Cover for No Agenda Show 1262: Use Your Words!
July 23rd, 2020 • 3h 2m

1262: Use Your Words!


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

Models and Data
Airconditioning and the Rona
Back in March and April when New York was getting all the cases of Rona,
those of us in Texas, Florida, and Arizona were outside in the warmth and
relative HIGH humidity of the time. The weather is fabulous that time of
Not that it is hotter than all get out those of us in Texas, Florida, and
Arizona are inside with the AC cranked down and enjoying the cool
temperatures and the relative LOW humidity.
It has to be a contributing factor to the increased number of cases in
these states.
We all know being outside is better for avoiding the Rona.
Kung Flu Tests bogus
Hey Adam,
False Covid results seem to be a global issue. A colleague of mine went to
be tested at a local shopping center for no reason besides they were
testing and she was there. She was told that if the test proceeded, she
would be subject to mandatory self isolation until a clear result
came back. At this point she refused the test. A day and a half later she
received an SMS to confirm she was Kung flu free despite NEVER having the
Interesting times.
Matt from Sydney.
covid coke nose
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Issues First Emergency Authorization for Sample Pooling in Diagnostic Testing | FDA
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 20:56
For Immediate Release: July 18, 2020Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reissued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Quest Diagnostics to authorize its Quest SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR test for use with pooled samples containing up to four individual swab specimens collected under observation. The Quest test is the first COVID-19 diagnostic test to be authorized for use with pooled samples.
Sample pooling is an important public health tool because it allows for more people to be tested quickly using fewer testing resources. Sample pooling does this by allowing multiple people '' in this case four individuals '' to be tested at once. The samples collected from these four individuals are then tested in a pool or ''batch'' using one test, rather than running each individual sample on its own test. If the pool is positive, it means that one or more of the individuals tested in that pool may be infected, so each of the samples in that pool are tested again individually. Because the samples are pooled, it is expected that fewer tests are run overall, meaning fewer testing supplies are used and more tests can be run at the same time allowing patients to receive their results more quickly in most cases. This testing strategy is most efficient in areas with low prevalence, meaning most results are expected to be negative.
''This EUA for sample pooling is an important step forward in getting more COVID-19 tests to more Americans more quickly while preserving testing supplies,'' said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. ''Sample pooling becomes especially important as infection rates decline and we begin testing larger portions of the population.''
While there is a concern that combining samples may make it more difficult to detect positives, since pooling in the laboratory dilutes any viral material present in the samples, Quest's validation data demonstrates that its test correctly identified all of the pooled samples that contained a positive sample. It is important to note that the Quest test, initially authorized on March 17, 2020, remains authorized to test individual samples collected by their health care provider from people with suspected COVID-19 infection. The test is also still authorized for use with individual nasal swab specimens that are self-collected at home or in a health care setting using an authorized home-collection kit when determined to be appropriate by a health care provider.
The FDA continues to work with a number of diagnostic test developers to facilitate new approaches and get additional tests to more Americans more quickly.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation's food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.
Related Information Content current as of:07/18/2020
Regulated Product(s) Health Topic(s)
Horowitz: Medical directors in Texas border counties: We're treating patients from Mexico - Conservative Review
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 11:04
Guillermo Arias/AFP | Getty Images
Who would have thought it: That when a neighboring country without stable medical care gets hit by the virus, anyone with the ability to come here would seek care in our hospitals when they get sick?
I've written a six-part series detailing how the border counties have a worse crisis than anywhere else in the country because of a mix of cross-border travel, medical tourism, and dual citizens traveling back and forth. You can read the series here, here, here, here, here, and here. Until now we have seen remarkable data that shows the the timing and severity of the surge in relation to the sister cities and states in Mexico. California hospital directors have gone on the record admitting that they have been treating patients from Mexico. Now we have on-the-record proof that this is happening in Texas as well.
The numbers are truly extraordinary. On Sunday, 42% of all deaths reported in Texas were in border counties, even though those counties account for just 9% of the state's population and are generally much less dense than the counties closer to the major population centers. The positivity rate of testing is almost twice as high in Hidalgo County (border) as in Harris County (Houston). Since June 1, Hidalgo County's cases have grown by 1,800%, while Harris County's cases have grown by 346%. Now we know why.
On Friday, KVEO's Sydney Hernandez, who has been covering cross-border news for years, reported that ''doctors say they are not only treating Rio Grande Valley residents but people who crossed the border seeking medical attention.''
''One of the factors is the border, we in McAllen Medical are receiving many patients from Mexico, they are coming in because their resources over there are also limited so they are coming into our area seeking medical attention and by law we have to provide it,'' said Dr. Ivonne Lopez, medical director of McAllen Hospital Group at McAllen Medical Center. ''The patients that cross the border say 'we don't have hospital space over there, the oxygen is gone, we don't have medications so we cross the border,' that's the situation in the border.''
Hernandez also quotes a Hidalgo County health official attesting to the fact that hospitals in Texas' sister cities in Mexico are overrun and dysfunctional. This is why we are getting the most vulnerable people and serious cases from Mexico. That is the only logical explanation for why these counties seem to have more deaths per capita than any place in the country, especially with comparable population densities.
It's truly astounding that nobody in the state or federal government thought to either block medical tourism, issue mandatory quarantines for travel to and from Mexico, or at least set up field hospitals in Mexico at the border rather than burden our own hospitals and risk the danger of spread within hospitals of the most serious virus cases coming into our country. Americans were locked down under the premise of avoiding a strain on the hospitals, yet Mexican nationals were able to walk in.
In March, our government issued a travel ban at the border, but it categorically exempted dual citizens and Mexican nationals who hold green cards, as well as those with other visas and border crossing cards if they were deemed essential. In addition, travel for medical treatment was also exempted from the ban.
If our government believes it is our responsibility to treat these people in American hospitals, then rather than blaming Americans for spreading the virus and demanding more lockdowns, officials should own up to the source of the most serious cases. Every day, we see liberals lament that America is experiencing a much longer epidemic than Europe. But Europe didn't have a Mexico on its border, where governments not only failed to fully halt cross-border travel but openly invited people from a country with subpar medical care to enter and seek treatment. Green card holders should never have been allowed to come in while Americans are locked down. Even dual citizens should have just been given the option to come in one time at the beginning, not to travel back and forth in middle of the epidemic.
In addition to those who reside in Mexico, there are likely many Americans who have gotten sick because they traveled to Tamaulipas during the worst weeks in late May and early June. In deference to the strong cross-border bond (more so than in any other part of the border), there were never any warnings against travel or mandatory quarantines issued for those who returned. But should that cross-border culture have been accommodated more than the cross-border culture between Pennsylvania and New Jersey/New York in March and April or between Texas and Louisiana when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent out state troopers to enforce a quarantine on travel from Louisiana?
Now, the Hidalgo County government has issued a stay-at-home order for its residents, after failing to simply enforce a quarantine against travel to Mexico.
Just how far has the spread from Mexico gone? We don't know for sure, but once we know that Mexican nationals have sought treatment in the border counties and we know border counties, which have tiny hospitals, have been transferring patients to other cities, it's inconceivable that a certain number of serious patients in ICUs in other parts of Texas are not from the border.
The Texas Tribune reported last week that sick patients from the border town of Harlingen have been medically evacuated as far north as Amarillo.
The trip from the Rio Grande Valley to the Panhandle is too far to make in a helicopter. So earlier this week, when an intubated COVID-19 patient left Harlingen, near the state's southernmost tip, for Amarillo, its northernmost metro area, hospital officials sent a fixed-wing airplane.
The South Texas hospital, inundated with a surge of sick and dying coronavirus patients, had tried sending the severely ill patient to closer facilities '-- but Northwest Texas Healthcare System was ''the first hospital between them and us'' that had the capacity to take the patient, said Dr. Brian Weis, the Amarillo hospital's chief medical officer.
Logic dictates that the reason why some of the closer major cities, such as Houston and San Antonio, are full is because of the border problem. Yes, the border towns have less medical infrastructure, so transfers would be natural. But what is not natural, as proven by viral patterns throughout the country, is for rural counties to get more deadly COVID-19 cases than the major cities in a given state. This has created an inverse pyramid of strain on the state's hospital system.
All because the only thing that can never be locked down during a national shutdown during an epidemic to stop the viral spread is travel across the Mexican border, especially if they are coming with COVID-19.
Author: Daniel Horowitz Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.
Coronavirus: England's test and trace programme 'breaks GDPR data law' - BBC News
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 12:12
Image copyright Getty Images
Privacy campaigners say England's test and trace programme has broken a key data protection law.
The Department of Health has conceded the initiative to trace contacts of people infected with Covid-19 was launched without carrying out an assessment of its impact on privacy.
The Open Rights Group (ORG) says the admission means the initiative has been unlawful since it began on 28 May.
The government said there is no evidence of data being used unlawfully.
The test and trace system involves people being asked to share sensitive personal information. This can include:
their name, date of birth and postcodewho they live withplaces they recently visitednames and contact details of people they have recently been in close contact with, including sexual partners."In no way has [there] been a breach of any of the data that has been stored," said Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.
He told BBC Breakfast: "I think your viewers will understand that if we are to defeat this virus, we do need to have a test and trace system and we had to get that up and running at incredible speed.... Are you really advocating that we get rid of a test and trace system? I don't think you are."
ORG had threatened to go to court to force the government to conduct a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) - a requirement under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for projects that process personal data.
A letter from the Department of Health to the group confirmed that a DPIA was a legal requirement and had not been obtained.
ORG's executive director, Jim Killock, said the government had been "reckless" in ignoring this legally-required safety step and had endangered public health.
"A crucial element in the fight against the pandemic is mutual trust between the public and the government, which is undermined by their operating the programme without basic privacy safeguards," he added.
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption England's Test and Trace initiative is run by Baroness Dido Harding, and is the responsibility of the Health Secretary Matt Hancock Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all carry out parallel contact-tracing schemes of their own but have not been accused of the same failing.
'Rushed-out system'The government has told the ORG it is working with the Information Commissioner's Office to make sure that data is processed in accordance with the requirements of the law.
The ICO confirmed this and told the BBC it was providing guidance as "a critical friend".
But the regulator added that, while it recognised the urgency in rolling out the programme, if the public were to have confidence in handing over their data and that of their friends, "people need to understand how their data will be safeguarded and how it will be used".
The watchdog is already investigating the Test and Trace programme after the Sunday Times reported last week that some contact tracers had posted private patient data to WhatsApp and Facebook groups.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "NHS Test and Trace is committed to the highest ethical and data governance standards - collecting, using, and retaining data to fight the virus and save lives, while taking full account of all relevant legal obligations."
'Almost half' of Blackburn Covid-19 contacts not reached Coronavirus: How does contact tracing work? Contact tracing: My new skillThe ORG's complaint stems from work carried out on its behalf by Ravi Naik, a lawyer at the AWO data rights consultancy.
He said the legal requirements for data processing were more than just a tick-box exercise.
"They ensure that risks are mitigated before processing occurs, to preserve the integrity of the system," he explained.
"Instead, we have a rushed-out system, seemingly compromised by unsafe processing practices."
Mr Naik added the ORG had already won a concession from the government. It had originally planned to keep data for 20 years but has now cut that to eight years.
Since the test and trace programme was launched, its 27,000 staff have contacted more than 155,000 people, who may have been infected with the virus, and asked them to go into isolation.
Are you a contact tracer? Have you been contacted by NHS Test and Trace? Share your experiences by emailing
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist.
WhatsApp: +44 7756 165803Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSayPlease read our terms & conditions and privacy policy
Reports Of A Surge In Coronavirus Cases In Texas Infants Is False, Official Says | The Daily Caller
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 16:26
A viral report of a sudden surge of coronavirus cases in infants in a single county in Texas is inaccurate, a local official said on Saturday.
On Friday, the top health official for the Corpus Christi area said at a press conference that the county currently has 85 cases of newborns with coronavirus.
''We currently have 85 babies under the age of one year in Nueces County that have all tested positive for COVID-19,'' Annette Rodriguez, director of public health for Corpus Christi Nueces County, said at the press conference. ''These babies have not even had their first birthday yet. Please help us stop the spread of this disease.''
Rodriguez's comments stoked widespread fear of a surge in cases in the county, while raising questions about how dozens of infants could have suddenly contracted the virus. (RELATED: Two-Day-Old Baby Dies From Coronavirus)
News outlets across the country picked up the story, including CNN, CBS News, Huffington Post, The Hill, and the Associated Press.
But Rodriguez was mistaken, according to Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales.
According to KRIS 6 News in Corpus Christi, Canales said that 85 infants have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic several months ago.
''On Friday, July 17, during a press conference, a spokesperson mentioned that 85 infants under the age of one had tested positive for coronavirus,'' Canales said in a statement, KRIS 6 reported. ''This number reflects the cumulative total of positive tests for infants under the age of 1 since the beginning of testing in mid-March, which has resulted in 8,171 positive test results.''
''Stating this number during our press conference led many to believe that we had a sudden surge in infants under the age of one testing positive. We have NOT had a sudden surge of 85 infants testing positive,'' she said.
Little is known about whether infants fare better or worse than other age groups with coronavirus. Elderly populations are at higher risk of complications from the virus, while children and young adults typically experience mild symptoms.
Health officials have said that infants could be at higher risk than other children because of their undeveloped immune systems, though a report published by Scientific American this week said that newborns have shown more resiliency to the virus than expected.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact
Ian Miller on Twitter: "This continues to be the most mind boggling stat of anything I've seen. The demographic breakdown here is astonishing." / Twitter
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 13:40
Ian Miller : This continues to be the most mind boggling stat of anything I've seen. The demographic breakdown here is astonis'...
Wed Jul 22 00:02:09 +0000 2020
Not A Lawyer : @ianmSC @Cernovich Latinos are almost 1/2 the Pop in LA and work most of the "customer-facing" jobs that can't be done remotely.
Wed Jul 22 13:32:41 +0000 2020
Drcrinum ''Π: @ianmSC @KingMakerFT You don't suppose genetics has anything to do with it? Naw, such a concept wouldn't fit with p'...
Wed Jul 22 13:19:29 +0000 2020
Salvatorey Boette : @ianmSC @Cernovich How many are in South Florida specifically?
Wed Jul 22 13:16:52 +0000 2020
China for Biden #2020 : @ianmSC @KingMakerFT See also national graphs below re racial disparities in hospitalization and death rates. Meanw'...
Wed Jul 22 13:13:34 +0000 2020
Sherri : @ianmSC @Cernovich Seeing a similar trend in SF
Wed Jul 22 12:56:33 +0000 2020
Vote Your Conscience : @ianmSC '... because they get sick in Mexico, then come here to get care
Wed Jul 22 12:40:10 +0000 2020
Alex Hamilton (parler: alexhamilton74) : @ianmSC @Barnes_Law COVID is spread by remaining indoors with an infected person for extended periods, and Hispanic'...
Wed Jul 22 12:25:49 +0000 2020
Suburban Mom : @ianmSC I heard there were quite a few non- English speakers who went to the ER to get tested (no real symptoms but'...
Wed Jul 22 11:56:24 +0000 2020
King Leonidas Renaud : @ianmSC @Cernovich We are much more family oriented, we do big family gatherings. Culturally this is bound to affec'...
Wed Jul 22 11:48:24 +0000 2020
Benjamin the Donkey : @ianmSC @waamutoo When the affluent get a cold, the working class get pneumonia, and the poor die.
Wed Jul 22 11:28:47 +0000 2020
Ohio Native Plants : @ianmSC They go to Catholic churches who sing and play wind instruments unmasked.🁠1/2 can be from the % hispanic i'...
Wed Jul 22 11:26:39 +0000 2020
DeSantis Calls for Investigation: Those Not Tested Receive Positive Results
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 13:42
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has asked the Department of Health to investigate following emerging reports of individuals receiving positive test results for the Chinese coronavirus, despite never taking the test.
''For that to come back positive, when there was no specimen submitted, is problematic, so I've heard it enough to be concerned about it,'' DeSantis said this week.
''I asked the Department of Health to look at that, because I heard it too. If you can give us, if people that have told you that are willing to provide their name, we're interested in investigating this because it's ridiculous,'' he continued.
Local news outlets, including Fox 35 News and Fox 4, have reported receiving mounting reports of this phenomenon.
''How does someone test positive for coronavirus if they have never been tested? Reports of this happening have been pouring into FOX 35 News since we began investigating COVID-19 data,'' Fox 35 News reported, noting that people claimed they left the premises prior to getting tested. Despite that, they later received positive test results.
Fox 4 also reported:
Fox 4 has also received reports of this happening. People have said they submitted their contact information at a COVID-19 testing site, but after seeing how long the line was, they decided not to wait an hour or more to get the test. Nevertheless, a few days later, they got an email or a phone call telling them that they tested positive.
''If you're somebody that this has happened to, you're going to come forward and give us the details, because I think that that needs to be corrected,'' DeSantis added.
Dr. Jay Wolfson, Public Health & Medicine Professor for the University of South Florida, believes the issue is the result of a ''testing mechanism problem.''
''People are sitting in their cars, sometimes for hours, or standing in line, six feet apart, sometimes for hours. You're registered though, you're number 15 in line, and you are Jay Wolfson,'' he explained.
''If Jay Wolfson says he can't wait any longer and he leaves, it will get number to 15, and now get Rebecca Fernandez, who was standing behind him, and she tests positive, and then everyone from then on gets the wrong results. There has to be a better way to do this,'' he added.
The coronavirus numbers in Florida have remained under scrutiny in recent days, particularly following a Fox 35 investigation revealing a stunning inflation of coronavirus numbers as several testing facilities reported astronomical positivity rates.
''Twenty-two labs reported 100-percent positivity rates. Two labs reported 91.18-percent positivity rates,'' as Breitbart News detailed:
The Florida Department of Health's stated positivity rates and associated volume of coronavirus cases does not match claims made by the testing facilities, reported FOX 35:
Countless labs have reported a 100 percent positivity rate, which means every single person tested was positive. Other labs had very high positivity rates. FOX 35 found that testing sites like Centra Care reported that 83 people were tested and all tested positive. Then, NCF Diagnostics in Alachua reported 88 percent of tests were positive.
How could that be? FOX 35 News investigated these astronomical numbers, contacting every local location mentioned in the report.
The report showed that Orlando Health had a 98 percent positivity rate. However, when FOX 35 News contacted the hospital, they confirmed errors in the report. Orlando Health's positivity rate is only 9.4 percent, not 98 percent as in the report.
Florida reported 9,440 additional cases of the virus on Tuesday, bringing the cumulative total to 369,834. The state has reported 5,206 resident fatalities, bringing the mortality rate to 1.4 percent. However, even those numbers are under skepticism following last week's report of officials initially categorizing the death of a fatal motorcycle crash victim as a coronavirus fatality. The death has since been removed from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County's coronavirus death data.
How COVID-19 Will Affect Medical Malpractice and You
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 15:31
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UW Health research study results show significant and alarming mental health impacts on school closures and sport cancellations
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 15:55
Results from a much-anticipated research study led by Dr. Tim McGuine, a UW health researcher and member of the WIAA Sports Medical Advisory Committee, have been made public, painting a more complete picture of the impact of the school closures and sports shutdowns resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
With a stated objective of, "To identify how COVID-19 related school closures and sport cancellations in Wisconsin have impacted the health of adolescent athletes", the research study consisted of a short online survey of 3,243 adolescent athletes in Wisconsin, from 71 of the 72 counties in the state, regarding their feelings, emotions, and responses to the sport shutdown.
The findings show significant mental health, anxiety, and depression issues in the high school-aged population, and further emphasize the need for leaders at the state, local, and school levels to consider these issues when determining when and how to return to classroom instruction and extracurricular activities.
Of the more than 3000 participants, 65% reported anxiety symptoms, with 25% suffering moderate or severe anxiety.
Using historical data obtained from past research studies, the group determined that the rate of mild to severe depression increased from 31% to 68%. In the past 68% of respondents reported minimal or no depression, compared to just 32% in May of 2020.
Physical activity was down 50% in May of 2020 compared to past results. In scores around quality of life, the physical health score decreased from 91.7 to 82.6, the psychosocial health decreased from 90.4 to 76.2, and overall health decreased from 90.9 to 78.4.
The study estimates that 66,000 Wisconsin adolescent athletes are at risk for depression, with short-term effects of mental health disorders impacting students use of drugs and alcohol, staying in school, engaging with peers, and graduating from high school. Long term concerns of the mental health disorder increase can include impacting whether individuals go to college, extensive use of drugs and/or alcohol, and the ability to form meaningful relationships.
The study concludes, "Previous studies have demonstrated that prolonged quarantines can negatively impact mental health. Schools play an important role in providing access to mental health services for disadvantaged students. Medical providers, parents, and policy-makers must recognize the mental health strain the current pandemic is placing on adolescent athletes."
The WIAA will hold a video conference presentation for school superintendents and select media members with Dr. McGuine and possibly other members of the WIAA's Sports Medical Advisory Committee on Tuesday to discuss the findings.
The full research study can be viewed below. Other researchers participating in the study include Kevin Biese MA, Scott B Hetzel MS, Stephanie Kliethermes PhD, Claudia L. Reardon MD, David Bell PhD, M. Alison Brooks MD & Andrew Watson MD.
Masks & Muzzles
Masks are mandated by elite women who had facelifts during lockdown and believed the 'some bruising lie'
Shenta train mask story
Face Diaper
Self Moral Licensing a la Ice Bucket Challenge
Milwaukee Common Council approves mask requirement
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:23
The Milwaukee Common Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday requiring people to wear masks in public spaces while the city's COVID-19 health order is in place.
"If you are going to do business during a pandemic in the City of Milwaukee, make sure you're protecting your employees and visitors," lead sponsor Ald. Marina Dimitrijevic said during a news conference ahead of the afternoon meeting. "We're partners in this. We want a healthy city."
The council also unanimously adopted a separate proposal to provide free masks to city residents.
The measure directs Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik to create a program in which city residents can request and receive a free face mask.
Mayor Tom Barrett said Monday that his office had been working with the City Attorney's Office in addition to Dimitrijevic and Common Council President Cavalier Johnson to make sure the ordinance is effective.
"I believe that in order for us to curtail the growth of this disease, we have to take more steps, and when I say 'we,' I mean local government, local businesses and individuals. ... It's not just about you, it's about if you think you're Superman or you're Superwoman and you don't care about this, you still come in contact with people who can be infected," Barrett said.
If Barrett were to sign the legislation on Monday or Tuesday, the ordinance would go into effect on Thursday, according to Milwaukee City Clerk Jim Owczarski.
The mask mandate requires anyone in the city who is at least 3 years old to have a face covering when they leave home and to wear that mask whenever they're in a building that is open to the public and when they are outside in a public space and within six feet of any other person who is not their household or family member.
There are exceptions to the mask policy, including:
Those who should not wear face coverings according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of a medical or mental health condition, a developmental disability or those "for whom no other accommodation can be offered under the Americans with Disabilities Act."People with chronic upper-respiratory conditions, "silent or invisible disabilities," or who are communicating with someone who is deaf or cannot hear well when there isn't another way to communicate.Settings in which it is not practical or possible to wear a mask, including during dental work or medical treatment, or when eating or drinking.Circumstances in which mask-wearing is not allowed by law or where it's necessary to verify someone's identity.Those with religious beliefs that prevent them from wearing masks. Those in government buildings that aren't open to the public, higher education institutions, schools and childcare facilities that have a mitigation strategy that the health commissioner has approved. Owners and operators of buildings open to the public are charged with ensuring that people in their buildings comply with the mandate. They would be able to refuse to serve or allow entry to people who aren't complying with the mandate, the measure states.
Those allowing people to violate the order in their buildings could be fined between $50 and $500.
"The commissioner of health and city attorney are authorized to pursue license revocation or a court order closing a building open to the public in accordance with state and local law for failing to require persons present to abide" by the mandate, the measure states.
RELATED:Dane County's new mask mandate is in place, but don't call the police if it's being violated
Dimitrijevic said Monday that she hopes people comply, but she said there would be progressive punitive measures for noncompliance.
Common Council members also pushed for ensuring that the measures are effectively communicated, in multiple languages, to the community and to businesses.
"We need to ensure that the education piece and then the marketing strategy is going to be a robust one," Ald. Chantia Lewis said.
She also said that communication was important to ensure that people know to call the Health Department, not police, if they see someone not wearing a mask.
Ald. Mark Borkowski, who voted against the measure in committee citing his concern about the requirement to wear masks outside, said he remained a bit troubled by that element of the legislation. Even so, he ultimately supported the mask mandate on Monday.
"I've had many calls and texts and some thorough introspection" since the committee meeting last week, he said. "I am not going to be a 'no' vote, I am not going to dissent on this. I think that this is too important for our city."
At the same time, he said, the city needs to develop a plan for efficiently answering questions about how to comply with the ordinance in the innumerable scenarios that could come up.
The measure to provide free masks seeks to provide masks to at least half of the city's residents and authorizes the Health Department to accept in-kind donations and donations of up to $100,000 to be spent on the effort.
Kowalik must report on the status of the program within 60 days of the measure going into effect.
Dane County officials last week issued the state's first order requiring masks and Shorewood became the first Milwaukee-area community to pass a mask mandate. Madison and Dane County's public health department asked residents not to call the police if someone is violating the new requirement, as health conditions or disabilities can make the task difficult.
Contact Alison Dirr at 414-224-2383 or Follow her on Twitter @AlisonDirr.
COVID-19 and Sex
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 03:31
If you're feeling fine and have no symptoms of COVID-19, you can still have sex. If you're feeling sick, skip sex.
Sex can be very important for mental, social and physical well-being; it is a part of everyday life. People can, will and should continue to have sex during the COVID-19 pandemic. Messages that discourage or shame people from sexual contact can be harmful and may discourage people from seeking essential sexual health services.
You should always make informed and consensual decisions about sex. This resource offers some tips and strategies to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 to you, your partner(s) and your community.
The COVID-19 virus is spread by liquid droplets in saliva and respiratory (breathing) fluids when a person coughs, sneezes and, sometimes, when a person talks or sings. It can be spread to people who are within 2 metres (about 6 ft) of a person with the virus if the droplets are inhaled (breathed in) or land in the mouth or nose of someone nearby - whether you are engaged in sexual activity or not. It can also be passed by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
The virus has been found in semen and feces (poop). It is not yet clear if the virus can be transmitted through sex. You are your safest sex partner; your next-safest sex partner(s) is/are the person(s) you live with, or the person(s) who has close contact with only you and no one else.
You should not have sex with anyone if you or your partner(s) has:
Symptoms of COVID-19,Been a contact of, or had exposure to, a known case of COVID-19, orBeen advised to self-isolate. You are your safest sex partner. Masturbating by yourself (solo sex) will not spread COVID-19. If you masturbate with a partner(s), physical distancing will lower your chance of getting COVID-19.
Video dates, phone chats, sexting, online chat rooms and group cam rooms are ways to engage in sexual activity with no chance of spreading COVID-19. Be aware of the risks of sharing information or photos online, and web camming. Some people do not share personal information or show their face or other identifiable body parts, for more privacy.
Having 1, or a few, regular sex partner(s) can help lower the chances of being exposed to COVID-19. Talk with your sex partner(s) about:
The types of sexual activities you want to have with them, andThe precautions that you can each take to make sex safer for you and your sex partner(s), like wearing a mask and social distancing, andWhether you or your sex partner(s), or anyone you are in contact with, have a higher chance of getting a more serious COVID-19 illness (such as someone with an underlying medical condition like diabetes, lung disease, cancer or a weakened immune system)Talking about these things will help you and your sex partner(s) make informed decisions about sex, your health and the health of others.
Here are some ways to lower the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 during sex with others:
Ask your partner(s) if they're feeling unwell or have any symptoms of COVID-19.Before and after sex:Wash your body with soap and water.Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.Wash sex toys thoroughly with soap and water before and after use. Do not share them with multiple partners.Wear a face covering or mask. Heavy breathing during sex can create more droplets that may transmit COVID-19.Avoid or limit kissing and saliva exchange.Choose sexual positions that limit face-to-face contact.Use barriers, like walls (e.g., glory holes), that allow for sexual contact but prevent close face-to-face contact.Using condoms, lubricant, and dental dams may help to further reduce the risk by minimizing contact with saliva, semen and feces during sex.Most sexual health clinics are still open but many have reduced their hours or services.Check clinic finder on SmartSexResource or contact your local clinic before visiting.First Nations people (covered by First Nations Health Authority) may access regular, non-urgent STI testing services by either visiting their healthcare provider, if they can, or by calling 1-855-344-3800 to book an appointment with a virtual-doctor-of-the-day.Medical Office Assistants are available for First Nations people 7 days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m..If you want to get tested for STIs without seeing a healthcare provider in person, GetCheckedOnline is a confidential program developed by the BC Centre for Disease Control. After creating an online account, your tests will be recommended based on online assessment questions, and you can provide your samples for testing at participating lab locations in Vancouver, Victoria, Duncan, Kamloops, Nelson, and Kimberley. If you do not have an existing account, you can create one at GetCheckedOnline. If you have symptoms of an STI, were notified as a contact to someone with an STI, need to get started on HIV Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), have questions about birth control or pregnancy, or have another reason to be seen, contact your local sexual health clinic or health care provider. Regular sexual health screening is also important if you are sexually active, even if you don't have symptoms. If you've had a high risk exposure to HIV in the past 3 days and think you might need Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), go to your nearest emergency department or contact one of the consultation sites listed on the HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis page of BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS website.Information adapted from: NYC Health Department: Sex and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
COVID-19: Guidance for sex workers (English)COVID-19: æ§å·¥ä½'è…指南 (中文 | Simplified Chinese)Visit NYC Health Department for more information on safer sex and COVID-19.Visit the Smart Sex Resource for more information on STI and HIV treatment and prevention.
This kind of N95 mask can actually spread the coronavirus - Los Angeles Times
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 03:53
There's a certain kind of N95 mask that's actually bad to wear for public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
San Francisco's health officer warns that N95 masks with a vent on them allow a person's germs to spread, rather than containing them close to the wearer's face.
The warning is in the San Francisco health order, which says that any mask with a one-way valve '-- designed to facilitate easy exhaling '-- ''allows droplets to be released from the mask, putting others nearby at risk.''
''As a result, these masks are not a face covering under this order and must not be used to comply with this order's requirements,'' said the health order, signed by Dr. Toms Arag"n, the health officer for San Francisco.
Exhalation vents can make the face cooler and reduce moisture buildup inside a face covering, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said '-- but the vents allow unfiltered exhaled air to escape. That defeats the point of wearing a mask for the coronavirus, which is to keep potentially infectious oral droplets from spraying outward to other people.
To convert the N95 masks that have vent holes in the front, simply place a piece of tape over the external vent to cover it, health experts said.
As many as 20% to 50% of people infected with the coronavirus may never show severe signs of illness yet can still infect others. That's why, health officials say, it's so important to wear masks to keep the pandemic under control. It's no coincidence that many nations that haven't seen a sustained, out-of-control spread of the coronavirus have a public that universally wears masks when outside the home, experts say.
San Francisco and other health officials around the country have urged the public to wear cloth face coverings to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. A couple dozen California counties require the wearing of masks while in public '-- including Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento counties, as well as the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area '-- while other areas have made it a recommendation.
But there has been a backlash in a number of California counties, and officials have rescinded requirements to wear a mask. The latest to do so was Orange County, California's third-most populous county.
In general, officials suggest members of the public wear cloth face coverings, rather than N95 and surgical face masks that should be reserved for healthcare workers.
''If you are currently using a medical mask, keep using it as long as you can. Only throw it away when it gets dirty or damaged,'' the San Francisco health department said.
Vaccines and Such
Remdisivir lab analysis
So, I was digging around documents looking into Remdesivir. I was curious about the circulating metabolite, which is like an active ingredient, if you will. I discovered something very, very interesting. I attached an NCBI article about the mechanism of action of Remdesivir. The metabolite they use is called GS-441524. I looked this up on Selleckchem (a widely used chemical reference website). I sent the link, read this carefully. I also found an article that doesn't hold as much weight as far as reliable resources go, but I did think it was interesting.
Chemical compound and use of GS-441524:
Interesting article from The Atlantic
Yes, the metabolite used in remdesivir is a feline anti-viral. I think the media has failed to mention that. Oh, and it was evidently developed in China a while ago. It's not uncommon for crossover of medications between animal and human use, but this made me lift an eyebrow.
Pfizer Inc. - Pfizer and BioNTech Announce an Agreement with U.S. Government for up to 600 Million Doses of mRNA-based Vaccine Candidate Against SARS-CoV-2
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 04:40
U.S. government placed an initial order of 100 million doses for $1.95 billion and can acquire up to 500 million additional doses Americans to receive the vaccine for free consistent with U.S. government's commitment for free access for COVID-19 vaccines Pfizer and BioNTech remain on track to begin an anticipated Phase 2b/3 safety and efficacy trial later this month, seek regulatory review as early as October 2020, and manufacture globally up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and potentially more than 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021 NEW YORK & MAINZ, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced the execution of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense to meet the U.S. government's Operation Warp Speed program goal to begin delivering 300 million doses of a vaccine for COVID-19 in 2021. Under the agreement, the U.S. government will receive 100 million doses of BNT162, the COVID-19 vaccine candidate jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, after Pfizer successfully manufactures and obtains approval or emergency use authorization from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:
The U.S. government will pay the companies $1.95 billion upon the receipt of the first 100 million doses, following FDA authorization or approval. The U.S. government also can acquire up to an additional 500 million doses.
Americans will receive the vaccine for free consistent with U.S. government's commitment for free access for COVID-19 vaccines.
''We've been committed to making the impossible possible by working tirelessly to develop and produce in record time a safe and effective vaccine to help bring an end to this global health crisis,'' said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO. ''We made the early decision to begin clinical work and large-scale manufacturing at our own risk to ensure that product would be available immediately if our clinical trials prove successful and an Emergency Use Authorization is granted. We are honored to be a part of this effort to provide Americans access to protection from this deadly virus.''
''Expanding Operation Warp Speed's diverse portfolio by adding a vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech increases the odds that we will have a safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,'' said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. ''Depending on success in clinical trials, today's agreement will enable the delivery of approximately 100 million doses of this vaccine to the American people.''
The BNT162 program is based on BioNTech's proprietary mRNA technology and supported by Pfizer's global vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities. The BNT162 vaccine candidates are undergoing clinical studies and are not currently approved for distribution anywhere in the world. BioNTech is the market authorization holder worldwide and will hold all trademarks for the potential product. Both collaborators are committed to developing these novel vaccines with pre-clinical and clinical data at the forefront of all their decision-making.
''We are pleased to have signed this important agreement with the U.S. government to supply the initial 100 million doses upon approval as part of our commitment to address the global health threat. This agreement is one of many steps towards providing global access to a safe and efficacious vaccines for COVID-19. We are also in advanced discussions with multiple other government bodies and we hope to announce additional supply agreements soon. Our goal remains to bring a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to many people around the world, as quickly as we can,'' said Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine development program is evaluating at least four experimental vaccines, each of which represents a unique combination of messenger RNA (mRNA) format and target antigen. On July 1st, Pfizer and BioNTech announced preliminary data from BNT162b1, the most advanced of the four mRNA formulations. The early data demonstrates that BNT162b1 is able to produce neutralizing antibodies in humans at or above the levels observed in the plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19, and this was shown at relatively low dose levels. Local reactions and systemic events were dose-dependent, generally mild to moderate, and transient. No serious adverse events were reported. On July 20th, the companies announced early positive update from German Phase 1/2 COVID-19 vaccine study, including first T Cell response data.
Recently, two of the companies' four investigational vaccine candidates (BNT162b1 and BNT162b2) received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This designation was granted based on preliminary data from Phase 1/2 studies that are currently ongoing in the United States and Germany as well as animal immunogenicity studies. Further data from the ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical trials of the four vaccine candidates will enable the selection of a lead candidate and dose level for an anticipated large, global Phase 2b/3 safety and efficacy study that may begin as early as later this month, pending regulatory approval.
If the ongoing studies are successful, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to be ready to seek Emergency Use Authorization or some form of regulatory approval as early as October 2020. The companies currently expect to manufacture globally up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and potentially more than 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021, subject to final dose selection from their clinical trial.
In addition to engagements with governments, Pfizer and BioNTech have provided an expression of interest for possible supply to the COVAX Facility, a mechanism established by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and World Health Organization (WHO) that aims to provide governments with early access to a large portfolio of COVID-19 candidate vaccines using a range of technology platforms, produced by multiple manufacturers across the world.
About Pfizer: Breakthroughs That Change Patients' Lives
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at In addition, to learn more, please visit us on and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at
Pfizer Disclosure Notice
The information contained in this release is as of July 22, 2020. Pfizer assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release as the result of new information or future events or developments.
This release contains forward-looking information about Pfizer's efforts to combat COVID-19, the BNT162 mRNA vaccine program, a collaboration between BioNTech and Pfizer to develop a potential COVID-19 vaccine, an agreement with the United States to manufacture and deliver BNT162 and other potential agreements, including their potential benefits, manufacturing and distribution and the expected timing of clinical trials and regulatory submissions, that involves substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including the ability to meet anticipated clinical endpoints, commencement and/or completion dates for clinical trials, regulatory submission dates, regulatory approval dates and/or launch dates, as well as the possibility of unfavorable new preclinical or clinical trial data and further analyses of existing preclinical or clinical trial data; risks associated with preliminary data; the risk that clinical trial data are subject to differing interpretations and assessments, including during the peer review/publication process, in the scientific community generally, and by regulatory authorities; whether and when data from the BNT162 mRNA vaccine program will be published in scientific journal publications and, if so, when and with what modifications; whether regulatory authorities will be satisfied with the design of and results from these and future preclinical and clinical studies; whether and when any biologics license applications may be filed in any jurisdictions for any potential vaccine candidates under the collaboration; whether and when any such applications may be approved by regulatory authorities, which will depend on myriad factors, including making a determination as to whether the product's benefits outweigh its known risks and determination of the product's efficacy and, if approved, whether any such vaccine candidates will be commercially successful; decisions by regulatory authorities impacting labeling, manufacturing processes, safety and/or other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of any such vaccine candidates, including development of products or therapies by other companies; manufacturing capabilities or capacity, including whether the estimated numbers of doses can be manufactured within the projected time periods indicated; whether and when a future production agreement with the United States will be reached; whether and when other supply agreements will be reached; uncertainties regarding the ability to obtain recommendations from vaccine technical committees and other public health authorities regarding any such vaccine candidates and uncertainties regarding the commercial impact of any such recommendations; and competitive developments.
A further description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned ''Risk Factors'' and ''Forward-Looking Information and Factors That May Affect Future Results'', as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and available at and
About BioNTech
Biopharmaceutical New Technologies is a next generation immunotherapy company pioneering novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases. The Company exploits a wide array of computational discovery and therapeutic drug platforms for the rapid development of novel biopharmaceuticals. Its broad portfolio of oncology product candidates includes individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based therapies, innovative chimeric antigen receptor T cells, bi-specific checkpoint immuno-modulators, targeted cancer antibodies and small molecules. Based on its deep expertise in mRNA vaccine development and in-house manufacturing capabilities, BioNTech and its collaborators are developing multiple mRNA vaccine candidates for a range of infectious diseases alongside its diverse oncology pipeline. BioNTech has established a broad set of relationships with multiple global pharmaceutical collaborators, including Genmab, Sanofi, Bayer Animal Health, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Genevant, Fosun Pharma, and Pfizer. For more information, please visit
BioNTech Forward-looking statements
This press release contains ''forward-looking statements'' of BioNTech within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may include, but may not be limited to, statements concerning: BioNTech's efforts to combat COVID-19; the timing to initiate clinical trials of BNT162 and anticipated publication of data from these clinical trials; the timing for any potential emergency use authorizations or approvals; the potential to enter into additional supply agreements with other jurisdictions or the COVAX Facility; the potential safety and efficacy of BNT162; the collaboration between BioNTech and Pfizer to develop a potential COVID-19 vaccine; and the ability of BioNTech to supply the quantities of BNT162 to support clinical development and, if approved, market demand, including our production estimates for 2020 and 2021. Any forward-looking statements in this press release are based on BioNTech current expectations and beliefs of future events, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: competition to create a vaccine for COVID-19; the ability to produce comparable clinical results in larger and more diverse clinical trials; the ability to effectively scale our productions capabilities; and other potential difficulties. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see BioNTech's Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC on March 31, 2020, which is available on the SEC's website at All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and BioNTech undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.
View source version on
Pfizer: Media RelationsAmy Rose+1 (212) 733-7410Amy.Rose@pfizer.comInvestor Relations
Chuck Triano+1 (212) 733-3901Charles.E.Triano@Pfizer.comBioNTech:Media Relations
Jasmina Alatovic+49 (0)6131 9084 1513 or +49 (0)151 1978 1385Media@biontech.deInvestor Relations
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Source: Pfizer Inc.
An Indian drug mogul says Americans will pay too much for the Covid vaccine'--and wants to change that
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 23:01
Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer of Serum Institute of India Ltd., says he's in talks with Washington about clearing the way to sell some of his company's earlier vaccine products in the U.S. market as low-cost generics. | Dhiraj Singh/Getty Images
Sarah Wheaton is Senior Health Reporter for Politico.
Adar Poonawalla may be the most important figure in the global vaccine race who isn't working in a laboratory: The Indian vaccine entrepreneur plans to save the world from coronavirus '' and then radically remake the international pharma landscape.
Drug companies are sounding alarms.
The globe-trotting, deal-making son of Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla '' an Indian billionaire who founded the Serum Institute of India on his horse farm 54 years ago '' is one of the breakout figures of the Covid fight, strategizing from the Indian city of Pune to bring the same low-cost efficiency with which he makes 1.5 billion vaccine doses a year for the developing world into mass-producing a Covid-19 vaccine for the entire world.
Billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of Serum Institute of India Ltd. | Sanjit Das/Getty Images
Little known in the West until this year, the 39-year-old Poonawalla's company is, by doses sold, the world's biggest vaccine manufacturer, making 1.5 billion doses a year to protect against diseases including meningitis, measles and tetanus. Now, with rich and poor countries alike hungry for huge volumes of a vaccine to treat the novel coronavirus, he's on a mad dash to work out deals with the most promising coronavirus vaccine developers to manufacture the immunizations on a global scale. But that also means achieving his long-sought goal of barreling past the patent protections and monopoly rights that have long blocked inexpensive copy-cat vaccines from the U.S. and European markets, protections jealously guarded by Big Pharma.
Poonawalla believes that the sheer urgency of the virus '' and the fact that coronavirus anywhere is a threat to people everywhere '' should prompt a reassessment of patent and intellectual property laws that limit access to immunizations in the developing world, while simultaneously jacking up their price in wealthier countries.
''That's become very evident today in the Covid crisis,'' Poonawalla said in a POLITICO interview. ''If you don't allow, for example, an Indian producer to sell in the U.S. because of some stupid rules and regulations, even though the product is identical to a U.S. product, you're going to have a supply situation.''
''And guess what,'' he continued. ''When you've got low supply and high demand, what happens to the price? It skyrockets.''
Right now, Poonawalla is ramping up his cooperation with brand-name pharma companies, inking a deal with AstraZeneca to produce a billion doses of its experimental coronavirus vaccine, earmarked for developing countries. It's one of five coronavirus immunizations the Indian company is working on to provide Covid protections on a global scale '-- three are partnerships to manufacture vaccines conceived by other companies, while two are in-house formulas.
The Serum Institute's specialty is mass producing millions of doses of vaccines, often churning out medically comparable knock-offs of brand name products at a fraction of the cost, for sale in the world's poorest countries. In the case of AstraZeneca, the deal is to use Poonawalla's production facilities to manufacture coronavirus immunizations for use, if approved, in India and poorer nations. AstraZeneca, meanwhile, has signed agreements with the U.S., U.K. and EU countries to set aside hundreds of millions of doses for their citizens. For now, AstraZeneca is promising to sell the shots at cost, about $2 a dose. But after the pandemic is over, all bets are off. (The British-Swedish multinational did not respond to requests for an interview about the Serum Institute.)
But Poonawalla also wants to pressure companies and governments to start changing the landscape, using the moral example of Covid-19 '' and the global need for inexpensive vaccines on a massive scale '' to illustrate the flaws in the current system, which he believes hamper the availability of life-saving protections in the developing world and access to low-cost drugs in wealthier countries.
A technician monitors vaccine vials passing through a filling and capping machine in May 2015 at the Serum Institute of India Ltd. pharmaceutical plant in Pune, Maharashtra, India. | Sanjit Das/Getty Images
Poonawalla says he's in talks with Washington about clearing the way to sell some of the company's earlier vaccine products in the U.S. market as low-cost generics. In President Donald Trump, he sees an ally in dismantling regulatory blockades.
''I think that'll be one of the good things that [Trump] might actually achieve if that goes well,'' Poonawalla said.
In doing so, Poonawalla faces a big hurdle: The U.S. pharma industry, which has strong allies on both sides of the aisle in Congress, has successfully resisted most efforts to loosen patent and importation rules, and so far the Trump administration's promises to allow cheaper drugs to be reimported from Canada have gone nowhere.
Poonawalla cites Bill Gates as his mentor, for his work helping bring affordable drugs to poor countries, and the Microsoft mogul's charity has pumped cash into the Serum Institute, crediting the company with helping eliminate meningitis in hard-hit parts of Africa. But Gates, through his charity and Microsoft, has been a staunch defender of intellectual property rights, saying that charging higher prices in the Western world is the key to delivering low-cost protections in the developing world. (The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation declined to discuss the Serum Institute beyond providing a list of their collaborations.)
''We fund research and we actually ourselves or our partners create intellectual property so that anything that is invented with our foundation money that goes to richer countries, we're actually getting a return on that money,'' Gates said in 2011. ''By doing that we have more money to devote for research into neglected diseases and the diseases of the poor.''
The U.S. drug makers' lobby is also adamant in opposing Poonawalla's call for reforms to patent laws and protections for intellectual property, which give companies sole control over the scientific products they develop, in some cases for decades.
''Our IP system '-- including patents '-- promotes competition and is the foundation for new treatments, vaccines and cures for patients,'' said a spokesman for PhRMA, the U.S. drug makers lobby, in a statement to POLITICO. ''Many of the medicines being tested for Covid-19 exist today because of intellectual property and other incentives that drove their creation and development.''
The statement was blunt about what the big drug companies believe would happen if their protections lapsed: ''Drastic and uncoordinated action by governments '-- like seizing patents '-- will further burden manufacturing infrastructure, divert resources and leave patients now and tomorrow worse off.''
Fighting health care inequalityInequality of health care was the moral force behind the creation of the Serum Institute; it grew out of Poonawalla's father's conviction that poor children across India and Africa were dying in the millions of preventable diseases, mainly because the research advances of the West had yet to reach them.
It was the early 1960s and, in his early 20s, Cyrus Poonawalla determined that his family's decades-old stud farm had "no future in the socialist India of the time," according to a biography on his website.
He fiddled with trying to design a sports car, before opting to revert back to a more literal type of horsepower: The Poonawalla Stud Farms had been donating horses to a government-owned institute in Mumbai for serum. Creating what's known as passive immunity, serum purified from horse blood can be used to give people the antibodies necessary to fight off some diseases.
The elder Poonawalla started making tetanus serums in-house. Eventually, he moved on to tetanus and measles vaccines, of which there were major shortages around India and Africa at the time, his son recounted.
Today, the Serum Institute sells about 1.5 billion doses of a wide array of vaccines a year to 170 countries. A good portion of that volume is thanks to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the public-private partnership that Gates founded 20 years ago. It uses donor money to help buy vaccines in bulk for poor countries that likely couldn't afford them even at a few dollars a dose.
Melinda Gates, left, talks to Indian author Chetan Bhagat, unseen, as Bill Gates looks at the audience in Sep. 2019 during an interaction organized by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in New Delhi, India. | Manish Swarup/AP Photo
When Gavi first launched, Big Pharma was dropping out of the vaccine business.
''It had become unprofitable because it was only the wealthy Western markets that were...willing to pay what they were worth,'' said Dominic Hein, Gavi's head of market shaping.
Today, the partnership helps poorer countries pay for immunizations that meet the World Health Organization's quality standards. The Serum Institute is a stalwart supplier, pumping out four in 10 of the vaccines funded by Gavi. It was ''the pioneer of low-cost, high quality vaccine-making,'' Hein said.
The partnership with Gates has boosted the company's position in the health care world '' and helped it reach new levels of profitability -- even if people still sometimes scratch their heads when they hear the name Serum Institute of India.
''We'll have to change the name to describe exactly what we're doing,'' mused Adar Poonawalla, who took over in 2011 as CEO of the company, which is still privately listed. ''Maybe in a year or two we'll look at that.''
Living a globe-trotting lifestyleFor all their work on behalf of the masses, the Poonawallas are indisputably rich and like to show it off.
Cyrus Poonawalla, who remains chairman of the company at age 79, is No. 165 on Forbes' billionaires ranking, with an estimated net worth of $11.5 billion. (A different ranking estimated the pandemic boosted his net worth by a quarter, pegging him as the world's 86tht-richest man.) His personal website features pictures of him hobnobbing with Gates and posing with his sports cars and limousines.
Adar, who along with his glamorous, Bollywood-linked wife Natasha has become popular fodder for the sub-Continent's tabloids, told GQ India that under normal circumstances he'd be in Cannes, on a yacht this summer. Instead, he's near the company's headquarters in Pune, where one of his offices is a refurbished A320 jet. Pune is the eighth-most populous city in India, and it happens to be in the midst of a serious coronavirus outbreak.
''In terms of public perception, we've been known more for our lifestyle; now people understand the work we do,'' he acknowledged to the men's glossy, which featured him on the cover of its June issue as the ''Vaccine Vanguard.''
Indeed, the company estimates that 65 percent of the world's children receive at least one vaccine made by the Serum Institute.
Some of its products were designed specifically for the needs of poor countries. For example, its oral rotavirus vaccine is heat-stable, so it doesn't have to be kept cold as it's distributed in countries without consistent electricity.
But others of its products are variants of breakthroughs that were achieved by the global drug giants collectively known as Big Pharma. These, Poonawalla said, could be sold for much less than what Americans and Europeans pay for them.
Cheaper production costs in India are part of what Poonawalla says is the Serum Institute's advantage over big Western players like Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline. Yet the Serum Institute has never created a first-of-a-kind vaccine -- meaning its entire business model is based on having its scientists piggyback on the basic research of other companies to understand a disease and the body's immune response.
Once the Serum Institute has produced a quality version of the same vaccine created by Big Pharma, it is able to manufacture huge numbers of doses quickly and inexpensively. The benefit to people around the world is a matter of ''basic mathematics,'' said Poonawalla. ''Once you produce more than 100, 200 million doses of any product, you know the costs come down substantially.''
Yet regulations have made it hard for the Serum Institute to enter wealthy markets. This is not because the company can't meet quality standards, he said, but because Western regulatory systems preserve patent protections for vaccines in complicated ways.
''As a result, the European [and American] people have been paying hundreds of dollars for a vaccine as opposed to $20 or $10 for a vaccine,'' he said. ''This is one of the things that President Trump actually has identified as a semi-fraud by Big Pharma, where they've gone overboard and exploited the public.''
Challenging the global patent systemPoonawalla's claims strike at the crux of drug pricing debates in both the U.S. and EU, which center on whether patents and other incentives to fulfill unmet needs are being abused in pursuit of profits. The aim of medical patents is to reward companies for the risks and costs of research and development. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations estimated that '-- factoring for some failed efforts'-- getting a vaccine just to the later stages of clinical trials costs up to $1.1 billion.
So European and American laws give the original developers of a new medicine a period of monopoly, when no one else can sell their drug. While there are lots of mechanisms to extend this, usually within 15 years or so, cheaper generic versions are able to start competing.
For vaccines, which are part of a class of drugs derived from living cells called biologicals, there can be multiple layers of patents: for the active aspect of the formula, for the adjuvant that makes it work better, for the cell cultures used to grow the live parts, for the process for making the vaccine. This can indefinitely delay the introduction of lower-priced generic biologicals, known as biosimilars. The complicated '-- sometimes impossible '-- task of working around patented components makes it harder for would-be competitors to drive prices down.
Generic medicines can usually skip the clinical trials that the original drug had to go through, as long as they can prove they're chemically identical and have the same biology. Biologics are much more complex drugs, and so for biosimilars, ''you can't guarantee that sameness to the same degree,'' said Paul Fehlner, a former IP lawyer for Novartis. The Serum Institute's versions of vaccines can't be assumed to work in exactly the same way as the original manufacturers', in part because they may have tweaked something to dodge a patented part of the process. That means they must face a costly slate of clinical trials.
In the U.S. and Europe, ''the regulations build on and reinforce the patenting strategies,'' Fehlner said. And if a product infringes on a patent in any way '-- even if it seems incidental '-- the product can't be sold. Even Big Pharma firms are constantly suing each other in the U.S. over alleged patent infringements for biologicals, aiming to keep competition off the market as long as possible.
A straightforward way to overcome these obstacles is to buy commercial rights. Poonawalla said he's tried '-- and it's established practice for companies to sell these rights for vaccines to be sold in the developing world. But for wealthy markets, Big Pharma won't sell for an affordable price '-- or they outright refuse, he said.
Top: A roadside fruit vendor speaks to his customers, all without masks, at a daily evening market in Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, on Thursday. Bottom: A woman gets her nasal swab sample taken to test for the coronavirus at a government health center in Hyderabad, India, on Wednesday | AP Photo/Altaf Qadri; AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar
This is a consequence of the all-or-nothing nature of patent laws, according to Fehlner. Critics of Big Pharma's patents and IP ''act like this stuff is trivial,'' said Fehlner. But, he added, ''you've got PhD's working . . .for months or even years'' on things like purification and formulation processes. Those efforts are ''patent worthy,'' Felhner said.
Then again, he asked, ''Should you block biosimilar versions of the vaccines because of that?''
Poonawalla is determined to find a way to enter Western markets, and he's calling for governments to open them up by relaxing patent standards and protections for intellectual property. Already, the Serum Institute of India is producing vaccines on the ground in Europe, through his 2012 purchase from the Dutch government of Bilthoven Biologicals'-- making polio and tuberculosis shots that are sold in Africa '-- and Poonawalla told Indian media in 2019 he wants to sell the TDAP shot, a common childhood immunization, in Europe within three years.
And in his interview with POLITICO, Poonawalla predicted that the Serum Institute would have a vaccine licensed in the U.S. within a year.
While it's been increasingly common practice for Big Pharma to share their intellectual property with high-volume producers like the Serum Institute to serve the developing world, Poonawalla said, the coronavirus may be prompting a new perspective in rich countries.
''Even if you have better [coronavirus] vaccines coming out in '21, '22, we might not, as people of this planet, get access to that, he said. ''Because if you don't have the manufacturing to do it, how the hell are you going to get it out?"
And for all his praise of Trump's drug pricing ambitions, Poonawalla isn't a fan of the U.S. government's approach to tying up coronavirus vaccines.
''It shouldn't be that the wealthiest nations who buy up all the IP and technology then restrict the other nations from being able to produce and have equitable access for vaccines,'' he said. ''Your survival shouldn't be determined by where you live."
Melatonin Inhibits COVID-19-induced Cytokine Storm by Reversing Aerobic Glycolysis in Immune Cells: A Mechanistic Analysis
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 14:19
The pathogenesis of a COVID-19 respiratory infection, in a major way, is related to what is referred to as the cytokine storm [cytokine storm syndrome (CSS, hypercytokinemia, etc.], i.e., it is a hyper-inflammatory response. During this response, an explosive production of proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α IL-1β, and others occurs, greatly exaggerating the generation of molecule-damaging reactive oxygen species (free radicals) [1]. In severe cases, the cytokine storm is responsible for the most obvious signs of a COVID-19 infection including fever, lung injury which causes cough and shortness of breath (and the long-term complication, lung fibrosis) and in death.
A causative factor related to the hyper-inflammatory state of immune cells is their ability to dramatically change their metabolism. Similar to cancer cells in many solid tumors, immune cells such as macrophages/monocytes under inflammatory conditions abandon mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation for ATP production in favor of cytosolic aerobic glycolysis (also known as the Warburg effect) [2]. This switch is driven by the transcription factor HIF-1α (hypoxia inducible factor-1α) and the serine/threonine kinase, mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) and other proteins The change to aerobic glycolysis allows immune cells to become highly phagocytic, accelerate ATP production, intensify their oxidative burst and to provide the abundant metabolic precursors required for enhanced cellular proliferation and increased synthesis and release of cytokines ( Fig. 1 ).
This figure illustrates the differential glucose metabolism in a healthy macrophage and in a COVID-19-activated macrophage. In a healthy macrophage, pyruvate, a glucose metabolite, enters the mitochondria where it is enzymatically converted to acetyl-coenzyme A by the enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC). Acetyl-coenzyme A feeds the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) and supports oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Additionally, acetyl-coenzyme A is an essential co-factor/substrate for the rate limiting enzyme in melatonin synthesis, arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT). This allows for melatonin to be regularly produced in healthy macrophages; melatonin functions intracellularly and is released into the cellular microenvironment, but not into the blood. In COVID-19-activated mitochondria, via HIF-1α, mTOR, etc., the enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) is strongly upregulated and inhibits PDC (red X). Thus, acetyl-coenzyme A is not synthesized and mitochondrial OXPHOS falters with ATP synthesis occurring in the cytosol via aerobic glycolysis (Warburg effect). Similarly, mitochondrial melatonin production is shut down so the cell is deprived of an essential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent and of an immune-enhancer so the elevated synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines goes uncontested and the cytokine storm is a result. 5-HT'¯='¯serotonin; ASMT'¯='¯acetylserotonin methyltransferase; CoA'¯='¯coenzyme A; IMM'¯='¯inner mitochondrial membrane; HIF-1α'¯='¯hypoxia inducible factor-1α; mTOR'¯='¯mammalian target of rapamycin; NAS'¯='¯N-acetylserotonin; OMM'¯='¯outer mitochondrial membrane; PPP'¯='¯pentose phosphate pathway.
A number of drugs have been proposed as treatments to prevent or reduce the severity of a COVID-19 infection. One agent that has been suggested to be potentially useful in this regard is the endogenously synthesized molecule, melatonin [[3], [4], [5], [6], [7]]. Melatonin was initially discovered in and thought to be exclusively a product of the vertebrate pineal gland. However, in consideration of the identification of melatonin in prokaryotic bacteria [8], from which mitochondria evolved (the endosymbiotic theory) and the uncommonly high levels of assayable melatonin in mitochondria [9], it was speculated and eventually documented that this indoleamine is synthesized in this organelle [10]. Given that most cells (a few exceptions) contain mitochondria, it is now believed that melatonin production occurs in most cells in all organisms. This has also been specifically demonstrated in human lung monocytes/macrophages [11].
In healthy cells, including macrophages, melatonin synthesis in mitochondria is maintained by the entrance of pyruvate, a glucose metabolite, into the mitochondria where it is metabolized to acetyl-coenzyme A by the enzyme, pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC). Acetyl-coenzyme A feeds the citric acid cycle and supports ATP synthesis, but it is also a required co-factor/substrate for the rate limiting enzyme in melatonin synthesis, arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) ( Fig. 1 ). Thus, when mitochondria adopt aerobic glycolysis, pyruvate in mitochondria is no longer converted to acetyl-coenzyme A because PDC is inhibited by the enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK); Therefore, as a consequence of a COVID-19 infection the macrophage mitochondria cannot synthesize melatonin [12].
Because of melatonin's potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, it would normally reduce the highly proinflammatory cytokine storm and neutralize the generated free radicals thereby preserving cellular integrity and preventing lung damage. In the absence of acetyl-coenzyme A, mitochondrial melatonin is no longer available to combat the inflammatory response or to neutralize the generated reactive oxygen species and the massive damage that occurs in the respiratory tree resulting in the primary signs of COVID-19 disease. Importantly, endogenous melatonin production diminishes markedly with age especially in frail older individuals. This is consistent with the more serious nature of a COVID-19 infection in the elderly.
Aerobic glycolysis is an important feature of highly proinflammatory state since it ensures the necessary high levels of ATP and the abundant supply of biomolecules to ensure synthesis and release of the damaging molecules that constitute the cytokine storm. This increased aerobic glycolysis coupled with the absence of locally-produced melatonin provides the optimal environment (the perfect ''cytokine storm'') for the massive tissue damage that occurs in COVID-19 disease.
Given the above information, the use of supplemental melatonin as a treatment to overcome a COVID-19 infection is justified. Exogenously administered melatonin reverses aerobic glycolysis by repressing both HIF-1α and mTOR thereby disinhibiting PDC activity and allowing acetyl-coenzyme A synthesis which also ensures locally-produced melatonin production [13]. The functionally re-instated mitochondria-generated melatonin in combination with the parenteral melatonin provides a formidable weapon to reduce the cytokine storm as well as its damaging consequences thereby relieving the signs of a COVID-19 infection.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions of melatonin in protecting the lungs from damage in many experimental models that involve inflammation or oxidative stress (or both) is well documented [14]. Moreover, melatonin has anti-viral actions against viruses other than COVID-19 [15,16]. The collective data, in addition to its very high safety profile, indicate that melatonin would be effective as a treatment for COVID-19 and support the recommendation of the published reports that encourage its use for this purpose [[3], [4], [5], [6], [7]]. Melatonin is inexpensive, non-toxic over a very wide dose range, has a long shelf-life and can be self-administered which is a major advantage when large numbers of individuals are involved. Thus, the use of melatonin to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic would be feasible and a socially-responsible measure to attempt.
Lab-made virus mimics COVID-19 virus '' Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 16:04
Visit the News HubIs safer to work with, can aid efforts to find drugs, vaccines
Matt MillerPaul Rothlauf, a visiting scientist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, works with a lab-made virus that infects cells and interacts with antibodies just like the COVID-19 virus, but lacks the ability to cause severe disease. This safer virus makes it possible for scientists who do not have access to high-level biosafety facilities to join the effort to find drugs or vaccines for COVID-19.
Airborne and potentially deadly, the virus that causes COVID-19 can only be studied safely under high-level biosafety conditions. Scientists handling the infectious virus must wear full-body biohazard suits with pressurized respirators, and work inside laboratories with multiple containment levels and specialized ventilation systems. While necessary to protect laboratory workers, these safety precautions slow down efforts to find drugs and vaccines for COVID-19 since many scientists lack access to the required biosafety facilities.
To help remedy that, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a hybrid virus that will enable more scientists to enter the fight against the pandemic. The researchers genetically modified a mild virus by swapping one of its genes for one from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The resulting hybrid virus infects cells and is recognized by antibodies just like SARS-CoV-2, but can be handled under ordinary laboratory safety conditions.
The study is available online in Cell Host & Microbe.
''I've never had this many requests for a scientific material in such a short period of time,'' said co-senior author Sean Whelan, PhD, the Marvin A. Brennecke Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Molecular Microbiology. ''We've distributed the virus to researchers in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and, of course, all over the U.S. We have requests pending from the U.K. and Germany. Even before we published, people heard that we were working on this and started requesting the material.''
To create a model of SARS-CoV-2 that would be safer to handle, Whelan and colleagues '' including co-senior author Michael S. Diamond, MD, PhD, the Herbert S. Gasser Professor of Medicine, and co-first authors Brett Case, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in Diamond's laboratory, and Paul W. Rothlauf, a graduate student in Whelan's laboratory '' started with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). This virus is a workhorse of virology labs because it is fairly innocuous and easy to manipulate genetically. Primarily a virus of cattle, horses and pigs, VSV occasionally infects people, causing a mild flu-like illness that lasts three to five days.
Viruses have proteins on their surfaces that they use to latch onto and infect cells. The researchers removed VSV's surface-protein gene and replaced it with the one from SARS-CoV-2, known as spike. The switch created a new virus that targets cells like SARS-CoV-2 but lacks the other genes needed to cause severe disease. They dubbed the hybrid virus VSV-SARS-CoV-2.
Using serum from COVID-19 survivors and purified antibodies, the researchers showed that the hybrid virus was recognized by antibodies very much like a real SARS-CoV-2 virus that came from a COVID-19 patient. Antibodies or sera that prevented the hybrid virus from infecting cells also blocked the real SARS-CoV-2 virus from doing so; antibodies or sera that failed to stop the hybrid virus also failed to deter the real SARS-CoV-2. In addition, a decoy molecule was equally effective at misdirecting both viruses and preventing them from infecting cells.
''Humans certainly develop antibodies against other SARS-CoV-2 proteins, but it's the antibodies against spike that seem to be most important for protection,'' Whelan said. ''So as long as a virus has the spike protein, it looks to the human immune system like SARS-CoV-2, for all intents and purposes.''
The hybrid virus could help scientists evaluate a range of antibody-based preventives and treatments for COVID-19. The virus could be used to assess whether an experimental vaccine elicits neutralizing antibodies, to measure whether a COVID-19 survivor carries enough neutralizing antibodies to donate plasma to COVID-19 patients, or to identify antibodies with the potential to be developed into antiviral drugs.
''One of the problems in evaluating neutralizing antibodies is that a lot of these tests require a BSL-3 facility, and most clinical labs and companies don't have BSL-3 facilities,'' said Diamond, who is also a professor of molecular microbiology, and of pathology and immunology. ''With this surrogate virus, you can take serum, plasma or antibodies and do high-throughput analyses at BSL-2 levels, which every lab has, without a risk of getting infected. And we know that it correlates almost perfectly with the data we get from bona fide infectious SARS-CoV-2.''
Since the hybrid virus looks like SARS-CoV-2 to the immune system but does not cause severe disease, it is a potential vaccine candidate, Diamond added. He, Whelan and colleagues are conducting animal studies to evaluate the possibility.
New Stimulus Package Expected Today'--$1,200 Second Stimulus Checks, Unemployment Benefits May Be Included
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 04:26
33,327 views | | Jul 22, 2020, 10:51pm EDT
Zack Friedman Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Bestselling Author, The Lemonade Life. I write and speak about leadership and greatness.
