1313: Q Victims

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 50m
January 17th, 2021
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Executive Producers: Sir George of the Southern Carpathians, Sir BobB of Sunset Beach by the Bay, Sir Chris Wilson, Sir CrashEMT, Trevor Green, Mike Bruer, Sir Brian of the Green Country, Sir Fur of the Shark Attack Capital of the World, Anonymous, Reid, William Grantham, Christopher Reitmeyer, Sir Roly of Weybridge, Sir John of the Dunkirk Mud Flats, Chris Burney, Anonymous, Nastassja Findley, Rob Allen, Carlos Areces, Riley Fields, onno priester, Peter Egan

Associate Executive Producers: Kurt Butler, Jake in Minneapolis, Sir Butch, Foul mouth electrician of big sky country, Ed Warner, Sir Nick of the Black Forest, Mike of the Rising Elevator, Linda Gaeta, Anonymous, Christopher Pagels, Sir Richard Garrett, Mark Johnson, Dennis Price, B10m, Brendon Cornyn, James & Julia Chou

Cover Artist: Chakra Daddy

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
7:23
Fire In A Crowded Theater
Guest producer
20:50
Inauguration
Guest producer
46:40
CBS No Credible Threat Rundown
Guest producer
1:21:25
Inaugluration!
Guest producer
1:25:00
Start of 1st donations segment
Guest producer
2:00:06
How Curry and Dvorak met
Guest producer
2:32:43
Covid-19
Omas105
2:47:52
Dr. Cat on tik tok.
Omas105
2:52:40
Belgium Health Commissioner
Guest producer
3:18:33
Clip of the day goes to Dvorak
Guest producer
3:24:41
Start of 2nd Donations segment
Guest producer
Suggest a new chapter
The Purge
Stop jumping from service to service
What if the libtards are only about 10 million? Illusion!
Republicans buy sneakers quote
Someone else may have mentioned it but you are misattributing that quote.
Not Magic Johnson but Michael Jordan..
Keep up the great work
Extremists exploit a loophole in social moderation: Podcasts
Sat, 16 Jan 2021 01:41
Major social platforms have been cracking down on the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories in the leadup to the presidential election, and expanded their efforts in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. But Apple and Google, among others, have left open a major loophole for this material: Podcasts.
Podcasts made available by the two Big Tech companies let you tune into the world of the QAnon conspiracy theory, wallow in President Donald Trump's false claims of a stolen election and bask in other extremism. Accounts that have been banned on social media for election misinformation, threatening or bullying, and breaking other rules also still live on as podcasts available on the tech giants' platforms.
Conspiracy theorists have peddled stolen-election fantasies, coronavirus conspiracies and violent rhetoric. One podcaster, RedPill78, called the Capitol siege a ''staged event'' in a Jan. 11 episode of Red Pill News. The day before the Capitol riot, a more popular podcast, X22 Report, spoke confidently about a Trump second term, explained that Trump would need to ''remove'' many members of Congress to further his plans, and said ''We the people, we are the storm, and we're coming to DC.''
Both are available on Apple and Google podcast platforms.
Podcasting ''plays a particularly outsized role'' in propagating white supremacy, said a 2018 report from the Anti-Defamation League. Many white supremacists, like QAnon adherents, support Trump. Podcasting's an intimate, humanizing mode of communication that lets extremists expound on their ideas for hours at a time, said Oren Segal of ADL's Center on Extremism.
Elsewhere on social media, Twitter,Facebook and YouTube have been cracking down on accounts amplifying unfounded QAnon claims that Trump is fighting deep state enemies and cannibals operating a child-sex trafficking ring. A major talk radio company, Cumulus, told its hosts to tone down rhetoric about stolen elections and violent uprisings or risk termination, although it's not clear what impact that dictate has had.
Google-owned YouTube axed ''Bannon's War Room,'' a channel run by Trump loyalist Steve Bannon on Jan. 8 after he spread false election claims and called for the beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious-disease expert. But podcast versions of Bannon's show live on at Apple and Google. Spotify took it down in November, according to one of its hosts.
''Podcasts filled with hatred and incitement to violence should not be treated any differently than any other content,'' Segal said. ''If you're going to take a strong stance against hate and extremism in the platform in any way, it should be all-inclusive.''
Apple, Spotify and Google curate lists of top podcasts and recommend them to users. Apple and Spotify are the dominant players in the U.S., with other players far behind, said Dave Zohrob, CEO of the podcast analytics firm Chartable. Despite its name recognition, Google remains a tiny presence.
Spotify said it takes down podcasts that violate its policies against hate speech, copyright violations or break any laws, using ''algorithmic and human detection measures'' to identify violations. Apple's guidelines prohibit content that is illegal or promotes violence, graphic sex or drugs or is ''otherwise considered obscene, objectionable, or in poor taste.'' Apple did not reply to repeated questions about its content guidelines or moderation.
Google declined to explain the discrepancy between what's available on YouTube and what's on Google Podcasts, saying only that its podcast service ''indexes audio available on the web'' much the way its search engine indexes web pages. The company said it removes podcasts from its platform ''in very rare circumstances, largely guided by local law.''
X22 Report and Bannon's War Room were No. 20 and No. 32 on Apple's list of top podcasts on Friday. (Experts say that list measures a podcast's momentum rather than total listeners.) X22 Report said in October that it was suspended by YouTube and Spotify and last week by Twitter. It's no longer available on Facebook, either. It is supported by ads for products such as survivalist food, unlicensed food supplements and gold coins, which run before and during the podcasts.
The website for Red Pill News said YouTube banned its videos in October and that a Twitter suspension followed. The podcast is available on Apple and Google, but not Spotify.
Several QAnon proponents affected by the crackdown sued YouTube in October, calling its actions a ''massive de-platforming.'' Among the plaintiffs are X22 Report, RedPill78 and David Hayes, who runs another conspiracy podcast called Praying Medic that's available on Apple and Google, but not Spotify.
Melody Torres, who podcasts at SoulWarrior Uncensored, self-identifies as a longtime QAnon follower and said in a recent episode that her podcast is ''just my way of not being censored.'' She said she was kicked off Twitter in January and booted from Instagram four times last year. She currently has Instagram, Facebook and YouTube accounts; her podcast is available on Apple and Google. Spotify removed the podcast Friday after The Associated Press inquired about it.
X22 Report, RedPill78 and Hayes did not respond to requests for comment sent via their websites. Torres did not reply to a Facebook message.
Podcasts suffer from the same misinformation problem as other platforms, said Shane Creevey, head of editorial for Kinzen, a startup created by former Facebook and Twitter executives that offers a disinformation tracker to companies, including some that host or curate podcasts.
Creevey points out that it's harder to analyze misinformation from video and audio than from text. Podcasts can also run for hours, making them difficult to monitor. And podcasting has additional challenges in that there are no reliable statistics on their audience, unlike a YouTube stream, which shows views, or a tweet or Facebook post, which shows likes and shares, Creevey said.
But some argue that tech-company moderation is opaque and inconsistent, creating a new set of problems. Censorship ''goes with the tide against what's popular in any given moment,'' said Jillian York, an expert at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-rights group. Right now, she said, ''that tide is against the speech of right-wing extremists ... but tomorrow the tide might be against opposition activists.''
___
AP Technology Editor David Hamilton contributed to this article.
Apple launches major new Racial Equity and Justice Initiative projects to challenge systemic racism, advance racial equity nationwide - Apple
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 21:27
PRESS RELEASE January 13, 2021
Commitments build on Apple's $100 million pledge and include a first-of-its-kind education hub for HBCUs and an Apple Developer Academy in Detroit
As part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative commitment, Apple is supporting the launch of the Propel Center (rendering above), an innovation hub for the entire HBCU community that will provide curriculum, internships, and mentorship opportunities.
Cupertino, California '-- Apple today announced a set of major new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. These forward-looking and comprehensive efforts include the Propel Center, a first-of-its-kind global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); an Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit; and venture capital funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs. Together, Apple's REJI commitments aim to expand opportunities for communities of color across the country and to help build the next generation of diverse leaders.
''We are all accountable to the urgent work of building a more just, more equitable world '-- and these new projects send a clear signal of Apple's enduring commitment,'' said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. ''We're launching REJI's latest initiatives with partners across a broad range of industries and backgrounds '-- from students to teachers, developers to entrepreneurs, and community organizers to justice advocates '-- working together to empower communities that have borne the brunt of racism and discrimination for far too long. We are honored to help bring this vision to bear, and to match our words and actions to the values of equity and inclusion we have always prized at Apple.''
Jared Bailey, a senior at Morehouse College, has integrated Apple's coding and creativity curricula into his public health and community service work as part of the school's partnership with Apple, a collaboration that is expanding further with the launch of the Propel Center.
Last June, Apple announced REJI in the wake of protests around the world following the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others. The initiative builds on Apple's work to advance racial equity in education, the economy, and the criminal justice system, and is led by Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson. REJI complements Apple's internal efforts to improve diversity and inclusion at every level of the company.
''Every individual deserves equal access to opportunity regardless of skin color or zip code,'' said Jackson. ''For too long, communities of color have faced gross injustices and institutional barriers to their pursuit of the American dream, and we are proud to lend our voices and resources to build new engines of opportunity that empower, inspire, and create meaningful change.''
Apple's Support for HBCUs Expands with the Propel CenterApple is working with Southern Company and a range of community stakeholders to support the launch of the
Propel Center, a first-of-its-kind innovation and learning hub for the HBCU community. Apple's $25 million contribution will enable the Propel Center to support HBCU students and faculty through a robust virtual platform, a physical campus in the historic Atlanta University Center, as well as on-campus activations at partner institutions.
The center is designed to support the next generation of diverse leaders, providing innovative curricula, technology support, career opportunities, and fellowship programs. The Propel Center will offer a wide range of educational tracks, including AI and machine learning, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment arts, app development, augmented reality, design and creative arts, career preparation, and entrepreneurship. Experts from Apple will help develop curricula and provide ongoing mentorship and learning support, along with offering internship opportunities.
The Propel Center campus (rendering above) '-- equipped with state-of-the-art lecture halls, learning labs, and on-site living for a scholars-in-residence program '-- will be located in the historic Atlanta University Center district.
The Propel Center was imagined and designed by Ed Farm, a groundbreaking organization that works to promote innovation and educational equity. The initiative builds upon Apple's partnership with Ed Farm and the company's work with three dozen HBCUs, bringing coding, creativity, and career opportunities to campuses and communities across the US.
''We're thrilled to be partnering with Apple on this extraordinary project,'' said Anthony Oni, Ed Farm's founder and chairman of the board, and a vice president at Southern Company. ''The Propel Center will help cultivate leadership and drive innovation in tech and beyond, acting as a springboard for change in communities across America.''
As part of Apple's ongoing partnerships with HBCUs, the company is also establishing two new grants to support HBCU engineering programs. Apple's new Innovation Grants will help HBCU Colleges of Engineering develop their silicon and hardware engineering curriculum in partnership with Apple's experts. The new Faculty Fellows Program will support HBCU educators pursuing R&D with mentorship programs, curriculum development assistance, and funds to equip their lab spaces.
Building on its longstanding scholarship program with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Apple is also now offering scholarships to 100 new Apple Scholars from underrepresented communities. In addition to financial support, the Apple Scholars program includes mentorship and career development experience at Apple.
MaKisha Funderburke will collaborate with Apple and Clark Atlanta University, where she is a professor, to create the curriculum framework for the Propel Arts program, one of the many educational tracks that will be available to all HBCU students and faculty through the Propel Center.
Hailee Bryant-Roye, an early-childhood education major at Tennessee State University, has been able to pursue new teaching and learning opportunities with Apple's Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create curricula, offered through the company's collaboration with TSU. She'll have access to additional programming, mentorship, and internship opportunities through the Propel Center.
Apple's First US Developer Academy to Open in Downtown DetroitLater this year, Apple will open an Apple Developer Academy in Detroit '-- the first of its kind in the US. Detroit has a vibrant Black entrepreneur and developer community, with over 50,000 Black-owned businesses, according to US Census data. The academy is designed to empower young Black entrepreneurs, creators, and coders, helping them cultivate the skills necessary for jobs in the rapidly growing iOS app economy. Launched in collaboration with Michigan State University, Apple Developer Academy courses will be open to all learners across Detroit, regardless of their academic background or whether they have any previous coding experience.
The Apple Developer Academy will offer two programs in Detroit. A 30-day introductory program is designed for learners who are considering app economy careers and looking to better understand what it means to be a developer. The full academy program is an intensive 10- to 12-month program that will help aspiring developers build the skills needed to participate in the iOS app economy, and even start their own businesses. Apple expects the academy's programming to reach close to 1,000 students each year with a curriculum that covers coding, design, marketing, and professional skills.
And next month, Apple will host the inaugural cohort of its Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers for a virtual experience, offering one-on-one code-level guidance from Apple experts and engineers, as well as mentorship, inspiration, and insights from top Apple leaders.
Empowering Entrepreneurs Through New Funding PartnershipsTo address systemic barriers to access and funding faced by Black and Brown entrepreneurs, Apple is today announcing two new investments in the venture capital and banking spaces, with both projects designed to provide capital to minority-owned businesses. The company will invest $10 million with Harlem Capital '-- an early-stage venture capital firm based in New York '-- to support its investments in 1,000 companies with diverse founders over the next 20 years. In addition to providing capital to entrepreneurs of color, Harlem Capital will also lend its expertise to Apple's broader efforts to advance access to economic opportunity. The firm will offer guidance and mentorship to students at the Detroit Developer Academy and participants in Apple's Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers. Apple will also support Harlem Capital's internship program, focused on opening doors for aspiring women and minority investors.
The company will also invest $25 million in Siebert Williams Shank's Clear Vision Impact Fund, which provides capital to small and medium-size businesses, with an emphasis on minority-owned companies. The fund looks to support businesses that operate in or serve underserved markets, and that foster inclusive growth initiatives.
Lifting up Community OrganizationsAs part of its REJI work, Apple continues to build on its contributions toward community colleges, nonprofit advocates, and local organizations working to empower and expand opportunity for the next generation.
Apple is making a contribution to The King Center, a living memorial to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to share his teachings and inspire new generations to carry forward his unfinished work. Next week, Dr. King's daughter and the CEO of The King Center, Dr. Bernice A. King, will issue a call to action encouraging young people to give back to their communities as part of Apple's ''Challenge for Change'' series '-- a set of conversation guides and learning-based challenges on issues related to race and inequality.
Apple's contribution to The King Center joins the company's previous donations to nonprofit organizations that advance equity and justice, including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.
Apple's support for The King Center will bolster the organization's work to share Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s teachings and inspire new generations to carry forward his unfinished work.
Images of Apple's Racial Equity and Justice Initiative
Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple's five software platforms '-- iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS '-- provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud. Apple's more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.
Twitter Briefly Restricts Access to Sputnik V Vaccine's Account Over 'Possible Security Breach' - Sputnik International
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 21:21
World17:40 GMT 14.01.2021(updated 19:26 GMT 14.01.2021) Get short URL
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Sputnik
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Developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Sputnik V was the first SARS-Cov-2 vaccine to be registered anywhere in the world. The vaccine has been pre-ordered by over a dozen nations, with dozens more expressing interest.
Access to Sputnik V's official Twitter account was "temporarily restricted" on Thursday over "unusual activity from this account."
(C) Sputnik / Stringer
Sputnik V's landing page on Twitter, featuring a warning about the account being "temporarily restricted."
Clicking on the profile landed users on a warning page reading "Caution: This account is temporarily restricted," and "You're seeing this warning because there has been some unusual activity from this account. Do you still want to view it?"Clicking "Yes, view profile" would take users to the account.
The restrictions against the account were lifted later on Thursday.
After restoring access to the account, Twitter explained that the restrictions against @Sputnikvaccine were put in place "due to a possible security breach from Virginia."Earlier on Thursday, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official said Sputnik V's international certification was in process, and that the WHO was prepared to speed up the process. The same day, Russian Direct Investment Fund chief Kirill Dmitriev told Reuters that Russia would formally submit Sputnik V for approval with European Union health authorities in February.
Johoshua: "@adam #Gab #Cloudflare (Repost thanks @bacondude '..." - No Agenda Social
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 21:29
@ johoshua @ adam @ bacondude what it comes down to is that "Gab.com's DNS entry" isn't "[taken] down" but rather that Cloudflare is no longer passing along requests to the actual Gab servers
@ johoshua @ adam @ bacondude "subnetted" is incorrect as well. Cloudflare works kind of like a firewall/router combination, passing along the requests to the actual website somewhere else on the internet.
@ johoshua @ adam @ bacondude no! None of what you've said is correct.
Gab's web servers are still out there on the internet. How Cloudflare works is that you point your site to their servers, and they do their magic and then send the request along to your real servers when they determine it's not an attack.
@ coldacid @ johoshua @ adam
Mr coldacid. What do you think is happening? I value your tech knowledge and I think we all would value your opinion.
@ bacondude @ johoshua @ adam I think Cloudflare is refusing to pass along the requests to Gab's actual servers and just claiming that they're not able to access those servers. Until Turbo goes and changes the DNS records to point to the real servers instead of to Cloudflare, you'll all just get that page.
@ bacondude @ johoshua @ adam yeah because without a Host: header in the HTTP request, Cloudflare doesn't know what actual site you want, so it doesn't know where to route your request.
@ coldacid @ johoshua @ adam I've maxed out my dude named ben abilities. :) But Mr acid we can generally agree something is not right.
General McChrystal compares MAGA riot to the evolution of Al-Qaeda | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 00:12
Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal has compared the MAGA riot to the evolution of Al-Qaeda saying in both instances people followed a 'powerful leader' who 'justified their violence', as he warned America is headed for a homegrown insurgency.
McChrystal, the former commander of American troops in Afghanistan, said there are terrifying parallels between the birth of the terrorist group responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks and the violent siege on the US Capitol last week that left five dead and sent shockwaves around the world.
Donald Trump has given his supporters 'legitimacy to become even more radical', he told Yahoo News, with his Stop the Steal rhetoric now a radical rallying cry similar to the Lost Cause adopted by the Southerners in the American Civil War.
McChrystal, who was fired by President Barack Obama after he made disparaging remarks about him and then-Vice President Joe Biden, warned that now 'the fabric of something very dangerous has been woven', the consequences will continue long after Trump leaves office.
His comments come as the nation is still reeling from the January 6 attack on the seat of American democracy and security is being ramped up ahead of President-elect Biden's inauguration.
As more arrests of mob members are made and new details of the siege continue to emerge, it has become increasingly clear that among the rioters were members of several extremist groups including white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Proud Boys.
Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal has compared the MAGA riot to the evolution of Al-Qaeda saying in both instances people followed a 'powerful leader' who 'justified their violence', as he warned America is headed for a homegrown insurgency
McChrystal led the army's fight against the the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
He said the recent events on the US soil are drawing concerning reminders of the rise of the terrorist group.
Back then, people with 'very poor prospects' followed Osama Bin Laden 'who promised to take them back in time to a better place', he said.
For the last four years, Trump has taken on that role with a radical group of American citizens.
On January 6, he riled up the crowds at a DC rally telling them to march to the Capitol and 'to fight', moments before the mob broke into the building to stop the Electoral College votes being counted.
'I did see a similar dynamic in the evolution of al-Qaida in Iraq, where a whole generation of angry Arab youth with very poor prospects followed a powerful leader who promised to take them back in time to a better place, and he led them to embrace an ideology that justified their violence,' McChrystal told Yahoo News.
'This is now happening in America.'
McChrystal also drew comparisons to another dark time in American history.
'President Trump has updated Lost Cause with his 'Stop the Steal' narrative that they lost because of a stolen election, and that is the only thing holding these people down and stopping them from assuming their rightful place in society,' McChrystal said.
The Lost Cause myth came out of the Confederate states at the end of the Civil War as they tried to rewrite the narrative after losing.
Donald Trump has given his supporters 'legitimacy to become even more radical', he told Yahoo News, with his Stop the Steal rhetoric now a radical rallying cry similar to the Lost Cause adopted by the Confederates in the American Civil War. Pictured a rioter carries a Confederate flag through the Capitol
The violent siege on the US Capitol left five dead and sent shockwaves around the world
Trump supporters storming the Capitol on January 6 during the violent siege
Trump supporters storming the Capitol last week in a riot that left five dead
They falsely claimed the war was caused by secession and what they said was a noble pursuit to protect the country - not about slavery, which they still believed was just and moral.
Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly sought to rewrite his legitimate 2020 presidential election loss by pushing unfounded claims of mass voter fraud - claims that his avid fans have latched onto.
'That gives them legitimacy to become even more radical,' McChrystal told Yahoo News.
He warned that the problem is already much deeper than people realize: 'I think we're much further along in this radicalization process, and facing a much deeper problem as a country, than most Americans realize.'
And the radicalization which has already taken deep roots in the US will not simply disappear when Trump does, McChrystal warned.
Federal authorities are still rounding up perpetrators of last week's riot and have vowed to come down heavily on those involved.
When this happens, McChrystal said, extremists tend to go quiet and regroup and will likely become 'more professional'.
'As this extremist movement comes under increasing pressure from law enforcement in the coming days and weeks, its members will likely retreat into tighter and tighter cells for security, and that will make them more professional, and those cells will become echo chambers that incubate even more radical thinking along the lines of armed insurrection,' he said.
Trump told his supporters to 'fight' moments before he stormed the Capitol
Brian Michael Jenkins, a senior adviser to the president of the RAND Corporation, also compared the January 6 mob to the devastation caused by Al-Qaeda. Pictured Osama Bin Laden
'So even if Trump exits the scene, the radical movement he helped create has its own momentum and cohesion now, and they may find they don't need Trump anymore.'
Another 'charismatic leader' will step up and fill the gap left by Trump, McChrystal added.
'They can just wait for another charismatic leader to appear,' he said.
'So the fabric of something very dangerous has been woven, and it's further along than most Americans care to admit.'
McChrystal was the head of Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq during the 2000s and the commander of all US and allied troops fighting the terrorist organization in Afghanistan.
In 2006, he was credited with leading the airstrike that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
But in 2010 he was fired from his role as the commander of multinational forces in Afghanistan by Obama after a Rolling Stone article revealed he made disparaging remarks about the president and senior administration figures.
In the article, McChrystal said it was 'painful' to watch Obama's slow approval of the deployment of thousands more US soldiers to Afghanistan.
An aide to the army boss also said McChrystal had been 'disappointed' after he had a meeting with Obama who 'didn't seem very engaged'.
McChrystal also pretended not to know Biden who was Obama's Vice-President at the time while an aide mocked Biden's use of the phrase 'bite me.'
McChrystal was promptly fired. But despite their speckled past, the retired general said he was endorsing Biden in the lead-up to the 2020 election.
McChrystal was fired by President Barack Obama after he made disparaging remarks about him and then-Vice President Joe Biden. McChrystal and Obama in 2009
McChrystal (right in 2009) warned that now 'the fabric of something very dangerous has been woven', the consequences will continue long after Trump leaves office
'They didn't see everything the way I did. But in every instance, they listened. In every instance, they took in my view,' he said of Biden and Obama in an MCSNBC interview in October.
'In every instance, I felt that they were trying to make the best decision based on all the information they had, and based on a bedrock of values.'
In 2018, McChrystal described Trump's behavior toward the military as 'deeply disturbing' and said 'the size of the defense budget is not a measure of patriotism or connection with those in service'.
'I don't think that President Trump has developed as deep - a real connection of trust - with the military as perhaps he thinks he has,' he said.
McChrystal's warnings of escalating extremism on US soil were echoed by other counterterrorism experts who fear that all the signs of growing violent extremist movements are there to see.
Brian Michael Jenkins, a senior adviser to the president of the RAND Corporation, also compared the January 6 mob to the devastation caused by Al-Qaeda, saying both are the result of extremists mobilizing behind one common view.
McChrystal, the former commander of American troops in Afghanistan, said there are terrifying parallels between the birth of the terrorist group responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks and the violent siege on the US Capitol last week. Pictured Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front fighters
'Osama bin Laden's major contribution to the terrorist pantheon was to create a mythology around the narrative that a band of Arab fighters defeated the Soviet superpower in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and he used that mythology to bring together a lot of disparate terrorist groups from all over the world under the single banner of al-Qaida, giving them cohesion and an organizational structure,' he told Yahoo News.
'Similarly, the people behind January 6, 2021, mobilized right-wing extremists of every stripe - white supremacists, neo-Nazis, QAnon, anti-Semites, antigovernment militias, xenophobes, anti-feminists - and brought them together as a movement in what amounted to a Woodstock festival for extremists.
'And now the 'Battle of Capitol Hill' has become symbolically important and central to right-wing mythology, and it will lead to more organizing and escalating threats from this movement, which we're already seeing.'
Symbols for right-wing fanatic groups the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and Three Percenters were spotted among the mob on January 6.
Others rioters spewed the QAnon conspiracy theory - the debunked extreme right wing theory that claims Satan-worshipping pedophiles are plotting against Donald Trump and are running a global child sex trafficking ring - and one rioter was seen wearing a 'Camp Auschwitz' sweater.
Proud Boys making the okay sign, now regarded as a white supremist symbol, and holding Trump 2020 and the Gadsden flags just before the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday
A rioter wears a 'Camp Auschwitz' sweater inside the Capitol building as it was stormed by pro-Trump rioters
Experts told Yahoo extremist terrorist movements start with lots of small similarly-minded groups like this before they join together over time to form a larger group.
As the group gains ground, the leaders often make themselves known to fuel the recruitment of more followers.
It is common for extremist movements to recruit from law enforcement and the military communities - something Islamic State did in recruiting Baathist military officers, reported Yahoo.
Several former military members took part in the violent riot on the state Capitol last week.
Ashli Babbit, the woman who was shot dead while she tried to climb through a window into the congressional chambers served 14 years in the Air Force.
Meanwhile, Larry Rendall Brock Jr., 53, who was seen dressed in combat gear and carrying zip ties in the Senate is a retired lieutenant colonel who was in the Air Force for more than two decades.
The US Army is said to be investigating 25 people including active-duty members thought to have participated in the mob.
As security intensifies in Washington, the Secret Service, who is in charge of all inauguration security, has released its restricted access plan, which includes what the agency is calling a 'Green Zone' in the heart of DC
In extraordinary scenes out of the capital, razor has been installed on anti-climb fences surrounding federal buildings in DC
Experts said extremist groups then often join with similar organizations operating in other countries.
Ali Soufan, a former FBI supervisory special agent and counterterrorism expert, said Thursday that some of the white supremacist groups at the Capitol riot had ties to overseas groups including the Nordic Front, a neo-Nazi group in the Nordics.
The growth of the extremism reached a tipping point last week when the rhetoric turned into violent action, experts said.
Concerns of 'major security threats' at Biden's inauguration have sent Washington DC into lockdown.
A Baghdad-style 'Green Zone' perimeter has been set up and more than 20,000 armed National Guard troops have been mobilized.
The Secret Service released its restricted access plan, which includes what the agency is calling a 'Green Zone' in the heart of DC.
The term 'Green Zone' was the same name given to the heavily-fortified area in Baghdad during the Iraq War.
Most of downtown DC is now off-limits to traffic and has already drawn comparisons to Baghdad's high-security zone.
In extraordinary scenes out of the capital, thousands of armed military members are patrolling the streets and anti-climb steel fences and road blocks continue to be installed in the wake of last week's deadly siege.
Harvard students seek to revoke Trump graduates' diplomas after Capitol Hill violence | Fox Business
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 01:54
They're at it again.
Following last year's efforts to ban Trump Administration officials from speaking on campus, Harvard University students are now circulating a petition that calls for revoking degrees from Trump supporters and aides who attended the elite Ivy League institution, FOX Business has learned.
The reason cited, according to a copy of the petition reviewed by FOX Business, is that supporters of President Trump were involved in spreading the ''disinformation and mistrust'' that led to last week's deadly riot at the United States Capitol Building.
