Art for episode 1254

1254: Vaxeline

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 11m
June 25th, 2020
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Executive Producers: Baron, Sir JDMac, Oracle of the Digital Prairie, Sir Boiled Peanut, Sir Onymous of Dogpatch and Lower Slobbovia, Tony Cabrera, Anonymous in MI, Kyle Allen, Kathleen Stokes, Sir Sam of Bedfordshire and the River Great Ouse

Associate Executive Producers: Jonathan, Sir Cycle Path, Sir Alex of North Burien, Sir Shaun Dolan, Sir Bryan Tobiason, Mike Salmon, Zach Montgomery, Darius Walker

Cover Artist: Darren Oneill

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
2:33
Coronavirus
Woodstock
18:33
Carl Bernstein: "Trump's Friends Say He is Out of Control"
Woodstock
29:09
COVID-19 Vaccine Trail Started in South Africa
Woodstock
30:42
Joe Biden's Gaffe of the Week: Vaxeline
Guest producer
Suggest a new chapter
Vaccines
First vaccinations begin in Africa for COVID-19 trial
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:11
JOHANNESBURG (AP) '-- Africa's first participation in a COVID-19 vaccine trial started Wednesday as volunteers received injections developed at the University of Oxford in Britain, while officials said the continent of 1.3 billion people cannot be left behind.
The large-scale trial is being conducted in South Africa, Britain and Brazil. South Africa has nearly one-third of Africa's confirmed cases with more than 106,000, including more than 2,100 deaths. The country late Tuesday reported its biggest one-day death toll of 111.
The African continent now has nearly 325,000 cases as countries loosen restrictions under economic pressure from citizens who say they have to feed their families. Shortages of testing materials and medical supplies remain a problem as Africa could become the world's next hot spot.
The pandemic was delayed in Africa ''but is picking up speed very quickly,'' the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief John Nkengasong said Wednesday, with a steep increase in the number of cases and deaths.
''Unless we act now, Africa is at risk of being left behind on the global vaccine," he warned a continental discussion and urged that local manufacturing and scientific expertise play a key role.
Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa all have highly developed clinical trial capabilities, said Salim Abdool Karim, chair of South Africa's ministerial advisory committee for COVID-19.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged that the initial supply of any COVID-19 vaccine be deployed where it's most needed, rather than based on the ''ability to pay.''
Tedros also announced that as of this week, all 54 of Africa's countries now have the lab capacity to test for the coronavirus.
In February, just two African nations could test for the virus. The continent's first virus case was reported on Feb. 14.
Noodle Gun
Richard Zussman on Twitter: "BREAKING - Michael Korenberg has resigned from his position as chair and board member of UBC's Board of Governors, effective immediately after liking tweets supporting US President Donald Trump and criticizing BLM pro
Sun, 21 Jun 2020 16:09
Dave Pasin @ dave_pasin
18h The new McCarthyism thrives. Can't critically think, not allowed to think outside what group think wants. Even worse for a university that now demonstrates freedom of throught and speech is dead. Pathetic is an understatement
View conversation ·
[USC02] 18 USC 1369: Destruction of veterans' memorials
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 14:23
§1369. Destruction of veterans' memorials(a) Whoever, in a circumstance described in subsection (b), willfully injures or destroys, or attempts to injure or destroy, any structure, plaque, statue, or other monument on public property commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
(b) A circumstance described in this subsection is that-
(1) in committing the offense described in subsection (a), the defendant travels or causes another to travel in interstate or foreign commerce, or uses the mail or an instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce; or
(2) the structure, plaque, statue, or other monument described in subsection (a) is located on property owned by, or under the jurisdiction of, the Federal Government.
(Added Pub. L. 108''29, §2(a), May 29, 2003, 117 Stat. 772.)
Short Title of 2003 AmendmentPub. L. 108''29, §1, May 29, 2003, 117 Stat. 772, provided that: "This Act [enacting this section and provisions set out as a note under section 109 of Title 23 , Highways] may be cited as the 'Veterans' Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act of 2003'."
Complex Networks accused of having racist, misogynistic workplace
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 07:30
Business
By Keith J. Kelly
June 19, 2020 | 7:45pm
A pop culture digital publisher owned by Hearst and Verizon is the latest company to be blasted as hypocritical after declaring public support for nationwide racial injustice protests.
Complex Networks, which runs music, pop-culture, shopping and food sites, was slammed Friday as ''not a safe space'' for women or minorities to work by former staffer Tiffany Wines, who complained about a bullying boss and drug-laced cookies. Wines said she only wrote the letter after reading Complex Network's statement in support of protests over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police.
''If it wasn't a slap in the face, I would have laughed out loud when I read it,'' she said.
She called Complex Media a ''toxic workplace culture steeped in misogyny, anti-blackness, rape culture and pay inequality across demographic lines that has thrived for far too long.''
A company spokesperson said Complex will initiate an investigation by a third party to reexamine the claim.
Wines' main example involved complaints about the company's senior director of social media, Arman Walia, saying he constantly undermined her on the company's Slack.
''Arman always found new ways to criticize, undermine, or demean my work all while taking credit for the achievements the rest of the team accomplished'...,'' Wines, a black woman, claimed.
After complaining to Jay Salmin, executive VP, people and culture, she learned ''of at least five other women who had gone to HR in an attempt to make their complaints heard.'' But Walia was only promoted, she said.
Wines then blasted Complex for traumatizing her by leaving drug-laced cookies out for unsuspecting staffers to eat. ''What followed was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life,'' Wines said of the day she ate the cookies, not knowing they were laced with drugs, and then blacked out, resulting in friends and family searching for her and calling the police and area hospitals.
The incident, she said, suggests that ''Complex is not only an unsafe space emotionally, it's also an unsafe place physically.''
''We're committed to creating a workplace free from unsafe conditions and harassment of any kind, and it's important to us that we immediately address any issues with our company culture,'' Complex's statement said.
''We will also continue to investigate any and every claim that does not reflect the company values that our employees expect and deserve from us. While we disagree with some of the assertions that were made based on our findings and the values and policies we've installed, we will be initiating a new investigation immediately, conducted by a third to reexamine this claim.''
Jail Only Allowed White Staff to Guard Ex-Officer Charged With Killing George Floyd - The New York Times
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 08:28
U.S. | Jail Only Allowed White Staff to Guard Ex-Officer Charged With Killing George FloydEight correctional officers said people of color who work in the jail were initially moved away from Derek Chauvin, the officer accused of killing George Floyd.
ST. PAUL, Minn. '-- Staff members working at the jail that held Derek Chauvin, the white officer charged with murder in the killing of George Floyd, say that only white employees were allowed to guard him when he was first brought to the facility last month.
Eight officers have filed complaints with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, saying that the superintendent of the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul kept them from bringing Mr. Chauvin to his cell '-- or even being on the same floor as him '-- last month, solely because of their race.
The officers, half of whom are black and all of whom are people of color, said the orders from the superintendent, Steve Lydon, who is white, amounted to segregation and indicated that he thought they could not be trusted to do their jobs because they are not white.
After initially denying that officers' contact with Mr. Chauvin had been determined by race, a spokesman for the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office acknowledged the move this weekend and said Mr. Lydon had been temporarily removed from the superintendent role as the sheriff investigates the officers' claims.
Roy Magnuson, the spokesman, provided a statement that he said Mr. Lydon gave to investigators. In it, Mr. Lydon said he had decided to keep nonwhite employees away from Mr. Chauvin because he believed having people of color interact with him could have ''heightened ongoing trauma.'' He said he had only done so on short notice and for 45 minutes before realizing that he had made a mistake, after which he reversed the order and apologized. Officers said it had lasted longer '-- affecting one shift two days later '-- and that not enough had been done in response.
The discrimination complaints, which were first reported by The Star Tribune, were the latest instance in which correctional officials have been accused of giving preferential treatment to a white inmate. Some activists have for years argued that officers were too kind to Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., when they placed him in a bulletproof vest and bought him food from Burger King. Critics said that a black suspect in a similar crime would not have gotten the same treatment.
In this case, one of the officers said in his complaint that he had seen, on the jail's cameras, a white lieutenant let Mr. Chauvin use her phone inside his cell, a violation of the facility's policy. Mr. Magnuson said the Sheriff's Office was opening an internal investigation into that claim.
Image Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the killing of Mr. Floyd. Credit... Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, via Associated Press A black sergeant who filed a complaint said in an interview that he was in charge of booking on May 29, when Mr. Chauvin was brought to the jail, and that after he had patted Mr. Chauvin down, Mr. Lydon told him not to have more contact with Mr. Chauvin and asked him who could transport the fired officer instead. When the sergeant pointed to two white officers, Mr. Lydon seemed satisfied, said the sergeant, who is a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve and has worked at the jail for more than a decade. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation from other law enforcement officers.
The officers said in their complaints that employees quickly realized, after Mr. Chauvin arrived, that many of the jail's nonwhite employees had been sent to the third floor. Some began to cry, they said, and the sergeant said some openly questioned whether they should quit and considered walking off the job. He said tensions were already high among employees because people had burned down a Minneapolis police precinct the night before in protest of the killing of Mr. Floyd, who was black.
The sergeant and other officers said that, about an hour after Mr. Chauvin was booked into the jail, they were again kept from doing their jobs when an uncooperative inmate needed to be taken to the fifth floor, where Mr. Chauvin was being held. The sergeant said the officers had to wait until there were enough white officers to bring the inmate to the fifth floor, a special housing unit where high-profile, uncooperative and suicidal people are held.
Bonnie M. Smith, a lawyer in Minneapolis who is representing the eight officers, said at a news conference in front of the jail on Sunday that Mr. Lydon's claim that his order was meant to protect officers of color was ''absurd,'' and that it had made the jail less safe.
''This order didn't help protect anyone,'' Ms. Smith said. ''It was a blatantly discriminatory order.''
She said none of her clients had been interviewed as part of the internal investigation. They are asking the Sheriff's Office to permanently remove Mr. Lydon from overseeing the jail and increase bias training. They are also asking the county to pay them unspecified money for emotional distress and compensation for shifts that some officers said they had missed because they were upset by what had happened.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights will investigate the claims. That office had launched a civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department earlier this month. Mr. Chauvin was moved, last month, to the Oak Park Heights state prison just outside of St. Paul.
Authors quit JK Rowling agency over transgender rights | Books | The Guardian
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 10:43
Four authors represented by JK Rowling's literary agency have resigned after accusing the company of declining to issue a public statement of support for transgender rights.
Fox Fisher, Drew Davies and Ugla Stefan­a Kristj¶nud"ttir J"nsd"ttir said they could no longer work with the Blair Partnership, the London-based agency that represents all aspects of the Harry Potter author's work, because they were not convinced the company ''supports our rights at all avenues''. One other author is understood to have also quit the agency but wishes to remain anonymous.
In a joint statement, Fisher, Davies and J"nsd"ttir said that following Rowling's recent intervention on transgender rights, they had asked the agency ''to reaffirm their commitment to transgender rights and equality''. However, following private talks, they said: ''We felt that they were unable to commit to any action that we thought was appropriate and meaningful.''
As a result, the writers felt unable to continue to be represented by the agency, adding: ''Freedom of speech can only be upheld if the structural inequalities that hinder equal opportunities for underrepresented groups are challenged and changed.''
In its response, the Blair Partnership said it took pride in the diversity of views represented by their authors but it could not compromise on the ''fundamental freedom'' of allowing authors the right to express their thoughts and beliefs.
A spokeswoman said it would always champion diverse voices and believe in freedom of speech for all but it was not willing to have staff ''re-educated'' to meet the demands of a small group of clients.
The authors' public resignations pose a challenge for the publishing industry, which has traditionally prioritised freedom of speech but is facing rebellions from staff and clients over the views of authors.
Earlier this month, it was reported that staff at Rowling's publishing house, Hachette, were told they could not refuse to work on her new children's book because they objected to her views on transgender rights.
The Blair Partnership '' which was founded in 2011 with Rowling as its key client '' represented about 80 individuals before the resignations, including the boxer Tyson Fury, the cyclist Chris Hoy, and the former Labour politician Tom Watson.
J"nsd"ttir, also known as Owl Fisher, said they were happy with the Blair Partnership on a professional level but had asked the agency to make a public declaration of support for transgender rights following Rowling's comments. The co-author of the Trans Teen Survival Guide suggested the literary agency should conduct staff training with the group All About Trans but ''these requests weren't met positively by the management''.
''We tried speaking with them internally before going public. We felt like we had to speak out about it. As trans people it's just a matter of values '... We don't want to be associated with an agency that doesn't value the same things that we do.''
Davies, the author of three published novels, also said he felt unable to continue working with an agency that did not bring ''conviction and communication to the world''.
''I'm gay, I know what it's like to be a minority, and I also know what it's like to be in an industry where you have to be aware of your public persona and how that might affect sales. Every queer person has a shared experience of someone in a more powerful position saying something that feels hurtful,'' he said.
The authors called for greater diversity of voices and staff in the publishing industry and are marking their resignation by making a donation to Shakti Women's Aid, a Scottish charity that supports black, Asian and minority ethnic women who have experienced domestic abuse.
A spokesperson for the Blair Partnership said: ''We support the rights of all of our clients to express their thoughts and beliefs, and we believe in freedom of speech. Publishing and the creative arts are dependent on these things. It is our duty, as an agency to support all of our clients in this fundamental freedom and we do not comment on their individual views.
''We are disappointed by the decision that four clients have taken to part ways with the agency. To reiterate, we believe in freedom of speech for all; these clients have decided to leave because we did not meet their demands to be re-educated to their point of view. We respect their right to pursue what they feel is the correct course of action.
''We value all our authors' voices and, as an agency, champion equality and inclusivity. We remain committed to making the agency the most welcoming environment it can be for everyone. The diversity of our clients' voices is our strength and we take enormous pride from each and every one.''
Antisemite ''Syrian Girl'' Maram Susli Calls for Statues of ''Zionist'' MLK to be Taken Down | Israellycool
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 10:53
Syrian Girl aka Partisangirl aka Mimi al-Laham aka Syrian Sister (real name: Maram Susli) is a Syrian-Australian YouTuber and vile antisemite I have exposed on here before.
She is also a favorite of Israel-haters not troubled by her antisemitism (probably because they also dislike Jews).
Today, she tweeted a call to remove statues of Martin Luther King
Remember, this is the same person who would never dare call for the toppling of statues of her hero, mass murderer Hafez al-Assad (though thankfully, that has already been done)
People who truly cared about Black lives would never make such a call to topple the statue of a venerated leader of the Black community.
That's because she is not about Black lives mattering but rather Jewish lives not.
Please help ensure Israellycool can keep going, by donating one time or monthly
Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King says statues of Jesus Christ should be torn down '-- but just the white ones - TheBlaze
Tue, 23 Jun 2020 07:05
Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King said that it is permissible to tear down the statues of Jesus Christ that show him with European features because they support white supremacy.
"Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down. They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been," King tweeted on Monday.
"In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went? EGYPT! Not Denmark. Tear them down," he added.
"Yes. All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down," he explained in a second tweet.
"They are a gross form [of] white supremacy," he added. "Created as tools of oppression. Racist propaganda. They should all come down."
King has been besieged by accusations from former activist partners and employees that he has been accepting much more money in donations than he is willing to account for publicly. He has denied the accusations.
He also made headlines during the Democratic primary as the campaign surrogate for the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) after he misrepresented a report by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and she responded negatively.
Here's more about the toppling of statues in the U.S.: Statues toppled Washington, San Francisco and North Carolina in anti-racist protests in Americawww.youtube.com
UPDATE: Proved to a Certainty '' Is Bubba Wallace ''Rope Noose'' a Hoax or Misunderstanding? All Talladega Garage Doors Have Nooses '' NASCAR Video Evidence'... | The Last Refuge
Tue, 23 Jun 2020 08:08
This has the potential to be very embarrassing for NASCAR. Very Important Update at Bottom: Absolute Proof. When NASCAR rolled in to Alabama and the Talledega motor speedway, the story of a ''rope noose'' in the garage of Bubba Wallace grabbed media attention. However, a NASCAR video of the exact garage doors at the Talledega motor speedway shows all of the garages have ropes and nooses on them.
The images above are from a 2017 NASCAR ''GarageCam'' walk through during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series garage at Talladega Superspeedway. The rope with a ''noose'' on the end is a simple method to pull down the garage door to close it. The noose provides a place to put your hand/wrist when closing the door.
Hat Tip Tazio Nuvolari who shares: ''My guess on the ''noose'' incident in Talledega, watch this video, look close at the Talladega garage doors. Each one has a rope hanging down with a loop on the end to pull down the doors. One probably broke and someone just tossed it aside, then the crew member found it and thought it was something it wasn't, now NASCAR is trying to figure out how to explain their stupidity.''
The ropes and ''nooses'' are clearly visible [ particularly at 03:20 ] as the cameraman goes from garage bay to garage bay. There are several rope nooses visible and a few of them are severely worn from use. Check it out:
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Is this just a simple misunderstanding amid a climate where NASCAR is sensitive to the current racial narrative sweeping the nation?
Did the Bubba Wallace team accidentally make a major headline grabbing story out of a simple mistaken perspective? Or was the mistaken impression purposefully misunderstood by either the team or the organization to gain attention? You decide.
According to the media:
ALABAMA '' ['...] The discovery of the noose Sunday afternoon in Wallace's garage stall comes as the United States, and NASCAR in particular, more squarely address America's systemic racism in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.
Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR's top circuit, has been an outspoken advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and the corresponding protests against racism and police brutality. He wore an ''I Can't Breathe'' shirt before one event, repainted his car with the ''Black Lives Matter'' phrase and pushed NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag.
NASCAR said it is investigating the noose, and federal investigators said they will review the incident as well.
''We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act,'' NASCAR's statement read. ''We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport.''
The racing organization said there is no place for racism in NASCAR and that the incident ''only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all.''
In addition, the US Attorney's office for the Northern District of Alabama, FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are reviewing the incident, US Attorney Jay E. Town said in statement.
''Regardless of whether federal charges can be brought, this type of action has no place in our society,'' Town said.
A source with Richard Petty Motorsports told CNN that Wallace never saw the noose. A member of his team discovered it and immediately brought it to NASCAR's attention, the source said.
Wallace tweeted Sunday that the ''despicable act'' left him ''incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism.''
''This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in,'' Wallace said. (read more)
The odds that almost every garage door in the Talladega motor speedway has these garage door pull-downs that look like nooses, and this was not exactly what the ''member of the team discovered'', is very small. These are the exact garages that housed Bubba Wallace's car.
These pull-downs are almost certainly what Wallace's team reported to the NASCAR officials that started this international headline story. [ A Shorter Video to SEE ]
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MAJOR UPDATE: We were finally able to locate a picture of Bubba Watson's garage door. The picture below was taken Monday, June 22, 2020 while FBI investigators were reviewing the incident. The source of the picture is HERE: Racing News.
TALLADEGA, ALABAMA '' The #43 Victory Junction Chevrolet, driven by Bubba Wallace (not pictured), waits in the garage area prior to the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on June 22, 2020 in Talladega, Alabama. (Getty Images)
Now here's the same picture with some important notations. Look at the manual garage door pull-down rope on bay #4. Notice how short it is compared to the adjacent bay #5.
( Click Image to Enlarge )
We have a video from November 2019 at Talladega speedway showing the garage door pull-down for bay #4. Many of the garage bay doors have those ''noose'' looking pull-downs to make it easier to use your hand. Clearest visibility of Bay #4 at 00:53
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You can clearly see in the video that Garage Bay door #4 had a hand loop tied into it.
That hand-loop, which could be claimed as a noose if that's what you are predisposed to be looking for, was there in November of 2019 when the video was taken. That hand loop, possibly misconstrued as a ''noose'' has been cut-off in the picture taken yesterday.
Here's a side-by-side comparison: (click image to enlarge)
It wasn't a noose, it was a hand loop to help make closing the garage door easier; and it wasn't put there for Bubba Wallace, because it was there in November 2019.
Additionally, in November of 2019 no-one would know what garage bay would be assigned to Bubba Wallace in June of 2020. It's absolutely ridiculous to see this as targeted hate.
That's it.
100% proof positive evidence of the situation.
Now, the questions remain:
(1) Was this incident purposefully misconstrued as a ''hanging noose'' to drum up racial controversy by Bubba Wallace's NASCAR team?
(2) And was that intentional mistake made exponentially worse, purposefully, by NASCAR going public and orchestrating a ridiculous PR campaign around it?
(3) Were all those involved pulling off a demonstrable hoax in an effort to politicize and capitalize on a controversy? With full forethought and selfish intent?
(4) Or was this some big, stupid, oversensitive misunderstanding?
You decide.
It will be interesting to see how NASCAR responds; but the clarity of the situation is beyond debate. This ''noose in a NASCAR garage'' story was false. This was not targeted racial hate toward Bubba Wallace; and it wasn't even a noose in a NASCAR garage.
Mary Poppins branded 'racist' by US academic over soot scene | The Independent
Tue, 23 Jun 2020 10:49
An American academic has criticised Mary Poppins for projecting racial stereotypes, saying Dame Julie Andrews's character wears ''blackface'' during one scene.
Writing for The New York Times, Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner '' a gender studies professor at Linfield College, Oregon '' sharply criticises the scene where Mary Poppins joins Dick Van Dyke's chimneysweep Bert to dance on a rooftop. The pair both get covered in soot as the dance number ''Step in Time'' is performed.
Pollack-Pelzner says that, while the scene may be comic, the author of the Mary Poppins books, PL Travers, often associated chimney sweeps' blackened faces with racial caricatures.
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He points to one scene in Mary Poppins Opens the Door in which a sweep reaches out to a woman with his darkened hand, to which she replies: ''Don't touch me, you black heathen.''
Later, the sweep approaches a cook, who uses the slur for black South Africans ''Hottentot'' to describe the character.
''The 1964 film replays this racial panic in a farcical key,'' Pollack-Pelzner writes. ''When the dark figures of the chimney sweeps step in time on a roof, a naval buffoon, Admiral Boom, shouts, 'We're being attacked by Hottentots!' and orders his cannon to be fired at the 'cheeky devils'.
''We're in on the joke, such as it is: these aren't really black Africans; they're grinning white dancers in blackface. It's a parody of black menace; it's even posted on a white nationalist website as evidence of the film's racial hierarchy.''
After the article appeared online, many fans of the films responded vehemently, one person calling the piece ''ridiculous'' while another calling it ''manufactured controversy''.
left Created with Sketch. right Created with Sketch.
1/37 Arrival (2016) The set-up: The services of linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) are called upon when aliens arrive on Earth. While experiencing visions of her daughter, who we learn died from cancer in her teens, Louise attempts to communicate with the race in a bid to discern the purpose of their visit.
The twist: Louise deciphers the language, which gives her the ability to see into the future. What we thought were flashbacks are, in fact, flash-forwards '' her daughter is yet to be born.
2/37 Atonement (2007) The set-up: Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) falsely accuses the housekeeper's son (James McAvoy) of raping her cousin when she becomes jealous of his relationship with her older sister (Keira Knightley). He's sent to prison, but is eventually freed to enlist in World War II '' and the audience is told that he eventually rekindled his romance with Cecilia and lived happily ever after.
The twist: Only, they didn't. We learn that this is another lie from an older Briony '' both Robbie and Cecilia died in the war.
3/37 Chinatown (1974) The set-up: Having been hired by Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) to investigate her husband's death, JJ Gittes (Jack Nicholson) discovers the existence of someone crucial to the case: Evelyn's sister, Katherine.
The twist: After being confronted by Gittes, Evelyn reveals that Katherine is also her daughter '' and the result of being raped by her father when she was 15.
4/37 The Crying Game (1992) The set-up: IRA member Fergus (Stephen Rea) promises to protect Dil (Jaye Davidson), the girlfriend of a soldier his group has imprisoned, and soon begins an unexpected relationship with her.
The twist: Dil is transgender, and was born male. Fergus's love for her sees him take the fall for a shooting she commits.
5/37 Dark City (1998) The set-up: Having awoken in a bathtub, and discovering he has telekinetic abilities, John Murdoch attempts to find the truth behind a dystopian world that's inhabited by an evil group who can stop time and implant memories.
The twist: His search for meaning sees him reach the end of the city. With nowhere left to go, he breaks through a wall and finds the city is actually an island floating through outer space.
6/37 The Departed (2006) The set-up: Cop Frank Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) infiltrates the organisation of gang chief Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) at the same time that criminal Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) infiltrates the police force '' and both soon suspect they have spies in their midst.
The twist: Both end up dead. A shocking sequence sees Sullivan kill Costigan who believes he's got away with it. Sergeant Sean Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) sees to that in an equally as shocking climactic scene.
7/37 Les Diaboliques (1955) The set-up: A woman named Christina is enlisted into murdering her husband by his mistress. However, once the deed is done, his body disappears.
The twist: Her husband faked his death with the help of his mistress. The pair wanted to make Christina believe she committed the murder in an attempt to destroy her.
8/37 The Empire Strikes Back (1980) The set-up: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is trained by Obi Wan Kenobi and Jedi master Yoda to defeat the evil Darth Vader, leading to the showdown of all showdowns.
The twist: Skywalker's delivered a blow after making a pretty huge discovery: the villain is his father. Cue shock and awe.
9/37 Fight Club (1999) The set-up: The world of the film's insomniac narrator (Edward Norton) collides with that of Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) as they start an underground club that permits ordinary people to have fistfights with one another.
The twist: The narrator and Tyler are dissociated personalties '' AKA they are the same person.
10/37 The Game (1997) The set-up: Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) flees after agreeing to participate in a twisted "game" that sees him '' among other things '' buried alive and contemplating suicide after accidentally murdering his brother.
The twist: It really was just a game the entire time, set up by his brother who wasn't killed at all.
11/37 Get Out (2017) The set-up: Rose (Allison Williams), a white woman, brings her black boyfriend Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) home to meet her family. Chris soon becomes convinced they bury a dark secret and attempts to convince his girlfriend they should leave.
The twist: He's not wrong '' only Rose is in on the conspiracy. After uncovering photos of black men she's had prior relationships with, Chris is abducted, realising that he's been lured to her cult-like family who want to implant their loved ones's brains into the body of younger black bodies.
12/37 Gone Girl (2014) The set-up: When Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) goes missing, her husband Nick (Ben Affleck) becomes the prime suspect behind her disappearance.
The twist: Mid-way through the film, all becomes clear '' Amy faked her abduction and spent months framing her husband in revenge for his extra-marital digressions.
13/37 Goodnight Mommy (2014) The set-up: Brothers Elias and Lukas (played by real-life siblings Elias and Lukas Schwarz) believe their mother to be an imposter after she returns home having had her face reconstructed due to a car crash. They take (rather disturbing) matters into their own hands.
The twist: One of the twins actually died in the crash. The other, unable to accept his brother's death, has merely imagined him to be alive the whole time and exacts revenge, blaming their mother for his death.
14/37 Identity (2003) The set-up: As a convict awaits execution for several murders, 10 strangers find themselves stranded in a rainstorm at a remote Nevada hotel. Soon, they start getting killed off one by one.
The twist: The strangers comprise the split personalities of the convict. The motel is a fabricated reality via which doctors are attempting to find out which one is causing his murderous tendencies. They zone in on limo driver Ed (John Cusack) without realising they've selected the wrong one: the murderous personality is a nine-year-old kid named Timmy.
15/37 Iron Man 3 (2013) The set-up: Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) must track down and stop a terrorist known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) who has launched a series of attacks on the world.
The twist: He succeeds '' but learns that the Mandarin is actually a British actor called Trevor Slattery who has been hired by the actual people responsible.
16/37 Kill List (2011) The set-up: Two contract killers are given a list of people to dispatch of. Their journey leads them to a cult ceremony where one of the men, Jay (Neil Maskell), must kill one final victim known as The Hunchback.
The twist: The Hunchback is actually his imprisoned wife with their son strapped to her back. After he kills them, he is crowned by the cultists.
17/37 Memento (2000) The set-up: Leonard (Guy Pearce) is tracking down the man who raped and murdered his wife. However, his search is stunted by his short-term memory loss. Throughout the film, he tells the story of Sammy Jankis, a man who accidentally killed his diabetic wife; she kept requesting more insulin as she didn't believe he had memory loss.
The twist: The man responsible only raped his wife and Leonard killed him years ago '' he just can't remember it. His wife's actual killer is... himself. His real name? Sammy Jankis.
18/37 Million Dollar Baby (2004) The set-up: A grizzled boxing trainer seeks atonement by helping Hilary Swank's underdog amateur boxer, Maggie, achieve her dream of becoming a professional.
The twist: Mid-way through the film, Maggie breaks her neck after being sucker punched during a fight. What was a feel-good underdog story swiftly turns into a hard-hitting drama about euthanasia.
19/37 The Mist (2007) The set-up: Helping several others dodge the monsters lurking in the mist, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) leads the escape from the supermarket they've been holed up in. They reach a car and drive away, but soon run out of gas and realise there's no hope. David loads a gun and, as the camera cuts away, shoots the survivors, including his young son.
The twist: As he's gearing up to put the gun to his own head, shadowy figures roll toward him. He's devastated to learn it's actually the military who have combatted the mist creatures. He killed his son for no reason. Talk about awful timing.
20/37 Oldboy (2003) The set-up: Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min-sik) is kidnapped and held in captivity for 15 years. When he's finally released, he exacts revenge with the help of a young girl named Mi-Do (Kang Hye-jung) whom he falls in love with.
The twist: The girl is actually his daughter. His captors orchestrated their meeting.
21/37 Orphan (2009) The set-up: The plot centres on a couple who, after the death of their unborn child, adopt a mysterious nine-year-old girl named Esther (Isabelle Furhman) who starts displaying some disturbing behaviour.
The twist: Esther is actually a 33-year old murderer who has a condition stunting her physical growth.
22/37 The Others (2001) The set-up: Nicole Kidman stars as Grace, a mother who tries to protect her two children from supernatural forces in their Victorian mansion.
The twist: In a spin on the ghost story, it turns out it's Grace and her children who are the ghosts: she killed them '' before turning the gun on herself '' in despair over the presumed death of her husband in World War II.
23/37 The Prestige (2006) The set-up: The film tracks the rivalry of two magicians, Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman), who go to extreme lengths to outsmart one another, each pulling off tricks the other considers impossible.
The twist: It emerges that Fallon, the bearded carer of Borden's children, is actually his twin (he's also played by Bale) while Angier's technique is far more disturbing: each night, using Tesla's technology, he sends his clone plummeting into a water tank.
24/37 Planet of the Apes (1968) The set-up: Three scientists wake up hundreds of years after being launched into space to discover they've landed on a planet where primates rule over humans, who are their prisoners.
The twist: As Charlton Heston's character escapes his cell, he eventually finds the Statue of Liberty protruding from sand. Turns out it's not just any planet '' it's Earth.
25/37 Primal Fear (1996) The set-up: A defence attorney (Richard Gere) has a strong belief that his stuttering altar boy client (Edward Norton) is not guilty of murdering an influential Catholic Archbishop. He's later found not guilty by reason of insanity after being diagnosed with multiple personality disorder.
The twist: He faked the disorder. The film's closing moments see him drop the stutter and reveal his guilt as his attorney looks on, disturbed.
26/37 Psycho (1960) The set-up: What viewers initially think is a film about a theft committed by Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) turns out to be something far more darker. On the run, she arrives at a motel owned by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and is swiftly murdered by his mother.
The twist: Only, it's not his mother '' it's Norman. He killed his mother years before and has since developed a split personality.
27/37 Saw (2004) The set-up: Having been chained up by the Jigsaw killer in a dilapidated bathroom '' which has a corpse lying in the middle of the room '' photographer Adam (Leigh Whannell) overpowers and kills his captor. He rummages through his pockets, looking for the key that will unlock the chain around his leg, convinced the nightmare is finally over.
The twist: Instead, he finds a cassette recorder that reveals his supposed captor was, in fact, another victim of the Jigsaw killer who was merely following his rules in order to obtain an antidote for a poison in his body. Cue a corpse in the middle of the room rising to reveal himself as the real Jigsaw killer. He was there the whole time.
28/37 Seven (1995) The set-up: David Mills (Brad Pitt) and retired PI William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) have closed in on serial killer, John Doe (Kevin Spacey), who has been using the seven deadly sins as inspiration for his murders.
The twist: He has one final murder left to commit '' only he's already committed it. We discover Doe has killed Mills's wife (Gwyneth Paltrow), which prompts him to complete Doe's plan by murdering him out of wrath.
29/37 Shutter Island (2010) The set-up: US Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner (Mark Ruffalo) arrive at a centre for the criminally insane to find an escaped killer who drowned her three children.
The twist: Teddy is actually a patient, and his partner is his doctor. He killed his wife after she murdered their three children and the elaborate ruse is an attempt to bring his repressed memories to the surface.
30/37 The Sixth Sense (1999) The set-up: A young boy who can see dead people encounters a child psychologist named Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) and attempts to discover the reason behind his disturbing ability.
The twist: Crowe is, in fact, dead all along. He got killed during a robbery that we see in the film's opening scene.
31/37 Sleepaway Camp (1983) The set-up: The introverted Angela (Felissa Rose) becomes terrified when a murderer wreaks destruction at the same campsite where her brother Peter was killed eight years before.
The twist: Angela is the killer. She's also not Angela at all, but her presumed dead brother Peter, who was raised as a girl by her aunt following Angela's death.
32/37 The Skin I Live In (2011) The set-up: Skilled plastic surgeon Dr Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas) tries to develop a new skin that could save the lives of burn victims after his wife, Vera, is burned in an auto accident.
The twist: The Vera we're seeing is not wis wife, but a young man whom Robert abducted and subjected to a vaginoplasty six years before.
33/37 Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) The set-up: Peter Parker (Tom Holland) takes a break from trying to stop the film's villain, the Vulture (Michael Keaton), to go to his school's Homecoming dance.
The twist: He shows up to his date's house, knocks on the door... and comes face to face with The Vulture. He's her father.
34/37 Unbreakable (2000) The set-up: David Dunn survives a train crash that kills 130 passengers, and begins to believe he may have special powers. His life soon collides with comic book store owner Elijah (Samuel L Jackson), who has a rare bone disorder, and helps David discover he has the ability to see the criminal acts of those he comes into contact with.
The twist: Elijah is the biggest criminal of them all. When David shakes his hand at the end of the film, he sees that ''Mr Glass'' is the mastermind behind numerous terrorist attacks '' including the train crash he survived.
35/37 The Usual Suspects (1995) The set-up: Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey) reveals a criminal plot concocted by the notorious Keyser Soze. He's eventually set free.
The twist He made the whole thing up '' Kint is Keyser Soze.
36/37 The Visit (2015) The set-up: A mother's rift with her parents is healed when she sends her two children, who they've never met, to stay with them when she goes on holiday. All is going well until the kids become somewhat weirded out by their strange behaviour.
The twist: Their mother becomes disturbed when she sees her parents while Skyping her children - it's not them. It emerges that these imposters are mental home patients who murdered the couple, and have now taken up residence in their house.
37/37 The Wicker Man (1973) The set-up:A sergeant is sent to a remote island in order to investigate the case of a missing girl.
The twist: The girl was never missing '' it was just an elaborate hoax to lure an out-of-towner so the island's residents could sacrifice him to their Sun God.
1/37 Arrival (2016) The set-up: The services of linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) are called upon when aliens arrive on Earth. While experiencing visions of her daughter, who we learn died from cancer in her teens, Louise attempts to communicate with the race in a bid to discern the purpose of their visit.
The twist: Louise deciphers the language, which gives her the ability to see into the future. What we thought were flashbacks are, in fact, flash-forwards '' her daughter is yet to be born.
2/37 Atonement (2007) The set-up: Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) falsely accuses the housekeeper's son (James McAvoy) of raping her cousin when she becomes jealous of his relationship with her older sister (Keira Knightley). He's sent to prison, but is eventually freed to enlist in World War II '' and the audience is told that he eventually rekindled his romance with Cecilia and lived happily ever after.
The twist: Only, they didn't. We learn that this is another lie from an older Briony '' both Robbie and Cecilia died in the war.
3/37 Chinatown (1974) The set-up: Having been hired by Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) to investigate her husband's death, JJ Gittes (Jack Nicholson) discovers the existence of someone crucial to the case: Evelyn's sister, Katherine.
The twist: After being confronted by Gittes, Evelyn reveals that Katherine is also her daughter '' and the result of being raped by her father when she was 15.
4/37 The Crying Game (1992) The set-up: IRA member Fergus (Stephen Rea) promises to protect Dil (Jaye Davidson), the girlfriend of a soldier his group has imprisoned, and soon begins an unexpected relationship with her.
The twist: Dil is transgender, and was born male. Fergus's love for her sees him take the fall for a shooting she commits.
5/37 Dark City (1998) The set-up: Having awoken in a bathtub, and discovering he has telekinetic abilities, John Murdoch attempts to find the truth behind a dystopian world that's inhabited by an evil group who can stop time and implant memories.
The twist: His search for meaning sees him reach the end of the city. With nowhere left to go, he breaks through a wall and finds the city is actually an island floating through outer space.
6/37 The Departed (2006) The set-up: Cop Frank Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) infiltrates the organisation of gang chief Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) at the same time that criminal Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) infiltrates the police force '' and both soon suspect they have spies in their midst.
The twist: Both end up dead. A shocking sequence sees Sullivan kill Costigan who believes he's got away with it. Sergeant Sean Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) sees to that in an equally as shocking climactic scene.
7/37 Les Diaboliques (1955) The set-up: A woman named Christina is enlisted into murdering her husband by his mistress. However, once the deed is done, his body disappears.
The twist: Her husband faked his death with the help of his mistress. The pair wanted to make Christina believe she committed the murder in an attempt to destroy her.
8/37 The Empire Strikes Back (1980) The set-up: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is trained by Obi Wan Kenobi and Jedi master Yoda to defeat the evil Darth Vader, leading to the showdown of all showdowns.
The twist: Skywalker's delivered a blow after making a pretty huge discovery: the villain is his father. Cue shock and awe.
9/37 Fight Club (1999) The set-up: The world of the film's insomniac narrator (Edward Norton) collides with that of Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) as they start an underground club that permits ordinary people to have fistfights with one another.
The twist: The narrator and Tyler are dissociated personalties '' AKA they are the same person.
10/37 The Game (1997) The set-up: Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) flees after agreeing to participate in a twisted "game" that sees him '' among other things '' buried alive and contemplating suicide after accidentally murdering his brother.
The twist: It really was just a game the entire time, set up by his brother who wasn't killed at all.
11/37 Get Out (2017) The set-up: Rose (Allison Williams), a white woman, brings her black boyfriend Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) home to meet her family. Chris soon becomes convinced they bury a dark secret and attempts to convince his girlfriend they should leave.
The twist: He's not wrong '' only Rose is in on the conspiracy. After uncovering photos of black men she's had prior relationships with, Chris is abducted, realising that he's been lured to her cult-like family who want to implant their loved ones's brains into the body of younger black bodies.
12/37 Gone Girl (2014) The set-up: When Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) goes missing, her husband Nick (Ben Affleck) becomes the prime suspect behind her disappearance.
The twist: Mid-way through the film, all becomes clear '' Amy faked her abduction and spent months framing her husband in revenge for his extra-marital digressions.
13/37 Goodnight Mommy (2014) The set-up: Brothers Elias and Lukas (played by real-life siblings Elias and Lukas Schwarz) believe their mother to be an imposter after she returns home having had her face reconstructed due to a car crash. They take (rather disturbing) matters into their own hands.
The twist: One of the twins actually died in the crash. The other, unable to accept his brother's death, has merely imagined him to be alive the whole time and exacts revenge, blaming their mother for his death.
14/37 Identity (2003) The set-up: As a convict awaits execution for several murders, 10 strangers find themselves stranded in a rainstorm at a remote Nevada hotel. Soon, they start getting killed off one by one.
The twist: The strangers comprise the split personalities of the convict. The motel is a fabricated reality via which doctors are attempting to find out which one is causing his murderous tendencies. They zone in on limo driver Ed (John Cusack) without realising they've selected the wrong one: the murderous personality is a nine-year-old kid named Timmy.
15/37 Iron Man 3 (2013) The set-up: Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) must track down and stop a terrorist known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) who has launched a series of attacks on the world.
The twist: He succeeds '' but learns that the Mandarin is actually a British actor called Trevor Slattery who has been hired by the actual people responsible.
16/37 Kill List (2011) The set-up: Two contract killers are given a list of people to dispatch of. Their journey leads them to a cult ceremony where one of the men, Jay (Neil Maskell), must kill one final victim known as The Hunchback.
The twist: The Hunchback is actually his imprisoned wife with their son strapped to her back. After he kills them, he is crowned by the cultists.
17/37 Memento (2000) The set-up: Leonard (Guy Pearce) is tracking down the man who raped and murdered his wife. However, his search is stunted by his short-term memory loss. Throughout the film, he tells the story of Sammy Jankis, a man who accidentally killed his diabetic wife; she kept requesting more insulin as she didn't believe he had memory loss.
The twist: The man responsible only raped his wife and Leonard killed him years ago '' he just can't remember it. His wife's actual killer is... himself. His real name? Sammy Jankis.
18/37 Million Dollar Baby (2004) The set-up: A grizzled boxing trainer seeks atonement by helping Hilary Swank's underdog amateur boxer, Maggie, achieve her dream of becoming a professional.
The twist: Mid-way through the film, Maggie breaks her neck after being sucker punched during a fight. What was a feel-good underdog story swiftly turns into a hard-hitting drama about euthanasia.
19/37 The Mist (2007) The set-up: Helping several others dodge the monsters lurking in the mist, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) leads the escape from the supermarket they've been holed up in. They reach a car and drive away, but soon run out of gas and realise there's no hope. David loads a gun and, as the camera cuts away, shoots the survivors, including his young son.
The twist: As he's gearing up to put the gun to his own head, shadowy figures roll toward him. He's devastated to learn it's actually the military who have combatted the mist creatures. He killed his son for no reason. Talk about awful timing.
20/37 Oldboy (2003) The set-up: Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min-sik) is kidnapped and held in captivity for 15 years. When he's finally released, he exacts revenge with the help of a young girl named Mi-Do (Kang Hye-jung) whom he falls in love with.
The twist: The girl is actually his daughter. His captors orchestrated their meeting.
21/37 Orphan (2009) The set-up: The plot centres on a couple who, after the death of their unborn child, adopt a mysterious nine-year-old girl named Esther (Isabelle Furhman) who starts displaying some disturbing behaviour.
The twist: Esther is actually a 33-year old murderer who has a condition stunting her physical growth.
22/37 The Others (2001) The set-up: Nicole Kidman stars as Grace, a mother who tries to protect her two children from supernatural forces in their Victorian mansion.
The twist: In a spin on the ghost story, it turns out it's Grace and her children who are the ghosts: she killed them '' before turning the gun on herself '' in despair over the presumed death of her husband in World War II.
23/37 The Prestige (2006) The set-up: The film tracks the rivalry of two magicians, Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman), who go to extreme lengths to outsmart one another, each pulling off tricks the other considers impossible.
The twist: It emerges that Fallon, the bearded carer of Borden's children, is actually his twin (he's also played by Bale) while Angier's technique is far more disturbing: each night, using Tesla's technology, he sends his clone plummeting into a water tank.
24/37 Planet of the Apes (1968) The set-up: Three scientists wake up hundreds of years after being launched into space to discover they've landed on a planet where primates rule over humans, who are their prisoners.
The twist: As Charlton Heston's character escapes his cell, he eventually finds the Statue of Liberty protruding from sand. Turns out it's not just any planet '' it's Earth.
25/37 Primal Fear (1996) The set-up: A defence attorney (Richard Gere) has a strong belief that his stuttering altar boy client (Edward Norton) is not guilty of murdering an influential Catholic Archbishop. He's later found not guilty by reason of insanity after being diagnosed with multiple personality disorder.
The twist: He faked the disorder. The film's closing moments see him drop the stutter and reveal his guilt as his attorney looks on, disturbed.
26/37 Psycho (1960) The set-up: What viewers initially think is a film about a theft committed by Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) turns out to be something far more darker. On the run, she arrives at a motel owned by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and is swiftly murdered by his mother.
The twist: Only, it's not his mother '' it's Norman. He killed his mother years before and has since developed a split personality.
27/37 Saw (2004) The set-up: Having been chained up by the Jigsaw killer in a dilapidated bathroom '' which has a corpse lying in the middle of the room '' photographer Adam (Leigh Whannell) overpowers and kills his captor. He rummages through his pockets, looking for the key that will unlock the chain around his leg, convinced the nightmare is finally over.
The twist: Instead, he finds a cassette recorder that reveals his supposed captor was, in fact, another victim of the Jigsaw killer who was merely following his rules in order to obtain an antidote for a poison in his body. Cue a corpse in the middle of the room rising to reveal himself as the real Jigsaw killer. He was there the whole time.
28/37 Seven (1995) The set-up: David Mills (Brad Pitt) and retired PI William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) have closed in on serial killer, John Doe (Kevin Spacey), who has been using the seven deadly sins as inspiration for his murders.
The twist: He has one final murder left to commit '' only he's already committed it. We discover Doe has killed Mills's wife (Gwyneth Paltrow), which prompts him to complete Doe's plan by murdering him out of wrath.
29/37 Shutter Island (2010) The set-up: US Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner (Mark Ruffalo) arrive at a centre for the criminally insane to find an escaped killer who drowned her three children.
The twist: Teddy is actually a patient, and his partner is his doctor. He killed his wife after she murdered their three children and the elaborate ruse is an attempt to bring his repressed memories to the surface.
30/37 The Sixth Sense (1999) The set-up: A young boy who can see dead people encounters a child psychologist named Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) and attempts to discover the reason behind his disturbing ability.
