Art for episode 1215

1215: Omnipocalypse

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 52m
February 9th, 2020
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Executive Producers: Sir Craig, Knight North to South, Sir @chuckboycejr of the Data, Sir JD, Baron of Si Con Val

Associate Executive Producers: Anonymous, Joel Tucker, Sir Brian, The Slow & Steady Knight, Dr. Jay the Medical Examiner, Jenna Damico, Red 331 Red 331

Cover Artist: Darren O'Neill

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VIDEO - Susan Rice just threatened Snoop Dogg & us over Kobe defense - Vicki Dillard - YouTube
Sun, 09 Feb 2020 07:33
VIDEO - FIREWORKS: Secretary Pompeo EXPOSES Chinese Government at Governors Association Meeting - YouTube
Sun, 09 Feb 2020 07:29
VIDEO - "Executions In Central Park": MSNBC's Matthews Warns Of Socialist Sanders 'Dictatorship' In Surreal Clip | Zero Hedge
Sun, 09 Feb 2020 07:25
MSNBC's Chris Matthews shocked his fellow pundits Friday night following the New Hampshire primary debate by suggesting Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders could erect a future dictatorship in which establishment political figures would be "executed".
In a rant that has to be seen to be believed Matthews said of a potential Sanders presidency:
''You know, I have my own views of the word socialist and I'll be glad to tell them, share them with you in private,'' Matthews said. ''They go back to the early 1950s. I have an attitude about them. I remember the Cold War. I have an attitude towards Castro, and I believe if Castro and the Reds had won the Cold War, there would have been executions in Central Park and I might've been one of the ones executed and certain other people would be there cheering. So, I have a problem with people who took the other side.''
Did Chris Matthews just imply Bernie Sanders is going to start assassinating people?? WTF?? pic.twitter.com/yuSIr9zLyp
'-- Bernie/Nina 2020 🌹 (@mikemoran2010) February 8, 2020Matthews then immediately pivots from the historical reference to "executions in Central Park" if "the Reds had one" back to Sanders.
''I don't know who Bernie supports over these years. I don't know what he means by socialism. One week it's Den-mahk, we're going to be like Den-mahk,'' the MSNBC host said, mimicking Sanders' Brooklyn accent. ''Ok, that's harmless. That's basically a capitalist country with a lot of good social programs. Den-mahk is harmless.''
The self-styled moderate Democrat who in the past has admitted he's "more conservative than people think I am" set off a firestorm of controversy among progressives who've pointed out both MSNBC and CNN's consistently negative coverage, which in this instance devolved into suggesting that Sen. Sanders could start political executions and assassinations if he gets in power.
Here's the video of the moment... It really is something pic.twitter.com/uKS3vxuyX1
'-- Kombiz Lavasany (@kombiz) February 8, 2020During the rant, Matthews leaves his fellow MSNBC panelists somewhat speechless and surprised at how far he took the Cold War analogy, though Chris Hayes meekly pushed back a bit:
''He's clearly in the Denmark category,'' Hayes gently pointed out.
''Is he?!'' Matthews shot back.
''Yeah,'' Hayes replied.
''How do you know? Did he tell you that?'' Matthews pressed.
Matthews had clearly implied that Sanders himself "would be there cheering" on executions in Central Park if the Communists had won.
The live commentary Friday night immediately and predictably unleashed outrage among progressives and Bernie supporters online, confirming in their minds the mainstream's conspiring to prevent a Bernie Sanders primary nomination for president.
However, it will be interesting to see the degree to which Trump himself taps into these same arguments against Sanders' well-known socialist agenda should the Vermont senator actually become the Democratic Party nominee.
VIDEO-Rudy Giuliani Discusses the Evidence of Corruption The DOJ and Congress are Intentionally Ignoring'.... | The Last Refuge
Sun, 09 Feb 2020 07:09
Rudy Giuliani has spent over a year gathering evidence of wide-scale corruption, money laundering and fraudulently created political operations deployed against Donald Trump.
Unfortunately, because of the successful defense strategies of an alliance of interests: Obama White House officials, democrats, republicans, media and current DOJ officials to include AG Bill Barr, Mr. Giuliani has been alinsky'd '' isolated, ridiculed, marginalized and controversialized. A once great corruption investigator, prosecutor, New York City mayor and presidential candidate, is now reduced to hosting a podcast.
As a direct result of the DC protective agenda, ie. marginalize the messenger, nothing Giuliani has uncovered will be used, discussed or acted upon by any officials in/around the institutions of government; including the DOJ. However, Giuliani discusses the evidence with Fox News host Jesse Watters.
VIDEO-Susan Rice warns Snoop Dogg to 'back the **** off' attacks on CBS's Gayle King for Kobe Bryant interview | TheHill
Sun, 09 Feb 2020 06:33
This is despicable. Gayle King is one of the most principled, fair and tough journalists alive. Snoop, back the **** off. You come for @GayleKing, you come against an army. You will lose, and it won't be pretty. https://t.co/nUxcYCLS62
'-- Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) February 8, 2020The back-and-forth comes after an interview earlier this week with former WNBA star Lisa Leslie in which King raised the sexual assault charge against Bryant in a 2003 civil case that was ultimately settled.
"Respect the family and back off '-- before we come get you," Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., said in a video flagged by journalist Yashar Ali.
Rice, 55, took exception to the threat and responded with a warning on Twitter.
''This is despicable,'' she wrote. ''Gayle King is one of the most principled, fair and tough journalists alive. Snoop, back the **** off. You come for @GayleKing, you come against an army. You will lose, and it won't be pretty.''
Bryant died late last month in a helicopter crash that also killed his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and eight others. His death has set off waves of tributes to the NBA great, with some of his supporters responding with anger and threats to people who have raised the allegations against Bryant.Bryant was accused in 2003 of sexually assaulting a Colorado hotel employee. The charges were later dropped after the employee declined to cooperate with prosecutors. She would eventually settle with Bryant outside of court, and Bryant acknowledged in an apology that the woman did not feel that their encounter was consensual.
King brought up that case in the interview with Leslie.
''It's been said that his legacy is complicated because of a sexual assault charge that was dismissed in 2003, 2004. Is it complicated for you, as a woman, as a WNBA player?'' King asked Leslie."It's not complicated for me at all," Leslie replied. "I just never see '-- have ever seen him being the kind of person that would be '-- do something to violate a woman or be aggressive in that way. That's just not the person that I know."
"Lisa, you wouldn't see it, though. As his friend, you wouldn't see it," King said.
"And that's possible," replied Leslie. "I just don't believe that."
She added that the media "should be more respectful at this time."King said she has received death threats over the interview.
She was noticeably absent from "CBS This Morning" on Friday as the controversy continued to grow.
VIDEO-Sky News on Twitter: "Flights have been cancelled, rail services cut, parks closed as Storm Ciara sweeps across Britain. Sky's, @SkyKatieSpencer has the latest from a very windy Milford on Sea. Get the latest on #StormCiara here: https://t.co/KFJOLp
Sun, 09 Feb 2020 06:31
Flights have been cancelled, rail services cut, parks closed as Storm Ciara sweeps across Britain.Sky's,
@SkyKatieSpencer has the latest from a very windy Milford on Sea.Get the latest on
#StormCiara here:
trib.al/IFGq8PV pic.twitter.com/s1L3aWRKEp
VIDEO -EOS- Pr¶ksi(C) Sh¼rvaar - READING IS FUTILE v7 by Pr¶ksi(C) Sh¼rvaar
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 16:06
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VIDEO - (20) The Daily Wire on Twitter: "AOC: ''It's a physical impossibility to lift yourself up by a bootstrap, by your shoelaces. It's physically impossible!'' https://t.co/JjuT5J2v71" / Twitter
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:43
Welcome home! This timeline is where you'll spend most of your time, getting instant updates about what matters to you.
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VIDEO - Katy Tur Fears 'Gerrymandering' Helping Republicans Win Senate Seats
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:34
Still lamenting the Republican majority in the Senate acquitting President Trump in the impeachment trial, on Friday, MSNBC anchor Katy Tur touted how more people voted for the senators who supported conviction and bizarrely feared that ''gerrymandering'' was somehow helping the GOP win so many Senate seats.
''In case you missed it, majority doesn't always rule in this country,'' Tur whined in the 2:00 p.m. ET hour. Relying on a Washington Post article, she then explained her declaration: ''Forty-eight senators voted to remove the President from office. Fifty-two voted to acquit. But the 48 actually represent 12 million more voters than the senators who decided to keep Donald Trump in the White House.''
Tur brought on Post political reporter Philip Bump to continue to promote the piece: ''Alright, so impeachment is an example of this. The 48 senators '' I mean, 12 million more voters, that's a lot.'' Bump replied in part that ''you had the 69 million who actually supported senators who wanted to see him removed from office.''
It's unclear how Bump divined that people voted those senators into office with the express desire that they overturn the results of the 2016 election.
Minutes later, Tur wondered what could be done to prevent Republicans from winning statewide elections for U.S. Senate seats across the country: ''So what's the resolution to that? Is gerrymandering something that would help improve the situation? Is '' how does that sort of divide promote consensus in the Senate or even in the House?''
Bump was forced to awkwardly correct her and explain the obvious: ''Well, I mean, the only resolution '' gerrymandering is not going to do anything because in the Senate we're talking about states, right? You can't gerrymander states.'' He then delivered more tough news: ''The only solution is for Democrats to appeal to voters in those states.''
In other words, Democrats have to actually win elections in order to gain power '' how unfair!
Here is a transcript of the February 7 segment:
2:38 PM ET
KATY TUR: In case you missed it, majority doesn't always rule in this country. Forty-eight senators voted to remove the President from office. Fifty-two voted to acquit. But the 48 actually represent 12 million more voters than the senators who decided to keep Donald Trump in the White House.
We're not arguing that a simple majority of the population should decide whether to remove an impeached a president from office. That is not in the Constitution. But it does serve to highlight a broad trend in our politics, the outsized influence of rural voters over those concentrated in the cities and suburbs.
Joining me now, the Washington Post political reporter who pulled those numbers, Philip Bump.
Alright, so impeachment is an example of this. The 48 senators '' I mean, 12 million more voters, that's a lot.
PHILIP BUMP: Yeah. And this is votes, this isn't population. I think that's important to note because part of what inspired me to actually do this calculation is Trump and his team were always saying what about the will of these 63 million people who voted for him? Which is a fair point.
TUR: Yeah.
BUMP: But then by contrast, you had of course the voters who supported Hillary Clinton, speaking of the ''
TUR: Sixty-five million.
BUMP: Exactly, that discrepancy. But then you had the 69 million who actually supported senators who wanted to see him removed from office.
(...)
2:41 PM ET
TUR: It's also '' when you look at judges and the way judges have been appointed. Not only the judges that Donald Trump has appointed since he's been in office. The judges that were not appointed when President Obama was in office, I'm thinking very '' I'm thinking of Merrick Garland in particular.
BUMP: Right. Yeah, no, exactly. What Mitch McConnell has done is he's exacerbated the problem by weaponizing it, right? So he recognizes that he has this power to act as a check, to use this minority population as a check on what the rest of the country is doing. I mean, the example I use is Brett Kavanaugh. Who Brett Kavanaugh was appointed by a president who lost the popular vote and he was confirmed by a Senate which represented less than half the country, right? I mean, that is a stark example, and it's one that Mitch McConnell has use repeatedly to act in contrast to the House.
TUR: It's a bit of a kerfuffle.
BUMP: It is, it is. It's a bit of a conundrum.
TUR: So what's the resolution to that? Is gerrymandering something that would help improve the situation? Is '' how does that sort of divide promote consensus in the Senate or even in the House?
BUMP: Well, I mean, the only resolution '' gerrymandering is not going to do anything because in the Senate we're talking about states, right? You can't gerrymander states. The only solution is for Democrats to appeal to voters in those states, right?
And so, one of the things we see, one of the contrasts in American politics right now, is that Republicans are much more conservative than are Democrats liberal. Democrats are getting more liberal over time. But Democrats need to be able to appeal to people in those states, and one of the concerns that a lot of Democrats have is how do we do that well while at the same time effectively representing our more diverse base and our more diverse electorate?
(...)
VIDEO - How Did the Media React When Obama's Speech to Congress Was Disrespected? - YouTube
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:24
VIDEO - Trump: Pelosi Ripping Up the Speech was "Very Illegal" - YouTube
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:20
VIDEO - 0:10 / 3:50 Bloomberg Says The Midwest Isn't Intelligent Enough To Understand Trans Rights
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:14
VIDEO - Homeowner Catches Robbers Breaking Into Home On Live Video - YouTube
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 14:48
VIDEO - Buttigieg Argues for End of Electoral College After Iowa 'Victory' Without Popular Vote
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 14:45
Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) argued that the popular vote should take precedence in a presidential election, just after he lost the popular vote to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in Iowa.
''I think that the Electoral College has run its course and in the future, we ought to pick our presidents in a way that makes sure that the one who got the most votes actually gets to be president,'' Buttigieg said in a CNN town hall on Thursday.
Buttigieg won the Iowa caucuses with 564 state delegate equivalents, while Sanders only won 562.
But Sanders won the popular vote, with a 6,114 vote lead in the first vote and a 2,631 vote lead in the second vote.
Since first announcing his campaign for president, Buttigieg has joined prominent Democrats calling for an end to the electoral college after failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lost to President Donald Trump in 2016.
Buttigieg made a splash in liberal circles after he boldly called for the end to the electoral college while announcing his run for president.
''We can't say it's much of a democracy when twice in my lifetime the Electoral College has overruled the American people,'' he said at his campaign kickoff rally in South Bend, Indiana, in April.
Buttigieg called for a constitutional amendment to change the way that federal elections are run, calling the electoral college ''undemocratic.''
''I think most Americans, of any party, ought to be able to get on board with the idea that one person, one vote, counting equally, is the fairest way to choose our president,'' he said in June.
Trump has argued in favor of the electoral college.
''With the Popular Vote, you go to just the large States '' the Cities would end up running the country,'' Trump wrote on Twitter in March. ''Smaller States and the entire Midwest would end up losing all power '' and we can't let that happen.''
VIDEO h1m25-h2m50-h2m51-- WATCH LIVE: Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate in New Hampshire l ABC News Live - YouTube
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 14:27
VIDEO-Biden's many mentions of Obama during the Democratic debate - YouTube
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 14:09
VIDEO-QuickTake by Bloomberg on Twitter: "ICYMI: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump's State of the Union address ''used the Congress of the United States as a backdrop for a reality show, presenting a state of mind that had no contact with reality w
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 11:16
ICYMI: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump's State of the Union address ''used the Congress of the United States as a backdrop for a reality show, presenting a state of mind that had no contact with reality whatsoever''
pic.twitter.com/BCZqsDcMyp
VIDEO-WHO Holds News Briefing to Update Media on Coronavirus Outbreak - Video - Sputnik International
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 11:06
World15:40 GMT 08.02.2020(updated 15:42 GMT 08.02.2020) Get short URL
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https://sputniknews.com/world/202002081078260484-who-holds-another-news-briefing-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/
Earlier in February, the World Health Organisation declared a global health emergency in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is holding a second news briefing this week following the sixth day of the 146th Executive Board session in Geneva. The briefing is to update the media on the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The new strain of coronavirus '' 2019-nCoV '' was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, located in the province of Hubei, in December and has since spread to more than 25 countries. In mainland China, the virus has already left 722 people dead and over 34,000 infected.
Follow Sputnik's live feed to find out more.
VIDEO-'This Pelosi Woman and Her Cohorts Are Threat to US' - Angelina Jolie's Father Jon Voight - Sputnik International
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 10:40
Society15:40 GMT 08.02.2020Get short URL
Hollywood veteran actor Jon Voight expressed his support for US President Donald Trump and his administration in a recently published video.
Ray Donovan star Jon Voight has criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accusing her of posing a "threat" to the US and saying that her soul has "evil intent".
''This Pelosi woman and her cohorts are a threat to the United States of America. She has a link that is corrupt, her soul has evil intent ", Voight said in a video published on his Twitter account on 7 February. Angelina Jolie's father continued, saying that he was watching the president's State of the Union speech with "pride and tears", adding that he was moved by Trump's "words of wisdom".
''We will stand in the name of God. We will stand with President Trump for he is the greatest president ", he stated. The Oscar-winning actor also called Trump "the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln". Donald Trump awarded the National Medal of Arts to Jon Voight in November, stressing that he as an actor of "astonishing range and depth".
The statement comes after Nancy Pelosi tore up the presidential State of the Union speech for a national television audience to clearly see. The US media also pointed out that Pelosi did not introduce Trump in a traditional way, ignoring words "I have the high privilege and distinct honor". Instead, Pelosi simply said, "Members of Congress, the president of the United States".
(C) AP Photo / Alex Brandon
On 5 February, the Republican-majority US Senate voted 52-48 to acquit Trump on impeachment charges for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The impeachment process started in September, the Democrat-led House of Representatives launched an impeachment inquiry into the president over his 25 July telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump allegedly asked officials in Kiev to probe rival presidential candidate Joe Biden.
On 19 December, the House of Representatives voted along party lines to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for allegedly freezing military aid to pressure Ukraine to probe political rival, Joe Biden.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing, repeatedly dismissing the impeachment inquiry as a witch hunt aimed at reversing the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
VIDEO-ABC News on Twitter: "Amy Klobuchar knocks idea of being a "cool newcomer": "We have a newcomer in the White House, and look where it got us. I think having some experience is a good thing." https://t.co/Rhy9aOaDTU #DemDebate https://t.co/cqusxWYJfl
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 10:12
T Smith @ topshelf75
15h Replying to
@ABC It got us to the best economy we've ever had....was that meant to be the point?
View conversation · 🍕🌮ðŸ...‡'š¾ð'•ð'•šð'•ð'•ð'•'/ð'•¥ð'•'ð'•--ð'• ð'•¤/ð'•'ð'•'ð'•¥ð'•¤ @ batsdingerbonds
14h Replying to
@topshelf75 @ABC Top heavy Pyrrhic victory
View conversation · Shelley Howland @ shelley_320
15h Replying to
@ABC @amyklobuchar @amyklobuchar You go girl!
View conversation · VickiAnn57 @ VickiAnn57
15h Replying to
@ABC @ZerlinaMaxwell @ewarren This was a great answer! But could we PLEASE hear from
@ewarren too?! WTH? They've relegated her to yang / steyer status. 🤬
View conversation · totally getting called c*nt by Bernie Bros in 2020 @ blerticus
14h Replying to
@ABC @amyklobuchar @amyklobuchar is done with Pete's nonsense!
View conversation · Claire @ AltezzaGitaDoll
15h Replying to
@ABC Cool as a new-cumber??
View conversation · Jeff Hettinger @ jeffdhO4W
14h Replying to
@ABC I think experience is a good thing too. However, Trump basically said he was going to break the law while he was on the campaign trail. Pete has done no such thing.
View conversation · Mongwau @ Mongwau_Mochni
15h Replying to
@ABC @TulsiGabbard @TulsiGabbard is the one.
View conversation · xtina drill @ stidrill
15h Replying to
@ABC guys she said ''cool newcumber'' like cool cucumber
View conversation · Tommy @ TomislavKralji9
15h Replying to
@ABC I mean gas where I live is at $1.97...
View conversation ·
VIDEO-Amee Vanderpool on Twitter: "Amy Klobuchar with the line of the night: "He blames the King of Denmark, who does that?" #democraticdebate https://t.co/0AtoOyUEwq" / Twitter
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 10:06
Mitch McMahon @ mcmitchTB
10h Replying to
@girlsreallyrule I more and more think she is the boss I'd wanna have. A very optimistic tough and no bs person that wants for the right ways.
View conversation · Murders in the Rue Porg @ Kristodynamics
10h Replying to
@mcmitchTB @girlsreallyrule She throws staplers and binders at employees. Not the boss I'd wanna have.
View conversation · The Montreal Phil @ libphil_
10h Replying to
@girlsreallyrule There's a queen but good point
View conversation · Carole Myers @ CaroleMyers
10h Replying to
@libphil_ @girlsreallyrule But did Trump blame the make-believe king of Denmark, like the King of Covfefe?
View conversation · Paul Savoie @ psavoie626
10h Replying to
@girlsreallyrule The line of the night, truly.
View conversation · Sharon Not Karen 🐾'®¸ðŸŒŠ @ SGarner2603
10h Replying to
@girlsreallyrule She was awesome tonight!
View conversation · Upshot Sleuth '›"¸ðŸŒ¸''¸ @ UpshotSleuth
10h Replying to
@girlsreallyrule Recycled. Wash, rinse, repeat. Hardly breakout stuff.
View conversation · Dave Haglund @ tptdave
10h Replying to
@girlsreallyrule She already used it Monday night.....
View conversation · a beltran @ fabfashionista8
9h Replying to
@girlsreallyrule ''I, King Claudius of Denmark, hereby demand that Hamlet stop dawdling and bring his investigation to a close. It's been four acts!
View conversation ·
VIDEO-ABC News on Twitter: "Amy Klobuchar: "If you have trouble stretching your paycheck to pay for that rent, I know you and I will fight for you. If you have trouble deciding if you're going to pay for your childcare or your long-term care, I know you,
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 10:04
Log in Sign up ABC News @ ABC Amy Klobuchar: "If you have trouble stretching your paycheck to pay for that rent, I know you and I will fight for you. If you have trouble deciding if you're going to pay for your childcare or your long-term care, I know you, and I will fight for you."
abcn.ws/2vaOrPQ pic.twitter.com/daEgXHeLLk 7:39 PM - 7 Feb 2020 Twitter by: ABC News @ABC AverageResistor @ Jbullock523
12h Replying to
@ABC @SenAmyKlobuchar I'm in with
@SenAmyKlobuchar !
View conversation · AverageResistor @ Jbullock523
12h Replying to
@ABC @SenAmyKlobuchar We just made our first ever campaign donation to
@SenAmyKlobuchar View conversation · scmom2jrjr '›¸ @ scmom2jrjr
12h Replying to
@ABC @America_for_Amy @amyklobuchar Even everyone else on stage was watching her!!
@America_for_Amy @amyklobuchar View conversation · peter @ psbono21
12h Replying to
@ABC @ourqueenrachel @amyklobuchar the Networks are missing this spectacular candidate 1st woman POTUS !
@amyklobuchar 2020 !
View conversation · HeadlineZoo @ HeadlineZooo
12h Replying to
@ABC @amyklobuchar and
3 others .
@amyklobuchar is the nominee (or VP) to beat Trump. She's no lightweight substantively and is growing by leaps and bounds in the debates and on the campaign trail.
@MSNBC's
@JoyAnnReid and
@chrislhayes tried to rough her up a bit post debate and she handled it well.
#DemDebates View conversation · Beverly @ walkablock
12h Replying to
@ABC She won me over tonight!
View conversation · Lori Sirianni @ 4AnimalLife
11h Replying to
@ABC @amyklobuchar @ewarren .
@amyklobuchar and
@ewarren are the two strongest candidates in this election.Women get things done. Women are tough; we have empathy, build coalitions, communicate, and work with others; we even live longer. Time for a woman'--or two women'--to lead.
nytimes.com/interactive/20'... pic.twitter.com/pH2tvD3iiD View conversation · :^'‚¬ 'ƒ¸ðŸ¥½ @ egeogh
11h Replying to
@ABC @timjhogan The best moment of any candidate in this debate cycle, and I didn't say that first.
View conversation · j.Marie @ ecinaj_m
11h Replying to
@egeogh @ABC @timjhogan I like her.
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VIDEO-Mike Cernovich on Twitter: "The quiet part out loud.... https://t.co/X4AXOfIBR5" / Twitter
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 10:00
Replying to
@Cernovich ~Yup, & she's correct, well, half correct, bc historically, republicans pander to the African-American community at election time as well..then disappear. But this time, Dems have a yuge problem named Trump, he didn't pander, he's delivering, & they have no idea how to stop him.
VIDEO-paul worth on Twitter: "@michaelbeatty3 @adamcurry Mayor Pete must be a malfunctioning robot - suffered a GLITCH! At the end of this clip!" / Twitter
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 09:58
@adamcurry Mayor Pete must be a malfunctioning robot - suffered a GLITCH! At the end of this clip!
VIDEO-MSNBC on Twitter: ".@HardballChris says he was impressed by Sen. Klobuchar's performance at New Hampshire #DemDebate: "She seemed like a president tonight." https://t.co/B5wIe2UOqO https://t.co/OTBvFrqkEf" / Twitter
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 09:57
Log in Sign up MSNBC @ MSNBC .
@HardballChris says he was impressed by Sen. Klobuchar's performance at New Hampshire
#DemDebate: "She seemed like a president tonight."
on.msnbc.com/31yuNJN pic.twitter.com/OTBvFrqkEf 7:56 PM - 7 Feb 2020 Twitter by: MSNBC @MSNBC Thomas Freeman @ ThomasF66417964
12h Replying to
@MSNBC @HardballChris MSNBC has been pushing Klobuchar for weeks, interview after live interview. I love MSNBC, think Rachel, and Lawrence et al consistently bring vital journalism to the American public square. But the first 20 min. of this post-debate Klobuchar love fest has been too much to bear
View conversation · Violet @ violetmathews
12h Replying to
@ThomasF66417964 @MSNBC @HardballChris Yes, I get sick of MSNBC trying to decide who I like. Sorry but Klobuchar isn't my cup of tea when she sold out clean water for supporting mining in her own state. And I always think she is about to start crying. Trump will have her in tears.
View conversation · Deede 'Œ¸ðŸ...'š¾¸ @ DeedeG23
12h Replying to
@MSNBC @HardballChris Yes she was !!! She's the best ðŸ--¥ðŸ--¥ðŸ--¥definitely got my vote 100%
View conversation · Scar Of Impeachment Is Forever! @ MikesPencil
12h Replying to
@DeedeG23 @MSNBC @HardballChris I hope you are in NH because she will be out by Wednesday!
View conversation · Addie Lee Chase @ addie_chase
12h Replying to
@MSNBC @HardballChris Absolutely! She was terrific! You go Amy!
View conversation · travellingthisworld @ travellngworld
12h Replying to
@MSNBC @HardballChris For the love of god - we hear you guys every day - TALK to the people in the audience.
View conversation · Just Jules ðŸ'– Flip the Senate @ MamaMolly2018
12h Replying to
@MSNBC @HardballChris Yeah, well, Chris is Republican lite, so..
View conversation · Hank Gagnon @ HankGagnon
12h Replying to
@MSNBC @HardballChris @CNN Corrupt Chris Matthews loves Klobuchar.Establishment planned all along to praise her.
@CNN and
@MSNBC. She's THIS WEEKS ANYONE-BUT-BERNIE ESTABLISHMENT FAVORITE
View conversation · Joe McManus @ junescomma
12h Replying to
@MSNBC @HardballChris Nobody listens to Chris Matthews.
View conversation · Violet @ violetmathews
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@junescomma @MSNBC @HardballChris or up-Chuck Todd
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VIDEO-Mike Cernovich on Twitter: "Hey so why is that reporters who really really care about "online harassment" aren't filing stories about this threat? We saw how they went after Alex Jones. This is much worse. https://t.co/GC0suzbkmS" / Twitter
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 06:17
Replying to
@Cernovich He's pissed - Oprah & alike never ever spoke out about Epstein, Weinstein - they knew for yearssssss of the abuse, instead they were worshipped, like Kings. KB tragically dies & they pounce. Do they care about the Victims? NO!
VIDEO-Francis Brennan (Text TRUMP to 88022) on Twitter: "What is Joe Biden doing here? #DemDebate https://t.co/eL9kXSEXqb" / Twitter
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 06:12
Replying to
@FrancisBrennan @TrumpWarRoom He's receiving a text on his phone from his staff telling him who is is, where he is, and what he is doing...
VIDEO-2m40-Graham: Schumer and Pelosi are no longer in charge - YouTube
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 06:02
VIDEO-Bella-Trinity 🧠on Twitter: "#PeteCopiesYang @PeteButtigieg literally Copies @AndrewYang speeches word for word. This is just a Small example. https://t.co/9yZHybJ472" / Twitter
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 06:00
Andy @ ControlsChico
6h Replying to
@Trinity0827 @HoodlumRIP and
2 others Wow, they're both talking about policy...ðŸ
View conversation · Chris K 🧠@ king41037
4h Replying to
@ControlsChico @Trinity0827 and
3 others youtube.com/watch?time_con'... Watch the full clip, and don't tell me that they are still talking policy lmfao. One is copying the other.
View conversation · Jack Darnold Wilson @ NotJDWilson69
6h Replying to
@Trinity0827 @PeteButtigieg @AndrewYang @PeteButtigieg is just a high school kid using thesaurus .com
View conversation · maria_russo @ maria_russo
6h Replying to
@NotJDWilson69 @Trinity0827 and
2 others Hardly. If you don't like Pete, fine. But the guy has a fantastic understanding of history and government and how it evolved into what we have now. He's super smart and so is Warren.
View conversation · Keegun 🇺🇸 @ keeginger
6h Replying to
@Trinity0827 @HoodlumRIP and
2 others Lmao those are factual statements about our current economy that anyone halfway knowledgeable could say... cOpYcAtS
View conversation · Sri Ram Nandigam @ nsrc44
4h Replying to
@keeginger @Trinity0827 and
3 others #YangGang doesnt go after him bcoz he atleast gave credit to Yang for addressing those issues
View conversation · Clinton Ma @ Maclintok
2h Replying to
@Trinity0827 @debroberts0802 and
2 others It dawned on me the other candidates can simply copy Yang's views, the moderators let it slide and this is like a form of debate gaslighting. Yang's words get diluted in the rare moments he is called on to speak. Very hard for
@AndrewYang to combat a stacked setup like this.
View conversation · Bobstustu @ bobstustu
6h Replying to
@Trinity0827 @PeteButtigieg @AndrewYang Yang has no chance now. Wouldn't it be great if a potential winning campaign adopts some of Yang's ideas? Seems like that would be a positive development
View conversation · Sam 🧠@ SufficientCharm
5h Replying to
@bobstustu @Trinity0827 and
2 others That would be good, absolutely. But for me, Yang is the only one I truly trust and believe in. Everyone else just sounds the same as we've ever had. Blah blah blah.
View conversation · Seejay @ seejay_sux
6h Replying to
@Trinity0827 @PeteButtigieg and
2 others @NotAnotherNick View conversation · nick @ NotAnotherNick
6h Replying to
@seejay_sux @Trinity0827 and
2 others Andrew yang has literally 2 lines he repeats for days. I think buttigieg is the most likeable, the most moderate, and stands the best chance against trump. I think America needs to ease into a more far left leaning candidate like Bernie.
View conversation ·
VIDEO-To counter Huawei, U.S. could take 'controlling stake' in Ericsson, Nokia: attorney general - Reuters
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 23:27
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Thursday the United States and its allies should consider the highly unusual step of taking a ''controlling stake'' in Finland's Nokia and Sweden's Ericsson to counter China-based Huawei's dominance in next-generation 5G wireless technology.
In a remarkable statement underscoring how far the United States may be willing to go to counter Huawei Technologies Co, Barr disclosed in a speech at a conference on Chinese economic espionage that there had been proposals to meet the concerns ''by the United States aligning itself with Nokia and/or Ericsson.''
Barr said the alignment could take place ''through American ownership of a controlling stake, either directly or through a consortium of private American and allied companies.''
''Putting our large market and financial muscle behind one or both of these firms would make it a far more formidable competitor and eliminate concerns over its staying power, or their staying power,'' Barr said.
''We and our closest allies certainly need to be actively considering this approach,'' he added at the event hosted by Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Both firms have a combined market capitalization of about $50 billion and it is not clear what source of funds the U.S. government could potentially tap to take stakes in the firms or if foreign regulators would approve.
Ericsson declined to comment, while Nokia did not immediately comment. The companies' shares edged higher after Barr's comments in European trading.
Last month, a group of six U.S. senators introduced legislation to provide over $1 billion to invest in Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers Huawei and ZTE and accelerate development of an open-architecture to allow for alternative vendors to enter the market for specific network components.
Barr said China had emerged as the ''top geo-political adversary'' and added: ''China has stolen a march and is now leading in 5G ... They have already captured 40 percent of the market and are now aggressively pursuing the balance.''
U.S. government investments in public companies are rare except in the case of bailouts to save ailing firms and jobs, and such investments in foreign companies are even rarer.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General William Barr arrives for U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/POOLU.S. officials have criticized Huawei for its close ties to the Chinese government and they added the company to an economic blacklist last year, saying it was involved in activities contrary to U.S. national security. The Trump administration has pressed nations not to grant Huawei access to 5G networks and alleged Huawei's equipment could be used by Beijing for spying, which the Chinese company has repeatedly denied.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order last year barring U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by companies posing a national security risk.
At the same CSIS event, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Beijing was seeking to steal American technology by ''any means necessary.''
He said the bureau currently had about 1,000 open investigations of Chinese technology theft across its 56 regional offices, while FBI counterintelligence chief John Brown said it had arrested 24 people last year in China-related cases and another 19 already in 2020.
Wray said the investigations spanned ''just about every industry sector'' and the threat needed to be addressed through action across the whole of the U.S. government.
China was aggressively exploiting U.S. academic openness to steal technology, using ''campus proxies'' and establishing ''institutes on our campuses,'' Wray added.
William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said that among China's priorities was stealing U.S. aircraft and electric vehicle technology.In advance of Thursday's event, Evanina estimated the theft of American trade secrets by China costs the United States ''anywhere from $300 to $600 billion'' a year.
The comments from the top law enforcement officials reflect an aggressively stepped-up campaign by the Trump administration to counter Chinese espionage operations.
This has snared a growing group of Chinese government officials, business people, and academics.
The campaign has included charges against a leading American academic at one of the top U.S. universities.
Slideshow (2 Images) Last month, prosecutors charged Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, with lying about participating in China's Thousand Talents Plan, which aims to attract research specialists working overseas.
The Chinese embassy in Washington earlier rejected the U.S. allegations as ''entirely baseless.''
''The people-to-people exchange between China and the US is conducive to stronger understanding between the two peoples and serves the fundamental interests of our two countries,'' it said.
Reporting by Mark Hosenball and David Brunnstrom; additional reporting by David Shepardson editing by Chris Sanders and Tom Brown
VIDEO-Plenty of changes among Austin's homelessness policy shapers - YouTube
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 13:54
VIDEO-'Delusional': City Council Member Claims Used Syringes Found at Austin Homeless Camps Could Be Insulin
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 13:49
'What planet do you live on?' resident asksA city council member is being blasted for suggesting used needles found at homeless encampments throughout Austin, Texas, could be insulin.
In footage from a city council work session this week, council member Alison Alter denies that used syringes being found at camps around Austin are due to illicit drug use, claiming many homeless use needles for ''health reasons.''
Just one of the moments from 2-4 work session, about the large number of syringes at the 183 & Cameron rd. encampment fire this week. #ATX #Homeless #IsSheSerious #delusional or #stupid @GregAbbott_TX pic.twitter.com/XCdxYh6xAx
'-- Sylent One ATX (@atx_one) February 7, 2020
''I just wanted to point out, because folks are expressing concern over the needles, but people use needles for health reasons and insulin and other stuff, and I believe that's what we were seeing, and so I just wanted to throw that out there that a lot of folks who are homeless have health issues and are using the needles for a health reason,'' Alter stated.
As if realizing the absurdity of her argument, the councilwoman added, ''That doesn't make them safe to be on the ground, but that is one of the reasons that you may be finding those in those areas.''
Austin residents criticized Alter's comments on social media, with one person pointing out insulin would have to be refrigerated.
@ALTERforATXWould you be ok with going to the doctor's office and seeing needles thrown on the floor?
Honestly, it doesnt matter what the needles are being used for, they should not be all over the ground! https://t.co/4gn7p3B3gN
'-- Blue Canaries (@CanariesBlue) February 7, 2020
Has to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard from a public official.This crap is a perfect example of @austintexasgov hazardous policies tearing apart our city. @MayorAdler and this #ATXCouncil are not working in the public's best interest. @GregAbbott_TX @KVUE @statesman
'-- Matt Neas (@Matt_Neas) February 7, 2020
Yeah, homeless people are really up on taking good care of their health. In no way could this have anything to do with the seedy underbelly of the drug culture. pic.twitter.com/buhceuNqhV
'-- Orwell was right (@DrofnasInTexas) February 7, 2020
Just a few holes in this excuse:' Insulin needs to be refrigerated ' It is also expensive ' Vagrants don't carry health insurance ' Diabetics have biohazard containers and THEY USE THEM ' Only a drug addict who just blasted a shot of dope throws their needles on the ground.
'-- Melanie Sanders (@spicewoodbarbie) February 7, 2020
@Alison_Alter What planet do you live on? Why don't we take a field trip to an encampment and see for ourselves if those needles are for insulin. ðŸ
'-- Harper (@HeyItsMeHarper) February 7, 2020
Just more mindless BS @ATXCouncil and the Homeless Industry feeds you to coverup the fact that these are the drug addicts they want taxpayers to foot the bill and house permanently.
'-- SAVEAUSTINTX (@saveaustintx) February 7, 2020
#ATXCouncil is delusional. They must live in an alternate realty of privilege to seriously believe the needles are for insulin. Says a lot about their total lack of understanding of what is going on in this city. @Alison_Alter
'-- Harper (@HeyItsMeHarper) February 7, 2020
Are you kidding me? Just when I thought that the Austin City Council could not be dumb enough, they go and prove there are no limits to their stupidity. Recall Adler and his city council members. Adler you and your council are morons. @MayorAdler pic.twitter.com/befCAL0GRQ
'-- Kelly McGrath (@KellyMc97076325) February 7, 2020
Wow! Needed boots for this bs! Insulin now comes encased in a dispensing device- very different from standard needles. You'd only find a needle head from diabetes meds. Such ugly lies!
'-- Allie Cipolla (@CipollaAllie) February 7, 2020
@Alison_Alter did you really just try to tell everyone that the needles found at the homeless encampment was for insulin? This is an outright shameless lie. Your name can easily be added to recall efforts keep it up. https://t.co/r43CpgF8ft
'-- SAVEAUSTINTX (@saveaustintx) February 7, 2020
She can't actually believe anything she just said out loud. Surely no one is that clueless.
'-- Ashley Avants (@ChubbyCzechers) February 7, 2020
''What planet do you live on?'' one woman asked on Twitter. ''Why don't we take a field trip to an encampment and see for ourselves if those needles are for insulin.''
The councilwoman's comments come in the wake of a fire that broke out at a massive subterranean homeless camp the size of three football fields in North Austin this week.
Gov. Greg Abbott has been a vocal critic of the city council's homeless policies, which include allowing homeless people to camp anywhere in the city.
Last October, Governor Abbott pointed out a massive trove of used syringes found at a homeless camp during a clean-up effort organized by a group of Trump supporters in Austin.
Austin @MayorAdler insists on ''recent'' evidence of dangers posed by his reckless homeless policy.
Let's help him.
I'll start with this showing used needles collected from homeless camps.@MayorAdler suggested there's no public health problem.pic.twitter.com/7mcS8BPgLE
'-- Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 27, 2019
Late last year, the governor acted on the crisis by ordering the construction of a temporary homeless shelter meant as an alternative to camping on city streets.
Follow the author on Gab: https://gab.ai/adansalazar
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An Austin homeless camp the size of 3 football fields caught fire a week after the people announced they were self-governing. Similar in fact to Monty Python's Holy Grail's ''autonomous collective'' and the dumpster fire of the Iowa Democrats.
By the way, people who know what's coming are taking advantage of our healthy & delicious storable food!
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VIDEO-Google's Super Bowl 2020 commercial will make you cry
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 12:46
January 28, 2020 | 1:57pm
Google debuted an unforgettable Super Bowl ad Tuesday about the human struggle to hold on to memories.
The heart-wrenching commercial features the voice of an elderly man asking his Google Assistant to show him photos of he and his apparently late wife Loretta, and asks the device to remember endearing details about his beloved.
''Hey Google, show me photos of me and Loretta,'' he asks, prompting an image of the couple to appear '-- and then another when they were younger, which elicits a happy memory. ''Remember she hated my mustache,'' he laughed.
Google Assistant replies onscreen, ''OK, I'll remember that.''
''Remember, Loretta loved going to Alaska,'' he commands as another picture of the couple fishing shows.
''Show me photos from our anniversary,'' he asks. A video of a young Loretta shows her laughing. ''Remember, she always snorted when she laughed.''
Then, Google Assistant pulls up a record of all the man's notes '-- ''Here's what you told me to remember'' '-- each dated from the time the request was made, leading back to May 14, 2017.
''Loretta always said, don't miss me too much, and get out of the dang house,'' the note read.
Google's new Super Bowl commercial takes on the realities of dealing with dementia. GoogleThe one minute, 30 second spot is tugging at the heartstrings of social media.
''This hit me hard, my grandmother had alzheimers, on her death bed I told her goodbye but she didnt recognize me or my mom, we were complete strangers to her, she felt so far away from me,'' commented one YouTube user.
''Never did I think that a google ad would bring me to tears,'' said another.
One watcher felt the clip captured how technology and the internet can help us feel a little less lonely:
''Equal parts beautiful, touching, encouraging for a future with Google and terrifying at our dependency on it. Right on the knife's edge of what it means to benefit from our marvelous digital world and our loss of traditional social support. I stan this ad.''
VIDEO-Glenn Beck Presents: Ukraine: The Final Piece - YouTube
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 11:54
VIDEO - Federal Agencies Use Cellphone Location Data for Immigration Enforcement - WSJ
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 10:22
WASHINGTON'--The Trump administration has bought access to a commercial database that maps the movements of millions of cellphones in America and is using it for immigration and border enforcement, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The location data is drawn from ordinary cellphone apps, including those for games, weather and e-commerce, for which the user has granted permission to log the phone's location.
The Department of Homeland Security has used the information to detect undocumented immigrants and others who may be entering the U.S. unlawfully, according to these people and documents.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of DHS, has used the data to help identify immigrants who were later arrested, these people said. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, another agency under DHS, uses the information to look for cellphone activity in unusual places, such as remote stretches of desert that straddle the Mexican border, the people said.
The federal government's use of such data for law enforcement purposes hasn't previously been reported.
Experts say the information amounts to one of the largest known troves of bulk data being deployed by law enforcement in the U.S.'--and that the use appears to be on firm legal footing because the government buys access to it from a commercial vendor, just as a private company could, though its use hasn't been tested in court.
''This is a classic situation where creeping commercial surveillance in the private sector is now bleeding directly over into government,'' said Alan Butler, general counsel of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a think tank that pushes for stronger privacy laws.
According to federal spending contracts, a division of DHS that creates experimental products began buying location data in 2017 from Venntel Inc. of Herndon, Va., a small company that shares several executives and patents with Gravy Analytics, a major player in the mobile-advertising world.
In 2018, ICE bought $190,000 worth of Venntel licenses. Last September, CBP bought $1.1 million in licenses for three kinds of software, including Venntel subscriptions for location data.
The Department of Homeland Security and its components acknowledged buying access to the data, but wouldn't discuss details about how they are using it in law-enforcement operations. People familiar with some of the efforts say it is used to generate investigative leads about possible illegal border crossings and for detecting or tracking migrant groups.
CBP has said it has privacy protections and limits on how it uses the location information. The agency says that it accesses only a small amount of the location data and that the data it does use is anonymized to protect the privacy of Americans.
''While CBP is being provided access to location information, it is important to note that such information doesn't include cellular phone tower data, is not ingested in bulk and doesn't include the individual user's identity,'' said a CBP spokesman. Tower data from cellphone companies, which can locate a specific phone, has been singled out by the Supreme Court for extra protection.
ICE initially was given access to the data for use by its criminal investigators who track human- and drug-smuggling organizations, according to people familiar with the activity. Subsequently, the data was shared with ICE's arm that carries out deportations, one of the people said.
''We do not discuss specific law-enforcement tactics or techniques, or discuss the existence or absence of specific law-enforcement-sensitive capabilities,'' said ICE spokesman Bryan Cox. Mr. Cox said the agency ''generally'' doesn't use location data for routine deportation operations.
The data was used to detect cellphones moving through what was later discovered to be a tunnel created by drug smugglers between the U.S. and Mexico that terminated in a closed Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet on the U.S. side near San Luis, Ariz., said people with knowledge of the operation.
The data tracking contributed to the 2018 arrest of the defunct restaurant's owner, Ivan Lopez, on conspiracy charges related to the construction of the tunnel, the people said. But police records of the incident make no mention of the use of data showing cellphones crossing the border in an unusual location, attributing the case instead to a routine traffic stop.
The San Luis police department ''has always worked well with other entities,'' including federal law enforcement, said Lt. Marco Santana, a spokesman, who declined to comment further. A CBP spokesman declined to comment. Lawyers for Mr. Lopez, who pleaded guilty, declined to comment.
Contracting records show the federal government is buying the location data from Venntel. Venntel, in turn, purchased the information from private marketing companies that sell the location data of millions of cellphones to advertisers, people familiar with the matter say.
Venntel's president, Chris Gildea, said, ''We are not able to comment on behalf of our customers, and any inquiries on this contract should be directed to DHS.''
The company's website says that it ''supports our national interests through technological innovation, data reliability and proven results.'' It says it offers defense-intelligence and national-security services.
Digital marketing, a multibillion-dollar industry, uses such data to deliver, for example, an ad for a restaurant or store to a nearby consumer who is scrolling through Facebook on a phone.
Divisions of DHS, ICE and CBP have purchased licenses to use Venntel's software as part of analytical programs for border security and other law-enforcement efforts, federal records show. Separate government documents make oblique references to such data being used to track, among other things, tunnels along the border.
The data is pseudonymised'--meaning that each cellphone is represented by an alphanumeric advertising identifier that isn't linked to the name of the cellphone's owner. Cellphone users can change their identifier in their phone's settings menu or limit the apps that have access to their location.
Though anonymized, such mobile location data can be used to identify and track individuals based on their real-world behavior, the New York Times reported in December.
Marketing data is widely used by the government to gather intelligence abroad, say people familiar with the matter. But those contracts are frequently classified, so the extent to which intelligence agencies are buying such data cannot be determined.
In 2018, the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in the case Carpenter v. United States saying that geographic location data drawn from cellphones in the U.S. is a specially protected class of information because it reveals so much about Americans. The court put limits on law enforcement's ability to obtain such data directly from cellphone companies without court supervision.
But the federal government has essentially found a workaround by purchasing location data used by marketing firms rather than going to court on a case-by-case basis. Because location data is available through numerous commercial ad exchanges, government lawyers have approved the programs and concluded that the Carpenter ruling doesn't apply.
''In this case, the government is a commercial purchaser like anybody else. Carpenter is not relevant,'' said Paul Rosenzweig, a former DHS official who is a resident senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a conservative and libertarian think tank that promotes free markets. ''The government is just buying a widget.''
Write to Byron Tau at byron.tau@wsj.com and Michelle Hackman at Michelle.Hackman@wsj.com
VIDEO-'Clog the lines': Internet trolls deliberately disrupted the Iowa caucuses hotline for reporting results
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 06:53
The phone number to report Iowa caucus results was posted on a fringe internet message board on Monday night along with encouragement to ''clog the lines,'' an indication that jammed phone lines that left some caucus managers on hold for hours may have in part been due to prank calls.
An Iowa Democratic Party official said the influx of calls to the reporting hotline included ''supporters of President Trump who called to express their displeasure with the Democratic Party.'' The party official's comments were first reported late Wednesday by Bloomberg News.
Users on a politics-focused section of the fringe 4chan message board repeatedly posted the phone number for the Iowa Democratic Party, which was found by a simple Google search, both as screenshots and in plain text, alongside instructions.
"They have to call in the results now. Very long hold times being reported. Phone line being clogged," one user posted at about 11 p.m. ET on Monday, three hours after the caucuses began.
"Uh oh how unfortunate it would be for a bunch of mischief makers to start clogging the lines," responded another anonymous user, sarcastically.
Some users chimed in, posting alleged wait times on hold, imploring others to ''clog the lines [and] make the call lads.''
Rob Sand, state auditor of Iowa, said he took results calls on Monday night as a volunteer and received an influx of calls that appeared to have been generated by a post on the internet.
''A lot of calls came in at a certain point where it was clear somebody had published the hotline number somewhere,'' Sand said.
He cautioned that he could not speak for other people who were taking calls and said he did not get any calls that said they were from Trump supporters. He added that the system prevented people from reporting fake results.
He also said he was able to identify fake calls quickly.
''If I picked up the phone and it was clear after the first handful of words that someone was not calling to report the results, I just hung up,'' Sand said.
Mandy McClure, communications director for the Iowa Democratic Party, confirmed that the hotline received ''an unusually high volume of inbound phone calls to its caucus hotline, including supporters of President Trump.''
This browser does not support the video element.
''The unexplained, and at times hostile, calls contributed to the delay in the Iowa Democratic Party's collection of results, but in no way affected the integrity of information gathered or the accuracy of data sets reported,'' McClure said in a statement.