HARVARD LETTER TO REVOKE SELECT GRADS CONNECTED TO TRUMP
The petition is entitled, ''Revoke their Degrees,'' and was circulated by four students who attend Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, FOX Business has confirmed. It calls on the university to be ''Prepared to take a stand for representative democracy and against violent white supremacy,'' by specifically revoking degrees of three Harvard graduates who are supporters of the president: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX).
All were described as ''violent actors'' who need to be held accountable for their alleged actions, the petition said.
A spokesman for Harvard declined to comment other than to say the university is aware of the petition. McEnany, Cruz and Crenshaw had no immediate comment.
JASON CHAFFETZ: EVIDENCE OF 'BIG CONSPIRACY' BEHIND CAPITOL RIOT
The petition began circulating on Wednesday and is said to be gaining some traction among both current and former students, FOX Business has learned.
''I was surprised how popular this petition is even among mid-career students" one student who says he won't sign on to the effort and spoke on the condition of anonymity because he's afraid of reprisals. ''It's one thing for 22-year-olds to sign onto something radical but another thing for 40-year-olds to buy into it.''
The petition argues that a Harvard degree is ''a privilege, not a right'' and therefore no one is entitled to keep their degree if they violate certain laws and societal norms. Some supporters of the effort have cited Harvard's decision in 2010 to revoke a degree from a Russian spy, Andrey Bezrukov, as setting a precedent for revoking degrees from Trump associates.
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But legal scholars say any move to revoke a degree would face serious court challenges. They say the Bezrukov example is a poor one because he attended the school using a pseudonym and pleaded guilty to spying on the US.
Meanwhile, none of the people named as targets in the petition are being investigated for inciting last week's unrest. The president, himself, is under investigation for possibly inciting the D.C. riot, but such cases are difficult to prosecute.
''It would be illegal and highly immoral to revoke a degree based on constitutionally protected actions like former students merely supporting the president,'' Alan Dershowitz the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus at Harvard Law, told FOX Business.
''And the end result would be to jeopardize federal funding" because the university would then become a de facto political institution, Dershowitz, who wrote the 2018 book, "The Case Against Impeaching Trump," added.
In November, FOX Business was first to report that students were circulating a petition to ban Trump aides and supporters from campus speaking engagements or merely walking on campus. The effort dissolved quickly and was not taken up by the University's leadership.
But the latest petition may have more teeth as it comes in the wake of last week's violent pro-Trump protests that led to five deaths, and widespread outrage over the president's refusal to concede the 2020 election to Joe Biden -- a move that was supported by many Republicans.
Last week, for example, a Harvard Kennedy student named Diego Garcia Blum, once again demanded that Harvard Dean Larry Bacow ban Trump associates from the university. It was co-signed by 300 students, the Harvard Crimson student newspaper reported. Earlier this week, a Harvard Kennedy School professor Ryan Enos wrote a similar letter to Bacow, the Crimson also reported.
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On Tuesday, Harvard announced it was removing Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) from The Harvard Institute of Politics Senior Advisory Committee for voting against certifying the 2020 election. Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf said in a statement that Stefanik "has made public assertions about voter fraud in November's presidential election that have no basis in evidence, and she has made public statements about court actions related to the election that are incorrect'... Moreover, these assertions and statements do not reflect policy disagreements but bear on the foundations of the electoral process through which this country's leaders are chosen.''
As Trump leaves the stage, Republicans grapple with new conspiracy caucus - CNNPolitics
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 12:03
Washington(CNN) Donald Trump may be leaving the White House in a few days, but the umbrella of conspiracy theories he inspired is only just arriving in Washington.
The chief theory known as QAnon -- that the US government is run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles only Trump can expose -- began nearly four years ago as a fringe movement in the dark corners of the internet. Now QAnon has adherents in positions of power within the Republican Party and in the halls of Congress.
The January 6 domestic terror attack on the US Capitol was the violent manifestation of that movement and its attendant theories -- including that the 2020 election was stolen. Thousands of its adherents, steeped in years of conspiracy theories espoused by Trump, stormed the Capitol ready for violence -- seemingly certain they were the ones liberating the country. Many displayed clothing and paraphernalia associated with the movement. One of the more conspicuous rioters, wearing a horned helmet and carrying a six-foot spear, is known online as the "QAnon Shaman."
"There is a violent anarchy to QAnon that is baked into it," said Mike Rothschild, the author of a book examining and debunking some of the most prominent conspiracy theories.
How deep into the GOP's infrastructure QAnon has penetrated is an open question. So too is how Trump's departure from the presidency and banishment from most social media will affect the reach of conspiracy within the Republican Party.
"This stuff has always been part of the stew," said Liam Donovan, a Republican strategist in Washington. "Trump just turned up the heat and brought it to the surface.
The value of courting QAnon, to the extent Republican leaders like Trump considered it, was in delivering votes from a disaffected, passionate base of support. The risk of doing so was that they'd get a seat at the table.
The House Republican conference now includes two QAnon adherents, freshman Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert. While Greene has walked back her support and said the QAnon candidate label "doesn't represent me," she has praised "Q" as a patriot and spread baseless conspiracy theories linked to the movement. And though Boebert has claimed she's not a follower and worked to distance herself from the conspiracy theorists, she has said of QAnon, "I hope that this is real."
Now that they're there, it's going to be much harder to dislodge them.
"You can't just push QAnon followers away," said Rothschild. "We've seen, certainly in the Georgia runoff, where these margins are thin, you can't piss off 1 or 2% of your constituents."
A QAnon caucusQAnon devotion will linger within the GOP long after Trump leaves office.
For one thing, it's already in the party's farm system. In the 2020 election, dozens of Republican candidates for local races all over the country flirted with the conspiracy theory. Dozens more held adjacent views and carried on other Trump-inspired conspiracy theories, from railing against the alleged fraud of mail-in ballots to wearing masks. Many of these candidates lost races in Democratic-leaning districts, but others, such as the Q-curious Dave Armstrong of the Wisconsin state assembly, won comfortably.
And now, some of these conspiracy-minded politicians have moved up to the major leagues in Washington.
"It's like Trump looked for the most gullible members, found the Freedom Caucus, and decided even they weren't up for the job so he cooked up this mutated QAnon caucus," said one GOP operative.
So far, there's been close to zero pushback against QAnon candidates from national party leaders -- no denial of campaign funding or threats to revoke committee assignments. There's recent precedent for doing so, when House Republicans in 2019 stripped Iowa Rep. Steve King of his committee assignments over his defense of white nationalism. King lost the GOP primary in 2020 in large part because of his banishment by the GOP conference.
No such fate yet awaits Greene and Boebert. In fact, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader, defended both of his new members after their elections in November.
"Give them an opportunity before you claim what you believe they have done, and what they will do," McCarthy, the top-ranking House Republican, said to reporters. (The GOP operative described McCarthy as "playing footsie" with the QAnon-supporting politicians.)
Others, including Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, have voted against official condemnations of the conspiracy theory. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona has dabbled in conspiracy theories that have been interpreted by QAnon supporters as signals of his allegiance, which he has denied. A staff member for newly-elected Rep. Bob Good of Virginia was among those in Washington on January 6 -- along with her husband, a local Republican Party chairman.
There are plenty of Republicans in the conference disturbed by the prominence of "fellow travelers" of these conspiracy theorists and the long-term impact this will have on the party.
"If leadership doesn't hold certain members accountable, there's going to be a real problem," one Republican House member told CNN this week.
Mia Love, a former Republican representative from Utah and a CNN contributor, said failure to deal decisively with toxic members puts the unity of the GOP conference at risk.
"Kevin, who I adore, who I have a lot of respect for, the only advice I can give him, if he wants to preserve the conference, he needs to deal with this," Love said.
While the actual members of Congress who are aligned with QAnon is relatively small, the influence of the broader conspiratorial mindset is not. In the end, 147 Republican members in both the House and the Senate, including McCarthy, voted to object and overturn the election results following the assault on the Capitol. That's 56% of all Republicans in Congress.
"It's not just that there are some voters that get into this theory and so politicians don't push back. People who are in power embrace it," said Seth Masket, a professor of political science at the University of Denver. "It seems to be a path to success in the Republican Party."
'Everything became about everything'The centrality of Trump to the QAnon theory cannot be overstated, which is why it's an open question as to the movement's staying power. As long as he was the President, however, party leaders have essentially welcomed conspiracy theorists into the coalition.
Across the GOP, the emergence of QAnon candidates was either gently condemned or tolerated. While Republican House leaders opposed Greene in the competitive GOP primary in Georgia and condemned offensive comments she made about Black people and Jewish donors to the Democratic Party, the National Republican Campaign Committee ended up spending thousands of dollars to support her election. The NRCC also backed Boebert's general election campaign, and both were supported by Trump.
Whether the conspiracy survives in the next few years as a force in the party depends in part on how much Trump remains on the scene. For years, the President has been a crucial actor in the narrative of QAnon, and experts say it's not certain how believers will factor him in once he's no longer President.
Emerging in far-right online forums in mid-2017, QAnon presented itself as an outlet for Trump supporters seeking a unifying explanation for setbacks or disappointments in the administration. By the time the coronavirus pandemic was in full swing, QAnon had absorbed much of the far-right conspiracy theories and concerns, says Rothschild.
"With the pandemic, everything became about everything," he told CNN. "It turns into Bill Gates, it turns into China, it turns into 5G. This all sort of mushes together and it becomes impossible to separate."
Once Trump began ramping up in his own false conspiracy theorizing about a "stolen election," there was a ready and willing community of people online ready to subsume those lies and act on them. Republican and conservative allies of the President amplifying his false election claims gave more legitimacy to a movement of people who did not just believe in a conspiracy -- they were preparing to fight against it.
But the January 6 assault on the Capitol showed Republicans and the country the consequences of tolerating conspiracy theories without fully understanding them or justifying the threat of danger from them. For some, it was a wake-up call that the contagion had spread and could not be contained.
But enough of a wake-up call? The slipperiness of "support" for QAnon means politicians -- even Greene and Boebert -- maintain the plausible deniability that they aren't aligned with the violent end of QAnon.
"To the extent it shows up in Congress, it's mostly in the form of 'just asking questions' or 'providing a voice' on behalf of constituents," said Donovan. "For those where this is a vocal constituency there's little incentive to confront the people who are voting for you. So I suspect it will be laissez-faire in most cases until another instance where it rears its head and can't be ignored."
Here's the List of Powerful Companies Cutting Off Trump and His Supporters After Capitol Siege
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 12:46
The list is getting longer of corporations cutting ties with President Donald Trump and his friends and allies because of the January 6th incursion of the US Capitol Building.
A huge Save America rally supporting the president was held at the Ellipse. The four hour long rally with multiple speakers culminated with the president's more than hour long speech and a planned march to the U.S. Capitol Building for an apparent rally there. Inside, the Congress was discussing the results of the Electoral College vote. Allies of the president attempted to forestall the certification of the election by asking for a ten-day audit of the troubling results from states believed to have experienced electoral fraud.
A break-away bunch of free radical Trump supporters and others, including at least one Leftist, fought their way into windows and doors or were allowed into the Capitol Building by law enforcement. Some people simply walked through the building from one entrance and exiting another. Others stuck around to do some chest beating and breaking objects and stealing things from private congressional offices.
Members of Congress were evacuated wearing gas masks.
It was abominable.
While it's convenient to blame a president the Left already can't stand, as I've reported at PJ Media, it's very difficult to make a case that the president's words fomented the unrest. Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy has come to that conclusion as well, even after the shocked Fox News contributor said he believed the president incited the mob. Saying that is one thing, proving it is another. Read the president's words and watch them for yourself.
But, people predisposed to hating the president and hyper-sensitive to the sensitivities of the institutions run by the political Left have spoken. They've cut off the president, his friends, colleagues and, in some case, his fans. The New York Times reported a cohort of companies from banks to health care companies are temporarily halting their PAC giving to any political parties.
The following is a list of companies that have cut off the president and/or friends or political party is culled from various news stories, among them from Axios, The New York Times, the Associated Press and other publications.
AmazonAmazon, one of the biggest companies in the world, owned by the richest man in the world, who also owns The Washington Post, cut off donations to Republicans who fought election fraud and demanded an extension of the voting in the Electoral College.
GolfProfessional Golf Association of AmericaThe PGA has cut its ties with the Trump organization, owner of multiple golf clubs and resorts. The PGA reneged on its agreement to hold the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump's Bedminster golf course. The New York Times reports that the PGA president claimed the Trump association ''would be detrimental to the P.G.A. of America brand, and would put at risk the P.G.A.'s ability to deliver our many programs, and sustain the longevity of our mission.''
High Tech/Social MediaFacebookFacebook has banned President Trump from posting on its platform.
TwitterTwitter has permanently banned the president from its platform.
ShopifyShopify, an e-commerce company, has dropped the Trump campaign and Trump Organization from its platform permanently.
StripeStripe, an online payment company, has dropped the president because it claims he encouraged violence.
RedditReddit cut off the sub reddit handle r/DonaldTrump due to Stop the Steal discussions.
SnapchatSnapchat cut off the president's account. It muted the account in June.
TwitchTwitch has locked out President Trump of its Minority Report-like standard which is he might incite violence
AcademiaLehigh UniversityLehigh University, which gave Donald Trump an honorary degree in 1988, withdrew it.
Wagner CollegeWagner College withdrew its honorary degree it awarded the president in 2004.
Middlebury CollegeVermont's uber liberal Middlebury College is considering revoking Rudolph Giuliani's honorary law doctorate, given for his valiant response to 9/11, but they don't like him anymore.
Banks/FinanceAmerican ExpressThe NYT reported the American Express PAC would no longer support any Congressional member who voted against certifying the election. The company never supported any GOP Senators according to The New York Times. There's no word on if the company cut off Democrats who have voted against certification in the past.
MasterCardMasterCard said said it was cutting off donations to any politician who tried to hold up the count of the Electoral College votes.
Morgan StanleyThe investment giant has cut off donations to any congressional member who voted against certifying the election.
LegalNew York State Bar AssociationThe liberal New York State Bar Association is considering investigating Giuliani and banishing him from their group.
Telecom/CableAT&TThe Dallas based media and telecom company withdrew all its PAC donations from all Republicans including 17 Texas state Republicans and Senator Ted Cruz. A group called End Citizens United called for the corporation's withdrawal of donations from Republicans. It owns Time Warner cable.
ComcastComcast announced it's cutting off Republicans who fought the election results. Comcast owns NBCUniversal, NBC TV, local NBC stations, Xfinity, Telemundo, not to mention film companies and recreational parks.
ManufacturingDow ChemicalDow Chemical, the Michigan based-chemical and plastics company, announced it would cut off Republicans who didn't support Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. The multinational corporation announced that it would suspend donations for the next election cycle.
InsuranceBlue Cross Blue ShieldBlue Cross Blue Shield Association cut off political contributions to Republicans who tried to stop the certification of the Electoral College. It's ''one of the nation's largest federations of insurance companies,'' according to The New York Times.
HospitalityMarriott InternationalThe hospitality company Marriott International, which besides its own eponymously named hotels owns nearly 5,400 other properties, including the luxe The Ritz Carlton brand, Autograph Collection Hotels, St. Regis and many others, says it's cutting off the GOP because of the ''destructive events at the Capitol'' which undermined ''a legitimate and fair election.''
Publishing/MediaHallmarkHallmark has asked Senators Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall to give back their campaign contributions for voting against certifying the election. Hallmark owns publishing, television networks, retail stores, and even the Crayola art materials company.
CumulusThe radio station group reportedly put its conservative hosts on notice that they not give oxygen to the idea that the election wasn't over. National Review reports the brass at Cumulus put out a memo reading, ''We need to help induce national calm NOW,'' Cumulus's executive vice president of content Brian Philips wrote in the memo. The company ''will not tolerate any suggestion that the election has not ended. The election has been resolved and there are no alternate acceptable 'paths.'''
Cumulous stations host Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, and many other conservative hosts across the country.
Other Companies Halting All Political DonationsThe New York Times reports that the following companies also plan on halting all political donations from their political action committees for the foreseeable future.
They are JPMorgan Chase, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Visa, American Airlines, BP, and Coca Cola.
Airbnb and FedEx are studying their political giving before making any further announcements.
The shockwaves from the actions of those at the Capitol Building on January 6th will continue to ripple through a shocked public '' a ripple felt all the way up to the glass-enclosed corner offices of corporations around the country.
Victoria Taft is the host of ''The Adult in the Room Podcast With Victoria Taft'' where you can hear her series on ''Antifa Versus Mike Strickland.'' Find it here. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Parler, MeWe, Minds @VictoriaTaft
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Facial recognition reveals political party in troubling new research '' TechCrunch
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 14:50
Researchers have created a machine learning system that they claim can determine a person's political party, with reasonable accuracy, based only on their face. The study, from a group that also showed that sexual preference can seemingly be inferred this way, candidly addresses and carefully avoids the pitfalls of ''modern phrenology,'' leading to the uncomfortable conclusion that our appearance may express more personal information that we think.
The study, which appeared this week in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, was conducted by Stanford University's Michal Kosinski. Kosinski made headlines in 2017 with work that found that a person's sexual preference could be predicted from facial data.
The study drew criticism not so much for its methods but for the very idea that something that's notionally non-physical could be detected this way. But Kosinski's work, as he explained then and afterwards, was done specifically to challenge those assumptions and was as surprising and disturbing to him as it was to others. The idea was not to build a kind of AI gaydar '-- quite the opposite, in fact. As the team wrote at the time, it was necessary to publish in order to warn others that such a thing may be built by people whose interests went beyond the academic:
We were really disturbed by these results and spent much time considering whether they should be made public at all. We did not want to enable the very risks that we are warning against. The ability to control when and to whom to reveal one's sexual orientation is crucial not only for one's well-being, but also for one's safety.
We felt that there is an urgent need to make policymakers and LGBTQ communities aware of the risks that they are facing. We did not create a privacy-invading tool, but rather showed that basic and widely used methods pose serious privacy threats.
Similar warnings may be sounded here, for while political affiliation at least in the U.S. (and at least at present) is not as sensitive or personal an element as sexual preference, it is still sensitive and personal. A week hardly passes without reading of some political or religious ''dissident'' or another being arrested or killed. If oppressive regimes could obtain what passes for probable cause by saying ''the algorithm flagged you as a possible extremist,'' instead of for example intercepting messages, it makes this sort of practice that much easier and more scalable.
The algorithm itself is not some hyper-advanced technology. Kosinski's paper describes a fairly ordinary process of feeding a machine learning system images of more than a million faces, collected from dating sites in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., as well as American Facebook users. The people whose faces were used identified as politically conservative or liberal as part of the site's questionnaire.
The algorithm was based on open-source facial recognition software, and after basic processing to crop to just the face (that way no background items creep in as factors), the faces are reduced to 2,048 scores representing various features '-- as with other face recognition algorithms, these aren't necessary intuitive things like ''eyebrow color'' and ''nose type'' but more computer-native concepts.
Image Credits: Michal Kosinski / Nature Scientific Reports
The system was given political affiliation data sourced from the people themselves, and with this it diligently began to study the differences between the facial stats of people identifying as conservatives and those identifying as liberal. Because it turns out, there are differences.
Of course it's not as simple as ''conservatives have bushier eyebrows'' or ''liberals frown more.'' Nor does it come down to demographics, which would make things too easy and simple. After all, if political party identification correlates with both age and skin color, that makes for a simple prediction algorithm right there. But although the software mechanisms used by Kosinski are quite standard, he was careful to cover his bases in order that this study, like the last one, can't be dismissed as pseudoscience.
The most obvious way of addressing this is by having the system make guesses as to the political party of people of the same age, gender and ethnicity. The test involved being presented with two faces, one of each party, and guessing which was which. Obviously chance accuracy is 50%. Humans aren't very good at this task, performing only slightly above chance, about 55% accurate.
The algorithm managed to reach as high as 71% accurate when predicting political party between two like individuals, and 73% presented with two individuals of any age, ethnicity or gender (but still guaranteed to be one conservative, one liberal).
Image Credits: Michal Kosinski / Nature Scientific Reports
Getting three out of four may not seem like a triumph for modern AI, but considering people can barely do better than a coin flip, there seems to be something worth considering here. Kosinski has been careful to cover other bases as well; this doesn't appear to be a statistical anomaly or exaggeration of an isolated result.
The idea that your political party may be written on your face is an unnerving one, for while one's political leanings are far from the most private of info, it's also something that is very reasonably thought of as being intangible. People may choose to express their political beliefs with a hat, pin or t-shirt, but one generally considers one's face to be nonpartisan.
If you're wondering which facial features in particular are revealing, unfortunately the system is unable to report that. In a sort of para-study, Kosinski isolated a couple dozen facial features (facial hair, directness of gaze, various emotions) and tested whether those were good predictors of politics, but none led to more than a small increase in accuracy over chance or human expertise.
''Head orientation and emotional expression stood out: Liberals tended to face the camera more directly, were more likely to express surprise, and less likely to express disgust,'' Kosinski wrote in author's notes for the paper. But what they added left more than 10 percentage points of accuracy not accounted for: ''That indicates that the facial recognition algorithm found many other features revealing political orientation.''
The knee-jerk defense of ''this can't be true '-- phrenology was snake oil'' doesn't hold much water here. It's scary to think it's true, but it doesn't help us to deny what could be a very important truth, since it could be used against people very easily.
As with the sexual orientation research, the point here is not to create a perfect detector for this information, but to show that it can be done in order that people begin to consider the dangers that creates. If for example an oppressive theocratic regime wanted to crack down on either non-straight people or those with a certain political leaning, this sort of technology gives them a plausible technological method to do so ''objectively.'' And what's more, it can be done with very little work or contact with the target, unlike digging through their social media history or analyzing their purchases (also very revealing).
We have already heard of China deploying facial recognition software to find members of the embattled Uyghur religious minority. And in our own country, this sort of AI is trusted by authorities as well '-- it's not hard to imagine police using the ''latest technology'' to, for instance, classify faces at a protest, saying ''these 10 were determined by the system as being the most liberal,'' or what have you.
The idea that a couple researchers using open-source software and a medium-sized database of faces (for a government, this is trivial to assemble in the unlikely possibility they do not have one already) could do so anywhere in the world, for any purpose, is chilling.
''Don't shoot the messenger,'' said Kosinski. ''In my work, I am warning against widely used facial recognition algorithms. Worryingly, those AI physiognomists are now being used to judge people's intimate traits '' scholars, policymakers, and citizens should take notice.''
San Francisco's Tech Workers Are Leaving the Bay Area - The New York Times
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 13:00
SAN FRANCISCO '-- The Bay Area struck a hard bargain with its tech workers.
Rent was astronomical. Taxes were high. Your neighbors didn't like you. If you lived in San Francisco, you might have commuted an hour south to your job at Apple or Google or Facebook. Or if your office was in the city, maybe it was in a neighborhood with too much street crime, open drug use and $5 coffees.
But it was worth it. Living in the epicenter of a boom that was changing the world was what mattered. The city gave its workers a choice of interesting jobs and a chance at the brass ring.
That is, until the pandemic. Remote work offered a chance at residing for a few months in towns where life felt easier. Tech workers and their bosses realized they might not need all the perks and after-work schmooze events. But maybe they needed elbow room and a yard for the new puppy. A place to put the Peloton. A top public school.
They fled. They fled to tropical beach towns. They fled to more affordable places like Georgia. They fled to states without income taxes like Texas and Florida.
That's where the story of the Bay Area's latest tech era is ending for a growing crowd of tech workers and their companies. They have suddenly movable jobs and money in the bank '-- money that will go plenty further somewhere else.
But where? The No. 1 pick for people leaving San Francisco is Austin, Texas, with other winners including Seattle, New York and Chicago, according to moveBuddha, a site that compiles data on moving. Some cities have even set up recruiting programs to lure them to new homes. Miami's mayor has even been inviting tech people to move there in his Twitter posts.
I talked to more than two dozen tech executives and workers who have left San Francisco for other parts of the country over the last year, like a young entrepreneur who moved home to Georgia and another who has created a community in Puerto Rico. Here are some of their stories.
Ah, the normal life Image Away from offices like those of the artificial intelligence platform People.ai, workers are relearning what ''counter space'' means. Credit... Lucas Foglia for The New York Times ''I miss San Francisco. I miss the life I had there,'' said John Gardner, 35, the founder and chief executive of Kickoff, a remote personal training start-up, who packed his things into storage and left in a camper van to wander America. ''But right now it's just like: What else can God and the world and government come up with to make the place less livable?''
A couple of months later, Mr. Gardner wrote: ''Greetings from sunny Miami Beach! This is about the 40th place I've set up a temporary headquarters for Kickoff.''
Remote personal training happens to coincide well with remote life, but he said his start-up's growth this past year was also due to his leaving the tech bubble and immersing himself in more normal communities, a few days at a time.
The biggest tech companies aren't going anywhere, and tech stocks are still soaring. Apple's flying-saucer-shaped campus is not going to zoom away. Google is still absorbing ever more office space in San Jose and San Francisco. New founders are still coming to town.
But the migration from the Bay Area appears real. Residential rents in San Francisco are down 27 percent from a year ago, and the office vacancy rate has spiked to 16.7 percent, a number not seen in a decade.
Though prices had dropped only slightly, Zillow reported more homes for sale in San Francisco than a year ago. For more than a month last year, 90 percent of the searches involving San Francisco on moveBuddha were for people moving out.
Twitter, Yelp, Airbnb and Dropbox have tried to sublease some of their San Francisco office space. Pinterest, which has one of the most iconic offices in town, paid $90 million to break a lease for a site where it planned to expand. And companies like Twitter and Facebook have announced ''work from home forever'' plans.
''Moving into a $1.3 million house that we saw only on video for 20 minutes and said yes,'' wrote Mike Rothermel, a designer at Cisco who moved from the Bay Area to Boulder, Colo., with his wife last summer. ''It's a mansion compared to SF for the same money.''
The amount of room they have felt surreal after various Bay Area apartments. He told me they have so much counter space, they can keep appliances like the food processor in the kitchen itself.
And then the people around them '-- neighbors '-- started doing something strange. They brought cinnamon rolls and handwritten welcome notes.
Wait, no income tax? Image In Austin, Texas, the price of a three-bedroom Bay Area apartment buys a five-bedroom house and an acre to boot. Credit... Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times ''We're selling our house and moving out of SF. Where should we go and why?'' Justin Kan, a serial entrepreneur who co-founded Twitch, asked on Twitter in August.
Joe Lonsdale, a co-founder of the software company Palantir, which moved from Silicon Valley to Denver, wrote back: ''Come to Austin with us. Growing tech ecosystem and Texas is the best place to make a stand together for a free society.''
Also: no state income taxes.
Austin, population one million and the Texas city most would say is closest in spirit to the Bay Area, has long had a healthy tech industry. The computer giant Dell is based nearby. The University of Texas is one of the top public colleges in the country. And the music scene is eclectic and creative.
Now the local tech industry is rapidly expanding. Apple is opening a $1 billion, 133-acre campus. Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook have all either expanded their footprints in Austin or have plans to. Elon Musk, the Tesla founder and one of the two richest men in the world, said he had moved to Texas. Start-up investor money is arriving, too: The investors at 8VC and Breyer Capital opened Austin offices last year.
Some of the favorite gurus of tech workers are already there, like Tim Ferriss, life-hacker, who left for Austin in 2017, and Ryan Holiday, whose writing about stoicism is influential among the start-up set.
Sahin Boydas, the founder of a remote-work start-up who had lived in San Francisco and its suburbs over the last decade, saw all of that. He looked at his wife and two young children, working and learning from home while crammed into a Cupertino rental that had seen better days. Much of the late summer, the air was full of smoke from wildfires. For days, electricity would go in and out at his house.
''You start to feel stupid,'' said Mr. Boydas, who is 37. ''I can understand the 1 percent rich people, the very top investors and entrepreneurs, they can be happy there.''