Here's what inside the new stimulus package.
Senate Republicans are expected to introduce their long-awaited, proposed stimulus package Thursday'--and here's what's likely inside.
Here's what you need to know.
Second stimulus checksHow much is the second stimulus check? According to the Associated Press, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants second stimulus checks of $1,200 included in this proposed stimulus package. However, McConnell and White House negotiators, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, have not confirmed the amount of the second stimulus checks or the criteria to receive a second stimulus check.
The first stimulus check under the Cares Act was up to $1,200 for each individual, $2,400 for married/joint filers and up to $500 for dependents. If you earned less than $75,000 (individuals) or $150,000 (married/joint filers), you could receive $1,200 for the first stimulus check. The first stimulus check phased out above those income limits until $99,000 of adjusted gross income for individuals and $198,000 for married/joint filers. Since the Cares Act, there have been countless proposals about second stimulus checks, including keeping the same $1,200 one-time stimulus check to $2,000 a month second stimulus checks. Previously, McConnell suggested that second stimulus checks may only be available to Americans who earn up to $40,000 a year. However, that $40,000 threshold likely won't be the in the proposed stimulus.
Unemployment benefits / return-to-work-bonusThe Associated Press reports that Senate Republicans are leaning toward a proposal of $200 per week for unemployment benefits, rather than the $600 a week that Congress authorized under the Cares Act. Why? Many Republicans have believed that the $600 a week unemployment benefit creates a disincentive for recipients to return to work. They also argued that some recipients can earn more than unemployment benefits than from employment. So, Republicans settled on extending unemployment benefits without creating a disincentive to return to work. Unemployment benefits would be extended through December 31, 2020 in this stimulus proposal. Without congressional intervention, unemployment benefits expire this weekend. Congress may use a stop-gap measure while they finalize terms for unemployment benefits after July. Will there also be a return-to-work bonus? Senate Republicans and the White House had rallied around Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who proposed a $450 a week cash return-to-work bonus.
Payroll tax cut President Donald Trump said he would consider vetoing the stimulus package if it does not include a payroll tax cut, which he believes is a pro-growth strategy to stimulate the economy. A payroll tax cut would reduce or eliminate Medicare and Social Security tax. Both employees and employers can benefit, since employers contribute as well. The payroll tax cut may be structured as a payroll tax deferral (rather than an upfront tax cut). A payroll tax deferral could mean the payroll tax could be owed at a later date, which would provide upfront savings. It's unclear if legislators eventually would forgive the payroll tax before it's due, or if Americans would be required to pay it in the future. Senate Republicans appear to be leaning toward direct payments to Americans rather than a payroll tax cut. However, Republicans could propose other financial incentives or tax breaks to businesses in lieu of a payroll tax cut.
State and local aidRepublicans plan to propose $105 billion to open schools and $15 billion for child care centers, according to the Associated Press. This includes $70 billion for K-12 schools to reopen, $30 billion for colleges and universities and $5 billion for governors to spend at their discretion. The funding will be available to schools that open for both in-person and remote instruction. In contrast, Democrats are targeting approximately $1 trillion for state and local aid, and $430 billion to open schools. Both parties in Congress understand that state and local governments have been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Senate Republicans are not proposing any new state or local aid. Why? They believe that authorization in prior stimuli is sufficient. Without federal support, however, many Democrats argue that some states and localities will face dire financial circumstances, budget cuts and potential bankruptcy.
Liability protections for businessesMcConnell made liability protection his top issue for the new stimulus. Businesses, hospitals and schools would receive five-years of liability protection, retroactive to 2019. Liability protection is expected to be included in the Republican stimulus proposal.
Student loan forgivenessDon't expect student loan forgiveness in the new stimulus. House Democrats passed a weakened student loan forgiveness plan in the Heroes Act that would provide $10,000 of student loan forgiveness only for borrowers who are ''struggling financially.'' While the Heroes Act provides for an extension of these benefits, Senate Republicans (or Senate Democrats) have not made student loans a top issue of the next stimulus.
Payroll Protection Program The new stimulus legislation is expected to extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is scheduled to expire on August 8. Republicans propose to use the unspent $134 billion that was previously authorized to make PPP loans.
Coronavirus testingSenate Republicans plan to propose $25 billion for Coronavirus testing and contract tracing. According to the Associated Press, the $25 billion is equal to the $9 billion already authorized in a prior stimulus plus $16 billion of new spending.
Final ThoughtsMcConnell says he will introduce the stimulus package in multiple bills, rather than a single legislative proposal. The total amount could increase as Democrats demand higher funding for their legislative priorities, such as extending unemployment benefits and increasing aid to states and localities, among others. What is the timeline for the new stimulus? Congress has until August 7 to reach a deal on the new stimulus when members leave for summer recess until September. House Democrats proposed $3 trillion for the Heroes Act (their proposed stimulus bill which hasn't passed the Senate) and is more than double McConnell's proposed legislation. Senate Republicans hold 53 seats in the U.S. Senate, and will need Democrats to secure a bipartisan stimulus package. If Congress does not finalize legislation in July or August, then the new stimulus could be delayed until after Labor Day. However, if Congress finalizes the new stimulus before August 7, it's possible that second stimulus checks could be sent as early as late August.
Related ResourcesSecond stimulus checks may be less than $1,200
Second stimulus checks: your questions answered
Don't expect a second stimulus check
15 secrets to refinance student loans
5 student loan changes for 2020
What Trump and Biden think about your student loans
Trump wants at least $2 trillion for next stimulus
Don't expect student loan forgiveness in next stimulus bill
Navient settles lawsuit '-- what it means for your student loans
Student loan refinancing rates are incredibly cheap
Follow me on
Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here. Zack Friedman is the bestselling author of the blockbuster book, The Lemonade Life. Apple named The Lemonade Life one of "Fall's Biggest Audiobooks" and a "Must-Listen."
'... Read More Zack Friedman is the bestselling author of the blockbuster book, The Lemonade Life. Apple named The Lemonade Life one of "Fall's Biggest Audiobooks" and a "Must-Listen." Zack is the Founder & CEO of Make Lemonade, a leading online personal finance company that empowers you to live a better financial life. He is an in-demand speaker and has inspired millions through his powerful insights, including more than 100 million people who have read his advice. Previously, he was a chief financial officer, a hedge fund investor, and worked at Blackstone, Morgan Stanley, and the White House. Zack holds degrees from Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins.
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The Next Phase of the Retail Apocalypse: Stores Reborn as E-Commerce Warehouses - WSJ
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 04:13
When Litisha Thomas heard through the gossip mill that the shuttered Sam's Club where she'd worked for 11 years might be reopening in her rural North Carolina hamlet, she immediately jumped on an internet job board to see if it was hiring. It was, but this wasn't a conventional reopening.
Sam's Club, the discount shopping club named for the founder of Walmart Inc., was changing how it does business. The retail giant's subsidiary converted the entire building, which reopened in April 2019, into an e-commerce fulfillment center, where orders from shoppers throughout the southeast are picked, packed and placed on trucks that take them to other shipping hubs.
Ms. Thomas'--who'd previously driven a forklift as an overnight receiving associate at the Sam's Club in Lumberton, N.C., population 20,000'--is back behind the wheel of a forklift, though now she's a manager overseeing eight other employees.
The building in which she works looks about the same on the outside, but inside, instead of wide aisles filled with shoppers pushing carts, its floor-to-ceiling shelves are packed more densely than ever with goods being picked by employees and shuttled to conveyor belts.
Despite the lack of shoppers and cash registers, total employment is actually up: Previously the store employed 164 workers, about a quarter of them part time, says Ms. Thomas. Now there are nearly 300 full-time employees across three shifts.
Welcome to the next phase of the ''retail apocalypse.'' This conversion'--which Sam's Club has also completed for five other big-box stores throughout the country'--is part of a burgeoning trend in which retail spaces of all sizes are being converted into e-commerce fulfillment centers. The global pandemic may have turbocharged the shift from bricks-and-mortar retail to online shopping, but the rate of conversion of retail into industrial spaces has been accelerating for years, says Matthew Walaszek, associate director of industrial and logistics research at CBRE Group Inc., the world's largest commercial real-estate services firm by revenue.
A just-completed CBRE analysis found that since 2017, 60 new retail-to-industrial conversion projects have entered at least the preplanning stage, out of a total of 94 such projects completed or in progress in the past decade. Projects begun or completed since 2017 transformed 14 million square feet of former retail space into 15.2 million square feet of industrial space, most of it for e-commerce distribution. That's still a relatively small proportion of the 14.5 billion square feet of industrial real estate in the U.S.
''We wouldn't say [these conversions] are moving the needle quite yet, but it's a trend that has legs and we're going to see this expand into the foreseeable future,'' says Mr. Walaszek.
Warehousing startup Ohi is certainly counting on it. The company operates, or provides operational software for, micro-warehouses for e-commerce fulfillment ranging in size from a few hundred to a few thousand square feet in 80 cities across the U.S.
One of its locations is in former office space on West 38th Street in Manhattan's Garment District. That's unusual'--e-commerce fulfillment hubs are typically in suburbia, occupying up to a million square feet. Ohi's warehouses are used by both well-established brands and small direct-to-consumer ones aiming to reach relatively well-off consumers in cities. These startups use Ohi's fulfillment centers to store their goods close to consumers, allowing for same-day delivery, says the company's founder and chief executive, Ben Jones.
Brands using Ohi's warehouses include Olipop, which advertises its ''prebiotic sparkling tonics'' as healthy alternatives to soda.
''We ship nationally from Montana, but at the mercy of FedEx and UPS , '' says Steven Vigilante, Olipop's growth marketing manager. Moving New York City customer delivery to Ohi's Manhattan fulfillment center cut average shipping costs in half and delivery times from 1 to 2 weeks to as little as two hours, he adds.
Between these two extremes are medium-size retailers catering to middle-income Americans, many of which are looking to add e-commerce fulfillment to their existing stores. A number of big grocery chains across the globe, including Albertsons Cos., Wakefern Food Corp. and France's Carrefour SA, fall into this category. They are using or planning to use almost fully automated micro-fulfillment warehouses either within existing stores or in adjacent retail spaces, says Max Pedr", co-founder and president of Takeoff Technologies, which provides them with automated systems.
Takeoff's 10,000-square-foot micro-fulfillment centers hold the portion of a typical grocery store that represents most of its sales, or around 15,000 different item types. They make extensive use of robotics and automation to retrieve groceries from shelves, and so require little in the way of human labor to operate until the final stages of each order.
These automated systems are meant to assemble and pack orders more efficiently than employees roaming aisles or visiting stockrooms, and keeping the fulfillment center next to the store has additional benefits, notes Mr. Pedr". Both can be resupplied from the same trucks, staff can move between the two as demand shifts between them, and their proximity to customers can save retailers some delivery costs.
Many big retailers, including Walmart, Target Corp. and, in its forthcoming grocery stores, Amazon . com Inc., are taking a related but distinct approach: shipping directly from stores. Even stores that have begun offering curbside pickup amid the pandemic are, in a way, becoming part of the trend.
Each business that decides retail space might be better used for filling e-commerce orders does so for its own reasons, but two intersecting trends play a big role. Retail stores and shopping centers were closing on account of declining foot traffic even before the pandemic, as e-commerce continued gobbling bricks-and-mortar retail market share like Pac-Man chomping ghosts. Since March and the beginning of stay-at-home orders in the U.S., the trend has only accelerated.
Meanwhile, rents for e-commerce fulfillment and other industrial spaces are climbing due to that surging demand. The gap between higher retail rent and lower warehousing rent is closing, says CBRE's Mr. Walaszek.
Office space can also be converted into micro-fulfillment centers, and Ohi has set up at least one of its small fulfillment warehouses in what was once office space. As companies reconsider whether they ever want their employees to return to offices, more of this kind of real estate could also be available.
As Americans shift from buying things in-store to buying them online, all of those goods have to be shipped from somewhere. The faster we demand they get to us, the closer they have to be stored, which necessitates more e-commerce warehouses than ever, and in places they've rarely been seen before, such as city centers.
One economist who has looked at these trends has concluded something surprising: When you include all the jobs in fulfillment, delivery, and related roles, e-commerce has created more jobs between 2007 and January 2020 than bricks-and-mortar retailers lost, says Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute, a think tank. Since January, employment in this sector has fallen, but Dr. Mandel believes that as consumer spending recovers, so will employment in this area.
While it's easy to see these trends as broad abstractions, they're also why Ms. Thomas'--a mother of two living in a small southern town'--has a job, and a pay raise.
Every day, she goes to the same building she worked in for over a decade before it closed in January 2018. There are some differences. The sign says instead of Sam's Club, she says, and the parking lot is full of tractor-trailer trucks. Inside, things have changed more. There's more merchandise, new conveyor belts, a shipping area. ''Sometimes I'll catch myself walking the floor and picturing what it used to be,'' she adds.
Sam's Club customers are still shopping with the company'--it's just that, like so many of us, they're now doing it from home. If trends continue, then in terms of jobs, real estate, consumption patterns, supply chains and land use, as Lumberton, N.C. goes, so goes the nation.
'--For more WSJ Technology analysis, reviews, advice and headlines, sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Write to Christopher Mims at
(1) Bethany S. Mandel on Twitter: "This is happening across the country." / Twitter
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 19:00
pezzanovante : @bethanyshondark And all these upper class, wealthy white people are certainly in favor of the virtue signal polici'...
Mon Jul 20 18:59:20 +0000 2020
White House Says 40 U.S. Code 1315 Gives Trump, DHS Jurisdiction To Act In Portland | The Daily Caller
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 14:42
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany cited 40 U.S. Code 1315 as evidence Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security is operating within its lawful jurisdiction in Portland, Oregon.
McEnany told ABC's Jon Karl at Tuesday's briefing that 1315 ''gives DHS the ability to deputize officers in any department or agency, like ICE, Customs and Border Patrol and Secret Service as quote 'officers and agents.''' (RELATED: Border Patrol Agents Appear To Be Randomly Detaining Protesters In Portland, DHS Offers Lacking Explanation)
Karl had asked, ''Where in the Constitution does the president derive the authority to send federal law enforcement officers to the streets of American cities against the will of the elected officials in those cities?''
WASHINGTON, DC '' JULY 21: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House July 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. McEnany took questions from reporters on several topics including President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
''They can be deputized for the duty, in connection to the protection of property owned or occupied by the federal government and persons on that property,'' she continued. ''When a federal courthouse is being lit on fire and commercial fireworks being shot at it, being shot at the officers I think that falls pretty well within the limits of 40 U.S. Code 1315.''
Karl asked McEnany in a followup question if President Donald Trump sees any ''limitations to that power'' and if ''That's a matter of protecting federal property, how far does that power extend to the streets of Portland. What are the limitations of that, the authority to protect it?''
''Under the law we believe they can conduct investigations of crimes committed against federal property or federal officers,'' McEnany responded. ''In the case where you have someone shooting off a commercial grade firework and then running across the street, we don't believe that extends past the jurisdiction.''
DHS told the Daily Caller last week that Border Patrol agents who detained individuals in Portland not actively engaged in the protests were doing so to investigate links to assaults on law enforcement officials and vandalism of federal property.
''While the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) respects every American's right to protest peacefully, violence and civil unrest will not be tolerated,'' CBP wrote in a statement. ''Violent anarchists have organized events in Portland over the last several weeks with willful intent to damage and destroy federal property, as well as injure federal officers and agents. These criminal actions will not be tolerated.''
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf has also noted that protesters specifically targeted law enforcement officers with lasers and frozen water bottles ahead of his travel to Oregon.
''Let's get this right. 'Protestors' imply they were peacefully exercising their 1st amendment rights,'' he tweeted on Friday. ''Instead, DHS officers were assaulted with lasers and frozen water bottles from violent criminals attempting to tear down federal property. 2 officers were injured. Facts matter.''
Let's get this right. ''Protestors'' imply they were peacefully exercising their 1st amendment rights. Instead, DHS officers were assaulted with lasers and frozen water bottles from violent criminals attempting to tear down federal property. 2 officers were injured. Facts matter.
'-- Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) July 17, 2020
Masks are mandated by elite women who had facelifts during lockdown and believed the 'some bruising lie'
Dr. Anthony Fauci to throw first pitch at MLB's Opening Day game
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 14:10
(C) Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images Anthony Fauci '-- Nationals face mask The Washington Nationals said Monday that Dr. Anthony Fauci '-- the nation's leading infectious disease expert and self-described fan of the reigning World Series champs '-- will throw out the Opening Day pitch when the team hosts the New York Yankees on Thursday night.
"Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career, so it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season and defend our World Series Championship title," the Nationals tweeted.
The Major League Baseball season has been long delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league's spring training was shelved in March because of the outbreak, but teams resumed their preparations this month. The Nationals-Yankees matchup will kick off Thursday at 7:08 p.m. ET.
There will be no fans at Opening Day at Nationals Park and it will be followed by a game between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, according to CBS Sports. The MLB season has been shortened to 60 games.
Fauci, who has been a leading member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force , was spotted in June wearing a Nationals-themed face mask during testimony on Capitol Hill.
(C) Provided by CBS News Dr. Anthony Fauci wears a Washington Nationals face mask as he prepares to testify before a Senate committee on Capitol Hill, June 30, 2020. / Credit: KEVIN DIETSCH/AFP via Getty Images
What's up with Kamala Harris' face? So many people are asking
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 14:25
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Kamala Harris' demonic smile and frozen face ignited rumors that she had plastic surgery to make herself more appealing to be Joe Biden's VP running mate. (MSNBC screenshots)Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) stirred speculation that she went overboard with Botox or had plastic surgery after viewers remarked that her face looked oddly frozen during a TV interview.
The rumors swirled immediately after Harris appeared on race-baiter Al Sharpton's MSNBC show over the weekend.
Even Sharpton looked shocked by Harris' frozen forehead and bizarre facial expression, where she repeatedly pinched her eyes and made a sinister smile.
(Source: MSNBC)
Twitter mocked Harris '-- not because she may have gotten plastic surgery, but because she looked menacing and demonic.
At one point, the white part of her eyes looked totally black and her forced smile looked diabolical and chilling.
One person wondered: ''What happened to Kamala Harris' face? Did she go to the Joker's plastic surgeon?''
What happened to Kamala Harris' face?Did she go to the Joker's plastic surgeon?
'-- David Ryan (@DadRyan2018) July 19, 2020
Another remarked: ''I need to conduct an investigation into what the hell happened to Kamala Harris face. Botched plastic surgery as she vies for VP slot?''
I almost feel like I need to conduct an investigation into what the hell happened to @KamalaHarris face. Botched plastic surgery as she vies for VP slot?
'-- Investigation Confidential (@TheICAgency) July 19, 2020
''Who is impersonating Kamala Harris? Face looks strange. Teeth are not the same. The new Kamala never stops smiling.''
Who is impersonating Kamala Harris? Face looks strange. Teeth are not the same. The new Kamala never stops smiling.
'-- Fukushima Exposed🇨ðŸ‡... (@fukushimaexpos2) July 19, 2020
''Is this even you, Kamala? What happened to your eyes and face?''
Is this even you Kamala? What happened to your eyes and face?
'-- DW (@Denise85106871) July 19, 2020
''I cannot stop laughing at Kamala Harris' new face.''
I cannot stop laughing at Kamala Harris' new face.
'-- Jon Miller (@MillerStream) July 19, 2020
Flashback: This is what Harris looked like in June 2019, when she eviscerated Joe Biden by basically calling him a racist segregationist.
Now she's desperate to be Biden's VP pick. As the saying goes: Politics makes strange bedfellows.
(MSNBC screenshot)Ironically, in May 2019 '-- when Harris was running for president '-- she was furious that many Democrats wanted her to consider being Biden's vice presidential running mate because she was trailing him very badly in the polls.
At the time, Harris '-- who has only been a U.S. senator since 2017 '-- bristled at the suggestion, claiming it was sexist and racist.
An angry Harris responded by saying she thinks Biden would be a good VP running mate for her.
''I think Joe Biden would be a great running mate,'' Harris said at a campaign stop in May 2019. ''As vice president, he's proven that he knows how to do the job.''
Despite their recent feud, many Democrats want Kamala Harris to be Biden's running mate. Why? Because she's black and female. Those are the primary ''qualifications'' to be a Biden VP pick.
After all, Harris presumably won't be bothered by Biden's inappropriate handsiness since she didn't care that her former top adviser was sexually harassing his subordinate for years.
At the time, Harris was the Attorney General of California.
Can't stop RT'ing this either:Kamala Harris aide resigns after paying $400,000 in sexual harassment claim; Dem AG blamed the victim
'-- Herbert / Parler: @HerbertReed (@Herbert_L_Reed) December 7, 2018
Harris is apparently also comfortable with looking the other way when her political allies commit crimes.
In March 2019, Harris was slammed by Latino activists for refusing to investigate the Ponzi scheme operated by nutritional supplement marketer Herbalife in exchange for bribes masquerading as ''donations'' from Herbalife lobbyist Heather Podesta.
Heather Podesta was then married to Tony Podesta, the high-powered lobbyist with longstanding ties to Hillary Clinton. Tony's brother, John Podesta, was the campaign manager for Hillary 2016 presidential campaign.
Again: At the time, Kamala Harris was the Attorney General of California.
'Huge injustice': Kamala Harris accused of refusing to prosecute Podesta-linked company in exchange for bribesHarris received the first of three donations to her campaign for the Senate from Heather Podesta,Tony's X connected to Podesta Group & Herbalife
'-- Dawn Orlando (@Aramaithea) March 19, 2019
Biden panders to Muslims: Quotes slave owner Muhammad, urges schools to teach Islam
EU recovery plan: Leaders strike 'historic' deal to rebuild economy after coronavirus - CNN
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 12:18
By James Frater and Michelle Toh, CNN Business
Updated 6:28 AM EDT, Tue July 21, 2020
London/Hong Kong(CNN Business) After almost five days of fraught discussions, European leaders have agreed to create a '‚¬750 billion ($858 billion) recovery fund to rebuild EU economies ravaged by the coronavirus crisis.
The European Commission will borrow the money on financial markets and distribute just under half of it '-- '‚¬390 billion euros ($446 billion) '-- as grants to the hardest hit EU states, with the rest provided as loans. Leaders also agreed a new EU budget of nearly '‚¬1.1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) for 2021-2027, creating combined spending power of about '‚¬1.8 trillion ($2 trillion).
"It is an ambitious and comprehensive package combining the classical [budget] with an extraordinary recovery effort destined to tackle the effects of an unprecedented crisis in the best interest of the EU," the EU leaders said in a joint declaration.
The deal focuses on providing funding across three pillars: helping businesses rebound from the pandemic, rolling out new measures to reform economies over the long haul, and investing to help protect against "future crises." It came after days of deadlock and fractious talks that were described as some of the most bitterly divided in years.
"We did it! Europe is strong. Europe is united," European Council President Charles Michel said at a press conference Tuesday. "This is a good deal, this is a strong deal, and most importantly, this is the right deal for Europe right now."
Michel said it was the first time that members of the European Union were "jointly enforcing our economies against the crisis."
The European Union is battling a savage recession triggered by the pandemic, and the hardest-hit countries such as Italy and Spain urgently need fresh economic relief.
The European Commission said earlier this month that it expects the EU economy to shrink 8.3% in 2020, considerably worse than the 7.4% slump predicted two months ago.
Before Tuesday, agreement had been thwarted by deep divisions over the overall size of the recovery fund, the mix of grants and loans, and the conditions that should be attached to the relief.
Details of the dealThere had been bitter rows over some of the terms of the deal during the last few days. The agreement came just hours after Michel had presented a new proposal to political leaders on Monday.
The European Commission's original proposal was to distribute '‚¬500 billion ($573 billion) via grants, while '‚¬250 billion ($286 billion) would have been offered as loans. But the volume of grants had been vehemently contested during the summit. The so-called "Frugal Four" countries '-- Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and Sweden '-- were worried it would burden their countries with debt to fund the spending of other governments.
Using grants would have required net contributors to the EU budget, including the "Frugal Four," to pay in more. Relying on loans, meanwhile, would mean saddling highly-indebted countries such as Italy with even more liabilities.
The new agreement means the European Union will become a major borrower in global financial markets for the first time. It plans to repay the money by 2058.
To help do that, it will look for fresh ways to raise funds. The Commission said in the text of the deal that it would propose a "digital levy" for tech companies, and consider a new tax on financial transactions.
It also said it would consider updating an existing emissions trading program, which caps the amount of greenhouse gases companies are allowed to emit without facing fines. It could extend the restrictions to the aviation and maritime industries, according to the Commission.
How it came to passThe meeting of the EU top brass was the first major in-person gathering of world leaders since the pandemic started '-- and the negotiations ran for four days and nights.
It was "more than 90 hours, but it was worth it," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters Tuesday.
Failure to reach an agreement would have risked a "two-speed" economic recovery, with wealthier northern European states bouncing back faster than struggling Italy and Spain. That in turn would have placed further enormous strain on the ties that keep the EU together.
French President Emmanuel Macron hailed the signing of the deal as a "historic day for Europe."
"Think of the distance that we have covered. Ever since February, we have not been able to come to some type of agreement," he said. "Now we have the [budget], we have the recovery fund and this amounts to almost 2% of the EU GDP."
Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (left), French President Emmanuel Macron (center) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) looking at documents during the EU summit in Brussels on Monday.
Macron hailed the leaders' efforts as helping "to almost double the EU budget for the next years to come," while German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that "we have laid out the financial foundations for the European Union for the next seven years."
Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg, called the deal "a big step forward for Europe."
"With the biggest ever effort of cross border solidarity, the EU is sending a strong signal of internal cohesion," he wrote in a note Tuesday. "Near term, the confidence effect can matter even more than the money itself."
'-- Chris Liakos, Julia Horowitz and Mark Thompson contributed to this report.
Europese leiders sluiten akkoord op eurotop, premier Rutte tevreden | NOS
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 14:05
De Europese leiders hebben een akkoord bereikt over het coronaherstelfonds en de nieuwe meerjarenbegroting van de EU. De meerjarenbegroting omvat zo'n 1100 miljard euro. In het coronapakket zit 750 miljard euro, waarvan 390 miljard aan subsidies en 360 miljard aan leningen.
Landen die subsidies krijgen, moeten aan bepaalde voorwaarden voldoen en hervormingen doorvoeren. Dat was een van de eisen van Nederland. Er komt wel minder geld beschikbaar voor innovaties (research en ontwikkeling) dan Nederland had gewild.
Van de 750 miljard euro uit het coronaherstelfonds gaat 28 procent naar Itali, heeft premier Conte gezegd. Daarvan is 127 miljard euro een lening en 81 miljard wordt als subsidie verstrekt. "We zijn tevreden", zegt Conte. "We hebben onze autonomie en waardigheid behouden."
Beste deal voor EuropaDe leiders kwamen vanaf 05.15 uur kort in de plenaire zaal bij elkaar. Om 06.00 uur gaven voorzitter Michel van de Europese Raad en voorzitter Von der Leyen van de Europese Commissie een persconferentie.
"Het is een goede deal, het is een sterke deal en het is de beste deal voor Europa", zei Michel. Gisteravond kwam hij met een nieuw onderhandelingsvoorstel, waarover de hele nacht druk is gerekend en onderhandeld.
Premier Rutte sprak op een persconferentie van een "omvangrijk en goed pakket waarin de Nederlandse belangen goed zijn gewaarborgd".
Vooral van de 'noodrem' die ingebouwd heeft premier Rutte verwachtingen:
'Iedereen aan tafel knokt voor de belangen van z'n land'
De afgelopen dagen was er in Europa veel kritiek op Rutte, omdat die zich te hard zou opstellen tegenover andere lidstaten. Rutte was fel tegenstander van het geven van subsidies aan Spanje, Itali en Portugal. Hij zei dat die landen eerst moeten toezeggen dat ze hun economie hervormen.
In het akkoord is nu bepaald dat landen voortdurend kunnen worden aangesproken op de gemaakte afspraken voordat ze geld krijgen. "In het uiterste geval kan dat betekenen dat er aan de noodrem wordt getrokken als die landen te weinig hebben uitgevoerd", zei Rutte op zijn persconferentie.
Volgens Rutte is het erg belangrijk dat de hervormingen worden "vastgenageld", zowel voor Europa als voor Nederland. "Dat zorgt voor sterke lidstaten en een sterke interne markt", zei Rutte.
De Franse president Macron spreekt van een historisch akkoord dat goed is voor Europa. Volgens hem moesten er veel hobbels worden genomen, maar kan nu gezamenlijk de coronacrisis worden aangepakt. Ook de Duitse bondskanselier Merkel is tevreden. Zij zegt dat Europa laat zien dat het een sterk blok vormt, ook al zijn er grote verschillen tussen de landen.
Kijk hier naar de tevreden reacties:
Michel: 'Dit is een goed akkoord voor Europa'
Een groot deel van de tijd ging op aan nieuwe teksten over het handhaven van de rechtsstaat. Nederland en andere landen willen dat er gekort wordt op EU-geld als er geen respect is voor het naleven van de regels die gelden, zoals onafhankelijke rechtspraak. Ook hierover zijn afspraken gemaakt.
De kritiek op het niet naleven van de regels voor onafhankelijke rechtspraak heeft vooral betrekking op Polen en Hongarije. Die landen hebben de afgelopen jaren de bevoegdheden van de rechterlijke macht ingeperkt door onder meer grondwetswijzigingen.
Nederland krijgt onder meer een hogere korting op de jaarlijkse EU-afdracht (die gaat naar 1,92 miljard euro) en medezeggenschap over de besteding van de subsidies uit het herstelfonds.
Het Europees Parlement moet nog zijn goedkeuring geven aan het pakket. Het is de bedoeling dat het parlement donderdag over het akkoord praat. Bondskanselier Merkel zei vanochtend dat ze "heel moeilijke discussies" met het Europees Parlement verwacht, omdat allerlei plannen waaraan het parlement hechtte nu zijn geschrapt of aangepast.
VVD'ers geschrokken: 'Ruttes noodrem is boterzacht' | Binnenland |
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 14:08
Mark Rutte, links op de foto, is de strijd aangegaan, 'en dat is goed, maar het resultaat is teleurstellend.'
''¸ EPA
'žRutte heeft gevochten als een beest'', vindt Paul Slettenhaar, wethouder in Castricum. 'žHet is goed dat hij zo de strijd is aangegaan.'' Maar het resultaat telt, vult Ruiter aan 'žEn dat resultaat is teleurstellend. Dat veto op de uitgaven zijn we namelijk kwijt. En hoe de hervormingen worden vastgesteld, gebeurt per gekwalificeerde meerderheid. Dus kunnen de zuidelijke lidstaten de voorwaarden bepalen en kan Nederland amper op de rem trappen.''
Doordat de Europese Commissie via de plastictaks en een effectentaks belasting gaat heffen, overschrijdt ze een principe, vindt Ruiter. 'žAls de Britten nog in de EU zaten, was dit nooit gebeurd.''
Eerder riep de groep lokale VVD'ers Rutte in een brief op niet akkoord te gaan met de uitgifte van eurobonds, gezamenlijk Europees schuldpapier. Die euro- of coronabonds komen er niet, al gaat de Europese Commissie voor het herstelfonds wel geld lenen op de kapitaalmarkt. Even later kwam de groep met de oproep niet akkoord te gaan met giften, maar alleen met leningen onder strenge voorwaarden.
Federale EUDat is evenmin gelukt. Het crisisfonds bestaat voor 390 miljard euro uit subsidies. De begroting voor de jaren 2021 tot en met 2027 is met 1.074 miljard hoger dan Nederland had gewild. Daar staat ook een hogere korting voor Nederland op de afdracht tegenover. Ruiter: 'žAl met al is dit toch weer een stap richting een federale EU.''
VVD-fractieleider Klaas Dijkhoff ziet dat anders. In een pleidooi op Facebook motiveert hij de waarde van de EU en van het akkoord. Dat betekent niet: zomaar de portemonnee trekken, schrijft Dijkhoff: 'žIk ben het bijvoorbeeld eens met al die lokale VVD'ers die schreven dat eurobonds geen goed idee zijn. Ook niet als je ze coronabonds noemt of op een andere manier een permanente transferunie inricht. Dan stroomt er gewoon permanent belastinggeld van noord naar zuid Europa. Dit staat ook niet in het akkoord.''
Dijkhoff ziet wel dat er in het akkoord aan de Nederlandse eisen is voldaan. Ook gelooft hij in de noodrem. 'žDat betekent ook dat wij, dat Nederland, aan de rem moeten kunnen trekken als de afspraken niet worden nageleefd.''
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Heiko Maas: Making plans for a new world order
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 13:52
Henry Kissinger was recently asked if Donald Trump could not unintentionally become the force behind the birth of a new western order. His answer: It would be ironic but not impossible. Instead of narrowing our view across the Atlantic to the ever-changing whims of the American President, we should adopt the idea that this could be the start of something new. We can't not hear what's going on across the Atlantic every day via Twitter. But a tunnel view into the Oval Office distracts from the fact that America is more than Trump. "Checks and balances" work, as US courts and Congress demonstrate almost daily. The Americans are debating politics with new passion. That too is America in 2018.
The fact that the Atlantic has widened politically is by no means solely due to Donald Trump. The US and Europe have been drifting apart for years. The overlapping of values and interests that shaped our relationship for two generations is decreasing. The binding force of the East-West conflict is history. These changes began well before Trump's election '-- and will survive his presidency well into the future. That is why I am skeptical when some ardent trans-Atlanticist simply advises us to sit this presidency out.
Since the end of the Second World War, the partnership with the US has brought Germany a unique phase of peace and security. America became a place of longing. For me too, when I traveled from New York to LA over a few months as a high-school graduate, with Paul Auster's "New York Trilogy" in my pocket and Bruce Springsteen's music in my ears. But looking back does not lead to the future. It is high time to reassess our partnership '-- not to leave it behind, but to renew and preserve it.
Europe United
Let's use the idea of a balanced partnership as a blueprint, where we assume our equal share of responsibility. In which we form a counterweight when the US crosses the line. Where we put our weight when America retreats. And in which we can start a new conversation.
If we go it alone, we will fail in this task. The outstanding aim of our foreign policy is to build a sovereign, strong Europe. Only by joining forces with France and other European nations can a balance with the US be achieved. The European Union must become a cornerstone of the international order, a partner for all those who are committed to it. She is predestined for this, because compromise and balance lie in her DNA.
"Europe United" means this: We act with sovereignty at those points where nation-states alone cannot muster the level of power a united Europe can. We are not circling the wagons and keeping the rest of the world out. We are not demanding allegiance. Europe is building on the rule of law, respect for the weaker, and our experiences that show that international cooperation is not a zero-sum game.
A balanced partnership means that we Europeans take an equal share of the responsibility. Nowhere is the trans-Atlantic link more indispensable to us than in terms of security. Whether as a partner in NATO, or in the fight against terrorism, we need the US. We must draw the right conclusions from this. It is in our own interest to strengthen the European part of the North Atlantic Alliance. Not because Donald Trump is always setting new percentage targets, but because we can no longer rely on Washington to the same extent. But the dialectic of the trans-Atlantic also means this: If we take on more responsibility, then Americans and Europeans can continue to rely on each other in the future.
The German government is following this path. The turnaround in defense spending is a reality. Now it is important to build a European security and defense union step by step '-- as part of trans-Atlantic security and as a separate European project for the future. Increases in defense and security spending make sense from this perspective.
Exposing fake news
Another crucial point: Europe's commitment must be part of a rationale based on diplomacy and civil crisis management. In the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and Africa's Sahel areas, we are also using non-military means to combat the collapse of government structures. For me, these are examples of trans-Atlantic cooperation '-- and a blueprint for joint involvement in other crises elsewhere.
And where the USA crosses the line, we Europeans must form a counterweight '-- as difficult as that can be. That is also what balance is about.
It starts with us exposing fake news. Like this: If the current account balance of Europe and the US includes more than just trade in goods, then it is not the US that has a deficit, it's Europe. One reason is the billions in profits that European subsidiaries of Internet giants such as Apple, Facebook and Google transfer to the US every year. So when we talk about fair rules, we must also talk about the fair taxation of profits like that.
It is also important to correct fake news because it can quickly result in the wrong policies. As Europeans, we have made it clear to the Americans that we consider the withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran to be a mistake. Meanwhile, the first US sanctions have come back into force.
In this situation, it is of strategic importance that we make it clear to Washington that we want to work together. But also: That we will not allow you to go over our heads, and at our expense. That is why it was right to protect European companies legally from sanctions. It is therefore essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels independent of the US, a European monetary fund and an independent SWIFT [payments] system. The devil is in thousands of details. But every day that the Iran agreement lasts, is better than the potentially explosive crisis that threatens the Middle East otherwise.
A balanced partnership also means that, as Europeans, we bring more weight to bear when the US withdraws. We are concerned about Washington's withdrawal of affection, in financial and other terms, from the UN '-- and not only because we will soon be on the Security Council. Of course we can' t fill all the gaps. But together with others, we can cushion the most damaging consequences of the thinking that says success is measured in dollars saved. That is why we have increased funding for relief organizations working with Palestinian refugees and sought support from Arab states.
We are striving for a multilateral alliance, a network of partners who, like us, are committed to sticking to the rules and to fair competition. I have made my first appointments with Japan, Canada and South Korea; more are to follow. This alliance is not a rigid, exclusive club for those with good intentions. What I have in mind is an association of states convinced of the benefits of multilateralism, who believe in international cooperation and the rule of the law. It is not directed against anyone, but sees itself as an alliance that supports and enhances a global, multilateral order. The door is wide open '-- above all to the US. The aim is to tackle the problems that none of us can tackle on our own, together '-- from climate change to fair trade.
I have no illusions that such an alliance can solve all the world's problems. But it is not enough just to complain about the destruction of the multilateral order. We have to fight for it, especially because of the current trans-Atlantic situation.
Please, don't abandon America
One final point is elementary: We must begin a new dialogue with the people on the other side of the Atlantic. Not only in New York, Washington or LA, but also in middle America, where the coast is far away and Europe is even further away. Starting in October, we will be hosting a "German Year in the US" for the first time ever. Not to celebrate the German-American friendship as nostalgia but to enable encounters that make people feel that we are moved to ask similar questions, that we're still close.
Exchange creates new perspectives. I can't let go of an encounter I had recently on one of my trips. A young US soldier used an unobserved moment to whisper to me: "Please, don't abandon America." An American soldier was asking a German politician not to let America down. The affection that lay in this request touched me deeply. Perhaps we now need to get used to the idea that Americans are going to say such things to us Europeans.
Anyway, it would be a nice, historical irony if Henry Kissinger turned out to be right. If the White House's tweets actually led to a balanced partnership, a sovereign Europe and a global alliance for multilateralism. We're working hard on that to happen.
To contact the author: [email protected]
The story behind Thousand Currents, the charity that doles out the millions of dollars Black Lives Matter generates in donations
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 17:04
(C) Thousand Currents A screenshot from Thousand Currents' website. Thousand Currents The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is a non-profit organization '-- but it is not tax exempt. But organizations can borrow another non-profit's tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) status while raising money or building out its structure, better known as a fiscal sponsorship.So Black Lives Matter has a fiscal sponsorship set up with the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Thousand Currents.A fiscal sponsor receives donation money on the non-profit's behalf, and decides how and where the money is spent, according to Internal Revenue Service requirements.Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.In recent weeks, following the police killing of George Floyd, millions of dollars in donations have flooded into bail funds for protesters, Black-owned businesses, and the Black Lives Matter movement itself.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the organization's official name, is a non-profit '-- but it is not tax exempt. In the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, such an organization is treated as any normal corporation, and still has to pay income tax.
But organizations like Black Lives Matter can team up with and borrow another non-profit's tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) status, known as a fiscal sponsorship, while building out its own structure. Fiscal sponsorships are typically between two organizations that share a similar mission statement '-- and that's where Thousand Currents comes in.
What is Thousand Currents?Thousand Currents is a 501(3)(c) non-profit that provides grants to organizations that are led by women, youth, and Indigenous people focused on building food sustainability, fighting climate change, and developing alternative economic models for their communities across the world, according to its website.
Executive Director Solome Lemma said the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation approached Thousand Currents in 2016 to create a fiscal sponsorship agreement and provide "the legal and administrative support to enable BLM to fulfill its mission."
(C) Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via Getty Images Several organizations and collectives called for a gathering to pay tribute to Georges Floyd killed by police in Minneapolis. Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via Getty Images Thousand Currents essentially acts as a quasi-manager for Black Lives Matter: It provides "administrative and back office support, including finance, accounting, grants management, insurance, human resources, legal and compliance," Lemma said.
Fiscal sponsorships are not common, but also not "rare", tax attorney Kelly Phillips Erb told Insider. This type of tax arrangement is typically used by newer non-profits on a project basis while they fundraise and apply for their own tax-exempt status. The fiscal sponsor also takes an administrative fee.
In this case, Black Lives Matter agreed to make a donation to grassroots efforts led by Thousand Currents.
Charity Navigator, a non-profit organization that rates charities on their transparency and financial health, gave Thousand Currents four out of four stars, noting that 79% of their finances go toward program expenses.
Where do donations to Black Lives Matter go?Any and all donations made to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation go to it '-- but not entirely directly.
Under IRS requirements, any charitable funds donated to a non-profit using a fiscal sponsor are first given to the fiscal sponsor, which then doles out the money in the form of grants to the non-profit.
For example, when you donate to the Black Lives Matter movement, you are directed to its fundraising partner ActBlue. Then, ActBlue distributes the money raised to Thousand Currents, which is then granted to Black Lives Matter.
Though, there is one caveat: Phillips Erb said one of the main rules of being a fiscal sponsor per the IRS is directing where charitable funds go within the non-profit it is supporting.
"The one who is borrowing status cannot direct where the money goes," Phillips Erb said.
(C) Carlos Barria/Reuters Demonstrators gather at the Lincoln Memorial during a protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, DC, on June 6, 2020. Carlos Barria/Reuters Because Black Lives Matter does not have its own tax-exempt status, donations filter through various channels before resources are dispensed across BLM's 16 chapters. And where and how that money is allocated, is up to Thousand Currents, and likely agreed upon beforehand.
In an emailed statement to Insider, Lemma said, "Donations to BLM are restricted donations to support the activities of BLM." Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation did not respond to Insider's requests for comment about whether or not it plans to apply for tax-exempt status.
Some have desired more budgetary transparency from Black Lives Matter in the past. In 2018, one of its New York City chapters left the organization citing its need for more monetary autonomy.
With a resurgence of donations, corresponding with nationwide protests and calls to end police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement is seeing millions of dollars flooding in on behalf of its mission.
It's unclear how much money Black Lives Matter has received in the last four weeks, but it's likely in the multi-millions (for example, they announced a $12 million grant fund last week).
Thousand Currents' 2019 financials show that the organization brought in $6.8 million, which included the money earned through the fiscal sponsorship of Black Lives Matter. Both organizations could end up seeing their highest donations ever by the end of this fiscal year.
Expanded Coverage Module: black-lives-matter-module
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Discover the Networks | International Development Exchange (IDEX)
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 17:13
OverviewAssets: $455,442 (2014)Grants Received: $1,965,968 (2014)Grants Awarded: $762,271 (2014)The International Development Exchange (IDEX) was established in 1985 by a group of individuals who worked for various philanthropic institutions and were confident that small, targeted grants to specific, well-run, grassroots organizations could often be more effective than traditional large-scale grants awarded by multi-billion-dollar foundations.
Each year, IDEX awards small ''catalyst grants'' of approximately $5,000 apiece to a small handful of carefully selected organizations, to help them carry out projects of six-to-twelve months' duration. At the end of that period, IDEX invites one or two of those grantees to become its ''partners'' '-- a relationship whereby IDEX pledges a three-year funding commitment and pays out grants of $15,000 or more.
Since its inception, IDEX has issued grants to fund more than 500 separate projects around the world. Most recipients of IDEX grants are locally-based organizations situated in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and they are usually headed by women, young people, or ''indigenous leaders'' '-- demographics that IDEX aims to turn into ''powerful agents for lasting, transformative change.''
In addition to its own grantmaking activities, IDEX also connects many of its partners to other funding sources and to one another '-- all in an effort to build ''social justice network[s] in their respective regions and around the world.''
IDEX's work is founded upon an anti-capitalist ''Theory of Change'' which claims that ''community-based organizations'' should strive to ''create/innovate new systems to end poverty,'' and should promote ''egalitarian practices'' to replace ''existing [capitalist] economic and political systems'' that ''exclude and marginalize populations including small farmers, indigenous peoples, women, rural communities, land stewards, fisherfolks and slum dwellers.''
One of IDEX's major initiatives is its Food Sovereignty program, which claims that ''the people who produce, distribute and consume food'' in various countries and cultures should be ''at the center of decisions on food systems and policies'' that are administered at the local level, rather than the ''markets and corporations'' that ''have come to dominate the global food system.'' ''Redistributive agrarian reforms,'' says IDEX, are ''not possible'' in ''capitalist'' countries where there is ''unequal land ownership'' and ''hierarchical top-down decision making.''
IDEX's Alternative Economies program laments that ''indigenous communities'' with ''traditional,'' local-level economies that ''have thrived for thousands of years,'' are now being threatened by ''the global market-based system'' that ''has encroached'' on them ''with devastating effect.'' To address this problem, a number of IDEX's partners are promoting new models for ''locally led and community-centered economies'' founded on ''fair and equitable practices.'' One example is what IDEX terms the ''solidarity economy,'' which ''functions on the principles of respect for nature and human beings, the right to work, education, health, rest, and a dignified life.''
Yet another vital IDEX project is its Environment program, which is rooted in the premise that ''greenhouse gases'' associated with the industrial activities of ''rich countries'' are a major cause of potentially catastrophic ''climate change.'' Evidence of climate change, says IDEX, is apparent in the increased levels of ''erratic weather patterns and '... natural disasters'' like ''flooding, droughts, cyclones, [and] storms'' that have allegedly occurred around the world in recent decades. IDEX purports to be particularly troubled by the fact that while ''most of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change'' are produced by industrialized nations, ''it's the poorest countries'' of ''the Global South'' that ''are feeling the effects most acutely'' '-- even though they ''contribute least to climate change.'' To address such inequities, IDEX favors the implementation of redistributive measures designed to compensate the poorer countries for their hardships.
In addition to its grantmaking activities, the International Development Exchange also administers a California-based IDEX Academy that seeks to educate philanthropy professionals about ''the power of grassroots-led solutions.''
In November 2015, IDEX established a legal partnership with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Though IDEX does not act officially as BLM's fiscal sponsor, the Exchange is able to receive grants and tax-deductible donations on BLM's behalf. IDEX also provides BLM with fiduciary oversight, financial management, and other administrative services. Moreover, IDEX identifies BLM as one of its ''philanthropic partner[s],'' stating that: ''BLM has agreed to make a donation in support of IDEX's grassroots partners in Zimbabwe and South Africa in lieu of an administrative fee for IDEX's support. Our partnerships will build alliances for mutual solidarity, learning, and social transformation across global movements.''
Susan Rosenberg - Wikipedia
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 17:39
Susan Lisa Rosenberg (born 5 October 1955)[1] is an American activist, writer, and advocate for social justice and prisoners' rights. From the late 1970s into the mid-1980s, Rosenberg was active in the far-left revolutionary terrorist May 19th Communist Organization ("M19CO"), which according to a contemporaneous FBI report "openly advocate[d] the overthrow of the U.S. Government through armed struggle and the use of violence".[2] M19CO provided support to an offshoot of the Black Liberation Army, including in armored truck robberies, and later engaged in bombings of government buildings.[3]
After living as a fugitive for two years, Rosenberg was arrested in 1984 while in possession of a large cache of explosives and firearms. She had also been sought as an accomplice in the 1979 prison escape of Assata Shakur and in the 1981 Brink's robbery that resulted in the deaths of two police and a guard[4], although she was never charged in either case.
Rosenberg was sentenced to 58 years' imprisonment on the weapons and explosives charges. She spent 16 years in prison, during which she became a poet, author, and AIDS activist. Her sentence was commuted to time served by President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001,[5] his final day in office.[6][7]
Early life Rosenberg was born into a middle-class Jewish family in Manhattan. Her father was a dentist and her mother a theatrical producer. She attended the progressive Walden School and later went to Barnard College.[8] She left Barnard and became a drug counselor at Lincoln Hospital in The Bronx, eventually becoming licensed in the practice of Chinese medicine and acupuncture.[8] She also worked as an anti-drug counselor and acupuncturist at health centers in Harlem, including the Black Acupuncture Advisory of North America.[9]
Activism and imprisonment In an interview with the radio show Democracy Now, Rosenberg said that she was "totally and profoundly influenced by the revolutionary movements of the '60s and '70s." She became active in feminist causes, and worked in support of the Puerto Rican independence movement and the fight against the FBI's COINTELPRO program.[6][10] She also joined the May 19th Communist Organization, which worked in support of the Black Liberation Army and its offshoots (including assistance in armored truck robberies), the Weather Underground and other revolutionary organizations.[11]Rosenberg was charged with a role in the 1983 bombing of the United States Capitol Building, the U.S. National War College and the New York Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, but the charges were dropped as part of a plea deal by other members of her group.[7][12]
Arrested for explosives possession in November 1984 after two years underground, she was convicted by a jury in March 1985, and given a 58-year-sentence. Supporters said this was sixteen times the national average for such offenses.[13] Her lawyers contend that, had the case not been politically charged, Rosenberg would have received a five-year sentence.[6]
Rosenberg was one of the first two inmates of the High Security Unit (HSU), a high-security isolation unit in the basement of the Federal Correctional Institution (currently the Federal Medical Center) in Lexington, Kentucky.[14][15][16] Allegations were made that the unit was an experimental underground political prison that practiced isolation and sensory deprivation .[17] The women were subject to 24-hour camera surveillance and constant strip searches, and were given only limited access to visitors or to exercise.[18] After touring the unit, the American Civil Liberties Union denounced it as a "living tomb," and Amnesty International called it "deliberately and gratuitously oppressive."[19] After a lawsuit was brought by the ACLU and other organizations, the unit was ordered closed by a federal judge in 1988 and the prisoners transferred to regular cells.[14]
Rosenberg was transferred to various prisons around the country, in Florida, California and, finally, in Danbury, Connecticut. While in prison, she devoted herself to writing and to activism around AIDS, and obtained a master's degree from Antioch University.[9] Speaking at a 2007 forum, Rosenberg said that writing "became the mechanism by which to save my own sanity." She added that she began writing partly because the intense isolation of prison was threatening to cut her off completely from the real world and that she did not want to lose her connection to that world.[20]
Release Rosenberg's sentence was commuted by President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001, his last day in office, to the more than 16 years' time served. Her commutation produced a wave of criticism by police and New York elected officials.[21]
After her release, Rosenberg became the communications director for the American Jewish World Service, an international development and human rights organization, based in New York City. She also continued her work as an anti-prison activist, and taught literature at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. After teaching for four semesters there as an adjunct instructor, the CUNY administration, responding to political pressure, forced John Jay College to end its association with Rosenberg, and her contract with the school was allowed to expire without her being rehired.[22]
In 2004 Hamilton College offered her a position to teach a for-credit month-long seminar, "Resistance Memoirs: Writing, Identity and Change." Some professors, alumni and parents of students objected and as a result of the ongoing protests, she declined the offer.[23]
As of 2020, Rosenberg serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Thousand Currents, a non-profit foundation that sponsors the fundraising and does administrative work for the Black Lives Matter Global Network, among other clients.[24]
Writing In 2011, Rosenberg published a memoir of her time in prison called, An American Radical: A Political Prisoner In My Own Country. Kirkus Reviews said of the book, "Articulate and clear-eyed, Rosenberg's memoir memorably records the struggles of a woman determined to be the agent of her own life".[25]
Rosenberg, Susan (2011). An American Radical: A Political Prisoner In My Own Country . New York: Kensington Publishing Corp. ISBN 978-0806533049. See also Bill Clinton pardons controversyBrinks Robbery (1981)Weather Underground OrganizationMay 19th Communist OrganizationPrison abolition movementList of people pardoned or granted clemency by the president of the United StatesReferences ^ Rosenau, William. "Tonight We Bombed the U.S. Capitol"., Inc . Retrieved 11 July 2020 . ^ US Department of Justice National Institute of Justice: FBI Analysis of Terrorist incidents and Terrorist related activities in the United States (1984) ^ Rosenau, William (April 3, 2020). "The Dark History of America's First Female Terrorist Group". ^ Raab, Selwyn (1984-12-01). "Radical fugitive in brink's robbery arrested". The New York Times . Retrieved 2008-04-19 . A Weather Underground fugitive who had been sought for two years in the $1.6 million Brink's robbery and murder case has been arrested in New Jersey by a police officer who became suspicious of her ill-fitting wig. ^ "Clinton Pardon's List". The Washington Post. Associated Press. January 20, 2001 . Retrieved July 23, 2017 . ^ a b c "An Exclusive Interview with Susan Rosenberg After President Clinton Granted Her Executive clemency". Democracy Now!. 2001-01-23 . Retrieved 2013-05-03 . ^ a b Christopher, Tommy (April 16, 2008). "Clinton has Bigger Weather Underground Problem". Political Machine. AOL News. [dead link ] ^ a b "vol13, 1989: America's Most Dangerous Woman? by Merle Hoffman". On The Issues Magazine . Retrieved 2013-05-03 . ^ a b [1] Archived August 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine ^ Berger, Dan. Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity. p. 328. ^ "Full text of "The Way The Wind Blew: A History Of The Weather Underground " ". . Retrieved 2013-05-03 . ^ "3 Radicals Agree to Plead Guilty in Bombing Case". The New York Times. 1990-09-06 . Retrieved 2008-11-03 . Three radicals will plead guilty to setting off bombs at the nation's Capitol and seven other sites in the early 1980s. The Government has agreed to drop charges against three other people. ^ The New Abolitionists: (Neo)slave Narratives And Contemporary Prison Writings - Google Boeken. . Retrieved 2013-05-03 . ^ a b "Judge Bars U.S. From Isolating Prisoners for Political Beliefs", The New York Times, July 17, 1988. Accessed 19 October 2008 ^ Susie Day more on US Politics/Economy. "Day, Susie. "Cruel But Not Unusual: The Punishment of Women in U.S. Prisons, An Interview with Marilyn Buck and Laura Whitehorn." ''Monthly Review,''August, 2001. Accessed 19 October 2008". . Retrieved 2013-05-03 . ^ "Reuben, William A.; Norman, Carlos. "Brainwashing in America? The women of Lexington Prison". ''The Nation'', 1987. Accessed 19 October 2008". Questia Online Library . Retrieved 2013-05-03 . ^ Rodriguez, Dylan. Forced Passages: Imprisoned Radical Intellectuals and the U.S. Prison Regime. U of Minnesota Press, 2006.ISBN 0-8166-4560-4. P.189 ^ New York Magazine, June 25, 1990 ^ Warhol-Down, Robyn & Herndl, Diane Price (2009). Feminisms Redux: An Anthology of Literary Theory and Criticism. Rutgers University Press. p. 338. ^ [2] Archived October 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine ^ Lipton, Eric (January 22, 2001). "Officials Criticize Clinton's Pardon of an Ex-Terrorist". New York Times. ^ Post Jobs (2013-04-29). "Ever Vulnerable Adjuncts". Inside Higher Ed . Retrieved 2013-05-03 . ^ Kimball, Roger (December 3, 2004). "Meet the Newest Member of the Faculty - Clinton pardons a terrorist, and now she's teaching in Clinton, N.Y. - Wall Street Journal". ^ url= ^ "Home | Prison Memoir: An American Radical | Political Prisoner in My Own Country". An American Radical. 2011-07-11 . Retrieved 2013-05-03 .
Inside the female-run communist terror group hell-bent on destruction
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 17:46
The handcuffed woman glowered as federal investigators swarmed the Cherry Hill, New Jersey, storage unit where her ''combat materials'' were stashed. But not even a hardened homegrown terrorist like 29-year-old Susan Rosenberg was ready to die this November night in 1984.
''Put out the f''king cigarette,'' she growled at an officer who had unwisely lit up.
Rosenberg knew that the unit was stuffed with 740 pounds of leaking explosives. The nitroglycerine oozing from her poorly maintained cache of dynamite '-- stolen from a Texas construction firm four years earlier '-- was dangerous and highly unstable.
Rosenberg and an accomplice, Tim Blunk, were hauled off to the local police station as the feds delicately dismantled their arsenal and ferried it in small batches across the Delaware River to a bomb-disposal unit in Philadelphia.
The bust marked the beginning of the end of the May 19th Communist Organization, the nation's only woman-run terror group, William Rosenau recounts in ''Tonight We Bombed the U.S. Capitol'' (Atria), out Tuesday.
M19's two-year bombing campaign in New York City and Washington, DC, aimed to cast a cloud over what President Ronald Reagan's re-election campaign was promising: a sunny, prosperous ''Morning in America.''
Reagan's election in 1980 told the remnants of America's radical left that the country had rejected their call to revolution.
But M19's core of five women and two men pushed back with a series of seven explosions that they intended to be ''percussive wake-up calls'' for the nation, Rosenau writes '-- ''proof that an underground army was still at work.''
Most of M19's women were lesbians who claimed their orientation fueled their politics. The men had to prove their worth with initiation tasks: Alan Berkman donated his sperm so that founding member Judy Clark could get pregnant without having to endure conventional sex.
M19 bombed the Officers Club at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, on April 20, 1984, the day that the Navy launched military exercises in the Caribbean.Middle-class and college-educated, M19's members shared a disdain for their own whiteness. To prove they weren't merely ''mouthing revolution,'' they allied with the Black Liberation Army to break cop-killer Joanne Chesimard (aka Assata Shakur) out of prison in 1979. Two years later they assisted in the notorious Brink's robbery of 1981, which killed two Nyack police officers and a bank guard.
Clark's arrest in the Brink's debacle sent the rest of M19 underground. There they plotted to shake up American society with their bombs.
The first target was an FBI field office in Staten Island, located above a US Post Office one block from the Staten Island Ferry terminal. The women planted a timer-controlled bomb in an unguarded restroom on Jan. 28, 1983, setting the detonator to go off after hours.
No one was killed or seriously hurt in this or any of their bombings. But the charge did extensive damage '-- ''You'd never know it was once a ladies' room,'' NYPD Capt. Tosano Simonetti told the Staten Island Advance '-- and flooded the post office with three inches of water.
Later that year, on Nov. 7, M19 members blended in with the tourists and staffers who swarmed the US Capitol. They stashed a Puma-branded duffel bag under a bench just outside the Senate chamber, an area no longer open to the public.
The blast that night punched a 15-foot crater in a brick wall, shattered chandeliers and shredded a portrait of 19th-century Sen. John C. Calhoun, the slavery-defending South Carolina Democrat.
After each explosion, the group called a news outlet and claimed responsibility in the name of a fictitious organization '-- the Armed Resistance Unit, the Revolutionary Fighting Group, Red Guerrilla Resistance '-- creating the illusion of a vast militant network poised to overthrow the system.
But the FBI spotted similarities in the structure of each device and the phrasing of their messages. When the storage manager in Cherry Hill saw suspicious discrepancies in the rental application of a wig-wearing woman, he notified police.
After Rosenberg's bust, it took the FBI six months to roll up the rest of M19 in ones and twos, hiding in safe houses throughout the Northeast.
All of them were indicted for the bombings in 1988. But they never went to trial, opting for plea deals instead '-- except for Betty Ann Duke, who skipped bail in 1985 and remains a federal fugitive.
The rest served lengthy sentences before release or parole. Bill Clinton granted Rosenberg a presidential pardon on his last day in office in 2001, after she had served 16 years. Now 64, she teaches women's studies at CUNY's Hunter College in Manhattan.
But it was Clark who remained behind bars the longest. Convicted of second-degree murder for her role in the Brink's robbery, she was jailed for 37 years, until Gov. Cuomo commuted her sentence and she won parole in 2019. Her daughter Harriet '-- ''raised by the collective'' as a baby and by her grandparents while her mother was behind bars '-- was there to greet her on her release. Parole officials said Clark moved to Manhattan and took a job with Hour Children, a nonprofit dedicated to incarcerated women.
In the 1980s, a Far-Left, Female-Led Domestic Terrorism Group Bombed the U.S. Capitol | History | Smithsonian Magazine
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 04:46
Amidst the social and political turmoil of the 1970s, a handful of women'--among them a onetime Barnard student, a Texas sorority sister, the daughter of a former communist journalist'--joined and became leaders of the May 19th Communist Organization. Named to honor the shared birthday of civil rights icon Malcolm X and Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, M19 took its belief in ''revolutionary anti-imperialism'' to violent extremes: It is ''the first and only women-created and women-led terrorist group,'' says national security expert and historian William Rosenau.
M19's status as an ''incredible outlier'' from male-led terrorist organizations prompted Rosenau, an international security fellow at the think tank New America, to excavate the inner workings of the secretive and short-lived militant group. The resulting book, Tonight We Bombed the Capitol, pieces together the unfamiliar story of ''a group of essentially middle-class, well educated, white people who made a journey essentially from anti-war and civil rights protest to terrorism,'' he says.
After their formation in 1978, M19's tactics escalated from picketing and poster-making to robbing armored trucks and abetting prison breaks. In 1979, they helped spring explosives-builder William Morales of the Puerto Rican nationalist group FALN and Black Liberation Army organizer Assata Shakur (n(C)e Joanne Chesimard) from their respective prisons. (Both Shakur and Morales remain on the FBI's wanted lists for terrorism and are thought to live in Cuba.)
Eventually, M19 turned to building explosives themselves. Just before 11 p.m. on November 7, 1983, they called the U.S. Capitol switchboard and warned them to evacuate the building. Ten minutes later, a bomb detonated in the building's north wing, harming no one but blasting a 15-foot gash in a wall and causing $1 million in damage. Over the course of a 20-month span in 1983 and 1984, M19 also bombed an FBI office, the Israel Aircraft Industries building, and the South African consulate in New York, D.C.'s Fort McNair and Navy Yard (which they hit twice.) The attacks tended to follow a similar pattern: a warning call to clear the area, an explosion, a pre-recorded message to media railing against U.S. imperialism or the war machine under various organizational aliases (never using the name M19).
Susan Rosenberg, left, was one of M19's most central members in its early years. Starting in high school, Rosenberg spent time with members of the Black Panthers and Young Lords, and her politics remained leftist through her brief time at Barnard. Linda Sue Evans, right, hailed from the Midwest. Both women's prison sentences were commuted by President Bill Clinton in 2001. (AP Images)Who were these domestic terrorists sought by the FBI? Rosenau writes of ''self-described 'corn-fed girl''' Linda Sue Evans, whose politics took a radical turn while attending Michigan State University in the midst of the Vietnam War. Many M19 members' stories echo Linda's'--college activism (at schools including Cornell, Berkeley, Radcliffe and Hampshire College) shaped their far-left worldviews, and for some, their status as out lesbians put them at odds with a heteronormative, patriarchal society.
M19 membership typically followed involvement with other far-left groups. New Yorker Susan Rosenberg, one of M19's earliest members, traveled to Cuba with the Castro-friendly Venceremos Brigade, and Italian-born Silvia Baraldini was part of a front for the militant Weather Underground. Along with several others, Alan Berkman, a Columbia-trained doctor who was one of the few men in the M19 inner circle, was involved with the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee.
Tim Blunk, seen here after time spent in Rikers Island, was one of the few male members of M19. Blunk had been involved in the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and anti-apartheid activism in college, where he met Susan Rosenberg. Blunk married Silvia Baraldini to help her obtain U.S. citizenship. Today, Blunk is a florist in New Jersey. (Courtesy of William Rosenau)As M19's spree turned more and more violent, M19's members became evermore insular and paranoid, nearly cultish, living communally and rotating through aliases and disguises until, in 1985, law enforcement captured the group's most devoted lieutenants. After that, Rosenau writes, ''The far-left terrorist project that began with the Weathermen '... and continued into the mid-1980s with May 19th ended in abject failure.''
Smithsonian magazine asked Rosenau about the left-wing extremist group, his research process and how this case study of domestic terrorism is relevant today.
Where would you position M19 relative to groups that people may be more familiar with, like the Weather Underground?
They are sort of an offshoot of the Weather Underground, which essentially cracked up in the mid 1980s. These women decided to continue the armed struggle. Many of them had been in the Weather Underground, but they thought the Weather Underground had made important ideological mistakes, that the Weather Underground saw itself as a vanguard of revolution, when in fact the real revolutions were going on in the third world. Or in the United States itself, in places like Puerto Rico or among Native Americans.
But the real revolutionaries were these third-world freedom fighters. And it should be the job of North American anti-imperialists, as they called themselves, to support those liberation movements in whatever way they could. So if that meant bombing the Navy to protest the role of the United States in Central America in the early 1980s, they would do that. If it meant attacking the South African consulate in New York that represented the apartheid regime [which they did in September 1984], they would do that.
They really saw themselves as being as supporters and followers of these third-world struggles in the Middle East, in southern Africa and in this hemisphere particularly. They talked about themselves as being in the belly of the beast, being at the center of this imperialist monster. So they had a particular responsibility, in their view, to carry out actions to bring this monster to heel.
Given how secretive M19 was, what was your research process like?
I'm a historian by training, so I really concentrated my efforts on archives. Unlike a lot of other people who study terrorism, I really had plowed into court records. There were multiple trials involving the women and men of May 19th and fortunately those are all preserved in the Federal Records Centers, which are part of the National Archives. So I spent days going through boxes of federal court records, which have everything from transcripts to affidavits from FBI agents to grand jury testimony to evidence picked up at the various crime scenes. Those trial records were absolutely invaluable to really get inside this group.
Two of the members had donated their papers, one to Smith College and one to Columbia University Medical Center, and these were incredibly valuable'--I mean everything from high school essays to photographs of trips to Vietnam in 1975 to what looks like a picture taken before a college prom, and just things like transcripts of parole hearings.
Like most terrorist groups, they tried not to leave a trail, but in fact they wound up leaving a substantial paper trail.