The telephone reporting problems added to other issues, notably a smartphone app that did not work for some people and that also had a coding problem that prevented results from being reported properly, pushing more caucus volunteers to the phone lines.
Iowa Democratic Party officials said that party staff members and volunteers flagged and subsequently blocked repeat callers who appeared to be reaching out in an attempt to interfere with their reporting duties. These included callers who would hang up immediately after being connected and callers who expressed support for Trump and displeasure with the Democratic Party.
It's unclear how many prank calls the party received or how much they contributed to wait times. Some calls came from Iowans looking to confirm details of their evening's caucus, party officials said.
The party has not responded to requests for information on how many individuals were manning the phone lines on Monday night.
The Trump campaign denied any affiliation with people clogging phone lines on Monday night.
''We don't know anything about this, but perhaps Democrats should consider using an app that works," communications director Tim Murtaugh said. "It's laughable that they would try to blame Trump for their own incompetence."
Several officials at caucuses attended by NBC News reporters struggled with lengthy hold times that made it impossible for them to report results.
4chan, which hosts an anonymous and often extremist politics board called /pol/ whose users have largely supported Trump since 2015, is known for extensive online political trolling and targeted harassment campaigns.
On debate nights, 4chan users often direct one another to swarm and manipulate specific online polls on other websites with repeat votes, a practice known as ''brigading'' in online communities. The polls would then be used by politicians and partisan websites to claim shocking upsets.
Users on 4chan are anonymous, and usernames are randomly generated with each new thread.
Some users on 4chan pushed back against users claiming to spam phone lines on Monday night. One user said he didn't want other trolls ''making us the scapegoat for the DNC.''
''I can't wait for the news headlines saying nefarious trolls ruined the caucus,'' another added.
Two precinct chairs said they were unaware of any interference with the hotline and doubted it made much of an impact.
''I wouldn't blame the Republicans,'' said Tom Courtney, co-chair of the Des Moines County Democratic Party and a precinct chair. ''I'd love to blame the Republicans and the Trumpers, but I don't know.''
Mike Carberry, chair for a precinct in Iowa City, also said he doubted prank calls were the primary reason for long wait times.
''I'm sure that they got some calls, but those could be sorted through relatively quickly,'' he said.
Another hotline staffer who asked to remain anonymous said they were aware of the prank calls but that they were not the main reason that results were delayed.
''It was definitely a problem,'' the staffer said. ''But it was definitely not the reason that results were a mess.''
VIDEO-Warren blames campaign 'toxicity' on American 'legacy' of racism
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 06:42
| February 06, 2020 10:40 PM
S en. Elizabeth Warren blamed systemic racism for the reason several women of color left her campaign in Nevada.
"I'm also very aware that racism and oppression in this country have left a long legacy," the Massachusetts Democrat told MSNBC on Thursday. "It creates the kind of toxicity where people '-- power structures '-- people take advantage of other people. It's something for which we have to be constantly vigilant and constantly determined to do better."
Warren, 70, reiterated that she took "responsibility" for the events that caused six women of color to leave her Nevada campaign team. Several of the women said they felt as if they were token minorities for the campaign.
"During the time I was employed with Nevada for Warren, there was definitely something wrong with the culture," Megan Lewis, a field organizer, said. "I filed a complaint with HR, but the follow-up I received left me feeling as though I needed to make myself smaller or change who I was to fit into the office culture."
Campaign spokeswoman Kristen Orthman tried to downplay the complaints against the campaign. "We have an organization of more than a thousand people, and, whenever we hear concerns, we take them seriously. It's important that everyone who is part of our team has a voice and can be heard. That's why we are proud that we have a unionized staff and clear processes for issues to be addressed," she said.
Warren is currently polling in third place for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to RealClearPolitics.
VIDEO-Former Bush 43 adviser: Hilary Clinton wants a brokered convention - YouTube
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 06:34
VIDEO-á--მÆ...ð'--áƒ"ðŸ'¤ on Twitter: "The few dozen 4Chan users calling the IDP on Caucas night isn't what caused the election catastrophe. #Maddow's trying to craft a boogeyman narrative about villains that were really just kids making prank calls Oddly
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 06:28
Nuke Naxon @ Skeet_Neet
8h 4chan manage to find a terrorist base and got it bombed by I believe the ruskies. They also manage to fuck with Shia Labeuoff with his "He Won't Divide Us Campaign" to the point where he hang a flag with those words, live stream it with the camera pointed toward the sky--
View conversation · Nuke Naxon @ Skeet_Neet
8h -- so that nobody ever have a chance to take it down. 4chan literally pulled an autistic think tank and found the flag by airplane coordination and clouds. Once they found the location one of the anons drove around the area playing loud music so anons can--
View conversation ·
VIDEO-Chuck Ross on Twitter: "Maddow was in top form tonight. She claimed that a few 4 chan posts urging ppl to "clog up" the Iowa Democratic Party phone lines messed with "Democrats' ability to carry out the caucus." Firstly, the caucus was over, and Dem
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 06:27
Log in Sign up Chuck Ross @ ChuckRossDC Maddow was in top form tonight. She claimed that a few 4 chan posts urging ppl to "clog up" the Iowa Democratic Party phone lines messed with "Democrats' ability to carry out the caucus."Firstly, the caucus was over, and Dems had to call in because their other tech failed...
pic.twitter.com/VzvP8kr54b 10:02 PM - 6 Feb 2020 Twitter by: Chuck Ross @ChuckRossDC Chuck Ross @ ChuckRossDC
6h Replying to
@ChuckRossDC But even crazier, Maddow compared all of this to the 2002 New Hampshire phone jamming scandal, in which, completely unlike Iowa, GOP operatives robo-called Democrats' get-out-the-vote call centers *before* a Senate election.
View conversation · Chuck Ross @ ChuckRossDC
6h Replying to
@ChuckRossDC This is pure disinformation and millions of people have seen it. That's nothing compared to what a couple of 4channers posted the other night.
View conversation · Jennifer Rubin's Teeth @ frank_ffs
6h Replying to
@ChuckRossDC She is so mental it's brilliant
View conversation · á--მÆ...ð'--áƒ"ðŸ'¤ @ mooncult
5h Replying to
@ChuckRossDC Crazy because when it was first covered this morning it was done very reasonably, comparatively! Juxtaposing the two really highlights how disingenuous
#Maddow really is.
twitter.com/mooncult/statu'... View conversation · Manikandan V @ BeingManiV
3h Replying to
@ChuckRossDC This is what happens when:Too many Press outlets are attempting to cover News in a 24/7 cycleOpinions are sold as NewsConspiracies are sold as Opinions
View conversation · Cali Kitty @ kittysf
6h Replying to
@ChuckRossDC It always comes back to blaming Trump or his supporters. Never fails.
View conversation · EpsteinTruther @ truther_epstein
6h Replying to
@ChuckRossDC @realDonaldTrump @maddow ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚got nothing else! Here we go again!
@realDonaldTrump watch out!
@maddow View conversation · RogueAnon @ RogueAnon2
6h Replying to
@ChuckRossDC @Spike27183146 Well she can't blame 8chan anymore, she sure as hell can't confirm QAnon is Legit, and she is reading her script. Only thing left to blame is 4chan...I'm sure they can take it and probably have a response coming.
View conversation · Political Gritty @ PoliticalGritty
6h Replying to
@ChuckRossDC @ComfortablySmug Hold the line. Own the Libs
@ComfortablySmug View conversation · joelstaffelx. no DM @ jstaffel1
6h Replying to
@ChuckRossDC Maddow says she has a PhD. You would know it
View conversation · Skeptic1972 @ skeptic1972
6h Replying to
@jstaffel1 @ChuckRossDC Look, I am a PhD myself, and for some reason the expression "a dime a dozen" comes to mind about that...P.S.Anybody who brags aboit their PhD, or demands to be called "doctor" due to it, is automatically a fraud.
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VIDEO-Sage Naumann on Twitter: "@realDailyWire Wait until she hears that "break a leg" is not literal encouragement for an individual to break their goddam leg." / Twitter
Thu, 06 Feb 2020 23:44
Log in Sign up The Daily Wire @ realDailyWire
9h AOC: ''It's a physical impossibility to lift yourself up by a bootstrap, by your shoelaces. It's physically impossible!''
pic.twitter.com/JjuT5J2v71 View photo · Sage Naumann @ SageNaumann Replying to @realDailyWire Wait until she hears that "break a leg" is not literal encouragement for an individual to break their goddam leg.
1:31 PM - 6 Feb 2020 Sage Naumann @ SageNaumann
8h Replying to
@realDailyWire Before this reply takes off here's my venmo to dona-...on second thought....I think I'll just pUlL mYsElF uP bY mY bOoTsTraps.
View conversation · Sage Naumann @ SageNaumann
2h Replying to
@realDailyWire @_ross_sims @SageNaumann So,
@_ross_sims actually gave me money via Venmo.If you're also feeling stupid, or you just got your trust fund payout, feel free to shoot me some money. My Venmo is
@sagenaumann.
#ShamelessCapitalist View conversation · OhComeOn @ be_htzk
2h Replying to
@SageNaumann @realDailyWire Cats...9 lives....someone help me out here.
View conversation · Sage Naumann @ SageNaumann
2h Replying to
@be_htzk @realDailyWire AOC: I killed my cat, it did not return to life. It's not physically possible. It's all just a joke!
View conversation · Joe Dirt @ JoeDirt69420
7h Replying to
@SageNaumann @realDailyWire I learned recently its meant for good luck so you make the ''cast'' 🤯
View conversation · Lisa Hamilton @ gramaof41962
7h Replying to
@SageNaumann @realDailyWire OMGðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚
View conversation · Kolin @ zipline21
6h Replying to
@SageNaumann @realDailyWire You missed the point that hard? She is saying it was a joke now people use it seriously.. nobody uses the ''break a leg'' seriously. It's always been a joke/not serious thing. Come on bro
View conversation · Bill Feger @ Impartialone
5h Replying to
@zipline21 @SageNaumann @realDailyWire It is serious if you are the understudy of the star lol.
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VIDEO-Video shows Iowa caucus voter pulling support for Pete Buttigieg after learning he's married to a ma - YouTube
Thu, 06 Feb 2020 16:44
VIDEO-Walker Bragman on Twitter: "Here's @MikeBloomberg in December 2016 at Oxford explaining how trans rights simply won't fly in the midwest because only the "intelligentsia" can understand why "some man wearing a dress should be in a locker room with t
Thu, 06 Feb 2020 15:13
Walker Bragman @ WalkerBragman
16h Replying to
@MikeBloomberg Bloomberg continues on to explain how unlike gay marriage, trans rights aren't a "family" issue and personal to most people.
pic.twitter.com/mj0NeUrdRe View conversation · Walker Bragman @ WalkerBragman
15h Replying to
@MikeBloomberg pic.twitter.com/9pxT2dCOvo View conversation · Walker Bragman @ WalkerBragman
15h Replying to
@MikeBloomberg As he continued, ultimately explaining the difficulty of employing people as technology advances, Bloomberg said college students should be asking for higher tuition so their schools can subsidize poor students. He also said you help the poor so they don't end up on your doorstep
pic.twitter.com/MJZOImv3hj View conversation · Walker Bragman @ WalkerBragman
13h Replying to
@MikeBloomberg Ultimately what this answer boils down to is a proposal to give tax breaks to businesses based on how many people they hire--which would, incidentally, benefit big companies...and Bloomberg personally.
pic.twitter.com/rjqFyDdSLb View conversation · Walker Bragman @ WalkerBragman
12h Replying to
@MikeBloomberg Bloomberg says Bernie would have won 2016. Then follows by saying:"Young people listened to Bernie Sanders and they said, 'yeah, democratic...that's good. Socialism...yeah that's that social media stuff.'"Then he warns about kids not learning western history and literature...
pic.twitter.com/eXaVney6MZ View conversation · Walker Bragman @ WalkerBragman
5h Replying to
@MikeBloomberg Earlier in this same interview, Bloomberg talked about Donald Trump. "If you sat and had dinner with Donald Trump, you'd probably walk away saying, 'Everything he said is bullshit, he can't be doing that,' but you have a good time. He is socially a nice person."
pic.twitter.com/9jvD2Jh24Q View conversation · Walker Bragman @ WalkerBragman
5h Replying to
@MikeBloomberg At the end of the interview, before he got to the Bernie part, Bloomberg talked about how the perceived discrimination we see is just economic division. He also blamed Obama for not solving the racist backlash to his presidency.
pic.twitter.com/neB1KKmbKN View conversation · Alex B'Dalex @ funandmisery
16h Replying to
@WalkerBragman @MikeBloomberg I will never vote for Mike Bloomberg
View conversation · Brad @ bkMethod
16h Replying to
@funandmisery @WalkerBragman @MikeBloomberg Good. Just remember the DNC is planning on forcing you to.
View conversation · North Philly For Bernie #Bernie2020 @ philly_bernie
16h Replying to
@WalkerBragman @MikeBloomberg All the Rogan haters out there---you ready for round two?
View conversation · gato fumador ''¼ @ QueenInYeIIow
6h Replying to
@philly_bernie @WalkerBragman @MikeBloomberg Bloomberg isn't on the left so it's fine.
View conversation ·
STORIES
AI picks Buttigieg 'the candidate to beat Trump'
Sun, 09 Feb 2020 07:30
| February 08, 2020 12:44 PM
An artificial intelligence analysis of Friday night's Democratic debate picked former Mayor Pete Buttigieg as the clear winner and said that voters believe he can beat President Trump.
The AI model Polly, a market research and predictive tool from Advanced Symbolics Inc., analyzed the debates and measured a sample of 11,227 New Hampshire voters to find that the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor achieved his goal in the debate of convincing people he could beat the president.
The current New Hampshire Democratic primary ranking from an AI tool called "Polly." (Chart provided by Advanced Symbolics Inc.)
''Buttigieg had a strong first half. While the rest of the field attacked him, saying he wasn't the right candidate to take on Trump, New Hampshire voters disagreed. Polly's results showed that three-quarters of a percent of New Hampshire voters came to Buttigieg's camp after he made a strong case why he was the candidate to beat Trump,'' said ASI Chief Scientist Kenton White in his report shared with Secrets.
[Related: Front-running Mayor Pete is main target in New Hampshire debate]
Polly still has Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading in its AI poll, but the former mayor has a firm grip on second while former Vice President Joe Biden's chances are dimming.
Overall, said White, ''Buttigieg had to convince New Hampshire voters that Iowa wasn't a fluke, and he succeeded. Up almost a full percentage point, Polly pegs Buttigieg as the clear winner in tonight's debate, cementing a strong second place in the upcoming primary. Sanders kept his lead among New Hampshire voters but failed to sway those who weren't already committed. Biden continues his fall, losing almost a full point of support.''
His analysis of the AI data found three other points:
''Sanders started the evening off strong. Polly found that his opening remarks drew applause and an increase in voter perception. This was quickly lost when the debate turned to healthcare. Usually a winning talking point for Sanders, Biden quickly went on the offensive and had his strongest showing of the evening when he asked Sanders how he would pay for his healthcare plan. From here, it was downhill for Biden.'' ''Biden consistently lost ground, momentarily gaining some in the second half with his strong Senate record and support of the Supreme Court, but it wasn't enough. Polly saw that despite faltering when his criminal justice record as mayor was brought up, Buttigieg consistently gained throughout the evening.'' ''While it doesn't seem enough to cost Sanders New Hampshire, Buttigieg is well poised for the upcoming Nevada and South Carolina primaries, where his criminal justice record and ability to attract black voters will be tested.''
Coronavirus Outbreak: Virus News and Analysis for Feb. 9, 2020 - Bloomberg
Sun, 09 Feb 2020 07:20
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China Demands Apology From Denmark's Largest Newspaper - Bloomberg
Sun, 09 Feb 2020 07:20
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Coronavirus: WHO chief warns against 'trolls and conspiracy theories' - BBC News
Sun, 09 Feb 2020 07:15
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption More than 34,000 people have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that "trolls and conspiracy theories" are undermining their response to the new coronavirus.
WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that misinformation was "making the work of our heroic workers even harder".
More than 34,800 people have been infected with the new coronavirus worldwide, the vast majority in China.
There have been 723 deaths in China and one death abroad, in the Philippines.
Of the 34,598 people infected within China, Dr Tedros said almost 25,000 are in Hubei Province - the region where the outbreak was first reported, which has since become the epicentre of the virus.
"I would also like to speak briefly about the importance of facts, not fear," Dr Tedros said. "People must have access to accurate information to protect themselves and others."
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption The BBC's online health editor on what we know about the virusHe said misinformation around the new strain, 2019-nCoV, "causes confusion and spreads fear to the general public".
"At the WHO we're not just battling the virus, we're also battling the trolls and conspiracy theories that undermine our response," he added.
"As a Guardian [newspaper] headline says today, 'Misinformation on the coronavirus might be the most contagious thing about it'."
In that article, published by The Guardian's opinion section, epidemiologist Adam Kucharski argues that the best way to combat online falsehoods around the virus is to "treat them like a real-life virus".
A number of false theories have been spread globally about the virus in recent weeks.
Russia's Channel One, for example, has been airing coronavirus conspiracy theories on its prime-time evening news show Vremya (meaning "Time"). In one segment, the host links the virus to US President Donald Trump, and claims that US intelligence agencies or pharmaceutical companies are behind it.
Another debunked conspiracy theory, published in British and US tabloid media, linked the virus to a video of a Chinese woman eating bat soup.
Reports claimed the clip was filmed in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, when the outbreak was first reported. However it was filmed in 2016 and was in Palau, in the western Pacific Ocean - not China.
And a now-widely-discredited scientific study released last month linked the new coronavirus to snakes - leading to global headlines discussing the spread of "snake flu".
What is the latest on the coronavirus?Dr Tedros said that the virus is still concentrated in Hubei, and that over the last four days there appeared to have been a slight stabilisation in the number of cases.
However, he said it was still too early to say whether or not the virus has plateaued, as epidemics can often slow down before accelerating again.
But he added that the slow-down was "an opportunity" for them to work to contain the virus.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong has begun a mandatory two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China. Visitors are being told to isolate themselves in hotel rooms or government-run centres, while residents are required to stay in their homes.
Image copyright EPA Image caption The death of Dr Li Wenliang, who tried to warn about the virus in December, has caused widespread anger and grief across China Flouting the new rules will be punishable with a fine and a prison sentence. There have been 26 confirmed cases of the virus in Hong Kong.
On Thursday, a 60-year-old US citizen - the first confirmed non-Chinese victim of the illness - died in Wuhan's Jinyintan Hospital.
On Saturday, France confirmed five new cases in its Haute-Savoie region, including a nine-year-old boy, which brings the total of infected people in the country to 11.
French Health Minister Agn¨s Buzyn said all of the five new cases were British nationals staying in the same chalet, which had also housed a Briton who had been in Singapore. Their condition is not said to be serious. A further six people who stayed at the chalet are under observation.
There has also been widespread anger and grief across China over the death of Li Wenliang, a doctor who tried to warn about the new coronavirus. He contracted the virus while treating patients in Wuhan, in Hubei province.
US troops killed and injured in machine gun attack in Afghanistan | World News | Sky News
Sun, 09 Feb 2020 06:09
Two US servicemen have been shot dead and six others are injured after a machine gun attack in eastern Afghanistan.
American officials in the country said a combined US-Afghan force, stationed in the province of Nangahar, had been targeted by an individual in an Afghan uniform.
Colonel Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, said "the cause or motive behind the attack is unknown at this time".
Image: Donald Trump wants to pull US troops out of AfghanistanThe violent incident comes at a sensitive time for the US operation in Afghanistan, with American diplomats having struggled to make progress in negotiations with the Taliban that would see foreign troops head home.
In exchange, the Taliban would be expected to provide security guarantees, including a commitment to ensure Afghanistan will not again become a base for international terrorist groups like al Qaeda.
But with violence in the country having failed to ebb away, the 13,000 US troops still stationed in Afghanistan do not seem likely to leave anytime soon.
Back in December, a mid-ranking Taliban commander told Sky News there cannot be a ceasefire - or any talks with the US-backed Afghan government - until all foreign forces leave Afghanistan
The foreign troops are there as part of a US-led NATO mission to train, assist and advice Afghan forces and carry out counter-terror operations in the country.
Nangahar is particularly significant to the latter, as it has long served as the main stronghold of Islamic State and has also been partly controlled by the Taliban.
Image: Donald Trump at Bagram airbaseDuring a surprise Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan last year, Donald Trump told US troops at Bagram Airfield that he was confident negotiations with the Taliban would eventually succeed.
He said: "The Taliban wants to make a deal. We'll see if they want to make a deal. It's got to be a real deal. But we'll see, but they want to make a deal."
Prosecutors: Pimco Ex-CEO Sentenced to Prison in US College Admissions Scam | Voice of America - English
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 22:14
The former head of asset management firm Pimco was sentenced on Friday to nine months in prison for his part in a scheme in which privileged parents paid bribes to get their children into U.S. colleges, federal prosecutors said.
Douglas Hodge, who retired as chief executive of Allianz SE's California-based Pimco in 2016, also was sentenced to two years of supervised release, a $750,000 fine and 500 hours of community service, a spokeswoman for Boston U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in an email.
The prison term imposed by U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton in Boston was less than the two years prosecutors had sought, but the longest of the 15 defendants who have admitted guilt and been sentenced since the nationwide cheating scandal came to light last March.
Prosecutors called Hodge, 62, among "the most culpable" of 35 parents charged. Unlike 14 other defendants who received prison terms ranging from one day to six months, prosecutors said Hodge and three others who entered guilty pleas in October deserved stiffer sentences.
'Repeat players'
"They are repeat players, who engaged in the conspiracy again and again, over years," Lelling said in a sentencing memo. Hodge paid bribes totaling $850,000 over nearly 11 years to get two of his children into Georgetown University and two others into the University of Southern California, prosecutors said.
He tried and failed to offer bribes to get a fifth child into Loyola Marymount University, they said.
In all, 53 people have been charged in the college admissions scandal, including "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman and "Full House" actress Lori Loughlin. Huffman pleaded guilty and served less than two weeks in prison, while Loughlin pleaded not guilty.
The case revolves around consultant William "Rick" Singer, who admitted in March that he facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and bribed sports coaches to present his clients' children as fake athletic recruits.
Singer, who has yet to be sentenced, is cooperating with prosecutors.
'I am deeply ashamed'
Hodge had said that Singer falsely told him his money would go toward university programs and underprivileged student athletes, but he admitted that he failed to pull out of the scheme once he learned of Singer's deception.
"For that, I am deeply ashamed and remorseful," he wrote in a letter to the judge.
Hodge also insisted, contrary to a prosecution claim, that he never involved his children in the scheme.
Hodge's lawyers, citing his philanthropy and devotion to his children, had asked the judge to consider splitting incarceration with home detention.
China launches biological warfare agenda; covertly infiltrates Wuhan evacuation plane with ''Trojan horse'' carrier of the coronavirus to infect all passengers headed to Taiwan '' NaturalNews.com
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 16:20
(Natural News) Editorial note: To all national security personnel reading this from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Canada, the USA, Russia and other nations, you will want to urgently forward this to your commanding officers, as this story is verified and true, confirmed through our Taiwan investigators. It indicates a dangerous, global escalation of warfare tactics by a lawless, authoritarian regime that you already know has been dispatching spies to your countries, stealing intellectual property and infiltrating your universities, governments and military weapons research institutions. China's end game goal is world domination, and there is no weapon they won't deploy to achieve it.
On the heels of the bombshell revelation that China has been engineering an ''offensive biological warfare weapon'' that accidentally escaped their BSL-4 facilities and launched a global pandemic, we are now getting confirmation from our investigators in Taiwan that China has deployed a biological warfare attack against Taiwan by seeding an evacuation flight of Taiwan citizens with an infected ''Trojan horse'' human weapon who contaminated the entire evacuation flight.
This is a damning escalation of tensions between communist China and Taiwan as the coronavirus pandemic explodes, nearly doubling the number of confirmed infections every 3.5 days (i.e. exponential, self-sustained pandemic outbreak).
As part of an evacuation operation carried out by the government of Taiwan, the communist Chinese government refused to allow Taiwan to charter its own plane to rescue its citizens from the Wuhan region. China demanded that its own airplane be used, refusing to follow the Taiwan government's request that ''old women, women with children and children'' should be the priority of evacuees allowed to take the flight.
Instead, China placed three passengers on the flight who were not on Taiwan's list of citizens, and one of those individuals, completely unknown to Taiwan, turned out to be infected with coronavirus.
China now trying to spread the coronavirus across TaiwanThe covert operation appears to be a biological warfare attack on Taiwan by the communist Chinese regime, which deliberately intended to infect the entire flight with coronavirus so that infected passengers would further spread the pandemic in Taiwan. Such actions, of course, violate international laws, the Geneva Convention and various international treaties that outlaw the deployment of biological weapons.
Translated from Chinese, via Liberty Times Net: (emphasis added)
When senior media person Cai Yuzhen accepted an interview with ''Faith'' today, he criticized the Chinese side for a series of actions that were ''black box operations'''...
'...there was no protective measures for the entire charter plane, and no one knew who was infected. It was not until the passengers returned to Taiwan for examination that one person was confirmed [infected]. ''This charter flight took two hours. The virus is inserted into the charter flight, the rest of the passengers become a high-risk group. What can you say to them? It's a helpless situation. How can we use the original method to evacuate the rest of the people? ''The worst part is how can a confirmed case get on the flight? Once it's on the flight, it's treated the same as the rest of the people, there's no quarantine. Can you still trust this kind of China?''
The Minister of Health Fu Chen Shizhong who did his best to prevent epidemics was sentimental and wept, because a confirmed case was like a black hole in epidemic prevention on an unprotected charter plane. It caused him to shed tears [for the safety of the people of Taiwan]'...
Here's the original Chinese article, for those who are able to read it:
China knows its political power will be crippled by the coronavirus pandemicIt now appears China is attempting to export its pandemic to Taiwan by swapping seeding evacuation charter flights with ''human weapons'' who are known to be infected with the coronavirus. Given that China already realizes its economic and political future is now uncertain in the face of an exploding pandemic that has likely killed at least 25,000 Chinese, the deceptive communist regime appears to be attempting to cause the maximum damage to Taiwan as a form of lashing out against its political enemies as its own domestic situation turns to chaos.
The nCoV strain of the coronavirus was genetically engineered by Chinese scientists to create the perfect biological warfare weapon, which would one day be deployed against the United States, stunning new investigations have revealed. This underscores China's philosophy of achieving the extermination of its political enemies using horrifying weapons of death and destruction. This is why China's sudden biological warfare ''Trojan horse'' attack on Taiwan should come as a surprise to no one.
Brighteon.com/a2192ba5-0b24-4b02-be20-698673aef67f
Taiwan's infectious disease officials brought to tears over China's biowarfare attackTaiwan is working feverishly to protect its citizens from the malicious, criminal actions of the mainland Chinese regime, but given that China is willing to deploy ''pandemic sleeper cells'' on Taiwan evacuation flights, the Taiwan government is now facing an enormous burden to screen, quarantine and treat patients who may be in various stages of the coronavirus incubation.
For this effort, the communist Chinese regime should be labeled a criminal regime that is committing crimes against humanity, yet the compromised W.H.O. remains committed to China, even absurdly praising China for its ''transparency.''
Every institution in America '-- from Hollywood to the tech giants and even the U.S. Senate '-- seems to be running cover for China, one of the most inhumane, cruel authoritarian regimes in the history of our world. China routinely kidnaps innocent civilians, subjects them to rape and torture, murders political enemies, runs ''education'' camps that imprison Muslims, and even runs organ harvesting factories to generate profits from the international black market of human organs.
China also routinely bullies Taiwan and even threatens global corporations with retribution if they do not bow to the demands of the communist regime. By any reasonable standard, China is truly one of the most dangerous, evil and destructive regimes on our planet, and it proves that designation yet again by illegally deploying a human weapon biological warfare attack against Taiwan.
Why is there no outcry from the United Nations or the WHO? Where is the outcry from the scientific community? Where is the coverage in the mainstream media? It's nowhere to be found, because all the corrupt, criminal institutions of our world have already sold out to the communist Chinese regime. (Much of the controlled U.S. media is now run by communists. CNN is now called the ''Communist News Network.'')
Surely China's biological warfare attack on Taiwan should trigger a considered response from the United States, but so far, no one is even acknowledging this incident has taken place, since it's not reported anywhere in the (controlled) U.S. media. President Trump is likely not even aware this has happened.
The entire mainstream media is lying to you about the coronavirus pandemic and China in particular. But you already knew that, of course.
Fascinatingly, media lies about the coronavirus seem to be spreading almost as fast as the virus itself.
Camsoda - Cure for Coronavirus
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 16:18
February 5, 2020 '' CamSoda, a leading adult entertainment webcam platform, is offering free camming sessions with its models to the 5,300 passengers and crews on board the two cruise ships quarantined due to passengers testing positive for the coronavirus. This includes the Diamond Princess with 3,700 people anchored off Yokohama and the World Dream with 1,800 people docked Hong Kong. The passengers and crews, which have been on lock-down for nearly two weeks, according to reports, are worried about infection and scrambled travel plans, as well as battling boredom. While CamSoda can't help with infection or scrambled travel plans, they are hoping to help with the boredom. Our sympathy goes out to those aboard the Diamond Princess and World Dream. They are not only dealing with the fear of infection, which is terrifying, but boredom. We like cruises just as much as the next guy, but without activities or human interaction, the boredom must be crippling," said Daryn Parker, Vice President, CamSoda. In an effort to keep their minds off of the coronavirus and to help with the boredom, we're offering passengers and crews the ability to have fun in a safe and controlled environment with camming.''
If passengers or crew send a copy of their cruise ship ticket or employee credentials to stranded@camsoda.com, CamSoda will give them 1,000 tokens for free for camming sessions in which they interact through video and instant messaging. Sessions can be sexual and sensual in nature, but don't have to be. To receive the 1,000 free tokens, user will need to set up a free account.End boredom now! Submit your ticket for free tokens!
Canadian Scientist At Center Of Chinese Bio-Espionage Probe Found Dead In Africa? | Zero Hedge
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 16:02
Update (1135ET): It seems that Mr. Plummer made a habit of getting the biological material he was working on "stolen," as we found a report from 2009 in the Winnepeg Free Press that details the theft of 22 vials of biological material was "confirmed by scientific director Dr. Frank Plummer."
Plummer, allegedly, alerted authorities to the missing material on the same day a former vaccine researcher was arrested by FBI special agents after U.S. Customs discovered the vials stuffed in a glove in the trunk of his car at the Manitoba-North Dakota border crossing.
Some of the vials included genes from the deadly Ebola virus, but local scientists say the material is not infectious.
But more than a week after the theft came to light, police said no one from the lab has reported the incident.
Plummer has said the researcher signed a form declaring he did not steal anything from the lab and understood he was not allowed to. The national lab does not conduct searches of staff when they exit the lab and does not routinely take inventory of the thousands of vials containing non-infectious biological substances.
However, court documents allege the former researcher stole the vials on his last day of work at the virology lab in January because "he did not want to start his research over from the beginning when he entered into his next fellowship" with the National Institutes of Health at the Biodefense Research Laboratory in Maryland.
All very curious.
* * *
As GreatGameIndia.com detailed earlier, in a very strange turn of events, renowned scientist Frank Plummer who received Saudi SARS Coronavirus sample and was working on Coronavirus (HIV) vaccine in the Winnipeg based Canadian lab from where the virus was smuggled by Chinese Biowarfare agents and weaponized as revealed in GreatGameIndia investigation, has died in mysterious conditions.
Frank Plummer was the key to the Chinese Biological Espionage case at Winnipeg's National Microbiology Laboratory.
Breaking: India launch investigation against China's Wuhan Institute of Virology
Exclusive: Coronavirus Bioweapon '' How Chinese agents stole Coronavirus from Canada and weaponized it
Exclusive Interview: Bioweapons Expert Dr. Francis Boyle on the Origins of Coronavirus (transcript)
Must read piece published worldwide: Coronavirus '' China's Secret Plan to Weaponize Viruses
Update: Chinese Biowarfare agents at Harvard University caught smuggling deadly viruses
According to CBC, Plummer, 67, was in Kenya, where he was a keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the University of Nairobi's collaborative centre for research and training in HIV/AIDS/STIs.
Dr. Larry Gelmon, who helped set up that meeting, said Plummer collapsed and was taken to hospital in Nairobi, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
No confirmed cause of death has yet been released.
Plummer was born and raised in Winnipeg, where he headed up Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory for several years.
He was also involved in an innovative research partnership between the University of Manitoba and the University of Nairobi, established before the world was very aware of HIV/AIDS.
''He helped to identify a lot of the key factors that are involved in HIV transmission in the early days,'' said Keith Fowke, a professor in the medical microbiology and infectious diseases department at the University of Manitoba.
''He was so hopeful that he was on the path that would end with discovery of the HIV vaccine '-- the road he had started down almost 30 years ago,'' said Plummer's colleague, Dr. Allan Ronald.
What is not mentioned in the CBC report however is that Plummer worked in the same National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg, Canada from where Chinese Biowarfare agent Xiangguo Qiu and her colleagues smuggled SARS Coronavirus to China's Wuhan Institute of Virology where it is believed to have been weaponized and leaked.
EXCLUSIVE#Coronavirus Bioweapon ThreadHow China Stole Coronavirus From Canada And Weaponized Ithttps://t.co/tc7W2DrmAA
'-- GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) January 27, 2020Infact, as GreatGameIndia reported in our exclusive report on Coronavirus Bioweapon, as Scientific Director Frank Plummer was the one who acquired the SARS Coronavirus sample of the Saudi patient at the NML Winnipeg Lab from Ron Fouchier, a leading virologist at the Erasmus Medical Center (EMC) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands who was sent the virus by Egyptian virologist Dr. Ali Mohamed Zaki who isolated and identified a previously unknown type of Coronavirus from the Saudi patient's lungs.
Fouchier sequenced the virus from a sample sent by Zaki using a broad-spectrum ''pan-coronavirus'' real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method to test for distinguishing features of a number of known coronaviruses known to infect humans.
This Coronavirus sample arrived at Canada's NML Winnipeg facility on May 4, 2013 from the Dutch lab received by Frank Plummer. The Canadian lab grew up stocks of the virus and used it to assess diagnostic tests being used in Canada. Winnipeg scientists worked to see which animal species can be infected with the new virus.
Research was done in conjunction with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's national lab, the National Centre for Foreign Animal Diseases which is housed in the same complex as the National Microbiology Laboratory.
This Winnipeg based Canadian lab was targeted by Chinese agents in what could be termed as Biological Espionage. The viruses was reportedly stolen from the Canadian lab by Chinese Biowarfare agent Xiangguo Qiu and her colleagues and smuggled to none other than the Wuhan Institute of Virology where the virus is believed to be weaponized and leaked.
Further, Frank Plummer was also working on HIV vaccine and interesting recently published study be Indian scientists found HIV-like injections in Wuhan Coronavirus '' the key that made the jump to people possible. The Indian Scientists came under massive online criticism by Social Media experts and were forced to withdraw their study, in retaliation of which now the Indian authorities have opened an investigation against China's Wuhan Institute of Virology. Although it should be noted that now China has started using HIV vaccine to cure Coronavirus.
Frank Plummer was the key to the entire investigation on the origins of Coronavirus Bioweapon. But will the Canadian government open an investigation into this matter? Unlike their American counterparts who have charged the Chinese Biowarfare agents trying to smuggle deadly viruses from Harvard University, the deatils of the Canadian investigation on the Winnipeg Biological Espionage case is shrouded in secrecy.
* * *
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The American Life Is Killing You - Erik Rittenberry - Medium
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:59
If you're in the same boat as the typical American, your dilemma might look something like this:
You're enduring some type of chronic illness, over-stressed and rushed, unrewarding job, little or no savings, greatly in debt, fat mortgage, two vehicles in the driveway with a 5 or 7-year loan on each, lots of gadgets and toys to keep you occupied, huge TV, little free time for yourself due to your career and a demanding spouse, weekends filled with church and/or senseless entertainment, and a bathroom cabinet heavily stacked with pharmaceutical tic tacs to help cope with the emptiness of it all.
This is probably you and it's OK. This is considered normal in America. You are a success. You've achieved the American Dream. Your obedience and education and hard work have paid off. Congratulations.
But the problem is that you're miserable and shallow and quite possibly unhealthy and a little dispirited and you'll likely die of either heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, or suicide in the not so distant future '-- statistically speaking.
Or you'll make it to old age with this all too common deathbed regret '-- wishing you had the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life of what others expected of you.
Despite living in the richest country on the planet with a gargantuan military (and budget) to keep you so-called ''safe,'' you're frightened and unhappy more than ever before. Seems your material abundance and chronic hustle and ''good citizen'' ideals have done nothing for your happiness or well-being.
In fact, this status chasing, security-obsessed, hurried American lifestyle is draining you of your life energy. It's killing you. It has been for some time. And you feel it.
This article is for you. Let's go.
The reason you don't feel alive is because you aren't alive. You're merely going through the motions in a fast-paced, consumer-centered culture that has transformed our once beautiful land into an asphalt wasteland strewed with digital billboards, fast food joints, soulless malls, and complete carnage.
Your constant craving for objects and status (the American way) has robbed your life of its freedom and creative zest. You live routine and stressed and you're chained to a sluggish and predictable way of living.
The less you are inwardly the more you feel the need to buy buy buy. And the more you buy the more hours you need to put in at a useless job that has your stomach riddled with ulcers. Or you go deeper into debt. Or likely both.
The less-developed you are as a mindful person the more susceptible you are to the psychological conditioning of the cultural engineers. The less you're able to express yourself as a vitally alive human being the deeper the need is for you to hide behind luxuries and status.
You've become what they needed you to become. And you're sick because of it.
You're trying so goddamn hard to keep up with the Joneses because you lack in BEING. You can't afford that ''hey-look-at-me'' lifestyle that you flaunt around but it helps decorate and perpetuate your otherwise empty image.
It's not all your fault. You're a victim of a fucked-up culture and the indoctrination system we call ''education.'' You were raised and molded in a distorted environment. Who you are today is a manifestation of the social arrangements you were accidentally and randomly born into.
But it's not natural and it's killing you '-- this American life you're living.
As the great social psychologist and philosopher, Erich Fromm observed: ''The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.''
Your life is so much more precious than the automaton it has become. I think deep down you feel it, you know it. But it's hard to break free from the chains that you can't see or the shackles you were taught to adore.
As Colin Wilson wrote over a half-century ago, ''These men are in prison'...They are quite contented in prison '-- caged animals who have never known freedom; but it is prison all the same.''
I was talking to a nice couple the other day who had a combined six-figure salary. They told me that they were unable to come up with a measly $1000 in cash to put down on a house they were trying to buy. This is the typical American today '-- rich and poor at the same time.
This is the American Dream and this is the definition of success in our culture '-- degrees, jobs, families, consumerism, and raging debt. From an early age, we were egged on to get good grades so as to get into an overpriced university to better the chances of sliding into a dull career where we end up like the person in the opening paragraph.
As the feisty Los Angeles poet, Charles Bukowski, once wrote: ''At the age of 25 most people were finished. A whole god-damned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidates who reminded them most of themselves.''
In spite of a so-called thriving economy in the land of plenty, a great number of people still feel insecure, lonely, depressed, and suffer from a lack of enthusiasm over the miracle of their own existence. We're all bogged down and life doesn't make sense to us because we're living so far from our nature as humans.
Many of us, if not most, are too thoughtlessly caught up in the facade of culture to see what we've become as modern people '-- alienated, mindless consumers patting each other on the backs for our worldly success at the expense of wreaking havoc on our inner lives and the entire ecosystem that sustains us.
As the American physician and psychotherapist Alexander Lowen acknowledged: ''The modern individual is committed to being successful, not to being a person. He belongs rightly to the 'action generation' whose motto is 'do more but feel less.''
Perhaps mental health has little to do with the individual and more to do with the culture they were born into. It's been said before, it is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
We've been led, and yes, I do mean led, deliberately so, by persuasive, scheming forces into believing we can buy our way to security, to happiness, and, even on a deeper level, to immortality.
Our deluded industrialized mindset, manufactured for us generation after generation, has us chasing empty pleasures and glittering gadgets at the cost of turning us into over-medicated debt-serfs.
A 2015 article at Waking Times asks the reader, ''How did the United States, a nation founded on Puritan, non-materialistic tenants become filled with the biggest shoppers on the planet and end up occupying 29% of the World's consumer market? As it turns out, Americans were carefully and systematically manipulated into becoming insatiable shoppers.''
Edward Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud who worked as a propagandist for the United States during World War I. After the war, he set himself up as a public relations counselor in New York City.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Bernays used his uncle's theories on the human psyche to develop ''public relations'' (aka propaganda) to help control and manipulate the mindset of the masses for the corporate elite.
In the words of the narration of a phenomenal must-watch documentary, The Century of the Self, Bernays ''showed American corporations for the first time how they could make people want things they didn't need by linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.''
Big Business used these Freudian ideas for the crooked task of indoctrinating the masses into eager, devout consumerists. And they were successful.
As Jim Quinn put it in a great article: ''Generations have been socially engineered in government schools and propagandized through the techniques of Edward Bernays by the corporate fascists to believe buying baubles, trinkets, gadgets and luxury automobiles on credit makes them wealthier, when it only makes them debt-serfs.''
Keeping up with the Joneses has been ingrained in their psyches through the conscious and intelligent manipulation of their minds by the unseen forces operating behind the curtain. Whether you call them the Deep State or the invisible government, they represent the true ruling power of the country.''
Erich Fromm related our rampant consumerist society today to a soulless machine '-- a machine that is our God and we ourselves feel ''godlike'' by serving the machine.
And ultimately it's this machinery that gave birth to the ''alienated character'' we see all around us '-- people alienated from their work, from themselves, from other human beings, and from nature.
As Fromm put it, ''The dream of being independent masters of our lives ended when we began awakening to the fact that we have all become cogs in the bureaucratic machine, with our thoughts, feelings, and tastes manipulated by government and industry and the mass communications that they control.''
We the people of the United States have been led far away from the vibrant American spirit of Emerson, Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. Instead of living poetic lives close to the earth with little possessions, we barricade ourselves behind drywall and plastic and sit in front of screens, constantly buying things we don't need to impress assholes who are doing the same thing.
As Thoreau well understood, ''Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.''
We prize HAVING over BEING, material possessions over experiences. We have contempt for nature these days and are too engrossed in the mechanical ways of living to truly FEEL what it means to be alive on this planet.
Even the devout Christians among us, as far as I can see, are more influenced by our diseased culture than the ''give it all away'' teachings of Jesus.
Christians tend to be up there with the most materialistic people among us, which is ironic because they supposedly follow the teachings of the least materialistic human known to man.
The culture of materialism and consumerism is our God. Yes, even among the devout.
The cultural programming runs deep and it's clear to see that our hearts and minds have been severed from the sacred.
As Freud pointed out in Civilization and Its Discontents: ''It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement '-- that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.''
It's an empty existence, this object-oriented world we live in, and everyone knows it on a spiritual level. It's not where it's at.
As the character in Arthur Miller's play, ''The Death of a Salesman,'' confesses at the end of his life: ''I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been.''
What you and I consider ''reality'' is nothing but a thin veneer of illusions and lies and hallucinations that we've all been conditioned to agree upon.
In the words of the great propagandist himself, Bernays writes:
''The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country'... We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.''
We've all been lured into the trap which is why we're so busy all the time running from one lame obligation to the next.
What is to be done?
You have to unplug from the machine and take back your life and learn to live with less and sit under trees and read the great minds and create art and listen to music and sound your ''barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.''
Quit doing things you hate to impress the faceless people among us.
Decondition yourself from culture, quit suppressing your uniqueness, travel to places that frighten you a bit, learn to embrace silence and solitude a few times a week. And most importantly '-- you must awaken from your culturally-induced slumber and try to find simple joy among the sacred.
As Joseph Campbell so poetically voiced, ''The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with nature.''
That's where it's at '-- it's where the fullness of life reveals itself to us. Simplify, simplify, simplify, and become one with yourself. That's where, in the words of Henry Miller, ''the insignificant blade of grass assumes its proper place in the universe.''
It's no secret that the happiest people on the planet are those who live with little. With little leaves more freedom and playtime to discover our true creative genius within '-- our true nature. We all have it.
Become the person you are, and perhaps would have been, before culture contaminated you and brought you into disharmony with yourself.
As the great Tom Robbins once wrote: ''If civilization is ever going to be anything but a grandiose pratfall, anything more than a can of deodorizer in the shithouse of existence, the people are going to have to concern themselves with magic and poetry.''
You can choose to live your life in the vital mode of BEING rather than the empty mode of HAVING.
As Fromm fully understood, ''The full humanization of man requires the breakthrough from the possession-centered to the activity-centered orientation, from selfishness and egotism to solidarity and altruism.''
I'll end with a beautiful little poem by Czeslaw Milosz to help remind us of what so much we've forgotten by living this hurried, American lifestyle:
A day so happy.Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden.Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers.There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.I knew no one worth my envying him.Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.In my body I felt no pain.When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails.
Opinion | In Private, Republicans Admit They Acquitted Trump Out of Fear - The New York Times
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:48
Opinion | In Private, Republicans Admit They Acquitted Trump Out of FearOne journalist remarked to me, ''How in the world can these senators walk around here upright when they have no backbone?''
By Sherrod Brown
Mr. Brown is a Democratic senator from Ohio.
Feb. 5, 2020Fear of President Trump guides many Republicans in Congress. Credit... Doug Mills/The New York Times Not guilty. Not guilty.
In the United States Senate, like in many spheres of life, fear does the business.
Think back to the fall of 2002, just a few weeks before that year's crucial midterm elections, when the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq was up for a vote. A year after the 9/11 attacks, hundreds of members of the House and the Senate were about to face the voters of a country still traumatized by terrorism.
Senator Patty Murray, a thoughtful Democrat from Washington State, still remembers ''the fear that dominated the Senate leading up to the Iraq war.''
''You could feel it then,'' she told me, ''and you can feel that fear now'' '-- chiefly among Senate Republicans.
For those of us who, from the start, questioned the wisdom of the Iraq war, our sense of isolation surely wasn't much different from the loneliness felt in the 1950s by Senator Herbert Lehman of New York, who confronted Joe McCarthy's demagogy only to be abandoned by so many of his colleagues. Nor was it so different from what Senator George McGovern must have felt when he announced his early opposition to the Vietnam War and was then labeled a traitor by many inside and outside of Congress.
History has indeed taught us that when it comes to the instincts that drive us, fear has no rival. As the lead House impeachment manager, Representative Adam Schiff, has noted, Robert Kennedy spoke of how ''moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle.''
Playing on that fear, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, sought a quick impeachment trial for President Trump with as little attention to it as possible. Reporters, who usually roam the Capitol freely, have been cordoned off like cattle in select areas. Mr. McConnell ordered limited camera views in the Senate chamber so only presenters '-- not absent senators '-- could be spotted.
And barely a peep from Republican lawmakers.
One journalist remarked to me, ''How in the world can these senators walk around here upright when they have no backbone?''
Fear has a way of bending us.
Late in the evening on day four of the trial I saw it, just 10 feet across the aisle from my seat at Desk 88, when Mr. Schiff told the Senate: ''CBS News reported last night that a Trump confidant said that Republican senators were warned, 'Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.''' The response from Republicans was immediate and furious. Several groaned and protested and muttered, ''Not true.'' But pike or no pike, Mr. Schiff had clearly struck a nerve. (In the words of Lizzo: truth hurts.)
Of course, the Republican senators who have covered for Mr. Trump love what he delivers for them. But Vice President Mike Pence would give them the same judges, the same tax cuts, the same attacks on workers' rights and the environment. So that's not really the reason for their united chorus of ''not guilty.''
For the stay-in-office-at-all-cost representatives and senators, fear is the motivator. They are afraid that Mr. Trump might give them a nickname like ''Low Energy Jeb'' and ''Lyin' Ted,'' or that he might tweet about their disloyalty. Or '-- worst of all '-- that he might come to their state to campaign against them in the Republican primary. They worry:
''Will the hosts on Fox attack me?''
''Will the mouthpieces on talk radio go after me?''
''Will the Twitter trolls turn their followers against me?''
My colleagues know they all just might. There's an old Russian proverb: The tallest blade of grass is the first cut by the scythe. In private, many of my colleagues agree that the president is reckless and unfit. They admit his lies. And they acknowledge what he did was wrong. They know this president has done things Richard Nixon never did. And they know that more damning evidence is likely to come out.
So watching the mental contortions they perform to justify their votes is painful to behold: They claim that calling witnesses would have meant a never-ending trial. They tell us they've made up their minds, so why would we need new evidence? They say to convict this president now would lead to the impeachment of every future president '-- as if every president will try to sell our national security to the highest bidder.
