Bernie Sanders, and still somehow managed to lose the technology to go to the moon. I may not have as much money as you, Tapper, but at least I don't carry water for those dickheads.
''Tapper and DNC staff discussed in emails:
''If we want to offer Jake Tapper questions to ask us''
After Tapper's producer Jason Seher asked what DNC Hispanic Media Director Pablo Manriquez wanted to talk about on the show.
The rhetoric among DNC staff makes it seem as though it was a standard procedure to write their own questions for CNN interviews.
In another email between Jason Seher and Miranda of the DNC, Seher wrote:
''Thanks for facilitating Luis coming on today, and bear with us through the meelee of GOP nonsense and cancellations and all that. Any particular points he'll want to make? We're gonna stay Dem focused.''
Hmmm, that doesn't seem very fair and balanced, and it doesn't remotely resemble journalism. Jake, for his part, didn't think he did anything wrong when the justifiable outrage ensued following the leaks.
In his defense, it's been a while since we've had real journalism in America. Maybe he doesn't even know what his job is supposed to be. Journalists aren't supposed to collude with politicians. They aren't supposed to get questions from the people they're interviewing '' that's called PR sweetie.
It's a matter of public record that since the early 50's the media as we've known it has been a farce. Here are 50 facts every American should know about that. The most important connection to understand is that between the media and the C.I.A. (Jake, this next part's for you).
The C.I.A and The Media
History lesson: After leaving the Washington Post, Carl Bernstein spent six months looking at the relationship between the CIA and the media. In his scathing 25,000-word cover story, published in 1977 in Rolling Stone, ''The CIA and the Media,'' Bernstein wrote that by 1953, CIA Director Allen Dulles already oversaw the vast majority of the American media network.
By all academic and investigative accounts that nefarious relationship has gotten stronger every decade since, as the line between what is entertainment and what is media has become more blurred. Enter Ellen Degeneres, and, of course, our good buddy her long-time Executive Producer, Andy Lassner.
Emails Expose Ellen as Willing State Department Puppet
I hate to have to put all this in one simple, easy-to-read blog, and honestly had no plans on focusing on Ellen specifically. So, Ellen, you have pompous Twitter bully Andy Lassner to thank for the following expose'.
A leaked 2009 memo in an email exchange with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton singled out The Ellen Degeneres Show which could be used to ''amplify and deliver messages that advance policymaking.''
The memo stated that Ellen DeGeneres is willing to use her platform to promote the agenda of the State Department.
The email was part of a batch of State emails released in response to a Judicial Watch lawsuit.
The State Department memo highlighted the importance of 'using shows like Ellen' to 'push government agendas' as opposed to more political news outlets, writing:
''These outlets can create vital support for official policy or pending legislation among key domestic constituency groups but also create momentum for policy abroad. As the media environment continues to become more and more globally interconnected, it will be critical for the leadership of the State Department to leverage these media opportunities to amplify and deliver messages that advance policymaking.''
In another leaked official State Department exchange, a top government aide and the Secretary of State discuss Ellen Degeneres' quote, ''willingness to do whatever we ask.''
So, to recap, Ellen Degeneres is willing to covertly push official government foreign policy under the guise of a silly, non-threatening morning talk show. If that's not the definition of a government asset I am not sure what is?
It should be noted, the most common, official CIA cover, is provided by the State Department. Their relationship is a tangled one, to say the least.
In an excerpt from the 1988 winter edition of Foreign Affairs, they admit:
''Over the years, public views of the Central Intelligence Agency and its role in American foreign policy have been shaped primarily by movies, television, novels, newspapers, books by journalists, headlines growing out of congressional inquiries, expos(C)s by former intelligence officers, and essays by experts.''
The edition goes on to discuss how the CIA is said to be an ''invisible government,'' and how broad questions exist about the proper relationship between the intelligence service and policymakers (such as in the State Department). It raises questions of whether the CIA slants or ''cooks'' its intelligence analysis to support covert actions or policy, and of the degree to which policymakers or their staffs selectively use'--and abuse'--intelligence to persuade superiors, Congress or the public.
To reiterate what we learned above, Ellen Degeneres is willing to covertly push official government foreign policy under the guise of a silly, non-threatening morning talk show.
Also, interestingly, Sony is the company that distributes The Ellen Degeneres Show.
If you were getting your news from Jake Tapper in the fallout during the Sony hacks you probably have no idea the incredible bombshells that were revealed, notably among them is the tight link between Sony and, you guessed it, the government. Specifically the CIA/State Department.
''The work publicly known from Sony is to produce entertainment; however, The Sony Archives show that behind the scenes this is an influential corporation, with ties to the White House (there are almost 100 US government email addresses in the archive), with an ability to impact laws and policies, and with connections to the US military-industrial complex.'' '' Julian Assange
I strongly urge everyone to read Julian Assange's press release regarding the Sony Hack and search (at the flagged emails therein). Go see and read it all for yourself. Below are a couple of examples.
Here we have the Undersecretary of the State Department asking the CEO of Sony who he can see [in the entertainment world] while he's in New York, regarding anti-Russian messaging, and also anti-ISIL messaging.
And here we have the State Department Undersecretary discussing again with CEO Michael Lynton what Hollywood writers and actors the government could tap to covertly push their agenda. Among the names that rolled easily off collective Sony's tongue were George Clooney, Kerry Washington, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Aaron Sorkin (writer of CIA propaganda films such as The Social Network), Shonda Rhimes, and Ben Affleck and Matt Damon among others.
Is it starting to make sense why when Trump Jr. made an offhand comment about ''Ellen being deep state'' the collective force of the machine came down on him?
ELLEN & THE C.I.A.
If you've been following me for a while you know one of the main things I speak out about is the Pentagon/D.O.D./C.I.A. infiltration of Hollywood.
If you've been reading and paying attention to all the documents released through leaks or FOIA over the last 5 years, you know that the CIA actively promotes a desirable public image of its history and function by advising the production of Hollywood vehicles, such as Argo and Zero Dark Thirty to name just 2 of thousands of examples. You know that the Agency retains ''entertainment industry liaison officers'' on its staff that ''plant positive images about itself (in other words, propaganda) through our most popular forms of entertainment,'' Tom Hayden explains in the LA Review of Books. ''So natural has the CIA''entertainment connection become that few question its legal or moral ramifications.
Here you can read the CIA's own CIA-OIG-Entertainment Industry Report, which states the many dubious legal and ethical problems with this relationship and goes into detail about the lack of appropriateness with which it is handled.
This is a government agency like no other; the truth of its operations is not subject to public examination. When the CIA's hidden persuaders influence a Hollywood movie, it is using a popular medium to spin as favorable an image of itself as possible, or at least, prevent an unfavorable one from taking hold.'' Tom Hayden, ''Review of The CIA in Hollywood: How the Agency Shapes Film and Television by Tricia Jenkins.''
In a quick search of FOIA documents regarding the Pentagon/D.O.D./C.I.A involvement with Hollywood, the Ellen Degeneres Show comes up with remarkable frequency.
Here's just one example:
Didn't you realize that keeping American's consenting to war and emotionally manipulated enough to never question why it is we're fighting in the first place was all in a days work for America's silliest chat host?
Here and here and here are more official documents released through FOIA requests that detail Ellen's use of The Ellen Degeneres show to promote the government's agenda (cough cough, asset).
Alright then, moving on. Yes. There's more, LOTS more!
AL-QAEDA ELLEN
Remember that time British intelligence agencies, in association with the Pentagon and C.I.A., inserted Ellen's cupcake recipes into a jihad magazine? Haha lol isn't that hilarious and totally random!
Yes, this actually happened. No, I'm not kidding.
There is a close, well-documented history of cooperation (read covert oneness) between MI6, GCHQ and CIA. The shadowy inner workings of that vast global spook network are on full display in this bizarre tale about how, in 2011, intelligence operatives replaced bomb-making instruction in an al-Qaeda online magazine with a cupcake recipe from, of all the places in the entire internet, Ellen Degeneres' website.
CIA & ELLEN: TWITTER BFFs
There's a pesky, persistent rumor that Ellen Degeneres is not a very nice person in real life. I know, I know, it's impossible to fathom cause she's so sweet on TV. But, say what you want about her, she was the first star to welcome the CIA to Twitter when the agency joined (officially) in 2014. It's a well known fact that Ellen is one of the biggest and most influential accounts on the website. And a well documented truth that the CIA has a PR problem, to say the least. But I'm sure this wasn't orchestrated or anything (heart emoji).
The C.I.A. are so cool, and harmless, and hip, they're palling around with Ellen on Twitter! It could almost make an American forget all about things like Iran-Contra, Gary Webb, Operation Condor, Operation Gladio, Montauk, and the untold number of other human atrocities committed by them with our money and in our name under their demonic cloak of darkness.
NEUROLINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING
The CIA has long been fond of this form of mind control. NLP uses words to induce a hypnotic state and make people more suggestible.
They've been studying it, using and teaching it to their agents for decades.
You've probably never heard of it because you're not trying to control people's minds, like say the CIA. Nor are you trying to assist in controlling people's minds, like say a talk show host with 74 million Twitter followers. Speaking of Ellen, you know who else is a self-professed NLP devotee?
Why, it's Ellen of course!
AMAZON, CIA, JEFF BEZOS AND, WAIT FOR IT'... ELLEN!
If there is an American who isn't aware of the terrifying link between Amazon and the C.I.A., if this is the only thing you take away from this article, dear God I'm glad you're here.
Back in 2014 Amazon signed a $600 million contract with, you guessed it, the C.I.A. ''Amazon now has the means, motive and opportunity to provide huge amounts of customer information to its new business partner, we look forward to a successful relationship with the C.I.A.''
Apparently the CIA agrees. The agency gave Amazon the contract for $600 million even though it wasn't the lowest bid.
Amazon's trajectory into the CIA's spooky arms may be a bit more than just corporate eagerness to land a lucrative contract. In late 2010 '-- amid intense public interest in documents that WikiLeaks was posting to illuminate U.S. actions overseas '-- Amazon took a notable step. As the Guardian reported at the time, Amazon ''pulled the plug on hosting the whistleblowing website in reaction to heavy political pressure.''
It didn't take much for Amazon to cave. ''The company announced it was cutting WikiLeaks off '... only 24 hours after being contacted by the staff of Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate's committee on homeland security,'' the Guardian noted.
In view of Amazon's eagerness to dump the WikiLeaks site at the behest of U.S. government officials, what else might the Amazon hierarchy be willing to do? Amazon maintains a humongous trove of detailed information about hundreds of millions of people. Are we to believe that the CIA and other intelligence agencies have no interest in Amazon's data?
So, where does Ellen fit into all this?
Well, wouldn't you know it, every time Amazon comes out with a new 4th amendment crushing C.I.A. wiretap device, I mean Alexa product, America's favorite comedian host seems to do a silly and always ultimately reassuring plug for the gadget.
Gosh, it's almost like Ellen works for Amazon'...or something'....