To maintain secrecy, M19 members wore disguises (like this red wig) and made calls from pay phones. This image shows Linda Sue Evans under FBI surveillance in Baltimore in May of 1985; the FBI tracked M19 members living there down by monitoring calls to a music store where Evans had dropped off a guitar. (Courtesy of William Rosenau)What surprised you the most?
Towards the tail end of their life cycle as a group, they really at least debated amongst themselves quite intensely the assassination of police officers, of prosecutors, of military officers.
And while it's true that none of their bombings killed anyone, they certainly contemplated it. From the court records, [I learned that] they had these inventories of weapons and dynamite and detonation cord and Uzi machine guns, fully automatic with sawed-off barrels. They had incredible arsenals, and I guess they would probably argue that was for self-defense. But it seems like they were at least preparing for something much more kind of apocalyptic. Fortunately, it never happened.
M19 is unique in being a woman-founded and -led terrorist organization. Did that influence its objectives or shape it in any particularly distinguishing way?
They certainly were much more feminist and pro-woman than the Weather Underground, which was notoriously misogynistic. They were acutely conscious of any kind of sexism within themselves. The liberation of women, gay people, racial minorities was much more at the forefront for them than groups like the Weather Underground. It's important to realize they didn't really believe in so-called ''bourgeois feminism'', National Organization for Women, equal pay, all that stuff. Yeah, that was all nice, but they considered that a distraction; women's liberation would actually come with political revolution.
And that was the important thing, right? That all these other things would flow when imperialism was defeated, when capitalism was defeated. Like a lot of terrorist organizations, what this future utopia would actually look like was left a bit vague. I think that's probably the big difference: their hatred of misogyny and their very self-conscious efforts to root out misogyny within their ranks.
You write, "Despite claims by Fox News and others that Antifa activists are 'terrorists,' their street brawling and harassment of right-wing extremists hardly rise to the level of the left-wing political violence of the 1960s, '70s and '80s. The same cannot be said about the Neo-Nazi and white supremacist violence." Could you talk about the parallels or lack thereof between the left-wing terrorism you write about and some of the domestic terrorism we're seeing today?
The white supremacists [today] are not obviously as structured. You do have coherent groups like Atomwaffen Division, an extremely dangerous right-wing extremist group. But one of the things they share is that ideology is extremely important to them. They have a'-- I wouldn't call it a coherent world view, but they have some very well-defined ideological notions about how the world works. That's very similar to May 19th and the far-left extremist groups of the '60s and '70s and the '80s, that they're not crazy.
Some of them are highly intelligent and articulate. They are strategic in their thinking, meaning that they have ways, ends and means. They're careful in their plotting. The idea that somehow these right-wing extremists today are just, I don't know, pissed-off young guys who hate black people and immigrants'--yeah, they are. But they also have some very poisonous ideas, which actually have pretty deep roots.
Systemic terrorism has been a deep, deep part of our history. After the Civil War, it's not just the Ku Klux Klan, but outright insurgency against Republicans in Southern states by white militias and white supremacists. One of the things I'm trying to bring forth in the book is this notion, to quote [Black nationalist leader H. Rap Brown], "Violence is as American as cherry pie." Terrorism is not an exception, a one-off, a random thing. It is deeply ingrained in our politics and society and history.
Are there places where you see flawed comparisons or where parallels can't or shouldn't be drawn?
Historical context is absolutely paramount. We kind of lump terrorism together, like groups as disparate as Students for a Democratic Society, Al Qaeda, Red Army Faction, Aum Shinrikyo, but these are all products of particular times and particular places.
For example, I don't see circumstances in which left-wing, violent extremism today becomes anywhere near as it was in the early 1970s. I just don't think the conditions exist, and it's hard to imagine those conditions developing. You had the Vietnam War, a national draft...
People talk about polarization now, but just look at the early 1970s where literally thousands of bombs were set off per year. The important thing is just to realize that there are some similarities, but these are very different periods in time and each period of time is unique.
Snopes Labors to Discourage the Word 'Terrorist' for Convicted Leftist Bomb-Carrier | Newsbusters
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 15:20
''Terrorism'' has always been a politically loaded negative word. Violent radicals don't want to be tagged with it. But should ''fact checkers'' really try to deny that bombing U.S. government buildings fits the T-word? ran a ''fact check'' headlined
Did a 'Convicted Terrorist' Sit on the Board of a BLM Funding Body?
Snopes took exception to this tweet by @asdomke, an account with less than 4,000 followers: ''This is convicted terrorist Susan Rosenberg, she sits on the Board of Directors for the fundraising arm of Black Lives Matter. She was convicted for the 1983 bombing of the United States Capitol Building, the U.S. Naval War College and the New York Patrolmen's Benevolent Assoc.''
Snopes tried to twist this into a ''Mixture'' ruling by noting her conviction, but showing great trepidation at the word "terrorist." There's no "universally-agreed definition," they insisted:
What's True
Susan Rosenberg has served as vice chair of the board of directors for Thousand Currents, an organization that provides fundraising and fiscal sponsorship for the Black Lives Matter Global Movement. She was an active member of revolutionary left-wing movements whose illegal activities included bombing U.S. government buildings and committing armed robberies.
What's Undetermined
In the absence of a single, universally-agreed definition of "terrorism," it is a matter of subjective determination as to whether the actions for which Rosenberg was convicted and imprisoned '-- possession of weapons and hundreds of pounds of explosives '-- should be described as acts of "domestic terrorism."
If it's a ''subjective determination,'' then why are the ''fact checkers'' choosing to evaluate it? They demonstrate their bias by trying to rebut conservative arguments or simply cast doubt on them. They don't want "terrorist" and "Black Lives Matter" linked.
The Rosenberg story made its way across conservative media, including the Daily Caller,, and Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News. Snopes pointed out these reports were largely based on a June 24, 2020, report published by the Washington-based Capital Research Center, which carried the headline ''A Terrorist's Ties to a Leading Black Lives Matter Group.''
Is "violent revolutionary" going to sound better to the fact checkers? Because bombings aren't "peaceful protests."
There was a minor factual quibble in all this: Rosenberg was arrested in 1984 when she was ''found transferring 740 pounds of explosives, an Uzi submachine gun, an M-14 rifle, a rifle with a telescopic sight, a sawed-off shotgun, three 9-millimeter handguns and boxes of ammunition from a car into a storage locker.'' She was not convicted for the 1983 bombings, in part because of the harsh maximum sentence given for the 1984 arrest -- 58 years. In 2001, President Clinton pardoned her right before he left office. She had served 16 years behind bars.
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The Labor/Community Strategy Center is a multi-racial social justice organizing addressing the totality of urban life. Our work spans sustainable communities, urban transportation, climate change, criminal justice, environmental justice and youth leadership and organizing development, focused on low-income working class communities of color. We see ourselves as a national organization with a strong regional base in LA County.
Mr. Eric Mann
Ms. Barbara Lott-Holland
1506 Crenshaw Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019 USA
mass transit, civil rights, environmental justice, school to prison pipeline, organizer training, climate justice, movement art, culture, film, books
Community Coalitions (S21)
Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (A01)
Minority Rights (R22)
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FFSC Taking Action Clubs in LA High Schools
The Community Rights Campaign addresses widespread public health problems among high school youths of color'--obesity, substance abuse, mental illness, chronic disease, and homicide'--which we believe are directly exacerbated by racialized ''zero tolerance'' policies exercised within the Los Angeles public high school system that increasingly address student behavior issues through repression and the criminalization of everyday life for so many youth. The core demands of the Community Rights Campaign's No to Pre-Prison Project are: Decriminalize truancy'--Repealing LA's ''daytime curfew,'' the legal basis for truancy and tardy tickets. End Zero Tolerance policies and transform school culture'--Reversing the schools-as-jails culture and creating positive learning environments. Police accountability'--Establishing a community oversight body for misconduct by LASPD officers and reduce and restrict school police involvement in enforcing discipline on school campuses.
Population(s) Served
Children and youth (0-19 years)
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people
Fight for the Soul of the Cities
The Fight for the Soul of the Cities is an international vision for urban organizing'--focusing on Los Angeles, and from there, to the major cities of the U.S. in solidarity with the cities and people of the Third World. It is the product of 24 years of organizing by the Labor/Community Strategy Center, 20 years of work by our Bus Riders Union, and seven years of work by our Community Rights Campaign. It builds on our vision for L.A. and the urban movement in Reconstructing Los Angeles from the Bottom Up, written in 1992, and Towards a Program of Resistance, written by our Program Demand Group in 2002.
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Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people
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Board Chair Ms. Barbara Lott-Holland
Labor / Community Strategy Center
Term: 2015 - 2020
Georgia HayashiFormer executive at LCSC
Manuel CriolloUniversity of New Mexico
Barbara Lott-HollandLabor Community Strategy Center
Martin HernandezRetired LA County Worker
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Our organization was birthed as a Black and Brown united front. Multi-racial organization committed to end racism. Continues to be built in that tradition.
Bus Riders Union (Los Angeles) - Wikipedia
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 15:10
The Bus Riders Union (BRU) (also called Sindicato de Pasajeros (SDP) and ë²ìŠ¤ 승ê°' ì°í•(C) (ë²ìŠ¹ì°) ) is a United States civil rights social movement organization established in Los Angeles, California in 1994. Led by a planning committee, its multilingual membership is drawn from the predominantly low-income, African-American, Latino and Asian mass transit ridership of Los Angeles County. The BRU's central focus has been policies of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) that it identifies as racial discrimination. The BRU attracted international attention when it successfully sued LACMTA under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act in 1994 and its example has inspired similar efforts to organize mass transit passengers.[2][3][4][5][6]
Bus Riders UnionAbbreviationBRUMotto1,000 more buses, 1,000 less policeFormation1992TypeGrassroots Civil Rights OrganizationPurpose"The Bus Riders Union seeks to promote environmentally sustainable public transportation for the entire population of Los Angeles, on the premise that affordable, efficient, and environmentally sound mass transit is a human right."HeadquartersLos Angeles, CaliforniaRegion served
Los Angeles, CaliforniaMembership
Barbara Lott-HollandChairperson
Eric Edit The Bus Rider's Union is a project of the Labor/Community Strategy Center (LCSC) that began as an outgrowth of the LCSC's Labor/Community Watchdog environmental justice campaign against air pollution in the L.A. Port area. The BRU was founded by the LSCS's director, Eric Mann who is also co-chair of the union along with Barbara Lott-Holland.[7][8] The LCSC began organizing bus riders in 1992 and, as it expanded its tactics from grassroots organizing to include legal action, it built "across geographic and ethnic lines" to bring together "a multiethnic, progressive coalition."[9][8] In 1996, it filed a civil rights lawsuit in association with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates against the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, alleging that the LACMTA was using federal funds for public transit in a discriminatory manner.[9]
A feature-length documentary titled Bus Riders Union (2000) directed by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler, captures the early years of organizing through to the signing of the consent decree.[10]
Civil Rights Consent Decree, 1996-2006 Edit Represented by Constance Rice and others from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, LCSC, BRU, Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates were able first to obtain an injunction preventing LACMTA from eliminating the monthly pass in 1994. In 1996 after a high-profile media and grassroots campaign against LACMTA's policies of "transit racism," LCSC, BRU et al. agreed to sign with LACMTA a Title VI consent decree.[9][8]
The plaintiffs argued that LACMTA was using disproportionately more of its federal funds on the suburban-oriented rail service and its wealthier, whiter ridership, at the same time as it was spending disproportionately less on the bus system and its much larger, lower-income ridership, predominantly made up of people of color. As of July 2007, 17% of LACMTA's rail riders were white classified as white non-Hispanics. In contrast, only 10% of bus riders were classified as white non-Hispanics.[11][12] Martin Wachs and Richard Berk of UCLA, and James Moore II of USC were among the professors of transportation, planning and statistics who provided expert reports and other assistance to the plaintiffs.[13] The former chief financial officer of LACMTA's predecessor agency, Thomas Rubin, also provided key assistance to the plaintiffs. LACMTA agreed to settle the case on the eve of the trial, "when it faced extensive public disclosure and media coverage of its discriminatory, inefficient, and environmentally destructive transportation policies."[8]
The consent decree required LACMTA to:[8]
retain the unlimited monthly-use pass and reduce it from $49 to $42; reduce the biweekly pass from $26.50 to $21; and to create a new weekly pass for $11purchase 102 buses to ease existing overcrowding on the busescommit to reducing overcrowding levels by specified goals and specified times, working under a court-appointed Special Master with BRU in a Joint Working Group over the life of the decreecreate new bus services designed to connect people of color and the poor to job and medical sites.The LACMTA and BRU disagreed many times whether the LACTMA was in compliance with the new rules. Over the course of the decree, it appealed rulings based on the consent decree numerous times, including a final appeal that it took to the Supreme Court, which was rejected in March 2002.[14] In 2006, as the decree was set to expire, BRU et al. filed an appeal to extend it, but it was rejected by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2009.[15]
Controversy Edit The consent decree has been a controversial subject in local news media.[16] Over the course of the decree, local columnists and news outlet OpEds have taken positions for and against the decree and various rulings associated with it.[17][18][19]
Current activism Edit Recently, the BRU has branched out into other civil rights issues. The BRU was one of the sponsors of the Great American Boycott demonstration in Los Angeles on May 1, 2006.[20] The current campaign is "1,000 More Buses, 1,000 Less Police", as the BRU is advocating that policing be reduced throughout the city because of past abuses by the Los Angeles Police Department of minority civil rights.
The Bus Riders Union strongly opposed the fare increases that were proposed in 2007. While the turnout of members at the hearing was impressive, the strategy of having a fare decrease as their chief demand was ineffectual. The BRU has since taken credit for highlighting equity issues in the debate over bus fares, but has offered no substantive solutions to increase transit funding.
The LCSC has launched a Center for Transportation Strategies intended to expand its involvement with regional and national transportation issues as an outgrowth of a 2005 conference attended by activists from around the U.S.
Since 2004, the BRU has engaged in an ongoing advocacy campaign for the placing of bus only lanes along Wilshire Boulevard.[21]
Criticism Edit Criticism of the BRU points to the high use of some LACMTA rail lines among minorities to argue that the BRU legal case and its assertion of racism has no basis.[22][23] Critics also take issue with the BRU's rhetorical or political style, contending that BRU organizers are overly combative and ideological.[24][25] An additional line of criticism draws from modal debates in the field of urban transit planning, asserting that rail should hold a higher priority than the bus, or that the BRU's overemphasis on one mode is counterproductive.[26][23]
In addition, criticism has centered on the BRU's non-bus related civil rights activities. A columnist in the Jewish Journal criticized the BRU for publishing flyers comparing the situation of Palestinians to those of Jews in Nazi Germany, and questioned the BRU taking funds from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, a foundation "formed in the Jewish tradition".[27]
See also Edit Bus Riders Union (Vancouver)References Edit ^, "About the Bus Riders Union Archived March 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine". Accessed 5 March 2015. ^ Sterngold, James (September 16, 2001). "A Los Angeles Commuter Group Sees Discrimination in Transit Policies". New York Times. ^ Wood, Daniel B. (July 21, 1997). "Urban Buses Host a Struggle for Equity". Christian Science Monitor. ^ Claiborne, William (February 23, 1997). "The Work-in-Progress L.A. Subway Might Be at the End of the Line; City's Mass Transit Future Embroiled in Political, Financial Uncertainty". Washington Post. ^ Cornwell, Tim (October 17, 1999). "People Power Gets Aboard LA Buses". The Independent (London). ^ Campbell, Duncan (October 5, 1999). "LA judge backs bus passenger power". The Guardian (London). ^ Novotny, Patrick (2000). Where we live, work, and play: the environmental justice movement and the struggle for a new environmentalism. Greenwood. pp. 65''69. ^ a b c d e Lucas, Karen (2004). Running on empty: transport, social exclusion and environmental justice . University of Bristol: Policy Press Books. pp. 220''242. ISBN 978-1861345691. ^ a b c Marks, Mara A.; Elizabeth Gearin; Carol S. Armstrong (2004). Jennifer R. Wolch; et al. (eds.). Up Against the Sprawl: public policy and the making of Southern California. U of Minnesota P. pp. 357''359. ^ McCarthy, Todd (April 2, 2000). "Bus Riders Union". Variety . Retrieved April 13, 2011 . ^ "Metro's Diverse Ridership Reflects County Populations" (PDF) . Metro Quarterly. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Summer 2008. ^ "Fact Sheet" (PDF) . Metrolink Trains. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2008. ^ "Labor/Community, et al v. LA County MTA, et al" (PDF) . United States District Court, Central District of Los Angeles. August 31, 1994. ^ Streeter, Kurt (March 19, 2002). "Final MTA Appeal of Bus Accord Fails". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved April 13, 2011 . ^ "L.A. Now". Los Angeles Times. May 6, 2009. ^ Mascaro, Lisa (April 25, 2005). "MTA Consent Decree Drives Different Reactions in L.A.". The Daily News of Los Angeles. ^ Newton, Damien (October 28, 2011). " " 4 Year Storm:" BRU and Community Groups Look at MTA Post-Consent Decree". StreetsBlogLA . Retrieved March 5, 2014 . ^ Streeter, Kurt (April 12, 2003). "Bus Riders Union Rips MTA Bid to Raise Fares". Los Angeles Times. ^ Streeter, Kurt (August 8, 2002). "Mediator Rules Against MTA on Bus Crowding". Los Angeles Times. ^ "Full Amnesty for Immigrants & Students Contigent! [sic]" (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2007. ^ Groves, Martha (November 28, 2010). "Bus-only lanes proposed for Wilshire Boulevard". Los Angeles Times. ^ Haefele, Marc B. (February 5, 1999). "Let the Sunshine In". LA Weekly . Retrieved April 14, 2011 . ^ a b Stanger, Richard (June 11, 1999). "Commentary: No One Wins When Its Bus Vs Rail". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved April 14, 2011 . ^ "The Clenched Fist". Los Angeles Times. November 5, 2000 . Retrieved April 14, 2011 . ^ Berkowitz, Eric (August 19, 2005). "The Subway Mayor". LA Weekly . Retrieved April 14, 2011 . ^ Haefele, Marc B. (July 21, 2000). "What Reactionaries". LA Weekly. ^ Levy, Mike (August 8, 2002). "Bus-only lanes proposed for Wilshire Boulevard". Jewish Journal. External links Edit Official Bus Riders Union site
Weather Underground - Wikipedia
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 15:09
The Weather Underground Organization (WUO), commonly known as the Weather Underground, was a radical left militant organization active in the late 1960s and 1970s, founded on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan. It was originally called the Weathermen. The WUO organized in 1969 as a faction of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)[2] largely composed of the national office leadership of SDS and their supporters. Beginning in 1974, the organization's express political goal was to create a revolutionary party to overthrow what it viewed as American imperialism.
The WUO grew out of the Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM) faction of SDS. It took its name from Bob Dylan's lyric, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows", from the song "Subterranean Homesick Blues" (1965). That Dylan line was also the title of a position paper distributed at an SDS convention in Chicago on June 18, 1969. This founding document called for a "white fighting force" to be allied with the "Black Liberation Movement" and other radical movements[3] to achieve "the destruction of U.S. imperialism and form a classless communist world".[4]
The FBI classified the WUO as a domestic terrorist group,[5] with revolutionary positions characterized by black power and opposition to the Vietnam War.[2] The WUO took part in domestic attacks such as the jailbreak of Timothy Leary in 1970.[6][7] The "Days of Rage" was the WUO's first riot in October 1969 in Chicago, timed to coincide with the trial of the Chicago Seven. In 1970, the group issued a "Declaration of a State of War" against the United States government under the name "Weather Underground Organization".[8]
In the 1970s, the WUO conducted a bombing campaign targeting government buildings and several banks. Some attacks were preceded by evacuation warnings, along with threats identifying the particular matter that the attack was intended to protest. Three members of the group were killed in an accidental Greenwich Village townhouse explosion, but none were killed in any of the bombings. The WUO communiqu(C) issued in connection with the bombing of the United States Capitol on March 1, 1971 indicated that it was "in protest of the U.S. invasion of Laos". The WUO asserted that its May 19, 1972 bombing of the Pentagon was "in retaliation for the U.S. bombing raid in Hanoi". The WUO announced that its January 29, 1975 bombing of the United States Department of State building was "in response to the escalation in Vietnam".[8][9]
The WUO began to disintegrate after the United States reached a peace accord in Vietnam in 1973,[10][page needed ] and it was defunct by 1977.
Background and formation Edit The Weathermen emerged from the campus-based opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War and from the civil rights movement of the 1960s. One of the factors that contributed to the radicalization of SDS members was the Economic Research and Action Project that the SDS undertook in Northern urban neighborhoods from 1963 to 1968. This project was aimed at creating an interracial movement of the poor that would mobilize for full and fair employment or guaranteed annual income and political rights for poverty class Americans. Their goal was to create a more democratic society "which guarantees political freedom, economic and physical security, abundant education, and incentives for wide cultural variety". While the initial phase of the SDS involved campus organizing, phase two involved community organizing. These experiences led some SDS members to conclude that deep social change would not happen through community organizing and electoral politics, and that more radical and disruptive tactics were needed.[11]
In the late 1960s, United States military action in Southeast Asia escalated, especially in Vietnam. In the U.S., the anti-war sentiment was particularly pronounced during the 1968 U.S. presidential election.
The origins of the Weathermen can be traced to the collapse and fragmentation of the Students for a Democratic Society following a split between office holders of SDS, or "National Office", and their supporters and the Progressive Labor Party (PLP). During the factional struggle National Office leaders such as Bernardine Dohrn and Mike Klonsky began announcing their emerging perspectives, and Klonsky published a document titled "Toward a Revolutionary Youth Movement" (RYM).[8][12]
RYM promoted the philosophy that young workers possessed the potential to be a revolutionary force to overthrow capitalism, if not by themselves then by transmitting radical ideas to the working class. Klonsky's document reflected the philosophy of the National Office and was eventually adopted as official SDS doctrine. During the summer of 1969, the National Office began to split. A group led by Klonsky became known as RYM II, and the other side, RYM I, was led by Dohrn and endorsed more aggressive tactics such as direct action, as some members felt that years of nonviolent resistance had done little or nothing to stop the Vietnam War.[8] The Weathermen strongly sympathized with the radical Black Panther Party. The police killing of Panther Fred Hampton prompted the Weatherman to issue a declaration of war upon the United States government.
We petitioned, we demonstrated, we sat in. I was willing to get hit over the head, I did; I was willing to go to prison, I did. To me, it was a question of what had to be done to stop the much greater violence that was going on.
SDS Convention, June 1969 Edit At an SDS convention in Chicago on June 18, 1969, the National Office attempted to persuade unaffiliated delegates not to endorse a takeover of SDS by Progressive Labor who had packed the convention with their supporters.[13] At the beginning of the convention, two position papers were passed out by the National Office leadership, one a revised statement of Klonsky's RYM manifesto,[12] the other called "You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows".[14]
The latter document outlined the position of the group that would become the Weathermen. It had been signed by Karen Ashley, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, John Jacobs, Jeff Jones, Gerry Long, Howie Machtinger, Jim Mellen, Terry Robbins, Mark Rudd, and Steve Tappis. The document called for creating a clandestine revolutionary party.
The most important task for us toward making the revolution, and the work our collectives should engage in, is the creation of a mass revolutionary movement, without which a clandestine revolutionary party will be impossible. A revolutionary mass movement is different from the traditional revisionist mass base of "sympathizers". Rather it is akin to the Red Guard in China, based on the full participation and involvement of masses of people in the practice of making revolution; a movement with a full willingness to participate in the violent and illegal struggle.[15]
At this convention the Weatherman faction of the Students for a Democratic Society, planned for October 8''11, as a "National Action" built around John Jacobs' slogan, "bring the war home".[16] The National Action grew out of a resolution drafted by Jacobs and introduced at the October 1968 SDS National Council meeting in Boulder, Colorado. The resolution, titled "The Elections Don't Mean Shit'--Vote Where the Power Is'--Our Power Is In The Street" and adopted by the council, was prompted by the success of the Democratic National Convention protests in August 1968 and reflected Jacobs' strong advocacy of direct action.[17]
As part of the "National Action Staff", Jacobs was an integral part of the planning for what quickly came to be called "Four Days of Rage".[16] For Jacobs, the goal of the "Days of Rage" was clear:
Weatherman would shove the war down their dumb, fascist throats and show them, while we were at it, how much better we were than them, both tactically and strategically, as a people. In an all-out civil war over Vietnam and other fascist U.S. imperialism, we were going to bring the war home. 'Turn the imperialists' war into a civil war', in Lenin's words. And we were going to kick ass.[18]
In July 1969, 30 members of Weatherman leadership traveled to Cuba and met with North Vietnamese representatives to gain from their revolutionary experience. The North Vietnamese requested armed political action in order to stop the U.S. government's war in Vietnam. Subsequently, they accepted funding, training, recommendations on tactics and slogans from Cuba, and perhaps explosives as well.[19]
SDS Convention, December 1969 Edit After the Days of Rage riots the Weatherman held the last of its National Council meetings from December 26 to December 31, 1969 in Flint, Michigan. The meeting, dubbed the "War Council" by the 300 people who attended, adopted Jacobs' call for violent revolution.[3] Dohrn opened the conference by telling the delegates they needed to stop being afraid and begin the "armed struggle." Over the next five days, the participants met in informal groups to discuss what "going underground" meant, how best to organize collectives, and justifications for violence. In the evening, the groups reconvened for a mass "wargasm"'--practicing karate, engaging in physical exercise,[20] singing songs, and listening to speeches.[3][21][22][23][24]
The War Council ended with a major speech by John Jacobs. Jacobs condemned the "pacifism" of white middle-class American youth, a belief which he claimed they held because they were insulated from the violence which afflicted blacks and the poor. He predicted a successful revolution, and declared that youth were moving away from passivity and apathy and toward a new high-energy culture of "repersonalization" brought about by drugs, sex, and armed revolution.[3][21][22][23][24] "We're against everything that's 'good and decent' in honky America," Jacobs said in his most commonly quoted statement. "We will burn and loot and destroy. We are the incubation of your mother's nightmare."[21]
Two major decisions came out of the War Council. The first was to go underground and to begin a violent, armed struggle against the state without attempting to organize or mobilize a broad swath of the public. The Weather Underground hoped to create underground collectives in major cities throughout the country.[25] In fact, the Weathermen eventually created only three significant, active collectives; one in California, one in the Midwest, and one in New York City. The New York City collective was led by Jacobs and Terry Robbins, and included Ted Gold, Kathy Boudin, Cathy Wilkerson (Robbins' girlfriend), and Diana Oughton.[17] Jacobs was one of Robbins' biggest supporters, and pushed the Weathermen to let Robbins be as violent as he wanted to be. The Weatherman national leadership agreed, as did the New York City collective.[26] The collective's first target was Judge John Murtagh, who was overseeing the trial of the "Panther 21".[27]
The second major decision was the dissolution of SDS. After the summer of 1969 fragmentation of SDS, Weatherman's adherents explicitly claimed themselves the real leaders of SDS and retained control of the SDS National Office. Thereafter, any leaflet, label, or logo bearing the name "Students for a Democratic Society" (SDS) was in fact the views and politics of Weatherman, not of the slate elected by Progressive Labor. Weatherman contained the vast majority of former SDS National Committee members, including Mark Rudd, David Gilbert and Bernardine Dohrn. The group, while small, was able to commandeer the mantle of SDS and all of its membership lists, but with Weatherman in charge there was little or no support from local branches or members of the organization,[28][29] and local chapters soon disbanded. At the War Council, the Weathermen had decided to close the SDS National Office, ending the major campus-based organization of the 1960s which at its peak was a mass organization with 100,000 members.[30]
Ideology Edit The thesis of Weatherman theory, as expounded in its founding document, You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows, was that "the main struggle going on in the world today is between U.S. imperialism and the national liberation struggles against it",[31] based on Lenin's theory of imperialism, first expounded in 1916 in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. In Weatherman theory "oppressed peoples" are the creators of the wealth of empire, "and it is to them that it belongs." "The goal of revolutionary struggle must be the control and use of this wealth in the interest of the oppressed peoples of the world." "The goal is the destruction of U.S. imperialism and the achievement of a classless world: world communism"[32]
The Vietnamese and other third world countries, as well as third world people within the United States play a vanguard role. They "set the terms for class struggle in America ..."[33] The role of the "Revolutionary Youth Movement" is to build a centralized organization of revolutionaries, a "Marxist''Leninist Party" supported by a mass revolutionary movement to support international liberation movements and "open another battlefield of the revolution."[34][35]
The theoretical basis of the Revolutionary Youth Movement was an insight that most of the American population, including both students and the supposed "middle class," comprised, due to their relationship to the instruments of production, the working class,[36] thus the organizational basis of the SDS, which had begun in the elite colleges and had been extended to public institutions as the organization grew could be extended to youth as a whole including students, those serving in the military, and the unemployed. Students could be viewed as workers gaining skills prior to employment. This contrasted to the Progressive Labor view which viewed students and workers as being in separate categories which could ally, but should not jointly organize.[37]
FBI analysis of the travel history of the founders and initial followers of the organization emphasized contacts with foreign governments, particularly the Cuban and North Vietnamese and their influence on the ideology of the organization. Participation in the Venceremos Brigade, a program which involved U.S. students volunteering to work in the sugar harvest in Cuba, is highlighted as a common factor in the background of the founders of the Weather Underground, with China a secondary influence.[38] This experience was cited by both Kathy Boudin and Bernardine Dohrn as a major influence on their political development.[39]
Terry Robbins took the organization's name from the lyrics of the Bob Dylan song "Subterranean Homesick Blues,"[40] which featured the lyrics "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." The lyrics had been quoted at the bottom of an influential essay in the SDS newspaper, New Left Notes. By using this title the Weathermen meant, partially, to appeal to the segment of U.S. youth inspired to action for social justice by Dylan's songs.[41]
The Weatherman group had long held that militancy was becoming more important than nonviolent forms of anti-war action, and that university campus-based demonstrations needed to be punctuated with more dramatic actions, which had the potential to interfere with the U.S. military and internal security apparatus. The belief was that these types of urban guerrilla actions would act as a catalyst for the coming revolution. Many international events indeed seemed to support the Weathermen's overall assertion that worldwide revolution was imminent, such as the tumultuous Cultural Revolution in China; the 1968 student revolts in France, Mexico City and elsewhere; the Prague Spring; the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association; the emergence of the Tupamaros organization in Uruguay; the emergence of the Guinea-Bissauan Revolution and similar Marxist-led independence movements throughout Africa; and within the United States, the prominence of the Black Panther Party, together with a series of "ghetto rebellions" throughout poor black neighborhoods across the country.[42]
We felt that doing nothing in a period of repressive violence is itself a form of violence. That's really the part that I think is the hardest for people to understand. If you sit in your house, live your white life and go to your white job, and allow the country that you live in to murder people and to commit genocide, and you sit there and you don't do anything about it, that's violence.
The Weathermen were outspoken critics of the concepts that later came to be known as "white privilege" (described as white-skin privilege) and identity politics.[43][44] As the civil disorder in poor black neighborhoods intensified in the early 1970s, Bernardine Dohrn said, "White youth must choose sides now. They must either fight on the side of the oppressed, or be on the side of the oppressor."[8]
The Weathermen called for the overthrow of the United States government.[45][46][47]
Anti-imperialism, anti-racism, and white privilege Edit Weather maintained that their stance differed from the rest of the movements at the time in the sense that they predicated their critiques on the notion that they were engaged in "an anti-imperialist, anti-racist struggle".[48] Weather put the international proletariat at the center of their political theory. Weather warned that other political theories, including those addressing class interests or youth interests, were "bound to lead in a racist and chauvinist direction".[48] Weather denounced other political theories of the time as "objectively racist" if they did not side with the international proletariat; such political theories, they argued, needed to be "smashed".[49][50]
Members of Weather further contended that efforts at "organizing whites against their own perceived oppression" were "attempts by whites to carve out even more privilege than they already derive from the imperialist nexus".[48] Weather's political theory sought to make every struggle an anti-imperialist, anti-racist struggle; out of this premise came their interrogation of critical concepts that would later be known as "white privilege". As historian Dan Berger writes, Weather raised the question "what does it means to be a white person opposing racism and imperialism?"[51]
At one point, the Weathermen adopted the belief that all white babies were "tainted with the original sin of "skin privilege", declaring "all white babies are pigs" with one Weatherwoman telling feminist poet Robin Morgan "You have no right to that pig male baby" after she saw Morgan breastfeeding her son and told Morgan to put the baby in the garbage. Charles Manson was an obsession with the group and Bernadine Dorn claimed he truly understood the iniquity of white America, with the Manson family being praised for the murder of Sharon Tate; Dorn's cell subsequently made its salute a four-fingered gesture that represented the "fork" used to stab Tate.[52][53]
Practice Edit Shortly after its formation as an independent group, Weatherman created a central committee, the Weather Bureau, which assigned its cadres to a series of collectives in major cities. These cities included New York, Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Chicago, the home of the SDS's head office. The collectives set up under the Weather Bureau drew their design from Che Guevara's foco theory, which focused on the building of small, semi-autonomous cells guided by a central leadership.[54]
To try to turn their members into hardened revolutionaries and to promote solidarity and cohesion, members of collectives engaged in intensive criticism sessions which attempted to reconcile their prior and current activities to Weathermen doctrine. These "criticism self-criticism" sessions (also called "CSC" or "Weatherfries") were the most distressing part of life in the collective. Derived from Maoist techniques, it was intended to root out racist, individualist and chauvinist tendencies within group members. At its most intense, members would be berated for up to a dozen or more hours non-stop about their flaws. It was intended to make group members believe that they were, deep down, white supremacists by subjecting them to constant criticism to break them down. The sessions were used to ridicule and bully those who didn't agree with the party line and force them into acceptance. However, the sessions were also successful at purging potential informants from the Weathermen's ranks, making them crucial to the Weathermen's survival as an underground organization. The Weathermen were also determined to destroy "bourgeois individualism" amongst members that would potentially interfere with their commitment to both the Weathermen and the goal of revolution. Personal property was either renounced or given to the collective, with income being used to purchase the needs of the group and members enduring Spartan living conditions. Conventional comforts were forbidden and the leadership was exalted, giving them immense power over their subordinates (in some collectives the leadership could even dictate personal decisions such as where one went). Martial arts were practiced and occasional direct actions were engaged in. Critical of monogamy, they launched a "smash monogamy" campaign, in which couples (whose affection was deemed unacceptably possessive, counterrevolutionary or even selfish) were to be split apart; collectives underwent forced rotation of sex partners (including allegations that some male leaders rotated women between collectives in order to sleep with them) and in some cases engaged in sexual orgies.[55][56][57][58] This formation continued during 1969 and 1970 until the group went underground and a more relaxed lifestyle was adopted as the group blended into the counterculture.[59]
Life in the collectives could be particularly hard for women, who made up about half the members. Their political awakening had included a growing awareness of sexism, yet they often found that men took the lead in political activities and discussion, with women often engaging in domestic work, as well as finding themselves confined to second-tier leadership roles. Certain feminist political beliefs had to be disavowed or muted and the women had to prove, regardless of prior activist credentials, that they were as capable as men in engaging in political action as part of "women's cadres", which were felt to be driven by coerced machismo and failed to promote genuine solidarity amongst the women. While the Weathermen's sexual politics did allow women to assert desire and explore relationships with each other, it also made them vulnerable to sexual exploitation.[60]
Recruitment Edit Weather used various means by which to recruit new members and set into motion a nationwide revolt against the government. Weather members aimed to mobilize people into action against the established leaders of the nation and the patterns of injustice which existed in America and abroad due to America's presence overseas. They also aimed to convince people to resist reliance upon their given privilege and to rebel and take arms if necessary. According to Weatherman, if people tolerated the unjust actions of the state, they became complicit in those actions. In the manifesto compiled by Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Jeff Jones, and Celia Sojourn, entitled "Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism," Weatherman explained that their intention was to encourage the people and provoke leaps in confidence and consciousness in an attempt to stir the imagination, organize the masses, and join in the people's day-to-day struggles in every way possible.[61]
In the year 1960, over a third of America's population was under 18 years of age. The number of young citizens set the stage for a widespread revolt against perceived structures of racism, sexism, and classism, the violence of the Vietnam War and America's interventions abroad. At college campuses throughout the country, anger against "the Establishment's" practices prompted both peaceful and violent protest.[62]The members of Weatherman targeted high school and college students, assuming they would be willing to rebel against the authoritative figures who had oppressed them, including cops, principals, and bosses.[63] Weather aimed to develop roots within the class struggle, targeting white working-class youths. The younger members of the working class became the focus of the organizing effort because they felt the oppression strongly in regards to the military draft, low-wage jobs, and schooling.[64]
Schools became a common place of recruitment for the movement. In direct actions, dubbed Jailbreaks, Weather members invaded educational institutions as a means by which to recruit high school and college students. The motivation of these jailbreaks was the organization's belief that school was where the youth were oppressed by the system and where they learned to tolerate society's faults instead of rise against them. According to "Prairie Fire", young people are channeled, coerced, misled, miseducated, misused in the school setting. It is in schools that the youth of the nation become alienated from the authentic processes of learning about the world.[65]
Factions of the Weatherman organization began recruiting members by applying their own strategies. Women's groups such as The Motor City Nine and Cell 16 took the lead in various recruitment efforts. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, a member of the radical women's liberation group Cell 16 spoke about her personal recruitment agenda saying that she wanted their group to go out in every corner of the country and tell women the truth, recruit the local people, poor and working-class people, in order to build a new society.[66]
Berger explains the controversy surrounding recruitment strategies saying, "As an organizing strategy it was less than successful: white working class youths were more alienated than organized by Weather's spectacles, and even some of those interested in the group were turned off by its early hi-jinks."[67] The methods of recruitment applied by the Weathermen met controversy as their call to arms became intensely radical and their organization's leadership increasingly exclusive.[citation needed ]
Armed propaganda Edit In 2006, Dan Berger (writer, activist, and longtime anti-racism organizer)[68] states that following their initial set of bombings, which resulted in the Greenwich Village townhouse explosion, the organization adopted a new paradigm of direct action set forth in the communiqu(C) New Morning, Changing Weather, which abjured attacks on people.[69] The shift in the organization's outlook was in good part due to the 1970 death of Weatherman Terry Robbins, Diana Oughton and Ted Gold, all graduate students, in the Greenwich Village townhouse explosion.[70] Terry Robbins was renowned among the organization members for his radicalism and belief in violence as effective action.[citation needed ]
According to Dan Berger a relatively sophisticated program of armed propaganda was adopted. This consisted of a series of bombings of government and corporate targets in retaliation for specific imperialist and oppressive acts. Small, well-constructed time bombs were used, generally in vents in restrooms, which exploded at times the spaces were empty. Timely warnings were made and communiqu(C)s issued explaining the reason for the actions.[71]
Major activities Edit Haymarket Police Memorial bombing Edit Shortly before the Days of Rage demonstrations on October 6, 1969,[72] the Weatherman planted a bomb which blew up a statue in Chicago commemorating the deaths of police officers during the 1886 Haymarket Riot.[22] The blast broke nearly 100 windows and scattered pieces of the statue onto the Kennedy Expressway below.[73] The city rebuilt the statue and unveiled it on May 4, 1970, but the Weathermen blew it up as well on October 6, 1970.[73][74] The city rebuilt the statue once again, and Mayor Richard J. Daley posted a 24-hour police guard to protect it,[73] but the Weathermen destroyed the third one, as well. The city compromised and rebuilt the monument once more, but this time they located it at Chicago Police Headquarters.[75]
"Days of Rage" Edit One of the first acts of the Weathermen after splitting from SDS was to announce they would hold the "Days of Rage" that autumn. This was advertised to "Bring the war home!" Hoping to cause sufficient chaos to "wake" the American public out of what they saw as complacency toward the role of the U.S. in the Vietnam War, the Weathermen meant it to be the largest protest of the decade. They had been told by their regional cadre to expect thousands to attend; however, when they arrived they found only a few hundred people.[8]
According to Bill Ayers in 2003, "The Days of Rage was an attempt to break from the norms of kind of acceptable theatre of 'here are the anti-war people: containable, marginal, predictable, and here's the little path they're going to march down, and here's where they can make their little statement.' We wanted to say, "No, what we're going to do is whatever we had to do to stop the violence in Vietnam.'"[8] The protests did not meet Ayers' stated expectations.
Though the October 8, 1969, rally in Chicago had failed to draw as many as the Weathermen had anticipated, the two or three hundred who did attend shocked police by rioting through the affluent Gold Coast neighborhood. They smashed the windows of a bank and those of many cars. The crowd ran four blocks before encountering police barricades. They charged the police but broke into small groups; more than 1,000 police counter-attacked. Many protesters were wearing motorcycle or football helmets, but the police were well trained and armed. Large amounts of tear gas were used, and at least twice police ran squad cars into the mob. The rioting lasted about half an hour, during which 28 policemen were injured. Six Weathermen were shot by the police and an unknown number injured; 68 rioters were arrested.[3][22][25][76]
For the next two days, the Weathermen held no rallies or protests. Supporters of the RYM II movement, led by Klonsky and Noel Ignatin, held peaceful rallies in front of the federal courthouse, an International Harvester factory, and Cook County Hospital. The largest event of the Days of Rage took place on Friday, October 9, when RYM II led an interracial march of 2,000 people through a Spanish-speaking part of Chicago.[3][76]
On October 10, the Weatherman attempted to regroup and resume their demonstrations. About 300 protesters marched through The Loop, Chicago's main business district, watched by a double-line of heavily armed police. The protesters suddenly broke through the police lines and rampaged through the Loop, smashing the windows of cars and stores. The police were prepared, and quickly isolated the rioters. Within 15 minutes, more than half the crowd had been arrested.[3][76]
The Days of Rage cost Chicago and the state of Illinois about $183,000 ($100,000 for National Guard expenses, $35,000 in damages, and $20,000 for one injured citizen's medical expenses). Most of the Weathermen and SDS leaders were now in jail, and the Weathermen would have to pay over $243,000 for their bail.[25]
Flint War Council Edit The Flint War Council was a series of meetings of the Weather Underground Organization and associates in Flint, Michigan, that took place 27''31 December 1969.[77] During these meetings, the decisions were made for the Weather Underground Organization to go underground[30] and to "engage in guerilla warfare against the U.S. government."[78] This decision was made in response to increased pressure from law enforcement,[79] and a belief that underground guerilla warfare was the best way to combat the U.S. government.[78]
During a closed-door meeting of the Weather Underground's leadership, the decision was also taken to abolish Students for a Democratic Society.[80] This decision reflected the splintering of SDS into hostile rival factions.[80]
New York City arson attacks Edit On February 21, 1970, at around 4:30 a.m., three gasoline-filled Molotov cocktails exploded in front of the home of New York Supreme Court Justice John M. Murtagh, who was presiding over the pretrial hearings of the so-called "Panther 21" members of the Black Panther Party over a plot to bomb New York landmarks and department stores.[81] Justice Murtagh and his family were unharmed, but two panes of a front window were shattered, an overhanging wooden eave was scorched, and the paint on a car in the garage was charred.[81] "Free the Panther 21" and "Viet Cong have won" were written in large red letters on the sidewalk in front of the judge's house at 529 W. 217th Street in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan.[81] The judge's house had been under hourly police surveillance and an unidentified woman called the police a few minutes before the explosions to report several prowlers there, which resulted in a police car being sent immediately to the scene.[81]
In the preceding hours, Molotov cocktails had been thrown at the second floor of Columbia University's International Law Library at 434 W. 116th Street and at a police car parked across the street from the Charles Street police station in the West Village in Manhattan, and at Army and Navy recruiting booths on Nostrand Avenue on the eastern fringe of the Brooklyn College campus in Brooklyn, causing no or minimal damage in incidents of unknown relation to that at Judge Murtagh's home.[81]
According to the December 6, 1970 "New Morning'--Changing Weather" Weather Underground communiqu(C) signed by Bernardine Dohrn, and Cathy Wilkerson's 2007 memoir, the fire-bombing of Judge Murtagh's home, in solidarity with the Panther 21, was carried out by four members of the New York cell that was devastated two weeks later by the March 6, 1970 townhouse explosion.[82]
Greenwich Village townhouse explosion Edit Weather Underground members Diana Oughton, Ted Gold, Terry Robbins, Cathy Wilkerson, and Kathy Boudin were making bombs in a Greenwich Village townhouse on March 6, 1970 when one of the bombs detonated. Oughton, Gold, and Robbins were killed; Wilkerson and Boudin escaped unharmed.
They were making the bombs in order to kill Army soldiers and non-commissioned officers (NCO) who would be attending an NCO dance at Fort Dix, and to randomly kill people in Butler Library at Columbia University.[2] An FBI report stated that they had enough explosives to "level'... both sides of the street".[83]
The site of the Village explosion was the former residence of Charles Merrill, co-founder of the Merrill Lynch brokerage firm, and the childhood home of his son James Merrill. James Merrill memorialized the event in his poem 18 West 11th Street, the address of the brownstone townhouse.[84]
Underground strategy change Edit After the Greenwich Village townhouse explosion, per the December 1969 Flint War Council decisions the group was now well underground, and began to refer to themselves as the Weather Underground Organization. At this juncture, WUO shrank considerably, becoming even fewer than they had been when first formed. The group was devastated by the loss of their friends, and in late April 1970, members of the Weathermen met in California to discuss what had happened in New York and the future of the organization. The group decided to reevaluate their strategy, particularly regarding their initial belief in the acceptability of human casualties, and rejected such tactics as kidnapping and assassinations.[citation needed ]
In 2003, Weather Underground members stated in interviews that they had wanted to convince the American public that the United States was truly responsible for the calamity in Vietnam.[8] The group began striking at night, bombing empty offices, with warnings always issued in advance to ensure a safe evacuation. According to David Gilbert, who took part in the 1981 Brink's robbery that killed two police officers and a Brinks' guard, and was jailed for murder, "[their] goal was to not hurt any people, and a lot of work went into that. But we wanted to pick targets that showed to the public who was responsible for what was really going on."[8] After the Greenwich Village explosion, in a review of the documentary film The Weather Underground (2002), a Guardian journalist restated the film's contention that no one was killed by WUO bombs.[85]
We were very careful from the moment of the townhouse on to be sure we weren't going to hurt anybody, and we never did hurt anybody. Whenever we put a bomb in a public space, we had figured out all kinds of ways to put checks and balances on the thing and also to get people away from it, and we were remarkably successful.
Declaration of war Edit In response to the death of Black Panther members Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in December 1969 during a police raid, on May 21, 1970, the Weather Underground issued a "Declaration of War" against the United States government, using for the first time its new name, the "Weather Underground Organization" (WUO), adopting fake identities, and pursuing covert activities only. These initially included preparations for a bombing of a U.S. military non-commissioned officers' dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in what Brian Flanagan said had been intended to be "the most horrific hit the United States government had ever suffered on its territory".[86]
We've known that our job is to lead white kids into armed revolution. We never intended to spend the next five to twenty-five years of our lives in jail. Ever since SDS became revolutionary, we've been trying to show how it is possible to overcome frustration and impotence that comes from trying to reform this system. Kids know the lines are drawn: revolution is touching all of our lives. Tens of thousands have learned that protest and marches don't do it. Revolutionary violence is the only way.
Bernardine Dohrn subsequently stated that it was Fred Hampton's death that prompted the Weather Underground to declare war on the U.S. government.
We felt that the murder of Fred required us to be more grave, more serious, more determined to raise the stakes and not just be the white people who wrung their hands when black people were being murdered.
In December 1969, the Chicago Police Department, in conjunction with the FBI, conducted a raid on the home of Black Panther Fred Hampton, in which he and Mark Clark were killed, with four of the seven other people in the apartment wounded. The survivors of the raid were all charged with assault and attempted murder. The police claimed they shot in self-defense, although a controversy arose when the Panthers, other activists and a Chicago newspaper reporter presented visual evidence, as well as the testimony of an FBI ballistics expert, showing that the sleeping Panthers were not resisting arrest and fired only one shot, as opposed to the more than one hundred the police fired into the apartment. The charges were later dropped, and the families of the dead won a $1.8 million settlement from the government. It was discovered in 1971 that Hampton had been targeted by the FBI's COINTELPRO.[88][89] True to Dohrn's words, this single event, in the continuing string of public killings of black leaders of any political stripe, was the trigger that pushed a large number of Weatherman and other students who had just attended the last SDS national convention months earlier to go underground and develop its logistical support network nationally.
On May 21, 1970, a communiqu(C) from the Weather Underground was issued promising to attack a "symbol or institution of American injustice" within two weeks.[90] The communiqu(C) included taunts towards the FBI, daring them to try to find the group, whose members were spread throughout the United States.[91] Many leftist organizations showed curiosity in the communiqu(C), and waited to see if the act would in fact occur. However, two weeks would pass without any occurrence.[92] Then on June 9, 1970, their first publicly acknowledged bombing occurred at a New York City police station,[93] saying it was "in outraged response to the assassination of the Soledad Brother George Jackson,"[8] who had recently been killed by prison guards in an escape attempt. The FBI placed the Weather Underground organization on the ten most-wanted list by the end of 1970.[22]
Activity in 1970 Edit On June 9, 1970, a bomb made with ten sticks of dynamite exploded in the 240 Centre Street, the headquarters of the New York City Police Department. The explosion was preceded by a warning about six minutes prior to the detonation and was followed by a WUO claim of responsibility.[94]
On July 23, 1970, a Detroit federal grand jury indicted 13 Weathermen members in a national bombing conspiracy, along with several unnamed co-conspirators. Ten of the thirteen already had outstanding federal warrants.[95]
In September 1970, the group accepted a $20,000 payment from the largest international psychedelic drug distribution organization, called The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, to break LSD advocate Timothy Leary out of a California prison in San Luis Obispo, north of Santa Barbara, California,[8] and transport him and his wife to Algeria, where Leary joined Eldridge Cleaver. Rumors also circulated that the funds were donated by an internationally known female folk singer in Los Angeles or by Elephant's Memory, which was John Lennon's backup band in New York City and was a factor with the attempted deportation of Lennon, who had donated bail money for radical groups.[96]
In October 1970, Bernardine Dohrn was put on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List.[97]
United States Capitol bombing Edit On March 1, 1971, members of the Weather Underground set off a bomb on the Senate side of the United States Capitol. While the bomb smashed windows and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of damage, there were no casualties.[98]
Pentagon bombing Edit Investigators search for clues after the May 19, 1972 Weatherman bombing of
the PentagonOn May 19, 1972, Ho Chi Minh's birthday, the Weather Underground placed a bomb in the women's bathroom in the Air Force wing of the Pentagon. The damage caused flooding that destroyed computer tapes holding classified information. Other radical groups worldwide applauded the bombing, illustrated by German youths protesting against American military systems in Frankfurt.[22] This was "in retaliation for the U.S. bombing raid in Hanoi."[99]
Withdrawal of charges Edit In 1973, the government requested dropping charges against most of the WUO members. The requests cited a recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that barred electronic surveillance without a court order. This Supreme Court decision would hamper any prosecution of the WUO cases. In addition, the government did not want to reveal foreign intelligence secrets that a trial would require.[100] Bernardine Dohrn was removed from the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List on 7 December 1973.[101] As with the earlier federal grand juries that subpoenaed Leslie Bacon and Stew Albert in the U.S. Capitol bombing case, these investigations were known as "fishing expeditions", with the evidence gathered through "black bag" jobs including illegal mail openings that involved the FBI and United States Postal Service, burglaries by FBI field offices, and electronic surveillance by the Central Intelligence Agency against the support network, friends, and family members of the Weather Underground as part of Nixon's COINTELPRO apparatus.[102]
These grand juries caused Sylvia Jane Brown, Robert Gelbhard, and future members of the Seattle Weather Collective to be subpoenaed in Seattle and Portland for the investigation of one of the first (and last) captured WUO members. Four months afterwards the cases were dismissed.[103][104][105][citation needed ] The decisions in these cases led directly to the subsequent resignation of FBI Director, L. Patrick Gray, and the federal indictments of W. Mark Felt or "Deep Throat" and Edwin Miller and which, earlier, was the factor leading to the removal of federal "most-wanted" status against members of the Weather Underground leadership in 1973.
Prairie Fire Edit With the help from Clayton Van Lydegraf, the Weather Underground sought a more Marxist''Leninist ideological approach to the post-Vietnam reality.[106] The leading members of the Weather Underground (Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Jeff Jones, and Celia Sojourn) collaborated on ideas and published a manifesto: Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism.[22][107] The name came from a quote by Mao Zedong, "a single spark can set a prairie fire." By the summer of 1974, five thousand copies had surfaced in coffee houses, bookstores and public libraries across the U.S. Leftist newspapers praised the manifesto.[108]
Abbie Hoffman publicly praised Prairie Fire and believed every American should be given a copy.[109] The manifesto's influence initiated the formation of the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee in several American cities. Hundreds of above-ground activists helped further the new political vision of the Weather Underground.[108] Essentially, after the 1969 failure of the Days of Rage to involve thousands of youth in massive street fighting, Weather renounced most of the Left and decided to operate as an isolated underground group. Prairie Fire urged people to never "dissociate mass struggle from revolutionary violence". To do so, asserted Weather, was to do the state's work. Just as in 1969''1970, Weather still refused to renounce revolutionary violence for "to leave people unprepared to fight the state is to seriously mislead them about the inevitable nature of what lies ahead". However, the decision to build only an underground group caused the Weather Underground to lose sight of its commitment to mass struggle and made future alliances with the mass movement difficult and tenuous.[106]: 76''77
By 1974, Weather had recognized this shortcoming and in Prairie Fire detailed a different strategy for the 1970s which demanded both mass and clandestine organizations. The role of the clandestine organization would be to build the "consciousness of action" and prepare the way for the development of a people's militia. Concurrently, the role of the mass movement (i.e., above-ground Prairie Fire collective) would include support for, and encouragement of, armed action. Such an alliance would, according to Weather, "help create the 'sea' for the guerrillas to swim in".[106]: 76''77
According to Bill Ayers in the late 1970s, the Weatherman group further split into two factions'--the May 19th Communist Organization and the Prairie Fire Collective'--with Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers in the latter. The Prairie Fire Collective favored coming out of hiding and establishing an above-ground revolutionary mass movement. With most WUO members facing the limited criminal charges (most charges had been dropped by the government in 1973) against them creating an above ground organization was more feasible. The May 19 Communist Organization continued in hiding as the clandestine organization. A decisive factor in Dohrn's coming out of hiding were her concerns about her children.[110] The Prairie Fire Collective faction started to surrender to the authorities from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. The remaining Weather Underground members continued to attack U.S. institutions.
COINTELPRO Edit Event Edit In April 1971, the "Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI" broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania.[111] The group stole files with several hundred pages. The files detailed the targeting of civil rights leaders, labor rights organizations, and left wing groups in general, and included documentation of acts of intimidation and disinformation by the FBI, and attempts to erode public support for those popular movements. By the end of April, the FBI offices were to terminate all files dealing with leftist groups.[112] The files were a part of an FBI program called COINTELPRO.[113]
After COINTELPRO was dissolved in 1971 by J. Edgar Hoover,[114] the FBI continued its counterintelligence on groups like the Weather Underground. In 1973, the FBI established the "Special Target Information Development" program, where agents were sent undercover to penetrate the Weather Underground. Due to the illegal tactics of FBI agents involved with the program, government attorneys requested all weapons- and bomb-related charges be dropped against the Weather Underground. The most well-publicized of these tactics were the "black-bag jobs," referring to searches conducted in the homes of relatives and acquaintances of Weatherman.[108] The Weather Underground was no longer a fugitive organization and could turn themselves in with minimal charges against them.[108] Additionally, the illegal domestic spying conducted by the CIA in collaboration with the FBI also lessened the legal repercussions for Weatherman turning themselves in.[108]
Investigation and trial Edit After the Church Committee revealed the FBI's illegal activities, many agents were investigated. In 1976, former FBI Associate Director W. Mark Felt publicly stated he had ordered break-ins and that individual agents were merely obeying orders and should not be punished for it. Felt also stated that acting Director L. Patrick Gray had also authorized the break-ins, but Gray denied this. Felt said on the CBS television program Face the Nation that he would probably be a "scapegoat" for the Bureau's work.[115] "I think this is justified and I'd do it again tomorrow," he said on the program. While admitting the break-ins were "extralegal," he justified it as protecting the "greater good." Felt said, "To not take action against these people and know of a bombing in advance would simply be to stick your fingers in your ears and protect your eardrums when the explosion went off and then start the investigation."
The Attorney General in the new Carter administration, Griffin B. Bell, investigated, and on April 10, 1978, a federal grand jury charged Felt, Edward S. Miller, and Gray with conspiracy to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens by searching their homes without warrants. The case did not go to trial and was dropped by the government for lack of evidence on December 11, 1980.[116]
The indictment charged violations of Title 18, Section 241 of the United States Code. The indictment charged Felt and the others "did unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly combine, conspire, confederate, and agree together and with each other to injure and oppress citizens of the United States who were relatives and acquaintances of the Weatherman fugitives, in the free exercise and enjoyments of certain rights and privileges secured to them by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America.[117]
Felt and Miller attempted to plea bargain with the government, willing to agree to a misdemeanor guilty plea to conducting searches without warrants'--a violation of 18 U.S.C. sec. 2236'--but the government rejected the offer in 1979. After eight postponements, the case against Felt and Miller went to trial in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on September 18, 1980.[118] On October 29, former President Richard Nixon appeared as a rebuttal witness for the defense, and testified that presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt had authorized the bureau to engage in break-ins while conducting foreign intelligence and counterespionage investigations.[119]
It was Nixon's first courtroom appearance since his resignation in 1974. Nixon also contributed money to Felt's legal defense fund, with Felt's legal expenses running over $600,000. Also testifying were former Attorneys General Herbert Brownell Jr., Nicholas Katzenbach, Ramsey Clark, John N. Mitchell, and Richard G. Kleindienst, all of whom said warrantless searches in national security matters were commonplace and not understood to be illegal, but Mitchell and Kleindienst denied they had authorized any of the break-ins at issue in the trial.
The jury returned guilty verdicts on November 6, 1980. Although the charge carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, Felt was fined $5,000. (Miller was fined $3,500.)[120] Writing in The New York Times a week after the conviction, Roy Cohn claimed that Felt and Miller were being used as scapegoats by the Carter administration and that it was an unfair prosecution. Cohn wrote it was the "final dirty trick" and that there had been no "personal motive" to their actions.[121]
The Times saluted the convictions, saying that it showed "the case has established that zeal is no excuse for violating the Constitution".[122] Felt and Miller appealed the verdict, and they were later pardoned by Ronald Reagan.[123]
Dissolution Edit Despite the change in their legal status, the Weather Underground remained underground for a few more years. However, by 1976 the organization was disintegrating. The Weather Underground held a conference in Chicago called Hard Times. The idea was to create an umbrella organization for all radical groups. However, the event turned sour when Hispanic and Black groups accused the Weather Underground and the Prairie Fire Committee of limiting their roles in racial issues.[108] The Weather Underground faced accusations of abandonment of the revolution by reversing their original ideology.
The conference increased divisions within the Weather Underground. East coast members favored a commitment to violence and challenged commitments of old leaders, Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, and Jeff Jones. These older members found they were no longer liable for federal prosecution because of illegal wire taps and the government's unwillingness to reveal sources and methods favored a strategy of inversion where they would be above ground "revolutionary leaders". Jeremy Varon argues that by 1977 the WUO had disbanded.[108]
Matthew Steen appeared on the lead segment of CBS's 60 Minutes in 1976 and was interviewed by Mike Wallace about the ease of creating fake identification, the first ex-Weatherman interview on national television.[124][125] (The House document has the date wrong, it aired February 1, 1976 and the title was Fake ID.)
The federal government estimated that only 38 Weathermen had gone underground in 1970, though the estimates varied widely, according to a variety of official and unofficial sources, as between 50 and 600 members. Most modern sources lean towards a much larger number than the FBI reference.[126] An FBI estimate in 1976, or slightly later, of then current membership was down to 30 or fewer.[127]
Plot to bomb office of California Senator Edit In November 1977, five WUO members were arrested on conspiracy to bomb the office of California State Senator John Briggs. It was later revealed that the Revolutionary Committee and PFOC had been infiltrated by the FBI for almost six years. FBI agents Richard J. Gianotti and William D. Reagan lost their cover in November when federal judges needed their testimony to issue warrants for the arrest of Clayton Van Lydegraf and four Weather people. The arrests were the results of the infiltration.[128][129]WUO members Judith Bissell, Thomas Justesen, Leslie Mullin, and Marc Curtis pleaded guilty while Van Lydegraf, who helped write the 1974 Prairie Fire Manifesto, went to trial.[130]
Within two years, many members turned themselves in after taking advantage of President Jimmy Carter's amnesty for draft dodgers.[22] Mark Rudd turned himself in to authorities on January 20, 1978. Rudd was fined $4,000 and received two years' probation.[22] Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers turned themselves in on December 3, 1980, in New York, with substantial media coverage. Charges were dropped for Ayers. Dohrn received three years' probation and a $15,000 fine.[22]
Brinks robbery Edit Some members remained underground and joined splinter radical groups. The U.S. government states that years after the dissolution of the Weather Underground, three former members, Kathy Boudin, Judith Alice Clark, and David Gilbert, joined the May 19 Communist Organization, and on October 20, 1981 in Nanuet, New York, the group helped the Black Liberation Army rob a Brink's armored truck containing $1.6 million. The robbery was violent, resulting in the deaths of three people including Waverly Brown, the first black police officer on the Nyack police force.[22][131]
Boudin, Clark, and Gilbert were found guilty and sentenced to lengthy terms in prison. Media reports listed them as former Weatherman Underground members[132] considered the "last gasps" of the Weather Underground.[133] The documentary The Weather Underground described the Brink's robbery as the "unofficial end" of the Weather Underground.[6]
May 19th Communist Organization Edit The Weather Underground members involved in the May 19th Communist Organization alliance with the Black Liberation Army continued in a series of jail breaks, armed robberies and bombings until most members were finally arrested in 1985 and sentenced as part of the Brinks robbery and the Resistance Conspiracy case.[134]
Coalitions with non-WUO members Edit Throughout the underground years, the Weather Underground members worked closely with their counterparts in other organizations, including Jane Alpert, to bring attention their further actions to the press. She helped Weatherman pursue their main goal of overthrowing the U.S. government through her writings.[135] However, there were tensions within the organization, brought about by her famous manifesto, "Mother Right", that specifically called on the female members of the organization to focus on their own cause rather than anti-imperialist causes.[136] Weather members then wrote in response to her manifesto.
Legacy Edit Widely known members of the Weather Underground include Kathy Boudin, Linda Sue Evans, Brian Flanagan, David Gilbert, Ted Gold, Naomi Jaffe, Jeff Jones, Joe Kelly, Diana Oughton, Eleanor Raskin, Terry Robbins, Mark Rudd, Matthew Steen, Susan Stern, Laura Whitehorn, Cathy Wilkerson, and the married couple Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers. Most former Weathermen have integrated into mainstream society without repudiating their violent activities.
