1190: Olive Theory

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 56m
November 14th, 2019
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Hearsay - Wikipedia
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 09:35
Not to be confused with
Look up hearsay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.Hearsay evidence is "an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted therein." In certain courts, hearsay evidence is inadmissible (the "Hearsay Evidence Rule") unless an exception to the Hearsay Rule applies.
For example, to prove that Tom was in town, the attorney asks a witness, "What did Susan tell you about Tom being in town?" Since the witness's answer will rely on an out-of-court statement that Susan made, if Susan is unavailable for cross-examination, the answer is hearsay. A justification for the objection is that the person who made the statement is not in court and thus is insulated from cross-examination. Note, however, that if the attorney asking the same question is not trying to prove the truth of the assertion about Tom being in town but the fact that Susan said the specific words, it may be acceptable. For example, it would be acceptable to ask a witness what Susan told them about Tom in a defamation case against Susan because now the witness is asked about the opposing party's statement that constitutes a verbal act.[1][2]
The hearsay rule does not exclude the evidence if it is an operative fact. Language of commercial offer and acceptance is also admissible over a hearsay exception because the statements have independent legal significance.
Double hearsay is a hearsay statement that contains another hearsay statement itself. For example, a witness wants to testify that "a very reliable man informed me that Wools-Sampson told him". The statements of the very reliable man and Wools-Sampson are both hearsay submissions on the part of the witness, and the second hearsay (the statement of Wools-Sampson) depends on the first (the statement of the very reliable man). In a court, both layers of hearsay must be found separately admissible. In this example, the first hearsay also comes from an anonymous source, and the admissibility of an anonymous statement depends upon the discharge of an additional legal burden of proof.
Many jurisdictions that generally disallow hearsay evidence in courts permit the more widespread use of hearsay in non-judicial hearings.
United States [ edit ] The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right ... to be confronted with the witnesses against him".
"Hearsay is a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted."[1] Per Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(a), a statement made by a defendant is admissible as evidence only if it is inculpatory; exculpatory statements made to an investigator are hearsay and therefore may not be admitted as evidence in court, unless the defendant testifies.[3] When an out-of-court statement offered as evidence contains another out-of-court statement it is called double hearsay, and both layers of hearsay must be found separately admissible.[4]
There are several exceptions to the rule against hearsay in U.S. law.[1] Federal Rule of Evidence 803 lists the following:
Statement against interestPresent sense impressions and Excited utterancesThen existing mental, emotional, or physical condition[when defined as? ]Medical diagnosis or treatmentRecorded recollectionRecords of regularly conducted activityPublic records and reports, as well as absence of entry in recordsRecords of vital statisticsAbsence of public record or entryRecords of religious organizationsMarriage, baptismal, and similar certificates, and Family and Property recordsStatements in documents affecting an interest in propertyStatements in ancient documents the authenticity of which can be established.Market reports, commercial publicationsLearned treatisesReputation concerning personal or family history, boundaries, or general history, or as to characterJudgment of previous conviction, and as to personal, family or general history, or boundaries.[1]Also, some documents are self-authenticating under Rule 902, such as (1) domestic public documents under seal, (2) domestic public documents not under seal, but bearing a signature of a public officer, (3) foreign public documents, (4) certified copies of public records, (5) official publications, (6) newspapers and periodicals, (7) trade inscriptions and the like, (8) acknowledged documents (i.e. by a notary public), (9) commercial paper and related documents, (10) presumptions under Acts of Congress, (11) certified domestic records of regularly conducted activity, (12) certified foreign records of regularly conducted activity.[1]
England and Wales [ edit ] In England and Wales, hearsay is generally admissible in civil proceedings,[5] but is only admissible in criminal proceedings if it falls within a statutory or a preserved common law exception,[6] all of the parties to the proceedings agree, or the court is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice that the evidence is admissible.[7]
Section 116 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 provides that, where a witness is unavailable, hearsay is admissible wherea) the relevant person is dead;b) the relevant person is unfit to be a witness because of his bodily or mental condition;c) the relevant person is outside the UK and it is not reasonably practicable to secure his attendance;d) the relevant person cannot be found;e) through fear, the relevant person does not give oral evidence in the proceedings and the court gives leave for the statement to be given in evidence.
The two main common law exceptions to the rule that hearsay is inadmissible are res gestae and confessions.
Canada [ edit ] Hearsay evidence is generally inadmissible in Canada unless it falls within one of the established common law exceptions. As a result of the Supreme Court's decision in R. v. Khan and subsequent cases, hearsay evidence that does not fall within the established exceptions can be admitted where established that such evidence is both "necessary and reliable". Additionally, hearsay evidence that would otherwise be admissible as an exception can nonetheless be excluded if it is not necessary and reliable, as in R. v. Starr.
Australia [ edit ] The rules of evidence differ among the states and the Commonwealth; the Commonwealth, Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory all share similar hearsay provisions in their Uniform Evidence Acts;[8] the other states rely upon the common law. As elsewhere, hearsay is usually inadmissible, outside of interlocutory proceedings, unless it falls within one of the hearsay exceptions.
Uniform Evidence Act [ edit ] Hearsay is dealt with under Part 3·2. There are several local peculiarities with its treatment. s 59 defines the 'fact' of a hearsay statement as being something 'that it can reasonably be supposed that the person intended to assert by the representation'. Hearsay rule confines the potentially broad number of assertions it might cover by this broad definition of representation to only intended representations adduced to prove existence of the asserted facts. In Lee v The Queen,[9] the term 'representation' was used to apply to statements and to conduct and was used to encompass all those statements or that conduct would convey to the observer.
The extraordinary s 60 allows a statement's use as hearsay if it is admitted for a non-hearsay purpose, although the application of s 60 may be limited by s 137 (which is essentially the discretion formerly known as Christie.) s 72 excepts 'evidence of a representation about ... the traditional laws and customs of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander group', although this arguably would have fallen into the 'public right' exception at common law. Confessions are called 'admissions' by the Act (which quite foreseeably led to the confusion whereby counsel apply for the 'admission of the admission'.) They are dealt with separately under Part 3·4, which lifts the hearsay rule. The Act's dictionary defines 'admission' broadly enough to include anything that might be used against the accused. The other sections in the Part for the most part codify, roughly, the common-law rules.
Malaysia [ edit ] In Malaysia, hearsay evidence is generally not allowed. However, the Evidence Act 1950 permitted a few exceptions, such as section 6, 73A, etc.
New Zealand [ edit ] Hearsay evidence is covered by sections 16-22 of the Evidence Act 2006. Previously inadmissible, the 1989 decision of the Court of Appeal in R v Baker created a common law exception to the hearsay rule based on reliability, which was codified in the Evidence Act. Pursuant to s 4(1) of the Act, a hearsay statement is a statement made by someone other than a witness (in the proceedings) that is offered to prove the truth of its contents. Under section 17 of this Act a hearsay statement is generally not admissible in any court proceeding. Though section 18 states when a hearsay statement may be able to be given in court. This is when the statement is reliable, the statement maker is unavailable to be called as a witness or it would provide undue expense and delay if that person was required to be a witness. There are also a number of specific exceptions such as statements in business records. Other exceptions include state of mind evidence (see R v Blastland) and whether the statement is tendered to prove the fact it was uttered or made, rather than to prove the truth of its contents (see DPP v Subramaniam).
Norway [ edit ] Even if Norway has a maxim of "free evidence" (any statement, object, forensics or other matters that may apply) to be entered and admitted in court, hearsay is in conflict with the defense counsel's or prosecution's ability to cross examine, as the witness who relayed the original statement is not present in court. In practice, hearsay is then not allowed.
Sri Lanka [ edit ] In Sri Lanka, hearsay evidence is generally not allowed. However, the Evidence Ordinance recognizes a few exceptions such as res gestae (recognised under Section 6) and common intention (recognised under Section 10)and some other exceptions from section 17 to section 39. Some other exceptions are provided by case law (see Subramaniam v. DPP [1956] 1 WLR 956 (PC)).
Sweden [ edit ] Sweden allows hearsay evidence.[10] Sweden applies a principle of admissibility of evidence which means that there are very few restrictions on what evidence is allowed in court. It is then up to the court to evaluate the reliability of the evidence presented. [11]
Hong Kong [ edit ] In Hong Kong, hearsay is generally admissible in civil proceedings under the statutory regime.[12] Section 46 of the Evidence Ordinance provides that evidence shall not be excluded on the ground that it is hearsay in civil proceedings unless: the party against whom the evidence is to be adduced objects to the admission of the evidence; as well as: the court is satisfied, having regard to the circumstances of the case, that the exclusion of the evidence is not prejudicial to the interests of justice. Sections 47A to 51 provides for safeguards in relation to hearsay evidence admissible under section 46 so as to avoid abuses of the general admission:
the obligation to give notice and particulars to other parties when proposing to adduce hearsay evidence (Section 47A);the power to call witness for cross-examination on hearsay statement with the leave of the court (Section 48);consideration relevant to weighing of hearsay evidence (Section 49);competence and credibility (Section 50); and,previous statement of witness (Section 51).The courts shall draw inferences from the circumstances as to the weight attached to hearsay evidence, in particular:[13]
whether it would have been reasonable and practicable for the party by whom the evidence was adduced to have produced the maker of the original statement as a witness;whether the original statement was made contemporaneously with the occurrence or existence of the matters stated;whether the evidence involves multiple hearsay;whether any person involved had any motive to conceal or misrepresent matters;whether the original statement was an edited account, or was made in collaboration with another or for a particular purpose;whether the circumstances in which the evidence is adduced as hearsay are such as to suggest an attempt to prevent proper evaluation of its weight;whether or not the evidence adduced by the party is consistent with any evidence previously adduced by the party.The new civil regime also preserves a number of common law exceptions that are unaffected by the statutory safeguards except for the section 47A safeguard relating to notice.[14] In criminal proceedings, the law relating to hearsay has not been substantially changed in Hong Kong, and the common law regime remains the rules followed by the Hong Kong criminal courts. Hearsay evidence is inadmissible in all criminal cases except for common law and statutory exemptions, which include: admissions and confessions, dying declarations, declarations in the course of duty, declarations against interest, co-conspirator's rule, statements in public documents, out-of-court statements, evidence in former proceedings, and Res gestae.
Statutory exceptions in criminal cases include: negative assertions (s.17A Evidence Ordinance), bank records (ss.19B and 20 Evidence Ordinance), documentary records compiled by a person under a duty (s.22 Evidence Ordinance), computer records (s.22A Evidence Ordinance), and agreed written statements (s.65B Criminal Procedure Ordinance).
See also [ edit ] GossipList of objections (law)Moral certaintyProbable causeReasonable personReasonable suspicionScuttlebuttReferences [ edit ] ^ a b c d e Federal Rules of Evidence, December 1st2009 "Archived copy" (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-10-08 . Retrieved 2010-09-30 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ "Hearsay Rule: FRE 801(a)-(c); 805, 806 - Part F: Hearsay". lexisnexis.com. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. ^ Federal Rules of Evidence ^ "Federal Rule of Evidence 801(a)-(c); 805, 806 PART F: HEARSAY". ^ Civil Evidence Act 1995, s. 1. ^ The preserved common law exceptions are held in Criminal Justice Act 2003, s.118 ^ Criminal Justice Act 2003, s. 114 (1) (d). ^ "Evidence Act 1995 (Cth)". ^ Lee v R [1998] HCA 60, High Court (Australia). ^ Terrill, Richard J. (2009). World Criminal Justice Systems: A Survey (7 ed.). Elsevier. p. 258. ISBN 978-1-59345-612-2. ^ European E-justice portal - Taking of evidence - Sweden ^ "Evidence Ordinance (Cap. 8), ss 46-55B". ^ "Evidence Ordinance (Cap. 8), s 49". ^ "Evidence Ordinance (Cap. 8), s 47(4)".
BOMBSHELL: Schiff's Star Witness Admits His Only 'Source' Was The New York Times
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 05:52
Star witness to far-left Rep. Adam Schiff's ongoing impeachment inquiry, U.S. diplomat William Taylor, admitted behind a closed-door testimony that his only source for his claims that he had made were from the New York Times.
During his testimony, Taylor ''identified Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer, as the instigator behind the drive to get Ukraine's president to announce investigations into Mr. Trump's political rivals, telling impeachment investigators last month that Mr. Giuliani was acting on behalf of the president,'' according to the New York Times.
sponsorThe testimony ''portrayed a president determined to enlist Ukraine in publicly undermining his political rivals, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.''
According to Taylor himself, his idea that Giuliani wanted dirt from the Ukrainians came from the New York Times.
The Western Journal reports:
That part, for reasons unbeknownst to me, didn't make it into The Times' story.The revelation came during a line of questioning from New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, according to an excerpt of Taylor's testimony Zeldin published in a Twitter post Wednesday.Zeldin focused on interest in Burisma Holdings, the Ukraine energy company that paid Biden's son, Hunter, $50,000 a month to serve on its board.''Would you like to tell us what your position is on it?'' Zeldin asked Taylor. ''What was the goal of requesting investigations into 2016 election and Burisma?''
''As I understand it from one of the '-- maybe the article in The New York Times about Mr. Giuliani's interest in Burisma, in that article, he describes, and I think he quotes Giuliani at some length, that article indicates that Giuliani was interested in getting some information on Vice President Biden that would be useful to Mr. Giuliani's client,'' Taylor replied.
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''I think that's what he says. He says he's got one client, and he's useful to the client.''
''Would you like to tell us what your position is on it?'' Zeldin asked. ''What was the goal of requesting investigations into 2016 election and Burisma?''
''As I understand it from one of the '-- maybe the article in The New York Times about Mr. Giuliani's interest in Burisma, in that article, he describes, and I think he quotes Giuliani at some length, that article indicates that Giuliani was interested in getting some information on Vice President Biden that would be useful to Mr. Giuliani's client,'' Taylor said.
''I think that's what he says. He says he's got one client, and he's useful to the client.''
Star witness? Taylor said in depo he believed reason POTUS wanted Ukraine to investigate Ukrainians' interference w/ the 2016 election & Burisma was just to get dirt on Biden. He later admitted to me his sole source of info was...wait for it...The NY Times. pic.twitter.com/Yj6DUlkit7
'-- Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) November 6, 2019What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!
There's a Surprisingly Plausible Path to Removing Trump From Office - POLITICO Magazine
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 08:45
Getty Images
In The Arena
It would take just three Republican senators to turn the impeachment vote into a secret ballot. It's not hard to imagine what would happen then.
By most everyone's judgment, the Senate will not vote to remove President Donald Trump from office if the House impeaches him. But what if senators could vote on impeachment by secret ballot? If they didn't have to face backlash from constituents or the media or the president himself, who knows how many Republican senators would vote to remove?
A secret impeachment ballot might sound crazy, but it's actually quite possible. In fact, it would take only three senators to allow for that possibility.
Story Continued Below
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will immediately move to hold a trial to adjudicate the articles of impeachment if and when the Senate receives them from the House of Representatives. Article I, Section 3, of the Constitution does not set many parameters for the trial, except to say that ''the Chief Justice shall preside,'' and ''no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.'' That means the Senate has sole authority to draft its own rules for the impeachment trial, without judicial or executive branch oversight.
During the last impeachment of a president, Bill Clinton, the rules were hammered out by Democrats and Republicans in a collaborative process, as then Senate leaders Trent Lott and Tom Daschle recently pointed out in a Washington Post op-ed. The rules passed unanimously. That's unlikely this time, given the polarization that now defines our politics. McConnell and his fellow Republicans are much more likely to dictate the rules with little input from Democrats.
But, according to current Senate procedure, McConnell will still need a simple majority'--51 of the 53 Senate Republicans'--to support any resolution outlining rules governing the trial. That means that if only three Republican senators were to break from the caucus, they could block any rule they didn't like. (Vice President Mike Pence can't break ties in impeachment matters.) Those three senators, in turn, could demand a secret ballot and condition their approval of the rest of the rules on getting one.
Some might say transparency in congressional deliberations and votes is inviolable, and it's true that none of the previous Senate impeachments have been conducted via secret ballot. But the Senate's role in an impeachment is analogous to a U.S. jury, where secret ballots are often used. When Electoral College gridlock has resulted in the House picking the president'--the House elected Thomas Jefferson in 1800 and John Quincy Adams in 1824'--that vote has been secret. And, of course, when citizens vote for president, they do so in private.
Trump and those around him seem confident that he won't lose the 20 Republican senators needed to block a guilty verdict. But it's not hard to imagine three senators supporting a secret ballot. Five sitting Republican senators have already announced their retirements; four of those are in their mid-70s or older and will never run for office again. They might well be willing to demand secrecy in order to give cover to their colleagues who would like to convict Trump but are afraid to do so because of politics in their home districts. There are also 10 Republican senators who aren't up for reelection until 2024 and who might figure Trumpism will be irrelevant by then. Senators Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski have been the most vocal Republicans in expressing concerns about Trump's behavior toward Ukraine. Other GOP senators have recently softened in their defense of him, as well'--all before the House has held any public hearings.
There's already been some public speculation that, should the Senate choose to proceed with a secret ballot, Trump would be found guilty. GOP strategist Mike Murphy said recently that a sitting Republican senator had told him 30 of his colleagues would vote to convict Trump if the ballot were secret. Former Senator Jeff Flake topped that, saying he thought 35 Republican senators would vote that way.
While it's unlikely Trump would support a secret ballot, it's possible he might actually benefit from one in the long run. If a secret ballot is agreed on and Trump knows the prospect of impeachment is near, he could then focus his energies on his post-presidency. Once he leaves office, Trump faces multiple possible criminal investigations, at the federal, state and local level. He almost certainly knows that a President Pence could pardon him only for federal crimes. To avoid the prospect of serving time, Trump could negotiate a collective settlement'--just as the Sackler family has done in the OxyContin matter'--with all the jurisdictions now running independent investigations into his activities. Trump's impeachment, followed by a quick resignation, might appease Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance's and New York Attorney General Letitia James's thirst for justice, making them more likely to agree to a deal.
Even McConnell might privately welcome the prospect of a secret ballot. He has always been intently focused on maintaining his Republican majority in the Senate. Trump's approval numbers continue to languish, and support for impeachment has been rising. McConnell himself, facing reelection next year, has an approval rating of just 18 percent in Kentucky, not to mention that the Republican governor there just suffered a stunning upset in last week's election. All of which suggests McConnell might warm to the possibility that he and his caucus could avoid a public up-or-down vote in defense of behavior by the president that's looking increasingly indefensible.
A secret ballot might get Trump out of office sooner than everyone expects: The sooner any three Republican senators make clear that they will support nothing short of a secret ballot, the sooner Trump realizes his best course could be to cut a deal, trading his office for a get-out-of-jail-free card'--a clean slate from prosecutors'--just as Vice President Spiro Agnew did. And if Trump were to leave office before the end of the year, there might even be enough time for Republicans to have a vibrant primary fight, resulting in a principled Republican as the nominee.
UPDATE: Some constitutional scholars have pointed out that Article 1, Section 5, of the Constitution designates that 20 senators can oppose a secret ballot on ''any questions,'' but ''questions'' are defined as ''Any matter on which the Senate is to vote, such as passage of a bill, adoption of an amendment, agreement to a motion, or an appeal.'' No mention of impeachment proceedings is made. And, as others have pointed out, preceding this one-fifth requirement is crucial language: ''Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy.'' Precedents are so thin here, but it is clear the Senate has the power to make its own rules over the trial proceedings. Those rules have historically required a simple majority of support.
Facebook and YouTube block spread of supposed whistleblower's name and photo. Twitter allows both. - The Washington Post
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 08:35
Twitter found itself isolated this week as other major social media platforms moved to block users from spreading the name of a CIA officer who conservatives contend filed the extraordinary whistleblower complaint against President Trump that triggered House impeachment hearings.
Facebook said it would block references to the alleged whistleblower's name and photo under its policy against ''coordinating harm.'' YouTube said Friday it was doing the same.
But Twitter said it would permit such references, including posts that name the person Trump supporters say is the whistleblower and photos claiming to depict him.
This split came after repeated warnings by the whistleblower's lawyers that publicizing a name puts that person and the person's family at risk. The lawyers sent a sharply worded cease-and-desist letter to the White House on Thursday that called on President Trump to stop seeking the publication of the whistleblower's name, a tactic they described as a ''reckless and dangerous'' form of intimidation.
But a campaign among conservative publications, activists and social media users to surface the identity of the supposed whistleblower appeared only to grow on Friday, two days after the president's son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the name. Conservative commentator Candace Owens, for example, twice posted tweets that purported to name and show images of the whistleblower.
Trump's allies turned to online campaign in quest to unmask Ukraine whistleblower
Although the first was later deleted, the second quickly reached a wide audience and was retweeted or ''liked'' more than 100,000 times.
In response to a request for comment from The Washington Post, Owens called the whistleblower ''a treasonous spy with deep ties to the Democrats.''
Her language echoed that of the president, who has said that whoever passed information to the whistleblower was ''close to a spy.''
''You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right?'' Trump added. ''We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.''
The president's incendiary language has added fuel to an online crusade to unmask and intimidate officials who have raised alarms about Trump's dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Since the whistleblower filed his complaint Aug. 12, a clutch of named diplomats have come forward to corroborate concerns that Trump was pressing Ukraine to open investigations that would bolster unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2016 election and damage the presidential campaign of former vice president Joe Biden.
Trump's call for the whistleblower to be identified led to a campaign by Trump supporters to use the unregulated online ecosystem to circulate a name that remains unconfirmed by mainstream news organizations, many of which have policies to withhold information when a person may be at risk.
Meanwhile, Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, said in an interview Friday with the Associated Press that the individual's identity was not ''particularly relevant.''
The whistleblower's identity no longer matters.
Twitter defended its decision to allow the sharing of the CIA officer's name, saying the tweets in question did not include the type of private details that go against the platform's rules.
''Per our private information policy, any tweets that include personally identifiable information about any individual, including the alleged whistleblower, would be in violation of the Twitter Rules,'' said a Twitter spokeswoman, Katie Rosborough.
That policy covers details such as home addresses, contact information and financial details.
The platform permits ''sharing information that is publicly available elsewhere, in a non-abusive manner.'' That includes the name, birth date or employment of a person, as well as descriptions of a person's physical appearance and ''gossip, rumors, accusations, and allegations.''
Although whistleblowers enjoy protections under federal law designed to encourage government employees to report wrongdoing without fear of retaliation, Heidi Kitrosser, a law professor at the University of Minnesota, said those protections would not prohibit private individuals from seeking to unmask a whistleblower. But, she added, there could be other possible legal recourse.
''If a person's life is in danger, then there could be criminal ramifications,'' said Kitrosser, though she added that First Amendment considerations would be involved in any possible argument about incitement to violence.
Most news organizations, including The Post, have withheld the name of the whistleblower, whose complaint about Trump's call with his Ukrainian counterpart has been largely confirmed by diplomats and others with firsthand knowledge and by a reconstructed transcript released by the White House. The whistleblower's name has been kept confidential by U.S. officials, in line with federal law designed to prevent retaliation.
Facebook said Wednesday that it would block references to the supposed whistleblower's name in response to Post queries about advertisements on the platform that sought to circulate it.
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said: ''Any mention of the potential whistleblower's name violates our coordinating harm policy, which prohibits content 'outing of witness, informant, or activist.' We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower's name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in debate.''
News organizations resist Trump's pressure to release whistleblower's name
Lawyers for the whistleblower did not respond to requests for comment Friday regarding the policy decision by Twitter. But on Wednesday '-- before Facebook said it would remove the ads '-- they said social media platforms have an ethical responsibility to protect ''those who lawfully expose suspected government wrongdoing.''
''This is particularly significant in this case where I have made it clear time and time again that reporting any suspected name for the whistleblower will place that individual and their family at risk of serious harm,'' the attorney, Andrew P. Bakaj, said on Wednesday. ''To that end, I am deeply troubled with Facebook seeking to profit from advertising that would place someone in harm's way. This, frankly, is at the pinnacle of irresponsibility and is intentionally reckless.''
This is not the first issue dividing the major technology companies. Twitter recently announced it would ban political ads, while Facebook allows them, including ones with false or misleading information, and exempts this form of political speech from the platform's fact-checking process.
Biden Lied '' Emails Show Burisma Executives Leveraging Hunter Biden Membership as Pressure on U.S. State Dept. For Assistance in Removing Ukraine Corruption Probe'... | The Last Refuge
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 08:14
Well, well, well'.... everything Joe Biden and the Obama administration previously denied taking place is now documented as having taken place. Newly discovered emails between Ukrainian energy company Burisma and State Dept. officials show the company was leveraging Biden's affiliation with the company to get U.S. govt assistance.
As a result of a FOIA lawsuit journalist John Solomon has received emails between the Burisma energy company and U.S. State Department; where Burisma seeking U.S. government assistance to get the Ukraine prosecutor to drop a corruption probe against the energy co., and leveraging Hunter Biden's board membership toward their efforts.
This is the evidence the media said didn't exist:
(Source pdf Link)
The eventual outcome was Vice-President Joe Biden threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. financial aid to Ukraine if the Ukrainian government did not fire the prosecutor and drop their investigation of Burisma. Ukraine fired the prosecutor and dropped the investigation. [Full Solomon Article Here]
Marie Harf unavailable for comment'....
Green New Deal
Dutch speed limit lowered to 62 - Dutch speed limit 7pm 6am fixes the construction sector - Stikstof 0.2% electric cars
Fire Drill Friday Media Alert
Climate change solutions: More cities banning natural gas in homes
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 06:40
SAN FRANCISCO '' Fix global warming or cook dinner on a gas stove?
That's the choice for people in 13 cities and one county in California that have enacted new zoning codes encouraging or requiring all-electric new construction.
The codes, most of them passed since June, are meant to keep builders from running natural gas lines to new homes and apartments, with an eye toward creating fewer legacy gas hookups as the nation shifts to carbon-neutral energy sources.
For proponents, it's a change that must be made to fight climate change. For natural gas companies, it's a threat to their existence. And for some cooks who love to prepare food with flame, it's an unthinkable loss.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel, mostly methane, and produces 33% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas causing climate change.
''There's no pathway to stabilizing the climate without phasing gas out of our homes and buildings. This is a must-do for the climate and a livable planet,'' said Rachel Golden of the Sierra Club's building electrification campaign.
These new building codes come as local governments work to speed the transition from natural gas and other fossil fuels and toward the use of electricity from renewables, said Robert Jackson, a professor of energy and the environment at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
''Every house, every high-rise that's built with gas, may be in place for decades. We're establishing infrastructure that may be in place for 50 years,'' he said.
These "reach" or "stretch" building codes, as they are known, have so far all been passed in California. The first was in Berkeley in July, then more in Northern California and recently Santa Monica in Southern California. Other cities in Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington state are contemplating them, according to the Sierra Club.
Some of the cities ban natural gas hookups to new construction. Others offer builders incentives if they go all-electric, much the same as they might get to take up more space on a lot if a house is extra energy-efficient. In April, Sunnyvale, a town in Silicon Valley, changed its building code to offer a density bonus to all-electric developments.
No more gas stoves?The building codes apply only to new construction beginning in 2020, so they aren't an issue for anyone in an already-built home.
Probably the biggest stumbling block for most pondering an all-electric home is the prospect of not having a gas stove.
''It's the only thing that people ever ask about,'' said Bruce Nilles, who directs the building electrification program of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a Colorado-based think tank that focuses on energy and resource efficiency.
Roughly 35% of U.S. households have a gas stove, while 55%have electric, according to a 2017 kitchen audit by the NPD Group, a global information company based in Port Washington, New York.
For at least a quarter of Americans, it doesn't matter either way. They already live in houses that are all-electric, and their numbers are rising, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That's especially true in the Southeast, where close to 45% of homes are all-electric.
For the rest of the nation, natural gas is used to heat buildings and water, dry clothes and cook food, according to the EIA. That represents 17% of national natural gas usage.
But the number of natural gas customers is also rising. The American Gas Association, which represents more than 200 local energy companies, says an average of one new customer is added every minute.
''That's exactly the wrong direction,'' Nilles said.
States weigh climate change solutionsThe nudge toward all-electric buildings is the type of shift Americans will begin to experience more and more in coming years. Last year, California's governor signed an executive order directing state agencies to work toward making the entire state economy carbon-neutral by 2045.
California is not alone. New York, Hawaii, Colorado and Maine have economywide carbon-neutrality goals, and several more are debating them. More than 140 U.S. cities have committed to transitioning to carbon-neutral energy.
The natural gas industry rejects the notion that it should not be part of the nation's energy future.
''The idea that denying access to natural gas in new homes is necessary to meet emissions reduction goals is false. In fact, denying access to natural gas could make meeting emissions goals harder and more expensive,'' said American Gas Association President and CEO Karen Harbert.
The association calls the new zoning codes for new construction burdensome to consumers and to the economy. They also say it's more expensive to run an all-electric home. A study by AGA released last year suggested that all-electric homes would pay $750 to $910 a year more for energy-related costs, as well as amortized appliance and upgrade costs.
But critics question AGA's conclusions.
Amanda Myers, a policy analyst at Energy Innovation, a research nonprofit group focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, said AGA presumed high electricity rates because of unrealistically large increases in expected electricity use and made unusual assumptions for how any anticipated electric load growth might be met.
An analysis last year by the Rocky Mountain Institute found that in locations as diverse as Chicago, Houston and Providence, Rhode Island, all-electric new homes over a 15-year time frame could save residents as much as $260 a year compared with new homes with air conditioners powered by electricity and natural gas.
You'll pry my cold, dead hands off my gas rangeThe selling point for getting away from natural gas may come from a type of electric range that, according to chefs, is just as good if not better than gas. As fundamentally attached as people might be to cooking with fire, induction stoves are making headway.
Long popular in Europe and increasingly trendy in the United States, induction cooktops are different from the kind of traditional electric range where coils become red-hot. Induction ranges use electromagnetic energy to directly heat pots and pans.
They are fast, energy-efficient and safe because there's no open flame, and they are cool to the touch unless you're a piece of metal.
As Reviewed.com puts it, they're "gentle enough to melt butter and chocolate, but powerful enough to bring 48 ounces of water to a boil in under three minutes."
The downsides are that induction cooktops are more expensive than traditional electric stoves, generally a third to half more. They also work only with pans with steel or iron bottoms.
Professional chefs say modern induction ranges are comparable to gas. The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, America's preeminent cooking school, trains its chefs on both induction and gas stoves because they will encounter both types and must know how to use them.
''Some of the finest restaurants in Europe are often out in mountainous areas or places where there isn't gas. They cook on induction and that works just fine,'' said Mark Erickson, a certified master chef at the institute.
Regular electric stoves aren't a deal-breaker either, said Erickson, who lives in a townhouse with one and cooks on it every night.
''If I were given the chance and if it were a choice of gas or electric, I would choose gas because it's what I'm used to,'' he said. ''But in all honesty, it's not the end of the world.''
Olivine Sand - Frequently Asked Questions '' Project Vesta
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 07:10
We utilize Forsterite, the Magnesium rich form of olivine.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) dissolves into the ocean at a higher rate as the atmosphere contains more CO2
The CO2 is transformed into bicarbonate, and will eventually turn to CaCO3, calcium carbonate, which is used by marine animals like corals for their shells.
Bicarbonate is alkaline and so its creation in the water raises the pH making the water less acidic.
Silicate is the limiting factor for diatoms. Diatoms are a type of plankton that makes up the base of many marine food chains. They are threatened by increasing ocean acidification and nutrient deficiencies. This silicate increases their numbers, and they in turn further sink carbon dioxide through photosynthesis.
Corals use the calcium carbonate to build their shells. Overtime, when as more and more corals build on top of them, they sink and become limestone rock, which is eventually (on geological timescales) is subducted back into the center of the Earth.
Even at the proposed, full-scale yearly CO2 offsetting level, with a volume of 7 km^3 of olivine put on beaches each year for 100 years, it would only raise the magnesium level in the ocean from 1296 to 1296.6 ppm (and bicarbonate from 42 to 45 ppm), which is within normal global ocean water concentration ranges.
Why Use Olivine Vs Other Rocks or Minerals?''Other rock types can also be used, but they are less effective or less available, although locally, there may be good reasons to use other rock types, such as basalts, anorthosites, or nepheline syenites. In the following weathering reactions, the formula of olivine will be simplified to Mg2SiO4 , although olivine normally is a mixed crystal of Mg2SiO4 and Fe2SiO 4 , with the Mg-endmember usually dominant.'' The magnesium-rich end-member of the olivine solid solution series is called Forsterite and is found in large formations called dunite.
R.D. Schuiling, P148-149 '' Geoengineering Responses to Climate Change
Forsterite Wikipedia
How fast does stationary and covered rock weather in the real world?
''The rate of weathering of dunite massifs in the tropical zone can be quantified, or at least a minimum rate of weathering can be firmly established. The first example is the dunite massif of Conakry/Guinea. This dunite occupies the entire peninsula on which Conakry, the capital of Guinea, is situated. It has an approximate length of 50 km and an average width of 5 km. Over its entire surface, it is covered by a thick lateritic weathering crust, which is very clearly visible as a purplish red area on satellite pictures (see Fig. 7.5). This lateritic crust, which is the iron-rich insoluble red residue of the dunite after deep tropical weathering, contains virtually no silica, magnesium or calcium oxides which were completely leached out during the weathering process [19]. These components make up around 90% of the original dunite. This means that 1 m of laterite is equivalent to 10 m of dunite, or even more if the remaining components of the laterite were not completely immobile but have also been leached to some extent. The same author presents evidence that iron has in fact been fairly mobile and was partially leached out as well, which means that 1 m of laterite is equivalent to more than 10 m of dunite. The weathering crust has a thickness between 30 and 100 m. The age of the dunite (that is to say the time at which this dunite intrusion formed) has been determined as 195 million years. From these data, it is simple to calculate the minimum rate of weathering as follows: 50 m of laterite is equivalent to 500 m of dunite, 500 m (= 500 million microns) divided by 195 million years is 2.6 mm/year. This is already ten times faster than deduced from laboratory experiments, but the real rate of weathering must have been considerably faster. The rock is an intrusion. That means it was emplaced between rocks at some depth and covered by other rocks, which had to be removed first by erosion before the dunite became exposed and could start its weathering process. If the dunite intrusion has taken place at 2km depth, it would take 100 million years before the dunite massif was entirely laid bare by erosion at an estimated erosion rate of the order of 1''2 cm/1,000 years [20]. This is the average erosion rate for all continents. This correction alone more thandoubles the calculated rate of weathering. That is not the only positive correction that must be made. In more recent times, the weathering process, under such a thick weathering crust, has virtually come to a standstill, as the thick laterite crust effectively shields the underlying rock from further interaction with the atmosphere. This shortens again the time span over which weathering was active, and thereby increases the rate of weathering.
-R.D. Schuiling, Geoengineering Responses to Climate Change P154
How Does the Weathering Rate Differ Between Solid as Opposed to Loose Olivine Grains?''A further positive correction concerns the difference between weathering of a solid rock as opposed to loose grains. A rock is attacked by weathering from above along a two-dimensional front, whereas loose olivine grains in soil are attacked from all sides. It seems certain that olivine grains in tropical soils dissolve at least at a rate of 10 mm/year, but most likely even faster. Even when their surface retreats only by 10 mm/year, a grain of 100 mm will disappear in 5 years. A similar calculation can be made for the dunite body at Jacupiranga, Brazil [21]. Here, the rock has an age of 130 million years, and it is covered by a weathering crust of >40 m (this is where the drill hole stopped, but at 40 m, the drill was still in lateritic weathering crust). The minimum rate of weathering turns out to be >3.1 mm/year, but the same positive corrections have to be applied as in the Conakry case.''
-R.D. Schuiling, Geoengineering Responses to Climate Change P154
What is the Minimum Yearly Weathering Rate?From a global balance of weathering and erosion, similar minimum rates of weathering emerge. The average rate of erosion of the continents is 1''2 cm in a 1,000 years [20]. As olivine grains from the interior of the continents do not make it to the oceans, this means that olivine rocks dissolve (= weather) at least at the same speed, which is 10''20 mm/year.
-R.D. Schuiling, Geoengineering Responses to Climate Change P155
What is the Weathering Rate of Stationary Piles of Ground Up Olivine?The most dramatic evidence for fast weathering of crushed magnesium silicate rocks comes from observations of weathering rates of mine dumps of such rocks [22]. By measuring the amount of a suite of newly formed Mg carbonates, it was shown that the mine tailings oftwo abandoned asbestos mines in British Columbia weather extremely fast. In this case, it does not involve fresh olivine, but its hydration product serpentine (Mg 3 Si 2 O 5 (OH) 4 ) that weathers and produces carbonates. This carbonation proceeds as follows:
Mg3Si2O5(OH)4 + 3CO2 + 2H2O '--> 3MgCO3 + 2H4SiO4
At low temperatures, magnesite seldom forms, but in its place, hydrated magnesium carbonates, like nesquehonite Mg(HCO3)(OH)*2H2O, are found instead
In order to make sure that these carbonates have indeed newly formed, Carbon 14 analyses were performed on these carbonates which gave an age of about 0, showing that the carbon in these minerals really represents the sequestration of present-day atmospheric carbon [23]. In one of the cases, the mine dump, occupying a surface area of 0.5 km 2 , had captured 82,000 t of CO 2 between 1978and 2004, more than 50 times the maximum ever recorded for natural weathering under the most favorable conditions. The real rate of weathering is even higher because the authors have only taken the solid products into account, whereas the waters that percolate through the mine dumps carry an additional load of dissolved weathering products. These waters become quite alkaline, and their high silica content leads to small diatom blooms in a pool at the foot of the tailings dump and in at least one of the mine pit.
-R.D. Schuiling, Geoengineering Responses to Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide Sequestration, Weathering Approaches P155-156
How is Weathering Olivine on Beaches and in Shallow Seas Different?''To understand what happens to olivine upon weathering we must distinguish between the chemical reaction of olivine with seawater and mechanical impacts during grain transport'...The surf is clearly the world's largest, most efficient and cheapest ball mill. The experiments also showed that a mixture of different grain sizes of olivine wears down more quickly than single grain sizes.''
-R.D. Schuiling, Geoengineering Responses to Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide Sequestration, Weathering Approaches P157-158
Why Are Abiotic Lab Experiments Wrong?''In abiotic laboratory experiments, it was found that the surface of olivine grains retreats at a few tenths of a micron per year [18]. This is described by the shrinking-sphere concept. Such low rates would make it difficult to use enhanced weathering to mitigate the greenhouse effect. Fortunately, there is observational evidence on rates of weathering of olivine in the real world (see below), which shows that the rates are more than tenfold, and probably 100-fold larger, than those found in the laboratory. Qualitative information on fast rates of weathering is obtained from volcanic terrains with rocks containing olivine. When volcanism started in the Eifel/Germany, synchronous Rhine sediments downstream in the Netherlands immediately started to contain a wealth of volcanic minerals, but no olivine, despite the fact that these volcanic rocks contain plenty of that mineral. Contrary to the there minerals of volcanic origin, olivine has not survived the short trip from Bonn to the Dutch border. Similar observations are reported from many other volcanicterrains in the world. Although suggestive of fast weathering, this evidence is difficult to quantify.''
-R.D. Schuiling Geoengineering Responses to Climate Change p153
What Are the Experimental Results of Small Scale Testing of Mechanical Activation of Olivine?''In a recent experiment, this surf action was reproduced [30]. Grains of olivine were rotated in conical flasks. Within 24 h, the crushed olivine grains that were originally angular, with a rough surface, had transformed into rounded and polished grains (Fig. 7.8).
The clear water at the start had become an opaque white suspension of very tiny olivine slivers, half of which had a grain size of less than 5 mm. The system reacts fast, the pH shoots up to 9.4, and a clay-type magnesium mineral is newly formed'... The experiments also showed that a mixture of different grain sizes of olivine wears down more quickly than single grain sizes.''
-R.D. Schuiling, Geoengineering Responses to Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide Sequestration, Weathering Approaches P157-158
What Do Criticisms of Beach Weathering of Olivine Get Wrong About the Weathering Rate?''The mechanical action, the grinding down of olivine grains, by waves and currents largely determines the rate of weathering of olivine on beaches and in shallow seas with strong bottom currents. The papers in which the rate of weathering of olivine grains on beaches is calculated [29], are based on theoretical modeling and overlooks the mechanical consequences of the surf, where grains are wearing down by the constant rubbing and bumping against each other.''
-R.D. Schuiling, Geoengineering Responses to Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide Sequestration, Weathering Approaches P157
How Much Olivine Is Needed For Total Yearly CO2 Emission Removal, What Size, and How Would It Be Distributed?7 km^3 volume of olivine rock would be crushed and milled to grains of around 100 mm in diameter. If 7 km^3 is spread over an area of 10 million km^2, it will occupy a layer of 0.7-mm thickness. Grains of olivine of 100 mm will weather in approximately 5 years in tropical soils. It will, therefore, be cheaper to spread a layer of 3.5-mm thickness each year over an area of 2 million km^2, shift to the next area in the following year, and come back to the first after 5 years.