But seriously, aren't all those bits just adorable?!!! They really do a lot to put one's guard down about having a listening device in every room of your house that connects to a CIA cloud! I can almost hear it, ''Great work Ellen! The Agency thanks you!''
ELLEN DOES VEGAS
Did you know Ellen owns slot machines in a Vegas hotel! Which hotel you ask?
The Mandalay Bay of course!
Now let's not forget the Vegas shooting (even though the police and FBI certainly have and would like us to). Remember how the only witness to have interacted with the alleged shooter, C.I.A. linked Stephen Paddock, just did that one interview, on Ellen?
Well the Daily Mail later confirmed the parent company of Mandalay Bay, MGM Inc., controlled the one-and-only media appearance in what was a well scripted presentation.
(Via Daily Mail) Mandalay Bay shooting hero Jesus Campos was pressured into giving his only interview to Ellen DeGeneres
'MGM was behind the decision to call off all the interviews and did a deal with Ellen, knowing she would not play hardball on the timeline as long as she had the exclusive,' a TV insider told DailyMail.com.
It was also reported that Ellen producer (I'm looking at you Lassner) was mum on how they landed the Campos interview. Yeah, I bet he was.
Via The Las Vegas Review Journal:
''On Oct. 2, DeGeneres was among the first celebrities to tweet a link to the victims' fund set up by Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak, asking her 74 million followers to donate. Wednesday's show also included a plug for ways to help the shooting victims.
''We of course wanted to give you money,'' DeGeneres told Campos and Schuck at the end of their appearance. ''And you both were very, very specific. You said you don't want money, you don't want money at all. So you're not getting any money.''
Instead, she told Schuck that the NFL would fly him to to see his favorite team, the Indianapolis Colts, and provide him with VIP tickets.
For his participation, Campos was given season tickets for the Raiders' first year in Las Vegas by Shutterfly, ''The Ellen DeGeneres Show's'' philanthropic partner, which also donated $25,000 in Campos' name to the fund started by Sisolak.''
Here's a homework assignment, who owns MGM Resorts International? What are their connections and affiliations to the CIA? Who own the Ellen Degeneres show? What are the connections here? What are the implications? It's all open source.
Make of all this information what you will. I'm not here to tell you what to think about any of it. I'm simply here to pool all this open source information into one place so you can make an informed decision whether you want to watch Ellen's show.
Which reminds me, via Andy Lassner's Wikipedia page:
So, in Bogota Columbia, at the height of the CIA's involvement in that country, a foreign language expert and a US military personnel, employed by Seagrams (cough cough Bronfman, cough cough Wexner, cough cough Epstein, cough cough intelligence asset), gave birth to our friend Andy Lassner.
It's all good. It could be nothing. I'm sure it's probably nothing.
Honestly, Andy likely doesn't even realize how suspicious his own birth looks to those of us who actually read things other than the Huffington Post.
At any rate, I've taken the liberty of filing a FOIA request with the CIA Entertainment Liaisons Office for all information having to do with Ellen Degeneres and The Ellen Degeneres Show. Such a request, to my knowledge, has never been filed before. So, stay tuned! This shit's getting exciting!
Given all the above, I think it's safe to admit Ellen is not exactly what we've been lead to believe.
But hey, don't take my word for it. Look what the Hollywood Reporter said on the subject:
''When Ellen came out on April 30, 1997, an internal computer bulletin board system at the CIA lit up'...'' (did they say an 'internal computer bulletin board system at the CIA,' that's fucking weird) ''who knew the nation's spies were paying such attention to a sitcom star?'' (here's where I raise my hand) ''But they were '' national icons are national assets , after all.''
Really starts to make you wonder about all of them, doesn't it?
IF SHE CAN - Opinion | Trump's China Shock - The New York Times
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 13:05
What the heck is going on?
Aug 5, 2019 Image A trader at the New York Stock Exchange as the Dow plummeted on Monday. Credit Credit Richard Drew/Associated Press I didn't know that the Dow was going to drop 750 points, so my latest column is El Paso-related. Probably the right choice anyway, because US-China is moving so fast that anything in the print paper would be out of date.
But it does look as if I should try to explain (a) what I think is happening (b) why the markets are going so nuts. By the way, given Mnuchin's declaration just a few minutes ago that China is a currency manipulator, tomorrow's market action should be '... interesting.
So here's the thing: neither Trump's tariff announcement last week nor, especially, the depreciation of China's currency today should objectively be that big a deal. Trump slapped 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese exports, which is a tax hike of 0.1 percent of US GDP and 0.15 percent of Chinese GDP.
In response, China let its currency drop by about 2 percent. For comparison, the British pound has dropped around 9 percent since May, when it became clear that a no-deal Brexit was likely.
So why are these smallish numbers such a big deal? Mostly because we've learned things about the protagonists in this trade conflict, things that make a bigger, longer trade war seem a lot more likely than it did even a few days ago.
First, Trump really is a Tariff Man. Some na¯ve souls may still have been hoping that he would learn something from the failure of his trade policy so far. More sensible people hoped that he might do what he did with NAFTA: reach a new deal basically the same as the old deal, proclaim that it was totally different, and claim a great victory.
But no: it's pretty clear now that he refuses to give up on his belief that trade wars are good, and easy to win; his plan is to continue the beatings until morale improves. What may have looked like temporary tariffs designed to win concessions now look like permanent features of the world economy, with the level of tariffs and the range of countries facing them likely to expand over time.
Second, China is clearly signaling that it's not Canada or Mexico: it's too big and too proud to submit to what it considers bullying. That slide in the renminbi wasn't a concrete policy measure as much as a way of saying to Trump, ''talk to the hand'' (no doubt there's a good Chinese expression along these lines.)
Incidentally '-- or maybe it's not so incidental '-- while there are many valid reasons to criticize Chinese policy, currency manipulation isn't one of them. China was a major currency manipulator 7 or 8 years ago, but these days if anything it's supporting its currency above the level it would be at if it were freely floating.
And think for a minute about what would happen to a country with an unmanipulated currency, if one of its major export markets suddenly slapped major tariffs on many of its goods. You'd surely expect to see that country's currency depreciate, just as Britain's has with the prospect of lost market access due to Brexit.
In other words, the Trump administration in its wisdom has managed to accuse the Chinese of the one economic crime of which they happen to be innocent. Oh, and what are we going to do to punish them for this crime? Put tariffs on their exports? Um, we've already done that.
So how does this all end? I have no idea. More important, neither does anyone else. It looks to me as if both Trump and Xi have now staked their reputations on hanging tough. And the thing is, it's hard to see what would make either side give in (or even to know what giving in might mean.)
At this rate, we may have to wait for a new president to clean up this mess, if she can.
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Paul Krugman has been an Opinion columnist since 2000 and is also a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He won the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on international trade and economic geography. @ PaulKrugman
Wilbur Ross Hits Chinese Cabinet Manufacturers With $4.4 Billion Countervailing Duty '' Beijing Caught W/ Stunning 200%+ Subsidy Rate For Chinese Companies'... | The Last Refuge
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 12:25
Wow. Go Wilburine! U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has slapped a whopping $4.4 billion countervailing duty on Chinese cabinet manufacturers. The rate of manufacturing subsidy identified within the 'wood cabinet' study shows a massive 229% subsidy rate via discounted land, free lumber, electricity, raw materials, direct grants from government and discounted loans from Chinese banks to enhance export incentives.
The current study and duty only applies to wood cabinets and vanities, but if you ever wondered how come Chinese furniture is so cheap, well, it's not a stretch to consider those same subsidy rates likely apply to their household furniture and wood products.
(Bloomberg) Add $4.4 billion in imported cabinets to the long list of Chinese goods slapped with U.S. levies in the escalating trade dispute between Washington and Beijing.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday it will ask the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of the wooden cabinets and vanities from China based on subsidy rates of as much as 229%. Commerce issued a preliminary determination in response to a petition filed earlier this year by the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance, alleging at least $2 billion in harm from the Chinese shipments.
The petition alleged dumping margins of more than 200%. Tim Brightbill, a trade lawyer from Wiley Rein LLP in Washington representing the industry, said in March that Chinese exporters get double-digit subsidy margins based on the number of programs supporting their domestic industry, including discounted land, electricity, raw materials, grants, discounted loans and export incentives.
''Today's determination gives the American kitchen cabinet industry the hope it needs in our fight against China's unfair trade practices,'' Stephen Wellborn, director of product and research development at U.S. manufacturer Wellborn Cabinet and a member of the American alliance, said in an emailed statement. (more)
That $4.4 billion is a pretty hefty duty within a relatively small manufacturing sector. Can you imagine if anyone has filed a trade/manufacturing complaint against the much larger 'wood furniture' and household goods? Jumpin' ju-ju bones.
In related news a lot more exporters operating manufacturing in China are starting to see the writing on their noses, realizing that Trump tariffs are only going to get worse, and are making plans to get the heck out of China, ASAP.
(CMP) Traditional export manufacturers in China's Pearl and Yangtze River Delta regions already struggling under the weight of existing tariffs levied by the Trump administration expect the new tariffs on US$300 billion of Chinese imports to cause their businesses to shrink, force them to lay off workers, and for some, speed up relocation plans. (more)
Think of China like a big lake filled with U.S. dollars and economic value; the result of our purchases of their products. Through his ASEAN discussions with Vietnam, S Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Japan, et al, President Trump has stealthily built a thin levy, an ASEAN dam of sorts, that will direct the China lake of economic value into Southeast Asia.
At any given moment Trump can blow that dam by triggering bigger tariffs. The exodus will benefit those who partnered with Trump. Vietnam's economy has jumped over eight percent so far this year'.... almost exclusively as a result of companies leaving China.
China has no substantive tools in their economic armory to defend against President Trump in a one-on-one battle. And Trump keeps landing body blows, the latest was the seizure of all Venezuelan assets. The number one investor in Venezuela is China (by a mile). China owns 49% of PDVSA Venezuela's state owned oil company as an example.
The labeling of China as a currency manipulator opens the door to even more sanctions, and Beijing has no measurable way to respond. Beijing can threaten other trade partners, but more than China everyone wants access to the U.S. market; so no-one wants to become a target for Trump by standing near Xi Jinping or engaging in transnational shipping.
(On Devaluation) Shen Jianguang, chief economist at JD Digit and a veteran Chinese economy watcher, said the timing is not good for Beijing to allow the yuan to slide below seven, and that a currency war would not favour China.
''It is not in China's interest to escalate the trade war into currency or financial fields,'' Shen said. ''The countermeasures available for Beijing are quite limited.'' (more)
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DSA/Jacobin/Haymarket-sponsored 'Socialism' conference features US gov-funded regime-change activists | The Grayzone
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 04:35
The 2019 Socialism Conference, sponsored by American leftist juggernauts the DSA, Jacobin magazine, and ISO's Haymarket Books, features regime-change activists from multiple US government-funded NGOs.By Ben Norton and Max BlumenthalSocialism is now apparently brought to you by the US State Department.