The Weather Underground was referred to as a terrorist group by articles in The New York Times, United Press International, and Time Magazine.[137][138][139] The group also fell under the auspices of the FBI-New York City Police Anti Terrorist Task Force, a forerunner of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces. The FBI refers to the organization in a 2004 news story titled "Byte out of History" published on its website as having been a "domestic terrorist group" that is no longer an active concern.[140] Some members have disputed the "terrorist" categorization and justified the group's actions as an appropriate response to what they described as the "terrorist activities" of the war in Vietnam, domestic racism, and the deaths of black leaders.[141]
Ayers objected to describing the WUO as terrorist in his 2001 book Fugitive Days. "Terrorists terrorize," he argues, "they kill innocent civilians, while we organized and agitated. Terrorists destroy randomly, while our actions bore, we hoped, the precise stamp of a cut diamond. Terrorists intimidate, while we aimed only to educate."[142] Dan Berger asserts in Outlaws in America that the group "purposefully and successfully avoided injuring anyone" as an argument that their actions were not terrorism. "Its war against property by definition means that the WUO was not a terrorist organization."[143]
Others, however, have suggested that these arguments are specious. Former Weather Underground member Mark Rudd admitted that the group intended to target people prior to the accidental town house explosion. "On the morning of March 6, 1970, three of my comrades were building pipe bombs packed with dynamite and nails, destined for a dance of non-commissioned officers and their dates at Fort Dix, New Jersey, that night."[144][145] Grand juries were convened in 2001 and 2009 to investigate whether Weather Underground was responsible for the San Francisco Police Department Park Station bombing, in which one officer was killed, one was maimed, and eight more were wounded by shrapnel from a pipe bomb. They ultimately concluded that members of the Black Liberation Army were responsible, with whom WUO members were affiliated. They were also responsible for the bombing of another police precinct in San Francisco, as well as bombing the Catholic Church funeral services of the police officer killed in the Park Precinct bombing in the early summer of 1970.[146][147] Ayers said in a 2001 New York Times interview, "I don't regret setting bombs".[148] He has since claimed that he was misquoted.[149] Mark Rudd teaches mathematics at Central New Mexico Community College, and he has said that he doesn't speak publicly about his experiences because he has "mixed feelings, guilt and shame". "These are things I am not proud of, and I find it hard to speak publicly about them and to tease out what was right from what was wrong."[8]
See also Edit List of Weatherman actionsList of Weatherman membersMay 19th Communist OrganizationOsawatomie (periodical)Resistance Conspiracy caseUnderground (1976 film), documentaryThe Weather Underground (2002 film), nominated for 2003 Academy Award for Best Documentary FeatureAntifa (United States)General:
Domestic terrorism in the United StatesList of incidents of political violence in Washington, D.C.References Edit ^ Grathwohl, Larry; Frank, Reagan (1977). Bringing Down America: An FBI Informant in with the Weathermen. Arlington House. p. 110. Ayers, along with Bernardine Dohrn, probably had the most authority within the Weatherman. ^ a b c Wakin, Daniel J., "Quieter Lives for 60's Militants, but Intensity of Beliefs Hasn't Faded", article The New York Times, August 24, 2003. Retrieved June 7, 2008. ^ a b c d e f g Berger, Dan (2006). Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity. AK Press. p. 95. ^ See document 5, Revolutionary Youth Movement (1969). "You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows". Archived from the original on March 28, 2006 . Retrieved March 3, 2014 . ^ "Weather Underground Bombings". Federal Beureau Of Investigation . Retrieved November 30, 2018 . ^ a b "The Weather Underground. The Movement". PBS. Independent Lens . Retrieved June 2, 2010 . ^ Lambert, Laura (August 31, 2017). "Weather Underground American Militant Group". Encyclopedia Britannica . Retrieved December 4, 2018 . ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p The Weather Underground, produced by Carrie Lozano, directed by Bill Siegel and Sam Green, New Video Group, 2003, DVD. ^ The Weather Underground. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1975. pp. 1''2, 11''13 . Retrieved December 20, 2009 . ^ Jacobs, Ron (1997). The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground. Verso. ISBN 978-1-85984-167-9 . Retrieved December 15, 2018 . ^ Frost, Jennifer (2001). An Interracial Movement of the Poor: Community Organizing and the New Left in the 1960s. New York: New York University Press; Pg. 28 ^ a b Investigations, United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Government Operations. Permament Subcommittee on (1969). Riots, Civil and Criminal Disorders: Hearings ... United States Senate, Ninetieth [-Ninety-first] Congress, First [-second] Session. U.S. Government Printing Office. pp. 3594''3596. ^ It was at the 1966 convention of SDS that members of PLP began to make their presence known for the first time. PLP was a Stalinist group that had turned to SDS as fertile ground for recruiting new members after meeting with little success in organizing industrial workers, their preferred base.Page 320, SDS by Kirkpatrick Sale, Random House (1973), Hardcover, 495 pages, ISBN 0-394-47889-4 ISBN 978-0-394-47889-0 trade paperback, Vintage Books (January 1, 1974), 752 pages, ISBN 0-394-71965-4 ISBN 978-0-394-71965-8 SDSers of that time were nearly all anti-communist, but they also refused to be drawn into actions that smacked of red-baiting, which they viewed as mostly irrelevant and old hat. PLP soon began to organize a Worker Student Alliance. By 1968 and 1969 they would profoundly affect SDS, particularly at national gatherings of the membership, forming a well-groomed, disciplined faction which followed the Progressive Labor Party line. ^ "You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows". SDS convention (1969). June 18, 1969 '' via Links to resources from Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and related groups and activities. ^ Karin Asbley; Bill Ayers; Bernardine Dohrn; John Jacobs; Jeff Jones; Gerry Long; Home Machtinger; Jim Mellen; Terry Robbins; Mark Rudd; Steve Tappis (1969). You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows. Weatherman. p. 28 . Retrieved November 19, 2018 . ^ a b Sale, Kirkpatrick, SDS, Vintage Books, 1974, ISBN 0-394-71965-4 ^ a b Wilkerson, C. (2007). Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times As a Weatherman. Seven Stories Press. ISBN 978-1-58322-771-8. ^ "The Last Radical". Vancouver Magazine. November 1998 '' via Columbia University Computing History: A Chronology of Computing at Columbia University. ^ Senate Judiciary Committee (1975). Report of the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee of the Judiciary. Government Printing Office. pp. 5, 8''9, 13, 18, 137''147. ^ Хатамова, Ð . К. (РозыхаÐ>> КабуÐ>>овна). English-Turkmen political dictionary. OCLC 290644615. ^ a b c Quoted in Varon, Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies, 2004, p. 160. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Jacobs, The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground, 1997. ^ a b Jones, A Radical Line: From the Labor Movement to the Weather Underground, One Family's Century of Conscience, 2004. ^ a b Elbaum, Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che, 2002. ^ a b c Sale, SDS, 1973. ^ Good, "Brian Flanagan Speaks," Next Left Notes, 2005. ^ Clara Bingham (May 31, 2016). Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul. Random House Publishing Group. pp. 17''. ISBN 978-0-679-64474-3. ^ Pages 184 and 190, Rudd, Mark, My Life with SDS and the Weathermen Underground, William Morrow (2009), hardcover, 326 pages, ISBN 978-0-06-147275-6 ^ Pages 127 and 136 in the essay "1969" by Carl Oglesby in Weatherman, edited by Harold Jacobs, Ramparts Press (1970), trade paperback, 520 pages, ISBN 0-671-20725-3 ISBN 978-0-671-20725-0 Hardcover: ISBN 0-87867-001-7 ISBN 978-0-87867-001-7 ^ a b Varon, J. (2004). Bringing the war home. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. pgs. 158-171. ^ Page 40 You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows This unabridged copy of You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows is part of an extensive Freedom of Information Act production made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). ^ Page 41 You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows ^ Pages 42 and 43 You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows ^ Page 46 You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows ^ [1] Archived November 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine ^ Pages 113 and 114, Flying Close to the Sun, Cathy Wilkerson, Seven Stories Press (2007), hardcover, 422 pages, ISBN 978-1-58322-771-8 ^ Pages 39-49 in the essay "More on the Youth Movement" by Jim Mellen in Weatherman, edited by Harold Jacobs, Ramparts Press (1970), trade paperback, 520 pages, ISBN 0-671-20725-3 ISBN 978-0-671-20725-0 Hardcover: ISBN 0-87867-001-7 ISBN 978-0-87867-001-7 ^ Pages 13 to 33, "Initiation of the Brigages" to "Influence of China" ^ Statements in Underground, a film by Emile de Antonio, Turin Film (1976) DVD Image Entertainment ^ Peter Braunstein (2004). The Sixties Chronicle. Legacy Publishing. p. 435. ISBN 141271009X. ^ Isserman, Maurice. "Weather Reports". TheNation. ^ Lader, Lawrence. Power on the Left. (New York City: W W Norton, 1979.) 192 ^ Page 249, Bernardine Dorn, Bill Ayers, and Jeff Jones, editors, Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiqu(C)s of the Weather Underground, Seven Stories Press (September, 2006), trade paperback, 390 pages, ISBN 1-58322-726-1 ISBN 978-1-58322-726-8 Reprinted from Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism: Political Statement of the Weather Underground ^ Page 42 in the essay "More on the Youth Movement" by Jim Mellen in Weatherman, edited by Harold Jacobs, Ramparts Press (1970), trade paperback, 520 pages, ISBN 0-671-20725-3 ISBN 978-0-671-20725-0 Hardcover: ISBN 0-87867-001-7 ISBN 978-0-87867-001-7. ^ Weisheit, Ralph A.; Morn, Frank (November 19, 2018). Pursuing Justice: Traditional and Contemporary Issues in Our Communities and the World. 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Wayne State University Press, 1995, p.222 ^ Jeremy Varon, Bringing The War Home: The Weather Underground, The Red Army Faction, and The Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004), 57 ^ Pages 266 to 282, Cathy Wilkerson, Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman, Seven Stories Press (2007), hardcover, 422 pages, ISBN 978-1-58322-771-8 ^ Page 110, Staughton Lynd, "From Here to There: The Staughton Lynd Reader", PM Press (2010), paperback, 305 pages ^ Pages 57 to 60, Jeremy Varon, Bringing The War Home: The Weather Underground, The Red Army Faction, and The Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004) ^ Pages 76 to 77, Arthur M. Eckstein, "Bad Moon Rising: How the Weather Underground Beat the FBI and Lost the Revolution", New Haven: Yale University Press (2016), 352 pages ^ Pages 352 and 353, Cathy Wilkerson, Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman, Seven Stories Press (2007), hardcover, 422 pages, ISBN 978-1-58322-771-8 ^ Pages 59 to 60, Jeremy Varon, Bringing The War Home: The Weather Underground, The Red Army Faction, and The Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004) ^ Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers. and Jeff Jones, editors (2006). Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiqu(C)s of the Weather Underground, 1970-1974. New York: Seven Stories Press. ISBN 1-58322-726-1. p. 239. ^ "The Weather Underground". Independent Lens . 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August 20, 1976. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 20, 2009. ^ Gilbert 38 ^ "Nation: Infiltrating the Underground". Time. January 9, 1978 . Retrieved December 26, 2009 . ^ "Radicals Admit Bomb Attempts". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. December 20, 1978 . Retrieved December 29, 2009 . ^ Batson, Bill. "Nyack Sketch Log: The Brink's Robbery". NyackNewsandViews. ^ "The Brinks Robbery of 1981 - The Crime Library - Crime Library on". March 6, 1970 . Retrieved June 2, 2010 . ^ Richard G. Braungart and Margret M. Braungart, "From Protest to Terrorism: The Case of the SDS and The Weathermen.", International Movement And Research: Social Movements and Violence: Participation in Underground Organizations, Volume 4, (Greenwich: Jai Press, 1992.), 67. ^ "May 19 Communist Order". trackingterrorism. ^ Alpert, Jane (1981). Growing up Underground. New York: Morrow & Co, Inc. ^ Alpert, Jane (1974). Mother Right: A New Feminist Theory. Pittsburgh: Know, Inc. ^ No byline, UPI wire story, "Weathermen Got Name From Song: Groups Latest Designation Is Weather Underground", as published in The New York Times, January 30, 1975; Montgomery, Paul L., "Guilty Plea Entered in 'Village' Bombing: Cathy Wilkerson Could Be Given Probation or Up to 7 Years", article, The New York Times, July 19, 1980: "the terrorist Weather Underground"; Powers, Thomas, and Franks, Lucinda, "Diana: The Making of a Terrorist," UPI, news feature series and winner of the Pulitzer Prize; September 23, 1970 September 17, 1970 September 21, 1970; Ayers, Bill, "Weather Underground Redux", post April 20, 2006, "Bill Ayers" blog, retrieved September 21, 2008 ^ The New Encyclop...dia Britannica: in 32 Volumes by Encyclop...dia Britannica Inc., 1998, p 331 ^ Mehnert, Klaus, "Twilight of the Young, The Radical Movements of the 1960s and Their Legacy," Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1977, page 47; Martin, Gus, "Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues"; Pruthi, R.K., An Encyclopaedic Survey of Global Terrorism in the 21st Century, 2003, p 182; "The Terrorist Trap" by Jeffrey David Simon p 96 ^ Web page titled, "Byte Out of History: 1975 Terrorism Flashback: State Department Bombing" Archived December 25, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, at F.B.I. website, dated January 29, 2004. Retrieved September 2, 2008. ^ Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiques of the Weather Underground, 1970-1974; edited by Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, and Jeff Jones; Seven Stories Press; 2006; Pgs. 21-42, 121-129 ^ Ayers, Bill, Fugitive Days, Beacon Press, ISBN 0-8070-7124-2, p 263 ^ Berger, Dan, Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity, AK Press: Oakland, California, 2006, ISBN 1-904859-41-0 pp 286-287 ^ Rudd, Mark. "The Kids are All Right". Archived from the original on April 3, 2009 . Retrieved May 18, 2009 . ^ "S.F. police union accuses Ayers in 1970 bombing". SFGate . Retrieved February 15, 2015 . ^ Peter Jamison (September 16, 2009). "Blown to Peaces: Weather Underground leaders claimed their bombings were devised to avoid bloodshed. But FBI agents suspect the radical '70s group killed a cop in the name of revolution". Riverfront Times . Retrieved January 30, 2015 . ^ Allegiance to Liberty: The Changing Face of Patriots, Militias, and Political Violence in America; Barry J. Balleck; ABC-CLIO; 2014; Pg. 89 ^ "No Regrets for a Love Of Explosives - In a Memoir of Sorts, a War Protester Talks of Life With the Weathermen". September 11, 2001 . Retrieved February 15, 2015 . ^ "Episodic Notoriety''Fact and Fantasy - Bill Ayers". Bill Ayers . Retrieved February 15, 2015 . Further reading Edit Alpert, Jane (1981). Growing up underground (1st ed.). New York: Morrow. ISBN 0688006558. Ayers, Bill (2008). Fugitive Days: Memoirs of an Antiwar Activist. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 978-0-8070-3277-0. Berger, Dan (2006). Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity. Oakland: AK Press. ISBN 1-904859-41-0. Burrough, Bryan, Days of Rage: America's Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence. New York: Penguin Books, 2015.Dohrn, Bernardine; Ayers, Bill; Jones, Jeff (2006). Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiqu(C)s of the Weather Underground, 1970''1974. New York: Seven Stories Press. ISBN 1-58322-726-1. Eckstein, Arthur M. Bad Moon Rising: How the Weather Underground Beat the FBI and Lost the Revolution. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016.Jacobs, Harold (1971). Weatherman. San Francisco: Ramparts Press. ISBN 978-0-87867-001-7. Jacobs, Ron (1997). The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground. London: Verso. ISBN 1-85984-167-8. Lerner, Jonathan. Swords in the Hands of Children: Reflections of an American Revolutionary. OR Books. p. 228. ISBN 978-1-682190-98-2. Sale, Kirkpatrick (1974). SDS. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-394-71965-4. Unger, Irwin (1974). The Movement: A History of the American New Left, 1959''1972. New York: Dodd, Mead. ISBN 0-396-06939-8. Varon, Jeremy (2004). Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24119-3. Wilkerson, Cathy (2007). Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman. New York: Seven Stories Press. ISBN 978-1-58322-771-8. Government publications Edit United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws (1974). Terroristic Activity: Hearings before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and other Internal Security Laws, of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-third Congress, Second Session. Part 2, Inside the Weatherman Movement. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, First Session (1975). The Weather Underground. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.External links Edit "FBI files: Weather Underground Organization (Weathermen)". "WUO communiqu(C)s and other documents". SDS-60s.Org . Retrieved January 18, 2011 . Full text of "Harold Jacob's Weatherman (PDF format)" (PDF) . SDS-60s.Org . Retrieved January 18, 2011 . Machtinger, Howard (February 18, 2009). "You Say You Want a Revolution". In These Times . Retrieved January 18, 2011 . Rudd, Mark (2008). "The Death of SDS". . Retrieved January 18, 2011 . "Prairie Fire". Prairie Fire Organizing Committee (1975''present) . Retrieved January 19, 2011 . "Weatherman (Weather Underground Organization, WUO), 1969-77". Archived from the original on July 26, 2010 . Retrieved January 18, 2011 . History, critics, books online Film and video Edit "The Weather Underground (2002)". Documentary directed and produced by Sam Green, Bill Siegel and Carrie Lozano. Underground (1976). Documentary directed by Emile de Antonio, Haskell Wexler and Mary Lampson.The Company You Keep (2012). Fiction directed by Robert Redford.Fiction Edit Bushell, Agnes (1990). Local deities: a novel. Willimantic, CT : New York, NY: Curbstone Press ; Distributed to the trade by the Talman Co. ISBN 0915306824. Gordon, Neil (2003). The company you keep. New York: Viking. ISBN 0670032182. Audio sources Edit "Vietnam: Index of /MRC/pacificaviet". University of California, Berkeley . Retrieved January 18, 2011 . Contains online audiorecordings, texts, and other media related to the WUO The Weather Underground: A Look Back at the Antiwar Activists Who Met Violence with Violence. Guests: Mark Rudd, former member of the Weather Underground, Sam Green and Bill Siegel, documentary filmmakers/directors. Interviewers: Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman. Democracy Now!. Segment available via streaming RealAudio, or MP3 download. 1 hour 40 minutes. Thursday, June 5, 2003. Retrieved May 20, 2005.Jennifer Dohrn: I Was The Target Of Illegal FBI Break-Ins Ordered by Mark Felt a.k.a. "Deep Throat". Guest: Jennifer Dohrn. Interviewers: Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman. Segment available in transcript and via streaming RealAudio, 128k streaming real video or MP3 download. 29:32 minutes. Thursday, June 2, 2005. Retrieved June 2, 2005.Growing Up in the Weather Underground: A Father and Son Tell Their Story. Guests: Thai Jones and Jeff Jones. Interviewers: Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman. Democracy Now!. Segment available in transcript and via streaming RealAudio, 128k streaming Real Video or MP3 download. 17:01 minutes. Friday, December 3, 2004. Retrieved May 20, 2005.
Eric Mann - Wikipedia
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 15:09
For the British philatelist and cricketer, see
Eric W. Mann. For the beef farmer and politician, see
Eric Mann.
Eric Mann (born December 4, 1942, Brooklyn, New York) is a civil rights, anti-war, labor, and environmental organizer whose career spans 50 years.[1] He has worked with the Congress of Racial Equality, Newark Community Union Project, Students for a Democratic Society, the Black Panther Party, the United Automobile Workers (including eight years on auto assembly lines) and the New Directions Movement. He was also instrumental in the labor and community alliance that kept General Motors' assembly plant in Van Nuys, California open for ten years.[2][3] Mann has been identified as instrumental in shaping the environmental justice movement in the U.S.[4] He is also founder of the Labor/Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles, California and has been its director for 25 years. In addition, Mann is founder and co-chair of the Bus Riders Union, identifying what is now called ''transit racism'' and resulting in a precedent-setting civil rights lawsuit, Labor Community Strategy Center et al. v. MTA.[5][6]
In addition, Mann is the author of books published by Beacon Press, Harper & Row and the University of California, which include Taking on General Motors, The Seven Components of Transformative Organizing Theory and Playbook for Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer and is known for his theory of transformative organizing and leadership of popular movements. Mann is host of the weekly radio show Voices from the Frontlines: Your National Movement-Building Show on KPFK Pacifica Radio 90.7 in Los Angeles.
Early life Edit Eric Mann was born December 4, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, into a Jewish home rooted in ''anti-fascist, working class, pro-union, pro-'Negro', internationalist, and socialist traditions.'' Both sides of his family were Jews who fled the Russian Empire during the anti-Semitic pogroms of the early 1900s.
His grandmother, Sarah Mandell, a garment worker and member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, was a role model. His father, Howard Mann, was a field organizer for the Textile Workers Union of America and went south to organize black and white sharecroppers. His mother, Libby, was a department store worker, an early feminist, and shaped his ethical worldview. The decisive experience of his early life was antisemitism; within the context of the United States he observed virulent racism and developed a lifelong commitment to the black liberation movement.[7]
Edit Eric Mann is acknowledged as a gifted and innovative organizer who has been organizing for more than 50 years and continues his work today.[8]
He is credited with raising organizing practice to the level of theory, generating well-known formulations to guide other organizers, a long history of involvement in the most militant, radical, revolutionary Black and Latino-led organizations, and his success in winning high profile, big-picture campaigns that have won major structural victories and illustrated his dictum "the left choice is the best choice."[9]
Mann wrote Seven Components of Transformative Organizing Theory and Playbook for Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer. His theory of transformative organizing is when organizers work to radically transform the system, to transform the consciousness of the people they are organizing, and are transformed in the struggle to change the society.[10]
In 1964 Mann graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Industrial and Labor Relations. Organizers from the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee traveled to Cornell to recruit students into the civil rights movement and at 21 Mann went to work for the Congress of Racial Equality.[10][11]
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Edit At CORE, Mann worked as field secretary for the Northeastern regional office on an anti-discrimination campaign against the Trailways Bus Company. Longtime Black and Latino porters had been refused job promotions; the workers were willing to lead the fight but needed CORE's organizational support.[12] The campaign included a regional boycott of Trailways, sit-ins at Trailways terminals, a demonstration at New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal and filing a civil rights complaint. According to The New York Times: ''Eric Mann, the field secretary of CORE's Northeastern regional office, said he and Miss Joyce Ware, another officer, had organized the demonstration 'to bring attention to our demands that the harassment of Negro and Puerto Rican employees be stopped'.'' [13] After six months Trailways agreed to promote Black and Puerto Rican porters to positions as ticket agents, information clerks, and bus drivers.
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Weathermen, Incarceration Edit In 1965 Mann joined the Newark Community Union Project (NCUP). Mann worked with organizers Bessie and Thurman Smith, Tom Hayden, 100 community members, and 10 students in door-to-door organizing in Newark's Black South and Central wards where they engaged low-income people in movement-building, challenging slum housing and police brutality. He worked as a public school teacher at the Peshine Avenue School and was fired for demanding that Stokely Carmichael challenge a campus speaker from the Virginia Military Academy, for refusing to enforce what he described as repressive discipline on Black children and for teaching sex education to eighth graders.[14] The World Journal Tribune wrote that Mann put the school system on trial with 500 parents rallying to his defense.[15]
Convinced by the Black Power movement to organize white students to support the civil rights and anti-war movements, Mann moved to Boston in 1968 to become New England Coordinator of SDS.[16] In the spring of 1968, Mann played a leadership role in the Columbia University student strike led by SDS and the Black Student Union, demanding that Columbia shut down its Institute for Defense Analysis, and that it ''integrate'' the gymnasium, which only gave Blacks and Puerto Ricans limited access and a separate entrance.[17]
As a regional coordinator for SDS, Mann organized and spoke at rallies at Boston University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and other New England colleges.[18] ''The Columbia strike more than any other event in our history,'' Mann said, ''has given the radical student movement the belief that we can change this country.''[14]
Mann was elected to SDS national committee in 1968.[18] He told the Associated Press that he believed in "continuous resistance" against "institutions and policies of corporate capitalism" and that SDS chapters transition from campus protests groups to community groups that would guide students as a "de facto government."[19]
When SDS splintered into three groups in 1969, Mann, then a leader in the SDS faction, the Weathermen (Weather Underground), adopted the Revolutionary Youth Movement's belief that violent "direct action," a euphemism for terrorism, should be used as a tactic to dismantle the group's perceived power centers of ''US imperialism''.[20] Mann and 20 others were arrested in September 1969 for participation in a direct action against the Harvard Center for International Affairs, which the Revolutionary Youth Movement saw as a university-sponsored institution for counter-insurgency.[14] [21]Mann and 24 other Weathermen were charged with conspiracy to commit murder after two bullets were fired through a window of the police headquarters on November 8, 1969. Mann surrendered to the police on four counts stemming from the November 8 incident: conspiracy to commit murder, assault with intent to commit murder, promotion of anarchy, and threatening.[22] Mann was sentenced to two years in prison of which he spent 18 months in Billerica, Deer Island, and Concord State Prison (with 40 days in solitary confinement).[20] He was released in July 1971.
From 1972 to 1974 Mann was a full-time journalist, writing for Boston After Dark, the Boston Phoenix, and The Boston Globe. He traveled to California to cover the prison movement and political trials; a three-part series in the Boston Phoenix led to his first book published by Harper & Row in 1974, Comrade George: An Investigation into the Life, Political Thought, and Assassination of George Jackson. At the Boston Globe, Mann initiated the column, "Left Field Stands", in which he partnered with Boston University professor Howard Zinn.[23]
Edit In 1975 Mann joined the Chicano-led August 29th Movement (ATM).[24] ATM merged with Chinese-American organization I Wor Kuen (IWK) and the Black Revolutionary Communist League (RCL) to form the multi-racial, multi-national League of Revolutionary Struggle (LRS) in 1978.[25]
Mann worked on automobile assembly lines as an active member of the United Auto Workers (UAW) and 'transformative organizer' from 1978 to 1986, moving from the Ford assembly plant in Milpitas, California, to the General Motors assembly plant in South Gate, Los Angeles, California, to the General Motors plant in Van Nuys, California.[4]
With plants facing imminent closings, Mann, with Mark Masaoka, and UAW Local 645 president Pete Beltran initiated a coalition between labor, the community and the Campaign to Keep GM Van Nuys Open, which Mann chaired for ten years.[26] Five thousand workers (50 percent Latino, 15 percent black, and 15 percent women) built the coalition in Black and Latino communities, where the members lived.[27] Threatened with a boycott, GM kept the plant open for ten years. Reverend Frank Higgins Sr. described the negotiation of the labor/community coalition with GM president F. James McDonald, ''For the first time they have seen a coalition form in this nation that would make them come to the table. They didn't come to bargain; they came to deal with us as though we were children. They wound up leaving knowing they had a tiger by the tail!''[28]
While at GM, Mann was active in the New Directions Movement, a national UAW reform group founded by Jerry Tucker in 1986.[29] New Directions aimed for a more democratic union and opposed the UAW's collaboration with Ford, GM and Chrysler, its support of anti-Japanese protectionism and its support of ''labor-management cooperation''.[30][31] Mann continues to contribute significantly to organizing and redefining the union movement in the United States.[7]
Environmental Justice and the Labor/Community Strategy Center (LCSC) Edit In 1989 Mann, Father Luis Olivares, Reverend Frank Higgins, Rudy Acu±a and other Black and Latino leaders initiated the Labor/Community Strategy Center (LCSC) as a ''think tank/act tank'' that would train organizers and organize labor, environmental justice, mass transportation, and civil rights campaigns.[1][2][7][32]
In the early environmental work of the LCSC, Mann's approach distinguished environmental justice organizing from the approach of the mainstream environmental movement.[33] Mann's 1992 book L.A.'s Lethal Air, documents how class, race, and gender were the unspoken categories of environmental injustice.[34]
By 1993, after the 1992 Los Angeles riots Mann, as principal author with the Urban Strategies Group, wrote Reconstructing Los Angeles and U.S. Cities from the Bottom Up.[35]
That document linked transportation, the environment, and unemployment, advocating for rebuilding the manufacturing sector through ''environmentally-sound production of technologies, focusing on solar electricity, non-polluting, prefabricated housing materials, electric car components, and public transportation vehicles, both buses and trains'''--and called for ''the social justice state not the police state.'' [36] Through the LCSC's efforts, the South Coast Air Quality Management District implemented a ''right to know'' statute in which community residents were given information about the chemicals they were exposed to and the corporations that were producing them.[37]
In 2001, Mann was a delegate to the U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa and returned to South Africa in 2002 as part of a Strategy Center NGO delegation to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.[38]
In 1992 Mann and the Strategy Center founded the Bus Riders Union (BRU) with a group of Black and Latino bus riders and started organizing on the buses of Los Angeles.[39] Working with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), with Mann as chief negotiator, the BRU crafted a civil rights lawsuit based on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which prevents discrimination by government agencies that receive federal funds).[40]
The BRU charged the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority with ''transit racism'''--setting up a separate and unequal transit system in which Latino and Black bus riders were subject to 'a third class bus system for Third World people' while wealthy contractors built rail projects for a whiter, more affluent ridership. The BRU's ''billions for buses'' campaign was initiated in 1992. It was initially accused of hyperbole and excessive aspirations but ended up winning $2.7 billion in improvements for 500,000 bus riders.[7]
Sit-ins, grassroots organizing, a ''no seat, no fare campaign,'' court orders, and negotiations with the MTA led by Mann, resulted in a ten-year civil rights consent decree committing the Los Angeles MTA to revamp and improve its bus system.[41][42] The BRU was designated the class representative for LA's 500,000 bus riders (of whom 50 percent were Latino and 25 percent were Black).[43] A BRU team of Eric Mann, Chris Mathis, Norma Henry, and Della Bonner worked in a ''joint working group'' with MTA representatives that led to replacing 2,000 dilapidated diesel buses, with 2,500 new compressed natural gas buses'--the largest clean fuel bus-fleet in the United States.[44][45][46]
This story is documented in the Haskell Wexler film Bus Riders Union.[47]
Mann attended the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa.[48] Upon his return to the U.S., the Strategy Center launched a campaign in support of the international demands for ''Reparations for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade''; this campaign was a predecessor to the Community Rights Campaign.[49]
The Community Rights Campaign took up the cause of serving the transportation needs of minority students in the Los Angeles Unified School District, which it linked with "transit racism". It took up the slogans of "1,000 more buses, 1,000 more schools and 1,000 fewer police", addressing what it saw as the impacts of structural racism on minority students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Led by the Strategy Center's organizer Manuel Criollo, community rights organizers built a student pass campaign that resulted in a major victory in 2005, with the LA MTA to eliminate the application process which had been limiting students' access to low cost student passes. This laid the groundwork for the current student organizing project, ''Stop the Schools as Pre-Prisons.'' This popular campaign has produced numerous reports and won significant victories'--rolling back truancy tickets and charges of willful defiance, as reported in Black, Brown, and Overpoliced in 2014.[49][50][51][52]
Since 2012 the work of Mann and the Strategy Center has focused on the "Fight for the Soul of the Cities" campaign. It is a political program for international urban organizing built on the Strategy Center's Bus Riders Union and Community Rights Campaign. It opposes privatization, pollution, policing and corporate interests and proposes cities putting the Black and Latino working class as its core.[53]
The Fight for the Soul of the Cities campaign has five core demands'--''No Cars in LA'--Stop the U.S.'s and L.A.'s War on the Planet''; ''Free the U.S. 2.5 million prisoners'--Stop the Mass Incarceration of Black and Latino Communities''; ''Amnesty and Open Borders for Immigrants'--Immigrant Rights are Human Rights''; ''Stop U.S. Drone Attacks'--Support Sovereignty and Human Rights''; ''Fight for the Right to Protest and Organize'--Stop the Police and Surveillance State''.
Mann led the founding of the National School for Strategic Organizing that educates and trains a multi-racial class of future leaders. The school has recruited and trained more than 100 young organizers, who are active in social movements.[1] Based on his years of organizing and 20 years of teaching organizers exchanges, Mann's wrote Playbook for Progressives, the book that presents Mann's theory of transformative organizing.[54]From 2002 to the present he has been the host of KPFK Pacifica's ''Voices from the Frontlines'--your national movement building show.'' [55]
List of works Edit Books Edit 2011: Playbook for Progressives: The 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer Beacon Press, ISBN 978-0-8070-4735-42010: The 7 Components of Transformative Organizing Theory Frontlines Press2006: Katrina's Legacy: White Racism and Black Reconstruction in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast Frontlines Press, ISBN 978-09721263282004: The 2004 Presidential Elections: A Turning Point for the U.S. Left Frontlines Press, ASIN: B0028GCE442002: Dispatches from Durban: Firsthand Commentaries on the World Conference Against Racism and Post-September 11 Movement Strategies Frontlines Press, ISBN 978-09721263041996: A New Vision for Urban Transportation Labor/Community Strategy Center1991: L.A.'s Lethal Air: New Strategies for Policy, Organizing, and Action, Mann with the WATCHDOG Organizing Committee Strategy Center Publications, ISBN 978-09629813021987: Taking on General Motors: A Case Study of the UAW Campaign to Keep GM Van Nuys Open University of California Institute of Labor Studies, ISBN 978-08921514171974: ''Comrade George: An Investigation into the Life, Political Thought, and Assassination of George Jackson'' Harper & Row, ISBN 978-0060803186Selected chapters and articles in edited publications Edit 2013: "Fight for the Soul of the City: The Battle Over Buses in Los Angeles", The Nation, May 27, 2013.2012: "Fair Play: Transit Rights Are Civil Rights for L.A.'s Bus Riders", Yes! August 23, 20122001: "A Race Struggle, a Class Struggle, a Women's Struggle All at the Same Time: Organizing on the Buses of Los Angeles", Working Classes, Global Realities, Socialist Register vol. 37, Leo Panitch, ed.2001: ''Building the Anti-Racist, Anti-Imperialist United Front: Lesson from L.A. Labor/Community Strategy Center and Bus Riders Union'' in "Blacks and Asians: Rebuilding Radical Formations"Souls, a Journal of Black Culture, Politics and Society, Manning Marable, ed., Spring 20011999: "Radical Social Movements and the Responsibility of Progressive Intellectuals", Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review April 19991999: "Class, Community and Empire: Towards an Anti-Imperialist Strategy for Labor", Rising from the Ashes? Labor in the Age of Global Capitalism eds. Ellen Meiksins Wood, 19991998: ''Keeping GM Van Nuys Open'', Reshaping the US Left: Popular Struggles in the 1980s Mike Davis and Michael Sprinker eds., 19981998: ''Class, Community, and Empire: Toward an Anti-imperialist Strategy for Labor'', Rising from the Ashes? Labor in the Age of ''Global'' Capitalism 1998.1997: "Confronting Transit Racism in Los Angeles", Just Transportation: Dismantling Race and Class Barriers to Mobility Robert Bullard and Glen Johnson, ed., 19971996: "Rights Theory, Social Movements, and the Courts", Political Science Association's Law and Courts Quarterly Summer 1996.1990: "Labor/Community Coalitions as a Tactic for Labor Insurgency", Building Bridges: New Strategies for Labor Jeremy Brecher and Tim Costello, eds., 19901986: "Keeping GM Van Nuys Open: Regional Economic Planning from the Bottom Up", Midwest Center for Labor Research Review Fall 19861971: "Appraisals and Perspectives: Strategy for the Student Movement", University Crisis Reader (Vol II) Emmanuel Wallerstein and Paul Starr, eds. 19711968: "Students and their Universities", AmMannan Now John G. Kirk, ed.1968Documentaries Edit 2000: Bus Riders' Union, co-directed by Haskell Wexler and Johanna Demetrakis,: documentary on the Bus Riders Union, featuring Eric Mann as director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center.1997: Voices from the Front Lines'': Covering five years of environmental justice organizing, the film features the work of the Labor/Community Strategy Center and its delegates' trip to Accion Ecologica in Ecuador to unite their common struggles against the Texaco Corporation.1986: Tiger by the Tail, produced and directed by Michael Goldman, written by Eric Mann, narrated by Ed Asner: a documentary film of the Campaign to Keep GM Van Nuys OpenReferences Edit ^ a b c Kelley, Robin (1998). Yo Mama's dysfunctional! Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America. Boston: Beacon Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0807009413. ^ a b Valle, Victor (October 27, 1983). "Laid-Off Workers Take Aim at GM". Los Angeles Times. ^ Acu±a, Rodolfo (2014). Occupied America: A History of Chicanos. Pearson Press. ISBN 978-0205880843. ^ a b Pe±a, Devon (2005). Tierra y Vida: Chicano Environmental Justice Struggles in the Southwest. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. pp. 203''204. ^ Mann, Eric (1997). "Confronting Transit Racism in Los Angeles". In Johnson, Glen (ed.). Just Transportation: Dismantling Race and Class Barriers to Mobility. New Society Publishers. pp. 68''84. ISBN 978-0865713574. ^ Lucas, Karen (2004). Running on empty: transport, social exclusion and environmental justice. University of Bristol: Policy Press Books. pp. 220''242. ISBN 978-1861345691. ^ a b c d Mann, Eric (September 3, 2014). "Palestine Will Win: Solidarity from a Self-Respecting Jew". CounterPunch . Retrieved February 25, 2015 . ^ Soja, Ed (2010). Seeking Spatial Justice. University of Bristol: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 137''138. ISBN 978-0816666683. ^ Mann, Eric; Ramsey, Kikanza (1995). "The Left Choice is the Best Choice". AhoraNow . Retrieved February 25, 2015 . ^ a b Mann, Eric (2011). Playbook for Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer. Beacon Press. pp. 179''188. ISBN 978-0807047354. ^ Meier, August; Rudwick, Elliott (1975). CORE, a study in the civil rights movement, 1942-1968. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252005671. ^ Clark, Alfred E. (November 18, 1964). "2D CORE Protest Held at Bus Line". New York Times. ^ Lelyveld, Joseph (November 8, 1964). "Trailways Buses Picketed by CORE". New York Times . Retrieved February 25, 2015 . ^ a b c Doolittle, William (March 2, 1967). "Adjourn Teacher's Defense: Attack on 'Backward' Teaching Holds Crowd to 2am". Newark Evening News. ^ McMain, Nina (February 20, 1967). "Teacher Claims Class Approach Led to Suspension". World Journal Tribune. ^ Ripley, Anthony (June 16, 1968). "Student Leaders Voice Radicalism". New York Times. ^ Keller, George (Spring 1968). "Six Weeks That Shook Morningside". Columbia Today. ^ a b Hartnett, Ken (June 19, 1969). "Vietnam War, Racism, Poverty Used As Campus Disorder Fuel". The Progress-Index. ^ "Columbia's Demonstration: How It Started and Grew". Florence Morning News. May 12, 1968. ^ a b Silver, Sam (February 13, 1975). "Whipping Racism". Berkeley Barb. ^ Magalif, Jeff (October 30, 1969). "Mann, Weathermen Released After Arrests for Disruptions". . Retrieved June 25, 2020 . ^ Magalif, Jeff (November 20, 1969). "Weathermen, Police Scuffle in Cambridge". . Retrieved June 25, 2020 . ^ Zinn, Howard (1991). Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology. Perennial. pp. 175''176. ISBN 978-0060921088. ^ Pulido, Laura (2006). Black, Brown, Yellow and Left: Radical Activism in Los Angeles. University of California Press. pp. 75''76. ISBN 978-0520245204. ^ Elbaum, Max (2006). Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che. Verso Press. pp. 269''275. ISBN 978-1859846179. ^ Acu±a, Rodolfo (1996). Anything But Mexican: Chicanos in Contemporary Los Angeles . Verso Press. pp. 193''206. ISBN 978-1859840313. ^ Tasini, Jonathan (March 23, 1984). "Jobs on the Line". Reader. ^ Goldman, Michael (Director) (1986). Tiger by the Tail (Motion picture). Los Angeles. ^ Schwartz, Jim (July 3, 1989). "U.A.W. New Directions: Struggle for the Soul of the Union". The Nation . Retrieved February 25, 2015 . ^ "New Directions for the UAW: An Interview with Jerry Tucker". Multinational Monitor. February 1990. ^ Micah, Uetrich (October 29, 2013). "Even After Death, Jerry Tucker Inspires labor Activists". In These Times. ^ Turner, Lisa (December 9, 1988). "The Uses of Anger: Eric Mann and Rudy Acu±a Want to Bring Big Business to Heel". L.A. Weekly. ^ Schulz, Kathryn (March 30, 2006). "Two Eco-leaders '-- One mainstream, One Radical '-- debate the movement's past and future". GRIST Magazine. ^ Commoner, Barry (February 24, 1992). "Yearning to Breathe Free "L.A.'s Lethal Air", by Eric Mann". The Nation. ^ Dutton, Thomas A. (Fall 2007). "Colony Over-the-Rhine" (PDF) . The Black Scholar . Retrieved February 25, 2015 . ^ Pulido, Laura (1996). "Multiracial Organizing Among Environmental Justice Activists in Los Angeles". In Dear, Michael (ed.). Rethinking Los Angeles . Sage Publications. ISBN 978-0803972872. ^ Lazarovici, Laureen (December 6, 1991). "Air Battles: The Watchdog Wades into the Pollution Wars on Behalf of the Other LA". L.A. Weekly. ^ Mann, Eric (January 2003). "When US Policies Scorch the Earth, What's Left for Sustainable Development?". The ARK. National Organizers Alliance. ^ Simon, Richard (January 16, 1996). "A Driven Man Keeps Heat on the MTA". Los Angeles Times. ^ Berestein, Leslie (February 3, 1995). "MID-WILSHIRE Bus Riders Savor Victory on Fare Hike, Vow to Maintain MTA Vigil". Los Angeles Times. ^ Grengs, Joe (Spring 2002). "Community-Based Planning as a Source of Political Change: The Transit Equity Movement of Los Angeles' Bus Riders Union" (PDF) . Journal of the American Planning Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016 . Retrieved February 25, 2015 . ^ Kelley, Robin DG (February 5, 1996). "Freedom Riders (The Sequel)". The Nation. ^ Lipsitz, George (September 2004). "Learning From Los Angeles: Another One Rides the Bus". American Quarterly. 56 (3): 511''529. doi:10.1353/aq.2004.0037. ^ Hong, Peter (December 31, 1996). "Riding Momentum". Los Angeles Times. ^ Uhrich, Kevin (February 2, 1996). "Uneasy Riders: The Bus Riders Union Takes on the MTA's Separate and Unequal Transit System". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved February 25, 2015 . ^ Novotny, Patrick (2000). Where We Live Work and Play: the Environmental Justice Movement and the Struggle for a New Environmentalism. Praeger Publishers. p. 70. ISBN 978-0275960261. ^ Demetrakis, Johanna and Wexler, Haskell (Directors) (October 2000). Bus Riders' Union (Motion picture). Los Angeles: Outpost Studios. ^ Mann, Eric (2002). Dispatches from Durban: Firsthand Commentaries on the World Conference Against Racism and Post-September 11 Movement Strategies. Frontlines Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0972126304. ^ a b "Community Rights Campaign Report, Black, Brown and Over-Policed in LA Schools: Structural Proposals to End the School-to-Prison Pipeline in the Los Angeles Unified School District and to Build a National Movement to Stop the Mass Incarceration of Black and Latino Communities". The Labor/Community Strategy Center. August 1, 2010 . Retrieved February 25, 2015 . ^ Watanabe, Teresa (January 8, 2014). "Federal Guidelines unveiled to avoid racial bias in school discipline". Los Angeles Times. ^ Watanabe, Teresa (May 14, 2013). "Zero tolerance policies adopted after Columbine lower achievement and disproportionately affect African Americans, supporters say". Los Angeles Times. ^ "Community Rights Campaign". The Labor/Community Strategy Center. August 1, 2010 . Retrieved February 25, 2015 . ^ Mann, Eric (May 27, 2013). "Fight for the Soul of the City: The Battle Over Buses in Los Angeles" (PDF) . The Nation. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 2, 2015 . Retrieved February 25, 2015 . ^ Uhlenbeck, Max (Feb 2011). "How It Would Feel to be Free: A Review of Transformative Organizing". Left Turn Magazine. ^ "Voices From The Front Lines". KPFK . Retrieved February 25, 2015 . External links Edit Conversation with Eric Mann and Fred HoThe Labor/Community Strategy Center homepageVoices from the Frontlines homepageFight for the Soul of the Cities homepageView Voices from the Front Lines
In 1975 Mann joined the Chicano-led August 29th Movement (ATM).[8] ATM merged with Chinese-American organization I Wor Kuen (IWK) and the Black Revolutionary Communist League to form the multi-racial, multi-national League of Revolutionary Struggle in 1978.[9]
Floyd Autopsy notes
The autopsy was performed by a board-certified forensic
pathologist and reviewed by a second board-certified
forensic pathologist prior to release.
The autopsy was thorough, the report fair, and unbiased.
The first thing that jumps out when reading the Floyd
autopsy report: "No life-threatening injuries were
identified". That is a direct quote.
There were no facial, oral mucosal, or conjunctival
petechiae noted.
Most people have never heard the word Petechiae.
Petechiae is a pinhead size red or purple spot on the
surface of the skin which is the result of tiny ruptures in
blood vessels resulting in hemorrhage just below the skin.
Petechiae are normal and expected when air and blood flow
are cut off at the neck by any mechanism.
The eyes are the best place see petechiae.
If you cut off blood circulation, blood pressure spikes up
which breaks blood vessels, and that causes petechiae.
The pathologist that did the autopsy dissected George
Floyd's neck muscles layer by layer.
The dissection did not find any contusion or hemorrhage in
any of the muscles.
If Derek Chauvin's knee on George Floyd's neck cut off blood
flow, the pressure would have ruptured blood vessels, which
would have caused bleeding into the surrounding tissue.
The bleeding would have been massive and visible to the
naked eye.
There was no bleeding into neck tissue.
If Chauvin's knee cut off Floyd's air supply, the pressure
would have broken the esophageal cartilage. That is 100%
Place your thumb and index on your esophagus. Press backward
into your neck.
When you get as far back as you can comfortably push, lock
your fingers, pull them out and look how big your esophagus
actually is.
You don't collapse the esophagus to the point of cutting off
air flow without breaking the cartilage.
In a forensic autopsy, the pathologist examines the
esophagus in place, then removes the entire esophagus and
cuts the entire length open and examines the inside.
Floyd's neck and esophagus did not have any trauma.
The thyroid cartilage and hyoid bone were both intact and
The cervical spinal column was palpably stable and free of
The anterior muscles of neck and laryngeal structures were
trauma free.
That means Chauvin's knee did not cause any trauma to any
part off the neck.
There was no scalp soft tissue, skull, or brain trauma
There were no chest wall soft tissue injuries, vertebral
column injuries, or visceral injuries.
That means Floyd's internal organs did not show any trauma.
Floyd did have a single rib fracture from CPR. That is
The pathologist rolled Floyd's body over and incision the
posterior and lateral neck, shoulders, back, flanks, and
buttocks looking for deep tissue trauma.
There was no trauma present.
The pathologist did observe cutaneous injuries to the
forehead, face, upper lip, the mucosal injuries of the lips,
cutaneous injuries to the shoulders, hands, elbows, and
Cutaneous injuries are confined to the skin. Some of the
injuries were healing and happened before Floyd's arrest.
The rest were probably the result of scraping contact with
pavement during the arrest.
There was no trauma below the skin.
The pathologist noted and documented patterned contusions
and abrasions to the wrists consistent with handcuffs.
If you watched the video, you can hear Floyd saying he can't
If you can't breathe, you can't say you can't breathe.
Why is that is so hard to understand.
The autopsy established that Floyd had a history of
hypertension, hypertensive heart disease, severe
arteriosclerotic heart disease, and an enlarged heart.
Floyd had a left pelvic tumor which did not contribute to
his death. Floyd tested positive for COVID 19.
Toxicology puts the nail in the coffin of Ellison's murder
The individual that called 911 said that Floyd was extremely
drunk and not in control of himself.
On one video, Floyd's legs buckled and he fell beside a
squad car.
That shows a loss of control.Floyd tested positive for
Fentanyl 11 ng/mL.
Blood concentrations of 7 ng/ml have been associated with
fatalities where multi drugs were used.
Floyd was a multiple drug user.
Floyd tested positive for Norfentanyl at 5.6 ng/mL a
metabolite of Fentanyl.
Police reform bill in House counters Senate bill with system for licensing cops, curbing qualified immunity -
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 12:41
House Speaker Robert DeLeo and top Democrats plan to seek a vote Wednesday on police reform legislation that makes good on the promise leaders made to Black and Latino lawmakers following the death of George Floyd, proposing a new system to license cops and enforce limits on the use of force, like chokeholds and tear gas.
The bill, which was being voted on Sunday night in committee, would also curb the use of qualified immunity, a controversial legal principle that can shield police officers from civil lawsuits in cases of misconduct.
The issue of qualified immunity has become a flashpoint in the fast-moving debate on Beacon Hill over policing, and while House leaders will seek to limit its use in state law, they have proposed a different approach than the Senate.
The House plans to officially introduce the bill Monday, a week after the Senate passed its version of policing reform and just days after House leaders solicited and received thousands of emails offering testimony and feedback on the Senate's legislation.
The House Ways and Means Committee opened a poll of its members just before 9:30 p.m. on Sunday night and gave them until 10 a.m. Monday to weigh in on whether to recommend the 123-page bill to the full House. With just two weeks left of formal sessions for the year, time is running out on legislators to finalize what has become a top end-of-session priority for both the Legislature and Gov. Charlie Baker.
The bill's release and the anticipated debate later in the week also comes after a weekend during which the country mourned the loss of civil rights icon John Lewis, the Congressman from Georgia who died at 80 after a battle with cancer.
Since the May killing of Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody, political leaders have been under pressure from demonstrators and others to address systemic racism in both law enforcement, and all aspects of society. The bill would create a new permanent Commission on the Status of African Americans to help policymakers develop solutions to discrimination and other issues facing the Black community.
The commission, as conceived in the bill, would be a resource for policymakers and a ''clearinghouse'' of research and information on issues impacting the Black community in Massachusetts.
In addition to making policy recommendations to the Legislature and executive branch to ensure equal access to government services for Black residents and to address discrimination, the commission would also recommend candidates of color for positions throughout state government, including for appointments to board and commissions.
"Those voices demanded we as a Legislature change how we think about public safety and that we address the causes of systemic racism. With this legislation, we will begin the task of making our public safety more equitable for the entire Commonwealth," said Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz in a statement Sunday night.
Licensing and Qualified ImmunityThe bill also touches on the five main areas prioritized by the Black and Latin Legislative Caucus following the death of Floyd, including the creation of a new independent Massachusetts Police Standards and Training Commission.
The commission would be responsible for licensing all law enforcement in the state every three years, with the power to revoke, or decertify, a police officer for misconduct, including the use of excessive force, bias, conviction of a felony, witness intimidation or submission of false timesheets.
"The Caucus demanded police accountability and transparency, and this bill addresses each of our initial core demands," said Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, a Springfield Democrat and the chair of the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus.
"This will change law enforcement institutions and begin to answer the call of civil rights leaders, such as Martin Luther King and Rep. John Lewis, who dedicated their lives to addressing racial equity. In addition, it starts addressing change in honor of George Floyd whose tragic death sparked a national conversation through protest and now by Legislative action," Gonzalez said.
The seven-member commission would include appointees from the governor and attorney general, with each getting two selections. The remaining three appointments would be made jointly but must include the chair of the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Policy Group and at least one other member selected from a list of three choices submitted by the Massachusetts Coalition of Police, the state's largest police union.
The bill stipulates that the racial and gender makeup of the commission should reflect the state's population.
The structure of the commission differs from the one proposed by the Senate, which would be a 14-member commission set up within the Executive Office of Public Safety and appointed by the governor, and would have to be reconciled if the House passes this bill unchanged.
The two branches also diverged in their approach to qualified immunity.
The police unions are strongly opposed to changing the doctrine, which they say protects officers and their families from frivolous lawsuits. However, reform advocates, including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, have strongly called for curtailing or eliminating its use, which critics say has become a barrier to holding police accountable.
The Senate bill would limit the use of qualified immunity by allowing civil lawsuits to proceed if a police officer should have reasonably known their behavior violated the law, instead of requiring clear proof that a law had been broken.
In the Ways and Means bill, House leaders are proposing to tie qualified immunity for police directly to the licensing process and revoke immunity in any case that results in the decertification of a police officer.
By linking immunity and decertification, the House may also be trying to address the concerns raised by some senators during debate that the changes they were making to qualified immunity applied not just to police but all public officials, from local conservation officials to boards of public health.
The bill would also ban the use of facial recognition software or any other form of biometric surveillance by a government official or agency unless specifically authorized by law.
However, it would give the Registry of Motor Vehicles permission to use such technology in order to verify someone's identity to issue a license or permit, and to perform a search at the request of law enforcement with a warrant.
Chokeholds would be banned, under the bill, and police would be restricted from firing a weapon at a fleeing vehicle and from using tear gas, rubber pellets or dogs to control behavior unless there were no other options to protect public safety and other de-escalation tactics had been tried and failed.
The execution of no-knock warrants would also be limited, and the legislation would establish a right of citizens to "bias-free policing" and create a duty to intervene for officers who witness misconduct by other law enforcement.
"We owe a duty to the public and to the members of law enforcement to ensure that training is consistent and is available in all areas of the state," said Rep. Claire Cronin, the House chair of the Judiciary Committee.
Like the Senate, House leaders are also proposing to put restrictions on the type of information school officials can share with law enforcement, including immigration status, religion, ethnicity, neighborhood of residence or suspected gang affiliations, unless it's related to a specific incident.
The restrictions generated debate in the Senate from lawmakers who worried it would give safe harbor to gang members in schools, but supporters said students need to be able to attend school without fear of being judged.
The bill also establishes new training and certification requirements for school resource officers, and establishes a new commission to develop a memorandum of understanding about the role of school resource officers and how they will interact with students.
Finally, the bill incorporates some changes to the governance of the State Police sought by Gov. Baker earlier in the year that would, among other changes, allow a governor to hire the colonel of the State Police from outside the department.
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.
LA teachers union demands defunding the police and charter 'moratorium' before reopening schools
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 03:42
| July 11, 2020 04:56 PM
The Los Angeles Teachers Union issued a research paper arguing schools in the district can't reopen without certain policy provisions in place ranging from mandatory face masks to a ''moratorium'' on charter schools and the defunding of police.
With classes set to begin on Aug. 18, United Teachers Los Angeles, a union consisting of 35,000 members, outlined a series of demands that should be met before reopening,
The union stressed the need for precautions to stem the spread of the coronavirus, including students being assigned to small sequestered groups, face masks, protective equipment, and school campuses being reconfigured to allow the maximum possible social distancing.
The paper argued that the pandemic "underscores" inequality in the United States.
''The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States underscores the deep equity and justice challenges arising from our profoundly racist, intensely unequal society,'' the paper read. ''Unlike other countries that recognize protecting lives is the key to protecting livelihoods, the United States has chosen to prioritize profits over people. The Trump administration's attempt to force people to return to work on a large scale depends on restarting physical schools so parents have childcare. In Los Angeles, this means increasing risk especially in Black and Brown working communities, where people are more likely to have 'essential' jobs, insufficient health care, higher levels of preexisting health conditions, and to live in crowded housing."
''Meanwhile,'' it continued, ''the rewards of economic recovery accrue largely to white and well-off communities that have largely been shielded from the worst of the pandemic's effects.''
The union also made several political demands that are aligned with calls being made by Democrats across the country, including defunding the police and charter schools.
''Police violence is a leading cause of death and trauma for Black people, and is a serious public health and moral issue,'' the union said. "We must shift the astronomical amount of money devoted to policing, to education and other essential needs such as housing and public health.''
As for charter schools, the union called for a ''moratorium." The paper contended that they ''drain resources'' from public schools and claimed that they ''double-dipped'' during the pandemic by taking federal bailouts, even though their state funding did not decline.
The paper ended with a section titled, ''In Conclusion: Normal Wasn't Working For Us Before. We Can't Go Back.''
Google News - 'Wall of moms' at Portland protest formed to protect demonstrators
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 12:20
Language & region English (United States)
Trans women face potential women's rugby ban over safety concerns | Sport | The Guardian
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 13:50
World Rugby is considering banning trans women from playing women's rugby because of significant safety concerns that have emerged following recent research, a decision that would make it the first international sports federation to go down that path.
The Guardian can reveal that in a 38-page draft document produced by its transgender working group, it is acknowledged that there is likely to be ''at least a 20-30% greater risk'' of injury when a female player is tackled by someone who has gone through male puberty. The document also says the latest science shows that trans women retain ''significant'' physical advantages over biological women even after they take medication to lower their testosterone.
As a result, World Rugby's working group suggests that its current rules, which allow trans women to play women's rugby if they lower their testosterone levels for at least 12 months in line with the International Olympic Committee's guidelines, are ''not fit for the purpose''. The draft proposals are likely to be seen by women's groups as an important new approach towards the sensitive issue of trans inclusion, one based on biological sex and the latest science rather than how someone identifies.
While the draft proposals may not get such a positive welcome from trans rights groups, the draft document acknowledges that the working group will consider its position if the scientific evidence changes. It also recommends that trans men should be allowed to play against biological men, provided they have undergone a physical assessment and have signed a consent form.
The draft proposals, which have been sent for feedback to individual unions, are a result of a wide-ranging consultative process that began with a ground-breaking meeting in February with leading scientists, medical and legal experts as well as representatives of trans and women's groups in an attempt to create a consensus around the latest research while also considering player welfare and inclusivity issues.
Crucially the draft proposals, which have been seen by the Guardian, accept that anyone who has gone through male puberty retains a significant physical advantage after their transition. It also recognises that the advantage is so great '' and the potential consequences for the safety of participants in tackles, scrums and mauls concerning enough '' it should mean that welfare concerns should be prioritised.
''Current policies regulating the inclusion of transgender women in sport are based on the premise that reducing testosterone to levels found in biological females is sufficient to remove many of the biologically-based performance advantages,'' the draft report says. ''However, peer-reviewed evidence suggests this is not the case.
''Ciswomen players (who do not undergo androgenisation during development) who are participating with and against transwomen (who do undergo androgenisation during development) are at a significantly increased risk of injury because of the contact nature of rugby.''
It adds: ''While there is overlap in variables such as mass, strength, speed and the resultant kinetic and kinematic forces we have modelled to explore the risk factors, the situation where a typical player with male characteristics tackles a typical player with female characteristics creates a minimum of 20% to 30% greater risk for those female players. In the event of smaller female players being exposed to that risk, or of larger male players acting as opponents, the risk increases significantly, and may reach levels twice as large, at the extremes.''
As World Rugby's working group notes, players who are assigned male at birth and whose puberty and development is influenced by androgens/testosterone ''are stronger by 25%-50%, are 30% more powerful, 40% heavier, and about 15% faster than players who are assigned female at birth (who do not experience an androgen-influenced development).''
Crucially those advantages are not reduced when a trans women takes testosterone-suppressing medication, as was previous thought - ''with only small reductions in strength and no loss in bone mass or muscle volume or size after testosterone suppression''.
However, World Rugby says it is committed to encourage transgender people to remain involved with rugby and is currently funding research to continue to review any evidence that may emerge to enable the participation of transgender women in women's rugby. ''At the present time, however, based on the best published scientific evidence, that position is unsupported,'' it adds.
The proposals also recommend that transgender men should be allowed to play against other men '' provided they get a physical assessment and a therapeutic-exemption-use certificate and sign an statement accepting they understand the greater injury risks.
A draft version of the waiver for transgender men to sign, seen by the Guardian, says: ''I acknowledge and accept the injury risks associated with transgender males playing contact rugby with males who are statistically likely to be stronger, faster and heavier than transgender males, as described in the World Rugby Transgender Guidelines which I have read and understand.''
Portland protesters list their demands as mayor joins crowd | Fox News
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 12:39
Published July 23, 2020
Last Update 2 hrs ago
The city is now in its eighth straight week of protests since the police custody death of George Floyd on May 25Protesters in Portland reportedly projected a list of demands of the city on a building Wednesday evening while the city's mayor addressed the crowd that included the need to defund the police department by 50 percent and freeing all protesters from jail.
The protesters also demanded the city immediately remove controversial federal agents deployed to the city and told Mayor Ted Wheeler to resign, according to FOX 12 reporter Bonnie Silkman.
The protesters said the city should reinvest the money from the police into the community.
Mayor Ted Wheeler speaks to people gathered in downtown Portland, Ore., Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Wheeler faced a hostile crowd of protesters, who screamed at and sharply questioned him as he tried to rally demonstrators who have clashed repeatedly with federal agents sent in by President Donald Trump to quell ongoing unrest in the city. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)
Shouts and taunts directed at the mayor nearly drowned him out as he thanked the crowd for coming out to oppose the Trump administration's "occupation" of the city and told them to continue to resist the presence of federal agents.
"I think what we're doing tonight is actually the best thing we can do right now," Wheeler said while taking questions from the crowd, KGO-TV reported. "Be here, be heard, be unified, and be clear. We didn't want them, we didn't ask for them, they're not trained for what they're being asked to do. And we want them to leave."
Demonstrators protest in downtown Portland, Ore., Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Gov. Ted Wheeler faced a hostile crowd of protesters, who screamed at and sharply questioned him as he tried to rally demonstrators who have clashed repeatedly with federal agents sent in by President Donald Trump to quell ongoing unrest in the city. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)
Wheeler received boos when he told another querying protester he didn't support abolishing the police department.
Protesters shouted ''F--- Wheeler,'' called him ''Tear gas Teddy'' and told him to resign as he spoke, according to KIONN-TV reporter Hannah Ray Lambert.
During the protest, one of the speakers rallying the crowd told them, "This is no longer a protest. We are in the middle of a civil war."
Portland is now in its eighth straight week of protests since the police custody death of George Floyd on May 25. The mostly peaceful protests have sometimes been destructive and occasionally violent. Police have also used tear gas against protesters and have declared a riot more than once.
Noodle Gun
Apple and Spotify are woke infrastructure
Red Bull Just Purged High-Level Execs Who Pushed for 'Diversity and Inclusion' - Revolver
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 16:11
Red Bull CEO Dietrich Mateschitz and fired executive Amy Taylor.
Red Bull just reminded their 'wokest' employees who calls the shots in a total massacre of ''social justice warrior'' employees.
Not only were the top two North American executives fired, but so were entire marketing teams and ''culture'' teams that were dedicated to pushing the lie of systemic racism.
Red Bull has just shown the way forward for all who want to prevent a total Marxist-style takeover of business and government in America. There is no appeasing these people, the only way forward is to fire them as quickly as possible, and with no mercy. Err on the side of firing everyone, if need be.
What this country needs, at every level of society, academia, and government, is a total and complete purge of 'woke' revolutionaries, before the blood starts running in the streets.
The Wall Street Journal has more:
The maker of Red Bull energy drinks has replaced its top U.S. executives amid internal tensions over the closely held company's response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Red Bull GmbH, the Austrian company that makes the drink, said Stefan Kozak, its North America chief executive, and Amy Taylor, its North America president and chief marketing officer, have left the company. It named other executives to temporarily fill the roles.
Red Bull didn't give a reason for the changes, which were announced in an internal memo Monday.
Ms. Taylor had been working on diversity and inclusion efforts within the company with Mr. Kozak's support for several years but was met with opposition when she began advocating for Red Bull to be more overt in its support of racial justice in the last month, according to people familiar with the matter.
Some U.S. employees had recently raised concerns about what they considered the company's inaction on the Black Lives Matter movement. [Wall Street Journal]
According to Business Insider, these were ''acts of retaliation.'' And rightly so. If you find yourself in this position, get an army of lawyers and find out the quickest legal route to excising the cancer of ''social justice warriors'' in your company.
Several insiders close to the situation said it was widely believed that Kozak and Taylor were fired by Austrian leadership over the leak and internal tension over diversity issues. Two employees said Taylor had been working on a project to increase Black representation at Red Bull but that the leadership wasn't interested. [Business Insider]
Have you ever heard of the phrase, ''get woke, go broke?'' It turns out there is a simple way to prevent this, and it involves firing people indiscriminately, until the rest of the employees realize that the only way they are going to be able to keep their jobs is by being professional, and keeping their kook politics out of the workplace. Pour encourager les autres.
Along with firing the executives, Red Bull cut or dissolved entertainment and culture teams in Canada, the UK, and Austria and canceled most of its major cultural events, including its annual Red Bull Music Festival and Red Bull Presents.
Two employees said global CEO Dietrich Mateschitz told staff earlier this year that there wouldn't be any layoffs in 2020.Two others who work in marketing, however, said management told them that between 20 and 50 people were laid off or told that they would have to choose between new jobs and exit packages.
Another employee said the culture teams were seen as the most vocal about racial justice matters and that US staffers saw the restructuring as a form of punishment. [Business Insider]
You absolutely love to see it.
It turns out that the CEO of Red Bull is a pretty cool guy. From Daily Mail:
Red Bull's billionaire CEO Dietrich Mateschitz is a Donald Trump admirer who has spoken out against 'political correctness'.
The 76-year-old tycoon also owns a media firm which has been criticized for giving a platform to far-right activists in his native Austria.
The company's global CEO is Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, who has an estimated fortune of $26billion and owns a private island in Fiji.
In a 2017 interview, Mateschitz expressed sympathy with Donald Trump and said the new president 'simply needs time'.
'I don't think he's as much of an idiot as he's made out to be,' he told the newspaper Kleine Zeitung at the time.
'When you speak to Americans you often hear that they're essentially happy to have a new administration. There was plenty to question about the previous one,' he said, referring to the Obama administration.
Raging at 'political correctness' and the 'intellectual elite', Mateschitz was also highly critical of Germany and Austria for opening their doors at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis.
Taking aim at those who encouraged refugees or used Angela Merkel's slogan of 'we'll manage it', he said that none of those people 'made their guest rooms available for five migrants to live in'. [Daily Mail]
Long Live Dietrich Mateschitz.
RELATED: Black Lives Matter is an Anti-White Racist Group
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A cautionary tale for today's 'woke' movement - UnHerd
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 19:03
''In the summer of 1921, luck broke my way in the shape of the great Russian famine which then threatened to cost about 30,000,000 lives, and probably did cost 5,000,000 or 6,000,000 including deaths from disease.''1
For Walter Duranty, who as the Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent for the New York Times led the cover-up of the 1932-3 famine in Ukraine, mass starvation was a career opportunity. In order to dispel damaging reports of the famine, the Bolshevik government had decided to admit a number of western journalists into the Soviet Union. Duranty was probably last on the list, if he appeared on it at all.
A year earlier, he had written that Bolshevism was ''a compound of force, terror and espionage, utterly ruthless in conception and execution''. The Bolsheviks had not forgotten or forgiven Duranty's attack, but always a charmer, he overcame their hostility with a flattering article on Lenin's New Economic Policy. Duranty was allowed into the country, and began his career as an apologist for Soviet crimes.
In the Polish director Agnieszka Holland's film Mr Jones, now released on Netflix after its US cinema release was cancelled by Covid-19, Duranty is played with understated subtlety by the American actor Peter Sarsgaard. If the portrayal fails to reveal Duranty's true motives, that is because they were extremely murky. At some points he appears as a cynical opportunist, at others he projects the image of a partisan of the Soviet cause who accepts that millions of dead are the price of progress. (Infamously, the late British historian Eric Hobsbawm took the same line.) On occasion Duranty was each of these things, but his underlying motivations may have been darker. As well as illuminating a murky passage in history, Holland's superb film may cast a light on the cultural convulsions we are going through today.
More from this author Liberalism: the other God that failed By John Gray
Born in 1884, Duranty had become a disciple of Aleister Crowley in 1913, joining with the self-appointed Satanist messiah in Paris in opium consumption and ''sex magic''. Crowley's motto was ''Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law'', and Duranty seemed to have followed this immoralist maxim throughout all of his life. For the elite of 'bermenschen '-- to which the British-born, Cambridge-educated journalist imagined he belonged '-- morality was a fetter to be cast off. Anything was permitted, truth was a fiction and a superior few were entitled to live ''beyond good and evil''. When Duranty described Bolshevism as a ruthless creed he may have been praising, not condemning it.
Duranty's career was based on this philosophy. Freedom from ethical restraint, he believed, guaranteed success. In the end, however, his philosophy failed him. After FDR's death in April 1945 Duranty found himself neglected and forgotten: during the Cold War, his skills in white-washing Soviet totalitarianism were no longer in demand. Like Crowley, whose last words when he was dying in a Hastings boarding house in 1947 were reported to have been ''I am perplexed,'' Duranty seems to have been baffled by his fall from grace. He died practically penniless in Orlando, Florida ten years later.