I have asked some of them, ''If the Senate votes to acquit, what will you do to keep this president from getting worse?'' Their responses have been shrugs and sheepish looks.
They stop short of explicitly saying that they are afraid. We all want to think that we always stand up for right and fight against wrong. But history does not look kindly on politicians who cannot fathom a fate worse than losing an upcoming election. They might claim fealty to their cause '-- those tax cuts '-- but often it's a simple attachment to power that keeps them captured.
As Senator Murray said on the Senate floor in 2002, ''We can act out of fear'' or ''we can stick to our principles.'' Unfortunately, in this Senate, fear has had its way. In November, the American people will have theirs.
Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown), a Democrat, is the senior United States senator from Ohio and is the author of ''Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America.''
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We'd like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here's our email: letters@nytimes.com.
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Fifth graders learn the dangers of vaping with pig lungs
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:45
Posted: Feb 6, 2020 / 07:49 PM MST / Updated: Feb 6, 2020 / 07:49 PM MST
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) '' With research showing more than a third of teenagers have tried vaping and that the numbers aren't getting any better, Hawthrone Elementary is starting their education young.
ABC4's education correspondent Sarah Martin was in class today where students got to touch a black lung.
Mrs. Schmock used pig lungs, one healthy and one coated in tar, to teach her students about the dangers of vaping. Her fifth-graders got to touch the two lungs and even breath through them with foot bellows.
Mrs. Peterson is a County Health Educator and keeper of the lungs.
The major goal was to drive home the message that even vaping sugary flavors is harmful.
To have the lungs brought to a classroom near you, get in touch with your county health team.
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Don't Miss
Uproar Over Essays Turns MLK's Dream Inside Out - WSJ
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:37
The University of Montana asked students, staff and community members to participate in an essay contest on the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. When the school released the results last month, Montana students and race activists across the country accused university officials of racism and disrespect. That's because all four winners were white. Turns out some would rather the school had honored King by judging entrants on the color of their skin rather than the content of their submissions.
The four contest winners started receiving threats, and the African-American studies program, which had sponsored the contest, removed their photos and essays from its website. A central fact'--no black students had even submitted an essay'--failed to defuse the racism charge.
Critics blasted ''shameful'' university officials for holding a contest at all. A lecturer on the college race circuit admonished the university for thinking that ''there is a universality around writing an essay,'' when in reality blacks express themselves ''completely different.'' One black student sniffed that participating would have been a ''sellout/compromise.'' ''Having grown up in all white spaces,'' he posted on Facebook , ''I often avoided events such as this because I knew the purpose was a performative gesture from the administration.'' How the student determines when events are not ''performative gestures'' was left unspecified.
The African-American studies program was denounced for not canceling the competition when the organizers realized the skin color of the six entrants. ''I cannot understand how anyone would think remembering the legacy of MLK Jr. is achieved by giving four white girls a shout out,'' wrote a critic. ''Do not center Whiteness on the day we are supposed to remember MLK Jr.'s legacy.''
But the contest rules had no racial prerequisites. The essay prompt'--''How are you implementing Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy here at the University of Montana?'''--was universal. The competition's very purpose, according to Tobin Miller Shearer, Montana's African-American Studies program director, was to challenge the entire campus to fight racism, since black students complained about having to do the ''heavy lifting,'' in Mr. Shearer's words, in the battle against the university's white supremacy.
Outraged observers accused the contest committee of not specifically soliciting submissions from black students. In fact, the committee, whose majority consisted of ''persons of color,'' including the presidents of the Black Student Union and the Latinx Student Union, had asked members of the Black Student Union to participate. The students' failure to do so, despite a $250 first prize, was nonetheless deemed the university's fault and another instance of the university silencing minority voices. Woke white students declared that they would never presume to write about MLK and racism, since doing so would be an example of ''speaking OVER black voices.'' If no white students had submitted an essay, that too would have demonstrated campus bigotry.
Naturally, the demographics of the University of Montana student body and faculty were cited as evidence for the white supremacy charge. The undergraduate population is 79% white and 1% black; the faculty is nearly 90% white. Never mentioned was the state's demographics: 89% white and 0.6% black, according to the 2019 census estimate. To boost its black enrollment, the university would have to poach black students from other states, whose colleges are equally desperate to increase their own diversity numbers. The essay submission rate for white undergraduates was 0.1%. If the school's population of black students had submitted at the same rate, 0.08% of the essay contest submissions would have been from black writers. That's essentially zero, which is, in fact, how many such submissions were received.
The university has been predictably repentant, calling the criticism ''fair.'' Yet its Facebook page also notes, with a hint of exasperation, that a student's skin color does not preclude him from submitting an essay or working toward equality. The university's creation of a new office for diversity and inclusion and the search for a new specialist for diversity, equity and inclusion in the human resources department will now take on added urgency. It was not lost on the contest critics that Mr. Shearer, the African-American studies director, himself is ''nonblack,'' as the local NAACP president put it. He will be watched.
The race industry's search for racism in an America going out of its way to atone for its past is increasingly desperate. A fantastical alchemy is required, which converts good faith efforts at inclusiveness into instances of bigotry. Academics and activists police racial boundaries with a zeal that recalls Jim Crow, buttressed by ignorant conceits such as ''cultural appropriation.'' Dr. King's colorblind ideal has been thoroughly repudiated: whites who write about implementing Dr. King's legacy today are threatened, rather than welcomed to the cause. Power now flows from assertions of victimized racial identity, even as academics and activists declare race a social construct.
Racism ''separates not only bodies, but minds and spirits,'' wrote Dr. King. Such separatism appears to be the goal of those who claim to be his spiritual descendants.
Ms. Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of ''The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.''
Porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV) | The Pig Site
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:33
Background and historyPRCV first appeared in pigs in the 1980s in Europe. It is related to but distinct from transmissable gastroenteritis virus (TGE), which is another coronavirus.
PRCV is respiratory-spread and believed to travel long distances, and because of this, it is extremely difficult to maintain herds free from it. Very few countries have not been exposed.
Clinically, it is almost non-pathogenic and field experiences have shown that herds exposed for the first time have few (if any) signs of disease.
It has been suggested however that it may have an effect on lung tissue when other respiratory disease complexes.
PRCV does however cross react with the serological test for TGE and it can therefore confuse diagnosis.
A differential test is available.
Clinical signsSows
Usually no symptoms.In the presence of other respiratory agents coughing may be associated.Piglets
A transient cough but no other signs.Weaners and growers
Herds exposed for the first time have few if any signs of disease.A transient coughing lasting only a few hours.DiagnosisBlood tests completed in a diagnostic laboratory capable of carrying out the differential test.
CausesField observations indicate the virus is spread for long distances on the wind.PRCV is respiratory spread.PreventionNational importation programmes - Individual countries which are free from this infection and TGE will only import pigs that are sero-negative for TGE and PRCV.No on-farm precautions recommended.
Novel Swine Enteric Coronavirus Disease (SECD) | North Dakota Department of Agriculture
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:33
Novel swine enteric coronavirus disease (SECD) is a disease in swine caused by emerging porcine coronaviruses, including porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) and porcine delta coronavirus (PDCoV). Different strains of PEDV exist with different virulence levels. SECD is characterized by an acute, rapidly spreading viral diarrhea of pigs; no other species are known to be affected and it is not a public health threat. Pigs develop varying degrees of diarrhea and inappetence depending upon age of the pig infected.
Reporting Swine Enteric Coronavirus DiseaseAs mandated in the federal order, veterinarians and producers must report suspect, presumptive-positive and test-positive herds. Please use the case definitions below to determine reportability of cases:
Suspect herd: A swine herd in which one or more age groups are affected with acute, contagious, watery diarrhea.Presumptive positive herd: A swine herd with one or more positive pigs, tested by PCR, VI, and/or viral genetic sequencing, with either nonspecific, unknown or no clinical signs or history consistent with SECD.Confirmed positive herd: A swine herd with one or more confirmed positive cases, that include pigs that:Tested positive for PEDV, PDCoV, or other emerging swine enteric coronavirus by PCR, VI and/or viral genetic sequencing; andHave a history of clinical signs consistent with SECD.To report PEDv or other swine enteric coronaviruses to the State Veterinarian please call 307-328-2655307-328-2655.
Sample Submission
Your swine farm's national premises identification number (PIN) must be listed on the laboratory's submission form. This allows diagnostic laboratories to report test results and also eliminates the need to list your name and address on the submission form.
PEDV and PDCoV may appear clinically to be the same as Transmissible Gastroenteritis (TGE) virus with acute diarrhea. Producers will need to work with their herd veterinarian if any TGE-like symptoms appear and as always, maintain strict biosecurity protocols.
PEDV and PDCoV are viruses similar to Transmissible Gastroenteritis (TGE), another disease only affecting pigs. It is not zoonotic, so therefore it poses no risk to other animals or humans. Also, SECD poses no risk to food safety.PEDV and PDCoV are transmitted via the fecal-oral route and may appear to be the same as Transmissible Gastroenteritis (TGE) virus with acute diarrhea within 12 to 36 hours of onset. Herd veterinarians remain well versed in managing TGE-like diseases.The viruses are members of the Corona family and causes clinical signs very similar to TGE (Transmissible Gastroenteritis) including:acute outbreaks of severe diarrhea and vomitingsignificant mortality (50 - 60%) in piglets 7 days of age and youngerincubation in 1 - 4 daysLaboratory testing is the only way to diagnose SECD and it is a reportable disease.As always, producers who see any signs of illness in their pigs should notify their herd veterinarian immediately to address the issue.Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV)PEDV was first reported in the United States in 2013 and quickly spread throughout the country. PEDV has also been reported in Canada and Mexico and is suspected in Central America, Colombia, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. PEDV is thought to be widespread throughout most regions of Western and Central Europe and Southeast Asian countries, including China and Japan. PEDV is currently a source of concern in Asian countries, where outbreaks are often more acute and severe than those observed in Europe. Severe outbreaks with high mortality are typically rare in Europe, but recently have been commonly reported in Asia. China has seen a large increase in outbreaks since 2010, and the emergence of new strains has been attributed to this increase.
Porcine Delta Coronavirus (PDCoV)PDCoV was first reported in China in 2012. It was subsequently detected in the United States in early 2014, followed by detections in Canada. PDCoV has not been reported in any other countries.
For Interstate Movements: Swine moving into North Dakota, please see Animal Importation Requirements: Swine.
Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, and Scientists Don't Know Why - Bloomberg
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:28
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A Complete Psychological Analysis of Trump's Support | Psychology Today
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:27
Science can help us make sense of the president's political invincibility. Posted Dec 27, 2018
Source: Eric Rosenwald/Shutterstock
Whether we want to or not, we must try to understand the Donald Trump phenomenon, as it has completely swept the nation and also fiercely divided it. What is most baffling about it all is Trump's apparent political invincibility. As he himself said even before he won the presidential election, ''I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters.'' Unfortunately for the American people, this wild-sounding claim appears to be truer than not. It should also motivate us to explore the science underlying such peculiar human behavior, so we can learn from it, and potentially inoculate against it.
In all fairness, we should recognize that lying is sadly not uncommon for politicians on both sides of the political aisle, but the frequency and magnitude of the current president's lies should have us all wondering why they haven't destroyed his political career, and instead perhaps strengthened it. Similarly, we should be asking why his inflammatory rhetoric and numerous scandals haven't sunk him. We are talking about a man who was caught on tape saying, ''When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.'' Politically surviving that video is not normal, or anything close to it, and such a revelation would likely have been the end of Barack Obama or George Bush had it surfaced weeks before the election.
While dozens of psychologists have analyzed Trump, to explain the man's political invincibility, it is more important to understand the minds of his staunch supporters. While various popular articles have illuminated a multitude of reasons for his unwavering support, there appears to be no comprehensive analysis that contains all of them. Since there seems to be a real demand for this information, I have tried to provide that analysis below.
Some of the explanations come from a 2017 review paper published in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology by the psychologist and UC Santa Cruz professor Thomas Pettigrew. Others have been put forth as far back as 2016, by me, in various articles and blog posts for publications like Psychology Today. A number of these were inspired by insights from psychologists like Sheldon Solomon, who laid the groundwork for the influential Terror Management Theory, and David Dunning, who did the same for the Dunning-Kruger effect.
This list will begin with the more benign reasons for Trump's intransigent support. As the list goes on, the explanations become increasingly worrisome, and toward the end, border on the pathological. It should be strongly emphasized that not all Trump supporters are racist, mentally vulnerable, or fundamentally bad people. It can be detrimental to society when those with degrees and platforms try to demonize their political opponents or paint them as mentally ill when they are not. That being said, it is just as harmful to pretend that there are not clear psychological and neural factors that underlie much of Trump supporters' unbridled allegiance.
The psychological phenomena described below mostly pertain to those supporters who would follow Trump off a cliff. These are the people who will stand by his side no matter what scandals come to light, or what sort of evidence for immoral and illegal behavior surfaces.
1. Practicality Trumps Morality
For some wealthy people, it's simply a financial matter. Trump offers tax cuts for the rich and wants to do away with government regulation that gets in the way of businessmen making money, even when that regulation exists for the purpose of protecting the environment. Others, like blue-collared workers, like the fact that the president is trying to bring jobs back to America from places like China. Some people who genuinely are not racist (those who are will be discussed later) simply want stronger immigration laws because they know that a country with open borders is not sustainable. These people have put their practical concerns above their moral ones. To them, it does not make a difference if he's a vagina-grabber, or if his campaign team colluded with Russia to help him defeat his political opponent. It is unknown whether these people are eternally bound to Trump in the way others are, but we may soon find out if the Mueller investigation is allowed to come to completion.
2. The Brain's Attention System Is More Strongly Engaged by Trump
According to a study that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session. This pattern of activity was seen even when Trump made remarks that individuals didn't necessarily agree with. His showmanship and simple language clearly resonate with some at a visceral level.
3. America's Obsession with Entertainment and Celebrities
Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America's addiction to entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn't matter what Trump actually says because he's so amusing to watch. With the Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will forgive anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.
4. ''Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn.''
Some people are supporting Trump simply to be rebellious or to introduce chaos into the political system. They may have such distaste for the establishment and democrats like Hillary Clinton that their support for Trump is a symbolic middle finger directed at Washington. These people may have other issues, like an innate desire to troll others or an obsession with schadenfreude.
5. The Fear Factor: Conservatives Are More Sensitive to Threat
Science has shown that the conservative brain has an exaggerated fear response when faced with stimuli that may be perceived as threatening. A 2008 study in the journal Science found that conservatives have a stronger physiological reaction to startling noises and graphic images compared to liberals. A brain-imaging study published in Current Biology revealed that those who lean right politically tend to have a larger amygdala '-- a structure that is electrically active during states of fear and anxiety. And a 2014 fMRI study found that it is possible to predict whether someone is a liberal or conservative simply by looking at their brain activity while they view threatening or disgusting images, such as mutilated bodies. Specifically, the brains of self-identified conservatives generated more activity overall in response to the disturbing images.
These brain responses are automatic and not influenced by logic or reason. As long as Trump continues to portray Muslims and Hispanic immigrants as imminent threats, many conservative brains will involuntarily light up like light bulbs being controlled by a switch. Fear keeps his followers energized and focused on safety. And when you think you've found your protector, you become less concerned with offensive and divisive remarks.
6. The Power of Mortality Reminders and Perceived Existential Threat
A well-supported theory from social psychology, known as Terror Management Theory, explains why Trump's fear mongering is doubly effective. The theory is based on the fact that humans have a unique awareness of their own mortality. The inevitably of one's death creates existential terror and anxiety that is always residing below the surface. In order to manage this terror, humans adopt cultural worldviews '-- like religions, political ideologies, and national identities '-- that act as a buffer by instilling life with meaning and value.
Terror Management Theory predicts that when people are reminded of their own mortality, which happens with fear mongering, they will more strongly defend those who share their worldviews and national or ethnic identity, and act out more aggressively towards those who do not. Hundreds of studies have supported this hypothesis, and some have specifically shown that triggering thoughts of death tends to shift people towards the right.
Not only do death reminders increase nationalism, they may influence voting habits in favor of more conservative presidential candidates. And more disturbingly, in a study with American students, scientists found that making mortality salient increased support for extreme military interventions by American forces that could kill thousands of civilians overseas. Interestingly, the effect was present only in conservatives.
By constantly emphasizing existential threat, Trump may be creating a psychological condition that makes the brain respond positively rather than negatively to bigoted statements and divisive rhetoric.
In this video, I explain this in greater detail, and offer a potential solution to the problem.
7. The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Humans Often Overestimate Their Political Expertise
Some who support Donald Trump are under-informed or misinformed about the issues at hand. When Trump tells them that crime is skyrocketing in the United States, or that the economy is the worst it's ever been, they simply take his word for it.
The Dunning-Kruger effect explains that the problem isn't just that they are misinformed; it's that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed, which creates a double burden.
Studies have shown that people who lack expertise in some area of knowledge often have a cognitive bias that prevents them from realizing that they lack expertise. As psychologist David Dunning puts it in an op-ed for Politico, ''The knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task '-- and if one lacks such knowledge and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at the task. This includes political judgment.'' These people cannot be reached because they mistakenly believe they are the ones who should be reaching others.
8. Relative Deprivation '-- A Misguided Sense of Entitlement
Relative deprivation refers to the experience of being deprived of something to which one believes they are entitled. It is the discontent felt when one compares their position in life to others who they feel are equal or inferior but have unfairly had more success than them.
Common explanations for Trump's popularity among non-bigoted voters involve economics. There is no doubt that some Trump supporters are simply angry that American jobs are being lost to Mexico and China, which is certainly understandable, although these loyalists often ignore the fact that some of these careers are actually being lost due to the accelerating pace of automation.
These Trump supporters are experiencing relative deprivation, and are common among the swing states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. This kind of deprivation is specifically referred to as ''relative,'' as opposed to ''absolute,'' because the feeling is often based on a skewed perception of what one is entitled to.
9. Lack of Exposure to Dissimilar Others
Intergroup contact refers to contact with members of groups that are outside one's own, which has been experimentally shown to reduce prejudice. As such, it's important to note that there is growing evidence that Trump's white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. For example, a 2016 study found that '''...the racial and ethnic isolation of Whites at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.'' This correlation persisted while controlling for dozens of other variables. In agreement with this finding, the same researchers found that support for Trump increased with the voters' physical distance from the Mexican border. These racial biases might be more implicit than explicit, the latter which is addressed in #14.
10. Trump's Conspiracy Theories Target the Mentally Vulnerable
While the conspiracy theory crowd '-- who predominantly support Donald Trump and crackpot allies like Alex Jones and the shadowy QAnon '-- may appear to just be an odd quirk of modern society, some of them may suffer from psychological illnesses that involve paranoia and delusions, such as schizophrenia, or are at least vulnerable to them, like those with schizotypy personalities.
The link between schizotypy and belief in conspiracy theories is well-established, and a recent study published in the journal Psychiatry Research has demonstrated that it is still very prevalent in the population. The researchers found that those who were more likely to believe in outlandish conspiracy theories, such as the idea that the U.S. government created the AIDS epidemic, consistently scored high on measures of ''odd beliefs and magical thinking.'' One feature of magical thinking is a tendency to make connections between things that are actually unrelated in reality.
Donald Trump and media allies target these people directly. All one has to do is visit alt-right websites and discussion boards to see the evidence for such manipulation.
11. Trump Taps into the Nation's Collective Narcissism
Collective narcissism is an unrealistic shared belief in the greatness of one's national group. It often occurs when a group who believes it represents the 'true identity' of a nation '-- the 'ingroup,' in this case White Americans '-- perceives itself as being disadvantaged compared to outgroups who are getting ahead of them 'unrightfully.' This psychological phenomenon is related to relative deprivation (#6).
A study published last year in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found a direct link between national collective narcissism and support for Donald Trump. This correlation was discovered by researchers at the University of Warsaw, who surveyed over 400 Americans with a series of questionnaires about political and social beliefs. Where individual narcissism causes aggressiveness toward other individuals, collective narcissism involves negative attitudes and aggression toward 'outsider' groups (outgroups), who are perceived as threats.
Donald Trump exacerbates collective narcissism with his anti-immigrant, anti-elitist, and strongly nationalistic rhetoric. By referring to his supporters, an overwhelmingly white group, as being ''true patriots'' or ''real Americans,'' he promotes a brand of populism that is the epitome of ''identity politics,'' a term that is usually associated with the political left. Left-wing identity politics, as misguided as they may sometimes be, are generally aimed at achieving equality, while the right-wing brand is based on a belief that one nationality or race is superior or entitled to success and wealth for no other reason than identity.
12. The Desire to Want to Dominate Others
Social dominance orientation (SDO) '-- which is distinct from but related to authoritarian personality (#13) '-- refers to people who have a preference for the societal hierarchy of groups, specifically with a structure in which the high-status groups have dominance over the low-status ones. Those with SDO are typically dominant, tough-minded, and driven by self-interest.
In Trump's speeches, he appeals to those with SDO by repeatedly making a clear distinction between groups that have a generally higher status in society (White), and those groups that are typically thought of as belonging to a lower status (immigrants and minorities). A 2016 survey study of 406 American adults published last year in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that those who scored high on both SDO and authoritarianism were more likely to vote for Trump in the election.
13. Authoritarian Personality
Authoritarianism refers to the advocacy or enforcement of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom, and is commonly associated with a lack of concern for the opinions or needs of others. Authoritarian personality is characterized by belief in total and complete obedience to authority. Those with this personality often display aggression toward outgroup members, submissiveness to authority, resistance to new experiences, and a rigid hierarchical view of society. Authoritarianism is often triggered by fear, making it easy for leaders who exaggerate threat or fear monger to gain their allegiance.
Although authoritarian personality is found among liberals, it is more common among the right-wing around the world. President Trump's speeches, which are laced with absolutist terms like ''losers'' and ''complete disasters,'' are naturally appealing to those with such a personality.
While research showed that Republican voters in the U.S. scored higher than Democrats on measures of authoritarianism before Trump emerged on the political scene, a 2016 Politico survey found that high authoritarians greatly favored then-candidate Trump, which led to a correct prediction that he would win the election, despite the polls saying otherwise.
14. Racism and Bigotry
It would be grossly unfair and inaccurate to say that every one of Trump's supporters have prejudice against ethnic and religious minorities, but it would be equally inaccurate to say that few do. The Republican party, going at least as far back to Richard Nixon's ''southern strategy,'' has historically used tactics that appealed to bigotry, such as lacing speeches with ''dog whistles'' '-- code words that signaled prejudice toward minorities that were designed to be heard by racists but no one else.
While the dog whistles of the past were subtler, Trump's signaling is sometimes shockingly direct. There's no denying that he routinely appeals to racist and bigoted supporters when he calls Muslims ''dangerous'' and Mexican immigrants ''rapists'' and ''murderers,'' often in a blanketed fashion. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a recent study has shown that support for Trump is correlated with a standard scale of modern racism.
This article was originally published at Raw Story.
Francis Boyle '' University of Illinois College of Law
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 14:55
AboutFrancis Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He received an AB (1971) in Political Science from the University of Chicago, then a JD degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, and AM and PhD degrees in Political Science from Harvard University. He practiced tax and international tax with Bingham, Dana & Gould.
Professor Boyle serves as counsel to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the Provisional Government of the Palestinian Authority. He also represents two associations of citizens within Bosnia and was involved in developing the indictment against Slobodan Milosević for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Over his career, he has represented national and international bodies including the Blackfoot Nation (Canada), the Nation of Hawaii, and the Lakota Nation, as well as numerous individual death penalty and human rights cases. He has advised numerous international bodies in the areas of human rights, war crimes and genocide, nuclear policy, and bio-warfare. From 1991-92, he served as Legal Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations.
Professor Boyle served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International, as a consultant to the American Friends Service Committee, and on the Advisory Board for the Council for Responsible Genetics. He drafted the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, that was approved unanimously by both Houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.
EducationAM, PhD Harvard UniversityJD Harvard Law SchoolAB University of Chicago
Areas of ExpertiseConstitutional Law (U.S. Foreign Affairs)Human RightsJurisprudenceU.S. Foreign Affairs
CoursesConstitutional Law of US Foreign AffairsInternational Human Rights LawInternational LawJurisprudenceLaw Teaching Practicum
Selected PublicationsBooksWorld Politics and International Law (Duke University Press: 1985; 2d prtg. 1987; 3d prtg. 1995). Designated ''An Outstanding Academic Book of 1985-86'' in the field of Political Science by Choice Magazine, Association of College and Research Libraries, American Library Association.
Defending Civil Resistance Under International Law (Transnational Publishers: 1987). The Center for Energy Research published a special paperback edition in 1988.
The Future of International Law and American Foreign Policy (Transnational Publishers: 1989). The Islamic World Studies Center in Malta published an Arabic language edition in 1993.
The Bosnian People Charge Genocide (Aletheia Press: 1996). The Bosnian State Institute for Research of Crimes against Humanity and International Law, which is affiliated with the University of Sarajevo, published a Bosnian language edition in 2000.
Foundations of World Order: The Legalist Approach to International Relations (1898-1922) (Duke University Press: 1999). Pakyounsa published a Korean translation of this book in 2004.
The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence (Clarity Press: 2002) (Crescent News, Malaysia: 2007). Verlag Zeit-Fragen in Zurich, Switzerland published a German language edition in 2009.
Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law (Clarity Press: 2003;2d prtg.2005) (Crescent News, Malaysia: 2007). Shorouk International in Egypt published an Arabic translation of this book in 2004.
Destroying World Order: U.S. Imperialism in the Middle East Before and After September 11th (Clarity Press: 2004) (Crescent News, Malaysia: 2007). The Supreme Council of Culture in Egypt published an Arabic translation of this book in 2005.
Biowarfare and Terrorism (Clarity Press:2005) (Crescent News, Malaysia: 2007). ‰ditions DemiLune in Paris published a French translation of this book in 2007.
Protesting Power: War, Resistance, and Law (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.: 2008).
Breaking All The Rules: Palestine, Iraq, Iran, and the Case for Impeachment (Clarity Press: 2008).
Tackling America's Toughest Questions (Clarity Press: 2009).
The Tamil Genocide by Sri Lanka (Clarity Press: 2010).
The Palestinian Right of Return Under International Law (Clarity Press: 2011).
United Ireland, Human Rights, and International Law (Clarity Press: 2012).
Destroying Libya and World Order (Clarity Press: 2013).
Restoring the Kingdom of Hawaii: The Kanaka Maoli Route to Independence (Clarity Press: 2014).
Free Puerto Rico! Puerto Rico and the Puerto Ricans under International Law (Editorial Borik(C)n, P.R.: 2016).
See All Publications
Gay rights: Switzerland to decide whether homophobia should be a crime
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 14:52
GENEVA '-- Last November, a private daycare provider in northern Switzerland generated headlines when it refused to enroll twin toddlers whose fathers are gay '' a relationship that the center's director described as ''neither normal nor natural.''
Although the incident sparked public outrage, it did not break any laws, as no legislation prohibiting discrimination specifically against gays and lesbians currently exists in Switzerland.
But that may change on Feb. 9, when Swiss voters will head to the polls to decide whether homophobia '' hate crimes or discrimination based on sexual orientation ''should be criminalized.
If passed, Switzerland would join a handful of other European nations like Denmark and the Netherlands where homophobia is a criminal offense.
In 2018, the Swiss parliament approved a motion to widen the country's anti-racism laws that protect citizens from racial, ethnic and religious persecution to include discrimination based on sexual orientation.
But a conservative political party, the Federal Democratic Union (UDF), launched a referendum against expanding the anti-discrimination laws, claiming that such ''useless censorship'' would restrict freedom of speech.
''We must have the right to express another opinion, without being accused of propagating discriminatory or homophobic words,'' UDF's president Marc Fr¼h said.
The government, as well as most political parties, support the new law, arguing that debates on sexual orientation and gender identity will continue to be allowed as part of Switzerland's constitutional right to free expression.
However, public incitement to hatred and discrimination, as well as threats and violence against gays and lesbians, will be punishable by up to three years in prison should the referendum become law after Sunday's vote.
Fr¼h's party was able to launch the referendum because Switzerland's unique system of direct democracy gives the public the right to put every piece of legislation to a vote, giving the citizens '' rather than lawmakers '' the power to shape local and national policies.
Mathias Reynard, the lawmaker who was the driving force behind the parliamentary motion, tweeted that the new law would ''fill a legal loophole and send out a powerful message that homophobia will no longer be tolerated.''
While Switzerland is set to vote on the referendum, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide later this year whether a long-standing federal employment discrimination law also protects gay, lesbian, and transgender workers. And, 2020 marks the 5-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the country. In the U.S. political arena, an openly gay candidate emerged earlier this week from the first presidential preference contest in a leading position.
More:SCOTUS ruling could completely alter lives of LGBTQ Americans
More:Half of LGBTQ adults live in states where no laws ban job discrimination
Iowa caucuses:Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders in a near tie
Although UDF's Fr¼h claims that members of Switzerland's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community ''are not discriminated and don't need special protection,'' advocates for the community say otherwise.
Roman Heggli, secretary-general of Swiss gay advocacy group Pink Cross, said the organization's hotline receives dozens of reports of insults, threats, and physical violence against members of the LGBTIQ community each month.
But this number is only a tip of the iceberg, he said, ''since 80 percent of homophobia cases are not reported.''
One such incident happened earlier this week when a woman wearing a gay rights button was verbally assaulted in a Geneva bus by another passenger. Before disembarking, the passenger said he took the opportunity to express his views prior to Sunday's referendum, while such comments in a public place are still permitted.
Though the new legislation might put an end to such incidents, Heggli said more progress is needed. In a study conducted recently by a gay rights organization ILGA on Europe's LGBTIQ equality laws and policies, Switzerland placed 28th out of 49 countries.
One reason may be Switzerland's stance on same-sex couples. While the country recognizes civil unions between gay and lesbian couples, entitling them to pension and inheritance rights, adoption of children is still not legal.
However, that may soon change. The government has recently announced its intention to ''rapidly'' legalize same-sex marriage and adoptions, as is the case in some other European countries.
And there may soon be more developments on the horizon.
The latest poll from the GfS Research Institute shows that 69% of Swiss voters support the ban on LGBTIQ discrimination. At this point, ''it's virtually impossible for opponents to turn the current trend,'' GfS's political scientist Martina Mousson told Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. ''Tolerance is a key value and it is deeply rooted in Swiss society.''
Victory at the polls would send a ''strong message'' to the law's opponents, Heggli said.
''Knowing that the public is against homophobia would be an important step for our community,'' he noted.
Asians Far More Susceptible to Corona Virus than Other Races, More Likely to Die, Just Like SARS [VIDEO] | Europe Reloaded
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 14:29
Pam Barker | Director of TLB Europe Reloaded ProjectIn support of Lance Welton's thesis below, that the coronavirus seems particularly aimed at Chinese people or, at least, that they seem to be the main victims of it '' just like SARS, we link to an Al Jazeera report of 8 hours ago titled China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates '' Global death toll reaches 427 with two reported dead outside mainland China as the number of infections passes 20,500. Simply from the title itself, we can see that by far and away the largest % of deaths are among Chinese in China. One of the 2 dead 'outside of China', the second death in fact, is from Hong Kong, as reported in the first two paragraphs, meaning this person is racially, genetically Chinese. (A note to Al Jazeera: Hong Kong has been 'inside' of China politically since 1997. Further, it is not an island and is part of the mainland, although it contains several islands.)
This CNN story, linked to here (from Feb.3), reports on the first death due to the coronavirus of a Chinese man in the Philippines.
Why are we not being told this? Why, as per usual, are we being made to fear? Welton attempts to answer this below.
Credit to Paul Craig Roberts, who has alerted his readers to a Youtube video testifying to the fact that viruses can be targeted at populations with a certain racial/genetic profile. These racial profiles, or 'genetic markers', can easily be identified, thus enabling the production of bioweapons targeting certain people. Says Roberts, 'For those who doubt that bioweapons can be targeted to specific races or ethnicities, here is a documentary describing how it is done'. We're posting it below (starting at 41 mins, 20 seconds):
********
Do You Know All Coronavirus Victims Appear To Be Chinese? Thought Not!LANCE WELTONAt the time of writing, 170 people have died of the Wuhan Coronavirus [Coronavirus Live Updates: Death Toll Rises, as Foreigners are Evacuated, New York Times, January 30, 2020], though that number is bound to have increased by the time this article is published.
All of these deaths have been in China.
The disease has spread to at least 16 other countries, including Canada, the USA, France, Germany, Finland, Australia, India, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, and a number of East Asian countries [This is where Wuhan coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide, by Eric Cheung, CNN, January 30, 2020]. The Main Stream Media, in Western countries, is stoking panic with rolling news coverage on the spread of the possibly Apocalyptic new plague [Corona Virus Outbreak, by Matthew Weaver et al., The Guardian, January 30, 2020]. But what nobody is openly reporting: the race of the victims. They appear to be all Asians'--specifically, the yellow race formerly known (accurately but now Politically Incorrectly) as ''Oriental.''
Thus two Coronavirus cases were just confirmed in the U.K. [Coronavirus: UK patient is University of York student, BBC.com, February 1, 2020], But if you read the article, both turn out to be ''Chinese nationals.'' Similarly a recent headline of The Helsinki Times read ''First case of Wuhan Corona virus confirmed in Finland,'' [January 29, 2020]. But it turns out to be a Chinese tourist in Lapland, not a Finn.
In fact, as far as I can tell, all of the confirmed cases have been of Chinese people. According to Sri Lankan radio, the case in Sri Lanka was a ''Chinese tourist'' [Sri Lanka suspends visa on arrival for Chinese travellers after confirmed case of Corona virus, News On Air, January 28, 2020]. So are the cases in France and the one in the United Arab Emirates [Coronavirus is spreading as FIVE people in France are now confirmed to have the illness and Chinese traveller from Wuhan is quarantined in Finland, by Sam Blanchard, Mail Online, January 29, 2020].
If it is true that only East Asians are dying of, or even catching, Corona, that would be consistent with long-established race differences in the susceptibility to such viruses. This has been explored in a fascinating study, by a group of Chinese researchers led by C. L. Chen of Soochow University, entitled: Ethnic differences in susceptibilities to A(H1N1) flu [African Journal of Biotechnology, 2009].
The authors begin by noting that, from an evolutionary perspective, there is every reason to expect there to be ethnic or race differences in the susceptibility to different pathogens. Races'--or, as they call them, ''ethnic groups'''--are breeding populations, long-separated, usually by geography, who are, therefore, genetic clusters adapted to different ecologies. Because they were exposed to different pathogens in prehistory, there are very likely to be race differences in susceptibility to the pathogens and in how well the immune system can fight them.
Many infectious diseases jumped the species barrier from animals to humans due to our close contact with animals while pursuing agriculture. For this reason, groups that never innovated agriculture, or who only innovated it in a limited form or only relatively recently took it up, can be decimated by flu-like viruses.
Thus the authors observe that the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 was three to 70 times more deadly to ''natives'' in Canada and the USA, as well as to the reindeer herding Saami people in Sweden and Norway, than it was to the rest of these countries' populations. This is because most white and black people are descended from those who have long practiced farming. The authors add that the Swine Flu Pandemic of 2009 was five times more deadly to Maori people than it was to other New Zealanders.
The Corona Virus is closely related to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) [Coronavirus vs. SARS: Health experts on the key differences between the two outbreaks, by Sam Meredith, CNBC, January 28, 2020], of which there was a major outbreak in 2003, which also began in China in 2002.
According to Wikipedia (which is, presumably, politically neutral on such numbers), a total of 774 people died across 29 countries. This amounted to almost 10% of those who caught it. Potentially in line with the findings of the Chinese researchers, the mortality rate for SARS in Europe was almost nil. Minuscule numbers of people caught it and only one of them died '' in France (where there were an atypically high 7 cases).
By contrast, in Hong Kong the mortality rate from SARS was 17%. In Taiwan, it was 10%. In Canada, it was 17%, but it seems pretty obvious that they were all ''Chinese Canadians,'' what with there being so many Chinese people in Canada and documented attempts made to ''help'' them (specifically) deal with the virus [see Beyond SARS: ethnic community organization's role in public health'--a Toronto experience, By W. Dong, Promotion and Education, 2008].
In Singapore, 13% of those who caught SARS died out of 238 cases. Other countries had very small numbers of cases or, as with Vietnam, their medical access would have been sub-optimal, rendering it difficult to make comparisons.
But essentially, it can be said the SARS was an East Asian disease which, like Corona, can be traced to bats. SARS didn't severely impact the rest of the world, despite people definitely catching it. It disproportionally killed East Asians. See SARS: The Immigration Dimension II, by Walter Pringle, VDARE.com, April 24, 2003.
This effect was so pronounced that, Wikipedia reports, ''Many Chinese believed that the SARS virus could be a biological weapon manufactured by the United States, which perceived China as a potential threat.'' (Ironically, the financial website ZeroHedge has just been banned by Twitter for reporting speculation that the Corona virus was developed during Chinese research into bioweapons'--a ban that ZeroHedge attributes in a scathing post to U.S. capitalists' notorious desire to appease China).
The difference between the two strains: the Corona virus, according to experts, is nothing like as deadly as SARS. Its mortality rate appears to be about 2% . It's mainly taking people with serious pre-existing health conditions [Coronavirus vs. SARS: Health experts on the key differences between the two outbreaks, by Sam Meredith, CNBC, January 28, 2020].
So if I wanted to tempt fate, then I'd write the following:
The Corona virus is a virus that, for whatever reason, East Asians are susceptible to but other races are not, just like SARS. None of our people are going to succumb to this condition. The MSM's constant hyping is just a way of making people panic, because people are more susceptible to being indoctrinated when they panic. By not reporting the race of those who have caught this disease in Europe, unnecessary panic is being fomented among Europeans'...so that they can be more easily inculcated with the message than ''race differences don't exist, because race is a social construct.''
But race differences do exist. Race is a biological reality. And these kinds of viruses help to prove that.************
Original articleLance Welton [email him] is the pen name of a freelance journalist living in New York.
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TV Ratings: MacGyver Returns Steady, Dem Debate Dominates Friday Night '' TVLine
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 14:06
In the latest TV ratings, CBS' MacGyver opened Season 4 on Friday night with 6 million total viewers and a 0.7 demo rating, on par with its previous season average (6.1 mil/0.7) and finale (5.5 mil/0.7), while ticking up in audience versus its Season 3 premiere.
Leading out of that (and returning to its usual time slot), Hawaii Five-0 (6.6 mil/0.7) dropped a few eyeballs while steady in the demo.
Elsewhere'....
FOX | Friday Night SmackDown (2.55 mil/0.8) ticked up, leading all Friday entertainment programming in the demo.
ABC | Democratic Debate coverage averaged 6.9 mil and a 1.1, topping Friday in both measures.
THE CW | Charmed (596K/0.2) and Dynasty (326K/0.1) each dropped some eyeballs while steady in the demo, with the latter looking at a new audience low.
NBC | Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector: The Musical: The Series (3.6 mil/0.4) ticked up in viewers while steady in the demo.
The Live+Same Day numbers reported in our daily-ish ratings column do not reflect a show's overall performance, given the increases in delayed playback via DVR and streaming platforms. These Live+Same Day numbers instead are used to illustrate any trends or high/low superlatives. Happy Fun Ball may stick to certain types of skin.
Want scoop on any of the above shows? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt's Inside Line.
The Plundering of Ukraine by Corrupt American Democrats, by Israel Shamir - The Unz Review
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 13:30
Genesis 8:21‚
And the‚ Lord‚ smelled a sweet savour; and the‚ Lord‚ said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Exodus 8:1And the‚ Lord‚ spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the‚ Lord, Let My people go, that they may serve Me.
Psalm 83‚ When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained;4‚ What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?
Isaiah 641 Oh that Thou wouldest rend the heavens, that Thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at Thy presence,8‚ But now, O‚ Lord, Thou art our father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand.9‚ Be not wroth very sore, O‚ Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech Thee, we are all Thy people.
Jeremiah 332‚ Thus saith the‚ Lord‚ the maker thereof, the‚ Lord‚ that formed it, to establish it; the‚ Lord‚ is His name;3‚ Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.8‚ And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against Me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against Me.
Matthew 16:16‚ And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
John 831‚ Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed;32‚ And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Revelation 21:1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
33 = the # of years Our Savior and God lived on earth in the flesh21 = monthly day of Our Lady's holiday16 = monthly day of Our Lady's Covenant of Mercy (Šª‹"Š '•¨‰µ) holiday64 = the # of years Our Lord's mother lived on earth in the flesh8 = š64
+ ‚ The Lord's Day is also known as the ''eighth day,'' i.e. the day which will have ''no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light and its lamp is the Lamb'' (Rev. 21: 23). The ''eighth day'' is a term which indicates the final age, when the new creation, already begun by the resurrection of Christ, will be fulfilled and completed; when the new world will be ushered in by the general resurrection.+ Oxygen‚ is the‚ chemical element with‚ atomic number‚ 8. Diatomic oxygen gas constitutes 20.8% (almost 21!) of the‚ Earth's atmosphere.‚ + 64 and 33 come after the 21st decimal point of the number‚  '' 3.1415926535897932384626433+ There are 8 known planets‚ in the‚ Solar System under the current definition of‚ planet.+ The O.T. religious rite of circumcision is held on a baby boy's 8th day of life.+ The number of‚ Beatitudes (Š Š•‰Œ¸ ‰¥‹'Š•) is 8.+ There were 8 people on‚ Noah's Ark.+ International Women's Day is celebrated on the 8th of March every year.+ In music, an‚ octave (Latin: octavus '' eighth) or‚ perfect octave‚ is the‚ interval between one musical‚ pitch‚ and another with double its‚ frequency. The octave relationship is a natural phenomenon that has been referred to as the ''basic miracle of music'', the use of which is ''common in most musical systems''. The interval between the first and second harmonics of the‚ harmonic series‚ is an octave.+ In the late 1880s, piano manufacturer Steinway created the 88-key piano. Other manufacturers followed suit, and Steinways model has been the standard ever since.+ The number 8 is considered to be a‚ lucky number in Chinese‚ and other Asian cultures. Property with the number 8 may be valued greatly by Chinese. For example, a Hong Kong‚ number plate‚ with the number 8 was sold for 640,000.+ The opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing‚ started at 8 seconds and 8 minutes past 8 pm (local time) on 8 August 2008. + 8‚ is also considered a lucky number in‚ Japan.+ Eight-ball‚ pocket billiards‚ is played with a cue ball and 15 numbered balls, the black ball numbered 8 being the middle and most important one, as the winner is the player or side that legally pockets it after first pocketing its numerical group of 7 object balls.+ In‚ chess, each side has 8 pawns and the board is made of 64 squares arranged in an 8 by 8 lattice. The‚ 8 queens puzzle‚ is a challenge to arrange 8 queens on the board so that none can capture any of the others.+ The shape of a sideways figure eight infinity symbol ‚ ž ‚ is a mathematical symbol‚ representing the concept of‚ infinity.+ 1776 (1+7+7+6=21) The Continental Congress ratifies the declaration by the United States of its independence from the‚ Kingdom of Great Britain.+ A‚ 21-gun salute‚ is the most commonly recognized of the customary gun salutes that are performed by the firing of‚ cannons‚ or‚ artillery‚ as a military honor.
A.D. 640
+ July 6, 640‚ '‚ Battle of Heliopolis: The‚ Muslim Arab‚ army (15,000 men) defeats the Byzantine forces near‚ Heliopolis‚ (Egypt).+ December 22, 640‚ ' On orders of the Saracen leader, Amar, the‚ Serapeum of Alexandria, containing works that had survived the destruction of the‚ Library of Alexandria, is burned down, along with its collection of 500,000 manuscripts.
A.D. 800
+ December 25, 800 '' Charlemagne, king of the‚ Franks, is crowned‚ Holy Roman Emperor‚ as Charles I, with the title ''Emperor of the‚ Franks‚ and the‚ Lombards''. The‚ coronation takes place during Mass at the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, on‚ Christmas Day. The Frankish Empire‚ is formed in Western Europe.
A.D. 833
+ 833 '' Byzantine-Arab War: Emperor‚ Theophilos‚ signs an armistice‚ for peace with the Abbasid Caliphate. He offers the caliph‚ 100,000 gold dinars, in return for 7000 Byzantine‚ prisoners.
864
+ The‚ Christianization of Bulgaria begins:‚ Boris I, ruler (khan) of the‚ Bulgarian Empire, is converted to‚ Orthodox Christianity. His family and high-ranking dignitaries accept the Orthodox faith at the capital, Pliska.+ King‚ Alfonso III‚ conquers‚ Porto from the‚ Emirate of Cordoba. This is the end of the direct Muslim domination of the‚ Douro‚ region.
888
+ October 888 '‚ Battle of Milazzo: the‚ Aghlabids‚ score a crushing victory over a‚ Byzantine‚ fleet off Sicily.
1016
+ The‚ Pisan‚ and the‚ Genoese republics launch a naval offensive against the Muslim strongholds of‚ Sardinia, in particular‚ Porto Torres, and defeat the fleet of the‚ taifa‚ king.
1064+ European warriors go to‚ Spain, to participate in the‚ siege of Barbastro. This expedition is sanctioned by Pope‚ Alexander II‚ ' and is now regarded as an early form of‚ Crusade.+ The Seljuk Turks under Alp Arslan invade‚ Anatolia, and capture Ani after a‚ siege‚ of 25-days. He sacks the city and slaughters its citizens.
1600
+ February 19, 1600 '' Huaynaputina volcano‚ in‚ Peru‚ undergoes a catastrophic eruption, the worst to be recorded in South America.+ April 19, 1600‚ ' The first Dutch ship ever to arrive in Japan, the‚ Liefde‚ (''Love''), anchors in Sashifu, in the‚ Bungo Province.+ October 21, 1600‚ '‚ Battle of Sekigahara‚ in Japan:‚ Tokugawa Ieyasu‚ gains nominal control over the whole country.+ December 31, 1600‚ ' The‚ East India Company‚ is granted a‚ Royal Charter‚ in the‚ Kingdom of England‚ for trade with Asia.+ 1600 '' Sumo‚ wrestling becomes a professional sport in‚ Japan.+ 1600 '' William Shakespeare's plays‚ Henry IV, Part 2,‚ Henry V,‚ The Merchant of Venice,‚ A Midsummer Night's Dream‚ and‚ Much Ado About Nothing‚ are published in London.
1616
+ March 1616‚ '‚ Action of 1616, La Goulette,‚ Tunisia: A Spanish squadron under Francisco de Ribera defeats a Tunisian fleet.+ September 15, 1616‚ ' The first non-aristocratic, free public school in Europe is opened in‚ Frascati, Italy.+ November 30, 1616‚ '‚ Cardinal Richelieu, Armand-Jean du Plessis, is named French‚ Secretary of State‚ by young king‚ Louis XIII. Richelieu will change France into a unified centralised state, able to resist both England and the Habsburg Empire.+ 1616 '' Anti-Christian persecutions break out in‚ Nanking, China, and Nagasaki, Japan. The‚ Jesuit-lead Christian community in Japan at this time is over 3,000,000 strong.
1788
+ January 26, 1788‚ '‚ Australia Day: Eleven ships led by Captain‚ Arthur Phillip land at‚ Sydney Cove‚ (which will become Sydney), Australia.+ March 21, 1788 ' The‚ Great New Orleans Fire‚ kills 25% of the population and destroys 856 buildings, including‚ St. Louis Cathedral‚ and‚ The Cabildo, leaving most of the town in ruins.+ June 7, 1788 ' France:‚ Day of the Tiles, which some consider the beginning of the‚ French Revolution.+ August 8, 1788 ' King‚ Louis XVI of France‚ agrees to convene the Estates-General‚ meeting in May 1789, the first time since‚ 1614.+ October, 1788‚ ' King‚ George III of the United Kingdom‚ becomes deranged.+ November 25, 1788 ' Fifty consecutive days of temperatures below freezing strike‚ France, a record that would be unbroken more than 200 years later.
1800
+ April 24, 1800‚ ' The U.S. Library of Congress‚ is founded in Washington, D.C.
1808
+ January 1, 1808‚ ' The importation of‚ slaves‚ into the United States is banned.+ March 1, 1808‚ ' The slave trade is abolished by the United Kingdom in all of its colonies.
1818
+ April 4, 1818‚ ' The‚ United States Congress‚ adopts the‚ flag of the United States.+ October 20, 1818 '' A‚ treaty between the U.S. and the United Kingdom establishes the boundary between the U.S. and‚ British North America‚ as the‚ 49th parallel.+ December 3, 1818‚ '‚ Illinois‚ is admitted as the 21st‚ U.S. state.+ December 24, 1818 ' The‚ Christmas carol‚ ''Silent Night'' (Stille Nacht) is first performed at St. Nikolaus Parish Church, in‚ Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria.
1821
+ March 25, 1821 '' the beginning of the‚ Greek War of Independence against the‚ Ottoman Empire.+ December 15, 1821‚ ' The world's first geographical society, the‚ Sociƒ(C)tƒ(C) de gƒ(C)ographie, is established in Paris.