From July 4 to 7, thousands of left-wing activists from across the United States are gathering in Chicago for the 2019 Socialism Conference.
At this event, some of the most powerful institutions on the American socialist '-- but avowedly anti-communist '-- left have brought together a motley crew of regime-change activists to demonize Official Enemies of Washington.
One anti-China panel at the conference features speakers from two different organizations that are both bankrolled by the US government's soft-power arm the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a group founded out of Ronald Reagan's CIA in the 1980s to grease the wheels of right-wing regime-change efforts and promote ''free markets'' across the planet.
Another longtime ally who has spoken at every single annual Socialism Conference since 2009, Anand Gopal, works at a liberal foundation that is directly funded by the US State Department. He is headlining a panel this year to provide ''A Socialist View of the Arab Spring.''
Yet another 2019 conference panel rails against the socialist governments of Nicaragua and Cuba '-- two-thirds of John Bolton's ''troika of tyranny'' '-- with outspoken proponents of regime change. One of the speakers, Dan La Botz, hosted an event in 2018 that featured right-wing Nicaraguan activists wearing masks and disguised as students, who were junketed to meet with Republican lawmakers in Washington by the US government-funded right-wing organization Freedom House.
The Socialism Conference's regime-change lobbying ''Nicaragua expert'' La Botz has admitted in leaked emails obtained by The Grayzone that ''there is virtually no left among the opposition'' to Nicaragua's democratically elected socialist government.
La Botz, a leader within Democratic Socialists of America, likewise acknowledged in these emails that there is ''little likelihood of an outcome to the rebellion that goes beyond a more democratic capitalist regime.'' But he has still vociferously lobbied for Nicaragua's Sandinista government to be overthrown by US government-backed insurgents '-- and is using his platform at the biggest socialist conference in the United States to do it.
Merging of largest US socialist organizationsThe 2019 Socialism Conference is advertised under the catchy slogan: ''No borders, no bosses, no binaries.''
Each ticket comes in at a neat $105 per person (or a $250 ''solidarity rate,'' for the hardcore supporters) '-- and this doesn't include the rate for the rooms at the hotel where it's held.
For years, the Socialism Conference functioned as a platform for the International Socialist Organization (ISO), a small group steeped in the tradition of sectarian American Trotskyite politics, which pushed a hardline anti-communism and attacked virtually all socialist governments in history as ''not truly socialist.''
Founded in 1977 after a long line of sectarian splits, the ISO never became a significant political force. It was mostly relegated to recruiting young impressionable students on liberal arts college campuses.
As an avowedly anti-communist organization, the ISO eschewed symbols long associated with the communist left, like hammers and sickles and red flags. Instead, it chose a clenched fist '-- one eerily similar to the symbol used by the US government-funded Serbian activist group Otpor and similar offshoots in Eastern Europe, which carried out Washington-backed neoliberal ''color revolutions'' in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the restoration of capitalism.
The ISO claimed to be anti-war, but its leaders spent a disproportionate percentage of their time and resources attacking the anti-imperialist left. They could more accurately be referred to as the anti-anti-imperialist left.
This March, the ISO voted to dissolve '-- in a decision some former members joked was the most democratic act ever undertaken by the organization, which had been dominated by an unelected leadership of veteran Trotskyite activists.
The dissolution was prompted by evidence that the ISO's steering committee mishandled sexual assault allegations. It also came as the ISO's membership was shrinking and rapidly being absorbed by a newly burgeoning anti-communist organization, the Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA.
Now that the ISO has dissolved, some of its past prominent members have entered the ranks of the DSA, burrowing from within to inject their anti-anti-imperialist politics into the group.
Because Trotskyites are so sectarian and notoriously incapable of holding together organizations, they are infamous for infiltrating larger, more popular groups and trying to take them over, in a tactic known as entryism.
This is precisely the strategy being used by former members of the ISO '-- and by another tiny US Trotskyite organization, Solidarity, which was led by anti-Nicaragua regime-change activist and Socialism Conference speaker Dan La Botz, now a leader in DSA.
Democratic Socialists of America is the largest self-described socialist organization in the United States, with more than 60,000 card-carrying members. It is also very heterogeneous, with many internal contradictions and conflicting political views.
In 2019, for the first time, the organizers of the Socialism Conference '-- including many holdovers from the ISO leadership '-- joined together with two new sponsors: DSA, and the closely DSA-allied Jacobin magazine, another platform for anti-communist and anti-anti-imperialist politics.
At the bottom of the Socialism conference website, a note reads, ''Brought to you by Haymarket, Jacobin, and the Democratic Socialists of America.'' Haymarket is the book publishing arm of the now defunct ISO, and its editorial board features some of the group's former leaders.
Top speakers at the conference include Democracy Now host Amy Goodman, Jacobin magazine founder and editor Bhaskar Sunkara, and journalist Naomi Klein, the inaugural Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University. Klein was chosen to head the final plenary, titled ''Care and Repair: The Revolutionary, Democratic Power of a Global Green New Deal.''
The 2019 Socialism Conference, like its annual predecessors, combines calls for radical economic democratic transformation and progressive social progress with the demonization of independent foreign governments that are targeted by the US government for regime change, such as Nicaragua, Cuba, Syria, Iran, China, and Russia.
The schedule of panels on foreign policy and international issues features a veritable who's who of leftist regime-change activists. There is even a talk devoted specifically to demonizing the anti-imperialist left.
Curiously, the 2019 Socialism Conference has no panels devoted specifically to Venezuela, which since this January has endured a US-led right-wing coup attempt, and which is suffering under suffocating sanctions that amount to a de facto economic blockade. In the past, the ISO has harshly criticized Venezuela's democratically elected socialist government, condemning Presidents Hugo Chvez and Nicols Maduro for not being radical enough and for not supposedly implementing the vague concept of ''socialism from below.''
In this way, the 2019 Socialism Conference also stands out as a sign of the effective political merging of what had previously been two distinct political trends: the Cliffite Trotskyites of the International Socialist Organization and the anti-communist social democrats of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Anti-China 'workers' rights' groups funded by anti-labor US governmentOne of the most eyebrow-raising panels at the 2019 Socialism Conference is entitled ''China and the US: Inter-Imperial Rivalry or Class Struggle and Solidarity?'' The panel portrays the US and China as equally malicious imperialist powers, downplaying and whitewashing the uniquely destructive nature of Washington's foreign wars and corporate domination.
The panel features three speakers, two of whom work for anti-China groups that are funded by the US government's regime-change arm, the National Endowment for Democracy. The third speaker is Ashley Smith, a former leader of the ISO who has spent the past eight years romanticizing foreign-backed, far-right sectarian Islamist ''moderate rebels'' in Syria.
The first speaker listed on the panel is Elaine Lu, the program officer at China Labor Watch. This group is described by the Socialism conference website simply as ''a New York-based NGO advocating for workers' rights in China.''
What Socialism Conference sponsors DSA, Jacobin, and Haymarket did not disclose is that its speaker's employer is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy.
The NED states without qualification that its goals include supporting ''free markets'' abroad. At the top of the about page on its website is a video of right-wing cold warrior Ronald Reagan inaugurating the US government-funded body.
The National Endowment for Democracy's 990 tax forms show how Washington's regime-change arm has bankrolled China Labor Watch for years. Substantial NED funding goes back to at least 2009.
According to the NED's 2015 form 990, China Labor Watch received a $150,000 grant that year. On the NED's 2013 tax form, it lists another $110,000 grant for China Labor Watch.
In 2014, China Labor Watch got $150,000 from the NED. According to the group's annual report that year, its total revenues for all of 2014 was $238,003, meaning 63 percent, or nearly two-thirds of its funding came from the US government.
China Labor Watch's other major donor is the Tides Foundation, a liberal organization that also happened to be one of the main financial sponsor's of the ISO's parent non-profit. In 2014, Tides gave $40,645 to China Labor Watch, another 17 percent of its budget that year.
Joining Elaine Lu as the other main speaker on the Socialism Conference's anti-China panel is Kevin Lin, who coordinates the China program at the Washington, DC-based NGO the International Labor Rights Forum.
The Socialism Conference once again failed to mention that this group is also bankrolled by the National Endowment for Democracy.
According to the NED's 2016 form 990, the US government's regime-change arm gave the International Labor Rights Forum $150,000 that year alone.
The International Labor Rights Forum likewise received $96,590 from the NED in 2015, and $62,500 in 2014.
The Socialism Conference also identified Kevin Lin as a co-editor of the Made in China journal, which focuses on labor rights. A disclaimer at the bottom of the publication's swanky website notes that it is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020, a neoliberal business program which the European Commission describes as ''the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.''
These are the financiers behind the speakers that the Socialism Conference and its sponsors the DSA, Jacobin, and Haymarket brought together to explain why China is a malevolent imperialist power.
Some of these groups may seem progressive, but they operate in effect as vehicles for US government soft power, exploiting the cause of human rights or labor rights to undermine and destabilize foreign governments that Washington has targeted for regime change.
China Labor Watch and the International Labor Rights Forum are far from the only ostensibly progressive anti-China groups funded by the US government.
Other China-related NED grantees include ''human rights'' organizations like the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders, Human Rights in China, China Aid, China Change, and China Rights in Action (another Tides grantee), along with the New York-based Chinese Feminist Collective and news websites like China Digital Times.
China Labour Bulletin, which maintains a map of strikes going on across the gigantic country, is likewise frequently cited by left-wing websites in the US. While its slogan is ''Supporting the Workers' Movement in China,'' China Labour Bulletin (CLB) is actually based in Hong Kong, and it is funded by the US government.
CLB notes on its website that it ''receives grants from a wide range of government or quasi-government bodies, trade unions and private foundations, all of which are based outside of China.'' For decades, CLB's founder and executive director Han Dongfang broadcasted anti-China programming on Radio Free Asia, a US government-funded propaganda outlet that was founded by the CIA to push anti-communist disinformation. Han's work is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, and he was a leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
The ISO's newspaper Socialist Worker has praised Han Dongfang as a leftist hero, without ever disclosing his extensive links to the US government's regime-change machinery. Socialist Worker has repeatedly drawn on the work of China Labour Bulletin, over more than a decade. The ISO's journal the International Socialist Review has also relied on the US government-funded organization's research, and Jacobin magazine has noted CLB's ''roots go back to the Tiananmen Square protests.''
Human Rights Watch, another key part of the regime-change lobby, has lionized Han, happily noting that his show on the US government's Radio Free Asia ''is one of the network's most popular programs.''
China is just one of the countries where the US government's soft-power arm funds such putative progressive groups. The NED likewise funds many liberal anti-Cuba organizations, such as the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, Center for a Free Cuba, the Cuban Institute for the Freedom of Expression and Press, and the news website CubaNet. Or there are NED-funded groups pushing regime change against Syria and Iran, like the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies and Human Rights Activists in Iran.
