1170: Generational Justice

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 52m
September 5th, 2019
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Executive Producers: Sir Dreb Scott of the ELB express, James Anderson, Sir Dwayne Melancon, Grand Duke of the Pacific NW, Christopher Dolan, Cynthia Cabrera

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Jonny B, Sir Dave Fugazzotto, Viscount of America's Heartland and Saudi Arabia, Kevin Koberna, Phil Watterson, John Foley, Sir Lucas of the Lost Bits, David deGeus, Dude Named Craig FEMA region 5

Cover Artist: Darren O'Neill


Start of Show
CNN's Climate Town Hall
Emotional Child Abuse
CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers: 'I Used To Be A Climate Skeptic. This Fact Changed My Mind'
Australian Radio Broadcaster Alan Jones on Climate Science
Hurricane Dorian
Joe Biden
The Second Amendment
Automatic Firearms
Background Checks
China's Social Credit System
Marshall McLuhan, The Man Who Predicted the Internet
CNBC: 'Alan Greenspan Says Negative Rates Will Spread to US'
Investor Mark Mobius on CNBC: "Gold Is The Way To Go"
Birthdays & Title Changes
Austin's Homelessness Crisis
End of Show
Suggest a new chapter
Green Religion
Abusing Kids For Fun and Profit Script
Note from Anonymous producer
ITM Adam
Last Thursday, you played the Canadian 18 to 8 campaign to lower the voting
age, all for the purpose of pushing climate change policy. Well, it got me
wondering what else is out there. After some research on advertising that uses,
or more accurately abuses children, and looking through material from the
United States and around the world, there is a common format for using abused
kids for advertising a political message. Gretta, Obama's first campaign, the
last presidential campaign in the Philippines, It all seems to closely follow
this formula:
Step 1 - Show the kids playing grown ups - Have them interact with adults
making the adults sound unaware or stupid ( play Clip 1)
Step 2 - Have the kids pitch the issue to the viewer or listener audience -
Address them in a slightly patronizing way pointing out that they're ignorant,
stupid, or simply negligent for not acting. Point out some deadline, such as 12
years, and refer to a vague authority, such as scientists. (play Clip
Step 3 - Push your catch line or hook - for example "Let the kids
vote". Optionally put it to music, to a "We are the world" style
song with a kids choir that has a melody that gets stuck in everybody's head (play
Clip 3)
Now putting all these together, you have a rinse and repeat formula for
making a political, charity or NGO advertisement. Most of these "for a cause"
ads, involving children, follow this exact formula.
This next clip is a rather egregious example of this, from a dubious
organization seeking money for some questionable mental health cause, but it
follows this exact formula. (play Exploding Amygdalas Jingle)
Yeah, no, maybe ? John will probably want to elaborate on some of this,
which is OK, but the punchline is kept clear for you.
Anyway, there was a cast of thousands to make this one:
Sir Felix Wilson and Jenny Pham (our neighbour and Felix's friend)
Mick Schweng (Jenny's dad whom I've beet trying to hit in the mouth for some
time now) and I sang like little kids
Sir Ned Jeffery wrote and recorded the song and instrumental tracks for it.
Co-wrote the lyrics
and featuring Squire Arlo Jeffery (ISO included) who has set the bar for
child exploitation to a new low.
So there is 5 minutes of content for you....and some cheap laughs.....and a
call to donate to the show....and probably a clip Void Zero can use on the live
stream later on.
Thank you for your courage
Sir Chris the Drunkard Minstrel
The people of Isle de Jean Charles aren't the country's first climate refugees | The Lens
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 01:47
After the people of Isle de Jean Charles won a grant to move, they were dubbed ''America's first climate refugees.'' But other U.S. communities '-- all in Alaska '-- have been called the first climate refugees. And researchers say subsidence, not climate change, has been the main problem for Isle de Jean Charles so far.
Google Maps via U.S. Geological Survey
Isle de Jean Charles is endangered for the same reasons that much of coastal Louisiana has become part of the Gulf of Mexico: The land is sinking, river levees are preventing it from being replenished, oil and gas drilling accelerated erosion '-- and on top of that, seas are rising.
In May, when the community of Isle de Jean Charles received a federal grant to relocate from the crumbling marshes in Terrebonne Parish, headlines around the world proclaimed them ''America's first climate refugees.'' The label has stuck.
But are they?
Experts familiar with the issues in Louisiana and other coastal areas of the U.S. would disagree.
To start, Isle de Jean Charles isn't the first. Although the grant called for ''innovative community responses to the devastating effects of climate change,'' several villages in Alaska have been labeled ''America's first climate refugees'' as far back as 2013. One is already in the process of relocating. The Isle de Jean Charles community has yet to settle on a new location.
The issues go beyond semantics to the root of the island's problems. If coastal researchers were to write a headline about what's happened to Isle de Jean Charles, they have several options that would be more accurate.
Isle de Jean Charles' main problem is that it's sinkingTheir first choice: ''America's first subsidence refugees.''
After all, the island rests on a sediment-starved delta that is one of the fastest-subsiding coastal landscapes on the planet, which sank more than three feet last century.
Over the same period, sea level rise, the most visible result of climate change, averaged only about 6.5 inches. It has increased since 2000 and will become the main problem facing the island in the decades ahead.
Alex Kolker, a researcher at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, offered this rough comparison: ''Subsidence was about five times faster than global sea level rise at Isle de Jean Charles last century, and it's now about three times faster than global sea level rise.''
Levees, canal dredging and fault lines have made it worseIf the headline were to address the causes of subsidence, it might read, ''America's first river levee refugees.''
Once those mud walls were raised to protect cities, the Mississippi River was blocked from replenishing the delta, guaranteeing all of Southeast Louisiana would eventually sink below the Gulf.
Yet if that's all humans had done, experts have said, most of the wetlands and ridges that existed in the 1930s when those levees were built would likely still be intact today. But that's not all we did.
Which brings us to another headline: ''America's first oil and gas development refugees.''
Research has showed the oil industry was a major cause of the rapid sinking and erosion of the Louisiana coast between 1932 and 1980.
Ten thousand miles of canals were dredged to reach drilling sites, and the withdrawal of those hydrocarbons caused subsurface layers to compress.
Isle de Jean Charles was in the heart of an area that lost more than 80 square miles of wetlands a year during the height of that activity, from the 1950s to the 70s.
Some geologists think there is an even more accurate headline: ''America's first geological fault-line refugees.'' They believe the major cause of the sinking is activity in the scores of faults in the area.
On top of that, climate change will cause the Gulf of Mexico to riseAlthough researchers agree subsidence, and all of its causes, is the primary reason the people of Isle de Jean Charles must move, they also agree that sea level rise has magnified its problems '' and it will be the major issue going forward.
While sinking is slowing in many areas, sea level rise is expected to increase rapidly in the decades ahead.
Even a small increase in sea level results in larger, wind-driven waves hitting the shoreline, increasing and accelerating erosion, said Jim Pahl, senior coastal resources scientist at the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Hurricane storm surges amplify the impact of those small increases.
Such waves cause sudden land loss when hurricanes drive storm surge onto the coast. Louisiana lost more than 200 square miles of coastal wetlands during hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, far more than would have been lost that year to subsidence alone.
Those huge losses raised the average annual land loss that decade, which includes all the other factors. ''So,'' Pahl asked, ''how do you tease out what is due only to sea level rise, or levees or canal dredging or faults?''
Those losses will probably become even larger in the future because climate scientists expect the frequency and duration of large hurricanes to increase as the climate continues to warm, said Virginia Burkett, a Louisiana-based U.S. Geological Survey researcher. She has studied coastal impacts of climate change for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
''This is linked, in part, to warmer sea surface temperatures that are caused directly by the warming of the atmosphere,'' she said.
So what would be the most accurate headline for the impending move by the residents of Isle de Jean Charles?
If the story followed the consensus of among coastal scientists, it would probably read something like this: ''America's first subsidence/levees/oil and gas drilling/fault lines/climate change refugees.''
Ireland planning to plant 440 million trees over the next 20 years | TheHill
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 04:36
The Irish government has announced an ambitious plan to fight climate change, setting a planting target of 440 million trees by 2040, The Irish Times reported Saturday.
A spokeswoman for the government's Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment told the local newspaper that the ''climate action plan commits to delivering an expansion of forestry planting and soil management to ensure that carbon abatement from land-use is delivered over the period 2021 to 2030 and in the years beyond.''
''The plan sets out key actions to be taken by the Department of Agriculture,'' she continued, adding: ''The target for new forestation is approximately 22 million trees per year. Over the next 20 years, the target is to plant 440 million.''
According to the newspaper, the government's new plan has been met with some opposition from local farmers, who officials reportedly need to persuade to dedicate some of their holdings for new forestry in order for the country to reach its ambitious goals.
The move comes after Scotland's forestry agency announced earlier this year that the country surpassed its tree planting goals last year, making what it called a ''critical contribution to the global climate emergency.''
The agency said 11,200 hectares, or some 43 square miles, of planting was carried out in last year '-- a jump from the government's yearly planting target of 10,000 hectares, which would be approximately 39 square miles. Reports say the planting led to more than 22 million new trees.
Something Just Hit Dorian - Corporate Media Silent - YouTube
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 19:59
thermodynamic equilibrium
St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant - Wikipedia
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 19:39
St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant is a twin nuclear power station located on Hutchinson Island, near Port St. Lucie in St. Lucie County, Florida. Both units are Combustion Engineering pressurized water reactors. Florida Power & Light commissioned the station in 1976 and continues to operate the station. Minor shares of Unit 2 are owned by the Florida Municipal Power Agency (8.81%) and the Orlando Utilities Commission (6.08%).[citation needed ]
The plant contains two nuclear reactors in separate containment buildings. However, the plant does not have the classic hyperboloid cooling towers found at many inland reactor sites; instead, it uses nearby ocean water for coolant of the secondary system.
In 2003 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) extended the operating licenses of the St. Lucie units by twenty years, to March 1, 2036 for Unit 1 and April 6, 2043 for Unit 2.
Extended Power Uprate [ edit ] In 2012, Extended Power Uprate modifications were completed, increasing the electric output from approximately 853 MW to 1,002 MW. The project involved replacing pipes, valves, pumps, heat exchangers, electrical transformers, and generators, some of which were original components of the plant.[2][3]
Surrounding population [ edit ] The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.[4]
The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Saint Lucie was 206,596, an increase of 49.7 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for msnbc.com. The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 1,271,947, an increase of 37.0 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Port St. Lucie (7.8 miles to city center), Ft. Pierce (8 miles to city center) and West Palm Beach (42 miles to city center). As of 2015, the City of Port St. Lucie had 179,413 residents, surpassing Fort Lauderdale in population.[5]
Seismic risk [ edit ] The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Saint Lucie was 1 in 21,739, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[6][7]
Hurricane risk [ edit ] In 2016 St. Lucie Power Plant shut down because of Hurricane Matthew.[8]In 2017 the plant did not shut down due to Hurricane Irma.[9]
See also [ edit ] List of power stations in Florida,.References [ edit ] ^ "EIA - State Nuclear Profiles". Eia.gov . Retrieved 3 October 2017 . ^ "HomeTown News Gift Certificates". Myhometownnews.net . Retrieved 5 August 2018 . ^ [1] [dead link ] ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-02 . Retrieved 2017-06-25 . CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) ^ Bill Dedman, Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors, msnbc.com, April 14, 2011 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42555888/ns/us_news-life/ Accessed May 1, 2011. ^ Bill Dedman (March 17, 2011), " " What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk " ", Msnbc.com , retrieved April 19, 2011 ^ "Archived copy" (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-05-25 . Retrieved 2011-06-17 . CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) ^ "St. Lucie Power Plant shut down because of Hurricane Matthew". Tcpalm.com . Retrieved 5 August 2018 . ^ "FPL nuclear facilities weathered Irma without sustaining damage". Tcpalm.com . Retrieved 5 August 2018 . External links [ edit ] FPL's About St. Lucie"St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant, Florida". U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). September 15, 2008. Archived from the original on December 11, 2012 . Retrieved 2008-11-17 . "Saint Lucie 1 Pressurized Water Reactor". Operating Nuclear Power Reactors. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). February 14, 2008 . Retrieved 2008-11-17 . "Saint Lucie 2 Pressurized Water Reactor". Operating Nuclear Power Reactors. NRC. February 14, 2008 . Retrieved 2008-11-17 .
NOAA debunks assertions that global warming has spurred more hurricanes
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 21:13
September 1, 2019
If your liver is hearty enough, you could play a drinking game over the rest of the holiday weekend, quaffing a shot of your favorite spirits every time you hear global warming mentioned in connection with the approach of Hurricane Dorian. Just don't plan on getting behind the wheel until at least Tuesday.
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The basic strategy of the Left pushing state control of all energy usage as a means to total power is to blame any inclement weather on the carbon dioxide emissions that make the earth greener with more vegetation. Any weather event that inflicts mayhem on humans is fair game for exploitation in their eyes.
In the face of this, kudos to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for debunking the claims that hurricanes are becoming more frequent due to CO2-caused global warming. The wording is highly understated, and buried in the middle of a very long report, but here they are:
'); googletag.cmd.push(function () { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1567099776462-0'); }); } it is premature to conclude with high confidence that human activities''and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming''have already had a detectable impact on hurricane activity.
I don't like the implication of the word ''premature'' that sooner or later such a conclusion will be forthcoming. But Marc Morano of Climate Depot understands their importance and highlights this much worse extension of such unfounded projections about what the evidence doesn't support, but they want to believe that someday it will support.
Always important to know the difference between the past and the future: NOAA GFDL: ''it is likely that greenhouse warming will cause hurricanes in the coming century to be more intense globally and have higher rainfall rates than present-day hurricanes.''
'-- Roger Pielke Jr. (@RogerPielkeJr) August 31, 2019 Slowly, slowly, the facts are emerging that undercut the warmists' doomsday theology masquerading as science. The institutional resistance to what the data show is illustrated by NOAA's equivocations within this report.
Hat tip: Roger Luchs
If your liver is hearty enough, you could play a drinking game over the rest of the holiday weekend, quaffing a shot of your favorite spirits every time you hear global warming mentioned in connection with the approach of Hurricane Dorian. Just don't plan on getting behind the wheel until at least Tuesday.
The basic strategy of the Left pushing state control of all energy usage as a means to total power is to blame any inclement weather on the carbon dioxide emissions that make the earth greener with more vegetation. Any weather event that inflicts mayhem on humans is fair game for exploitation in their eyes.
In the face of this, kudos to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for debunking the claims that hurricanes are becoming more frequent due to CO2-caused global warming. The wording is highly understated, and buried in the middle of a very long report, but here they are:
it is premature to conclude with high confidence that human activities''and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming''have already had a detectable impact on hurricane activity.
I don't like the implication of the word ''premature'' that sooner or later such a conclusion will be forthcoming. But Marc Morano of Climate Depot understands their importance and highlights this much worse extension of such unfounded projections about what the evidence doesn't support, but they want to believe that someday it will support.
Always important to know the difference between the past and the future: NOAA GFDL: ''it is likely that greenhouse warming will cause hurricanes in the coming century to be more intense globally and have higher rainfall rates than present-day hurricanes.''
'-- Roger Pielke Jr. (@RogerPielkeJr) August 31, 2019 Slowly, slowly, the facts are emerging that undercut the warmists' doomsday theology masquerading as science. The institutional resistance to what the data show is illustrated by NOAA's equivocations within this report.
Hat tip: Roger Luchs
Extinction Rebellion co-founder reveals she was inspired to begin the climate change protest movement after taking 'psychedelic medicines' | Watts Up With That?
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 22:10
From the Daily Mail
Extinction Rebellion co-founder reveals she was inspired to begin the climate change protest movement after taking 'psychedelic medicines' as group shuts down central ManchesterGail Bradbrook, 47, said she 'prayed in a deep way' while taking substancesShe told BBC Inside Out West that her prayer was answered within a monthProtests have since caused road and commuter chaos around the countryLatest disruption brought to Deansgate area of Manchester on FridayBy Harry Howard For Mailonline
Published: 08:05 EDT, 1 September 2019 | Updated: 08:14 EDT, 1 September 2019
One of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion has revealed she began the movement after taking 'psychedelic medicines' '' just days following the shutdown of central Manchester by climate protesters.
Gail Bradbrook, 47, a molecular biologist, said she 'prayed in a deep way' while taking the substances on a retreat.
She told a BBC Inside Out West documentary that her prayer was answered within a month, with Extinction Rebellion formed last year.
Since then, protests in London and around the country have caused chaos, with a week of protests in July causing widespread disruption in the capital and the latest protest in Manchester on Friday bringing misery to drivers.
Gail Bradbrook, one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion, has revealed she began the movement after taking 'psychedelic medicines' '' just days after climate protesters shut down central Manchester
Ms Bradbrook said: 'I've always been interested in how things change, in social change,' she told the documentary.
'I was involved in the animal rights movement as a young woman, I've been involved in thinking about gender and issues around racism and so on.
Ms Bradbrook, a molecular biologist, said she 'prayed in a deep way' while taking the substances on a retreat. She told a BBC Inside Out West documentary that her prayer was answered within a month, with Extinction Rebellion formed last year
'It was a really intense experience and I actually prayed for what I called the codes for social change, I thought there must be something I don't understand, and within a month my prayer was literally answered.'
Extinction Rebellion began in Stroud, Gloucestershire, with large protests spreading quickly across the UK.
Dr Bradbrook described how it started with around 12 people in her house but went global within a year.
'We know we've got about 100,000 people on the database in the UK and we reach about a million people with the social media,' she said.
'We've got 130 groups across the UK. We're in 59 countries and it's growing all the time.'
Since the group was formed last year protests around the country have caused chaos, with a week of protests in July causing widespread disruption in the capital and the latest protest in Manchester on Friday (pictured) bringing misery to drivers
The movement has three demands for the UK Government: to declare a climate and ecological emergency; to act to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025; and to create and be led by the decisions of a citizens' assembly on climate and ecological justice.
During the documentary, cameras were allowed into an Extinction Rebellion meeting in Stroud.
A number of those taking part in the meeting are seen holding each other and crying.
Simon Bramwell, another co-founder, told the BBC: 'Depending on the group, we'll have prayers. We have a lot of Christians and Quakers involved in Extinction Rebellion.
Full article here.
New Research Suggests Some Climate Data May Be Tainted
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 13:36
Al Gore likes to say that the science of climate change is ''settled.'' But of course, science, almost by definition, is never settled.
And climate science has always suffered from the problem of shaky and missing data. Seventy percent of the globe is covered by ocean, where data is hard to collect. Reliable weather records only go back to about 1850 and, in many parts of the world, are far more recent. Modern recording weather stations date only to the early 20th century.
And many of those stations have a big problem. While they haven't changed appreciably over the years, the land around them has changed, often profoundly, with the great growth in urban and suburban areas. The weather station that was put, say, in the middle of a Nassau County, Long Island, potato field in 1923 is still in the same spot. But the potatoes are long gone, and now it's behind a strip mall, twenty feet from the kitchen exhaust fan of a Chinese take-out joint.
A study by meteorologist Anthony Watts found that almost 90 percent of the 1221 weather stations in the U.S. did not meet the National Weather Service's setting standards, which requires that they be at least 100 feet from any artificial heat source or radiating surface. You can see some of the most egregious violators here. To deal with this defective information, climate scientists, have ''adjusted'' the data to solve this problem. Invariably, these adjustments have made earlier data show lower temperatures, and recent data show higher ones.
To develop reliable data, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) placed 114 state-of-the-art weather stations relatively evenly spaced about the lower 48 states. They were carefully sited to be away from urban areas, which are heat islands, airports, which can be affected by jet exhaust, etc.
The system became operative in 2005. Now, realclearenergy.com is reporting that there has been no increase in average temperatures in the continental United States over the last 14 years, as measured by these new stations. If anything, overall temperatures are slightly cooler than they were.
One big reason for this lack of warming is surely the explosion in U.S. natural gas production, thanks to fracking. The U.S. is now, by far, the number-one producer of natural gas, producing 90 billion cubic feet a day, 25 percent more than second-place Russia. This has brought the price of natural gas to its lowest point in 20 years, which has resulted in a big shift from producing power by burning coal to burning natural gas, which produces 50 percent less carbon dioxide. (The shale gas revolution has vast geopolitical implications, of course, as well as climatic ones.)
As a result, the U.S. CO2 emissions are down to where they were in 1985''a third of a century ago, when the GDP was half what it is now in inflation-adjusted terms, and the population was smaller by a quarter. No other industrialized country has come anywhere close to reducing their emissions by so much.
JOHN STEELE GORDON John Steele Gordon, a contributor to Commentary's blog, is the author of An Empire of Wealth.
Trump's Altered Dorian Map Shows Hurricane Threatening Alabama - Bloomberg
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 13:32
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Biden's eye fills with blood during CNN climate town hall
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 10:57
| September 04, 2019 08:39 PM
Former Vice President Joe Biden appeared to have a blood vessel burst in his left eye while participating in CNN's town hall on climate change.
A broken blood vessel in the eye, also known as a subconjuctival hemorrhage, can be caused by several things, including high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, blood thinners, or even excessive straining.
Biden, 76, has long been plagued by health issues. In 1988, he suffered an aneurysm that burst and required him to undergo emergency surgery. The then-senator was so close to death that a Catholic priest began preparing to administer the sacrament of last rites.
Months later, surgeons clipped a second aneurysm before it burst. Biden then took a seven-month leave from the Senate following the surgery. Describing the operation, he once said, ''They literally had to take the top of my head off.''
Jill Biden said in her recently released autobiography Where the Light Enters that, at the time, she feared her husband would never be the same. "Our doctor told us there was a 50-50 chance Joe wouldn't survive surgery," she wrote. "He also said that it was even more likely that Joe would have permanent brain damage if he survived. And if any part of his brain would be adversely affected, it would be the area that governed speech."
Doctors removed a benign polyp during a colonoscopy in 1996. In 2003, Biden had his gallbladder removed.
He suffers from asthma and allergies and takes a prescription drug to lower his cholesterol. He has also taken medication for an enlarged prostate.
Biden hasn't disclosed his medical history since 2008, when doctors found he had an irregular heartbeat.
Biden has also raised eyebrows for the increasing number of verbal blunders he has made so far on the 2020 campaign trail, the schedule of which has been markedly lighter than his main rivals.
Those close to Biden nevertheless maintain that he is "a picture of health," according to a former aide who spoke to the Washington Examiner in April. Were he to win the 2020 presidential election, he would be the oldest president ever to be inaugurated.
Marianne Williamson: 'I Didn't Think the Left Lied like This' | Breitbart
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 11:24
Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson (D) revealed that she did not think the left was ''so mean'' and ''lied like this'' until she ran for president as an outsider candidate.''I know this sounds naive. I didn't think the left was so mean. I didn't think the left lied like this,'' Williamson told the New Yorker's David Remnick in an interview. ''I thought the right did that. I thought we were better.''
Williamson accused the left of lying about her use of crystals and ''crystal gazing,'' telling Remnick that there has ''never been a crystal on stage'' at any of her events and ''there is no crystal'' in her home.
She accused those on the left of also falsely accusing her of having told AIDS patients not to take their medicines or implying that ''lovelessness'' causes diseases and ''love'' is ''enough to cure their diseases.''
''I'm Jewish, I go to the doctor,'' Williamson said, ripping those on the left for labeling her as an anti-science candidate who does not believe in modern medicine.
Williamson has in recent weeks criticized the ''political-media industrial complex'' and warned Democrats that nominating a conventional or establishment candidate to go up against President Donald Trump in 2020 could be disastrous.
Williamson will not be at the third debate next week in Houston. Though she has met the 130,000 unique donor requirement for the second round of debates, she needs three more qualifying polls (2%) to qualify.
Criticizing the nominating process, Williamson recently said on MSNBC that there should be a ''deeper conversation than just the horse race'' and wondered why so few polls approved by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) were released prior to September's debate deadline.
She added that she is not dropping out of the race, though, because she could qualify for the October debate and her campaign is about ''consciousness and inspiration.''
Williamson also warned that process-obsessed Democrats could nominate a presidential candidate who specializes in the ''insider politics game.'' Such a candidate, according to Williamson, will not be suited to defeat a ''phenomenon'' like Trump because that type of Democrat will bring a knife to a gun fight.
Millionaire thought to have key information on Epstein scandal vanishes | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 21:31
Millionaire model agency boss thought to have key information into the Jeffrey Epstein scandal 'has disappeared like a ghost without a trace'Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in jail while facing child sex trafficking charges Jean-Luc Brunel, 72, is sought by French authorities who have 'urgent' questions He founded New York model agency MC2, who signed Svetlana Pozhidaeva Pozhidaeva has been pictured at Epstein's New York mansion back in 2016 By Sebastian Murphy-bates For Mailonline
Published: 20:14 EDT, 1 September 2019 | Updated: 02:28 EDT, 2 September 2019
A millionaire model agency boss who is thought to have key information about the Jeffrey Epstein scandal 'has disappeared like a ghost without a trace'.
Jean-Luc Brunel, 72, has vanished as police seek to ask the Frenchman 'urgent' questions about the paedophile.
Investigators are making enquiries in Brazil, the US and Europe and French prosecutors are also pursuing claims relating to the financier, who died aged 66 before he could face the latest allegations.
A friend of Prince Andrew, predator Epstein killed himself in jail on August 10 as he faced child sex trafficking charges.
French authorities want to speak with Jean-Luc Brunel (pictured) to ask him 'urgent' questions regarding Jeffrey Epstein
Brunel - who founded New York's MC2 - denies any involvement with crimes committed by Epstein.
A Paris legal source told the Daily Mirror: 'He is a ghost who has disappeared without trace.'
It comes after former model Svetlana Pozhidaeva, who was signed to MC2, was pictured at convicted paedophile Epstein's mansion in New York back in 2016.
Russian Ms Pozhidaeva, whose father is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Red Army, denies it is her in the picture.
Prince Andrew was photographed standing in the doorway of the same building the day before.
Virginia Roberts, who was a victim of Esptein's, claims to have slept with Prince Andrew three times.
Pozhidaeva, who was signed to Brunel's agency was pictured (right) outside the New York mansion of Epstein (left)
The Duke of York has vehemently denied that he slept with her and says he knew nothing about Epstein's illegal behaviour.
Roberts says she also slept with Brunel 'many times' when she was aged 16 to 19. Many of the girls believed to have been used by Epstein are alleged to have been 'sourced' in Paris.
Epstein owned a £7million apartment in the French capital, where Brunel also lived. The agency boss was searching for new talent in Brazil until the start of this summer.
This month, French prosecutors have started a preliminary inquiry into whether Epstein sexually abused minors from France.
They say Brunel is 'uncontactable' because he has no address, internet accounts or social media.
Virginia Roberts' £1,500-an-hour lawyer 'could make mincemeat of Prince Andrew' over Jeffrey Epstein paedo allegations '' The Sun
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 20:16
IN his department-store blazer, checking the time on his thirty-dollar watch, David Boies looks like any other New York City businessman.
Yet this is the ''superstar litigator'' with Prince Andrew in his sights over allegations linked to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Boies is representing alleged sex slave Virginia RobertsThose who know Boies told The Sun on Sunday the lawyer, 78, would make ''mincemeat'' of Andrew if he gets to formally question the prince over the Epstein scandal.
Boies, who charges £1,500 an HOUR for his services, is the man Epstein's alleged ''sex slave'' Virginia Roberts Giuffre has turned to. He has been nicknamed ''the Michael Jordan of the courtroom'' and ''the Tiger Woods of the legal world''.
Boies represented former US Vice President Al Gore when he sued George W Bush over the disputed 2000 presidential election. The year before, he beat Microsoft in a landmark competition case in which the judge ordered the IT giant split into two companies.
Boies' memory has been likened to a human hard drive as he can pluck obscure facts from decades ago to bolster his legal arguments.
Rex Features
The royal strenuously denied 'having any form of sexual contact or relationship' with Ms RobertsHe is known to conduct multiple phone calls at the same time and his superhuman work ethic is famous. He once asked a colleague: ''Would you rather sleep'‰.'‰.'‰.'‰or win?''
He is also known for his ego and has said: ''I win virtually every case I should win and I win a number of cases people think I shouldn't.''
Boies was born in Illinois, to teacher parents. He would memorise stories read to him by his mother as dyslexia meant Boies could not read them himself. Because of that dyslexia, he speaks in court without notes. He has kept his Midwestern accent, and some say juries relate better to him as a result.
He steers clear of using long words and legal jargon, giving him a disarming style in court in even the most complex of cases. He wears suits from department store Macy's and has a basic watch, but some of his tastes are much more extravagant.
AP:Associated Press
Epstein killed himself in jail last month while facing sex-trafficking chargesHe is fond of Las Vegas and has blown £8,000 in a single weekend. But Boies insists he never gambles ''amounts of money that make any difference to me''. His wine collection is not humble, either. The cellar at his mansion north of New York City is large enough for 8,000 bottles.
No wonder, given he owns a vineyard in California, the State where he had a breakthrough win in court to back same-sex marriage. He owns a ranch and a yacht. Father to six children by three women, he loves to be seen on the Manhattan social circuit with his third wife Mary, 69, a lawyer.
But he has experienced tragedy too. His son Jonathan '-- also a lawyer '-- died this year, aged 50. And his reputation took a battering when he represented shamed movie producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017.
Now his firm is acting for Ms Roberts and a number of Epstein's other alleged victims pro bono '-- meaning for free. Some have even described this case as Boies' shot at redemption, though he has laughed off the suggestion.
Boies' firm is acting for Ms Roberts and a number of Epstein's other alleged victims for freeBoies has made ''multiple requests'' to interview Andrew and this week said he was considering legal action pressing the royal to give evidence under oath. US solicitor Daniel Bibb, who was a Manhattan prosecutor for 20 years, said Andrew, 59, faces a daunting adversary.
He told The Sun on Sunday: ''David leaves no stone unturned and has a legal team who are about as good as he is. If David goes out there and tells Prince Andrew this case isn't going away, you can take it to the bank it isn't going anywhere.''
Boies was seen outside Manhattan's federal court this week with Ms Roberts, 36. She claims she was forced to have sex three times with Prince Andrew when she was 17 '-- at an ''orgy in London'', at Epstein's home and at an ''orgy'' on his private island in the Caribbean.
Andrew was friends with the pervert for more than a decade. Epstein killed himself in jail last month, while facing sex-trafficking charges. The royal strenuously denied ''having any form of sexual contact or relationship'' with Ms Roberts but questions remain about his behaviour and his frequent visits to Epstein's homes.
SWNS:South West News Service
Andrew was friends with Epstein for more than a decadeNow Andrew may be forced to answer those questions. This week, 16 of Epstein's alleged victims were given the chance to tell their harrowing stories in court.
Speaking after the hearing, Ms Roberts urged the prince to ''come clean'' and said: ''He knows what he's done.'' Boies stuck the knife in, adding: ''Anybody can deny things in a printed statement.
''It's a different thing to come here and answer questions under oath, subject to cross-examination. Those are the kinds of answers we are eventually going to get.''
Mark Bederow, a New York defence lawyer, said: ''Boies is dogged and known for his brilliant legal acumen. He is an experienced, highly respected litigator. I would say he is in the top tier of lawyers in America. He's top-notch, for sure.''
Getty - Contributor
Jeffrey Epstein was friends with a number of wealthy and powerful people '' seen here with Donald Trump in 1997Boies began his career at Cravath Swaine & Moore, arguably the most respected law firm in America, with a raft of wealthy and powerful clients.
By 31, he had become the firm's youngest partner. In 1997, he left to set up his own firm, Boies Schiller Flexner. Colleagues thought he was mad to leave such a good job. But within an hour of the news breaking, he had his first client '-- DuPont, the chemical giant.
He came into the public eye by representing Al Gore before the US Supreme Court in the 2000 presidential recount controversy. Boies '-- like Gore, a Democrat '-- suffered a rare reversal and would afterwards admit: ''I lost the whole f*****g country.'' But he won a blockbuster antitrust case against Microsoft on behalf of the US Department of Justice.
So confident was Boies that on the eve of taking a key deposition from Microsoft founder Bill Gates, he threw aside his briefing notes and relaxed by watching the Kevin Costner film Tombstone. Boies still won the case.
Getty - Contributor
Ms Roberts urged the prince to 'come clean'Boies fought off a libel suit brought against telly network CBS by US Army general William Westmoreland, making himself a champion of the free Press in the process. And he has been feted in the pages of Time magazine and the New York Times.
Joe Patrice, a senior editor at legal mag Above The Law, has met Boies several times and talks of his ''stellar'' reputation.
Patrice said: ''He is very analytical and, due to his dyslexia, has had to work twice as hard at things. That has contributed to his mindset where he works through things methodically.
''If David Boies sets his sights on you '-- especially in a case like this, where money is not an object '-- you need to worry. Your hope is that the client stops paying. But here that's not going to happen, so he's going to doggedly pursue it.''
Boies was criticised for defending Harvey Weinstein, 67, over the abuse claims that sparked the #MeToo campaign. He hit back by saying everyone had a right to be defended and has pointed out that his firm had represented Weinstein for years before the claims surfaced.
He was even branded a ''thug'' for trying to shut down a story about a biotech firm that collapsed amid allegations of massive fraud. Either way, Boies' clients know one thing. He will give them his all.
As his fellow lawyer Mark Bederow said: ''When an attorney like David Boies says he's coming for you, you can assume he's coming for you.''
Prince Andrew 'knows what he's done' claims Epstein sex abuse victim Virginia Roberts
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Sun, 01 Sep 2019 23:54
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War on Guns
Common response emailed
The short answer is: Yes. Just as with the AR15, there
are AK47 type weapons that are very commonly sold in the US in semi automatic
I own several.
Just like an AR15, they exclusively fire one shot per
pull of the trigger.
Lastly, Americans CAN buy fully automatic versions of
both weapons if they seek a Class 3 permit through the NFA (National firearms
act) tax stamp process. Although this is extremely expensive and time
FSI | Cyber - Marietje Schaake to Join Stanford Cyber Policy Center and Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence in Dual Policy Roles
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 12:18
The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) are pleased to announce that Marietje Schaake has been named to international policy roles in each of their organizations.
At FSI, Schaake will serve as the first international policy director of the Cyber Policy Center. With a focus on cybersecurity, disinformation, digital democracy and election security, the Cyber Policy Center's research, teaching and policy engagement aims to bring new insights and solutions to national governments, international institutions and industry.
Schaake will also be an international policy fellow at Stanford HAI, which seeks to advance artificial intelligence (AI) research, education, policy and practice to improve the human condition. The university-wide institute is committed to working with industry, governments and civil society organizations that share the goal of a better future for humanity through AI.
Connecting Cyber Research with the World As international policy director at the Cyber Policy Center, Schaake will conduct policy-relevant research focused on cyber policy recommendations for industry and government. In addition to her own research, she will represent the center to governments, NGOs and the technology industry.
''Over the course of her career in the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake has distinguished herself as someone who not only has a deep understanding of cyber policy issues, but knows how to enact the appropriate policy-related measures in the real world,'' said Nathaniel Persily, the center's faculty co-director, and the James B. McClatchy Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. ''She is a fantastic addition to our growing team of researchers and practitioners from across disciplines, and I can't wait to welcome her to campus in the fall.''
In addition to research and policy outreach, Schaake will teach courses on cyber policy, particularly from an international perspective, and bring leaders to Stanford from around the world to discuss cyber policy.
''Marietje's extensive experience in politics, with a special focus on cyber policy, will bring a critical perspective to our classrooms,'' said Michael McFaul, director of FSI. ''Her stellar reputation and track record as a policymaker will be key in building connections between Stanford's community of students, scholars and relevant policy influencers around the world.''
At the Forefront of AI Policy and Scholarship As the inaugural international policy fellow at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, Schaake will work with faculty to translate research into practical and implementable policy recommendations, and support the institute's work to partner with AI leaders across sectors.
''AI is a technology that will affect every dimension of human life, and to ensure that its development and deployment is broadly beneficial for humans and society, we need to incorporate global perspectives into our work,'' said Rob Reich, HAI associate director and professor of political science. ''Marietje played a leading role in establishing the field of cyber policy in Europe, and will contribute enormously to the creation of a community of research, policy and practice focused on addressing the real-world impact of AI. And through her writing and teaching, she can help to shape the future generation of leaders across academia, government, industry and civil society.''
A Career of Policy Impact Prior to joining Stanford, Marietje Schaake led an active career in politics and civic service. She was a representative of the Dutch Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in European Parliament, where she was first elected in 2009.
In European Parliament, Schaake focused on trade, foreign policy and technology, and as a member of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, and founder of the European Parliament Intergroup on the European Digital Agenda, Schaake develops solutions to strengthen the rule of law online, including initiating the net neutrality law now in effect throughout Europe.
''It is an honor to be joining the talented and dedicated teams at FSI and HAI on the Stanford campus,'' said Schaake. ''I look forward to researching and developing sensible cyber policy recommendations and to continue to bridge the gaps between governments and the technology sector around the world.''
About the Cyber Policy Center The digital age has exposed countries to new security threats and sovereignty challenges that policymakers have only begun to address. In addition, social media and network technologies increasingly strain the balance between protecting freedom of expression and preventing foreign actors from influencing elections. To date, technological advancement in this domain has outpaced government policies, doctrines or regulations. The Cyber Policy Center at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University aims to address this need through research, policy advocacy and teaching. Program areas address topics including cybersecurity, election security, misinformation, digital democracy and human rights, and emerging technologies. Through research, policy engagement and teaching, the Cyber Policy Center brings cutting-edge insights and solutions to national governments, international institutions and industry.
About the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence At Stanford HAI, our vision for the future is led by our commitment to studying, guiding and developing human-centered AI technologies and applications. We believe AI should be collaborative, augmentative, and enhancing to human productivity and quality of life. Our mission is to advance AI research, education, policy, and practice to improve the human condition. Stanford HAI leverages the university's strength across all disciplines, including business, economics, education, genomics, law, literature, medicine, neuroscience, philosophy and more. These complement Stanford's tradition of leadership in AI, computer science, engineering and robotics.
Marietje Schaake can be reached by email at mschaake@stanford.edu. Her website is www.marietjeschaake.eu.
Media Inquiries: Mike Sellitto, Deputy Director, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, shai-press@stanford.edu
Trump Admin Is Considering Using Amazon Echo And Apple Watch To Determine If Citizens Should Own A Gun | The Daily Caller
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 12:04
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Trump Administration Considering Social Credit Score System to Determine Who Can Buy a Gun '' Summit News
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 12:03
Science & Tech Would partner with Big Tech to use spy data from Amazon, Google and Apple.
The Trump administration is considering launching a social credit score-style system in coordination with Big Tech that would use spy data collected from Amazon, Google and Apple devices to determine whether or not an individual can own a gun.
''The proposal is part of an initiative to create a Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA), which would be located inside the Health and Human Services Department,'' reports the Daily Caller. ''The new agency would have a separate budget and the president would be responsible for appointing its director.''
HARPA would employ ''breakthrough technologies with high specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence,'' including Apple Watches, Amazon Echo and Google Home.
In other words, data collected from devices that spy on private conversations and closely monitor user behavior would be used to strip Americans of their fundamental rights.
''Though the proposal is starting as a voluntary data collection scheme allegedly aimed at finding warning signs of mental illness, we all know so-called ''voluntary'' government programs often become mandatory at the drop of a hat,'' comments Chris Menahan.