1833
+ April 18, 1833‚ ' Over 300 delegates from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland travel to the office of the Prime Minister, the‚ Earl Grey, to call for the immediate abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire.+ August 1, 1833 '' The British Parliament passes the‚ Slavery Abolition Act 1833, ultimately giving slaves in much of the‚ British Empire‚ their freedom.+ November 25, 1833‚ ' A major 8.7‚ earthquake‚ strikes‚ Sumatra.
1864
+ April 22, 1864 ' The‚ United States Congress‚ passes the Coinage Act of 1864, which mandates that the inscription‚ In God We Trust‚ be placed on all coins minted as‚ United States currency.+ August 22, 1864‚ (‰ ‹' °‰" Š¥Œ‹'Š¥‰µŠ) ' The‚ First Geneva Convention, for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field, is signed in‚ Geneva‚ by 12 European states, under the auspices of the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded‚ (predecessor of the‚ International Red Cross Movement).
1888
+ January 13, 1888‚ ' The‚ National Geographic Society‚ is founded in‚ Washington, D.C.+ August 5, 1888‚ '‚ Bertha Benz‚ arrives in‚ Pforzheim‚ having driven 40 miles (64‚ km) from Mannheim‚ in a car manufactured by her husband‚ Karl Benz, thus completing the first ''long-distance'' drive in the history of the automobile.+ August 10,1888 ' Dr‚ Friedrich Hermann Wƒ¶lferts motorised airship successfully completes the worlds first engine-driven flight, from‚ Cannstatt‚ to‚ Kornwestheim‚ in Germany.+ October 14, 1888'' Louis Le Prince‚ films the first motion picture in‚ Leeds,‚ England, two seconds and 18 frames in length.'' Battle of Gutƒ(C) Dili: Seeking to extend‚ Mahdist‚ control over what is now southwestern‚ Ethiopia, governor Khalil al-Khuzani is routed by an alliance of‚ Shewan‚ forces, under‚ Ras‚ Gobana Dacche‚ and Moroda Bekere, ruler of Leqa Naqamte. Only a handful, including Khalil, barely manage to flee the battlefield.
(Yekatit 23, 1888 Ethiopian cal.)+ Emperor Menelik fought to defend Ethiopia's independence against‚ Italy‚ in 1896 (1888 Ethiopian calendar), led the Ethiopian Army to a decisive victory against the Italians, which ensured an independent Ethiopia.
1908
+ August 8, 1908 '' Wilbur Wright‚ flies in France for the first time, demonstrating true controlled powered flight in Europe.+ September 27, 1908‚ '‚ Henry Ford‚ produces his first‚ Model T‚ automobile.+ May 26, 1908‚ ' At‚ Masjed Soleyman‚ in southwest‚ Persia, the first major commercial oil discovery in the Middle East is made. The rights to the resource are quickly acquired by the‚ United Kingdom.+ July 3, 1908‚ '‚ Young Turk Revolution‚ in the‚ Ottoman Empire begins.+ December 28, 1908 ' The 7.1 Mw¯‚ Messina earthquake‚ shakes‚ Southern Italy‚ with a maximum‚ Mercalli intensity‚ of XI (Extreme), killing between 75,000 and 200,000.
1916
+ May 16, 1916 '' Britain‚ and‚ France conclude the secret‚ Sykes'Picot Agreement, which is to divide Arab areas of the‚ Ottoman Empire, following the conclusion of WWI.+ July 1'November 18, 1916‚ ' WWI:‚ Battle of the Somme‚ and the‚ Battle of Albert: More than one million soldiers die.+ August 25, 1916‚ ' U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signs legislation, creating the‚ National Park Service.+ September 27, 1916‚ '‚ Iyasu V‚ of Ethiopia is deposed in a palace coup, in favour of his aunt‚ Zewditu.+ October 16, 1916 '‚ Margaret Sanger‚ opens the first U.S. birth control clinic, a forerunner of‚ Planned Parenthood.+ October 27, 1916‚ '‚ Battle of Segale:‚ Negus‚ Mikael of Wollo, marching on the‚ Ethiopian‚ capital in support of his son Emperor‚ Iyasu V, is defeated by Fitawrari Habte Giyorgis, securing the throne for Empress‚ Zewditu.+ November 1, 1916'' Pavel Milyukov‚ delivers his ''stupidity or treason'' speech in the Russian‚ State Duma, precipitating the downfall of the‚ Boris Stƒ¼rmer government.'' The first‚ 40-hour work week‚ officially begins, in the Endicott-Johnson factories of Western New York.+ December 30, 1916 ' The mystic‚ Grigori Rasputin‚ is murdered in‚ Saint Petersburg.
1918
+ January 8, 1918‚ '‚ Woodrow Wilson‚ delivers his‚ Fourteen Points‚ speech.+ June‚ '‚ August, 1918‚ ' The ''Spanish 'flu'' becomes‚ pandemic. Over 30 million people die in the following 6 months.+ July 17, 1918 '' Execution of the Romanov family: By order of the‚ Bolshevik Party, and carried out by the‚ Cheka.+ September 3, 1918‚ ' The Bolshevik‚ government of Russia publishes the first official announcement of the‚ Red Terror as an ''Appeal to the Working Class'' in the newspaper‚ Izvestia.+ September 25, 1918‚ ' WWI:The Battle of Megiddo ends with the Battle of Haifa,‚ Battle of Samakh, and‚ Capture of Tiberias.+ November 11, 1918 '' End of‚ WWI: Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies.
1921
+ February 12, 1921‚ '' The‚ Democratic Republic of Georgia‚ is invaded‚ by forces of‚ Bolshevist Russia.+ July 1, 1921 '' The‚ Communist Party of China‚ (CPC) is founded.+ July 29, 1921 '‚ Adolf Hitler becomes‚ Fƒ¼hrer‚ of the‚ Nazi Party.+ November 9, 1921'' The‚ National Fascist Party is founded in‚ Italy.'' Albert Einstein‚ is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, for his work with the‚ photoelectric effect.+ July 27, 1921' Researchers at the‚ University of Toronto, led by biochemist‚ Frederick Banting, announce the discovery of the hormone‚ insulin.+ December 6, 1921 '' The‚ Anglo-Irish Treaty‚ establishing the‚ Irish Free State, an independent nation incorporating 26 of Ireland's 32 counties, is signed in London.
1928
+ February 8, 1928‚ ' Scottish inventor‚ John Logie Baird broadcasts a transatlantic television signal from London to‚ Hartsdale, New York.+ August 2, 1928‚ ' Italy and Ethiopia‚ sign the‚ Italo-Ethiopian Treaty.+ August 27, 1928‚ ' The‚ Kellogg'Briand Pact‚ is signed in Paris, the first treaty to outlaw aggressive war.+ Scottish scientist‚ Alexander Fleming recounted that the date of his discovery of penicillin was on the morning of Friday 28 Sept. 1928.
1933
+ January 15'March 2,1933 ' A teenage girl, Mariette Beco, in‚ Banneux, Belgium, reports eight‚ Marian apparitions, which become known as‚ Our Lady of Banneux.+ January 30, 1933 '' Nazi‚ leader Adolf Hitler‚ is appointed‚ Chancellor of Germany.+ October 17,1933 ' Scientist Albert Einstein‚ arrives in the United States, where he settles permanently as a refugee.+ November 8, 1933‚ '‚ New Deal: U.S. President‚ Franklin D. Roosevelt unveils the‚ Civil Works Administration, an organization designed to create jobs for more than 4 million of the unemployed.+ November 16, 1933 '' The United States and the‚ Soviet Union establish formal‚ diplomatic relations.+ December 15,1933 ' The 21st Amendment officially goes into effect, making alcohol legal in the United States.
1938
+ April 16, 1938‚ ' London and Rome sign an agreement that sees Britain recognise Italian control of Ethiopia (formally on November 16), in return for an Italian pledge to withdraw all its 10,000 troops from Spain, at the conclusion of the civil war there.+ May 28, 1938‚ ' In a conference at the‚ Reich Chancellery, Hitler declares his decision to destroy Czechoslovakia‚ by military force, and orders the immediate mobilization of 96 Wehrmacht divisions.+ October 1, 1938‚ ' German troops march into the‚ Sudetenland. The Polish government gives the Czech government an ultimatum, the Czechs have little choice but to comply.+ October 21, 1938‚ ' In direct contravention of the recently signed‚ Munich Agreement, Hitler‚ circulates among his high command a secret memorandum stating that they should prepare for the ''liquidation of the rest of‚ Czechoslovakia.''+ December 17, 1938‚ '‚ Otto Hahn discovers the‚ nuclear fission‚ of uranium, the scientific and technological basis of‚ nuclear power, which marks the beginning of the‚ Atomic Age.
1948
+ April 3, 1948 '' United States President‚ Harry S. Truman‚ signs the‚ Marshall Plan, which authorizes $5 billion in aid for 16 countries.+ May 14, 1948‚ ' The‚ Israeli Declaration of Independence‚ is made.+ July 13, 1948‚ ' The‚ Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and‚ Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Churches‚ reach an agreement, leading to the promotion of the Ethiopian church to the rank of an autocephalous‚ Patriarchate. Five‚ bishops‚ are immediately consecrated by the‚ Patriarch of Alexandria, and the successor to Abuna Qerellos IV is granted the power to consecrate new bishops, who are empowered to elect a new Patriarch for their church.+ August 23, 1948‚ ' The‚ World Council of Churches‚ is established in‚ Amsterdam, the Netherlands.+ October 6,‚ 1948 '' Ashgabat earthquake: A 7.3‚ Ms‚ earthquake near‚ Ashgabat,‚ Soviet Turkmenistan‚ kills 10,000'110,000.+ December 10, 1948‚ ' The United Nations General Assembly adopts the‚ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
1958
+ January 8, 1958‚ '‚ Bobby Fischer, 14, wins the‚ United States Chess Championship.+ January 31, 1958‚ ' The first successful American satellite, Explorer 1, is launched into orbit.+ April 3, 1958 '‚ Castro's revolutionary army begins its attacks on‚ Havana.+ April 4‚ '‚ 7, 1958‚ ' In the first protest march for the‚ Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament‚ from‚ Hyde Park, London‚ to‚ Aldermaston, Berkshire, demonstrators demand the banning of‚ nuclear weapons.+ July 29, 1958‚ ' The‚ U.S. Congress‚ formally creates the‚ National Aeronautics and Space Administration‚ (NASA).+ September 12, 1958‚ '‚ Jack Kilby (born on Nov. 8) invents the first‚ integrated circuit, while working at‚ Texas Instruments.+ October 4, 1958'' The new Constitution of France‚ is signed into law, establishing the French Fifth Republic.'' British Overseas Airways Corp becomes the first airline to fly jet passenger services across the Atlantic.+ December 18, 1958 '' The United States launches‚ SCORE, the world's first‚ communications satellite.
1964
+ January 8, 1964 ' In his first State of the Union Address, U.S. President‚ Lyndon Johnson‚ declares a ''War on Poverty''.+ January 18, 1964‚ ' Plans to build the New York City‚ World Trade Center‚ are announced.+ March 27, 1964‚ (Good Friday) ' The‚ Great Alaskan earthquake, the second-most powerful known (and the most powerful earthquake recorded in‚ North American‚ history) at a‚ magnitude‚ of 9.2.+ July 2, 1964‚ ' President Lyndon Johnson signs the‚ Civil Rights Act of 1964‚ into law, officially abolishing‚ racial segregation in the United States.+ October 14, 1964 '' Martin Luther King won the‚ Nobel Peace Prize‚ for combating‚ racial inequality through nonviolent resistance.‚ + October 21, 1964 '' Abebe Bikila‚ (Ethiopia) became the first person to win the Olympic marathon‚ twice. He finished with a time of‚ four‚ minutes and eight seconds ahead of silver medalist‚ Basil Heatley‚ of Great Britain. Heatley, wearing #8, managed to stay close to Japan's Kokichi Tsuburaya and passed Tsuburaya shortly before the finish line to win the silver medal.
1968
+ January 30, 1968 '‚ Vietnam War: The‚ Tet Offensive‚ begins, as‚ Viet Cong‚ forces launch a series of surprise attacks across‚ South Vietnam.+ March 18, 1968‚ '‚ Gold standard: The‚ United States Congress‚ repeals the requirement for a‚ gold‚ reserve to back U.S. currency.+ March 30, 1968‚ '‚ Paradiso‚ in Amsterdam opened its doors under the name 'Cosmic Relaxation Centre Paradiso.' It is housed in a converted former church building that was used until 1965 as the meeting hall for a liberal Dutch religious group known as the Free Congregation.+ April 4, 1968 '' Martin Luther King Jr. is shot dead‚ in‚ Memphis, Tenn.+ April 11, 1968 '' U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson‚ signs the‚ Civil Rights Act of 1968.+ June 5, 1968‚ ' U.S. presidential candidate‚ Robert F. Kennedy is shot at the‚ Ambassador Hotel‚ in Los Angeles, dies the next day.+ .August 20'21, 1968‚ '‚ Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia: The 'Prague Spring' of political liberalization ends.+ August 24, 1968‚ '‚ France explodes its first hydrogen bomb‚ in a test in French Polynesia.+ December 24, 1968‚ '‚ Apollo program: The manned U.S. spacecraft‚ Apollo 8‚ enters orbit around the‚ Moon. Astronauts become the first humans to see the‚ far side‚ of the‚ Moon‚ and planet‚ Earth‚ as a whole, as well as having traveled further away from Earth than any people in history. Anders photographs‚ Earthrise. The crew also‚ reads from Genesis.
1978
+ February 27, 1978‚ ' The first‚ global positioning satellite, the‚ Rockwell International-built Navstar 1, is launched by the United States.+ March 3, 1978 '' Ethiopia‚ admits that its troops are fighting with the aid of‚ Cuban‚ soldiers against Somalian‚ troops in the‚ Ogaden.+ March 15, 1978 '' Somalia and Ethiopia sign a truce to end the‚ Ethio-Somali War.+ June 30, 1978‚ '‚ Ethiopia‚ begins a massive offensive in‚ Eritrea.+ Sep. 16, 1978 '' The 7.4‚ Mw‚ Tabas earthquake‚ affects the city of Tabas,‚ Iran‚ with a maximum Mercalli intensity‚ of IX (Violent). At least 15,000 people were killed.+ September 17, 1978‚ ' The‚ Camp David Accords‚ are signed between Israel and Egypt.+ September 28, 1978‚ '‚ Pope John Paul I‚ dies after only 33 days of papacy.+ October 8, 1978‚ ' Australia's‚ Ken Warby‚ sets the current world‚ water speed record‚ of 318 mph.+ October 16, 1978‚ '‚ Pope John Paul II‚ succeeds‚ Pope John Paul I‚ as the 264th pope, resulting in the first‚ Year of Three Popes‚ since 1605. He is the first Polish pope in history, and the first non-Italian pope since‚ the 16 century.+ December 22, 1978 '' The pivotal Third Plenum of the 11th National Congress of the‚ Communist Party of China‚ is held in Beijing, with Deng Xiaoping reversing Mao-era policies to pursue a program for‚ Chinese economic reform.+ December 25, 1978‚ '‚ Vietnam launches a major offensive against the‚ Khmer Rouge‚ of‚ Cambodia.
1988
+ February 15, 1988 '' General Tariku Ayne, who had been absent from Afabet for medical treatment, was executed outside of Asmara. The death of one of Ethiopia's most prominent generals surprised even the EPLF.+ March 17-20,1988 '' The Battle of Afabet‚ was fought in and around the town of‚ Afabet, a major turning point in the‚ Eritrean War of Independence.+ December 21, 1988 '' Pan Am Flight 103, a Boeing 747'121, was destroyed by a terrorist bomb over the town of‚ Lockerbie, Scotland.+ The concept of the‚ World Wide Web‚ was first discussed at‚ CERN‚ in 1988.+ The‚ Soviet Union‚ began its major restructuring towards a‚ mixed economy‚ at the beginning of 1988 and began its‚ gradual dissolution.+ The‚ Iron Curtain‚ began to disintegrate in 1988 as Hungary began allowing freer travel to the West.
(Ginbot 8, 1981 Ethiopian calendar)+ The‚ 1989 Ethiopian coup d'ƒ(C)tat attempt‚ took place on May 16, 1989. The Minister of Defense, Haile Giyorgis Habte Mariam, was killed after refusing to join the revolt. 21 generals were killed or executed as a result of this failed coup.
(Dec. 8, 1991)+ The‚ Belovezha Accords forming the agreement that declared the‚ USSR as‚ effectively ceasing to exist‚ signed on December 8, 1991.
1998
+ January 8, 1998 '‚ Ramzi Yousef is sentenced to life in prison for planning the first‚ World Trade Center bombing‚ in‚ 1993.+ May 28, 1998‚ '‚ In response to a series of Indian nuclear tests, Pakistan explodes five nuclear devices of its own.+ July 17, 1998'' At a conference in‚ Rome, 120 countries vote to create a permanent‚ International Criminal Court‚ to prosecute individuals for genocide,‚ crimes against humanity,‚ war crimes, and the crime of aggression.'' In‚ Saint Petersburg,‚ Nicholas II of Russia‚ and his family are buried in St. Catherine Chapel, 80 years after he and his family were killed by the‚ Lenin-led‚ Bolsheviks‚ in‚ 1918.+ August 4, 1998‚ ' The‚ Second Congo War‚ begins; 5.4 million people die before it ends in‚ 2003, making it the bloodiest war, to date, since World War II.
2008
+ January 21, 2008 '' Stock markets around the world plunge amid growing fears of a U.S. recession, fueled by the 2007‚ subprime mortgage crisis.+ February 4, 2008‚ '‚ Iran‚ opens its first space center and launches a‚ rocket‚ into space.+ May 12, 2008‚ ' An earthquake measuring 7.9 on the‚ moment magnitude scale‚ strikes Sichuan, China, killing an estimated 87,000 people.+ August 2008 '' The‚ Russo-Georgian War‚ took place, regarded as the first‚ European‚ war of the 21st century.+ August 8, 2008‚ ' A EuroCity express train en route from‚ Krakƒ"w to‚ Prague‚ strikes a part of a motorway bridge‚ that had fallen onto the railroad track and derails, killing eight people and injuring 64 others.+ November 4, 2008‚ '' Senator Barack Obama‚ is‚ elected‚ the 44th‚ President of the United States, becoming the first‚ black‚ president.+ November 26'29, 2008‚ ' Members of‚ Lashkar-e-Taiba‚ carry out four days of coordinated bombing and shooting attacks across‚ Mumbai, killing 164 people.
2016
+ February 12, 2016‚ '‚ Pope Francis‚ and‚ Patriarch Kirill‚ sign an‚ Ecumenical Declaration‚ in the first such meeting between leaders of the‚ Catholic‚ and‚ Russian Orthodox Churches‚ since their‚ schism‚ in 1054.+ March 21, 2016 '' Barack Obama visits‚ Cuba, marking the first time a sitting US president has visited the island nation since 1928.+ June 1, 2016‚ ' The‚ Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world's longest and deepest railway tunnel, is opened following two decades of construction work.+ July 14, 2016 '' 86 people are killed and more than 400 others injured in a truck attack in‚ Nice, France, during‚ Bastille Day celebrations.+ December 25, 2016 '' jetliner of the‚ Russian Defence Ministry crashes into the‚ Black Sea‚ shortly after taking off from‚ Sochi while en route to Syria. All 92 people on board, including 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble‚ choir of the‚ Russian Armed Forces, are killed.
2018
+ March 18, 2018‚ ' In the‚ Russian presidential election,‚ Vladimir Putin‚ is elected for a fourth term.+ April 27, 2018 '‚ Kim Jong-un‚ crosses into‚ South Korea‚ to meet with President‚ Moon Jae-in, becoming the first‚ North Korean leader to cross the‚ Demilitarized Zone‚ since its creation in 1953.+ June 12, 2018 '' the first summit between a United States President and the North Korean leader is held.+ July 9, 2018‚ '' Eritrea‚ and‚ Ethiopia officially declare an end to their twenty-year conflict.+ Oct. 20, 2018 '' President Trump announces that the US will ''terminate'' the‚ Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty‚ over alleged Russian violations.+ November 8, 2018‚ ' The‚ Camp Fire‚ ignites, becomes California's deadliest and most destructive wildfire, with 88 deaths and 18,804 buildings destroyed.
Trump's Orange Makeup Head Becomes Immediate Meme | Crooks and Liars
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 11:10
A gust of wind is all it took to reveal the truth about Trump. Naturally, MAGA types thought the picture was photoshopped because The Chosen One could not be such a ridiculous fraud.
Oh yeah?
Source: Mashable
Donald Trump's face is making America do a double take again.
On Friday, photographer William Moon, who posts his photos on the Twitter account @photowhitehouse, captured a photo of the president walking across the South Lawn of the White House after returning from Charlotte, North Carolina, and boy is it unsettling.
You'll immediately notice that Trump's face is glowing orange. I'm talking Big Tangerine Energy here. Definitely more bronzed than usual. Not only is his face clearly covered in tinted makeup or tanner of some sort, but there's also clear line where the makeup ends. Trump's hair is blown back a bit, and his pale scalp halo hovers above what looks like an orange mask.
Moon tweeted the photo from his White House photography account on Friday night, along with a black and white version that will really haunt you.
And the same one, in b&w, is genuinely terrifying.
Twitter didn't have to work too hard for this one.
Grooming issues are one of Trump's many dementia symptoms. It's harder for him to do elaborate hair & makeup. It's difficult for him to judge the results. Bronzer, a gust of wind and late day sunlight create a mask-like costumey effect. pic.twitter.com/TYN1ghpnTy
'-- Tom Joseph (@TomJChicago) February 8, 2020
If any female politician of any party put on their makeup like Trump it would be endless fodder, yet without social media we would never know Trump's face looked like that because the press is covering for him pic.twitter.com/TvMfkee3Iv
'-- Oliver Willis (@owillis) February 8, 2020
#OrangeFace has trended all morning.
I love that without even looking there is no question who #OrangeFace is about when it's trending
'-- Brianna Nichols (@briannanichols) February 8, 2020
White House asks scientists to investigate origins of coronavirus - ABC News
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 11:09
The coronavirus has killed hundreds of people in China.
February 6, 2020, 10:35 PM
6 min read
The White House on Thursday asked U.S. scientists and medical researchers to investigate the scientific origins of the novel coronavirus, as misinformation about the outbreak spreads online.
The director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in a letter to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, requested that scientific experts "rapidly" look into the origins of the virus in order to address both the current spread and "to inform future outbreak preparation and better understand animal/human and environmental transmission aspects of coronaviruses."
The national academies consist of private, nonprofit institutions charged with providing scientific support to the federal government.
This handout photo released by the U.S. Marine Corps shows evacuees from China arriving at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California, on Feb. 5, 2020.
This handout photo released by the U.S. Marine Corps shows evacuees from China arriving at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California, on Feb. 5, 2020. RYSTEN HOUK/US MARINE CORPS/AFP via Getty ImagesThe director of the OSTP, Kelvin Droegemeier, wrote in the letter to the president of the National Academy of Sciences, Marcia McNutt, that a widely disputed paper on the origins -- subsequently withdrawn -- had shown the urgency for accurate information about the genesis of the outbreak.
He called for a "meeting of experts, particularly world class geneticists, coronavirus experts, and evolutionary biologists."
In response, the presidents of the academies shared in a letter a synopsis of their research so far, calling the request "timely given the declaration of a public health emergency and potential for misinformation to confound the response."
The move comes as governments and social media companies fight the spread of misinformation about the virus, which since it was first detected in December has infected more than 28,000 people and killed more than 560, almost entirely in China.
In the United States, 12 confirmed cases have been reported in Wisconsin, California, Washington, Arizona, Massachusetts and Illinois. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a global health emergency.
The U.S. has evacuated Americans from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the outbreak's epicenter, and imposed strict entry restrictions on travelers who have recently spent time in China.
A coronavirus task force led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar met with President Donald Trump on Thursday, according to the White House, which said the president has been receiving daily updates.
The OSTP also supports providing wider access to scientific studies on the coronavirus.
Medical staff transfer a patient of a highly suspected case of a new coronavirus at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong, Jan. 22, 2020.
Medical staff transfer a patient of a highly suspected case of a new coronavirus at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong, Jan. 22, 2020. CNS Photo via ReutersABC News' Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton asked the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease about concerns that stem from misinformation online that the novel coronavirus could have been engineered or deliberately released.
"There's always that concern," Dr. Anthony Fauci said. "And one of the things that people are doing right now is very carefully looking at sequences to see if there's even any possibility much less likelihood that that's going on. And you could ultimately determine that. So people are looking at it, but right now, the focus is on what are we going to do about what we have."
The Washington Post reported that some U.S. senators have been frustrated with the lack of information provided by the federal government to the states they represent.
On Thursday, Azar said in a speech at his agency's headquarters that he was proud of the work by the department's staff, including the quick development of a test for local authorities to confirm cases.
"There are still many unanswered questions about the virus, which your colleagues are working hard to resolve," he said. "But everybody here should be proud to be part of a department and health care system that is capable of mounting the rapid and science-driven responses that we've seen."
ABC News' Anne Flaherty contributed reporting to this article.
Why Data Tampering Matters
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 10:34
I frequently post this animation showing how 1934 was erased as America's hottest year.
NASA 1999 NASA 2019
Here is a good example of how the tampered data is used for propaganda.
Warmest Winter in U.S. History So Far | Weather Underground
The raw data shows that 1934 was much warmer, and that this year was comparable to many other years.
The number of warm days wasn't in the top ten.
Weather Bureau maps from 1934 showed how warm the weather was, with twenty degree anomalies in the Pacific Northwest.
01 Jan 1934, 16 '' The Spokesman-Review at Newspapers.com
The year 1934 brought heat and drought to the entire planet.
31 Jan 1934, 4 '' The Boston Globe at Newspapers.com
30 Dec 1934, Page 13 '' The Los Angeles Times at Newspapers.com
22 Jun 1934, Page 3 '' Hartford Courant at Newspapers.com
04 Jun 1934 '' WORLD DROUGHT '' Trove
19 Jul 1934 '' DROUGHT IN ENGLAND. '' Trove
12 May 1934, 13 '' The Guardian at Newspapers.com
19 Jan 1934, Page 10 '' The Sydney Morning Herald at Newspapers.com
Similarly, 1932 was extremely warm '' the Lake Placid Winter Olympics nearly had to be cancelled.
12 Feb 1932, Page 2 '' The Brooklyn Daily Eagle at Newspapers.com
Ahead of the 1932 Winter Olympics in January, there was no snow at Lake Placid, and it was 70 degrees in New York City.
16 Jan 1932, Page 1 '' The Los Angeles Times
February is looking quite cold.
10-Day Temperature Outlook for the Conterminous U.S.
There is no truth to the claims that this winter has been record warm, but the big lie of a climate crisis is built on top of many smaller lies '' which are being made at a fast and furious rate.
No, you should ALL be ashamed
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 10:15
Avalanche insists that no one should feel ashamed for being taken in by Jordan Peterson. I very much disagree."I am ashamed for liking Jordan Peterson"Every semi-normal person feels this way after having been taken for a destructive ride by a sociopath. "How how HOW could I have been so blind, not seen him for what he was? I cannot ever trust myself again!"But there is no shame in being 'used' by a master-user! That would like saying, "I've just learned to play golf -- but Jack Nicklaus just destroyed me on the links! It's because there must be something wrong with me!"No, you were just WAY outclassed! Ol' Jordie is a (probably literally) insanely talented master at sociopathic manipulation of normal folks. {Raises a rueful hand:} He sure 'got' me!Sociopaths are not normal, and normal people have no useful defenses against the first one they meet; and often not further ones if they're unfortunate enough to run into another.Whenever you get 'down' on yourself for not seeing it, remind yourself you had a run-in with a tiger on the veldt -- and got away with with a mere financial scratch! GOOD for you!The problem is that I told everyone what Jordan Peterson was the moment I started paying any attention to him. I saw through his act at first glance and immediately observed several points of evidence that strongly indicated he had a disordered mind and a deceptive character. And yet four out of five people WHO HAD FOLLOWED ME FOR YEARS reacted angrily and insisted that I had to be wrong, despite the fact that there was absolutely ZERO evidence to support their position.There is no defense for that kind of reaction. This is precisely why I say MPAI. Most people are idiots, by which I mean that they are primarily driven by what makes them feel good, which is another way to say that they are predominately ruled by rhetoric. That is just as true of Avalanche, and the majority of people here - albeit a smaller majority than the norm - as it is of society in general. An idiot, to me, is anyone who believes, contra all philosophy, science, and history, that truth is determined on the basis of his feelings.Even when Protagoras says "man is the measure of all things" he is not referring to any one individual man.These things are what they are. But don't say there is no shame in them. It's not for the rhetorical to judge the rhetorical, it is for those who are less susceptible to rhetoric to judge them. There were massive quantities of evidence indicating that Jordan Peterson was a fraud, and yet very, very few of his fans placed any weight on any of that preponderance of evidence, simply because he made them feel good for one reason or another.If you fell for Peterson, you should be ashamed. You should explore the reasons why you did so. And you should do so in order to prevent yourself from falling just as readily for the very next fraud to come along. In fact, I would even suggest that the desire to explain away one's feeling of shame is indicative of the very vulnerability that led to the feeling in the first place.If human history is any guide, many of those who fell for Jordan Peterson will fall for the next person to make them feel similarly good about themselves. Because MPAI.Labels: Jordanetics, philosophy
Bloomberg Campaign Is Reportedly Paying Social Media Influencers To Make The Presidential Candidate Look Cool | The Daily Caller
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 08:37
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Fran Drescher, Millennial Whisperer - The New York Times
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 08:10
Fran Drescher's voice, if you ever have the chance to hear it deployed in very close vicinity over shrimp tempura and spicy tuna sushi, is actually quite soothing.
When Drescher played Fran Fine on ''The Nanny,'' the 1990s sitcom she created with her then-husband Peter Marc Jacobson, she was pitching her voice higher, squeezing it up her nose, acting. Back then, The New York Times compared Drescher to ''the sound of a Buick with an empty gas tank cold-cranking on a winter morning.'' But here in her living room above Central Park, sitting among crystals, fresh lemons, fine sculpture and photographs of herself meeting establishment Democrats, she sounds more like a Mercedes purring out of the Long Island Expressway. For those who grew up with ''The Nanny'' as our nanny, her voice is so embedded in the subconscious that hearing the softened version is almost therapeutic. Imagine if Nanny Fine had an ASMR setting.
''I've heard it's like a foghorn, a cackle,'' Drescher said carefully, balancing her plate in the lap of her little black dress. ''I always just describe myself as having a unique voice.'' When she left Queens for Hollywood in the late 1970s, her manager told her, ''If you want to play other parts, besides hookers, you're going to have to learn to speak differently,'' she recalled. Instead Drescher leaned into her natural gifts. In 1992, she pitched herself as a sitcom star to the president of CBS: ''Because of the voice, they think I'm the seasoning in the show,'' she told him. ''That's wrong. I'm a main course.''
Image Fran Drescher, left, and Charles Shaughnessy in ''The Nanny,'' a hit sitcom on CBS in the 1990s. Credit... CBS, via Everett Collection America has not heard from Drescher much lately '-- she has not appeared regularly on television since her TV Land sitcom ''Happily Divorced'' ended in 2013, and ''The Nanny'' is sadly hard to stream '-- but this week, at 62, she returns to TV with NBC's ''Indebted.'' As in the pilot of ''The Nanny,'' Drescher appears unexpectedly on a doorstep, except this time, it belongs to her adult son (Adam Pally). She and Steven Weber play Debbie and Stew Klein, a couple of boomer dilettantes who crash their kid's married life with the news that they're in debt. The role of Debbie, a boundaryless hugger who swans around her son's suburban home as if it's her own personal retirement community, inverts the ''Nanny'' dynamic: Now the kids have to take care of her.
When Drescher weighed whether to take on the show, a family sitcom that draws on generational conflict, she thought of her own family. ''My parents, who are still alive, thank God, were so excited about me being on network television again,'' she said. ''You know, not everybody could find TV Land,'' she added, ''but everybody could find NBC.''
The role was not written for Drescher, exactly. The pilot script had called for a ''Fran Drescher type,'' and when the real Fran Drescher signed on, she required a few adjustments. ''People are used to seeing an annoying mother-in-law in a sitcom, but that's not what I signed up for,'' Drescher said. ''When you have somebody whose persona is bigger than the part, you got to make it right for me. Or why have me?''
That meant giving Debbie Klein some passions of her own. ''I had to bring myself into it,'' she said. ''I really infused the sex appeal, the sensuality, the vivaciousness of the character.''
''Indebted'' creator Dan Levy, a comedian and producer for ''The Goldbergs,'' said that he originally modeled Debbie and Stew after his own parents, but that the steaminess was all Drescher. ''My mom was like, 'That's not based on us,''' Levy said. ''She elevated that to a whole level that I was not expecting.''
In the decades since Drescher first opened her mouth onscreen, the Fran Drescher type has achieved a quiet dominance over popular culture. ''The Nanny'' has been syndicated around the world and remade in a dozen countries, including Turkey (where it was called ''Dadi''), Poland (''Niania'') and Argentina (''La Ni±era''). In ''The Nanny,'' for anyone who doesn't have the chatty theme song implanted in her brain, Drescher plays a Jewish woman from Queens hired to tend to the three precocious children of a wealthy English widower, Maxwell Sheffield, who is also Broadway's second-most-successful producer (after his nemesis, Andrew Lloyd Webber). In foreign versions, the ethnicities are recalibrated '-- in the Russian one, the nanny is Ukrainian '-- but the Fran Drescher type is otherwise preserved. Wherever she goes, the ethnic striver is transplanted into a posh setting as the help, and her appealing culture and individual charm pull off the ultimate makeover '-- reinventing the strait-laced insiders in her own brash image.
Across the internet, Fran Fine is helping to perform similar tricks. With her pile of hair, power-clashing wardrobe and cartoon proportions, she has been fashioned into an avatar of stylish self-respect. In GIFs spirited around social media, she can be seen in a cheetah-print skirt suit, sipping from a cheetah-print teacup; inhaling a plate of spaghetti with no hands; and descending the Sheffields' ivory staircase as if entering New York's hottest club.
''I send this when I'm excited,'' Drescher said, summoning her phone from her assistant Jordan and thumbing to a GIF of Fine twirling across the mansion in a fuchsia dress and a self-satisfied look. ''How many people can send their own GIF?''
The Fran Drescher type is a kind of advisory role. First she was the world's nanny, showing kids how to mix prints and be themselves, and now she has matured into a cool-aunt persona, modeling a fabulous adulthood. (''Broad City'' made this transformation literal, squeezing Drescher into a low cut rainbow and cheetah-print dress and casting her as Ilana's Aunt Bev, and by extension the spirit guide for a new generation of Jewish comediennes.) ''I've never had kids, so I'm not really parental,'' Drescher said. ''I'm a mom to my dogs.''
''I'm kind of an influencer,'' she added. Drescher has led an unconventional life, and ''I share it,'' she said. ''It gives my life purpose.'' In two memoirs, she has discussed being raped at gunpoint in her 20s, surviving uterine cancer in her 40s, and divorcing Jacobson only to acquire a new gay best friend when he subsequently came out. Recently she thrilled the internet when she revealed that she has secured a ''friend with benefits'' whom she meets twice a month for television viewing and sex. ''I don't think it's that shocking a thing,'' Drescher said. ''I'm not in love with him.''
The kids who grew up watching ''The Nanny'' are now Nanny Fine's age, old enough to properly covet her closet and cultivate a newfound respect for her persona. On Instagram, the @whatfranwore account catalogs classic ''Nanny'' outfits, and @thenannyart pairs them with contemporary art pieces. Cardi B once captioned a photo of herself in head-to-toe cat prints: ''Fran Drescher in @dolceandgabbana.'' The actor Isabelle Owens will mount a one-woman song-and-dance show dedicated to Drescher in New York this month, called ''Fran Drescher, Please Adopt Me!'' ''As everything from the '90s comes back, people are rediscovering her,'' Owens said, noting Drescher's fashion, her confidence, and her voice; Owens is still working to perfect her impersonation. ''There are so many layers to it,'' she said. ''It's so delicate and lyrical.''
The Fran Drescher type, no matter how big it gets, still risks reducing the woman behind it. ''All of her is in me, but not all of me is in her,'' Drescher said. ''I don't think any of my characters could have ever created and executive-produced 'The Nanny.''' Fran Fine might have been able to wrap the boss around her red-lacquered little finger, but Drescher is the boss. When she secured her own New York apartment, in 2004, it was here, just across the park from the house that stood in for the Sheffield mansion on ''The Nanny.'' Soon her transformation into Mr. Sheffield will be complete: She is developing a Broadway show of her own, a musical adaptation of ''The Nanny'' that she will co-write with Jacobson.
''The Nanny'' is a timely bid for Broadway. Drescher takes the stage's most classic feminine archetype and gives her a modern upgrade: She is Eliza Doolittle if she refused to take her voice lessons.
That's perhaps the biggest misconception about the Fran Drescher type '-- that the voice is an unfortunate obstacle, rather than a cultivated asset. Once, a fan asked Drescher about the classic ''Nanny'' scene where Fran Fine goes for sushi, na¯vely swallows a wad of wasabi, and says, in an eerily neutral broadcaster's voice, ''Gee, you know, that mustard really clears out the nasal passages.'' The fan wanted to know how Drescher had managed to pull that voice off. Sitting in her parkside apartment, perched in her producer's chair, confidently apportioning her wasabi, Drescher revealed her secret: ''I'm very talented.''
Trump's Plan to Make Architecture Classical Again - The Atlantic
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 08:10
A fringe group of traditionalists persuades the White House to take its side.
7:30 AM ET Author of Radical Suburbs.
Bettmann / GettyIn 1962, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then an assistant secretary at the Labor Department, prepared a memo on the use of federal office space for President John F. Kennedy. Into this document he tucked a succinct yet deeply considered set of recommendations for the design of U.S. government buildings. These ''Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture'' were adopted as official policy shortly thereafter and are seen as axiomatic by American architects and planners.
Moynihan wrote that federal buildings must testify to ''the dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability of the American government.'' But he was silent about which styles would best express those qualities'--deliberately so. ''An official style must be avoided,'' he cautioned. ''Design must flow from the architectural profession to the government and not vice versa.''
That flow may soon be reversed. As first reported by Architectural Record and confirmed by The New York Times, the Trump administration is considering an executive order that will direct that U.S. government buildings with budgets greater than $50 million be designed in classical and other traditional styles. A draft document retains Moynihan's ringing phrase about ''dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability,'' but stipulates that ''the classical architectural style shall be the preferred and default style.'' All federal courthouses and federal buildings in and around Washington, D.C., would have to follow the work of Greek and Roman architects and their emulators in subsequent centuries. The late-20th-century Brutalist and Deconstructivist styles, meanwhile, would essentially be banned from the federal projects covered by the order. The restriction would apply to renovation and expansion projects as well as new buildings.
Brutalism's monumental concrete forms and the fractured geometries of Deconstructivism have attracted many other detractors, of course. But for the federal government to categorically discourage any architectural style is startling'--and an utter misunderstanding of how architecture works.
The American Institute of Architects issued a statement saying it ''strongly opposes'' the move. Most architects today support using a range of styles for new buildings, as Moynihan did. But the AIA doesn't speak for the cadre of die-hard classicists with whom the document originated. The National Civic Art Society (NCAS), a small Washington nonprofit, prioritizes the classical tradition in design and argues that contemporary architecture ''has created a built environment that is degraded and dehumanizing.''
Donald Trump famously complained about the FBI's Brutalist headquarters. But Trump, whose own tastes often run toward the garish, might otherwise seem an unlikely advocate for stately Greek- and Roman-influenced buildings. Once a fringe group, the NCAS has moved closer to Washington's center of architectural power (such as it is) under the Trump administration. The White House recently appointed two of the group's board members to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, a panel that vets the designs for all governmental and some private buildings in the District of Columbia. The commission is an expert panel, but one of the new appointees, Justin Shubow, is not an architect. Shubow, who used to work for the conservative Federalist Society, made his name campaigning against Frank Gehry's design for the new Eisenhower Memorial. The NCAS has received funding from the philanthropist Richard Driehaus, who also funds an annual $200,000 classical architecture award through the University of Notre Dame.
A lot of classically inspired architecture'--including examples built in the modern era'--is in fact beautiful. Thomas Jefferson's Rotunda at the University of Virginia and John Russell Pope's 1941 National Gallery of Art are great buildings, both indebted to the Pantheon in Rome. But rewriting Moynihan's guidelines to specify an official government style would be draconian. It would effectively exclude many working architects from federal projects, since even Richard Driehaus himself has admitted that very few specialize in classical design. (Those who do, of course, stand to do very well by the policy change.) And inducing nonclassical architects to add a column here or a quoin there, in order to satisfy regulations, would certainly not lead to superior design. The complex requirements of federal buildings, such as bulletproof glass for security and high standards of environmental performance, do not leave much money for highly refined details. The classical character of some buildings under this rule would be only skin-deep, says Robert Siegel, a New York architect who has designed buildings for the General Services Administration.
''Trads'''--supporters of traditional forms'--claim that modern architecture is foisted on the public by a willful avant-garde. Yet the Art Deco Empire State Building and Maya Lin's raw Vietnam Veterans Memorial have become two of the country's most beloved designs. In fact, the style war being waged on the right is rooted in a misconception. Most American architects today work in a mode you could loosely call modernist, but not as a matter of ideology. It's simply an efficient approach to creating buildings such as high-rises and hospitals with sophisticated modern needs, using contemporary materials and technologies. The neoclassical White House was constructed out of sandstone, a material that could be sourced in Virginia and that expert stonemasons knew how to build with; today, structural steel and curtain-wall glass are available everywhere, familiar to designers and builders, and provide flexibility at a reasonable cost.
Modern architecture'--which embraced the idea that ''form follows function'' and includes movements such as Brutalism and Deconstructionism'--is itself a century old now. And crucially, classicism and modernism are not opposites; they exist on a continuum, and choosing between them is unnecessary.
The great modernist architect Louis Kahn took enormous inspiration from the classical past, elements of which appear again and again in his buildings. More recently, the British Ghanaian architect David Adjaye designed a New York skyscraper featuring rows of arched windows with bronze accents'--a tribute to the architectural ornament of an earlier era. Even Shubow's nemesis, Frank Gehry, whose Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles are both defined by sweeping metal forms, has drawn repeatedly on ancient Greece and Rome in his work.
Which prompts the question: How would the government define classical and traditional, and how would it determine which buildings meet these subjective standards? Trying to adjudicate whether a design will ''value beauty'' and ''command the admiration of the public,'' as the draft document imagines, would be a farce.
The bigger question is why an ersatz Parthenon should be seen as more American than a Gothic Revival church, or a Southwestern pueblo, or a street of shotgun houses on the Gulf Coast. This directive would flatten and warp the rich architectural heritage of our country. It would also suggest that what's most valuable in our built environment is what was codified by a white male elite before women could vote and black Americans had full legal rights.
Already, the effort has reduced architecture to a silly game of semiotics. But good architecture is important because it can lift our mood, inspire us to creativity or spiritual reflection, and ease our anxieties. (These effects are borne out by a growing body of research.) Style has almost nothing to do with the qualities of architecture that really matter: scale, proportion, light, texture, the flow of spaces, and environmental sustainability.
A classicism mandate would signal to architects that innovation and progress are subversive, and to the public that a retread of the past is safer than the wide-open future. Frank Lloyd Wright argued the role of architecture is the opposite. ''The architect must be a prophet,'' he said. ''He must keep open minded and he must keep his eyes on the future '... if he can't see at least ten years ahead, don't call him an architect.''
But why should we care what the architect of Fallingwater and the original Guggenheim Museum thought, anyway? He wasn't a classicist.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.
Amanda Kolson Hurley is a journalist in the Washington, D.C., area and the author of
Radical Suburbs.
Japan Races to Build New Coal-Burning Power Plants, Despite the Climate Risks - The New York Times
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 08:06
Satsuki Kanno lives across the bay from a coal-burning power plant under construction in Yokosuka, Japan. Credit... Noriko Hayashi for The New York Times By Hiroko Tabuchi
Ms. Tabuchi went to Yokosuka, Japan, to examine a controversial decision to invest heavily in coal.
Published Feb. 3, 2020Updated Feb. 5, 2020
Just beyond the windows of Satsuki Kanno's apartment overlooking Tokyo Bay, a behemoth from a bygone era will soon rise: a coal-burning power plant, part of a buildup of coal power that is unheard-of for an advanced economy.
It is one unintended consequence of the Fukushima nuclear disaster almost a decade ago, which forced Japan to all but close its nuclear power program. Japan now plans to build as many as 22 new coal-burning power plants '-- one of the dirtiest sources of electricity '-- at 17 different sites in the next five years, just at a time when the world needs to slash carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming.
''Why coal, why now?'' said Ms. Kanno, a homemaker in Yokosuka, the site for two of the coal-burning units that will be built just several hundred feet from her home. ''It's the worst possible thing they could build.''
Together the 22 power plants would emit almost as much carbon dioxide annually as all the passenger cars sold each year in the United States. The construction stands in contrast with Japan's effort to portray this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo as one of the greenest ever.
The Yokosuka project has prompted unusual pushback in Japan, where environmental groups more typically focus their objections on nuclear power. But some local residents are suing the government over its approval of the new coal-burning plant in what supporters hope will jump-start opposition to coal in Japan.
The Japanese government, the plaintiffs say, rubber-stamped the project without a proper environmental assessment. The complaint is noteworthy because it argues that the plant will not only degrade local air quality, but will also endanger communities by contributing to climate change.
Carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is the major driver of global warming, because it traps the sun's heat. Coal burning is one of the biggest single sources of carbon dioxide emissions.
Japan is already experiencing severe effects from climate change. Scientists have said that a heat wave in 2018 that killed more than 1,000 people could not have happened without climate change. Because of heat concerns, the International Olympic Committee was compelled to move the Tokyo Olympics' marathon events to a cooler city almost 700 miles north.
Japan has used the Olympics to underscore its transition to a more climate-resilient economy, showing off innovations like roads that reflect heat. Organizers have said electricity for the Games will come from renewable sources.
Coal investments threaten to undermine that message.
Under the Paris accord, Japan committed to rein in its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2030 compared to 2013 levels, a target that has been criticized for being ''highly insufficient'' by climate groups.
''Japan touts a low-emissions Olympics, but in the very same year, it will start operating five new coal-fired power plants that will emit many times more carbon dioxide than anything the Olympics can offset,'' said Kimiko Hirata, international director at the Kiko Network, a group that advocates climate action.
Japan's policy sets it apart from other developed economies. Britain, the birthplace of the industrial revolution, is set to phase out coal power by 2025, and France has said it will shut down its coal power plants even earlier, by 2022. In the United States, utilities are rapidly retiring coal power and no new plants are actively under development.
But Japan relies on coal for more than a third of its power generation needs. And while older coal plants will start retiring, eventually reducing overall coal dependency, the country still expects to meet more than a quarter of its electricity needs from coal in 2030.
''Japan is an anomaly among developed economies,'' said Yukari Takamura, an expert in climate policy at the Institute for Future Initiatives at the University of Tokyo. ''The era of coal is ending, but for Japan, it's proving very difficult to give up an energy source that it has relied on for so long.''
Japan's appetite for coal doesn't solely come down to Fukushima. Coal consumption has been rising for decades, as the energy-poor country, which is reliant on imports for the bulk of its energy needs, raced to wean itself from foreign oil following the oil shocks of the 1970s.
Fukushima, though, presented another type of energy crisis, and more reason to keep investing in coal. And even as the economics of coal have started to crumble '-- research has shown that as soon as 2025 it could become more cost-effective for Japanese operators to invest in renewable energy, such as wind or solar, than to run coal plants '-- the government has stood by the belief that the country's utilities must keep investing in fossil fuels to maintain a diversified mix of energy sources.
Together with natural gas and oil, fossil fuels account for about four-fifths of Japan's electricity needs, while renewable sources of energy, led by hydropower, make up about 16 percent. Reliance on nuclear energy, which once provided up to a third of Japan's power generation, plummeted to 3 percent in 2017.
The Japanese government's policy of financing coal power in developing nations, alongside China and South Korea, has also come under scrutiny. The country is second only to China in the financing of coal plants overseas.
At the United Nations climate talks late last year in Madrid, attended by a sizable Japanese contingent, activists in yellow ''Pikachu'' outfits unfurled ''No Coal'' signs and chanted ''Sayonara coal!''
A target of the activists' wrath has been Japan's new environment minister, Shinjiro Koizumi, a charismatic son of a former prime minister who is seen as a possible future candidate for prime minister himself. But Mr. Koizumi has fallen short of his predecessor, Yoshiaki Harada, who had declared that the Environment Ministry would not approve the construction of any more new large coal-fired power plants, but lasted less than a year as minister.