The larger mystery, which is explored deeply in the film, is why so many in the West were so keen to believe Duranty's lies. Gareth Jones, the Welsh journalist (and former private secretary to Lloyd George) who revealed the famine in Ukraine, was not the only person to tell the truth. So did the English journalist Malcolm Muggeridge, who visited the Soviet Union as a fellow-traveller only to have his illusions shattered around the same time. An American trade unionist named Fred Beal, sent to the country by the American Communist Party, visited Ukraine and found silent villages and fields littered with unburied bodies. No mainstream newspaper would publish Beal's report, which eventually appeared in Yiddish in the New York Jewish socialist paper Daily Forward.
Suggested reading The dangers of post-truth journalism By Douglas Murray
The scale of the famine '-- which according to recent estimates cost the lives of somewhere between four and seven million people '-- was widely suspected in Ukrainian and Russian (C)migr(C) communities, though no one bothered to consult them. Duranty himself told British officials in the Moscow embassy that around ten million may have died, but the matter was taken no further. After a campaign against him organised by the authorities '-- spearheaded by Duranty and supported by the rest of the Moscow correspondents, who feared having their visas withdrawn and being sacked by their newspapers '-- Jones was expelled from the Soviet Union.
The campaign against Jones was a response to a question. How could the Soviet state afford its vast programme of industrialisation in the midst of the Great Depression? As the film shows, it was this question that fired Jones's dogged persistence in search of the truth. The answer was the export of grain. The Ukrainian famine was manufactured in Moscow as a by-product of the Soviet need for hard currency. (It was the same imperative that drove gold mining in slave labour camps in the Russian Far East, where hundreds of thousands of Gulag prisoners were worked to death.) Ukrainians starved not because there was no food, but because the food they produced was taken from them at gunpoint.
Gareth Jones's achievement, which is well captured in James Norton's powerfully expressive performance, was to discover the answer to a question that hardly anyone wanted to ask. Western resistance to his inquiry, which cost Jones his job and possibly his life, was partly a result of the belief among western intellectuals that the Soviet state was the last best hope of humankind, which must be defended at any cost.
Many will argue that in a time when fascism was on the rise, this was an understandable response. But Jones had no illusions about the dangers of Nazism; he was one of the first western journalists to fly with Hitler after he came to power, and secured an interview with Goebbels that left him in no doubt of the deadly threat posed by the Nazi regime. Even so, he refused to condone or pass over in silence the crimes of the Soviet state.
Suggested reading Red alert: the childish fad for socialism By James Bloodworth
At this point we reach the nub of the film. A scene features Jones in conversation with George Orwell, arguing that the truth must be told. Orwell responds with a question of his own: if the Soviet regime is as bad as Jones claims, what hope is there? There is no evidence that any such encounter ever occurred, but in the context of the film it is an effective device. The choice Jones faced was between hope and truth, and Jones '-- like Orwell himself in Animal Farm, published in August 1945 '-- chose truth.
After presenting his findings in the Hearst press, Jones was a marked man, and he would be murdered in 1935 on a journalistic tour of a remote part of China. He may have been a casualty of mercenary bandits, or become unwittingly entangled in Sino-Japanese espionage. Lloyd George believed Jones simply knew too much. However, circumstantial evidence suggests the involvement of the Soviet secret services, which may have wanted to send out a warning to any other western journalist who might have a taste for truth.
Mr Jones is a rich, vivid and irresistibly gripping film. At times one cannot bear to look; but neither can you turn away. Like Paweł Pawlikowski in Cold War (2018), Holland renders the human experience of communism with unflinching authenticity. The film reveals a kind of horror that can hardly be spoken, only shown '-- as when the Welshman joins famished children in eating stew, only to retch when he discovers what it is made from. It is also a story of simple human nobility. In a time when much of journalism has become crude agitprop, Jones's unwavering pursuit of fact is refreshing and inspiring.
Suggested reading The truth about lockdown in Leningrad By Anna Reid
Yet it is doubtful whether this or any similar film will have much impact in the current climate of opinion. In the 1930s the western Left resisted the facts regarding Soviet crimes because it undermined the hopes of a new society. Today the woke movement questions the very idea of truth. Intermixed with millenarian frenzy and American Puritanism, Maoist mob rule and hyper-liberal culture war, there is a strand that echoes Duranty's crypto-Nietzschean philosophy.
Probably Duranty's style of active nihilism is confined to a small minority. Some may be using the movement as a career strategy, as Duranty used communism; the ignorant, mis-educated woke masses may actually believe they can shape an undefined new society. What all share with Duranty is their contempt for ordinary humankind.
Here another difference from the leftism of the '30s emerges. With all its lies and crimes, communism was a universal movement. In contrast, woke movements are pretty much confined to decaying liberal societies. The demonstrations of the past months have had few serious reverberations beyond the post-Reformation West, and cancel culture is largely limited to the English-speaking world.
A movement that hardly exists in Eastern Orthodox cultures, Islamic societies, most of Asia and Africa and at least half of Europe can scarcely be described a global phenomenon. With its epicentre in the United States, wokery is essentially a spasm in formerly liberal cultures, which assert a peculiar sense of their own superiority by turning on themselves and their history. Cultures of this kind can hardly be expected to take any serious interest in other times and places. Films like Mr Jones are unlikely to disturb the introverted parochialism of the hyper-liberal mind. But for anyone willing to watch and learn, they are of inestimable value as warnings.
More than anything else, Soviet communism was a westernising movement. True, it had precedents in Russian history '-- Peter the Great's modernisation from above, for example '-- and it expressed a strand of apocalyptic politics that was distinctively Russian. But as Lenin's fondness for American-style production methods and Stalin's obsession with breakneck industrialisation demonstrated, the Soviet project was always to turn Russia into a modern western state.
The experiment failed, at colossal human cost. Russia is now a Eurasian state that defines itself by its difference from the west. Unlike Xi's China, which paradoxically remains more western because it continues to be a Soviet-style party-state, Russia is ruled through personal authority, with Putin acting as something between a tsar and a mediaeval baron. If the purpose of starving millions of Ukrainians to death was to build a modern Russia, they died for nothing.
The woke movement faces a similar debacle. As they become more hyper-liberal in their values, formerly liberal societies are becoming more fearful and authoritarian. Renouncing the idea of truth for the sake of some hopeful political project isn't just immoral. It doesn't work.
Doctors Call For Adam's Apple, Achilles Tendon To Be Renamed Because They're 'Misogynistic' | The Daily Wire
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 16:43
A pair of doctors in Australia want to do away with terms like ''Adam's apple'' and ''Achilles tendon,'' with one doctor calling them misogynistic.
Dr. Kristin Small, a Queensland specialist obstetrician, gynecologist, and anatomy lecturer, calls for the terms to be phased out, saying they represent older generations.
''I think we have a personal choice to decolonize our language and these historical terms will fade out,'' Small told the Brisbane Courier-Mail.
She still teaches the terms, known as eponyms, for exam purposes, but notes that there are alternatives for the ''dead man's name.'' She says the centuries-old anatomical terms are named after ''old men, kings and heroes.''
Meanwhile, Dr. Nisha Khot, council member for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said she thinks the eponyms will one day be obsolete.
''The young trainee doctors are mostly keen to learn the more relevant language and are often shocked when they hear the origins of some medical terms,'' she said.
For instance, the word ''hysterectomy'' came from a time when women were treated for hysteria by removing the uterus. But Khot prefers the term ''uterectomy.''
''The push for change may have started in the area of women's health but the conversation is now in the wider health community. It just makes sense for the medics but also for the patients to use more understandable terms,'' Khot said.
The Adam's apple is believed to be named after the biblical figure of Adam, while the Achille's tendon is named after the Greek hero of the Trojan War.
The PC police have been on the warpath of late. For instance, while the Oxford Dictionary defines the phrase ''low-hanging fruit'' as ''a thing or person that can be won, obtained, or persuaded with little effort,'' a college professor claimed the definition was racist.
''For African-Americans, if you say 'low-hanging fruit,' we think lynching,'' said Mae Hicks-Jones, an adjunct faculty member of Elgin Community College in Illinois.
''Grandfathered'' is also racist, she said, according to a report this week in The College Fix. To Hicks-Jones, the phrase ''grandfathered in'' is reminiscent of a grandfather clause, which privileged white people's right to vote over that of black people in the Jim Crow-era South.
Then there's the ''Masters'' golf tournament. Rob Parker last month wrote a Deadline piece headlined ''We've Lived with 'The Masters' Name Long Enough.''
''Augusta National was built on grounds that were once a slave plantation and was the property of a slave owner. And according to a 2019 New Yorker piece about the course, it's believed that enslaved Blacks were housed on the property,'' he wrote.
Even food brands are being targeted. Quaker Oats announced last month that it would remove Aunt Jemima from its 133-year-old brand of syrup and pancake mix, while the company that makes Cream of Wheat said it is reviewing its brand and packaging, which features a black chef holding up a piping hot bowl of cereal.
''B&G Foods, Inc. today announced that we are initiating an immediate review of the Cream of Wheat brand packaging,'' the company said in a statement. ''We understand there are concerns regarding the Chef image, and we are committed to evaluating our packaging and will proactively take steps to ensure that we and our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism.''
Meanwhile, the company that makes Uncle Ben's rice said that ''now was the right time to evolve'' the brand. Their package features an elderly black man in a tuxedo next to its trademark saying, ''Perfect Every Time.''
The Daily Wire is one of America's fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member .
Top ABC News Executive Barbara Fedida To Exit After Probe Into Racist Comments - Zavings
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 03:47
Fedida was investigated after sources alleged a long pattern of insensitive behavior, including racist and derogatory comments.
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Civil Suit Against Former Fox News Anchor Ed Henry Alleges Rape, Sexual Misconduct : NPR
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 12:35
In this combination photo, Ed Henry, from left, speaks on "Fox & Friends" in 2019, in New York, Tucker Carlson arrives for the 60th anniversary celebration of NBC's Meet the Press, in 2017 in Washington and Sean Hannity during a taping of his show in 2018, in New York. AP hide caption
toggle caption AP In this combination photo, Ed Henry, from left, speaks on "Fox & Friends" in 2019, in New York, Tucker Carlson arrives for the 60th anniversary celebration of NBC's Meet the Press, in 2017 in Washington and Sean Hannity during a taping of his show in 2018, in New York.
AP A female former producer at Fox News, and another woman who appeared frequently as an on-air commentator on the network, have filed a civil lawsuit Monday accusing former longtime anchor Ed Henry of rape, sexual misconduct and harassment.
Prominent Fox News commentators Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Howard Kurtz are also named as defendants in the suit, and are accused of sexual misconduct. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Fox News issued a statement on behalf of Hannity, Carlson and Kurtz, calling the claims in the suit "false, patently frivolous and utterly devoid of any merit."
Fox News, which in recent years has been hit by numerous accusations of sexual misconduct that forced out founder Roger Ailes and top host Bill O'Reilly, announced on July 1 that it had fired Henry after investigating an accusation of sexual misconduct against him by a former employee.
In 2016, Henry was demoted by the network from his job as White House correspondent and took a leave of absence following allegations of an extramarital affair with a Las Vegas hostess and stripper. However, he returned to Fox News later that year, taking a position as chief national correspondent. Henry was later added as a co-anchor on Fox and Friends Weekend.
As NPR's David Folkenflik reported earlier this month, Henry was promoted despite one of his colleagues having warned senior executives that reinstating him could damage Fox's efforts at reforming its workplace culture.
The complaint filed on Monday graphically presents multiple allegations of sexual abuse suffered by Jennifer Eckhart, a former associate producer at Fox Business, who said that Henry suggested he could help advance her career in exchange for sex.
The lawsuit asserts that "Fox News continues to protect and reward perpetrators of sexual harassment and refuses to take accountability for putting such persons in positions of power from which they can subject women to sexual misconduct, sexual assault and, in the case of Ms. Eckhart, rape."
Eckhart's complaint alleges that Henry "preyed upon, manipulated and groomed her," coercing her into sexual intercourse. Among the most serious of the allegations, Eckhart says that in 2015 Henry forced her to perform oral sex on him at the Fox News building in New York. She also alleges that in 2017 he handcuffed her as part of "violent, painful rape" in a Manhattan hotel room.
The complaint includes a number of graphic text messages that Henry allegedly sent Eckhart following the 2017 incident.
Eckhart's suit, which alleges among other things that Henry violated federal sex trafficking laws, seeks a monetary award.
Henry's lawyer, Catherine Foti, has characterized the allegations against her client as "fictional." In a statement Foti said: "The Me Too movement has helped to bring to light a number of injustices in our society, and everyone that has suffered deserves to be heard. This is not one of those cases. The evidence in this case will demonstrate that Ms. Eckhart initiated and completely encouraged a consensual relationship."
Eckhart and co-plaintiff Cathy Areu are represented by Douglas Wigdor, a veteran of sexually charged suits against Fox News. The company has said it has made broad cultural changes since Ailes' ouster but Wigdor and some former Fox News staffers say it has been slow to root out deeply embedded patterns of sexist behavior and actions.
In a statement, Eckhart said: "My decision to speak out was not an easy one, but I refuse to let fear of retaliation, victim shaming and further attacks intimidate me into remaining silent."
Areu alleges in the complaint that Henry sent her "a slew of wildly inappropriate sexual images and messages" including photographs and video. According to the complaint, Henry also sent numerous texts suggesting that she have sex with him.
Areu, who was a regular guest on The Sean Hannity Show and Tucker Carlson Tonight until 2018, also accused host Sean Hannity of conducting a mock dating auction with her as the prize.
"Mr. Hannity, on set and in front of the entire studio crew '' and completely unsolicited '' threw $100 on the set desk. He then began calling out to the men in the room and demanding that someone take Ms. Areu out on a date for drinks," according to the complaint.
In December 2018, after appearing on his show, the complaint alleges that Carlson told Areu "that he would be alone in New York City that night, and specifically said that he would be staying alone in his hotel room without any wife or kids."
According to the complaint, "Mr. Carlson was probing to see whether Ms. Areu was interested in a sexual relationship." When Areu "sidestepped Mr. Carlson's advances and declined to spend the night at his hotel," the host "promptly retaliated against Ms. Areu, who was featured on his show only three times in 2019 and has not appeared once in 2020."
Areu, who was also a regular guest on Kurtz's Fox News Media Buzz alleges that the host tried to get her to come alone to his hotel room on the premise of discussing a full-time job at the network. After she refused, Kurtz "punished" her by thereafter limiting her appearances on his show, according to the complaint.
In a statement, Areu said: "Like Ms. Eckhart, I too was fearful to come forward. However, I simply could not stay silent given the tremendous harm that Mr. Henry and others at Fox News have caused for women affiliated with the company."
Fox News, in its statement, insisted that the network takes "all claims of harassment, misconduct and retaliation seriously, promptly investigating them and taking immediate action as needed '-- in this case, the appropriate action based on our investigation is to defend vigorously against these baseless allegations."
Disclosure: Ed Henry is married to NPR Chief Washington Editor Shirley Henry
Trader Joe's will change packaging after petitioners call its branding 'racist': report -
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 14:09
The line builds up as grocery shoppers line up six-feet apart from each other outside of Trader Joe's in New Springville as they adhere to the new limitation of people inside the store on April 4, 2020. Trader Joe's is changing the labeling on some of its international food products after petition signers claimed the branding was "racist."(Staten Island Advance/Jason Paderon)
Trader Joe's says it is in the process of changing packaging on some international products after an online petition said current labels are 'racist.'
According to CNN, the online petition has more than 1,700 signatures.
The petition says, ''We demand that Trader Joe's remove racist branding and packaging from its stores. The grocery chain labels some of its ethnic foods with modifications of 'Joe' that belies a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes. For example, 'Trader Ming's' is used to brand the chain's Chinese food, 'Arabian Joe' brands Middle Eastern foods, 'Trader Jos(C)' brands Mexican foods, 'Trader Giotto's' is for Italian food, and 'Trader Joe San' brands their Japanese cuisine.''
''The Trader Joe's branding is racist because it exoticizes other cultures - it presents 'Joe' as the default 'normal' and the other characters falling outside of it.''
CNN reported that Trader Joe's said it had already been in the process of updating its labels that include any variation of Trader Joe's.
''While this approach to product naming may have been rooted in a lighthearted attempt at inclusiveness, we recognize that it may now have the opposite effect -- one that is contrary to the welcoming, rewarding customer experience we strive to create every day,'' Kenya Friend-Daniel, a spokeswoman for Trader Joe's, said in a statement.
In Pennsylvania there are Trader Joe's stores in Ardmore, Jenkintown, Media, North Wales, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, State College and Wayne.
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Associated Press gives bizarre reason it's capitalizing 'black' but not 'white'
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 14:17
By Jake DimaDaily Caller News Foundation
The Associated Press, a U.S. wire service and news outlet, announced Monday that it will capitalize ''black'' when referring to the racial group in its stories, but not ''white.''
The AP said a statement about the change that white people have a less distinct culture than do black people, and that whites don't have the experience of discrimination based on skin color.
''White people generally do not share the same history and culture, or the experience of being discriminated against because of skin color.'' AP's vice president for standards John Daniszewski said in the announcement.
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But ''people who are Black have strong historical and cultural commonalities, even if they are from different parts of the world and even if they now live in different parts of the world. That includes the shared experience of discrimination due solely to the color of one's skin,'' Daniszewski said.
The national publication said that capitalizing white could be harmful because white supremacists often capitalize ''white'' when referring to people or culture, according to a report about the change posted by AP.
''We agree that white people's skin color plays into systemic inequalities and injustices, and we want our journalism to robustly explore these problems,'' Daniszewski said. ''But capitalizing the term white, as is done by white supremacists, risks subtly conveying legitimacy to such beliefs.''
Daniszewski's remarks come despite several black organizations like The National Association of Black Journalists releasing guidance that ''white'' should be capitalized in addition to ''black,'' AP reported.
Should 'whites' be capitalized by news agencies if 'blacks' are capitalized?
90% (52 Votes)
10% (6 Votes)
The AP made the decision to capitalize ''black'' about a month ago, but released the statement Monday to clarify that they won't be capitalizing ''white.''
AP's style is now to capitalize Black in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense, conveying an essential and shared sense of history, identity and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa.
'-- APStylebook (@APStylebook) June 19, 2020
The AP's guidelines are widely influential on how journalists format their writing through their release of the AP Stylebook that is adhered to by numerous news organizations.
The AP said that capitalizing ''white'' could cause Caucasians to abdicate conversations about racial inequality in the country, according to the announcement.
The New York Times made a similar decision July 5 and chose to capitalize only ''black.''
''It seems like such a minor change, black versus Black,'' The Times's national editor Marc Lacey said in the publication's statement to the public. ''But for many people the capitalization of that one letter is the difference between a color and a culture.''
The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NBC News and others have also followed the trend, according to AP.
Calls to capitalize the word ''black'' in writing follow nationwide demonstrations against racial inequality and police brutality after the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, video showed.
This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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Amazon-owned Whole Foods in Black Lives Matter legal claim
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 12:41
Black Lives Matter protest at Whole FoodsWorkers at Whole Foods are suing the US supermarket for punishing them for wearing Black Lives Matter masks.
The federal lawsuit says the firm discriminated against black staff by selectively enforcing its dress code.
Whole Foods, owned by tech giant Amazon, forbids staff from wearing clothes with messages that are not company-related.
It denied firing a worker over the issue, but would not comment on the legal action.
"While we cannot comment on pending litigation, it is critical to clarify that no Team Members have been terminated for wearing Black Lives Matter face masks or apparel," the company said in a statement.
The lawsuit says more than 40 Whole Foods employees at locations across the country have been punished for wearing the Black Lives Matter masks, which became popular amid the outcry over George Floyd's death at the hands of police.
Staff wearing clothing with other messages, such as LGBTQ pins or sports team apparel, had not faced such discipline in the past, the lawsuit says.
'Repeated violations"Whole Foods' selective enforcement of its dress code in disciplining employees who wear apparel expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement constitutes unlawful discrimination," the lawsuit says.
The complaint asks the court to strike down Whole Foods' policy and bar the company from taking further action or retaliating against the workers. It also seeks back-pay for workers sent home for wearing the masks,
The lawsuit was filed by 14 employees as a class action suit on behalf of all Whole Foods staff. One of the workers claims she was fired for organising mask wearing and leading protests against the company's response.
In a statement, Whole Foods denied that claim, saying the employee, Savannah Kinzer, had been dismissed for "repeatedly violating our time and attendance policy by not working her assigned shifts, reporting late for work multiple times in the past nine days and choosing to leave during her scheduled shifts.
"It is simply untrue that she was separated from the company for wearing a Black Lives Matter face mask. As an employer we must uphold our policies in an equitable and consistent manner. Savannah had full understanding of our policies and was given a number of opportunities to comply," the firm said.
'Muzzled'Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lawyer representing the workers, said the firm was "falsely attacking" Ms Kinzer.
"Their decision to retaliate against employees expressing support for this racial justice movement was bad enough, but their efforts to disparage an amazing activist and leader are beyond the pale," she said. "We look forward to making our argument in federal court."
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She told the BBC the workers who filed the suit were angry in part over apparent hypocrisy, after Amazon and Whole Foods expressed public support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
"So many companies today are doing everything they can to profess how progressive they are... but when it actually comes to letting their employees express these same sentiments they get muzzled," she said.
The lawsuit is the latest clash involving Amazon and its workers.
The firm has faced repeated calls to do more to protect its supermarket and warehouse workers during the pandemic and been accused of retaliating against staff speaking out over the firm's environmental policies and coronavirus protections.
Earlier this year, an engineer quit, citing firings as evidence of a "vein of toxicity running through the company's culture".
How voice actors are fighting whitewashing in animation - Vox
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 14:07
In the wake of nationwide protests against police brutality, calls for change have reached far into the corners of pop culture, from old comedy shows removing blackface episodes to an infamously named football team finally ditching its racist moniker to surprising upheavals within the TV voice acting industry. Several white voice actors from popular TV shows, who were originally cast to play characters of color, have stepped away from their roles in order to encourage the show's producers to recast them authentically. In doing so, they've acknowledged the longstanding problem of whitewashing in the voice acting industry, and the detrimental effect it's had on actors of color and the quest for meaningful representation in Hollywood.
The trend arguably ignited in late June, when actor Jenny Slate decided to step away from her role as a biracial character on the popular Netflix animated comedy Big Mouth. Slate's decision '-- inspired by the racial tensions provoked by the police killing of George Floyd nearly a month before '-- opened the floodgates. In the intervening weeks, a wave of similar decisions by white actors like Kristen Bell and production teams like The Simpsons to recast their characters of color made headlines. With them have come questions about whether the trend of race-conscious recasting should extend to include any role, whom it impacts, and whether it's anything more than a cosmetic change in the long term. But then there's the biggest question of all: How does the animation industry give Black, Indigenous, and other actors of color a better shot at landing diverse roles when those roles barely exist to begin with?
White actors have been walking away from roles they now say were miscast all alongCreators in the animation industry have hand-waved away any problematic implications of having white characters play nonwhite ones for years. From the minstrelsy-inspired Mickey Mouse to the Latin-accented Speedy Gonzales to characters of color on more modern shows like King of the Hill, Bob's Burgers, and BoJack Horseman, white voice actors have been the de facto choice for decades, no matter the character.
''I was definitely aware that that was an issue and that was a problem. But if you look at animation, the precedence feels a little different,'' BoJack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg told IndieWire in 2018. One of the Netflix show's major characters, Diane Nguyen, was voiced by the white actress Alison Brie. ''Part of the issue is, when it comes to animation you convince yourself, anybody can play anything, so it doesn't matter.''
Even as recently as this past January, Bob's Burgers creator Loren Bouchard took a ''what can you do?'' approach, telling Variety that he ''needed'' to cast white actress Kristen Bell as a biracial character on his upcoming Apple TV+ cartoon Central Park. ''Kristen needed to be Molly; we couldn't not make her Molly,'' he said. ''But then we couldn't make Molly white and we couldn't make Kristen mixed race, so we just had to go forward.''
The nationwide Black Lives Matter protests in late May forced people throughout Hollywood to reconsider that attitude virtually overnight. Jenny Slate's decision to walk away from her Big Mouth role reflects how the surge in anti-racist rhetoric throughout society came to bear on the voice acting industry. ''I have come to the decision today that I can no longer play the character,'' Slate posted June 24 on Instagram. She went on to say that while she believed her Jewish identity made it okay for her to play the character of Missy, whose mom is Jewish, she now understood that ''Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people ... I was engaging in an act of erasure.''
Now prepping the show's fourth season, the show's co-creators, Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett supported Slate's decision. In a follow-up post made to Kroll's Instagram, they apologized for ''our original decision to cast a white actor to play a biracial character,'' and vowed to recast her.
Slate's decision was surprising news, as was the support her show's producers issued for her decision. It was also precedent-setting: Shortly after Slate encouraged her Big Mouth producers to appropriately recast her biracial character, Bell followed suit. The same day Slate announced her decision, Bell tweeted that she'd be leaving her Central Park role.
''This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity,'' Bell tweeted. ''Playing the Molly in Central Park shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege. Casting a mixed race character w/a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race & Black American experience.''
She accompanied her post with a message of support from the show's core creative team.
This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity. Heres 1 of mine. Playing the Molly in Central Park shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege. Casting a mixed race character w/a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race & Black American experience.
'-- Kristen Bell (@KristenBell) June 25, 2020''We profoundly regret that we might have contributed to anyone's feelings of exclusion or erasure,'' the team wrote. ''Our show will be better for respecting the nuances and complexity around the issue of representation and trying to get it right.'' Bell will remain with the show, voicing a new character.
Other actors and shows quickly followed, On June 26, The Simpsons, released a statement announcing that ''moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice nonwhite characters.''
The show, which enters its 32nd season this fall, first made headlines because of its non-diverse voice casting as far back as in 2017. Indian American comedian Hari Kondabolu criticized the show that year in his documentary The Problem With Apu, which argued that the Indian convenience storeowner Apu is a troubling racist stereotype. A 2018 episode of The Simpsons offered a begrudging response to Kondabolu's critique, and the debate over whether Apu was offensive continued. It culminated this past January, when cast member Hank Azaria announced he would no longer voice the character. It's still unclear whether The Simpsons will completely retire the popular character, but if they recast him, it won't be with another white actor.
Actor Mike Henry, who played the Black character Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, announced that same day that he, too, would be vacating the role for a Black actor to take over instead.
Henry, who had voiced Brown since the show's debut in 1999, said on Twitter that while ''It's been an honor to play Cleveland ... persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role.''
The impetus for these changes seems to be the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd, and subsequent calls to examine underlying problems of racism in many industries, including Hollywood. Speaking in more detail about her decision to pass on the role of Missy to a Black actor, Slate told BuzzFeed on July 2 that it was ''something that needed to happen. ... I looked around my life and I could see very clearly where my reasoning was flawed and racist.''
For an increasing number of white voice actors, it's time to share a responsibility to pass the microphone to actors of color. ''For the time being,'' voice actor Allegra Clark (Sailor Moon, Fortnite) told me in an email, ''it's important for white actors to take a step back and pass on auditions for characters of color, so that those opportunities are going to the right people to begin with.''
Those opportunities, however, have been vanishingly rare. Animated storytelling in Hollywood has been non-diverse in the extreme, and ethnic and racial stereotypes are seen across the long history of children's animation, from Song of the South to Looney Tunes. Cartoon villains overwhelmingly had foreign accents throughout the early days of TV animation '-- and they still do today. When actors of color were hired to work on cartoons, they often had to perform those demeaning stereotypes; for instance, Disney cast Black voice actors to perform broadly racist minstrel caricatures throughout the 1940s, like the crows in Dumbo or the aforementioned Song of the South.
The racism inherent in these roles made actors of color increasingly reluctant to play them. So rather than write better parts for the actors, Hollywood grew more reluctant to write parts for people of color at all. This ugly cycle increased the rarity of diverse parts for diverse actors. In children's animation, however, because the voice actors weren't visible, the stereotypes persisted '-- just often with white actors voicing the parts, as if that were enough to ward off complaints of prejudice.
Additionally, animation studios tend to hire a small sample of character actors to voice multiple parts, including any ethnic roles a show may need filled. The prevalence of this practice has led to a hugely whitewashed profession that continues today.
Longtime screen and voice actor Dante Basco (Hook, Avatar: The Last Airbender) told me it's taken a long time for voice casting to be taken as seriously as onscreen casting when it comes to racial diversity. ''The reality is, it wasn't seen as something important for many years, 'cause, you know, you're [just] doing a cartoon,'' Basco told me. But the Filipino American actor, well known for starring ethnic roles in animated series including Avatar and American Dragon: Jake Long, explained that his career has benefited from race-conscious casting, in those rare instances when it is prioritized.
''I always felt sometimes like they brought me in, like, 'Oh, Dante, you're an Asian celebrity, you can play this Asian role,''' he said. ''And so I was probably one of the earliest ones [to get hired when productions] were accurately trying to cast the character close to'' their ethnicity.
Still, he said, diversifying roles and opportunities for actors in the animation industry isn't as simple as giving everyone a part matching their ethnic heritage.
''The pendulum swings both ways,'' he said. ''I don't know if [racially conscious casting] is necessarily important on every single thing ... I always tell people that if I had to wait around for a Filipino American role, I would not have a career.''
Basco's pragmatism underscores just how hard it is to find any diverse characters in TV animation. When diverse parts are hard to come by, it can be prohibitive to silo a group of actors of color into their ethnic or racial niches.
Clark agrees that the lack of diverse roles makes it much harder for voice actors of color to sustain their careers. ''There's too much historical baggage, and too few opportunities for actors of color (who are seldom given a fair shot to read for white roles in the first place),'' she said.
Their concerns that an attempt to move to strictly race-accurate casting could hurt actors of color more than help them point to larger issues within the industry. After all, the current high-profile movement to diversify all of Hollywood, including moving away from race-blind casting, has also highlighted just how overwhelmingly non-diverse the voice acting industry has been.
The voice acting industry is diversifying '-- but at a frustratingly slow paceWe rarely see the people behind the mic of an animated character. Which means you might not realize just how stacked the deck is against voice actors of color.
''It took seven years of pushing, seven years of going to auditions and stealing the audition documents for all of the characters that I wasn't being invited to read for,'' Toronto-based voice actor Deven Mack told Vox. While Mack has found success in the Toronto animation industry, he says he had a wake-up call when he moved from doing voice-acting on the internet to doing professional studio work.
''I started out doing things online on websites, like Newgrounds and YouTube. And that was a world where absolutely nobody knew what I looked like,'' he said. ''Over the years, I probably voiced super Mario and Luigi for at least 50 different fan cartoons ... People think that I'm a white guy on the internet.'' With professional studios, however, he found that he could rarely book auditions, and, when he did, was rarely asked to read for any part except that of ''the Black kid.''
''Once I [got] an agent, I realized [that] I'm now auditioning only once every six months. Online, I'm playing everything. I'm playing cats, dogs, white characters, Black characters, old men. But here [in studios], it's just the Black kid. And if there is no, 'the Black kid,' then I'm just sitting at home.''
Even when Mack did eventually book his first studio role '-- as the character Lab Rat in a 2006 series called Grossology '-- the wake-up calls about the realities of the industry kept coming.
''There were lots of good people there, but the assumption still the whole time [was], 'Oh, he's a 17-year-old Black kid,'' Mack told me. ''The only thing he can play is the Black kid. He can't lose his accent. We just assume that. So we're not even going to give him other stuff to do.' So everybody else on the show was playing additional voices ... and making more money than me as a result because they just assumed I couldn't do it.''
Mack was running into a lack of diversity that affects nearly every aspect of both the animation and video game industries. A 2019 Annenberg Institute survey of gender in animation found that only 3 percent of all animation roles (including both films and television series) go to women of color, across the broad spectrum of racial diversity. On the other side of the reel, that stat is even worse: Just one percent of producers are women of color. In 2017, another Annenberg study found that while 27 percent of animated films had Asian directors, between 2007 and 2016, only one animated film had a Black director at the helm.
Such an extreme lack of diversity on the production side of things manifests in a lack of diversity in the kinds of TV shows, films, and games that are made. The question of whose stories get told, and who gets to tell them is left up to a production that often lacks a plethora of viewpoints from the start. And because voice acting is often considered to be ''invisible,'' it's all too easy for a white actor to take the rare role that does feature a character of color.
It doesn't help that producers are often reluctant to look beyond established actors. ''Voice acting requires significant technical acting abilities '-- automated dialogue replacement, timing restrictions, facial sync, battle chatter, breathing techniques '-- so finding qualified actors is limited to skilled and experienced talent,'' one gaming CEO told Vox sister site The Verge in February.
''That's a sad thing about our industry, but a truth,'' Bob-Waksberg told IndieWire. ''The white actors have had the opportunity to have the experiences over and over again.''
These factors can lead to serious career struggles and even psychological hurdles for voice actors of color. At a loss for how to advance his career, Mack said he spent years attending career workshops, only to be told he was ''too good'' to be there. ''I'm here because I'm not working. So I don't know what else to do. There must be something wrong with me. Maybe I'm not as good as I think I am,'' he recalled thinking. In desperation, he'd steal scripts and request to read parts he hadn't been called in to audition for, just to show what else he could do. When he finally did get cast in his first lead role, playing a white character, Mack said an immediate shift happened in the parts made available to him.
Mack's story shares themes with that of the voice actor Bill Butts. Butts, a Black Kansas-born actor based in Los Angeles, got his start in theater before moving into voice roles; he's most recently worked on popular anime like Mobile Suit Gundam and One Punch Man.
''Unfortunately, growing up, I didn't really see a lot of people of color in big roles at all, let alone at all in the business,'' he told Vox. ''You'd see Caucasian folk voicing Black characters, but you hardly ever see Black actors.'' He pointed out that there tend to be more opportunities for voice actors of color in English-language animated series than in other voice-reliant industries like anime and gaming, even if the offered parts are usually just ''Black guys and monsters.'' But other voice-over industries lack even these stereotypical roles for non-white actors to fill. ''When it comes to anime and video games, unfortunately the reality is that people of color are only given opportunities to read for people of color, which is extremely rare,'' he said.
Butts describes taking every acting class he could find, ''studying theater, Shakespeare, contemporary, the works, to get yourself to a level where you're so good that agents and studios couldn't really even tell ... they'd be like, well, what else can we use this guy for?'' And still, though he's established himself in the industry, parts available for any ethnicity don't always come his way. ''There [are] five big shows right now [where] I didn't get me to read for a single white character, [and] I know it's not just me. I mean, I took all the classes, and, you know, we have similar agents, but the opportunities aren't given ... There starts to be a bit of asking and begging to get these opportunities.''
But beyond actors resorting to reading parts they aren't called to audition for, ideas for how to diversify the industry in the long-term aren't exactly a hot Hollywood topic. And not everyone agrees on what the path forward should be.
Solutions for diversifying the industry are a mixed bagThough the roles available to actors of color are still overwhelmingly restricted to ethnic stereotypes, things are slowly moving in a positive direction. Some industry organizations are starting to actively work toward diversifying opportunities for their members '-- and, as a result, the voice-acting landscape.
Butts and Clark are members of the Coalition of Dubbing Actors (CODA), a union-like industry organization whose stated goal is ''to build a community, increase open communication among actors, provide actor-led industry education, and change the culture and impression of dubbing work.'' Clark also recently joined several other members of the voice acting community in forming Animated POC & Allies (APOC), a group dedicated to pursuing equality in the industry. ''Up until recently,'' Butts told Vox, if an actor brought up the issue of problematic casting, ''you were either ignored, yelled at, or finally you find yourself getting nothing for months.''
''Honestly, it's not a fixed system yet, but the big thing would be to have the conversations continue,'' Butts said. ''It's still an incredible struggle. But the big thing right now is people are open to talk about it.''
Basco agreed. ''That trend happening now, I think it's cool. I think it's healthy,'' he said. ''I think it speaks to a conscious industry that's really trying to get it right.''
As part of the movement toward a less homogenous industry, some voice actors of color are making choices like those of Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell, despite not having similar name recognition and thus facing more risk in doing so. Butts told Vox he won't read for parts that involve characters of other non-white ethnicities. ''Nine times out of 10, [if a studio needs] a Black Middle Eastern [actor], they can get one. They exist. I'm not going to [step] on people's toes.''
Butts' approach has been echoed in the media by figures like #OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign, who argued in a recent NPR interview about voice casting that ''people who have the most context to play those particular characters are the ones that should get the opportunities.'' Reign, however, also felt that only white actors should play white roles; instead, she argued, creatives should focus on diversifying the roles they write and cast. ''People who have the most context to play those particular characters are the ones that should get the opportunities,'' she says. ''And that also gives the opportunities for the actors and actresses behind the scenes, behind the voiceover work, to get their foot in the door.''
With the present dearth of such diverse roles, however, it's hard to see Reign's approach working as an industry-wide prescription for change. And Mack pointed out that since many voice actors of color don't fit the industry's idea of what an ''ethnic'' actor is supposed to sound like, any approach to casting that overemphasizes ethnicity could backfire.
''Unfortunately, that's really not going to fly,'' he said, ''because when you do have people [of color] who have a specific way of speaking '-- if you have a lot of Black actors right now who sound white, quote-unquote '-- they're not going to book the Black roles as often.''
Basco agrees. ''I think to be conscious of [race and ethnicity] is important,'' he said, ''but at the end of the day, you want to get good actors that are going to play and tell these stories in a real way, in a good way. In the end, we're not doing documentary filmmaking '-- we're doing storytelling.'' Especially in cases where the story being told is a fantasy with fewer roots in reality, there are more opportunities for race-blind casting to be successful.
Still, Butts notes that the current push to allow Black actors to play Black roles is crucially tied to the real-world repercussions that lack of representation can bring '-- after all, the urgency of the Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality galvanized the conversation about voice acting to begin with.
''It has been now three weeks for me since an officer just gave me a dirty look for simply walking on the sidewalk,'' he said. ''It has been a few months since I was followed for about six blocks for simply driving ... It's been literally a couple of days since I had to ask to read for a white character.''
In other words, Black actors can draw upon experiences, he said, ''that [white] people don't have to really understand.'' That extra level of authenticity can make a story much more meaningful. And because animated storytelling can often be highly moralistic or instructive, it's even more crucial that a given production is practicing what it's preaching '-- like equality, justice, and racial harmony. The turbulent times we're in have underscored how important those values actually are in real life, which is why it matters that people like Slate are putting them into action.
''I think we need to come to a place ideally of everybody getting to audition for everything,'' Mack told Vox, ''but still taking into account who has actually lived these ethnic experiences and can bring something really, really unique and culturally relevant to a role in their performance as a result.''
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The crumbling lawsuit against Fox News | Spectator USA
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 11:07
The new lawsuit filed by two women against Fox News and several of its personalities is riddled with inaccuracies. This raises questions about the veracity of its claims. Jennifer Eckhart and Cathy Areu, a former Fox Business producer and frequent network guest, respectively, claim that they suffered sexual misconduct, harassment, and even rape at the hands of Ed Henry, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Howard Kurtz.
The lawsuit immediately made waves in the mainstream media, where it was picked up by the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, CBS News, and other major outlets. It has been a top trending topic on Twitter since its filing. However, a review of several claims made in the suit reveals many basic inaccuracies. A lawyer for Eckhart and Areu admitted to The Spectator that errors were made in the filing, and The Spectator has learned that Carlson's wife was with him the evening Areu claims that he told her he would be alone.
Areu, who claims that she was sexually harassed by Carlson, says that her last appearance on Carlson's program in 2018 was prior to 'the annual Christmas party', which has been reported by other outlets as referring to the network's party. According to Areu, 'the show was filmed live in New York City and Mr Carlson was in New York City at the studio.'
Fox News's 2018 Christmas party took place on December 10, 2018, according to social media posts from multiple FNC employees.
A photo from the 2018 Fox News Christmas party (Twitter: Dec 10, 2018)
A photo from the 2018 Fox News Christmas party (Twitter: Dec 10, 2018)
A lawyer for Areu claimed in an email to me that his client's version of events occurred on December 10, 2018, and added that it was the night of the Tucker Carlson Tonight Christmas party. 'The TCT annual Christmas party was on Dec 10. That's the day it happened,' the lawyer said. That is inconsistent with the fact that the network-wide Christmas party took place that evening.
A review of TV clipping service Grabien found that Areu did not even appear on Carlson's program on December 10, 2018, which was filmed in Washington, DC, not New York City. Carlson was in DC the following night, December 11, as well to attend the annual Daily Caller Christmas party (I attended that party and spoke to Carlson there). In fact, Areu's only appearance in December 2018 was on the 28th, three days after the Christmas holiday and when the program was guest hosted by Mark Steyn. Carlson made a brief appearance on that show, but was at his DC studio and never appeared on air with Areu.
The last time Areu would have appeared on Carlson's program in 2018 when he was hosting in New York City was on November 30.
A lawyer for Areu responded to these inconsistencies by asserting that Areu did appear on Carlson's program from New York City on December 10, 2018, yet sent me a link to a YouTube video that was posted nine days prior on December 1, 2018. This is the segment that took place on November 30, 2018. The lawyer insisted that the person who uploaded the video to YouTube must have manually changed the upload date.
YouTube clip of Cathy Areu's appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, posted December 1, 2018
A screenshot from Grabien confirms that the segment took place on November 30, 2018.
Cathy Areu appears on Tucker Carlson Tonight on November 30, 2018 (Grabien screenshot)
The lawyer later admitted during a phone conversation with me that the dates were mixed up due to errors in Areu's recollection and that the alleged incident did take place on November 30, 2018. The Spectator has learned that the Tucker Carlson Tonight Christmas party for the program's small staff took place that evening in New York City. Carlson's wife attended the party. This sits oddly with Areu's claim that Carlson told her he would not be with his wife and children that evening.
Areu also alleged that Carlson told her he was only going to attend the party for 10 minutes to 'make an appearance'. It is unlikely Carlson would have said that about a party for his own staff, particularly considering The Spectator learned he attended the entire thing.
The lawsuit also claims during the appearance with Carlson in NYC that she 'could not leave the chair or studio' when Carlson requested she stay until the end of the show. Having appeared on television as often as she did, Areu would surely have known how to take out her ear piece and remove her microphone if she wanted to leave the area. She would not need a producer or a member of the tech crew to do that for her.
'She was physically able, But was asked to remain with my equipment in the chair on set,' the lawyer said regarding this claim. 'As such, she was still on a live mic and next to the host. If she moved her arm, she'd be in the frame. You don't disconnect yourself during a live show.'
Still, could Areu have not left during a commercial break?
The lawsuit says Carlson retaliated against Areu's rejection of his 'advances' by limiting her appearances on his program. In 2019, for example, the lawsuit says she only appeared three times. A review of Grabien shows that Areu appeared on the program at least five times in 2019: March 1, March 21, May 24, August 20, and November 6.
Meanwhile, Areu's Twitter profile at the time of the filing featured a prominent photo with Carlson on the set of his show.
Cathy Areu's Twitter profile features a photo with Tucker Carlson
The lawsuit also interprets Howard Kurtz's invitation to Areu to meet him in his hotel lobby (not his room) as a sexual advance rather than a matter of convenience,; the latter seems more credible given he told her he was 'booked solid' the following morning. The only provable fact in Areu's portion of the lawsuit (without any of the personal communications between Areu and the Fox News employees available for review) is that she did appear on Sean Hannity's show on March 8, 2018. The lawsuit claims that she was 'hardly, if ever' invited back after that appearance because she did not 'play along' with Hannity's alleged joke, when he supposedly offered his staff $100 to go on a date with her. Yet she appeared on the show less than a month later on April 4, 2018.
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Eckhart makes the weightiest allegation in the lawsuit, alleging that Henry 'groomed' her into a sexually coercive relationship and 'raped' her. The suit includes several examples of Henry's 'delusions' and 'violence' through messages he sent to Eckhart where he describes engaging in rough sex with her. The messages notably do not include Eckhart's side of the exchange, which might be important in helping determine whether or not the relationship was consensual.
No other media outlets seems to have done this basic fact checking of the claims made in the lawsuit. It shows complete carelessness on behalf of Areu and her lawyers and begs for further interrogation.
Joe Rogan Spreads Transphobia in Vile Abigail Shrier Interview
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 11:34
Joe Rogan is one of the biggest figures in podcasting. His show, The Joe Rogan Experience, consists of lengthy, often rambling interviews with a diverse array of athletes, academics, actors, entrepreneurs, and more. But you could also say that Rogan has really built his audience through selecting guests who bring their own notoriety to his show, or whose specialist subject is the kind of hot-button issue that will inevitably gain him some streams.
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These interviews can take many forms, like getting infamous tech boss Elon Musk to smoke weed on camera, instantly immortalizing the moment in meme form. Or, more esoterically, speaking with pilots who claim to have had close encounters with UFOs. A lot of the time it's harmless (if slightly deranged) fun. And then there are the episodes which, by virtue of Rogan's massive online reach, lend a veneer of credibility to some truly dangerous prejudices.
Take the recent episode with guest Abigail Shrier. During Shrier's conversation with Rogan, in which she promoted her book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, Shrier invalidated the lived experience of trans and nonbinary kids and teens, and made numerous dangerous, entirely unsound false equivalencies. She compared transitioning among teenagers to historic adolescent phenomena such as eating disorders, self-harm, and (bafflingly) the occult, calling this age group "the same population that gets involved in cutting, demonic possession, witchcraft, anorexia, bulimia."
She even described wanting to transition as a "contagion" with the potential to infect other children with the same ideas, drawing yet more scientifically baseless parallels with eating disorders. "Anorexics, they are always really careful when they put them together," she said. "They have to be on hospital wards because we know that it will cause it to spread."
Michael S. Schwartz Getty Images
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Plenty of savvy producers book guests like this to stir up controversy and accumulate outrage-clicks from their viewers. But was Rogan sitting back as a host and letting Shrier dig her own grave? Nope. He appeared to reaffirm this notion that being trans is something a child can be persuaded into through peer pressure, referring to time spent with "wacky friends" at school. He also mocked Caitlyn Jenner, and described LGBTQ+ activists as people who aren't "looking at all sides of it."
"They have this agenda," he said, "and this agenda is very ideologically driven that anyone who even thinks they might be trans should be trans, are trans, and the more trans people the better. The more kids that transition the better."
For all their talk of self-harm and other issues that teenagers can experience, neither Rogan nor Shrier openly acknowledged that more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year. And that wasn't due to "wacky friends" somehow transmitting gender dysphoria; it was due to the prolific, ubiquitous messaging in media that tells them there is something wrong with them, and how they feel doesn't matter.
By alluding to a pro-trans lobby with that aforementioned agenda, Rogan positioned himself and Shrier as marginalized voices in their own right'--a technique commonly employed by high-profile pundits who believe "cancel culture" is somehow coming for their right to free speech. But Rogan has 283 million active users across his social channels. Similarly, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling tweets her transphobic half-thoughts out to 14.3 million followers'--many of whom are the very kids she is attacking. They have huge platforms, and they are using them to actively, willfully spread misinformation and propaganda that will cause very real harm.
"As long as these tactics keep making him money ... he doesn't care who he hurts along the way."
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Of course, you could always make the argument that Rogan doesn't actually believe any of the views that he encourages his guests to espouse on his show. Maybe he is just a cultural weathervane, conducting interviews on whatever outrageous topic is making headlines at the time. In one episode, he might endorse Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, or provide a safe space for openly gay strongman Rob Kearney to share his story. But in others, he is guilty of humoring (if not downright enabling) homophobic jokes and alt-right conspiracy theories from his guests.
Which is worse? To expose such bigotry to your millions of subscribers because you genuinely endorse it? Or to have so little conviction that you will knowingly platform hate speech about some of the most vulnerable, persecuted young people in our society to benefit your own career? You be the judge. Both are appalling in their own way.
Rogan likes to put on a furrowed brow and even, pensive voice; the hallmarks of a reasonable man with an inquisitive mind. Someone who is "just asking questions" or "wants to start a debate." In reality, he's an intellectual shock jock who amplifies the voices of conspiracy theorists, white supremacists, homophobes, and transphobes in the name of interesting conversation. And it's becoming increasingly clear that as long as these tactics keep making him money and acquiring him followers, he doesn't care who he hurts along the way.
Philip Ellis Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues.
Lego Helicopter Kit Cancelled 10 Days Before Release | Gizmodo UK
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 11:37
Lego has cancelled its Lego Technic 42113 Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Helicopter just ten days before release, after protesters pointed out that the helicopter is used in war.
The 1642-piece motorised kit had already been dispatched to some retailers ahead of its launch on the 1st of August. Now, they'll be recalled and destroyed.
The German Peace Society '' United War Resisters said in a petition addressed to Lego (errors as per original):
"In August 2020, LEGO will release the LEGO Technic set ''42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey''. This is a model of a military vehicle that is deployed in ongoing armed conflicts. For this set, your company cooperates with Boeing and Bell. In 2018, Boeing sold military equipment worth of US-Dollar 29.15 billion; it is the second largest arms manufacturer in the world. Bell is number 27th of the world.
Due to the deployment of this military aircraft all around the world, innumerable civilians were killed. That is why parents, LEGO customers and brick fans disapprove of the vehicle's replication.
Companies that produce weapons, which in many countries of the world cause human suffering and death, should not be cooperating with LEGO. Because of this, you stopped LEGO's cooperation with the controversial oil company Shell in 2014. With the new set, you violate your own company's basic principles.
We urge you to stop the cooperation with Boeing und Bell and not to produce any further modern military vehicles."
The group's website Love Bricks, Hate War goes into more detail, including the fact that some of the money from purchasing the sets would go to the licensing companies '' Boeing and Bell '' and thus "who[ever] buys this set, funds arms companies."
As BrickFanatics points out, Lego spending time and money creating the set in the first place and cancelling it so close to launch does rather suggest it had no issue with the war connotation until called out.
The company said in an official statement:
"The LEGO Technic Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey was designed to highlight the important role the aircraft plays in search and rescue efforts. While the set clearly depicts how a rescue version of the plane might look, the aircraft is only used by the military.
We have a long-standing policy not to create sets which feature real military vehicles, so it has been decided not to proceed with the launch of this product.
We appreciate that some fans who were looking forward to this set may be disappointed, but we believe it's important to ensure that we uphold our brand values."
That's all well and good, but how did the set get so far in development before anyone pointed out that it breached Lego's own values and guidelines? We're entirely speculating here, but based on our experience with big companies, we reckon it was pointed out many times but brushed over because COOL ATTACK HELICOPTER!
Anyway, we're glad to see it's been cancelled, and props to Love Bricks, Hate War for getting it pulled. [BrickFanatics]
Edmonton Football Team discontinues use of the name Eskimos - Edmonton Football Team
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 12:02
The Edmonton Eskimo Football Club Board of Directors has made the decision to discontinue the use of the word ''Eskimo'' in the team's name.
Since adopting the name over 100 years ago, our Club and its predecessor organizations have celebrated the hardiness and spirit of those who live in the north. The team's values of community, integrity, respect and inclusion will not change with this decision.
Our Club launched an extensive research and engagement process on the name three years ago, with an emphasis on listening to Inuit communities. We undertook this comprehensive effort to meet our commitment and continue our tradition of being responsive to community perspectives. We augmented that outreach and research with more recent engagement and surveys involving Inuit, partners, season seat holders, casual ticket purchasers and the community at large. We are proud of this work and we intend to continue the Club's efforts to strengthen our relationship with Inuit communities.
Recent findings demonstrate that views regarding the team name are shifting. While many fans are deeply committed to keeping the name, others are increasingly uncomfortable with the moniker. The long-term viability of the Club requires everyone to get behind this change and continue to support the team, especially during these challenging financial times. We are grateful for the backing of our partners and know that we can count on them to support us in making this difficult decision and helping us through the change.
''Our team has a long history of winning '' both on and off the field '' and we will continue to do so going forward,'' said Janice Agrios, Chair of the Board of Directors. ''We feel it is important to make this change in response to the findings of our recent engagement and research. Going forward, we want the focus to be on the work we do in the community and our team's excellence on the field as the CFL's most successful franchise.''
The Club will undertake a comprehensive engagement process on a new name. That process will include research and engagement with season seat holders, casual ticket purchasers and partners. In the meantime, the Club will use the names EE Football Team and Edmonton Football Team.
WLW's trucking show shuts off political discussion, host says
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 12:13
A radio show known for its conservative hosts and callers that's broadcast around the globe from Greater Cincinnati is shutting off political discussion, its host says.
Steve Sommers, host of ''America's Truckin' Network'' that originates from the Kenwood studios of WLW-AM (700), told his audience that the move follows unspecified complaints about the show's content made to radio station owner iHeart Media.
Sommers told listeners Monday on the midnight to 5 a.m. daily show that his boss called him Thursday when he was off the air to tell him complaints had been made to corporate offices in San Antonio.
He said his boss held him responsible for an unspecified comment made by a caller, saying that the comment should not have been aired.
Sommers said he had been given a warning over the incident.
The next day, Sommers said, his boss called him again while he was off the air to say more complaints had been registered to iHeart Media headquarters.
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After that, Sommers said, a decision was reached to stop airing topics including the death of George Floyd '' an unarmed Black man whose killing May 25 by Minneapolis police has touched off protests nationwide '' and talk about the Confederate flag.
Station manager Scott Reinhart gave the following statement to The Enquirer Tuesday: "The ATN has been on the air for over 30 years. We regularly review all our shows to ensure they provide the best and most compelling programming, and we have always relied on comments and feedback from our listeners to help us make these decisions."
On the air, Sommers urged his callers to refrain from politics and stick to issues paramount to his show's target audience, which is truckers.
During Tuesday's broadcast, Sommers said he did not know who had made the complaints.
One caller to the show said he wasn't sure what he was allowed to talk about, and Sommers didn't respond directly to him.
Sommers, of Colerain Township in suburban Cincinnati, is the son of the late Dale ''Truckin' Bozo'' Sommers, who originated the show on WLW in 1984 and hosted it until his retirement in 2004. Steve Sommers has been the primary host since.
WLW can be heard at night in parts of 38 states and Canada, and during the daytime in parts of six states. ''America's Truckin' Network'' is also syndicated and heard on Sirius XM Radio.
Enquirer reporter Cameron Knight contributed.
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NBC News on Twitter: "BREAKING: Twitter says it has begun taking sweeping actions to limit the reach of QAnon content and banned many of the conspiracy theory's followers due to ongoing problems with harassment and the dissemination of misinformation. htt
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 03:30
NBC News : BREAKING: Twitter says it has begun taking sweeping actions to limit the reach of QAnon content and banned many of'...
Wed Jul 22 00:01:35 +0000 2020
Lolis : @NBCNews Who will they target next? #WalkAway ? Anything that is positive for POTUS they will censor
Wed Jul 22 03:30:13 +0000 2020
Twitter, Inc. - Corporate governance - Board of directors
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 14:24
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Twitter bans 7,000 QAnon accounts, limits 150,000 others as part of broad crackdown
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 15:34
Twitter announced Tuesday that it has begun taking sweeping actions to limit the reach of QAnon content, banning many of the conspiracy theory's followers because of problems with harassment and misinformation.
Twitter will stop recommending accounts and content related to QAnon, including material in email and follow recommendations, and it will take steps to limit circulation of content in features like trends and search. The action will affect about 150,000 accounts, said a spokesperson, who asked to remain unnamed because of concerns about the targeted harassment of social media employees.
The spokesperson said that as part of its new policy, the company had taken down more than 7,000 QAnon accounts in the last few weeks for breaking its rules on targeted harassment.
The sweeping enforcement action will ban QAnon-related terms from appearing in trending topics and the platform's search feature, ban known QAnon-related URLs and prohibit "swarming" of people who are baselessly targeted by coordinated harassment campaigns pushed by QAnon followers.
The spokesperson said that while the targeted enforcement fell under Twitter's existing platform manipulation rules, its classification of QAnon material and behavior as coordinated harmful activity was a new designation. The spokesperson said Twitter was acting now because of rising harm associated with the conspiracy theory.
Twitter plans to permanently ban accounts that violate policies around platform manipulation, evasion of bans and operation of multiple accounts, behaviors commonly used by QAnon accounts, the spokesperson said. Twitter began blocking QAnon websites last week, and it will continue to block the distribution of QAnon-related URLs, the spokesperson said.
QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy theory that centers on the baseless belief that an anonymous tipster is revealing how President Donald Trump is leading a secret war against a so-called deep state '-- a collection of political, business and Hollywood elites who, according to the theory, worship Satan and abuse and murder children. The conspiracy theory's roots grew from Pizzagate, which claimed that Hillary Clinton ran a pedophilia ring from a Washington, D.C., pizza shop.
QAnon emerged from the fringes of the internet's conspiracy community to become a recognized political phenomenon, with Trump supporters showing up at events with "Q" merchandise. QAnon followers have also been implicated in armed standoffs, attempted kidnappings, harassment and at least one killing since the conspiracy theory first gained traction on the internet in October 2017.
Last year, the FBI designated QAnon as a potential domestic terrorist threat. The FBI's report on QAnon's ties to dangerous real-world activities led in part to Twitter's decision, a spokesperson said.
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Despite no evidence and numerous predictions that failed to materialize, QAnon support has trickled into the mainstream, with numerous Republican candidates for Congress openly espousing their support.
And the coronavirus pandemic has only added more momentum to what is now a QAnon movement that has found common ground with other fringe internet communities, including anti-vaccination groups. In recent months, coordinated QAnon campaigns pushed fringe hashtags like #Obamagate and #SubpoenaObama into trending topics that Trump ultimately promoted.
Some QAnon supporters have also become more organized and aggressive in attacking celebrities. QAnon followers frequently comb through social media posts and Instagram pictures of Trump's famous political opponents, intentionally misinterpreting benign photos as proof that the celebrities are eating children. The followers then target the celebrities with harassment campaigns, coordinated by influencers in the QAnon community on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
TV personality and author Chrissy Teigen has been a constant target of harassment by QAnon and Pizzagate accounts in recent weeks. The harassment campaign has targeted some of her friends, some of whom are private figures, who have had their Instagram accounts swarmed by conspiracy theorists posting violent threats.
This type of harassment campaign is known as "swarming" or "brigading," and Twitter said the swarms will no longer be allowed on the platform. Twitter will ban users who threaten users during QAnon-related swarms and will limit the reach and search visibility of those who participate in them.
A Twitter spokesperson said the anti-harassment policy could apply to other groups that are motivated primarily by targeted harassment.
QAnon conspiracy theorists falsely claimed on Twitter, Reddit and TikTok this month that the furniture company Wayfair was shipping trafficked children because price glitches raised the prices of pillows and cabinets to tens of thousands of dollars. The company's name was the top trend on Twitter in the U.S. on July 10 as Twitter users posted links to expensive furniture.
The company released a statement reiterating that some cabinets had been priced appropriately and that a glitch had affected the prices of some personalized pillows.
Still, the conspiracy theory has continued to rage among some TikTok users who did not know it was initially posited by a QAnon influencer on Twitter.
Reddit has similarly banned brigading, in which users of one community target another community with harassment in a coordinated fashion.
Just a Glitch? Google Hides Conservative & Alt-Media Websites from Search Results for Hours
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 16:42
Google excluded major conservative and alt-media outlets from its search results for hours, hiding hits for sites like Breitbart and RedState even in searches for the outlets' names '' only to mysteriously revert to normal later.
Conservative sites were in a panic Tuesday morning, reporting they seemed to have been blacklisted from Google. Articles and pages published by PJ Media, Daily Caller, The Blaze, and many other sites were absent even from searches for the publication name, replaced by links to Wikipedia and other sites talking about the outlet in question '' usually negatively.
Just noticed Google has removed several conservative websites from search results (at least on my end, in the UK). RedState, Breitbart, Daily Caller, Human Events, and more '' all like this for pages of results
'-- Charlie Nash (@CharlieNash) July 21, 2020
I can no longer find @Breitbart or @TheNatPulse on Google, either in news results or regular search. Where did they go?
'-- August Takala (@AugustTakala) July 21, 2020
While most of the affected sites hailed from the right side of the political spectrum, leftist sites whose views don't conform to prevailing orthodoxy also appeared to fall victim to the purge. Mediaite's Charlie Nash posted a screenshot of a Google search for ''MintPress News'' that included no hits from the left-leaning antiwar outlet, while another commenter noted Occupy Democrats was MIA.
Some of them have small website links in the Wikipedia info bubble that displays on the right-hand side (not all of them), but this is how other outlets look in comparison
'-- Charlie Nash (@CharlieNash) July 21, 2020
Google was quick with the damage control, announcing it was ''investigating this and any potentially related issues.'' The search giant described the problem as if it was merely an issue with one specific search command rather than a politically-specific problem that somehow left establishment-friendly media alone.
We are aware of an issue with the site: command that may fail to show some or any indexed pages from a website. We are investigating this and any potentially related issues.
'-- Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) July 21, 2020
After a few hours, searches were working normally again. However, those affected had their own suspicions about why this extremely specific search plague might have hit ''wrongthink'' websites all at once.
One might assume it's more a ''test run'' of how to more effectively interfere in the 2020 U.S. election than anything else.
'-- Mollie (@MZHemingway) July 21, 2020
Google has millions of websites blacklisted'....I pray their full blacklist gets leaked
'-- Back to NORMAL Yvonne (GDT) 🇺🇸 ðŸ>> (@_YvonneBurton) July 21, 2020
Perhaps realizing that simply returning the news sites to their rightful place in search results wouldn't silence critics, Google later released a statement acknowledging ''an issue that impacted some navigational and site: operator searches.'' However, they denied any ''particular sites or political ideologies'' were targeted.
Today's issue affected sites representing a range of content and different viewpoints. Our ranking systems don't index, rank or classify content based on political lean, as we've explained in our How Search Works site:
'-- Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) July 21, 2020
Project Veritas, one of the sites affected by the search blackout, interviewed a Google whistleblower last year who revealed the company has multiple ''blacklists'' for both YouTube and regular web search, one of which includes many of the sites that went missing on Tuesday.
Additionally, internal Google communications from 2016 show employees considered burying or blocking search results from conservative outlets in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's electoral victory, specifically naming the Daily Caller and Breitbart '' both of which were affected by the temporary blackout. While it eventually opted to run ''fact-checks'' next to conservative articles instead, that program was short-lived, having been quietly discontinued after its many shortcomings were exposed by the right-leaning outlets it invariably targeted. The ''fact-checks'' sometimes critiqued statements the original articles had not even made, and occasionally ran alongside unrelated articles.
As November's elections loom, Google and other tech firms are likely scrambling to prevent a rerun of 2016. With 88 percent of US search engine market share, Google's results will figure heavily in the information American voters can access in the next few months.
House Republicans Want Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to Testify Following Massive Hack
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 19:10
US18:26 GMT 22.07.2020(updated 18:58 GMT 22.07.2020) Get short URL
Sputnik International
The chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook are expected to testify before a Judiciary subcommittee on 27 July amid an ongoing probe into the digital marketplace.
Republicans on the US House Judiciary Committee would like Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to join other chief executives of major tech firms at the hearing next week, Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican, wrote in a letter.
"We believe there is bipartisan interest to hear from Twitter about its power in the marketplace, its role in moderating content on its platform, and the causes for its recent highly publicized security breaches", Jordan wrote.The hearing in question is expected to take place on 27 July when Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Google's Sundar Pichai and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg will appear before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee.
(C) AP Photo / Richard Drew
According to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline, their testimony would be essential to complete their investigation into competition in the digital marketplace.
The calls for Jack Dorsey to testify come as Twitter experienced a massive hack mid-July. The hack saw Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk and other well-known US figures lose access to their accounts. The hackers then posted messages urging users to send bitcoin to an account to receive double the amount back.
Federal Judge's Son And Husband Shot At Home; Judge Was Assigned To Epstein-Deutsche Bank Case Last Week | The Daily Wire
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 12:47
A man reportedly wearing a FedEx uniform shot and killed the son of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas at her home in New Jersey on Sunday night and also shot her husband at the same location.
''The gunman showed up to Salas's home in North Brunswick, N.J., wearing an outfit described to police as a FedEx uniform, law enforcement said,'' The Washington Post reported. ''Both Mark Anderl, 63, a defense attorney and former Essex County assistant prosecutor, and Daniel Anderl, 20, a student at Catholic University in D.C., were shot after one of them opened the door for the gunman around 5 p.m.''
Salas was home during the attack but was not injured as she was in the basement, according to a judiciary official who spoke anonymously to the AP.
As reported by The New York Times, last week Judge Salas ''was assigned to a class-action lawsuit a group of investors filed against Deutsche Bank, contending that the firm failed to flag questionable transactions that were made from the account of the financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died last August while in jail awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.''
Newsweek, CNN, and other publications also noted that Salas was assigned to the Deutsche Bank case involving Epstein last week, though no clear link has been established between the case and the attack.
''This month, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay a $150m fine for compliance failures in its dealings with Epstein, a convicted sex offender, as well as Danske Bank Estonia and FBME Back,'' The Financial Times reported. ''A few days later, plaintiffs led by Ali Karimi filed the lawsuit that is being overseen by Judge Salas.''
The U.S. Marshals and the FBI have already launched an investigation into the attack.
''The FBI is investigating a shooting that occurred at the home of Judge Ester Salas in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey earlier this evening, July 19,'' the FBI said in a statement. ''We're looking for one subject & ask that anyone who thinks they may have relevant information call us at 1-973-792-3001.''
''Federal agents and police officers went door to door on Sunday night interviewing neighbors,'' The New York Times Times added. ''Police tape blocked off the front lawn and driveway of the family's colonial home. A North Brunswick police cruiser was parked outside the house, and two police officers stood sentinel outside the front door. An American flag was planted in the ground, illuminated by a floodlight.''
One of Salas' neighbors, Marion Costanza, told The Times that Salas was reportedly worried that being a public figure could make her a target.
''She had some high-profile cases, and she was always a little concerned,'' Costanza said, later adding praise for the family, ''There's no one like them. They're extremely good-natured. They would do anything for anyone.''
''Federal court records show that Salas has presided over several high-profiles cases, including the financial fraud case of Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudice,'' CNN reported. ''She also handled the 2018 sentencing of Farad Roland, who was found guilty of federal racketeering charges and sentenced to 45 years in prison by Salas. Roland was the leader of the South Side Cartel, 'one of Newark's most violent street gangs,' a press release from the US Justice Department said.''