Greta Thunberg Sets Sail From The U.S. Aboard Catamaran Bound For Spain : NPR
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 06:27
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg waves aboard the catamaran La Vagabonde as she sets sail for Europe from Hampton, Va., on Wednesday. Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg waves aboard the catamaran La Vagabonde as she sets sail for Europe from Hampton, Va., on Wednesday.
Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images Two and a half months after she arrived in New York Harbor, Greta Thunberg set sail back to Europe.
The 16-year-old Swede's visit to the U.S. was a barnstorming tour for our time: She had demanded of world leaders at the United Nations, "You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you?" She had marched alongside millions in the Global Climate Strike. She had rallied with thousands of fellow students in places like Iowa City. She had stood with Native American activists at Standing Rock.
And she experienced life in the U.S., a country she says plays an "incredibly important" role in fighting climate change.
"You are such a big country," she told NPR in September. "In Sweden, when we demand politicians to do something, they say, 'It doesn't matter what we do '-- because just look at the U.S.'
"I think you have an enormous responsibility" to lead climate efforts, she added. "You have a moral responsibility to do that."
With her steely gaze and unwavering push to make the world's adults take the necessary steps to avert further climate disaster, Thunberg has touched off a global movement with young people at the forefront.
She is now both celebrity and oracle, ascending to worldwide notice since her first "school strike for climate" in August 2018, when she protested outside Sweden's parliament instead of going to class.
She had intended to make her way to Chile for the next round of U.N. climate talks, but unrest there spurred the COP25 annual climate conference to move from Santiago to Madrid.
But she couldn't just get a different flight: Thunberg won't fly, because of air travel's outsize emissions. She needed to find a boat going her way.
She put out a request on Twitter: "It turns out I've traveled half around the world, the wrong way:) Now I need to find a way to cross the Atlantic in November... If anyone could help me find transport I would be so grateful."
November isn't exactly prime sailing season in the North Atlantic, but up popped a reply from an Australian man named Riley Whitelum: "Greta it's Riley here from Sailing La Vagabonde. If you get in contact with me I'm sure we could organise something."
Turns out, Whitelum and Elayna Carausu have a catamaran, a baby and a million subscribers following their #boatlife on YouTube.
For the next few weeks, the world's most famous climate activist will be a part of it.
La Vagabonde is outfitted with solar panels and hydro-generators, so it has a minimal carbon footprint. Thunberg had sailed from Europe to New York on a boat, though unlike that vessel, this catamaran has a toilet.
The voyage is expected to take two to four weeks, and Thunberg hopes to reach Spain in time for the climate conference taking place Dec. 2 to 13. The boat's location can be tracked online.
As the catamaran set sail Wednesday morning from Hampton, Va., temperatures were in the 30s, and Thunberg and her fellow sailors '-- including her father, who traveled with her '-- were bundled against the cold.
Thunberg showed her typical aplomb before taking to the high seas.
"I'm looking forward to it," she told the AP, "just to be able to get away and recap everything and to just be disconnected."
She had one more message for Americans: Vote.
"We must realize this is a crisis, and we must do what we can now to spread awareness about this and to put pressure on the people in power," she told The Guardian. "The U.S. has an election coming up soon, and it's very important that for everyone who can vote, vote."
Why is California Blaming Wildfires on a Small Percentage of Downed Power Lines? (Part I) - Master Resource
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 06:13
''California's reliance on hydropower and proliferation of remote, centralized renewable energy plants; the mandated environmental mothballing of 19 coastal natural gas power plants located close to customers; redundant transmission lines for green power; and seasonal wind blasts, results in lethal blast-furnace-like wildfires that leave trees alone but incinerate houses.''
''California leaders and opinion-makers must first abandon their blame game and diagnose the problem more clearly than using clich(C)s like 'global warming,' 'Donald Trump,' 'greed' or even 'not enough clear cutting,' if they are going to responsibly deal with the dangerous unintended consequences of de-modernizing its electric grid.''
A question arising out of California's recent wave of wind-fanned wildfires, is why are public officials mainly attributing the cause to downed electric transmission lines that comprise less than ten percent of all the causes of such fires? This only further obscures why there are larger and more lethal wildfires.
The average percent of wildfires by cause in California from 2011 to 2015 is: undetermined (24%), miscellaneous (18%), debris burning (14%), equipment use (8%), downed power lines (8%), vehicle fires (7%), arson (6%), lightning (6%), campfires (3%), playing with fire (1%), smoking (1%), not reported (4%).
Downed electric lines are the fifth highest cause of wildfires at 8 percent. As the Professional Firefighters Association of California has stated: ''there is no single cause of California's fire risk, and there is no single cure''.
Conservative news commentators have accurately blamed environmentalists for inadequate clear-cutting of trees around electric transmission lines. Conversely, former governor Jerry Brown blames global warming and President Donald Trump.
New governor Gavin Newsom blames ''greed'' of electric utilities, apparently ignorant that their profits are set by the Public Utilities Commission whose president was appointed by Newsom. But this is nonetheless shortsighted because 92 percent of fires are attributed to other than downed powerlines.
Clear cutting trees outside of powerlines for the other 92 percent of causes would result in a scorched earth policy and prohibitive costs.
Californiawildfires have become an ideological political football. Both sides do notrecognize that lethal wildfires are the unintended consequence of installing anew ''smart grid'' into the electrical system and the green sprawl intoCalifornia's wild lands.
Comparison toOther States
Percentageof California Wildfires from Downed Power Lines:
California 2011''2015 '' 8% California 2019 to date '' 9.4% California Public Utilities Commission '' about 10%/year Oregon 2015 to 2018 '' 3.4% (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) Texas 2012''2016 '' 1.9%Downed power lines caused 3.4 percent of wildfires in Oregon from 2015 to 2018. Oregon has about the same amount of forest land but is not as urbanized as California, and thus, has a proportionately smaller electric grid.
Oregon's fires are often left to burn because they don't threaten human habitation. Most importantly, however, Oregon depends on more hydropower (50 percent) for its electricity than California (13.5 percent). And its electricity comes mostly from dams along the Columbia River.
Conversely, a significant amount (43.5%) of California's power comes from remote mountainous lakes and dams in forested areas or from transmission lines that import power from other states that have to cross forested areas before reaching large cities.
Texas, which has the most wildfires per year and more forested land than California, has only 1.9 percent of land fires from downed power lines. This is despite that up until this year many of its cities were blocking the clear-cutting of trees around power lines. Texas has about two-thirds of the population of California but does not import 30-percent of its electricity over mountainous, forested areas to reduce smog as does California. Texas relies on only 1 percent hydropower.
''Once-ThroughCooling'' Killed Coastal Power Plants
In 2010 California mandated the mothballing of 19 gas-generated electrical power plants, ostensibly to protect marine life. The shutdowns result from a ban on what is called ''once-through cooling''. Steam-generating power plants are located along the coastline so the plants can use ocean water to cool its turbines and discharge warm water back into the ocean. These 19 power plants have to shut down or convert to expensive air-cooling systems. The location of these 19 coastal power plants and their service areas can be seen here.
Whatthe closure of these power plants has done is shift where electricity isproduced to remote, inland or out-of-state green power plants dependent on long-haulpower lines. In 2013 PG&E warned the state grid operator (ISO) of futuregreen power blackouts. Moreover, the shift to green power has required doublingsome transmission lines because solar and wind power are redundant power tonatural gas generated power.
The Blame Game
TheSanJose Mercury News blames failed regulatory oversight of electricutilities by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). It further assertsthat this may end up forcing new governor Gavin Newsom (D) out of office, justas former governor Gray Davis was recalled in 2003 for botching the 2001 CaliforniaEnergy Crisis. That crisis, again, was initially wrongly blamed on theTexas-based Enron Corporation, which left theCalifornia market after three weeks and never had enough market share to influencepower prices. The popularized media paradigm that Enron caused theenergy crisis regardless of the facts otherwise is similar to the currentsituation where media deflects blame for disasters from government.
California'snew governor has proposed that fire-bankrupted Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E)be broken up and municipalized. Socializingthe power grid won't solve the problem but it will spread the costs of damagesand deaths onto all Californians. The largestmunicipal power agency in California, The Sacramento Municipal UtilitiesDistrict (SMUD ''10,473miles of powerlines, 3,800 miles distribution lines, 73,000 trees pruned/year,),has not been immune from blackouts due to downed powerlines.
TheCalifornia postmodern trend of locating housing in bucolic wilderness areasnear mountain passes where winds pour into valleys, culminated in the 2018 ironically-namedParadise Fire wherethe trees withstood the fire but the houses burned, a reverseneutron bomb. Thinning trees may not have much impact in such bizarresituations.ss
California leaders and opinion-makers must first abandon their blame game and diagnose the problem more clearly than using clich(C)s like ''global warming'', ''Donald Trump,'' ''greed'' or even ''not enough clear cutting,'' if they are going to responsibly deal with the dangerous unintended consequences of de-modernizing its electric grid.
Wayne Lusvardi appraises private water companies regulated by the Public Utilities Commission in California. He served on the California energy crisis task force in 2001 for the state's largest wholesale water agency. Contact: waynelus@yahoo.com.
(5) Gerbert Kunst on Twitter: "''The Netherlands has the ambition of developing a fully circular economy by 2050, and cutting in half the use of raw materials by 2030. Crucially, we don't talk about businesses, but we talk with them and work together t
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 22:50
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The REAL inconvenient truth: Polar bears thriving in spite of climate change, but saying this gets scientists fired
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 20:50
Polar bears have become the poster child for climate change, their population supposedly devastated by shrinking ice cover. But when one zoologist disproved the myth, she came under the inquisition of the climate church.
Zoologist and polar bear expert Susan Crockford was shunned by the academy for her insistence that despite the polar bear's status as a climate change icon, the warming planet had actually caused the species to thrive. She did not deny climate change '' merely the idea that it was harming the bears.
After losing her contract as an adjunct professor at Canada's University of Victoria, where she worked for 15 years, she has been vindicated by a report from northern Canada confirming her theory that polar bears are climate change's beneficiaries, rather than its victims.
Footage of an emaciated polar bear, captioned ''this is what climate change looks like,'' yanked at the world's heartstrings when it was posted on National Geographic in 2017. Eight months later, the publication changed the caption to ''this is what starvation looks like,'' admitting there was no way to tell why the bear was starving. But it wasn't the first sick bear to be pressed into service for the environmentalist cause, and it won't be the last. Climate change's PR team may have made an unfortunate choice in elevating the polar bear to icon status.
The Inuit groups who actually live with the bears in northern Canada seem to agree with Crockford's claim that bear populations are increasing, as documented in a court affidavit by the director of wildlife management for the Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board. Faced with cuts to their bear-hunting quota by an environment ministry concerned with population numbers, Nunavut residents have seen an ''increase in the polar bear population and a particularly notable increase since the 1980s,'' the director attested.
Nor are the (plentiful) bears suffering or sickly: ''Nunavik Inuit report that it is rare to see a skinny bear and most bears are observed to be healthy,'' the affidavit continued. Locals are, however, reportedly concerned about outside perception of declining polar bear numbers, fueled by groups like the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), which explicitly described the bears as the ''poster child for the impacts of climate change on species.''
Crockford has been saying for years that bear populations are either growing or stable '' even though they may go down in some habitats, they increase in others. She does say starvation is the most common cause of death for adult bears, but there are many factors that could lead them to the state captured by National Geographic '' from too many bears, straining food supplies and leaving slower hunters out-competed; to broken jaws, other injuries, and disease.
But as ice cover decreases, she claims, polar bears thrive. The ringed seals that are one of their primary food sources multiply in the warmer water, and polar bear populations have been steady or on the rise since 2005, all predictions of doom aside.
Also on rt.com Climate apocalypse is coming, US Army says, eyeing opportunities for more intervention Polar bear populations hit record highs in 2018, Crockford revealed in last year's State of the Polar Bear report, whose publication by the climate skeptic Global Warming Policy Foundation was sparsely noted outside fellow-traveler sites like Climate Depot. Despite sea ice depletion to levels not expected until 2050, which was supposed to decimate two thirds of the bear population, the animals are thriving.
In fact, they're thriving too much, according to the humans who have to live with them. The Nunavut government sounded the alarm last year: ''Inuit believe there are now so many bears that public safety has become a major concern'... the polar bear may have exceeded the coexistence threshold.'' Two locals were killed in bear attacks in the region. Nor is Canada the only habitat affected '' in 2017, they laid siege to the Siberian town of Ryrkaypiy, invading human homes and terrifying the locals.
Even the WWF has softened its predictions of a polar bear apocalypse, admitting that only one of the 19 bear populations are in decline as of 2017 while two are increasing and seven are stable. Yet the International Union for Conservation of Nature insists the numbers will plummet 30 percent by 2050, linking population decline with dwindling sea ice.
Crockford's view '' even though it's based on years of research and previous studies '' is considered heretical and scorned by climate doomsayers, for whom no deviation from orthodoxy is permitted, even when the facts do not match the propaganda.
The University of Victoria declined to renew her contract in May this year after 15 years of employment despite having promoted her work in the past. The school's speakers' bureau, which had sent her out for ten years to give lectures to schools and adult groups, dropped her like a hot potato in May 2017 after a vague outside complaint about her ''lack of balance'' allegedly triggered a kafkaesque cascade of deplatforming culminating in her removal. The school did not deny the reason she was let go was because of her heretical polar bear science, but would not confirm it either.
Misrepresenting thriving wildlife populations as a harbinger of their doom is nothing new for nature photographers and documentarians '' David Attenborough's depiction of suicidal walruses plummeting from cliffs ''because of climate change'' was recently exposed as less than the whole truth.
Also on rt.com You've been lied to: Walrus suicide NOT caused by climate change as Attenborough story quietly revised. What else is a lie? Walruses 'hauled out' on land are spooked easily and will plummet from cliffs in their rush to return to the safety of the water. These stampedes can be triggered by polar bears, who do so deliberately in order to feast on the dead walruses left trampled or smashed at the cliff bottom, or by overhead planes (or the drones used for documentary filming).
One of the most notorious examples of phony wildlife tragedy gave rise to the myth of suicidal, cliff-jumping lemmings. A 1958 Disney nature documentary captured the little creatures marching off a precipice, seemingly to their doom, teaching viewers a valuable lesson about blindly following a leader, but that scene was staged by the filmmakers for the sake of added drama.
Climate change proponents may not be staging mass animal suicide to convince the public, but their effort to torpedo the career of a scientist for reasons unrelated to the integrity of her research is equally unprofessional. The climate change debate must be had in good faith by scientific professionals on all sides, with participants free to voice their research-based dissent with prevailing orthodoxy, or it is not science but doctrine.
By Helen Buyniski, RT
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Text - H.R.3306 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Nuclear Energy Leadership Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 09:33
There is one version of the bill.
116th CONGRESS 1st Session
H. R. 3306
To direct the Secretary of Energy to establish advanced nuclear goals, provide for a versatile, reactor-based fast neutron source, make available high-assay, low-enriched uranium for research, development, and demonstration of advanced nuclear reactor concepts, and for other purposes.
Mrs. Luria (for herself, Mr. Riggleman , Mr. Lamb , and Mr. Wittman ) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and in addition to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, Oversight and Reform, and Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To direct the Secretary of Energy to establish advanced nuclear goals, provide for a versatile, reactor-based fast neutron source, make available high-assay, low-enriched uranium for research, development, and demonstration of advanced nuclear reactor concepts, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of theUnited States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. Short title .
This Act may be cited as the ''Nuclear Energy Leadership Act''.
SEC. 2. Authorization of long-term power purchase agreements .
Section 501(b)(1) of title 40, United States Code, is amended by striking subparagraph (B) and inserting the following:
''(i) T ERM.'--
''(I) I N GENERAL.'--A contract under this paragraph to purchase electricity from a public utility may be for a period of not more than 40 years.
''(II) O THER PUBLIC UTILITY SERVICES.'--A contract under this paragraph for a public utility service other than a service described in subclause (I) may be for a period of not more than 10 years.
''(ii) C OSTS.'--The cost of a contract under this paragraph for any fiscal year may be paid from the appropriations for that fiscal year.''.
SEC. 3. Long-term nuclear power purchase agreement pilot program .
(a) In general .'--Subtitle B of title VI of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Public Law 109''58; 119 Stat. 782) is amended by adding at the end the following:
''SEC. 640. Long-term nuclear power purchase agreement pilot program .
''(a) Establishment .'--The Secretary shall establish a pilot program for a long-term power purchase agreement.
''(b) Requirements .'--In developing the pilot program under this section, the Secretary shall'--
''(1) consult and coordinate with the heads of other Federal departments and agencies that may benefit from purchasing nuclear power for a period of longer than 10 years, including'--
''(A) the Secretary of Defense; and
''(B) the Secretary of Homeland Security; and
''(2) not later than December 31, 2023, enter into at least 1 agreement to purchase power from a commercial nuclear reactor that receives a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after January 1, 2019.
''(c) Factors for consideration .'--
''(1) I N GENERAL.'--In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall give special consideration to power purchase agreements for first-of-a-kind or early deployment nuclear technologies that can provide reliable and resilient power to high-value assets for national security purposes or other purposes as the Secretary determines to be in the national interest, especially in remote off-grid scenarios or grid-connected scenarios that can provide capabilities commonly known as 'islanding power capabilities' during an emergency scenario.
''(2) E FFECT ON RATES.'--An agreement to purchase power under this section may be at a rate that is higher than the average market rate, if the agreement fulfills an applicable consideration described in paragraph (1).''.
(b) Table of contents .'--The table of contents of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Public Law 109''58; 119 Stat. 594) is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 639 the following:
''Sec. 640. Long-term nuclear power purchase agreement pilot program.''.
SEC. 4. Advanced nuclear reactor research and development goals .
(a) In general .'--Subtitle E of title IX of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16271 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
''SEC. 959A. Advanced nuclear reactor research and development goals .
''(a) Definitions .'--In this section:
''(1) A DVANCED NUCLEAR REACTOR.'--The term 'advanced nuclear reactor' means'--
''(A) a nuclear fission reactor, including a prototype plant (as defined in sections 50.2 and 52.1 of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations)), with significant improvements compared to the most recent generation of fission reactors, including improvements such as'--
''(i) additional inherent safety features;
''(ii) lower waste yields;
''(iii) improved fuel performance;
''(iv) increased tolerance to loss of fuel cooling;
''(v) enhanced reliability;
''(vi) increased proliferation resistance;
''(vii) increased thermal efficiency;
''(viii) reduced consumption of cooling water;
''(ix) the ability to integrate into electric applications and nonelectric applications;
''(x) modular sizes to allow for deployment that corresponds with the demand for electricity; or
''(xi) operational flexibility to respond to changes in demand for electricity and to complement integration with intermittent renewable energy; and
''(B) a fusion reactor.
''(2) D EMONSTRATION PROJECT.'--The term 'demonstration project' means an advanced nuclear reactor operated'--
''(A) as part of the power generation facilities of an electric utility system; or
''(B) in any other manner for the purpose of demonstrating the suitability for commercial application of the advanced nuclear reactor.
''(b) Purpose .'--The purpose of this section is to direct the Secretary, as soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this section, to advance the research and development of domestic advanced, affordable, and clean nuclear energy by'--
''(1) demonstrating different advanced nuclear reactor technologies that could be used by the private sector to produce'--
''(A) emission-free power at a levelized cost of electricity of $60 per megawatt-hour or less;
''(B) heat for community heating, industrial purposes, or synthetic fuel production;
''(C) remote or off-grid energy supply; or
''(D) backup or mission-critical power supplies;
''(2) developing subgoals for nuclear energy research programs that would accomplish the goals of the demonstration projects carried out under subsection (c);
''(3) identifying research areas that the private sector is unable or unwilling to undertake due to the cost of, or risks associated with, the research; and
''(4) facilitating the access of the private sector'--
''(A) to Federal research facilities and personnel; and
''(B) to the results of research relating to civil nuclear technology funded by the Federal Government.
''(c) Demonstration projects .'--
''(1) I N GENERAL.'--The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable'--
''(A) complete not fewer than two advanced nuclear reactor demonstration projects by not later than December 31, 2025; and
''(B) establish a program to demonstrate not fewer than two, and not more than five, additional operational advanced reactor designs by not later than December 31, 2035.
''(2) R EQUIREMENTS.'--In carrying out demonstration projects under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall'--
''(A) include diversity in designs for the advanced nuclear reactors demonstrated under this section, including designs using various'--
''(i) primary coolants;
''(ii) fuel types and compositions; and
''(iii) neutron spectra;
''(B) seek to ensure that'--
''(i) the long-term cost of electricity or heat for each design to be demonstrated under this subsection is cost-competitive in the applicable market;
''(ii) the selected projects can meet the deadline established in paragraph (1) to demonstrate first-of-a-kind advanced nuclear reactor technologies, for which additional information shall be considered, including'--
''(I) the technology readiness level of a proposed advanced nuclear reactor technology;
''(II) the technical abilities and qualifications of teams desiring to partner with the Department to demonstrate a proposed advanced nuclear reactor technology; and
''(III) the capacity to meet cost-share requirements of the Department;
''(C) ensure that each evaluation of candidate technologies for the demonstration projects is completed through an external review of proposed designs, which review shall'--
''(i) be conducted by a panel that includes not fewer than 1 representative of each of'--
''(I) an electric utility; and
''(II) an entity that uses high-temperature process heat for manufacturing or industrial processing, such as a petrochemical company, a manufacturer of metals, or a manufacturer of concrete; and
''(ii) include a review of cost-competitiveness and other value streams, together with the technology readiness level, of each design to be demonstrated under this subsection;
''(D) enter into cost-sharing agreements with partners in accordance with section 988 for the conduct of activities relating to the research, development, and demonstration of private-sector advanced nuclear reactor designs under the program;
''(E) work with private sector partners to identify potential sites, including Department-owned sites, for demonstrations, as appropriate; and
''(F) align specific activities carried out under demonstration projects carried out under this subsection with priorities identified through direct consultations between'--
''(i) the Department;
''(ii) National Laboratories;
''(iii) institutions of higher education;
''(iv) traditional end-users (such as electric utilities);
''(v) potential end-users of new technologies (such as users of high-temperature process heat for manufacturing processing, including petrochemical companies, manufacturers of metals, or manufacturers of concrete); and
''(vi) developers of advanced nuclear reactor technology.
''(3) A DDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.'--In carrying out demonstration projects under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall'--
''(A) identify candidate technologies that'--
''(i) are not developed sufficiently for demonstration within the initial required timeframe described in paragraph (1)(A); but
''(ii) could be demonstrated within the timeframe described in paragraph (1)(B);
''(B) identify technical challenges to the candidate technologies identified in subparagraph (A);
''(C) support near-term research and development to address the highest-risk technical challenges to the successful demonstration of a selected advanced reactor technology, in accordance with'--
''(i) subparagraph (B); and
''(ii) the research and development activities under section 958;
''(D) establish such technology advisory working groups as the Secretary determines to be appropriate to advise the Secretary regarding the technical challenges identified under subparagraph (B) and the scope of research and development programs to address the challenges, in accordance with subparagraph (C), to be comprised of'--
''(i) private-sector advanced nuclear reactor technology developers;
''(ii) technical experts with respect to the relevant technologies at institutions of higher education; and
''(iii) technical experts at the National Laboratories.
''(d) Goals .'--
''(1) I N GENERAL.'--The Secretary shall establish goals for research relating to advanced nuclear reactors facilitated by the Department that support the objectives of the program for demonstration projects established under subsection (c).
''(2) C OORDINATION.'--In developing the goals under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall coordinate, on an ongoing basis, with members of private industry to advance the demonstration of various designs of advanced nuclear reactors.
''(3) R EQUIREMENTS.'--In developing the goals under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall ensure that'--
''(A) research activities facilitated by the Department to meet the goals developed under this subsection are focused on key areas of nuclear research and deployment ranging from basic science to full-design development, safety evaluation, and licensing;
''(B) research programs designed to meet the goals emphasize'--
''(i) resolving materials challenges relating to extreme environments, including extremely high levels of'--
''(I) radiation fluence;
''(II) temperature;
''(III) pressure; and
''(IV) corrosion; and
''(ii) qualification of advanced fuels;
''(C) activities are carried out that address near-term challenges in modeling and simulation to enable accelerated design and licensing;
''(D) related technologies, such as technologies to manage, reduce, or reuse nuclear waste, are developed;
''(E) nuclear research infrastructure is maintained or constructed, such as'--
''(i) currently operational research reactors at the National Laboratories and institutions of higher education;
''(ii) hot cell research facilities;
''(iii) a versatile fast neutron source; and
''(iv) a molten salt testing facility;
''(F) basic knowledge of non-light water coolant physics and chemistry is improved;
''(G) advanced sensors and control systems are developed; and
''(H) advanced manufacturing and advanced construction techniques and materials are investigated to reduce the cost of advanced nuclear reactors.''.
(b) Table of contents .'--The table of contents of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Public Law 109''58; 119 Stat. 594) is amended'--
(1) in the item relating to section 917, by striking ''Efficiency'';
(2) in the items relating to sections 957, 958, and 959, by inserting ''Sec.'' before ''9'' each place it appears; and
(3) by inserting after the item relating to section 959 the following: ''Sec. 959A. Advanced nuclear reactor research and development goals.''.
SEC. 5. Nuclear energy strategic plan .
(a) In general .'--Subtitle E of title IX of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16271 et seq.) (as amended by section 4(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
''SEC. 959B. Nuclear energy strategic plan .
''(a) In general .'--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committees on Energy and Commerce and Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives a 10-year strategic plan for the Office of Nuclear Energy of the Department, in accordance with this section.
''(b) Requirements .'--
''(1) C OMPONENTS.'--The strategic plan under this section shall designate'--
''(A) programs that support the planned accomplishment of'--
''(i) the goals established under section 959A; and
''(ii) the demonstration programs identified under subsection (c) of that section; and
''(B) programs that'--
''(i) do not support the planned accomplishment of demonstration programs, or the goals, referred to in subparagraph (A); but
''(ii) are important to the mission of the Office of Nuclear Energy, as determined by the Secretary.
''(2) P ROGRAM PLANNING.'--In developing the strategic plan under this section, the Secretary shall specify expected timelines for, as applicable'--
''(A) the accomplishment of relevant objectives under current programs of the Department; or
''(B) the commencement of new programs to accomplish those objectives.
''(c) Updates .'--Not less frequently than once every 2 years, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committees on Energy and Commerce and Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives an updated 10-year strategic plan in accordance with subsection (b), which shall identify, and provide a justification for, any major deviation from a previous strategic plan submitted under this section.''.
(b) Table of contents .'--The table of contents of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Public Law 109''58; 119 Stat. 594) (as amended by section 4(b)(3)) is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 959A the following:
''Sec. 959B. Nuclear energy strategic plan.''.
SEC. 6. Versatile, reactor-based fast neutron source .
Section 955(c)(1) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16275(c)(1)) is amended'--
(1) in the paragraph heading, by striking '' M ission need '' and inserting '' A uthorization ''; and
(2) in subparagraph (A), by striking ''determine the mission need'' and inserting ''provide''.
SEC. 7. Advanced nuclear fuel security program .
(a) Findings .'--Congress finds that'--
(1) the national security nuclear enterprise, which supports the nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship and naval reactors functions of the National Nuclear Security Administration, requires a domestic source of low- and high-enriched uranium in accordance with legal restrictions regarding foreign obligations relating to the beginning stage of the nuclear fuel cycle;
(2) many domestic advanced nuclear power industry participants require access to high-assay, low-enriched uranium fuel for'--
(A) initial fuel testing;
(B) operation of demonstration reactors; and
(C) commercial operation of advanced nuclear reactors;
(3) as of the date of enactment of this Act, no domestic uranium enrichment or fuel fabrication capability exists for uranium fuel enriched to greater than 5 weight percent of the uranium-235 isotope;
(4) a healthy commercial nuclear fuel cycle capable of providing higher levels of enriched uranium would benefit'--
(A) the relevant national security functions of the National Nuclear Security Administration; and
(B) the domestic advanced nuclear industry of the United States; and
(5) making limited quantities of high-assay, low-enriched uranium available from Department of Energy stockpiles of uranium would allow for initial fuel testing and demonstration of advanced nuclear reactor concepts, accelerating'--
(A) the path to market of those concepts; and
(B) the development of'--
(i) a market for advanced nuclear reactors; and
(ii) a resulting growing commercial nuclear fuel cycle capability.
(b) Amendment .'--
(1) I N GENERAL.'--Subtitle E of title IX of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16271 et seq.) (as amended by section 5(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
''SEC. 960. Advanced nuclear fuel security program .
''(a) Definitions .'--In this section:
''(1) H ALEU TRANSPORTATION PACKAGE.'--The term 'HALEU transportation package' means a transportation package that is suitable for transporting high-assay, low-enriched uranium.
''(2) H IGH-ASSAY, LOW-ENRICHED URANIUM.'--The term 'high-assay, low-enriched uranium' means uranium with an assay greater than 5 weight percent, but less than 20 weight percent, of the uranium-235 isotope.
''(3) H IGH-ENRICHED URANIUM.'--The term 'high-enriched uranium' means uranium with an assay of 20 weight percent or more of the uranium-235 isotope.
''(b) High-Assay, low-Enriched uranium program for advanced reactors .'--
''(1) E STABLISHMENT.'--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall establish a program to make available high-assay, low-enriched uranium, through contracts for sale, resale, transfer, or lease, for use in commercial or noncommercial advanced nuclear reactors.
''(2) N UCLEAR FUEL OWNERSHIP.'--Each lease under this subsection shall include a provision establishing that the nuclear fuel that is the subject of the lease shall remain the property of the Department, including with respect to responsibility for the final disposition of all radioactive waste created by the irradiation, processing, or purification of any leased uranium.
''(3) Q UANTITY.'--In carrying out the program under this subsection, the Secretary shall make available'--
''(A) by December 31, 2022, high-assay, low-enriched uranium containing not less than 2 metric tons of the uranium-235 isotope; and
''(B) by December 31, 2025, high-assay, low-enriched uranium containing not less than 10 metric tons of the uranium-235 isotope (as determined including the quantities of the uranium-235 isotope made available before December 31, 2022).
''(4) F ACTORS FOR CONSIDERATION.'--In carrying out the program under this subsection, the Secretary shall take into consideration options for providing the high-assay, low-enriched uranium under this subsection from a stockpile of uranium owned by the Department (including the National Nuclear Security Administration), including'--
''(A) fuel that'--
''(i) directly meets the needs of an end-user; but
''(ii) has been previously used or fabricated for another purpose;
''(B) fuel that can meet the needs of an end-user after removing radioactive or other contaminants that resulted from a previous use or fabrication of the fuel for research, development, demonstration, or deployment activities of the Department (including activities of the National Nuclear Security Administration); and
''(C) fuel from a high-enriched uranium stockpile, which can be blended with lower-assay uranium to become high-assay, low-enriched uranium to meet the needs of an end-user.
''(5) L IMITATION.'--The Secretary shall not barter or otherwise sell or transfer uranium in any form in exchange for services relating to the final disposition of radioactive waste from uranium that is the subject of a lease under this subsection.
''(6) S UNSET.'--The program under this subsection shall terminate on the earlier of'--
''(A) January 1, 2035; and
''(B) the date on which uranium enriched up to, but not equal to, 20 weight percent can be obtained in the commercial market from domestic suppliers.
''(c) Report .'--
''(1) I N GENERAL.'--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that describes actions proposed to be carried out by the Secretary'--
''(A) under the program under subsection (b); or
''(B) otherwise to enable the commercial use of high-assay, low-enriched uranium.
''(2) C OORDINATION AND STAKEHOLDER INPUT.'--In developing the report under this subsection, the Secretary shall seek input from'--
''(A) the Nuclear Regulatory Commission;
''(B) the National Laboratories;
''(C) institutions of higher education;
''(D) a diverse group of entities operating in the nuclear energy industry; and
''(E) a diverse group of technology developers.
''(3) C OST AND SCHEDULE ESTIMATES.'--The report under this subsection shall include estimated costs, budgets, and timeframes for enabling the use of high-assay, low-enriched uranium.
''(4) R EQUIRED EVALUATIONS.'--The report under this subsection shall evaluate'--
''(A) the costs and actions required to establish and carry out the program under subsection (b), including with respect to'--
''(i) proposed preliminary terms for the sale, resale, transfer, and leasing of high-assay, low-enriched uranium (including guidelines defining the roles and responsibilities between the Department and the purchaser, transfer recipient, or lessee); and
''(ii) the potential to coordinate with purchasers, transfer recipients, and lessees regarding'--
''(I) fuel fabrication; and
''(II) fuel transport;
''(B) the potential sources and fuel forms available to provide uranium for the program under subsection (b);
''(C) options to coordinate the program under subsection (b) with the operation of the versatile, reactor-based fast neutron source under section 959A;
''(D) the ability of the domestic uranium market to provide materials for advanced nuclear reactor fuel; and
''(E) any associated legal, regulatory, and policy issues that should be addressed to enable'--
''(i) the program under subsection (b); and
''(ii) the establishment of a domestic industry capable of providing high-assay, low-enriched uranium for commercial and noncommercial purposes, including with respect to the needs of'--
''(I) the Department;
''(II) the Department of Defense; and
''(III) the National Nuclear Security Administration.
''(d) HALEU transportation package research program .'--
''(1) I N GENERAL.'--As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall establish a research, development, and demonstration program under which the Secretary shall provide grants, on a competitive basis, to establish the capability to transport high-assay, low-enriched uranium.
''(2) R EQUIREMENT.'--The focus of the program under this subsection shall be to establish one or more HALEU transportation packages that can be certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to transport high-assay, low-enriched uranium to the various facilities involved in producing or using nuclear fuel containing high-assay, low-enriched uranium, such as'--
''(A) enrichment facilities;
''(B) fuel processing facilities;
''(C) fuel fabrication facilities; and
''(D) nuclear reactors.''.
(2) T ABLE OF CONTENTS.'--The table of contents of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Public Law 109''58; 119 Stat. 594) (as amended by section 5(b)) is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 959B the following: ''Sec. 960. Advanced nuclear fuel security program.''.
SEC. 8. University Nuclear Leadership Program .
(a) Findings .'--Congress finds that'--
(1) nuclear power plants'--
(A) generate billions of dollars in national economic activity through procurements throughout the United States; and
(B) provide tens of thousands of people in the United States with high-paying jobs, contributing substantially to the local economies of the communities in which the plants operate;
(2) the world market for the growth of commercial nuclear power was estimated by the Department of Commerce to be valued at up to $740,000,000,000 during the period of calendar years 2018 through 2028;
(3) the participation and leadership of the United States in the market described in paragraph (2) will'--
(A) (i) increase economic activity in the United States through robust nuclear exports, leading to the enhanced economic security of the United States; and
(ii) preserve and enhance the ability of the United States to positively influence international nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation standards through commercial engagement with other nations; but
(B) require significant investment in United States-origin advanced nuclear technologies;
(4) in order to lead the world in the next generation of commercial nuclear power, the advanced nuclear industry in the United States should be positioned for accelerated growth, which requires public-private partnerships between industry entities and the Federal Government;
(5) success in achieving the goals described in this subsection will require a whole-government Federal approach that focuses on the shared needs and individual mission requirements of, at a minimum'--
(A) the Department of Energy;
(B) the National Nuclear Security Administration; and
(C) the Nuclear Regulatory Commission;
(6) advanced reactors present new challenges and opportunities in reactor design, safeguards, and regulation;
(7) the challenges referred to in paragraph (6)'--
(A) are directly relevant to the missions of'--
(i) the Office of Nuclear Energy of the Department of Energy;
(ii) the National Nuclear Security Administration; and
(iii) the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and
(B) require a highly skilled workforce in order to be met; and
(8) nuclear science and engineering programs at institutions of higher education in the United States'--
(A) annually award degrees in nuclear engineering and related fields to more than 600 undergraduate students, and 500 graduate students, who are critical to maintaining United States leadership in the development of advanced nuclear systems;
(B) perform cutting-edge research and technology development activities that have made fundamental contributions to advancing United States nuclear technology; and
(C) support workforce development critical to maintaining United States leadership in nuclear detection, nonproliferation, nuclear medicine, advanced manufacturing, and other non-energy areas.
(b) Amendment .'--Section 313 of the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2009 (42 U.S.C. 16274a), is amended to read as follows:
''SEC. 313. University Nuclear Leadership Program .
''(a) Definitions .'--In this section:
''(1) A DVANCED NUCLEAR REACTOR.'--The term 'advanced nuclear reactor' means'--
''(A) a nuclear fission reactor, including a prototype plant (as defined in sections 50.2 and 52.1 of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations)), with significant improvements compared to the most recent generation of fission reactors, including improvements such as'--
''(i) additional inherent safety features;
''(ii) lower waste yields;
''(iii) improved fuel performance;
''(iv) increased tolerance to loss of fuel cooling;
''(v) enhanced reliability;
''(vi) increased proliferation resistance;
''(vii) increased thermal efficiency;
''(viii) reduced consumption of cooling water;
''(ix) the ability to integrate into electric applications and nonelectric applications;
''(x) modular sizes to allow for deployment that corresponds with the demand for electricity; or
''(xi) operational flexibility to respond to changes in demand for electricity and to complement integration with intermittent renewable energy; and
''(B) a fusion reactor.
''(2) I NSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION.'--The term 'institution of higher education' has the meaning given the term in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).
''(3) P ROGRAM.'--The term 'Program' means the University Nuclear Leadership Program established under subsection (b).
''(b) Establishment .'--The Secretary of Energy, the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission shall jointly establish a program, to be known as the 'University Nuclear Leadership Program'.
''(c) Use of funds .'--
''(1) I N GENERAL.'--Except as provided in paragraph (2), amounts made available to carry out the Program shall be used to provide financial assistance for scholarships, fellowships, and research and development projects at institutions of higher education in areas relevant to the programmatic mission of the applicable Federal agency providing the financial assistance with respect to research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities for technologies relevant to advanced nuclear reactors, including relevant fuel cycle technologies.
''(2) E XCEPTION.'--Notwithstanding paragraph (1), amounts made available to carry out the Program may be used to provide financial assistance for a scholarship, fellowship, or multiyear research and development project that does not align directly with a programmatic mission of the applicable Federal agency providing the financial assistance, if the activity for which assistance is provided would facilitate the maintenance of the discipline of nuclear science or nuclear engineering.
''(d) Authorization of appropriations .'--There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out the Program.''.
Atlanta CEO predicts long wait before next nuclear power project
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 09:33
Georgia Power's parent company is the only utility constructing nuclear power reactors in the United States, and it doesn't plan to do it again anytime soon.
It probably will be in the 2030s or 2040s before Atlanta-based Southern Company attempts another nuclear construction project, Southern CEO Tom Fanning told analysts Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the over-budget and delayed nuclear expansion of Plant Vogtle is not expected to exceed its latest deadline and cost estimates, he said.
That's even though expected completion dates have been delayed by a month, to May 2021 for one unit and May 2022 for the other, due to ''lower than projected performance in 2018,'' according to a new Georgia Power filing.
Those new dates are still six months before the latest official deadline for each. Originally, the project was supposed to have been finished and in full operation by April of 2017.
Even with the Vogtle project struggling, Georgia Power officials previously contemplated building a third nuclear plant in the state, in addition to Plant Hatch and the expanding Vogtle. The company bought a site in Stewart County, south of Columbus. Three years ago, it studied the land's potential, spending millions of dollars that was later charged to customers.
The study was halted as Vogtle's troubles grew and the company concluded it wouldn't need another nuclear plant as soon as thought. Georgia Power still controls the site and has said it expects to put some kind of operation there in the future.
But on Wednesday, Fanning told analysts that his administration won't embark on more nuclear.
To further cut carbon emissions, ''we do need, as a nation, to continue to invest in nuclear technology. But, for us, that won't be my administration's call,'' Fanning said. ''It will be in the '30s and '40s when I think we need to add more nukes.''
He said that would involve a new generation of reactors. Fanning also said that he expects the company's reliance on coal-powered units to continue to decline. ''If you are going to continue to keep coal alive, it must have carbon-capture technology on it.''
Liz Coyle, the executive director of Georgia Watch, a consumer advocacy group that has long warned about the Vogtle's ballooning costs, questions whether ratepayers should fund another nuclear project incorporating new reactor designs.
''What we don't want to see is Georgia once again being made the guinea pig '... for unproven technologies that end up taking much longer to build and at a significantly higher cost than other forms of generation,'' she said.
