653: Evil Layer Cake

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 10m
September 18th, 2014
Share at 0:00

Executive Producers: Sir TG Of My left Tongue-foo, Sir Don Tomaso di Toronto, Sir Robert Alter, Craig Mazella, Joshua Wychopen

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Greg Birch, Sir Michael Levin, Michael DeCock

Cover Artist: MartinJJ


Start of Show
Suggest a new chapter
Farmers market, Chris, Sebastian's food.
!!!!'Anti-Propaganda' Ban Repealed, Freeing State Dept. To Direct Its Broadcasting Arm At American Citizens | Techdirt
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:39
The US government has a bit of a PR problem at the moment, thanks to Ed Snowden's leaks and a decade-plus of general antipathy towards its constituents' rights and liberties growing out of its War on Terror.
Fortunately, the government now has a chance to aim its official version of today's news at US citizens, thanks to the repeal of a so-called "anti-propaganda" law earlier this month.
For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government's mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts.
The Broadcast Board of Governors, which produces programming like the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, has been prevented from aiming its programming at Americans since the 1970's when the Smith-Mundt Act (which authorized the State Dept. to communicate with foreign audiences via many methods, radio being one of them) was amended to prohibit domestic dissemination of the BBG's broadcasts. This was done to distance the State Department's efforts from the internal propaganda machine operated by the Soviet Union.Now, the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 (part of the National Defense Authorization Act) has repealed the domestic prohibition, allowing the government's broadcasting to be directed at/created for Americans for the first time in over 40 years.
BBG spokesperson Lynne Weil says these efforts aren't simply pro-government hype machines.
"They don't shy away from stories that don't shed the best light on the United States," she told The Cable. She pointed to the charters of VOA and RFE: "Our journalists provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible, discussion, and open debate."
A former U.S. government source with knowledge of the BBG says the organization is no Pravda, but it does advance U.S. interests in more subtle ways. In Somalia, for instance, VOA serves as counterprogramming to outlets peddling anti-American or jihadist sentiment. "Somalis have three options for news," the source said, "word of mouth, Al-Shabaab or VOA Somalia."
As Weil points out, this will bring a new level of transparency to the BBG as communicating to Americans is no longer prohibited. If nothing else, transcripts of BBG programming will be easier for Americans to get ahold of. A court ruled in 1998 that the limitations of the Smith-Mundt Act exempted the Voice of America from releasing transcripts in response to FOIA requests.Another possible plus is the fact that the BBG will provide a free, "local" news source for immigrant populations.
The agency wants to reach diaspora communities, such as St. Paul Minnesota's significant Somali expat community. "Those people can get Al-Shabaab, they can get Russia Today, but they couldn't get access to their taxpayer-funded news sources like VOA Somalia," the source said.
These positives aside, the thought of a state-run news agency being allowed to direct its efforts at Americans is still uncomfortable. Despite claims of independence, it's hard to believe the source is 100% trustworthy when its stated purpose is to run flack for the State Department in foreign nations. (Of course, the mainstream media outlets haven't shown much reluctance to regurgitate talking points, which almost makes the BBG's efforts seem redundant.)While the BBG may provide a less-biased source of news for many foreigners (or at least provide a different bias), the purpose of its broadcasts to its new American audience is less clear. The fact that the State Department is behind the effort doesn't do much to allay fears that the BBG will become a tool of domestic propaganda. The State Department's reaction to the leak of diplomatic correspondence by Wikileaks was to block its employees' access to the site (or any site containing the word "Wikileaks") and demand the digital documents be "returned." How will a state-run press react to developments like these? Will it be forced to play by the department's rules, no matter how illogical, or will it be able to deal with them in a more forthright manner?
In a time where the administration seems to be forced to play defense with increasing frequency, it's hard to believe it won't be willing to exploit this addition to its PR arsenal.
Expanding Opportunities for All: White House and Administration Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:11
Office of the Press Secretary
September 16, 2014
Expanding Opportunities for All: White House and Administration Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
Washington, D.C. '' The Obama Administration will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15. Members of the Cabinet, Senior Administration officials and community partners will participate in conferences, events, and online engagements to highlight the work of the Administration to continue to expand opportunities for the Latino community. In particular, the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will intensify efforts to inform Hispanic Americans about the benefits and protections of the Affordable Care Act. These efforts will include highlighting tools and resources about how to enroll in quality and affordable coverage under the Health Insurance Marketplaces during the upcoming open enrollment period beginning November 15. In addition, the White House will host a Champions of Change event that will celebrate the contributions of Latino educators from across the country.
Please see below for a list of some of the upcoming events for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Hispanic Heritage Month
Kick-Off Week '' September 15 '' 21
September 16
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julin Castro will speak at the Bipartisan Policy Center's Housing SummitSeptember 18
Small Business Administration (SBA): ''Hispanics: A Legacy of History, A Present of Action, and A Future of Success''At 10:00AM ET, Keynote Speaker: Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator.Jefferson Auditorium, Washington, D.C.Week of September 21 '' 28
September 22
White House Champions of Change Event Highlighting Latino Educators: ''Educating the Heart''This event will recognize [Rewarding] Latino educators from across the country for their work in helping engage the Latino community in the academic realm.9:00AM to 2:00PM ET in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.ACA Outreach: OMH and CMS Health Literacy WebinarIn honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invite you to learn about tools and resources available to organizations serving Latino communities to help improve health literacy and understanding of the Health Insurance Marketplaces. This webinar at 2:00PM ET will provide an overview of consumer-friendly information on how health insurance works and how to use it '' including the Coverage to Care roadmap '' and where to find additional resources. Join the live event(no pre-registration is needed). URL: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join/, conference number: PW8659436, passcode: 9529414 and dial-in number: 1-888-455-1840.SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will speak at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of CommerceAdministrator Contreras-Sweetwill deliver keynote remarks at the Women's Business Leaders Luncheon in Salt Lake City, UT.September 23
HUD Secretary Julin Castro will speak at theU.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce ConferenceHUD Secretary Castro will deliver keynote remarks at the closing gala in Salt Lake City, UT at 7:30PM MT.September 25
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Webinar with National Hispanic Council on AgingAt 2:00PM ET, webinar open to anyone interested in learning more about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment as we approach the second period of open enrollment.Call in Number: 1-877-267-1577; Meeting ID: 995 471 776Week of September 29 '' October 5
September 30
Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Mu±oz will speak at theNational Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) SummitCecilia Mu±oz will deliver the keynote address at NALEO's 10th Annual National Summit on the State of Latino Education luncheon in Washington, D.C.Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Policy ConferenceSecretary of Labor Perez will deliver the keynote address.Deputy Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas will participate in an immigration policy panel at the Conference.October 1
Alejandra Castillo, Latino Leaders Summit Series: Creating Economic Justice for the Latino CommunityThis summit will address the growing income inequality gap affecting the Latino workforce. Key efforts being made to address closing this gap and creating economic justice for Latino families include: support for small businesses, having a fair tax structure for low income workers, and extending tax credits for working families. The summit will be chaired by Congresswoman Linda Sanchez and will include Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Alejandra Castillo.Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington D.C. from 10:45AM-12:15PM ET.The Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH) Alejandra Ceja will deliver brief remarks and sign a memorandum of understanding with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) at their Public Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. The Executive Director Ceja will highlight the White House Initiative's 25th anniversary year of action, and will sign a memorandum of understanding with CHCI to collaborate on advancing our mutual goal of increasing the number of Hispanics who attend and graduate from college, in support of the President's 2020 college completion goal.Week of October 6 '' October 12
October 8
USAID: Screening of "Mala Mala,," a film about the transgender community in Puerto RicoThe film will be shown from 4:00-6:00PM ET with a question and answer panel discussion involving the co-directors of the film and an activist from the local transgender community.Week of October 12 '' October 15
October 15
Labor Secretary Perez hosts Hispanic Heritage Month eventThis event for Latino appointees will feature HUD Secretary Julin Castro, SBA Administrator Mar­a Contreras-Sweet, and Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta at the Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, 4:30-6:30PM ET.Department of Education: Association of Latino Administrator and Superintendents (ALAS) Education SummitTo stay up to date on the latest on the Obama Administration's engagement with the Latino community, check out the online and social media platforms listed below:
o @LaCasaBlanca
o @Cecilia44 Domestic Policy Council, Cecilia Mu±oz
o @Vargas44 Director of Hispanic Media, Katherine Vargas
La Casa Blanca bilingual FacebookBi-weekly Latino newsletter by the White House Office of Public Engagement on key events and policies of importance for the Latino community. Weekly Spanish-language video message called ''Mensaje de la Casa Blanca'' (White House Video Message), echoing the themes from the President's Weekly Address featuring senior level Administration officials.Other Twitter handles to follow to stay up to date on the Obama Administration's engagement with the Latino community include: @HHSLatino, @CuidadoDeSalud, @MinorityHealth, @SaluddeMinorias, Director of the State Exchange Group at Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) @MayraHHS, @HispanicEd, Labor Secretary Perez @LaborSec, HUD Secretary Julin Castro @SecretaryCastro, OPM Director Katherine Archuleta @OPMDirector, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet @MCS4Biz, Director of Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Alejandra Castillo @USMBDA, @FDAenEspanol, @FEMAespanol, @USDOL_Latino, @USAenEspanol and @CDCespanol.###
Presidential Proclamation --- Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, Constitution Week, 2014
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:44
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 16, 2014
- - - - - - -
Eleven years after a small band of patriots declared the independence of our new Nation, our Framers set out to refine the promise of liberty and codify the principles of our Republic. Though the topics were contentious and the debate fierce, the delegates' shared ideals and commitment to a more perfect Union yielded compromise. Signed on September 17, 1787, our Constitution enshrined -- in parchment and in the heart of our young country -- the foundation of justice, equality, dignity, and fairness, and became the cornerstone of the world's oldest constitutional democracy.
For more than two centuries, our founding charter has guided our progress and defined us as a people. It has endured as a society of farmers and merchants advanced to form the most dynamic economy on earth; as a small army of militias grew to the finest military the world has ever known; and as a Nation of 13 original States expanded to 50, from sea to shining sea. Our Founders could not have foreseen the challenges our country has faced, but they crafted an extraordinary document. It allowed for protest and new ideas that would broaden democracy's reach. And it stood the test of a civil war, after which it provided the framework to usher in a new birth of freedom through the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.
America's revolutionary experiment in democracy has, from its first moments, been a beacon of hope and opportunity for people around the world, inspiring some to call for freedom in their own land and others to seek the blessings of liberty in ours. The United States has always been a nation of immigrants. We are strengthened by our diversity and united by our fidelity to a set of tenets. We know it is not only our bloodlines or an accident of birth that make us Americans. It is our firm belief that out of many we are one; that we are united by our convictions and our unalienable rights. Each year on Citizenship Day, we recognize our newest citizens whose journeys have been made possible by our founding documents and whose contributions have given meaning to our charter's simple words.
Our Constitution reflects the values we cherish as a people and the ideals we strive for as a society. It secures the privileges we enjoy as citizens, but also demands participation, responsibility, and service to our country and to one another. As we celebrate our Nation's strong and durable framework, we are reminded that our work is never truly done. Let us renew our commitment to these sacred principles and resolve to advance their spirit in our time.
In remembrance of the signing of the Constitution and in recognition of the Americans who strive to uphold the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, the Congress, by joint resolution of February 29, 1952 (36 U.S.C. 106), designated September 17 as "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day," and by joint resolution of August 2, 1956 (36 U.S.C. 108), requested that the President proclaim the week beginning September 17 and ending September 23 of each year as "Constitution Week."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 17, 2014, as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, and September 17 through September 23, 2014, as Constitution Week. I encourage Federal, State, and local officials, as well as leaders of civic, social, and educational organizations, to conduct ceremonies and programs that bring together community members to reflect on the importance of active citizenship, recognize the enduring strength of our Constitution, and reaffirm our commitment to the rights and obligations of citizenship in this great Nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
Presidential Proclamation --- National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week, 2014
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:35
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 12, 2014
- - - - - - -
In America, every child should have access to a world-class education. Our Nation's classrooms cultivate and challenge young minds and build a skilled and competitive workforce, securing a brighter future for our children and our country. Across America, Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) provide essential education opportunities and play a vital role in fulfilling our responsibility to the rising group of Hispanic innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, and scholars. This week, we honor these halls of learning and recommit ourselves to inspiring and preparing the next generation of leaders.
Our Nation can strengthen our economy and have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, but achieving this goal will require us to unlock the full talents and potential of every student. Hispanic Americans represent the largest and one of the fastest growing minority groups in the United States, yet they are continually underrepresented in our colleges and universities. HSIs -- where more than half of America's Hispanic undergraduates attend -- are critical to increasing the college enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of this expanding population. That is why the Federal Government is investing more than $1 billion over 10 years in these schools to renew, reform, and expand higher education programs for Hispanics.
Today, the Hispanic dropout rate has fallen by more than half, and more Hispanics are enrolled in college than ever before -- but we have more work to do to ensure that hardworking students are never priced out of a higher education. My Administration has increased Pell Grants, expanded pathways to earn degrees at our community colleges, and offered new tuition tax credits and better student loan repayment options to millions of people, and we will keep fighting to improve college affordability throughout our country. By lowering the cost of college for students and their parents and supporting HSIs, we can extend the promise of a college degree to an increasing number of Hispanics.
In a changing economy, a college education is one of the surest ways into the middle class, and this week we celebrate institutions that help improve the lives of their students and revitalize the communities where they serve. Let us never forget that the future belongs to the nation that best educates its people. When we strengthen our HSIs, we help ensure that all our children, no matter who they are or where they come from, have the chance to achieve their dreams.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 14 through September 20, 2014, as National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week. I call on public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that acknowledge the many ways these institutions and their graduates contribute to our country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
Presidential Proclamation --- National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2014
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:35
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 12, 2014
- - - - - - -
Nearly 50 years after the United States first observed what was then National Hispanic Heritage Week, Hispanics represent a vibrant and thriving part of our diverse Nation. Their histories and cultures stretch across centuries, and the contributions of those who come to our shores today in search of their dreams continue to add new chapters in our national story. This month, we honor the rich heritage of the Hispanic community and celebrate its countless achievements.
This month's theme, "Hispanics: A legacy of history, a present of action and a future of success," reminds us of all the ways Hispanics have enriched our Union and shaped our character. From those with roots that trace back generations to those who have just set out in pursuit of the promise of America, they have come to represent the spirit of our Nation: that with hard work, you can build a better life for yourself and a better future for your children. Hispanics have served honorably in our Armed Forces, defending the values we hold dear. They have transformed industries with new, innovative ideas. And they have led and inspired movements that have made our Nation more equal and more just.
In these accomplishments, we recognize that when we lift up the Hispanic community, we strengthen our Nation; when we create more ladders of opportunity, we provide the chance for all Americans to reach their greatest potential. My Administration is committed to supporting and fighting for policies that help Hispanics succeed. We are investing in programs that better prepare students and workers for today's economy, continuing to address disparities in health care, and pushing initiatives that grow our middle class.
Reforming our immigration system remains crucial for our economic future. When workers educated in America are unable to stay and innovate here, we are deprived of their full contributions, and when immigrants have to labor in the shadows, they often earn unfair wages and their families and our economy suffer. That is why I continue to call on the Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform, and why I am determined to address our broken immigration system through executive action in a way that is sustainable and effective, and within the confines of the law. America has always drawn its strength from the contributions of a diverse people. Throughout our Nation,
Hispanics are advancing our economy, improving our communities, and bettering our country. During National Hispanic Heritage Month, let us renew our commitment to ensuring ours remains a society where the talents and potential of all its members can be fully realized.
To honor the achievements of Hispanics in America, the Congress by Public Law 100-402, as amended, has authorized and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating September 15 through October 15 as "National Hispanic Heritage Month."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 15 through October 15, 2014, as National Hispanic Heritage Month. I call upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
Stereotyping email
My exact issue is the use of sweeping generalizations (stereotyping)
directed toward women. It would be bad directed to any group, but you
seem to stereotype women more than others. You could balance it out by
stereotyping men more... but stereotyping any group is generally bad.
Sometimes it can be done for humor, maybe there are tasteful ways to
pull this off.
If you're unsure when you stereotype, I can go back to the previous
episode, keep track of the stereotypes, and send you times of when it
happens. If you like, I can link you to articles that explain why gender
stereotyping in media is harmful. The mainstream media does lots of
gender stereotyping, I love No Agenda because in most ways it gives me a
break from the leaps of logic that are so common.
Just to be clear, I don't find it offensive (though I can see why some
would), but stereotyping is in poor taste. You and Dvorak and are so
insightful, intelligent and witty - stereotyping a group seems too low
brow in the context of No Agenda. It's like a beautiful picture that has
some small but distracting smudge.
Maybe I notice it more since I'm an ethnic minority member, being
sterotyped (even positively) gets annoying, fast. However I still think
my concerns are valid.
Drone Knight Posters received
Scenario: Friday 7am Yes vote
Markets freak out, exchsanges shut down early for the weekend
Then the ATM Network went down...
Don't be surprised if Scotland votes for independence. I think "yes" might have an edge '' Telegraph Blogs
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:31
YES is feeling supremely self-confident (Photo: Reuters).
How will it go tomorrow? Nobody really knows. Both campaigns are supremely confident, both can point to polls that show them narrowly ahead. Both have ''invisible advantages''. YES probably enjoys the support of thousands of first time voters; NO thinks that it leads comfortably on early postal votes. The NO people are satisfied that they have a ''quiet'' vote motivated by reason rather than passion, and that with every new outrage perpetrated by YES extremists they gain yet more silent support. One YES person put it to me that the people who tend to break toward NO are the old and English-born.
Personally, I think that YES might indeed enjoy a slight edge. Due to the following factors:
1. Enthusiasm. Get off the train at Glasgow and you're struck by the presence of the YES vote: posters, stickers, t-shirts, campaigners. They have a much better operation and seem better at exciting their own people. Things are quieter in Edinburgh, but the difference is only a matter of degree. In my first 24 hours in Glasgow, I counted just one NO poster. Although, to be fair, this might be a reflection of the ability of YES to intimidate people into silence. One voter who works in a bank told me that he held off putting up a NAW poster in his window for fear of attracting vandalism. Others have put up YES posters just to keep the wretched canvassers away.
2. Registration. Historically, turnout in Scottish elections is low '' in about the mid-sixties. But this time around some 97 per cent of Scots have registered. Now, why would someone go to the effort to register for the first time? To vote negatively (NO) or to vote positively (YES)? A local journalist put it to me that many of those new voters will be working-class Scots motivated by national passion. It's unlikely that they're fired up by David Cameron, Ed Miliband or the prospect of Devo-Max (which sounds like a reunited Eighties pop group).
3. Gerrymandering. Salmond did a good job of making sure he had an electorate favourable to YES. So, 16-year-olds suddenly appear on the register '' and youth leans towards independence. It also means that natural-born Scots who moved to England can't vote, but foreign-born people who moved to Scotland can. Obviously, Scots who migrated throughout the UK for work are more likely to be for NO.
4. The defection of voters from NO to YES. The movement in the polls appears to have come not just from ''undecided'' to YES but from NO to YES '' which implies that YES has the capacity not only to motivate its own people, or to squeeze undecideds, but also to win converts.
5. The NO campaign's grinding negativity and inability to look anything other than establishment orientated. The message coming out of the NO campaign has been far too focused on what Scotland is incapable of doing by itself (an insult to regional pride) and far too obsessed with wheeling out big international names to make its cause (Bill Clinton? Seriously?!). What's striking talking to YES people is how brilliantly they've conjured up an automatic ''Well, they would say that wouldn't they?'' response to every NO criticism. And they've played the politics of identity far better than the NO folks: articulating a clear sense of what Scottishness is (socialism in tartan) and challenging everyone to vote on the basis of love of country. As a result, their vote feels more tribal and energized.
6. The emotional logic of voting YES. If you vote YES, it's obvious what you're voting for: the birth of a new nation. If you vote NO, it's less obvious what you're defending '' jobs and a stable currency, maybe, but what emotionally is the case for NO? Few pro-Union politicians have articulated it with convincing passion.
Again, none of this is certain. We're at the point in the election campaign when everything suddenly stops and stands mysteriously still '' like being at the centre of a tornado. You don't know what'll happen next. You're helpless. It's exciting but also a little frightening '' especially for those of us who love the Union.
' Get the latest comment and analysis from the Telegraph
' Read more from our news and politics bloggers
Scottish independence referendum, 2014 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:27
Scottish Independence ReferendumThursday, 18 September 2014Should Scotland be an independent country?ResultsResult not yet knownElectorate4.3 million (as of September 2014;aged 16+)[1]A referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country is to take place on Thursday, 18 September 2014.[2]
Following an agreement between the Scottish and the United Kingdom governments,[3] the Scottish independence Referendum Bill, setting out the arrangements for this referendum, was passed by the Scottish Parliament in November 2013.[4][5][6] The referendum question, as recommended by the Electoral Commission, will be "Should Scotland be an independent country?" '' voters can answer only Yes or No.[7] To pass, the independence proposal requires a simple majority. With some exceptions, all residents in Scotland aged 16 or over can vote, a total of about 4.3 million people.
Yes Scotland is the main campaign group for independence, while Better Together is the main campaign group to maintain the union. Many other campaign groups, political parties, businesses, newspapers and prominent individuals have also been involved. Prominent issues raised during the campaign include which currency an independent Scotland would use, public expenditure and North Sea oil.[8]
Counting will begin after polls close at 22:00 British Summer Time (UTC+1) on 18 September. Running totals from the 32 local government areas are expected during the night, with more than half the votes likely to have been counted by 03:30.[9] The final result is likely to be announced between 07:00''07:30 on Friday, 19 September.[10][11]
History[edit]Formation of Scotland and the United Kingdom[edit]Present day Scotland was formed by territorial evolution during the Middle Ages. The Kingdom of Scotland fought a series of wars of independence against the Kingdom of England during the 14th century. The two monarchies were in personal union from 1603 (the Union of the Crowns) when James VI of Scotland also became James I of England. The two nations were united under one government when Oliver Cromwell was declared Lord Protector of a Commonwealth in 1653, but it was dissolved when the monarchy was restored in 1660. Scotland and England united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. Great Britain in turn united with the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801, which formed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Most of Ireland left the Union in 1922 as the Irish Free State; thus the full name of the sovereign state today is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Devolution[edit]The Labour Party was committed to home rule for Scotland in the 1920s, but it slipped down its agenda in the following years.[12] The Scottish National Party (SNP) was formed in 1934, but did not achieve significant electoral success until the 1960s.[12] A document calling for home rule, the Scottish Covenant, was signed by 2 million people (out of a population of 5 million) in the late 1940s.[12] Home rule, now known as Scottish devolution, did not become a serious proposal until the late 1970s as the Labour government of Jim Callaghan came under electoral pressure from the SNP.[12]
A proposal for a devolved Scottish Assembly was put to a referendum in 1979, but this resulted in no change.[13] A narrow majority of votes were cast in favour of change, but the legislation was repealed due to a clause requiring that the number voting 'Yes' had to exceed 40% of the total electorate.[13] No further constitutional reform was proposed until Labour returned to power in 1997, when a second Scottish devolution referendum was held.[14] Clear majorities expressed support for both a devolvedScottish Parliament and that Parliament having the power to vary the basic rate of income tax.[14] The Scotland Act 1998 established the new Scottish Parliament, first elected on 6 May 1999,[15] with power to legislate on unreserved matters within Scotland.
2007 SNP administration[edit]A commitment to hold a referendum in 2010 was part of the SNP's election manifesto when it contested the 2007 Scottish Parliament election.[16] As a result of that election, it became the largest party in the Scottish Parliament and formed a minority government led by the First Minister, Alex Salmond.[17]
The SNP administration launched a 'National Conversation' as a consultation exercise in August 2007, part of which included a draft referendum bill, the Referendum (Scotland) Bill.[17][18] After this, a white paper for the proposed Referendum Bill was published, on 30 November 2009.[19][20] It detailed 4 possible scenarios, with the text of the Bill and Referendum to be revealed later.[19] The scenarios were: no change; devolution per the Calman Review; further devolution; and full independence.[19] The Scottish government published a draft version of the bill on 25 February 2010 for public consultation;[21][22]Scotland's Future: Draft Referendum (Scotland) Bill Consultation Paper contained a consultation document and a draft version of the bill.[23] The consultation paper set out the proposed ballot papers, the mechanics of the proposed referendum, and how the proposed referendum was to be regulated.[23] Public responses were invited.[24]
The bill outlined three proposals: the first was full devolution or 'devolution max', suggesting that the Scottish Parliament should be responsible for "all laws, taxes and duties in Scotland", with the exception of "defence and foreign affairs; financial regulation, monetary policy and the currency", which would be retained by the British government.[23] The 2nd proposal outlined Calman-type fiscal reform, gaining the additional powers and responsibilities of setting a Scottish rate of income tax that could vary by up to 10p in the pound compared with the rest of the UK, setting the rate of stamp duty land tax and "other minor taxes", and introducing new taxes in Scotland with the agreement of the UK Parliament, and finally, "limited power to borrow money".[23] The 3rd proposal was for full independence.[23]
In the third Scottish Parliament, only 50 of 129 MSPs (47 SNP, 2 Greens, and Margo MacDonald) supported a referendum.[25][26] The Scottish government withdrew the bill after failing to secure opposition support.[17][27]
2011 SNP administration[edit]The SNP repeated its commitment to hold a referendum when it published its 2011 Scottish parliamentary election manifesto.[28] Days before the election, Salmond stated that legislation for a referendum would be proposed in the "2nd half of the parliament", as he wanted to secure more powers for the Scottish Parliament via the Scotland Bill first.[29] The SNP gained an overall majority in the election, winning 69 from 129 seats, thereby gaining a mandate to hold an independence referendum.[30][31]
In January 2012, the UK government offered to legislate to provide the Scottish Parliament with the powers to hold a referendum, providing it was "fair, legal and decisive".[31] This would set "terms of reference for the referendum", such as its question(s), elector eligibility and which body would organise the vote.[32] As the UK government worked on legal details, including the timing of the vote, Salmond announced an intention to hold the referendum in the autumn of 2014.[32] Negotiations continued between the two governments until October 2012, when the Edinburgh Agreement was reached.[17]
The Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Act 2013 was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 27 June 2013 and received Royal Assent on 7 August 2013.[33] On 15 November 2013, the Scottish government published Scotland's Future, a 670-page white paper laying out the case for independence and the means through which Scotland might become an independent country.[34]
Administration[edit]Date and eligibility[edit]The Scottish government announced on 21 March 2013 that the referendum would be held on 18 September 2014.[2] Some media reports mentioned that 2014 would be the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn[35][36] and that Scotland would also host the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2014 Ryder Cup.[36] Salmond agreed that the presence of these events made 2014 a "good year to hold a referendum".[37]
Under the terms of the 2010 Draft Bill, the following people would be entitled to vote in the referendum:[23]
British citizens who are resident in Scotland;citizens of the 52 other Commonwealth countries who are resident in Scotland;citizens of the 27 other European Union countries who are resident in Scotland;members of the House of Lords who are resident in Scotland;Service/Crown personnel serving in the UK or overseas in the British Armed Forces or with Her Majesty's Government who are registered to vote in Scotland.Convicted prisoners may not vote in the referendum. The European Court of Human Rights earlier ruled that this restriction was unlawful, but Lord Glennie said that he believed the ECHR judgment would apply only to parliamentary elections.[38] Appeals against his ruling were rejected by the Court of Session in Edinburgh[39] and the UK Supreme Court.[40]
The Scottish government passed legislation to reduce the voting age for the referendum from 18 to 16, as it is SNP policy to reduce the voting age for all elections in Scotland.[23][41][42] The move was supported by Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and the Scottish Greens.[43][44]
In January 2012, Elaine Murray MSP of Labour led a debate arguing that the franchise should be extended to Scots living outside Scotland, including the approximately 800,000 living in the other parts of the UK.[45] This was opposed by the Scottish government, which argued that it would greatly increase the complexity of the referendum and stated that there was evidence from the United Nations Human Rights Committee that other nations "might question the legitimacy of a referendum if the franchise is not territorial".[45]
In the House of Lords, Baroness Symons argued that the rest of the UK should be allowed to vote on Scottish independence, on the grounds that it would affect the whole country. This argument was rejected by the British government, as the Advocate General for ScotlandLord Wallace said that "whether or not Scotland should leave the United Kingdom is a matter for Scotland".[45] Wallace also pointed to the fact that only two of 11 referenda since 1973 had been across all of the United Kingdom.[45] Professor John Curtice has also argued that the Northern Ireland sovereignty referendum of 1973 created a precedent for allowing only those resident in one part of the UK to vote on its sovereignty.[46]
Legality[edit]There was debate as to whether the Scottish Parliament had the power to legislate for a referendum relating to the issue of Scottish independence, as the constitution is a reserved matter for the UK Parliament.[25] The Scottish government insisted in 2010 that they could legislate for a referendum, as it would be an "advisory referendum on extending the powers of the Scottish Parliament",[24] whose result would "have no legal effect on the Union".[23]:17 Lord Wallace, Advocate General for Scotland, said in January 2012 that the holding of any referendum concerning the constitution would be outside the legislative power of the Scottish Parliament[31][47] and that private individuals could challenge a Scottish Parliament referendum bill.[48]
The two governments signed the Edinburgh Agreement, which allowed for the temporary transfer of legal authority. In accordance with the Edinburgh Agreement, the UK government drafted an Order in Council granting the Scottish Parliament the necessary powers to hold, on or before 31 December 2014, an independence referendum. The draft Order was approved by resolutions of both Houses of Parliament, and the Order, titled The Scotland Act 1998 (Modification of Schedule 5) Order 2013 was approved by The Queen, following the advice of Her Ministers, at a meeting of the Privy Council on 12 February 2013.[49] Under the powers temporarily transferred from Westminster under the section 30 Order, the Scottish Parliament adopted the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013,[50] summoning the referendum, defining the question to be asked ("Should Scotland be an independent country?") and the date on which the referendum is to be held (18 September 2014) and establishing the rules governing the holding of the referendum. The Bill for the said Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 14 November 2013 and received Royal Assent on 17 December 2013. Under section 36 of the Act, it came into force on 18 December 2013, the day after Royal Assent.
Oversight[edit]The Electoral Commission is responsible for overseeing the referendum, "with the exception of the conduct of the poll and announcement of the result, and the giving of grants. In its role of regulating the campaign and campaign spending, the Electoral Commission will report to the Scottish Parliament. ... The poll and count will be managed in the same way as [... local] elections, by local returning officers ... and directed by a Chief Counting Officer."[3]
Question[edit]The Edinburgh Agreement stated that the wording of the question would be decided by the Scottish Parliament and reviewed by the Electoral Commission for intelligibility.[3] The Scottish government stated that its preferred question was "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?" [51] The Electoral Commission tested the proposed question along with three other possible versions.[52] Their research found that the "Do you agree" preface meant that it was a leading question, which would be more likely to garner a positive response.[51] The question was amended to "Should Scotland be an independent country?", which the Electoral Commission found was the most neutral and concise of the versions tested.[51][52]
The clarity and brevity of the question used in Scotland has been contrasted with the longer formulations used in the sovereignty referenda held in Quebec in 1980 and 1995.[51][53][54]
Campaign[edit]Campaign organisations[edit]The campaign in favour of Scottish independence, Yes Scotland, was launched on 25 May 2012.[55] Its chief executive is Blair Jenkins,[55] formerly the Director of Broadcasting at STV and Head of News and Current Affairs at both STV and BBC Scotland. The campaign is supported by the SNP,[55] the Scottish Green Party (which also created "its own pro-independence campaign to run alongside Yes Scotland"[56]) and the Scottish Socialist Party. At its launch, Salmond stated that he hoped one million people in Scotland would sign a declaration of support for independence.[57] On 22 August 2014, Yes Scotland announced that the one million target had been surpassed.[58]
The campaign in favour of Scotland remaining in the UK, Better Together, was launched on 25 June 2012.[59] It is led by Alistair Darling, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, and has support from the Conservative Party, Labour Party and Liberal Democrats.[59]
Campaign funding and costs[edit]In the 2010 Draft Bill, the Scottish government proposed that there would be a designated organisation campaigning for a 'Yes' vote and a designated organisation campaigning for a 'No' vote, both of which would be permitted to spend up to £750,000 on their campaign and to send one free mailshot to every household or voter in the referendum franchise. There was to be no public funding for campaigns. Political parties were each to be allowed to spend £100,000.[23] This proposed limit on party spending was revised to £250,000 in 2012.[60]
In 2013, new proposals by the Electoral Commission for the 16-week regulated period preceding the poll were accepted. They allow the two designated campaign organisations to spend up to £1.5 million each and for the parties in Scotland to spend the following amounts: £1,344,000 (SNP); £834,000 (Labour); £396,000 (Conservatives); £201,000 (Liberal Democrats); £150,000 (Greens).[51] An unlimited number of other organisations can register with the Electoral Commission, but their spending is limited to £150,000.[61]
According to the Scottish government's consultation paper published on 25 February 2010, the cost of the referendum was "likely to be around £9.5 million", mostly spent on running the poll and the count. Costs would also include the posting of one neutral information leaflet about the referendum to every Scottish household, and one free mailshot to every household or voter in the poll for the designated campaign organisations.[23] As of April 2013, the projected cost of the referendum was £13.3 million.[62]
Donations[edit]In December 2013 the Better Together campaign declared that it had received donations of £2.8 million.[63] Six-figure contributions were made by businessmen Ian Taylor and Donald Houston, and by author C. J. Sansom; almost 27,000 donations of under £7,500 had been received by the same date.[64] A later donation came from writer J. K. Rowling, who announced in June 2014 that she had given £1 million.[63][64] In the following month, whisky distiller William Grant & Sons announced a donation of approximately £100,000.[65] On 12 August 2014 Better Together announced that it had raised enough money to cover the maximum spending permitted and was no longer accepting donations.[66] This was attributed in part to a large number of small donations being received after the first televised debate between Salmond and Darling.[66]
As of May 2014, the Yes Scotland campaign had declared £4.5 million in cash donations.[63][64]EuroMillions lottery-winners Chris and Colin Weir gave £3.5 million.[63] A six-figure donation was given by investment fund manager Angus Tulloch; approximately 18,000 donations of less than £7,500 had been made by the same date.[64]
Advertising[edit]Political advertising on television and radio in the UK is prohibited by the Communications Act 2003, with the exception of permitted party political broadcasts.[67] Three major cinema chains stopped showing adverts by referendum campaign groups after receiving negative feedback from their customers.[68]
Voting process[edit]Voting for the referendum commenced on 27 August 2014, with the receipt of ballots by postal voters. As of 15 August, 680,235 eligible voters had registered for postal voting, a 20% increase compared to March 2014.[69] During the postal vote phase, Police Scotland arrested a 28-year-old man from Drumchapel, Glasgow, on suspicion of selling his vote on eBay.[70]
The registration deadline for referendum voters was 2 September 2014.[69] Several councils reported the processing of "unprecedented" numbers of new registrations, while others received "tens of thousands" of applications in the final week'--the BBC reported on 2 September: "Figures obtained by Scotland 2014 show in the past seven days Glasgow received more than 9,000 applications, Renfrewshire 5,000, and Shetland and Orkney almost 1,000."[71]
Outcome[edit]The UK government has stated that if a simple majority of the votes cast are in favour of independence, then "Scotland would become an independent country after a process of negotiations".[72][73] If the majority is against independence, Scotland would continue within the United Kingdom.[72][73] Further powers would be devolved to the Scottish Parliament as a result of the Scotland Act 2012.[72][73] The Electoral Commission prepared an information leaflet which confirmed that the UK and Scottish governments had reached agreement on these points.[73]
Agriculture[edit]In 2013, as part of a European Union (EU) member state, Scottish farmers received £583 million in subsidy payments from the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).[74] Annual CAP payments are made to the UK, which then determines how much to allocate to each of the devolved administrations, including Scotland.[75] In the last CAP agreement, farmers in the UK qualified for additional convergence payments because Scottish farmers receive a lower average single farm payment per hectare, mainly due to the mountainous terrain in Scotland.[75][76] Supporters of independence therefore believe that an independent Scotland would receive greater agricultural subsidies than at present.[75] Opponents of independence believe that Scottish farmers benefit because the UK is one of the larger EU member states and therefore has a greater say in CAP negotiations.[75] They also question whether an independent Scotland would immediately receive full subsidy payments from the EU, as other states which have recently joined have had their subsidies phased in.[75]
Border controls and immigration[edit]The UK has some opt-outs from EU policies. One is the opt-out from the Schengen Area, meaning there are full passport checks for travellers from other EU countries except Ireland, which is part of the Common Travel Area (CTA) with the UK. The Scottish government proposes that an independent Scotland should remain outside the Schengen Area and join the CTA,[77][78] ensuring that no passport controls would be needed at the Anglo-Scottish border. Nicola Sturgeon commented that an independent Scotland would negotiate with the EU to have the same visa arrangements as the UK has.[79] In May 2014, Labour MEP David Martin told the Sunday Herald that he believed the EU was "not going to force Scotland to join Schengen".[80]
Alistair Carmichael, the Secretary of State for Scotland, said in January 2014 that it would make sense for Scotland to be in the CTA, but it would have to operate similar immigration policies to the rest of the UK.[78] This position was supported by Home Secretary Theresa May, who said in March 2014 that passport checks should be introduced if Scotland adopted a looser immigration policy.[78]Richard Bacon, Conservative MP for South Norfolk, said there would be "no reason" for border controls to be implemented.[81]
Childcare[edit]In the white paper Scotland's Future, the Scottish government pledged to expand childcare provision in an independent Scotland.[82][83] The paper states that this policy would cost £700 million, but that this would be financed by increased tax revenue from an additional 100,000 women returning to work.[82]
Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said that the policy should be implemented immediately if the Scottish government believed it would have a beneficial effect,[82] but Salmond responded that under devolution the costs of the policy would have to be financed by cuts elsewhere in public expenditure.[82] In March 2014, the National Day Nurseries Association said that the plan could not be implemented unless greater funding was provided by local authorities to private nurseries.[84] A report by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre questioned the economic benefit of the policy, pointing out that there were only 64,000 mothers of children aged between 1 and 5 who were economically inactive.[85] A spokesman for Salmond said that the estimated total 104,000 women would enter the workforce over a longer period, as future generations of mothers would also be able to work, stating: "The key point about the policy is that it doesn't happen on one day or one year and then cease."[85]
Citizenship[edit]The Scottish government proposes that all Scottish-born British citizens would automatically become Scottish citizens on the date of independence, regardless of whether or not they were then living in Scotland. British citizens "habitually resident" in Scotland would also be considered Scottish citizens, even if they already held the citizenship of another country. Every person who would automatically be considered a Scottish citizen would be able to opt out of Scottish citizenship provided they already held the citizenship of another country.[86] The Scottish government also proposes that anyone with a Scottish parent or grandparent will be able to apply for registration as a Scottish citizen, and any foreign national living in Scotland legally, or who has lived in Scotland for at least 10 years at any time and has an ongoing connection to Scotland, shall be able to apply for naturalisation as a Scottish citizen.[86] The UK Home Secretary, Theresa May, said future policies of an independent Scottish government would affect whether Scottish citizens would be allowed to retain British citizenship.[87] An analysis paper published by the UK government in January 2014 stated that it is likely that Scots would be able to hold dual citizenship,[88] however the duality was considered with respect to all other countries, not specifically to the rest of the UK. The possibility to holding dual UK-Scotland citizenships can be subject to the ''proof of affinity.'' [89]
Defence[edit]Budget[edit]The SNP have said that there was a defence underspend of "at least £7.4 billion" between 2002 and 2012 in Scotland and that independence would allow the Scottish government to correct this imbalance.[90] In its white paper, the Scottish government plans that an independent Scotland would have a total of 15,000 regular and 5,000 reserve personnel across land, air and maritime forces by 2026.[91] In July 2013, the SNP proposed that there would be a £2.5 billion annual military budget in an independent Scotland.[92] The House of Commons Defence Select Committee said that the £2.5bn budget was too low.[93]Andrew Murrison, UK Minister for International Security Strategy agreed and said it was "risible" for the SNP to suggest it could create an independent force by "salami-slicing" from current British armed forces units.[94]
The House of Commons defence committee also stated that Scottish independence would have a negative effect on its industry,[95] while the UK government said it would not be willing to build warships in a foreign country.[96] Geoff Searle, the director of BAE Systems' Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme, said in June 2014 that the company had no alternative plan for shipbuilding,[97] but this position was later revised by the Chairman of BAE, who stated that they could resume shipbuilding in the English city of Portsmouth if an independent Scotland was established.[98]
The Royal United Services Institute said in 2012 that an independent Scotland could set up a Scottish Defence Force, comparable in size and strength to those of other small European states like Denmark, Norway and Ireland, at an annual cost of £1.8 billion.[99] The authors acknowledged that an independent Scotland would "need to come to some arrangement with the rest of the UK" on intelligence-gathering, cyber-warfare and cyber-defence, that the future cost of purchasing and maintaining equipment of its forces might be higher due to smaller orders, and that recruitment and training "may prove problematic" in the early years.[99]
Dorcha Lee, a former colonel in the Irish Army, said that Scotland could eschew forming an army based on inherited resources from the British Army and instead follow an Irish model of a limited self-defence force.[100]
Nuclear weapons[edit]The Trident nuclear missile system is based at Coulport weapons depot and naval base of Faslane in the Firth of Clyde area. While the SNP objects to having nuclear weapons on Scottish territory, British military leaders have said that there is no alternative site for the missiles;[101][102] in April 2014, several British military leaders co-signed a letter stating that forcing Trident to leave Scottish waters would place the UK nuclear deterrent in jeopardy.[103]Nowhere to Go, a report by Scottish CND, concludes that the removal of Trident from Scotland would force unilateral nuclear disarmament by the United Kingdom, as the weapons have no viable alternative base.[104] A report by the Royal United Services Institute said that relocating Trident would be "very difficult, but not impossible" and estimated that it would take about 10 years and create an additional cost of around £3 billion.[105]
A seminar hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace stated that the Royal Navy would have to consider a range of alternatives, including disarmament.[106] British MP Ian Davidson cited a UK report published by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament that suggested that the warheads could be deactivated within days and safely removed in 24 months.[107] A report in 2013 from the Scotland Institute think tank suggested a future Scottish government could be convinced to lease the Faslane nuclear base to the rest of the UK to maintain good diplomatic relations and expedite NATO entry negotiations.[108]
It has been argued that while Scotland is currently guarded by a fleet of British warships and submarines, the departure of Trident can leave Scotland open to a naval invasion, for example by a country with a history of ''military adventurism'' such as Russia [109] , which at present sails its submarines into Scottish waters on a regular basis. A hypothetical invasion has been mentioned in a leaked recording by two Russian ambassadors. [110] The Russian media has shown significant interest in the Referendum [111], while a government TV station aired an interview with a Scottish man of Russian origin who allegedly became a member in a pro-independence military resistance named similar to those in Eastern Ukraine. [112]
NATO membership[edit]In 2012 the SNP dropped a long-standing policy of opposition in principle to NATO membership.[113] MSPs John Finnie and Jean Urquhart resigned from the SNP over the policy change.[114] The Scottish Green Party and Scottish Socialist Party remain opposed to continued membership of NATO.[115]
The SNP position that Trident nuclear weapons should be removed from Scotland but that it should hold NATO membership has been criticised by Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats,[116] and Patrick Harvie, co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party.[117] Alex Salmond said it would be "perfectly feasible" to join NATO while maintaining an anti-nuclear stance and that Scotland would pursue NATO membership only "subject to an agreement that Scotland will not host nuclear weapons and NATO continues to respect the right of members to only take part in UN sanctioned operations".[118] In 2013, Professor Malcolm Chalmers of the Royal United Services Institute stated that "pragmatists" in the SNP accepted that NATO membership would be likely to involve a long-term basing deal enabling the UK to keep Trident on the Clyde.[119]
The former Secretary General of NATO and Scottish Labour peer Lord Robertson said in 2013 that "either the SNP accept the central nuclear role of NATO ... or they reject the nuclear role of NATO and ensure that a separate Scottish state stays out of the world's most successful defence alliance."[120] General Richard Shirreff criticised SNP proposals for defence and questioned whether other NATO members would accept an independent Scotland that rejected the principle of nuclear deterrence.[121] This was disputed by Mariot Leslie, a former UK permanent representative to NATO, who stated that NATO would not want to disrupt its arrangements by excluding Scotland.[122]
Intelligence[edit]A UK government paper on security stated that Police Scotland would lose access to the intelligence apparatus of the UK, including MI5, SIS and GCHQ.[123] The paper also says that an independent Scottish state would need to build its own security infrastructure.[123] Theresa May has commented that an independent Scotland would have access to less security capability, but would not necessarily face a reduced threat.[123] In 2013, Allan Burnett, former head of intelligence with Strathclyde Police and Scotland's counter-terrorism co-ordinator until 2010, said that "an independent Scotland would face less of a threat, intelligence institutions will be readily created, and allies will remain allies". Peter Jackson, Canadian-born professor of security at the University of Glasgow, agreed that Special Branch could form a "suitable nucleus" of a Scottish equivalent of MI5, and that Scotland could forego creating an equivalent of MI6, instead "relying on pooled intelligence or diplomatic open sources" like Canada or the Nordic countries.[124]Baroness Ramsay, a Labour peer and former Case Officer with MI6, said that the Scottish government's standpoint on intelligence was "extremely na¯ve" and that it was "not going to be as simple as they think".[124] Nicola Sturgeon has stated that Scotland would create its own security service like MI5 to work alongside police and tackle terrorism, cyber attacks and serious organised crime.[125] She also stated creating an external intelligence agency would remain an option.[125]
Democracy[edit]The Scottish government and pro-independence campaigners have said that a democratic deficit exists in Scotland[126][127][128] because the UK is a unitary state that does not have a codified constitution.[129] The SNP has also described the unelected House of Lords as an "affront to democracy".[130] The "democratic deficit" label has sometimes been used to refer to the period between the 1979 and 1997 UK general elections, during which the Labour Party held a majority of Scottish seats but the Conservative Party governed the whole of the UK.[131] Alex Salmond said in September 2013 that instances such as this amount to a lack of democracy, and that "the people who live and work in Scotland are the people most likely to make the right choices for Scotland".[132][133] In January 2012, Patrick Harvie said: "Greens have a vision of a more radical democracy in Scotland, with far greater levels of discussion and decision making at community level."[134]
Menzies Campbell wrote in April 2014 that any democratic deficit has been addressed by creating the devolved Scottish Parliament, and that "Scotland and the Scottish have enjoyed influence beyond our size or reasonable expectation" within the British government and the wider political system.[135] Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski said in 2009 that the asymmetric devolution in place in the UK has created a democratic deficit for England.[136] This is more commonly known as the West Lothian question, which cites the anomaly where English MPs cannot vote on affairs devolved to Scotland, but Scottish MPs can vote on the equivalent subjects in England. Kawczynski also pointed out that the average size of a parliamentary constituency is larger in England than in Scotland.[136]
Further devolution[edit]During the campaign each of the three main UK parties conducted reviews into devolution, with each recommending that more powers should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.[137][138] On the morning prior to a televised debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling,[139] a joint statement was published by Better Together. Co-signed by the 3 main UK party leaders it stated a commitment to grant Scotland increased power over domestic taxes and parts of the social security system.[140]Boris Johnson, the Conservative mayor of London, stated his opposition to giving the Scottish Parliament greater fiscal powers.[141] During the second televised debate, Alex Salmond challenged Alistair Darling to specify which additional powers that could help create greater employment in Scotland would be granted if there was a "no" vote.[142] During a visit to Scotland later that week, David Cameron promised more powers "soon".[142]
Economy[edit]A principal issue in the referendum is the economy.[143] The UK Treasury issued a report on 20 May 2013 which said that Scotland's banking systems would be too big to ensure depositor compensation in the event of a bank failure.[144] The report indicated that Scottish banks would have assets worth 1,254% of GDP, which is more than Cyprus and Iceland before the last global financial crisis.[144] It suggested Scottish taxpayers would each have £65,000 of potential liabilities during a hypothetical bailout in Scotland, versus £30,000 as part of the UK.[144] Economists including Andrew Hughes Hallett, Professor of Economics at St Andrews University, have rejected the idea that Scotland would have to underwrite these liabilities alone. He observed that banks operating in more than one country can be given a joint bailout by multiple governments.[145] In this manner, Fortis Bank and the Dexia Bank were bailed out collectively by France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.[145] The Federal Reserve System lent more than US$1 trillion to British banks, including $446 billion to the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), because they had operations in the United States.[145][146]Robert Peston reported in March 2014 that RBS and Lloyds Banking Group may be forced to relocate their head offices from Edinburgh to London in case of Scottish independence, due to a European law brought in after the 1991 collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International.[147]
Weir Group, one of the largest private companies based in Scotland, commissioned a study by Oxford Economics into the potential economic effects of Scottish independence.[148] It found that Weir would pay more corporation tax, despite the Scottish government's proposal to cut the rate of corporation tax, due to it no longer being able to offset losses in Scotland against profits in the rest of the UK.[148] It also stated that independence would result in additional costs and complexity in the operation of business pension schemes.[148] The report found that 70% of all Scottish exports are sold to the rest of the UK, which it said would particularly affect the financial services sector.[148]Standard Life, one of the largest businesses in the Scottish financial sector, said in February 2014 that it had started registering companies in England in case it had to relocate some of its operations there.[149]
In February 2014, the Financial Times noted that Scotland's per capita GDP is bigger than that of France when a geographic share of oil and gas is taken into account, and still bigger than that of Italy when it is not.[150] As of April 2014, Scotland had a similar rate of unemployment as the UK average (6.6%)[151] and a lower fiscal deficit (including as a percentage of GDP)[152] than the rest of the UK. Scotland performed better than the UK average in securing new Foreign Direct Investment in 2012''13 (measured by the number of projects), although not as well as Wales or Northern Ireland.[153] GDP growth during 2013 was lower in Scotland than in the rest of the UK, although this was partly due to an industrial dispute at the Grangemouth Refinery.[154]
Leading digital marketer Simon Dalley outlined the potential benefits and pitfalls for Scotland's online business community, detailing how a change of nationality would likely have a detrimental impact on those Scottish online businesses who currently trade throughout the UK using Google.co.uk as their primary route to market whilst demonstrating the potential benefits for Scottish businesses that primarily trade within Scotland.[155]
Supporters of independence have said that Scotland does not meet its full economic potential because it is subject to the same economic policy as the rest of the UK.[156][157] In 2013, the Jimmy Reid Foundation published a report stating that UK economic policy had become "overwhelmingly geared to helping London, meaning Scotland and other UK regions suffer from being denied the specific, local policies they need".[158] Later in January 2014, Colin Fox said that Scotland is "penalised by an economic model biased towards the South East of England".[156] In November 2013, Chic Brodie said that Scotland was "deprived" of economic benefit in the 1980s after the Ministry of Defence blocked oil exploration off the West of Scotland, ostensibly to avoid interference with the UK's nuclear weapons arsenal.[159]
Currency[edit]Another major economic issue is the currency that would be used by an independent Scotland.[160] The principal options are to establish an independent Scottish currency, join the euro, or retain the pound sterling[160] (a form of currency substitution).[161]
Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the SNP's policy was that an independent Scotland should adopt the euro,[162] though this was relegated to a long-term rather than short-term goal by the party's 2009 conference.[163][164] There is disagreement over whether Scotland would be required to join the euro if it wished to become an EU member state in its own right. All new members are required to commit to joining the single currency as a prerequisite of EU membership, but they must first be party to ERM II for two years, something that requires an own currency. The Scottish government argues that countries have a de facto opt-out from the euro because they are not obliged to join ERM II.[165] For example, Sweden has never adopted the euro. The people of Sweden rejected adopting the euro in a 2003 referendum and its government has stayed out by refusing to enter ERM II.[166][167]
The SNP favours continued use of sterling in an independent Scotland through a formal currency union with the UK, with the Bank of England setting its interest rates and monetary policy and acting as its central bank.[168] The white paper Scotland's Future identified five key reasons that a currency union "would be in both Scotland and the UK's interests immediately post-independence": Scotland's main trading partner is the UK (2/3 of exports in 2011); "companies operating in Scotland and the UK [...have] complex cross-border supply chains"; there is high labour mobility; "on key measurements of an optimal currency area, the Scottish and UK economies score well"; and short-term economic trends in the UK and Scotland have "a relatively high degree of synchronicity".[91]
In June 2012, Alistair Darling said voters in the rest of the UK could choose not to be in a currency union with Scotland.[169][170] Former Prime Minister Sir John Major rejected the idea of a currency union, saying it would require the UK to underwrite Scottish debt.[171] Another former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, said the SNP proposal would create a "colonial relationship" between Scotland and Westminster.[172] The Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, said in November 2013 that he would seek a veto on a currency union between Scotland and the rest of the UK.[173]
Yes Scotland said that a currency union would benefit both Scotland and the rest of the UK, as Scotland's exports would boost the balance of payments and consequently strengthen the exchange rate of sterling.[174] Meanwhile, UK economists and financial experts stated that the effect on the balance of payments and the exchange rate would be "largely neutral".[175][176]
The Scottish government stated that not having a currency union could cost businesses in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland £500 million in transaction charges when trading with an independent Scotland;[177][178] Plaid Cymru treasury spokesperson Jonathan Edwards commented that such costs were a "threat to Welsh business".[178]Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said that any additional transaction costs would fall largely on Scottish companies, costing businesses in Scotland 11 times more than those in England.[179] The Institute of Directors stated that any new transaction costs would "pale in comparison to the financial danger of entering an unstable currency union."[179]
If Scotland joined a currency union with the UK, some fiscal policy constraints could be imposed on the Scottish state.[160] Banking experts have said that being the "junior partner" in a currency arrangement could amount to "a loss of fiscal autonomy for Scotland".[180] Dr Angus Armstrong of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research wrote that the implicit constraints on its economic policy would be more restrictive than the explicit ones it faces as a member of the UK.[181] Salmond said in February 2014 that an independent Scotland in a currency union would retain tax and spending powers.[182] Gavin McCrone, former chief economic adviser to the Scottish Office, stated that Scotland's retention of the pound would be pragmatic initially, but problematic thereafter if a Scottish government wished to implement independent policies, and he warned that keeping the pound could lead to the relocation of Scottish banks to London.[183]
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, as well as equivalent post-holders in the two other main UK political parties, rejected the idea of a formal currency union with an independent Scotland in February 2014.[184] Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said the SNP's proposals for a currency union were "economically incoherent",[185] and that any currency option for an independent Scotland would be "less advantageous than what we have across the UK today".[186][187]
After the three main UK political parties ruled out a formal currency union as a possibility, the Adam Smith Institute said that the economies of Panama, Ecuador and El Salvador "demonstrate that the informal use of another country's currency can foster a healthy financial system and economy".[161] In September 2014, former European Commissioner Olli Rehn stated that an independent Scotland would be unable to meet EU membership requirements if it shared sterling informally, as it would not have an independent central bank.[188] Rehn's comment was disputed by Salmond, who restated his belief that a sterling currency union would be formed and pledged to create the necessary financial institutions.[188]
The Scottish Socialist Party favours an independent Scottish currency pegged to sterling in the short term.[189] The Scottish Green Party said that keeping sterling as "a short term transitional arrangement" should not be ruled out, but the Scottish government should "keep an open mind about moving towards an independent currency".[190] The Jimmy Reid Foundation, in early 2013, described retention of the pound as a good transitional arrangement, but recommended the eventual establishment of an independent Scottish currency to "insulate" Scotland from the UK's "economic instability".[191] Other proponents of an independent Scottish currency include Yes Scotland chairman Dennis Canavan and former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars.[192]
On 9 September 2014, during the week prior to the referendum, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said that a currency union between an independent Scotland and the remainder of the UK would be "incompatible with sovereignty". Carney was involved in a "Q&A" session at the Trades Union Congress and further explained that cross-border ties on tax, spending and banking rules are a prerequisite: "You only have to look across the continent to look at what happens if you don't have those components in place ... You need tax, revenues and spending flowing across those borders to help equalise, to an extent, some of the inevitable differences [across the union]."[193] A spokesperson for the SNP's finance minister responded, saying "Successful independent countries such as France, Germany, Finland and Austria all share a currency '' and they are in charge of 100% of their tax revenues, as an independent Scotland would be. At present under devolution, Scotland controls only 7% of our revenues."[193] Carney's comments received vocal support from Darling and the GMB trade union, the latter of which supports the retention of the current UK formation.[193]
Government revenues and expenditure[edit]The Barnett formula has resulted in higher per-capita public spending in Scotland than England.[194] If North Sea oil revenue is calculated on a geographic basis, Scotland also produces more per capita tax revenue than the UK average.[195][196] The Institute for Fiscal Studies reported in November 2012 that a geographic share of North Sea oil would more than cover the higher public spending, but warned that oil prices are volatile and that oil is a finite resource.[196] The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland report for 2012/13 found that North Sea oil revenue had fallen by 41.5% and that Scotland's public spending deficit had increased from £4.6 billion to £8.6 billion.[197][198]
In May 2014, the UK government published an analysis identifying a "Union dividend" of £1,400 per year for each person in Scotland, mainly due to the higher level of public spending under the Barnett formula.[199] The Scottish government disputed this analysis, saying that each Scot would be £1,000 better off per year under independence by 2030.[199] Three economic experts said that both estimates were possible, but they both depended on unknown variables such as the division of UK government debt, future North Sea oil revenues, possible spending commitments of an independent Scotland and future productivity gains.[200]
In its analysis, the UK government also estimated setup costs of £1.5 billion (1% of GDP) for establishing an independent state, or possibly £2.7 billion (180 public bodies costing £15 million each).[201][202] Patrick Dunleavy of the London School of Economics criticised the UK government's "ludicrous" use of his research in arriving at the latter figure.[202] The Treasury said that their main figure (£1.5 billion) was based on estimates by professor Robert Young of Western University.[203][204] Two of the main unionist parties in Scotland have called on the SNP to publish their own estimate of the setup costs of an independent state,[202] but the Scottish government says an estimate is not possible as the final bill would depend on negotiations with the rest of the UK.[205] Professor Dunleavy estimated immediate setup costs of £200 million in a report commissioned by the Sunday Post newspaper,[206] with "total transition costs" of between £600 million and £1,500 million in the first 10 years of independence.[207]
The credit rating that an independent Scotland would merit has also become a subject of debate.[208][209] The credit-rating agency Fitch stated in 2012 that it could not give an opinion on what rating Scotland would have, because Scottish finances would largely depend on the result of negotiations between the UK and Scotland on the division of assets and liabilities.[209]Standard & Poor's, another credit-rating agency, asserted in February 2014 that Scotland would face "significant, but not unsurpassable" challenges, and that "even excluding North Sea output and calculating per capita GDP only by looking at onshore income, Scotland would qualify for our highest economic assessment".[210] Research published by Moody's in May 2014 said that an independent Scotland would be given an A rating, comparable with Poland, the Czech Republic and Mexico.[211] An A rating would be two grades below its current rating for the UK, which Moody's said would be unaffected by Scottish independence.[211]
Energy[edit]Energy market[edit]Most issues regarding energy are controlled by the UK government,[212] although control over planning laws allows the Scottish government to prevent the construction of new nuclear power stations in Scotland.[212] Supporters of independence want to retain a single energy market for the whole of Great Britain after independence, in order to maintain price stability and support for suppliers.[212] Opponents have said that independence would threaten the single energy market.[212] Euan Phimister, professor of economics at Aberdeen University, has said that although independence would affect the relationship, it is likely that there would be continued English demand for electricity generated in Scotland because OFGEM projections suggest that there is little spare capacity.[213][214] The second largest supplier of energy in the UK, SSE plc, believes that a single market would be the most likely outcome under independence, although it would require negotiations and may involve changes to the existing system.[215]
Labour MP Caroline Flint has said that independence would mean higher energy bills in Scotland, as its customers would have to pay more to support renewable energy in Scotland, which represents one third of the UK total.[213] Euan Phimister has said that bills are likely to increase across the whole of Great Britain because renewable schemes and new nuclear power stations in England are both receiving higher subsidies than the power plants which will shortly close due to environmental regulations.[213] He also said that there is a distinction between existing and proposed renewable schemes in that the existing schemes have already been paid for, whereas any new construction requires the promise of subsidy from the consumer.[213] Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey stated Scottish generators would no longer be eligible for UK subsidies, which would increase energy bills for consumers.[216]
North Sea oil[edit]Approximately 90% of the United Kingdom's North Sea oil fields are located in Scottish territorial waters. The tax revenue generated from an offshore site is not counted within the nation or region nearest to it, but is instead allocated to the UK Continental Shelf. The revenue from North Sea oil has been used to support current expenditure, rather than creating a sovereign oil fund.[217][218] The SNP believes that a portion of the revenues should be invested in a sovereign oil fund. The Scottish government, citing industry regulator Oil and Gas UK, estimated in Scotland's Future that there were 24 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) remaining to be extracted.[219]Sir Ian Wood, founder of oil services company Wood Group, said in August 2014 that he believed there were between 15 and 16.5 billion boe and that the impact from declining production would be felt by 2030.[219] In September 2014, an investigation by industry recruitment website Oil and Gas People stated that there were extensive oil reserves to the west of the Western Isles and Shetland.[220] The report anticipated that the region would be developed within the next 10 years because of improvements in drilling technology, rig design and surveying.[220]
European Union[edit]The SNP advocates that an independent Scotland should have a similar relationship with the European Union (EU) as the UK has with the EU today. This means full membership with some exemptions, such as not having to adopt the euro. There is debate over whether Scotland would be required to re-apply for membership, and if it could retain the UK's opt-outs.[221][222] The European Commission (EC) offered to provide an opinion to an existing member state on the matter, but the British government confirmed it would not seek this advice, as it did not want to negotiate the terms of independence ahead of the referendum.[223]
There is no precedent for an EU member state dividing into two sovereign countries after joining the EU.[224] Supporters of independence have stated that an independent Scotland would become an EU member by treaty amendment under Article 48 of the EU treaties.[225] Opponents say that this would not be possible and that an independent Scotland would need to apply for EU membership under Article 49, which would require ratification by each member state.[225]
Christina McKelvie, Convener of the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament, in March 2014 asked Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, whether Article 48 would apply.[226] Reding replied that EU treaties would no longer apply to a territory when it secedes from a member state.[227] She also indicated that Article 49 would be the route to apply to become a member of the EU.[227]Jos(C) Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, stated earlier that an independent Scotland would have to apply for membership, while the rest of the UK would continue to be a member.[228] In 2014, he reiterated that Scotland joining the EU would be "extremely difficult, if not impossible".[229]
The former prime minister Sir John Major suggested in November 2013 that Scotland would need to re-apply for EU membership, but that this would mean overcoming opposition to separatists among many existing member states, particularly Spain.[230] It may block Scottish membership of the EU, amid fears of repercussions with separatist movements in Catalonia and the Basque country:[231] in November 2013 the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, said: "I know for sure that a region that would separate from a member state of the European Union would remain outside the European Union and that should be known by the Scots and the rest of the European citizens."[232] He also stated that an independent Scotland would become a "third country" outside the EU and would require the consent of all 28 EU states to rejoin the EU, but that he would not seek to block an independent Scotland's entry.[232] Salmond cited a letter from Mario Tenreiro of the EC's secretariat general that said it would be legally possible to renegotiate the situation of the UK and Scotland within the EU by unanimious agreement of all member states.[233] Spain's position was reiterated two days before the referendum by the Spanish European affairs minister, who said "It is crystal clear that any partner member-state that leaves the member state is out of the European Union. If they want to apply again, they would have to follow the procedure of article 49 of the treaties."[234]
Professor Sir David Edward, a former European Court judge, has stated that the EU institutions and member states would be "obliged" to start negotiations before independence took effect to decide the future relationship.[235] He said this would be achieved by agreed amendment of the existing Treaties (Article 48), rather than a new Accession Treaty (Article 49).[222][235] Graham Avery, the EC's honorary director general, agreed with Edward.[236] Avery wrote a report, published by the European Policy Centre, which said that EU leaders would probably allow Scotland to be part of the EU because of the legal and practical difficulties that would arise from excluding it.[237] In a research paper, Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott of Oxford University stated that the EU law normally takes a "pragmatic and purposive approach" to issues that are not already provided for by existing treaties.[238] Research published by the Economic and Social Research Council in August 2014 concluded that it is unlikely that an independent Scotland would be cut off from the rights and obligations of EU membership for any period of time, even if Scotland was not formally a member state of the EU from its date of independence.[239]
In January 2013, the Republic of Ireland's Minister of European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, stated that "if Scotland were to become independent, Scotland would have to apply for membership and that can be a lengthy process";[240] she later clarified, writing that she "certainly did not at any stage suggest that Scotland could, should or would be thrown out of the EU".[241] In May 2013, Roland Vaubel, an Alternative f¼r Deutschland adviser,[242] published a paper stating that Scotland would remain a member of the EU upon independence, and suggested there would need to be negotiations between the British and Scottish governments on sharing "the rights and obligations of the predecessor state". Vaubel also said that Barroso's comments on the legal position had "no basis in the European treaties".[243]
Future status of the United Kingdom in the European Union[edit]In January 2013, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, committed the Conservative Party to a referendum in 2017 on UK membership of the EU if they win the 2015 general election.[244] Legislation for an in/out EU referendum was approved by the House of Commons in November 2013.[245] Studies have shown some divergence in attitudes to the EU in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Although a Scottish government review based on survey data between 1999 and 2005 found that people in Scotland reported "broadly similar Eurosceptic views as people in Britain as a whole",[246] Ipsos MORI noted in February 2013 that voters in Scotland said they would choose to remain in the EU in a referendum, while there was a majority for withdrawal in England.[247]
Yes Scotland said that the UK government plans for an EU referendum have caused "economic uncertainty" for Scotland.[248] During a CBI Scotland event attended by Cameron, businessman Mike Rake criticised him for creating uncertainty about EU membership.[249] In response to such criticism, Cameron pointed to examples of inward investment in the UK that he said was not happening in the rest of Europe.[249] Some commentators have suggested that the UK leaving the EU would undermine the case for Scottish independence, since free trade, freedom of movement and the absence of border controls with the UK could no longer be assumed.[250][251][252]
Health care[edit]Responsibility for health care has been devolved to the Scottish Parliament since it was established in 1999.[253] The Scottish government has enacted health policies which are different from those in England, such as abolishing charges for prescriptions and elderly personal care.[253]NHS Scotland has been operationally independent of the NHS in the rest of the United Kingdom since the formation of the NHS in 1948.[254][255] Supporters of independence argue that independence is needed because possible reductions in the NHS budget in England would result in reduced funding for Scotland, which would make it difficult to maintain the existing service.[255]Harry Burns a former chief medical officer for Scotland, said in July 2014 that he thought independence could be beneficial for public health because it may give people greater control of their lives.[256]
In May 2014, about 100 medical workers, including surgeons, consultant doctors, GPs, pharmacists, dentists, hospital porters and janitors joined a pro-independence campaign group called NHS for Yes. Its co-founder described health care in Scotland as "a shining example of self-government for Scotland demonstrably being far better than Westminster government" and said independence would "protect [NHS Scotland] from future Westminster funding cuts, and the damaging impact of privatisation south of the border".[257]