The twist: Crowe is, in fact, dead all along. He got killed during a robbery that we see in the film's opening scene.
31/37 Sleepaway Camp (1983) The set-up: The introverted Angela (Felissa Rose) becomes terrified when a murderer wreaks destruction at the same campsite where her brother Peter was killed eight years before.
The twist: Angela is the killer. She's also not Angela at all, but her presumed dead brother Peter, who was raised as a girl by her aunt following Angela's death.
32/37 The Skin I Live In (2011) The set-up: Skilled plastic surgeon Dr Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas) tries to develop a new skin that could save the lives of burn victims after his wife, Vera, is burned in an auto accident.
The twist: The Vera we're seeing is not wis wife, but a young man whom Robert abducted and subjected to a vaginoplasty six years before.
33/37 Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) The set-up: Peter Parker (Tom Holland) takes a break from trying to stop the film's villain, the Vulture (Michael Keaton), to go to his school's Homecoming dance.
The twist: He shows up to his date's house, knocks on the door... and comes face to face with The Vulture. He's her father.
34/37 Unbreakable (2000) The set-up: David Dunn survives a train crash that kills 130 passengers, and begins to believe he may have special powers. His life soon collides with comic book store owner Elijah (Samuel L Jackson), who has a rare bone disorder, and helps David discover he has the ability to see the criminal acts of those he comes into contact with.
The twist: Elijah is the biggest criminal of them all. When David shakes his hand at the end of the film, he sees that ''Mr Glass'' is the mastermind behind numerous terrorist attacks '' including the train crash he survived.
35/37 The Usual Suspects (1995) The set-up: Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey) reveals a criminal plot concocted by the notorious Keyser Soze. He's eventually set free.
The twist He made the whole thing up '' Kint is Keyser Soze.
36/37 The Visit (2015) The set-up: A mother's rift with her parents is healed when she sends her two children, who they've never met, to stay with them when she goes on holiday. All is going well until the kids become somewhat weirded out by their strange behaviour.
The twist: Their mother becomes disturbed when she sees her parents while Skyping her children - it's not them. It emerges that these imposters are mental home patients who murdered the couple, and have now taken up residence in their house.
37/37 The Wicker Man (1973) The set-up:A sergeant is sent to a remote island in order to investigate the case of a missing girl.
The twist: The girl was never missing '' it was just an elaborate hoax to lure an out-of-towner so the island's residents could sacrifice him to their Sun God.
Pollack-Pelzner responded with a post reading: ''The chief reason I wrote this article was the hope that a Disney exec would read it, take another look at the forthcoming Dumbo remake, and ask if there was anything just a little bit racist they might want to rethink before it hits the big screen.
''Here's one thing I've learned about the alt-right, after I wrote this article and received a zillion hate messages in response: they sure like Mary Poppins!''
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New York Was Named After Slaver Who Shipped 90,000 Africans to America, Has 24+ Streets Named for Slave Owners - National File
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 08:50
As public discourse continues to move toward removing historical statues of figures with histories considered troublesome by modern standards, ranging from Christopher Columbus, to Robert E. Lee, to President George Washington, new light must be shined on the racist, slave-owning history of the Empire State and its commerce capitol, New York City.Both New York and New York City were named after the prestigious house of York, specifically the Duke of York during the mid 17th century, James Stuart.
Stuart captured Dutch settlements along the east coast, eventually capturing New Amsterdam, which was quickly changed to New York to reflect Stuart's role in capturing the town for the British Empire.
Stuart would go on to facilitate the slave trade of between 90,000 and 100,000 Africans through the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
James Stuart conquered the settlements between the Delaware and the Connecticut rivers from the Dutch in 1664, and the name of the principal port, New Amsterdam, was promptly changed to honor the new master. James' brother, King Charles II of England, gave the territory to the duke in exchange for four beaver pelts annually.
The Duke of York, who later became King James II of England (and James VII of Scotland), created Britain's greatest slave empire known as the Royal African Company, which transported between 90,000 and 100,000 African slaves to the Caribbean and American colonies between 1672 and 1689.
The slave trade would not be abolished in New York until over a century later in 1799, when laws were passed to slowly emancipate all slaves living in the state.
While the name itself comes from one of the world's most illustrious slave traders, dozens of New York streets, schools, and buildings are also named after those who engaged in the slave trade.
In 2018, the New York Almanac compiled a list of 24 streets, one high school, and at least two upscale housing divisions named after New Yorkers involved in the slave trade throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.
There are currently five streets named after the Bayard family, which imposed British rule on New York in the 17th century, and ''operated sugar mills processing slave-produced commodities in the city.'' The family also ''owned stakes in at least eight slave-trading ships.''
An additional problematic street runs through what was once the Bayard estate, named Houston street, named for the husband of one member of the Bayard family.
While the head of the Bayard family was at one point the mayor of New York City under British rule, the same man, Nicholas Bayard, was also the nephew of Dutch colonial superintendent Peter Stuyvesant, who during Dutch rule was ''the largest private slaveholder in the Dutch colony.''
The Stuyvesant family is honored by an elite high school and at least two neighborhoods named in its honor, despite this racist history.
There are also numerous iterations of Beekman Street, Clarkson Street, DeLancey Street throughout New York City, its major burghs, and the rest of the state. All of these streets were named after prominent slave owners in New York history.
''Gerardus Beekman, a wealthy physician, landowner, slave trader, and a colonial governor of the Province of New York,'' explains New York Almanac, while the DeLancey family ''owned shares in at least four slave-trading vessels.'' Meanwhile, Matthew Clarkson was ''a Revolutionary War general who partnered in the slave trade with his father, David Clarkson.''
There are also ''DePeyster, Duane, Moore, Mott, Pike, Reade, Rutgers, and Vandam streets, and a Cuylers Alley, all named after investors in the slave-trade.''
Altogether there are at least 24 streets, a high school, and two neighborhoods all named for famous slavers in New York, along with the city itself, named for one of the most powerful and successful slavers in world history.
Protesters topple Forward statue and Heg statue
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 11:42
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Protesters brought down two downtown Madison statues as demonstrations that started early Tuesday afternoon raged late into the night.
The ''Forward'' statue outside of the Statehouse fell first. Protesters descended on the Madison landmark around 10:30 p.m. As some demonstrators formed a perimeter around the statue to keep anyone from approaching, others wrapped a harness around it and pulled it to the ground.
The statue is a replica of the one created by Menasha, Wisconsin, native Jean Pond Miner for 1893'²s World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, she sculpted the ''Forward'' statue to symbolize the progress she felt Wisconsin represented. It was moved to Madison in 1895. The bronze replica that fell Tuesday night was installed in 1998 when the real one moved inside.
Here's the exact moment the Colombian Express statue came down, you see it but can hear it. @nbc15_madison pic.twitter.com/Hs6xiqe03m
'-- George Balekji (@GeorgeBalekji) June 24, 2020The Forward Columbian Exposition statue lies in Wilson, now replaces by a traffic cone on its base. @nbc15_madison pic.twitter.com/ViUNTjJYMS
'-- George Balekji (@GeorgeBalekji) June 24, 2020The 2nd Statue fallsNot long after the Forward statue fell, protesters moved on to the one celebrating Hans Christian Heg and brought it down.
According to Historic Madison, Inc., the statue, which stood at the King Street corner near the Statehouse, paid tribute to the Civil War hero who created the 15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, the so-called Scandiavian Regiment. He was killed in September 1863, fighting the Confederates at the Battle of Chickmauga.
In 1920, Norwegian-Americans began the drive to raise $25,000 to build the statue and commissioned it four years later.
Protesters topple another statue on the Capitol square in Madison. This is statue number 2 tonight that was taken down and is now in the street. pic.twitter.com/mZaB8p3Wzv
'-- Brittney Ermon (@Brittney_NBC15) June 24, 2020Other DamageAccording to the Madison Police Department, during the overnight protests several windows were broken, including at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Glass could be seen shattered around the building early Wednesday morning. Police shared that some tried to force entry into the Capitol, with pepper spray deployed by officers on the inside to keep those individuals away.
Walking back and saw a few lights busted out at Wisconsin's Capitol building and here's the view from the top of the steps facing state street, with no Forward statue replica anymore. pic.twitter.com/P2nfE1dAKt
'-- George Balekji (@GeorgeBalekji) June 24, 2020MPD's incident report also said that a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the City County Building after windows were broken there.
A Day of ProtestsThe statues falling capped a day of protests that began after the arrest of a 28-year-old man outside a Capitol Square restaurant. Less than three hours after the arrest, demonstrators had gathered near the Dane Co. jail, speaking about the way in which officers arrested the man.
The protests accelerated after a man driving a white truck confronted the crowd. Police escorted him away and many on the scene noted the contrast between the initial arrest and this man being taken away.
NBC15 has reached out to MPD to learn what happened to the driver and were told by the officer-in-charge that they have not produced an incident report yet.
Copyright 2020 WMTV. All rights reserved.
Many Medical Decision Tools Disadvantage Black Patients - The New York Times
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:17
Doctors look to these digital calculators to make treatment decisions, but they can end up denying black patients access to certain specialists, drugs and transplants.
A dialysis specialist donned personal protective equipment before treating a patient with coronavirus in a Maryland hospital. Kidney function is one of several factors doctors evaluate differently according to race. Credit... Win Mcnamee/Getty Images Published June 17, 2020Updated June 22, 2020
Unbeknown to most patients, their race is incorporated into numerous medical decision-making tools and formulas that doctors consult to decide treatment for a range of conditions and services, including heart disease, cancer and maternity care, according to a new paper published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The unintended result, the paper concludes, has been to direct medical resources away from black patients and to deny some black patients treatment options available to white patients.
The tools are often digital calculators on websites of medical organizations or '-- in the case of assessing kidney function '-- actually built into the tools commercial labs use to calculate normal values of blood tests. They assess risk and potential outcomes based on formulas derived from population studies and modeling that looked for variables associated with different outcomes.
''These tests are woven into the fabric of medicine,'' said Dr. David Jones, the paper's senior author, a Harvard historian who also teaches ethics to medical students.
''Despite mounting evidence that race is not a reliable proxy for genetic difference, the belief that it is has become embedded, sometimes insidiously, within medical practice,'' he wrote.
The paper is being published at a tense moment in American society as black communities, disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, protest unequal treatment in other areas of their lives.
Dr. Jones said he believed the developers of the tools, who often are academic researchers, are motivated by empiricism, not racism. But the results, his analysis found, have often led to black patients being steered away from treatments or procedures that white patients received.
The paper included a chart listing nine areas of medicine where there are race-based tests, and it analyzed the consequences. For example, it reported, labs routinely use a kidney function calculator that adjusts filtration rates for black patients. With the adjustment, black patients end up with slightly better rates than whites, which can be enough to make those with borderline rates ineligible to be on a kidney transplant list.
An online osteoporosis risk calculator endorsed by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, among others, calculates chances of a fracture differently for black and white women. Black women end up having a score that makes them less likely to be prescribed osteoporosis medication than white women who are similar in other respects.
An obstetric calculator based on observational data concludes that black women who had a previous cesarean birth are less likely to have a successful vaginal birth in a subsequent pregnancy.
Dr. Jones added that it is time to stop what amounts to racial profiling in medicine. ''We need to get off this train,'' he said.
The New England Journal paper built on a collection of recent findings and assessments, including those in a recent paper about kidney function by Dr. Nwamaka Denise Eneanya and her colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania.
To determine how well kidneys are working, doctors use a blood test that measures a protein called creatinine to estimate kidney filtration rate. Low filtration rates indicate a kidney problem.
Dr. Eneanya's team noted that patients with a filtration rate of less than 30 were referred to kidney specialists. They gave an example of a white patient whose level was 28, according to the calculator. A black patient with the same creatinine level would get a race correction under the formula that raises the level to 33. Consequently, the black patient would not get a referral to a specialist.
The same effect could make some black patients ineligible to be put on a list for a kidney transplant '-- those with filtration rates of 20 or above are ineligible.
The formula originated with data from a federal study more than two decades ago that asked if a low-protein diet reduced the risk of kidney disease (it did not, the study showed). The study included precise measures of kidney function and creatinine levels, which let researchers use creatinine to estimate kidney function. The formula fit the data best when they included an adjustment for black patients.
In a more recent paper, in 2009, the researchers combined data from a number of studies to devise an improved formula, asking which variables made the formula best fit the data. Race popped up again.
''The formula was widely adopted,'' said Dr. Melanie Hoenig, a kidney specialist at Harvard Medical School.
One of its principal authors, Dr. Lesley Inker, a kidney specialist at Tufts Medical Center, said she hears the critics.
''What we say is, 'You're right. I understand the difficulty in assigning race,''' Dr. Inker said.
She is working on developing a more accurate formula that does not include race. She added that black patients should be told that their race alters the calculation and should be given an option to have their race excluded.
But, she says, the current formula also can be an advantage for black patients. Those with filtration rates below 30 are ineligible to be prescribed metformin, the first line drug for diabetes, and SGLT2 inhibitors, a more recent class of diabetes drugs.
One problem, is that it is not clear how race is determined. It shows up in medical records but, said Dr. Peter Reese, a kidney transplant specialist and epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, ''I worry that in some situations they look at you and assume.''
With the formulas, there is no accounting for people of mixed race, as the authors of the New England Journal paper and other doctors have noted.
Even if race does have a real effect on lab values for creatinine, why assume it is because of the genetics that determine skin color, some experts asked.
''It could be diet or any of a number of things,'' Dr. Hoenig said, noting that a large protein-heavy meal can temporarily raise creatinine levels.
One often cited explanation is the belief that black people are more muscular than white people, and muscles can release creatinine into the blood. In a recent paper, Dr. Vanessa Grubbs, a kidney specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, tried to trace the origins of that belief and found only a few decades-old studies that did not even measure muscle mass directly, including one saying black children are thinner than white children.
A group of medical students at Harvard has been trying to change the approach to assessing kidney function, with some success.
The group, including Leo Eisenstein, Danika Barry and Cameron Nutt, had heard Dr. Jones in lectures saying race was a social construct and then went into the clinic, where they were told to use a formula that corrects for race in assessing kidney function.
Instead of complaining, Dr. Hoenig told the students, why not go to the leadership and suggest a change? Labs could simply not list race when sending in blood tests for creatinine '-- in that case the formula's default would be the level for whites. Or they could give results as a range and explain to patients that the numbers are an estimate.
A few years ago, Dr. Hoenig and the students made the rounds to executives at Beth Israel Medical Center.
''We went to the chief of medicine, we went to the head of clinical labs, we went to the head of the kidney division, we went to a lot of people and spun our story,'' she said. ''They were open to it.''
In 2017, Beth Israel dropped the race factor in calculating kidney function. But despite pleas for a change, no other hospitals have followed suit.
Recently though, San Francisco General has replaced race as a factor with a choice of values for kidney function depending on the doctor's assessment of whether the patient was muscular or not.
Advocates of change like Dr. Hoenig say they think part of the problem is resistance to changing a system that has become part of medicine.
Dr. Darshali A. Vyas of Massachusetts General Hospital, who is first author of the New England Journal paper, said the ultimate goal is for doctors and researchers to rethink the assumption that they can use a patient's race in making medical decisions.
''This is a challenge to the field about how we think about race and what our default assumptions are about race,'' she said.
Bad Robot Wants To Dismantle JJ Abrams | Disney Star Wars is Dumb
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:22
Hypocrisy incarnate.
Bad Robot, the company that produced The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker, recently tweeted out the following absurd virtue signal.
This is an actual document produced by Bad Robot, and presumably not satire.
Here's the Table of Contents. Perhaps these brainiacs ought to add the word ''glossary'' to their vocabulary.
Most of it consists of links to worthless fringe left articles filled with the kind of garbage knowledge that they feed kids at university. But this is particularly interesting:
No. We are not, as a country, grappling with the result of hundreds of years of systemic racism and state-sanctioned violence against black people. Rather, what we are grappling with instead, is hundreds of years of systemic racism and state-sanctioned violence against black people from the Democratic Party, not as a country. You can read all about that here. And yes, that fully takes into account The Great Southern Strategy Switcheroo Myth.
But let's go ahead and acknowledge history anyway. JJ Abram's history. The white guy who demands an end to white comfort from the comfort of his own Palisades mansion.
This guy, who boldly stated to Metro:
Have you been doing more at Bad Robot to help solve this issue?
''Very much so. To see that women and people of color have been so systematically marginalized in the process of just being considered for jobs, let alone the hiring process. Many times they wouldn't even been on the list for potential hiring.''
''One of the things that Katie, my wife, and I did at Bad Robot is start a process where our agency was asked to only give us lists that only represent the makeup of the country so we could see people who typically would not be there. Whether that's people or women of color.''
''And it was fascinating how that began to change the conversation. It has been very important to us at Bad Robot, and something that I don't feel remotely deserving of an award for.''
''Because I feel that on a fundamental humanistic level it is simply fair. And also on a business level it is simply smart for business. It is a benefit everyway that you look at it.''
And yet, he wasn't the change he wanted to see. He never stepped aside from The Rise Of Skywalker to let a woman of color replace his own bleach white ass.
After all, JJ Abrams is the white guy who made his leading black character a mop wielding janitor, a throwback to tokenism and minstrelsy.
JJ Abrams is the white guy that put out a poster to appease the racist communists in China.
So Bad Robot, if you really want to fight white supremacy, then you need to start cleaning out your own house first, and fire JJ Abrams. Let's be ultra crystal clear on that fact.
Jenny Slate to no longer voice Missy on Big Mouth
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:33
Jenny Slate has announced that she will no longer voice the character of Missy on the series Big Mouth. The character on the Netflix animated series is biracial, and Slate, who is white, wrote on Instagram that ''Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people.''
''I have come to the decision today that I can no longer play the character of 'Missy' on the animated TV show Big Mouth,'' wrote Slate. ''At the start of the show, I reasoned with myself that it was permissible for me to play 'Missy' because her mom is Jewish and White '' as am I.''
Slate goes on to acknowledge how her ''original reasoning was flawed,'' and served ''as an example of white privilege and unjust allowances made within a system of societal white supremacy,'' and that in playing Missy, she ''was engaging in an act of erasure of Black people.''
Her full statement can be read below.
Series creators Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett posted a statement on Twitter supporting Slate's decision to leave the show and promising to recast a Black actor in the role.
"We are proud of the representation Missy has offered cerebral, sensitive women of color, and we plan to continue that representation and further grow Missy's character as we cast a new Black actor to play her,'' the statement read. ''We sincerely apologize for and regret our original decision to cast a white actor to voice a biracial character. We made a mistake, took our privilege for granted, and we're working hard to do better moving forward.''
Here's their full statement:
The first three seasons of Big Mouth are available to stream on Netflix. The series has been renewed for three more seasons on the streaming platform.
Video of Big Mouth Wants To Talk Dirty To You | NYCC 2019 | SYFY WIRE
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Diversity and Dungeons & Dragons | Dungeons & Dragons
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:38
Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is strength, for only a diverse group of adventurers can overcome the many challenges a D&D story presents. In that spirit, making D&D as welcoming and inclusive as possible has moved to the forefront of our priorities over the last six years. We'd like to share with you what we've been doing, and what we plan to do in the future to address legacy D&D content that does not reflect who we are today. We recognize that doing this isn't about getting to a place where we can rest on our laurels but continuing to head in the right direction. We feel that being transparent about it is the best way to let our community help us to continue to calibrate our efforts.
One of the explicit design goals of 5th edition D&D is to depict humanity in all its beautiful diversity by depicting characters who represent an array of ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, and beliefs. We want everyone to feel at home around the game table and to see positive reflections of themselves within our products. ''Human'' in D&D means everyone, not just fantasy versions of northern Europeans, and the D&D community is now more diverse than it's ever been.
Throughout the 50-year history of D&D, some of the peoples in the game'--orcs and drow being two of the prime examples'--have been characterized as monstrous and evil, using descriptions that are painfully reminiscent of how real-world ethnic groups have been and continue to be denigrated. That's just not right, and it's not something we believe in. Despite our conscious efforts to the contrary, we have allowed some of those old descriptions to reappear in the game. We recognize that to live our values, we have to do an even better job in handling these issues. If we make mistakes, our priority is to make things right.
Here's what we're doing to improve:
We present orcs and drow in a new light in two of our most recent books, Eberron: Rising from the Last War and Explorer's Guide to Wildemount. In those books, orcs and drow are just as morally and culturally complex as other peoples. We will continue that approach in future books, portraying all the peoples of D&D in relatable ways and making it clear that they are as free as humans to decide who they are and what they do. When every D&D book is reprinted, we have an opportunity to correct errors that we or the broader D&D community discovered in that book. Each year, we use those opportunities to fix a variety of things, including errors in judgment. In recent reprintings of Tomb of Annihilation and Curse of Strahd, for example, we changed text that was racially insensitive. Those reprints have already been printed and will be available in the months ahead. We will continue this process, reviewing each book as it comes up for a reprint and fixing such errors where they are present. Later this year, we will release a product (not yet announced) that offers a way for a player to customize their character's origin, including the option to change the ability score increases that come from being an elf, a dwarf, or one of D&D's many other playable folk. This option emphasizes that each person in the game is an individual with capabilities all their own. Curse of Strahd included a people known as the Vistani and featured the Vistani heroine Ezmerelda. Regrettably, their depiction echoes some stereotypes associated with the Romani people in the real world. To rectify that, we've not only made changes to Curse of Strahd, but in two upcoming books, we will also show'--working with a Romani consultant'--the Vistani in a way that doesn't rely on reductive tropes. We've received valuable insights from sensitivity readers on two of our recent books. We are incorporating sensitivity readers into our creative process, and we will continue to reach out to experts in various fields to help us identify our blind spots. We're proactively seeking new, diverse talent to join our staff and our pool of freelance writers and artists. We've brought in contributors who reflect the beautiful diversity of the D&D community to work on books coming out in 2021. We're going to invest even more in this approach and add a broad range of new voices to join the chorus of D&D storytelling.And we will continue to listen to you all. We created 5th edition in conversation with the D&D community. It's a conversation that continues to this day. That's at the heart of our work'--listening to the community, learning what brings you joy, and doing everything we can to provide it in every one of our books.
This part of our work will never end. We know that every day someone finds the courage to voice their truth, and we're here to listen. We are eternally grateful for the ongoing dialog with the D&D community, and we look forward to continuing to improve D&D for generations to come.
BLM
The Organizational Structure of Black Lives Matter - Capital Research Center
Tue, 23 Jun 2020 07:50
The May 25 killing of George Floyd by a police officer Derek Chauvin'--who was subsequently charged with Floyd's murder'--touched off a nationwide wave of protests and riots that have thrust Black Lives Matter back into the forefront of America's consciousness. But what exactly is Black Lives Matter as an organization?
In the broadest sense, Black Lives Matter refers to a protest movement spawned by recent and repeated instances of black men and women being killed under apparently controversial to outrageous circumstances. It traces its origins to the 2012 fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman (who was acquitted of Martin's murder) and to ''three radical Black organizers'--Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi.'' The phrase ''Black Lives Matter'' is frequently employed to show opposition to police brutality, as well as in connection to other racially charged issues. Used in this way, it does not imply affiliation with any particular organization.
However, a number of distinct entities operate to one degree or another within the broader Black Lives Matter framework, and they make use of the term or a closely related variant. Two groups in particular'--the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation and the Movement for Black Lives'--appear to be networks of particular coalescence.
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is probably the central Black Lives Matter organization. It claims Garza, Cullors, and Tometi as co-founders and operates the BlackLivesMatter.com website. It has been a fiscally sponsored project of Thousand Currents, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, since 2016. Fiscal sponsorship is an arrangement through which an organization that does not have its own IRS tax-exempt status can operate as a ''project'' of an organization that does. In the case of 501(c)(3) fiscally sponsored projects, this allows for tax-deductible donations.
According to the Thousand Currents website, the official name of this Black Lives Matter entity is ''Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc.'' (hereafter referred to as BLM Global Network Foundation). This is also the name the group has used on recent press releases. The group's name is itself a source of confusion, though, because it also uses the name ''Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc.'' on its About page and ''Black Lives Matter Global Foundation, Inc.'' in its website Privacy Policy.
Things are further complicated by the existence of a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit named ''Black Lives Matter Foundation,'' based in Santa Clarita, California (EIN: 47-4143254). Recent reported statements from both this organization and BLM Global Network Foundation have emphasized that they are not in any way affiliated. But Thousand Currents (the fiscal sponsor of BLM Global Network Foundation) reported a combined $90,130 in grants to the Santa Clarita''based Black Lives Matter Foundation on its fiscal year 2018 and 2017 tax filings.
Comprehensive financial data for fiscally sponsored projects such as BLM Global Network Foundation are often difficult or impossible to discern because projects do not file their own tax forms with the IRS. In a 2019 audit, Thousand Currents disclosed $3,354,654 in donor-restricted assets for Black Lives Matter. That number was $2,622,017 in 2018.
According to grants reported on their respective tax filings and websites, organizations that have specifically earmarked contributions to Thousand Currents for Black Lives Matter (and thus presumably for BLM Global Network Foundation) include the NoVo Foundation ($1,525,000 from 2015 to 2018), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation ($900,000 from 2016 to 2019), and Borealis Philanthropy ($343,000 from 2016 to 2018). Given current circumstances, funding totals will likely be significantly higher in 2020, as BLM Global Network Foundation recently announced a $6.5 million grassroots organizing fund thanks to ''the generosity and support of donors.''
In addition to its own operations, BLM Global Network Foundation serves as the center of a network of 16 affiliated local chapters, such as Black Lives Matter Chicago and Black Lives Matter NYC. In some cases these chapters are themselves fiscally sponsored by other nonprofit organizations. For example, Black Lives Matter Detroit is sponsored by a 501(c)(3) called Allied Media Projects, while Denver-based Black Lives Matter 5280 is sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center. Donations made directly to these chapters would be routed through (and reported as contributions to) their respective fiscal sponsors, rather than through Thousand Currents.
The Movement for Black Lives
A second organization that functions as something of a hub for official Black Lives Matter organizing is the Movement for Black Lives. This group also operates under a fiscal sponsorship arrangement as a project of the Alliance for Global Justice, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. On its website homepage, the Movement for Black Lives describes itself as ''a collective of more than 50 organizations,'' while its donation page says it ''is made up of over 150 organizations.'' One group listed among the 150 is the ''Black Lives Matter Network,'' though it is unclear whether this refers to BLM Global Network Foundation.
The Movement for Black Lives and BLM Global Network Foundation do appear to share a common history, and there is some level of organizational overlap between the two. Black Lives Matter Boston, for example, is listed as a chapter of BLM Global Network Foundation, while also explaining on its website that ''Black Lives Matter Boston remains committed to being active in the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and its broad mission platform.''
The Movement for Black Lives does not disclose its financial statements due to its status as a fiscally sponsored project. The Alliance for Global Justice, though, has reported in its tax filings giving $326,078 to the group from 2016 to 2018. Other organizations that have reported grants to the Movement for Black Lives (through the Alliance for Global Justice) include Borealis Philanthropy and the San Francisco Foundation.
Movements Versus Legal Entities
The upshot of this is that the structure of Black Lives Matter means something different depending on what part of the movement is being referenced. To the person using it on social media or the protestor writing it on a sign, it might simply reflect that individual's anger at events such as George Floyd's killing or serve as a way of expressing support for policy changes. But this ambiguity can cause confusion among observers and commentators when decentralized movements are conflated with actual existing legal entities that accept tax-deductible donations.
Consider a recent example: Michael Jordan released a statement saying ''Black lives matter'' and committing $100 million over 10 years ''to organizations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.'' This was sometimes reported as a $100 million contribution to Black Lives Matter. While the context makes clear that Jordan intends to give in conjunction with the broader goals of the Black Lives Matter movement, he did not indicate which entities would be the recipients'--and there are many, many out there that could fit his description. The unique way that Black Lives Matter straddles the border between decentralized protest movement and organized nonprofit entity makes this confusion understandable and likely to persist.
FRAUD: Black Lives Matter Org. Spending Millions on Luxury Plane Trips, Food, Faux 'Consultants' 'ܠ The Washington Sentinel
Tue, 23 Jun 2020 08:14
The main Black Lives Matter organization has been caught wasting millions of donation dollars on high-end travel expenses, food, and ''consulting'' fees paid out to their pals.
A few weeks ago I said that the untold story of the BLM movement will be that all the millions of dollars that these idiotic corporations, entertainers, and other ne'er do wells are wasting filling the coffers of Black Lives Matter and other ''charity'' groups of its ilk will end up being wasted on garbage that has nothing to do with ''stopping racism.'' It will turn into massive financial fraud the likes of which we've never seen.
Now we are already seeing that the main Black Lives Matter organization is wasting millions on things that have nothing at all to do with helping end racism in America.
We already found that donations to one of these BLM groups are going straight to the Democrat Party. But now, another look at BLM expenses shows that these activists are treating their donations like a giant slush fund to pay for their vacation-styled lives as well as to pad the pockets of their friends who are posing as fake ''consultants.''
Trending: Free Speech Candidate Laura Loomer Opens 9-Point Lead in Florida Congressional Race
Per the Daily Caller:
Black Lives Matter Global Network spent millions on consultants, travel and compensation for its staff from July 2017 through June 2019, according to audited financial statements from its fiscal sponsor, Thousand Currents.
And how much did BLM give to outside groups to help them ''fight racism''?
Six percent.
SIX PERCENT!
BLM Global Network spent $899,000 on travel, $1.6 million on consulting and $2.1 million on personnel costs during its 2017, 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, the financial statements show, together comprising 83.3% of its total spending during the three year period. BLM Global Network granted $328,000 to outside organizations, which include local BLM chapters, during that same time frame, a figure that represents about 6% of its total spending.
Daily Caller even tracked down a former BLM operative who became alarmed with all the money flying every which way EXCEPT to help ''end racism.''
Former BLM activist Ashley Yates has publicly criticized BLM Global Network since as early as 2018 for what she says is a lack of transparency and has accused the organization of squandering money on excessive travel and compensation for its top staffers while giving little to its affiliated chapters.
'...
''I had concerns since the donations started rolling in from day one and I asked each of the co founders individually what happened to all the money several times,'' Yates tweeted in January 2019. ''Each time I got the run around, outright dismissed.''
This was all bound to happen. Many of the BLM groups are launched by street thugs and communist satraps and they don't have the first clue about how charitable organizations work, nor do they have any intention of learning.
What they see is these foolish corporations, and rich, white, self-hating, liberals throwing millions into their pockets so that these Ritchie Riches can feel good about themselves and the activists are greedy for their piece of the free pie.
There is no ''charity'' going on with any of these groups. What is going on is that white liberals are assuaging their white guilt while the fake BLM activists become millionaires.
It is all a giant scam.
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Why are there so many fireworks this year? - The Washington Post
Tue, 23 Jun 2020 10:36
All Danielle Askin wants is a good night of sleep. That simple pleasure has proved elusive since May, when the fireworks began in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where Askin lives. They have not stopped. The explosions start around 9 every night, she says, and continue well into the early hours of morning, like a festive artillery shelling: The rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, scaring the bejesus out of every dog in the neighborhood.
Did you have ''mystery fireworks'' on your 2020 bingo card, after murder hornets and federal agents attacking peaceful protesters with tear gas so the president could pose in front of a church with a Bible? Congratulations. Yes, there are a LOT of amateur fireworks this year. Several cities where fireworks are restricted or illegal have reported an anecdotal increase in fireworks complaints. In New York, there are 80 times as many complaints as the city received in early June 2019. The New York City Police Department says it has logged more than 12,500 911 calls about fireworks this month.
Askin has no idea where all these fireworks are coming from. She has called the police, the mayor's office and her state senator, to no avail. She's used to unsanctioned city fireworks in the summer, but it feels different this year. She's heard similar reports from friends in other cities.
It's a mystery '-- and yet, midway through a year that has been marked by a deadly pandemic, massive protests and widespread anxiety about the future of American democracy, it seems like a fairly natural development.
Askin has heard some theories about why there have been so many fireworks lately. The first is straightforward: Neighborhood kids who have been trapped at home during the pandemic are blowing off steam by blowing up illegal fireworks. (One of her neighbors, Rivky Fieldsteel, told The Washington Post that some kids aimed fireworks directly at her moving car.) Other theories are more sinister and conspiracy-minded.
Not that Askin is particularly caught up in the why.
''I'm like, I don't care what it is,'' she says. ''Make it stop.''
Setting off illegal fireworks has been a beloved summer pastime in many city neighborhoods for years. As some neighborhoods have gentrified, newcomers may be more likely to be bothered by the noise. And with everyone spending a lot more time at home these days, and a pandemic and unemployment pressing on our nerves, maybe we're all just a little more sensitive.
But the intensity of this year's amateur fireworks, in the context of recent clashes between police and racial justice demonstrators, have made some people suspicious.
The weekend after Juneteenth '-- a big fireworks day in many cities '-- a theory exploded on Twitter. The author Robert Jones Jr., in a tweet thread that received tens of thousands of retweets, proposed that the fireworks were ''a coordinated attack on Black and Brown communities by government forces; an attack meant to disorient and destabilize the #BlackLivesMatter movement,'' he wrote.
Jones and commenters suggested that police and government were supplying the fireworks to black communities, to desensitize them to explosion noises so that ''when they start using their real artillery on us we won't know the difference.'' They point to a New York Post story showing New York firefighters setting off fireworks at a station close to midnight last week. Also: unverified reports on social media of mysterious men selling fireworks at steep discounts, and pallets of professional fireworks being left in minority neighborhoods for teens to discover. (New York is planning a multi-agency task force to investigate the spike in fireworks there. A D.C. police spokeswoman said the department is not distributing fireworks.)
Many of the fireworks reports are coming from communities that have good reasons to be suspicious of authorities, which may be why the theory has taken hold. Jones points out the country's history of having ''denied doing things to black and brown people,'' only for those populations to confirm their suspicions later on. There's a connection to explosives, as well: Only 35 years ago, Philadelphia police bombed a house that contained members of a black liberation group called MOVE, killing 11.
''I don't want to think of myself as someone that sees every single little thing as some sort of attack on the black community,'' says Jones. ''But this seems odd.''
Tara McManus, a New York state-licensed pyrotechnician who works on large fireworks displays, has seen the fireworks in her Brooklyn neighborhood, and can tell by their sound and appearance that they are consumer-grade. Not to say those aren't powerful. ''The biggest shells that you can get consumer are five-inch shells,'' McManus says, ''and they go 500 feet in the air.''
Firework sales and possession laws differ widely by jurisdiction. Only sparklers are legal to own in New York state (but prohibited in New York City), for example, while the District prohibits exploding fireworks such as cherry bombs and Roman candles, but permits certain sparklers and ''torches, cones, box fires, fountains, dip-sticks'' and a few other types of fireworks. Professional-grade fireworks can only be purchased with a license, and won't work with just a lighter; they require expensive special equipment to launch.
''I would love to go all in on a theory because I don't appreciate the cops either,'' McManus says. But the notion that ''the police are supplying the streets, and they're doing this to terrorize us, I think that's a huge jump. I think people are really riled up and they haven't been able to let off steam. And that setting off fireworks is a great way to do it.''
That's what fireworks companies think is happening, too.
''There's no concerts to go to. There's no baseball games to go to. People aren't eating out, going to bars,'' says John Sorgi, owner of American Fireworks in Hudson, Ohio. ''It's one of those things that you can do at home, and have fun.''
American Fireworks sells both consumer and professional fireworks. With municipalities canceling Fourth of July parties and summer festivals, sales of more lucrative professional fireworks are down 80 percent, he says. But, ''from the consumer standpoint, we're seeing just massive spikes in sales,'' Sorgi says. Since May, he estimates sales have been up 30 percent compared with previous years.
''Usually around here, you don't really hear them outside of July 1st through the 4th,'' says Sorgi of his small Ohio town. ''But, like, we're hearing fireworks pretty much every night. It's crazy.''
It's the same story at Phantom Fireworks, another Ohio-based company that has stores across the United States. ''Three months ago, when we closed all of our retail units, we feared the worst,'' says William Weimer, the company's vice president and general counsel. ''And then when we reopened, which would have been mid-May, I have to admit, we were totally shocked at the volume of customers.'' Many are first-time buyers. (For those tempted to connect the fireworks to the protest, Phantom's sales uptick began two weeks before the May 25 killing of George Floyd.)
It doesn't hurt that there are good deals on fireworks. ''We have the deepest discounts we've ever offered this year,'' Weimer says. For example: A Phantom Fireworks Groupon was offering a $129 36-shot fireworks box for $40 this month.
In summer evenings, when the fireworks begin '-- earlier and earlier, it seems '-- Sarah Acciani knows where to find her 7-year-old rescue dog, Rose: in the bathroom, cowering and trembling. It's a part of life in the city, especially because she lives near Navy Yard, not too far from Nationals Park. But this year, Rose, a black, mixed-breed dog with the silky ears of a spaniel, practically lives in the bathroom. Acciani has tried using a white noise machine to soothe her dog. She is on her last nerve.
''What if people have babies and they're trying to keep a sleep schedule, or people who have PTSD?'' she says. ''I don't know what's going on, I don't know why it's happening, but all I know is it cannot continue.''
On that point, she and Jones agree.
''It's happening across New York City. It's happening in California. It's happening in Illinois. It's happening in North Carolina, in D.C.,'' he says. It ''could be a strange coincidence, but I need an explanation.''
This story has been updated with information from the NYPD.
Blame universities for Black Lives Matter riots
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 08:32
| June 22, 2020 01:25 PM
America's universities bequeathed the post-George Floyd protests to the country. The protesters, whether peaceful or violent, have justified their actions by denouncing systemic racism in law enforcement and the country as a whole. The basis for their mass grievance is that America is a racist country.
Amid the chaos, the leaders of the Claremont Institute, a California-based think tank, asked an important question: ''Why is it that so many of our citizens believe that America is racist to its core?'' The answer actually is quite straightforward. They explained:
''Because this lie has been preached by our universities and media like the Gospel for a generation. From there, it has traveled throughout society, particularly among the elite. Even most leaders on the Right are unwilling to refute this destructive untruth. In failing to do so, they promote the falsehood, the riots that it has engendered, and ultimately America's destruction. This is to say, the riots are the handiwork of the elite.''
Indeed, universities, especially the elite universities, sowed the seeds of the current convulsions by having peddled for decades the myth that this country is racist. These universities were not the only institutions to do so, but they bear an extraordinary amount of responsibility.
One might think that higher learning should be about the acquisition of knowledge, but elite universities made clear long ago that the most coveted prize was diversity as practiced through identity politics.
Students showing up on campus learn quickly that to be without traditionally desirable qualities such as courage, loyalty, honor, or virtue is of little consequence. Being labeled a racist, however, is tantamount to social and potentially career suicide. Since one could easily be labeled a racist without actually being one, white students usually play it safe by expressing contrition or remorse for their privileged status afforded by what they are told is a racist country.
The racism practiced by the universities themselves is glaringly obvious as well. A lawsuit brought by Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit organization, against Harvard University has revealed a sordid and sophisticated scheme of racial discrimination directed by Harvard against Asian applicants for decades.
Yet Harvard shamelessly justifies its racism by insisting that it has every right to create a ''diverse'' student body. Having too many qualified Asian American students would thwart that goal. In this paradigm, racial minorities contribute to diversity by bringing distinct racial perspectives, and white people generally have little to contribute except to learn from the experiences of others who rank higher on the diversity totem pole.
In this paradigm, other things are obvious as well. Standing up for America? Don't bother. Objecting to the absurdity of identity politics? Too risky. Saying out loud that race or ethnicity is not destiny? Not worth the backlash.
Harvard is far from alone in practicing racism and putting identity politics above all else. Numerous universities across the country, including Harvard's peer competitors, do the same.
Over time, enough students educated in this fashion come to believe that America is actually racist and that everything in daily or political life ultimately must be viewed through the lens of racism. When they graduate, many of them work in the media, on Wall Street, or for large tech giants. Many of them have been out protesting in recent weeks, as surveys show that white people participating in protests are overwhelmingly young and well-educated. They are proud to support Black Lives Matter, the activists spearheading the protests, but their fancy education has rendered them unable to defend the utter absurdity of the movement's current mantra: Defund the police.
Meanwhile, because privileged white people have been told repeatedly for generations that they're inherently uninteresting, many have now taken to trying to make themselves more interesting by rioting. Fighting violently for a black cause is their path to racial redemption. Ironically, peaceful black activists lament and resent the destructive effect such actions have on their movement.
As policymakers are now rightly discussing sensible structural police reform, the disastrous results of how universities educate youth are blowing up (at times literally) in cities, towns, and communities across the country.
For those who do not believe America is racist, the current crisis has made clear that structural reforms to this country's higher education are direly needed.
Ying Ma is the former deputy director of the Committee for American Sovereignty, a pro-Trump Super PAC. She is the author of Chinese Girl in the Ghetto. Follow her on Twitter @gztoghetto.
From the Magazine: 'It Is Time for Reparations' - The New York Times
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 22:49
It feels different this time.
Black Americans protesting the violation of their rights are a defining tradition of this country. In the last century, there have been hundreds of uprisings in black communities in response to white violence. Some have produced substantive change. After the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, uprisings in more than 100 cities broke the final congressional deadlock over whether it should be illegal to deny people housing simply because they descended from people who had been enslaved. The Fair Housing Act, which prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, gender and religion, among other categories, seemed destined to die in Congress as white Southerners were joined by many of their Northern counterparts who knew housing segregation was central to how Jim Crow was accomplished in the North. But just seven days after King's death, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the act into law from the smoldering capital, which was still under protection from the National Guard.
Most of the time these uprisings have produced hand-wringing and consternation but few necessary structural changes. After black uprisings swept the nation in the mid-1960s, Johnson created the Kerner Commission to examine their causes, and the report it issued in 1968 recommended a national effort to dismantle segregation and structural racism across American institutions. It was shelved by the president, like so many similar reports, and instead white Americans voted in a ''law and order'' president, Richard Nixon. The following decades brought increased police militarization, law-enforcement spending and mass incarceration of black Americans.
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The changes we're seeing today in some ways seem shockingly swift, and in other ways rage-inducingly slow. After years of black-led activism, protest and organizing, the weeks of protests since George Floyd's killing have moved lawmakers to ban chokeholds by police officers, consider stripping law enforcement of the qualified immunity that has made it almost impossible to hold responsible officers who kill, and discuss moving significant parts of ballooning police budgets into funding for social services. Black Lives Matter, the group founded in 2013 by three black women, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's killer, saw its support among American voters rise almost as much in the two weeks after Floyd's killing than in the last two years. According to polling by Civiqs, more than 50 percent of registered voters now say they support the movement.
The cascading effect of these protests has been something to behold. The commissioner of the N.F.L., which blackballed Colin Kaepernick for daring to respectfully protest police brutality, announced that the N.F.L. had, in fact, been wrong and that black lives actually do matter. (Kaepernick, on the other hand, still has no job.) HBO Max announced that it would temporarily pull from its roster the Lost Cause propaganda film ''Gone With the Wind'' '-- which in classically American fashion holds the spot as the highest-grossing feature film of all time. NASCAR came to the sudden realization that its decades-long permissiveness toward fans' waving the battle flag of a traitorous would-be nation that fought to preserve the right to traffic black people was, in fact, contrary to its ''commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.'' Bubba Wallace, the only full-time black driver at the sport's top level, who had called on NASCAR to make the move, drove victory laps in an all-black stock car emblazoned with the words ''#BLACKLIVESMATTER.''
Multiracial groups of Americans have defaced or snatched down monuments to enslavers and bigots from Virginia to Philadelphia to Minneapolis and New Mexico, leading local and state politicians to locate the moral courage to realize that they indeed did have the power to purge from public spaces icons to white supremacy. Even the University of Alabama, the place where Gov. George Wallace quite literally stood in the schoolhouse door to try to block the court-ordered admission of two black students, a place whose Grecian-columned campus and still largely segregated sororities pose the living embodiment of Dixie, is removing three plaques honoring Confederate soldiers and will study whether to rename buildings holding the monikers of enslavers and white supremacists after a student-led campaign garnered more than 17,000 signatures.
Unlike so many times in the past, in which black people mostly marched and protested alone to demand recognition of their full humanity and citizenship, a multiracial and multigenerational protest army has taken to the streets over the last month. They've spread across all 50 states in places big and small, including historically all-white towns like Vidor, Texas, where as recently as 1993 a federal judge had to order its public housing integrated. Shortly after, white supremacists ran out of town the handful of black people who had moved in. That Vidor, Texas, which remains 91 percent white and 0.5 percent black, held a Black Lives Matter rally in early June. In countries as disparate as England, Brazil, Kenya and Turkey, crowds pumped fists and carried signs with George Floyd's name.
And this month, a Monmouth University poll showed that 76 percent of Americans, and 71 percent of white Americans, believe that racial and ethnic discrimination is a ''big problem'' in the United States. Just a few years ago, little more than half of white Americans believed that. The numbers in the Monmouth poll were so high that it left some political scientists questioning the poll's quality.
''This number is crazy,'' Hakeem Jefferson, a Stanford University political scientist, told me. ''When I saw it, I thought, 'This is a polling error.' So I did what good social scientists do. I opened the methodological report, worried that they had done a weird sampling. But this is high-quality data.''