Tim Echols, an elected member of the state Public Service Commission that regulates Georgia Power, said in an emailed statement that ''It is way, way, way too early to be talking about another nuclear plant while Vogtle is being completed.''
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SMS from Dude Named Ben (Knight)
Some of this information may not be public knowledge so
please be careful if sharing the info to remove my name.
I recently worked for an SMS router called OpenMarket.
They are an absolute mess! Yet they have millions of messages they
This is not that dissimilar to what email providers do.
The company charges per message for some customers, but also
they have to compete, so they will give large "buckets" of pricing to
some providers.
This company is an SMS/MMS/RCS router for many giant organisations, yet they
have recently lost out on a large contract with Amazon.
But they are the provider for Apple, for instance which is one of the
largest companies they broker. They use a legacy service structure in a
datacenter, but they are currently migrating to a micro service architecture.
Especially fro the new RCS service.
The most recent technological advancement in this realm
is the use of RCS (Rich communication services is a protocol between both
mobile operators and phones. The overall aim of RCS is for it to eventually
replace SMS and MMS)
The reason why these message do this sort of
late delivery can be a multitude of issues. It's likely due to consumer
processes that fail on the backend to deliver messages from the queue. Many of
these services to AWS SQS or RabbitMQ for message queuing and there are a
number of issues with these services.
I realize I am getting long winded here and getting into the weeds. If you have
more questions I'll answer.
Google's 'Project Nightingale' Gathers Personal Health Data on Millions of Americans - WSJ
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 09:48
Google is engaged with one of the U.S.'s largest health-care systems on a project to collect and crunch the detailed personal-health information of millions of people across 21 states.
The initiative, code-named ''Project Nightingale,'' appears to be the biggest effort yet by a Silicon Valley giant to gain a toehold in the health-care industry through the handling of patients' medical data. Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are also aggressively pushing into health care, though they haven't yet struck deals of this scope.
Google began Project Nightingale in secret last year with St. Louis-based Ascension, a Catholic chain of 2,600 hospitals, doctors' offices and other facilities, with the data sharing accelerating since summer, according to internal documents.
The data involved in the initiative encompasses lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, including patient names and dates of birth.
Neither patients nor doctors have been notified. At least 150 Google employees already have access to much of the data on tens of millions of patients, according to a person familiar with the matter and the documents.
In a news release issued after The Wall Street Journal reported on Project Nightingale on Monday, the companies said the initiative is compliant with federal health law and includes robust protections for patient data.
Some Ascension employees have raised questions about the way the data is being collected and shared, both from a technological and ethical perspective, according to the people familiar with the project. But privacy experts said it appeared to be permissible under federal law. That law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, generally allows hospitals to share data with business partners without telling patients, as long as the information is used ''only to help the covered entity carry out its health care functions.''
Google in this case is using the data in part to design new software, underpinned by advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning, that zeroes in on individual patients to suggest changes to their care. Staffers across Alphabet Inc., Google's parent, have access to the patient information, internal documents show, including some employees of Google Brain, a research science division credited with some of the company's biggest breakthroughs.
Google Cloud President Tariq Shaukat said the company's goal for health care is centered on ''ultimately improving outcomes, reducing costs, and saving lives.''
Eduardo Conrado, an executive vice president at Ascension, said: ''As the health-care environment continues to rapidly evolve, we must transform to better meet the needs and expectations of those we serve as well as our own caregivers and health-care providers.''
Google and nonprofit Ascension have parallel financial motives. Google has assigned dozens of engineers to Project Nightingale so far without charging for the work because it hopes to use the framework to sell similar products to other health systems. Its end goal is to create an omnibus search tool to aggregate disparate patient data and host it all in one place, documents show.
The project is being developed under Google's cloud division, which trails rivals like Amazon and Microsoft in market share. Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai has said repeatedly this year that finding new areas of growth for cloud is a priority.
Ascension, the second-largest health system in the U.S., aims in part to improve patient care. It also hopes to mine data to identify additional tests that could be necessary or other ways in which the system could generate more revenue from patients, documents show.
Ascension is also eager to have a system that is faster than its existing decentralized electronic record-keeping.
Google, like many of its Silicon Valley peers, has at times drawn criticism for not doing enough to protect user privacy. Its YouTube unit agreed in September to pay $170 million in fines and change its practices in response to complaints that it illegally collected data on children to sell ads. YouTube neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing.
Last year, the Journal reported that Google opted not to disclose to users a flaw that exposed hundreds of thousands of birth dates, contact information and other personal data of subscribers in its now-defunct social-networking website Google Plus, in part because of fears that the incident could trigger regulatory scrutiny. Google said at the time it went beyond legal requirements in determining not to inform users.
Regulators are now scrutinizing the company on a number of fronts. Federal and state investigators over the summer made public separate antitrust inquiries into Google. The federal probe is examining whether Google's existing trove of data amassed from its flagship search engine, home speakers, free email service and numerous other arms give the company an unfair advantage over competitors, people familiar with the matter said.
Google has said its products increase consumer choice and that it is committed to cooperating with the inquiries. This year, Mr. Pichai has touted new privacy protections for Google's billions of users.
The company made public this month a $2.1 billion deal for wearable fitness maker Fitbit Inc., which makes watches and bracelets that track health information like a person's heart rate. Politicians of both parties quickly criticized the deal; Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.), chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee, warned that the Fitbit deal would give Google ''deep insights into Americans' most sensitive information.''
The companies said they would be transparent about any Fitbit data they collect.
Google appears to be sharing information within Project Nightingale more broadly than in its other forays into health-care data. In September, Google announced a 10-year deal with the Mayo Clinic to store the hospital system's genetic, medical and financial records. Mayo officials said at the time that any data used to develop new software would be stripped of any information that could identify individual patients before it is shared with the tech giant.
Google was founded with the goal of organizing the world's information, and health has been a fascination of its top executives from the early days. Google Health, a fledgling effort to digitize existing medical records, was shut down in 2011 after three years of limited adoption. Alphabet has since poured millions of dollars into its under-the-radar Calico and Verily divisions, which aim to combat aging and manage disease, respectively.
Google co-founder Larry Page, in a 2014 interview, suggested that patients worried about the privacy of their medical records were too cautious. Mr. Page said: ''We're not really thinking about the tremendous good that can come from people sharing information with the right people in the right ways.''
Write to Rob Copeland at rob.copeland@wsj.com
Google and YouTube Will Pay Record $170 Million for Alleged Violations of Children's Privacy Law | Federal Trade Commission
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 06:40
NOTE: The FTC hosted an IN-PERSON press conference at FTC Headquarters on September 4. The news conference was also webcast; view archival video here.
Participants included FTC Chairman Joe Simons and Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection Andrew Smith.
Google LLC and its subsidiary YouTube, LLC will pay a record $170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that the YouTube video sharing service illegally collected personal information from children without their parents' consent.
The settlement requires Google and YouTube to pay $136 million to the FTC and $34 million to New York for allegedly violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule. The $136 million penalty is by far the largest amount the FTC has ever obtained in a COPPA case since Congress enacted the law in 1998.
In a complaint filed against the companies, the FTC and New York Attorney General allege that YouTube violated the COPPA Rule by collecting personal information'--in the form of persistent identifiers that are used to track users across the Internet'--from viewers of child-directed channels, without first notifying parents and getting their consent. YouTube earned millions of dollars by using the identifiers, commonly known as cookies, to deliver targeted ads to viewers of these channels, according to the complaint.
The COPPA Rule requires that child-directed websites and online services provide notice of their information practices and obtain parental consent prior to collecting personal information from children under 13, including the use of persistent identifiers to track a user's Internet browsing habits for targeted advertising. In addition, third parties, such as advertising networks, are also subject to COPPA where they have actual knowledge they are collecting personal information directly from users of child-directed websites and online services.
''YouTube touted its popularity with children to prospective corporate clients,'' said FTC Chairman Joe Simons. ''Yet when it came to complying with COPPA, the company refused to acknowledge that portions of its platform were clearly directed to kids. There's no excuse for YouTube's violations of the law.''
The YouTube platform allows Google account holders, including large commercial entities, to create ''channels'' to display their content. According to the complaint, eligible channel owners can choose to monetize their channel by allowing YouTube to serve behaviorally targeted advertisements, which generates revenue for both the channel owners and YouTube.
In the complaint, the FTC and New York Attorney General allege that while YouTube claimed to be a general-audience site, some of YouTube's individual channels'--such as those operated by toy companies'--are child-directed and therefore must comply with COPPA.
The complaint notes that the defendants knew that the YouTube platform had numerous child-directed channels. YouTube marketed itself as a top destination for kids in presentations to the makers of popular children's products and brands. For example, Google and YouTube told Mattel, maker of Barbie and Monster High toys, that ''YouTube is today's leader in reaching children age 6-11 against top TV channels'' and told Hasbro, which makes My Little Pony and Play-Doh, that YouTube is the ''#1 website regularly visited by kids.''
Several channel owners told YouTube and Google that their channels' content was directed to children, and in other instances YouTube's own content rating system identified content as directed to children. In addition, according to the complaint, YouTube manually reviewed children's content from its YouTube platform to feature in its YouTube Kids app. Despite this knowledge of channels directed to children on the YouTube platform, YouTube served targeted advertisements on these channels. According to the complaint, it even told one advertising company that it did not have users younger than 13 on its platform and therefore channels on its platform did not need to comply with COPPA.
Settlement with the FTC
In addition to the monetary penalty, the proposed settlement requires Google and YouTube to develop, implement, and maintain a system that permits channel owners to identify their child-directed content on the YouTube platform so that YouTube can ensure it is complying with COPPA. In addition, the companies must notify channel owners that their child-directed content may be subject to the COPPA Rule's obligations and provide annual training about complying with COPPA for employees who deal with YouTube channel owners.
The settlement also prohibits Google and YouTube from violating the COPPA Rule, and requires them to provide notice about their data collection practices and obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting personal information from children.
The Commission voted 3-2 to authorize the complaint and stipulated final orderto be filed. Chairman Simons and Commissioner Christine S. Wilson issued a statement on this matter, while Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips, Rohit Chopra, and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter issued separate statements.
The complaint and proposed consent decree were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. NOTE: The Commission authorizes the filing of a complaint when it has ''reason to believe'' that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. Consent decrees have the force of law when approved and signed by the district court judge.
The FTC would like to thank the coalition of consumer groups represented by Georgetown University's Institute for Public Representation that filed a petition providing valuable information on this matter.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
MEDIA CONTACT:Juliana Gruenwald HendersonOffice of Public Affairs202-326-2924
STAFF CONTACTS:Kristin CohenBureau of Consumer Protection202-326-2276
Peder MageeBureau of Consumer Protection202-326-3538
Tiffany GeorgeBureau of Consumer Protection202-326-3040
Elizabeth Warren Slams Goldman Over Apple Card Bias Allegations - Bloomberg
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 06:25
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Next in Google's Quest for Consumer Dominance: Banking - WSJ
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 15:19
Google will soon offer checking accounts to consumers, becoming the latest Silicon Valley heavyweight to push into finance.
The project, code-named Cache, is expected to launch next year with accounts run by Citigroup Inc. and a credit union at Stanford University, a tiny lender in Google's backyard.
Big tech companies see financial services as a way to get closer to users and glean valuable data. Apple Inc. introduced a credit card this summer. Amazon.com Inc. has talked to banks about offering checking accounts. Facebook Inc. is working on a digital currency it hopes will upend global payments.
Their ambitions could challenge incumbent financial-services firms, which fear losing their primacy and customers. They are also likely to stoke a reaction in Washington, where regulators are already investigating whether large technology companies have too much clout.
The tie-ups between banking and technology have sometimes been fraught. Apple irked its credit-card partner, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., by running ads that said the card was ''designed by Apple, not a bank.'' Major financial companies dropped out of Facebook's crypto project after a regulatory backlash.
Google's approach seems designed to make allies, rather than enemies, in both camps. The financial institutions' brands, not Google's, will be front-and-center on the accounts, an executive told The Wall Street Journal. And Google will leave the financial plumbing and compliance to the banks'--activities it couldn't do without a license anyway.
''Our approach is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system,'' Google executive Caesar Sengupta said in an interview. ''It may be the slightly longer path, but it's more sustainable.''
Google is setting its sights fairly low. Checking accounts are a commoditized product, and people don't switch very often. But they contain a treasure trove of information, including how much money people make, where they shop and what bills they pay.
The company will have to convince a public that is increasingly wary of how tech companies are using personal data that it can be trusted with people's finances. Federal regulators are examining whether the user information Google gets from its search engine, home speakers, email service and other apps gives the company an unfair advantage over competitors, the Journal has reported.
Mr. Sengupta said Google wanted to bring value to consumers, banks and merchants, with services that could include loyalty programs, but it wouldn't sell checking-account users' financial data. The company said it doesn't use Google Pay data for advertising purposes and doesn't share that data with advertisers.
Fifty-eight percent of people recently surveyed by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. said they would trust financial products from Google. That was better than Apple and Facebook but worse than Amazon.
''If we can help more people do more stuff in a digital way online, it's good for the internet and good for us,'' Mr. Sengupta said.
Mr. Sengupta said Google hadn't decided whether the checking accounts would charge fees. Banks sometimes charge fees to some customers who carry smaller balances or don't use their debit cards often.
Big banks already are facing competition from technology upstarts, especially among millennial, mobile-first customers. Money-transfer services Venmo and Cash App are rolling out debit cards. Chime Financial Inc. and Revolut Ltd. have scored billion-dollar valuations on the backs of their mobile-banking apps.
Google flirted with financial services in the past. In 2011, it launched Google Wallet, where users could digitally store their existing credit and debit cards to make purchases. In 2015, it explored ways to use email to pay bills.
It launched, then quickly shut down, a site where users could comparison-shop for insurance and credit cards. More recently it has focused on India, where mobile payments are growing quickly.
Consumers would access their checking accounts through Google's digital wallet, Google Pay. Alphabet Inc., Google's parent company, has been trying to boost usage of the app, which launched in 2015 and competes with similar payment apps from Apple, Samsung Electronics Co. and Facebook, which this week introduced its own payments service across its apps.
Google Pay is on track to have 100 million users world-wide in 2020, up from 39 million in 2018, according to estimates from Juniper Research. Apple Pay had about 140 million users last year, according to the research firm.
Banks are trying to figure out when to work with tech companies and when to compete against them. Both Citigroup and Stanford Federal Credit Union, Google's other partner on the Cache project, could bring in deposits and establish relationships with younger, tech-savvy savers who might one day need a mortgage or credit card.
Citigroup is one of the largest U.S. banks but has far fewer branches than rivals like JPMorgan Chase & Co. Instead, it is leaning on digital offerings to bring in deposits, a cheap source of funding that is crucial to how banks make money.
Anand Selva, who heads Citigroup's U.S. consumer bank, said digital partnerships like the one with Google would let the bank grow beyond its bricks-and-mortar network. ''We have to be where our customers are,'' he said.
Mr. Sengupta, who moved from Delhi, India, to attend graduate school at Stanford in the late 1990s, said he opened his first bank account at the Stanford credit union and that many Google employees still bank there.
Mr. Sengupta said Google was open to adding more banks in the future.
Write to Peter Rudegeair at Peter.Rudegeair@wsj.com and Liz Hoffman at liz.hoffman@wsj.com
Corrections & Amplifications Anand Selva heads Citigroup's U.S. consumer bank. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said he heads Citigroup's consumer bank.
Google plans to offer checking accounts next year - The Verge
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 15:19
Google is planning to offer checking accounts within its Google Pay app, The Wall Street Journal reports. Its ''Cache'' project, which could launch as soon as next year, will be offered in partnership with Citigroup and a small Stanford University credit union. Google says that the accounts will be branded up front as coming from these banks, which will handle the financial backend and regulatory compliance.
Google executive Caesar Sengupta told the WSJ that the initiative is designed to ''help more people do more stuff in a digital way online,'' and he noted that the service could be used to offer loyalty card programs. The publication also notes that checking accounts contain a huge amount of valuable data about consumer spending as well as information about how much people earn. Google, however, has been quick to claim that it won't sell checking account financial data to advertisers, and it added that it doesn't currently use Google Pay data for advertising purposes.
Apple recently pushed into financial services with the Apple Card
In recent years, big tech companies have been increasingly interested in pushing into financial services. Earlier this year, Apple launched a credit card, the Apple Card, in partnership with Goldman Sachs, and Facebook announced Libra, a cryptocurrency it's attempting to launch with a collection of other tech and finance companies. Just yesterday, Facebook announced Facebook Pay, a service for sending money over the company's social networks and app. Even Amazon has reportedly investigated offering checking accounts to teens.
These initiatives have already created big problems for the companies that are offering them. Apple's credit card is being investigated for discriminating against women, and earlier this month, almost half a dozen companies dropped out of Facebook's Libra Association, as regulators grow increasingly wary of the planned cryptocurrency. This push into financial services also arrives as the world is coming to terms with the privacy implications of concentrating so much user data in the hands of a small number of tech giants.
At the same time as Silicon Valley's tech giants move into financial services, a number of smaller tech-focussed banks have started to emerge, including Revolut and Monzo, the latter of which launched in the US earlier this year. Left in the middle, traditional banks could soon start to feel the squeeze.
Border agents can't search phones, laptops for no reason, judge rules - Business Insider
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 20:51
The Department of Homeland Security's practice of searching people's phones and computers at border crossings without reasonable suspicion is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.The ruling is being heralded as a victory by privacy advocates, who were concerned with DHS's unfettered access to travelers' sensitive personal information at border crossings.Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol must now demonstrate legitimate suspicion of illegal activity before being able to search travelers' electronic devices.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol agents will no longer be able to indiscriminately search the phones and laptops of travelers crossing the US border, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
In its ruling, the US District Court in Massachusetts ruled that it violates the Fourth Amendment for Homeland Security officials to search travelers' electronic devices without "individualized suspicion" of contraband.
The lawsuit that led to the ruling, Alasaad v. Nielsen, was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the ACLU of Massachusetts on behalf of 11 people whose devices were seized and searched without a warrant by border patrol agents. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was the defendant, alongside ICE and CBP heads.
"This ruling significantly advances Fourth Amendment protections for millions of international travelers who enter the United States every year," ACLU staff attorney Esha Bhandari said in a statement. "By putting an end to the government's ability to conduct suspicionless fishing expeditions, the court reaffirms that the border is not a lawless place and that we don't lose our privacy rights when we travel."
It's not yet clear whether DHS will appeal the ruling. A DHS spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
The practice of searching electronic devices by ICE and CBP has been widely documented in recent years. Before Tuesday's court ruling, there was no clear legal precedent to determine whether Fourth Amendment protections extended to people entering the US internationally '-- in its absence, DHS officials operated under CBP Directive No. 3340-049A, which declared that agents could search anyone's electronic devices for any reason.
In August, a Lebanese student who was admitted to Harvard University was temporarily detained by Border Patrol agents in Boston who searched his phone and laptop. Based on what they found, the agents deemed him "inadmissable," temporarily barring him from entering the country and starting college (after a legal battle, the student was allowed to enter the US in September).
CBP has reportedly also targeted journalists and activists crossing the border, searching their electronic devices for sensitive information. Seth Harp, a journalist with The Intercept, recounted his experience being detained by Border Patrol after returning from a trip to Mexico in June, during which agents searched his laptop and poured through sensitive information provided by his sources.
"It was the digital equivalent of tossing someone's house: opening cabinets, pulling out drawers, and overturning furniture in hopes of finding something '-- anything '-- illegal," Harp wrote at the time. "He also went through my personal photos, which I resented. Consider everything on your phone right now. Nothing on mine was spared."
The new ruling effectively bars Border Patrol agents from searching any electronic devices they see fit. Read the whole ruling here.
Switching Back To A Dumb Phone Was The Smartest Thing I've Ever Done | Digital Trends
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 14:33
I'm sick of looking at my phone all the time. I can't help it. On the subway, in supermarket checkout lines, binge-watching Netflix shows '-- here I am scrolling and tapping once again.
I'm tired of constantly being bombarded by notifications asking me if I've ''checked this out.''
It's not like I haven't tried to reclaim the hours I spend on my phone. I've set screen time limits, switched off as many notifications as I can, and even invested in a smartwatch in hopes to not end up in an Instagram hole after innocuously pulling out my phone to check the time. To an extent, these restrictions did work; I've nearly managed to slash my smartphone usage in half. Still, I feel hijacked by my smartphone and the companies behind it. Of late, using my phone has begun to channel a sense of anxiety and fatigue within me.
So, I did something I didn't think I would find myself doing in late 2019. I bought a yellow Nokia 8110 ''dumb'' phone, aka the ''banana phone,'' as some like to call it. The last time I even touched a slider phone was '-- let me get the math right on this one '-- a gazillion years ago.
Shubham Agarwal / Digital Trends A smarter dumbphoneThis wasn't a reckless purchase driven by nostalgia, nor do I believe it's all that outrageous. Sure, I admit its looks played a vital role in swaying me toward the buy button. I mean, just look at it. The way its curved body rests naturally in the palm of my hand and the joy of sliding down the keyboard cover to answer calls bring the kind of experience a rectangular piece of glass will never be able to deliver.
All this aside, it's the operating system within that convinced me. The Nokia 8110 and a handful of other phones run on a relatively smarter OS for dumbphones called KaiOS.
This wasn't a reckless purchase driven by nostalgia.
KaiOS is designed primarily for first-time internet users from emerging countries like India, for whom smartphones and touchscreens can be a bit too intimidating. It functions and looks largely like any run-of-the-mill feature phone software. However, thanks to the HTML5-based app store, it allows tech companies such as Google and Facebook to easily build apps for physical keys and bare-bones hardware, which both have done.
Life goes onAt the time of writing, the Nokia 8110 I bought supported a string of apps I'm used to on my smartphone including Google Maps, WhatsApp, Twitter, and more. It also comes integrated with the Google Assistant, which is expected to soon gain the ability to execute actions on third-party apps, like sending a WhatsApp message, for instance. A phone that runs all my essential apps minus the unnecessary clutter and ''always-on'' feeling was just what I needed.
Therefore, for the past week, I've been actively using the Nokia 8110 with my primary SIM card inside, and despite my early skepticism, it has truly surprised me. I was able to chat on WhatsApp as I do normally (albeit at a much slower typing speed), search for destinations on Google Maps, scroll through Twitter and Facebook timelines, and even sync my emails. Heck, I even managed to book a cab through Uber's web app.
More importantly, switching to a feature phone disabused me of the illusion that my life will come to a halt without my smartphone. It made me realize how insignificant most of what I used to do on my phone actually is.
Shubham Agarwal / Digital Trends Benefits and downsidesWith the Nokia 8110, I wasn't constantly scrolling endlessly on Twitter, or watching all the stories on Instagram. I didn't miss out on much when I didn't check an email or any other notification as soon as it landed.
What really hammered home benefits of the experiment for me is that texting or performing other tasks on the Nokia 8110 felt a lot more private. Sure, I was still on services made by the same omnipresent, data-collecting companies, but while I was feeding their algorithms some data, not each and every one of my moves were monitored, unlike when I use my Pixel 3.
I did face the obvious downsides and compromises that come with a dumbphone, of course. It does seem, at times, like going back in time. Google Maps, for instance, doesn't have turn-by-turn navigation on KaiOS yet. Typing texts and emails takes minutes, not seconds. There's no NFC or digital payment support. The camera is barely usable and the absence of a front lens means you can't video chat.
But to be honest, I knew about these shortcomings before diving in, and they do make sense. KaiOS-powered phones, at least for now, are not made for smartphone users trying to find a little peace and solace.
My takeawayThe biggest lesson this process taught me was our smartphones don't ever let us simply get bored and ponder. There's always a new article, email, video, or tweet to consume. After the Nokia 8110 experience, I'm a lot more mindful of the time I spend staring at my smartphone. I take an extra second or two before I unlock it. At least for now.
The Nokia 8110 will be an excellent companion to my Google Pixel 3, and I will most likely choose the former when I'm just heading out to a dinner party. I'm sure there will be numerous smartphones that can take care of the selfies.
If you're in the United States and would like a similar detox option, there aren't a ton of KaiOS phones available. Your best bet may be the $50 Alcatel Smartflip, a good-ol' flip phone that runs KaiOS and is compatible with a handful of carriers including AT&T and Cricket Wireless.
Editors' RecommendationsWhat I like and don't like about Google's new Pixel 4 phoneThe best iPhone apps available right now (November 2019)Apple Watch Series 5 review: A smartwatch close to perfectionSamsung Galaxy A50 review: Value flagshipGoogle Pixel 4 vs. iPhone 11 Pro: The best of Google and Apple go head-to-head
Nashville Officials Want to Track People on Scooters in Real Time - Tennessee Star
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 08:30
Nashville officials are demanding scooter companies turn over GPS and route information that would allow the government to track people who ride scooters in real-time.
Scooter companies can already track their customers' movements, but officials at the Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee say government officials ought not to have the same privilege.
Members of the City's Transportation Licensing Commission are the ones who want the real-time GPS data, according to a letter Beacon President Justin Owen sent Mayor John Cooper this week.
Beacon Vice President Stephanie Whitt elaborated on Owen's letter in a call with The Tennessee Star Friday.
''The city has put out an RFP saying that 'In order to operate a scooter company in Nashville you have to apply, and we're only going to allow so many scooter companies to operate.' As part of that application you have to agree as a company to give over that information,'' Whitt said.
''We found that alarming because (with) real-time data given over to the city, they don't have the capability to maintain that privacy and we also find it alarming that they would want that information. Usually if there is some crime that has happened or some incident that has occurred (then) they would have to go through a police investigation or court order in order to get that information from, say, Uber, if there was an incident in a ride. Uber does not just give all of that information over to the company, no matter if there was no incident or not.''
No one at Cooper's office responded to The Star's requests for comment this week.
In his letter, Owen told Cooper that the city's proposal is ''unconstitutionally invasive.''
''With growing regularity, even the most well-equipped private companies from Sony to Equifax have still faced hacks. The City has no institutional knowledge when it comes to cybersecurity of this magnitude,'' Owen wrote.
''If done with scooter data, Nashvillians could see their most intimate data dumped into the public sphere,'' he added. ''Nashville should not open itself up to the massive responsibility and liability that will follow the accumulation of this data.''
'' '' ''
Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.Photo ''Lime S Scooter'' by Baldesteinemanuel326. CC BY-SA 4.0.
Smart Cities Index: Amsterdam ranks in the top 3
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 06:39
Amsterdam has just secured a top-three spot in in the EasyPark Smart Cities Index 2019, a list of 100 cities worldwide that ranks them - as the name would suggest - according to how "smart" they are.
The Smart Cities Index 2019So, what makes a city smart? For the ranking, the Smart Cities Index (SCI) analysed a total of 500 cities to determine how effectively they manage their assets and resources. Using 24 different factors, each city was assigned a score and then the top 100 were ranked.
Cities were given a score out of 10 for each factor, which encompassed many different aspects of modern living, including transport and mobility, sustainability, governance, innovation economy, digitalisation, living standard and expert perception. This year's ranking included the factors Blockchain Ecosystem and Government Digitalisation for the first time.
Amsterdam in the top threeAmsterdam ranks third place in the Smart Cities Index 2019. The Dutch capital does decently well across the board, even attaining a perfect score in Expert Perception. The city also ranked highly for smart parking, citizen participation, digitalisation of government and blockchain ecosystem, achieving a score of above 9 for each factor.
Additionally, Amsterdam performed well in traffic (8,87), waste disposal (8,93) and E-charge spots (8,26). It attained an overall score of 7,55, which is just 0,08 off the top spot holder, Oslo (7,63).
Amsterdam didn't do so well on public transport (3,34), clean energy (1,92), environmental protection (4,93) and education (5,46). It also received a score of 6,97 for business ecosystem which, considering the Netherlands has just been crowned the most competitive economy in Europe, seems peculiarly low.
No other Dutch city in the top 100Somewhat surprisingly, no other Dutch city makes the list of the top 100 cities. Technology and technological advancement are a lot more than just people using their mobile phones, access to the internet or social media. They can be used to help improve a city's infrastructure, help streamline waste management or improve education. If the Netherlands can improve the use of technology to help make cities more efficient, we may see more Dutch cities feature on the Index in the years to come.
Top 10 smartest cities: total scoresTake a look at the SCI top 10 smart cities for 2019:
Oslo, Norway '' 7,63Bergen, Norway '' 7,57Amsterdam, Netherlands '' 7,55Copenhagen, Denmark '' 7,38Stockholm, Sweden '' 7,29Montreal, Canada '' 7,22Vienna, Austria '' 7,17Odense, Denmark '' 7,14Singapore, Singapore '' 7,07Boston, US '' 7,07For more information, see the Smart Cities Index 2019 website.
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Google Begins Testing Extension Manifest V3 in Chrome Canary
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 06:08
Google has begun testing their upcoming extension manifest V3 in the the latest Chrome Canary build, and with this initial 'alpha' release, developers can begin testing their extensions under the upcoming specification.
In a post to the Chromium Extensions Google group, Simeon Vincent, a Google Developer Advocate for Chrome Extensions, stated that as of October 31st a developer preview of the extension manifest v3 is now available in the Chrome 80 Canary build.
"Think of it as an early alpha. The "dev preview" is the first opportunity for extensions developers to start experimenting with a work-in-progress version of the MV3 platform.
We're far from finished with the implementation work on the MV3 platform, so first and foremost expect changes.
As for what's changing, the four big-ticket items in MV3 are:
Host permissions changesBlocking webRequest -> declarativeNetRequestBackground page -> service workersRemotely hosted code restrictions"The declarativeNetRequest API has already been available for experimentation in Chrome Canary and we're continuing to iterate on it's capabilities
As part of this launch, Google has created a Migrating to Manifest V3 guide that developers can use to migrate their existing extensions.
The most controversial aspect of the extension manifest v3 is the upcoming changes to the webRequest API. In v3, Google has changed the API so that extensions can only monitor browser connections, but not modify any of the content before it's displayed.
Instead Google wants developers to use the declarativeNetRequest API, which has the browser, not the extension, strip content or resources from a visited web sites. This API, though, has a limit of 30,000 rules that can be created.
Unfortunately, this change will break popular ad blockers such as uBlock Origin, which rely on the original functionality of the webRequest API and need more rules than are available in the declarativeNetRequest API.
Testing changes in extension manifest v3If you are using the current Chrome Canary build you can test the new changes by creating your own extension and setting its manifest version to 3.
BrowserNative.com, who first reported about the developer preview launch, shared with BleepingComputer a test extension that can be used to test the new changes.
For example, in the extension manifest.json file below, the version has been set to 3 and it's using a background.scripts call.
Background.scripts manifestAs background.scripts is no longer supported, trying to load the extension will generate an error, as shown below, that states you need to "use the "background.service_worker" key instead".
Error when using unsupported APIsIf you switch the extension to use a service_worker instead then the extension loads properly into Google Chrome.
Background.service_worker manifestAll extension developers should consult the migration guide to make sure their extensions will work properly with the upcoming manifest v3 changes.
While they are now in preview, Google expects the manifest v3 to go live in 2020 with the v2 end of life to be determined in the future.
The Purge
YouTube says it can delete accounts that aren't 'commercially viable'
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 07:47
Creators are freaking out over YouTube's new terms of service which state that the company can delete an account if it determines the user is "no longer commercially viable."Image: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images
By Matt Binder 2019-11-10 19:57:54 UTCYouTube's new terms of service has some users and content creators very worried that the company could delete their account.
In the section titled ''Account Suspension & Termination'' with the subheader ''Terminations by YouTube for Service Changes,'' the site's new terms, which are set to take effect on Dec. 10, adds the following:
''YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account's access to all or part of the Service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.''
In its most basic terms: if YouTube isn't making money off you, the company can delete your account. The platform's current terms of service do not include this language.
Last week, YouTube started sending an email to its users notifying them about the site's new terms of service. In its email, YouTube summarizes the update as a way to make its terms clearer and easier to understand. Yet, this new addition to its terms weren't mentioned in the email, and the wording couldn't be any more vague.
As written, these broad terms give YouTube the power to delete a creators' account if they upload or livestream video that, for example, doesn't pull in enough advertising revenue.
YouTube viewers aren't in the clear either. Notice the terms are worded to cover anyone who has an account, not just its content creators. The language used can mean that a user who looks at lots of content but doesn't necessarily monetize can also have their account removed.
YouTube has new Terms Of Service on December 10th. This basically says that if channels don't make enough money, THEY WILL POSSIBLY TERMINATE THEM!!!Looks like I fought to the very end but now I may be close to losing my livelihood, losing my passion, my audience and my... pic.twitter.com/P74uQe8jpW
'-- Christian Maracle (@MaracleMan) November 9, 2019
A generous read of these terms can be seen as YouTube giving itself the ability to remove users and channels that disseminate hate speech or other violent rhetoric. For example, an account that starts creating white supremacist content can certainly be deemed as "no longer commercially viable."
However, the wording could be more explicit in defining what the update means.
It should also be noted that the terms specifically state the company can terminate a user's Google account as well. As written, a YouTuber can lose their Gmail, Google Photos, Documents, and more just for ''no longer being commercially viable'' on the video platform.
Youtube Pre-2020: Oh wow I made 10 bucks off ads. NeatYoutube Post-2020: "Your account has been suspended and your gmail deleted for not being commercially viable. You are also being fined 42,000 dollars for uploading "Let's Play Resident Evil Part 8" under COPPA"
'-- Mister AntiBully (@MisterAntiBully) November 8, 2019
People are, of course, freaking out. On Reddit, a single discussion on the topic has more than 32,000 upvotes and 2,300 comments at the time this post was published. Tweets shining a light on the terms of service update are receiving thousands of likes and retweets.
note that if you have 100,000 subscribers, youtube will let you use their studios in LA. it's a completely different lane for people who are successful on these platforms. and a lot of the people who have been successful on youtube have got it from doing reactionary garbage.
'-- Liz Ryerson (@ellaguro) November 10, 2019
As one person on Twitter points out, this feels to some like yet another move from YouTube that plays favorites with its biggest, most profitable creators. Channels with more than 10,000 subscribers are able to use YouTube studio space for free.
In 2018, the company changed its monetization policy, shutting out many smaller creators. Small channels that are eligible for monetization have increasingly higher standards to abide by than the bigger channels did when they were starting out.
Mashable has reached out to YouTube for more information and we will update this post when we hear back.
UPDATE: Nov. 11, 2019, 8:52 a.m. EST A YouTube spokesperson provided Mashable with the following statement:
"We made some changes to our Terms of Service in order to make them easier to read and to ensure they're up to date. We're not changing the way our products work, how we collect or process data, or any of your settings.''
UPDATE: Nov. 11, 2019, 3:06 p.m. EST A YouTube spokesperson has sent Mashable additional information that was included in a tweet from the company:
To clarify, there are no new rights in our ToS to terminate an account bc it's not making money. As before, we may discontinue certain YouTube features or parts of the service, for ex., if they're outdated or have low usage. This does not impact creators/viewers in any new ways.
'-- TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) November 11, 2019
Chuck Woolery: Supporting Trump 'pretty much destroyed my career'
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 22:53
Supporting President Trump and taking a conservative stance in public ruined Chuck Woolery's career and got him shadow-banned from Twitter, said the former game show host on "Fox & Friends" Wednesday.
Woolery tweeted about his personal political beliefs last week and claimed he paid a heavy professional price for simply expressing how he felt.
(C) Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images TV host Chuck Woolery attends the WE tv presents 'The Evolution of The Relationship Reality Show' at The Paley Center for Media on March 19, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. "To answer your question. Yes, I have pretty much destroyed my career by openly supporting Trump and letting all know, I am a conservative. Painful at times, but true. After all is said and done. It was my choice and I can live with it. I would do it all again," he tweeted.
"It was kind of a self-deprecating tweet I sent out because I know I'm shadow-banned. I've got about 650 or 700,000 followers," he told "Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade.
"I know the half of them don't get what I say. So I sent this thing out just as kind of a test -- because it made me look [like] I was losing in life. And it just went crazy -- it was the biggest tweet I ever had in my life. So as long as you're a loser they love you."
(C) FoxNews.com Former TV host Chuck Woolery speaks out on 'Fox & Friends' after tweeting about the damage done by being an open conservative and Trump supporter in Hollywood. Woolery chastised those who've taken his past comments out of context and said most Americans aren't as outraged as they're made out to be.
"My career kind of phased into commercial life. So I have several companies I represent. And they are bombarded," he said earlier in the segment.
"These people sit in their basement, and they make it look like there are thousands of people complaining about Chuck Woolery or about the products and who he represents -- and 'how could you let this fascist, racist guy represent your company' -- when none of it is true. And these are the same people by the way who I get on Twitter [saying] 'I watched you when I was growing up. I loved you... What happened to you?'"
Political discourse in America has gotten so out of control that it's emboldened people to ruin the lives of those they disagree with, Woolery added.
"What you have wrong is... the companies who you represent are just inundated with all of this negative [stuff]. It's not true," he said. "They just make this stuff up and throw it out [there] because they want to destroy your life. They don't just want to disagree with you. They are so vehement and so virulent. They just want to destroy you and that's their purpose."
Laura Loomer Wins Appeal, Will Face Google, Twitter, Facebook, And Apple In DC Circuit Court Of Appeals Over Censorship - Loomered
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 05:15
Andrew Meyer Posted On August 21, 2019 Laura Loomer has won her appeal against Big Tech giants Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, and will see her day against them in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
Loomer is suing the Big Tech giants for conspiring to suppress her speech because of her political views. Loomer has been banned from Facebook and Twitter.
The District Court for the District of Columbia had dismissed Loomer's lawsuit, but on appeal Loomer and the nonprofit group Freedom Watch prevailed over the Big Tech companies, which must now face Loomer at trial.
''In layman's terms, this means Laura Loomer has a real case,'' attorney Mike Cernovich declared.
Laura Loomer's case vs. Google alleges anti-trust violations + a claim for discrimination. That case is in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, as it was filed in D.C.Loomer's other lawsuit is in Florida, and that's the one @RonColeman is representing her in.
She's been busy.
'-- Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) August 21, 2019The court order setting the case for trial can be found here.
In a huge procedural win for Laura Loomer, the D.C. Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the merits of her lawsuit against Google. https://t.co/9FQF0pavc0
'-- Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) August 21, 2019The lawsuit alleges violations of antitrust laws, the First Amendment, and the D.C. Human Rights Act via collusion to suppress conservative content.
On May 2, 2019, Facebook banned Loomer from Facebook and Instagram. At the time of the ban, Loomer had nearly 100,000 followers on Facebook, and over 120,000 on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
The banning of Loomer, along with several other high profile conservatives sparked international outrage, as users wondered how Facebook could claim that Loomer and others were more ''dangerous'' than terrorist groups like ANTIFA and ISIS, which have accounts on Facebook and Instagram.
Go Laura Loomer!In a huge procedural win for Laura Loomer, the D.C. Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the merits of her lawsuit against Google.
Every Conservative should be standing up and cheering for Laura to win this lawsuit! https://t.co/FVUqB2YkWd #WednesdayWisdom
'-- Amy Mek (@AmyMek) August 21, 2019Loomer's attorney Larry Klayman sued Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg years ago for allegedly furthering a Palestinian intifada which resulted in the death of Jews. In addition to founding Freedom Watch, Klayman also founded Judicial Watch.
Loomer was banned from Twitter in November after criticizing radical Muslim Democrat Ilhan Omar. Loomer had hundreds of thousands of follower on the platform.
You won't see any mainstream coverage of Laura Loomer's lawsuit vs. Google.Like always, they'll do stories for days about Tweets, but when a lawsuit is going up in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, an actual Big Deal, you get nada.https://t.co/9FQF0pavc0
'-- Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) August 21, 2019Apple and Google have also been accused by many of conspiring to censor conservative content, notably after Infowars host Alex Jones was banned from Facebook, YouTube and Apple's iTunes store on the same day.
Laura Loomer's case vs. Google alleges anti-trust violations + a claim for discrimination. That case is in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, as it was filed in D.C.Loomer's other lawsuit is in Florida, and that's the one @RonColeman is representing her in.
She's been busy.
'-- Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) August 21, 2019Project Veritas has released many videos of Big Tech insiders admitting that conservatives are being intentionally censored by these platforms.
Whether Loomer uses the Project Veritas whistleblowers and their testimony as evidence remains to be seen at trial.
Loomer began her career working as an undercover investigative journalist for Project Veritas where she worked for three years before going independent and launching her own media company, Illoominate Media.
Loomer holds the title of ''Most Banned Woman In The World''.