So he and his family moved to Austin. For the same price as their three-bedroom apartment in Cupertino, they have a five-bedroom home on an acre of land. For the first time, Mr. Boydas has outdoor space. He just acquired two rabbits for his children. Sure, it's (very) hot, but he's ready for it.
''We're going to get a cat and a dog,'' he said. ''We could never do that before.''
And it's not just the cost of rent that is lower '-- the water bill is lower; the trash bill is lower; the cost of a family dinner at a restaurant has fallen significantly. Mr. Boydas said he hadn't even known about the taxes.
''I run payroll for myself, and when I saw zero, I called the accountant like there's an error '-- there's no tax line here,'' he said. ''And they were like, 'Yeah there's no tax.'''
Image Keyan Karimi, whose parents live in Atlanta, was drawn to the charming old houses of Savannah, Ga. Credit... Stephen B. Morton for The New York Times ''Ok guys hear me out, what if we move Silicon Valley to Miami,'' tweeted Delian Asparouhov, a principal at Founders Fund, which invests in start-ups.
The mayor of Miami wrote back last month: ''How can I help?''
Now there is a very vocal Miami faction, led by a few venture capital influencers, trying to tweet the city's start-up world into existence.
The San Francisco exodus means the talent and money of newly remote tech workers are up for grabs. And it's not just the mayor of Miami trying to lure them in.
Topeka, Kan., started Choose Topeka, which will reimburse new workers $10,000 for the first year of rent or $15,000 if they buy a home. Tulsa, Okla. will pay you $10,000 to move there. The nation of Estonia has a new residency program just for digital nomads.
A program in Savannah, Ga., will reimburse remote workers $2,000 for the move there, and the city has created various social activities to introduce the newcomers to one another and to locals.
''We try to make the transition easy,'' said Jennifer Bonnett, vice president of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Savannah Economic Development Authority, whose program started in June.
Keyan Karimi, 29 and a start-up investor, took Savannah's invitation to move there (though he didn't ask for the reimbursement).
Image ''I had no idea how much was going on here,'' Mr. Karimi said of Savannah. Credit... Stephen B. Morton for The New York Times Seeing the inequality of billionaires in San Francisco's wealthy Pacific Heights neighborhood and the homeless camps down the hill ground on him. So Mr. Karimi went home to his parents' house in Atlanta to ride out some of the pandemic. Then he detected something strange. The city he thought was boring had gotten pretty interesting. Or maybe he had just never noticed before.
''I had no idea how much was going on here. I was sort of myopic,'' he said, pausing and correcting himself: ''No, I was arrogant.''
Mr. Karimi started looking at Zillow and studying the Southern cities he had ignored. He likes old houses and wants to fix one up. Savannah has a lot of those. So just a few months after leaving his $4,000-a-month one-bedroom in San Francisco, he's working with the local business development group to put together a maritime innovation center in Savannah to invest in and guide shipping and logistics start-ups. He bought one of those old houses.
Savannah has one of the largest ports in the country. ''No one knows that,'' Mr. Karimi said. ''I figure we can do something with that.''
The only downside is mosquitoes, he said. ''I get eaten alive.''
There are 33,000 members in the Facebook group Leaving California and 51,000 in its sister group, Life After California. People post pictures of moving trucks and links to Zillow listings in new cities.
The founder of both groups, Terry Gilliam, is planning to take members on a house-hunting road trip through eastern Tennessee this spring with stops in popular post-S.F. destinations. One tour will be Chattanooga, Knoxville and Johnson City.
''When people decide to leave San Francisco, they usually don't know where they want to go, they just want to go,'' Mr. Gilliam said.
Mr. Gilliam, who met his wife when they worked at a Bay Area Chili's restaurant, said she wouldn't let the family move yet. And so the Pied Piper of the California-bashing Facebook community is still in Fremont, on the eastern end of Silicon Valley.
The gang's all '... here now Image Gillian Morris, center, shares a house in ''amazing'' Puerto Rico with Laura Thompson, left, and Wren Dougherty. Credit... Gabriella N. Baez for The New York Times ''People always get pissed at me when they hear birds in my Zoom,'' said Ed Zaydelman, a longtime leader in San Francisco's Burning Man community (and former New York City club promoter), who is forming an entrepreneur community in Costa Rica. ''And I say, 'Come join.'''
If San Francisco of the 2010s proved anything, it's the power of proximity. Entrepreneurs could find a dozen start-up pitch competitions every week within walking distance. If they left a big tech company, there were start-ups eager to hire, and if a start-up failed, there was always another.
They could live jammed into a rambling Victorian with fellow nerds who '-- thanks to the popularity of polyamory '-- were having a lot of sex. More money was made faster in the Bay Area by fewer people than at any other time in American history.
No one leaving the city is arguing that a culture of innovation is going to spring up over Zoom. So some are trying to recreate it. They are getting into property development, building luxury tiny-home compounds and taking over big, funky houses in old resort towns.
''All these people want to do is this live-on-the-land stuff, but it's not as easy as people think,'' Mr. Zaydelman said.
He calls his new development company Nookleo, and he is building five tiny-home communities for remote workers. The little houses cost between $30,000 and 40,000. Each compound has four to six homes, a small organic farm, a yoga deck, a swimming pool and a kitchen clubhouse. Two clusters are already underway in Costa Rica, with Mexico and Portugal next.
In Puerto Rico, Gillian Morris, the founder of the travel app Hitlist, is also recruiting. Her San Francisco breaking point came after her roommate was attacked on their street, and she did a sort of gut check of herself over whether the street scenes and feeling of danger were worth the high rent. She moved to San Juan in 2019, even though it also has a crime problem. But now she lives in a huge house in the middle of the city.
''I have 12 people leaving San Francisco over the next three months to join a co-living community I set up,'' she said. ''It's amazing here.''
And for the Baja-leaning, there is Bear Kittay, a co-founder of Good Money, an online banking platform. Now Mr. Kittay, another longtime fixture of the Burning Man festival turned developer, is building a property for the new digital nomads.
''The things that make this city ill are not within my control to change,'' he said of San Francisco. ''A lot of people are choosing to go to places where there's opportunity, and maybe it's a place that is more conservative and there can be an integration of dialogue. Or a place where they can live closer to nature. That's what we're doing.''
Image Nikil Viswanathan at Pacific Beach in San Diego, where it's easy to bump into other San Francisco expats. Credit... John Francis Peters for The New York Times Nikil Viswanathan, who co-founded the blockchain start-up Alchemy, recently fled San Francisco. He said that there was no reason anymore for him or his colleagues to be there, and that he had always wanted to live on the beach. So now he does, in San Diego.
But the expats still find one another. Not long ago, he stumbled on a cluster at a party.
''I knew it was an S.F. crew because when I walked in because they had the full dual monitor with the ergonomic keyboard on a standing desk,'' Mr. Viswanathan said, adding that conversation revolved around the lower cost of living. ''One of the S.F. guys was like: 'I just had a burrito for $6. It was amazing.'''
The last burrito he had in San Francisco cost $15.
They won't necessarily be missed Image Longtime residents know that moving trucks leaving San Francisco now will return with the next boom. Credit... Lucas Foglia for The New York Times Longtime Bay Area residents may well say good riddance to people like Mr. Viswanathan. People who distrusted the young newcomers from the start will say this change is a good thing. Hasn't this steep growth in wealth and population in a tiny geography always seemed unsustainable?
These tech workers came like a whirlwind. Virtually every community from San Jose in the south to Marin County in the north has fought the rise of new housing for the arrivals of the last decade. Maybe spreading the tech talent around America is smart.
Locals have also seen this play before. Moving trucks come to take a generation of tech ambition away, and a few years later moving trucks return with new dreamers and new ambitions.
After the dot-com bust in 2001, there were fallow years before the latest, long-lasting boom '-- just as there were fallow years after the PC industry consolidated a decade earlier. That led to the dot-com boom. It is the circle of life in the Bay Area.
And those who are staying are digging in. ''When 12 friends left, it felt like powerlessness,'' said Diana Helmuth, a 32-year-old writer and marketer in Oakland. ''Like these forces were too big. The forces of the world felt too big.''
Now, though, she is hardening toward those who say life is better somewhere else and were in town only for a job. ''I say, 'Great, goodbye, have a great time somewhere else.'''
OTG
Tim noagendaphone.com supply chain issues
Can you make an announcement for me tomorrow please? Don't want people to feel like I'm screwing them
Google decided that I was violating their Sales Terms by purchasing a phone outside the US. Payment billing address and shipping address are both inside the US. A great example of their AI functioning properly. Downside is they canceled a bunch of orders I was waiting on. So had to rush and find a new avenue to order replacement devices. Good news is the first batch will be in on Tuesday.
I also updated the website with detailed instructions with links for anyone who has familiarity with the command prompt and what an environmental variable is in windows to successfully install Graphene themselves.
Brendan Eich
Hey Adam. I’m not here to attack Gab, but the fact is they didn’t maintain Dissenter, either as a “fork” of Brave (we keep up with security updates from Chromium, promptly and at high cost to us), or by going to Google Chromium open source and porting the updates themselves. There is no sign that they can maintain it, or catch up now, either. This is fatal to browser security, as Jonathan Sampson (who works for me) notes here: https://twitter.com/bravesampson/status/1350685642846572546?s=21…. I recommend not using any browser this unmaintained
Protocols, not platforms!
Miami mayor wants to put some of the city's treasury reserves into bitcoin - The Block
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 14:25
Miami mayor wants to put some of the city's treasury reserves into bitcoinWe're sorry but www.theblockcrypto.com doesn't work properly without JavaScript enabled. Please enable it to continue.
Facial recognition reveals political party in troubling new research '' TechCrunch
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 14:50
Researchers have created a machine learning system that they claim can determine a person's political party, with reasonable accuracy, based only on their face. The study, from a group that also showed that sexual preference can seemingly be inferred this way, candidly addresses and carefully avoids the pitfalls of ''modern phrenology,'' leading to the uncomfortable conclusion that our appearance may express more personal information that we think.
The study, which appeared this week in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, was conducted by Stanford University's Michal Kosinski. Kosinski made headlines in 2017 with work that found that a person's sexual preference could be predicted from facial data.
The study drew criticism not so much for its methods but for the very idea that something that's notionally non-physical could be detected this way. But Kosinski's work, as he explained then and afterwards, was done specifically to challenge those assumptions and was as surprising and disturbing to him as it was to others. The idea was not to build a kind of AI gaydar '-- quite the opposite, in fact. As the team wrote at the time, it was necessary to publish in order to warn others that such a thing may be built by people whose interests went beyond the academic:
We were really disturbed by these results and spent much time considering whether they should be made public at all. We did not want to enable the very risks that we are warning against. The ability to control when and to whom to reveal one's sexual orientation is crucial not only for one's well-being, but also for one's safety.
We felt that there is an urgent need to make policymakers and LGBTQ communities aware of the risks that they are facing. We did not create a privacy-invading tool, but rather showed that basic and widely used methods pose serious privacy threats.
Similar warnings may be sounded here, for while political affiliation at least in the U.S. (and at least at present) is not as sensitive or personal an element as sexual preference, it is still sensitive and personal. A week hardly passes without reading of some political or religious ''dissident'' or another being arrested or killed. If oppressive regimes could obtain what passes for probable cause by saying ''the algorithm flagged you as a possible extremist,'' instead of for example intercepting messages, it makes this sort of practice that much easier and more scalable.
The algorithm itself is not some hyper-advanced technology. Kosinski's paper describes a fairly ordinary process of feeding a machine learning system images of more than a million faces, collected from dating sites in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., as well as American Facebook users. The people whose faces were used identified as politically conservative or liberal as part of the site's questionnaire.
The algorithm was based on open-source facial recognition software, and after basic processing to crop to just the face (that way no background items creep in as factors), the faces are reduced to 2,048 scores representing various features '-- as with other face recognition algorithms, these aren't necessary intuitive things like ''eyebrow color'' and ''nose type'' but more computer-native concepts.
Image Credits: Michal Kosinski / Nature Scientific Reports
The system was given political affiliation data sourced from the people themselves, and with this it diligently began to study the differences between the facial stats of people identifying as conservatives and those identifying as liberal. Because it turns out, there are differences.
Of course it's not as simple as ''conservatives have bushier eyebrows'' or ''liberals frown more.'' Nor does it come down to demographics, which would make things too easy and simple. After all, if political party identification correlates with both age and skin color, that makes for a simple prediction algorithm right there. But although the software mechanisms used by Kosinski are quite standard, he was careful to cover his bases in order that this study, like the last one, can't be dismissed as pseudoscience.
The most obvious way of addressing this is by having the system make guesses as to the political party of people of the same age, gender and ethnicity. The test involved being presented with two faces, one of each party, and guessing which was which. Obviously chance accuracy is 50%. Humans aren't very good at this task, performing only slightly above chance, about 55% accurate.
The algorithm managed to reach as high as 71% accurate when predicting political party between two like individuals, and 73% presented with two individuals of any age, ethnicity or gender (but still guaranteed to be one conservative, one liberal).
Image Credits: Michal Kosinski / Nature Scientific Reports
Getting three out of four may not seem like a triumph for modern AI, but considering people can barely do better than a coin flip, there seems to be something worth considering here. Kosinski has been careful to cover other bases as well; this doesn't appear to be a statistical anomaly or exaggeration of an isolated result.
The idea that your political party may be written on your face is an unnerving one, for while one's political leanings are far from the most private of info, it's also something that is very reasonably thought of as being intangible. People may choose to express their political beliefs with a hat, pin or t-shirt, but one generally considers one's face to be nonpartisan.
If you're wondering which facial features in particular are revealing, unfortunately the system is unable to report that. In a sort of para-study, Kosinski isolated a couple dozen facial features (facial hair, directness of gaze, various emotions) and tested whether those were good predictors of politics, but none led to more than a small increase in accuracy over chance or human expertise.
''Head orientation and emotional expression stood out: Liberals tended to face the camera more directly, were more likely to express surprise, and less likely to express disgust,'' Kosinski wrote in author's notes for the paper. But what they added left more than 10 percentage points of accuracy not accounted for: ''That indicates that the facial recognition algorithm found many other features revealing political orientation.''
The knee-jerk defense of ''this can't be true '-- phrenology was snake oil'' doesn't hold much water here. It's scary to think it's true, but it doesn't help us to deny what could be a very important truth, since it could be used against people very easily.
As with the sexual orientation research, the point here is not to create a perfect detector for this information, but to show that it can be done in order that people begin to consider the dangers that creates. If for example an oppressive theocratic regime wanted to crack down on either non-straight people or those with a certain political leaning, this sort of technology gives them a plausible technological method to do so ''objectively.'' And what's more, it can be done with very little work or contact with the target, unlike digging through their social media history or analyzing their purchases (also very revealing).
We have already heard of China deploying facial recognition software to find members of the embattled Uyghur religious minority. And in our own country, this sort of AI is trusted by authorities as well '-- it's not hard to imagine police using the ''latest technology'' to, for instance, classify faces at a protest, saying ''these 10 were determined by the system as being the most liberal,'' or what have you.
The idea that a couple researchers using open-source software and a medium-sized database of faces (for a government, this is trivial to assemble in the unlikely possibility they do not have one already) could do so anywhere in the world, for any purpose, is chilling.
''Don't shoot the messenger,'' said Kosinski. ''In my work, I am warning against widely used facial recognition algorithms. Worryingly, those AI physiognomists are now being used to judge people's intimate traits '' scholars, policymakers, and citizens should take notice.''
Venice combats overtourism by tracking visitors | CNN Travel
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 02:04
(CNN) '-- They're watching you, wherever you walk. They know exactly where you pause, when you slow down and speed up, and they count you in and out of the city.
What's more, they're tracking your phone, so they can tell exactly how many people from your country or region are in which area, at which time.
And they're doing it in a bid to change tourism for the better.
Welcome to Venice in a post-Covid world. The canal city may have been known as La Serenissima, or The Most Serene, during its centuries ruling the waves as the powerful Republic of Venice.
In the past few years, however, things have become rather less serene, thanks to the almost 30 million visitors who descend each year on the city of just 50,000 inhabitants.
Before Covid-19 struck, tourists were arriving in often unmanageable numbers, choking the main streets and filling up the waterbuses. Authorities had tried various measures, from introducing separate residents' lines at major vaporetto (waterbus) stops to bringing in turnstiles that would filter locals from tourists on busy days. A planned "entrance tax," due to debut in 2020, has been postponed to January 2022, due to the pandemic. But as well as controlling footfall, the authorities wanted to track tourism itself -- not just by registering overnight guests but, in a city where the vast majority of visitors are daytrippers, by counting exactly who is in the city -- and where they go.
Enter the Venice Control Room.
A state-of-the-art 'control tower'
The control room logs everything from water levels to the main routes people are taking around the city.
Julia Buckley
On the island of Tronchetto, next to the two-mile bridge separating Venice from the Italian mainland, the Control Room opened in September 2020. A former warehouse that had been abandoned since the 1960s, it's part of a new headquarters for the city's police and government -- a self-described "control tower" for the city.
The building has offices for the mayor, other dignitaries, and a large CCTV room, with cameras feeding in images from around the city, watched over by the police.
So far so normal. But then, across the corridor, there's the Smart Control Room -- another bank of screens with images and information coming live from around the lagoon. They're not being monitored for crime, though; they're feeding information to the authorities that will create a profile of the hordes of people visiting Venice. The hope is that gathering the information will not only track footfall now, enabling the authorities to activate turnstiles and start charging for entrance on busy days. Eventually, they hope that the data will help create a more sustainable tourism plan for the future.
How to track tourism
A simulation of the main thoroughfares taken around the city.
Julia Buckley
"This is the brain of the city," says Marco Bettini, co-director general of Venis, the Venice-based multimedia and tech company which built the system. "We know in real time how many people are in each part [of the city], and which countries they're from."
He clicks on the video feed from the Grand Canal -- the "freeway" of Venice, as he calls it -- to look at the traffic.
"There's huge traffic pressure here," he says. Public waterbuses, boats delivering goods, taxis, residents zipping up the "road" in their own, private boats, and, of course, those famous gondolas -- they're all jostling for space on the Grand Canal. With no designated lanes, it can be a free-for-all.
But the new system not only records what's going on; it analyzes the traffic, recognizing the different types of boats, from gondola to a "topo" -- essentially a water-truck. It then stores the numbers. And it even tallies with the public transportation timetables, logging if a waterbus is late and, if so, by how many minutes.
Workers can also activate a "time machine" to look back -- so far today, for example, there have been more than 1,000 boats passing under the main bridge at Piazzale Roma, the main entry point to the city.
It's the pedestrian numbers, however, that are of more interest to the authorities looking at tourism patterns. The system not only counts visitors in the vicinity of cameras posted around the city, but it also, in conjunction with TIM (Telecom Italia, Italy's largest telecommunications provider), crunches who they are and where they come from.
On this winter day, before the Veneto region entered another semi-lockdown, for example, so far, 13,628 people have entered Venice, and 8,548 have left. In the hour after 7am, 1,688 people arrived at Piazzale Roma (the gateway to the city by road and tram) -- the commuters.
At 10am, the arrivals reached a peak of 2,411: most likely the daytrippers.
Tracking visitors by country and area
The authorities hope that tracking visitors will help them understand better the flow of tourists.
Julia Buckley
The authorities can see where these new arrivals are from by analyzing their phone data (the information is all aggregated automatically, so no personal details can be gleaned).
There are 97 people in the area around St Mark's Square on this Saturday afternoon, according to Bettini -- of which only 24 are not Italian.
And so far today there have been 955 people in the area, 428 of whom have come from abroad. Of the 527 Italians, only 246 are resident in Venice (if a mobile phone is regularly logged in the city, it is counted as a resident).
"As you can see, the number of daytrippers -- is steep," says Bettini. This is crucial information, because these "hit-and-run" tourists are usually charged with causing the most damage to the struggling city. They tend to come in from other parts of Italy -- often from beach resorts on a bad weather day -- and rarely spend money, bringing their own food and eating illicit picnics on bridges and on waterfronts. But since they don't stay overnight, they cannot be counted by the authorities -- until now.
Counting the daytrippers and tracking where they tend to visit, and which streets they take, could be crucial for a city which has resorted to closing its main thoroughfares to non-locals at busy times in an attempt to spread people throughout the city.
As Valeria Duflot, co-founder of Venezia Autentica an online social enterprise working on sustainable tourism, says: "The problem is not that Venice has too many visitors. The problem is that all the visitors go to the same two places: St Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge." Where are you from?
Working with a telephone operator, authorities can trace where those currently in the city are from.
Julia Buckley
Italians are logged by the region they live in. Of the foreigners, the system breaks down where they come from (data is based on where their mobile phone is registered, so most likely their country of origin), and displays them as bars on a map on the city -- a graphic representation of overcrowding in real time, with colors going from white to red as the numbers get higher.
Today, 36% of foreign visitors are German, followed by the Swiss (16%) and British (13% -- this visit took place before the new UK variant saw British travelers banned from Italy). Just 1.312% of visitors are from the United States -- although, given that American travelers are still banned from the European Union, it's a surprise it's even that much.
And today, there have been 85,000 people logged in Venice. A much greater number, 177,000, have been in Mestre, on the mainland. On the islands -- where places such as Burano and Murano are popular with tourists -- there are 5,700 people, this Saturday afternoon.
There's plenty more that the authorities are keeping tabs on: how fast people are moving in places like St Mark's Square (start running and the machine highlights you), the tide levels throughout the lagoon (crucial for monitoring acqua alta flooding, and determining when the new Mose flood barriers should be raised). The system took three years to build, at a cost of '‚¬3m ($3.5m). And although some might baulk at the privacy implications (although no personal data is recorded, you and your provenance is essentially being logged as you move around the city), the authorities are very proud.
"In 2021, Venice celebrates its 1,600th anniversary," says Bettini. "And we'll be celebrating with technology."
Kraken
Biden inauguration attempt
Epstein will do a video testimony and more!
Epstein is the kraken
Mike Lindell Notes
Declassified Documents
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 15:14
12-14-20 Forensic Analysis Dominion, Antrim County, Michigan
Nine Catholic bishops with COVID-19 die in a single week
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 14:44
Rome Newsroom, Jan 15, 2021 / 02:00 pm MT (CNA) .- In the past week, nine Catholic bishops have died worldwide after testing positive for COVID-19.
Between Jan. 8 and Jan. 15, bishops across three continents died as a result of the coronavirus. The deceased bishops ranged in age from 53 years old to 91. Five of the bishops died in Europe, where a new strain of COVID-19 has led many countries to implement further restrictions.
Four bishops died on the same day, Jan. 13: Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, who was 70 years old; Bishop Moses Hamungole of Monze, Zambia, who died at the age of 53; 87-year-old Bishop Mario Cecchini of Fano, Italy; and Cardinal Eus(C)bio Oscar Scheid, the 88-year-old retired archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Tartaglia tested positive for COVID-19 after Christmas and was self-isolating, but Glasgow archdiocese stressed that the cause of his death was currently unclear.
Bells tolled across the Colombian diocese of Santa Marta on Jan. 12 to honor Bishop Luis Adriano Piedrahita Sandoval, 74, who died on Jan. 11 of complications from COVID-19. Bishop Cstor Oswaldo Azuaje of Trujillo, 69, became the first bishop from Venezuela to die after contracting the virus on Jan. 8.
Bishop Florentin Crihalmeanu, the 61-year-old bishop of the Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Cluj-Gherla in Romania, died on Jan. 12. He was remembered by his eparchy as ''a diligent, meek, and humble soul.''
Polish Bishop Adam Dyczkowski, emeritus of Zielona G"ra-Gorz"w diocese, died on Jan. 10 at the age of 88 and Italian Archbishop Oscar Rizzato died at the age of 91 on Jan. 11. Rizzato had served as papal almsgiver under both St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
Pope Francis expressed his condolences following the death of Cardinal Scheid in a telegram on Jan. 14.
''I offer fervent prayers to welcome him into eternal happiness and console him with hope in the resurrection and to all those who mourn the loss of their beloved pastor,'' the pope wrote.
Judge Releases Dominion Audit Report: System 'Designed' to 'Create Systemic Fraud' | Neon Nettle
Sat, 16 Jan 2021 04:30
Court unseals details of audit on machines in Michigan's Antrim County
on&nbsp15th December 2020 @ 3.00pm
(C) press 13th Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer released the bombshell audit reportA Michigan judge has released the bombshell report on the audit of Dominion Voting Systems, revealing that the machines and their software were "designed" to "create systemic fraud."
The report covers the forensic audit of Dominion's machines in Michigan's Antrim County '-- which received national attention after it was discovered that 6,000 votes for President Donald Trump were "flipped" to Democrat Joe Biden due to an "error."
13th Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer ordered the report's protective order to be lifted on Monday night, allowing the details of the audit to be unsealed and released to the public.
The data firm that conducted the forensic audit of Dominion Voting Systems determined that the machines and software in Michigan showed that they were designed to create fraud and influence election results, the report reveals.
"We conclude that the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results,'' Russell Ramsland Jr., co-founder of Allied Security Operations Group, said in a preliminary report.
"The system intentionally generates an enormously high number of ballot errors."
(C) press The ruling is a major blow for Dominion's CEOs (pictured) who hoped to keep the report sealed"The electronic ballots are then transferred for adjudication," the report continues.
"The intentional errors lead to bulk adjudication of ballots with no oversight, no transparency, and no audit trail.
"This leads to voter or election fraud," Ramsland Jr. explains.
"Based on our study, we conclude that The Dominion Voting System should not be used in Michigan,'' he added.
"We further conclude that the results of Antrim County should not have been certified."
Ramsland, a former Reagan administration official who has worked for NASA, and the team of cybersecurity experts examined Dominion products in Antrim County earlier this month as part of an ongoing case.
The team inspected and performed forensic duplication on the county's election management server, which was running Dominion Democracy Suite 5.5.3-002, compact flash cards used by local precincts in their Dominion ImageCast system, USB memory sticks used by Dominion Voter Assist Terminals, and USB memory sticks used for the poll book.
They used X-Ways Forensics and other tools including Blackbag-Blacklight Forensic Software, and Virtual Box.
Judge Elsenheimer approved the forensic examination in Bailey v. Antrim County, which alleges the infamous vote flip county officials reported last month may have not been the result of human error, as officials had alleged.
Antrim County resident William Bailey filed the lawsuit against the county that challenges the integrity of the election equipment.
On Monday, Elsenheimer ruled that the report on the examination must be published.
Elsenheimer unsealed the report after state and county officials withdrew their objections.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, has attempted to dismiss the report as ''inaccurate, incomplete, and misleading.''
''The Antrim County Clerk and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson have stated that the election night error detailed above by the vote 'flip' from Trump to Biden, was the result of human error caused by the failure to update the Mancelona Township tabulator prior to Election Night for a down-ballot race,'' reads the report by Allied Security Operations Group.
''We disagree and conclude that the vote flip occurred because of machine error built into the voting software designed to create error.''
Allied Security Operations Group concludes that the Dominion system ''should not be used in Michigan'' and the Antrim County results ''should not have been certified.''
Last weekend, Judge Eisenheimer ordered Antrim County election officials to preserve all election materials and refrain from operating any of the county's Dominion Voting Systems machines ahead of a forensic audit by the Trump campaign.
''Antrim County election officials discovered that 'human error' flipped 6,000 votes from Trump to Biden after Bailey alerted them to some inconsistencies in the county's reporting of the vote,'' The Daily Wire noted earlier this month.
Michigan Secretary of State Benson's office attempted to dismiss the inconsistencies as "human error."
In a statement, Benson's office said that "the clerk accidentally did not update the software used to collect voting machine data and report unofficial results.''
''The erroneous reporting of unofficial results from Antrim county was a result of accidental error on the part of the Antrim County Clerk,'' the statement said.
''The equipment and software did not malfunction and all ballots were properly tabulated.
"However, the clerk accidentally did not update the software used to collect voting machine data and report unofficial results.''