Two days before the referendum, papers indicating "a funding gap of £400''£450m in the next two financial years, 2015''17", for Scotland's NHS, resulting from Scottish government policies, were leaked to the media.[258] A Scottish government spokesperson commented that the papers were from "part of the regular discussions among NHS leaders to plan for NHS Scotland's future".[258]
Specialist treatment[edit]Opponents of independence say that being part of the UK is crucial in allowing Scots to obtain specialist treatment elsewhere in the UK.[255] At present, NHS Scotland has reciprocal arrangements in place with the NHS services in the rest of the UK and specialist services are shared.[254] Vote No Borders, a unionist campaign group, ran a cinema advert claiming that Scots would find it more difficult to obtain treatment at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), a London facility which specialises in care for children.[259][260] Vote No Borders withdrew the advert after GOSH complained that it had not been consulted about the advert and stated that they have reciprocal health care agreements with numerous countries.[259][260]
International relations[edit]The white paper on independence proposes that an independent Scotland would open around 100 embassies around the world.[125] David Cameron has suggested an independent Scotland would be "marginalised" at the United Nations, where the UK is a permanent member of the Security Council.[261] John Major has suggested that, after Scottish independence, the remaining UK could lose its permanent seat at the UN Security Council.[262]
Monarchy[edit]A republic is favoured by some pro-independence political parties and organisations, including the Scottish Green Party[263] and the Scottish Socialist Party.[264] The SNP is in favour of retaining the monarchy by a personal union with the rest of the UK.[160] Alex Salmond has said the monarchy would be retained by an independent Scotland. Christine Grahame has said she believes that party policy is to hold a referendum on the status of the monarchy,[265] due to a 1997 SNP conference resolution.[266]
Some media reports suggested that the announcement on 8 September of the pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge with her second child would have an effect on the outcome of the referendum, scheduled to take place less than a fortnight later, providing a boost to pro-union sentiment.[267][268][269][270] Although the Queen's official position on Scottish independence is neutral,[271] private comments that she hoped that people would "think very carefully about the future" were quickly published widely in the media.[272]
Pensions[edit]UK State Pensions are managed by the UK government, paying £113.10 per week to a single person who is of state pension age in 2013/14.[273] The state pension age for men is 65, but this is due to rise to 66 in 2020 and 67 by 2028.[273] Research by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research found that an independent Scotland could delay these increases, due to a lower life expectancy.[274] The Scotland's Future white paper pledged to maintain a state pension at a similar rate to the UK.[275]
Former prime minister Gordon Brown said in April 2014 that Scotland had an above-average share of the public-sector pension bill and concluded that pensions would be protected by sharing risks and resources within the UK.[276] UK government pensions minister Steve Webb said in May 2014 that Scots would be entitled to the current levels of state pension after independence because they had accumulated rights within the existing system.[277] Webb went on to say that there would need to be negotiations between the UK and Scotland as to how these pensions would be paid.[277]
In relation to private pension schemes, a report by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland expressed concern that there were no plans to deal with EU regulations that may affect the funding of cross-border defined benefit schemes.[278] The EC decided in March 2014 not to relax these regulations, which require cross-border schemes to be fully funded.[279]
Sport[edit]Scotland hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, less than two months before the referendum.[280][281] The Scottish team won a record number of gold medals, which Alan Bisset said would help give voters more belief and confidence.[280]Sunday Herald columnist Ian Bell took an opposing view, saying that sporting success would be unlikely to aid support for independence due to the lengthy and passionate debate on the subject.[280]
Former Labour first minister Henry McLeish published a report in May 2014 that found no obvious barriers to an independent Scotland competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics.[282] McLeish said that some athletes, particularly those in team sports, may choose to compete for the existing Great Britain team rather than Scotland as they would be nationals of both states.[282]International Olympic Committee representative Craig Reedie pointed out that Scotland would need to obtain United Nations membership and may want to set its own Olympic qualifying standards, which would need to be done in the period between independence (March 2016) and the closing date for entries (July 2016).[282][283]
Gordon Brown pointed to the 2012 medal count for Great Britain, saying that it showed the success of a union that included the two nations.[284] Scottish athletes were involved in 13 of the 65 medals won by Great Britain in 2012, but only three of those were won by Scots without assistance from other athletes.[285]Sir Chris Hoy said in May 2013 that it could "take time" for Scottish athletes to "establish themselves in a new training environment", indicating that the good performance of Scottish athletes in the Great Britain team would not automatically translate into that of an independent Scotland team.[286] Hoy also said that he believed the lack of facilities and coaching infrastructure in Scotland would have to be addressed by an independent state.[286]
Status of Northern and Western Isles[edit]The prospect of an independent Scotland has raised questions about the future of the Northern Isles (Orkney and Shetland) and the Western Isles, island groups off the Scottish mainland. Some islanders have called for separate referendums to be held in the islands on 25 September 2014, one week after the Scottish referendum.[287][288][289] In March 2014, the Scottish Parliament published the online petition it had received calling for such referendums, which was supported by Shetland MSP Tavish Scott.[290] The referendums would ask islanders to choose from three options: that the island group should become an independent country; it should remain in Scotland; or (in the event of Scottish independence) it should remain in the UK.[291]
The third option would implement the conditional promise made in 2012, when an SNP spokesperson said that, in the event of Scottish independence, Orkney and Shetland could remain in the United Kingdom if their "drive for self-determination" was strong enough.[292] Politicians in the three island groups have referred to the Scottish referendum as the most important event in their political history "since the inception of the island councils in 1975". Angus Campbell, leader of the Western Isles, said that the ongoing constitutional debate "offers the opportunity for the three island councils to secure increased powers for our communities to take decisions which will benefit the economies and the lives of those who live in the islands".[293]
In a meeting of the island councils in March 2013, leaders of the three territories discussed their future in the event of Scottish independence, including whether the islands could demand and achieve autonomous status within either Scotland or the rest of the UK. Among the scenarios proposed were achieving either Crown Dependency status or self-government modelled after the Faroe Islands, in association with either Scotland or the UK.[294] Steven Heddle, Orkney's council leader, described pursuing Crown Dependency status as the least likely option, as it would threaten funding from the EU, which is essential for local farmers.[294] Alasdair Allan, MSP for the Western Isles, said independence could have a positive impact on the isles, as "crofters and farmers could expect a substantial uplift in agricultural and rural development funding via the Common Agricultural Policy if Scotland were an independent member state of the EU".[295]
In July 2013, the Scottish government made the Lerwick Declaration, indicating an interest in devolving power to Scotland's islands. By November, it had made a commitment to devolve further powers to Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles in the event of independence.[296] Steven Heddle called for legislation to that effect to be introduced regardless of the referendum result.[297]
A day before the referendum Alistair Carmichael, the MP for Orkney and Shetland, suggested that if Shetland were to vote strongly against independence but the Scottish national vote was narrowly in favour, then a discussion about Shetland becoming a self-governing crown dependency outside of independent Scotland, similar to the Isle of Man. He stated that he did not want such circumstances to arise, ''and the best way to avoid this was to vote no in the referendum.'' [298][299]
Universities[edit]Scientific research[edit]In 2012''13, Scottish universities received 13.1% of Research Councils UK funding.[300] Dr Alan Trench of University College London has said that Scottish universities receive a "hugely disproportionate" level of funding and would no longer be able to access it following independence. Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, has suggested that independence would mean Scottish universities losing £210m in research funding.[301] The Institute of Physics in Scotland warned that access to international facilities such as the CERNLarge Hadron Collider, the European Space Agency, and European Southern Observatory could require renegotiation by the Scottish government.[302] It also expressed concerns about research funding from UK charities and the reaction of international companies with Scottish facilities.[302]
The Scottish government's education secretary, Michael Russell, has said that Scotland's universities have a "global reputation" that would continue to attract investment after independence.[303] In September 2013, the principal of the University of Aberdeen said that Scottish universities could continue to access UK research funding through a "single research area" that crossed both nations' boundaries.[304] David Bell, professor of economics at the University of Stirling, said that cross-border collaboration might continue, but Scottish universities could still lose their financial advantage.[305] Roger Cook of the Scotland Institute pointed out that although Scottish universities do receive a higher share of Research Councils funding, they are much less dependent on this as a source of funding than their counterparts in England.[123] Professors from Scotland's five medical schools have written an open letter warning that independence would mean Scotland's researcher base being "denied its present ability to win proportionately more grant funding".[306]
Questions have been asked whether Scotland, as an economy of a smaller size than the UK, would still support the same level of research activity, and what additional efforts might be required to establish a system of research councils "north of the border".[307][308] Jo Shaw, Salvesen chair of European institutions at the University of Edinburgh, noted that in smaller states, relationships between universities and research funders become "cosy", and lead to a "corporatist" approach.[309]
Student funding[edit]Students domiciled in Scotland do not pay tuition fees.[310] Students domiciled in the rest of the UK are charged fees of up to £9,000 per annum by Scottish universities,[311] but those from other EU member states are not charged fees, in order to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.[312]
If Scotland became an independent state, students from the rest of the UK would be in the position in which students from the rest of the EU are.[311] A University of Edinburgh study found that this would cause a loss in funding and could potentially squeeze out Scottish students.[311] The study suggested three courses of action for an independent Scotland: introduce tuition fees for all students; negotiate an agreement with the EU where a quota of student places would be reserved for Scots; or introduce a separate admissions service for students from other EU member states, with an admission fee attached.[311] It concluded that the EU may allow a quota system for some specialist subjects, such as medicine, where there is a clear need for local students to be trained for particular careers, but that other subjects would not be eligible.[311] The study also found that their third suggestion would run against the spirit of the Bologna agreement, which aims to encourage EU student mobility.[311]
The Scottish government stated in its white paper, Scotland's Future, that the present tuition fees arrangement would remain in place in an independent Scotland, as the EU allows for different fee arrangements in "exceptional circumstances".[313]Jan Figel, a former EU commissioner for education, said in January 2014 that it would be illegal for an independent Scotland to apply a different treatment to students from the rest of the UK.[314] The Law Society of Scotland concurred.[315] A report by a House of Commons select committee stated that it would cost an independent Scottish government £150 million to provide free tuition to students from the rest of the UK.[313] A group of academics campaigning for independence expressed concern that the present arrangements would not continue if Scotland stayed within the UK, due to public spending cuts in England and the consequential effects of the Barnett formula.[316]
Welfare[edit]The Yes campaign has argued that control of welfare policy would be a major benefit of independence.[317] According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, independence would "give the opportunity for more radical reform, so that the [welfare] system better reflects the views of the Scottish people".[318] Yes Scotland and deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon have said the existing welfare system can only be guaranteed by voting for independence.[319][320] In September 2013, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), which represents charities, called for a separate welfare system to be established in Scotland.[321]
In November 2013, the Scottish government pledged to use the powers of independence to reverse key aspects of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, which was implemented across the UK despite opposition from a majority of Scotland's MPs. It said it would abolish Universal Credit[322] and the bedroom tax.[323] The SNP has also criticised Rachel Reeves, Labour's shadow secretary of state for work and pensions, for saying[324] a future UK Labour government would be even tougher on benefits than the Cameron ministry.[325][326]
In January 2012, sources close to the prime minister told The Scotsman that "a unified tax and benefit system is at the heart of a united country" and that these powers could not be devolved to Scotland after the referendum,[327] though Liberal Democrat Michael Moore said in August 2013 that devolution of parts of the welfare budget should be "up for debate".[328] Labour politician Jim Murphy, a former Secretary of State for Scotland, has argued that he is "fiercely committed" to devolving welfare powers to the Scottish Parliament, but also warned that independence would be disruptive and would not be beneficial.[329] Scottish Labour's Devolution Commission recommended in March 2014 that some aspects of the welfare state, including housing benefit and attendance allowance, should be devolved.[330]
Responses[edit]Markets and financial companies[edit]Sterling fell by almost one cent against the US dollar in a day early in September 2014, due to an opinion poll showing a swing towards the Yes campaign.[331]The Financial Times reported a few days later that "Asset managers, investors and pension savers are moving billions of pounds out of Scotland" because of fears that Scotland would leave the UK.[332] The newspaper also reported that "'exit clauses' are being inserted into commercial property contracts in Scotland to allow buyers to scrap deals or renegotiate prices if voters opt for independence".[332]
Financial groups The Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Clydesdale Bank, TSB and Tesco Bank announced that they planned to move their registered headquarters from Scotland to England in the event of Scotland voting to leave the UK; most indicated that they had no immediate intention to transfer any jobs.[333][334]
The chief executive of Thales, one of Britain's largest defence suppliers, said that if Scotland became independent that this might raise questions about continued investment from his firm.[335]
Deutsche Bank issued a report in the week prior to the referendum and the media reported on 13 September that David Folkerts-Landau, the bank's chief economist, had concluded: "While it may sound simple and costless for a nation to exit a 300 year-old union, nothing could be further from the truth". Folkerts-Landau claimed that the economic prospects after a "yes" vote were "incomprehensible," citing Winston Churchill's 1925 Gold Standard decision and the actions of America's Federal Reserve that triggered the Great Depression of the 1930s, as other mistakes of a similar magnitude. The Swiss UBS financial services company supported the position of the Deutsche Bank.[336]
Demonstrations[edit]A number of demonstrations in support of independence have been co-ordinated since the announcement of the referendum. The March and Rally for Scottish Independence in September 2012 drew a crowd of between 5,000 and 10,000 people to Princes Street Gardens.[337] The event was repeated in September 2013; police estimated that over 8,000 people took part in the march, while organisers and the Scottish Police Federation[338] claimed between 20,000 and 30,000 people took part in the combined march and rally.[339] The March and Rally was criticised in both 2012 and 2013 for the involvement of groups like the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement[340] and Vlaamse Volksbeweging.[341]
Five days before the referendum vote, the Orange Order'--a Protestant brotherhood'--held a major anti-independence march and rally in Edinburgh. It involved at least 15,000 Orangemen, loyalist bands and supporters from Scotland and across the UK,[342][343] and was described as the biggest pro-Union demonstration of the campaign.[344]
Online campaigns[edit]At the launch of the Yes Scotland campaign in May 2012, Alex Salmond said that the case for independence would be driven by community activism and "online wizardry".[345]
The not-for-profit and non-partisan What Scotland Thinks project has tracked poll and survey data, including online activity, during the referendum campaign. The project is run by ScotCen Social Research, which is part of NatCen, Britain's foremost independent social research agency.[346] Using data from the Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN) research centre, the project publishes the social media activity of the two main campaigns, Yes Scotland and Better Together, by monitoring their respective Facebook and Twitter accounts since August 2013.[347]What Scotland Thinks published a report in February 2014 stating that the Yes Scotland campaign was gaining more Facebook likes. Following the launch of the White Paper on 26 November, the average gap between the two Facebook pages grew from about 8,000 to about 23,000 by February 2014. Analysis of the campaigns' Twitter accounts showed the gap between the campaigns increased from approximately 8,000 in August 2013 to 13,804 in February 2014, in favour of Yes Scotland.[347] The project published a further report in June 2014 saying that greater online activity for Yes Scotland had continued.[348]
Greater online activity amongst Yes supporters was confirmed by polling conducted by TNS BMRB in June 2014, which showed that "Yes supporters were three times more likely to have discussed the independence question online." Professor Michael Keating said in April 2014 that the pro-independence movement was visibly stronger and fighting a "ground war", while UK government supporters are fighting an "'air war' of facts and figures".[349]
The launch of online celebrity videos from both viewpoints was reported by the media in mid-July 2014. The "Let's Stay Together '' 'Scotland, you're my best friend'" YouTube video was produced by pro-union campaigners who sought to "show Scotland we [the rest of the UK] do care", and featured John Barrowman, Ross Kemp and Eddie Izzard. The video was produced by the "Let's Stay Together" campaign that describes itself as "the campaign for everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who doesn't have a vote in the Scottish referendum, but wants to have voice in saying #letsstaytogether" on its YouTube channel.[350] The pro-independence video was produced by Yes Scotland and appeared on the campaign's YouTube channel. Titled "'' on September 18th #voteYes", the video features 32 "well known faces from across the independence movement", including David Hayman, Martin Compston and Stuart Braithwaite.
The pro-independence organisation National Collective was identified by the Independent newspaper as the initiators of an online hashtag campaign that began in mid-August 2014. Writing for the Independent, Antonia Molloy said that the previous "#IndyReasons" hashtag campaign served as the inspiration for the "#YesBecause" campaign that was observed on the Twitter, Facebook and Vine social media platforms. From 21 August, users were invited to explain their reasons for voting "Yes" and #YesBecause was trending on Twitter after an hour from the launch.[351] The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported on 22 August that a "#NoBecause" campaign emerged in opposition to the Collective.[352]
Debates[edit]Debates over the issue of independence have taken place on television, in communities, and within universities and societies since the announcement of the referendum.[353][354][355][356][357] The STV current affairs programme Scotland Tonight has televised a series of debates: Nicola Sturgeon v Michael Moore,[358] Sturgeon v Anas Sarwar,[359] Sturgeon v Alistair Carmichael[360] and Sturgeon v Johann Lamont.[361] On 21 January 2014, BBC Two Scotland broadcast the first in a series of round-table debates, which was filmed in Greenock and chaired by James Cook.[362][363]
The Yes campaign repeatedly called for there to be a televised debate between UK Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond. These calls for a one-on-one debate were dismissed by Cameron[364][365] on the basis that the referendum is "for Scots to decide" and the debate should be "between people in Scotland who want to stay, and people in Scotland who want to go".[366] Calls for such a debate were also supported by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown who said it would be a "good idea".[367] Better Together chairman Alistair Darling accused Salmond of "running scared" from debating him instead,[368] although Sturgeon stated in 2013 that a Salmond''Darling debate would take place at some point.[369] Darling refused a public debate with Yes Scotland chairman Blair Jenkins.[370]UKIP leader Nigel Farage also challenged Salmond to debate, but Farage was dismissed by an SNP spokeswoman as "an irrelevance in Scotland".[371]
After weeks of negotiation, a debate between Salmond and Darling was arranged.[139] The programme, titled as Salmond & Darling: The Debate, was broadcast by STV on 5 August 2014. A second debate between Salmond and Darling, titled Scotland Decides: Salmond versus Darling was shown on BBC One Scotland (and BBC Two in the rest of the UK) on 25 August.[372][373]
Accusations of BBC bias[edit]During the campaign, there have been allegations by some independence supporters that the BBC'--the UK's national broadcaster'--is biased against Scottish independence.[374]
In January 2014, a year-long academic study by researchers at the University of the West of Scotland found that both BBC and STV coverage had been favouring the No campaign.[375][376][377] In March, BBC Scotland chiefs appeared before a Scottish Parliament committee to face questions from MSPs about the broadcaster's coverage. BBC Scotland Head, Ken McQuarrie, rejected the study's conclusions.[378]
On 29 June, hundreds joined a demonstration outside the BBC Scotland headquarters in Glasgow in protest at the BBC's alleged bias.[379][380] On 14 September, four days before the vote, thousands took part in a protest march and rally at the BBC Scotland headquarters, accusing the BBC of broadcasting pro-Union "propaganda" and "lies".[374] They also called for the sacking of BBC political editor Nick Robinson.[374] A petition demanding an independent inquiry into allegations of BBC bias'--on the 38 Degrees website'--had attracted 70,000 signatures.[374] In an interview for the Sunday Herald, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said he believed the BBC had been unconsciously biased against independence.[374] English journalist Paul Mason commented: "Not since Iraq have I seen BBC News working at propaganda strength like this".[374] The BBC replied that "Our coverage of the referendum story is fair and impartial in line with the editorial guidelines".[381]
Opinion polling[edit]Professor John Curtice stated in January 2012 that polling showed support for independence at between 32%''38% of the Scottish population, a slight decline from 2007, when the SNP first formed the Scottish government.[382] By 2012, there had been no poll evidence of majority support for independence, although the share "vehemently opposed to independence" had declined.[382] According to Curtice, the polls were remarkably stable during most of 2013, with the "no" camp leading by an average of 50% to 33% for "yes" with a year to go.[383] Polling expert Nate Silver said in 2013 that the yes campaign had "virtually no chance" of winning the referendum.[384]
The polls tightened after the release of the Scottish government white paper on independence, with an average of 5 polls in December 2013 and January 2014 giving 39% yes and 61% no, once 'don't knows' had been excluded.[385] The polls tightened further after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, stated in February that the UK government was opposed to a currency union; the average yes support increased to 43%, once 'don't knows' had been excluded.[386] There was little movement in the following months, with the average continuing to show 43% yes and 57% no (excluding don't knows) in July 2014[387] and August 2014.[388] A poll conducted by YouGov in early September showed a closer race, with the average shares moving to 45% and 55%.[389] On 6 September a YouGov poll gave those in favour 47% versus 45% for those against; excluding those undecided, the figures were 51% and 49%, respectively.[390] Survation carried out a poll for the Daily Record where 1000 Scots were contacted by landline, published on 10 September, and the results suggested that 53% might vote No, when excluding the undecided.[391] The campaign to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom took an eight-point lead on September 13 with 54% vs. 46% per cent, according to the poll by Survation.[392]
There is disagreement between the pollsters as to the state of public opinion.[388][393] Curtice has observed that ICM, Panelbase and Survation show higher yes support and TNS BMRB, YouGov and Ipsos Mori show less support for independence.[388][393]Peter Kellner, the president of YouGov, noted in July 2014 that the average results for YouGov and TNS BMRB showed 41% support for independence (excluding don't knows), whereas ICM, Panelbase and Survation showed 45 or 46% support.[394] Kellner said he believed the latter pollsters were overstating support for independence due to some SNP supporters being "passing nationalists" who had supported other parties (particularly Labour) in other elections.[394] Patrick Bri´ne, director of research for Survation, said in response that adjusting for these SNP ex-Labour voters would require too much upweighting of these voters in their sample.[395]
The result will be announced by the Chief Counting Officer. The Scottish Independence Referendum Bill identifies the Convener of the Electoral Management Board for Scotland (EMB) as Chief Counting Officer for the referendum.[396] The Chief Counting Officer is Mary Pitcaithly, OBE.[397] She is supported by a Counting Officer in each of the 32 local authority areas of Scotland.[397] Each Counting Officer has a referendum team for that area, which includes:
Electoral Registration Officers. They compile and maintain the electoral register and lists of postal and proxy voters.[397]Presiding Officers (one per polling place).[397] They are responsible for the management of the polling place overall.Poll Clerks.[397] They assist the Presiding Officer at their polling place.Polling Station Inspectors (optional).[397] They tour the area polling stations on the day.See also[edit]References[edit]^"Scottish independence: More than 4.2 million voters register ahead of referendum". BBC News (BBC). 11 September 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014. ^ ab"Scotland to hold independence poll in 2014 '' Salmond". BBC News (BBC). 10 January 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^ abc"Agreement between the United Kingdom Government and the Scottish Government on a referendum on independence for Scotland" (PDF). 15 October 2012. Retrieved May 2013. ^"Response to referendum consultation". Scotland.gov.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2012. ^"Scottish Independence Referendum Bill". Scottish.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-31. ^Official text of the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database^"Government accepts all Electoral Commission recommendations". Retrieved 9 September 2014. ^"Scottish independence: a guide to the big decision '' Politics '' The Observer". the Guardian. Retrieved 9 September 2014. ^Martin Stabe and Aleksandra Wisniewska. "Scotland's referendum count: When to expect what". Financial Times. Retrieved 2014-09-17. ^Aaron Flanagan. "Scottish independence: What time is the result of the referendum expected?". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2014-09-17. ^Vanessa Barford. "Scottish independence: Guide to Scotland referendum night". BBC Online. Retrieved 2014-09-17. ^ abcd"Devolution's swings and roundabouts". BBC News. BBC. 7 April 1999. Retrieved 28 August 2014. ^ ab"The 1979 Referendums". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 16 January 2012. ^ ab"Scottish Referendum Live '' The Results". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 16 January 2012. ^"Scottish Parliament Official Report '' 12 May 1999". Scottish Parliament. ^"Manifesto 2007". Scottish National Party. 12 April 2007. pp. 8, 15. Retrieved 11 September 2009. ^ abcd"Timeline: Scottish independence referendum". BBC News (BBC). 15 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012. ^"Annex B Draft Referendum (Scotland) Bill". Official website, Publications > 2007 > August > Choosing Scotland's Future: A National Conversatio > Part 10. Scottish Government. 13 August 2009. Archived from the original on 10 September 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009. ^ abcQuinn, Joe (30 November 2009). "SNP reveals vision for independence referendum". London: The Independent. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2009. ^"Your Scotland, Your Voice". www.scotland.gov.uk > News > News Releases > 2009 > November > YSYV. Scottish Government. 30 November 2009. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2009. ^"Scottish independence referendum plans published". BBC News. 25 February 2010. Archived from the original on 25 February 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2010. ^"Referendum consultation". www.scotland.gov.uk > News > News Releases > 2010 > February > referendum. Scottish Government. 25 February 2010. Archived from the original on 25 February 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2010. ^ abcdefghij"Scotland's Future: Draft Referendum (Scotland) Bill Consultation Paper" (PDF). www.scotland.gov.uk > Publications > 2010 > February > Scotland's Future: Draft Referendum (Scotland) Bil > PDF 1. Scottish Government. 25 February 2010. Archived from the original on 25 February 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2010. ^ ab"Draft Referendum (Scotland) Bill Consultation". www.scotland.gov.uk > Topics > Public Sector > Elections > Referendum Bill Consultation. Scottish Government. n.d. Archived from the original on 25 February 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2010. ^ abBlack, Andrew (3 September 2009). "Q&A: Independence referendum". BBC News. Archived from the original on 10 September 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009. ^MacLeod, Angus (3 September 2009). "Salmond to push ahead with referendum Bill". London: The Times. Archived from the original on 10 September 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009. ^"Scottish independence plan 'an election issue'". BBC News (BBC). 6 September 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2012. ^Stuart, Gavin (14 April 2011). "SNP launch 'Re-elect' manifesto with independence referendum vow". STV (STV Group). Retrieved 17 January 2012. ^Black, Andrew (1 May 2011). "Scottish election: Party leaders clash in BBC TV debate". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 17 January 2012. ^"Scottish election: SNP wins election". BBC News (BBC). 6 May 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012. ^ abcClegg, David (17 January 2012). "Advocate General says SNP's referendum plans would be 'contrary to the rule of law'". The Courier (DC Thomson). Retrieved 9 January 2014. ^ abClegg, David (11 January 2012). "Independence referendum: Scotland facing constitutional chaos". The Courier (DC Thomson). Retrieved 9 January 2014. ^Official text of the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Act 2013 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database^"Scottish independence: Referendum White Paper unveiled". BBC News. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2014. ^Severin Carrell and Nicholas Watt (10 January 2012). "Scottish independence: Alex Salmond sets poll date '' and defies London | Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 October 2012. ^ ab"Bannockburn date mooted for referendum". Herald Scotland. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012. ^"Scotland's referendum: If at first you don't succeed". The Economist. 14 January 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012. ^"Scottish independence: Killers lose referendum vote bid". BBC News (BBC). 19 December 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Killers fail to win referendum vote". BBC News (BBC). 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. ^Alderson, Reevel (24 July 2014). "Scottish independence: Killers fail to get referendum vote". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 25 July 2014. ^"Viewpoints: Can 16- and-17-year olds be trusted with the vote?". BBC News (BBC). 14 October 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012. ^Macdonnell, Hamish (17 September 2011). "16-year-olds likely to get the vote on Union split". The Times Scotland (London: Times Newspapers Limited). Retrieved 18 September 2011. ^"Scottish independence: Bill to lower voting age lodged". BBC News. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013. ^"Scottish independence: Referendum voting age bill approved by MSPs". BBC News. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013. ^ abcd"Scottish independence: SNP dismisses ex-pat voting call". BBC News (BBC). 18 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012. ^"Ulster Scots and Scottish independence". BBC News. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2013. ^Whitaker, Andrew (18 January 2012). "Scottish independence referendum: Publish legal advice or be damned, SNP warned over referendum". The Scotsman (Johnston Press). Retrieved 19 January 2012. ^"Scottish independence: Referendum vote 'needs approval'". BBC News (BBC). 20 January 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2012. ^http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/242/pdfs/uksi_20130242_en.pdf^http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2013/14/pdfs/asp_20130014_en.pdf^ abcdeBlack, Andrew (30 January 2013). "Scottish independence: SNP accepts call to change referendum question". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 30 January 2013. ^ abhttp://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/153689/Ipsos-MORI-Scotland-question-testing-report-24-January-2013.pdf^Matthews, Kyle (1 April 2014). "Obstacles to Independence in Quebec". www.opencanada.org. Retrieved 8 April 2014. ^Kay, Jonathan (24 March 2014). "Jonathan Kay: Scotland shows Quebec what an intelligent and mature independence movement looks like". National Post (Post Media). Retrieved 26 June 2014. ^ abc"Scottish independence: One million Scots urged to sign 'yes' declaration". BBC News (BBC). 25 May 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012. ^"Scottish independence: Greens join Yes Scotland campaign". BBC News (BBC). 6 October 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012. ^"Scottish independence: Yes Scotland signs up 143,000 supporters". BBC News (BBC). 30 November 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2013. ^"Scottish independence: Yes declaration hits million target". BBC News (BBC). 22 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Alistair Darling warns of 'no way back'". BBC News (BBC). 25 June 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012. ^Barnes, Eddie (14 October 2012). "Scottish independence: Salmond in campaign cash battle". Scotland on Sunday (Johnston Publishing). Retrieved 14 October 2012. ^Adams, Lucy (1 May 2014). "Scottish independence: Questions raised over campaign spending rules". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 1 May 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Referendum cost estimated at £13.3m". BBC News (BBC). 3 April 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013. ^ abcd"JK Rowling Subjected to Cybnernat Abuse After £1m Pro-UK Donation". The Daily Telegraph. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2014. ^ abcd"Scottish Independence: Who Are the Big and Small Money Referendum Donors?". BBC News (BBC). 11 June 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2014. ^"Scottish Independence: Distiller William Grant and Sons Donates to Better Together". BBC News (BBC). 6 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014. ^ ab"Better Together calls for no more donations after post-TV debate flood of cash". The Daily Telegraph. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014. ^"European Court upholds UK political advert ban". BBC News (BBC). 22 April 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Cinemas pull referendum adverts". BBC News (BBC). 28 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014. ^ ab"Scottish Independence: The popular rise of postal voting". BBC News (BBC). 26 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. ^"BBC News '' Scottish independence: Man arrested after votes 'for sale' on eBay". BBC News. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014. ^Adams, Lucy (2 September 2014). "Scottish independence: Thousands in late rush to register to vote". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 2 September 2014. ^ abc"Scottish independence referendum". www.gov.uk. UK Government. Retrieved 29 May 2014. ^ abcd"Scottish independence: Post-referendum agreement reached". BBC News (BBC). 18 June 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014. ^Bicker, Laura (29 April 2014). "Scottish independence: Farmers give their views on referendum debate". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 30 April 2014. ^ abcdeSmith, Colletta (29 April 2014). "Scottish independence:How might a 'Yes' vote impact on farmers?". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 30 April 2014. ^"Scotland's CAP budget cut". Scottish Government. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2014. ^"Annex 7: Schengen and the Common Travel Area". Retrieved 4 June 2014. ^ abcCarrell, Severin (14 March 2014). "Theresa May would seek passport checks between Scotland and England". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2014. ^"The Foreign Policy Implications of and for an Independent Scotland". 28 January 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2014. ^"Labour MEP: 'independence no barrier to EU membership'". Sunday Herald. 18 May 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014. ^Tory MP rubbishes border claims. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2014. ^ abcd"Scottish independence: Alex Salmond outlines childcare 'savings'". BBC News (BBC). 27 November 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Could Scotland afford better childcare?". BBC News (BBC). 25 March 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014. ^Taylor, Marianne (25 March 2014). "Scottish independence: Childcare plan 'unworkable' without more funds". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 3 May 2014. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Scottish government childcare plan questioned". BBC News (BBC). 3 April 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014. ^ ab"Scotland citizenship, passport plans outlined". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013. ^"Key questions on independence white paper answered". The Scotsman (Johnston Publishing). 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013. ^Gardham, Magnus (24 January 2014). "Scots to stay British despite vote". The Herald (Herald & Times Group). Retrieved 22 May 2014. ^Scotland analysis: Borders and citizenship ^"UK caught "red-handed" on Scotland's underspend". www.snp.org. Scottish National Party. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2014. ^ ab"Scotland's Future". Scottish Government. November 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2014. ^"SNP's Clyde warships plan". The Scotsman (Johnston Publishing). 3 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013. ^Morris, Nigel (27 September 2013). "Alex Salmond's SNP plans for Scottish independence criticised for lacking crucial detail over defence plans". The Independent. ^Cramb, Auslan (13 November 2013). "A budget of £2.5 billion will not buy Scottish Defence Force wishlist, warns defence minister". Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^"SNP defence plans slammed". Left Foot Forward. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-31. ^Nigel Morris (6 November 2013). "Shipyards jobs axe: an Independent Scotland 'could lose key Royal Navy contracts' '' UK Politics '' UK". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-08-26. ^"BAE Systems continues Type 26 key equipment selections, recommends single-site build plan". Janes. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014. ^"Shipbuilding could return to Portsmouth, says BAE Systems chairman '' Portsmouth News". Portsmouth.co.uk. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-26. ^ ab"A' the Blue Bonnets: Defending an Independent Scotland". www.rusi.org. Royal United Services Institute. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012. ^"Irish lesson for independent Scottish forces". The Herald. Herald & Times Group. 14 April 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2014. ^Richard Norton-Taylor (29 January 2012). "Trident nuclear deterrent 'at risk' if Scotland votes for independence". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 October 2012. ^"What would Scottish independence mean for Trident?". New Statesman. Retrieved 11 October 2012. ^Riley-Smith, Ben (14 April 2014). "Alex Salmond's Trident plan 'would put UK nuclear deterrent in jeopardy'". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). ^"Trident: Nowhere to Go". Retrieved 4 June 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Trident relocation 'very difficult but not impossible'". BBC News. BBC. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. ^"Scottish Independence May Impact U.S. Trident Missile Program | Global Security Newswire". NTI. Retrieved 11 October 2012. ^""Q&A: British MP Presses Scots on How Quickly U.K. Nukes May be Banned"". NTI: Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved 9 September 2014. ^Johnson, Simon (24 June 2013). "Independent Scotland 'faces dilemma between Trident and Nato'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 June 2013. ^"Why Independence Could Put Scotland In Danger Of Russian Invasion". 26 August 2014. ^"The Irn-Bru curtain: Russian ambassadors joke about annexing SCOTLAND in leaked recording". 4 April 2014. ^"Scottish independence referendum LIVE UPDATES". 17 September 2014. ^"The fate of Scottish Referendum hinges on Russian-born Scots". 9 September 2014. ^"SNP members vote to ditch the party's anti-Nato policy". BBC News (BBC). 19 October 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2012. ^"Two MSPs resign from SNP over party's Nato stance". The Guardian. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2013. ^"ONE YEAR ON: HOW WAS IT FOR THEM?". The Herald. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013. ^"Alex Salmond told nuclear ban out of line with being in Nato". 15 August 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013. ^"Alex Salmond accused of misleading voters over Trident base promises". 15 August 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013. ^"SNP members vote to ditch the party's anti-Nato policy". BBC News (BBC). 19 October 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2013. ^"Nato chiefs deal blow to SNP's anti-nuclear strategy". The Guardian. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013. ^Cramb, Auslan (10 April 2013). "An independent Scotland would have to 'support nuclear weapons' to gain access to Nato". Daily Telegraph. ^"Scottish independence: Former Nato commander attacks SNP defence policy". BBC News. BBC. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Nato members 'would welcome' Scotland". BBC News. BBC. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014. ^ abcdCurrie, Martin; Black, Andrew (12 February 2014). "Scottish independence referendum: Experts examine the claims". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2014. ^ ab"Spy wars". The Herald (Herald & Times Group). 30 June 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013. ^ abc"Sturgeon: '100 embassies' for independent Scotland". The Scotsman. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 2014-08-26. ^"Alex Salmond: we must leave UK but maintain our other unions". 12 July 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014. ^"The people's constitution". 28 August 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014. ^"Billy Bragg backs Scottish independence". The Scotsman. 10 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014. ^"Salmond: Independence to tackle 'democratic deficit'". www.itv.com. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014. ^"House of Lords an 'affront to democracy' says SNP". 4 August 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014. ^"The Democratic Deficit". 13 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Holyrood debate marks one year to referendum". BBC News. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014. ^"Alex Salmond: Why should Scotland let itself be ruled by the Tories?". 26 February 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2014. ^"Referendum should spark an era of radical Scottish democracy". 25 January 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2014. ^Campbell, Menzies (7 April 2014). "I will vote no to independence because I love Scotland". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^ ab"It is time to address the democratic deficit in England". www.conservativehome.com. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Tories back Scots income tax power". BBC News. BBC. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014. ^"Scottish independence: What are the 'No' parties offering instead of independence?". BBC News. BBC. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014. ^ ab"Scottish independence: STV confirm Darling and Salmond TV debate date". BBC News (BBC). 9 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014. ^Severin Carrell (5 August 2014). "Scotland promised extra tax and legal powers for referendum no vote". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2014. ^Whitaker, Andrew (11 August 2014). "Boris Johnson vows to resist Scots tax devolution". The Scotsman. Retrieved 11 August 2014. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Cameron promises more powers for Scotland 'soon'". BBC News. BBC. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014. ^Fraser, Douglas (15 October 2012). "Scottish independence: Braveheart or iPad?". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 19 October 2012. ^ abc"U.K. Treasury Says Independent Scotland Couldn't Aid Banks". www.bloomberg.com. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013. ^ abcHughes Hallett, Andrew; Scott, Drew (24 January 2012). "Scotland has thought the options through and counted the cost". Financial Times. Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^"RBS no longer in debt to US Federal Reserve". CFO World. IDG Inc. 2 December 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^Peston, Robert (5 March 2014). "EU law may force RBS and Lloyds to become English". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^ abcdCook, James; Black, Andrew (3 April 2014). "Scottish independence: 'Yes' vote carries substantial risk, says Weir Group". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^Peston, Robert (27 February 2014). "Standard Life could quit Scotland". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^"Independence debate: Yes, Scotland?". 2 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014. ^"Scottish unemployment total falls by 7,000". BBC News (BBC). 11 June 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2014. ^"Scotland's Economy: the case for independence". May 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013. ^"Rise of 16% in Scottish inward investment projects". BBC News (BBC). 24 July 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013. ^"Growth in Scottish economy slows". BBC News (BBC). 16 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014. ^"Google.sco: Scottish Independence's Impact on Online Businesses". Grow Traffic. ^ ab"Scottish independence 'will improve prosperity'". The Scotsman. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014. ^"Independence 'boost' for English devolutionists". The Targe. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014. ^"London calling (the shots)". The Herald (Herald & Times Group). 1 June 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2014. ^Picken, Andrew (9 November 2013). "West coast oil boom was blocked by MoD". Sunday Post (DC Thomson). Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^ abcd"The case for Scottish independence : Diplomat Magazine". Diplomatonline.com. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Scotland should use pound, says Adam Smith Institute". BBC News. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-20. "[A] new report, written by the research director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, has argued that sterlingization '' using the pound without the use of a central bank '' would be 'a significant improvement on Scotland's current arrangements'." ^"SNP Accuse Labour Over Euro". www.snp.org. Scottish National Party. 3 January 2002. Retrieved 2014-02-18. ^"SNP European divisions laid bare". BBC News (BBC). 16 October 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^Johnson, Simon (19 October 2009). "SNP split over euro membership". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 January 2014. ^"Scotland in the European Union". Scottish Government. Retrieved 31 December 2013. ^"Sweden says No to euro". BBC News (BBC). 15 September 2003. Retrieved 24 March 2014. ^"EU central bank agreement on ERM II operating procedures". www.riksbank.se. Sveriges Riksbank. Retrieved 24 March 2014. ^"Scotland could refuse to accept UK liabilities if currency union is blocked". 26 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-22. ^Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent (19 June 2012). "Scottish independence: Alistair Darling challenges plans for currency union | Politics | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. Retrieved 2012-10-11. ^Meikle, James (25 June 2012). "Scottish independence: Darling ridicules Salmond's claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-10-11. ^"Scottish independence: Former prime minister John Major gives warning". BBC News (BBC). 28 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-31. ^Brown, Gordon (23 November 2013). "Gordon Brown writes exclusively for the Daily Record on why Salmond's economic plans are destined to make Scotland less independent". Daily Record. Retrieved 2014-06-12. ^Carrell, Severin (21 November 2013). "Welsh first minister sets out case against Scottish independence". The Guardian. ^"Question on Currency". 23 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-25. ^"Could an Independent Scotland keep Sterling? What experts say". Scots Politics. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-31. ^Ashcroft, Brian (26 April 2013). "Sterling and Scottish Independence". Scottish Economy Watch. Retrieved 2014-06-12. ^"Salmond warns: the 'George Tax' would cost English business hundreds of millions". 17 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-18. ^ ab"SNP warns UK businesses could face £500m in transaction costs unless an independent Scotland keeps pound". 18 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-18. ^ ab"Independence 'would cost Scottish businesses more than their English competitors'". Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-06-12. ^"Scottish independence: Banking experts say 'go for Scottish pound'". BBC News. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-20. ^"Independent money matters". BBC News (BBC). 3 February 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-31. ^"Salmond stands firm on tax and spending powers". 1 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-18. ^"Gavin McCrone: indy would be costly...but No vote will mean no more devo". 20 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-20. ^"Scottish Independence: 'Yes' Vote Means Leaving Pound, Says Osborne". BBC News (BBC). 13 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-30. ^"Scottish independence: Balls 'not bluffing' on currency". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. 4 October 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-31. ^Carrell, Severin (3 October 2013). "Ed Balls: Alex Salmond's sterling currency union plans flawed". The Guardian. ^"Balls to Salmond: let's discuss indyref finance issues". The Herald (Herald & Times Group). 20 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-22. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Sterlingisation 'would threaten EU membership'". BBC News (BBC). 3 September 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014. ^"What currency?". Scottish Socialist Party. Retrieved 2014-02-18. ^"Greens attack phoney war on currency". 23 April 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-22. ^"Scotland 'must have own currency after Yes vote". 16 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-23. ^"Governor's notes on currency union". The Herald (Herald & Times Group). 30 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-18. ^ abcPhillip Inman, Patrick Wintour (9 September 2014). "Scottish independence: currency union 'incompatible with sovereignty'". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 September 2014. ^Maddox, David (18 December 2013). "Barnett Formula 'would remain' after No vote". The Scotsman (Johnston Press). Retrieved 10 January 2014. ^Flanders, Stephanie (9 January 2012). "Scotland: A case of give and take". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 6 May 2013. ^ abSparrow, Andrew (19 November 2012). "Scotland's post-independence prosperity linked to oil". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 6 May 2013. ^"Scottish public spending deficit rises, say latest Gers figures". BBC News (BBC). 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014. ^"Tax and spend: What are experts saying about Scottish figures?". BBC News (BBC). 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Rivals both say Scots 'better off with us'". BBC News (BBC). 28 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014. ^"Asking the experts: What are economists saying about indyref figures?". BBC News (BBC). 28 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Row over start-up costs". BBC News (BBC). 26 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014. ^ abc"Scottish independence: Call to release post-'Yes' costs". BBC News (BBC). 29 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Prof Patrick Dunleavy says Treasury claims 'ludicrous'". BBC News. BBC. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Treasury figure for cost of Yes vote 'badly misrepresents' key research '' says academic whose own work it was based on". The Independent. Retrieved 9 September 2014. ^"Voters will not be told cost of Yes vote before referendum". The Herald (Herald & Times Group). 30 May 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Prof Patrick Dunleavy makes £200m start-up claim". BBC News (BBC). 22 June 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Start-up cost 'up to £1.5bn'". BBC News (BBC). 27 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014. ^Barnes, Eddie (22 April 2013). "Scottish independence: SNP pound freedom warning". The Scotsman. Retrieved May 2013. ^ abFraser, Douglas (19 October 2012). "Scottish independence: credit where it's due". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 19 October 2012. ^"Credit ratings agency outlines 'significant' challenges for independence". STV News. STV. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Moody's predicts Scotland would get an 'A' credit rating". BBC News (BBC). 1 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014. ^ abcd"Scotland's referendum: What are the issues around energy?". BBC News (BBC). 30 April 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014. ^ abcdTaylor, Marianne (5 February 2014). "Scottish independence: Energy market claims analysed". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 11 May 2014. ^"Scottish independence: UK 'faces energy blackout risk'". BBC News (BBC). 7 April 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014. ^"Scottish independence: SSE says single energy market 'likely' post Yes". BBC News (BBC). 26 March 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014. ^Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent. "Ed Davey says an independent Scotland must fund its own energy projects | Politics". theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-08-26. ^Mitchell, Adam (17 April 2013). "Oil wealth key to Thatcher's legacy, analysts say". www.france24.com. Retrieved 11 May 2014. ^Jack, Ian (19 April 2013). "North Sea oil fuelled the 80s boom, but it was, and remains, strangely invisible". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 May 2014. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Sir Ian Wood issues warning over oil predictions". BBC Sport. BBC. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. ^ ab"Scottish West Coast untapped oil and gas reserves worth trillions". www.oilandgaspeople.com. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014. ^Carrell, Severin (23 October 2012). "Alex Salmond accused of misleading Scottish voters about EU legal advice". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media). ^ abEdward, David, "Scotland's Position in the European Union", Scottish Parliamentary Review, Vol. I, No. 2 (Jan 2014) [Edinburgh: Blacket Avenue Press]^"Scottish independence: UK ministers not seeking advice on Scotland in EU". BBC News (BBC). 1 November 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012. ^"HC 643 The foreign policy implications of and for a separate Scotland". www.publications.parliament.uk. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2014. ^ abCurrie, Martin (29 April 2014). "Scottish independence: Would Scotland be in the EU after a Yes vote?". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 29 April 2014. ^"European and External Relations Committee". www.scottish.parliament.uk. Scottish Parliament. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014. ^ ab"Letter from Viviane Reding". www.scottish.parliament.uk. Scottish Parliament. 20 March 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014. ^Carrell, Severin (12 September 2012). "Barroso casts doubt on independent Scotland's EU membership rights". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media). ^"Scottish independence: Barroso says joining EU would be 'difficult'". BBC News (BBC). 16 February 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014. ^Johnson, Simon (28 November 2013). "Sir John Major: Scottish independence means 'walking away' from the pound". The Telegraph. ^Brian Brady (22 January 2012). "Spain could wield veto over Scotland's EU membership". The Independent. Retrieved 11 October 2012. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Mariano Rajoy says Scotland would be 'outside EU'". BBC News. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013. ^"Independent Scotland should stay in EU, says judicial expert". The Guardian. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013. ^Johnson, Simon (16 September 2014). "Spanish warn independent Scotland would get euro not pound". The Telegraph. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Sir David Edward says Jose Manuel Barroso 'wrong' on EU". BBC News. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2013. ^"Scottish independence: Scotland could join EU in 18 months, says expert". BBC News (BBC). 30 January 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Think tank report backs EU membership". BBC News (BBC). 29 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Academic says EU entry 'would be smooth'". BBC News (BBC). 7 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014. ^"Scotland's European Union membership 'not in doubt' claims study". STV News. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Irish minister says EU application 'would take time'". BBC. 25 January 2013. ^"Ireland's Minister for European Affairs". www.scotreferendum.com. Scottish Government. 26 January 2013. ^"Advisory Board". Retrieved 17 October 2013. (German)^"Adviser to German Government: 'Indy Scotland Would Still Be in Europe'". The Herald. Herald & Times Group. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013. ^"David Cameron promises in/out referendum on EU". BBC News (BBC). 23 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013. ^"EU referendum bill gets Commons approval". BBC News (BBC). 29 November 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013. ^"Attitudes Towards the European Union and the Challenges in Communicating 'Europe': Building a Bridge Between Europe and its Citizens". Retrieved 2 December 2013. ^"Scots want EU referendum but would vote to stay in". Ipsos MORI. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013. ^"What do No campaign say now EU membership under threat from Westminster?". Yes Scotland. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Alex Salmond says Eurosceptics 'damaging Scotland'". BBC News (BBC). 29 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. ^Brian Ashcroft (28 January 2013). "Should Scotland be in EU if rUK out?". Scottish Economy Watch. Retrieved 2014-01-31. ^"What future for the Scottish-EU relationship? | Future of the UK and Scotland: The Referendum Debate". Futureukandscotland.ac.uk. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-31. ^Roxburgh, Angus (19 May 2013). "Scotland's tough call: stay in the UK, or stay in the EU?". The Guardian. ^ ab"Q&A: Your Scottish independence questions". BBC News (BBC). 25 June 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2014. ^ ab"Scottish independence: What would it mean for the rest of the UK?". BBC News Magazine (BBC). 25 November 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014. ^ abcPeterkin, Tom (17 June 2013). "Scottish independence: What would happen to the NHS?". The Scotsman (Johnston Publishing). Retrieved 29 May 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Sir Harry Burns says Yes vote could be 'positive' for health". BBC News. BBC. 20 July 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014. ^"Medics launch NHS for Yes campaign to 'protect health service'". STV News. 24 May 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014. ^ ab"Scottish independence: NHS in Scotland 'faces £400m funding gap'". BBC News (BBC). 16 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. ^ abPeterkin, Tom (29 May 2014). "Great Ormond Street Hospital hits out at No advert". The Scotsman (Johnston Publishing). Retrieved 29 May 2014. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Vote No Borders advert pulled over child hospital claim". BBC News (BBC). 30 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014. ^"Scottish Independence: Cameron Warns On UN Security Council Place". Huffingtonpost.co.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2012. ^Stacey, Kiran (16 December 2013). "Scots independence threat to UK influence, says Sir John Major". FT.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31. ^MacDonell, Hamish (24 November 2012). "Radicals threaten Salmond and Scottish independence campaign". The Independent. Retrieved 13 February 2013. ^"SNP minister: I think indy Scotland should vote on the Queen". 11 August 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2013. ^Johnson, Simon (12 May 2012). "Queen 'may not remain monarch of an independent Scotland'". Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 11 October 2012. ^Torrance, David. The Battle for Britain. Biteback Publishing. p. 67. ^Moore, Suzanne. "England's love-bombing of Scotland is a pathetic afterthought". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2014. ^Hayes, Brown. "How The New Royal Baby Could Stop Scottish Independence". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 8 September 2014. ^Davison, Janet (9 September 2014). "Scotland's referendum: How the next royal baby could sway it". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 10 September 2014. ^Goldhill, Olivia (8 September 2014). "Kate Middleton pregnant: Could Scottish royal baby fever keep the union together?". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 10 September 2014. ^Graeme Wearden, Patrick Wintour, Rowena Mason (8 September 2014). "Pound slumps to 10-month low after Scottish yes campaign takes poll lead". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2014. ^"Queen hopes Scots voters 'think carefully'". The Scotsman. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014. ^ ab"Scotland's referendum: What are the issues around pensions?". BBC News (BBC). 30 April 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014. ^Fraser, Douglas (7 February 2014). "Scottish independence: Pension age rise 'could be delayed'". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 7 May 2014. ^Taylor, Marianne (27 February 2014). "Scottish independence: Pensions and the referendum debate". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 7 May 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Brown says Scotland's pensions protected by UK". BBC News (BBC). 22 April 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Pensions 'secure' post-Yes, says UK minister". BBC News (BBC). 7 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014. ^"Scottish independence:Accountancy body claims there is no clear plan for pensions". BBC News (BBC). 3 February 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014. ^"Scottish independence: European Commission reverses pensions decision". BBC News (BBC). 27 March 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014. ^ abcDickie, Mure (27 July 2014). "Golden games performance boosts Scotland before referendum". Financial Times. Retrieved 29 July 2014. ^"Independence poll good for Games". The Herald (Herald & Times Group). 27 February 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2014. ^ abc"Scottish independence: Athletes 'could choose Team Scotland' for Rio Olympics". BBC News (BBC). 8 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014. ^"Independent Scotland 'would have to compete in Team GB at 2016 Olympics'". STV News. STV Group. 12 August 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012. ^"Who will claim the Olympics?". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 11 October 2012. ^"Scottish independence: 'Scotland Olympic team could be in Rio'". BBC Sport (BBC). 18 September 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2014. ^ ab"Sir Chris Hoy: independence will make it harder for Scots athletes to reach their potential". The Herald. Herald & Times Group. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013. ^Riley-Smith, Ben (18 March 2014). "Shetland and Orkney should get vote on whether to leave Scotland". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2014. ^Lawless, Jill (23 March 2014). "Scotland's Vikings go own way in independence vote". Associated Press. Retrieved 9 May 2014. ^"Scottish islanders seek votes for own independence". Reuters. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. ^"Island referendum petition launched". Shetland Times. 18 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. ^"Petition for independence in the Western Isles, Shetland and Orkney". The Herald. Herald & Times Group. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. ^Johnson, Simon (20 March 2012). "SNP admits Shetland and Orkney could opt out of independent Scotland". Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 2 September 2013. ^"Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles councils lobby for more powers". BBC News (BBC). 17 June 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013. ^ ab"Scottish independence: islands consider their own 'home rule'". The Guardian. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013. ^"What independence White Paper could mean for the Isles". Stornoway Gazette. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013. ^Ross, David (23 November 2013). "Islands set to win key decision-making powers with unprecedented legislation". The Herald (Glasgow). Retrieved 27 November 2013. ^"Islands Act should not depend on independence". Shetland News. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013. ^"Shetland may reconsider its place in Scotland after yes vote, says Carmichael". The Guardian. 17 September 2014. ^"Carmichael sets record straight on independence comments". 17 September 2014. ^"Scotland analysis: Science and research". www.gov.uk. UK Government. November 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2014. ^"UK link funds R&D funding in Scotland". www.scotlibdems.org.uk. 27 November 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2013. ^ ab"Scottish independence: Scientists setback fears". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing. 21 July 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013. ^"Scottish university research at risk from independence, claim LibDems". 27 November 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2013. ^"Scottish independence: Unis 'could get UK funds'". The Scotsman (Johnston Publishing). 1 September 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013. ^"State of independence could prove costly, Scots warned". 23 May 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013. ^"Scottish independence: What is dividing academics?". BBC News (BBC). 23 May 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014. ^"Scottish independence: how would it affect university research funding?". Guardian Blog (Guardian). 18 August 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014. ^"To be or not to be Independent, that is the Question!". Lab Times. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014. ^"Scottish independence: how would it affect university research funding?". Times Higher Education. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014. ^"Q&A : Graduate endowments". BBC News (BBC). 13 June 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2014. ^ abcdef"Scottish independence: Students could be 'squeezed out' of home universities". BBC News (BBC). 22 May 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2014. ^"Full text of tuition fees agreement". BBC News (BBC). 25 January 2000. Retrieved 30 April 2014. ^ ab"Scottish independence: MPs claim Yes vote would damage education". BBC News (BBC). 16 March 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014. ^Whitaker, Andrew (17 January 2014). "Scottish independence: rUK tuition fees 'illegal'". The Scotsman (Johnston Publishing). Retrieved 30 April 2014. ^"Scottish tuition fees for English students could be illegal under independence, lawyers warn". Telegraph. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-26. ^"Scottish independence: Higher education only safe with 'Yes' vote, say academics". BBC News (BBC). 17 February 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014. ^"Scotland can do better on Welfare and Pensions". 31 July 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2014. ^"Government spending on benefits and state pensions in Scotland: current patterns and future issues". July 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2014. ^"Benefits could switch easily after a Yes vote, say SNP expert group". 10 June 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2014. ^"Only a Yes vote will meet demands for more powers". 6 January 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. ^"Scotland needs a separate welfare system, say charities". 29 September 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2014. ^"White Paper preview: SNP key pledge: we'll scrap UK welfare reforms in a fairer Scotland". 24 November 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2014. ^"Sturgeon: we'll kick out the bedroom tax in an independent Scotland". 24 March 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2014. ^"Labour will be tougher than Tories on benefits, promises new welfare chief". 12 October 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2014. ^"SNP comment on Joseph Rowntree Foundation's report". 24 January 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. ^"Report reveals dismal future no campaign offers". 13 October 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2014. ^"No further tax powers for Scotland, says David Cameron". 29 January 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2014. ^"Moore: welfare budget could be devolved". 11 August 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Labour's Jim Murphy warns of 'disruptive change'". BBC News (BBC). 17 March 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^Whitaker, Andrew (19 March 2014). "Labour reveal plans following No vote". The Scotsman (Johnston Publishing). Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^"Scottish independence uncertainty drags sterling to five-month lows". Reuters. Retrieved 9 September 2014. ^ abGray, Alistair; Cumbo, Josephine; Arnold, Martin (9 September 2014). "Investors pull cash ahead of Scots vote". Financial Times. Retrieved 10 September 2014. ^"Scottish independence: RBS confirms London HQ move if Scotland votes Yes". BBC News. 11 September 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014. ^Titcomb, James (11 September 2014). [httphttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/11089465/What-banks-are-heading-for-the-exit-door-if-Scotland-votes-for-independence.html "What banks are heading for the exit door if Scotland votes for independence?"]. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 September 2014. ^"Scottish Independence: Thales Warns of Job and Investment Cuts on Union Break". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 17 September 2014. ^Simon Johnson (13 September 2014). "Scotland heading for a 'Great Depression' after a Yes vote". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 September 2014. ^"Thousands at Scottish independence rally in Edinburgh". BBC News. 22 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2013. ^"Twitter / Scotspolfed". 23 September 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013. ^"Yes Scotland: thousands show up for independence march". 21 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013. ^"Union flag burning group expelled from Salmond rally". 16 September 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2013. ^Gilligan, Andrew (22 September 2013). "Far-Right group allied to Scottish separatists". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 September 2013. ^"Orange Order anti-independence march a 'show of pro-union strength'". The Guardian. 13 September 2014.^"Orange Order descends on Edinburgh to protest against 'evil enemy' of nationalism ahead of Scottish independence vote". Daily Mail. 14 September 2014.^"Orange Order march through Edinburgh to show loyalty to UK". Financial Times. 13 September 2014.^"Scottish independence: One million Scots urged to sign 'yes' declaration". BBC News. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2014. ^"About What Scotland Thinks". What Scotland Thinks. NatCen. 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014. ^ abDr. Stephen Quinlan and Dr. Mark Shephard (21 February 2014). "Racing Ahead Online: Catching Up Offline?". What Scotland Thinks. NatCen. Retrieved 24 August 2014. ^Dr. Mark Shephard and Dr. Stephen Quinlan (19 June 2014). "Yes Side Maintains Advantage in The Online Campaign Battle". What Scotland Thinks. NatCen. Retrieved 24 August 2014. ^Michael Keating (April 2014). "Foresight: Scotland Decides". Wiley Online Library. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Retrieved 24 August 2014. ^"Let's Stay Together". Let's Stay Together on YouTube. Google Inc. July 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014. ^Antonia Molloy (21 August 2014). "Scottish Independence: #YesBecause hashtag shows 'unfiltered reality' of Yes campaign". The Independent. Retrieved 24 August 2014. ^"#YesBecause vs. #NoBecause as Scottish independence referendum looms". CBC News on Storify. Storify. 22 August 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014. ^"Independence debate wins students over". The Courier (DC Thomson). 24 September 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013. ^"Yes wins Napier referendum". www.yesscotland.net. Yes Scotland. 15 November 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013. ^"Strath Indy Ref '' Strathstudents". Retrieved 19 November 2013. ^"The 'Nos' have it at Perth & Kinross Youth Council's independence question time". The Courier. DC Thomson. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013. ^"Yes vote triumph in Scottish Labour leader's own backyard". www.yesscotland.net. Yes Scotland. 29 November 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013. ^Daisley, Stephen (17 May 2013). "Nicola Sturgeon and Michael Moore clash in independence debate". STV News. Retrieved 7 October 2013. ^"STV prepare for second referendum debate". 5 September 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013. ^"Alistair Carmichael faces Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland Tonight debate". STV News. 11 November 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013. ^"STV announces Nicola Sturgeon and Johann Lamont referendum debate". STV News. 13 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014. ^"Scottish independence: The Referendum Debate". BBC News (BBC). 21 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014. ^"As-it-happened: Scottish independence referendum debate". BBC News (BBC). 21 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014. ^"Scottish independence: David Cameron will not have TV debate with Alex Salmond". BBC News. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013. ^"Scottish independence: TV debate row continues". BBC News. 29 September 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013. ^"Scottish independence: Cameron again rejects Salmond TV debate challenge". BBC News. 5 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2014. ^"Scottish independence: MP 'anger' over Brown debate call". BBC News. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014. ^Barnes, Eddie (15 September 2013). "Alistair Darling: Alex Salmond scared of TV debate". The Scotsman. Retrieved 22 October 2013. ^"Sturgeon: Salmond will have indyref debate with Darling, Carmichael after Cameron snub". The Herald. Herald & Times Group. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2014. ^Johnson, Simon (27 September 2012). "Alistair Darling: Yes Scotland chief is Alex Salmond underling". Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 3 March 2014. ^Maddox, David (15 April 2014). "Nigel Farage challenges Salmond to TV debate". The Scotsman (Johnston Publishing). Retrieved 18 April 2014. ^"Scottish independence: BBC confirms Salmond-Darling debate". BBC News. BBC. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Salmond and Darling clash in heated TV debate". BBC News. BBC. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014. ^ abcdefGreen, Chris (14 September 2014). "Scottish independence: BBC Scotland's referendum coverage 'institutionally biased', Alex Salmond claims". The Independent. Retrieved 16 September 2014. ^McAlpine, Joan (21 January 2014). "Opinion: Joan McAlpine: TV bosses must act on findings of study that show indy coverage isn't the balanced affair it should be". Daily Record. Retrieved 16 September 2014. ^"BBC Accused of Anti-Independence Bias by Academic Report". Fife News Online. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. ^Robertson, John. BBC bias and the Scots referendum - new report. OpenDemocracy. 21 February 2014.^"Official Report: Education and Culture Committee 11 March 2014". Scottish Parliament. 2014-03-11. Retrieved 16 September 2014. ^Gardham, Magnus (30 June 2014). "Pro-independence campaigners protest outside BBC studios". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 17 September 2014. ^""Hundreds of protesters gather over ongoing 'BBC bias' row in Scottish independence referendum coverage"". The Drum. Retrieved 17 September 2014. ^"BBC accused of anti-independence bias after editing out Salmond's reply to 'bank exodus' question". RT (TV network). 12 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. ^ ab"Q&A: Scottish independence row". BBC News (BBC). 17 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012. ^Curtice, John (18 September 2013). "Scottish independence: What have the polls been saying?". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^Higgins, Charlotte (13 August 2013). "Scottish independence campaign has almost no chance, says Nate Silver". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Are referendum polls on the move?". BBC News (BBC). 27 January 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^Curtice, John (26 March 2014). "YouGov Reports Its Highest Yes Vote Yet". www.whatscotlandthinks.org. ScotCen Social Research. Retrieved 15 April 2014. ^Curtice, John (7 July 2014). "TNS BMRB Portray a Referendum Campaign Becalmed". www.whatscotlandthinks.org. ScotCen Social Research. Retrieved 7 July 2014. ^ abcCurtice, John (25 August 2014). "Scottish independence: 'Invaluable second chance' for Alex Salmond". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 25 August 2014. ^Curtice, John (2 September 2014). "Scottish independence: Referendum race 'may have got tighter'". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 2 September 2014. ^"Scottish independence: Vote 'will go to the wire'". BBC News (BBC). 7 September 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014. ^Clegg, Dave (10 September 2014). "Independence referendum: Exclusive Daily Record survey shows No campaign with six point lead". Daily Record. Retrieved 10 September 2014. ^"Scottish independence: poll gives Unionists eight-point lead". Telegraph. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014. ^ abCurtice, John (24 April 2014). "Scottish independence: Depending on the pollster, it looks like a photo finish". The Independent. Retrieved 25 April 2014. ^ ab"Why do the polls in Scotland vary so much?". www.yougov.co.uk. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014. ^"Response To Yesterday's Times, YouGov Articles and YouGov's published research about Survation's Scottish Independence Methodology". www.survation.com. 3 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014. ^Report of 30 August 2013: Scottish Independence Referendum: The Chief Counting Officer's Approach, Accessed 14 September 2014^ abcdefHandbook for polling station staff, Accessed 14 September 2014External links[edit]
Anti-terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 03:06
A man has faced a Sydney court, charged with conspiracy to prepare for a terrorist attack on Australian soil.
Omarjan Azari, 22, was one of 15 people detained during a large counter-terrorism operation across Sydney this morning.
Commonwealth prosecutor Michael Allnutt told Sydney's Central Local Court the alleged offence was "...clearly designed to shock, horrify and terrify the community..."
It's believed the allegations involve a plot to behead a random member of the community in Sydney, on camera.
The court was told the charged stemmed from a single phone call intercepted a couple of days ago.
"It's been an immediate reaction to a clear, imperative danger," Mr Allnutt said.
"There is still an enormous amount of material for police to assess."
Azari did not apply for bail and the case was adjourned until November 13.
Convincing email
Salutations, Citizen!
Listening to 651, and I agree completely that the social media and gadget nexus the world is experience is an international health crisis. I observed the smart phone transformation with dread and revulsion, and see now the possibility that these developments could be heralding a new kind of human. These devices are very likely the intermediate step between traditional human social experience and what can only be called a transhuman experience.
Might I recommend the term, iFace, as a nickname for the disease? My friend coined it and I've been using it to great success. It refers to the sort of typical slack jawed, glazed and tranced, ghoulishly illuminated pallor that can be observed on victims regardless of age, sex, race, or nationality. You mention it like it's a cold, or the mumps; "oh, he's got the iFace," or, "honey, you've got iFace again."
It's profitable to point out in social situations when someone has the iFace, so that your fellows can actually see it, having been given an identifying name, and can self reflect and see it in themselves. You can really transform a moment if you handle it gracefully, without condescension, by pointing out how it is like a syndrome, how it is a sickness. It's the naming of things that gives them a reality, a presence, and the ability for the thing to be recognized by human experience. Traditionally, it was the philosophers that acted as the critical lens for the developments within society over time. Perhaps that role is mostly lost in "first world" cultures today, but perhaps comedians to some extent perform the reflective action. This is why we need more philosophers, urgently. Somebody tell Gates about that. Kids reading technical manuals, come ON! And this is also why the No Agenda show and family are so critically important.
Anyway, just wanted to share my thoughts. Thank you, and thank John so very much for doing what you do, and I look forward to being able to donate soon.
-Daniel, the Pipe Smoking Gardener in Portland, Oregon
After Spin Class
I went to Jo's for late breakfast
Watched everyone whil esitting outside (cool weather!)
At least 2 in every group of 4-5 wre on phones
Most people alone
half of the duos were 1 or 2 on phone
I tried it myself and felt myself get sucked in.
How I disconnected from the world around me.
iFace Pet Peve: "Sharing" or emailng to adam, after having only read the title or first paragraph at most WTF?!
108 rosary beads and fever
http://incisive.nu/2014/ditching-twitter/​ via http://readwrite.com/2013/01/31/why-i-love-twitter-outages
108 beads in a rosary http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_beads and 108 degrees Fahrenheit is the internal temperature at which the human body's vital organs begin to fail from overheating http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/108_(number)
108 as a donation, hmmm
Bingo, boom shakalaka
Chinese City Launches Special Lane for Cellphone Addicts - WSJ
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:01
If you're tired of walking behind someone who's trudging along as they text, has this Chinese city got the sidewalk for you.
Last week, the city of Chongqing unveiled a lane specially designated for people who want to walk as they use their cellphones. ''Cellphones, walk in this lane at your own risk'' is printed in the lane in white lettering. The adjoining lane reads ''No cellphones.''
On Monday, Weibo users reacted to the news with a mixture of amusement and scorn. ''It's such a lazy design. Shouldn't the cellphone lane be placed [farther from the road]? It is not practical at all,'' wrote one user.
Another dismissed the innovation, writing, ''It's just another imitation of foreign inventions,'' the user wrote, referring to a similar experiment launched in Washington, D.C., earlier this year. ''Besides, it seems only to be serving as a tourist attraction,'' the user wrote of the road, which is located in a Chongqing tourist area called ''Foreign Street Park.''