She has been suspended and banned on all of the following platforms:
Chase Bank
Uber Eats
You can support Loomer's legal defense fund here. Along with this lawsuit, Loomer has also filed suit against Twitter and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Florida. She recently sued Facebook for $3 BILLION in punitive damages for defamation after the social media giant labeled her a ''dangerous individual'', banned her from Facebook and Instagram, and then told its nearly 2 billion users that it was ok for people to incite lethal violence against Loomer on Facebook.
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Number of people without a home rises in Germany - The Local
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 06:02
A homeless person in Munich holds a sign that says: 'no home, no work, hungry, thank you.' Photo: DPA
Last year around 678,000 people were homeless in Germany, an increase of four percent on the previous year.
That's according to a new estimate by the Federal Association for Assistance to Homeless People (BAGW), reported German media on Monday.
A total of 678,000 people across Germany were homeless in 2018. That figure was 650,000 in 2017.
"Compared to the previous year of 2017, this represents an increase of 4.2 percent in the annual total," said Werena Rosenke, managing director of BAGW.
According to estimates by the association, the proportion of children and young people is eight percent.
Among those without housing, a total of 41,000 people slept on the streets last year.
READ ALSO: Freezing temperatures pose constant danger to Germany's homeless
Meanwhile, the number of homeless people without a refugee background rose by 1.2 percent, while the number of homeless refugees in Germany went up by 5.9 percent.
Graph prepared for The Local by Statista.
Rosenke said the main reasons for the rising number of homeless people is the lack of affordable housing, the shrinking social housing stock and the continued impact of poverty. Single parents and young adults are particularly vulnerable groups.
People are described as homeless if they have a tenancy agreement. Many of them live in emergency shelters, communal facilities or with friends. Rough sleepers are a category of homeless people.
According to the BAGW, migrants from EU nations in eastern Europe account for most rough sleepers and three out of four people from the homeless population across Germany are men, who are mostly single.
As The Local reported last year, charities and other services step up their support for rough sleepers during the colder months.
U-Bahn stations play a big role. In Berlin, transport operator BVG usually keeps two U-Bahn stations open at night throughout winter, although in the past there have been concerns over security.
Stations also play a big role in Frankfurt am Main, while Bremen focuses on emergency accommodation and filling up vacant hotel rooms.
READ ALSO: U-Bahn stations, containers and hotels: How Germany helps the homeless in winter
Homelessness - (die) Wohnungslosigkeit
Homeless - Wohnungslos/Obdachlos
Living on the street/sleeping rough - das Leben auf der StraŸe
Number of homeless people without refugee background - die Zahl der wohnungslosen Menschen ohne Fluchthintergrund
Main reasons - (die) Hauptgr¼nde
Emergency shelter/accommodation - (die) Notunterkunft
We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.
List of countries by homeless population - Wikipedia
Sun, 10 Nov 2019 22:55
It is estimated that 150 million people are homeless worldwide.[1] Habitat for Humanity estimated in 2015 that 1.6 billion people around the world live in "inadequate shelter".[2]
This is a list of countries (not all 195) by the homeless population present on any given night. Different countries often use different definitions of homelessness, making direct comparisons of numbers complicated.[3]
List [ edit ] CountryHomeless population (per night)Data yearHomeless ratioMain article Australia116,4272016[4]0.47%Homelessness in Australia Austria14,6032014[3]0.17% Bosnia and Herzegovina143,0002010[5]3.73% Brazil101,5002016[6]0.04% Canada30,0002013[7]0.09%Homelessness in Canada Chile12,2552011[8]0.07% China2,579,0002011[9]0.18%Homelessness in China Croatia3,0002018[10]0.07% Czech Republic68,5002015[3]0.65% Denmark6,6352017[11]0.11%Homelessness in Denmark Egypt16,884,2802013[12]18.28%Homelessness in Egypt Estonia8642011[3]0.06% Finland71122017[13]0.13% France141,5002012[14]0.21%Homelessness in France Germany650,0002018[15]0.37%Homelessness in Germany*Includes around 350000 refugees in temporary housing or awaiting asylum.
Greece20,0002013[16]0.18%Homelessness in Greece Grenada60,0002004[17]56.44%*After Hurricane Ivan Guatemala475,0002012[18]3.15% Haiti2,300,000201023.24% Honduras1,000,0002013[19]12.35% Hong Kong1,4142013[20]0.02% Hungary10,0682014[3]0.10% India1,770,0002011[21]0.15%Homelessness in India Indonesia3,000,0002004[22]1.36% Ireland10,3382019[23]0.22%Homelessness in Ireland Israel25,0002019[24]0.29%Homelessness in Israel Italy48,0002014[25]0.08% Japan4,9772018[26]0.0039%Homelessness in Japan Jordan02010[27]2017[28]
0.00% Latvia2,3422011[3]0.11% Lithuania5,00020140.16% Luxembourg1,5332013[29]0.28% Mexico40,9112010[3]0.04% Netherlands30,5002016[30]0.17%Homelessness in the Netherlands New Zealand41,2072015[3]0.94%Homelessness in New Zealand Nigeria24,400,0002007[31]16.58% Norway3,9092016[32]0.07% Peru2011[33]5.6% Poland33,4002017[34]0.08% Portugal3,00020120.03% Romania15,0002004[35]0.07% Russia64,0002010[36]0.04%Homelessness in RussiaBased on official government statistics, but external sources estimate the actual number is about 5 million people (3.5%)[36] Slovenia2,7002015[3]0.13% South Africa7,000,0002007[37]14.31%Homelessness in South Africa South Korea11,3402016[38]0.022% Spain40,0002012[39]0.09%Homelessness in Spain Sweden34,0002011[40]0.36%Homelessness in Sweden Switzerland3,000 - 8,00020160.035% - 0.095%Homelessness in Switzerland Togo100,0001999[41]2.11% Uganda500,0002014[42]1.43% Ukraine1,000,0002015[43]2.35% United Kingdom307,0002016[44]0.46%Homelessness in the United Kingdom United States554,0002017[45]0.17%Homelessness in the United States Wales15,0002011[46]0.48% Zimbabwe1,200,0002013[47]8.48%See also [ edit ] List of countries by home ownership rateReferences [ edit ] ^ "As Cities Grow, So do the Numbers of Homeless | YaleGlobal Online". ^ "World Habitat Day". ^ a b c d e f g h i "Homeless population" (PDF) . www.oecd.org. ^ Crothers, Joanna (2018-03-14). "Australia's homelessness worsening, census data shows". ABC News . Retrieved 2019-10-13 . ^ "Archived copy" (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-14 . Retrieved 2016-03-13 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ NATALINO, Marco Antonio Carvalho (2016). Estimativa da Popula§£o em Situa§£o de Rua no Brasil. Brasil: IPEA. ^ "30,000 Canadians are homeless every night - CBC News". ^ "Personas en situaci"n de calle". gentedelacalle.cl. ^ "Homelessness in China=2012-07-17". ^ "Novel Tour reveals secret life of Croatia's homeless". Balkan Insight. August 28, 2018 . Retrieved 2018-12-06 . ^ Homelessness in Denmark 2017 - SFI - SFI (PDF) . en.sfi.dk (Report). The Danish National Centre for Social Research . Retrieved 2019-09-03 . ^ "Egypt '' UN-Habitat". ^ "Finland's homelessness scheme takes 3,500 people off the street" . Retrieved 2018-10-18 . ^ "Insee - Conditions de vie-Soci(C)t(C) - L'h(C)bergement des sans-domicile en 2012 - Des modes d'h(C)bergement diff(C)rents selon les structures familiales". www.insee.fr . Retrieved 2016-03-13 . ^ "Germany: Homelessness on the rise". www.dw.com . Retrieved 18 January 2018 . ^ "Archived copy" (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-14 . Retrieved 2016-03-13 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ "Hurricane Ivan 2004 | British Red Cross". www.redcross.org.uk . Retrieved 2016-03-12 . ^ "Guatemala, con altos ­ndices de d(C)ficit habitacional". construguate.com. Archived from the original on 2016-05-05 . Retrieved 2016-03-12 . ^ "D(C)ficit habitacional en Honduras supera el mill"n - Diario El Heraldo". Diario El Heraldo (in Spanish) . Retrieved 2016-03-12 . ^ "CityU NewsCentre - CityU study finds main reason for homelessness is housing affordability". ^ Jha, Somesh. "1.77 million people live without shelter, albeit the number decline over a decade". Business Standard . Retrieved 12 March 2016 . ^ ".: www.youthXchange.net - HOMELESS/ASIA :". www.youthxchange.net . Retrieved 2016-03-12 . ^ McDermott, Stephen (30 September 2019). " ' We need to stop this': Homelessness figures reach 10,000 for seventh consecutive month". thejournal.ie. thejournal.ie. Archived from the original on 1 October 2019 . Retrieved 19 October 2019 . ^ 25,000 people said homeless in Israel; social services treat under 10% of them (Report). Times of Israel. January 2018. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle (2014-10-23). "Homelessness growing across Italy". DW.COM . Retrieved 2016-03-13 . ^ "Japan's homeless ranks down to 15-year low under 5,000, survey says". The Japan Times Online. JapanTimes. 14 July 2018. ^ "Homelessness: A tragic form of poverty". The Guardian. December 15, 2010 . Retrieved 2018-12-06 . ^ Aheran, Joshua (2017). Homefulness: The Cultural Safety Net in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (ISP). SIT Digital collections. ^ [1] [dead link ] ^ Centraal Bureau voor Statistiek (December 2018). "Meeste daklozen hadden al jaren een laag inkomen". ^ "Microsoft Word - 2007 Global Trends_v3_total.doc" (PDF) . Retrieved 2018-07-25 . ^ "Marked decline in homeless people in Norway - Norway Today". 7 June 2017. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-10 . Retrieved 2016-03-12 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ "Poland". www.polsatnews.pl . Retrieved 2017-06-15 . ^ [2] [dead link ] ^ a b "Homeless Day 2014: New York and Manila among Cities with Most People Living on Streets". International Business Times UK . Retrieved 2016-03-13 . ^ "Winter freeze highlights homeless crisis". 24 May 2007. ^ http://www.mohw.go.kr/react/al/sal0301vw.jsp?PAR_MENU_ID=04&MENU_ID=0403&CONT_SEQ=342148&page=1 ^ "Personas sin hogar | RAIS Fundaci"n". www.raisfundacion.org. Archived from the original on 2016-03-30 . Retrieved 2016-03-13 . ^ "Homelessness in Sweden 2011". www.socialstyrelsen.se . Retrieved 2016-03-13 . ^ "UFC TOGO : Erreur 404". ^ "Archived copy" (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-01-18 . Retrieved 2016-03-12 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ "Ukraine crisis: this conflict is far from over". Telegraph.co.uk . Retrieved 2016-03-12 . ^ "300,000 people in Britain are now homeless, shocking study reveals". ^ "Homeless count rises". www.usnews.com. ^ "Rise of 11% in homeless in Wales seeking council help - BBC News". BBC News . Retrieved 2016-03-13 . ^ "Zimbabwe's urban housing crisis". 8 March 2013.
Homelessness in the United States - Wikipedia
Sun, 10 Nov 2019 22:54
A human condition
Homelessness is the condition of people lacking "a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence" as defined by The McKinney''Vento Homeless Assistance Act. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's Annual Homeless Assessment Report, as of 2018[update] there were around 553,000 homeless people in the United States on a given night,[1] or 0.17% of the population.
Homelessness emerged as a national issue in the 1870s.[2] Many homeless people lived in emerging urban cities, such as New York City. Into the 20th century, the Great Depression of the 1930s caused a devastating epidemic of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. There were two million homeless people migrating across the United States. In the 1960s, the deinstitutionalization of patients from state psychiatric hospitals, according to the physician's medical libraries on use of pharmaceuticals, was a precipitating factor which seeded the population of people that are homeless.
The number of homeless people grew in the 1980s, as housing and social service cuts increased. After many years of advocacy and numerous revisions, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the McKinney''Vento Homeless Assistance Act in 1987; this remains the only piece of federal legislation that allocates funding to the direct service of homeless people. Over the past decades, the availability and quality of data on homelessness has improved considerably. About 1.56 million people, or about 0.5% of the U.S. population, used an emergency shelter or a transitional housing program between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009.[3] Homelessness in the United States increased after the Great Recession.
In the year 2009, one out of 50 children or 1.5 million children in United States of America will be homeless each year.[4] There were an estimated 37,878 homeless veterans estimated in the United States during January 2017, or 8.6 percent of all homeless adults. Just over 90 percent of homeless U.S. veterans are male.[1] Texas, California and Florida have the highest numbers of unaccompanied homeless youth under the age of 18, comprising 58% of the total homeless under 18 youth population.[5] Homelessness affects men more than women. In the United States, about 60% of all homeless people are men.[6].
Because of turnover in the population of people that are homeless, the total number of people who experience homelessness for at least a few nights during the course of a year is thought to be considerably higher than point-in-time counts. A 2000 study estimated the number of such people to be between 2.3 million and 3.5 million.[7][8] According to Amnesty International USA, vacant houses outnumber homeless people by five times.[9] A December 2017 investigation by Philip Alston, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, found that homeless persons have effectively been criminalized throughout many cities in the United States.[10]
Causes of homelessness in the United States include lack of affordable housing, divorce, lawful eviction, negative cash flow, post traumatic stress disorder, foreclosure, fire, natural disasters (hurricane, earthquake, or flood), mental illness, physical disability, having no family or supportive relatives, substance abuse, lack of needed services, elimination of pensions and unemployment entitlements, no or inadequate income sources (such as Social Security, stock dividends, or annuity), poverty (no net worth), gambling, unemployment, and low-paying jobs. Homelessness in the United States affects many segments of the population, including families, children, domestic violence victims, ex-convicts, veterans, and the aged. Efforts to assist the homeless include federal legislation, non-profit efforts, increased access to healthcare services, supportive housing, and affordable housing.
Historical background [ edit ] Pre-colonial and colonial periods [ edit ] Following the Peasants' Revolt in England, constables were authorized under 1383 English Poor Laws statute to collar vagabonds and force them to show support; if they could not, the penalty was gaol.[11]
Vagabonds could be sentenced to the stocks for three days and nights; in 1530, whipping was added. The presumption was that vagabonds were unlicensed beggars.[11] In 1547, a bill was passed that subjected vagrants to some of the more extreme provisions of the criminal law, namely two years servitude and branding with a "V" as the penalty for the first offense and death for the second.
Large numbers of vagabonds were among the convicts transported to the American colonies in the 18th century.[12]
Urbanization [ edit ] The Bowery Mission at 36 Bowery in New York City,
c. '‰1880sHomelessness emerged as a national issue in the 1870s. There are no national figures documenting homeless people demography at this time.[2] Jacob Riis wrote about, documented, and photographed the poor and destitute, although not specifically homeless people, in New York City tenements in the late 19th century. His book, How the Other Half Lives, published in 1890, raised public awareness of living conditions in the slums, causing some changes in building codes and some social conditions.
The growing movement toward social concern sparked the development of rescue missions, such as America's first rescue mission, the New York City Rescue Mission, founded in 1872 by Jerry and Maria McAuley.[13][14] In smaller towns, there were hobos, who temporarily lived near train tracks and hopped onto trains to various destinations. Especially following the American Civil War, a large number of homeless men formed part of a counterculture known as "hobohemia" all over America.[15][16]
By the late 19th century, many American towns and cities had significant numbers of homeless people[citation needed ]. In New York City, for example, there was an area known as "the Bowery." Rescue missions offering "soup, soap, and salvation", a phrase introduced by The Salvation Army,[17] sprang up along the Bowery thoroughfare, including the oldest one, The Bowery Mission. The mission was founded in 1879 by the Rev. and Mrs. A.G. Ruliffson.[18]
20th century [ edit ] The Great Depression of the 1930s caused a devastating epidemic of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. There were two million homeless people migrating across the United States.[19] Many lived in shantytowns they called "Hoovervilles" deriding the President they blamed for the Depression. Residents lived in shacks and begged for food or went to soup kitchens. Authorities did not officially recognize these Hoovervilles and occasionally removed the occupants for technically trespassing on private lands, but they were frequently tolerated out of necessity.
A 1960 survey by Temple University of Philadelphia's poor neighborhoods found that 75 percent of the people that are homeless were over 45 years old, and 87 percent were white.[20]
The Community Mental Health Act of 1963 was a pre-disposing factor in setting the stage for homelessness in the United States.[21] Long term psychiatric patients were released from state hospitals into Single Room Occupancies and sent to community health centers for treatment and follow-up. Never adequately funded, the community mental health system struggled to meet patient needs [22] and many of the "deinstitutionalized" wound up living on the streets, with no sustainable support system.[23][24] In the United States, during the late 1970s, the deinstitutionalization of patients from state psychiatric hospitals was a precipitating factor which seeded the population of people that are homeless, especially in urban areas such as New York City.[25]
1980s and 1990s [ edit ] The number of homeless people grew in the 1980s, as housing and social service cuts increased and the economy deteriorated. The United States government determined that somewhere between 200,000 and 500,000 Americans were then homeless.[26] There were some U.S. federal initiatives that aimed to help, end and prevent homelessness, however, there were no designated homeless-related programs in the Office of Management and Budget.[27]
The History of the United States (1980''1991) illustrates that this was a time when there was economic distress, high unemployment, and was the period when chronic homelessness became a societal problem. In 1980, federal funds accounted for 22% of big city budgets, but by 1989 the similar aid composed only 6% of urban revenue (part of a larger 60% decrease in federal spending to support local governments).[28] It is largely (although not exclusively) in these urban areas that homelessness became widespread and reached unprecedented numbers. Most notable were cuts to federal low-income housing programs. An advocacy group claims that Congress halved the budget for public housing and Section 8 (the government's housing voucher subsidization program) and that between the years of 1980 and 1989 HUD's budget authority was reduced from $74 billion to $19 billion.[28] Such alleged changes are claimed to have resulted in an inadequate supply of affordable housing to meet the growing demand of low-income populations. In 1970 there were 300,000 more low-cost rental units (6.5 million) than low-income renter households (6.2 million). By 1985, the advocacy group claimed that the number of low-cost units had fallen to 5.6 million, and the number of low-income renter households had grown to 8.9 million, a disparity of 3.3 million units.[29]
In response to the ensuing homelessness crisis of the 1980s and after many years of advocacy and numerous revisions, President Reagan signed into law the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act in 1987; this remains the only piece of federal legislation that allocates funding to the direct service of homeless people. The McKinney-Vento Act paved the way for service providers in the coming years. During the 1990s homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other supportive services sprouted up in cities and towns across the nation. However, despite these efforts and the dramatic economic growth marked by this decade, homeless numbers remained stubbornly high. It became increasingly apparent that simply providing services to alleviate the symptoms of homelessness (i.e. shelter beds, hot meals, psychiatric counseling, etc.), although needed, were not successful at solving the root causes of homelessness. The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), a federal agency contained in the Executive Branch, was established in 1987 as a requirement of the McKinney-Vento Act of 1987.
A 1990 survey found that most literally homeless people were unable to bathe or shower.[30]
21st century [ edit ] Improved data [ edit ] Over the past decades, the availability and quality of data on homelessness has improved considerably, due, in part, to initiatives by the United States government. Since 2007, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued an Annual Homeless Assessment Report, which revealed the number of individuals and families that were homeless, both sheltered and unsheltered.[31] In 2009, there were about 643,000 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons nationwide. About two-thirds of those stayed in emergency shelters or used transitional housing programs, with the remaining living on the street in abandoned buildings or other areas not meant for human habitation. About 1.56 million people, or about 0.5% of the U.S. population, used an emergency shelter or a transitional housing program between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009.[3] Around 44% of homeless people were employed.[32]
According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, the most common demographic features of all sheltered homeless people are: male, members of minority groups, older than age 31, and alone. More than 40 percent of sheltered homeless people have a disability. At the same time, sizable segments of the sheltered homeless population are white, non-Hispanic (38 percent), children (20 percent), or part of multi-person households (33 percent). Approximately 68 percent of the 1.6 million sheltered homeless people were homeless as individuals and 32 percent were persons in families.[33]
In 2008 more than 66 percent of all sheltered homeless people were located in principal cities, with 32 percent located in suburban or rural jurisdictions. About 40 percent of people entering an emergency shelter or transitional housing program during 2008 came from another homeless situation (sheltered or unsheltered), 40 percent came from a housed situation (in their own or someone else's home), and the remaining 20 percent were split between institutional settings or other situations such as hotels or motels. Most people had relatively short lengths of stay in emergency shelters: 60 percent stayed less than a month, and a 33 percent stayed a week or less.[33]
Causes [ edit ] "In 2004 the United States Conference of Mayors... surveyed the mayors of major cities on the extent and causes of urban homelessness and most of the mayors named the lack of affordable housing as a cause of homelessness.... The next three causes identified by mayors, in rank order, were mental illness or the lack of needed services, substance abuse and lack of needed services, and low-paying jobs. The lowest ranking cause, cited by five mayors, was prisoner reentry. Other causes cited were unemployment, domestic violence, and poverty."
The major causes of homelessness include:[34][35][36][37][38][39]
The failure of urban housing projects to provide safe, secure, and affordable housing to the poor.[34][35][38][39] Additionally, many workers cannot afford to live where they work, and even in moderately priced communities housing costs require a large portion of household income.[40]The deinstitutionalization movement from the 1950s onwards in state mental health systems, to shift towards 'community-based' treatment of the mentally ill, as opposed to long-term commitment in institutions.[34][35][38][39] There is disproportionally higher prevalence of mental disorders relative to other disease groups within homeless patient populations at both inpatient hospitals and hospital-based emergency departments.[41]Redevelopment and gentrification activities instituted by cities across the country through which low-income neighborhoods are declared blighted and demolished to make way for projects that generate higher property taxes and other revenue, creating a shortage of housing affordable to low-income working families, the elderly poor, and the disabled.[34][35][38][39]The failure of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide effective mental health care and meaningful job training for many homeless veterans, particularly those of the Vietnam War.[citation needed ]Nearly half of foster children in the United States become homeless when they are released from foster care at age 18.[42][43]Natural disasters that destroy homes: hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc. Places of employment are often destroyed too, causing unemployment and transience.[44]People who have served time in prison, have abused drugs and alcohol, or have a history of mental illness find it difficult to find employment for years at a time because of the use of computer background checks by potential employers. Also inclusive of registered sex offenders who are considered unwelcome in some metropolitan areas. See prisoner reentry.[45]According to the Institution of Housing in 2005, the U.S. Government has focused 42% more on foreign countries rather than homeless Americans, including homeless veterans.[34][35][38][39]People who are hiding in order to evade law enforcement.[34][35][38][39]Adults and children who flee domestic violence.[34][35][38][39]Teenagers who flee or are thrown out by parents who disapprove of their child's sexual orientation or gender identity. A 2010 study by the Center for American Progress shows that a disproportionately high number of homeless youth (between 20''40%) identify as LGBTQ.[46]Overly complex building code that makes it difficult for most people to build. Traditional huts, cars, and tents are illegal, classified as substandard and may be removed by government, even though the occupant may own the land. Land owner cannot live on the land cheaply, and so sells the land and becomes homeless.[34][35][38][39]Foreclosures of homes, including foreclosure of apartment complexes which displaces tenants renting there.[47]Evictions from rented property.[47]Lack of support from friends or family.[34][35][38][39]Individuals who prefer homelessness and wish to remain off the grid for political and ideological purposes. Often self-identified as Gutter Punks or Urban Survivalists. The Department of Housing and Urban Development rarely reports on this counter-cultural movement since Gutter Punks and similar individuals often refuse to participate in governmental studies and do not seek governmental assistance for ideological or political purposes.[48]Lack of resources in place in the communities to help aid in prevention of homelessness before it becomes a crisis.[34][35][38][39]Neoliberal policies, reforms to the welfare state and the retrenchment of the social safety net.[49][50][51][52]High rents, in particular areas where individuals must pay a third or more of their income on rent, increase the rates of homelessness.[53]Causes could include mental illness, addiction, disenfranchisement, poor self-confidence and/or by individual freedom of choice. Another cause is temporary unemployment and or temporary unaffordable housing in a variety of geographical locations.
Federal legislation [ edit ] In response to the Great Recession in the United States, President Obama signed several pieces of legislation that addressed the homelessness crisis. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 addressed homelessness prevention, in which he allocated an additional $1.5 billion to HUD for the "Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program (HPRP)." The purpose of HPRP was to assist individuals and families who are otherwise healthy and not chronically homeless in escaping homelessness or preventing homelessness of the vulnerable population.[54][55] On May 20, 2009, President Obama signed the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act into Public Law (Public Law 111-22 or "PL 111-22"), reauthorizing HUD's Homeless Assistance programs. It was part of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009. The HEARTH act allows for the prevention of homelessness, rapid re-housing, consolidation of housing programs, and new homeless categories.[56][57][58][59]
In the first year of the new decade, the Federal government launched of Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.[60][61] Opening Doors is a publication of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which worked with all Federal agencies and many state and local stakeholders on its creation and vision, setting a ten-year path for the nation on preventing and ending all types of homelessness. This plan was presented to the President and Congress in a White House Ceremony on June 22, 2010.[62]
A federal court ruled in September 2018 that cities can't punish homeless people for sleeping in public when the homeless shelters are full.[63]
Continued crisis [ edit ] I've got economically zero unemployment in my city, and I've got thousands of homeless people that actually are working and just can't afford housing. There's nowhere for these folks to move to. '-- Seattle City Councilman Mike O'Brien on the
explosion of homelessness on the West Coast.
[64]According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the demand for emergency shelter in 270 U.S. cities increased 13 percent in 2001 and 25 percent in 2005.[34][35] 22 percent of those requesting emergency shelter were turned away.
Into 2016, homelessness is considered an epidemic in several U.S. cities. "Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and seven of the 15 City Council members announced they would declare a state of emergency and try to find $100 million to cure what has become a municipal curse."[65] Homelessness in New York City has tripled since January 2000, from approximately 20,000 people using provided nightly shelter services to more than 60,000 in January 2015.[66] These counts do not include those persons who choose to stay away from shelter providers.
Definitions and categories [ edit ] The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development acknowledges four categories of people who qualify as legally homeless: (1) those who are currently homeless, (2) those who will become homeless in the imminent future, (3) certain youths and families with children who suffer from home instability caused by a hardship, and (4) those who suffer from home instability caused by domestic violence.[67]
According to the Stewart B. McKinney Act, 42 U.S.C. § 11301, et seq. (1994), a person is considered homeless if they "lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and ... has a primary nighttime residency that is: (A) a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations... (B) an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or (C) a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings." Human Rights Watch (2010) identified emancipated teenagers in California as a new homeless population.
Homeless veterans [ edit ] Marines and Sailors sort and organize hundreds of clothing items at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans. The service members spent the day serving meals and eating with many of Boston's veterans during Boston Navy Week. Boston Navy Week is one of 15 signature events planned across America in 2012. The eight-day long event commemorates the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, hosting service members from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard and coalition ships from around the world. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Marco Mancha/Released)
Homeless veterans are persons who have served in the armed forces who are homeless or living without access to secure and appropriate accommodation. There were an estimated 57,849 homeless veterans estimated in the United States during January 2013; or 12 percent of all homeless adults. Just under 8 percent of homeless U.S. veterans are female.
Throughout the 21st Century, homeless service providers and the Federal government have been able to reduce chronic homelessness and homelessness among Veterans with targeted efforts and interagency cooperation on initiatives like the HUD-VASH program.[68]
Youth homelessness [ edit ] Homeless children in the United States:
[69] The number of homeless children reached record highs in 2011,
[70] 2012,
[71] and 2013
[72] at about three times their number in 1983.
[71]The number of homeless children in the US grew from 1.2 million in 2007 to 1.6 million in 2010. The US defines homelessness as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence," per McKinney''Vento Homeless Assistance Act.[73] The number of homeless children reached record highs in 2011,[70] 2012,[71] and 2013[72] at about three times their number in 1983.[71] An "estimated two million [youth] run away from or are forced out of their homes each year" in the United States.[74] The difference in these numbers can be attributed to the temporary nature of street children in the United States, unlike the more permanent state in developing countries.
One out of 50 children or 1.5 million children in United States of America will be homeless each year.[4] In 2013 that number jumped to one out of 30 children, or 2.5 million.[75]
Texas, California and Florida have the highest numbers of unaccompanied homeless youth under the age of 18; comprising 58% of the total homeless under 18 youth population[5]
Street children in the United States tend to stay in the state, 83% do not leave their state of origin.[76] If they leave, street children are likely to end up in large cities, notably New York City, Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco.[77] Street children are predominantly Caucasian and female in the United States, and 42% identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).[78]
The United States government has been making efforts since the late 1970s to accommodate this section of the population.[79] The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act of 1978 made funding available for shelters and funded the National Runaway Switchboard. Other efforts include the Child Abuse and Treatment Act of 1974, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.[80] There has also been a decline of arrest rates in street youth, dropping in 30,000 arrests from 1998 to 2007. Instead, the authorities are referring homeless youth to state-run social service agencies.[81]
College youth [ edit ] College youth that are homeless account for over one million of the young homeless population.[82]According to the Free Application Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA, in 2013, over 58,000 students identified as homeless on their application.[82] "The federal government defines these unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY) as individuals who do not have "fixed, regular and adequate" housing and who are "not in the physical custody of a parent or adult."[83] The McKinney Vento Act is considered the key piece of federal legislation pertaining to educational support for homeless children and teens.[84] The causes of homelessness varies from student to student. There are two types of homeless college students: 1. students that are homeless upon entering college and 2. students who become homeless during college.[84] For the youth that become homeless upon entering college, this situation represents the students that are having trouble sustaining housing due to job loss of their parent or guardian, the lack of a parent or guardian or because youth has been asked to leave the home or decided to runaway.[84] The reasons for a college youth to become homeless while attending college are as follows: unable to sustain the financial expenses for housing and food. Secondly, by having the financial support given by family revoked.[84] Fortunately, there are programs available at state colleges and universities that provide students with the necessary resources to obtain financial and housing stability and sustainability. There are also organizations such as the National Association For The Education Of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) that advocate for a higher education so the children and youth can fulfill their dreams.[85] Another innovative model that can be of great help to college students experiencing homelessness is Single Stop USA, which operates in community colleges to help connect low-income students to the resources they need, including housing, to not only stay in school but to excel[86]
LGBT youth [ edit ] According to a survey, Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey, one in four teens that participated in this survey who identify as gay or lesbian are homeless. Various sources report between 20 percent and 40 percent identify as LGBT. Research shows that a disproportionate number of homeless youth in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or LGBT. In addition, LGBT youth are at greater risk for risky sexual behavior, substance abuse, and mental health issues.[87]
Homeless families [ edit ] The topic of homeless families first emerged in the United States during the 1980s when social welfare programs were being cut and high rates of income inequality, child poverty, and the lack of affordable housing were becoming an issue. The issue of homeless families came back in 2009 after the Recession, which replicated the same issues from the 80's.[88] The 2000s saw a new population of those experiencing homelessness: families with children. While an emerging problem at the beginning of the decade,[89] the problem continued to persist through 2010. At the close of the decade the trend continued unabated, with the number of individuals in homeless families increasing from 431,541 in 2007 to 535,447 in 2009.[68] In 2011, the National Center of Homelessness[citation needed ] unveiled statistics of a study they operated that ranked the United States number one with the most homeless families among other progressive countries.[90]
The state of New York has the highest number of family households experiencing homelessness. There are an estimated 16,297 homeless family households in New York as of January 2017.[91] Then goes California with 7,168 homeless family households and Massachusetts with 3,430. The state with the smallest number is North Dakota '' 77 households that experience homelessness in 2017.
Homeless women with children [ edit ] Another study discovered that the three biggest risk factors that contributed to family homelessness in the United States are: ethnicity, lack of resources (specifically funds), and young children/pregnancy.[92] There is also a strong correlation between homeless families and households run and financed by a single female, especially one from a minority group and with at least two children.[92] Single-income families, especially those below the federal poverty line, have a harder time finding housing than other families, especially given the limited affordable housing options. Homeless families do not always take refuge in shelters, but being homeless also does not necessarily mean living on the streets. Homeless women with children are more likely to live with family or friends than those without children, and this group is treated with higher priority by both the government and society.[93] This preference can be seen in the existence of shelters exclusively serving women with children.
Juxtaposition of homeless and well off is common on
Broadway, New York City
Chronic Homeless [ edit ] As recently as 2017 across the United States, on any given night, there are approximately 85,000 chronically homeless people can be found sleeping on the streets or in shelters[94]. A chronically homeless individual is defined as an unaccompanied person who has been homeless for a consecutive year (or four or more periods of homelessness within the last three years) with a disability preventing them from working[95]. This definition was expanded in 2009 due to the HEARTH act to include families who were experiencing prolonged or repeating homelessness due to a disabled parent. Leaving these individuals to remain on the streets can cost taxpayers up to $50,000 per year for a single chronically homeless individual by them cycling in and out of treatment facilities, jails, hospitals and other institutional care facilities[96]. There is, however, a proven solution to ending chronic homelessness in Supportive Housing or Housing First programs by giving these people homes and access to the help they need. Since 2007 the number of chronically homeless individuals has decreased by 33% with Utah even reporting to have achieved an end to chronic homelessness[97].
Efforts to assist homeless people [ edit ] The community of homeless people in the United States is aided by governmental and non-governmental organizations. According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, in 2017, the number of people experiencing homelessness in unsheltered locations increased for a second straight year by 9% between 2016 and 2017[98] This issue is partly caused by a lack of affordable housing and is exacerbated by the criminalization of behaviors associated with homelessness. This problem is also costly for the country in supporting these individuals. Multiple studies have demonstrated success in reducing the homeless population as well as its harmful financial and societal effects by providing these individuals with a combination of housing without preconditions and supportive care. These studies include the 2014 Housing first implementation of the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans[99] and a study performed through Brown University.[100] If these methods were adopted nationwide, there is a chance that the United States could be successful in reintegrating a greater percentage of the homeless into society than ever before.
Housing [ edit ] Homeless individuals report a lack of affordable housing as the number one reason for becoming homeless.[101] Many non-profit organizations are in operation to serve this need'--for example, the National Low Income Housing Coalition'--but most lack the funding necessary to create enough housing. Several proposed policy measures are designed to secure such funding, such as the National Housing Trust Fund, but these have not been signed into law.
The two main types of housing programs provided for homeless people are transitional and permanent housing. Transitional housing programs are operated with one goal in mind '' to help individuals and families obtain permanent housing as quickly as possible. Transitional housing programs assist homeless for a fixed amount of time or until they are able to obtain housing on their own and function successfully in the community, or whichever comes first.[102][103][104]
Some shelters and associated charitable foundations have bought buildings and real estate to develop into permanent housing for the homeless in lieu of transitional Housing.[105]
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Administration have a special Section 8 housing voucher program called VASH (Veterans Administration Supported Housing), or HUD-VASH, which gives out a certain number of Section 8 subsidized housing vouchers to eligible homeless and otherwise vulnerable US armed forces veterans.[106] The HUD-VASH program has been successful in housing many homeless veterans.[107]
Housing First has met with success since its initial implementations in 2009 by providing relatively no strings-attached housing to homeless people with substance abuse problems or mental health issues. Housing First allows homeless men and women to be taken directly off the street into private community-based apartments, without requiring treatment first. This allows the homeless to return to some sense of normalcy, from which it is believed that they are better-poised to tackle their addictions or sicknesses. The relapse rate through these types of programs is lower than that of conventional homeless programs.[108][109]
Housing First was initiated by the federal government's Interagency Council on Homelessness. It asks cities to come up with a plan to end chronic homelessness under the assumption that if homeless people are given independent housing immediately with some social and financial support, then there will be reduced needs for emergency homeless shelters.[110][111]
As of 2018, the number of U.S. citizens residing in their vehicles because they can't find affordable housing has "exploded", particularly in cities with steep increases in the cost of living such as Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, and San Francisco.[112][113] Bloomberg reported in November 2018 that the wealthiest cities in the U.S., in particular those in the Western states, are experiencing a homelessness crisis driven largely by stagnant wages and "skyrocketing rents".[114]
In 2019, Google had pledged one billion USD into funding 20,000 homes over the next decade throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. [115] The metropolitan area of San Francisco has some of the most expensive real estate in the United States, [116] and affordable housing is scarce.
Comprehensive health care [ edit ] Homeless individuals report mental illness as being the number three reason for becoming or staying homeless.[101] Such illnesses are often closely linked with the fourth reason'--substance abuse'--and therefore it is generally accepted that both of these issues should be treated simultaneously. Although many medical, psychiatric, and counseling services exist to address these needs, it is commonly believed that without the support of reliable and stable housing such treatments remain ineffective. Furthermore, in the absence of a universal healthcare plan, many of those in need cannot afford such services. Proposed legislation such as the Bringing America Home Act are intended to provide comprehensive treatment for many homeless mental and substance abuse patients.
Policies [ edit ] There are several policies dealing with homelessness. In 1980 the government decided to start sending funding to people that are homeless, but it was not until 1984 that shelters were built to accommodate and feed them. As it was shown though seventy percent required homeless people to attend a religious ceremony and spend only a couple of nights there. In the 1987 McKinney Act the problem with homelessness became known as a huge social problem. Later on, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110) amended the program explicitly to prohibit states that receive McKinney-Vento funds from segregating homeless students from non-homeless students, except for short periods of time for health and safety emergencies or to provide temporary, special, supplementary services. The Chronic Homelessness Initiative. The George W. Bush Administration established a national goal of ending chronic homelessness in ten years, by 2012. The idea of a 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness began as a part of a 10-year plan to end homelessness in general adopted by the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) in 2000. The following year, then-Secretary Martinez announced HUD's commitment to ending chronic homelessness at the NAEH annual conference. In 2002, as a part of his FY2003 budget, President Bush made "ending chronic homelessness in the next decade a top objective." The bi-partisan, congressionally mandated, Millennial Housing Commission, in its Report to Congress in 2002, included ending chronic homelessness in 10 years among its principal recommendations. By 2003, the Interagency Council on Homelessness had been re-engaged and charged with pursuing the President's 10-year plan. The Administration has recently undertaken some collaborative efforts to reach its goal of ending chronic homelessness in 10 years. On October 1, 2003, the Administration announced the award of over $48 million in grants aimed at serving the needs of the chronically homeless through two initiatives. The "Ending Chronic Homelessness through Employment and Housing"[117] initiative was a collaborative grant offered jointly by HUD[118] and the Department of Labor (DOL).[119] The initiative offered $10 million from HUD and $3.5 million from DOL to help the chronically homeless in five communities gain access to employment and permanent housing. Section 8 is the core housing program that helps extremely low-income families accommodate the gap between their incomes below 30 percent of the median income for each community. The government assists homeless families by awarding grants and vouchers. Vouchers are available to the families who are most needy and they are used to pay for housing found in the private market. Currently there are policy changes in who receives vouchers and there will be a reduction in the number of vouchers granted to the population of people that are homeless .
Public libraries [ edit ] Public libraries can and often do significantly assist with the issues presented by homelessness. In many communities, the library is the only facility that offers free computer and internet access, so this is where many people experiencing homelessness go to locate services for basic needs such as healthcare, education, and housing. Libraries computers are also necessary for building a resume, searching for open jobs in the area, and completing job applications.[120]
The news article and video entitled, "SF library offers Social Services to Homeless,"[121] speaks about the San Francisco library having a full-time social worker at the library to reduce and help homeless patrons. It mentions that Leah Esguerra, who is a psychiatric social worker, has a usual routine which is done by making her rounds to different homeless patrons and greeting them to see if she could help them. She offers help in different forms that could range from linking patrons with services or providing them with mental health counseling. She also supervises a 12-week vocational program that culminates in gainful employment in the library for the formerly homeless (Knight, 2010).[122] The changes have garnered positive results from all patrons. Since this service started, staff at the library stated that they have noticed a drop in inappropriate behavior. The addition of Social Workers in the library has multiple benefits as they can assist with issues such as education; emergency services (food, clothing, housing, and crisis support); employment; family matters; health improvement (including health insurance); immigration; and support groups for men, women, and teens.[123]
The San Jose University Library became one of the first academic libraries to pay attention to the needs of homeless people and implement changes to better serve this population. In 2007, the merged University Library and Public Library made the choice to be proactive in reaching out. Collaborations with nonprofit organizations in the area culminated in computer classes being taught, as well as nutrition classes, family literacy programs, and book discussion groups.[124] After eighteen months, the library staff felt they still were not doing enough and "analyzed program participation trends supplemented by observation and anecdotes" in order to better understand the information needs of homeless people. When it was understood that these needs are complex, additional customer service training was provided to all staff who were interested.[124] Once the staff more fully understood the needs of homeless people, it was determined that many programs in place already, with a few minor adjustments, would be helpful to homeless people. For example, the providing book clubs have proven to be very effective bridges between librarians and the homeless.[125] Programs were tailored to meet these needs. Additional changes implemented included temporary computer passes and generous in-house reading space to counteract the policies in place that may prevent a homeless person from obtaining a library card.[124] New York Public Library offers services to homeless people that are residing in shelters.