Assistant Attorney General Erik Grill claims the audit analysis is ''inaccurate, incomplete and misleading,'' The Detroit Free Press reported Monday.
''There's no reason to hide,'' Grill said. ''There is nothing to hide.''
(C) press Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, attempted to dismiss the report as 'inaccurate, incomplete, and misleading'Benson withdrew her objection to releasing the report, said Grill, because the attorney representing Bailey had given interviews to the press in which he leveled allegations about the election results and Benson, according to The Daily Wire.
''Any attempt to suppress the report now would only incorrectly be seen as an attempted coverup, he said,'' the Free Press reports.
''Dominion Voting Systems and the Michigan Secretary of State's Office continue to urge caution about false information related to Antrim County,'' The Detroit News notes.
Dominion said in a statement released Monday that the error was caused when officials did not update the programming, emphasizing that the error was caught in the post-election canvass process.
''The post-election canvass process is designed to catch errors, which is exactly where these errors were discovered,'' the company said.
''It is disappointing, though not surprising, that the primary goal of this group is to continue spreading false information designed to erode the public's confidence in the election,'' said Jake Rollow, spokesman for Benson.
Trump won Antrim County by about 4,000 votes but lost the state by around 154,000 votes.
[RELATED] Dominion Engineer Told Antifa He'd 'Made Sure' Trump Wouldn't Win, Report Says
Statements From Sidney Powell Concerning Trump's Inaction Over The Rigged 2020 Elections
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 04:48
Sidney PowellAll indications are that despite the overwhelming evidence of massive fraud, and more evidence available inside the government, and other legal options available, the President is taking no action to protect the Republic. People around him are limiting his information and lying to him about his legal options. The Biden administration will be consolidating power day one and the fascist corporations are already limiting speech and firing freedom lovers. Just look at the military in DC now. Trump did not call them in. And all that for a virtual inauguration that no one will attend?! It's all about power and global/communist money. You can see and smell the corruption in DC. It's gone from a swamp to a pure cesspool. There were and have been a lot more people illegally elected than just Biden and Harris. Sidney PowellWe need a miracle. Pray There are powers still available to the President and more information from within our government and other governments that he can access, and other witnesses'--simple steps that can be taken to get the Truth out now. And it does NOT require "martial law."
LATEST INTEL For Patriots | The Trailblazing Patriot
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 05:04
(Sent from another Patriot)
Blessings, All
Ok we had another Zoom call last night with retired Generals, Colonels and also Lin Wood. Here's what they covered: (don't be alarmed this one is pretty heavy but ends well)
Everyone is upset and impatient that no trigger has been pulled yet. But make no mistake, the President will do what is necessary to defend the constitution. Much is being done out of public view'...
25,000 troops are now in DC, under the guise of riot control for the inauguration.More troops across the country '' all major Democrat cities '' are on standby which is 1hr recall.POTUS just designated Cuba as a terrorist state (relating to election interference)POTUS just delisted a number of Chinese companies from having business being done with them.The recent blackouts in Italy (Vatican), Pakistan & Iran were from our Space Force '' they temporarily took out parts of their power grid from up there. This was in preparation for war with China and Iran. Don't panic! This isn't conventional war with tanks and bombs and bullets '' it's cyber warfare including satellites that can knock out communications and data centers. If you ever wondered why the Space Force was instituted by POTUS a while back, it wasn't just about going to Mars. It was for this. Other countries have satellites up there that can do stuff to us '' we have them now too and they work.There are now 250,000 Chinese troops surrounding us, 75,000 in Canada and the rest in Mexico. The generals said if they set foot in this country they will be wiped out swiftly as they are ready. (I know, this is scary but hang on everything will be fine)POTUS at the Wall in Texas yesterday was a signal to let China know he means business as a sign and that he is in charge.POTUS will be getting in front of the people to produce evidence so the people know he is the real elected President. He may have to use the Emergency Alert System to do this in 2-3 days. When I give you a timeline or dates they can be disinformation given to us on purpose, so we will not be told the real dates as our calls are being listened into.The Mayor of Oklahoma City was informed by POTUS on Monday via email that the Insurrection Act has been enacted and arrests will begin in that city. This is the first of many cities this will happen in. So we now have confirmation that the Insurrection Act is in place!DON'T BELIEVE THE MEDIA! It's all optics. One Colonel noted that in war, it's important to draw your enemy out in the open. POTUS has been doing EXACTLY that. Look at all the rats that have been revealing their true identity. POTUS has been separating the wheat from the chaff, especially these past 2 weeks.This election was cyber warfare on our country. A paper was sent to the White House on the voting in 4 states that showed Chinese cyber attacks moving votes from Trump to Biden. They have proof of this now. This is a foreign country involved in our elections so this has been escalated from a domestic issue to an attack from a foreign enemy. This has moved from a constitutional voting issue to a national security issue now.Covid was a biological attack on our country to shut down our economy and push the Mail-in Ballots Nationwide in order to pull off the steal along with the Dominion Machines.The virus was a man made Bio-weapon created in a Wuhan Lab to take out as many of our elderly and the weak as possible to incite more fear globally. They needed the death counts to rise to continue their plan to take over our country. This is why every death was marked as a covid death regardless if they had it or not.The Generals and Gen Flynn encouraged us all as Patriots to RESIST all across this country and yes Canada too. Take off your Mask. Go to Church and Open your businesses. They can't stop us when we all RESIST! There aren't enough jail cells to hold everyone. Those were our orders to get the message out to the masses.
U.S. Steps Up Claims Covid-19 May Have Escaped From Chinese Lab - Bloomberg
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 12:35
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3) We continue to have high numbers of COVID patients in the hospitals. Are we seeing unprecedented numbers of patients and pulling our hair out wondering if there will be ICU beds to take care of our loved ones? Absolutely Not! We are very busy, and yes there are a lot of COVID patients, but as I mentioned previously - we're always busy Nov-Feb. My speculation from my vantage point as a single physician slave is that the numbers are slightly worse than a bad flu year - when I say bad flu year, I mean our last one in 2009 not any of the years since.
4) An interesting observation in Southern California (perhaps elsewhere if you read between the lines) is that the vast majority of our hospitalized COVID patients that are not elderly (even many of them that are elderly) are hispanic. This has been the case from the beginning - I treat patients in a community that is 48% white, followed by hispanic, then african american - however, the vast vast majority (maybe 90%?) of the patients we've been seeing in the hospital are hispanic. This has been consistent from the beginning, and quite striking (also lines up with what I've heard from colleagues), but is never ever mentioned in the news.
That's all for now.
Thank you for your courage!!
Jake has covid
i have listened to no agenda for 10 years and donate monthly and LOVE you two like older brothers i never had.
my wife and i recently got covid. so we have a lot of time on out hands to obsess about how the lock downs and social consequences are worse than the actual illness.
trying to find ANY information counter to the narrative on a random google search is impossible. without you two i would be lost and scared. thanks again for everything.
keep fighting the good fight!
jake
AA Health Passport
American Airlines Is first US airline to introduce health passport for all international travel to US (16.24)
1/14/2021, 11:08:01 AM ET
Co is the first U.S. airline to introduce an easy way to provide results from a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test and other completed documents required for international travel into the United States.
The VeriFLY app, a mobile health passport that helps customers understand and verify their travel requirements, will be available for travelers starting Saturday, Jan. 23, for travel from all international destinations.
American is expanding access to the app in support of the U.S. government's requirement that all passengers 2 years of age and older traveling to the United States from any international location test negative for COVID-19 within three calendar days of departure.
UK COVID-19 passport begins trial - BusinessCloud
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 13:19
A C OVID -19 immunity and vaccination passport backed by Innovate UK has entered its live testing phase.
Developed by British tech firms iProov and Mvine, it enables a person's test result or vaccination status to be registered and proved without disclosing their identity, and without the need for extensive new infrastructure.
With additional backing from Innovate UK, which initially funded the development of a successful working prototype, the Mvine- iProov passport will now be tested by Directors of Public Health within the N HS .
Mvine and iProov aim to complete two trials by 31 March 2021 . T he Mvine- iProov passport can be plugged into the NHS' existing infrastructure, enabling it to meet the specific needs of local Directors of Public Health and any overarching national requirements.
They claim t his flexibility ensures that areas in different tiers or levels of vaccination roll '' out can set appropriate policies and enforce them with confidence.
Frank Joshi, Director at Mvine , said: ''Without the need for an extensive new infrastructure, the Directors of Public Health will learn how our innovation is used to promote public health and protect citizen privacy.
'' Unlike some other digital solutions for C OVID -19, this technology reduces the burden on frontline services and cost-effectively assures a secure and safe way to enable the return to work, return to school and return to the kind of life that people want to lead.''
Andrew Bud, CEO at iProov , said: ''Ensuring consumer trust, security and privacy is essential to the success of projects in this space. iProov enables all three.
'' Our Genuine Presence Assurance technology secures the link between the citizen and Mvine's test status solution in this project, which we think can make an important contribution to forming the national response to the COVID-19 crisis.''
Microsoft, Salesforce and Oracle working on Covid vaccination passport
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 23:30
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A digital Covid vaccination passport is being jointly developed by a group of health and technology companies who anticipate that governments, airlines and other firms will soon start asking people for proof that they have been inoculated.A coalition known as the Vaccination Credential Initiative '-- which includes Microsoft, Salesforce and Oracle, as well as U.S. health care non-profit Mayo Clinic '-- was announced on Thursday.The VCI said it wants to develop technology that enables individuals to obtain an encrypted digital copy of their immunization credentials that can be stored in a digital wallet of their choice, such as the Apple Wallet or Google Pay.Brendan McDermid | Reuters
LONDON '-- A digital Covid vaccination passport is being jointly developed by a group of health and technology companies who anticipate that governments, airlines and other firms will soon start asking people for proof that they have been inoculated.
A coalition known as the Vaccination Credential Initiative '-- which includes Microsoft, Salesforce and Oracle, as well as U.S. health care non-profit Mayo Clinic '-- was announced on Thursday.
The VCI said it wants to develop technology that enables individuals to obtain an encrypted digital copy of their immunization credentials that can be stored in a digital wallet of their choice, such as the Apple Wallet or Google Pay. It suggested that anyone without a smartphone could receive paper printed with QR codes containing verifiable credentials.
The coalition said it will also try to develop new standards for confirming whether a person has or hasn't been inoculated against the virus. Previously, citizens have used vaccination booklets to keep track of their travel vaccines but authorities rarely ask to see them.
"The goal of the Vaccination Credential Initiative is to empower individuals with digital access to their vaccination records," said Paul Meyer, CEO of non-profit The Commons Project, which is a member of the coalition, in a statement.
He added that the technology should allow people "to safely return to travel, work, school, and life, while protecting their data privacy."
Bill Patterson, an executive vice president and general manager at enterprise software firm Salesforce, said his company wants to help organizations "customize all aspects of the vaccination management lifecycle and integrate closely with other coalition members' offerings, which will help us all get back to public life."
"With a single platform to help deliver safe and continuous operations and deepen trust with customers and employees, this coalition will be crucial to support public health and wellbeing," Patterson added.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.
Vaccine divides opinionWhile many people can't wait to protect themselves from the virus, some are adamant that they won't get the jab, leaving populations divided into those that have been vaccinated and those that haven't. In the U.K., one in five say they are unlikely to get the vaccine, according to YouGov research published in November, citing a variety of different reasons.
Millions of people around the world still don't want to be vaccinated, according to opinion polls. Some fear needles, some believe in unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and some are worried about potential side effects. Others just don't think getting vaccinated is necessary and would rather risk catching Covid.
As a result of the differing views, a debate could start to emerge in 2021. Should any restrictions be imposed on people who choose not to get vaccinated, given they can catch and spread the virus?
It's a tricky subject but governments are already looking at introducing systems that would enable authorities, and possibly businesses, to tell if a person has had a Covid vaccine or not.
In December it emerged that Los Angeles County plans to let Covid vaccine recipients store proof of immunization in the Apple Wallet on their iPhone, which can also store tickets and boarding passes in digital form. Officials say it will first be used to remind people to get their second shot of the vaccine but it could, eventually, be used to gain access to concert venues or airline flights.
China has launched a health code app that shows whether a person is symptom-free in order to check into a hotel or use the subway. In Chile, citizens that have recovered from the coronavirus have been issued with "virus free" certificates.
On Dec. 28, Spain's Health Minister Salvador Illa said the country will create a registry to show who has refused to be vaccinated and that the database could be shared across Europe.
Elsewhere, the CEO of Delta Air Lines, Ed Bastian, said in April that immunity passports could be used to help fliers feel more confident in their personal safety while traveling.
A spokesperson for Ryanair said "vaccination won't be a requirement when flying Ryanair" when CNBC asked if it would ever prevent non-vaccinated people from flying on its aircraft. British Airways, Qantas, and easyJet did not respond to CNBC's request for comment.
Isra Black, a lecturer in law at the University of York, and Lisa Forsberg, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford who researches medical ethics, told CNBC that it "isn't easy to say whether it would be ethically permissible for a state to impose restrictions" on people who refuse a jab.
The academics said in a joint statement via email that the answer will depend on factors like vaccine supply, the level of vaccination in the population, the nature of the restrictions on vaccine refusers, and how the restrictions are operationalized.
"We might think that there are strong, albeit not necessarily decisive, reasons in favor of some limitation on regaining pre-pandemic freedoms for individuals who refuse vaccination for Covid-19, for example, on their freedom to gather," said Black and Forsberg. "There is the potential for unvaccinated individuals to contract a serious case of coronavirus, which we take would be bad for them, but could also negatively affect others, for example, if health resources have to be diverted away from non-Covid care."
UK announces closure of all travel corridors starting Monday
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 23:22
Amy Cassidy, Duarte Mendonca and Marnie Hunter, CNN ' Updated 15th January 2021
(CNN) '-- In an effort to protect against new coronavirus variants, the United Kingdom will close all travel corridors from 4 a.m. local time Monday.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the move in a news conference Friday, emphasizing that the only way to get into the country is by having a negative coronavirus test result.
"This means that if you come to this country, you must have proof of a negative Covid test that you've taken in the 72 hours before leaving. And you must have filled in your passenger locator form, and your airline will ask for proof of both before you take off," Johnson said.
"You may also be checked when you land and face substantial fines for refusing to comply, and upon arrival, you must then quarantine for 10 days, not leaving your home for any reason at all. Or take another test on day five and wait for proof of another negative result. And we will be stepping up our enforcement, both at the border and in the country," Johnson added.
The measures apply to all travelers, including British and Irish nationals.
Increased enforcement will support the new rules, including more spot checks on passengers that have entered the country, the Department for Transport said in a news release.
The move suspends travel corridors that have been in place between the UK and a variety of destinations since July 2020.
"The level of risk associated with the emergence of new variants globally has now increased, requiring more stringent measures to block all potential avenues through which new strains of the virus could enter the UK while we consider how best to respond," the Department for Transport said.
The new measure will be reviewed on February 15.
Read more
Premier Doug Ford turfs MPP Roman Baber from Tory caucus for opposing COVID-19 lockdown | The Star
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 01:26
By Robert Benzie Queen's Park Bureau Chief Fri., Jan. 15, 2021 timer 4 min. read
Another one bites the dust.
Premier Doug Ford has turfed MPP Roman Baber from the Progressive Conservative caucus for opposing the government's COVID-19 lockdown measures.
''Effective immediately, Mr. Baber will no longer be sitting as a member of the PC caucus and will not be permitted to seek re-election as a PC member,'' Ford said Friday.
The premier's removal of a second MPP for criticizing his government's COVID-19 response came just 101 minutes after Baber (York Centre) issued an open letter to him, warning ''the medicine is killing the patient.''
In a two-page missive to Ford, the first-term member said it is time to act to salvage ''the millions of lives and livelihoods ruined by Ontario's public heath restrictions.''
''The lockdown isn't working. It's causing an avalanche of suicides, overdoses, bankruptcies, divorces and takes an immense toll on our children,'' wrote Baber, a lawyer.
But Ford, who ejected Cambridge MPP Belinda Karahalios from the Tory caucus last July less than an hour after she voted against emergency pandemic legislation, said Baber's ''comments are irresponsible.''
''By spreading misinformation he is undermining the tireless efforts of our front-line health-care workers at this critical time, and he is putting people at risk. I will not jeopardize a single Ontarian's life by ignoring public health advice,'' the premier said.
''There is no room for political ideology in our fight against COVID-19 '-- rather, our response has been and will always be driven by evidence and data,'' he said.
''Furthermore, Mr. Baber has put himself ahead of his PC caucus team, who have worked around the clock for months to support and protect the people of Ontario through this public health crisis.''
Baber's letter comes the day after Ford officially returned Ontario to a second 28-day state of emergency because of rising COVID-19 infections.
That will keep most schools closed till at least mid-February.
More than 5,000 people '-- most of them elderly residents in long-term care homes '-- have died from the virus since March.
Before being ejected from caucus, Baber was one of about a dozen Tory MPPs, including some cabinet ministers who have privately expressed concern about the government's strategy.
On Twitter, he said ''it's a regretful decision since many colleagues agree with me.''
Baber also told Newstalk 1010's Jerry Agar that other Tory MPPs have shared ''similar sentiments'' about the lockdown strategy.
On Monday night, cabinet ministers spent almost five hours debating the measures Ford unveiled the next day and which took effect Thursday.
Indeed, veteran Conservatives privately confided to the Star that there is some dissension in the ranks over the handling of the pandemic.
''This really is a slap at the party base,'' said one Tory, who, like others interviewed Friday, spoke on background out of fear of retribution from Ford.
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''All Roman did was write a letter for heaven's sake. We're a party of divergent opinions,'' said the stalwart.
Another PC insider insisted ''there is widespread provincial party member concern that Ford is irreparably damaging the party.''
''All stick, no carrot,'' said the long-time member.
Baber's letter, which the government disputed with a four-page, point-by-point dissection of his arguments, said Ford should be only focusing on long-term care.
''The crisis is largely limited to long-term-care homes (LTC). With all LTC residents in 'red zones' to be vaccinated by Jan. 21, Ontario should end the lockdown and the catastrophic toll it's causing Ontarians,'' he said.
'''Hot zones' like Toronto and Peel have been in lockdown since Thanksgiving without success. But the lockdowns are objectively deadlier than COVID.''
Baber's letter notes cancer screenings are only at 60 per cent capacity and that the opioid overdose rate is ''trending 50 per cent above normal.''
But the government said overdose deaths have increased by 38 per cent since the start of the pandemic.
As well, Baber expressed alarm at Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) data suggesting more people are having ''recent thoughts or feelings of suicide'' and at concerns about eating disorders among young people.
The government, however, pointed out that the chief coroner's office ''has not observed an increase in the number of suicides that occurred from January 2020 to June 2020 when compared with data from recent years.''
Camille Quenneville, the CEO of the CMHA's Ontario division, said the mental health advocacy organization ''unequivocally support(s) provincial lockdown measures to protect the health and safety of Ontarians and to help ease the monumental burden our front-line health care workers are facing every day.''
''We are also in continual conversation with government officials about how the pandemic is impacting the mental health of Ontarians,'' said Quenneville.
''People have become more stressed, worried, and depressed since the pandemic began. Substance use is also up and, tragically, opioid overdoses have increased at alarming levels,'' she said, adding ''the MPP has mischaracterized CMHA research.''
Quenneville said any increase in suicides is ''due to the overall impact of the pandemic'' not just the current lockdown.
Beyond the health crisis, Baber's letter notes business shutdowns and rising unemployment as well as the ''stay home'' order are also taking a toll.
''The government is criminalizing normal human behaviour and putting law-abiding Ontarians in legal jeopardy,'' he said.
Independent MPP Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston), who was removed from the PC caucus in 2019, praised Baber for ''speaking truthfully about the harms of lockdowns'' and how Ford ''is misrepresenting the risk.''
Robert Benzie is the Star's Queen's Park bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter:
@robertbenzie
Superspreader 'swinger' party busted in South LA
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 13:18
By Ed Laskos and KJ Hiramoto
Published 5 days ago
It was advertised as a "swinger's party." However, they were swapping more than just spouses.
LOS ANGELES - It was advertised as a "swinger's party." However, they were swapping more than just spouses.
FOX 11 Investigates has been showing Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department breaking up superspreader events over the last several weeks. But we didn't see this twist coming.
An "adults only" superspreader event got busted at a warehouse in South Central Los Angeles over the weekend. This time, it wasn't teenagers and young people... it was older, middle-aged partygoers.
"The party is over," an LASD deputy told partygoers over the loudspeakers.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE:
LASD's Superspreader Task Force makes over 100 arrests in party busts LA Sheriff Superspreader Task Force detains 900 during NYE party busts LASD's superspreader task force detained and cited more than "a couple hundred" people.
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Florida in 'full COVID-19 resurgence,' White House task force says
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 14:24
Sign up for our NewslettersLatest News White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx speaks during a news conference with the coronavirus task force in this file photo. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. '' The latest report sent to Florida by the White House Coronavirus Task Force sends a clear and grim message:
''Florida is in full COVID-19 resurgence, which will drive significant fatalities for many weeks and stress the staffing of the hospital system,'' the report dated Jan. 10 says.
The state is in the dreaded red zone for cases, with the task force saying that Florida's 101 new cases per 100,000 population is the 11th highest in the nation.
Florida's positivity rate of 10.1% is also in the red zone, ranking 26th in the country, according to the report.
Miami-Dade and Broward counties are highlighted as having the highest number of new cases over the past three weeks (they are also the most populous counties).
''Nearly all metro areas over 500,000 persons are in full resurgence, and aggressive action must meet this increasing community spread in our large metros,'' says the report, which is intended to advise states on how to combat the virus, with guidance from some of the nation's top infectious disease experts. ''Metros that continued to improve post-Thanksgiving are now destabilizing.''
The task force urges Florida leaders to stress mask-wearing and strict social distancing, particularly as variants of the virus are reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has verified at least 22 COVID-19 cases caused by variants in Florida out of the 76 reported nationwide.
''Aggressive mitigation must be used to match a more aggressive virus, moving beyond what worked in the summer to more layered mitigation; without uniform implementation of effective face masking (two or three ply and well-fitting) and strict physical distancing, epidemics could quickly worsen as more transmissible variants spread and become predominant,'' the report says.
The White House task force also calls for ''proactive testing of those under 40 to prevent asymptomatic silent spread to their household members.''
Earlier this week, Florida became the third state to pass 1.5 million cases of COVID-19.
A copy of the pages in the report directed at Florida can be seen below:
Copyright 2021 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.
About the Author:David Selig David Selig is the Digital Executive Producer at WPLG, overseeing Local10.com.
Vaccines and such
Nursing home vaccination update
Hi Adam,
Hoping all is well. Wanted to send a quick update from the nursing home world. We're still fully locked down and held hostage by forced testing and endless feeds of propaganda. Despite what the media may say, vaccination is not being well received by either patients or health professionals. I'm knee deep in CVS & Walgreens federalized goulag vaccination clinics and it's a shit show to say the least. I'll provide a summary on all that nonsense soon! After working through about 6,000 combined vaccination opportunities thus far, we are finding healthcare worker acceptance is below 50% and patient acceptance only marginally higher.
The attached document is validation of this point. It was sent to healthcare facilities, from State Health Departments in multiple states just this week, to be used on staff and patients to "change the conversation" about COVID vaccines because nobody wants the damn thing! The only people taking the shots are those who are visibly scared by all of the propaganda or those giving a virtue signal. Our tax dollars are paying for COVID PR consultants....I shouldn't be surprised I guess.
The document is the product of a Frank Lutz consultancy group and is an egregious display of mind control and wordsmithing. We're living in a world gone mad. Thanks for providing an outlet to those of us clutching what sanity we have left. More to come!
If I get vaccinated:
1 - Can I stop wearing the mask? - NO
2 - Can they re-open restaurants etc and everyone work normally? - NO
3 - Will I be resistant to covid?
- Maybe, but we don't know exactly, it probably won't stop you getting it
4 - At least I won't be contagious to others anymore?
- NO you can still pass it on, possibly, nobody knows.
5 - If we vaccinate all children, will school resume normally? - NO
6 - If I am vaccinated, can I stop social distancing?
- NO
7 - If I am vaccinated, can I stop disinfecting my hands? - NO
8 - If I vaccinate myself and my grandfather, can we hug each other? - NO
9 - Will cinemas, theatres and stadiums be reopened thanks to vaccines? - NO
10 - Will the vaccinated be able to gather? - NO
11 - What is the real benefit of vaccination?
- The virus won't kill you
12 - Are you sure it won't kill me? - NO
13 - If statistically the virus didn't kill me anyway ... Why would I get vaccinated?"
- To protect others.
14 - So if I get vaccinated, the others are 100% sure I'm not infecting them? - NO
* So the shot does NOT give immunity.
* Does NOT eliminate the virus.
* Does NOT prevent death.
* Does NOT guarantee you won't get it.
* Does NOT prevent you from getting it.
* Does NOT stop you passing it on
* Does NOT eliminate the need for travel bans.
* Does NOT eliminate the need for business closures.
* Does NOT eliminate the need for lockdowns.
* Does NOT eliminate the need for masking.
SO...what the hell is it actually doing⁉️
Pimlico Plumbers to introduce 'no jab, no job' work contracts | Services sector | The Guardian
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 21:43
Show caption Founder and chairman of Pimlico Plumbers, Charlie Mullins, said: 'When we go off to Africa and Caribbean countries, we have to have a jab for malaria '' we don't think about it, we just do it.' Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
Services sector Pimlico Plumbers will introduce a ''no jab, no job'' policy requiring all of its workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Charlie Mullins, Pimlico's founder and former chief executive, now chairman, said the company's lawyers were drafting new employment contracts for its 400-strong workforce to include the vaccine requirement, although employment lawyers questioned whether it would be legally enforceable.
Governments around the world have started major programmes after regulators approved a series of vaccinations. The UK had given more than 2.6 million people the first dose of a vaccine by Tuesday.
Extensive medical trials have found that the vaccines approved by UK regulators are safe. However, there are concerns that the increase in hesitancy and so-called anti-vaxxers will lead to lower vaccination rates, risking further coronavirus outbreaks and potentially endangering the lives of others.
Charlie Mullins. ''No vaccine, no job,'' Mullins said in an interview with City A.M. ''When we go off to Africa and Caribbean countries, we have to have a jab for malaria '' we don't think about it, we just do it. So why would we accept something within our country that's going to kill us when we can have a vaccine to stop it?''
Some tropical countries require travellers to have inoculations against diseases such as yellow fever. There is no malaria vaccine, but antimalarial treatments '' typically delivered in pill form '' are also commonplace.
However, employment lawyers said attempts by companies to force employees to be vaccinated could lead to claims of discrimination or constructive dismissal, potentially opening employers up to expensive compensation claims. Not even the UK government has the power to force citizens to be vaccinated.
Nick Wilcox, a partner at BDBF, a London-based law firm, said employers would have to balance their duty of care for employees during the pandemic against their duty not to undermine employees' trust or confidence in employers.
He said mandatory vaccinations ''could be an issue'', particularly if an employee has a religious or philosophical belief that they should not receive a vaccine. Wilcox advised that employers should seek to consult employees about vaccinations rather than trying to impose them.
Other businesses have backed the vaccines. Unilever's chief executive, Alan Jope, said on Wednesday that the company would strongly encourage all of its workers to have the vaccine, but said the FTSE 100 firm would stop short of making it mandatory.
In Australia, the Council of Small Business Organisations, a lobby group, said last summer it would back making vaccinations mandatory.
''If one of my staff members says: 'No, I'm against it', then I'm going to have to say: 'I'm sorry you are a threat to my business','' its chief executive, Peter Strong, told Australia's 7News.
''If you don't sack them, you don't have a business, especially if you're in a high-contact area where you've got a lot of customers.''