It is hard in the midst of something momentous to pinpoint exactly what has caused it. What we're seeing is most likely a result of unrelenting organizing by the Black Lives Matter movement. It's the pandemic, which virtually overnight left staggering numbers of Americans without enough money to buy food, pay rent and sustain their businesses. For many white Americans who may have once, consciously or unconsciously, looked down upon this nation's heavily black and brown low-wage service workers, Covid-19 made them realize that it was the delivery driver and grocery clerk and meatpacker who made it possible for them to remain safely sequestered in their homes '-- and these workers were dying for it. Black Americans, in particular, have borne a disproportionate number of deaths from both Covid-19 and law enforcement, and many nonblack protesters have reasoned that black people should not have to risk their lives alone in taking to the streets demanding that the state not execute its citizens without consequence. And as they did, white Americans both in the streets and through the screens of their phones and televisions got a taste of the wanton police violence that black Americans regularly face. They saw the police beating up white women, pushing down an elderly white man and throwing tear gas and shooting rubber bullets at demonstrators exercising their democratic right to peacefully protest.
With so many Americans working from home or not working at all, they have had the time to show up to protests every day. These protests not only give Americans who are not black a moral reason to leave their homes after weeks of social isolation; they also allow protesters to vent anger at the incompetence of the man in the White House, himself a product of this nation's inability to escape its death pact with white supremacy, who they sense is imperiling this terribly flawed but miraculous country.
It has been more than 150 years since the white planter class last called up the slave patrols and deputized every white citizen to stop, question and subdue any black person who came across their paths in order to control and surveil a population who refused to submit to their enslavement. It has been 150 years since white Americans could enforce slave laws that said white people acting in the interest of the planter class would not be punished for killing a black person, even for the most minor alleged offense. Those laws morphed into the black codes, passed by white Southern politicians at the end of the Civil War to criminalize behaviors like not having a job. Those black codes were struck down, then altered and over the course of decades eventually transmuted into stop-and-frisk, broken windows and, of course, qualified immunity. The names of the mechanisms of social control have changed, but the presumption that white patrollers have the legal right to kill black people deemed to have committed minor infractions or to have breached the social order has remained.
In a country erected on the explicitly codified conviction that black lives mattered less, graveyards across this land hold the bodies of black Americans, men, women and children, legally killed by the institutional descendants of those slave patrols for alleged transgressions like walking from the store with Skittles, playing with a toy gun in the park, sleeping in their homes and selling untaxed cigarettes. We collectively know only a small number of their names: Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Kendra James, Breonna Taylor, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Aiyana Stanley-Jones and Tanisha Anderson are just a few.
And because of what is happening now, George Floyd's name will forever stand out since enough Americans have decided that his death mattered.
What has spawned this extraordinary reckoning, the fire this time, was our collective witness of what must be described without hyperbole as a modern-day lynching. In his 1933 book, ''The Tragedy of Lynching,'' the sociologist Arthur F. Raper estimated that, based on his study of 100 lynchings, white police officers participated in at least half of all lynchings and that in 90 percent of others law-enforcement officers ''either condone or wink at the mob action.'' The nonchalant look on Officer Derek Chauvin's face '-- as, hand in pocket, for 8 minutes 46 seconds, he pressed his knee against the neck of a facedown black man begging for his life '-- reminds me of every callous white face captured in the grisly photos taken in the 1900s to mark the gleeful spectacle of the public killings of black men and women.
It devastates black people that all the other black deaths before George Floyd did not get us here. It devastates black people to recall all the excuses that have come before. That big black boy, Michael Brown, must have charged the weapon-carrying officer. Eric Garner should have stopped struggling. Breonna Taylor's boyfriend had a weapon in her home and shouldn't have shot at the people who, without a knock or an announcement, burst through her door. We're not sure what Ahmaud Arbery was doing in that predominantly white neighborhood. Rayshard Brooks, who in the midst of nationwide protests against police violence was shot in the back twice by a police officer, just shouldn't have resisted.
It should devastate us all that in 2020 it took a cellphone video broadcast across the globe of a black man dying from the oldest and most terrifying tool in the white-supremacist arsenal to make a vast majority of white Americans decide that, well, this might be enough.
We, now, have finally arrived at the point of this essay. Because when it comes to truly explaining racial injustice in this country, the table should never be set quickly: There is too much to know, and yet we aggressively choose not to know it.
No one can predict whether this uprising will lead to lasting change. History does not bode well. But there does seem to be a widespread acceptance of the most obvious action we could take toward equality in a nation built on the espoused ideals of inalienable, universal rights: pass reforms and laws that ensure that black people cannot be killed by armed agents of the state without consequence.
But on its own, this cannot bring justice to America. If we are truly at the precipice of a transformative moment, the most tragic of outcomes would be that the demand be too timid and the resolution too small. If we are indeed serious about creating a more just society, we must go much further than that. We must get to the root of it.
Fifty years since the bloody and brutally repressed protests and freedom struggles of black Americans brought about the end of legal discrimination in this country, so much of what makes black lives hard, what takes black lives earlier, what causes black Americans to be vulnerable to the type of surveillance and policing that killed Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, what steals opportunities, is the lack of wealth that has been a defining feature of black life since the end of slavery.
Wealth, not income, is the means to security in America. Wealth '-- assets and investments minus debt '-- is what enables you to buy homes in safer neighborhoods with better amenities and better-funded schools. It is what enables you to send your children to college without saddling them with tens of thousands of dollars of debt and what provides you money to put a down payment on a house. It is what prevents family emergencies or unexpected job losses from turning into catastrophes that leave you homeless and destitute. It is what ensures what every parent wants '-- that your children will have fewer struggles than you did. Wealth is security and peace of mind. It's not incidental that wealthier people are healthier and live longer. Wealth is, as a recent Yale study states, ''the most consequential index of economic well-being'' for most Americans. But wealth is not something people create solely by themselves; it is accumulated across generations.
While unchecked discrimination still plays a significant role in shunting opportunities for black Americans, it is white Americans' centuries-long economic head start that most effectively maintains racial caste today. As soon as laws began to ban racial discrimination against black Americans, white Americans created so-called race-neutral means of maintaining political and economic power. For example, soon after the 15th Amendment granted black men the right to vote, white politicians in many states, understanding that recently freed black Americans were impoverished, implemented poll taxes. In other words, white Americans have long known that in a country where black people have been kept disproportionately poor and prevented from building wealth, rules and policies involving money can be nearly as effective for maintaining the color line as legal segregation. You do not have to have laws forcing segregated housing and schools if white Americans, using their generational wealth and higher incomes, can simply buy their way into expensive enclaves with exclusive public schools that are out of the price range of most black Americans.
It has worked with impressive efficiency. Today black Americans remain the most segregated group of people in America and are five times as likely to live in high-poverty neighborhoods as white Americans. Not even high earnings inoculate black people against racialized disadvantage. Black families earning $75,000 or more a year live in poorer neighborhoods than white Americans earning less than $40,000 a year, research by John Logan, a Brown University sociologist, shows. According to another study, by the Stanford sociologist Sean Reardon and his colleagues, the average black family earning $100,000 a year lives in a neighborhood with an average annual income of $54,000. Black Americans with high incomes are still black: They face discrimination across American life. But it is because their families have not been able to build wealth that they are often unable to come up with a down payment to buy in more affluent neighborhoods, while white Americans with lower incomes often use familial wealth to do so.
The difference between the lived experience of black Americans and white Americans when it comes to wealth '-- along the entire spectrum of income from the poorest to the richest '-- can be described as nothing other than a chasm. According to research published this year by scholars at Duke University and Northwestern University that doesn't even take into account the yet-unknown financial wreckage of Covid-19, the average black family with children holds just one cent of wealth for every dollar that the average white family with children holds.
As President Johnson, architect of the Great Society, explained in a 1965 speech titled ''To Fulfill These Rights'': ''Negro poverty is not white poverty. '... These differences are not racial differences. They are solely and simply the consequence of ancient brutality, past injustice and present prejudice. They are anguishing to observe. For the Negro they are a constant reminder of oppression. For the white they are a constant reminder of guilt. But they must be faced, and they must be dealt with, and they must be overcome; if we are ever to reach the time when the only difference between Negroes and whites is the color of their skin.''
We sometimes forget, and perhaps it is an intentional forgetting, that the racism we are fighting today was originally conjured to justify working unfree black people, often until death, to generate extravagant riches for European colonial powers, the white planter class and all the ancillary white people from Midwestern farmers to bankers to sailors to textile workers, who earned their living and built their wealth from free black labor and the products that labor produced. The prosperity of this country is inextricably linked with the forced labor of the ancestors of 40 million black Americans for whom these marches are now occurring, just as it is linked to the stolen land of the country's indigenous people. Though our high school history books seldom make this plain: Slavery and the 100-year period of racial apartheid and racial terrorism known as Jim Crow were, above all else, systems of economic exploitation. To borrow from Ta-Nehisi Coates's phrasing, racism is the child of economic profiteering, not the father.
Numerous legal efforts to strip black people of their humanity existed to justify the extraction of profit. Beginning in the 1660s, white officials ensured that all children born to enslaved women would also be enslaved and belong not to their mothers but to the white men who owned their mothers. They passed laws dictating that the child's status would follow that of the mother not the father, upending European norms and guaranteeing that the children of enslaved women who were sexually assaulted by white men would be born enslaved and not free. It meant that profit for white people could be made from black women's wombs. Laws determining that enslaved people, just like animals, had no recognized kinship ties ensured that human beings could be bought and sold at will to pay debts, buy more acres or save storied universities like Georgetown from closing. Laws barred enslaved people from making wills or owning property, distinguishing black people in America from every other group on these shores and assuring that everything of value black people managed to accrue would add to the wealth of those who enslaved them. At the time of the Civil War, the value of the enslaved human beings held as property added up to more than all of this nations' railroads and factories combined. And yet, enslaved people saw not a dime of this wealth. They owned nothing and were owed nothing from all that had been built from their toil.
Slavery's demise provided this nation the chance for redemption. Out of the ashes of sectarian strife, we could have birthed a new country, one that recognized the humanity and natural rights of those who helped forge this country, one that attempted to atone and provide redress for the unspeakable atrocities committed against black people in the name of profit. We could have finally, 100 years after the Revolution, embraced its founding ideals.
And, oh so briefly, during the period known as Reconstruction, we moved toward that goal. The historian Eric Foner refers to these 12 years after the Civil War as this nation's second founding, because it is here that America began to redeem the grave sin of slavery. Congress passed amendments abolishing human bondage, enshrining equal protection before the law in the Constitution and guaranteeing black men the right to vote. This nation witnessed its first period of biracial governance as the formerly enslaved were elected to public offices at all levels of government. For a fleeting moment, a few white men listened to the pleas of black people who had fought for the Union and helped deliver its victory. Land in this country has always meant wealth and, more important, independence. Millions of black people, liberated with not a cent to their name, desperately wanted property so they could work, support themselves and be left alone. Black people implored federal officials to take the land confiscated from enslavers who had taken up arms against their own country and grant it to those who worked it for generations. They were asking to, as the historian Robin D.G. Kelley puts it, ''inherit the earth they had turned into wealth for idle white people.''
In January 1865, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Order 15, providing for the distribution of hundreds of thousands of acres of former Confederate land issued in 40-acre tracts to newly freed people along coastal South Carolina and Georgia. But just four months later, in April, Lincoln was assassinated. Andrew Johnson, the racist, pro-Southern vice president who took over, immediately reneged upon this promise of 40 acres, overturning Sherman's order. Most white Americans felt that black Americans should be grateful for their freedom, that the bloody Civil War had absolved any debt. The government confiscated the land from the few formerly enslaved families who had started to eke out a life away from the white whip and gave it back to the traitors. And with that, the only real effort this nation ever made to compensate black Americans for 250 years of chattel slavery ended.
Freed people, during and after slavery, tried again and again to compel the government to provide restitution for slavery, to provide at the very least a pension for those who spent their entire lives working for no pay. They filed lawsuits. They organized to lobby politicians. And every effort failed. To this day, the only Americans who have ever received government restitution for slavery were white enslavers in Washington, D.C., who were compensated for their loss of human property.
The way we are taught this in school, Lincoln ''freed the slaves,'' and then the nearly four million people who the day before had been treated as property suddenly enjoyed the privileges of being Americans like everyone else. We are not prodded to contemplate what it means to achieve freedom without a home to live in, without food to eat, a bed to sleep on, clothes for your children or money to buy any of it. Narratives collected of formerly enslaved people during the Federal Writers' Project of the 1930s reveal the horrors of massive starvation, of ''liberated'' black people seeking shelter in burned-out buildings and scrounging for food in decaying fields before eventually succumbing to the heartbreak of returning to bend over in the fields of their former enslavers, as sharecroppers, just so they would not die. ''With the advent of emancipation,'' writes the historian Keri Leigh Merritt, ''blacks became the only race in the U.S. ever to start out, as an entire people, with close to zero capital.''
In 1881, Frederick Douglass, surveying the utter privation in which the federal government left the formerly enslaved, wrote: ''When the Hebrews were emancipated, they were told to take spoil from the Egyptians. When the serfs of Russia were emancipated, they were given three acres of ground upon which they could live and make a living. But not so when our slaves were emancipated. They were sent away empty-handed, without money, without friends and without a foot of land on which they could live and make a living. Old and young, sick and well, were turned loose to the naked sky, naked to their enemies.''
Just after the federal government decided that black people were undeserving of restitution, it began bestowing millions of acres in the West to white Americans under the Homestead Act, while also enticing white foreigners to immigrate with the offer of free land. From 1868 to 1934, the federal government gave away 246 million acres in 160-acre tracts, nearly 10 percent of all the land in the nation, to more than 1.5 million white families, native-born and foreign. As Merritt points out, some 46 million American adults today, nearly 20 percent of all American adults, descend from those homesteaders. ''If that many white Americans can trace their legacy of wealth and property ownership to a single entitlement program,'' Merritt writes, ''then the perpetuation of black poverty must also be linked to national policy.''
The federal government turned its back on its financial obligations to four million newly liberated people, and then it left them without protection as well, as white rule was reinstated across the South starting in the 1880s. Federal troops pulled out of the South, and white Southerners overthrew biracial governance using violence, coups and election fraud.
The campaigns of white terror that marked the period after Reconstruction, known as Redemption, once again guaranteed an exploitable, dependent labor force for the white South. Most black Southerners had no desire to work on the same forced-labor camps where they had just been enslaved. But white Southerners passed state laws that made it a crime if they didn't sign labor contracts with white landowners or changed employers without permission or sold cotton after sunset, and then as punishment for these ''crimes,'' black people were forcibly leased out to companies and individuals. Through sharecropping and convict leasing, black people were compelled back into quasi slavery. This arrangement ensured that once-devasted towns like Greenwood, Miss., were again able to call themselves the cotton capitals of the world, and companies like United States Steel secured a steady supply of unfree black laborers who could be worked to death, in what Douglass A. Blackmon, in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, calls ''slavery by another name.''
Yet black Americans persisted, and despite the odds, some managed to acquire land, start businesses and build schools for their children. But it was the most prosperous black people and communities that elicited the most vicious response. Lynchings, massacres and generalized racial terrorism were regularly deployed against black people who had bought land, opened schools, built thriving communities, tried to organize sharecroppers' unions or opened their own businesses, depriving white owners of economic monopolies and the opportunity to cheat black buyers.
At least 6,500 black people were lynched from the end of the Civil War to 1950, an average of nearly two a week for nine decades. Nearly five black people, on average, have been killed a week by law enforcement since 2015.
The scale of the destruction during the 1900s is incalculable. Black farms were stolen, shops burned to the ground. Entire prosperous black neighborhoods and communities were razed by white mobs from Florida to North Carolina to Atlanta to Arkansas. One of the most infamous of these, and yet still widely unknown among white Americans, occurred in Tulsa, Okla., when gangs of white men, armed with guns supplied by public officials, destroyed a black district so successful that it was known as Black Wall Street. They burned more than 1,200 homes and businesses, including a department store, a library and a hospital, and killed hundreds who it is believed were buried in mass graves. In 2001, a commission on the massacre recommended that the state pay financial restitution for the victims, but the State Legislature refused. And this is the place that in the midst of weeks of protests crying out for black lives to matter, Donald Trump, nearly 100 years later, chose to restart his campaign rallies.
Even black Americans who did not experience theft and violence were continuously deprived of the ability to build wealth. They were denied entry into labor unions and union jobs that ensured middle-class wages. North and South, racist hiring laws and policies forced them into service jobs, even when they earned college degrees. They were legally relegated into segregated, substandard neighborhoods and segregated, substandard schools that made it impossible to compete economically even had they not faced rampant discrimination in the job market. In the South, for most of the period after the Civil War until the 1960s, nearly all the black people who wanted to earn professional degrees '-- law, medical and master's degrees '-- had to leave the region to do so even as white immigrants attended state colleges in the former Confederacy that black American tax dollars helped pay for.
As part of the New Deal programs, the federal government created redlining maps, marking neighborhoods where black people lived in red ink to denote that they were uninsurable. As a result, 98 percent of the loans the Federal Housing Administration insured from 1934 to 1962 went to white Americans, locking nearly all black Americans out of the government program credited with building the modern (white) middle class.
''At the very moment a wide array of public policies was providing most white Americans with valuable tools to advance their social welfare '-- ensure their old age, get good jobs, acquire economic security, build assets and gain middle-class status '-- most black Americans were left behind or left out,'' the historian Ira Katznelson writes in his book, ''When Affirmative Action Was White.'' ''The federal government '... functioned as a commanding instrument of white privilege.''
In other words, while black Americans were being systematically, generationally deprived of the ability to build wealth, while also being robbed of the little they had managed to gain, white Americans were not only free to earn money and accumulate wealth with exclusive access to the best jobs, best schools, best credit terms, but they were also getting substantial government help in doing so.
The civil rights movement ostensibly ended white advantage by law. And in the gauzy way white Americans tend to view history, particularly the history of racial inequality, the end of legal discrimination, after 350 years, is all that was required to vanquish this dark history and its effects. Changing the laws, too many Americans have believed, marked the end of the obligation. But civil rights laws passed in the 1960s merely guaranteed black people rights they should have always had. They dictated that from that day forward, the government would no longer sanction legal racial discrimination. But these laws did not correct the harm nor restore what was lost.
Brown v. Board of Education did not end segregated and unequal schools; it just ended segregation in the law. It took court orders and, at times, federal troops to see any real integration. Nevertheless, more than six decades after the nation's highest court proclaimed school segregation unconstitutional, black children remain as segregated from white kids as they were in the early 1970s. There has never been a point in American history where even half the black children in this country have attended a majority-white school.
Making school segregation illegal did nothing to repay black families for the theft of their educations or make up for generations of black Americans, many of them still living, who could never go to college because white officials believed that only white students needed a high school education and so refused to operate high schools for black children. As late as the 1930s, most communities in the South, where the vast majority of black Americans lived, failed to provide a single public high school for black children, according to ''The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935,'' by the historian James D. Anderson. Heavily black Richmond County in Georgia, for instance, did not provide a four-year black high school from 1897 to 1945.
The Fair Housing Act prohibited discrimination in housing, but it did not reset real estate values so that homes in redlined black neighborhoods whose prices were artificially deflated would be valued the same as identical homes in white neighborhoods, which had been artificially inflated. It did not provide restitution for generations of black homeowners forced into predatory loans because they had been locked out of the prime credit market. It did not repay every black soldier who returned from World War II to find that he could not use his G.I. Bill to buy a home for his family in any of the new whites-only suburbs subsidized by the same government he fought for. It did not break up the still-entrenched housing segregation that took decades of government and private policy to create. Lay those redlining maps over almost any city in America with a significant black population, and you will see that the government-sanctioned segregation patterns remain stubbornly intact and that those same communities bore the brunt of the predatory lending and foreclosure crisis of the late 2000s that stole years of black homeownership and wealth gains.
Making employment discrimination illegal did not come with a check for black Americans to compensate for all the high-paying jobs they were legally barred from, for the promotions they never got solely because of their race, for the income and opportunities lost to the centuries of discrimination. Nor did these laws end ongoing discrimination any more than speed limits without enforcement stop people from driving too fast. These laws opened up opportunities for limited numbers of black Americans while largely leaving centuries of meticulously orchestrated inequities soundly in place, but now with the sheen of colorblind magnanimity.
The inclination to bandage over and move on is a definitive American feature when it comes to anti-black racism and its social and material effects. A joint 2019 study by faculty members at Yale University's School of Management, Department of Psychology and Institute for Social and Policy Studies describes this phenomenon this way: ''A firm belief in our nation's commitment to racial egalitarianism is part of the collective consciousness of the United States of America. '... We have a strong and persistent belief that our national disgrace of racial oppression has been overcome, albeit through struggle, and that racial equality has largely been achieved.'' The authors point out how white Americans love to play up moments of racial progress like the Emancipation Proclamation, Brown v. Board of Education and the election of Barack Obama, while playing down or ignoring lynching, racial apartheid or the 1985 bombing of a black neighborhood in Philadelphia. ''When it comes to race relations in the United States '... most Americans hold an unyielding belief in a specific, optimistic narrative regarding racial progress that is robust to counterexamples: that society has come a very long way already and is moving rapidly, perhaps naturally toward full racial equality.''
This remarkable imperviousness to facts when it comes to white advantage and architected black disadvantage is what emboldens some white Americans to quote the passage from Martin Luther King's 1963 ''I Have A Dream'' speech about being judged by the content of your character and not by the color of your skin. It's often used as a cudgel against calls for race-specific remedies for black Americans '-- while ignoring the part of that same speech where King says black people have marched on the capital to cash ''a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds.'''
King has been evoked continuously during this season of protests, sometimes to defend those who looted and torched buildings, sometimes to condemn them. But in this time of foment, there has been an astounding silence around his most radical demands. The seldom-quoted King is the one who said that the true battle for equality, the actualization of justice, required economic repair.
After watching Northern cities explode even as his movement's efforts to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act came to fruition, King gave a speech in 1967 in Atlanta before the Hungry Club Forum, a secret gathering of white politicians and civil rights leaders.
King said: ''For well now 12 years, the struggle was basically a struggle to end legal segregation. In a sense it was a struggle for decency. It was a struggle to get rid of all of the humiliation and the syndrome of depravation surrounding the system of legal segregation. And I need not remind you that those were glorious days. '... It is now a struggle for genuine equality on all levels, and this will be a much more difficult struggle. You see, the gains in the first period, or the first era of struggle, were obtained from the power structure at bargain rates; it didn't cost the nation anything to integrate lunch counters. It didn't cost the nation anything to integrate hotels and motels. It didn't cost the nation a penny to guarantee the right to vote. Now we are in a period where it will cost the nation billions of dollars to get rid of poverty, to get rid of slums, to make quality integrated education a reality. This is where we are now. Now we're going to lose some friends in this period. The allies who were with us in Selma will not all stay with us during this period. We've got to understand what is happening. Now they often call this the white backlash. '... It's just a new name for an old phenomenon. The fact is that there has never been any single, solid, determined commitment on the part of the vast majority of white Americans to genuine equality for Negroes.''
A year later, in March 1968, just a month before his assassination, in a speech to striking, impoverished black sanitation workers in Memphis, King said: ''Now our struggle is for genuine equality, which means economic equality. For we know that it isn't enough to integrate lunch counters. What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn't have enough money to buy a hamburger?''
As we focus on police violence, we cannot ignore an even starker indication of our societal failures: Racial income disparities today look no different than they did the decade before King's March on Washington. In 1950, according to a forthcoming study by the economists Moritz Schularick, Moritz Kuhn and Ulrike Steins in The Journal of Political Economy, black median household income was about half that of white Americans, and today it remains so. More critical, the racial wealth gap is about the same as it was in the 1950s as well. The typical black household today is poorer than 80 percent of white households. ''No progress has been made over the past 70 years in reducing income and wealth inequalities between black and white households,'' according to the study.
And yet most Americans are in an almost pathological denial about the depth of black financial struggle. That 2019 Yale University study, called ''The Misperception of Racial Economic Inequality,'' found that Americans believe that black households hold $90 in wealth for every $100 held by white households. The actual amount is $10.
About 97 percent of study participants overestimated black-white wealth equality, and most assumed that highly educated, high-income black households were the most likely to achieve economic parity with white counterparts. That is also wrong. The magnitude of the wealth gap only widens as black people earn more income.
''These data suggest that Americans are largely unaware of the striking persistence of racial economic inequality in the United States,'' the study's authors write. Americans, they write, tend to explain away or justify persistent racial inequality by ignoring the ''tailwinds that have contributed to their economic success while justifying inequalities of wealth and poverty by invoking the role of individuals' traits and skills as explanations for these disparities.'' They use the exceptional examples of very successful black people to prove that systemic racism does not hold black Americans back and point to the large numbers of impoverished black people as evidence that black people are largely responsible for their own struggles.
In 2018, Duke University's Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development published a report called ''What We Get Wrong About Closing the Racial Wealth Gap'' that examined the common misperceptions about the causes of the racial wealth gap and presented data and social-science research that refutes them all.
The study shows that the racial wealth gap is not about poverty. Poor white families earning less than $27,000 a year hold nearly the same amount of wealth as black families earning between $48,000 and $76,000 annually. It's not because of black spending habits. Black Americans have lower incomes over all but save at a slightly higher rate than white Americans with similar incomes. It's not that black people need to value education more. Black parents, when controlling for household type and socioeconomic status, actually offer more financial support for their children's higher education than white parents do, according to the study. And some studies have shown that black youths, when compared with white youths whose parents have similar incomes and education levels, are actually more likely to go to college and earn additional credentials.
But probably most astounding to many Americans is that college simply does not pay off for black Americans the way it does for other groups. Black college graduates are about as likely to be unemployed as white Americans with a high school diploma, and black Americans with a college education hold less wealth than white Americans who have not even completed high school. Further, because black families hold almost no wealth to begin with, black students are the most likely to borrow money to pay for college and then to borrow more. That debt, in turn, means that black students cannot start saving immediately upon graduation like their less-debt-burdened peers.
It's not a lack of homeownership. While it's true that black Americans have the lowest homeownership rates in the nation, simply owning a home is not the same asset that it is for white Americans. Black Americans get higher mortgage rates even with equal credit worthiness, and homes in black neighborhoods do not appreciate at the same rate as those in white areas, because housing prices are still driven by the racial makeup of communities. As the Duke University economist William Darity Jr., the study's lead author, points out, the ability to purchase a home in the first place is seldom a result of just the hard work and frugality of the buyer. ''It's actually parental and grandparental wealth that facilitates the acquisition of a home.''
It's not because a majority of black families are led by a single mother. White single women with children hold the same amount of wealth as single black women with no children, and the typical white single parent has twice the wealth of the typical two-parent black family.
To summarize, none of the actions we are told black people must take if they want to ''lift themselves'' out of poverty and gain financial stability '-- not marrying, not getting educated, not saving more, not owning a home '-- can mitigate 400 years of racialized plundering. Wealth begets wealth, and white Americans have had centuries of government assistance to accumulate wealth, while the government has for the vast history of this country worked against black Americans doing the same.
''The cause of the gap must be found in the structural characteristics of the American economy, heavily infused at every point with both an inheritance of racism and the ongoing authority of white supremacy,'' the authors of the Duke study write. ''There are no actions that black Americans can take unilaterally that will have much of an effect on reducing the wealth gap. For the gap to be closed, America must undergo a vast social transformation produced by the adoption of bold national policies.''
At the center of those policies must be reparations. ''The process of creating the racial wealth chasm begins with the failure to provide the formerly enslaved with the 40 acres they were promised,'' Darity told me. ''So the restitution has never been given, and it's 155 years overdue.''
Darity has been studying and advocating reparations for 30 years, and this spring he and his partner, A. Kirsten Mullen, published the book ''From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century.'' Both history and road map, the book answers the questions about who should receive reparations and how a program would work. I will not spend much time on that here, except to make these few points. Reparations are not about punishing white Americans, and white Americans are not the ones who would pay for them. It does not matter if your ancestors engaged in slavery or if you just immigrated here two weeks ago. Reparations are a societal obligation in a nation where our Constitution sanctioned slavery, Congress passed laws protecting it and our federal government initiated, condoned and practiced legal racial segregation and discrimination against black Americans until half a century ago. And so it is the federal government that pays.
Reparations would go to any person who has documentation that he or she identified as a black person for at least 10 years before the beginning of any reparations process and can trace at least one ancestor back to American slavery. Reparations should include a commitment to vigorously enforcing existing civil rights prohibitions against housing, educational and employment discrimination, as well as targeted investments in government-constructed segregated black communities and the segregated schools that serve a disproportionate number of black children. But critically, reparations must include individual cash payments to descendants of the enslaved in order to close the wealth gap.
The technical details, frankly, are the easier part. The real obstacle, the obstacle that we have never overcome, is garnering the political will '-- convincing enough Americans that the centuries-long forced economic disadvantage of black Americans should be remedied, that restitution is owed to people who have never had an equal chance to take advantage of the bounty they played such a significant part in creating.
This country can be remarkably generous. Each year Congress allocates money '-- this year $5 million '-- to help support Holocaust survivors living in America. In backing the funding measure, Representative Richard E. Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said in 2018 that this country has a ''responsibility to support the surviving men and women of the Holocaust and their families.'' And he is right. It is the moral thing to do. And yet Congress has refused for three decades to pass H.R. 40, a bill to simply study the issue of reparations. Its drafter, Representative John Conyers Jr., a Michigan Democrat and descendant of enslaved Americans, died in 2019 '-- during the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans enslaved in Virginia '-- without the bill ever making it out of committee.
There are living victims of racial apartheid and terrorism born in this country, including civil rights activists who lost their homes and jobs fighting to make this country a democracy, who have never received any sort of restitution for what they endured. Soon, like their enslaved ancestors, they will all be dead, too, and then we'll hear the worn excuse that this country owes no reparations because none of the victims are still alive. Darity and Mullen call this the ''delay until death'' tactic. Procrastination, they say, does not erase what is owed.
The coronavirus pandemic has dispatched the familiar lament that even if it is the right thing to do, this nation simply cannot afford to make restitution to the 40 million descendants of American slavery. It took Congress just a matter of weeks to pass a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill to help families and businesses struggling from the Covid-19 shutdowns. When, then, will this nation pass a stimulus package to finally respond to the singularity of black suffering?
Colossal societal ruptures have been the only things potent enough to birth transformative racial change in this country, and perhaps a viral pandemic colliding with our nation's 400-year racial one has forced that type of rupture today. Maybe it had to be this way; this deep and collective suffering was necessary for white Americans to feel enough of the pain that black Americans have always known to tilt the scale.
With Covid-19, black Americans face a financial catastrophe unlike any in nearly a century. Black Americans had already lost the largest share of their wealth of all racial groups as a result of the last recession and have struggled the most to recover. They are the only racial group whose household median income is less than it was in 2000. Today already more than half of black adults are out of work. Black businesses are withering. Their owners were almost completely shut out of the federal paycheck-protection program '-- just 12 percent of black and Latino business owners who applied for the small-business loans received the full amounts they requested, according to a Global Strategy Group survey last month. Nearly half the respondents said they would most likely shutter permanently within six months. Black children are expected to lose 10 months' worth of academic gains because of school closures, more than any other group, and yet they attend the schools with the least resources already, schools that will have even fewer resources as states slash spending to make up for budget shortfalls. One in five black homeowners and one in four renters have missed at least one home payment since the shutdowns began '-- the highest of all racial groups.
The pandemic, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, a scholar of social movements and racial inequality at Princeton University, told me, ''has pulled what is hidden and buried on the bottom to the surface so that it can't actually be ignored. It is a radicalizing factor because conditions that have been so dire, now combined with revolts in the street, might lead one to believe that not only is the society unraveling, but it might cause you to question what foundation it was built upon in the first place.''
Race-neutral policies simply will not address the depth of disadvantage faced by people this country once believed were chattel. Financial restitution cannot end racism, of course, but it can certainly mitigate racism's most devastating effects. If we do nothing, black Americans may never recover from this pandemic, and they will certainly never know the equality the nation has promised.
So we are left with a choice. Will this moment only feel different? Or will it actually be different?
If black lives are to truly matter in America, this nation must move beyond slogans and symbolism. Citizens don't inherit just the glory of their nation, but its wrongs too. A truly great country does not ignore or excuse its sins. It confronts them and then works to make them right. If we are to be redeemed, if we are to live up to the magnificent ideals upon which we were founded, we must do what is just.
It is time for this country to pay its debt. It is time for reparations.
Nikole Hannah-Jones is a staff writer for the magazine. In 2020, she won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary for her essay about black Americans and democracy. She is the creator of The 1619 Project, which won the National Magazine Award for public interest and a George Polk special award this year. She is also a 2017 MacArthur fellow.
"Some White People May Have to Die for Black Communities to Be Made Whole" - Far Left UGA Teaching Assistant on Black Lives Matter Movement
Sun, 21 Jun 2020 23:40
Irami Osei-Frampong, a University of Georgia graduate student and teaching assistant recently wrote that some white people may have to die before black communities will be made whole.
Note: His name is spelled Irami Osei-Frimpong on Twitter.
Osei-Frampong made the comments on Facebook and says he's confused on why his words are so controversial.
TRENDING: "Some White People May Have to Die for Black Communities to Be Made Whole" - Far Left UGA Teaching Assistant on Black Lives Matter Movement
WSBTV reported:
A University of Georgia graduate student is getting criticism for comments he wrote on Facebook.
The man at the center of the controversy is Irami Osei-Frampong '-- a philosophy graduate student employed by the university as a teacher's assistant.
He speaks frequently about race and equality, but some critics believe he crossed the line when he made a post online that stated, ''Some white people may have to die for black communities to be made whole.''
Another social media post said: ''Fighting white people is a skill.''
The teaching assistant told Channel 2's Tony Thomas he's confused by the backlash.
''I'm confused why that is so controversial,'' Osei-Frampong said.
Osei-Frampong appeared on Cox Media Group radio station WGAU Tuesday morning, insisting he's not calling for violence, but believes it should remain an option.
KAMALA HARRIS' JAMAICAN HERITAGE - UPDATED - 14.01.2019 - Jamaica Global Online
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 08:55
This article was updated on 14/01/2019
Any notion that California Senator Kamala Harris does not know much about, or underplays her Jamaican heritage was dispelled on a recent visit to South Florida, home to over 100,000 Jamaicans. In Miami for a fund-raiser in support of Senator Bill Nelson, she and sister Maya rubbed shoulders and posed for photos with a number of prominent Jamaican Americans, including Mayor of the City of Miramar Wayne Messam and City of Miramar Commissioner Winston Barnes among others.
In a Facebook post after the event, Barnes effused:
''.....very special lady and as Jamaican as they come'...when I asked her where her dad was from, she says St Anns Bay, so I ask, what you know about St Anns Bay..the response?' ''How you mean man? I know there growing up.''
That's no practiced response!
Senator Kamala Harris and sister Maya(center) pose with fellow Jamaican '' Americans in Miami (Photo Courtesy of Commissioner Winston Barnes) As the presidential buzz continues to grow around the possible candidacy of California Senator Kamala Harris, interest is also growing around her little-known Jamaican heritage. Harris has been quoted as saying she is not ruling out a bid for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election but as her stocks continue to rise the last Washington Post quarterly ranking of July 10, saw her being elevated from #4 to #3 among the possible contenders. The prospect of a woman of Jamaican heritage occupying the White House must lead a curious nation to ask: how much of an influence did her early upbringing by her Jamaican father have on the formation of her character and current world view? In this open and revealing article Donald Harris reflects on the 'Jamaicanness' of his daughter Kamala.
Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man
Aristotle
Reflections of a Jamaican Father By Donald J. Harris As a child growing up in Jamaica, I often heard it said, by my parents and family friends: ''memba whe yu cum fram''. To this day, I continue to retain the deep social awareness and strong sense of identity which that grassroots Jamaican philosophy fed in me. As a father, I naturally sought to develop the same sensibility in my two daughters. Born and bred in America, Kamala was the first in line to have it planted. Maya came two years later and had the advantage of an older sibling as mentor. It is for them to say truthfully now, not me, what if anything of value they carried from that early experience into adulthood. My one big regret is that they did not come to know very well the two most influential women in my life: ''Miss Chrishy'' and ''Miss Iris'' (as everybody called them). This is, in many ways, a story about these women and the heritage they gave us.
My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (n(C)e Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown's Town) and to my maternal grandmother Miss Iris (n(C)e Iris Finegan, farmer and educator, from Aenon Town and Inverness, ancestry unknown to me). The Harris name comes from my paternal grandfather Joseph Alexander Harris, land-owner and agricultural 'produce' exporter (mostly pimento or all-spice), who died in 1939 one year after I was born and is buried in the church yard of the magnificent Anglican Church which Hamilton Brown built in Brown's Town (and where, as a child, I learned the catechism, was baptized and confirmed, and served as an acolyte).
Both of my grandmothers had the strongest influence on my early upbringing(''not to exclude, of course, the influence of my dear mother''Miss Beryl'' and loving father ''Maas Oscar'').
Miss Chrishy was the disciplinarian, reserved and stern in look, firm with 'the strap', but capable of the most endearing and genuine acts of love, affection, and care.
Miss Chrishy dressed up in her usual finery, standing in front of the home at Orange Hill, St Ann parish where I spent my early years She sparked my interest in economics and politics simply by my observing and listening to her in her daily routine.
She owned and operated the popular 'dry-goods store' on the busy main street leading away from the famous market in the centre of Brown's Town. Every day after school, I would go to her shop to wait for the drive home to Orange Hill after she closed the shop. It was here that she was in her groove, while engaged in lively and sometimes intense conversation with all who came into the shop about issues of the day.
Business was front and centre for her, a profession and a family tradition that she embodied and carried with purpose, commitment, pride, and dignity (next to her devotion to the church that, as she often said, her ancestor built). She never paid much attention to the business of the farm at Orange Hill. Her sons took care of that side of the family business. Her constant focus was on issues that affected her business of buying and selling imported 'dry goods' as well as the cost of living, issues that required understanding and keeping up with the news '' a task which she pursued with gusto. She was also fully in charge of 'domestic affairs' in our home and, of course, had raised eight children of her own at an earlier age.
There was a daily diet of politics as well. She was a great admirer of 'Busta' (Sir William Alexander Bustamante, then Chief Minister in the colonial government and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). She claimed, with conviction and pride, to be a ''Labourite'' (as members of the JLP were called) and for the interesting reason that, as she argued, ''labour is at the heart of everything in life''. Little did I know then, what I learned later in studying economics, that my grandmother was espousing her independently discovered version of a Labour Theory of Value!
Her philanthropic side shone through every Easter and Christmas when she had my sister Enid and me package bun and cheese (a favourite Jamaican Easter fare) and other goodies in little boxes that we carried and delivered to families living in the area around our home.
She died in 1951 at the age of 70. Her departure left me, then only fourteen, with a deep sense of sadness and loss.
Miss Iris, mother of eight children too, was the sweetest and gentlest person one could meet, but underneath it was a tough farming woman who ran the cane farm at Thatch Walk (near Aenon Town) jointly owned with her husband ''Mr Christie''. She was always ready to go to church on Sunday to preach and teach about the ''Revelations'' she saw approaching the world at that time (during and after World War II) in accord with the Bible.
I spent summers with her, roaming around the cane field, fascinated by the mechanical operation of cane 'juicing' by the old method (a wooden pole extended out from the grinding machine and tied to a mule walking round and round to grind the cane), and eager to drink a cup of the juice caught directly from the juice flowing into the vat to be boiled and crystallized as 'raw sugar'. No Coke or Pepsi could beat the taste of that fresh cane juice!
It was a joy and a learning experience for me to hang out with the workers on the cane farm, see them wield a 'cutlass' (the machete) with such flourish and finesse, listen to their stories of exploits (some too x-rated for me to repeat), and sit with them as they prepared their meal by putting everything in one big 'Dutch' pot, cooking it over an open fire in the field and serving it out on a big banana leaf for all of us to eat sitting there.
Looking back now I can say, with certainty and all due credit to Miss Iris, that it was this early intimate exposure to operation of the sugar industry at the local level of small-scale production with family labour and free wage-labour, coupled with my growing curiosity about how these things came to be, that led me, once I started reading about the history of Jamaica, to a closer study of the sugar industry. I came then to understand its origin as a system of global production and commerce, based on slave labour, with Jamaica as a key component of that system from its very start.
Miss Iris died in 1981 at the grand old age of 93 and I grieved over the loss of someone so dear and close to me. She is shown here in photo (taken by me in 1966), just back from church, proudly holding in her lap little Kamala, and confident in her firm prediction even then of the future achievements of her great-granddaughter (after giving her 'blessings' by making a cross with her finger on the child's forehead).
Miss Iris with great Granddaughter Kamala From the start, I strived to retrace for my children the path on which I had traveled: from Miss Judah's primary school at Top Road in Brown's Town to Park School 'Elementary' just around the corner, to Titchfield High in Port Antonio, to University College of the West Indies (UCWI) then to Berkeley where Kamala was born, to Illinois where Maya was born, and subsequently to Cambridge University, Wisconsin, Yale, and Stanford.
Throughout this retracing, my message to them, from the lessons I had learned along the way, was that the sky is the limit on what one can achieve with effort and determination and that, in this process, it is important not to lose sight of those who get left behind by social neglect or abuse and lack of access to resources or 'privilege'; also not to get 'swell-headed' (a favourite expression and command of Miss Chrishy); and that it is important to 'give back' with service to some greater cause than oneself.
Donald Harris
Experiencing their Jamaican heritage In their early years, I tried to convey this message in very concrete terms, through frequent visits to Jamaica and engaging life there in all its richness and complexity. In Brown's Town, we walked the streets during 'market day', chatted up the 'higglers' in the market and were rewarded with plenty of 'brawta' (Jamaican word for bonus offerings) in naseberries, mangoes and guinep after each purchase. We checked out the location of the old Park School which had become transformed into Brown's Town Comprehensive High School, strolled into St. Mark's Church and graveyard, and traversed the road up the hill to Orange Hill where my uncle Newton had taken over the family property and started a limestone mining and brick producing operation in addition to the cattle, grass, fruit and pimento farming of earlier times.
Images of Brown's Town courtesy of Bruce T Photography
We drove up to Thatch Walk and worked our way, with lots of cuts and bruises, through the same cane fields where Miss Iris had run a thriving business in the 'good ole days' of sugar and, a long time before, had probably been part of a slave plantation. We played around on the lovely white sand of the beach at Dry Harbour and in the forceful but soothing waters of the world famous Dunns River Falls.
In Kingston, we visited the campus of the former UCWI, today The University of the West Indies ranked in the top 5% of world universities (in my role then as member of the faculty) to view its remarkable physical setting in the misty morning light, the buildings comfortably spread out over the vast lands of the Mona Commons and against the imposing backdrop of the Blue Mountains.
In Port Antonio we visited my high school alma mater at Titchfield, still sitting there (as a powerful symbol of the privileged system of education that existed before the progressive reforms of the Manley era) at the end of the little peninsula overlooking Navy Island and in the historic setting of an ancient battery and cannons pointed out to sea to defend the harbour. We trekked over to the ruins at 'Folly', and to the 'Blue Hole', and took a swim at the exquisite little beach tucked away in a little cove at Fairy Hill.
Map of Jamaica Of course, in later years, when they were more mature to understand, I would also try to explain to them the contradictions of economic and social life in a 'poor' country, like the striking juxtaposition of extreme poverty and extreme wealth, while working hard myself with the government of Jamaica to design a plan and appropriate policies to do something about those conditions. The National Industrial Policy promulgated by the Government of Jamaica in 1996 and the Growth Inducement Strategy of 2011 were the outcome of that continued effort.
Now, far away in the diaspora in 2018, one of the most vivid and fondest memories I have of that early period with my children is of the visit we made in 1970 to Orange Hill. We trudged through the cow dung and rusted iron gates, up-hill and down-hill, along narrow unkempt paths, to the very end of the family property, all in my eagerness to show to the girls the terrain over which I had wandered daily for hours as a boy (with Miss Chrishy hollering in the distance: ''yu better cum home now, bwoy, or else!'').
Upon reaching the top of a little hill that opened much of that terrain to our full view, Kamala, ever the adventurous and assertive one, suddenly broke from the pack, leaving behind Maya the more cautious one, and took off like a gazelle in Serengeti, leaping over rocks and shrubs and fallen branches, in utter joy and unleashed curiosity, to explore that same enticing terrain. I quickly followed her with my trusted Canon Super Eight movie camera to record the moment (in my usual role as cameraman for every occasion). I couldn't help thinking there and then: What a moment of exciting rediscovery being handed over from one generation to another!
This early phase of interaction with my children came to an abrupt halt in 1972 when, after a hard-fought custody battle in the family court of Oakland, California, the context of the relationship was placed within arbitrary limits imposed by a court-ordered divorce settlement based on the false assumption by the State of California that fathers cannot handle parenting (especially in the case of this father, ''a neegroe from da eyelans'' was the Yankee stereotype, who might just end up eating his children for breakfast!). Nevertheless, I persisted, never giving up on my love for my children or reneging on my responsibilities as their father.
So, here we are now
My granddaughter Meena, her aunt Kamala and me All grown up now, Kamala is carving a way for herself in America and Meena is doing the same by her own route (as is her mother Maya). Not to be ignored is little Amara, the first of my two great-granddaughters.
In this Photo I am holding her lovingly and joyfully in my lap, and having there perhaps the same thoughts and expectations about her as Miss Iris might have had about little Kamala on that day, half a century ago, when she held her in her lap. Thus, the cycle continues.
The cycle of history repeats itself in remarkable ways, small and large, across the generations of us Jamaicans, though we may be scattered around in the diaspora and far away from home where it all started. It is up to each generation to play its part, using well the legacy it inherits from the previous generation, so as to leave behind something of value for those who follow.
Notes
* Correction: Miss Chrishy died at age 70, not 62 as previously reported.
Donald J. Harris
Professor of Economics, Emeritus, Stanford University, Stanford, California
September 26, 2018
(C)2018 Donald J. Harris. All rights reserved by the author.