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Dead Attorney in NY Eyed in Killing of NJ Federal Judge's Son, Shooting of Her Husband: Sources '' NBC New York
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 17:55
NBC Universal, Inc.Judge Esther Salas, seated center, with students at Rutgers Law School.
What to KnowAuthorities believe a man found dead in NY Monday was the shooter who killed a New Jersey federal judge's son and wounded her husband at their home on Sunday, law enforcement sources sayThe two were shot at Judge Esther Salas' New Brunswick home Sunday afternoon; she was believed to be in the basement at the time and wasn't injuredThe man's body was found on a property in the Sullivan County town of Rockland; authorities are looking into whether a package or envelope addressed to the judge may have been found near his bodyAuthorities believe an attorney found dead in New York Monday was the shooter who killed a New Jersey federal judge's son and wounded her husband a day earlier, law enforcement sources with knowledge of the case tell News 4.
The man's body was found on a property in the Sullivan County town of Rockland, near Liberty, which is in the New York Catskills. One senior law enforcement official says authorities are looking into whether there was a package or envelope addressed to the judge found near the man, who may have died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. The official said the FBI, US Marshals and police were at the scene, while a vehicle the man was thought to have been using is being searched at a nearby State Police barracks.
They are also investigating whether a gun found at the scene matches the one used to kill Judge Esther Salas' son and wound her husband, law enforcement sources say. Two sources described the dead man as an attorney who filed various sorts of civil lawsuits over the years; no other details were available.
Salas' son and husband were shot at their home in New Brunswick around 5 p.m. Sunday. The 20-year-old son later died, while the husband was critically wounded.
Preliminary indications are that the husband answered the door and was shot multiple times; the son came running to the door and was shot as well before the gunman fled, the sources said. Judge Salas was believed to be in the basement at the time of the shooting, and she was not injured.
St. Joseph's High SchoolDaniel Anderl, 20, son of a New Jersey federal judge died Sunday, July 19, after a gunman shot the young man and his father at their North Brunswick home.
The FBI, U.S. Marshals, New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General all have personnel investigating, and the FBI had tweeted it was looking for "one subject" in the shooting. It's not clear what led authorities to the location in Liberty where the suspect was found dead.
Some reports indicated the shooter may have been dressed as some sort of delivery driver. FedEx issued a statement Monday saying only it was fully cooperating with authorities and, ''Our deepest sympathies are with Judge Salas and her family at this time."
The motive wasn't immediately clear. Law enforcement officials said one theory was a possible home invasion robbery gone wrong, but stressed all theories were still on the table.
''The FBI is investigating a shooting that took place at the home of Judge Esther Salas in North Brunswick Township, NJ early this evening July 19. We are working closely with our state and local partners and will provide additional updates when available," the bureau said in a statement.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal pledged the full support of his office as well as the resources of the New Jersey State Police in the probe. The US Marshals are also assisting.
We're shocked by this horrific and violent act, and @newjerseyoag and @NJSP offer our full investigative support to our federal partners. We express our deepest sympathies to Judge Salas and her family, and to all who are grieving in the aftermath of this tragedy.
'-- AG Gurbir Grewal (@NewJerseyOAG) July 20, 2020Salas, a judge of the U.S. District Court for New Jersey in Newark, has been in her seat for nine years. Before that she spent five years as a magistrate judge, and nine years prior to that as a federal public defender.
She is the first Latina to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey and former president of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey.
"In her various roles including federal judge, public servant, and bar leader, she has been and continues to be a courageous community leader and trailblazer, and also serves as a role model and mentor for countless young attorneys. We pray for her, her husband and her son," Hispanic National Bar Association President Irene Oria said in a statement.
Salas has presided over a number of high-profile trials in her tenure, including the trial of former "Real Housewife" Teresa Giudice.
More recently, Salas has presided over an ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who claim the company made false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies and failed to monitor ''high-risk'' customers including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Her husband, Mark Anderl, is a well-regarded criminal defense attorney. Their son, Daniel, was the only child and he was studying law to follow in his parents' footsteps. He graduated cum laude with honors from St. Joseph's High School in 2018 and was actively enrolled at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The university plans to hold a mass for Daniel's family 7 p.m. Monday, to be held over zoom, and counseling resources have been made available for students.
"Daniel was a rising junior, enrolled for classes beginning in the next few weeks. He turned 20 last week," a statement from the university read.
News 4 New YorkFBI agents at the home of Judge Esther Salas after the shooting of her husband and son.
New Jersey's political leaders were quick to react to the shootings.
"I know Judge Salas and her husband well, and was proud to recommend her to President Obama for nomination to New Jersey's federal bench. My prayers are with Judge Salas and her family, and that those responsible for this horrendous act are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice," Sen. Bob Menendez said in a statement.
In a statement, Gov. Phil Murphy said, ''Judge Salas and her family are in our thoughts at this time as they cope with this senseless act. This tragedy is our latest reminder that gun violence remains a crisis in our country and that our work to make every community safer isn't done.''
Public Corruption Unit Overseeing Ghislaine Maxwell Case | Law & Crime
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 15:43
Jeffrey Epstein's former girlfriend and alleged groomer was finally located and arrested by federal authorities nearly a year to the day that Epstein himself was caught last summer.
While Maxwell was apprehended by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) early Thursday in the small town of Bradford, New Hampshire, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) is handling the inquiry. As the result of a brief hearing on Thursday afternoon between Maxwell and the government, the SDNY will have unopposed jurisdiction.
That result was hardly a surprise. But the specific SDNY unit taking charge of the Maxwell case immediately raised some eyebrows.
During a press conference, Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss noted that the SDNY's Public Corruption Unit would'--like the Epstein case before'--be tasked with overseeing the prosecution.
''I worked at SDNY and did sex trafficking cases,'' noted former federal and state prosecutor and current CNN legal analyst Elie Honig via Twitter. ''They do NOT run out of Public Corruption '' unless there is some potential angle against a public official.''
The Department of Justice (DOJ) describes the unit on its website:
The Public Corruption Unit works, in close partnership with the FBI and other federal, state and city investigative agencies to maintain and protect the integrity of all levels of government. The unit oversees the investigation and prosecution of corruption crimes committed by elected and appointed officials, government employees, and individuals and companies doing business with the city, state, and federal government. Corruption crimes investigated by the unit include bribery, embezzlement, and frauds committed against local, state, and federal government agencies.
''A case like this ordinarily would not be staffed out of Public Corruption,'' Honig told Law&Crime. ''It would ordinarily be staffed out of what's now known as the Violent and Organized Crime Unit.''
The Violent and Organized Crime Unit is where the SDNY's human and sex trafficking coordinators are located.
''The fact that it is staffed out of Public Corruption tells me that a public official''past or present''is involved in at least some capacity,'' Honig continued. ''Could mean a potential target, witness, or a potential co-conspirator. It could mean a lot of different things.''
The Maxwell case is necessarily rife with speculation as part of the general Epstein story about a mysteriously wealthy entrepreneur who allegedly ran a global child sex trafficking enterprise for years. Generally untouched by law enforcement, Epstein'--when finally caught'--was given a sweetheart plea deal where he admitted to charges of soliciting prostitution from a minor. During his sentence, he was allowed to work from home and entertain female guests while many of his unnamed co-conspirators were gifted an unprecedented and highly criticized non-prosecution agreement.
The U.S. Attorney who ran that initial investigation and widely believed sham of a prosecution later threw up his hands''complaining that he couldn't really punish Epstein because of the serial sex offender's apparent cachet with an unnamed ''intelligence'' agency. All the while, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Donald Trump, Ehud Barak, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Prince Andrew and other global elites were known associates of Epstein and/or Maxwell''or at least appeared with them in photographs'--many maintaining their relationships with the duo even after Epstein's 2009 sentencing.
The involvement of the SDNY's Public Corruption Unit may suggest that some of the more high-profile government figures associated with Epstein and Maxwell may somehow be involved with the case. Or, it may have something to do with the original deal Epstein received in Florida.
''The Public Corruption Unit was the unit that brought the original Epstein charges and thus these additional Maxwell charges, likely because of the involvement of public officials in Florida in giving Epstein the sweetheart plea deal a number of years ago,'' noted former SDNY deputy chief and current CNN legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers. ''My educated guess is that part of this investigation has involved whether any of those officials had done anything wrong (like accepting bribes) in connection with that matter.''
In an email to Law&Crime, Rodgers said the new charges were ''potentially bad news for anyone who may have been involved'' but said it was unclear whether or not Maxwell herself would actually cooperate with the prosecution.
''[I]f she did presumably she would have information to share about other participants,'' Rodgers said.
''[T]he Public Corruption Unit is the right home for this case (even though a straight-up sex trafficking case would be handled out of the Organized and Violent Crimes unit), but whether we will see any public officials charged remains to be seen,'' she added.
Mimi Rocah, another former SDNY prosecutor and current Democratic nominee for Westchester County District Attorney, acknowledged the strange circumstances but cautioned not to read too much into the situation based on the facts available at present.
''I agree that it's very unusual to have a human trafficking case in [the] PC Unit,'' she said in an email. ''But once the case was there originally they wouldn't switch it now even if there are not public figure targets.'¬ So I don't know that we can read that much into it standing alone.''
According to a DOJ press release, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex Rossmiller, Alison Moe, and Maurene Comey (James Comey's daughter) are the personnel in charge of the prosecution.
[image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images]
Roy Den Hollander: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know |
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 11:58
Facebook Roy Den Hollander
Roy Den Hollander was a well-known men's rights attorney and self-described ''anti-feminist'' who is suspected of being the gunman who shot the husband and son of federal Judge Esther Salas in the doorway of the family's home in North Brunswick, New Jersey, before killing himself. Salas' 20-year-old son, Daniel Anderl, was killed and her husband, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Mark Anderl, was wounded.
The FBI's Newark office confirmed Den Hollander, who filled his website with rants against women, is the ''primary subject'' in the attack on Salas' home. The FBI tweeted, ''Den Hollander is now deceased. Individuals who believe they have relevant information should contact us at 973-792-3000, Press Option 2.'' Den Hollander was involved in a case heard by Salas, but investigators have not yet determined his exact motive for the attack on her family.
Den Hollander left behind a memoir he published online (and which you can read here), calling Salas ''a lazy and incompetent Latina judge appointed by Obama'' and saying that he ''wanted to ask the Judge out, but thought she might hold me in contempt,'' according to NBC News. Here's the second reference in his book:
A passage from Den Hollander's book.
In some of his online writings, he expressed hatred for his mother and ''raged about women judges,'' NBC reported, calling judges appointed by Obama ''Obamite bigots.'' The book criticizes Latina judges and Salas herself in multiple passages, saying, in one place, ''Salas clearly wanted to further her career by moving up the judicial ladder to the Court of Appeals or maybe even the Supreme Court. After all, there was now a Latina seat in the form of Sotomayor on the Court'...lady unluck stuck us with an Obama appointee.'' This is the dedication page to his self-published book:
Den Hollander's website
Daily Beast first reported Den Hollander's name via law enforcement sources. Multiple reports have claimed, via sources, that the suspect was wearing a FedEx uniform at the time of the shooting; however, The New York Times is now reporting that, while ''authorities believe that somebody dressed in a FedEx uniform was in the neighborhood around the time of the shooting' could not be determined if that person was the gunman.''
Den Hollander, 69, was long involved in unusual and publicity-seeking men's rights causes. In 2016, Den Hollander sued various national news reporters in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, including Chuck Todd of NBC's Meet the Press, New York Times' commentator David Brooks, and Major Garrett of CBS. He accused them of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act by allegedly committing ''wire fraud,'' alleging they created and caused ''to be broadcast and disseminated false and misleading news reports concerning the Donald J. Trump candidacy for President of the United States.'' You can see the full complaint here. In March 2020, he made a $20 donation to WINRED, a Republican Party fundraising platform, according to the Federal Election Commission's records. In his book, Den Hollander wrote, ''Donald Trump was telling the truth about illegal aliens in his bid for the Presidency'' and ''From day one of the campaign the PC'--Pravda Correct'--news media hammered Trump. The reporters lied, prevaricated, dissembled, took quotes out of content, spun them around to say what the reporters wanted and then reported such as facts to depict Trump as 'inappropriate' '' to put it mildly.''
Den Hollender had the name and photo of New York State's chief judge, Janet M. DiFiore, in his car, The New York Times reported. One possible motive given to the Times by investigators: That Den Hollender, recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, was taking out his enemies.
For years, Den Hollander made news with headline-grabbing ventures. According to TechDirt, he ''sued a nightclub claiming that requiring him to buy a $350 bottle of vodka was a human rights violation'' and sued nightclubs for holding Ladies' Nights, which he said violated the 14th Amendment. He sued Columbia University ''for offering women's studies courses,'' the site recapped in a 2016 article on Den Hollander.
On his website, he referred to a ''Lady Judge'' when describing the Ladies' Nights decision, writing, ''Lady Judge ruled that under the U.S. Constitution nightclubs can charge men more for admission than females, but in reaching her decision, she had to find that nightclubs cannot charge guys more for a drink. So if you can make it to the bar, you're home-free.''
The website is full of grievances. ''The terms Feminists, Fanatical Feminists, Rabid Feminists, or Feminazis, are used interchangeably. Some people use the terms Ideological Feminists, Radical Feminists, or Militant Feminists,'' Den Hollander wrote. ''It doesn't matter what you call them; they intend to create and perpetuate a legal, social, and economic substratum occupied by men toiling in a Fritz Lang 'Metropolis' underworld.''
Authorities believe the suspect in the Salas family shootings died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His body was found in a car in Sullivan County, New York, CNN reported.
Daniel Anderl, 20, a student at Catholic University and the judge's son, was shot and killed in the attack. The judge's husband, Mark Anderl, was in critical but stable condition after it; the judge was not injured because she was in the basement at the time of the shooting, NBC New York reported.
''Judge Salas and her family are in our thoughts at this time as they cope with this senseless act,'' Governor Phil Murphy wrote on Twitter.
The judge is the first Latina woman to serve on New Jersey's federal bench, NBC New York reported. Rutgers University called her ''The first Hispanic to serve as a US Magistrate Judge for NJ.
Here's what you need to know:
1. Den Hollander Had a Case in Front of the Judge Involving a Challenge to the Male-Only Draft & Trashed Salas in Online Writings, Calling Latina Judges a 'Problem' Website photo Roy Den Hollander
When authorities were alerted that a municipal employee had found Den Hollander deceased inside his car near Liberty, New York, they discovered a FedEx package addressed to the judge in the vehicle, according to ABC News. Other ties soon emerged.
The suspect ''was an attorney who had a case before Judge Salas in 2015,'' ABC News reported. The Daily Beast reported that the case was a ''challenge to the military's male-only draft.''
However, Salas didn't side against Den Hollander's cause, although the case is still pending. In March 2019, USA Today reported, Judge Salas ''allowed a legal challenge to the male-only military draft, increasing the pressure on Congress to decide whether any future conscription should apply equally to men and women '' and whether the requirement to register should exist at all.''
The plaintiff was a New Jersey woman, Elizabeth Kyle-Lebell, who tried to register for Selective Service twice. According to USA Today, Salas ''dismissed Kyle-Labell's argument the male-only draft requirement deprived her of due process but allowed another one '' that a male-only draft deprives women of 'equal protection of the law' '' to proceed.'' The New York Times reported that Hollander left that case last summer, saying he had terminal cancer.
In his book, Den Hollander discussed the draft case and Salas by name. ''Unfortunately, Judge Esther Salas granted DOJ a do-over of its prior motions to dismiss the case for lack of ripeness under Rule 12(b)(1) and failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6). Judge Salas had never made a decision on those motions. She had 'terminated' them allegedly because of the political shenanigans in Congress. Was she trying to keep this case in her court until a weatherman showed her which way the legal winds were blowing'...'' he wrote.
Den Hollander website The passage in his book that NBC News says refers to Salas.
In another passage about Salas, he wrote,
Female judges didn't bother me as long as they were middle age or older black ladies. They seemed to have an understanding of how life worked and were not about to be conned by any foot dragging lawyer. Latinas, however, were usually a problem'--driven by an inferiority complex. After Salas agreed to allow the DOJ its fourth motion to dismiss, I checked her bio. It was the usual effort to blame a man and turn someone into super girl'--daddy abandoned us, we were indigent, which means they lived off of the taxpayer, but we overcame all odds. Right, affirmative action got her into and through college and law school. Salas worked as an associate in an ambulance chasing firm doing basic criminal work. Left that firm to work as a public defender in the New Jersey District Court representing lumpen proletariat ne'er-do-wells. Joined politically correct organizations trying to convince America that whites, especially white males, were barbarians, and all those of a darker skin complexion were victims. She did, however, have one accomplishment'--high school cheerleader.
He criticized her handling of the draft case, writing,
Four months after the submission of our papers on DOJ's fourth motion to dismiss, Salas schedules oral argument to take place in two more months. Three and a half years after this case started, she throws in another delaying tactic'--she'll likely take another six months after oral argument to make a decision. Then the case will be four years old and the plaintiff, who had just graduated from high school when the case started, will have graduated college. Salas was apparently scared of making a decision one way or the other'...Eleven days after publication of the Texas decision, Judge Salas issued her decision denying the DOJ motion to dismiss our Equal Protection claim. Thank heavens for older white-male judges willing to act as blocking backs. Judge Salas did grant the DOJ motion to dismiss our Substantive Due Process claim, but that was a Hail Mary anyway and we simply dropped it.
On his Twitter page, Den Hollander described himself as a ''men's rights attorney.'' He had a YouTube channel where he posted various interviews, but it only had a few subscribers.
The men's rights movement recently lost another prominent figure involved in challenging the male-only draft when California men's rights attorney Marc Angelucci was gunned down on July 11 in his home by an unknown male. Angelucci was the vice president and board member of the National Coalition for Men. The National Coalition for Men wrote that Angelucci's accomplishments included ''recently winning an equal protection case against the Selective Service Administration overturning male-only draft registration.'' Read about Angelucci's shooting death here.
''As the FBI continues the investigation into the attack at the home of US District Court Judge Esther Salas, we are now engaged with the San Bernardino CA Sheriff's Office and have evidence linking the murder of Marc Angelucci to FBI Newark subject Roy Den Hollander,'' the FBI Newark revealed.
As the FBI continues the investigation into the attack at the home of US District Court Judge Esther Salas, we are now engaged with the San Bernardino CA Sheriff's Office and have evidence linking the murder of Marc Angelucci to FBI Newark subject Roy Den Hollander.
'-- FBI Newark (@FBINewark) July 22, 2020
Daily Beast is reporting that authorities have evidence Den Hollander was in California when Angelucci was murdered and the motive might be competitive jealousy because they both had lawsuits involving challenges to the male-only draft.
The slaying of Angelucci had a remarkably similar modus operandi. According to, a knock came to the door. A friend answered it, but ''the delivery man said he had a package that Angelucci needed to sign for. Marc went to the door. Shots were fired.'' The New York Times reported that federal investigators are looking into whether Hollander might have had anything to do with that case, saying the person at the door also wore a FedEx uniform.
In his book, Den Hollander wrote, ''A group of men's rights activists in California, with whom I had been in contact for years, filed a lawsuit on behalf of a young man claiming that draft registration discriminated against him and other guys 18 to 25 years old by not requiring females to register.''
Daily Beast is reporting that ''One law-enforcement source said papers that mentioned Angelucci were found in or around Den Hollander's car,'' although the nature of them is unclear.
Facebook Marc Angelucci
In a document posted on his website, Den Hollander wrote, ''I know how old I am. I know how old I feel. I know what I like to do. I know what social convention tells me to do. But I don't give a damn for social convention, especially the PC-Feminist kind. After 15 years of rugby, 15 years of martial arts, and 30 years of litigation, I'm not going gently anywhere.''
In the shootings of Judge Salas' husband and son, The New York Times reported that authorities were investigating whether a ''lawyer'' was the gunman. According to NBC New York, the suspect was ''an attorney who filed various sorts of civil lawsuits over the years.''
''The suspect was a white man who wore a face covering and a FedEx uniform,'' ABC News reported, citing law enforcement sources.
It was early evening on a Sunday, July 19, when the gunman, possibly wearing the FedEx uniform, walked up to the door of the Salas/Anderl home and knocked.
It was 5 p.m. on a Sunday, News 4 New York reported. The FedEx uniform may have prompted the victims to open the door, but when they did so, they were immediately gunned down. ''We are aware of the media reports and are fully cooperating with investigating authorities,'' a FedEx spokesman told CNN.
NBC New York reported that the judge's husband answered the door and was shot ''multiple times.'' The son came to see what was going on and was also shot, that report said. However, there are conflicting reports about who opened the door first, father or son. ABC News reported that ''the judge's son opened the door to the family's North Brunswick home and was immediately shot,'' quoting North Brunswick Mayor Francis ''Mac'' Womack as saying that Daniel Anderl was ''shot through the heart.''
CNN reported that Daniel opened the door with his father ''right behind'' and they were met with a ''hail of gunfire.''
2. Den Hollander Declared That 'Now Is the Time for All Good Men to Fight for Their Rights,' Described His Expertise as 'Anti-Feminist Litigation,' & Wrote That He Was Boiling With Anger Profile pic Roy Den Hollander
Den Hollander's website is filled with angry rants against ''feminazis'' and ''PCers'' and women in general. He freely admitted that he was boiling with anger, writing: ''I boil through my days and some of my nights, but at least I'm in touch with my feelings. I'm not angry, I'm seething. An angry man is a Feminazis' worst nightmare, so she uses the traditional therapist trick of making a man feel ashamed of his anger.''
''Now is the time for all good men to fight for their rights before they have no rights left,'' Den Hollander wrote on his website. ''Contact Roy to help battle the infringement of Men's Rights by the Feminists and their fellow sisters the PCers.''
On a website where he shared writings, Den Hollander wrote, ''Ammunition for fighting the PCers or Political Commies as well as the Feminists, a.k.a. Feminazis, their sycophants, appeasers, and Feminist opportunist.'' Attached was a document called a Cyclopedia. It was basically a glossary of Den Hollander's rants against what he called ''feminazis.'' You can read it here.
''With the rise of the Feminazis, who consider the personal as fair game for public attacks and absolve their acolytes of responsibility for any despicable conduct, civilized behavior no longer exists in America. Ignorant, loud-mouthed, little people no longer fear what may happen to them if they don't keep their virulent mouths shut,'' he wrote in that document. As for the word b****, he wrote, ''I don't use that term, it gives girls too much credit, and their heads are already swollen as it is.''
He made his political philosophies known, writing, ''Roe v. Wade gave American females the unilateral right to opt out of parenthood'' and ''Feminazis are using the cry of affirmative action to receive preferential treatment, but preferential treatment only for the most desirable positions in society.''
On his resume, Den Hollander described his expertise as ''Anti-Feminist litigation, investigations, and advice on general corporate matters.''
He wrote on a now deactivated 2019 GoFundMe page that he had cancer. ''Cancer knocks you down & doctors finish you off,'' it reads.
The motive is not yet clear. The suspect immediately fled the scene.
Judge Salas's wounded husband is also a lawyer. Mark Anderl, 63, is a criminal defense attorney with the New Jersey law firm of Anderl & Oakley, P.C.
New Jersey Globe reported that the judge had been the target of threats but didn't specify them.
However, ABC 7 is reporting that investigators believe that Salas's husband may have been the ''intended target,'' not the judge.
ABC News quoted the mayor of North Brunswick as saying, ''As a judge, she had threats from time to time, but everyone is saying that recently there had not been any.'' My Central New Jersey reported that a neighbor provided video to authorities.
According to New Jersey Monthly, Salas met her husband when he was working as a prosecutor and she was working as a law school intern. He spotted her ''getting fingerprinted'' and came over to talk to her, she told the publication, adding, ''We've been inseparable since 1992.''
His website biography says that Anderl practices in the areas of ''State and Federal Criminal Defense Juvenile Delinquency DWI/Municipal Court.'' He received his education from Brooklyn Law School and Northeastern University and was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1985.
''Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney, 1997 to present Over 250 Criminal Jury Trials Anderl & Oakley, P.C., partner, 1997 to present,'' his website says. Before that, he worked as an assistant prosecutor for 10 years in the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.
He has received numerous awards, including Middlesex County Bar Association Practitioner of the Year and New York top-rated lawyers.
3. Den Hollander Previously Worked on Security Issues in Moscow & Blamed a Bitter Divorce to a Russian Woman for His Men's Rights WorkA passage from Den Hollander's book.
Den Hollander's book (above) reads like a romance novel in the begin, chronicling how he fell for the woman in Russia before deciding he'd been deceived.
Bad luck with a woman appears to have sent Den Hollander on his men's rights crusades. The Southern Poverty Law Center has criticized that movement, writing, ''Male supremacy is a hateful ideology advocating for the subjugation of women.''
Den Hollander traced his men's rights activism to a ''bitter divorce'' in 2001 from a woman he married in Russia, The New York Times reported.
An article he posted to his website contains extended angry disparagement against his ex-wife. ''While managing a private detective agency in Russia, I met and married this 6' 1'', vatdyed blonde with grey-blue wolf eyes. Brought her to NYC.'' He claimed she became a stripper, and he found out unsavory aspects of her past and believed she ''had married me for a green card'' so he kicked her out of their apartment.
According to his resume, Den Hollander had an ''M.B.A. Columbia University Business School with Honors, J.D. George Washington University Law School with High Honors.''
He listed his work experience as ''attorney and business consultant'' in New York from 2000 to present. ''Litigate civil cases, including men's rights, immigration fraud, insurance subrogation, and RICO,'' he wrote. ''Advise businesses on corporate governance, contracts and litigation.''
From 1999-2000, he wrote that he worked for Kroll Associates in Moscow, Russia, saying he ''managed and upgraded Kroll's delivery of intelligence and security in the former Soviet Union.'' He also worked as an attorney in Russia and Ecuador.
''Counseled companies, individuals, and nonprofit organizations in America, Russia, and Ecuador on legal and business issues, including international financing and marketing,'' he wrote.
Opie & Anthony: Roy Den Hollander '' Part 1 of 6 Part 1 2009-01-28T17:45:11Z
Back in the 1980s, he worked in private practice and also as an attorney ''in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service: Interpretative Division.''
''I didn't become a lawyer to make a lot of money. If I were after money, then I would have become an investment banker,'' he wrote. ''When I was first accepted to law school, I was also accepted to business school. Also, I didn't become a lawyer to help the underprivileged. I became a lawyer to fight for my rights, but since courts are infested with Feminist ideology, it's impossible to do that.''
From 1980 to 1981, Den Hollander wrote that he was a ''political producer, writer, and assignment editor'' for WABC-TV in New York. He attended Columbia Business School focusing on finance and George Washington University and Brooklyn Law Schools.
His resume contains this line, ''Take hip-hop classes and martial arts for those who give me a hard time about hip-hop.''
4. Den Hollander Once Sued the Federal Government Over a Law Protecting Women From Violence & Called a Women's Studies Program 'a Bastion of Bigotry Against Men' Rutgers University Esther Salas
Den Hollander once targeted the Violence Against Women Act in a lawsuit.
According to a New York Times article, Den Hollander once ''sued the federal government over a law that protects women from violence.'' He also called Columbia University's women's studies program ''a bastion of bigotry against men'' and said it ''demonizes men and exalts women in order to justify discrimination against men based on collective guilt.''
He alleged in court that parts of the federal Violence Against Women Act were unconstitutional.
On his website, Den Hollander wrote:
Clinton District Court Judge ruled that the Violence Against Women's Act doesn't injure American men. Judge William H. Pauley III's decision ignored the democratic and legal standard of fairness, applied the wrong legal test for injury on a dismissal motion, and invented a fact not before the Court. VAWA allows alien females to acquire citizenship by falsely accusing their American husbands or ex-husbands or even boyfriends of mistreating them.
He also criticized judges, writing, ''Never forget that judges work for the government'--the employer of last resort. Most judges are nothing more than bureaucrats. Most bureaucrats have a can't do attitude.''
According to The New Jersey Globe, in contrast, Salas is ''a widely respected and popular jurist.'' She was nominated by President Barack Obama to be a federal judge in 2010 after serving as a public defender and federal magistrate.
You can read the judge's lengthy biographical questionnaire from her nomination hearing here.
The judge was recently assigned a case with a Jeffrey Epstein link.
According to Bloomberg, Deutsche Bank AG is being accused of misleading investors ''about anti-money-laundering deficiencies,'' including not properly monitoring high-risk customers, among them the financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex offense charges.
Epstein's ties to high-profile figures like Prince Andrew and the manner in which he died have caused some to question whether his death was murder instead of suicide (including a famed pathologist hired by Epstein's family to review the autopsy). Authorities have given no indication that the motive for the Anderl shootings is tied into the Deutsche Bank case at all.
The case was filed ''on July 15, 2020, and has been assigned to Judge Esther Salas,'' according to Globe Newswire. Bloomberg Law also reported that the case was assigned to Judge Salas.
See the docket entry here.
Salas is also known for the case involving Teresa and Joe Giudice of reality television fame. She sentenced Joe Giudice to prison and ''staggered'' the couple's sentences, according to AP.
When she submitted her nomination questionnaire for federal judge, Salas was asked for the most significant cases she had handled.
She listed a wide variety of things. She cited a 2008 case of a man who died in an altercation with off-duty police officers and whose family sued. She mentioned a civil action involving AT&T employees who were suing about pension plans. She cited a patent infringement case from 2009. She also cited a civil case involving the demolition of a Ford Motor Company plant. She mentioned a case involving a high school student injured in an accident from a baseball pitching machine. Again, there is no indication that the shootings stem from Salas' cases.
Five years before her nomination hearing, her husband held a fundraiser in their home for New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, she wrote. ''I know Judge Salas and her husband well, and was proud to recommend her to President Obama for nomination to New Jersey's federal bench,'' Menendez said in a statement. ''My prayers are with Judge Salas and her family, and that those responsible for this horrendous act are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice.''
''Throughout my professional career, I have made it a point to reach out to the community, and I have participated throughout the years in programs that seek to empower urban youth to achieve academic and professional success,'' Salas wrote.
She expressed her interest in pursuing a federal judicial appointment to both of New Jersey's U.S. Senators. In 2009, she was contacted by Senator Frank Lautenberg's representative asking if she was interested. She then met with Lautenberg's selection group and with Menendez and his chief counsel.
According to NJ Monthly, Salas has said one of her ''proudest accomplishments'' was creating a Pretrial Opportunity Program with another judge. It's a jail alternative program for drug addicts. The story says Salas would ''sit down for frank conversations with defendants,'' adding that she ''lives and breathes her work.''
Facebook Daniel Anderl
Her son, Daniel Anderl, is listed by Perfect as a 2018 graduate of North Brunswick, New Jersey. He was listed as uncommitted. He attended St. Joseph high school and stood 5 foot 10 inches tall and weighed 150 pounds. The team he last played for was listed as ''baseball warehouse.''
Salas once told New Jersey Monthly, when her son was 17, that she could see him pursuing a legal career.
''I don't want to dissuade him, but I was pulling for a doctor,'' Salas told the publication. ''He's been arguing with us since he could talk'--practicing his advocacy skills.'' The story said that Salas ''teaches him her mother's mantra: 'Tu no eres mejor que nadie, pero nadie es mejor que tu.' It means you are not better than anyone, but no one is better than you.''
''Dan was a remarkable person because of his endless zest for life,'' John Kish, who knew Daniel Anderl, told Heavy. ''He's the one person among my friends that seemed to have more energy, courage, and curiosity than the entire group put together. His great sense of humor and sometimes goofy personality made him a lovable guy to everybody.''
Kish added: ''He studied Pre-law philosophy at CUA, and was passionate about the role of justice in society. He was quite hardworking and intelligent, and dreamed of living up to the examples that his parents had set.''
5. Den Hollander Filed for Bankruptcy in 2011, Reporting a Mountain of Credit Card Debt PACER Part of the bankruptcy petition.
In addition to his failed marriage, other troubles plagued Den Hollander's life.
In 2011, he filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. He listed his average income as $1,024 and his expenses at $3,119. He listed more than $120,000 in credit card debt.
The shootings are causing heightened concerned about escalating threats against federal judges in the United States. Threats and ''inappropriate communications'' against federal judges numbered 4,449 in 2019, CNN reported, adding that such threats have escalated in recent years.
There are about 2,700 federal judges in the country.
In 2005, a man upset that U.S. District Court Judge Joan Lefkow dismissed his lawsuit murdered her mother and husband in Illinois.
From 1979 to April 2020, only three federal judges had been murdered in the United States: Judge John Wood, Judge Richard Daronco and Judge Robert Vance, according to CNN.
READ NEXT: Remembering Summer Taylor, the Seattle Protester Struck by a Car.
Inside Big Tech's Years-Long Manipulation Of American Op-Ed Pages - Big Technology from Alex Kantrowitz
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 12:32
For years, the tech giants and organizations they fund have pushed op-eds from small business owners, think tanks, and academics into US newspapers without disclosing their involvement.
The op-eds, which advance the tech giants' policy positions, make it seem like they have more public support than they actually do '-- and that's exactly the point. Their aim is to persuade lawmakers and regulators that the people they purportedly hurt prefer the status quo. And perhaps some do. But when no one knows you're behind an article, it's easier to press the case.
''It's common practice,'' one former Google communications professional told Big Technology. ''The way democracy is supposed to work is you pay less heed to a corporation. But a local small business that has ten employees? That goes much further.''
In the policy world, planting op-eds from 'independent' third parties is so common it has a name: ''Grasstops,'' a word derived from grassroots. Grasstops advocacy is not limited to the tech giants, but these companies and their allies are especially adept at using the practice to fight off regulation. As antitrust inquiries against them build in the US, it's worth reading op-eds supporting their positions with healthy skepticism.
''It was always baffling to me that this was so natural,'' the ex-Googler said. ''By 2012, I couldn't open an op-ed page without being like '-- Okay, who's actually behind that?''
A second tech giant communications pro described the process: ''They're always written by the company, edited by whomever they're affixing the name to, and sent back and forth,'' the person said. ''Eventually they get it to where they want, and the company places the article.''
The ex-Googler said they provided substantial guidance on a 2015 Wall Street Journal article headlined ''Some Things Should Not Be 'Forgotten,''' which advocated against the 'right to be forgotten,' a policy that allows people to force search engines to remove certain personal links. ''It was a successful op-ed,'' the ex-Googler said. The Journal article does not mention Google's involvement. Its author, Jason Wright, declined to comment.
More recently, a Phoenix-based boot maker named David Espinoza blasted Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich for his antitrust investigation into Google via the Arizona Capitol Times. Espinoza's opinion piece contains his byline, but the Connected Commerce Council (3C) '-- a small business trade organization that's accepted funding from Google, Amazon, and Facebook '-- wrote it and placed it. The Washington Post first reported the connection. The Arizona Capitol Times declined an interview request.
''When they approached me, I had no idea what they were talking about or why they wanted to see me,'' Espinoza told Big Technology. ''I don't think they did anything wrong, but maybe it was a little bit deceptive.''
Jake Ward, president of 3C, told Big Technology his organization would no longer submit op-eds without disclosing its members' association with the group. ''It was an oversight that needed to be fixed,'' Ward said. ''It's been fixed.''
The Kansas City Star Mystery
Sometimes, multiple opaque layers can obscure the entities backing an op-ed. An extremely strange example might be a Kansas City Star op-ed that ran earlier this month (buckle up for this one). Kimberly Vincent, a local vegan bakery owner, wrote a July 5 op-ed in the KC Star supporting CDA Section 230. This law gives internet services like Facebook and Google broad immunity for what's posted on their sites. Conservative politicians, in an attempt to intimidate these platforms into keeping their hands off right-wing content, have threatened to amend it.
Vincent, in her op-ed, pushed back on these Republican lawmakers. ''For some elected officials '-- like our own Sen. Josh Hawley, who has introduced legislation to amend Section 230 '-- these internet laws are about politics,'' she said. ''But for me, this is about my business.''
Vincent told Big Technology she did not work with an outside group on the op-ed. 3C's Jake Ward said that a consultancy his organization sometimes works with, Alaris Strategies, did help Vincent on the op-ed, though not in its work for 3C. After further inquiry from Big Technology, Alaris partner Chris Grimm called to talk. ''The Kansas City op-ed you asked about, we did not pitch for 3C, we pitched for another client,'' he said.
Asked to name the client, Grimm declined. ''We don't disclose our clients,'' he said.
Vincent did not respond to further inquiries. The Kansas City Star did not respond to multiple emails. Senator Hawley's office did not respond. Facebook, Google, and Twitter all said they do not work with Alaris. The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), a trade group that lists Google, Facebook, and Amazon among its members, did not respond to a request for comment.
So, who knows who's behind that KC Star article. If anyone is at all. And that's the crux of the problem. Unlike traditional lobbying, companies working to wield influence on politicians through op-eds are not required to disclose they're involved, ensuring the practice will continue.
''There's no existing regulation,'' another person who's worked on these campaigns inside the tech giants said. ''It's entirely outside of lobbying disclosures. So if they disclosed it, it would seem like excessive disclosure. It's not even in the realm of what's being required.''
Until lawmakers require disclosure, it will fall on news publishers to press for it themselves, and the tech giants and their associated industry groups may also want to act with integrity here too.
''News publishers should be disciplined in asking where financial backing, or communications backing came from, and disclosing that,'' David Chavern, the head of the News Media Alliance, an industry group that is itself seeking an antitrust exemption so its members can negotiate together against the tech giants, told Big Technology. ''It doesn't mean you don't run it. it means you disclose to the public exactly what's going on.''
For longtime political operatives, this story may seem like a rundown of a common practice. But for the general public, there's reason to believe it's surprising. Even the small business owners involved, like Espinoza, can be confused by how it works. So it's time to stop looking at this as simply ''part of the business'' and to take some real steps to end the deception.
Twitter's Inside ThreatOnce Twitter admitted its employees helped facilitate yesterday's A-List user hack, it felt like a step into a recurring nightmare. The FBI previously accused Twitter employees of accessing Saudi dissidents' private data and passing it along to people connected with the Saudi Royal Family. Now, Twitter's employees were involved again.
For Twitter, another inside job is not surprising. But this episode makes you wonder how much Twitter actually locked down its internal systems after the Saudi incident. Whatever the answer, it was not enough.
Some employees must always have access to a company's innermost areas, but there's no excuse for not building safeguards to detect this abuse. Imagine what else could've happened in a slightly darker scenario. Now, all manner of questions about Twitter's security practices will come to the fore: Can you trust Twitter to protect your messages? (I'm glad I've moved mostly to Signal.) Also, will Twitter's industry-leading commitment to remote work last?
It appears this was simply a case of hackers playing a joke and walking away with some cash. Yet we're all crossing our fingers and hoping there's nothing more nefarious at play. If Twitter's direct message database leaked, for instance, it would be an instant global scandal. This episode may simply be a case of a few people getting bored and deciding on some reckless fun. Anything more, and we could be looking at one of the most serious stories of 2020.
See you next Thursday.
Are the Tech Giants really getting bigger? (Bradley Tusk podcast)
Two entrepreneurs and a journalist walk into a podcast (Talk Therapy podcast)
'It's like telling a reporter he can't have a Twitter account': Reporters are starting their own newsletters outside of their employer (Digiday)
Always Day One (My book)
Phony Pope
Erdogan Invites Pope to Visit Hagia Sophia Ahead of First Muslim Prayers
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 12:17
ROME '-- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has invited Pope Francis to visit Hagia Sophia, which will revert to being a full-time mosque on July 24.
Turkish Presidential spokesperson Ä°brahim Kalin said on Sunday that Pope Francis is among the guests invited to attend Hagia Sophia's reopening ceremony as a mosque this coming Friday.
On July 10, President Erdoğan signed a decree re-designating Hagia Sophia as a ''functioning mosque,'' reversing the 1934 decision by the Turkish Council of Ministers, led by secular Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, that turned the 6th-century structure into a museum.
Built as a Christian basilica under the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in 537 AD, Hagia Sophia was the main seat of the Eastern Orthodox church for centuries, but was turned into an imperial mosque following the 1453 Ottoman conquest of Constantinople '-- the city that is modern-day Istanbul.
Last week, Pope Francis expressed his dismay over Turkey's decision to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
''And the sea carries me a little farther away in my thoughts: to Istanbul. I think of Hagia Sophia, and I am very saddened,'' he said.
The pope's sentiments were echoed by the European bishops, whose spokesman said that converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque ''distances Turkey from Europe and it is a blow to the Orthodox Church and to interreligious dialogue.''
The World Council of Churches, which counts 350 churches as members, wrote a letter to Turkey's president calling for the decision to be reversed.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and other officials visit the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul's main tourist attractions in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, Sunday, July 19, 2020, days after he formally reconverted Hagia Sophia into a mosque and declared it open for Muslim worship. (Turkish Presidency via AP, Pool)
''By deciding to convert the Hagia Sophia back to a mosque you have reversed that positive sign of Turkey's openness and changed it to a sign of exclusion and division,'' the letter stated. ''Regrettably, this decision has also been taken without prior notice or discussion with UNESCO regarding the impact of this decision on Hagia Sophia's universal value recognized under the World Heritage Convention.''
Turkish authorities have said they will not destroy the Christian mosaics and other images that decorate the interior of the temple.
''We are making some arrangements to ensure that during Muslim prayers, the mosaics will be covered but not touched,'' Mr. Kalin said.
''The main point here is that there is no damage to these mosaics, depictions, the historical texture, and architecture of the building,'' he said.
Kalin also said that Hagia Sophia will continue to be open to believers or non-believers of any religion.
''Reactions to the conversion of Hagia Sophia are based on old views and prejudices '' there is religious freedom in Turkey,'' he said.
So far the Vatican has issued no public comment regarding the invitation for Pope Francis to visit Hagia Sophia.
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The Forgotten Conflict That Is Threatening Energy Markets | Zero Hedge
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 12:19
Authored by Cyril Widdershoven via,
One of the world's forgotten conflicts is now making headlines again.
In the last week, the military conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia has reignited, with the two nations having already been engaged in a military confrontation for decades. Nagorno Karabach, an Armenian enclave inside of Azerbaijan, is one of the main underlying factors for the conflict, but the growing rivalry between Russia and Turkey is also playing a part. More than 16 soldiers have been killed in the most recent round of fighting. Both sides are accusing each other of aggression and military action. The use of full scale armed forces and drones have been involved, killing several soldiers on both sides and reportedly an Azerbaijani general. The current outbreak of fighting has been the deadliest since the ''April War'' of 2016. While most clashes normally occur in and around the Armenian controlled Nagorno-Karabakh region, the current clashes are on the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The international community is urging both sides to end the clashes.
The United States, European Union, and the OSCE Minsk Group are trying to defuse the situation. While it remains unclear what reignited the conflict, it seems that Armenia played a large role in increasing tensions. Armenia recently constructed a new military outpost, which could have given Armenian armed forces a tactical advantage and tempted Azerbaijan to strike. At the same time, Azerbaijan is being buoyed by strong support from Ankara and may have wanted to test Russia's support for Armenia. Remarkably, Armenia has called upon the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), of which Armenia is a member, to intervene. The CSTO's response, from Yerevan's point of view, however, is lacking. As of July 14, the CSTO has only called for a normalization of the situation on the border, not implying that it would provide military support for Armenia. The lack of vocal support from Moscow for Armenia is improving Azerbaijan's position in the conflict. There is, however, a risk that the conflict will escalate to involve both Russia and Turkey.
While the military conflict may be drawing the majority of media attention, there is also an energy aspect to this conflict.
The military conflict gets full attention but another issue is a major threat to energy markets. The Caucasus is a major oil and gas transfer chokepoint, on which involves Russia, Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Central Asian countries. Energy market observers should be concerned about the proximity of the current military clashes to the Baku-Turkey oil and gas pipeline systems.
Threats to these important oil and gas pipelines, which not only connect the Central Asian producers to the global markets but also stabilize the region due to growth potential and revenues, are already significant. Gazprom Armenia, a subsidiary of Russia's energy giant Gazprom, stated on July 14 that gas pipelines had been damaged near the border of Azerbaijan. Increased military action on both sides will only increase the danger to existing regional oil and gas infrastructure. Turkey will be hit hard if this conflict does escalate as it is largely dependent on oil and gas from the region.
Regional analysts are already assessing the possibility that the current flare up may have been instigated by Russia.
The Tovuz region where the fighting is taking place is particularly close to Azerbaijan's crucial South Caucasia pipeline (SCP). The SCP channels natural gas to Turkey's TANAP pipeline and is a key component of Ankara's efforts to decrease its dependence on Russian energy. For years, Turkey has been trying to diversify its energy imports, but Ankara is still heavily dependent on Moscow. Russian gas is twice as expensive for Turkey than it is for most European customers, which is why Ankara is so desperate to move away from Russia gas. By getting Azerbaijani gas via TANAP, Turkey has been able to significantly reduce its costs. The Azeri-Turkish partnership could deepen further as a new opportunity arises in 2021, when a major gas deal between Turkey and Russia is up for renewal. Those discussions stalled in April when the two counties failed to reach an agreement. All of this combined means that Russia could be looking at losing market share in a very important growth market.
The main pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline, that supplies gas to Turkey from Azerbaijan, passes through the Tovuz region of Azerbaijan. This area borders the Armenian Tavush, where the clashes took place. Due to its geopolitically strategic location, a possible Turkish military intervention, especially considering its operations in Syria and Libya, is not unthinkable. Blowing up the current infrastructure in Azerbaijan would almost certainly ensure Turkish military involvement. "Turkey will never hesitate to stand against any attack on the rights and lands of Azerbaijan," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday. Erdogan suggested a wider conspiracy lay behind the latest fighting. Turkish pro-government media have been quick to accuse Moscow of encouraging Armenia to attack Azerbaijan, albeit without substantiating evidence. Some analysts believe Turkey's actions in Libya and Syria are related to this new conflict. Ankara could be forcing a new front, and the hand of Moscow, to get some bargaining power in North Africa.
Whatever the cause of this latest conflict, the situation is on a knife's edge. Azerbaijan, via its defense ministry, has warned Armenia that it could launch missile attacks on its Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant. These threats could be easily be countered by Armenian actions on Azerbaijan's weak point, its oil and gas transit pipelines. The fallout would be felt not only in European markets, but globally as well.
Candidate Kanye West campaigns in South Carolina - Los Angeles Times
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 13:10
Rapper Kanye West, in his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, ranted against historical figure Harriet Tubman on Sunday, saying the Underground Railroad conductor ''never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people,'' comments that drew shouts of opposition from some in the crowd.
West delivered a lengthy monologue '-- touching on topics including abortion, religion, international trade and licensing deals '-- before a crowd in North Charleston, S.C. Whether he is actually seeking the nation's highest office remains a question.
Tubman is one of the most respected figures of 19th century America. An African American who escaped slavery, she helped enslaved Black men and women travel north to freedom and fought for the Union during the Civil War. She later became a supporter of women's suffrage.
On abortion, West said that while he believes it should be legal, financial incentives to help struggling mothers could be a way to discourage the practice.
''Everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars,'' he said as an example.
According to a livestream of the event, it appeared that several hundred people had gathered in a venue, where gospel music played before West's appearance.
The event was reportedly for registered guests only, although a campaign website had no registration or RSVP information.
Speaking without a microphone, West became tearful at one point while talking about his mother, who died after plastic surgery complications in 2007.
West has missed the deadline to qualify for the ballot in several states, and it's unclear if he is willing or able to collect enough signatures required to qualify in others. Last week, he qualified to appear on Oklahoma's presidential ballot, the first state where he met the requirements before the filing deadline.
West needs to collect 10,000 signatures by noon Monday to appear on the South Carolina ballot, according to state law. The entertainer tweeted out a list of locations around the Charleston area where petitions could be signed. Email to an address purportedly associated with the campaign was not returned Sunday afternoon.
West, married to reality television star Kim Kardashian West, initially announced his candidacy on July Fourth.
John Waters on his 50+ year film career | British GQ
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 16:25
John Waters' seventh book, Mr. Know-It-All, '' a funhouse mirror image of the traditional self-help manual '' opens with a quandary. 'The worst thing that can happen to a creative person has happened to me,' he writes. 'I am accepted.'
It's the biggest imaginable shock for a man who's made a career out of his ability to subvert and scandalise. The Baltimore-born director's catalogue of video nasties from 1964 to 2004 were like a grenade attack on cinematic propriety. He made 300lb drag queen Divine his bodacious Marilyn, introduced the world to the heathen pleasures of a 'rosary job' (google it) and developed scratch 'n' sniffs for cinema audiences imbued with the unholy scents of flatulence and dirty shoes. Back when Waters made the filmed-on-a-shoestring trash classic Pink Flamingos in 1972, even the most outlandish clairvoyant couldn't have foreseen that, 25 years later, the snooty cinephiles of Cannes Film Festival would be toasting the murderous shit-eating trailer-park queen at the film's centre.
John Waters' style drew freely from high and low culture '' gross-out gore flicks as well as daring avant-garde works '-- and treated his regular collaborators like Divine and Edith Massey like the A-listers they deserved to be. Before long, actual Hollywood stars like Kathleen Turner and Melanie Griffith were clamouring to be part of Waters' self-described 'filth empire'. In the past couple of decades, though, Waters has re-envisioned himself as a kind of alternative public intellectual, Fran Lebowitz with dirtier jokes. His extensive speaking tours and meet-and-greets are a riot (he will sign anything, including a tampon). And he has infiltrated the art establishment with a welcome dose of irreverence: his 2009 installation 'Rush' was a gargantuan spilt bottle of amyl nitrate. In Waters' warped world, even poppers can be high art.
On a perfect July afternoon, Waters telephones from the bohemian gay resort town of Provincetown, Massachussets. In fact, he used to throw a poppers party at the town's annual film festival. 'I've seen movie stars and A-list critics all doing poppers!' he says. Sadly, the event was a victim of its own success. 'Then The Boston Globe wrote about it and then the entire town crashed the party.' Yet Waters, at 73, remains a mind-expanding heady high.
GQ: In Mr. Know-It-All, you speak movingly about Divine's impact on pop culture. What's your take on RuPaul's Drag Race?
John Waters: I'm really happy for Ru. I've known him forever, since he started. He's been a hard-working person for decades. He's successfully crossed-over drag to middle America, which I never, ever thought would happen, and given careers to [so many]. Even if you come in sixth on that show, you tour eight clubs in America. Not only was he smart about it; I think another key thing is he is one of the only drag queens who has a great look out of drag. Ru is so chic. His suits are amazing. Divine was just getting there when he died, but in the beginning, he just used to walk round in overalls. In Provincetown, where I live, where there's 5,000 drag shows, the drag queens always think I'm snobby. I don't know what they look like out of drag '' they look completely different! I can't recognise them '' and Divine, I wouldn't have recognised him out of drag really. I think Divine has a little something to do with it, because Divine put an edge on drag queens. When I was young, they were square. It was like they wanted to be the Queen. They didn't want to have an edge. Now, they all have an edge! I'm kind of more interested in drag kings because they are really confusing to me. I think RuPaul should have a drag king version, and I also think he should have Fag Hag Race.
And who would you put as the judge on Fag Hag Race?
Well, I don't know, I'm trying to think '' who is the ultimate fag hag? That's a good one. I mean, they have Bear Week in Provincetown and I'm always just astounded that there are bear fag hags. They look kind of like Grace Metalious, the author of Peyton Place. They wear lumber jackets with greasy ponytails. So I'm for the niche fag hags.
In your book Role Models, you talked about your obsession with Rei Kawakubo and her clothes. How big is your Comme des Gar§ons collection now?
Well, it's pretty big. Comme des Gar§ons never goes out of style because it's never in style. So you never can go wrong. But I'm also a big fan of Walter Van Beirendonck. I buy at MAC, which is my favourite clothing store in America, in San Francisco. It's one of a few places that really do carry him. I like Issey Miyake a lot. Paul Smith I like, when I'm trying to look normal.
Do you have any outrageous Walter Van Beirendonck pieces?
Well, some of them are too outrageous for me, I am 73! I think the ones that make me laugh the most '' they aren't Walter Van Beirendonck. One was, I can't even remember which [designer] it was, but it's a suit that looks like it has cat hair all over it. People say 'Oh my god, John!', and they try to brush it off. It's quite intricate, the threads. And I have another one that looks like water splashed up on your pants. As I said in my book, my look is 'disaster at the dry cleaners'.
What do you think is the new cinematic underground '' is it online?
I don't think it is. In the music industry, everybody makes a name online and on YouTube. [But] what movie has premiered on YouTube or online and become a sensation? I can't think of one. Well, Roma was a Netflix movie and it was all over the Oscars last year. I'm not against that. I'm for anybody that can say yes to make a movie! You know, movies survived it all: they survived television, they survived videos and now they have to survive Netflix. If it's good enough, people go. I saw Quentin Tarantino's movie this weekend, and it's so great to see a movie that really surprises you and has that much style. Those kind of movies will always come out and win, they just have to be good and they have to be original. [Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood] is the only movie that came out this summer that wasn't a sequel or a prequel or something.
It's true. My favourite line from one of your movies, is Edith Massey in Female Trouble where she says, 'the world of a heterosexual is a sick and boring life'...
But she doesn't even say it right because she didn't know what it meant! She says 'the world of heterosexual', she doesn't say 'the world of a heterosexual'. It was really a market-testing experiment at the time, because all gay people then applauded, so I could tell the breakdown of my audience.
What kind of politics was that sentiment powered by?
It was just trying to cause trouble. That was filmed in 1973, so, at the time, gay rights were just beginning to start. It was kind of a ludicrous version of that, to have a mother that wanted you to be gay and was really sad and disappointed that you were straight.
How was Edith Massey to direct?
Well, she tried really hard. She would memorise the lines like she was writing sentences in school. She'd write them over and over but we'd get there and she'd say [in Pink Flamingos] 'Eggs, eggs!' Then she'd say 'Edith shakes the playpen'. I said 'No, you don't say that out loud! That's a direction.' The audiences really loved her right from the beginning when she had a tiny role in Multiple Maniacs. When Andy Warhol met her, he said: 'Where did you find her?' She was like an outsider Gracie Allen [eccentric 1930s actress].
There's one picture that's been circulated recently, of Divine sneering at Donald Trump at Studio 54. Were you there?
That's completely fake! Because I know where that picture of Divine is from and he was not with Donald Trump. It could have been true because Donald Trump liked Studio 54, and so did Divine. But we would have always hated him, even though Trump was basically a liberal back then. He was nouveau riche and a bragger. You know how he decorated the White House? It looks like Jeff Koons did it without art history knowledge or intelligence.
Did you see the White House's horrible Christmas decorations?
They were goth! They were goth Las Vegas! Which could be funny if you were in on it, but [Melania] wasn't in on it. She thought it was beautiful. Tastes can change, but I don't think anybody will ever think that the Trump decorations in the White House were influential or interesting. They were just bad in a way that was just surreal.
Do you think that Trump will get a second term as president?
I most certainly do. I don't think that we have one of [the Democratic candidates] that's strong enough to beat him.
Do you think America could be ready for a gay president with Pete Buttigieg?
Well, I like him. I would be for him, but I don't think he can win when the only thing on the first debate he got credit for was saying 'I couldn't get it done' [relating to police reform]. That's not exactly a bumper sticker.
You worked with Selma Blair on A Dirty Shame '' she's been amazing, speaking out about her MS condition. Are you still in touch with her?
I am. I think she's doing a great job. I had written to her and I just heard back from her. I show a movie every year at the Maryland Film Festival and the Provincetown Film Festival '' just because I love it '' and I showed this pretty obscure movie she made with Nicolas Cage called Mom and Dad. It's about where every parent in America decides to kill their own children. She's great in it.
What were her giant boobs in A Dirty Shame made from?
They were latex '' made by the same guy who made Chucky and made John Travolta's fat suit in Hairspray. You had to put them on every day. Full naked was $5,000 a day, cleavage was, I forget, $2,000? And regular under-the-sweater was $1,000. At the end of the day, they just were used breasts that were shrivelled up. But one day they were missing! Somebody took them and we always thought it was a pervert.
You've written many books at this point. Could you ever see yourself being a journalist?
Oh, I have been a journalist, certainly in [essay collection] Crackpot. I would love to cover a big trial.
If you were to profile a public figure, who would you like to interview?
The one I'd like to get the most '' because nobody can get her '' is the defence lawyer Judy Clarke who only handles death penalty cases. She wins, and she gets you life, not death. She's done some of the biggest ones, and the only one she lost was the Boston Bomber. She's never given an interview and she's never allowed her clients to talk to the press. So for me, she would be the ultimate get.
In Mr. Know-It-All, you describe Polyester as a whole new level of movie-making for you. Was that the first film where you paid the cast a wage?
No, I paid everybody, even on Pink Flamingos. It wasn't much '' and it took years to pay back the money from people that I borrowed it from. I don't think I got a salary before Polyester.
And it's shocking to read that Hairspray didn't make money until very recently.
No. I got the first cheque for profit like maybe two or three years ago. You know, I think it cost $8 million to make. What happened was, it was doing really well, but then Divine died. That puts a dampener on a comedy. But of course, Hairspray went on to have 20 more lives. I just wish Divine had had the 20 lives with it.
I've seen some amazing fan tattoos in tribute to your films. Do you have a favourite?
I have seen amazing ones '' the characters from my movies. Still, my favourite one was that someone had a page of the script of Female Trouble on their leg. That's amazing. Which scene was it? I can't remember, probably the cha-cha heels scene.
I see people posting that scene every Christmas.
I know, but drag queens still get it wrong. Cha-cha heels aren't high heels! They're short, squashed heels '' to this day, most drag queens get it wrong.
Famously, Divine inspired the character of Ursula in The Little Mermaid. Now Disney is remaking it, who do you think should play the role?
Maybe Beth Ditto. But isn't Melissa McCarthy playing it? She was amazing when she dressed as Divine in People magazine.
There's been a wave of cult gay heroes leaning right-wing recently, like Morrissey and Bret Easton Ellis. What do you make of that?
Well, Tab Hunter voted for Trump. And I actually thought Bret Easton Ellis's book [White] was good. I don't agree with him, but I thought it was intelligently written. You know, I have friends that are Republicans. I don't agree with them, but as soon as we make other people feel stupid, we'll never get them to change their minds.
So is your point of view that we need to find something to break bread over?
Or at least, openly talk, because they're not going to change their minds if we act like they're stupid. You know, the insane political correctness '' even though it's mostly correct '' is gonna make Trump win. It's a class issue. I promise you, in the neighbourhoods in Baltimore that are really struggling with poverty, they're not worrying about pronoun usage. I'm not saying that some don't! But it's rich kids' schools who are the most stringent police of it. I never understood what a trigger warning was, I thought you went to college to have your values challenged. I thought that was the point of education.
Is there a split between John Waters, the public personality, and the guy you are behind closed doors?
No. I think I'm exactly like probably what you'd expect. In the early days, I would go to colleges and they thought I was completely [like my films]. They had drugs for me and they thought I lived in a trailer with shit-eating drag queens!
In Mr. Know-It-All, you mention that you're in a relationship. Is it important for you to be private about the personal side of your life?
It is, mainly because my boyfriend has no desire to be in the press. My boyfriends have never been like me. I like somebody very different from me. I like him to be interested in things I'm not interested in sometimes. I don't want to fuck myself!
Which of your movies do you think is the most underrated?
Cecil B. Demented. It didn't do great and it's not the first one people pick, but it had funny lines in it! My favourite is when Fidget says to Melanie Griffith when they're at the drive-in: 'We're beyond the critics' reach.'
Do you share Kathleen Turner's horror '' in Serial Mom '' when it comes to white shoes after Labour Day?
Oh yes, I believe in that. Not just shoes, you can't wear white anything '' except winter white, which is wool. I'm a firm believer in that, I pack it all away and then I see people [wearing white] and think 'your parents didn't tell you?'. It's the only thing I'm right-wing on.
This interview originally appeared in GQ Style AW19.
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Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile Shut Down Trump Campaign Texting Program
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 03:48
Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile temporarily shut down President Donald Trump's campaign texting program, which serves as a cornerstone of the president's digital platform.
Politico reported on Monday that Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T flagged ''potential regulatory problems'' with the Trump campaign's messaging operation. Within ''Trump's orbit,'' many continue to speculate that big tech companies ''are looking to influence the election'' against the president.
Trump recently accused Twitter and Facebook of censoring conservatives, and Donald Trump Jr., Trump's son, contended that Google's Gmail platform is sending Trump campaign emails to voters' spam folders.
Republican operatives have said that email and text messaging lists are some of the most vital parts of a campaign apparatus.
Eric Wilson, a GOP digital strategist who worked for the Marco Rubio 2016 presidential campaign, said, ''A campaign's email and text messaging list are some of the most important assets they have in 2020.''
He added that it was ''really very concerning to see that such a significant issue happened and to see that it wasn't resolved in a timely manner.''
Politico reported that the decision was allegedly not made by Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T to cancel the president's messaging platform; instead, the companies contend that third-party administrators that monitor their text messaging services blocked the campaign messages. The administrators insist that they were following the guidelines established by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry (CTI). The major telecoms shut down the Trump campaign's messaging during a test run on the Fourth of July, potentially costing the campaign a large number of donations from supporters.
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry, which represents mobile phone groups, did not say why they blocked the president's messaging service, but said in a statement, ''We expect all senders '-- whether airlines, schools, banks or campaigns '-- to include clear opt-out language and gain prior consent before sending a text.''
''These simple steps help protect consumers from spam and maintain text messaging as a trusted medium for everyone,'' the group added.
Gary Toby, the Trump campaign's digital director emphasized how important its messaging services is for getting out the vote ahead of elections. He said:
Peer-to-peer texting has quickly become a critical tool for Republicans and Democrats. Both sides agree, it's going to lead to more Americans voting, a great thing for our country. There is bipartisan commitment to continue working with mobile carriers and the entire mobile messaging industry to ensure the channel remains open and secure.
Tim Cameron, a digital strategist who worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), said, ''I understand that telecom might want to change the rules about how political campaigns operate on their platforms.'' He added, ''But those changes should take place after the election, and once they're in place when you're in a period just a few months before the election, it's not the time to change them.''
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.
Kanye West claims Michael Jackson was MURDERED during Twitter rant | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 15:07
Kanye West made the astonishing claim Michael Jackson was murdered during his Twitter meltdown on Tuesday night.
The rapper, 43, who has bipolar disorder, was in the midst of a scathing attack at Kris Jenner, 65, when he mentioned his wild theory about the late pop icon.
Michael died on the 25 June in 2009 age 50. His cause of death was ruled as a cardiac arrest caused by a fatal combination of drugs given to him by his personal doctor.
Wild theory: Kanye West claimed Michael Jackson was murdered during his Twitter meltdown on Tuesday night (pictured at his presidential rally on Sunday)
Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 and served two years of his four-year prison sentence for good behaviour.
Kanye wrote: 'MJ told you about Tommy before they killed him Kim saved my daughters life in the name of Jesus It's Gods choice only I will live for my children Kris I'm in Cody if your not planning another one of your children's playboy shoots'.
The musician appeared to reference Michael's fallout with former Sony CEO Tommy Mottola, whom Jackson called a 'racist' and 'devilish' for failing to promote his 2001 album Invincible.
Sony issued a statement calling Jackson's comments about Mottola 'ludicrous, spiteful and hurtful' at the time.
Rant: The rapper, 43, who has bipolar disorder, was in the midst of a scathing attack at Kris Jenner, 65, when he mentioned his wild theory about the late pop icon
Tragic: Michael (pictured in March 2009) died on the 25 June in 2009, his cause of death was ruled as a cardiac arrest caused by a fatal combination of drugs
Feud: The musician appeared to reference Michael's fallout with former Sony CEO Tommy Mottola, whom Jackson called a 'racist' for failing to promote his 2001 album Invincible
There is no suggestion Kanye was accusing Sony or Tommy directly for Michael's tragic death.
Kanye also shared a screenshot of unanswered messages from Kris.
The first message read: 'This Ye, you ready to talk now or are still avoiding my call?', while the second, posted a day later 'This Ye, you wanna talk or go to war?'.
He captioned the screenshot: 'White supremacy at its highest no cap'.
Upsetting: Sony issued a statement calling Jackson's comments about Mottola 'ludicrous, spiteful and hurtful' at the time (puctured Tommy Mottola in 2005)
Ignored: Kanye also shared a screenshot of unanswered messages from Kris. The first message read: 'This Ye, you ready to talk now or are still avoiding my call?'
Isolated: The rapper is hiding out in a bunker at his ranch in Wyoming, amid sources claiming he has lost trust in his wife Kim Kardashian, 39, and Kim's mum Kris (pictured in 2019)
The rapper is hiding out in a bunker at his ranch in Wyoming with some select friends, amid sources claiming he has lost trust in his wife Kim Kardashian, 39.
The couple were reportedly 'living apart', having been 'at each other's throats' for months during lockdown.
Concern has grown over Kanye's mental health after he launched his election campaign on Sunday, where he revealed the couple had wanted to abort their daughter North, seven, before bursting into tears.
Tension: The couple were reportedly 'living apart', having been 'at each other's throats' for months during lockdown (pictured in February)
Two days later, Kanye sensationally claimed he has been 'trying to get divorced' from Kim since she met his fellow rapper Meek Mill at the Waldorf Hotel.
The couple, who wed in 2014 and have four children, were said to be living at opposite ends of their LA compound due to rising tensions, before Kanye moved to their family home in Wyoming.
A source told The Sun: 'Since lockdown they've had daily bust-ups over literally everything. But mainly about the kids, their future, and the different directions they're going in.
Worried: Concern has grown over Kanye's mental health after he launched his election campaign on Sunday and broke down in tears
Split? Kanye claimed he has been 'trying to get divorced' from Kim since she met his fellow rapper Meek Mill at the Waldorf Hotel
Meltdown: In his latest rambling Twitter outburst, West said Kim was 'out of line' to meet Meek Mill to talk about 'prison reform' and blasted her mother Kris Jenner as 'Kris Jong-Un'
Distressing: The rapper also claimed Kim was trying to fly out to Wyoming with a doctor to 'lock me up'
Outburst: Kanye said he had been trying to divorce Kim since she met up with rival rapper Meek Mill (pictured in 2019) at the Waldorf Hotel
'They've barely had a functioning marriage for the last year and Kim has been finding living with him too difficult.