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Norway Raises Concern Over Vaccine Jabs for the Elderly
Sat, 16 Jan 2021 23:41
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Coronavirus vaccine campaign lacking in doses, delivery, data says Johns Hopkins expert
Sat, 16 Jan 2021 23:50
As the slow and steady coronavirus vaccine rollout continues in the United States, the massive effort is still lacking in delivery, doses, demand and data, the ''four D's'' needed for success, according to a Johns Hopkins doctor.
''You have to have doses, be able to deliver them, you have to have demand, and you have to have data to be able to track who you're getting the vaccines into,'' Dr. William Moss, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins, said during a Friday virtual briefing.
Moss said we knew doses would be insufficient in the beginning as scaling up takes time. So far in the United States, 21 million doses have been distributed and nearly 6 million have been administered, according to a Centers for Disease Control data tracker.
Moss said delivery has fallen behind, ''You have to have adequate planning, you have to have an adequate vaccinator workforce with enough people to deliver the vaccines and enough resources to be able to do outreach and community mobilization.''
Outreach and public awareness campaigns also tie into demand, Moss said. Many people are anxiously waiting for their turn in line to be vaccinated, however others may be hesitant due to mistrust or lack of information.
''We really need more detailed data on who's actually getting the vaccine and are we meeting our targets,'' Moss said.
All of these issues surround some of the deadliest days of the pandemic as cases and deaths surge to heights above the initial spring peak.
The nation's average daily case count continues to exceed 200,000, which is still before the impact of the holidays, said Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
She said surges from holiday travel and gatherings won't show up in national numbers for at least a month.
''The pace with which we're adding cases really has accelerated now to the point where the United States is accumulating an average of a million cases every four days,'' Nuzzo said.
Thursday marked a grim all-time high number of daily deaths in the United States with more than 4,085 American lives lost.
''These recent numbers are even more worrisome than they have been,'' in the past, Nuzzo said.
If the trends continue, the country could expect to see 400,000 total deaths by the end of the month. So far there have been 21.6 million coronavirus cases in the U.S., the most of any country. More than 366,000 people have died since the pandemic began.
Also Friday, new research suggests Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine can protect against a mutation found in the two more-contagious variants of the coronavirus.
Ice cream from China contaminated with coronavirus: report
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 05:13
TIANJIN, China - Three samples of ice cream from a Chinese company tested positive for COVID-19, and thousands of boxes of the dessert have been confiscated as a result.
STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS WUHAN LAB RESEARCHERS MAY HAVE HAD COVID IN THE FALL OF 2019
The contaminated ice cream caused Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Company to dump 2,089 boxes of the product, although officials believe more than double that amount -- 4,836 boxes -- has been contaminated, Sky News reported.
More than half the total boxes had already been distributed for sale when the positive tests were discovered. Market regulation authorities in other provinces outside Tianjin where the ice cream was sent were notified of the issue, and customers who may have purchased the product are being told to report their health to community officials.
According to the report, 1,662 employees were tested at the company Thursday and were quarantining.
CHINA'S SILENCE ON CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC LEFT WORLD 'FLYING BLIND,' AZAR SAYS
Officials believe the coronavirus was able to survive in the ice cream due to the cold temperature and was likely transferred from a person who had the disease.
Dr. Stephen Griffin, a virologist based at the University of Leeds, told Sky News the instance of contamination was likely a "one-off" and not indicative of a broader issue with the plant itself.
"Of course, any level of contamination is not acceptable and always a cause for concern, but the chances are that this is the result of an issue with the production plant and potentially down to hygiene at the factory," Griffin said.
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Initial epidemiological investigations revealed Tianjin produced the batch of ice cream using raw materials including milk powder imported from New Zealand and whey powder imported from Ukraine.
Read more at FOXNews.com.
J&J's one-shot Covid vaccine is safe, generates promising immune response
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 13:11
Johnson & Johnson's one-dose coronavirus vaccine is safe and appears to generate a promising immune response in both young and elderly volunteers, according to trial data published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
J&J scientists randomly assigned healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55 and those 65 and older to receive a high or low dose of its vaccine '-- called Ad26.COV2.S '-- or a placebo. Some participants in the 18-to-55 age group were also selected to receive a second dose of the vaccine.
Most of the volunteers produced detectable neutralizing antibodies, which researchers believe play an important role in defending cells against the virus, after 28 days, according to the trial data. By day 57, all volunteers had detectable antibodies, regardless of vaccine dose or age group, and remained stable for at least 71 days in the 18-to-55 age group.
The most common side effects were fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and pain at the injection site, according to the trial data. Side effects were less common in the older age group, who received only one dose of the vaccine, as well as those who received a lower dose of the vaccine, according to the data.
The phase one and two clinical trial data shows a single shot of the vaccine "gives sustainable antibodies," Dr. Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer at J&J, told CNBC's Meg Tirrell in an interview. He added it gives the company "confidence" the vaccine will be highly effective against the virus.
The trial tested 805 volunteers. The company is expected to release results from its 45,000-person phase three trial later this month. J&J is using the same technologies it used to develop its Ebola vaccine for its Covid-19 vaccine.
U.S. officials and Wall Street analysts are eagerly anticipating the authorization of J&J's vaccine, which could happen as early as next month. Public health officials and infectious disease experts say world leaders will need an array of drugs and vaccines to defeat the virus, which has killed at least 382,120 Americans since the beginning of the pandemic.
If J&J's vaccine is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, it would be the third approved for use in the U.S. behind the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and Moderna's. Pfizer's vaccine was authorized on Dec. 11, and Moderna's was authorized a week later on Dec. 18.
The data comes as U.S. officials complain that the pace of vaccinations has been too slow as the demand of vaccine doses exceeds supply. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded Covid vaccine eligibility guidelines Tuesday to include people 65 and older as well as people with preexisting conditions. The government is also changing the way it allocates Covid vaccine doses, now basing it on how quickly states can administer shots and the size of their elderly population.
The Trump administration will also stop holding back millions of doses reserved for the second round of shots of Pfizer's and Moderna's two-dose vaccines, the official said, adding they've released doses that were being held in reserve on Sunday. President-elect Joe Biden's transition team announced a similar plan Friday.
Unlike Pfizer's and Moderna's authorized vaccines, which require two doses about three to four weeks apart, J&J's requires only one dose. That means patients will not have to come back for another dose, simplifying logistics for health-care providers.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced in August that it reached a deal with Janssen, J&J's pharmaceutical subsidiary, worth approximately $1 billion for 100 million doses of its vaccine. The deal gives the federal government the option to order an additional 200 million doses, according to the announcement.
Stoffels said the company plans to ship the vaccine at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, which is about 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
"We have three months stability as of this moment at 2 to 8," he said. "That will be expanded over the year as we generate more stability data. We know from our other vaccines it can go up to a year, but at the start we can't do that because we don't have it for this vaccine."
BLM/SJW
NAR Speech restrictions
ITM John and Adam,
As far as trade groups go, the National Association of Realtors is unusually powerful because they run and charge for access to the multiple listing service (MLS) – which is basically the board where agents post and find homes for sale. (Listings hit the MLS before they show up on sites like Zillow and Redfin.)
If you're in residential real estate – and the NAR bans you from the MLS for saying something they don't like – you are basically screwed. There's a reason why, in most markets, every firm and each agent who works there each pays hundreds or thousands of dollars a year to subscribe to the MLS. You can't do your job without it. For perspective, there are about 2 million licensed real estate brokers in the U.S., and more than 1.3 million pay to belong to the NAR. That's a hell of a participation rate. (I think most of the holdouts sell commercial real estate, so they don't need the MLS.)
Hell, you don't even get to call yourself a Realtor unless you belong to the NAR – it's a trademarked term, and they will sue your ass.
Notably, most of what jumps to mind as "hate speech" for a real estate agent is already illegal in the U.S. That implies this new rule is intended to go above and beyond what anyone with a normal-sized amygdala would consider reasonable.
In fact, in Episode 1313, when you two were spitballing potential "hate speech" a real estate agent could spew in pursuit of a sale, everything you listed is already illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. They prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, handicap, family status and national origin. (I'm not kidding, no one knows what the difference between race and color is, including legal scholars.) The real gotchas are handicap – which requires landlords to allow tenant to make crazy modifications to their property – and family status, which makes it illegal to answer some of the most common questions homebuyers have: "Is this a good area to raise kids?" and, "Are there a lot of families in this neighborhood?"
In other words, the laws are already woke af, and this new rule sounds nothing if not political and onerous.
May you never find an exit strategy!
Apple CEO Tim Cook gets new bonus not tied to sales, profits
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 12:02
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Apple is adding an executive bonus metric in 2021 measuring ESG performance.Last year, Apple opposed a shareholder measure that asked for a substantially similar compensation change and the shareholder is targeting Alphabet this year.Apple is ranked among leaders in corporate ESG, but labor and human rights issues at partners have been a continued source of concern, as well as workforce diversity.Social responsibility as a factor in executive pay is becoming more common, though it is still the exception at major corporations, but a 2020 marked by civil unrest and a pandemic accelerated focus.Apple chief executive Tim Cook interacts with Year 2 pupils in a classroom, during a visit to Woodberry Down Community Primary School in Harringay, north London, to view how the school, which is part of the New Wave Federation group of schools, had incorporated Apple's iPad and related software into lesson plans.
Yui Mok | PA Images | Getty Images
Apple ranks highly among corporate peers on environmental, social and governance screens, but now, for the first time, its top executives are going to have a portion of their millions in cash pay linked directly to ESG.
In 2021, Apple is adding an ESG "bonus modifier" to its cash incentive program which can swing the total bonus payout by 10% '-- executing on ESG goals can increase the bonus by 10%, while failing to hit ESG targets could cost Apple's top brass a bonus reduction of the same amount.
The new executive compensation measure revealed in Apple's recent 2021 proxy '-- shareholders have to approve executive compensation plans each year '-- comes after years of pressure from activist shareholders. In fact, just last year Apple opposed a proxy measure filed by shareholder Zevin Asset Management '-- which received 12% support from the company's stockholders '-- that asked for executive compensation to be linked to ESG. Apple argued to shareholders there was no need to narrowly link pay to ESG since its corporate mission already included ESG goals foundationally.
What changed in one year? A lot.
For starters, activist shareholders say it is common practice among corporations to resist any resolution introduced at annual meetings, even in cases where the companies are moving in a similar direction '-- if at a slower pace '-- and when they are ready will do an about-face.
"The general posture with companies toward proposals is oppose in every instance," said Pat Tomaino, director of socially responsible investing at Zevin Asset Management, which authored the ESG compensation proposal last year. The Apple shareholder said that this posture is even more likely to be the case when the issue is executive pay. "Companies desire to have a free hand with executive compensation and we see it across the marketplace. The relationship between the compensation committee and the CEO is guarded very closely."
To its credit, Tomaino said Apple reached out to him after his measure's defeat at the 2020 meeting and provided him with an indication that change was coming. He said throughout the process Apple was eager to understand what the shareholder was asking. "I don't think of shareholder resolutions as adversarial. They wanted to understand what we wanted and i never doubted they were going in good faith to compensation consultants to study and understand whether it made sense. They could have chosen to do nothing."
2020 accelerated corporate pressureThe past year was no ordinary year either.
After a 2020 that included civil unrest in the U.S., the Black Lives matter movement, and a pandemic that showed the financial fragility and health risks across many communities and workers, there is more pressure on companies to focus on ESG themes, such as diversity, equity and inclusion, and labor policy. "For better or worse, this year the world is a lot different than it was last proxy season," said Jannice Koors, senior managing director at Pearl Meyer, an executive compensation consultant. "Diversity, equity and inclusion is taking up a lot more bandwidth in boardrooms."
Apple declined to comment to CNBC beyond citing the proxy language.
"It will enter into the discussion more," said Courtney Yu, head of research for executive compensation consulting firm Equilar. "What happened over the course of the past year and summer has helped supercharge lots of these processes and put direct focus on how companies are looking at diversity ... and just their contribution to society in general."
An analysis by JUST Capital, which ranks corporations on ESG (Apple is No. 3 overall, behind tech peers Microsoft and Nvidia), found that in recent years among the Russell 1000 universe of companies about 20% have linked executive pay to ESG goals. That is consistent with other surveys showing between 10% and 20% of companies have some executive pay tied to ESG key performance indicators. Most are of the magnitude of the new Apple 10% swing factor in bonus pay, according to a Pearl Meyer survey from last summer. Roughly 25% of the firms that said they have an ESG pay component indicated it was less than 5%; 67% indicated it was 5% to 10%.
Old ESG versus emerging ESGExecutive compensation and ESG experts say the data on companies that have incorporated ESG into pay can be misleading, though, and overstate the trend's influence when the details are not considered. A significant percentage of the existing ESG compensation plans are in industries where they have been mandated for a long time due to safety concerns, such as in oil drilling, mining and other industrial operations where the risk of an accident is an immediate material and legal risk to the company.
Or as Koors put it, "Old ESG versus emerging ESG. Emerging ESG is different."
If 15% of S&P 500 companies have incentive plans with an ESG component, that includes many with the "old" ESG, according to Gregg Passin, senior partner and Mercer's U.S. executive solutions Leader. "It will be much bigger this year and in future years," he said. A small number of companies included diversity, equity and inclusion as a metric in prior years. "We expect many more this year," he added.
The majority of companies that have an ESG pay metric use a bonus modifier like Apple. It allows companies to still rely on core financial metrics, such as sales and profit, as the most influential payout measures, while bringing in newer metrics '-- which also may be harder to measure '-- on the edges.
"Is it enough? Ten percent of a bonus doesn't strike me as being a massive swing factor," said Martin Whittaker, CEO of JUST Capital.
Apple's top executives received bonuses in 2020 that were 179% of the target payout opportunity, according to its proxy.
"It's laudable it is in there at all, and it puts Apple in a minority. That's leadership. ... If we only have 20% of companies tying compensation to ESG, that tells you there is lots of room for intelligent incentive packages that will drive performance even better," Whittaker said.
Using a modifier takes the pressure off in the goal-setting process and reflects the imprecision that still exists in ESG. "Companies can't just dive into the deep end of the pool right off the bat," Koors said (her firm does not work with Apple specifically). "The question for them is, 'How do we start to introduce these measures in a way where we don't end up regretting it. You don't necessarily want to be the first one out. You can tell the pioneers by the ones that have arrows in their backs. But lots want to be a fast follower."
Pearl Meyer expects more companies will be adopting ESG metrics in incentive plans '-- in its summer survey the number of companies that said they were looking at adding an ESG pay metric this year (9%) more than doubled over those that said they already had one (6%). "Given the data we've seen, this is still the early adopter phase," Koors said.
Sometimes getting started is the hardest thing. We expect to see a lot more shareholder pressure on executive compensation.
Martin Whittaker, JUST Capital CEO
Which ESG metrics, and how many, to incorporate, remains a challenging question. "That everything is important should be signalled, but on the flip side, if everything is important than nothing is important," Koors said.
Mercer's Passin recommends no more than a handful of executive compensation metrics in total, and only one or two tied to ESG, though companies can have multiple factors considered within each category.
"What are we measuring? That's the bigger problem," says Whittaker.
Climate is an area in which metrics are maturing, such as reductions in carbon emissions across multiple well-defined scopes of emissions types. But not all ESG metrics are as easy to define. "The issue is there has been no generally accepted standard set of ESG metrics," Whittaker said.
In the Equilar 500, roughly 20% of the companies tie compensation to some kind of diversity metric, "and even there, it is very broad," Yu said.
There are quantitative measurements for gender pay gap or ethnic pay gap analysis, but there is no "monolithic approach," says Koors.
The issues should not deter companies from thinking about senior executive incentive plans, though, because they drive behavior and performance throughout an organization. "You need everyone in the boat all rowing in the same direction and the more companies that make a plan like this, it can cascade down through the entire management."
"It's typically the first step companies take, the bonus modifier," Tomaino said. "Companies typically do not reorient a whole portion of equity incentive around ESG, but take an existing part of the cash bonus plan."
Even in taking its first step, Tomaino said Apple has done more than other companies that insert basic language into a proxy saying it is at the discretion of the company's compensation committee to set targets for pay, and that could include ESG performance.
Apple's move is better than a blanket statement, but "it gives them a ton of wiggle room," Whittaker said. "Sometimes getting started is the hardest thing. We expect to see a lot more shareholder pressure on executive compensation."
More shareholder measures are coming soon, and targeting Apple peers among the market's dominant tech firms. Tomaino said Zevin Asset Management will again introduce a measure at Alphabet for this year's meeting.
"Impact investors can now point to Apple and I think it is a powerful example," Tomaino said. "Our argument is there is no better way to send a signal that it is mission critical than putting a portion of executive compensation at risk. I wouldn't say Apple went from zero to 60. Apple went from zero to 30."
Microsoft, Intel and IBM already have a compensation plan in place that accomplishes something similar to Apple's new incentive.
An Alphabet spokeswoman told CNBC in an email that in "assessing the individual performance of our executive officers, the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee considers their performance against a number of strategic goals, including those related to sustainability and diversity."
Tomaino described Alphabet's approach to similar resolutions introduced over the past three years as "less transparent" than Apple.
"It is harder to tell if they are considering a change and their contention to us is that within each executive performance review there are certain basic sustainability issues on the table. Our contention is we want ESG aimed at senior officers and need more on what the mechanism is. And we have not been able to understand it over the past three years," Tomaino said.
What we will find out about Apple in 2022For Apple, the proof that the ESG metric matters won't come until next year. That is because companies do not actually detail their compensation awards and how they arrived at those awards until the following year's proxy.
"We have to wait and see how serious they are about using this tool now that they have it," Tomaino said.
Investors will be looking at the discussion in next year's compensation section of the Apple proxy and how executive payouts moved up or down in respect to ESG. "That's what we get with any other financial and we are already pushing on Apple to outline what investors would want to see."
"No one telegraphs this in advance," Koors said.
Apple has increased transparency on climate and raw materials relative to conservation, and investors want to see that metric-approach in supply chain risks and with diversity and inclusion. As examples, that can include recruiting at historically Black colleges and universities, and employee participation in affinity groups.
"The labor issues in their supply chain are a big issue, as is progress on diversity in engineering," Tomaino said. "Tim Cook has described these issues as mission critical and ESG is financially relevant right now and into the long term. It is time for Apple to put their money where their mouth is ... a warts and all analysis. My message is consistent to companies: as an investor I don't want to substitute my judgment for their own or micromanage. They tell me which are the most relevant factors for them and how to get there."
Companies should be less concerned about looking bad and more focused on how to improve, but that worry is in the air.
"What does scare companies is having to report on it, if it is metric you have to disclose and talk about how you did next year," Passin said. "It takes the brave company to be serious about this and put it in, in a real way."
But Passin does think we will start seeing purpose-driven compensation more tied to a multi-stakeholder view of a corporation.
Moving ESG into long-term incentive plans rather than just the annual cash bonus ultimately is appropriate, he said, and it is a conversation that Mercer is starting to have with clients. "But it is not going to be fast," Passin said. "Holding executives accountable, just like with EPS and revenue, you need to be able to measure it. Metrics are not magic. You need a strategy on how to achieve it and how to build facts and end goals. Many companies are not ready yet."
Some critics of executive compensation are focused on the disparity between CEO pay and median worker income '-- Apple CEO Tim Cook makes 256 times the median Apple employee pay of roughly $58,000. And they say as long as CEOs are paid enormous sums, factoring ESG into that pay does not solve the larger problem. But Tomaino and other ESG experts said while wage disparity is among the bigger ESG issues, shareholders shouldn't view it as overriding the broader ESG-linked compensation discussion.
"It is the most profitable company in the world and the simple reality is high-pay decision makers should not be sheltered, isolated and unaccountable from what happens on the ground," Tomaino said. "CEO to worker median pay ratio is one metric of how divorced a leader is from what's happening on the ground, but it doesn't tell the whole story. At Apple, imagine the gap between Tim Cook and not just the Apple software engineer but those who shuffle in and out of supply chain factories."
"If the company proves that the goals they set were rigorous such that the 10% modifier plus or minus doesn't always end up being positive, if we see examples where they set goals and they were not layups and money was taken away, then give them credit for it," Koors said.
Apple's example will draw this into more peer conversations, but it may not see quick traction across the broader market given that so many companies are dealing with financial pressures caused by Covid-19. "The lingering effects which aren't going away any time soon may keep executives focused on financials," Equilar's Yu said. "Time will tell how impactful it is but any time a big name like Apple is saying that they are going to put more of a focus on ESG it can make some waves."
Apple Launches New Nationwide Racial Equity and Justice Initiative Projects - MacRumors
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 14:50
Apple today announced a set of new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color.
Rendering of the Propel Center
The projects include the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit, and venture capital funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs.
"We are all accountable to the urgent work of building a more just, more equitable world '-- and these new projects send a clear signal of Apple's enduring commitment," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We're launching REJI's latest initiatives with partners across a broad range of industries and backgrounds '-- from students to teachers, developers to entrepreneurs, and community organizers to justice advocates '-- working together to empower communities that have borne the brunt of racism and discrimination for far too long. We are honored to help bring this vision to bear, and to match our words and actions to the values of equity and inclusion we have always prized at Apple."
The initiative builds on Apple's work to advance racial equity in education, the economy, and the criminal justice system, and is led by Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson.
"Every individual deserves equal access to opportunity regardless of skin color or zip code," said Jackson. "For too long, communities of color have faced gross injustices and institutional barriers to their pursuit of the American dream, and we are proud to lend our voices and resources to build new engines of opportunity that empower, inspire, and create meaningful change."
Apple is contributing $25 million to the Propel Center, which is designed to support the next generation of diverse leaders, providing innovative curricula, technology support, career opportunities, and fellowship programs. The Propel Center will offer a wide range of educational tracks, including AI and machine learning, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment arts, app development, augmented reality, design and creative arts, career preparation, and entrepreneurship. Experts from Apple will help develop curricula and provide ongoing mentorship and learning support, along with offering internship opportunities.
Later this year, Apple will also open an Apple Developer Academy in Detroit. The academy is designed to empower young Black entrepreneurs, creators, and coders, helping them cultivate the skills necessary for jobs in the rapidly growing iOS app economy. Launched in collaboration with Michigan State University, Apple Developer Academy courses will be open to all learners across Detroit, regardless of their academic background or whether they have any previous coding experience.
In addition, Apple is today announcing two new investments in the venture capital and banking spaces, with both projects designed to provide capital to minority-owned businesses. The company will invest $10 million with Harlem Capital '-- an early-stage venture capital firm based in New York '-- to support its investments in 1,000 companies with diverse founders over the next 20 years. In addition to providing capital to entrepreneurs of color, Harlem Capital will also lend its expertise to Apple's broader efforts to advance access to economic opportunity. The firm will offer guidance and mentorship to students at the Detroit Developer Academy and participants in Apple's Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers. Apple will also support Harlem Capital's internship program, focused on opening doors for aspiring women and minority investors.
The company will also invest $25 million in Siebert Williams Shank's Clear Vision Impact Fund, which provides capital to small and medium-size businesses, with an emphasis on minority-owned companies. The fund looks to support businesses that operate in or serve underserved markets, and that foster inclusive growth initiatives.
Lastly, Apple is making a contribution to The King Center, a living memorial to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to share his teachings and inspire new generations to carry forward his unfinished work. Next week, Dr. King's daughter and the CEO of The King Center, Dr. Bernice A. King, will issue a call to action encouraging young people to give back to their communities as part of Apple's "Challenge for Change" series '-- a set of conversation guides and learning-based challenges on issues related to race and inequality.
The announcements follow news on Tuesday that Apple planned a non-product related announcement today. Apple CEO 'ŒTim Cook'Œ has given an interview with CBS This Morning that focuses on the initiatives and should air sometime today.
Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
'Mum and dad' references to be removed from Italian kids' ID cards - The Local
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 00:02
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Joe Biden building team of 'climate activists' as president-elect prepares US to re-join Paris accord | Climate News | Sky News
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 22:58
America's next president Joe Biden has spent the period since being elected building a cabinet of "climate activists", according to a former White House chief of staff.
John Podesta was chief of staff to President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001 and served as counsellor to President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2015.
He said: "He's spent the time of transition building a team of climate champions across the government.
"He's campaigned on the idea that it requires the whole of government to attack the climate problem - it's not the province of one single agency or one single individual."
Image: John Podesta said tackling the climate would take the 'whole government'. File imageMr Podesta added: "It's going to take the entire government working with the private sector and the non-governmental sector to attack this problem and get the United States on track to a net-zero economy by 2050.
"He's put extraordinarily talented and experienced people in the cabinet who are incredible activists and have an in-depth knowledge and a seriousness of purpose."
Britain's former foreign secretary and former environment secretary David Miliband has warned Mr Biden must "walk the walk" after making bold pledges during his campaign.
Mr Miliband, who is now president and chief executive of the International Rescue Committee, said: "Joe Biden has to get the US domestic house back in order.
"As long as the US is flouting commitments in respect of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, it's going to make the global politics 10 times more difficult.
"He's got to set the US back on a path of radical domestic emission reduction.
"If he does that, then the second most important thing is to embrace the international agenda, but if you're not walking the walk domestically then you can't talk the talk globally."
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All nations must declare a 'climate emergency'Mr Miliband pointed to the net-zero commitments made by China - the world's worst polluter - as recognition of the strategic imperative of tackling climate change.
He said: "The fact that China is seeing the strategic imperative of addressing the climate crisis in the 21st century, means that climate has well and truly graduated as being part of the hard end of global politics.
"I think that can only be a good thing."
World leaders including Mr Obama signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, which pledged to try to keep global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels and "well below" 2C.
Mr Biden has said he will re-join the accord - which Donald Trump pulled America out of - on the first day of his presidency.
That is expected to trigger a 30-day requirement for the US to then come forward with what is known as its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) - its pledge to reduce carbon emissions.
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Royal urges companies to sign 'Earth Charter'It's thought America's new NDC will be consistent with an expected pledge to get to net zero emissions by 2050.
The UK announced its NDC in December, promising to reduce its emissions by 68% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
Mr Biden is likely to set a clean energy goal by 2035 and in February set a budget that makes a down payment on that.
Biden to reverse Trump policies on first day of presidency - Axios
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 12:00
President-elect Joe Biden will roll back some of President Trump's most controversial policies and address "four overlapping and compounding crises" in his first 10 days in office '-- the pandemic, the economic downturn, climate change and racial inequity.
Driving the news: The plan is outlined in a memo from incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain Saturday. Following Biden's inauguration Wednesday, he'll "sign roughly a dozen actions to combat the four crises," Klain said.
Zoom in: Biden's actions on day one of his presidency will include rejoining the Paris climate agreement, extending a pause on federal student loan payments, reversing Trump's ban on travel to the U.S. from several Muslim-majority countries and issuing a coronavirus mask mandate.
On Thursday, Biden will sign several executive actions aimed at changing the course of the COVID-19 crisis and safely re-open schools and businesses.On Friday, the president-elect will "direct his Cabinet agencies to take immediate action to deliver economic relief to working families bearing the brunt" of the coronavirus crisis, Klain wrote.Between Jan. 25 and Feb. 1, Biden will address the climate crisis, criminal justice reform, take steps to expand access to health care, and move to reform immigration '-- including reuniting families separated at the border under Trump's immigration policy.Why it matters: As Biden prepares to take office, the U.S. is facing one of the most politically divisive periods in modern history, with Washington, D.C., and state capitols on alert for possible pre-inauguration violence following insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and as the pandemic continues to rage.
Klain's announcement comes after Biden revealed plans to roll out a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, "signaling a willingness to be aggressive on policy issues and confronting Republicans from the start to take their lead from him," notes the New York Times, which first obtained the memo.For the record: All of these measures were previously announced, but this is the first time Biden's sweeping timetable has been revealed.
More actions will be announced once they complete a "final legal clearance process," Klain said.Go deeper: Biden's "100-day challenge"
Russia's entire government resigns as Vladimir Putin plans huge constitutional shake-up
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 21:42
RUSSIA's entire government has resigned as Vladimir Putin plans a massive constitutional shake-up.