Kamala Harris Fact File
Born October 20,1964 Graduated from Howard University and Hastings Law School UCLA Elected 32nd Attorney General in California (2011-2017) '' First black woman to be so elected Elected US Senator in California in 2017 '' First ever Female Senator of Jamaican descent; first black Senator in California and second black woman to be elected to the US Senate Dubbed by the media as ''the female Obama'', President Obama once described her as being not only brilliant, dedicated and tough but (who) '' also happens to be, by far, the best looking Attorney General in the country.'' Fights for middle class families; children; education; environmental protection; seniors and immigrant communities Has been President Trump's most strident critic inside and outside the Senate Made current US Attorney General Sessions complain that her persistent questioning at his Senate confirmation hearings ''made him nervous''. Led the campaign against the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh immediately his nomination was announced Notable Kamala Harris quotes
'' In order to find balance, I feel very strongly about two things in particular in terms of routine; Work out and eat well''
And this to young women:
'' You've got to work out. It has nothing to do with your weight. It's about your mind.''
TRACKING KAMALA HARRIS ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE She may not have formally declared her intention to make a bid for the Democratic Party nomination for the 2020 Presidential election but this week, Kamala Harris gave the clearest indication yet that she intends to throw her hat into the ring as a contender. Latest reports set the date as January 21, Martin Luther King Day.
She not only began the week by launching a book tour and media blitz to herald the publication of her second book The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, she also boldly declared on ABC's show ''The View'' that the US was ''absolutely'' ready for a woman of colour to be President. Ms. Harris was clearly NOT referring to Elizabeth Warren who recently announced that she was launching an exploratory committee to run for the White House. As the only woman of colour in the picture, Kamala Harris must have been referring to herself. At the same time, she was clever enough to deflect any direct reference to herself by suggesting to her interviewer that she was referring to the sophistication of the American public in making the right choice based on a candidate's abilities rather than gender or colour. As for the timing of the publication of her book, John Diaz of the San Francisco Chronicle observes:
'' The release of the book on the cusp of her expected plunge into the 2020 presidential race is no coincidence''. Diaz continues: '' A pre-candidacy memoir is essential not only to introduce oneself to the relatively limited pool of voters who do their own due diligence, but to provide a baseline of facts and a suggested narrative for commentators and profile writers who will be shaping public perceptions about the contenders.'' He is convinced she has begun her run for 2020.
And in a review of the book for NPR, Daniele Kurtzleben says Harris presents herself as a potentially formidable candidate which is to say she efficiently makes her case like the prosecutor she is.
But if action speaks louder than words there are other clear signs that Harris is preparing herself for a run at the nomination. She recently closed down her state campaign committee ''Harris for Governor 2026'' and although observers are convinced that she had no real intention to enter the California gubernatorial race at any stage, she is strategically redistributing funds collected to various state organizations in advance of California's state caucus which has been brought forward to March. In 2018, she was very active in travelling to crucial primary states like Florida, Iowa and South Carolina to help boost Democratic party candidates running in mid-term elections and her Political Action Committee (PAC) raised over $2.4 million in support of candidates.
Kamala Harris There are still nagging questions that the latest Harris memoir fails to answer. As her reviewer says the book ''reads as a memoir ''but-not-really. Harris does tell her life story but she uses it as a vehicle for telling us what she really wants us to know about her''. Apparently there is much ado about her growing up and relationship with her mother. Jamaicans will be anxious to find out what she has to say about her Jamaican heritage and her relationship with her father!
See Also: A JAMAICAN ON THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE AS KAMALA HARRIS FORMALLY DECLARES HER CANDIDACY
See Also: TRACKING KAMALA HARRIS ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE
De Blasio looks to model racial justice agency after South Africa - New York Daily News
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 08:56
A new city commission on racial justice will be ''just like'' South Africa's famous Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Mayor de Blasio said Sunday.
''We are naming a city commission, a Racial Justice and Reconciliation '-- just like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa,'' Hizzoner said. ''That got to the whole impact that apartheid had on that society, and then talked about everything and acted on everything that needed to be different. Well, that's what we are going to do here in New York City.''
The remarks were pretaped and shared at an online service held by Brooklyn-based Brown Memorial Baptist Church.
The mayor said the commission would focus on ''the history of racism in this city'' and ''get at some larger truths about how people can actually get what they deserve like ... affordable housing'' '-- one of the top priorities of his administration, which ends next year.
He and the city's first lady Chirlane McCray announced the creation of the Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission last week. She and Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson were already heading a task force charged with ensuring racial equity during the city's coronavirus response.
South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission was formed in 1994 in the wake of apartheid, and has since inspired similar undertakings around the world.
Contrary to McCray's Friday assertion that the city's Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission marked the ''first'' municipal or state entity to undertake a ''comprehensive truth and reconciliation process,'' Mississippi's governor and the Clinton administration launched a similar effort in 1997.
HLM
San Francisco's Dysfunctional Plan for Homeless People
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:46
One recent morning a disheveled, visibly disturbed man ran frantically around the lobby of the Mark Hopkins Hotel, the historic and elegant property located at the crest of tony Nob Hill. As one of San Francisco's designated Front-Line Worker Housing (FLWH) hotels, it's reserved for health-care and public-safety employees working on Covid-19 related matters. But San Francisco is surreptitiously placing homeless people in luxury hotels by designating them as emergency front-line workers, a term that the broader community understands to mean doctors, nurses, and similar professionals.
''Do I look scary to you?'' the man demanded. ''They're trying to evict me because I wanted more towels but I'm homeless! They called the cops on me.'' He dashed out the door and around the grand circular entrance, where two police officers attempted to resolve the situation. Soon a cab pulled up and an inebriated couple emerged, holding full plastic trash bags. They fought, screaming at each other until the woman entered the lobby and her partner lit a meth pipe in the garage area. More ''front-line workers.''
If neighborhood residents were more aware of the influx of these new guests who frequently suffer from drug addiction and severe mental illness as well as having criminal backgrounds, they might object. Consequently, the city has evoked emergency-disaster law to keep the information private. Officials refuse to notify the public about what is happening in their community and are blocking the press by withholding the list of hotels and preventing reporters from entering the properties. The Department of Emergency Management has attempted to spin the secrecy by claiming, ''Disclosure of the names of hotels where people are being sheltered could jeopardize the privacy and safety of the vulnerable people whom the City has placed there if the public and the press become aware of the circumstances of their placement and could increase the risk that they will be subject to discrimination or harassment on the basis of their health status or status as an unsheltered person.''
The public does have a right to know, however, and obfuscation is ultimately futile. Security guards standing outside hotel entrances, where they had never been before, are clear indicators that something is amiss. An uptick in crime, drug activity, and vagrancy around the hotels is another clue. Properties that have become de facto homeless shelters range from low-end haunts such as the Motel 6 to mid-range and boutique hotels like the Inn on Broadway and Hotel Del Sol. High-end hotels that house the homeless-turned-frontline-workers include the InterContinental San Francisco '--and the Mark Hopkins.
The Department of Public Health manages the controversial free alcohol, cigarette, and cannabis program for homeless people placed in the hotels. It originally claimed that money for the service came from private donations, which are not allowed by law. After multiple requests to provide the names of the donors, the DPH conceded that ''No such record currently exists.'' A public-records investigation into the matter has revealed that, as of June 16, DPH approved $3,795.98 to buy the homeless guests vodka and beer (cigarettes have been scrapped). The funding came from the public treasury, after all.
Meanwhile chaos is erupting inside and around the hotels. City and hotel workers are required to sign nondisclosure agreements and are forbidden from discussing what they're seeing. Per the Mayor's Declaration of Emergency, speaking out can result in a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment with a maximum sentence of one year, or both.
Nevertheless, concerned inside sources report destroyed rooms and rampant illegal drug use. In one hotel, guests are given needle kits and are advised to call the front desk before shooting up; there have been four deaths in the last few days. Sharp containers have been placed on every floor; used syringes are discarded haphazardly. Badly needed mental-health help is not being administered. The entire operation is disorganized, with staff members constantly moved around, never knowing what they'll do from one day to the next. One source asked to make it clear that as public servants they love the city and all its inhabitants, but the plan has left them deeply demoralized.
The hotels were pressured into accepting the homeless guests, though they were also eager for the chance to recoup some revenue lost to the Covid-19 lockdowns. Rooms are rented at close to $200 per night, totaling $6,000 a month'--nearly double the cost of a private one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. The city-sponsored guests also receive personal grooming, sanitary, and cleaning supplies, three delivered meals, and laundry service for clothes and linens. Contracts last between 90 days and two years; by that point, the guests may be able to claim de facto permanent residence.
Hotel owners consented to the arrangements fully aware of the potential pitfalls, having been assured that FEMA dollars would cover at least some of the damages incurred. As part of the agreement, the city promised the hoteliers, who are worried about bad publicity, that they wouldn't reveal who their guests are and what they've been doing during their stay. Even with complementary lodging and amenities, city workers report at least a 20 percent attrition rate. Of the guests who remain, roughly a third stay outside all day, not taking the shelter-in-place rules seriously.
In the end, the wildly expensive hotel plan is unlikely to help most homeless individuals achieve self-sufficient lives and won't elevate the city's most destitute districts. Since the plan to shift people from tents and doorways to hotels began in May, the blighted neighborhoods have shown no sign of improvement. That's not surprising, since change is not likely until the city disallows tents completely, abandons its hands-off drug-dealing and usage policies, and commits to treating people with addiction issues and mental illness'--not giving them hotel rooms where they can overdose, whether alone or with others whom they bring into the property. At one FLWH hotel, a non-guest was recently found dead in the hallway, still clinging to a crack pipe.
Eventually, at least some of these properties will revert to being real hotels again, and homeless guests will check out. If the city has an exit plan for what happens next, though, officials aren't sharing it.
As for the distressed ''front-line worker'' at the Mark Hopkins, the Department of Emergency Management announced that he is no longer permitted to remain at the hotel. ''The City will be providing accommodations for this individual at an alternative program location.'' Media, says DEM, are not allowed on site.
Erica Sandberg is a widely published consumer-finance reporter based in San Francisco and the author of Expecting Money: The Essential Financial Plan for New and Growing Families. As a community advocate, she focuses on homelessness and crime and safety issues.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
City Journal is a publication of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI), a leading free-market think tank. Are you interested in supporting the magazine? As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donations in support of MI and City Journal are fully tax-deductible as provided by law (EIN #13-2912529). SUPPORT
CCP
Designation of Additional Chinese Media Entities as Foreign Missions - United States Department of State
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 09:17
Over the past decade and particularly under General Secretary Xi Jinping's tenure, the CCP has reorganized China's state propaganda outlets disguised as news agencies and asserted even more direct control over them. He has stated ''Party-owned media must. . . embody the party's will, safeguard the party's authority '... their actions must be highly consistent with the party.'' In short, while Western media are beholden to the truth, PRC media are beholden to the Chinese Communist Party.
Pursuant to authorities under the Foreign Missions Act, the State Department is issuing today a new determination that designates the U.S. operations of China Central Television, China News Service, the People's Daily, and the Global Times as foreign missions. This follows on the February 18 designation of Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation, and Hai Tian Development USA.
These nine entities all meet the definition of a foreign mission under the Foreign Missions Act, which is to say that they are ''substantially owned or effectively controlled'' by a foreign government. In this case, they are effectively controlled by the government of the People's Republic of China.
The decision to designate these entities is not based on any content produced by these entities, nor does it place any restrictions on what the designated entities may publish in the United States. It simply recognizes them for what they are.
Entities designated as foreign missions must adhere to certain administrative requirements that also apply to foreign embassies and consulates in the United States.
This designation recognizes PRC propaganda outlets as foreign missions and increases transparency relating to the CCP and PRC government's media activities in the United States.
Did TikTok teens, K-Pop fans punk Trump's comeback rally?
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 08:48
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) '-- Did teens, TikTok users and fans of Korean pop music troll the president of the United States?
For more than a week before Donald Trump's first campaign rally in three months on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, these tech-savvy groups opposing the president mobilized to reserve tickets for an event they had no intention of attending. While it's unlikely they were responsible for the low turnout, their antics may have inflated the campaign's expectations for attendance numbers that led to Saturday's disappointing show.
''My 16 year old daughter and her friends in Park City Utah have hundreds of tickets. You have been rolled by America's teens,'' veteran Republican campaign strategist Steve Schmidt tweeted on Saturday. The tweet garnered more than 100,000 likes and many responses from people who say they or their kids did the same.
Reached by telephone Sunday, Schmidt called the rally an ''unmitigated disaster'' '-- days after Trump campaign chairman Brad Parscale tweeted that more than a million people requested tickets for the rally through Trump's campaign website.
Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for Trump's Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, said the turnout was a sign of weakening voter support. ''Donald Trump has abdicated leadership and it is no surprise that his supporters have responded by abandoning him,'' he said.
In a statement, the Trump campaign blamed the ''fake news media'' for ''warning people away from the rally'' over COVID-19 and protests against racial injustice around the country.
''Leftists and online trolls doing a victory lap, thinking they somehow impacted rally attendance, don't know what they're talking about or how our rallies work,'' Parscale wrote. ''Reporters who wrote gleefully about TikTok and K-Pop fans '-- without contacting the campaign for comment '-- behaved unprofessionally and were willing dupes to the charade.''
On midday Sunday, it was possible to sign up to stream a recap of the Tulsa event later in the day through Trump's website. It requested a name, email address and phone number. There was no age verification in the signup process, though the site required a PIN to verify phone numbers.
Inside the 19,000-seat BOK Center in Tulsa, where Trump thundered that ''the silent majority is stronger than ever before,'' numerous seats were empty. Tulsa Fire Department spokesperson Andy Little said the city fire marshal's office reported a crowd of just less than 6,200 in the arena.
City officials had expected a crowd of 100,000 people or more in downtown Tulsa, but that never materialized. That said, the rally, which was broadcast on cable, also targeted voters in battleground states such as Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.
Social media users who have followed recent events might not be surprised by the way young people (and some older folks) mobilized to troll the president. They did it not just on TikTok but also on Twitter, Instagram and even Facebook. K-Pop fans '-- who have a massive, coordinated online community and a cutting sense of humor '-- have become an unexpected ally to American Black Lives Matter protesters.
In recent weeks, they've been repurposing their usual platforms and hashtags from boosting their favorite stars to backing the Black Lives Matter movement. They flooded right-wing hashtags such as ''white lives matter'' and police apps with short video clips and memes of their K-pop stars. Many of the early social media messages urging people to sign up for tickets brought up the fact that the rally had originally been scheduled for Friday, June 19, which is Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Tulsa, the location for the rally, was the scene in 1921 of one of the most severe white-on-Black attacks in American history.
Schmidt said he was not surprised. Today's teens, after all, grew up with phones and have ''absolutely'' mastered them, he said. They are also the first generation to have remote Zoom classes and have a ''subversive sense of humor,'' having come of age in a world of online trolls and memes, Schmidt said. Most of all, he said, ''they are aware of what is happening around them.''
''Like salmon in the river, they participate politically through the methods and means of their lives,'' Schmidt added.
That said, the original idea for the mass ticket troll may have come not from a teen but from an Iowa woman. The politics site Iowa Starting Line found that a TikTok video posted on June 11 by Mary Jo Laupp, a 51-year-old grandmother from Fort Dodge, Iowa, suggesting that people book free tickets to ''make sure there are empty seats.'' Laupp's video, which also tells viewers how to stop receiving texts from the Trump campaign after they provide their phone number (simply text ''STOP''), has had more than 700,000 likes. It was also possible to sign up for the rally using a fake or temporary phone number from Google Voice, for instance.
As Parscale himself pointed out in a June 14 tweet, though, the ticket signups were not simply about getting bodies to the rally. He called it the ''Biggest data haul and rally signup of all time by 10x'' '-- meaning the hundreds of thousands of emails and phone numbers the campaign now has in its possession to use for microtargeting advertisements and to reach potential voters.
Sure, it's possible that many of the emails are fake and that the ticket holders have no intention of voting for Trump in November. But while it's possible that this ''bad data'' might prove useless '-- or even hurt the Trump campaign in some way '-- experts say there is one clear beneficiary in the end, and that is Facebook. That's due to the complex, murky ways in which Trump's political advertising machine is tied up with the social media giant. Facebook wants data on people, and whether that is ''good'' or ''bad,'' it will be used to train its systems.
''No matter who signs up or if they go to a rally, Trump gets data to train retargeting on Facebook. FB's system will use that data in ways that have nothing to do with Trump,'' tweeted Georgia Tech communications professor Ian Bogost. ''Might these 'fake' signups mess up the Trump team's targeting data? Maybe it could, to some extent. But the entire system is so vast and incomprehensible, we'll never really know.''
___
Associated Press writer Ali Swenson contributed to this story from Seattle.
Bill Announcement | The White House
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 07:13
On Wednesday, November 27, 2019, the President signed into law:
H.R. 3889, the ''ONDCP Technical Corrections Act of 2019,'' which makes technical corrections to certain laws authorizing the operations and activities of the Office of National Drug Control Policy;
H.R. 4258, the ''Reauthorizing Security for Supreme Court Justices Act of 2019,'' which permanently authorizes the Marshal of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court Police to protect Supreme Court Justices in any location;
S. 1838, the ''Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019,'' which reaffirms and amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, specifies U.S. policy towards Hong Kong, directs assessment of the political developments in Hong Kong, and other purposes; and
S. 2710, which prohibits U.S. exports of specified police equipment to Hong Kong.
Summary of S. 1838: Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 - GovTrack.us
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 07:13
The legislation recently unanimously passed both a Senate and House committee.
ContextMillions of Hong Kong citizens have peacefully protested and demonstrated since June, in marches and rallies that have grabbed the world's attention. Held at first in response to a specific legislative bill proposing easier extraditions, the protests later metastasized into a more all-encompassing demand for governmental reforms.
Hong Kong is a special ''administrative region,'' formally part of the United Kingdom for about 150 years, but now part of China since a 1997 changeover. Although the changeover's terms originally required China to pledge a generally hands-off approach to Hong Kong, certainly much more so than the heavy governmental control China applies to the rest of their nation, China has gradually ramped up control since 1997.
This summer's proposed bill in Hong Kong about extraditions '-- which would make it easier for their citizens accused of a crime to be sent away, including most notably to mainland China where dissident citizens can be ''disappeared'' '-- was seen by many in Hong Kong as the last straw.
In the U.S., the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 has governed U.S. policy towards the region. Essentially, it maintains all treaties and commitments to Hong Kong regardless of China's official national agreement or participation. China, of course, sharply criticized the legislation at the time of its enactment.
What the legislation doesThe Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would require the State Department annually re-certify Hong Kong's autonomous nature, in order for the so-called ''special treatment'' the U.S. affords Hong Kong to continue.
It would also mandate the U.S. government identify any specific people involved in abductions of Hong Kong protesters or extraditions of Hong Kong citizens to mainland China, and freeze any of their U.S.-based assets and deny them physical entry into the U.S.
Lastly, it would clarify under federal law that nobody should be denied a visa to the U.S. on the basis of participating in Hong Kong protests.
The House version was introduced on May 13 as bill number H.R. 3289, by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ4). The Senate version was introduced the same day as bill number S. 1838, by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
What supporters saySupporters argue the legislation stands on the side of human rights, democracy, and personal freedom over autocracy, government control, and authoritarianism.
''Democracy and freedom are under assault in Hong Kong, and it is critical for the Congress to reaffirm the United States' commitment to Hong Kong's autonomy, to the human rights guaranteed the people of Hong Kong, and to those peacefully protesting the Chinese government's increasingly rough oversight of Hong Kong,'' Rep. Smith said in a press release.
''It is in everyone's interest that Hong Kong remain a free and prosperous bridge between China and the world,'' Rep. Smith continued. ''But if Beijing intends to force Hong Kong into becoming just another mainland Chinese city under authoritarian rule, we must reevaluate whether Hong Kong warrants the special status granted under U.S. law.''
''As over one million Hong Kongers take to the streets protesting amendments to the territory's extradition law, the U.S. must send a strong message that we stand with those peacefully advocating for freedom and the rule of law and against Beijing's growing interference in Hong Kong affairs,'' Sen. Rubio said in the same press release.
''I am proud to re-introduce legislation that places the U.S. firmly on the side of human rights and democracy and against those who would erode the freedoms and autonomy guaranteed to the people of Hong Kong, freedoms that have made the city a prosperous global commercial hub governed by the rule of law.''
What opponents sayThe legislation has virtually no American opponents, with political opposites Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both supporting the legislation. However, as one might imagine, mainland China is particularly opposed to the legislation, claiming it violates international sovereignty and exposes hypocrisies of U.S. failures on human rights.
''Hong Kong is at a critical moment to reclaim law and order. However, it seems that some US lawmakers are trying to stand in the way,'' China's official Xinhua News Agency wrote.
''By smearing China to score cheap political gains as usual, these politicians are turning a blind eye to the undeniable facts that China has in the past 22 years unswervingly upheld its commitments to the Basic Law with an effective implementation of the 'one country, two systems' principle and a high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong,'' the article continued.
''According to the Canadian Fraser Institute's latest Human Freedom Index, Hong Kong ranks third in the world, far better than that of the United States, which ranks 17th.''
Odds of passageThe House version has attracted 45 bipartisan cosponsors: 24 Democrats and 21 Republicans. The Senate version has attracted 22 bipartisan cosponsors: 12 Democrats or Democratic-affiliated independents and 10 Republicans.
On September 25, the legislation passed unanimously in both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In 2017, a previous House version only attracted one Democratic cosponsor and never received a vote. That same year, a Senate version attracted two bipartisan cosponsors '-- one Democrat, one Republican '-- but never received a vote.
However, the tensions in Hong Kong issue has grown considerably in scope and publicity since then, especially since about June 2019 amid widespread protests. Given the legislation's bipartisan cosponsorship, passage seems reasonably likely.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Nov 28, 2019.
Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019
This bill directs various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong's unique treatment under U.S. law. (Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal and economic system.)
The Department of State shall report and certify annually to Congress as to whether Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous from China to justify its unique treatment. The report shall address issues including (1) demands for universal suffrage; (2) law enforcement cooperation, including extradition requests; (3) sanctions enforcement and export controls; (4) decision-making within the Hong Kong government; (5) judicial independence; (6) civil liberties in Hong Kong, including freedom of assembly and freedom of the press; and (7) how any erosion to Hong Kong's autonomy impacts areas of U.S.-Hong Kong cooperation.
The Department of Commerce shall report annually to Congress on China's efforts to use Hong Kong to evade U.S. export controls and sanctions and the extent of such violations occurring in Hong Kong generally. The report shall also (1) identify any items that were improperly reexported from Hong Kong, (2) assess whether dual-use items subject to U.S. export laws are being transshipped through Hong Kong, and (3) assess whether such dual-use items are being used to develop various mass-surveillance and predictive-policing tools or the social-credit system proposed for deployment in China.
If the President determines that Hong Kong has proposed or enacted legislation that puts U.S. citizens at risk of extradition to mainland China or to another country that lacks defendants' rights protections, the President shall report to Congress on (1) a strategy for protecting U.S. citizens and businesses in Hong Kong, and (2) whether Hong Kong is legally competent to administer various law-enforcement agreements between Hong Kong and the United States.
The State Department may not deny work- or student-visa applications from an otherwise qualified Hong Kong resident due to a politically motivated adverse action by the Hong Kong government against the applicant. The State Department shall encourage other democratic countries to take a similar approach.
The President shall report to Congress a list of individuals responsible for committing acts that violate internationally recognized human rights in Hong Kong, including the extrajudicial rendition or torture of any person in Hong Kong. The bill bars such individuals from entering the United States and imposes sanctions on them.
Ministry of Truthiness
Google updates its analytics tools for newsrooms | TechCrunch
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 10:40
Google is introducing new tools for newsrooms looking to understand their online audiences and how those audiences feed into their overall business.
These efforts fall under the umbrella of the broader Google News Initiative, introduced in 2018 as a way for the search giant to fund quality journalism and find other ways to support the industry. Since then, Google has introduced two journalism-focused products that sit on top of Google Analytics '-- News Consumer Insights, which is designed to help publishers grow their audiences and become more profitable, as well as Realtime Content Insights, which is supposed to help newsrooms see what's trending at any given moment.
''We heard over and over again that our news partners were drowning in this data,'' said Amy Adams Harding, director of analytics and revenue optimization for news and publishing at Google. ''They had difficulty teasing out actionable intelligence in the tsunami of numbers.''
She added that it was ''important'' to her team that these products be free to use and ''accessible to anyone using Google Analytics.''
Today, Google is introducing version 2.0 of both News Consumer Insights and Realtime Content Insights, while also adding a new feature called the News Tagging Guide.
Image Credits: Google
NTG is supposed to make it easier for publishers to collect the data they need. That falls into three broad categories '-- video analytics, user engagement and reader revenue. Publishers will be able to select the category and the specific types of data they want to track, and then Google will give them JavaScript that they can copy and paste onto their website in order to start feeding that data into Google Analytics.
Meanwhile, the News Consumer Insights product now includes personalized recommendations for the publisher. For example, it might point out that a publisher's newsletter signups are relatively low, and then it could suggest different ways to improve those signups. Harding noted that NCI didn't lack recommendations before, but to find them, publishers had to continually refer back to the generalized playbook, rather than having the most relevant recommendations highlighted for them while they're going over their data.
And Realtime Content Insights have been expanded to include similar data about video content, as well as historic performance data, so publishers can see which stories performed best in a given period of time. And it's not simply focused on pageviews '-- RCI also tracks things like social sharing and engagement, and it identifies which stories are doing better with casual readers versus loyal readers (who visit more than once a month) versus brand loyalists (who visit at least 15 times a month).
''We're not saying one is better than the other,'' said Anntao Diaz, Google's head of News Consumer Insights, Realtime Content Insights and Google Surveys for Publishers. Instead, he suggested that different articles can attract different readers to serve different purposes, whether that's growing the overall audience or building a relationship with a loyal audience that might pay for subscriptions.
Google has already been testing these features with select publishers, including Time and local newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises.
''As Lee Enterprises' audience reach continues to grow in our newspapers' communities, our partnership with Google News Initiative provides excellent insight and industry benchmarks to measure our success,'' said Kyle Rickhoff, director of analytics at Lee Enterprises, in a statement. ''The new version News Consumer Insights powered by News Tagging Guide improves our understanding of readers' engagement and helps us prioritize business opportunities for video, engagement conversions and on-site subscriptions with better data.''
Pope Francis
Pope Francis: Coronavirus Lockdowns Mean Less Pollution, Traffic, Noise
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 09:55
ROME '-- Pope Francis pointed to silver linings of the coronavirus lockdowns Sunday, noting that forcing people to stay home and not work has diminished traffic, noise levels, and air pollution.
The pandemic has made us reflect on ''the relationship between man and the environment,'' the pontiff told pilgrims and tourists gathered in Saint Peter's Square for his weekly Angelus message. ''The lockdown has reduced pollution and revealed once more the beauty of so many places free from traffic and noise.''
The pontiff's words may ring as somewhat tone-deaf to the many Italians whose lives have been destroyed by the lockdowns.
In Italy, hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs and livelihoods due to the lockdowns and analysts estimate that about a third of all businesses shuttered during the pandemic will never reopen. Officials expect the unemployment rate in Italy to reach 11.1 percent in 2020, due to the continuing impact of the lockdowns, and the rate is expected to increase still further, to 11.3 percent, in 2021.
The tourist industry, which accounts for some 13 percent of the country's GDP, lost all revenue during the three months of lockdown and is expected to recover very slowly. Italy reopened to European travel on June 15, but for many, strict regulations on hotels and restaurants will keep numbers below the required profit margin to stay open.
The pope said Sunday that as some people return to work, it is necessary to adopt a more ecologically friendly attitude.
''Now, with the resumption of activities, we should all be more responsible for looking after the common home,'' Francis said.
''I appreciate the many 'grass roots' initiatives that are emerging in this regard all over the world,'' he continued. ''For example, in Rome today there is an initiative dedicated to the river Tiber. But there are many others in other places! May they foster a citizenship that is increasingly aware of this essential common good.''
Earlier this month, Pope Francis employed some of his strongest environmental rhetoric to date, insisting the planet earth is ''sick,'' ''wounded,'' and ''bleeding.''
Writing to the president of Colombia, Ivn Duque Mrquez, on the occasion of World Environment Day, the pope said that ''protection of the environment and respect for the biodiversity of the planet are issues that affect us all.''
''We cannot pretend to be healthy in a world that is sick,'' Francis said. ''The wounds inflicted on our mother earth are wounds that also bleed in us.''
''Caring for ecosystems demands a look to the future, one that is not concerned only with the immediate moment or that seeks a quick and easy profit, but rather one that is concerned for life and that seeks its preservation for the benefit of all,'' he added.
The official celebrations of World Environment Day would have taken place this year in Bogot, Colombia, but because of ongoing lockdowns because of the coronavirus will be held virtually, he noted.
''Our attitude toward the present state of our planet should indeed make us concerned for and witnesses to the gravity of the situation,'' the pontiff stated in his letter. ''We cannot remain silent before the outcry when we realize the very high costs of the destruction and exploitation of the ecosystem.''
''This is not a time to continue looking the other way, indifferent to the signs that our planet is being plundered and violated by greed for profit, very often in the name of progress,'' he insisted. ''We have the chance to reverse course, to commit ourselves to a better, healthier world and to pass it on to future generations.''
''Everything depends on us, if we really want it,'' he said.
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Coronavirus-Denying Russian Priest 'Captures' Church With Cossack Fighters - The Moscow Times
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 11:31
A prominent Russian Orthodox priest who was barred from preaching for his anti-coronavirus views has laid siege to a women's monastery, the 66.ru news website reported Tuesday.
Religious authorities barred Father Sergei, the ultraconservative spiritual leader of the Sredneuralsk women's monastery in central Russia, from public ministry in April for disobeying orders to follow health guidelines. Monasteries across Russia have been beset by Covid-19 cases amid Russia's outbreak.
Father Sergei chased out the Sredneuralsk monastery's installed leader and set up a perimeter of Cossack fighters to guard the site, according to Yekaterinburg's 66.ru.
''Father Sergei literally removed the mother superior from management,'' the Yekaterinburg diocese told the outlet.
He is now reportedly refusing to let in journalists as well as a priest sent by the local church leadership to replace Mother Superior Varvara, who had led the Sredneuralsk monastery since its founding in 2005.
''I'm not going anywhere... they'll have to chase me out with police and the National Guard,'' Father Sergei said Wednesday.
The diocese said Mother Superior Varvara and a number of abbesses left the monastery voluntarily ''to avoid unnecessary infighting, to which Father Sergei is prone, and give him a chance to come to his senses,'' Interfax reported .
Religious leaders in Moscow condemned Father Sergei's seizure of the monastery but did not outline steps to recapture it.
''His actions entail real violence,'' church representative Vakhtang Kipshidze told the Open Media news website.
''We hope that someone from his congregation will take stock of the situation and make the right decision not to damage their own security and spiritual well-being,'' he said.
Father Sergei is known as the former confessor of several public figures including Russian lawmaker and former Crimean prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya. The ex-policeman changed his secular name to Nikolai Romanov, in honor of Russia's last emperor, and previously spent 13 years in prison for murder.
Father Sergei now faces an ecclesiastical court for defying bans on public ministry as well as a secular court on suspicion of inciting hatred . During its first session this week, Father Sergei accused Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill of betraying the faith.
Shut Up Slave
Coronavirus lockdown: All you need to know about new measures - BBC News
Tue, 23 Jun 2020 10:01
Image copyright PA Media The prime minister has announced a series of measures to take effect from 4 July, easing the lockdown in England.
Distancing guidelinesFrom 4 July the 2m distancing rule will be changed.
The prime minister said that where it is not possible to stay 2m apart, people should keep a distance of "one metre plus" - this means staying one metre apart, while observing precautions to reduce the risk of transmission.
HospitalityRestaurants and pubs will also be allowed to reopen, providing they follow safety guidelines.
All hospitality indoors will be limited to table service, and contact between staff and customers will be limited.
Customers will also have to give contact details when they enter a pub or restaurant.
Holiday accommodation - including hotels, B&Bs, cottages, campsites and caravan parks - can also reopen, and people in England will be free to stay away from home overnight for the first time since lockdown began in March.
Meeting other householdsTwo households of any size will be able to meet indoors or outside. It will be possible to stay overnight.
This does not have to be the same set of households - the prime minister said. "It will be possible for instance to meet one set of grandparents one weekend, and the others the following weekend."
However, the government does not not recommend meetings of multiple households indoors because of the risk of infection.
Outdoors, people from multiple households can meet in groups of up to six - but two households can meet regardless of size.
What else will reopen?More outdoor spaces will open if they can do so safely, including outdoor gyms and children's playgrounds Hairdressers will be able to reopen, as long as they take precautions. Other close-contact services such as nail bars will not yet open, but the prime minister said they would be able to open "as soon as we're confident they can operate safely" Image copyright PA Media Image caption Art galleries will be able to reopen on 4 July Libraries, community centres, bingo halls, cinemas, museums and galleries will be able to open, along with funfairs and theme parks, amusement arcades, outdoor skating rinks, indoor leisure centres, social clubs and model villagesPlaces of worship will be able to open for prayers and services, including weddings with up to 30 guests - subject to social distancingWhat will remain closed?Nightclubs and casinos remain closed, along with bowling alleys, spas, swimming pools and indoor soft play centresTheatres and concert halls will not be able to host live performances - but the prime minister said the government would work with the arts industry on specific guidance to enable choirs, orchestras and theatres to resume live events as soon as possible Content available only in the UK
Dr Bill and such
Moroccan Scientist: Morocco's Chloroquine Success Reveals European Failures
Tue, 23 Jun 2020 07:08
Rabat '' Jaouad Zemmouri, a Moroccan scientist and president of the Starklab industrial innovation company in France, believes Morocco's use of chloroquine and its derivatives proved life-saving for the country's COVID-19 patients.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on June 17 that the hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) ''arm of the Solidarity Trial to find an effective COVID-19 treatment was being stopped'' because the medication does not ''result in the reduction of mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared with standard of care.''
The decision, however, does not ''apply to the use or evaluation of hydroxychloroquine in pre or post-exposure prophylaxis in patients exposed to COVID-19.'' In other words, HCQ may be appropriate as a preventive treatment or in the first stage of infection.
The move aligns with the position of French scientist Didier Raoult, who Zemmouri believes made it abundantly clear that the anti-malarial medication is most effective in treating COVID-19 when used immediately after contamination.
Zemmouri, who is also a professor at the University of Lille in France, emphasized that Western clinical studies targeted the effectiveness of HCQ in the hospitalization phase.
''Professor Raoult has been repeating that hydroxychloroquine is useless for hospitalized patients, but [efficient] in the first days of [infection],'' Zemmouri said.
While WHO only recently came to this conclusion, countries like Morocco have been heeding the instructions of Raoult since introducing chloroquine into their COVID-19 treatment options.
Zemmouri believes the drug is a driving force behind Morocco's 82.5% recovery rate and a ''low fatality rate'' of 2.1%, and highlighted that Europe's failure to properly administer the treatment cost thousands of lives.
The chloroquine controversy
In March, Raoult announced results from clinical trials showing a 100% COVID-19 cure rate thanks to HCQ, a chloroquine derivative: ''Despite its small sample size our survey shows that hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients and its effect is reinforced by azithromycin.''
Raoult also challenged the study published on May 22 in the scientific journal ''The Lancet.'' The study linked the use of chloroquine to a greater risk of death in COVID-19 patients, a conclusion the French expert called ''delusional fantasy.''
Raoult's findings generated debate and controversy around the world, but he doubled down on the study, saying, ''I'm not going to change my mind because there is a messy study done with Big data that tells something else, regardless of the newspaper in which it goes.''
While countries like the UK describe HCQ as '' useless '' against COVID-19, world leaders such as US President Donald Trump '-- who called the drug a ''game-changer'' and began taking it daily as a preventive treatment '-- are some of the drug's biggest advocates.
Morocco's 'life-saving' relationship with chloroquine
As the world was embroiled in a debate about the side effects of using chloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 patients, Morocco asserted itself as in favor of the drug, a position Zemmouri believes saved thousands of lives in the North African country.
Morocco uses HCQ in accordance with the recommendations of the French expert, but the country has stressed its use of the drug and its derivatives is a ''sovereign decision'' based on consultations with the Technical and Scientific Commission of the National Program for the Prevention and Control of Influenza and Severe Acute Respiratory Infections.
Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb declared on May 27 that the drug helped prevent mass deaths in Morocco. He said that while opinions on the matter may differ, ''chloroquine is involved in viral inactivation [of the virus],'' and announced Morocco will continue to administer it to COVID-19 patients regardless of the global controversy.
Now that WHO has affirmed hydroxychloroquine could be effective soon after contamination or as a preventive treatment, Moroccan experts believe chloroquine and its derivatives will continue to be used in COVID-19 treatment around the world. The director of University Hospital Center Ibn Rochd, Moulay Hicham Afif, said the use of the anti-malarial drug will expand in several countries such as China, the US, Tunisia, and France.
Zemmouri believes approximately 78% of Europe's coronavirus-related deaths ''could have been avoided'' if European countries had applied the ''same chloroquine strategy as Morocco.''
Comparing Morocco's clinical COVID-19 response to that of Europe, the Moroccan scientist said Morocco has 10,079 confirmed cases and 214 deaths against more than 2.5 million infections and 174,438 deaths in Europe.
Zemmouri said the difference in numbers left him ''perplexed.''
''It would not be incomprehensible that European officials would not consult their Moroccan counterparts to learn,'' he said. If Europe repeats the same mistake, he continued, ''we can no longer say that it is [a surprise] '... it would become criminal.''
Zemmouri acknowledged that the epidemiological situation in Morocco is improving, but the country is ''far from being clear of the pandemic.'' However, he is hopeful Morocco will be able to effectively manage ''possible new waves of the virus.''
Starklab's mobilization against COVID-19
Zemmouri's Starklab is among the scientific hubs that have mobilized their efforts in service of the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The laboratory that specializes in heat exchangers is among the projects that France's Agence Innovation Defense (AID) selected as part of the French campaign to contain the virus.
Starklab's anti-virus project is a stem that makes it ''possible to neutralize viral practicals without adding chemical elements to the atmosphere.''
Zemmouri explained to French magazine Industrie & Technologies that the solution is based on Starklab's heat exchange technology, called Terrao, which was initially developed to ''control the atmosphere of industrial environments'' and prevent fatal overheating.
''With Terrao, our initial goal was to provide a smoke treatment system that combines the functionality of an industrial scrubber with a high-performance heat exchanger,'' he said. Terrao's compact design can quickly ''process large volumes of gas or smoke'' and relies on ''the mixing of gas in the liquid.''
''The gases are sucked in by the device and bubbled through the liquid. This action reinforces the interaction between the two elements,'' the same magazine quoted Zemmouri as saying.
Speaking of the two features, the expert said the heat exchange is optimal while the gases and fumes are ''washed away from impurities.''
Starklab's Terrao-inspired COVID-19 project is one of 40 projects that other French institutions proposed to AID, which issued a tender to promote innovation to combat COVID-19.
Starklab's project ''provides a solution for the treatment and disinfection of air in confined spaces, which are increasingly suspected of being the cause of the appearance of [COVID-19] clusters.''
Judicial Watch Obtains Records Showing FDA Paid for 'Fresh and Never Frozen' Human Fetal Parts for Use In 'Humanized Mice' Creation | Judicial Watch
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 11:44
June 23, 2020 | Judicial Watch(Washington, DC) '' Judicial Watch announced today it received 165 pages of records from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showing the FDA between 2012 and 2018 entered into 8 contracts worth $96,370 with Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) to acquire ''fresh and never frozen'' tissue from 1st and 2nd trimester aborted fetuses for use in creating ''humanized mice'' for ongoing research.
ABR is a non-profit firm which has been the subject of criminal referrals from House and Senate committees investigating whether Planned Parenthood or any other entity was illegally profiting from the handling of fetal tissue from aborted babies.
Federal law regulates the purchase and acceptance of human fetal tissue for research purposes. It is unlawful to knowingly transfer fetal tissue for profit.
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department Health and Human Services (No. 1:19-cv-00876)) after HHS failed to respond adequately to a September 28, 2018, FOIA request seeking:
All contracts and related documentation between FDA and Advanced Biosciences Resources (ABR) for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research.All records reflecting the disbursement of funds to ABR for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research.All guidelines and procedural documents provided to ABR by FDA relating to the acquisition and extraction of human fetal tissue for its provision to the FDA for humanized mice research.All communications between FDA officials and employees and representatives of ABR related to the provision by ABR to the FDA of human fetal tissue for the purpose of humanized mice research.The new production of records shows a June 28, 2017, email exchange with the subject line ''FDA RFQ'' (Request for Quotation) between a redacted FDA contract specialist and an ABR official named Ms. Larton, in which the FDA official tells the ABR official, ''I am tasked with the purchase of tissues suitable for HM [humanized mice] research. I would like to request a quote. Please review the Statement of Work and quote your pricing as outlined.'' She then includes a table for 16 ''Human Fetal Tissue '' Liver'', 16 ''Human Fetal Tissue '' Thymus'', 16 HIV, HepA, HepB, HepC tests, and shipping and delivery. The Statement of Work notes:
The Division of Applied Regulatory Science (DARS) OCP/OTS/CDER is conducting a research program to evaluate the usefulness of humanized mice (HM) for regulatory purposes. The HM are created by surgical implantation of human tissue into mice that have multiple genetic mutations that block the development of the mouse immune system at a very early stage. The absence of the mouse immune system allows the human tissues to grow and develop into functional human tissues. As part of this process DARS needs to repeatedly acquire the proper type of tissues. In order for the humanization to proceed correctly we need to obtain fetal tissue with a specific set of specialized characteristics.
Among the specific characteristics are that the tissue be ''Age range 16-24 weeks'' and ''Tissue must be fresh and never frozen.'' An ABR official responds, saying ''Your quote is attached.
In a June 12, 2017, email thread related to a ''contract closeout'' of a $24,500 contract between the FDA and Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) in a project titled ''Human Tissue''. An FDA official emails an ABR official asking to ''confirm all the items/services requested under this order were delivered and all payments processed, so that I may close out this contract'.... Our records indicate funds in the amount of $15,090.00 to be de-obligated as a result of this closeout.'' A screen shot of a database (called UFMS) print-out indicates a ''Matched Amount'' of $9,410. The difference between the ''matched amount'' and the contract value is $15,090. An ABR official responds on June 26, 2017, saying, ''I confirm there are no outstanding invoices or [redacted] P.O. #HHSF223201510746P, and it is my understanding that there are no pending requests for tissue procurements on this P.O. at this time.''
In an email thread beginning July 14, 2017, an FDA contracting specialist advises ABR that ''In order to properly document pricing, I require some documentation of your prices as offered to the public.'' They ask for either redacted invoices or ''a place on your website that lists prices''. An ABR representative responds:
We do not have a website, and we do n ' t a ll ow ' t h e pub li c' to request t i ssue . It is o n l y se n t to ve r i fied researc h ers w h o h ave appl i ed and have bee n approved to receive tissue .
As we are not sell i ng i tems, we do n ot h ave p r ic es. We assess fees for ou r serv i ces. T h e o n l y doc u ment p r ovided then to qua li fi ed r ec i p i e n ts wo u l d be our Fees For Serv i ces Sc h edu l e. I ' ve attached anot h er copy of ou r c u rre n t Fee Sc h edu l e fo r you r reference. We're a small n o n -profit compa n y, and the fees a r e the same fo r everyone.
I hope th is fu l fills your req ui rement. We ' ve done b u s in ess w i t h the F.D.A. fo r ma n y years and we ' ve not expe r i enced s u ch r i gorous p r ocedures for the product i on of pu r chase o r ders. W i ll th i s p r ocess be necessary for each P.O. created n ow?
The ''Fees for Services Schedule'' provided by ABR lists ''Fetal Cadaverous Specimen Procurement'' that includes pricing for ''2nd trimester specimen (13 '' 24 weeks)'' and ''1sttrimester specimen (8 '' 12 weeks),'' with the pricing amounts redacted. Under a section titled ''Special Processing/Preservation'' are fees for ''Specimen 'cleaning''', ''Snap freezing (LN2)'', ''Passive freezing (dry ice)'' and ''Foreign shipments.''
A July 25, 2018, FDA ''Order for Supplies or Services'' to ABR called for the purchase of ''humanized mice '' for the period July 26, 2018, to July 25, 2019, for a contract amount of $15,900. The contract called for the provision of 15 sets of second trimester livers and thymuses, along with associated ''HIV/HA/HB blood testing,'' and shipping.
In a September 17, 2018, email from the FDA to ABR notifying ABR of the ''Closeout'' of for ''Tissue procurement for humanized mice'', the FDA notes the contract value was $9,900, and that remaining funds for the purchase order existed of $2,430. The FDA asks ABR to ''confirm if all the items/services requested under this order were delivered so that I may close out this contract.'' The responding ABR official notes that although the FDA said that no invoices were submitted under the purchase order, and the ABR official adds that the FDA acknowledged that ''there is a $7,470 difference between the noted Contract Value of $9,900 and REMAINING FUNDS of $2,430.'' ABR further advises they would submit nine invoices under the contract, all of which were paid.
On September 24, 2018, the FDA terminated a contract with ABR to provide fetal tissue, saying: ''[T]he Government is not sufficiently assured that the human tissue provided to the Government to humanize the immune systems of mice will comply with the prohibitions set forth under 42 U.S.C. § 289g-2.'' The letter adds that ''[T]he Government has concerns with the sufficiency of the sole-source justification.''
