Art for episode 740

740: Losers to Lions

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 45m
July 19th, 2015
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Executive Producers: Paul Opgenhaffen

Cover Artist: Thijs Brouwers

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Las Vegas Meet Up | No Agenda CD.com
Tue, 14 Jul 2015 21:50
We are having a No Agenda meetup in Las Vegas this August during DEFCON 23! We will start things off at 6pm on Saturday, August 8th at The Encore Lobby Bar and Caf(C) located in the Encore Resort Casino. Planning to attend? Let us know by emailing noagendacd@gmail.com or finding us on Twitter: @noagendacd. We are hoping to have No Agenda CDs and T-shirts for everyone (if they are ready in time'...) so let us know your size. Shirt size, not CD size.
Hail Apple!
Click here to see if Adam is coming this year!
TODAY
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SWAG
Urban Dictionary: SWAG
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 02:08
The most used word in the whole fucking universe. Douche bags use it, your kids use it, your mail man uses it, and your fucking dog uses it. If you got swag, you generally wear those shitty hats side way, and your ass hanging out like a fucking goof cause your pants are half way down your white ass legs. To break down the word, it means (Secretly We Are Gay). It is also a word that means to represent yourself/ the way you represent yourself, baggy clothes, shitty hats, small penis and basically a way to say your afraid to come out of the closet.
Assface Magee: I got so much swagDarrel: You got so much dick in your assAssface Magee: Fuck you, SWAG
A stupid saying that's overused. People 90 per cent are dumb teenagers, 10 per cent are little ass kids trying to be cool use it for EVERYTHING and also as their facebook name thinking that shit's cute: 'I just opened a cabinet, SWAG.' 'I just fell down, lol, SWAG.' 'SWAGNIFICENT' '(your name) idontgiveafuq gotsswagg' 'lives in swagtown' 'works at swagville' 'That show was so SWAG.' 'I just finished brushing my teeth, SWAG.' 'Hey guys, just woke up, SWAG.' 'Lol, I got kicked out of class, SWAG.' 'I cursed the teacher out, SWAG.' 'Tumbling on tumblr in class, SWAG.' '(your name) the swag god' 'texting in class, SWAG' ... 'SWAG.' You don't have no motherfucking swag.You: 'I got swag.'Me: 'That's because you're a fucking retard trying to be like the rest of the try hards thinking their dumb ass have swag.'
Orginally from the Scottish slang word "swagger" which was a description of the way some Scots walk (in a swaying motion), the word was then misinterpreted by the English as "the way someone presents themselves". Eg, whether someone looks cool.The word quickly made its way to the states and has ever since become the catchphrase of douchbags and tools everywhere.Person 1: "I think that guy off Jersey Shore has swag"Person 2: "You're a dick"An acronym created by a group of men in the United States during the 1960's that means Secretly We Are Gay
"Mark, Joey and I are swag"
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YOUR NO AGENDA SHOW
The concept of a broadcast network has been inverted
Affiliates used to distribute centralized programming
The listeners have now become contributing affiliates
The Affiliates are "producing" the programming
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Theodore Kasczinski "Industrial Society and Its Future"
Smith Mundt Act - A reminder that you are living in a Smith-Mudt Act repealed media landscape
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Propaganda in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:00
Propaganda in the United States is propaganda spread by government and media entities within the United States. Propaganda is information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to influence opinions. Propaganda is not only in advertising; it is also in radio, newspaper, posters, books, and anything else that might be sent out to the widespread public.
Domestic[edit]World War I[edit]The first large-scale use of propaganda by the U.S. government came during World War I. The government enlisted the help of citizens and children to help promote war bonds and stamps to help stimulate the economy. To keep the prices of war supplies down, the U.S. government produced posters that encouraged people to reduce waste and grow their own vegetables in "victory gardens." The public skepticism that was generated by the heavy-handed tactics of the Committee on Public Information would lead the postwar government to officially abandon the use of propaganda.[1]
World War II[edit]During World War II the U.S. officially had no propaganda, but the Roosevelt government used means to circumvent this official line. One such propaganda tool was the publicly owned but government funded Writers' War Board (WWB). The activities of the WWB were so extensive that it has been called the "greatest propaganda machine in history".[1]Why We Fight is a famous series of US government propaganda films made to justify US involvement in World War II.
In 1944 (lasting until 1948) prominent US policy makers launched a domestic propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the U.S. public to agree to a harsh peace for the German people, for example by removing the common view of the German people and the Nazi party as separate entities.[2] The core in this campaign was the Writers' War Board which was closely associated with the Roosevelt administration.[2]
Another means was the United States Office of War Information that Roosevelt established in June 1942, whose mandate was to promote understanding of the war policies under the director Elmer Davies. It dealt with posters, press, movies, exhibitions, and produced often slanted material conforming to US wartime purposes. Other large and influential non-governmental organizations during the war and immediate post war period were the Society for the Prevention of World War III and the Council on Books in Wartime.
Cold War[edit]During the Cold War, the U.S. government produced vast amounts of propaganda against communism and the Soviet bloc. Much of this propaganda was directed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover, who himself wrote the anti-communist tract Masters of Deceit. The FBI's COINTELPRO arm solicited journalists to produce fake news items discrediting communists and affiliated groups, such as H. Bruce Franklin and the Venceremos Organization.
War on Drugs[edit]The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, originally established by the National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988,[3][4] but now conducted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998,[5] is a domestic propaganda campaign designed to "influence the attitudes of the public and the news media with respect to drug abuse" and for "reducing and preventing drug abuse among young people in the United States".[6][7] The Media Campaign cooperates with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and other government and non-government organizations.[8]
Iraq War[edit]In early 2002, the U.S. Department of Defense launched an information operation, colloquially referred to as the Pentagon military analyst program.[9] The goal of the operation is "to spread the administrations's talking points on Iraq by briefing ... retired commanders for network and cable television appearances," where they have been presented as independent analysts.[10] On 22 May 2008, after this program was revealed in the New York Times, the House passed an amendment that would make permanent a domestic propaganda ban that until now has been enacted annually in the military authorization bill.[11]
The Shared values initiative was a public relations campaign that was intended to sell a "new" America to Muslims around the world by showing that American Muslims were living happily and freely, without persecution, in post-9/11 America.[12] Funded by the United States Department of State, the campaign created a public relations front group known as Council of American Muslims for Understanding (CAMU). The campaign was divided in phases; the first of which consisted of five mini-documentaries for television, radio, and print with shared values messages for key Muslim countries.[13]
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act[edit]The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Ad Council[edit]The Ad Council, an American non-profit organization that distributes public service announcements on behalf of various private and federal government agency sponsors, has been labeled as "little more than a domestic propaganda arm of the federal government" given the Ad Council's historically close collaboration with the President of the United States and the federal government.[17]
International[edit]Through several international broadcasting operations, the US disseminates American cultural information, official positions on international affairs, and daily summaries of international news. These operations fall under the International Broadcasting Bureau, the successor of the United States Information Agency, established in 1953. IBB's operations include Voice of America, Radio Liberty, Alhurra and other programs. They broadcast mainly to countries where the United States finds that information about international events is limited, either due to poor infrastructure or government censorship. The Smith-Mundt Act prohibits the Voice of America from disseminating information to US citizens that was produced specifically for a foreign audience.
During the Cold War the US ran covert propaganda campaigns in countries that appeared likely to become Soviet satellites, such as Italy, Afghanistan, and Chile.
Recently The Pentagon announced the creation of a new unit aimed at spreading propaganda about supposedly "inaccurate" stories being spread about the Iraq War. These "inaccuracies" have been blamed on the enemy trying to decrease support for the war. Donald Rumsfeld has been quoted as saying these stories are something that keeps him up at night.[18]
Psychological operations[edit]The US military defines psychological operations, or PSYOP, as:
planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.[19]
The Smith-Mundt Act, adopted in 1948, explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at the US public.[20][21][22] Nevertheless, the current easy access to news and information from around the globe, makes it difficult to guarantee PSYOP programs do not reach the US public. Or, in the words of Army Col. James A. Treadwell, who commanded the U.S. military psyops unit in Iraq in 2003, in the Washington Post:
There's always going to be a certain amount of bleed-over with the global information environment.[23]
Agence France Presse reported on U.S. propaganda campaigns that:
The Pentagon acknowledged in a newly declassified document that the US public is increasingly exposed to propaganda disseminated overseas in psychological operations.[24]
Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved the document referred to, which is titled "Information Operations Roadmap." [22][24] The document acknowledges the Smith-Mundt Act, but fails to offer any way of limiting the effect PSYOP programs have on domestic audiences.[20][21][25]
Several incidents in 2003 were documented by Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel, which he saw as information-warfare campaigns that were intended for "foreign populations and the American public." Truth from These Podia,[26] as the treatise was called, reported that the way the Iraq war was fought resembled a political campaign, stressing the message instead of the truth.[22]
See also[edit]References[edit]^ abThomas Howell, The Writers' War Board: U.S. Domestic Propaganda in World War II, Historian, Volume 59 Issue 4, Pages 795 - 813^ abSteven Casey, (2005), The Campaign to sell a harsh peace for Germany to the American public, 1944 - 1948, [online]. London: LSE Research Online. [Available online at http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/archive/00000736] Originally published in History, 90 (297). pp. 62-92 (2005) Blackwell Publishing^National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988 of the Anti''Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Pub.L. 100''740, 102 Stat. 4181, enacted November 18, 1988^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, footnote 6, page 3 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 (Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999), Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, pp. 9''10 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006, Pub.L. 109''469, 120 Stat. 3501, enacted December 29, 2006, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 1740^Barstow, David (2008-04-20). "Message Machine: Behind Analysts, the Pentagon's Hidden Hand". New York Times. ^Sessions, David (2008-04-20). "Onward T.V. Soldiers: The New York Times exposes a multi-armed Pentagon message machine". Slate. ^Barstow, David (2008-05-24). "2 Inquiries Set on Pentagon Publicity Effort". New York Times. ^Rampton, Sheldon (October 17, 2007). "Shared Values Revisited". Center for Media and Democracy. ^"U.S. Reaches Out to Muslim World with Shared Values Initiative". America.gov. January 16, 2003.
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CYBER!
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New Partnership to Help Fusion Centers Streamline Intelligence Gathering, Dissemination
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 03:38
The nation's 78 fusion centers have a new partner in the private sector. Cybersecurity firm FireEye announced July 16 a partnership with the National Fusion Center Association (NFCA) that will provide new resources to states and municipalities across the nation, and lead to the development of a new intelligence exchange network in California.
FireEye Chief Security Strategist Chad Holmes says the new partnership means his firm will help fusion centers streamline their intelligence gathering and dissemination.
''It not only gives them visibility into the threat landscape that we see on a global scale, but it also gives them information that they can use in their individual states or regions,'' Holmes said. ''It really gives them a better position or visibility around that cyberthreat landscape.''
Fusion centers often provide assistance in times of crisis, like during a cyberattack by another nation, hackers looking for valuable information or a politically motivated group. Many of today's fusion centers were created between 2003 and 2007 under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice to promote information sharing in the face of growing threats in the cyberlandscape.
''For example,'' Holmes said, ''if it's a hacktivist group like Anonymous going after a PD or if it's something like a Ferguson issue where you have these hacktivists going after their local area infrastructure, we're able to partner with them and provide counterintelligence around these individuals that may help them predict some of the behavior and block some of their activities during these situations.''
In addition to FireEye's national partnership, the firm will also work with the California State Threat Assessment Center to develop what it calls an Automated Threat Intelligence Exchange Network (ATIX).
''It consists of six of the regional intelligence centers," Holmes said, "and what we're doing [in California] is providing not just intelligence, but also technology that they can utilize to streamline their operations and their efficiencies. So now it gives them a better visibility into the threat landscape against their state, and it helps them provide a mechanism to practice and disseminate this threat intelligence down to their partners and their agencies in a real-time fashion."
The NFCA and FireEye will also create weeklong training sessions for cyberanalysts in each fusion center region. According to a FireEye press release, training will focus on ''cyberintelligence gathering, curating information and creating cyberintelligence products for dissemination.''
Sharing data quickly is crucial to responding to cyberthreats effectively, NFCA Executive Director W. Ross Ashley III said in the press release. ''The support FireEye provides at every level of government has proven invaluable in helping us to produce and share critical intelligence in order to keep our states secure."
Cybersecurity intern accused in huge hacking bust July 15
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 12:41
On Wednesday the U.S. Justice Department announced a massive international bust of Darkode, an online black market for hackers.
Among those charged with crimes was Morgan Culbertson, a 20-year-old from Pittsburgh. He's accused of creating a nasty malware that infects Android phones, steals data and controls the device.
Culbertson is currently a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He's a two-time intern at the cybersecurity software maker FireEye where he's been researching malware on Android smartphones, tearing apart viruses, and analyzing them.
According to federal investigators, Culbertson went on to create the infamous "Dendroid" malware. For $300, anyone who bought it could turn any legitimate Android app into malware. Buyers even got round-the-clock software support.
The Dendroid malware was so bad that the cybersecurity companies Trend Micro(TMICF) and Symantec(SYMC, Tech30) each issued separate reports and warnings about it. They cautioned that it allowed hackers to remotely -- and quietly -- take screenshots, photos, videos and audio recordings.
Hacker forums displayed Dendroid advertisement banners like this one.FireEye(FEYE) issued a statement to CNNMoney that confirmed its intern was charged. The firm said it was caught be surprise.
"Mr. Culbertson's internship has been suspended pending an internal review of his activities," FireEye said.
The concern now is that Culbertson has compromised FireEye's software -- and used the corporation's knowledge and tools for criminal hacking. According to his online resume, he worked with FireEye's elite Advanced Persistent Threat team, which investigates hackers and their tactics.
CNNMoney wrote an email to Culbertson but did not receive an immediate response.
Fellow interns at FireEye described Culbertson as "very technically capable." But they expressed shock at the criminal accusations, noting that Culbertson was sociable and not the kind of person who would knowingly cause such widespread damage.
Related: Hackers stole 1.1 million fingerprints from the federal government
Related: This company sells spy tools to evil governments
Related: How safe are you? CNN's cybersecurity Flipboard magazine
CNNMoney (New York)July 15, 2015: 5:58 PM ET
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DOD looks to new analytics center to tackle insider threat
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:21
Intelligence
DOD looks to new analytics center to tackle insider threatBy Sean LyngaasJul 16, 2015Defense Department officials hope a nascent analytics center will be a potent weapon in their war against unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information and other insider threats.