'He's very demanding and always obsessed with one of his schemes '-- she's exhausted. They live totally separate lives now.'
The insider added the rapper is 'paranoid and convinced' he needs protection from Kim and her mother Kris Jenner.
Hideaway: The rapper, 43, is hiding out in a bunker at his ranch in Wyoming with some select friends, amid sources claiming he has lost trust in his wife, 39.
WHAT IS BIPOLAR?Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder which causes unusual and often sudden changes in mood and energy levels.
Moods of those with bipolar disorder range from periods of extreme elation and energy (known as a manic episode) to periods of extreme somberness and lack of energy (known as a depressive episode).
According to the International Bipolar Foundation, sufferers are diagnosed with rapid cycling if they have four or more manic, hypomanic, or depressive episodes in any 12-month period.
This severe form of the condition occurs in around 10 to 20 percent of all people with bipolar disorder.
Currently it is unknown what is the cause of bipolar disorder, which affects around 5.7 million US adults aged 18 or older.
Scientists say genetics could play a role or that those with a a family history of bipolar disorder are more likely to have it.
MailOnline has contacted Kim and Kanye's representatives for comment.
Kanye has been open about his struggle with bipolar disorder and, in 2016, he spent time in hospital after a 'psychiatric emergency' that forced him to cancel 21 concert dates.
In his latest rambling Twitter outburst, Kanye said Kim was 'out of line' to meet Meek Mill to talk about 'prison reform' and blasted her mother Kris Jenner as 'Kris Jong-Un' while accusing the pair of 'white supremacy'.
The Stronger hitmaker also repeated his claim his wife and mother-in-law had 'tried to fly in with two doctors' to have him hospitalised.
The late-night tweets were deleted barely half an hour after they were posted, after West signed off his tweets as coming from 'the future president'.
The rapper announced he was running for president on July 4 and held his first campaign rally in South Carolina on Sunday but as yet, has not mounted a full campaign.
He questioned whether he should postpone his controversial run on the Oval Office until 2024 in a tweet late Tuesday night in which he also shared a confusing look at his '2020 Vision'.
'#2020vision or maybe '24,' he wrote alongside a picture of a piece of paper in his trademark orange, listing what appears to be the tracklist for his upcoming album.
'I guess all black people supposed to vote on Biden? Y'all want me to run on nah???' the rapper then asked.
Page Six reports that friends fear the marriage may not survive West's recent frightening behaviour, as he welcomes other celebrities to the ranch but continues to avoid his wife.
Earlier on Tuesday, Kanye heaped praise on his comedian friend Dave Chappelle for flying to Wyoming to visit him as sources claim his wife Kim is 'completely devastated' that he accused her of trying to get him locked up.
Kanye tweeted: 'Thank you Dave for hopping on a jet to come see me doing well. Dave you are a god send and a true friend. All love.'
However, the family has been unable to reach Kanye as he has allowed only people he trusts to join.
Family: The couple are pictured with their children North, 7; Saint, 4; Chicago, 2; and Psalm, 14 months
A source has also told Entertainment Tonight Kim is 'completely devastated' by Kanye's tweets and has been trying to get her husband help for his bipolar disorder but he has refused.
'Kim has always been public about everything in her life, but with Kanye and him being bipolar she has always respected to keep that more private and within the family,' the source said.
'Kanye tweeting about the family and painting her as trying to "lock him up" has upset Kim because that wasn't her intention and she only ever wants the best for her husband.'
Clash: Among West's tweets, was this picture of himself with his children. Along with this picture, he wrote 'West children will never do playboy' in a hit at his mother-in-law Kris and Kim
Daring: Kim's Playboy cover from 2007
Meanwhile, another source told Us Weekly Kim and the rest of the Kardashians think Kanye 'crossed a line' by airing private family matters.
'She's tried so hard to help him, but now Kim and her family feel as though he's really crossed a line by talking negatively about them publicly and sharing private family matters with the public,' the source said.
'She feels helpless at this point.'
In addition to saying his wife was trying to lock him up, Kanye's Twitter rant Monday also referenced Kim's prior Playboy shoots and vowed to never let his children do the same.
He also slammed his mother-in-law and he suggested the movie 'Get Out' was based on his own life.
'Kim was trying to fly to Wyoming with a doctor to lock me up like on the movie Get Out because I cried about saving my daughters life yesterday,' West said in one of the since-deleted tweets.
In other tweets, he also appealed directly to Kim and Jenner, to contact him at his ranch in Wyoming where he has been living, adding that he didn't want his mother-in-law around his four children.
'Kriss don't play with me you and that calmye are not allowed around my children Ya'll tried to lock me up,' he said, apparently referencing Jenner's boyfriend Corey Gamble.
Kanye also took a stab at the Keeping Up With The Kardashians, saying he loved his wife and wanted his family to live with him despite them filming the reality TV series.
Happier times: North West, Kardashian, West and Saint (L to R) are pictured together in New York City in 2019
White Fragility
US Navy Fragility training
Adam and John,
I am an active duty member of the US Navy, stationed at a relatively
high-level and high-profile command. I have been a listener and producer
for the podcast since 2013 (I've been a knight since about 2015) and
request that if you speak of this email in the show, you keep me anonymous
due to potential professional repercussions.
My command has established an officially-endorsed book club to discuss
racism. The first book they are reading and discussing is White Fragility
by Robin DiAngelo. When I saw the all-hands email today, I immediately
thought of the several recent No Agenda episodes discussing this book and
its author. I have discussed the establishment of this book club with a
couple of my colleagues who have different perspectives. One is vehemently
opposed to it while the other is accepting yet doesn't have a fully-formed
opinion on the appropriateness of such a thing within the US military. I
thought I would pass along my experience from the field and will continue
to report updates should I find them pertinent to the show.
As to my personal take, I think my command is jumping into some VERY murky
legal waters. The DOD has traditionally been an apolitical organization
for many reasons. But this topic specifically lends itself very readily to
politicization. As a result, DOD members can justifiably question whether
their views expressed in a book club on racism will be or (in the future)
have been held against them in a professional evaluation. Additionally,
they can question if their non-participation in this "voluntary" book club
will be held against them in a professional evaluation. And all it takes
is a perception of bias to constitute an equal opportunity complaint. I
think the DOD and my organization in particular are veering wildly off
course by diving into this highly politicized topic. I view the
establishment of such a book club within any DOD organization as a threat
to what we refer to as good order and discipline, specifically because of
the political nature of the topic. It's the same as if we established a
DOD book club on gun rights or free speech. While it might seem morally
justifiable to have book clubs on these topics, it's not necessarily a
good idea. Not in the best interest of the defense of the country.
Top Intelligence Official Promoted 'White Fragility' Recommendation
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 14:13
The director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) passed on a recommendation to read ''White Fragility,'' whose author argues that any gains the United States has made since its founding have come ''through identity politics.''
Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley Jr., the DIA director, mentioned in a recent townhall and in his weekly email to employees that a DIA officer recommended reading ''White Fragility,'' a spokesman for the agency told The Epoch Times in an email.
''Ashley in turn thought it might be of interest to members of the DIA workforce seeking to learn about the perspectives the book highlights,'' the spokesman said.
Leaders recommend books that might be of interest to officers and officers highlight books they believe might be of interest to fellow officers, he explained.
''White Fragility'' was not included on Ashley's annual reading list. The list and other recommendations are part of encouraging the DIA workforce to ''to read widely to achieve a greater understanding about many issues,'' the spokesman wrote, adding, ''No books on any topic are required reading.''
''White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism,'' written by Robin DiAngelo, promotes the idea that white people are insulated from race-based stress.
''This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility,'' DiAngelo wrote in a research paper (pdf) about the notion in 2011.
In the book, published in 2018, DiAngelo argues that any gains the United States has made since its founding ''have come through identity politics.''
''The identities of those sitting at the tables of power in this country have remained remarkably similar: white, male, middle- and upper-class, able-bodied,'' she wrote.
DiAngelo said on her publisher's website that her book is primarily aimed at white people and that she wants white readers to become uncomfortable so they ''can practice building [their] stamina for the critical examination of white identity'--a necessary antidote to white fragility.''
DiAngelo received a PhD in multicultural education from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she currently teaches.
Her area of research, she says on her website, is in ''Whiteness Studies and Critical Discourse Analysis, tracing how whiteness is reproduced in everyday narratives.''
The Ed Schools' Latest'--and Worst'--Humbug: Teaching for ''social justice'' is a cruel hoax on disadvantaged kids. | City Journal
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:03
I n 1980, Bill Ayers and his partner Bernardine Dohrn came up from the underground'--the Weather Underground, that is. It had been a wild ride for the Bonnie and Clyde of the sixties New Left. They first went into combat during the 1969 ''Days of Rage'' in Chicago, smashing storefront windows and assaulting police officers and city officials in the fantasy that they were aiding their Vietnamese allies by ''bringing the war back home.'' They spent the next few years planting bombs at government buildings around the country, including in restrooms at the Pentagon and the Capitol. When their little war against America sputtered to a halt, the revolutionary couple rationalized that at least they had not caused any deaths. But three of their comrades had blown themselves up in a Manhattan townhouse while preparing a bomb to detonate at a dance at the Fort Dix army base.
Ayers has acknowledged committing crimes during his underground days'--crimes that arguably amounted to treason. Yet thanks to procedural complications and a lack of witnesses, he never went to trial or to jail. A few years after stepping out of the shadows, Ayers reflected on his odyssey in a conversation with journalists Peter Collier and David Horowitz: ''Guilty as hell, free as a bird'--America is a great country,'' he exulted.
B ut that was just half the wonder of it. Ayers would soon go on to disprove thoroughly F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous though mistaken aphorism that ''there are no second acts in American lives.'' Ayers's spectacular second act began when he enrolled at Columbia University's Teachers College in 1984. Then 40, he planned to stay just to get a teaching credential. (He had taught in a ''Freedom School'' during his pre-underground student radical days.) But he experienced an epiphany in a course taught by Maxine Greene, a leading light of the ''critical pedagogy'' movement. As Ayers wrote later, he took fire from Greene's lectures on how the ''oppressive hegemony'' of the capitalist social order ''reproduces'' itself through the traditional practice of public schooling'--critical pedagogy's fancy way of saying that the evil corporations exercise thought control through the schools.
It hadn't occurred to Ayers that an ed-school professor could speak or write as an authentic American radical. ''There are vast dislocations in industrial towns, erosions of trade unions; there is little sign of class consciousness today,'' Greene had proclaimed in the Harvard Education Review. ''Our great cities are burnished on the surfaces, building high technologies, displaying astonishing consumer goods. And on the side streets, in the crevices, in the burnt-out neighborhoods, there are the rootless, the dependent, the sick, the permanently unemployed. There is little sense of agency, even among the brightly successful; there is little capacity to look at things as if they could be otherwise.''
Greene told future teachers that they could help change this bleak landscape by developing a ''transformative'' vision of social justice and democracy in their classrooms. Her vision, though, was a far cry from the democratic optimism of the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr., which most parents would endorse. Instead, critical pedagogy theorists nurse a rancorous view of an America in which it is always two minutes to midnight and a knock on the door by the thought police is imminent. The education professors feel themselves anointed to use the nation's K''12 classrooms to resist this oppressive system. Thus Maxine Greene urged teachers not to mince words with children about the evils of the existing social order. They should portray ''homelessness as a consequence of the private dealings of landlords, an arms buildup as a consequence of corporate decisions, racial exclusion as a consequence of a private property-holder's choice.'' In other words, they should turn the little ones into young socialists and critical theorists.
All music to Bill Ayers's ears. The ex-Weatherman glimpsed a new radical vocation. He dreamed of bringing the revolution from the streets to the schools. And that's exactly what he has managed to do.
I n record time Ayers acquired an Ed.D. with a dissertation titled ''The Discerning 'I': Accounts of Teacher Self-Construction Through the Use of Co-Biography, Metaphor, and Image.'' There wasn't much biography, metaphor, or image in the 180-page text. Ayers's research consisted solely of a few days spent interviewing and observing the classroom practices of three nursery school teachers he knew personally. (In Ayers's own autobiographical section of the text'--de rigueur for Teachers College dissertations'--he reminisced about growing up in a wealthy Chicago suburb, about his warm family, and about having been arrested in campus antiwar demonstrations. Of his bomb-making skills or his ten years in the underground he said not a word.)
With his Teachers College credential in hand, Ayers landed an ed-school appointment back in Chicago, where his father was CEO of Commonwealth Edison and nicely plugged in to the city's political establishment. These days, Ayers carries the joint titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. One of his several books on the moral imperative of teaching for social justice is a bestseller in ed-school courses. Like many other tenured and well-heeled radicals, Ayers keeps hoping for a revolutionary upheaval that will finally bring down American capitalism and imperialism. But now, instead of planting bombs in bathrooms, he has been planting the seeds of resistance and rebellion in America's future teachers, who will then pass on the lessons to the students in their classrooms.
Future teachers signing up for Ayers's course ''On Urban Education'' can read these exhortations from the course description on the professor's website:
''Homelessness, crime, racism, oppression'--we have the resources and knowledge to fight and overcome these things.''
''We need to look beyond our isolated situations, to define our problems globally. We cannot be child advocates . . . in Chicago or New York and ignore the web that links us with the children of India or Palestine.''
''In a truly just society there would be a greater sharing of the burden, a fairer distribution of material and human resources.''
For another course, titled ''Improving Learning Environments,'' Ayers proposes that teachers ''be aware of the social and moral universe we inhabit and . . . be a teacher capable of hope and struggle, outrage and action, a teacher teaching for social justice and liberation.''
T he readings that Ayers assigns are as intellectually stimulating and diverse as a political commissar's indoctrination session in one of his favorite communist tyrannies. The reading list for his urban education course includes the bible of the critical pedagogy movement, Brazilian Marxist Paolo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed; two books by Ayers himself; another by bell hooks, a radical black feminist writer and critical race theorist; and a ''Freedom School'' curriculum. That's the entire spectrum of debate.
For students who might get bored with the purely pedagogic approach to liberation, Ayers also offers a course on the real thing, called ''Social Conflicts of the 1960's.'' For this class Ayers also posts his introduction to the soon-to-be-published collection of Weather Underground agitprop that he edited with Dohrn'--called, with no intended parody, Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements and Communiqu(C)s of the Weather Underground, 1970-1974. ''Once things were connected,'' Ayers's introduction recollects, ''we saw a system at work, we were radicalized, we named that system'--imperialism'--and forged an idea of how to overthrow it. We were influenced by Marx, but we were formed more closely and precisely by Che, Ho, Malcolm X, Am­lcar Cabral, Mandela'--the Third World revolutionaries'--and we called ourselves small 'c' communists to indicate our rejection of what had become of Marx in the Soviet Block [sic]. . . . We were anti-authoritarian, anti-orthodoxy, communist street fighters.''
Ayers makes clear that his political views haven't changed much since those glory days. He cites a letter he recently wrote: ''I've been told to grow up from the time I was ten until this morning. Bullshit. Anyone who salutes your 'youthful idealism' is a patronizing reactionary. Resist! Don't grow up! I went to Camp Casey [Cindy Sheehan's vigil at the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas] in August precisely because I'm an agnostic about how and where the rebellion will break out, but I know I want to be there and I know it will break out.''
A merica's historical ideal of public schooling as a means of assimilating all children (and particularly the children of new immigrants) into a common civic and democratic culture is already under assault from the multiculturalists and their race- and gender-centered pedagogy. Now Ayers and his social justice movement, by dismissing the civic culture ideal as nothing more than ''capitalist hegemony,'' subvert the public schools even further'--while subsidized by the taxpayers, including the capitalists who supposedly control the schools.
And it's not just from his government-funded outpost at the University of Illinois that Ayers is spreading the word about radical social justice teaching. He maintains a busy lecture schedule at other ed schools around the country, and he does teacher training and professional development for the Chicago public schools. All that still leaves him enough time to give nostalgic lectures on college campuses about his Weather Underground experiences.
He also turns up from time to time as a guest lecturer at Teachers College, where he gets a hero's welcome. In describing one of those events, the official college publication, Inside TC, turned as ecstatic as a groupie at a rock concert: ''A man sporting sunglasses, an earring in each earlobe, khaki pants, a sweater and tweed jacket strode purposefully past the entry and down the hallway toward the auditorium. . . . His intensity and passion were tangible in the way he walked through the crowd. He was the speaker for the evening, William Ayers. . . . A former leader of the radical Weathermen organization in the 1960s, Ayers not only believes in the obligation to assist people on the bottom, he acts on it.''
I n 1997, Ayers and his mentor Maxine Greene persuaded Teachers College Press to launch a series of books on social justice teaching, with Ayers as editor and Greene serving on the editorial board (along with Rashid Khalidi, loyal supporter of the Palestinian cause and the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University). Twelve volumes have appeared so far, including one titled Teaching Science for Social Justice.
Teaching science for social justice? Let Teachers College professor Angela Calabrese Barton, the volume's principal author, try to explain: ''The marriages between capitalism and education and capitalism and science have created a foundation for science education that emphasizes corporate values at the expense of social justice and human dignity.'' The alternative? ''Science pedagogy framed around social justice concerns can become a medium to transform individuals, schools, communities, the environment, and science itself, in ways that promote equity and social justice. Creating a science education that is transformative implies not only how science is a political activity but also the ways in which students might see and use science and science education in ways transformative of the institutional and interpersonal power structures that play a role in their lives.'' If you still can't appreciate why it's necessary for your child's chemistry teacher to teach for social justice, you are probably hopelessly wedded to reason, empiricism, individual merit, and other capitalist and post-colonialist deformities.
T he series doesn't yet have a text on mathematics, but it's sure to come, since the pedagogy for teaching social justice through math is even more fully developed than for science. One of the leading lights of the genre is Eric Gutstein, a Marxist colleague of Ayers's at the University of Illinois and also a full-time Chicago public school math teacher. Gutstein's new book, Reading and Writing the World with Mathematics: Toward a Pedagogy for Social Justice, combines critical pedagogy theory and real live math lessons that Gutstein piloted with his predominantly minority seventh-grade students.
Like Ayers, Gutstein reveres Paolo Freire. He approvingly quotes Freire's dictum that ''there neither is, nor has ever been, an educational practice in zero space-time'--neutral in the sense of being committed only to preponderantly abstract, intangible ideas.'' Gutstein takes this to mean that since all education is political, leftist math teachers who care about the oppressed have a right, indeed a duty, to use a pedagogy that, in Freire's words, ''does not conceal'--in fact, which proclaims'--its own political character.''
Accordingly, Gutstein has relentlessly politicized his math classes for years, claiming that this approach has improved his students' math skills while making them more aware of the injustices built in to capitalist society. One lesson, for example, presents charts showing the U.S. income distribution, aiming to get the students to understand the concept of percentages and fractions, while simultaneously showing them how much wealth is concentrated at the top in an economic system that mainly benefits the superrich. After the class does the mathematical calculations, Gutstein asks: ''How does all this make you feel?'' He triumphantly reports that 19 of 21 students described wealth distribution in America as ''bad,'' ''unfair,'' or ''shocking,'' and he proudly quotes the comments of a child named Rosa: ''Well I see that all the wealth in the United States is mostly the wealth of a couple people not the whole nation.''
Gutstein's book will likely sell very well, not because all math teachers will thrill to his Freirian dialectics or Chomskyite denunciations of American foreign policy, but because they may find his lesson plans and classroom projects useful. After all, they are under intense pressure from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to move away from the traditional emphasis on computational skills like multiplication tables and algorithms'--a teaching method that university mathematicians still favor but that many K''12 math teachers dismiss as ''drill and kill.'' Teachers (particularly liberal and left-leaning teachers) who instead use a ''constructivist'' or ''discovery-based'' pedagogy, sometimes called ''fuzzy math,'' in which students learn mathematical concepts by trying to solve real-life problems, will see Gutstein's social justice lessons on how military budgets for the war in Iraq deny poor Americans their fair share of resources as an advance beyond problems about baseball statistics, shopping, or building.
Even more important, Gutstein's book comes with the imprimatur of two of the nation's most influential ed profs, Gloria Ladson-Billings of the University of Wisconsin and William F. Tate of Washington University in St. Louis'--the outgoing and incoming presidents of the American Education Research Association. The 25,000-member AERA is the umbrella organization of the ed-school professoriate, and over the past two decades it has moved steadily left, becoming more multicultural, postmodernist, feminist, and enamored of critical race theory and queer theory.
And now the organization has just hired its first national Director of Social Justice. In fact, Ladson-Billings and Tate have coedited their own volume of essays on educational research and social justice, wherein they argue for a critical race theory approach, based on the idea that institutionalized ''white supremacy'' remains pervasive in American public education. Left unexplained is how these two particular critical race theorists, both black, could have been elected by their overwhelmingly white peers to preside over the education establishment's premier organization.
O ne by one, the education schools are lining up behind social justice teaching and enforcing it on their students'--especially since they expect aspiring teachers to possess the approved liberal ''dispositions,'' or individual character traits, that will qualify them to teach in the public schools. The National Council on the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the main accreditor of education schools, now monitors how well the schools comply with their own social justice requirements.
With the caveat that not all education schools have yet joined the trend, here is a sampler, going from east to west.
Brooklyn College of the City University of New York recently declared: ''Because democracy requires a substantive concern for equity, the faculty of the School of Education is committed, in theory and practice, to social justice. . . . We believe that an education centered on social justice prepares the highest quality of future teachers. . . . Our teacher candidates and other school personnel are prepared to demonstrate a knowledge of, language for, and the ability to create educational environments based on various theories of social justice.''
The teacher education program at Marquette University in Milwaukee proclaims that it ''has a commitment to social justice in schools and society'' and to using education ''to transcend the negative effects of the dominant culture.'' It requires that all education degree candidates demonstrate a ''desire to work for social justice, particularly in an urban environment.'' Similarly, the University of Kansas ed school declares that ''addressing issues of diversity includes being more global than national and concerned with ideals such as world peace, social justice, respect for diversity and preservation of the environment.''
On the West Coast, the highly regarded Claremont Graduate University not only requires teacher candidates to commit to social justice teaching but screens applicants to make sure they have that essential ''disposition.'' According to a recent university publication, ''CGU's recruitment efforts focus upon individuals who have an understanding of societal inequities. . . . By reflecting the cultures and languages of the student populations in area K''12 schools and by caring about issues of social justice, CGU's teachers are role models to their students in a variety of ways.''
At Humboldt State University in northern California, the social studies methods class required for prospective high school history and social studies teachers best demonstrates the school's commitment to social justice teaching. The professor, Gayle Olson-Raymer, states the course's purpose right up front in her syllabus: ''It is not an option for history teachers to teach social justice and social responsibility; it is a mandate. History teachers do their best work when they use their knowledge, their commitment, and their courage to help the students grapple with the important issues of social responsibility and when they encourage them to direct their lives towards creating a just society.''
H ow does your average, traditional-minded future teacher cope in an education class taught from a social justice or critical race theory perspective? Such students are well-advised to bite their tongues or risk career-threatening penalties. For all their talk about teaching for ''freedom and democracy,'' the professors often run their own classes like leftist political indoctrination sessions.
Brooklyn College and Washington State University, according to recent published reports, have denied students the right to become teachers after they ran afoul of their ed schools' social justice dispositions requirements. Then there's the notorious case of Steve Head, a 50-year-old Silicon Valley software engineer who decided to make a career switch a few years ago and obtain a high school math teaching credential. In a rational world, Head would be the poster boy for the federal government's new initiatives to recruit more math and science teachers for our high schools. Instead, his story sends the message that education professors would rather continue molding future teachers' attitudes on race and social justice issues than help the U.S. close the math and science achievement gap with other industrialized nations.
Head was smoothly completing all his math-related course work at taxpayer-supported San Jose State University. Then in the fall of 2003, he enrolled in the required ''Social, Philosophical, and Multicultural Foundations of Education,'' taught by Helen Kress, whose main scholarly interest appears to be ''critical whiteness studies,'' a noxious branch of critical race theory that posits that white racial identity is a socially constructed characteristic and must be confronted and purged to overcome America's institutionalized system of white supremacy. The foundations course functions as a sort of military checkpoint to guarantee that every student who passes through toward a teaching credential has properly imbibed the pedagogies of multiculturalism, critical race theory, feminism, and, of course, social justice teaching.
T he easy way out would have been for Head to spew back the expected answers on racial and gender oppression and move on, as most traditional-minded education students do. But something about Steve Head'--a Christian and a libertarian'--made him gag at the big lies and logical absurdities about American race relations and immigration issues that he was being asked to regurgitate. So he turned the tables and deconstructed the hegemony of anti-Americanism in the classroom.
In a sworn legal document, Head recounted that when his professor showed the class a videotape purporting to reveal institutional racism against immigrants, he responded by suggesting that most immigrants actually came here because they realized they would be better off, including benefiting from healthier race relations. Professor Kress responded that anyone holding such opinions was clearly ''unfit to teach.'' Head further infuriated the professor by suggesting that the class be allowed to read black social scientists like Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams to provide some intellectual balance on the issues of race and education.
After turning down Kress's offer to reeducate him on these issues personally, Head received an F for the class, even though a grade below B for a student who has completed all assignments is almost as rare in ed schools as serious intellectual debate. The school wouldn't let Head enroll in the student teaching class, and so, for the time being, it has blocked him from getting his teaching certificate. After exhausting his appeals to the university, he filed suit earlier this year, charging that the school was applying a political litmus test to become a teacher and had violated his First Amendment rights.
''I could have lied about my beliefs in class, but what is the point of that in America?'' Head told me. ''We are not free unless we choose to exercise our freedoms without fear of reprisals. I choose freedom, and I choose to defend my beliefs against state indoctrination.''
Though no one has as yet surveyed how far social justice teaching has pervaded America's 1,500 ed schools, education researchers David Steiner (now Hunter College ed-school dean) and Susan Rozen did a study two years ago on the syllabi of the basic ''foundations of education'' and ''methods'' courses in 16 of the nation's most prestigious ed schools. The mainstays of the foundations courses were works by Paolo Freire, Henry Giroux (a leading critical pedagogy theorist), and the radical education writer Jonathan Kozol (''America's Most Influential'--and Wrongest'--School Reformer,'' Winter 2000). For the methods courses, Bill Ayers's To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher tops the bestseller list. Neither list included advocates of a knowledge-based and politically neutral curriculum, such as E. D. Hirsch Jr. or Diane Ravitch.
A n ed-school system that bars math teachers like Steve Head, who want to teach without bringing politics into the classroom, while celebrating Eric Gutstein's Marxist indoctrination of future math teachers, is fundamentally corrupt. And this travesty is now reaching beyond the ed schools to local school boards and district superintendents, who are setting up entire schools dedicated to social justice. Not only do these schools infuse social justice throughout the curriculum, but they also often require students to engage in ''community activism'' outside of school hours.
New York City teems with many more of these schools than any other district in the country. A handful have been around for years, including El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice, with its wacky hip-hop curriculum (''An F for Hip-Hop 101,'' Summer 1998). But Mayor Michael Bloomberg and schools chancellor Joel Klein's project to break up many of the system's dysfunctional large high schools and replace them with new small schools has spawned many more. The Department of Education's website lists at least 15 of the new small high schools that either are explicitly named as social justice schools or whose mission statements declare that their curricula center on social justice concerns. Curiously, while left-wing community organizations, including ultraradical Acorn, helped create some of these schools, some have also received funding from ¼ber-capitalist Bill Gates's charitable foundation. Lenin quipped that ''a capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him with.'' Now it seems he just gives it to you.
Chancellor Klein sees no problem with social justice schools. ''Giving schools 'leadership' or 'social justice' themes is fine with me, as long as the teachers and principals do not bring politics and ideologies into our classrooms,'' he told me'--though of course that's just what ed schools instruct social justice teachers to do. ''Themes don't drive school programs; state standards do. Our small secondary schools are academically rigorous. We cannot afford to vilify schools that help us accomplish our top goal as a school system: boosting our students' achievement and academic success.''
O f course, the social justice schools have hardly been ''vilified,'' or even scrutinized. They're worth a close look. With Chancellor Klein's approval, for example, H(C)ctor Calder"n recently became the new principal of El Puente Academy. Calder"n immediately told an interviewer from the leftist education publication Rethinking Schools that he is a dedicated follower of'--you guessed it'--arch-anticapitalist Paolo Freire. His school, he says, now fully incorporates ''the Freirian idea of education for liberation'' through a comprehensive social justice curriculum that embraces all academic subjects, including math and science. Calder"n declined to invite me to visit to see how his school teaches those subjects.
Another Freirian, Nancy Gannon, was recently recruited from the Leadership Academy, the city's training program for new principals, to start up the School for Democracy and Leadership, a Gates-funded school in Brooklyn's Crown Heights section. In announcing the school's opening in September 2004, Gannon declared that it ''fulfills a long held belief that empowerment is the foundation of democracy. . . . In the words of Paolo Freire, an internationally acclaimed author and educational thought-leader, our goal is to create a 'pedagogy of hope.' ''
Gannon, a Williams graduate in her late thirties, told me that she had seen the relevance of Freire's theories of a ''liberating education'' during her Peace Corps experience teaching in a poor village in northern Thailand and then later in a Baltimore school for former dropouts. All the members of Gannon's school-planning committee'--parents, some prospective teachers, and community activists'--read Freire's books on pedagogy during their deliberations about the school's mission and then decided to infuse the school with social justice projects. ''We are incredibly steeped in activism,'' she says. ''We encourage the students to pick something in the world or the community they want to change and then act on it together.'' She gave prospective teachers the same message. ''Stop sitting on the sidelines feeling nauseous about the state of our world,'' she urged in a recruiting e-mail. ''Jump in. Make a difference. . . . We're political, we're smart, we believe in the voice of youth and the power of activism and the need for us all to be the change we want to see in the world.''
Accordingly, students in the school's Education Activism group have put out a brochure saying that they are ''committed to fighting against the injustice and inequality within our education system.'' They therefore support the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit against the state to secure more funding for New York City schools, and they call for ''mandatory African-American history classes in all New York City public schools.'' And ninth-grade science teacher Jhumki Basu, inspired by Freire and by the teaching science for social justice approach of Teachers College's Calabrese Barton, told me that, as one way of making her students attentive to political and social justice issues around the world, she devised a three-week project in her physics class on the international controversy over Iran's nuclear program.
A nother Gates-funded social justice high school, the Leadership Institute on Webster Avenue in the Bronx, illustrates some of the perils inherent in turning over schools to community groups with a political agenda. Three years in the making, the school is the brainchild of the radical Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition and its youth branch, Sistas and Brothas United. Almost inevitably, the school's mission statement is thoroughly Freirian in its pedagogy, assuming that teachers can enhance the academic achievement of disadvantaged children by giving them a voice through ''leadership, community action and social justice.'' The school opened last September with 100 poor minority students and great hopes. When I visited recently, though, it was already clear that the idea of democratic empowerment for the students was subverting any hope for a rigorous education.
Principal Ron Gonzalez told me that the students learned at their first weekly Town Hall meeting this year that they could pick some policy or institution in the community that they believed should be changed and then work together on a ''social action'' project to bring about the change. Using the school's democratic decision-making process, the students decided that the most oppressive thing they could think of was the school's dress code (students initially had to wear brown or black slacks and a shirt with a collar) and other classroom regulations, and they quickly achieved the goal of changing the code. The school, having established that student democracy and engagement was its prime mission, was instantly hoist with its own petard.
The street culture of the students' tough Bronx neighborhoods seemed to pervade almost every class I visited. Kids wore ghetto garb, chewed gum, ate potato chips and drank soda pop, talked whenever they wanted to. Girls and boys sometimes snuggled up to each other. Students addressed one teacher as ''hey mistah.'' The sense of order and decorum necessary for any serious academic effort had unraveled, and teachers and administrators seemed powerless to repair it. But students did engage in one other major social action this year, thus partially fulfilling the school's mission. They were bused up to Albany to participate in a day of lobbying organized by the teachers' union to persuade the legislature to appropriate the additional billions in school funds ordered by the courts in the CFE school finance case.
T hese schools are a perversion of an already misguided idea. Paolo Freire developed his liberation pedagogy out of his experiences teaching illiterate peasants in northeastern Brazil, whom he saw, understandably, as victims of an oppressive, semifeudal society. The traditional ''banking'' approach to education, as he called it, in which the teacher ''deposits'' socially approved knowledge into the minds of the oppressed but passive students, is the mechanism that ''reproduces'' that oppression. In response, Freire proposed instead a liberatory pedagogy, in which the poor students become democratic participants with their teachers as they learn a critical literacy that enables them to analyze the causes of their own oppression.
Whatever might be said about this theory in the context of rural Brazil in the 1950s, it is educational malpractice to apply it to the problem of educating minority children in New York City schools in the twenty-first century. Throughout most of the twentieth century, the bad and oppressive ''banking'' approach that the city's public schools used somehow managed to lift millions of children out of poverty'--something the social justice schools of today seem unlikely to do.
It cannot be repeated often enough: ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have bad consequences. The Freirian theories that carry over to social justice teaching are incapable of ''liberating'' the children of America's so-called oppressed. As E. D. Hirsch has exhaustively shown, the scientific evidence about which classroom methods produce the best results for poor children point conclusively to the very methods that the critical pedagogy and social justice theorists denounce as oppressive and racist. By contrast, not one shred of hard evidence suggests that the pedagogy behind teaching for social justice works to lift the academic achievement of poor and minority students.
Social justice teaching is a frivolous waste of precious school hours, grievously harmful to poor children, who start out with a disadvantage. School is the only place where they are likely to obtain the academic knowledge that could make up for the educational deprivation they suffer in their homes. The last thing they need is a wild-eyed experiment in education through social action.
S o why do education professors who claim to care for the poor continue to agitate for instruction that holds back poor children? Either the professors are stupid (possible), or (more likely) they care more about their own anti-American, anticapitalist agendas than they do about the actual education of children. The literature of social justice education is obsessed with the allegedly ''dark'' side of American political, social, and economic life. Thus in a book about teaching for social justice, Arizona State University ed prof Carole Edelsky whines that she ''thinks a lot about dark times'--the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, the period of the Third Reich, the McCarthy years. Times when certain knowledge was banned and certain knowers were banished, persecuted, incarcerated, even killed.'' In one essay alone Maxine Greene writes that ''We live after all in dark times,'' that this is a ''peculiar and menacing time,'' and that ''These are dark and shadowed times.'' A collection of essays edited by Bill Ayers and dedicated to Greene is called A Light in Dark Times: Maxine Greene and the Unfinished Conversation. In their ideologically induced paranoia about America, the radical education theorists, like most ideologues, cannot see what is right in front of their eyes'--that America and democratic capitalism are actually doing very well, thank you, but that the children of the minority poor are getting a lousy education because of the education establishment, and that teaching for social justice provides no solutions.
Unfortunately, there is little chance that the hegemony of social justice teaching in the education schools can be challenged from within that hopelessly closed thought world. That being the case, elected officials will have to address the issue. After all, state legislatures are constitutionally empowered to regulate and oversee almost every aspect of K''12 education, including curriculum and the professional standards for teachers. At the very least, legislatures should be holding hearings to determine the extent to which the radical ideology of the education professors is leading to political indoctrination in public school classrooms and undermining the rights of all children to a solid academic and politics-free education.
They then ought to do something the critical pedagogy theorists accuse them of doing anyhow'--reestablishing the hegemony of our open democratic society in the classroom. Bill Ayers has the academic freedom to say and write anything he wants about America and its schools. But academic freedom protects neither him nor the teachers he trains when they bring their leftist version of social justice into the schools. Legislators should ask their state education boards to write a new set of guidelines that discourage teaching for social justice and social justice schools and that forbid teachers from indoctrinating students with their own politics, whether left or right. This ought to be the teacher's Hippocratic Oath: to do no harm.
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China is Assho
China seeds
Greetings, Sir Loin here.
The wife and I have noticed a very strange occurrence. My wife likes to get flower seeds of the net. They all seem to come from China. Recently the people in the gardening forums we are in have been receiving small packets from China. None of the people have ordered anything. They just show up. They are marked earrings but have some kind of seeds in them. We have not received any yet but being that we are kinda at war with China I’m a tad concerned as to this offering of free seeds marked as jewelry. I wonder if any of the producers have seen this.
Anthony Fauci" anagrams to "Fay Unto China" (Fay means to fit into or join tightly)]
Nick Donnelly on Twitter: "Hong Kong police loading protesters onto a train to mainland China Innocent people being loaded onto train trucks and shipped to the world's worst fascist state with concentration camps -- China. Again the world is silent, inclu
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 14:16
Nick Donnelly : Hong Kong police loading protesters onto a train to mainland ChinaInnocent people being loaded onto train trucks'...
Sat Jul 18 17:38:34 +0000 2020
Joy Vostatek : @ProtecttheFaith @fatherz @Pontifex Very very sad. They are all young people. This is not justice. Their rights wer'...
Sun Jul 19 22:12:40 +0000 2020
Theo West : @ProtecttheFaith @fatherz @Pontifex And there are people here in the US ignorant enough to want communism in this c'...
Sun Jul 19 18:43:08 +0000 2020
University punishes student for Instagram image memorializing Tiananmen
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:38
Fordham University has punished a senior student for posting on Instagram an image memorializing the Tiananmen Square massacre in China.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, responded with a letter to the university defending the student, Austin Tong. Fordham put Tong on probation, banning him from campus and requiring him to undergo indoctrination.
He had posted on Instagram an image of himself, off campus, holding a legally obtained gun. He added the caption, "Don't tread on me."
Tong, who emigrated from China as a child, posted the image on the 31st anniversary of the massacre of pro-democracy activists. He included an American flag emoji, a China flag emoji and a hashtag commonly used by Chinese citizens to avoid censorship of online discussions of the massacre, FIRE said.
TRENDING: Sen. Chuck Schumer proposes $350 billion in COVID aid only for minority communities
"When Tong immigrated to the United States from China at six years old, his family sought to ensure that he would be protected by the rights guaranteed by their new home, including the freedom of speech and the right to bear arms," wrote Program Officer Lindsie Rank, author of FIRE's letter to Fordham.
"Here, however, Fordham has acted more like the Chinese government than an American university, placing severe sanctions on a student solely because of off-campus political speech."
FIRE protested to Fordham for placing Tong on probation for the image and a previous one, a photo of David Dorn, the retired St. Louis police captain killed by looters in the unrest following the killing of George Floyd.
The image included the caption, "Y'all a bunch of hypocrites." Tong, as a supporter of Black Lives Matter, was expressing frustration with what he described as "the nonchalant societal reaction over [Dorn's] death."
The university put him under investigation. Dean of students Keith Eldredge eventually informed Tong he was guilty of violating university policies on "bias and/or hate crimes" and "threats/intimidation."
Tong's probation bans him from visiting campus without prior approval, taking leadership roles in student organizations and participating in athletics. He is also required to complete implicit bias training and write an apology letter.
"While what happened to me is a total disgrace, I hope to use my example as an opportunity for the millions of people out there that fear to freely speak, and to protest the serious case of speech censorship in college campuses," said Tong.
"As the country is facing a disastrous constitutional crisis, it is no time to stay silent, and we have been silent for way too long. It only takes the courage of the few to spark the patriotism of many. We will use this opportunity to let the world know that now is the time that we must speak loudly, fight for our rights, and let those who silence speech know they will face consequences."
FIRE explained that as a private institution, Fordham is not bound by the First Amendment. But it is bound by the explicit, repeated and unequivocal promises of freedom of expression it makes to its students, including in its own mission statement: "Fordham strives for excellence in research and teaching and guarantees the freedom of inquiry required by rigorous thinking and the quest for truth."
FIRE already has given its worst rating to Fordham on FIRE's list of "Worst Colleges for Free Speech."
FIRE noted a state court ruled last year that Fordham violated its promises of freedom expression in censoring a pro-Palestinian student organization. Fordham has appealed the decision.
Dr Dazack Wuhan memorandum
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 16:02
US orders closure of Chinese consulate in Houston - CNNPolitics
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 12:31
Hong Kong(CNN) The United States government has abruptly ordered China to "cease all operations and events" at its consulate in Houston, Texas, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, in what it called an "unprecedented escalation" in recent actions taken by Washington.
US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the consulate was directed to close "in order to protect American intellectual property and Americans' private information" but did not immediately provide additional details of what prompted the closure.
Relations between China and the United States have plummeted in the past year, amid an ongoing trade war, the coronavirus pandemic, and US criticism of China's human rights abuses in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
A spokesperson for the State Department said in a separate statement that China "has engaged for years in massive illegal spying and influence operations" and that those "activities have increased markedly in scale and scope over the past few years."
Late Tuesday evening, police in Houston said they responded to reports of smoke in the courtyard outside the consulate, located on Montrose Boulevard, in the city's Midtown area. Local media shared video of what appeared to be officials inside the compound burning documents.
In a statement posted on its official social media, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the order to close the consulate was a "political provocation unilaterally launched by the US side, which seriously violates international law, basic norms governing international relations and the bilateral consular agreement between China and the US."
"China strongly condemns such an outrageous and unjustified move which will sabotage China-US relations," it said. "We urge the US to immediately withdraw its erroneous decision, otherwise China will make legitimate and necessary reactions."
The statement goes on to say the US has been "shifting the blame to China with stigmatization and unwarranted attacks against China's social system, harassing Chinese diplomatic and consular staff in the US, intimidating and interrogating Chinese students and confiscating their personal electrical devices, even detaining them without cause."
It added "China is committed to the principle of non-interference. Infiltration and interference is never in the genes and tradition of China's foreign policy."
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is currently in Europe, where he has been rallying leaders on the continent to take a harder line with Beijing, and meeting with exiled dissidents.
"The United States will not tolerate the PRC's (People Republic of China) violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC's unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior. President Trump insists on fairness and reciprocity in US-China relations," Ortagus said in the statement.
On Twitter, Hu Xijin, editor of the state-backed tabloid Global Times with strong ties to China's Communist Party, said that Beijing had been given 72 hours to close the consulate. "This is a crazy move," he added.
According to a statement on its website, the Houston consulate covers eight southern US states, including Texas and Florida, as well as Puerto Rico. It was the "was the first (consulate) to be established" in 1979 after the US and China established diplomatic relations, though a liaison office was already operating in Washington, DC, at that time.
On Tuesday, US prosecutors charged two alleged Chinese hackers over a "sweeping global computer intrusion campaign" that they say was supported by the country's government and aimed at coronavirus treatment and vaccine research. The indictment also marks the first time that the US has accused the hackers of working on behalf of the Chinese government.
perhaps Trump said kungflu to see who responded
Snap Chat dog sex
Gotta good one for yah... A friend of mine comes over, we're smoking..
having a few beers. He goes "Hey, you see all these girls on snap chat are
fucking their dogs now?"
Im like wtf!! Then we start talking about how it must be because of the
pandemic lock downs and girls not being able to go out to clubs and get
Then he shows me... It took him like 5 seconds of scrolling to find one.
This shit is happening A LOT!
Geo fence warrant
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 16:08
Case1 :18-mj-00 169-ML*SEALED*Document5(Courto nly)Filed0 3/14/18Page4o f20I NTHEUNITEDSTATESD ISTRICTC OURT2018MAR1 4PH\ :33FORT HEWESTERND ISTRICTOFT EXAS.UTAUSTINDIVISIONW estin.onoyc rTLAA SINT HEM ATT EROFT HES EARCHOFINFORMATIONR EGARDINGA CC OUNTSASS OCIATEDW ITHCERTAINL OCATIONA NDD ATECaseN o.Xn/ bGI NFORMATION,M AINTAINEDONFiledU nderSealCOMPUTERSERVERSCONTROLL EDB YGOO GLE,I NC.AFF IDAVIT1,S cottKibb eyb eingfirstd ulysworn,herebyd eposeands tatea sf oll ows:INTRODUCTIONA NDAGENTBACKGROUND1 .Imakethisa ff idavitins upp ortofa na pp licationforasearchw arr antfori nformationthati sm aintainedoncomputers erverscontroll edb yG oo gle,Inc.( ''Goo gle''),anemailp roviderheadquarteredat1600A mphitheatreParkway,M ountainView,California9 4043.Theinformationt ob esearchedisd escribedinthef oll owingparagraphsandi nAtt achmentAt othep roposedwarr ant,w hichconsistso fGoo glel ocationdataa ss ociatedwithaparticulars pecifiedlocationatap articulart ime,ass pecifiedinAtt achmentA .Thisaff idaviti sm adeins upp ortofanapp licationf oras earchw arr antunder1 8U.S.C.'2 703(c)(1)(A)t orequireG oo gle
Case1:18-mj-00 169-ML*SEALED*D ocument5(Courtonly)Filed0 3/14/18Page5o f20t odiscloset otheg overnmentcopieso ft heinformationf urtherdescribedi nA tt achmentB.!3 .Ihaveb ee nemployeda saSpecialAgent(SA)oft heFederalBureauo fInvestigation( FBI)s inceN ovembersince2 011 .Iamc urr entlydesignateda saCybera gentass ignedt ot heAustinResidentA gencyo ftheS anAntonioF ieldOff ice.Ih aver eceivedformala ndont hej obtrainingi nc ybercrimei nvestigationt echniques,computere videnceidentification,a ndc omputerevidences eizurea ndprocess ing.A saF ederalAgent,Ia mauthorizedtoinvestigatev iolationsofl awsoftheU nitedStatesa ndtoe xecutewarr antsiss uedundert hea uthorityo ftheUnitedStates.Ih aveparticipatedi ntheexecutiono fn umeroussearchw arr antsford ocumentsa ndothere vidence,i ncludingcomputersa ndelectronicm edia,inc asesinvolvingcrimestheF BIi sauthorizedtoi nvestigate.Iama''federall awenforcementoff icer''withint hemeaningofR ule41(a)(2)(C)oft heFederalR ulesofCriminalProcedure.Iamengagedi ne nforcingfederalc riminallawsa nda mauthorizedb ytheA tt orneyGeneralt orequestasearchwarr ant,a mongotherthings.4 ,Ihaveparticipatedi nt heinvestigationo ftheo ff ense(s)l istedherein.T hisaff idavitisb asedonmyp ersonalknowledgea swella sreportsm adebyo therl awenforcementoff icers,i ncludingF BIS pecialAgents(SAs),A ustinPoliceD epartment( APD), Bureauof1T heGovernmentm aintainsthatt heinformationsoughth ereinconsistse ntirelyof''record[s]''o therthanthe'' contentsofcomm unications,''s ubjecttoa norderu nder1 8U.S.C.§2 703(d),r equiringo nlyashowingthatt herearereasonablegroundst obelievet hatt hei nformationsoughti sr elevantandm aterialtoa no ngoingcriminalinvestigation.S ee1 8U.S.C.§2703(c)(1)(A).G oo glehasindicatedthati tb elievesas earchwarr anti srequiredtoo btainthel ocationdatas oughti nthisapp lication.A lthought heGovernmentd isagree swithGoo gle'sposition,b ecausetherei sprobablec ausetobelievet hatt heinformations oughthereinwillc ontaine videnceoft hefederalcriminaloff ensesspecifiedinthisAff idavit,theGovernmentissee kingasearchwarr anti n thisi nstanceinordertos pee dcoll ectionofthedatad uet oitst imesensitivenature.2
Case1:18-mj-00 169-ML* SEALED*Document5(Courto nly)Filed0 3/14/18Page6o f20Alcohol,Tobacc o,Firearms,andExplosives(ATF),theU.S.PostalInspectionService(USPIS),a ndo therlawenforcement.B ecausethisa ff idaviti sbeings ubmitt edfort helimitedp urposeo festablishingprobablec auseforthei ss uanceo fasearchw arr ant,andi td oesn otc ontaineveryfactk nownt omeo ro theragentsoftheF ederalBureauofI nvestigation.Add itionall y,theincidentsdescribedh ereinocc urr ed ashorttimea go;theinvestigationi songoingandi nitsp reliminarystages.5 .T heA PD,ATF,FBI,USPIS,a ndothera genciesare investigatingaseriesofbombingsthatocc urr edinAustin,Texas,whichiswithintheWesternDistrictofTexas,inMarch2 018.P reliminaryanalysisofthebombingsr evealedthatthee xplosived eviceutilizedi na llthreeincidentswasapipeb ombc oncealedinsideofac ardboardb ox.Thosed evicesareeachl egall yclass ifieda saDestructiveDeviceasdefinedb yT itle2 6U nitedS tatesC ode§5845.T itle2 6UnitedStatesC ode§5 861makesitu nlawfulforanyp ersontoposs essaf irearm(''firearm''isd efineda sincludingaDestructiveDevice)t hatisrequiredtober egisteredwiththeN ationalF irearmsRegistrationa ndT ransferRecordandi sn otsoregistered.T itle26UnitedS tatesCode§5 861a lsomakesitunlawfult ot ransferafirearm( includingaDestructiveDevice)t oapersontow homthef irearmi snotr egistered.6.B asedont hefactss etf orthint hisa ff idavit,t hereisp robablec ausetob elievethatt heGoo glea cc ountsidentifiedinA tt achmentA,a ss ociatedwith aparticularspecifiedlocationa tap articularspecifiedtime,c ontainevidence,fruitsandinstrumentalitieso fav iolationofTitle26U nitedS tatesCode§5861( prohibitedposs ess ion/transfero fd estructived evicedefinedb yTitle2 6U nitedStatesCode§5 845),amongo thers tatutes(the'' SubjectO ff enses'').Thisa ff idavitis
Case1:18-mj-00 169-ML* SEALED*Document5(Courto nly)Filed0 3/14/18Page7o f20baseduponmyp ersonalknowledge,myreviewo fdocumentsa ndotherevidence,andm yconversationsw ithotherl awenforcementoff icers,a swella smytraininga nde xperience.J URISDICTION3.T hisC ourthasj urisdictiont oiss uether equestedwarr antb ecauseitis''acourto fcompetentj urisdiction''a sdefinedby1 8U.S.C.§2711a nd1 8U .S.C.§§2703(a),( b)(1)(A),&(c)(1)(A).S pecificall y,t heC ourtis'' adistrictcourto ftheUnitedS tates. ..thath asjurisdictiono vertheo ff ensebeinginvestigated.''1 8U .S.C.§2 711 (3)(A)(@).BACKGROUNDR ELATINGT OGOO GLE,G OO GLEL OCATIONSSERVICESANDRELEVANTT ECHNOLOGY4.Ac ell ulartelephoneo rmobiletelephonei sah andheldwirelessd evicep rimarilyusedforv oice,text,andd atacomm unicationthroughr adiosignals.Cell ulart elephonessendsignalsthroughnetworksoftransmitt er/receiverscall ed''cell s,''enablingcomm unicationwitho thercell ulart elephonesort raditional''landline''telephones.C ell ulart elephonesrelyo nc ell ulartowers,t helocationo fwhichmayp rovidei nformationont helocationo ft hes ubjecttelephone.Cell ulart elephonesmaya lsoincludeg lobalpositionings ystem( ''GPS'')technologyfordeterminingt helocationo fthedevice.5 .Goo glei sac ompanywhich,a mongo thert hings,provideselectroniccomm unicationservicestos ubscribers,i ncludingemailservices.Goo gleall owss ubscriberst oobtaine mailacc ountsatt hed omainnamegmail.coma nd/orgoo btainana cc ountbyregisteringw ithGoo gle.Asubscriberusingt heProvider'sservicesc ana cc esshiso rh eremailacc ountf roma nycomputerconn ectedt ot heInternet.6.G oo gleh asdevelopeda noperatings ystemformobiled evices,includingcell ular4
ns$$ }Case1 :18-mj-00 169-ML* SEALED*Document5(Courto nly)Filed03/14/18Page8o f20phones,k nownasAndroid,thathasap roprietaryoperatingsystem.N earlyeveryc ell ularphoneu singtheA ndroido peratingsystemhasa nass ociatedG oo gleacc ount,andu sersarep romptedtoa ddaG oo gleacc ountw hent heyfirstturnonanewA ndroidd evice.7.B asedo nmyt raininga nde xperience,IhavelearnedthatG oo glec oll ectsandretainslocationd ataf romA ndroid-enabledm obiledevicesw henaGoo glea cc ountuserh ase nabledGoo glelocationservices.Goo glec ana lsoc oll ectlocationd atafromnon-Androidd evicesifthedeviceisr egisteredt oaGoo gleacc ountandt heu serhaslocationservicese nabled.T hecompanyu sesthisi nformationf orlocation-baseda dvertisingandl ocation-baseds earchresults.ThislocationinformationisderivedfromGPSdata,cellsite/celltowerinformation,andW i-Fiacc essp oints.8.L ocationdatac anass istinvestigatorsinu nderstandingafull erg eographicp ictureandt imelineb yi dentifyingt hecell ulartelephonesint heareaduringt heoff ensesd escribedbelow.T his,inturn,w illall owlawe nforcementtoi dentifypotentialwitness es,a sw ellasposs iblyinculpatingo rexculpatingacc ounto wners.Add itionall y,locationinformationd igitall yintegratedi ntoimage,video,o rothercomputerf ilessentv iaemailc anfurtheri ndicatethegeographicl ocationofthea cc ountsusera tap articulartime(e.g.,d igitalc ameras,includingonc ell ulartelephones,frequentlys toreGPScoo rdinatesi ndicatingwhereap hotowast akeni nt hemetadatao fi magefile).F ACTS9.OnMarch2,2018atapp roximately6:55am,at111 2HaverfordDrive,Austin,T exas78753int heWesternD istrictofTexas,a ne xplosionocc urr edo nthef rontporchofthe
Case1:18-mj-00 169-ML*SEALED*D ocument5(Courto nly)Filed03/14/18Page9o f20singles torybrickr esidence,resultingi nthed eathofA nthonyS.H ouse.10.OnMarch12,2018atapp roximately6:44amat4806OldfortHillDrive,Austin,T exas78723intheW esternD istrictofTexas,a nexplosiono cc urr edinsidet her esidence,r esultinginthed eatho fa1 7-yearoldv ictima ndi njuriestoa nadd itionalvictim.11 .OnMarch12,2018atapp roximately11 :50amat6706GalindoStree t,Austin,T exas78741int heWesternD istrictofT exas,anexplosiono cc urr edoutsideofther esidence,sendingo nepersont othehospitalwithi njuries.Basedonc omm unicationsfromthev ictim,thep ackagecontainingt heexplosived evicemayh aveh adthea dd ress''6705Galindo''w ritt enoni t.1 2.Lawe nforcementhasa ss ess edthatt heexplosived evicess haredcomm onalities,s ucha sthedeliverymethod,c ontentsoft hee xplosivedevice,andt hemann ero fd etonation.Lawe nforcementbelievesallthreee xplosionsarelinked.1 3.T heGovernmenthasn otfounda nyi nformationo far egisteredDestructiveDevicef ora nyofthevictimso fthesebombingso rresidenceo fthehomes,makingt hep oss ess ionortransfertot hemunlawful.1 4.TheG overnmentisrequestingint hiswarr antt heGoo glei nformationfor allGoo gleacc ountsi nthen earvicinityo ftheexplosionsd uringthet imeperiodIb elievethee xplosived eviceswerep laceda ttheb ombingl ocations.Byidentifyingtheu serso ftheGoo glea cc ountso rIPadd ress esoft hedevicesi nthea readuringt hesep rescribedt imesa ndcross -referencingt hatdatawitho theri nvestigatorystepss ucha sc ell ulartelephonec all ingr ecords,asuspect(s)o rwitness (es)mayb eidentified.Therelevant locationp arametersandt imeperiodsa rea sfoll ows:Date/Time:F rom7:00p.m.onMarch1,2 018until7:00a.m.onMarch2,2 018
Case1:18-mj-00 169-ML*SEALED*D ocument5(Courto nly)Filed03/14/18P age1 0o f20Geographicalb oxw iththef oll owing4(four)l atitudeandl ongitudecoo rdinateso f111 2HaverfordD rive,Austin,Texas7 8753:1)3 0.4055 11,-97.6509882 )30.407107,- 97.64944 53)30.4055 90,- 97.6463224)30.404329,-97.647983Date/Time:From7:00p.m.onMarch11 ,2018until7:00a.m.onMarch12,2018G eographicalb oxw iththef oll owing4( four)latitudeandlongitudec oo rdinatesof4806OldfortH illD rive,Austin,T exas7 8723:1)3 0.286282,- 97.6765732)3 0.291056,- 97.6736803 )30.290193,- 97.6717004)30.286524,-97.673961D ate/Time:F rom7 :00p.m.onM arch11 ,2018until1 2:00p .m.onMarch1 2,2 018G eographicalboxwiththef oll owing4(four)l atitudeandlongitudec oo rdinateso f6706GalindoS tree t,Austin,Texas7 8741:1 )3 0.22 7865,- 97.6983442)3 0.22 7730,- 97.6947773)3 0.22 9598,-97.692699
Case1:18-mj-00 169-ML* SEALED*Document5( Courtonly)Filed0 3/14/18Page11o f204)30.22 9598,- 97.697054EVIDENCE,F RUITSANDI NSTRUMENTALITIES15.Basedo nthef oregoing,Irespectfull ysubmitthatt hereisprobablec ausetob elievethati nformationstoredo ntheProviders'serversa ss ociatedw itht heG oo glea cc ountsa cc ess edatt hep articularspecifiedl ocationsatathep articularspecifiedtimes,asd etailedinA tt achmentAoft heproposedwarr ant,willcontainevidence,fruitsandinstrumentalitiesoftheSubjectOff enses.16.Inp articular,theg eographicalregionsb oundedbythelatitudinala ndl ongitudinalcoo rdinatesi ndicatedinA tt achmentAtot heproposedw arr antreflectst hes urr oundingregionofe achvictim'sadd ress('TargetA reas').Thes pecificl ongitudeandl atitudeindicatedinA tt achmentAw asidentifiedthroughamapp ingsoftware,whichmatchedthelongitudeandlatitudeindicatedinAtt achmentAa scorr espondingtoe achvictima dd ress .ThisAff idavits ee ksauthorityt ocoll ectc ertainl ocationinformationr elatedtoGoo glea cc ountst hatwerel ocatedwithint heTargetAreasd uringt heT argetTimePeriod( the''SubjectA cc ounts'').17.T heinformations oughtfromGoo gler egardingtheS ubjectAcc ounts,specifiedinA tt achmentBtot hep roposedwarr ant,will identifyw hichc ell ulardevicesweren earthelocationw herethebombingstoo kplaceandmayass istlawenforcementinidentifyingpersonswerepresentorinvolvedwitht heb ombingsunderi nvestigation.T her equestedinformationincludes:a.L ocationinformation.A lllocationd ata,whetherd erivedf romGlobalP ositioningSystem( GPS)data,cells ite/cellt owertriangulation/trilateration,a ndp recisionmeasurementinformationsucha st imingadvanceo rperc allmeasurementd ata,a ndW i-Fil ocation,i ncludingtheG PSc oo rdinates,estimatedradius,a ndthed atesa ndtimeso fa lllocation
Case1:18-mj-00 169-ML*SEALED*D ocument5(Courto nly)recordings,duringtheT argetT imePeriod;b.E achdevicec orr espondingtothel ocationd atatob ep rovidedb yGoo glewillb einitiall yidentifiedb yG oo gleo nlybyan umericalidentifier,w ithouta nyfurthercontento ri nformationidentifyingtheu sero faparticulardevice.L awe nforcementwilla nalyzet hisi nitialdatatoi dentifyuserswhom ayhavewitness edo rparticipatedintheS ubjectOff enseso rwhomayb epotentialwitness es.c.Fort hoseacc ountsi dentifiedasrelevantt otheo ngoinginvestigationthroughananalysisofprovidedrecords,andupondemand,Goo gleshallprovideadd itionall ocationhistoryo utsideo fthepredefinedareaf ort hoserelevanta cc ountstodeterminepatho ft ravel.Thisa dd itionall ocationhistoryshallnotexcee d60minutesp luso rminusthef irsta ndlasttimestampass ociatedw iththeacc ounti ntheinitialdataset.( Thepurposeofpatho ftravel/contextuallocationp ointsist oe liminateoutlierp ointswhere,f romthes urr oundingdata,becomesc leart her eportedp oint(s)a ren otindicativeoft hed eviceactuall ybeingwithinthes copeofthew arr ant.)d.F ort hoseacc ountsidentifieda srelevantt ot heongoingi nvestigationthrougha na nalysisofprovidedrecords,a ndupondemando ft heagents,t heG oo gles hallprovidethesubscriber'sinformationforthoserelevantacc ountstoinclude,subscriber'sname,emailadd ress es,servicessubscribedto,last6monthsofIPhistory,SMSacc ountnumber,andr egistrationI P.Filed03/14/18Page1 2o f20
Case1:18-mj-00 169-ML* SEALED*Document5( Courtonly)Filed03/14/18P age13o f20R EQUESTFORSEALING1 8.Ifurtherrequestthatt heCourtordersthata llp apersins upp orto fthisapp lication,i ncludingt hea ff idavitands earchw arr ant,b es ealedu ntilfurtherorderoftheC ourt.Thesed ocumentsdiscussa nongoingcriminali nvestigationt hatisn eitherp ublic,norknownt oallo fthetargetso fthei nvestigation.Acc ordingly,therei sgoo dcauset o sealt hesedocumentsb ecausetheirp rematuredisclosuremays eriouslyj eopardizet hisi nvestigation.10
Case1 :18-mj-00 169-ML* SEALED*Document5( Courto nly)Filed0 3/14/18P age14o f20C ONCLUSION19.Basedont heforegoing,Irespectfull yrequestthatthew arr antsoughth ereinp ursuanttothea pp licableprovisionsoftheS toredComm unicationsAct,1 8U.S.C.§2703(b)(1)(A)(forcontents)a nd§2 703(c){1)(A)(forr ecordsando therinformation),andther elevantp rovisionsofF ederalRuleofC riminalP rocedure41.Becauset hisi nformationisstoreda tGoo glea ndmayrequires earchesinv arioustimez ones,theG overnmentrequestsauthorityf orthiss earchtob ec onductedata nyt ime,d ayornight.Id eclareunderp enaltyofp erjurythatt heforegoingi st rueandcorr ecttot heb estofm yC osakMleSCOTTK IBB EYS pecialAgentFederalBureauofInvestigationAustin,TexasSubscribedandsworntobeforemeatAustin,Texas,onthis/JH ON.MARKL ANEUNITEDS TATESMA:k nowledgea ndbelief.11
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Mon, 20 Jul 2020 16:16
[PDF] On or about December 28, 2019, in the Southern District of New ... 'º data 'º 6628-grafton-thomas 'º optimized 'º full
Dec 30, 2019 · On or about December 28, 2019, in the Southern. District of New York and elsewhere, GRAFTON E. THOMAS, the defendant, intentionally ...
OpenAI's latest AI text generator GPT-3 amazes early adopters - SiliconANGLE
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 14:00
AI OpenAI's latest AI text generator GPT-3 amazes early adoptersArtificial intelligence research outfit OpenAI Inc. recently made the latest version of its GPT-3 general-purpose natural language processing model available in private beta, and its capabilities are astounding early testers.
GPT-3 is the third generation of OpenAI's Generative Pretrained Transformer, which is general-purpose language algorithm that uses machine learning to translate text, answer questions and predictively write text. It works by analyzing a sequence of words, text or other data, then expanding on these examples to produce entirely original output in the form of an article or an image.
The algorithm's predecessor, GPT-2, had already proved to be somewhat controversial because of its ability to create extremely realistic and coherent ''fake news'' articles based on something as simple as an opening sentence. The potential for misuse was such that OpenAI declined to make the algorithm publicly available. Now, with the release of GPT-3, the algorithm has become exponentially more powerful.
After originally publishing its GPT-3 research in May, OpenAI gave select members of the public access to the model last week via an API. And over the past few days, a number of samples of text generated by GPT-3 have begun circulating widely on social media.
One of the most interesting examples comes from Founders Fund Principal Delian Asparouhov, formerly a partner at Khosla Ventures, who fed the GPT-3 algorithm half of an investment memo he had written and posted on his company website.
holy fucking shit
I fed it GPT-3 the first half of my Sword Health memo I have on my website'...
And it actually generated a few paragraphs of relatively cohesive follow-on'... including a section on risk and long-term strategy
'-- delian (@zebulgar) July 17, 2020
Asparouhov then went ahead and gave GPT-3 half of an essay on how to run effective board meetings:
Omfg, ok so I fed GPT3 the first half of my
''How to run an Effective Board Meeting'' (first screenshot)
'-- delian (@zebulgar) July 17, 2020
In both examples, GPT-3 was able to generate not just coherent, additional paragraphs of text, but also could follow the prior formatting in such a way as to make it almost indistinguishable from the original, human written text.
GPT-3 is so good at what it does that it can deceive people on almost topic it's given, even if that topic happens to be writing about itself. Take the example of Zeppelin Solutions GmbH Chief Technology Officer Manuel Araoz, who used GPT-3 to create a complex article about a faux experiment on the popular Bitcointalk forum using a basic prompt as a guideline.
The article, ''OpenAI's GPT-3 may be the biggest thing since bitcoin,'' describes how GPT-3 deceived Bitcointalk forum members into believing its comments were genuine. At several points in the text, GPT-3 also describes several possible use cases for language prediction models, noting that they could be used for ''mock news, 'researched journalism,' advertising, politics and propaganda.''
The text was pretty much perfect, the only flaws a missing table and several omitted screenshots that were referenced within it. Araoz said the text was generated using just a title, a handful of tags and this short summary:
''I share my early experiments with OpenAI's new language prediction model (GPT-3) beta. I explain why I think GPT-3 has disruptive potential comparable to that of blockchain technology.''
Araoz put GPT-3 to the test in several other ways, using it to make complex texts more understandable, to write poetry in the style of Borges in the Spanish language and write music in ABC notation.
Another tester, founder Sharif Shameem, used GPT-3 to write JSX code from a basic description of a website layout:
This is mind blowing.