The Dallas Public Library started "Coffee and Conversation" which is part of their Homeless Engagement Initiative. The staff hopes these bimonthly events between staff and homeless patrons will help them better serve the homeless people population in Dallas.[126] They also sponsor Street View podcast, a library produced podcast featuring the stories and experiences of the city's homeless population. Guests often include social service providers.[127]
In May 1991, Richard Kreimer, a homeless man in Morristown, N.J. sued the local public library and the Town of Morristown for expelling him from the library after other patrons complained about his disruptive behavior and pungent body odor. He later won the case and settled for $250,000.[128][129]
Effects of homelessness [ edit ] Effects [ edit ] The downtown partnership in Nashville, Tennessee conducted a census on businesses. 60% of responded identified public inebriates, transients and vagrants affect their employees, clients and customers. Businesses were solicited to identify issues that need to be addressed. Transients and panhandlers ranked were in the top five issues.[130] Two 7-Eleven locations in Sacramento, California and Portland, Oregon that have been so troubled by panhandler and vagrants briefly employed high pitched noise maker to repel them. Shoppers' opinions were divided on the use panhandler and vagrant repelling device as the noise itself, as well as what the noise was intended to repel were both nuisance.[131] A local news source 750 KXL in Portland described the sidewalk in front of a Downtown Portland, Oregon 7-Eleven was "barely walkable" for years transform to clean and orderly for the first time in years after the repelling device was installed by the building's owner, Standard Insurance Company. The manager of the 7-Eleven told reporters he'd see as many as a dozen transients loitering in front of his store all at once.[132] The building's owner issued a statement that the goal was to protect the "safety of their employees, tenants, and guests in a location that's been consistently plagued by public drug use and menacing behavior." [133] The 7-Eleven told reporters transients loitering in front of his store adversely affects his business. After several complaints were made to the city, the city announced the deterrent device as used in this situation did not comply with the city noise code. The device was shut off when reporters made a follow up visit. The manager commented it was effective for the duration they were used. A manager for a Modesto, California 7-Eleven also attested to the effectiveness of sound for deterring undesirable activity commenting that "Once the music started, the riffraff left"[134]
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act [ edit ] Homelessness has a tremendous effect on a child's education. Education of homeless youth is thought to be essential in breaking the cycle of poverty. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act mandates equal opportunity to a free public education to homeless students. This act is supposed to break down the barriers homeless students have to receiving an education. These barriers include residency restriction, medical record verification, and transportation issues. Once a student surpasses these barriers, they are still subject to the stigma of being homeless, and the humiliation they feel because of their situation. Some families do not report their homelessness, while others are unaware of the opportunities available to them. Many report that maintaining a stable school environment helps the students because it's the only thing that remains normal.[135] Many homeless students fall behind their peers in school due to behavioral disorders, and lack of attendance in school.[136]
Since the United States housing bubble collapse, there has been a rise in the number of homeless students. NAEHCY or the National Association for the Education of Homeless for Children and Youth, has reported a 99% increase in homeless students within a three-month period (San Diego).[137]
Of 1,636 schools, 330 reported no increase, 847 reported an increase of half, and 459 reported an increase of 25 percent or more. Due to underfunding many school districts are struggling to provide the necessary services to support homeless students, as mandated in the provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act, such as rising transportation needs and the greater range and usefulness of services. Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools Homeless Liaison Heather Lisitza says:
One of the biggest challenges our district faces is providing transportation to students who are experiencing homelessness. There are few approaches that our district can utilize to provide transportation for these students. Our city has only one taxi cab service and no public bus system. Our cab company is small and simply cannot fulfill all of our transportation requests. When it's possible, we add students to existing bus routes or set up a contractual agreement with the student's parent/guardian. However, there have been many situations where none of these options have worked. Another challenge our district faces is providing proper outer-wear for students who are homeless. Being that we live in central Wisconsin and have long, cold winters, all students need proper outerwear to go outside. Proper outerwear includes snow boots, hat, mittens, snow pants, and a winter jacket that has a working zipper or buttons on it. This expense adds up quickly and is hard to provide to the increasing number of homeless students.[137]
This is especially worrisome since homeless students are 1) 1.5 times more likely to perform below grade level in reading; 2) 1.5 times more likely to perform below grade level in spelling; and 3) 2.5 times more likely to perform below grade level in math.[137]There are a few worries that there will be false reports of homeless students, but mostly it's not an issue.[135]
Criminalization [ edit ] Various laws have both directly and indirectly criminalized people that are homeless[138] and people attempting to feed homeless people outdoors.[139] At least 31 cities have criminalized feeding people that are homeless.[140][141]
In 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Committee criticized the United States for the criminalization of homelessness, noting that such "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" is in violation of international human rights treaty obligations.[142][143][144][145]
Vagrancy [ edit ] Measures passed "prohibit activities such as sleeping/camping, eating, sitting, and begging in public spaces, usually including criminal penalties for violation of these laws."[146] Violators of such laws typically incur criminal penalties, which result in fines and/or incarceration.[147]
In April 2006 the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that "making it a crime to be homeless by charging them with a crime is in violation of the 8th and 14th Amendments."[148][149] However, on October 15, 2007, the Court vacated its Opinion when, on appeal the parties settled the case out of court.[150]
The City could not expressly criminalize the status of homelessness by making it a crime to be homeless without violating the Eighth Amendment, nor can it criminalize acts that are an integral aspect of that status. Because there is substantial and undisputed evidence that the number of homeless persons in Los Angeles far exceeds the number of available shelter beds at all times, including on the nights of their arrest or citation, Los Angeles has encroached upon Appellants' Eighth Amendment protections by criminalizing the unavoidable act of sitting, lying or sleeping at night while being involuntarily homeless.
... the Eighth Amendment prohibits the City from punishing involuntary sitting, lying, or sleeping on public sidewalks that is an unavoidable consequence of being human and homeless without shelter in the City of Los Angeles.
... By our decision, we in no way dictate to the City that it must provide sufficient shelter for the homeless, or allow anyone who wishes to sit, lie, or sleep on the streets of Los Angeles at any time and at any place within the City. All we hold is that, so long as there is a greater number of homeless individuals in Los Angeles than the number of available beds, the City may not enforce section 41.18(d) at all times and places throughout the City against homeless individuals for involuntarily sitting, lying, and sleeping in public.
In August 2012, a federal district judge in Philadelphia ruled that laws prohibiting serving food to homeless people outdoors were unconstitutional.[151]
On June 19, 2014 the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down a 1983 ordinance in the city of Los Angeles which "bans people from living in cars or recreational vehicles on city streets or in parking lots" as being "unconstitutionally vague ... Unlike other cities, which ban overnight parking or sleeping in vehicles, Los Angeles' law prohibits using cars as 'living quarters; both overnight and 'day-by-day, or otherwise.'"[152]
Homeless rights advocates are pushing for "Right to Rest" bills in several states in 2015, which would overturn laws that target homeless people for sitting, eating, and sleeping in public places.[153]
Crimes against homeless people [ edit ] Since the 1990s, there has been a growing number of violent acts committed upon people experiencing homelessness. The rate of such documented crimes in 2005 was 30% higher than of those in 1999.[146] 75 percent of all perpetrators are under the age of 25.
In recent years, largely due to the efforts of the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) and academic researchers, the problem of violence against homeless people has gained national attention. In their report: Hate, Violence, and Death on Mainstreet USA, the NCH reported 386 violent acts committed against homeless persons over the period, among which 155 were lethal. The NCH called those acts hate crimes (they retain the definition of the American Congress). They insist that so called bumfight videos disseminate hate against homeless people and dehumanize them.
The Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism (CSHE) at California State University, San Bernardino in conjunction with the NCH found that 155 homeless people were killed by non-homeless people in "hate killings", while 76 people were killed in all the other traditional hate crime homicide categories such as race and religion, combined.[154] The CSHE contends that negative and degrading portrayals of people that are homeless contribute to a climate where violence takes place.
Various studies and surveys indicate that homeless people have a much higher criminal victimization rate than the non-homeless, but that most incidents never get reported to authorities. A 2007 study found that the number of violent crimes against homeless people is increasing.[154][155] In 2013, there were 109 attacks on homeless people, a 24 percent increase on the previous year, according to the NCH. Eighteen people died as a result of the attacks. In July 2014, three boys 15, 16 and 18, were arrested and charged with beating to death two homeless men with bricks and a metal pole in Albuquerque.[156]
As in other countries, criminals '' both individuals and organized groups '' sometimes exploit homeless people, ranging from identity theft to tax and welfare scams.[157][158][159] Homeless people, and homeless organizations, are also known to be accused or convicted of frauds and scams. These incidents often lead to negative impressions of the homeless by the general public.[160]
Health [ edit ] Homelessness is a public welfare and health epidemic within the United States. Any period of homelessness is associated with adverse health consequences. [161] These adverse health consequences are associated with poor living conditions and a lack of access to treatment facilities. Due to living in extreme poverty it is unlikely for an individual or a family to have a healthcare plan. These healthcare plans are important in obtaining treatment for illnesses or injury from treatment facilities. Without it, individuals and families are left to deal with their ailments themselves or endure further financial burden by receiving treatments without a health insurance plan. Respiratory infections and outbreaks of tuberculosis and other aerosol transmitted infections have been reported. Homeless intravenous drug users are at an increased risk of contracting HIV, and hepatitis B and C infections. [162] The close living spaces of areas such as Skid Row in California provide an environment in which infectious diseases can spread easily. These areas with a high concentration of homeless individuals are dirty environments with little resources for personal hygiene. It was estimated in a report to congress that 35% of homeless were in unsheltered locations not suitable for human habitation. [163]There is a bidirectional relationship between homelessness and poor health.[164] Homelessness exacts a heavy toll on individuals and the longer individuals experience homelessness, the more likely they are to experience poor health and be at higher risk for premature death.[165] Health conditions, such as substance abuse and mental illness, can increase people's susceptibility to homelessness. Conversely, homelessness can further cause health issues as they come with constant exposure to environmental threat such as hazards of violence and communicable diseases. Homeless people suffer from disproportionately high rates of poly substance abuse, mental illness, physical health problems and legal issues/barriers in attaining employment.[166] Lack of health insurance and the multiple exigencies of the homeless condition inhibit many homeless persons from receiving care.
Large number of homeless people work but few homeless people are able to generate significant earnings from employment alone.[167] Physical health problems also limit work or daily activities which are barriers to employment. Drug and alcohol abuse and dependence are positively associated with lower work level but are negatively related to higher work level.[168] Those with physical health problems are substantially more likely than those with mental health problems to be in the more generous disability programs. Substance use disorders are also a barrier to participation in disability programs. Rates of participation in government programs are low, and people with major mental disorders have low participation rate in disability programs.[169]
Children's health [ edit ] There are risks to seeking refuge in shelters, which are heightened and more noticeable for children. Such risks include health problems such as malnutrition from lack of access to food with nutritional content, behavioral problems associated with coping, social insecurity from growing up in an unstable environment, and mental illnesses such as PTSD and trauma.[170] These problems exacerbate the child's risk of under-performing in both academic and personal settings.
Mother's health [ edit ] Just as children who come from homeless families are at a higher risk of developing behavioral, mental, and physical health problems than their peers, their mothers are also at a higher risk especially in developing mental illnesses.[171] There are many things that contribute to why homeless women are at a higher rate of developing a mental illness compared to the general population, but there has been a reoccurring three among studies focused on this issue.[172] First, there is constant violence in the home that the woman and her children which feeds into the bigger issue of single female lead households being prone to homelessness. The second reason of leaving a violent home is the experience of sexual abuse, neglection, and/or death of main household provider. And thirdly, the reoccurring issue of mental illness or substance abuse. All these factors not only make women and their children more likely to become homeless, but also place homeless women at a higher risk of developing mental illnesses compared to women in the general population.
Situations in specific U.S. cities and states [ edit ] Public attitudes [ edit ] Many advocates for homeless people contend that a key difficulty is the social stigma surrounding homelessness. Many associate a lack of a permanent home with a lack of a proper bathroom and limited access to regular grooming. Thus, people that are homeless become "aesthetically unappealing" to the general public. Research shows that "physically attractive persons are judged more positively than physically unattractive individuals on various traits... reflecting social competence."[173]
In addition to the physical component of stigmatization exists an association of homeless people with mental illness. Many people consider the mentally ill to be irresponsible and childlike and treat them with fear and exclusion, using their mental incapacitation as justification for why they should be left out of communities.[174]
There is anecdotal evidence that many Americans complain about the presence of homeless people, blame them for their situation, and feel that their requests for money or support (usually via begging) are unjustified. In the 1990s, particularly, many observers and media articles spoke of "compassion fatigue" a belief that the public had grown weary of this seemingly intractable problem.
A common misconception persists that many individuals who panhandle are not actually homeless, but actually use pity and compassion to fund their lifestyles, making up to $20 an hour and living luxurious lives.[175] This exception to the rule seems more prevalent due to media attention, but in reality, only a few cases exist.[176]
Public opinion surveys show relatively little support for this view, however. A 1995 paper in the American Journal of Community Psychology concluded that "although the homeless are clearly stigmatized, there is little evidence to suggest that the public has lost compassion and is unwilling to support policies to help homeless people."[177] A Penn State study in 2004 concluded that "familiarity breeds sympathy" and greater support for addressing the problem.[178]
A 2007 survey conducted by Public Agenda, a nonprofit organization that helps leaders and their citizens navigate through complex social issues, found that 67 percent of New Yorkers agreed that most homeless people were without shelter because of "circumstances beyond their control," including high housing costs and lack of good and steady employment. More than one-third (36 percent) said they worried about becoming homeless themselves, with 15 percent saying they were "very worried." 90 percent of New Yorkers believed that everyone has a right to shelter, and 68 percent believed that the government is responsible for guaranteeing that right to its citizens. The survey found support for investments in prevention, rental assistance and permanent housing for homeless people.[179]
Public Agenda has also concluded, however, that the public's sympathy has limits. In a 2002 national survey, the organization found 74 percent say the police should leave a homeless person alone if they are not bothering anyone. In contrast, 71 percent say the police should move homeless people if they are keeping customers away from a shopping area and 51 percent say homeless people should be moved if they are driving other people away from a public park.[180]
Statistics and demographics [ edit ] Completely accurate and comprehensive statistics are difficult to acquire for any social study, but especially so when measuring the ambiguous hidden, and erratic reality of homelessness. All figures given are estimates. In addition, these estimates represent overall national averages; the proportions of specific homeless communities can vary substantially depending on local geography.[181]
Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress [ edit ] US yearly timeline of people experiencing homelessness in January.
[1]Perhaps the most accurate, comprehensive, and current data on homelessness in the United States is reported annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR), released every year since 2007. The AHAR report relies on data from two sources: single-night, point-in-time counts of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations reported on the Continuum of Care applications to HUD; and counts of the sheltered homeless population over a full year provided by a sample of communities based on data in their Management Information Systems (HMIS).[33][1]
Other statistics [ edit ] Homeless children in the United States.
[73] The number of homeless children reached record highs in 2011,
[182] 2012,
[71] and 2013
[183] at about three times their number in 1983.
[71]Total number [ edit ] Over the course of the year (October 2009 '' September 2010), the 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report found that 1,593,150 individuals experienced homelessness[184][185] Most were homeless temporarily. The chronically homeless population (those with repeated episodes or who have been homeless for long periods) decreased from 175,914 in 2005 to 123,833 in 2007.[186] According to the 2017 AHAR (Annual Homeless Assessment Report) about 553,742 people experienced homelessness, which is a 1% increase from 2016.[187]
Familial composition [ edit ] According to the NCHWIH report:[188]
51.3% are single males.24.7% are single females.23% are families with children'--the fastest growing segment.5% are minors unaccompanied by adults.39% of the total homeless population are children under the age of 18.Marital status [ edit ] According to the 2014 NCHWIH report:[188]
24% are married.76% are single.67.5% are single males within the single percentage.32.5% are single females within the single percentage.Race and ethnicity [ edit ] According to the 2010 SAMHSA report, Among all sheltered individuals over the course of a year (October 2009-September 2010):[184]Gender, Age, Race/Ethnicity
41.6% are White, Non-Hispanic9.7% are White, Hispanic37% are Black/African-American4.5% are other single races;7.2% are multiple racesAccording to the 2014 NCHWIH report:[188]
42% are African American (over-represented 3.23x compared to 13% of general population).38% are Caucasian (under-represented 0.53x compared to 72% of general population).20% are Hispanic (over-represented 1.25x compared to 16% of general population).4% are Native American (over-represented 4x compared to 1% of general population).2% are Asian-American (under-represented 0.4x compared to 5% of general population).Mental health [ edit ] According to the 2010 SAMHSA report:[184]
26.2% of all sheltered persons who were homeless had a severe mental illnessAbout 30% of people who are chronically homeless have mental health conditions.According to analyses of data from the 1996 NSHAPCxiv:[190]
Over 60% of people who are chronically homeless have experienced lifetime mental health problemsSubstance abuse [ edit ] According to the 2010 SAMHSA report:[184]
34.7% of all sheltered adults who were homeless had chronic substance abuse issuesAbout 50% of people who are chronically homeless had co-occurring substance abuse problems.According to analyses of data from the 1996 NSHAPCxiv:[190]
Over 80% have experienced lifetime alcohol and/or drug problemsEducation [ edit ] According to the 1996 Urban Institute findings of the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients (UIHAC) report[191]
53% have less than a high school education21% have completed high school27% have some education beyond high school.Employment [ edit ] According to the 1996 UIHAC report:[191]
44 percent did paid work during the past month. Of these:20 percent worked in a job lasting or expected to last at least three months.25 percent worked at a temporary or day labor job.2 percent earned money by peddling or selling personal belongings.A 2010 longitudinal study of homeless men conducted in Birmingham, Alabama, found that most earned an average of ninety dollars per week while working an average of thirty hours per week[192]
Location [ edit ] According to the 2010 SAMHSA report:[184]
71% reside in central cities.21% are in suburbs.9% are in rural areas.Duration [ edit ] According to the 2010 SAMHSA report:[184]Research on shelter use in New York City and Philadelphia concluded that
People experiencing transitional homelessness constitute 80% of shelter usersPeople experiencing episodic homelessness comprise 10% of shelter users.In New York City
Transitionally homeless individuals experience an average of 1.4 stays over a 3-year period, for a total of 58 days on average over the 3 years.Episodically homeless individuals, on average, experience 4.9 shelter episodes over a 3-year period totaling 264 days with an average length of stay of 54.4 days.Data from the 1996 NSHAPC show that about 50% of people who were homeless were experiencing their first or second episode of homelessness, which typically lasted a few weeks or months to one year.
Gender [ edit ] According to the 2017 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report:[193]
60.5% are male.39% are female.0.4% are transgender0.2% do not identify as male, female, or transgender.Age [ edit ] According to the 2017 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report:[193]
20.7% are under 18.9.7% are 18''24.69.6% are over 24.See also [ edit ] Back on My Feet (non-profit organization)Frontline FoundationHomeless ministryHomeless women in the United StatesHomelessness and mental health#United StatesList of tent cities in the United StatesMole peopleInvisiblePeople.tvHousing:
Dignity VillageEviction in the United StatesHousing insecurity in the United StatesTent cityGeneral:
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Retrieved from http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174799/ward_how_the_public_library_became_heartbreak_hotelWoolhouse, Megan, "Homes for the holiday: Housing agency, nonprofit team up to help the homeless", Boston Globe, December 25, 2007.Wortham, Jenna, "Use of Homeless as Internet Hot Spots Backfires on Marketer", The New York Times, March 12, 2012Wright, James D., "Address Unknown: the homeless in America", New York : A. de Gruyter, Edition: 3, 1989Kadi, J., & Ronald, R. (2016). Undermining housing affordability for New York's low-income households: The role of policy reform and rental sector restructuring. Critical Social Policy, 36(2): 265''266. doi:10.1177/0261018315624172External links [ edit ] National Coalition for the HomelessNational Alliance to End HomelessnessCorporation for Supportive HousingNational Coalition for Homeless VeteransNational Low Income Housing CoalitionU.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness '' US GovernmentUnited States Department of Housing and Urban Development site on HomelessnessUnited States Department of Health and Human Services site on HomelessnessNational Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness (USA)Housing and Homelessness research on IssueLabHomeless in US: A deepening crisis on the streets of America. BBC. October 8, 2018
Homelessness in Germany on the rise | News | DW | 11.11.2019
Sun, 10 Nov 2019 22:52
Homelessness levels rose in Germany by almost 30,000 people between 2017 and 2018, according to new government figures. The situation is even worse for those from migrant backgrounds.
The number of homeless people in Germany rose by over 4% between 2017 and 2018, according to new government figures.
Some 678,000 people in 2018 did not have permanent accommodation, up from 650,000 in 2018, according to Germany's federal group for aiding homelessness, the BAG. Of that number, 41,000 are out on the streets.
"Compared to the previous year 2017 this means an increase in the total annual figure of 4.2%," Werena Rosenke, head of the BAG, told German media group Funke on Monday.
Read more: Opinion: Berlin Wall's fall did little to help Germany's guest workers
Additionally, the increase in homelessness for Germans with a migrant background was much more dramatic than in Germans who are not migrants.
Among those with without a migrant background, homelessness levels went up by 1.2%, compared to 5.9% among those with a migrant background.
According to Rosenke, factors that may have led to this state of affairs include the decrease in affordable housing, cuts in social housing and rises in poverty levels.
ed/dr (Reuters, KNA)
Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.
The End of NATO? Macron Laments 'Brain Death' and Pushes for a European Military '-- Strategic Culture
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 05:55
With less than a month until the next big NATO meeting, scheduled for the first week of December, France's Macron has jumped into public relations mode to prepare the public for some big changes on the horizon. Indeed, Macron's major interview with the Economist on November 7th on the question of the US's alleged wavering commitment to NATO is a stunning sign of the times.
Europe wants its own Army
Cutting through a lot of intentionally confusing messaging, is that France and Germany are just fine with any end to NATO because it helps justify the coming European Army '' one that they want, and believe they need anyhow. It only happens to be part of the same reality that US hegemony, and its ability to finance NATO in turn, are coming to an end. In sounding more like a radical post-structuralist international relations theorist than a fiscally conservative leader of a capitalist democracy, Macron shocked the world when he stated in no uncertain terms that this period we are in marks the end of 'Western Hegemony'.
The real facts of motives behind big changes have an odd way of ultimately making themselves known for what they are at the end of the day. Often these are cloaked in the underlying framework of the politics of the time. Revealing these in the case of France and NATO can show some top-level word salad at play: justify independence not on the basis that being controlled isn't fair, but rather that those doing the controlling aren't doing it well enough and don't seem committed to it as much as they ought to be. Macron is doing this very well, and mirrors Trump's own discursive games.
Occupiers aren't doing their job '' the End of Trilateralism
Imagine if you will a French argument against the Nazi occupation not because it placed Germany in control of France's fate, but rather on the basis that the Wehrmacht was decreasing its troop presence in France, or conversely appeared to be wavering on the Eastern Front, and as a consequence France was worried about Germany's commitment to the Reich. This is, in short, what Macron is arguing today regarding the US and NATO.
Imagine likewise, that the Wehrmacht said it was considering abandoning its occupation of France not because it had to move resources to the Eastern Front, but because France wasn't giving enough to the war effort. This is the crux of Trump's argument for public consumption.
Under any other prior historical iterations, the US's moves to reduce its NATO commitments to Western Europe would be hailed by progressives in the Democratic Party in the US as a step in the right direction. Yet now in this exciting time, one in which the US Empire is down-sizing and adjusting itself to its real force potential, progressives in the US are making geopolitical realism into a partisan issue: since the most obvious or observable stage is happening under a nominally conservative, Republican administration, it must therefore be a Democratic Party talking point to oppose this in principle.
The matter is of course deeper than this, and the Democratic Party's investment in the trilateralism (US + EU + Japan) of Rockefeller and Brzezinski has been at odds with the unilateralism of the neoconservatives. We will recall when President George W Bush attacked Iraq, it came not long after moves by the Iraqi government to do their oil dealings in Euros. The Europe-wide hatred for Bush's war on Iraq seemed to the politically na¯ve as an expression of social-democratic pacifism, but in reality was an expression of Europe's sovereign financial interests versus dollar hegemony. These questions really have not gone away.
When NATO came onto the stage, it was couched in terms of protecting Western Europe from the growth of the Soviet sphere of influence which the latter had won from its victory over Germany in WWII.
The idea that NATO was not a collaborative and mutual effort of freely-acting European states in defense of market freedoms and Western values, but instead more like a US led and sustained military occupation in Western Europe, in the past could be criticized as either Communist or even neo-Nazi propaganda. Against this view the entire media-academic industry was mobilized, assuring the public that all the European countries of NATO were members of their own accord and will: an outgrowth of the democratic mandate from the peoples of the member states, arrived at through fair parliamentary processes.
Macron still needs to make everyone look good
All this places Macron in an odd position. NATO is the military component of economic Atlanticism, but this transatlantic relationship experienced a major breach of trust in the years following the US market crash in 2007. This was because US based banks and government colluded to deceitfully push a significant portion of its liabilities onto the EU all the while claiming these were investments '' who in turn placed an undue burden in PIIGS countries, in particular Greece. This all in turn has fueled a marked increase in Eurosceptic and 'exit' movements across the beleaguered EU.
Then on top of that, the Trump administration makes the EU's commitment to NATO a cornerstone of his Europe policy, along with a brewing trade war. These two are intimately connected.
And so Macron's apparent lamentations over the 'brain death' of NATO is quite revealing. In this, he refers to truths that everyone knew, but couldn't say: ''NATO is essentially a military occupying force against European sovereignty '' for the EU to be a geostrategic entity, it must be in control of its own military forces''. This sounds like it could have been said by de Gaulle, even P(C)tain, and while the notion easily fits with Marine Le Pen's platform, the reality of France forces Macron to hold it.
Europe's not in love with Atlanticism
The problem is that even though transatlantic financial dealings have increasingly less to offer the EU, the US side of this equation needs to maintain the relationship and all the appearances and structures that go along with it, in order to leverage itself in any future potential dealings. In short, one way that the US believes it can hold onto things longer, or decrease the tempo at which they're losing them, is by keeping up appearances. And these appearances are more than just superficial '' they are real existing financial obligations which in all reality do not work well for European institutions.
Macron has iterated the call for an EU army a number of times. But his statements in the economist represent a skillful if distorted way to couch the EU's real situation within the accepted discourse of our time: Atlanticism is good. This mirrors Trump's method and reasoning '' and to be clear, it is not certain that Trump is very much committed to trans-Atlanticism, at least not in its present iteration.
Back in August, speaking on how isolating Russia is a mistake, Macron explained that ''Western hegemony'' is over. This leave us an interesting formula: Western hegemony is over, European regional hegemony must begin. This implies that Western hegemony had always meant Europe plus the US together. Without the US, there is no Western hegemony.
Trump's calls that EU countries increase its funding of NATO on the rationale that Europe isn't doing their share, could only have been to provoke a reaction from Europe to speak its own truth '' 'we don't like NATO either' '' and to justify the US's own eventual reorganization or dismantling of NATO. Like Imperial Japan told its puppet-state Manchukuo: it's only natural that you should pay for the cost of your own occupation.
If NATO member states no longer want to pay for their own occupation, then they will no longer get to enjoy it.
Macron masters Trump's Discursive Trap
Macron, likewise, plays a similar game '' and his discourse is aimed at being acceptable to multiple audiences, who themselves have greatly divergent interests and positions.
The realists in the US, of which Trump is the most evident representative, know that the US simply cannot afford to continue with its NATO obligations. Underneath this is the fact that the US cannot offer Europe better deals than it can get elsewhere. The days of forcing Europe to work through the US through various ways, wherein using the US dollar as the primary transaction currency and the global reserve currency in the past meant that the US was middle-in to every deal. Those days are just about over. Rather than disclose that all this is about decreasing US influence, power, and wealth on the global scene, it is more prudent to make this about fairness '' that the EU isn't doing its part.
And to wit, as we have said, for Macron's part of the dance '' he knows he needs to keep the trans-Atlanticists happy, they still exert tremendous political control in Brussels and are interwoven into Europe's financial sector '' the most important sector in capitalist Europe. There can be no doubt: Macron was the banking establishment's choice against Le Pen. The question as to whether he was some Manchurian candidate from beyond the financial sector's grasp, or whether there is some pro-European sovereigntist faction within the European side of this transatlantic financial sector, is a fascinating question for later investigation. But sufficed to say, those transatlantic deals aren't the best deals, but these institutions are using whatever influence and capital they still have to force a political position. Macron, nominally, wants to keep them happy.
Thus Macron's 'warnings' and 'lamentations' that the US under Trump has abandoned its NATO commitments in controlling Europe's military are anything but. These 'lamentations' will serve a perfect pretext for France and Germany to work together to organize a Europe-wide military force. In reality, this has been brewing for many years under the rubric of NATO command. In essence, all the structures are there, it is only necessary to remove US command from the structure and change some patches and flags.
In speaking to the Economist regarding NATO's Article V provision (in which NATO members must rally on the side of a NATO state if it is attacks and invokes the article), Macron seems to imply, in some twisted and round-about '' really convoluted way '' that he questions the US's commitment to NATO because of the way it abandoned its allies, the Kurds. This is doubly odd '' the adventure in Syria was not a NATO operation, and it is Turkey, the force attacking Kurdish separatists in Syria, that is the NATO ally. Turkey is NATO's second largest army after the US.
Macron isn't wrong then to imply '' what is NATO without the US and Turkey? It is the European Army. This is the view which both France and Germany enter into the December meeting with.
So while Trump hides that the US simply can't afford its empire anymore by blaming Europe for not doing its share, Macron hides that Europe's been pushing for its own army for years before Trump assumed office. Indeed, the EU's CSDP, known also as the European Defense Union, has been around in in developing form since 1999, the same year the currency was launched. This has been a part of the plan, it would seem, for quite some time.
Macron and Trump can't be faulted for the word salad they are serving: it's only a reflection of what's acceptable in our day. The US president and European leadership appear to agree that NATO's days are over. It seems the transatlantic financial institutions are the primary team expressing deep concern of this, and are looking to slow the process down by reversing the most overt policies of Trump by ousting him from the White House in 2020. Doing so could drag the process out for another decade, but doing so would be more painful and costly for everyone in avoiding the inevitable.
Sir Richard Branson apologises for diversity gaffe in South Africa launch photo | Business News | Sky News
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 06:40
Sir Richard Branson has apologised after posting a photograph from a launch event in South Africa that only included white people.
The tycoon acknowledged the image, used to accompany a tweet, "clearly lacked diversity".
The billionaire Virgin Group boss had faced criticism over the picture he used to mark the launch of the new Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship.
In the tweet, which has now been removed, Sir Richard said: "Wonderful to be in South Africa to help launch the new Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. We aim to become the heart of entrepreneurship for Southern Africa."
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship is for all South Africans, but yesterday's choice of a photo to go with my tweet clearly lacked diversity. Apologies. I hope you will take a look at my blog which does far better justice to the amazing work of the Centre and its team.
'-- Richard Branson (@richardbranson) 12 November 2019One of those to respond was the South African fashion designer Thula Sindi, who wrote on Twitter: "Where did you find so many white people in South Africa?
"That must have really taken an honest effort for exclude the majority of the population which is just as skilled and talented. Wow. Incredible."
Where did you find so many white people in South Africa??? That must have really taken an honest effort for exclude the majority of the population which is just as skilled and talented. Wow. Incredible ðŸðŸ¶ðŸ‘
'-- Thula Sindi (@thulasindi) 11 November 2019Latest official government figures show South Africa's black population make up around 81% of its 59 million citizens, while white people account for 7.9%.
Later images posted on Twitter by Sir Richard included a more diverse range of people.
Following the criticism, Mr Branson wrote: "The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship is for all South Africans, but yesterday's choice of a photo to go with my tweet clearly lacked diversity. Apologies."
Writing on his blog, Sir Richard said the centre aimed "to become the heart of entrepreneurship for Southern Africa".
He said: "We will play a more meaningful role in entrepreneurs' lives than your average accelerator, supporting companies to not just survive, but thrive, and make business a real force for good in society, for the environment and the economy.
"The South African economy is dependent on entrepreneurial activity for creating future economic growth and jobs. But the economic contribution to South Africa's entrepreneurial sector is below the developing country norm. I believe that increasing entrepreneurship in this country is the golden highway to economic democracy."
GitHub faces more resignations in light of ICE contract | TechCrunch
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 05:50
Microsoft-owned GitHub has been under intense scrutiny as of late for its $200,000 contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Now, another employee, engineer Alice Goldfuss, has resigned.
In a tweet, Goldfuss said GitHub has a number of problems to address and that ''ICE is only the latest.''
Meanwhile, Vice reports at least five staffers quit today. These resignations come the same day as GitHub Universe, the company's big product conference. Ahead of the conference, Tech Workers Coalition protested the event, setting up a cage to represent where ICE detains children.
Last month, GitHub staff engineer Sophie Haskins resigned, stating she was leaving because the company did not cancel its contract with ICE, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Last month, GitHub employees penned an open letter urging the company to stop working with ICE. That came following GitHub's announcement of a $500,000 donation to nonprofit organizations in support of ''immigrant communities targeted by the current administration.'' In that announcement, GitHub CEO Nat Friedman said ICE's purchase was made through one of GitHub's reseller partners and said the deal is not ''financially material'' for the company. Friedman also pointed out that ICE is responsible for more than immigration and detention facilities.
''['...] We recognize that ICE is responsible for both enforcing the US immigration policies with which we passionately disagree, as well as policies that are critical to our society, such as fighting human trafficking,'' Friedman wrote. ''We do not know the specific projects that the on-premises GitHub Enterprise Server license is being used with, but recognize it could be used in projects that support policies we both agree and disagree with.''
But some employees were not persuaded by Friedman's words.
''We are not satisfied with GitHub's now-public stance on this issue,'' GitHub employees wrote in an open letter. ''GitHub has held a 'seat at the table' for over 2 years, as these illegal and dehumanizing policies have escalated, with little to show for it. Continuing to hold this contract does not improve our bargaining power with ICE. All it does is make us complicit in their widespread human rights abuses.''
In response to that open letter, GitHub COO Erica Brescia said preventing ICE from using GitHub could ''hurt the very people we all want to help,'' The Los Angeles Times reported last month. Still, employees are not letting up, as illustrated by the action this morning.
When reached for comment about GitHub's stance on its contract with ICE, GitHub directed me to its blog post from last month. TechCrunch has sent a follow-up note to see if the company will comment on the resignation.
UK National Health Service to Deny Treatment to 'Racists' and 'Sexists' | Humans Are Free
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 17:44
A National Health Service (NHS) trust in the UK has announced that it will deny treatment to patients it deems are ‘racists’ or ‘sexists’.No, this is not the Onion.The North Bristol NHS Trust said that “threatening and offensive language,” as well as “racist or sexist language, gestures or behaviour” and “malicious allegations” would all be punishable offenses.Patients who commit such an infraction will be subject to a “sports-style disciplinary yellow card and then final red card in which treatment would be withdrawn as soon as is safe.”“We have staff from many different backgrounds, from all over the world, and we pride ourselves on our commitment to equality which is a fundamental value of the NHS,” said Andrea Young, Chief Executive for North Bristol NHS Trust.“We’re sending a strong signal that any racism or discrimination is completely unacceptable – we want staff to challenge and report it and we want everyone to know that it will have consequences,” she added.The problem here of course is that the definition of what constitutes ‘racism’ or ‘sexism’ gets broader with each passing day.As Jack Montgomery highlights, “In late 2017 an NHS patient who requested a female nurse to carry out a cervical smear complained when the hospital sent a person with “an obviously male appearance… close-cropped hair, a male facial appearance and voice, large number of tattoos and facial stubble” who insisted “My gender is not male. I’m a transsexual”.Foster parents have also had children removed from their care by the state because they were supporters of UKIP and not vehement supporters of “multiculturalism.”The University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust also ordered that the British flag be removed from security staff stab vests after one person complained that it was “offensive.”This is even worse than China’s social credit score, which to my knowledge doesn’t yet punish people by withdrawing medical treatment if they engage in wrongthink.First it was deplatforming people from social media websites, then it was deplatforming people from bank accounts and mortgages. Now it’s deplatforming people from hospital treatment.Literally eliminating people’s right to basic health care because of their political or social opinions.This is where we’re at, and this is why the UK is truly the capital of Clown World Order.Sources: Summit.news; YouTube.com
Human Sexuality and Responsibility | Austin ISD
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 08:10
Austin ISD believes that a valuable element of education is the development of respect for all individuals, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other personal attributes. The district is committed to providing all students with a positive learning environment that enhances personal safety and promotes respect, dignity and equality. High standards are expected for both academic achievement and for behavior (FN Local).
The district's Human Sexuality and Responsibility (HSR) education program has been established to provide information and skill development for students in kindergarten through grade 12 so that they may reach their highest potential for physical, emotional, mental and social health. The curriculum content shall be delivered in a developmentally and age-appropriate manner and shall include the most current and scientifically accurate information. Elementary and middle school students will receive HSR instruction annually in May, whereas high school students will receive HSR instruction in the final units of their Health Education course. The National Sexuality Education Standards were used to develop the Austin ISD scope and sequence, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in February of 2019. Content shall include information regarding healthy relationships, personal safety, identity, anatomy and physiology, puberty and adolescent development, pregnancy and reproduction, and sexually transmitted diseases and HIV (EHAA Local). To ensure that students receive quality HSR instruction, all teachers will receive comprehensive training on skills and best practices about navigating complex content and concepts.
Prior to HSR program implementation, the principal shall conduct at least one orientation session for parents and guardians. The orientation shall be scheduled at a convenient time. Parents shall be provided reasonable written notice of the time and location of the orientation session. The purpose of the session is to detail the process of implementation of the HSR program and the opt-out process. Parents shall have ample opportunity to preview all instructional materials online. Additionally, parents may contact individual schools to view teacher resources available in school libraries. For any other information or requests, please contact school principals.
ResourcesAISD Board Policy related to human sexuality and responsibility (EHAA)Human Sexuality & Responsibility Curriculum Revision Timeline for Grades 3-82018 Human Sexuality & Responsibility Survey ResultsBeginning of Year human sexuality and responsibility parent notification letter 2019-20 (English) Beginning of Year human sexuality and responsibility parent notification letter 2019-20 (Spanish)Human Sexuality & Responsibility scope and sequence/unit overviewsK-2 Overview3-5 Overview6-8 OverviewHigh School Overview2019-20 Family Opt-out LettersA student may be exempted (opted-out) from participation in specific or all lessons of the HSR program upon written request. Opt-out letters will be sent home three weeks before instruction. Students who opt-out will be provided with alternative instruction and shall not be punished or embarrassed in any manner for non-participation. Those interested in viewing the alternate lessons must contact individual schools for more information. Additionally, parent discussion questions are provided on the second page of the letter for those who wish to further support their students' learning.
Kindergarten (Spanish)1st Grade (Spanish)2nd Grade (Spanish)3rd Grade (Spanish)4th Grade (Spanish)5th Grade (Spanish)6th Grade (Spanish)7th Grade (Spanish)8th Grade (Spanish)Grades 9''12 (Spanish)Human Sexuality & Responsibility CurriculumK-2nd GradeThe kindergarten, first- and second-grade program delivers factually accurate, age-appropriate information on a range of topics pertaining to personal health and safety, building healthy friendships and standing up against bullying. Due to copyright laws, the kindergarten, first- and second-grade lessons are available only in school libraries. Please contact individual schools to view these materials in the school libraries.
3rd-5th GradeGuidelines for Discussion
6th-8th GradeGuidelines for Discussion
High SchoolThe high school Health Education course includes two units on Human Sexuality and Responsibility. In the first unit, students will identify both healthy relationships and unhealthy relationships. Unhealthy relationships include bullying, gangs, cyberbullying, sexting, sexual harassment and physical, verbal and emotional abuse. In the second unit, students will learn how both the female and male reproductive systems work as well as the changes that occur in the body during puberty. They will also learn how reproduction occurs and how heredity affects humans. Students will participate in activities designed to help them determine what abstinence means to them. They will understand the effectiveness of a variety of contraception methods and identify reasons for delaying the decision to have sexual intercourse based on their beliefs and goals. Students will participate in activities about single parenting and establishing paternity. Students will learn the effects of STDs and STIs on the body and its systems. To view any component of the high school curriculum, please contact individual schools.