Still another wondered whether the road would make anything safer. ''Is the goal here to encourage still more people to use their cellphones while walking?''
'' Ma Si
Also popular on China Real Time now:
Can a China Deal Breathe New Life into 'The Simpsons?'
A 'Stain' on China: Full Statement from Mother of Murdered U.K. Businessman
Sign up for CRT's daily newsletter to get the latest headlines by email.
For the latest news and analysis,
Coming Soon: When a Cop Points His Radar Gun at You, It Could Detect More Than Just Speeding | TheBlaze.com
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 08:43
If you're driving down the road in the future and you see a cop pointing what appears to be a radar gun your way, stepping on the brake to slow down might not help you out, because speeding might not be what he's looking for.
A company is working on a detection gun for law enforcement that could tell if someone in a car is texting. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)
A Virginia-based company is developing a detection gun that can tell if a person in the vehicle is texting.
According to the Virginian-Pilot, ComSonics is creating a device that picks up on radio frequencies that come from a cellphone being used inside the car. Malcolm McIntyre, the company's calibration services manager, told the newspaper that text messages emit a different frequency than other cellphone activities. This would allow such a device to determine if a driver were possibly sending a text behind the wheel.
ComSonics already has a foot into the law enforcement industry in that it offers calibration and repair services for radar and lidar equipment.
The Virginian-Pilot reported that this new technology would be similar to its devices that are used by cable technicians to detect leaks. ComSonic's QAM Sniffer, for example, is able to locate a leak by picking up frequencies from a cable.
While McIntyre said the text-detecting gun is ''close to production,'' it would still have to gain legal approval and be brought into law enforcement departments.
According to AutoEvolution, ComSonic also said at the Virginia Distracted Driving Summit this week that it is still working on a way to find who out in a vehicle might have been texting, if there is more than one person in the car.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 44 states ban texting while driving. The Federal Communications Commission pointed out that research has found texting while driving increases a crash risk by 23 percent compared to a situation where a driver is not distracted.
(H/T: Popular Science)
Front page image via Shutterstock.
This story has been updated to correct a typo.
The Elites running the show in DC, dont have the ruthless savvy that other presidents have had.
They actually don't know what they are doing
DECOLLATE-: definition of decollate in Oxford dictionary (American English) (US)
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 01:18
decollate2Syllabification: de·col·lateverb[no object]Separate sheets of paper, such as multi-ply computer paper, into different piles.More example sentencesWe have no more need for bursting and decollating multi-part stationery or lining up pre-printed stationery.The symptoms reported by three of approximately 15 persons in the department were thought to be caused by decollating carbonless copy paper.The Martin Yale 950 desktop decollator is capable of decollating three-part (five-ply) carbon-interleaved forms.Derivativesdecollator
nounMore example sentencesSets up, operates, and maintains multi-station decollator for separating computer printouts and carbons.The 6022 is a high volume, variable speed decollator, capable of separating up to 430 A4 forms per minute.The Ameraseal FD 510 is a two part tabletop decollator ideal for low to medium volume jobs.Definition of decollate in:
Activist Post: House Passes Bill To Arm Syrian Rebels Despite Evidence of ISIS Ties
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 01:09
Paul LawranceActivist PostIn a 273-156 vote on Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill which approved of President Barrack Obama's $500 million plan to arm and train Syrian rebel forces.
The bill is expected to pass the Senate when it arrives there on Thursday to solidify the President's goal of dismantling the ISIS ''threat.''
It must be assumed that Congress has their heads so far in the sand that they missed the extensive reporting that has documented the ties between ISIS and the so called ''moderate'' rebel forces that the Obama administration is so hell bent on arming.
As Paul Joseph Watson of Propaganda Matrix documents in his article titled "Obama Plans to 'Fight ISIS' by Arming ISIS", there is ample evidence showing that the rebels in Syria have joined ISIS and supplied arms to the extremists.
The lunacy of such a policy is illustrated by the fact that Bassel Idriss, commander of an FSA-run rebel brigade, recently admitted that Washington-backed ''moderate'' rebels are still collaborating with ISIS.
''We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army's gatherings in '... Qalamoun,'' Idriss told Lebanon's Daily Star. ''Let's face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values.''
A July report in Stars and Stripes also documented how the 1,000 strong Dawud Brigade, which had previously fought alongside the FSA against the Assad regime, defected in its entirety to join ISIS.Also in July it emerged that ''several factions within the FSA, including Ahl Al Athar, Ibin al-Qa'im'' had ''handed over its weapons to the Islamic State in large numbers'' and pledged allegiance to ISIS.
It is safe to say, due to the evidence presented above in Watson's article, that some of the $500 million spent on the rebels has a chance of aiding the same terror group that the Obama administration has declared war against.Send this info to your Congressman or Congresswoman by going here.
Paul Lawrance writes for Eyes Open Report, where this first appeared.
If you enjoy our work, please donate to keep our website going.
Notice to Congress -- Terrorism
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:15
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 17, 2014
- - - - - - -
On September 23, 2001, by Executive Order 13224, the President declared a national emergency with respect to persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism, pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act
(50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the grave acts of terrorism and threats of terrorism committed by foreign terrorists, including the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, in New York and Pennsylvania and against the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks against United States nationals or the United States.
The actions of persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, and the measures adopted on that date to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond September 23, 2014. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism declared in Executive Order 13224.
This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.
metastisis definition - Google Search
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:36
metastisis definition - Google SearchGoogle Instant is unavailable. Press Enter to search.
Learn moreGoogle Instant is off due to connection speed. Press Enter to search.
Press Enter to search.
Screen reader users, click here to turn off Google Instant.
Please click
here if you are not redirected within a few seconds.
Search settings
LanguagesTurn on SafeSearch
Advanced search
Search help
About 1,510,000 results (0.37 seconds)
noun: metastasis
the development of secondary malignant growths at a distance from a primary site of cancer.
a metastatic growth.
plural noun: metastases
late 16th century (as a rhetorical term, meaning 'rapid transition from one point to another'): from Greek, literally 'removal or change,' from methistanai 'to change.'
Translate metastasis to
Use over time for: metastasis
Translations, word origin, and more definitions
Show less
Metastasis | Define Metastasis at Dictionary.comdictionary.reference.com/browse/metastasisMetastasis definition, the transference of disease-producing organisms or of malignant or cancerous cells to other parts of the body by way of the blood or ...Metastasis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaen.wikipedia.org/wiki/MetastasisMetastasis, or metastatic disease, is the spread of a cancer from one organ to another. The new occurrences of disease thus generated are referred to as ...Metastasis - NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms - National ...www.cancer.gov/dictionary?cdrid=46710National Cancer Institute
Definition of metastasis. ... A tumor formed by cells that have spread is called a '' metastatic tumor'' or a ''metastasis.'' The metastatic tumor contains cells that are ...
Obama Cadence screen shot http://itm.im/cadence
IS-plan 'willekeurige voorbijganger in Sydney te onthoofden' verijdeld - BUITENLAND - PAROOL
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 08:17
18-09-14 07:50 uur - Bron: ANP, BBC, AP
Een man die tijdens de antiterreuroperatie is gearresteerd, knielt op de grond. (C) reuters
De Australische politie heeft een enorme antiterreuroperatie uitgevoerd nadat een belangrijk lid van Islamitische Staat er bij een netwerk in Australi op had aangedrongen in het openbaar onthoofdingen uit te voeren. Dat heeft de Australische premier Tony Abbott vandaag gezegd op een persconferentie.
Volgens het OM wilde hij de bevolking 'shockeren en mogelijk bang maken' door een willekeurig persoon van straat te plukken en voor de camera te onthoofden, en daarna te wikkelen in de vlag van Islamitische Staat
(C) epa
(C) reuters
Er werden zo'n 800 agenten ingezet bij de operatie, die wordt omschreven als de grootste ooit in Australi. In totaal zijn er 15 mensen gearresteerd, waarvan er (C)(C)n vanmorgen al voor de rechter verscheen. Hij wordt verdacht van samenzweren bij de voorbereiding van een terroristische aanslag.
Volgens het OM wilde hij de bevolking 'shockeren en mogelijk angst aanjagen' door een willekeurig persoon van straat te plukken en voor de camera te onthoofden, en daarna te wikkelen in de vlag van Islamitische Staat. Dat moest gebeuren in het Central Business District in Sydney, het drukke zakendistrict in de grootste stad van Australi. Er is voor hem geen mogelijkheid om op borg vrij te komen omdat de kans te groot is dat hij vervolgens niet meer voor de rechter zal verschijnen, deels vanwege zijn 'ongebruikelijk grote fanatisme'.
De advocaten van de verdachte voeren aan dat de hele zaak is gebaseerd op (C)(C)n onderschept telefoontje.
DreigingsniveauAustrali verhoogde vrijdag het dreigingsniveau voor een terreuraanslag naar het hoogste niveau. Premier Abbott liet weten dat de verhoging niet betekent dat er een direct gevaar was voor een terroristische aanslag. Volgens hem zijn er wel mensen in Australi die in staat zijn om aanslagen te plegen.
Volgens de Australische veiligheidsdiensten zijn zeker zeker twintig jihadstrijders na gevechten in het Midden-Oosten naar Australi teruggekeerd.
Tony Abbott kondigde deze week aan dat Australi 600 troepen naar het Midden-Oosten stuurt om te helpen bij de strijd tegen Islamitische Staat, maar volgens de premier neemt hierdoor de kans op een aanslag op Australische bodem niet toe. Hij onderstreepte dat Australi al een doelwit was in Bali in 2002, voordat het land betrokken was bij de oorlog in Irak. 'Het spijt me om te zeggen, maar deze mensen haten ons niet om wat we doen, maar om hoe we leven.'
(Bewerkt door: Redactie)Australische gevechtsvliegtuigen oefenden eerder deze week boven Sydney (C) reuters
'Nederland levert F-16's in strijd tegen IS'
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 01:09
Bewerkt door: redactie '' 18/09/14, 02:13 '' bron: ANP
(C) anp. Een Nederlandse F-16
Nederland gaat F-16's leveren in de strijd tegen Islamitische Staat. Dat meldt dagblad Trouw vandaag. De krant baseert zich op bronnen dichtbij het kabinet en rond de ministeries van Buitenlandse Zaken en Defensie.
Het plan wordt volgens het dagblad vrijdag in de ministerraad in stemming gebracht en lijkt niet op problemen te gaan stuiten. De VVD zou zelfs nog iets verder willen gaan, maar is tevreden met het voorstel. Ook de PvdA steunt het.
Nederland zal ook wapens leveren. Die moeten worden ingekocht, omdat er geen overtollige voorraden zijn.
Canada sending 69 'advisers' to Iraq: Isn't that a combat operation that requires Parliament's approval? | National Post
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:01
OTTAWA '-- The phrase ''boots on the ground'' is a well-worn stand-in for ''war'' '-- a word nobody wanted to use Tuesday as MPs gathered for an emergency debate on the decision to join the fight against militants in the Middle East.
At the centre of the debate is the question of whether sending highly trained, heavily armed special forces commandos into northern Iraq is a ''combat operation'' '-- a distinction that would require Parliament's approval.
Nonetheless, no vote or consensus will emerge from the House of Commons debate, which was granted Monday by Speaker Andrew Scheer following a request by Liberal MP Marc Garneau.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has repeatedly said he would not ''put boots on the ground'' in Iraq, meaning a broader deployment of regular force soldiers would not follow the arrival of Canadian special forces.
Many of Harper's critics are having trouble distinguishing between the two.
The Opposition NDP and the Liberals both fear Canada's advise-and-assist mission with Iraqi forces and Kurdish fighters could turn into combat, much as the ''peacekeeping deployment'' of a battle group to Kandahar did in 2006.
The U.S. is ''gearing up'' '-- to use Harper's words in the Commons on Tuesday '-- for an extended ''counter-terrorism operation'' against the fearsome al-Qaida splinter group known as the Islamic State.
Experts say a prolonged struggle could well come to involve the use of western troops in a limited fashion, regardless of current political assurances.
Influential strategists who advocated for U.S. troop surges in both Iraq and Afghanistan said Monday that up to 35,000 western ''boots'' might be needed to degrade and destroy the group.
On Tuesday, Harper confirmed that 69 special forces operators would take part in the Iraq deployment, which will be reviewed within 30 days.
But a counter-terrorism operation is not simply giving advice to local forces '-- or teaching them how to co-ordinate airstrikes. It is a systematic campaign that targets a terror group's funding, infrastructure and leadership.
To date, Canada has apparently not deployed its elite counter-terrorism unit, Joint Task Force 2, to take part. ''Apparently,'' because Conservative and Liberal governments alike don't acknowledge JTF 2's top-secret activities.
Word of the unit's activity in Afghanistan in the wake of the U.S. terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, emerged by way of a newspaper photograph, touching off a scandal that eventually cost then-defence minister Art Eggleton his job.
If the Harper government did opt to participate fully in the U.S. campaign, it would likely be JTF 2 members involved in hunting ISIS leaders '-- and neither the government nor the military would want that debated in Parliament.
Holding a vote on combat deployments is something the Conservatives have long championed, notably in the two extensions of Canada's combat mission in Kandahar and the Libya bombing campaign.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has tried to cast Harper as flip-flopping by pointing out that he pledged in 2007 to hold votes on ''all'' troop deployments.
But no vote was held on the Afghan training mission, even though it contained a certain degree of risk and saw one soldier killed, said University of Ottawa defence expert Philippe Legasse.
The law doesn't require the government to consult with MPs when it puts troops in harm's way. The opposition should be careful what it wishes for because a vote tends to stifle subsequent debate, especially in a long conflict, Legasse added.
''The effect of having a vote is a point of finality in a way because it allows the government to say this issue has been settled, the Commons has voted with us, and therefore we're following the democratic will of the Commons,'' he said.''The executive can simply say, 'Let's move on,' even if the opposition has voted against them.''
If the opposition really wants to do its job, it would be on its feet every day asking questions about the deployment, he added.
''The Commons' job isn't to pretend it's there to make decisions,'' Legasse said. ''The Commons' job is to hold to account those that have the responsibility for making the decisions.''
If the government was smart, he said, it would be upfront if and when JTF 2 becomes involved.
''The prime minister and the defence minister should get up, declare what they're doing, explain why they can't give more details than they're giving and explain the rationale behind it,'' Legasse said.
''You can do that without getting into any secret information.''
LOCAL JOHADI-Mosque in Jutland expresses support for IS - News - The Copenhagen Post (Mobile)
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:54
As a video of the apparent beheading of another US journalist by the Islamic State (IS) sickened most of the civilised world, a mosque in Denmark expressed its support of the aims '' if not the tactics '' of the jihadist group.
Fadi Abdallah, a spokesperson for the Grimh¸j Mosque in Aarhus, said he would welcome the establishment of a Sharia-based caliphate in Syria.
''An Islamic state will always be what we Muslims yearn for, and therefore we cannot help but support the IS,'' Abdallah told Den Korte Avis. ''Even if they have made mistakes, we must wait and see.''
''I understand why they are killing people''The Islamic State genocide of Iraqis and Syrians, and its apparent beheading of now two American journalists. has angered people worldwide, but Abdallah held fast to his support of the group and said that while he does not support the violence, he accepts it as necessary.
''Things are different down there than they are here, and I understand why they are killing people," he said.
READ MORE: Danish imam encourages followers to kill Jews
The Grimh¸j Mosque has frequently been associated with terrorist sympathisers, and Danish imam Abu Bilal Ismail, a regular speaker at the mosque, has encouraged followers to kill Jews and is accused of encouraging young members to travel to Syria to fight in the holy war.
A call to remove citizenshipOpposition parties Venstre, Konservative and Dansk Folkeparti want to give the government the power to strip Dane who travel to Syria to fight of their nationality.
''We want the government to investigate whether it is possible to rescind the citizenship from these people if they have another nationality to fall back on," Venstre spokesperson Karsten Lauritzen told Berlingske.
Per capita, Denmark has the second largest number of citizens fighting in Syria, according to rankings of the Western countries compiled by the Economist.
Many leave to fightThe Danish intelligence service, PET, estimates that about 100 Danes have travelled to Syria to fight in the civil war, TV2 News reports.
Only Belgium had a higher per capita representation than Denmark.
Norway is currently at work on a bill that would withdraw citizenship from citizens who have voluntarily engaged in the '‹'‹military service of another country.
READ MORE: More fighters going from Denmark to Syria than most other Western nations
An anti-terrorism law in place in the UK since 2002 gives the government the power to rescind the citizenship from anyone considered to be a threat to national security.
ISIS' Next Target: The Suez Canal
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 03:54
Following ISIS blitzkrieg in which it took over nearly half of Iraq and a third of Syria in the blink of an eye, at which point it created its own Islamic State Caliphate resulting in Obama's own personal war against the jihadists, some have wondered what is ISIS' next step: surely its leadership will not merely stagnatte as one after another US predator drone bomb away the capital Reqqa until ISIS figurehead leader al-Baghdadi is killed or gravely wounded. To be sure, the one thing ISIS, which stunned the world with the speed of its ascent, can not afford is to stand still.
So what is next on the strategic timeline for the Islamic State?
According to one source, Al Arabiya, which cites Egyptian experts, the answer is none other than the Suez Canal, and the country it is located in: Egypt.
''There is definitely a threat from ISIS to Egypt,'' Mohammed Badr, a professor of political science at the University of Germany told Al Arabiya News, adding that the group has the country in its ''line of sight.''
''All extremist groups represent a danger for Egypt,'' Badr said, adding that ''ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis [an Islamist militant group] are all dangerous for Egypt but the level of their threat is different.''
More details from Al-Arabiya:
One alleged ISIS militant took to social media to warn Egypt that it should be expecting a ''surprise'' soon. ''Except a surprise in Egypt within days,'' alleged ISIS member Abu Siyaf al-Masry wrote on his personal Twitter account, according to the Cairo-based daily al-Masry al-Youm.
These online threats are seen by some analysts as a means to mark their presence in Egypt, despite their absence on the ground. ''They don't have any presence in Egypt until now, which is why they use the internet and social media platforms to interact with Egyptians and spread their influence,'' Mohssen al-Faham, a political analyst and commentator for Cairo-based daily al-Gomhuria, told Al Arabiya News.
In recent weeks, the Islamist group started showing notable signs that it might be interested in expanding its influence in Egypt.
ISIS' strategy on how to infiltrate Egypt, if indeed that is the case, is simple: ISIS has started to communicate with and coach Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Egypt's deadliest militant group, and share advice with it on how to create secret cells.
''ISIS and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis are linked on an ideological level even though the group is not believed to be officially linked to ISIS insurgents,'' Badr said.
''Their exchange is another sign that shows a clear threat to Egypt from ISIS,'' he added.
While the west is traumatized by three beheadings of western journalists in the past month, in Egypt this is almost a daily occurrence, especially if the word "Israel" is uttered. Last week, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which is based in the Sinai Peninsula claimed to have beheaded four men accused of being Israeli Mossad spies in a video that seemed to have been inspired by the methods of ISIS.
Meanwhile Egypt, already deep in political turmoil with the military regime doing its best to cleanse all representatives of the US-backed Muslim Brotherhood (remember them?), appears to not be too concerned about the ISIS threat. Specifically, the possibility of an ISIS offensive was downplayed by an Egyptian Interior Ministry spokesman, who told Al Arabiya News that al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood were ''the two main terrorist organizations'' that threatened Egypt.
''ISIS cannot reach a country like Egypt given the cohesion between people and the unity of the nation,'' Interior Ministry spokesman Hany Abdellatif told Al Arabiya News, adding that the group targets weak, failed states.
''But we [the Interior Ministry] are still getting threats of terrorism and must remain vigilant as the region is ablaze,'' Abdellatif said.
And while Egypt may or may not be the next territorial expansion for ISIS, a new threat is emerging in the Middle East/North Africa region.
According to Reuters, a new armed group calling itself the Caliphate Soldiers in Algeria has split from al Qaeda's North African branch and sworn loyalty to the radical breakaway group Islamic State fighting in Syria and Iraq. A breakaway of key Algerian commanders from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, known as AQIM, would show deepening rivalry between al Qaeda's core command and the Islamic State over leadership of the transnational Islamist militancy. As we expected several months ago, as Al Qaeda's reputation in the terrorist world plummets and is replaced by the "bloodthirsty" ISISites, more and more splinter terrorist groups will gravitate to the "cool, new" clique.
In a communique, AQIM central region commander Khaled Abu Suleimane, whose real name is Gouri Abdelmalek, claimed leadership of the new group, joined by an AQIM commander of an eastern region in Algeria, where the al Qaeda wing has its base. "You have in the Islamic Maghreb men if you order them they will obey you," Suleimane said in reference to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State. "The Maghreb has deviated from the true path."
The communique was posted on jihadi websites. Algerian officials did not immediately comment on the statement.
The Algeria splinter group is the latest to side with Baghdadi over al Qaeda's aging chieftain Ayman al-Zawahri, as the Islamic State appeals to younger militants with successes in gaining territory in Iraq and Syria.
Finally, to cement the fact that Al Qaeda is no longer even remotely relevant to anyone, and certainly not the CIA, Site Intelligence reported earlier that Al-Qaeda released its annual video for the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and in this installment, placed group official Hossam Abdul Raouf in the prominent role of lead speaker, and denied reports of its waning influence and strength. Translated: Al Qaeda is dead, replaced by its even more ferocious, if mostly for populist purposes, spin offs, ISIS and now, the Caliphate Soldiers.
And if and when the Islamic State and its Caliphate Soldiers take over the Suez Canal, watch as all those Brent shorts, many of which are rumored to be originating at Liberty 33 itself, suddenly get a margin call.
Average:Your rating: NoneAverage: 2(7 votes)
Blog: Bizarre: Obama tells us what he'd do if he was advising ISIS
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:44
Jim Geraghty alerted me to this strange quote from President Obama in the New York Times:Mr. Obama had what guests on Wednesday afternoon described as a bereft look as he discussed the murders of Mr. Foley and Mr. Sotloff, particularly because two other Americans are still being held. Days later, ISIS would report beheading a British hostage with another video posted online Saturday.
But the president said he had already been headed toward a military response before the men's deaths. He added that ISIS had made a major strategic error by killing them because the anger it generated resulted in the American public's quickly backing military action.
If he had been ''an adviser to ISIS,'' Mr. Obama added, he would not have killed the hostages but released them and pinned notes on their chests saying, ''Stay out of here; this is none of your business.'' Such a move, he speculated, might have undercut support for military intervention.
It was clear to the guests how aware Mr. Obama was of the critics who have charged him with demonstrating a lack of leadership. He brought up the criticism more than once with an edge of resentment in his voice.
''He's definitely feeling it,'' said one guest. At one point, Mr. Obama noted acidly that President Ronald Reagan sent Marines to Lebanon only to have hundreds of them killed in a terrorist attack because of terrible planning, and then withdrew the remaining ones, leaving behind a civil war that lasted years. But Reagan, he noted, is hailed as a titan striding the earth.
Geraghty is puzzled by this bizarre comment:
Why is our president thinking about what he would tell the Islamic State if he were advising them?
Does the president spend a lot of time thinking about this? Or did it just strike him as a fascinating little nugget of insight to share with a guest while discussing the Islamic State?
I can see the value in trying to understand the thinking of your enemy. I can see the value in thinking through an ultimatum to the group, contemplating what you'll demand and what consequences to threaten. You can "offer advice" to a foe in the sense of, "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
But Obama's "if I was an adviser to ISIS" comment doesn't sound like any of these -- at least from the context that we're given by the Times' sources, individuals who have met with the president in the past week. It's just, hey, if I were advising the enemy, this is what I would have told them.
Okay . . . what's the point? Why spend any time thinking about that scenario? Did the Islamic State call and ask for advice? They didn't attach notes; they detached heads. That's the choice they made. Now the question is what we're going to do about it.
Notice Obama's assessment presumes the Islamic State wants to avoid a U.S. military intervention. Is this a manifestation of the mirroring effect, where Obama projects its own values and priorities onto its foes? (Think about how often he insists publicly that seizing Crimea and moving into Ukraine isn't in Russia's interest, or that bellicose or provocative actions on the part of Iran aren't in that country's interest.) The Islamic State appears to want to send the message, far and wide, that they don't fear a clash with the U.S. military. Perhaps they want to demonstrate that they can commit horrific crimes against American civilians with no serious repercussion. Maybe they think God wants them to do this. Maybe they're nuts! In the end, the "why" matters less than the "what."
Viewed from another angle, President Obama's comment sounds like a complaint. If the Islamic State hadn't beheaded Americans, there wouldn't be such widespread demand for action against it in the American public.
"If I were advising ISIS'..."
Well, you're not, Mr. President.
Geraghty asks "Are we about to learn what happens when the United States goes to war with a commander-in-chief who doesn't really want to go to war?" This is evident from the president's rhetoric. He wants to "destroy" ISIS without commiting US troops but outside of a some forces in Iraq, there are no ground troops to be had. Why this disconnect between reality and rhetoric?
It appears that the president is conflicted about the coming campaign in ways we are just beginning to understand. If you read the Times story, you are struck how bitter he is about his critics. He thinks the war has been forced on him, that people don't understand how "nuanced" he is and how "thoughtfully" he approaches decisions like this.
A revealing quote from one of the attendees of the meeting:
''This is someone who, more than most in the political world, is comfortable in the gray rather than the black and white,'' he said. ''So many other people in the political world do operate in the black and white and are more quote-unquote decisive, and that's a mixed blessing. He clearly falls on the side of those who are slow or reluctant to decide because deciding often forces you into a more one-sided position than you're comfortable with.''
This is a recipe for indecisiveness. The idea that when you go to war, you don't want to be forced "into a more one-sided position than you're comfortable with" is ridiculous. The president is so desperate to avoid sending troops that he appears willing to lose rather than do what is necessary to win.
A president who'd rather not win a war so that he doesn't have to take a "one sided" position? That sounds like Obama.
Jim Geraghty alerted me to this strange quote from President Obama in the New York Times:
Mr. Obama had what guests on Wednesday afternoon described as a bereft look as he discussed the murders of Mr. Foley and Mr. Sotloff, particularly because two other Americans are still being held. Days later, ISIS would report beheading a British hostage with another video posted online Saturday.
But the president said he had already been headed toward a military response before the men's deaths. He added that ISIS had made a major strategic error by killing them because the anger it generated resulted in the American public's quickly backing military action.
If he had been ''an adviser to ISIS,'' Mr. Obama added, he would not have killed the hostages but released them and pinned notes on their chests saying, ''Stay out of here; this is none of your business.'' Such a move, he speculated, might have undercut support for military intervention.
It was clear to the guests how aware Mr. Obama was of the critics who have charged him with demonstrating a lack of leadership. He brought up the criticism more than once with an edge of resentment in his voice.
''He's definitely feeling it,'' said one guest. At one point, Mr. Obama noted acidly that President Ronald Reagan sent Marines to Lebanon only to have hundreds of them killed in a terrorist attack because of terrible planning, and then withdrew the remaining ones, leaving behind a civil war that lasted years. But Reagan, he noted, is hailed as a titan striding the earth.
Geraghty is puzzled by this bizarre comment:
Why is our president thinking about what he would tell the Islamic State if he were advising them?
Does the president spend a lot of time thinking about this? Or did it just strike him as a fascinating little nugget of insight to share with a guest while discussing the Islamic State?
I can see the value in trying to understand the thinking of your enemy. I can see the value in thinking through an ultimatum to the group, contemplating what you'll demand and what consequences to threaten. You can "offer advice" to a foe in the sense of, "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
But Obama's "if I was an adviser to ISIS" comment doesn't sound like any of these -- at least from the context that we're given by the Times' sources, individuals who have met with the president in the past week. It's just, hey, if I were advising the enemy, this is what I would have told them.
Okay . . . what's the point? Why spend any time thinking about that scenario? Did the Islamic State call and ask for advice? They didn't attach notes; they detached heads. That's the choice they made. Now the question is what we're going to do about it.
Notice Obama's assessment presumes the Islamic State wants to avoid a U.S. military intervention. Is this a manifestation of the mirroring effect, where Obama projects its own values and priorities onto its foes? (Think about how often he insists publicly that seizing Crimea and moving into Ukraine isn't in Russia's interest, or that bellicose or provocative actions on the part of Iran aren't in that country's interest.) The Islamic State appears to want to send the message, far and wide, that they don't fear a clash with the U.S. military. Perhaps they want to demonstrate that they can commit horrific crimes against American civilians with no serious repercussion. Maybe they think God wants them to do this. Maybe they're nuts! In the end, the "why" matters less than the "what."
Viewed from another angle, President Obama's comment sounds like a complaint. If the Islamic State hadn't beheaded Americans, there wouldn't be such widespread demand for action against it in the American public.
"If I were advising ISIS'..."
Well, you're not, Mr. President.
Geraghty asks "Are we about to learn what happens when the United States goes to war with a commander-in-chief who doesn't really want to go to war?" This is evident from the president's rhetoric. He wants to "destroy" ISIS without commiting US troops but outside of a some forces in Iraq, there are no ground troops to be had. Why this disconnect between reality and rhetoric?
It appears that the president is conflicted about the coming campaign in ways we are just beginning to understand. If you read the Times story, you are struck how bitter he is about his critics. He thinks the war has been forced on him, that people don't understand how "nuanced" he is and how "thoughtfully" he approaches decisions like this.
A revealing quote from one of the attendees of the meeting:
''This is someone who, more than most in the political world, is comfortable in the gray rather than the black and white,'' he said. ''So many other people in the political world do operate in the black and white and are more quote-unquote decisive, and that's a mixed blessing. He clearly falls on the side of those who are slow or reluctant to decide because deciding often forces you into a more one-sided position than you're comfortable with.''
This is a recipe for indecisiveness. The idea that when you go to war, you don't want to be forced "into a more one-sided position than you're comfortable with" is ridiculous. The president is so desperate to avoid sending troops that he appears willing to lose rather than do what is necessary to win.
A president who'd rather not win a war so that he doesn't have to take a "one sided" position? That sounds like Obama.
!!!!'Anti-Propaganda' Ban Repealed, Freeing State Dept. To Direct Its Broadcasting Arm At American Citizens | Techdirt
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:39
The US government has a bit of a PR problem at the moment, thanks to Ed Snowden's leaks and a decade-plus of general antipathy towards its constituents' rights and liberties growing out of its War on Terror.
Fortunately, the government now has a chance to aim its official version of today's news at US citizens, thanks to the repeal of a so-called "anti-propaganda" law earlier this month.
For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government's mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts.
The Broadcast Board of Governors, which produces programming like the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, has been prevented from aiming its programming at Americans since the 1970's when the Smith-Mundt Act (which authorized the State Dept. to communicate with foreign audiences via many methods, radio being one of them) was amended to prohibit domestic dissemination of the BBG's broadcasts. This was done to distance the State Department's efforts from the internal propaganda machine operated by the Soviet Union.Now, the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 (part of the National Defense Authorization Act) has repealed the domestic prohibition, allowing the government's broadcasting to be directed at/created for Americans for the first time in over 40 years.
BBG spokesperson Lynne Weil says these efforts aren't simply pro-government hype machines.
"They don't shy away from stories that don't shed the best light on the United States," she told The Cable. She pointed to the charters of VOA and RFE: "Our journalists provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible, discussion, and open debate."
A former U.S. government source with knowledge of the BBG says the organization is no Pravda, but it does advance U.S. interests in more subtle ways. In Somalia, for instance, VOA serves as counterprogramming to outlets peddling anti-American or jihadist sentiment. "Somalis have three options for news," the source said, "word of mouth, Al-Shabaab or VOA Somalia."
As Weil points out, this will bring a new level of transparency to the BBG as communicating to Americans is no longer prohibited. If nothing else, transcripts of BBG programming will be easier for Americans to get ahold of. A court ruled in 1998 that the limitations of the Smith-Mundt Act exempted the Voice of America from releasing transcripts in response to FOIA requests.Another possible plus is the fact that the BBG will provide a free, "local" news source for immigrant populations.
The agency wants to reach diaspora communities, such as St. Paul Minnesota's significant Somali expat community. "Those people can get Al-Shabaab, they can get Russia Today, but they couldn't get access to their taxpayer-funded news sources like VOA Somalia," the source said.
These positives aside, the thought of a state-run news agency being allowed to direct its efforts at Americans is still uncomfortable. Despite claims of independence, it's hard to believe the source is 100% trustworthy when its stated purpose is to run flack for the State Department in foreign nations. (Of course, the mainstream media outlets haven't shown much reluctance to regurgitate talking points, which almost makes the BBG's efforts seem redundant.)While the BBG may provide a less-biased source of news for many foreigners (or at least provide a different bias), the purpose of its broadcasts to its new American audience is less clear. The fact that the State Department is behind the effort doesn't do much to allay fears that the BBG will become a tool of domestic propaganda. The State Department's reaction to the leak of diplomatic correspondence by Wikileaks was to block its employees' access to the site (or any site containing the word "Wikileaks") and demand the digital documents be "returned." How will a state-run press react to developments like these? Will it be forced to play by the department's rules, no matter how illogical, or will it be able to deal with them in a more forthright manner?
In a time where the administration seems to be forced to play defense with increasing frequency, it's hard to believe it won't be willing to exploit this addition to its PR arsenal.
Sawing through throat email
I'm an Anatomy and Physiology instructor at an institution with one of the biggest cadaver labs in the country. We have to do a lot of prep work prior to bringing in a new group of students. I have to say that you are spot on regarding your video analysis. We require some pretty serious tools any time that cutting through bone is required. I cant imagine doing it with a knife, it is almost laughable. The only bone we typically have to cut through is the skull cap, and that requires what is a "essentially" a reciprocating saw. The vertebral column is made up of much thicker bone than the skull. Although, the cervical region does have the thinnest bones of the vertebral column, but it is still much thicker than the skull, so I can't imagine that those videos are accurate. Even the ligaments and tendons in the region are incredibly difficult to cut through. Anyway, keep up the good work. If on the 1% chance you mention any of this can you leave my name out?
Underbelly (TV Series 2008'' ) - IMDb
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:51
EditStorylineEach season of this multi award winning Television series takes you through a 13 episode run in the rise and fall of of real life Ausralian underworld figures as told from both sides of the law. As each new season unfolds you are in a different time period and City with new Crime Bosses and the Police that try to bring them to justice. Written by Ed Jones
Plot Summary|Add SynopsisEditDid You Know?TriviaIn The Golden Mile, despite much of the action actually being filmed in Kings Cross (El Alamein fountain, McElhone stairs etc) for the purposes of recreating Kings Cross in the 70's/80's Longueville Rd in Lane Cove was redecorated for this purpose See more >>GoofsModern cars and license plates feature in some of the first episodes that were set in the mid-1990s. See more >>
ISIS VIDEO - Flames of War Trailer - YouTube
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:07
AWDNews - The outbreak of contagious diseases including sexually transmitted epidemics in areas under ISIS control
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:51
According to citizens living in areas under ISIS control, an epidemic of contagious diseases surged in areas seized by Islamist fighters of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The lack of medical equipment, the paucity of medications and unprotected sexual intercourse with local sex slaves ( sexual jihad) are deemed to be the main reasons for the widespread occurrence of the infectious diseases in Iraqi northern and western provinces.
In order to curb the spread of infectious diseases which inflicted the extremist organization heavy losses in the recent days, the ISIS high command ordered the incremation of dead Mujahidin whom brought these viral diseases from Caucasian or African countries.
Due to the absence of international bodies in vast areas dominated by ISIS fighters, it may not be possible to identify the exact epicenters of the infectious diseases such as Measles, rubella, typhoid, respiratory diseases, though some news reports suggest that the plague is spreading city after city and is triggering a serious and frightening epidemic in Mousl, Iraq's second largest city conquered by zealot Saudi-backed militants.
In areas controlled by ISIS, You cannot get employed in these four jobs
According to new Islamic mandatory decree, issued by ISIS's central Sharia council, no Muslim citizen has this right to hold the following occupations: Painting, acting in Cinema and theater, singing and being a musician. As a consequence, all activities which are germane to the mentioned careers are prohibited and regarded as un-Islamic and who do not abide by these regulations will be punished severely.
ISIS bans 50 'blasphemous' baby names '-- like Nadia, Sarah and Lara
In another poignant though hilarious report from territories under ISIS control, ISIS authorities have banned 50 names for babies born in the cities occupied by the notorious organization, calling them blasphemous, inappropriate and a contradiction to the Islamic culture.
ISIS central sharia council ''justified the ban by saying that the names either contradicted the culture Islamic religion, or were foreign, or inappropriate,'' RT reported. ''The names fit into at least three categories '-- those that offend perceived religious sensibilities, those that are affiliated to royalty and those that are of non-Arabic or non-Islamic origin.''
Some, like Benjamin, Diana and Lina didn't meet any of those standards.
''A number of other names appear that do not necessarily fit into any category, and it is therefore unclear as to why they would have been banned,'' the Gulf News report said.
Persian Gulf Arab states want to establish formal ties with ISIS
Meanwhile according to a well-informed Turkish source, on 6th of September, Ghanem Al ''Qubaisi, Emirati intelligence chief met with Ahmed al-Alwani, ISIS military commander in an underground meeting, conveyed PGCC's (Persian Gulf cooperation council) letter to ISIS high command, stating that if ISIS do not trespass the red lines and the previous commitments, all Arab kingdoms except Qatar will recognize ISIS as the legitimate authority in Iraq and Syria.
ISIS Bans Teaching Evolution In Schools
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:59
BAGHDAD (AP) '-- The extremist-held Iraqi city of Mosul is set to usher in a new school year. But unlike years past, there will be no art or music. Classes about history, literature and Christianity have been "permanently annulled."
The Islamic State group has declared patriotic songs blasphemous and ordered that certain pictures be torn out of textbooks.
But instead of compliance, Iraq's second largest city has '-- at least so far '-- responded to the Sunni militants' demands with silence. Although the extremists stipulated that the school year would begin Sept. 9, pupils have uniformly not shown up for class, according to residents who spoke anonymously because of safety concerns. They said families were keeping their children home out of mixed feelings of fear, resistance and uncertainty.
"What's important to us now is that the children continue receiving knowledge correctly, even if they lose a whole academic year and an official certification," a Mosul resident who identified himself as Abu Hassan told The Associated Press, giving only his nickname for fear of reprisals. He and his wife have opted for home schooling, picking up the required readings at the local market.
The fall of Mosul on June 10 was a turning point in Iraq's war against the jihadi group that calls itself the Islamic State. The U.S.-trained Iraqi military, harassed for months by small-scale attacks, buckled almost instantly when militants advanced on the city. Commanders disappeared. Pleas for more ammunition went unanswered. In some cases, soldiers stripped off their uniforms and ran.
The city would come to represent the expanding power and influence of the extremist group, which was born in Iraq but spread to Syria, where it grew exponentially in the chaos of the country's civil war. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group's reclusive leader, made his first video appearance in Mosul in July to announce his vision for a self-styled caliphate '-- an Islamic state '-- of which he would be the caliph, or leader.
Part of the Islamic State group's core strategy is to establish administration over lands that it controls to project an image of itself as a ruler and not just a fighting force. In parts of Syria under its control, the group now administers courts, fixes roads and even polices traffic. It recently imposed a curriculum in schools in its Syrian stronghold, Raqqa, scrapping subjects such as philosophy and chemistry, and fine-tuning the sciences to fit with its ideology.
In Mosul, schools have been presented with a new set of rules, advertised in a two-page bulletin posted on mosques, in markets and on electricity poles. The statement, dated Sept. 5, cheered "good news of the establishment of the Islamic State Education Diwan by the caliph who seeks to eliminate ignorance, to spread religious sciences and to fight the decayed curriculum."
The new Mosul curriculum, allegedly issued by al-Baghdadi himself, stresses that any reference to the republics of Iraq or Syria must be replaced with "Islamic State." Pictures that violate its ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam will be ripped out of books. Anthems and lyrics that encourage love of country are now viewed as a show of "polytheism and blasphemy," and are strictly banned.
The new curriculum even went so far as to explicitly ban Charles Darwin's theory of evolution '-- although it was not previously taught in Iraqi schools.
Abu Hassan and his fellow residents acknowledge the risks involved in keeping the children at home, but say that protecting their minds is equally important. "They will brainwash them and contaminate their thoughts," he said.
This past weekend, some families said that a new statement from the Islamic State group began circulating through the city, demanding that students show up for class on Tuesday. Others said they never received the notice.
Since the earliest days of the militant onslaught on Mosul, some residents who have remained have welcomed the insurgents wholeheartedly, while others have risked death to protect their city and assert their defiance. In July, militants threatened to blow up its most prominent landmark, the 840-year old Crooked Minaret that leans like Italy's Tower of Pisa. Residents sat on the ground and linked arms to form a human chain, protecting the ancient structure from sharing the fate of more than half a dozen mosques and shrines flattened by the militants who declared them dens of apostasy.
Even as foreign intervention, led by U.S. airstrikes, begins to take form and make headway, the group's tight grip on Mosul appears, for now, unrelenting, with many of the militants burying themselves in heavily populated city centers.
It was unclear whether teachers and school administrators have also stayed home rather than show up for work.
In the Sept. 5 statement posted across Mosul, the "caliph," al- Baghdadi, calls upon professionals in Iraq and abroad "to teach and serve the Muslims in order to improve the people of the Islamic state in the fields of all religious and other sciences."
Gender-segregated schools are not new to Iraq, which legally prohibits co-ed classes beyond age 12, with some segregating from a much younger age. However, in Mosul, the new guidelines declared that teachers must also be segregated, with men teaching at boys' schools, and women teaching girls.
The Education Ministry in Baghdad says it has virtually no contact with Mosul and other towns and cities in nearly one-third of the country ruled to some degree by the Islamic State group. "The situation in Mosul is so difficult because it is far too dangerous for us to know exactly what is happening," said Salama al-Hassan, a spokeswoman for ministry.
Students also face hardships elsewhere across Iraq amid growing pressure to cater to more than 1.8 million people people displaced by the militants' advance. Nationwide, the school year has been delayed by a month, because many schools have been converted into makeshift shelters for displaced people from regions seized by the Islamic State group. In Baghdad alone, 76 schools are occupied by displaced Iraqis, al-Hassan said.
"All of this has a serious impact on the psychology of the students," she added. "We want to approach this subject in a way that boosts the confidence and spirit of the students and helps them to understand what is happening in the country without instilling them with fear."
For residents in Mosul and other areas now ruled by the militant group, fear is unavoidable.
The education statement put out by the militants in Mosul ends with a chilling reminder of its willingness to use brutal force. "This announcement is binding," it concludes. "Anyone who acts against it will face punishment."
Associated Press reporters Sameer N. Yacoub in Baghdad and Zeina Karam in Beirut, Lebanon contributed to this report.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
European Diplomat: EU Buys ISIS Oil
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 03:53
ISTANBUL '-- Speaking at the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, Ambassador for the EU in Iraq Jana Hybaskova confessed that some members of the EU purchased Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham's (ISIS) oil. However, she did not reveal the names of the EU countries which purchased ISIS's oil to finance the organization, despite insistent questions.
Analysts say that when geographically evaluated, ISIS can export the crude oil via Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. However, on July 31, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Sources Taner Yıldız emphasized the fact that Turkey is a constitutional state and would never support any kind of terrorist activity in response to the claims that Turkey is purchasing or transporting oil from ISIS and al-Nusra. ''Such claims are being uttered just to create controversy about Turkey's policies. However, even before the UN's decision, Turkey has not purchased oil from ISIS or al-Nusra,'' said Yıldız, adding that Turkey will never aid and abet any kind of terrorist organization or activity.
ISIS attacks in Iraq caused the oil price hike in Northern Iraq as the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) announced on Tuesday. Prices in the region have almost doubled as a way to deal with the economic crisis, which has been exacerbated by an influx of more than 1.4 million refugees. Another reason for the hike is an oil shortage, which began on June 13 after the Beyji refinery located 200 kilometers north of Baghdad was captured by Islamic State militants.
(Via dailysabah)
Leave CommentsComments
Activist Post: 10 Signs That ISIS is a Scripted Psyop
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:53
Scripted Oddities Portray ISIS As "James Bond" of TerrorismBernie SuarezActivist Post
Has the ISIS psyop calmed down a bit? Before it dies out let's examine some incredible ironies and oddities surrounding CIA's ISIS. After all, the ISIS psyop deserves a thorough analysis from every angle, so I thought it appropriate to outline for the sake of humanity. Hopefully, humanity can use the ISIS psyop as a tool for the final or further awakening. It may be wishful thinking, but it is worth exposing every crack and corner of this psyop and let government know that we are not going for it this time.
I declare humanity too intuitive to buy into this psychological operation and hopefully I'm right. So while the core TV-watching, mainstream media-believing community drinks the government Kool Aid, let us get started by pointing out several glaring observations regarding the ISIS psyop.
Glancing ahead, the ISIS kids have knowledge of things that require you to have education, modern technical skills, a little bit of decency, structure, conformity to societal norms and somewhat transparent connection to the outside world. What are these things and what are some of the surreal oddities surrounding ISIS? Let's examine:
1. Professional Camera, Editing Software and Skills
Incredibly, despite being savages that only want to kill for apparently no specific burning reason other than that fact that you are not ISIS, ISIS has at least some kind of production department that can skillfully provide what could be considered Hollywood-style editing (of supposed beheading videos) with multiple camera angles, consistent daylight on their subjects and proper daylight mode video exposure. They clearly have the skills for setting up multiple cameras and using those precise angles for their production department. In order to put out these supposed beheading videos, they also had to make sure that the sounds were just right and that there was no shaking of the camera.
Someone then had to take the various video angles and properly edit the footage so as to make it look professional. The editor, apparently a man of class and decency, then is careful not to show any actual action and blood. Savage killers who are ALSO respectful and classy about being too disturbing with their videos. Instead they courteously (but sloppily) cut from the early hand action of their British-sounding supposed lead man, to the post beheading amazingly clean shot of a head sitting on a corpse with the classic Photoshop drop shadows. In Hollywood style, reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock films, the editor essentially leaves the action to the viewer's imagination. Even though this beheading movie created by ISIS is not being submitted for any film festivals, they carefully comply with techniques that would make this film fully acceptable into almost any gore film festival.To those who want to point out to viewers the amazing lack of blood during those first critical throat slices of James Foley's neck, sorry, exposing this lack of blood is in itself apparently too grotesque by YouTube standards and should you post such a video it will be conveniently removed.2. Professional Image Editing Software and Skills.
Like the editing software, the ISIS production team shows off their skills in Photoshop image editing software, which often requires an extended learning period, resources, and practice. Despite a few imperfections, the ISIS production department seems to know how to cut and splice out sections of images to produce the desired effect of disconnecting a head from the body. Even if obtaining and using the software is believable, let's remember we're talking about savage "terrorists" that are supposedly inhumane. In other words, these are clinically, factually documented psychopaths and not your average person according to government legend. Let's keep this in mind (psychopaths) when speaking about ISIS.
3. Internet Connection, Video Uploading Capabilities, and Social Media Accounts.
According to U.S. "intelligence sources" mouthpieces, ISIS has all the above including social media capabilities. Amazingly, these covered-face killers have unraveled the secret of how to outsmart every world power including the U.S. Empire with regard to every form of communication. They have stomped out the U.S. military, NSA, CIA, NATO, U.N. and the intelligence of Israel, U.K. and every other nation that surrounds them. You may think it's not every day that a small group of young face-covered kids can outsmart the world, but this could be attributed to pure luck if you believe in the ISIS psyop. Just to be able to say that you've outsmarted the U.S. Empire 13 years after they accelerated their plans to rule the world outlined in The Project for the New American Century document titled "Rebuilding America's Defenses." According to the ISIS psyop, that accomplishment alone is worthy of historic recognition.
Here's a group of young kids with covered faces who maintain Internet accounts without any past due balances, they have wide open social media accounts (Facebook? YouTube? Twitter?) that are also apparently well maintained. They must understand and be properly following the rules of these social media accounts. But wait, if they have social media accounts doesn't that mean that the social media providers are terrorists too? Unless these geniuses called ISIS are also fooling them as well. I suppose this would be realistic according to the government narrative since ISIS has apparently outsmarted everyone else.
Okay, forget social media, how is ISIS able to log on to the Internet? Do they have their own ISIS hackers?? Who do they pay their Internet bill with? Without Internet aren't they lost? No social media and no way of knowing what is going on right? I doubt they have analog TV in their convoys? Doesn't this present a communication problem? ISIS again quietly has overcome this problem in a flawless and mysterious manner.4. ISIS Intelligence Operation Apparently Far Superior to CIA/Mossad
Amazingly this group of geniuses who have outsmarted the entire global intelligence community seem to have all the capabilities to put the U.S. Empire's CIA and their globalist partner Israel's Mossad to shame. ISIS has put on a clinic and has officially handed the U.S. and Israel their butts in the intelligence department. They not only formed right below their noses, they did it quickly, they figured out unanimously what their mission would be and all agreed on it. Football teams and all sports team for that matter throughout the world could learn from ISIS. ISIS apparently is teaching the world how a team works together. Imagine, the CIA's mainstream media would have us believe that ISIS is powerful and high in numbers. Really? How would you get that many people to agree on anything? Every NCAA coach would learn a lot from ISIS. Here's a group of young face-covered men who actually agree on everything. They even all agree not to attack Israel for no reason at all.
How quickly ISIS rose to power and fame and how they operate in such unity should strike everyone as very odd, yet the ISIS psyop narrative continues without missing a beat in regards to these technicalities and finer points. Any way we slice it, the ISIS psyop narratives has a group of kids with hidden faces who have revolutionized the concept of the "intelligence" operation. They solved the CIA Mossad and NSA problems and now are laughing at the global intelligence community. They did this at a time, by the way, even as uncharged innocent prisoners sit in George W Bush's Guantanamo illegal prison for life. Can you imagine what is going on in the minds of the men in Guantanamo hearing about ISIS?5. Super Secret Database Holding the Secret Names and Identities of Their Members
Have you noticed that no one knows who ISIS is? What are their names? Why not snag up one or two of them and let the identities come out? No, not ONE member of ISIS is capturable or identified to the world. It's like they never existed. Not one wife, sister, brother, father, cousin, nephew, aunt, or uncle is speaking out. Apparently they never lived anywhere and never told their friends that they were going to join ISIS. Not one of the has a girlfriend or a spouse that would have spoken by now. No one has come out testifying that ISIS tried recruiting them. Oddly, we haven't even heard of an angry former girlfriend speaking out about the initial call, the recruiting effort or anything whatsoever. But without a powerful recruiting effort how did they recruit? Somehow they got around this one too. No one knows how. They simply came into being. Let that sink in.
6. Anti Surveillance Technology- Able to Avoid All Existing Surveillance
In the age of super advanced government biometric surveillance, tracking and spying, ISIS has one less problem than anyone in America. Unlike Americans who are constantly under the threat of being surveilled and spied on by the U.S. empire, ISIS lives free of the threat of technological surveillance of any kind. For some reason, their images, faces, voices and actions are not surveilled, tracked or recorded by those who can do it.
"Intelligence sources" are powerless in the face of ISIS. All of the U.S.'s NASA, NSA and USAF technology and equipment makes no difference when it's ISIS. Despite all this, amazingly we hear nothing about the U.S. military or NSA trying to steal or decode the ISIS counter surveillance technology. Oddly, the topic of ISIS's amazing counter-surveillance technological abilities is not talked about by anyone in the media or in Washington.
7. Endless Secret Water, Food, Farming and Meals Supply
Anyone who has served in the military knows that being a soldier makes you hungry. ISIS fighters definitely require lots of food and drinks that keep their energy up. You can't go around killing people just for not being part of ISIS without having plenty of energy and lots of water and drinks. Even in the military, working in the mess hall for some was a career. Why? Because someone has to do it.
When I was in the military I remember the supply specialists; their full time job was tagging along on our field trips, making sure the unit had enough food and water. When necessary, the supply guys had to go to work to make sure everything went smooth. So where is ISIS getting their supplies? Who's feeding them with food and water? Do they also own the farms? Do they grow their own food? Amazingly, according to the ISIS psyop they do. Or perhaps their food and water suppliers are all part of a secret operation being hidden by the world's new leader of counter intelligence, ISIS. And speaking of supplies, who's supplying their actual bullets? Ammunition? Guns without ammo are useless, so the question is where are they getting their bullets from?8. All American Timing! - Common Enemies, Lucky Gift
ISIS is a unique group from which almost all their goals fit in perfectly with the Bush Neocon plans to militarily control the world. I covered this topic in a recent article. Amazingly, ISIS now happens to hate Russia, too, just like the United States. What are the odds? Bush Neocons controlling Obama and the globalists benefit greatly from more, not less, terrorism. An end to the War on Terror would leave the U.S. without the planned conquering of Syria and Iran and re-conquering Iraq. Without a bogeymonster like ISIS to provide the pretext for invading these countries (in some cases, again) the plan has no legs. That ISIS fits in perfectly with the Bush Neocon plans is merely a coincidence according to the ISIS psyop narrative. Like Lucky Larry Silverstein taking the day off only on 9/11/01 to go to an appointment after never missing work for years if ever at all. Luck, the narrators of the ISIS psyop would have you believe, is something that just happens and should be accepted without question.
But wait, ISIS is so close to Israel, they may attack Israel any given day. Given how fast they move, how well they operate together, their skillful blend of technology and brute force surely they could cause a historic massacre in Israel overnight and leave their trail of blood through large sections of Israel. Isn't that the stated goal of ISIS? IDF and Mossad have already failed to detect or stop ISIS in any way shape or form so I wouldn't expect them to provide much of a challenge for the ISIS powerhouse terror group. Given how brave they are, I would imagine they wouldn't have any problems getting the young men to volunteer for the big Israel attack.
The big Israel attack would gain them all the PR and Marketing they need. Isn't that the goal when someone opens up a social media account? Hasn't ISIS demonstrated in the supposed beheading videos that they are serious, they want everyone to know who they are and they want certain things? An attack on Israel would get them everything they want; yet, for another lucky reason (luck of the U.S. and Israel) ISIS doesn't seem motivated about pulling off the big damage/low-cost attack on Israel.
The irony gets even crazier here. According to U.S. politicians pushing the ISIS psyop narrative, ISIS is not only unwilling to attack Israel, which they could do in a day or two, they instead prefer to make plans to travel all the way to the other side of the world to attack the world's most powerful Empire of all time. Yes, they would rather risk getting caught, imprisoned or killed traveling halfway around the world than to go for an easy quick strike at Israel. And, for good measure, as if to flaunt their super counter-intelligence capabilities, they are willing to announce ahead of time their travel plans to fly halfway across the world to attack American cities.
So this previously incredible intelligence organization that outsmarted all of the world's intelligence agencies at once, is now giving away their plans before they even happen. Doesn't that sound like a monumental change in intelligence strategy from such a stellar counter-intelligence skilled violent organization? Apparently in the "new" ISIS philosophy they now give away their plans ahead of time knowing that NOT giving away their plans worked pretty well during their secret and rapid rise to power under everyone's noses. Keep in mind ISIS uses U.S. military gear which they accidentally "found" in Iraq. The military gear - including tanks, artillery weapons and high-powered guns - all just happened to work perfectly, and for good measure they apparently have all the ammunition to go with these weapons.
But wait, you might say, how can ISIS transport huge military equipment to the U.S. for an attack? Not one U.S. "intelligence source" seems to know the answer to this. Apparently ISIS is not just lucky like lucky Larry, they also have a lot of money (that no one seems to know the origin of) and they are very versatile. The ISIS engineers are apparently working on brand new smaller, easier to hide weapons that are not detectable by airport scanners or surveillance cameras. Is ISIS starting to sound like James Bond yet?9. Complete Ongoing Immunity and Hidden Identities
Amazingly, ISIS is unknown to anyone (as mentioned in number 6). Even if their database is never discovered, ISIS is skilled at knowing when to wear their masks. I mean, you wouldn't want to be caught without your mask right? And if you are caught without your mask and someone videotapes you, does that mean they kill you? No big deal? How does that work? One thing we know is that ISIS thus far (and they have been around allegedly a few years) has been perfect at hiding their faces. Not ONE video or photo exists where one member of ISIS showed his face. Amazing? Yes, for a group that has regular social media and Internet access. Where are the images of these men that belong to ISIS and why hide your face anyway? This amazing stroke of luck of not having even one member show his face or having his identity known to the world is an amazing accomplishment given all the technology and media available as mentioned before.
With this ongoing face-hiding playing out to perfection, once again ISIS is schooling the world on how to be a criminal in the face of the global police state and get away with it. Do you realize someone you know or someone they know could be part of ISIS without anyone knowing? Is ISIS really Blackwater? Academi? You know, the U.S.'s private mercenary organization that likes to change its name all the time. Is this the reason why "ISIS" covers their face? Even James Bond could not successfully hide his identity for very long and he's just one person. Remember, we're talking about supposedly thousands if not tens of thousands of young men working as one without one of these men making a mistake. Try to imagine how ridiculous this really sounds. Ultimately, as long as secrecy of the faces of ISIS is maintained, we really don't know for sure just who ISIS really is. We know what the federal government would have us think, but humanity as a whole is now moving past this type of solution for procurement of legitimate information.10. Untraceable Money and Endless Spending
Yes, according to government mouthpiece "experts" like Colonel Anthony Shaffer and others, we (the U.S. "intelligence sources") know a lot about ISIS. They have money, they are organized, etc. But think about it, how come they "know" so much about ISIS's financial abilities but don't "know" who funded them or what bank accounts they currently have?? U.S. and its allies' intelligence only "know" enough to scare you with ISIS but not enough to act to actually stop their banking activity. That would actually stop ISIS dead in its tracks wouldn't it? But nope, we don't want ISIS to go away too quickly. The script needs to play out doesn't it?
This script is indeed playing out, and America and the world is the audience watching the show. Those that are awakened stand in dismay at the level of propaganda we are seeing and are wondering what ridiculous narrative will the globalists spin next to get into Syria and continue into Iran? Others who wanted to believe mainstream media news but perhaps are intuitive enough to not be fooled yet again are scratching their head. We call that The WTF Moment.
While sadly others have seen this script before and for some reason they kind of liked it before. Perhaps they love the post-9/11 feeling of believing government and looking to it for protection from terrorism. Perhaps they love the police state and maybe they are comfortable being surveilled 24/7. Perhaps they know that the only way to maintain their sanity and their lifelong and hard-fought-for paradigm is to simply believe whatever mainstream media news says. This third group will welcome the CIA script.
It is this group (those that welcome the mainstream media script) that makes this next (information war) chess game between humanity's awakened segment and humanity's governing segment very interesting. This third (asleep) segment of humanity is playing out the last bit of fantasy left in their personal paradigms. Some of them would probably rather die than face reality. Some of them think they are "saving" themselves from reality. Reality, with some of these people, thus takes on the role of sin in that they want to save themselves from this consciousness. For others the same reality takes on a role of "insanity". The goal thus becomes to "preserve" their consciousness from this "insanity" or tin foil, crazy, lunatic, "conspiracy theories"- you get the picture.
That is how the ISIS psyop divides itself upon humanity. Recognizing the three primary forms of consciousness will help us arrive at a consensus on how to move forward to fix this problem. Let's hope that we (humanity) can figure it out quickly this time and with the fewest amount of lost lives. Let us pray for humanity and for the survival of the human race. Let's remember that all those logos, flags, ideologies, and concepts of governments are all just artificial agreements. Let's all try to see the biggest picture, which is that we are all part of a species (humanity) which is actually trying to kill itself off. Let's not let tiny individual samples of our own species ruin it for all of us. They've tried everything they have, so they have to start repeating their tactics. They are making the script easier for us all. Let's take advantage of this weakness they are showing. The weakness of lack of creativity. This lack of creativity is glaringly obvious to all of us now. The globalists are not very creative and they like to repeat their tactics. This is why history is a great tool to expose the globalists and their new world order.
Its been said and I declare again that those who ignore the lessons of history are bound to repeat it; never has this been more true than today. Here's a word of caution to those who still believe government's ongoing War on Terror. Look at the past, look at attacks of 9/11/01, don't you agree it didn't work out very well for us? And on top of that they took all our liberties away. This is a failed government. Are you going to trust them at a game where you are always the loser? Ask yourself, how did their phony war on terror improve your life last time? Why would this next round of ISIS be expected to be any different? Don't you want to thrive while you are alive? Then let go of government-engineered lies and narratives and see the greater agenda now for yourself. Then share this message with someone.
Bernie Suarez is an activist, critical thinker, radio host, musician, M.D, Veteran, lover of freedom and the Constitution, and creator of the Truth and Art TV project. He also has a background in psychology and highly recommends that everyone watch a documentary titledThe Century of the Self. Bernie has concluded that the way to defeat the New World Order is to truly be the change that you want to see. Manifesting the solution and putting truth into action is the very thing that will defeat the globalists.
If you enjoy our work, please donate to keep our website going.
Be Afraid Citizen!
U.S. to help train people to spot potential violent extremists | Reuters
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:02
By Aruna Viswanatha
WASHINGTONMon Sep 15, 2014 11:06am EDT
TweetShare thisEmailPrintA fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, June 23, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Stringer
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government launched a program on Monday to reach out to key members of communities across the country to try to stop radicalized young people joining Islamic State and other extremist groups fighting in Syria and Iraq.
"Today, few threats are more urgent than the threat posed by violent extremism," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video announcing the program.
The Department of Justice, the White House, and other agencies are starting a series of pilot programs to bring together community leaders, law-enforcement officials, and others to develop a strategy to counter the threat, Holder said.
While existing programs have focused on community leaders, the new programs will also include teachers and mental health and social services professionals to provide more support and develop ways to spot potential extremists, an official familiar with the program said.
The goal is to intervene before people become radicalized, said the official, who declined to be named.
Law-enforcement authorities say they have had success in similar efforts to counter gang violence, for example, by training teachers, social services workers and others in what to look for and how the groups recruit.
President Barack Obama has made halting the flow of radicalized Americans to foreign conflicts a part of his strategy against Islamic State militants, which includes a military campaign to ultimately destroy the group.
He said in a speech on Wednesday that authorities would offer "tailored domestic programs to prevent violent extremism and radicalization."
U.S. officials have estimated that as many as 15,000 foreign fighters are operating in Syria, including 3,000 westerners and around 100 Americans.
The U.N. Security Council plans to demand countries stop the recruitment of foreign fighters by creating criminal laws specifically against it, Reuters reported last week.
The draft resolution has been spurred by the rise of Islamic State - an al Qaeda splinter group that has seized swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate - and al Qaeda's Syrian wing, Nusra Front.
(Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha; Editing by David Storey and Mohammad Zargham)
Tweet thisLink thisShare thisDigg thisEmailPrintReprints
U.S. to help train people to spot potential violent extremists - Yahoo News
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:53
î'HomeMailNewsSportsFinanceWeatherGamesGroupsAnswersScreenFlickrMobileMoreî‚CelebrityMoviesMusicTVHealthStyleBeautyFoodTechShoppingTravelAutosHomesSign InîšMailîŒHelpAccount InfoHelpSuggestionsPhone Number*Only U.S. numbers are accepted.
EmailSubmitAdd to calendar
Dutch Stage Gigantic, Messy Tomato Fight to Protest Russian Sanctions
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 02:09
Dutch men and women threw a shit-ton of overripe tomatoes at each other in Amsterdam's central Dam square on Sunday, the AP reports, to protest against Russian sanctions blocking the import of European produce.
Tickets to the one-hour fight, inspired by Spain's annual "La Tomatina" festival, cost tomato-throwers 15 euros ($18) each, and around 1,000 tomato-throwing tickets were sold. According to participant Sil Bloedjes, who spoke with the AP, it smelled "awful" and "somewhat like beer," but she noted the tomatoes that landed in her mouth actually didn't taste that bad. Yum! Her sister, Lois Bloedjes, spoke about how mushy it was:
"It was hard in there. It was mean. But it was fun. ... Everything became one big pile of mush. There were people swimming in it on the ground."
Joep Verbunt, organizer of the event, told the AP the proceeds will go to tomato growers who have been hurt by the sanctions, and the 120,000 tomatoes used in the fight were purchased after being labeled unfit for human consumption. From the AP:
The Netherlands vies with Mexico as the world's largest tomato exporter, and it sent $100 million worth to Russia last year. Dutch farmers have been offered a subsidy to either dispose of excess crops or donate them to food banks.
Upon leaving the event, participant Dennis de Jong said, "It was beautiful."
[images via Peter Dejong, AP]
siemens sponsort tomaten gevecht - Google Search
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:57
siemens sponsort tomaten gevecht - Google SearchGoogle Instant is unavailable. Press Enter to search.
Learn moreGoogle Instant is off due to connection speed. Press Enter to search.
Press Enter to search.
Screen reader users, click here to turn off Google Instant.
Please click
here if you are not redirected within a few seconds.
Search settings
LanguagesTurn on SafeSearch
Advanced search
Search help
About 2,500 results (0.26 seconds)
Na Spanje, nu ook tomatengevecht in Amsterdam ...Sep 3, 2014 - Amsterdam heeft zelfs uitgeprobeerd wat het effect is van tomaten op de stenen die op de Dam liggen. ... Het idee is afgekeken van La Tomatina, een tomatengevecht dat traditioneel iedere laatste woensdag van ... Sponsors ...Missing:siemens
Eropuit & Reizen | Spaansnieuws.comSep 2, 2014 -Tomaten gevecht. 3 september 2014. Na Spanje, nu ook tomatengevecht in Amsterdam. Op de Dam in Amsterdam wordt volgende week zondag een groot tomatengevecht gehouden. De gemeente heeft ... Sponsors ...Missing:siemens
Actueel Nieuws Nederland, het laatste nieuws in binnen en ...www.actueelnieuwsnederland.nl/index.php?page=1&ipp=All&p...Tomatentelers woest over aangekondigd tomatengevecht op de Dam ..... - Siemens roept consumenten op om te controleren of ze een wasdroger in huis hebben die ... Sponsoring goede doelen; 15:25; Dinsdag 9 september 2014. Troostboom ...[PDF]Utilisatierapport 2008 - STWwww.stw.nl/sites/stw.demo.infi.../STW_UTILISATIERAPPORT2008.pdfeen sponsor de kleding gratis ter beschik- ...... de plant het gevecht tussen rovende en plantenetende ..... Siemens toonde interesse maar werd door Geodelta uitgeslo- ten. Geodelta ...... in de teelt van onder andere siergewassen, tomaat,.Website van Sophie, Bram en EricZwem mee of sponsor een van de deelnemers. .... tomaat) die de groei van kankercellen tegengaan, omega-3 vetten (noten, haring) ..... Bram en zijn schoolvrienden met spannende paintball gevechten in Loosdrecht. ... mee maar deze on-line webviewer demo van de Siemens syngo.via PACS is wel heel erg fraai en snel.'s avonds 'smiddag 'smorgens 'snachts 'sochtends 'www.etymologiebank.nl/autowords... geval gevang gevangene gevangenis gevat gevecht gevechtsvliegtuig geveinsd ...... sief siegesmundin siegle siel siemens siena siene siepel siepelgras siepen .... sponsalin sponsen sponseren sponshout sponsor sponsoren sponsrubber ..... tomaat tomahawk toman tomas tomatenpasta tomatensardines tomatensoep ...Logboek 2008/1 (Lagos>Corsica) - sailing-dulce.nlMay 10, 2008 - ... een camera van 5 megapixels, van Sony, vermoedelijk de sponsor. ...... Ans heeft ze (C)(C)n keer in de lengte doorgesneden en samen met gepelde tomaten en uien, ...... jaar waarin de firma Siemens het spoortje heeft gelectrificeerd. ...... hier) en herinneren aan de vele gevechten die er gevoerd werden.
MONSANTO-Conditions Set for IMF Loan for Ukraine Facilitate Cultivation of GMO Crops | Eco Plus | RIA Novosti
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:13
American author and geopolitical analyst William Engdahl clarifies the implications on Ukraine's agriculture of legislation ushered in with new IMF loans to Ukraine. Such legislation makes it possible to cultivate GMO crops in Ukraine.
Your browser does not support HTML5 audio
Like any lender, the IMF makes conditions when it loans money. In most countries, the IMF insists on at least the opening up of markets to foreign companies. With a bankrupt economy, Ukraine will only welcome foreign investment in its agriculture. Under article 404 of the Associative Agreement that Ukraine has signed with the EU, the country agrees to cooperate 'to extend the use of biotechnologies', which is the Monsanto euphemism for GMOs crops. Cultivation of GMO crops was banned in Ukraine right up until the present leaders took power in Kiev. American GMO companies can now start large-scale cultivation of GMO modified crops, and establish a back door into the EU, where growing such crops is banned in most countries. For reasons best known to the corporations involved, hardly a word about this has been printed in world's mainstream press.
Why is Ukrainian agriculture of interest to other countries?
William Engdahl: The Ukrainian soil is some of the finest high quality nutrient and rich soil in the world today. One of the ironic benefits of the 70 years under the Soviet system, is that the agriculture in Russia and Ukraine virtually received no heavy chemicals. All the chemicals were diverted for military purposes during the Cold War and so forth. And the soil, by the nature, the black soil of Ukraine is absolutely finest soil on the Earth.
So, the Ukrainian laws up until this coup d'(C)tat in February of this year, backed by Washington, by the way, protected the agriculture land as a national treasure from any foreign ownership. And under Yatsenyuk '' the man, handpicked by Victoria Nuland, the neoconservative former advisor to Dick Cheney, who's orchestrated the personnel to be the new Government after the February coup; Yatsenyuk is known as a waterboy for the IMF (the International Monetary Fund).
Now, what is the IMF? Many people don't understand. The IMF was created by the US and Britain, and a few allies after WW II to oversee the reconstruction of Europe. It got changed into an agency to control better countries in Latin America and Poland, and Yugoslavia, and so forth during the debt crisis of the 1970'es and the 1980's.
And the key thing about the IMF is that the controlling veto power of the agency is held by one country '' the US Treasury Department.
Now we are talking about a more subtle form of colonialism, I believe, through the IMF and the World Bank using globalization. So, what is happening is that we are taking over new countries by taking over their markets. And the method that we are using is loans and strings attached to the loans, which you name in your article ''conditionalities'', correct?
William Engdahl: Yes! It is a kind of informal imperialism or colonialism. The US and Britain together rigged the rules of the IMF. There is a huge debate with the emerging countries, like China, Russia '' the BRICS countries '' Brazil, South Africa and India '' wanting to have a stronger voting share in the IMF. But the US and Britain hold onto this blocking veto. So, they determine the rules of the IMF. The head of the IMF is always a European approved by the US. And the head of the World Bank is always an American.
So, the control of Washington over the IMF and the money of Saudi Arabia, and other countries that are the members, is held by the US Treasury. It is a beautiful instrument of hidden colonialism. Many developing countries have guessed the game, because they've been victims of the rape and the looting by the IMF.
What they do is: they come in to a country like Ukraine and say '' Ukraine, you are bankrupt (which is de facto true). And they say '' we will give you $17 billion. Oh, that's wonderful! But we have some conditions, we tie on some strings, because, of course, there is no free lunch. The strings are '' you have to have a free market. You have to eliminate your laws that control the ownership of your agriculture land. You have to eliminate your law that bans the planting of genetically modified seeds, so that Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Chemical, Syngenta, BASF and so on, they can come in and plant they poisonous GMO seeds and ruin the finest agriculture in the world.
Why is GMO so bad?
William Engdahl: Two things. One, the seeds are patented such that farmers, who get trapped into Monsanto trap, every season have to buy not only Monsanto GMO seeds, but they are forbidden to replant the seeds '' something that's been done for 5000 years by farmers ever since the Mesopotamian invention of agriculture. The second thing is that you are forced by a contract to use Monsanto Roundup weed killers, poisonous chemicals and so forth. And you cannot violate that.
The diabolical thing that goes on here is that Monsanto refuses to allow government testing of any of its products '' its weed killer Roundup, as well as its seeds. But there have been independent tests that they've managed to carry out in France and elsewhere. And they've shown that the weed killer that is paired by a contract, paired with Roundup Ready soybeans or corn contain toxins '' poisons that kill cells in the female human embryo, in concentrations much less than is used in garden variety weed killers.
Is this invasion into Ukraine by these companies a way to get into Europe through the back door?