Mr. Koizumi has shied away from such explicit promises in favor of more general assurances that Japan will eventually roll back coal use. ''While we can't declare an exit from coal straight away,'' Mr. Koizumi said at a briefing in Tokyo last month, the nation ''had made it clear that it will move steadily toward making renewables its main source of energy.''
The Yokosuka project has special significance for Mr. Koizumi, who hails from the port city, an industrial hub and the site of an American naval base. The coal units are planned at the site of an oil-powered power station, operated by Tokyo Electric Power, that shuttered in 2009, to the relief of local residents.
But that shutdown proved to be short-lived.
Just two years later, the Fukushima disaster struck, when an earthquake and tsunami badly damaged a seaside nuclear facility also owned by Tokyo Electric. The resulting meltdown sent the utility racing to start up two of the eight Yokosuka oil-powered units as an emergency measure. They were finally shut down only in 2017.
What Tokyo Electric proposed next '-- the two new coal-powered units '-- has left many in the community bewildered. To make matters worse, Tokyo Electric declared that the units did not need a full environmental review, because they were being built on the same site as the oil-burning facilities.
The central government agreed. The residents' lawsuit challenges that decision.
Some new coal projects have faced hiccups. Last year, a consortium of energy companies canceled plans for two coal-burning plants, saying they were no longer economical. Meanwhile, Japan has said it will invest in carbon capture and storage technology to clean up emissions from coal generation, but that technology is not yet commercially available.
Coal's fate in Japan may reside with the country's Ministry of Trade, which pulls considerable weight in Tokyo's halls of power. In a response to questions about the coal-plant construction, the ministry said it had issued guidance to the nation's operators to wind down their least-efficient coal plants and to aim for carbon-emissions reductions overall. But the decision on whether to go ahead with plans rested with the operators, it said.
''The most responsible policy,'' the ministry said, ''is to forge a concrete path that allows for both energy security, and a battle against climate change.''
Local residents say the ministry's position falls short. Tetsuya Komatsubara, 77, has operated a pair of small fishing boats out of Yokosuka for six decades, diving for giant clams, once abundant in waters off Tokyo.
Scientists have registered a rise in the temperature of waters off Tokyo of more than 1 degree Celsius over the past decade, which is wreaking havoc with fish stocks there.
Mr. Komatsubara can feel the rise in water temperatures on his skin, he said, and was worried the new plants would be another blow to a fishing business already on the decline. ''They say temperatures are rising. We've known that for a long time,'' Mr. Komatsubara said. ''It's time to do something about that.''
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'With dignity, but without bitterness': French figure skating boss Didier Gailhaguet resigns amid huge sex scandal '-- RT Sport News
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 07:59
French Federation of Ice Sports president Didier Gailhaguet has officially resigned in the wake of a huge sex scandal which has rocked the country, ending Gailhaguet's 20-year reign.
Gailhaguet's resignation came just one week after several retired athletes, including decorated pairs skater Sarah Abitbol, revealed shocking claims of systematic sexual abuse and rape when they were minors.
READ MORE: 'I've made no mistakes': French Skating President Didier Gailhaguet admits 'errors but no fault' over sex abuse scandal
"For the sake of appeasement, I took with dignity, but without bitterness the wise decision to resign," Gailhaguet announced on Saturday.
He did not accept responsibility for the alleged sexual violence directed at underage skaters during his reign, saying that he "made no mistakes" while at the helm of the national federation.
🚨 Didier Gailhaguet d(C)missionne. Empªtr(C) dans une affaire de scandale sexuel, l'ex-patron du patinage fran§ais ose parler de dignit(C), lui qui salissait les victimes il y a encore 48h en les accusant de "baver", pauvre type, menteur, honte toi ! pic.twitter.com/5MNYTtXGN8
'-- Bruno Laborde (@AdrenalineAddik) February 8, 2020Having been pressured by French sports officials, including Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu, Gailhaguet stepped down as the head of the national Federation of Ice Sports.
Last week, world bronze medalist Abitbol claimed to have been sexually assaulted and raped by her coach Gilles Beyer when she was between the ages of 15 and 17.
Also on rt.com Didier Gailhaguet, the 'little Napoleon' of figure skating: Who is behind French sex abuse scandal? Beyer, who is now 62, admitted to having ''intimate'' and ''inappropriate'' relations with the former skater, prompting French prosecutors to open an investigation into underage sex abuse within the field of figure skating.
Abitbol's sensational revelation triggered a streak of #MeeToo campaigning in France with other professional athletes coming forward with their allegations of sexual abuse.
Prosecutors in France are investigating claims into underage sex abuse within the country's sport with more and more shocking details emerging with every new revelation by athletes.
Also on rt.com 'It was the first time that a man touched me': French 10-time skating champ Sarah Abitbol claims she was raped by former coach At the end of 2019, an independent investigation initiated by French journalists uncovered multiple sexual crimes in French sport.
According to the investigation more than 276 athletes from 28 different sports, mostly children under 15 years of age, were victims of sexual abuse.
2000 Winning Essay by Peter Buttigieg | JFK Library
Sat, 08 Feb 2020 07:15
Read the Profile in Courage Essay Contest Press Release
By Peter ButtigiegSt. Joseph's High SchoolSouth Bend, Indiana
In this new century, there are a daunting number of important issues which are to be confronted if we are to progress as a nation. Each must be addressed thoroughly and energetically. But in order to accomplish the collective goals of our society, we must first address how we deal with issues. We must re-examine the psychological and political climate of American politics. As it stands, our future is at risk due to a troubling tendency towards cynicism among voters and elected officials. The successful resolution of every issue before us depends on the fundamental question of public integrity.
A new attitude has swept American politics. Candidates have discovered that is easier to be elected by not offending anyone rather than by impressing the voters. Politicians are rushing for the center, careful not to stick their necks out on issues. Most Democrats shy away from the word ''liberal'' like a horrid accusation. Republican presidential hopeful George W. Bush uses the centrist rhetoric of ''compassionate conservatism'' while Pat Buchanan, once considered a mainstream Republican, has been driven off the ideological edge of the G.O.P. Just as film producers shoot different endings and let test audiences select the most pleasing, some candidates run ''test platforms'' through sample groups to see which is most likely to win before they speak out on major issue. This disturbing trend reveals cynicism, a double-sided problem, which is perhaps, the greatest threat to the continued success of the American political system.
Cynical candidates have developed an ability to outgrow their convictions in order to win power. Cynical citizens have given up on the election process, going to the polls at one of the lowest rates in the democratic world. Such an atmosphere inevitably distances our society from its leadership and is thus a fundamental threat to the principles of democracy. It also calls into question what motivates a run for office '' in many cases, apparently, only the desire to occupy it. Fortunately for the political process, there remain a number of committed individuals who are steadfast enough in their beliefs to run for office to benefit their fellow Americans. Such people are willing to eschew political and personal comfort and convenience because they believe they can make a difference. One outstanding and inspiring example of such integrity is the country's only Independent Congressman, Vermont's Bernie Sanders.
Sanders' courage is evident in the first word he uses to describe himself: ''Socialist''. In a country where Communism is still the dirtiest of ideological dirty words, in a climate where even liberalism is considered radical, and Socialism is immediately and perhaps willfully confused with Communism, a politician dares to call himself a socialist? He does indeed. Here is someone who has ''looked into his own soul'' and expressed an ideology, the endorsement of which, in today's political atmosphere, is analogous to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Even though he has lived through a time in which an admitted socialist could not act in a film, let alone hold a Congressional seat, Sanders is not afraid to be candid about his political persuasion.
After numerous political defeats in his traditionally Republican state, Sanders won the office of mayor of Burlington by ten votes. A successful and popular mayor, he went on to win Vermont's one Congressional seat in 1990. Since then, he has taken many courageous and politically risky stands on issues facing the nation. He has come under fire from various conservative religious groups because of his support for same-sex marriages. His stance on gun control led to NRA-organized media campaigns against him. Sanders has also shown creativity in organizing drug-shopping trips to Canada for senior citizens to call attention to inflated drug prices in the United States.
While impressive, Sanders' candor does not itself represent political courage. The nation is teeming with outspoken radicals in one form or another. Most are sooner called crazy than courageous. It is the second half of Sanders' political role that puts the first half into perspective: he is a powerful force for conciliation and bi-partisanship on Capitol Hill. In Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy wrote that ''we should not be too hasty in condemning all compromise as bad morals. For politics and legislation are not matters for inflexible principles or unattainable ideals.'' It may seem strange that someone so steadfast in his principles has a reputation as a peacemaker between divided forces in Washington, but this is what makes Sanders truly remarkable. He represents President Kennedy's ideal of ''compromises of issues, not of principles.''
Sanders has used his unique position as the lone Independent Congressman to help Democrats and Republicans force hearings on the internal structure of the International Monetary Fund, which he sees as excessively powerful and unaccountable. He also succeeded in quietly persuading reluctant Republicans and President Clinton to ban the import of products made by under-age workers. Sanders drew some criticism from the far left when he chose to grudgingly endorse President Clinton's bids for election and re-election as President. Sanders explained that while he disagreed with many of Clinton's centrist policies, he felt that he was the best option for America's working class.
Sanders' positions on many difficult issues are commendable, but his real impact has been as a reaction to the cynical climate which threatens the effectiveness of the democratic system. His energy, candor, conviction, and ability to bring people together stand against the current of opportunism, moral compromise, and partisanship which runs rampant on the American political scene. He and few others like him have the power to restore principle and leadership in Congress and to win back the faith of a voting public weary and wary of political opportunism. Above all, I commend Bernie Sanders for giving me an answer to those who say American young people see politics as a cesspool of corruption, beyond redemption. I have heard that no sensible young person today would want to give his or her life to public service. I can personally assure you this is untrue.
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Nichols, John. ''Go Knock on Some Doors: Bernie Sanders Sounds Off.'' The Progressive. May 1996.
TRANSCRIPT: Bioweapons Expert Dr. Francis Boyle On Coronavirus | GreatGameIndia
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 23:46
A recent interview with Bioweapons expert Dr. Francis Boyle published by GreatGameIndia and conducted by Geopolitics & Empire, has been exploding across the world the past few days as the truth is emerging on the origins of the Coronavirus Bioweapon.
Francis Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He drafted the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, that was approved unanimously by both Houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.
EXPLOSIVE: Canadian Scientist Frank Plummer Key to Coronavirus Investigation AssassinatedWatch Exclusive Interview: Bioweapons Expert Dr. Francis Boyle on the Origins of CoronavirusBreaking: India launch investigation against China's Wuhan Institute of VirologyExclusive: Coronavirus Bioweapon '' How Chinese agents stole Coronavirus from Canada and weaponized itMust read piece published worldwide: Coronavirus '' China's Secret Plan to Weaponize VirusesUpdate: Chinese Biowarfare agents at Harvard University caught smuggling deadly virusesTRANSCRIPT: Bioweapons Expert Dr Francis Boyle's Interview On CoronavirusIn the exclusive interview, Dr. Boyle touches upon GreatGameIndia's exclusive report Coronavirus Bioweapon '' where we reported in detail how Chinese Biowarfare agents working at the Canadian lab in Winnipeg were involved in the smuggling of Coronavirus to Wuhan's lab from where it is believed to have been leaked.
In this bombshell interview (full transcript below), Boyle talks about:
The bioweapons origins of the coronavirusHow the Deep State deployed anthrax on US soil to whip up publicity about biological weapons and increase funding for bioweapons labsWhy the WHO and CDC are both criminal organizations which are complicit in the covert development of biological weaponsThe ''death science'' industry and why the US government has spent over $100 billion developing self-replicating weaponsDetails about the Pirbright Institute and its ties to bioweapons, depopulation, vaccines and coronavirus patents. (It's partially funded by Bill & Melinda Gates)Why all BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs in the world should be banned and shut down.Full transcriptGeopolitics and Empire: Geopolitics & Empire is joined by Dr. Francis Boyle, who is international law professor at the University of Illinois. We'll be discussing the Wuhan coronavirus and biological warfare. He's served as counsel to numerous governments such as Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Palestinian authority. He's represented numerous national international bodies in the areas of human rights, war crimes and genocide, nuclear policy, and biowarfare. He's written numerous books, one of my favorites being ''Destroying Libya and World Order'', which I assigned as mandatory reading material for my own students when I taught at the Monterrey Institute of Technology.
But most important for this interview, he's written a book called ''Biowarfare and Terrorism'', and drafted the US domestic implementing legislation for the biological weapons convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 that was approved unanimously by both houses of the US Congress and signed into law by President Bush. Thanks for joining us, Dr. Boyle.
Dr. Francis Boyle: Wow. Thank you so much for having me on and thanks for that kind introduction.
Geopolitics and Empire: Now let's get to what's been on the news recently. This coronavirus in Wuhan. There have been some reports recently, there's a really interesting website called GreatGameIndia that has been reporting on this. They've been talking about China, which they say has been complying with biological weapons convention in recent years.
EXCLUSIVE#Coronavirus Bioweapon Thread
How China Stole Coronavirus From Canada And Weaponized Ithttps://t.co/tc7W2DrmAA
'-- GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) January 27, 2020
But then there are some people in the US and experts that have been saying that in reality, China isn't complying with the weapons convention. And I think neither, perhaps the US as well. I'm wondering if China is developing its own biosafety level four lab in Wuhan and elsewhere, as you know, as a type of deterrence. Is it a type of a biological arms race that we have going on?
You told me in an email that you suspect China was developing the coronavirus as a dual use of biowarfare weapons agent. Also, what do you make of reports that Chinese scientists have been stealing research and viruses, including the coronavirus from a Canadian bio lab this past December?
And as well, Chinese nationals have been charged with smuggling vials of biological research to China from the US with the aid of Charles Lieber who was the chair of Harvard's chemistry department. And he also happens to be in 2011 a strategic scientist at Wuhan University. So, can you tell us what's going on with this recent outbreak in Wuhan?
Dr. Francis Boyle: Well, that's a lot of questions. I guess we can take them one at a time, but if you just do a very simple Google search on ''Does China have a BSL-4 laboratory?'', Wuhan comes up right away. It's at the top of the list. That's all with the moment this type of thing happened I began to do that. So a BSL-4 is the most serious type. And basically BSL-4 labs, we have many of them here in the United States, are used to develop offensive biological warfare weapons with DNA genetic engineering.
So it does seem to me that the Wuhan BSL-4 is the source of the coronavirus. My guess is that they were researching SARS, and they weaponize it further by giving it a gain of function properties, which means it could be more lethal.
Indeed, the latest report now is it's a 15% fatality rate, which is more than SARS at 83% infection rate. A typical gain of function travels in the air so it could reach out maybe six feet or more from someone emitting a sneeze or a cough. Likewise, this is a specially designated WHO research lab. The WHO was in on it and they knew full well what was going on there.
Yes. It's also been reported that Chinese scientists stole coronavirus materials from the Canadian lab at Winnipeg. Winnipeg is Canada's formal center for research, developing, testing, biological warfare weapons. It's along the lines of Fort Detrick here in the United States of America. I have three degrees from Harvard. It would not surprise me if something was being stolen out of Harvard to turn over to China. I read that report. I don't know what was in those vials one way or the other.
But the bottom line is I drafted the US domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention that was approved unanimously by both Houses in the United States Congress signed into law by President Bush Sr. that it appears the coronavirus that we're dealing with here is an offensive biological warfare weapon that leaped out of Wuhan BSL-4. I'm not saying it was done deliberately. But there had been previous reports of problems with that lab and things leaking out of it. I'm afraid that is what we are dealing with today.
#FrankPlummer '' renowned Winnipeg based Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory scientist key to #Coronavirus investigation has died in mysterious conditions in Africa. He was the one who received Saudi SARS Coronavirus sample which was smuggled to Wuhanhttps://t.co/VjvQMURTyT
'-- GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) February 6, 2020
Geopolitics and Empire: We'll be talking about the Wuhan and the coronavirus and China, but can you give us kind of like a bigger context. I know you've, previously, in interviews said that since 9/11, you think that the US has spent $100 billion on biological warfare research. We know the Soviet Union, if I'm not mistaken, developed anthrax as a bioweapon. And you've also mentioned that UK, France, Israel and China are all involved in biological warfare weapons research.
And something interesting, I believe one or two years ago a Bulgarian journalist and the Russian government shared their concern of the discovery of a US bioweapons lab in the country of Georgia. You've commented how in Africa, US has set up bioweapons labs to work on Ebola, which I think is illegal under international law. But they were allowed somehow to put those in Africa. Can you give us like a bigger picture? What's going on with these different countries and what's the purpose of this research?
Dr. Francis Boyle: All these BSL-4 labs are by United States, Europe, Russia, China, Israel are all there to research, develop, test biological warfare agents. There's really no legitimate scientific reason to have BSL-4 labs. That figure I gave $100 billion, that was about 2015 I believe. I had crunched the numbers and came up with that figure the United States since 9/11.
To give you an idea that's as much in constant dollars as the US spent to develop the Manhattan Project and the atom bomb. So it's clearly all weapons related. We have well over 13,000 alleged life science scientists involved in research developed testing biological weapons here in the United States. Actually this goes back it even precedes 9/11 2001.
I have another book, The Future of International Law and American Foreign Policy, tracing that all the way back to the Reagan administration under the influence of the neocons and they got very heavily involved in research development testing of biological weapons with DNA genetic engineers. It was because of that I issued my plea in 1985 in a Congressional briefing sponsored by the Council for Responsible Genetics, I'm a lawyer for them. They're headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. All the MIT, Harvard people are involved in that, the principal ones. And then they asked me to draft the implementing legislation.
The implementing legislation that I drafted was originally designed to stop this type of work. ''Death science work'', I call it, ''by the United States government''. After 9/11, 2001, it just completely accelerated. My current figure, that last figure a 100 billion. I haven't had a chance to re-crunch the numbers because I just started classes. But you have to add in about another 5 billion per year.
Basically, this is offensive biological weapons raised by the United States government and with its assistance in Canada and Britain. And so other States, the world have responded accordingly including Russia and China. They were going to set up a whole series of BSL-4 facilities as well. And you know Wuhan was the first. It backfired on them.
Geopolitics and Empire: Would you basically consider what happened and Wuhan and just boil it down to ineptitude or incompetence on the Chinese part?
Dr. Francis Boyle: Well, it's criminality. It does appear they stole something there from Winnipeg. This activity that they engaged in clearly violates the Biological Weapons Convention. Research development of biological weapons these days is an international crime, the use of it would be. That was criminal.
I'm not saying they deliberately inflicted this on their own people, but it leaked out of there and all these BSL-4 facilities leak. Everyone knows that who studies this. So this was a catastrophe waiting to happen. Unfortunately, it happened. The Chinese government under Xi and his comrades there have been covering this up from the get-go. The first reported case was December 1, so they'd been sitting on this until they couldn't anymore. And everything they're telling you is a lie. It's propaganda.
The WHO still refuses to declare a global health emergency. It said Tedros was over there shaking hands with Xi and smiling and yanking it up. The WHO was in on it. They've approved many of these BSL-4 labs., they know exactly what's going on and that is a WHO research-approved laboratory. They know what's going on too. You can't really believe anything the WHO is telling you about this, either they're up to their eyeballs in it, in my opinion.
Geopolitics and Empire: I'd probably agree with you that this outbreak in Wuhan was an accidental leak from the laboratory. But just your thoughts, it's happening at quite an opportune time because namely we're smack in the middle of a US-China new Cold War, which is currently characterized by economic warfare such as the trade war among other forms of hybrid and technological warfare. And it seems the Wuhan outbreak will likely hit the Chinese economy hard. The Chinese are flat out dismissing any idea that the US is involved in. Like I said, it's probably they made the mistakes in the Wuhan lab. What are your thoughts of any seemingly, this would benefit the US'...
Dr. Francis Boyle: When the outbreak occurred, of course I considered that alternative too. When you have an outbreak, you're never quite sure who or what is behind it. It certainly isn't bats, that's ridiculous. They made the same argument on Ebola in West Africa. I demolished that online. You can check it out. So I kept competing theories about this.
But right now, when you originally contacted me, I said I wasn't prepared to comment because I was weighing the evidence. I'm a law professor and a lawyer, I try to do the best I can to weigh the evidence. But right now, the Wuhan BSL-4 in my opinion is the most likely source, apply Occam's razor, the simplest explanation. I'm not ruling out some type of sabotage. But right now, I believe that is the source here.
Geopolitics and Empire: And you mentioned WHO. I'd like to just get your thoughts on the WHO and the Big Pharma. There's also some analysts who are downplaying this news media hype of the coronavirus. You've just said that it seems to be lethal, but if we go back a decade to the 2009 swine flu, which I believe didn't have too many casualties, but I think profited greatly the pharmaceutical companies. If I recall that back in 2009, many countries purchased great stocks of the vaccines and they ended up not using anywhere from 50 to 80% of the vaccines that they purchased.
You've previously stated in an interview that the World Health Organization is a front for Big Pharma if I'm not mistaken. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. also agrees and he says, you know, 50% of WHO funding comes from pharmaceutical companies. And that the CDC itself is also severely compromised. What are your thoughts on the WHO? The CDC?
Dr. Francis Boyle: Can't trust anything the WHO says because they're all bought and paid for by Big Pharma and when they work in cahoots with the CDC, which is the United States government, they work in cahoots with Fort Detrick, so you can't trust any of it.
However, the swine flu and yes, I agree pharma made a lot of money, but that swine flu which I looked at it, it did seem to me to be a genetically modified biological warfare weapon. It was a chimera of three different types of genetic strains that someone put it together in a cocktail. Fortunately, it was not as lethal as all of us fear. So fine. But as I said, this figure I just gave to you was Saturday from Lancet, which is a medical publication, saying it's a 15% fatality rate and an 83% infection rate. So it's quite serious, I think, far more serious than the swine flu.
As for big pharma, sure they're all trying to profit off this today as we speak. There was a big article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, all big pharma trying to peddle whatever they can over there in China even if it's worthless and won't help. We do know, if you read the mainstream news media they say there isn't a vaccine.
Well, there is, it's by the Pirbright Institute in Britain that's tied into their biological warfare program over there. They were behind the hoof and mouth disease outbreak over there that wiped out their cattle herd and it leaked out of there. So it's clear they're working on a hoof and mouth biological warfare weapon, but the vaccine is there. I have the patent for it here, I haven't had a chance to read the patent it's about 25 pages long and my classes just resume. So eventually, I get some free time and I'll read the patent.
You can't patent a vaccine with the United States patent office unless the science is there. So there is a vaccine. Everyone's lying about that, no one's pointing this out '' there's a vaccine but instead big pharma wants to make money and the researchers say, well, it'll take three months and we're racing forward, you know. Everyone's gonna make a buck off of this, that's for sure. But there is a vaccine, I have the patent here. It's been patented by the United States government.
So obviously, I don't know exactly how workable it is, but it's a vaccine. I don't know why it isn't out there now? Why isn't someone saying there is a vaccine? Perhaps political leaders have already been vaccinated for all I know, I really don't know. But there is a vaccine, Pirbright is well known there in Britain and it's tied into Fort Detrick and CDC is tied into Fort Detrick too. So they all know there's a patented vaccine.
Geopolitics and Empire: And just to get your comment on, I mean, something to related to this, which was my next question. So I think, I'm not sure if it's that same Institute that you just mentioned that has the patent. I read somewhere that the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation maybe funds or has some connection to that Institute that has the patent.
Dr. Francis Boyle: I think they do. The Bill & Melinda Gates information, they fund this type of DNA genetically engineered biological warfare work. That's correct. So you can't trust anything they're telling you that somehow they're out there trying to make the world a better place. I mean, we have Bill Gates publicly admitting that the world be a better place if there were a lot less people. So the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, they are wolves in sheep's clothing and they are funding this type of stuff. Sure.
Geopolitics and Empire: And just your comment, there was also the report that I guess it was a consortium of companies which included the Gates foundation that back in just two or three months ago in October of 2019 they held a pandemic exercise simulating an outbreak. I mean, what are the chances specifically of a coronavirus and it was called events 201. People can find this online online and they gave a list of seven recommendations for governments and international organizations to take. I also find that kind of interesting how they had this simulation.
Dr. Francis Boyle: That's correct. It raises that question, the origins of what happened here. But right now, I'm just looking at the evidence I have and applying Occam's razor and we know that Wuhan BSL-4 was research developing, testing, SARS as a biological warfare agent. So it could have been, they gave it this DNA genetic engineering enhanced properties gain of function which we do here in the West, in the United States all the time. We have all sorts of research that is clearly a bio warfare research that has been approved by the National Institutes of Health, it's a joke. They know full well they are proving all kinds of biological warfare research and it gets funded by the United States government.
Geopolitics and Empire: And you've also mentioned in the email to me that what happened in the biosafety lab level 4 in Wuhan calls into question the safety of all of these level 3and 4four labs around the world.
Dr. Francis Boyle: They're complete unsafe. BSL-3 and BSL-4 lab are only designed for research development testing of offense of biological warfare agents. In my opinion, they serve no legitimate purpose at all. They should all be shut down, every one of them. Even assuming, they're simply too dangerous. If you want, there's an excellent documentary called Anthrax Wars by Nadler and Coen and I'm in there. Repeatedly at the end, I say with respect to these labs, three and four, this is a catastrophe waiting to happen. Well, I'm afraid the catastrophe is now happened. So there it is.
Geopolitics and Empire: Yeah, I was just watching that documentary before we connected and I recommend the listeners go check that out. Do you see, in the future, any countries, if we come to a conflict between US, EU, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Russia, I mean you name it. Do you see any of these countries actually utilizing these biological weapons? I mean, it's illegal under international law but we know like in the past that international law isn't followed. Do you think that there's a real danger of this escalating?
Dr. Francis Boyle: For sure. That's the only reason they develop these biological weapons to eventually be used, sure. I mean, it's like the Manhattan project, we put all that money into developing an atom bomb and even though it was not needed to end world war II they still knew Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So, yes, I think that's correct. And also these can be used covertly. Anytime you see an unexplained sudden outbreak of a disease like this anywhere in the world, both for human beings and or animals, I always suspect the bio warfare agent is at work. I monitor the situation like I did at Wuhan until I can reach a conclusion. Yes, they can be used as the eyes for the United States government, today they are fully prepared, armed, equipped, supplied to wage a biological warfare with anthrax.
These other more exotic things I don't know, but they have the weapons, there are stockpiles. We have to understand if you read Seymour Martin Hersh's book published about 1968, he won the Pulitzer prize, he had the whole offensive US biological warfare industry in there back before it was illegal and criminal. Basically after 9/11, 2001, that entire industry '' offensive biological warfare industry has been reconstituted here in the United States with all these BSL-4 BSL-3 labs, well over 13,000, alleged scientists sort of like Dr. Mengele working on these things. Other countries have responded in kind like Russia, like China, France is involved, Britain's involved. Sure.
Geopolitics and Empire: I just wanted to get your thoughts on, in the last few years there was the Russian double agent spy Sergei Skripal who had been allegedly poisoned with Novichok out in Britain and I thought it was funny. It just so happened where he was allegedly poisoned, he was right in Porton down the British bio weapons lab, I guess the world's first bio weapons lab that was created in 1916. I mean, I don't know if you have thoughts on that whole incident.
Dr. Francis Boyle: Yeah, I was right down the street from Porton Down, so applying Occam's razor who you think might've been behind this and it was not a nerve agent. A nerve agent would have killed him immediately. This is Novichok. It was something else like DX or something like that. So fine. But, I would just say that I don't think that was a coincidence, but, you know, there you go. There's the, obviously there's a lot of speculation on that.
Geopolitics and Empire: Something else that's kind of interesting. You've written in bio warfare and terrorism in your book and there's also Graeme Macqueen, I think your colleague who wrote the anthrax deception the case for domestic conspiracy'...
Dr. Francis Boyle: Everything you said in there. That's correct.
Geopolitics and Empire: I'm wondering also if this new war for biotechnological dominance, whatever you want to call it, if it can also be used kind of as a pretext for the centralization of political power and the initiation of wars like I guess it did in the 2003 Iraq war. I mean, is this another danger that we get these events like now this coronavirus and then governments will call for a centralization of greater power and taking away some of our civil liberties?
Dr. Francis Boyle: Sure. If you look at the October, 2001 anthrax attacks here in the United States, that was clearly by elements of the United States government that was behind that. That was a super weapons grade anthrax with a trillion spores per gram and it floated in the air solely a very sophisticated biological weapons lab like Fort Detrick could produce that. And they use that anthrax attack including on Congress to brand through the USA Patriot act which basically turned the United States to a police state which is what we have now. You have to understand the Pentagon, Fort Dietrich made the dugway proving ground still has a stockpile of that super weapons grade anthrax that we saw in October of 2001 that they can use the next time they want to do something like that to further develop the American police thing. Right.
Geopolitics and Empire: Is there anything else you feel important to mention regarding this Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak or biological warfare or any other thoughts you'd like to leave us with?
Dr. Francis Boyle: Well, you just can't believe anything the Chinese government, the WHO, the CDC are telling. They're all lies because they know what's going on here and so you're going to have to figure it out as fast as you can. But in my opinion, as of this time and I'm fully prepared to consider further evidence on this, it does seem to me that this was a DNA genetically engineered biological warfare agent leaking out of Wuhan that has gain-of-function properties which can make it more lethal. I think they are probably doing something with SARS to make it a lot more lethal and more infectious. And so for that reason, you have to take extreme precautions and they're now finally admitted anyone within six feet can be infected, whereas with SARS that was about two feet. Well, that's gaining a function right there and that should be a tip off.
So, I guess you're gonna have to protect yourself. Laurie Garrett had a pretty good essay in a foreign policy yesterday and she was over there covering the SARS and she has very good advice in there except that she took the SARS figure out two to three feet and said well, you gotta stay to two to three. I think you've got to stay at least six feet away because this is gained function. It can flow through the air and infect and it can get you in the eyes. Any orifice, the mouth, maybe the ears, we're not sure at this point.
Geopolitics and Empire: I'm here on the border of China in Kazakhstan and I was just reading yesterday '' today that they're no longer allowing Chinese citizens into Kazakhstan without a medical paper, a medical check to get their visas to enter Kazakhstan
Dr. Francis Boyle: Those medical checks are worthless because this is just public relations by all the governments involved because there is a 14 day incubation period where people can still be infected. So someone could walk right through a medical inspection and passing a gate into your country and then they come down with the coronavirus. So that's all public relations in my opinion by governments and they know it and they're just sending people out there with temperatures and things like that. It's not like SARS, this is more dangerous than SARS. As I said, I think that Wuhan lab, we know they had SARS in there that they were dealing with and I think they enhanced it at and I'm afraid that's what we're dealing with. But you know, I'm keeping an open mind as to what other sources that might have and I wasn't prepared to say anything until that Wuhan lab is right there and it's dealing with coronavirus. So again, apply Occam's razor. It seems to me that's the simplest explanation here.
Geopolitics and Empire: I guess my, one of my final question would be in the months ahead, apart of what you say staying six feet away from people. I've read taking high doses of vitamin C and other things like this can help you. But, if they come out as the situation develops and if it gets worse and they come out with a coronavirus vaccine, should people take it or not? What are your thoughts?
Dr. Francis Boyle: Well, what I would say is this. Right now, if you look at the article at the Wall Street Journal, big pharma is trying to sell all sorts of '' they're taking all their drugs off the shelf and say well let's see if it works. Which is preposterous. Okay. The scientists are saying, well, we can get you a vaccine maybe two to three months but they're not tested. So what we do know, however, is that Pirbright vaccine has been patented. So all I can assume is that that might work. But I don't think I'd be taking any of these other vaccines. No, you have no idea what's in there. You'll be the Guinea pig for big pharma and everyone figures they're gonna make a lot of money here. So I'll keep my eye open on this and how it develop but I wouldn't trust anything they're trying to sell right now. They're just pulling these things off the shelf.
If they do come up with something in two to three months, even that's not going to be tested in accordance with normal scientific protocol. So it's going to be a crap shoot. If it's going to help you, indeed it might not help you because they'll be using for this vaccines (these DNA genetic engineered vaccines) they'll be using live coronavirus probably and sticking it in there and giving you some live coronavirus on the theory you'll develop an immunity. That's the way a lot of these vaccines worked out, that's what happened with the Ebola vaccine that created the Ebola pandemic there in West Africa. They were testing out a vaccine on poor black Africans, as usual, and this vaccine had live Ebola in it so it gave them Ebola. So again, I'd be very careful even if they do come up with these vaccines two to three months from now, very careful. Why would you want to inject the live coronavirus in you?
Geopolitics and Empire: All right. I don't believe you have a strong online presence. How can people best follow your work? I suppose to search for interviews as well as get your books.
Dr. Francis Boyle: Well, basically I'm blackballed and blacklisted off all the mainstream news media here on purpose. As far as I can figure out, the US government gave an order that I should not be interviewed by anyone, so I'm not. I guess you could just put my name in there under Google, Google alert, and some interviews might come up. What happened was, right after the anthrax attacks of 9/11 2001, I was giving a lecture out at Harvard m Alma Mater. I was running a panel on biological warfare for the council for responsible genetics and it was at Harvard Divinity School and as I was going in, there was a Fox camera crew there from Boston and I said it looks to me like this has come out of the US government lab. We know they do research and testing on anthrax. Then I said the same thing there at Harvard then I gave an interview to a radio station in Washington, D C then I gave an interview on that to the BBC. So the whole world saw it and at that point I was completely cut off and I've been cut off ever since. So you probably not going to hear too many interviews from me here. As for my book. Biowarfare & Terrorism, you can just get it at amazon.com. That picks up the story pretty much from 9/11 2001 and until it went to press and then there are interviews I'd given to an investigative reporter, Sherwood Ross and a big one I just sent you and you might want to put that on your web page. That was pretty comprehensive.
Geopolitics and Empire: Yeah, I read that as well and I'll include the link in the description of this interview so people can go check that out. You're not the only academic I know and have heard of others that similar things have happened and that's just I guess the price we pay for telling the truth. Again, for listeners, if people wanted to have a broader context and deeper understanding of what's happening today especially with biological warfare as well as us foreign policy and international affairs, I urge you to get Dr. Francis Boyle's books and listen to his interviews as well as his colleagues book. Graeme Macqueen, The Anthrax Deception, The Case For Domestic Conspiracy. Thank you for being with us, Dr. Boyle.
Dr. Francis Boyle: Well, thank you and again, please understand these are my current opinions. I could change my opinion here based on more evidence. So I'm just looking at the evidence out there as I see it and you have to understand there is so much disinformation, lies and propaganda that it's kind of very difficult to distinguish truth from fact. I'm doing the best job I can here.
'-- end interview '--
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Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a ''star witness'' in the impeachment farce against President Trump, and his twin brother Yevgeny were removed from their National Security Council posts and escorted out of the White House on Friday, Politico reported.
The president told reporters earlier Friday that he was ''not happy'' with suspected leaker Alexander Vindman and suggested that he would be dealt with soon.
Pres. Trump doesn't deny reports his White House plans to force out a National Security Council expert who testified in the House impeachment inquiry.
"You think I'm supposed to be happy with him?" Trump says of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. "I'm not.'' https://t.co/RDhqtaRmIs pic.twitter.com/et15zGZGvw
'-- ABC News (@ABC) February 7, 2020
Trump made his preference crystal clear later on when he retweeted posts calling for Vindman to be fired ''ASAP.'' It is assumed that Alexander Vindman will go back to his post at the Department of Defense.
The White House is reportedly considering repercussions for other administration officials who defied the White House's orders to not testify in the Democrats' illegitimate inquiry.
Vindman, who listened in on Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy, told Democrat House investigators that the president abused his office by withholding vital aid from Ukraine until it announced investigations into his political opponents. The former NSC aid is widely believed to be the primary source for so-called ''whistleblower'' Eric Ciaramella.
One of Vindman's lawyers complained that the NSC aide's ouster was political retribution for his role in the impeachment inquiry. ''There is no question in the mind of any American why this man's job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House,'' David Pressman said in a statement. ''The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy,'' Pressman added.
Vindman's attorney indicated that the Iraq War veteran's twin brother Yevgeny, who serves as a senior lawyer on the NSC, was also removed from his post and exited the White House alongside his brother. Yevgeny Vindman was not a witness in the impeachment process. His lawyer didn't respond to a request for comment.
The unceremonious removal of the Vindmans was quickly denounced by Democrats as an act of retribution against those who testified against Trump, one foreshadowed by a White House that has warned of ''payback'' for Trump's detractors. Several GOP lawmakers, most notably Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) have defended Alexander Vindman against attacks on his patriotism, calling criticism of his role ''shameful.''
''He was not 'fired' per se as he remains an active duty Army officer and will be reassigned elsewhere,'' Vindman's lawyer Mark Zaid wrote in a tweet. ''And let's also not overlook the fact he may very well be relieved to be out of the WH! Could you blame him!''
He was not "fired" per se as he remains an active duty Army officer and will be reassigned elsewhere.
And let's also not overlook the fact he may very well be relieved to be out of the WH! Could you blame him!#ProtectAllWhistleblowers
'-- Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) February 7, 2020
Politico goes on to report: ''Vindman's removal from his post came amid three months of relentless attacks by Trumps allies in Congress, the White House and on Fox News, questioning the Iraq War veteran's patriotism and honesty.''
Indeed, Vindman's ''patriotism and honesty'' was called into question after a fellow soldier came forward to share his recollections of the then-Major when he served with him in Grafenwoher, Germany in 2013.
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Jim Hickman told American Greatness that he ''verbally reprimanded'' Vindman after he heard him ''talking up'' then-President Barack Obama and making derisive remarks about America and Americans in front of Russian military officers. '' Do not let the uniform fool you,'' Hickman wrote on Twitter: ''He is a political activist in uniform.''
The retired officer said that Vindman, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Ukraine, made fun of the United States to the point that it made other soldiers ''uncomfortable.'' For example, Hickman told American Greatness that he heard Vindman call Americans ''rednecks'''--a word that needed to be translated for the Russians. He said they all had a big laugh at America's expense.
Hickman is a wounded warrior who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq and received multiple combat medals'--including the Purple Heart. He took medical leave from the service in 2017 due to complications from his injuries.
Thomas Lasch, Hickman's boss at the time, corroborated his story to American Greatness, as did a General Services Employee with the Department of the Army.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) shared Hickman's account about Vindman in a series of tweets during the impeachment trial.
In response to the news that Vindman had been removed from his post, Hickman said he was pleased, but more needed to be done to hold him accountable, including possibly a court martial.
''To simply move LTC Vindman as part of a larger drawdown, without holding him accountable for the court martial worthy offenses he committed, will have immediate ramifications on good order and discipline in the Army,'' Hickman told American Greatness via a text message.
''If officers are permitted to directly disobey lawful orders from the CINC, because they have political policy opinion differences, well, where are we now with precedent? I suppose lying to congress too will go without any consequence, I mean why bother being held to a higher standard in the military?'' he asked.
''What exactly are we teaching young Soldiers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Officers, if LTC Vindman just moves duty stations without being held accountable?''
''The civilian world can be polarized politically right now, and write things off to that, but not the United States Armed Forces. If you're still wearing the uniform, then damn it, you better hold people accountable to regulations, and ensure they follow orders. Lives depend on us doing this right in combat and peace time operations. Take the hard right!'' Hickman said.
The former officer was not optimistic that anything more would be done.
''They will throw phrases around like he lost his job, career, etc'... then in a couple of months he'll show up at the War College with an eagle on,'' he lamented.
The silver eagle insignia would indicate that he'd been promoted to colonel.
Wuhan is turning sports stadiums into makeshift coronavirus hospitals - Business Insider
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 21:50
Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak that has killed 426 people and spread to over 20,000 people in more than two dozen countries, is scrambling to build makeshift shelter hospitals at civilian facilities.The city began transforming a local sports stadium, exhibition center, and cultural complex into medical facilities with as many as 3,400 beds late Monday, Chinese state media reported Tuesday morning.Tuesday evening, local authorities announced that the city is converting another eight venues into temporary coronavirus hospitals, Xinhua News Agency reports.These makeshift shelter hospitals will be used to provide emergency aid, treatment, and clinical examination services for patients with mild coronavirus symptoms.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.The sprawling central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of a viral outbreak that has claimed hundreds of lives in a matter of weeks, is rushing to turn nearly a dozen local buildings, such as sports centers and exhibition halls, into makeshift hospitals as the coronavirus continues to tear through the city, Chinese media reports.
'--Global Times (@globaltimesnews) February 4, 2020Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, started converting three facilities, namely Hongshan Gymnasium, the Wuhan International Conference and Exhibition Center, and a cultural complex known as the "Wuhan Living Room" into temporary shelter hospitals on Monday, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reports.
Workers arrange beds in a 2,000-bed mobile hospital set up in an exhibition center in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Tuesday, Feb. 04, 2020. Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
On Tuesday, local authorities in Wuhan announced plans to transform another eight venues into makeshift medical facilities, Xinhua reports. Chinese state media did not clarify which facilities in particular would be chosen but revealed that like the other three places chosen, the venues selected would include places like sports centers, gymnasiums, and exhibition halls.
The three facilities that have already been converted offer 3,400 beds. In total, the 11 temporary hospitals will provide more than 10,000 beds for coronavirus patients. The conversion process for these places is expected to be completed on Wednesday.
Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, panic-built Huoshenshan Hospital, a working hospital with 1,000 beds, in just 10 days, and another quickly constructed medical facility, Leishenshan Hospital with around 1,600 beds, is expected to open Wednesday at the earliest.
Huoshenshan Hospital construction nears completion on February 3, 2020 in Wuhan, China. After only 10 days of construction, Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital was officially completed and delivered, and on February 3, patients with newly diagnosed coronavirus pneumonia were admitted. Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Wuhan, a city with a population of 11 million people, has many hospitals and clinics available, but as the virus continues to spread, hitting the city and the larger province hard, additional care facilities are needed.
On Tuesday, 3,156 new cases of the virus and 65 new deaths were reported in Hubei, bringing the total infection numbers for the province up to 16,678 with deaths totaling 479, according to the semi-official Global Times.
Workers lay beds in the Wuhan living room exhibition center, Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, February 4, 2020. Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Chinese state-broadcaster CGTN reported that the 11 shelter hospitals will be primarily used for "emergency aid, surgical treatment, and clinical examination." These facilities will be for individuals with mild coronavirus symptoms.
Read more:The CDC recommends 3 things you can do to keep from getting Wuhan coronavirus, and 3 things you should not do
The genetic code of the Wuhan coronavirus shows it's 80% similar to SARS. New research suggests a potential way to neutralize the virus.
10 myths about the coronavirus, including a link to meat-eating and imported packages
Scientists say the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak could soon be declared a pandemic. Here's what that means.
More: wuhan coronavirus China Health
Pete Buttigieg - Wikipedia
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 21:49
Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg[1] ( BOOT -É-jehj;[2][3] born January 19, 1982) is an American politician, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana and candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 United States presidential election.
Buttigieg is a graduate of Harvard College and Oxford University, attending the latter on a Rhodes Scholarship. From 2007 to 2010, he worked as a consultant at the management consulting firm McKinsey.[4] From 2009 to 2017, he served as a naval intelligence officer in the United States Navy Reserve, attaining the rank of lieutenant. In 2014, he was deployed to Afghanistan for seven months and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal.[5]
Before running for office, Buttigieg worked on the political campaigns of the Democrats Jill Long Thompson, Joe Donnelly, and John Kerry. Buttigieg served as the 32nd mayor of South Bend, Indiana, from January 2012 to January 2020, as the youngest mayor of a city with a population of over 100,000. In 2015, Buttigieg publicly came out as gay and was reelected with over 80% of the vote.[6]
Buttigieg launched his campaign for the 2020 United States presidential election on April 14, 2019.[7][8] He became the first openly gay person to launch a major presidential campaign.[9] Despite initially low expectations, he gained significant momentum in mid-2019 when he participated in several town halls, forums, and debates.