According to the Washington Post, Trump has reacted ''very positively'' to the idea.
White House considers new project seeking links between mental health and violent behavior https://t.co/EhrsWcgfyw
'-- The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 22, 2019
The full scope of the program is chilling and would provide Big Tech with an easy excuse to formally impose the total neuro-surveillance of citizens via their smart phone and home assistant devices, something that has already been occurring surreptitiously for years.
One wonders if Trump has any idea of the slippery slope this would entail, or whether he was sold on the idea because Ivanka cried.
The proposal bears some similarities to Communist China's social credit score system, where citizens' behavior is tightly surveilled and then met with rewards or punishments.
As we reported last month, the Chinese government bragged about preventing 2.5 million ''discredited entities'' from purchasing plane tickets and 90,000 people from buying high speed train tickets in the month of July alone.
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Science & Tech Do as we say, not as we do.
Prince Harry gave a speech encouraging 'environmentally friendly travel' after having taken 4 private jet trips in the space of just 11 days.
The royal made the comments during an event in Amsterdam which was backed by some of the biggest names in the travel industry.
''We can all do better and while no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact,'' said the Prince.
However, as per usual with climate change hysterics, it's very much do as we say not as we do.
"We can all do better" '' Prince Harry says "no one is perfect" as he launches a global initiative to encourage more environmentally friendly travel.
Get more on this story here: https://t.co/lt366QNhzR pic.twitter.com/raiA1EEk41
'-- Sky News (@SkyNews) September 3, 2019
As we previously highlighted, last month Prince Harry and his new wife Meghan Markle took 4 private jet trips in just 11 days.
The couple generated an estimated seven times the emissions per person compared to a commercial flight when flying home from Nice after visiting Elton John's $18 million mansion.
Before that they had traveled by private jet to Ibiza, generating, ''12.5 tons of carbon dioxide per person, an amount of pollution that would take 14 commercial flights to emit,'' reported Breitbart.
Prince Harry also recently attended a Google-organized event in Italy to discuss 'global warming'. Many celebrities flew private to the event from Los Angeles, generating hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the process.
The royal responded to criticism by claiming he had spent ''99% of my life travelling the world by commercial,'' a dubious claim backed up by zero evidence.
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Science & Tech Monitors how often students look up, whether they're listening or not.
A university in China has installed facial recognition cameras in classrooms that monitor students' behavior such as nodding off or playing with their cellphones.
China Pharmaceutical University in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province, is piloting the system in two classrooms and eventually plans to install it in every classroom.
''The system can access every student's personal information and monitor their behavior in class such as nodding off and playing with their mobile phones,'' reports Global Times.
The cameras can also record truancy, whether students are listening or not, how often they look up and down, and whether they leave early.
Students complain the system is an invasion of their privacy, but school officials insist the cameras are necessary to encourage discipline.
Under China's Orwellian social credit system, all such systems are eventually planned to be centralized and linked to each citizen's individual credit score, resulting in rewards and punishments for good and bad behavior.
As we reported last month, the Chinese government bragged about preventing 2.5 million ''discredited entities'' from purchasing plane tickets and 90,000 people from buying high speed train tickets in the month of July alone.
The recent phenomenon of conservatives and dissidents being prevented from using paid services and having their bank accounts closed for their political opinions is a chilling reflection of how a similar system is being rolled out in the west.
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Science & Tech Published
3 days ago
2 September, 2019
Steve Watson
A leading tech investor has warned that companies such as Amazon and Google are using smart speakers for surveillance purposes.
In an interview with Yahoo News, John Borthwick,of Betaworks said that the information recorded by the devices and relayed back to the host companies cannot be described any other way.
''I would say that there's two or three layers sort of problematic layers with these new smart speakers, smart earphones that are in market now,'' Borthwick noted.
''And so the first is, from a consumer standpoint, user standpoint, is that these, these devices are being used for what's '-- it's hard to call it anything but surveillance,'' Borthwick added.
''I personally believe that you, as a user and as somebody who likes technology, who wants to use technology, that you should have far more rights about your data usage than we have today,'' Borthwick, a former Time Warner and AOL executive, also said.
Recent findings have indicated that Apple is monitoring audio via Siri, and Amazon is doing the same via Alexa.
Alexa, are you spying on me?
Alexa: *coughs* No, of course not.
'-- Wrong, Brian (@leonidasmoderus) May 25, 2018
Reports have also suggested that Google employees are listening to users' voice commandsfor Google Assistant, with Facebook doing the same via the Messenger app.
Following the revelations all the companies have all said they have either stopped the practice or will automatically opt users out of voice sample collection.
This technology has led some people to draw comparisons to George Orwell's 1984, and a quote from the book illustrates creepy similarities.
''The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard.''
Facebook recently announced the rollout of its new 'Portal' smart speakers, which it brags have a camera that can automatically follow users around the room.
Today we're excited to introduce @PortalFacebook to everyone. Come say hi and check out https://t.co/jQuzzc97CK to learn more. pic.twitter.com/PzlTQDi6NI
'-- Facebook (@facebook) October 8, 2018
Undoubtedly wary about fears the technology could be exploited to spy on its users following the company's data abuse scandals, Facebook has even included a camera cover that can be slipped over the lens.
No thanks, big brother
'-- ColdClaw22 (@ColdClaw22) October 8, 2018
From the company that sold your phone number to advertisers.
'-- Torch (@torchatlas) October 8, 2018
Security researchers have also discovered flaws in the technology that could allow unwanted eavesdroppers to hack into the devices.
White House considers new project seeking links between mental health and violent behavior - The Washington Post
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 12:02
Bob Wright, the former NBC chair and a Trump friend, is one of the proposal's supporters.The White House has been briefed on a proposal to develop a way to identify early signs of changes in people with mental illness that could lead to violent behavior.
Supporters see the plan as a way President Trump could move the ball forward on gun control following recent mass shootings as efforts seem to be flagging to impose harsher restrictions such as background checks on gun purchases.
The proposal is part of a larger initiative to establish a new agency called the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency or HARPA, which would sit inside the Health and Human Services Department. Its director would be appointed by the president, and the agency would have a separate budget, according to three people with knowledge of conversations around the plan.
HARPA would be modeled on DARPA, the highly successful Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that serves as the research arm of the Pentagon and collaborates with other federal agencies, the private sector and academia.
The concept was advanced by the Suzanne Wright Foundation and first discussed by officials on the Domestic Policy Council and senior White House staffers in June 2017. But the idea has gained momentum in the wake of the latest mass shootings that killed 31 people in one weekend in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.
The Suzanne Wright Foundation re-approached the administration last week and proposed that HARPA include a ''Safe Home'' '-- ''Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes'' '-- project. Officials discussed the proposal at the White House last week, said two people familiar with the discussions. These people and others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the conversations.
The attempt to use volunteer data to identify ''neurobehavioral signs'' of ''someone headed toward a violent explosive act'' would be a four-year project costing an estimated $40 million to $60 million, according to Geoffrey Ling, the lead scientific adviser on HARPA and a founding director of DARPA's Biological Technologies Office.
''Everybody would be a volunteer,'' Ling said in an interview. ''We're not inventing new science here. We're analyzing it so we can develop new approaches.
''This is going to have to be done using scientific rigor,'' he said.
But there are plenty of researchers and mental health experts who believe that mental health and gun violence aren't necessarily linked.
Mental illness can sometimes be a factor in such violent acts, experts say, but it is rarely a predictor '-- most studies show that no more than a quarter of mass shooters have a diagnosed mental illness. More commonly shared attributes of mass shooters include a strong sense of resentment, desire for notoriety, obsession with other shooters, a history of domestic violence, narcissism and access to firearms.
In the immediate aftermath of Dayton and El Paso, Trump said he might support background checks for all gun purchases and ''red flag'' laws to deny guns to those deemed a hazard to themselves or others. But Trump on Tuesday called universal background checks off the table in a conversation with the head of the National Rifle Association, though he later denied saying that.
The president has said he thinks mentally ill people are primarily responsible for the spate of mass shootings in the United States. And this proposal is likely to be welcomed by Republicans and gun-rights activists who have argued the same thing.
''We're looking at the whole gun situation,'' Trump said last week. ''I do want people to remember the words 'mental illness.' These people are mentally ill. . . . I think we have to start building institutions again because, you know, if you look at the '60s and '70s, so many of these institutions were closed.''
Trump has reacted ''very positively'' to the HARPA proposal, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions and has been ''sold on the concept.'' But it's unclear whether the president has reviewed the new ''Safe Home'' component of the proposal and creating an entire agency would be a huge lift in Congress.
''Every time this has been brought up inside the White House '-- even up to the presidential level, it's been very well-received,'' a person familiar with discussions said. ''HARPA is the health-care equivalent of DARPA, and it's a great legacy project for the president, one he is uniquely positioned to get done.''
That person said that Trump could benefit in a variety of ways from getting behind a project like HARPA right now.
''There is no doubt that addressing this issue helps the president deal with two issues he has yet to find real success on: one is the health-care front and one is on the gun-violence front,'' the person added.
Trump has a close personal relationship with Bob Wright, who founded the Suzanne Wright Foundation after his wife passed away from pancreatic cancer. Wright is the former chair of NBC and was in that job while Trump headlined ''The Apprentice."
Wright sees Ivanka Trump as the most effective champion of the proposal and has previously briefed her on HARPA himself, Wright said.
''It would be perfect for her to do it '-- we need someone with some horsepower '-- someone like her driving it. ... It could get done,'' said one official familiar with the conversations. ''We'd be able to put every resource of federal government, from the highest levels of the scientific community to say: 'This is how people with these problems should be treated and have limited access to firearms.' ''
The HARPA proposal was initially pitched as a project to improve the mortality rate of pancreatic cancer through innovative research to better detect and cure diseases. Despite internal support over the past two years, the model ran into what was described as ''institutional barriers to progress,'' according to a person familiar with the conversations.
''He's very achievement oriented and I think all presidents have difficulties with science,'' Wright said in an interview. ''I think their political advisers say, 'No that's not a game for you,' so they sort of back off a bit.''
He added: ''But the president has a real opportunity here to leave a legacy in health care.''
The idea is for the agency to develop a ''sensor suite'' using advanced artificial intelligence to try to identify changes in mental status that could make an individual more prone to violent behavior. The research would ultimately be opened to the public.
HARPA would develop ''breakthrough technologies with high specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence,'' says a copy of the proposal. ''A multi-modality solution, along with real-time data analytics, is needed to achieve such an accurate diagnosis.''
The document goes on to list a number of widely used technologies it suggests could be employed to help collect data, including Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo and Google Home. The document also mentions ''powerful tools'' collected by health-care provides like fMRIs, tractography and image analysis.
''Advanced analytical tools based on artificial intelligence and machine learning are rapidly improving and must be applied to the data,'' states the document.
Those familiar with the project stressed it would not collect sensitive health data about individuals without their permission. The government is simply trying to identify risk factors when it comes to mental health that could indicate violent behavior, they said.
''Privacy must be safeguarded. Profiling must be avoided. Data protection capabilities will be the cornerstone of this effort.''
Proponents of the plan say that an agency like HARPA, which applies technology being used in other fields to develop medical breakthroughs, is long overdue.
''DARPA is a brilliant model that works. They have developed the most transformational capabilities in the world for national security,'' said Liz Feld, the president of the Suzanne Wright Foundation, saying those techniques had yet to be applied to health care. ''We're not leveraging the tools and technologies available to us to improve and save lives.''
Odessa gunman got sacked hours before going on a shooting spree '' report '-- RT USA News
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 04:39
With no motive has yet been established behind the shooting rampage in West Texas, that saw gunman Seth A. Ator killing seven people and injuring over 20, a new report suggests he went ballistic after losing his truck-driving job.
The shooter was fired from a job in a trucking company mere hours before he opened fire at a state trooper when pulled over for failing to signal a turn at around 3:17 pm local time Saturday, the New York Times reported, citing police sources. Without disclosing the company's name, the sources said that the gunman had been given a sack in the morning of that very day. Whether it was what had set Ator off is up to speculation, with police remaining tight-lipped about the shooter's motive.
However, if that turns out to be the case, it would not be the first time a disgruntled former employee flips out and goes on a shooting spree. In an Aurora, Illinois, shooting in February, Gary Martin gunned down five of his colleagues after being fired from his job of 15 years at a manufacturing company. Like Ator, Martin had a criminal record.
Also on rt.com 5 victims & gunman dead in shooting at Illinois steel facility In 2001, the Odessa gunman was arrested on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and evading arrest. There were also reports that he brandished his rifle in front of a neighbor, while admonishing her for leaving trash at a nearby dumpster.
After injuring the state trooper, Ator proceeded to move towards Odessa while shooting at motorists at random. Photos of bullet-ridden cars at various locations across the city have surfaced online, with police saying that are investigating over 15 crimes scenes, including at a car dealership and at a shopping mall. At one point of the chase, the gunman switched cars, hijacking a postal van and killing a female mail carrier's driver.
The gunman was eventually taken down at Cinergy Movie Theater in Odessa. The showdown between the suspect and the police saw a police vehicle ramming the suspect's van and a tense shootout between the officers and the gunman.
Police initially refused to identify the suspect, saying that they do not want to give him any publicity, and prompting some to accuse law enforcement of a racial bias after the shooter was initally identified as a "white male in his thirties."
Also on rt.com Odessa police refuse to name mass shooter, but issues of fame and race still play in the media Later, however, Odessa Police Department confirmed on Facebook that the shooter was, in fact, Ator, 36.
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Seth Ator, 36, reportedly identified as Texas shooter
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 04:44
September 1, 2019 | 2:57pm | Updated September 1, 2019 | 5:46pm
The assault rifle-toting madman who killed seven people and wounded more than 20 others in a roving Texas spree was identified Sunday as Seth Ator.
Ator, a 36-year-old resident of Odessa, Texas, was first named as the assailant by CBS News, citing law-enforcement sources.
When his gold Toyota pick-up truck was pulled over for a minor signaling infraction along a stretch of I-20 near Midland, Texas, on Saturday, Ator blasted approaching state troopers, seriously wounding one, authorities have said.
He then peeled off, firing indiscriminately with his AR-style rifle out of the truck as he floored it towards Odessa, authorities said.
Along the way, he killed a USPS worker and hijacked her mail truck, continuing the spree, officials said.
He made his last stand in the parking lot of an Odessa movie theater, where he was killed in a shootout with cops as horrified onlookers prayed for their lives.
Authorities are yet to identify a concrete motive behind the onslaught.
Odessa spokeswoman: Shooter is Seth Ator - Midland Reporter-Telegram
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 04:45
By Midland Reporter-Telegram
Updated 7:49 pm CDT, Sunday, September 1, 2019 A 2001 booking photo of Seth Aaron Ator, 36. Ator is accused of killing seven people and injuring 22 others in Saturday's mass shooting in Midland-Odessa, Texas. He was killed at a movie theater in Odessa the same day.
lessA 2001 booking photo of Seth Aaron Ator, 36. Ator is accused of killing seven people and injuring 22 others in Saturday's mass shooting in Midland-Odessa, Texas. He was killed at a movie theater in Odessa the
... more Photo: Texas Department Of Public Safety/Handout Photo: Texas Department Of Public Safety/Handout
A 2001 booking photo of Seth Aaron Ator, 36. Ator is accused of killing seven people and injuring 22 others in Saturday's mass shooting in Midland-Odessa, Texas. He was killed at a movie theater in Odessa the same day.
lessA 2001 booking photo of Seth Aaron Ator, 36. Ator is accused of killing seven people and injuring 22 others in Saturday's mass shooting in Midland-Odessa, Texas. He was killed at a movie theater in Odessa the
... more Photo: Texas Department Of Public Safety/Handout The gunman responsible for killing seven people and injuring 22 others '' including three law enforcement officials -- is Seth Aaron Ator, 36, of Odessa, the city of Odessa's spokeswoman said in an email.
Odessa Police Department Chief Michael Gerke said Ator fired at random, using an AR as he drove nearly 10 miles around Midland and Odessa. He was shot and killed by law enforcement at Cinergy theater in Odessa.
State Rep. Tom Craddick told the Reporter-Telegram he had previously failed a background check.
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Guns Don't Kill People, School Psychologists Do
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 14:18
In the David Fincher produced, 2017 Netflix series, Mindhunter, two FBI special agents travel the country interviewing serial killers in the 1970's. The series, based on the non-fiction book ''Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit'' by John Douglas, chronicles the beginnings of advanced criminal profiling techniques developed by the FBI in response to a number of high profile, and gruesome crimes carried out during the era, beginning with the Manson Family murders of 1968. Throughout the show the fictional special agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench meet with frequent resistance from other law enforcement personnel as they attempt to unravel the minds of the serial killers they meet. Everyone from their bosses in the agency to the local police officers they encounter along the way express extreme discomfort at the thought of empathizing or attempting to understand the killers Ford and Tench interrogate. These men are just evil. There's nothing more to it. Nothing can be learned from them. No insight can be gained. They're simply, purely evil, and attempting to say anything more on the subject is an affront to the victims, their families, and to human decency and capital-J Justice in general.
Fictionalized though the series may be, in our own time, in the era of mass shootings, one doesn't have to go far to find similar responses to this uniquely contemporary category of violent crime. Media coverage of the killers oozes sensationalized language that depicts them as dark, evil, twisted, vile, abhorrent, insane. The public, in internet comment forms across social media, offer up their thoughts and prayers, and inevitably, the discussion devolves into a debate on the second amendment and the merits of gun control as politicians and journalists quickly move to steer the national conversation to more politically fruitful areas in order to amass momentum in passing various pieces of long desired legislation targeting gun owners or the NRA. The killers themselves, their personalities, their motivations, their worldviews, the experiences that shape them, every time quickly slip through the cracks of the conversation and are forgotten long before their respective cases are ever brought to trial.
The debate surrounding gun control is never particularly illuminating. Advocates for regulation believe it's the only way to stop the violence. Those opposed rejoin that such regulations can never be truly effective in preventing criminals from acquiring the deadly arsenals they deploy. The advocates fire back that though that may be the case, we shouldn't simply give up. If banning an extended magazine allows even one victim to duck out of the line of fire while a shooter reloads, that one life is enough to justify stricter measures being taken to make the acquisition of such accessories as difficult as possible for would be perpetrators. Whatever the merits of the common arguments on either side of the issue may be, the deeper question of what causes mass shootings in the first place remains a largely unspoken issue. It seems as if gun control advocates even silently agree with the second amendment defenders in their counterargument: gun control is not fundamental solution to the problem of mass violence, but is merely a mitigative measure designed to incrementally alleviate mortality rates of incidents they don't otherwise know how to control.
At the same time, as the debate above rages on, police departments, prosecutors, and the state all quietly move to suppress the details surrounding the lives and minds of those accused of the crimes which initiated the public conversation on the issue to begin with. In the aftermath of the Christchurch shooting, the New Zealand government has moved to censor the killer's manifesto. Video evidence of the attack has been purged from youtube. Online forum administrators who chose to host the document have been contacted for data by the New Zealand government on any of its citizens who may have accessed it.
This is nothing new. In the wake of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting, students and professors who knew the perpetrator, James Holmes, were barred by the university from sharing information about him. Likewise, evidence and documents relating to the Sandy Hook killer, Adam Lanza, including letters and writings written by Lanza himself, were withheld by the State Police for five years, and were only released to the public following an appeal to the State Supreme Court by the Hartford Courant. Additionally, it's become common practice following every incidence of mass violence for social media companies like Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter to delete the public profiles and videos of the accused killers as quickly as possible. In short, not only does the public seem by and large uninterested in sincerely penetrating the motivations and worldviews of the killers they condemn, but they are aided in their neglect of the topic by censorious social media companies and state and federal law enforcement agencies which do the best they can to spare the victims further grief by burying the deeper details.
Over the course of hundreds of hours beginning in 1959, Ted Kaczynski, the future unabomber, participated in an intense psychological experiment conduced at Harvard by Dr. Henry A Murray. During World War II, Murray had worked for the Office of Strategic Services in developing personality assessment techniques designed to test potential recruits on how well they would endure interrogation and torture by the enemy. At Harvard, Murray went on to further develop his method, transforming it from a diagnostic assessment of mental anti-fragility, into the basis of a radical personality modifying procedure he hoped could be used to forcibly evolve human consciousness in order to prevent the nuclear annihilation he feared was inevitable in light of mankind's petty national prejudices and self-interest during the period of the Cold War. Kaczynski was among his unwitting test subjects, and though his personal, radical Luddite beliefs would ultimately diverge from the kind of technocratic globalism Murray intended to inculcate in Kaczynski, in a strange way, Murray was also more successful than he could have possibly anticipated.
More than fifty years later, on the night of July 20, 2012, James Holmes was booked into the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Detention Facility for the mass shooting at Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado which he had perpetrated earlier that night. He had killed twelve people and injured seventy others. Controversially, a fellow inmate in the facility that fateful night, Steven Unruh, has claimed that he spoke to Holmes about the shooting from an adjacent cell. During their conversation, Unruh reports, Holmes told him that he had been ''programmed'' by an ''evil psychologist'' to commit the shooting, making further reference to a behavior modification technique known as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Unruh's story has been disputed by the Sheriff's department, who insist that prisoners are not capable of communicating with one another between the cells. This denial has been enough for the majority of the media to completely discount the episode without any further attempts at corroboration from other detainees, or through an independent inspection of the facility. Unruh's strange tale of his encounter with Holmes has, like so many other details, slipped through the cracks, and has subsequently become fodder for conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, who was banned by nearly every social media platform in the world in 2018 for the similar claims he at times entertained about the Sandy Hook massacre.
There is no reason to take Holmes' statement at face value. Perhaps, as he emerged from the dissociative state under which he perpetrated the killings, he was desperately groping for some defense that would get him out of the situation he now found himself in. Perhaps this was simply a paranoid delusion he had begun fostering in the weeks preceding the attack. The claim doesn't have to be taken as literally factual for it to still attract our attention. There is a period following every school shooting where those that knew the killer come forward and lament that they didn't see the 'warning signs,' and the Aurora shooting was no different in this respect. At least three different mental health professionals had been involved in the deterioration of Holmes' mental state in the lead up the incident. They saw the warning signs, and it simply didn't matter. Furthermore, in light of Holmes' comments to Unruh, one might even go a step further: maybe this wasn't a case of dedicated, well-meaning psychiatrists failing to help a gifted, but troubled young man, but just the opposite'... Maybe in some twisted way, the treatment came before the disease.
No case provides better evidence of this possibility than that of Adam Lanza, the 2012 Sandy Hook shooter. After years of denied requests, more than 1,000 pages of evidence relating to the Lanza case were finally released to the Hartford Courant in December of 2018. Lanza, who killed himself following the attack, left behind no manifesto. He had even taken the precaution of smashing his devices' hard drives prior to the shooting. In the end hundreds of pages worth of Lanza's writings were ultimately recovered by the police, and it's only from these scattered fragments that his beliefs and opinions emerge. Like Holmes in the weeks and months leading to the Aurora massacre, Lanza was no stranger to psychiatric evaluation. Throughout Lanza's entire life, from the age of 3, when he was first diagnosed with speech and developmental problems, he knew little else but the offices of therapists and counselors and psychiatrists. A rotating cast of mental health professionals drifted in and out of his life. They all recognized the so-called 'warning signs' all too well, but even with a lifetime's worth of treatment, they completely and utterly failed to prevent his transformation into mass murderer.
In online postings Lanza expresses horror at what he calls ''enculturation,'' the process by which individuals are socialized into their societies. He writes that culture ''inflicts arbitrary prejudiced perspectives onto people. It dismisses the differences between individuals to contrive an artificial group, to which people are coerced into submission. It enables baseless bigotry between other arbitrary cultural groups and cohesion among people in the group for which there is no reason to associate.'' The idea that his mother, teachers, and psychiatrists were conspiring together to brainwash him into joining a society he disdained under the pretense of mental health seems to have disturbed him on a deep, visceral level.
Lanza goes even further, and characterizes the years of psychiatric treatment he received since childhood explicitly as abusive: ''I was molested at least a dozen times by a few different adults when I was a child. It wasn't my decision at all: I was coerced into it'... What do each of the adults have in common? They were doctors, and each of them were sanctioned by my parents to do it. This happens to virtually every child without their input into the matter: Their parents sanction it.''
Of course Lanza's doctors were well meaning people, who only had his best interests at heart. Regardless of this, however, at the same time, his identification of them as a system of psychological control designed to suppress his own individuality formed the core of the resentment that drove him to violence. Can we really conclude that more mental health treatment would have prevented what happened? Like Dr. Murray's personality modification experiments at Harvard, perhaps the attention Lanza received backfired in exactly the right way needed to twist him around into the very thing his doctors worried he would become. Perhaps their treatments, in the end, formed a self-fulfilling prophecy of social isolation and violent, vindictive bitterness. Maybe James Holmes never meant to claim he was some kind of Manchurian candidate brainwashed by DARPA to carry out false flag attacks. Maybe he meant only to say, as Adam Lanza did, that the psychological treatment and ''enculturation'' his counselors hoped would bring him back from the brink, were the very thing that pushed him over the edge.
The United States spends more per capita on primary and secondary education than almost any other country. As of 2014 the U.S. is in the top 5, below only Switzerland, Norway and Austria. Despite this however, year after year, a majority of Americans report dissatisfaction with the quality of K-12 education in their country. Alternative education remains a persistent source of controversy within the public consciousness. Private schools, charter schools, school vouchers, homeschooling, all are topics that filter in and out of the national political conversation. Democrats, on the whole, maintain an unyielding support for the compulsory nature of public education in America, while practices like Homeschooling are largely written off as the exclusive province of religious fundamentalists and political separatists. The same goes for the diverting of public resources to charter schools by means of a tax exemption or credit. The argument that has formed over time to circumvent these controversial alternatives boils down to a single word: Socialization.
Public schools not only educate students in facts and skills, the argument goes, but also serve to socialize children by serving as a microcosm of the pluralistic, diverse society in which these students will one day have to live and contribute to. A private, all male school, for instance, will fail to prepare its students for the modern workplace, where they'll have to cooperate and even take orders from female colleagues or superiors. Likewise, desegregation busing is required to ensure students experience a sufficiently diverse environment. When it comes to a wide variety of controversies in public education, the socialization argument continues to form the backbone of liberal resistance to conservative attacks on the public schooling monopoly.At the same time, as liberals defend the practice and theory of socialization, the scourge of bullying has, on-again off again, served as a cause c(C)l¨bre among many of the same people. Since 2010, October has become National Bullying Prevention Month, a campaign by the non-profit PACER organization in coordination with companies like CNN and Facebook, among others. Television shows and documentaries have tackled the subject, and celebrities like Ellen regularly champion anti-bullying causes. But what is bullying but the core of Socialization? In a sense the two can almost be considered synonymous. Bullying is, after all, the school of hard knocks which children undergo to learn the complex, unspoken rules of social game playing. Socialization is about instilling conformity, and bullying remains the core experience for many children in learning about all the ways the deviate from the norm. When children are unresponsive to bullying, that's when things are kicked up to the teachers and administrators and school counselors, and that same unpliability and unresponsiveness is re-conceptualized by well-meaning adults as developmental disorders.
In 1975 Autism was diagnosed in children at a rate of 1 in every 5,000. Today that number has soared to nearly 1 in 100. This has ignited a public controversy over the source or cause of what by every definition deserves to be called an public health epidemic. 75% of children diagnosed with Autism today are boys. There's no need to go searching for a cause. Vaccines aren't behind the explosion in Autism rates. Teachers and school psychologists are. School psychology today is a booming industry, one which the US Department of Labor identifies as having some of the best employment opportunities across the entire field of psychology. 75% of school psychologists are women, with an average age of 46. It is this same group of people most empowered to conduct psychological monitoring of children across the country, and over the last 30 years, they have come to classify a larger and larger percentage of young boys as having developmental issues, to the point where it's not clear whether there is anything wrong with these children at all, or if school psychologists have simply written off a wider and wider range of behaviors which they find problematic or incomprehensible as constituting autism.
Many advocates for gun control today are keen to draw attention to what they see as a rapid increase in school shooting rates, with 2018 being a banner year. If its the case that school shootings are result of a failure to recognize the warning signs, and to dispense appropriate psychological treatment to at-risk students, it's hard to reconcile the fact that violent incidents have risen despite a parallel growth in school psychology, in diagnoses of behavioral issues, and in the prescription of psychiatric medication to problematic children. How is that we have increased treatment, but also seen a concurrent rise in the prevalence of the disease? The math simply doesn't add up. Post-Columbine paranoia has driven the expansion of an invasive psychological surveillance complex within American schools, which, while attempting to identify and reform at-risk students, does so by aggressively isolating them using psychiatric diagnoses and behavior modifying drugs, and by ensnaring them in a never-ending nightmare of sterile, unpleasant therapy with middle-aged female social workers and mental health professionals who are in no position to adequately understand them.
In 2013, a Texas teenager named Justin Carter was locked up for threatening a school shooting. Whether or not the threat was legitimate is another matter entirely. In a bout of online shit talking over League of Legends Carter wrote ''Oh yeah, I'm real messed up in the head, I'm going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts'...'' in response to a quip by a fellow gamer calling him crazy. He quickly rejoined: ''lol jk,'' likely realizing the fact he could get himself in trouble saying such things. Whether or not it was a good idea for him to make such a comment is immaterial, what matters is the violent, disproportionate response that followed. A Canadian woman, thousands of miles away, reported Carter. He was arrested and locked in jail. Bond was set at half a million dollars, which his family couldn't afford to pay. He languished in jail, was assaulted by fellow inmates, and then locked up in solitary confinement for his own safety. After 4 months in jail an anonymous donor paid to have Carter released on behalf of his family. The state dragged out the matter for years, delaying the trial as long as possible on tenuous grounds. In the interim Carter was banned from using a computer. It wasn't until spring of 2018 that a plea agreement was finally reached and Carter was let off with time served.
This is the paranoid system which today we entrust with rescuing at-risk young boys. This is what stands between us and more school shootings. Never mind the fact that as this system has grown, it has only led to a rise in mass shootings. Maybe the real cause of such cases is not guns, or a failure to identify and treat students, maybe the cause is these same students, following a protracted process of isolation and attempted psychological modification, learning to play the part the system has assigned to them, that of the security threat. When schools spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on active shooter drills and security systems, isn't it just wasted money until someone comes along and gives them an excuse to use it? The complicated apparatus of psychological surveillance and socialization that prevails among schools today is, like the TSA checkpoint at the airport, nothing more than an elaborate piece of (psychological) security theater, and theaters require drama, and more importantly, villains. People like Adam Lanza and James Holmes are certainly killers of the very worst kind, guilty of evil, but on a larger scale, their evil is a only a reflection of our own, of the perverse societal mechanisms we've developed to give ourselves piece of mind, regardless of the children that must be fed to the machinery for it to function.
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 12:08
Through the creation of the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA), we have the opportunity to improve and save the lives of millions of Americans.
There are more than 9,000 known diseases, yet we have treatments for only 500 of them.
Take the sobering fact that ninety-one percent of pancreatic cancer patients die from the disease. There are no reliable early detection tests and no curative treatments. Nothing has changed in more than forty years.
America must, and can, do better.
We have billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded research that is not getting to patients. Despite medical innovation over the last century, millions of people with deadly and debilitating conditions have seen no progress. The current path from basic science to commercial viability is too slow.
Federal investment is the fastest, most effective way to de-risk the marketplace. HARPA will disrupt the health technology sector to drive meaningful innovation that will save millions of lives and billions of dollars.
HARPA is modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the gold-standard for innovation and accountability. DARPA makes critical investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. It developed The Internet, Voice Recognition Technology, GPS navigation, Night vision, Robotic Prostheses, Stealth Technology.
DARPA's success proves there is an effective government model for translating science to product. There is currently no vehicle within the federal government to do this for health.
HARPA's identical operating principles, built on urgency, leadership, high-impact investments and accountability, will advance scientific research from the lab to the patient.
HARPA will work within an innovation ecosystem that leverages the best of the commercial market, biotech and healthcare companies, venture capital and philanthropy, academic institutions and other government and regulatory agencies.
HARPA will innovate to put patients first.
Ministry of Truthiness
Report: New York Times Journos Left "Fatigued" By Endless Social Media Controversies - Big League Politics
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 21:12
New reports indicate that employees of the New York Times are increasingly ''fatigued'' and tired of endless social media controversies involving Times writers.
Most prominently, neocon op-ed writer Bret Stephens became a target of widespread mockery after targeting a college professor for calling him a ''bedbug'' on Twitter. The establishment media operative went on to delete his own Twitter account, claiming that the platform brought out the ''worst in humanity.''
Another longtime liberal centrist editor, Jonathan Weisman, was demoted by the Times after he used racially charged rhetoric when discussing freshman Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. Weisman claimed the Muslim Democrats had a tenuous connection to their own congressional districts.
Trending: Freaks, Hippies, Weirdos, Twerps, Misfits & Not Much Diversity: ANTIFA Unmasked is No Pretty Sight!
The Times' publisher, A.G Sulzberger, sent a staff email about recent Twitter controversies involving Times employees. He claimed the Times wouldn't ''intimidated'' by those who expose embarrassing old tweets and social media mishaps of its employees, but he asked NYT staffers to be more careful about the content they post online.
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It's rich to see the New York Times play the victim for being burned over old tweets and social media embarrassments. The ''paper of record'' has utilized similar tactics in hope of embarrassing conservatives, but apparently they believe they're being unfairly targeted when independent journalists and researchers use their own reporting methods to expose them.
The Times has claimed a group of Trump supporters in online media have been working to compile humiliating tweets and posts created by its employees. Such a practice would seem to be standard procedure for liberal mainstream media operatives trying to embarrass conservatives, but the Times seems to regard it as a devious plot when they're being targeted for the cringeworthy content of its own employees.
If getting burned for their own old tweets proves to be too excruciating for New York Times employees, they'll always have the option of deactivating their Twitter accounts, as Bret Stephens did after effectively labelling himself a ''bedbug'' for life.
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Facebook database exposes millions of account phone numbers
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 11:46
Facebook must pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine as part of a settlement with the FTC and also agreed to measures that limit the power of the CEO. USA TODAY
Another day, another data rupture involving Facebook.
The social network may have inadvertently exposed millions of phone numbers related to people's Facebook accounts, according to a report on TechCrunch.
The online publication says that an exposed server found online ''contained over 419 million records over several databases on users across geographies, including 133 million records on U.S.-based Facebook users, 18 million records of users in the U.K., and another with more than 50 million records on users in Vietnam.'' TechCrunch added that, absent password protections, anyone could access the data.
Do you need to buy a new iPhone? A new iPhone is coming. But no, you don't really have to pay new-phone prices
Facebook issued a statement to USA TODAY in which it said, ''This dataset is old and appears to have information obtained before we made changes last year to remove people's ability to find others using their phone numbers. The dataset has been taken down and we have seen no evidence that Facebook accounts were compromised.''
Those changes were addressed as part of a Facebook newsroom post on April 4, 2018, by the company's Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the political ad marketing firm that worked for President Trump and was involved in the misappropriation of 87 million Facebook users' data.
File photo shows Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he spoke during a press conference in Paris, France on May 23, 2018. (Photo: BERTRAND GUAY - AFP/Getty Images)
''Until today, people could enter another person's phone number or email address into Facebook search to help find them. This has been especially useful for finding your friends in languages which take more effort to type out a full name, or where many people have the same name,'' Schroepfer wrote at the time. ''However, malicious actors have also abused these features to scrape public profile information by submitting phone numbers or email addresses they already have through search and account recovery. Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we've seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way. So we have now disabled this feature.''
Facebook also believes that, because of numerous duplicates, the total number of phone numbers found online more likely amount to about half of the total number TechCrunch reported '' still, obviously a large sum.
TechCrunch indicated that it verified a number of records in the database by matching a known Facebook user's phone number against their listed Facebook ID, and that some records also included the user's name, gender, and location by country.
Before it was taken down, the database was discovered by a security researcher Sanyam Jain, who then contacted TechCrunch. Jain said that he found profiles associated with celebrities.
Still unknown is who might have scraped the data.
Facebook has been hit by a series of privacy and data scandals. In July, the company was fined $5 biliion by the Federal Trade Commission, for violating consumers' privacy rights.
Email: ebaig@usatoday.com; Follow @edbaig on Twitter
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2019/09/04/facebook-database-exposes-millions-account-phone-numbers/2213587001/
"Scariest Thing You'll Read All Day": Report Sounds Alarm Over Brain-Reading Technology and Neurocapitalism
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 15:33
A Vox report that swiftly sparked alarm across the internet Friday outlined how, "in the era of neurocapitalism, your brain needs new rights," following recent revelations that Facebook and Elon Musk's Neuralink are developing technologies to read people's minds.
As Vox's Sigal Samuel reported:
Mark Zuckerberg's company is funding research on brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) that can pick up thoughts directly from your neurons and translate them into words. The researchers say they've already built an algorithm that can decode words from brain activity in real time.
And Musk's company has created flexible "threads" that can be implanted into a brain and could one day allow you to control your smartphone or computer with just your thoughts. Musk wants to start testing in humans by the end of next year.
Considering those and other companies' advances and ambitions, Samuel warned that "your brain, the final privacy frontier, may not be private much longer" and laid out how existing laws are not equipped to handle how these emerging technologies could "interfere with rights that are so basic that we may not even think of them as rights, like our ability to determine where our selves end and machines begin."
My god."The technologies have the potential to interfere with rights that are so basic that we may not even think of them as rights, like our ability to determine where our selves end and machines begin. Our current laws are not equipped to address this."https://t.co/H8EeBijuco
'-- Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) August 30, 2019Samuel interviewed neuroethicist Marcello Ienca, a researcher at ETH Zurich who published a paper in 2017 detailing four human rights for the neurotechnology age that he believes need to be protected by law. Ienca told Samuel, "I'm very concerned about the commercialization of brain data in the consumer market."
"And I'm not talking about a farfetched future. We already have consumer neurotech, with people trading their brain data for services from private companies," he said, pointing to video games that use brain activity and wearable devices that monitor human activities such as sleep. "I'm tempted to call it neurocapitalism."
The Vox report broke down the four rights that, according to Ienca, policymakers need to urgently safeguard with new legislation:
The right to cognitive liberty: You should have the right to freely decide you want to use a given neurotechnology or to refuse it.The right to mental privacy: You should have the right to seclude your brain data or to publicly share it.The right to mental integrity: You should have the right not to be harmed physically or psychologically by neurotechnology.The right to psychological continuity: You should have the right to be protected from alterations to your sense of self that you did not authorize."Brain data is the ultimate refuge of privacy. When that goes, everything goes," Ienca said. "And once brain data is collected on a large scale, it's going to be very hard to reverse the process."
Samuel's report generated concerned commentary on Twitter, with readers calling the piece "the scariest thing you'll read all day" and declaring, "I do not want to live in this future."
In case you were sleeping too well lately https://t.co/KIPtFSXUpv
'-- Joe Stewart-Sicking (@revjoess) August 30, 2019Tech reporter Benjamin Powers tweeted, "So how long until this is co-opted for national security purposes?"
Ienca, in his interview with Samuel, noted that the Defense Department's advanced research agency is assessing how neurotechnologies could be used on soldiers. As he explained, "there is already military-funded research to see if we can monitor decreases in attention levels and concentration, with hybrid BCIs that can 'read' deficits in attention levels and 'write' to the brain to increase alertness through neuromodulation. There are DARPA-funded projects that attempt to do so."