Health Education | Austin ISD
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 08:09
Health Education at Austin ISDThe Austin ISD Health Education curriculum consists of high-quality instruction and activities that are aligned to state and national standards. The Health Education Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills are divided into four strands. The strands address knowledge and skills needed to understand health behaviors, health information, influencing factors and personal/interpersonal skills.
The human sexuality and responsibility unit will be taught to your child, however, families may opt out of specific or all lessons. This unit is taught during the month of May for kindergarten through eighth grade and during a specific unit in the high school health education course. All human sexuality and responsibility materials, including policy, grade level overviews, lessons, and opt out letters can be viewed on the Human Sexuality and Responsibility page. Families may also view these materials and the additional teacher resources by visiting your campus library.
Elementary Health RequirementsClassroom teachers and physical education teachers are responsible for teaching the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for health education. Classroom teachers are required to teach at least five health lessons per grading period and take at least three grades.Students will be given a health education grade per grading period on their report card. Health and sexuality curriculum lessons are taught through elementary science. Science teachers should send home a form allowing parents to opt-out of this curriculum in advance of the unit.Middle School Health RequirementsPhysical education teachers are responsible for teaching most of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for health education. Health and sexuality curriculum lessons are taught through middle school science. Science teachers should send home a form allowing parents to opt-out of this curriculum in advance of the unit. Students may earn the .5 high school graduation credit by taking the Health Education course (#6931) in eighth grade if it is offered at their campus.High School Health RequirementsHealth education teachers are responsible for teaching the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for health education.AISD requires that students earn .5 credit of Health Education course (#6931) for high school graduation. Health and sexuality curriculum lessons are taught through high school health education. Teachers should send home a form allowing parents to opt-out of this curriculum in advance of the unit.
'Epstein didn't kill himself' & 'Area 51': GOP congressman spells out messages in cryptic tweets '-- RT USA News
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 22:57
Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) took his Twitter game to the next level during the impeachment hearings, with a series of posts that spelled out a popular meme about the accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Though each made sense on its own, there was little to tie together 23 tweets he posted starting at 3:09 pm on Wednesday - except for the fact caught by some eagle-eyed twitterati that they spelled out ''E-P-S-T-E-I-N D-I-D-N-T K-I-L-L H-I-M-S-E-L-F'' with their starting letters.
The common cryptography trick is difficult to pull off in practice, and was even more impressive considering that the tweets had to be in reverse order to make it work.
Epstein's jail cell death in August was quickly declared a suicide, but recent expert testimony has challenged that narrative. Rumors that Epstein may have been killed to prevent him from incriminating famous political and media figures in his orbit were further fueled by the recent revelation that ABC spiked a story about him in 2016.
Also on rt.com 'We had Clinton, we had everything': ABC's 'Epstein coverup' exposed by 'p***ed' news anchor in Project Veritas leak Gosar first playfully retweeted a Daily Caller story about the acrostic on his private account, only to confirm it with a more obvious version, spelling out ''Area 51,'' a secret federal facility in Nevada and the nexus of many conspiracy theories.
ð'll of the tweets pertained to today's hearing.ð'‘est assured, they are substantive.ð'very one of them. ð'll of them.ð'Ÿ' were brilliant.
ð'Ÿ was okay.
'-- Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) November 13, 2019A dentist representing Arizona's 4th congressional district, Gosar is an outspoken Trump supporter and no stranger to controversy. Back in 2018, he called on Capitol Police to arrest any illegal immigrants that might be present at President Donald Trump's State of the Union address, after Democrats invited a number of them as guests.
Also on rt.com Pathologizing conspiracy theories is the lazy government's method of suppressing dissent Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Rep. Paul Gosar's Cryptic Tweets Spell Out 'Epstein Didn't Kill Himself' | The Daily Caller
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 17:27
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Deval Patrick - Wikipedia
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 10:00
Patrick was born on July 31, 1956 in the South Side of Chicago, where his family resided in a two-bedroom apartment in the Robert Taylor Homes' housing projects. Patrick is the son of Emily Mae (n(C)e Wintersmith) and Pat Patrick, a jazz musician in Sun Ra's band. In 1959, Patrick's father abandoned their family in order to play music in New York City[9] and because he had fathered a daughter, La'Shon Anthony, by another woman.[10] Deval reportedly had a strained relationship with his father, who opposed his choice of high school, but they eventually reconciled.[10] Patrick was raised by his mother, who traces her roots to American slaves in Kentucky.[11] The family spent many months living on welfare.[12]
While Patrick was in middle school, one of his teachers referred him to A Better Chance, a national non-profit organization for identifying, recruiting and developing leaders among academically gifted minority students, which enabled him to attend Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts.[9] Patrick graduated from Milton Academy in 1974 and went on to attend college, the first in his family.[13] He graduated from Harvard College, where he was a member of the Fly Club, with a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude,[13] in English and American literature, in 1978. He then spent a year working with the United Nations in Africa. In 1979, Patrick returned to the United States and enrolled at Harvard Law School. While in law school, Patrick was elected president of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, where he first worked defending poor families in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. At Harvard, Patrick won "Best Oralist" in the prestigious Ames Moot Court Competition, in 1981.[14]
Patrick graduated from Harvard Law School with a J.D., cum laude,[13] in 1982. He proceeded to fail the State Bar of California exam twice, before passing on his third try.[15] Patrick then served as a law clerk to Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for one year. In 1983, he joined the staff of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), where he worked on death penalty and voting rights cases.[9]
While at LDF, he met Bill Clinton, the then Governor of Arkansas, when he sued Clinton in a voting case.[16] In 1986, he joined the Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow and was named partner in 1990, at the age of 34.[9] While at Hill & Barlow, he managed high-profile engagements such as acting as Desiree Washington's attorney in her civil lawsuit against Mike Tyson.[17]
Clinton administration Edit In 1994, President Bill Clinton nominated Patrick as the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, and he was subsequently confirmed by the United States Senate. Federal affirmative action policy was under judicial and political review, and Patrick defended Clinton's policy. Patrick also worked on issues including racial profiling, police misconduct, and the treatment of incarcerated criminals."[18]
Between 1995 and 1997, Patrick coordinated an investigation into a series of arsons of predominantly black churches across the South. The investigation brought together a number of state and federal agencies, and was the largest federal investigation in history until the time of 9/11.[19] In the end, more than 100 arrests were made, but no evidence of national or regional conspiracy was found.[20]
Law career Edit In 1997, Patrick returned to Boston to join the firm of Day, Berry & Howard (later called Day Pitney LLP), and was appointed by the federal district court to serve as Chairman of Texaco's Equality and Fairness Task Force to oversee implementation of the terms of a race discrimination settlement. Working with employees at all levels, Patrick and his Task Force examined and reformed Texaco's complex corporate employment culture, and created a model for fostering an equitable workplace.[21]
Some gay rights activists criticized him for his tenure on the United Airlines (UAL) board. During this time, the company originally fought an ordinance requiring that it offer domestic partnership benefits, but Patrick successfully encouraged UAL to offer such benefits to all employees, making it the first airline to do so.[22]
Business career Edit In 1999, partly because of his work on the Equality and Fairness Task Force, Patrick was offered the job as General Counsel of Texaco, responsible for all of the company's legal affairs. While he continued his work transforming employment practices at the company, the majority of his time was devoted to exploring and working out a merger, ultimately announced in October 2000, with larger Chevron Corp.[23]
In 2001, Patrick left Texaco to become the Executive Vice-President, General Counsel and Secretary at The Coca-Cola Company. Patrick pushed for a thorough review of allegations that some workers at bottlers of Coke products in Colombia had been abused or even killed by paramilitary groups as a result of union organizing activity. Patrick concluded the allegations to be unsubstantiated and untrue, but counseled that the company allow an independent inquiry to lay all questions to rest. After initially supporting Patrick's view, then-CEO Douglas Daft changed his mind, precipitating Patrick's decision to leave Coke.[23]
From 2004 to 2006, he served on the board of directors of ACC Capital Holdings, the parent company of Ameriquest and Argent Mortgage. Ameriquest was the largest lender of so-called subprime mortgages and was under investigation by Attorneys General across the country. Patrick joined the board at the request of Ameriquest's founder, Roland Arnall, who asked for his help managing the investigations and changing the company's culture.[24] During his tenure on the board, Ameriquest and Argent originated over $80 billion in subprime mortgages,[25] but those conducting the investigation said that at the time Patrick left Ameriquest the company was on the road to change.[23]
Following his career as governor, Patrick joined the private, alternative asset management firm Bain Capital in 2015, where he is currently acting as a Managing Director.[26]
Before taking office, Patrick assembled a transition team headed by lawyer Michael Angelini, bank executive Ronald Homer, and Weld administration economic affairs secretary Gloria Cordes Larson.[35] In his first meetings with the legislative leadership, he proposed his first action would be to hire 1,000 new police officers and to expand full-day kindergarten statewide.[36]
Breaking with the tradition of being inaugurated in the House Chamber of the Massachusetts State House, Patrick and Murray took their oaths of office, and Patrick delivered his inaugural address,[37] outdoors on the West Portico of the State House facing Boston Common.
Doing this allowed a larger part of the public to witness the event, and was intended to signal a more open, transparent, and accessible government.[38] In honor of his heritage, he took his oath of office on the Mendi Bible, which was given to then-Congressman John Quincy Adams by the freed American slaves from the ship La Amistad.[39]
A series of regional inaugural balls, seven in total, were held to bring the inauguration to the citizens of the Commonwealth. The celebrations took place in Cape Cod, Worcester, Dartmouth, Pittsfield, Springfield, and Boston.[40]
Casino gaming Edit Patrick crafted and signed a bill that allows for the construction and operation of three resort-style casinos in the state. He argued that these casinos would generate over $2 billion for the state economy. He also touted that the casinos would create 30,000 construction jobs and 20,000 permanent jobs.[41][42]
Patrick proposed that the revenue generated would be spent to beef up local law enforcement, create a state gambling regulatory agency, repair roads and bridges, gambling addiction treatment and the remainder would go towards property tax relief.[43][44]
Patrick's casino plan had faced strong opposition from Salvatore DiMasi, the former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. DiMasi questioned Patrick's projections of new jobs, revenues to be generated and he was opposed to what he referred to as a casino culture, saying: "Do we want to usher in a casino culture'' with rampant bankruptcies, crime and social ills'' or do we want to create a better Massachusetts for all sectors of the society?"[45][46][47]
Casino gaming lobbying in Massachusetts has also received scrutiny for associations with the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal and efforts by the Mashpee Wampanoag people to secure rights to a casino outside of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. In 2009, Patrick was among the top campaign contribution recipients from casino lobbying interests,[48] and from financiers backing the Wampanoag casino interests.[49]
On March 20, 2008, the Massachusetts House of Representatives rejected Patrick's casino bill by a vote of 108 to 46.[50] Despite the overwhelming vote, questions were raised by critics of DiMasi as to the tactics he used to win. These included allegations that he promised a subsequent vote on a bill that would allow slot machines at the state's four racetracks and the pre-vote promotions of six lawmakers who had been thought to support the bill, but either abstained or voted against the bill. DiMasi denied that any promise had been made on the race track bill and denied that the promotions were connected to the casino bill vote.[51][52][53]
Patrick's conduct was also criticized and his commitment to the bill questioned when it was revealed that he was not in the state on the day the bill was voted on in the legislature. As the bill was being voted down, Patrick was in New York City on personal business, finalizing a $1.35-million deal with Broadway Books, an imprint of Random House, to publish his autobiography.[54][55][56]
By mid-2010, the house and senate passed a bill with plans for three resort-style casinos and two slot parlors. However, Patrick vetoed it as he previously stated that he would only accept one slot parlor.[57] When the 2011 casino legislation was still in debate, an investigative report in The Boston Globe revealed the governor violated his self-imposed policy of not accepting money from or meeting with lobbyists for the gambling industry by accepting more than $6,000 in campaign contributions and meeting with and attending fundraisers hosted by gaming lobbyists.[58]
Patrick signed the legislation into law in December 2011. Its implementation, however, has seen hurdles and delays. The governor's point man on crafting gaming legislation and negotiating a state compact with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Assistant Secretary for Policy & Economic Development Carl Stanley McGee, was forced to resign from his appointment to direct the newly formed Massachusetts Gaming Commission following reports of 2007 charges that he molested a child in Florida.[59] Stan McGee was forced to return to his economic development post where he still oversees casino policies for the governor.[60] The scandal resulted in the Massachusetts legislature passing a bill and overriding a veto by Patrick requiring background checks on casino regulators.[61]
In June 2014, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a referendum to repeal legislation permitting casino gambling could appear on the November ballot, throwing the prospects of the casino legislation into question.[62]
Gun control Edit In 2010, Patrick pushed for legislation to limit the purchase of firearms, citing a series of gun violence incidents and violent crime in Boston.[63] In 2011, Patrick proposed new legislation that would require more stringent regulations on firearms. During an event surrounding the announcement, Patrick said one of his main goals was to "stop children from killing children."[64] Patrick also reported that he would ask for $10 million in private and public funding to help "fill the gaps."[64] Reacting to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in 2013 Patrick proposed stricter gun control laws, including a limit of one firearm purchase a month and closing the gun show loophole.[65]
Education Edit Throughout his term in office, Patrick has made achieving "world-class public education" a main priority of his administration.[66] Patrick also committed a historic amount of public funds to Massachusetts schools, introduced legislation to tackle a persistent education gap among minority students, and won the national Race to the Top competition.[67] Patrick now supports a doubling of the number of charter schools in Massachusetts.[68] In his first year in office, Patrick proposed making community college free to all Massachusetts high school graduates.[69]
Same-sex marriage Edit As of 2005, Patrick favored the legalization of same-sex marriage because of the fundamental principle that "citizens come before their government as equals".[70][71] He worked with the state legislature to prevent a ballot measure eliminating same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, which protected the state's first-in-the-nation same-sex marriage allowance.[72]
Energy policy Edit Patrick proposed a bill that would streamline Massachusetts' permit appeals process for wind energy projects. The Wind Energy Siting Reform bill would reduce the permitting process to nine to 19 months.[73]
Patrick made expanding renewable energy a focus of his second term, but faced a setback when lawmakers failed to raise caps on solar generation in Massachusetts and to expand the amount of hydropower purchased by utility companies from Canada.[74]
Transportation Edit The legislatively chartered Transportation Finance Commission (TFC) reported in 2007 that over the next 20 years there would be $15''$19 billion gap between revenues and necessary expenditures, just to maintain the existing transportation system in Massachusetts. The Commission identified several reforms and revenue options to close the gap.[75] The Patrick Administration lobbied for and passed a major transportation reform bill,[76] which incorporated many of the TFC-recommended reforms, and which created the Massachusetts Department of Transportation by merging smaller transportation agencies.
Patrick proposed raising the state gas tax by 19 per gallon to forestall Massachusetts Turnpike toll and MBTA fare increases, fully fund Regional Transit Authority and Turnpike operations, and address part of the capital shortfall identified by the TFC,[77] but this was defeated in the state legislature. Instead, a sales tax increase of 1.25% was passed, with part of that dedicated to transportation. This was enough to prevent the short-term toll and fare increases, but did not address the long-term funding gap. Patrick has been a supporter of the South Coast Rail Link project.[78]
Immigration Edit In response to the influx of children from Central America crossing the US border in the summer of 2014, Patrick proposed taking 1,000 migrants to be housed at various sites in Massachusetts, until they can be processed at immigration centers.[79]
Senate appointments Edit On September 24, 2009, Patrick appointed Paul G. Kirk as the interim U.S. senator in the wake of Ted Kennedy's death.[80]
On January 30, 2013, Patrick chose his former chief-of-staff Mo Cowan to serve as interim U.S. senator until a special election to fill the seat left vacant by Secretary of State designate John Kerry.[81]
Controversies Edit In the early months of Patrick's administration, a series of decisions the governor later conceded as "missteps" brought substantial unfavorable press. These included spending almost $11,000 on drapery for the governor's state house suite, changing the state's customary car lease from a Ford Crown Victoria to a Cadillac (thus earning Patrick the snide nickname "Deville"), and hiring Amy Gorin, an assistant who had previously helped chair his election campaign, as a staff assistant to Diane Patrick, the Commonwealth's First Lady, at an annual salary of almost $75,000. Emerging from a weekend of working on the state's budget and calling for cuts in services to taxpayers, Patrick responded in a February 20, 2007 press conference that "I realize I cannot in good conscience ask the agencies to make those choices without being willing to make them myself."[82] Patrick subsequently reimbursed the Commonwealth for the cost of the drapery and furniture purchased for the state house, and the additional monthly difference in his car lease.[82] Gorin later resigned.[83]
Later in the same month Patrick again came under fire, this time for contacting Citigroup Executive Committee chair and former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin on behalf of the financially beleaguered mortgage company Ameriquest, a subsidiary of ACC Capital Holdings, that had been accused of predatory lending practices and of which Patrick is a former board member. Both Citigroup and ACC Capital Holdings have substantial holdings in Massachusetts.[84] Patrick attempted to deflect criticism, claiming he was calling not as governor but as a private citizen. Later Patrick backed down, stating "I appreciate that I should not have made the call. I regret the mistake."[84]
On September 17, 2014, Patrick fired the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board chair Saundra Edwards and placed director Jeanne Holmes on paid administrative leave because they pressured the board to force Patrick's brother-in-law to register as a sex offender, based on his conviction for raping his wife, Patrick's sister.[85]
In June 2015, the Boston Herald reported that Patrick's administration secretly diverted nearly $27 million in government funds to off-budget accounts that paid for trade junkets tab, advertising contracts, and a deal with a federally subsidized tourism venture backed by U.S. Sen. Harry Reid.[86] According to the Herald, state legislators never approved the funding, which began in 2009 when Patrick's office directed quasi-public state agencies, including the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and Massport to begin funding off-budget trusts.[87] A week later, the Boston Globe quoted Representative David Linsky, chair of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Post Audit and Oversight Committee, as saying that, upon review, the expenditures were either approved by the state legislature or permissible under the state's budget rules and that they violated no applicable law.[88]
Healthcare Edit In 2014, Patrick signed a law requiring health insurers to extend coverage to people struggling with drug addiction by covering up to two weeks of inpatient treatment. The bill was seen in the broader context of state government battling the soaring rates opioid drug abuse, following a $20 million package introduced in June consisting of proposals targeting the problem.[89] In the same year, Patrick signed a bill that will allow police to order anti-abortion protesters away from clinic entrances, if hindering public access.[90]
Cabinet Edit
Is Deval Patrick or Joe Biden Obama's Natural Heir? - The Atlantic
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 15:47
Alumni of the Obama administration love Joe Biden. But some of them think that Deval Patrick is better equipped to win the presidency.
Edward-Isaac Dovere 7:53 AM ET Jason Reed / ReutersJoe Biden rarely goes anywhere without mentioning ''my friend Barack.'' Pete Buttigieg has a line in his stump speech about how he first went to Iowa to campaign for another ''young man with a funny name.'' Even though Barack Obama will not endorse in this primary, he has made a point of meeting with almost all the candidates, and he looms over the race.
But the politician personally closest to Obama is Deval Patrick. As several people in Obama's inner circle have been saying to me for months before Patrick's potential presidential candidacy leaked out on Monday, Biden originally came into the Obama fold as a matter of transactional politics, picked to balance the 2008 ticket; Patrick is an actual longtime friend based on mutual affinities. That Patrick seems poised to jump into the race at the last minute is the clearest sign yet of how much anxiety there is among Obama's inner circle about Biden's campaign. ''Deval is a lot like Obama,'' a former Obama aide told me. ''People who were drawn to Obama would be drawn to Patrick.''
Those who have spoken with Patrick tell me that because he would be getting in so late, he is considering skipping the Iowa caucus and pinning his hopes on the New Hampshire primary (where he has the advantage of being from a neighboring state in the same media market) and then making a play in South Carolina (where, as a black candidate, he would presumably have an advantage among the heavily African American electorate). That strategy, however, would pit him directly against Biden, whose campaign aides have been talking about staking the former vice president's hopes on making a stand in South Carolina after possibly losing earlier contests.
Biden and Patrick occupy different positions in the Obama orbit and evoke different emotional responses. Feelings toward Biden are rooted in deep affection. When Biden was deliberating about whether to run for president in the 2016 and 2020 election cycles, people in the Obama camp were torn between wanting him to run because they loved him so much, they thought he should get to be president and wanting him not to run because they loved him so much, they didn't want him to get hurt. Feelings for Patrick tend more toward admiration'--his intellect and his rhetorical skill inspire the same passion that Obama's once did.
Read: The battle for Obama's legacy
Obama himself is known to be an admirer of Patrick's political expertise'--in fact, Patrick may be the only current politician whose skills Obama truly respects. That admiration is in part why some close to the former president'--including Valerie Jarrett, Obama's longtime confidante and senior White House adviser; David Simas, Obama's former White House political director and the current CEO of the Obama Foundation, who previously worked as deputy chief of staff to Patrick when he was governor of Massachusetts; and David Axelrod, the former Obama political strategist'--spent time last year trying to encourage Patrick to declare his candidacy for 2020. Two years ago, before the Democratic field began to coalesce, the ex-president himself urged Patrick to run, Obama aides told me at the time.
Though Obama initially allied himself with Biden in 2008 for tactical reasons, the two men became real friends over their eight years serving together, and their families grew close. (In June, Obama's daughter Sasha and Biden's granddaughter Maisy celebrated their high-school graduation together over a joint family meal.) But Obama is closer to Patrick, and has known him longer'--ever since a mutual friend from the Harvard Law Review connected them in the 1990s, when Obama was asking for donations for his first state-Senate race, in Illinois. Obama talks with Patrick more often than he does with Biden, in part because they have more in common: Both are self-made black men who achieved national prominence through politics. (After growing up poor on Chicago's South Side, Patrick was the first person in his family to go to college, attending Harvard and Harvard Law School, before going on to work in the Justice Department during Bill Clinton's administration'--his confirmation hearing chaired by Senator Joe Biden'--being elected governor, and then starting a social-impact fund at Bain Capital.) Patrick and Obama have frequent deep discussions about race, books, and politics.
Though I'm told that Obama remains determined to stay out of the primaries, he's following the race closely, and has been talking with people about the Biden campaign's struggles, as well as about Elizabeth Warren's failure'--despite the overall strength of her candidacy'--to attract many nonwhite voters. (I'm also told that Jarrett, in particular, has been expressing worries about the strength of the field, though she didn't respond to an email I sent her about this earlier this week.) No one close to Patrick or the ex-president would speak with me on the record about their relationship in the context of the 2020 race, and a spokesperson for Obama declined to comment on whether the two friends have conferred about a Patrick candidacy. But multiple people who know both men told me that they can't imagine Patrick moving forward with a presidential campaign without him talking it through with Obama to get a frank assessment of his chances.
What's puzzling and frustrating to many of his would-be supporters is why Patrick is only getting into the race now, mere days before the Friday filing deadline in New Hampshire and with less than three months until the Iowa caucuses. Especially since many Obama alumni (and others) were on the verge of dropping everything a year ago to work on his 2020 campaign: In December 2018, Patrick started laying the groundwork for a campaign'--calls went out to potential campaign staff and brokers of office space'--and then suddenly stopped the process days later. Even after that, several people close to him checked in before taking other campaign jobs, to make sure that he wouldn't change his mind and run; they received his blessing to move on. Now many of his top aides are committed elsewhere: Doug Rubin, a former top strategist, is advising Tom Steyer's campaign; John Walsh, another top adviser, is managing Senator Ed Markey's primary campaign in Massachusetts; John Del Cecato, who made advertisements for Patrick's gubernatorial campaigns, is working for Buttigieg'--the list goes on.
In Patrick's first run for governor, in 2006, he spent a year slowly building support, one house party or small event at a time, en route from being a relative political unknown to winning the election. Last year, when a Patrick presidential campaign seemed to be in the works, that 2006 slow-build run was to be the model.
There's no time for that now. There would also seem to be no money, and unlike Michael Bloomberg, who filed candidacy paperwork in Alabama late last week, Patrick can't draw on a personal fortune to fuel a campaign. So what's the rationale for why Patrick is jumping in so late? It's the same as Bloomberg's: the growing fear that Biden will lose to Warren who will then lose to Donald Trump'--or that Biden himself, even if he does secure the Demoratic nomination, will not be nimble enough to defeat Trump in the general. (Appearing as a political commentator on CBS last month, Patrick said that he thought Biden's support among voters seemed ''soft'' and that ''it feels like his campaign is contracting rather than expanding,'' and he's expressed doubts about the Medicare for All plans supported by Warren and Bernie Sanders.)
Read: A Bloomberg presidential run comes down to one question
On the one hand, a Patrick candidacy begun this late is unlikely to be anything but quixotic. On the other hand, Patrick does seem'--at least superficially'--like more of a natural fit for where the modern Democratic Party is going than the former mayor of New York: Bloomberg's managerial acumen aside, as an old, ultrarich white man with a spotty record with women and African Americans, he is like a human bingo card of what the most active Democratic voters are not looking for.
But alumni of the 44th president's administration, along with many other Democrats, are desperate to find the next Obama. Already wincing at the undermining of Obama's policies by Trump on the right, they bridle at the (usually implicit) attacks on his legacy by Democratic-primary candidates on the left, and are eager to defend against them. Patrick might be capable of building an Obama-style appeal to disparate parts of the electorate in order to lead America ''back to common ground,'' as he has said the Democratic nominee must do. But with little time, little money, and many potential staff already working for other candidates, a successful Deval Patrick candidacy will require magic of Frank Capra''esque proportions.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.
Edward-Isaac Dovere is a staff writer at
The Atlantic.
Hillary Clinton Claims She's Facing 'Enormous Pressure' to Run Again in 2020, Says 'Never Say Never'
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 15:18
Hillary Clinton Claims She's Facing 'Enormous Pressure' to Run Again in 2020, Says 'Never Say Never' by Cassandra Fairbanks November 12, 2019 Twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is claiming that she is facing ''enormous pressure'' to run again in 2020, and will not completely rule out the possibility.While the former First Lady says that it is ''absolutely not in her plans'' she also said to ''never say never.''
''As I say, never, never, never say never,'' Clinton told BBC Radio 5 Live when asked about if she has ruled out running again. ''I will certainly tell you, I'm under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about it.''
''But as of this moment, sitting here in this studio talking to you, that is absolutely not in my plans,'' Clinton claimed.
Clinton added that she thinks ''all the time'' about ''what kind of president'' she would have been.
''I feel a sense of responsibility partly because, you know, my name was on the ballot, I got more votes, but ended up losing to the current incumbent in the White House who I think is really undermining our democracy in very fundamental ways,'' Clinton said. ''And I want to retire him.''
Clinton has been attacking actual 2020 candidate Tulsi Gabbard for months now, accusing her of being a Russian asset as her popularity surges.
Rep. Gabbard responded to the slander, referring to the former First Lady as ''Queen of the Warmongers'' and ''embodiment of corruption.'' She also challenged Clinton to join the race.
Charlie Kirk 's Culture War Tour and the Groyper trolls
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 11:07
Since mid-October, Charlie Kirk's Culture War college tour has been increasingly haunted by the Groyper and nicker Groyper Q&A trolls. These offline trolls use the Q&A-sessions that are part of the Culture War show format to frame Charlie Kirk as a fake, 'anti-white' conservative. A new chapter in the alt-right's cultural war re-emerges in full force.
Charlie Kirk's Culture War TourThe 24-year-young Charlie Kirk presents himself as the new cool conservative kid on the block and is hyped as the new conservative wonder-boy. Kirk is also a regular writer for Breitbart and his discourse and the tactic of university tours remind us of the role Milo took up in the 2016 election.
Kirk is also the founder of Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a billionaire funded 'non-profit' organization that wants to 'identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government.'(TPUSA, 2019). TPUSA claims to 'be the largest and fastest-growing youth organization in America' (TPUSA, 2019) with already 400 chapters at different universities.
Kirk has strong ties with the Trump campaign, for which he worked in 2016 as a social media manager. In 2019, Kirk expicitely bragged about trying to get 1 million students to vote for Trump. Even though, as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, TPUSA should be non-partisan, it is clear from Kirk's history, his discourse, and TPUSA's initiative Students For Trump that Kirk can indeed be understood as Trump's man on campus.
In the wake of Trump's re-election campaign, Charlie Kirk with guests like Rob Smith, Rand Paul and Donald Trump Jr. have embarked on a 'Culture War' college tour. This college tour is clearly aimed at raising support for Trump and constructing Kirk and Turning Point USA as edgy and in tune with youth culture. In the communication about the tour, Kirk himself is stylized as a fifties kind of reborn Elvis, embodying an American nostalgia. The graphic style is reminiscent of an edgy eighties neon-light cool, which is also quite common these days among new right activists and influencers.
Not a coincidence, that TPUSA is described in mainstream media as making conservativism cool, that is exactly the set-up. The whole campaign explicitly positions itself as edgy conservative right in the American Culture Wars against 'the left.' Even more, it takes up the same Gramscian or metapolitical understanding of culture wars as Milo, Bannon, and Breitbart: culture wars as a battle for hegemony (Maly, 2018). In the words of Kirk: 'Politics is a byproduct of winners and losers of the culture war. To save the culture we must win.'
Q&A-trolling Charlie Kirk's culture warThe Culture War college tour started on 7 October at the University Of Nevada in Reno, after which the show moved to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix on 21 October, the Colorado State University in Fort Collins and the University of Iowa on 23 and 24 October. The next day, the tour stopped at the University of New Hampshire. During these last stops of the tour a new phenomenon became visible. More and more new self-declared 'dissident right' activists used the opportunity of the Q&A sessions of the show to frame Kirk and what they see as 'The Conservative, Inc.' as imposters and fake conservatives.
The old divide and infighting between the alt-right and the alt-light re-emerges but now in a new format, with a network of radical nationalists. These activists go by the name Nickers '' in the sense of fans of extreme right YouTube personality and host of America First Nick Fuentes '' or Groypers. Groyper is a meme that first appeared in 2015 on 4chan. It started its life as a version of Pepe the Frog resting his chin on interlinked hands, which then morphed into a figure of its own. Groyper was, again on 4chan, given a new life as a 'toad, who is friend with pepe'.
In 2019, the Groypers can best be understood as a (new) network of young radical Christian conservative activists, shitposters and trolls circling around the Twitter account of @thatgroyper. Many of them use 'Groyper' in their profile name. They are white nationalist, deeply conservative, Christian new right revolutionaries opposing the US alliance with Israel, LGBTQs and the left in General. The Groyper network is know as to coordinate targeted harassment against 'cucks' and 'faggots'.
The Groypers and the new branch of Nicker Groypers are highly visible on Twitter, even though most of them have a limited number of followers. Since mid-October 2019 they have gone offline and use the Culture War Tour Q&A sessions to launch a far right 'Groyper war' against Charlie Kirk, 'The Conservative, Inc.,' and Trump. This phenomenon reached a first climax on 29 October 2019, when Kirk's Culture War Tour stopped at Ohio State University.
As usual, the Culture War rally was live streamed via Twitter and Facebook. Interestingly, most viewers of the livestream were not watching the stream through TPUSA's social media accounts but on the Dlive-channel of rising far new right America First vlogger Nick Fuentes. Fuentes uses the affordances of Dlive.tv for double screening (Chadwick, 2017) on steroids and broadcasts live comments on top of the remediatization of Kirk's performance. Fuentes gained far more traction than Kirk: around 4,000 people watched Fuentes commenting on the official TPUSA stream, while only 400 watched TPUSA's stream.
The reason for this uptake was by then obvious. Nick Fuentes' audiences '' nickers, zoomers and Groypers '' were hoping that, just like during the Culture War show in Colorado, Groypers would use the Q&A sessions to troll Kirk. According to Fuentes, this first Q&A-troll intervention in Colorado less than a week before started 'a great crusade by the nickers, the Groypers, by all kinds of right wing people to expose Charlie Kirk (as) a fake conservative, civic nationalist, Conservative Inc.' (Fuentes, 2019). Since then, there was a steady escalation of Q&A trolls asking Kirk extreme right and white nationalist questions.
Fuentes' audience was not let down on 29 October 2019. 14 people were allowed to ask questions after the show, of which 11 were Groypers and nickers. They asked questions aimed at framing Charlie Kirk as 'pro-Israel, anti-white, anti-American, loyal to a different country, anti-Christian, pro-drag queen and an anal sex supporting fake conservative.' All the interventions in the context of this 'Groyper war' were directed towards 'exposing' Charlie Kirk as 'cucks' destroying America.
Groyper trolls and data voids in a hybrid media-systemThis type of activism is quite sophisticated as it makes full use of the affordances of different platforms in the digital ecology. More concretely, the Groypers use Fuentes' show, his live stream and his own social media against him before his own fans. This sophistication can best be illustrated by zooming in on the Q&A-troll that managed to become the twitter-talk of the evening on 29 October.
For people not in the know, his intervention must have seemed absurd, nonsensical and even a-political. This Q&A-troll, just like the one before him, looked like a MAGA-kid and even like a supporter of Kirk. He wore an 'I love ISR' pin and a 'socialism sucks' pin in combination with a red MAGA hat. All indexes of him being a Student for Trump and a supporter of Kirk.
His first words '' 'What a racist question that was' '' also seems supportive of Kirk and his guest on stage, Smith. At first sight, the troll seems to agree with Smith's qualification of the former Q&A-troll's question as a racist question. Which adds to the interpretation that he is 'one of them'. That interpretation would soon prove wrong. Let us look at the Q&A session:
Q&A-troll: 'I have a quick and fun, lighthearted question for you, Charlie. So, you gave a speech in Jerusalem earlier this year? Were there any awesome fun dancing parties that you guys hit afterwards? Cause I heard that Israelis are some of the best dancers in the world. I mean, if you don't believe me, Google 'dancing Israelis,' '' it is insane how good their dancing is. Would you agree or disagree with that?''
Charlie Kirk: 'Israel is a beautiful country, a great country too.'
Q&A-troll: 'It is our greatest ally.'
Charlie Kirk: 'Correct.'
This Q&A-troll's offline intervention was set up, stylized, and formatted as a digital practice. First and foremost, he intervened as a troll using irony to mock the adversary and to make him look like an idiot. Even without taking into account the digital culture of trolling, the offline intervention cannot fully be understood from an offline perspective. The troll's performance was clearly produced for digital uptake and addresses not only Charlie Kirk and the audience in the room but all the viewers of the live stream and the mutiple re-mediations of that stream.
Google 'dancing Israelis'His suggestion to 'Google dancing Israelis' directs the online audience towards a data void filled with extreme right anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. This 18-year-old anti-Semitic conspiracy theory is built around the idea that '4,000 Israelis' were absent on 9/11 and 5 were spotted dancing. The Groyper troll here reintroduces this conspiracy theory in the context of a culture war to highlight that Charlie Kirk's pro-Israel stance is against the American interests.
This type of message-politics can only be understood and work in the online/offline nexus. The troll not only uses Kirk's live stream, he uses Google and the accompanied media-ideology for a new right metapolitical battle (Maly, 2018 & 2019). Searching on Google, for many of us, equals searching for truth (Vaudhyanathan, 2011). The Q&A troll's intervention uses this media-ideology '' if you don't believe me, just Google dancing Israelis '' to wrap this anti-Semitic conspiracy theory in an aura of truth.
What may have seemed like an absurd, non-sensical intervention by many of the viewers, was met with enormous enthusiasm among the Groypers, nickers and alt-righters on Twitter. The Q&A-troll's intervention was immediately extracted from the live stream and remediatized within the Groyper network on Twitter. They started to massively tweet the hastag #dancingisraelis in the hope to get it trending.
Googling dancing Israelis after this event (on 30 October) not only directs users to the existing conspiracy theory, but also shows several highlighted YouTube clips of the Q&A-troll asking his seemingly non-sensical question. As a result, the Goypers and Fuentes '' instead of Kirk '' are now starting to become the 'talk of the town.'
Kirk's Culture War Tour, data voids and metapoliticsOffline Q&A-trolling is thus to be understood within the context of a new kind of activism in a post-digital society, which makes full use of the affordances and media logics of a hybrid media system. Groyper Q&A-trolling amounts to performing a digital practice offline. This practice is, as we have seen, not limited to the offline: it carefully hacks the digital communication of their adversary. The Groypers' offline activism 'hacks' Kirk's own media channels to get their message circulating. It is Charlie Kirk himself who streams the Q&A-trolling interventions towards his own audiences.
To add insult to injury, 'dissident right' influencers like Nick Fuentes use the affordances of digital media like DLive.tv to take in Kirk's audience by re-mediatizing his stream and adding live comments. The Groyper network on Twitter, white nationalists, alt-righters, and nickers use Twitter to live comment and to share memes and little extracts of Groypers 'demolishing' Kirk's performances.
This endless remediatization creates buzz around the phenomenon and serves as a recruiting and mobilizing instrument for future Groypers Q&A-trolling. These future interventions will in turn lead to further information flows. And, eventually, they will probably lead to the amplification of their existence and their metapolitical battle's outreach by the mainstream media, who will feel the need to report on this new type of activism.
ReferencesChadwick, A. (2017). The Hybrid Media System. Politics and Power. Oxford University Press.
Fuentes, N. (2019). Nick Fuentes BANNED From Charlie Kirk Politicon Debate | America First Ep. 486. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvdSZ-v4sxE
Maly, I. (2018). Nieuw Rechts. Berchem: Epo.
Maly, I. (2019). New Right metapolitics and the algorithmic activism of Schild & Vrienden. Social Media + Society.
Vaidhyanathan, S. (2011). The googlization of everything and why we should worry. Berkely, Los Angeles: University of California Press.
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White Helmets
British founder of Syria's White Helmets found dead in Istanbul
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 16:00
/ Middle East Issued on: 11/11/2019 - 17:06
Turkish police officers outside the home office of James Le Mesurier, founder of the Mayday Rescue group, in Istanbul, Turkey, on November 11, 2019. Kemal Aslan, Reuters The British founder of an organisation that trained the ''White Helmets'' emergency response group has been found dead in Istanbul, five years after the group was set up to perform rescue work in rebel areas during the Syrian civil war.
The body of James Le Mesurier, founder of the Mayday Rescue group, was found early on Monday near his home in central Istanbul's Beyoglu district, a neighbour said. The Istanbul Governor's Office said an investigation had been launched.
A security source told Reuters it was believed that Le Mesurier had fallen from the balcony of his home office and his death was being treated as suspected suicide.
The White Helmets, known officially as Syria Civil Defence, have been credited with saving thousands of people in rebel-held areas hit by bombing by government and Russian forces in Syria's more than 8-year-old civil war.
White Helmets members say they are neutral. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his backers, including Moscow, describe them as tools of Western propaganda and Islamist-led insurgents.
The Syrian Civil Defense family extends its deepest condolences to the James family, and we express our deepest sorrow and solidarity with his family. As we also must commend his humanitarian efforts which Syrians will always remember. pic.twitter.com/t8IvpIhyFV
'-- The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) November 11, 2019The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Twitter on Friday that the White Helmets help ''the most dangerous terrorist groups,'' and that Le Mesurier was a former British agent with reported ''connections to terrorist groups''.
Mayday Rescue, a not-for-profit organisation, began its operations in 2014 and established an office in Istanbul in 2015 to support its Syria project. Its projects have been funded by the United Nations and various governments, its website said.
A former British army officer, Le Mesurier was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth in 2016 for services to Syria Civil Defence and the protection of civilians in Syria.
The security source said Le Mesurier's wife told police that she and her husband had taken sleeping pills around 4 a.m. and went to bed. She said she was later woken by knocking on the door and discovered that her husband was lying on the street surrounded by police, the source added.
A diplomat told Reuters the circumstances around the death were unclear.
Mayday Rescue did not immediately respond to an emailed query.
Syria Civil Defence on Twitter expressed ''our deepest sorrow and solidarity'' with Le Mesurier's family. ''We also must commend his humanitarian efforts which Syrians will always remember,'' it said.
James Le Mesurier: White Helmets backer discovered dead in Turkey - BBC News
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 07:25
Image copyright James Le Mesurier/Twitter Image caption James Le Mesurier received an OBE for his work with White Helmet volunteers in Syria A former British Army intelligence officer who was honoured by the Queen for his work with the White Helmets civil defence group in Syria has been found dead near his office in Istanbul.
The body of James Le Mesurier, who received an OBE in 2016, was discovered in the early hours of Monday, White Helmet sources told the BBC.
Le Mesurier set up the Mayday Rescue emergency response group, which helped train White Helmets volunteers.
The cause of death was not immediately clear.
According to White Helmets sources, Le Mesurier's body was found at about 04:30 local time (01:30 GMT) on the street in front of an office building used by Mayday Rescue.