The law 42 USC 289g-2 involves ''Prohibitions regarding human fetal tissue.''
HHS said in a statement on September 24, 2018, it was ''conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations.''
''These documents are a horror show,'' said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. ''These records show that the FDA was trafficking in human fetal parts. Incredibly, there continues to be a push to reopen these monstrous experiments!''
In February, Judicial Watch uncovered 676 pages of records from NIH showing that the agency paid thousands of dollars to California-based ABR to purchase organs from aborted human fetuses to create ''humanized mice '' for HIV research.
###
Bill Gates Backs $1 Billion Plan to Blanket Earth in Video Surveillance Satellites
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:09
March 24, 2020 at 5:26 pm
Our planet will soon be surrounded by 500 satellites capable of real-time coverage of human activity and movement around the globe
Microsoft founder Bill Gates is bankrolling a company that plans on launching a $1 billion network of satellites to provide live-streaming coverage of almost ''corner'' of the earth.
EarthNow plans on launching 500 plus satellites into our atmosphere, providing its users with near instantaneous video feedback with only one second of delay.
While this may sound like something from a futuristic sci-fi movie, it is very much a real thing.
All a customer of the surveillance network would have to do is flip on their smart phone or tablet to get instant, live access to what's going on in any part of the world.
Users can watch the weather, detect forest fires the moment they start, watch volcanoes the instant they start to erupt and track the migration of large whales, the company boasts.
While that all sounds benevolent enough, users can also ''observe conflict zones and respond immediately when crises arise, assist the media in telling stories from around the world, catch illegal fishing ships in the act, and instantly create ''living'' 3D models of a town or city, even in remote locations.''The obvious big question is who are the ''users'' of this technology. According to Wikipedia, the company expects its initial customers to include ''governments and large enterprises.''
EarthNow founder Russel Hannigan says his company's simple objective is to ''connect people visually with the Earth in real time.''
Not only is Gates backing the project, but so too are tech giants Softbank, Airbus and Greg Wyler.
The company expects a billion in funding but won't disclose the value of what's been contributed. Hannigan said the funding would cover the planning stage of the product.
EarthNow isn't the only one receiving money for out-of-this-world technologies. Since 2017, $2.9 billion has been allocated from 67 equity funds to further advance our exploration of space.
EarthNow '' Our Earth in real-time, all the time
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:10
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About EarthNow
Our Ambitious VisionThe Earth is our one and only home, and human activity resides in almost every corner. As our civilization advances, and as we put increasing pressure on Earth's resources, we all share in the responsibility of caring for and maintaining our home. One way for each of us to better understand the health of our planet is to see it for ourselves. At EarthNow, we're creating the means for you to instantly see almost anywhere on Earth in ''true real-time,'' giving you a live and unfiltered view of your planet. Our aim is for you to experience Earth's beauty and its fragility, and to recognize the importance of being good stewards of our world. Via a constellation of advanced imaging satellites, EarthNow will deliver an unprecedented and highly valuable user experience: continuous real-time video of the Earth enhanced by machine intelligence.
>> EarthNow fleshes out its grand plan to deliver video that shows Earth from orbit in real time
With EarthNow you can:
Catch illegal fishing ships in the actWatch hurricanes and typhoons as they evolveDetect forest fires the moment they startWatch volcanoes the instant they start to eruptAssist the media in telling stories from around the worldTrack large whales as they migrateHelp ''smart cities'' become more efficientAssess the health of crops on demandObserve conflict zones and respond immediately when crises ariseInstantly create ''living'' 3D models of a town or city, even in remote locationsSee your home as the astronauts see it'--a stunning blue marble in spaceEarthNow is an ambitious and unprecedented undertaking. And yet our objective is simple'--to connect you visually with your Earth, in real-time.
Earth video loop and images provided by NASA.
Investors
Leaders & Visionaries in the field frequently asked questions
What is EarthNow?
EarthNow is the first satellite imaging system designed expressly to deliver real-time, intelligent video observations of the Earth. EarthNow's constellation is designed to ensure that at least one satellite is always above most places on Earth. Each satellite is equipped with extensive on-board processing to enable real-time interpretation of the video captured by the imagers. As a result, EarthNow will deliver an unprecedented capability: real-time, continuous and intelligent video of the Earth from space. EarthNow will let you understand and see our Earth in real-time, all the time.
How does EarthNow compare with existing satellite imaging systems?
EarthNow represents a dramatic leap forward in capability compared to other Earth observation satellite systems, which deliver pictures and sometimes video clips to users many minutes, hours and even days after they are requested. With existing systems, users can see only what has happened in the past. With EarthNow, you can see events unfold as they happen in real-time.
Where did EarthNow come from?
EarthNow was invented by Russell Hannigan (Founder and CEO,) and its core imaging technology was incubated within the Invention Science Fund (ISF) of Intellectual Ventures from 2014 to 2017. EarthNow, LLC was spun-out in 2017 and closed on an initial financing round in January 2018. EarthNow follows closely on the heels of other ISF spin-outs, including various metamaterials-based companies.
Who are your investors, and how much funding have you raised?
The EarthNow investors are Airbus, the Softbank Group, Bill Gates and Greg Wyler. We are not disclosing the amount of funding raised at this time.
What role will Airbus play in addition to investing?
Airbus is responsible for developing EarthNow's satellites which will utilize an upgraded version of the satellite bus originally developed for OneWeb. This mass-produced and highly-capable bus provides a level of affordability and reliability impossible to achieve with traditional satellite manufacturing practices. Equally important, Airbus is a global market leader in the provision of satellite imagery and value-added services.
What is meant by ''real-time''?
Users will be able to see places on Earth with a delay as short as about one second. This makes it possible to see and monitor events as they happen.
What is meant by ''continuous''?
A sufficient number of satellites will be deployed to ensure that at least one EarthNow satellite is always above areas of coverage. This means it will be possible to observe specific locations on Earth continuously.
What is meant by ''machine intelligence''?
Each satellite is equipped with an unprecedented amount of onboard processing power, including more CPU cores than all other commercial satellites combined. When combined with terrestrial processing and machine learning, this will give the EarthNow satellites the ability to interpret what they see in real-time. Machine intelligence is expected to be of great value for applications where users need to know what is happening, as it happens.
How will the constellation be deployed?
The constellation will be deployed in phases, eventually reaching hundreds of satellites in number. In the first phase, the satellites will cover the vast majority of targeted markets. Future enhancements will deliver 100% pole-to-pole global coverage. Each EarthNow satellite will be constantly connected to the ground network, thereby ensuring real-time availability on a global basis.
How will the satellites observe the Earth?
Each satellite is equipped with unique video imaging systems. The ''Global View Imager'' provides horizon-to-horizon intelligent video imaging, enabling continuous detection and monitoring of events over almost the entire Earth 24/7. Simultaneously, the ''Spot View Imagers'' can zoom in and see specific locations in more detail. For privacy protection, the resolution of the imagers will not be capable of monitoring an individual person.
What is the resolution?
The native video resolution, combined with image enhancement techniques, is designed to enable event monitoring and tracking applications consistent with existing and future customer requirements.
What will the user see at night?
EarthNow users will be able to see illuminated objects and events at night including, for example, buildings in towns and cities, traffic on the roads, ships at sea, fires burning in a forest, flashes of lightning, and space debris burning up in the atmosphere.
What products will you offer, and who are your customers?
EarthNow will offer various commercial products and services tailored to a wide range of users. We will initially serve high value enterprise and government customers in need of real-time Earth observation. Because EarthNow is a very high capacity system, we eventually expect to serve millions of consumers, such as via an app on any device, allowing each user to see and interact with the Earth in real-time. Easy and intuitive access to EarthNow products and services is central to the user's experience.
When will EarthNow begin service?
We are not disclosing our deployment schedule at this time, as the current phase of work is focused on the overall system design and associated project plan.
Which launch providers will you use?
We are in discussions with several launch service providers.
How will you address privacy concerns?
Privacy is fundamental to EarthNow. We will hire a ''Chief Privacy Officer'' to ensure that we not only meet the privacy laws in jurisdictions where we operate, but also that we respect societal privacy. We will work closely with governments and the public at large to address privacy concerns, while providing visual Earth coverage for the benefit of humanity and our planet.
How will you manage national and international security requirements?
We will fully comply with all laws in the jurisdictions in which we operate.
Is EarthNow associated with other eponymous sites?
There is no association between EarthNow and the JPL Earth-Now app or the blog created by the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at University of Wisconsin.
How can I participate?
In the next year we will meet with developers interested in creating new applications based on the EarthNow video and machine vision capabilities. Please send an email to info@earthnow.com so that we may begin connecting with you.
Press In the News
GeekWireEarthNow fleshes out its grand plan to deliver video that shows Earth from orbit in real time
CNBCA new satellite project to livestream the Earth says it's backed by SoftBank, Airbus and Bill Gates
The Wall Street JournalSatellite Project Draws Airbus, SoftBank, Bill Gates as Investors
The Seattle TimesAirbus, Bill Gates and others back Bellevue-based video imaging satellite venture
SpaceNewsStartup with SoftBank, Airbus investment planning video constellation with several hundred satellites
TechCrunchEarthNow promises real-time views of the whole planet from a new satellite constellation
GeekWireBill Gates, Airbus and SoftBank invest in satellite video startup that wants to help us 'see and understand the Earth live and unfiltered'
Orlando SentinelBill Gates-backed EarthNow satellite firm will boost Space Coast manufacturing
careers Join UsEarthNow is looking for talented, creative and highly-motivated people to join our adventure.
We are especially interested in individuals with video processing, machine vision and spaceflight electronics expertise, as well as business development and sales professionals with Earth observation market experience. Please send us your contact information and a short (200 word) summary describing what you could bring to EarthNow.
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Massive attack on police: 'Blueleaks' hackers release 'hundreds of thousands' of private records on officers - TheBlaze
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 07:15
Hackers have leaked highly sensitive police files from over 200 police departments across the country, according to a Business Insider report Monday.
All files are reportedly searchable by badge number.
What do we know about this?Activist group DDoSecrets published what the outlet calls "hundreds of gigabytes' worth of potentially sensitive files" from police departments across the United States. The group has called the information dump "BlueLeaks."
The group compiled the records, disseminating them into a searchable database that can pull up private information from a police badge number. Many of the files include information such as memos, emails, and officers' personal information.
The group shared information on Twitter regarding the data dump.
It wrote, "RELEASE: #BlueLeaks (269 GB) Ten years of data from over 200 police departments, fusion centers and other law enforcement training and support resources. Among the hundreds of thousands of documents are police and FBI reports, bulletins, guides and more."
The outlet reported that much of the information purports to show "how law enforcement agencies have been sharing information about COVID-19, George Floyd protesters, and even tweets critical of the police."
Security reporter Brian Krebs said that the breach took place at a Houston area web services company that "maintains several law-enforcement data centers."
The group, in a Twitter statement, wrote, "DDoSecrets publishes materials submitted by sources, both leakers and hackers. We provide a stable platform for the public to access data and an anonymity shield for sources to share it, but are uninvolved in the exfiltration of data."
What else? Wired reported Monday that Emma Best, co-founder of the group, said that the hack is the largest of its kind.
"It's the largest published hack of American law enforcement agencies," Best boasted in a text message. "It provides the closest inside look at the state, local, and federal agencies tasked with protecting the public, including [the] government response to COVID and the BLM protests."
Best added that the leak highlights the "underlying attitudes of law enforcement," which trickles down to their policing.
"The underlying attitudes of law enforcement is one of the things I think BlueLeaks documents really well," Best writes. "I've seen a few comments about it being unlikely to uncover gross police misconduct, but I think those somewhat miss the point, or at least equate police misconduct solely with illegal behavior. Part of what a lot of the current protests are about is what police do and have done legally."
Obama Chooses Six Cities to Test Federal Police Scheme
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 08:59
Under the guise of ''restoring trust'' between communities and police departments that have been militarized by the federal government, the Obama administration's Justice Department announced this month that it had selected six U.S. cities to serve as pilot sites, to develop and deploy federal guidance for local police to create better procedures, reduce racial bias, and regain citizens' trust.
The plan, which is controversial because it is in line with Obama administration goals to further nationalize and federalize local law enforcement, has been officially dubbed the ''National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice.'' It will use U.S. taxpayer dollars to deploy ''experts'' and ''researchers'' charged with training officers to act in a manner that the DOJ deems just '-- in essence doing the bidding of the Obama administration. Officially, the Justice Department will be helping local officials ''fight crime'' under the scheme, according to news reports.
Initially, the program, which will cost American taxpayers almost $5 million, will aim to ''assess'' the relationship between local police and the communities they serve. Then, the DOJ squads will work to develop plans supposedly aimed at enhancing ''procedural justice,'' reducing bias, and supporting ''reconciliation in communities where trust has been eroded,'' the Justice Department said in a statement announcing the plan.
The first six cities to be targeted as pilot sites will be Birmingham, Alabama; Fort Worth, Texas; Gary, Indiana; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Stockton, California. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price described the program as ''a tool to strengthen our partnership with the justice system.'' However, other police departments are also in the cross hairs. According to the official announcement, an unspecified number of ''police departments and communities that are not pilot sites'' will also be targeted for more DOJ ''training'' and ''technical assistance.''
Skeptics have pointed to past precedent and deemed the plan dangerous. Among other deeply troubling elements, in the past the Justice Department's ''training'' schemes for state and local police have included, as The New American reported in 2012, teaching officers to associate mainstream political activism, such as conservative bumper-sticker displays on cars, with ''terrorism'' and ''extremism.''
Ironically, the next year, the DOJ itself was exposed working with an anti-Christian extremist group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, that had inspired a confessed terrorist to attempt a mass-murder attack on a pro-family group. The year after that, the Justice Department came under major fire for funding a New York ''community group'' that was involved in a rap video promoting the murder of police officers. Indeed, since Obama took office, the administration has been pumping out a non-stop barrage of propaganda demonizing tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of Americans as ''extremists'' and potential ''terrorists,'' owing to their mainstream political views. The administration has also consistently vilified police who were accused of abusing their power, even before investigations were concluded.
Indeed, there's little reason to believe that this latest effort by Obama's DOJ has as its actual goal the increased professionalism of police.
Attorney General Holder has been repeatedly lambasted for his own anti-police extremism, including publicly making accusatory comments about police officers before investigations into the facts of controversial behavior have taken place. He was also held in criminal contempt of Congress '-- the first sitting DOJ boss in history to face such a serious measure '-- after trying to unlawfully cover up the administration's ''Fast and Furious'' gun-running program for Mexican cartels. Guns from that scheme, which official documents show was aimed at pushing more assaults on gun rights, resulted in the deaths of multiple U.S. law-enforcement officers. Holder has successfully avoided prosecution so far, but the contempt citation remains in effect and carries a potential jail sentence. Numerous other mega-scandals have plagued Holder's tenure as well.
Now, the DOJ boss wants even more control over your local police department. ''By helping to develop programs that serve their own diverse experiences and environments, these selected cities will serve on the leading edge of our effort to confront pressing issues in communities around the country,'' Holder said.
It was not immediately clear why or under what authority Holder thinks the Obama administration should control local police, rather than allowing them to be overseen by local voters and officials, as has traditionally been the case in the United States and other free nations. Other DOJ officials, though, offered the official rationale for the ongoing takeover and erosion of self-government. ''Restoring trust where it has eroded is one of the defining public safety challenges of our day,'' argued Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason of the Office of Justice Programs, apparently without a trace of irony (more than two-thirds of Americans say the federal government is ''out of control'' and a threat to liberty '-- hardly an indicator of public trust). ''Trust-building is the responsibility of the police and the community, and the National Initiative's goal is to build the bridge that will define a new era in public safety.''
The latest announcements surrounding the controversial Obama-police scheme occurred, supposedly by coincidence, just 13 hours after two police officers were shot in Ferguson amid ongoing tensions there '-- tensions inflamed by DOJ claims of police racism and injustice in Ferguson. ''Incidents like the one we have witnessed throw into sharp relief why conversations like the one we convened today, to build trust between law enforcement and community members, are so important,'' claimed Holder. Outlines of the DOJ's plan were first presented in September of last year after a Ferguson police officer, who has since been cleared of criminal wrongdoing in multiple investigations, shot and killed Michael Brown.
In its official announcement, the Justice Department offered few details about the real scope of their planned activities, but it is clearly wide-ranging. ''The three-year grant has been awarded to a consortium of national law enforcement experts from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Yale Law School, the Center for Policing Equity at UCLA and the Urban Institute,'' the March 12 press release stated. The ''Urban Institute'' is a far-left federally funded ''think tank'' that also receives funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and other establishment sources.
Meanwhile, the announcement tried to undermine skeptics' worries about new anti-conservative dogma by the government: ''The initiative is guided by a board of advisors which includes national leaders from law enforcement, academia and faith-based groups, as well as community stakeholders and civil rights advocates.'' Which ''civil rights advocates'' were involved was not made clear, though race-profiteers and incendiary extremists such as Al Sharpton have strong links to the administration and its efforts to federalize law enforcement.
''In a holistic approach, the initiative simultaneously addresses the tenets of procedural justice, reducing implicit bias and facilitating racial reconciliation,'' the release continued, again without any suggestion of irony even as the administration comes under increasing fire for fomenting and exploiting the racial unrest in need of reconciliation. ''The initiative complements and is advised by other Justice Department components such as the Office of Justice Programs, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services [COPS], the Office on Violence Against Women, the Civil Rights Division and the Community Relations Service.'' Many of those DOJ units, of course, have come under heavy criticism as even former Justice Department officials lambaste Holder for packing them with politicized radicals.
Efforts to calm a worried public will likely go to no avail because the recent selection of six pilot cities for the controversial policing schemes came less than a week after Obama's ''Task Force on 21st Century Policing,'' created by unconstitutional executive decree, announced its plans to impose ''national standards'' on state and local law enforcement across the nation. Essentially, in exchange for unconstitutional federal bribes, the Obama administration plans to in effect further nationalize and federalize local and state police departments '-- a process remarkably similar to the unconstitutional schemes used to foist the Common Core nationalization of K-12 education on over 40 states.
More than a few critics of Obama's efforts to further nationalize and federalize law enforcement '-- a state and local responsibility under America's constitutional system '-- noted that the scheming was in line with his campaign rhetoric about building what he called a ''civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded'' as the U.S. military. Separately, opponents of the plan noted that Congress revealed in an official 1961 report that communist operatives in the West and particularly in the United States were working hard to nationalize American police forces. Of course, national police forces '-- from the KGB to the Gestapo '-- have always been a hallmark of tyranny.
The controversial Obama administration demands for national standards for police, meanwhile, came just a few months after United Nations boss Ban Ki Moon, exploiting the chaos in Ferguson, called for American police to obey ''international standards.'' Like Ban, the Obama administration seized on the unrest in Missouri '-- much of it bankrolled by billionaire statist George Soros, it later emerged '-- to push his radical agenda to strip communities of control over their own police departments. Of course, the Obama administration, and previous presidents, have also been showering local law enforcement with military weaponry '-- ironically one of the purported justifications for the further federalization of policing.
The constitutionalist organization that publishes this magazine, The John Birch Society, has for decades been running a nationwide campaign to ''Support Your Local Police and Keep Them Independent.'' From lobbying Congress to cut off the funds and educating the public about the Constitution, to working with state and local officials to stop the federal bribes with ''strings'' attached, there are many ways to fight back against the establishment's efforts to impose a national police force accountable to Washington, D.C. politicians and bureaucrats rather than local communities. As Obama and Holder work to usurp all control over law enforcement from local citizens, Americans who hope to remain free under the U.S. Constitution must ensure that the administration's plot is defeated. Not only is it unconstitutional, history shows it is extraordinarily dangerous.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at
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Beware of the Strong Cities Network
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 09:13
It all sounds so reassuring and reasonable! Acting for the Obama administration, the nation's attorney general has placed the United States into an international grouping of cities whose advertised purpose involves combating violent extremism. Some of the cities in the new group will even be in other countries where terrorism has occurred or is surely a threat. All of the members of this new group will share their experiences and planning. Everyone should be most grateful that the Strong Cities Network (SCN) has been created.
But a closer look at this network reveals some problems. The first is that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch decided to announce U.S. participation in the SCN at the United Nations. Then, in her speech before the world body last September, Lynch noted that SCN would have an International Steering Committee and an International Advisory Board ''run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a leading international think-and-do tank'' based in London, whose members include veterans of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.
Representatives of Norway's Oslo and Canada's Montreal joyfully announced membership in the new SCN during the world body's confab. And the UN's high commissioner for human rights, Jordan's Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, added his enthusiasm for the new organization.
Boiled down to its essence, the SCN is actually a new law-enforcement body whose laws will govern participating cities, including New York, Atlanta, Denver, and Minneapolis, that have already signed on as members. Law-enforcement measures for these cities will dovetail with or emanate from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the United Nations, not from the U.S. Constitution and locally elected officials and the laws governing them. In her remarks at the unveiling of this new organization, Attorney General Lynch claimed that the new arrangement would work toward being ''an alliance of nations'' and would aspire to be ''a global community.''
The Strong Cities Network, therefore, should be known as a nascent global police force controlled by the United Nations. Where central or global authority doesn't govern police power, it is controlled locally. When it is controlled by a national or international governing body, as it was in the hands of Germany's Gestapo, the Soviet Union's KGB, or the ruling body in a communist-led country, tyranny reigns.
In the United States, attacks against the very concept of local control over police power have been varied, with campaigns regularly complaining about treatment of rioters and protesters. This style of lawlessness customarily includes calls for replacing local control with state or even national oversight. Until the unveiling of the SCN and its Institute for Strategic Dialogue, however, there were no calls for global oversight over police.
In her speech at the UN praising the creation of the SCN, Attorney General Lynch used the word ''global'' five times. She also employed the terms ''international'' and ''world'' while at the podium. Then she closed her remarks by introducing Sasha Havlicek, the CEO of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.
Widespread understanding of the slogan ''Support Your Local Police and Keep Them Independent'' has never been more needed. It reminds all who encounter it that trading the American system of local control over police to any national or international governing body is suicidal. Unfortunately, the Obama administration and its attorney general seem determined to destroy America's long-standing police policy and, by doing so, deliver our independent United States of America into the steadily growing power of the United Nations. This is something all decent Americans must oppose. Contact Congress today with our pre-written alert to let them know of your opposition!
John F. McManus is president emeritus of The John Birch Society. This column appeared originally at the insideJBS blog and is reprinted here with permission.
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Launch of Strong Cities Network to Strengthen Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism | OPA | Department of Justice
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 09:15
Cities are vital partners in international efforts to build social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism. Local communities and authorities are the most credible and persuasive voices to challenge violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations in their local contexts. While many cities and local authorities are developing innovative responses to address this challenge, no systematic efforts are in place to share experiences, pool resources and build a community of cities to inspire local action on a global scale.
''The Strong Cities Network will serve as a vital tool to strengthen capacity-building and improve collaboration,'' said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. ''As we continue to counter a range of domestic and global terror threats, this innovative platform will enable cities to learn from one another, to develop best practices and to build social cohesion and community resilience here at home and around the world.''
The Strong Cities Network (SCN) '' which launches September 29th at the United Nations '' will empower municipal bodies to fill this gap while working with civil society and safeguarding the rights of local citizens and communities.
The SCN will strengthen strategic planning and practices to address violent extremism in all its forms by fostering collaboration among cities, municipalities and other sub-national authorities.
''To counter violent extremism we need determined action at all levels of governance,'' said Governing Mayor Stian Berger R¸sland of Oslo while commenting on their participation in the SCN. ''To succeed, we must coordinate our efforts and cooperate across borders. The Strong Cities Network will enable cities across the globe pool our resources, knowledge and best practices together and thus leave us standing stronger in the fight against one of the greatest threats to modern society.''
The SCN will connect cities, city-level practitioners and the communities they represent through a series of workshops, trainings and sustained city partnerships. Network participants will also contribute to and benefit from an online repository of municipal-level good practices and web-based training modules and will be eligible for grants supporting innovative, local initiatives and strategies that will contribute to building social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism.
The SCN will include an International Steering Committee of approximately 25 cities and other sub-national entities from different regions that will provide the SCN with its strategic direction. The SCN will also convene an International Advisory Board, which includes representatives from relevant city-focused networks, to help ensure SCN builds upon their work. It will be run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a leading international ''think-and-do'' tank with a long-standing track record of working to prevent violent extremism:
''The SCN provides a unique new opportunity to apply our collective lessons in preventing violent extremism in support of local communities and authorities around the world'', said CEO Sasha Havlicek of ISD. ''We look forward to developing this international platform for joint innovation to impact this pressing challenge.''
''It is with great conviction that Montr(C)al has agreed to join the Strong Cities Network founders,'' said the Honorable Mayor Denis Coderre of Montreal. ''This global network is designed to build on community-based approaches to address violent extremism, promote openness and vigilance and expand upon local initiatives like Montr(C)al's Mayors' International Observatory on Living Together. I am delighted that through the Strong Cities Network, the City of Montr(C)al will more actively share information and best practices with a global network of leaders on critical issues facing our communities.''
The Strong Cities Network will launch on Sept. 29, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT, following the Leaders' Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism. Welcoming remarks will be offered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, who will also introduce a Keynote address by U.S. Attorney General Lynch. Following this event, the Strong Cities International Steering Committee, consisting of approximately 25 mayors and other leaders from cities and other sub-national entities from around the globe, will hold its inaugural meeting on Sept. 30, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT.
For more information, please visit www.strongcitiesnetwork.org or contact Sabine Barton via email at: info@strongcitiesnetwork.org or telephone: +44 207 493 9333.
Attorney General Holder Announces the First Six Pilot Sites for the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice | OPA | Department of Justice
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 09:16
As part of the Department of Justice's ongoing commitment to strengthening the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve and protect, Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday announced the first six cities to host pilot sites for the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. This $4.75 million initiative will seek to assess the police-community relationship in each of the six pilot sites, as well as develop a detailed site-specific plan that will enhance procedural justice, reduce bias and support reconciliation in communities where trust has been eroded.
The six pilot sites announced Thursday are Birmingham, Alabama; Ft. Worth, Texas; Gary, Indiana; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Stockton, California.
''The Department of Justice is committed to using innovative strategies to enhance procedural justice, reduce bias and support reconciliation in communities where trust has been eroded,'' said Attorney General Holder. ''By helping to develop programs that serve their own diverse experiences and environments, these selected cities will serve on the leading edge of our effort to confront pressing issues in communities around the country.''
Attorney General Holder also announced that the Department of Justice is providing additional training and technical assistance to police departments and communities that are not pilot sites. Through the Office of Justice Program's Diagnostic Center (www.OJPDiagnosticCenter.org), police departments and community groups can request training, peer mentoring, expert consultation and other types of assistance on implicit bias, procedural justice and racial reconciliation. Additionally, the initiative launched a new online clearinghouse that includes up-to-date information about what works to build trust between citizens and law enforcement. The clearinghouse can be found at www.trustandjustice.org.
''Restoring trust where it has eroded is one of the defining public safety challenges of our day,'' said Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason of the Office of Justice Programs. ''Trust-building is the responsibility of the police and the community, and the National Initiative's goal is to build the bridge that will define a new era in public safety.''
The Justice Department established the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice as part President Obama's groundbreaking launch of the My Brother's Keeper initiative, which seeks to create opportunities for all young people in this country'--regardless of their background'--to improve their lives and reach their full potential.
The three-year grant has been awarded to a consortium of national law enforcement experts from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Yale Law School, the Center for Policing Equity at UCLA and the Urban Institute. The initiative is guided by a board of advisors which includes national leaders from law enforcement, academia and faith-based groups, as well as community stakeholders and civil rights advocates. In a holistic approach, the initiative simultaneously addresses the tenets of procedural justice, reducing implicit bias and facilitating racial reconciliation. The initiative complements and is advised by other Justice Department components such as the Office of Justice Programs, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, the Office on Violence Against Women, the Civil Rights Division and the Community Relations Service.
Arradondo: Gunfire on Uptown sidewalk 'tragic and senseless' - StarTribune.com
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 09:27
Gunmen unleashed a torrent of bullets in a crowded block in the heart of Minneapolis' Uptown area early Sunday, killing one person and wounding 11 others in one of the city's most violent shootings in recent memory.
The gunfire sent terrified bar patrons and revelers in the area, newly crowded after weeks of COVID-19 closures, diving for cover, unsure of what was unfolding. Bystanders and police officers rushed to help the wounded and to get people to safety.
One man was killed, police said. Family and friends identified him on social media as Cody C. Pollard, 27, a father of two small children and a talented barber called Cody Loc by friends. The 11 survivors, all adults, were scattered at area hospitals with wounds of varying severity, but all were expected to survive.
Police Chief Medaria Arradondo called the carnage ''tragic and senseless'' and said the FBI and state agencies will assist his department as it deals with the recent surge in shootings around the city.
''We have seen unfortunately in the past several months an uptick in violent crime in Minneapolis, and we are certainly doing our best to address that,'' the chief said. ''This is going to take more than just the Minneapolis Police Department. The numbers we are seeing are truly ... a public health crisis.''
FBI spokesman Kevin Smith confirmed that the FBI is in close communication with Minneapolis police, ''assessing what assets we can bring to bear here.''
''First, we can bring significant intelligence and investigative tools to this particular shooting, as well as provide additional tools and resources in the coming days and weeks,'' he said.
Arradondo said police ''absolutely do have several leads'' on suspects, but no arrests had been announced by Sunday night. He also said the overnight mayhem had no connection to the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody, which prompted violent protests in the days that followed.
Mayor Jacob Frey said the fresh violence ''only compounds our grief'' over Floyd's death.
''The lawlessness serves no purpose and it won't be tolerated,'' he said. ''Local residents deserve better.''
Frey called the recent shootings ''totally a distraction from the work we need on the structural police reforms we need to do.''
The violence began at 12:37 a.m. Sunday during a large gathering in the 2900 block of Hennepin Avenue, said police spokesman John Elder. Officers responding to multiple 911 calls found multiple gunshot victims and learned that others had left the scene in private vehicles.
The area, known for its bars and boisterous nightlife, had been bustling the past few nights as several businesses reopened. Hennepin Avenue had been partly blocked off to prevent road racing and to accommodate large crowds.
A Facebook Live video posted by K.G. Wilson, a longtime peace activist, showed the shooting's chaotic aftermath, with bystanders tending to several victims sitting on a curb. The scene was awash in flashing blue and red lights. A police officer and a bystander could be seen carrying a wounded person to a waiting ambulance.
On Sunday, business owners and citizens in the 2900 block of Hennepin Avenue swept up glass from windows shattered by bullets and hosed blood off the sidewalks. A few flower bouquets had been laid at the site of the most intense gunfire, and people came by both to gawk and to pray.
Wilson returned to the area Sunday, still shaken by how close the bullets had come to him.
''I really thought last night I was going to be the victim, that I was going to lose my life,'' he said as he stood outside Hoban Korean BBQ, where boards covered two windows that had been shot out. ''I'm heartbroken by what I saw here last night and what I experienced and what I barely escaped.''
Hoban remained closed Sunday, but several other nearby businesses were open. However, several, including Cowboy Slim's, the Uptown Tavern, the Pourhouse and the Fremont Restaurant & Bar, closed early Sunday evening. Foot traffic was light in the area, partly because of rainfall.
Joseph ''Smalls'' Johnson, manager of Williams Uptown Pub and Peanut Bar, said his bar had a long line out the door when the gunfire erupted. Some customers sheltered in the pub's basement while others left via the back door to avoid Hennepin Avenue.
Business has been bustling the past two weeks, he said, with people delighted to be out with friends again. But it was slow Sunday night, and he said he too was considering closing early.
''I want all of us to be open, but I want us to be safe,'' he said. ''We're not back to normal yet. It's going to be a while.''
'Pretty much speechless'
Hours after the shooting Sunday, Alyssa Tyson paced nervously outside HCMC while her 23-year-old daughter, Taija, was inside for treatment after being shot twice. One bullet had ripped through her leg, striking her femur, while another had grazed her arm, according to her mother.
Alyssa Tyson said that her daughter, who works as a personal care assistant, had gone to Uptown with a male companion, who had also been shot, with a bullet passing close to his spine.
''The young lady who was with my daughter said it was, like, 80 shots,'' she said.
She said she was shocked to hear how many people were shot. ''I'm just pretty much speechless,'' she said. ''That's a lot of people's lives about to be changed, and for one person, that's no more Christmases, no more birthdays.''
Violence up; reasons unclear
The shooting was one of several across the city since Saturday afternoon, continuing a rash of gun violence since the unrest over the police killing of Floyd, with more than 90 people shot in Minneapolis since May 26.
Yet another fatal shooting took place Sunday night in Minneapolis. Officers found a 17-year-old boy suffering from a gunshot wound in the 3000 block of N. Knox Avenue. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His death marked the city's 25th homicide of the year.
Criminologists have noted similar patterns in other cities '-- most recently Baltimore, which saw violent crime rise in the wake of a police killing '-- offering a variety of possible explanations, from eroded confidence in police to officers pulling back on their duties because of the intense public backlash.
Last week, Elder scoffed at the suggestion that officers were showing less initiative. ''Our officers are still responding to calls, they are still addressing calls, and the fact that anybody would think that there is a stand-down order or some sort of work stoppage, that is patently false,'' he said.
He said the surge in shootings coincided with the start of summer.
Sunday's mass shooting was one of the most violent in recent city history. Earlier this month, seven people were shot, one fatally, when a brawl in a north Minneapolis bar escalated into gunfire.
In the city's deadliest mass shooting, a gunman burst into Accent Signage Systems in 2012 and fatally shot six people before turning the gun on himself.
'We saw humanity last night'
On Sunday, Frey praised the police response to the overnight shooting.
''Last night, the first officer was on the scene in three minutes,'' he said. ''He was from the bike rapid response team. Our officers have seen a lot of violence in the last couple of weeks. They are working diligently to serve the public's needs, and I appreciate them.''
City Council President Lisa Bender, whose ward includes Uptown, said Minneapolis and ''communities all over the country need to be getting all these guns out of our streets.''
Bender, one of several council members who called for dismantling the city's Police Department after Floyd's death, said, ''This is a reminder that we need to do more proactively to stop this type of violence.''
Arradondo praised his officers for ''responding very courageously to the sound of shots fired,'' as well as bystanders who helped the wounded.
''We saw officers and we saw community members rushing to aid those victims, to assist them to get to EMS personnel,'' he said. ''I do believe ... we saw humanity last night. And that really and truly inspires me, and it says there is hope here in our city, and it will remain in our city.''
Staff writer David Chanen contributed to this report. kim.hyatt@startribune.com 612-673-4751 libor.jany@startribune.com 612-673-4064 paul.walsh@startribune.com 612-673-4482
Urged by Mpls. police, EMS staff subdued dozens with a sedative - StarTribune.com
Tue, 23 Jun 2020 10:29
Minneapolis police officers have repeatedly requested over the past three years that Hennepin County medical responders sedate people using the powerful tranquilizer ketamine, at times over the protests of those being drugged, and in some cases when no apparent crime was committed, a city report shows.
On multiple occasions, in the presence of police, Hennepin Healthcare EMS workers injected suspects of crimes and others who already appeared to be restrained, according to the report, and the ketamine caused heart or breathing failure, requiring them to be medically revived. Several people given ketamine had to be intubated.
These are among the findings of an investigation conducted by the Office of Police Conduct Review, a division of the city's Department of Civil Rights. The draft report has been circulated narrowly within City Hall but not disseminated to the public. The Star Tribune has obtained a copy.
The number of documented ketamine injections during Minneapolis police calls increased from three in 2012 to 62 last year, the report found, including four uses on the same person. On May 18, around the time the draft report was completed, Minneapolis police Cmdr. Todd Sauvageau issued a departmental order saying that officers ''shall never suggest or demand EMS Personnel 'sedated' a subject. This is a decision that needs to be clearly made by EMS Personnel, not MPD Officers.''
Minneapolis police previously had no policy addressing the drug, and the department manual classifies it as a ''date rape drug'' for its powerful sedative impact and ability to erase or alter memory.
Hennepin Healthcare staff are authorized to use ketamine when a patient is ''profoundly agitated,'' unable to be restrained and a danger to themselves or others, according to their policy. But the report found examples when EMS workers used the drug on people who did not appear to fit this description.
''In many cases, the individual being detained or arrested was not only handcuffed, but strapped down on a stretcher in an ambulance before receiving ketamine,'' the report states. It raises a ''concerning question'' over why these people are given the drug before they are transported to the hospital, ''given the immediate effects on breathing and heart function that the drug induces.''
The draft report prompted sharply different reactions among local officials. A statement included in the report from Hennepin EMS Medical Director Jeffrey Ho and Minnesota Poison Control System Medical Director Jon Cole dismissed the findings of the report as a ''reckless use of anecdotes and partial snapshots of interactions with police, and incomplete information and statistics to draw uninformed and incorrect conclusions.''
''This draft report will prevent the saving of lives by promoting the concept of allowing people to exhaust themselves to death,'' Cole and Ho wrote.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo would not comment on the specifics of the draft, but credited it for changing his department's approach to interacting with EMS workers.
''We have that in place now,'' Arradondo said. ''That policy really defines and clarifies that we do not want our officers providing recommendations or suggestions to EMS personnel.''
Mayor Jacob Frey said all medical decisions highlighted in the draft report were made by Hennepin County medical professionals. He said it was necessary for the city to clarify in policy that police are not to give input to EMS and hospital professionals beyond factual information.
''Our policy should be clear,'' he said. ''Cops shouldn't direct medical professionals on health-related issues, and medical professionals shouldn't listen to them.''
'He just hit the K-Hole'
Ketamine is an anesthetic agent that some researchers believe can be effective in treating depression. Studies, including some conducted by researchers at Hennepin Healthcare (formerly Hennepin County Medical Center), show it can be useful for trained medical practitioners to sedate and transport patients to the hospital who are agitated or combative.
It is also a common club drug, known colloquially as ''Special K.'' Its side effects include delirium, quickened heart rate and respiratory problems, especially in high doses.
Hennepin Healthcare has been a leader in ketamine research, and its EMS personnel have been using it since 2008, according to its statement.
To evaluate how the sedative was being used, the Office of Police Conduct Review investigators looked for mentions of the word in police reports, and then reviewed body camera footage from those cases.
''Multiple videos showed individuals requiring intubation after being injected with ketamine, and [police] reports indicate that multiple individuals stopped breathing and/or their hearts stopped beating after being injected with ketamine,'' the report said.
The police encounters that led to EMS using ketamine ranged from cases of obstruction of justice to jaywalking, according to the report. One man was dosed with ketamine while strapped to a stretcher and wearing a spit hood.
The report found that officers regularly instructed the medical staff to administer the ketamine.
''Between 2016 and 2017, MPD officers explicitly asked EMS to provide ketamine, either when calling for EMS services or upon arrival of the ambulance eight times,'' states the report. ''Also, MPD officers assisted EMTs while they injected individuals with ketamine'' by physically holding them down while the EMS gave the shot. Many were in handcuffs, and some were in spit hoods.
In one case, Minneapolis police and EMS workers responded to a 911 call about a man who appeared to be in the throes of a mental health crisis.
Four Minneapolis police officers and two EMS personnel responded to the incident and decided to sedate the man, according to the report authors, who reviewed body camera footage of the incident. Upon seeing the needle, the man, who is not named but described as 5 feet 3 to 5 feet 5 with a light build, said he did not want the shot. ''Whoa, whoa that's not cool!'' he pleaded. ''I don't need that!''
Regardless, the man was injected with the drug two times and secured to a chair, the report states. Shortly after, he became nonverbal and unintelligible, prompting one officer to remark, ''He just hit the K-hole,'' a slang term for the intense delirium brought on by ketamine.
When the man began to regain consciousness, the officer asked the EMS responder '-- all unnamed in the report '-- how much more ketamine he had with him, according to the report.
''I can draw more,'' said the EMS staff.
''You're my favorite,'' replied another EMS officer.
They injected him with another dose of ketamine.
''We'll have to end up putting a [breathing] tube in,'' the officer stated.
On the way to the hospital, the man lost consciousness and stopped breathing, according to the report.
He regained his pulse and began breathing again sometime later at the hospital.
In a statement Thursday, Kelly Spratt, chief ambulatory officer for Hennepin Healthcare, said ketamine has ''fewer side effects than other drugs and can ultimately save lives.''
Spratt said the incidents in the report account for only a small percentage of those involving ketamine each year. His office has recently reviewed the draft and believes it contains inaccuracies, he said, though he did not provide specifics.
''We believe the draft report contains data that is private and, as we assess that, we won't respond to questions about specific cases cited in the report,'' he said. ''We have reviewed the four cases mentioned in the draft report that involve use of ketamine by Hennepin EMS and have concluded that those met the protocol and were medically justified.''
Dosed while handcuffed
In a separate case detailed in the report, police sprayed an intoxicated woman in downtown Minneapolis with mace, and she appeared to have an asthma attack. The woman, who was not actively resisting police, asked for an asthma pump. Instead they handcuffed her to a stretcher and gave her ketamine, the report said.
Shortly before the body camera video cut out, an EMS worker asked, ''What does ketamine do to asthmatics?''
In this case, it stopped the woman's breathing, according to the report. She was resuscitated later at the hospital.
''It is also important to note that it appears no crime was committed, no threat to the safety of officer or paramedics was evident, and the individual was located less than six minutes from HCMC at the time she received a ketamine injection,'' the report said.
Velma Korbel, director of the Department of Civil Rights, said her office will work on completing the draft. But she praised the quick response from the Police Department in implementing a new policy once the police oversight office of her department brought its findings to the department's command staff.
''It worked exactly the way it's supposed to work,'' said Korbel. ''I have nothing but kudos for the Police Department's response to this.''
MMT
FASAB Statement 56: Understanding New Government Financial Accounting Loopholes
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 09:10
StockSubmitter|Objects|Business/Finance|Isolated$Financial|00|30000000000000000040000430000000000010|9$4@5100000.314_40020010.814@135$80$52@Objects.Extreme Close-Ups$Business.Financial$Objects.Over White@$@27$11$10@$@$@$@34$398@$@$@$@$@$@$@$@$@45$18@$@$@0x6x228.15$0x6x48.15$0x6x83.15@Objects.Extreme Close-Ups$Business.Financial$Objects.Over White@111$85$@9$4@$@$@$@$@$@$@NA$$@$@$@$@$@$@$|||$$0$0$0||00000000000000000000000000000000000000|Table of ContentsI. IntroductionII. History of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB)III. FASAB and Standard 56A. What Does Standard 56 Do?B. Reporting Entities Within the Scope of Standard 56C. Changes to Disclosure Standards Under Standard 56D. Modifications to Avoid Disclosure of Classified InformationE. Reporting on Consolidation EntitiesF. Interpretations Modifying Reporting Standards in the FutureIV. Administrative History of Statement 56A. Commentary on Required DisclaimersB. Federal Commentary on Standard 56 GenerallyC. Concerns From Accounting FirmsV. The Results of Statement 56 for the PublicVI. About Us
December 29, 2018
I. IntroductionFinancial accountability for the government is a cornerstone of a functioning representative democracy. The ability for the people to know where taxpayer money goes to is crucial to having an informed opinion regarding the actions of your representatives and to react accordingly. Unfortunately, as we've discussed in previous articles, the current state of government accounting is far from ideal''often bordering on useless to the public. This is largely due to lax enforcement of existing laws such as the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act, but also stems from the very real tension between completely transparent government financial disclosure and national security interests (see The U.S. Statutes Creating Modern Constitutional Financial Management and Reporting Requirements and the Government's Failure to Follow Them, available at https://constitution.solari.com/the-u-s-statutes-creating-modern-constitutional-financial-management-and-reporting-requirements-and-the-governments-failure-to-follow-them/). As of the last few months, this tension has taken the future of government financial disclosure to the public to new levels of opacity. The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) has released Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 56 (Standard 56), taking government accounting practices from laxly enforced reporting standards to a new benchmark entirely''expressly approved obfuscation of reporting and, in some cases, outright concealing financials.
This sounds fairly alarmist at first blush but, simply put, Standard 56 creates a set of situations where government entities may move numbers around to conceal where money is actually spent or even not report spending outright. Many of the concepts in Standard 56 are not new and have been discussed in FASAB reports for nearly a decade. However, these new changes make a substantial portion of government financial reporting so unreliable as to not be a useful tool to the public (see FASAB Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 56, available at http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/handbook_sffas_56.pdf).
In order to fully understand Standard 56, we will be taking a fairly deep dive on the new accounting standards it creates'--from the history leading up to the new rules, to summarizing the exact changes of Standard 56. We've said that Standard 56 isn't new, and this is true; it has hundreds and hundreds of pages of memorandums and the like which came before it, outlining the exact parameters of these new reporting rules. For that reason, a complete summary of what a government entity must report will not be possible''or likely even useful''in an article of this length. That being said, we will explore the role of FASAB itself, the functional changes of Standard 56, and how it will impact the ability of the U.S. taxpayer to see how their money is spent.
II. History of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB)FASAB came about as a response to the requirements of the CFO Act. We previously wrote about the CFO Act in The U.S. Statutes Creating Modern Constitutional Financial Management and Reporting Requirements and the Government's Failure to Follow Them (available at https://constitution.solari.com/the-u-s-statutes-creating-modern-constitutional-financial-management-and-reporting-requirements-and-the-governments-failure-to-follow-them/). Under the Act, the individual CFOs of covered federal agencies are responsible for preparing financial statements for regular audit in order to ensure accuracy in accounting. The CFOs also were tasked by the Act with integrating accounting and budget information into a form consistent with those used to make budgets, put together a uniform financial management system for their agency, and''perhaps most importantly''make sure that the system they put together allowed for actual useful measurement of the financial performance of the CFO's agency.