"The researchers say they've already built an algorithm that can decode words from brain activity in real time." So how long until this is co-opted for national security purposes? https://t.co/Uoo5XQ09Fh
'-- Benjamin Powers (@benjaminopowers) August 30, 2019Such technologies raise concerns about abuse not only by governments but also by corporations.
Journalist Noah Kulwin compared brain-reading tech to self-driving cars, suggesting that the former "can't possibly work as presently marketed," and given that governments aren't prepared with human rights protections, companies will be empowered to "do a bunch of unregulated experimentation."
This sounds like self-driving cars. The technology can't possibly work as presently marketed, and the government not being prepared=it's just going to let companies do a bunch of unregulated experimentation https://t.co/QmCWG4Ydh1
'-- noah kulwin (@nkulw) August 30, 2019Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.
Related Articles:Not content with monitoring almost everything you do online, Facebook now wants to read your mind as well. The social media giant recently announced a breakthrough in its plan to create a device that reads people's brainwaves to allow them to type just by thinking. And Elon Musk wants to go even further. One of the Tesla boss's other companies, Neuralink, is developing a brain implant to connect people's minds directly to a computer.
Technology is increasingly hacking our brains. From typing 100 words per minute with your thoughts to your mind confessing crimes without verbalizing them. From wearables, to hearables, to sensors all around us, privacy is disappearing. Aaron Dykes of Truthstream Media breaks down how these brain-hacking technologies are being used and their potential ethical questions.
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When Mark Zuckerberg isn't smoking meat or cooking up excuses for data harvesting scandals, the 34-year-old Facebook CEO and his wife Priscilla Chan are high-fiving over their investments in the mind-control game, according to Business Insider.Funded by their for-profit biomedical research company, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the Silicon Valley power couple is helping to fund research that could vastly improve the lives of people suffering from neuromotor disorders - or create an army of compliant cyborgs trained to take Mark seriously.
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Marshall McLuhan - Wikipedia
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 14:21
Marshall McLuhan
McLuhan in 1945
BornHerbert Marshall McLuhan
( 1911-07-21 ) July 21, 1911DiedDecember 31, 1980 (1980-12-31) (aged 69)Alma materUniversity of ManitobaTrinity Hall, Cambridge Spouse(s) Corinne Lewis (m. 1939)
SchoolToronto SchoolMain interests
Media, mass media, sensorium, New CriticismInfluences
Harold Innis,
Eric A. Havelock,
Francis Bacon,
St. Thomas Aquinas,
St. Bonaventure,
‰tienne Gilson,
Hilaire Belloc,
Thomas Nashe,
G. K. Chesterton,
I. A. Richards,
F. R. Leavis,
Wyndham Lewis,
James Joyce,
Marcel Duchamp,
Jacques Ellul,
Hans Selye[1]Influenced
Walter J. Ong,
Neil Postman,
Timothy Leary,
Terence McKenna,
William Irwin Thompson,
Paul Levinson,
Douglas Rushkoff,
Douglas Coupland,
Jean Baudrillard,
Abbie Hoffman,
Ann NocentiHerbert Marshall McLuhan CC ( ; July 21, 1911 '' December 31, 1980) was a Canadian philosopher. His work is one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory.[2][3] Born in Edmonton, Alberta, McLuhan studied at the University of Manitoba and the University of Cambridge. He began his teaching career as a professor of English at several universities in the U.S. and Canada before moving to the University of Toronto in 1946, where he remained for the rest of his life.
McLuhan coined the expression "the medium is the message" and the term global village, and predicted the World Wide Web almost 30 years before it was invented.[4] He was a fixture in media discourse in the late 1960s, though his influence began to wane in the early 1970s.[5] In the years after his death, he continued to be a controversial figure in academic circles.[6] With the arrival of the Internet and the World Wide Web, interest was renewed in his work and perspective.[7][8][9]
Life and career [ edit ] McLuhan was born on July 21, 1911, in Edmonton, Alberta, to Elsie Naomi (n(C)e Hall) and Herbert Ernest McLuhan, both born in Canada. His brother Maurice was born two years later. "Marshall" was his maternal grandmother's surname. His mother was a Baptist school teacher who later became an actress; his father was a Methodist and had a real estate business in Edmonton. That business failed when World War I broke out, and McLuhan's father enlisted in the Canadian army. After a year of service, he contracted influenza and remained in Canada, away from the front lines. After his discharge from the army in 1915, the McLuhan family moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where Marshall grew up and went to school, attending Kelvin Technical School before enrolling in the University of Manitoba in 1928.[10]
At Manitoba, McLuhan explored his conflicted relationship with religion and turned to literature to "gratify his soul's hunger for truth and beauty,"[11][12] later referring to this stage as agnosticism.[13] After studying for one year as an engineering student, he changed majors and earned a BA (1933), winning a University Gold Medal in Arts and Sciences.[14][15] He took an MA (1934) in English from the University of Manitoba in 1934. He had long desired to pursue graduate studies in England and was accepted to the University of Cambridge, having failed to secure a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford.[citation needed ]
He had already earned a BA and an MA degree at Manitoba, but Cambridge required him to enroll as an undergraduate "affiliated" student, with one year's credit towards a three-year bachelor's degree, before entering any doctoral studies.[16] He entered Trinity Hall, Cambridge in the autumn of 1934, where he studied under I. A. Richards and F. R. Leavis and was influenced by New Criticism.[17] Upon reflection years afterward, he credited the faculty there with influencing the direction of his later work because of their emphasis on the training of perception and such concepts as Richards' notion of feedforward.[18] These studies formed an important precursor to his later ideas on technological forms.[19] He received the required bachelor's degree from Cambridge in 1936[20] and entered their graduate program. Later, he returned from England to take a job as a teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin''Madison that he held for the 1936''37 academic year, being unable to find a suitable job in Canada.[21]
While studying the trivium at Cambridge, he took the first steps toward his eventual conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1937,[22] founded on his reading of G. K. Chesterton.[23] In 1935, he wrote to his mother: "[H]ad I not encountered Chesterton, I would have remained agnostic for many years at least."[24] At the end of March 1937,[25] McLuhan completed what was a slow but total conversion process, when he was formally received into the Roman Catholic Church. After consulting a minister, his father accepted the decision to convert. His mother, however, felt that his conversion would hurt his career and was inconsolable.[26] McLuhan was devout throughout his life, but his religion remained a private matter.[27] He had a lifelong interest in the number three[28] (e.g., the trivium, the Trinity) and sometimes said that the Virgin Mary provided intellectual guidance for him.[29] For the rest of his career, he taught in Roman Catholic institutions of higher education. From 1937 to 1944, he taught English at Saint Louis University (with an interruption from 1939''40 when he returned to Cambridge). There he taught courses on Shakespeare[30] and tutored and befriended Walter J. Ong, who went on to write his PhD dissertation on a topic that McLuhan had called to his attention, and who also became a well-known authority on communication and technology.[citation needed ]
McLuhan met Corinne Lewis in St. Louis,[31] a teacher and aspiring actress from Fort Worth, Texas, and they were married on August 4, 1939. They spent 1939''40 in Cambridge, where he completed his master's degree (awarded in January 1940)[20] and began to work on his doctoral dissertation on Thomas Nashe and the verbal arts. While the McLuhans were in England, war had broken out in Europe. For this reason, he obtained permission to complete and submit his dissertation from the United States, without having to return to Cambridge for an oral defence. In 1940, the McLuhans returned to Saint Louis University, where he continued teaching and they started a family. He was awarded a Ph.D. in December 1943.[32] He next taught at Assumption College in Windsor, Ontario from 1944 to 1946, then moved to Toronto in 1946 where he joined the faculty of St. Michael's College, a Catholic college of the University of Toronto. Hugh Kenner was one of his students and Canadian economist and communications scholar Harold Innis was a university colleague who had a strong influence on his work. McLuhan wrote in 1964: "I am pleased to think of my own book The Gutenberg Galaxy as a footnote to the observations of Innis on the subject of the psychic and social consequences, first of writing then of printing."[33]
In the early 1950s, McLuhan began the Communication and Culture seminars at the University of Toronto, funded by the Ford Foundation. As his reputation grew, he received a growing number of offers from other universities and, to keep him, the university created the Centre for Culture and Technology in 1963.[19] He published his first major work during this period: The Mechanical Bride (1951). The work was an examination of the effect of advertising on society and culture. He and Edmund Carpenter also produced an important journal called Explorations throughout the 1950s.[34] McLuhan and Carpenter have been characterized as the Toronto School of communication theory, together with Harold Innis, Eric A. Havelock, and Northrop Frye. During this time, McLuhan supervised the doctoral thesis of modernist writer Sheila Watson on the subject of Wyndham Lewis. He remained at the University of Toronto through 1979, spending much of this time as head of his Centre for Culture and Technology.[citation needed ]
McLuhan was named to the Albert Schweitzer Chair in Humanities at Fordham University in the Bronx for one year (1967''68).[35] While at Fordham, he was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour, and it was treated successfully. He returned to Toronto where he taught at the University of Toronto for the rest of his life and lived in Wychwood Park, a bucolic enclave on a hill overlooking the downtown where Anatol Rapoport was his neighbour. In 1970, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.[36] In 1975, the University of Dallas hosted him from April to May, appointing him to the McDermott Chair.[37]
Marshall and Corinne McLuhan had six children: Eric, twins Mary and Teresa, Stephanie, Elizabeth, and Michael. The associated costs of a large family eventually drove him to advertising work and accepting frequent consulting and speaking engagements for large corporations, IBM and AT&T among them.[19]Woody Allen's Oscar-winning motion picture Annie Hall (1977) featured McLuhan in a cameo as himself; a pompous academic arguing with Allen in a cinema queue is silenced by McLuhan suddenly appearing and saying, "You know nothing of my work." This was one of McLuhan's most frequent statements to and about those who disagreed with him.[38]
In September 1979, he suffered a stroke which affected his ability to speak. The University of Toronto's School of Graduate Studies tried to close his research centre shortly thereafter, but was deterred by substantial protests, most notably by Woody Allen. He never fully recovered from the stroke and died in his sleep on December 31, 1980.[39]
Major works [ edit ] During his years at Saint Louis University (1937''1944), McLuhan worked concurrently on two projects: his doctoral dissertation and the manuscript that was eventually published in 1951 as the book The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man, which included only a representative selection of the materials that McLuhan had prepared for it.
McLuhan's 1942 Cambridge University doctoral dissertation surveys the history of the verbal arts (grammar, logic, and rhetoric'--collectively known as the trivium) from the time of Cicero down to the time of Thomas Nashe.[40] In his later publications, McLuhan at times uses the Latin concept of the trivium to outline an orderly and systematic picture of certain periods in the history of Western culture. McLuhan suggests that the Late Middle Ages, for instance, were characterized by the heavy emphasis on the formal study of logic. The key development that led to the Renaissance was not the rediscovery of ancient texts but a shift in emphasis from the formal study of logic to rhetoric and grammar. Modern life is characterized by the re-emergence of grammar as its most salient feature'--a trend McLuhan felt was exemplified by the New Criticism of Richards and Leavis.[41]
In The Mechanical Bride, McLuhan turned his attention to analysing and commenting on numerous examples of persuasion in contemporary popular culture. This followed naturally from his earlier work as both dialectic and rhetoric in the classical trivium aimed at persuasion. At this point his focus shifted dramatically, turning inward to study the influence of communication media independent of their content. His famous aphorism "the medium is the message" (elaborated in his 1964 book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man) calls attention to this intrinsic effect of communications media.[42]
McLuhan also started the journal Explorations with anthropologist Edmund "Ted" Carpenter. In a letter to Walter Ong dated May 31, 1953, McLuhan reported that he had received a two-year grant of $43,000 from the Ford Foundation to carry out a communication project at the University of Toronto involving faculty from different disciplines, which led to the creation of the journal.[43]
At a Fordham lecture in 1999, Tom Wolfe suggested that a major under-acknowledged influence on McLuhan's work is the Jesuit philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin whose ideas anticipated those of McLuhan, especially the evolution of the human mind into the "noosphere".[44] In fact, McLuhan warns against outright dismissing or whole-heartedly accepting de Chardin's observations early on in his second published book The Gutenberg Galaxy (p. 32): "This externalization of our senses creates what de Chardin calls the 'noosphere' or a technological brain for the world. Instead of tending towards a vast Alexandrian library the world has become a computer, an electronic brain, exactly as in an infantile piece of science fiction. And as our senses have gone outside us, Big Brother goes inside. So, unless aware of this dynamic, we shall at once move into a phase of panic terrors, exactly befitting a small world of tribal drums, total interdependence, and super-imposed co-existence."
In his private life, McLuhan wrote to friends saying: "I am not a fan of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. The idea that anything is better because it comes later is surely borrowed from pre-electronic technologies." Further, McLuhan noted to a Catholic collaborator: "The idea of a Cosmic thrust in one direction ... is surely one of the lamest semantic fallacies ever bred by the word 'evolution' .... That development should have any direction at all is inconceivable except to the highly literate community."[45]
The Mechanical Bride (1951) [ edit ] McLuhan's first book, The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man (1951), is a pioneering study in the field now known as popular culture. His interest in the critical study of popular culture was influenced by the 1933 book Culture and Environment by F. R. Leavis and Denys Thompson, and the title The Mechanical Bride is derived from a piece by the Dadaist artist Marcel Duchamp.
Like his 1962 book The Gutenberg Galaxy, The Mechanical Bride is composed of a number of short essays that may be read in any order'--what he styled the "mosaic approach" to writing a book. Each essay begins with a newspaper or magazine article or an advertisement, followed by McLuhan's analysis thereof. The analyses bear on aesthetic considerations as well as on the implications behind the imagery and text. McLuhan chose the ads and articles included in his book not only to draw attention to their symbolism and their implications for the corporate entities that created and disseminated them, but also to mull over what such advertising implies about the wider society at which it is aimed.
The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) [ edit ] McLuhan's The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (written in 1961, first published in Canada by University of Toronto Press in 1962) is a pioneering study in the fields of oral culture, print culture, cultural studies, and media ecology.
Throughout the book, McLuhan takes pains to reveal how communication technology (alphabetic writing, the printing press, and the electronic media) affects cognitive organization, which in turn has profound ramifications for social organization:
...[I]f a new technology extends one or more of our senses outside us into the social world, then new ratios among all of our senses will occur in that particular culture. It is comparable to what happens when a new note is added to a melody. And when the sense ratios alter in any culture then what had appeared lucid before may suddenly become opaque, and what had been vague or opaque will become translucent.[46]
Movable type [ edit ] His episodic history takes the reader from pre-alphabetic tribal humankind to the electronic age. According to McLuhan, the invention of movable type greatly accelerated, intensified, and ultimately enabled cultural and cognitive changes that had already been taking place since the invention and implementation of the alphabet, by which McLuhan means phonemic orthography. (McLuhan is careful to distinguish the phonetic alphabet from logographic or logogramic writing systems, such as Egyptian hieroglyphs or ideograms.)
Print culture, ushered in by the advance in printing during the middle of the fifteenth century when the Gutenberg press was invented, brought about the cultural predominance of the visual over the aural/oral. Quoting with approval an observation on the nature of the printed word from Prints and Visual Communication by William Ivins, McLuhan remarks:
In this passage [Ivins] not only notes the ingraining of lineal, sequential habits, but, even more important, points out the visual homogenizing of experience of print culture, and the relegation of auditory and other sensuous complexity to the background. [...] The technology and social effects of typography incline us to abstain from noting interplay and, as it were, "formal" causality, both in our inner and external lives. Print exists by virtue of the static separation of functions and fosters a mentality that gradually resists any but a separative and compartmentalizing or specialist outlook.[47]
The main concept of McLuhan's argument (later elaborated upon in The Medium Is the Massage) is that new technologies (such as alphabets, printing presses, and even speech) exert a gravitational effect on cognition, which in turn, affects social organization: print technology changes our perceptual habits ("visual homogenizing of experience"), which in turn affects social interactions ("fosters a mentality that gradually resists all but a... specialist outlook"). According to McLuhan, this advance of print technology contributed to and made possible most of the salient trends in the Modern period in the Western world: individualism, democracy, Protestantism, capitalism, and nationalism. For McLuhan, these trends all reverberate with print technology's principle of "segmentation of actions and functions and principle of visual quantification."[48]
The Global Village [ edit ] In the early 1960s, McLuhan wrote that the visual, individualistic print culture would soon be brought to an end by what he called "electronic interdependence": when electronic media replaces visual culture with aural/oral culture. In this new age, humankind will move from individualism and fragmentation to a collective identity, with a "tribal base." McLuhan's coinage for this new social organization is the global village.[49]
The term is sometimes described as having negative connotations in The Gutenberg Galaxy, but McLuhan was interested in exploring effects, not making value judgments:
Instead of tending towards a vast Alexandrian library the world has become a computer, an electronic brain, exactly as an infantile piece of science fiction. And as our senses have gone outside us, Big Brother goes inside. So, unless aware of this dynamic, we shall at once move into a phase of panic terrors, exactly befitting a small world of tribal drums, total interdependence, and superimposed co-existence. [...] Terror is the normal state of any oral society, for in it everything affects everything all the time. [...] In our long striving to recover for the Western world a unity of sensibility and of thought and feeling we have no more been prepared to accept the tribal consequences of such unity than we were ready for the fragmentation of the human psyche by print culture.[50]
Key to McLuhan's argument is the idea that technology has no per se moral bent'--it is a tool that profoundly shapes an individual's and, by extension, a society's self-conception and realization:
Is it not obvious that there are always enough moral problems without also taking a moral stand on technological grounds? [...] Print is the extreme phase of alphabet culture that detribalizes or decollectivizes man in the first instance. Print raises the visual features of alphabet to highest intensity of definition. Thus print carries the individuating power of the phonetic alphabet much further than manuscript culture could ever do. Print is the technology of individualism. If men decided to modify this visual technology by an electric technology, individualism would also be modified. To raise a moral complaint about this is like cussing a buzz-saw for lopping off fingers. "But", someone says, "we didn't know it would happen." Yet even witlessness is not a moral issue. It is a problem, but not a moral problem; and it would be nice to clear away some of the moral fogs that surround our technologies. It would be good for morality.[51]
The moral valence of technology's effects on cognition is, for McLuhan, a matter of perspective. For instance, McLuhan contrasts the considerable alarm and revulsion that the growing quantity of books aroused in the latter seventeenth century with the modern concern for the "end of the book". If there can be no universal moral sentence passed on technology, McLuhan believes that "there can only be disaster arising from unawareness of the causalities and effects inherent in our technologies".[52]
Though the World Wide Web was invented almost thirty years after The Gutenberg Galaxy, and ten years after his death, McLuhan prophesied the web technology seen today as early as 1962:
The next medium, whatever it is'--it may be the extension of consciousness'--will include television as its content, not as its environment, and will transform television into an art form. A computer as a research and communication instrument could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization, retrieve the individual's encyclopedic function and flip into a private line to speedily tailored data of a saleable kind.[53]
Furthermore, McLuhan coined and certainly popularized the usage of the term "surfing" to refer to rapid, irregular, and multidirectional movement through a heterogeneous body of documents or knowledge, e.g., statements such as "Heidegger surf-boards along on the electronic wave as triumphantly as Descartes rode the mechanical wave." Paul Levinson's 1999 book Digital McLuhan explores the ways that McLuhan's work may be understood better through using the lens of the digital revolution.[4]
McLuhan frequently quoted Walter Ong's Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue (1958), which evidently had prompted McLuhan to write The Gutenberg Galaxy. Ong wrote a highly favorable review of this new book in America.[54] However, Ong later tempered his praise, by describing McLuhan's The Gutenberg Galaxy as "a racy survey, indifferent to some scholarly detail, but uniquely valuable in suggesting the sweep and depth of the cultural and psychological changes entailed in the passage from illiteracy to print and beyond."[55] McLuhan himself said of the book, "I'm not concerned to get any kudos out of [The Gutenberg Galaxy]. It seems to me a book that somebody should have written a century ago. I wish somebody else had written it. It will be a useful prelude to the rewrite of Understanding Media [the 1960 NAEB report] that I'm doing now."[citation needed ]
McLuhan's The Gutenberg Galaxy won Canada's highest literary award, the Governor-General's Award for Non-Fiction, in 1962. The chairman of the selection committee was McLuhan's colleague at the University of Toronto and oftentime intellectual sparring partner, Northrop Frye.[56]
Understanding Media (1964) [ edit ] McLuhan's most widely known work, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964), is a pioneering study in media theory. Dismayed by the way people approached and used new media such as television, McLuhan famously argued that in the modern world "we live mythically and integrally ... but continue to think in the old, fragmented space and time patterns of the pre-electric age."[57]
McLuhan proposed that media themselves, not the content they carry, should be the focus of study'--popularly quoted as "the medium is the message". McLuhan's insight was that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not by the content delivered over the medium, but by the characteristics of the medium itself. McLuhan pointed to the light bulb as a clear demonstration of this concept. A light bulb does not have content in the way that a newspaper has articles or a television has programs, yet it is a medium that has a social effect; that is, a light bulb enables people to create spaces during nighttime that would otherwise be enveloped by darkness. He describes the light bulb as a medium without any content. McLuhan states that "a light bulb creates an environment by its mere presence."[58] More controversially, he postulated that content had little effect on society'--in other words, it did not matter if television broadcasts children's shows or violent programming, to illustrate one example'--the effect of television on society would be identical.[59] He noted that all media have characteristics that engage the viewer in different ways; for instance, a passage in a book could be reread at will, but a movie had to be screened again in its entirety to study any individual part of it.
"Hot" and "cool" media [ edit ] In the first part of Understanding Media, McLuhan also stated that different media invite different degrees of participation on the part of a person who chooses to consume a medium. Some media, such as the movies, were "hot"'--that is, they enhance one single sense, in this case vision, in such a manner that a person does not need to exert much effort in filling in the details of a movie image. McLuhan contrasted this with "cool" TV, which he claimed requires more effort on the part of the viewer to determine meaning, and comics, which due to their minimal presentation of visual detail require a high degree of effort to fill in details that the cartoonist may have intended to portray. A movie is thus said by McLuhan to be "hot", intensifying one single sense "high definition", demanding a viewer's attention, and a comic book to be "cool" and "low definition", requiring much more conscious participation by the reader to extract value.[60]
"Any hot medium allows of less participation than a cool one, as a lecture makes for less participation than a seminar, and a book for less than a dialogue."[61]
Hot media usually, but not always, provide complete involvement without considerable stimulus. For example, print occupies visual space, uses visual senses, but can immerse its reader. Hot media favour analytical precision, quantitative analysis and sequential ordering, as they are usually sequential, linear and logical. They emphasize one sense (for example, of sight or sound) over the others. For this reason, hot media also include radio, as well as film, the lecture, and photography.
Cool media, on the other hand, are usually, but not always, those that provide little involvement with substantial stimulus. They require more active participation on the part of the user, including the perception of abstract patterning and simultaneous comprehension of all parts. Therefore, according to McLuhan cool media include television, as well as the seminar and cartoons. McLuhan describes the term "cool media" as emerging from jazz and popular music and, in this context, is used to mean "detached."[62] A cool medium incorporates increased involvement but decreased description while a hot medium is the opposite, decreasing involvement and increasing description. In other words, a society that appears to be actively participating in the streaming of content but not considering the effects of the tool is not allowing an "extension of ourselves." [63]
This concept appears to force media into binary categories. However, McLuhan's hot and cool exist on a continuum: they are more correctly measured on a scale than as dichotomous terms.[19]
Critiques of Understanding Media [ edit ] Some theorists have attacked McLuhan's definition and treatment of the word "medium" for being too simplistic. Umberto Eco, for instance, contends that McLuhan's medium conflates channels, codes, and messages under the overarching term of the medium, confusing the vehicle, internal code, and content of a given message in his framework.[64]
In Media Manifestos, R(C)gis Debray also takes issue with McLuhan's envisioning of the medium. Like Eco, he is ill at ease with this reductionist approach, summarizing its ramifications as follows:
The list of objections could be and has been lengthened indefinitely: confusing technology itself with its use of the media makes of the media an abstract, undifferentiated force and produces its image in an imaginary "public" for mass consumption; the magical naivete of supposed causalities turns the media into a catch-all and contagious "mana"; apocalyptic millenarianism invents the figure of a homo mass-mediaticus without ties to historical and social context, and so on.[64]
Furthermore, when Wired interviewed him in 1995, Debray stated that he views McLuhan "more as a poet than a historian, a master of intellectual collage rather than a systematic analyst ... McLuhan overemphasizes the technology behind cultural change at the expense of the usage that the messages and codes make of that technology."[65]
Dwight Macdonald, in turn, reproached McLuhan for his focus on television and for his "aphoristic" style of prose, which he believes left Understanding Media filled with "contradictions, non-sequiturs, facts that are distorted and facts that are not facts, exaggerations, and chronic rhetorical vagueness." [66]
Additionally, Brian Winston's Misunderstanding Media, published in 1986, chides McLuhan for what he sees as his technologically deterministic stances.[66]Raymond Williams and James W. Carey further this point of contention, claiming:
The work of McLuhan was a particular culmination of an aesthetic theory which became, negatively, a social theory [...] It is an apparently sophisticated technological determinism which has the significant effect of indicating a social and cultural determinism [...] If the medium '' whether print or television '' is the cause, of all other causes, all that men ordinarily see as history is at once reduced to effects. (Williams 1990, 126/7)[66]
David Carr states that there has been a long line of "academics who have made a career out of deconstructing McLuhan's effort to define the modern media ecosystem," whether it be due to what they see as McLuhan's ignorance toward sociohistorical context or the style of his argument.[67]
While some critics have taken issue with McLuhan's writing style and mode of argument, McLuhan himself urged readers to think of his work as "probes" or "mosaics" offering a toolkit approach to thinking about the media. His eclectic writing style has also been praised for its postmodern sensibilities[68] and suitability for virtual space.[69]
The Medium Is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects (1967) [ edit ] The Medium Is the Massage, published in 1967, was McLuhan's best seller,[8] "eventually selling nearly a million copies worldwide."[70] Initiated by Quentin Fiore,[71] McLuhan adopted the term "massage" to denote the effect each medium has on the human sensorium, taking inventory of the "effects" of numerous media in terms of how they "massage" the sensorium.[72]
Fiore, at the time a prominent graphic designer and communications consultant, set about composing the visual illustration of these effects which were compiled by Jerome Agel. Near the beginning of the book, Fiore adopted a pattern in which an image demonstrating a media effect was presented with a textual synopsis on the facing page. The reader experiences a repeated shifting of analytic registers'--from "reading" typographic print to "scanning" photographic facsimiles'--reinforcing McLuhan's overarching argument in this book: namely, that each medium produces a different "massage" or "effect" on the human sensorium.
In The Medium Is the Massage, McLuhan also rehashed the argument'--which first appeared in the Prologue to 1962's The Gutenberg Galaxy'--that all media are "extensions" of our human senses, bodies and minds.
Finally, McLuhan described key points of change in how man has viewed the world and how these views were changed by the adoption of new media. "The technique of invention was the discovery of the nineteenth [century]", brought on by the adoption of fixed points of view and perspective by typography, while "[t]he technique of the suspended judgment is the discovery of the twentieth century", brought on by the bard abilities of radio, movies and television.[73]
The past went that-a-way. When faced with a totally new situation we tend always to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backward into the future. Suburbia lives imaginatively in Bonanza-land.[74]An audio recording version of McLuhan's famous work was made by Columbia Records. The recording consists of a pastiche of statements made by McLuhan interrupted by other speakers, including people speaking in various phonations and falsettos, discordant sounds and 1960s incidental music in what could be considered a deliberate attempt to translate the disconnected images seen on TV into an audio format, resulting in the prevention of a connected stream of conscious thought. Various audio recording techniques and statements are used to illustrate the relationship between spoken, literary speech and the characteristics of electronic audio media. McLuhan biographer Philip Marchand called the recording "the 1967 equivalent of a McLuhan video."[75]
"I wouldn't be seen dead with a living work of art."'--'Old man' speaking"Drop this jiggery-pokery and talk straight turkey."'--'Middle aged man' speaking War and Peace in the Global Village (1968) [ edit ] McLuhan used James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, an inspiration for this study of war throughout history, as an indicator as to how war may be conducted in the future.
Joyce's Wake is claimed to be a gigantic cryptogram which reveals a cyclic pattern for the whole history of man through its Ten Thunders. Each "thunder" below is a 100-character portmanteau of other words to create a statement he likens to an effect that each technology has on the society into which it is introduced. In order to glean the most understanding out of each, the reader must break the portmanteau into separate words (and many of these are themselves portmanteaus of words taken from multiple languages other than English) and speak them aloud for the spoken effect of each word. There is much dispute over what each portmanteau truly denotes.
McLuhan claims that the ten thunders in Wake represent different stages in the history of man:[76]
Thunder 1: Paleolithic to Neolithic. Speech. Split of East/West. From herding to harnessing animals.Thunder 2: Clothing as weaponry. Enclosure of private parts. First social aggression.Thunder 3: Specialism. Centralism via wheel, transport, cities: civil life.Thunder 4: Markets and truck gardens. Patterns of nature submitted to greed and power.Thunder 5: Printing. Distortion and translation of human patterns and postures and pastors.Thunder 6: Industrial Revolution. Extreme development of print process and individualism.Thunder 7: Tribal man again. All choractors end up separate, private man. Return of choric.Thunder 8: Movies. Pop art, pop Kulch via tribal radio. Wedding of sight and sound.Thunder 9: Car and Plane. Both centralizing and decentralizing at once create cities in crisis. Speed and death.Thunder 10: Television. Back to tribal involvement in tribal mood-mud. The last thunder is a turbulent, muddy wake, and murk of non-visual, tactile man. From Clich(C) to Archetype (1970) [ edit ] In his 1970 book, From Clich(C) to Archetype, McLuhan, collaborating with Canadian poet Wilfred Watson,[77] approached the various implications of the verbal clich(C) and of the archetype. One major facet in McLuhan's overall framework introduced in this book that is seldom noticed is the provision of a new term that actually succeeds the global village; the global theater.
In McLuhan's terms, a clich(C) is a "normal" action, phrase, etc. which becomes so often used that we are "anesthetized" to its effects.
An example of this given by McLuhan is Eug¨ne Ionesco's play The Bald Soprano, whose dialogue consists entirely of phrases Ionesco pulled from an Assimil language book. "Ionesco originally put all these idiomatic English clich(C)s into literary French which presented the English in the most absurd aspect possible."[78]
McLuhan's archetype "is a quoted extension, medium, technology, or environment." "Environment" would also include the kinds of "awareness" and cognitive shifts brought upon people by it, not totally unlike the psychological context Carl Jung described.
McLuhan also posits that there is a factor of interplay between the clich(C) and the archetype, or a "doubleness":
Another theme of the Wake [Finnegans Wake] that helps in the understanding of the paradoxical shift from clich(C) to archetype is 'past time are pastimes.' The dominant technologies of one age become the games and pastimes of a later age. In the 20th century, the number of 'past times' that are simultaneously available is so vast as to create cultural anarchy. When all the cultures of the world are simultaneously present, the work of the artist in the elucidation of form takes on new scope and new urgency. Most men are pushed into the artist's role. The artist cannot dispense with the principle of 'doubleness' or 'interplay' because this type of hendiadys dialogue is essential to the very structure of consciousness, awareness, and autonomy.[79]
McLuhan relates the clich(C)-to-archetype process to the Theater of the Absurd:
Pascal, in the seventeenth century, tells us that the heart has many reasons of which the head knows nothing. The Theater of the Absurd is essentially a communicating to the head of some of the silent languages of the heart which in two or three hundred years it has tried to forget all about. In the seventeenth century world the languages of the heart were pushed down into the unconscious by the dominant print clich(C).[80]
The "languages of the heart", or what McLuhan would otherwise define as oral culture, were thus made archetype by means of the printing press, and turned into clich(C).
The satellite medium, McLuhan states, encloses the Earth in a man-made environment, which "ends 'Nature' and turns the globe into a repertory theater to be programmed."[81] All previous environments (book, newspaper, radio, etc.) and their artifacts are retrieved under these conditions ("past times are pastimes"). McLuhan thereby meshes this into the term global theater. It serves as an update to his older concept of the global village, which, in its own definitions, can be said to be subsumed into the overall condition described by that of the global theater.
The Global Village: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century (1989) [ edit ] In his 1989 posthumous book, The Global Village, McLuhan, collaborating with Bruce R. Powers, provided a strong conceptual framework for understanding the cultural implications of the technological advances associated with the rise of a worldwide electronic network. This is a major work of McLuhan's because it contains the most extensive elaboration of his concept of Acoustic Space, and it provides a critique of standard 20th century communication models such as the Shannon''Weaver model. McLuhan distinguishes between the existing worldview of Visual Space '' a linear, quantitative, classically geometric model '' and that of Acoustic Space '' a holistic, qualitative order with a complex intricate paradoxical topology. "Acoustic Space has the basic character of a sphere whose focus or center is simultaneously everywhere and whose margin is nowhere."[82] The transition from Visual to Acoustic Space was not automatic with the advent of the global network, but would have to be a conscious project. The "universal environment of simultaneous electronic flow"[83] inherently favors right-brain Acoustic Space, yet we are held back by habits of adhering to a fixed point of view. There are no boundaries to sound. We hear from all directions at once. Yet Acoustic and Visual Space are, in fact, inseparable. The resonant interval is the invisible borderline between Visual and Acoustic Space. This is like the television camera that the Apollo 8 astronauts focused on the Earth after they had orbited the moon.
Reading, writing, and hierarchical ordering are associated with the left brain, as are the linear concept of time and phonetic literacy. The left brain is the locus of analysis, classification, and rationality. The right brain is the locus of the spatial, tactile, and musical. "Comprehensive awareness" results when the two sides of the brain are in true balance. Visual Space is associated with the simplified worldview of Euclidean geometry, the intuitive three dimensions useful for the architecture of buildings and the surveying of land. It is too rational and has no grasp of the acoustic. Acoustic Space is multisensory.
McLuhan writes about robotism in the context of Japanese Zen Buddhism and how it can offer us new ways of thinking about technology. The Western way of thinking about technology is too much related to the left hemisphere of our brain, which has a rational and linear focus. What he called robotism might better be called androidism in the wake of Blade Runner and the novels of Philip K. Dick. Robotism-androidism emerges from the further development of the right hemisphere of the brain, creativity and a new relationship to spacetime (most humans are still living in 17th century classical Newtonian physics spacetime). Robots-androids will have much greater flexibility than humans have had until now, in both mind and body. Robots-androids will teach humanity this new flexibility. And this flexibility of androids (what McLuhan calls robotism) has a strong affinity with Japanese culture and life. McLuhan quotes from Ruth Benedict, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, an anthropological study of Japanese culture published in 1946: "Occidentals cannot easily credit the ability of the Japanese to swing from one behavior to another without psychic cost. Such extreme possibilities are not included in our experience. Yet in Japanese life the contradictions, as they seem to us, are as deeply based in their view of life as our uniformities are in ours."[84] The ability to live in the present and instantly readjust.
Beyond existing communication models [ edit ] "All Western scientific models of communication are'--like the Shannon''Weaver model'--linear, sequential, and logical as a reflection of the late medieval emphasis on the Greek notion of efficient causality."[85] McLuhan and Powers criticize the Shannon-Weaver model of communication as emblematic of left-hemisphere bias and linearity, descended from a print-era perversion of Aristotle's notion of efficient causality.
A third term of The Global Village that McLuhan and Powers develop at length is The Tetrad. McLuhan had begun development on the Tetrad as early as 1974.[86] The tetrad an analogical, simultaneous, four-fold pattern of transformation. "At full maturity the tetrad reveals the metaphoric structure of the artifact as having two figures and two grounds in dynamic and analogical relationship to each other." [87] Like the camera focused on the Earth by the Apollo 8 astronauts, the tetrad reveals figure (Moon) and ground (Earth) simultaneously. The right-brain hemisphere thinking is the capability of being in many places at the same time. Electricity is acoustic. It is simultaneously everywhere. The Tetrad, with its fourfold M¶bius topological structure of enhancement, reversal, retrieval and obsolescence, is mobilized by McLuhan and Powers to illuminate the media or technological inventions of cash money, the compass, the computer, the database, the satellite, and the global media network.
Key concepts [ edit ] Tetrad of media effects [ edit ] In Laws of Media (1988), published posthumously by his son Eric, McLuhan summarized his ideas about media in a concise tetrad of media effects. The tetrad is a means of examining the effects on society of any technology (i.e., any medium) by dividing its effects into four categories and displaying them simultaneously. McLuhan designed the tetrad as a pedagogical tool, phrasing his laws as questions with which to consider any medium:
What does the medium enhance?What does the medium make obsolete?What does the medium retrieve that had been obsolesced earlier?What does the medium flip into when pushed to extremes?The laws of the tetrad exist simultaneously, not successively or chronologically, and allow the questioner to explore the "grammar and syntax" of the "language" of media. McLuhan departs from his mentor Harold Innis in suggesting that a medium "overheats", or reverses into an opposing form, when taken to its extreme.[19]
Visually, a tetrad can be depicted as four diamonds forming an X, with the name of a medium in the centre. The two diamonds on the left of a tetrad are the Enhancement and Retrieval qualities of the medium, both Figure qualities. The two diamonds on the right of a tetrad are the Obsolescence and Reversal qualities, both Ground qualities.[88]
Using the example of radio:
Enhancement (figure): What the medium amplifies or intensifies. Radio amplifies news and music via sound.Obsolescence (ground): What the medium drives out of prominence. Radio reduces the importance of print and the visual.Retrieval (figure): What the medium recovers which was previously lost. Radio returns the spoken word to the forefront.Reversal (ground): What the medium does when pushed to its limits. Acoustic radio flips into audio-visual TV.Figure and ground [ edit ] McLuhan adapted the Gestalt psychology idea of a figure and a ground, which underpins the meaning of "The medium is the message". He used this concept to explain how a form of communications technology, the medium or figure, necessarily operates through its context, or ground.