While the United States has one of the lowest rates of unionization in the industrialized world, a bloody history of worker repression and anti-labor laws, and historically weak unions among those that still do exist, its regime-change arm the NED has funded workers' rights groups to promote a progressive image of America abroad.
For decades, for instance, the NED has bankrolled the international Solidarity Center of the major union federation the AFL-CIO. The center receives tens of millions of dollars from the US government's regime-change arm annually, and returns the favor by avoiding topics that would anger the US State Department and bite the hand that feeds it.
Throughout the Cold War, the AFL-CIO remained a reliably anti-communist union that received funding from US government agencies, including the CIA, in order to combat and ultimately try to eliminate communist influence in the American labor movement. It was a textbook example of a controlled opposition.
This is not to say that NED-funded groups cannot at times have a positive impact on the lives of average people in repressive environments. But their work is always part of a larger agenda, with ulterior imperial motives guiding them along the way. A controlled opposition can make some changes, but it always remains controlled.
US State Department-funded speaker providing 'socialist' take on 'Arab Spring'Yet another speaker at the 2019 Socialism Conference works for a liberal foundation directly funded by the US government.
Journalist Anand Gopal, who has been a close ally of the ISO for a decade, has a panel all to himself this year: ''A Socialist View of the Arab Spring.''
The Socialism Conference website did not provide a bio for Gopal, yet alone disclose that his employer is funded by the US government. It simply described him as a ''Pulitzer-Prize nominated journalist,'' and said he will explain how to understand ''the lessons of the protests, uprisings, rebellions, and wars that shook the Arab world beginning in 2011.''
Left unmentioned is that Gopal serves as a ''fellow with the International Security Program'' at the New America Foundation. This foundation's website makes it very clear that it is directly funded by the US State Department, along with massive corporations and banks '-- clearly institutions that are invested in advancing the revolutionary socialist cause.
Anand Gopal has harshly attacked the anti-imperialist left for opposing the international proxy war on Syria. He strongly supported the Syrian opposition, which is dominated by Salafi-jihadists, but which Gopal has consistently whitewashed and portrayed as a supposedly progressive force.
Gopal likewise reported inside al-Qaeda-occupied territory, which The New Yorker euphemistically described as ''Syria's Last Bastion of Freedom.'' And he has constantly downplayed the billions of dollars of funding and weapons from the US, Europe, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar that kept the Syrian opposition afloat, fueling the brutal war for years.
Going back to at least 2009, Gopal has spoken at every single one of the ISO's Socialism Conferences '-- in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.
Gopal has also done more than a dozen extensive interviews for the ISO's newspaper Socialist Worker and journal the International Socialist Review, blaming the rise of ISIS on Official Enemies and spreading the conspiracy theory that the US is actually ''helping the regime'' of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, not truly trying to overthrow it.
'Socialist' lobbying for US-backed right-wing coup in NicaraguaAnother noteworthy 2019 Socialism Conference panel, called ''Problems of the US Left: The Cases of Cuba and Nicaragua,'' is led by Dan La Botz and Samuel Farber, veteran Trotskyite activists and outspoken proponents of regime change in the two respective countries.
The speakers' problem with the US left appears to be that it has demonstrated too much solidarity with socialist governments in Havana and Managua, which, in their view from inside the United States, ''rely more on bureaucracy than democracy.''
Farber is a Cuban exile who left the country for unspecified reasons in 1958 '' a year before its revolution '' and spent the rest of his life as a professional critic of its socialist government. Today, he contributes regular attacks on the Cuban Revolution to journals from Jacobin to New Politics to In These Times, where he published a trenchant denunciation of Fidel Castro upon his death in 2016.
Farber accuses Castro of developing a model of ''state capitalism,'' wielding a term Trotskyite ideologues routinely fling at any revolutionary government that is insufficiently pure. He calls for ''a revolutionary democratic alternative'... through socialist resistance from below.''
The concept of regime change ''from below'' is also central to the rhetoric of exile groups like the People's MEK, a US- and Saudi-backed cult of personality that calls for toppling Iran's government through ''indigenous regime change.''
Dan La Botz, for his part, has risen to prominence as a full-time opponent of another member of the Trump administration's ''troika of tyranny'': the socialist government of Nicaragua, and the Sandinista movement that it represents.
La Botz has published an anti-Sandinista manifesto with ISO publisher Haymarket Books, which is advertised as a survey of ''the failures of the Nicaraguan Revolution, by one of the most important Marxist-historians of Latin America.''
In June 2018, as a US-backed, violent regime-change attempt surged across Nicaragua, threatening the rule of democratically elected President Daniel Ortega, La Botz attempted to mobilize left-wing US support for the anti-Sandinista opposition. That month, he joined an anti-Sandinista event '-- co-sponsored by DSA's New York branch, Haymarket, the academic journal NACLA, and the Marxist Education Project '-- at Saint Peter's Church in New York City, to drum up local support for the coup.
The event featured speeches by several Nicaraguan anti-Sandinista activists who were involved in the regime-change attempt, including self-described students who wore masks on stage, concealing their identities from the audience.
The Grayzone has obtained internal DSA email reports authored by La Botz which revealed that, days after the event at Saint Peter's Church, those same students met with right-wing Republican legislators on Capitol Hill, including neoconservative Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
The students beamed with pride, appearing without masks in photo ops with the avowedly anti-socialist members of Congress. Their trip was financed by Freedom House, a right-wing soft-power organization that is funded almost entirely by the US government.
Humbled to meet with Nicaraguan student leaders who are risking their lives fighting for freedom. Their bravery and perseverance will overcome the Ortega dictatorship's tyranny. #SOSNicaragua pic.twitter.com/BGkc6kEVTc
'-- Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) June 6, 2018
The students' US-backed delegation included Victor Cuadras, a fanatical right-wing activist who openly supported Donald Trump's agenda for Latin America and blamed the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua for the caravan of desperate asylum seekers on the US-Mexico border.
Victor Cuadras (@AndinoCuadras), the Nicaraguan student coup leader who was flown to DC by US govt @freedomhouse to drum up regime change, echoes and endorses Donald Trump's anti-migrant fanaticism against the #Caravan pic.twitter.com/CzwDCOMiMu
'-- Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) November 6, 2018
On June 15, 2018, Dan La Botz sent an email report to DSA leadership, reflecting on the event. He acknowledged that ''the Nicaraguans both on the panel and in the public had virtually no political analysis and no vision or program for the future of their country.''
Then in a follow-up email report sent to DSA leadership on July 24, La Botz defended the students' collaboration with neoconservative politicians like Rubio and Cruz.
''The students, ages 21 to 24 or so, who spoke on our panel then went off to speak with Republican legislators, guided by a rightwing foundation,'' he wrote. ''While, of course, we do not think that this is a good strategy, this is perfectly understandable given that the Republicans are in power and have the ability to do something about Nicaragua.''
While marketing the anti-Sandinista activists as grassroots youth deserving of left-wing solidarity, La Botz admitted in his internal DSA report, ''Nicaraguan opponents of the regime in the United States hold a wide variety of political views, though there is virtually no left among the opposition here that I am aware of.''
And while publicly framing the regime-change operation in Nicaragua as a progressive uprising, La Botz privately conceded, ''There is, however, little likelihood of an outcome to the rebellion that goes beyond a more democratic capitalist regime.''
An excerpt from an email report on Nicaragua to DSA leadership, written by Dan La BotzAs The Grayzone reported in 2018, the US government's regime-change arm the National Endowment for Democracy boasted of spending millions on anti-Sandinista civil society and media outfits ''to lay the groundwork for insurrection'' in the years and months ahead of the coup.
While the coup attempt in Nicaragua was portrayed as a peaceful people's uprising by figures like La Botz, it was in fact a violent putsch that saw armed elements erect roadblocks across the country, holding up ambulances, torturing, brutalizing, kidnapping, and murdering supporters of the Sandinistas.
Anti-Sandinista insurgents dragged an unarmed, on-leave police officer to death from a truck and then burnt his corpse at a roadblock. They raped a 10-year-old girl at a roadblock and burnt the homes of local Sandinista legislators. They occupied and ransacked a public university campus, wrecked a women's health center, and torched a daycare center.
The armed opposition wreaked this havoc while attacking police stations with mortars and gunfire, during a national dialogue in which the police were ordered to remain in their barracks. In the end, Nicaragua's opposition caused the deaths of over 60 innocent people, while grinding the country's previously productive economy to a halt.
Once the coup was extinguished, the US Congress passed the Nica Act without debate, imposing harsh sanctions on Nicaragua's economy that emulated those already leveled against Venezuela and Iran.
On January 9, Dan La Botz appeared at a meeting of the New York City DSA Anti-War Working Group to amp up the attack on Nicaragua's socialist government. There, he was challenged by Gunar Olsen, a contributor to The Grayzone, about the event he organized last year with masked right-wing Nicaraguan students sponsored by Freedom House.
La Botz claimed that the event had originally been planned as a discussion of his book, but that ''somebody said, these students were coming through. And I said, that sounds great.''
He continued: ''My view is, they came from their country because someone gave em some money, and they can come to the United States and they wanted to talk to somebody who might be able to help their country'... It may have been though that there were some conservative political forces working with them and the Republicans, it may have been that there was some of those four students that was more hip than the others but it wasn't my impression.''
La Botz concluded by telling Olsen and the DSA crowd, ''I don't feel at all bad, I don't think it was a terrible thing. I think they were four young people coming to this country that wanted to speak there. We didn't know they were going there, we didn't know where they were heading, I didn't know they were gonna speak there. Would I do it again? If I knew what was going to happen I'd probably say, let's see if we can find some other students.''
However, in his private email assessment of the event to DSA leadership, La Botz had defended the students' subsequent meetings with right-wing Republicans as ''perfectly understandable.''
In his internal DSA report, La Botz went on to characterize those in the US left that opposed the coup in Nicaragua as ''foreign leftists'' who are ''backers of Putin, Assad, Iran, Hamas, and now Ortega.''
La Botz did not respond to several attempts to reach him by phone.
'Revolutionary socialists' funded by the non-profit industrial complexThe force behind the annual Socialism Conference, the International Socialist Organization marketed itself as a radical, even revolutionary movement supporting ''socialism from below.'' But it was deeply embedded in the non-profit industrial complex.
The ISO operated legally through its parent non-profit organization the Center for Economic Research and Social Change. A tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, CERSC received huge grants from the Tides Foundation.
The Tides Foundation is well known for funding progressive groups, but only as long as they do not rock the boat too much.
A Canadian environmental activist who has participated in projects funded by Tides told The Grayzone that the foundation funded a trip to the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, but eventually pulled funding for their environmental group's excursion to the 2012 UN conference in Doha, Qatar, because the foundation was afraid the activists would carry out peaceful forms of civil disobedience.
''They funded some people '-- those who wouldn't rock the boat because they didn't want people engaging in civil disobedience,'' the Canadian environmental activist told The Grayzone.