William Engdahl: Yes! Because of the Ukraine's EU association agreement, they are going to then export the GMO crops and say that this is part of the EU. The European Commission in Brussels, they are a bunch of corrupt bastards. They've sold their soul to the devil and they would really love to have GMO all over the place. Who knows what they are getting under the table.
Why isn't this being reported in the world's mainstream press?
William Engdahl: That is a very good question: why the mainstream press doesn't report many things? I think the problem is that the mainstream press, most print media today is struggling to survive because of the Internet and they are dependent on advertisers. Advertisers include agribusiness corporations '' Big Time, Monsanto and others, DuPont, Dow Chemical, Syngenta in Switzerland.
And not only that. There is a mainstream media consensus process that creates opinions on key issues to stay controversially against that, like global warming. To argue with that openly and freely, which a democratic press has to do '' that is their responsibility '' that is considered a taboo and you don't do it, if you want to have a career as a journalist.
Does this article 404 under the Associative agreement stipulate that Ukraine has to allow GMO cultivation?
William Engdahl: Yes, that is the situation. And to get the $17 billion they have to sign that agreement, and it is embedded in Article 404, that they have to include the allowance of genetically modified or biotechnology crops.They've already signed the agreement, as I understand.
William Engdahl: Yes, they have.
So, it is a done story. This is going to happen, unless everything changes.
Gay Crusader wants answers about LGBT Anti-Russian Campaigns
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:15
Follow the Rubles: HRC & LGBT Russian Groups By Todd Swindell and Michael PetrelisRecently, gay researcher and writer Brian M. Heiss wrote to remind us that it's been just over a year since American LGBT activists and organizations got angry and in the streets to protest anti-gay laws in Russia, and to commence a number of fundraising efforts.You may wonder what this and our recent posts about the Human Rights Campaign have to do with our District 8 Supervisor race, and the response is we're writing these posts on our campaign site to show how we deliver accountability at the national and international level.
We've excepted from Brian's email to bring you his key points and questions. All of the groups mentioned, along with Russian gay organizations, will be made aware of these questions and if we hear from them, we'll share their responses. Brian writes:
June 30, 2014 marked one year since the Russian Federation anti-gay legislation banning the "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors" became enacted as law. However July 21, 2014 marks the first anniversary of Harvey Fierstein's NY Times Op-Ed titled "Russia's Anti-Gay Crackdown" (tinyurl.com/NYT-Fierstein-Gay-Russia).
With the one year anniversary of America's gaining awareness of Russia's anti-gay law, I thought it might be appropriate to revisit the impact that the collective efforts here in the US had to help make a difference in the lives of our LGBT brothers and sisters in the Russian Federation. No one has been more effective and dedicated than you, Michael, in pushing for accountability and transparency by the US-based groups who solicited donations from our community with the promise that our donations would directly support Russian Federation-based LGBT organizations and individuals.
Aside from issuing press releases on the first anniversary of the enactment of the Russian Federation anti-gay law (tinyurl.com/HRC-One-Year-Gay-Russia); it seems that the organizations, so quick to solicit donations for the LGBT communities in the Russian Federation, have largely forgotten about the fight for equality in Russia since the closing ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics.
I prepared the material below in hopes that you might reach out to your contacts to hopefully gain answers to these important questions:1) HRC and Arcus Foundation:HRC and Arcus Foundation together formed the Russia Freedom Fund (www.russiafreedomfund.org).
Q: How were the groups able to circumvent the Russian Federation's Foreign Agent Law and fulfill the promise to supporting local Russian Federation-based organizations that have been effective at combating discrimination and violence?
2) HRC:HRC's December 19, 2013, press release states it was the ''first contribution to the Russia Freedom Fund in the amount of $100,000'' from the funds raised by the ''Love Conquers Hate'' campaign (tinyurl.com/HRC-100K-Gay-Russia).
Q: Has HRC and the Arcus Foundation made additional contributions to the Russia Freedom Fund? If so, in what amount(s) and when?Q: What are the total net proceeds from the sale of the ''Love Conquers Hate'' t-shirt?Q: How much money was raised by donations to the ''Love Conquers Hate'' campaign excluding net proceeds from the sales of the t-shirts?3) Russia Freedom Fund:In an email to Michael Petrelis on January 24, 2014, regarding transparency and accountability related to HRC's $100,000 donation to the Russia Freedom Fund, Julie Dorf from The Council for Global Equality wrote: ''The specifics of how money will be disseminated will not be made public for the safety of the recipients'' (tinyurl.com/Dorf-Petrelis-HRC-100K).
Q: Without identifying specific Russian-based LGBT organizations that have received funds from the Russia Freedom Fund, might Dorf be so kind as to provide examples of how financial assistance from the Russia Freedom Fund has empowered or impacted Russian Federation-based LGBT organizations or helped move the needle toward equality in the Russian Federation?
4) Principle 6 Campaign: American Apparel, AllOut & Athlete Ally:On December 2, 2013, AllOut and Athlete Ally announce that they have partnered with American Apparel on the "Principle 6 Campaign" (tinyurl.com/AthleteAlly-AllOut-AmApparel), a clothing line highlighting the non-discrimination clause of the Olympic Charter [and] ''majority of the proceeds from the sale of clothing will go support the Principle 6 campaign and directly to lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) advocacy groups in Russia fighting discrimination and anti-gay laws.''
Regarding [the proceeds], in late January 2014, Wesley Adams of AllOut shared with Petrelis this info: ''Closer to Sochi, we'll be making an announcement about how much money we'll be donating to LGBT groups in Russia from the sale of Principle 6 apparel" (tinyurl.com/AllOut-Petrelis-Accountability). No announcement was made prior to or during [Sochi and questions remain]:
Q: How much money was raised through the sale of Principle 6 apparel?Q: If so, what LGBT groups in the Russian Federation received funds from the Principle 6 Campaign?Q: If you do not wish to identify the specific groups, might you please share the amount of money to date that the Principle 6 Campaign has donated to LGBT groups in the Russian Federation?
Sabotage suspected as dozens of children reported dead after measles vaccination in Syria
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:13
A child in Syria where sabotage is feared surrounding an international effort to prevent a measles outbreak. Photo: Reuters
Reyhanli: As many as 36 children were on Tuesday night reported to have died excruciating deaths after receiving tainted measles vaccines under a United Nations-sponsored program in the rebel-held north of Syria.
The program was suspended amid rumours of sabotage surrounding the high-profile international effort to ensure the civil war does not result in an outbreak of measles.
Doctors in clinics in the towns of Jirjanaz and Maaret al-Nouman in the north-eastern province of Idlib said children started falling ill soon after the doses were administered.
Relief organisations just over the border in Turkey said the loss of life was extensive, rising as high as 36, with more than a dozen other children in a serious condition.
"It's very bad. The figures of dead go into the 30s. Children are dying very quickly," said Daher Zidan, the co-ordinator of the medical charity, UOSSM. "We think it will get worse."
The Syrian opposition coalition, which controls the area of Idlib province and had been administering the program, said it had halted the immunisation project.
"The Syrian interim government's health ministry has instructed a halt to the second round of the measles vaccination campaign, which began Monday . . . following several fatalities and injuries among children in vaccination centres in the Idlib countryside," a statement said.
Medical experts said a contaminated batch of the vaccine was the most likely explanation for the incident.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) launched the vaccination drive to ensure 1.6 million children were granted protection from measles this northern summer.
The organisation said it was checking the reports and could not confirm the number of casualties.
Many opposition sympathisers circulated images of the dying children on social media sites with suggestions the vaccine had been adulterated with cyanide, possibly by regime agents.
Idlib is one of the few strongholds of the Western-backed rebel movement, which has largely been eclipsed by the Islamic State or al-Qaeda's Nusra Front in non-regime-held parts of Syria.
Mohammad Mowas, a Syrian doctor working in Turkey, said the reported symptoms were a gradual slowdown in the heart rate as the infants turned blue, which were consistent with cyanide poisoning.
"This looks like a deliberate attempt to spike the vaccines," he said.
Fears that the number of casualties could rise further circulated in the exile medical community.
Each bottle of the vaccine contains 40 doses and medics believe two bottles were suspect.
Telegraph, London
Agenda 21
Obama's Lonely Climate Summit '' world leaders are staying home | Watts Up With That?
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:06
Many politicians are staying home, but let's not forget about this lot, as the build-up for ''The People's Climate March'' reaches a hysterical crescendo, witness this article from Truthout:
Like a Dull Knife: The People's Climate ''Farce''Tuesday, 16 September 2014 10:25 By Quincy Saul, Truthout | Op-Ed
The climate justice movement has an expiration date. If the tipping points in the earth system are passed, and the feedback loops begin their vicious cycle, human attempts at mitigation will be futile,[...]In other words, we have roughly four months to work for climate justice. The world is literally at stake; all life on earth is at risk. Never has there been a more urgent or comprehensive mandate.[...]We are going to join the rest of the human race. For 200 years too long, citizens of the United States have been parasites and predators on the rest of the world. To prevent climate catastrophe, we are going to leave our imperial hubris behind, and join with the revolutionary ecosocialist uprisings that are sweeping the global South.
Where does Obama get his support? Please review organizations participating in PCM:
(small trimmed representative sampling of some of more than 1000 participating organizations:)
350 Santa Cruz350 Vermont9/11 Environmental ActionAbhinav Bharat FoundationAction for the Common GoodAction NCACTION United
Ahimsa HouseAikido in the SchoolsAl-Khoei FoundationALADINO TVAlaska Wilderness LeagueAlbanian Islamic Cultural CenterAlbany County Central Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO)ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish RenewalALIGN: Alliance for a Greater New YorkAll-African People's Revolutionary Party
American Jewish world serviceAmerican Library Association '' Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT)American Outdoor ProductsAmnesty International USAAmnesty International USAAmpleenANJECANJECAnshe EmetAnti-Oppression Forum Anarchist CollectiveAntioch CollegeAppalachian Mountain ClubAppalachian VoicesArab-American Family Support CenterARCACENTRO, ongArctic VoicesAREDAYAREIArise for Social JusticeARTFARMAs You Sow Foundation
Awakening TruthBadAss Teachers AssociationBaha'is of Libertyville TownshipBangladesh Buddhist Vikara of NYBangladesh CircleBangladesh Environment NetworkBank Information CenterBaptist Peace Fellowship of North AmericaBard Graduate Programs in SustainabilityBarnard Columbia Divest for Climate JusticeBAYAN
Black Rose NYCBlauvelt Dominican Sisters Social Justice CommitteeBlue-Green AllianceBlue Wave NJB'nai JeshurunBold NebraskaBowdoin Climate ActionBrave New FlimsBrick by BrickBridge the GulfBrid's ClosetBrookdale Community College's Environmental ClubBrooklyn CARPBrooklyn Food Coalition
Brooklyn Zen CenterBrotherhood SynagogueBuddhist Association of the United StatesBuddhist Collaborative for Climate ActionBuddhist Global ReliefBuddhist Global ReliefBuddhist Missionary SocietyBuddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
Capitalism Nature SocialismCarbon Tax CenterCarbon XprintCare About ClimateCARE InternationalCaretakers of God's Creation (a ministry of the United Methodist Church)Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora InstituteCarroll Gardens AssociationCatalyst EcovillageCatholic Worker MovementCatskill Citizens for Safe EnergyCatskill MountainkeeperCB West High School environmental clubCenter and Library for the Bible for Social JusticeCenter for Biological DiversityCenter for Community Change
Center for Working FamiliesCentral Baptist Church, Wayne, PACentral Brooklyn Independent DemocratsCentral Brooklyn Independent DemocratsCentral Conference of American RabbisCentral Jersey Coalition Against Endless WarCentral New York Citizens in Action, Inc.Central Queens YM &YWHACentre for 21st Century IssuesCentre for Social Justice and ClimattersCeresChesapeake Climate Action NetworkChhaya Community Development CorporationChief Yellowbird '' Wallulapum TribeChild and Green FoundationChild and Green FoundationChildren's Environmental Literacy Foundation
CIVITASClean AirClean Ocean ActionClean Water ActionClimate 911Climate Action Coalition of New PaltzClimate Action NowClimate Activists BangladeshClimate Change 911Climate Ground ZeroClimate HealersClimate Justice AllianceClimate, Mind, and Behavior Program of the Garrison InstituteClimate ParentsClimate Relief FundClimate Solutions
CodepinkCodePinkTNCongregation Kol Ami, Elkins Park, PACollectively FreeCollege Democrats of MassachusettsCollege Green MagazineColumban Center for Advocacy and OutreachColumbia University Mailman School of Public HealthCOMFORT ZONE documentaryComing CleanComite Dialogo Ambiental, Inc.Committee Against Plutonium EconomicsCommittee of Interns and Residents-SEIUCommittees of Correspondence for Democracy and SocialismCommon DreamsCommunications Workers of AmericaCommunications Workers of America, District 1Communications Workers of America, Local 1180Communist Party USA
Leo vs. science: vanishing evidence for climate change | New York Post
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:37
In the runup to the Sept. 23 UN Climate Summit in New York, Leonardo DiCaprio is releasing a series of films about the ''climate crisis.''
The first is ''Carbon,'' which tells us the world is threatened by a ''carbon monster.'' Coal, oil, natural gas and other carbon-based forms of energy are causing dangerous climate change and must be turned off as soon as possible, DiCaprio says.
But he has identified the wrong monster. It is the climate scare itself that is the real threat to civilization.
DiCaprio is an actor, not a scientist; it's no real surprise that his film is sensationalistic and error-riddled. Other climate-change fantasists, who do have a scientific background, have far less excuse.
Science is never settled, but the current state of ''climate change'' science is quite clear: There is essentially zero evidence that carbon dioxide from human activities is causing catastrophic climate change.
Yes, the ''executive summary'' of reports from the UN's International Panel on Climate Change continue to sound the alarm '-- but the summary is written by the politicians. The scientific bulk of the report, while still tinged with improper advocacy, has all but thrown in the towel.
And the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change lists thousands of scientific papers that either debunk or cast serious doubt on the supposed ''consensus'' model.
Oregon-based physicist Gordon Fulks sums it up well: ''CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea-level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea ice melt that is not occurring . . . and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.''
'ŠAccording to NASA satellites and all ground-based temperature measurements, global warming ceased in the late 1990s. This, when CO2 levels have risen almost 10 percent since 1997. The post-1997 CO2 emissions represent an astonishing 30 percent of all human-related emissions since the industrial revolution began. That we've seen no warming contradicts all CO2-based climate models upon which global-warming concerns are founded.Rates of sea-level rise remain small and are even slowing, over recent decades averaging about 1 millimeter per year as measured by tide gauges and 2 to 3 mm/year as inferred from ''adjusted'' satellite data. Again, this is far less than what the alarmists suggested.'ŠSatellites also show that a greater area of Antarctic sea ice exists now than any time since space-based measurements began in 1979. In other words, the ice caps aren't melting.'ŠA 2012 IPCC report concluded that there has been no significant increase in either the frequency or intensity of extreme weather events in the modern era. The NIPCC 2013 report concluded the same. Yes, Hurricane Sandy was devastating '-- but it's not part of any new trend.The climate scare, Fulks sighs, has ''become a sort of societal pathogen that virulently spreads misinformation in tiny packages like a virus.'' He's right '-- and DiCaprio's film is just another vector for spreading the virus.
The costs of feeding the climate-change ''monster'' are staggering. According to the Congressional Research Service, from 2001 to 2014 the US government spent $131 billion on projects meant to combat human-caused climate change, plus $176 billion for breaks for anti-CO2 energy initiatives.
Federal anti-climate-change spending is now running at $11 billion a year, plus tax breaks of $20 billion a year. That adds up to more than double the $14.4 billion worth of wheat produced in the United States in 2013.
Dr Bj¸rn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, calculates that the European Union's goal of a 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions below 1990 levels by 2020, currently the most severe target in the world, will cost almost $100 billion a year by 2020, or more than $7 trillion over the course of this century.
Lomborg, a supporter of the UN's climate science, notes that this would buy imperceptible improvement: ''After spending all that money, we would not even be able to tell the difference.''
Al Gore was right in one respect: Climate change is a moral issue '-- but that's because there is nothing quite so immoral as well-fed, well-housed Westerners assuaging their consciences by wasting huge amounts of money on futile anti-global-warming policies, using money that could instead go to improve living standards in developing countries.
That is where the moral outrage should lie. Perhaps DiCaprio would like to make a film about it?
Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition. Bob Carter is former professor and head of the School of Earth Sciences at James Cook University in Australia.
United Nations Names Leonardo DiCaprio Messenger of Peace
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:20
Leonardo DiCaprio has been tapped by the United Nations to be honored with the title of Messenger of Peace, and the actor has been asked to speak on Sept. 23 at the U.N. summit to address the topic of climate change, the international organization announced on Tuesday.
''It's an honor to accept the role of UN Messenger of Peace on Climate Change and to support the Secretary General in his efforts to address one of the most important issues we face as a global community,'' said DiCaprio in a statement. ''I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history - it is a moment for action. How we respond to the climate crisis in the coming years will likely determine the fate of humanity and our planet.''
Climate change may be the political topic most closely associated with The Wolf of Wall Street actor, who has regularly made headlines for his commitments to addressing the issue. In February, DiCaprio pledged a donation of $3 million to marine conservation and followed with an additional $7 million pledge several months later.
More to come.
Amy Goodman: A Climate Week to Change Everything - Truthdig
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:26
The climate crisis is worsening faster than predicted, by every scientific measure, and is paralleled by another crisis: the failure of the U.N. climate negotiation process. ''You have been negotiating all my life,'' student activist Anjali Appadurai said as she addressed the formal climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, back in 2011. The climate negotiations have been in a virtual gridlock, with nations, most notably the United States under President Obama, blocking progress and protecting their national interests while the planet heats up, potentially irreversibly.
''I speak for more than half the world's population. We are the silent majority,'' Appadurai said as the designated youth speaker. ''You've given us a seat in this hall, but our interests are not on the table. What does it take to get a stake in this game? Lobbyists? Corporate influence? Money?''
Three years later, the United Nations is now holding a special climate summit in New York City on Sept. 23, with more than 100 world leaders expected. Unlike the formal U.N. climate negotiations, the goal of this nonbinding summit, the UN says, is ''to raise political will and mobilize action, thereby generating momentum toward a successful outcome of the negotiations.'' After 20 years, U.N. officials have apparently realized that, if left to the usual suspects of government and industry participants, the efforts to achieve a legally binding climate accord, slated for Paris in December 2015, will fail. Grass-roots action is now seen as a critical component for success.
Environmental activists protested in outrage at the climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, when President Obama showed up and derailed the U.N. negotiations by holding closed-door meetings with the world's largest polluting nations. Back then, the United Nations responded by ejecting the activists. The U.N. climate negotiations are held around the world, but always in tightly secured convention facilities, far from people most directly impacted by climate change, and far from the sight and sound of climate activists who converge at the summits, hoping to pressure the negotiators to reach a deal before it is too late.
Just days before Ban Ki-moon's invite-only summit next week, a broad coalition will hold the People's Climate March, expected to be the largest march addressing climate change in history. People from all walks of life will gather on Central Park's west side on Sunday, Sept. 21. Organizers expect over 100,000 people. More than 1,200 marching bands have been confirmed.
People will march in ''blocs.'' At the front of the march, ''Frontlines of Crisis, Forefront of Change'' will include indigenous and other communities directly affected by fossil-fuel extraction and the impacts of climate change. Organized labor and students will march under the banner ''We Can Build the Future,'' followed by ''We Have Solutions'''--alternative energy and sustainable food and water groups. The ''We Know Who Is Responsible'' bloc will highlight fossil-fuel corporations, banks and other polluters. Scientists and interfaith activists will comprise ''The Debate Is Over'' bloc, followed by the final, all-inclusive bloc, ''To Change Everything, We Need Everyone.''One of the principal organizers of the People's Climate March is Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, the climate-change organization named after 350 parts per million, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that scientists consider to be safe and sustainable. Says McKibben, ''The only way we'll change ... is by building a big movement. That's why September 21st in New York, which all these groups are coordinating, is such an important day.''
During the weekend, Union Theological Seminary is hosting a conference of clergy from around the world, addressing the moral issues raised by human-induced global warming. On Monday, the day after the big march, some independent groups are planning to ''Flood Wall Street.'' ''Flood, blockade, sit-in, and shut down the institutions that are profiting from the climate crisis,'' the group's website implores, with a check box to indicate if you are willing to risk arrest. A group calling itself the ''Earth Quaker Action Team'' will theatrically investigate New York City branches of PNC Bank for the crime of ''climate disruption,'' for the bank's role in financing mountaintop-removal coal mining.
Sunday's climate march won't include speeches. It's all about the movement. But on Monday, author Naomi Klein will be among those speaking at the Wall Street actions. Her new book is out this week, titled ''This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate.'' It is a powerful, passionate, paradigm-shattering call to action. In it, she reminds us, ''climate change changes everything. And for a very brief time, the nature of that change is still up to us.''
Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.
Amy Goodman is the host of ''Democracy Now!,'' a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 1,200 stations in North America. She is the co-author of ''The Silenced Majority,'' a New York Times best-seller.
(C) 2014 Amy Goodman
Distributed by King Features Syndicate
If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.
FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Partners with Private Sector on New Commitments to Slash Emissions of Potent Greenhouse Gases
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:43
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:September 16, 2014
The Obama Administration is committed to taking responsible steps to slow the effects of climate change so we leave behind a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations. That's why, today, the Administration is announcing new private sector commitments and executive actions to reduce emissions of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs), powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The commitments made today would reduce cumulative global consumption of these greenhouse gases by the equivalent of 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2025, equivalent to 1.5% of the world's 2010 greenhouse gas emissions and the same as taking nearly 15 million cars off the road for 10 years. In addition, the Administration is announcing a set of executive actions to continue progress in reducing HFC emissions.
HFCs, factory-made gases used in air conditioning and refrigeration, are one of the strongest greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and are up to 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Unless we act now, U.S. HFC emissions are expected to nearly double by 2020 and triple by 2030. When the President launched his Climate Action Plan last year, he pledged to leverage new opportunities to reduce HFCs. U.S. industry is leading the way in helping fulfill that pledge by investing millions of dollars to develop and deploy the next generation of safer HFC alternatives, and by incorporating climate-friendly technologies into the cars, air conditioners, refrigerators, foams and other products they manufacture and use.
Today's commitments and actions demonstrate significant U.S. leadership in advance of the United Nations Climate Summit next week and build on progress made earlier in the Administration. This summer, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed two new rules under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program that would smooth transition to climate-friendly alternatives to HFCs, including by expanding the list of acceptable alternatives and limiting use of some of the most harmful HFCs where lower risk alternatives are available. And on the international stage, the U.S. and China agreed last year to work together to phase down the consumption and production of HFCs, and G-20 leaders followed by expressing their own support for an HFC phase down. Today's actions will build momentum for an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down the global production and consumption of HFCs, which could result in avoided emissions of as much as 240 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent in 2025 in the United States alone, roughly 4% of current U.S. greenhouse emissions. The Montreal Protocol is a landmark global agreement that came into effect 27 years ago today that allows for such a phase down. The President will continue to leverage opportunities for U.S. leadership in cutting the drivers of climate change and helping leave behind a safer and healthier world.
Private Sector Commitments
The commitments announced today span the entire HFC supply chain '' from where the chemicals are produced, to where they are used in manufacturing, to where consumers see them in stores '' demonstrating that every component of American industry is responding to the President's call to action on HFC emissions reduction. These industry associations and companies are making significant commitments to phase out or phase down their use of HFCs and transition to climate-friendly alternatives that are good for the environment and good for business. The Administration will continue to engage with the private sector on their progress on this initiative.
The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, an industry coalition representing more than 95 percent of U.S. HFC production and a significant majority of the user industries, is announcing actions today that support a Montreal Protocol amendment to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs. The Alliance also announced today that it commits to take actions and support policies with a goal to reduce global HFC greenhouse gas contribution by 80% by 2050 relative to current emissions. This will be accomplished by advancing technologies; improving servicing practices; increasing recovery, reclamation, and reuse; and conducting technology assessments and workshops.
Air Conditioning Heating & Refrigeration Institute, an industry association representing 90% of US air conditioning manufacturing and 70% of the global industry, announced today that its member companies will commit to spending $5 billion in new R&D and capital expenditures to develop and commercialize low global warming potential (GWP) technologies over the next ten years. During the past decade, the Institute has worked diligently to reduce the potential impact of refrigerants on the Earth's climate, including spending close to $2 billion since 2009 researching low-GWP refrigerants and technologies.
Arkema, a diversified worldwide manufacturer of specialty industrial chemicals and high performance materials for use in renewable energies and other sectors, announced today that it is committed to the development of climate-friendly products to provide a timely and adequate global supply base. Arkema commits to reduce GHG emissions from its operations by an additional 30% by 2020, as well as its net energy purchases by 1.5% on average each year through the year 2020. Finally, Arkema agrees to control, and to the extent feasible, eliminate byproduct emissions of HFC-23, the most potent HFC, at all its fluorochemical production facilities worldwide.
Coca-Cola, the world's largest beverage company, has set a goal for 100 percent of its newly purchased cold drink equipment to be HFC-free. To date, Coca-Cola has more than 1 million units of HFC-free refrigerated equipment in use throughout its global system, achieving 30% use of HFC-free refrigeration equipment this year. In the U.S., Coca-Cola has already purchased 20,000 HFC-free units in 2014. The company is also increasing the energy efficiency of its refrigeration equipment, which has improved by more than 50 percent since 2000.
Carrier, a global manufacturer and distributor of high-technology heating, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions and part of United Technologies Corp., announced today its commitment to pursue the commercialization of HFC-free refrigerants in road transportation refrigeration by 2020, building on its expertise with HFC-free carbon dioxide refrigerant in marine container and food retail refrigeration. Carrier's Syracuse, New York facility developed the world's first carbon dioxide technology for marine container refrigeration and is pursuing similar technology for road transport refrigeration. Carrier's CO2OLtec commercial refrigeration systems using carbon dioxide refrigerant are installed in nearly 1,000 supermarkets across Europe.
Danfoss, an international manufacturer of high efficiency products used in air-conditioning and refrigeration systems, announced today that it is championing a stakeholder task force to accelerate adoption of standards and building codes for next generation, low-GWP refrigerants. Danfoss will partner with the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy to establish this task force.
DuPont, the science company that invented fluorinated refrigerants and has helped lead the global transition to continually more sustainable refrigerants, announced today that its new products are anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas content of refrigerants by some 90 million tons carbon dioxide equivalent in the U.S., and 245 million tons worldwide by 2025, reducing greenhouse gases by a similar amount. This includes five products already in the market or soon to be introduced that provide alternatives in applications as varied as insulating foam production, commercial and retail refrigeration, automobile and building air conditioning, refrigerated transport, and industrial energy efficiency.
Emerson Climate Technologies, a global manufacturing and technology company in the heating, air conditioning and refrigeration industry, today announces its 2015 environmental stewardship initiatives, reinforcing its commitment to the development of low-GWP refrigerants and higher efficiency technologies. Emerson will launch a full line of compressors, flow and electronic controls approved with three non-flammable low-GWP HFCs. These refrigerants are 50 percent lower in GWP compared to today's choices. Emerson will also expand its full line of Scroll compressors for commercial refrigeration use in supermarkets and convenience stores that will be 15 percent more efficient than today's products. In July 2015, Emerson will expand its solutions offering for use with carbon dioxide, a non-HFC and energy-efficient refrigerant, with its complete line of compressors, flow controls, discrete and system electronic controls. Emerson invests nearly two-thirds of its global R&D resources on developing low-GWP and energy efficient products, solutions and services, and will continue increasing its investment in 2015 with the opening of its new global innovation center in Dayton, Ohio. The center will focus on ways to solve energy and environmental challenges affecting everything from homes to data centers.
Goodman Manufacturing Company, an air conditioning and heating equipment manufacturer, announced today its commitment to have a full product line of low-GWP air conditioners and/or heat pumps after completion of working with EPA and other stakeholders to permit low-GWP refrigerants in both building codes and EPA's SNAP program.
Hillphoenix, a Dover Company and manufacturer of commercial refrigerated display cases and specialty products, refrigeration systems, integrated power distribution systems and walk-in coolers and freezers, announced today that it is commercializing a 100% HFC-free, carbon dioxide booster system now commercially viable for all climate regions. Hillphoenix is also introducing an HFC-free hydrocarbon self-contained door case and a recently re-engineered service called ''Close the Case'' that utilizes the company's door technology to retrofit existing open display cases.
Honeywell, a global technology and manufacturing company, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials, plans to transition the majority of its high-GWP HFC production to new low-GWP production. These changes will reduce Honeywell's annual production of high-GWP HFCs by nearly 50 percent on a carbon dioxide equivalent basis prior to 2020, with a cumulative elimination of more than 350 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent by 2025. To achieve this goal, Honeywell anticipates spending a total of more than $880 million for research and development and new capacity, mainly in the United States. Honeywell has commercialized a wide range of Solstice®-brand HFC replacements for use as refrigerants, insulating agents, aerosols, and solvents, which are being rapidly adopted. Honeywell also announced today the start-up of two new Solstice production plants in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to manufacture these materials. Honeywell also agrees to strictly control and, to the extent feasible, eliminate byproduct emissions of HFC-23, the most potent HFC, at Honeywell fluorochemical production facilities.
Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, announced today that it commits to using the lowest GWP option for each application that best fits the needs of its customers from the standpoint of safety, efficiency, reliability, availability, and economy. Johnson Controls also commits to spend $50 million over the next three years to develop new products and improve and expand its existing low-GWP portfolio, of which a significant portion of that investment will address products that traditionally use HFC refrigerants. The company has spent more than $26 million over the past three years in the development of low-GWP technologies.
Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, announced today that it will join U.S. EPA's GreenChill program. Kroger, in joining GreenChill, commits to establishing a refrigerant inventory and set emissions reduction targets; using advanced refrigeration technologies in new and remodeled stores where feasible; collaborating across the industry to identify and share service and operational practices that reduce emissions. Kroger is committed to reducing climate-damaging refrigerant emissions and exploring new designs that reduce the potential for these emissions.
Lapolla, a manufacturer and global distributor of spray foam insulation and reflective roof coating technology, announced today that it commits to transitioning its entire product line of foam and coating systems to no longer use high-GWP HFCs by 2016. Lapolla will also provide more than 18 seminars on the importance of eliminating high-GWP HFCs from the environment.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power(LADWP), the largest municipal utility in the U.S., plans to include a criterion for low-GWP HFCs in its energy efficiency incentives for residential refrigerators, which would begin the market transformation to phase down high-GWP HFC use by sending the right signal to both manufacturers and consumers. Combating climate change is a top priority for LADWP, which has recently adopted an aggressive new energy efficiency goal to supply 15% of expected power needs in 2020 through energy efficiency, and has also committed to eliminate coal fired generation from its electricity supply by 2025, two years ahead of California mandates.
Mission Pharmacal, a third-generation, family-owned and operated healthcare company whose focus is to bring safe, innovative and high-quality products to physicians, patients and consumers, announced today the introduction of a Dr. Smith's® zinc oxide diaper rash spray that uses a new low-GWP aerosol technology. Mission Pharmacal is also announcing the introduction of a rash and skin spray and an adult barrier spray that utilize the same technology. Mission Pharmacal commits to continued development of aerosol products that help curb emissions of HFCs.
PepsiCo, one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, announced today a goal that all of its future point of sale equipment (coolers, vending machines and fountain dispensers) purchased in the United States, will be HFC-free by 2020. To meet this goal, PepsiCo will begin purchasing new HFC-free equipment starting in 2015. Outside of the United States, PepsiCo has already begun this process by buying more than 290,000 HFC-free pieces of equipment since 2009. To minimize the impact of existing equipment, PepsiCo has innovated its coolers and vending machines to improve their energy efficiency by 60% compared with a 2004 baseline and since 2010 has been using a 100% HFC-free insulation/foam for all new equipment. PepsiCo reports that the new insulation/foam eliminates 75% of HFC based direct emissions and that these combined efforts have reduced total GHG emissions by 18% since 2007.
Red Bull, the creator of the energy drink category, announced today that it will order an estimated 32,000 climate-friendly hydrocarbon coolers for 2015. Red Bull will also implement ongoing training of cooler service technicians from six partner companies for the repair and proper disposal of these coolers. Red Bull has committed to 100% procurement of ECO-Coolers for the cooling of its beverages where technically and legally feasible. Red Bull's ECO Coolers use up to 45% less energy than previous generations of cooling equipment and have an average energy saving of 23% compared to other conventional refrigerators.
SEVO Systems, a global manufacturer of non-HFC fire system technology advancement, announced today that it commits to enabling a reduction of the equivalent of 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2020 by transitioning to low-GWP HFCs. This technology will be released using innovative fire suppression systems utilizing the unique properties of 3M' Novec' 1230 Fire Protection Fluid.
Target, an upscale discount retailer with approximately 1775 stores in the US, recently opened two new cold storage facilities expanding its refrigerated warehouse space by nearly one million square feet. These new facilities, designed with ammonia, an HFC-free refrigerant, also eliminate the use of HFC refrigerants in their heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems and reduce their carbon impact by 900 metric tons of CO2. The company also has five stores that use carbon dioxide refrigeration systems and commits to expanding this technology to two additional sites in 2015. Target is also partnering with chemical producers to test a new generation of refrigerants, hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) that do not affect the ozone layer and have at least a 60% lower GWP than the products they are replacing. In addition, Target is working with the manufacturer of beverage coolers to test HFC-free solutions this fall.
Thermo King, a brand of Ingersoll Rand that manufactures transport temperature control systems, is announcing that it will offer its customers safe, reliable, and energy efficient product alternatives and retrofit services for marine, truck and trailer applications using a refrigerant with about half the GWP compared to what is currently used. These new offerings will be available in 2015-2016 in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and to the United States upon EPA approval of the alternative refrigerant. Thermo King reports that this alternative would avoid the equivalent of approximately 1.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in the US by 2020.
True Manufacturing, the largest manufacturer of self-contained commercial refrigeration in the nation, announced today that it commits to using only climate-friendly, low-GWP refrigerants and low-GWP blowing agents, in all future general use and refrigeration product development. Over the next five years True Manufacturing will develop low-GWP replacements for its existing products. True Manufacturing reports that these improvements will reduce emissions of climate-damaging HFCs by more than 200,000 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent.
New Executive Actions
The Administration's new actions will help promote the use of safer alternatives to HFCs and encourage the development of new technologies.
Promote the use of safer alternatives to HFCs in the Federal Government
Updating regulations for service and vendor contractors: The President has already directed Federal agencies to purchase safer and cleaner alternatives to HFCs whenever feasible and to transition to equipment that uses safer and more sustainable alternatives. Federal purchasers can enhance efforts to achieve this goal by procuring climate-friendly HFC alternatives, primarily in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment in Federal buildings. Today, the Administration will begin the formal process of reviewing revisions to Federal acquisition regulations to promote the use of safer chemical alternatives to HFCs by service and vendor contractors. To help agencies monitor progress, contractors will be asked to keep track of and report on the amounts of HFCs added or removed during routine maintenance, repair or disposal of any government equipment, appliances or supplies.
Evaluating sustainable technologies in Federal buildings: As part of its Green Proving Ground (GPG) program, the U.S. General Services Administration is inviting technology manufacturers and industry stakeholders, including those that offer HFC alternatives, to submit information on innovative and transformational building technologies that can be used in Federal buildings. Technologies selected by the program, which conducts real-world evaluations of the performance of emerging building technologies to recommend deployment strategies towards achieving ambitious sustainability goals, will be matched with Federally-owned buildings to pilot measurement and verification by objective third-party evaluators. Results from these evaluations will inform public- and private-sector investment decisions, and will help accelerate commercialization and adoption within the Federal Government and the real estate industry.
Encourage private sector investment in low-emissions technology:
Driving the Market Towards Innovative Climate-Friendly HFC Alternatives: EPA will continue to expand the list of climate-friendly alternatives to both ozone-depleting substances and high-GWP HFCs, and is currently working on its next listing notice under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program, including both fluorinated and non-fluorinated alternatives that can be used in important sectors.
Organizing Sector Workshops: EPA and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy will work with other interested governments, international agencies, private sector organizations and civil society to organize a series of sector-specific workshops. These workshops will provide an opportunity to share information on technologies, policies, and standards, will address the technical aspects of transition, including barriers that slow the uptake of alternatives, and will also include information on policy initiatives.
Engaging Stakeholders on Refrigerant Management Regulations: EPA received a petition from the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy to create consistent refrigerant management regulations by applying the same rules that already exist for ozone-depleting refrigerants to HFCs. EPA recognizes that refrigerant management is an important way to reduce climate-damaging emissions from equipment used for air-conditioning and refrigeration, and will engage with stakeholders as it explores options for addressing the petition.
Invest in new technologies to support safer alternatives to HFCs:
Funding Opportunities for HFC Alternatives: Today, the Department of Energy is announcing new funding for the research and development of technologies and approaches that lead to energy reductions in U.S. buildings. The funding will encourage next generation, efficient cooling technologies, including examining HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technologies that use alternative refrigerants and those that move beyond using refrigerants altogether. These technologies also have the potential to improve the efficiencies of other building equipment that rely on heat-pumping technologies (e.g., water heaters, refrigerators), in addition to HVAC equipment. This funding will accelerate the development of near-term technologies that have the potential to save significant amounts of energy while also accelerating the development of the next generation of technologies that have the potential of ''leapfrogging'' existing technologies by pursuing entirely new approaches.
Ebola and West Africa's Offshore Oil
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:37
A New Front in the Proxy Resource Wars
By JC Collins
The movement of troops, especially American troops, is the dead giveaway to any broader game plan which is intended to be hidden within the structure of propaganda and media campaigns. So it is with muted surprise that we hear the news of the United States sending 3,000 troops to help fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
As reported in the New York Times yesterday:
Under pressure to do more to confront the Ebola outbreak sweeping across West Africa, President Obama on Tuesday is to announce an expansion of military and medical resources to combat the spread of the deadly virus, administration officials said.
What isn't reported in the article is that 1/3rd of all new oil discoveries have taken place in West Africa. As reported by Business Day back in May:
West Africa Region accounts for a third of the world's new oil discoveries, especially in the Nigeria's Niger Delta basin and the Gulf of Guinea. According to the US Geological Survey, the West African Coastal Province has an estimated 3 200 million barrels of oil. Oil exploration off the coast of West Africa has surged since 2007 when Tullow Oil found the Jubilee field in Ghana, one of the continent's biggest recent finds. New finds have been made in Liberia and Sierra Leone, while Mauritania's discoveries over the last decade remain to be replicated. Niger has now become a producer and Mali awaits discovery of commercial hydrocarbons.
There has also been a burst of exploration activity in the neighbouring countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gabon with the hope of finding Jubilee-type giants in the Cretaceous fan formations and pre-salt structures. In Guinea, Tullow is undertaking a seismic survey looking at a potential reserve of 10 billion barrels of oil, and Simba is exploring for oil in Guinea, Ghana, Mali, and Liberia. Cote d'Ivoire has been through a number of political changes and a civil war but Lukoil are on the verge of investing about $400-million in exploration activities in a prospect there.
Considering the resource proxy wars which are taking place in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, are we to think that the large offshore oil fields in Western Africa are not subjected to the same proxy strategy?
But it gets even more interesting. From the same Business Day article:
Now, the attention is shifting to East Africa. Recent discoveries in Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have turned the focus on the region. Massive investments have followed the discoveries in the region too. In 2012, more than 50 exploration wells were completed in East Africa, which is more than half of conventional oil and gas resources found worldwide.
And here from a Policy Paper published in 2012 from the Center for Chinese Studies titled ''China's role in the East African oil and gas sector: a new model of engagement?'' we learn of how China is actively and strategically setting itself up for control of the oil and gas in Eastern Africa.
And to add even further credence to the importance of African resources, here is another publication, Middle Africa Briefing Note on Energy, this time by Ecobank, the Pan African Bank, titled ''Exploration in West Africa's Frontier Could Unlock 9 Billion Barrels in 2014'".
Right out of the gate the policy paper states the following:
Oil and Gas independent companies have spent US$200 million over the past 4 years acquiring assets in some of West Africa's less explored countries, notably, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
So lets take a look at a map of the offshore oil discoveries in West Africa. Here is a map from the USGS:
And here is a map of the Ebola outbreak from the same region. This map is provided by USAID and the CDC:
You can literally superimpose one map over the other and conclude that the mobilization of 3000 American troops to West Africa has more to do with securing the offshore oil resources than it does the Ebola outbreak.
But like all great plans and strategies there are multiple moves at work here. There is a very high probability supported with strong evidence, that the Ebola virus was manufactured and dispersed intentionally. As covered in the previous post Global Pandemic and Quarantine, the Ebola outbreak is offering a very convenient pretext for shutting down global equity markets and invoking a subtle form of martial law across the spectrum of western and eastern countries. This would obviously facilitate the transition to the multilateral financial system while offering a reason to the disorganized masses for the failure of the old and the need for the new.
Any forward action on these fronts well likely be a slow burn as opposed to fast jumping movements. The economic transition in essence started back in 2008 and has been progressing as a very slow pace. This will continue until 2018. The Ebola outbreak, for its part, offers the same slow burn approach as the economic policy and institutional changes which are taking place.
There are seldom coincidences of this calibre which take place on such a global scale. The resource proxy wars continue in Ukraine and Iraq, and now we can recognize the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa as another front in the same war.
What will be interesting down the road is what will happen when the US controlled West African fields and the China controlled East African fields eventually meet in Middle Africa. What proxy war structure can be established in the region at that time? Perhaps the North Africa country of Libya is more strategic than first realized. '' JC
Like this:LikeLoading...
Convalescent serum-The black market for Ebola survivors' blood - The Washington Post
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:52
Ebola has infected nearly 4,800 people. It has killed more than 2,400. And a black market for the blood of its survivors is emerging in the epicenter of the outbreak in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Convalescent serum '-- serum collected from someone who has survived an infectious disease '-- has been used to treat Ebola victims. Most recently, it was given to 51-year-old American aid worker Rick Sacra from survivor Kent Brantly. Blood from Ebola survivors is rich with antibodies against the deadly virus, and since there is currently no approved drug to fight it, some have become desperate enough to take fate into their own hands and turn to the black market for the experimental serum.
But WHO is concerned about the illicit trade, since giving a patient someone else's blood can cause anaphylactic shock and death or infect with other diseases such as HIV if the blood is tainted. For that reason, the United Nations health agency said it will work with governments to stamp out the black market, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said, and establish a safe system for collecting, storing and re-injecting blood.
The black market also has some worried about the fate of supplies shipped in from the outside. On Tuesday, as President Obama was set to announce a 3,000-troop commitment to Africa, Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council for Foreign Relations, told the Hill she was concerned the airdropped supplies might turn up on the black market. Officials did not say in which country the black market was found.
No medication has been approved or is readily available to treat Ebola, though an experimental treatment called ZMapp was used on Brantly and Nancy Writebol. For now, patients are given intravenous fluids, antibiotics and blood transfusions to help their immune systems fight back.
''We are supporting use of whole blood and convalescent serum to manage Ebola virus disease in the West African Ebola outbreak,'' WHO spokesman Margaret Harris said. ''Whole blood has already been used in a number of centers.''
It's unclear how successful convalescent serum has been in treating Ebola, but with close to half of its victims still alive, the potential pool of donors is substantial. In addition to WHO's work, doctors at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha are building a registry of survivors by blood type to help future victims, Bloomberg said. And the U.S. National Institute of Health is working on a vaccine.
SECTION: {section=national, subsection=null}!!!INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!
FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
SECTION: {section=national, subsection=null}!!!INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!
FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Obama Orders Boots on the Ground!
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:04
By William Kristol | September 16, 2014 | The Weekly Standard Blog
Getty Images
We're at war. We're putting boots on the ground. We're not waiting around for the host nation's government to get its affairs in order, or for a regional coalition to commit first. The president has apparently overcome his reluctance to use the military, his worries about a commitment to intervene without an exit strategy, and his usual reluctance to acknowledge (even implicitly) that his administration was wrong when it assured us that there was nothing much for us to worry about.
Of course, the enemy the president has boldly and unhesitatingly sent our troops to fight is the Ebola virus.
Aren't there other parts of the U.S government suited to carry on this fight? If not, shouldn't there be? Max Boot suggested building such a non-military civilian ability in the pages of this magazine over a decade ago. Surely an administration committed to smart power would have developed the civilian capabilities to fight a virus without deploying 3,000 troops?
Apparently not. But it will be interesting to see if President Obama explains why unilaterally putting boots on the ground for the sake of killing our enemies is unthinkable in Iraq and Syria, but, in order to cope with a virus, fine in Liberia.
2100*5000*365 - Google Search
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 19:05
2100x5000= - Google SearchGoogle Instant is unavailable. Press Enter to search.
Learn moreGoogle Instant is off due to connection speed. Press Enter to search.
Press Enter to search.
Screen reader users, click here to turn off Google Instant.
Please click
here if you are not redirected within a few seconds.
Search settings
LanguagesTurn on SafeSearch
Advanced search
Search help
About 6,040,000 results (0.16 seconds)
View same - /lit/ - Literature - Search:https://warosu.org/lit/image/rkJiPWUATLsIr2LlBL4LKgFile: 2.12 MB, 2100x5000, scifirec.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [ report] 3424697. Bump due to interest. I read Snow Crash and it was fun, if flawed.CommBuilding $ 2,100 x 5,000 sf x 24'² (East Plaza ...orlandowarehousespace.com/commbuilding-2100-x-5000-sf-x-24-east-p...Jul 4, 2014 - Property Characteristics Available Units: 4 roll doors,2offic+mezz Space Available: Options: left,Part A: 2,100sf x24'² by: $ 1,599 dl/mo. Right ...'27' movie posterswww.movieposterdb.com/tags/27Ender's Game 1190x5000. The Oxford Murders Logo · The Oxford Murders 2100x5000. What Maisie Knew Cover · What Maisie Knew 1050x1500. Unrest Logo.[PDF]packaging, handling and transportation agrop swpwww.agrop.cz/file_download/309a size of 2100x5000 mm is 2500 kg. Transportation. By default, the AGROP panels are transported on trucks (co- vered semi-trailers), or 20' and 40' containers.
Cost for a single soldier to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan is about $775,000 per year
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 19:04
The U.S. military is now spending more '' on a constant dollar basis '' than it did in 1968, when the Defense Department had more than 500,000 soldiers stationed in South Vietnam. If you include the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, then the U.S. military spent about $580 billion in 2007; that's about 33 percent more '' again, measured in constant (year 2000) dollars '' than the United States spent in 1968. Even without the cost of those ongoing wars, America's military spending is higher now than at any time since 1945.
A recent study by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis, a Washington-based think tank, provides yet more sobering numbers. The report, written by the CSBA's Steven M. Kosiak, concludes that ''since 2001, some $904 billion has been provided to cover the cost of US military operations. This includes some $687 billion for Iraq, $184 billion for Afghanistan and $33 billion for various homeland security activities.''
And while that number is daunting, Kosiak estimates that by 2018, the total spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with related spending on veterans' health care and other matters, could reach $1.7 trillion. The 88-page report, which includes 182 footnotes, provides an exhaustive look at the cost of Bush's foreign adventures. It also provides a more modest estimate of the cost of those adventures than that provided by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, who have famously estimated the costs of the war on terrorism at over $3 trillion.
But the truly astounding number in Kosiak's report comes on page 38, where he estimates that the total cost of sending a single soldier to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan is about $775,000 per year. Kosiak came up with that number by using data published in March by the Congressional Budget Office. He writes that the $775,000 per year figure ''is some three times more than CBO projected in 2002, based on the cost of recent past wars, and about 70 percent more than its estimate from 2005.'' Kosiak says that the soaring cost of keeping soldiers in the war zones is due to inflation, changes in force levels, and the increases in funding requested by the Department of Defense.Kosiak's estimate of the daily cost of deployment is particularly important given Obama's plans to send an additional 20,000 U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan, a move that could bolster the U.S. presence there to about 52,000. And some analysts are projecting that the U.S. could need more than 100,000 troops to stabilize the vast country.
But at a cost of more than $2,100 per day per soldier, a military expansion of that magnitude will be incredibly costly. And it's not at all clear that the U.S. can afford such an increase at a time when the U.S. treasury '' and the U.S. economy '' are in such parlous condition. Further, it's essential to remember how quickly the costs of Bush's ''global war on terrorism'' are increasing. In 2005, the Congressional Research Service put the cost of keeping one U.S. soldier in Afghanistan at about $275,000 per year. By early 2006, the cost of keeping one soldier on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan had jumped to about $400,000 per year. Now Kosiak is estimating that actual cost of keeping a soldier deployed is nearly twice the estimate that the CRS published just two years ago.
A surge in inflation (which is almost certainly coming, thanks to the U.S. government's huge fiscal deficit and the plans for yet-bigger deficits) will likely send Kosiak's $775,000-per-year estimate even higher. Thus, by 2011 or so, the cost of keeping a soldier deployed in a war zone might top $1 million per year. And the Department of Defense has already declared its belief in the ''long war'' against terrorism. In early 2006, in its Quadrennial Defense Review, a closely watched document that reveals much of the Pentagon's strategic thinking, the Department of Defense's top leadership said that the war against terrorist networks ''may well be fought in dozens of other countries simultaneously and for many years to come.''
By keeping Robert Gates in his job as the Secretary of Defense, Obama has clearly opted for stability in the top ranks at the Pentagon. But Obama has yet to make clear just how willing he is to provide ''the change we need'' when it comes to reining in America's massively expensive military machine.
By ROBERT BRYCEDecember 30, 2008
Full article: CounterPunch
Tags: Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Department of Defense, Iraq, Military, Pentagon, Politics, Soldiers, U.S.
dawdle definition - Google Search
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:44
dawdle definition - Google SearchGoogle Instant is unavailable. Press Enter to search.
Learn moreGoogle Instant is off due to connection speed. Press Enter to search.
Press Enter to search.
Screen reader users, click here to turn off Google Instant.
Please click
here if you are not redirected within a few seconds.
Search settings
LanguagesTurn on SafeSearch
Advanced search
Search help
About 110,000 results (0.14 seconds)
verb: dawdle; 3rd person present: dawdles; past tense: dawdled; past participle: dawdled; gerund or present participle: dawdling
waste time; be slow.
"I couldn't dawdle over my coffee any longer"
move slowly and idly.
"Ruth dawdled back through the woods"
mid 17th century: related to dialect daddle, doddle 'dally.'
Translate dawdle to
Use over time for: dawdle
Translations, word origin, and more definitions
Show less
Dawdle | Define Dawdle at Dictionary.comdictionary.reference.com/browse/dawdleto waste (time) by or as if by trifling (usually followed by away): He dawdled away the whole morning. Origin Expand. 1650-1660. 1650-60; variant of daddle to ...dawdle - Dictionary Definition : Vocabulary.comwww.vocabulary.com/dictionary/dawdleThere are lots of words that mean to move slowly. The point of dawdle is that one is moving too slowly, is falling behind, or is not properly focused on making ...dawdle definition | English definition dictionary | Reversodictionary.reverso.net/english-definition/dawdledawdle definition, meaning, English dictionary, synonym, see also 'dawdler',Dale' ,dandle',daled', Reverso dictionary, English definition, English vocabulary.
dwadle definition - Google Search
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:43
dwadle definition - Google SearchGoogle Instant is unavailable. Press Enter to search.
Learn moreGoogle Instant is off due to connection speed. Press Enter to search.
Press Enter to search.
Screen reader users, click here to turn off Google Instant.
Please click
here if you are not redirected within a few seconds.
Search settings
LanguagesTurn on SafeSearch
Advanced search
Search help
About 110,000 results (0.29 seconds)
verb: dawdle; 3rd person present: dawdles; past tense: dawdled; past participle: dawdled; gerund or present participle: dawdling
waste time; be slow.
"I couldn't dawdle over my coffee any longer"
move slowly and idly.
"Ruth dawdled back through the woods"
mid 17th century: related to dialect daddle, doddle 'dally.'
Translate dawdle to
Use over time for: dawdle
Translations, word origin, and more definitions
Show less
Dawdle | Define Dawdle at Dictionary.comdictionary.reference.com/browse/dawdleto waste (time) by or as if by trifling (usually followed by away): He dawdled away the whole morning. Origin Expand. 1650-1660. 1650-60; variant of daddle to ...dawdle - Dictionary Definition : Vocabulary.comwww.vocabulary.com/dictionary/dawdleThere are lots of words that mean to move slowly. The point of dawdle is that one is moving too slowly, is falling behind, or is not properly focused on making ...dawdle definition | English definition dictionary | Reversodictionary.reverso.net/english-definition/dawdledawdle definition, meaning, English dictionary, synonym, see also 'dawdler',Dale' ,dandle',daled', Reverso dictionary, English definition, English vocabulary.
Miljard nodig voor bestrijding ebola
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:46
16/09/14, 16:50 '' bron: ANP
(C) epa. David Nabarro (rechts) en Valerie Amos (midden) tijdens een persconferentie
Voor de bestrijding van het ebolavirus in West-Afrika is een miljard dollar (bijna 773 miljoen euro) nodig. Dat heeft 'ebola-co¶rdinator' David Nabarro van de Verenigde Naties dinsdag gezegd. Het bedrag is een veelvoud van het bedrag dat een maand geleden nog nodig werd geacht. Nabarro noemde de crisis 'ongevenaard in de moderne tijd'.
VN-co¶rdinator voor humanitaire hulp Valerie Amos waarschuwde zelfs voor een mogelijke instorting van de landen die door ebola zijn getroffen. 'Dit is veel meer dan alleen een medische noodtoestand', aldus Amos.'Een enorme humanitaire crisis dreigt'.
Artsen zonder Grenzen-voorzitter Joanne Liu beschuldigde dinsdag regeringen ervan te weinig te doen. De afgelopen weken hebben volgens haar maar enkele landen hulp toegezegd. 'Het moment om deze epidemie te stoppen gaat voorbij. Het aantal besmette mensen stijgt exponentieel.'
De Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie maakte dinsdag bekend dat meer dan 2500 zijn gestorven aan ebola, volgens de officile cijfers. Er zijn in West-Afrika zeker 5000 besmettingen vastgesteld. Vermoedelijk liggen de werkelijke cijfers hoger.
Boots On The Ground In Liberia
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:37
From the Times:
U.S. to Commit Up to 3,000 Troops to Fight Ebola in Africa
WASHINGTON '-- Under pressure to do more to confront the Ebola outbreak sweeping across West Africa, President Obama on Tuesday is to announce an expansion of military and medical resources to combat the spread of the deadly virus, administration officials said.
The president will go beyond the 25-bed portable hospital that Pentagon officials said they would establish in Liberia, one of the three West African countries ravaged by the disease, officials said. Mr. Obama will offer help to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia in the construction of as many as 17 Ebola treatment centers in the region, with about 1,700 treatment beds.
Senior administration officials said Monday night that the Department of Defense would open a joint command operation in Monrovia, Liberia, to coordinate the international effort to combat the disease. The military will also provide engineers to help construct the additional treatment facilities and will send enough people to train up to 500 health care workers a week to deal with the crisis.
Officials said the military expected to send as many as 3,000 people to Africa to take charge of responding to the Ebola outbreak.
I am hazy as to the use of the word "Troops" in the headline; maybe it shouldn't, but it makes me think of guys with guns, rather than doctors, engineers and logistics specialists.
And the lead tells us that Obama has been "Under pressure to do more". So what? He has been under pressure to do more (and less!) on immigration and ISIS, to pick two other brewing debacles. Reports like this suggest that Ebola has the potential to take us into science fiction post-Apocalyptic terrotory, but the science is unsettled.
Is Obama leading on Liberia, or did someone just find an especially sensitive pressure point? And as to the use of the military, is dying of Ebola less dead than being shot (or beheaded) by ISIS?
Here is the White House fact sheet, which includes this description of the troops and the mission:The United States will leverage the unique capabilities of the U.S. military and broader uniformed services to help bring the epidemic under control. These efforts will entail command and control, logistics expertise, training, and engineering support.
U.S. Africa Command will set up a Joint Force Command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to provide regional command and control support to U.S. military activities and facilitate coordination with U.S. government and international relief efforts. A general from U.S. Army Africa, the Army component of U.S. Africa Command, will lead this effort, which will involve an estimated 3,000 U.S. forces. U.S. Africa Command will establish a regional intermediate staging base (ISB) to facilitate and expedite the transportation of equipment, supplies and personnel. Of the U.S. forces taking part in this response, many will be stationed at the ISB. Command engineers will build additional Ebola Treatment Units in affected areas, and the U.S. Government will help recruit and organize medical personnel to staff them. Additionally, the Command will establish a site to train up to 500 health care providers per week, enabling healthcare workers to safely provide direct medical care to patients.If we were sending out soldiers to provide basic maintenance of law and order I would be beside myself. But from another perspective, is this US effort sufficient in itself, a valuable contribution to a much larger multi-national surge, or an under-resourced feel-good mission that amounts to spitting into a forest fire?
After six years with Obama I know my bet. From the Times:
Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said the plan was an important first step, ''but it is clearly not enough.'' The focus on Liberia, he said, is too limited, and more help should be extended to Sierra Leone and Guinea, the other countries at the center of the worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded.
''We should see all of West Africa now as one big outbreak,'' Dr. Osterholm said. ''It's very clear we have to deal with all the areas with Ebola. If the U.S. is not able or not going to do it, that's all the more reason to say the rest of the world has to do it.
AS I WAS SAYING: The WaPo editors on ISIS:
The U.S. strategy to defeat the Islamic State is underpowered
And it's not even feel-good.
FACT SHEET: U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:36
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 16, 2014
As the President has stated, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the humanitarian crisis there is a top national security priority for the United States. In order to contain and combat it, we are partnering with the United Nations and other international partners to help the Governments of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal respond just as we fortify our defenses at home. Every outbreak of Ebola over the past 40 years has been contained, and we are confident that this one can'--and will be'--as well.
Our strategy is predicated on four key goals:
Controlling the epidemic at its source in West Africa;Mitigating second-order impacts, including blunting the economic, social, and political tolls in the region;Engaging and coordinating with a broader global audience; and,Fortifying global health security infrastructure in the region and beyond.The United States has applied a whole-of-government response to the epidemic, which we launched shortly after the first cases were reported in March. As part of this, we have dedicated additional resources across the federal government to address the crisis, committing more than $175 million to date. We continue to work with Congress to provide additional resources through appropriations and reprogramming efforts in order to be responsive to evolving resource needs on the ground. Just as the outbreak has worsened, our response will be commensurate with the challenge.
New Resources to Confront a Growing Challenge
The United States will leverage the unique capabilities of the U.S. military and broader uniformed services to help bring the epidemic under control. These efforts will entail command and control, logistics expertise, training, and engineering support.
U.S. Africa Command will set up a Joint Force Command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to provide regional command and control support to U.S. military activities and facilitate coordination with U.S. government and international relief efforts. A general from U.S. Army Africa, the Army component of U.S. Africa Command, will lead this effort, which will involve an estimated 3,000 U.S. forces.
U.S. Africa Command will establish a regional intermediate staging base (ISB) to facilitate and expedite the transportation of equipment, supplies and personnel. Of the U.S. forces taking part in this response, many will be stationed at the ISB.
Command engineers will build additional Ebola Treatment Units in affected areas, and the U.S. Government will help recruit and organize medical personnel to staff them.
Additionally, the Command will establish a site to train up to 500 health care providers per week, enabling healthcare workers to safely provide direct medical care to patients.
The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is preparing to deploy 65 Commissioned Corps officers to Liberia to manage and staff a previously announced Department of Defense (DoD) hospital to care for healthcare workers who become ill. The deployment roster will consist of administrators, clinicians, and support staff.
Simple and scalable strategies that complement the use of Ebola Treatment Units are urgently required to disrupt the disease's transmission. A community- and home-based strategy that supports household and communities is a critical step to moving forward:
USAID is supporting a Community Care Campaign, which will provide communities and households with protection kits, appropriate information and training on how to protect themselves and their loved ones. In partnership with the United Nations Children Fund, the Paul Allen Family Foundation, and other key partners, we will immediately target the 400,000 most vulnerable households in Liberia. The package will subsequently be scaled to cover the country and the broader region.
As part of this effort, this week, USAID will airlift 50,000 home health care kits from Denmark to Liberia to be hand-delivered to distant communities by trained youth volunteers.
A Complement to Efforts To-Date
Applying this whole-of-government approach, we have been engaged on this outbreak since March when the first cases were reported in West Africa. We currently have in the affected countries more than 100 specialists from multiple U.S. departments and agencies, including the Departments of State and Health and Human Services (HHS), the CDC, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and DoD. We also are working intensively on this effort with the United Nations, including the World Health Organization, the governments of the affected countries, and other partners, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Norway, the Africa Union, and European Union.
To date we have spent more than $100 million to address this challenge, including the purchase of personal protective equipment, mobile labs, logistics and relief commodities, and support for community health workers. USAID also has announced plans to make available up to $75 million in additional funding to increase the number of Ebola treatment units, provide more personal protective equipment, airlift additional medical and emergency supplies, and support other Ebola response activities in collaboration with the UN, including the World Health Organization, and international partners.
CDC has provided on the ground expertise in the largest international response in its history. More than 100 CDC personnel are on the ground in West Africa, and hundreds of personnel at their Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta have provided around the clock logistics, staffing, communication, analytics, management, and other support functions. The Administration has asked Congress for an additional $30 million to send additional response workers from the CDC as well as lab supplies and equipment.
In August, USAID deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to West Africa to coordinate and prioritize the U.S. government's response to the outbreak. The DART assesses and identifies priority needs and coordinates key areas of the response, such as planning, operations, and logistics. The 28-member DART team is comprised of staff from USAID, CDC, DoD, and the U.S. Forest Service. The DART will be airlifting 130,000 sets of personal protective equipment to ensure that health care workers have the resources needed to safely do their jobs. The DART is also in the process of procuring generators that will provide electricity to Ebola treatment units and other response facilities.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is developing an investigational Ebola vaccine, including recently starting phase 1 clinical trials, as well as supporting efforts to develop additional Ebola antivirals and therapeutics candidates. The Administration has asked Congress for an additional $58 million to support the development and manufacturing of Ebola therapeutic and vaccine candidates through Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
In addition to the measures announced today, DoD plans to send a field-deployable hospital to Liberia and has provided more than 10,000 Ebola test kits to the Liberian Institute of Biological Research and to Sierra Leone's Kenema Government Hospital. DoD also has provided personal protective equipment and training to local medical professionals in affected regions.
DoD also has requested to reprogram $500 million in Fiscal Year 2014 Overseas Contingency Operations funds for humanitarian assistance, a portion of which will be used to fulfill requirements identified by CDC, USAID, the Joint Staff, and U.S. Africa Command to provide military air transportation of DoD and non-DoD personnel and supplies; medical treatment facilities (e.g. isolation units), personnel protective equipment, and medical supplies; logistics and engineering support, and; subject matter experts in support of sanitation and mortuary affairs.
DoD's Cooperative Threat Reduction program is redirecting $25 million to provide personal protective equipment and laboratory reagents, support for technical advisors, and other requests as validated by the DART. DoD has also requested to reprogram an additional $60 million to enable the CTR program to address urgent biosafety, biosecurity, and biosurveillance needs in the three countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak, as well as bolster the capabilities of neighboring countries and other partners in Africa.
Last month, USAID airlifted more than 16 tons of medical supplies and emergency equipment to Liberia, including: 10,000 sets of personal protective equipment, two water treatment units and two portable water tanks capable of storing 10,000 liters each, and 100 rolls of plastic sheeting which can be used in the construction of Ebola treatment units. Additionally, in late August the DART airlifted 5,000 body bags to step up support for the safe removal and transport of the bodies of Ebola victims and 500 infrared thermometers to bolster Ebola screening efforts. These supplies will be distributed and used by the WHO and Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
USAID and the State Department are providing up to $10 million to support the deployment of an African Union mission sending more than 100 health care workers to the region. The State Department also has encouraged other governments to increase assistance; coordinate delivery of critical resources, including personnel, equipment, and medical supplies; and encourage airlines operating in the region to maintain or reinstate service while ensuring appropriate precautions.
Additionally, the State Department has supported public education efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea regarding prevention and treatment of the disease. The effort has included radio and television messages in local languages, the production of nearly 100 billboards and thousands of posters, program support to local non-governmental organizations and a special song commissioned by a popular local musician.
Earlier this month, President Obama released a message to the people of West Africa to reinforce the facts and dispel myths surrounding Ebola. The video was transcribed into French, Portuguese, and other local languages and was distributed to television and radio stations across the region. Tens of thousands of West Africans viewed or listened to the message.Screening Efforts Overseas
In addition to our efforts to help the affected West African countries bring this outbreak under control, we have taken steps to fortify against the introduction of Ebola cases into the United States. It is important to note that Ebola is not highly contagious like the flu; to the contrary, the virus is spread through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of a symptomatic individual.
CDC is working closely with Customs and Border Protection and other partners at ports of entry'--primarily international airports'--to use routine processes to identify travelers who show signs of infectious disease. In response to the outbreak, these processes have been enhanced through guidance and training. If a sick traveler is identified during or after a flight, the traveler will be immediately isolated, and CDC will conduct an investigation of exposed travelers and work with the airline, federal partners, and state and local health departments to notify them and take any necessary public health action.
CDC is assisting with exit screening and communication efforts in West Africa to prevent sick travelers from boarding planes. It also has issued interim guidance about Ebola virus infection for airline flight crews, cleaning personnel, and cargo personnel.
CDC also has issued advice for colleges, universities, and students about study abroad, foreign exchange, and other education-related travel, as well as advice for students who have recently traveled from a country in which an Ebola outbreak is occurring. Similarly, CDC has developed recommendations for humanitarian aid workers traveling to Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreaks in these countries. The recommendations include steps to take before departure, during travel, and upon return to the United States.Preparedness at Home
Despite the tragic epidemic in West Africa, U.S. health professionals agree it is highly unlikely that we would experience an Ebola outbreak here in the United States, given our robust health care infrastructure and rapid response capabilities. Nevertheless, we have taken extra measures to prevent the unintentional importation of cases into the United States, and if a patient does make it here, our national health system has the capacity and expertise to quickly detect and contain this disease.
CDC has worked to enhance surveillance and laboratory testing capacity in states to detect cases and improve case finding. CDC is developing guidance and tools for health departments to conduct public health investigations and improve health communication and continues to update recommendations for healthcare infection control and other measures to prevent the disease from spreading. Similarly, HHS' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and CDC are providing guidance documents to hospitals and other health care partners to support preparedness for a possible Ebola case.
CDC also has prepared U.S. healthcare facilities and emergency medical service systems to safely manage a patient with suspected Ebola virus disease. CDC communicates with healthcare workers on an ongoing basis through the Health Alert Network, the Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity, and a variety of other existing tools and mechanisms. CDC developed Interim Guidance for Monitoring and Movement of Persons with Ebola Virus Disease Exposure to provide public health authorities and other partners with a framework for evaluating people's level of exposure to Ebola and initiating appropriate public health actions on the basis of exposure level and clinical assessment.
The Food and Drug Administration is monitoring for fraudulent products and false product claims related to the Ebola virus and is prepared to take enforcement actions, as warranted, to protect the public health.Securing the Future
The Ebola epidemic reminds us that our global efforts to build the capacity to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to infectious disease threats like Ebola have never been more vital. In February, we came together with nations around the world to launch the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) as a five year effort to accelerate action.
CDC is contributing to the GHSA by partnering with nations around the world to help them establish measurable global health security capacity. This includes core CDC partnership programs like the Global Disease DetectionCenters and Field Epidemiology Training Program, which enable the laboratory systems, disease surveillance workforce, emergency operations center capacity, and biosafety and biosecurity best practices required to counter Ebola and other biological threats.
Over the next five years the United States has committed to working with at least 30 partner countries to invest in model systems to advance the Global Health Security agenda. CDC and DoD will work with other U.S. agencies and partner countries to establish emergency operations centers, build information systems, and strengthen laboratory security to mitigate biological threats and build partner capacity.
# # #
Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Central African Republic
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 05:24
Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Central African Republic
Samantha PowerU.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
New York, NY
September 15, 2014