Le Mesurier, who had also worked for the United Nations, was considered a founder of the White Helmets. The organisation, which is also known as the Syria Civil Defence, helps rescue civilians caught up in attacks in areas of Syria controlled by the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The White Helmets describe themselves as a volunteer workforce that acts to save people in Syria's war zones In 2016, the organisation received the Right Livelihood Award in recognition for "outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement in rescuing civilians". Later the same year the group was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
But the Syrian government and its allies Russia and Iran have accused the White Helmets of openly aiding terrorist organisations. The Russian Foreign Ministry tweeted about Le Mesurier last week, alleging that he was a former agent of the UK's Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6.
Le Mesurier received an OBE honour (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) from the Queen in 2016 for "services to the Syria Civil Defence group and the protection of civilians in Syria".
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption After the bombs go off in Syria, the White Helmets go in
White Helmets co-founder & ex-British officer Le Mesurier found dead in Istanbul '' reports '-- RT World News
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 06:47
James Le Mesurier, the man behind support and training for the controversial White Helmets 'Syrian civil defense' group, has been found dead in Istanbul, Turkey, according to reports.
Le Mesurier's body was discovered near his home in Istanbul's Beyoglu district. The circumstances surrounding his death are still being investigated.
Turkish S¶zc¼ newspaper, citing his wife, reported that Le Mesurier had been taking medication to treat depression. The outlet reports that suicide is among the versions police are working on.
Hailed as fearless rescue workers by the Western media, the White Helmets have been accused of associating with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups inside Syria. Photographs and videos show members of the 'civil defense' organization posing with jihadists. They've also been accused of staging chemical attacks, used as justification by Western nations to carry out strikes against the Syrian military and its allies.
Also on rt.com Organ theft, staged attacks: UN panel details White Helmets' criminal activities, media yawns According to the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Le Mesurier was a former MI-6 intelligence officer.
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Dogs are People Too
Should We Stop Keeping Pets?
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 21:43
'The reality is people have pets in the millions. The question is: how we can help them care for them correctly and appropriately?'Photograph: Getty Images
I t was a Tupperware tub of live baby rats that made Dr Jessica Pierce start to question the idea of pet ownership. She was at her local branch of PetSmart, a pet store chain in the US, buying crickets for her daughter's gecko. The baby rats, squeaking in their plastic container, were brought in by a man she believed was offering to sell them to the store as pets or as food for the resident snakes. She didn't ask. But Pierce, a bioethicist, was troubled.
''Rats have a sense of empathy and there has been a lot of research on what happens when you take babies away from a mother rat '' not surprisingly, they experience profound distress,'' she says. ''It was a slap in the face '' how can we do this to animals?''
Pierce went on to write Run, Spot, Run, which outlines the case against pet ownership, in 2015. From the animals that become dog and cat food and the puppy farms churning out increasingly unhealthy purebred canines, to the goldfish sold by the bag and the crickets by the box, pet ownership is problematic because it denies animals the right of self-determination. Ultimately, we bring them into our lives because we want them, then we dictate what they eat, where they live, how they behave, how they look, even whether they get to keep their sex organs.
Treating animals as commodities isn't new or shocking; humans have been meat-eaters and animal-skin-wearers for millennia. However, this is at odds with how we say we feel about our pets. The British pet industry is worth about £10.6bn; Americans spent more than $66bn (£50bn) on their pets in 2016. A survey earlier this year found that many British pet owners love their pet more than they love their partner (12%), their children (9%) or their best friend (24%). According to another study, 90% of pet-owning Britons think of their pet as a member of their family, with 16% listing their animals in the 2011 census.
''It is morally problematic, because more people are thinking of pets as people '... They consider them part of their family, they think of them as their best friend, they wouldn't sell them for a million dollars,'' says Dr Hal Herzog, a professor of psychology at Western Carolina University and one of the founders of the budding field of anthrozoology, which examines human-animal relations. At the same time, research is revealing that the emotional lives of animals, even relatively ''simple'' animals such as goldfish, are far more complex and rich than we once thought (''dogs are people, too'', according to a 2013 New York Times comment piece by the neuroscientist Gregory Berns). ''The logical consequence is that the more we attribute them with these characteristics, the less right we have to control every single aspect of their lives,'' says Herzog.
Does this mean that, in 50 years or 100 years, we won't have pets? Institutions that exploit animals, such as the circus, are shutting down '' animal rights activists claimed a significant victory this year with the closure of Ringling Bros circus '' and there are calls to end, or at least rethink, zoos. Meanwhile, the number of Britons who profess to be vegan is on the rise, skyrocketing 350% between 2006 and 2016.
Widespread petkeeping is a relatively recent phenomenon. Until the 19th century, most animals owned by households were working animals that lived alongside humans and were regarded unsentimentally. In 1698, for example, a Dorset farmer recorded in his diary: ''My old dog Quon was killed and baked for his grease, which yielded 11lb.'' However, in the 19th and 20th centuries, animals began to feature less in our increasingly urban environments and, as disposable income grew, pets became more desirable. Even as people began to dote on their pets, though, animal life was not attributed any intrinsic value. In Run, Spot, Run, Pierce reports that, in 1877, the city of New York rounded up 762 stray dogs and drowned them in the East River, shoving them into iron crates and lifting the crates by crane into the water. Veterinarian turned philosopher Bernard Rollin recalls pet owners in the 1960s putting their dog to sleep before going on holiday, reasoning that it was cheaper to get a new dog when they returned than to board the one they had.
More recently, however, several countries have moved to change the legal status of animals. In 2015, the government of New Zealand recognised animals as sentient beings, in effect declaring them no longer property (how this squares with New Zealand's recent ''war on possums'' is unclear), as did the Canadian province of Quebec. While pets remain property in the UK, the Animal Welfare Act of 2006 stipulates that pet owners must provide a basic level of care for their animals. Pets are also property in the US, but 32 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington DC, now include provisions for pets under domestic violence protection orders. In 2001, Rhode Island changed its legislation to describe pet owners as ''guardians'', a move that some animal rights' advocates lauded (and others criticised for being nothing more than a change in name).
Before we congratulate ourselves on how far we have come, consider that 1.5m shelter animals '' including 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats '' are euthanised each year in the US. The number of stray dogs euthanised annually in the UK is far lower '' 3,463 '' but the RSCPA says investigations into animal cruelty cases increased 5% year on year in 2016, to 400 calls a day.
''Can I stick my dog in a car and take him to the vet and say: 'I don't want him any more, kill him,' or take him to a city shelter and say: 'I can't keep him any more, I hope you can find a home for him, good luck'?'' says Gary Francione, a professor at Rutgers Law School in New Jersey and an animal rights advocate. ''If you can still do that, if you still have the right to do that, then they are still property.''
Crucially, our animals can't tell us whether they are happy being pets. ''There is an illusion now that pets have more voice than in the past '... but it is maybe more that we are putting words into their mouth,'' Pierce says, pointing to the abundance of pets on social media plastered with witty projections written by their ''parents''. ''Maybe we are humanising them in a way that actually makes them invisible.''
If you accept the argument that pet ownership is morally questionable, how do you put the brakes on such a vast industry? While he was writing his 2010 book, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat, Herzog was studying the motivations of animal rights activists and whether it was emotion or intellect that pushed them towards activism. One of the subjects, Herzog says, was ''very, very logical''. After he had become a vegan, eschewed leather shoes and convinced his girlfriend to go vegan, he considered his pet cockatiel. ''I remember; he looked up wistfully. He said he got the bird, took it outside, let it loose and it flew up,'' Herzog recalls. ''He said: 'I knew she wouldn't survive, that she probably starved. I guess I was doing it more for myself than for her.'''
Although Pierce and Francione agree that pet ownership is wrong, both of them have pets: Pierce has two dogs and a cat; Francione has six rescue dogs, whom he considers ''refugees''. For now, the argument over whether we should own animals is largely theoretical: we do have pets and giving them up might cause more harm than good. Moreover, as Francione suggests, caring for pets seems to many people to be the one area where we can actually do right by animals; convincing people of the opposite is a hard sell.
Tim Wass, the chair of the Pet Charity, an animal welfare consultant and a former chief officer at the RSPCA, agrees. ''It has already been decided by market forces and human nature '... the reality is people have pets in the millions. The question is: how can we help them care for them correctly and appropriately?''
If the short history of pet ownership tells us anything, it is that our attitude towards animals is prone to change. ''You see these rises and falls in our relationships with pets,'' says Herzog. ''In the long haul, I think petkeeping might fall out of fashion; I think it is possible that robots will take their place, or maybe pet owning will be for small numbers of people. Cultural trends come and go. The more we think of pets as people, the less ethical it is to keep them.''
Jaw-dropping indoor dog park to open in Austin, Texas
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 08:20
Pet owners living in or near Austin, Texas, will soon be able to take their beloved dogs to an expansive, state-of-the art, $16-million indoor dog park, deemed Canine Commons Urban.
While the exact spot for the private park hasn't been chosen just yet, a Canine Commons spokesperson said their team is ''evaluating a number of great spots within Austin.''
swiggle1 dot pattern2 Facebook/Canine Commons Source: Facebook/Canine Commons Austin isn't the only lucky city to host a Canine Commons Urban facility. Phoenix, Arizona; Omaha, Nebraska; and Nashville, Tennessee, will also eventually have one of these massive dog complexes in their cities.
50,000-square-foot complex includes coffee shopThe massive complex will feature a 50,000-square-feet indoor area that includes an indoor dog park with a dog walking track, a dog-friendly coffee shop, off-leash areas, and other retail space.
swiggle1 dot pattern2 Facebook/Canine Commons Source: Facebook/Canine Commons While the coffee shop vendor hasn't been chosen just yet, the dog park's rep said it is ''finalizing an operational agreement with our partner in the coffee realm.'' But, the park says it wants to donate coffee-shop proceeds to help feed dogs in shelters.
The site will also provide Wi-Fi and is monitored at all times.
Monthly membership requiredTo gain access to the climate-controlled indoor dog park, you'll need a monthly membership, which costs $49 for one dog and $69 for multiple dogs. Or, you can get a day pass for $18 (for one dog) or $25 (for multi-dog).
Let's take a virtual stroll through this amazing dog park that will include opportunities for socializing, education, and training.
As you walk through the front door of the complex, you are greeted by the reception desk, as well as a large doggy play area on the first floor.
swiggle1 dot pattern2 Canine Commons Source: Canine Commons The play area includes seating for you and a large play area with ramps and obstacles for your dog.
swiggle1 dot pattern2 Canine Commons Source: Canine Commons Go upstairs, and you'll see an expansive second-level mezzanine and walking track.
swiggle1 dot pattern2 Facebook/Canine Commons Source: Facebook/Canine Commons Next, head outside on the second level to the exterior mezzanine, where you'll find even more space where your dog can socialize and exercise.
swiggle1 dot pattern2 Facebook/Canine Commons Source: Facebook/Canine Commons Accessible, affordable trainingAccording to the Canine Commons team, ''We believe in accessible, affordable training. Most training courses will be included as part of your membership.'' They also emphasized that they plan to host numerous agility and performance events on site.
The new indoor park also will not enforce breed restrictions.
iHeartDogs joins iniHeartDogs will be working with Canine Commons to build dedicated space inside Canine Commons facilities for shelters, rescues, and for adoption events to be held.
''The creation of this space inside the Canine Commons reflects the shared vision that every dog deserves love, a safe and secure home, and provides entirely new ways to bring a positive impact to the millions of dogs waiting in shelters and rescues,'' according to a statement released about the strategic partnership.
They further stated that their mission with this partnership ''is to increase adoptions, provide visibility and interactive opportunities with adoptable dogs, facilitate education, and further the mission of reducing the number of dogs in shelters and rescues.''
For more information about Canine Commons, check out the official website. And make sure to check out the 30-second video below for an inside look at the facility. And stay tuned for the exact location and opening date of the facility.
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Bolivia: Morales to Industrialize Lithium for Battery Exports | News | teleSUR English
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 06:40
Through state-led investments, Bolivia is making large strides in industrializing the country's natural resources, namely lithium.
During a new announcement Tuesday, Bolivian officials said the state has the reserves and capacity to produce up to 400,000 lithium batteries per year. The announcement signals a departure from the country's exportation of raw materials and the industrialization for the international market.
UN: Bolivia's Universal Healthcare Is 'Model For The World'
Juan Carlos Montenegro, an official at Bolivia's nationalized energy company, Bolivian Oil Fields (YPFB), announced Tuesday that the company will soon be able to produce up to 400,000 lithium batteries per year, in partnership with the German firm, ACI Systems GmbH.
Lithium is expected to become an extremely important material in manufacturing over the coming years as it's a component part of electric cars, aircraft, batteries, cell phones and even medicines. Bolivia has huge reserves of the maleable metal in its iconic Salar de Uyuni salt flats in southern Potosi. Bolivia is thought to have 43 percent of the world's known natural resource supplies.
However, Bolivia's leftist government under President Evo Morales is not simply exporting the raw material to the global north for high-end manufacturing, as has been the case throughout much of the colonized Latin American region for decades. Morales's administration is determined to industrialize Bolivia and has invested huge amounts to ensure that lithium is processed within the country to export it only in value-added form, such as in batteries.
Evo has also turned around the nation's natural gas industry that used to export the raw material and import refined gas for cooking and heating. Since Morales took office in 2006, the now state-owned YPFB exports refined gas to Argentina, Peru and Paraguay, meaning far larger revenues for the public purse.
Bolivia has known of its large lithium reserves since the 1970s, but failed to capitalize on the mineral during the neoliberal era. The pro-government group, La Resistencia, says this was caused by "economic instability, lack of political decision and subordination to the United States." The group says that Morales has brought about the change to how lithium is handled.
"Bolivia is now the fastest growing country in the region, has political, economic and social stability for almost a decade and ... has the political will to continue growing and developing its productive base using the Bolivian economic model," La Resistencia said.
Shipping Containers are the New Home For the Homeless | KFI AM 640
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 06:24
Los Angeles has found a solution to tackle a slice of the homeless issue in Los Angeles. More than 50 specially designed containers will be furnished and stacked in a little development next to the 110 and the 105 freeways. Mayor Eric Garcetti says that this form of permanent housing is faster to build.
"Let's figure out the models that work because we want to be able to take any piece of property anywhere in any amount of time with whatever funding we have and get something built."
Garcetti adds that 21 projects are now in the works because of voter approved measure HHH. The measure is a $1.2 billion bond to be allocated to the construction of 8,000-10,000 units of clean and safe affordable housing for the homeless, according to LA Chamber of Commerce.
"Nothing stops homelessness like actually getting to the root of the problem. Get people indoors first, but if you don't want them to go back outdoors, you have to treat them."
Garcetti goes on to say that the motivation for assisting the homeless is not tied to office accomplishments, but rather a need to assist fellow persons in need.
"This is not about a project. This is not about funds. This is about human beings. This is about flesh and blood," he says.
"A problem caused by the inaction of human beings can be solved by the actions of human beings here today."
The units will cost about $600,000 each, more than the median price of a condo in Los Angeles. The total cost of the units will be about 35 million dollars each. The one-bedroom units are expected to open next year.
Opportunity Zones
(2) Tim Scott on Twitter: "This is the second misguided attempt by Congressional Democrats in the last two weeks to wreck the #OpportunityZone initiative under the guise of 'improvement.' Word on the street is that The Squad is coming after the progra
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 15:17
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VIDEO - More Builders Are Selling Homes Wired For Tech But Data Privacy Is At Stake : NPR
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 09:58
Lennar New Home Consultant Brittney Svach is selling "smart homes" at the Amazon Experience Center in Black Diamond, Wash., about an hour south of Seattle. Joshua McNichols/KUOW hide caption
toggle caption Joshua McNichols/KUOW Lennar New Home Consultant Brittney Svach is selling "smart homes" at the Amazon Experience Center in Black Diamond, Wash., about an hour south of Seattle.
Joshua McNichols/KUOW When the Ferguson family decided they wanted to live in the Seattle suburb of Black Diamond they weren't in the market for a smart home. But they wound up with one, a house packed with Internet-connected devices.
Fifteen-year-old Macey Ferguson loves it. "I just feel really fancy," she says about having Amazon's Alexa there to turn on the lights for her, or to remind her when to go to cheerleading practice. "I feel like she's my little servant, or butler." Her older brother uses it for math homework, her younger sister for calling grandma. Her three-year-old brother asks Alexa for cake recipes so he can stare longingly at the photos.
Kelli Ferguson, the mom in this household, is more ambivalent. On the one hand, it's nice to ask Alexa to heat up the house before crawling out of bed in the winter. On the other, there's all those cameras. "If I'm walking on our street, I walk on the other side of the street," she said, meaning the side without the smart homes. "Just because I don't feel like being on everyone's cameras."
Living in a smart home neighborhood, the Fergusons experience both convenience and surveillance. And that's typical in Black Diamond, where Lennar Homes offers smart homes as part of a 4,800 unit development that includes other builders. This neighborhood isn't a one off. There are smart home developments in suburbs outside of cities such as Miami and San Francisco. Lennar is making Amazon tech standard on each of the 45,000 homes it builds this year.
This partnership between builders and Amazon benefits both sides. Amazon wants to push for wider adoption of its Echo smart speaker. Lennar relies on Amazon to help distinguish it from other home builders in communities like Black Diamond.
But do users really need smart home technology?
Amazon really wants you to think so. In Black Diamond, the pitch starts at the Amazon Experience Center, a model home just around the corner from the Fergusons.
Lennar New Home consultant Brittney Svach throws out commands like a smart home samurai, using her voice to lock the door, start up the robot vacuum, dim the lights, close the blinds, and call up a feed on the smart television from one of the home's many surveillance cameras. "Alexa, show me the backyard," she commands. Up pops a video. "And now we can spy on whoever's having a drink out on the patio," she says with a smile.
Amazon has a lot of ground to cover if it wants to build a market of consumers hungry for smart homes. A Zillow survey says smart homes technology is down the list of desired home features, lagging far behind air conditioning and ample storage. It's roughly as important as a hot tub for those shopping for a home.
But Dave Garland thinks the technology will take off once people try it. He's with Second Century Ventures, an investment arm of the National Association of Realtors. "There's a new narrative when it comes to what 'home' means," he says. "It means a personalized environment where technology responds to your every need. "
Black Diamond resident Drew Holmes buys that line. Like the Fergusons, he wasn't looking for a smart home, but the technology came with the one he happened to like. Now he enjoys all the smart home features. "I would not live without them," he said.
His favorite is a Ring doorbell that logs visitors. "I have teenagers," he said. "It's nice to confirm when they come home. And I have proof of it."
Therron Smith had a very different reaction to the smart home pitch. "The thought of having cameras in every room and that potential exposure... just kind of made us nervous about it," he says.
Smith works in tech, and says that's how he knows the risks. It's not just cameras, even light switches capture information. "That data's not just sitting there, just ... empty," he says. "Somebody's gonna look at it and leverage it, to try to turn a profit, or try to create an ad, or try to create some revenue."
When newcomers purchase a home in Black Diamond, they're not just buying property '' they're staking out a position on how far they'll allow tech companies to intrude into their lives. That's something many us will need to navigate if this technology becomes standard in more neighborhoods.
You can learn more on how Amazon is changing us by subscribing to the KUOW podcast, Primed.
Editor's note: Amazon is one of NPR's recent financial supporters.
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Thu, 14 Nov 2019 09:28
VIDEO - David Attenborough shocked as BBC camera crew experience 'very hot' Antarctica | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV | Express.co.uk
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 07:14
DAVID ATTENBOROUGH was left stunned after his crew experienced ''very hot'' weather during filming in Antarctica, exposing the effects of climate change. PUBLISHED: 15:01, Mon, Nov 11, 2019 | UPDATED: 15:07, Mon, Nov 11, 2019
Earlier this month, Sir David '' the legendary BBC presenter '' took viewers to the South Pole for the first episode of his new series "Seven Worlds, One Planet". Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent, home to some 1,000 scientists who live in the blistering conditions that reach -90C at times, as they attempt to understand more about the history of Earth and climate change. However, the 93-year-old was less than impressed with the state of affairs created as a knock-on effect from humans.
He revealed how his camera crew witnessed this first-hand, saying: ''The shoot is going well, but the crew are noticing worrying signs.
''Parts of the Antarctic are warming five times faster than the rest of the world.
''If this trend continues, it will threaten the very existence of these polar creatures.
''On the last day of filming, the team can't help but reflect on the future of the wildlife here.''
David Attenborough was shocked (Image: BBC/GETTY)
David Attenborough's new show came out this month (Image: GETTY)
Parts of the Antarctic are warming five times faster than the rest of the world
David Attenborough
One of the cameramen then revealed how the increase in temperature could even be felt.
He explained: ''It's a really hot day today.
''30 years ago, the front of that glacier was right down on the beach.
''It has retreated a huge amount.
''I don't really know what climate change is going to mean for all the wildlife that is living here.''
READ MORE: Bigfoot mystery solved: David Attenborough exposes 'human-like monster' in BBC show
Antarctica's glacier is melting (Image: BBC)
A second camera operator was equally as shocked, detailing why the finds made him emotional.
He added: ''For me, it's emotional because I know this might have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
''I will definitely take these memories with me and I will be sad.
''It's a really special place you know and I just hope we can keep these places and protect them.''
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The crew said it was warm there (Image: BBC)
The revellation made some upset (Image: BBC)
Sir David previously revealed why he is still making documentaries at his age.
He said: ''We are now universal, our influence is everywhere.
''We have it in our hands to save the world, and we have made a tragic, desperate mess of it so far.
''Nations are coming together and recognising we all live on the same planet'‰ and we are dependent on it for every mouthful of food we eat and every breath of air we take.
{%=o.title%} ''And making programmes like this, I've been doing it for a long time, and I'm sure a hell of a lot of young people are saying, 'For God's sake, why doesn't he move over? Give another person a chance', but, anyway, there I am."
The third episode of Seven Worlds, One Planet was aired on BBC One on Sunday, November 10, at 6.15pm.
Viewers can now catch up with each instalment in Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) on BBC iPlayer.
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VIDEO - Senior Trump official embellished r(C)sum(C), had face on fake Time cover
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 05:31
WASHINGTON '-- A senior Trump administration official has embellished her r(C)sum(C) with misleading claims about her professional background '-- even creating a fake Time magazine cover with her face on it '-- raising questions about her qualifications to hold a top position at the State Department.
An NBC News investigation found that Mina Chang, the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stability Operations, has inflated her educational achievements and exaggerated the scope of her nonprofit's work.
Whatever her qualifications, Chang had a key connection in the Trump administration. Brian Bulatao, a top figure in the State Department and longtime friend of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, attended a fundraiser for her nonprofit in Dallas and once donated $5,500 to her charity, according to a former colleague of Chang's.
Chang, who assumed her post in April, also invented a role on a U.N. panel, claimed she had addressed both the Democratic and Republican national conventions, and implied she had testified before Congress.
She was being considered for an even bigger government job, one with a budget of more than $1 billion, until Congress started asking questions about her r(C)sum(C).
Mina Chang. Department of StateThe gap between Chang's actual qualifications and her claims appears to be the latest example of lax vetting by the Trump administration, which has become known for its many job vacancies and appointments made without thorough screening.
"It does seem that this administration has not been doing the same depth of vetting as previous administrations," said James Pfiffner, a George Mason University professor and expert on the executive branch who once worked in the government's Office of Personnel Management, which does vetting.
In her State Department post, Chang, 35, from Dallas, helps oversee efforts to prevent conflicts from erupting in politically unstable countries. She earns a six-figure salary in a bureau with a $6 million budget. A deputy assistant secretary usually has a top secret security clearance. It's not clear if Chang has such a clearance.
For Chang's current job, her most relevant experience would appear to be her time as CEO of a nonprofit called Linking the World. Chang has touted her small nonprofit online and in speeches as operating in dozens of countries, building schools and "impacting" thousands of people. But tax filings for her organization offer no concrete information about overseas projects and show a budget of less than $300,000 with a handful of staff.
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Ian Dailey, former chief of staff of Linking the World, defended how the organization has presented itself publicly. Daily said it is a small nongovernmental organization (NGO) that does not run large-scale programs, and instead tests new technologies '-- including drones '-- and new approaches to humanitarian relief.
"We are not implementers of programs. We pilot new technologies, testing their practicalities, and seek to identify the 'unintended consequences' that are rife in our industry," Dailey told NBC News.
In a 2017 video posted on her nonprofit's website, Chang can be heard describing her work while a Time magazine cover with her face on it scrolls past.
"Here you are on Time magazine, congratulations! Tell me about this cover and how it came to be?" asks the interviewer, who hosts a YouTube show.
"Well, we started using drone technology in disaster response and so that was when the whole talk of how is technology being used to save lives in disaster response scenarios, I suppose I brought some attention to that," Chang said.
The interviewer says Chang brought the Time cover to the interview as an example of her work.
Time magazine spokesperson Kristin Matzen said the cover is "not authentic."
After publication of this article, Linking the World removed the "Donate" button and the video with the TIME cover from its website.
A fake Time magazine cover with Mina Chang.Chang's biography says she was part of a panel on drones in humanitarian relief efforts convened by the U.N. But there's no record backing up her claim and a source with knowledge of the matter said she was not part of the "panel," which was a single public roundtable.
Chang says in her official biography that she is as an "alumna" of Harvard Business School. According to the university, Chang attended a seven-week course in 2016, and does not hold a degree from the institution.
Harvard Business School spokesperson Mark Cautela said the school grants "alumni status" to anyone who attends certain executive education programs, even without having earned a degree there.
Her biography on the State Department website says she is a "graduate" of a program at the Army War College. But the program she attended was a four-day seminar on national security, according to the college.
Chang does not cite any undergraduate degree in her biography, but her LinkedIn account mentions the University of the Nations, an unaccredited Christian school with volunteer teachers that says it has 600 locations "on all continents."
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She says she "addressed" both the Democratic and Republican national conventions in 2016, but videos and documents show she instead spoke at separate events held in Philadelphia and Cleveland during the same time periods.
Chang, the State Department and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.
Chang had no apparent ties to President Donald Trump's political campaign, but Brian Bulatao, a former West Point classmate and business partner of Secretary of State Pompeo, was invited to fundraising events for her charity, according to Ian Dailey, the former chief of staff of her nonprofit. One year Bulatao bid on an auction item that resulted in a $5,500 donation to the group, Dailey said. But he added that Bulatao had no role in the organization.
"Brian was one of approximately 400 to 500 individuals regularly invited to our fundraising events. At one of those events he bid on an auction item, which accounts for the donation in its totality," Dailey told NBC News.
Chang cultivated an active social media profile, presenting herself as a globe-trotting humanitarian, and appeared at well-heeled charity dinners in Dallas, including a "Women That Soar" dinner and a Dallas Opera event.
Her Instagram account, with 42,000 followers, includes selfies with celebrities and Washington luminaries like former President Bill Clinton, retired Gen. David Petraeus, former Defense Secretary Bob Gates, Karl Rove, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Buzz Aldrin.
Mina Chang and former CIA director David Petraeus in a 2017 Instagram photo. via InstagramShe also established contacts with the U.S. military. A government contractor, AlliedBarton Security Services, sponsored a fundraising dinner in 2016 for her nonprofit in Dallas, and the keynote speaker was John Melkon, director of civil-military operations at West Point.
Chang was originally being considered for an even more senior government post in which she would have overseen the U.S. Agency for International Development's work in Asia. She would have been responsible for a budget of more than $1 billion. The administration announced an intent to nominate her in late 2018. She was appointed to the State Department post in the interim.
Chang's nomination to the USAID job, which would have required Senate confirmation, was withdrawn on Sept. 9 without public explanation, after the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations asked her for more documents and details about her nonprofit organization and her work experience.
Vetting in the Trump administrationChang's appointment is the latest administration hire to come under scrutiny since President Donald Trump entered office. Government watchdogs, former officials and members of Congress have accused the White House of failing to thoroughly vet appointees and nominees for senior-level offices.
A 24-year-old former Trump campaign volunteer, Taylor Weyeneth, rose to a senior job in the White House drug policy office without any relevant professional experience. He was fired last year after a Washington Post report brought public attention to his meteoric rise.
In August, Trump withdrew a nominee for director of national intelligence, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, less than a week after lawmakers raised questions about his qualifications and the accuracy of his r(C)sum(C).
After Ratcliffe's nomination flamed out, Trump defended his administration's screening of job candidates, saying the news media helped the White House filter nominees.
"If you take a look at it, the vetting process for the White House is very good," the president told reporters. "But you're part of the vetting process, you know? I give out a name to the press, and they vet for me. We save a lot of money that way."
In past administrations, White House staff carefully checked a potential appointee's education and work bona fides, as well as any court cases or criminal records that could be damaging, said Pfiffner of George Mason.
"The White House goes into very great detail '-- 'Have you ever been divorced, have you ever been arrested?'" Pfiffner said. "Most administrations are very thorough about that."
Mina Chang in a 2016 Instagram photo. via InstagramAs to Chang's job history, he said, "I would expect that they would check all of the claims made in the bio, most of which would be relatively easy to check."
A potential political appointee to a State Department post is vetted by the department, including an elaborate questionnaire, before the White House ever screens the candidate. The State Department vetting is supposed to examine tax returns, any unexplained wealth, social media accounts, the status of domestic staff, any inappropriate or worrisome track record in the workplace and any potential questions about integrity, said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, former director general of the foreign service and director of personnel at the State Department.
Career officials at the State Department and across the federal government take vetting seriously "because they care about maintaining a high standard for the civil service and the foreign service," Thomas-Greenfield said. "They want to see talented people with integrity appointed to senior positions."
In the Trump administration, rapid turnover and uneven vetting instead creates opportunities for people who might not otherwise be considered, said Pfiffner. "With the way Trump has fired high-level people by tweet, it's not an encouraging thing to work for the government. But if you are not very qualified then it's a great chance to get in there."
Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Trump administration has consistently failed to thoroughly screen candidates for senior posts.
The committee staff "has been forced to dedicate a significant amount of time and resources on vetting this administration's nominees because of the White House's negligence or incompetence," Menendez said. "These jobs aren't a joke '-- there are billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars and the lives of U.S. citizens on the line here."
Mina Chang's holiday albumTen years ago, Chang was pursuing a career as a recording artist before she turned to humanitarian work. Video from that time, posted on her YouTube page, promotes her holiday album.
By 2014, she had set up Linking the World under the umbrella of a local foundation in Dallas, according to the foundation. Her Instagram account shows international food donations featuring Linking the World logos. But it's unclear precisely what contributions her organization made to relief efforts.
In a 2014 video she described her charity to a room full of Texas college students. "Linking the World provides hunger relief, medical aid," she said. "We have operated schools, we have built schools in places like Afghanistan, Myanmar, Haiti, Kenya."
"The Holiday Album" by Mina Chang. FischerIn 2015, her charity received tax exempt status from the IRS, according to public records.
A review of her nonprofit's IRS returns from 2014 and 2015 shows no information about operating or building schools, and offers no details about staff devoted to managing aid projects on the ground in those countries.
In public remarks in 2015 she said her group worked in 40 countries: "We have in-house K9 search and rescue teams, we have testified in front of hearing committees on Capitol Hill, we've done things like lectured at West Point, brief chiefs of staff at the Pentagon."
NBC News was unable to find any record of her or her organization ever testifying before Congress.
Dailey, Chang's former colleague at the nonprofit, said the group did operate in 40 countries over two decades, including when the organization was registered in South Korea.
In its 2015 tax filing, Linking the World reported that it had no staff overseas and no expenditures abroad of more than $10,000, which one expert said was puzzling given the group's descriptions of its international work.
"How are they accomplishing so much without spending at least $10,000 in those countries? That does not make sense to me," said Jane Searing, an expert on nonprofit tax forms and an accountant at the accounting firm Clark Nuber in Washington state. "They could be partnering with another organization, but then they should say that and not claim those accomplishments as their own."
Tax filings for her nonprofit show an organization with a budget of less than $300,000, and few staff, despite her statements about the vast scope of her group's work. For 2015, the organization listed spending just $44,645 on salaries but more than $60,000 on "advertising and promotion" and $50,298 on travel.
The IRS revoked the organization's tax exempt status in May this year for failing to file its annual filings for the past three years, according to the agency's website.
"To not file with the IRS for three years is really being a scofflaw," Eve Borenstein, a lawyer with Harmon Curran law firm and a prominent expert on nonprofit tax law, told NBC News. "They should know how to properly report their program accomplishments and also address other required asks."
Despite losing its charitable status, the organization continued to solicit donations on its website.
Chang received no compensation from the nonprofit, according to the group's tax filings.
She has often cited her organization's work with drones in humanitarian relief efforts but four experts in that field said they had not heard of her organization. The Humanitarian UAV Network UAViators does not mention Chang or Linking the World on a list of advisers.
VIDEO - Plenty of substance but little drama on first day of impeachment hearings
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 04:52
WASHINGTON '-- It was substantive, but it wasn't dramatic.
In the reserved manner of veteran diplomats with Harvard degrees, Bill Taylor and George Kent opened the public phase of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump by bearing witness to a scheme they described as not only wildly unorthodox but also in direct contravention of U.S. interests.
"It is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression," Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and a decorated Vietnam War veteran, said in explaining why Trump's decision to withhold congressionally appropriated aid to the most immediate target of Russian expansionism didn't align with U.S. policy.
But at a time when Democrats are simultaneously eager to influence public opinion in favor of ousting the president and quietly apprehensive that their hearings could stall or backfire, the first round felt more like the dress rehearsal for a serious one-act play than opening night for a hit Broadway musical.
During five and a half hours of testimony, under questioning from House Intelligence Committee members of both parties and staff lawyers from each side of the aisle, the two men delivered a wide-ranging discourse on America's interests in Eastern Europe, diplomatic protocol and democratic norms '-- and how they believe Trump subverted all of them in service of political goals.
And yet Taylor and Kent failed '-- or perhaps succeeded, given their nonpartisan roles in government and the atypically serious postures struck by lawmakers of both parties '-- by dropping no bombshells and largely repeating the testimony they gave congressional investigators at depositions previously held behind closed doors.
"If you have to do something that makes Republicans in this country believe the president has committed some serious infraction, then today was 'ball one,'" said Matt Schlapp, a Trump ally who speaks frequently to White House officials and GOP lawmakers. "It wasn't a wild pitch, but it wasn't close to the strike zone."
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Trump told reporters at the White House that he did not watch the proceedings.
"I hear it's a joke," he said. "This is a sham, and it shouldn't be allowed."
Even if the president wasn't watching, Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., told Republicans on the committee who want an intelligence community whistleblower to testify that Trump is welcome to defend himself under oath.
For their part, Republicans poked no real holes in witness testimony, spent little time defending Trump, and burned time off the clock by asking about conspiracy theories that have captivated their political base but which are easily debunked.
At one point, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio '-- who was added to the GOP's roster on the committee for the impeachment hearings '-- appeared to confound Taylor by insisting the president couldn't have conditioned aid for Ukraine on an investigation into political rival Joe Biden, because the money ultimately flowed and the probe was never announced.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who avoided contentious back-and-forth exchanges with his GOP counterparts, waited until the end of the hearing to explain to the viewing audience that Trump released the funding only after the whistleblower complaint that would expose his plot arrived at the White House.
Democrats had prepared themselves for Republicans to try to hijack the hearing with procedural motions and wild lines of questioning, but that never quite materialized. The decorum on the GOP side was commendable enough in Schiff's view that he thanked the minority party in his concluding remarks.
Republicans conducted themselves "in a serious way" and in a "civil way," he said.
There wasn't much either side could grab onto.
Taylor did create a stir when he told the committee one of his aides overheard an ambassador at the center of the story, Gordon Sondland, talking to the president about Ukraine on the phone. Afterward, Sondland told the staffer that Trump cared more about getting Ukraine to open investigations into Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and his son Hunter than about any issues that mattered to the Ukrainians.
But that served as more of a footnote than a headline.
The lawmakers will reconvene Friday with testimony from former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was ousted after Trump loyalists ran a disinformation campaign against her.
Democratic strategists say their side will have to do a better job to capture public attention.
"It's clear this is going to be a battle of narratives and messages," Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis said. "Based on Day One, if the goal was to present a clear and easy-to-follow narrative, neither side did a stellar job. We need to stop presenting this like a foreign policy class '-- this needs to be about making a clear case about what the president did wrong, again and again. That narrative is getting lost."
There's time for Democrats to tell a more compelling version of the story '-- keeping in mind that the attention span of most Americans doesn't match that of most C-SPAN viewers.
Jonathan Allen is a Washington-based national political reporter for NBC News who focuses on the presidency.
VIDEO - (2) Pentagon watchdog declines to investigate Ukraine aid delay - YouTube
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 04:24
VIDEO - Charles Barkley: Dems Ignore Black Voters, Not All Trump Voters Are Racist
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 22:56
Legendary NBA player Charles Barkley slammed Democratic politicians for only addressing black Americans ''every four years'' and suggested that not all Trump supporters are racist while discussing the 2020 election on Wednesday.
Barkley, who made the comments on Michael Smerconish's SiriusXM radio show, began by highlighting his experience working with Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) during his 2017 special election victory against disgraced state supreme court justice Roy Moore.
''I said 'Doug, I'm going to support you. I'm going to try to get every black person in Alabama to vote for you.' And it worked out. We won for the first time in 40 years,'' the former Philadelphia 76er and Phoenix Suns power forward explained. ''But I said, 'we need to start holding you Democrats accountable' because they've been taking black people's votes '' and they only talk to black people every four years. All of these politicians only talk to black people every four years because they want their vote.''
''Oh, actually, the Republicans don't, the Democrats do. But when they get elected, they do nothing in the four years in-between,'' he added.
Barkley also discussed his views toward Trump supporters, saying that he does not view ''everyone who voted for Trump'' as racist.
''I think some of them are,'' he prefaced. ''But I don't think everybody who voted for Trump [is] racist.''
As for which candidates he supports in the 2020 race, Barkley shouted out Julian Castro and Pete Buttigieg, but said his interest in the election was diminished because the DNC debate system ''sucks.''
''I like both of those guys, but they never got to talk,'' he said.
In July, Barkley declined to refer to Donald Trump as a ''racist,'' saying he is ''leery'' of using the term but went on to criticize the president's rhetoric.
''He says some things that can be construed as racist,'' he continued. ''Some things he's said are very wrong and flagrant '... When he has the opportunity to denounce white nationalism and things like that, he could do a much better job.''
Listen to the segments above, via SiriusXM.
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VIDEO - Rep. Jim Jordan on Twitter: "https://t.co/zODJMgmP5F" / Twitter
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 15:54
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VIDEO - (10) LA woman hit with diarrhea attack - YouTube
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 15:26
VIDEO - (2) Parody Boris Johnson on Twitter: "That's it, I may as well delete this account - how the fuck am I supposed to parody that? https://t.co/HnDzBhmEfw" / Twitter
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 15:15
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VIDEO - (5) Fast Hacks #6 - Laser Spy Microphone - YouTube
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 09:20
VIDEO - (5) Jeremy Corbyn urges voters to back Boris Johnson for Prime Minister in disturbing deepfake video - YouTube
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VIDEO - Have You Noticed People Not Pronouncing Their T's? | Grammar Girl
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 23:40
Two of our listeners wrote in recently to ask about a speech pattern they'd noticed: the habit of people dropping the T-sound in words like ''Putin'' or ''mitten.'' They wondered if this was a regional dialect, a generational one, or something else.
Here's what we discovered.
Buy Now The phenomenon itself is known as ''T-glottalization.'' It occurs when a speaker swallows the T sound in a word rather than speaking it aloud. We hear it when words like ''kitten'' and ''water'' are pronounced like ''KIH-en'' and ''WAH-er.''
Let's talk about how this happens, and whether we should expect more of it.
How Does T-glottalization Happen?First of all, glottalization is a normal thing that people do when they talk. It occurs when our vocal folds come together to stop the flow of air and then suddenly open. If you say ''uh-oh,'' a glottal stop occurs right after the ''uh'' and before the ''oh.'' Try it. You'll feel a tightness in your throat when you say ''uh'' that is released when you say ''oh.'' That's a glottal stop. (1)
We do this all the time without realizing it. For example, instead of carefully telling your friend ''I can't jump very high,'' with an emphasis on the T in ''can't,'' you might say ''I CANH jump very high.'' Instead of saying ''start your engines,'' with a hard T at the end of ''start,'' you might say ''STARH your engines.''
Without getting into too many linguistic details, we do this because it's hard to aspirate certain consonants when they fall at the end of a word. We aspirate the P at the beginning of ''purse'' all day long, but we swallow it at the end of ''stop.'' We aspirate the T at the beginning of ''toy,'' but swallow it at the end at the end of ''hot.''
T-glottalization Stands Out When the T Is Dropped in the Middle of WordsT-glottalization tends to be more noticeable when it happens in the middle of a word.