Another activist published a ''whistleblower's open letter to Canadians'' explaining that the Tides Foundation, which funded many environmentalists in the country, was ''too afraid of reprisals from the government to act,'' after the office of right-wing Prime Minister Stephen Harper threatened to challenge the foundation's charitable status.
Why a milquetoast liberal foundation would fund the ISO, a supposedly revolutionary socialist organization, raises serious questions about that group's agenda.
In fact, while the Tides Foundation was serving as one of the biggest financiers of the ISO, it was also funding Democratic Party-aligned organizations and even pro-Israel groups like J Street and the New Israel Fund, which actively campaign against the Palestinian call for BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel) and support the preservation of a settler-colonialist ethnically exclusivist state.
Haymarket Books, blending important literature with regime change propagandaWhile the ISO was marginal during its existence, it punched above its weight through front organizations and prominent members who worked in the mainstream media and academia.
The ISO's publishing arm, Haymarket Books, has been especially influential. Haymarket describes itself as a ''radical, independent, nonprofit book publisher based in Chicago,'' which had been the base for the ISO.
Haymarket has indeed published many important books on pressing issues. However, it has supplemented these works with anti-anti-imperialist screeds that echo the US State Department's rhetoric, but framed as ''from the left.''
Among Haymarket's most aggressively marketed releases of 2018 was ''The Impossible Revolution,'' a collection of essays by the Syrian exiled writer Yassin al-Haj Saleh, who now lives in Turkey and functions as a lodestar to self-styled left-wing supporters of regime change in Syria.
Al-Haj Saleh's book was blurbed by Charles Lister, a former functionary of the UK's Conservative Party who became a top lobbyist for arming Salafi-jihadist insurgents in Syria at the Gulf monarchy-funded Middle East Institute in Washington, DC.
State Department cables exposed by WikiLeaks indicate that Yassin al-Haj Saleh was a US government informant in regular correspondence with American officials in Damascus. One such memo, dated April 24, 2006, features advice by al-Haj Saleh apparently delivered to US officials in the country to use Islamism as a weapon against the government of Bashar al-Assad.
Haymarket has also recently published ''Indefensible,'' a book-length denunciation of the anti-imperialist left by the writer Rohini Hensman.
The manifesto features ham-fisted attacks on journalists Julian Assange, John Pilger, and Seymour Hersh, along with unqualified support for virtually every US and NATO military intervention in the past 30 years, as well as the dirty war on Syria and the Maidan coup in Ukraine.
Anand Gopal, the longtime ISO ally who speaks at the Socialism Conference every year, while working for a liberal foundation funded by the US State Department, praised Hensman's book as a guide to ''how to be a principled internationalist in the era of imperialism.''
More recently, Hensman took to the DSA's official website to attack The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal, Seymour Hersh, and Robert Fisk as ''neo-Stalinists'' engaged in a ''convergence'' with neo-Nazis. No evidence was provided to support the extreme claim.
Ashley Smith, an ideologue of the now-defunct ISO, says he is currently writing another anti-anti-imperialist book for Haymarket entitled ''Socialism and Anti-Imperialism.''
Tiny, irrelevant Trotskyite groups, from South to North AmericaTrotskyite groups are notorious throughout the world for their extreme sectarian tendencies. The organizations rarely last long, frequently splintering into tiny groupuscules over political disagreements.
Unsurprisingly, then, the so-called ''left'' opposition in Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba '-- which is celebrated by Trotskyite groups like the ISO '-- is in fact infinitesimal and insignificant.
Nils McCune, a socialist and environmental activist who has lived in Nicaragua for years, explained in an interview on our podcast Moderate Rebels that one of these parties, the Movement for the Renovation of Sandinismo (MRS) is a tiny group that is irrelevant in the country. Unable to mobilize popular support, this ''left'' opposition can only lobby the US government for regime change.
As Blumenthal, a co-author of this article, revealed in MintPress News, the MRS has received direct support from the US government in its campaign to prevent the election of Daniel Ortega as president, and lobbied for sanctions against Nicaragua after he was elected.
Similarly, in Venezuela the ostensible left opposition has offered ''critical support'' to Washington's regime change efforts.
This February, a leader of the marginal Venezuelan Trotskyite group Marea Socialista held a friendly meeting with Juan Guaid", the US-appointed right-wing coup leader.
On February 5, Guaid" tweeted a photo of a meeting with Marea Socialista's Nicmer Evans.
Juan Guaid" hails from the far-right party Voluntad Popular, which was practically founded by the US government and has been deeply involved in street violence throughout Venezuela.
Hoy sostuvimos un encuentro con ex Ministros del Gobierno del ex presidente Chvez. Escuchamos sus planteamientos, y coincidimos en la necesidad de resolver los problemas de los venezolanos.
Seguimos trabajando y escuchando a todos los sectores que quieren un cambio #VamosBien pic.twitter.com/4FGM0gecZO
'-- Juan Guaid" (@jguaido) February 5, 2019
Jesus Rodriguez Espinoza, a Chavista who lives in Venezuela and is editor of the independent news website, the Orinoco Tribune, told The Grayzone when we reported in the country in February that Marea Socialista is ''tiny'' and has ''no power.'' He was genuinely surprised at how much coverage these minuscule groups have received in the US progressive media, because inside Venezuela they have negligible influence.
Yet the Trotskyite organization has constantly been given a platform by the ISO's newspaper Socialist Worker (Marea Socialista even enjoys its own tag on the website). Jacobin Magazine, the self-declared ''leading voice of the American left,'' has also given a huge platform to Marea Socialista operatives to push for what they call a ''Chavismo from below'' '-- despite the fact that the Trotskyite group is virtually unknown to average Venezuelans, including to millions of poor and working-class Chavistas.
Also featured in the February 5 photo of the meeting with US-backed coup leader Juan Guaid" was the anti-Maduro liberal intellectual Edgardo Lander, who is popular in anti-communist left-wing circles in the US but almost unknown inside Venezuela. Like Marea Socialista, Lander has enjoyed very positive coverage in the progressive Anglo press.
Democracy Now, which has advanced regime-change propaganda on Syria on repeated occasions, offered its platform to Lander this May. Hosts Amy Goodman and Nermeen Sheikh lobbed softball questions at the intellectual, and failed to disclose that he met with Guaid".
In his Democracy Now segment, Lander admitted that his outfit is a ''small collective,'' whereas the Chavista movement he criticizes is massively popular in working-class barrios across the country.
The International Socialist Organization has played a similar role in the US, with little visibility outside the left and almost no grassroots base.
Now that the ISO has disbanded, its veterans can reach into the rapidly growing ideologically diffuse world of Democratic Socialists of America, using platforms like Socialism 2019 to infect DSA's youthful core with the imperial politics of regime change '' but always ''from the left,'' and always ''from below.''
By Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal
Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books, including best-selling Republican Gomorrah, Goliath, The Fifty One Day War, and The Management of Savagery. He has produced print articles for an array of publications, many video reports, and several documentaries, including Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded The Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America's state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.
Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a reporter for The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.
Circulating in China's Financial System: More Than $200 Billion in I.O.U.s - The New York Times
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 04:12
As the trade war escalates, Beijing needs private companies to pull China's economy out of its rut. But for some, ready money can be hard to find.
Image Zhang Zhiyang said his architecture firm couldn't seem to get paid on time. He is now accepting the financial equivalent of i.o.u.s from as many as one-third of his clients. Credit Credit Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times SHENZHEN, China '-- China was on the cusp of the biggest building boom the world had ever seen when Zhang Zhiyang started his architecture firm. It was 2007, and the money rushed in for contracts to design residential complexes and an exhibition hall.
These days, with China's economy slowing and his own business dropping off, Mr. Zhang can't seem to get paid on time. He is now accepting the financial equivalent of i.o.u.s from as many as one-third of his clients instead of cash.
''It wasn't like this before,'' he said. But, he added, ''it's better than nothing.''
China's trade war with the United States has escalated in recent days, posing a growing threat to an already slowing economy. Beijing needs private businesses like Mr. Zhang's and his clients to help rekindle growth and provide paychecks to Chinese workers.
But many of those private businesses are short of cash. Instead, more than $200 billion in i.o.u.s '-- known in the dry world of finance as commercial acceptance bills '-- are floating around the Chinese financial system, according to government data.
China is not running out of money. But Chinese banks are reluctant to lend to private businesses because they consider big, state-owned enterprises more reliable in paying off their debts. Alternative sources of money have dried up as regulators have cracked down in recent years on China's shadowy world of unofficial lending.
So a growing number of companies are issuing i.o.u.s to their suppliers. Some suppliers turn around and use the notes to pay another supplier. And then '-- in a sign of how desperate some Chinese companies have become for money '-- they sell the notes for less cash than they are worth.
Recent Chinese history suggests these financial dealings could end badly. Two decades ago, when the Chinese economy was growing too fast for regulators to handle, so many i.o.u.s were passed around by state-owned enterprises '-- an estimated $86 billion in today's money, then totaling nearly one-fifth of China's economic output '-- that the Chinese business world seized up. The government had to intervene, restructuring the debt and writing much of it off.
''You had companies holding stacks of paper,'' said Dinny McMahon, an author and research fellow at the Paulson Institute in Chicago.
''The fact that these things are proliferating again at a time of entrenched economic downturn should be a signal of the degree of distress that companies are finding themselves in,'' Mr. McMahon said.
Commercial acceptance bills are not legal tender. Rather, they are pieces of paper promising payment in the future. Companies owed some $211 billion in these informal notes as of February, the most recent government data available, an increase of more than one-third from the previous year.
Image One of Mr. Zhang's commercial acceptance bills, issued by a client in lieu of cash. Mr. Zhang struck out sensitive information like who issued the bill and how much it is worth.More debt may be floating around China's corporate world and goes untracked if the notes are being traded for less than their face value. A market has formed around commercial acceptance bills, in which companies buy and sell them based on the prospects for being paid back. The bigger and better known the company, the more secure the bill is considered.
A pillar of China's economy, the property sector, is feeling the squeeze particularly hard. Sales have been slowing since late 2017, making it hard to pay for new projects. At the same time, the government is clamping down on other ways that property companies raise money, like through the shadow banking system.
Property companies have adapted by effectively turning the commercial acceptance bills into a currency, according to interviews and filings from dozens of property developers and suppliers like steel companies, design and construction firms.
Xu Jiang of Zhubo Design, an architecture and urban planning company in the southern city of Shenzhen, said customers had started to pay with commercial acceptance bills two years ago. The customers, which include some of the country's biggest developers, local governments and state-owned firms, now use these notes more frequently than paying cash, he said.
''When developers first started to pay me with commercial acceptance bills, I found it difficult to accept,'' said Mr. Xu, Zhubo's chief operating officer. ''I didn't know who would pay me and the debt is still on me.''
''But if I didn't accept it, I couldn't get the money,'' he said of his clients. ''We suppliers were forced to become part of their financial chain.''
Bigger companies like Zhubo say they can deal with the cash shortage for now. They can negotiate to get interest on top of the amount due. They can sell i.o.u.s to investors for less than face value.