The shock move is seen as part of Putin's efforts to carve out a new position of power for himself to stay at the helm after his current term as president ends in 2024.
2
Vladimir Putin is planning a huge constitutional shake-up in Russia Credit: EPAIt was announced today by the president's right-hand man, PM Dmitry Medvedev, who said it would give Putin room to carry out the changes he wants to make to the constitution.
The unexpected revelation came shortly after Putin proposed a nationwide vote on sweeping changes that he said would shift power from the presidency to parliament.
It is feared the move will create a powerful new position for Putin to step into once his presidency ends.
The changes would likely weaken his successor and while allowing him to hold the real power as PM -with no term limits.
The announcement means Russia will also get a new prime minister.
Possible candidates include Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, Maxim Oreshkin, the economy minister, or Alexander Novak, the energy minister.
Medvedev made the announcement on state TV sitting next to Putin who thanked Medvedev, a close ally, for his work.
The president said Medvedev will now take on a new job as deputy head of Russia's Security Council, which Putin chairs.
Medvedev, a longtime pal of Putin's, has served as Russia's PM since 2012.
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He spent four years before that as president in 2008-2012, becoming a placeholder when Putin had to switch into the PM's office because of constitutional term limits on the presidency.
Medvedev then obediently stepped down after just one term as president and let Putin reclaim the top job.
The move was widely seen as cynical political manoeuvring and triggered massive protests in Moscow
Putin asked for the outgoing government to remain at work until a new government was appointed.
2
Dmitry Medvedev, second from left, announced the move Credit: EPA Vladimir Putin JOKES about meddling in the 2020 US elections and defends Donald Trump's Ukraine call
25 Organizations Say Victoria Nuland Should Be Rejected | ZeroHedge
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 02:18
Organization's statement originally published at https://worldbeyondwar.org/nuland
Victoria Nuland, former foreign policy adviser to vice president Dick Cheney, should not be nominated for undersecretary of state [for political affairs], and if nominated should be rejected by the Senate.
Nuland played a key role in facilitating a coup in Ukraine that created a civil war costing 10,000 lives and displacing over a million people. She played a key role in arming Ukraine as well. She advocates radically increased military spending, NATO expansion, hostility toward Russia, and efforts to overthrow the Russian government.
The United States invested $5 billion in shaping Ukrainian politics, including overthrowing a democratically elected president who had refused to join NATO. Then-Assistant Secretary of State Nuland is on video talking about the U.S. investment and on audiotape planning to install Ukraine's next leader, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who was subsequently installed.
The Maidan protests, at which Nuland handed out cookies to protesters, were violently escalated by neo-Nazis and by snipers who opened fire on police. When Poland, Germany, and France negotiated a deal for the Maidan demands and an early election, neo-Nazis instead attacked the government and took over. The U.S. State Department immediately recognized the coup government, and Arseniy Yatsenyuk was installed as Prime Minister.
Nuland has worked with the openly pro-Nazi Svoboda Party in Ukraine. She was long a leading proponent of arming Ukraine. She was also an advocate for removing from office the prosecutor general of Ukraine, whom then-Vice President Joe Biden pushed the president to remove.
Nuland wrote this past year that ''The challenge for the United States in 2021 will be to lead the democracies of the world in crafting a more effective approach to Russia - one that builds on their strengths and puts stress on Putin where he is vulnerable, including among his own citizens.''
She added:
'''...Moscow should also see that Washington and its allies are taking concrete steps to shore up their security and raise the cost of Russian confrontation and militarization. That includes maintaining robust defense budgets, continuing to modernize U.S. and allied nuclear weapons systems, and deploying new conventional missiles and missile defenses, . . . establish permanent bases along NATO's eastern border, and increase the pace and visibility of joint training exercises.''
The United States walked out of the ABM Treaty and later the INF Treaty, began putting missiles into Romania and Poland, expanded NATO to Russia's border, facilitated a coup in Ukraine, began arming Ukraine, and started holding massive war rehearsal exercises in Eastern Europe. But to read Victoria Nuland's account, Russia is simply an irrationally evil and aggressive force that must be countered by yet more military spending, bases, and hostility. Some U.S. military officials say this demonizing of Russia is all about weapons profits and bureaucratic power, no more fact-based than the Steele Dossier that was given to the FBI by Victoria Nuland.
SIGNED BY:
Alaska Peace CenterCenter for Encounter and Active Non-ViolenceCODEPINKGlobal Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in SpaceGreater Brunswick PeaceWorksJemez PeacemakersKnowdrones.comMaine Voices for Palestinian RightsNuclear Age Peace FoundationNukewatchPeace Action MainePEACEWORKERSPhysicians for Social Responsibility '' Kansas CityProgressive Democrats of AmericaPeace FresnoPeace, Justice, Sustainability NOW!The Resistance Center for Peace and JusticeRootsAction.orgVeterans For Peace Chapter 001Veterans For Peace Chapter 63Veterans For Peace Chapter 113Veterans For Peace Chapter 115Veterans For Peace Chapter 132Wage PeaceWorld BEYOND War
UNREAL: FOX News Reportedly Considering Hiring Brother Of Former Obama Adviser As New CEO
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 05:16
Ever since election night in 2020, the ratings at FOX News have been in free-fall. Millions of loyal fans felt betrayed when the network called Arizona early for Biden while holding off calling other obvious wins for Trump.
Now they are considering firing their current CEO, instead of people like Chris Wallace and Juan Williams.
The stunning thing about this is that they are reportedly considering hiring David Rhodes, the brother of former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes, as their new chief.
How is this supposed to bring their fans back? If anything, this would make matters even worse.
TRENDING: BREAKING: Mike Lindell Visits Trump in White House - Then Media Captures Pictures of His Notes to President Referring to Crimes and Insurrection Act
Showbiz 411 reports:
Fox News in Ratings Freefall as Maddow Trounces Hannity, Former CBS News Chief David Rhodes Eyes Top Job
It's panic time at my old stomping grounds, Fox News.
There are reports that Suzanne Scott, who's been running the show since Roger Ailes was destroyed and ousted, is on her way out. David Rhodes, former head of CBS News, who started under Ailes at Fox in 1996, is said to be in line to take over. He returned to Fox News almost a year ago and is running the London operation.
What's happened? Fox News is in a ratings freefall. During the day and afternoon CNN is now beating it over the head. Later, at 9pm, Rachel Maddow has opened a wide lead over Sean Hannity. On Wednesday night, when the impeachment vote was happening, Maddow scored 4,7 million viewers. Hannity had under just 3.3 million.
Maddow trounced Hannity every day this week, actually. And that translated into the 10pm slot, with Lawrence O'Donnell handing Laura Ingraham her hat, as they used to say. As in: here's your hat, what's your hurry?
If FOX News has any interest in winning back the fans they've lost in recent months, this is the worst way of doing it.
It's difficult to think of a more tone deaf decision than bringing on someone with a direct connection to Obama.
Cross posted from American Lookout.
Trump criminal investigation: Manhattan DA expands probe to Seven Springs estate
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 13:59
President Trump's Seven Springs estate in Mount Kisco, New York, seen here Sept. 30, 2020.
Johnny Milano | The Washington Post | Getty Images
The Manhattan district attorney's office has expanded its criminal probe of President Donald Trump's company to include a sprawling property in Westchester County, New York.
A lawyer for the town of Bedford, New York, told CNBC that DA Cyrus Vance Jr.'s office issued a subpoena to the town for records related to the Trump Organization's Seven Springs Estate site sometime "before Christmas" as part of a criminal investigation.
Bedford's lawyer, Joel Sachs, said he believed that in addition to Bedford, the towns of New Castle and North Castle also had records subpoenaed by Vance's office for the criminal probe, because the 213-acre property spans all three towns.
The company's valuation of Seven Springs for a number of months has been the focus of a civil fraud investigation by the New York attorney general's office.
AG Letitia James has said she is probing whether Trump's company fraudulently inflated the value of Seven Springs on annual financial statements used to obtain loans, as well as to get economic and tax benefits. Trump bought the property for only $7.5 million in 1996. In 2012, he valued the property at a whopping $291 million.
Vance's office already was known to be investigating hush money payments made to women who said they had sex with Trump, as well as possible tax, bank and insurance fraud. Trump has denied having sex with the women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Trump has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block a subpoena for years of tax and financial records from his accountants, which was issued by a Manhattan grand jury acting at Vance's request. The Supreme Court has yet to decide whether it will hear Trump's appeal of lower-court rulings that the firm Mazars USA must surrender those documents.
On Friday, The Associated Press reported that investigators in Vance's office interviewed Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen for hours on Thursday, asking him about the president's business dealings, with particular focus on his relationship with Deutsche Bank, Trump's biggest lender.
Cohen testified before Congress in 2019 that the president's annual financial statement inflated to the values of his assets to obtain favorable terms for loans and insurance coverage, while deflating the value of other assets in order to reduce real estate taxes due on them.
New Castle Town Supervisor Ivy Pool declined to comment when contacted by CNBC. North Castle officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Vance spokesman Danny Frost declined to comment.
A Trump Organization spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the expansion of Vance's investigation to include Seven Springs.
AG James' office in a court filing related to her probe noted that, "Valuations of Seven Springs were used to claim an apparent $21.1 million tax deduction for donating a conservation easement on the property in tax year 2015, and in submissions to financial institutions as a component of Mr. Trump's net worth."
James' probe also is eyeing the valuation of other Trump properties, at 40 Wall St. in Manhattan, the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, and Trump National Golf Club '-- Los Angeles.
Eric Trump, the president's son and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, last fall was compelled to answer questions from James' investigators for their probe after he failed to convince a judge to postpone his testimony until after the presidential election, which his father lost to Joe Biden.
Eric Trump has run the Trump Organization with his brother, Donald Trump Jr., while their father has been president.
Donald Trump was impeached for the second time Wednesday by the House of Representatives.
He is accused in that proceeding of inciting a mob of supporters who rioted at the U.S Capitol, disrupting the confirmation by a joint session of Congress of Biden's election. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer who was killed by the mob, died as a result of the incident.
Biden is due to be sworn into office on Wednesday.
Biden Has Ties To 5 Major Tech Companies | The Daily Caller
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 14:29
Joe Biden has hired at least 14 current or former executives from five major tech firms to serve in his administration or advise his transition team. The firms '-- Apple, Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook '-- have all clamped down this week on President Trump and Parler, a social media site popular with conservatives. Conservatives have long expressed concern over Biden and Democrats' close ties to the major tech companies. Apple's top lobbyist is a longtime Biden adviser. Former executives from Twitter and Facebook are also joining the Biden White House. At least 14 people who President-elect Joe Biden has picked to serve either in his administration or to advise his transition have worked for the Big Tech firms that cracked down earlier this week on President Donald Trump and a social media site popular with conservatives.
Apple's top lobbyist was a chief adviser to the Biden transition team. A former Facebook executive will serve as staff director in the Biden White House, and a former Twitter executive will serve as chief spokesperson for the National Security Council under Biden.
Current and former executives at those firms and two others, Google and Amazon, fill out other positions in the incoming Biden administration, or his transition team.
The five tech giants all took action this week against Trump and Parler, the social media site, in response to riots at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Twitter permanently banned Trump over what it called violent rhetoric in the wake of riots at the U.S. Capitol building. Trump supporters breached the Capitol building to protest a vote to confirm Joe Biden as president. (RELATED: Twitter Permanently Bans President Trump's Account)
Five people died in the mayhem, including U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. Ashli Babbit, a Trump supporter from San Diego, was also fatally shot by a police officer while trying to enter a restricted area of the Capitol building.
Parler, a social media company popular with conservatives who have grown disenchanted with Twitter, was also targeted in a sweeping crackdown by the tech companies.
Apple and Google removed Parler from its app stores, meaning that users will not be able to access it on their iPhones or Samsung Galaxy phones.
Apple said on Friday that Parler had ''not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people's safety.'' Google removed Parler from its app store on Thursday.
Amazon plans to take even more drastic measures, according to BuzzFeed News. The tech giant notified Parler that it would cut the site off from its cloud hosting service, Amazon Web Services, on Sunday, meaning that Parler would be offline unless it finds another web host.
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, appeared to celebrate the removal of his company's chief competitor in a tweet on Saturday night. He posted a photo showing that Parler was no longer the most popular app in Google Play's store, as it had been before its removal.
''¤¸ pic.twitter.com/uewq6oP7rT
'-- jack (@jack) January 10, 2021
While many Republicans have criticized Trump and his mob of supporters over the Capitol riots, the social media purge has stoked concerns that the major tech companies have too much control over communications platforms.
Conservatives are especially concerned that they will be targeted even further under a Biden administration due to the tech companies' closer ties to Democrats.
There is no indication that the Biden transition team was involved in the tech companies' decisions to suspend Trump or Parler.
Reuters reported last month that major tech firms like Amazon, Facebook and Google were lobbying the Biden transition team to place executives in various administration roles.
According to Reuters, the executives were seeking positions in the Commerce, State and Defense Departments, as well as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs.
In September, Politico reported that Biden tapped Cynthia Hogan, Apple's top lobbyist, to serve full time on his transition team. Hogan is a longtime adviser to Biden, having worked for him when he served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Biden has hired at least one Facebook and one Twitter executive to serve in his White House.
Jessica Hertz, who was a director for Facebook's regulatory team, will serve as White House staff director. Emily Horne, who was head of global policy communications for Twitter, will be the director of press and spokesperson for the National Security Council, according to the Biden-Harris transition website.
David Recordon, a former developer for Facebook, will serve as director of technology for the Office of Management and Administration. Austin Lin, a former program manager at Facebook, will serve as Recordon's deputy.
Jeff Zients, a former Facebook board member who served in the Obama administration, is Biden's Covid-19 czar.
Tony Blinken, who Biden tapped as his secretary of state, provided advisory services to Facebook through his consulting firm, WestExec Partners, according to financial disclosures he submitted to the Office of Government Ethics.
Executives from the big tech firms have also joined Biden's transition to help review nominees to fill spots at federal agencies in the Biden administration, according to a database maintained by the Biden-Harris team.
Tom Sullivan and Mark Schwartz, who are executives at Amazon, are on the agency review teams for the Department of State and Office of Management and Budget, respectively.
Deon Scott, a program manager in Google's Global Business Operations, is on the review team for the Department of Homeland Security.
Three Facebook executives, Zaid Zaid, Rachel Lieber and Christopher Upperman are on the transition review team. They are advising nominations for the Department of State, Intelligence Community and Small Business Administration, respectively.
Reuters reported that Erskine Bowles, another former Facebook board member, is a Biden transition team adviser.
A lobbying firm co-founded by Biden's top White House counselor, Steve Ricchetti, also inked a lobbying deal with Amazon on Nov. 13. The firm, Ricchetti Incorporated, will lobby the White House and Congress on health care issues for Amazon, which is forming a health care business.
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 licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.
Space Force
Memorandum on Space Policy Directive 7 | The White House
Sat, 16 Jan 2021 04:44
January 15, 2021
MEMORANDUM FOR THE VICE PRESIDENTTHE SECRETARY OF STATETHE SECRETARY OF DEFENSETHE ATTORNEY GENERALTHE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIORTHE SECRETARY OF COMMERCETHE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATIONTHE SECRETARY OF ENERGYTHE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITYTHE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT ANDBUDGETTHE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCETHE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR NATIONALSECURITY AFFAIRSTHE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS ANDSPACE ADMINISTRATIONTHE CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFFTHE CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONSCOMMISSION
SUBJECT: Space Policy Directive 7, The United StatesSpace-Based Positioning, Navigation, and TimingPolicy
This Space Policy Directive establishes implementation actions and guidance for United States space-based positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) programs and activities for United States national and homeland security, civil, commercial, and scientific purposes. This policy complements the guidance set forth in Executive Order 13905 of February 12, 2020 (Strengthening National Resilience through Responsible Use of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Services), and the intersector guidance for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) included in the December 9, 2020, National Space Policy. This policy supersedes National Security Presidential Directive-39 (NSPD-39) of December 15, 2004 (United States Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Policy).
Section 1. Scope. This policy directive provides guidance for:
(a) sustainment and modernization of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and federally developed, owned, and operated systems used to augment or otherwise improve GPS;
(b) implementation and operation of capabilities to protect United States and allied access to and use of GPS for national, homeland, and economic security, and to deny adversaries hostile applications use of United States space-based PNT services; and
(c) United States participation in international cooperative initiatives regarding foreign space-based PNT services and foreign use of GPS and its augmentations.
Sec. 2. Definitions. For purposes of this document:
(a) ''PNT service'' refers to any system, network, or capability that provides a reference to calculate or augment the calculation of longitude, latitude, altitude, or transmission of time or frequency data, or any combination thereof.
(b) ''Primary PNT Service'' refers to an independent PNT service chosen by a user or system operator as the preferred source of PNT information. A primary PNT service is expected to provide sufficient accuracy, availability, integrity, or other characteristics important to the user.
(c) ''Augmentation'' refers to any system that provides users of PNT signals with additional information that enables users to obtain enhanced performance when compared to the un-augmented signals from a primary PNT service alone. These improvements include improved accuracy, availability, integrity, and reliability, and independent integrity monitoring and alerting capabilities for critical applications. Augmentation systems inherently rely on a primary PNT service to operate.
(d) ''Alternative PNT Service'' refers to a PNT service that has the capability to operate completely independent of, or in conjunction with, other PNT services. Multiple, varied PNT services used in combination may provide enhanced security, resilience, assurance, accuracy, availability, and integrity. An alternative PNT service allows a user to transition from the primary source of PNT signals in the event of a disruption or manipulation.
(e) ''Interoperable'' refers to the ability of multiple, independent PNT services and their augmentations to be used together to provide better capabilities at the user level than would be achieved by relying solely on a single service or signal.
(f) ''Compatible'' refers to the ability of multiple, independent PNT services and their augmentations to be used separately or in combination with each other without interfering with any individual service, and without adversely affecting the United States and allied military employment of PNT, commonly referred to as Navigation Warfare.
(g) ''Navigation Warfare'' or ''NAVWAR'' refers to the deliberate defensive and offensive action to assure and prevent positioning, navigation, and timing information through coordinated employment of space, cyberspace, and electronic warfare. Desired effects are generated through the coordinated employment of components within information operations, space operations, and cyberspace operations, including electronic warfare, offensive and defensive space operations, and computer network operations.
Sec. 3. Background. The multi-use services provided by GPS are integral to United States national security, economic growth, transportation safety, and homeland security. These services are essential but largely invisible elements of worldwide economic infrastructures.
(a) Responsible use of Space''Based PNT.
(i) GPS is a key component of multiple sectors of United States critical infrastructure, as identified in Presidential Policy Directive-21 (PPD-21) of February 12, 2013 (Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience) and stated in EO 13905. Cascading effects from extended PNT service disruption or denial can adversely affect all sectors. Autonomous vehicles on land, sea, and air have begun to rely on GPS for navigation, positional awareness, and other vehicle capabilities. Additionally, many information systems rely on the GPS timing signal to enable both fixed and mobile communications. An extended outage of GPS, or extended period of spoofed or manipulated GPS signals, could cause severe economic losses and put lives at risk.
(ii) GPS remains critical to United States national security. Its applications are integrated into virtually every facet of United States military operations. United States and allied military forces will continue to equip and train for the responsible use of GPS and alternative PNT services to support mission operations.
(iii) The widespread and growing dependence on GPS by military, civil, and commercial applications, systems, and infrastructure make the performance of many of these systems inherently vulnerable if disruption or manipulation of GPS signals were to occur. GPS users must plan for potential signal loss and take reasonable steps to verify or authenticate the integrity of the received GPS data and ranging signal, especially in applications where even small degradations can result in loss of life. In addition, whether designed for military capabilities or not, signals from PNT services and their augmentations provide inherent capabilities that may be used by adversaries, including enemy military forces and terrorist groups.
(b) Space Applications. Applications for GPS now extend beyond Earth. The Terrestrial Service Volume of GPS, defined as the volume from the ground to an altitude of 3,000 kilometers, has become an integral component for space launch operations. Use of GPS is expanding into the Space Service Volume (SSV), which extends from 3,000 km to geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO), despite reduced line-of-sight visibility and lower received signal power. Satellites rely on GPS for navigation, attitude control, space situational awareness, and new space science applications such as radio occultation. Consistent with Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1) of December 11, 2017 (Reinvigorating American's Human Space Exploration Program) and Space Policy Directive-3 (SPD-3) of June 18, 2018 (National Space Traffic Management Policy) PNT services will also play an important role in space traffic management and future applications in the Cislunar Service Volume, which extends from GEO out to and including the Moon's orbit. For requirements necessary to support these emerging applications, agencies should coordinate through standard GPS requirements processes.
(c) Foreign Space-Based PNT. Emerging foreign space-based PNT services could enhance or undermine the future utility of GPS. The United States will continue to encourage the development of foreign space-based PNT services based on GPS and their responsible use in non-military applications with allied and likeminded nations. Use of multiple, varied PNT services can result in better performance in terms of user accuracy, availability, and resilience. However, the United States Government does not assure the reliability or authenticity of foreign PNT services. Although foreign space-based PNT services may be used to complement civil GPS service, receiver manufacturers should continue to improve security, integrity, and resilience in the face of growing cyber threats. Thus, incorporation of foreign PNT in multi-constellation devices should be designed in a manner that precludes potential degradation of essential user capabilities resulting from possible foreign global navigation satellite system (GNSS) origins. The United States will maintain awareness of the risks and potential benefits associated with the use of foreign space-based PNT services and continue to promote and support the responsible use of GPS as the pre-eminent space-based PNT service.
(d) United States Policy and Management Framework.
(i) The United States continues to improve and maintain GPS and its augmentations to meet growing national, homeland, and economic security requirements as well as other civil requirements, and to enable diverse commercial and scientific applications. In parallel, the United States continues to improve capabilities to deny adversary access to space-based PNT services, particularly including services that are openly available and can be readily used by adversaries or terrorists, to threaten the security of the United States. The United States is addressing risks associated with dependence on space-based PNT and fostering responsible use approaches to PNT service acquisition, integration, and deployment across critical infrastructures. The United States is also encouraging the development of alternative approaches to PNT services and security that can incorporate new technologies and services as they are developed, such as quantum sensing, relative navigation and private or publicly owned and operated alternative PNT services.
(ii) The diverse requirements for and multiple applications of space-based PNT services require stable yet adaptable policies and management mechanisms. Therefore, the United States Government will continue to support a policy and management framework governing GPS and its augmentations that meets increasing and varied domestic and global requirements.
Sec. 4. Policy Goals and Guidance. The goal of this policy is to maintain United States leadership in the service provision, and responsible use of global navigation satellite systems, including GPS and foreign systems. To this end, the United States Government shall:
(a) Provide continuous worldwide access to United States space-based GPS services and government-provided augmentations, free of direct user fees, and provide open, free access to information necessary to develop and build equipment to use these services;
(b) Operate and maintain the Global Positioning System in accordance with United States law to satisfy civil, homeland security, and national security needs, consistent with published performance standards and interface specifications;
(c) Improve NAVWAR capabilities to deny hostile use of United States Government space-based PNT services, without unduly disrupting civil and commercial access to civil PNT services outside an area of military or homeland security operations;
(d) Improve the performance of United States space-based PNT services, including developing more robust signals that are more resistant to disruptions and manipulations consistent with United States and allied national security, homeland security, and civil purposes;
(e) Improve the cybersecurity of GPS, its augmentations, and United States Government owned GPS-enabled devices, and foster private sector adoption of cyber-secure GPS enabled systems through system upgrades and incorporation of cybersecurity principles for space systems, interface specifications, and other guidance that prescribes cybersecurity for user equipment;
(f) Protect the spectrum environment that is currently used by GPS and its augmentations, and work with United States industry to investigate additional areas of the radio spectrum which could increase GPS and PNT resilience;
(g) Invest in domestic capabilities and support international activities to detect, mitigate, and increase resilience to harmful disruption or manipulation of GPS, and identify and implement, as appropriate, alternative sources of PNT for critical infrastructure, key resources, and mission-essential functions;
(h) Maintain GPS and its augmentations for use by United States critical infrastructure to enhance safety of life functions and operational efficiency, consistent with PPD-21;
(i) Engage with international GNSS providers toensure compatibility, encourage interoperability with likeminded nations, promote transparency in civil service provision, and enable market access for United States industry. Encourage foreign development of PNT services and systems based on GPS and the inclusion of GPS as an essential element in systems that integrate multiple PNT services. At a minimum, seek to ensure that all foreign systems are compatible with GPS and its augmentations, that they do not interfere with GPS military and civil signals, and that mutual security concerns are addressed to prevent hostile use of United States space-based PNT services;
(j) Promote the responsible use of United States space-based PNT services and capabilities for applications at the Federal, State, and local level, consistent with Executive Order 13905; and
(k) Promote United States technological leadership in the provision of space-based PNT services and in the development of secure and resilient end user equipment.
Sec. 5. Management of Space-Based PNT Services.
(a) The National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Executive Committee (Executive Committee) is the interagency body responsible for guiding and preserving whole-of-government interests in the provision of space-based PNT services, augmentations, and space-based alternatives. The Deputy Secretaries of the Department of Defense and the Department of Transportation, or their designated representatives, shall co-chair the Executive Committee.
(b) In addition to the Co-Chairs, the members of the Executive Committee shall be at the deputy secretary level or equivalent from the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or their designated representatives, and the heads of other executive departments and agencies (agencies) invited by the Co-Chairs. The Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shall serve as an ex officio member consistent with the Administrator's duties to advise the President on telecommunications and information policy issues.
(c) Components of the Executive Office of the President, including the Office of Management and Budget, the National Space Council staff, the National Security Council staff, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Economic Council staff, may participate by invitation of the Co-Chairs as observers and advise the Executive Committee on Presidential policy implications. The Chairman of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Advisory Board (or designated representative) shall be invited in an advisory role representing non-governmental considerations. The Co-Chairs may also invite the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to participate on the Executive Committee as appropriate. The Executive Committee shall convene at least once each year and as required on the advice of the Executive Steering Group, as described in Section 5(e).
(d) The Executive Committee shall make recommendations on sustainment, modernization, and policy matters regarding United States space-based PNT services to its member agencies, and to the President, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, or the Executive Secretary of the National Space Council, as appropriate. In addition, the Executive Committee will advise and coordinate with and among the agencies responsible for the strategic decisions regarding policies to maintain and improve United States leadership in the provision of space-based PNT infrastructures and services, including GPS, its augmentations and United States Government owned and operated space-based PNT systems and applications, security for these services, and their relationships with foreign space-based PNT services. Specifically, the Executive Committee shall:
(i) Ensure that national security, homeland security, and civil requirements receive full and appropriate consideration in the decision-making process and facilitate the integration and deconfliction of these requirements for space-based PNT capabilities, as required;
(ii) Coordinate individual Departments' and Agencies' space-based PNT program plans, requirements, budget considerations and policies;
(iii) Every four years provide the Executive Secretary of the National Space Council a report assessing current and planned civil space-based PNT services and whether they are projected to remain competitive with foreign space-based PNT services;
(iv) Promote, review, and implement plans to modernize United States space-based PNT infrastructure and services, including development, deployment, and operation of new or improved, or both, national security and public safety services;
(v) In coordination with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, promote research and development on next-generation technologies and on workforce development to ensure continued United States leadership in space-based PNT technologies;
(vi) Review proposals from and provide recommendations to agencies for international cooperation in coordination with the Department of State, as well as PNT spectrum management and protection issues in coordination with the Department of Commerce; and
(vii) Maintain and receive advice from the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Advisory Board (Advisory Board). The Advisory Board shall be composed of experts from outside the United States Government, and shall be chartered as a Federal Advisory Committee. The Advisory Board shall seek input from state and local governments, industry, and academia on developments in the application of space-based PNT technologies and advise the Executive Committee on policy and service impacts.