Early life and career Buttigieg was born in South Bend, Indiana, the only child of Joseph and Jennifer Anne Buttigieg (n(C)e Montgomery).[10] The Buttigieg family hails from Malta. His father, who was from Hamrun, had studied to be a Jesuit priest before emigrating to the United States and embarking on a secular career as a professor of literature at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend.[11][12] His father was a professor at Notre Dame for 29 years.[13] His mother's family has lived in Indiana for generations.[14]
Education In 2000, Buttigieg was valedictorian of his senior class at St. Joseph High School in South Bend.[15] That year, he won first prize in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum's Profiles in Courage essay contest. He traveled to Boston to accept the award and met Caroline Kennedy and other members of President Kennedy's family. The subject of his winning essay was the integrity and political courage of then U.S. representative Bernie Sanders of Vermont, one of only two independent politicians in Congress.[16][17]
Buttigieg attended Harvard University, where he majored in history and literature.[18] He became president of the Student Advisory Committee of the Harvard Institute of Politics and worked on the institute's annual study of youth attitudes on politics.[19][20] He wrote his undergraduate thesis, titled The Quiet American's Errand into the Wilderness, on the influence of puritanism on U.S. foreign policy as reflected in Graham Greene's novel The Quiet American.[21][22] The title of his thesis is also an allusion to American historian Perry Miller's work Errand into the Wilderness.[23]
Upon graduating magna cum laude from Harvard in 2004, Buttigieg was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa[1] and awarded a Rhodes Scholarship; in 2007, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree with first-class honours in philosophy, politics, and economics after studying at Pembroke College, Oxford.[24] At Oxford, he was an editor of the Oxford International Review,[25] and was a co-founder[25] and member of the Democratic Renaissance Project, an informal debate and discussion group of about a dozen Oxford students.[26][27]
Professional career Before graduating from college, Buttigieg worked as an investigative intern at WMAQ-TV, Chicago's NBC News affiliate.[28] He also interned for Democrat Jill Long Thompson during her unsuccessful 2002 congressional bid.[citation needed ] In 2006, he lent assistance to Joe Donnelly's successful congressional campaign.[29]
From 2004 to 2005, Buttigieg worked as conference director of the Cohen Group.[30] For several months in Arizona and New Mexico,[31] Buttigieg worked on John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign as a policy and research specialist.[32] When he accepted the offer to work for Kerry's campaign, he declined another to work for Barack Obama's 2004 United States Senate campaign.[31]
After earning his Oxford degree, in 2007 Buttigieg became a consultant at the Chicago office of McKinsey & Company,[33][34] where he worked on energy, retail, economic development, and logistics for three years.[35][36] His clients at McKinsey included the health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, electronics retailer Best Buy, Canadian supermarket chain Loblaws, two nonprofit environmentalist groups (the Natural Resources Defense Council and Energy Foundation) and several U.S. government agencies (the EPA, Energy Department, Defense Department, and Postal Service).[37][38] He took a leave of absence from McKinsey in 2008 to become research director for Jill Long Thompson's unsuccessful campaign for Indiana governor.[39][40][41] Buttigieg left McKinsey in 2010 in order to focus full-time on his campaign for Indiana state treasurer.[33]
Buttigieg has been involved with the Truman National Security Project since 2005 and serves as a fellow with expertise in Afghanistan and Pakistan.[35] In 2014, he was named to the organization's board of advisors.[42]
Military service Buttigieg joined the U.S. Navy Reserve through the direct commission officer (DCO) program and was sworn in as an ensign in naval intelligence in September 2009.[43] In 2014, he took a seven-month leave during his mayoral term to deploy to Afghanistan.[44][45][46] While there, Buttigieg was part of a unit assigned to identify and disrupt terrorist finance networks. Part of this was done at Bagram Air Base, but he also worked as an armed driver for his commander on more than 100 trips into Kabul. Buttigieg has jokingly referred to this role as "military Uber", because he had to watch out for ambushes and explosive devices along the roads and ensure that the vehicle was guarded.[47] In order to better communicate with the local Afghans, he learned some Dari (a dialect of the Persian language). Buttigieg was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal[5] and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award[citation needed ] and resigned his commission from the U.S. Navy Reserve in 2017.[48][49]
Indiana state treasurer election Buttigieg was the Democratic nominee for state treasurer of Indiana in 2010. He received 37.5% of the vote, losing to Republican incumbent Richard Mourdock.[50][51]
Mayor of South Bend, Indiana Election and transition Buttigieg was elected mayor of South Bend in the November 2011 election, with 10,991 of the 14,883 votes cast (74%).[52] He took office in January 2012 at age 29, becoming the second-youngest mayor in South Bend history'--Schuyler Colfax III became mayor at age 28 in 1898[53]'--and the youngest mayor of a U.S. city with at least 100,000 residents.[52][54]
In 2011, as South Bend's mayor-elect, Buttigieg supported John Broden in his successful bid to become St. Joseph County Democratic Party chairman.[55]
First term Policing In 2012, after a federal investigation ruled that South Bend police had illegally recorded telephone calls of several officers, Buttigieg demoted police chief Darryl Boykins.[56] Buttigieg also dismissed the department's communications director, the one who had actually "discovered the recordings but continued to record the line at Boykins' command".[56] The police communications director alleged that the recordings captured four senior police officers making racist remarks and discussing illegal acts.[56][57] The city is 26% black, but only 6% of the police force is black.[58]
Buttigieg has written that his "first serious mistake as mayor" came shortly after taking office in 2012, when he decided to ask for Boykins's resignation. The city's first ever African-American police chief accepted the request. However, the next day, backed by supporters and legal counsel, Boykin requested reinstatement. When Buttigieg denied this request, Boykin sued the city for racial discrimination,[59] arguing that the taping policy had existed under previous police chiefs, who were white.[60] Buttigieg settled the suits brought by Boykins and the four officers out of court for over $800,000.[56][61] In 2015, a federal judge ruled that Boykins's recordings violated the Federal Wiretap Act.[57] Buttigieg came under pressure from political opponents to release the tapes, but said that doing so would be a violation of the Wiretap Act.[57] He called for the eradication of racial bias in the police force.[56] An Indiana court is hearing a case for the release of the tapes.[60]
In 2014, South Bend adopted the National Network for Safe Communities' Group Violence Intervention approach.[62][63]
Urban development and blight removal initiatives As mayor, Buttigieg promoted the transformation of the former Studebaker plant location into a technology park named Ignition Park.[64] He oversaw the city's launching of a 3-1-1 system in 2013.[65][66]
One of the major private developments to go through the city's approval process during Buttigieg's first term was a pair of seven-story condominiums along the St. Joseph River, across the river from Century Center.[67][68] In December 2013, the Area Board of Zoning Appeals approved the approximately $38.5 million development.[67] It broke ground in 2018.[68] The city ultimately invested $5 million in related projects, such as an adjoining section of riverwalk.[69]
As mayor, Buttigieg was a leading figure behind the creation of a nightly laser-light display along downtown South Bend's St. Joseph River trail as public art. The project cost $700,000, which was raised from private funds.[70] The "River Lights" installation was unveiled in May 2015 as part of the city's 150th anniversary celebrations.[56]
By the end of Buttigieg's first term, South Bend had sold off 71 city-owned properties.[71] A significant example was the former Bendix Corporation headquarters and factory, which the city sold to Curtis Products in 2014.[71][72] In late 2014 and early 2015, South Bend negotiated the sale of the city-owned Blackthorn Golf Course.[73][74] The LaSalle Hotel was sold to developers in 2015 for conversion into apartments.[71][75]
In his budget proposal for the 2014 fiscal year, Buttigieg proposed combining South Bend's Code Enforcement, Animal Control, and Building Department into a single Department of Building Services to save costs and improve efficiency.[66] The proposal failed, and the three have remained separate departments.[76]
One of Buttigieg's signature programs has been the "Vacant and Abandoned Properties Initiative"; known locally as "1,000 Properties in 1,000 Days", it is a project to repair or demolish blighted properties across South Bend.[77][78] The program reached its goal two months before its scheduled end date in November 2015.[79] By the thousandth day of the program, before Buttigieg's first term ended, nearly 40% of the targeted houses were repaired, and 679 were demolished or under contract for demolition.[80] Buttigieg took note of the fact that many homes within communities of color were the ones demolished, leading to early distrust between the city and these communities.[81]
Service in Afghanistan Buttigieg served for seven months in Afghanistan as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, returning to the United States on September 23, 2014.[82] While deployed, he was assigned to the Afghan Threat Finance Cell, a counterterrorism unit that targeted Taliban insurgency financing.[83][84] In his absence, Deputy Mayor Mark Neal, South Bend's city comptroller, served as executive from February 2014 until Buttigieg returned to his role as mayor in October 2014.[52][82][85]
RFRA opposition In 2015, during the controversy over Indiana Senate Bill 101'--the original version of which was widely criticized for allowing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people'--Buttigieg emerged as a leading opponent of the legislation. Before his reelection campaign, he came out as gay to express his solidarity with the LGBTQ community.[6][86]
Other In 2014, The Washington Post called Buttigieg "the most interesting mayor you've never heard of" based on his youth, education, and military background.[52]
Second term The
South Bend 150th Anniversary festivities, where Buttigieg performed live with singer-songwriter
Ben FoldsReelection in 2015 In 2014, Buttigieg announced that he would seek a second term.[87] He won the Democratic primary with 78% of the vote, defeating Henry Davis Jr., the city councilman from the Second District.[88] In November 2015, he was elected to his second term as mayor with over 80% of the vote, defeating Republican Kelly Jones by a margin of 8,515 to 2,074 votes.[89]
Housing, transportation, parks, and infrastructure In a new phase of the Vacant and Abandoned Properties Initiative, South Bend partnered with the Notre Dame Clinical Law Center to provide free legal assistance to qualifying applicants wishing to acquire vacant lots and, with local nonprofits, to repair or construct homes and provide low-income home ownership assistance using South Bend HUD (Housing and Urban Development) funds.[90][91] He increased city funding levels for home construction and improvement in the 2018 South Bend budget via several programs, including the UEA (Urban Enterprise Association) Pilot Home Repair Program, a grant intended to improve low-income residents' quality of life.[92][93][70]
In 2013, Buttigieg proposed a "Smart Streets" urban development program to improve South Bend's downtown area,[56] and in early 2015'--after traffic studies and public hearings'--he secured a bond issue for the program backed by tax increment financing.[94][95] "Smart Streets" was aimed at improving economic development and urban vibrancy as well as road safety.[96] The project involved the conversion of one-way streets in downtown to two-way streets, traffic-calming measures, the widening of sidewalks, streetside beautification (including the planting of trees and installation of decorative brickwork), the addition of bike lanes[95] and the introduction of roundabouts.[96] Elements of the project were finished in 2016,[56] and it was officially completed in 2017.[96] The project was credited with spurring private development in the city.[95]
Under Buttigieg, South Bend invested $50 million in the city's parks, many of which had been neglected during the preceding decades;[70] the city also began a "smart sewer" program, the first phase of which was finished in 2017 at a cost of $150 million.[97] The effort utilized federal funds[98] and by 2019 had reduced the combined sewer overflow by 75%.[97] The impetus for the effort was a fine that the EPA had levied against the city in 2011 for Clean Water Act violations.[97]
By 2019, the city had seen $374 million in private investment for mixed-use developments since Buttigieg had taken office.[99][70] In 2016, the City of South Bend partnered with the State of Indiana and private developers to break ground on a $165 million renovation of the former Studebaker complex, with the aim to make the complex home to tech companies and residential condos.[100] This development is in the so-called "Renaissance District", which includes nearby Ignition Park.[97][101] In 2017, it was announced that the long-abandoned Studebaker Building 84 (also known as "Ivy Tower") would have its exterior renovated with $3.5 million in Regional Cities funds from the State of Indiana and $3.5 million from South Bend tax increment financing, with plans for the building and other structures in its complex to serve as a technology hub.[102] While many aspects of South Bend had improved by 2016, a Princeton University study found that the rate of evictions in the city had worsened, more than doubling since Buttigieg took office.[97]
In January 2019, Buttigieg launched the South Bend Home Repair initiative. This expanded the existing South Bend Home Repair Pilot, which helps make available funds to assist residents with home repairs, through the use of $600,000 in city funding (double what the city had earlier pledged to the program) and $300,000 in block grants.[103] It also created two new programs. The first of these is the South Bend Green Corps, which makes funds available to lower-income homeowners for such uses as energy-saving measures and basic weatherization, the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, lead tests, and energy bill review. It also provides education on reducing energy bills.[103] The South Bend Green Corps was funded with $290,000 from the city and $150,000 from AmeriCorps.[103] The second program is Love Your Block, which assists citizen groups and local nonprofits in revitalizing neighborhoods, and which was funded with $25,000 from the city and $25,000 from the nonprofit Cities of Service.[103]
Buttigieg had been arranging a deal under which the city's parks department would sell Elbel Golf Course to developers for $747,500.[104] In January 2016, amid public pressure, the city dropped the plan.[104] The idea had been floated in 2014, when the city was exploring selling the Blackthorn golf course,[74] but began to gain momentum in 2015.[105] Buttigieg had justified the plan to sell the city-owned golf course by claiming that residents found golf to be a low priority, that the course had failed to turn a profit for over five years, and that the city was subsidizing rounds of golf at about $2 per round.[104] Buttigieg characterized the course as a drain on the city's finances.[105][106] Opposition arose, with concerns that the sale would limit public access to the land and endanger the protection of wetlands surrounding it.[104][107] At 313 acres (127 ha),[108][109] Elbel constituted the city's largest park.[74][110] The park, while owned by the city, is outside city boundaries.[74] The original plan Buttigieg outlined for the sale would have allowed it to be developed freely by the buyer.[110]
Buttigieg supported a proposed high-rise development in South Bend's East Bank neighborhood[111][112] that would greatly exceed the existing height ordinances.[113][114] In the weeks after the Common Council voted against the development in December 2016, Buttigieg and his administration negotiated a new compromise plan with the developer, Matthews LLC, that reduced the height from twelve stories to nine.[115] In January 2017, the Common Council voted to approve a ten-year tax abatement for the $35 million development.[116] In February, the Common Council raised the height limits for the East Bank neighborhood to facilitate the development.[114][117] The city later committed $5 million in tax increment financing to the project.[118]
In September 2019, the city of South Bend finalized a long-anticipated agreement with St. Joseph County to jointly fund the county's $18 million share of the project to double-track the South Shore Line.[119][120]
Beginning in August 2018, Buttigieg promoted the idea of moving the city's South Shore Line station from South Bend International Airport to the city's downtown.[119][119] He made it a goal to have the city complete this project by 2025.[121] Buttigieg's earlier budgets had allotted funding to the existing South Shore Relocation project,[122][123] which would have moved the station to a different end of the South Bend International Airport.[124] Buttigieg's new push for a downtown station engendered suggestions of other possible locations. Buttigieg ordered a study of five location options, including his personally preferred downtown option, as well as two that would keep the station at the airport.[125] Of the five, the downtown location was found to be the priciest, but also the one with the greatest potential economic impact.[126] In December 2018, an engineering study was commissioned to further examine the cost of a downtown station.[121]
In 2019, South Bend launched Commuters Trust, a new transportation benefit program created in collaboration with local employers and transportation providers (including South Bend TRANSPO and Lyft) and made possible by a $1 million three-year grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge.[127][128]
During Buttigieg's tenure, Downtown South Bend saw roughly $200 million in private investment.[129]
Police and fire services In late September 2017, in his budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year, Buttigieg sought Common Council approval to create the new position of Director of Public Safety, which would have oversight over the city's fire and police chiefs.[130][131] Such a position had existed in South Bend during the mayoralties of Jerry Miller and Peter Nemeth; Nemeth eliminated the position in 1976.[132] Buttigieg's budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year earmarked $105,000 for the position's salary, which was more than the salary of the fire chief or police chief at the time.[131][132][133] The plan was opposed by members of the fire and police forces, including the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge.[132][130] Criticisms included claims that it was unfair to both the fire and police chiefs to create an additional layer of bureaucracy between them and the mayor.[132] The Common Council rejected Buttigieg's proposal,[130] and he rescinded the request.[134] In late October 2019, it was announced that the South Bend Mayor's Office would have a slightly different new division, the Division of Community Initiatives. This is budgeted to be launched in 2020, when Buttigieg's successor will take office. Buttigieg supported this department's creation.
In September 2018, South Bend sent roughly 20 members of its fire department's Swift Water Rescue Group to Raleigh, North Carolina, to assist in anticipation of Hurricane Florence.[136][137]
After a white South Bend police officer shot and killed Eric Logan, an African-American man, in June 2019, Buttigieg was drawn from his presidential campaign to focus on the emerging public reaction. Body cameras were not turned on during Logan's death.[138] Soon after Logan's death, Buttigieg presided over a town hall attended by disaffected activists from the African-American community as well as relatives of the deceased man. The local police union accused Buttigieg of making decisions for political gain.[139][140] In November 2019, Buttigieg secured $180,000 to commission a review of South Bend's police department policies and practices to be conducted by Chicago-based consulting firm 21CP Solutions.[141]
During Buttigieg's tenure, the city's police force continued to struggle with a high homicide rate; the annual number of murders in South Bend was 18 in 2012, 9 in 2013, 17 in 2014, 7 in 2015, 14 in 2016, 15 in 2017, and 13 in 2018.[142]
Other civic matters Buttigieg's budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year included items to address various public health concerns,[143][122] including funding for a "healthy homes" program,[143] which was ultimately included in the 2018 budget approved by the Common Council.[144] Buttigieg also made a request for $24 million to fund new green spaces in the city[143] that was ultimately excluded from the budget.[144]
Buttigieg's budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year included $156,000 for paid parental leave to city employees.[145][146][147][148]
Buttigieg had expressed his openness to a proposal by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians to open a tribal casino in South Bend.[149] The Common Council approved a casino deal in April 2016,[149] and the Pokagon Band received federal clearance to put the land into a required trust in November 2016.[150][151] Under a revenue-sharing agreement that the Pokagon Band voluntarily entered into with the city, the city receives the greater of 2% of the casino's annual Class II gaming revenues or either $1 million or $2 million (depending on the number of games at the casino).[152][153][154] The casino opened in January 2018 as Four Winds South Bend.[155][156]
In 2018, Women's Care Center, a crisis pregnancy center chain, petitioned the city to allow it to rezone a residential property to allow it to open a location adjacent to a planned Whole Woman's Health abortion clinic (which would be the only abortion clinic in the city, which had been without one since 2015).[157] The rezoning case became a flashpoint between local anti-abortion activists supporting the rezoning and abortion-rights activists opposing it.[157] In April 2018, the city council voted 5-4 to allow the rezoning.[157] The group Pro Choice South Bend, which opposed the rezoning, organized a letter-writing campaign and other efforts to urge Buttigieg to use his veto power to block the rezoning.[157][158] Amid this, Buttigieg's office reportedly reached out to Whole Woman's Health Alliance and discussed various concerns.[157] Four days after the Common Council's vote to approve the rezoning, Buttigieg vetoed it, in a decision he described as "one of the hardest decisions I've ever made" as mayor.[157] In a letter to Common Council members, Buttigieg said he was persuaded by data provided by the abortion clinic showing that there were higher rates of threats, harassment, and violence at abortion clinics near crisis pregnancy centers, but was careful not to criticize the crisis pregnancy center, writing that he believed that representatives of both the abortion clinic and the crisis pregnancy center "are good residents who seek to support women by providing services consistent with their values."[157] In a press conference he held to explain his veto, he declared, "Issues on the morality or the legality of abortion are dramatically beyond my pay grade as mayor. For us this is a neighborhood issue, and it's a zoning issue."[157] In mid-May 2018, Buttigieg said he was willing to work with Women's Care Center to find a different location in the area.[157] Women's Care Center eventually opened at a location across the street from the planned abortion clinic.[157] When Buttigieg ran for president, some criticized his assistance to Women's Care Center as a failure to stick strongly to his abortion-rights position.[157]
Also in 2018, Buttigieg explored annexing several areas bordering the city[159] and redrawing the boundaries of several of the city's tax increment financing districts to better serve neighborhoods that had not benefited from redevelopment.[159]
In August 2018, South Bend pledged a $3.7 million bond issue to assist the Potawatomi Zoo in funding its renovations.[160] In September, it was announced that the zoo renovation had obtained additional funding from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation's Regional Cities Initiative.[161]
In August 2018, Buttigieg declared an intent to include a focus on neighborhoods in his budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year.[162] In addition to improvements to infrastructure, such as streetlights, Buttigieg also promoted the expansion of the city's Group Violence Intervention efforts, which he believed were showing success at reducing violent crime among the city's youth.[162] The Common Council approved many of Buttigieg's requests in its 2019 budget.[134]
Speculations about higher office and national political involvement Ahead of the 2016 election cycle, Buttigieg declined to run in the United States Senate election in Indiana.[163] He later campaigned on behalf of Democratic Senate nominee Evan Bayh.[164] He criticized Bayh's opponent, Todd Young, for having voiced support in 2010 for retaining the military's don't ask, don't tell policy, which Bayh had voted to repeal.[165] In the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries, Buttigieg endorsed Hillary Clinton.[166] He also endorsed Democratic nominee Lynn Coleman in that year's election for Indiana's 2nd congressional district, which includes South Bend.[167]
In 2016, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni published a column praising Buttigieg's work as mayor with a headline asking if he might be "the first gay president".[168] Additionally, Barack Obama was cited as mentioning him as one of the Democratic Party's talents in a profile on the former president conducted by The New Yorker.[169]
For the 2018 midterms, Buttigieg founded the political action committee Hitting Home PAC.[170] That October, Buttigieg personally endorsed 21 congressional candidates.[171] He also later endorsed Mel Hall, Democratic nominee in the election for Indiana's 2nd congressional district.[172] Buttigieg also campaigned in support of Joe Donnelly's reelection campaign in the United States Senate election in Indiana.[173] Buttigieg campaigned for candidates in more than a dozen states, including early presidential primary states such as Iowa and South Carolina, a move indicating potential interest in running for president.[171]
Succession as mayor In December 2018, Buttigieg announced that he would not seek a third term as mayor of South Bend.[174] In February 2019, Buttigieg endorsed James Mueller in the 2019 South Bend mayoral election.[175][176] Mueller was a high-school classmate of Buttigieg's and served as his mayoral chief of staff, and later as executive director of the South Bend Department of Community Investment.[175] Mueller's campaign promised to continue the progress that had been made under Buttigieg's mayoralty.[177] Buttigieg appeared in campaign ads for Mueller and donated to Mueller's campaign.[178] Mueller won the May 2019 Democratic primary with 37% of the vote in a crowded field.[179][175][180] In the November 2019 general election, Mueller defeated Republican nominee Sean M. Haas with 63% of the vote.[181][182] Mueller took office on New Year's Day 2020.[183]
2017 DNC chair election In January 2017, Buttigieg announced his candidacy for chair of the Democratic National Committee in its 2017 chairmanship election.[184] He built a national profile as an emerging dark horse in the race for the chairmanship with the backing of former DNC chairman Howard Dean, former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley, Indiana senator Joe Donnelly, and North Dakota senator Heidi Heitkamp.[185][186] Buttigieg "campaigned on the idea that the aging Democratic Party needed to empower its millennial members".[185]
Former U.S. secretary of labor Tom Perez and U.S. representative Keith Ellison quickly emerged as the favored candidates of a majority of DNC members. Buttigieg withdrew from the race on the day of the election without endorsing a candidate, and Perez was elected chair after two rounds of voting.[185]
2020 presidential election On January 23, 2019, Buttigieg announced that he was forming an exploratory committee to run for President of the United States in the upcoming 2020 election.[187] Buttigieg is seeking the Democratic nomination.[188][189] If elected, he would be the youngest and the first openly gay American president.[187] Buttigieg officially launched his campaign on April 14, 2019, in South Bend.[8][190]
Buttigieg describes himself as a progressive and a supporter of democratic capitalism.[191] Historian David Mislin identifies Buttigieg as a pragmatic progressive in the tradition of the Social Gospel movement once strong in the Midwest.[192] Buttigieg identifies regulatory capture as a significant problem in American society.[191]
Political positions Abortion Buttigieg supports abortion rights[193][194] and the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal funding for abortion services in all but the most extreme circumstances.[195] In 2018, as mayor, Buttigieg vetoed a South Bend Common Council rezoning decision that would have allowed an anti-abortion crisis pregnancy center to open next door to a planned abortion clinic.[196][157]
In May 2019, after the Alabama Legislature passed legislation outlawing virtually all abortion services in the state, Buttigieg said that it was "ignoring science, criminalizing abortion, and punishing women".[197]
Climate change Buttigieg released a plan to combat climate change consisting of three parts: building a clean economy through the creation of clean energy jobs; improving resilience by investing in disaster relief and prevention; and heightening the United States' role in the international fight against climate change.[198] His proposal sets benchmarks of doubling clean electricity in the U.S. by 2025, zero emissions in electricity generation by 2035, net-zero emissions from industrial vehicles by 2040, and net-zero emissions by 2050.[198]
Buttigieg has said that, if elected, he will restore the United States' commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and double its pledge to the Green Climate Fund. In June 2017, he was one of 407 U.S. mayors who signed a pact to adhere to the agreement after President Trump announced his decision to withdraw from it.[199] Buttigieg also supports the Green New Deal proposed by House Democrats.[200][201]
Buttigieg favors solar panel subsidies and a carbon tax and dividend policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.[202][203]
Criminal justice Buttigieg supports eliminating the death penalty.[204] On marijuana, Buttigieg has supported Canada-style legalization, saying: "The safe, regulated, and legal sale of marijuana is an idea whose time has come for the United States, as evidenced by voters demanding legalization in states across the country."[205] He supports moving toward reversing criminal sentences for minor drug-related offenses,[206] and eliminating incarceration for drug possession offenses.[207] Though acknowledging the problematic nature of the disparity in black and white marijuana arrests, South Bend's black residents are 4.3 times likelier under Buttigieg to be arrested for Cannabis possession than white residents. This represents a rate higher than Indiana (3.5 times likelier) and the U.S. (3 times likelier).[208][209]
In 2019, Buttigieg called for the U.S. to "decriminalize mental illness and addiction through diversion, treatment, and re-entry programs" with a goal of decreasing "the number of people incarcerated due to mental illness or substance use by 75% in the first term."[210][211]
Economy, commerce, and worker's rights Buttigieg has frequently pointed to automation as the chief cause of the great loss of manufacturing jobs nationwide.[212] He has spoken of the need to work with labor unions.[213] As a self-proclaimed democratic capitalist, Buttigieg rejects crony capitalism and supports a constitutional amendment to protect democracy from the undue and corrupting influence of money in politics.[214] He is receptive to the possibility of antitrust actions against large technology companies but more focused on privacy and data security concerns.[215]
In 2010, Buttigieg praised the passage of the Dodd''Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.[216]
While running for Indiana state treasurer in 2010, Buttigieg described his record as fiscally conservative,[25] and supported the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), proposing that Indiana choose to deposit state funds in banks that were compliant with CRA obligations.[217][218]
In July 2019, Buttigieg released a plan to strengthen union bargaining power, to raise the minimum wage to $15, and to offer national paid family leave.[219]
Elections and voting rights Buttigieg favors the abolition of the Electoral College.[220] He has also called for restoring voting rights to felons who have completed their prison sentences.[206][221]
Foreign policy and national security Buttigieg has said that he believes the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks was justified[215] but now supports withdrawing American troops from the region with a maintained intelligence presence.[199] He is a committed supporter of Israel,[222][223] favors a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,[223][224] opposes proposals for Israel to annex the Israeli-occupied West Bank,[223] and disapproves of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comments in support of applying Israeli law in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.[225]
Regarding the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis, Buttigieg told HuffPost that as a supporter of free and fair elections, he is amenable to potential sanctions but not a military intervention.[226] On June 11, 2019, Buttigieg said: "We will remain open to working with a regime like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the benefit of the American people. But we can no longer sell out our deepest values for the sake of fossil fuel access and lucrative business deals."[227] Buttigieg supports ending U.S. support for Saudi Arabia in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.[228]
Buttigieg has condemned China for its mass detention of ethnic Uyghurs in Xinjiang, calling it a "a shocking, merciless campaign to erase the religious and ethnic identity of millions" that the U.S. should stand against.[229] He criticized Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, which critics say gave Turkey the green light to launch its military offensive against Syrian Kurds.[230]
In 2019, Buttigieg said he was "troubled" by President Obama's 2017 decision to commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of disclosing classified documents to WikiLeaks. He also gave a mixed evaluation of Edward Snowden's disclosure of classified information, saying, "we've learned things about abuses and that one way or another that needed to come out" but that "the way for that to come out is through Congressional oversight, not through a breach of classified information".[231]
Health care Buttigieg opposed Republican efforts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[100]
During his presidential campaign, Buttigieg has promoted "Medicare for All Who Want It" (a public option for health insurance).[232][233][234] He has spoken favorably of Maryland's all-payer rate setting.[235] Buttigieg has described "Medicare for All Who Want It" as inclusive, more efficient than the current system, and a possible precursor or "glide path" to single-payer health insurance.[235][234] He also favors a partial expansion of Medicare that would allow Americans ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, and supports proposed legislation (the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act), that would "create a fund to guarantee up to 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses."[236]
In August 2019, Buttigieg released a $300 billion plan to expand mental health care services and fight addiction.[237][211]
Immigration Buttigieg supports Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and has drawn attention to the Trump administration's aggressive deportation policies. He defended a resident of Granger, Indiana, who was deported after living in the U.S. for 17 years despite regularly checking in with ICE and applying for a green card.[238]
Buttigieg has said that Trump has been reckless in sending American troops to the southern border and that it is a measure of last resort.[239]
Infrastructure Buttigieg has pledged about $1 trillion for various infrastructure projects over the next 10 years if elected, which he estimates would create at least 6,000,000 jobs. Many of the planned projects have environmental goals such as reliance on green energy. Other goals include protecting tap water from lead, fixing roads and bridges, improving public transportation, repairing schools, guaranteeing broadband internet access, and preparing communities for floods and other natural disasters.[240][241][242]
Judicial issues Buttigieg has expressed support for Supreme Court structural reform, emphasizing depoliticization and suggesting that the court be expanded to 15 members, five of whom would be selected only by unanimous consensus of the other ten.[220]
Donald Trump Buttigieg supports the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, saying, "He's made it clear that he deserves to be impeached."[243] But he has also said that there would be "a lot of benefit" if Trump were defeated in 2020 instead of being removed from office via the impeachment process,[244] and that the only true resolution would be to defeat Trump, along with his Republican "enablers" in Congress, in his bid for reelection.[243]
Racial equality In May 2019, Buttigieg warned that President Donald Trump and his administration were using white identity politics, which he identified as the most divisive form of identity politics.[245][246] In July 2019, he shared his "Douglass Plan", named after abolitionist Frederick Douglass, to address systemic racism in America.[247] Buttigieg compared the plan's scope to that of the U.S.'s Marshall Plan, which invested funds in war-torn Europe after World War II, and said it would address "opportunity for minority businesses, strengthening voting rights, and reforming the criminal justice system". The initiative would allocate $10 billion to African-American entrepreneurship over five years, grant $25 billion to historically black colleges, legalize marijuana, expunge drug convictions, halve the federal prison population, and propose a federal New Voting Rights Act designed to increase voting access.[248][247]
Pete Buttigieg supporters marching in the 2019 Boston
Pride ParadeButtigieg favors amending civil rights legislation with the Federal Equality Act so that LGBT Americans receive federal non-discrimination protections.[249] He opposes the ban on transgender military participation enacted under Trump.[250][231]
Buttigieg supports expanding opportunities for national service, and has expressed support for a "social norm" of a voluntary year of national service for those turning 18 years old.[251][252][253] In July 2019 Buttigieg announced a plan to increase participation in national service organizations like AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, as well as creating new ones dedicated to "fighting climate change, treating mental health and addiction, and providing caregiving for older people".[254] The initiative prioritizes volunteering in predominantly minority communities and rural areas by tripling programs to 250,000 people at first, then expanding to one million by 2026.[254]
Buttigieg opposes free college tuition because he believes that it unfairly subsidizes higher-income families at the expense of lower-income people who do not attend college. This position distinguishes him from other progressives who support free college tuition for all.[255] Buttigieg supports initiatives to make college more affordable.[256]
Statehood Buttigieg supports statehood for the District of Columbia, and said that he would support Puerto Rico statehood if desired by the Puerto Rican people.[220]
Personal life Buttigieg is a Christian,[257][258] and he has said his faith has had a strong influence in his life.[251][259][168] His parents baptized him in a Catholic church as an infant and he attended Catholic schools.[258] While at the University of Oxford, Buttigieg began to attend Christ Church Cathedral and said he felt "more-or-less Anglican" by the time he returned to South Bend.[258] St. Augustine, James Martin, and Garry Wills are among his religious influences.[259] A member of the Episcopal Church, Buttigieg is a congregant at the Cathedral of St. James in downtown South Bend.[251]
Buttigieg taught himself to speak a little bit of Norwegian[260] and has some knowledge of Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Arabic, Dari Persian, and French in addition to his native English,[24][261][262] though his level of fluency in those languages is unclear. His campaign has not commented on his language abilities, but he has been recorded speaking foreign languages on various occasions, including interviews on Univision on May 8, 2019 and Telemundo on May 20, 2019.[263][264][265] Buttigieg plays guitar and piano,[266][267] and in 2013 performed with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra as a guest piano soloist with Ben Folds.[268][269] Buttigieg was a 2014 Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow.[270] He was a recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Fenn Award in 2015.[271]
In a June 2015 piece in the South Bend Tribune, Buttigieg came out as gay.[6] By coming out, Buttigieg became Indiana's first openly gay elected executive.[272][273][274] He was the first elected official in Indiana to come out while in office,[163] and the highest elected official in Indiana to come out.[274] Buttigieg is also the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate, and the second overall, after Republican Fred Karger, who ran in 2012.[275]
In December 2017, Buttigieg announced his engagement to Chasten Glezman, a junior high school teacher.[276] They had been dating since August 2015 after meeting on the dating app Hinge.[12][277] They were married on June 16, 2018, in a private ceremony at the Cathedral of St. James in South Bend.[278][258] Chasten uses his husband's surname, Buttigieg.[279]
In June 2019, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a watershed moment in the LGBTQ rights movement, Queerty named him one of its "Pride50" people identified as "trailblazing individuals who actively ensure society remains moving towards equality, acceptance and dignity for all queer people".[280]
Book Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future. New York: Liveright. 2019. ISBN 9781631494376. Electoral history South Bend mayoral election, 2011[282]PartyCandidateVotes%Democratic Pete Buttigieg 10,991 73.85% RepublicanNorris W. Curry Jr.2,88419.38%LibertarianPatrick M. Farrell1,0086.77%Total votes14,883South Bend mayoral election, 2015[283]PartyCandidateVotes%Democratic Pete Buttigieg (incumbent) 8,515 80.41% RepublicanKelly S. Jones2,07419.59%Total votes10,589References ^ a b "Phi Beta Kappa elects 92 seniors to Harvard chapter". Harvard Gazette. June 10, 2004 . Retrieved January 28, 2017 . ^ Stracqualursi, Veronica (January 23, 2019). "How to pronounce Pete Buttigieg". CNN Politics . Retrieved January 15, 2020 . ^ Aggeler, Madeleine (March 25, 2019). "Wait, Sorry, How Do You Pronounce Buttigieg?". The Cut . Retrieved April 26, 2019 . ^ "Secretary of State: Elections Division: Election Foundation Wide". Indiana State Government official website . 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James Carville is ''scared to death'' about whether Sanders and others can beat Trump - Vox
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 17:07
James Carville is ''scared to death'' of the November 2020 election.
In a rant on MSNBC that went viral on Tuesday evening, the longtime Democratic strategist vented his concerns about the party's prospects for beating Donald Trump, taking particular aim at the party's leftward lurch.
''Eighteen percent of the population controls 52 Senate seats,'' Carville said. ''We've got to be a majoritarian party. The urban core is not gonna get it done. What we need is power! Do you understand? That's what this is about.''
His diatribe took place against the backdrop of an Iowa caucus that had fallen into chaos and amid a rancorous ongoing debate among Democrats over the party's direction. He took particular aim at Sen. Bernie Sanders, who he fears could lead the party to defeat in November.
Carville's lament distills a concern among the Democratic Party's establishment: Will ideological purity and playing to the base cost the Democrats victory in November? For Carville, at least, ''We have one moral imperative, and that's to beat Donald Trump.'' That his comments went viral speaks to the sense of urgency among Democrats, even as it only fuels the debate over the direction of the party.
I spoke with Carville this week by phone. We discussed where he thinks the Democrats went wrong, what it will take to build a majoritarian party in this climate, and why he doesn't have a lot of confidence in the current field of candidates.
A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.
Sean IllingWhy are you ''scared to death'' about the 2020 election?
James CarvilleLook, the turnout in the Iowa caucus was below what we expected, what we wanted. Trump's approval rating is probably as high as it's been. This is very bad. And now it appears the party can't even count votes. What the hell am I supposed to think?
I'll just say it this way: The fate of the world depends on the Democrats getting their shit together and winning in November. We have to beat Trump. And so far, I don't like what I see. And a lot of people I talk to feel the same way.
Sean IllingWhat's gone wrong? Who's responsible?
James CarvilleI don't know. We just had an election in 2018. We did great. We talked about everything we needed to talk about, and we won. And now it's like we're losing our damn minds. Someone's got to step their game up here.
Sean IllingWhat does that mean?
James CarvilleIn 2018, Democrats recruited really strong candidates, really qualified candidates. And the party said, ''This is what we're going to talk about and we're going to keep talking about it.'' And you know what happened? We fucking won. We didn't get distracted, we didn't get deflected.
''The purpose of a political party is to acquire power. All right? Without power, nothing matters.''
Sean IllingGive me an example of what you mean by distractions.
James CarvilleWe have candidates on the debate stage talking about open borders and decriminalizing illegal immigration. They're talking about doing away with nuclear energy and fracking. You've got Bernie Sanders talking about letting criminals and terrorists vote from jail cells. It doesn't matter what you think about any of that, or if there are good arguments '-- talking about that is not how you win a national election. It's not how you become a majoritarian party.
For fuck's sake, we've got Trump at Davos talking about cutting Medicare and no one in the party has the sense to plaster a picture of him up there sucking up to the global elites, talking about cutting taxes for them while he's talking about cutting Medicare back home. Jesus, this is so obvious and so easy and I don't see any of the candidates taking advantage of it.
The Republicans have destroyed their party and turned it into a personality cult, but if anyone thinks they can't win, they're out of their damn minds.
Sean IllingI wouldn't endorse everything every Democrat is doing or saying, but are they really destroying the party? What does that even mean?
James CarvilleLook, Bernie Sanders isn't a Democrat. He's never been a Democrat. He's an ideologue. And I've been clear about this: If Bernie is the nominee, I'll vote for him. No question. I'll take an ideological fanatic over a career criminal any day. But he's not a Democrat.
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally in Milford, New Hampshire, on February 4, 2020. Joe Raedle/Getty Images Sean IllingYou know people are going to read this and say, ''Carville backed Clinton in 2016. So did the Democratic establishment. They blew it in 2016. Why should I care what any of them think now?''
James CarvillePeople will say anything. And first of all, Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million. And secondly, the Russians put Jill Stein in front of Clinton's campaign to depress votes. And thirdly, the New York Times a week before an election, assured its readers that the Russians were not even trying to help Trump. And then they wrote 15,000 stories about Hillary's emails.
But back to Sanders '-- what I'm saying is the Democratic Party isn't Bernie Sanders, whatever you think about Sanders.
Sean IllingA lot of threads there. First, a lot of people don't trust the Democratic Party, don't believe in the party, for reasons you've already mentioned, and so they just don't care about that. They want change. And I guess the other thing I'd say is, 2016 scrambled our understanding of what's possible in American politics.
Are we really sure Sanders can't win?
James CarvilleWho the hell knows? But here's what I do know: Sanders might get 280 electoral votes and win the presidency and maybe we keep the House. But there's no chance in hell we'll ever win the Senate with Sanders at the top of the party defining it for the public. Eighteen percent of the country elects more than half of our senators. That's the deal, fair or not.
So long as [Mitch] McConnell runs the Senate, it's game over. There's no chance we'll change the courts, and nothing will happen, and he'll just be sitting up there screaming in the microphone about the revolution.
The purpose of a political party is to acquire power. All right? Without power, nothing matters.
Sean IllingWhat's the answer?
James CarvilleBy framing, repeating, and delivering a coherent, meaningful message that is relevant to people's lives and having the political skill not to be sucked into every rabbit hole that somebody puts in front of you.
The Democratic Party is the party of African Americans. It's becoming a party of educated suburbanites, particularly women. It's the party of Latinos. We're a party of immigrants. Most of the people aren't into all this distracting shit about open borders and letting prisoners vote. They don't care. They have lives to lead. They have kids. They have parents that are sick. That's what we have to talk about. That's all we should talk about.
It's not that this stuff doesn't matter. And it's not that we shouldn't talk about race. We have to talk about race. It's about how you deliver and frame the message. I thought Cory Booker's ''baby bonds'' plan was great and the kind of thing the party could connect to people's actual lives.
We have one moral imperative here, and that's beating Trump. Nothing else matters.
''The fate of the world depends on the Democratic Party getting its shit together and winning in November''
Sean IllingSo your complaint is basically that the party has tacked too far to the left?
James CarvilleThey've tacked off the damn radar screen. And look, I don't consider myself a moderate or a centrist. I'm a liberal. But not everything has to be on the left-right continuum. I love Warren's day care plan just like I love Booker's baby bonds. That's the kind of stuff our candidates should explain and define clearly and repeatedly for voters and not get diverted by whatever the hell is in the air that day.
Here's another stupid thing: Democrats talking about free college tuition or debt forgiveness. I'm not here to debate the idea. What I can tell you is that people all over this country worked their way through school, sent their kids to school, paid off student loans. They don't want to hear this shit. And you saw Warren confronted by an angry voter over this. It's just not a winning message.
The real argument here is that some people think there's a real yearning for a left-wing revolution in this country, and if we just appeal to the people who feel that, we'll grow and excite them and we'll win. But there's a word a lot of people hate that I love: politics. It means building coalitions to win elections. It means sometimes having to sit back and listen to what people think and framing your message accordingly.
That's all I care about. Right now the most important thing is getting this career criminal who's stealing everything that isn't nailed down out of the White House. We can't do anything for anyone if we don't start there and then acquire more power.
Can I say one more thing about the cultural disconnect?
Sean IllingSure.
James CarvilleI want to give you an example of the problem here. A few weeks ago, Binyamin Appelbaum, an economics writer for the New York Times, posted a snarky tweet about how LSU canceled classes for the National Championship game. And then he said, do the ''Warren/Sanders free public college proposals include LSU, or would it only apply to actual schools?''
You know how fucking patronizing that is to people in the South or in the middle of the country? First, LSU has an unusually high graduation rate, but that's not the point. It's the goddamn smugness. This is from a guy who lives in New York and serves on the Times editorial board and there's not a single person he knows that doesn't pat him on the back for that kind of tweet. He's so fucking smart.
Appelbaum doesn't speak for the Democratic Party, but he does represent the urbanist mindset. We can't win the Senate by looking down at people. The Democratic Party has to drive a narrative that doesn't give off vapors that we're smarter than everyone or culturally arrogant.
Sean IllingA lot of Democratic candidates don't talk like that. Warren doesn't talk like that. Sanders doesn't talk like that. Buttigieg doesn't talk like that. Cory Booker never talked like that.
James CarvilleWarren knows her stuff, and I'm particularly hard on her, because she was the star pupil, the one who was smart, had a good story. But I think she gets distracted and loses her core anti-corruption message, which resonates. With a lot of these candidates, their consultants are telling them, ''If you doubt it, just go left. We got to get the nomination.''
And then Biden gets in and blocks out good candidates like Cory Booker or Michael Bennet or Steve Bullock by occupying this mainstream lane. There just isn't enough oxygen and they couldn't get any traction. But these are serious people, professional people, and they could've delivered a winning message.
Sean IllingAre you confident that any of the remaining candidates can beat Trump?
James CarvilleI don't know, I just don't know. I'm hoping that someone gets knocked off their horse on the road to Damascus.
Sean IllingButtigieg seems to model the sort of candidate you think can win.
James CarvilleMayor Pete has to demonstrate over the course of a campaign that he can excite and motivate arguably the most important constituents in the Democratic Party: African Americans. These voters are a hell of a lot more important than a bunch of 25-year-olds shouting everyone down on Twitter.
Sean IllingI take all your points about power and the Senate and the need to be a majoritarian party. I just wonder where the limits are, especially in this media ecosystem where even the best Democratic messaging gets deformed and bastardized in right-wing media and thus never reaches the people Democrats need to reach, or at least doesn't reach enough of them.
James CarvilleI think the other side wants us to think there are no swing voters, that we're doomed and it doesn't even matter if you have a message because you can't reach anyone. I think that's bullshit. I think that's a wholly incorrect view of American politics. But look, if no one's persuadable, then let's just have the revolution.
Falling into despair won't help anyone, though. I mean, you can curse the darkness or you can light a candle. I'm getting a fucking welding torch. Okay?
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Apple to delay reopening of retail stores in China
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 17:05
A man wearing a face mask walks past a closed Apple store at Sanlitun, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Beijing, China February 7, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Lee
(Reuters) - Apple Inc is extending its retail store closures in China due to the coronavirus outbreak, even as it worked toward opening its corporate offices and contact centers, the iPhone maker said on Friday.
The company earlier this month said it would shut all of its official stores and corporate offices in mainland China until Feb.9 due to the outbreak.
''We are working toward re-opening our corporate offices and contact centers the week of February 10, and we are making preparations to reopen our retail store,'' the company said in a statement.
''We will continue to update our customers as opening dates are finalized.''
Apple remains heavily reliant on China both for smartphone sales as well as for its supply chain and manufacturing.
Reporting by Amal S, Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila
Opinion | I Don't Want to Be the Strong Female Lead - The New York Times
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 13:46
I moved to Los Angeles to become an actress at 24. These are character descriptions of roles I have read for: ''thin, attractive, Dave's wife''; ''robot girl, a remarkable feat of engineering''; ''her breasts are large and she's wearing a red sweater.''
I stuffed my bra for that last one. I still did not get the part.
After a while it was hard to tell what was the greater source of my depression: that I could not book a part in a horror film where I had three lines and died on Page 4, or that I was even auditioning to play these roles at all. After dozens of auditions and zero callbacks, my mom suggested I get breast implants. From her perspective, I had walked away from a coveted job at Goldman Sachs and chosen a profession of self-commodification. She wanted to help me sell better.
But I wasn't drawn to acting because I wanted to be desired. I was drawn to acting because I felt it would allow me to become the whole, embodied person I remembered being in childhood '-- one that could imagine freely, listen deeply and feel wholeheartedly.
I continued to audition and continued to fail. My depression deepened. My self-esteem plummeted. My boyfriend would get drunk and punch holes in the wall next to my head. I let him. He spat in my face. I let him. He dissolved into tears in my arms. I let him. And then I sifted through the ashes of his anger and his father's anger before him to help him uncover the forgiveness he needed to move on. I was auditioning to be ''Dave's wife.'' I was ''robot girl, a remarkable feat of engineering.''
After a day of running from men with chain saws in audition rooms and a night of running from the man I shared a bed with, I decided I was done auditioning. I felt I had to write my way out of these roles or I wouldn't find my way in the real world, either. I could not be what I could not see onscreen.
So I went to the library in downtown Los Angeles and started reading books and watching films about how to write dramas for the screen. I clung to Jodie Foster in Jonathan Demme's ''Silence of the Lambs,'' to Holly Hunter in Jane Campion's ''The Piano.''
But aside from a handful of exceptions, I was overwhelmed by the number of dramatic narratives that murdered their female characters.
Image Faye Dunaway's last stand in the 1974 film ''Chinatown.'' Credit... Paramount Pictures,via Photofest In ''The Big Heat'' she has a pot of boiling coffee thrown in her face and is then shot in the back. In ''Chinatown'' the bullet tears through her brain and out her eye. And in case this seems like a trend of the past, consider the more recent noir ''Blade Runner 2049,'' where the holographic femme fatale is deleted and the remaining women are stabbed, drowned and gutted like a fish.
Even the spirited Antigone, the brave Joan of Arc and the unfettered Thelma and Louise meet tragic ends in large part because they are spirited, brave and unfettered. They can defy kings, refuse beauty and defend themselves against violence. But it's challenging for a writer to imagine a world in which such free women can exist without brutal consequences.
We live in a world that is a direct reflection of these stories we've been telling. Close to four women a day are murdered in America at the hands of their partners or former partners. One out of every four women in America has been the victim of a rape.
I am one of those one out of four. Our narratives tell us that women are objects and objects are disposable, so we are always objectified and often disposed of.
There are centuries of trial and error inside the ''hero's journey,'' in which a young man is called to adventure, challenged by trials, faces a climactic battle and emerges victorious, changed and a hero. And while there are narrative patterns for the adventures of girls '-- ''Alice in Wonderland,'' ''The Wizard of Oz'' '-- those are few and far between, and for adult women, even less so.
Even when I found myself writing stories about women rebelling against the patriarchy, it still felt like what I largely ended up describing was the confines of patriarchy. The more fettered I felt inside the real world, the more I turned toward science fiction, speculative fiction and lo-fi fantasy.
I eventually co-wrote, produced and starred in two microbudget films, ''Another Earth'' and ''Sound of My Voice.'' Both stories left reality just far enough behind to give me the mental freedom to imagine female characters behaving in ways not often seen onscreen.
I emerged from the Sundance Film Festival with offers to act in projects I would never have been allowed to read for a week prior. Most of those roles were still girlfriend, mistress, mother. But there was a new character on offer to me as well, one that survived the story.
Enter, stage right: the Strong Female Lead.
She's an assassin, a spy, a soldier, a superhero, a C.E.O. She can make a wound compress out of a maxi pad while on the lam. She's got MacGyver's resourcefulness but looks better in a tank top.
Acting the part of the Strong Female Lead changed both who I was and what I thought I was capable of. Training to do my own stunt work made me feel formidable and respected on set. Playing scenes where I was the boss firing men tasted like empowerment. And it will always feel better to be holding the gun in the scene than to be pleading for your life at the other end of the barrel.
It would be hard to deny that there is nutrition to be drawn from any narrative that gives women agency and voice in a world where they are most often without both. But the more I acted the Strong Female Lead, the more I became aware of the narrow specificity of the characters' strengths '-- physical prowess, linear ambition, focused rationality. Masculine modalities of power.
I thought back to the films I watched and stories I read burrowed deep in the stacks of the library. I began to see something deeper and more insidious behind all those images of dead and dying women.
When we kill women in our stories, we aren't just annihilating female gendered bodies. We are annihilating the feminine as a force wherever it resides '-- in women, in men, of the natural world. Because what we really mean when we say we want strong female leads is: ''Give me a man but in the body of a woman I still want to see naked.''
It's difficult for us to imagine femininity itself '-- empathy, vulnerability, listening '-- as strong. When I look at the world our stories have helped us envision and then erect, these are the very qualities that have been vanquished in favor of an overwrought masculinity.
I've played the Strong Female Lead in real life, too '-- as an analyst at an investment bank before coming to Hollywood. I wore suits, drank Scotch neat and talked about the women and the men I was sleeping with like commodities on an open market. I buried my feminine intelligence alive in order to survive. I excelled at my linear task of making more money from a lot of money regardless of the long-term consequences for others and the environment.
The lone female V.P. on my floor and my mentor at the time gave me the following advice when she left to partner at a hedge fund: Once a week, open the door to your office when they finally give you one, and place a phone call where you shout a string of expletives in a threatening voice.
She added that there doesn't actually need to be someone on the other end of the line.
I don't believe the feminine is sublime and the masculine is horrifying. I believe both are valuable, essential, powerful. But we have maligned one, venerated the other, and fallen into exaggerated performances of both that cause harm to all. How do we restore balance? Or how do we evolve beyond the limitations that binaries like feminine/masculine present in the first place?
In 2014 I went back to the library and encountered Octavia Butler's ''Parable of the Sower,'' a sci-fi novel written in 1993 imagining a 2020 where society has largely collapsed from climate change and growing wealth inequality. Butler's heroine, the 17 year-old Lauren, has ''hyperempathy'' '-- she feels, quite literally, other people's pain. This feminine gift and curse uniquely prepares her to survive the violent attack on her community in Los Angeles and successfully encourage a small tribe north to begin again from seeds she has saved from her family's garden.
Butler felt to me like a lighthouse blinking from an island of understanding way out at sea. I had no idea how to get there, but I knew she had found something life saving. She had found a form of resistance.
Butler and other writers like Ursula Le Guin, Toni Morrison and Margaret Atwood did not employ speculative fiction to colonize other planets, enslave new life-forms, or extract alien minerals for capital gains only to have them taken at gunpoint by A.I. robots. These women used the tenets of genre to reveal the injustices of the present and imagine our evolution.
With these ideas in mind, Zal Batmanlij and I wrote and created ''The OA,'' a Netflix series about Prairie, a blind girl who is kidnapped and returns seven years later to the community she grew up in with her sight restored. She opens up to a group of lost teenage boys in her neighborhood, telling them about her captivity and the inter-dimensional travel she discovered to survive it. It turns out these boys need to hear Prairie's story as much as she needs to tell it. For the boys face their own kind of captivity: growing up inside the increasingly toxic obligations of American manhood.
As time has passed, I've come to understand what deep influence shaping a narrative has. Stories inspire our actions. They frame for us existences that are and are not possible, delineate tracks we can or cannot travel. They choose who we can find empathy for and who we cannot. What we have fellow feeling for, we protect. What we objectify and commodify, we eventually destroy.