The Defense Insider Threat Management and Analysis Center (DITMAC) is meant to be predictive rather than reactive, with the help of big data advances and forthcoming policy guidance.
''We're very good at preventing what's already happened from happening again,'' said Mark Nehmer, DITMAC's deputy chief of implementation, ''and what we're working on now is preventing what we haven't seen before from starting to happen.'' He spoke July 16 at a Defense One event in Arlington, Va.
The analysis center grew out of a recommendation of the Pentagon review of the 2013 Navy Yard shooting. Last December, then-Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers directed the Defense Security Service to establish the DITMAC. The center is meant to provide a clearer view of the severity of myriad insider threats across the bureaucracy. DOD components will funnel insider-threat data to the DITMAC, which will query internal DOD records and outside information, analyze it, and send it back to the components for action, Nehmer explained. The analysis center will have ''initial operating capability'' in the fall, he said.
The DITMAC is in some ways the fulcrum of the Pentagon's efforts to manage ''the insider threat,'' a broad term that encompasses everything from leaking sensitive information to journalists to physical threats to government facilities. ''DITMAC operations, metrics and case studies will inform, support and enable [the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence's] management and oversight of DOD's insider threat program,'' defense officials said in a recent Government Accountability Office report.
But the DITMAC is just getting off the ground. Officials are still sorting out how it will interact with existing insider threat measures, said Carrie Wibben, director of the Security Policy and Oversight Division at OUSD(I). ''We don't want, for example, every single [DOD] component standing up their own IT system related to insider threat because then we have 42-plus to try to integrate and make interoperable,'' she said at the Defense One event.
The panel of officials acknowledged that collecting and analyzing more data on their employees risked at least a perception of being stifling or overbearing. Patricia Larsen, an intelligence official who co-directs the National Insider Threat Task Force, framed it as a question of messaging. The message to the national security workforce should stress that insider threat programs are about ''protecting the integrity of the workforce and the people and the information and the facilities that we have invested so much in,'' she said.
Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, told FCW that intelligence officials are aware of the risk of alienating employees with constant monitoring. ''I think that the ODNI folks are attuned to that hazard because it poses a risk to their whole enterprise,'' he said. ''If the insider threat program becomes too intrusive and too invasive, people are going to walk away, especially people who have options to work elsewhere are going to say, 'I don't want to put up with this.'''
Information sharing across DOD agencies looks to be a key hurdle to improving insider threat programs. A GAO analysis published July 16 concluded that ''DOD officials are not consistently using existing mechanisms to share information, such as lessons-learned information systems and antiterrorism web portals. Unless the military services consistently use existing mechanisms to share information on insider threats, U.S. installations may miss opportunities to enhance the department's ability to protect the force against such threats.''
About the Author
Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Follow him on Twitter: @snlyngaas
Obama collecting personal data for a secret race database | New York Post
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 07:13
A key part of President Obama's legacy will be the fed's unprecedented collection of sensitive data on Americans by race. The government is prying into our most personal information at the most local levels, all for the purpose of ''racial and economic justice.''
Unbeknown to most Americans, Obama's racial bean counters are furiously mining data on their health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods, even how their kids are disciplined in school '-- all to document ''inequalities'' between minorities and whites.
This Orwellian-style stockpile of statistics includes a vast and permanent network of discrimination databases, which Obama already is using to make ''disparate impact'' cases against: banks that don't make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks; cities that don't offer enough Section 8 and other low-income housing for minorities; and employers who turn down African-Americans for jobs due to criminal backgrounds.
Big Brother Barack wants the databases operational before he leaves office, and much of the data in them will be posted online.
So civil-rights attorneys and urban activist groups will be able to exploit them to show patterns of ''racial disparities'' and ''segregation,'' even if no other evidence of discrimination exists.
Obama is presiding over the largest consolidation of personal data in US history.
Housing databaseThe granddaddy of them all is the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing database, which the Department of Housing and Urban Development rolled out earlier this month to racially balance the nation, ZIP code by ZIP code. It will map every US neighborhood by four racial groups '-- white, Asian, black or African-American, and Hispanic/Latino '-- and publish ''geospatial data'' pinpointing racial imbalances.
The agency proposes using nonwhite populations of 50% or higher as the threshold for classifying segregated areas.
Federally funded cities deemed overly segregated will be pressured to change their zoning laws to allow construction of more subsidized housing in affluent areas in the suburbs, and relocate inner-city minorities to those predominantly white areas. HUD's maps, which use dots to show the racial distribution or density in residential areas, will be used to select affordable-housing sites.
HUD plans to drill down to an even more granular level, detailing the proximity of black residents to transportation sites, good schools, parks and even supermarkets. If the agency's social engineers rule the distance between blacks and these suburban ''amenities'' is too far, municipalities must find ways to close the gap or forfeit federal grant money and face possible lawsuits for housing discrimination.
Civil-rights groups will have access to the agency's sophisticated mapping software, and will participate in city plans to re-engineer neighborhoods under new community outreach requirements.
''By opening this data to everybody, everyone in a community can weigh in,'' Obama said. ''If you want affordable housing nearby, now you'll have the data you need to make your case.''
Mortgage databaseMeanwhile, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, headed by former Congressional Black Caucus leader Mel Watt, is building its own database for racially balancing home loans. The so-called National Mortgage Database Project will compile 16 years of lending data, broken down by race, and hold everything from individual credit scores and employment records.
Mortgage contracts won't be the only financial records vacuumed up by the database. According to federal documents, the repository will include ''all credit lines,'' from credit cards to student loans to car loans '-- anything reported to credit bureaus. This is even more information than the IRS collects.
The FHFA will also pry into your personal assets and debts and whether you have any bankruptcies. The agency even wants to know the square footage and lot size of your home, as well as your interest rate.
FHFA will share the info with Obama's brainchild, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which acts more like a civil-rights agency, aggressively investigating lenders for racial bias.
The FHFA has offered no clear explanation as to why the government wants to sweep up so much sensitive information on Americans, other than stating it's for ''research'' and ''policymaking.''
However, CFPB Director Richard Cordray was more forthcoming, explaining in a recent talk to the radical California-based Greenlining Institute: ''We will be better able to identify possible discriminatory lending patterns.''
Credit databaseCFPB is separately amassing a database to monitor ordinary citizens' credit-card transactions. It hopes to vacuum up some 900 million credit-card accounts '-- all sorted by race '-- representing roughly 85% of the US credit-card market. Why? To sniff out ''disparities'' in interest rates, charge-offs and collections.
Employment databaseCFPB also just finalized a rule requiring all regulated banks to report data on minority hiring to an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. It will collect reams of employment data, broken down by race, to police diversity on Wall Street as part of yet another fishing expedition.
School databaseThrough its mandatory Civil Rights Data Collection project, the Education Department is gathering information on student suspensions and expulsions, by race, from every public school district in the country. Districts that show disparities in discipline will be targeted for reform.
Those that don't comply will be punished. Several already have been forced to revise their discipline policies, which has led to violent disruptions in classrooms.
Obama's educrats want to know how many blacks versus whites are enrolled in gifted-and-talented and advanced placement classes.
Schools that show blacks and Latinos under-enrolled in such curricula, to an undefined ''statistically significant degree,'' could open themselves up to investigation and lawsuits by the department's Civil Rights Office.
Count on a flood of private lawsuits to piggyback federal discrimination claims, as civil-rights lawyers use the new federal discipline data in their legal strategies against the supposedly racist US school system.
Even if no one has complained about discrimination, even if there is no other evidence of racism, the numbers themselves will ''prove'' that things are unfair.
Such databases have never before existed. Obama is presiding over the largest consolidation of personal data in US history. He is creating a diversity police state where government race cops and civil-rights lawyers will micromanage demographic outcomes in virtually every aspect of society.
The first black president, quite brilliantly, has built a quasi-reparations infrastructure perpetually fed by racial data that will outlast his administration.
Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of ''The Great American Bank Robbery,'' which exposes the racial politics behind the mortgage bust.
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White House plugs plan to improve immigration IT
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:24
Digital Gov
White House plugs plan to improve immigration ITBy Adam MazmanianJul 16, 2015Tech is part of President Barack Obama's executive action to change the immigration system. While some of the more politically thorny aspects of the plan are being held up in the courts, there appears to be some steam behind administration efforts to modernize the IT that undergirds the process.
Designers and engineers from the U.S. Digital Service, the Silicon Valley-style geek squad based at the Office of Management and Budget, did a month-long deep dive into immigration forms, procedures, adjudication processes and other bureaucratic arcana at the departments of State and Homeland Security.
"Moving a paper process online does more than eliminate paper and create efficiencies -- it offers the opportunity to rethink and redesign the experience for the digital age," USDS members wrote in a 48-page report from the White House called ''Modernizing & Streamlining our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century.''
They're recommending a more consistent approach to the look and feel of the digital platforms aimed at immigrants and visa requesters, and a clearer and more intuitive process. More specifically, they're hoping to assist with the launch of the modernized immigrant visa (MIV) project -- a collaboration between State and DHS's Citizenship and Immigration Services -- to digitize the visa application and adjudication process. USDS wants a cross-agency digital services team to work on the MIV pilot, which is being rolled out in Buenos Aires, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney in 2015, with a wider launch in 2016.
USDS is also hoping to widen agency accessibility to data on prospective immigrants and travelers, while putting frequently used forms and required payments online. At the same time, they're hoping to expand the use of commercial cloud services for immigration systems, to get government out of the expensive infrastructure business. Already, CIS is hosting applications including the new myUSCIS in the cloud, but the USDS is hoping to migrate additional DHS components and State away from government data centers.
Another goal is to modernize aging technology stacks, including the nettlesome Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) at State, which has suffered a series of system-wide crashes leading to considerable downtime. The USDS is also hoping that State and DHS can do a better job of coordinating their data collection, and making their data interoperable across agency systems.
The White House report is more than just tech -- it includes analysis and recommendations for streamlining adjudication processes, international arrivals at ports of entry, and other measures.
About the Author
Adam Mazmanian is FCW's senior staff writer, and covers Congress, health IT and governmentwide IT policy. Connect with him on Twitter: @thisismaz.
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Interior IT flaws didn't lead to hack, says CIO
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:06
Cybersecurity
Interior IT flaws didn't lead to hack, says CIOBy Adam MazmanianJul 15, 2015Personal data on 4.2 million federal employees housed in an Interior Department data center fell prey to hackers believed to be from China, as part of the larger breach of Office of Personnel Management Data that affected more than 22 million people and compromised highly sensitive security clearance data. OPM was a shared services customer at Interior.
Interior CIO Sylvia Burns told Congress that security weaknesses at her department weren't to blame in a July 15 hearing of the IT Subcommittee of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee.
"The breach did not happen because of a vulnerability at the DOI data center. It happened because of compromised credentials of a privileged user on the OPM side who then moved into DOI's environment through a trusted connection," Burns said.
Nonetheless, a report initiated by the Office of the Inspector General at Interior in response to the breach found more than 3,000 "critical and high-risk vulnerabilities in publicly accessible computers" operated by three bureaus at DOI, said Deputy IG Mary Kendall.
The report, which was shared with Congress in draft form in the wake of the OPM hack, found that three bureaus at Interior had not implemented overlapping security controls to prevent IT assets from being compromised in attacks.
"If exploited, these vulnerabilities would allow a remote attacker to take control of publicly accessible computers or render them unavailable. More troubling, we found that a remote attacker could then use a compromised computer to attack the department's internal or nonpublic computer networks," Kendall said.
The affected DOI bureaus have been aware of the problem "for some time," Kendall said.
Former Interior CIO Bernard Mazer, who now consults with the OIG on technology issues, told the committee that there were plans to delve deeper into potential vulnerabilities. That includes making sure mobile devices on DOI networks are properly managed, monitoring interconnections between DOI and users of shared services and implementing two-factor authentication.
According to Burns, Interior has accepted the recommendations of the IG report and is working to implement fixes. As part of the government-wide cybersecurity "sprint," DOI has moved 75 percent of employees to multi-factor authentication for access to agency systems. Burns also said that she learned from the Department of Homeland Security that intruders were no longer resident in DOI systems and had not accessed other data.
Part of the problem, Burns and Kendall agreed, was the lack of central authority over IT systems at Interior. Although the agency had given the department CIO enhanced authority under a secretarial order, there are still separate operating environments for IT and separate budgets for large agency components.
"I think [the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act] is pivotal legislation that helps us to drive consolidation and centralization of the things we're talking about today," Burns said.
About the Author
Adam Mazmanian is FCW's senior staff writer, and covers Congress, health IT and governmentwide IT policy. Connect with him on Twitter: @thisismaz.
OPM's shift in security posture raises labor law questions
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:08
Workforce
OPM's shift in security posture raises labor law questionsBy Zach NobleJul 15, 2015On July 2, employees at the Office of Personnel Management came into work and made a discovery: They'd been blocked from accessing Facebook, Gmail and a host of other sites.
In trying to beef up its cybersecurity posture after serious data breaches, OPM had cut off their access -- and possibly violated the established rights of its union employees.
"We were in essence locked out, shut out," American Federation of Government Employees Local 32 President Charlretta McNeill told FCW.
Some 1,000 employees were affected, she said.
McNeill said the union was given no prior warning about the shutoff '' which she said extended so far as to prevent remote employees from accessing their work emails '' and that OPM presented no opportunity for collective bargaining before making the move.
Multiple sources familiar with labor law told FCW that a 2014 Federal Labor Relations Authority ruling obligates agencies to offer a collective bargaining opportunity before shutting off work access to personal email.
In the 2014 decision, FLRA sided with the AFGE over the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE had blocked its employees from accessing personal emails on work computers in 2011, citing security concerns, but the FLRA determined the agency couldn't unilaterally kill access.
McNeill said the OPM situation is no different.
"They tried to justify it saying, 'Oh well, it's because of the breach,'" McNeill said. "We know that the breach didn't occur because of Facebook."
When FCW reached out to OPM last week asking about the decision to cut off employees' access to multiple personal communication tools, spokesman Sam Schumach replied with a statement that did not directly address the bargaining issue.
"As is the case throughout the federal government, agencies monitor the use of work computers and other devices," Schumach wrote. "Out of caution, and in light of the recent breaches, OPM has recently tightened restrictions on Internet access using web security technology."