With GPT-3, I built a layout generator where you just describe any layout you want, and it generates the JSX code for you.
'-- Sharif Shameem (@sharifshameem) July 13, 2020
GPT-3 appears to blow away the capabilities of its predecessor, thanks in part to the more than 175 billion learning parameters it possesses, which enable it to perform pretty much any task it's assigned. That makes it an order of magnitude larger than the second-most powerful language model, Microsoft Corp.'s Turing-NLG algorithm, which has just 17 billion parameters.
OpenAI is providing access to the GPT-3 API by invitation only, and there is a long waiting list for the paid version, which should be released in about two months.
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ACLU on Twitter: "BREAKING: We're suing the federal government for imprisoning Michael Cohen in retaliation for his plans to publish a book critical of Trump. We will defend the First Amendment from government censorship '-- as we have for a century now."
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 03:45
ACLU : BREAKING: We're suing the federal government for imprisoning Michael Cohen in retaliation for his plans to publish'...
Tue Jul 21 02:56:56 +0000 2020
Buzz : @ACLU
Tue Jul 21 03:44:05 +0000 2020
John Vernon : @ACLU Tell it all Michael...
Tue Jul 21 03:42:19 +0000 2020
VIDEO-China Threatens Retaliation After U.S. Orders Closure Of Houston Consulate | NBC News NOW - YouTube
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 12:40
VIDEO - New COVID-19 outbreaks in Wake County - YouTube
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 12:16
VIDEO - Air conditioners could be aiding the spread of COVID-19 indoors, epidemiologists say
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 12:11
Can air conditioners cause the spread of COVID-19?A recent study by the University of Maryland showed that some air conditioning units could spread the novel coronavirus.
LOS ANGELES - Amid record-breaking temperatures across the country, people are cranking up their air conditioners to beat the heat. But some researchers are saying that air conditioning in public indoor spaces could actually be causing the coronavirus to spread.
Some experts were hopeful that the summer heat would dissipate the COVID-19 virus and provide a brief period of relief, but Dr. William Hanage, an epidemiologist professor at Harvard University, said that COVID-19 is not significantly affected by the change in the seasons.
''People like me have known that transmission was not going to go away in the heat for some time, months, since the winter. We just didn't know how big the impact would be,'' Hanage said.
In fact, some experts now believe the heat may be having an exacerbating effect on the spread of the virus, as many people are being driven indoors in order to cool down. Edward Nardell, a professor at Harvard Medical School and an infectious disease expert, suggested Friday that air conditioning use across the southern U.S. may be a factor in spiking COVID-19 cases.
RELATED: Airborne COVID-19: What does it mean, how does it increase risk and what are the steps to stay safe?
''It is, but not necessarily for the ways you're thinking,'' Nardell pointed out. ''Because of air conditioning and excessive heat, people are indoors and re-breathing each other's air.''
Nardell presented data which surveyed places in countries that had the biggest increases in COVID-19 over time. ''The places that had the need for most air conditioning, have had the biggest increases in COVID,'' Nardell said. But Nardell noted that the data could have other correlates, and did not necessarily imply causation.
According to Hanage, the risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus is higher indoors.
A recent study by the University of Maryland (UMD) showed that some air conditioning units could spread the virus, according to Don Milton, a professor of environmental health at UMD. His findings, which were published by the university's School of Public Health, suggested that air conditioning can blow around infected droplets hanging in the air.
''Outbreaks '-- where you have a bunch of people infected all at once like that '-- are almost exclusively occurring indoors in poorly ventilated environments," Milton explained.
RELATED: Widespread wearing of masks could get COVID-19 under control within 4-8 weeks, CDC director says
It's yet another COVID-19 worry, as people try to stay indoors to get away from scorching hot weather. So, what can people do?
Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and director of its Healthy Buildings program, suspects that airborne transmission of COVID-19 is likely, according to a recent interview with The Harvard Gazette.
He said a portable air purifier to filter out airborne particles or a portable humidifier should help. In mechanically ventilated building systems, Allen said almost all of them recirculate some amount of air. The recirculation causes emitting aerosols to be picked up and transported to other areas in a building.
''One way to cut that off when you have a recirculated air supply is to have high-efficiency filters, or certainly upgraded filters from what is typically in a building, which will only capture a small percent of viral particles,'' Allen said.
Allen said high-efficiency filters do a much better job at limiting transmission from room to room.
If you don't have a central air system, Allen suggested opening up your windows as much as you can. ''You want to make sure that if you are recirculating air, that it's being filtered through upgraded filters.'' He added, ''HEPA filters capture 99.97 percent of particles, so upgraded filters can be effective.''
But Nardell said nothing is foolproof. ''We're always talking probability. So we can lower the probability infection with air disinfection.''
RELATED: 'We have a serious situation here': Fauci calls COVID-19, like 1918 flu, 'pandemic of historic proportions'
Nardel said airborne infection is a problem in public buildings, where someone may have COVID-19. Disinfection techniques include UV lights, room air cleaners and increased ventilation.
Nardell said that ultraviolet lights may also be able to sterilize the air of COVID-19. Ultraviolet, germicidal lamps have been proven effective in protecting against tuberculosis infection and are already in use in some settings to fight SARS-CoV-2, according to Nardell. The lamps shine horizontally, where sterilization is required. Air currents circulate up to the ceiling, where the UV light kills the pathogens.
Evidence has mounted that some cases of COVID-19 occur through airborne transmission. According to Mount Sinai Hospital's Department of Microbiology, airborne transmission refers to situations where residue from droplets remain suspended in the air for long periods of time. These organisms can survive long periods of time outside the body.
''Often, the term 'airborne transmission' creates panic because people imagine these clouds of virus roaming around the streets coming after them. But that's not the way it works,'' Dr. Linsey Marr, a professor at Virginia Tech with expertise in airborne transmission of viruses and air quality said. ''The concern is greatest when you are close to a person who happens to be infected, if they're talking, especially if you're indoors because the virus can build up in the air.''
Airborne COVID-19: How to make indoor spaces saferDr. Linsey Marr, a professor at Virginia Tech with expertise in airborne transmission of viruses and air quality, discusses ways to make offices and schools safer amid the pandemic.
Marr was among 239 scientists from a variety of fields who recently contributed to an open letter calling on the World Health Organization to acknowledge that the coronavirus can spread in the air and urging the WHO to update its official guidance on the subject.
Last week, The World Health Organization updated guidance on airborne droplets correlated to transmission of the coronavirus.
The scientific brief, released on July 9, said that short-range aerosol transmission, particularly in specific indoor locations, ''cannot be ruled out.''
The WHO said a few experimental studies found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus remains active within aerosols for long periods of time. The virus was within aerosols for up to three hours in one study and 16 hours in another. However, these findings were from experimentally induced aerosols that do not reflect normal human cough conditions, the WHO noted.
Airborne transmission is thought to have been a factor in the spread of COVID-19 at a restaurant in Wuhan, China in January.
RELATED: COVID-19 and heat: Temperatures, coronavirus cases climb in tandem across the US
In a study published on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that the air conditioning system likely passed COVID-19 to 10 people.
Of the 91 people in the restaurant during that time, only those at tables in the way of the air conditioner's airflow contracted the virus, the study reported.
''Airflow direction was consistent with droplet transmission. To prevent the spread of the virus in restaurants, we recommend increasing the distance between tables and improving ventilation,'' the study said.
Hanage's expectation is that transmission will continue over the summer months unless something is done to stop it.
''This is not over,'' Hanage said. ''It's going to be with us for a really long period of time, and so managing to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and being able to take steps now, which are going to be sustainable, which are going to protect you and your family.''
VIDEO - A Conversation With Dr. Anthony Fauci at Georgetown University - YouTube
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 11:46
VIDEO - RAW INTERVIEW: Joe Biden talks with ABC15's Steve Irvin - YouTube
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 11:41
VIDEO - AG Barr announces new initiative 'Operation Legend' to tackle violent crime - ABC News
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 11:32
Law enforcement officials will first be dispatched to to Kansas City, Missouri.
July 9, 2020, 7:35 PM
5 min read
In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Attorney General William Barr announced the creation of a new nationwide law enforcement initiative -- dubbed 'Operation Legend' -- intended to send federal resources to states and cities seeing a recent surge in violent crime.
In an opening act for the operation, a group of more than 100 FBI agents, U.S. Marshals, DEA agents and ATF agents will be dispatched to Kansas City, Missouri, in the coming weeks following a request from Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.
"The president recently said to states and cities that the federal government is ready, willing and able to to come in and help," Barr said in an exclusive interview with ABC News' senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas. "The city of Kansas City -- they've had -- a serious spiking in crime, particularly murders. They're on pace to set all records of murders for that city, so we are going to go in."
According to the Kansas City Police Department, the city has already seen 99 homicides as of Thursday, in comparison with 74 at this point in the summer of 2019 -- a roughly 40% increase. It is also nearly double the number of homicides at this point in 2016, when there were only 54 homicides in Kansas City.
Among those killed in recent weeks was 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was killed while sleeping in his bed on June 29.
According to his family, Taliferro had survived open-heart surgery as an infant and was scheduled for another operation soon.
"My daughter had open-heart surgery at a comparable age and I remember how stressful it was for our family," Barr said, in explaining the decision to name 'Operation Legend' after Taliferro. "The idea of your child surviving that and, you know, the joy you would feel to see your kid pull through something like that and then have them shot in the face, it affected me a lot."
While the federal assistance to Kansas City came following the request of the state's Republican governor, it's not clear whether the initiative would extend to other major cities like Chicago and New York where both local and state leaders have been skeptical about calls from President Donald Trump to surge federal assistance in response to crime increases.
For instance, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas issued a statement following the DOJ announcement noting he wasn't consulted or made aware at all about the operation.
"I learned on Twitter this afternoon that the Department of Justice plans to send federal investigators to Kansas City as support for unsolved homicide and non-fatal shooting investigations," Lucas said. "As I understand the Department's plan, any outside help will not be used for regular policing or patrol activities -- and solely to clear unsolved murders and shootings."
"I plan and hope to learn more about this effort over the days ahead. The investigative support effort announced this afternoon can be only one tool out of many, such as mental health treatment and restorative justice, in addressing violent crime," Lucas added.
VIDEO - (18) Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 on Twitter: "Joe Biden defends China, argues it's wrong to hold them accountable for the coronavirus." / Twitter
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 11:27
Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 : Joe Biden defends China, argues it's wrong to hold them accountable for the coronavirus.
Wed Jul 22 18:54:02 +0000 2020
VIDEO - Eric Mann & Patrisse Cullors
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 11:01
Eric Mann & Patrisse Cullors
VIDEO-BenTallmadge on Twitter: "I called this weeks ago : The Chinazis have been providing financial support & training to the BLM & Antifa-" / Twitter
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 04:49
BenTallmadge : I called this weeks ago :The Chinazis have been providing financial support & training to the BLM & Antifa-
Wed Jul 22 22:23:37 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Health Care Worker Tests Positive For COVID-19, Quarantines, And Loses Job '-- Only To Find Out Test Was Wrong '' CBS Chicago
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 04:48
Author: Dave SaviniJuly 22, 2020 at 10:14 pm
CHICAGO (CBS) '-- A COVID-19 test forced one woman into quarantine for weeks, and she lost her job.
But then she learned she never had the virus. The test was wrong.
CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini reported Wednesday night on false COVID-19 test results and what went wrong. The health care worker, who did not want to be identified, wanted to tell her story to warn others about what happened to her.
''So I had never been around any form of disease that hasn't had a cure before,'' said the woman. ''I have been in the medical field for quite some time.''
She worked as a medical receptionist, wore a mask and gloves, and took all the precautions. Then one day, she started to cough and was concerned.
Like scores of other health care workers, she decided to play it safe and get tested for COVID-19.
She went for a free test at the Friend Health Center near 58th Street and Western Avenue in Chicago. Her samples were then shipped to a lab at Lurie Children's Hospital.
Two days later, she got the result.
''My primary physician called me. He told me I was positive,'' she said. ''I was in shock.''
She called her family and her employer, and her worries intensified. Images she has seen while working, and all over the news, started to replay repeatedly in her head.
''I thought of the ventilator, and I started to get my affairs in order,'' she said. ''I thought about the patients in the hospital how they can't see their loved ones. And I felt I would be one of them, and God knows I'm praying for them.''
She did what she was supposed to do and quarantined, which meant she also stopped going to work.
''I was scared and I stayed in the house,'' she said, ''and I followed the instructions. You have to stay in quarantine for 14 days.''
Then after 14 days of isolation, she sought her doctor's approval to return to work. She missed a few more days of work waiting to get cleared.
And then she lost her job.
Then came another bombshell.
She got a letter from the lab at Lurie Children's Hospital. It said she was never really COVID-19 positive '' it was all a big mistake.
The woman read part of the letter: ''We have learned that you received a false positive result. You did not have COVID-19.''
The CBS 2 Investigators were told by a hospital official that they noticed an unusual pattern developing. So they retested the samples in question and found there was an equipment problem.
That is when they learned people who were told they were positive for COVID-19 were really negative.
''I was devastated,'' said the health care worker about the impact of this bad test.
She says the hospital representative who called her would not tell her exactly how many others also spent weeks in quarantine for no reason.
Lurie Children's also would not release to CBS 2 the number of false test results, only saying it was several.
'''We are sorry for the inconvenience,''' the health care worker said as she expressed her frustration that it took a month to get the accurate result. ''That's all, that's all '' like a pat on the hand, 'We're sorry.'''
A representative of Lurie Children's Hospital told the CBS 2 Investigators they reported the false findings to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
Our CBS 2 Investigators reached out to the IDPH to find out how many false positives they have received from all labs statewide. The IDPH has not yet responded.
VIDEO-President Trump touts Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine: 'We think we have a winner'
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 04:37
Published Wed, Jul 22 2020 6:43 PM EDT
Updated 5 hours ago
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President Donald Trump called the federal government's $1.95 billion deal with Pfizer and biotech firm BioNTech "a historic agreement" that will help the country distribute a coronavirus vaccine in record-breaking time.
"Hopefully the approval process will go very quickly, and we think we have a winner there. We also think we have other companies right behind that are doing very well on the vaccines, long ahead of schedule," Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.
Germany-based BioNTech and Pfizer, which are jointly developing four potential vaccines, announced the deal earlier in the day that will give the U.S. 100 million doses of their potential vaccine if it proves safe and effective. Under the agreement, the U.S. can buy 500 million additional doses, the Department of Health and Human Services said.
The deal was the largest deal so far to secure the nation's supply of coronavirus vaccine doses.
"This is another crucial step and our effort to develop, manufacture and distribute a vaccine in record-breaking time, really a very small fraction of the time based on previous schedules," Trump said.
If the vaccine is approved as safe and effective, Pfizer will begin to deliver doses to locations across the U.S. at the government's direction, according to HHS. The companies previously said they hope to begin a large trial with up to 30,000 participants later this month.
The president also said the administration was working with the states to ensure hospitals had an adequate supply of Gilead Sciences' antiviral drug remdesivir, which has been effective in treating some seriously ill coronavirus patients.
Trump said the U.S. was doing "tremendously well" on therapeutic research and in developing potential vaccines.
"We'll see what happens but that would be great, if we could just go into the hospital and just cure people and we're at a position where we're actually able to a certain extent with what we have right now and we think in a very short period of time we'll be able to do that," he added.
Trump's comments come as the number of coronavirus cases across the country have climbed in recent weeks, especially in states in the Sun Belt region. He said Wednesday that officials are "monitoring and aggressively acting to control the infection in Texas, Arizona, California, Florida."
Trump pointed to a number of reasons for the rise in infections. He said that protests over the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, "presumably triggered a broader relaxation" of coronavirus mitigation efforts, a substantial increase in travel and increased gatherings on the nation's beaches and in packed bars.
The president also suggested Mexico may play a role in the rise in cases, saying the U.S. shares a 2,000-mile border with the country where "cases are surging very sharply," he said.
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VIDEO-Guy Lewis on Durham probe: Expect criminal indictments in next 30 days | Fox News Video
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 22:20
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VIDEO-Trump chief of staff: 'I expect indictments' from John Durham investigation
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 22:19
| July 19, 2020 12:22 PM
P resident Trump's chief of staff said that he expects criminal indictments to result from U.S. Attorney John Durham's wide-ranging inquiry into the origins and conduct of the Trump-Russia investigation.
Mark Meadows, who took over as chief of staff in late March after serving as a North Carolina congressman since 2013, told Maria Bartiromo of Sunday Morning Futures on Fox News that, based on what he'd seen, he believes people involved in the investigation into Russian interference and alleged collusion with the Trump campaign will end up with charges leveled against them by Durham, the federal prosecutor handpicked by Attorney General William Barr to lead the investigation of the investigators.
The Trump chief of staff also predicted that new, damning details would be made public soon, just a couple of days after Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina released newly declassified documents that cast doubt on the veracity of British ex-spy Christopher Steele's dossier and undercut the Russian collusion narrative pushed by some in the media.
''I think the American people expect indictments '-- I know I expect indictments based on the evidence I've seen. Lindsey Graham did a good job in getting that out. We know that they not only knew that there wasn't a case, but they continued to investigate and spy, and yes, I use the word 'spy,' on Trump campaign officials and actually even doing things when this president was sworn in and after that and doing it in an inappropriate manner,'' Meadows said.
''You're going to see a couple of other documents come out in the coming days that will suggest that not only was the campaign spied on, but the FBI did not act appropriately as they were investigating," he added. "It's all starting to unravel, and I tell you, it's time that people go to jail and people are indicted.''
Durham was appointed by Barr last year to investigate the origins of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and the conduct of the intelligence officials and law enforcement investigators involved in the Trump-Russia investigation. His investigation has since morphed into a criminal inquiry. Republicans have looked to Durham to send former Obama officials to jail for the alleged illegal targeting of Trump's campaign and presidency, while Democrats have decried Durham's investigation as a political stunt aimed at helping Trump.
Graham released two documents declassified with the help of Barr on Friday. The first document was a 57-page transcript of the FBI's interviews with Steele's primary subsource in January 2017, which contradicted numerous claims made by the dossier and undercut the FBI's case against Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
A second document showed typed notes from now-fired FBI special agent Peter Strzok harshly criticizing a New York Times report from February 2017. Strzok criticized Steele and repeatedly disputed the leaked claims in the piece alleging contacts between Trump associates and Russian intelligence.
Richard Grenell, the former acting director of national intelligence, who oversaw the country's 17 intelligence agencies from February through May, said last week that the evidence of those early ''red flags'' warning about Steele's dossier being inaccurate and possibly being compromised by Russian disinformation could and should be released in the near future.
A former senior intelligence official with knowledge of the situation told the Washington Examiner that the records made public by Graham on Friday were only some of the classified records alluded to by the former acting spy chief and said Grenell had started the declassification process for the other documents but that it wasn't guaranteed that those other records would be made public.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz's lengthy December report criticized the DOJ and the FBI for at least 17 ''significant errors and omissions'' related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against Page and for the bureau's reliance on Steele's unverified dossier. Steele put his research together at the behest of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, funded by Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the Perkins Coie law firm.
Declassified footnotes now show that the FBI was aware that Steele's dossier might have been compromised by Russian disinformation.
Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation concluded that Russia interfered in 2016 in a ''sweeping and systematic fashion" but ''did not establish'' any criminal conspiracy between the Russians and the Trump campaign.
DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said last week that while a report is not ''the goal'' of Durham's criminal investigation, she expected Durham would release such a report by the end of the summer.
''It is stunning, and here's the interesting thing: It's not only that it wasn't true, the problem is they knew it wasn't true,'' Meadows told Bartiromo on Sunday. ''And when you know something is not true and you continue the investigation, that's collusion, that's the kind of thing that we must stop, and that's where we need to hold people accountable.''
VIDEO - Dark Journalist on Twitter: "Must watch...!" / Twitter
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 18:13
Dark Journalist : Must watch...!
Wed Jul 22 16:10:10 +0000 2020
Kathleen : @darkjournalist Love him.
Wed Jul 22 16:56:39 +0000 2020
Mainetain #KBF : @darkjournalist @FKTVis Love this guy!
Wed Jul 22 16:56:00 +0000 2020
Marta Spendowska '-- astro art bandit. : @darkjournalist ''They need a visible form of teror.'' 👏
Wed Jul 22 16:44:17 +0000 2020
David M. Cassidy : @darkjournalist It is the final war on Gods creation , GOD WINS !
Wed Jul 22 16:33:44 +0000 2020
Chaz : @darkjournalist Public Health terrorism on a global scale.
Wed Jul 22 16:14:55 +0000 2020
Josh Randall : @darkjournalist That hits hard.
Wed Jul 22 16:12:55 +0000 2020
VIDEO - Mark Bednar on Twitter: "Democrat Chairman Adam Smith defends China hiding the true nature of coronavirus: "It's not actually their job to warn the American people."" / Twitter
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 16:41
Mark Bednar : Democrat Chairman Adam Smith defends China hiding the true nature of coronavirus:"It's not actually their job to'...
Tue Jul 21 20:27:43 +0000 2020
Mrs O : @MarkBednar @benshapiro Let's see his taxes. How much has he made from China???
Wed Jul 22 16:41:15 +0000 2020
Joeschmoe : @MarkBednar Shaddduuup! Loser!
Wed Jul 22 16:39:04 +0000 2020
Tibi Montero : @MarkBednar There is no defense for China's COVID19 graph! Lies, lies and more lies. Poor people we will never know'...
Wed Jul 22 16:38:13 +0000 2020
Soulsanctu : @MarkBednar @benshapiro As a member of IS their job and duty to warn the world.....I don't want to hear the "not my job" bullcrap.
Wed Jul 22 16:38:09 +0000 2020
Mark Bednar : For those who are curious: China was legally obligated to notify WHO about the outbreak but did not.From WHO Guid'...
Wed Jul 22 16:37:19 +0000 2020
Ruby L Epps : @MarkBednar These Democrats are lower than a snake's belly.
Wed Jul 22 16:37:02 +0000 2020
Eddie Zipperer : @MarkBednar
Wed Jul 22 16:36:59 +0000 2020
Bret Andro : @MarkBednar @benshapiro China failed to contain the virus on their soil. They failed to notified world health auth'...
Wed Jul 22 16:36:53 +0000 2020
SargentSchultz : @MarkBednar @benshapiro My state sucks sooooo bad.
Wed Jul 22 16:36:44 +0000 2020
seQuoia : @MarkBednar He's apparently owned by China and the Deep State. Who supports China for mishandling the virus while c'...
Wed Jul 22 16:36:07 +0000 2020
OTFITF : @MarkBednar @benshapiro And this guy is in the senate.... ðŸ¤-- Sounds like a chicom but hey that's none my business ðŸ>>
Wed Jul 22 16:35:55 +0000 2020
Victor Hugo : @MarkBednar @benshapiro Maybe when he & his family contract the virus & watches them die slowly at a time, he'll h'...
Wed Jul 22 16:35:24 +0000 2020
Michael : @MarkBednar I agree its not their job to warn American people. But they should inform WHO way earlier and let other'...
Wed Jul 22 16:35:22 +0000 2020
BRIAN : @MarkBednar Defending China over Covid is the ultimate form of #Resistance
Wed Jul 22 16:35:01 +0000 2020
قصيد اÙØ"Ùمان، : @MarkBednar @benshapiro Disgusting Man!
Wed Jul 22 16:34:47 +0000 2020
Propaganda Buster : @MarkBednar @benshapiro Propaganda induced mass liberal psychosis in full swing as ideological rivals become friend'...
Wed Jul 22 16:34:15 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Leave.EU on Twitter: "ðŸ'º | @SecPompeo doesn't mince his words in today's press conference with Dominic Raab. 👍 COVID: "The CCP's 🇨ðŸ‡" exploitation of this disaster to further its own interests has been disgraceful. Rather than helping the w
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 16:06
Leave.EU : ðŸ'º | @SecPompeo doesn't mince his words in today's press conference with Dominic Raab. 👍COVID: "The CCP's 🇨ðŸ‡" explo'...
Tue Jul 21 15:18:19 +0000 2020
VIDEO - Gravitas: Three Gorges Dam | China's dam of doom | China floods | WION - YouTube
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 16:01
VIDEO - Did This Reporter Call Press Sec. a "LYING B***H" After Getting Owned on Live TV? - YouTube
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 15:41
VIDEO - Slavoj Zizek debates Jordan Peterson [HD, Clean Audio, Full] - YouTube
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 15:33
VIDEO - Nets Side With Antifa Terrorists in 'Literal War' on Portland Streets | Newsbusters
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 15:23
It was just 24 hours ago that the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) were playing stupid about the weeks of violence in Portland, Oregon, claiming there was ''no explanation'' for the Department of Homeland Security arresting Antifa terrorists trying to burn down the federal courthouse. Now, on Tuesday, those same networks took up positions on Antifa's side of the battle line; blaming federal agents for the violence and chaos.
The CBS Evening News carried the most water Antifa's thugs. ''Tonight, the mayors of several big cities including New York and Chicago are warning the President not to send federal officers to patrol their streets. The mayors are alarmed by the ongoing violence in Portland, Oregon where protesters have battled for weeks with police and officers from the Department of Homeland Security,'' declared anchor Norah O'Donnell, suggesting federal agents were the problem.
Even though federal agents had been responding to attacks on the courthouse for well over 50 consecutive nights, correspondent Carter Evans painted DHS officers as a roving band of assailants targeting innocent protesters. ''Round after round of tear gas and rubber bullets fired into the crowd by federal agents is becoming a nightly routine,'' he began his report.
Evans spoke with one Antifa member who suggested the clashes were ''literal war,'' and complained that he couldn't shoot federal officers:
EVANS: This unnamed protester says he collected some of the spent ammunition. [TO ANTIFA TERRORIST] What was it like when they all came out there.
ANTIFA TERRORIST: War. Literal war, except you can't fire back on your enemy.
It's disturbing that CBS thought this was okay to include and frame as legitimate. It told us a lot about who they are.
Despite showing a soundbite of acting-DHS secretary Chad Wolf defending his officers from comparison to Nazi storm troopers and Gestapo, Evans continued to insist that those smears were accurate, even leaning on Democrats to do it. ''Mayors from six cities have written the Trump administration demanding the President 'take immediate action to withdraw your forces,''' he reported.
Towards the end of his report, Evans spoke with an E.R. doctor (''who's also a county commissioner'') who attended the riots and was tear-gassed. ''What the Trump administration calls anarchy, is sort of what we call democracy,'' the woman told CBS.
But a photo Evans shared of her at the riots showed that she was also a member of the so-called ''Portland Moms,'' who claim they're there to protect the rioters from the feds. But new video shows that those same moms have also taken part in trying to break into the courthouse to burn it down.
Meanwhile, on ABC's World News Tonight, Kayna Whitworth continued her shoddy reporting, also suggesting the feds were to blame. ''The protests start out peacefully here every night and then gradually turn into chaos. The mayor tells me that it's the presence and actions of federal law enforcement agents that have led to an increase in violence and vandalism,'' she declared, putting her hands on her hips as if to state it as a matter of fact.
And on NBC Nightly News, correspondent Gabe Gutierrez shared his dismay that agents were in Portland to defend a building. ''The Trump administration says it sent federal agents to Portland, Oregon, to defend federal buildings against violent attacks. But the mayor there says that escalated the conflict,'' he huffed (emphasis his).
The lines were drawn on the streets of Portland, and the media have taken the side of radical left-wing terrorists.
This network support for left-wing terrorists was made possible with lucrative sponsorships from Humria on CBS, Ensure on ABC, and Farmers Insurance on NBC. Their contact information is linked.
The transcript is below, click expand to read:
CBS Evening NewsJuly 21, 20206:44:47 p.m. Eastern
NORAH O'DONNELL: Tonight, the mayors of several big cities including New York and Chicago are warning the President not to send federal officers to patrol their streets. The mayors are alarmed by the ongoing violence in Portland, Oregon where protesters have battled for weeks with police and officers from the Department of Homeland Security. Here's CBS's Carter Evans.
[Cuts to video]
CARTER EVANS: Round after round of tear gas and rubber bullets fired into the crowd by federal agents is becoming a nightly routine. This unnamed protester says he collected some of the spent ammunition.
What was it like when they all came out there.
ANTIFA TERRORIST: War. Literal war, except you can't fire back on your enemy.
EVANS: Portland's federal courthouse has been attacked repeatedly and today the Department of Homeland Security said they have to protect it.
CHAD WOLF (acting secretary, DHS): They are not military. They are civilian police officers. These police officers are not storm troopers; they are not the Gestapo as some described them.
EVANS: Mayors from six cities have written the Trump administration demanding the President ''take immediate action to withdraw your forces.''
MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D-Chicago): We're not going to have tyranny in the city of Chicago.
EVANS: Today, Defense Secretary Mark Esper raised concerns about the officer's military-style fatigues. And Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is calling for an investigation. He says the federal agents' actions may be unconstitutional.
SEN. RON WYDEN (D-OR): We're also going to take steps to try to legislate a way to rein in these federal abuses.
EVANS: Among those tear gassed. E.R. Doctor Sharon Meieran, who's also a county commissioner.
SHANON MEIERAN: What the Trump administration calls anarchy, is sort of what we call democracy.
[Cuts back to live]
EVANS: Well, this is the federal courthouse that officer say they are to protect. And there is damage. Right across the street is where protesters are staged. And they say they'll be back again tonight. Norah.
O'DONNELL: Carter Evans. Thank you.
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VIDEO-Chicago police release video footage of protests at Columbus statue - YouTube
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 14:41
VIDEO-A bank is paying people to bring in their spare change to help local businesses amid the coin shortage - CNN
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 14:09
(CNN)A Wisconsin bank is bringing change to their community by helping local businesses struggling because of the nationwide shortage of coins caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, the Community State Bank launched a Coin Buy Back
Program which offers a $5 bonus for every $100 worth of coins turned in to any of its seven locations. Anyone who brings by coins, whether they're a bank customer or not, can receive up to a maximum coin bonus of $500.
"We knew we needed to figure something out. We hate the idea of telling our customers, 'No, we can't give you one of the services we're proud to provide,' so we came up with a creative way to get things done," Community State Bank Vice President Neil Buchanan told CNN. "Just because this hasn't been done before doesn't mean it isn't going to work -- and it has already made a huge difference."
Just days after launching the program, hundreds of people have dropped off their spare change, already resulting in an "incredible impact" on local businesses that were struggling because of the shortage, according to Buchanan.
Customers are not being charged for any coin counting transactions and will receive their money in cash or as direct deposits. Many have also dropped off spare coins without asking for anything back.
The coin shortage is one of the many consequences of the partial closure of the economy, which halted the flow of coins. As banks and businesses shuttered or changed the way they operate, there are now fewer coins reaching the public. Some national retailers -- including Wawa and CVS --
are asking customers to pay with exact change or offering programs through which customers can donate their change to charity.
Banks across the country are only receiving a small portion of their weekly coin order -- and many are quickly running out. This affects local businesses as it can turn away customers who need change back.
"Our businesses have reached out just voicing their appreciation for their local bank coming up with a creative way to help them eliminate a challenge that many businesses across the country are facing," Buchanan said.
The bank will continue their Coin Buy Back Program until there is no longer a demand.
CNN's Scottie Andrew and Clare Duffy contributed to this report.
VIDEO-DHS's Chad Wolf says Trump's Gestapo is 'proactively' arresting people. I'm old enough to remember when No Agenda used to call this 'pre-crime' and thought it was a horrible authoritarian thing to do. - inthemorning
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 14:05
level 1yeah, doesn't Adam always say what FEMA region he is in because FEMA was going to round us all up and put us in camps for wrongthink?
level 2Yup, but that was back when BLACK MAN SCARY was president. Now that ORANGE MAN TOTALLY NORMAL is in charge, all authoritarian moves are because the government loves us.
level 1These ''protesters'' are innocent?
level 2Well protesting is legal and all people are innocent until proven guilty. The real question is if they are being "proactive, are they arresting people just protesting and not rioting? This whole unmarked military throwing people into unmarked vans is really worrisome.
level 1It's fucked up, will we see the other side start firing on the Feds now?
level 1the idea that everyone here isnt happy is crazy. this is all a big performance by kids who want to be arrested and beaten by the cops on instagram live. they dont want the feds to go home they want to throw shit at the feds until they get beat up. that is why they are there.
if you actually wanted the feds to leave you would just take off your gay black outfit and helmet an go home. you would stop smashing things and just go get a job.
VIDEO-Curtis Houck on Twitter: "If cable news actually cared about calling out conspiracies, Joy Reid wouldn't be anything close to a gainfully employed host. Tonight, she and former AG Eric Holder predicted Trump and @TeamTrump will use "paramilitary for
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 13:09
Curtis Houck : If cable news actually cared about calling out conspiracies, Joy Reid wouldn't be anything close to a gainfully emp'...
Tue Jul 21 23:23:25 +0000 2020
SteevHat : @CurtisHouck @jtLOL @TeamTrump Projection is ugly and disingenuous. But it's what gaslighting leftists do. They know nothing else.
Wed Jul 22 13:00:41 +0000 2020
MrTate : @CurtisHouck @jtLOL @TeamTrump
Wed Jul 22 12:58:29 +0000 2020
MsTonyDee : @CurtisHouck @derekahunter @TeamTrump Lunatics.
Wed Jul 22 12:30:02 +0000 2020
Mauflang : @CurtisHouck @newsbusters @TeamTrump Time has come to put pressure on Comcast's numerous institutional shareholders'...
Wed Jul 22 12:20:37 +0000 2020
thirtydayban : @CurtisHouck @newsbusters @TeamTrump What a joke if they are so scared of rigged elections require voter Id problem'...
Wed Jul 22 12:17:33 +0000 2020
Mauflang : @CurtisHouck @newsbusters @TeamTrump They are fomenting violent demonstrations !
Wed Jul 22 12:17:21 +0000 2020
fintechtrep : @CurtisHouck @derekahunter @TeamTrump It's not a conspiracy if it hasn't happened yet. It's absolutely a valid pred'...
Wed Jul 22 12:14:11 +0000 2020
dankbubba : @CurtisHouck @derekahunter @TeamTrump WTFjudging by comments you can read every day on twitter there are people br'...
Wed Jul 22 12:12:37 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Hillary Clinton Attempts to Revive Russia Hysteria Before Election | Dan Bongino
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 18:41
T he 2016 election's silver medalist is at it again, and she's reviving an old boogeyman.
Ignoring the absolute lack of evidence that Russia intervened in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump's campaign and lack of evidence of collusion, Hillary Clinton wants the world to know that Russia is ready to strike again.
According to Fox News:
Hillary Clinton said on MSNBC's ''Reidout'' Monday night that President Trump had commuted ex-adviser Roger Stone's sentence ''to basically shut up Roger Stone so that Roger Stone would not spill any more beans about what actually happened and what Donald Trump actually knew.''
''This is a continuation of the cover-up,'' Clinton declared. It was not immediately clear what Clinton was implying that Stone could have divulged to prosecutors; Special Counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors never alleged that Stone had engaged in a criminal conspiracy with any Russian actor.
Although Clinton didn't provide evidence to support her theory, she went on to assure viewers on the primetime show that Russia had successfully swung votes to Trump in 2016 '-- and will try to do so again.
It's also unclear how the Russians were responsible for Hillary failing to campaign in Wisconsin.
"This is a continuation of the cover up."
Hillary Clinton says President Trump commuted Roger Stone's prison sentence so that he "would not spill any more beans about what actually happened" in the 2016 election.
'-- MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 21, 2020
In October 2016, when a Hillary presidency was a mere inevitability in the eyes of the media, she called Trump a ''sore loser'' because of a comment she interpreted as his refusal to commit to accepting the results of the election (which it turns out he had no problem doing for obvious reasons).
Ironically, years later it's she who can't seem to accept the results of the election, and she hasn't even been creative enough to invent a new boogeyman.
VIDEO-12 News Exclusive Interview with Joe Biden |
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 16:51
Presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke exclusively to 12 News about the pandemic, his potential running mate, and his priorities during the presidential race.
PHOENIX '-- In an exclusive one-on-one interview with Joe Biden Tuesday, Mark Curtis asked about the country's pandemic response, the shortlist of running mates, and appealing to disenchanted Republicans.
Watch the full exclusive interview on YouTube.
"The surge that has been felt especially in Arizona has been devastating but we have a president who won't face reality," Biden said. "It continues to cost American lives."
Biden was critical of President Donald Trump's response and so-called lack of responsibility after over 135,000 people in the United States died of the virus so far.
Running mate
Biden has a big upcoming decision in picking his running mate. There is speculation the shortlist for vice-presidential candidates includes Kamala Harris, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Susan Rice, and Tammy Duckworth, among other names.
Background checks are happening and should be done in the next week to 10 days, then Biden plans to interview those remaining.
"First thing I want to make sure is I have somebody--and I think they all are--capable of being president of the United States if something happens," Biden told Curtis.
He also said that he is looking for an ally who shares a value system.
Disenchanted Republicans
Biden hopes to win over Republicans that turned away from the Trumpian GOP.
"[Trump] said he was going to fight for the forgotten man," Biden said. "As soon as he got elected he forgot the forgotten man."
Biden spoke to this experience in office and familiarity with world leaders. He said on day one he would reach out to NATO allies.
"I think I can help put things back together," Biden said.
VIDEO-Transformative Organizing Workshop - Eric Mann's Talk - YouTube
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 16:42
VIDEO-#3 - BLM... Marxist? Introducing Eric Mann, the mentor of BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors - YouTube
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 15:34
VIDEO-#5 -BLM Co-Founder's Marxist mentor explains there is a bigger agenda behind helping people of color - YouTube
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 15:33
VIDEO-#4 - Marxist BLM - Eric Mann - Marxist and mentor of BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors. - YouTube
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 15:32
VIDEO-#1- BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullers speaks about the ideological framework of BLM - Marxism. - YouTube
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 15:30
VIDEO-#2 - BLM Co-Founder tells us her "mentor" was Marxist Eric Mann. - YouTube
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 15:28
VIDEO - Online petition calls on Trader Joe's to change its 'racist packaging' - CNN
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 14:09
(CNN)More than 1,700 people have signed a petition urging Trader Joe's to change the labeling of some of its international food products, calling the grocery chain's branding "racist."
"The grocery chain labels some of its ethnic foods with modifications of "Joe" that belies a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes," the
petition, which a California high school senior launched two weeks ago, reads.
It cites "Trader Ming's," the grocery chain's label for its Chinese products, "Arabian Joe," for its Middle Eastern products, "Trader Jos(C)," for its Mexican products, and a handful of others as examples.
"The Trader Joe's branding is racist because it exoticizes other cultures - it presents 'Joe' as the default "normal" and the other characters falling outside of it," the petition says.
The grocery store chain, which first opened in Pasadena, California, in 1967, said it has already "been in the process of updating order labels, and replacing any variations with the name Trader Joe's."
"While this approach to product naming may have been rooted in a lighthearted attempt at inclusiveness, we recognize that it may now have the opposite effect -- one that is contrary to the welcoming, rewarding customer experience we strive to create every day," Kenya Friend-Daniel, a spokeswoman for Trader Joe's, said in a statement.
"Packaging for a number of the products has already been changed, but there's a small number of products in which the packaging is still going through the process," Friend-Daniel added.
Trader Joe's is the latest in a line of companies to rebrand its products following the
widespread protests over racial inequality sparked by the
death of George Floyd. Last month, Quaker Oats announced that it was retiring the 130-year-old
Aunt Jemima brand and logo, acknowledging that it was based on a racial stereotype.
Uncle Ben's and Mrs. Butterworth's quickly followed.
CNN's Jordan Valinsky contributed to this report.
VIDEO -0.25-1.25-NPR Fear porn
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 14:01
VIDEO - Family that owns New York Times had slaves - YouTube
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 13:56
VIDEO-Joe Digenova discussed the Durham Probe - YouTube
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 12:05
VIDEO-Black Lies Matter - YouTube
Tue, 21 Jul 2020 03:38
VIDEO-"Ask Prince Andrew About It": Trump Warned Epstein's Island Was "Absolute Cesspool" In 2015 | Zero Hedge
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 16:19
President Trump suggested in 2015 that reporters ask Prince Andrew about his good friend Jeffrey Epstein's so-called 'pedo' island, calling it an "absolute cesspool."
According to The Sun, Trump's comments came around the time that accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre alleged that Epstein coerced her into having sex with Prince Andrew on three separate occasions when she was 17.
Giuffre described in detail a March 10, 2001 encounter with the prince in which she says she danced with him at a London nightclub before he had sex with her.
VIDEO-Home - Global Tuidang Center
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:44
Volunteers around the world clarifying the truth, exposing Chinese Communist Party's Crime against the Chinese people
For over 15 years, tuidang volunteers all around the world dedicate themselves in helping Chinese people to break free from CCP's decades of propaganda and violence, encouraging hundreds of millions of Chinese people to quit the Chinese Communist Party and it's affiliated associations'...
One Book That Started It All'...
The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party was first published in November of 2004, followed quickly by an English translation. As of January 2018, the series has led more than 300 million Chinese people to renounce the communist party and its affiliated organizations, fostering an unprecedented peaceful movement for transformation and change in China. Here we republish the Nine Commentaries, and provide links to a video version produced by NTD Television.
VIDEO - Judge Esther Salas' son shot and killed, husband injured in attack at their NJ home - ABC News
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:23
Judge Esther Salas, who serves on the federal bench in New Jersey, was not hurt.
July 20, 2020, 2:27 PM
4 min read
The son of a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey, has been shot and killed, and her husband shot and injured in an attack at the family's home, according to law enforcement sources.
The judge, Esther Salas, was not hurt.
Her son died, Francis "Mac" Womack, the mayor of North Brunswick, New Jersey, told ABC News. Salas' husband, Mark Anderl, is in critical but stable condition as of Monday morning, according to law enforcement sources.
The suspect is a white man who wore a face covering and a FedEx uniform, law enforcement sources told ABC News, and he used an ordinary car to make a getaway. He remains at-large.
At about 5 p.m. Sunday, the gunman knocked at the door to the family's North Brunswick home. Anderl answered the door and was shot first, before the son was also shot.
"He was shot through the heart," Womack said of the son, who was a first-year student at Catholic University.
FedEx Spokesman Jim Masilak said in a statement, "We are aware of the media reports and are fully cooperating with investigating authorities."
Police respond to reports of a shooting at the home of federal Judge Esther Salas in North Brunswick, New Jersey, July 19, 2020.
Police respond to reports of a shooting at the home of federal Judge Esther Salas in North Brunswick, New Jersey, July 19, 2020. WABCThe mayor said investigators are now "trying to get a hard make on the vehicle" to track the suspect.
"As a judge, she had threats from time to time, but everyone is saying that recently there had not been any," said Womack, who is personal friends with the judge and her husband.
In a statement, the FBI Newark office said, "The FBI is investigating a shooting that occurred at the home of Judge Esther Salas in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey earlier this evening, July 19. We are looking for one subject and ask that anyone who thinks they may have relevant information please call FBI Newark at 973-792-3001. We are working closely with our state and local partners and will provide additional updates when available."
The New Jersey State Police, the North Brunswick Police and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's office are also involved in the investigation. The U.S. Marshals have been called to provide the judge with a security detail, according to a law enforcement official.
Salas had received threats in the past, the sources said. Authorities are investigating whether there is any connection between those prior threats and the shooting, or whether it possibly involved the husband's work as a criminal defense attorney.
"I know Judge Salas and her husband well, and was proud to recommend her to President Obama for nomination to New Jersey's federal bench," New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez said in a statement. "My prayers are with Judge Salas and her family, and that those responsible for this horrendous act are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice."
Salas is the first Latina woman to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey.
VIDEO-Montenegro Government to confiscate Religious Properties | FromRome.Info
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:00
A Handbook for Catholic Laity on how to convert clergy back to Allegiance to Pope Benedict XVI: step by step procedures, advice on what and what not to do.
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Make a Donation to Save Old St. Mary's Inc., a US non profit which supports Br. Bugnolo's Apostolic work.
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VIDEO-GLENN BECK: "Attention all Catholics!" - YouTube
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 14:08
VIDEO-Chinese Netizens Outraged by State Media's Narrative on Floods | China | Epoch News - YouTube
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 13:30
VIDEO-Rex Chapman🏇🏼 on Twitter: "Bill Nye is fed up. And I'm with him. Trust science. ''We're all one species.'' I'm here for all of this..." / Twitter
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 04:11
Rex Chapman🏇🏼 : Bill Nye is fed up. And I'm with him. Trust science. ''We're all one species.''I'm here for all of this...
Sun Jul 19 20:17:00 +0000 2020
Laina Malmstrom : @RexChapman Omg I love Bill Nye!
Mon Jul 20 04:11:01 +0000 2020
Dan : @RexChapman @janfromthebruce Ok not sure if your English is wrong or your sceince archaic hominids are in no way al'...
Mon Jul 20 04:09:32 +0000 2020
Jon King Jr : @RexChapman @r8rhemi I trust science that is real, openly reviewable and peer checked only. We don't have any as of yet.
Mon Jul 20 04:07:49 +0000 2020
Gege : @RexChapman EXACTLY! We are all homosapiens. All in a rainbow of shades of brown.However, the sun theory doesn't'...
Mon Jul 20 04:06:59 +0000 2020
Grrrrrrr! : @RexChapman We are all the same species, yes, we are humans. But we didn't all evolve from Africa. But yes, majorit'...
Mon Jul 20 04:06:36 +0000 2020
ً : @RexChapman Yessir
Mon Jul 20 04:05:56 +0000 2020
Pal : @RexChapman So why are we not doing anything about affermitive action?
Mon Jul 20 04:04:58 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Toe Knee on Twitter: "Kanye said this and I left immediately. I went for a laugh and I got one. But when it got disrespectful for me it was over." / Twitter
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 04:09
Toe Knee : Kanye said this and I left immediately. I went for a laugh and I got one. But when it got disrespectful for me it w'...
Sun Jul 19 21:31:21 +0000 2020
InKsLiNGeR/Father to a Dragon/Husband to a Queen : @toekneerlynos You know he ain't been right ever since that accident... But this don't excuse shit!
Mon Jul 20 04:09:50 +0000 2020
lsakjakes : @toekneerlynos I have a bipolar child . He's manic. He needs help and his family is shit!! Also he often speaks t'...
Mon Jul 20 04:09:47 +0000 2020
B҉AÒB҉YÒW҉RÒL҉DÒ½'3͎5͎O͎O͎ : @toekneerlynos
Mon Jul 20 04:09:42 +0000 2020
Mitch : @toekneerlynos Wtf is this lmaooo
Mon Jul 20 04:09:41 +0000 2020
Michael Everson : @toekneerlynos @theMMPodcast ''We should consider ourselves lucky that that ego didn't end up in a white dude.'' - @billburr ðŸ‚
Mon Jul 20 04:09:30 +0000 2020
John Gibson : @toekneerlynos Woah! I didn't have 'Kanye west dogs americas heroine of the Underground Railroad ' on my trump era'...
Mon Jul 20 04:09:21 +0000 2020
Etim : @toekneerlynos This is what it has come to. Ok lets listen to what Mr. Trump has to say. Nice deep tan btw
Mon Jul 20 04:09:09 +0000 2020
Diana : @toekneerlynos He always thinks he's doing something
Mon Jul 20 04:08:55 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Kanye West gets emotional on pro-life cause at freewheeling South Carolina event: 'No more Plan B. Plan A.' | Fox News
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 04:00
Published July 19, 2020
Last Update 2 hrs ago
His comments on Harriet Tubman left some guests confused or upsetRapper Kanye West, in his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, delivered a freewheeling monologue Sunday touching on topics such as abortion, which left him emotional.
"No more Plan B -- Plan A," he said to a mixed response from the audience about the emergency contraceptive that helps prevent pregnancy within 72 hours after unprotected sex.
West said that while he believed abortion should be legal, financial incentives to help struggling mothers could be a way to discourage the practice.
''Everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars,'' he said as an example.
Speaking without a microphone, West became tearful while talking about abortion, his mother, who died following plastic surgery complications in 2007, and his wife, reality television star Kim Kardashian West.
"Even if my wife wants to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into the world even when I didn't want to. She stood up and she protected that child. You know who else protected a child? Forty-three years ago, who do you think protected a child?'' West said crying.
"My mom saved my life. My dad wanted to abort me. My mom saved my life, there would have been no Kanye West because my dad was too busy," he said.
Wearing a protective vest and with ''2020'' shaved into his head, the entertainer spoke before a crowd in North Charleston, South Carolina.
His rambling speech went from religion to international trade and licensing deals.
''Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people,'' he said, apparently trying to make a bigger point about race and advantages. One crowd member right afterward groaned, ''Come on, man,'' while a woman could be heard saying, ''Okay we're leaving now.''
According to a livestream of the event, it appeared that several hundred people had gathered in a venue, where gospel music played before West's appearance.
The event was reportedly for registered guests only, although a campaign website had no registration or RSVP information.
West has missed the deadline to qualify for the ballot in several states, and it's unclear if he was willing or able to collect enough signatures required to qualify in others. Last week, he qualified to appear on the presidential ballot in Oklahoma, the first state where he met the requirements before the filing deadline.
West would need to collect 10,000 signatures by noon Monday to appear on the South Carolina ballot, according to state law. The entertainer tweeted out a list of locations around the Charleston area where petitions could be signed. Email to an address purportedly associated with the campaign was not returned Sunday afternoon to The Associated Press.
West initially announced his candidacy on July 4.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Kim Yo Jong, Sister Of North Korea's Ruler, Rises Through Ranks With Tough Rhetoric : NPR
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 03:59
Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, attends a wreath-laying ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam, on March 2, 2019. Jorge Silva/AFP via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Jorge Silva/AFP via Getty Images Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, attends a wreath-laying ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam, on March 2, 2019.
Jorge Silva/AFP via Getty Images "Rip apart the defectors, the traitors and the human trash," demonstrators wearing masks and standing in neat rows shouted at a rally in Nampo, North Korea, last month, state media reported.
Similar demonstrations took place around the country last month, aiming to signal dismay at South Korea for allowing defectors to send propaganda leaflets, often floated on balloons, over the border to criticize North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
While government-organized demonstrations are not unusual in the North, one notable feature of these rallies is that they echo the harsh rhetoric of Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong. She is believed to be 32 and apparently in charge of the campaign against the defectors and their leaflets.
Kim Yo Jong is the first vice director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.
Her political star has risen steadily since her brother took power in 2011, leading to speculation that she could one day become the country's first female ruler. But while there are plausible reasons for her recent elevation, analysts say, the traditional patriarchal nature of North Korean society will likely prevent her from advancing higher up the ranks.
"She's gone from being her brother's proxy to his protocol assistant, to his eyes and ears, to a punisher," comments Kim Seung-chul, a defector who runs the Seoul, South Korea-based North Korea Reform Radio, which broadcasts news into the North.
Kim Yo Jong helps her brother, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, sign a joint statement following a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Sept. 19, 2018. Pyongyang Press Corps Pool via AP hide caption
toggle caption Pyongyang Press Corps Pool via AP Kim Yo Jong helps her brother, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, sign a joint statement following a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Sept. 19, 2018.
Pyongyang Press Corps Pool via AP Olympic debut
Kim Yo Jong was still in her 20s in 2011 when her father, Kim Jong Il, died and her brother took power.
Her debut on the international stage came in 2018, when she acted as a special envoy at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and met with the country's president, Moon Jae-in.
In her most recent statement this month, she showed that she remains involved in relations with the United States. She voiced doubt about a summit between Kim Jong Un and President Trump this year. But she left the door open to talks and insisted, "We do not have the slightest intention to pose a threat to the U.S."
On some occasions, such as Kim-Trump summits in Singapore and Vietnam, she has appeared to act as her brother's personal assistant, holding his pens and ashtrays. On others, she has been seen watching her brother's public events from the sidelines. She has also reportedly managed her brother's public image as an official in charge of propaganda.
Following the abortive Vietnam summit last year, Kim Yo Jong dropped from view for nearly two months.
Tough threats and insults
Her rhetoric has recently grown harsher. In a statement last month, she threatened to destroy an inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea '-- a symbol of ties with the South. Days later, the building was blown up.
In another statement, she assailed North Korean defectors as "human scum little short of wild animals who betrayed their own homeland." She described Moon, the South Korean president, as an "insane" man who put his neck in "the noose of the pro-U.S. flunkyism."
Such language suggests that while her political status may have been upgraded, her political acumen and maturity have not, says Kim Seung-chul.
He also argues that Kim Yo Jong's efforts to dismantle warmer ties with Seoul cannot have been very popular at home. Some North Korean elites, he says, had hopes that the d(C)tente would bring in badly needed South Korean investment and lead to better ties with Washington and an easing of sanctions.
"To those in North Korea who still had a positive attitude toward cooperating with South Korea, [Kim Yo Jong's actions] are a huge disappointment," Kim Seung-chul says.
But the younger sister's rise to what many now see as the de facto No. 2 position in the Kim regime has historical precedent and political logic behind it.
"There is nothing unusual about, say, a sibling of the current leader to be his second in command. It's actually a very well-established tradition of the Kim family," says professor Andrei Lankov, a North Korea expert at Kookmin University in Seoul. He notes that the current leader's father, Kim Jong Il, was assisted by his sister during his rule in the 1990s.
Kim Yo Jong's new role was necessitated by her brother's disappearance this spring, Lankov says, apparently because of an unknown illness. By one estimate, Kim Jon Un has made only seven public appearances from April through June, compared with 46 in the same period last year.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (left) shakes hands with Kim Yo Jong upon his arrival for a meeting with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, on May 26, 2018, in Panmunjom, North Korea. Handout/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Handout/Getty Images South Korean President Moon Jae-in (left) shakes hands with Kim Yo Jong upon his arrival for a meeting with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, on May 26, 2018, in Panmunjom, North Korea.
Handout/Getty Images "This makes it more necessary for him to have a trusted deputy," Lankov says. "And this person has to come from, if you like, the royal family, and in the ruling clan, they have now a shortage of adults."
"Big socialist family"
The ruling Kim clan is known in North Korea as the "Mount Paektu bloodline," a reference to the mountain on the country's border with China where North Korea claims Kim Jong Il was born and his father fought the Japanese.
"In many regards, North Korea is similar to the European societies of late medieval and early modern days. It is essentially a monarchy," Lankov says, in which family members are more trusted than other elites.
That bloodline is what allows Kim Yo Jong to rise so high in North Korean politics, despite a bias against women in power in a country where traditional attitudes are summed up in the Korean maxim "If the hen cries, the household will be ruined." The saying, used in both Koreas, suggests that when women speak up or take charge, no good will come of it.
"The North Korean system is fundamentally patriarchal," says Lim Soon-hee, an expert on women in North Korea who is now retired from the Korea Institute for National Unification, a government think tank in Seoul.
"The government tells the people that they form one big socialist family," she adds. The father of this metaphorical family, she explains, is Kim Jong Un. The mother is the ruling Workers' Party. The children are the North Korean people. And the father's authority is unchallenged.
North Korea, she points out, went from being part of the 1392-1910 Choson dynasty to being a colony of the Japanese Empire from 1910 to 1945, to becoming a dictatorship. Although its socialist rhetoric upholds equality of the sexes, the North, unlike the South, never had a strong civil society or government agencies designed to improve women's place in society.
As a result, "the social atmosphere is that women are inferior to men. Women themselves would never dare to compare themselves to men," she says.
This is why she believes Kim Yo Jong's most likely future role is not that of successor but, instead, a regent or caretaker until the leader's son is old enough to take over. Lim says Kim Jong Un reportedly has three small children who are too young to rule.
Even if Kim Yo Jong were to take power, Lim argues, North Korea's conservative military would never accept it.
"Kim Yo Jong herself would not hope to be a successor, although she may have a strong will to acquire greater practical power," Lim concludes. "She is smart enough to know that it wouldn't be easy for a woman."
Se Eun Gong and Ha-Kyung Kim contributed to this story in Seoul, South Korea.
VIDEO-Black woman dumps paint on more Black Lives Matter murals in NYC: 'We want our police' | Fox News
Mon, 20 Jul 2020 03:49
A Black woman opposing the Black Lives Matter movement, who was arrested Saturday for dumping paint on a BLM street mural outside Trump Tower, livestreamed herself doing the same thing again at similar murals in Harlem and Brooklyn later that evening.
Bevelyn Beatty, 29, livestreamed each installment on her Facebook page. In her most recent post, Beatty recounted covering up parts of the murals with paint.
''Ya'll, we did an all-nighter,'' Beatty says in a Sunday Facebook post. ''Let me tell you something, yesterday was epic.''
Beatty could be seen in the first livestream smearing paint outside the Midtown skyscraper, as police tried to apprehend her.
''Refund the police,'' Beatty could be heard shouting. ''Jesus matters! We will never support Black Lives Matter!''
One of the officers surrounding the woman slipped on the paint and fell to the ground, injuring his head and arm, police said. He was listed in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital.
She was arrested and charged with criminal mischief, but was released shortly thereafter, the New York Post reported. Within hours, she was back to work at other murals, according to the report.
In a follow-up video, titled ''Harlem Drive By Painting,'' Beatty and several others could be seen dumping paint out of the back of a minivan as it drove over another mural in Harlem. A bystander was heard shouting: ''What's wrong with you? You're a Black woman!''
In a third video, Beatty and another woman could be seen dumping paint on a BLM mural on Fulton Street in Brooklyn as angry locals approached them.
''Ladies and gentlemen, we're in Brooklyn and it ain't over,'' she said.
''Jesus matters. We're taking our country back. We're taking it back, and let me tell you something, the police need our help. They can't stand alone. Don't just sit by idly and watch your country go to the ground.''
VIDEO-EU grapples with 'mission impossible' at deadlocked recovery summit | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 23:00
Sun Jul 19, 2020 / 6:01 PM EDT
John Chalmers and Gabriela Baczynska
BRUSSELS BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU leaders stood at an impasse on Sunday after three days of haggling over a plan to revive economies throttled by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the chairman of their near-record-length summit urged them to make one last push on "mission impossible".
Charles Michel reminded the 27 leaders of the European Union over dinner in Brussels that more than 600,000 people had now died as a result of the coronavirus around the world, and said it was up to them to stand together in the face of an unprecedented crisis.
"My hope is that we reach an agreement and that the headline ... tomorrow is that the EU has accomplished mission impossible," he said. "That is my heartfelt wish ... after three days of non-stop work."
The leaders are at odds over how to carve up a vast recovery fund designed to help haul Europe out of its deepest recession since World War Two, and what strings to attach for countries it would benefit.
Diplomats said it was possible that they would abandon the summit and try again for an agreement next month.
On the table is a 1.8-trillion-euro ($2.06-trillion) package for the EU's next long-term budget and recovery fund.
The 750 billion euros proposed for the recovery fund would be raised on behalf of them all on capital markets by the EU's executive European Commission, which would be a historic step towards greater integration, and then funnelled mostly to hard-hit Mediterranean rim countries.
European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde said it would be better for the leaders to agree an "ambitious" aid package than to have a quick deal at any cost.
"Ideally, the leaders' agreement should be ambitious in terms of size and composition of the package ... even if it takes a bit more time," she told Reuters.
Lagarde's comments suggested she was relaxed about the possibility of an adverse reaction on financial markets if the summit fails, especially as the ECB has a 1 trillion euro-plus war chest to buy up government debt.
A group of "frugal" wealthy north European states pushed during the summit for a smaller recovery fund and sought to limit how payouts are split between grants and repayable loans.
The tense talks, though still shorter that an EU summit in the French city of Nice 20 years ago, underscored the gulf between the EU's north and south.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte accused the Netherlands and its allies -- Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Finland -- of "blackmail".
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's position reflects political realities in his country, where voters resent that the Netherlands is, proportionately, among the largest net contributors to the EU budget.
He and his conservative VVD party face a strong challenge from far-right eurosceptic parties in elections next March.
On Sunday evening, another attempt at reaching a compromise failed. A deal envisaging 400 billion euros in grants - down from a proposed 500 billion euros - was rejected by the north, which said it saw 350 billion euros as the maximum.
There were also differences over a proposed new rule-of-law mechanism that could freeze funding to countries flouting democratic principles. Hungary, backed by Poland, threatened to veto the package if its disbursement was made dependent on meeting conditions on upholding the rule of law.
For some, the summit was a critical moment for nearly 70 years of European integration, and failure to agree could unnerve financial markets and fuel doubts about the bloc's viability.
(Additional reporting by Kate Abnett, Marine Strauss, Tom Sims, Bart Meijer, Toby Sterling, Jan Lopatka, Marton Dunai, Balazs Koranyi, Andreas Rinke and Jessica Jones, Writing by John Chalmers and Gabirela Baczynska; Editing by Timothy Heritage and Sonya Hepinstall)
VIDEO-State of the Union on Twitter: "Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says that they are on the ''brink'' of issuing another stay-at-home order as coronavirus cases increase in the city #CNNSOTU" / Twitter
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 22:58
State of the Union : Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says that they are on the ''brink'' of issuing another stay-at-home order as coronavi'...
Sun Jul 19 13:24:55 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Live: Rapper Kanye West holds campaign event in South Carolina - YouTube
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 22:25
VIDEO-Reverend Al Sharpton on Twitter: "Senator Kamala Harris remembers Congressman John Lewis and calls for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. #PoliticsNation" / Twitter
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 20:53
Reverend Al Sharpton : Senator Kamala Harris remembers Congressman John Lewis and calls for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.'...
Sat Jul 18 21:58:31 +0000 2020
S Herrms : @TheRevAl What happens when black American Patriots find out you've been selling them out for decades for your 30 pieces of silver?
Sun Jul 19 20:53:05 +0000 2020
TES : @TheRevAl So is the double/clone taking over bc the real Kamala is hiding out knowing #PainIsComing?!?
Sun Jul 19 20:52:49 +0000 2020
sarasotas4me : @TheRevAl Nothing you do is altruistic. How exactly do you make money? What business are you in?
Sun Jul 19 20:52:40 +0000 2020
Liberal Karen : @TheRevAl That's some bad plastic surgery!
Sun Jul 19 20:52:36 +0000 2020
PoPo_NoMo Anon : @TheRevAl That's not Kamala.
Sun Jul 19 20:52:16 +0000 2020
Dave : @TheRevAl She looks like a big mouth bass now!
Sun Jul 19 20:51:53 +0000 2020
~AMERICAN PATRIOT~ : @TheRevAl Hey Pimp Sharpton?Wtf is she on?
Sun Jul 19 20:51:42 +0000 2020
Florida Publius : @TheRevAl That's not Kamala Harris. Looks nothing like her
Sun Jul 19 20:51:39 +0000 2020
QueenKK °Ÿ‡º°Ÿ‡¸'''¸°Ÿ¸'­¸'­¸'­¸ : @TheRevAl What happened to her face? Is this a CLONE? Where's Kampala?
Sun Jul 19 20:51:37 +0000 2020
Esther J : @TheRevAl I couldn't listen to a thing she said in the clip because I was so fixated on her face...WHAT HAPPENED TO HER FACE ?
Sun Jul 19 20:51:33 +0000 2020

Clips & Documents

All Clips
1-Patrisse Cullors again says she's a trained marxist.mp3
2-Robin Kelley NPR Author of commies in the great depression on Black Marxists.mp3
3-Leonard Patterson 1928 communist party trained in Moscow.mp3
4-DN - BLM Co-Founder patrisse cullors tells us her mentor was Marxist Eric Mann.mp3
Abigail Shrier 'Irreversible Damage' on Rogan - Young girls signing up for transition at Planned Parenthood.mp3
Biden at the hospital'.mp3
Black Portland Cop Officer Jackson on BLM racism.mp3
BLM MASS driver license.mp3
CBS - Portland 'troops' package.mp3
Chad WOlf ACT DHS Sec on proactive arrests.mp3
chiner spies in SF consulates.mp3
chinese consulate oNE.mp3
chinese consulate three- thronton.mp3
chinese consulate TWO.mp3
Covid cases low.mp3
Covid rundown trump back peddle DN.mp3
Covid san queninnDN.mp3
COVID vaccine ask Adam vaccine candidates.mp3
COVID vaccine pase two numbers.mp3
COVID vaccine SA Oxford.mp3
Eric Mann -1- Transformative Workshop - organizing is kill the empire.mp3
Eric Mann -2- Using race for the AGENDA.mp3
Eric Mann -3- Focus on the STRATEGIC alliances poor blacks.mp3
Eric Mann -4- What we want - Familiar List.mp3
Eric Mann -5- Building the list with pamphlets.mp3
Eric Mann -6- Do the work READ.mp3
Eric Mann -bonus story- I can't breathe hmmmm.mp3
Frmr US Attorney Guy Lewis - Expect Indictments.mp3
Gordon Chang infers that Chinese Embassy was in contact with BLM protestors.mp3
Hillary Clinton with Joy Reid on Stone commutation.mp3
Joe Digenova Durham REPORT due before Charges 1000's of sealed indictments.mp3
Mark Meadows -1- expects indictments with Money Honey.mp3
Mark Meadows -2- Maria can't believe it.mp3
Minneapolis Officer Rich Walker says Morale is at a low.mp3
NYC demands housing DN.mp3
Patrisse Cullors spills -1-Grew up queer and no father.mp3
Patrisse Cullors spills -2- I was angry at 17 The country fucked me.mp3
Patrisse Cullors spills -3- My father died of racism - country killed him.mp3
Pompeo UK China is Assho speech.mp3
portland pushback DN.mp3
re-intro climate change NPR.mp3
re-intro climate changeTWO NPR.mp3
rick wilson no durham report.mp3
SERBIA anniversary of massacre.mp3
Serbia govt protests PBS.mp3
substance abuse 1.mp3
substance abuse 2 voice.mp3
substance abuse 3.mp3
substance abuse 4.mp3
the future of work MIT study.mp3
Trump - We Have a Winner - Phizer and BioNTech.mp3
Tuckers lament NYT Dox.mp3
Unmarked cars and Federal Police - Protesters in Portland faceoff against authorities.mp3
winner ISO.mp3
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