However, the CFO Act was light on the details, and after the Act passed in 1990, there was a need to determine the actual details of the accounting standards required. Therefore, the Treasury, OMB, and Comptroller General signed a Memorandum jointly establishing the FASAB to ''consider and recommend the appropriate accounting standards for the federal government'' (see History of FASAB, available at http://www.fasab.gov/the-history-of-fasab/). Until 1999, FASAB simply gave recommendations to those three sponsoring entities. Then, in 1999, FASAB was approved to set final generally acceptable accounting practices (GAAP) for the federal government, with only a 90 day review period by the sponsoring entities. In 2002, the Treasury was removed as a sponsoring entity, leaving the OMB and GAO as the only entities able to object to FASAB set standards (see id.).
III. FASAB and Standard 56As mentioned above, since 1999, FASAB sets the final GAAP for the federal government. These practices are then used throughout the federal government to determine the content and structure of the financial reports the CFO Act requires federal government agencies, departments, and the like to prepare. While the GAAP are not themselves literally binding law, they do show what the federal government considers to be compliance with the law. As long as an agency follows GAAP, there will generally be a presumption that it is also complying with the federal financial accounting requirements. Therefore, unless the underlying legislation is amended by Congress, FASAB essentially determines the extent of the federal government's financial transparency (see id.). With the official adoption of Standard 56 as of October 4, 2018''completely unchanged from the pre-comment period version from July 2018''FASAB has determined that national security concerns essentially trump the need for financial transparency to the public. So how does Standard 56 do this?
A. What Does Standard 56 Do?In the absolute most simple terms, Standard 56 allows federal entities to shift amounts from line item to line item and sometimes even omit spending altogether when reporting their financials in order to avoid the potential of revealing classified information.1 However, as with all laws, nearly every word in that sentence is a complicated concept to unpack. Who counts as a federal reporting entity? When and how can these entities conceal or remove financial information from their reports? What information can be removed? When does something count as confidential, and who makes that determination? All of these questions have enormous bodies of writing in FASAB memorandums addressing, and sometimes failing to address, their answers.
The simplest place to start with understanding Standard 56 is its scope. It applies to federal entities that issue unclassified general purpose federal financial reports (GPFFR), including where one entity is consolidated with another. This means it only applies to otherwise unclassified financial reports where there is a risk of revealing classified information; classified financial reports are their own can of worms. (See generally, FASAB Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 56, available at http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/handbook_sffas_56.pdf). Standard 56 also doesn't remove the actual requirement to report, it just allows these entities to change their reports in ways that don't reflect their actual spending (see id.). However, for the purposes of government transparency, determining who is responsible for classifying information, and/or removing that information from unclassified reports, is quite opaque for the average interested citizen.
B. Reporting Entities Within the Scope of Standard 56The actual reporting entities empowered by the standards of Standard 56 include organizations which are included in the government wide GPFFR (see id.). This includes any entities that are ''(1) budgeted for by elected officials of the federal government, (2) owned by the federal government, or (3) controlled by the federal government with risk of loss or expectation of benefits'' (FASAB Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 47, p. 1, available at http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/handbook_sffas_47.pdf).
However, many different departments, bureaus, and agencies prepare their own GPFFRs as well. The various entities that both prepare their own GPFFR and are within a larger reporting entity are called Component Reporting Entities. This includes executive departments, independent agencies, government corporations, legislative agencies, and federal courts (id. at 7). Their GPFFRs are then consolidated into the government wide GPFFR.
Under the Component Reporting Entities and included in their GPFFRs are various other organizations, from smaller departments to government contractors, which are split into two categories: disclosure entities and consolidation entities (see id.).
Consolidation entities are entities like agencies and departments. A consolidation entity generally (1) is financed through taxes and other non-exchange revenues, (2) is governed by the Congress and/or the President, (3) imposes or may impose risks and rewards to the federal government, and (4) provides goods and services on a non-market basis (see id. at 16). For instance, a department or corporation established by Congress to perform a government function is a classic example of a consolidation entity. Consolidated entities are reported by a larger entity as part and parcel of their financial reporting''as if they were one economic entity. We will discuss this type of entity later in great depth, as it constitutes one of the largest potential loopholes of Standard 56 (see id.).
Disclosure entities are financially independent organizations. These organizations still need to be included in the government wide GPFFR, but do not fully meet the four characteristics of consolidated entities above. They include quasi-governmental entities, organizations in receiverships and conservatorships, and organizations owned or controlled through federal government intervention actions (see id. at 16). A good example would be government-established non-profits that have a significant portion of their board appointed by the President but are entirely funded by their own activities.
Additionally, there are ''related parties,'' which are organizations where at least one of the parties involved has the ability to exercise significant influence over the policy decisions of the other party. This significant influence does not need to amount to control, but can include things such as representation on a board of directors, participation in policy making procedures, shared managerial personnel, and things along those lines. The existence of significant influence is generally determined through a full analysis of the particulars of each situation. This classification is usually applied to organizations that do not even rise to the level of a disclosure entity, but nonetheless would be misleading to exclude. Some common examples of related parties are some government-sponsored enterprises and organizations governed by representatives from each of the governments that created the organization, including the United States, wherein the federal government has agreed to ongoing or contingent financial support to accomplish shared objectives. Related entities generally do not include government contractors, government vendors, some non-profits, organizations created by treaty, or special interest groups''although they can in the right circumstances (see id. at 7 and 31-33).
However, there are also certain entities that would probably be consolidation or disclosure entities, but are expressly excluded from the government wide GPFFR: the Federal Reserve System and bailout entities (see Financial Report of the United States Government 2016, p. 227, available at https://fiscal.treasury.gov/files/reports-statements/financial-report/01112017FR-(Final).pdf). In particular, this includes entities like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (see id.). If the government obtains rights in another entity which would give them the sort of control that normally makes a disclosure entity, but gains those rights when it ''guarantee[s] or pay[s] debt for a privately owned entity whose failure could have an adverse impact on the nation's economy, commerce, national security, etc. . .'' those rights don't count for determining a reporting entity (id).
This means that in addition to consolidation and disclosure entities, the scope of Standard 56 stretches to any organization which it would be misleading to exclude but isn't otherwise incorporated into their list of covered entities. Because of this, although there is not a exhaustive list of whose financial reporting is impacted by Standard 56, if you can think of an entity related to the government, it is a safe bet they count as a covered reporting entity. This can include publicly traded corporations with significant funding and/or control from the federal government.
C. Changes to Disclosure Standards Under Standard 56For these covered entities, Standard 56 offers financial reporting exceptions in a few situations for national security purposes. These reporting exceptions are the meat of Standard 56, three rules substantially modifying the reporting requirements of the above discussed entities to varying degrees (see FASAB Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 56, p. 6, available at http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/handbook_sffas_56.pdf).
In general, disclosure entities are required to provide their financial reporting in a manner which is clear, concise, meaningful, and transparent (see FASAB Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 47, para 71-73, available at http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/handbook_sffas_47.pdf). This is done through a single, integrated report of finances disclosing the relationship of the organization to the government and related entities, the nature and magnitude of their activity and their financial balances, and a description of financial and non-financial risks, potential benefits, and, if possible, the amount of the federal government's exposure to gains and losses from the past or future operations of the disclosure entity or entities (see id. at para 74). This generally includes how much control or influence over the entity is exercised, key terms in their contractual agreements, percentage ownership and voting rights, a summary of assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, gains and losses, key financial indicators, information on how their reports are stored and can be obtained, and quite a bit more (see id.). Essentially what is required is a transparent summary of how money is spent to provide accountability to the public. Standard 56 creates three loopholes to this disclosure standard.
D. Modifications to Avoid Disclosure of Classified InformationThe first new loophole allows disclosure entities to modify their financial reports to ''prevent the disclosure of classified information in an unclassified GPFFR'' so long as these modifications do not change the net results of operations and net position. (See FASAB Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 56, p. 6, available at http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/handbook_sffas_56.pdf).
This ultimately means that, when done to conceal confidential information, entities can''and are essentially required to under the terms of Standard 56''shift money from one line item to another so long as the totals stay consistent. The rule also allows entities to omit the line item entirely while retaining the amounts so as to maintain the same net results. This means that readers of these reports will never know if the amounts reported spent on specific projects or things are an accurate representation (see id.). As you might expect given the rationale of this being a national security precaution, there will not be any narrative in these reports explaining or revealing where a modification has taken place (see id.). If they can maintain net position in their reports, an entity can even omit a project entirely by folding it into another department or project within the same entity.
While it could obviously be worse for transparency purposes, the alternative would be that the amounts would just be omitted entirely. That brings us to the next two changes to accounting standards created by Standard 56.
E. Reporting on Consolidation EntitiesWe briefly discussed consolidation entities above as one of the larger loopholes to reporting within Standard 56. This is because the second change to reporting requirements of Standard 56 allows the reporting entity which the consolidation entity is consolidated with to modify reports to avoid disclosure of confidential information even if that modification changes net results of operations or net position. The reporting entity can move the financials of the consolidation entity or even choose not to include it in its report; full stop. (See FASAB Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 56, pp. 6-7, available at http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/handbook_sffas_56.pdf).
The concept of consolidation entities being incorporated into the reports of a larger reporting entity is far from new. FASAB has memorandums detailing the rules regarding consolidation from as far back as 2012 (see FASAB Federal Reporting Entity Memorandum, November 29, 2012, available at http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/tab_a1_concepts_federal_2012dec.pdf). By itself, it is not a particularly problematic issue. Under FASAB rules, consolidation in financial reporting is appropriate for those organizations financed by the taxpayer, governed by elected or appointed officials, imposing risks and rewards on the taxpayer, and providing goods and services on a non-market basis. However, consolidation is not appropriate for organizations operating with a high degree of autonomy (see id. at 7).
In general, where an organization is controlled by the federal government and stands to make or lose money, but doesn't have enough independence for a disclosure entity, it is included somewhere as a consolidation entity (see FASAB Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 47, pp. 14-15, available at http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/handbook_sffas_47.pdf). As you've seen, the determination of what sort of entity something is hinges a great deal on the level of autonomy of the entity''the greater the control the government has, the more likely something will be classified as a consolidation entity. This control doesn't mean the government has to actively manage on the day-to-day, but does require an examination of''among other things''whether the government can do things like appoint a majority of board members, dissolve the organization, authorize or deny action within the organization on some or all issues, or direct the policies or use of assets within the organization, and/or direct investment decisions. Consolidation entities are only assigned to one component entity and, in general, where that sort of control exists for a consolidated entity, the public would rely on the larger reporting entity for information on the consolidation entity's financials (see id.). Under the second accounting standard change within Standard 56, the public can't even count on these financials being reported in the first place (see FASAB Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 56, pp. 6-7).
F. Interpretations Modifying Reporting Standards in the FutureThe final change to accounting standards within Standard 56 doesn't do much at the moment, but has the greatest potential to undermine financial transparency in the future. It allows FASAB to issue Interpretations of Standard 56 in the future which would allow other modifications to financial reports for the purpose of avoiding disclosure of classified information. FASAB can, and likely will, release these Interpretations over time. These Interpretations can allow modifications to reporting without regard for maintaining an entity's net results or net position in their reporting. Those interpretations may even be classified themselves (Appendix A, A16), resulting in a portion of the federal government's accountability standards being concealed from the public (see FASAB Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 56, pp. 6-7).
Looked at in the most optimistic light, this will allow FASAB to ensure that Standard 56 isn't abused and issue rulings of when disclosure is necessary in situations not yet considered. Looked at in a less optimistic light, this means that the ability of the government to obfuscate financial records will continue to grow in the coming months and years, without public oversight, as Interpretations add to or clarify these existing loopholes.
IV. Administrative History of Statement 56Statement 56, and its reporting exceptions, have been in the works within FASAB for months. When an issue is identified, FASAB performs preliminary deliberations, prepares the initial documents, and then releases a review version to the public for comment and public hearings. After the comment period, FASAB enters further deliberations to consider the comments and make revisions. Then, the Board approves the proposed statement by a two-thirds majority vote, and submits it to the principals (the OMB and the GAO) for review. If neither principal objects to the proposal after 90 days, it is published by FASAB and is added to the GAAP for federal entities (Definition: FASAB (Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board), available at https://searchcompliance.techtarget.com/definition/FASAB-Federal-Accounting-Standards-Advisory-Board).
For Standard 56, the exposure draft was published on July 12, 2018, with comments due by August 13, 2018. Seventeen comments were submitted by various departments, agencies, and accounting firms (see FASAB Classified Activities, available at http://fasab.gov/ca/). The final Statement 56 was published on October 4, 2018, with little if any change from the exposure draft. However, the comments on Statement 56 are themselves interesting and somewhat enlightening.
A. Commentary on Required DisclaimersFASAB proposed two possible alternatives for disclosure/disclaimer requirements under Standard 56. Either reporting entities could be given a choice in whether or not to consistently disclose that certain presentations may have been modified, or all reporting entities must disclose the possibility that certain presentations may have been modified, regardless of actual modification (see FASAB Exposure Draft Interpretation of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 56: Classified Activities, available at https://fas.org/sgp/news/2018/07/fasab-review.pdf).
The SEC gave a fairly entertaining comment on Standard 56. After answering ''No Comment'' to literally every preceding question, the SEC gave its thoughts on FASAB's proposal for how component entities should disclose that they have modified their reports. The SEC, the nation's foremost agency in the fight against financial fraud, doesn't think that every component entity should have to disclose that modifications may have occurred, and especially the SEC shouldn't have to. The reasoning the SEC gave for this position was that they ''believe that this would be misleading and likely to cause confusion for financial statement readers, by implying that SEC is involved in classified activities. It's likely that SEC, as well as other agencies, would receive numerous inquiries from the public and from the media by including such an unexpected disclaimer in its financial statements.'' In other words, they're worried it would look strange to the public if they disclosed that they had modified their financial reporting, despite no such modification. The public may think it odd that component entities such as the SEC would make such a, in their own words, ''unexpected disclaimer'' (FASAB Exposure Draft: Classified Activities, SEC Comment, available at http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/CA_13_SEC.PDF).
Veterans Affairs and the Association of Government Accountants had a similar stance, and while they commented on other aspects of Standard 56 as well, they joined the SEC in criticizing a mandatory disclaimer, and suggested disclaimers would only be appropriate when GPFFRs were actually modified (see FASAB Classified Activities, available at http://fasab.gov/ca/).
Several other commenting parties had a different take on the required disclaimers. For instance, the Department of Defense's Office of The Chief Financial Officer and the Department of the Interior wanted agencies to have the option to give a disclaimer or not, irregardless of whether or not they made changes to classified information under the new standard (id.). The Department of Energy's Office of The Chief Financial Officer even felt it would be appropriate to have no disclaimers whatsoever, even if GPFFRs were materially modified (id.).
B. Federal Commentary on Standard 56 GenerallyVarious government agencies commented on the ''meat'' of Standard 56, and most were in favor2 of FASAB's proposals in general. For instance, Housing and Urban Development had fairly positive comments across the board, and deferred greatly to the need to classify information. The organization agreed with all of FASAB's methodology and conclusions, and stated the new standards would strike a correct balance between protecting classified information and a commitment to open government.
However, oddly enough, the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General was particularly concerned with the proposed Statement. They wrote ''[t]his proposed guidance is a major shift in Federal accounting guidance and, in our view, the potential impact is so expansive that it represents another comprehensive basis of accounting'' (FASAB Exposure Draft: Classified Activities, Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General Comment, available at http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/CA_8_DoD_OIG.PDF). They suggested already existing methods like redaction are sufficient to protect classified information, and stated the FASAB ''should clarify whether this proposed standard, or subsequent Interpretations, could permit entities to record misstated amounts in the financial statements to mislead readers with the stated purpose of protecting classified information. We believe that no accounting guidance should allow this type of accounting entry'' (id.).
Additionally, while not quite as critical as the Inspector General, the Treasury expressed concerns about the modification of net results of operations and net position.
C. Concerns From Accounting FirmsThe accounting firm Kearney & Company had a more critical take on the proposed standard as well. They worried that ''[t]he FASAB's proposed approach could result in material omissions in GPFFR. . . If GPFFR can be modified so material activity is no longer accurately presented to the reader of financial statements, its usefulness to public users is limited and subject to misinterpretation'' (FASAB Exposure Draft: Classified Activities, Kearney & Company Comment, available at: http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/CA_14_Kearney_&_CO_.PDF).
The accounting firm KPMG was more concerned with clarity and consistency, stating that because of potential classified interpretations, only some people with clearance will be able to understand the complete set of GAAP. Because of this, ''[i]t is not clear how management of each federal entity will be able to assert that their GPFFR have been prepared in accordance with GAAP when management does not have access to all of GAAP'' (FASAB Exposure Draft: Classified Activities, KPMG Comment, available at http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/CA_2_KPMG.PDF).
V. The Results of Statement 56 for the PublicThere is a legitimate existing tension between the need to protect confidential government information and the public's interest in financial transparency and accountability. Standard 56 isn't without possible justification. That being said, the concerns of both the accounting world and many within the federal government itself are extremely valid.
Statement 56 undercuts the reliability of government accounting standards and financial statements to such a degree as to render an already questionably valuable reporting tool virtually useless to the public. The possibility of false or omitted information renders the reports largely unreliable as to actual amounts, as does the fact that even an accurate report is rendered questionable by the very existence of modifications that are not necessarily exposed. Classifying portions of the federal GAAP mystifies the process even further, and the fuzzy definitions of reporting entities leaves the potential for this to touch not only direct government entities, but government contractors and other private (but federally entangled) entities. The general disclosure of the government''requiring all reporting entities to report the potential of modifications whether or not they actually exist in their report while simultaneously forbidding the actual disclosure of the actual existence of any modifications''is essentially a worst case in terms of transparency for the public.
VI. About UsThis article was written and edited by Michele Ferri and Jonathan Lurie of The Law Offices of Lurie and Ferri for use by The Solari Report. Michele Ferri and Jonathan Lurie are both practicing attorneys out of California. The Law Offices of Lurie and Ferri focus on working with start-up businesses as well as on intellectual property and business law issues. They can be found at http://www.lflawoffices.com/ or contacted at partners@lflawoffices.com.
Sources
FASABhttp://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/handbook_sffas_56.pdfhttp://www.fasab.gov/documents-for-comment/About: http://www.fasab.gov/mission-objectives/History: http://www.fasab.gov/the-history-of-fasab/General info: https://searchcompliance.techtarget.com/definition/FASAB-Federal-Accounting-Standards-Advisory-BoardReporting Entitieshttp://www.fasab.gov/concepts-federal-entity/http://files.fasab.gov/pdffiles/handbook_sffas_47.pdf________________1 The extent of what qualifies as classified or confidential information is determined by Executive Order 13526 (the most recent standard set back in 2009), changes over time, and could fill a book by itself. (https://www.archives.gov/isoo/policy-documents/cnsi-eo.html).
2 The Departments of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, and The Interior, all had agreement with the proposed standard more or less across the board, with a few exceptions for disagreements about the disclaimers.
OTG
Venntel Opt-Out & Do Not Sell
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 09:13
2. Enter your mobile device advertising identifier and press 'Submit' to opt-out of our use and disclosure of your mobile location data. The opt-out is device-specific, which means that you need to opt-out separately for each of your mobile devices. If you reset your mobile device's advertising identification number through your device's privacy settings, you will need to opt-out again with the new number.
The Secret Fight For Your Personal Information - Namecheap Blog
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 09:54
Is Facebook using US courts to create a GDPR backdoor to your data?
Namecheap has a long history of advocating for and protecting our customers' privacy. We were early champions for your rights, we embraced the GDPR, and we will continue to go above and beyond in fighting for your privacy rights. We refuse to hand over your private information unless the company requesting it has established a legal right to it. For many companies, this is good news and a standard they practice as well. A small group, however, believe they are entitled to your information just because of who they are and because they ask.
Today, we find ourselves in a battle for your privacy with one such company: Facebook.
In this battle, Facebook is fighting for the blanket right to access your information. Should it persuade a US court that it has this blanket right, it will create a backdoor to the GDPR and to your personal information. We cannot, in good conscience, be silent and allow this to happen. We will fight this fight and want to give you the information you may need to understand how Facebook's arguments attempt to open a door to your personal information. To understand the significance and breadth of the proposed backdoor, you need some context on the GDPR. You also need a little info on the domain industry and ICANN.
GDPRThe General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect across the European Union on May 28, 2018, and now covers countries in the EEA. The GDPR is held as one of the most comprehensive pieces of privacy legislation in existence. It grants a set of privacy rights to individuals that, among other things, provides you with protections that limit who collects your data, what they do with your data and who they share your data with. To be able to do any of these acts, a company must have one of six legal bases.
Most of the legal bases are obvious, like when you ''consent'' to let someone collect your data. It also covers when you enter into a ''contract'' (such as when you buy services) and collecting and processing your information is needed to provide the service to you. Another is when a company is ''legally required'' to do something that involves your data, such as retain it for a certain period of time when it is required by law. Two more bases include when processing is of ''vital interest'' to you (i.e. you were in an accident and your doctor needs to share your info) and when there is a ''public interest'' (which generally covers the collection of data by government agencies for research purposes).
The last legal basis is ''legitimate interest.'' Legitimate interest is a legal basis one company would use with another company to request your private information. A company cannot use legitimate interest (nor would they) if they could use another legal basis for obtaining your information. And, it is rightly known as the hardest standard to meet because to apply it loosely would have a significant impact on privacy rights and freedoms. That's why, even if the asking company can meet the standard, it doesn't give it a right to the data, it only gives a third-party company who has the data permission but not the obligation to share it with the asking party.
The GDPR applies globally. So, regardless of where a company is located, it must comply with the GDPR if it has a customer who is covered by the GDPR.
ICANNThe Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit that, among other things, works with stakeholders in the domain industry to establish policies, procedures, and governing contracts between parties like registries and registrars. When the GDPR went live, it fell to ICANN and its community to create additional contractual terms to enable its community to comply with the GDPR. So, it put together what is called a Temporary Specification (like an addendum to a contract) that covered GDPR and incorporated GDPR language. For our purposes, that included the term ''legitimate interest'' as a basis for obtaining your personal information and it adopted the relevant ''legitimate interest'' GDPR language. Given that the Temporary Specification (Temp Spec) solely covers the GDPR and uses GDPR language, interpretation of any of its terms must be interpreted using GDPR related law. It also means that if Temp Spec language is interpreted wrong, it creates a large scale, global privacy risk (if not a violation).
Facebook + Privacy + GDPRFacebook recently started a campaign where it seeks to market itself as a company striving to protect internet users against cybercriminals. In fact, it used this claim when it sued Namecheap because Namecheap refused to hand over its customers' personal information to Facebook just because Facebook demanded it. In doing so, it is attacking the fundamental right of privacy by attempting to set a dangerous precedent that could expose anyone's information.
Here's an important quick aside: Facebook's claim for a right to the information is based on alleged trademark violations and/or abuse activity related to the alleged trademark infringement.
However, trademark protection is a very specialized legal field. Whether a mark is protected and whether the use of something similar to the mark violates that protection depends on a multitude of factors. This inquiry is complicated by differing laws of differing jurisdictions, both U.S. and foreign. Because it is so specialized, we believe that only a court of law is the proper forum to make a legal determination on whether there has been a trademark infringement and Namecheap (or a similarly situated company) should not have to act as the arbiter of complex facts and laws every time someone claims infringement. And, as I'll explain later, Facebook does not need your personal information to investigate, act on, and/or enforce an alleged trademark violation in a court of law.
What about a claim of using the alleged mark for abuse? We investigate every allegation of abuse. We believe it's our responsibility to do so. We also believe in due process. So, if there isn't evidence of abuse, the person should not be treated as though it was committed. It's simple. If abuse is confirmed, services are suspended. The process of investigating an alleged abuse does not require the blanket release of a person's personal information to Facebook, or any other complainant. It requires either evidence provided by Facebook and/or our ability to independently verify the abuse.
Facebook's Position on TrademarksIn Facebook's lawsuit, it repeatedly claims that Namecheap (plus all other registrars) ''MUST'' turn over your confidential information to them. Why? Because they have a ''legitimate interest.''
In its stance that it has a right to your information, Facebook is asking the court to focus only on the language of ICANN's Temp Spec for ''legitimate interest.'' Their argument does not include GDPR interpretations of what constitutes ''legitimate interest''. It is simply a blanket statement: we have a ''legitimate interest.'' Yes, that's it. On that statement alone, Facebook contends that your data should be turned over to it. No court order or subpoena required. Facebook filed its case and is making this argument in a US court.
But, remember, the Temp Spec is wholly based on the GDPR. Indeed, its language refers specifically to the GDPR. Yet, in Facebook's court filings, it specifically omits the GDPR reference and also omits that the Temp Spec language includes that a company cannot provide the information to Facebook where Facebook's ''interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the Registered Name Holder or data subject'...'' (by the way, this is the GDPR language as well).
What Does This Mean? It means that, when looking at the Temp Spec and what is considered a ''legitimate interest,'' parties are both contractually and legally required to follow the relative GDPR law. For ''legitimate interest'' that means that Facebook must: 1) have a specific purpose; 2) the data they request must be necessary for that purpose; and 3) there can't be a less intrusive means to achieve the same purpose. It does not mean that Facebook meets the standard of ''legitimate interest'' just because it says so. In fact, at least as it relates to a domain's Registered Name Holder personal information '-- Facebook will always fail the ''legitimate interest'' standard.
Here's why:
Facebook's possible purposes for using the data (all related to its trademarks) are:
To contact the Registered Name Holder directlyTo file a lawsuit (to enforce their trademark)To file a UDRP (which is like a lawsuit and used to enforce a trademark)Facebook does not need your private information to accomplish any of these objectives. It is, thus, not ''necessary.'' There are established (anonymous) methods to directly reach a Registered Name Holder. And, Facebook can file a lawsuit or UDRP using a domain name/John Doe. Because there are ways to do these things without your data, it also means that there are clearly less intrusive means for Facebook to achieve the same result.
This bears repeating: Facebook does not need your private information to exercise any of these trademark actions.
Is This Important to Your Privacy? It's Very Important.If a court agreed with Facebook's argument regarding the meaning of ICANN's Temp Spec language for ''legitimate interest,'' the result would be that Facebook doesn't have to meet the GDPR's standards for disclosing your information and it means that companies (like Namecheap) are required to hand over your information to them.
Even if Facebook's motives are altruistic, the motive is irrelevant because such a decision would open the door for everyone to make this same claim to your data. The implications of such a decision are astounding. First, it would be US law interpreting a contract that is meant to provide compliance with another country's law. Meaning, ICANN covered companies would be required under the Temp Spec to turn over information to Facebook despite the fact that Facebook is prohibited by the GDPR from receiving that information. Second, it would have ramifications across the entire domain industry that is governed by ICANN. This means Facebook could demand information '-- without court order, without subpoena, without meeting any legal standard '-- just because it claimed to have a ''legitimate interest.'' And, so could anyone and everyone who makes this same claim.
Most importantly, this tactic would create an end-run on not only your privacy, but the GDPR itself. Instead of being the hardest legal standard to meet, ''legitimate interest'' becomes the free pass for anyone who wants to use it, in particular Facebook. And, it would break wide-open unrestrained access to your private information '-- whether you are covered by the GDPR or not. Such a decision would open the door to your data for basically anyone who requests it with a very limited burden of proof.
Does Facebook really care about protecting you from cybercrime or are their recent efforts their newest Trojan Horse to get personal data that Facebook doesn't have a right to have? We think it is the latter. What do you think?
Adobe to Remove Flash Download Links, Recommends People Uninstall It Now '' HOTforSecurity
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 10:24
Adobe is taking further steps in its Flash-dismantlingprocess scheduled to take place by the end of 2020, and said users shoulduninstall it long before the end-of-life date.
Removing Flash from online content is a long andcomplicated process that has taken years, but the end is finally approachingfor this piece of software. It's been a cornerstone for websites for so manyyears, but that journey will be over at the end of 2020.
The implementation of HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly madeFlash obsolete, but it was so widespread that pulling the plug quickly wouldhave been impossible. The official announcement came way back in July 2017, andyou can still find Flash-powered websites today. It's very likely that somewebsites will continue to use Flash after the December 31 deadline, butbrowsers won't allow users to view them.
Adobe added some informationto the Flash Player EOL information page, letting people know what exactly willhappen after the EOL date.
''Adobe will be removing Flash Player download pages fromits site and Flash-based content will be blocked from running in Adobe FlashPlayer after the EOL Date,'' reads the website.
''We recommend that all users uninstall Flash Playerbefore the EOL. Users will be prompted by Adobe to uninstall Flash Player ontheir machines later this year and Flash-based content will be blocked fromrunning in Adobe Flash Player after the EOL Date.''
Even with all the warnings, many users will likely continueto keep Flash and its components installed for a long time, leaving them opento possible exploits. Hopefully, developers and webmasters will migrate theircontent, hastening the end of Flash and its glorious era.
NWO
KBO's cardboard fans are the best idea in a crowdless sports world - SBNation.com
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 08:50
The KBO, South Korea's baseball league, has held live games for some time now. The stadiums are still empty, since fans are still not allowed in due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league hopes to gradually allow a certain percentage of fans as things improve in the country. But until then, the KBO has found a creative way to fill those seats: cardboard cutouts.
It's such a small and silly gesture that you wouldn't think much of it had someone proposed the idea to you but after watching a game between the NC Dinos and the LG Twins, it made all the difference. The cutouts were complete with NC Dinos jerseys and speech bubbles to make them more lively. Members of BTS were ''in attendance'', as well as dogs, cats, and even babies. The idea is so wholesome.
The KBO isn't the first league to do this either. Taiwan's CPBL has also had cardboard fans in their stands. Other teams and leagues should use this idea to customize their audience for their unique fanbases. A Lakers home game isn't the same without Jack Nicholson in attendance, so why not get a cutout of him in his signature look of sunglasses and a Lakers hat. One can argue that a Knicks game wouldn't be Knicks game without Spike Lee clapping courtside, so having a stand of him cheering the team on might help.
These cardboard cutouts of fans should range from traditional to just plain weird. Maybe the Minnesota Timberwolves can include a cutout of a wolf just casually enjoying a basketball game. Staff members can swap them out during game breaks as an Easter egg for the folks watching on TV, as well. And top of all that, that team you hate that has historically low attendance rates can have fans now!
There's also a high-tech version of this for sports that take place indoors. A league can have teams play behind a giant green screen background that would allow the folks behind the scenes to replace the green with footage of fans cheering on the home team. This wouldn't be the first time something like this was experimented. As far back as 1989, the American Wrestling Association implemented this idea with a green screen and a virtual crowd to cheer on wrestlers as they walked to the ring.
This might be slightly more comforting to fans at home, though if you watched the ''Fifteen Million Merits'' episode of Black Mirror, this idea might sound incredibly creepy and dystopian. It would probably be too expensive anyway.
Globalists Reveal That The ''Great Economic Reset'' Is Coming In 2021 (Meeting Set For January)
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 09:04
If the public is tricked into demanding it as a way to save them from the horrors of global chaos, then they are far less likely to rebel against'...
by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market
For those not familiar with the phrase ''global economic reset'', it is one that has been used ever increasingly by elitists in the central banking world for several years. I first heard it referenced by Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF at the time, in 2014. The reset is often mentioned in the same breath as ideas like ''the New Multilateralism'' or ''the Multipolar World Order'' or ''the New World Order''. All of these phrases mean essentially the same thing.
The reset is promoted as a solution to the ongoing economic crisis which was triggered in 2008. This same financial crash is still with us today, but now, after a decade of central bank money printing and debt creation, the bubble is even bigger than it was before. As always, the central bank ''cure'' is far worse than the disease, and the renewed crash we face today is far more deadly than what would have happened in 2008 if we had simply taken our medicine and refused to prop up weak parts of the economy artificially.
Many alternative economists often wrongly attribute the Fed's habit of making things worse to ''hubris'' or ''ignorance''. They think the Fed actually wants to save the financial system or ''protect the golden goose'', but this is not reality. The truth is, the Fed is not a bumbling maintenance man, the Fed is a saboteur, a suicide bomber that is willing to destroy even itself as an institution in order to explode the US economy and clear the path for a new globally centralized one world system. Hence, the ''Global Reset''.
In 2015 in my article 'The Global Economic Reset Has Begun', I stated:
''The global reset is not a ''response'' to the process of collapse we are trapped in today. No, the global reset as implemented by central banks and the BIS/IMF is the cause of the collapse. The collapse is a tool, a flamethrower burning a great hole in the forest to make way for the foundations of the globalist Ziggurat to be built'....economic disaster serves the interests of elitists.''
Now in 2020 we see the globalist plan coming to fruition, with the elites revealing what appears to be their intent to launch their reset in 2021. The World Economic Forum officially announced the Great Reset initiative as part of their Covid Action Platform last week, and a summit is scheduled in January 2021 to discuss their plans more openly with the world and the mainstream media.
The WEF also posted a rather bizarre video on the Reset, which consists of a series of images of the world falling apart (and images of factories releasing harmless carbon emission into the air which I suppose is meant to scare us with notions of global warming). The destruction is then ''reset'' at the push of a button, with everything reversing back to a pristine human-less world of nature and the words ''Join Us''.
The reset, according to discussions by the IMF, is basically the next stage in the formation of a one-world economic system and potential global government. This seems to fall in line with the solutions offered during the Event 201 pandemic simulation; a simulation of a coronavirus pandemic that was held by the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Economic Forum only two months before the REAL THING happened at the beginning of 2020. Event 201 suggested that one of the top solutions to a pandemic would be the institution of a centralized global economic body that could handle the financial response to the coronavirus.
Is it not convenient that the events of the real coronavirus pandemic fall exactly in line with the Event 201 simulation, as well as directly in line with the global reset plans of the IMF and the World Economic Forum? As they say, let no crisis go to waste, or, as is the motto of the globalists ''Order Out Of Chaos''.
With civil unrest about to become a way of life for many parts of the world including the US, and the pandemic set for a resurgence of infections after the ''reopening'', creating a rationale for a second wave of lockdowns probably in July, the economy as we know it is being destroyed. The last vestiges of the system, hanging by a thin thread after the crash of 2008, are now being cut.
The goal is rather obvious '' Terrify the population with poverty, internal conflicts and a broken supply chain until they lobby the establishment for help. Then, offer the ''solution'' of medical tyranny, immunity passports, martial law, a global economic system based on a cashless digital society in which privacy in trade is erased, and then slowly but surely form a faceless ''multilateral'' global government which answers to no one and does whatever it pleases.
I remember back in 2014 when Christine Lagarde first began talking about the reset. That same year she also made a very strange speech to the National Press Club in which she started rambling gleefully about numerology and the ''magic number 7''. Many within the club laughed, as there was apparently an inside joke that the rest of us were not privy to. Well, I would point out that the World Economic Forum meeting on the global reset in 2021 will be held exactly 7 years after Lagarde gave that speech. Just another interesting coincidence I suppose'...
The new world order, the global reset, is a long running scheme to centralize power, but in a way that is meant to be sustained for centuries to come. The elites know that it is not enough to achieve global governance by force alone; such an attempt would only lead to resistance and eternal rebellion. No, what the elites want is for the public to ASK, even beg for global governance. If the public is tricked into demanding it as a way to save them from the horrors of global chaos, then they are far less likely to rebel against it later. Problem '' reaction '' solution.
The pandemic is not going away anytime soon. Everyone should expect that state governments and the federal government will call for renewed lockdowns. With these new lockdowns, the US economy in particular will be finished. With 40 million people losing their jobs during the last lockdowns, many states only partially reopened, and only 13% to 18% of small businesses receiving bailout loans to survive, the next two months are going to be a devastating wake-up call.
The real solution will be for people to form more self reliant communities free of the mainstream economy. The real solution should be decentralization and independence, not centralization and slavery. The globalists will seek to interfere with any effort to break from the program. That said, they can do very little if millions of people enact localization efforts at the same time. If people aren't reliant on the system, then they cannot be controlled by the system.
The real test will come with the final collapse of the existing economy. When stagflation spikes even harder than it is right now and prices of necessities double or triple yet again, and joblessness skyrockets even further, how many people will clamor for the globalist solution and how many will build their own systems? How many will be bowing in submission and how many will be ready to fight back. It is a question I still don't have an answer to even after 14 years of analysis on the issue.
What I suspect is that many people will fight back. Not as many as we might hope for, but enough to defend the cause of liberty. Maybe this is overly optimistic, but I believe the globalists are destined to lose this war in the long run.
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The Great Reset | World Economic Forum
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 09:05
There is an urgent need for global stakeholders to cooperate in simultaneously managing the direct consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. To improve the state of the world, the World Economic Forum is starting The Great Reset initiative.
The contextThe Covid-19 crisis, and the political, economic and social disruptions it has caused, is fundamentally changing the traditional context for decision-making. The inconsistencies, inadequacies and contradictions of multiple systems ''from health and financial to energy and education '' are more exposed than ever amidst a global context of concern for lives, livelihoods and the planet. Leaders find themselves at a historic crossroads, managing short-term pressures against medium- and long-term uncertainties.
The opportunityAs we enter a unique window of opportunity to shape the recovery, this initiative will offer insights to help inform all those determining the future state of global relations, the direction of national economies, the priorities of societies, the nature of business models and the management of a global commons. Drawing from the vision and vast expertise of the leaders engaged across the Forum's communities, the Great Reset initiative has a set of dimensions to build a new social contract that honours the dignity of every human being.
Find out more about the Great Reset Read more Our contributionThe World Economic Forum has developed a reputation as a trusted platform for informed collaboration and cooperation between all stakeholders '' reinforced by a track record of success over five decades. The Forum now offers its experience in building purpose-driven communities in service of the extraordinary challenge and opportunity the world faces for a ''Great Reset''. The Forum provides an unparalleled platform for creating, shaping and delivering collaborative solutions for the future through its:
Status as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation
Hub for cutting-edge ideas, expertise and knowledge resources tools
Leadership in enabling stakeholder capitalism and delivering solutions '¨to global challenges
Authority in shaping and leveraging the Fourth Industrial Revolution
The Great Reset DialoguesIn the run-up to the Annual Meeting, the Forum will host a virtual series: ''The Great Reset Dialogues''.
These dialogues are a joint initiative of the World Economic Forum and HRH The Prince of Wales.
During these dialogues, various key stakeholders will discuss core dimensions of The Great Reset.
About | World Economic Forum
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 09:05
The Great Reset: A Unique Twin Summit to Begin 2021 ''The Great Reset'' will be the theme of a unique twin summit in January 2021, convened by the World Economic Forum. ''The Great Reset'' is a commitment to jointly and urgently build the foundations of our economic and social system for a more fair, sustainable and resilient future. It requires a new social contract centred on human dignity, social justice and where societal progress does not fall behind economic development. The global health crisis has laid bare longstanding ruptures in our economies and societies, and created a social crisis that urgently requires decent, meaningful jobs. The twin summit will be both in-person and virtual, connecting key global governmental and business leaders in Davos with a global multistakeholder network in 400 cities around the world for a forward-oriented dialogue driven by the younger generation. Speakers for 1430 livestream:
Victoria Alonsoperez, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chipsafer, Uruguay, and a Young Global Leader Caroline Anstey, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pact, USA Ajay S. Banga, Chief Executive Officer, Mastercard, USA Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Brussels Ma Jun, Chairman, Green Finance Committee, China Society for Finance and Banking, and a Member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the People's Bank of China; Bernard Looney, Chief Executive Officer, bp, United Kingdom Juliana Rotich, Venture Partner, Atlantica Ventures, Kenya Bradford L. Smith, President, Microsoft, USA Nick Stern, Chair, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, United Kingdom Geneva, Switzerland, 3 June 2020 '' ''The Great Reset'' will be the theme of a unique twin summit to be convened by the World Economic Forum in January 2021. The 51st World Economic Forum Annual Meeting will bring together global leaders from government, business and civil society, and stakeholders from around the world in a unique configuration that includes both in-person and virtual dialogues.
''We only have one planet and we know that climate change could be the next global disaster with even more dramatic consequences for humankind. We have to decarbonize the economy in the short window still remaining and bring our thinking and behaviour once more into harmony with nature,'' said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
''In order to secure our future and to prosper, we need to evolve our economic model and put people and planet at the heart of global value creation. If there is one critical lesson to learn from this crisis, it is that we need to put nature at the heart of how we operate. We simply can't waste more time,'' said HRH The Prince of Wales.
''The Great Reset is a welcome recognition that this human tragedy must be a wake-up call. We must build more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change and the many other global changes we face,'' said Ant"nio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations, New York.
''A Great Reset is necessary to build a new social contract that honours the dignity of every human being,'' added Schwab ''The global health crisis has laid bare the unsustainability of our old system in terms of social cohesion, the lack of equal opportunities and inclusiveness. Nor can we turn our backs on the evils of racism and discrimination. We need to build into this new social contract our intergenerational responsibility to ensure that we live up to the expectations of young people.''
''COVID-19 has accelerated our transition into the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We have to make sure that the new technologies in the digital, biological and physical world remain human-centred and serve society as a whole, providing everyone with fair access,'' he said.
''This global pandemic has also demonstrated again how interconnected we are. We have to restore a functioning system of smart global cooperation structured to address the challenges of the next 50 years. The Great Reset will require us to integrate all stakeholders of global society into a community of common interest, purpose and action,'' said Schwab. ''We need a change of mindset, moving from short-term to long-term thinking, moving from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder responsibility. Environmental, social and good governance have to be a measured part of corporate and governmental accountability,'' he added.
This innovative summit will be a very different Annual Meeting, reflecting the spirit of the Great Reset. It will provide a unique opportunity at the beginning of 2021 to bring together the key global government and business leaders in Davos, yet framed within a global multistakeholder summit driven by the younger generation to ensure that the Great Reset dialogue pushes beyond the boundaries of traditional thinking and is truly forward-oriented.
To do so, the World Economic Forum will draw on thousands of young people in more than 400 cities around the world (the Global Shapers Community) who will be interconnected with a powerful virtual hub network to interact with the leaders in Davos. Each of those hubs will have an open house policy to integrate all interested citizens into this dialogue, making the Annual Meeting open to everyone. In addition, global media and social media networks will mobilize millions of people, enabling them to share their input while also providing them with access to the Annual Meeting discussions in Davos.
The announcement of the Great Reset was made by HRH The Prince of Wales and Professor Schwab during a virtual meeting, followed by statements by UN Secretary-General Ant"nio Guterres and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.
Their statements were supported by voices from all stakeholder groups of global society, including Victoria Alonsoperez, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chipsafer, Uruguay, and a Young Global Leader; Caroline Anstey, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pact, USA; Ajay S. Banga, Chief Executive Officer, Mastercard, USA; Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Brussels; Ma Jun, Chairman, Green Finance Committee, China Society for Finance and Banking, and a Member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the People's Bank of China; Bernard Looney, Chief Executive Officer, bp, United Kingdom; Juliana Rotich, Venture Partner, Atlantica Ventures, Kenya; Bradford L. Smith, President, Microsoft, USA; and Nick Stern, Chair, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, United Kingdom.
In the run-up to the Annual Meeting, the Forum will host a virtual series, The Great Reset Dialogues. These dialogues are a joint initiative of the World Economic Forum and HRH The Prince of Wales. Contributions to the Great Reset will also be invited through UpLink, the World Economic Forum's digital platform to crowdsource innovations for the Sustainable Development Goals.
The map below shows the location of Hubs of the World Economic Global Shapers Community: More than 420 Hubs and 11,000 Global Shapers and alumni.
Notes to editors
Read more about The Great Reset
For more information about joining The Great Reset please contact us
Explore the Forum's Strategic Intelligence Platform and Transformation Maps
Explore The Great Reset Transformation Map
Learn about the Forum's impact
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Obamagate / Flynn
No Evidence Needed for Collusion Probe, Just a Pretext Devised by This Man | RealClearInvestigations
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 08:52
Above, David Laufman, described as the "mastermind" of a strategy to pursue Team Trump not for conspiracy with Russia, but for the pretext of failing to register as foreign agents, mostly for other countries.By Paul Sperry, RealClearInvestigationsJune 19, 2020Newly released documents reveal the FBI never had even preliminary evidence of a Trump campaign conspiracy with Russia, and instead used a rarely enforced statutory relic '' the Foreign Agents Registration Act '' as the legal rationale for opening investigations in 2016-2017 and surveilling Trump campaign aides.
On July 31, 2016, the FBI opened a counterintelligence probe of the Trump campaign's alleged ties with Russia '' nicknamed Crossfire Hurricane '' not under espionage conspiracy laws but under FARA.
Walid Phares: A FARA investigation for ties to Egypt, not Russia.
Fox News
The next month the FBI opened four separate FARA cases into people associated with the Trump campaign. Two other FARA cases were added the next year. Only one involved an individual with connections to Russia: Carter Page.
The recently disclosed documents, which surfaced thanks to declassification efforts, court filings and FOIA lawsuits, reveal that the initial target of the probe '' then-Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos -- was suspected of working for Israel, not Russia. Other FARA cases involved alleged ties to Turkey (Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn), Ukraine (campaign manager Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates) and Egypt (Trump Mideast adviser Walid Phares).
All six sensitive cases were approved through the Justice Department's counterintelligence and export control section, run at the time by former Justice official David Laufman.
Before the flurry of Trump-related cases, only three people had been found guilty of violating the seldom-enforced law since 1966. Passed in the run-up to World War II to curb Nazi propaganda, FARA mainly requires people to fill out a two-page form disclosing work on behalf of a foreign entity.