He did not respond to multiple follow-up emails over the course of a week asking for clarification about bargaining.
"Our rights will be restored," McNeill said, noting that AFGE President David Cox is aware of the situation and "incensed" at OPM's actions.
AFGE is planning legal action to secure the bargaining opportunity that McNeill said OPM should have offered in the first place.
About the Author
Zach Noble is a staff writer covering cloud, big data and workforce issues. Connect with him on Twitter: @thezachnoble.
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Hacking Team and Boeing Subsidiary Envisioned Drones Deploying Spyware
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 05:02
There are lots of ways that government spies can attack your computer, but a U.S. drone company is scheming to offer them one more. Boeing subsidiary Insitu would like to be able to deliver spyware via drone.
The plan is described in internal emails from the Italian company Hacking Team, which makes off-the-shelf software that can remotely infect a suspect's computer or smartphone, accessing files and recording calls, chats, emails and more. A hacker attacked the Milan-based firm earlier this month and released hundreds of gigabytes of company information online.
Among the emails is a recap of a meeting in June of this year, which gives a ''roadmap'' of projects that Hacking Team's engineers have underway.
On the list: Develop a way to infect computers via drone. One engineer is assigned the task of developing a ''mini'' infection device, which could be ''ruggedized'' and ''transportable by drone (!)'' the write-up notes enthusiastically in Italian.
The request appears to have originated with a query from the Washington-based Insitu, which makes a range of unmanned systems, including the small ScanEagle surveillance drone, which has long been used by the militaries of the U.S. and other countries. Insitu also markets its drones for law enforcement.
An Insitu engineer wrote to Hacking Team this April: ''We see potential in integrating your Wi-Fi hacking capability into an airborne system and would be interested in starting a conversation with one of your engineers to go over, in more depth, the payload capabilities including the detailed size, weight, and power specs of your Galileo System.'' (Galileo is the name of the most recent version of Hacking Team's spyware, known as Remote Control System.)
In an internal email, a Hacking Team account manager suggests that they could do so using a ''TNI,'' or ''tactical network injector.'' A TNI is a portable, often laptop-based, physical device, which an operator would use to plug into a network the target is using '-- such as an open Wi-Fi network in a hotel or coffee shop. When the targeted person uses the Internet for some ordinary activity, like watching a video or downloading an app, the device intercepts that traffic (so long as it is unencrypted) and injects the malicious code that secretly installs Hacking Team's spyware. (For more technical details on network injectors, see The Intercept's previous reporting.)
Presumably, attaching a small network injector to a drone would give the ability to attack Wi-Fi networks from above, or at a greater distance. The system operator wouldn't have to get physically near the target. Insitu did not respond to The Intercept's requests for comment.
Hacking Team gained notoriety in recent years as human rights and digital security advocates found traces of its spyware on the computers of journalists and political activists from Ethiopia, Morocco and elsewhere. As The Intercept reported last week, the leaked files confirm that Hacking Team sold to manycountries with dubious human rights records, and also to agencies in the U.S., where the use of such spyware is still the subject of legal controversy.
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Six Week Cycle
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Chattanooga Shooting: Suspect's Father Had Been on FBI Watchlist and was a ''Special Policeman'' for Public Works Department
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 02:34
Posted on July 17, 2015 by willyloman
by Scott Creighton
UPDATE: At the end of this article I mentioned the fact that it was reported by CNN that one of his friends said his father told him Mohammed had ''gone back home'' for a while in Kuwait or Jordan. Now it turns out, a ''senior intelligence official'' says he was in Jordan for about 7 months last year. We know Jordan is an ally of the U.S. in the fight against Assad via the use of foreign military assets (mercs) and there are many training facilities the CIA runs out of Jordan. Seems like maybe this guy might have been hooked up with the feds more than anyone is letting on.
'--'--'--''
This is interesting.
According to the New York Times, at one point his father, Youssuf Abdullazeez, was investigated for ''possible ties to a foreign terrorist organization.'' He was reportedly questioned several years ago and had been included on a terrorist watch list before eventually being removed.
Neighbors told CNN reporters that the suspected gunman's siblings lived in their parents' home. Abdulazeez's father was appointed as a ''special policeman'' for Chattanooga's Department of Public Works in March 2005, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported. RT
Here is a copy of the 2005 decree from the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
It's unclear at this point whether he was investigated by the FBI prior to or after he had been appointed a special police officer.
His father also reportedly told a friend that Mohammed had been out of the country for a little while, went ''back home'' and stayed overseas.
He only recently returned according to CNN.
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Chattanooga Shooting: New Images and Video (don't fall for ''flattened body'' disinfo) | American Everyman
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 04:48
by Scott Creighton
Normally a reliable source of information, the X22 report got tricked into reporting some disinformation that's out there regarding what is supposed to be a photo of the Chattanooga shooter lying on the ground after being killed. You can see his mistake at the 34:30 mark of this video.
A Youtuber named ''Edifying Others'' posted this video claiming the body lying on the ground was just an empty jumpsuit, stuffed with something to make it look like it was a human form. That erroneous report was not only picked up by the X22 report but also over here at Your News. Here is the picture of the ''flat body'' that's making the rounds.
The reality is, this clown took a video from another source and stretched the single still-frame image he took of the video in order to make this ridiculous claim. The real video is a video capture of a Fox ''News'' piece that aired yesterday I believe which purports to show the bodies of two of the victims lying on the ground in the back of the Navy compound.
As you can see, it's two of the marines, not the shooter, and they certainly aren't ''headless'' and ''flattened''
Here is that video. It'll probably be pulled soon enough.
The video is extremely valuable in that it shows they had a piece of heavy equipment pulled out of the garage that would have been perfect for picking that gate up off the track at the entrance to the parking lot and bending the top rail of it when it did so.
Here is the Sky 5 video. Lots of different angles. Another scene that might be one of the other victims near a truck. And more video of people walking around the car with not one single shell marker that I can see. You will notice in this same video, they have helicopter footage from the recruitment center which clearly shows casing markers already on the ground.
I've come across another image of the scene taken from above from a CNN report. It's also very interesting mostly for what you don't see.
There you have the location of the shooter's rented car. You also have the location where that first video focuses on, with the bodies of those two victims.
So what don't you see?
You don't see the location of the shooter. Where he ended up.
Chattanooga police claim their officers followed the silver Mustang to this location and engaged in a shootout with the suspect. Photos of them taking position on the street outside the parking area are all over the internet.
If they followed him and engaged him right after he crashed through the gate, and if he returned fire right there after getting out of the vehicle, there would have to be shell casings all over that parking lot. But I don't see a single one. I also don't see any evidence markers signifying the location of shell casings like those in front of the recruiting office.
Forget for a minute that the car that supposedly crashed through that massive gate hasn't got a scratch on it'... that's clear enough.
not a scratch on it
But where are the shell casings from this big fire fight the Chattanooga police supposedly had with the suspect?
And here's another thing, look at how far from that car the bodies of the two marines are. They are all the way on the other side of the compound behind the building and another gate. How did he get that far while engaging in a gun fight with all those cops and more importantly, how did they end up killing him way over there without leaving a trail of brass across that parking lot?
The most important new discovery here is pretty obvious: where did the shooter end up because clearly that area is not pictured on that image above. I've blown it up to twice it's size and I don't see any other crime scene area other than the one where the two bodies are lying and the car is seen.
Did the Chattanooga cops follow him in the building and continue shooting? Did he ever go in the building? Did he shoot the other victims through the window?
Or, like I theorized yesterday, did they follow him through the compound til he made his way into the woods that surrounds it where he dropped the weapon beside the body of the patsy and escaped to a waiting vehicle on one of the access roads nearby?
That's the only question I have.
Don't fall for the ''flatten body'' disinfo that's making the rounds.
'--'--''
CLEARLY WE NEED INDEPENDENT MEDIANOW MORE THAT EVERPlease help keep us up and running if you can.Speaking truth ABOUT power since June 26, 2007(For my mailing address, please email me at RSCdesigns@tampabay.rr.com)
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How the US defines terrorism
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 04:49
"The U.S. Government, its allies and their apologists constantly propagate standards that have no purpose other than to legitimize all of their violence while de-legitimizing all violence by their enemies in the ''war'' they have declared. Nothing is more central to that effort than the propagandistic invocation of the term ''terrorism.'' We're now at the point where it is ''terrorism'' when enemies of the U.S. target American military bases and soldiers, but not ''terrorism'' when the U.S. recklessly engages in violence it knows will kill large numbers of civilians."
The Chattanooga Shootings: Can Attacking Military Sites of a Nation at War be ''Terrorism''?
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 04:49
(updated below)
A gunman yesterday attacked two military sites in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing four U.S Marines. Before anything was known about the suspect other than his name '-- Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez '-- it was instantly and widely declared by the U.S. media to be ''terrorism.'' An FBI official announced at a press briefing: ''We will treat this as a terrorism investigation until it can be determined it was not.''
That ''terrorism'' in U.S. political and media discourse means little beyond ''violence by Muslims against the West'' is now too self-evident to debate (in this case, just the name of the suspect seemed to suffice to trigger application of the label). I've documented that point at length many times '-- most recently, a couple of weeks ago when the term was steadfastly not applied to the white shooter who attacked a black church in Charleston despite his clear political and ideological motives '-- and I don't want to rehash those points here. Instead, I want to focus on a narrow question about this term: Can it apply to violent attacks that target military sites and soldiers of a nation at war, rather than civilians?
In common usage (as opposed to legal definitions), ''terrorism'' typically connotes, if not denotes, ''violence against civilians.'' If you ask most people why they regard the 9/11 attack as so singularly atrocious, you will likely hear that it was because the violence was aimed indiscriminately at civilians and at civilian targets. If you ask them to distinguish why they regard civilian-killing U.S. violence as legitimate and justified but regard the violence aimed at the U.S. as the opposite (''terrorism''), they'll likely claim that the U.S. only kills civilians by accident, not on purpose. Whether one is targeting civilian versus military sites is a central aspect to how we talk about the justifiability of violence and what is and is not ''terrorism.''
But increasingly in the West, violent attacks are aimed at purely military targets, yet are still being called ''terrorism.'' To this day, many people are indignant that Nidal Hasan was not formally charged with ''terrorism'' for his attack on the U.S. military base in Fort Hood, Texas (though he was widely called a ''terrorist'' by U.S. media reports). Last October in Canada '-- weeks after the government announced it would bomb Iraq against ISIS '-- a Muslim man waited for hours in his car in a parking lot until he saw two Canadian soldiers in uniform, and then ran them over, killing one; that was universally denounced as ''terrorism'' despite his obvious targeting of soldiers. Omar Khadr was sent to Guantanamo as a teenager and branded a ''terrorist'' for killing a U.S. soldier fighting the war in Afghanistan, during a firefight. One of the most notorious ''terrorism'' prosecutions in the U.S. '-- just brilliantly dissected by my colleague Murtaza Hussain '-- involved an alleged plot to attack the military base at Fort Dix. Trumpeted terror arrests in the U.S. now often involve plots against military rather than civilian targets. The 9/11 attack itself targeted the Pentagon in addition to the World Trade Center.
The argument that even attacks on military bases should be regarded as ''terrorism'' rests on the proposition that soldiers who are not actively engaged in combat when attacked are not legitimate targets. Instead, it is legitimate only to target them when engaging them on a battlefield. Under the law of war, one cannot, for instance, legally hunt down soldiers while they're sleeping in their homes, or playing with their children, or buying groceries at a supermarket. Their mere status as ''soldiers'' does not mean it is legally permissible to target and kill them wherever they are found. It is only permissible to do so on the battlefield, when they are engaged in combat.
That argument has a solid footing in both law and morality. But it is extremely difficult to understand how anyone who supports the military actions of the U.S. and their allies under the ''War on Terror'' rubric can possibly advance that view with a straight face. The official framework that drives the West's military behavior is the exact antithesis of that legal and moral standard. When it comes to justifying their own violence, the U.S. and their closest allies have spent the last 15 years, at least, insisting on precisely the opposite view.
The U.S. drone program constantly targets individuals regarded as ''illegal combatants'' and kills them without the slightest regard for where they are or what they are doing at that moment: at their homes, in their sleep, driving in a car with family members, etc. The U.S. often targets people without even knowing their names or identities, based on their behavioral ''patterns''; the Obama administration literally re-defined ''combatant'' to mean ''all military-age males in a strike zone.'' The ''justification'' for all this is that these are enemy combatants and they therefore can be legitimately targeted and killed no matter where they are found or what they are doing at the time; one need not wait until they are engaged in combat or on a battlefield. The U.S. government has officially embraced that view.
Indeed, the central premise of the War on Terror always has been, and still is, that there is no such thing as a physically limited space called ''the battlefield.'' Instead, the whole world is one big, limitless ''battlefield'': the ''battlefield'' is wherever enemy combatants are found. That means that the U.S. has codified the notion that one does not have to wait for a ''combatant'' to enter a designated battlefield and engage in combat; instead, he is a fair target for killing anywhere he is found.
The U.S.'s closest allies have long embraced the same mindset. The Israelis have used targeted assassination of the country's enemies '-- killing them wherever they are found '-- for decades. They've murdered multiple Iranian scientists at their homes. They deliberately bombed the home of a Gazan police chief and killed 15 people inside. They previously killed 40 police trainees when bombing a police station. Just this week, my colleague Matthew Cole used NSA documents to prove that Israeli commandos in 2008 shot and killed a Syrian general while he hosted a dinner party at his seaside vacation home. This all is grounded in the view that one need not wait until one's enemies enter a ''battlefield'' and engage in combat in order to kill them.
The question here about the Chattanooga shootings and similar attacks is not whether any or all of this is justified. The question is whether the term ''terrorism'' applies to such acts, and whether the term has any consistent meaning. To question whether something qualifies as ''terrorism'' quite obviously is not to say it is justifiable: All sorts of violence is wrong without being ''terrorism.''
One could argue that attacks such as last night's in Chattanooga count as ''terrorism'' despite targeting military sites because they are not carried out by states but rather by individuals or non-state actors. But that's just another way of saying that the violence the U.S. engages in as part of the War on Terror is inherently justified and legitimate, while the violence engaged in by its declared enemies '-- non-state actors '-- never is. This is all about creating self-justifying double standards: Just imagine the outrage that would pour forth if Syria had sent a commando force to kill an American or Israeli general in his home.