I don't want to be the dead girl, or Dave's wife. But I don't want to be a strong female lead either, if my power is defined largely by violence and domination, conquest and colonization.
Sometimes I get a feeling of what she could be like. A truly free woman. But when I try to fit her into the hero's journey she recedes from depiction like a mirage. She says to me: Brit, the hero's journey is centuries of narrative precedent written by men to mythologize men. Its pattern is inciting incident, rising tension, explosive climax and denouement. What does that remind you of?
And I say, a male orgasm.
And she says: Correct. I love the arc of male pleasure. But how could you bring me into being if I must satisfy the choreography of his desire only?
And I say: Good on you. But then how do I bring you into being?
Then I hear only silence.
But even in the silence I dream of answers. I imagine new structures and mythologies born from the choreography of female bodies, non-gendered bodies, bodies of color, bodies of disability. I imagine excavating my own desires, wants and needs, which I have buried so deeply to meet the desires, wants and needs of men around me that I'm not yet sure how my own desire would power the protagonist of a narrative.
These are not yet solutions. But they are places to dig.
Excavating, teaching and celebrating the feminine through stories is, inside our climate emergency, a matter of human survival. The moment we start imagining a new world and sharing it with one another through story is the moment that new world may actually come.
Brit Marling (@britmarling) is the co-creator and star of ''The OA.''
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1,000 True Fans? Try 100
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 12:29
More than a decade ago, Wired editor Kevin Kelly wrote an essay called '' 1,000 True Fans ,'' predicting that the internet would allow large swaths of people to make a living off their creations, whether an artist, musician, author, or entrepreneur. Rather than pursuing widespread celebrity, he argued, creators only needed to engage a modest base of ''true fans'''--those who will ''buy anything you produce'''--to the tune of $100 per fan, per year (for a total annual income of $100,000). By embracing online networks, he believed creators could bypass traditional gatekeepers and middlemen, get paid directly by a smaller base of fans, and live comfortably off the spoils.
Today, that idea is as salient as ever'--but I propose taking it a step further. As the Passion Economy grows, more people are monetizing what they love. The global adoption of social platforms like Facebook and YouTube, the mainstreaming of the influencer model, and the rise of new creator tools has shifted the threshold for success. I believe that creators need to amass only 100 True Fans'--not 1,000'--paying them $1,000 a year, not $100. Today, creators can effectively make more money off fewer fans.
Sound unlikely? We're already seeing this shift, according to creator platforms. On Patreon , the average initial pledge amount has increased 22 percent over the past two years. Since 2017, the share of new patrons paying more than $100 per month'--or $1,200 per year'--has grown 21 percent. On the online course platform Podia , the number of creators earning more than $1,000 in a month is growing 20 percent each month, while the average number of customers per creator is growing at a rate of 10 percent. Likewise, on Teachable , the average price point per class offering has risen roughly 20 percent, year over year. In 2019, nearly 500 Teachable course creators made more than $100,000; of those, 25 averaged more than $1,000 per sale.
Now, 100 True Fans and 1,000 True Fans aren't mutually exclusive, and the revenue benchmark of $1,000 per fan per year isn't intended to be an exact prescription. Instead, this thinking provides a framework for the future of the Passion Economy: creators can segment their audiences and offer tailored products and services at varying price points.
Here's how it works: A creator can cultivate a large, free audience on horizontal social platforms or through an email list. He or she can then convert some of those users to patrons and subscribers. The creator can then leverage some of those buyers to higher-value purchases, such as extra content, exclusive access, or direct interaction with the creator.
This strategy is closely related to the concept of '' whales '' in gaming, in which 1 to 2 percent of users drive 80 percent of gaming companies' revenue (though that model is evolving ). Put simply, if you can convince a small number of super-engaged people to pay more, you can also have a general audience that pays less. By segmenting the customer base and offering greater value to top fans'--at a higher price point'--creators can earn a living with a smaller total audience.
Again, returning to the examples above, this isn't purely hypothetical. One creator on Teachable who advises artists on how to sell their art made $110,000 last year with only 76 students, at an average of $1,437 per course. Another creator who teaches physiotherapy made $141,000 with only 61 students, at an average price point of $2,314 per course. On Podia, the average revenue per user is increasing, as well. Creators who started out solely selling courses on the platform can now further monetize their audience by expanding into downloads and membership subscriptions. While making a living off the 100 True Fan model is far from commonplace, it's increasingly possible.
How to earn these high-paying super-fans? There is a substantive difference between monetizing through 1,000 True Fans (at $100 a year) and 100 True Fans (at $1,000 a year). Whereas a creator can earn $100 a year from a fan via patronage or donations, collecting $1,000 a year per fan requires a wholly different product. These fans expect to derive meaningful value and purpose from the product.
This represents a move away from the traditional donation model'--in which users pay to benefit the creator '--to a value model, in which users are willing to pay more for something that benefits themselves . What was traditionally dubbed ''self-help'' now exists under the umbrella of ''wellness.'' People are willing to pay more for exclusive, ROI-positive services that are constructive in their lives, whether it's related to health, finances, education, or work. In the offline world, people are accustomed to hiring experts across verticals (think interior designers, organizational consultants, public speaking coaches, executive coaches, and SAT tutors) and are willing to pay premium prices for the promise of measurable improvement and results. Now that mindset is filtering into our digital lives, as well.
This relates to Daniel Pink 's concept of intrinsic motivation: we're driven by Autonomy (the urge to direct one's life), Mastery (the desire to get better at something that matters), and Purpose (the yearning to do work in the service of something larger than one's self).
Regardless of the terminology, products and services in this category solve high-priority problems for consumers. Creators pursuing the 100 True Fans model recognize and monetize the desire for improvement and transformation. And better technology, such as video course platforms and improved real-time video streaming, allows for richer, higher-quality content than was possible a decade ago.
There are many examples of existing premium subscription services that have already conditioned consumers to pay high prices for services, whether $200 per month Equinox memberships, $159 per month subscriptions to Rent the Runway Unlimited, or $250+ per month subscriptions to Purple Carrot.
This trend is paralleled in the SaaS world , where paid versions of free software cater to power users or prosumers. Though free versions of these products exist, power users chose the paid version for the efficiency and heightened user experience. Compare, for example, YouTube's wealth of free video tutorials versus a paid education platform like MasterClass ($90 per class) or Juni Learning ($250/month for private kids coding classes). While YouTube offers a massive amount of high-quality free content, it can be difficult to navigate and personalize. New paid creator platforms are less about mere entertainment or delight, and more about providing a full solution for the user's desired outcome, including curriculum, accountability, and community.
The recipe for earning $1,000 per fan The monetization strategy for 100 True Fans also differs from the 1,000 True Fans convention. Easy perks like offering users ad-free content and access to back-catalogs can help creators monetize at a lower dollar amount. But to gain fans who are willing to pay $1,000 a year'--no small sum'--creators need to offer a step-function increase in value. The recipe, then, is to go niche and to tap into users' desire for results. Practically, what does that look like? It means providing differentiated content, community, accountability, and access.
Premium content and community that has no close substitutes Delivering tangible value and results Accountability Access, recognition and status Let's unpack each:
Premium content and community with no close substitutes People are willing to pay high prices for exclusive, differentiated content and access to a network of like-minded individuals. In late 2019, two financial advisors-turned-podcasters launched a private, paid community called Advisor Growth Community (powered by the platform Mighty Networks ). The online hub charges financial advisors $2,000 per year to collaborate with colleagues and learn how to grow their practices. It currently has nearly 100 members in its ranks. The career development program Reforge, a masterclass for growth and marketing strategies, charges upwards of $3,000 per seat to hundreds of participants each year.
Frequently, premium content and community are bundled together to enhance the student experience by providing valuable social reinforcement and support.
Delivering tangible value and results In China, the unicorn audio course platform Dedao sells paid audio courses that appeal to users' desire for self-improvement and lifelong learning. The best selling topics include management, study skills, and public speaking. These classes can reach up to 199 RMB (approximately $28 USD)'--a meaningful sum in a country where the average income is 21,600 RMB (~$3,100 USD). The most popular course is taught by former Peking University professor Xue Zhaofeng and has over 470,000 subscribers.
While the US podcasting industry is still modestly monetized through advertising, the flourishing ecosystem of paid meditation and audio wellness apps like Headspace, Calm, and Aaptiv'--all of which charge subscribers directly'--indicate that users are willing to pay for content that tangibly affects their well-being.
Accountability The more a student pays up front, the more invested he or she is in achieving the desired outcome. Higher-priced creators don't only offer more or better content, they also motivate and incentivize students to get what they paid for. For instance, the premium version ($699 vs. $499) of productivity expert Tiago Forte's Teachable class on digital note-taking and productivity includes eight expert interviews, 16 note templates, six advanced tutorials, and access to a members-only blog. Tiago also shares his numbers publicly , reinforcing the perception of accountability.
Access, recognition, and status On Patreon, the comedy podcast This Might Get Weird has $5 per month and $15 per month tiers, both of which afford access to a Discord community and extra content. The creator also offers a limited number of $69 per month ($828 per year) subscriptions, which provides a monthly, 30-minute livestream, among other benefits. But the highest-priced offering is a $500 per month ($6,000 per year) tier, which grants users personal coaching sessions with the podcast hosts, via video chat, every 3 months. The top tier offers a level of exclusivity and access that matches the price'--100 times more expensive than the base tier.
There are also big, growing businesses in China, such as Bixin, Taobao, and Heizhu Esports (from Netease), in which people pay creators to play video games with them. Some of these users are earning tens of thousands of dollars per month as paid game companions. Beyond purchasing personal recognition from the creator, there's also the potential recognition of other fans. In the gaming world, whales often lord their big spending habits over non-spenders, thus providing an aspirational target for everyone else. More broadly, products can be designed in such a way that super-fans receive social affirmation from ''normal'' fans, triggering a positively reinforcing network effect that increases the value of super-fans, beyond the monetary spend.
Twitch streamers can rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from donations and tips'--in one recent case, a streamer received a $75,000 tip . The personalized shoutouts from the streamer, recognition, and elevated social status that such donations afford lead to higher levels of spending. It's worth noting that limited access and recognition are unscalable, to some extent: people are, by definition, paying high amounts to gain exclusive access or to elevate their status above other users.
From 1,000 to 100: Fewer, truer fans The creator economy is in the midst of a decisive shift'--from a ''bigger is better,'' ad-driven revenue model to one of niche communities and direct user-to-creator payment. An emerging category of digital platforms is helping people to translate their skills and talents into businesses. But as the creator landscape evolves, the playbook needs updating. Click To Tweet
Rather than viewing one's fans as a uniform group, the 100 True Fans model calls on creators to distinguish between various subsegments based on affinity and willingness to pay. The relationship super-fans have with creators is different from regular fans: they become disciples, prot(C)g(C)s, co-learners, and co-creators. As such, they require a whole new set of tools and platforms.
The key to monetizing at $1,000 per fan, per year is tailored offerings priced at tiered levels. A creator might have a broad follower base on free social platforms, convert some of those followers to one-time purchasers or patrons, then uplevel some of those users to high-paying super-fans. For founders and operators, that means building products that align monetization with the end user value.
The 100 True Fans concept isn't for everyone, nor is 1,000 True Fans. Creators that have larger, more diffuse audiences with weaker allegiance or engagement are likely better off monetizing through sponsorships or branded products. For many, that path will be more lucrative'--and require less heavy lifting'--than designing the sort of high-value, personalized program 100 True Fans demand.
As the tech analyst and blogger Ben Thompson once said, ''The internet enables niche in a massively powerful way.'' For creators who earn the trust of a niche audience and who deliver what those users crave'--whether self-improvement, connection, recognition, or belonging'--100 True Fans provides an updated monetization model for the fast-growing Passion Economy.
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Tesla Remotely Removes Autopilot Features From Customer's Used Tesla Without Any Notice
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 10:39
One of the less-considered side effects of car features moving from hardware to software is that important features and abilities of a car can now be removed without any actual contact with a given car. Where once de-contenting involved at least a screwdriver (or, if you were in a hurry, a hammer), now thousands of dollars of options can vanish with the click of a mouse somewhere. And that's exactly what happened to one Tesla owner, and, it seems many others.
Alec (I'll withhold his last name for privacy reasons) bought a 2017 Tesla Model S on December 20 of last year, from a third-party dealer who bought the car directly from Tesla via auction on November 15, 2019. The car was sold at auction as a result of a California Lemon Law buyback, as the car suffered from a well-known issue where the center-stack screen developed a noticeable yellow border.
When the dealer bought the car at auction from Tesla on November 15, it was optioned with both Enhanced Autopilot and Tesla's confusingly-named Full Self Driving Capability ; together, these options totaled $8,000. You can see them right on the Monroney sticker for the car:
Tesla officially sold the car to the dealership on November 15, a date I've confirmed by seeing the car's title. On November 18, Tesla seems to have conducted an ''audit'' of the car remotely. The result of that audit was that when the car's software was updated to the latest version in December, the Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self Driving Capability (FSD) were removed from the car.
Tesla confirmed the date of the audit'--which flagged the features for removal'--in an invoice:
A disclosure statement from Tesla to the dealership at the time of the sale does not mention anything about Autopilot or FSD removal:
It's also worth noting that those repairs on the disclosure were not actually made, which is why Alec took his car to a service center in January.
Let's recap a little bit at this point: A Model S with Enhanced Autopilot (which includes the Summon feature) and FSD ''capability'' is sold at auction, a dealer buys it, after the sale to the dealer Tesla checks in on the car and decides that it shouldn't have Autopilot or FSD ''capability,'' dealer sells car to customer based on the specifications they were aware the car had (and were shown on the window sticker, and confirmed via a screenshot from the car's display showing the options), and later, when the customer upgrades the car's software, Autopilot and FSD disappear.
When Alec asked Tesla customer support about this, this was their response:
Tesla has recent identified instances of customers being incorrectly configured for Autopilot versions that they did not pay for. Since, there was an audit done to correct these instances. Your vehicle is one of the vehicles that was incorrectly configured for Autopilot. We looked back at your purchase history and unfortunately Full-Self Driving was not a feature that you had paid for. We apologize for the confusion. If you are still interested in having those additional features we can begin the process to purchase the upgrade.
This is all very puzzling. Alec bought the car from a dealer based on a set of features that the dealer understood the car to have when purchased at auction. If Alec saw that the car had Autopilot and FSD when he paid for it, how, exactly, did he not pay for those features?
Those features together are worth $8,000, but as they were already on the car when he bought it, it's hard to understand how he somehow didn't pay for them?
I realize that these are software features, but they act like any physical feature of a car. You don't pay a subscription for FSD or Autopilot, you pay a one-time fee, just like you would for an electromechanical cruise control system on any other car.
If you buy, say, a used Ford Ecosport (not my first choice, but you do you) that has lane keeping assist and active cruise control, and Ford somehow thinks you didn't pay for those particular features and sends over a service tech to physically remove them from your car, I think we'd all consider that pretty wrong. We might even consider that theft. I'm not clear how what Tesla did here is any different.
If Tesla had conducted their audit prior to the sale of the car, and made everyone in the loop aware that the car was being de-contented, then that would be one thing; still kind of shitty, but a bit more defensible.
But this audit happened after the initial sale of the car. The car was no longer owned by Tesla at the time of the audit, and none of the parties involved were aware that features were being removed from the car.
As an experiment, Alec reached out to a Tesla Used Vehicle Sales Advisor to try and see if he could ask for Autopilot and FSD to be removed from a used vehicle.
Alec suggested he wanted a particular car, but wanted to save money by having FSD deleted. The Sales Advisor told him that
''...if it's added and it's a used car they just simply will not remove it.''
That goes directly against Alec's experience, where Tesla did remove FSD from a used car.
Alec isn't alone in his experience; Tesla message boards have stories from other owners who have experienced similar incidents.
All of what happened here goes completely counter to how we've understood the buying and selling of used cars since there were used cars to sell. Whatever equipment the car had on it at the time of sale was part of that sale, period.
Subscription-based services like OnStar would be different, but that's not what we're dealing with here; this is an optional feature of the car paid for once, like cruise control or A/C or a radio. You can't just yank it out after the car is sold with those features understood to be part of the car.
It sets a bad precedent if carmakers are going to be able to de-content used cars after sale; technically, any feature that is available to be activated or deactivated in software could be vulnerable to something like this, and I can't think of any context where remote removal after purchase is okay.
In fact, it seems like a pretty shitty thing to do, a craven attempt to double-dip and get money for the same features every time the car is re-sold.
I've reached out to Tesla for comment multiple times over the week and have gotten no response. I'll update when, and if, I do.
Bloomberg campaign busted for plagiarizing policy plans | Raw Story
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 10:21
Michael Bloomberg's presidential campaign appears to have plagiarized portions of its policy plans from news outlets, research publications, non-profit organizations and policy groups.
An analysis by The Intercept found the campaign lifted text '-- sometimes verbatim '-- without attribution for policy plans on maternal health, LGBTQ equality, the economy, tax policy, infrastructure and mental health.
At least eight plans or fact sheets distributed by the Bloomberg campaign copied material from CNN, Time and CBS News, among others, as well as the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the American Medical Association, all without attribution.
The campaign didn't deny that plagiarism but instead blamed the issue on technical difficulties.
''Much of what you flagged were fact sheets that went out via MailChimp,'' the campaign said in a statement, ''which doesn't support footnote formatting. When we announce policy platforms, we put together detailed fact sheets with context and supporting background, so that reporters understand the problem we're trying to solve with our policy. For sourcing, we often look to the organizations that Mike has led or worked with in the past, like the City of New York and Building America's Future. We have since added citations and links to these documents.''
Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City and a billionaire businessman, has ties to some of the organizations his campaign plagiarized, including Everytown for Gun Safety, which he co-founded, and Building America's Future Educational Fund.
White House sees minimal impact on U.S. economy from China's coronavirus | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 10:20
Fri Feb 7, 2020 / 10:30 AM EST
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House's economic adviser on Friday said that President Donald Trump's administration does not expect the coronavirus in China will have a major effect on the U.S. economy.
"There's a lot of variables involved and things we don't know. Internally we have looked at a drop in GDP of perhaps two-tenths of 1% - that's all we found so far. Again, based on the past and based on what we're seeing " said National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow to reporters at the White House. "We think it will be an absolute minimal impact."
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
Shrinking country: Serbia struggles with population decline
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 08:03
Uros Trainovic walks inside his house decorated with picture of former Yugoslav communist president Josip Broz Tito, in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. An abandoned house is seen in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. An abandoned factory is seen near the town of Kucevo, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. An old Yugoslavian coat-of-arms is seen on an abandoned school building in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. How the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia looked like fifty years ago. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. An abandoned house is seen in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. An abandoned house is seen in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. Assistant Professor from Columbia University Ruth Finkelstein speaks during an interview to The Associated Press, in Belgrade, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. Finkelstein said Serbia should also strive to find a role for its growing elderly population. Program Director at the World Population International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Wolfgang Lutz speaks during an interview to The Associated Press, in Belgrade, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. Lutz explained that the main problem in Serbia is the composition of people who are leaving the country, rather than the mere population decline. An abandoned house is seen in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. Uros Trainovic stands and gestures in front of his house, in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. An abandoned house is seen in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. An old Yugoslavian coat-of-arms is seen on an abandoned school building in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. An abandoned house is seen near the town of Kucevo, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. A dilapidated bridge close an abandoned factory is seen near the town of Kucevo, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. A sign reading in Serbian "House for sale" stands in front of a house, in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. According to the World Bank, Serbia's population of just below 7 million is projected to fall to 5.8 million by 2050. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. An abandoned house is seen in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. An abandoned house is seen in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. An abandoned house is seen in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. An abandoned house is seen in the village of Blagojev Kamen, Serbia. Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help. February 07, 2020The transformation of Blagojev Kamen is not unique in a country that experienced years of war and sanctions in the 1990s following the break-up of Yugoslavia. In a twist of historical irony, one of the causes behind those years of war was the idea of creating a Greater Serbia out of the ashes of the former Yugoslavia.
Near-empty villages with abandoned, crumbling houses can be seen all over Serbia '-- a clear symptom of a shrinking population that is raising acute questions over the economic well-being of the country. The decline is happening so fast it's considered a national emergency and the United Nations has stepped in to help.
"This village used to be full of people, I used to go to school here,'' the 71-year-old Trainovic recalls. ''It is such a pity and so sad that everybody left ... now there are only few of us and there are no young people any more.''
However it's measured, the numbers look stark. According to the World Bank, Serbia's population of just below 7 million is projected to fall to 5.8 million by 2050. That would represent a 25% fall since 1990.
The Serbian government says the Balkan country is effectively losing a town each year, and that as many as 18 municipalities have fewer than 10,000 people: ''We are 103 people less each day." Population changes are a fact of life across Europe, but the problem is acutely different in Central and Eastern Europe where the low fertility rates that are commonplace in developed countries combine with high migration rates and low immigration more akin to developing nations.
The economic knock-on effects on a country striving to join the European Union are evident and amount to billions of dollars in the short term. In the longer run, there are also costs related to the fact that a smaller population of working age will have to contribute more to support the ranks of those of pensionable age.
The U.N. Development Program and the U.N. Population Fund have assembled a group of seven international experts of different backgrounds and specialities to help out. The members visited Serbia last month for a fact-finding mission.
Wolfgang Lutz, an Austrian expert in demographics at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, or IIASA, said the main problem is related to the make-up of those leaving Serbia rather than the overall population decline.
''We see that it tends to be the better-educated, the more highly skilled, the more highly motivated mobile people who are leaving and that is certainly a drain of the human capital,'' he told The Associated Press in an interview.
Reflecting the decades of crisis are villages like Blagojev Kamen. It had flourished when a nearby gold mine kept the area alive before and after World War II, but its fortunes have sunk as the mine closed down in the mid-1990s.
Trainovic said there are still gold and other minerals in the mine but that it needs investment and hard work. ''One of my sons is in Germany and the other one is in Austria,'' he said. ''They visit often but they have nothing to return to.''
Serbia's government has tried to buck the trend, offering financial benefits for couples with multiple children, state-backed IVF, the renovation of schools and day care centers, aid to families in rural areas or backing for businesses in villages.
Ruth Finkelstein, an assistant professor from Columbia University who is an expert on aging and its social implications, said Serbia should also strive to find a role for its growing elderly population.
''Room after room, people focus only on the young people,'' she said. It's not only Serbia that is worried. Serbia's neighbor Croatia, which currently holds the European Union's rotating six-month presidency, has made the ''pressing issue of demographic challenges'' a priority. Croatia's rural areas have been emptying at an alarming rate while more than 15% of Croatia's 4.2 million people are living and working abroad. Bulgaria and Ukraine are two others enduring population declines.
Stjepan Sterc, a prominent Croatian demography expert, thinks the efforts to deal with the problems so far across the Balkans are not enough and that the tax system has to be more focused on reversing the trends.
''Demography should be recognized as the essence of economic development so that the most important encouragement tool is directed toward it,'' he said. Lutz, who directs the World Population Program for the IIASA, said small countries can have a competitive advantage.
''I've seen a lot of pessimism, I've seen a lot of panic even about what is happening,'' he said. ''The challenge is to convert this ... into some action that is positive, making this a more revitalized, more vibrant society again, that looks into the future.''
Africa, Intertwined With China, Fears Coronavirus Outbreak - The New York Times
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 07:58
There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Africa yet, but with steady traffic to and from China, experts worry that the epidemic could overrun already-strained health systems.
Passengers at the international airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a hub for travel between Africa and China. Credit... Luke Dray/Getty Images ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia '-- As the 9 a.m. flight from Dubai arrived at the international airport in Ethiopia's capital on Wednesday, four government health specialists in face masks and protective glasses worked their way to the line of incoming passengers to check their passports.
The health specialists found what they were looking for '-- two passengers who had just returned from China '-- and pulled them aside to check their temperatures to see if they might have been infected by the coronavirus.
The two passengers had normal temperatures, so were allowed to continue on their way, a government policy that does not account for an incubation period that is up to 14 days.
As the coronavirus wreaks havoc in China and has spread to countries around the world, experts are increasingly concerned that Africa is particularly vulnerable.
The continent's health system is already fragile. It has few facilities even to test for the virus. Its doctors are already straining to contain deadly outbreaks of other diseases, like malaria, measles and Ebola.
And on top of that, Africa has large numbers of Chinese workers, many now returning to the continent after visits to China for the Lunar New Year. Meanwhile, some of the 81,000 African students who have been studying in China are now heading home. But while more and more countries tighten their controls over travel with China, Ethiopia has kept the door open and the planes flying.
If the coronavirus hits Africa, said Dr. John Nkengasong, director of Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Addis Ababa, ''it will be massive.''
There have been 32 suspected cases of coronavirus in Africa, but none tested positive for the virus, according to the Africa C.D.C. But until this week, only two countries on the continent '-- South Africa and Senegal '-- had laboratories capable of testing for the coronavirus.
Most hospitals on the continent, other than large ones in capitals or regional seats, do not have the intensive care units that patients diagnosed with the coronavirus might require, experts say.
Updated Feb. 5, 2020
What is a Coronavirus, and how dangerous is it? Read up on the respiratory virus, including its symptoms and how it is transmitted. How bad could the outbreak be? Here are the six key factors that will determine whether it can be contained. Where has the virus spread? You can track its movement with this map. How is the United States being affected? There have been at least a dozen cases. American citizens and permanent residents who fly to the United States from China are now subject to a two-week quarantine. What if I'm traveling? Several countries, including the United States, have discouraged travel to China, and several airlines have canceled flights. Many travelers have been left in limbo while looking to change or cancel bookings. How do I keep myself and others safe? Washing your hands is the most important thing you can do. ''If this happens in Africa it will be a huge struggle because the health services are quite overstretched dealing with ongoing diseases like malaria and measles and the current Ebola outbreak,'' said Michel Yao, the World Health Organization's Emergency Operations Program Manager for Africa.
Africa was largely spared in 2002 and 2003 when the SARS virus, which also originated in China, spread around the world, killing nearly 800 people and infecting more than 8,000, mostly in China and Hong Kong. Africa reported only one case, in South Africa.
But the risk is far greater now, experts say. China and Africa have become intertwined in the last two decades as China has expanded its political, economic, and military ties to Africa, funding large infrastructure projects and pledging tens of billions of dollars in investments and loans.
Chinese citizens have flocked to Africa, working in industries ranging from manufacturing and technology to health care and construction. Estimates of how many Chinese are now living in Africa range from about 200,000 to as many as two million.
Air travel between China and Africa has increased exponentially in the last decade alone, from one flight a day to an average of eight direct flights.
Ethiopian Airlines, Africa's biggest and most profitable carrier, is the main gateway between China and Africa, shuttling up to 1,500 passengers each day between Addis Ababa and China on dozens of weekly flights. The airline has a center in the Addis Ababa airport to help Chinese travelers easily process their visas to dozens of African states. The Ethiopian airport itself was built in part with funding from China.
The Ethiopian carrier has continued operating its China routes while many other international airlines '-- including African carriers like Kenya Airways, Egypt Air, and Morocco's Royal Air '-- have suspended flights to China.
The Ethiopian airline and government have now come under criticism in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak over speculation that China pressured the Ethiopian government not to halt the flights.
The office of the prime minister and Ethiopian Airlines both declined to comment, referring questions to the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, which is dealing with Ethiopia's response to the coronavirus.
Lia Tadesse, Ethiopia's state minister of health, said the decision to continue flights to China came not from her ministry but from ''a higher government level.'' But she denied there was any pressure from China.
Yet travelers between China and Africa can also arrive through hubs in other continents, providing further pathways for the virus.
So African countries and global health organizations are now scrambling to ramp up the capacity to cope with the epidemic.
Ethiopia has built isolation units at the airport in Addis Ababa, and designated specific intensive care units in hospitals, said Ms. Tadesse, Ethiopia's health minister.
The W.H.O. said this week that four more countries '-- Ghana, Madagascar, Nigeria and Sierra Leone '-- can now conduct the tests. Ethiopia says it will have testing capabilities by the end of the week. But many other African countries will still have to send test kits elsewhere, delaying any response.
''Unfortunately, many disease surveillance systems throughout African countries are weak and most of the continent lacks diagnostic capability,'' said Dr. Ngozi Erondu, associate fellow in the Global Health Program at Chatham House, an international affairs research group in London. ''Identifying most cases and controlling the outbreak could be difficult, especially in the poorest and most resource-constrained countries.''
The World Health Organization is stepping up aid to 13 African countries that have direct links or a high volume of travel to China, working to improve early detection of cases and speed samples to labs that can do the tests. The agency has said it will need $675 million through April, primarily to assist poor countries in Africa and Asia with weak public health systems. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday committed $100 million to fight the virus, partly for at-risk populations in Africa.
With no cases yet confirmed in Africa itself, many Africans have focused their concern on the students who are living in China and may have been exposed.
About 4,600 African students and citizens live in the epidemic's center, Hubei province, whose capital, Wuhan, is where the coronavirus first emerged, according to Development Reimagined, a consulting organization with headquarters in Beijing.
In all, more than 81,000 Africans were studying in mainland China in 2018, lured by generous scholarships, affordable tuition and the hope of becoming a bridge connecting their nations and an ascendant China.
The first African to be diagnosed with coronavirus is a 21-year-old Cameroonian student studying at Yangtze University in Hubei province.
The lockdown in Wuhan is taking a toll on students like Abdikadir Mohamed, a 23-year-old from Somalia who has been studying petroleum engineering at the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan.
Mr. Mohamed, who the Somali government said is one of 50 Somalis living in Wuhan, said that for nearly 20 hours a day, he doesn't leave his one-bedroom apartment.
The experience is like being ''stuck in a bad dream,'' he said in a telephone call on Tuesday.
While other African countries, including Morocco, Mauritius and Egypt, have evacuated their citizens from China, Mr. Mohamed said that the Somali students' pleas to their government to evacuate them have been futile.
''Our families are worried,'' Mr. Mohamed said. ''They are calling us every minute. If you don't pick the phone at once, they panic.''
Simon Marks reported from Addis Ababa, and Abdi Latif Dahir from Nairobi, Kenya. Lynsey Chutel contributed reporting from Johannesburg, Ruth Maclean from Dakar, and Donald G. McNeil Jr. from New York.
Women of color bolt Warren's Nevada campaign in frustration - POLITICO
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 06:44
Another recently departed staffer, also a field organizer, granted anonymity because she feared reprisal, echoed that sentiment. ''I felt like a problem '-- like I was there to literally bring color into the space but not the knowledge and voice that comes with it,'' she said in an interview.
She added: ''We all were routinely silenced and not given a meaningful chance on the campaign. Complaints, comments, advice, and grievances were met with an earnest shake of the head and progressive buzzwords but not much else.'' A third former field organizer who was also granted anonymity said those descriptions matched her own experience.
The other three women who recently left the campaign did not respond to requests for comment. One of the departed staffers declined to be interviewed because she feared professional consequences in an arena where it's already difficult for women of color to advance, according to another ex-Warren employee who spoke with her about the situation.
The turmoil in Warren's Nevada operation comes ahead of the state's Feb. 22 caucuses. Nevada is important not only because of its early spot on the nominating calendar but because it is the first chance for candidates to prove that their appeal extends beyond white voters who dominate the Democratic electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The problems in Warren's Nevada campaign heighten the importance of a rebound in New Hampshire after a third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. Of the first four voting states, Nevada is the one Warren has visited the least: She has spent just 12 days there, another factor that dispirited the state's staff. This week, her campaign also scaled back its television ads in the state by about $140,000.
Warren's campaign did not dispute the women's accounts but suggested they do not reflect a broader problem within her large, 31-state organization.
''We strive for an inclusive environment and work hard to learn and improve,'' Warren campaign spokesperson Kristen Orthman said in a statement. ''We have an organization of more than a thousand people, and whenever we hear concerns, we take them seriously. It's important that everyone who is part of our team has a voice and can be heard. That's why we are proud that we have a unionized staff and clear processes for issues to be addressed.''
The women said the issues within the campaign hurt the larger effort to marshal votes, particularly in the state's large Latino communities. Spanish-language literature didn't arrive until late in the fall despite repeated requests from many staffers. There were too few Spanish-speaking organizers, the former staffers said, despite asking the campaign to hire more. They felt it was a constant battle to set up events in Spanish.
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The problems were exacerbated by conflicting leadership at the top. Warren campaign headquarters in Boston quietly dispatched Democratic operative Kevin Brown to Nevada in November. One of the former female staffers, as well as a separate former Warren official in the state who was not authorized to speak on the matter, said it was unclear who was in charge, Brown or state director Suzy Smith.
The tumult in Warren's Nevada operation comes during a larger transition in Democratic campaigns, as a new generation of women and people of color fill the ranks of organizers and campaign managers. For generations, campaigns have been dominated by white men, especially at the top. But this year's Democratic field has seen record diversity among campaign managers, including Warren's Roger Lau who is the first Asian-American campaign manager for a major presidential candidate.
Some campaigns have struggled with these changes, including Pete Buttigieg's, which has had some staffers of color depart and faced internal complaints from minority staffers.
All three departed Warren staffers said they did not want to hurt the Massachusetts senator's candidacy but decided to talk to a reporter because they believe their issues are not uncommon on campaigns and that will only change if the issues are aired. Two of them said they are unsure whether they will still support Warren after their experience, but Lewis said she will be caucusing for her.
She said she felt compelled to speak out because she believed the campaign's internal systems failed and needed to be fixed. Too often, Lewis said, such problems are ignored or swept under the rug because people fear damaging the larger cause.
''Every election will always be the most important election of our lifetimes,'' Lewis said. ''Organizing culture needs to change because the fact is our well-being is more important than any election. I hope this starts a conversation that helps facilitate personal reflection about ways we can change campaign culture.''
Bootstrapping - Wikipedia
Thu, 06 Feb 2020 23:46
In general, bootstrapping usually refers to a self-starting process that is supposed to proceed without external input. In computer technology the term (usually shortened to booting) usually refers to the process of loading the basic software into the memory of a computer after power-on or general reset, especially the operating system which will then take care of loading other software as needed.
The term appears to have originated in the early 19th-century United States (particularly in the phrase "pull oneself over a fence by one's bootstraps") to mean an absurdly impossible action, an adynaton.[1][2][3]
Etymology Edit A pair of boots with one bootstrap visible
Tall boots may have a tab, loop or handle at the top known as a bootstrap, allowing one to use fingers or a boot hook tool to help pulling the boots on. The saying "to pull oneself up by one's bootstraps"[3] was already in use during the 19th century as an example of an impossible task. The idiom dates at least to 1834, when it appeared in the Workingman's Advocate: "It is conjectured that Mr. Murphee will now be enabled to hand himself over the Cumberland river or a barn yard fence by the straps of his boots."[4] In 1860 it appeared in a comment on philosophy of mind: "The attempt of the mind to analyze itself [is] an effort analogous to one who would lift himself by his own bootstraps."[5] Bootstrap as a metaphor, meaning to better oneself by one's own unaided efforts, was in use in 1922.[6] This metaphor spawned additional metaphors for a series of self-sustaining processes that proceed without external help.[7]
The term is sometimes attributed to a story in Rudolf Erich Raspe's The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen, but in that story Baron Munchausen pulls himself (and his horse) out of a swamp by his hair (specifically, his pigtail), not by his bootstraps '' and no explicit reference to bootstraps has been found elsewhere in the various versions of the Munchausen tales.[4]
Applications Edit Computing Edit Software loading and execution Edit Booting is the process of starting a computer, specifically with regard to starting its software. The process involves a chain of stages, in which at each stage a smaller, simpler program loads and then executes the larger, more complicated program of the next stage. It is in this sense that the computer "pulls itself up by its bootstraps", i.e. it improves itself by its own efforts. Booting is a chain of events that starts with execution of hardware-based procedures and may then hand-off to firmware and software which is loaded into main memory. Booting often involves processes such as performing self-tests, loading configuration settings, loading a BIOS, resident monitors, a hypervisor, an operating system, or utility software.
The computer term bootstrap began as a metaphor in the 1950s. In computers, pressing a bootstrap button caused a hardwired program to read a bootstrap program from an input unit. The computer would then execute the bootstrap program, which caused it to read more program instructions. It became a self-sustaining process that proceeded without external help from manually entered instructions. As a computing term, bootstrap has been used since at least 1953.[8]
Software development Edit Bootstrapping can also refer to the development of successively more complex, faster programming environments. The simplest environment will be, perhaps, a very basic text editor (e.g., ed) and an assembler program. Using these tools, one can write a more complex text editor, and a simple compiler for a higher-level language and so on, until one can have a graphical IDE and an extremely high-level programming language.
Historically, bootstrapping also refers to an early technique for computer program development on new hardware. The technique described in this paragraph has been replaced by the use of a cross compiler executed by a pre-existing computer. Bootstrapping in program development began during the 1950s when each program was constructed on paper in decimal code or in binary code, bit by bit (1s and 0s), because there was no high-level computer language, no compiler, no assembler, and no linker. A tiny assembler program was hand-coded for a new computer (for example the IBM 650) which converted a few instructions into binary or decimal code: A1. This simple assembler program was then rewritten in its just-defined assembly language but with extensions that would enable the use of some additional mnemonics for more complex operation codes. The enhanced assembler's source program was then assembled by its predecessor's executable (A1) into binary or decimal code to give A2, and the cycle repeated (now with those enhancements available), until the entire instruction set was coded, branch addresses were automatically calculated, and other conveniences (such as conditional assembly, macros, optimisations, etc.) established. This was how the early assembly program SOAP (Symbolic Optimal Assembly Program) was developed. Compilers, linkers, loaders, and utilities were then coded in assembly language, further continuing the bootstrapping process of developing complex software systems by using simpler software.
The term was also championed by Doug Engelbart to refer to his belief that organizations could better evolve by improving the process they use for improvement (thus obtaining a compounding effect over time). His SRI team that developed the NLS hypertext system applied this strategy by using the tool they had developed to improve the tool.
Compilers Edit The development of compilers for new programming languages first developed in an existing language but then rewritten in the new language and compiled by itself, is another example of the bootstrapping notion. Using an existing language to bootstrap a new language is one way to solve the "chicken or the egg" causality dilemma.
Installers Edit During the installation of computer programs, it is sometimes necessary to update the installer or package manager itself. The common pattern for this is to use a small executable bootstrapper file (e.g., setup.exe) which updates the installer and starts the real installation after the update. Sometimes the bootstrapper also installs other prerequisites for the software during the bootstrapping process.
Overlay networks Edit A bootstrapping node, also known as a rendezvous host,[9] is a node in an overlay network that provides initial configuration information to newly joining nodes so that they may successfully join the overlay network.[10][11]
Discrete-event simulation Edit A type of computer simulation called discrete-event simulation represents the operation of a system as a chronological sequence of events. A technique called bootstrapping the simulation model is used, which bootstraps initial data points using a pseudorandom number generator to schedule an initial set of pending events, which schedule additional events, and with time, the distribution of event times approaches its steady state'--the bootstrapping behavior is overwhelmed by steady-state behavior.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning Edit Bootstrapping is a technique used to iteratively improve a classifier's performance. Typically, multiple classifiers will be trained on different sets of the input data, and on prediction tasks the output of the different classifiers will be combined together.
Seed AI is a hypothesized type of artificial intelligence capable of recursive self-improvement. Having improved itself, it would become better at improving itself, potentially leading to an exponential increase in intelligence. No such AI is known to exist, but it remains an active field of research. Seed AI is a significant part of some theories about the technological singularity: proponents believe that the development of seed AI will rapidly yield ever-smarter intelligence (via bootstrapping) and thus a new era.[12][13]
Statistics Edit Bootstrapping is a resampling technique used to obtain estimates of summary statistics.
Business Edit Bootstrapping in business means starting a business without external help or working capital. Entrepreneurs in the startup development phase of their company, survive through internal cash flow and are very cautious with their expenses.[14] Generally at the start of a venture, a small amount of money will be set aside for the bootstrap process.[15] Bootstrapping can also be a supplement for econometric models.[16] Bootstrapping was also expanded upon in the book Bootstrap Business by Richard Christiansen, the Harvard Business Review article The Art of Bootstrapping and the follow-up book The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses by Amar Bhide. There is also an entire bible written on how to properly bootstrap by Seth Godin.
Startups can grow by reinvesting profits in its own growth if bootstrapping costs are low and return on investment is high. This financing approach allows owners to maintain control of their business and forces them to spend with discipline.[17] In addition, bootstrapping allows startups to focus on customers rather than investors, thereby increasing the likelihood of creating a profitable business. This leaves startups with a better exit strategy with greater returns.Leveraged buyouts, or highly leveraged or "bootstrap" transactions, occur when an investor acquires a controlling interest in a company's equity and where a significant percentage of the purchase price is financed through leverage, i.e. borrowing by the acquired company.Bootstrapping in finance refers to the method to create the spot rate curve.Operation Bootstrap (Operaci"n Manos a la Obra) refers to the ambitious projects that industrialized Puerto Rico in the mid-20th century.Biology Edit Richard Dawkins in his book River Out of Eden[18] used the computer bootstrapping concept to explain how biological cells differentiate: "Different cells receive different combinations of chemicals, which switch on different combinations of genes, and some genes work to switch other genes on or off. And so the bootstrapping continues, until we have the full repertoire of different kinds of cells."
Phylogenetics Edit Bootstrapping analysis gives a way to judge the strength of support for clades on phylogenetic trees. A number is written by a node, which reflects the percentage of bootstrap trees which also resolve the clade at the endpoints of that branch.[19]
Law Edit Bootstrapping is a rule preventing the admission of hearsay evidence in conspiracy cases.
Linguistics Edit Bootstrapping is a theory of language acquisition.
Physics Edit Quantum theory Edit Bootstrapping is using very general consistency criteria to determine the form of a quantum theory from some assumptions on the spectrum of particles or operators.
Magnetically confined fusion plasmas Edit In tokamak fusion devices, bootstrapping refers to the process in which a bootstrap current is self-generated by the plasma, which reduces or eliminates the need for an external current driver. Maximising the bootstrap current is a major goal of advanced tokamak designs.
Inertially confined fusion plasmas Edit Bootstrapping in inertial confinement fusion refers to the alpha particles produced in the fusion reaction providing further heating to the plasma. This heating leads to ignition and an overall energy gain.
Electronics Edit Bootstrapping is a form of positive feedback in analog circuit design.
Electric power grid Edit An electric power grid is almost never brought down intentionally. Generators and power stations are started and shut down as necessary. A typical power station requires power for start up prior to being able to generate power. This power is obtained from the grid, so if the entire grid is down these stations cannot be started.
Therefore, to get a grid started, there must be at least a small number of power stations that can start entirely on their own. A black start is the process of restoring a power station to operation without relying on external power. In the absence of grid power, one or more black starts are used to bootstrap the grid.
Cellular networks Edit A Bootstrapping Server Function (BSF) is an intermediary element in cellular networks which provides application independent functions for mutual authentication of user equipment and servers unknown to each other and for 'bootstrapping' the exchange of secret session keys afterwards. The term 'bootstrapping' is related to building a security relation with a previously unknown device first and to allow installing security elements (keys) in the device and the BSF afterwards.
Media Edit A media bootstrap is the process whereby a story or meme is deliberately (but artificially) produced by self and peer-referential journalism, originally within a tight circle of media content originators, often commencing with stories written within the same media organization.[20] This story is then expanded into a general media "accepted wisdom" with the aim of having it accepted as self-evident "common knowledge" by the reading, listening and viewing publics. The key feature of a media bootstrap is that as little hard, verifiable, external evidence as possible is used to support the story, preference being given to the citation (often unattributed) of other media stories, i.e. "journalists interviewing journalists".
Because the campaign is usually originated and at least initially concocted internally by a media organization with a particular agenda in mind, within a closed loop of reportage and opinionation, the campaign is said to have "pulled itself up by its own bootstraps".
A bootstrap campaign should be distinguished from a genuine news story of genuine interest, such as a natural disaster that kills thousands, or the death of a respected public figure. It is legitimate for these stories to be given coverage across all media platforms. What distinguishes a bootstrap from a real story is the contrived and organized manner in which the bootstrap appears to come out of nowhere. A bootstrap commonly claims to be tapping a hitherto unrecognized phenomenon within society.
As self-levitating by pulling on one's bootstraps is physically impossible, this is often used by the bootstrappers themselves to deny the possibility that the bootstrap campaign is indeed concocted and artificial. They assert that it has arisen via a groundswell of public opinion. Media campaigns that are openly admitted as concocted (e.g. a public service campaign titled "Let's Clean Up Our City") are usually ignored by other media organizations for reasons related to competition. On the other hand, the true bootstrap welcomes the participation of other media organizations, indeed encourages it, as this participation gains the bootstrap notoriety and, most importantly, legitimacy.
See also Edit Causal loop, also known as Bootstrap paradox '' Sequence of events in which an event is among the causes of another event, which in turn is among the causes of the first-mentioned eventConceptual metaphorHoratio Alger mythIntelligence explosionM¼nchhausen trilemma '' A thought experiment used to demonstrate the impossibility of proving any truthPositive feedback '' Process that occurs in a feedback loopRobert A. Heinlein '' American science fiction author's short sci-fi story By His BootstrapsThe Doug Engelbart Institute, also known as The Bootstrap AllianceBootingReferences Edit ^ World Wide Words: Boot, Michael Quinion ^ "bootstraps--speculation/questions" (Mailing list). 2005-08-28. Archived from the original on 2009-01-29. ^ a b "figurative 'bootstraps ' " (Mailing list). 2005-08-11. ^ a b Jan Freeman, Bootstraps and Baron Munchausen, Boston.com, January 27, 2009 ^ Jan Freeman, The unkindliest cut, Boston.com, January 25, 2009 ^ Ulysses cited in the Oxford English Dictionary ^ Martin, Gary. " ' Pull yourself up by your bootstraps' - the meaning and origin of this phrase". Phrasefinder . Retrieved 23 June 2018 . ^ Buchholz, Werner (1953). "The System Design of the IBM Type 701 Computer". Proceedings of the I.R.E. 41 (10): 1273. doi:10.1109/jrproc.1953.274300. ^ Francis, Paul (2000-04-02). "Yoid: Extending the Internet Multicast Architecture" (PDF) . www.aciri.org . Retrieved 2008-12-24 . ^ Traversat; et al. (2006-06-20). "US Patent 7,065,579" . Retrieved 2008-12-23 . ^ Saxena; et al. (2003). "Admission Control in Peer-to-Peer: Design and Performance Evaluation" (PDF) . In ACM Workshop on Security of Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks (SASN) 2003 . Retrieved 2008-12-24 . ^ Cortese, Francesco Albert Bosco (Spring 2014). "The Maximally Distributed Intelligence Explosion". AAAI Spring Symposium. ^ Waser, Mark R. (2014). "Bootstrapping a Structured Self-Improving & Safe Autopoietic Self". Procedia Computer Science. 41: 134''139. doi:10.1016/j.procs.2014.11.095. ^ "The art of the bootstrap". 21 November 2008 . Retrieved 23 June 2018 . ^ Godin, Seth. "The Bootstrap Bible" (PDF) . Retrieved 23 June 2018 . ^ J. Scott Armstrong (2001). "Judgmental Bootstrapping: Inferring Experts= Rules for Forecasting" (PDF) . Principles of Forecasting: A Handbook for Researchers and Practitioners. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-20 . Retrieved 2012-01-10 . ^ Ulrich, Karl (10 February 2014). "Bootstrapping in Entrepreneurship - Karl T. Ulrich" . Retrieved 23 June 2018 '' via Vimeo. ^ Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden, pages 23-25, 1995 (paper) ISBN 0-465-06990-8 ^ Bradley Efron; Elizabeth Halloran & Susan Holmes (1996). "Bootstrap confidence levels for phylogenetic trees". PNAS. 93 (23): 13429. doi:10.1073/pnas.93.23.13429. PMC 38940 . PMID 8692949. ^ Stephen Gowans: The bootstrap theory of propaganda, November 23, 2009, retrieved October 24, 2019 External links Edit Dictionary.com entries for BootstrapFreedictionary.com entries for Bootstrap A video talk by Douglas Engelbart on Bootstrapping on YouTubeEngelbart Institute on Bootstrapping Strategies
Fox News Internal Document Bashes John Solomon, Joe diGenova, and Rudy Giuliani for Spreading 'Disinformation'
Thu, 06 Feb 2020 23:37
Fox News' own research team has warned colleagues not to trust some of the network's top commentators' claims about Ukraine.
An internal Fox News research briefing book obtained by The Daily Beast openly questions Fox News contributor John Solomon's credibility, accusing him of playing an ''indispensable role'' in a Ukrainian ''disinformation campaign.''
The document also accuses frequent Fox News guest Rudy Giuliani of amplifying disinformation, as part of an effort to oust former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, and blasts Fox News guests Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova'--both ardent Trump boosters'--for ''spreading disinformation.''