For too long, the people of the Central African Republic have endured unspeakable violence. Roughly 2.5 million people desperately need humanitarian assistance, nearly a million people are currently displaced, and the country is reeling from political instability and food shortages. On each of my two visits to the country over the past year, however, I was struck by the spirit of resilience among Central Africans who spoke nostalgically about their once tolerant and diverse society, but who need international support to rebuild it.
Today, the new United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA, formally stands up with a mandate to protect civilians from violence. The United States welcomes the establishment of MINUSCA, and we affirm our support for the mission. We call on the United Nations to redouble efforts to ensure the full deployment of MINUSCA's military, police, and civilian staff as quickly as possible, and we thank those countries that have provided troops and police to MINUSCA in a very difficult environment.
Since the beginning of the year, security in the Central African Republic has improved in some areas of the country -- thanks in part to the courage and sacrifices of the African Union troops, who were the first to put their lives on the line, as well as the French and European Union forces who have been critical to security efforts to date.
While the UN has a crucial role to play in furthering a durable peace in the Central African Republic, we urge the Transitional Government to swiftly implement the grassroots and national dialogues outlined in the July 23 agreements in Brazzaville in a transparent and inclusive manner. We further call upon all parties to refrain from violence that perpetuates the needless suffering of so many.
The United States reaffirms its strong support for the people of the Central African Republic and the Transitional Government as they continue the project of building a society marked by peace, political stability and economic security. With the resumption of operations at our embassy in Bangui, I am confident we can strengthen our relationship even further over time.
Ebola, AIDS Manufactured by Western Pharmaceuticals, US DoD? | The Liberian Observer
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:04
Dear World Citizens:
I have read a number of articles from your Internet outreach as well as articles from other sources about the casualties in Liberia and other West African countries about the human devastation caused by the Ebola virus. About a week ago, I read an article published in the Internet news summary publication of the Friends of Liberia that said that there was an agreement that the initiation of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was due to the contact of a two-year old child with bats that had flown in from the Congo. That report made me disconcerted with the reporting about Ebola, and it stimulated a response to the ''Friends of Liberia,'' saying that African people are not ignorant and gullible, as is being implicated. A response from Dr. Verlon Stone said that the article was not theirs, and that ''Friends of Liberia'' was simply providing a service. He then asked if he could publish my letter in their Internet forum. I gave my permission, but I have not seen it published. Because of the widespread loss of life, fear, physiological trauma, and despair among Liberians and other West African citizens, it is incumbent that I make a contribution to the resolution of this devastating situation, which may continue to recur, if it is not properly and adequately confronted. I will address the situation in five (5) points:
Horowitz (1998) was deliberate and unambiguous when he explained the threat of new diseases in his text, Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola - Nature, Accident or Intentional. In his interview with Dr. Robert Strecker in Chapter 7, the discussion, in the early 1970s, made it obvious that the war was between countries that hosted the KGB and the CIA, and the 'manufacture' of 'AIDS-Like Viruses' was clearly directed at the other. In passing during the Interview, mention was made of Fort Detrick, ''the Ebola Building,'' and 'a lot of problems with strange illnesses' in ''Frederick [Maryland].'' By Chapter 12 in his text, he had confirmed the existence of an American Military-Medical-Industry that conducts biological weapons tests under the guise of administering vaccinations to control diseases and improve the health of ''black Africans overseas.'' The book is an excellent text, and all leaders plus anyone who has interest in science, health, people, and intrigue should study it. I am amazed that African leaders are making no acknowledgements or reference to these documents.
I am now reading The Hot Zone, a novel, by Richard Preston (copyrighted 1989 and 1994); it is heart-rending. The prolific and prominent writer, Steven King, is quoted as saying that the book is ''One of the most horrifying things I have ever read. What a remarkable piece of work.'' As a New York Times bestseller, The Hot Zone is presented as ''A terrifying true story.'' Terrifying, yes, because the pathological description of what was found in animals killed by the Ebola virus is what the virus has been doing to citizens of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in its most recent outbreak: Ebola virus destroys peoples' internal organs and the body deteriorates rapidly after death. It softens and the tissues turn into jelly, even if it is refrigerated to keep it cold. Spontaneous liquefaction is what happens to the body of people killed by the Ebola virus! The author noted in Point 1, Dr. Horowitz, chides The Hot Zone for writing to be politically correct; I understand because his book makes every effort to be very factual. The 1976 Ebola incident in Zaire, during President Mobutu Sese Seko, was the introduction of the GMO Ebola to Africa.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and several other UN Agencies have been implicated in selecting and enticing African countries to participate in the testing events, promoting vaccinations, but pursuing various testing regiments. The August 2, 2014 article, West Africa: What are US Biological Warfare Researchers Doing in the Ebola Zone? by Jon Rappoport of Global Research pinpoints the problem that is facing African governments.
Obvious in this and other reports are, among others:
(a) The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), a well-known centre for bio-war research, located at Fort Detrick, Maryland;
(b) Tulane University, in New Orleans, USA, winner of research grants, including a grant of more than $7 million the National Institute of Health (NIH) to fund research with the Lassa viral hemorrhagic fever;
(c) the US Center for Disease Control (CDC);
(d) Doctors Without Borders (also known by its French name, Medicins Sans Frontiers);
(e) Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company;
(f) The UK's GlaxoSmithKline; and
(g) the Kenema Government Hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone.
Reports narrate stories of the US Department of Defense (DoD) funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The reports continue and state that the DoD gave a contract worth $140 million dollars to Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, to conduct Ebola research. This research work involved injecting and infusing healthy humans with the deadly Ebola virus. Hence, the DoD is listed as a collaborator in a ''First in Human'' Ebola clinical trial (NCT02041715, which started in January 2014 shortly before an Ebola epidemic was declared in West Africa in March. Disturbingly, many reports also conclude that the US government has a viral fever bioterrorism research laboratory in Kenema, a town at the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The only relevant positive and ethical olive-branch seen in all of my reading is that Theguardian.com reported, ''The US government funding of Ebola trials on healthy humans comes amid warnings by top scientists in Harvard and Yale that such virus experiments risk triggering a worldwide pandemic.'' That threat still persists.
The U. S., Canada, France, and the U. K. are all implicated in the detestable and devilish deeds that these Ebola tests are. There is the need to pursue criminal and civil redress for damages, and African countries and people should secure legal representation to seek damages from these countries, some corporations, and the United Nations. Evidence seems abundant against Tulane University, and suits should start there. Yoichi Shimatsu's article, The Ebola Breakout Coincided with UN Vaccine Campaigns, as published on August 18, 2014, in the Liberty Beacon.
Africa must not relegate the Continent to become the locality for disposal and the deposition of hazardous chemicals, dangerous drugs, and chemical or biological agents of emerging diseases. There is urgent need for affirmative action in protecting the less affluent of poorer countries, especially African citizens, whose countries are not as scientifically and industrially endowed as the United States and most Western countries, sources of most viral or bacterial GMOs that are strategically designed as biological weapons. It is most disturbing that the U. S. Government has been operating a viral hemorrhagic fever bioterrorism research laboratory in Sierra Leone. Are there others? Wherever they exist, it is time to terminate them. If any other sites exist, it is advisable to follow the delayed but essential step: Sierra Leone closed the US bioweapons lab and stopped Tulane University for further testing.
The world must be alarmed. All Africans, Americans, Europeans, Middle Easterners, Asians, and people from every conclave on Earth should be astonished. African people, notably citizens more particularly of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are victimized and are dying every day. Listen to the people who distrust the hospitals, who cannot shake hands, hug their relatives and friends. Innocent people are dying, and they need our help. The countries are poor and cannot afford the whole lot of personal protection equipment (PPE) that the situation requires. The threat is real, and it is larger than a few African countries. The challenge is global, and we request assistance from everywhere, including China, Japan, Australia, India, Germany, Italy, and even kind-hearted people in the U.S., France, the U.K., Russia, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and anywhere else whose desire is to help. The situation is bleaker than we on the outside can imagine, and we must provide assistance however we can. To ensure a future that has less of this kind of drama, it is important that we now demand that our leaders and governments be honest, transparent, fair, and productively engaged. They must answer to the people. Please stand up to stop Ebola testing and the spread of this dastardly disease.
Thank you very much.
Dr. Cyril E. Broderick, Sr.
About the Author:
Dr. Broderick is a former professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Liberia's College of Agriculture and Forestry. He is also the former Observer Farmer in the 1980s. It was from this column in our newspaper, the Daily Observer, that Firestone spotted him and offered him the position of Director of Research in the late 1980s. In addition, he is a scientist, who has taught for many years at the Agricultural College of the University of Delaware.
American Enterprise Institute - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:33
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) is a private, conservative, not-for-profit institution (a "think tank") dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics and social welfare. Founded in 1938, its stated mission is "to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism'--limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, vigilant and effective defense and foreign policies, political accountability, and open debate".[2] AEI is an independent nonprofit organization supported primarily by grants and contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Some AEI scholars are considered to be some of the leading architects of the second Bush administration's public policy.[3] More than twenty AEI scholars and fellows served either in a Bush administration policy post or on one of the government's many panels and commissions. Among the prominent former government officials now affiliated with AEI are former U.S. ambassador to the U.N.John Bolton, now an AEI senior fellow; former chairman of the National Endowment for the HumanitiesLynne Cheney, a longtime AEI senior fellow; former House SpeakerNewt Gingrich, now an AEI senior fellow; former member of the Dutch parliamentAyaan Hirsi Ali, an AEI visiting fellow; and former deputy secretary of defensePaul Wolfowitz, now an AEI visiting scholar. Other prominent individuals affiliated with AEI include Kevin Hassett, Frederick W. Kagan, Leon Kass, Charles Murray, Michael Novak, Norman J. Ornstein, Richard Perle, Radosław Sikorski, Christina Hoff Sommers, Peter J. Wallison, and Mark J. Perry.[4]
Political stance and impact[edit]AEI describes itself as nonpartisan and its website includes a statement on political advocacy: "Legal requirements aside, AEI has important reasons of its own for abstaining from any form of policy advocacy as an institution. . . . AEI takes no institutional positions on policy issues (whether or not they are currently before legislative, executive, or judicial bodies) or on any other issues."[2] This distinguishes AEI from other think tanks, such as the Heritage Foundation and the Center for American Progress.[5] The institute is often cited as a right-leaning counterpart to the left-leaningBrookings Institution.[6][7] The two entities have often collaborated: from 1998 to 2008, they co-sponsored the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies (now housed solely at AEI), and in 2006, they launched the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project.[8]
AEI is the most prominent think tank associated with American neoconservatism, in both the domestic and international policy arenas.[9]Irving Kristol, widely considered a father of neoconservatism, was a senior fellow at AEI (arriving from the Congress for Cultural Freedom following the widespread revelation of the group's CIA funding)[10] and many prominent neoconservatives'--including Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ben Wattenberg, and Joshua Muravchik'--spent the bulk of their careers at AEI.[4] However, AEI is not officially neoconservative. AEI resident scholar Norman J. Ornstein, a self-identified centrist, criticizes commentators who label him a "neocon" and says that "the intellectual openness and lack of orthodoxy at AEI exceeds what I have seen on any college campus. . . . [E]ven though my writings have frequently ticked off conservative ideologues and business interests'--especially my deep involvement in campaign finance reform'--I have never once been told, 'You can't say that' or 'You better be careful'".[11]
AEI has taken strong stances against the farm bill and agricultural subsidies; a 2007 document authored by Bruce Gardner claimed that "There is no need for farm subsidies, and it would not really hurt anyone if we eliminated them".[12]
According to the 2011 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report (Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania), AEI is number 17 in the "Top Thirty Worldwide Think Tanks" and number 10 in the "Top Fifty United States Think Tanks".[13]
Funding[edit]AEI's revenues for the fiscal year ending 6/30/13 were $45,780,708 against expenses of $31,797,938.[1] In 2014 the charity evaluating service American Institute of Philanthropy gave AEI an "A-" grade in its CharityWatch "Top-Rated Charities" listing.[14]
History[edit]Beginnings (1938''1954)[edit]AEI grew out of the American Enterprise Association (AEA), which was founded in 1938 by a group of New York businessmen led by Lewis H. Brown. AEA's original mission was to promote a "greater public knowledge and understanding of the social and economic advantages accruing to the American people through the maintenance of the system of free, competitive enterprise".[15] AEI's founders included executives from Eli Lilly, General Mills, Bristol-Myers, Chemical Bank, Chrysler, and Paine Webber. To this day, AEA's board is composed of top leaders from major business and financial firms.[16]
In 1943, AEA's main offices were moved from New York City to Washington in order to capitalize on Congress's need for help in making sense of its vastly increased wartime portfolio and more effectively oppose the New Deal. AEA's leaders aimed not merely to assess policy but to propound classical liberal arguments for a free society and limited government, thus setting it apart from think tanks founded around the same time, like the RAND Corporation.[17] In 1944, AEA convened an Economic Advisory Board to set a high standard for research; this eventually became the Council of Academic Advisers, which, over the decades, included notable economists and social scientists like Ronald Coase, Martin Feldstein, Milton Friedman, Roscoe Pound, and James Q. Wilson.
AEA's early work in Washington involved commissioning and distributing legislative analyses to Congress, which developed AEA's relationships with Melvin Laird and Gerald Ford.[18] Brown eventually shifted AEA's focus to commissioning studies of government policies. These subjects ranged from fiscal to monetary policy and from health care to energy, and authors included Earl Butz, John Lintner, former New Dealer Raymond Moley, and Felix Morley. Brown died in 1951, and AEA languished. In 1952, a group of young policymakers and public intellectuals'--including Laird, William Baroody Sr., Paul McCracken, and Murray Weidenbaum'--met to discuss resurrecting AEI.[18] In 1954, Baroody became executive vice president of the association.
Growing influence (1954''1980)[edit]Under Baroody's leadership (as executive vice president from 1954 to 1962 and as president from 1962 to 1978), AEA developed as a prototypical Washington think tank, took the institutional shape it has today, and expanded its influence and intellectual heft. Baroody began to publicize and distribute AEA's publications effectively. He also raised money for AEA, expanding its financial base beyond the business leaders on the board.[19] During the 1950s and 1960s, AEA's work became described as more pointed and focused, including monographs by James M. Buchanan, Gottfried Haberler, Edward Banfield, Rose Friedman, and P. T. Bauer.
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI)'--which had been renamed in 1962'--remained a marginal operation with little practical influence in the national politics until the 1970s. Baroody recruited a resident research faculty; Harvard economist Haberler was the first to join in 1972.[15] In 1977, former president Gerald Ford joined AEI as its "distinguished fellow." Ford brought several of his administration's officials with him, including Arthur Burns, Robert Bork, David Gergen, James C. Miller III, Laurence Silberman, and Antonin Scalia. Ford also founded the AEI World Forum, which he hosted until 2005. Other resident scholars hired around this time included Herbert Stein and Walter Berns. Baroody's son, William J. Baroody Jr., had been an official in the Ford White House and now also joined AEI, taking over the presidency from his father in 1978.[15]
The elder Baroody made a concerted effort to recruit neoconservatives (Democrats and urban liberals who had supported the New Deal and Great Society but had become disaffected by what they perceived as the failure of the welfare state, as articulated in the pages of journals like The Public Interest, and Cold Warhawks who rejected George McGovern's peace agenda). He brought Irving Kristol, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Michael Novak, and Ben Wattenberg to AEI.[20] While at AEI, Kirkpatrick authored "Dictatorships and Double Standards"; it brought her to the attention of Ronald Reagan, and she was later named U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations.[21] AEI also became a home for supply-side economists during the late 1970s and early 1980s.[22] By 1980, AEI had grown from a budget of $1 million and a staff of ten to a budget of $8 million and a staff of 125.[15]
The conservative ascendancy (1980''2008)[edit]The Reagan years illustrated the successes of the conservative and classical liberal intellectual community, but they were troubled years for AEI. Several AEI scholars decamped for the administration. That, combined with prodigious growth, diffusion of research activities,[23] and managerial problems, proved costly.[19] Moreover, some foundations then supporting AEI perceived a drift toward the center politically. Centrists like Ford, Burns, and Stein clashed with rising movement conservatives. In 1986, the John M. Olin Foundation and the Smith Richardson Foundation withdrew funding for the institute, pushing AEI to the brink of bankruptcy. The board of trustees fired Baroody Jr. and, after an interregnum under interim president Paul McCracken, hired Christopher DeMuth as president in December 1986.[19] DeMuth stayed on for twenty-two years.
DeMuth cut AEI's programs and faculty dramatically, reorganizing the institute into three primary research areas: economic policy, foreign policy, and social and political studies. He also began fundraising prodigiously, successfully regaining the confidence of conservative foundations. In 1990, AEI hired Charles Murray (and received his Bradley Foundation support for The Bell Curve) after the Manhattan Institute dropped him.[24] Murray's work on welfare in Losing Ground was very influential in debates over welfare reform in the 1990s.[25] Others brought to AEI by DeMuth included John Bolton, Dinesh D'Souza, Richard Cheney, Lynne Cheney, Michael Barone, James K. Glassman, Newt Gingrich, John Lott, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations were good years for AEI. From 1988 to 2000, AEI's revenues grew from $10 million to $18.9 million.[26] The institute's publications achieved a higher profile. Public Opinion and The AEI Economist were merged into The American Enterprise, edited by Karlyn Bowman from 1990 to 1995 and by Karl Zinsmeister from 1995 to 2006, when Glassman created The American. DeMuth presided over AEI as it moved into the digital age.
AEI enjoyed close ties to the George W. Bush administration.[27] More than twenty AEI scholars served in the administration, and Bush addressed the institute on three occasions. "I admire AEI a lot'--I'm sure you know that," Bush said. "After all, I have been consistently borrowing some of your best people."[28] Cabinet officials also frequented AEI. In 2002, Danielle Pletka joined AEI to raise the profile of the foreign policy department, especially its Middle East studies program. AEI and several of its scholars'--including Michael Ledeen and Richard Perle'--became associated with the origins of the Iraq war.[29] In 2006''2007, AEI scholars, including Frederick W. Kagan, provided a strategic framework for the "surge" in Iraq.[30][31] The Bush administration also drew on AEI work in other areas, such as Leon Kass's appointment as the first chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics and Norman J. Ornstein's work drafting the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act that Bush signed in 2002. However, some AEI scholars have been critical of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War and the economy.[32]
When DeMuth retired as president at the end of 2008, AEI's staff numbered 185, with 70 scholars and several dozen adjuncts,[15] and revenues of $31.3 million.[33]Arthur C. Brooks succeeded him as president and soon faced harsh financial headwinds associated with the recession that began in 2008.[34] With a 2009 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Brooks positioned AEI to be much more aggressive in responding to the policies of the Barack Obama administration.[35]
Personnel[edit]Officers and trustees[edit]AEI's officers are Arthur C. Brooks, president; David Gerson, executive vice president; Jason Bertsch, vice president for development; and Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies.[16]
Its board is chaired by Tully Friedman. Current notable trustees include Arthur C. Brooks, Gordon Binder, former managing director and CEO of Amgen; former vice president Dick Cheney; Daniel D'Aniello, cofounder of The Carlyle Group; John V. Faraci, chairman and CEO of International Paper; Harlan Crow, chairman and CEO of Crow Holdings, the Trammell Crow family's investment company; Christopher Galvin, former CEO and chairman of Motorola; Raymond Gilmartin, retired chairman and CEO of Merck & Co.; Harvey Golub, retired chairman and CEO of the American Express Company; Bruce Kovner, chairman of Caxton Alternative Associates (and a former chairman of AEI); and Edward B. Rust Jr., chairman and CEO of State Farm (and also a former AEI chairman).[16]
AEI has a Council of Academic Advisers, chaired by George L. Priest, which includes Eliot A. Cohen, Martin Feldstein, R. Glenn Hubbard, Sam Peltzman, John L. Palmer, Jeremy A. Rabkin, and Richard J. Zeckhauser.[16] The Council of Academic Advisers selects the annual winner of the Irving Kristol Award.
Scholars and fellows[edit]AEI lists its current scholars and fellows on its web site.[4] A list of notable people affiliated with AEI, both past and present, is available at List of American Enterprise Institute scholars and fellows.
Research programs[edit]AEI's research is divided into seven broad categories: economic policy studies, foreign and defense policy studies, health policy studies, political and public opinion studies, social and cultural studies, education, and energy and environmental studies. Until 2008, AEI's work was divided into economics, foreign policy, and politics and social policy. AEI scholars' research is presented at conferences and meetings, in peer-reviewed journals and publications on the institute's website, and through testimony before and consultations with government panels.
Economic policy studies[edit]Economic policy was the original focus of the American Enterprise Association, and "the Institute still keeps economic policy studies at its core".[33] According to AEI's annual report, "The principal goal is to better understand free economies'--how they function, how to capitalize on their strengths, how to keep private enterprise robust, and how to address problems when they arise".[33]Kevin A. Hassett directs economic policy studies at AEI.
Scholars at AEI working on the U.S. and world economies include Desmond Lachman, Adam Lerrick, John H. Makin, Michael Strain, and Stan Veuger. These scholars examine the federal budget, monetary policy, and international financial markets.[36]
Throughout the beginning of the twenty-first century, scholars at the American Enterprise Institute have pushed for a more conservative approach to aiding the recession that includes major tax-cuts. AEI supported President Bush's tax cuts in 2002 and claimed that the cuts ''played a large role in helping to save the economy from a recession''. AEI also suggested that further taxes were necessary in order to attain recovery of the economy. John H. Makin, a scholar at AEI, stated that the Democrats in congress who opposed the Bush stimulus plan were foolish for doing so as he saw the plan as a major success for the administration.[2]
The 2008 financial crisis[edit]As the 2008 economic crisis unfolded, the Wall Street Journal stated that predictions by AEI scholars about the involvement of housing GSEs had come true.[37] In the late 1990s, Fannie Mae eased credit requirements on the mortgages it purchased and exposed itself to more risk. Peter J. Wallison warned that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's public-private status put taxpayers on the line for increased risk.[38] "Because of the agencies' dual public and private form, various efforts to force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to fulfill their public mission at the cost of their profitability have failed'--and will likely continue to fail", he wrote in 2001. "The only viable solution would seem to be full privatization or the adoption of policies that would force the agencies to adopt this course themselves."[39] Wallison ramped up his criticism of the GSEs throughout the 2000s. In 2006 and 2007, he moderated conferences featuring James B. Lockhart III, the chief regulator of Fannie and Freddie[40] In August 2008, after Fannie and Freddie had been backstopped by the US Treasury Department, Wallison outlined several ways of dealing with the GSEs, including "nationalization through a receivership", outright "privatization", and "privatization through a receivership".[41] The following month, Lockhart and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson took the former path by putting Fannie and Freddie into federal "conservatorship".
As the housing crisis unfolded, AEI sponsored a series of conferences featuring bearish commentators, including Lachman, Makin, and Nouriel Roubini.[42] Makin had been warning about the effects of a housing downturn on the broader economy for months.[43] Amid charges that many homebuyers did not understand their complex mortgages, Alex J. Pollock gained recognition for crafting a prototype of a one-page mortgage disclosure form.[44][45]
Research in AEI's Financial Markets Program also includes banking, insurance and securities regulation, accounting reform, corporate governance, and consumer finance.[36]
Tax and fiscal policy[edit]AEI is currently associated with supply-side economics. Kevin Hassett and Alan D. Viard are AEI's principal tax policy experts, although Alex Brill, R. Glenn Hubbard, and Aparna Mathur also work on the subject. Specific subjects include "income distribution, transition costs, marginal tax rates, and international taxation of corporate income. . . . the Pension Protection Act of 2006; dynamic scoring and the effects of taxation on investment, savings, and entrepreneurial activity; and options to fix the alternative minimum tax".[36] Hassett has coedited several volumes on tax reform.[46] Viard has edited a book on tax policy lessons from the Bush administration.[47] AEI's working paper series includes developing academic works on economic issues. One paper by Hassett and Mathur on the responsiveness of wages to corporate taxation[48] was cited by The Economist;[49] figures from another paper by Hassett and Brill on maximizing corporate income tax revenue[50] was cited by the Wall Street Journal.[51]
Center for Regulatory and Market Studies[edit]From 1998 to 2008, the Reg-Markets Center was the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, directed by Robert W. Hahn. The Center, which no longer exists, sponsored conferences, papers, and books on regulatory decision-making and the impact of federal regulation on consumers, businesses, and governments. It covered a range of disciplines. It also sponsored an annual Distinguished Lecture series. Past lecturers in the series have included William Baumol, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Alfred Kahn, Sam Peltzman, Richard Posner, and Cass Sunstein.[52]
Energy and environmental policy[edit]AEI's work on climate change has been subject to controversy (see below). According to AEI, it "emphasizes the need to design environmental policies that protect not only nature but also democratic institutions and human liberty".[36] When the Kyoto Protocol was approaching, AEI was hesitant to encourage the U.S. to join. In an essay from written by AEI economic policy directors and scholars from the AEI outlook series of 2007, the authors discuss the Kyoto Protocol and state that the United States ''should be wary of joining an international emissions-trading regime''. To back this statement, they point out that committing to the Kyoto emissions goal would be a significant and unrealistic obligation for the United States. In addition, they state that the Kyoto regulations would have an impact not only on governmental policies, but also the private sector through expanding government control over investment decisions. Scholars from AEI believed that ''dilution of sovereignty'' would be the result if the U.S. signed the treaty.[53] AEI scholars have strongly promoted carbon taxation as an alternative to cap-and-trade regimes. "Most economists believe a carbon tax (a tax on the quantity of CO2 emitted when using energy) would be a superior policy alternative to an emissions-trading regime," wrote Kenneth P. Green, Kevin Hassett, and Steven F. Hayward. "In fact, the irony is that there is a broad consensus in favor of a carbon tax everywhere except on Capitol Hill, where the 'T word' is anathema."[54] Other AEI scholars, including Samuel Thernstrom and Lee Lane, have argued for similar policies.[55][56] Thernstrom and Lane are codirecting a project on whether geoengineering would be a feasible way to "buy us time to make [the] transition [from fossil fuels] while protecting us from the worst potential effects of warming".[57]
Green, who departed AEI in 2013, expanded its work on energy policy. He has hosted conferences on nuclear power[58] and ethanol[59] With Aparna Mathur, he has also evaluated Americans' indirect energy use to discover unexpected areas in which energy efficiencies can be achieved.[60][61]
Foreign and defense policy studies[edit]AEI's foreign and defense policy studies researchers focus on "how political and economic freedom'--as well as American interests'--are best promoted around the world".[33] AEI scholars have tended to be advocates of a hard U.S. line on threats or potential threats to the United States, including the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the People's Republic of China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Russia, and terrorist or militant groups like al Qaeda and Hezbollah. Likewise, AEI scholars have promoted closer U.S. ties with countries whose interests or values they view as aligned with America's, such as Israel, the Republic of China, India, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Colombia, the United Kingdom, and emerging post-Communist states such as Poland and Georgia.
AEI's foreign and defense policy studies department, directed by Danielle Pletka, is the part of the institute most commonly associated with neoconservatism,[9] especially by its critics.[62][63] Prominent foreign-policy neoconservatives at AEI include Richard Perle, Gary Schmitt, and Paul Wolfowitz. John Bolton, often said to be a neoconservative,[64][65] has said that he is not one, as his primary focus is on American interests, not democracy promotion.[66][67]Joshua Muravchik and Michael Ledeen spent many years at AEI, although they departed at around the same time as Reuel Marc Gerecht in 2008 in what was rumored to be a "purge" of neoconservatives at the institute, possibly "signal[ing] the end of [neoconservatism's] domination over the think tank over the past several decades",[68] although Muravchik later said it was the result of personality and management conflicts.[68]
U.S. national security strategy, defense policy, and the "surge"[edit]In late 2006, the security situation in Iraq continued to deteriorate, and the Iraq Study Group proposed a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops and further engagement of Iraq's neighbors. Consulting with AEI's Iraq Planning Group, Frederick W. Kagan published an AEI report entitled Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq calling for "phase one" of a change in strategy to focus on "clearing and holding" neighborhoods and securing the population; a troop escalation of seven Army brigades and Marine regiments; and a renewed emphasis on reconstruction, economic development, and jobs.[31] As the report was being drafted, Kagan and Keane were briefing President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and othe senior Bush administration officials behind the scenes. According to Bob Woodward, "[Peter J.] Schoomaker was outraged when he saw news coverage that retired Gen. Jack Keane, the former Army vice chief of staff, had briefed the president Dec. 11 about a new Iraq strategy being proposed by the American Enterprise Institute, the conservative think tank. 'When does AEI start trumping the Joint Chiefs of Staff on this stuff?' Schoomaker asked at the next chiefs' meeting."[69]
Kagan, Keane, and Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman presented the plan at a January 5, 2007, event at AEI. Bush announced the change of strategy on January 10 the idea having "won additional support among some officials as a result of a detailed study by Gen. Jack Keane, the former vice chief of staff at the Army, and Frederick W. Kagan, a military specialist, that was published by the American Enterprise Institute".[30] Kagan authored three subsequent reports monitoring the progress of the surge.[70]
AEI's defense policy researchers, who also include Schmitt and Thomas Donnelly, also work on issues related to the U.S. military forces' size and structure and military partnerships with allies (both bilaterally and through institutions such as NATO). Schmitt directs AEI's Program on Advanced Strategic Studies, which "analyzes the long-term issues that will impact America's security and its ability to lead internationally".[36]
Area studies[edit]Asian studies at AEI covers "the rise of China as an economic and political power; Taiwan's security and economic agenda; Japan's military transformation; the threat of a nuclear North Korea; and the impact of regional alliances and rivalries on U.S. military and economic relationships in Asia".[36] AEI has published several reports on Asia.[71] Papers in AEI's Tocqueville on China Project series "elicit the underlying civic culture of post-Mao China, enabling policymakers to better understand the internal forces and pressures that are shaping China's future".[72]
AEI's Europe program was previously housed under the auspices of the New Atlantic Initiative, which was directed by Radek Sikorski before his return to Polish politics in 2005. Leon Aron's work forms the core of the institute's program on Russia. AEI scholars tend to view Russia as posing "strategic challenges for the West".[36]
Mark Falcoff, now retired, was previously AEI's resident Latinamericanist, focusing on the Southern Cone, Panama, and Cuba. He has warned that the road for Cuba after Fidel Castro's rule or the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo would be difficult for an island scarred by a half-century of poverty and civil turmoil.[73]Roger Noriega's focuses at AEI are on Venezuela, Brazil, the M(C)rida Initiative with Mexico and Central America,[74] and hemispheric relations.
AEI has historically devoted significant attention to the Middle East, especially through the work of former resident scholars Ledeen and Muravchik. Pletka's research focus also includes the Middle East, and she coordinated a conference series on empowering democratic dissidents and advocates in the Arab World.[75] In 2009, AEI launched the Critical Threats Project, led by Kagan, to "highlight the complexity of the global challenges the United States faces with a primary focus on Iran and al Qaeda's global influence".[36] The project includes IranTracker.org, with contributions from Ali Alfoneh, Ahmad Majidyar and Michael Rubin, among others.
International organizations and economic development[edit]For several years, AEI and the Federalist Society cosponsored NGOWatch, which was later subsumed into Global Governance Watch, "a web-based resource that addresses issues of transparency and accountability in the United Nations, NGOs, and related international organizations".[36] NGOWatch returned as a subsite of Global Governance Watch, led by Jon Entine. AEI scholars focusing on international organizations includes John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations,Bolton, John R. (2007). Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad. New York: Simon and Schuster. and John Yoo, who researches international law and sovereignty.[36]
AEI's research on economic development dates back to the early days of the institute. P. T. Bauer authored a monograph on development in India in 1959,[76] and Edward Banfield published a booklet on the theory behind foreign aid in 1970.[77] Since 2001, AEI has sponsored the Henry Wendt Lecture in International Development, named after Henry Wendt, an AEI trustee emeritus and former CEO of SmithKline Beckman.[78] Notable lecturers include Angus Maddison and Deepak Lal.
Today, development remains a core research area at AEI, with "nearly a dozen scholars" at work on the subject.
Nicholas Eberstadt holds the Henry Wendt Chair, focusing on demographics, population growth and human capital development; he served on the federal HELP Commission.
Paul Wolfowitz, the former president of the World Bank, researches development policy in Africa.
Roger Bate focuses his research on malaria, HIV/AIDS, counterfeit and substandard drugs,[79] access to water,[80] and other problems endemic in the developing world.
Health policy studies[edit]AEI scholars have engaged in health policy research since the institute's early days. A Center for Health Policy Research was established in 1974[81] For many years, Robert B. Helms led the health department. AEI's long-term focuses in health care have included national insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, pharmaceutical innovation, health care competition, and cost control.[36] The Center was replaced in the mid-1980s with the Health Policy Studies Program, which continues to this day. The AEI Press has published dozens of books on health policy since the 1970s. Since 2003, AEI has published the Health Policy Outlook[dead link] series on new developments in U.S. and international health policy. In addition, AEI also published ''A Better Prescription'' to outline their ideal plan to healthcare reform. In the report, a great amount of emphasis is placed on placing the money and control in the hands of the consumers and continuing the market-based system of healthcare. They also acknowledge that this form of healthcare ''relies on financial incentives rather than central direction and control, and it recognizes that a one-size-fits-all approach will not work in a country as diverse as ours''.[2]
In 2009, AEI researchers, including Joseph Antos and Thomas P. Miller, were active in assessing the Obama administration's health care proposals.[82][83]Paul Ryan, a minority point man for health care in the House of Representatives, delivered the keynote address at an AEI conference on five key elements of health reform: mandated universal coverage, insurance exchanges, the public plan option, medical practice and treatment, and revenue to cover federal health care costs.[84] AEI scholars have long argued against the tax break for employer-sponsored health insurance, arguing that it distorts insurance markets and limits consumer choices.[85][86][87][88] In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, John McCain advocated this plan while Barack Obama disparaged it; in 2009, however, members of the Obama administration indicated that lifting the exemption was "on the table."[89]Scott Gottlieb has expressed concern about relatively unreliable comparative effectiveness research being used to restrict treatment options under a public plan.[90] AEI also publishes a series of monographs on Medicare reform, edited by Helms and Antos.[91]
Roger Bate's work includes international health policy, especially pharmaceutical quality, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and multilateral health organizations. In 2008, Dora Akunyili, then Nigeria's top drug safety official, spoke at an AEI event coinciding with the launch of Bate's book Making a Killing.[79][92] After undergoing a kidney transplant in 2006,[93]Sally Satel expanded her work from drug addiction treatment and mental health to include studies of compensation systems that she argues would increase the supply of organs for transplant.[94] In addition to their work on pharmaceutical innovation and FDA regulation, Gottlieb and John E. Calfee have examined vaccine and antiviral drug supplies in the wake of the 2009 flu pandemic.[95]
Legal and constitutional studies[edit]The AEI Legal Center for the Public Interest, formed in 2007 from the merger of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest, houses all legal and constitutional research at AEI. Legal studies have a long pedigree at AEI; the institute was in the vanguard of the law and economics movement in the 1970s and 1980s with the publication of Regulation magazine and AEI Press books. Robert Bork published The Antitrust Paradox with AEI support.[96] Other jurists, legal scholars, and constitutional scholars who have conducted research at AEI include Walter Berns, Richard Epstein, Bruce Fein, Robert Goldwin, Antonin Scalia, Laurence Silberman, and Daniel Troy. Goldwin, assisted by Art Kaufman, William Schambra, and Robert A. Licht, edited the ten-volume "A Decade of Study of the Constitution" series from 1980 to 1990.
The AEI Legal Center sponsors the annual Gauer Distinguished Lecture in Law and Public Policy. Past lecturers include Stephen G. Breyer, George H. W. Bush, Christopher Cox, Douglas Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, Colin Powell, Ronald W. Reagan, William H. Rehnquist, Condoleezza Rice, Margaret Thatcher, and William H. Webster.[97]
Ted Frank, the director of the AEI Legal Center, focuses on liability law and tort reform.[98]Michael S. Greve focuses on constitutional law and federalism, including federal preemption.[99] Greve is a fixture in the conservative legal movement. According to Jonathan Rauch, in 2005, Greve convened "a handful of free-market activists and litigators met in a windowless 11th-floor conference room at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington" in opposition to the legality of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. "By the time the meeting finished, the participants had decided to join forces and file suit. . . . No one paid much attention. But the yawning stopped on May 18, [2009,] when the Supreme Court announced it will hear the case."[100]
Political and public opinion studies[edit]AEI's "Political Corner"[101] includes a range of political viewpoints, from the center-left[11][102]Norman J. Ornstein to the conservative Michael Barone. The Political Corner sponsors the biannual Election Watch series, the "longest-running election program in Washington," featuring Barone, Ornstein, Karlyn Bowman, and'--formerly'--Ben Wattenberg, John C. Fortier, and Bill Schneider.[33] Ornstein and Fortier (an expert on absentee and early voting[103]) collaborate on a number of election- and governance-related projects, including the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and the Continuity of Government Commission, also jointly sponsored by AEI and Brookings, with Jimmy Carter and Alan Simpson as honorary co-chairmen. AEI and Brookings are sponsoring a project on election demographics called "The Future of Red, Blue, and Purple America," co-directed by Bowman and Ruy Teixeira.[104]
AEI's work on political processes and institutions has been a central part of the institute's research programs since the 1970s. The AEI Press published a series of several dozen volumes in the 1970s and 1980s called "At the Polls"; in each volume, scholars would assess a country's recent presidential or parliamentary election. AEI scholars have been called upon to observe and assess constitutional conventions and elections worldwide. In the early 1980s, AEI scholars were commissioned by the U.S. government to monitor plebiscites in Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands.[105] Another landmark in AEI's political studies is After the People Vote.[106] AEI's work on election reform continued into the 1990s and 2000s; Ornstein led a working group that drafted the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.[107][108]
AEI published Public Opinion magazine from 1978 to 1990 under the editorship of Seymour Martin Lipset and Ben Wattenberg, assisted by Karlyn Bowman. The institute's work on polling continues with public opinion features in The American Enterprise and The American and Bowman's AEI Studies in Public Opinion.
Social and cultural studies[edit]AEI's social and cultural studies program dates to the 1970s, when William Baroody Sr., perceiving the importance of the philosophical and cultural underpinnings of modern economics and politics,[109] invited social and religious thinkers like Irving Kristol and Michael Novak to take up residence at AEI. Since then, AEI has sponsored research on a wide variety of issues, including education, religion, race and gender, and social welfare. AEI's current president, Arthur C. Brooks, rose to prominence with survey analysis on philanthropy and happiness.
Supported by the Bradley Foundation, AEI has hosted since 1989 the Bradley Lecture Series, which "which aims to enrich debate in the Washington policy community through exploration of the philosophical and historical underpinnings of current controversies." Notable speakers in the series have included Kristol, Novak, Anne Applebaum, Allan Bloom, Robert Bork, David Brooks, Lynne Cheney, Ron Chernow, Tyler Cowen, Niall Ferguson, Francis Fukuyama, Eugene Genovese, Robert P. George, Dana Gioia, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Samuel P. Huntington (giving the first public presentation of his "clash of civilizations" theory in 1992), Paul Johnson, Leon Kass, Charles Krauthammer, Bernard Lewis, Seymour Martin Lipset, Harvey C. Mansfield, Michael Medved, Allan H. Meltzer, Edmund Morris, Charles Murray, Steven Pinker, Norman Podhoretz, Richard Posner, Jonathan Rauch, Andrew Sullivan, Cass Sunstein, Sam Tanenhaus, James Q. Wilson, John Yoo, and Fareed Zakaria.[110]
Education[edit]Education policy studies at AEI are directed by Frederick M. Hess, with contributions from research fellows Andrew Kelly and Micheal McShane. Hess has authored, coauthored, or edited a number of volumes based on major conferences held at AEI on subjects like urban school reform,[111]school choice,[112]No Child Left Behind,[113] teacher qualification,[114] "educational entrepreneurship,"[115]student loans,[116] and education research.[117] Hess also codirects AEI's Future of American Education Project[dead link], whose working group includes Washington, D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee and Michael Feinberg, the cofounder of KIPP. Hess is close to Rhee:[118] she has spoken at AEI on several occasions and appointed Hess to be one of two independent reform evaluators for the District of Columbia Public Schools. Hess also coauthored Diplomas and Dropouts,[119] a report on university graduation rates that was widely publicized in 2009.[120] The report, along with other education-related projects, was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.[121]
AEI is often identified as a supporter of vouchers,[122] but Hess has been critical of school vouchers: "[I]t is by now clear that aggressive reforms to bring market principles to American education have failed to live up to their billing. . . . In the school choice debate, many reformers have gotten so invested in the language of 'choice' that they seem to forget choice is only half of the market equation. Markets are about both supply and demand'--and, while 'choice' is concerned with emboldening consumer demand, the real action when it comes to prosperity, productivity, and progress is typically on the supply side."[123]
Controversies[edit]Goldwater campaign[edit]In 1964, William J. Baroody, Sr., and several of his top staff at AEI, including Karl Hess, moonlighted as policy advisers and speechwriters for Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. "Even though Baroody and his staff sought to support Goldwater on their own time'--without using the institution's resources'--AEI came under close scrutiny from the IRS in the years following the campaign," Andrew Rich writes.[5] Representative Wright Patman subpoenaed the institute's tax papers, and the IRS investigated for two years.[124] After this, AEI's officers scrupulously attempted to avoid even the appearance of political advocacy.[5]
Global warming[edit]Payment controversy[edit]Some AEI staff and fellows have been critical of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international scientific body tasked to evaluate the risk of climate change caused by human activity.[125][126] In February 2007, a number of sources, including the British newspaper The Guardian, reported that the AEI had sent letters to scientists offering $10,000 plus travel expenses and additional payments, asking them to critique the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.[127] This offer has been criticized as bribery.[128][129] The letters alleged that the IPCC was "resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent, and prone to summary conclusions that are poorly supported by the analytical work" and asked for essays that "thoughtfully explore the limitations of climate model outputs".[130][131]
According to the Guardian article, the AEI received $1.6 million in funding from ExxonMobil. The article further notes that former ExxonMobil CEO Lee R. Raymond is the vice-chairman of AEI's board of trustees. This story was repeated by Newsweek, which drew criticism from its contributing editor Robert J. Samuelson because "this accusation was long ago discredited, and Newsweek shouldn't have lent it respectability. (The company says it knew nothing of the global-warming grant, which involved issues of climate modeling. And its 2006 contribution to the think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, was small: $240,000 out of a $28 million budget.)"[132] The Guardian article was disputed both by AEI[133] and in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal.[134] The rebuttals claimed factual errors and distortions, noting the ExxonMobil funding was spread out over a ten-year period and totaled less than 1% of AEI's budget. The Wall Street Journal editorial stated: "AEI doesn't lobby, didn't offer money to scientists to question global warming, and the money it did pay for climate research didn't come from Exxon."
AEI denies that the organization is skeptical about global warming. Criticizing the story as part of a "climate inquisition" published in "the left-wing press", the AEI's Steven Hayward and Kenneth Green wrote in The Weekly Standard:
[I]t has never been true that we ignore mainstream science; and anyone who reads AEI publications closely can see that we are not "skeptics" about warming. It is possible to accept the general consensus about the existence of global warming while having valid questions about the extent of warming, the consequences of warming, and the appropriate responses. In particular, one can remain a policy skeptic, which is where we are today, along with nearly all economists.[135]
Statements by affiliated people[edit]Former scholar Steven Hayward has described efforts to reduce global warming as being "based on exaggerations and conjecture rather than science".[136] He also has stated that "even though the leading scientific journals are thoroughly imbued with environmental correctness and reject out of hand many articles that don't conform to the party line, a study that confounds the conventional wisdom is published almost every week".[137] Likewise, former scholar Kenneth Green has referred to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as "the positively silly idea of establishing global-weather control by actively managing the atmosphere's greenhouse-gas emissions", and endorsed Michael Crichton's novel State of Fear for having "educated millions of readers about climate science".[138]
Christopher DeMuth, former AEI president, accepted that the earth has warmed in recent decades, but he stated that "it's not clear why this happened" and charged as well that the IPCC "has tended to ignore many distinguished physicists and meteorologists whose work casts doubt on the influence of greenhouse gases on global temperature trends".[139] Fellow James Glassman also disputes the prevailing scientific opinion on climate change, having written numerous articles criticizing the Kyoto accords and climate science more generally for Tech Central Station.[140] He has supported the views of U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, who claims that ''global warming is 'the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,'''[141] and, like Green, cites Crichton's novel State of Fear, which "casts serious doubt on global warming and extremists who espouse it".[142] Joel Schwartz, an AEI visiting fellow, stated: "The Earth has indeed warmed during the last few decades and may warm further in the future. But the pattern of climate change is not consistent with the greenhouse effect being the main cause."[143]
After Energy SecretarySteven Chu recommended painting roofs and roads white in order to reflect sunlight back into space and therefore reduce global warming, AEI's magazine The American endorsed the idea. It also stated that "ultimately we need to look more broadly at creative ways of reducing the harmful effects of climate change in the long run."[144]The American editor-in-chief and fellow Nick Schulz endorsed a carbon tax over a cap and trade program in the Christian Science Monitor on February 13, 2009. He stated that it "would create a market price for carbon emissions and lead to emissions reductions or new technologies that cut greenhouse gases."[145]
In October 2007, resident scholar and executive director of the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies Robert W. Hahn commented:
Fending off both sincere and sophistic opposition to cap-and-trade will no doubt require some uncomfortable compromises. Money will be wasted on unpromising R&D; grotesquely expensive renewable fuels may gain a permanent place at the subsidy trough. And, as noted above, there will always be a risk of cheating. But the first priority should be to seize the day, putting a domestic emissions regulation system in place. Without America's political leadership and economic muscle behind it, an effective global climate stabilization strategy isn't possible.[146]
AEI visiting scholar N. Gregory Mankiw wrote in The New York Times in support of a carbon tax on September 16, 2007. He remarked that "there is a broad consensus. The scientists tell us that world temperatures are rising because humans are emitting carbon into the atmosphere. Basic economics tells us that when you tax something, you normally get less of it."[147]
Termination of David Frum's residency[edit]On March 25, 2010, AEI resident fellow David Frum announced that his position at the organization had been "terminated."[148][149] Following this announcement, media outlets speculated that Frum had been "forced out"[150][151][152] for writing an editorial called "Waterloo", in which he criticized the Republican Party's unwillingness to bargain with Democrats on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In the editorial, Frum claimed that his party's failure to reach a deal "led us to abject and irreversible defeat."[153]
After his termination, Frum clarified that his article had been "welcomed and celebrated" by AEI President Arthur Brooks, and that he'd had been asked to leave because "these are hard times." Brooks had offered Frum the opportunity to write for AEI on a nonsalaried basis, but Frum declined.[150] The following day, journalist Mike Allen published a conversation with Frum, in which Frum expressed a belief that his termination was the result of pressure from donors. According to Frum, "AEI represents the best of the conservative world...But the elite isn't leading anymore...I think Arthur [Brooks] took no pleasure in this. I think he was embarrassed."[154]
See also[edit]References[edit]^ ab"Charity Rating". Charity Navigator. ^ abcd"AEI's Organization and Purposes". American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-12. [dead link]^Abramowitz, Michael (July 19, 2006). "Conservative Anger Grows Over Bush's Foreign Policy". Washington Post. p. A01. Archived from the original on 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^ abc"Scholars & Fellows". AEI. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^ abcRich, Andrew (2004). Think tanks, public policy, and the politics of expertise. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 54. ^"An insider's guide to the upcoming week". Washington Post. April 30, 2007. p. A02. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^Milbank, Dana (December 8, 2000). "White House Hopes Gas Up A Think Tank: For Center-Right AEI, Bush Means Business". Washington Post. p. A39. ^"Home page". AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^ abSchifferes, Steve (April 3, 2003). "Battle of the Washington think tanks". BBC News. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^Saunders, F: The Cultural Cold War The New Press,1999.^ abOrnstein, Norman J. (September 10, 2007). "My Neocon Problem". The New Republic. Retrieved 2009-06-17. ^Bruce Gardner, "Plowing Farm Subsidies Under", AEI Online, Jun. 22, 2007.^James G. McGann (Director) (January 20, 2012). "The Global Go To Think Tank Report, 2011". Retrieved June 10, 2014. Other AEI "Top Think Tank" rankings include #32 in Security and International Affairs, #3 in Health Policy, #10 in Domestic Economic Policy, #9 in International Economic Policy, and #7 in Social Policy. By "Special Achievement" AEI's rating is #13 in Most Innovative Policy Ideas/Proposals, #13 in Outstanding Policy-Oriented Public Policy Research Programs, #20 in Best Use of the Internet or Social Media to Engage the Public, #13 in Best Use of the Media (Print or Electronic) to Communicate Programs and Research, #15 in Best External Relations/Public Engagement Programs, and #13 in Greatest Impact on Public Policy (Global).^CharityWatch May 22, 2014^ abcdeAEI. "History of AEI". Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-06. ^ abcd"Leadership '' About '' AEI". AEI. Retrieved 2012-10-04. ^R. Kent Weaver categorizes think tanks in three kinds: "studentless universities," "contract research organizations," and "advocacy tanks"; he lists Brookings and AEI as examples of the first, RAND as an example of the second, and the Heritage Foundation as an example of the third.Weaver, R. Kent (1989). "The Changing World of Think Tanks". PS: Political Science and Politics (PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 22, No. 3) 22 (3): 563''78. doi:10.2307/419623. JSTOR 419623. ^ abVan Atta, Dale (2008). With Honor: Melvin Laird in War, Peace, and Politics. Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 55''56, 509. ISBN 978-0-299-22680-0. ^ abcAbelson, Donald E. (2006). A Capitol Idea. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 978-0-7735-3115-4. ^Kristol, Irving (1995). Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea. New York: Free Press. ^Weiner, Tim (2006-12-09). "Jeane Kirkpatrick, Reagan's Forceful Envoy, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-13. ^Wallace-Wells, Benjamin (December 2003). "In the Tank: The Intellectual Decline of AEI". Washington Monthly. Retrieved 2009-07-06. ^See AEI's Annual Reports, 1980''1985.^DeParle, Jason (October 9, 1994). "Daring Research or 'Social Science Pornography'?". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 2009-07-06. ^Wolfe, Tom (January 30, 2003). "Revolutionaries". New York Post. ^See AEI Annual Reports, 1988''89 and 2000.^Arin, Kubilay Yado (2013): Think Tanks, the Brain Trusts of US Foreign Policy. Wiesbaden: VS Springer.^"President Bush Discusses Progress in Afghanistan, Global War on Terror" (Press release). The White House. 2007-02-15. Retrieved 2009-07-06. ^Rose, David (January 2007). "Neo Culpa". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-06. ^ abGordon, Michael R. (2008-08-30). "Troop 'Surge' Took Place Amid Doubt and Debate". New York Times. Archived from the original on 10 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08. ^ abKagan, Frederick W. (January 5, 2007). Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq. Phase I Report. American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 8 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08. ^Bush, George W. (2003-02-26). "President Discusses the Future of Iraq". Retrieved 2009-02-13. ^ abcdeAmerican Enterprise Institute, Annual Report[dead link], 2008.^Weigel, David (March 13, 2009). "Conservative Think Tank Adjusts to Tough Times". Washington Independent. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-06. ^Brooks, Arthur C. (April 30, 2009). "The Real Culture War Is Over Capitalism". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-07-06. [dead link]^ abcdefghijkAmerican Enterprise Institute, Research Highlights[dead link], accessed 7 April 2008.^McKinnon, John D. (12 July 2008). "Critic of the Firms Sadly Says 'Told You'". Wall Street Journal. p. A8. Retrieved 2009-04-07. [dead link]^Holmes, Stephen A. (30 September 1999). "Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending". New York Times. p. C2. Archived from the original on 23 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. ^Wallison, Peter J. (2001). "Introduction". In Wallison, Peter J.. Serving Two Masters, Yet Out of Control: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. AEI Studies on Financial Market Deregulation. Washington, DC: AEI Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-8447-4166-6. [dead link]^The conferences were held on September 13, 2006[dead link], and December 12, 2007[dead link].^Wallison, Peter J. (August 2008). "Fannie and Freddie by Twilight". Financial Services Outlook (American Enterprise Institute). [dead link].^The conferences were held on March 28, 2007[dead link], October 11, 2007[dead link], March 12, 2008[dead link], October 30, 2008[dead link], and March 17, 2009.^"A weak housing sector has accompanied every American recession since 1965, but not every episode of housing weakness has accompanied a recession." Makin, John H. (December 2006). "Housing and American Recessions". Economic Outlook (American Enterprise Institute). [dead link]^Pollock, Alex J. (2007). "To Make Mortgages Fair, Keep Disclosures To a Page". The American (2 May 2007). Retrieved 2009-04-07. ^Rucker, Patrick (15 June 2007). "One-page mortgage form pitched as simplicity tool". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-04-07. ^Hassett, Kevin A.; Hubbard, R. Glenn, eds. (2001). Transition Costs of Fundamental Tax Reform. Washington, DC: AEI Press. ISBN 978-0-8447-4112-3. [dead link]Auerbach, Alan J.; Hassett, Kevin A., eds. (2005). Toward Fundamental Tax Reform. Washington, DC: AEI Press. ISBN 978-0-8447-4234-2. [dead link]^Viard, Alan D., ed. (2009). Tax Policy Lessons from the 2000s. Washington, DC: AEI Press. ISBN 978-0-8447-4278-6. [dead link]^Kevin A., Hassett; Aparna Mathur (July 6, 2006). Taxes and Wages. working paper. American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. ^"A toll on the common man". The Economist. 29 June 2006. ^Alex, Brill; Kevin A. Hassett (July 31, 2007). Revenue-Maximizing Corporate Income Taxes: The Laffer Curve in OECD Countries. working paper. American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. ^Editorial (26 December 2006). "The Wages of Growth". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-04-07. [dead link]^Full list of Reg-Markets Center events.[dead link]^"Climate Change: Caps vs. Taxes", by Kevin A. Hassett, Steven F. Hayward, Kenneth P. Green. AEI Online, June 01, 2007^Scholars also back the carbon taxation policy due to an incentive to reduce the use of carbon-intensive energy that would result. ''The increased costs of energy would flow through the economy, ultimately giving consumers incentives to reduce their use of electricity, transportation fuels, home heating oil, and so forth''. Along with consumers reducing their use of carbon-energy, they will be inclined to buy more efficient appliances, cars, and homes that apply ''more attention to energy conservation''. Green, Kenneth P.; Hassett, Kevin A.; Hayward, Stephen F. (1 June 2007). "Climate Change: Caps vs. Taxes?". Environmental Policy Outlook (American Enterprise Institute, published 2007). Archived from the original on 18 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. ^Lane, Lee (2006). Strategic Options for Bush Administration Climate Policy. Washington, DC: AEI Press. Archived from the original on 18 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. ^Lane, Lee; Thernstrom, Samuel (19 January 2007). "A New Direction for Bush Administration Climate Policy". Environmental Policy Outlook (American Enterprise Institute, published 2007). Archived from the original on 18 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. ^Thernstrom, Samuel (23 June 2008). "Resetting Earth's Thermostat". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-04-07. [dead link]^Conference information.[dead link]^Conference information.[dead link] See also Green, Kenneth P. (29 July 2008). "Ethanol and the Environment". Environmental Policy Outlook (American Enterprise Institute, published 2008). Archived from the original on 18 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. ^Green, Kenneth P.; Mathur, Aparna (4 December 2008). "Measuring and Reducing Americans' Indirect Energy Use". Environmental Policy Outlook (American Enterprise Institute, published 2008). Archived from the original on 18 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. ^Green, Kenneth P.; Mathur, Aparna (4 March 2009). "Indirect Energy and Your Wallet". Environmental Policy Outlook (American Enterprise Institute, published 2009). Archived from the original on 13 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. ^Heilbrunn, Jacob (12 January 2009). "Where Have All the Neocons Gone?". The American Conservative (2009). Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08. ^Lobe, Jim (27 March 2003). "All in the Neocon Family". Alternet (2003). Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08. ^Adam, Zagorin (2007-11-16). "John Bolton: The Angriest Neocon". Time/CNN. Retrieved 2009-04-06. ^Murray, Douglas (2006). Neoconservatism: Why We Need It. New York: Encounter Books. p. 87. ^Bolton, John (2007-12-18). "'Bush's Foreign Policy Is in Free Fall'". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2009-04-08. ^Hardball with Chris Matthews, November 14, 2007.^ abHeilbrunn, Jacob (19 December 2008). "Flight of the Neocons". The National Interest (2008). Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08. ^Woodward, Bob (2008). The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006''2008. New York: Simon and Schuster. ^Kagan, Frederick W. (April 25, 2007). Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq. Phase II Report. American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 9 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08. ; Kagan, Frederick W. (September 6, 2007). No Middle Way: The Challenge of Exit Strategies from Iraq. Phase III Report. American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 9 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08. ; Kagan, Frederick W. (March 24, 2008). Iraq: The Way Ahead. Phase IV Report. American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 9 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08. ^Auslin, Michael; Christopher, Griffin (December 1, 2008). Securing Freedom: The U.S.-Japanese Alliance in a New Era. American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08. ; Blumenthal, Dan; Randall, Schriver (February 22, 2008). Strengthening Freedom in Asia: A Twenty-First-Century Agenda for the U.S.-Taiwan Partnership. American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08. ; Blumenthal, Dan; Aaron, Friedberg (January 12, 2009). An American Strategy for Asia. American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08. ^"Why Tocqueville on China?: An Introductory Essay". by James W. Ceaser. AEI Online. January 25, 2010.^Falcoff, Mark (2003). Cuba the Morning After: Confronting Castro's Legacy. Washington: AEI Press. ^See a conference[dead link].^Azarva, Jeffrey; Pletka, Danielle; Rubin, Michael (2008). Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats. Washington: AEI Press. ^Bauer, P. T. (1959). United States Aid and Indian Economic Development. Washington: AEI Press. Archived from the original on 12 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-12. ^Banfield, Edward C. (1970). American Foreign Aid Doctrines. Washington: AEI Press. Archived from the original on 12 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-12. ^See http://www.aei.org/eventSeries/18.^ abBate, Roger (2008). Making a Killing. Washington: AEI Press. ^Bate, Roger (2006). All the Water in the World. St. Leonard's, Australia: Centre for Independent Studies. ^American Enterprise Institute, Annual Report, 1981''82.^See health care related posts on The Enterprise Blog.^Miller, Thomas P. (April 2). "Obama Healthcare 2.0". The American (2009). Retrieved 2009-06-16. ^See conference information at http://www.aei.org/event/100070.^Cogan, John F.; Hubbard, R. Glenn; Kessler, Daniel P. (2005). Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Five Steps to a Better Health Care System. Washington: AEI Press. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. ^Glied, Sherry (1994). Revising the Tax Treatment of Employer-Provided Health Insurance. Washington: AEI Press. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. ^Helms, Robert B., ed. (1993). American Health Policy: Critical Issues for Reform. Washington: AEI Press. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. ^Helms, Robert B. (January). "Tax Reform and Health Insurance". Health Policy Outlook (American Enterprise Institute, published 2005). Archived from the original on 13 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. Dowd, Bryan E. (September). "The Bush Administration's Health Insurance Tax Reform Proposal". Health Policy Outlook (American Enterprise Institute, published 2007). Archived from the original on 13 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. Helms, Robert B. (June). "Taxing Health Insurance: A Tax Designed to Be Avoided". Health Policy Outlook (American Enterprise Institute, published 2009). Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. ^Levey, Noam M. (March 28). "Lawmakers consider taxes on healthcare benefits". Los Angeles Times (2009). Retrieved 2009-06-16. ^Gottlieb, Scott (February). "Promoting and Using Comparative Research: What Are the Promises and Pitfalls of a New Federal Effort?". Health Policy Outlook (American Enterprise Institute, published 2009). Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. Gottlieb, Scott; Klasmeier, Coleen (June). "Comparative Effectiveness Research: The Need for a Uniform Standard". Health Policy Outlook (American Enterprise Institute, published 2009). Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. ^Rettenmaier, Andrew J.; Saving, Thomas R. (2007). The Diagnosis and Treatment of Medicare. Washington: AEI Press. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. Pauly, Mark V. (2008). Markets Without Magic: How Competition Might Save Medicare. Washington: AEI Press. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. Feldman, Roger (2008). How to Fix Medicare: Let's Pay Patients, Not Physicians. Washington: AEI Press. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. ^See conference information at http://www.aei.org/event/1700.^Satel, Sally (December 16). "Desperately Seeking a Kidney". The New York Times Magazine (2007). Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. ^Satel, Sally, ed. (2009). When Altruism Isn't Enough: The Case for Compensating Kidney Donors. Washington: AEI Press. Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. ^Gottlieb, Scott (May). "Vaccine Readiness in a Time of Pandemic: Policy Promises Realized and the Challenges That Remain". Health Policy Outlook (American Enterprise Institute, published 2009). Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. Calfee, John E. (June). "And Now, a Few Words about Antivirals for Pandemic Flu". Health Policy Outlook (American Enterprise Institute, published 2009). Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. ^Bork, Robert H. (1978). The Antitrust Paradox. New York: Basic Books. ^Gauer Distinguished Lecture in Law and Public Policy.^AEI - Scholars - Ted Frank.^Greve, Michael S., ed. (2007). Federal Preemption: States' Powers, National Interests. Washington: AEI Press. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. ^Rauch, Jonathan (June 6). "The Peculiar Problem Of 'Peekaboo'". National Journal (2009). ^See the Political Corner website at http://www.aei.org/politicalcorner.^Clemons, Steve (August 31). "Norm Ornstein's Neocon Problem". The Washington Note (2007). Retrieved 2009-06-17. [dead link]^Fortier, John C. (2006). Absentee and Early Voting. Washington: AEI Press. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-17. ^"The Future of Red, Blue, and Purple America," February 28, 2008.^American Enterprise Institute, Annual Report, 1982-1983; Ranney, Austin, ed. (1985). Democracy in the Islands: The Micronesian Plebiscites of 1983. Washington: AEI Press. ^The first two editions (in 1980 and 1992) were edited by Walter Berns; the 2004 edition was edited by John C. Fortier and included contributions from Berns, Norman J. Ornstein, Akhil Amar, Vikram Amar, and Martin Diamond. Fortier, John C., ed. (2004). After the People Vote: A Guide to the Electoral College. Washington: AEI Press. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-17. ^Ornstein, Norman J.; Carrado, Anthony (April 1). "Reform That Has Really Paid Off". Washington Post (2007). Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-17. ^Richey, Warren (December 11). "Court upholds 'soft money' ban". Christian Science Monitor (2003). Retrieved 2009-06-17. ^Kristol, Irving; Novak, Michael (1980-12-11). "Remembrances of William J. Baroody, Sr.". Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-18. ^A full listing of Bradley Lectures is available at http://www.aei.org/eventSeries/5^Hess, Frederick M. (1998). Spinning Wheels: The Politics of Urban School Reform. Washington: Brookings Institution Press. Hess, Frederick M. (2002). Revolution at the Margins: The Impact of Competition on Urban School Systems. Washington: Brookings Institution Press. Hess, Frederick M., ed. (2005). Urban School Reform: Lessons from San Diego. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Education Press. Hess, Frederick M. (2006). Tough Love for Schools: Essays on Competition, Accountability, and Excellence. Washington: AEI Press. ^Hess, Frederick M.; Milliman, Scott; Maranto, Robert; Gresham, April, eds. (2001). School Choice in the Real World: Lessons from Arizona Charter Schools. Westview Press. ^Hess, Frederick M., ed. (2001). Leaving No Child Behind? Options for Kids in Failing Schools. Palgrave MacMillan. Hess, Frederick M.; Petrilli, Michael J. (2006). No Child Left Behind Primer. Peter Lang. Hess, Frederick M., ed. (2007). No Remedy Left Behind: Lessons from a Half-Decade of NCLB. Washington: AEI Press. ^Hess, Frederick M.; Rotherham, Andrew J.; Walsh, Kate, eds. (2004). A Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom? Appraising Old Answers and New Ideas. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Education Press. ^Hess, Frederick M., ed. (2005). With the Best of Intentions: How Philanthropy Is Reshaping K''12 Education. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Education Press. Hess, Frederick M., ed. (2006). Educational Entrepreneurship: Realities, Challenges, Possibilities. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Education Press. Hess, Frederick M., ed. (2008). The Future of Educational Entrepreneurship: Possibilities for School Reform. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Education Press. ^Hess, Frederick M., ed. (2007). Footing the Tuition Bill: The New Student Loan Sector. Washington: AEI Press. ^Hess, Frederick M., ed. (2008). When Research Matters: How Scholarship Influences Education Policy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Education Press. ^DeBonis, Mike (March 4, 2009). "Fund and Games". City Paper (Washington). Retrieved 2009-06-18. [dead link]^Hess, Frederick M.; Mark Schneider; Kevin Carey; Andrew P. Kelly (2009). "Diplomas and Dropouts: Which Colleges Actually Graduate Their Students (and Which Don't)". American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 21 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-18. ^See, for example: Lozada, Carlos (June 3, 2009). "Making It to Pomp and Circumstance". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-06-18. ; Marklein, Mary Beth (June 3, 2009). "4-year colleges graduate 53% of students in 6 years". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-06-18. ^"Diplomas and Dropouts Report Exposes Dramatic Variation in Completion Rates at Colleges and Universities Across the Country" (Press release). Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. June 3, 2009. See also Gatesfoundation.org^"Right Wing Watch". Archived from the original on 1 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-18. ^Hess, Frederick M. (September''October 2009). "After Milwaukee". The American. ^Judis, John B. (2001). The paradox of American democracy. London: Taylor and Francis. ^Hayward, Steven F. (February 15, 2005). "Climate Change Science: Time for 'Team B'?". AEI. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^Bate, Roger (August 2, 2005). "Climate Change Policy after the G8 Summit". AEI. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^Sample, Ian (February 2, 2007). "Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^Floyd, Chris (February 3, 2007). "American Enterprise Institute allegedly offers bribes to scientists for disputing UN climate change report". Atlantic Free Press. Retrieved 2009-05-20. ^Wendland, Joel (February 6, 2007). "Big Oil, the American Enterprise Institute, and their War on Science". Political Affairs Magazine. Retrieved 2014-07-17. ^Eilperin, Juliet (February 5, 2007). "AEI Critiques of Warming Questioned: Think Tank Defends Money Offers to Challenge Climate Report". Washington Post. p. A04. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^American Enterprise Institute. "Letter to Prof. Steve Schroeder" (PDF). ThinkProgress. Archived from the original on 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^Samuelson, Robert J. (August 20''27, 2007). "Greenhouse Simplicities". Newsweek. p. 47. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^DeMuth, Chris (February 9, 2007). "Climate Controversy and AEI: Facts and Fictions". AEI. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^Editorial (February 9, 2007). "Global Warming Smear". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^Hayward, Steven F.; Kenneth P. Green (February 19, 2007). "Scenes from the Climate Inquisition: The chilling effect of the global warming consensus". Weekly Standard012 (22). ^Hayward, Steven F. (June 12, 2006). "Acclimatizing: How to Think Sensibly about Global Warming". AEI. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^Hayward, Steven F. (May 15, 2006). "How to Think Sensibly, or Ridiculously, About Global Warming". AEI. Retrieved 2009-02-12. [dead link]^Green, Kenneth (May 8, 2006). "Clouds of Global-Warming Hysteria". National Review Online. Retrieved 2009-02-12. [dead link]^DeMuth, Christopher (September 2001). "The Kyoto Treaty Deserved to Die". The American Enterprise. Retrieved 2009-02-12. [dead link]^Confessore, Nicholas (December 2003). "How James Glassman reinvented journalism'--as lobbying". Washington Monthly. Archived from the original on 26 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^Glassman, James K. (December 15, 2003). "Certainty of Catastrophic Global Warming is a Hoax". Capitalism Magazine. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^Glassman, James K. (December 14, 2004). "Global Warming: Extremists on the Run". AEI. Retrieved 2009-02-12. [dead link]^Schwartz, Joel (July 2007). "A North Carolina Citizen's Guide to Global Warming" (PDF). John Locke Foundation. Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-12. ^White Makes Right? Steven Chu's Helpful Idea. By Samuel Thernstrom. The American. Published June 5, 2009.^"To Slow Climate Change, Tax Carbon". AEI. February 13, 2009. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2009. ^Hahn, Robert W. (October 1, 2007). "Time to Change U.S. Climate Policy". AEI. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2009. ^"One Answer to Global Warming: A New Tax". AEI. September 16, 2007. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2009. ^AEI Says Goodbye^A Farewell to Frum^ abCBS News: GOP Commentator David Frum Loses Job After Criticizing Party[dead link]^AEI hits David Frum where it hurts^Amid Column Furor, The American Enterprise Institute Dismisses David Frum^WaterlooArchived 16 February 2012 at WebCite^Frum thinks critique of GOP led to bootExternal links[edit]ArticlesCoordinates: 38°54'²19'"N77°02'²19'"W>> / >>38.9053°N 77.0387°W>> / 38.9053; -77.0387
AEI - Scholars - Scott Gottlieb
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:32
Scott Gottlieb, M.D., a practicing physician, has served in various capacities at the Food and Drug Administration, including senior adviser for medical technology; director of medical policy development; and, most recently, deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs. Dr. Gottlieb has also served as a senior policy adviser at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Click here to read Scott's Medical Innovation blog.
Follow Scott Gottlieb on Twitter.
ExperienceMember, Policy Board, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 2012-presentMember, Public Policy Committee, Society for Hospitalist Medicine, 2011-present Clinical Assistant Professor, New York University School of Medicine, 2011-presentEditorial Board, Food and Drug Law Institute's Policy Forum, 2011-presentBoard Member, Keystone Center, 2010-presentEditorial Board Member, Value-Based Cancer Care, 2009-presentEditorial Board Member, Cancer Commons, 2009-present Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs, Food and Drug Administration, 2005-2007 Author, Forbes-Gottlieb Medical Technology Report; Columnist Forbes.com, 2004-2005Director of Medical Policy Development, Food and Drug Administration, 2004 Senior Adviser to the Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2004Senior Adviser for Medical Technology to the Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, 2003-2004Resident Fellow, AEI, 2002-2003 and 2005Staff Writer, British Medical Journal, 1997-2005Senior Editor, "Pulse," Journal of the American Medical Association, 1996-2001
EducationM.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine
B.A., economics, Wesleyan University
Board of Trustees - About - AEI
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:24
AEI is governed by a Board of Trustees, composed of leading business and financial executives.
Tully M. Friedman, ChairmanChairman and CEOFriedman Fleischer & Lowe, LLC
Daniel A. D'Aniello, Vice ChairmanChairman and Co-FounderThe Carlyle Group
Clifford S. AsnessManaging and Founding PrincipalAQR Capital Management
Gordon M. BinderManaging DirectorCoastview Capital, LLC
Arthur C. BrooksPresident andBeth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Free EnterpriseAmerican Enterprise Institute
The Honorable Richard B. Cheney
Peter H. CoorsVice Chairman of the BoardMolson Coors Brewing Company
Harlan CrowChairman and CEOCrow Holdings
Ravenel B. Curry IIIChief Investment OfficerEagle Capital Management, LLC
John V. FaraciChairman and CEOInternational Paper Company
Christopher B. GalvinChairmanHarrison Street Capital, LLC
Raymond V. GilmartinHarvard Business School
Harvey GolubRetired Chairman and CEO, American Express CompanyChairman, Miller Buckfire
Robert F. GreenhillFounder and ChairmanGreenhill & Co., Inc.
Frank J. HannaHanna Capital, LLC
Seth A. KlarmanPresident and CEOThe Baupost Group, LLC
Bruce KovnerChairmanCaxton Alternative Management, LP
Marc S. LipschultzPartnerKohlberg Kravis Roberts
John A. Luke Jr.Chairman and CEOMeadWestvaco Corporation
George L. PriestYale Law School
Kevin B. RollinsSenior AdvisorTPG Capital
Matthew K. RoseChairman and CEOBNSF Railway Company
Edward B. Rust Jr.Chairman and CEOState Farm Insurance Companies
D. Gideon SearleManaging PartnerThe Serafin Group, LLC
Mel SemblerFounder and ChairmanThe Sembler Company
Wilson H. TaylorChairman EmeritusCigna Corporation
William H. WaltonManaging MemberRockpoint Group, LLC
Marilyn WareChairman, Ret.American Water Works
Emeritus Trustees
Richard B. Madden Robert H. Malott Paul F. Oreffice Henry Wendt
Common Core
Class Dojo app
ITM Adam,
I just wanted to share with you what my local public school district is doing to introduce social network and smartphone addiction as early as possible. My daughter is in second grade and the teacher uses an app called ClassDojo to monitor and rate the behaviour of each kid during the day. The parents can install this app on their smartphones and "in real time" can see how their child's behaviour is. My daughters teacher only updates the app at the end of the day but many parents were saying that their kids teachers were updating it constantly rather than teaching I guess. I heard one mom say "I'm constantly checking the app to see how he's doing during the day". The app must also make a noise when a negative Dojo point is given because I've heard it distracts the kids because they are all wondering who got the "down vote". Be good sweety and the teacher will give you a "Like" to show mommy and daddy!! Most of the teachers are 20-30 something women so for them it's the perfect fix to help curb their Facebook withdraw during the day.
How A Simple Blood Test Can Now Help Diagnose Depression | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:38
Diagnosing clinical depression in adults is tricky for doctors. That's mostly because assessment is largely reliant on imperfect analysis, like patient observations and interviews. Most laboratory tests are, by and large, of little use in determining if someone is depressed or not.
That could soon change. About three years ago, a team of researchers co-led by Eva Redei, a research professor for psychiatric disease at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, published a study finding that certain RNA markers--a short identifiable string in the DNA sequence, which can be read sort of like fingerprints--were associated with clinical depression in teenagers.