And ultimately, that's the real point here: The U.S. Government, its allies and their apologists constantly propagate standards that have no purpose other than to legitimize all of their violence while de-legitimizing all violence by their enemies in the ''war'' they have declared. Nothing is more central to that effort than the propagandistic invocation of the term ''terrorism.'' We're now at the point where it is ''terrorism'' when enemies of the U.S. target American military bases and soldiers, but not ''terrorism'' when the U.S. recklessly engages in violence it knows will kill large numbers of civilians.
UPDATE: A tweet from CNN today:
If any enemy of the West ever made a similar claim, it would be denounced as an oxymoron.
Activist Post: FBI Tracked Chattanooga Shooter's Family for Years
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 12:33
By Tony CartalucciOnce again, another convenient shooting has helped supercharge anger, hatred, fear, and division across the Western World after an alleged "Islamist extremist" opened fire on and killed 4 US Marines at a recruiting station in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Without any knowledge of how the US has in fact created Al Qaeda and its many global affiliates, including vicious terrorist groups plaguing Southeast Asia, and the most notorious to date, the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS), the American public will predictably react in a manner that will simply further justify America's meddling across the globe amid its self-created and perpetuated "War on Terror." It will also help in efforts to further tighten control over the American public itself, with increased justifications for expanding police state measures and future pushes to disarm the American people.
Yahoo News would report in their article, "Shootings at Chattanooga military facilities leave 4 Marines, gunman dead; act called 'domestic terrorism'," that:
A U.S. official told the Associated Press that Abdulazeez had not been on the radar of federal law enforcement before Thursday's shooting.
But also added:His father had been investigated several years ago for "possible ties to a foreign terrorist organization" and added to the U.S. terrorist watch list, according to a report in the New York Times, but that probe did not surface information about Abdulazeez, the paper said.
This means that yet another case of "domestic terror" has involved someone either investigated by the FBI, entrapped by an active FBI operation where FBI investigators posed as terrorist leaders and walked a patsy through every step of a terrorist attack before arresting them and thus "foiling" the attack, or linked directly to someone the FBI was investigating.Ironically, the immense omnipresent police state the West has erected to combat the so-called "terrorist" threat, including the total surveillance of all communications online and across all telecommunication networks, at home and abroad under the National Security Agency (NSA) will only expand, despite it once again apparently failing, and despite attempts by special interests on Wall Street and in Washington to claim this latest attack "again" somehow circumvented these already sweeping measures.Meanwhile, The US Continues Supporting Extremists Abroad
And while this latest attack is passed off as a "domestic terrorist attack" and the result of "Islamic extremists," rather than a false flag event, the US continues to openly support the very "terrorists" it claims threatens its homeland and has inspired these sort of attacks.
Just recently, the Washington Post literally allowed a spokesman of Al Qaeda to defend his faction's role in the fighting in Syria, and his condemnation of the United States for not rendering more aid for the cause of overrunning and destroying the Syrian nation - a goal the US itself is likewise pursuing.
Labib Al Nahhas, "head of foreign political relations" for terrorist organization Ahrar al-Sham, wrote in his Washington Post op-ed titled, "The deadly consequences of mislabeling Syria's revolutionaries," that:
Stuck inside their own bubble, White House policymakers have allocated millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to support failed CIA efforts to support so-called ''moderate'' forces in Syria. But these ''moderate'' groups have proved to be a disappointment on nearly every count, not least of all in confronting the Islamic State.
He also states:That question should prompt Washington to admit that the Islamic State's extremist ideology can be defeated only through a homegrown Sunni alternative '-- with the term ''moderate'' defined not by CIA handlers but by Syrians themselves.
Essentially, the Washington Post afforded a terrorist organization space to make an appeal to the American public for military support. Ahrar al-Sham regularly coordinates with and fights within operations led by Al Qaeda's Al Nusra Front, a US State Department designated terrorist organization from which ISIS itself sprung.Al Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham are described as the "closest" of allies by Western think-tanks and media reports. It is also revealed that Ahrar al-Sham worked along side ISIS itself.
A Stanford University report under "Mapping Militant Organizations" explained (emphasis added):
Ahrar al-Sham quickly became one of the largest military organizations operating in Syria, and it has been active in efforts to unite the Islamist opposition under a single banner. It rejects the idea of Western intervention but sometimes works alongside Free Syrian Army brigades. It routinely cooperates with al-Nusra and,until relations soured in 2013, also worked with ISIS. In February 2014, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence called Ahrar al-Sham one of the three most effective rebel groups in Syria.
The Washington Post isn't the only voice in the Western media promoting Al Qaeda. Foreign Policy in 2012 abhorrently proclaimed, "Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists: So the rebels aren't secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn't much matter." As much as an admission that the US is backing what is essentially terrorism in Syria, the Foreign Policy article attempted even then to promote the alleged "pragmatism" of supporting Al Qaeda to eliminate America's foreign enemies.And while Foreign Policy and terrorists writing in the pages of the Washington Post demand more weapons and support from the West, it is already a documented fact that immense and constantly flowing supply convoys are streaming out of both NATO-member Turkey and US-ally Jordan's territory, into Syria and Iraq, for the purpose of resupplying ISIS. This explains ISIS' otherwise inexplicable ability to not only maintain its impressive fighting capacity as it simultaneously wages war against both the Syrian and Iraqi armies, but to expand its fighting to all fronts opposed to US regional hegemony.This includes Yemen, Libya, and even Egypt where ISIS most recently managed to hit an Egyptian naval vessel with a missile. Foreign Policy would again weigh in. Their article, "Islamic State Sinai Affiliate Claims to Have Hit Egyptian Ship With Missile," states:
The use of a guided missile to strike an Egyptian ship represents a higher level of technological sophistication than what has been previously observed in Sinai attacks. It is unclear, however, exactly what kind of missile was used in the attack, beyond the militant group's claim that it was a guided munition.
Militant groups in the region have in the past used guided missiles to attack government ships in the Mediterranean. During the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, an Iranian anti-ship missile fired by the militant group struck the Israeli warship Hanit, badly damaging the vessel and killing four crew members.
Of course, Foreign Policy and others across the Western media will be quick to point out that Hezbollah is a state-sponsored militant organization which receives its weapons from Syria and Iran. The question then becomes how ISIS replicated this level of "technological sophistication," and which state-sponsors put the missiles into their hands.The US supporting Al Qaeda is not really news. Al Qaeda was initially a joint US-Saudi venture to create a mercenary army to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s. This mercenary army would again fight Russian interests in Serbia and Chechnya before eventually being used as the pretext for US invasions and occupations of both Afghanistan and Iraq from 2001 onward. In 2007, it was revealed that the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel sought to use the terrorist organization to raise a proxy military front to overthrow Syria and Iran. The resulting bloodbath in Syria beginning in 2011 is the operational execution of this documented conspiracy.
Al Qaeda and its various affiliates serve both as a proxy mercenary front to strike where Western forces cannot, and a pretext to invade abroad. It also serves as a constant justification for increased tyranny at home. With the most recent shooting carried out by yet another target of the FBI's "investigations," and the predictable divisive backlash that will follow, it is assured that the American public will be further blinded to the fact that this so-called "Islamic extremism" was born in Washington and on Wall Street, in Riyadh and Tel Aviv, not in a mosque or springing forth from the pages of the Qu'ran.
In fact, the vast majority of the world's Islamic people are locked in mortal combat with the West's mercenary terrorist forces, with tens of thousands of them having shed their blood fighting Al Qaeda everywhere from Libya to Egypt, to Iraq and Syria. While the US attempts to pose as the leading power in the fight against extremism, its token airstrikes deep within Syrian territory are quickly undone by the torrent of supplies it itself oversees flooding into Syrian territory. For every fighter killed by a US airstrike, 10 more are being trafficked in through US and NATO-run networks stretching as far afield as Xinjiang, China.
The US presence in Iraq and Syria serves simply as one of several planned stepping stones to eventually and directly intervene militarily in toppling either or both governments, before moving on to Tehran.
The "War on Terror" is a fraud, and each "terrorist attack" a carefully orchestrated means of further perpetuating that fraud.
Tony Cartalucci's articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at Land Destroyer Report, Alternative Thai News Network and LocalOrg.
This article may be re-posted in full with attribution.
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Abdulazeez and Abdulaziz
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 06:38
Former engineer Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, according to investigators, was a lone gunman with no prior infractions who this week targeted two US military facilities in Tennessee, killing four militants and no civilians.
Salman bin Abdulaziz is one of the world's worst dictators. He has many prior infractions, such as publicly announcing becoming a rogue nuclear state, beheading and torturing hundreds of people and repressing millions, and is currently carrying out a war of aggression against one of the poorest countries in the world, Yemen, killing thousands of civilians and enforcing a blockade that risks starving millions, as Yemen imports almost all of its food.
The despot Abdulaziz is one of Washington's top allies. His terrorist regime is the recipient of the biggest shipment of weapons in US history, approved by Obama in 2010 (the US is the world's biggest arms trafficker). These killing machines are now being used on the people of Yemen. In 2013, Obama sent the despot almost a billion dollars worth of banned cluster bombs, which both Obama and Abdulaziz have now used against Yemenis.
Many foreign nationals are trapped in the war-zone in Yemen, and eight countries, including India, China, and Russia, are performing risky missions to rescue civilians, their own citizens as well as others. While there are thousands of US civilians trapped in Yemen, Washington vocally refuses to rescue them, issuing a facile claim that it would be too risky, while at the same time performing rescue missions for Saudi pilots whose planes have gone down in Yemen.
Washington is also personally coordinating with dictator Abdulaziz on the strikes, and is refueling the US planes being flown by Saudi pilots.
Obama continues to bomb Yemen himself, killing hundreds of suspects and civilians in a death campaign he has been pursuing for years. He is also participating in enforcing the blockade, which human rights groups say has led the country to the brink of a mass humanitarian catastrophe.
The attack by Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez is a small and diluted taste '' no explosives were used and no suspects or civilians were killed '' of what drone strikes on one's country are like.
Whenever the US gets a small taste of its own medicine, it doesn't like it, yet continues to administer the medicine to others in mega-doses. Washington elites know their violence causes violent retaliation, but continue it because they themselves are insulated and safe, and only lower-level grunts and civilians, their human shields, will take the hits.
The Tennessee shooter is quoted in his high school year book as saying that his name, Abdulazeez, ''causes national security alerts''. This is now literally true, but is dependent on circumstances. One attack by an Abdulazeez is saturating US headlines and receiving stark condemnation from the US government/oligarchy (Obama called it ''heartbreaking''), while an incomparably worse attack by an incomparably worse Abdulaziz, raining down on thousands of people, including US Americans abandoned by their oligarchy, is met with media silence and extreme support and participation from Washington.
Author is a US-based researcher focusing on force dynamics, national and global. @_DirtyTruths>>
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Eugenics
PP Baby Parts: Late term abortions for size of organs.
Earon
Earon - Constitution calls for guidance and CONSENT on all treaties
Advice and consent - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 04:26
Advice and consent is an English phrase frequently used in enacting formulae of bills and in other legal or constitutional contexts, describing a situation in which the executive branch of a government enacts something previously approved of by the legislative branch.
General[edit]The expression is frequently used in systems where the head of state has little practical power, and in practice the important part of the passage of a law is in its adoption by the legislature. For example, in the United Kingdom, a constitutional monarchy, bills are headed:
BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the LordsSpiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:This enacting formula emphasizes that, although legally the bill is being enacted by the Queen of the United Kingdom (specifically, by the Queen-in-Parliament), it is not through her initiative but through that of Parliament that legislation is created.
United States[edit]In the United States, "advice and consent" is a power of the United States Senate to be consulted on and approve treaties signed and appointments made by the President of the United States to public positions, including Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, United States Attorneys, and ambassadors. This power is also held by several state Senates, which are consulted on and approve various appointments made by the state's chief executive, such as some statewide officials, state departmental heads in the Governor's cabinet, and state judges (in some states).
Constitutional provision[edit]The term "advice and consent" first appears in the United States Constitution in Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, referring to the senate's role in the signing and ratification of treaties. This term is then used again, to describe the Senate's role in the appointment of public officials, immediately after describing the president's duty to nominate officials. Article II, Section 2, paragraph 2 of the United States Constitution states:
[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
This language was written at the Constitutional Convention as part of a delicate compromise concerning the balance of power in the federal government. Many delegates preferred to develop a strong executive control vested in the president, while others, worried about authoritarian control, preferred to strengthen the congress. Requiring the president to gain the advice and consent of the senate achieved both goals without hindering the business of government.
Under the Twenty-fifth Amendment, appointments to the office of Vice President are confirmed by a majority vote in both Houses of Congress, instead of just the Senate.
Historical development of power[edit]Several framers of the U.S. Constitution believed that the required role of the Senate is to advise the President after the nomination has been made by the President.[1][2]Roger Sherman believed that advice before nomination could still be helpful.[3] Likewise, President George Washington took the position that pre-nomination advice was allowable but not mandatory.[4] The notion that pre-nomination advice is optional has developed into the unification of the "advice" portion of the power with the "consent" portion, although several Presidents have consulted informally with Senators over nominations and treaties.
Use today[edit]Typically, a congressional hearing is held to question an appointee prior to a committee vote. If the nominee is approved by the relevant committee, the full Senate must then approve the nomination. The actual motion adopted by the Senate when exercising the power is "to advise and consent" .[5][6] For appointments, a majority of Senators present are needed to pass a motion "to advise and consent". A filibuster requiring a three-fifths vote to override, and other similar delaying tactics have been used to require higher vote tallies in the past. On November 21, 2013, the Democratic Party, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid overrode the filibuster of a nomination with a simple majority vote to change the rules.[7]
For a treaty, a two-thirds vote of the Senate is constitutionally required.