McLuhan believed that in order to grasp fully the effect of a new technology, one must examine figure (medium) and ground (context) together, since neither is completely intelligible without the other. McLuhan argued that we must study media in their historical context, particularly in relation to the technologies that preceded them. The present environment, itself made up of the effects of previous technologies, gives rise to new technologies, which, in their turn, further affect society and individuals.[19]
All technologies have embedded within them their own assumptions about time and space. The message which the medium conveys can only be understood if the medium and the environment in which the medium is used'--and which, simultaneously, it effectively creates'--are analysed together. He believed that an examination of the figure-ground relationship can offer a critical commentary on culture and society.[19]
Legacy [ edit ] A portion of Toronto's St. Joseph Street is co-named Marshall McLuhan Way
After the publication of Understanding Media, McLuhan received an astonishing amount of publicity, making him perhaps the most publicized English teacher in the twentieth century and arguably the most controversial.[according to whom? ] This publicity began with the work of two California advertising executives, Howard Gossage and Gerald Feigen who used personal funds to fund their practice of "genius scouting."[89][90] Much enamoured with McLuhan's work, Feigen and Gossage arranged for McLuhan to meet with editors of several major New York magazines in May 1965 at the Lombardy Hotel in New York. Philip Marchand reports that, as a direct consequence of these meetings, McLuhan was offered the use of an office in the headquarters of both Time and Newsweek, any time he needed it.[89]
In August 1965, Feigen and Gossage held what they called a "McLuhan festival" in the offices of Gossage's advertising agency in San Francisco. During this "festival", McLuhan met with advertising executives, members of the mayor's office, and editors from the San Francisco Chronicle and Ramparts magazine. More significant was the presence at the festival of Tom Wolfe, who wrote about McLuhan in a subsequent article, "What If He Is Right?", published in New York Magazine and Wolfe's own The Pump House Gang. According to Feigen and Gossage, their work had only a moderate effect on McLuhan's eventual celebrity: they claimed that their work only "probably speeded up the recognition of [McLuhan's] genius by about six months."[91] In any case, McLuhan soon became a fixture of media discourse. Newsweek magazine did a cover story on him; articles appeared in Life Magazine, Harper's, Fortune, Esquire, and others. Cartoons about him appeared in The New Yorker.[8] In 1969, Playboy magazine published a lengthy interview with him.[92] In a running gag on the popular sketch comedy Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, the "poet" Henry Gibson would randomly say, "Marshall McLuhan, what are you doin'?"[93]
McLuhan was credited with coining the phrase Turn on, tune in, drop out by its popularizer, Timothy Leary, in the 1960s. In a 1988 interview with Neil Strauss, Leary stated that slogan was "given to him" by McLuhan during a lunch in New York City. Leary said McLuhan "was very much interested in ideas and marketing, and he started singing something like, 'Psychedelics hit the spot / Five hundred micrograms, that's a lot,' to the tune of a Pepsi commercial. Then he started going, 'Tune in, turn on, and drop out.'"[94]
During his lifetime and afterward, McLuhan heavily influenced cultural critics, thinkers, and media theorists such as Neil Postman, Jean Baudrillard, Timothy Leary, Terence McKenna, William Irwin Thompson, Paul Levinson, Douglas Rushkoff, Jaron Lanier, Hugh Kenner, and John David Ebert, as well as political leaders such as Pierre Elliott Trudeau[95] and Jerry Brown. Andy Warhol was paraphrasing McLuhan with his now famous "15 minutes of fame" quote. When asked in the 1970s for a way to sedate violences in Angola, he suggested a massive spread of TV devices.[96] The character "Brian O'Blivion" in David Cronenberg's 1983 film Videodrome is a "media oracle" based on McLuhan.[97] In 1991, McLuhan was named as the "patron saint" of Wired Magazine and a quote of his appeared on the masthead[citation needed ] for the first ten years of its publication.[98] He is mentioned by name in a Peter Gabriel-penned lyric in the song "Broadway Melody of 1974". This song appears on the concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, from progressive rock band Genesis. The lyric is: "Marshall McLuhan, casual viewin' head buried in the sand." McLuhan is also jokingly referred to during an episode of The Sopranos entitled "House Arrest". Despite his death in 1980, someone claiming to be McLuhan was posting on a Wired mailing list in 1996. The information this individual provided convinced one writer for Wired that "if the poster was not McLuhan himself, it was a bot programmed with an eerie command of McLuhan's life and inimitable perspective."[98]
A new centre known as the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, formed soon after his death in 1980, was the successor to McLuhan's Centre for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. Since 1994, it has been part of the University of Toronto Faculty of Information and in 2008 the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology incorporated in the Coach House Institute. The first director was literacy scholar and OISE Professor David R. Olsen. From 1983 until 2008, the McLuhan Program was under the direction of Dr. Derrick de Kerckhove who was McLuhan's student and translator. From 2008 through 2015 Professor Dominique Scheffel-Dunand of York University served Director of the Program.In 2011 at the time of his centenary the Coach House Institute established a Marshall McLuhan Centenary Fellowship program in his honor, and each year appoints up to four fellows for a maximum of two years. In May 2016 the Coach House Institute was renamed the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology; its Interim Director was Seamus Ross (2015''16). Sarah Sharma, an Associate Professor of Media Theory from the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology (ICCIT) and the Faculty of Information (St. George), began a five-year term as director of the Coach House (2017- ). Professor Sharma's research and teaching focuses on feminist approaches to technology, including issues related to temporality and media. Professor Sharma's thematic for the 2017-2018 Monday Night Seminars at the McLuhan Centre is MsUnderstanding Media which extends and introduces feminist approaches to technology to McLuhan's formulations of technology and culture.[99]
In Toronto, Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School is named after him.
Works cited [ edit ] This is a partial list of works cited in this article. See Bibliography of Marshall McLuhan for a more comprehensive list of works by and about McLuhan.
1951 The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man; 1st ed.: The Vanguard Press, NY; reissued by Gingko Press, 2002. ISBN 1-58423-050-9.1962 The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man; 1st ed.: University of Toronto Press; reissued by Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 0-7100-1818-5.1964 Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man; 1st ed. McGraw Hill, NY; reissued by MIT Press, 1994, with introduction by Lewis H. Lapham; reissued by Gingko Press, 2003. ISBN 1-58423-073-8.1967 The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects with Quentin Fiore, produced by Jerome Agel; 1st ed.: Random House; reissued by Gingko Press, 2001. ISBN 1-58423-070-3.1968 War and Peace in the Global Village design/layout by Quentin Fiore, produced by Jerome Agel; 1st ed.: Bantam, NY; reissued by Gingko Press, 2001. ISBN 1-58423-074-6.1970 From Clich(C) to Archetype with Wilfred Watson; Viking, NY. ISBN 0-670-33093-0.1988 McLuhan, Marshall and Eric. Laws of Media. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-5782-9.2016 Marshall McLuhan and Robert K. Logan. "The Future of the Library: From Electronic Media to Digital Media." Peter Lang. ISBN 9781433132643.Sources [ edit ] Coupland, Douglas. Extraordinary Canadians: Marshall McLuhan. Penguin Canada, 2009; US edition: Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of my Work!. Atlas & Company, 2011.Gordon, W. Terrence. Marshall McLuhan: Escape into Understanding: A Biography. Basic Books, 1997. ISBN 0-465-00549-7.Robert K. Logan. McLuhan Misunderstood: Setting the Record Straight. Toronto: Key Publishing House, 2013.Marchand, Philip. Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger. Random House, 1989; Vintage, 1990; The MIT Press; Revised edition, 1998. ISBN 0-262-63186-5[100]Molinaro, Matie; Corinne McLuhan; and William Toye, eds. Letters of Marshall McLuhan. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-19-540594-3Further reading [ edit ] Benedetti, Paul and Nancy DeHart. Forward Through the Rearview Mirror: Reflections on and by Marshall McLuhan. Boston:The MIT Press, 1997.Bobbitt, David. "Teaching McLuhan: Understanding Understanding Media." Enculturation, December, 2011. http://www.enculturation.net/teaching-mcluhanCarpenter, Edmund. "That Not-So-Silent Sea" [Appendix B]. In The Virtual Marshall McLuhan edited by Donald F. Theall. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2001: 236''261. (For the complete essay before it was edited for publication, see the external link below.)Cavell, Richard. McLuhan in Space: A Cultural Geography. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002.Daniel, Jeff. "McLuhan's Two Messengers: Maurice McNamee and Walter Ong: world-class interpreters of his ideas." St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Sunday, August 10, 1997: 4C).Federman, Mark. McLuhan for Managers: New Tools for New Thinking. Viking Canada, 2003.Finkelstein, Sidney Walter. "Sense and Nonsense of McLuhan." International Publishers Co, 1968.Flahiff, F. T. Always Someone to Kill the Doves: A Life of Sheila Watson. Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2005.Gasher, M., Skinner, D., & Lorimer, R. (2016). Mass Communication in Canada (8th ed.). Oxford University Press.Giddings, Seth. The New Media and Technocultures Reader. Routledge, 2011:82-91Havers, Grant N. "Marshall McLuhan and the Machiavellian Use of Religious Violence." In Faith, War, and Violence. Vol. 39 of Religion and Public Life, edited by Gabriel R. Ricci. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2014. pp. 179''203.Levinson, Paul. Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium. Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0-415-19251-X; book has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Croatian, Romanian, Korean and MacedonianLogan, Robert K.. Understanding New Media: Extending Marshall McLuhan. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 1st edition 2010, 2nd edition 2016.Logan, Robert K.. McLuhan Misunderstood: Setting the Record Straight". Toronto: The Key Publishing House.Ong, Walter J.: "McLuhan as Teacher: The Future Is a Thing of the Past." Journal of Communication 31 (1981): 129''135. Reprinted in Ong's Faith and Contexts: Volume One (Scholars Press, 1992: 11''18).Ong, Walter J.: [Untitled review of McLuhan's The Interior Landscape: The Literary Criticism of Marshall McLuhan 1943''1962]. Criticism 12 (1970): 244''251. Reprinted in An Ong Reader: Challenges for Further Inquiry (Hampton Press, 2002: 69''77).Prins, Harald E.L., and Bishop, John M. "Edmund Carpenter: Explorations in Media & Anthropology." Visual Anthropology Review Vol.17(2): 110-40 (2002).Prins, Harald E.L., and John Bishop. "Edmund Carpenter: A Trickster's Explorations of Culture & Media." pp. 207''45. In Memories of the Origins of Ethnographic Film. B. Engelbrecht, ed. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2007.Theall, Donald F. The Virtual Marshall McLuhan. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2001.References [ edit ] ^ Kroker, Arthur (1984). Technology and the Canadian Mind: Innis/McLuhan/Grant. Montreal: New World Perspectives. p. 73. hdl:1828/7129 . ISBN 978-0-920393-14-7. ^ "Programming: Getting the Message". Time. October 13, 1967 . Retrieved 3 March 2011 . ^ "Television: Dann v. Klein: The Best Game in Town". Time. May 25, 1970 . Retrieved 3 March 2011 . ^ a b Levinson, Paul (1999). Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-19251-X. ^ Plummer, Kevin. "Historicist: Marshall McLuhan, Urban Activist". www.torontoist.com . Retrieved September 20, 2011 . ^ Stille, Alexander (14 October 2000). "Marshall McLuhan Is Back From the Dustbin of History; With the Internet, His Ideas Again Seem Ahead of Their Time". The New York Times. p. 9 . Retrieved 10 March 2011 . ^ Beale, Nigel (28 February 2008). "Living in Marshall McLuhan's galaxy". The Guardian. UK . Retrieved 21 March 2011 . ^ a b c Wolf, Gary (January 1996). "The Wisdom of Saint Marshall, the Holy Fool". Wired 4.01 . Retrieved 2009-05-10 . ^ Boxer, Sarah (3 April 2003). "CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; McLuhan's Messages, Echoing On Iraq". The New York Times. p. 1 . Retrieved 10 March 2011 . ^ Gordon, pp. 99''100. ^ Marchand (1998), p. 20. ^ Edan, Tina (2003). "St Marshall, Mass and the Media: Catholicism, Media Theory and Marshall McLuhan", p. 10. Retrieved 2010-06-27. ^ Edan (2003), p. 11. ^ Gordon (1997), p. 34 ^ Marchand (1998), p.32 ^ Gordon, p. 40; McLuhan later commented "One advantage we Westerners have is that we're under no illusion we've had an education. That's why I started at the bottom again." Marchand (1990), p 30. ^ Marchand, p. 33''34 ^ Marchand, pp. 37''47. ^ a b c d e f g Old Messengers, New Media: The Legacy of Innis and McLuhan, a virtual museum exhibition at Library and Archives Canada ^ a b Gordon, p. 94. ^ Gordon, pp. 69''70. ^ Gordon, p. 54''56. ^ Lewis H. Lapham, Introduction to Understanding Media (First MIT Press Edition), p. xvii ^ McLuhan, Marshall. "Letter to Elsie McLuhan", September 5, 1935. Molinaro et alia (1987), p. 73. ^ Gordon, p.74, gives the date as March 25; Marchand (1990), p.44, gives it as March 30. ^ Marchand (1990), pp. 44''45. ^ Marchand (1990), p. 45. ^ Gordon, p. 75 ^ Associates speculated about his intellectual connection to the Virgin Mary, one saying, "He had a direct connection with the Blessed Virgin Mary.... He alluded to it very briefly once, almost fearfully, in a please-don't-laugh-at-me tone. He didn't say, 'I know this because the Blessed Virgin Mary told me,' but it was clear from what he said that one of the reasons he was so sure about certain things was that the Virgin had certified his understanding of them." (cited in Marchand, p. 51). ^ Marchand, p. 48 ^ Fitterman, Lisa (2008-04-19). "She was Marshall McLuhan's great love ardent defender, supporter and critic". Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on 2008-12-05 . Retrieved 2008-06-29 . ^ Gordon, p. 115. ^ McLuhan, Marshall. (2005) Marshall McLuhan Unbound. Corte Madera, CA : Gingko Press v. 8, p. 8. This is a reprint of McLuhan's introduction to the 1964 edition of Innis's book The Bias of Communication first published in 1951. ^ Prins and Bishop 2002 ^ During the time at Fordham University, his son Eric McLuhan conducted what came to be known as the Fordham Experiment about the different effects of "light-on" versus "light-through" media. ^ Order of Canada citation ^ Marshall McLuhan (n.d.). "Marshall Who?". Retrieved 2018-05-25. ^ University of Toronto Bulletin, 1979; Martin Friedland, The University of Toronto: A History, University of Toronto Press, 2002 ^ Whitman, Alden (January 1, 1981). "Marshall McLuhan, Author, Dies; Declared 'Medium Is the Message ' ". The New York Times . Retrieved 19 August 2012 . ^ McLuhan's doctoral dissertation from 1942 was published by Gingko Press in March 2006. Gingko Press also plans to publish the complete manuscript of items and essays that McLuhan prepared, only a selection of which were published in his book. With the publication of these two books a more complete picture of McLuhan's arguments and aims is likely to emerge. ^ For a nuanced account of McLuhan's thought regarding Richards and Leavis, see McLuhan's "Poetic and Rhetorical Exegesis: The Case for Leavis against Richards and Empson" in the Sewanee Review, volume 52, number 2 (1944): 266''76. ^ The phrase "the medium is the message" may be better understood in light of Bernard Lonergan's further articulation of related ideas: at the empirical level of consciousness, the medium is the message, whereas at the intelligent and rational levels of consciousness, the content is the message. This sentence uses Lonergan's terminology from Insight: A Study of Human Understanding to clarify the meaning of McLuhan's statement that "the medium is the message"; McLuhan read this when it was first published in 1957 and found "much sense" in it'--in his letter of September 21, 1957, to his former student and friend, Walter J. Ong, S.J., McLuhan says, "Find much sense in Bern. Lonergan's Insight" (Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987: 251). Lonergan's Insight is an extended guide to "making the inward turn": attending ever more carefully to one's own consciousness, reflecting on it ever more carefully, and monitoring one's articulations ever more carefully. When McLuhan declares that he is more interested in percepts than concepts, he is declaring in effect that he is more interested in what Lonergan refers to as the empirical level of consciousness than in what Lonergan refers to as the intelligent level of consciousness in which concepts are formed, which Lonergan distinguishes from the rational level of consciousness in which the adequacy of concepts and of predications is adjudicated. This inward turn to attending to percepts and to the cultural conditioning of the empirical level of consciousness through the effect of communication media sets him apart from more outward-oriented studies of sociological influences and the outward presentation of self carried out by George Herbert Mead, Erving Goffman, Berger and Luckmann, Kenneth Burke, Hugh Duncan, and others. ^ Plummer, Kevin (May 3, 2014). "Historicist: Explorations at the Vanguard of Communications Studies". Torontoist . Retrieved August 3, 2017 . ^ Wolfe, Tom (December 2015). "Tom Wolfe on Media, Advertising, Technology (1999)". C-SPAN . Retrieved 23 April 2017 . 45m ^ Chrystall, Andrew (December 2007). "The New American Vortex (2007)". Massey University . Retrieved 24 Jun 2018 . 467 ^ Gutenberg Galaxy 1962, p. 41. ^ Gutenberg Galaxy pp. 124''26. ^ Gutenberg Galaxy p. 154. ^ Sometimes Wyndham Lewis's America and Cosmic Man (1948) and James Joyce's Finnegans Wake are credited as the source of the phrase, but neither used the words "global village" specifically as such. According to McLuhan's son Eric McLuhan, his father, a Wake scholar and a close friend to Lewis, likely discussed the concept with Lewis during their association, but there is no evidence that he got the idea or the phrasing from either; generally, McLuhan is credited as having coined the term.Eric McLuhan (1996). "The source of the term 'global village ' ". McLuhan Studies (issue 2) . Retrieved 2008-12-30 . ^ Gutenberg Galaxy p. 32. ^ Gutenberg Galaxy p. 158. ^ Gutenberg Galaxy p. 254. ^ Getto, Erica. "The Medium is the Massage: Celebrating Marshall McLuhan's Legacy". WNYC.org . Retrieved 2015-04-23 . ^ America 107 (Sept. 15, 1962): 743, 747. ^ New Catholic Encyclopedia 8 (1967): 838. ^ Gordon, p. 109. ^ Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1964), 4 ^ Understanding Media, p. 8. ^ McLuhan, Understanding Media, 18, 20 ^ Understanding Media, p. 22. ^ Understanding Media, p. 25. ^ "CBC Archives". Archives.cbc.ca. 2001-09-11 . Retrieved 2015-04-23 . ^ McLuhan, Marshall (March 1969). "The Playboy Interview". ^ a b Debray, Regis. "Media Manifestos" (PDF) . Columbia University Press . Retrieved 2 November 2011 . ^ Joscelyne, Andrew. "Debray on Technology" . Retrieved 2 November 2011 . ^ a b c Mullen, Megan. "Coming to Terms with the Future He Foresaw: Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media". Archived from the original on 5 November 2011 . Retrieved 2 November 2011 . ^ Carr, David (January 6, 2011). "Marshall McLuhan: Media Savant". The New York Times . Retrieved 2 November 2011 . ^ Paul Grossweiler, The Method is the Message: Rethinking McLuhan through Critical Theory (Montreal: Black Rose, 1998), 155-81 ^ Paul Levinson, Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium (New York: Routledge,1999), 30. ^ Marchand, p. 203 ^ McLuhan & Fiore, 1967 ^ According to McLuhan biographer W. Terrence Gordon, "by the time it appeared in 1967, McLuhan no doubt recognized that his original saying had become a clich(C) and welcomed the opportunity to throw it back on the compost heap of language to recycle and revitalize it. But the new title is more than McLuhan indulging his insatiable taste for puns, more than a clever fusion of self-mockery and self-rescue'--the subtitle is 'An Inventory of Effects,' underscoring the lesson compressed into the original saying." (Gordon, p. 175.)However, the FAQ section on the website maintained by McLuhan's estate says that this interpretation is incomplete and makes its own leap of logic as to why McLuhan left it as is. "Why is the title of the book The Medium Is the Massage and not The Medium is the Message? Actually, the title was a mistake. When the book came back from the typesetter's, it had on the cover 'Massage' as it still does. The title was supposed to have read The Medium is the Message but the typesetter had made an error. When McLuhan saw the typo he exclaimed, 'Leave it alone! It's great, and right on target!' Now there are possible four readings for the last word of the title, all of them accurate: Message and Mess Age, Massage and Mass Age." ^ Understanding Media, p. 68. ^ The Medium is the Massage, pp 74,5 ^ Marchand (1998), p.187. ^ War and Peace in the Global Village, p. 46. ^ "Watson, Wilfred". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010 . Retrieved 14 March 2010 . ^ From Clich(C) to Archetype, p. 4. ^ From Clich(C) to Archetype, p. 99. ^ From Clich(C) to Archetype, p. 5. ^ From Clich(C) to Archetype, p. 9. ^ The Global Village, p. 74. ^ The Global Village, p. 75. ^ The Global Village, p. 76. ^ The Global Village, p. 77. ^ McLuhan's Laws of the Media, p. 74 ^ The Global Village, p. 78. ^ McLuhan, Eric (1998). Electric language: understanding the present. Stoddart. ISBN 0-7737-5972-7. , p. 28 ^ a b Marchand, pp. 183. ^ Rothenberg, Randall (1994). Where the Suckers Moon: The Life and Death of an Advertising Campaign. NY: Vintage Books, p. 188 ^ Marchand, pp. 182''184. ^ "Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan". Playboy. March 1969. pp. 26''27, 45, 55''56, 61, 63. ^ Marchand (1998), p. 1. ^ Strauss, Neil. Everybody Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness. New York: HarperCollins, 2011, p. 337''38 ^ "It's cool not to shave '' Marshall McLuhan, the Man and his Message '' CBC Archives". CBC News . Retrieved 2007-07-02 . ^ Daniele Luttazzi, interview at RAI Radio1 show Stereonotte Archived 2007-06-29 at the Wayback Machine, July 01 2007 2:00 am. Quote: "McLuhan era uno che al premier canadese che si interrogava su un modo per sedare dei disordini in Angola, McLuhan disse, negli anni 70, 'riempite la nazione di apparecchi televisivi'; ed ¨ quello che venne fatto; e la rivoluzione in Angola cess²." (in Italian) ^ Lamberti, Elena. Marshall McLuhan's Mosaic: Probing the Literary Origins of Media Studies. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012. ^ a b Wolf, Gary (January 1996). "Channeling McLuhan". Wired 4.01 . Retrieved 2009-05-10 . ^ "Prof. Sarah Sharma Appointed Director of McLuhan Centre - McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology". McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology. 2016-12-13. Archived from the original on 2017-11-14 . Retrieved 2017-11-14 . ^ "Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger". Philipmarchand.com . Retrieved 2015-04-23 . External links [ edit ] Official website Marshall McLuhan on IMDb "James Feeley fonds". University of St. Michael's College, John M. Kelly Library. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04 . Retrieved 15 October 2015 . "The Marshall McLuhan Collection". University of St. Michael's College, John M. Kelly Library. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04 . Retrieved 15 October 2015 .
Startup caters to millennials tired of paying in cash 'like a gangster' ' realestate.10ztalk.com
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 15:56
When Kristy Kim came to the U.S. from Seoul, South Korea, to attend the University of California, Berkeley, she paid for everything with a debit card.
''I didn't know about credit scores,'' she said. ''My mentality was, my parents are wiring money to my bank account, so I don't need to borrow. Many international students are like that because their parents fund them, so they just use their debit cards to purchase things.''
When Kristy Kim needed to buy a car for her job as an M&A analyst at an investment bank, she got rejected five times for a loan. ''So I gave up and bought my car with cash, like a gangster,'' says Kim, who is now CEO of TomoCredit.
But when she graduated and got a job as an M&A analyst at an investment bank, she needed a car because many of her clients were a few towns away. She went to several auto lenders, thinking she would qualify for a car loan because she had a good job.
''I got rejected five different times,'' Kim said. ''They all told me it didn't matter how much money I made or what grade I got, I didn't have credit history. So I gave up and bought my car with cash, like a gangster.''
That experience '-- and the realization she was not alone in it '-- drove Kim to establish TomoCredit, which began operation this week. The fintech, whose name is meant to suggest ''tomorrow's credit,'' plans to give students credit cards even if they have no credit score and no credit report. It also aims to help them build up a credit history over time.
TomoCredit has a waitlist of 50,000 people; it plans to start advertising next week.
Data released Wednesday by Bankrate highlighted the potential demand. Its survey of 2,500 consumers found that 58% of millennials said they had been denied at least one financial product such as credit cards or loans because of their credit score. That was higher than rejection rates for Gen Xers (53%) and baby boomers (27%).
Bankrate analyst Tod Rossman said this is an unintended consequence of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009. ''It has become much harder for people in their early and mid-20s to obtain credit,'' he said in a report about the survey results. ''Establishing credit is a lot like getting started in your career. Everyone wants you to have experience, but it's hard to get that first experience.''
Kim said that last week, when she visited the Berkeley campus to talk to students, she found about half lack a credit score and many didn't know what a credit score is. She will be relying at first on buzz among students like them until her advertising efforts get rolling.
''For now, it's word-of-mouth from school communities at Berkeley and Stanford,'' Kim said. ''We are seeing more students from Berkeley signing up.''
Kim and her team estimate that 30 million students or recent graduates have high incomes and high purchasing power but low or no credit scores.
''That's not because they're bad, but because younger people behave differently, especially in big cities like San Francisco and New York,'' Kim said. ''They take Uber, they don't buy a car, they get married later, they have no mortgage. Many young people are misrepresented by the existing credit bureau system, and then they get rejected by credit card companies or from services because they have no credit score.''
There is other research that backs this idea.
At American Banker's Card Forum in May, Larry Santucci, senior research fellow at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, said that in 2018, 45% of new secured credit card customers lacked a credit score.
''A lot of people who don't have credit scores are new to the country, they're students,'' he said. ''They don't have blemished credit records, they just don't have any credit record. So as they build their credit, 25% of them are considered superprime once they demonstrate account performance. Their graduation rates tend to be higher and charge-off rates lower.''
TomoCredit does not ask for or check the applicant's credit score, Kim said. ''We don't care whether it's 600 or 800,'' she said. ''All we care about is your cash-flow situation.''
Other fintechs talk about relying on alternatives to FICO scores or credit reports in their underwriting. But in practice they often use credit scores when available, sometimes because they consider the information helpful and other times to satisfy investors in the secondary market or regulators.
TomoCredit asks applicants to let it connect to their bank account using the data aggregator Plaid. The underwriting team analyzes six months' worth of cash-flow data, which includes looking at the average balance, any overdrafts, and the largest spending categories (school, books, clothing). They look for consistency. In the future, the company may provide credit cards to people with at least $50,000 worth of cryptocurrency in a Coinbase account. It might take into account a person's trading behavior.
''We are tech-driven, we want to be superinnovative,'' Kim said.
If the applicants' behavior looks responsible enough, they are approved and given a $1,000 credit limit that can eventually be increased to $10,000. They are also rewarded with small amounts of cryptocurrency.
TomoCredit offers a 30-day charge card with a 0% interest rate. Customers auto-pay from their bank account. If on the due date there is an insufficient balance in a cardholder's account, the card is frozen. The startup makes money through interchange fees.
In addition to young people, TomoCredit also targets highly skilled immigrants.
''I have so many friends working in tech in San Francisco,'' Kim said. ''They own their own companies or they are C-level in their companies, but they don't have a credit score because they are new to this country. TomoCredit wants to offer them a credit score because they are highly skilled and high-income and a safe bet.''
TomoCredit has to conduct know-your-customer reviews and follow other bank regulations. Kim takes comfort in the fact that her chief product officer was head of product at Coinbase, so he is familiar with requirements for preventing fraud and money laundering.
The company is scheduled to start issuing plastic cards in mid-September.
Boris Johnson Loses Brexit Vote, Calls for an Election - The New York Times
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 21:44
Image Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons on Monday. Credit Credit Roger Harris/U.K. Parliament Sept. 3, 2019Updated 5:28 p.m. ET
LONDON '-- British lawmakers on Tuesday rose up against Prime Minister Boris Johnson, moving to prevent him from taking the country out of the European Union without a formal agreement, in an epic showdown that has the country on the verge of a snap general election.
After losing his first-ever vote as prime minister, Mr. Johnson stood up in Parliament and said he intended to present a formal request for a general election to lawmakers, who would have to approve the motion.
The lawmakers forced his hand by voting by 328 to 301 to take control of Parliament away from the government, giving themselves the authority to pass legislation that would stop the prime minister from his threat of a no-deal Brexit.
It was a critical moment in Britain's tortured, three-year, effort to extract itself from the European Union. The saga has divided Britons, torn apart the ruling Conservative Party and prompted complaints that Mr. Johnson has trampled the conventions of the country's unwritten constitution.
A majority of lawmakers are determined to block leaving the European Union without a deal, which they believe would be disastrous for the country's economy. Tuesday's vote suggested they have the numbers to succeed.
Mr. Johnson's aides had made it clear that, in the event of a defeat on Tuesday, he would seek a general election on Oct. 14. '-- just a little over two weeks until the Brexit deadline of Oct. 31 '-- though Parliament would have to agree to that.
The accelerating pace of events suggests that Britain's Brexit nightmare may finally be approaching an endgame after years of paralysis.
Tuesday's vote also marked the moment when Mr. Johnson's hardball tactics, for once, were met with equal resistance.
Image Phillip Lee with the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, after defecting from his Conservative Party on Tuesday. Credit Roger Harris/U.K Parliament On a day of high drama, Mr. Johnson lost his working majority in Parliament even before the vote took place, when one Conservative rebel, Phillip Lee, quit the party to join the Liberal Democrats, who have managed to stage a resurgence by positioning themselves as an unambiguously anti-Brexit party.
The practical effect of Mr. Lee's defection for Mr. Johnson was limited, however, because the government would fall only if it were defeated in a confidence motion.
But in a symbolic moment, Mr. Lee walked across the floor of the House of Commons and sat beside Jo Swinson, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, as the prime minister Mr. Johnson was speaking about the recent summit of the Group of 7 leaders. Mr. Lee accused Mr. Johnson of pursuing a damaging withdrawal from the European Union in unprincipled ways, and of ''putting lives and livelihoods at risk.''
Mr. Lee's departure from the Tories may not be the last; Mr. Johnson has promised to expel any Conservative lawmaker who voted against him on Tuesday. That could threaten his ability to manage day-to-day business in Parliament, underscoring the need for a new election.
The extent of the Tory civil war was on full display as several Mr. Johnson's Conservative critics, including the former chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, lobbed hostile questions at him, making it plain that they had not been brought back into line by threats of expulsion from the party.
Opponents of a no-deal Brexit argue that Mr. Johnson's promise to leave the bloc without a deal, if necessary, would be catastrophic for the British economy. Many experts say it could lead to shortages of food, fuel and medicine, and wreak havoc on parts of the manufacturing sector that rely on the seamless flow of goods across the English Channel. Leaked government reports paint a bleak picture of what it might look like.
Mr. Johnson says he needs to keep the no-deal option on the table to give him leverage in talks in Brussels, because an abrupt exit would also damage continental economies, if not as much as Britain's. The prime minister appealed to his own lawmakers not to support what he called ''Jeremy Corbyn's surrender bill,'' a reference to the leader of the opposition Labour Party.
''It means running up the white flag,'' he said.
Mr. Johnson also claimed to have made progress in talks with European Union leaders, although his own Brexit secretary, Stephen Barclay, on Monday gave a much less rosy assessment of the state of negotiations.
Britain's main demand is for the European Union to ditch the so-called Irish backstop, a guarantee that the bloc insists it needs to ensure that goods flow smoothly across the Irish border whatever happens in trade negotiations with Britain. Mr. Johnson said he planned to visit Dublin next week for talks with his Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar.
Conservative rebels believe Mr. Johnson is more interested in uniting Brexit supporters behind him ahead of a general election than in securing an agreement in Brussels.
Image Demonstrators protesting Mr. Johnson and Brexit marched outside Parliament on Tuesday. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times One former chancellor of the Exchequer, Kenneth Clarke, accused Mr. Johnson of setting impossible conditions for the negotiations, attaching as much blame as possible to the European Union for the failure to get a deal and then seeking to hold a ''flag-waving election'' before the disadvantages of leaving without an agreement become apparent.
The bitter dispute has taken Britain into new political territory.
Last week, Mr. Johnson provoked outrage by curtailing Parliament's sessions in September and October, compacting the amount of time lawmakers would have to deal with the most crucial decision the country has faced in decades.
Mr. Johnson's allies argue that it is the rebels who are subverting the principles of Britain's unwritten constitution by seizing control of the proceedings of Parliament that are normally the preserve of the government.
The European Commission said on Tuesday that while the frequency of meetings between its Brexit team and the British negotiator, David Frost, had increased, little headway had been made toward avoiding a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Asked whether the British government was using reports of its talks with the commission for political purposes at home, the commission's spokeswoman, Mina Andreeva, said that the body was ''an honest broker, as always.'' She said she could not ''report any concrete proposals having being made that we have seen.''
Mr. Hammond, a senior member of the cabinet two months ago, told the BBC on Tuesday that Mr. Johnson's claim of progress on the negotiations was ''disingenuous.''
To add to the turmoil and confusion, the opposition Labour Party suggested it might thwart Mr. Johnson's attempt to push for a general election, should it come to that. Under a 2011 law, the prime minister needs a two-thirds majority to secure a snap election, although it is possible that the government might try to legislate to set that provision aside, a move that would mean it needs only a simply majority.
There is so little trust in British politics that Mr. Johnson's opponents fear that he might request an election for Oct. 14 but then switch the date until after Oct. 31 as part of a move to lock in a no-deal withdrawal.
Labour has said that its priority is to stop Britain leaving the European Union without a deal, because of concerns about what such a departure would mean for the economy.
But Labour's stance underscores that the backdrop to everything in British politics is a sense that a general election is looming, with key players maneuvering for the most advantageous moment.
The Ourge
Pentagon Launches New Program to Fight ''Viral'' Internet Content
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 15:37
DARPA declares war on memes.Editor's Note: This is a bipartisan takeover of the Internet to kill dissident speech as we outlined last year when top neocons said Facebook censorship of conservative was ''just the beginning'' during a conference in Germany.
The Pentagon has declared war on memes as DARPA launches a new program to fight ''polarizing viral content'' before it spreads.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is seeking to create software with the capability to ''automatically detect, attribute, and characterize falsified multi-modal media to defend against large-scale, automated disinformation attacks.''
The software will scan news stories, photos and videos to identify ''polarizing viral content'' and stop its spread to eliminate ''malicious intent'' entirely.
Titled Semantic Forensics, the program will run content through a myriad of algorithms to identify inconsistencies and identify a story or a meme as inauthentic or fake. The system will also pinpoint the origin of the meme, the intent behind it and predict the impact of its spread.
Given that the program doesn't take into account the fact that so-called ''trusted sources'' in the mainstream media have been responsible for some of the biggest fake news stories in modern history, such as Trump-Russia election collusion, the software will only succeed in eliminating dissident narratives.
As Helen Buyniski warns, the true intent of the program ''seems to be to stamp out dissent.''
''To hear them tell it, the Pentagon just wants to even the playing field between the 'good guys' '' the fake-hunters pursuing the cause of truth in media '' and the 'bad guys' sowing discord one slowed-down Nancy Pelosi speech at a time,'' she writes. ''But the Pentagon's targets aren't limited to deepfakes, the bogeyman-of-the-month being used to justify this unprecedented military intrusion into the social media and news realm, or fake news at all. If the program is successful after four years of trials, it will be expanded to target all ''malicious intent'' '' a possibility that should send chills down the spine of any journalist who's ever disagreed with the establishment narrative.''
Watch The Alex Jones Show starting at 11am Central for more news on DARPA's Internet takeover.
A study undertaken by researchers at University College London found that the most effective memes in the run up to the 2016 presidential election largely originated in two places '' the subreddit r/the_donald '' a forum devoted to boosting President Donald Trump, and 4chan's politically incorrect /pol forum.
A VICE write-up of the study acknowledges that the most ''effectively spread'' memes originated on r/the_donald and /pol.
Last year, Facebook also announced it is developing a new AI algorithm that can detect and ban ''offensive'' memes.
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US-Russia gas war drives European energy prices to 10-year low '-- RT Business News
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 13:11
European natural gas prices reached their lowest level in at least a decade this week, fuelled by a battle for market share between the world's largest producers, Russia and the US.
Prices are poised to fall further, with the benchmark price for gas in the Netherlands struggling to recover from a crash below '‚¬10 ($11) a megawatt-hour earlier this summer.
The Dutch front month gas price, a major indicator for the natural gas market in Western Europe, is at its lowest level since its launch in 2010 due to a flood of supply, according to consultants at Rystad Energy.
Also on rt.com Energy: The worst performing sector of the decade ''In September, gas storage sites in northern Europe will be full, increasing the risk of a further downside in prices,'' Niek van Kouteren, a senior trader at PZEM, a Dutch energy company told Bloomberg. ''Under a certain price, producers would be forced to extract less gas. But at the same time, big suppliers such as Russia'' are trying to increase market share.
Inventories across northwest Europe, Italy, and Austria hit 62.3 billion cubic meters, or 94 percent of capacity, on August 28, according to reports.Despite falling gas prices, Russia and the US have both increased exports sharply in the first five months of this year. Russia made up 38 percent of Europe's gas demand last year.
Data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that by 2018 annual LNG exports to Europe were 13 times what they were in 2016. That increase came despite the fact that the US is limited to transporting its gas by sea, which coupled with low European prices, forced Washington to export natural gas at a loss.
Also on rt.com Natural gas glut is crushing US drillers ''As two of the world's largest gas producers, Russia and the US are natural competitors in what seems to be a race to the bottom, not only in the lucrative Asian market but now also in Europe,'' said Carlos Torres-Diaz, head of Rystad's gas markets research. ''Both countries have sent increasing amounts of gas to Europe despite the low price environment.''
Russian energy giant Gazprom said last week that its exports to Europe will decline to 192 billion cubic meters this year, 4.5 percent lower than the record-high volumes in 2018. Its average gas price is also expected to fall 13 percent compared with what it recorded last year. However, Gazprom does not plan to turn off the taps just because of low prices.
''When we have an opportunity, we make extra sales,'' said Mikhail Malgin, the deputy department chief at Gazprom Export.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
Anti-fascist rebellion brewing in Pacific Northwest soccer stadiums - SFGate
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 13:17
The seeds of dissent were visible almost immediately.
Soccer officials had notified the Timbers Army, a fan organization for the team in Portland, Oregon, on the eve of this season that the anti-fascist symbol its members had been waving on a giant banner in the north end of the stadium would no longer be permitted at games. The fan group was not happy, releasing a lengthy critique of Major League Soccer's new rules, and working with team officials for months in meetings to change the rule.
But what began as an internal dispute between the league, the Timbers front office, and the fan group has morphed into a full rebellion in recent weeks.
The symbol, a re-purposed icon from an anti-fascist group, the Iron Front from Nazi-era Germany, has popped up at stadiums around the country. The MLS ban of it has drawn coverage from left-leaning media outlets. And a recent Timbers game became the venue for a nearly stadiumwide protest that saw two rival fan groups join in silence for more than a half-hour before openly flouting the symbol's ban.
How did a simple game - the beautiful game - become the setting for such a heated political struggle?
The Portland Timbers were incorporated into the MLS in 2010, part of a long wave of expansion for the league that continues today as the sport's popularity grows.
They have attracted a particularly active fan base, embodied most feverishly by the Timbers Army, a supporters group of some 5,200 paying members that makes the stadium's North End its raucous home every game.
The league has made relatively lenient rules in its stadiums a point of pride as it seeks to embrace a more participatory style of fandom that marks soccer in Europe and South America, where the game's foothold is strongest. Compared to many football or baseball games, where signs are often heavily restricted, MLS games are marked by colorful signs, drummers, and gargantuan banners called tifos, which were originally pioneered by fan groups overseas.
But European-style fan groups often have deeper cultural or political connections, reflective of a different idea about fandom that exists overseas. There are fan clubs aligned with local political groups, unions and causes - socialist-aligned clubs and others that lean toward right-wing politics, or even overt fascism.
For Portland, a famously liberal enclave that has increasingly become a staging ground for clashes between the far-right and anti-fascist activists - the city's political leanings have been reflected by the fans.
In response to what fans say was a noticeable uptick in hate incidents in the city in 2017, the Timbers Army began to fly the Iron Front's logo, three arrows down and to the left, in Timbers' colors, as a banner at the game. The Iron Front was a political group of anti-fascist and anti-communist activists in Nazi Germany that was banned in 1933.
Team officials eventually asked the Timbers Army to take down the banner last year, but the fan group moved it to a flagpole instead, a compromise that seemed to be tolerated, Stephan Lewis, a co-chair for community outreach for the nonprofit atop the Timbers Army, told The Washington Post.