Of the afflicted, some 40% showed improved mental health after treatment.In a new study published today, that same team has identified nine RNA blood markers that, at very specific levels, could be used to diagnose major depression in adults. Furthermore, three of those genetic fingerprints could be used to determine who might be receptive to cognitive behavioral therapy as a means to get better; the researchers saw consistent patterns in patients for whom therapy was helpful.
Now, the sample size wasn't huge: The team looked at 32 depressed individual, and another 32 in a control group (the subjects varied greatly in age, from 23 to 83), and put all of them through cognitive behavioral therapy. All the while, researchers kept a close eye on their gene markers.
Of the afflicted, some 40% showed improved mental health after treatment. And after controlling for variables like gender and age, the team found a correlation between nine of the markers in people who were clinically diagnosed as depressed. In the patients who were better after treatment, the team identified three other RNA markers that could be be used for future diagnoses. "We could identify one of those nine, and two others, that were very different between those who got well and those who didn't," Redei tells Fast Company. "That shows clearly the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy [for certain individuals]."
The methodology wasn't perfect, but the results were strong enough that "it's very hopeful for the future," Redei says. And the team doesn't yet know how early these gene markers can be detected in, say, children--especially to determine who might be vulnerable to clinical depression as they age. "That's a huge independent study on its own," she says.
But for adults suffering from depression? If you can identify who might be receptive to psychotherapy, for example, there may be other unidentified gene markers that can identify who might be receptive to certain types of antidepressants. "What we hope to do," adds Redei, "is to have an FDA-approved test in the future that any clinical laboratory can do."
Sabotage suspected as dozens of children reported dead after measles vaccination in Syria
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:13
A child in Syria where sabotage is feared surrounding an international effort to prevent a measles outbreak. Photo: Reuters
Reyhanli: As many as 36 children were on Tuesday night reported to have died excruciating deaths after receiving tainted measles vaccines under a United Nations-sponsored program in the rebel-held north of Syria.
The program was suspended amid rumours of sabotage surrounding the high-profile international effort to ensure the civil war does not result in an outbreak of measles.
Doctors in clinics in the towns of Jirjanaz and Maaret al-Nouman in the north-eastern province of Idlib said children started falling ill soon after the doses were administered.
Relief organisations just over the border in Turkey said the loss of life was extensive, rising as high as 36, with more than a dozen other children in a serious condition.
"It's very bad. The figures of dead go into the 30s. Children are dying very quickly," said Daher Zidan, the co-ordinator of the medical charity, UOSSM. "We think it will get worse."
The Syrian opposition coalition, which controls the area of Idlib province and had been administering the program, said it had halted the immunisation project.
"The Syrian interim government's health ministry has instructed a halt to the second round of the measles vaccination campaign, which began Monday . . . following several fatalities and injuries among children in vaccination centres in the Idlib countryside," a statement said.
Medical experts said a contaminated batch of the vaccine was the most likely explanation for the incident.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) launched the vaccination drive to ensure 1.6 million children were granted protection from measles this northern summer.
The organisation said it was checking the reports and could not confirm the number of casualties.
Many opposition sympathisers circulated images of the dying children on social media sites with suggestions the vaccine had been adulterated with cyanide, possibly by regime agents.
Idlib is one of the few strongholds of the Western-backed rebel movement, which has largely been eclipsed by the Islamic State or al-Qaeda's Nusra Front in non-regime-held parts of Syria.
Mohammad Mowas, a Syrian doctor working in Turkey, said the reported symptoms were a gradual slowdown in the heart rate as the infants turned blue, which were consistent with cyanide poisoning.
"This looks like a deliberate attempt to spike the vaccines," he said.
Fears that the number of casualties could rise further circulated in the exile medical community.
Each bottle of the vaccine contains 40 doses and medics believe two bottles were suspect.
Telegraph, London
Why Is Wikipedia Scrubbing All References To Neil Tyson's Fabrication?
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:33
Religious fanatics have an odd habit of overreacting when people have the audacity to question their fanaticism. In Iraq, radical Islamic jihadists are systemically murdering and beheading Christians, Jews, and even Muslims who do not pledge fealty to ISIS's religious tenets. Hundreds of years ago, church authorities and Aristotelian acolytes imprisoned Galileo for having the audacity to reject geocentrism in favor of heliocentrism. The bible recounts how Christians were persecuted and stoned, and Jesus himself was crucified for contradicting the religious dogma of the day.
You will bow to the religious zealots, or you will pay the price.
Which brings us to l'affaire de Tyson. Neil Tyson, a prominent popularizer of science (he even has his own television show) was recently found to have repeatedly fabricated multiple quotes over several years. The fabrications were not a one-off thing. They were deliberate and calculated, crafted with one goal in mind: to elevate Tyson, and by extension his audience, at the expense of know-nothing, knuckle-dragging nutjobs who hate science. Tyson targeted journalists, members of Congress, even former President George W. Bush. And what was their crime? They were guilty of rejecting science, according to Tyson.
There's only one problem. None of the straw man quotes that Tyson uses to tear them down are real. The quote about the numerically illiterate newspaper headline? Fabricated. The quote about a member of Congress who said he had changed his views 360 degrees? It doesn't exist. That time a U.S. president said ''Our God is the God who named the stars'' as a way of dividing Judeo-Christian beliefs from Islamic beliefs? It never happened.
These are not ticky-tack fouls. In the world of publishing and public speaking, quotes are evidence. Quotes are to journalism what data are to science. If they're not real, they're irrelevant. It doesn't matter how juicy and revealing they are if they never happened. Fabrication is the cardinal sin of publishing. Just ask Jayson Blair or Stephen Glass, who to this day is prohibited from practicing law in the state of California because of his history of fabrication.
Judging by many of the responses to the three pieces I wrote detailing Neil Tyson's history of fabricating quotes and embellishing stories (part 1, part 2, and part 3), you'd think I had defamed somebody's god. It turns out that fanatical cultists do not appreciate being shown evidence that the object of their worship may not, in fact, be infallible.
Which brings us to Wikipedia. Oh, Wikipedia. After I published my piece about Neil Tyson's fabrication of the George W. Bush quote, several users edited Neil Tyson's wiki page to include details of the quote fabrication controversy. The fact-loving, evidence-weighing, ever-objective editors of the online encyclopedia did not appreciate the inclusion of the evidence of Tyson's fabrication. Not at all.
According to a review of the edit history of Tyson's page, one long-time Wikipedia editor deleted an entire pending section summarizing the issue of Tyson's fabricated quotes. Another editor attempted to insert a brief mention of Tyson's fabrication of the George W. Bush quote. That mention was also deleted. When it was reinserted, it was deleted yet again by an editor who describes himself as a childless progressive and an apostle of Daily Kos (h/t @kerpen). Here are just a few of that user's political ramblings, in case you were curious about the motivation behind the scrubbing of Tyson's wiki.
Literally every single mention of Tyson's history of fabricating quotes has been removed from Tyson's Wikipedia page.
And then there are the comments about my most recent piece from the very open-minded, tolerant, and not-at-all-religiously-fanatical readers of the website Fark.com, which are incredibly illustrative (content warning).
One commenter posted my picture and said I was ''punchable'' (probably true). Another asked where the line to punch me formed (please let me know when you find it so I can avoid it). One commenter, the esteemed ''LoneWolf343'" said, ''I would be punched in the face a thousand times just so I can punch that face.''
Then there's this hefty defense of Tyson's fabrication by Fark commenter ''nekom,'' who apparently struggles mightily with the complexities of modern English:
Yet another commenter felt compelled to photoshop my face, as if I'm not goofy-looking enough already. One suggested my critique of Tyson was due entirely to racism. Then came the bizarre accusations of homosexuality (I'm still incredibly confused as to why that's supposed to be an insult, especially coming from a very liberal community that professes open-minded tolerance), which were of course followed by the violentsexual fantasies of several Fark commenters.
All in all, it was exactly what I expected from a group of hopelessly misguided religious zealots who will not tolerate the slander of their savior. There's a word for people who fantasize about using sexual violence to force their will upon dissenters, but it's not ''scientist.''
It was renowned Internet intellectual ''CheapEngineer,'' however, who had the courage to verbalize what the rest of the fanatics were really thinking about the whole affair:
At this point I don't have a problem with *any* slandering of GWB.
Exactly. And that's what's so valuable about the hysterical responses to my research on Tyson. These lovers of science don't actually love science, because science requires you to go where the evidence takes you, even if it goes against your original hypothesis. What many of Tyson's cultists really like is the notion that one can become more intelligent via osmosis '-- that you can become as smart and as credentialed as Tyson by merely clapping like a seal at whatever he says, as long as what he says fits the political worldview of your average progressive liberal.
Neil Tyson is adored by people who want the sweet feeling of smug, intellectual superiority without all the baggage of actually being intellectually superior in any way.
Tyson may be a great scientist, but what he's selling at a price of $70 per ticket isn't science. He's selling the self satisfaction that comes from moral preening. Neil Tyson is adored by people who want the sweet feeling of smug, intellectual superiority without all the baggage of actually being intellectually superior in any way. They love math and science up to the point at which one of them needs to figure out a restaurant tip, and then out comes the iPhone calculator. The more self-aware ones will just round up to the nearest dollar and then pretend it's because they're generous. But overall, we're dealing with people who love science so much that they picked college majors just to avoid the subject they allegedly love so dearly.
If you doubt me, then just scan through the Fark comments to get a sense of the soaring intellect of Tyson's most ardent defenders. I've got bad news for you ''science lovers'' out there: clicking ''like'' on a Facebook meme is not science, and spending all day looking at pictures on the Internet does not make you a scientist.
Thankfully, not all fans of Neil Tyson's work are eager to shut their eyes and stick their fingers in their ears to avoid acknowledging the rather obvious faults of their faith leader. Hemant Mehta, a writer for Patheos who describes himself as the ''Friendly Atheist,'' wrote a very honest and introspective review of the fabrication evidence against Tyson. Unlike many of Tyson's unhinged followers, Mehta allowed the evidence to be his guide:
I give similar speeches at different places. Believe me, I've made mistakes in my talks before. But if and when someone points them out to me, I do my best to fix them. I would expect no less from Dr. Tyson.
Considering that Tyson is speaking at Apostacon on Friday night '-- to an audience full of skeptics '-- it would behoove them all to be on the lookout for these quotations or others like them. Do some fact-checking while you're listening to him. Challenge him if you can't verify what he says.
If a pastor or right-wing conservative did it, we'd be calling them out on it immediately. Tyson doesn't deserve a free pass just because his intentions are pure. It certainly wouldn't (or shouldn't) get by in an academic setting, and just because he often speaks to a lay audience doesn't mean he should make up quotations or fail to cite them if they're real.
Mehta is right: if a right-wing conservative '-- if a skeptic of climate alarmism, for example '-- were accused of wholesale fabrication of evidence, he would have already been run out of town. But not Tyson. Why the disparity? That's easy: because Tyson's sins were committed out of a pure desire to further the common good. He believes the ''right'' things, which means his rather serious iniquities can be forgiven. A little fabrication can be swept under the rug so long as it's in service of a higher agenda.
That is not the kind of attitude that is supposed to form the actual foundation of science, which consists of following the facts and the evidence wherever it takes you, no matter how unpleasant. Science is supposed to be the search for truth, not the search for stuff that just happens to support your political agenda. Science certainly isn't the creation of bogus evidence out of thin air '-- the intelligent design of quotes ex nihilo, if you will '-- in order to support a political agenda.
Fabrication isn't science. Ignoring inconvenient evidence isn't science. And faithfully nodding your head whenever somebody says something you go agree with doesn't make you a scientist. It makes you a parrot, and a religiously zealous one at that.
Separation of US Treasury and Federal Reserve Begins | philosophyofmetrics
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 01:05
H.R. 24 'Audit the Fed' Bill Passes in House
By JC Collins
With all of the other economic and geopolitical events which are taking place this week we can now add the passage of the Audit the Fed bill in Congress. The bill was overwhelmingly passed with a margin of 333 to 92.
Congressman Ron Broun issued the following statement:
''Today's passage of the Audit the Fed bill brings us one step closer towards bringing much-needed transparency to our nation's monetary policy. For the past 100 years, the Federal Reserve, a quasi-government agency, has acted under a veil of secrecy '' controlling our monetary policy and thus, our economy. While in recent years, the Fed has been granted a greater role in overseeing the regulation of our financial system, current law specifically prohibits audits of the Federal Reserve's deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy. This lack of accountability and transparency has led to grievous consequences '' and it must end.
''I applaud my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats alike, for their support of this vital bill, and I commend my good friend and former colleague Dr. Ron Paul for his leadership on this important issue. I strongly encourage Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to recall his past support for this legislation '' which he stated as recently as 2010 '' and to bring this bill before the Senate for a vote, so we may deliver the transparency and government accountability the American people need and deserve.''
The full bill can be read here.
Now that we are on the verge of the economic transition to the multilateral system it is only prudent for the US Government and Treasury to begin distancing itself from the Federal Reserve and start implementing the blame game.
Those who have been following my site since January will recognize the obvious pattern at play here. Congress has held up the passage of the legislation required to enact the 2010 IMF Code of Reforms which will restructure the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund, allowing for the US Fed dollar to be removed as the primary reserve currency of the world and the SDR super-sovereign currency to be implemented in the role.
Another aspect of the 2010 Reforms will be to allow for the addition of the Chinese renminbi to the SDR basket value. The renminbi is quickly internationalizing and the Shanghai Gold Exchange is a major component of that process.
We are witnessing dramatic changes taking place this year and the hits keep coming. We can hardly go half a day now without another big economic or geopolitical story breaking. '' JC
Read the following story, also from today:
IMF Warns of Risks from Excessive Financial Market Bets
Like this:LikeLoading...
Obama Nation
Richard Mack - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:19
Richard Ivan Mack is the former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, and a two-time candidate for United States Congress. He is frequently referred to simply as "Sheriff Mack."
Law enforcement career[edit]Mack spent eleven years with the police department of Provo, Utah, and then moved back to Arizona to run for Graham County Sheriff in 1988. While serving as sheriff, he attended the FBI National Academy and graduated in 1992. In 1994, he was named Elected Official of the Year by the Arizona-New Mexico Coalition of Counties. He was also named the National Rifle Association Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for 1994, and was inducted into the NRA Hall of Fame.[1]
Mack v. United States[edit]During his tenure as sheriff, Mack received national attention for initiating Mack v. United States (later restyled to Printz v. United States), a lawsuit against the federal government which alleged that portions of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act violated the United States Constitution, because they comprised a congressional action that compelled state officers to execute Federal law.[2] These portions were interim provisions until a national instant background check system for gun purchasers could be implemented. In a 5''4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the provisions of the Brady Act in question were, in fact, unconstitutional.[3]
Campaigns for Congress[edit]Mack ran as a Libertariancandidate for United States Senate in Arizona in 2006.
In 2012, Mack opposed 13-term Representative Lamar Smith, who introduced and sponsored the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act legislation, in the House election Republican primary for Texas's 21st Congressional district. The primary was held on May 29. Mack lost, receiving 14.78% (10,111) of the votes.
Defamation lawsuit[edit]Mack announced in 2011 that he was initiating a lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center for libel, slander, and defamation.[4]
Personal life[edit]Mack was born in 1952[5] in Arizona.[1] He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and attended Brigham Young University.[6]
Political views[edit]In 2009, Mack appeared in interviews on a cable public access show[7] and a one-person website,[8][9][10][11][12][13] in which he discussed his membership in Oath Keepers, and the importance of police officers and members of the military upholding their oaths to the U.S. Constitution.
He currently speaks at various events as "a strong advocate of states' rights and individual freedoms."[14]
Controversy[edit]In April, 2014, Mack asserted that as part of the citizen response to the Bundy standoff that "We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they're gonna start shooting, it's going to be women that are gonna be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers." [15]
Bibliography[edit]Mack has authored several books relating to gun laws, ownership and the role that law enforcement should play in America.
The County Sheriff America's Last HopeThe Proper Role of Law EnforcementFrom My Cold Dead Fingers: Why America Needs Guns with Timothy Robert Walters (1994)THE NAKED SPY: His Mission Began the Day He Died (2005)The MAGIC of Gun Control (2011)References[edit]External links[edit]PersondataNameMack, RichardAlternative names"Sheriff Mack"Short descriptionArizona sheriffDate of birth1952Place of birthArizonaDate of deathPlace of death
Why Does the LAUSD Have 3 Grenade Launchers and a Tank? - Schooled - Curbed LA
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:45
Monday, September 15, 2014, by Adrian Glick Kudler[Hollywood High via Michael Locke]
Last week, the website MuckRock revealed via a Freedom of Information Act request that the Los Angeles School Police Department has received 61 M16 assault rifles, three grenade launchers, and a mine-resistant vehicle from the Pentagon via its 1033 program (which has been getting a lot of attention ever since the Ferguson Police Department decided to roll through town outfitted like an occupying army rather than a peacekeeping force). Why does the K-12 LAUSD have these military weapons and what does it intend to use them for? They didn't respond to our questions about it, but they did respond to the LA Times (which chose to bury this news on its Opinion page), confirming that the LAUSD's 405-officer police department does indeed have 61 M16 assault rifles and three grenade launchers (given to them in 2001) and one mine-resistant vehicle (received this summer).
Chief Steven Zipperman says the Vietnam War grenade launchers'--which can be used with tear gas or rubber bullets in addition to grenades'--are only on hand in case another agency needs to use them at some point, but he assured the LAT "that the school police never had any intention of [lobbing] grenades at anyone, ever." Phew! The M16s, meanwhile, have been converted to semiautomatic rifles, if that makes much of a difference, and are used for training the "numerous" officers the force equips with just plain old "civilian" semiautomatic rifles "in case of a Columbine High School-type gunman attack."
Zipperman told the Daily News that the LAUSD force has an armoed vehicle so it can rescue students "in the event of a large-scale attack that prevented the Los Angeles Police Department and Sheriff's Department from responding to schools in a timely manner." Even Zipperman seems to find that answer a little silly, saying the department will "evaluate whether or not we need to have it parked somewhere and just sitting."
The LASPD is "the largest independent school police department in the United States," according to their website, and the fifth largest law enforcement agency in LA County. Here's more on all the military-grade equipment spread throughout Los Angeles's law enforcement agencies.· CA releases 1033 program data [MuckRock]· What LAUSD is doing with its military-surplus grenade launchers and assault rifles [LAT]· Grenade launchers, armored vehicle part of LAUSD's armory [LADN]· LA Police Have 3 Grenade Launchers, Lots of Other War Gear [Curbed LA]
Americans Are Now More Concerned About Terrorism Than Civil Liberties
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:38
The polls have spoken: Americans are afraid, again. 47% believe the U.S. is less safe than it was before the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001, up from 28% last year. And concerns about protecting civil liberties have dropped from 47% to 35%. But will this change in mood last? And how will it impact the midterm elections?
The recent surveys, conducted by the Pew Research Center and the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, both tell a similar story, and offer an intriguing glimpse into the current national psyche. As the WSJnotes:
This renewed fear reverses a seven-year trend, spanning all of the Obama term so far, in which such concerns were either stable or declining. The fear also helps explain why the public moved so quickly in recent weeks from reluctance to engage again in the Middle East to grim belief that it's in the American interest to act in the Middle East.
Among the key findings of both polls:
62% are very concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism around the world, which is the largest share dating back to 2007. A somewhat smaller majority (53%) is very concerned about the possibility of rising Islamic extremism in the U.S, which ties a record high.There's a shifting balance between concerns about civil liberties and protection from terrorism. In a reversal from last year after Edward Snowden's NSA leaks, 50% today say they are more concerned that government anti-terrorism policies have not gone far enough to protect the country, while 35% are more concerned that the policies have gone too far in restricting civil liberties.There has been a substantial drop in the public's ratings of the government's efforts to reduce terrorism. Though a 56% majority says the government is doing very well or fairly well, this is down from 72% last year; 42% say the government is doing not too well or not at all well, which nears the post-9/11 high of 44% in early 2007.What The Polls Don't Tell UsOne issue that these polls didn't cover is the extent to which other events, besides the rise of ISIS, are contributing to this renewed climate of fear. Knowing that would help provide an indicator as to how much this shift in mood will be tied exclusively to how events unfold in the Middle East.
For instance, two polls last month revealed that between 39% and 46% of Americans are concerned about an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. It even turned up as a political issue in the U.S. Senate race in Arkansas, where Democrat Mark Pryor's campaign put out an ad that told voters his challenger, Republican Tom Cotton, had helped encourage the spread of the Ebola virus through his legislative inaction.
Meanwhile, another recent poll revealed that 69% of Americans see Russia as a threat to the United States, the highest level recorded since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Nearly 50% believe we are seeing the beginning of a new Cold War, while 40% worry about a nuclear war with Russia.
It's also notable that a sizable number of Americans fear a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, despite the efforts of the Obama administration to play down the imminent likelihood of such a threat. All of this points to the broader question: how deep is this pervasive feeling of vulnerability? The answer to that could shed insight on how Americans will respond to a variety of issues, ranging from domestic surveillance to immigration.
Republicans are already linking fears of terrorism to immigration. As the New York Timesreports:
Militants for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have traveled to Mexico and are just miles from the United States. They plan to cross over the porous border and will "imminently" launch car bomb attacks. And the threat is so real that federal law enforcement officers have been placed at a heightened state of alert, and an American military base near the border has increased its security.
As the Obama administration and the American public have focused their attention on ISIS in recent weeks, conservative groups and leading Republicans have issued stark warnings like those that ISIS and other extremists from Syria are planning to enter the country illegally from Mexico. But the Homeland Security Department, the F.B.I. and lawmakers who represent areas near the border say there is no truth to the warnings.
Democrats say opponents of President Obama are simply playing on concerns about terrorism as part of their attempt to portray Mr. Obama as having failed to secure the border against illegal immigration.
And what about domestic surveillance? Here, too, the polls don't provide very much detail. It's one thing to talk about it in the abstract, but the polls that are most revealing are those that dig down deeper and look more specifically at what Americans are willing and unwilling to accept, even amid heightened concerns about security: Should government be monitoring all credit card purchases? Personal phone calls? Emails? Should there be more surveillance cameras in U.S. cities? Should everyone be subjected to increased surveillance? Or just whomever the government considers to be high-risk suspects?
If, over time, terrorist attacks against Americans don't occur, then another domestic surveillance scandal could quickly change the national mood. One example is what happened in the second term of the Bush administration, amid reports that the White House had authorized the NSA to monitor phone calls and emails without court permission. According to a previous Pew Research Survey, the number of Americans who said it was necessary to give up civil liberties to curb terrorism dropped to 27% in 2009, down from 43% just two years earlier.
Who Gains The Political Advantage?
Republicans voters are more worried about the threat of terrorism than Democratic voters. That fact alone doesn't shift the dynamics in the forthcoming election, but other poll results paint a picture indicating the GOP could see increased support from specific demographic groups. As the Wall Street Journal notes:
The share of women who think the U.S. is less safe has jumped to 52% from 32% in the last year. The share of men, meanwhile, is 40% now, up from 23%.
The elderly, meanwhile, express much higher fear than do the young. Among those aged 18 to 34, the share saying the U.S. is less safe is 29%, just eight percentage points higher than a year ago. Among those aged 65 and over, meanwhile, the share expressing fear has jumped 19 percentage points, to 59% from 40%.
Elderly voters tend to turn out in greater numbers in midterm elections than do younger voters, so feelings of insecurity among the elderly would figure to be of potential benefit to Republicans. Similarly, women voters are a key constituency for Democrats, and any defections among them over questions of national security would be a particular problem.
Another point possibly in the GOP's favor: According to Pew, concerns over terrorism have jumped dramatically among the Tea Party, from 33% to 59% in just one year. If national security emerges as the dominant issue among Tea Party members in this year's elections, it could give Republican candidates a bit more flexibility '-- they could move more toward the center on domestic issues and still maintain Tea Party support, as long as they are tough on foreign policy.
Time for U.S. to ban use of torture (Opinion) - CNN.com
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:41
U.S. can no longer assert that we do not torture our enemies, argues Donald GreggCIA should make public any evaluations it might have about effectiveness of torture, Gregg saysGregg: Use of torture by U.S. puts captured Americans in even greater dangerEditor's note: Donald P. Gregg, a former ambassador to South Korea, is author of the new memoir "Pot Shards: Fragments of a Life Lived in CIA, the White House, and the Two Koreas." The views expressed are his own alone.
(CNN) -- I worked as a CIA operations officer and station chief during the Cold War years. In the gray world of espionage, there was a clear distinction, at least in my mind, between the CIA and our opponents: They tortured their prisoners, we did not.
The CIA's main opponent was the Soviet Union's KGB, whose headquarters on Lubyanka Square in Moscow was notorious for torture. In those days, I believed that the greatest thing going for me as an intelligence officer was the fact that I was an American.
Donald Gregg
Now, as the Senate Intelligence Committee prepares to make public some of the findings of its investigation into CIA torture after 9/11, let's hope we can start a much needed public reckoning over a tragic mistake that has undermined the very principles I and many others felt we stood for.
Our resorting to torture after 9/11 has cost us dearly -- we can no longer assert that we do not torture our enemies, leaving us in a much weaker position when urging our allies or our opponents to eschew such tactics. Now any American, civilian or military, who falls into the hands of our fundamentalist enemies is in even greater danger of being tortured or killed.
Advocates of allowing for the use of torture (or what they prefer to describe as enhanced interrogation techniques) assert that since we haven't suffered a major attack since 9/11, that torture must somehow have played a part in preventing one.
Even President Barack Obama, in his admission that unnamed officials "tortured some folks" in extremely dangerous times after 9/11, seemed only apologetic, not outraged. Indeed, he appeared to urge understanding for the torturers' failings.
Meanwhile, there is profound reluctance on the part of CIA to reveal its own evaluation of the efficacy of its use of torture, as this might risk disclosing the torturers' identities -- and those of the people who put them to work. (The CIA's extraordinary admission that it has essentially spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee by hacking into computers of committee staff members is merely another stark example of its reluctance to come completely clean about what it has been doing).
It is difficult not to conclude that such reluctance is largely based on the fact that very little of value was learned -- in line with what is reported to be the conclusion of the Intelligence Committee.
This is all the more frustrating because during my tours in wartime Vietnam in the early 1970s, and as station chief in Seoul, South Korea, I worked hard and effectively against the use of torture. But it would be almost impossible for me to take such positions today.
So what do we do now?
In addition to public release of the Intelligence Committee report, the CIA should be compelled to make public, with the fewest possible redactions, its detailed internal evaluation of what, if anything, torture achieved, what it failed to do and what its use has cost us.
Based on an examination of that report, and with input from experts in the field, a new Executive Order should be crafted and considered that bans torture by any U.S. governmental organization, while also naming techniques, such as water boarding, that are specifically forbidden.
The basic issue is this: Are we a country that stands by its traditional standards and values through thick or thin, or are we a country that says "We cannot cope with this situation, so let's turn to torture?"
For those who assert that America is weaker than it once was, I would say in response that our lapse into the use of torture simply lends credence to such accusations. Of course, accountability can be a bitter pill to swallow. But if we are to move away from this debilitating tendency to resort to torture when the road ahead looks tough, then accountability must start with those that have brought us to where we are today -- it is essential that they face up to the consequences and costs of their decisions.
Maybe then America can lead by example on an issue where we have needlessly sacrificed the high ground.
Public release of CIA report delayed
Laura Poitras Documentary Depicting First Contact With Snowden Slated For Release | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 01:25
Laura Poitras' new documentary about Edward Snowden's revelations of National Security Agency surveillance will have its global premiere on October 10 at the New York Film Festival, event organizers announced Tuesday.
Poitras, an award-winning filmmaker and journalist, was the first reporter to communicate with whistle-blower Edward Snowden about his evidence of NSA spying. Her film is called "CITIZENFOUR," the name that Snowden used when he reached out to Poitras in 2013 via encrypted emails. The documentary includes footage of the encounters that took place, five months after the initial contact, when Poitras flew with journalist Glenn Greenwald to Hong Kong to meet with Snowden.
Poitras has been personally monitored by the U.S. government, placed on the watch list of the Department of Homeland Security, and sustained border harassment and detentions in numerous instances for her journalistic work, including that prior to her contact with Snowden. She told the Associated Press that she chose to edit CITIZENFOUR in Berlin because she felt her material was not safe in the United States.
In an interview with Salon last year, Poitras was asked if she is "worried about retaliation" for her investigative and journalistic work surrounding the NSA. She replied:
You know what? I'm not. I've been harassed for a long time, I wouldn't be surprised if that continues. Being here and seeing the kind of'--actually, Glenn was really inspiring. Really incredible courage in journalism and just saying, we need to talk to him about these things. It's not OK that we have a secret court that has secret interpretations of secret laws; what kind of democracy is that? I felt like, this is a fight worth having. If there's fallout, if there's blowback, I would absolutely do it again, because I think this information should be public. Whatever part I had in helping to do that I think is a service.
People take risks. And I'm not the one who's taking the most in this case.
The late announcement of the CITIZENFOUR screening marks the first time the New York Film Festival has added a film after the initial release of its schedule, according to the Huffington Post.
In an interview with the New York Times last year, Snowden stated:
Laura and Glenn are among the few who reported fearlessly on controversial topics throughout this period, even in the face of withering personal criticism, [which] resulted in Laura specifically becoming targeted by the very programs involved in the recent disclosures. She had demonstrated the courage, personal experience and skill needed to handle what is probably the most dangerous assignment any journalist can be given'--reporting on the secret misdeeds of the most powerful government in the world'--making her an obvious choice.
"Seeing CITIZENFOUR for the first time is an experience I'll never forget," said New York Film Festival Director Kent Jones, in a statement. "The film operates on multiple levels at the same time: a character study (of Edward Snowden)'... a real-life suspense story'... and a chilling expos(C). When the lights came up, everyone in the room was alternately stunned, excited, and deeply troubled. A brave documentary, but also a powerful work from a master storyteller."
CITIZENFOUR | Film Society of Lincoln Center
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 01:25
ShowtimesFilm runs Fri, Oct 10 through Sat, Oct 11.
CITIZENFOURLaura Poitras, 2014USA/Germany | Format: DCP |
Special Presentation
World Premiere
In January 2013, filmmaker Laura Poitras was in the process of constructing a film about abuses of national security in post-9/11 America when she started receiving encrypted e-mails from someone identifying himself as ''citizen four,'' who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, she and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely sui generis in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes. Poitras is a great and brave filmmaker, but she is also a masterful storyteller: she compresses the many days of questioning, waiting, confirming, watching the world's reaction and agonizing over the next move, into both a great character study of Snowden and a narrative that will leave you on the edge of your seat as it inexorably moves toward its conclusion. CITIZENFOUR is a major work on multiple levels, and a deeply unsettling experience.
Laura Poitras will discuss the film in one of our free HBO Directors Dialogues on October 11.
Series: NYFF52 Main Slate
Venue: Walter Reade Theater, Alice Tully Hall
Why Snowden and Assange line up with alleged digital pirate Kim Dotcom (+video) - CSMonitor.com
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:42
World/Security Watch/Backchannels
(Read article summary)Kim Dotcom is fighting extradition to the US on charges he ran a sophisticated scheme to share hundreds of millions worth of stolen movies and music. Now he has famous friends in his fight to unseat New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.
By Dan Murphy, Staff writer / September 16, 2014
Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald, and Edward Snowden all appeared at a political rally yesterday in New Zealand for a party founded by a German national wanted in the United States on racketeering, money laundering, and piracy charges.
Kim Dotcom was their host '' a virtual host in the case of Snowden and Assange, who appeared via video links from Russia and Britain, respectively. Mr. Dotcom (birth name: Kim Schmitz) has spending his fortune as he fights extradition to the US to build New Zealand's Internet Mana Party, which is competing in Saturday's general election. He hopes to unseat Prime Minister John Key, who has a comfortable lead in the polls.
Aside from the strange spectacle of four foreigners being the stars of a New Zealand political rally, the support for Dotcom is revealing of the non-residents' views. While they mostly talk and write in public about the evils of what they claim is pervasive government surveillance (Russia appears to get a pass), Dotcom made a vast fortune distributing the creative work of others without payment. It can only be assumed that they share Dotcom's views.
Mr. Snowden wrote in a piece timed for the event that "if you live in New Zealand, you are being watched," despite Mr. Key's insistence that this is a false claim by Dotcom's party. Mr. Assange alleged that the US controls New Zealand's surveillance efforts and that therefore has "proceeded with annexing" the country.
Mr. Greenwald, who traveled to the event on the Internet Party's dime (he said his fee would be donated to charity), engaged in a war of words with Key via the press after the prime minister labelled him a "clown" and Dotcom's "henchman." In an unusual move, Key released declassified government documents that he said proved Greenwald and Snowden's claims were false.
Naturally, this didn't satisfy Greenwald. "This information should never have been marked classified in the first place because it was being hidden not for national security reasons but to conceal from the public what this government was doing," he wrote.
Assange's libertarian leanings are well known. He's deeply hostile to virtually all Western governments and advocates some form of government of, by, and for digital natives. This is what Assange said to Dotcom yesterday: "We share the same prosecutor, so I understand what is going on there... [the US] is trying to apply US law in as many countries as possible, applying their law in New Zealand to coerce and pluck out people to other states."
Extraditions and interdictionsThis may play well with the faithful, but is a very odd statement when unpacked. Assange jumped bail to hide out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London two years ago after a United Kingdom court ruled that he could be extradited to Sweden, where he's accused of rape by two women. While the US has investigated Assange and Wikileaks for their role in publicizing the documents provided to them by jailed former soldier Chelsea Manning, it hasn't made any formal request to extradite Assange, either before or after he fled to the embassy.
To Assange, there is no daylight between a rape investigation in Sweden and a US desire to punish him for Wikileaks' work. And putting himself in the same camp with Dotcom '' two victims of American persecution '' indicates he has no regard for the law, at all.
Dotcom is wanted in the US for running the now-defunct file-sharing site Megaupload, which fueled his lavish and puckish international lifestyle. In January 2012, a grand jury in Virginia indicted him for allegedly running a "worldwide criminal organization whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale, with estimated harm to copyright holders well in excess of $500,000,000 and reported income in excess of $175,000,000."
Dotcom's website provided high speeds to file sharers in exchange for a small fee, and also provided cash and other rewards to website users for uploading more content. In its heyday, it was the premier site for sharing and trading stolen movies, music, and software. Dotcom's lawyers have defended him by saying that he was merely providing a cloud storage service, and can't be held responsible for any copyright infringements by his customers.
'Mafia' plateAt the time of the US indictment, Dotcom was living in a $18 million mansion near Auckland. Police broke into a panic room there to arrest him and seized assets that included luxury cars with vanity license plates that read "HACKER," "MAFIA," and "GOD."
Now the German national has created a political party that advocates doing away with copyright laws and digital surveillance, spending $2.5 million of his own fortune. Like Assange, Dotcom sees a political conspiracy behind his legal troubles.
He's repeatedly alleged that New Zealand granted him residency status in 2010 as an elaborate set-up negotiated between Key and Warner Brothers, the Hollywood movie giant. He charges that a promise was made by Key to the US company that he would be arrested and extradited, in exchange for the company agreeing to film The Hobbit trilogy in New Zealand. Director Peter Jackson filmed his earlier Lord of the Rings trilogy in the country. Yesterday, Dotcom gave out what he alleged was an email written by Warner CEO Kevin Tsujihara proving the conspiracy. Warner Brothers and Key both said the email was a fake.
What good the event will do for Dotcom and his party is hard to say. Polling before the event showed the party likely to win just 3 seats in New Zealand's 120 seat parliament '' in part due to their linkup with a party focused on rights for New Zealand's Maori.
China advances gold exchange launch, Singapore delays contract | Reuters
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:43
One-kg 24K gold bars are displayed at the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society, Hong Kong's major gold and silver exchange, during the first trading day after the Chinese New Year holidays, in Hong Kong February 14, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip
Bombing Was 'Not Act of Terrorism' -Boston Marathon Victims Denied Insurance Reimbursement | John Hawkins' Right Wing News
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:03
Unbelievable. The lengths some people will stretch to not pay someone who is hurt or injured just reached an all time low. The Boston Marathon Bombing Victims are being denied their insurance claims for damages due to the attacks.
From the article:
Were you under the assumption that the Boston Marathon bombings were an act of terrorism? Maybe it was because just after the bombings, the President said this:
''Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror.''
Turns out, if you look into the details, he actually never said it was an act of terrorism. There was much discussion about the whys and wherefores after his statement, and the mincing of the difference between the words ''terror'' and ''terrorism'' went on for quite some time.
Now, the Treasury Department has given its imprint on the perspective as well. And they haven't ''certified'' it as an ''act of terrorism,'' either.
The context is the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which was passed just after the 9/11 attacks. It's a federally-administered and underwritten insurance program for terrorism-caused damage, designed to be relatively inexpensive but to compensate policy owners in the event of a man-caused disaster.
Twenty-two Boston-based companies carried that insurance and for pay-out purposes, the attacks have not been classified as acts of terror.
Instead, the law's details state that insurance losses must exceed $5 million to be certified as terrorism, and so far only $1.9 million in claims have been issued. That actual terrorists blew stuff up, killed people, and caused damage is only part of the equation and not sufficient to make an ''act of terrorism'' determination. The rest of the critical factors depend on the dollar value.
Whether this detail stems from a crony relationship between the government and the insurance companies, as they write the policies and benefit from the premiums whereas the payouts are taxpayer supported, or just a well-intentioned mistake, is unclear.
Yet the FBI defines terrorism as activities that:
''Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;''''Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and''''Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.''By this definition, the Boston Marathon bombings were unquestionably a terrorist act, and the policy holders should receive the amounts due them. Regardless of whether or not the Treasury Department's intentions are good, this is a grievous error that must be immediately corrected.
Seriously, I give zero craps about procedures here, make this happen and fix it now. Everyone has suffered enough- lets not make this any worse.
Comcast Threatens To Cut Off Tor Users - Business Insider
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:43
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Multiple users of anonymous web browser Tor have reported that Comcast has threatened to cut off their internet service unless they stop using the legal software. According to a report on Deepdotweb, Comcast customer representatives have branded Tor "illegal" and told customers that using it is against the company's policies.
Tor is a type of web browser that, in theory, makes all your internet activity private. The software routes traffic through a series of other connected internet users, making it difficult for governments and private companies to monitor your internet usage. Up to 1.2 million people use the browser, which became especially popular after Edward Snowden leaked information showing that the NSA was eavesdropping on ordinary citizens. Prior to that, Tor had been popular among people transacting business on Silk Road, the online market for drugs and hitmen.
The problem is that downloading or using Tor itself isn't illegal. Plenty of people might have legitimate reasons to want to surf the web in private, without letting others know what they were looking at. But Tor has been pretty popular with criminals.
Comcast has reportedly begun telling users that it is an "illegal service." One Comcast representative, identified only as Kelly, warned a customer over his use of Tor software, DeepDotWeb reports:
Users who try to use anonymity, or cover themselves up on the internet, are usually doing things that aren't so-to-speak legal. We have the right to terminate, fine, or suspend your account at anytime due to you violating the rules. Do you have any other questions? Thank you for contacting Comcast, have a great day.
Comcast customers, speaking to Deepdotweb, claimed that Comcast repeatedly asked them which sites they were accessing using Tor.
In a statement to Business Insider, Comcast refuted the claims made in Deepdotweb, stating that they had launched an internal review into the discussions reported above:
Customers are free to use their Xfinity Internet service to visit any website or use it however they wish otherwise. Like virtually all ISPs, Comcast has an acceptable use policy or AUP that outlines appropriate and inappropriate uses of the service. Comcast doesn't monitor users' browser software or web surfing and has no program addressing the Tor browser. he anecdotal chat room evidence provided is not consistent with our agents' messages and is not accurate. Per our own internal review, we have found no evidence that these conversations took place, nor do we employ a Security Assurance team member named Kelly. Tor's own FAQs clearly state: 'File sharing (peer-to-peer/P2P) is widely unwanted on Tor' and 'BitTorrent is NOT anonymous' on Tor.
After Setback in Texas, the Fight Against Podcasting Patent Troll Will Continue | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 02:08
We've been closely watching the trial in the Eastern District of Texas between podcasting patent troll Personal Audio and CBS. Today we heard disappointing news: after five days of trial, a federal jury found Personal Audio's podcasting patent valid and infringed by CBS. The jury awarded $1.3 million in damages (which is likely less than the amount CBS spent defending the case all the way to verdict).
There are a few important things to note about this development. First, this does not put an end to EFF's challenge to the patent at the Patent Office. Our case against Personal Audio is a separate proceeding. And the standards are slightly different in our case (for example, while CBS was required to prove invalidity by ''clear and convincing'' evidence '' a high bar '' the standard in our case is simply whether it is more likely than not that the patent is invalid). We are also hopeful that the specialized administrative judges at the Patent Office will take a different view of a patent that describes essentially nothing more than an online table of contents.
Second, this verdict is not the end of the story in federal court. When Newegg challenged Sovereign's so-called shopping cart patent, it too lost after a five day trial in the Eastern District of Texas. On appeal, the Federal Circuit found that no reasonable jury could have held the patent valid. CBS has pending motions before the district court and, if those don't succeed, it can also appeal. So while today's verdict is very disappointing, it is not the end of the fight against Personal Audio.
Jury finds CBS infringes podcasting patent, awards $1.3 million | Ars Technica
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 02:06
The popular show NCIS is one of several shows that CBS was sued over.
A jury in Marshall, Texas found the infamous "podcasting patent" was infringed by CBS's website today and said that the TV network should pay $1.3 million to patent holder Personal Audio LLC.
The verdict form shows the jury found all four claims of the patent infringed, rejecting CBS' defense that the patent was invalid. The document was submitted today at 1:45pm Central Time.
Further ReadingThat's substantially less than Personal Audio was asking for, which was reportedly $7.8 million. That figure was given to Ars by a source that observed the relevant parts of the court proceedings.High-stakes patent cases can cost up to $4 million to litigate through trial. Even though the expense can be lighter for plaintiffs, it's unlikely that $1.3 million would be enough to cover the patent-holding company's expenses.
Lawyers for both sides didn't immediately respond to request for comment on the verdict or to confirm the Personal Audio damages demand.
In a motion filed yesterday in the case, CBS makes an argument attacking Personal Audio's damage claim as unjustified, but the document refers to the number only as the "requested damages figure." The motion does reveal that Personal Audio was asking for 3.5 percent of the ad revenue for the allegedly infringing sites. The accused sites included a wide variety of CBS' most popular programs, from NCIS to 60 Minutes.
When Personal Audio went to trial against Apple in 2011 over a patent it claims covered playlists, it also got a greatly reduced damage figure'--an $8 million verdict after a reported $84 million damage demand.
The much lower damage demand against CBS probably reflects the fact that online streaming is still a small, albeit growing part of the corporation's revenue stream.
Personal Audio is a holding company, cobbled together from the patents that were left after a failed startup that Jim Logan founded in 1996. The company became one of the poster children for problematic patents when it claimed that its patent number 8,112,504 was infringed by podcasters, including comedian Adam Carolla. Instead of settling quickly, though, Carolla fought back hard before settling last month.
Then Personal Audio said that podcasters were actually too poor to bother suing, so it kept up its case against three big TV networks: CBS, NBC, and Fox. The company made the argument that the "podcasting" patent actually covered "episodic content" transmitted over the Internet, including video content. The patent refers to a "compilation file," which Personal Audio lawyers say correlates to the HTML webpage that CBS hosts its content at.
Critics of Personal Audio, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Daniel Nazer, say that's nothing more than an electronic table of contents. The argument goes that the concept was old hat by the time Logan filed for a patent in 1996, and in any case it's such a basic idea it shouldn't be patented.
Now that its patent has been validated against CBS, Personal Audio will be allowed to move forward with trials against NBC and Fox. However, it's still facing a crowd-funded challenge at the patent office brought by EFF, and that effort is scheduled to be heard later this year. In a short blog post about today's verdict, EFF's Nazer vowed the patent office challenge will continues despite today's "disappointing" verdict.
VIDEO-Sydney man arrested in terrorist raids conspired with senior ISIL figure Mohammad Baryalei, court hears
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:47
Video will begin in 5 seconds.
The man who sparked the terror raidsA former Kings Cross bouncer now fighting with Islamic State is accused of encouraging Australians to carry out gruesome terrorist attacks on Sydney's streets.
PT1M50Shttp://www.smh.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3g27n620349September 18, 2014 - 6:55PMA 22-year-old south-west Sydney man arrested during the anti-terrorism raids allegedly conspired to commit a "horrifying" terrorist act with a man believed to be the most senior Australian Islamic State leader, court documents and Commonwealth prosecutors have revealed.
Omarjan Azari, from Guildford, appeared in Central Local Court charged with preparing to commit a terrorist act, with the prosecutor stating that the plan involved the "random selection of persons to rather gruesomely execute".
Mohammad Baryalei, identified in an ABC TV investigation as the most senior Australian member of ISIL. Photo: Supplied
Documents before the court show that Mr Azari is accused of conspiring with Mohammad Baryalei and others to carry out the plan.
Fairfax Media has confirmed that this is the same Mohammad Baryalei who was recently identified in an ABC TV investigation as the most senior member of ISIL in Australia.
ABC's 7.30 program reported that Mr Baryalei, 33, has recruited at least half of the 60 Australians currently fighting with ISIL and has a trusted position in the operational command of the al-Qaeda-linked group.
It also reported that he has worked as a security guard in Kings Cross in Sydney, and was also an aspiring actor, appearing in the television series Underbelly: The Golden Mile.
Omarjan Azari under police guard at Sydney's Central Local Court. Photo: Daniel Munoz
Mr Azari, 22, from Guildford in Sydney's west, appeared briefly in the dock before his barrister requested that he be taken back down to the cells.
Mr Azari appeared in court wearing a dark fleece jumper and seemed uncomfortable with the many sets of eyes staring in his direction before being taken away.
Commonwealth prosecutor Michael Allnutt told Central Local Court that the allegations against the accused were "very, very serious" and involved "an unusual level of fanaticism" such that he could not be relied upon to "meet any court order".
He said that Mr Azari was part of a plan earlier this year to commit an "extremely serious offence" which was done "with the knowledge of police surveillance conducted at that time".
The court heard the evidence took the form of an intercepted phone call between May 8 and September 18 to which Mr Azari was a party.
It is from that call that Mr Azari is accused of conspiring with others, including Mohammad Ali Baryalei, to plan or prepare a terrorist act.
Mr Allnutt said: "There was a clear imperative to commit an act to shock, horrify and terrify the community as a whole."
He said Mr Azari had access to cash and the matter involved "an unusual level of fanaticism".
Mr Allnutt said the immediate catalyst for Mr Azari's arrest was a phone call that took place "only a couple of days ago".
"There's been an immediate reaction to a clear and imperative danger," he said.
This reaction was a reference to the raids across Sydney and Brisbane.
But the accused's barrister, Steven Boland, said "the allegation is based on one phone call of very limited compass that federal police have put forward".
Mr Boland, hired by Legal Aid NSW to represent Mr Azari, did not apply for bail on behalf of his client, and bail was thus automatically refused.
The matter will return to court in six weeks.
VIDEO- "The Fear Is Lone Wolf Attacks Here In The United States! Attacks Like The Boston Bombings!" - YouTube
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:05
VIDEO-People across China commemorate 'Mukden Incident' - CCTV News - CCTV.com English
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 07:58
Thursday marks the 83rd anniversary of the September 18 Incident, or the Mukden Incident, which was the beginning of Japan's invasion of north-east China in 1931.
Sirens sounded across China and activities were held to commemorate the day. In north-east China's Liaoning province, the occasion was marked by a bell-ringing ceremony. And in east China's Anhui province, dozens of documents were put on display. The documents detailed the war crimes of Japanese soldiers and the history of Chinese people's resistance against the Japanese army.
On September 18, 1931, Japanese troops blew up a section of railway under their control near the city of Shenyang in north-east China.
Japan accused Chinese troops of sabotage and used the incident as a pretext to launch an attack on the Chinese military. They bombarded the barracks of Chinese troops near Shenyang that same evening, starting a large-scale armed invasion of north-east China.
VIDEO- CNN: Al Qaeda Targeting Domestic Airlines! DUN! DUN! DUN! - YouTube
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 03:22
VIDEO- "We Need To Invest Heavily In The Public Fear!" Naomi Klein On Climate Change - YouTube
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:54
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:29
VIDEO- Richard Mack "Please Don't Act Like The Southern Poverty Law Center Has Credibility! THEY DON'T!" - YouTube
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:20
VIDEO-WH: Obama Views Ebola Virus Outbreak 'as a Top National Security Priority' | MRCTV
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:12
MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them '-- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.
MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Reston, VA 20194. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-Dempsey Explains When U.S. 'Advisers' May Need to Accompany Iraqi Troops Into Combat | MRCTV
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:53
MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them '-- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.
MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Reston, VA 20194. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-Obama: 'We Can't Dawdle' on Ebola | MRCTV
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:43
MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them '-- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.
MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Reston, VA 20194. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-FBI Director: Cyber Threat an 'Evil Layer Cake' of States, Terrorist Groups, Hactivists, Pedophiles | MRCTV
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:38
MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them '-- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.
MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Reston, VA 20194. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-FBI Director James Comey Warns of 'Terrorist Diaspora' | MRCTV
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:36
MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them '-- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.
MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Reston, VA 20194. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-Kerry Tells Code Pink 'ISIL is Killing and Raping and Mutilating Women' | MRCTV
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:31
patrick.goodenoughPatrick covered government and politics in South Africa and the Middle East before joining CNSNews.com in 1999. Since then he has launched foreign bureaus for CNSNews.com in Jerusalem, London and the Pacific Rim. From October 2006 to July 2007, Patrick served as Managing Editor at the organization's world headquarters in Alexandria, Va. Now back in the Pacific Rim, as International Editor he reports on politics, international relations, security, terrorism, ethics and religion, and oversees reporting by CNSNews.com's roster of international stringers.
show more
VIDEO- TSA Says Man Tested Positive For Bomb Making Materials Because Of His Cologne - YouTube
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:29
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:21
VIDEO- Protester Interrupts John McCain Insisting We Must Have Full On War In Syria - YouTube
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:49
VIDEO- "I Rise Today To Speakout Against The Rising Surge Of Antisemitism Across The Globe" Rep Murphy - YouTube
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:23
VIDEO-President Obama's Ebola plan: Gottlieb on CNBC's 'Squawk Box' on Vimeo
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:19
Your content preferences apply to any Vimeo videos you view. Learn more about content preferences in our FAQ.
Show me everything
Don't show mature content
Let me choose
Don't show unrated Don't show profanity / sexually suggestive content Don't show drugs / alcohol Don't show violence Don't show nudity
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:20
VIDEO-Sotloff ''fixer'': Americans never contacted me after his abduction Hot Air
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:19
posted at 10:01 pm on September 16, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
The families of both American journalists murdered by ISIS have complained that the US government didn't appear to prioritize the plight of James Foley or Steven Sotloff '-- and in the latter case, the man abducted along with him agrees. Yosef Abobaker has a reputation among foreign correspondents as a trustworthy ''fixer,'' a guide who can make contacts and watch out for traps. Terrorists seized both Abobaker and Sotloff at the same time as they crossed into Syria, eventually releasing the fixer while keeping Sotloff as a hostage until his murder last month. Abobaker expected the American government to ask him about the abduction, but he claims no one ever attempted to do so:
In an interview with CNN this week, Abobaker provided a detailed account of how he, Sotloff and three armed guards were abducted in Syria by ISIS fighters in August 2013, but since then, never once did U.S. officials try to interview Abobaker about his first-hand experience with ISIS and its captivity of Sotloff.
''No, nobody tried to contact me and I tried to help. Nobody come to me and ask me any questions from the (U.S.) government'.... Nobody contact me or ask me about their conditions,'' Abobaker said in occasionally broken English. ''And they can find me. It's easy. But, no, nobody tried to contact me.''
Abobaker's assertions that his abductors were ISIS fighters couldn't be independently verified by CNN.
A Sotloff family representative who kept contact with Abobaker before and after his captivity reiterated the claims, saying U.S. government or security agencies '-- who were made aware of the fixer and his connection to Sotloff '-- never talked to Abobaker.
''That was one of many mistakes,'' Sotloff family spokesman Barak Barfi told CNN. He declined to comment further.
It's not as if Abobaker went into hiding. He left messages on Facebook, got in contact with Sotloff's family, and even tried to investigate where Sotloff's captors had taken him. Abobaker assumed that the US would want to get the information he collected, or at least interrogate him to establish the facts of the case. Yet the call never came.
And that is '... curious, to say the least, if it's true. The FBI told CNN that they are still ''actively investigating the savage murder of Steven Sotloff at the hands of terrorists and will not discuss investigative details at this time,'' the latter of which is completely understandable. But if the US government never reached out to the man who was abducted along with Sotloff '-- either to garner intelligence about the abduction or even just to eliminate him as a suspect '-- how active could this investigation have been? Small wonder that the Sotloffs have begun speaking out, if indirectly through Barfi, about their anger and frustration in dealing with the Obama administration through their excruciating ordeal. In fact, they got so angry over the selective leaks from the White House that they threatened one week ago to start leaking a few of the details of their handling of the case themselves. This looks like the starting point for the Sotloffs in setting the record straight.
VIDEO-ISIS Using Social Media to Recruit 'Lone Wolf' Bombers, Authorities Warn | Fox News Insider
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:10
Rick Leventhal reported this morning (video above) from Times Square on new concerns that ISIS is trying to inspire "lone wolf" bombings on high-profile targets like the heart of Manhattan or the Las Vegas strip.
New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton calls it a "new era of potential terrorism," but said right now there are "no credible, specific threats to the city."
Leventhal pointed to an online chat room, claiming to be affiliated with ISIS, that provided information on making pipe bombs out of household materials like matches, sugar and Christmas lights.
The new post suggests locations and advice on covering one's tracks and doing maximum damage. Leventhal said the concern is that someone not connected to ISIS will attempt an attack on their own.
The report comes on the heels of the arrest of a man in upstate New York for allegedly trying to recruit ISIS fighters.
More on the arrest from FoxNews.com:
Mufid Elfgeeh, 30, of Rochester, was indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts of attempting to provide material support and resources to the group widely known as ISIS that has been designated by the U.S. as a foreign terrorist organization, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. Elfgeeh, who was born in Yemen and is a naturalized U.S. citizen, is one of the first people accused by the U.S. of recruiting on behalf of ISIS.
According to court documents seen by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Elfgeeh tried to raise money to enable a Yemeni man to join ISIS. At one point, Elfgeeh allegedly sent the man $600 to travel from Yemen to Syria. An FBI affidavit alleges that this past April, Elfgeeh traveled to Buffalo with an FBI informant to get a passport for the latter man. Elfgeeh suggested that ISIS would use the informant to "operate a cannon, act as a sniper and/or build bombs," the document claims.
Elfgeeh was arrested this past May in the parking lot of a local Wal-Mart after taking delivery of two handguns equipped with silencers and ammunition. Elfgeeh had allegedly given the informant $1,050 in cash to purchase the handguns, which had been rendered inoperable. Federal authorities said he bought the weapons as part of a plan to kill members of the U.S. armed forces returning from war, as well as Shiites in the Rochester area.
Prosecutors said two of the three individuals Elfgeeh had contact with were cooperating with the FBI.
"Disrupting and holding accountable those who seek to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations is and shall remain a critical national security priority," said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin.
The investigation included linking Elfgeeh's home computer to tweets from alias Twitter accounts expressing support for Al Qaeda, violent holy war and Sunni insurgent groups in Syria, according to court papers.
One message allegedly from Elfgeeh read, "al-Qaida [sic] said it loud and clear; we are fighting the American invasion and their hegemony over the earth and the people."
Elfgeeh is also charged with one count of attempting to kill "officers and employees of the United States," two counts or possession of an unregistered firearm silencer, and a count of possession of firearms and silencers in furtherance of a violent crime. He is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment Thursday.
Elfgeeh's lawyer, Assistant Federal Public Defender Mark Hosken, told the Democrat & Chronicle that he would enter a not guilty plea in response to all the charges.
VIDEO-Obama: 'We Have to Act Fast. We Can't Dawdle' -- on Ebola | CNS News
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:17
President Barack Obama speaks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
(CNSNews.com) - President Obama said on Tuesday he is wasting no time in addressing a "global threat" that demands a "truly global response." He was talking about disease, not terrorism.
Although the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is "spiraling out of control," the world knows how to stop it from spreading, Obama said in remarks at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
"But we have to act fast. We can't dawdle on this one. We have to move with force and make sure that we are catching this as best we can, given that it has already broken out in ways that we had not seen before."
Obama's urgency on the Ebola crisis contrasts with his "utter lack of urgency" -- as Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) has described it -- in dealing with ISIS/ISIL's persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria.
In fact, in describing the plight of West Africans on Tuesday, Obama could have been describing the horrors recently witnessed in the Middle East:
"The scenes that we're witnessing in West Africa today are absolutely gut-wrenching," Obama said. He mentioned a Liberian family, where the father died and the mother and two children are dying.
"These men and women and children are just sitting, waiting to die, right now. And it doesn't have to be this way," Obama said.
"The reality is that this epidemic is going to get worse before it gets better. But right now, the world still has an opportunity to save countless lives. Right now, the world has the responsibility to act -- to step up, and to do more. The United States of America intends to do more. We are going to keep leading in this effort.
"We're going to do our part, and we're going to continue to make sure that the world understands the need for them to step alongside us as well in order for us to not just save the lives of families like the one I just discussed, but ultimately, to make sure that this doesn't have the kinds of spillover effects that become even more difficult to control."
Two months ago, Obama told his team to make the Ebola outbreak a national security priority: "We're working across our entire government...and we've devoted significant resources in support of our strategy with four goals in mind," he announced Tuesday.
Obama said those four goals include controlling the outbreak; addressing the ripple effects on local economies; coordinating a global response; and building a public health system in African countries "for the future."
At the request of the Liberian government, Obama is sending 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to handle logistics and engineering.
"We're going to create an air bridge to get health workers and medical supplies into West Africa faster. We're going to establish a staging area in Senegal to help distribute personnel and aid on the ground more quickly. We are going to create a new training site to train thousands of health workers so they can effectively and safely care for more patients.
"Personnel from the U.S. Public Health Service will deploy to the new field hospitals that we're setting up in Liberia. And USAID will join with international partners and local communities in a Community Care Campaign to distribute supplies and information kits to hundreds of thousands of families so they can better protect themselves.
"We're also going to build additional treatment units, including new isolation spaces and more than 1,000 beds. And in all our efforts, the safety of our personnel will remain a top priority."
Obama said he is calling on Congress "to approve the funding that we've requested so that we can carry on with all these critical efforts."
The Defense Department is asking Congress to approve $500 million in existing "overseas contingency funds" to be put toward the Ebola effort. That's about the same amount the administration is requesting to train and equip the Syrian rebels.
VIDEO-Lindsey Graham: We need troops to fight Islamic State 'before we all get killed here at home' - The Washington Post
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:07
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was characteristically energetic in offering his opinion of the Obama administration's plan to undermine the Islamic State on Fox News' "Fox News Sunday."
"At the end of the day, ISIL has to be encouraged by what was just said" in Fox host John Roberts's interview with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, Graham said, using an alternative acronym for the Islamic State. "When the White House tells the world, 'We say what we mean and we do what we say'" '-- referencing McDonough's defense of the administration plan '-- "no one believes that anymore." Calling the fight against the Islamic State a "turning point in the war on terror" because the United States is now fighting a "terrorist army," Graham said that "it's going to take an army to beat an army. This idea we'll never have any boots on the ground to defeat them in Syria is fantasy."
"It's delusional in the way they approach this," Graham added.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) disagreed. "I think the plan is the best possible one," he said, "because it recognizes that it's not a military struggle, but also a political struggle." The fight, he said, is "their fight" '-- meaning regional actors '-- and the plan has "great potential to work," given its emphasis on bolstering regional forces to put the Islamic State on the defensive and then to eradicate it.
"It is our fight," Graham replied. "It is not just their fight. This is a radical Islamic army that is pushing the theory of a master religion, not a master race like the Nazis. ... It's about protecting millions of people throughout the world. ... They're intending to come here. So I will not let this president suggest to the American people we can outsource our security and this is not about our safety."
"Our strategy will fail yet again," he said. "This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed here at home." (There is no consensus among intelligence officials about the extent of the threat posed by Islamic State to the United States.) An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll whose results were disclosed on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday suggests that the American public agrees with Graham's skepticism. Sixty-eight percent think that the president's plan is unlikely to succeed.
"This is the last best chance" to stop them, Graham argued. "They will open the gates of Hell to spill out on the world. This is not a Sunni-versus-Sunni problem. This is ISIL against mankind."
Philip Bump writes about politics for The Fix. He previously wrote for The Wire, the news blog of The Atlantic magazine. He has contributed to The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, The Daily, and the Huffington Post. Philip is based in New York City.
SECTION: {section=politics, subsection=null}!!!INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!
FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
SECTION: {section=politics, subsection=null}!!!INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!
FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
VIDEO-Joan Rivers' doctor snapped selfie during throat surgery: report - NY Daily News
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:03
Joan Rivers' personal doctor stopped to take a selfie in the procedure room while the famous comedienne was under anesthesia, just moments before she went into cardiac arrest, CNN reported Tuesday.
Rivers, 81, was getting a routine scoping of her throat at Yorkville Endoscopy Aug. 28 when her own physician performed an unplanned biopsy on her vocal cords, a source told the Daily News.
The procedure sent the famed funny woman into a death spiral.
A staff member at the Upper East Side clinic told CNN that the personal physician '-- who was not authorized to practice medicine at the private facility '-- paused to snap a self-portrait.
Rivers was at the clinic for a routine endoscopy by gastroenterologist Dr. Lawrence Cohen.
Cohen has since been let go by the clinic. Rivers' personal physician has not yet been named.
Rivers died Sept. 4 at Mount Sinai hospital. She never regained consciousness after the botched biopsy.
On a mobile device? Click here to watch video.
VIDEO-'Calm captives do not know they are about to die,' reveals French war reporter held by ISIS | Mail Online
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 07:04
French journalist Didier Francois was held by ISIS militants earlier this year He says prisoners were put through mock crucifixions 'several times' This explains why they appear calm before they are killed, he claims By Daily Mail Reporter
Published: 18:20 EST, 15 September 2014 | Updated: 10:03 EST, 16 September 2014
The hostages in Islamic State execution videos appear calm because they do not realise they are about to die, according to a former captive.
French war reporter Didier Francois, who was released by the terrorists earlier this year, said that prisoners were threatened with execution 'several times' and IS militants carried out macabre mock crucifixions.
Commenting on why the hostages, including Briton David Haines, remained calm even seconds before their deaths, the journalist said: 'They did not realise that this time it was the real thing'.
Scroll down for video
Didier Francois, who was released by IS earlier this year, said that prisoners were threatened with execution 'several times' and were put through mock executions
Mr Francois said James Foley was treated worse than the other hostages because the militants found a picture of his brother - who is a member of the US armed forces - on his computer
Obama taps US Afghanistan commander to lead fight to IS
Jihadi John speaks in Sotloff and Foley beheading videos (audio)
Mr Francois, 53, of Paris-based radio station Europe 1, and three other French journalists were freed in April near the Syrian-Turkish border.
The French government has denied that a ransom of $18million (£11million) was paid to end their ten-month captivity, but many believe the cash was paid through middlemen, including private companies and Turkish secret agents.
Mr Francois revealed after his release that Foley was treated harsher than the other captives because the militants found a picture of his brother - who serves in military - on his computer.
Giving an insight into the physical and mental torture the hostages endured at the hands of the terrorists, the french journalist called Foley 'one of the pillars of the group,' who 'never cracked even under the most difficult conditions'.
'He was an extraordinary guy, an extremely nice companion in detention, very solid,' Mr Francois said in August.
He described the conditions in which all the hostages were held in Syria, as always 'rough and sometimes violent.
Mother of James Foley slams US efforts to save her son
Former French hostage speaks about slain US journalist
Share or comment on this article
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:00
Created by an anonymous useron September 11, 2014
Javascript must be enabled in order to access C-SPAN videos.
Hosting OrganizationSeriesClips from This VideoView all clips from this videoRelated VideoJuly 30, 1991Book Discussion on Dangerous LiaisonsThe husband-and-wife team of Andrew and Leslie Cockburn discussed their experiences researching their book Dangerous'...
June 13, 1990U.S.-Israeli RelationsCongressman Gilman, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Middle East Subcommittee, discussed the newly'...
June 13, 1990Israeli PoliticsThe guest discussed the recent victory of the Likud party to become the new ruling party in Israel.
April 9, 1990Poindexter TrialMr.'‚Colby answered viewer questions concerning the verdict handed down in the John Poindexter trial and covert'...
VIDEO-ISIS sympathizers threaten Times Square on message board | New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:34
NEW YORK (PIX11) '-- Users on an ISIS message board have threatened Times Square, providing instructions on how to carry out a pipe bomb attack in one of the busiest tourist areas of New York City, according to a Vocativ report.
One of the posts titled, ''To the Lone Wolves in America: How to Make a Bomb in Your Kitchen, to Create Scenes of Horror in Tourist Spots and Other Targets,'' gives step-by-step instructions on how to build a bomb with common household items.
The post encourages attacks on Times Square and the Las Vegas strip, Vocativ reports, but other tourist and commuter hubs in the US are mentioned.
It also includes sections of the 2010 article ''How to Make a Bomb From the Kitchen of Your Mom'' from the Al-Qaeda magazine ''Inspire.''
The article gives details on how to make a pressure cooker bomb, and was allegedly used as a guide for the Tsarnaev brothers who bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013, which left 3 people dead and hundreds injured.
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said that although there has no credible threat to New York City, the potential for terrorists to attempt an attack ''is very real.''
''We're concerned with the capabilities of ISIS much more so than Al-Qaeda was ever able to '... their ability to use social media to try and spread their recruitment efforts, to try and inspire,'' Bratton said.
''This is a new world, if you will, the evolving world of terrorism and we're staying ahead of it.''
VIDEO-HOAX-DISNEYLAND- The Radicalisation Of British Muslims - YouTube
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:16
VIDEO-A Tangled Web >> Blog Archive >> CONDI RICE LETS SLIP A TRUTH
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:45
By Pete Moore On September 15th, 2014Our friends in Kiev observed the ceasefire yesterday by murdering yet more women, children and elderly (graphic video here). It was so intense that even the junta's press describes it as ''Bloody Sunday'', with an estimated twenty innocents killed. (Oh, but Russia will face more sanctions if the ceasfire breaks down.)
That's why American and German tanks are currently rolling across west Ukraine, the better to train our chums in killing with the arms NATO countries are now sending there.
Meanwhile Condoleeza Rice, while in Germany, revealed one reason why thousands of innocents are being butchered; it's to ensure the US replaces Russia as a chief supplier of oil and gas to Europe. These people are truly evil ''
Posted in ATW |
VIDEO-ClassDojo - Android Apps on Google Play
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:22
What makes myHomework the best student planner for school or university?* Beauty, Simplicity, and Reliability - myHomework has a modern design and simple interface making it easy for anyone to use. Our apps fill their role as a planner without network connectivity.
* Amazing Anywhere - With highly rated apps for your phone, tablet and a wonderful website, it's the most complete on the go planner experience anywhere.
* Price - It is FREE and an ads-free experience is just $4.99/year across all of the apps and website.
* Experience - myHomework has been around since 2009 and continually improving the experience based on the feedback of our users.
But don't listen to us, check out just some of the coverage we've received...2014: PCWorld 10 Best Apps for Students2014: Family Circle Magazine 10 Best Apps for Students2014: USAToday Best Back to School Apps2013: Edudemic The 16 Apps And Tools Worth Trying This Year2012: HLNTV Top 4 Back to School Apps2012: Yahoo News 10 Helpful Apps for Students2012: The Street 10 Best Back-to-School Apps2011: Main Street Back-to-School: The Best Smartphone Apps2010: Mashable Top 10 Back to School Apps2009: Time Magazine Top 10 Back To School Apps2009: Business Insider The Top 10 Back-To-School iPhone Apps
The Free Android App:Homework Organizer/Student PlannerHomework WidgetClass ScheduleHomework Calendar
With a Free myHomeworkapp.com account:Sync HomeworkReminders That SyncLate & Upcoming From Home & WidgetFree Blue, Black and Pink Themes
With a paid Premium Account:No AdsAccess to over 60 ThemesUpload pictures and files to your homework and classesClass Schedule Widget for Today's Classes
myHomework accounts with ads are available free of charge. We also offer an ad-free service for those that wish to pay. Once an account's paid ad-free time has expired, they will begin to see ads again.
Permissions:Course Location - used to help find schools and classes nearbyAccounts - used to prepopulate email address when signing upInternet - used to sync with myhomeworkapp.comPhone State - used to get the identifier of the device