See also[edit]References[edit]^Currie, David. The Constitution in Congress: The Federalist Period, 1789-1801, page 25 (University of Chicago Press 1997) via Google Books: "Madison, Jefferson, and Jay all advised Washington not to consult the Senate before making nominations."^Hamilton, Alexander. Federalist No. 76 (1788): ''In the act of nomination, his judgment alone will be exercised.''^Letter from Roger Sherman to John Adams (July 1789) in The Founders Constitution: "their advice may enable him to make such judicious appointments."^U.S. Senate history on the power to advise and consent: "In selecting nominees, Washington turned to his closest advisers and to members of Congress, but the president resolutely insisted that he alone would be responsible for the final selection. He shared a common view that the Senate's constitutionally mandated 'advice' was to come after the nomination was made."^U.S. Senate Rule 30: "On the final question to advise and consent to the ratification in the form agreed to, the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators present shall be necessary to determine it in the affirmative."^U.S. Senate Rule 31: "the final question on every nomination shall be, 'Will the Senate advise and consent to this nomination?'"^Plumer, Brad (November 21, 2013). "It's official: The Senate just got rid of part of the filibuster". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
Treaty Clause - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 04:21
Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, includes the Treaty Clause, which empowers the President of the United States to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements, which must be confirmed by the Senate, between the United States and other countries, which become treaties between the United States and other countries after the advice and consent of a supermajority of the United States Senate.
Full text of the clause[edit][The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur...
One of three types of international accord[edit]In the United States, the term "treaty" is used in a more restricted legal sense than in international law. U.S. law distinguishes what it calls treaties from congressional-executive agreements and sole-executive agreements.[1] All three classes are considered treaties under international law; they are distinct only from the perspective of internal United States law. Distinctions among the three concern their method of ratification: by two-thirds of the Senate, by normal legislative process, or by the President alone, respectively. The Treaty Clause [2] empowers the President to make or enter into treaties with the "advice and consent" of two-thirds of the Senate. In contrast, normal legislation becomes law after approval by simple majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Throughout U.S. history, the President has also made international "agreements" through congressional-executive agreements (CEAs) that are ratified with only a majority from both houses of Congress, or sole-executive agreements made by the President alone.[1] Though the Constitution does not expressly provide for any alternative to the Article II treaty procedure, Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution does distinguish between treaties (which states are forbidden to make) and agreements (which states may make with the consent of Congress).[3] The Supreme Court of the United States has considered congressional-executive and sole-executive agreements to be valid, and they have been common throughout American history. Thomas Jefferson explained that the Article II treaty procedure is not necessary when there is no long-term commitment:
It is desirable, in many instances, to exchange mutual advantages by Legislative Acts rather than by treaty: because the former, though understood to be in consideration of each other, and therefore greatly respected, yet when they become too inconvenient, can be dropped at the will of either party: whereas stipulations by treaty are forever irrevocable but by joint consent....[4]
A further distinction embodied in U.S. law is between self-executing treaties, which do not require additional legislative action, and non-self-executing treaties which do require the enactment of new laws.[1][5] These various distinctions of procedure and terminology do not affect the binding status of accords under international law. Nevertheless, they do have major implications under U.S. domestic law. In Missouri v. Holland, the Supreme Court ruled that the power to make treaties under the U.S. Constitution is a power separate from the other enumerated powers of the federal government, and hence the federal government can use treaties to legislate in areas which would otherwise fall within the exclusive authority of the states. By contrast, a congressional-executive agreement can only cover matters which the Constitution explicitly places within the powers of Congress and the President.[1] Likewise, a sole-executive agreement can only cover matters within the President's authority or matters in which Congress has delegated authority to the President.[1] For example, a treaty may prohibit states from imposing capital punishment on foreign nationals, but a congressional-executive agreement or sole-executive agreement cannot.
In general, arms control agreements are often ratified by the treaty mechanism.[6] At the same time, trade agreements (such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and United States accession to the World Trade Organization) are generally voted on as a CEA, and such agreements typically include an explicit right to withdraw after giving sufficient written notice to the other parties.[7] If an international commercial accord contains binding "treaty" commitments, then a two-thirds vote of the Senate may be required.[8]
Between 1946 and 1999, the United States completed nearly 16,000 international agreements. Only 912 of those agreements were treaties, submitted to the Senate for approval as outlined in Article II of the United States Constitution. Since the Franklin Roosevelt presidency, only 6% of international accords have been completed as Article II treaties.[1] Most of these executive agreements consist of congressional-executive agreements.
American law is that international accords become part of the body of U.S. federal law.[1] Consequently, Congress can modify or repeal treaties by subsequent legislative action, even if this amounts to a violation of the treaty under international law. This was held, for instance, in the Head Money Cases. The most recent changes will be enforced by U.S. courts entirely independent of whether the international community still considers the old treaty obligations binding upon the U.S.[1]
Additionally, an international accord that is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution is void under domestic U.S. law, the same as any other federal law in conflict with the Constitution. This principle was most clearly established in the case of Reid v. Covert.[9] The Supreme Court could rule an Article II treaty provision to be unconstitutional and void under domestic law, although it has not yet done so.
In Goldwater v. Carter,[10] Congress challenged the constitutionality of then-president Jimmy Carter's unilateral termination of a defense treaty. The case went before the Supreme Court and was never heard; a majority of six Justices ruled that the case should be dismissed without hearing an oral argument, holding that "The issue at hand ... was essentially a political question and could not be reviewed by the court, as Congress had not issued a formal opposition." In his opinion, Justice Brennan dissented, "The issue of decision making authority must be resolved as a matter of constitutional law, not political discretion; accordingly, it falls within the competence of the courts". Presently, there is no official ruling on whether the President has the power to break a treaty without the approval of Congress, and the courts also declined to interfere when President George W. Bush unilaterally withdrew the United States from the ABM Treaty in 2002, six months after giving the required notice of intent.[11]
Scope of presidential powers[edit]Presidents have regarded the Article II treaty process as necessary where an international accord would bind a future president. For example, Theodore Roosevelt explained:
The Constitution did not explicitly give me power to bring about the necessary agreement with Santo Domingo. But the Constitution did not forbid my doing what I did. I put the agreement into effect, and I continued its execution for two years before the Senate acted; and I would have continued it until the end of my term, if necessary, without any action by Congress. But it was far preferable that there should be action by Congress, so that we might be proceeding under a treaty which was the law of the land and not merely by a direction of the Chief Executive which would lapse when that particular executive left office. I therefore did my best to get the Senate to ratify what I had done.[12]
A sole-executive agreement can only be negotiated and entered into through the president's authority (1) in foreign policy, (2) as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, (3) from a prior act of Congress, or (4) from a prior treaty.[1] Agreements beyond these competencies must have the approval of Congress (for congressional-executive agreements) or the Senate (for treaties).
In 1972, Congress passed legislation requiring the president to notify Congress of any executive agreements that are formed.[13]
Although the nondelegation doctrine prevents Congress from delegating its legislative authority to the executive branch, Congress has allowed the executive to act as Congress's "agent" in trade negotiations, such as by setting tariffs, and, in the case of Trade Promotion Authority, by solely authoring the implementing legislation for trade agreements. The constitutionality of this delegation was upheld by the Supreme Court in Field v. Clark (1892).
See also[edit]Further reading[edit]Warren F. Kimball, Alliances, Coalitions, and Ententes - The American alliance system: an unamerican tradition
References[edit]^ abcdefghiTreaties and other International Agreements: the Role of the United States Senate (Congressional Research Service 2001).^[Article 2 Section 2 Clause 2]^The Supreme Court has said that the words "treaty" and "agreement" were technical terms of international diplomacy, when the Constitution was written. See Holmes v. Jennison, 39 U.S. 540 (1840): "A few extracts from an eminent writer on the laws of nations, showing the manner in which these different words have been used, and the different meanings sometimes attached to them, will, perhaps, contribute to explain the reason for using them all in the Constitution....Vattel, page 192, sec. 152, says: 'A treaty, in Latin foedus, is a compact made with a view to the public welfare, by the superior power, either for perpetuity, or for a considerable time.' Section 153. 'The compacts which have temporary matters for their object, are called agreements, conventions, and pactions. They are accomplished by one single act, and not by repeated acts. These compacts are perfected in their execution once for all; treaties receive a successive execution, whose duration equals that of the treaty.' Section 154....After reading these extracts, we can be at no loss to comprehend the intention of the framers of the Constitution in using all these words, 'treaty,' 'compact,' 'agreement.'"^Jefferson, Thomas. "Report of the Secretary of State to the President" (January 18, 1791) quoted in The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900).^Medellin v. Texas, 2008^Charnovitz, Steve. "Analysis of Congressional-Executive Agreements", American Journal of International Law (2004).^Hyman, Andrew. "The Unconstitutionality of Long-Term Nuclear Pacts that are Rejected by Over One-Third of the Senate", Denver Journal of International Law and Policy (1995).^Sherman, Roger. ''Observations on the Alterations Proposed as Amendments to the New Federal Constitution'' (1788) reprinted in Essays on the Constitution of the United States, Published During its Discussion by the People, 1787-1788 (Paul Leicester Ford ed. 1892), page 235: ''It is provided by the constitution that no commercial treaty shall be made by the president without the consent of two-thirds of the senators present....'' Retrieved 2008-04-12.^Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957).^Goldwater v. Carter, 444 U.S. 996 (1979).^Ackerman, David. ''Withdrawal from the ABM Treaty: Legal Considerations'', CRS Report for Congress (2002-12-31).^Roosevelt, Theodore. An Autobiography, page 510 (1913).^1 U.S.C. 112(b). Via Findlaw. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
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ISIS Caliph Admonishes Followers to Tone Down Violent Videos -- News from Antiwar.com
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 06:39
While violent recruitment videos have long been ISIS's stock in trade, the group's leadership is said to be concerned that jihadists trying to one-up each other are taking things too far, and have issued an edict admonishing fighters to tone things done to ''respect the sensitivities'' of viewers.
The edict came to the ISIS media offices by way of Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and featured some specific limits, including telling them to stop showing full beheadings, and simply limit the video to showing the slitting of the throat and the severed head after.
ISIS sources are said to have been particularly concerned that the videos are too scary for children to watch, and risks alienating them from a future generation of recruits. At the same time, some ISIS members are opposing the ban, saying the videos are meant to intimidate enemies.
The timing of the edict is unclear, so it is not known if recent beheading videos were done in violation of the rule, or were simply the impetus for the imposition of the rule in the first place.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
Presidential Memorandum -- Designation of the Republic of Tunisia as a Major Non-NATO Ally
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 10:28
July 10, 2015
Presidential DeterminationNo. 2015-09
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
SUBJECT: Designation of the Republic of Tunisia as a Major Non-NATO Ally
Consistent with the authority vested in me as President by section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (the "Act"), I hereby designate the Republic of Tunisia as a major Non-NATO Ally of the United States for the purposes of the Act and the Arms Export Control Act.
You are authorized and directed to publish this determination in the Federal Register.
BARACK OBAMA
22 CFR 120.32 - Major non-NATO ally. | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 10:32
§ 120.32Major non-NATO ally.Major non-NATO ally, as defined in section 644(q) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2403(q)), means a country that is designated in accordance with section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2321(k)) as a major non-NATO ally for purposes of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2151et seq. and 22 U.S.C. 2751et seq.). The following countries are designated as major non-NATO allies: Afghanistan (see§ 126.1(g) of this subchapter), Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Republic of Korea. Taiwan shall be treated as though it were designated a major non-NATO ally.Title 22 published on 2014-04-01.
The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 22.
For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.
2014-10-10; vol. 79 # 197 - Friday, October 10, 201479 FR 61226 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Corrections, Clarifications, and Movement of DefinitionsGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEFinal rule.This rule is effective October 10, 2014.22 CFR Parts 120, 121, 123, 126, and 130SummaryIn an effort to streamline, simplify and clarify the recent revisions to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) made pursuant to the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, the Department of State is amending the ITAR as part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 completed on August 17, 2011.
2014-05-13; vol. 79 # 92 - Tuesday, May 13, 201479 FR 27180 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revision of U.S. Munitions List Category XVGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEInterim final rule.This rule is effective November 10, 2014, except for § 121.1, Category XV(d), which is effective June 27, 2014. Interested parties may submit comments on paragraphs (a)(7) and (e)(11) of USML Category XV and ITAR § 124.15 by June 27, 2014.22 CFR Parts 120, 121, and 124SummaryAs part of the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) effort, the Department of State is amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to revise Category XV (Spacecraft and Related Articles) of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to describe more precisely the articles warranting control in that category. The revisions contained in this rule are part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 completed on August 17, 2011. This rule is published as an interim final rule because the Department believes that substantial national security benefits will flow from the changes to the controls on spacecraft and related items, but acknowledges that additional analysis of and public comment on the control thresholds for remote sensing satellites are warranted.
This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.
This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].
It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.
United States CodeU.S. Code: Title 22 - FOREIGN RELATIONS AND INTERCOURSEStatutes at LargePublic LawsPresidential DocumentsExecutive Order ... 13637
Title 22 published on 2014-04-01
The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 22 CFR Part 120after this date.
2015-06-03; vol. 80 # 106 - Wednesday, June 3, 201580 FR 31525 - International Traffic in Arms: Revisions to Definitions of Defense Services, Technical Data, and Public Domain; Definition of Product of Fundamental Research; Electronic Transmission and Storage of Technical Data; and Related DefinitionsGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEProposed rule.The Department of State will accept comments on this proposed rule until August 3, 2015.22 CFR Parts 120, 123, 125, and 127SummaryAs part of the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, the Department of State proposes to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to update the definitions of ''defense article,'' ''defense services,'' ''technical data,'' ''public domain,'' ''export,'' and ''reexport or retransfer'' in order to clarify the scope of activities and information that are covered within these definitions and harmonize the definitions with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), to the extent appropriate. Additionally, the Department proposes to create definitions of ''required,'' ''technical data that arises during, or results from, fundamental research,'' ''release,'' ''retransfer,'' and ''activities that are not exports, reexports, or retransfers'' in order to clarify and support the interpretation of the revised definitions that are proposed in this rulemaking. The Department proposes to create new sections detailing the scope of licenses, unauthorized releases of information, and the ''release'' of secured information, and revises the sections on ''exports'' of ''technical data'' to U.S. persons abroad. Finally, the Department proposes to address the electronic transmission and storage of unclassified ''technical data'' via foreign communications infrastructure. This rulemaking proposes that the electronic transmission of unclassified ''technical data'' abroad is not an ''export,'' provided that the data is sufficiently secured to prevent access by foreign persons. Additionally, this proposed rule would allow for the electronic storage of unclassified ''technical data'' abroad, provided that the data is secured to prevent access by parties unauthorized to access such data. The revisions contained in this proposed rule are part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 first submitted on August 17, 2011.