For smaller companies, Mr. Xu said, it is much harder to wait for months before being paid. Many property companies have not survived the shift. Through July, 281 had declared bankruptcy this year, according to court filings. About 200 declared bankruptcy over the same period last year.
Today, one of the biggest issuers of i.o.u.s is China's largest and best known property company, Evergrande. By the end of last year it had issued nearly $20 billion worth of i.o.u.s to its suppliers. With a towering $100 billion debt pile and a penchant for raising bonds to pay off the interest, it appears to have turned to commercial acceptance bills to help cover costs.
''Commercial acceptance bills are only a tiny part of the whole payment,'' said Chen Zhaohua, a spokesman for Evergrande. He added that it was a form of payment ''agreed by both parties of a transaction.''
Image One of the biggest issuers of commercial acceptance bills has been China's largest property company, Evergrande. Credit Bobby Yip/Reuters Bauing Construction Holding Group, a big supplier of design and materials to China's biggest property developers, has disclosed that it is owed $96.4 million in these i.o.u.s from Evergrande. It also recently disclosed a long list of other companies that owe it money in the form of similar notes. Gao Sheng, a spokesman for Bauing, declined to comment.
Another company that owes Bauing money is the state-owned firm China State Construction Engineering. China State said it had owed $490 million in i.o.u.s to all of its suppliers at the end of last year.
Another major property developer, Greenland Holding, which was founded by the Shanghai government and has property developments in dozens of cities across China, had $550 million worth of unpaid notes out to suppliers by the end of last year, according to its annual report. The company said that was 10 times the amount it had outstanding in 2017.
Greenland did not respond to a request for comment.
One state-owned conglomerate, China Resources, which is involved in everything from construction to health care, has doubled its issuance of i.o.u.s, with $2.7 billion in slips of paper unpaid at the end of last year. The company did not respond to a request for comment.
The boom is worrying some regulators. At least one property developer and five suppliers to property developers have received inquiries from exchanges where their stocks are publicly listed, raising concern over the sudden increase in these commercial acceptances, according to corporate filings.
In response to one such inquiry, RiseSun Real Estate Development, a large developer that has come into trouble overseas over its plans, disclosed that it had increased the use of commercial acceptance notes and bankers acceptances, a similar note but backed by banks, by more than 13 times. At the time it owed $460 million of commercial acceptances to its partners and suppliers.
Xue Ze, a spokeswoman for RiseSun, declined to comment.
Smaller business owners like Mr. Zhang, the architect, know the gut punch feeling that comes when companies do not make good on their commercial acceptances. Mr. Zhang recently took an unpaid i.o.u. to the developer's bank.
''We were told by the bank that the company had moved its money out,'' he said.
Alexandra Stevenson is a business correspondent based in Hong Kong, covering Chinese corporate giants, the changing landscape for multinational companies and China's growing economic and financial influence in Asia. @ jotted ' Facebook
Dismissed With Prejudice Law and Legal Definition | USLegal, Inc.
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 02:59
A dismissal with prejudice is dismissal of a case on merits after adjudication.The plaintiff is barred from bringing an action on the same claim. Dismissal with prejudice is a final judgment and the case becomes res judicata on the claims that were or could have been brought in it.
A court has inherent power to dismiss an action with prejudice if it is vexatious, brought in bad faith, or when there has been a failure to prosecute it within a reasonable time. When a plaintiff who has commenced an action fails to comply with discovery devices, a court, which has issued the order of compliance, may sua sponte dismiss the case with prejudice.
In criminal prosecutions, dismissal with prejudice bars the government from prosecuting the accused later on the same charge. A dismissal with prejudice is made in response to a motion to the court by the defendant or by the court sua sponte, if the accused is deprived of the constitutional right to a speedy trial.
US federal court exposes Democratic Party conspiracy against Assange and WikiLeaks - World Socialist Web Site
Wed, 07 Aug 2019 02:58
Judge dismisses DNC lawsuit By Eric London 31 July 2019In a ruling published late Tuesday, Judge John Koeltl of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York delivered a devastating blow to the US-led conspiracy against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
In his ruling, Judge Koeltl, a Bill Clinton nominee and former assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, dismissed ''with prejudice'' a civil lawsuit filed in April 2018 by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) alleging WikiLeaks was civilly liable for conspiring with the Russian government to steal DNC emails and data and leak them to the public.
Jennifer Robinson, a leading lawyer for Assange, and other WikiLeaks attorneys welcomed the ruling as ''an important win for free speech.''
The decision exposes the Democratic Party in a conspiracy of its own to attack free speech and cover up the crimes of US imperialism and the corrupt activities of the two parties of Wall Street. Judge Koeltl stated:
If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC's political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them 'secret' and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet. But that would impermissibly elevate a purely private privacy interest to override the First Amendment interest in the publication of matters of the highest public concern. The DNC's published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election. This type of information is plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers.
The ruling exposes the illegality of the conspiracy by the US government, backed by the governments of Britain, Ecuador, Australia and Sweden and the entire corporate media and political establishment, to extradite Assange to the US, where he faces 175 years in federal prison on charges including espionage.
The plaintiff in the civil case'--the Democratic Party'--has also served as Assange's chief prosecutor within the state apparatus for over a decade. During the Obama administration, Democratic Party Justice Department officials, as well as career Democratic holdovers under the Trump administration, prepared the criminal case against him.
The dismissal of the civil suit exposes massive unreported conflicts of interest and prosecutorial misconduct and criminal abuse of process by those involved. The criminal prosecution of Assange has nothing to do with facts and is instead aimed at punishing him for telling the truth about the war crimes committed by US imperialism and its allies.
The judge labeled WikiLeaks an ''international news organization'' and said Assange is a ''publisher,'' exposing the liars in the corporate press who declare that Assange is not subject to free speech protections. Judge Koeltl continued: ''In New York Times Co. v. United States, the landmark 'Pentagon Papers' case, the Supreme Court upheld the press's right to publish information of public concern obtained from documents stolen by a third party.''
As a legal matter, by granting WikiLeaks' motion to dismiss, the court ruled that the DNC had not put forward a ''factually plausible'' claim. At the motion to dismiss stage, a judge is required to accept all the facts alleged by the plaintiff as true. Here, the judge ruled that even if all the facts alleged by the DNC were true, no fact-finder could ''draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.''
Going a step further, the judge called the DNC's arguments ''threadbare,'' adding: ''At no point does the DNC allege any facts'' showing that Assange or WikiLeaks ''participated in the theft of the DNC's information.''
Judge Koeltl said the DNC's argument that Assange and WikiLeaks ''conspired with the Russian Federation to steal and disseminate the DNC's materials'' is ''entirely divorced from the facts.'' The judge further ruled that the court ''is not required to accept conclusory allegations asserted as facts.''
The judge further dismantled the DNC's argument that WikiLeaks is guilty-by-association with Russia, calling the alleged connection between Assange and the Russian government ''irrelevant,'' because ''a person is entitled to publish stolen documents that the publisher requested from a source so long as the publisher did not participate in the theft.''
Judge Koeltl also rejected the DNC's claim ''that WikiLeaks can be held liable for the theft as an after-the-fact coconspirator of the stolen documents.'' Calling this argument ''unpersuasive,'' the judge wrote that it would ''eviscerate'' constitutional protections: ''Such a rule would render any journalist who publishes an article based on stolen information a coconspirator in the theft.''
In its April 2018 complaint, the DNC put forward a series of claims that have now been exposed as brazen lies, including that Assange, Trump and Russia ''undermined and distorted the DNC's ability to communicate the party's values and visions to the American electorate.''
The complaint also alleged: ''Russian intelligence services then disseminated the stolen, confidential materials through GRU Operative #1, as well as WikiLeaks and Assange, who were actively supported by the Trump Campaign and Trump Associates as they released and disclosed the information to the American public at a time and in a manner that served their common goals.''
At the time the DNC filed its complaint, the New York Times wrote that the document relies on ''publicly-known facts'' as well as ''information that has been disclosed in news reports and subsequent court proceedings.'' The lawsuit ''comes amid a swirl of intensifying scrutiny of Mr. Trump, his associates and their interactions with Russia,'' the Times wrote.
It is deeply ironic that Judge Koeltl cited the Pentagon Papers case, New York Times Co. v. United States, in his ruling.
The DNC's baseless complaint cited the New York Times eight times as ''proof'' of Assange and WikiLeaks' ties to Russia, including articles by Times reporters Andrew Kramer, Michael Gordon, Niraj Chokshi, Sharon LaFraniere, K.K. Rebecca Lai, Eric Lichtblau, Noah Weiland, Alicia Parlapiano and Ashley Parker, as well as a July 26, 2016 article by Charlie Savage titled ''Assange, avowed foe of Clinton, timed email release for Democratic Convention.''
The first of these articles was published just weeks after the New York Times hired James Bennet as its editorial page editor in March 2016. James Bennet's brother, Michael Bennet, is a presidential candidate, a senator from Colorado and former chair of the DNC's Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In 2018, Bennet signed a letter to Vice President Mike Pence noting he was ''extremely concerned'' that Ecuador had not canceled asylum for Assange, who was then trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
''It is imperative,'' the letter read, ''that you raise US concerns with [Ecuadorian] President [Lenin] Moreno about Ecuador's continued support for Mr. Assange at a time when WikiLeaks continues its efforts to undermine democratic processes globally.''
In April 2019, after the Trump administration announced charges against Assange, the New York Times editorial board, under James Bennet's direction, wrote: ''The administration has begun well by charging Mr. Assange with an indisputable crime.'' Two weeks later, Michael Bennet announced his presidential run and has since enjoyed favorable coverage in the Times editorial page.
Additionally, the father of James and Michael Bennet, Douglas Bennet, headed the CIA-linked United States Agency for International Development in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
On Wednesday, the Times published a brief, six-paragraph article on page 25 under the headline, ''DNC lawsuit against election is dismissed.'' In its online edition, the Times prominently featured a link to its special page for the Mueller Report, which is based on the same DNC-instigated threadbare lies that Judge Koeltl kicked out of federal court.
Matt Whitlock on Twitter: "New York Times releases a second edition with a different headline after Twitter backlash and liberals announce they're canceling subscriptions. https://t.co/fxLav5pQHP" / Twitter
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 21:28
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Is The El Paso Shooter's Manifesto a Fake?
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 21:16
Skip to contentQuestions raised about authenticity of murderer's declarationThe owner of the website 8chan claims the El Paso shooter's manifesto was not uploaded by Patrick Crusius, and another man, claiming to have grown up next to him, says ''Patrick has autism and was in special ed classes'... He couldn't have written that document.''
In the aftermath of the tragic shooting at an El Paso, Texas Walmart on Saturday, the liberal media turned the blame on President Trump, other prominent conservatives and Trump supporters altogether.
Despite the fact that the suspect made it clear his views ''predate Trump,'' and that he supported a universal basic income and automation, concepts no Trump supporters agree with, the media took the anti-immigrant manifesto and ran with it.