Nevertheless, the FBI used FARA as the basis for a wide-ranging probe of a presidential campaign and then a presidency that included the use of confidential sources to secretly record Trump's advisers, according to a December report by the Justice Department's watchdog. At the same time, the FBI dispatched agents to tail them, stake out their homes and dig through their trash '-- none of which is typically ordered in FARA probes, which rarely even result in fines.
Robert Mueller: Followed the FBI in using FARA as a pretext for investigations of people against whom there was no other significant evidence.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
As has been widely reported, Obama administration officials also resurrected an even older and less frequently used law, the Logan Act of 1799, to raise questions about Flynn's contacts with Russia's ambassador to Washington during the transition to the Trump administration. Only two people have ever been charged under the statute barring unauthorized citizen dealings with foreign governments '' both before the Civil War. Neither was convicted.
Investigators for the Republican-led Senate looking into the conduct of the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team told RealClearInvestigations they believe the FBI and, later, Mueller used FARA as pretext to authorize investigations into individuals against whom there was no other significant evidence, raising fresh concerns about the predication for the nearly three-year investigation of Trump. Mueller also used the threat of FARA prosecutions to squeeze individuals for Russia information.
Only one of the six was indicted for FARA-related violations, and none was charged with any espionage or conspiracy crimes related to Russia.
In April 2019, Mueller reported that his ''investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in election interference activities.''
Peter Strzok: Worked closely with David Laufman (top photo), an inspector general's report revealed.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
Former FBI Director James Comey and his deputy Andrew McCabe have publicly testified they had sufficient evidence to justify investigating the Trump campaign for coordinating with Moscow to hack Clinton campaign emails and troll social media to influence the 2016 presidential election '-- a scheme that, if true, would have violated espionage laws and warranted serious felony charges.
But the raft of new documents reveals that the actual basis for the cases was the suspicion that Trump campaign aides failed to file FARA forms with Washington bureaucrats and pay the required $305 in registration fees.
One Senate investigator told RealClearInvestigations that Laufman, then Justice's top counterintelligence official, was the ''mastermind'' behind the strategy to dust off and ''weaponize'' FARA against Trump campaign officials.
Investigators for at least one committee seek to question Laufman under oath. His name appears on a subpoena list of witnesses approved by the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee.
Laufman signed off on the wiretapping of Trump campaign adviser Page, which the Department of Justice inspector general determined was conducted under false pretenses involving doctored email, suppression of exculpatory evidence, and other malfeasance.
George Papadopoulos: A FARA investigation fo r ties to Israel, not Russia.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
An Obama campaign donor, Laufman helped oversee a wide range of politically charged cases as the DoJ's counterintelligence section chief '' including the department's investigation of Hillary Clinton concerning her mishandling of classified emails as secretary of state.
He could not be reached for comment. Since leaving the government for private practice in 2018, Laufman has made several appearances on cable TV shows criticizing the Trump administration. Last year he boasted of his ''more aggressive approach'' to enforcing FARA in a legal white paper.
''There have been nearly as many criminal prosecutions for FARA violations in the last 18 months (five) as during the 40-year period from 1966 to 2015 (seven),'' he gloated in the February 2019 paper on ''FARA Enforcement."
The FBI and Justice declined comment.
Before advising Mueller, the inspector general's report revealed that Laufman worked closely with FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok '' who was fired from the bureau in 2018 because of anti-Trump text messages sent while he was investigating the candidate and then president.
Michael Flynn: A FARA investigation for ties to Turkey, not Russia.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
When the FBI initially launched its Russia ''collusion'' investigation of the Trump camp on July 31, 2016, the opening case memo written by Strzok stated that "this investigation is being opened to determine whether individual(s) associated with the Trump campaign are witting of and/or coordinating activities with the government of Russia.''
However, the FBI assigned the investigation a case number used internally by the bureau for possible violations of FARA. That means even the FBI's larger umbrella case was at its core a regulatory, not a national security, matter.
The revelation is contained in a redacted version of the Electronic Communication obtained last month by Judicial Watch as part of a FOIA lawsuit the Washington watchdog group filed against the FBI.
''It shows there was no serious basis for the Obama administration to launch an unprecedented spy operation on the Trump campaign," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. ''We now have more proof that Crossfire Hurricane was a scam.''
In August 2016, Laufman began huddling with Strzok about the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, according to the IG report, getting regular briefings on all the Trump-related cases that flowed from it.
Paul Manafort: A FARA investigation for ties to Ukraine, not Russia.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig
On Aug. 10, 2016, they opened separate FARA cases on Page, Manafort and Papadopoulos, under code names assigned by the FBI. The Papadopoulos case, for instance, was code-named "Crossfire Typhoon.'' Then on Aug. 16, they opened another FARA case on Flynn, under the code name, ''Crossfire Razor.''
Documents indicate they strained to convert FARA cases into counterintelligence investigations. Even though the cases were predicated on possible FARA violations, the Electronic Communications stated that there was reason to believe that the Trump targets ''may wittingly or unwittingly'' be involved in activity on behalf of Russia, which may constitute a federal crime or threat to national security.
The targets are not specifically named as "agents of a foreign power'' '-- the key language in the federal espionage statute (under 50 U.S.C.) making it a crime to knowingly aid or abet any person in sabotage or clandestine intelligence-gathering activities for a foreign power. Rather, the case files cite the ''Foreign Agents Registration Act'' statute, even though they state that the primary goal of the investigation was to determine whether the targets were ''directed and controlled by and/or coordinated activities with the Russian Federation in a manner which is a threat to the national security.''
Rick Gates: A FARA investigation for ties to Ukraine, not Russia.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
Mark Wauck, a former FBI attorney who worked counterintelligence cases for the bureau, told RealClearInvestigations that FARA served as a "smokescreen'' to justify spying on the Trump campaign and its aides, under the ''baseless theory" that they might be clandestine agents of Russia.
Former FBI assistant director of intelligence Kevin Brock is equally skeptical of the motives for opening the cases. He said there was not enough evidence to support the FARA allegations and justify them standing alone as criminal investigations.
''In a normal EC opening a FARA case, we should expect to see a list of reasons why the FBI believes individuals associated with a U.S. presidential campaign had been engaged by the Russian government to represent and advocate that government's goals,'' he said. ''Try as we might to spot them, those reasons are not found anywhere in the document.''
Added Brock: ''There was no attempt by Strzok to articulate any factors that address the elements of FARA. He couldn't, because there are none."
While the FBI used FARA to justify the launch of the investigation, Mueller later wielded it to pressure targets. Phares, a Lebanese-born American scholar and commentator who advised the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney in 2012 and Trump in 2016, confirmed in a RealClearInvestigations interview last month that he, too, was targeted under FARA.
Carter Page: His FARA investigation was for ties to Russia, but resulted in no charges.
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP
Phares said he was interviewed by two Washington agents working for Mueller in 2017. ''They were looking for FARA violations,'' Phares said. ''They couldn't find anything about Russia, so they started asking me about Egypt,'' he told RCI. ''It's laughable.''
Despite rummaging through his bank records, he said, they never filed any charges against him. Phares complained the FBI conducted a fishing expedition. He believes the FBI was also monitoring him during the 2016 campaign.
''But on different grounds,'' he noted. ''Not on the Russians, because I have no contacts [in] or ties to Russia, but on my work with Egypt.'' Their real goal, he contended, was to spy on Trump and his campaign. Some legal experts say the predication for opening a probe of Phares appears thin.
''There is no logical basis for such an investigation,'' said Wauck, who has been a persistent critic of the Trump/Russia probe.
Still, Mueller ended up bringing a half dozen indictments using the statute in his campaign to link Trump and his advisers to Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential campaign, all of which were approved by Laufman. Laufman helped him build FARA prosecutions against Flynn, Papadopoulos and Manafort, as well as Gates. (It's not immediately clear if he also was involved in the Phares probe.) The results:
In September 2018, Manafort pleaded guilty to, among other crimes, violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and making false and misleading FARA statements related to consulting work he did in Ukraine. He was sentenced to 43 months in federal prison.In February 2018, Gates also was indicted for FARA violations unrelated to the 2016 campaign, but the government dropped the FARA charges against him after he agreed to cooperate against Manafort.In November 2017, Mueller used the threat of a FARA prosecution against both Flynn and his son to coerce a false statement plea from Flynn regarding phone conversations he had with the Russian ambassador a few weeks before he took office as Trump's national security adviser. Flynn in the end was never charged with a FARA violation. Still, Laufman listed the FARA accusation '-- that he'd also allegedly made ''false statements'' in his FARA registration involving his work with Turkey '-- in the ''statement of offense'' against Flynn, even though it was not part of the plea agreement. (Last month, the Justice Department dropped its case against Flynn, though a federal judge has not yet granted its motion to dismiss the charges.)In October 2017, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to Mueller's agents after they put the screws to him over possible FARA violations and came up empty on any Russian funny business involving the campaign. Papadopoulos said Mueller threatened to ''lock me up'' for violating FARA. To get him on a FARA rap, Mueller obtained multiple warrants to search his residence and electronic devices based not on his ties to Russia but to Israel, one of America's strongest allies.Papadopoulos said the piling on of charges convinced him to take a plea deal in which he copped to lying to investigators about what turned out to be an innocuous Russia-related conversation he had in London in exchange for minimal jail time.
''I pled guilty when they came after me with FARA violations,'' he told RCI.
As with Flynn, the plea bargain allowed Mueller's prosecutors to insert the word ''Russia'' in court filings, making it look like he was hiding Russian-related crimes and keeping the Russia ''collusion'' narrative alive in the media.
Mueller even used the obscure FARA statute to obtain indictments against three Russian companies '-- as well as 13 Russian nationals '-- accused of running an influence operation against the 2016 campaign. In February 2018, they were charged with conspiracy to violate the regulation. (Justice recently dropped charges against one of the Russian companies that was a key defendant in the Mueller case.)
Senate investigators say that the unprecedented practice of resurrecting and applying FARA in the Trump-Russia investigation indicated that Mueller and Justice Department holdovers grasped at any conceivable legal tool they could find to pressure Trump associates to cop to what turned out to be nonexistent Russia ''collusion" crimes. They also said they intend to question Laufman, in particular, about whether threatening these dubious charges constituted a new and unequal application of the law.
FARA Cases ' Fabricated' as Part of a Political Operation Richard T. Higgins, a former National Security Council director and Pentagon official, said he doubts that Laufman and other former administration officials ever believed the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory.
Rather, he contends that the FARA and other sub-cases they opened on Trump aides were ''fabricated'' as part of a political operation against the Trump campaign and presidency. He argued that even the larger umbrella probe was a ''cover story'' to hide that alleged operation.
''The operation was consolidated and conducted under the codename 'Crossfire Hurricane.' The cover story, if one should be needed (in the event Clinton lost), was that its mission was to expose Russian interference in the American election,'' said Higgins, who worked in the Trump White House. ''The true mission was not to expose Russian interference, but to disrupt the Trump campaign and ensure the election of Hillary Clinton.''
He pointed out that the top Russiagate investigators '-- Strzok and FBI lawyers Lisa Page and Kevin Clinesmith '-- were all caught exchanging anti-Trump, pro-Clinton messages during 2016. Before the election, Strzok even promised Page he would ''stop'' Trump, whom he called a ''fucking idiot'' supported by ''smell[y]" Wal-Mart shoppers. His concern was not that he was an agent supported by Russians, but by supposed rednecks. After the election, Clinesmith feared the Affordable Care Act and other Obama legacies would be dismantled by Trump and vowed to ''fight'' him for that reason. The IG report said Clinesmith forged email evidence used in applications to renew FISA warrants to spy on Trump aide Page. The IG referred Clinesmith to U.S. prosecutors for possible criminal investigation.
Higgins also noted that most of Mueller's prosecutors were exposed as registered Democrats, who had given generously to Clinton's campaign. His legal ''pit bull,'' Andrew Weissmann, even attended Clinton's election night event in New York.
''You'd have to be blind not to see it was their political bias that motivated them,'' he said.
Johnson and May ignored claims Russia had 'likely hold' over Trump, ex-spy alleges | World news | The Guardian
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 08:05
Boris Johnson and Theresa May ignored claims the Kremlin had a ''likely hold'' over Donald Trump and may have covertly funded Brexit, the former spy Christopher Steele alleges in secret evidence given to MPs who drew up the Russia report.
In testimony to MPs, the MI6 veteran accused the government led by May and in which Johnson was foreign secretary for two years of turning a blind eye to allegations about Trump because they were afraid of offending the US president.
Steele first presented a dossier about Trump to senior UK intelligence figures in late 2016, who he says took it seriously at first. But, he writes, ''on reaching top political decision-makers, a blanket appeared to be thrown over it''.
''No inquiries were made or actions taken thereafter on the substance of the intelligence in the dossier by HMG [Her Majesty's government],'' Steele says in the critical document.
The allegation is contained in a short summary of a larger file of information presented in August 2018 by Steele to parliament's intelligence and security committee (ISC), inquiring into Kremlin infiltration into British politics and public life.
Steele accuses May's government of selling British interests short by not taking matters further: ''In this case, political considerations seemed to outweigh national security interests. If so, in my view, HMG made a serious mistake in balancing matters of strategic importance to our country.''
The Russia expert concluded: ''A prospective trade deal should never be allowed to eclipse considerations of national security.''
Steele's confidential testimony is revealed for the first time in a book by the Guardian journalist Luke Harding, Shadow State: Murder, Mayhem and Russia's Remaking of the West, to be published next week.
Downing Street said on Monday it could not comment on the Russia report or its evidence until it was published. The cross-party committee finished the report in October 2019 but, ahead of December's general election, Johnson refused to release it. After the election, he cleared the report for publication in principle, but doing so would require the ISC to be reconstituted.
The committee is yet to be formed amid growing speculation that there is a row about who will chair it. Downing Street has indicated it wants the former transport secretary Chris Grayling to do so.
But No 10 needs the Conservative nominees to the nine-strong committee to agree to support Grayling because the opposition minority want to vote for somebody else. In law the appointment of the chair is a matter for the committee. As a result the long-awaited document is still yet to be released, prompting complaints in Westminster and accusations from Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats of an attempted cover-up.
''We increasingly think the real reason this is all being held up is because of No 10,'' said an SNP source. The Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael, said the delay was ''utterly reprehensible''.
Steele's summary evidence is likely to raise concerns that Downing Street may have suppressed the ISC's final Russia report to avoid embarrassing questions in the run-up to the election, and afterwards, as Britain left the EU, although No 10 has consistently denied that is the case. These include whether Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 EU referendum in support of Brexit and whether Vladimir Putin holds compromising information on Trump, Johnson's ally.
''My understanding, arising partly from personal experience with the 'Trump-Russia dossier', is that this government perhaps more than its predecessors is reluctant to see (or act upon) intelligence on Russian activities when this presents difficult wider political implications,'' Steele writes in his testimony to MPs.
''Examples of this include reporting on the Kremlin's likely hold over President Trump and his family/administration and indications of Russian interference in and clandestine funding of the Brexit referendum.''
Steele was one of several Russia experts who gave evidence to the ISC. He spent 22 years working for MI6 and led its investigation into the 2006 polonium poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko. Later Steele went into private business intelligence.
In 2016, he wrote a dossier on Trump's links with Russia on behalf of the Democratic party under Hillary Clinton. It alleged the Kremlin had been cultivating Trump for at least five years and had mounted an extensive espionage operation to back his campaign for the White House. Last year, the special counsel, Robert Mueller, described Russian government interference as ''sweeping and systematic''.
Steele's dossier also featured claims that Putin's FSB spy agency filmed Trump in a Moscow hotel room with two sex workers in 2013. Trump has denied the allegations.
It is unclear how much of Steele's testimony and the information he provided is reflected in the Russia report. The document has a public section and a classified annexe. Some of those who have read it hint that its public part is discursive and does not include recommendations.
It is expected to say there is no evidence of any successful interference by Russia in recent British elections, but will highlight a surprising lack of coordination across Whitehall to examine what Moscow has been attempting to achieve.
In his memo to MPs, Steele also argues that Russia under Putin has become a ''powerful rogue state''. A lack of pushback from the UK and others has emboldened its bad behaviour, he writes. This trajectory was not inevitable and, he says, has been driven by a ''corrupt political elite'' fearful of regime change and seeking to protect its ''ill-gotten'' wealth.
He cites seven ''paradigm shift'' moments that have surprised and wrong-footed successive western governments. They include the breakup of the oil company Yukos, the poisonings of Litvinenko and Sergei Skripal, and the invasions of Georgia and Ukraine. He also mentions Russian election meddling, in particular during the 2016 US presidential vote. In each case the west's response was limited. Moscow perceives this as ''weakness'', he writes.
According to Steele, Putin and his associates have a particular ''love-hate'' obsession with Britain. Vast amounts of ''illegitimate'' wealth is hidden in the UK; at the same time London is home to an influential (C)migr(C) community, which the Kremlin views with suspicion. Putin wanted to embarrass and humiliate the UK in order to ''cow'' other countries and to further his corrupt and amoral agenda, the ISC was told.
Over the years, Russia's elite has established a powerful presence in London, the committee heard, thanks to lavish expenditure and investment. Lawyers, accountants, estate agents and lobbyists have all helped oligarchs penetrate ''British political and business life''. Not all of these London firms are ''bad actors'', Steele says, but many are party to ''corrupt and destabilising forces'' emanating from the Kremlin.
''This gradual and more subtle erosion of our norms and politics, including our political parties, poses a significant threat,'' he told the MPs.
In Steele's analysis, Putin always had malign intentions but lacked the resources to follow through.
Russia under Putin now represents potentially a greater threat to the UK and its way of life than terrorism, the MPs heard.
''No terrorist group has to date successfully deployed a weapon of mass destruction, either nuclear or chemical, in the UK. Russia has deployed both,'' Steele points out, adding: ''If not effectively deterred going forward, clearly Putin's regime will stop at little to achieve its objectives.''
Seven big hints Barr has dropped about Durham's investigation of the Russia investigators | Just The News
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 11:09
Attorney General William Barr is bringing increasing clarity to the focus of U.S. Attorney John Durham's criminal investigation into the conduct of the Russia collusion investigators.
In a series of recent interviews, the nation's chief enforcement officer has dropped some big hints about what is under investigation, who is and isn't being investigated, and what evidence uncovered by the Durham team is emerging as important.
Barr also has suggested what events in the timeline are emerging as important in the 2016-17 effort to find dirt on President Trump and his campaign and transition team.
Here are the seven most important revelations Barr has made over the last month.
1. Timetable: Durham's investigation has been slowed by the pandemic. But some action is expected by end of summer, and the probe could stretch beyond Election Day.
Barr told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo on Sunday that the coronavirus has slowed Durham's ability to interview witnesses and use a grand jury if needed, though he did not officially confirm there was grand jury activity in the case.
"It is a fact that there have not been grand juries in virtually all districts for a long period of time,'' Barr said.
But most importantly, the attorney general laid out a likely timeline for when the first actions might be taken in the case, while stressing the probe could carry beyond the election.
''In terms of the future of Durham's investigation, he's pressing ahead as hard as he can, and I expect that we will have some developments, hopefully before the end of the summer,'' Barr said. ''But as I've said, his investigation will continue. It's not going to stop because of the election. What happens after the election may depend on who wins the election.''
2. Barr believes evidence used by the FBI to justify opening an investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Moscow was very thin.
The attorney general has made clear in multiple interviews that Australian diplomat Alexander Downer's meeting with Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos at a London bar in May 2016 was a weak justification for opening Crossfire Hurricane.
Downer claimed Papadopoulos made comments about Russians possessing dirt on Hillary Clinton, and the FBI believed that was enough to predicate a counterintelligence investigation.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz agreed in his report that was enough, but found substantial evidence the FBI cheated afterwards to keep the probe going in the absence of evidence of wrongdoing.
Barr does not seem to accept the opening of the FBI probe was justified.
Papadopoulos' alleged ''comment in a London wine bar'' would be ''a very slender reed to get law enforcement and intelligence agencies involved in investigating the campaign of one's political opponent,'' Barr declared Sunday.
Barr isn't the only high-profile figure to think that. Former FBI Assistant Director for Intelligence Kevin Brock has said the FBI memo opening Crossfire Hurricane did not meet the standards for opening a counter-intelligence investigation.
3. Investigators are focused on what happened before Crossfire Hurricane officially started, including when Christopher Steele first began compiling his dossier.
In multiple interviews, Barr has made clear Durham's team is examining what actions government officials and private individuals may have taken in the winter and spring of 2016 before the FBI officially opened its probe of the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016.
Perhaps the most tantalizing statement Barr has made on this came Sunday when he suggested it was important that Steele began working on his dossier before July 2016, raising the possibility that some unexplained events earlier that year may have been connected to that early Steele work.
''I understand why it is important to try to determine whether there was any activity before July, before the Papadopoulos wine bar conversation,'' Barr explained. ''And so people are looking at that. It's significant also that the dossier was initiated before July.''
4. Barr views the FBI's continuation of the Russia probe after the Steele dossier ''collapsed'' as an illegitimate effort to remove the president.
Barr has repeatedly cited the fact that the FBI continued to rely on the Steele dossier after the former MI6 agent's primary sub-source contradicted information in the dossier in January 2017 and March 2017 '-- and failed to tell the FISA court about the problems with the repudiated evidence.
''The dossier pretty much collapsed at that point '-- and yet they continued to use it as a basis for pursuing this counterintelligence investigation,'' Barr noted this past weekend.
The attorney general suggested such behavior supports arguments that what was really going on was an attempted coup to remove Trump from office. "It is the closest we have come to an organized effort to push a president out of office,'' he said.
5. There are multiple criminal investigations into leaks of classified information.
Barr made clear that Durham and others are examining multiple leaks for possible criminal violations while cautioning proving leak cases can be challenging. One of those is focused on who leaked Michael Flynn's call with the Russian ambassador.
"Leaking national defense information, unauthorized disclosure of that information is a felony," Barr said. ''We have a lot of leak investigations underway.''
6. Barr is concerned by the outgoing Obama administration's extensive unmasking of Americans' conversations ... but don't expect Barack Obama or Joe Biden to get in trouble.
After the recent revelation that more than three dozen Obama administration officials sought to unmask intercepted conversations of incoming Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Barr declared, ''It makes you wonder what they were doing.''
''It's unusual for an outgoing administration, high-level officials, to be unmasking very much in the days they're preparing to leave office,'' he added.
As a sign of that concern, Barr has named a U.S. attorney from Texas to assist Durham to examine the unmaskings for any illegalities.
But Barr also tamped down any expectation that the former president or vice president will be investigated, stating clearly they are not targets of the probe.
"As to President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement, based on the information I have today, I don't expect Mr. Durham's work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man," the attorney general said last month. "Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others."
7. Durham is examining whether political pressures were applied during the intelligence community's assessment of Russia's intentions in 2016 election meddling. That could be bad news for former CIA chief John Brennan.
In the Obama administration's final days, Brennan, outgoing DNI James Clapper and then-FBI Director James Comey release the Intelligence Community Assessment, which declared Russia meddled in the 2016 election with hacking and Facebook ads and that Moscow's intention was to help Trump win.
The first conclusion is widely accepted, while the second is more controversial, especially now that evidence has been declassified showing Russia was feeding derogatory disinformation about Trump to Steele. Why, experts wonder, would Russia be doing that if Putin wanted Trump to win?
Barr said Durham is investigating whether any political pressure was brought to bear to come to that second conclusion. Sources have told Just the News there is some evidence that CIA analysts and others had concerns about the strength of the evidence about Russia's intentions.
Elizabeth Harrington on Twitter: "The former president and vice president of the United States were just implicated in a plot to sabotage and overthrow their successors Seems newsworthy https://t.co/crcKpxS4xv" / Twitter
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 23:17
W Jeffrey Robins @ WJeffreyRobins1
6h 18 U.S. Code 371If two or more persons CONSPIRE either to commit any offense against the US, or to DEFRAUD the US, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, EACH shall be fined or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
View conversation ·
Not Quite "By The Book": Strzok Notes Reveal Biden Invoked Logan Act During Anti-Flynn Oval Office Huddle | Zero Hedge
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:00
Joe Biden invoked the 18th century "Logan Act" during a controversial 2017 Oval Office meeting to discuss the Michael Flynn investigation, less than two weeks before President Trump was sworn into office, according to newly released notes taken by former FBI special agent Peter Strzok.
According to Flynn's legal team, "it appears" that Biden "personally raised the idea" of using the obscure law to prosecute Flynnn over his communications with the former Russian Ambassador to the United States - in which he asked Moscow to "reciprocate moderately" in response to sanctions placed on Russia over election meddling.
Looks like @JoeBiden and @BarackObama were complicit in framing @GenFlynn.I can't wait for Flynn to tell all he knows about these traitors. https://t.co/JynrbnuawE
'-- John Cardillo (@johncardillo) June 24, 2020It's unclear what Biden specifically said about the Logan Act during the January 5 meeting which included former President Obama, former FBI Director James Comey, national security adviser Susan Rice, and Deputy AG Sally Yates.
The notes were disclosed in a court filing Wednesday to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia around the same time a federal appeals court ruled in a 2-1 decision that the judge presiding over the case against Flynn grant the Justice Department's motion to dismiss the criminal charges against him. U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Jensen of Missouri, who was picked by Attorney General William Barr to review the government's case against Flynn, "obtained and analyzed" the document. Biden's comment about the Logan Act are the only words that appear in quotation marks. -Washington Examiner
Elsewhere in the notes, Strzok wrote that Money said the calls between Flynn and Sergey Kislyak "appear legit," while Obama stressed that "the right people" should investigate Flynn. This is in sharp contrast to an email Susan Rice sent to herself in which she said everything was done "by the book."
This is very troubling. The Susan Rice email to herself clearly didn't give an accurate portrayal of the meeting.The ''right people'' is fundamentally different than ''by the book''. https://t.co/AYs3oZ7qaX
'-- Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) June 24, 2020Rice and Strzok's accounts comport with each other over Obama asking if there was anything information he should withhold from the Trump transition team, to which Comey responded (according to Rice) "Potentially," adding that he doesn't know if Flynn has passed any classified information to the Russians, but that the "level of communication is unusual."
According to Strzok's notes, Obama said "these are unusual times," with Biden saying "I've been on the Intel Committee for ten years and I never..." before the notes trail off.
Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his conversations with former Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, during the presidential transition following the 2016 US election. He later withdrew his plea after securing new legal counsel, while evidence emerged which revealed the FBI had laid a 'perjury trap' - despite the fact that the agents who interviewed him in January, 2017 said they thought he was telling the truth. Agents persisted with the case despite the FBI's recommendation to close it.
Federal appeals court orders judge to drop charges against Michael Flynn - CBS News
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 05:59
Washington '-- A federal appeals court has ordered a district judge to grant the Justice Department's request to drop the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, bringing the extraordinary legal battle over the department's handling of the case closer to an end.
A panel of three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted Flynn's motion to force U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to drop the case in an order on Wednesday. The ruling was 2 to 1, with one judge dissenting.
The Justice Department moved to dismiss the case against Flynn in May, asking Sullivan to drop the criminal charge despite Flynn's guilty plea. Sullivan declined to immediately rule on the motion, and instead indicated he would review the decision and appoint a retired judge as a "friend of the court" to argue against the government. Flynn filed an emergency appeal to the D.C. Circuit to force Sullivan to accept the motion and drop the charge.
The decision does not bring the case to an immediate end, according to Stephen Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law and a seasoned Supreme Court litigator. If Sullivan chooses to, he can ask the D.C. Circuit to rehear the case "en banc," or before all 12 active judges. The court can also decide to rehear the case if a majority of the judges vote to do so. Any decision by the full circuit court could then be appealed to the Supreme Court.
"The dispute may be between a judge and DOJ, but the rules are the same," Vladeck told CBS News.
In an opinion explaining the ruling, Circuit Judge Neomi Rao, who was nominated to the bench by President Trump, argued that forcing the Justice Department to explain its reasoning for seeking to drop the case would infringe on the authority of the executive branch.
"In this case, the district court's actions will result in specific harms to the exercise of the Executive Branch's exclusive prosecutorial power," Rao wrote. "The contemplated proceedings would likely require the Executive to reveal the internal deliberative process behind its exercise of prosecutorial discretion, interfering with the Article II charging authority."
Read the opinion hereSullivan's intention "to scrutinize the reasoning and motives of the Department of Justice constitute irreparable harms that cannot be remedied on appeal," Rao added.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his conversations with the Russian ambassador before Mr. Trump took office. He was ousted as national security adviser just weeks into the Trump administration.
The Justice Department said in its motion seeking to dismiss the charge in May that the government "concluded that the interview of Mr. Flynn was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI's counterintelligence investigation" and that "it is not persuaded that the January 24, 2017 interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis."
"People sometimes plead to things that turn out not to be crimes," Attorney General William Barr said in an interview with CBS News' Catherine Herridge last month. "And the Department of Justice is not persuaded that this was material to any legitimate counterintelligence investigation. So it was not a crime."
Melissa Quinn contributed reporting.
2020
Joe Biden needs his Joe Biden. Here's a look at the women under consideration as his vice presidential running mate
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 08:53
(C) Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images Former US Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a press event in Wilmington, Delaware, on March 12, 2020. WASHINGTON '' Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is looking for his Joe Biden.
The former vice president, who has committed to having a woman on the presidential ticket, has begun the vetting process for a running mate after announcing his vice presidential selection committee on April 30. He has said he wants to make his pick before Aug. 1.
Since he made that commitment to pick a woman as his running mate, several names have been floated, including some of his former Democratic opponents such as Sens. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. (Klobuchar has since removed herself from consideration.)
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Biden is also facing fresh calls to choose a woman of color after following the death of George Floyd, which led to nationwide protests against police violence and systemic racism.
The Democratic nominee has openly talked about some candidates he's considering and said he has sought advice on the decision from former President Barack Obama.
During a virtual fundraiser in April, Biden said Obama told him to find someone who has experience where the former vice president is lacking, a dynamic that worked well between the two. Biden noted he is looking for vice presidential candidate with whom he can be "simpatico."
More: Joe Biden tops Bernie Sanders to capture Wisconsin's Democratic presidential primary
Here's a look at some of the women mentioned as possible running mates for Biden. All would be the first female vice president in U.S. history if Democrats win the White House in November.
(C) John Bazemore, AP Stacey Abrams lost her bid to become Georgia's governor. Stacey AbramsAbrams was the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Georgia in 2018. After losing that race by a fraction of the overall vote, she announced a nonprofit group called Fair Fight 2020, which staffs and funds voter protection teams in battleground states across the country. She is the former minority leader for the Georgia House of Representatives.
Abrams initially said she wasn't interested in being a vice presidential candidate but said recently she would be ''honored'' to be considered Biden's running mate.
''I would be honored to be on the campaign trail as a running mate,'' she told the podcast ''Pod Save America,'' hosted by former members of the Obama administration, last week. ''But that is a process that you can't campaign for, and I'm not campaigning for. I'm just being straightforward.''
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In March 2019, Biden met with Abrams before he announced he was running for president. Their meeting fueled speculation that the former vice president was going to jump into the race (which he did a month later) and that Abrams would be his running mate. Rumors were floated that Abrams herself was going to jump into the 2020 presidential primary.
If chosen, she would be the first Black woman on a major party's presidential ticket.
(C) Jose Luis Magana, AP Democrat Tammy Baldwin is a senator of Wisconsin, a state Democrats need in November. Tammy BaldwinThe senator from Wisconsin is the first openly gay person elected to the Senate and hails from a state Democrats need to win in November. Donald Trump narrowly won Wisconsin in 2016, and it is a battleground state that Republicans and Democrats have invested resources in.
Tuesday, Biden was named the winner of the Democratic primary in Wisconsin, and a liberal judge knocked a conservative incumbent off the state Supreme Court, which has some Democrats optimistic about the party's chances in the general election. Baldwin endorsed Biden Wednesday.
Baldwin has served as senator for the Badger State since 2012. She was reelected in 2018, winning by 11 points two years after Trump won the state. Baldwin was a member of Wisconsin's State Assembly and served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District.
(C) Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, left, sits with U.S. Rep. John Lewis during a tribute to Lewis this month at Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. Some students at Spelman College aren't happy that the mayor will be their commencement speaker this year. Keisha Lance BottomsBottoms endorsed Biden in the early stages of the primary election, and has been serving as a key surrogate for his campaign since June 2019. If chosen, she would be the first Black woman on a major party's presidential ticket.
Atlanta's 60th mayor, and only the second Black woman to serve in that role, Lance Bottoms emerged as a leading figure on Biden's short list amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks.
'She has found her voice': Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms steps into national spotlight amid policing debate
Floyd was a Black man died after after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes
Nearly three weeks after his death, Rayshard Brooks was shot outside an Atlanta Wendy's after officers responded to a call about a man being asleep in his car in the drive-through lane.
Bottoms, 50, moved quickly to fire the police officer who shot Brooks, and the incident led to the resignation of Police Chief Erika Shields, a Bottoms ally who will remain in the department.
(C) Jack Gruber, USA TODAY NETWORK Val Demings was a police chief in Orlando before she represented Florida in Congress. Val DemingsDemings, a two-term member of Congress, told The Washington Post last month ''it's such an honor'' that her name has been mentioned as a possible vice president pick.
Before being elected to Congress in 2016, Demings was chief of the Orlando Police Department, the first woman to hold the position. If chosen, she would be the first black woman on a major party's presidential ticket.
Biden this month told a local ABC affiliate in Florida that Demings is "one of a group of close to a dozen really qualified and talented women who are on the list."
''She is a very competent, very capable person," Biden said of Demings.
Demings, who helped lead the House impeachment efforts against Trump, also hails from a swing state: Florida. Trump won that state in 2016, and Republicans down the ballot were again successful in the 2018 midterms. Black voters, particularly women, have been a crucial part of Biden's success and a crucial group in Democratic politics for years.
''I grew up the daughter of a maid and a janitor. I grew up poor, black and female in the South, someone who was told a lot of times that I wasn't the right color or gender. But my mother pushed me and said, 'No, you can make it. If you work hard and play by the rules, you can be anything you wanna be and do anything you wanna do,' '' Demings told the Post. ''So the fact that my name is being called in such a special way for such an important position during such a critical time, it's such an honor.''
More: Bernie Sanders officially endorses Joe Biden for president
(C) Patrick Semansky/AP Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., served in Iraq and received the Purple Heart. Tammy Duckworth Duckworth, a senator from Illinois, is a veteran who lost both her legs in Iraq, a Purple Heart recipient and the first woman with a disability to be elected to Congress.
In 2018, she made history as the first senator to give birth while in office. Duckworth has called Trump a ''draft dodger'' and slammed him for "using his privilege" to defer military service.
Before being elected to Congress, Duckworth was assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and was the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.
Duckworth is the daughter of a Thai mother of Chinese descent and would be the first Asian American woman on a major party's presidential ticket.
(C) Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press Kamala Harris had some harsh exchanges with Joe Biden during the debates, but she might have a place in his campaign. Kamala HarrisDespite their viral clash at a debate early on in the presidential campaign, Biden hasn't squelched speculation that Harris could end up on the Democratic ticket.
''I'm so lucky to have you be a part of this partnership going forward. Working together, we can make a great deal of progress,'' he told Harris at a virtual fundraiser last week after she introduced him. ''I'm coming for you, kid.''
Harris is emerging as a favorite among Biden aides, top donors and surrogates, according to a report from Politico. South Carolina Democrat Bakari Sellers, who was a top surrogate for Harris, told Politico that Harris "deserves to be chosen." He added that ''a lot of people are pushing for her. She has a lot of support.''
Biden previously said ''of course'' he would consider Harris as a running mate.
"Sen. Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be. I mean it sincerely," Biden said in December shortly after Harris dropped out of the primary. "She is solid. She can be president someday herself. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice. She can be an attorney general. I mean, she has enormous capability."
Early last month, Harris endorsed Biden's campaign before Super Tuesday, when he won 10 out of the 14 contests.
"I have decided that I am, with great enthusiasm, going to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States," Harris said in a video statement. "I believe in Joe. I really believe in him, and I have known him for a long time.''
Before being elected to the Senate, Harris was California's first female attorney general. Before that, she was district attorney of San Francisco.
If chosen, she would be the first black woman and first Asian American woman on a major party's presidential ticket.
More: Former Senate staffer accuses Joe Biden of sexual assault
(C) Morgan Lee, AP New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham comes from a political family. Michelle Lujan GrishamThe New Mexico governor is not one of the most well-known politicians on the list but has a long history in politics.
Lujan Grisham, the only nonwhite female Democratic governor in the country, was elected governor in 2018. She spent six years as a congresswoman representing New Mexico and was the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for 2 years.
Lujan Grisham is part of a prominent political family in New Mexico. Her uncle, Manuel Lujan Jr., served as secretary of the interior in the George H.W. Bush administration, and her grandfather, Eugene Lujan, was chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court.
Lujan Grisham, who is Hispanic, could help Biden's outreach to Latino voters, a group that overwhelmingly supported Sanders in the primary.
When asked on CNN Sunday about possibly being chosen for the ticket, Lujan Grisham said, ''I want to be the governor of New Mexico,'' then added, ''I will do whatever it takes to support a Biden administration, and I'm looking forward to a federal administration that can do a national strategy in good times and in bad times.''
If chosen, she would be the first Latina on a major party's presidential ticket.
(C) Win McNamee, Getty Images Former national security adviser Susan Rice speaks at the J Street 2018 National Conference on April 16, 2018, in Washington. Susan RiceThe national security adviser in the Obama administration, Rice would bring years of national security expertise to the ticket, as well as a past working-relationship with the former vice president.
More: How Susan Rice rose to the heights of public service and President Obama's inner circle
She also served as the assistant secretary of state for African affairs during President Bill Clinton's administration, as well as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Obama.
Rice was included in the list of vice presidential possibilities Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. gave to Biden, according to the Atlantic. Clyburn is a longtime friend of Biden's, serves as House Majority Whip, and is the highest-ranking African American in Congress.
However, Rice also is a name well-known in Washington, being viewed by Republicans as a key-player in the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi where Americans were killed. Additionally, allies of Trump have seized upon newly declassified portions of an email written by Rice as evidence that an investigation into her incoming successor, Michael Flynn, was politically motivated.
Poll: Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by 8 points
(C) Andrew Harnik, AP Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was the top pick for a running mate in a poll. Elizabeth WarrenWarren, who endorsed Biden Wednesday morning, could help with Biden's unity pitch to the Democratic Party. She ran as a liberal and maintains some of her support among Democratic voters, while Biden touted more moderate policies.
Nearly three out of four '-- 71% '-- of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters said Biden should consider Warren, according to a CBS News/YouGov poll released in early May.
Harris followed at 59%, then Abrams at 50%, according to that CBS News/YouGov poll.
More: More than 100 liberal activists urge Joe Biden to pick Elizabeth Warren as VP in letter
Before being elected to the Senate in 2012, Warren was a Harvard law professor and led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under President Barack Obama. She was the first female senator to be elected from Massachusetts.
Gretchen WhitmerBiden has publicly said that the Michigan governor is on his short list.
Whitmer has found herself in the national spotlight lately after the backlash she's gotten from Trump over her criticisms of the administration's coronavirus response. Biden, who endorsed Whitmer for governor in 2018, has repeatedly praised Whitmer and how she has handled the coronavirus pandemic in her state. She appeared on stage with him before the Michigan primary in March, along with Harris and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.
Last week, Whitmer joined Biden on his podcast.
Whitmer has previously said she would not be Biden's running mate.
"I'm going to help him vet and make sure he's got a great running mate. It is not going to be me," she told MSNBC last month. "But I'm going to have a hand in helping make sure that he has got the rounded out ticket that can win.''
Who has dropped from consideration? (C) Richard W. Rodriguez, AP Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., says, "No one knows better about being vice president than Joe Biden.'' Amy KlobucharThe senator from Minnesota exceeded expectations by placing third in the New Hampshire Democratic primary and gained some traction after her debate performances. She dropped out of the Democratic race before Super Tuesday and endorsed Biden the same day.
Since then, Klobuchar has campaigned for Biden, and has been someone considered to be on the shortlist for running mate choices.
But Klobuchar on June 18 said she was removing her name from consideration to be vice president and urging Biden to instead select a woman of color.
'I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket': Amy Klobuchar withdraws from vice president consideration
"I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket," Klobuchar said on MSNBC. "If you want to heal this nation right now '' my party, yes, but our nation '' this is sure a hell of a way to do it."
(C) Rich Pedroncelli, AP Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., could help Joe Biden win Hispanics' support. Catherine Cortez MastoBiden reportedly had said the senator from Nevada was in his ''top 3'' as a running mate, but Cortez Mastio said in late May she was taking herself out of the running.
''It is an honor to be considered as a potential running mate, but I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration," she said in a statement. ''Nevada's economy is one of the hardest hit by the current crisis and I will continue to focus on getting Nevadans the support they need to get back on their feet."
According to Mediate, Biden had discussed Cortez Masto as a possible pick with former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who vouched for the senator.
Cortez Masto, the first Latina U.S. senator, could have helped Biden garner support with Latino voters who have been skeptical of his candidac. She was first elected to the Senate in 2016. Before that, she was the Nevada attorney general.
If chosen, Cortez Masto would have been the first Latina on a major party's presidential ticket.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Joe Biden needs his Joe Biden. Here's a look at the women under consideration as his vice presidential running mate
Election results are delayed again. Get used to it.
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:26
Kentucky and New York had primaries Tuesday, but the winners of the closest races probably won't be known until next week. What's going on?
Get used to it. Slow vote counts and delayed results are a feature of elections during the pandemic and are likely to continue into the general election in November, when many election officials say that, absent a landslide, it won't be clear who won the presidential election for several days.
''Americans need to learn a little patience,'' said Josh Douglas, a law professor at the University of Kentucky who studies voter rights. ''The fact of not knowing who won right away is the process actually working.''
WHAT'S THE HOLDUP?
In short, more Americans are voting by mail '-- heeding health officials' warnings that close contact at polling places could spread the coronavirus '-- and mail ballots take longer to count.
Officials have to process the ballots before they can count them. Election workers must open them, make sure the voter is registered and filled out the correct ballot, and perform any required security checks such as verifying signatures -- all the things that poll workers do when voters show up at neighborhood polling places.
Some states have laws that limit when election officials can even start this process. In New York, election officials don't start processing mailed ballots until after Election Day. Both New York and Kentucky plan to release the results of mail ballots on June 30, though don't be surprised if there are further delays.
Another factor is the postmark rules. In both Kentucky and New York, ballots are counted as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. That means ballots in Kentucky can arrive as late as Saturday while ballots in New York can arrive as late as a week after Election Day.
Finally, if the signatures on the mailed-in envelopes and ballots don't match the ones on file, voters have the opportunity to ''cure'' them '-- prove in person that they were the ones who actually sent them in. That also takes time.
WHY DO WE KNOW SOME WINNERS AND NOT OTHERS?
The Associated Press has long declared winners based on partial election results. But with so many outstanding votes in Kentucky and New York, the AP was only able to declare winners in the most lopsided races. Those races included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's victory in the Republican primary in Kentucky, and New York Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez's win over a challenger in the Democratic primary there.
But most of the high-profile races in each state were more competitive. That's why the AP did not call a winner on election night in the Kentucky Democratic Senate primary between Amy McGrath and Charles Booker, or in the Democratic primary in New York's 16th Congressional District between the incumbent, Rep. Elliot Engel, and Jamaal Bowman.
DOES IT HAVE TO TAKE THIS LONG TO COUNT BALLOTS?
No. Some states have specifically tried to speed up the vote count. Some allow workers to process mail ballots well before Election Day, and that often means they can post the results quickly '-- even faster than it takes to count in-person votes cast at neighborhood polling places.
But adjusting the timing of the count isn't the only issue. Sometimes the holdup is about money. Many states are scrambling to revamp their voting systems to prepare for a flood of mail-in ballots. But spending on new equipment, additional staff, and masks and other protective equipment is hard to come by for states with budgets ravaged by the pandemic. Congress is debating whether to send money to states to help, but it's been tied up and might not arrive soon.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR NOVEMBER?
All the factors delaying the count in Kentucky and New York are present in presidential battleground states this November.
Many are expected to go from a relatively low rate of mail voting to the majority of ballots being cast that way. The key swing states of Michigan and Pennsylvania have laws preventing mail votes from being processed early. And Democrats are pushing courts to require states to count ballots that arrive after Election Day, ensuring that a large number of votes wouldn't be in election officials' hands when polls close.
That might not matter in a blowout. But the winner in a close presidential race could take days to resolve.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has continued to cast doubt on the propriety of elections held by mail '-- citing no evidence, but still laying the groundwork to claim voter fraud should he be defeated at the polls.
''This will be, in my opinion, the most corrupt election in the history of our country,'' Trump said on Tuesday. ''And we can not let this happen.''
That sort of rhetoric from the president, combined with a drawn-out vote count, could sow distrust among voters.
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PayPal and Venmo are reportedly planning to let users buy and sell crypto - The Block
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 08:24
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Scientists find huge ring of ancient shafts near Stonehenge | Arts & Ent , Culture | THE DAILY STAR
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 10:41
Jun. 22, 2020 | 03:42 PM
In this Sunday, June 21, 2015 file photo, the sun rises as thousands of revellers gather at the ancient stone circle Stonehenge to celebrate the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, near Salisbury, England. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland, File)
Associated Press
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VIDEO-US coronavirus: 'Apocalyptic' surges feared in some cities - CNN
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 07:40
By Faith Karimi and Douglas Wood, CNN
Updated 8:31 AM EDT, Thu June 25, 2020
(CNN) The three most populous states set records for new coronavirus cases daily and there are fears of "apocalyptic" surges in major Texas cities if the trend continues.
Coronavirus has killed at least 121,979 people and infected nearly 2.4 million nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins.