The 162-page document, entitled ''Ukraine, Disinformation, & the Trump Administration,'' was created by Fox News senior political affairs specialist Bryan S. Murphy, who produces research from what is known as the network's Brain Room'--a newsroom division of researchers who provide information, data, and topic guides for the network's programming.
The research brief is especially critical of Solomon, a former opinion columnist at The Hill whose opinion pieces about Ukraine made unsubstantiated claims about its government interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Solomon's pieces for The Hill fueled Giuliani's efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine, which eventually helped lead to Trump's impeachment. Trump has also frequently cited Solomon's questionable reporting on Twitter in his own defense.
While Solomon is portrayed on Hannity's show as a crusading ''investigative reporter'''--despite The Hill overtly branding him an opinion columnist'--the Brain Room document accuses the contributor of taking part in a Ukrainian smear campaign. ''John Solomon played an indispensable role in the collection and domestic publication of elements of this disinformation campaign,'' the Fox briefing book notes.
Those smears, according to the briefing, were driven by people like disgraced former Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko and the allies of Dmytro Firtash, an indicted Ukrainian oligarch and accused high-level Russian mafia associate (an accusation he denies). Both Lutsenko and Firtash have been seen as forces driving Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine to dig up dirt on Trump's political enemies.
Elsewhere in the internal brief, Murphy urges Fox News employees to focus on a wide range of alleged journalistic misdeeds from Solomon, including ''non-disclosure of conflicts, use of unreliable sources, publishing false and misleading stories, misrepresentation of sources, and opaque coordination with involved parties.''
Despite Solomon's reputation for questionable claims, he continued to be a fixture on Fox News even as impeachment inquiry witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman'--who listened in on the infamous quid pro quo call between Trump and Ukraine's president'--testified that ''all the elements'' of the columnist's supposed Ukraine reporting were ''false.'' The Hill announced it would conduct a full review of Solomon's work. Though he has not appeared on Hannity's show since Dec. 26, Solomon's most recent Fox appearance came last Friday on Laura Ingraham's primetime show.
The existence of the briefing book was first publicly flagged by Marcus DiPaola, a former freelance Fox News producer. Solomon, who years ago wrote for Newsweek/The Daily Beast, did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Giuliani, Toensing, and diGenova.
''The research division of FOX News produces a briefing book for all major stories, which serves as a standing collection of extensive data on major topics for internal use by all those in editorial functions. The Ukraine briefing book is nothing more than a comprehensive chronological account of what every person involved in the Ukraine controversy was doing at any identifiable point in time, including tracking media appearances of major players who appeared on FOX News and in many other outlets,'' Mitch Kweit, senior vice president of the Brain Room, said in a statement to The Daily Beast. ''The 200 page document has thousands of data points and the vast majority have no relation to FOX News'--instead it's now being taken out of context and politicized to damage the network.''
The document also disputes the credibility of Trump personal attorney and frequent Fox News guest Rudy Giuliani. While the former New York mayor has regularly appeared on Fox to justify his efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter on Trump's behalf, Murphy claims Giuliani is easily fooled by Ukrainian disinformation.
Murphy writes that Giuliani has a ''high susceptibility to disinformation'' disseminated by Ukrainians like Lutsenko and Firtash. The document notes that two indicted Giuliani pals, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, had ''strong reported financial links to Firtash.''
''Reading the timeline in its entirety'--not a small task'--makes clear the extensive role played by Rudy Giuliani and his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, in spreading disinformation,'' Murphy writes.
The brief also questions the credibility of diGenova and Toensing, a married pair of Washington lawyers and frequent Fox News guests who appeared across the network's right-wing commentary shows.
The pair were regularly deployed by Fox hosts like Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and Tucker Carlson to criticize the Democrats' impeachment inquiry and attack Fox News analysts who questioned the president's actions. DiGenova briefly stopped appearing on Fox after spewing on-air the anti-Semitic trope that liberal billionaire George Soros ''controls'' the U.S. State Department. And then he and his wife have altogether ceased appearing on the network since December.
Fox News itself reported in September that diGenova and Toensing were working with Giuliani to dig up dirt on the Bidens. ''Notable are the roles of Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing in spreading disinformation and their parroting of beneficial narratives while employed by Firtash,'' the internal research brief adds.
During their Fox appearances about the unfolding Ukraine scandal in 2019, diGenova and Toensing failed to note that they were working for Firtash, who is attempting to avoid extradition to the United States. The pair had billed the Ukrainian oligarch $1 million as of October, according to a Bloomberg report.
Last year's document urges Fox employees to consider diGenova and Toensing's failure to note during their Fox appearances that they were employed by Firtash. It advises employees to focus on the pair's ''non-disclosure of financial motives and representation of Firtash while spreading false and misleading stories.''
The briefing book is also seemingly critical of Fox's own coverage, urging employees to note the role that unnamed ''US Media'' outlets played a role in the ''amplification of disinformation stories from clearly unreliable sources and non-disclosure of conflicts by guests.'' While Fox isn't specifically named in the introduction, much of the timeline focuses on appearances made on Fox programs, and Murphy writes that the ''most prominent'' outlets who amplified the disinformation campaign are mentioned in the timeline'--a possible reference to Fox News itself.
The document notes omissions by Hannity, who frequently had Solomon, Toensing, diGenova, and Giuliani on his show. Murphy notes that the primetime star continued to refer to Solomon as an ''investigative reporter'' even after The Hill explicitly labeled his work to be ''opinion.'' The briefing also dings Hannity for failing to mention, in a segment Toensing and diGenova about an affidavit filed on behalf of Firtash, that the pair were working for the Ukrainian oligarch Firtash'--an obvious conflict of interest.
''At no time during the program does Hannity, Toensing, and diGenova mention who requested the statement nor do they discuss that they are Firtash's attorneys,'' the briefing book reads.
'--With additional reporting by Justin Baragona.
Trump, Xi Reaffirm Commitment to Phase-One Trade Deal
Thu, 06 Feb 2020 23:27
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Text - H.R.5383 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): New Way Forward Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Thu, 06 Feb 2020 19:19
There is one version of the bill.
116th CONGRESS 1st Session
H. R. 5383
To reform the process for enforcing the immigration laws of the United States, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. Garc­a of Illinois (for himself, Ms. Jayapal , Ms. Bass , Ms. Pressley , Mr. Grijalva , Ms. Velzquez , Ms. Haaland , Ms. Tlaib , Ms. Escobar , Ms. Omar , Ms. Garcia of Texas, Mr. Espaillat , Ms. Ocasio-Cortez , Ms. Judy Chu of California, Mr. Danny K. Davis of Illinois, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Rush , Mr. Blumenauer , Mr. Takano , Ms. Barragn , Mr. McGovern , Ms. Meng , Mrs. Napolitano , Ms. Schakowsky , Ms. Wilson of Florida, Mr. Serrano , Ms. Clarke of New York, Ms. Norton , Mrs. Watson Coleman , Mr. Vargas , Mr. Crdenas , Mr. Brown of Maryland, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Mr. Correa , and Mr. Meeks ) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
A BILL
To reform the process for enforcing the immigration laws of the United States, 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 ''New Way Forward Act''.
TITLE I '-- End Mandatory Detention and Require Probable Cause for Arrest
SEC. 101. Phase-out of private for-profit detention facilities and use of jails .
(a) Secure detention facilities .'--Beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security may not enter into, or extend, any contract with any public or private for-profit entity that owns or operates a detention facility for use of that facility to detain aliens in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, and shall terminate any such contract not later than the date that is 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act. Beginning on the date that is 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, any facility at which aliens in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security are detained shall be owned and operated by the Department of Homeland Security.
(b) Non-Secure detention programs .'--Beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security may not enter into, or extend, any contract with any public or private for-profit entity that owns or operates a program or facility that provides for non-residential detention-related activities for aliens who are subject to monitoring by the Department of Homeland Security, and shall terminate any such contact not later than the date that is 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act. Beginning on the date that is 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, any such program or facility shall be owned and operated by a nonprofit organization or by the Department of Homeland Security.
(c) Publication of plan .'--Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall develop, and make publicly available, a plan and timeline for the implementation of this section.
SEC. 102. Procedures for detaining aliens .
(a) Custody and bond determinations .'--Section 236 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1226) is amended'--
(1) by striking subsections (a) through (c) and inserting the following:''(a) Arrest, detention, and release .'--
''(1) I N GENERAL.'--On a warrant issued by an immigration judge, or pursuant to section 287(a)(2), the Secretary of Homeland Security may arrest an alien and, in accordance with this section, may, pending a decision on whether the alien is to be removed from the United States'--
''(A) detain the alien; or
''(B) release the alien'--
''(i) on bond;
''(ii) subject to conditions; or
''(iii) on the alien's own recognizance.
''(2) E XCEPTION.'--This section shall not apply to an unaccompanied alien child (as defined in section 462(g)(2) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 279(g)(2))). Such an alien shall be transferred to the custody of the Secretary of Health and Human Services pursuant to section 235(b)(3) of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (8 U.S.C. 1232(b)(3)).
''(b) Custody and bond determinations .'--
''(1) I NITIAL DETERMINATION.'--Not later than 48 hours after taking an alien into custody, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall make an initial custody determination with regard to that alien, and provide that determination in writing to the alien. If the Secretary determines that the release without conditions of an alien will not reasonably assure the appearance of the alien as required or will endanger the safety of any other person or the community, the custody determination under this paragraph will impose the least restrictive conditions, as described in paragraph (4).
''(2) T IMING.'--If an alien seeks to challenge the initial custody determination under paragraph (1), the alien shall be provided with the opportunity for a hearing before an immigration judge to determine whether the alien should be detained, which hearing shall occur not later than 72 hours after the initial custody determination, except that an immigration judge may grant a reasonable continuance upon the alien's request for additional time to prepare for the hearing.
''(3) P RESUMPTION OF RELEASE.'--In a hearing under this subsection, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the alien should be released. The Government shall have the duty of rebutting this presumption by clear and convincing evidence based on credible and individualized information that establishes that the use of alternatives to detention will not reasonably assure the appearance of the alien at removal proceedings, or that the alien is a threat to another person or the community. The fact that an alien has a prior conviction or a criminal charge pending against the alien may not be the sole factor to justify the continued detention of the alien.
''(4) L EAST RESTRICTIVE CONDITIONS REQUIRED.'--If an immigration judge determines pursuant to a hearing under this section that the release without conditions of an alien will not reasonably assure the appearance of the alien as required or will endanger the safety of any other person or the community, the immigration judge shall order the least restrictive conditions, or combination of conditions, that the judge determines will reasonably assure the appearance of the alien as required and the safety of any other person and the community, which may include secured or unsecured release on bond, or participation in a program described in subsection (i). Any conditions assigned to an alien pursuant to this paragraph shall be reviewed by the immigration judge on a monthly basis.
''(5) B OND DETERMINATION.'--In the case that an immigration judge makes a determination to release an alien on bond under subsection (a)(1)(B)(i), the immigration judge shall consider, for purposes of setting the amount of the bond, the alien's financial resources and ability to pay the bond without imposing financial hardship on the alien.
''(6) S PECIAL RULE FOR VULNERABLE PERSONS AND PRIMARY CAREGIVERS.'--In a case in which an alien who is the subject of a custody determination under this subsection is a vulnerable person or a primary caregiver, the alien may not be detained unless the Government shows, in addition to the requirements under paragraph (3), that it is unreasonable or not practicable to place the individual in a community-based supervision program.
''(7) D EFINITION.'--In this subsection, the term 'vulnerable person' means an individual who'--
''(A) is under 21 years of age or over 60 years of age;
''(B) is pregnant;
''(C) identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex;
''(D) is victim or witness of a crime;
''(E) has filed a nonfrivolous civil rights claim in Federal or State court;
''(F) has a serious mental or physical illness or disability;
''(G) has been determined by an asylum officer in an interview conducted under section 235(b)(1)(B) to have a credible fear of persecution or a reasonable fear of persecution under section 208.31 or 241.8(e) of title 8, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on the date of the enactment of the New Way Forward Act);
''(H) has limited English language proficiency and is not provided access to appropriate and meaningful language services in a timely fashion; or
''(I) has been determined by an immigration judge or the Secretary of Homeland Security to be experiencing severe trauma or to be a survivor of torture or gender-based violence, based on information obtained during intake, from the alien's attorney or legal service provider, or through credible self-reporting.
''(c) Subsequent determinations .'--An alien who is detained under this section shall be provided with a de novo custody determination hearing under this subsection every 60 days, as well as upon showing of a change in circumstances or good cause for a de novo custody determination hearing.''; and
(2) by striking subsection (e) and inserting the following:''(e) Release upon an order granting relief from removal .'--In the case of an alien with respect to whom an immigration judge has entered an order terminating removal proceedings or an order providing for relief from removal, including an order granting asylum, or providing for withholding, deferral, or cancellation of removal, which order is pending appeal, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall immediately release the alien upon entry of the order, and may impose only reasonable conditions on the alien's release from custody.
''(f) Alternatives to detention .'--
''(1) I N GENERAL.'--The Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish programs that provide alternatives to detaining aliens, which shall offer a continuum of supervision mechanisms and options, including community-based supervision programs and community support. The Secretary may contract with nongovernmental community-based organizations to provide programs, which may include case management services, appearance assistance services, and screenings of aliens who have been detained.
''(2) I NDIVIDUALIZED DETERMINATION REQUIRED.'--In determining whether to order an alien to participate in a program under this subsection, the Secretary, or the immigration judge, as appropriate shall make an individualized determination to determine the appropriate level of supervision for the alien. Participation in a program under this subsection may not be ordered for an alien for whom it is determined that release on reasonable bond or recognizance will reasonably assure the appearance of the alien as required and the safety of any other person and the community.''.
(b) Probable cause hearing .'--Section 287(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1357(a)) is amended by striking the matter preceding paragraph (3) and inserting the following:
''(a) Any officer or employee of the Department of Homeland Security authorized under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have power without warrant'--
''(1) to interrogate any alien or person believed to be an alien as to the person's right to be or to remain in the United States, provided that such interrogation is not based on the person's race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, color, spoken language, or English language proficiency; and
''(2) to arrest any alien who in the officer or employee's presence or view is entering or attempting to enter the United States in violation of any law or regulation made in pursuance of law regulating the admission, exclusion, expulsion, or removal of aliens, or to arrest any alien in the United States, if'--
''(A) the officer or employee has probable cause to believe that the alien so arrested is in the United States in violation of any such law or regulation and is likely to escape before a warrant can be obtained for his arrest;
''(B) the officer or employee has reason to believe that the person would knowingly and willfully fail to appear in immigration court in response to a properly served notice to appear; and
''(C) not later than 48 hours after being taken into custody, the arrested alien is provided with a hearing before an immigration judge to determine whether there is probable cause as required by this section, including probable cause to believe that the person would have knowingly and willfully failed to appear as required under subparagraph (B), which burden to establish probable cause shall be on the Government.''.
(c) Mandatory detention repealed .'--The Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) is amended'--
(1) in section 235(b)(1)(B)(ii)'--
(A) by striking ''shall'' and inserting ''may''; and
(B) by inserting before the period at the end the following: ''pursuant to the custody review procedures set forth in section 236'';
(2) by striking section 235(b)(1)(B)(iii)(IV);
(3) in section 235(b)(2)(A)'--
(A) by striking ''shall'' and inserting ''may''; and
(B) by inserting before the period at the end the following: ''pursuant to the custody review procedures set forth in section 236'';
(4) by striking section 236A;
(5) in section 238(a)(2), by striking ''pursuant to section 236(c)''; and
(6) in section 506(a)(2)'--
(A) by striking the paragraph heading and inserting the following: '' R elease hearing for aliens detained ''; and
(B) in subparagraph (A)'--
(i) in the matter preceding clause (i), by striking ''lawfully admitted for permanent residence'';
(ii) by striking clause (i); and
(iii) by redesignating clauses (ii) and (iii) as clauses (i) and (ii), respectively.
(d) Aliens ordered removed .'--Section 241(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1231(a)) is amended'--
(1) in paragraph (1), by striking ''90 days'' each place it appears and inserting ''60 days'';
(2) by striking paragraph (2) and inserting the following:
''(2) I NITIAL CUSTODY REDETERMINATION HEARING.'--
''(A) I N GENERAL.'--Not later than 72 hours after the entry of a final administrative order of removal, the alien ordered removed shall be provided with a custody redetermination hearing before an immigration judge.
''(B) P RESUMPTION OF DETENTION.'--For purposes of the hearing under subparagraph (A), the alien shall be detained during the removal period unless the alien can show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the alien's removal is not reasonably foreseeable and that the alien does not pose a risk to the safety of any individual or to the community.'';
(3) in paragraph (3)'--
(A) in the paragraph heading, by striking '' 90-day '' and inserting '' 60-day ''; and
(B) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking ''the alien, pending removal, shall be subject to supervision under'' and inserting the following: ''except as provided in paragraph (7), any alien who has been detained during the removal period shall be released from custody, pending removal, subject to individualized supervision requirements in accordance with'';
(4) by striking paragraph (6); and
(5) by striking paragraph (7) and inserting the following:
''(7) S UBSEQUENT CUSTODY REDETERMINATION HEARINGS.'--
''(A) I N GENERAL.'--The Government may request a subsequent redetermination hearing before an immigration judge seeking continued detention for an alien ordered to be detained pursuant to paragraph (2) who has not been removed within the removal period.
''(B) S TANDARD.'--An alien may only be detained after the removal period upon a showing by the Government that'--
''(i) the alien's removal is reasonably foreseeable; and
''(ii) the alien poses a risk to the safety of an individual or the community, which may only be established based on credible and individualized information that establishes objective risk factors, and may not be established based only on the fact that the alien has been charged with or is suspected of a crime.
''(C) P ERIOD OF DETENTION.'--An alien may not be detained pursuant to an order under this paragraph for longer than a 60-day period. The Government may seek subsequent redetermination hearings under this paragraph in order to continue detaining an alien beyond each such 60-day period.''.
TITLE II '-- Statute of Limitations
SEC. 201. Time for commencing removal proceedings .
Section 239(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1229(d)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
''(3) (A) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), any removal proceeding against an alien previously admitted to the United States for being within a class of deportable aliens described in section 237(a)(2), or within a class of inadmissible aliens described in section 212(a)(2), shall not be entertained unless commenced not later than the date that is five years after the date on which the alien became deportable or inadmissible.
''(B) This paragraph shall apply to any removal proceeding resulting in an order of removal before the date of the enactment of the New Way Forward Act as if in effect on the date on which the removal proceeding was commenced.''.
TITLE III '-- Limit Criminal-System-to-Removal Pipeline
SEC. 301. Criminal offenses and immigration laws .
(a) Inadmissibility based on criminal and related grounds .'--Section 212(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2)) is amended'--
(1) by striking subparagraph (A); and
(2) by redesignating subparagraphs (B) through (I) as subparagraphs (A) through (H), respectively.
(b) Deportability based on criminal offenses .'--Section 237(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)) is amended'--
(1) in subparagraph (A)'--
(A) by striking clauses (i) and (ii);
(B) by redesignating clauses (iii) through (vi) as clauses (i) through (iv), respectively; and
(C) in clause (iv), as so redesignated, by striking ''Clauses (i), (ii), and (iii)'' and inserting ''Clauses (i) and (ii)'';
(2) by striking subparagraph (B); and
(3) by redesignating subparagraphs (C) through (F) as subparagraphs (B) through (E), respectively.
SEC. 302. Definitions .
(a) Aggravated felony .'--Section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)) is amended'--
(1) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking ''means'--'' and inserting ''means a felony, for which a term of imprisonment of not less than 5 years was imposed, that is'--'';
(2) in subparagraph (F), by striking ''for which the term of imprisonment at least one year'';
(3) in subparagraph (G), by striking ''for which'' and all that follows through ''year'';
(4) in subparagraph (J), by striking '', for which a sentence of one year imprisonment or more may be imposed'';
(5) in subparagraph (P)'--
(A) by striking ''(i)''; and
(B) by striking ''and (ii) for which the term of imprisonment imposed (regardless of any suspension of such imprisonment) is at least 12 months'';
(6) in subparagraph (R), by striking ''for which the term of imprisonment is at least one year'';
(7) in subparagraph (S), by striking '', for which the term of imprisonment is at least one year''; and
(8) by striking the last sentence.
(b) Conviction .'--Section 101(a)(48) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(48)) is amended'--
(1) in subparagraph (A), by striking ''court'' and all that follows through ''to be imposed.'' and inserting the following: ''court. An adjudication or judgment of guilt that has been dismissed, expunged, sealed, deferred, annulled, invalidated, withheld, or vacated, or where a court has issued a judicial recommendation against removal, or an order of probation without entry of judgment or any similar disposition, shall not be considered a conviction for purposes of this Act. No judgment on appeal or within the time to file direct appeal shall be deemed a 'conviction' for the purposes of this Act.''; and
(2) in subparagraph (B)'--
(A) by inserting ''only'' after ''deemed to include''; and
(B) by striking ''or confinement'' and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting ''ordered by a court of law. Any such reference shall not be deemed to include any suspension of the imposition or execution of that imprisonment or sentence in whole or in part.''.
(c) Particularly serious crime .'--Section 208(b)(2)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1158)(b)(2)(B)(i)) is amended to read as follows:
''(i) C ONVICTION OF AGGRAVATED FELONY.'--For purposes of clause (ii) of subparagraph (A), section 241(b)(3)(B), or any other provision of this Act, only an alien who has been convicted of an aggravated felony for which a term of imprisonment of not less than five years was imposed shall be considered to have been convicted of a particularly serious crime.''.
(d) Applicability .'--The amendments made by this section shall apply to'--
(1) admissions and conduct occurring before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act; and
(2) convictions and sentences entered before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act.
TITLE IV '-- Restore Judicial Discretion and End Removal Without Due Process
SEC. 401. Immigration procedural changes .
(a) Decision and burden of proof .'--Section 240(c)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1229(c)(1)(A)) is amended by inserting after the period at the end the following: ''Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an immigration judge may grant any relief or deferral from removal, including withholding of removal, to any individual who is otherwise eligible for such relief but for a prior criminal conviction, or the commission of or a finding of the commission of other conduct described in section 212(a)(2), 237(a)(2), or 237(a)(3), if the immigration judge finds such an exercise of discretion appropriate in pursuit of humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest.''.
(b) Removal of aliens who are not permanent residents .'--Section 238 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1228) is amended'--
(1) by striking subsection (b); and
(2) by redesignating the first subsection (c) as subsection (b).
(c) Reinstatement of removal orders against aliens illegally reentering .'--Section 241(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1231(a)) is amended'--
(1) by striking paragraph (5); and
(2) by redesignating paragraphs (6) and (7) as paragraphs (5) and (6), respectively.
(d) Special rules relating to continuous residence or physical presence .'--Section 240A(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C.1229b(d)) is amended'--
(1) by striking paragraph (1);
(2) by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs (1) and (2), respectively.
(e) Judicial review of orders of removal .'--Section 242 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1252) is amended by striking subsection (a)(2)(C).
TITLE V '-- Prohibition against Performance of Immigration Officer Functions by State and Local Officers and Employees
SEC. 501. Local enforcement .
(a) In general .'--Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C.1357(g)) is amended to read as follows:
''(g) (1) The officers and employees of any State, or any political subdivision of a State, are prohibited from performing the function of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension, transport, or detention of aliens in the United States or otherwise assist in the performance of such functions.
''(2) Civil immigration warrants shall not be made available to the officers or employees of any State, or any political subdivision of a State, through the National Crime Information Center database or its incorporated criminal history databases. Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials are prohibited from entering into the National Crime Information Center database or its incorporated criminal history databases information that relates to an alien's immigration status, the existence of a prior removal, deportation, or voluntary departure order entered against an alien, or any allegations of civil violations of the immigration laws. Any information described in this paragraph that is in the National Crime Information Center database shall be removed from such database not later than 90 days after the enactment of the New Way Forward Act''..''.
(b) Prohibiting coordination for enforcement of immigration laws .'--
(1) PROHIBITING STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ARREST AND DETENTION OF ALIENS.'--Section 439 of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1252c) is repealed.
(2) C OMMUNICATION.'--Section 434 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1644) is repealed.
(c) Communication and enforcement .'--Section 642 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1373) is repealed.
SEC. 502. National Crime Information Center .
Section 534(f) of title 28, United States Code, is amended'--
(1) by redesignating paragraph (3) as paragraph (4); and
(2) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:
''(3) Civil immigration warrants shall not be made available to the officers or employees of any State, or any political subdivision of a State, through the National Crime Information Center database or its incorporated criminal history databases. Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials are prohibited from entering into the National Crime Information Center database or its incorporated criminal history databases information that relates to an alien's immigration status, the existence of a prior removal, deportation, or voluntary departure order entered against an alien, or any allegations of civil violations of the immigration laws. Any information described in this paragraph that is in the National Crime Information Center database shall be removed from such database not later than 90 days after the enactment of the New Way Forward Act''..''.
TITLE VI '-- Decriminalize Migration
SEC. 601. Repealing migration criminal laws .
(a) Criminal penalties for entry at improper time or place .'--Section 275 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1325) is repealed.
(b) Criminal penalties for reentry .'--Section 276 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1326) is repealed.
TITLE VII '-- Right To Come Home
SEC. 701. Reconsidering and reopening immigration cases .
(a) In general .'--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Attorney General'--
(1) shall grant a motion to reconsider or reopen proceedings pursuant to paragraph (6) or (7) of section 240(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1229a(c)) with respect to any alien who'--
(A) on or after April 24, 1996'--
(i) was ordered removed, deported, or excluded; or
(ii) departed the United States pursuant to a grant of voluntary departure under section 240B of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1229c) (regardless of whether or not the alien was ordered removed, deported, or excluded); and
(B) demonstrates that the alien'--
(i) would not have been considered inadmissible, excludable, or deportable under the immigration laws (as defined in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17))) if this Act, and the amendments made by this Act, had been in effect on the date on which such order was issued or the voluntary departure took place; or
(ii) would have been eligible to apply for relief from removal, deportation, or exclusion under such laws if this Act, and the amendments made by this Act, had been in effect on the date on which such order was issued or the voluntary departure took place; and
(2) shall deem an alien who makes the demonstration under paragraph (1)(B) as not having been removed, deported, excluded, or departed, and as not having failed to depart under a voluntary departure order, for all purposes under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).
(b) Previously filed application; previous motions To reopen or reconsider .'--The Attorney General may not reject or deny a motion to reconsider or reopen under subsection (a) because'--
(1) the alien did not include a copy of any previously filed application for relief; or
(2) the alien had previously filed a motion to reopen or reconsider.
(c) Deadline .'--The deadline described in paragraphs (6)(B) and (7)(C)(i) of section 240(c) of the Immigrations and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1229a(c)) shall not apply to a motion to reopen or reconsider under this section.
(d) Transportation .'--The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide transportation for aliens eligible for reopening or reconsideration of their proceedings under this section, at Government expense, to return to the United States for further immigration proceedings and shall admit or parole the alien into the United States.
(e) Physical presence requirement .'--For the purpose of applications filed subsequent to reopening under this section pursuant to section 240A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1229b), or any other application for relief under the immigration laws (as defined in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17))), removal, deportation, exclusion, or voluntary departure shall not be considered to toll any physical presence requirement.
(f) Judicial review .'--Notwithstanding any other provision of the Immigration and National Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), any denial of a motion to reopen or reconsider submitted pursuant to this section is subject to de novo judicial review in a Federal district court having jurisdiction over the applicant's residence or, in the case of an applicant who was removed from the United States, the last known residential address of the applicant in the United States.
Acronym group that sabotaged Iowa caucus birthed by billionaire who funded Alabama disinformation campaign | The Grayzone
Thu, 06 Feb 2020 15:12
Silicon Valley billionaire Reid Hoffman funded the creation of ACRONYM, the group that sabotaged the Iowa caucus results, after bankrolling voter manipulation campaigns including the notorious online ''false flag operation'' in Alabama's 2017 senate race.By Max BlumenthalAt the time of publication, February 6, the winner of the Iowa's Democratic Party caucus is still unknown. Senator Bernie Sanders, the clear winner in virtually every exit poll, is currently ahead in votes. Yet somehow Pete Buttigieg, a favorite of the party establishment who was unknown to most voters until last year, has claimed victory.
The force accused of sowing the confusion and disarray surrounding the first Democratic Party contest of the 2020 election season is a dark money nonprofit called Acronym. It was Acronym that launched Shadow Inc, the mysterious company behind the now-infamous, unsecured, completely unworkable voter app which prevented precinct chairs from reporting vote totals on caucus night.
The exceptionally opaque Acronym was itself created with seed money from a Silicon Valley billionaire named Reid Hoffman who has financed a series of highly manipulative social media campaigns.
The billionaire founder of LinkedIn, Hoffman is a top funder of novel Democratic Party social media campaigns accused of manipulating voters through social media. He is assisted by Dmitri Mehlhorn, a corporate consultant who pushed school privatization before joining Hoffman's political empire.
One of the most consequential beneficiaries of Hoffman's wealth is Acronym CEO Tara McGowan, a 33-year-old former journalist and Obama for America veteran.
Acronym CEO Tara McGowan with Barack Obama, her former bossOnce touted as ''a weapon of a woman whose innovative tactics make her critically important to the Democratic Party,'' McGowan's name is now synonymous with the fiasco in Iowa. She also happens to be married to a senior advisor to Pete Buttieg's presidential campaign.
Back in December 2018, McGowan personally credited Hoffman and Mehlhorn's ''Investing in US'' initiative for the birth of her dark money pressure group, Acronym.
''I'm personally grateful and proud to be included in this group of incredible political founders + startups @reidhoffman and his team, led by Dmitri [Mehlhorn], have supported and helped to fund over the past two years,'' she declared on Twitter in December 2018.
At the time, Hoffman had just been exposed for funding Project Birmingham, a covert disinformation campaign consisting of false flag tactics that aimed to depress voter turnout and create the perception of Russian interference in the 2017 Alabama senate election.
Hoffman and Mehlhorn have also faced scrutiny for their alleged operation of a series of deceptive pages which attempted to manipulate center-right users into voting for Democrats. Today, Acronym's McGowan oversees a massive Facebook media operation that employs similarly deceptive techniques to sway voters.
Through youthful, tech-centric operatives like McGowan, Hoffman and Mehlhorn are constructing a massive new infrastructure that could supplant the party's apparatus.
As Vanity Fair reported, ''Hoffman and Mehlhorn, after all, are not just building a power base that could supplement traditional Democratic organizations, they are, potentially, laying the groundwork to usurp the D.N.C. entirely.''
'Laying the groundwork to usurp the D.N.C. entirely'Having fostered friendships with nationally known Silicon Valley oligarchs like right-wing libertarian Trump supporter Peter Thiel and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, is now making his name as a top sugardaddy of the Democratic anti-Trump resistance.
Following Trump's election in 2016, Hoffman plowed his money into an array of new Democrat-aligned social media groups through a funding hub he founded called Investing in US.
To run Investing in US on a day-to-day basis, Hoffman tapped Dmitri Mehlhorn, a venture capitalist and political strategist accustomed to walking the line between the corporate world and Democratic Party.
''There was no risk-capital or growth-capital arm of the resistance, and so that is what we've tried to build,'' Mehlhorn told Vanity Fair. ''Now, in terms of what that implies, that implies that we are backing founders, so people who we think have big, potentially game-changing ideas.''
Mehlhorn's career path tracked closely with neoliberal party favorites like Pete Buttigieg and Cory Booker. He studied at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, launched his career at McKinsey Associates, and became a leading advocate for school privatization as the chief operating officer of Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst.
According to Mehlhorn's bio, he sits on the board of American Prison Data Systems, a company that claims to reduce recidivism by giving prisoners tablets to study coding for five hours a day.
Dmitri MehlhornMehlhorn is also an advisor to the Democratic group DigiDems, which Pete Buttigieg's 2020 presidential campaign paid $1,540 for technology services.
In a 2018 Medium post, announcing the ''founders'' that Investing in US planned to back, Mehlhorn resorted to distinctly neoconservative talking points to emphasize the mission of his organization.
After quoting Ronald Reagan, he declared, ''Trump and his movement, borrowing heavily from other authoritarian criminals such as Hugo Chavez and Vladimir Putin, promised to hollow out America's principles in favor of his own personal enrichment.''
Pledging to ''inoculate our politics and our economy against corruption, white nationalism, and mass deceit,'' Mehlhorn announced major donations to ''diverse groups'' with names like Woke Vote, PushBlack, and an ''anti-Nazi'' organization known as Integrity for America.
Among the top recipients of support from Investing in US was McGowan's Acronym, which Mehlhorn described merely as a ''media group.''
As The Grayzone reported, Acronym has ballooned since its founding into a massive dark money operation, even launching a Super PAC dubbed Pacronym that has raked in money from hedge fund billionaires like Seth Klarman and Donald Sussman.
What Mehlhorn and Hoffman never disclosed to the public, however, was their support for a Democrat-aligned group that waged a covert online disinformation campaign which aimed to influence the outcome of the 2017 special senate election in Alabama.
Project Birmingham: From New Knowledge to no knowledgeThe 2017 senate election in Alabama was one of the most dramatic races of President Donald Trump's first term in office. Treated by national media as a referendum on Trump in a red state, it pitted a far-right Republican, Roy Moore, against Doug Jones, a moderate Republican who ran as a Democrat. In the end, Jones won an upset victory in a deep red state, thrilling Democrats across the country.
As Dan Cohen wrote in a series of reports for The Grayzone, the outcome of the 2017 Alabama race was heavily influenced by an online disinformation operation. The campaign, which was unknown to voters at the time, was called Project Birmingham.
Silicon Valley billionaire Reid Hoffman provided $100,000 to the architects of this black ops campaign. His money was pipelined through American Engagement Technologies (AET), a company run by Obama administration veteran and Democrat tech operative Mikey Dickerson. Through AET, another firm comprised of Obama campaign veterans and national security state operatives called New Knowledge was contracted to carry out the secretive voter manipulation project.
In internal documents first covered by the New York Times, Project Birmingham's architects described the scheme as an ''elaborate false flag operation'' which aimed to convince voters that the Kremlin was supporting Moore through thousands of fake Russian bots.
Project Birmingham went to absurd lengths to drive voters away from Moore. Its architects deployed a phony Facebook page encouraging Alabamians to vote for an obscure write-in Republican candidate, arranged interviews for the candidate in major newspapers, and even sought to arrange SuperPAC funding for his dark horse campaign.
The deeply un-democratic campaign was overseen by a cast of characters remarkably similar to those who bungled the 2020 Iowa caucus count. Like the staff of Acronym and Shadow Inc., the New Knowledge operatives who carried out Project Birmingham were 30- and 40-something techies who had worked in the Obama administration and on various Democratic campaigns. (New Knowledge was rebranded as Yonder after the scandal was exposed in national media.)
The devious tactics they waged in Alabama likely influenced the outcome of the election. A leaked ''Project Birmingham Debrief'' claimed that New Knowledge's black operations ''moved enough votes to ensure a Doug Jones victory.''
After the scheme was exposed, Hoffman issued a public apology and claimed he had no knowledge of the New Knowledge disinformation project. He said nothing about the Investing in US employee who worked directly on Project Birmingham, however.
This was hardly the first time Hoffman and Mehlhorn's finger prints were discovered on a deceptive voter manipulation campaign.
Aiming to 'mirror' the tactics of Russia's Internet Research AgencyFollowing the 2018 midterm congressional election, Reid Hoffman and his henchman Dmitri Mehlhorn faced further scrutiny in national media, this time for operating a fake news-style organization called News for Democracy.
This shady outfit managed an array of community Facebook pages initially focusing on sports, Christianity, patriotism, and other topics that were likely to generate interest from right-wing voters in swing states.
Yet the seemingly locally-branded cultural pages took a decisively political turn as election night approached. After racking up millions of likes, News for Democracy slipped in ads for Democratic Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke on a Facebook page targeting evangelical Christians, and attacked a Republican candidate, Senator Marsha Blackburn, on a page focused on local Tennessee sports.
While Hoffman's right-hand man, Mehlhorn, claimed to reject the spread of misinformation, he told the Washington Post that through projects like News for Democracy, he aimed to ''mirror'' the tactics of the notorious Russian Internet Research Agency troll farm.
Facebook eventually launched an investigation into the insidious manipulation ploys of Hoffman and Mehlhorn's News for Democracy.
The very tactics that landed the two in hot water are remarkably similar to those that Tara McGowan, the Acronym founder who disrupted the Iowa caucuses, has put on display.
McGowan recently founded Courier Newsroom, a seemingly journalistic initiative that appeared to take on a more overtly partisan role with time. Like News for Democracy, Courier Newsroom has opened local news pages on Facebook with unassuming names like ''The Virginia Dogwood'' or ''Arizona's Copper Courier.'' After seeding the pages with folksy local stories, Courier Newsroom bombards users with pro-Democrat political messaging.
As Bloomberg reported, McGowan used ''her sizable war chest and digital advertising savvy to pay to have her articles placed into the Facebook feeds of swing-state users.'' McGowan then used ''that feedback to find more people like them.''
One of McGowan's dubious news pages, the Virginia Dogwood, spent a whopping $275,000 on Facebook ads during the 2018 midterm elections.
''We'll try it, see if we can make it work, and hopefully become a permanent piece of the new infrastructure,'' McGowan told Bloomberg.
Tara McGowan's shenanigans in Iowa could be seen in the light of a wider string of manipulations by the Silicon Valley-backed neoliberal network behind her. While Democratic Party elites blame incompetence for the fiasco in Iowa, the history of Acronym and its billionaire backers casts a disturbing shadow over the whole episode.
Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books, including best-selling Republican Gomorrah, Goliath, The Fifty One Day War, and The Management of Savagery. He has produced print articles for an array of publications, many video reports, and several documentaries, including Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded The Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America's state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.
Dr. Francis Boyle Creator Of BioWeapons Act Says Coronavirus Is Biological Warfare Weapon | GreatGameIndia
Fri, 07 Feb 2020 23:47
In an explosive interview Dr. Francis Boyle, who drafted the Biological Weapons Act has given a detailed statement admitting that the 2019 Wuhan Coronavirus is an offensive Biological Warfare Weapon and that the World Health Organization (WHO) already knows about it.
EXPLOSIVE: Scientist Frank Plummer Key to Coronavirus Investigation AssassinatedBreaking: India launch investigation against China's Wuhan Institute of VirologyExclusive: Coronavirus Bioweapon '' How Chinese agents stole Coronavirus from Canada and weaponized itMust read piece published worldwide: Coronavirus '' China's Secret Plan to Weaponize VirusesUpdate: Chinese Biowarfare agents at Harvard University caught smuggling deadly virusesDr. Francis Boyle Creator Of BioWeapons Act Says Coronavirus Is Biological Warfare WeaponFrancis Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He drafted the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, that was approved unanimously by both Houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.
In an exclusive interview given to Geopolitics and Empire, Dr. Boyle discusses the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China and the Biosafety Level 4 laboratory (BSL-4) from which he believes the infectious disease escaped. He believes the virus is potentially lethal and an offensive biological warfare weapon or dual-use biowarfare weapons agent genetically modified with gain of function properties, which is why the Chinese government originally tried to cover it up and is now taking drastic measures to contain it. The Wuhan BSL-4 lab is also a specially designated World Health Organization (WHO) research lab and Dr. Boyle contends that the WHO knows full well what is occurring.
Dr. Boyle also touches upon GreatGameIndia's exclusive report Coronavirus Bioweapon '' where we reported in detail how Chinese Biowarfare agents working at the Canadian lab in Winnipeg were involved in the smuggling of Coronavirus to Wuhan's lab from where it is believed to have been leaked.
Watch Dr. Francis Boyle's interview with Geopolitics and Empire below:
Read here the full transcript of Dr. Francis Boyle's interview on Coronavirus
Dr. Boyle's position is in stark contrast to the mainstream media's narrative of the virus being originated from the seafood market, which is increasingly being questioned by many experts.
Recently, American Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas also dismantled the mainstream media's claim on Thursday that pinned the coronavirus outbreak on a market selling dead and live animals.
In a video accompanying his post, Cotton explained that the Wuhan wet market (which Cotton incorrectly referred to as a seafood market) has been shown by experts to not be the source of the deadly contagion.
Cotton referenced a Lancet study which showed that many of the first cases of the novel coronavirus, including patient zero, had no connection to the wet market '-- devastatingly undermining mainstream media's claim.
''As one epidemiologist said: 'That virus went into the seafood market before it came out of the seafood market.' We still don't know where it originated,'' Cotton said.
''I would note that Wuhan also has China's only bio-safety level four super laboratory that works with the world's most deadly pathogens to include, yes, coronavirus.''
China claimed'--for almost two months'--that coronavirus had originated in a Wuhan seafood market. That is not the case. @TheLancet published a study demonstrating that of the original 40 cases, 14 of them had no contact with the seafood market, including Patient Zero. pic.twitter.com/PdgqgHjkGy
'-- Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) January 30, 2020
Such concerns have also been raised by J.R. Nyquist, the well known author of the books ''Origins of the Fourth World War'' and ''The Fool and His Enemy,'' as well as co-author of ''The New Tactics of Global War''. In his insightful article he published secret speechs given to high-level Communist Party cadres by Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Chi Haotian explaining a long-range plan for ensuring a Chinese national renaissance '' the catalyst for which would be China's secret plan to weaponiz viruses.
Nyquist gave three different data points for making his case in analyzing Coronavirus. He writes:
Meanwhile, the mainstream media's narrative still maintains that the origin of the 2019 Coronavirus is the Wuhan Seafood Market. After GreatGameIndia published the story on Coronavirus Bioweapon '' not only were our databse tinkered with and our reports blocked by Facebook on the flimsy reason that they could not find GreatGameIndia Facebook page, but the report itself was viciously attacked by Foreign Policy magazine, PolitiFact (known widely as Facebook's propaganda arm) and BuzzFeedNews.
It is not GreatGameIndia alone which is being viciously attacked. Zero Hedge, a popular alternate media blog was suspended by Twitter for publishing a story related to a study by Indian scientists finding 2019 Wuhan Coronavirus to be not naturally evolved, raising the possibility of it being created in a lab. Shockingly, the study itself came under intense online criticism by Social Media experts resulting in the scientists withdrawing the paper.
In retaliation India has launched a full-scale investigation against China's Wuhan Institute of Virology. The Indian government has ordered an inquiry into a study conducted in the Northeastern state of Nagaland (close to China) by researchers from the U.S., China and India on bats and humans carrying antibodies to deadly viruses like Ebola.
#FrankPlummer '' renowned Winnipeg based Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory scientist key to #Coronavirus investigation has died in mysterious conditions in Africa. He was the one who received Saudi SARS Coronavirus sample which was smuggled to Wuhanhttps://t.co/VjvQMURTyT
'-- GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) February 6, 2020
The study came under the scanner as two of the 12 researchers belonged to the Wuhan Institute of Virology's Department of Emerging Infectious Diseases, and it was funded by the United States Department of Defense's Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).
The study, conducted by scientists of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in the U.S. and the Duke-National University in Singapore, is now being investigated for how the scientists were allowed to access live samples of bats and bat hunters (humans) without due permissions.
The results of the study were published in October last year in the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases journal, originally established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
As the author J.R. Nyquist puts it:
We need your support to carry on our independent and investigative research based journalism on the external and internal threats facing India. Your contribution however small helps us keep afloat. Kindly consider donating to GreatGameIndia.We must have an investigation of the outbreak in Wuhan. The Chinese must grant the world total transparency. The truth must come out. If Chinese officials are innocent, they have nothing to hide. If they are guilty, they will refuse to cooperate.
The real concern here is whether the rest of the world has the courage to demand a real and thorough investigation. We need to be fearless in this demand and not allow ''economic interests'' to play a coy and dishonest game of denial. We need an honest inquiry. We need it now.
GreatGameIndia is a journal on Geopolitics and International Relations. Get to know the Geopolitical threats India is facing in our exclusive book India in Cognitive Dissonance. Past magazine issues can be accessed from the Archives section.
Read more on Chinese Biological and Chemical warfare activities against India in our exclusive History of Narco-Terrorism issue.
Send in your tips and submissions by filling out this form or write to us directly at the email provided. Join us on WhatsApp for more intel and updates.

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All Clips

Pete on CNN town hall argues for ending electoral college.mp3
Warren blames campaign toxicity on American legacy of racism [Chris hayes leading the witness].mp3
Brad Blakeman frmr GWB advisor - Hillary wants a brokered convention (FNC).mp3
Chris Matthews in still traumatized by Socialism and thus F-Bernie.mp3
Mike Bloomberg 2016 at Oxford explaining how only the intelligentsia can understand trans.mp3
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Biden lists all Obama accomplishments What happened he asks.mp3
Biden's many mentions of Obama during the Democratic debate.mp3
Chris Matthews says he was impressed by Sen. Klobuchar's performance at New Hampshire.mp3
Warren explains how ADOS vote is all Dems want from thm during elections.mp3
Amy Klobuchar debate closer FDR story.mp3
DEBATES Biden to Klonuchar.mp3
Debates Klouchar and bogus Trump assertion.mp3
DEBATES Steyer name calling Trump unhinged.mp3
First debate horrible set on health care NBC.mp3
Hanky panky in Iowa plus Sanders ficus DN.mp3
Irish vote R.mp3
Mark Shields on the impeachment PBS.mp3
Mayor Pete is backed by ICE or not DN.mp3
MSU and its painful reminder of lunching.mp3
New Low yiled nuke DN.mp3
odd Indian uprising in canada report DN.mp3
Peace plan according to DN.mp3
Pompeo on China Gov conference R.mp3
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Starliner project PBS.mp3
Syria mess Idlib AJ.mp3
Syria mess IR..mp3
Syria Mess Israel provokes attack on Airline in Syria R.mp3
TAX Cut bullshit 2017.mp3
Thailand ISO.mp3
Thailand shooting PBS.mp3
Trump comment about the Johnson Amendment.mp3
Yamish on Immigrants PBS.mp3
AQIAP leader killed unreported DN.mp3
Bill Maher on name calling LINK.mp3
corona virus update sat PBS.mp3
Dead Chinese doctor DN.mp3
DEBATES Bernie on impeachment rant.mp3
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Maddow attempts to blame 4 chan 'trump fans' for clogging up Iowa lines.mp3
MSNBC - Iowa problems - App was rush job with permissions issue.mp3
MSNBC - Iowa problems - focus on four chan.mp3
Obama SOTU redux -you lie - Media reaction.mp3
Austin hires fired Obama interagency head for homelessness solutions.mp3
Officials consider next steps after large homeless camp fire in NE Austin.mp3
ATx council member Alison Alter suggests homeless camp needles are for insulin.mp3
dr boyle wuhan 2 KPOO.mp3
Kung Flu Fighting FInal mathew bigelow.mp3
To counter Huawei U.S. could take controlling stake in Ericsson, Nokia says attorney general Barr.mp3
Wuhan Flu Blues JINGLE Dave Courbanou.mp3
dr boyle wuhan 1 KPOO.mp3
  • 0:00
    he's a classic Nazi atom curry
  • 0:03
    John C. Dvorak Sunday February 9 2020
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    this is your award-winning Gitmo nation
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    media assassination episode 1215 this is
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    I'm Adam curry and from northern Silicon
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    I'm Jesse Dvorak oK you've got me
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    this is a treasure trove yeah are you
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    are you putting it on Etsy
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    the first item fred is gonna be done two
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    item by item wait a minute
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    I don't understand what you're in you're
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    a classically trained archivist yeah why
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    would you consider giving anything away
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    I'm not giving it away I mean I like
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    getting rid of anything I understand and
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    how did you come to this this is this is
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    big news it's shocking because I'm
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    worried about a couple of the items I
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    damaged or something is gonna and they
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    should be in the hands of a capable
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    you gonna do an item per item and can we
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    discuss each one on a different episode
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    of the show yeah okay what's today what
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    do we have on the docket I have a
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    Microsoft Bob frisbee oh my goodness
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    okay we will be posting a picture later
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    of course I have it of this fine fine
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    the collector's item and what do you
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    hope to get for this item on today's
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    show Jon hundred bucks a hundred okay
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    great well and how many items do you
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    think you have how long will it take
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    about a year before we got here into
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    everything here in two years wow that's
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    fantastic I'm very excited about this
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    this estate stay estate sale estate
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    stank stank stank sale okay
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    oh by the way I should mention the
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    Microsoft Bob frisbee
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    he has never been flown it's just as
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    virgin it doesn't have plastic on it or
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    any other markings that they will prove
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    its virginity you can just look at it
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    entails never been used okay virgin Bob
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    everybody one hundred dollars can't wait
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    it's very exciting
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    well you know what since we're just kind
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    of getting off to a a different start
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    there was something that happened on the
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    last show that we as marketers branders
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    marketers advertising executives you
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    know should be kind of interested in yes
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    and as I'd like to put it marketeer
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    marketeers yes let me see okay right
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    course falls apart let me play for you
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    the piece from the show and Tina
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    actually called me kind of called me out