Jim Watkins, owner of 8chan, the website the manifesto was uploaded to, released a statement Tuesday claiming the manifesto was not uploaded by the Walmart shooter.
''I don't know if he wrote it or not, but it was not uploaded by the murderer. That is clear, and law enforcement was made aware of this before most people had even heard the horrific news,'' Watkins said.
8chan was dropped by internet security company Cloudflare following the attack.
Additionally, Twitter user ''Taylor made a 3'', who claims to have grown up with Crusius, posted a message on Sunday alleging the shooter is autistic and that he couldn't have written the manifesto.
''He had to have been influenced by someone. He had to have had help. I grew up next to him,'' he wrote.
Patrick has autism and was in special ed classes. I've read his weitibg. He couldn't have written that document. Idk how this happened. He had to have been influenced by someone. He had to have had help. I grew up next to him.
'-- Taylor made a 3 (@CabooseL17) August 4, 2019
It's worth noting that based on his profile, the Twitter user making this claim is anti-Trump.
These oddities are more concerning when combined with several reports of multiple shooters and eyewitness testimony of shooters dressed in all black.
While these allegations don't prove the manifesto was fabricated, they are worth looking into.
Last week, Alex Jones predicted that major violent events were poised to take place in the near future after the FBI designated the Q movement as a terrorist organization.
The move was likely meant to demonize patriots ahead of false flag attacks to be blamed on conservatives.
EU Looking To Regulate Everything Online, And To Make Sites Proactively Remove Material | Techdirt
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 16:26
from the if-you-thought-Copyright-Directive-was-bad,-just-wait-for-Digital-Services-Act deptOne of the reasons that Techdirt and many others fought so hard against the worst ideas of the EU Copyright Directive is that it was clearly the thin end of the wedge. If things like upload filters and the imposition of intermediary liability become widely implemented as the result of legal requirements in the field of copyright, it would only be a matter of time before they were extended to other domains. Netzpolitik has obtained a seven-page European Commission paper sketching ideas for a new EU Digital Services Act (pdf) that suggests doing exactly that. The Act's reach is extremely wide:
The scope would cover all digital services, and in particular online platforms. This means the clarification would address all services across the internet stack from mere conduits such as ISPs to cloud hosting services; while a special emphasis in the assessment would be dedicated to updated rules for online platforms such as social media, search engines, or collaborative economy services, as well as for online advertising services.
A core aim is to replace the e-Commerce Directive, passed in 2000. This is presented as "outdated", but the suggestions in the paper are clearly a continuation of attacks on the fundamental principles underlying the open Internet that began with the Copyright Directive.
One of the problems for the EU when pushing through the upload filters of Article 13/17 in the Copyright Directive is that Article 15 of the e-Commerce Directive explicitly states that there is "No general obligation to monitor". Constant surveillance is the only way that upload filters can work -- if you don't monitor all the time, you can't be sure you block everything that the law requires. Furthermore, Article 14 of the e-Commerce Directive emphasizes that "the service provider is not liable for the information stored at the request of a recipient of the service". That's subject to certain conditions, such as being required to remove material that infringes on copyright, but only after being informed of its presence on their servers. The new Digital Services Act wants to force Internet companies to move beyond reactive behavior:
a binding "Good Samaritan provision" would encourage and incentivise proactive measures, by clarifying the lack of liability as a result of Such measures
The paper goes on to repeat the EU's earlier attempts to pretend that upload filters are not a glaring example of general monitoring -- something that EU courts may well be asked to rule on. The leaked document says:
While the prohibition of general monitoring obligations should be maintained as another foundational cornerstone of Internet regulation, specific provisions governing algorithms for automated filtering technologies -- where these are used -- should be considered, to provide the necessary transparency and accountability of automated content moderation Systems.
That's a classic: affirming that general monitoring is prohibited, while bringing in rules for proactive automated filtering technologies -- aka general monitoring. It would tilt the playing field even more in favor of big, mostly US companies, and would guarantee that the EU never produces its own digital giants like Google or Facebook. The other main proposal of the paper is to bring in mandatory pan-European rules for tackling online hate speech and disinformation, drawing on ideas in national laws:
Uniform rules for the removal of illegal content such as illegal hate speech would be made binding across the EU, building on the Recommendation on illegal content and case-law, and include a robust set of fundamental rights safeguards. Such notice-and-action rules could be tailored to the types of services, e.g. whether the service is a social network, a mere conduit, or a collaborative economy service, and where necessary to the types of content in question, while maintaining the maximum simplicity of rules.
Simplicity? - hardly. This all sounds like a recipe for a completely unworkable set of complex requirements that once again will favor big companies with deep pockets and big legal departments. The authors of the leaked note have managed to come up with an option for making these plans even worse: creating a "central regulator" for the whole EU to enforce this locked down, permissioned Internet they want to create. Although this is only an internal paper, not a formal proposal from the EU, it shows the kind of really bad ideas that are already floating around the European Commission, and being seriously considered there. If you thought the EU Copyright Directive was bad, just wait until you see the new EU Digital Services Act.
Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter, Diaspora, or Mastodon.
Filed Under: copyright directive, digital services act, e-commerce directive, eu, filters, general monitoring, intermediary liability, notice and action, open internet, takedowns
What Is the Great Replacement? - The New York Times
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 15:22
The Paris-based author Thomas Chatterton Williams discusses the French origins of the conspiracy theory mentioned in the El Paso manifesto.
Image A memorial outside the Walmart store in El Paso where 22 people were killed in a mass shooting on Saturday. Credit Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times On Saturday, a gunman opened fired in a Walmart store in El Paso, killing 22 people and injuring more than two dozen others.
The authorities said the suspect, Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old white man, wrote a hate-filled, anti-immigrant manifesto that appeared online minutes before the massacre. Echoing the man accused of fatally shooting dozens of people at two mosques in New Zealand in March, the El Paso gunman's manifesto mentioned the ''great replacement,'' a conspiracy theory that warns of white genocide.
The man often said to be behind the great replacement theory is Renaud Camus, a French writer who in 2017 was profiled by Thomas Chatterton Williams, a journalist and author who has written extensively about race.
Even before the rampage in El Paso, Mr. Chatterton Williams argued that the rallying cry of the white nationalists who marched on Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 '-- ''You will not replace us'' '-- could be traced to Mr. Camus and other French theorists like him.
I asked Mr. Chatterton Williams, who lives in Paris, about the French origins of the grand replacement theory and its proliferation in the United States. His latest book, ''Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race,'' comes out in October.
Our interview has been edited and for length and clarity.
Can you explain replacement theory? What is it and why is Mr. Camus credited for it?
''The great replacement is very simple,'' Mr. Camus has said. ''You have one people, and in the space of a generation you have a different people.'' He also stresses that the specific identity of the new population is less important than the act of replacement itself. This lets him claim that he would be equally devastated if the Japanese were to be replaced by the Chinese. The idea is not new, though. Charles de Gaulle and Enoch Powell, the right-wing British politician, both famously and publicly fretted over reverse colonization. What Mr. Camus did was to take a familiar concept and rebrand it in a catchy way.
[Race affects our lives in countless ways. To read more provocative stories on race from The New York Times, sign up here to receive our weekly Race/Related newsletter.]
Image White nationalists rallied at a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017. Student protesters resisting the rally stood with a banner at the foot of the statue. Credit Edu Bayer for The New York Times You interviewed Mr. Camus about his ''le grand remplacement'' theory in 2017 and argued that the white nationalists in Charlottesville likely had no idea that their rhetoric had origins in France. What has changed? How did these ideas spread so quickly in the United States?
What has changed immensely in America since 2017, the first year of the Trump administration, is the relentless demonization of nonwhite immigrants, economic migrants and asylum seekers from the highest levels of institutional authority. Many of these American white nationalists likely still haven't heard of Renaud Camus, but the term he has introduced into the international white nationalist discourse has proved infectious and taken on a life of its own. The New Zealand shooter used it, too.
You have written about how the intellectual underpinnings of replacement theory have given white supremacists, the alt-right and identitarians like Richard Spencer cover, and allowed them to argue that they are not racist, but anti-globalists out to destroy a system that aims to eliminate identity and diversity through rapacious capitalism. How did these views, once part of an intellectual fringe movement, enter the mainstream?
One very clever move these identitarians make '-- and, it has to be said, this is an exploitable opening provided to them in part by the progressive left '-- is to cynically proclaim their ''whiteness'' as just another form of diversity that is in danger of erasure. This is why you see in the El Paso manifesto a disdain for ''shameless race-mixers'' who ''destroy genetic diversity.''
The manifesto acknowledges the impossibility and even the immorality of trying to send all nonwhites away and instead supports the idea of separate territories for racial groups. This allows the writer to avoid saying that whites are superior, but rather that they must be preserved just like everyone else. The reason this is clever is because many more people can be persuaded by such seemingly egalitarian logic than by hysterical-seeming terms like ''white genocide.''
American Renaissance, Counter-Currents, Telos, Arktos. These are all right-wing websites that have seized upon replacement theory. What have you learned from reading these sites? Is your understanding that they proliferating?
I highly doubt that these publications are gaining significantly greater numbers of readers, but their right-wing goal of reshaping the wider discourse is clearly having an effect. We are discussing replacement theory in the mainstream media now and this delights them.
In the El Paso manifesto, the writer argues that the United States should be divided ''into a confederacy of territories with at least one territory for each race'' to eliminate race mixing and improve social unity. Have you heard others make that kinds of proposal?
Richard Spencer and others fantasize about a white ethno-state '-- this is the Northwest Territorial Imperative, or Northwest Imperative, that would stretch from Montana to Oregon and Washington State. (Northern California, Northwestern Colorado, Northern Utah, Alaska, British Columbia and Alberta are sometimes also included.) The idea is for white supremacist groups and sympathetic whites to relocate there and declare the space an Aryan homeland.
''The Turner Diaries,'' another text that is drawing a lot of attention, also fantasizes about a white ethno-state. Are the two texts related in your view?
''The Turner Diaries'' is not a reference I've ever heard mentioned in France, but it was published only five years after Jean Raspail's ''The Camp of the Saints,'' which fantasizes about the destruction of Western civilization by means of a mass migration from India. Steve Bannon, President Trump's former chief strategist, has, of course, famously referenced this text.
The author of the manifesto denies being a racist while at the same time promotes racist views. This is a common contradiction. What is behind it?
I think this is simply rhetorically pragmatic because the purpose is to popularize a viewpoint and attract as many sympathetic onlookers as possible. Today, open racism will only ever be a truly marginal position. It repels too many who could potentially otherwise be reached.
Lauretta Charlton is an editor on the National Desk and the editor of the Race/Related newsletter. She was previously a news editor at The New Yorker and a music columnist at New York magazine. @ laurettaland
Portland, OR #2, Local 33 - No Agenda Meetups
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 14:13
ITM! This is your award winning Meetup Episode #2 of Portland's Local 33!