Do you forget your school agenda? Have trouble when you study reading what you wrote in your planner? Are you looking for a replacement to that paper student planner, school diary, or academic agenda? myHomework is just what you're looking for.
The clean interface and design make this app great for college, high school, or middle school. This homework agenda contains additional features that make it easy to use for high school students with a block class schedule. Keeping track of assignments has never been better! With myHomework, you'll never forget to study again.
The myHomework student agenda is today's students favorite way to focused, reduce anxiety and study better. With this school agenda, the information normally hidden in the academic planner is now available everywhere.
Using myHomework as a school organizer makes keeping track of what assignments to do easier than ever before. With myHomework, when it's time to study, you won't waste any time trying to remember what to work on.
Improve your study habits; start using myHomework to track your assignments today!
Download Today!
VIDEO-The New Climate Economy Report 2014
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:18
IntroductionBut such a positive future is not guaranteed. Indeed, from the perspective of many economic decision-makers today, the outlook is troubling. Since the financial crash of 2008 and the recession that followed it, many countries have been struggling to achieve sustained prosperity. Job creation and productivity growth are widely inadequate, and inequality is rising in many places. Many low-income countries no longer know if they will be able to replicate the successes of middle-income countries. 3 Extreme poverty, low employment levels, and poor health and education outcomes are persistent problems.
Many emerging economies also fear getting stuck in an outdated model of economic development. It is striking that of over 100 countries labelled ''middle-income'' half a century ago, only 13 have since achieved high-income status. 4 Many have found it difficult to pursue sufficient investment in public services to meet the expectations of their rapidly expanding middle classes. Air pollution has also emerged as a major economic and social cost, with outdoor pollution alone linked to nearly 4 million premature deaths per year. 5
Meanwhile, most high-income countries are struggling with weak, unevenly distributed economic growth. Fragile public finances and continuing high levels of public and private debt are compounded by anxieties over competitiveness, inadequate investment in infrastructure renewal, and the pressure of ageing populations. 6
Then there are the unprecedented risks posed by climate change. The strong growth of the global economy before the financial crisis was accompanied by a marked surge in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 7 Most of this came from the growing use of fossil fuels, along with other sources including agriculture, deforestation and industry. If current emission trends continue unchecked, the resultant increase in average global temperature could exceed 4°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. This would be more than double the 2°C rise that world leaders have set as a limit to avoid the most dangerous climate impacts. 8
The risks associated with such warming are very large. They range from an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, to severe pressures on water resources, reductions in agricultural yields in key food-producing regions, and losses of ecosystems and species. Changes in seasonal weather and precipitation patterns are already being observed, which can greatly affect rural livelihoods. Some additional warming is unavoidable due to the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere. 9 Climate risks increase disproportionately as temperatures rise, becoming particularly high above 3°C of warming, as irreversible ''tipping points'' may be reached such as the collapse of ice sheets and resulting sea-level rise. 10
It is very difficult to estimate the economic costs of such effects, as there are many uncertainties. But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that the likely costs of just 2°C of global warming would be of the order of 0.5''2% of global GDP by the middle of the century, even if strong adaptation measures are taken. Once warming has proceeded beyond this, the costs will rise further '' though the IPCC finds there is too much uncertainty to estimate reliably by how much. 11 What the IPCC does confirm is that climate change impacts will affect the world's poorest people the most; they are already doing so. But countries at all income levels face serious climate risks, as recent studies of the United States (among others) have shown. 12
Effective adaptation will be crucial to tackle the effects of warming already built into the climatic system, but it is not enough. Without stronger mitigation efforts in the next 15 years, which lead global emissions to peak and then begin to decline, the risk of exceeding 2°C of warming will greatly increase. 13 Delay in managing climate risk only worsens the problem. It increases the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and their warming effect. And it makes it harder and costlier to shift course later on, 14 as the stock of high-carbon assets '' and the number of people whose wealth and livelihoods depend on them '' keeps growing, and low-carbon research and development (R&D) continues to lag.
The time to tackle climate risk is therefore now. Yet climate change is rarely the top priority for those whose decisions most affect it. Most policy-makers and business leaders face more immediate issues and risks. Many have understandable concerns about actions or investments which, whatever their long-term benefits, could involve short-term costs or loss of competitiveness. And they face particular barriers to addressing a problem, such as climate change, that requires international cooperation. This is particularly true for those in developing countries, which have not been historically responsible for causing climate change, and which still face huge challenges in reducing poverty and raising living standards. They want to be sure that wealthier countries will do their fair share, and will provide adequate finance to support poor countries' efforts.
The challenges for economic decision-makers are thus profound. Can they overcome current economic problems and establish new models of growth? Can they, simultaneously, act to reduce climate risks?
The evidence presented in this report shows the answer to both questions is ''yes''. The structural and technological changes unfolding in the global economy, combined with multiple opportunities to improve economic efficiency, now make it possible to achieve both better growth and better climate outcomes. The purpose of this report is to help economic decision-makers, in both the public and private sectors, make the most of this opportunity '' and do so now.
Economic growth and climate changeThere is a perception that strong economic growth and climate action are not, in fact, compatible. Some people argue that action to tackle climate change will inevitably damage economic growth, so societies have to choose: grow and accept rising climate risk, or reduce climate risk but accept economic stagnation and continued under-development.
This view is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the dynamics of today's global economy. It is anchored in an implicit assumption that economies are unchanging and efficient, and future growth will largely be a linear continuation of past trends. Thus any shift towards a lower-carbon path would inevitably bring higher costs and slower growth.
But ''business as usual'' in this sense is an illusion. New pressures on resources, changing structures of global production and trade, demographic change and technological advances have already altered countries' growth paths. They will make the future inescapably different from the past.
The reality is that under any circumstances the next 15 years will see major structural transformations in the global economy. As population growth and urbanisation continue, global output is likely to increase by half or more. 15 Rapid technological advances will continue to reshape production and consumption patterns. Total investment in the global economy is likely to be of the order of US$300''400 trillion. 16 Of this, around US$90 trillion is likely to be invested in infrastructure across the cities, land use and energy systems where emissions will be concentrated. The global scale and speed of this investment will be unprecedented: it will inevitably result not in incremental or marginal changes to the nature of economies, but in structural ones.
But what kind of structural changes occur depends on the path societies choose. There is not a single model of development or growth which must inevitably follow that of the past. These investments can reinforce the current high-carbon, resource-intensive economy, or they can lay the foundation for low-carbon growth. This would mean building more compact, connected, coordinated cities rather than continuing with unmanaged sprawl; restoring degraded land and making agriculture more productive rather than continuing deforestation; scaling up renewable energy sources rather than continued dependence on fossil fuels.
In this sense, the choice we face is not between ''business as usual'' and climate action, but between alternative pathways of growth: one that exacerbates climate risk, and another that reduces it. The evidence presented in this report suggests that the low-carbon growth path can lead to as much prosperity as the high-carbon one, especially when account is taken of its multiple other benefits: from greater energy security, to cleaner air and improved health.
Identifying key drivers of changeThis analysis rests on a considerable body of experience and research on the relationship between economic growth and development, and climate action. This includes academic literature as well as policy and business reports by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations agencies, multilateral development banks, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and many others. 17 The Commission's work has drawn extensively from this body of applied economic learning, as well as from many interviews with economic decision-makers in governments, city and subnational authorities, and businesses, and with investors across the world.
A central insight of this report is that many of the policy and institutional reforms needed to revitalise growth and improve well-being over the next 15 years, can also help reduce climate risk. In most economies, there are a range of market, government and policy failures that can be corrected, as well as new technologies, business models and other options that countries at various stages of development can use to improve economic performance and climate outcomes together. These opportunities exist in the short (less than 5 years), medium (5''15 years) and long term (greater than 15 years), as the various chapters of this report show. They require good policy design and implementation across three main drivers of change:
Raising resource efficiency: Market failures and poorly designed policies combine in many economies to distort the efficient allocation of resources, and also increase GHG emissions. Competitive markets in which prices reflect the full costs of production allow resources to flow to where they are most productive. Artificially low fossil fuel prices, for example, encourage wasteful energy use. This means there are both economic and climate benefits to be achieved by phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. A strong and predictable price on carbon '' achieved through nationally appropriate taxes or emissions trading schemes '' can raise new revenues while discouraging fossil fuel energy use. Policies to promote energy efficiency can free up resources for more productive uses and, if designed well, can be particularly beneficial to people on low incomes.Investing in low-carbon infrastructure: Productive infrastructure underpins modern economic growth. Low-carbon forms of infrastructure, particularly in energy supply, buildings and transport, are crucial to reducing GHG emissions trajectories. Yet many countries today are struggling to mobilise finance to meet infrastructure needs of any kind. This is not due to a shortage of capital in the global economy. It results, in many countries, from lack of public financing capacity, and policies and regulations, that make them unduly high-risk investments for private investors. Financial innovations, including green bonds, policy risk-sharing instruments and special-purpose vehicles that align the risk profile of low-carbon assets with the needs of institutional investors, can lower financing costs by up to 20%. 18 In middle-income countries, national development banks, sovereign wealth funds and other public institutions are playing a vital role in reducing financing costs.Stimulating innovation: Innovation is a core driver of economic growth, and will be crucial to enabling continued growth in a world of limited natural resources. Digital technologies, materials science and innovative business models hold particular promise for the low-carbon economy, and are already making an impact. For example, new and improved materials have driven down the cost and improved the performance of wind and solar energy, leading to a surge in global investment in renewables. 19 The potential is enormous, but technology will not automatically advance in a low-carbon direction. There are real barriers, including the sunk costs and entrenched incentives for incumbent high-carbon technologies. Policy interventions are needed to remove these barriers and accelerate the pace of low-carbon innovation, including clear and strong intellectual property rights regimes, updated standards and regulations, and increased public spending on low-carbon research and development (R&D), particularly in energy.The report's analysis focuses on three key economic systems which will be the locations of much of the growth in the global economy over the coming decades, and which are also the sources of most global GHG emissions. They are:
Urban systems, from rapidly growing emerging cities to global ''megacities'', whose population is set to grow by more than 1 billion over the next 15 years. 20 Cities are crucial engines of growth and prosperity. They generate around 80% of global economic output, 21 and around 70% of global energy use and energy-related GHG emissions. 22 But much urban growth today is unplanned and unstructured, with significant economic, social and environmental costs. There is now powerful evidence that more compact and connected urban development, built around mass public transport, can create cities that are economically dynamic and healthier, and have lower GHG emissions.Land use systems, which provide the world's food, timber, and many other important products and materials, as well as vital ecosystem services such as water purification and climate regulation. Agriculture, forestry and other land use also account for a quarter of global GHG emissions. 23 Global agricultural productivity will have to rise by almost 2% per year to keep up with projected food demand. 24 Yet roughly a quarter of the world's agricultural land is severely degraded, 25 and 13 million hectares of forests are cleared each year. 26 Climate change also poses enormous challenges. Adopting ''climate-smart'' agriculture techniques, restoring degraded farmland, and curbing deforestation and forest degradation can all help raise productivity and boost rural incomes while reducing GHG emissions.Energy systems, which power growth in all economies. Energy production and use already account for two-thirds of global GHG emissions, 27 and over the next 15 years, global demand for energy is expected to rise by 20''35%. 28 Meeting that demand will require major new investment, but energy options are changing. Fast-rising demand and a sharp increase in trade have led to higher and more volatile coal prices, 29 and coal-related air pollution is a growing concern. At the same time, renewable energy, particularly wind and solar power, is increasingly cost-competitive, in some places now without subsidy. Greater investment in energy efficiency has huge potential to cut and manage demand, with both economic and emissions benefits. Taking advantage of new technologies to provide modern energy services to the 1.3 billion people who still have no electricity, and 2.6 billion who lack modern cooking facilities, is also crucial for development. 30The large investments to be made in the next 15 years in these three systems make this a critical time for defining countries' economic trajectories. Many of these investments will involve capital assets that last three to four decades or longer. They will thus play a key role in shaping the performance of the global economy not just in the next 15 years, but for the next half-century. The carbon-intensity of those investments, meanwhile, will largely determine the scale of future climate risk.
Figure 1Three critical economic systems and three key drivers of change
Note: Cities include urban transport, and land use includes forests; innovation includes economy-wide innovation.
The Commission's work has focused on these three systems and on the drivers of change that are crucial to transforming them. But those drivers of change also have a broader role to play across the economy. For example, innovations in products and processes are already transforming the economic and emissions performance of energy-intensive process industries such as steel, aluminium, cement and chemicals, and will be central to future growth and emissions reduction. 31
Making it happenStrengthening growth and tackling climate risk are therefore not just compatible goals; they can be made to reinforce each other. However, this will not happen automatically. It requires policy-makers to adopt an explicitly low-carbon pathway in economic policy. All three drivers need to be harnessed across all three economic systems. Above all, credible and consistent policy signals must be sent to businesses and investors.
This is essential: government-induced uncertainty is the enemy of investment, innovation and growth. The current vacillating and mixed signals on climate policy in many countries, especially in terms of a predictable carbon price, pose a significant dilemma for investors. In the long run, there is a significant risk that high-carbon investments may get stranded as climate policy is strengthened. But in the short run, many low-carbon investments are riskier and less profitable than they might be with strong climate policies. This uncertainty has raised the cost of capital and encouraged investors to hedge their bets between high- and low-carbon assets. Investment, jobs and growth all suffer as a result.
The conclusion that growth and climate goals can be mutually reinforcing is not surprising in the long run, beyond 15 years ahead. As the impacts of climate change grow larger, the potential harm to economies will increase. What this report shows, however, is that low-carbon policies can also generate strong growth in the medium term (5''15 years), provided that governments make the necessary policy and investment choices. Building more compact cities with good public transport, for example, not only reduces GHGs, but also allows people to move faster and more efficiently from home, to jobs, to shops and services; it reduces traffic congestion and air pollution, and it provides new business opportunities around transport hubs. Harnessing domestic renewable energy resources can boost energy security and reduce trade deficits. There is growing evidence that clean-tech R&D has particularly high spillover benefits, comparable to those from robotics, information technology (IT) and nanotechnologies.32
Even in the short term (the next five years), there are multiple opportunities to advance both economic and climate objectives by correcting market failures and policy distortions. No economy today is perfectly efficient, and many efforts to make key resources more affordable '' such as by subsidising fossil fuels, water or fertilisers '' have the unintended consequence of promoting inefficiency and waste. Policies to support established businesses may stifle competition from low-carbon innovators. Lack of coordination across levels of government and between neighbouring communities can lead to scattered development and sprawl, increasing the cost of infrastructure and public service delivery. Better policy design can correct these problems, increasing economic efficiency while lowering GHG emissions.
Of course, there are also many trade-offs. There are many immediate ways to achieve strong growth with higher emissions. Not all climate policies are ''win-win''. The low-carbon transition will have winners and losers, and these costs will have to be faced and managed, as we discuss in more detail below. But short-term policies which weaken the prospects for stronger economic performance in the medium and long term also have real costs which should be properly acknowledged. Over time, growing climate change impacts will disrupt industry, farms and communities, with disproportionate harm to low-income countries and people, and require even greater government intervention. In such a context, it is unwise to be short-sighted.
Decoupling growth from carbon emissionsThe evidence for these conclusions has been accumulating over the last decade. The theoretical basis for them has been known for some time. What is new is the practical experience around the world. National and local governments as well as businesses that have adopted lower-carbon strategies and policies have found them associated with economic performance as good as or better than their high-carbon peers'. 33 Much of this has been driven by recent technological advances. The decoupling of growth from carbon emissions in some of the best-performing economies, both in Northern Europe and in North America, demonstrates the gains that can be made in incomes, jobs, rates of innovation and profits from a low-carbon, resource-efficient model of growth. 34
Lower-carbon growth will look different in low-, middle- and high-income economies, and according to national circumstances. The Commission's work has drawn on national studies in countries as diverse as Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, the Republic of Korea and the United States. All exhibit multiple opportunities to achieve strong economic performance while reducing GHG emissions, but with very different policy, sectoral and investment mixes.
One question that arises from this analysis is whether lower-carbon forms of growth cost more than higher-carbon ones, in the sense of requiring greater capital expenditure. Analysis for the Commission shows that, in fact, the difference in infrastructure investment needs is likely to be relatively modest. As noted earlier, an estimated US$90 trillion will be invested in infrastructure in 2015''2030 (about US$6 trillion per year); a shift to low-carbon investments would add about US$4 trillion (about US$270 billion per year). 35 That would be less than a 5% increase in projected aggregate infrastructure investment requirements (see Figure 2).
The reason for this is that the higher capital costs of renewable energy and more energy-efficient buildings and transport systems would largely be offset by lower energy supply requirements due to energy efficiency savings, reduced fossil fuel investment, and the shift to better-planned, more compact cities. And there could be additional savings in operating costs once investments are in place '' for example, from shifting to renewable energy sources and away from fossil fuels. These savings could potentially completely offset the additional capital investments. 36 Still, the costs will need to be financed, which for many developing countries will require international support. We discuss this further below.
Figure 2Capital requirements of a high- and a low-carbon scenario
Source: Climate Policy Institute and New Climate Economy analysis based on data from IEA, 2012, and OECD, 2006, 2012. 37
The quality of growthThe transformational changes proposed in this report offer an opportunity not just to drive economic growth defined in terms of incomes and GDP, but to achieve multiple benefits, improving human well-being more widely. This underpins the Commission's concept of ''better growth'': growth that is inclusive (in the sense of distributing its rewards widely, particularly to the poorest); builds resilience; strengthens local communities and increases their economic freedom; improves the quality of life in a variety of ways, from local air quality to commuting times; and sustains the natural environment. All these benefits matter to people, but they are largely invisible in GDP, the most widely used measure of economic output.
In this sense the quality of growth matters as much as its rate. That means decision-makers need better tools to evaluate the impact of specific policies and actions, and to track economic performance more broadly. The Commission therefore supports the development and use of a wider set of economic indicators. If high rates of growth, for example, result in high levels of air pollution or environmental degradation, or if the rewards of growth are not widely distributed to reduce poverty and unemployment, it is legitimate to ask whether the economy is truly performing well. By the same token, if GDP growth is slower but other indicators show improvements, economic performance may be regarded as superior. These are judgements which people and governments will make in their own ways. 38
History suggests that societies tend to place more value on the quality of growth as they become wealthier: with their basic needs met, they can afford to address a broader set of concerns. The Commission's analysis suggests that countries may want to place greater weight on the quality of growth earlier in their development journey, given the economic costs of air pollution, congestion, land degradation, deforestation, and other problems.
Many of the investments and policies discussed in this report will be particularly valuable to the poorest and most vulnerable people in developing countries: smallholder farmers whose crops are increasingly threatened by land degradation and climate change; the 350 million people who live in (and often depend on) forests; 39 the billions who lack modern cooking facilities, electricity or both; 40 and low-income urban residents who rely on public transport. The low-carbon economy can help reduce poverty and raise living standards in many ways, such as through ''climate-smart'' agriculture, payments for ecosystem services, off-grid renewable energy solutions, and bus rapid transit (BRT) systems, among many others.
The potential for a low-carbon transition to improve air quality in particular is significant. As noted earlier, rapid economic growth based on fossil fuels has led to severe air pollution in many middle-income countries. New analysis for the Commission values the health and mortality burden of air pollution in the 15 top GHG-emitting countries at an average of 4.4% of GDP (see Figure 3). In China this rises to more than 10% of GDP. 41 Substituting coal by natural gas and especially low-carbon energy sources such as renewables, hydropower and nuclear can therefore lead to major improvements in public health.
Figure 3Cost of mortality from outdoor air pollution, 2010
Note: The estimate is for mortality from particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure in particular, which was also the focus of recent World Health Organization mortality estimates. Source: Hamilton, 2014. 42
Of course air quality can also be improved by interventions which do not lower GHG emissions, such as ''end-of-pipe'' pollution controls and relocation of coal-fired power stations and heavy industry away from urban areas. Realising the twin benefits of lower carbon emissions and improved health requires deliberate policy choices. Research carried out for the Commission in China suggests that doing both together is often the most cost-effective option. 43 It is clear that air pollution increases the ''real cost'' of fossil fuel use. For example, in large parts of Southeast Asia, coal-fired power costs as little as US$60''70 per MWh, but even conservative accounting for air pollution in 2030 adds a cost of US$40/MWh, enough to bridge or exceed the cost gap to alternative power sources. 44
A related example is in urban transport. The Commission's analysis of urban development planning shows cities that control sprawl and are built around efficient public transport systems can both stimulate economic performance (by reducing traffic congestion, making journeys shorter, and reducing fuel costs) and reduce GHG emissions. 45 But they are also likely to improve air quality, reduce road accidents (a major source of death and injury, particularly in developing countries 46), and generate higher quality of life for residents. This, in turn, can make them more attractive to businesses and their potential employees.
These examples illustrate the potential for a lower-carbon development path to generate multiple benefits. Indeed, for most city authorities and energy and environment ministries now pursuing air quality and urban development policies throughout the world, climate change is rarely the primary reason for taking action. The reduction in carbon emissions is in effect a co-benefit of policies designed to meet other economic and social goals.
Like development more generally, low-carbon growth can increase or reduce vulnerability to climate change, depending on the choices made. 47 A crucial first step is to ''climate-proof'' low-carbon investments '' to ensure that new infrastructure, for example, is resilient to future climate change, and that it does not leave people more vulnerable to hazards. In some cases, simple precautions will suffice, such as avoiding construction in areas prone to flooding or landslides; at other times projects may prove unviable, such as a hydropower station on a river with diminishing flows. There are also potential measures with multiple benefits: increasing resilience, supporting growth and lowering emissions. For example, climate-smart agriculture practices such as minimising tillage and planting trees on and around farmland can boost crop yields, reduce the need for inputs, increase soil carbon storage, and reduce vulnerability to drought. 48 In general, there is a strong convergence between the goals of low-carbon development and environmental sustainability.
Managing the transitionThe processes of economic change discussed in this report contain four sets of variables that standard economic models do not handle well, either individually or in combination: the processes of structural transformation, the dynamics of technological change and innovation, the local and global economic impact of growing climate risk, and the valuation of non-market outputs (such as better air quality), including the trade-off with market outputs.
There is growing evidence to suggest that such models tend to overestimate the costs of climate action and underestimate the benefits. Yet even recognising this bias, the models suggest that growth and climate action can work together. In the short term, most economic models show that low-carbon pathways have higher initial rates of investment, which reduce current consumption, but have the potential to raise consumption in the medium- to long term. Some economic models that allow for efficient, fiscally neutral recycling of carbon revenues tend to show low-carbon policy (such as carbon pricing) only slightly reducing or actually increasing growth rates, even in the short run. 49
In the longer term, even so-called ''general equilibrium'' models (which rather unrealistically assume that economies operate at more or less perfect efficiency at all times, and struggle to integrate the dynamic increasing returns associated with disruptive technological change), predict that the difference between global GDP in low- and high-carbon scenarios by around 2030 is only around 1''4%. 50 Given how much the economy will have grown by then, that is not large: it is equivalent to reaching the same level of GDP 6''12 months later. 51 Those models which have attempted to incorporate the impacts of climate change itself show, perhaps unsurprisingly, that global GDP could perform better in lower-carbon scenarios than in higher-carbon ones, as the costs of climate impacts in the latter grow over time. 52
Economic modelling also suggests that low-carbon policies will create employment opportunities in some sectors, while in others, they will be lost (or not created). But most models suggest that the overall effects, even of strong low-carbon policies, are small, generally around plus or minus 1''2% of total employment. They depend partly on the kinds of policies adopted: some analyses suggest that using carbon pricing revenues to cut other, distortionary taxes can lead to net growth in employment in some cases. Other models show small net losses. In both cases the impact of low-carbon policy is dwarfed by the much larger effects of macroeconomic and labour market policies, and changes in the structure of economies. 53
But the fact that in relation to the economy as a whole, the net employment impacts of low-carbon policies are small does not mean that they are unimportant. On the contrary, in some sectors, the impact on jobs is likely to be significant. 54 Employment in the coal sector, which is still relatively labour-intensive in developing countries but already highly mechanised in developed economies, will almost certainly decline even beyond the job reductions that technological change would anyway cause. Employment in heavy and energy-intensive industrial sectors is also likely to be affected, as the shift to a low-carbon economy would probably shrink the relative share of these industries in the economy over the long term. At the same time, the relative value of companies involved in the fossil fuel sector in general (oil and gas as well as coal) is likely to decline over time, as future demand falls.
There is no doubt that this will create real challenges in countries where these sectors are important. Governments may need to support affected industrial sectors in developing new lower-carbon strategies, particularly to exploit the potential for technological innovation in products and processes. 55 Owners of fossil fuel assets (including governments and pension funds), and public authorities dependent on tax revenues and royalties from these sectors, will need to develop long-term transition strategies. These processes will be gradual, taking place over decades, but the earlier they are set in motion, the lower the costs will be.
There will also be many job gains. The evidence shows that investment in low-carbon energy sources and energy efficiency is a major source of job creation. For example, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that almost 6 million people were directly employed in the renewable energy sector in 2012, including over 1.7 million in China. 56 This is approaching the number of people employed in the coal industry. 57 As developed countries have adopted low-carbon measures, there has been a little-noticed but remarkable growth in employment in a wide range of businesses in the ''low-carbon sector''. 58 As the transition to a lower-carbon economy accelerates, this pattern of job creation and business expansion is likely to be replicated more widely.
These relative shifts in employment between sectors will require active management by governments to ensure the political viability of a low-carbon transition. Explicit measures will be need to be implemented to support and compensate workers displaced as a consequence of the shift towards a lower-carbon economy, and communities affected by industrial decline. 59 These might include direct financial assistance, retraining and reskilling, and investment in community economic development. 60
Strategies of these kinds to achieve a ''just transition'', tailored to different sectors in different countries, will need to be developed by governments at both the national and sub-national levels. More generally, it will be important for economic policies to encourage and support the redeployment of both labour and capital into new and growing sectors as others decline. Such policies, including those which stimulate open and competitive markets, are not only good for growth, but will also significantly reduce the costs of adjustment to a low-carbon economy.
''Just transition'' strategies will also need to ensure that support is provided to low-income households affected by rising energy and resource prices. Higher prices are the likely consequence of two kinds of policies which the Commission argues will be essential for a low-carbon transition: the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, and the introduction of carbon pricing. The Commission fully recognises the political difficulties associated with such policies. It is particularly sensitive to the challenges faced by low-income countries, given their more limited institutional and financial resources, and the urgency of addressing extreme poverty.
However, the Commission is also encouraged by success stories in both developed and developing countries. Ghana and Indonesia, for example, have succeeded in reducing fossil fuel subsidies by using part of the revenues released to provide conditional cash transfers and other forms of financial assistance to low-income households. 61 A number of countries and states, such as Sweden and British Columbia in Canada, have used the revenues from carbon pricing policies or other sources of expenditure to compensate households and to subsidise energy efficiency measures, which can help cut overall energy bills. 62
Social protection policies of these kinds designed to manage the transition to a lower-carbon economy in a fair way are integral components of the policy toolkit which governments will need. Experience in almost all countries which have been through a process of economic restructuring shows that it is the distributional impacts on those sectors and communities adversely affected by change which make them politically tough to carry through. Every country will need to find its own context-specific strategies to manage these consequences.
The transition to a lower-carbon economy will be particularly difficult for low-income countries whose principal challenge remains the reduction of poverty. The Commission strongly believes that the developed world has an obligation to provide developing countries with additional financial, technical and capacity-building support to enable them to finance lower-carbon and more climate-resilient investment strategies.
Developing countries will especially need support in financing capital-intensive low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure assets. This reinforces the need for good, predictable regulatory arrangements which can attract private capital, alongside flows of long-term, concessional, international public climate finance. International climate finance flows need to increase sharply if climate risk is to be reduced and developing countries are to achieve lower-carbon and more climate-resilient development paths. The developed countries will need to set out a pathway to show how they will achieve their agreed goal of mobilising US$100 billion per year in public- and private-sector finance by 2020.
Reducing climate riskThe analysis conducted for the Commission suggests that, in many of the most crucial fields of growth over the coming 10''15 years, there are significant actions and policies which can drive both strong economic performance and reductions in the trajectory of GHG emissions. But how far can emissions be reduced by these methods? Would this be enough to prevent what the international community has described as the risk of ''dangerous'' climate change? 63
Answering this question requires, first, an idea of the trajectory of emissions which would be consistent with the international goal of holding the average global temperature rise to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial times. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s review of recent emission projections suggests that if current trends continue, global emissions in 2030 will be around 68 Gt CO2e, compared with around 50 Gt CO2e today. 64 To have a likely (more than two-thirds) chance of holding the average global temperature rise to 2°C, the IPCC suggests that by 2030, global emissions should be no more than 42 Gt CO2e per year. That would require a reduction in emissions over the ''base case'' of 26 Gt CO2e by 2030.
To achieve this target, the carbon productivity of the world economy (defined in terms of US$ of world output/tonnes of GHG emissions) would need to increase by about 3''4% per year until 2030, compared with a historic 25-year trend of around 1% per year. 65 In 2030''2050, the improvement in carbon productivity would need to accelerate again, to around 6''7% per year, to stay on track. 66
Against this background, the Commission's research programme has sought to calculate the emissions reductions which the most significant measures and actions set out in this report might have the potential to achieve by 2030, compared with the standard ''base case''. All of the actions included in these calculations '' in the fields of urban development, land use change, energy investment and specific forms of innovation in manufacturing and services '' have multiple economic benefits. That is, all of them provide benefits not just in terms of standard economic indicators, but in other welfare-enhancing factors, such as reductions in rural poverty, improvements in health from better air quality, lower urban traffic congestion and the protection of ecosystem services. While some may have a small net cost considered in narrow economic terms, all can therefore make a strong claim to contribute to higher-quality growth. Another way of putting this is that governments, cities and businesses would have strong reasons to implement them even without consideration of their climate change benefits.
In total, the emissions reductions estimated to be available from the principal measures and actions described in this report add up to 14''24 Gt CO2e, depending on the extent to which the measures are implemented (see Figure 4). This range is equivalent to at least 50% and potentially up to 90% of the emissions reductions needed by 2030, as discussed above, for a two-thirds or better chance of keeping global average warming below 2°C. It must be stressed that the high end of the range would require early, broad and ambitious implementation of those measures and actions. That, in turn, would require decisive policy change and leadership, and rapid learning and sharing of best practice, combined with strong international cooperation, particularly to support developing countries' efforts.
Calculations of this kind cannot be precise, which is why the figures come with a broad range. They depend on assumptions about what happens in the ''base case'', how far specific kinds of measures can be implemented and at what cost, the level of emissions they will generate, the underlying economic conditions (including growth rates and energy prices), and how rapidly technological changes may occur. They also depend on judgements of how the multiple economic benefits of these measures and actions should be valued. But with all these caveats, the figures do provide an indication of the scale of reductions potentially available.
Figure 4Emissions abatement potential of measures proposed in this report up to 203067
On their own, these measures would not be sufficient to achieve the full range of emissions reductions likely to be needed by 2030 to prevent dangerous climate change. But this report has not sought to examine every currently available option for emissions reduction. By the second half of the 2020s, technological change will almost certainly have led to new possibilities not known today. Thus, it is more or less impossible to estimate the economic costs and benefits of all the additional emissions reductions which may be required by 2030.
But it is clear that achieving the total mitigation needed may require actions with net economic costs. Buildings will have to be more deeply retrofitted with energy efficiency measures than could be justified otherwise. Coal- and gas-fired power stations will have to be retired early, or fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology whose sole purpose is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Industrial, agricultural and transport emissions will need stronger reductions. These costs will be the ''pure'' costs of reducing severe climate risk, justifiable only for that reason.
Most of the economic models which have attempted to estimate the net costs of achieving a likely 2°C pathway suggest that they are relatively small, amounting to 1''4% of GDP by 2030. 68 They are almost certainly outweighed by the future economic damages associated with warming of more than 2°C that they would avoid. Still, the likelihood that actions with net costs will be needed suggests that investment in R&D on key technologies such as CCS should be scaled up considerably today.
The areas on which this report focuses involve the fundamental drivers of both growth and emissions over the long term. The low-carbon transition will not end in 2030. Much deeper reductions will be required in later years, to take global emissions down to less than 20 Gt CO2e by 2050 and near zero or below in the second half of the century.69 The measures and actions proposed in this report would help countries lay the groundwork by 2030 '' in urban policy and design, land use, energy systems, economic policy, finance and technological innovation '' to facilitate further climate action from 2030 onward.
Box 1 '-- Quantifying multiple benefits and emission reduction potential from low-carbon actionsThe research undertaken for the Commission has sought to arrive at some broad, preliminary estimates of the scope for countries to undertake reforms and investments that are likely to yield significant economic, health and other benefits, while also helping curb greenhouse gas emissions. It draws upon a survey of relevant technical literature to arrive at monetary estimates of the multiple benefits per tonne of CO2 abated, related to the following actions:
Improved health due to lower local air pollution resulting from reductions in coal use;Rural development benefits from better land management practices as well as forest restoration, afforestation and measures to restore degraded land linked to REDD+;Benefits from reduced volatility of energy prices due to lower use of fossil fuels; andBenefits from reduced air pollution, avoided accidents, and congestion due to shifts in transport modes '' from driving to walking, cycling and public transport. 70The results are presented by adjusting the Marginal Abatement Cost Curve (MACC) developed by McKinsey & Company. 71 Each of the blue bars in Figure 5 shows the estimated incremental cost in 2030, relative to the high-carbon alternative, of abating an extra tonne of CO2 through a specific technique or action, and the total technical abatement potential it offers. The incremental cost estimate per tonne in 2030 is based on the difference in operating and annualised capital costs between the low- and high-carbon alternatives, net of any potential savings associated with the shift to low-carbon. The red bars show the additional co-benefits associated with various abatement options, such as the health benefits from reduced local air pollution. The original McKinsey cost curve is inverted, so that methods with net benefits appear above the axis and those with net costs below, and the value of the multiple benefits is included where relevant. Thus, the chart becomes a ''marginal abatement benefits curve''.
The curve shows that not only are there many abatement options that create net benefits in narrow economic terms, but there are many more '' and the economic welfare gain becomes significantly larger '' once co-benefits are included. A number of options with net costs in the ''narrow'' sense become net benefits when co-benefits are taken into account, such as reduced deforestation, recycling of new waste, and offshore wind. For energy-efficiency options, the inclusion of co-benefits can as much as triple the overall benefit.
The quantification of co-benefits undertaken here is of an exploratory nature. The coverage of co-benefits is incomplete, and various implementation issues have not been taken into account. The approach does not incorporate transaction costs, nor does it attempt to show how different sequencing or combinations of measures might give better overall results. However, it does provide a directional sense of which measures might be more attractive and cost-effective, as well as their rough contribution to meeting 2030 abatement goals. The analysis strengthens the case that policy-makers have a broad array of reform and investment options to further economic welfare while abating GHG emissions. This analysis may be particularly helpful for highlighting options where narrowly defined economic benefits are low or negative, but where the co-benefits are significant.
Figure 5Marginal abatement benefits curve for 2030 72
LeadershipThe case for acting to drive growth and climate risk reduction together is very strong. But time is not on the world's side. The next 10-15 years will be critical.
Major shifts in the structure of economies are not unprecedented. Over the last 30 years, many developed and developing countries have undergone structural economic transformations. The evidence suggests that both well-functioning markets and well-governed public institutions are vital. Public debate, broad political support and thriving civil society organisations can make a huge difference to the chances of success.
The role of businesses in this transition is particularly important. Many companies, of all sizes in all countries, have already begun to move onto low-carbon and climate-resilient paths. Many of those that have gone furthest have found the outcomes powerfully positive for their ''bottom lines'', reducing input costs, stimulating innovation and helping to address other risks. 73 Many business actions require government regulation or incentives to make them feasible '' but it is incumbent on responsible companies to support the adoption of those policy frameworks, rather than oppose them, as is often the case. Many companies have made progress in reporting on their environmental and social impacts. But such reporting remains optional and in many cases partial. It now needs to be standardised and integrated into core financial reporting requirements.
This needs to be part of a more comprehensive reframing of the rules and norms of economic life. The metrics which governments, businesses, finance institutions and international organisations use to assess their performance, and the risks to which they are exposed, need routinely to incorporate a more sophisticated understanding of how economic and business outcomes relate to environmental impact. 74
Above all, a global transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient development path will need to be underpinned by an international agreement committing countries to this collective economic future. Such an agreement could act as a powerful macroeconomic instrument, reinforcing domestic policy and sending a strong and predictable signal to businesses and investors about the future direction of the global economy. The signalling effect of such an agreement would be valuably increased if it included a long-term goal to reduce net GHG emissions to near zero or below by the second half of this century. 75 The agreement must be equitable, and developed countries must provide strong climate finance to developing countries, for adaptation, mitigation and capacity-building.
Each chapter of this report makes recommendations in specific areas of policy and action; several are included in the summaries in Part II. The recommendations have been distilled into a 10-point Global Action Plan, presented in Part III.
The wealth of evidence presented by this report shows that there is now huge scope to meet countries' economic and social goals while also reducing climate risk. Economic leaders have a remarkable opportunity to achieve better growth and a better climate.
VIDEO-Edward Snowden's Bizarre Conception of Human Rights | The Rancid Honeytrap
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:02
In the wake of Kim Dotcom's Moment of Truth, and the stern talking-to Snowden gave New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in Glenn Greenwald's blog, let's put aside, for today at least, the disquieting implications of timing NSA Leaks to increase political leverage for a wealthy crony. Instead, let's reflect on Snowden's latest patronizing and deeply wrong lesson in How Democracy Works. The following is from his portion of MOT, which happened today in New Zealand:
it's collecting the communications of every man, woman, and child in the country of New Zealand, and you know, maybe, the people of New Zealand think that's appropriate, maybe they think they want to sacrifice a certain measure of their liberty and say, it's ok, if the government watches me. I'm concerned about terrorism; I'm concerned about foreign threats. We can have people in every country make that decision because that's what democracy is about. That's what self-government is about, but that decision doesn't belong to John Key or officials in the GCSB, making these decisions behind closed doors, without public debate, without public consent. That decision, belongs exclusively to the people of that country. [interrupted by applause] and I think it's wrong of him, I think it's wrong of any politician, to take away the people's seat at the table of government'...[later in the vid] It doesn't matter, necessarily, if there's mass surveillance in New Zealand if the people say they want it'...
Uh, no. Sorry Ed. This is not ''what democracy is about'', or if it is, fuck democracy. Even if you concede the starry-eyed notion that the citizens of any country have a ''seat at the table of government'', such that they can ratify or reject what their spy agencies do, that does not rightfully empower an acquiescent majority to vote away basic human rights for everyone else, any more than white people can, in the spirit of ''self-government'', nullify voting rights for black people. This is some basic shit here, so it's truly depressing that the audience, joined by Glenn Greenwald and Kim Dotcom, interrupted Snowden to applaud this nonsense.
This is among the things that is so bothersome about the Snowden spectacle. Alongside the now laborious variations on what is essentially the same story, there has been an endless stream of infantilizing, deeply conservative lessons in the proper way to blow whistles; on the necessity, and essential good intentions, of the Intelligence Community; and about this ''debate'' out of which we will ultimately decide whether we want basic human rights or not.
Lest people think I'm nitpicking, Snowden has expressed the political philosophy quoted above before. From an article about Snowden in the New York Times:
''So long as there's broad support amongst a people, it can be argued there's a level of legitimacy even to the most invasive and morally wrong program, as it was an informed and willing decision,'' he said.
From the Guardian interview that introduced him:
The public needs to decide whether these policies are right or wrong.
Can we at least advance a grade? I mean if Snowden is going to continue to teach this lesson, can the class press him on what constitutes consent and also on the means by which we're to express it?
Snowden's political philosophy illustrates a problem with whistleblowers: they're the kind of people who get into the sort of deep, dark places from which whistles customarily get blown. Ellsberg was deep inside the war bureaucracy after hanging out in Vietnam with his mentor, notorious psychopath Edward Lansdale and other thugs. Manning was an Army Intelligence Analyst in Iraq. John Kirakou had spent a decade in the CIA before blowing the whistle on torture. Snowden has spent his entire working life in various arms of the security apparatus. I appreciate their service to the truth, but with all due respect, these are not generally my kind of people. Unless they completely repudiate their past lives, some residue of what took them into empire's belly is going to stick. This would be fine, were some not also inclined to hold forth on how the world should work, and their admirers exceptionally inclined to take them seriously because of their heroic deeds.
From what we've seen so far, Snowden's only beef with the security apparatus is bulk collection conducted by a single agency. And even that's ok if ''the people'', through some unspecified means, ''consent.'' That makes the Snowden Affair a narrowly circumscribed debate. For over a year now Greenwald has belittled anyone who objects when Snowden injects his retrograde doctrine into the ether along with his secrets. Greenwald has a weird doctrine of his own, to the effect that one can't take issue with anything Snowden (or Greenwald) says until one has blown a whistle oneself. This credentialing of opinion-having is preposterously stupid under any conditions, equivalent to insisting one must hold high office to criticize the president. In light of how conservative Snowden's doctrine is, and the weightiness his stature gives it, attempts to stifle discussion are particularly pernicious. As the leaks now morph into strategically timed campaign fodder in another country's election, debate seems more warranted than ever.
Here's the video. The remarks quoted above are around 1:09:24.
Another Snowden News Story, Another Lesson in Proper Whistleblowing
Good Whistleblower/Bad Whistleblower
In Conclusion
About these ads
AUDIO- Prince Ea - The World is Coming to an End | Prince Ea
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:50
aboutSpoken Word Poem
credits released 09 September 2014
tagslicenseall rights reserved
VIDEO-Cup Chaos: Watch 'Miss America's Bizarre Version of 'Happy' | Rolling Stone
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:44
By Ryan Reed | September 15, 2014Clap along if you feel like a cup without a beat: Miss New York Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America on Sunday night, thanks in part to a bizarre talent segment involving a red Solo cup and Pharrell's soulful pop smash "Happy."
RelatedWatch Weird Al's Pharrell Parody Video
The performance above finds the 23-year-old Manhattan native sitting cross-legged on the stage, banging that frat party staple on the floor while attempting the song's ubiquitous vocal riffs. In an homage to Anna Kendrick's audition scene from the 2012 musical-comedy PitchPerfect, Kazantsev claps her hands and smacks the cup in "time," building to a messy breakdown wherein the downbeat dissolves into pure rhythmic chaos.
"The reason why I chose to do that talent is I wanted every single little girl in America to be able to see that you can do that talent '-- you can do whatever talent you want on national television '-- even with a red cup '-- and still be Miss America and have the time of your life," Kazantsev told The Associated Press. "I literally in that minute and 30 seconds had the most fun I've ever had, and that's because I stayed true to myself and I did what I wanted to do for my talent, no matter what everybody else told me, and it paid off. I'm very happy about it."
Kazantsev may have taken home the crown (and a $50,000 scholarship) on Sunday night, but the decision wasn't unanimous on Twitter: As noted by New York Daily News, the hashtag #solocup became a trending topic after her controversial cup performance, with viewers weighing in on the merits of such a skill.
Other contestant talents included the usual variety '' playing the piano, acting, dancing. But Miss Ohio Mackenzie Bart took a less conventional route, becoming the first ventriloquist on the show in 50 years with her creepy version of the Mary Poppins tune "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," assisted by a wisecracking puppet named Roxy.
AUDIO-START AT 17 MINS-Why Morten Storm joined Al Qaeda, then the CIA | The Current | CBC Radio
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 01:31
By the time Morten Storm began to doubt extremists, he was in Al Qaeda's highest circles but working for the other side - the CIA. We've just been through a weekend with news of yet another ISIS beheading. The most-wanted-terrorists have new names, new affiliations ..Morten Storm's experiences offer insight into their world and the world of those trying to stop them.
Morten Storm pictures above with other Danes declared enemies of Islam. (Courtesy of Atlantic Monthly Press)
"I'm back Obama, and I'm back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State. Just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people."
Jihadi John, a militant with ISISHe's known as Jihadi John, a militant with ISIS and familiar to many in the west for his gruesome and menacing videos.
This past weekend, a man - believed to be Jihadi John - was in a new video showing the killing of British aid worker David Cawthorne Haines. The London accent suggests he's a so-called Western Jihadi, one of many believed to be fighting on the battlefields of Syria.
They're from Britain, from Canada, from Denmark, like our next guest....though his story from inside that world of radical Islam is a different one.
"My life has always been radical. I knew that the only person who could get close to these people were people like me. I carried out a mission that led them to the world's most wanted terrorist."
Agent Morten StormMorten Storm grew up in Denmark, converted to Islam and found his way to Yemen and Al Qaeda's top leadership. But he subsequently had a dramatic loss of faith. He says he then became a double agent, spying for western intelligence.
Now, he's come out of the shadows to tell his story in a new book, Agent Storm: My Life Inside Al Qaeda and the CIA, and Morten Storm joined us from our studio in London.
This segment was produced by The Current's Peter Mitton.
The $250 000 CIA reward for the Aminah mission. (Courtesy of Atlantic Monthly Press)
Morten Storm protesting outside US Embassy in London in 2005. (Courtesy of Atlantic Monthly Press)
VIDEO-Expect the Unexpected: More 9.0 Megaquakes Are Coming, Study Says - NBC News.com
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 01:14
No one should be surprised if a magnitude-9 megaquake erupts off America's West Coast '-- or anywhere else around the Pacific Ocean's "Ring of Fire," for that matter.
That's the upshot of a study in October's issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America: Researchers say that computer models of future seismic activity, plus a check of past activity going back thousand of years, suggest most of the Pacific's earthquake zones are capable of generating shocks at least as strong as magnitude 9 every 10,000 years on average.
Seismologists were surprised in 2004 when a magnitude-9.3 quake and tsunami devastated Sumatra and caused more than 200,000 deaths around the Pacific Rim. They were surprised again in 2011 by Japan's 9.0 quake and tsunami, which killed more 15,000 people and touched off a nuclear catastrophe that continues to this day.
In each case, experts didn't think the area where one geological plate is diving beneath another '-- known as a subduction zone '-- was capable of generating a quake that strong.
Talking about probabilitiesA research team led by Yufang Rong, a seismologist at FM Global's Center for Property Risk Solutions, addressed the bigger picture: They ran computerized Monte Carlo simulations using historical seismic data from subduction zones around the Pacific to estimate the maximum earthquake magnitude over a variety of time spans.
In addition to coming up with the 10,000-year figure for the probability of 9.0 quakes, they estimated that quakes of at least magnitude 8.5 should be expected at least every 250 years, and 8.8 quakes should be expected every 500 years.
In a news release, Rong cautioned that those figures were merely estimates based on statistical distribution. "Just because a subduction zone hasn't produced a magnitude 8.8 in 499 years, that doesn't mean one will happen next year," she said. "We are talking about probabilities."
The estimates don't apply to land-based seismic faults such as the ones that gave rise to last month's 6.0 quake in Napa, California. Nor do they apply to California's more famous San Andreas Fault. But they do apply to the Cascadia subduction zone that lies off the coast of Washington state. That area is known to have given rise to a magnitude-9ish quake back in the year 1700 '-- a temblor that set off a tsunami so large it raised sea levels on Japan's coast.
Catastrophe in Cascadia?If such a quake were to hit today, experts estimate that it could kill more than 10,000 people and cause $80 billion in damage in Oregon and Washington alone.
John Vidale, director of the Seattle-based Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, told NBC News that the newly published research was "pretty much in line" with what he and his colleagues have expected from the Cascadia subduction zone.
Rong and her colleagues compared their figures with the sedimentary record for the Cascadia zone, and came up with estimates that were somewhat different for that area. They said that 9.0 quakes should be expected every 1,000 years for Cascadia, with 9.3 quakes over a 10,000-year period.
Rong et al. / Esri / USGS / NOAAA map indicates the locations of seismically active subduction zones around the Pacific "Ring of Fire," including the Cascadia subduction zone, indicated as No. 3.
"In a sense, it's a check on their methodology," Vidale said. "A 9 every 500 to 1,000 years is already about what we expect in Cascadia."
Vidale said the bottom line from the latest research is that "we know less than we claim about how big different earthquakes can be in different parts of the world."
That means the traditional way of designing structures to be earthquake-proof may have to change. In the wake of 2011's Japan earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, experts and regulators are already coming around to the concept of "expecting the unexpected."
"They may have been designing for the most likely number, but there could be a bigger earthquake that comes along. ... It's going to be hard to rule out a 9 in a lot of places," Vidale said.
First published September 15 2014, 3:33 PM
VIDEO-FCC proposal on net neutrality draws millions of comments
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 01:04
GWEN IFILL: The public is making itself heard in the big debate over what's called net neutrality, or how content should be delivered over the Web.Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission proposed allowing the creation of faster and slower traffic lanes on the Web. Companies could charge more for faster delivery. Today was the last day for comments. The issue may sound arcane, but it has apparently struck a chord. More than three million comments have been registered at the FCC. That's so far.
Hari Sreenivasan, in our New York studios, turns to a well-known tech writer and columnist to find out why.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Joining me now is David Pogue, founder of Yahoo Tech.
So, I know you have done this with sock puppets before, but imagine if you could without the sock puppets, the net neutrality debate. What is it?
DAVID POGUE, Yahoo Tech: Well, net neutrality is this principle, very complicated, very legal, that all Internet traffic should be un '-- should be equivalent.
So, it shouldn't matter whether you're Netflix or whether you're some startup. The carriers of your Internet signal, Comcast, Verizon, and so on, should treat it all the same, just in the same way they wouldn't presume to decide what you can say on your phone call or bill them differently.
So, since the beginning of the Internet, this is how it's worked. All Internet traffic is treated and charged the same.
HARI SREENIVASAN: That's the status quo.
DAVID POGUE: That's the status quo.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And the proposed rules would do what?
DAVID POGUE: So, the cable companies and, like, Verizon and Comcast, they are saying, well, wait a minute, Netflix is responsible of 30 percent of all data going on our pipes. Shouldn't they pay more?
So, they '-- so the FCC has now said, OK, OK, OK, here's the thing. There are no current rules specifying whether or not there's net neutrality. It's just always been. So let's put some laws down. And we're going to say is, yes, in general, we're in favor of all Internet traffic being treated equally.
However, you, the Verizons and Comcasts, it's OK with you to make side deals with the biggest Internet service providers like Netflix and YouTube and to charge them more for the right to have their data go stutter-free and faster. They want to create a faster lane for Internet companies who want to pay more.
And that's very upsetting to many consumer groups, who are saying, well, what that means is, A, we're going to pay more on our end, the consumers, and, B, what about little interesting startup companies, the next Facebook, the next Twitter? They don't have the big bucks to pay for the fast lane. You're going to stifle those startups.
HARI SREENIVASAN: OK. And so the Verizons of the world are saying what? No, actually, these are the costs that we need to have to make sure the infrastructure survives?
DAVID POGUE: The Verizons are saying, dudes, we're building out for the next generation. We're building better towers, faster pipes. We need money, which they really don't. Verizon's profit last year was $11 billion. Comcast's was $8 billion or so.
So they're doing just fine. The really interesting thing is we were this close to having net neutrality written into law. So, in 2010, the FCC said, OK, guys, net neutrality, here's the law. And a district court threw it out, not because they didn't believe in the principle, but because the FCC itself '-- this is where it gets complicated, so I speak slowly.
The FCC itself years before that had classified Internet providers like Verizon, not as utilities like phone companies, but instead as an information service, like a TV studio or something. Therefore, the court said, so it's not that we don't believe in your rule. It's, you don't have the jurisdiction to govern them.
You yourself classified them as not a utility where you would be able to govern them, but as an information service. It's not your business.
HARI SREENIVASAN: OK. So if these rules were to change, what's an example of something that would be different for Joe consumer?
DAVID POGUE: It's already begun.
So, Netflix is now paying Comcast, not because it had to, but because it wanted to, for faster delivery, stutter-free delivery of Netflix videos. Netflix didn't like doing this, but the data showed that Netflix streams were getting slower and slower and slower to people, so they felt they had to.
So, inevitably, what the answer is higher prices. It's going to mean we pay more, if these deals, if this FCC rule is permitted to go through.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And there's also this concern now that some of these people, like Comcast, for example, also own content creators, so they could maybe favor one over another?
DAVID POGUE: This is where it gets even more complicated.
Yes, Comcast owns NBC, so what's to stop Comcast from helping NBC's signal get through faster and stutter-free and maybe slowing down PBS' just a little bit?
HARI SREENIVASAN: Now, that said, Tom Wheeler, the head of the FCC, has said, no, I'm telling you, that is not going to happen. We're going to write that into the rules. Right?
So, Tom Wheeler is the new head of FCC. He is in the guy in charge of writing this stuff. He's the guy '-- this is a big perception problem '-- he spent 30 years before this job as chief lobbyist for the telecommunications and cable companies. It's the fox guarding the henhouse. Or at least that's how it's perceived.
But, yes, he says, no, no, no, no, that's not going to happen, we promise. We're for an open Internet, he says. So his argument is we have put this clause in, as long as it's commercially '-- commercially reasonable, these side deals will be permitted, commercially reasonable. But we won't let anything bad happen, he's saying. So he's asking us to trust them.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So, during this open comment period, it has been amazing to see hundreds of thousands of e-mails, comments, phone calls to Congress.
Are you surprised? This is a relatively, as you said, kind of a wonkish technology corner.
DAVID POGUE: Part of the problem is that it's very complicated. It's very legal, it's wording, it's a long history. It's the way the government works behind the scene suddenly being thrust into the faces of the public.
So there's a bad guys/good guys picture that is being painted here. It's more nuanced than that and it's more complicated than that. So, Tom Wheeler is not saying you're going to pay more and the cable companies win. It's not that simple. But that is how it's being reduced, right? It's being reduced to a black hat/white hat situation. It's more complicated.
I bet many of the people commenting at FCC.gov don't fully understand the history, the business about classification as a utility, all that stuff. But at center, I can say for sure that if the FCC's rules go through as proposed, we will wind up paying more, and, yes, the little interesting Internet startup companies will need more money to get into those fast lanes.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, David Pogue of Yahoo Tech, thanks much.
DAVID POGUE: Thank you.
VIDEO-WTF-Snowden-Assange- The Moment of Truth - YouTube
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 23:58
VIDEO-Miss America contestants nailed tough questions about ISIS, sexual assault and Ray Rice - Salon.com
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 23:56
For the third consecutive year, Miss New York won the Miss America title on Sunday night, passing the torch of youth and beauty and all things Americana from Nina Davuluri to Kira Kazantsev. The real news from the competition, though, was the lightning round of questions and answers, in which the top five contestants are expected to give polished, meaningful, yet diplomatic responses to questions about complex subjects in just 20 seconds. While the questions ranged from ISIS to gun control to domestic violence, these ladies not just nailed it, but also gave a surprising amount of nuance in their responses. Politicians '-- take note.
Kazantsev, whose talent involved singing ''Happy'' while playing a red cup, dazzled judges the most by highlighting sexual assault in the military as an issue that men in Congress need to address.
VIDEO-'Django' actress defends not giving cop ID - CNN.com
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:16
Daniele Watts insists she has a right to refuse to give police her IDLos Angeles police officer told her he had probable cause to request her ID"I can't make out with my boyfriend in front of my f--king studio?" she yelledA citizen called to report "a male white and female black" having sex in public, police sayLos Angeles (CNN) -- "Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts defended her refusal to show her ID to Los Angeles police before they handcuffed her last week.
The African-American actress and her white boyfriend accused police of racism for questioning them in what they said was only a public display of affection.
"I believe in America and what it stands for," Watts said Monday in an interview on CNN's "New Day."
Police responded to a citizen complaint that "a male white and female black were involved in a sexual act inside a Mercedes" outside the gate of CBS Studio Center on Thursday, according to a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department.
Legal experts said the officer had the right to request identification if he suspected illegal behavior, but audio of part of the encounter with police, published by TMZ, revealed that Watts did not believe so.
"Somebody called, which gives me the right to be here," the unidentified Los Angeles police officer is heard saying to Watts. "So It gives me the right to identify you by law."
"Do you know how many times the cops have been called just for being black?" she responded.
"Who brought up the race card?" the officer said.
"I'm bringing it up because I have every right to be here," Watts said.
When the officer again asked for her ID, the actress responded, "You can take me down to the court office, and I can make a scene about it. And you know what? I have a publicist, and I work as an actor in this studio."
The officer, who patrols a neighborhood home to many A-list celebs, including George Clooney and Miley Cyrus, seemed unmoved by the prospect. "I'm mildly interested you have a publicist, but I'm going to get your ID," he told her.
"No, I'm going to say no, and if you'd like my ID you can say that I'm resisting arrest," she said.
"There's no resisting, you're just interfering," he said. "I have probable cause; we received a radio call."
Watts called her father. "I can't make out with my boyfriend in front of my f--king studio?" she is heard yelling to her father. "I don't have to give him my ID because it's my right to sit on the f--king street corner and make out with my boyfriend. That's my right."
"Keep yelling, it really helps," the officer then said.
Watts was eventually handcuffed and placed in a patrol car. She was released a few minutes later when her boyfriend relented and gave the officer her ID.
A Los Angeles police representative told CNN on Sunday that officers from its North Hollywood precinct were responding to a citizen complaint.
"There was an indication on the radio call that a male white and female black were involved in a sexual act inside a Mercedes with the vehicle door open," Officer Sally Madera said. "Two people were briefly detained, but it was revealed no crime had been committed."
Watts' boyfriend -- Brian James Lucas, better known as celebrity chef Cheffy Be*Live -- wrote in a Facebook post that police "saw a tatted RAWKer white boy and a hot bootie shorted black girl and thought we were a HO (prostitute) & a TRICK (client)."
The couple posted a short video clip and several photos showing Watts in handcuffs talking to police. One image shows a cut on her wrist, which she said was caused by the tight handcuffs.
Watts, who acts in the FX show "Partners," said the officers "accosted me and forced me into handcuffs" after she refused "to agree that I had done something wrong by showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place."
Lucas said when an officer asked for their identifications, he showed his that but Watts refused "to give it because they had no right to do so."
"So they handcuffed her and threw her roughly into the back of the cop car until they could figure out who she was," he wrote. "In the process of handcuffing her, they cut her wrist, which was truly NOT COOL!!!"
She was released "quite quickly when they realized we were right outside CBS and that she was a celebrity and I was a celeb chef," Lucas wrote. "Before they figured out who she was they were threatening calling an ambulance and drugging her for being psychologically unstable, SO NOT COOL WHATSOEVER! "
Watts and Lucas said they initially decided to forget about the incident, but then they decided they needed to speak up.
"We still forgive, love and bless them ... just not putting up with this for our own freedom and heart space," Lucas wrote.
The couple has contacted lawyers, the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP, he said. "Our publicist has us in contact with media about it, too, and we're supposed to hear back."
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed it is conducting an internal investigation.
Watts, a native of Atlanta, made her feature film debut in 2012 as Coco in the Oscar-nominated "Django Unchained."
Hollywood couple stopped by police, say they were racially profiled
VIDEO- Siemens iSensoric presenteert Tomatofest Amsterdam 2014 - YouTube
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:56
VIDEO-Feds step up terrorist recruitment fight in U.S. - POLITICO.com
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:43
The U.S. Government is planning to step up its fight against recruiting of Americans by groups like the Islamic State in the Iraq and the Levant, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday.
In a video message posted on the Justice Department's website, Holder said a series of cities "across the nation" will be be chosen to participate in a pilot program that will involve an extra effort to combat the message of groups like ISIL and to intervene with those susceptible to that message before they take action.
"These programs will bring together community representatives, public safety officials, religious leaders, and United States Attorneys to improve local engagement; to counter violent extremism; and '' ultimately '' to build a broad network of community partnerships to keep our nation safe," Holder said. "Under President Obama's leadership, along with our interagency affiliates, we will work closely with community representatives to develop comprehensive local strategies, to raise awareness about important issues, to share information on best practices, and to expand and improve training in every area of the country....Ultimately, the pilot programs will enable us to develop more effective '' and more inclusive '' ways to help build the more just, secure, and free society that all Americans deserve."
(Also on POLITICO: War debate headed past elections)
A Justice Department official said the specific communities participating in the new effort will not be announced until next month. Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that the White House will host a conference in October on what government officials refer to as "countering violent extremism."
The same official said the new pilot program is aimed at broadening current outreach efforts to involve more people from outside the ranks of law enforcement. "This new initiative will supplement existing efforts by engaging the resources and expertise available from a range of social service providers including education administrators, mental health professionals, and religious leaders to provide more robust support and help facilitate community-led interventions," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
(Also on POLITICO: Brits mourn murdered hostage)
The U.S. Government's current efforts to stem terrorist recruitment and so-called "lone wolf" attacks by people receptive to extremist rhetoric have been criticized for being unfocused and underfunded. In addition, many experts have questioned whether U.S. Attorneys'--the top federal prosecutors in various communities'--are best-suited to lead the government's anti-extremism campaign.
Many leaders in the Muslim community are reluctant to work with prosecutors because of deep concern over Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operations used to target potential terrorists. However, efforts in the U.S. to use means other than traditional law enforcement to intervene with individuals susceptible to extremist messages have been few, due to concerns about civil liberties as well as fears about what could happen if that kind of intervention failed in a specific case.
(Also on POLITICO: Iran rejects U.S. call to fight ISIL)
Holder's statement Monday seemed to acknowledge some of those concerns. While the outreach efforts are expected to focus primarily on communities with large Muslim populations, his video message made no reference to the religion aside from his use of the acronym for the terrorist group which has grabbed attention for its brutal tactics assembling territory across Syria and Iraq.
"As we move forward together, our work must continue to be guided by the core democratic values '' and the ideals of freedom, openness, and inclusion '' that have always set this nation apart on the world stage," Holder said. "We must be both innovative and aggressive in countering violent extremism and combating those who would sow intolerance, division, and hate '' not just within our borders, but with our international partners on a global scale. And we must never lose sight of what violent extremists fear the most: the strength of our communities; our unwavering respect for equality, civil rights, and civil liberties; and our enduring commitment to justice, democracy, and the rule of law."
Read more about: Justice Department, Eric Holder, Muslims, Propaganda, Counterterrorism, U.S. Attorneys, ISIL, Countering Violent Extremism
VIDEO-Middle East - Kerry seeks Egypt's help in Islamic State battle - France 24
Sun, 14 Sep 2014 14:20
(C) AFP / Mohamed El-Shahed | US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on September 13, 2014 in Cairo
Speaking in the capital Cairo, the US Secretary of State said that ''as an intellectual and cultural capital to the Muslim world,'' Egypt has a ''critical role'' to play in denouncing the extremist group's harsh ideology.
The United States wants Egypt to use its leading Islamic authority Al-Azhar, a thousand-year-old seat of religious learning, to send a message of moderation across the Middle East to counter Islamic State's extremist ideology.
Though Egypt is unlikely to send troops to battle the Islamic State group it could provide logistical and intelligence support to the coalition, while its experience with fighting terrorism within its own borders could prove valuable.
Cairo's involvement in the coalition may also help to soothe its relations with Washington, after the United States suspended '''' then restored '''' military aid when the army ousted elected Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.
Morsi's successor, the former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is fighting Islamist militants in the restive Sinai Peninsula who have expressed support for the Islamic State.
"Egypt is on the frontline of the fight against terrorism, particularly when it comes to fighting extremist groups in Sinai," Kerry told a news conference following talks with Sisi.
Egypt sees 'ties of cooperation' between terrorist groups
Speaking alongside Kerry, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said ties existed between Islamic State and other militants in the region and that global action was needed to counter the threat.
''Ultimately this extremist ideology is shared by all terrorist groups. We detect ties of cooperation between them and see a danger as it crosses borders,'' said Shukri.
''We believe that rejecting terrorism is a collective responsibility of all members of the international community. There should be definite steps to achieve this target.''
Egypt's call for international action could bolster Kerry's bid to gather support for President Barack Obama's plan to strike both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi frontier to defeat Islamic State Sunni fighters.
Kerry won backing on Thursday for a ''coordinated military campaign'' against Islamic State from 10 Arab countries '''' Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and six Gulf states including rich rivals Saudi Arabia and Qatar '''' while France and Britain have also offered varying degrees of support.
But it is unclear what role individual nations will play.
Obama's plan to fight Islamic State simultaneously in Iraq and Syria thrusts the United States directly into the midst of two different wars, in which nearly every country in the region has a stake, alliances have shifted and strategy is dominated by Islam's 1,300-year-old rift between Sunnis and Shiites.
Islamic State is made up of Sunni militants, who are fighting a Shiite-led government in Iraq and a government in Syria led by members of a Shiite offshoot sect.
Turkey reluctant
Kerry's visit to Cairo followed a trip to Turkey Friday, a country that could also play a key role in any military operation against extremists in the region.
However, Turkey, which has the second-largest armed forces in the NATO military alliance after the United States and hosts a major US Air Force base at Incirlik in its south, has so far conspicuously avoided committing to any military campaign.
The country has backed mainly Sunni rebels fighting against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Although it is alarmed by Islamic State's rise, Turkey is wary about any military action that might weaken Assad's foes, and is concerned about strengthening Kurds in Iraq and Syria.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil told Reuters some Arab states at talks in Jeddah on Thursday had proposed expanding the campaign to fight other Islamist groups besides Islamic State, a move Turkey would also probably oppose.
Egypt would welcome any move that would further isolate the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that the army removed from power last year.
Egyptian authorities have cracked down on the Brotherhood, killing hundreds of members and jailing thousands of others. Egypt has declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group.
Qatar has asked seven senior figures from Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to leave the country, the movement said on Saturday, following months of pressure on the Gulf Arab state from its neighbours to stop backing the Islamists.
Date created : 2014-09-13
No Agenda - Social Media - YouTube
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:45
VIDEO-As many as 700 migrants feared drowned in Mediterranean - Yahoo News
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 02:05
î'HomeMailNewsSportsFinanceWeatherGamesGroupsAnswersScreenFlickrMobileMoreî‚CelebrityMoviesMusicTVHealthStyleBeautyFoodTechShoppingTravelAutosHomesSign InîšMailîŒHelpAccount InfoHelpSuggestionsPhone Number*Only U.S. numbers are accepted.
EmailSubmitAdd to calendar