For example, a hallmark of British Cockney speech is dropping T's in the middle of words. Instead of ''getting a bottle of water,'' you might be ''GEH-ing a BAH-l of WAH-er.'' Instead of ''waiting for a letter,'' you might be ''WAY-ing for a LEH-er.'' (2, 8)
Notice that the T is always dropped on the non-stressed syllable in a word. Take the word ''potato.'' There are two T-sounds. If you were glottalizing the word, you'd do it on the second T, which falls in the non-stressed syllable (the last one): ''po-TAY-oh.''
If you were fully pronouncing the T's in those words, your tongue would touch the roof of your mouth and the T-sound would pop out with a puff of air. That's called ''aspiration.'' Try it by saying ''water,'' and make sure you pronounce the T. You can feel your tongue touch the very front of your mouth, and a little puff of air that accompanies the T.
Now try glottalizing it, without emphasizing the T in the middle: ''WAH-er.'' You can feel your tongue hovering right in the middle of your mouth instead.
VIDEO - (1) Liz Wheeler on Twitter: "WTF. Our children are being brainwashed. In school. "Our genitals actually don't determine our gender." "Some people born with vulvas can be boys." "People can also be fluid, feel more like female or male based on a di
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 22:54
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VIDEO - Emma Barnett Gets Answers - Hugging Meghan with Hillary and Chelsea Clinton - BBC Sounds
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 15:19
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VIDEO - Bill Moyers Slips Up In Brian Stelter Interview With a Dose of Accidental Truth. - YouTube
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 10:25
VIDEO - Breaking911 on Twitter: "Protesters interrupt @JoeBiden's #CNNTownHall: ''2050 is too late, climate chaos is our fate!'' https://t.co/TCnXBQkDGO" / Twitter
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 10:19
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VIDEO - Why I stopped posting as many videos as I used to - YouTube
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 10:08
VIDEO - Appealing to Black Voters in South Carolina, Elizabeth Warren Fires Up White Liberals '' Mother Jones
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 09:52
Elizabeth Warren addresses a crowd at Clinton College, an HBCU in Rock Hill, S.C., on September 28, 2019. Meg Kinnard/AP
Elizabeth Warren came to the South Carolina Lowcountry on Saturday and played all the standards. At a town hall in Goose Creek, about 20 miles north of Charleston, she talked about corporate greed and government decisions that put the wealthy few ahead of the working many, before rounding into her proposals for voting reforms that would strengthen democracy. This was an important part of her message in South Carolina, the crescendo where she could address herself directly to the procedural impediments facing the state's many Black voters. The crowd was with her, too, cheering wildly when she promised to end the gerrymandering practices that have historically disempowered racial minorities and to ''end racist voter suppression.''
The curious part was that, by my count, the audience of 750 or so people was at least 80 percent white. Several attendees I'd spoken with had driven up from Charleston, an ever-gentrifying, ever-whitening coastal city full of transplants who've fled colder climates for the Sun Belt. For this predominantly white crowd, some of the day's biggest applause lines were about ending structural racism against Black people.
In its swing through South Carolina, host of the fourth nominating contest in the Democratic presidential primary, Warren's campaign has gotten a glimpse of the central dynamic in the so-called ''Great Awokening,'' the name given to our current era of expanding racial consciousness among white liberals. Pitching herself to Black voters who are essential to winning the state's primary, Warren finds herself firing up white liberals.
I asked Warren after the Goose Creek town hall why she thought a majority-white audience responded so enthusiastically to the explicitly antiracist parts of her message. ''I think people understand that our democracy is broken,'' she told me, reiterating her points about why rich people don't deserve a bigger share of it. She added, ''One of the most fun parts about being out and doing this town halls'''--Goose Creek is her 160th of the cycle'--''is how engaged people are over rebuilding our democracy.''
It's hard to say whether the Warren campaign might have expected a different mix of folks to show up to see her on Saturday. Goose Creek High School serves a majority-minority student body that's 40 percent Black, 30 percent white, and 15 percent Latino; the town and surrounding areas hew closer to 70 percent white, though nearby North Charleston'--about halfway between Goose Creek and downtown Charleston'--is nearly 50 percent Black.
But the town hall was the last stop on Warren's three-day swing through the Carolinas focused on wooing nonwhite voters and highlighting her racial equality message. It included an appearance at an environmental justice forum aimed at highlighting how communities of color disproportionately suffer the effects of environmental inaction, as well as an education forum in Summerton, South Carolina, a majority-Black town in the state's ''Corridor of Shame,'' so called for its history of educational inequality, poor school funding, and low educational achievement. On Thursday, Warren appeared in Raleigh, North Carolina, alongside Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who had endorsed Warren's candidacy earlier that day.
Warren's mission set her up for some obvious questions. At the environmental justice forum, moderator Amy Goodman pressed Warren on whether Iowa and New Hampshire'--''two of the whitest states'''--should be the first states to host presidential primaries. Warren huffed a little and dodged the question, noting she's ''just a player in the game on this one.''
Elizabeth Warren berates Amy Goodman for asking her a reasonable question she refuses to answer, then ends the interview by replying to Goodman's "thank you" with a scoffed "yeah."
Her disdain for the left couldn't be more blatant.pic.twitter.com/CeALdRy4e3
'-- DSA Otherkin Caucus ''¼ (@QueenInYeIIow) November 9, 2019
Following her Goose Creek town hall, a reporter pointed out the majority-white audience and asked what the campaign's strategy is to diversify its crowds. Warren replied with her own question, asking the reporter if she'd seen the majority-Black audience who gathered in a high school library to see her speak with educators in Summerton.
''It's keep showing up and keep reaching out,'' Warren said of her approach. ''I want to introduce myself to every single voter in South Carolina. And that's true, regardless of what their race is, what their gender is, what their party affiliation is'--2020 is our chance, our chance to turn around a country that's working great for those at the top and not so much for'' everyone else.
At its core, Warren's campaign poses the question of whom government works for'--the answer, of course, being the wealthy and well-connected. But there's a line she almost always chases that point with. ''Why are working families finding the path so much harder than generations ago?'' she'll say, as she said in Summerton that morning and again that afternoon in Goose Creek. ''And why, for people of color, is it even rockier, even steeper?''
Warren is acknowledging the entwinement of racial and class inequalities in a way that seemed to energize the white supporters I spoke with at her events in South Carolina. Christine Jasonis, a white retiree and South Carolina transplant originally from Connecticut, says Warren's education and Medicare for All plans appeal to her, but she feels ''very strongly'' about Warren's antiracism. ''If I was a mother of a young Black man today, I would be terrified,'' she says. ''We fought too hard for this.''
Alec Neller, a white twentysomething who recently graduated from college, told me systemic racism was his top voting issue'--and a reason he's drawn to Warren. ''Everyone should have the opportunity to succeed and do what they dream. It makes for a stronger United States and a stronger world,'' he said. ''I think Trump put [racial inequality] on the table by attacking certain minority groups and calling certain countries 'shitholes.'''
Trump's oafishness, while emboldening racists across America, has also had the effect of making racism more obvious to the sort of white liberals who might not have been paying close attention. ''You have people saying, 'Oh, I thought racism was supposed to be over, but clearly, it's not,''' said Jillian Clayton, a white woman who's backing Warren.
Clayton, who attended the College of Charleston in the mid-2000s and has lived in the area since, sees something similar at work in her own city. White residents witnessing Charleston's transformation have become highly attuned to gentrification's effects, she said, even if they're also reaping some of its benefits. ''We see it happening every day,'' she said. ''People are getting pushed farther and farther away from the city.''
Back in March, Vox's Matt Yglesias wrote about the Great Awokening through the lens of researchers and pollsters who have observed a sharp increase in concern among white Democrats about racial inequality and discrimination over the past five years. Yglesias pointed to polling from the Pew Research Center that, back in 2014, found that most Americans didn't think there was any work left to do to address Black-white inequality. Now, more than 80 percent of self-identifying Democrats say the country needs to make changes to give Black Americans the same rights as whites. Until recently, according to the left-leaning think tank Data for Progress, most white Democrats ascribed racial inequality to a lack of individual initiative. Today, as Yglesias writes, white liberals are now ''less likely than African Americans to say that black people should be able to get ahead without any special help.''
The Great Awokening was Yglesias' coinage, a reference to the religious revival among white Northerners in the years before the Civil War that lent a moral fervor to abolitionist movements. And he predicted similar results for this current moment. ''The fundamental reality is that the Awokening has inspired a large minority of white Americans to begin regarding systemic racial discrimination as a fundamental problem in American life'--opening up the prospects of sweeping policy change when the newly invigorated anti-racist coalition does come to power,'' Yglesias wrote.
Warren has been steadily rising in the polls of South Carolina, where more than 50 percent of the primary electorate is Black. The Post and Courier's first poll back in May put Warren at a dismal 8 percent behind Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden, who received 46 percent of support. The latest Post and Courier survey, conducted in mid-October, found Warren in second place at 19 percent, only 11 points behind Biden. Though pollster Pat Reilly did not directly explain Warren's rise, he told the Post and Courier that Biden's drop came ''principally from African-American women who are moving to other candidates,'' though ''none of the top candidates are seeing a decisive jump as a result.''
The rate of conversion suggests that Black women might be moving toward Warren. At the event in Summerton I watched the candidate use her own story to establish a connection. The education forum had been an intimate gathering of a few dozen attendees'--among them local elected officials, business owners, and faith leaders, all of whom told me it was too early for them to throw their support behind any of the Democratic candidates. As Warren recounted her familiar anecdote about how, as a preschool teacher in the 1970s, her contract wasn't renewed when she became visibly pregnant, a number of Black women in the audience nodded knowingly. A few told me afterward that their friends had had similar experiences during that era.
But there was still work to be done, as the demographics of the Goose Creek event suggest. Just before Warren began speaking there, I met Amelia Duvall, who was standing by herself near the back of the gymnasium. Duvall, a Black woman and business owner from nearby Ladson, had attended the town hall alone. She's supporting Warren, but when I asked her what she thought of attendance, she shook her head. ''She's gotta get more people in here who look like me,'' she said.
VIDEO - Don Cherry fired for poppy rant: Woke lefties think supporting veterans is fascist | Keean Bexte - YouTube
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 08:42
VIDEO - Why was Don Cherry fired from Sportsnet? Immigrant rant over Canadian poppy pin ends HNIC tenure | Sporting News
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 08:34
(Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/7e/fe/don-cherry-092817-getty-ftrjpg_hcqkakw46xib142ttzo2uesq2.jpg?t=-869029186&w=500&quality=80Sportsnet made the decision to fire longtime "Hockey Night in Canada" personality Don Cherry after he used a segment of "Coach's Corner" to spout off on an offensive rant about immigrants, the latest in a long line of controversial comments made by the famous broadcaster.
Cherry, a staple on the CBC since he was hired for HNIC in 1981, became known for his flashy suits and outlandish opinions, but his latest, last diatribe caused a national uproar in Canada leading into Remembrance Day 2019.
"Following further discussions with Don after Saturday night's broadcast, it has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down. ... Don is synonymous with hockey and has played an integral role in growing the game over the past 40 years. We would like to thank Don for his contributions to hockey and sports broadcasting in Canada," Sportsnet said in a statement.
TIMELINE: Don Cherry's controversial comments over the years
Why was Don Cherry fired?With Remembrance Day around the corner, Cherry brought up the poppy flower during the Nov. 9 broadcast of "Coach's Corner" and went on a rant, complaining that too few Canadians buy or wear the poppy pin anymore. He then shifted the blame toward the country's immigrants, referring to the group as "you people" and calling on them to buy poppies to show appreciation for the veterans who risked their lives for "your way of life that you enjoy in Canada."
His remarks led to backlash from viewers and social media users, some of whom referred to the rant as racist or xenophobic, and hashtags started trending calling for the 85-year-old host to be fired.
The NHL and Sportsnet released statements on Nov. 10 following the incident, saying they did not stand the comments that he made on the show, nor were they reflective of their values. "Coach's Corner" co-host Ron MacLean also apologized for his inaction during the broadcast.
MORE: League, Sportsnet condemn Cherry's comments about immigrants
All the while, Cherry refused to issue a public apology. In concert with Sportsnet's statement on Cherry's firing, he made his first comments to the Toronto Sun, but still wouldn't apologize.
"I know what I said and I meant it. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honor our fallen soldiers," Cherry told the Sun, adding, "I speak the truth and I walk the walk. I have visited the bases of the troops, been to Afghanistan with our brave soldiers at Christmas, been to cemeteries of our fallen around the world and honored our fallen troops on Coach's Corner. ... I would have liked to continue doing Coach's Corner. The problem is if I have to watch everything I say, it isn't Coach's Corner."
The incident was far from the first time Cherry landed himself in hot water. Years ago, he referred to Russian players as "Nothing. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Nothing," and also made questionable claims about climate change, as well as other politically polarizing topics.
Last year, the Carolina Hurricanes adopted his slogan referring to them as "a bunch of jerks" for their "Storm Surge" celebration held on home ice after wins. Most recently, a week prior to his immigrant comments, he had laughed on the air after Ron MacLean mentioned that Scott Sabourin '-- who was injured in a scary collision in a Nov. 2 game against the Boston Bruins '-- was moving his extremities. Cherry also said that Sabourin "just got knocked out, that's all."
Don Cherry's comments about immigrants
"I was talking to a veteran, I said, I'm not going to run the poppy thing anymore because what's the sense? I live in Mississauga, nobody wears '-- very few people wear a poppy. Downtown Toronto? Forget it. Downtown Toronto, nobody wears a poppy. He says, 'Wait a minute. How about running it for the people who buy them?" Cherry opens on the air, then goes into his rant.
"You people love '-- they come here, whatever it is, you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey. The least you could pay [is] a couple of bucks for a poppy or something like that," he continued. "These guys pay for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys pay the biggest price."
Why Canadians wear poppy flower pins on Remembrance DayThe poppy flower is the official symbol for Remembrance Day, the Canadian equivalent to Veterans Day in the United States. It comes from a poem during World War I titled "In Flanders Fields," where after a battle in Belgium that killed many soldiers, an abundance of red flowers appeared in the fields among the victims' graves. It inspired John McCrae, who served as a lieutenant colonel in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces, to write a poem about the flower and how it symbolized resilience and remembrance.
Following WWI, many saw the flower as the official symbol of remembrance, and in 1920, the National American Legion made the poppy their official symbol of remembrance.
Most commonly, remembrance poppies are worn in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and more rarely in the United States. The poppy is traditionally worn as close to the heart as possible for two weeks leading up to Remembrance Day, which is on Nov. 11.
Wearing the poppy pays tribute to veterans and others who served and sacrificed their lives during times of war.
VIDEO - (8) Hunter Biden FOIA Bombshell - YouTube
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 08:12
VIDEO - Austin ISD approves new sex ed curriculum | KXAN.com
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 08:08
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- Early Tuesday morning, Austin Independent School District's board unanimously approved a controversial new sex-education curriculum.
The curriculum spans grades three through eight. Under the new curriculum, for the first time, the district will teach students about gender identity and sexual orientation. The lessons will also help kids identify an adult they can trust; plus talk to them about options if they get pregnant, and seventh graders would learn how to use a condom.
At the school board meeting Monday, the two groups held dueling rallies outside school district headquarters.
Demonstrators first showed up for rally organized by Texas Values, which opposes the proposed changes.
Supporters repeatedly interrupted it, causing Austin ISD police to arrest transgender woman Naomi Wilson, who's now accused of trespassing, according to her friends.
Those supporters include Informed Parents of Austin, a group of AISD parents advocating for ''policies in the Austin Independent School District that pertain to the LGBTQ community.'' The group's mission also includes working to ''counter the efforts of any group which has a mission of removing anti-bullying and equality policies from AISD.''
Matt Shead is part of the group's executive team and believes the proposed curriculum creates an inclusive environment and informs students on what to expect.
''I think it's really important that our sex-ed curriculum talks about the biology of our body parts, what's coming down the line when we hit puberty, healthy communication and outline what a healthy relationship looks like,'' he said.
Shead said these conversations are already taking place in his household and would like for everyone to be on the same page.
''I want to know the administration, teachers, parents all have the same language that we are using to talk about these things to minimize confusion,'' he added.
MORE: Parents sound off on new sex-ed curriculum at Monday AISD school board meeting
Opponents have been very vocal about where they stand. The Director of Concerned Parents of Texas Carol Ayala said she worried the proposed curriculum will expose students to sex acts they don't yet know about.
''(The curriculum) encourages minor children to engage in vaginal, oral, and anal sexual activity through the comprehensive sex ed they're voting on,'' she said.
The organization which kicked off in April 2017 is described as a group of ''parents, grandparents, educators, and community members who are against the radical sex-ed and LGBT agenda being introduced to children as young as 4 through ''anti-bullying,'' ''relationship education'' and school sex-ed curricula.'' The group also states that they believe, ''parents have the right to give our children the right message about sex.''
While not everyone is against sex-ed in the classroom, some parents like MJ Alvardo believe some of the subject matter is not age-appropriate.
''I'm concerned because the curriculum is very advanced and some parents feel that it is not age-appropriate,'' she said. ''It introduces and normalizes advance sexual behaviors to children at a very young age and perhaps places ideas in their mind that might not have been there before and can potentially lead to some early and unhealthy sexual behaviors.''
RELATED: AISD working on sex-ed curriculum as parents share transparency concerns
AISD leaders said, parents will have the option to opt their children out from the sex-ed curriculum lessons.
''Please take the time to look at the lessons to make a decision about what's right for you and your family and your child,'' Kathy Ryan, the director of academics at the district said.
Ryan said that while the district is working on overhauling its current curriculum, the board has already approved the scope and sequence, ''these are just lessons that align with that scope and sequence.''
Ryan also said the district will make abstinence a priority.
''That is what we are talking about first,'' Ryan said. ''On lessons where that topic may come up it is something where the teacher will be talking about first upfront '-- abstinence is the best policy.''
The new curriculum could be taught as early as May 2020.
VIDEO - ConservativeNationalist_1 on Twitter: "IS THIS GUY SERIOUS? Eric Swalwell actually went on live TV to claim that, ''a President removing an ambassador for political reasons is a gross abuse of power''. Every ambassador serves at the pleasure of
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 10:30
Log in Sign up ConservativeNationalist_1 @ Nationalist_KAG IS THIS GUY SERIOUS?Eric Swalwell actually went on live TV to claim that, ''a President removing an ambassador for political reasons is a gross abuse of power''.Every ambassador serves at the pleasure of the President. HE CAN FIRE WHOEVER HE WANTS.WOW.
pic.twitter.com/C27n48Eset 8:08 PM - 10 Nov 2019 Twitter by: The Hill @thehill Slaterock @ schlader57
12h Replying to
@Nationalist_KAG @Jamierodr14 I'm not sure where Swalwell got his education, but he should go back and demand a refund.
View conversation · Vox Cantoris @ RealVoxCantoris
7h Replying to
@Nationalist_KAG He failed civics but was given a participation trophy.
View conversation · QuestionEverything @ 5wsWWWWhoW
12h Replying to
@Nationalist_KAG @Jamierodr14 These nit wits are so tiresome.
View conversation · deplorableHillbilly @ deplorableHill5
12h Replying to
@Nationalist_KAG @Jamierodr14 @RepSwalwell Please remove the voice box from Special Ed Ken Doll.
@RepSwalwell View conversation · Michael Neely @ michael_neely
12h Replying to
@Nationalist_KAG @wnpcat California (delusional) dreaming
View conversation · Mary Katherine May @ MaryKatherineM8
10h Replying to
@Nationalist_KAG @LolitaDickinson Swalwell forgot how to think when he passed kindergarten. If people are so gullible they believe him then maybe they earned what they get BUT I don't deserve to be led by reps who lie like a rug as a way of life.
View conversation · Art Pressley @ Artco77
12h Replying to
@Nationalist_KAG And the talking head did not call Swalwell on that lie?
View conversation · Eterio Herrera @ teriyo
8h Replying to
@Nationalist_KAG YES POTUS Donald J TrumP, Every ambassador serves at the pleasure of the President. HE CAN FIRE WHOEVER HE WANTS.
View conversation · Mook @ Dizzi00
4h Replying to
@Nationalist_KAG @Addor171 You can't have people acting against your behalf. If an ambassador or anyone is doing that they're out.
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VIDEO - Elizabeth Warren's husband speaks out in rare interview - YouTube
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 08:45
VIDEO - Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle Went on 'The View' and It Was a Total Shitshow
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 08:07
It seemed almost too surreal to be true. Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle together on The View's 5,000th episode?
But there they were Thursday morning, promoting both the first son's new book'--provocatively titled Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us'--and their budding, MAGA-fueled romance. In her introduction, Whoopi Goldberg refused to even say Trump Jr.'s name, calling him ''the son of the gentleman in the White House, DJT.'' Predictably, their joint appearance quickly went off the rails.
Abby Huntsman kicked things off by comparing Trump Jr. to a ''dictator'' for tweeting out the alleged name of the whistleblower in the Ukraine scandal. ''The whole point of releasing a name is to intimidate someone, to threaten someone, and to scare other people from coming out,'' she said. ''That's something that dictators do. I have lived in China. I have seen that firsthand. That's not what America does. We stand by our people. Why did you want to release the name?''
For the next several minutes, Trump Jr. defended his actions by arguing that the name had already been published on sites like the Drudge Report and expressed no regret for doing what could amount to a federal crime. He went on to whine that he wishes the ''outrage'' was equal when his family has been targeted by critics.
''He asked to be anonymous. Your family did not!'' Joy Behar shot back.
''I'm a private citizen putting this out there,'' Trump Jr. protested to laughs of disbelief from the hosts.
Asked if, as a lawyer, she advised him not to do it, Guilfoyle revealed that she was in the bathroom at the time. ''I did say when I came out of the bathroom, 'I left you alone for 10 minutes, what happened while Mamacita was gone?''' she joked. No one laughed.
Soon, all seven people on stage were talking over each other and Goldberg was forced to ring a bell to get them all to shut up. By the time Trump Jr. suggested that Gordon Sondland, Trump's ambassador to the European Union, lied to Congress because he's ''afraid of being attacked like so many of us have by a vicious left that's running a one-sided campaign,'' loud boos could be heard coming from the audience.
Meghan McCain, who did not utter one word during the first segment, made her presence known after the break. ''If you could let me speak, I would appreciate it,'' she began. Seemingly on the verge of tears, she described the various ways the Trump family has damaged ''the soul of this country'' before asking, ''Does all of this make you feel good?''
She did not seem satisfied by his answer about ''unprecedented'' low unemployment numbers for African Americans. ''I understand that he's controversial,'' Trump Jr. said. ''I understand that he's offended a lot of people, but I also understand that he took on the establishment, and that's the premier sin here in American politics today.''
Remarkably, it was Sunny Hostin and not McCain herself who brought up Trump's many insults against her late father, John McCain. ''I understand that and I'm sorry about that,'' Trump Jr. said. ''They did have differences, I agree with that.''
Ultimately, it was left to Goldberg to prevent the couple from trying to rewrite history live on the air. ''Part of being president is having a pair that can take whatever heat comes towards you,'' she told them.
''I promise you, my father's got a pair,'' Trump Jr. shot back. ''And no sitting president has taken the heat that President Trump has taken.'' In the next moment, he attacked Joy Behar for supposedly wearing blackface and Goldberg for defending Roman Polanski.
By the end of their third segment, after Huntsman attempted to end on a ''light note'' by asking when the pair will be ''tying the knot,'' Goldberg had clearly had enough. There was still more time in their hour, but she said, ''It's the end of this show,'' pointing to Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle, who looked like they couldn't wait to get out of there as well.
VIDEO - (21) The Nazi Roots of Environmentalism and the Climate Change Fraud | Close Encounters Ep. 2 - YouTube
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 06:42
VIDEO - Good Morning Britain on Twitter: "Should clapping be banned? @EllenCScott says theatres should swap clapping for 'jazz hands' to be more 'inclusive' to those with anxiety or sensitivity to loud sounds. What do you think? #GMB https://t.co/Bc5WHBbO
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 06:41
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VIDEO - Google kills |
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 06:21
Three years ago, I sounded the alarm over Google censorship, warning the natural health community that Google was sidling up with Big Pharma and would begin de-listing all natural health search results, effectively blacklisting most natural health content.
The response from the natural health community was largely silence.
In private conversations, many natural health publishers told me they thought I was being censored because of my open support for President Trump (and opposition to Hillary Clinton). ''The censorship was political,'' they told me, even as I warned them they would be next.
So there was no uprising against Google back in 2016 when their censorship attack began ramping up. In fact, some natural health publishers thought it was fantastic that Natural News search results were blacklisted by Google. For a short time, it allowed their own sites to receive more traffic that had been legitimately earned by Natural News (but scrubbed by Google).
Fast forward to today. Now, every natural health publisher is all but blacklisted from Google. Anyone who opposes the agenda of Big Pharma and the mass drugging of the nation is now targeted for removal by Google, which has jumped into bed with Big Pharma.
If you dare to question the safety of vaccine ingredients '-- or the scientific fraud behind Big Pharma's FDA approvals '-- you are quietly silenced and removed from the search results of Google, YouTube and Facebook.
Just as I had warned, every prominent natural health publisher is now censored across the tech giants. I was the first to be maliciously targeted and smeared, but once that effort was successful, they accelerated their censorship agenda to everyone else, including Dr. Mercola and thousands of other sites.
Today, Dr. Mercola is fighting back against Google's malicious censorship with a series of videos that are powerful and crucial for our time.
Dr. Mercola posts videos on Brighteon.com and unleashes a powerful, damning video explaining Google's criminal racketeering and fraudJust four days ago, Dr. Mercola '-- who has been hit with 99.9% censorship by Google '-- went public with a damning indictment of Google's treacherous, even criminal racketeering and anti-trust practices.
The following video, uploaded under the Mercola channel on Brighteon.com, is a must-see video for all who care about health freedom and the criminal racketeering of the tech giants:
Dr. Joseph Mercola is one of the pioneers of online natural health knowledge that has provided enormous benefits to humanity, and Google's malicious censorship of his site (and others, like Natural News) is clearly a case of criminal racketeering, especially given that Google is involved in the pharmaceutical industry.
According to Dr. Mercola's video, Google is also about to jump into the vaccine industry, which explains the extreme censorship against vaccine truth information.
Furthermore, over the last several years, Google has censored supplement ads on its Google Adwords platform while pushing prescription medication ads to the forefront. With the censorship of natural health sites now ramped up to insane levels, it's clearly that Google is now functioning as the propaganda front for Big Pharma, making sure people never discover natural cures and prevention strategies that would deny profits to Big Pharma.
These anti-trust crimes by Google, Facebook, YouTube and even Twitter need to be investigated and prosecuted at the highest levels. America is being turned into a ''pharma state'' that's controlled by drug company interests and tyrannical tech giants which have utterly abandoned any pretense of respecting the earned search engine rankings for content that questions the status quo.
Google is flat-out conspiring with Big Pharma to turn hundreds of millions of Americans into drug patients by denying them access to lifesaving health information that could dramatically lower health care costs and save lives across our nation.
Google is evil. And this evil must be stopped.
Share Dr. Mercola's videos on Brighteon.com to help spread the word as we continue to build new platforms for truth about health and freedom.
Hint: We're working on a new project that will make Google obsolete for natural health information, and Mercola's content will be among the articles that are featured.
If humanity is to survive the scourge of Big Pharma and its evil tech partners like Google, humanity must declare war on Google and tear it down.
VIDEO - Cardi B claps back at Instagram for its plans to remove likes | Dazed
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 05:58
via Instagram (@iamcardib) 'If anything is affecting Instagram right now, I really feel it's the way the comments have been done' Back in May, Instagram began trialling the removal of likes in Canada in a bid to reduce stress and anxiety surrounding the use of the platform. Now, Instagram head Adam Mosseri has announced that the platform will test hiding likes in the US as soon as next week, but Cardi B isn't happy.
The rapper posted a video on Instagram, explaining how she believes that the comments section is more toxic to users than seeing likes or not. She said: ''If anything is affecting Instagram right now, I really feel it's the way the comments have been done or have been changing these past few years.''
She continued: ''Because I feel people been saying the most weirdest shit, been starting the craziest arguments, been starting to race bait, all because of comments, because they want to get to the top, they want to get the most reactions.''
Looking at the results of similar trials run in Canada, Japan, Australia, Ireland, and Brazil, Cardi might have a point. Reactions to these trials were mixed. While many welcomed the change, others maintained that the removal of public engagement metrics would be damaging for Instagram professionals, such as influencers, whose numbers are an important marker to potential clients.
But Instagram's not the only social media platform reevaluating its strategy. Facebook '' which also owns Instagram '' has also tried removing engagement metrics, along with YouTube and Twitter. Presumably, they're all sitting in that same shamescape as the guy that invented Twitter's retweet button, and the dude behind everyone's favourite pedigree dog, the labradoodle.
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VIDEO - Breaking! Lt. Col. Vindman, who testified for Dems, is OUT of the NSC! Libs cry RETALIATION! '' The Right Scoop
Sun, 10 Nov 2019 23:06
Liberals are freaking out over the demotion of Col. Vindman from the NSC after he testified in Democrats' investigations this week.
BREAKING: Trump has fired Lt Col Vindman, whose damning testimony confirmed Trump tried to bribe and extort Ukraine. This firing is an abuse of power and another impeachable offense. Trump retaliated against an American patriot, on Veteran's Day weekend. Disgusting and pathetic.
'-- Scott Dworkin (@funder) November 11, 2019Here's when it was revealed during Face the Nation:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, who has testified under oath, is serving on the National Security Council currently. Will he continue to work for you despite testifying against the president?
O'BRIEN: Well- well look, one of the things that I've talked about is that we're streamlining the National Security Council. It got bloated to like two hundred and thirty six people from- up from 100 in the Bush administration under President Obama. We're streamlining the National Security Council. There are people that are detailed from different departments and agencies. My understanding is he's- is that Colonel Vindman is- is detailed from the Department of Defense. So everyone who's detailed at the NSC, people are going to start going back to their own departments and we'll bring in new folks. But we're going to get that number down to around 100 people. That's what it was under Condoleezza Rice. She came and met with me. I met with a number of my successors.
O'BRIEN: We don't need to recreate the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security over at the White House. We've got great diplomats and soldiers and- and folks that can- that do that work for us in the departments.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Just to button that up, though. You're saying Colonel- Lieutenant Colonel Vindman is scheduled to rotate out. You are not suggesting in any way that there will be retaliation against him?
O'BRIEN: I- I never retaliated against anyone. So the- the- it's'--
MARGARET BRENNAN: But his time is coming to an end?
O'BRIEN: There- there will be a point for everybody who's detailed there'--
O'BRIEN: ''that their time, that their detail will come to an end. They'll go back to their agency. And what we want them to do is take the experience and skills they learned at the White House, take it back to their departments and agencies and- and do an even better job there. And- and so we're grateful that we can have these detailees come in, and they'll come spend the year- a year or, you know, maybe a little bit more at the White House and then they'll go back to their agency. And they'll do a better job at their agency''
O'BRIEN: '-- having been at the White House.
Kinda sounds like she knew exactly what to ask '' maybe she had been tipped off.
Anyway, not everyone thinks this is de fact retaliation, including Tom Nichols, who is definitely not a fan of Trump:
Now, if Trump or someone around him orders Vindman assigned to Mars Colony Five, or gives him a lousy fitness report, yes, he can claim retaliation. But removing him from NSC isn't that. He's being sent back to DoD, not fired from the Army. What happens *next* is what matters.
'-- Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) November 10, 2019So you can bet we'll hear more about this because they're freaking out that this happened so close to Veteran's Day. So'... get ready for that all day tomorrow.
Well that's it for Sunday. We hope you had a better weekend than the Buffalo Bills and the Carolina Panthers did!! Have yourselves an open thread.
Here's some comment fodder:
My Uber driver's car reeks of weed and I'm pretty sure I see a crack stem under his seat. Not sure he realizes the address he's taking me to is a police station but in eight minutes he's gonna have a bad day.
'-- Overheard On Duty (@OverheardOnDuty) November 10, 2019Take care of yourselves, and each other.
VIDEO - (19) They changed the ABC song to clarify LMNOP - YouTube
Sun, 10 Nov 2019 23:06
VIDEO - Hong Kong police shoot man during morning protests | News | DW | 11.11.2019
Sun, 10 Nov 2019 23:02
Chaos erupted in Hong Kong when security forces cracked down on an early morning protest. Footage showed a police officer shooting a protester at close range. The man is now in critical condition.
At least one protester was hit by live ammunition on Monday in Hong Kong, after police opened fire and chaos erupted during mass demonstrations.
Local media in Hong Kong reported that the incident had taken place in the eastern side of the island.
Video footage showed a scuffle between black-clad protesters and a police officer, who moments later shot one of the protesters at close range. The protester was then seen lying in a pool of blood with his eyes wide open.
The man is now in critical condition, having been taken into hospital and operated upon immediately.
Hong Kong police confirmed the incident in a tweet, also saying that police officers in two other district "have drawn thei service arms from their holsters."
Riot police were deployed on Monday ahead of the demonstrations. Services on some train and subway lines were disrupted. Protesters were seen using barricades to block roads across Hong Kong as they targeted rush hour commuters and traffics.
Read more: Hong Kong: Will violence kill the pro-democracy movement?
Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong said on Twitter that a fierce crackdown had begun early in the day and showed footage of clashes between police and protesters.
"Barely 9 o'clock in the morning, and across the other side of town, in Kwai Fong, a traffic cop gone berserk on a motorcycle is running protesters over," Wong wrote.
The violence comes just a week after a student died in hospital after falling from a building, when protesters were being dispersed by police.
Hong Kong has been rocked by protests since June, when residents took to the street to reject an extradition treaty with China.
Since then, the movement has snowballed into larger pro-democracy demonstrations that have been repressed by security forces. Protesters have taken a strong stance against police brutality and China's influence over the territory.
ed, jcg/dr (Reuters, AFP)
Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.
VIDEO - Groyper Wars: Lying Ben Shapiro ATTACKS Nick Fuentes and America First | America First Ep. 495 - YouTube
Sun, 10 Nov 2019 14:59


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All Clips

Ambassador Taylor slips and says aid goes to companies instead of countries.mp3
Biden's reaction to impeachment hearing - Devestating.mp3
Bill Moyers slips on CNN - people want to be consfused.mp3
Eric Swalwell claims a President removing an ambassador for political reasons is a gross abuse of power.mp3
OAN on Hunter Biden FOIA which proves Burisma used his name as leverage with State Department.mp3
Rep. Quigley Hearsay Can Be Much Better Evidence than Direct.mp3
Charles Barkley says dmeocrats only talk to black people every 4 years.mp3
Emma Barnett BBC with Hillar -1- Will you run again many many many people pressuring me to run.mp3
Emma Barnett BBC with Hillar -2- Russian interference report re Brexit.mp3
Environmental Justice Presidential Forum Betsy is pissed at Amy.mp3
Don Cherry event One.mp3
Don Cherry event TWO.mp3
gun lawsuit CBS.mp3
Homeless report LA One.mp3
Homeless report LA TWO.mp3
Hong Kong demands investigations DN.mp3
Hot liquid soaked ISO.mp3
IMMPEACH CLIP Swalwell and the never trumpers.mp3
IMPEACH CLIP Nunes 1 opening of opening.mp3
IMPEACH CLIP Nunes 2 the unasnwered questions.mp3
IMPEACH ISO Career.mp3
Kurz show on whistleblower FOX.mp3
report on Venice AJ.mp3
UAW strike nissing info PBS.mp3
underreported US Pipeline news AJ.mp3
warren versus amy funny.mp3
AOC revolution ISO.mp3
BRICS in Brasilia AJ.mp3
cold weather CBS.mp3
Dean Foods and decline of milk CBS.mp3
[OK Boomer Segment] - They changed the ABC song to clarify LMNOP.mp3
Cardi B claps back at Instagram removing likes.mp3
Instagram to ban Likes soon.m4a
Kara Swhisher blames white men for Apple algo bias problems.mp3
A Smart Home Neighborhood Residents Find It Enjoyably Convenient Or A Bit Creepy [NPR].mp3
Apple algos have gender bias.mp3
Austin ISD approves new sex ed curriculum.mp3
Good Morning Britain - Should Clapping be Banned and replaced by Jazz Hands.mp3
Grammar Girl explains T-glottilization.mp3
Sex-Ed School on Twitter people with vulva's can be boys [12 year olds].mp3
Watters World - Phd Sociologist -Racist Math.mp3
Wings of Pegasus explains vocal fry [from producer Joe].mp3
Austin City Council considering hotel for homeless.mp3
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    know what to call him but it took it
  • 2:24
    over the CEO of HBO and move them over
  • 2:26
    to Apple yeah see now is he gonna run
  • 2:28
    the the Apple TV stuff I guess so you
  • 2:32
    know there's they have a bunch of shows
  • 2:33
    the advertiser Munt television they have
  • 2:36
    a whole slew of shows there's one with
  • 2:38
    Jennifer Aniston it was at one of the
  • 2:40
    Apple presentations they're gonna taste
  • 2:41
    right right original programming that
  • 2:44
    nobody gets to watch I actually would
  • 2:48
    almost get Apple TV just to watch a
  • 2:50
    series with Jennifer Aniston
  • 2:52
    I'd like her yeah you've said this
  • 2:57
    before in the show yeah she lives answer
  • 2:59
    your denial about the fact that she's a
  • 3:01
    next door neighbor Austin you see me
  • 3:07
    uh-huh yeah exactly yes well that would
  • 3:12
    be good and we could totally snow those
  • 3:13
    guys with it yeah like like they listen
  • 3:19
    like Eddy Cue is there's that no but I
  • 3:22
    have Eddie's number I'll call Eddie I
  • 3:25
    got some hot shit for you man we got we
  • 3:28
    got the algos are triggered on the
  • 3:29
    youtube you know they've got a hundred
  • 3:31
    billion dollars to throw away they might
  • 3:34
    as well and they're putting it on
  • 3:35
    there's two or three shows they're doing
  • 3:37
    it but I don't know how many shows maybe
  • 3:39
    five there's a bunch of shows there and
  • 3:42
    somebody's get to see any of them yeah I
  • 3:45
    think it's more than five and then a
  • 3:47
    couple movies aren't they doing some
  • 3:48
    feature-length stuff as well I didn't
  • 3:50
    hear that but why not yeah well we'll
  • 3:54
    see we got to come up with a budget
  • 3:57
    that's the problem
  • 3:57
    we gotta we gotta justify a budget
  • 3:59
    because really you know the budget is
  • 4:01
    almost a zero it's the three of us Jen
  • 4:03
    making them yeah we're the writers for
  • 4:08
    all practical purposes yes and
  • 4:10
    showrunners and producers yeah
  • 4:14
    let's yeah the writers it's not a very
  • 4:16
    good position on any show
  • 4:18
    um it's lighter than almost all TV shows
  • 4:21
    her writer all writers anyway so else go
  • 4:26
    yeah I'm going over that so I had the
  • 4:28
    funny line the other day I'm going over
  • 4:31
    to I'm over at Whole Foods and I'm
  • 4:32
    looking across the the next at the next
  • 4:35
    person over the next checker yeah and I
  • 4:37
    said I'm and I actually thought this was
  • 4:40
  • 4:41
    I said that's Salman Rushdie who was
  • 4:43
    what who was checking or packing the
  • 4:45
  • 4:45
    I've noticed that was not it was just a
  • 4:48
    coach leaving okay yeah she looks she
  • 4:50
    looks just like him I said yeah but then
  • 4:53
    again everybody in Berkeley looks like
  • 4:55
    Salman Rushdie got a big laugh and then
  • 4:58
    I said and the men look even worse and
  • 5:03
    you got run out of town you sexist
  • 5:06
    misogynist douche
  • 5:10
    or not no no let's go don't care if
  • 5:13
    you're actually pretty lackadaisical
  • 5:15
    about anything so they got some humor
  • 5:17
    still left in Berkeley that's good to
  • 5:18
    know she could laugh she laughed and
  • 5:20
    left and left and one of her piercings
  • 5:22
    fell out of her mouth now that's the
  • 5:27
  • 5:29
    so the jetlag is still kind of with me
  • 5:32
    taking a little bit longer on that long
  • 5:35
    yeah but usually I can I think that the
  • 5:38
    trip home is what really screwed me up
  • 5:40
    because it took much longer than it
  • 5:42
    should have so I didn't really get into
  • 5:44
    the right rhythm so I'm you know of
  • 5:47
    course yesterday you know all the
  • 5:49
    build-up oh boy this is gonna be it the
  • 5:51
    big show is coming to the TV this is the
  • 5:53
    worst yeah we're going all the way this
  • 5:56
    is it this is the impeachment hearing
  • 5:58
    and it was it was so hard for me to stay
  • 6:02