Florida and Texas announced Wednesday that they'd recorded more than 5,000 new Covid-19 cases the prior day, a new daily record. California reported more than 7,000 cases, obliterating a record hit a day earlier.
In Texas, if the current case trajectory continues, Houston could be the hardest-hit city in the US with numbers rivaling those in Brazil. Infection numbers are also rising in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine.
"The big metro areas seem to be rising very quickly and some of the models are on the verge of being apocalyptic," Hotez told CNN's Anderson Cooper.
Models show that Houston could have a four-fold increase in the number of daily cases by July 4, he said, adding that states need to act to stop community transmission.
"That is really worrisome and as those numbers rise, we're seeing commensurate increases in the number of hospitalizations and ICU admissions," he said. "You get to the point where you overwhelm ICUs and that's when the mortality goes up."
Hotez is also a professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology, and is working on a potential Covid-19 vaccine.
People wait in line to get tested for the coronavirus in Miami Beach, Florida on Wednesday.
Governors issue pleas to residents Florida, Texas and California account for 27.4% of the 328 million people living in the US, according to the latest US Census Bureau estimates.
And while some politicians say the higher number of infections is due to increased testing, that is not the case, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy at the University of Minnesota.
As new cases and hospitalizations skyrocket, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott urged people to stay home.
"Because the spread is so rampant right now, there's never a reason for you to have to leave your home," Abbott told CNN affiliate KBTX. "Unless you do need to go out, the safest place for you is at your home."
Officials encouraged mask wearing and social distancing in places like bars that are often overcrowded. Further state actions could be announced if the virus continues to spread at this rate, Abbott said.
In the nation's most populous state, Gov. Gavin Newsom pleaded with Californians to think of others by wearing masks, keeping a safe distance and washing their hands regularly.
He told residents to "love thy neighbors, like yourself, please" and urged younger people to be especially cautious.
"Be careful about Mom and Dad, and careful about your mother-in-law, your father-in-law, your grandparents," he said.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has attributed the rise to more testing but others say community transmission is playing a key role as the state reopens. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said he'll ask the city commission to implement a civil fine of up to $250 for those not wearing a mask in public.
Miami implemented an order requiring masks or face coverings in public this week.
"Going out in public without a mask is like driving drunk," said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at George Washington University. "If you don't get hurt. You might kill somebody else."
A mother and daughter wear masks as they visit the beach Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif.
Some states are extending restrictionsArizona is also seeing the highest number of new cases per capita of any state in the country. It's had more new cases per capita than any state has had besides New York or New Jersey, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
The state has added about 2,700 new cases per day over the seven days that ended Tuesday. Adjusted for population, that's about 38 new cases per 100,000 people per day.
In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards said he plans to issue a new proclamation Thursday extending the Phase 2 restrictions under the current order for another 28 days.
"Simply put, we're heading in the wrong direction. We have more cases than we can justify just by the fact that they're doing more testing," Edwards said.
Cases rise in at least 26 statesAt least 26 states are seeing a rise in cases compared to the previous week, data from Johns Hopkins University show. Those states are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
In recent days, city and state leaders have announced that cases seem to be shifting to younger groups. They highlighted instances including parties and bars as sources of recent clusters.
Texas has temporarily suspended alcohol permits for at least 12 bars that violated coronavirus protocols.
CNN's Debra Goldschmidt, Jay Croft and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Why it might be time to finally replace 'The Star-Spangled Banner' with a new national anthem
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:58
View photos
The band formerly known as Lady Antebellum sings the national anthem on the 'Today' show. (Photo: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire)
In an increasingly antiracist era when problematic iconography '-- ranging from Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben to even the Dukes of Hazzard General Lee car and country band Lady Antebellum's name '-- is being reassessed, revised or retired, America's national anthem, ''The Star-Spangled Banner,'' seems to be striking a wrong note.
Last week, protesters in San Francisco toppled a statue of the song's composer, Francis Scott Key, a known slaveholder who once said that African-Americans were ''a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.'' This week, Liana Morales, an Afro-Latinx student at New York's Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts, refused to sing ''The Star-Spangled Banner'' at her virtual graduation ceremony, explaining to the Wall Street Journal, ''With everything that's happening, if I stand there and sing it, I'm being complicit to a system that has oppressed people of color.'' Instead, Morales performed ''Lift Every Voice and Sing,'' a hymn widely considered to be the ''Black national anthem.''
So, is it time for this country to dispense with ''The Star-Spangled Banner'' and adopt a new anthem with a less troubling history and a more inclusive message? Historian and scholar Dr. Daniel E. Walker, the author of No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans and producer of the documentary How Sweet the Sound: Gospel in Los Angeles, says yes.
''The 53-year-old in me says, we can't change things that have existed forever. But then there are these young people who say that America needs to live up to its real creed,'' Walker tells Yahoo Entertainment. ''And so, I do side with the people who say that we should rethink this as the national anthem, because this is about the deep-seated legacy of slavery and white supremacy in America, where we do things over and over and over again that are a slap in the face of people of color and women. We do it first because we knew what we were doing and we wanted to be sexist and racist. And now we do it under the guise of 'legacy.'''
Activist and journalist Kevin Powell, author of the new book When We Free the World, says it's important to understand the song's racist legacy, starting with Key's bigoted background.
'''The Star-Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key, who was literally born into a wealthy, slave-holding family in Maryland,'' explains Powell. ''He was a very well-to-do lawyer in Washington, D.C., and eventually became very close to President Andrew Jackson, who was the Donald Trump of his time, which means that there was a lot of hate and violence and division. At that time, there were attacks on Native Americans and Black folks '-- both free Black folks and folks who were slaves '-- and Francis Scott Key was very much a part of that. He was also the brother-in-law of someone who became a Supreme Court justice, Roger Taney, who also had a very hardcore policy around slavery. And so, all of that is problematic. And the fact that Key, when he was a lawyer, also prosecuted abolitionists, both white and Black folks who wanted slavery to end, says that this is someone who really did not believe in freedom for all people. And yet, we celebrate him with this national anthem, every time we sing it.''
''Francis Scott Key, he was a big-time guy in terms of the American colonization of society,'' adds Walker. ''This was not just a person who just lived in the time period. This is a person who helped define the time period.''
View photos
This painting depicts Francis Scott Key seeing the American flag flying over Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor the day after he witnessed the British bombardment of the fort in the War of 1812. This sighting inspired the poet to write "The Star-Spangled Banner," which became the official United States national anthem in 1931. (AP Photo)
In fact ''The Star-Spangled Banner,'' based on a poem Key wrote about his eyewitness account of the War of 1812, originally featured a little-heard third stanza that was blatantly racist: ''No refuge could save the hireling and slave/From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave/And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave/O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.'' While that version of the song is rarely performed today, Powell has been aware of it for years, and, like Morales, has therefore refused to sing the anthem since he was in high school in the 1980s, when he first learned of its history.
''I grew up in hip-hop,'' says Powell, who used to write for Vibe magazine, ''and I remember how people would criticize hip-hop for being violent. Yet 'The Star-Spangled Banner' is riddled with violence. How are you criticizing a rap song for being violent, but when we get to kindergarten, we are literally teaching children violence through song? I said, 'I can't participate anymore.' So I stopped a long time ago.'''
While Powell may have known about the national anthem's problematic background at quite a young age, Walker understands that many people have only recently become aware of Key's abolitionism or his song's horrific third stanza.
''People just don't know history, and everybody's guilty of this. I mean, if I wasn't a historian, I wouldn't know these things. And it took getting a PhD to learn certain things! And I am still learning things every day,'' says Walker. ''There are students of mine, who are white, who say to me, 'I'm so upset that I got sugarcoated history my whole life. I feel cheated. And once I found this out, then I don't want to have a part in it.' Those are the people you see in these rallies. They're saying that they want to live in a world where those vestiges are gone because they have no reason to be here. And that we need to be about redemption in a society '-- that if we have wronged someone, we can go back and do our best to fix that. And this one is pretty easy to fix.''
All this being said, Powell doesn't pass judgement on the many Black artists who've performed ''The Star-Spangled Banner'' at high-profile events in the past '-- though he predicts that many artists will start refusing to sing it in the near future, in a movement similar to Colin Kaepernick and his supporters taking a knee during the anthem in recent years.
''The issue is not Black people's patriotism. I mean, there's very few folk that are as patriotic as African-Americans,'' says Powell. ''The way I look at it is, I think what Jimi Hendrix did with 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at Woodstock, or the way that Marvin Gaye reinterpreted it and made it a soul song, or Whitney Houston singing it at the Super Bowl in 1991, it became something that belonged to all people, not just folks that thought we should just blindly sing this song. And that's what we do: take these opportunities to perform it because it's a way to showcase one of the greatest gifts to the world, which is music.''
So, if ''The Star-Spangled Banner'' goes the way of the Confederate flag and Gone With the Wind, what should America's new national anthem be? Whatever it is, Walker says there should be a formal ''vetting process'' to make sure the next anthem doesn't have a terrible past; Powell, for his part, suggests John Lennon's ''Imagine,'' which he says is ''the most beautiful, unifying, all-people, all-backgrounds-together kind of song you could have.''
But what about ''Lift Every Voice and Sing''? That song, written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson in 1900, set to music by his brother J. Rosamond Johnson in 1905, and first publicly performed as part of a celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday by Johnson's brother John, was dubbed "the Negro national hymn" by the NAACP in 1919. In more recent years, it has been referenced in Maya Angelou's 1969 autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Spike Lee's 1989 film Do the Right Thing; it was also performed in 1972 by Kim Weston as the opening number for the Wattstax festival and by Beyonc(C) during her celebrated 2018 Coachella set.
''[''Lift Every Voice and Sing''] took on a life of its own, because I think when you think about 1900, it's same kind of ruthless, tragic, white supremacy, white nationalism, and terrorism '-- the lynchings of black people openly, almost like as if it was a Super Bowl of white folks posing with pictures of dead black bodies hanging from trees, quite literally. And so this song comes out of the tradition of slave plantations, of what became known as spirituals. It was a way for us to make ourselves feel good and empowered in spite of everything that was going on around us. And over time absolutely became the official national anthem for Black America.''
Regardless of whether or not ''Lift Every Voice and Sing'' could ever officially become the anthem for all of America, Walker thinks its lines like ''Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us'' are fitting, and he's glad that it's at least being considered as an alternative. ''I do like that there's more attention to the fact that there is a thing called 'Lift Every Voice and Sing,' that people are rediscovering it kind of like with Juneteenth,'' Walker says. ''I guarantee you, we had way more people celebrating Juneteenth this past week, knowing what it was, than we'd ever had in American history.
''The difference between then and now, is I '-- probably like most people '-- thought that there was no power to be able to change anything, because so many times when women and people of color say something, somebody either pats you on the back and says, 'It's not that bad,' or tells you really be quiet, because if you want to move forward, you shouldn't be a troublemaker,'' Walker continues, speaking of the current climate and the national anthem debate. ''And so I think you've got generations of that because patriarchy and racism and income inequality put people of color and women in those positions. So we just go ahead and sing [''The Star-Spangled Banner''] because we don't want to be the person who's sitting down when everybody else is standing up, don't want to be the person who doesn't have our hand over our heart. We don't want somebody ask, 'What's wrong with you?' where you are in a compromised position already, and they're questioning, 'Are you an American or not? Go back to Africa if you don't like it here!' But I think right now, the great thing is that people who have advocated for this in the past and have not been heard are able to double-back now.''
''If you really love your country, if you really are patriotic, then you criticize and challenge your country to be better and do better, not just reinforce things that actually may not be true for all people in the country. '... That is what democracy is,'' Powell sums up. ''If there's a tradition that hurts any part of the society '-- sexist, patriarchal, misogynistic '-- then it's time to just throw it away.''
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
' Jordin Sparks opens up about Black Lives Matter, Kaepernick and fears for her family: 'I can't be silent about this'
' Queen Latifah on affecting social change: 'I feel we're in a pivotal place'
' Flashback: Marvin Gaye grooves up national anthem at 1983 NBA All-Star game
' GWAR drummer on petition to replace Robert E. Lee statue with the late Oderus Urungus: 'He would probably be right there on the frontlines'
' Master P on Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben's: 'Those are not real people'
' Chuck D talks Public Enemy's incendiary new anti-Trump song: 'This dude has got to go now'
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VIDEO - Newsom on Masks
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:32
VIDEO - Rex Chapman🏇🏼 on Twitter: "This angry Florida woman argued today against the mask mandate, while bringing up the devil, 5G, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, "the pedophiles" and the deep state. Enjoy... https://t.co/yqKUZNQYLQ" / Twitter
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:28
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VIDEO - THE GREATEST GLOBAL COVERUP IN HUMAN HISTORY (Special Guest On The Edge of Wonder Show - NY, NY) - YouTube
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:25
VIDEO-DC Basement >> '•¸ðŸ¥ƒ on Twitter: "@adamcurry clip, this is where they wind up after saying ''this is bullshit'' for months ðŸ‚" / Twitter
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 23:15
How long till Bolton has a show on CNN and he's on that sidebar all the time?
VIDEO-UT research: Actual number of COVID-19 infections may be two times higher than official count | KXAN Austin
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 23:14
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- On Wednesday, Dr. John Abikhaled, President of Travis County Medical Society, explained the cycle of COVID-19 transmission like this:
''We all know how things go viral on the Internet. You see something funny. A cat video, and you share it with 10 people, and those people share it with 10 people each, so you're up to 100. And those 100 share it to another 10, so you're up to 1,000. They keep sharing, and 1,000 becomes 10,000 and then 100,000 and then 1 million. So in only six cycles of transmission, one person can affect one million. Real viruses, like the new coronavirus, work exactly the same way.''
Doctors said those cycles of transmission are a big threat as COVID-19 case numbers spike in Central Texas. As of Wednesday afternoon, Austin Public Health reported more than 6,500 cases.
But the University of Texas at Austin researchers found the actual number of people infected may be double or even triple.
''We know for every case, there's probably an undetected case,'' explained James Scott, Professor of Statistics and Data Science at UT Austin. ''And for each one of those, there's another person out there in the community who is silently spreading the disease. So I would multiply those case numbers by at least two and probably more like four or five if you wanted to get a sense of how many people in Texas are getting infected every day.''
New research published by a group of professors, including Scott, looked at things like how many people had COVID-19 antibodies in New York, hospitalization data in New York and Austin and how infectious one patient can be.
They concluded 56% of people infected are asymptomatic.
''I guess it was more nerve wrecking to think about am I going to wake up feeling sick,'' said Michael Wilson, who tested positive for COVID-19, but did not show any symptoms.
He told KXAN the only reason why he got tested and wasn't surprised with the result is because ''my boyfriend got his test results back a day before I did and his were positive, and I didn't see any way that I wouldn't have COVID.''
Scott said there're a lot of people like Wilson who get the coronavirus, but do not get sick. But unlike Wilson, Scott said many people don't get tested.
''I could be talking to you, you could talk to somebody else, that person could talk to somebody else in a matter of hours, and nobody knows that there's a chain of transmission through those three, four, five, six people until it's too late. That's why silent spread is so scary,'' the researcher explained.
Scott told KXAN that's what makes the coronavirus different than the flu.
With a cold or the flu, ''a much larger fraction of infections are taking place when somebody is already showing symptoms,'' he said.''
With COVID-19, he said, ''The asymptomatic infection or the silent spread phenomenon means that COVID can sneak up on you from someone that you got within six feet, someone you've interacted without wearing a mask, and neither of you would ever have any clue that one of you was positive until you got tested later.''
CommUnityCare started testing for asymptomatic patients a few weeks ago. Their positivity rate among those with no symptoms and no known exposure to the virus was 7.5%
VIDEO-Activists Seize Newsrooms - YouTube
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 23:13
VIDEO-Rex Chapman🏇🏼 on Twitter: "This angry Florida woman argued today against the mask mandate, while bringing up the devil, 5G, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, "the pedophiles" and the deep state. Enjoy... https://t.co/yqKUZNQYLQ" / Twitter
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 23:11
This angry Florida woman argued today against the mask mandate, while bringing up the devil, 5G, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, "the pedophiles" and the deep state. Enjoy...
pic.twitter.com/yqKUZNQYLQ
VIDEO - Barr Rips Seamless Garment
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 14:22
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TRANSCRIPT
Leftist Catholics are attacking United States attorney general William Barr for ordering the executions of four child murderers.
Last week, the Catholic Trump official was criticized for the decision in a statement by the executive director of the Catholic Mobilizing Network, questioning his pro-life views: "The federal government's decision to pursue executions is wrongheaded ... [It's] a practice which plainly violates Catholic teaching and disregards the sacred dignity of human life."
The criticism draws from a 1971 theory known as the "seamless garment," which currently equates intrinsic evils such as abortion and euthanasia '-- which are never good '-- with complex social justice issues like the death penalty and immigration.
The theory was popularized by Chicago cardinal Joseph Bernardin in 1983, who branded it the "consistent ethic of life."
The theory became so popular in the ensuing years that Pope Francis changed the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 2018 to teach that capital punishment is "inadmissible."
Catholic defenders of Barr argue the executions are justified, arguing the God of the Old Testament prescribed capital punishment, that Christ affirmed Pilate's power to execute (in the praetorium) and that many saints believed traditional Catholic teaching on the death penalty '-- none of whom are accused of being anti-life.
Despite criticisms from left-wing Catholics like Fr. James Martin, by his actions Barr is pushing back against the seamless garment theory, supporting a more traditional understanding of the death penalty.
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VIDEO-Donald Trump's Friends Believe He Is 'Out Of Control,' Claims Watergate Reporter
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 13:58
Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein, best known for his coverage of the Watergate scandal, said on Sunday that those close to President Donald Trump think he is ''out of control,'' The Washington Examiner reported.
Speaking with CNN anchor Brian Stelter, Bernstein revealed that his White House sources often ''whisper'' about Trump's ''mood swings.''
Bernstein said that the ''big underlying story'' about the president is his mental and physical health.
''Looking at the president's mental state, especially what his friends are seeing now, and they're very concerned about his conduct,'' he said.
''They say he's out of control. Some of those I've talked to, that's their words: 'Out of control.'''
Bernstein posited that national security is at risk ''if, indeed, the president is unstable.''
The legendary reporter added that a number of former Trump administration officials believe the president is unwell. Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster ''all concluded that he's unstable,'' he said.
As Business Insider reported, Kelly apparently frequently clashed with the president, which led to his resignation. Mattis, who resigned in 2018, had a number of policy disagreements with Trump.
Earlier this month, Mattis penned a scathing column that criticized Trump's handling of the protests over George Floyd's death.
''Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people '-- does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort,'' the four-star general wrote.
McMaster was removed from his position in 2018 after reportedly having numerous disagreements with Trump.
According to Bernstein, information about Trump's alleged issues is being withheld from the American public. The reporter said that the White House deliberately ''covered up'' information about Trump's November visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
As The Washington Examiner noted, the White House said that the president participated in a routine examination. In June, Trump's team stated that he remains in good health.
Trump and his allies are reportedly alarmed by former Vice President Joe Biden's improving poll numbers, and the president has allegedly lashed out at his campaign manager Brad Parscale.
The commander-in-chief's advisers apparently believe that the 2020 campaign needs a total reboot in order for Trump to catch up to the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee.
According to officials briefed on the matter, the Trump campaign is looking to adopt a more optimistic tone moving forward. The president's team also plans on launching aggressive attacks against Biden.
VIDEO - Jim Crow Joe | The Racist History of Joe Biden
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 10:57
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VIDEO - Media Buys Into Debunked Noose Hate Crime Story | SUPERcuts! #784 - YouTube
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 10:26
VIDEO - Media Executive Warns Big Tech Is Secretively Seizing "All The Power" Over Information | Zero Hedge
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 10:24
Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,
Newspaper executive Peter Wright has slammed big tech for secretively developing and changing algorithms for news distribution without giving the industry any indication whatsoever of what they are doing.
Wright of DMG Media, which is the parent company of The Daily Mail, was testifying before the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee Tuesday.
He accused companies like Google and Facebook of 'monopoly behaviour' as they seek to seize 'all the power' in online news and advertising.
Wright claims that the Mail's online daily traffic from Google searches has been diminished by 50 per cent in just one year after the company changed the algorithm for news content in 2019.
''Google and Facebook in our view are market dominant companies and they behave in the way that market dominant companies do,'' Wright stated, noting that it is significantly impacting journalism.
''Google and Facebook both distribute our content via algorithm. Those algorithms are what is known in the digital world as a 'black box' '' they are secret, you have no idea how they work. But we can see and measure the results,'' Wright said.
Wright also implied that the Mail's pro Brexit stance led to it being targeted by big tech for diminished online distribution.
He noted that last June ''over the space of three days, our search visibility, which is the measure of how often your content is appearing against a basket of search terms, dropped by 50 per cent, and it was particularly marked against some particular terms. One of them for instance was 'Brexit'.''
Wright noted that after his group protested, normality eventually returned.
''But this is monopoly behaviour. You can't do this if you're in a business relationship with someone where there's any semblance of equality of power,'' he urged.
Wright noted that Google and Facebook are not regulated and so they are getting away with a secretive takeover of content.
''As far as the commercial relationship between news publishers and the platforms is concerned, it's a business relationship between two partners in which one partner has all the power,'' Wright declared.
He described Google as ''completely dominant'' in search and digital marketing, the two main avenues for distributing news content, and Facebook (which also owns instagram) as ''dominant in social media'', pointing out that they make ''more money out of advertising than our newspapers do.''
Despite the vast power that these companies have in such areas, Wright noted that their terms of service are completely ''opaque''.
''Even the contracts that we sign to use their services are often presented to us on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. So what we're asking for here is for regulation, and the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) are about to report on a massive piece of work they've been doing, to address the complete imbalance in the business relationship,'' Wright asserted.
VIDEO - China's Secret Belt and Road in South Korea - YouTube
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 09:22
VIDEO - Records of conversations testifying to international corruption - YouTube
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 08:52
VIDEO - ''WHITE FOLKS IS GETTIN READY TO RISE UP AND IM JOININ' 'EM''
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 08:51
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First published at 15:41 UTC on June 23rd, 2020.
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VIDEO - President Trump's October SURPRISE, Interview with Brad Parscale | Ep. 46 - YouTube
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 08:39
VIDEO - Three gorges dam could collapse, expert says; US customs seizes 10 tons of smuggled meat from China - YouTube
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 08:20
VIDEO - Dr. Anthony Fauci Vaccine Update - YouTube
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 08:12
VIDEO - Dr. Anthony Fauci on Coronavirus & Testing - YouTube
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 08:09
VIDEO - H-1B Visa Freeze: US President Suspends Issue Of H-1B Visa For The Rest Of 2020 - YouTube
Tue, 23 Jun 2020 08:12
VIDEO - UNHINGED - Official Trailer Starring Russell Crowe (HD) - YouTube
Tue, 23 Jun 2020 08:04
VIDEO - Guess Who This Old Fool Is Talking About? - YouTube
Tue, 23 Jun 2020 07:59
VIDEO-Maddow Blog on Twitter: "BREAKING: House Judiciary Committee to subpoena Attorney General Barr, use DOJ budget as leverage to encourage appearance https://t.co/kCsbJkARlc" / Twitter
Tue, 23 Jun 2020 00:02
Log in Sign up Maddow Blog @ MaddowBlog BREAKING: House Judiciary Committee to subpoena Attorney General Barr, use DOJ budget as leverage to encourage appearance
pic.twitter.com/kCsbJkARlc 6:36 PM - 22 Jun 2020 Twitter by: Maddow Blog @MaddowBlog GaryAtty @ Garyatty
3h Replying to
@MaddowBlog #ImpeachBarrNOW Democrats can reign Trump in by Impeaching Barr. The hearings will dominate the news until the election and remind voters of Trump's corruption. Make the
#CorruptGOP Senate chose between covering up more obstruction of justice by Trump or removing Barr.
View conversation · GaryAtty @ Garyatty
3h Replying to
@MaddowBlog @RepJerryNadler @HouseJudiciary @RepJerryNadler looks weak and sickly. He should step down from the chair of the
@HouseJudiciary committee. He does not have the energy to take on Trump's consigliere.
View conversation · Samantha Sanderson @ SamSanderson123
3h Replying to
@MaddowBlog Hey .. producer/intern run this to Rachel before she gets off the air.
twitter.com/AprilDRyan/sta'... View conversation · AltYellowstoneNatPar @ AltYelloNatPark
3h Replying to
@SamSanderson123 @AnnieSage @MaddowBlog Reason is Trump tantrumHis rally was a bust and he needs to stand on that pile of sh!t and crow Why am I not surprised.
View conversation · Katherine Tave @ katherinetave
3h Replying to
@MaddowBlog @RepJerryNadler and
2 others Good start but
@RepJerryNadler@SpeakerPelosi - may I suggest
@RepKatiePorter ?
View conversation · Lillie Beins @ LillieBeins
3h Replying to
@katherinetave @MaddowBlog and
5 others or our man
@RepAdamSchiff or
@RepSwalwell View conversation · Elie Honig @ eliehonig
2h Replying to
@MaddowBlog @RepJerryNadler If Barr defies the subpoena, will you fight him in court
@RepJerryNadler?
View conversation · Warren Mason @ WarrenMason
2h Replying to
@eliehonig @MaddowBlog and
2 others Meet do nothing
@RepJerryNadler, the
@SenatorCollins of Democrats.
View conversation · Norman Ornstein @ NormOrnstein
29m Replying to
@MaddowBlog Do you know what would be even greater leverage? An impeachment resolution!
View conversation · Citizens That Know @ CitizensKnow
26m Replying to
@NormOrnstein @MaddowBlog A requirement that the
#CommanderInChief have a thorough psych evaluation is what is needed.
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VIDEO-Redheaded Jenn ðŸ--¥ on Twitter: "''White folks getting ready to rise up, they ain't gonna take it no more'' This black fella has a better understanding of what white folks are feeling than ANY MEMBER of the *entire* treasonous, cowardly @GOP. ht
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 23:53
Sir Stephen @ OMG_Steve
14h See, this is where I get a lot of heat. To me, this is a MAN. Not a black man, not a colored man, not the n word, but a man. A man I would gladly fight alongside. The ghetto thugs and race baiters and animals in our inner cities, f**k them. But this man, he is my brother.
View conversation ·
VIDEO-More Deadly Than War '' A Lecture by G. Edward Griffin - YouTube
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 19:34
VIDEO -9min40seconds- COVID19 Is The Biggest Psyop In Human History
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 11:00
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VIDEO -11min25sec "Is this coronavirus a sign of the end of the world" Rev. Danny Jones of Northlake Baptist Church - YouTube
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 10:27
VIDEO - (12) David Vance on Twitter: "He says he wants ''exterminate white people'' - and is applauded for saying such. This is the hate in plain sight. https://t.co/QVi59VlMzY" / Twitter
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 09:28
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VIDEO - How To Red-Pill As Many As You Can 101 [Watch/Share/Rinse/Repeat] - YouTube
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 09:25
VIDEO - CHAZ / CHOP Live, Seattle WA - YouTube
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 09:06
VIDEO - CBS's Pauley Gushes for Cuomo: He's 'Having a Moment' and Single! | Newsbusters
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 09:03
Effectively downplaying his fumbled response to the coronavirus outbreak in his state, and ignoring the bipartisan calls from state legislatures to investigate why he put infected patients in nursing homes, CBS Sunday Morning host Jane Pauley spent her segment gushes about Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Not only was she dismissive of his critics, but she also appeared to flirt with him while discussing how he was an eligible, sought after bachelor, and pushed him on running for president in 2024.
Though she admitted that New York had a ''staggering death toll of 25,000'' coronavirus deaths, the most of any state in the country, Pauley proclaimed ''Today, Andrew Cuomo is having a moment.''
At one point in her piece, Pauley (via voiceover) recalled how ''Cuomo was married for 15 years to Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy. And until last year, was in a long relationship with author and TV chef Sandra Lee, but he is unattached now.''
In the follow-up clip of their sit-down conversation, Pauley giggled as she playfully teased Cuomo about being single with so much to offer a woman:
PAULEY: You are a bachelor, you've got a nice house here, having a moment, and you can't do a thing with it. Is your social life in a phase one relationship, possibly? Is that an unfortunate set of circumstances?
[Laughter]
CUOMO: Well, I think --
PAULEY: I know you're a bachelor. I know. I know you've talked about being available.
CUOMO: Yeah. The house isn't mine, sort of like a rental. I will move out one day. I can reopen the economy, but dating, that's a whole different thing beyond my control.
PAULEY: Pity, isn't it?
If that wasn't enough, she followed up by pressing Cuomo on his future political machinations, nudging him to run for president in 2024. ''Four years from now, either Donald Trump will not run for re-election, or Joe Biden will be 82 and probably there will be a search for a democratic nominee. And I cannot believe that Andrew Cuomo won't be on that stage,'' Pauley poked.
When he said he wasn't interested in running, Pauley literally threw up her hands and huffed about the Cuomo family's habit of not running for president. ''What is it with the Cuomo's? The fact that your father never ran for president is still, you know, one of the great mysteries of political life,'' she said.
And in covering for Cuomo's disastrous response to the outbreak, she ignored how New York seeded outbreaks in much of the country and refused to ask him why he packed COVID patients into nursing homes. But she fawned for how he ''marshaled New Yorkers'' (click ''expand''):
PAULEY: Cuomo shut down the state. Some say not soon enough.
CUOMO: The curve is actually increasing.
PAULEY: He marshaled New Yorkers to battle the curve.
CUOMO: The virus rate is solely dependent on what you do.
PAULEY: How high and how steep was in their hands.
CUOMO: We slowed the infection rate by our actions.
PAULEY: Do you have a political jujitsu -- You and a handful of other governors asked people to do hard things and got more popular.
CUOMO: Go figure. [Laughter]
Imagine calling yourself a journalist and conducting yourself as Pauley did. Embarrassing.
Pauley's gross interview was sponsored by advertizing from Blue dog food.
The transcript is below click "expand" to read:
CBS Sunday MorningJune 21, 20209:11:09 a.m. Eastern
('...)
JANE PAULEY: Today, Andrew Cuomo is having a moment. Despite being the global epicenter of the COVID crisis this spring, suffering a staggering death toll of 25,000 --
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): It was a silent explosion that just ripples through society.
PAULEY: New Yorkers give their governor an approval rating of nearly 80 percent.
('...)
PAULEY: Cuomo shut down the state. Some say not soon enough.
CUOMO: The curve is actually increasing.
PAULEY: He marshaled New Yorkers to battle the curve.
CUOMO: The virus rate is solely dependent on what you do.
PAULEY: How high and how steep was in their hands.
CUOMO: We slowed the infection rate by our actions.
PAULEY: Do you have a political jujitsu -- You and a handful of other governors asked people to do hard things and got more popular.
CUOMO: Go figure. [Laughter]
('...)
This was a frightening period. People were afraid for their life, literally. How do I keep my elderly parents safe?
PAULEY: You personally?
CUOMO: I felt that also. And I wanted to connect with the people I was talking to.
PAULEY: And talk he did.
CUOMO: Today is day 56.
PAULEY: From March 2nd until just last Friday.
CUOMO: From worst to first. We car controlling the virus better than any state in the country.
PAULEY: 111 daily briefings kept New Yorkers informed and riveted.
('...)
PAULEY: He called on another New Yorker: President trump, also from queens. Some say that's where the similarities end.
CUOMO: I said to the President, "There is only one truth: My state needs help, every state needs help. This is a federal crisis, and if you shirk your federal responsibility, I will say that." And I was true to that. The President sent in the army corps of engineers, and we built temporary hospitals all across the state. And he sent in the U.S. Navy Ship Comfort. He did that.
PAULEY: But in Cuomo's view, could have and should have done more.
('...)
PAULEY: Cuomo was married for 15 years to Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy. And until last year, was in a long relationship with author and TV chef Sandra Lee, but he is unattached now.
You are a bachelor, you've got a nice house here, having a moment, and you can't do a thing with it. Is your social life in a phase one relationship, possibly? Is that an unfortunate set of circumstances?
[Laughter]
CUOMO: Well, I think --
PAULEY: I know you're a bachelor. I know. I know you've talked about being available.
CUOMO: Yeah. The house isn't mine, sort of like a rental. I will move out one day. I can reopen the economy, but dating, that's a whole different thing beyond my control.
PAULEY: Pity, isn't it?
[Laughter]
PAULEY: I find it really hard to accept, after decades in government, you don't have a political agenda in your future that's on the back of your mind. Four years from now, either Donald Trump will not run for re-election, or Joe Biden will be 82 and probably there will be a search for a democratic nominee. And I cannot believe that Andrew Cuomo won't be on that stage.
CUOMO: Joe Biden is going to be the president of the United States, I believe that. I believe Joe Biden will run for a second term.
PAULEY: At 82?
CUOMO: Yes. And I hope to be the governor of the State of New York. I have something to contribute. This is my home. I love it. And I'm happy.
PAULEY: What is it with the Cuomo's? The fact that your father never ran for president is still, you know, one of the great mysteries of political life. What does your mother say?
CUOMO: We haven't had that conversation.
PAULEY: Really?
CUOMO: Really.
NewsBusters Reader,
The media are hard at work weaving a web of confusion, misinformation, and conspiracy surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
At MRC's NewsBusters, we cut through the hypocrisy and expose the media's bias, bringing the truth to the American people'--but without you, our efforts can only go so far.
The media is using whatever crisis it can to swing the upcoming election'--they have an agenda and the truth is not part of it.
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VIDEO - WATCH: John Oliver mocked Trump in 2017 for suggesting Washington and Jefferson statues would fall | The Post Millennial - News, Politics, Culture, and Lifestyle
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 08:58
A clip has resurfaced on Twitter of comedian John Oliver mocking President Trump for predicting that the trend of removing statues would lead to the toppling of Washington and Jefferson.A clip has resurfaced on Twitter of comedian John Oliver mocking President Trump for predicting that the trend of removing statues would lead to the toppling of Washington and Jefferson.
First, Oliver plays video of Trump saying, "This week it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson's coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?"
Oliver then scoffs at Trump's "slippery slope" prediction: "I'll tell you where it stops. Somewhere! Any time someone asks, where does it stop, the answers' always f*cking somewhere. You might let your kid have Twizzlers, but not inject black tar heroin. You don't just go, 'Well, after the Twizzlers, where does it stop?'"
2017: So-called comedian John Oliver mocks President @realDonaldTrump for suggesting statues of Washington and Jefferson would be next. Trump was right. pic.twitter.com/wV5SkslFMw
'-- Yaakov Pollak (@Yanky_Pollak) June 21, 2020Trump was right.
On Thursday night, a statue of George Washington was vandalized, torched, and toppled by Antifa rioters and on Monday, a statue of Thomas Jefferson was vandalized and toppled at a high school.
VIDEO-EXCLUSIVE: Bill Gates Negotiated $100 Billion Contact Tracing Deal With Democratic Congressman Sponsor of Bill Six Months BEFORE Coronavirus Pandemic '' True Pundit
Sun, 21 Jun 2020 23:15
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation helped negotiate who would score a $100 Billion government-backed contact tracing contract in August 2019 '-- six months before the 'pandemic' arrived in the United States and four months before it swept through China. (Listen Above)
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The shocking revelations were unveiled on the Thomas Paine Podcast and the Moore Paine Show on Patreon by the two investigators who blew the whistle on the massive Clinton Foundation tax fraud during a Congressional hearing in 2018. John Moynihan and Larry Doyle testified in Congress, detailing the fraud and schemes utilized by the Clinton's to avoid paying up to $2.5 BILLION in federal taxes.
The investigative duo, in their first interview since that bombshell Congressional testimony, revealed to Paine that representatives from the Gates Foundation met with U.S. Congressman Bobby L. Rush at a sit down in Rwanda, East Africa in mid August 2019 to hash out who would score the windfall from a government contact tracing program. And just last month '-- nine months after the meetings with the Gates Foundation in Rwanda '-- Rush, a Democrat from Illinois, introduced the $100 BILLION H.R. 6666, the COVID-19 Testing, Reaching and Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act.
Rush's bill would establish a program run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for national coronavirus testing and contact tracing.
Paine has since learned Congressman Rush traveled to Rwanda with his spouse from August 12th to 19th, 2019 to take part in talks and a week-long event underwritten by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
But how can you negotiate the byproducts of monitoring a pandemic six to seven months before the outbreak of the virus even happens?
This story is developing. Listen Above.
Listen to the insightful Thomas Paine Podcast Below --

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All Clips

Carl Bernstein with Stelter - Trump is not well and friends say he's out of control.mp3
Carl Bernstein with Stelter -2- OUT OF CONTROL LIST.mp3
Brad Parscale reveals 'secret' technology 'engine' October surprise GOTV.mp3
CBS’s Pauley Gushes for Cuomo -1- He's Having a Moment and Single.mp3
CBS’s Pauley Gushes for Cuomo -2- Political and presidential ambitions.mp3
Law360 - Can Musicians Stop Trump From Using Their Songs.pdf
Sen Marsha Blckburn (R-Tenn) -1- China's influence and practices in Entertainment and IP since the 90's.mp3
Sen Marsha Blckburn (R-Tenn) -2- Fance Coeona PPE and Wuawei.mp3
Sen Marsha Blckburn (R-Tenn) -3- Stop Covid Act - Sue China and FREEZE assets.mp3
Red Contagion - Francesco Galietti -1- Italy is CCP's Trojan Horse in the West.mp3
Red Contagion - Francesco Galietti -2- Poltical corruption and the Pope's USA hate.mp3
BlueLeaks Security Memo.pdf
India Today on Trump H1-B visa suspension.mp3
Bolton Baier China deal.mp3
Bolton Baier ONE INTRO.mp3
Bolton Baier SLAM ONE Pompaeo.mp3
Bolton Baier SLAM TWO Haters.mp3
Bolton Baier TWO.mp3
Bolton Baier Uighur story.mp3
Bolton by Yamish.mp3
Bowman won.mp3
China holding Canadians for Mung.mp3
COVID GLOBAL REPOTY DN.mp3
COVID in AZ NPR.mp3
duty to listen ISO.mp3
Fauci surge testing DN.mp3
Kshama Sawant in CHAZ.mp3
mitch wins.mp3
More testing versus Trump kicker NPR.mp3
New Migration halt 325 NPR.mp3
Not happening ISO.mp3
US Attornye in Manhattan quits.mp3
young Pharoh on Veronica BAY One.mp3
young Pharoh on Veronica BAY Two.mp3
13 Reasons Why Clip.mp3
100 degrees in Sibeeria.mp3
Amazons carbon footpriint.mp3
Biden ruminating on vaccine.mp3
Bill Cosby Update WHYY.mp3
Bolton aside PBS Negroponte on Uighurs.mp3
West jet 3333 layed off.mp3
Angry Florida woman on masks - the devil - Bill gates and 5G.mp3
The 3 most populous states are breaking coronavirus records, leading to fears of 'apocalyptic' surges.mp3
Dr. Anthony Fauci on Coronavirus & Testing (Pallone of NJ).mp3
Media Buys Into Debunked Noose Hate Crime Story - SUPERcuts.mp3
Trump on troops from Germany to Poland.mp3
Bill Barr with Money Honey on Durham investigation.mp3
  • 0:00
    it was terrible there I am again Madame
  • 0:03
    Curie
  • 0:04
    Jhansi Devore this is no agenda
  • 0:16
    [Music]
  • 0:22
    in the morning everybody
  • 0:24
    Adam Curry and from northern Silicon
  • 0:27
    Valley where they're digging up my
  • 0:29
    Street the New World Order I'm Chauncey
  • 0:32
    Devorah man it's the Chinese they're
  • 0:38
    putting 5g in your street man that's
  • 0:41
    what's going on to put hand warmers in
  • 0:44
    the street hand warmers warm up the
  • 0:48
    street no no what is going on so we
  • 0:54
    actually we were thinking of delaying
  • 0:55
    the show the start of the show a little
  • 0:57
    bit because you had jackhammers and what
  • 0:59
    is happening out there you can't hear
  • 1:01
    the jackhammers at the moment no nothing
  • 1:02
    right now they're taking you there five
  • 1:05
    minute break every five minutes
  • 1:07
    there it goes as the grinder they're
  • 1:09
    drilling down the street all over the
  • 1:12
    place so they can then take a jackhammer
  • 1:14
    and dig up a line of the street and then
  • 1:17
    dig a hole you're gonna do a trenching
  • 1:19
    after that and then they're gonna put in
  • 1:20
    a new water pipeline oh do you need one
  • 1:23
    this is something wrong uh I don't think
  • 1:27
    so but say this it's failing here and
  • 1:29
    there cuz it's not I'm on a hill those
  • 1:32
    details always slide here is gonna
  • 1:36
    cracks the pipes good news - well they
  • 1:39
    could have done it on any other day but
  • 1:40
    a show day I mean jeez we already do one
  • 1:43
    show on a Sunday to avoid this kind of
  • 1:45
    crap you could go ahead maybe a chat
  • 1:47
    with them I told them I said I'm a
  • 1:50
    podcaster exactly I'm a podcaster I have
  • 2:00
    my decibel meter you guys are way over a
  • 2:03
    hundred decibels which I believe is
  • 2:04
    against the world health organization
  • 2:05
    sound levels for daytime work you should
  • 2:08
    cease and desist and by the way donate
  • 2:11
    to my patreon at patreon.com slash Karen
  • 2:15
    so anyway
  • 2:18
    yeah we'll get through right dive as I
  • 2:20
    said I've created a very tight talk hole
  • 2:22
    for you with my with more thank you with
  • 2:27
    my with my gate expertise alright we'll
  • 2:31
    see how we do well I mean you think
  • 2:33
    you've got it bad there I mean I'm in
  • 2:35
    the in a surge state I'm in the state of
  • 2:37
    Texas where by the way are you okay no
  • 2:40
    you okay we're all gonna die okay
  • 2:42
    I'm not okay we're all gonna die whew
  • 2:44
    okay but we're gonna die California
  • 2:46
    reporting more than 7000 new confirmed
  • 2:49
    cases in one day governor Gavin Newsom
  • 2:51
    asking residents to be cautious as they
  • 2:54
    were at the start of the pandemic we
  • 2:56
    cannot continue to do what we have done
  • 2:59
    the last number of weeks many of us
  • 3:03
    understandably developed a little cabin
  • 3:05
    fever others have just frankly taken
  • 3:08
    down their guard California is one of
  • 3:10
    the nation's most populous so why do
  • 3:15
    these reporters on the networks and
  • 3:18
    democracy not all the rest them moan and
  • 3:20
    groan because Trump or Abbott or whoever
  • 3:23
    Republican it is is not wearing a mask
  • 3:26
    I've never seen newsom wearing a mask
  • 3:28
    and no one's ever said jack about it do
  • 3:31
    you really want me to answer the
  • 3:32
    question no I was just rhetoric now it
  • 3:34
    might continue the clip please states
  • 3:37
    experiencing record highs in new
  • 3:39
    coronavirus cases and Newsom says it's
  • 3:41
    hospitals are ready for an influx of
  • 3:44
    patients if needed California did to
  • 3:46
    lead on a statewide state Homer save
  • 3:49
    lives and bought us time to build out
  • 3:52
    our infrastructure and we have done just
  • 3:54
    that so brilliant brilliant strategist
  • 3:57
    that's why today we're at roughly eight
  • 4:00
    percent capacity in her hospitals in
  • 4:02
    Florida governor Rhonda Santos once
  • 4:04
    again said no to issue a statewide
  • 4:07
    mandatory mask order despite the State
  • 4:09
    Health Department recommending them
  • 4:11
    ultimately we've got to trust people to
  • 4:13
    make good decisions this as one updated
  • 4:16
    model suggests that universal
  • 4:18
    mask-wearing could help save more than
  • 4:20
    33,000 lives by October 1st
  • 4:23
    I want this model this is a great model
  • 4:25
    you're telling me 33 it's magic yes 33
  • 4:31
    but wait we're still number three on the
  • 4:34
    list ladies and gentlemen the great
  • 4:35
    state of Texas
  • 4:36
    and in Texas more than 4300 people are
  • 4:39
    hospitalized with the disease one health
  • 4:42
    expert warns Houston could end up the
  • 4:44
    hardest hit city in the country and
  • 4:46
    other big Texas cities like Dallas and
  • 4:48
    Austin could be deeply impacted too so
  • 4:51
    our big metro areas seem to be rising
  • 4:54
    very quickly and and some of the models
  • 4:58
    are you know on the verge of being
  • 5:00
    apocalyptic the models are on the verge
  • 5:06
    of apocalyptic well we know not to
  • 5:09
    believe your models anymore here's what
  • 5:11
    I know
  • 5:11
    boots on the ground lots of people here
  • 5:15
    we are now at 25 new admissions per 25
  • 5:20
    oh my god the hospitals are at the
  • 5:24
    emergency rooms now they're filling up
  • 5:27
    hospitals still are at 10%
  • 5:29
    I see use it's all fine but there's a
  • 5:33
    couple of things going on that is you
  • 5:35
    know it's what you're not being told is
  • 5:37
    what is the problem because life is back
  • 5:40
    to normal here people are walking around
  • 5:42
    although oh my god we get invited to a
  • 5:45
    cocktail party on I think July 3rd
  • 5:48
    backyard party please pretty please
  • 5:53
    bring your own glass I'm gonna bring a
  • 6:01
    tin cup with string around my neck like
  • 6:04
    a butt so life is kind of good now we do
  • 6:13
    have a mandatory masks order in place
  • 6:16
    now inside any business you cannot get
  • 6:19
    fine but the business can okay we can
  • 6:23
    get to that later but fine well that
  • 6:26
    that's a restaurant what's the
  • 6:27
    restaurant you have to keep it on until