Look! We have a venue and the fact of the matter is we need to see all you Pacific Northwest slaves present, ya know?
I'm going to ask if we can get the upstairs for our group when we get there. With any luck, we'll have a No Agenda Jeopardy game to play as well''come prepared! Look for signage at the stairs as you enter for directions.
Thank you for your courage!
Tim
Executive Producer #962
Aric the Shill & Wife.
A bite to eat and some brew
The Upper Room at Lucky Lab.
Let the games begin.
Including modern art.
A fabulous time together
UBS's Rich Clients to Feel Negative Rates Pain as Fees Extended - Bloomberg
Tue, 06 Aug 2019 13:50
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All Clips

Anderson Cooper redux not knowing who advertises.mp3
Anderson Cooper at the Turner Up Front 2019 where he meets the advertisers.mp3
8chan owner Jim Watkins refutes El Paso Manifesto claims.mp3
BBC World Service News Summary -1- Ethnic minority groups.mp3
BBC World Service News Summary -2- White supremacist violence.mp3
Beto on channel4 cursing about Trump in El Paso - Connect the dots conspiracy.mp3
Former DOJ official wants to use FISA warrant charade to spy on USA citizens for white supremacy.m4a
GlobalNewsPodcast-20190805-Brits on Guns.mp3
Joe Biden on whether his admin is going to come for people's guns Bingo.mp3
MSNBC Analyst Frank Figluizzi (frmr FBI ass dir) IN CONTEXT Uses Numerology To Link Trump’s Decision To Fly Flags At Half-Staff To Neo-Nazism.mp3
Nicole Wallace says Trump wants to exterminate Latinos CONTEXT with Raul Reye shill USA Today.mp3
Nicole Wallace says Trump wants to exterminate Latinos with Raul Reye shill USA Today.mp3
Obama DHS Stooge wants to start a USA Secret Police and details ways to evade Fourth Amendment by FBI.m4a
Trump El Paso Statement -1- Manifesto and hate have no place.mp3
Trump El Paso Statement -2- Bi partisan change Social Media - Parkland.mp3
Trump El Paso Statement -3- Glorification in society video games etc.mp3
Trump El Paso Statement -4- Mental health law reform to involuntary incarceration.mp3
Trump El Paso Statement -5- Rapid Due process red flag laws extreme risk protection orders - death penalty.mp3
Trump El Paso Statement -6- Just the beginning open to ideas that will actually work.mp3
DSA 2019 Conf - The Real Socialists -2- Austin DSA Leader Explains how he got into DSA Venmo culture.mp3
DSA 2019 Conf - The Real Socialists -3- German Socialist warns against the sickness of the left - splitting and Antifa is NO CRIME.mp3
DSA 2019 Conf - The Real Socialists -4- Singing The Internationale.mp3
DSA 2019 Conf - The Real Socialists -5- Linda Sarsour - Slams DSA and NPC vote.mp3
DSA 2019 Conf - Use your ASL hands and no hissing - quiet rooms no smelly farts or perfume - de-escalate.mp3
DSA 2019 Conf - Voting not done properly complaint about time spent messing around.mp3
DSA 2019 Conf - Any futher questions on the convention rules - pandamonium - stop moving head at mic - stop waving signs - Rules not approved for online voting - server down.mp3
DSA 2019 Conf - Point of Personal Privelege Keep noise down GOES into Gendered language.mp3
DSA 2019 Conf - The Real Socialists -1- Austin DSA Leader claims medicare for all.mp3
CCCTV on accusatioins that USA is behind the protestors-Hudson Institute fellow NED.mp3
DSA umm girl on Marshalls.mp3
Hong Kong Fake police.mp3
Hong Kong underlying problem.mp3
Lake erie bloom algae.mp3
latest impeachment talk CBS.mp3
MSNBC insanity Hitler invoked.mp3
national public media CEO.mp3
Palestine trouble makers on campus DN.mp3
protest in DC over white supremacy DN.mp3
rees mogg slam liberal democrat.mp3
RETRO algae-cars.mp3
Turkey kurd update.mp3
Walmart walkout over gins DN.mp3
water scam underway DN.mp3
WAXING Hierarchy of rights.mp3
WAXING human rights discussion.mp3
WAXING lawyer not sure what will happen.mp3
5G and the trees David Icke.mp3
cabane loses after all queens ny DN.mp3
captagon backgrounder.mp3
DSA Comrad clip ISO.mp3
DSA Maginalized people.mp3
DSA Marginalized marshalls.mp3
DSA speaker intro personal pronouns mention twinkling.mp3
WSJ $70smartphone NATIVE AD for Shenzhen's Ready To Go Supply Chain.mp3
ATSC3point0 at NAB What is it - by Steve Multer.mp3
How private browser 'DuckDuckGo' may be giving your data to Google.mp3
steve Sweeney on LA and SF with Bill Burr.mp3
  • 0:00
    um um um Adam curry
  • 0:04
    Jhansi Dvorak episode 11 60 town this is
  • 0:12
    no agenda from northern Silicon Valley
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    an area plagued with white supremacists
  • 0:28
    I'm John Cena Bradley they're there too
  • 0:35
    Oh everybody all these Democrats into
  • 0:39
    Silicon Valley are all white
  • 0:40
    supremacists turns out and what to
  • 0:43
    evidence do you have of this I heard it
  • 0:46
    I read it uh-huh
  • 0:49
    the Canadians think so so do the Brits
  • 0:52
    so does the rest of the world this has
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    been is this quite the assault on the
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    United States we are phenomenon we are
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    the the biggest racial bunch of eight
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    holes in the universe yeah that's
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    unbelievable
  • 1:08
    well it's worse than that what do you
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    mean I've worse than Whitehall I mean
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    what do you what do you mean what do I
  • 1:16
    mean we've had this clip here it's funny
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    you should mention anything cuz it I
  • 1:21
    realized I don't know my glasses which I
  • 1:22
    have to go get while you're playing this
  • 1:24
    clip okay this is the MSNBC clip yes
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    insanity
  • 1:30
    yeah the insanity clip where not only is
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    the internet facilitating the speed of
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    radicalization but but our leader our
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    our chief executive is seen as almost a
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    mentor and a radicalize er and
  • 1:44
    unfortunately today we did not hear what
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    we needed to hear from that person that
  • 1:51
    these extremists and unstable people
  • 1:53
    look - he spoke in the in the passive
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    voice in the collective voice we didn't
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    hear first person from him we didn't
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    hear I condemn white hate ideology we
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    heard the nation must condemn it well
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    the nation does condemn it but we didn't
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    hear what we needed to hear so what
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    happens is the extremists in turn
  • 2:12
    what the president read off a script
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    today as something he needed to say
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    something he he didn't really want to
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    say so
  • 2:19
    the president's either getting really
  • 2:21
    good advice and rejecting it or he's
  • 2:23
    getting really bad advice
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    and and I'll give you an example of that
  • 2:27
    we have to understand the adversary and
  • 2:30
    the threat we're dealing with and if we
  • 2:32
    don't understand how they think we'll
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    never understand how to counter them so
  • 2:36
    it's little things and language and
  • 2:37
    messaging that matters the president
  • 2:40
    said that we will fly our flags at
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    half-mast until August 8th that's 8 8
  • 2:47
    now I'm not going to imply that he did
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    this deliberately but I am using it as
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    an example of the ignorance of the
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    adversary that's being demonstrated by
  • 2:56
    the White House the numbers 8 8 are very
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    significant in neo-nazi and white
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    supremacy movement why because the
  • 3:03
    letter H is the eighth letter of the
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    alphabet and to them the numbers 8 8
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    together stand for Heil Hitler
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    so we're gonna be raising the flag back
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    up at dusk on 88 no one's thinking about
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    this no one's no one's giving him the
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    advice or he's rejecting the advice so
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    understand your adversary is to counter
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    the adversary I know you're keeping your
  • 3:26
    options open there Frank but as chilling
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    as that is to hear you're saying it is
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    possible that someone who knows better
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    is authoring or editing the words that
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    show up and our read verbatim or are
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    supposed to be read verbatim by the
  • 3:43
    president you know I'm glad you he
  • 3:46
    almost got the full clip and I'm glad
  • 3:48
    you did that a lot of things
  • 3:49
    particularly on conservative Twitter are
  • 3:54
    being played without context and you
  • 3:57
    even missed I think the context of what
  • 3:59
    this is Frank what's his name
  • 4:02
    but Nucci aware is an ex-fbi top dog
  • 4:05
    well that's why it's important to have
  • 4:08
    it in context most people didn't even
  • 4:09
    have that much when they when they
  • 4:12
    showed a clip of this guy talking it's
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    just Oh Trump is ready setting the flag
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    on a date Hitler eight eight eight H
  • 4:19
    this guy is not by the way H H meant
  • 4:23
    hail Hydra
  • 4:26
    okay so the point is these are the
  • 4:29
    Marvel fans out there will appreciate
  • 4:30
    that and here we go on this guy is the
  • 4:33
    former assistant director of the FBI and
  • 4:36
    if we go back to the beginning of this
  • 4:37
    interview it's a little more interesting
  • 4:40
    than just although out of context on
  • 4:43
    Twitter all you saw was this guy is
  • 4:45
    crazy numerology but you had here that
  • 4:50
    he's explaining hey wait a minute
  • 4:52
    someone may be writing speeches for the
  • 4:54
    President and he doesn't know what he's
  • 4:55
    saying they may be slipping stuff in but
  • 4:58
    it's a little bit worse than that
  • 4:59
    because this guy made some predictions
  • 5:02
    five days ago
  • 5:04
    Frankfurt Guzzi the former FBI assistant
  • 5:07
    director for counterintelligence wrote
  • 5:10
    the following in an op-ed in The New
  • 5:12
    York Times and we quote instinct and
  • 5:15
    experience tell me we're headed for
  • 5:17
    trouble in the form of white hate
  • 5:20
    violence stoked by a racially divisive
  • 5:23
    president she imagined that and the
  • 5:26
    former FBI assistant director predicting
  • 5:29
    violence from white supremacist five
  • 5:32
    just five days before it happens on the
  • 5:34
    sixth day a cycle perhaps it happens he
  • 5:37
    has chosen a reelection strategy based
  • 5:40
    on appealing to the kinds of hatred fear
  • 5:42
    and ignorance that can lead to violence
  • 5:45
    and once again tonight we have Frankfurt
  • 5:48
    Lucy back on our broadcast Frank what
  • 5:52
    were the signs and how do we know how to
  • 5:55
    navigate this tomorrow and the next day
  • 5:57
    this is this starts becoming the
  • 6:00
    definition of terrorism when people
  • 6:02
    develop anxiety about what should be
  • 6:05
    free-flowing public places totally
  • 6:08
    scripted between the two it was
  • 6:13
    pathetically scripted and then and the
  • 6:15
    fact that Williams or any normal
  • 6:18
    journalist didn't push back on this h/h