(e) The Executive Committee shall maintain an Executive Steering Group composed of officials designated by the agencies that constitute the Executive Committee. The Executive Steering Group shall meet as needed to determine tasks and topics that require consideration of the Executive Committee. The agenda for Executive Steering Group meetings shall be approved by steering group members or their designees in advance. The Executive Steering Group, operating on a consensus basis, shall build consensus and work to resolve issues on behalf of the Executive Committee while establishing priorities and deconflicting tasks across the interagency members and the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Coordination Office. When the Executive Steering group members cannot achieve consensus on proposals, budget recommendations, or policy, or in the event of critical events affecting United States space-based PNT architecture or services, the group shall recommend supplemental meetings of the Executive Committee to address relevant issues.
(f) The National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Coordination Office (NCO) shall support the meetings and functions of the Executive Committee and Executive Steering Group. It shall be led by a full-time Director assigned from the Senior Executive Service from an agency other than the Department of Defense, and include a Deputy Director assigned from the Department of Defense. Agencies represented on the Executive Committee shall assign staff to the NCO, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, on a defined duration as required for task completion with appropriate technical expertise. The Executive Committee shall determine the resources for the NCO, including funding, location, staffing, and composition, consistent with this directive.
(g) The NCO shall serve as the Secretariat for the Executive Committee and shall perform functions delegated by the Executive Committee and Executive Steering Group. Agencies shall provide appropriate information to the NCO to ensure interagency transparency about space-based PNT programs, plans, policies, budget allocations, and activities affecting mutual interests or interagency dependencies. The NCO will coordinate the development and dissemination of strategic messaging and educational materials to support trust and adoption of United States space-based PNT services.
(h) The Executive Committee shall advise on and coordinate the interdepartmental resource allocation for GPS and its augmentations. The Secretary of Defense shall have primary responsibility for providing resources for development, acquisition, operation, sustainment, and modernization of GPS. The Secretary of Transportation shall continue to provide resources to the Secretary of Defense for assessment, development, acquisition, implementation, operation, and sustainment of GPS civil signal performance monitoring and any additional designated GPS civil capabilities that have exclusively civil (non-military) application consistent with interagency agreements. GPS augmentations and other unique PNT capabilities shall be funded by any agency requiring those services or capabilities, including out-year procurement and operations costs. Any new technical features proposed and funded by the civil agencies shall not unduly degrade or displace existing or planned national security functions of GPS. Resource issues will be resolved through the regular budget process.
(i) Within 120 days of publication of this directive, the Executive Committee shall publish an implementation plan to enact over a five-year period all provisions of this directive. Further, the Executive Committee will update the charter of both the Executive Committee, Executive Steering Group, and NCO consistent with the provisions within this Directive.
Sec. 6. Foreign Access to United States Space-based PNT Capabilities.
(a) Exports of any United States PNT capabilities included on the United States Munitions List or the Commerce Control List will continue to be licensed pursuant to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations or the Export Administration Regulations, as appropriate, and in accordance with all existing laws and regulations. Export controls shall be updated to ensure that unnecessary controls that undermine or restrict the resilience and global use of civil GPS are reduced or eliminated without compromising United States navigation warfare, national security, or homeland security.
(b) As a general guideline, most exports of civil, mass-market space-based PNT capabilities that are currently available or are planned to be available in the global marketplace will continue to be considered favorably. Exports of sensitive dual-use or advanced PNT information, systems, technologies, and components will be considered on a case-by-case basis in accordance with existing laws and regulations, as well as relevant national security and foreign policy goals and considerations.
Sec. 7. Agency Roles and Responsibilities. Agencies shall allocate the resources required to fulfill the objectives of this policy, subject to the availability of funds appropriated for that purpose.
(a) The Secretary of State shall:
(i) In cooperation with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Transportation and the heads of other appropriate agencies, promote the use of GPS and its augmentation services and standards with foreign governments and other international organizations, and encourage the development of foreign civil PNT services and systems based on GPS;
(ii) Take the lead for negotiating with foreign governments and international organizations regarding civil and, as appropriate and in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, military PNT matters, including coordinating interagency review of:
(A) Instructions to United States delegations for bilateral and multilateral consultations relating to the planning, management, and use of GPS, other global and regional navigation satellite systems, and their augmentation systems;
(B) International agreements, arrangements, and public statements with foreign governments and international organizations regarding the planning, operation, management, or use of GPS, other global and regional navigation satellite systems, and their augmentation systems; and
(iii) Participate with the Secretary of Defense in PNT dialog with allies, especially NATO relations.
(b) The Secretary of Defense shall:
(i) Have responsibility for the development, acquisition, operation, security, and continued modernization of GPS, while facilitating appropriate civil and homeland security representation and participation in these activities and any decisions that affect civil and homeland security equities;
(ii) Develop, acquire, operate, realistically test, evaluate, and maintain NAVWAR capabilities and other capabilities required to:
(A) Effectively utilize GPS services in the event of an adversary or other jamming, disruption, or manipulation;
(B) Develop effective measures to counter adversary efforts to deny, disrupt, or manipulate PNT services;
(C) Identify, locate, and mitigate, in coordination with other agencies, as appropriate, any intentional disruption or manipulation that adversely affects use of GPS for military operations;
(iii) Ensure the earliest operational availability for modernized military and NAVWAR capabilities;
(iv) Train, equip, test, and exercise United States military forces and national security capabilities in operationally realistic conditions that include denial or degradation of GPS. In cooperation with the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of Homeland Security, and as appropriate, with the Secretary of State, develop guidelines that facilitate these activities and NAVWAR training, testing, demonstrations, and exercises without unduly disrupting or degrading homeland security and civil services and operations, either internationally or domestically;
(v) Encourage use of GPS national security services by allied military forces to facilitate interoperability between United States and allied forces and capabilities, and to maintain their use as the pre-eminent military space-based PNT capability;
(A) Consistent with the guidance in Section 6 of this directive, make GPS national security services, user equipment, information, and technology available for use by allied military forces; and
(B) Work with allies to monitor access to national security services and user equipment to limit the potential for adversaries to use these capabilities against United States and allied military forces;
(vi) Maintain the commitment to discontinue the use of the feature known as Selective Availability;
(vii) In coordination with the Department of Transportation, maintain safety-of-life backwards compatibility commitments to enable continued international acceptance of civil and military GPS PNT services in civil airspace;
(viii) Facilitate access to appropriate levels of national security services and user equipment at the Federal level to meet critical requirements for emergency response and other homeland security purposes, and, on an exceptional basis, for civil purposes, including State or local emergency response in accordance with established memorandums of understanding;
(ix) Develop improved and dedicated national security PNT capabilities, including more diverse, flexible, and capable signals and services;
(x) In coordination with the Secretary of Transportation, provide estimates of GPS program costs based on the Department of Transportation's strategy and future requirements to implement GPS data and signal authentication and reflect strategy consistent with the Federal Radio Navigation Plan or its successor;
(xi) Maintain lead responsibility for negotiating with foreign defense organizations for any cooperation regarding access to or information about GPS military services;
(xii) In cooperation with other agencies, as appropriate, assess the utility and feasibility of hosting secondary payloads on GPS satellites, including those intended to enhance global search and rescue capabilities for all users. No secondary payload may adversely affect the performance, schedule, or cost of GPS, or its signals or services. Resources required for the assessment, development, acquisition, integration, and operation of secondary payloads shall be the responsibility of the sponsoring agency or agencies; and
(xiii) In coordination with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce, and with all agencies who are members of the Executive Committee having been notified, maintain the Department of Defense's lead responsibility for Radio Frequency compatibility coordination with other Radio Navigation Satellite Services (RNSS) who operate or intend to operate in the RNSS radio frequency bands utilized by GPS.
(c) The Secretary of Commerce shall:
(i) Promote United States industry access to foreign markets for space-based PNT goods and services while adopting a risk management approach to United States national security concerns;
(ii) Invest in research and development on next-generation technologies that could enhance GPS applications for commercial use;
(iii) Represent United States commercial interests with other agencies in the requirements review of GPS and its related augmentations;
(iv) In coordination with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, seek to protect the radio frequency spectrum used by GPS and its augmentations through appropriate domestic and international spectrum management and regulatory practices;
(v) In coordination with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, facilitate cooperation between the United States Government and the United States private sector as appropriate to identify mutually acceptable solutions that will preserve existing and evolving uses of space-based PNT services, while allowing for the development of other non-interfering technologies and services that depend on use of the radio frequency spectrum;
(vi) In cooperation with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, develop, and provide to the Secretary of Transportation, requirements for use of GPS and its augmentations to support civil space systems; and
(vii) In cooperation with the heads of other agencies, as appropriate, develop guidelines to improve the cybersecurity of PNT devices, including their capability to detect and reject manipulated or counterfeit signals, and promote the responsible use of space-based PNT services and capabilities for applications that support national security, economic growth, transportation safety, and homeland security as directed in Executive Order 13905.
(d) The Secretary of Transportation shall:
(i) Have lead responsibility for the development of requirements for civil applications from all United States Government civil agencies;
(ii) Ensure, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security, the performance monitoring of United States civil space-based PNT services;
(iii) Consistent with the guidance in section 6 of this directive, and in coordination with the Secretary of State, facilitate international participation in the development of civil transportation applications using United States space-based PNT services;
(iv) Consistent with the background provided in section 3 of this directive, and in coordination with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, ensure that international transportation initiatives consider the dual-use nature of space-based PNT services, particularly including services that are openly available and can be readily used by adversaries or terrorists to threaten the security of the United States;
(v) Ensure, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, that public safety service applications based on United States space-based PNT services meet or exceed internationally recognized standards as required to meet mission requirements, including those used for aviation, maritime, and surface transportation applications;
(vi) In cooperation with the heads of other agencies, as appropriate, promote the responsible use of United States and foreign civil space-based PNT services and capabilities for transportation safety as directed in EO 13905;
(vii) Represent the civil agencies in the development, acquisition, management, and operations of GPS and its augmentations;
(viii) In coordination with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security and the heads of other agencies, as appropriate, implement Federal and facilitate State, local and commercial capabilities to monitor, identify, locate, and attribute space-based PNT service disruption and manipulations within the United States that adversely affect use of space-based PNT for transportation safety, homeland security, civil, commercial, and scientific purposes;
(ix) Ensure the earliest operational availability for modernized civil signals and services on GPS and its augmentations, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense;
(x) In coordination with the Secretary of Defense, assess and assist, as appropriate, in the international acceptance of using the military PNT services of GPS for operations in civil airspace;
(xi) Facilitate international coordination for the development of monitoring standards for space-based PNT services;
(xii) Maintain awareness of the risks and potential benefits associated with the use of foreign space-based PNT services, and
(xiii) In coordination with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security, develop and validate requirements and a funding strategy to implement data and signal authentication of civil GPS and wide area augmentations for homeland security and public safety purposes consistent with the Federal Radionavigation Plan or its successor plan.
(e) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall:
(i) Identify space-based PNT requirements for homeland security purposes to the Secretary of Transportation;
(ii) In coordination with the Secretary of Transportation, and with the heads of other agencies, as appropriate, promote the responsible use of GPS and other PNT services, consistent with EO 13905;
(iii) In coordination with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Transportation, and in cooperation with the Secretary of Commerce:
(A) Ensure that mechanisms are in place to monitor, identify, locate, and attribute space-based PNT service disruptions and manipulations within the United States that can cause significant disruption to United States critical infrastructure and scientific purposes; and
(B) Develop procedures to notify the civil sectors and Federal, State, local, territorial and tribal agencies when space-based services have anticipated disruptions or are deemed to be no longer reliable.
(iv) In coordination with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Transportation, develop and maintain capabilities, procedures, and techniques for, and routinely exercise, civil contingency responses to ensure continuity of operations in the event that access to GPS services are disrupted or manipulated;
(v) In coordination with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Transportation, and in cooperation with the heads of other agencies, as appropriate, coordinate the use of existing and planned capabilities to identify, locate, and attribute any disruption or manipulation of GPS and its augmentations within the United States that significantly affects homeland security or critical infrastructure;
(vi) In coordination with the Secretary of Transportation, provide to the Executive Committee resourcing recommendations based on the Department of Transportation's strategy and future requirements to implement data and signal authentication and reflect that strategy consistent with the Federal Radionavigation Plan or its successor plan;
(vii) In coordination with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Director of National Intelligence, promptly notify the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of other relevant agencies in cases of significant domestic or international disruption to or manipulation of United States space-based PNT services to enable appropriate investigation, notification, or enforcement action.
(f) The Director of National Intelligence shall identify, monitor, and assess the development of foreign threats to the use of GPS PNT architectures and related services, and provide information to assist the Secretary of Defense in development of countermeasures.
(g) The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall:
(i) In cooperation with the Secretary of Commerce, develop and provide to the Secretary of Transportation technical requirements for the use of GPS and its augmentations to support civil and commercial space systems;
(ii) In cooperation with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Transportation, develop requirements for GPS support of space operations and science in higher orbits within the SSV and beyond to cislunar space; and
(iii) In cooperation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, sustain and modernize search and rescue and distress alert and location capabilities and programs that operate as secondary payloads on GPS satellites.
Sec. 8. Notification of Harmful Disruption or Manipulation. Agencies detecting or receiving domestic or international reports of harmful disruption or manipulation of United States space-based PNT services shall provide timely reports to the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Director of National Intelligence. Upon notification:
(a) The Secretary of Commerce, and the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in cooperation with the heads of other agencies as appropriate, shall take appropriate and legally permissible actions required to mitigate harmful disruption or manipulation of United States space-based PNT services within the United States.
(b) The Secretary of State shall, as appropriate, notify or coordinate the notification of foreign governments and international organizations in the event of harmful disruption or manipulation of United States space-based PNT services caused by foreign government or commercial activities.
(c) The Secretary of Homeland Security, when appropriate, shall notify the civil sectors and United States Government agencies of the disruption.
Sec. 9. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this directive shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This directive shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This directive is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable as law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
DONALD J. TRUMP
Bugs
Over 760,000 pounds of Hot Pockets recalled, may contain 'pieces of glass and plastic'
Sat, 16 Jan 2021 23:45
Nestl(C) Prepared Foods is recalling about 762,615 pounds of select batches of Hot Pockets, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Friday.
Hot Pockets: Premium Pepperoni Made With Pork, Chicken & Beef. NestleThis recall includes 54-ounce boxes of the 12-count Premium Pepperoni Made With Pork, Chicken & Beef Pizza with a Garlic Buttery Crust. They have lot codes of 0318544624, 0319544614, 0320544614 and 0321544614, and a "best before" date of February 2022. The boxes also have the establishment number "EST. 7721A" inside the USDA mark of inspection.
The frozen, not-ready-to-eat products were shipped nationwide in November 2020 and were produced from Nov. 13 through Nov. 16. The product is being recalled because of potential contamination with ''extraneous materials, specifically pieces of glass and hard plastic.''
Nestl(C) revealed that these products could ''pose a choking or laceration risk and should be not be consumed.''
The USDA classified this as a ''Class I'' recall, which is defined as ''a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.''
Nestl(C) became aware of the problem after receiving four customer complaints of ''extraneous material in the pepperoni hot pocket product." They have received one report of a minor oral injury associated with consumption of the affected product. FSIS has not received any additional reports of injury or illness stemming from this batch of products.
''The quality, safety and integrity of Nestl(C) USA and Hot Pockets products remain our number one priority,'' Nestl(C) said in a press release. ''We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this action represents to both our consumers and retail customers."
Last month, Nestl(C) recalled approximately 92,206 pounds of Lean Cuisine Baked Chicken entrees due to possible contamination with ''extraneous materials, specifically pieces of white hard plastic.'' There were no reports of injury or illness at the time, according to FSIS.
Any consumers who purchased the affected batches of Hot Pockets should throw them away or return them to the place of purchase. Customers who are concerned about possible injury or illness should contact their health care provider.
A version of this story was first published in TODAY.com.
Hollywood
NFL Ratings Slip in 2020, Remain Dominant on Broadcast | Hollywood Reporter
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 00:31
January 06, 2021 11:29am PTby Rick Porter
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
The league drops about 10 percent vs. the 2019 season, ending two years of audience growth.
The NFL's TV audience shrank some in 2020, but the league remains the top draw on ad-supported television.
The regular season that wrapped on Jan. 3 dipped by about 10 percent in TV viewership compared to 2019, stopping a two-year streak of audience growth for the NFL. Across all of the NFL's broadcast partners '-- CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC and the league-owned NFL Network '-- games averaged about 14.9 million viewers, vs. 16.5 million a year ago, per a Hollywood Reporter review of Nielsen ratings. The 2020 figure comes in a bit below 2017, when the regular season averaged 14.96 million viewers.
The NFL's official figure, excluding four games that were moved due to COVID-19 outbreaks within teams, is 15.4 million TV viewers, down 7 percent year to year. Viewing on digital properties raises the average to 15.6 million.
NFL viewership tends to decline some in election years, and that was the case here. Four of the league's six regular weekly broadcast windows had larger average audiences in the second half of the season '-- after the presidential election '-- than they did in the first half.
As the NFL played through the novel coronavirus pandemic, the league was also forced to reschedule a number of games due to virus outbreaks on several teams. Most notably, NBC's primetime Thanksgiving game '-- which averaged better than 21 million viewers the previous two years '-- was bumped to an afternoon slot six days later and drew just 10.75 million.
The NFL also featured its first streaming-exclusive game ever on Dec. 26, drawing 5.9 million viewers for the contest on Amazon's Prime Video and home market over-the-air affiliates.
Despite the declines, however, the NFL remains far and away the No. 1 programming franchise on ad-supported TV. The late Sunday afternoon games shared by CBS and Fox drew 21.59 million weekly viewers this season, almost 5 million more than the top primetime show of the fall: NBC's Sunday Night Football at just under 16.8 million, which is on pace to be the top primetime series for the 10th consecutive season.
The two early Sunday windows averaged 13.03 million and 15.35 million viewers. ESPN's Monday Night Football drew 11.75 million viewers per game, and the Thursday night package shared by Fox and NFL Network drew 11.89 million. No other primetime show has averaged that many same-day viewers this season.
Chemtrails
A Bill Gates Venture Aims To Spray Dust Into The Atmosphere To Block The Sun. What Could Go Wrong?
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 01:24
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Clips
VIDEO - (1963) Marc Van Ranst klapt uit de school over propagada en angst zaaien in Belgie - YouTube
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 14:54
VIDEO-Dutch Rutte government resigns over child welfare fraud scandal - BBC News
Sun, 17 Jan 2021 01:44
Published duration 1 day ago
media caption Dutch PM Mark Rutte said the decision to resign was "unavoidable"The Dutch government has stepped down after thousands of families were wrongly accused of child welfare fraud and told to pay money back.
Families suffered an "unparalleled wrong", MPs decided, with tax officials, politicians, judges and civil servants leaving them powerless.
Many of those affected were from an immigrant background and hundreds were plunged into financial difficulty.
PM Mark Rutte submitted the cabinet's resignation to the king.
"Innocent people have been criminalised and their lives ruined," he then told reporters, adding that responsibility for what had gone wrong lay with the cabinet. "The buck stops here."
NOS
You're a single mother with three children aged eight to 11. You hit rock-bottom financially and think what now? My children and I sometimes had to go to bed without food
The "unanimous" decision, taken at a cabinet meeting in The Hague, comes at a key moment in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Netherlands has gone into lockdown and ministers have been considering stiffer measures to halt the spread of infection.
The government will stay on in a caretaker role to tackle the pandemic until parliamentary elections in March but Economics Minister Eric Wiebes has quit with immediate effect for his role in the scandal. Asked whether the cabinet's resignation was merely symbolic, Mr Rutte was adamant that it was not.
image copyright EPA
image caption After a cabinet meeting the Dutch leader cycled to the palace to submit the government's resignation to King Willem-AlexanderThis is not the first time a Dutch government has resigned en masse in a gesture of collective responsibility. In 2002, the cabinet stood down after a report criticised ministers and the military for failing to prevent the massacre of Muslims at Srebrenica during the Bosnian war seven years earlier.
What went wrong?
Parents were branded fraudsters over minor errors such as missing signatures on paperwork, and erroneously forced to pay back tens of thousands of euros given by the government to offset the cost of childcare, with no means of redress. They were, as one junior minister who resigned in connection with the scandal put it, "steamrolled" by the system.
Families were left in a state of ruin, by a state apparatus that became "the enemy of the people".
Relationships disintegrated under the pressure, homes were lost, mothers have spoken tearfully of the financial and psychological anguish they suffered after being targeted by tax officials.
Last year the tax office admitted that 11,000 people were subjected to extra scrutiny simply because they had dual nationality. This confession has reinforced the widely held belief among many ethnic minorities in the Netherlands that discrimination against them is institutionalised and perpetuated by those in power.
image copyright Getty Images
image caption The so-called Rutte III government has been in power since 2017 and he could return to form another coalition after electionsBut while being seen as the responsible, honourable response - sacrificing power in an admission of government failure - the mass resignation could be interpreted as an act of self-preservation by the Rutte government that avoids the prospect of losing a no-confidence vote by MPs next week.
Read Anna's report on Covid vaccinations in the Netherlands: Shocked to be Europe's vaccination stragglers
What the wrongly accused parents say
The scandal began in 2012 and the number of parents involved could be as high as 26,000. Some openly called for the government to step down, saying they had lost faith in the ability of the cabinet to clean up the system.
One mother faced demands to pay tax authorities around '‚¬48,000 (£42,000). She tried to explain to the authorities that mistakes had been made but officials then started withholding not just childcare allowances but other benefits too.
Her rent went into arrears and energy companies refused to provide a regular supply. Eventually she lost her job and could not find another as she was seen as a fraudster. Her relationship with her child broke down as the pressure took its toll.
"Rutte says he thinks it's terrible, but he's not the one who had to pay up... This shouldn't happen in the Netherlands - I've been labelled a fraudster," another mother, Nazan Aydin, told NOS.
What happens next?
Mr Rutte's liberal VVD party is performing well in the opinion polls, so the 17 March election could see another Rutte-led administration. He has already led three governments since 2010.
Although he initially opposed the cabinet's resignation, it was seen as inevitable once the opposition Labour leader Lodewijk Asscher resigned on Thursday in response to the scandal. Mr Asscher was social affairs minister under the previous Rutte coalition government.
Mr Rutte heads a four-party centre-right-liberal coalition and his party leads the latest opinion polls, ahead of far-right leader Geert Wilders.
media caption Dutch PM Mark Rutte cleared up his own mess in 2018 when he spilt coffee in the parliament buildingHowever, victims of the childcare allowance scandal who had to repay large sums paid out in benefit have this week filed a formal complaint against several current and former ministers.
Compensation to the tune of at least '‚¬30,000 (£26,000) each is to be paid out to parents who were wrongly accused, but many have argued it is not enough.
Ahead of the government's decision to step down, Sigrid Kaag, the leader of the liberal D66 party said it was "important to be politically accountable and to take responsibility for the content of the report and for the injustice done to the parents".
State Secretary for Finance Alexandra van Huffelen said children caught up in the fraud scandal should also be looked after so they could "soon move on".
VIDEO-Fed Up Woman Hurling Truth-Bombs At Scum-Bag Chuck Schumer
Sat, 16 Jan 2021 23:37
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VIDEO-Bill Maher Delivers Final Insult to Kellyanne Conway on 'Real Time'
Sat, 16 Jan 2021 05:33
O n the evening of Jan. 7, a full day after an army of Trump fanatics'--at the president's orders'--stormed the U.S. Capitol on a mission to overthrow the government, menacing congresspeople and killing a police officer in the process, Kellyanne Conway issued a rambling statement on Twitter. In it, one of Trump's most loyal and semi-trusted advisers condemned the events as ''outrageous and inexcusable,'' followed by the comical lie that her former boss had ''denounced the violence, acknowledged the certified election results and committed to a 'peaceful transfer of power' to the Biden-Harris Administration.''
The wildly false claim was met with a near-universal raised eyebrow, including by Kellyanne's own teenage daughter, who said to her mother (via TikTok), ''How do you feel about your army becoming rioters?''
Well, Kellyanne'--who once invented a terrorist attack in the ''Bowling Green Massacre'''--visited Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday night for its 19th season premiere. Kellyanne and Maher have a history of chumminess dating back to his ABC show Politically Incorrect, and, perhaps because she can no longer be of any use, the comedian finally conducted a (sorta) challenging interview with the professional obfuscator and lie-teller (in between smiles and yuk-yuks, of course).
After joking about her inauguration attire, Kellyanne confessed that she'd tried to send a message to Trump on Jan. 6, as his followers (again, at his incitement) were storming the U.S. Capitol while he did absolutely nothing.
''I wish the president had spoken with the people earlier to get them the hell out of there,'' offered Conway, adding, ''I did get through to him. I'd said to the person standing next to them, 'Please add my name to the chorus of people just saying, you have to tell them to get out. I don't know what they're doing, why they're there, but tell them to get out.''
Then Maher countered: ''You must admit that the reason why they were there is cause he never conceded the election.''
''Well, I did a long time ago,'' replied Conway, rather hollowly. ''I think the real disappointment for people like me is that the last two months, let's just say from November 6 to January 6, weren't spent mostly talking about the accomplishments, reviewing the accomplishments. He built the greatest economy we had.''
'' Well, they're not better off now! A lot of them are dead. ''
''He built it? It was pretty much built,'' fired back Maher, neglecting to mention that as Trump leaves office, there are 10.7 million people out of work'--a number that remained unchanged from December to January, as Trump has seemingly spent all his time watching cable news, complaining about the election, and yes, encouraging a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol and Congress, including his Vice President Mike Pence.
Kellyanne offered more unconvincing defenses of Trump's presidency, including that he ''rebuilt the military'' (it was never in dire straits) and moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, an empty gesture if there ever was one.
Then, she delivered the kicker: ''I mean, you can't deny that many people are better off.''
''Well, they're not better off now!'' Maher exclaimed. ''A lot of them are dead.''
Yes, even though Kellyanne wishes the last two months of Trump's election were spent admiring his (meager) list of so-called accomplishments, the time would have been far better spent trying to curb a deadly pandemic that Trump and his minions helped run wild due to their inaction'--one that has claimed close to 400,000 lives and driven millions more into poverty.
Shameful, really.
VIDEO+Ezra Levant 🍁 on Twitter: "Incredible video from a Twitter insider showing that, whatever @jack says publicly, inside the company he's telling his censorship team to expand their war against conservatives. https://t.co/EUzaxWtl1r" / Twitter
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 15:21
Ezra Levant 🍁 : Incredible video from a Twitter insider showing that, whatever @jack says publicly, inside the company he's telling'... https://t.co/rf9cMwx080
Thu Jan 14 23:28:10 +0000 2021
VIDEO-BREAKING: President Has Delivered ''In a Big Way'' With Declassification of Major Obamagate Documents; May Be Released As Early As Friday '' The Published Reporter®
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 14:43
WASHINGTON, D.C. '' According to Fox Business News's Lou Dobbs who today interviewed John Solomon, who was formerly an executive and editor-in-chief at The Washington Times, the remaining FBI documents on Russian collusion have been declassified and could be released as soon as tomorrow or Monday.
Solomon, an award-winning investigative journalist, said that the entire narrative of Trump Collusion was created and leaked to the news media to neutralize Hillary Clinton's concern that her email scandal had not gone away.
Solomon also said while confirming to Dobbs, that indeed ''he can confirm'' that the President has delivered, ''in a big way'' on one of his last remaining promises; to authorize the release of what he said is more than a ''foot high stack of documents'' '' those which are the ones he said the FBI has tried to keep from the public for four years.
''I'll tell you what is going to become clear in these documents, the continuity and the cognitivity between the Russia Collusion false story that was planted in America for three years and the subsequent impeachment of the president in the beginning of 2020; enormous cognitivity'... In Christopher Steele's debriefing, he acknowledges, that he got his primary sub source, the main guy who gave him all the bogus information, who later disowned it, when they go to the sub source, he disowns most of what is attributed to him in Steele's report, a star impeachment witness that the democrats paraded around on camera, was the person that connected Christopher Steele to that bogus witness or that witness that gave bogus information, that is going to be, to see the continuity that really Russia, then Ukraine, and whatever else happened, its all interconnected, it's the same players time and again, and when we were having the proceedings, we were kept in the dark, we didn't know the witness had this connection to Christopher Steele; important information about to be made public thanks to the presidents decision.''