Then the league told the group about the new code of conduct coming, in the offseason.
- - -
The league said it began to update its code of conduct that year while consulting with its clubs to determine the appropriate balance between encouraging its fans while tamping down on some of the overt politics that has divided the country so bitterly in recent years.
Political signage, including the Iron Front symbol, is generally accepted on T-shirts, hats or other personal items, MLS says. But the league ruled that the symbol would not be permitted on large signs and banners that could be seen around the stadium or by audiences watching on television because it was inherently political.
The league says its use by the loose collection of hard-line anti-fascist protesters, Antifa, who have made it a mission to meet right-wing and supremacist demonstrators when they show up in cities across the country, to sometimes violent results.
"Despite its origins dating back to fascism opposition in World War II-era Germany and elsewhere, today most of the broader public are unaware of the Iron Front and its historic meaning," the Timbers said in a statement explaining the decision. "Instead it is widely associated with its frequent use by Antifa, often in the context of violence at protests or counter protests. The Iron Front symbol is clearly different than a national symbol like the American flag, that some have tried to argue has been misappropriated by certain groups."
- - -
The decision flew under the radar for months after the season began in March, delayed perhaps by the renovations that prevented the team's home stadium from opening until June.
But in July, tensions about the symbol started to trickle up to the surface.
A fan group for the Seattle Sounders team, the Emerald City Supporters, was formally warned by the team's front office about a large banner with the Iron Front logo that was displayed at a game. That story drew a small flurry of press.
In an interview with ESPN soon thereafter, MLS Commissioner Don Garber was asked about the challenges of determining what was political in an era when existential questions about race, sexuality and identity drive the conversation in Washington. Is it possible to be apolitical in this environment?
"We basically have created a policy that takes any decision-making off the table," Garber said. "Our stadiums are not environments where our fans should be expressing political views because you then are automatically opening yourself up to allowing counterviews. Then we're getting into a situation which is unmanageable and really not why the vast, vast majority of fans go to games."
The ban began to draw more criticism, drawing harsh rebukes in publications like Deadspin and the Portland Mercury.
"The truth is that there is never an absence of politics. You either allow anti-fascist imagery or you don't, but either decision speaks volumes about the values and priorities of your organization," Mercury reporter Abe Asher wrote in an opinion piece. "If certain other supporters are uncomfortable with anti-fascist displays in stadiums, they should take a hard look at where exactly their discomfort stems from or find somewhere else to spend their time."
Rebellious displays of the Iron Front symbol began to spread to other teams, popping up in the stands in the District of Columbia; Orlando, Florida; Oklahoma; Los Angeles; Cincinnati; and beyond, prompting the hashtag #AUnitedFront.
And publications, including Fox News, were taking note.
"Antifa's 'Iron Front' symbol banned by Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders," the publication reported as news in August, months after the ban had gone into effect.
- - -
Lewis, of the Timbers Army, said the group had tried discussing the use of the symbol with the Timbers front office throughout the season, but the talks didn't yield a compromise.
But they did not want to let the issue go, saying that the symbol and its cause was worth fighting for.
"What's ultimately important to us is that we create a safe place for all people," he said. "By using the term political and applying that to the Iron Front image, it's sending a dog whistle."
So they came up with a plan with their rivals, the Emerald City Supporters and another Seattle fan club, Gorilla FC, to engage in a stadiumwide protest when the Sounders came to Portland for a match on Aug. 23.
People entering the stadium were given a flyer informing them of the plan: fans would be silent for the first 33 minutes of the game, to commemorate the year the Iron Front was banned in Nazi Germany. Then the stands would explode into an English adaptation of an anti-fascist anthem from Italy, "Bella Ciao."
Video from the stands captured the protest, including the moment the stands erupted in noise and cheer after the 33rd minute. Many supporters waved flags with the Iron Front symbol in open defiance of the code of conduct.
Similar protests took place at the Portland Thorns game in the National Women's Soccer League two days later.
The fans have drawn support from some members of the teams. Both teams took pictures with small banners affirming their "anti-fascist" and "anti-racist" bona fides.
Zarek Valentin, a defender on the Timbers, showed up at the game with the Iron Front symbol on his shirt, as did Thorns forward Christine Sinclair.
Ben Carrington, a sociology and journalism professor at the University of Southern California and the author of books about cultural, racial and political aspects of sports, said he saw the protests as the result of two main factors.
He said that the idea that there was a line between sports and politics in the United States has been crumbling for years, noting NBA player protests about police shootings, protests during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games and the push for pay equality on the U.S. Women's national soccer team.
"The line that many try to draw between sports and politics has now been completely blurred," he said. "It was always an artificial line."
What makes the MLS case unique is the fan element of the protests, he said, because the culture of soccer, with its vibrant fan groups - many of which are linked to politics, both left and right, in other parts of the world.
"When it comes to soccer there is a fan base for activism that's been there for many years in many countries. There is a bit of irony or hypocrisy on part of MLS - part of what it's trying to do is import robust fan cultures we see in Mexico, England, and Germany," he said. "You can understand why organizations want to take a stand and put the genie back in the bottle, but I think it's too late. What's a political symbol? Is the rainbow flag, for gay right and LGBT a political symbol? For many people it is."
The league declined to say how many people have been or will be sanctioned for displaying the Iron Front symbol at the game last week.
But it said it stood by its code of conduct and the interpretation that the symbol was political.
"We support . . . basic human rights and values of inclusion and diversity - rainbow flags are an example of that," Mark Abbott, the president and deputy commissioner of the MLS told The Post. "Signs that condemn racism are an example of that. Signs that condemn fascism. The disagreement here is not over any of those things - it's over the signs or a banner that include association with Antifa, an outside organization. That we don't believe should be in our stadiums."
Lewis told The Post that the Timbers Army as well as one of the supporters clubs from Seattle had been warned by the league, but that they weren't going to give up on the symbol.
"We've always kept the door open for them to change their mind on this," he said. "And if they don't? We have other options."
Opportunity Zones
The Trump Associates Benefiting From a Tax Break for Poor Communities - The New York Times
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 20:09
Business | The Trump Associates Benefiting From a Tax Break for Poor Communities Opportunity zones are intended to attract investors to distressed areas, but so far, much of their money is going to create luxury projects.
Image Chris Christie, left, the former governor of New Jersey, and Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House aide and founder of SkyBridge Capital, at SkyBridge's conference in Las Vegas in May. Credit Credit Bridget Bennett for The New York Times Published Aug. 31, 2019Updated Sept. 1, 2019, 5:51 a.m. ET
President Trump has called it ''the hottest thing going,'' a multibillion-dollar tax break designed to channel investments into poor neighborhoods, leading to new housing, businesses and jobs.
The tax benefit allows people to delay paying taxes on profits from stocks or other investments for years. To qualify, they have to direct their untaxed gains into federally certified regions known as opportunity zones. Profits on those investments are then tax-free.
While some money is flowing to poor communities, the most visible impact so far has been to set off a feeding frenzy among the wealthiest Americans. They are poised to reap billions in untaxed profits on high-end apartment buildings and hotels in trendy neighborhoods, storage facilities that employ only a handful of workers or student housing in bustling college towns.
Read our investigation of the opportunity zone tax incentives here:
Among those investing in opportunity zones: Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team; Leon Cooperman, a hedge fund manager; Sidney Kohl, one of the developers of the department store chain; and Richard Forman, the former owner of the Forman Mills chain of clothing stores. Big banks like JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are getting into the mix, too.
Here are four high-profile beneficiaries of the tax break who have personal or professional connections to Mr. Trump.
A hotel in New Orleans
Anthony ScaramucciThe former White House communications director runs an investment company, SkyBridge Capital, that is using the opportunity-zone program to help build a new hotel, outfitted with an opulent restaurant and a rooftop pool, in the trendy Warehouse District of New Orleans.
Skybridge has raised more than $50 million from outside investors, and most of it is being used to help finance the hotel, which will likely be the first of numerous opportunity-zone projects financed by SkyBridge, according to Brett S. Messing, the company's president.
Most of the money for this opportunity zone fund, Mr. Messing said, has come from about 50 different investors, who have sold houses or have cashed out on profits from private equity investments or hedge funds.
A luxury community in Miami
Richard LeFrakMr. LeFrak, a longtime confidante of Mr. Trump's and a major campaign donor, is building a sprawling luxury residential community in the middle of an opportunity zone in Miami, though it's unclear how much of the development's funding will end up being tax-advantaged.
In an opportunity zone in Miami, Mr. LeFrak, who donated nearly $500,000 to Mr. Trump's campaign and inauguration and is personally close to the president, is working with a Florida partner on a 183-acre project that is to include 12 residential towers and about 500,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.
''We are still evaluating it at this point,'' said Daniel Salas, general counsel for the project, in an interview this summer.
Stu Loeser, a spokesman for Mr. LeFrak, said the company's ''analysis so far finds that the program wouldn't work for more than 90 percent of the project.''
A Miami High rise
The KushnersJared Kushner's family company owns or is in the process of buying at least a dozen properties in New York, New Jersey and Florida that are in opportunity zones. That includes a pair in Miami, where Kushner Companies plans to build a 393-apartment luxury high rise with sweeping views of Biscayne Bay, according to a company presentation for potential investors.
''Kushner Companies is considering the option of accessing opportunity zone funds,'' the company said in a statement, but it added that the Miami project likely will not use them.
In addition, Cadre, an investment company co-founded by Mr. Kushner and his brother, Joshua, is raising hundreds of millions of dollars that it hopes to use on opportunity-zone projects.
An Apartment Building in New Jersey
Chris ChristieMr. Christie, the former governor of New Jersey and a one-time adviser to Mr. Trump, has raised money for opportunity-zone investments, including an apartment building in Hackensack, N.J., and a self-storage center in Connecticut.
Addressing Homelessness in Austin: A Forum with Elected Leaders and Service Providers Tickets, Tue, Sep 3, 2019 at 7:00 PM | Eventbrite
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 04:21
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St. Edward's University and the City of Austin invite you to a public forum regarding homelessness in our city. The forum will feature Mayor Steve Adler, City Council Members representing districts in South Austin, and directors from two of the area's leading service agencies discussing the challenges society faces and the city's plan to move forward with solutions for individuals experiencing homelessness. The forum will begin with a welcome from Dr. Jack Musselman, Director of the Center for Ethics and Leadership who will also moderate the discussion.
Panelists include:
City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler Mayor Pro-Tem Delia Garza, District 2 Council Member Ann Kitchen, District 5 Council Member Sabino ''Pio'' Renteria, District 3 Council Member Kathie Tovo, District 9 Jo Kathryn Quinn, Executive Director, Caritas of Austin Darilynn Cardona-Beiler, Director of Adult Behavioral Health Systems, Integral Care The forum is free and open to the public.
Attend Please register if you plan to attend. A maximum of two seats can be held with each reservation. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Forum begins at 7:00 p.m.
Participate in the Conversation The forum encourages questions from the public. You may send in questions ahead of time here or submit them in-person the evening of the forum. Due to time constraints, all questions cannot be answered, however, every effort will be made to cover a variety of questions from varying constituencies.
Location: Jones Auditorium (Room 101) inside the Ragsdale Center at St. Edward's University
Parking: Please use this link: http://bit.ly/HomelessnessTownHall2019 to register your vehicle for free parking on campus. Parking is recommended in t he parking garage, P1, P2 & P3 as shown on the campus map .
Have questions about Addressing Homelessness in Austin: A Forum with Elected Leaders and Service Providers?
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Jones Auditorium (Room 101) inside the Ragsdale Center at St. Edward's University 3001 South Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78704 Tuesday, September 3, 2019 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (CDT) Add to my calendar
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Travis County signals it will seek maximum property tax rate for fiscal 2020 - News - Austin American-Statesman - Austin, TX
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 03:29
Mary Huber @marymhuber Tuesday Sep 3, 2019 at 10:24 AM
Travis County commissioners, hoping to bring in the most revenue possible ahead of tighter budget years ahead, signaled Tuesday that they will seek the maximum property tax rate for fiscal year 2020 allowable under the law without triggering an election
By a 3-0 vote, commissioners decided to move forward on proposing a tax rate of 36.92 cents per $100 in property valuation, a 1.5-cent increase from last year's rate. Commissioners Gerald Daugherty and Jeff Travillion were off the dais.
If the proposed rate is approved, the owner of the average home in Travis County, valued at $348,887, can expect to pay $126 more for the county's portion of the tax bill than they paid last year. The county will have two public hearings on Sept. 17 and 20 and take a final vote on the tax rate on Sept. 24.
The proposed tax rate will allow the county to collect 8% more revenue than they did in the past budget year, which is the maximum currently allowed under state law without triggering an election. Starting in January, local governments will not be able to collect more than 3.5% more in revenue year over year without voter approval because of a state-imposed revenue cap approved by lawmakers. Travis County says it expects to lose $30 million in revenue by 2024 because of the new law.
"It is unfortunate that the Legislature has put local governments in Texas in this position," Commissioner Brigid Shea said Tuesday. "I think it's important for us to warn people that we are going to have to be taking a very, very careful and harsh look at what we are going to be able to provide and what we are going to be able to pay for."
Under the maximum proposed tax rate, Travis County expects to have $54.5 million more in its general fund in fiscal 2020. A significant portion of that money has been earmarked to give elected officials and county staff raises to bring them up to the market rate, county officials have said.
Other new expenses include $1 million for a new criminal district court, $4 million in matching funds to establish a public defender's office, $600,000 for increased electronic monitoring for defendants diverted from the Travis County Jail and $2.8 million for additional investments in health and human services, according to the preliminary budget.
The county's budget office had previously proposed a fiscal 2020 budget that collected 6% more revenue than last year but advised commissioners to seek the maximum 8% allowed under the law. Commissioners will vote Thursday to publish the proposed maximum tax rate in an advertisement to run in the Austin Chronicle.
Dogs are People Too
Opinion | Dogs Are Not Here for Our Convenience - The New York Times
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 14:09
Spaying and neutering puppies shouldn't be standard policy '-- and it isn't automatically the ''responsible'' choice either.
By Alexandra Horowitz
Dr. Horowitz is a cognitive scientist who studies dogs.
Sept. 3, 2019 Image Credit Credit Kaley McKean I've never lived with a dog with testes or ovaries. My pups all came from shelters, whose policies have often been to desex a dog before adoption if possible. I never knew Pumpernickel as a fertile young thing or Finnegan: The Virile Version. This is by design, and the design had its desired effect. I did not need to make a choice about the future of my dogs reproductively, and I did not lament the loss of what I had never known.
''Spay-neuter,'' as the policy is called, has become the automatic mantra of those concerned with the lives of dogs. It's not hard to see why. Say you live in a city with a dog. Stepping outside for a walk on a sunny day, you encounter other dogs: smiling golden retrievers; a smattering of small furry white dogs in sweaters; barking and wagging dachshunds; black-and-white dogs of all sizes; wiggling pit mixes '-- maybe 100 dogs in an hour. For every one of the 100 dogs you see, 18 healthy dogs will be euthanized in the United States on that day '-- a mile-long queue of recently smiling, barking, wiggling but now dead dogs.
It's our species' fault. We molded a resourceful carnivore into an animal critically dependent on humans for survival. But while we made dogs dependent, we have not held ourselves accountable: We lose dogs, let them run unchecked, give them up when they're a nuisance or difficult. And so there are too many dogs, and the excess must be killed.
To solve the problem of our unwillingness to keep track of our dogs, we do not address our unwillingness. To address the overpopulation of unwanted dogs, we do not address the overpopulation. Instead, we non sequitur: We take brand-new dogs and introduce them into our homes by first putting them through a surgery at 6, 4 or even 3 months of age. The professed solution, in the United States, is to spay or neuter all the new ones.
Its proponents are humane societies, shelters, veterinarians, even Bob Barker. To spay (a female dog) or neuter (a male dog) '-- to ''fix'' them '-- is to surgically desex them: to remove their gonads, their reproductive organs. These new, sexless puppies are at once our projections into the future and our ducking of the past: Here! we say. In the future there will be fewer unwanted dogs! As for our actions as a species in creating this problem, we are quiet.
Spay-neuter is so widely accepted in our country today that those who take exception to it are roundly chastised. Rare is the humane society or veterinary group that does not use the phrase ''responsible pet owners'' to describe those who desex their animals. Dog owners who have intact animals may find that efforts to be ''responsible'' in other ways '-- by socializing their dogs or by finding a doggie day care for long days at work '-- will be rebuffed. Intact dogs over 6 months of age are often forbidden to come to doggie day cares at all. Some city parks and dog runs similarly forbid dogs who are not desexed. For me simply to bring up the topic of desexing for discussion will be, in the eyes of some, impermissible, so sacred is the policy '-- and so heartfelt (and good- hearted) is the intent behind it.
But I need to bring it up. For by our widespread policies of desexing dogs, we are not just removing their gonads: we are changing their bodies, their health and their behavior '-- not always for the better. We are implying that dogs should be asexual, in body and mind. We are altering the future of the species, to its peril.
The phrase ''spay-neuter'' wasn't often uttered until the 1970s; the surgery itself was not routinely performed before the 1930s. The first low-cost dedicated spay-neuter clinic opened in North Hollywood, Calif., in 1973, following several years of complaints about an increasing population of seemingly homeless dogs, who seemed to pose a danger, and who cost a lot to kill, once captured.
Though the A.S.P.C.A. was originally against widespread desexing, by the mid-70s they had become a leading proponent of the practice. In 1973 the organization began requiring spay-neuter before adoption. Laws now on the books in two-thirds of states require any dog adopted from animal shelters or rescue groups to be desexed. Some parts of the country, such as unincorporated Los Angeles County, have enacted mandatory spay-neuter laws for all dogs '-- in L.A., once they turn only four months of age.
''Population control'' is usually the first explanation for the laws on the books. Laws in New York State also invoke the ''great expense to the community'' of impounding and destroying these strays, who are described as a health hazard and ''public nuisance.'' In New York City, the Mayor's Alliance for N.Y.C.'s Animals states that desexed animals ''live a longer, healthier life,'' that males will be ''better behaved'' if they don't have testicles, and that spaying females ''helps prevent breast cancer and uterine infections.'' In other words, it's good for us, and it's good for them.
At first glance, insofar as spay-neuter practices have been aimed at overpopulation, they appear to have been an indisputable success. The number of animals arriving at shelters has reduced appreciably since the 1970s; the number of euthanasias has plummeted, to two to four million euthanized cats and dogs annually now from estimates of more than 20 million back then.
This triumph, though, is asterisked. Specific numbers are very hard to come by, given the vagaries of reporting. A 2018 report by Andrew Rowan, then chief scientific officer of the Humane Society, and Tamara Kartal, of Humane Society International, suggests that the 1970s figure was much less, closer to 13.5 million '-- and cites many other societal changes as significant in lowering euthanization rates. Critically, there are now much higher rates of adoptions, better ''containment'' (fewer pet dogs just let loose to run around), and better identification methods, which allow for reunion of lost dogs with their owners.
Stephen Zawistowski, a former science adviser for the A.S.P.C.A., who has looked at the intake rates in the A.S.P.C.A. in New York City since it was founded in the 19th century, told me that ''the largest decrease in dogs and cats coming into the city happened in the '40s, '50s and '60s'' '-- before spay-neuter became common and well before it became law. In some areas, studies have found that the opening of a subsidized spay-neuter clinic had no effect on local rates of euthanasia.
More troubling, despite the unambiguous statements made by proponents of the salutary effects of spay-neuter on dogs, a series of long-term research programs has begun to show that the effects are far more subtle '-- and sometimes outright damaging. Benjamin Hart, a researcher and veterinarian at the University of California, Davis, has led the biggest effort to date to see exactly what the repercussions of desexing might be, in the long term, using the database from his university's veterinary hospital. By removing dogs' reproductive organs, gonadectomies also remove their main source of hormones '-- estrogen, testosterone and progesterone '-- each of which has a role not just in reproduction, but systemically through the body.
The first publication by Dr. Hart and his team, in 2013, reported that desexing golden retrievers, especially before six months of age, increased their risk of serious joint diseases, four to five times over the risk intact dogs face. They have since found higher rate of joint diseases among desexed Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, Doberman pinschers, Bernese mountain dogs and St. Bernards. Risks of cancer increase multifold in spayed goldens, neutered boxers and all Bernese. Desexed dogs of all types suffer higher rates of obesity. One of the most touted claims of spay-neuter '-- that it increases an animal's life span '-- may be tempered by the finding that with an increased life span comes an increase rate of life-taking cancers.
Not all breeds suffer more cancer or disease with desexing: small dogs and mixed breeds appear to be exempt. Desexing at later ages, too, may eliminate the increased risks of disease in some cases. Problematically, shelters like to desex at a young age '-- because that's often when they have possession of the puppies.
Similarly, the oft-cited behavioral improvements of desexed dogs are questionable. Dr. Hart has reported that only one in four male dogs neutered for reasons of ''aggression'' shows less of the behavior after the surgery; the same holds for rates of mounting and excessive urine-marking. In females, there is even some evidence of an increase in aggressive behaviors if they are spayed before the age of 1.
I see our policies in the United States as revealing a lot about us '-- and what it reveals isn't pretty. For one thing, we value convenience, and desexing a dog is convenient for us. Menses is messy: a female dog may urinate in the house and will spread bloody vaginal discharge where she rests and walks; her heat lasts for a few weeks. Even more, we have become skittish about dog sex, when we consider dogs our family members, or even our children. The mere act of mounting or humping is seen as horrifyingly rude, and given its own section in training books (despite the fact that it's perfectly normal behavior in a dog's toolbox, especially during social play). We're happy to ignore the question of whether dogs want to have sex: The question is more likely to induce guffaws than an actual discussion '-- despite the fact that, as animals like us, many surely do.
There are alternative ways to treat our animals. Should we be committed to sterilization, there are nonsurgical options. Injectable sterilants are on the market internationally '-- including one in the United States '-- and many are in development. Vasectomy and tubal ligation are options that would reduce birthrates, while keeping hormones intact. These surgeries are, alas, done much less often by your local vet than the routine spay-neuter.
We could also change the culture of ownership. In Europe, desexing has not been routine. Until recently, it was illegal to desex a dog in Norway. Only 7 percent of Swedish dogs are desexed (compared with more than 80 percent in the United States). Switzerland has a clause in its Animal Protection Act honoring the ''dignity of the animal,'' and forbidding any pain, suffering or harm, such as would be incurred by desexing. Yet none of these countries has a problem with excessive stray dogs.
The Norwegian dog trainer Anne-Lill Kvam told me that stray dogs are ''not a problem'' because ''everyone takes care'' of their dogs. They keep their animals close, attend to them and train them not to behave in such a way that would lead to unwanted animals. As a Norwegian animal-welfare official was quoted as saying, ''Neutering can never be a substitute for proper training of a dog.''
With the call to spay-neuter, we are unwittingly changing dogs. Consider who gets desexed: primarily shelter dogs, largely mixed-breeds. Even where there are mandatory spay-neuter laws, ''competition dogs'' or any purebred dog registered with a dog club, are exempt from the law. Commercial breeders of purebred dogs '-- a process of inbreeding '-- can make more dogs with impunity. Adopt from a shelter, and you cannot.
A recent paper observes that widespread desexing practices ''undermine'' the healthy evolution of the species by excluding so many genetically sound dogs from the future dog gene pool. Should spay-neuter be universally successful, what we'll have done is not curb unwanted populations. We will have inadvertently redesigned dogs. The truly mixed breed dog would be extinct.
It should not be the shelter worker's duty to shoulder all of overpopulation for society, and it is not the dog's duty to be desexed to save her species. It is our duty. As the authors of dogs, as the ones who shepherded them from ancient proto-wolves into our villages and homes, who sculpted bizarrely small-nosed, short-legged, furry-faced dogs out of the well-adapted wolf, we must find a way for them whereby they do not lose their animalness.
Nor should an owner's responsibility to dogs be discharged by having a desexed pet (whose surgery came before ownership). We ought to prioritize the complexities of managing thoughtful ownership '-- of learning the dog's behavior and communicative signals, to understand her more clearly; of appreciating the monetary investment and time demands of living with a dog; of appreciating the complexities of letting a dog impregnate or become pregnant.
Today, one can get away with abandoning a dog for any reason: for behavior that the owner deems ''misbehavior'' '-- be it soiling the house (needing to pee), barking (communicating) or destroying possessions (attempting to relieve boredom). We can return a dog to the shelter simply because he's ''too much trouble'' or no longer a cute puppy. As a society, we are endorsing the idea that dogs come without complicated needs and messy bodily functions '-- because after all, that was ''fixed.''
But we are the ones who need fixing.
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Major Parties Rallying Around Telecom Pricing Issue as Election Nears
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 15:31
OTTAWA'--Consumer advocates say a rare consensus is forming among the major political parties ahead of the federal election that Canadians need protecting from gouging by the country's big telecom companies.
It's being called phone-bill populism, and it could be a make-or-break issue for the parties as they head toward the Oct. 21 vote.
Allan Thompson hears about it constantly as he knocks on doors in communities across the Ontario riding of Huron-Bruce, where he's running as a Liberal candidate.
Seniors are most likely to raise the issue, Thompson says, as they give him an earful about the ever-rising cost of living in general.
''But then (seniors) are also the most likely to be at home when I knock,'' he said.
Even before the official campaigning begins, all the major parties are pledging to find ways of curbing increases to telecom rates.
The New Democrats under Jagmeet Singh laid out their plan for reducing wireless and internet-service rates, announcing in June they would impose a ''price cap'' on monthly bills that they estimated will save households about $10 a month for each service.
The NDP plan would see rates matched to an average across the 36 countries that make up the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the party said.
Recent media reports have indicated the Trudeau Liberals are preparing a campaign pledge to reduce cellphone and internet costs either through a cap on monthly bills or by requiring major service providers to offer mobile virtual-network operators (MVNOs) wholesale access to their infrastructure. Those are smaller companies that don't own wireless networks but pay bigger companies for the right to use theirs, re-selling that access under their own brands.
Trudeau himself has acknowledged telecom services in Canada are costly and has vowed to do something about it.
''We recognize that Canadians shouldn't be paying more for their already very expensive internet and communication services and that's something that we will take into account as we move forward to ensure that the system is fair for everyone,'' Trudeau said Aug. 26 at the close of the G7 summit in France, when asked about the possibility of taxing digital services.
The Conservatives under leader Andrew Scheer have criticized the Liberals for being ineffective on the subject, noting the prime minister has had plenty of time to reduce end user rates since coming to power in 2015.
''Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have been in power for four years, and have done nothing to make life more affordable for Canadian families,'' Scheer's press secretary Daniel Schow said in an emailed statement.
The Tories, however, have not laid out their own plan to deal with a rising household cost, choosing instead to wait until the campaign begins.
''We will have more to say about our plan to make life more affordable and to help Canadian families get ahead in the coming weeks,'' Schow said.
The Green party has also pledged to ''mandate affordable cellphone plans,'' without providing specifics.
Industry players warn that attempts at rate-fixing could result in reduced investment in critical infrastructure, particularly as Canada heads toward development of 5G networks across the country.
Canada's telecom industry group, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), argues that the high costs Canadians pay for services have been necessary to help build one of the fastest, most reliable cellphone and internet infrastructures in the world.
''Our members want to continue to build out to ensure that more Canadians get connected, and that we have world-class networks and that we are ready for 5G, because the 5G economy is going to be the future for those countries that are able to get there and deliver those networks,'' CWTA president Robert Ghiz, a former premier of Prince Edward Island, said in an interview.
''That will lead to GDP growth and will make sure that Canada can remain competitive.''
If rates for internet, cellphone and other telecom services are a political football, that's the fault of the service providers, says consumer-rights advocate John Lawford of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.
''The companies have done nothing to take themselves off the radar of the political parties,'' said Lawford.
''Low-income Canadians are spending, according to the (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) and Statistics Canada, about 10 per cent of their income on communications services,'' he added. ''That's double what it should be.''
Consumer watchdog organization OpenMedia welcomed the attention political parties are paying to telecom pricing, calling it a significant barrier to connectivity in today's digital economy.
''Big telecom has been gouging people in Canada for far too long and change is long overdue,'' OpenMedia campaigns director Matthew Carroll said in a statement.
OpenMedia has called on the government to require major service providers to offer wholesale access to MVNOs, which pay fees to piggyback on the infrastructure built by the big telecom players.
Allowing MVNOs access to the country's wireless sector at fair rates would increase competition, and enable smaller providers to offer more affordable service to Canadians, said Carroll.
The CRTC is reviewing the rules governing Canada's wireless market to determine whether MVNOs should have greater access to established networks.
Where that has happened in other markets, particularly in Europe and Israel, the result has been less money spent on improving networks, said Ghiz.
''They've allowed MVNOs to come in and they have mandated prices around wireless. Quite frankly when that happens there's less investment,'' he said.
''Your download speeds go down, your coverage goes down, and the opportunity to invest to ensure more Canadians get connected goes down as well. We don't want to see that happen.''
By Terry Pedwell
Fire Did Not Cause 3rd Tower's Collapse on 9/11, New Study Finds
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 03:36
On September 11, 2001, at 5:20 PM, the 47-story World Trade Center Building 7 collapsed into its footprint, falling more than 100 feet at the rate of gravity for 2.5 seconds of its seven-second destruction.Despite calls for the evidence to be preserved, New York City officials had the building's debris removed and destroyed in the ensuing weeks and months, preventing a proper forensic investigation from ever taking place. Seven years later, federal investigators concluded that WTC 7 was the first steel-framed high-rise ever to have collapsed solely as a result of normal office fires.
Today, we at Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth are pleased to partner with the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in releasing the draft report of a four-year computer modeling study of WTC 7's collapse conducted by researchers in the university's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The UAF WTC 7 report concludes that the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11 was caused not by fire but rather by the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.
Download the Report
Project Information Lead ResearcherDr. J. Leroy HulseyProfessor of Civil Engineering, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Research AssistantsDr. Feng XiaoAssociate Professor, Nanjing University of Science and Technology
Dr. Zhili QuanBridge Engineer, South Carolina Department of Transportation
Project DatesMay 1, 2015 '' September 30, 2019
Funding$316,153 (provided by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth)
Simulations and Videos
Figure 4.16 Failure of Columns 76 to 81
Figure 4.20 Failure of All Core Columns
Figure 4.24a Failure of All Columns Fl 6 to 13
Figure 4.24a Video of WTC 7 Collapse
Figure 4.24b Failure of All Columns Fl 6 to 13
Figure 4.24b Video of WTC 7 Collapse
Public Comment Period Following the release of the UAF WTC 7 draft report on September 3, 2019, there will be a two-month public comment period ending on November 1, 2019. The final report will be released later this year.
During this period, the UAF research team and AE911Truth staff welcome any and all members of the public to submit constructive comments intended to further the analyses and presentation of findings contained in the report. Designated reviewers external to UAF and AE911Truth will also review the report during this period.
Commenters are asked to send their comments in an attached PDF or Word document to publiccomment@AE911Truth.org.
Open Data All input data, results data, and simulations that were used or generated during this study will be made available here and at http://ine.uaf.edu/wtc. The research team is currently organizing and uploading all of its data into a format that can be readily downloaded and used. We expect to post the data sometime between September 16 and September 30, 2019.
For anyone intending to download the data, please be advised that there are several hundred gigabytes, so plan your data storage accordingly.
There will be several presentations given in conjunction with the release of the UAF WTC 7 draft report and final report, so please stay tuned for presentations being given in your area as well as presentations being streamed and/or archived online.
The first presentation will be given in UAF's Schaible Auditorium at 6:00 PM Alaska time on September 3, 2019, and will be streamed live at https://media.uaf.edu.
The second presentation will be given at the Faculty Club at UC Berkeley at 5:00 PM Pacific time on September 5, 2019.
Tesla Driver Was on Autopilot Eating a Bagel When He Smashed into a Fire Truck
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 11:30
(C) Culver City Firefighters via Instagram A National Transportation Safety Board investigation found the driver had hands off the wheel and ignored warnings in the 2018 crash. The driver of a 2014 Tesla Model S that ran into the back of a fire engine in California in 2018 was using Autopilot at the time, according to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report this week.The agency's investigators reported that the driver was having breakfast while he let Autopilot take over the driving; his hands were not on the steering wheel, and he did not brake prior to the crash. This is not the first'--and unfortunately probably won't be the last'--case of drivers relying more extensively on Autopilot than Tesla expressly states they should.The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that a man was having breakfast inside his Tesla when it crashed into a parked fire truck. The unidentified 47-year-old man, who ran into the back of a fire engine on Interstate 405 in Culver City, California, in January 2018, was using the car's Autopilot feature while he breakfasted on coffee and a bagel.
His hands were not on the steering wheel prior to the crash, nor did the 2014 Model S brake for the fire engine, which was stopped with lights flashing. He has not been identified in public records and is unknown if he will be criminally charged. The preliminary NTSB report released Tuesday said that because after the crash his coffee spilled and his bagel was smashed, the driver was not sure if his coffee or bagel was in his hand when the crash occurred. The agency does not assign blame in accident investigations.
NTSB report data concluded that the Tesla was driven on that day for about 30 miles over about 66 minutes, and during that time, Autopilot was engaged for 29 minutes and four seconds. "Hands were detected on the steering wheel for only 78 seconds," NTSB said.
Tesla Enhanced Autopilot
The NTSB said Autopilot was on for the last 13 minutes and 48 seconds before the crash, of which time the driver had his hands on the wheel for a total of 51 seconds. "Place Hands on the Wheel" alerts came from the car's system four times, as did an audible warning. Cruise control was set for 80 mph. When the car in front changed lanes'--presumably to move over for the fire truck'--the man let his Tesla accelerate from 21 mph to 31 mph before hitting the back of the truck head-on, the report said. Fortunately there were no injuries to the "driver" or anyone in the crash zone.
In August 2018, a 37-year-old man crashed into a fire truck in San Jose at 65 mph. In May that year, a woman in another Tesla crashed into another fire truck in Utah. Other Tesla drivers believing Autopilot to be infallible and entirely self-driving have napped on the highway'--or killed themselves as their cars drove them underneath tractor-trailers or straight into barriers.
Hong Kong in Crosshairs of Global Power Struggle '' Consortiumnews
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 11:11
The U.S. and other Western powers are working to preserve a capitalist dystopia and manufacture consensus for long-term conflict with China, write Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Hong Kong protesters waving U.S. flags last week. (YouTube)
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers PopularResistance.org
H ong Kong is one of the most extreme examples of big finance, neoliberal capitalism in the world. As a result, many people in Hong Kong are suffering from great economic insecurity in a city with 93 billionaires, second-most of any city.
Hong Kong is suffering the effects of being colonized by Britain for more than 150 years following the Opium Wars. The British put in place a capitalist economic system and Hong Kong has had no history of self-rule. When Britain left, it negotiated an agreement that prevents China from changing Hong Kong's political and economic systems for 50 years by making Hong Kong a Special Administrative Region (SAR).
China cannot solve the suffering of the people of Hong Kong. This ''One Country, Two Systems'' approach means the extreme capitalism of Hong Kong exists alongside, but separate from, China's socialized system. Hong Kong has an unusual political system. For example, half the seats in the legislature are required to represent business interests meaning corporate interests vote on legislation.
Hong Kong is a center for big finance and also a center of financial crimes. Between 2013 and 2017, the number of suspicious transactions reported to law enforcement agencies rocketed from 32,907 to 92,115. There has been a small number of prosecutions , which dropped from a high of 167 in 2014 to 103 in 2017. Convictions dropped to only one person sentenced to more than six years behind bars in 2017.
The problem is neither the extradition bill that was used to ignite protests nor China, the problems are Hong Kong's economy and governance.
The Extradition Bill
The stated cause of the recent protests is an extradition bill proposed because there is no legal way to prevent criminals from escaping charges when they flee to Hong Kong. The bill was proposed by the Hong Kong government in February 2019 to establish a mechanism to transfer fugitives in Hong Kong to Taiwan, Macau or Mainland China.
Extradition laws are a legal norm between countries and within countries (e.g. between states), and since Hong Kong is part of China, it is pretty basic. In fact, in 1998, a pro-democracy legislator , Martin Lee , proposed a law similar to the one he now opposes to ensure a person is prosecuted and tried at the place of the offense.
The push for the bill came in 2018 when a Hong Kong resident Chan Tong-kai allegedly killed his pregnant girlfriend, Poon Hiu-wing, in Taiwan, then returned to Hong Kong. Chan admitted he killed Poon to Hong Kong police, but the police were unable to charge him for murder or extradite him to Taiwan because no agreement was in place.
The proposed law covered 46 types of crimes that are recognized as serious offenses across the globe. These include murder, rape, and sexual offenses, assaults, kidnapping, immigration violations, and drug offenses as well as property offenses like robbery, burglary and arson and other traditional criminal offenses. It also included business and financial crimes.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross addressing AmCham event in Hong Kong, 2017. (Twitter)
Months before the street protests, the business community expressed opposition to the law. Hong Kong's two pro-business parties urged the government to exempt white-collar crimes from the list of offenses covered by any future extradition agreement. There was escalating pressure from the city's business heavyweights. The American Chamber of Commerce, AmCham, a 50-year-old organization that represents over 1,200 U.S. companies doing business in Hong Kong, opposed the proposal.
AmCham said it would damage the city's reputation: ''Any change in extradition arrangements that substantially expands the possibility of arrest and rendition '... of international business executives residing in or transiting through Hong Kong as a result of allegations of economic crime made by the mainland government '... would undermine perceptions of Hong Kong as a safe and secure haven for international business operations.''
Kurt Tong, the top U.S. diplomat in Hong Kong, said in March that the proposal could complicate relations between Washington and Hong Kong. Indeed, the Center for International Private Enterprise, an arm of the National Endowment for Democracy, said the proposed law would undermine economic freedom, cause capital flight and threaten Hong Kong's status as a hub for global commerce. They pointed to a bipartisan letter signed by eight members of Congress, including Senators Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, and Steve Daines and Members of the House of Representatives, Jim McGovern, Ben McAdams, Chris Smith, Tom Suozzi, and Brian Mast opposing the bill.
Proponents of the bill responded by exempting nine of the economic crimes and made extradition only for crimes punishable by at least seven years in prison. These changes did not satisfy big business advocates.
The Mass Protests and U.S. Role
Hong Kong World Financial Centre Tower, 2008. (Ray Devlin/Flickr)
From this attention to the law, opposition grew with the formation of a coalition to organize protests. As Alexander Rubinstein reports , ''the coalition cited by Hong Kong media, including the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong Free Press , as organizers of the anti-extradition law demonstrations is called the Civil Human Rights Front. That organization's website lists the NED-funded HKHRM [Human Rights Monitor], Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Civic Party, the Labour Party, and the Democratic Party as members of the coalition.'' HKHRM alone received more than $1.9 million in funds from the NED between 1995 and 2013. Major protests began in June.
Building the anti-China movement in Hong Kong has been a long-term, NED project since 1996. In 2012, NED invested $460,000 through its National Democratic Institute, to build the anti-China movement (aka pro-democracy movement), particularly among university students. Two years later, the mass protests of Occupy Central occurred. In a 2016 Open Letter to Kurt Tong , these NED grants and others were pointed out and Tong was asked if the U.S. was funding a Hong Kong independence movement.
During the current protests, organizers were photographed meeting with Julie Eadeh, the political unit chief of U.S. Consulate General, in a Hong Kong hotel. They also met with China Hawks in Washington, D.C., including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Larry Diamond, a co-editor of the NED's publication and a co-chair of research , has been openly encouraging the protesters. He delivered a video message of support during their rally this weekend.