2015-05-26; vol. 80 # 100 - Tuesday, May 26, 201580 FR 30001 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Registration and Licensing of U.S. Persons Employed by Foreign Persons, and Other ChangesGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEProposed rule.The Department of State will accept comments on this proposed rule until July 27, 2015.22 CFR Parts 120, 122, 124, 125, and 126SummaryThe Department of State proposes to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to clarify requirements for the licensing and registration of U.S. persons providing defense services while in the employ of foreign persons. This amendment is pursuant to the President's Export Control Reform effort, as part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 completed on August 17, 2011. The Department of State's full plan can be accessed at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/181028.pdf .
2015-05-22; vol. 80 # 99 - Friday, May 22, 201580 FR 29565 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Exports and Temporary Imports Made to or on Behalf of a Department or Agency of the U.S. Government; Procedures for Obtaining State Department Authorization To Export Items Subject to the Export Administration Regulations; Revision to the Destination Control Statement; and Other ChangesGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEProposed rule.The Department of State will accept comments on this proposed rule until July 6, 2015.22 CFR Parts 120, 123, 124, 125, and 126SummaryAs part of the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) effort, the Department of State is proposing to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to: clarify regulations pertaining to the export of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR); revise the licensing exemption for exports made to or on behalf of an agency of the U.S. government; revise the destination control statement in ITAR § 123.9 to harmonize the language with the EAR; and make several minor edits for clarity. The proposed revisions contained in this rule are part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under E.O. 13563.
2014-10-10; vol. 79 # 197 - Friday, October 10, 201479 FR 61226 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Corrections, Clarifications, and Movement of DefinitionsGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEFinal rule.This rule is effective October 10, 2014.22 CFR Parts 120, 121, 123, 126, and 130SummaryIn an effort to streamline, simplify and clarify the recent revisions to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) made pursuant to the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, the Department of State is amending the ITAR as part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 completed on August 17, 2011.
2014-05-13; vol. 79 # 92 - Tuesday, May 13, 201479 FR 27180 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revision of U.S. Munitions List Category XVGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEInterim final rule.This rule is effective November 10, 2014, except for § 121.1, Category XV(d), which is effective June 27, 2014. Interested parties may submit comments on paragraphs (a)(7) and (e)(11) of USML Category XV and ITAR § 124.15 by June 27, 2014.22 CFR Parts 120, 121, and 124SummaryAs part of the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) effort, the Department of State is amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to revise Category XV (Spacecraft and Related Articles) of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to describe more precisely the articles warranting control in that category. The revisions contained in this rule are part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 completed on August 17, 2011. This rule is published as an interim final rule because the Department believes that substantial national security benefits will flow from the changes to the controls on spacecraft and related items, but acknowledges that additional analysis of and public comment on the control thresholds for remote sensing satellites are warranted.
Legislation on Foreign Relations through 2004, V. 1B: Current Legislation ... - USA. Congress. House of Representatives. Committee on Foreign Affairs, USA. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations - Google Books
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 10:31
0 ReviewsWrite reviewhttps://books.google.nl/books/about/Legislation_on_Foreign_Relations_through.html?id=symmbfogAHUC By USA. Congress. House of Representatives. Committee on Foreign Affairs, USA. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations
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Saudi finances
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:17
But because of the plunge in oil prices since June 2014, Riyadh faces a huge budget gap this year, which Mubarak said was expected to exceed the originally projected 145 billion riyals. The International Monetary Fund has estimated the deficit will be about 20 percent of GDP, or approximately $150 billion. So far Riyadh has mainly been running down its financial reserves to cover the deficit; Mubarak said the government had withdrawn 244 billion riyals from reserves in 2015."
Saudis arrest 431 ISIS suspects in nationwide dragnet
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 06:31
Saudis arrest 431 ISIS suspects in nationwide dragnetDEBKAfileJuly 19, 2015, 7:52 AM (IDT)
The Interior Ministry in Riyadh reported the arrests of 431 people suspected of links to recent attacks in the kingdom, planning more attacks or spreading extremist ideology on social media. DEBKAfile: The authorities are battling the fast spreading support for ISIS among young Saudis. Some of the most radicalized are calling for the ouster of the House of Saudi and the removal of the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina from its guardianship.
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F-Russia
MH-17 Mystery: A New Tonkin Gulf Case? | Consortiumnews
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 15:44
Exclusive: In 1964, the Tonkin Gulf incident was used to justify the Vietnam War although U.S. intelligence quickly knew the facts were not what the U.S. government claimed. Now, the MH-17 case is being exploited to justify a new Cold War as U.S. intelligence again is silent about what it knows, writes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
One year ago, the world experienced what could become the Tonkin Gulf incident of World War III, the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine. As with the dubious naval clash off the coast of North Vietnam in 1964, which helped launch the Vietnam War, U.S. officials quickly seized on the MH-17 crash for its emotional and propaganda appeal '' and used it to ratchet up tensions against Russia.
Shocked at the thought of 298 innocent people plunging to their deaths from 33,000 feet last July 17, the world recoiled in horror, a fury that was then focused on Russian President Vladimir Putin. With Putin's face emblazoned on magazine covers, the European Union got in line behind the U.S.-backed coup regime in Ukraine and endorsed economic sanctions to punish Russia.
Russian-made Buk anti-missile battery.
In the year that has followed, the U.S. government has continued to escalate tensions with Russia, supporting the Ukrainian regime in its brutal ''anti-terrorism operation'' that has slaughtered thousands of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. The authorities in Kiev have even dispatched neo-Nazi and ultranationalist militias, supported by jihadists called ''brothers'' of the Islamic State, to act as the tip of the spear. [See Consortiumnews.com's ''Ukraine Merges Nazis and Islamists.'']
Raising world tensions even further, the Russians have made clear that they will not allow the ethnic Russian resistance to be annihilated, setting the stage for a potential escalation of hostilities and even a possible nuclear showdown between the United States and Russia.
But the propaganda linchpin to the West's extreme anger toward Russia remains the MH-17 shoot-down, which the United States and the West continue to pin on the Russian rebels '' and by extension '' Russia and Putin. The latest examples are media reports about the Dutch crash investigation suggesting that an anti-aircraft missile, allegedly involved in destroying MH-17, was fired from rebel-controlled territory.
Yet, the U.S. mainstream media remains stunningly disinterested in the ''dog-not-barking'' question of why the U.S. intelligence community has been so quiet about its MH-17 analysis since it released a sketchy report relying mostly on ''social media'' on July 22, 2014, just five days after the shoot-down. A source briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts told me that the reason for the intelligence community's silence is that more definitive analysis pointed to a rogue Ukrainian operation implicating one of the pro-regime oligarchs.
The source said that if this U.S. analysis were to see the light of day, the Ukrainian ''narrative'' that has supplied the international pressure on Russia would collapse. In other words, the Obama administration is giving a higher priority to keeping Putin on the defensive than to bringing the MH-17 killers to justice.
Like the Tonkin Gulf case, the evidence on the MH-17 case was shaky and contradictory from the start. But, in both cases, U.S. officials confidently pointed fingers at the ''enemy.'' President Lyndon Johnson blamed North Vietnam in 1964 and Secretary of State John Kerry implicated ethnic Russian rebels and their backers in Moscow in 2014. In both cases, analysts in the U.S. intelligence community were less certain and even reached contrary conclusions once more evidence was available.
In both cases, those divergent assessments appear to have been suppressed so as not to interfere with what was regarded as a national security priority '' confronting ''North Vietnamese aggression'' in 1964 and ''Russian aggression'' in 2014. To put out the contrary information would have undermined the government's policy and damaged ''credibility.'' So the facts '' or at least the conflicting judgments '' were hidden.
The Price of Silence
In the case of the Tonkin Gulf, it took years for the truth to finally emerge and '' in the meantime '' tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers and millions of Vietnamese had lost their lives. Yet, much of the reality was known soon after the Tonkin Gulf incident on Aug. 4, 1964.
Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1964 was a young Defense Department official, recounts '' in his 2002 book Secrets '' how the Tonkin Gulf falsehoods took shape, first with the panicked cables from a U.S. Navy captain relaying confused sonar readings and then with that false storyline presented to the American people.
As Ellsberg describes, President Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara announced retaliatory airstrikes on Aug. 4, 1964, telling ''the American public that the North Vietnamese, for the second time in two days, had attacked U.S. warships on 'routine patrol in international waters'; that this was clearly a 'deliberate' pattern of 'naked aggression'; that the evidence for the second attack, like the first, was 'unequivocal'; that the attack had been 'unprovoked'; and that the United States, by responding in order to deter any repetition, intended no wider war.''
Ellsberg wrote: ''By midnight on the fourth, or within a day or two, I knew that each one of those assurances was false.'' Yet, the White House made no effort to clarify the false or misleading statements. The falsehoods were left standing for several years while Johnson sharply escalated the war by dispatching a half million soldiers to Vietnam.
In the MH-17 case, we saw something similar. Within three days of the July 17, 2014 crash, Secretary Kerry rushed onto all five Sunday talk shows with his rush to judgment, citing evidence provided by the Ukrainian government through social media. On NBC's ''Meet the Press,'' David Gregory asked, ''Are you bottom-lining here that Russia provided the weapon?''
Kerry: ''There's a story today confirming that, but we have not within the Administration made a determination. But it's pretty clear when '' there's a build-up of extraordinary circumstantial evidence. I'm a former prosecutor. I've tried cases on circumstantial evidence; it's powerful here.'' [See Consortiumnews.com's ''Kerry's Latest Reckless Rush to Judgment.'']
Two days later, on July 22, the Director of National Intelligence authorized the release of a brief report essentially repeating Kerry's allegations. The DNI's report also cited ''social media'' as implicating the ethnic Russian rebels, but the report stopped short of claiming that the Russians gave the rebels the sophisticated Buk (or SA-11) surface-to-air missile that the report indicated was used to bring down the plane.
Instead, the report cited ''an increasing amount of heavy weaponry crossing the border from Russia to separatist fighters in Ukraine''; it claimed that Russia ''continues to provide training '' including on air defense systems to separatist fighters at a facility in southwest Russia''; and its noted the rebels ''have demonstrated proficiency with surface-to-air missile systems, downing more than a dozen aircraft in the months prior to the MH17 tragedy, including two large transport aircraft.''
Yet, despite the insinuation of Russian guilt, what the public report didn't say '' which is often more significant than what is said in these white papers '' was that the rebels had previously only used short-range shoulder-fired missiles to bring down low-flying military planes, whereas MH-17 was flying at around 33,000 feet, far beyond the range of those weapons.
The assessment also didn't say that U.S. intelligence, which had been concentrating its attention on eastern Ukraine during those months, detected the delivery of a Buk missile battery from Russia, despite the fact that a battery consists of four 16-foot-long missiles that are hauled around by trucks or other large vehicles.
Rising Doubts
I was told that the absence of evidence of such a delivery injected the first doubts among U.S. analysts who also couldn't say for certain that the missile battery that was suspected of firing the fateful missile was manned by rebels. An early glimpse of that doubt was revealed in the DNI briefing for several mainstream news organizations when the July 22 assessment was released.
The Los Angeles Times reported, ''U.S. intelligence agencies have so far been unable to determine the nationalities or identities of the crew that launched the missile. U.S. officials said it was possible the SA-11 was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military who was trained to use similar missile systems.'' [See Consortiumnews.com's ''The Mystery of a Ukrainian 'Defector.''']
The Russians also challenged the rush to judgment against them, although the U.S. mainstream media largely ignored '' or ridiculed '' their presentation. But the Russians at least provided what appeared to be substantive data, including alleged radar readings showing the presence of a Ukrainian jetfighter ''gaining height'' as it closed to within three to five kilometers of MH-17.
Russian Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov also called on the Ukrainian government to explain the movements of its Buk systems to sites in eastern Ukraine and why Kiev's Kupol-M19S18 radars, which coordinate the flight of Buk missiles, showed increased activity leading up to the July 17 shoot-down.
The Ukrainian government countered by asserting that it had ''evidence that the missile which struck the plane was fired by terrorists, who received arms and specialists from the Russian Federation,'' according to Andrey Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine's Security Council, using Kiev's preferred term for the rebels.
On July 29, amid this escalating rhetoric, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, a group of mostly retired U.S. intelligence officials, called on President Barack Obama to release what evidence the U.S. government had, including satellite imagery.
''As intelligence professionals we are embarrassed by the unprofessional use of partial intelligence information,'' the group wrote. ''As Americans, we find ourselves hoping that, if you indeed have more conclusive evidence, you will find a way to make it public without further delay. In charging Russia with being directly or indirectly responsible, Secretary of State John Kerry has been particularly definitive. Not so the evidence.''
But the Obama administration failed to make public any intelligence information that would back up its earlier suppositions.
Then, in early August, I was told that some U.S. intelligence analysts had begun shifting away from the original scenario blaming the rebels and Russia to one focused more on the possibility that extremist elements of the Ukrainian government were responsible, funded by one of Ukraine's rabidly anti-Russian oligarchs. [See Consortiumnews.com's ''Flight 17 Shoot-down Scenario Shifts''and ''Was Putin Targeted for Mid-air Assassination?'']
Last October, Der Spiegel reported that the German intelligence service, the BND, also had concluded that Russia was not the source of the missile battery '' that it had been captured from a Ukrainian military base '' but the BND still blamed the rebels for firing it. The BND also concluded that photos supplied by the Ukrainian government about the MH-17 tragedy ''have been manipulated,'' Der Spiegel reported.
And, the BND disputed Russian government claims that a Ukrainian fighter jet had been flying close to MH-17, the magazine said, reporting on the BND's briefing to a parliamentary committee on Oct. 8, 2014. But none of the BND's evidence was made public '-- and I was subsequently told by a European official that the evidence was not as conclusive as the magazine article depicted. [See Consortiumnews.com's ''Germans Clear Russia in MH-17 Case.'']
Dog Still Doesn't Bark
When the Dutch Safety Board investigating the crash issued an interim report in mid-October, it answered few questions, beyond confirming that MH-17 apparently was destroyed by ''high-velocity objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.'' The 34-page Dutch report was silent on the ''dog-not-barking'' issue of whether the U.S. government had satellite surveillance that revealed exactly where the supposed ground-to-air missile was launched and who fired it.