Solomon is a frequent guest on Fox News and now runs his own ''Just the News,'' media outlet which he launched in January 2020, and has quickly become a leading news site in the United States. Before founding Just the News, Solomon reported at some of America's top news organizations such as The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Newsweek, The Daily Beast and The Hill.
Joe Mcdermott is an investigative journalist and reporter who keeps his eyes on Local, US and World News exclusively for The Published Reporter®. Mcdermott is also a data analyst and graphic artist for select independent news and media organizations in the United States.
Disclaimer (varies based on content, section, category, etc.): News articles on this site may contain opinions of the author, and if opinion, may not necessarily reflect the views of the site itself nor the views of the owners of The Published Reporter. For more information on our editorial policies please view our editorial policies and guidelines section in addition to our fact checking policy and most importantly, our terms of service.
VIDEO-Can The Forces Unleashed By Trump's Big Election Lie Be Undone? : NPR
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 14:40
Can The Forces Unleashed By Trump's Big Election Lie Be Undone? President-elect Biden and Democrats in Congress have called Trump's insistence that the election was rigged the "big lie." The term has roots in Nazi Germany and echoes throughout fascist states.
January 15, 2021 5:06 AM ET
Can The Forces Unleashed By Trump's Big Election Lie Be Undone? Download Embed <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/957141129/957141132" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
President-elect Biden and Democrats in Congress have called Trump's insistence that the election was rigged the "big lie." The term has roots in Nazi Germany and echoes throughout fascist states.
VIDEO-4MINS-Google News - Bitcoin payments are the 'second stupidest idea I've heard,' says Late Show's Stephen Colbert
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 23:25
Language & region English (United States)
VIDEO COLLECTION: Here Are 40 Reasons Why Joe Biden, The Open Sexual Predator, Should NEVER Become President '' The Clover Chronicle
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 21:47
Warning: Some people may find the following content disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.
In 2017, Turning Point USA reporter Richard Armande Mills created a lengthy expos(C) on former Vice President Joe Biden's persistent creepy behavior in public.
Below, you will find a collection of about 40 videos documenting incidents where Biden acted inappropriately while mingling with both adults and children.
Captions for each video were pulled from Armande Mills' Twitter account. Follow him here.
#1In this clip, former Vice President Biden uses a candid moment to fondle the chest area of a little girl '' in front of her entire family. Her visible discomfort is extremely obvious.
#2If that wasn't disturbing enough, in this clip, Biden not only touches a young woman but smells her hair, kisses her, whispering something into her ear, only to tell her ''see you back home, I hope'' after visibly creeping out her and who I assume is her mother.
#3As former VP, Biden had a habit of smelling the hair of women and (particularly) little girls. In this clip, he fixes the hair of a little girl, conveniently placing his hands near her chest area. Her and the other young girl beside her clearly seem uncomfortable by it all.
#4In this clip, Biden swears-in (R) Senator Jim Risch. During photographs, Biden touches Risch's daughter, specifically asking to take a photo alone with her. You can hear Risch say ''Dad's going to stand pretty close.'' (I wonder why?) Biden even jokes and says, ''If I was young'...''
#5In this clip at another swearing-in ceremony, former VP Biden starts strangely sniffing the hair of a very young girl (he just met) repeatedly, also kissing on her. This man clearly has no boundaries.
#6Biden almost always seems to immediately inquire about the age of the girls he meets during these ops. He also has a habit of creepily saying ''no serious guys till you're 31.'' ''Serious'' guys? The way he handles young girls is discomforting to watch. You can see it on their faces.
#7In this clip, Biden grabs onto a little girl he just met, continuing to grab her with one hand as he uses his other to shake hands with those he's being introduced to. Very awkward. He then starts stroking her face repeatedly.
#8A lot of the family members involved in these awkward moments don't know how to respond to Joe Biden preying on their young female relatives. Jeff Sessions, however, knows exactly what to do. Watch as he swats Biden's hand from touching his granddaughter. Wonder why he'd do that?
#9Former VP Joe Biden doesn't just target little girls. Watch as he grabs onto the shoulder's of Ashton Carter's wife, Stephanie, smelling her hair. She's clearly surprised by his awkward behavior.
#10No woman is safe from Joe Biden's creepy disposition. Not even Hillary Clinton herself. Watch as he awkwardly embraces her for a particularly long amount of time. She keeps patting his arm as a gesture to let go, but he refuses.
#11Former VP Joe Biden has a quote he tells practically every girl he met during those taped confirmation hearings. ''No dating till you're 30.'' In this clip, he asks a little girl if she remembers what he told her the last time they interacted together. What do you think he said?
#12Think about it. ''You're turning 11. You're beautiful. Just remember: No dates till you're 30.'' Is it a joke? A rule. A requirement. A demand? Why shouldn't a young women be able to date until she's well-past maturity? Former VP Biden has said it so much, a montage exists.
#13The footage from former Senator Kelly Ayotte's swearing-in was one of the most awkward encounters. I've broken it into 2 parts. In this clip, Ayotte's daughter Billy impatiently enters the staging area ahead of schedule. Former VP Biden notices. ''Who's that beautiful child?''
After strangely asking 6 y.o. Billy if she was 17, telling her she can do ''whatever she wants,'' former VP Biden proceeds to have an awkward exchange with Kelly, stroking Billy to the point it almost seems Kelly asks her son about the ''cameras'' intentionally. You decide.
#14One awkward moment after another. The mother's discomfort is clearly noticeable when Biden meets and poses with the children in her family. She strangely asks if picture taking is over early. Biden tells the kids ''keep the boys away from their sisters.'' Sons called ''protectors.''
#15In this exchange, Senator Sullivan himself wonders if the picture-taking (& likely Biden being around his kids) is over. During the picture-taking, Biden physical moves Sullivan's daughter towards him, clutching onto her side. She even calls out for her father twice in confusion.
#16Visibly perturbed family members seem to be a running theme at these Biden led swear-ins. During this one, a family member almost looks as if she's using the prop she's holding to mask Biden's roaming hands, which are on her younger female relative.
#17During this confirmation swear-in ceremony, the senator involved loudly (and intentionally?) reminds Biden of his position by saying ''this is the Vice President of the United States.'' Hair sniffing and eery whispers by Biden make an comeback in this clip.
#18In this clip, Senator Cantwell introduces former VP Biden to her nieces, who all look visibly uncomfortable in his presence. The former Vice President then says ''it's ripe'' while whisper-speaking with Cantwell's young nieces. What on earth does he mean by that?
#19In this clip filmed by a random Sacramento family, former Vice President Joe Biden repeats the ''keep the boys away from your sister'' line. Then he tells the family a strange story about how his daughter at ''about age 12 & a half or 13'', ''wakes up, there's a snake in the bed.''
#20Observe everything Biden says or does that leads to an uncomfortable laugh from Senator Joni Ernst.
#21There's a lot to unpack in this clip featuring former VP Biden & the Sasse family. Sasse calls for his girls to stay together. Biden holds one daughter's hand. Sasse's wife looks uncomfortable when Biden's hand goes missing during the swear-in. Biden compliments daughter's looks.
#22This next clip is truly disturbing. While posing for pictures during yet another filmed swearing-in ceremony, then-VP Biden sneakily touches the young girl wearing a pink bow, causing her to fidget and cross her arms, trying to get away. He insists on continuing to manhandle her.
#23Former Vice President Joe Biden literally cannot keep his hands off of women. Especially young ones. In this clip, he says his infamous line, ''no dates till you're 30.'' Then he proceeds to make all of the women in the family uncomfortable with unnecessary touches and grabs.
#24This clip bothered me in so many different ways that I'm just going to leave you with the Biden quote that stood out the most: I remember last time I told you, ''you couldn't deny it.'' Biden seems familiar with this Colorado politician's younger daughters. Something's not right.
#25Sometimes, it almost feels like the children meeting Biden were prepped to expect awkward behavior or told to stay away. In this clip, a very young little girl (who almost seems prepped to meet Biden) repeatedly asks, ''why do I have to get away? Why do I have to get away?''
#26In this clip, former VP Biden leads the swear-in of Sen. Rubio. Biden immediately starts in on Rubio's wife, who awkwardly laughs his words off. He then asks Rubio's daughter, ''how old are you? 17 or 8?'' Rubio doesn't seem like he can get his kids away from Biden fast enough.
#27As soon as Biden notices a little girl at this particular confirmation swear-in, he instantly asks her to ''stand right there.'' As he grabs onto her, she clearly looks uncomfortable. Biden further advises that ''you've got to be very patient. Fathers are hard to raise.'' Why?
#28Former VP Biden typically made sure every little girl involved in a confirmation swear-in stood directly in front of him. He'd physically make sure they did. In this clip, he randomly tells a little girl ''grandfathers are hard to raise. They're very hard to raise.'' Meaning?
#29The banter at this Biden led swear-in is particularly bothersome. Biden tells an ''almost 11'' year old girl ''no dates till you're 30'' twice. The girl's relative, a senator, looks at Biden & says ''it might even be too late.'' Biden laughs & says ''I know.'' About a 10 year old?
#30Does former VP Biden know how to talk to young girls about anything other than dating? In this clip, he says ''no dates till you're 30 years old'' to a little girl and young woman multiple times. They both look visibly creeped out after he whispers something (inaudible) to them.
#31Is former VP Biden exchanging phone numbers with a young girl he's seen conversing with in this clip recorded at a White House Correspondents Dinner? It sure looks like it. It also looks like an aide/SS tries to approach Biden to let him know it's starting to raise suspicion.
#32Biden used to tell very awkward stories in public during his time in office. In this clip, he tells a classroom of kids ''granddaughters always love their grandpops,'' referring to a moment when his 17 year old granddaughter asked to hold his hand. He also sniffs a girl's hair.
#33In this clip, former VP Biden touches Ted Cruz's wife, Heidi, multiple times and it clearly seems to make her uncomfortable. He asks their then 4 and a half year old daughter if she's 15. He picks up their youngest. Jokes with Cruz's Mom that ''this could hurt your reputation.''
The visible discomfort of Cruz's oldest daughter shouldn't be discounted. She was literally crying out to her mother, father and grandmother to be held. Her disabled grandmother who is blatantly wheelchair bound. Why do you think she was so scared?
#34The confirmation swearing-in ceremonies led by former Vice President Biden were almost always awkward. In this one, Biden tells a senator and his family ''spread your legs, you're going to be frisked,'' making them all visibly uncomfortable.
#35In this clip, where Biden gets way too familiar with a 90 year old woman (who almost appears to call him out for it), the former Vice President randomly tells her the strangest personal detail: ''In my house, there's not a single woman older than any man. It's a rule.'' Meaning?
#36''You know what I tell my grandkids. Take care of your grandfather, OK? Your most important job'...'' Asks pair of teen siblings how old they are. Boy says 15, Biden replies ''you're getting old.'' Looks at 15 year old girl and says ''remember, no serious guys till you're 30.'' Why?
#37This clip's about the uncomfortable demeanor of the parents. You can just see it on their faces. There's even a moment where the Dad checks to see where Biden's roaming hand is at, near his wife & baby. When the Sen. asks his family to take another picture, they seem bothered to.
#38In this clip, the wife of Maine Senator, Angus King, seems extremely off-put by former Vice President Biden's flirtatious whispering and physical hold over her. Observe how she nervously says ''okay'' when Biden tells her ''I'd rather you look at me, but you can look at him.''
#39This clip's Joe Biden quotes:
''All of you women under the age of 30, no dates till you're 30.''
''You're beautiful. And so are you, child. Where'd you get those eyes?''
''I'll tell you wherever you got them, I think I know where you got them. You've got to send a thank you note.''
#40The daughter of Ohio Senator Rob Portman, Sally, had awkward encounters with former Vice President Joe Biden BOTH TIMES her father was confirmed. By the second swearing-in, she'd learned what to expect, appearing to seek her brother's closeness as protection from Biden's grasp.
Original thread:
It's time to talk about former Vice President Joe Biden, the open sexual predator. A thread/moment'...
'-- RAM (Richard Armande Mills) (@RAMRANTS) November 13, 2017
Sources:
The #BidenGropeTapes are comprised of clips sourced predominantly from C-SPAN/YouTube. NO CLIPS have been altered.
C-SPAN clips source:
Jan 5 '11: https://t.co/94H0nGDomd
Jan 3 '13: https://t.co/wOvq6pKUXf
Jan 6 '15: https://t.co/ncW20zzTfk
Jan 3 '17: https://t.co/6qPslAGUqt
'-- Richard Armande Mills (RAM) (@RAMRANTS) November 21, 2017
(YouTube Sources)
Clip of Biden telling ''snake in the bed'' story: https://t.co/H9F59jwRIx
Clip of Biden talking to elementary school about granddaughter: https://t.co/4ipCju23VD
C-SPAN clip of former VP Biden appearing to exchange info with a teen girl: https://t.co/cz9vlboVfR
'-- Richard Armande Mills (RAM) (@RAMRANTS) November 21, 2017
ALSO SEE: Hot Mic Allegedly Catches Creepy Joe Biden Whispering Sexually Suggestive Things To 13-Year-Old Girl'...
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  • 0:00
    By Adam Curry Jhansi devora Sunday January 17 2021. This is
  • 0:06
    your award winning one nation media assassination Episode
  • 0:09
    1330. This is no agenda, looping the whole broadcasting live from
  • 0:16
    opportunity's own 33 here in the frontier of Austin, Texas
  • 0:18
    capital of the drone stars thing in the morning, everybody.
  • 0:22
    I'm Adam Curry in from Northern Silicon Valley where we're all
  • 0:25
    watching Sumo this morning. I'm Jesse Devaraj.
  • 0:32
    No, you're not.
  • 0:33
    I was what, what?
  • 0:35
    What channel is Sumo? Even
  • 0:37
    on? NHK
  • 0:41
    this was important show prep, obviously.
  • 0:44
    Every every I liked what? I've watched him up for decades. I
  • 0:48
    really, really.
  • 0:51
    I didn't know this about you. Yeah, one time we were the full
  • 0:54
    family who went to Paris. We stayed at the Intercontinental
  • 0:59
    and they had a sumo exhibition thing going on in Paris. And
  • 1:04
    they're all staying at the same hotel. So I got to meet a lot of
  • 1:08
    these superstars. These are those techies, they are they
  • 1:10
    they are the superstars indeed. So it was funny because I got
  • 1:14
    their autographs a couple of guys. One of them was an
  • 1:16
    American, and the other one was Hawaiian. But it was American, I
  • 1:19
    guess. But when I get to see the Japanese, just freaking out when
  • 1:24
    I go up and ask,
  • 1:25
    Oh, it's so not done. So wrong. So what's the appeal of Sumo?
  • 1:31
    What I mean? Yeah. What is it just once a bat guys.
  • 1:34
    It's very tactical. It's very, it's almost it's got it's got a
  • 1:38
    level of technicality that is fascinating. And much the same
  • 1:43
    way as Nascar Racing is extremely technical in the way
  • 1:45
    they pitch. That's a good that's a good comparison. Think about
  • 1:50
    that. Wow. Comparison,
  • 1:54
    almost, you know, we're on 14 years together. I don't think I
  • 1:57
    knew this is a big Sumo fan. Yeah, I liked it. You keep the
  • 2:01
    relationship exciting.
  • 2:05
    is always bothered me, as always believed that America would go
  • 2:09
    for Sumo. Oh, yeah. before they go for soccer? Sure. I think so.
  • 2:17
    For that, you know, for soccer.
  • 2:19
    We need to read book this Sumo. Before soccer. Okay, I'm gonna
  • 2:23
    write this down for a second. Okay, Sumo. Before I don't know
  • 2:28
    how we're ever going to settle this bet. I don't know what
  • 2:33
    success would be. But yeah, it's just a red book. And
  • 2:36
    congratulations to all producers present and past for continuing
  • 2:42
    to ensure your no agenda show is safe from canceled culture
  • 2:45
    because you support it with your time, your talent and your
  • 2:48
    treasure, as witnessed by the recent AP article about the
  • 2:51
    loophole that the terrorists are taking advantage of in
  • 2:56
    podcasting. Yeah. This story was dumb, but for it to come from
  • 3:02
    the I agree for the Associated Press fishing for stories. Yeah,
  • 3:07
    I mean, it wasn't even fishing for stories. It was more
  • 3:10
    shameful than that. This was trying to bring attention to
  • 3:14
    something that needs no attention. Because you know,
  • 3:17
    right off the bat, it's saying, oh, oh, Apple, Google. Oh, you
  • 3:21
    guys do and oh, yeah, I mean, extremists exploit a loophole in
  • 3:29
    social moderation. This is the part that people need to pay
  • 3:33
    attention to. Why do we need social moderation? Who died and
  • 3:37
    made a peaking of the universe? don't mean it was social
  • 3:41
    moderation. What does that even mean? Social moderation.
  • 3:47
    That means cancel. Cancel culture means I'm right. You're
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    wrong. Yes.
  • 3:52
    Exactly. Conspiracy theorists have peddled stolen election
  • 3:57
    fantasies Coronavirus, conspiracies and violent
  • 4:00
    rhetoric. Oh, yeah, this violent race violence was vile. And
  • 4:06
    we're into bitcoin to
  • 4:10
    that Yeah.
  • 4:11
    Did you see the article This was hilarious to see if I have it
  • 4:15
    here. Large Bitcoin payments to right wing activist a month
  • 4:19
    before capital Riot linked to foreign account. So now, this
  • 4:24
    article from Yahoo is probably also an AP story. I think about
  • 4:28
    it missing claims that sources know exactly which wallets
  • 4:36
    belong to which domestic terrorists Yeah, sure. You can
  • 4:41
    create a wallet in five seconds you can create 1000 of them yet
  • 4:45
    you are tracking the very one. Come on lies. It was lies and
  • 4:52
    it's it's an obvious crackdown. Um, the two things that I think
  • 4:56
    represent freedom you won't agree on both but podcasting
  • 4:59
    Yeah. And why can't you take it down? Number one? Well, in our
  • 5:05
    case, no advertising, it is truly the root of all evil. Now,
  • 5:11
    I'm not against advertising but don't expect free speech to go
  • 5:14
    to coincide with it doesn't exist. It's not possible.
  • 5:18
    advertising is censorship by default, you can't talk about
  • 5:22
    the competitor. So that would be a form of censorship right
  • 5:25
    there.
  • 5:29
    It is illegal in Germany when you do advertising to the
  • 5:32
    comparison ads. Always that I didn't know that was illegal.
  • 5:36
    But I didn't know that I think it's always been outlawed in the
  • 5:39
    EU. I don't know if it's the whole EU, but we whenever a PC
  • 5:44
    Magazine doing advertising, we did lectures on the topic,
  • 5:49
    because we had discovered all the mechanisms you want to
  • 5:52
    advertise and PC Magazine to be effective. And I was gave some
  • 5:56
    of those lectures It was fascinating. So can the
  • 6:00
    comparison add like, you know, Microsoft Excel does this, this
  • 6:04
    this for the checkboxes, and then the other competitions and
  • 6:07
    x x x.
  • 6:11
    That's verboten? That's not good.
  • 6:14
    And here's how you can tell when something will probably have
  • 6:17
    longevity. It's just a little tip. It's the difference between
  • 6:21
    a platform and a protocol. RSS, which I mean, Google had a great
  • 6:26
    reader, the the Google Reader, they got rid of it because they
  • 6:30
    had no control over RSS because RSS is a protocol doesn't belong
  • 6:34
    to anybody. So there was they couldn't really turn everything
  • 6:39
    off. And for some reason, now, a number of companies think that
  • 6:42
    they can do this, and the AAP thinks that it should be done.
  • 6:46
    But now, you can't get rid of a protocol. It's just not that
  • 6:49
    easy. So if there's any stop jumping from service to service
  • 6:54
    to people, oh, my goodness, what is wrong with you?
  • 6:58
    Oh, there's
  • 6:58
    this one over here. Look, this is a great one. Yeah. Oh, these
  • 7:00
    guys have a better Oh, look at their site, it works.
  • 7:04
    Get away from centralization.
  • 7:08
    Well, wait, since you're talking about right wing nut jobs. Yes,
  • 7:12
    that's exactly where I was going with a couple of clips, which
  • 7:14
    you got.
  • 7:16
    I got the jack Vorhees clip from the Sgt report.
  • 7:20
    Well, hold on, hold on. I know what that is. Before we get to
  • 7:24
    that, let me just do two things that highlight the thinking
  • 7:32
    right now of the purge, which is clearly clearly taking place.
  • 7:37
    And there is a hidden exit strategy in this for us, john.
  • 7:42
    Finally, we can do that Hunger Games reality show.
  • 7:47
    We just need one camera, we can walk anywhere. Let's start in
  • 7:50
    LA.
  • 7:52
    It's gonna be so beautiful. So this is the Lieutenant Governor
  • 7:56
    of Pennsylvania lieutenant governor Fetterman. And just
  • 8:00
    listen to the thinking, and then you'll understand where these
  • 8:04
    actions are coming from.
  • 8:06
    So this idea that saying that Pennsylvania was rigged or that
  • 8:10
    we were trying to steal the election, unquote, that's a lie.
  • 8:13
    And that you do not have the right that is not protected
  • 8:16
    speech. The second news tweets went up, they should have been
  • 8:18
    blinded. That's not the platforming someone it's it's
  • 8:21
    deleting lies that are yelling fire in a crowded theater when
  • 8:26
    there is none. And there's a difference. Don't fire in a
  • 8:29
    crowded theater.
  • 8:32
    Hold on a second. Let's go back let's you gotta hear that it's
  • 8:34
    only it only 12 more seconds. But listen, the whole thing in
  • 8:37
    context is insane.
  • 8:38
    So this idea that saying that Pennsylvania was rigged or that
  • 8:42
    we were trying to steal the election, unquote, that's a lie.
  • 8:45
    And that you do not have the right that is not protected
  • 8:48
    speech. The second those tweets went up they should have been
  • 8:51
    deleted. That's not deep platforming someone it's it's
  • 8:54
    deleting lies that are yelling fire in a crowded theater when
  • 8:58
    there is none. And there's a difference that is not protected
  • 9:02
    speech. He can talk all day about what his favorite football
  • 9:05
    team is or that he's the greatest president in the
  • 9:07
    history of the world but no one republican democrat whatever has
  • 9:11
    the right to say those kind of incendiary lies.
  • 9:16
    Okay, is this is truly the thinking then we have a problem.
  • 9:21
    Wow, that's pretty good clip.
  • 9:24
    I mean, the equivalency of yelling fire in a crowded
  • 9:29
    theater versus saying the election was stolen on social
  • 9:32
    media is beyond me.
  • 9:37
    How does that how does that work?
  • 9:40
    Yeah, I know you're baffled to know we were talking about this,
  • 9:44
    you know, meaning are talking about this the other day about
  • 9:46
    the the you know, because I always like to refer back to the
  • 9:49
    woman in the green. That green green outfit on her knees
  • 9:54
    screaming No. Yeah, that's the one that that's she's iconic.
  • 9:59
    She's iconic. I can just write the other side has got the same
  • 10:03
    number of crackpots. Sure. I mean, you don't you didn't
  • 10:06
    notice it during the Trump years because they're all assuaged.
  • 10:09
    But once this thing happened, they all came out of the
  • 10:12
    woodwork and and it's, and it's discussed this, it says if we're
  • 10:16
    surrounded, it's almost like Green Acres where there's only
  • 10:20
    one same character. There's a very interesting structure for a
  • 10:23
    story. There's one same character, that's the guy at
  • 10:27
    Albert, and everybody around him is completely bonkers. And he's
  • 10:32
    in this environment where everybody's insane, but him and
  • 10:34
    it makes for a very funny sitcom. But that's what's going
  • 10:38
    on. It's like everybody's nuts. Well, I'm convinced that people
  • 10:43
    are seeing exactly what they see that and what they see is 100%
  • 10:48
    true to them right or left. And it's all been influenced on the
  • 10:52
    left mainly with mainstream television, which is also
  • 10:55
    displayed on social media and YouTube, because there's not a
  • 10:59
    lot of right right wing nut jobs. They get their own version
  • 11:05
    of it. And this is distorted reality on both sides.
  • 11:09
    And we're the Eddie Albert's
  • 11:12
    is what it looks like. Luckily, there's a lot of people like
  • 11:16
    listed Well, actually a lot of people like Washington Green
  • 11:18
    Acres to without knowing what the Albert or the the nutballs.
  • 11:24
    Here's where it moves into territory that needs to be
  • 11:27
    looked at. And again, for me,
  • 11:29
    I don't give a crap what Twitter does there a bug? There's a bug
  • 11:32
    in the network. There's plenty of other places you can go talk.
  • 11:35
    If you if you feel disturbed that you've been taken off of
  • 11:39
    Twitter or you or your shadow band, what do you get? What do
  • 11:43
    you care? It's your ego that's in the way. You want people to
  • 11:46
    listen and go somewhere else. do plenty of people listened to
  • 11:49
    you. So Twitter is going is really it's doing a purge. And
  • 11:53
    if you've seen your numbers, I've seen my numbers. People are
  • 11:56
    leaving people or maybe a lot of them are bots. I don't know, but
  • 12:00
    the pruning is in place. And this is the Project Veritas with
  • 12:04
    kind of a decent audio, it's been sweetened somewhat of jack
  • 12:08
    Dorsey talking about shutting down President Trump's Twitter
  • 12:12
    account. And that this is just the beginning. And everyone's
  • 12:17
    probably seen a clip or two this is as far as I know, the full
  • 12:19
    130 131 minute 33 seconds. We just need to listen to what is
  • 12:24
    going on.
  • 12:35
    Well, you can't hear anything. No, you can hear it but it's so
  • 12:39
    attenuated that it's just a meet meet meet meet me meet Meet Me,
  • 12:43
    me me meat. Well, crank it up.
  • 12:48
    Yeah, I can crank it up.
  • 13:02
    inauguration.
  • 14:14
    And that was internal Twitter communication. So that's that's
  • 14:17
    their internal you know, it's jack, given the given the crew,
  • 14:20
    the lowdown on what's going to happen. But here's what we
  • 14:23
    really need to realize. It doesn't work. It makes no sense
  • 14:27
    to have a global Town Square. There's no reason for it to
  • 14:31
    work. Of course, it's going to be a big cesspool, particularly
  • 14:35
    if you algo eyes it and make it you know, heat it up a bit
  • 14:38
    wherever you want to. If people are tribal, they want to be in
  • 14:41
    groups, you know, Bumble, which is, I guess, kind of a dating
  • 14:44
    app. From what I understand it's more a hookup app than a dating
  • 14:48
    app. They had to disable their politics filter, because people
  • 14:54
    were saying what kind of your Republican, libertarian democrat
  • 14:59
    and people would fill droughts they all look at all these
  • 15:01
    republicans, and either they would block them pre pre block
  • 15:06
    them before they ever showed up. Or they would, you know, start
  • 15:08
    messaging them horrible crap. And it's Yes, you may not belong
  • 15:14
    together if you believe in fundamentally different things
  • 15:17
    might I think my sister in law went on a date wasn't my sister
  • 15:20
    in law. She somebody, and now I can't remember who it was from
  • 15:28
    one of these apps, and the guy turned out to be like a real
  • 15:33
    1000s of sealed indictments. 10 kind of dude. And, and he got
  • 15:39
    pissed when she said, hey, look, this is never gonna work.
  • 15:42
    Clearly, we have different political differences. And let's
  • 15:46
    just call this date. You know, let's just call it off a good
  • 15:49
    try. And he tried to get her fired at her job. So it happens
  • 15:56
    on all sides, you know, and so people are spinning out of