Protests have included many elements of U.S. color revolutions with tactics such as violence '-- attacks on bystanders, media, police and emergency personnel. Similar tactics were used in Ukraine , Nicaragua , and Venezuela, e.g. violent street barricades. U.S. officials and media criticized the government's response to the violent protests, even though they have been silent on the extreme police violence against the Yellow Vests in France. Demonstrators also use swarming techniques and sophisticated social media messaging targeting people in the U.S..
Mass protests have continued. On July 9, Chief Executive Carrie Lam pronounced the bill dead and suspended it. Protesters are now calling for the bill to be withdrawn, Lam to resign and police to be investigated. For more on the protests and U.S. involvement, listen to our interview with K. J. Noh on Clearing the FOG .
What Is Driving Discontent in Hong Kong?
Makeshift shelters at Tung Chau Street Temporary Market in Sham Shui Po. (Nora Tam)
The source of unrest in Hong Kong is the economic insecurity stemming from capitalism. In 1997, Britain and China agreed to leave ''the previous capitalist system'' in place for 50 years.
Hong Kong has been ranked as the world's freest economy in the Heritage's Index of Economic Freedom since 1995 when the index began. In 1990, Milton Friedman described Hong Kong as the best example of a free-market economy. Its ranking is based on low taxes, light regulations, strong property rights, business freedom, and openness to global commerce.
Graeme Maxton writes in the South China Morning Post:
''The only way to restore order is through a radical change in Hong Kong's economic policies. After decades of doing almost nothing, and letting the free market rule, it is time for the Hong Kong government to do what it is there for; to govern in the interests of the majority. ''
The issue is not the extradition proposal, Carrie Lam or China. What we are witnessing is an unrestricted neo-liberal economy, described as a free market on steroids . Hong Kong's economy relative to China's gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen from a peak of 27 percent in 1993 to less than 3 percent in 2017. During this time, China has had tremendous growth, including in nearby market-friendly Shenzen, while Hong Kong has not.
As Sara Flounders writes, ''For the last 10 years wages have been stagnant in Hong Kong while rents have increased 300 percent; it is the most expensive city in the world. In Shenzhen, wages have increased 8 percent every year, and more than 1 million new, public, green housing units at low rates are nearing completion.''
Hong Kong has the world's highest rents , a widening wealth gap and a poverty rate of 20 percent. In China, the poverty rate fell from 88 percent in 1981 to 0.7 percent in 2015, according to the World Bank.
Hong Kong in Chinese Context
Skyline of Beijing, China's capital city, at dusk, 2017. (Picrazy2, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)
Ellen Brown writes in ''Neoliberalism Has Met Its Match in China,'' that the Chinese government owns 80 percent of banks, which make favorable loans to businesses, and subsidizes worker costs. The U.S. views China subsidizing its economy as an unfair trade advantage, while China sees long-term, planned growth as smarter than short-term profits for shareholders.
The Chinese model of state-controlled capitalism (some call it a form of socialism) has lifted 800 million people out of poverty and built a middle class of over 420 million people, growing from four percent in 2002, to 31 percent. The top 12 Chinese companies on the Fortune 500 are all state-owned and state-subsidized including oil, solar energy, telecommunications, engineering, construction companies, banks, and the auto industry. China has the second-largest GDP, and the largest economy based on Purchasing Power Parity GDP, according to the CIA , IMF and World Bank .
China does have significant problems. There are thousands of documented demonstrations, strikes and labor actions in China annually, serious environmental challenges , inequality and social control through the use of surveillance technology. How China responds to these challenges is a test for their governance.
China describes itself as having an intraparty democracy. The eight other legal ''democratic parties'' that are allowed to participate in the political system cooperate with but do not compete with the Communist Party. There are also local elections for candidates focused on grassroots issues. China views Western democracy and economics as flawed and does not try to emulate them but is creating its own system.
China is led by engineers and scientists, not by lawyers and business people. It approaches policy decisions through research and experimentation. Every city and every district is involved in some sort of experimentation including free trade zones, poverty reduction and education reform. ''There are pilot schools, pilot cities, pilot hospitals, pilot markets, pilot everything under the sun, the whole China is basically a giant portfolio of experiments, with mayors and provincial governors as Primary Investigators.'' In this system, Hong Kong could be viewed as an experiment in neoliberal capitalism.
The Communist Party knows that to keep its hold on power, it must combat inequalities and shift the economy towards a more efficient and more ecological model. Beijing has set a date of 2050 to become a ''socialist society'' and to achieve that, it seeks improvements in social , labor and environmental fields.
Where does Hong Kong fit into these long-term plans? With 2047 as the year for the end of the agreement with the U.K., U.S. and Western powers are working toward preserving their capitalist dystopia of Hong Kong and manufacturing consensus for long-term conflict with China.
How this conflict of economic and political systems turns out depends on whether China can confront its contradictions, whether Hong Kongers can address the source of their problems and whether US empire can continue its dollar, political and military dominance. Today's conflicts in Hong Kong are rooted in all of these realities.
Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers co-direct Popular Resistance .
A version of this article first appeared in PopularResistance.org .
Before commenting please read Robert Parry's Comment Policy . Allegations unsupported by facts, gross or misleading factual errors and ad hominem attacks, and abusive language toward other commenters or our writers will be removed.
Thousands of students turn out for protest rally in Central as Hong Kong gears up for weekend of demonstrations | South China Morning Post
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 11:09
Extradition bill protesters at a rally organised by student groups at Chater Garden, Central on Friday night. Photo: Dickson Lee
Rally organised by group of students from 12 local colleges and universities features recorded messages of support from abroadAnti-government march for To Kwa Wan wins 11th-hour reprieve while pro-government rally in Tamar Park goes ahead on SaturdayTopic | Hong Kong protests
Hyphema (Bleeding in Eye): Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 10:57
Hyphema (Bleeding in Eye) Related ArticlesWhat Is a Hyphema (Bleeding in Eye)?
Trauma to the eye can cause bleeding into the front of the eye, in the space between the cornea and the iris (anterior chamber). The blood that collects in the anterior chamber is called a hyphema.
What Causes Hyphema?
Traumatic hyphema is the most common cause of hyphema. The trauma need not be penetrating or perforating; traumatic hyphema is often seen with blunt trauma, too.Bleeding from abnormal iris blood vessels as seen in advanced diabetes (rubeosis iridis neovascularization) or ischemic diseases of the eyeClotting disorders, blood dyscrasias (abnormalities of the blood cells or clotting), or anticoagulation medications (for example, warfarin)Postsurgical bleeding following intraocular surgery for cataract (particularly in cases in which the lens implant may be rubbing against the iris) or glaucomaBlood in the anterior chamber can also come from a source behind the anterior chamber, as seen in certain vitreoretinal diseases (vitreous hemorrhage, retinal vascular diseases, and others)Spontaneous nontraumatic hyphema in children can be associated with juvenile xanthogranuloma, retinoblastoma, and leukemia."UGH" syndrome, or uveitis-glaucoma-hyphema syndrome, is an uncommon condition associated with recurring spontaneous hyphema. Less commonly, bleeding can come from a very inflamed iris (for example, herpes eye disease).Trauma to the eye may initially cause a small hyphema. More severe bleeding may follow in three to five days. This trauma is usually blunt or closed trauma, and it may be the result of an athletic injury from a flying object, a stick, a ball, or another player's elbow. Other causes include industrial accidents, falls, and fights.
What Are the Symptoms of a Hyphema?
Pain in or around the eye, especially if there is an associated rise in eye pressureLight sensitivity and a cramp-like ache called ciliary body spasm are often present with ocular trauma.Blurred vision, since the light entering the eye, is partially or completely blocked by the presence of bloodWhat Are Hyphema Signs?
When the amount of blood is small, the blood cells are visible under the slit lamp (the microscope used by eye doctors to examine the eyes). This is referred to as a micro hyphema.Medium-sized hyphemas are sometimes visible to the naked eye as a layer of blood that is seen pooling in the anterior chamber with gravity.Large amounts of blood can fill the entire anterior chamber, obscuring the view of the iris and the pupil. These are called complete, or "eight ball" hyphemas.The white part of the eye may be red (conjunctival swelling) as well, which could be a sign of elevated intraocular pressure and/or inflammation (for example, traumatic iritis). SLIDESHOW Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) Symptoms, Causes, Treatments See Slideshow What Exams and Tests Diagnose Hyphema?
Your ophthalmologist will take a detailed medical history. Your ocular history is important (injuries, prior eye surgeries, eye diseases), as is your general medical history. For example, do you take blood thinners or have a history of blood clotting disorders? Do you have sickle cell disease, sickle cell trait, or thalassemia? Some of these underlying medical conditions affect the healing time and the prognosis of traumatic hyphemas.
A complete eye examination is performed:
Visual acuity is measured to assess blurred vision. This test checks for how well you can see.The intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye) is measured.The eye is carefully examined with a slit lamp microscope. The pupil may be dilated to get a better view of the back part of the eye.Special imaging studies may be performed. An ultrasound of the eye may be helpful if the blood is blocking the view to the back of the eye. In traumatic hyphema, a CT scan may be necessary to assess the extent of the damage.Blood tests may be ordered to look for clotting disorders or diseases that affect the ability to form clots, such as hemophilia. African Americans and those of Mediterranean descent should be screened for sickle cell trait or disease and thalassemia. The risk of hyphema complications is much higher in people with sickle cell disease and thalassemia. The red blood cells change shape (sickle) and cannot clear from the anterior chamber as easily. This leads to higher and prolonged rises in eye pressure, which can result in vision loss due to glaucomatous optic atrophy and/or corneal blood staining.When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for a Hyphema?
Hyphema is a medical emergency. Call your ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who specializes in eye care and surgery) for an immediate appointment. If you cannot contact your ophthalmologist, go to a hospital's emergency department.
It will be important to identify and treat the underlying cause of the hyphema since many underlying causes pose a threat to vision. This is true of both traumatic and nontraumatic hyphema.
Also, close monitoring of the eye pressure is crucial. Elevated intraocular pressure puts the eye at further risk of permanent, irreversible vision loss. This is because very high eye pressure, or even moderately elevated eye pressure for prolonged periods, can result in glaucomatous optic atrophy (damage to the optic nerve).
A long-standing hyphema can also stain the cornea, causing further vision loss.
Questions to Ask the Doctor About Hyphemas
What is the size of the hyphema?Are there any signs of damage to the eye? Could there be damage that develops over the long term?Does the cause of the hyphema pose a threat to the eye's health in the future?Is the eye pressure high, and if not, when should it be rechecked?Does the hyphema need to be surgically removed (evacuated) to reduce the chances of corneal staining or to control eye pressure?How can I prevent this from happening again?When may I resume my regular activities?What Is the Treatment for a Hyphema?
To control elevated eye pressure, pressure-lowering medications (eye drops and/or pills) will be prescribed.Dilating drops (cycloplegics such as cyclopentolate) are often given to relieve some of the cramping sensations that people often feel and to minimize movement of the iris to decrease the chance of a secondary hemorrhage (rebleeding).In some cases, an anti-inflammatory (steroid) eyedrop or pill is prescribed, as well.Secondary hemorrhage (rebleeding) may occur if the clot dissolves before the broken blood vessels have had a chance to heal. For this reason, medications like aminocaproic acid or tranexamic acid are sometimes prescribed. Aminocaproic acid and tranexamic acid are antifibrinolytics, which are medications that help stabilize the clot while the vessels heal, thus reducing the chance of a rebleed.You may be asked to limit medications that are known to increase bleeding risk such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or blood thinners if it is safe to do so.Anti-nausea medication may be given to prevent you from vomiting.Are There Home Remedies for Hyphema?
Hospitalization may be recommended in case close observation is necessary.
Most of the time, however, you will stay home but will need repeat visits to the eye doctor for follow-up. As the blood clears (reabsorbs) with time, the main concerns are whether the eye pressure rises, whether the cornea is in danger of staining, and whether there is rebleeding (secondary hemorrhage) as the clot contracts. It's for these reasons that you will need close follow-up.
Your eye doctor might recommend rest and keeping the head of your bed slightly elevated to ease the settling of the blood.
Avoid vigorous physical activity and any direct pressure on the eye (for example, eye rubbing), which can cause the clot to dislodge prematurely and result in more bleeding.
A shield might be placed over the eye to guard against rubbing the eyes.
Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions for taking drops and/or oral medications prescribed to manage intraocular pressure, prevent secondary hemorrhage (rebleeding), and control inflammation.
If you notice increased pain or decreased vision, notify your eye doctor immediately.
What Is the Follow-up for Hyphema?
The number and frequency of follow-up visits will vary from person to person, depending on how quickly the blood is clearing and whether there is high eye pressure or corneal staining.
Surgical treatment to remove the hyphema may become necessary in the following circumstances:
The eye pressure is too high or elevated for too long in spite of treatment with pressure-lowering medications. (Elevated eye pressure could lead to permanent vision loss due to glaucomatous optic nerve atrophy.)The cornea is in danger of becoming stained. This could lead to clouding of the cornea that can blur the vision. A corneal transplant might be necessary for the future if the cornea is permanently damaged.The hyphema is not clearing in time. If a large hyphema still remains at the end of the first week, there is an increased risk that internal scarring in the eye called peripheral anterior synechiae (PAS) could form. Synechiae block the normal flow of fluid within the eye, resulting in high eye pressure. This can ultimately lead to glaucoma and vision loss.How Do You Prevent Hyphemas?
It is wise to wear protective eyewear when you play a sport or work on hobbies and jobs in which there is a chance of traumatic hyphema from the eye being hit. Also keep in mind that around the holidays, fireworks, and flying champagne corks commonly cause eye injuries.
From Bleeding in Eye (Subconjunctival Hemorrhage)Subconjunctival Hemorrhage SymptomsMost of the time, no symptoms are associated with a subconjunctival hemorrhage other than seeing blood over the white part of the eye.
Very rarely do people experience any pain when the hemorrhage begins. When the bleeding first occurs, you may experience a sense of fullness in the eye or under the lid. The hemorrhage itself is an obvious, sharply outlined bright red area overlying the sclera. The entire white part of the eye may occasionally be covered by blood.In a spontaneous subconjunctival hemorrhage, no blood will exit from the eye. If you blot the eye with a tissue, there should be no blood on the tissue.The hemorrhage will appear larger within the first 24 hours after its onset and then will slowly decrease in size as the blood is absorbed.Reviewed on 10/19/2018
Sources: REFERENCES:Albiani, D.A., et al. "Tranexamic acid in the treatment of pediatric traumatic hyphema." Can J Ophthalmol. 43.4 Aug. 2008: 428-431.
Bansal, S., et al. "Controversies in the pathophysiology and management of hyphema." Surv Ophthalmol. 61.3 May-June 2016: 297-308.
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FIRST ON CBS7: Mail van used in shooting rampage crushed
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 04:16
Posted: Wed 4:11 PM, Sep 04, 2019 &nbsp|&nbsp
Updated: Wed 4:35 PM, Sep 04, 2019
ODESSA, TX (KOSA) -- The mail van used in Saturday's mass shooting in Odessa was crushed and destroyed today.
Seth Ator hijacked the van and shot and killed postal carrier Mary Granados, leaving her to die in the street.
Midland and Odessa Police finally stopped Ator's rampage at Cinergy Odessa - blocking him in the back parking lot and shooting at him almost 40 times.
Benny on Twitter: "Uh, hey guys. Joe Biden's eye filled with blood while onstage at the CNN town hall. This is not a photoshop: https://t.co/kJRHxMP8wc" / Twitter
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 04:14
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'UK's out of petrol, justify murdering protesters': Exam question to get into Eton goes viral '-- RT UK News
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 20:44
With Brexit hysteria at fever pitch, an Eton College entrance exam has surfaced that some say sheds light on the elite's thinking. Prospective students have been asked to justify the ''moral'' and ''necessary'' killing of protesters.
The word 'democracy' is a hotly debated one in the UK at the moment. Protesters have slammed unelected Prime Minister Boris Johnson for suspending parliament ahead of next month's Brexit deadline, while Brexiteers have accused these protesters of doing their best to derail the result of a democratic referendum.
READ MORE: 'Stop the coup!' Nationwide Parliament suspension protests hit Britain
With Remainers denouncing Eton-educated Johnson as a private-school elitist, a question from the school's 2011 entrance exam surfaced online on Tuesday. Some commenters say it gives a frightening insight into the thought processes of the leaders educated at Eton.
''The year is 2040,'' 13-year-old boys competing for the King's Scholarship were asked. ''There have been riots in the streets of London after Britain has run out of petrol because of an oil crisis in the Middle East. Protesters have attacked public buildings. Several policemen have died. Consequently, the Government has deployed the Army to curb the protests. After two days the protests have been stopped but twenty-five protesters have been killed by the Army.''
You are the Prime Minister. Write the script for a speech to be broadcast to the nation in which you explain why employing the Army against violent protesters was the only option available to you and one which was both necessary and moral.
The full exam question, available on the school's website, opened with a Machiavellian discussion on ''whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved?''
''If you want to distill everything that most depresses you about Britain this morning, this might be it,'' wrote Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr. ''No wonder they turn out the politicians they do,'' added another pundit.
Oh holy mother of carnage this is terrifying
'-- Amrou Al-Kadhi (@Glamrou) September 3, 2019The exam question is eight years old, meaning that those who gave the most compelling arguments in favor of gunning down plebs in the streets are now embarking on promising careers. However, that it would surface now is indicative of the apprehension that some sectors of Britain feel about Brexit.
Those concerns are not enirely groundless. Leaked documents warn of food, fuel and medicine shortages in the event of a no-deal Brexit, a situation that Johnson has said he is willing to embrace. Army reserves have been called up to quell public unrest should things go south on October 31, and even the avocado, staple of the Remainers' middle-class diets, looks set to vanish from shelves.
Amid the fear-inducing news coverage and Twitter clamoring - some genuine, some unfounded - the exam question fit right in.
Some in the anti-Brexit camp even answered and reworded it, fitting its premise into a post-Brexit world.
No doubt it'll start with 'Because on 23 June 2016 people voted for it. We have to implement the will of the people.'#StopTheCoup
'-- David Waters (@DavidWaters4) September 3, 2019"Dear Britons.In 2016 you voted to leave the EU.This was the beginning of a economical disaster.The riots of last month were an inevitable consequence of your stupid vote.Basically what I'm saying is: It's your fault. I didn't want to do this.
My condolences to the families"
'-- Julius 🌍 (@JuliusStrack) September 1, 2019The year is 2020. There have been riots on the street.....blah blah blah.....blah blah blah.....Write a script to convince the public that the actions you take will benefit them, but really will only protect the premium of your off shore hedge fund.
'-- Stuart Scott (@stuart_scott_) September 3, 2019So was the task just an interesting thought exercise or first step in training tomorrow's tyrants? Who even knows any more?
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Adam Klasfeld on Twitter: "@CourthouseNews Pagliuca says: ''There are hundreds of other people implicated'' in the other documents. Preska instructs the parties on their written briefings." / Twitter
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 14:56
Good morning again from New York.Right before Jeffrey Epstein's death, a large cache of files became public in Giuffre v. Maxwell. Proceedings over what happens to the remainder of sealed files begin today at 9 a.m.I will cover that hearing live for
View details · Giuffre's attorney Sigrid McCawley says they have proposed an unsealing that would be a review of the docket in a "staggered form." Preska: It seems you parties should have had a conversation already about what you agree can be unsealed.
View conversation · Maxwell's attorney Jeffrey S. Pagliuca is up, and Preska seems frustrated that there has been no agreement in advance about what can go public. "Did you people not talk about this?" she asked.
View conversation · Pagliuca replied that they did talk but simply did not reach an agreement. He proposes dividing the documents into three categories, as to whether they qualify as judicial documents, "non-judicial" documents or negligibly judicial documents.Preska seems skeptical.
View conversation · Pagliuca said that the documents contains "hundreds" if not "thousands" of non-parties. "There are literally hundreds of pages of investigative reports that mention hundreds of people."There is also an "address book that has a 1,000 names in it."
View conversation · Pagliuca proposes the three-category procedure, based on whether the documents qualify as "judicial," in order to sift through whether those non-parties would be implicated.
View conversation · Andrew Celli says that Dershowitz's position is there "should be maximum disclosure at maximum speed."Preska deadpans: "I don't care."She's soliciting specific procedures by the parties of how to move ahead, not their broad, off-topic talking points.
View conversation · Preska, without ruling, appears somewhat swayed by three-category procedure to avoid potentially notifying 1,000 people named in docs that may be designated "non-judicial."McCawley disputes that 1,000 people would need to be notified.
View conversation ·
Tweede Kamer slaat alarm over krapte op stroomnet | Politiek | AD.nl
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 14:51
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Heparin Shortage Caused by Swine Fever Pig Deaths in China - Bloomberg
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 14:14
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Wed, 04 Sep 2019 13:50
Project Info Lead Researcher(s)J. Leroy HulseyProject TeamFeng Xiao, Associate Professor, Nanjing University of Science and TechnologyZhili Quan, Bridge Engineer, South Carolina Department of TransportationProject DatesMay 1, 2015 - September 30, 2019
FundingArchitects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth Project Budget: $316,153
Draft ReportA Structural Reevaluation of the Collapse of World Trade Center 7 (September 2019)
Simulations and VideosFigure 4.16Hypothetical Failure of Columns 76 to 81
Figure 4.20Hypothetical Simultaneous Failure of All Core Columns
Figure 4.24a Near-Simultaneous Failure of All Columns, Perspective 1
Figure 4.24a Video of WTC 7 Collapse, Perspective 1
Figure 4.24bNear-Simultaneous Failure of All Columns, Perspective 2
Figure 4.24b Video of WTC 7 Collapse, Perspective 2
PresentationsCollapse of World Trade Center Building 7 presentation by Dr. Leroy Hulsey on September 6, 2017 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Progress ReportsWTC7 Progress Report (September 2017)
WTC7 Progress Statement (March 27, 2018)
Project SummaryThis is a study of the collapse of the 47-story World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC7) at 5:20 P.M. on September 11, 2001.
The objective of the study was threefold: (1) Examine the structural response of WTC 7 to fire loads that may have occurred on September 11, 2001; (2) Rule out scenarios that could not have caused the observed collapse; and (3) Identify types of failures and their locations that may have caused the total collapse to occur as observed.
The UAF research team utilized three approaches for examining the structural response of WTC 7 to the conditions that may have occurred on September 11, 2001. First, we simulated the local structural response to fire loading that may have occurred below Floor 13, where most of the fires in WTC 7 are reported to have occurred. Second, we supplemented our own simulation by examining the collapse initiation hypothesis developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Third, we simulated a number of scenarios within the overall structural system in order to determine what types of local failures and their locations may have caused the total collapse to occur as observed.
The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST and private engineering firms that studied the collapse. The secondary conclusion of our study is that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.
The research team is currently organizing and uploading all of its data into a format that can be readily downloaded and used. We expect to post the data sometime between September 16 and September 30, 2019.
There will be a two-month public comment period from September 3 to November 1, 2019, with the final report will be released later this year. During this period, we welcome any and all members of the public to submit constructive comments intended to further the analyses and presentation of findings contained in the report. Designated reviewers external to UAF and Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth will also review the report during this period. Commenters are asked to send their comments in an attached PDF or Word document to publiccomment@AE911Truth.org.
Etsy's free shipping push asks sellers to compete with Amazon - Vox
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 13:21
As a stockholder, Jeni Sandberg loves Etsy. As a vintage homegoods purveyor selling mid-century glassware and linens on Etsy's platform, she can't help but feel like she's being played.
In July, the company announced it would be encouraging sellers to offer free US shipping on all orders over $35. Or rather, it announced that sellers who didn't offer free shipping would be de-prioritized by the site's highly competitive search algorithm, which '-- on a platform with over 60 million things to buy '-- can be the difference between regular sales and functional invisibility.
There was a good argument for the new policy on the company's end: Right now, customers add things to their cart and balk at shipping costs, then bounce from the site for good. We, as a consuming public, do not like to be forced to reconsider. We don't stand for being disappointed even for a moment. We are, frankly, skittish. And people who make lightweight products '-- jewelry, pins, embroideries, T-shirts '-- can afford to eat a couple dollars shipping cost if it's going to boost their sales overall.
But can a furniture maker? Can a woman who makes ceramic planters shaped like Frida Kahlo? Can a man who sells (heavy!) replicas of human skulls? The directive from the company has been to staple the cost of shipping onto the item's price, which sellers have pointed out is not actually free shipping. It doesn't help that Etsy changed its transaction fee from 3.5 percent to 5 percent last June '-- fair enough, it had been flat for 13 years, but still, the timing. Back-to-back summers!
''I'm like yeah, damn straight. Make everybody get free shipping,'' Sandberg says, as a stockholder. ''Believe me, I can't wait for fourth-quarter earnings reports. It's going to look like their gross sales skyrocketed. It's going to look awesome on paper.'' Then, she adds, as a vintage homegoods purveyor, ''But they're screwing sellers to get there.''
Goods from various sellers on display at the Etsy offices.When Etsy went public in 2015, it offered a participation program that let Etsy sellers buy stock before the offering. Sandberg bought $2,500 worth then, and she bought more right after the IPO, and she bought even more after Etsy announced its free shipping push. The cognitive dissonance she experiences every time Etsy announces a move that wrings additional revenue out of its sellers is the product of a tension that isn't exactly Etsy's fault. Have you heard of Amazon? In 2005, four months before Etsy launched, Amazon decided that everyone wanted things delivered fast and for free, and announced a service called Amazon Prime. Now, after a while of getting things delivered fast and for free, we agree this is something we need, the same way we agreed we needed phones that could access the internet or televisions that could record football games we missed or highways that could connect major cities.
What choice does Etsy have but to try to thrive in the new normal? It's advertising on television now, gearing up for a marketing push around free shipping in mid-September, and implying to sellers that all of their financial concerns will vanish once Etsy is a true household name.
''Why would you expect free shipping from the nice lady in Iowa who hand-knits afghans? Why would you think that she would be able to do that for you?'' Sandberg asks, hypothetically, of the customers Etsy says it has polled in robust surveys over the course of the last few years. ''If I were sending something to her, it would cost me $12. I understand that. I'm a grown-up.''
The lady hand-making afghans in Iowa has enough working against her, you know? Plus, as Sandberg explains, channeling the sentiment of Etsy's 2 million sellers: ''Etsy was supposed to be different.''
Etsy was founded in 2005 by Rob Kalin, a construction worker and bookseller in New York City looking for a way to sell handmade furniture on the internet. Most of his friends were looking for a way to sell handmade things too. None of his friends knew how to make an online shop, but he did. It was clear: He should make one shop for all of them and set them up to be, as he often says, ''the protagonists of their own lives.''
The timing was perfect. E-commerce was just getting off the ground; Martha Stewart was getting out of prison! Women were running enormously popular and newly lucrative personal websites, where they posted their DIY projects and wrote about the value of their labor. ''The new crafter wave is fueled by an intriguing alliance of the oldest and newest of social technologies, the sewing circle and the blog,'' craft historian Glenn Adamson wrote shortly after. ''In a sense, the 21st century of craft is beginning the way that the 20th did: by finding in tradition the possibility for social change.''
The timing was perfect. E-commerce was just getting off the ground; Martha Stewart was getting out of prison!
The mid-aughts conception of Etsy was heavily informed by Kalin's friendship with New York University professor Jean Railla, creator of the early online crafting community Get Crafty, who wrote often about the handmade as an act of resistance against capitalism and patriarchy. Kalin's vision for Etsy, as he told the Wall Street Journal in 2010, just 16 months before he would be ousted from his own company, is this: ''Instead of having an economy dictate the behavior of communities, to empower communities to influence the behavior of economies.''
Crafters have tried to take down mass production before. The Arts and Crafts movement that took place in England and the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century was a reaction to the industrial revolution. There was a boom in DIY-ism in the US after World War II, jump-started by the founding of the American Craft Council in 1943 and the sprawl of the suburbs, where there were always home projects to be done '-- a backlash, once again, against assembly-line goods and the American dream's emphasis on cookie-cutter conformity. Feminists manipulated crafts to make various statements about gender and power from the 1970s all the way up through the Riot Grrrl movement in the 1990s, and continuing even now, with, most famously, thousands and thousands of (controversial) hand-knitted ''pussy'' hats.
But dreams of unmaking, by hand, what the Romanticist scholar and furniture designer William Morris called ''the terrible organization of competitive commerce,'' have historically been only that: dreams.
In the beginning, by all accounts, Etsy was the epicenter of the internet-age craft movement and its attendant community. About 90 percent of the early sellers were women '-- today it's still 87 percent '-- and they were all making certifiably handmade objects: paintings, sweaters, porcelain bowls. Also, infamously, crocheted tampon holders. The buyers were other people like them. The company's employees were people like them too.
The site's first in-house counsel Sarah Feingold started selling jewelry on Etsy after graduating from law school, then bought herself a JetBlue ticket and explained to Kalin that his company needed at least one lawyer. The earliest Etsy office rented out spare desks to the editors of Make Magazine and a soon-to-be creator of the 3-D-printing company MakerBot, as well as the co-founders of sewing community site BurdaStyle, Benedikta Karaisl and Nora Abousteit. Hanging out in the first Etsy offices, in a beat-up building in downtown Brooklyn, Kalin taught Karaisl and Abousteit how to use Adobe Illustrator, helping make the wireframes for the first version of their site.
Vania Scharbach, an early Etsy seller, with one of her handmade dresses.Abousteit got a front-row seat to how things worked in Etsy's earliest days. ''There was this one woman who [worked there] who used to wake up every two hours just to curate the Etsy homepage,'' she remembers. ''It was really a passion. It was amazing. I mean, there wasn't that much going on in the tech scene in New York and also the whole craft-making scene was just starting, just budding.''
Soon after Etsy's founding, the company started Street Teams: coalitions of crafters who could organize to get better treatment and fairer rent when they wanted to participate in art fairs or set up pop-ups. Kalin had plans to open ''co-production'' sites across the country, and he hosted public craft nights in the Etsy headquarters every Monday. In the New York Times, journalist and artist Rob Walker observed the early Etsy scene, writing, ''This is not a utopian alt-youth framework; it's a very real-world, alt-grown-up framework.'' It was a gorgeous and daunting one, with the odds quite obviously stacked against it.
The press did not know what to do with Kalin, or with Etsy. Who would take Silicon Valley's optimism to such a twisted extreme by excising the get-rich stuff that made it so sexy? Every reporter who wrote about Kalin paused for a moment to note that he made his own underwear.
Etsy grew quickly, but with strings. The New York venture capital firm Union Square Ventures put up a small amount of money in the summer of 2006, a year before it invested in Twitter. By 2008, venture capitalist Jim Breyer '-- a board member at Facebook and Walmart '-- was leading a $27 million funding round. Suddenly, a better life for crafters could not be the company's only goal. It also had to make serious money for some people who are pretty serious about their money.
In a fit of twisted luck, that same year saw the start of a global recession that made the case for Etsy obvious. It was a moment when people were reluctant to spend money, but expressed some desire to spend it in venues where it seemed as though it might directly benefit another person, and Etsy sold $10.8 million worth of goods in November 2008, up from $4.2 million in November 2007. The company was profitable for the first time the next year, and transactions doubled again between 2008 and 2009.
In a fit of twisted luck, that same year saw the start of a global recession that made the case for Etsy obvious
But the growth '-- and yet another round of VC funding '-- put even more pressure on Etsy. Chief technology officer Chad Dickerson had taken over as CEO after Kalin was voted out by the board in July 2011, and in October 2013, in an infamous town hall meeting at Etsy HQ, he announced that the company would allow sellers to contract with outside manufacturers to help make their products, so long as they designed everything themselves and were willing to provide detailed explanations of their process to Etsy's Marketplace Integrity team.
Sellers were aghast, fearing the change would ruin the culture of the site forever. But the decision was necessary; popular sellers were turning themselves into one-person factories, working 90 hours a week to make enough to keep up with demand and turn even a modest profit. It was silly not to be allowed to collaborate. It didn't make sense to define ''handmade'' as ''made from scratch by one person''; almost everybody has to use some kind of machine or buy supplies or incorporate something that didn't go straight from the earth to their hands at one point or another. Litigating ''handmade'' wouldn't be very modern. In itself, it seemed against the spirit of Etsy.
''I think the question of Etsy losing its way or abandoning its values is one that's been reported five years ago, seven years ago, at many different points in time,'' says Alison Feldmann, one of the company's first employees, who started as an intern in 2007 and left the company in November 2017 as the director of brand and content. When she started, she was elated to be in the mix '-- filling the office with used desks from Craigslist, taking out the trash, saving the world. ''As a progressive business, people are going to be taking potshots at any change that happens in terms of 'selling out.' You know, it isn't a nonprofit. It is a capitalist world that we live in.''
Vania Scharbach opened her first Etsy store in 2007, soon after immigrating to Brooklyn from Brazil, where she sold handmade clothes in a brick-and-mortar storefront. At the time, she says, it was ''so cool, the hipster eBay.''
Now, it's different: ''I understand they're a corporation and they need to make a profit, okay, but the thing is they went away from what they were, from the goals of the website.'' A lot of the vintage clothing she sees is junk; a lot of the print-on-demand products are just a basic design that a third-party company slaps on a product and drop-ships to the customer.
''If I go buy 100 percent linen at a store in Manhattan and make a dress myself and list it on Etsy, I can't sell that for less than $150,'' Scharbach says. ''Then when you're shopping, you see these other listings for like $50, the same type of dress, it looks like the same quality. You buy it and you realize it's not really linen, it's made by a person but it's made in a sweatshop somewhere. It's hard to compete.''
Etsy refutes these kinds of concerns. ''Our policies haven't changed. You either have to be the person who made the product, or the person who designed the product with a direct relationship with the people making it, or it has to be vintage and over 20 years old,'' Etsy's current CEO Josh Silverman says, asked about seller complaints that mass-produced, imported junk or boring, basically identical bridesmaid-font products are taking over the site. ''If you look at the composition of products on the site, it's the same. There is not an increase in products from bigger sellers.''
But I am looking at the site. When I typed ''scarf'' into Etsy, the first page of results included $6 pashminas and ''custom satin edge scarves'' with ''Your Logo Here'' Photoshopped onto them ($9.99), and very few ''handmade'' listings that are priced anywhere near what an actual handmade scarf costs.
To me, this doesn't read as ''Etsy.'' But to Etsy, in 2019, it does.
There are competing opinions about when exactly Etsy took the turn that would lead it here, but most agree that the company's IPO was one of the stops along the way. The company had taken in a total of $97.3 million in venture money by the time it went public in 2015, and Etsy's IPO was a big deal, imbued with surreal significance; The New York Times called it ''an experiment in corporate governance, a test of whether Wall Street will embrace a company that puts doing social and environmental good on the same pedestal with, if not ahead of, maximizing profits.'' But Wall Street did not embrace Etsy. Within two months, share prices dropped to about 50 percent of where they'd been when trading opened. Initially a smash hit, it soured quickly into one of the worst IPOs of the year.
''Handmade is not the value proposition '-- unique, personalized, expresses your sense of identity, those are things that speak to buyers''
Silverman, a former president of consumer products and services at American Express, former CEO of Skype, former CEO of eBay's Shopping.com, co-founder of Evite, and so on, came in about two years later to put out what investors openly referred to as a fire. (''The house was burning and nobody was paying attention,'' Etsy board member and Union Square Ventures co-founder Fred Wilson told the New York Times.)
Private equity firms and hedge funds were swarming around Etsy, buying up shares and giving off serious potential-hostile-takeover vibes, suggesting to the board that the company wasn't growing fast enough, that it wasn't focusing on profit, and that it was overspending. It wasn't even making very smart technical operations decisions at the time, insisting on running its own servers rather than contracting with Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services. So the company fired 80 people, including Dickerson (who declined to comment for this article), and Silverman took over. Within two months he fired 140 more. He shut down major projects including Etsy Studio, a separate online store for craft supplies than had been live for less than a year.
Silverman doesn't like the words ''handmade'' or ''craft'' because they ''don't communicate anything to buyers about when to think of Etsy.'' he says now. Nobody wakes up thinking, ''Gosh, I need to buy something handmade today,'' he tells me, which may be true but I rarely wake up thinking I need to buy anything at all, and more commonly wake up in horror because I've already bought way too much.
''You need to furnish your apartment. You need to prepare for a party. You need to find a gift for a friend. You need a dress. Handmade is not the value proposition '-- unique, personalized, expresses your sense of identity, those are things that speak to buyers.''
Handmade is not the value proposition!
Three months before Rob Kalin was forced out of Etsy, Inc magazine ran a cover story about him, which ended up as an interrogation of whether he was fit to be the company's CEO. The story is brutal, starting off with a parody of hipster Brooklyn and moving quickly toward the statement that Kalin is ''given to eccentricities that can seem downright crazy.'' Most notably, the reporter recounts Kalin pointing an ''8-inch combat knife'' at him for emphasis, in the middle of a sentence about his lack of respect for the tech and finance sectors.
''That was a letter opener!'' he says when I ask about it, sitting at a handmade table surrounded by handmade chairs draped in pieces of wool purchased from sheep farmers located near his house and studio space in Catskill, New York.
The letter opener was made by someone on Etsy, he says, obviously, and he was just fidgeting while he was talking. He hates press. He hated that year, which ''hurt like hell.'' Now he has two young daughters '-- they picked a pint of blueberries for me before our interview '-- and he's spent the last eight years dabbling in various things you might not necessarily want someone to just dabble in, like founding a school or starting a farm, but for the most part making stuff, same as always.
''It felt like my life's work was being taken away from me,'' he says. ''But looking back, I'm glad that it happened. Making incremental improvements to a publicly traded company is not my bailiwick, that's not what I would have been the best at anyways.''
(The Inc profile also quotes co-founder and early Etsy engineer Chris Maguire talking about Kalin's management style, saying, ''There would be a brand new idea every day. Usually it'd be something that didn't even make sense. How are you supposed to teach blacksmithing over the internet?'')
He didn't know what seed funding was when he took it, Kalin says. He didn't really get what a startup was or understand the obligations of institutional money. Accepting the Union Square Ventures investment was probably the moment when things got away from him, he says now. ''I didn't have enough awareness of the context of what was going on there, in terms of if we take this step will it compromise the values.''
''How much money does Etsy have in its bank account and how much does the average Etsy seller have in their bank account?''
This was a long time ago and Kalin has moved on, and it feels so far away, but that doesn't mean that talking about it for a few minutes doesn't bring out the hypotheticals. ''Was any of this necessary? Could it have happened a different way? Do I have regrets?'' he asks aloud. ''I don't know. I think I've gotten way too into Buddhism, I accept what happened. I have a lot of compassion for the people who are trying to run their businesses on Etsy and are being marginalized by these corporate decisions that clearly benefit the shareholders but not the stakeholders.''
He doesn't pay attention to Etsy anymore because it doesn't do anything he thinks is interesting. All of the news is about quarterly earnings and share prices, and he finds it boring to reduce a company to a small handful of numbers. He thought the new CEO's name was Jason until I emailed him. He didn't know about the free shipping push either, but the ''Robin Hood in reverse'' arrangement rankles him now that he's been filled in.
Though he once dreamed of Etsy sellers making their livings selling things they made themselves, he knows now that was never really what happened for the vast majority. Even when he was CEO and things were small and maybe idyllic, only a fraction of a percentage of sellers were making more than $30,000 a year.