In January, when I re-contacted the source who had been briefed by the U.S. analysts, the source said their thinking had not changed, except that they believed the missile may have been less sophisticated than a Buk, possibly an SA-6, and that the attack may have also involved a Ukrainian jetfighter firing on MH-17.
Since then there have been occasional news accounts about witnesses reporting that they did see a Ukrainian fighter plane in the sky and others saying they saw a missile possibly fired from territory then supposedly controlled by the rebels (although the borders of the conflict zone at that time were very fluid and the Ukrainian military was known to have mobile anti-aircraft missile batteries only a few miles away).
But the larger dog-not-barking question is why the U.S. intelligence community has clammed up for nearly one year, even after I reported that I was being told that U.S. analysts had veered off in a different direction '' from the initial blame-the-Russians approach '' toward one focusing on a rogue Ukrainian attack.
For its part, the DNI's office has cited the need for secrecy even as it continues to refer to its July 22 report. But didn't DNI James Clapper waive any secrecy privilege when he rushed out a report five days after the MH-17 shoot-down? Why was secrecy asserted only after the U.S. intelligence community had time to thoroughly review its photographic and electronic intelligence?
Over the past 11 months, the DNI's office has offered no updates on the initial assessment, with a DNI spokeswoman even making the absurd claim that U.S. intelligence has made no refinements of its understanding about the tragedy since July 22, 2014.
If what I've been told is true, the reason for this silence would likely be that a reversal of the initial rush to judgment would be both embarrassing for the Obama administration and detrimental to an ''information warfare'' strategy designed to keep the Russians on the defensive.
But if that's the case, President Barack Obama may be acting even more recklessly than President Johnson did in 1964. As horrific as the Vietnam War was, a nuclear showdown with Russia could be even worse.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (fromAmazonandbarnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry's trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America's Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer,click here.
A Year Without Truth, The West's Propaganda War over MH17 | Veterans Today
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 13:29
With debris of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 still covering the crash site in eastern Ukraine, the investigation of the July 17, 2014 tragedy is surrounded by secrecy. RT talked to international experts and the victims' families, still waiting for answers.
READ MORE:Victimsof MH17 crash remembered throughout the world a year on
''He was a good man, a good brother. He promised to take me one day on board of his plane'... He wanted to take me to Europe, but instead I brought his body home from Amsterdam on a plane,'' the younger sister of flight MH17 captain, Wan Lailatul Mustarah Bt. Wan Hussin told RT Documentary (RTD).
RTD's team visited Captain's Wan Amran's family in Malaysia. They couldn't talk to the pilot's wife, as she was sick, suffering from mental problems resulting from the trauma she experienced after her husband was killed in the crash.
''At first the youngest son couldn't accept this all, he was always saying that his father would come back,'' the captain's older sister, Wan Aini Bt. Wan Hussin, told RTD.
The Malaysian captain's family was shown a picture of his body, which they say ''wasn't damaged, just slightly burnt.''
READ MORE: 'Was there a 2nd plane?' New footage shows MH17 crash site minutes after Boeing downing
''I was able to identify him. The person who cleaned the bodies told us that our brother's body was in the best condition, with nothing missing,'' Wan Lailatul Mustarah Bt. Wan Hussin said. The family, like all victims' families, were not allowed to open the coffins by the government, they told RTD.
''The government is keeping quiet,'' the captain's sister said, adding that the family doesn't blame anybody. ''We just want and hope somebody will come up with something, especially from the black box,'' she said.
''We want the facts, we don't want propaganda,'' Malaysian engineer Azahar Zanudin told RTD. ''I'd like to know the real things about the disaster of MH17, because in MH17 case there is something wrong about the investigation,'' the engineer said. Blaming the local media for ''following the western media'' bias, Zanudin has created a Facebook page, where he collects the news about the crash from around the world ''for the people to see.''
''You can study the whole world behind your laptop, but the best thing you can do is check the spot yourself,'' Dutch blogger Max Van Der Werff told RTD. The blogger has visited the crash site in Ukraine, and said that in the one week he spent there, he had learned more about the crash ''than in a whole year behind my laptop.''
READ MORE: MH17 downed in Ukraine: What has happened in 365 days since the crash
''The Netherlands is the official head of the investigation'... (but) we are part of NATO, we are part of anti-Russian alliance, so we are not independent investigators,'' Van Der Werff said, adding that the MH17 crash should have been investigated by the UN, ''not a biased country like the Netherlands.''
Another independent researcher from the West also changed his opinion on the possible cause of the tragedy after visiting the crash site. ''I thought that the story of (another) plane taking the Boeing was a propaganda of Russia,'' German independent journalist Billy Six shared with RTD.
Then he visited the site in eastern Ukraine and spoke to witnesses who claimed they saw military jets flying in the area, but no BUK missile launcher vapor trail.
''When I reached the crash site, my first impression was quite eye-opening. I saw that the mass media coverage claiming that it's a very large field of 45-50 square kilometers (about 20 square miles) of wreckage '' which gives a conclusion to people that the plane was smashed into pieces in the air '' is not true,'' Billy Six said, adding that he saw just two places where the MH17 wreckage was largely concentrated.
A lot of pieces of evidence can still be found in the area. On finding parts of the Boeing, people bring them to the local administration, which is said to be in touch with Dutch experts.
Whoever launched the rocket is ''a different story,'' Elmar Gimulla, a Berlin lawyer who represents the families of aviation crashes victims, told RTD. But the Ukrainian government ''has failed'' and is to blame for allowing the passenger plane to fly above the military zone, he said.
''Only two days before this crash occurred, a military plane was downed by the rebels. In that situation it was a responsibility of the Ukrainian government to close the air space for civilian flights,'' Elmar Gimulla told RTD, adding that he had received threatening emails after news broke that he was aiding German families in launching a suit against Ukraine over the MH17 crash. Once, someone from Ukraine describing himself as ''a Nazi'' wrote the lawyer with the warning: ''be careful what you do.''
''There is too much secrecy regarding the investigation,'' former Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad told RTD. Saying that the country is ''very neutral because there is no real evidence,'' the politician said that the investigation of the Malaysia Airlines crash, which claimed the lives of all 298 people on board, was ''quite unusual.''''Involvement of Malaysia is limited,'' the ex-prime minister said.
READ MORE: MH17 couldn't be shot from rebel areas, West pressuring investigators '' Russian Air Agency
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HOW BELGIAN ANTI-GREECE HAWK VERHOFSTADT HID HIS FINANCIAL INTEREST IN GREEK ENERGY PRIVATISATIONS | The Slog.
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 11:38
Belgian bombast licks his lips at the thought of Greek energy contracts'....but his lips were sealed when it came to his personal interest in getting rid of Syriza
Guy Verhofstadt, the senior MEP who lambasted Alexis Tsipras in Brussels last week, is on the Board of two companies due to gain from Greek energy privatisation'...and is paid '‚¬190,000 a year by billionaire Nicolas Bol to lobby to that end. He has also been hawkishly anti-Putin over the Ukraine issue, where the Bol dynasty plotted r(C)gime change as a means of gaining valuable fracking contracts.
Many of you will doubtless have seen this Youtube vitriol aimed at Tsipras by Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P84tN0z4jqM
He's a pretty unpleasant and vindictively sarcastic bloke who wants r(C)gime change in Greece more than most. But Verhofstadt's vomit-inducing m(C)lange of acrimony and sanctimony left out one rather important element: a declaration by this corrupt bombast that he has a personal financial interest in hounding Syriza from office.
You see, mijnheer Veryhighstink is on the Board of an energy company called Sofina. Sofina is quoted on the Brussels bourse '' so, very handy for Guy '' and yes indeed, here he is listed at Bloomberg:
If the Greek privatisation programme demanded by Verhofshit et al goes ahead, then shareholders in Sofina stand to make a lot of money as the shares sky rocket and earnings per share rise. Last February 24th, Go-getter Guy argued strongly for the Greek energy privatisation to be given priority. Tsipras and Varoufakis specifically blocked such a move. Now however, Sofina's partner in crime GDFSuez is a front runner to win that privatisation contract.
It's a funny thing, but mijnheer Veryfat is very close to the Bol billionaire patriarch Nicolas, who owns 53.8% of Sofina.
Let's not beat about the bush here, Guy Verhofstadt is paid '‚¬130,000 a year to lobby for Nicolas Bol.
It gets worse, I'm afraid. Verhypocradt is also on the board of Belgian shipping company Exmar, which specialises in the exploitation and transportation of gas; it too stands to make a fortune from the fire-sale of Greece's seabed gas finds.
And blow me down with a Belgian windbag, Guy Verhofstadt is paid '‚¬60,000 a year to lobby for Exmar.
I think we have to ask European Parliament Chair and fellow anti-Tsipras loudmouth Martin Schulz why his chum Verhofstadt didn't declare these obvious interest conflicts before laying into Alexis Tsipras, the spotless Prime Minister of an EU sovereign State. Also what he is going to do about these revelations.
And while Martin Shutzstaffel is pondering the best wriggle-strategy out of that one, he might also care to look into some of the Belgian chocolate's other hobby-horses'...and the remarkable confluence they have with his business interests.
For example, mijnheer Verhofstadt has been a passionate advocate of fast-tracking Ukraine into the EU. This is because the Bol family is determined to grab a slice of the big shale-fracking potential of the Ukraine: and again, they pay him to make things easier for them. The EU has been happy dealing with corrupt politicians and mobsters in Ukraine to this end, because Verhofstadt has argued that the needs justify the means.
To those ends, Verhofstadt travelled to Maiden Square in Kiev and addressed anti-government protestors there in February 2014, making a series of inflammatory statements that earned rebukes from UKip leaders. Ukrainian police snipers shot protestors before then-president, the Russia-backed Viktor Yanukovich, fled Kiev later that month.
As the Ukraine Crisis escalated, Russia annexed Crimea. Astonishingly, Verhofstadt wound up being a catalyst in the creation of the worst superpower standoff since the Cold War.
His masters needed r(C)gime change, so the ever-obliging Guy helped them get it. Having created a civil war where there had previously been a crisis, in May 2014, Verhofstadt wrote in a Guardian column as follows:
'First and foremost, the international community cannot allow a military incursion of a sovereign state, of the kind undertaken by Russia, to be rewarded. Any outcome must involve Russian forces being withdrawn to pre-conflict levels'....the regime in the Kremlin may show less inclination to consider the views of voters than western democracies, but it is not deaf to economic pressure, especially given the slide in the exchange rate of the rouble against the dollar and the potential loss of foreign direct investment as investors clamour to protect or sell their Russian-based assets'....Russia will bow to economic pressure.'
He was wrong on all counts, but the key thing to note here is that this is what his paymasters were demanding: anything less would dash their hopes of getting the shale contracts.
This is the hypocrite who had the audacity to accuse Alexis Tsipras of not being a Democrat in the European Parliament.
This is the shifty lobbyist now revealed to be a creature pushing the corporacratic needs of neoliberal fascists'...at the expense of recovery in Greece and peace in the Ukraine.
This is the self-promoting gargoyle MEP who should now be asked '' if he cannot explain himself satisfactorily '' to resign.
**Major hat-tip to Slogger Dan for pointing me in the right direction on this scandalous abuse of office.
Yesterday at The Slog: Former Ukipper Richard North loses it with The Slog after being shown up on his home turf
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Greek Guilt and Syriza Perfidy | New Eastern Outlook
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:11
At this sad and very dangerous juncture of the unfolding events surrounding Greece and the crushing demands of the Troika, it becomes clear that all this would never have come to pass had the Greek people not felt guilty over their country's debt situation. As a consequence of their feeling guilty since the crisis began in October 2009, the situation is rapidly turning into a human tragedy where an entire people are now faced with likely destruction.
In a previous post I argued that the former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis was a Trojan Horse for the oligarchs, both inside Greece and outside, who is deliberately leading the Greek people on in order to crush them and any hope for debt softening or write offs.
On May 5 Greeks voted in a special referendum whether to accept the Troika further austerity as condition to stay in the Eurozone or to say ''No.'' Some 61% of the voting said a resounding No to Troika austerity. Tsipras and Varoufakis had pleaded for that No, lying to voters that that would give them a ''stronger hand'' in Brussels and Berlin to extract better terms from the Troika.
Instead, on July 9 Tsipras announced he had submitted a new proposal that, as details emerged, was virtually identical to the Troika demands Greek voters had just vehemently rejected. That betrayal is demoralizing and worse. After the July 6 resignation of Varoufakis immediately after the vote, Tsipras named a new Finance Minister, Euclid Tsakalotos. Tsakalotos is an Oxford-educated ''Marxist'' economist, a pal of that other caf(C) ''Marxist, '' Yanis Varoufakis, and a scion of a wealthy oligarch shipping and land-owning Greek military family. That may seem a bit curious for a government pretending to be crusading against the Troika, the IMF and against their system of debt slavery.
It now emerges that Tsipras and Finance Minister Tsakalotos drafted the capitulation offer of new austerity measures on the counseling of senior French bureaucrats sent personally to Tsipras by French President Hollande. By every definition the Syriza government has committed perfidy or treason against the Greek people, selling out the trust they had won in the referendum.
It is more and more clear this entire Greek crisis since 2009 is being orchestrated in detail from outside Greece and inside. It has only been possible because the Greek people believed in 2009 they were guilty and must be punished by paying the bankers. For the same reason they believed they were guilty they voted a series of governments after Papandreou that punished them with one austerity after another. That same guilt led them to wish to remain inside the destructive Eurozone despite all suffering.
Guilt and the Great Schism
Guilt is a horrible feeling. In a person, it can lead to horrendous consequences. Often the feeling of guilt''an entirely useless feeling as it solves nothing but makes our situation only far worse''leads an individual to lie to himself, and to others, in a silly attempt to hide the fact we feel guilty about something. That lying to cover our guilt has itself severe consequences even if we do not recognize them. We have violated some moral code of our society and no one must know, so we lie. Typically we feel ashamed of our feelings of guilt.
Every major world religion has cultivated feelings of guilt among its believers, none more expertly than the Roman Catholic Church with its dogma inspired by St Augustine, that insists we all are born in sin, guilty from the get go before we even take that first breath, the Doctrine of Original Sin.
Not irrelevant to the present Greek crisis is the historical fact that the Christian Church which arose out of Byzantium some seventeen hundred years ago, underwent a traumatic split around AD 1054 , known in church history as The Great Schism. At the center of the theology of that split was the refusal of what came to be known as the Eastern Orthodox Church, to accept the Roman Catholics' Doctrine of Original Sin. The Orthodox refuse to believe man is born guilty of the sins of his ancestors, guilt that must then be atoned.