Load image
Load image

Agenda 21

Naomi Klein Climate Change rap.mp3


FED AUDIT-BILLS-113hr24rh.pdf


Book Talk on ISIS-Every Spy a Prince.mp3
CNN hypes ISIS video and lays on the FEAR PR0N.mp3
CNN ISIS Code-Peanut Butter and Jelly.mp3
Comey basement package.mp3
Comey on the terrorist canser metastisis.mp3
Comey with more metaphors for cyber.mp3
Console Wars - Adam-short.mp3
Crosstalk RT Oklahoma scholar on shite sunni problem.mp3
Holder on HVE.mp3
ISIL Neck Saw.mp3
Jeh Jonson & Comey-be bad ass.mp3
Madcow intros ISIL Flames of War trailer and doesnt stop.mp3
Nelson asks McCain about Covert Training of FSA.mp3
Obama-crappy read of how cool we are.mp3
Obama-Do it for the children.mp3
Peter King flub FEAR pr0n.mp3
Rep McCall mag is Jihad Cool.mp3
Rosen- Jen Psaki Truth Slip.mp3

Common Core



Josh Earnest-Ebola Top National Security Priority.mp3
Obama - No Dwadle on Ebola.mp3
Scott Gotlieb-AEI-Ebola Afrika and USA.mp3


Phantom Vibration Syndrome.mp3
Tim Cook -Added More Con [charlie rose].mp3

JCD Clips

bill mahr attacks fox news comes up with new thing.mp3
Charlie rose pushing starbucks native ad.mp3
Ebola strins query leads to attack point dominican republic.mp3
Guess the TV show.mp3
kid left behind on field trip revelation.mp3
kira singing.mp3
MAD GUNMAN in PA rudown ABC News.mp3
McCain versus Dempsey round TWO.mp3
McCain vs Dempsey round ONE.mp3
nelson attacks mccain.mp3
Q&A 1-arkansas.mp3
Q&A 2 florida.mp3
Q&A 3 NY.mp3
Q&A virginia best and worst.mp3
scotland wrap.mp3
Teaser for madman on the loose.mp3
the real skanks.mp3
tim cook on back doors.mp3
Uber story.mp3

Obama Nation

Richard Mac on Thom -Sherrifs.mp3

Shut Up Slave!

Bleu de Chanel Cologne sets of TSA alarms.mp3
Loading troll messages...