''How much money does Etsy have in its bank account and how much does the average Etsy seller have in their bank account? Who can afford to be more generous?'' he asks, I assume rhetorically because he doesn't pause for breath. ''Yet, here we are, the company is asking the sellers to be more generous with the company.''
''The world needs Etsy more than ever,'' CEO Josh Silverman tells me. We've all been buried and desensitized by ''the same commoditized products sold by these few logistics companies.'' (Yes, he's talking about Amazon.) The disposable things in life are piling up, arriving faster and cheaper every day '-- we buy them and they don't mean anything to us '-- but on Etsy we can find the things that ''should hold a place in your heart.''
Whether he means this or not is, in some ways, irrelevant: Josh Silverman's Etsy is a runaway success. ''Our sellers are selling more than a billion dollars a quarter of product,'' he says, ''and that's growing at an ever-faster rate.''
The company's revenue is up 65 percent since Silverman took over and the share price has quintupled. The company is in the process of migrating everything to Google Cloud, which is significantly cheaper and easier than maintaining its own servers. The site has guest check-out and ''buy it now'' options. The search bar did not have autocorrect until 2017. In the company's second-quarter earnings report this year, it reported a 37 percent revenue growth from the same quarter last year and listed as a highlight: ''We completed the test and design phase to make free shipping a core part of the Etsy shopping experience.''
Textiles made by Etsy sellers hang on the walls of Etsy HQ.Sellers don't have access to the same level of research as Etsy does, Silverman tells me. They'll come to the forums and argue that the people buying their wares don't mind paying shipping. ''We talked to all of the buyers,'' he says, surely a little hyperbolically, ''including the ones who went away. It turns out there's a lot of them. What we hear is that high shipping prices is one of the top reasons people don't buy on Etsy. Most importantly, it's the No. 1 reason they say they'll never come back.''
The catchphrase that comes up repeatedly in my conversations with Etsy executives is ''table stakes.'' (A poker metaphor, although it doesn't mean what it means in poker.) In other words, Amazon has made free shipping the bare minimum for any online retailer to be competitive, a polite way of saying they've removed a choice. From one angle, if Etsy is forcing its sellers' hands, it's just a passing down of pressure.
''At this point in e-commerce, consumers expect fast and free shipping, and so Etsy really is no exception,'' Etsy's senior vice president of people, strategy, and services Raina Moskowitz says '-- though, like Silverman, she doesn't use the word ''Amazon'' specifically. ''The goal is to make sure that we're driving demand and bringing buyers to our marketplace so that we can drive sales and growth for our sellers' businesses.'' Etsy's role, as she expresses it, is to bring more people to the site and to assure shoppers that they can trust any one of 2 million strangers with their money.
Yet, every day since Etsy announced its intentions to tie search rankings to a seller's willingness to offer free shipping, dozens to hundreds of confused or angry comments have flooded the site's seller forums.
''Free shipping forced on us by blackmail is the lowest Etsy has gone to so far!'' wrote one seller in July.
''Free shipping forced on us by blackmail is the lowest Etsy has gone to so far!''
''I have a large stoneware bowl that now costs $26 to ship to a nearby zone and $80 to ship to California. Who do I screw over?'' another seller wrote in another thread posted the same day. ''Do I add $80 to the price and screw over a buyer who lives close to me? Or do I add $26 to the price and take a $50-plus hit on shipping if someone in [California] buys the bowl?'' Frustration mounted as Etsy moderators responded to questions like these with canned answers and links to a shipping strategies guide that concludes, ''As always, how you determine and set prices for your shop is up to you.''
Kate Kennedy, who started a line of quirky doormats on Etsy in 2014 (she owns the trademark for ''Turn off your straightener'') and now makes a living off of her brand, says she understands that the company is trying to be helpful and make everyone's stores more attractive to customers. ''I get it, Etsy as a whole needs to be competitive in a marketplace that's completely shifted towards being convenient,'' she tells me. ''But it's a financial issue for people like me whose products are extremely expensive to ship. All of a sudden my items are $10 to $15 more expensive, but I didn't add any value to justify that pricing.''
The feeling that ''free shipping'' is a lie comes up often too. Amazon Prime, after all, is a paid yearly subscription. Etsy is ''asking their sellers to be dishonest and roll the shipping costs into the total price, which of course means it's not 'free' at all,'' says Owen Johnston, who makes about 90 percent of his income selling replica skulls on Etsy but plans to look for a different platform.
The more you stare at the issue the stranger it looks. Where once the company and its community were one and the same, they're talking past each other now, both making sense, neither able to meaningfully persuade the other.
''We want to have their back and be by their side through this transition,'' Moskowitz says. It's not as though Etsy has shut down communication with sellers. But the terms of the conversation, many of them say, have shifted, with Etsy adopting an attitude so carefully superior it ends up being something repugnant to the people who make the company money.
Jewelry designer and Etsy seller Jenny Topolski is on the board of directors for the New York Handmade Collective,''They have this very condescending tone,'' says Abby Glassenberg, who started her Etsy shop in July 2005 and her crafting and business blog While She Naps around the same time. ''Like, 'Don't worry, we have everything under control, don't worry your pretty little heads about money.' It's very paternalistic.'' In addition to the free shipping change, she cites the recent rollout of a consolidated ad platform called Etsy Ads. Rather than selecting themselves how to divide their money between Etsy's onsite Promoted Listings and offsite Google Shopping ads, the company volunteered to spend sellers' marketing budgets for them.
Just before Silverman took over, an Etsy executive told Forbes that more than 50 percent of Etsy's revenue comes from seller services, like its proprietary payment processing system, which takes a fee of 3 percent, plus 25 cents per US transaction (the company made it the mandatory default option in May, removing the option for sellers to use individual PayPal accounts). New advertising options and customer support features in Etsy Plus '-- available to sellers willing to pay a $10 monthly fee '-- expand on that.
''It often feels like they're just trying to sell us more products,'' says Jenny Topolski, an Etsy jeweler and a member of the board of directors for the New York Handmade Collective. ''It's almost like a pay-to-play style of business, which I think people feel insulted by.''
The divide between the company and its sellers feels new to her too. ''Oh my god, Etsy was so good to us at the beginning,'' she tells me. She remembers monthly workshops, random phone calls asking for feedback on any given idea, invitations to casual catch-up lunches. Etsy continues to fund the collective's holiday markets '-- while the collective is now an independent nonprofit, it originated as the Etsy NY Street Team '-- and lets them use Etsy branding to advertise, but that's kind of it. ''They're still good to us, but the relationship is like night and day.''
One moment that sticks out in her mind: a tour of Etsy's new nine-story, 200,000-square-foot offices in Brooklyn's Dumbo neighborhood, which opened in the spring of 2016. ''I remember immediately getting this sinking feeling that none of it was for us,'' she says. It didn't seem like the type of place she could show up for a casual lunch. It was nice that the building was eco-friendly, that it was big and beautiful. It was weird that there was so much more security and less crafting, replaced by the sleek lines of a grown-up startup.
''We're the heart of the company, creating literally all content and revenue,'' she says, ''and suddenly we weren't particularly welcome anymore.''
Emily Bidwell joined Etsy as its first head of customer support in April 2006 and left the company as senior merchandising specialist just four months ago. ''The mythology is that it must have been wonderful in the early days,'' she says. ''Yes and no. There were a lot of concerns coming from the community then too. People started their own websites to complain about Etsy.''
As heated as many of the threads about free shipping have been, they're nothing compared to some of the old blogs, like Callin' Out on Etsy (which was basically a public burn book about sellers that seemed to be breaking the rules), or Etsy Bitch (which gave Rob Kalin the nickname ''Bozo Dick'' and regularly oozed with vitriol). Etsy has hardly ever made a decision that didn't make someone furious, and still '-- in spite of repeated predictions '-- it has never actually alienated a substantial number of its sellers to the point where they've walked away.
Topolski hand-makes all of her jewelry.When Etsy was founded, there was no such thing as a reliable platform from which to start a small, creative business. There is still not really any other platform from which to start a small, creative business. There's the curated marketplaces of Witchsy or Bulletin, the art-focused print-on-demand site Society6, the Gen-Z-favorite vintage resale app Depop, and, of course, Amazon Handmade, a poorly designed and obvious afterthought, which charges transaction fees as high as 20 percent for some categories. There's nothing that provides the reach and accessibility of Etsy. You can build an audience on Instagram or Pinterest, or set up a web store with Squarespace or Shopify, but Etsy remains the best place to do both.
The biggest Etsy success stories do tend to line up fairly precisely with the company's original mission. Before discovering Etsy, Matthew Cummings was a full-time glass sculptor hustling to find enough well-off, art-collecting customers. In 2012, he came up with a simple design for a hand-blown craft beer mug, started off selling 20 glasses a month on Etsy, was featured on HuffPost, and then rocketed up to 200 glasses a month. He was working 80 hours a week and was back-ordered for months for the first two years, but the income he made from Etsy allowed him to hire five people to help with the glass studio, as well as move to the Smoky Mountains and open a brewery. To him, it's a story of democratizing art: Nobody he knew could actually afford to buy a glass sculpture, but handmade glasses were something that could give people the experience of ''quality and soul on a daily basis.''
But the shadow of Amazon looms over him too. He can't imagine what would happen if he told someone, in 2019, that something they want to buy won't be available until production catches up in ''a few months.'' He doesn't offer 24-hour customer service because he doesn't think there's a way to do so that wouldn't be detrimental to his employees' health, and some people have not been particularly understanding of that.
''We talk about educating people about handmade, I think it's also about educating people about good practices for small businesses,'' Cummings says. ''This isn't a corporation.''
Cummings, having once depended on the platform almost entirely, now has a sturdier set-up that allows him to make his own choices. He's ''empowered,'' as we say. About 40 percent of his sales come from the inventory he keeps stocked at his brewery, which makes him less vulnerable to unexpected dips in online popularity. But if a business doesn't make it to that point, it can stay entwined with tweaks to the search algorithm and homepage design and manufacturing policies and transaction fees forever. This is not so much an Etsy problem as it is the fundamental problem of any online business, on any platform.
When Etsy was founded, there was no such thing as a reliable platform from which to start a small, creative business
''I think the most important thing to focus on for sellers, for small business owners, is the broader lesson that e-commerce stores can't put their eggs in one basket,'' Kate Kennedy tells me, shuddering when she remembers what happened to everyone who built audiences on Vine. ''It's important to leverage platforms like Etsy that give you passive access to high volumes of new customers. But you have to build it in tandem with properties that you own and have control over.''
To her, Etsy's growth targets contribute not just to tighter margins for sellers, but also to an unsustainably broad audience for Etsy sellers who are used to catering to a more craft-aware niche. It translates into a whole lot of people buying things on Etsy without understanding exactly what Etsy is.
''My customer interaction at the beginning was so different than it is now,'' Kennedy says. ''People were much kinder, more flexible, more understanding, and now people are expecting things in two days and asking for coupon codes and free shipping. By cosmetically making it look more like Amazon, there's a huge disconnect between the customer's expectations and what the sellers can realistically provide.''
So sellers like Kennedy, who do really well on Etsy, eventually try to move their business onto a personal website. Others develop various off-platform social media presences to serve as a safety net underneath their Etsy shops should they ever need to spin away completely. Vania Scharbach keeps in touch with customers on Instagram, where she can even sell to them directly and run better, more personalized ads. It's crucial, she says, to get the emails. You have to have a listserv. Etsy can't allow sellers to export customer email lists, as per the European Union's GDPR privacy law, even if they were inclined to do something like that. But if you ask people for the emails yourself and you get the emails, you have the emails. You have the customers, and they're your customers.
Or, she says ominously, Etsy can change the rules overnight and ''you can end up with nothing.''
Even Amazon, with all its might, is not a good home for an upset Etsy seller. In October 2017, Amazon expanded its Handmade section with a special category for ''gifts.'' In September 2018 it launched Amazon Storefronts for small and medium-sized US businesses, mimicking Etsy even more directly. Not really for any apparent reason, other than to seem like an existential threat to Etsy.
''I think I tried it for a few days, and then I was like 'What am I doing?' And I closed it. Because I don't like Amazon, I actively dislike Amazon,'' Topolski says. ''The actual storefronts are hideous. They're really unintuitive to use. Terms for the sellers are awful. For all of the things they've changed, you still run your own business on Etsy. If you sell on Amazon, you're working for Amazon. You're just the same as anyone selling like, restaurant supplies.''
A sign at Etsy HQ touts sustainable shipping.While we talk, she reminds herself quickly that Etsy offsets all of its carbon emissions (Amazon only just announced a goal to offset half of its emissions by 2030); Etsy offers its employees great benefits and pay and parental leave and houses them in an exceptionally eco-friendly building; Etsy's values align with her own, even when Etsy's business interests don't align with her own.
Seventy-seven percent of Etsy's sellers are businesses of one, and 28 percent live in rural areas, isolated from the urban centers where makers can organize to sell together and where many of the customers for higher-priced handmade goods live. For some, it's not even solely about money but about validation of their art: knowing that someone out there doesn't think what they do is worthless.
''Your own website is a lemonade stand in a desert,'' Kennedy says. ''Etsy is the world's largest craft fair. Which one do you want to be in?''
Even Rob Kalin, who doesn't at all believe that Etsy has lived up to the mission statement he set out for it and largely blames himself for failing to keep the company on that path, says that Etsy might have collapsed if he'd succeeded. He is not a businessman.
When Etsy went public in 2015, long after it was first accused of selling out, the paperwork described a company largely still beholden to Kalin's original mission. ''We believe we are creating a new economy, which we call the Etsy Economy, where creative entrepreneurs find meaningful work and both global and local markets for their goods,'' the SEC filing read.
''I don't think anyone realized the state of the business, what it was before Josh came in,'' former head of brand and content Alison Feldmann says. ''I don't know if Etsy would still exist today if he hadn't come in.'' Though when Chad Dickerson was fired she found it jarring and upsetting and decided to resign, knowing she couldn't sign on to work for yet another CEO, after first working for Rob Kalin and believing in his vision and then losing that and then believing in Dickerson and losing his. ''Etsy at its worst is still better than so many companies at their best,'' she says now. ''They try to live their values and help people succeed and not every company can say that.''
Crafting used to have a kitschy lowbrow reputation, seashells with googly eyes glued on them, Topolski says; people used to think she was stringing beads on dental floss. (This perception is also notoriously gendered, formed by the idea that women's handiwork is silly and devoid of value.) Etsy changed that by making crafts mainstream. That's great, and it's also the worst. Proving that crafts could be big business also meant passing over the niche and the creative and the strange in favor of one dominant aesthetic that could be easily marketed. Topolski has noticed the Etsy aesthetic homogenizing over the last several years, with new sellers copying what they see doing well in other Etsy shops, and big-box stores like Target and Michaels copying them, and a huge wave of customers who don't really want to dig past the surface for the unique stuff, ''It's like, oh god, mason jars, twinkle lights, and owls. You know what I mean? I'm an owl fan too. I don't hate owls. There's just always owls.''
The beloved ''Keep it Weird'' blog that Feldmann ran with early brand writer Michelle Traub, featuring products like gargoyle-shaped candles and ceramic planter baby heads, hasn't been updated since 2012. One seller pointed me to an interview with Etsy chief financial officer Rachel Glaser, which stunned her, because in it, Glaser said that the company is unconcerned when it loses sellers, even high-performing ones, because there are so many people who can come in and make up the lost revenue selling something nearly identical. For people who have invested years of their lives in the platform, it can feel deflating and all-too-unsurprising to type ''Namast'ay in bed'' into the search bar and see over 1,300 results. That can look like betrayal, and in a sense it is.
But Etsy isn't a tragedy. Etsy is, in many ways, what it set out to be: the best alternative to having no options at all. It set a new standard for what corporations can talk about in public and strive to hold themselves accountable for. You can still buy a crocheted tampon holder, and you can still sell one. What Etsy failed to do is much more abstract and beautiful, which is probably why the people who get the most angry when they talk about it are also the ones who are very sad. ''Individuals gain satisfaction from either making or buying handmade products but the transition from individuals to communities to the world is not easy to accomplish,'' sociologist Michele Krugh wrote in 2014. Etsy promised to crack apart the system and it could not. Who could?
''It's just a place to sell now,'' Topolski says, delineating her personal relationship with the platform that built her business and helped her find the community that makes up much of her world. ''I still think the company is more ethical than a lot of big companies. I don't feel particularly mushy feelings toward them, you know what I mean? It's kind of just business. Whereas I used to feel a lot more.''
The Technology 202: Silicon Valley is facing a new enemy in antitrust push -- state attorneys general - The Washington Post
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 13:19
Ctrl + N Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
Silicon Valley doesn't just have to worry about antitrust action in Washington. States are becoming an important and perhaps more formidable force when it comes to addressing competition in the technology industry, experts tell me.
More than half of the country's state attorneys general are planning to announce an antitrust investigation into Google next week, my colleague Tony Romm reports. The group is expected to be bipartisan, and the announcement probably will kick off a lengthy, years-long process that could have major implications for the future of the search giant's business.
''The market will take this investigation seriously, and it has the potential to either nudge [the Justice Department] toward a lawsuit against Google or to give any lawsuit more bipartisan credibility,'' said Paul Gallant, an industry analyst at Cowen & Co.
Gallant tells me this lawsuit would have attracted little attention a few years ago, but that has changed in light of increased state-level scrutiny of technology and telecom companies. In recent weeks, a group of more than 15 states have sued to block the pending merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. The lawsuits highlight how the states can be more aggressive than federal regulators after the Justice Department approved the deal and the Federal Communications Commission indicated it plans to also give it the green light.
States have always had the tools to address antitrust issues in the tech industry. But experts explain they haven't always been used since doing so is costly and time intensive. States are now opting to taking a more active roles as the technology companies' size comes under scrutiny in the wake of high-profile privacy mishaps and election meddling.
''There's been a tendency to just rely on the federal government to play the lead role,'' said Gene Kimmelman, a senior adviser at the consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge. ''There's a greater recognition now that the digital marketplace is increasingly dominated by a few firms who have remained the lead players for numerous years.
''This is all a trend that state enforcers are recognizing and stepping up to the plate to play a role in policing,'' added Kimmelman, who was known as the Obama administration's ''secret weapon'' on antitrust in the Department of Justice.
It is not yet clear whether some or all of the attorneys general also plan to unveil additional probes into other tech giants, including Amazon and Facebook, which have faced similar antitrust scrutiny at the federal level, Tony writes.
The states attorneys general are coordinating with antitrust officials in Washington, where there has recently been a flurry of antitrust activity. Makan Delrahim, the assistant attorney general for the DOJ's antitrust division, said at a conference last month that his office is coordinating with the state officials, but declined to offer more details. Justice is currently conducting a broad antitrust review of large tech companies, and Facebook recently said that the Federal Trade Commission opened an antitrust investigation into its business.
State attorneys general have a history of contributing to federal regulators' moves on antitrust. In the 1990s, the states helped build a broader case against Microsoft after rivals warned that it used its Windows monopoly to stifle competition, Tony notes.
It's not just antitrust enforcers that tech companies have to worry about '-- Congress is also getting in on the action. Most of the activity thus far has been in the House, where lawmakers are leading a wide-ranging investigation of competition in the technology sector. But Senate Republicans are also hosting hearings on the issue, including one later this month about mergers and acquisitions in the tech sector.
But while there's bipartisan interest in looking into competition issues in the tech sector, experts don't expect the hearings to result in any legislation before the 2020 election.
''It's unlikely to see swift action,'' Kimmelman said. ''It's an extremely important step for Congress to educate itself and for policymakers to engage to understand the problem. Once that happens it's much easier to move legislation in a timely fashion."
Policymakers considering whether antitrust law needs to be updated to address the tech sector may face an uphill battle. The companies under scrutiny have very different business models, and the competition concerns vary significantly from business to business. Some tech policy experts worry that Congress may not be up to the task.
''It's not clear that the U.S. Congress is capable of dealing with nuance and complicated challenges in this moment," said Blair Levin, who served in the Federal Communications Commission during the Clinton administration.
He says there is an ''inchoate'' consensus building in Washington that it's time for antitrust action against Big Tech, but he doesn't expect quick congressional action on such a complicated problem.
''There is a sense something must be done, but there's not a consensus of what should be done,'' he said.
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A car passes by Facebook's corporate headquarters location in Menlo Park, California (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP)JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images
BITS: Facebook, Google and other tech titans are making a broad lobbying push in Sacramento to change California's consumer privacy law before it takes effect in January, Tony reports. A lobbying organization representing social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook has even targeted people in Sacramento with social media ads warning the law could result in tech companies charging consumers for services that are free.
Privacy advocates are criticizing the broad campaign to rewrite the California Consumer Protection Act as a move that would curtail consumers' rights. The campaign hasn't been successful yet '-- but with only two weeks left in California's legislative cycle, the companies aren't giving up. CCPA would allow consumers to see what personal information businesses collect and sell about them, and industry lobbyists have been pushing changes limiting what qualifies as personal information under CCPA.
The Internet Association, which represents tech giants Google and Facebook, spent nearly $176,000 in lobbying over the past three months alone, Tony found. And the ads flooding California voters, sponsored under the name ''Keep the Internet free'' have reached nearly 200,000 Twitter users.
While the law has faced criticism from both industry and consumer privacy advocates, as Tony points out, many proponents see it as an important model for other states as Congress has yet to pass federal privacy legislation.
Democratic presidential candidate, former Rep. Beto ORourke (D-TX) (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
NIBBLES: Beto O'Rourke's campaign manager is calling Facebook, Twitter, and Google to crack down on misinformation after a false story that the gunman in the Odessa, Texas, shooting had a sticker for the candidate on his car went viral on those platforms over the weekend. Facebook spokesman Andy Stone tells me the company is looking into the campaign's claims that inauthentic behavior amplified the content on its platform.
Campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said the tweets and posts about the unverified rumor received tens of thousands of retweets and shares on the social media platform. She blamed a right-wing bot network for amplifying the claim:
As a campaign, we're almost entirely powerless to stop misinformation. We can tweet corrections, but only a fragment of the people exposed will see it. This rests on Twitter, Facebook, and Google who let this go completely unchecked.
'-- Jen O'Malley Dillon (@jomalleydillon) September 4, 2019 O'Malley Dillon tweeted that the campaign suspects at least one Facebook post was amplified by inauthentic behavior. "The Fuentes post had 34,000 shares but just 46 comments - you'd see a much different ratio if it was spread authentically," Lauren Hitt, O'Rourke's national director of rapid response, told me over email, adding that the campaign has not heard from any of the tech companies named in the tweet.
On Facebook, this post (that we suspect was spread inauthentically) has 34,000 shares. pic.twitter.com/Gbr7GOgOu2
'-- Jen O'Malley Dillon (@jomalleydillon) September 4, 2019 As O'Malley Dillon points out, the claims were also amplified on Twitter by Anthony Shaffer, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and a member of Trump's 2020 advisory board. Shaffer stood by his comments when asked about the post by my colleague Isaac Stanley-Becker.
The campaign isn't just calling out social networks. O'Malley Dillon also tweeted that the gunman's name was the second highest-trending search query on Google related to O'Rourke in the last week.
Google and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A sign outside of the Twitter office building in San Francisco. Twitter reports financial earnings on Friday, July 26. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
BYTES: The German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy is rebooting its dashboard monitoring Russian information operations in time for 2020, it announced today. Researchers say the new dashboard will allow for a more comprehensive look at how Russian influence operations are evolving leading up to the election.
The Hamilton 2.0 dashboard captures content from more than 140 diplomatic and media accounts on Twitter, four state-sponsored news websites, and broadcasts and YouTube videos from RT, a Russia-funded international media outlet. This is a shift from the previous version of the dashboard that monitored more than 600 accounts linked to Russia, a hazy definition that garnered the tool criticism for potentially overestimating the presence of Russian trolls on Twitter.
The more narrow approach reflects the increasing difficulty of attributing troll accounts to Russia, Rachael Wilson, head of external affairs at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, tells me. She says efforts to detect and expose 2016-era information operations '-- particularly in real time '' are less effective than they were immediately following the U.S. presidential election.
The role of state-funded media in spreading disinformation has been increasingly in the spotlight in recent weeks. Twitter banned recently banned ads by state-sponsored media after China-backed media outlets used the tool to spread disinformation about protesters in Hong Kong. Yet state-sponsored media still has a stronghold on Twitter and Facebook. Russian state media has spread similar pro-Beijing narratives, ASD's disinformation fellow Bret Schafer says.
'-- News from the public sector:
An iPhone displays the apps for Facebook and Messenger. (Jenny Kane/AP)
Facebook said if the Homeland Security Department creates fake accounts to monitor the social media of foreigners applying for entry into the country, the company will consider the accounts in violation of its policies and shut them down , the Associated Press's Tami Abdollah reports. The company affirmed its policy following a report last week that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services revised an internal policy to allow agents to employ fake social media accounts to check people applying for visas, green cards and citizenship.
''Law enforcement authorities, like everyone else, are required to use their real names on Facebook and we make this policy clear,'' Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Pollack told Tami. ''Operating fake accounts is not allowed, and we will act on any violating accounts.'' Pollack said the company would remove any fake accounts that were reported.
But Facebook has struggled to rein in the use of fake profiles by law enforcement agencies in the past. Just last year the company wrote a letter to the Memphis police department requesting that it stop using fake profiles to monitor black activists. The increased use of Facebook for surveillance by the federal government could force the company to grapple with implications for user privacy. The State Department began requiring visa applicants to provide their social media profiles for review last month, and President Trump suggested the Justice Department should work with all levels of law enforcement to monitor the site to predict mass shooters.
'-- More news from the public sector:
Denmark appointed him to approach Silicon Valley as if it were a global superpower. His challenges show how smaller countries struggle to influence giant corporations.
The New York Times
Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said the "possibility of a prison term" should be considered for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a recent interview.
'-- News from the private sector:
Forget the titanium Apple Card '-- Amazon's latest payment method uses flesh and blood.
New York Post
It will roll out the Face Recognition privacy setting globally over the next several weeks
The Verge
A trade-secrets case involving a Google affiliate highlights how federal prosecutors are now willing to file criminal charges in matters that are traditionally regarded as civil noncompete disputes.
The Wall Street Journal
Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. have argued to Chicago city officials that the names of their drivers should be treated as ''trade secrets,'' and should not be released because competitors could use the information to attempt to hire them away.
'-- Tech news generating buzz around the Web:
Over the last decade, American schools embraced technology, spending millions of dollars on devices and programs; some parents question how much it's helping.
Wall Street Journal
Medical groups are warning that new federal data-sharing rules, enabling people to get their health records through a smartphone, could lead to invasions of privacy.
The New York Times
'-- Coming soon:
The House Homeland Security Committee is expected to question 8chan owner Jim Watkins in a closed-door deposition on Thursday. Apple will host a special iPhone event on September 10 at 10 a.m. Pacific time in Cupertino The Senate Judiciary will host an oversight hearing on the enforcement of antitrust laws on September 17 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time The Senate Judiciary will host a hearing to ''explore issues relating to competition in technology markets and the antitrust agencies' efforts to root out anticompetitive conduct.'' on September 24
Texas shooter threatened neighbor, sat on roof and shot animals
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 13:17
September 1, 2019 | 10:54pm | Updated September 2, 2019 | 8:29am
A neighbor of the Odessa, Texas, mass shooter says she reported him to police last month '-- after he threatened her with a rifle for leaving trash near his property '-- but cops couldn't find his house on account of it having no GPS address or electricity.
The woman told CNN that Seth Ator, 36, would often sit on top of his home and shoot animals at night, which he would then retrieve afterward.
She said cops tried to confront Ator following her report to them last month, but his property didn't show up on GPS and was difficult to find.
Ator would often sleep inside his Toyota Camry with the heat on when the weather would get too cold, the woman said. He also had no running water.
Another neighbor told NewsWest9 that she, too, was visited by Ator '-- who showed up at her door with his rifle. It was unclear what sparked that incident. The woman said Ator owned at least two guns.
Cops shot and killed the Texas madman following his shooting rampage in Odessa on Saturday. He managed to kill seven people and wounded more than 20 others.
Back-to-school malware is hiding in those digital textbooks - CNET
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 13:13
Researchers warn that malicious actors are targeting students seeking to escape rising textbooks costs via online alternatives.
Jeff Greenberg/Getty Images Security experts are warning about back-to-school dangers for students who want to cut the cost of textbooks by accessing them online. Over the past academic year, cybercriminals targeting students attempted to attack Kaspersky users more than 356,000 times, Kaspersky Lab researchers said Monday. The majority of the malware was disguised as free essays, but textbooks accounted for roughly a third.
"We detected 122,000 attacks by malware that was disguised as textbooks. More than 30,000 users tried to open these files," Kaspersky said in a release.
Malware targeting K-12 students was most commonly found in English textbooks, where Kaspersky noted 2,080 attempted downloads. This was followed by math textbooks, which threatened 1,213 users, and literature was the third most dangerous subject, with 870 instances of disguised malware.
The four most popular types of malware that came disguised as textbooks were torrent application downloader MediaGet and the Stalk worm, as well as the WinLNK.Agent.gen and the Win32.Agent.ifdx downloaders.
Now playing: Watch this: Those bootleg streaming devices have malware preinstalled
How U.S. Banks Took Over the World - WSJ
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 12:08
When two of Europe's corporate titans sat down to negotiate a merger this year, they called American banks.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as its lead adviser. France's Renault SA hired a boutique bank stacked with Goldman alumni. In a deal that would reshape Europe's auto industry, the continental banks that had sustained Fiat and Renault for more than a century were muscled aside by a pair of Wall Street deal makers.
A decade after fueling a crisis that nearly brought down the global financial system, America's banks are ruling it. They earned 62% of global investment-banking fees last year, up from 53% in 2011, according to Coalition, an industry data provider. Last year, U.S. banks took home $7 of every $10 in merger fees, $6 of every $10 in stock commissions, and $6 of every $10 paid to hold and move corporate cash.
Europe's banks are smaller, less profitable and beating a hasty retreat from Wall Street. Germany's Deutsche Bank AG is firing thousands of investment bankers. Switzerland's UBS Group AG abandoned its huge trading floor in Stamford, Conn., to refocus on its roots as a private bank.
Barclays is the lone holdout with an ambition to be a universal global bank. Under Chief Executive Jes Staley, an American who rose to prominence at JPMorgan Chase & Co., the bank has resisted shareholder calls to go back to its roots serving British consumers and companies.
From their central perch in London and with close ties to developing countries, Europe's banks were primed to benefit as financial services went global. They charged onto Wall Street in the 1990s and pressed their advantage as U.S. banks limped out of the 2008 crisis.
Then, ''they handed the whole system on a platter to the Americans,'' said Colm Kelleher, the Irish-born former Morgan Stanley executive.
Coming out of the crisis, U.S. banks quickly raised capital and shed risk, unpleasant tasks that Europeans put off. American businesses recovered quickly, and its consumers are eager to borrow and spend. A tax cut in 2018 boosted profits. Interest rates have risen.
Meanwhile in Europe, regional economies are sputtering and borrowing has slowed.
Central bankers have cut interest rates below zero, which leaves banks struggling to eke out a profit on loans. Banking policy in Europe remains fractured, with national and continental regulators pursuing often conflicting agendas.
''It is not our remit to promote national, or even European, champions,'' said Andrea Enria, the European Central Bank's top banking regulator.
Twenty-five years ago, European banks charged into the U.S. They bought storied firms like Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Wasserstein Perella and dangled big paydays for rainmakers. When Deutsche Bank announced a $10 billion takeover of Bankers Trust in 1998, it promised at least $400 million in bonuses to retain top bankers.
The challenges of merging a conservative European commercial lender and a U.S. derivatives shop gave competitors pause. Goldman's CEO, Hank Paulson, shared his doubts with a hotel ballroom of his bankers: Deutsche Bank ''just signed up for 10 years of pain,'' attendees remember him saying.
But in an era of cheap debt and light regulation, the land grab seemed to pay off. Deutsche Bank had a $3 trillion balance sheet in 2007 and that year earned twice as much as Bank of America Corp. in securities-trading. Royal Bank of Scotland was briefly the largest bank in the world, wielding a balance sheet bigger than Britain's entire economy.
Even the financial crisis looked at first like an opportunity. When Barclays PLC bought Lehman Brothers in a fire sale, it got 10,000 of the firm's U.S. bankers and few of its bad debts. On Lehman's Times Square trading floor, the loudspeakers played ''God Save The Queen.'' Deutsche Bank pounced on Wall Street's clients.
The high-water mark was in 2011, when global investment-banking fees were roughly split between European and U.S. firms.
The good times didn't last. A 2012 sovereign-debt crisis across the continent put new pressure on the region's biggest banks. Economic growth slowed across the continent. Central bankers turned interest rates negative in 2014. German media calls them ''Strafzinsen,'' translating roughly to ''penalty rates.''
UBS slashed 10,000 jobs and cut big parts of its trading operation. Royal Bank of Scotland fired thousands of investment bankers and sold its U.S. retail arm to focus on the U.K. Three-quarters of the Lehman bankers Barclays picked up in 2008 were gone within five years, according to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records.
Meanwhile, U.S. banks were quietly encroaching on European rivals' territory. In 2009, JPMorgan completed an acquisition of Cazenove, the U.K. investment bank. Every year since 2014, JPMorgan has generated more investment-banking revenue across Europe than anyone else, according to Dealogic. (The London-listed owner of Peppa Pig, a British cartoon character, hired JPMorgan Cazenove to advise on its sale in August to U.S. toy giant Hasbro Inc. )
As U.S. banks got stronger and their European rivals weakened, client loyalties began to change.
Today's companies are increasingly global. They make more of their money in the U.S. and have swapped a shareholder register stacked with old-line European families and trusts for the likes of BlackRock Inc. and other U.S. investment giants, where Wall Street banks are better connected. The percentage of U.K. companies' stock owned by foreigners rose from 16% in 1994 to 53% in 2016, according to government statistics.
Fiat, the Italian car maker that pursued a tie-up with France's Renault this year, makes two-thirds of its money in the U.S., where it owns Chrysler. Its shots are called by John Elkann, the New York-born scion of the family that founded Fiat in 1899.
One of Mr. Elkann's closest advisers is a Goldman Sachs banker who for the past 15 years has organized a yearly gathering of European billionaire business owners, according to people who have attended. They swap stories, share advice and, more often than not, hire Goldman for deals.
Globalization has cost the Europeans not just on headline-grabbing mergers, but in the everyday business of managing money for clients. Deliveroo, a food-delivery startup based in the U.K., sought to ramp up in Europe and the Middle East. Instead of hiring local banks in each market, it consolidated its money flows with Citigroup , which has local licenses in 98 countries and a global digital platform.
JPMorgan has made a big push to expand transaction banking for European clients. In 2010 it established a new unit of global bankers to pitch day-to-day transaction services to big companies, and later took over dozens of European transaction relationships from RBS.
Most recently JPMorgan said it is extending its commercial banking business globally, targeting hundreds of midsize businesses across Europe. It has sought to take on a more local flavoring, doing things like sponsoring math-and-science programs for students in France, Germany and Italy.
Last year, Citigroup and JPMorgan were two of the three biggest providers of day-to-day transaction banking globally, along with Britain's HSBC Holdings PLC, according to Coalition. U.S. banks accounted for 57% of the global transaction-banking revenue pool among the biggest banks in that business, versus 22% for Europeans, Coalition said.
'--Coulter Jones contributed to this article.
Write to Liz Hoffman at liz.hoffman@wsj.com and Telis Demos at telis.demos@wsj.com
'Father Is Surgeon,' '1 Mil Pledge': The Role of Money in USC Admissions - WSJ
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 11:58
BOSTON'--Emails among athletics, admissions and fundraising officials at the University of Southern California show the school explicitly weighed how much money applicants' families could donate when determining whether to admit students.
The messages were filed Tuesday in a Boston federal court by a lawyer for two parents accused in the nationwide college-admissions cheating scandal. He claims USC wasn't a victim of any scheme, but rather based admission decisions in part on expectations of donations from well-heeled families.
There is a long-held assumption that money influences college admissions, but the 18 previously undisclosed documents, obtained during the discovery process in the case, appear to make the direct connection in stark terms.
They include intricate spreadsheets color-coded by university officials to track ''special-interest applicants'''--applicants flagged for their connections to USC officials, trustees, donors or other VIPs'--with direct references to past and prospective dollar amounts of gifts from their families.
Also included are email exchanges about specific candidates whose qualifications were portrayed as questionable by admissions and other officials but whose family ties and bank funds won out.
''VIP'' students were described in spreadsheets with references like ''given 2 million already,'' ''1 mil pledge,'' ''Previously donated $25k to Heritage Hall'' and ''father is surgeon,'' the filings show.
One email shows the access that William ''Rick'' Singer, the mastermind of the admissions cheating scheme, had at USC. In the email, Mr. Singer set up a 2007 meeting between the then-university president, who is now deceased, and an individual who isn't identified. A person familiar with the matter said the individual was a wealthy parent and client of Mr. Singer's who hasn't been charged in the case.
The filing was made by lawyer Martin G. Weinberg as part of a dispute over whether USC should have to produce records showing whether it favored wealthy and well-connected families. Mr. Weinberg, who represents two parents who have pleaded not guilty in the admissions-cheating scheme, has argued that parents donated to USC as part of a standard admissions practice that was actively encouraged by USC.
USC said in a statement Tuesday that the school allows many departments to mark applicants with a ''special-interest tag,'' and that the emails disclosed in the court filing ''demonstrate that no Athletic Department official has the authority to compel admissions decisions.''
The university called the court filing an effort to divert attention from the underlying fraud charges.
USC said in a separate recent court filing that its admissions office doesn't track donations, know dollar amounts given or ''focus on donations in deciding whether to admit an applicant.''
A lawyer for Mr. Singer didn't respond to a request for comment.
Prosecutors have positioned their case on the theory that colleges are victims of the sprawling fraud and argue that the parents' payments, some of which ended up in school coffers, weren't donations, but rather quid pro quos arranged by parents, Mr. Singer and corrupt athletics staff members.
Mr. Singer has admitted to running a $25 million scheme in which parents allegedly gave money to his bogus charity, with the agreement Mr. Singer would then pay coaches or their athletic programs to designate his clients' children as athletic recruits, regardless of athletic ability. In some instances, parents went so far as to help Mr. Singer fabricate athletic profiles for their teens, according to charging documents and court testimony.
Defense lawyers have been portraying Mr. Singer's actions as essentially sanctioned by USC, where athletic officials were under pressure to raise money and courted walk-on players whose parents could make big donations.
At times, USC staffers joked about the shortcomings of applicants. In one email exchange included in Tuesday's filing, admissions officials mocked one applicant's grammar but agreed he was ''good enough to shag balls for the tennis team,'' ending with a crass ''Beavis and Butt-Head'' reference.
Mr. Weinberg made the filing as part of his defense of one of his clients, parent Robert Zangrillo, a Miami developer who has pleaded not guilty and is accused of paying Mr. Singer to bribe a USC official to admit his daughter as a rower.
The athletic department gave the girl a ''special interest tag,'' USC said in a recent court filing.
In a February 2014 email exchange, Donna Heinel, a former associate senior USC athletic director; Ron Orr, a senior associate athletic director for development; and others discussed a walk-on water polo player with whose family the school had been building a relationship for a year. They describe the family as ''a high-level prospect with 1-5M potential,'' though there appears to be some jockeying over how much of any gift would go to USC's business school versus its athletics department.
Ms. Heinel told Mr. Orr, ''If this is not working out the way you planned, I can have Admissions pull the approval.''
''Really sucks,'' he responded later that night, adding, ''don't pull we will guilt them.''
Ms. Heinel has pleaded not guilty to a charge of racketeering conspiracy related to Mr. Singer's scheme.
Ms. Heinel's attorney Nina Marino said the documents show ''USC admission was directly linked to donations'' and said Ms. Heinel at all times was doing the job that was expected of her by the university.
Mr. Orr, who hasn't been charged, didn't respond to a request for comment.
In an exchange from 2018, Ms. Heinel asked USC admissions dean Timothy Brunold to move to spring-semester admission a candidate whose family ''has helped build the foundation of many USC projects and initiatives'' even though her test scores are ''well below the standard.'' He agreed to do so, the exchange indicates.
Mr. Brunold didn't respond to a request for comment. He said in a court declaration that most students with a ''special interest tag'' aren't admitted and that the school doesn't keep track of the exact percent.
''If I had known that a prospective student's family had donated $50,000 or $100,000 to USC, it would not have affected the Admission Department's decision whether to admit the student,'' Mr. Brunold said in the filing.
Write to Jennifer Levitz at jennifer.levitz@wsj.com and Melissa Korn at melissa.korn@wsj.com
VIDEO - Public forum on Austin homeless rules gets heated, one man thrown out | KXAN.com
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 14:58
by: Russell Falcon, KXAN Staff
Sep 3, 2019 / 10:31 PM CDT / Updated:
Sep 4, 2019 / 07:32 AM CDTAUSTIN (KXAN) '-- Things got a little heated at a public forum addressing homelessness in Austin.
MORE: City manager recommends homeless camping restrictions
The goal of the event, held in the Ragsdale Center at St. Edward's University, was to discuss the challenges the city is facing as the homeless population grows.
''What will it take '-- what will it take for this board to repeal the lenient changes they made in June, that can lead to a shanty town? We cannot normalize shanty town. That doesn't help anybody '-- that doesn't help the homeless,'' one audience member said.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler, members of the City Council, Caritas of Austin, and Integral Care were at the forum, where people were yelling.
''Ma'am, all of us are here to hear solutions,'' one woman shouted as another yelled, ''You're not the boss of me!''
At least one person '-- holding an InfoWars-branded microphone '-- got up and berated city council.
The man was removed after the disruption.
City council is expected to take feedback from the meeting to discuss on Sept. 19. Homelessness rules and regulations have become a point of contention for Austinites since certain laws were loosened just months ago.
Following the meeting, Mayor Steve Adler hosted a press conference where disruptions continued. Adler said there the city council plans to increase funding for the homeless, and said revenue from a convention center expansion could be used to help as well.
Adler stressed the city needs to act now because next year it will be constrained by new property tax restrictions passed during the Texas legislative session.
VIDEO - (4) CNN Presidential town hall with Mayor Pete Buttigieg Climate Town Hall with Chris Cuomo - YouTube
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 12:56
VIDEO - (21) Squawk Box on Twitter: "Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that really needs to be backed by gold to have any value, said famed investor Mark Mobius https://t.co/q5hZ8Xwzxl" / Twitter
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 12:13
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VIDEO - (28) Terrence K. Williams on Twitter: "ðŸ I'M OFFENDED! @DebraMessing promoted a Message Calling Black Trump Supporters Mentally ill. She want all Trump Supporters blacklisted & publicly shamed @realDonaldTrump would be called a racist if
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VIDEO - (4) California Is Everything Wrong with the US. Just Look at What Gov. Newsom Is Telling People - YouTube
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 04:08
VIDEO - Alan Greenspan says it's 'only a matter of time' before negative rates spread to the US
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 03:46
The more Trump tweets the more stocks fall, research shows
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It will not be long before the spread of negative interest rates reaches the U.S., former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said.
''You're seeing it pretty much throughout the world. It's only a matter of time before it's more in the United States,'' Greenspan told CNBC's ''Squawk on the Street'' on Wednesday, adding investors should watch the 30-year Treasury yield.
The 30-year U.S. rate traded at 1.95% midday Wednesday. It reached an all-time low last week.
There are currently more than $16 trillion in negative-yielding debt instruments around the world as central banks try to ease monetary conditions to sustain the global economy. The 10-year sovereign bonds in Belgium, Germany, France and Japan '-- among others '-- are trading with a negative rate.
U.S. Treasury yields are still well within positive territory but the Fed has already cut rates once and is expected to ease later this month. Market expectations for a rate cut in September are at 92.7%, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool.
An aging population is driving demand for bonds, pushing their yields lower, Greenspan said.
''We're so used to the idea that we don't have negative interest rates, but if you get a significant change in the attitude of the population, they look for coupon,'' Greenspan said. ''As a result of that, there's a tendency to disregard the fact that that has an effect in the net interest rate that they receive.''
He added that gold prices have been surging recently because people are looking for ''hard'' assets they know are going to have value down the road as the population ages. Gold futures are up more than 21% in 2019 and are trading around levels not seen since 2013.
Greenspan's comments come after New York Fed President John Williams called low inflation the ''problem of this era'' in a speech earlier in the day.
VIDEO - ðŸ--´ Exiled Chinese Billionaire's Accusations of China (w/ Guo Wengui & Kyle Bass) | RV Classics - YouTube
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 00:12
VIDEO - (38) Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter: "Everyone should watch this incredibly powerful moment. https://t.co/8J53SDZsra" / Twitter
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 19:48
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VIDEO - CLIMATE FORCING | Our Future is Cold - YouTube
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 14:34
VIDEO - (10) theJuice 🌏ðŸ--¥ on Twitter: "If you're wondering what's gong on in #WestPapua, here's an Honest Government Ad. Right now, the Indonesian Govt has blocked the Internet and is sending in military to quash massive protests against their occupa
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VIDEO - (3) Messing: Release Names of Trump Backers | The View - YouTube
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 13:11
VIDEO - Raw Politics in full: Boris Johnson's Brexit ultimatum | Euronews
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 13:07
Tesa Arcilla is joined by politicians and journalists to discuss the major political issues that are defining and dividing Europe today.
Provocatively impartial, Raw Politics is a daily political programme which listens to the people of Europe and demands answers from those in power.
Watch Raw Politics every weeknight at 6pm CEST / 5pm BST on Euronews.
Then, have your say on Raw Politics Your Call at 7pm CEST / 6pm BST.
Follow @RawPolitics on Twitter for all the latest from the Raw Politics team and join the debate on social media using #RawPolitics.
VIDEO - (20) Bloomberg TicToc on Twitter: "@business @ClaudiaMCMo ''The government will formally withdraw the bill in order to fully allay public concerns.'' Here's Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam's statement withdrawing the controversial #extraditionbi
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 12:07
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VIDEO - (3) Cancel Culture Claims Developers Life #CancelCancelCulture - YouTube
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 03:34
VIDEO - Epstein's pedophile ring 'absolutely' still exists '' Lionel - YouTube
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 01:28
VIDEO - Journalist Katie Halper on why Tulsi is really running for President | TheHill
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 01:26
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VIDEO - (1) We tried to reach out to the man who died - YouTube
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 01:25
VIDEO - (2) Boris Johnson loses parliamentary majority after MP Phillip Lee defects to Lib Dems - YouTube
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 21:48
VIDEO - (1) Tom Elliott on Twitter: "Emory Prof. @tiphanieyanique on #dorianhurricane: "These storms are manmade storms'' (via @democracynow) https://t.co/BabkX2jLsr" / Twitter
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 21:38
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VIDEO - How Do You Unplug? | Crooks and Liars
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 15:44
9/02/19 8:00pm
Read time: 0 minutes
The author of "How To Do Nothing" has advice... (open thread)
How do you unplug? Can you? And yes, Odell acknowledges that 'unplugging' comes from a place of privilege.
Open thread below...
How did Rumsfeld's War Stocks turn out, anyway?
From "The Best Years of Our Lives," 1946
A video featuring dogs and a plea for healthcare reform from 2009...
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President Stupid earns his nickname.
On the anniversary of the invasion by Germany, Trump congratulated Poland.
Because Trump suggested it, his staffer told reporters.
So how did he get his assault rifle?
The slow-moving storm is now expected to track the coast without making landfall.
Pro tip for the Morning Joe crew: Stuart Varney can look in a camera and say "Trump never lies" because he gets ten million dollars to do so.
Donald Trump, being briefed by FEMA on disaster plans in the wake of Hurricane Dorian being upgraded to Category 5, claims to be unaware of another Category 5 storm hitting the US.
Asked about the start of World War II in Poland on Sept. 1, President Trump congratulated Poland. For being invaded by Germany, I guess.
The chaos with Trump's comm team -- anonymous sources leaking constantly -- is a feature, not a bug, for the Trump White House.
We'll find out eventually -- but too late for the people he killed.
VIDEO - WATCH: Elizabeth Warren channels her inner-Barack Obama, lectures wealthy Americans - TheBlaze
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 15:26
Democratic presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) channeled her inner-Obama on Monday, invoking an argument mirroring the sentiment behind former President Barack Obama's infamous line, "You didn't build that."
Warren's remarks came during a Labor Day stump speech in New Hampshire advocating her wealth tax proposal, which would impose an annual 2 percent tax on households with assets greater than $50 million and a 3 percent tax for households with more than $1 billion in assets.
"Some of these guys say, 'I worked hard. I had a great idea. I worked late' '-- oh yeah, unlike anybody else. But 'I worked late or inherited wealth, and so this is mine,'" Warren mocked. "And the answer is yeah, you did. You did have a great idea and you did work hard.
"But here's the deal," she continued, "I guarantee you built it at least in part using workers all of us help pay to educate. Yeah. You built it at least in part, getting your goods to market on roads and bridges all of us helped pay to build. Yep. You built it at least in part, protected by police and firefighters all of us help pay their salaries.
"And we are glad to do it. These are the investments we make as Americans," Warren went on to say. "But here's the thing: When you make it big, I mean really big, I mean the top 1/10th of 1 percent big, pitch in two cents so everybody else gets a chance to make it in this country."
Obama ignited controversy during the height of the 2012 presidential campaign after declaring that "wealthy, successful Americans" did not attain their wealth or success on their own accord.
"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life," Obama said. "If you've got a business '-- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."
VIDEO - 'Seinfeld' Actor John O'Hurley 'Embarrassed' for Debra Messing over Her Call To Out Trump Supporters
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 15:19
''Seinfeld'' actor John O'Hurley said on Monday he is ''embarrassed'' for ''Will & Grace'' star Debra Messing after she called for supporters of President Donald Trump in Hollywood to be publicly named.
''Please print a list of all attendees please. The public has a right to know,'' Messing tweeted in response to a Hollywood Reporter article about Trump participating in a Beverly Hills fundraiser.
The Reporter noted the Sept. 17 event falls just days after the Emmy Awards, which brings together many of Tinseltown's elite.
Please print a list of all attendees please. The public has a right to know. https://t.co/YV4UoxrPHI
'-- Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) August 31, 2019
TRENDING: GOP Is Furious After California's Latest Scheme To Keep Trump Off the Primary Ballot
Messing's ''Will & Grace'' co-star Eric McCormack made the same ask of the news outlet, tweeting, ''kindly report on everyone attending this event, so the rest of us can be clear about who we don't wanna work with. Thx.''
O'Hurley '-- best known for his longstanding role as J. Peterman, Elaine's boss, on ''Seinfeld'' '-- weighed in on his fellow actors' requests for Trump supporters to be outed, calling it ''obscene.''
''Well, let me just say that I'm embarrassed for both of them,'' O'Hurley said. ''And I'll say this because I know them both and I've worked with Debra before.''
''They are both smart people,'' he continued. ''They do wonderful work, but they're pushing the case that falls apart from the sheer weight of its lunacy as though the Hollywood community needs to be purged of this social and intellectual hygiene problem called conservative thinking.
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''It underscores the fact that we aren't receptive to diversity of thought, which is the exact opposite of what you feel the liberal way would be. And I find that obscene.''
O'Hurley added that artists in particular should value a wide range of beliefs and opinions.
He recounted one of the people he most enjoys talking to about current events is ''Breaking Bad'' star Bryan Cranston, though they are on the opposite sides of the political spectrum.
''It is very difficult to be a conservative in Hollywood,'' O'Hurley said. ''Even though there are many of us, you do feel like you are an island fighting the storm.''
RELATED: Video Captures Priceless Reactions When People Learn Bizarre Quotes Are from Biden, Not Trump
Trump weighed in on Messing's request, tweeting, ''I have not forgotten that when it was announced that I was going to do The Apprentice, and when it then became a big hit, helping NBC's failed lineup greatly, @DebraMessing came up to me at an Upfront & profusely thanked me, even calling me 'Sir.' How times have changed!''
I have not forgotten that when it was announced that I was going to do The Apprentice, and when it then became a big hit, helping NBC's failed lineup greatly, @DebraMessing came up to me at an Upfront & profusely thanked me, even calling me ''Sir.'' How times have changed!
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2019
Actor Dean Cain responded to Messing's tweet, writing, ''I'm not attending, because I'll be out of town. Otherwise, I'd have been happy to attend.''
I'm not attending, because I'll be out of town. Otherwise, I'd have been happy to attend. https://t.co/VWPbuPPQi9
'-- Dean Cain (@RealDeanCain) August 31, 2019
Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, like O'Hurley, dinged the actress for failing to live up to the entertainment community's stated commitment to diversity.
Tolerant Hollywood: ''Burn them! Burn the witches!!'' https://t.co/q4skFg9S7q
'-- Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 31, 2019
He tweeted, ''Tolerant Hollywood: 'Burn them! Burn the witches!!'''
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
VIDEO - Biden Wants To Eliminate Gun 'Magazines That Can Hold Multiple Bullets'
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 15:10
The Democratic front-runner in the 2020 presidential race wants to ban almost every common firearm in America, at least if his words mean anything.
On Monday, former Vice President Joe Biden railed against guns during a campaign stop in Iowa. The topic wasn't surprising, considering how recent mass shootings, including Saturday's shooting in West Texas, have dominated headlines.
Biden's talking points on the hot-button issue made some headlines of their own. While speaking to the crowd, the candidate declared that he thought every firearm that holds more than one bullet should be illegal in America.
''The idea that we don't have elimination of assault-type weapons, magazines that can hold multiple bullets in them, it's absolutely mindless,'' Biden said, according to the Washington Examiner.
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While he's far from the first Democrat to call for a ban on so-called ''assault weapons,'' a vague term that usually refers to common sporting rifles like the popular AR-15, his comment about magazines is shocking.
Most firearms in the United States, including those used for hunting and personal defense, have some sort of magazine which can ''hold multiple bullets in them.'' Even basic hunting shotguns and deer rifles use tube magazines that hold several rounds, and have for well over 100 years.
It isn't clear if Biden made yet another gaffe with his wording or if he genuinely believes that all firearms that hold two or more bullets should be illegal. Both possibilities are alarming.
If it was a mistake and former President Barack Obama's old right-hand man actually meant something more specific like removable magazines, Biden's statement is hardly excusable. Semi-automatic handguns legally carried by millions of Americans would fit this description, meaning that law-abiding men and women across the country would be disarmed.
Do you think Biden will be the 2020 Democratic nominee?0% (0 Votes)
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And Biden has tried to portray himself as a common-sense gun owner himself, making his statement even more baffling. He encouraged Americans in 2013 to ''buy a shotgun'' '-- nearly all of which hold multiple shells these days '-- and also declared that ''no one's gonna take anyone's gun.''
Six years later, the same Joe Biden is the one pledging to take guns.
During his Iowa campaign stop, the candidate spoke against allowing people to defend themselves in churches, synagogues and mosques '-- all of which have been targeted by mass shooters in recent years.
''And we're talking about loosening access to have guns, to be able to take them into places of worship, I mean, it's just absolutely irrational,'' Biden declared.
In many jurisdictions, places of worship are designated as ''gun free zones,'' yet those restrictions often do little to prevent shooters.
RELATED: Video Captures Priceless Reactions When People Learn Bizarre Quotes Are from Biden, Not Trump
The 2018 Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, left 11 people dead. Similar crimes took place at churches in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015 and Sutherland Springs, Texas, in 2017. Some places of worship have enacted security plans that include legally armed congregation members, something that Biden apparently wants to end.
Another Democratic candidate for president, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, recently doubled down on his anti-gun views. When asked about public fears that the government might forcibly confiscate semi-automatic firearms, the Democrat acknowledged that this was his goal.
''I want to be really clear, that's exactly what we are going to do,'' O'Rourke said, adding that he would support mandatory confiscatory buybacks of common semi-automatic guns like sporting rifles.
It looks like the Democratic candidates for president aren't even trying to hide their disdain for the Second Amendment anymore. Pledging to go after common, modern firearms owned by millions of citizens used to be far-fetched even for the left, but it looks like those days are over.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
VIDEO - Texas governor: Odessa shooting suspect previously failed gun background check | TheHill
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 13:04
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Monday that the suspected gunman who killed at least seven people and injured 22 others in a shooting over the weekend had failed a gun background check.
''Not only did the gunman have a criminal history '... he also previously failed a gun purchase background check in Texas,'' Abbott tweeted, ''& he didn't go thru a background check for the gun he used in Odessa. We must keep guns out of criminals' hands.''
Not only did the Odessa gunman have a criminal history......he also previously failed a gun purchase background check in Texas...
...& he didn't go thru a background check for the gun he used in Odessa.
We must keep guns out of criminals' hands. https://t.co/vgrqcHtBtF
'-- Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 2, 2019It is unclear how the gunman, identified Sunday as 36-year-old Seth Aaron Ator, obtained the AR-style rifle he used when he opened fire on Saturday, fatally shooting a trooper, two police officers and four others.
Ator was arrested for evading arrest and criminal trespass in 2001 and received a form of probation after pleading guilty to both misdemeanor charges, the Austin American-Statesman reports. There were no open warrants for his arrest.
He had been fired from his trucking job hours before the mass shooting, and he reportedly got into a verbal altercation with his boss at an oilfield services company, with both men calling 911 to report the incident, the Texas Tribune reports. The gunman also reportedly called the FBI's tip line.
Despite the reports, police say a motive is not yet known for the shooting.
Ator lead officials on a high-speed chase during which he indiscriminately fired at motorists and police officers but was killed by officers after a chase, authorities say.
The shooting came weeks after another gunman opened fire at an El Paso, Texas Walmart and killed 22 people and injured dozens of others.
VIDEO - Special Report: Hong Kong leader says she would 'quit' if she could, fears her ability to resolve crisis now 'very limited' - Reuters
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 22:39
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said she has caused ''unforgivable havoc'' by igniting the political crisis engulfing the city and would quit if she had a choice, according to an audio recording of remarks she made last week to a group of businesspeople.
At the closed-door meeting, Lam told the group that she now has ''very limited'' room to resolve the crisis because the unrest has become a national security and sovereignty issue for China amid rising tensions with the United States.
''If I have a choice,'' she said, speaking in English, ''the first thing is to quit, having made a deep apology.''
Lam's dramatic and at times anguished remarks offer the clearest view yet into the thinking of the Chinese leadership as it navigates the unrest in Hong Kong, the biggest political crisis to grip the country since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
Hong Kong has been convulsed by sometimes violent protests and mass demonstrations since June, in response to a proposed law by Lam's administration that would allow people suspected of crimes on the mainland to be extradited to face trial in Chinese courts. The law has been shelved, but Lam has been unable to end the upheaval. Protesters have expanded their demands to include complete withdrawal of the proposal, a concession her administration has so far refused. Large demonstrations wracked the city again over the weekend.
Lam suggested that Beijing had not yet reached a turning point. She said Beijing had not imposed any deadline for ending the crisis ahead of National Day celebrations scheduled for October 1. And she said China had ''absolutely no plan'' to deploy People's Liberation Army troops on Hong Kong streets. World leaders have been closely watching whether China will send in the military to quell the protests, as it did a generation ago in the bloody Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing.
Lam noted, however, that she had few options once an issue had been elevated ''to a national level,'' a reference to the leadership in Beijing, ''to a sort of sovereignty and security level, let alone in the midst of this sort of unprecedented tension between the two big economies in the world.''
In such a situation, she added, ''the room, the political room for the chief executive who, unfortunately, has to serve two masters by constitution, that is the central people's government and the people of Hong Kong, that political room for maneuvering is very, very, very limited.''
Three people who attended the meeting confirmed that Lam had made the comments in a talk that lasted about half an hour. A 24-minute recording of her remarks was obtained by Reuters. The meeting was one of a number of ''closed-door sessions'' that Lam said she has been doing ''with people from all walks of life'' in Hong Kong.
Responding to Reuters, a spokesman for Lam said she attended two events last week that included businesspeople, and that both were effectively private. ''We are therefore not in a position to comment on what the Chief Executive has said at those events,'' the spokesman said.
China's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, a high-level agency under China's cabinet, the State Council, did not respond to questions submitted by Reuters.
China's State Council Information Office did not immediately respond to questions from Reuters.
'THE PRICE WOULD BE TOO HUGE' The Hong Kong protests mark the biggest popular challenge to the rule of Chinese President Xi Jinping since he took power in 2012. Xi is also grappling with an escalating strategic rivalry with the United States and a slowing economy. Tensions have risen as the world's two biggest economies are embroiled in a tit-for-tat trade war. Disagreements over Taiwan and over China's moves to tighten its control in the South China Sea have further frayed relations between Beijing and Washington.
Lam's remarks are consistent with a Reuters report published on Friday that revealed how leaders in Beijing are effectively calling the shots on handling the crisis in Hong Kong. The Chinese government rejected a recent proposal by Lam to defuse the conflict that included withdrawing the extradition bill altogether, three people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Asked about the report, China's Foreign Ministry said that the central government ''supports, respects and understands'' Lam's decision to suspend the bill. The Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid published by the Communist Party's official People's Daily, denounced it as ''fake.''
As protests escalated, Lam suspended the bill on June 15. Several weeks later, on July 9, she announced that it was ''dead.'' That failed to mollify the protesters, who expanded their demands to include an inquiry into police violence and democratic reform. Many have also called for an end to what they see as meddling by Beijing in the affairs of Hong Kong.
The tone of Lam's comments in the recording is at odds with her more steely public visage. At times, she can be heard choking up as she reveals the personal impact of the three-month crisis.
''For a chief executive to have caused this huge havoc to Hong Kong is unforgivable,'' she said.
Lam told the meeting that the leadership in Beijing was aware of the potential damage to China's reputation that would arise from sending troops into Hong Kong to quell the protests.
''They know that the price would be too huge to pay,'' she said.
''They care about the country's international profile,'' she said. ''It has taken China a long time to build up to that sort of international profile and to have some say, not only being a big economy but a responsible big economy, so to forsake all those positive developments is clearly not on their agenda.''
FILE PHOTO: Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam holds a news conference in Hong Kong, China, August 27, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File PhotoBut she said China was ''willing to play long'' to ride out the unrest, even if it meant economic pain for the city, including a drop in tourism and losing out on capital inflows such as initial public offerings.
'BIGGEST SADNESS' Lam also spoke about the importance of the rule of law in Hong Kong and restoring stability to the city of more than seven million, as well as the need to improve efforts to get the government's message out. At the end, applause can be heard on the recording.
While Lam said that now was not the time for ''self-pity,'' she spoke about her profound frustration with not being able ''to reduce the pressure on my frontline police officers,'' or to provide a political solution to ''pacify the large number of peaceful protesters who are so angry with the government, with me in particular.''
Her inability ''to offer a political situation in order to relieve the tension,'' she said, was the source of her ''biggest sadness.''
Lam also spoke about the impact the crisis has had on her daily life.
''Nowadays it is extremely difficult for me to go out,'' she said. ''I have not been on the streets, not in shopping malls, can't go to a hair salon. I can't do anything because my whereabouts will be spread around social media.''
If she were to appear in public, she said, ''you could expect a big crowd of black T-shirts and black-masked young people waiting for me.'' Many of the protesters wear black at demonstrations.
After enjoying relatively high popularity in the initial part of her tenure, Lam is now the least popular of any of the four leaders who have run Hong Kong since its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997, according to veteran pollster Robert Chung, who runs the Public Opinion Research Institute.
HONG KONG 'IS NOT DEAD YET' Lam was chosen as city leader in March 2017, vowing to ''unite society'' and heal divisions in Hong Kong, which remains by far the freest city under Chinese rule. Under the ''one country, two systems'' formula agreed with Britain, Hong Kong enjoys an array of personal freedoms that don't exist in mainland China. One of the most cherished of those freedoms is the city's British-style system of independent courts and rule of law. The protesters say the extradition law would erode that bulwark of liberty.
According to a biography on the Hong Kong government website, Lam, a devout Catholic, attended St Francis' Canossian College. Her mother, who took care of seven family members on a daily basis, was her role model and inspiration, the biography said. An election manifesto said Lam came from a ''grassroots'' family and did her homework on a bunk-bed. After studying sociology at the University of Hong Kong, she went on to a distinguished career as a civil servant in Hong Kong. She was elected city leader in March 2017 by a 1,200-member election committee stacked with Beijing loyalists.
In her early days as leader, Lam pushed through a series of controversial government policies, drawing public criticism in Hong Kong but winning praise from Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
On July 1, 2017, the day she was sworn in, Lam donned a white hard hat as she walked with Xi to inspect the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, which physically links Hong Kong to mainland China. Critics say the bridge could further weaken Hong Kong's autonomy by deepening its physical links with southern China.
The effective expulsion last year of Financial Times editor Victor Mallet, whose visa wasn't renewed after he hosted an event at the city's Foreign Correspondents' Club with the leader of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party, also drew condemnation at home and abroad. Lam and her government later came under fire for banning the party and the disqualification of pro-democracy lawmakers.
Xi praised Lam's leadership during a visit to Beijing in December 2018. ''The central government fully endorses the work of Chief Executive Lam'' and the Hong Kong government, Xi said, according to a report in the state news agency Xinhua.
Pollster Robert Chung said Lam's success in pushing through many controversial proposals bolstered her belief she would be able to ram through the extradition bill.
''All these things made her feel so confident, and when we had the first demonstration, she still thought, 'Don't worry, I'll get it through in two days and things will be over,''' Chung said. ''But she was totally wrong.''
At the meeting last week, Lam said the extradition bill was her doing and was meant to ''plug legal loopholes in Hong Kong's system.''
''This is not something instructed, coerced by the central government,'' she said.
She expressed deep regrets about her push to pass the bill. ''This has proven to be very unwise given the circumstances,'' she said. ''And this huge degree of fear and anxiety amongst people of Hong Kong vis- -vis the mainland of China, which we were not sensitive enough to feel and grasp.''
She gave her audience a gloomy outlook. The police, she said, would continue to arrest those responsible for ''this escalating violence,'' a group that the government initially estimated numbered between one thousand and two thousand.
Slideshow (3 Images) It would be ''na¯ve,'' she said, to ''paint you a rosy picture, that things will be fine.'' She did, however, express hope in the city's ultimate ''resurrection.''
''Hong Kong is not dead yet. Maybe she is very, very sick, but she is not dead yet,'' she said.
Editing by Peter Hirschberg and David Lague.
VIDEO - Brexit: 'Election in October' if MPs block no deal - BBC News
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 21:14
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Boris Johnson: "I don't want an election, you don't want an election"The government is expected to table a motion to hold a general election on 14 October if it is defeated by MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit on Tuesday.
Boris Johnson said he did not want an election, but progress with the EU would be "impossible" if they won.
Tory rebels are joining forces with Labour to bring a bill designed to stop the UK leaving the EU on 31 October without an agreement.
It would force the PM to request a delay to 31 January 2020 in that event.
A senior government official said a motion for an election would be put forward if MPs take the first steps towards passing legislation to block no deal this week.
The prime minister is confident he would win the required two-thirds majority for the motion to be passed, the official added.
Speaking outside No 10 earlier, Mr Johnson insisted that with MPs' backing, he would be able to achieve changes to the UK's current Brexit deal - negotiated by Theresa May and rejected three times in the Commons - at an EU summit on 17 October.
But he said if MPs voted to block no deal they would "plainly chop the legs out from under the UK position".
The PM said there were "no circumstances" in which he personally would ask Brussels to delay Brexit and UK negotiators must be allowed to get on with their work without interference from Westminster.
"I don't want an election and you don't want an election," he added.
"Let us get on with the people's agenda, fighting crime, improving the NHS, boosting schools, cutting the cost of living, and unlocking talent and opportunity across the entire United Kingdom."
'National interest'Faced with Mr Johnson's promise to leave the EU on 31 October, with or without a deal, a number of MPs have come together across party lines to try to prevent the latter outcome.
They are expected to put forward legislation on Tuesday under Standing Order 24 - a Commons rule which allows urgent debates to be called.
The bill, which has now been published by Labour MP Hilary Benn, would force the PM to request a Brexit delay to 31 January 2020 unless MPs had approved a new deal, or voted in favour of a no deal departure, by 19 October.
Tory rebels - who include former ministers and prominent backbenchers - have been warned that those who support the legislation face being expelled from the party and deselected.
But leading figures, including ex-Justice Secretary David Gauke, have insisted that despite the threat, they will press ahead and - in their words - put the "national interest" ahead of their own.
Speaking at an event on Monday evening, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told supporters his party was ready for a vote, adding: "I will be delighted when the election comes."
"I'm ready for it, you're ready for it, we're ready for it."
He accused Mr Johnson of "threatening people with a no-deal Brexit if he doesn't get his way in Parliament".
Did Boris Johnson just announce an election without actually announcing an election?
He's always said that he really doesn't want to go to the country again.
Downing Street is still absolutely adamant that is still the case, and again with the formality of the No 10 podium, he insisted it was not what he wanted to do.
But he also made plain that there were no circumstances in which he would ask Brussels to delay our departure from the EU.
And that means only one thing. Calling an election if, in his view, he needs to. When would he need to do that? Soon.
Read more from Laura.
There is not due to be another general election until 2022.
Under the Fixed Terms Parliament Act, Mr Johnson would require the backing of two-thirds of the UK's 650 MPs to trigger an early poll this autumn.
Should this happen, the prime minister would be able to recommend the date - likely to be a hugely contentious issue given the looming Brexit deadline - to the Queen.
If there is an election before the end of 2019, it would be the third in the past five years, after polls in 2015 and 2017.
What does the no-deal bill say? The legislation to be put forward on Tuesday seeks to tie Boris Johnson's hands, and instructs him to ask the EU for an extension of the Brexit process until 31 January 2020.
A lot of attention will be on the clause which says that if the European Council proposes an extension to a different date, then the prime minister must accept it within two days, unless that extension has been rejected by the House of Commons.
In other words, the power to decide will lie with members of Parliament not with the government.
For a PM who has promised to leave on 31 October come what may, it would seem to be impossible to accept.
Hence all the talk of an early election. We will know for sure before the end of this week.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said Parliament was "doing its damnedest" to prevent the UK leaving the EU, and his party would be ready for an election.
At a party event in Colchester, he pledged his party would fight Mr Johnson "every inch of the way" at such a poll if he decides to pursue a new deal with the EU.
But he added his party would do "everything we can" to help the prime minister if he decides to seek a mandate for a no-deal departure.
"They, allied with us, would be unstoppable in a general election," he added.
VIDEO - Brian Roemmele on Twitter: "1967 Marshall McLuhan predicted social media and the problems it has brought about'--and the solutions. "the global village is at once planet as wide as the planet and as small as a little town where everybody is malici
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 14:17
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VIDEO - (1) Emergency, Emergency, Emergency - YouTube
Mon, 02 Sep 2019 00:12
VIDEO - 10 teens shot at high school football game in Alabama - ABC News
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 23:49
A 17-year-old was arrested after 10 people were shot following a high school football game in Alabama, according to police.
The victims in the shooting, which happened in Mobile, ranged in age from 15 to 18. They were rushed to area hospitals, officials said.
WALA At least 10 people were injured in a shooting at a high school football game in Mobile, Alabama.No one died, according to authorities.
Deangelo Parnell, 17, has been arrested and charged with nine counts of attempted murder, Mobile Police Department spokesman Laderrick Dubose told ABC News Saturday morning.
Mobile Police Department Deangelo Parnell, 17, was arrested and charged with nine counts of attempted murder.Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste didn't confirm to reporters the shooting stemmed from an altercation, but he did admonish young people for "bringing their beefs that they have with each other in their neighborhoods" into public settings and "putting people in harm's way."
The incident "may have been a directed threat at one or two individuals and other people just happened to fall prey to their carelessness," Battiste added.
One person had a seizure and another suffered an injured hand, but it's unclear if those individuals were among the 10 who got shot.
"Why are young people bringing this type of violence to public events?" Battiste said at a news conference. "We're gonna have to be more aggressive on our end as a city as to how we hold these individuals accountable."
ABC News' Ahmad Hemingway and Matt Foster contributed to this report.


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All Clips

Alan Greenspan says it's only a matter of time before negative rates spread to the US.mp3
Boris Johnson Hate from Labor MP.m4a
CNBC - Famed investor Mark Mobius - Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that really needs to be backed by gold to have any value.mp3
18to8 - Step 1 - Kids Playing Grown Up.mp3
18to8 - Step 2 - Kids state the issue.mp3
18to8 - Step 3 - An Annoying Song.mp3
Crisis Town Hall Mayor Pete - Think of the children Half the xygen in the world will be gone.mp3
Crisis Town Hall Warren - Isle de Jean Charles sinking Climate Cultral Erasure.mp3
Emory Professor Tiphanie Yanique on hurricane Dorian - These storms are manmade storms.mp3
I am a CNN meteorologist. I used to be a climate crisis skeptic Chad Meyers.mp3
NA Jingles - Exploding Amygdalas (18 to 8 Parody).mp3
Prince Harry flies Private not Commercial to Climate Conference.m4a
bannon south china sea shooting war.mp3
bannon summary ONE china.mp3
Barr party DN.mp3
China Social credit score updte.mp3
college admission and USC scandal NBC.mp3
confronting beto about fine people.mp3
farage on morning show regarding Brexit.mp3
lindsey graham on Face the Nation re China.mp3
lyft story NBC.mp3
ms nevada kicked out.mp3
north korea submarine report NBC.mp3
openings ARCHIVE Scott.mp3
sakler family story DN.mp3
vaping in school.mp3
water scam underway DN.mp3
Alan Jone versus prof HREE option.mp3
Alan Jone versus professor set up ONE.mp3
Alan Jone versus professor TWO.mp3
Alan Jones Four on sea levels.mp3
bannon and confucious institute.mp3
bannon on BAT tax.mp3
bannon on Chinese students.mp3
1967 Marshall McLuhan predicted -1- New comms like Satellite and how it affects news.mp3
1967 Marshall McLuhan predicted -2- social media and the problems it has brought about—and the solutions.mp3
1967 Marshall McLuhan predicted -3- The new medium uses the old medium's content while the new shit goes undetected.mp3
KTLA Botch - We tried to reach out to the man who died.mp3
Public forum on Austin homeless rules gets heated, one man thrown out.mp3
Gov Abbott says Odessa shooter failed background check bought gun anyway.mp3
  • 0:00
    boom his eyeball blows out Adam Curry
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    Jhansi Dvorak 2019 this is your award
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    winning give our nation media
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    assassination episode 1170 this is no
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    agenda still fighting dark mode and
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    broadcasting in the morning everybody
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    I'm Adam curry and from northern Silicon
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    Valley I'm John C Dvorak the last show
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    was so long it took us three three
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    retakes to do it and now it's done one
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    and one and done it got a laugh yeah
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    yeah for me yes it's true whoo oh man
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    what's been going on blues yeah yeah
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    what's been going on but I'll tell you
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    what I did yesterday and then you tell
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    me where you'd like to start because I
  • 0:56
    watched a lot of that climate change
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    watched very little of it every time I
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    turn it I watched it why am i watching
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    this it was a pathway can elizabeth
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    warren gesticulate more gesticulate what
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    is just stick you lating throwing her
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    arms all over the place when she talks
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    she makes a huge circle with her arm and
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    she's throwing her arms left and right
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    and left and right i mean it's like if
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    she poke somebody's eye at us they were
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    standing nearer
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    yeah it's it's the whole thing it from a
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    television production standpoint what a
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    losing piece of crap why would anybody
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    want to watch that well I watched a
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    little bit of Elizabeth Warren
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    I watched very little of Kamala the
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    giggler yeah and I will say this that
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    Scott Adams had a interesting take on
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    Kamala Harris he says that she has de
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    and I yeah I think he's maybe right
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    about this she has the personality of a
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    submissive huh interesting
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    because I have a clip where that kind of
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    kind of comes out and just looking at
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    this obviously the audience was stacked
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    it wasn't really a town hall it was a
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    CNN studio where they had you know the
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    it was bogus changing images of the
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    hurricane Dorian on the on the big
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    know that this is all due to climate
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    turn and it's easy to grab the gaps in
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    the dumbness but I just took two two
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    examples of how set up and scripted this
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    was because by the way I disagree with
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    you right away
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    it's not easy to pull out the gaps out
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    of a 10-hour document
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    like okay Elizabeth Warren now let's get
  • 3:11
    some questions for her oh I know
  • 3:13
    let's get an American Indian desk or a
  • 3:15
    question great let's do that Cobra del
  • 3:21
    she's from a narrow island of land in
  • 3:23
    Louisiana known as Isle de Jean Charles
  • 3:25
    it's rapidly disappearing because of
  • 3:28
    rising sea levels and just leave it will
  • 3:31
    deconstruct it in a minute coastal
  • 3:33
    erosion Chantal thank you very much for
  • 3:35
    being with us what's your question
  • 3:36
    Chantal thank you so as he said I'm from
  • 3:38
    the Jean Charles Biloxi Jeremiah Choctaw
  • 3:41
    tribe we've been to designating as
  • 3:46
    this is great the Cheung Chau Chak Chak
  • 3:48
    turret prod I didn't even hear what she
  • 3:50
    said but she's like something Chuck
  • 3:52
    she's right out of central casting she's
  • 3:55
    perfect to ask an American Indian which
  • 3:58
    is the preferred way to categorize them
  • 4:00
    an American Indian to ask a question of
  • 4:03
    the fake American Indian it's a great
  • 4:05
    idea CNN first American climate refugees
  • 4:08
    were the first American climate refugees
  • 4:10
    mm-hmm we had a front-row seat to a
  • 4:12
    climate change for the past 20 years I
  • 4:15
    was had to move my home from Ireland
  • 4:18
    home when I was little due to mold
  • 4:20
    induced asthma and from replete finally
  • 4:22
    repeat flooding so my question to you is
  • 4:27
    if president what changes would you make
  • 4:29
    to support communities like mine who
  • 4:32
    face community-wide displacement and
  • 4:34
    cultural Eurasia oh man I love that she
  • 4:37
    said it's a cultural erasure or because
  • 4:40
    it should be climate erasure as I said
  • 4:43
    cultural called race sure erasure how
  • 4:45
    about cultural climate erasure I'm just
  • 4:48
    looking for a term here now listen to
  • 4:50
    the submissive Liz go into her spiel and
  • 4:52
    she knew this was coming watch your home
  • 5:02
    disappear and know you've done
  • 5:06
    everything you can do what the forces
  • 5:09
    bigger than you I have taken over and
  • 5:14
    when when I think about climate now this
  • 5:18
    was interesting she was so ready for
  • 5:20
    this she took that and when she when she
  • 5:22
    says no let me tell you about this when
  • 5:25
    I think about kinda she turned to the
  • 5:27
    camera and goes into a pre rehearse
  • 5:29
    spiel it was it was slick and so I see