The cruel irony of the Greek situation today is that despite that cultural heritage, a heritage that imbues Greek culture, today the Greek people feel a collective guilt that they have done something very, very bad and in a sense deserve what they are getting. The Greeks have been made to feel no longer good, but bad and guilty as causing this grave European crisis that was exposed in 2009.
Guilt feelings in a people can lead to horrendous consequences. German people know that only too well. The victorious Allied Powers in 1919 forced the German government to sign the infamous Article 231 of the Versailles Treaty, the War Guilt Clause. It stated, '''...Germany accepts responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany her allies.''
That forcing Germany to accept sole guilt for the Great War, and the subsequent forcing Germany to accept the dictated punishment of paying war reparations to the Allied victors'--USA, Britain, France and Italy'--set off a sequence of events that led directly to the Third Reich and a second brutal defeat of Germany in 1945. Swiss psychoanalyst C.G. Jung wrote an essay in 1945 that the German people felt a collective guilt (Kollektivschuld) for the atrocities committed by their fellow countrymen. Jung said it '''...will be one of the most important tasks of therapy to bring the Germans to recognize this guilt.''
After the war, the British and US occupation forces promoted shame and guilt with a publicity campaign, which included posters depicting concentration camps with slogans such as ''These Atrocities: Your Fault!'' (Diese Schandtaten: Eure Schuld!).
The Original Greek 'Sin'
Let's return to the present Greek debacle. If you will, in terms of the Greek debacle of unpayable debt and unendurable austerity, the roots go back to the lying that the Greek government used in 2000 to sneak into the charmed inner circle called the Eurozone.
Goldman Sachs was an active partner to the lie that Greece had fulfilled the Maastricht requirements of a ceiling of 3% Budget deficit to GDP and 60% public debt total to GDP. The Greek government did so by using a complex currency gimmick the financial rocket scientists at Goldman Sachs proposed to them. To clinch the Euro deal the government also hid from Brussels '‚¬1.6 billion in military purchases.
We are supposed to believe that the PASOK social democratic government of Costas Simitis, where George Papandreou was Foreign Minister in 2000 when Greece entered the Euro, was able to keep its dirty secret from the officials of the European Central Bank and of EUROSTAT, the official statistics agency of the EU.
Now the official line is that when the same Papandreou formed a new PASOK government as Prime Minister in October 2009, bizarrely, he decided to reveal the secret he knew when he was Foreign Minister in Simitis' regime in 2000. Papandreou announced that he had ''discovered'' that Greece's annual deficit was not 3% but 12.7%. That news in and of itself need not have caused the debt explosion that ensued.
The effect of Papandreou's declaration was to turn a Greek recession, a consequence of the global financial crisis set off in September 2008, into a major internal Greek crisis. When he announced it, Greek unemployment was already at 10% and the New York rating agencies were lowering Greece's sovereign debt credit rating to BBB+, the lowest of any Eurozone country.
The person who advised Papandreou to respond in what was then a deep recession with severe austerity was Yanis Varoufakis, the just-resigned Finance Minister of Syriza who did such a marvelous job putting Greece today into the mess it is in.
Papandreou followed Varoufakis' advice and imposed draconian austerity that made the situation into a full-blown national crisis. The government slashed spending, raised taxes, froze hiring, raised retirement age and cut public sector wages by 10% leading to nationwide anti-austerity strikes.
There is a carefully cultivated myth that the billions of financial credits for Greece from the EU, the ECB and the IMF have gone directly to the Greek people who, as mainstream media endlessly stresses, have an over-generous state pension system and a population that refuses to pay taxes. Naturally that creates a hefty anger during the Stammtisch grumblings across German and other EU pubs where we usually form our consensus..
There is only one thing wrong with the picture. It isn't the truth. Since the crisis became full-blown, complete with hedge fund attacks against the Greek bond market and the Euro led by mega-speculator George Soros in February 2010, pushing the interest rates on Greek government through the roof, the Troika has extended loans and credits to the tune of some '‚¬ 240 billion.
The real question never answered in mainstream EU media is what happened to that money? Greek economist Yanis Mouzakis of the Athens University calculated that of the '‚¬ 240 billions, '‚¬ 83 billion went to pay off old debt held by creditors consisting mainly of French and German banks. Another '‚¬41 billion went to maintain interest payments on existing government bonds held as well by mainly non-Greek EU and other banks. Another '‚¬ 48 billion went to bailout the private Greek banks largely owned by Greek oligarchs who by Greek law pay no taxes in Greece. Another '‚¬35 billion in Troika loans went to finance the 2012 debt ''haircut.'' That totals '‚¬ 207 of the total '‚¬ 240 billion to Greece to date. That's 86% of the total, most going to save the fooolish French and German banks that piled into Greek debt knowing that when the bubble burst, they would be ''Too Big To Fail.'' The ECB and EU would be forced to bail them out, precisely what happened.
A mere '‚¬ 27 billion of the '‚¬ 240 billion has gone to the Greek government budget or investment in infrastructure. And for this credit the Greek government assumed the debt obligation of the reckless banks, including Greek banks.
The Guilt
In sum, Greece and the Greek people have been lied to, frauded, robbed and now betrayed by Syriza and Prime Minister Tsipras, who they hoped would fight for their existence in a nation. Since early 2010 Greeks have undergone what has been described by Holger Schmieding of Berenberg Bank as the ''most severe austerity program imposed by any Western nation in peacetime.''
No government could have gotten away with what Papandreou and Varoufakis imposed on their fellow Greeks after February 2010 had the Greeks themselves not felt guilty of financial fraud. They were and are not guilty of any financial fraud beyond the possible tax minimization practices they imitated from their tax-cheating oligarchs, but the media barrage inside Greece from oligarch-owned media and from all EU outside media convinced them, obviously, that they had ''sinned,'' and bore the guilt.
It's worth noting that in every major religion, the word for sin and for debt are the same. A coincidence? I don't think so. Behind those ''debts'' (Schulden in German) are creditors demanding their pound of flesh from the ''guilty sinners.'' Go back to the blood-stained true history of the Great Crusades, wars declared by the Pope in Rome, initially to capture Constantinople and surroundings from the Eastern Orthodox Church following the Great Schism of 1054 AD and to put it under the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1146, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux wrote a letter to the Knights Templar, the most powerful and wealthiest military order during the era of the medieval Christian Crusades against ''infidel'' Islam. Bernard declared to the Templars, ''The Christian who slays the unbeliever in the Holy War is sure of his reward, the more sure if he himself is slain.'' (De Laude Novae Militiae, III'--De Militibus Christi).
The charismatic French abbot, Bernard of Clairvaux, mobilized tens of thousands of poor, illiterate peasants from southern Germany and France. His battle cry was, ''Hasten to appease the anger of heaven. . .Hasten then to expiate your sins by victories over the Infidels, and let the deliverance of the Holy places be the reward of your repentance. . .Cursed be he who does not stain his sword with blood.''
Bernard put the fear of God into the peasants and convinced them that the only possible way to atone for their guilt for being born in sin was to butcher infidels. Along the way they should capture Byzantium for Rome from the Orthodox Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos. Today the role of the Crusader Kings, Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, is being played by President Hollande and Sapin his wily Finance Minister and by Chancellor Merkel and Sch¤uble her rigid heartless Finance Minister.
Guilt and fostering of guilt feelings in a person or entire nations is one of the deadliest ways churches and bad political leaders have found to manipulate their people. The guilt becomes an irrational fear of punishment. The Greek people are indeed being punished for sins they are innocent of. No French banker, no Goldman Sachs banker, no French IMF Director General Lagarde goes to jail for their role in the crisis. Mario Draghi, a former Goldman Sachs banker, is treated as a hero when he precipitates the present phase of Greek crisis on February 11 when he announced he would stop accepting Greek state bonds as collateral for ECB credits, precipitating the crisis that Varoufakis and Tsipras have used to betray their people.
The perfidy was for Tsipras to say ''yes'' to the Troika four days after Greek voters said a clear ''no'' to more Troika austerity.
Greeks, especially before their politicians and oligarchs lured them into the EU and then the Euro, were, and to a great extent as I can judge still are, wonderful, warm, calm people. They are social and enjoy what is good in life''good food with good company and good music and dance. That goodness is being destroyed by people who feel threatened by it.
Through what is clearly a long-planned operation of betrayal of the Greek people from the inside by Greek oligarchs and their political hangers-on such as Varoufakis, Tsipras and now oligarch Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, and from the outside interests behind the Troika, Greek people face the temptation of the next sequence in the guilt cycle'--going from fear of punishment to a growing desire for revenge on those they believe did this all to them. God forbid if that stage now comes. Revenge is always self-destructive, no matter who it targets. Only by realizing there is no guilt, but rather criminal actions to destroy the Greek people will Greeks find the inner strength to do the good and resolve the crisis. The alternative is murder and suicide, and that we have had enough of.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook''.
Russia extends energy hand to Greece
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:11
European finance ministers ended 17 hours of negotiations Monday that set the stage for a $39 billion support mechanism for Greece, nearly two weeks after it defaulted on its $1.73 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.Hours before the deal was secured, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the Kremlin was ready to lend a hand in the Greek energy sector.
"In connection with this we study options for direct supplies of energy resources for the Greek government, and they may begin shortly," he said.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met in April with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss potential Russian financial assistance. Reports circulated then that the Kremlin pledged $5.5 billion in advance of a new pipeline to help deliver gas to Europe.
Disputes between Moscow and Kiev placed European energy security at risk and prompted both Moscow and Brussels to search for other options as the bulk of Russian gas for Europe runs through Soviet-era pipelines in Ukraine.
British energy company BP has awarded more than $1 billion in development contracts since selecting the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline as its option to carry gas to Europe from the Shah Deniz project off the coast of Azerbaijan in 2013. TAP would connect to the Trans-Anatolian natural gas project running through Turkey to the Greek border.
Russia's role in the European energy sector is a contentious economic issue for both parties. Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the upper house of Russian parliament, told Russia's Rossiya 24 news station last week Greece "has love and respect for Russia in their veins," adding it was Russia that assured Greek independence in the early 1800s.
On Monday's debt agreement, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he was satisfied with the form and substance of the bailout deal.
"There will not be a 'Grexit'," he said in a statement.
Tsipras Purges Greek Government of ''Extremist'', ''Radical'', ''Militant'' ''Leftists'' (i.e. the ones who backed the Greek people)
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 18:07
by Scott Creighton
What does it mean when a democracy needs to get rid of public servants who try to do what the vast majority of their constituents want them to do?
What does it mean when those public servants are described as ''radical'' ''extremists'' and ''militant leftists'' for simply acting in the interest of the people of a nation as opposed to that of the bankers and the elites?
This is what is happening in Greece right now.
Alexis Tsipras, the fake ''radical left'' party member (Syriza) is purging his government of anyone who stands opposed to the treasonous deal he struck with the Troika a week ago. While he does it, members of the media are using all sorts of hate-inspiring buzzwords to describe those he's kicking out of government.
The Greek prime minister has sought to rid his government of hardline leftists who oppose further austerity, reshuffling his cabinet barely 48 hours after dissidents broke ranks over a draconian bailout deal for the debt-stricken country.
In a move aimed squarely at displaying his determination to forge ahead with spending cuts and reforms, Alexis Tsipras replaced leading government ministers. The shakeup marked a decisive split from militants in his radical left Syriza party who had voted against tough measures demanded in return for rescue funds from the EU and IMF.
''It marks the beginning of the end of his relationship with the extremist far-left faction,'' said Aristides Hatzis, associate professor of law and economics at Athens University. ''But it is also clear that this is a short-term government. Tsipras's hands are tied because these people still have a strong presence in his parliamentary group.'' The Guardian
If those who oppose the draconian austerity measures of the deal struck between Tsipras and the Troika are ''extremists'' and ''radicals'', it's fair too say based on the recent referendum held in Greece not that long ago, that the vast majority of the people of Greece are ''extremists'' and ''radicals''
And if that's the case, then I guess by definition, that position is neither extreme or radical. It's pretty much the consensus. And that should be pretty obvious. But not to these guys because that's not how the neoliberal mind works. To them, putting people first is an extremist, radical, militant act and those who do it need to be purged from any position of power they might hold.
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CLEARLY WE NEED INDEPENDENT MEDIANOW MORE THAT EVERPlease help keep us up and running if you can.Speaking truth ABOUT power since June 26, 2007(For my mailing address, please email me at RSCdesigns@tampabay.rr.com)
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Filed under: Alexis Tsipras, Global Free Market Wars, Globalization, Greek Elections 2015, Greek referendum, Scott Creighton
More than half of Germans think planned Greek deal is bad: poll
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 07:25
Giorgos, a 77-year-old pensioner from Athens, sits outside a branch of the National Bank of Greece as he waits along with dozens of other pensioners, hoping to get their pensions in Athens, Greece June 29, 2015.
Reuters/Yannis Behrakis
BERLIN More than half of Germans think the planned deal with Greece is bad and many would have preferred that the crisis-stricken country left the euro zone rather than getting the chance for further aid, according to an opinion poll.
Lawmakers in Germany, the biggest contributor to euro zone bailouts, on Friday gave their go-ahead for the currency bloc to negotiate a third bailout for Greece that could total 86 billion euros ($93 billion) over three years.
In the YouGov survey seen by German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, 56 percent of respondents said they thought the plan for such a deal with Greece was bad, with just over one fifth of those saying it was very bad.
Only 2 percent deemed it to be positive while another 27 percent said they thought it was somewhat positive.
The poll of 1,380 Germans showed there was a lack of enthusiasm in Europe's largest economy about the result of Friday's vote, Welt am Sonntag said on Sunday, adding that the poll showed 48 percent of Germans would have liked to see Greece quit the euro zone.
Only a third clearly said they wanted the country to remain a member of the single currency bloc, the newspaper said.
A separate survey by pollster Forsa published on Friday showed that 53 percent of German voters had wanted parliament to back the negotiations, with 42 percent against.
($1 = 0.9236 euros)
(Reporting by Michelle Martin)
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Presidential Memorandum -- Designation of the Republic of Tunisia as a Major Non-NATO Ally
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 10:28
July 10, 2015
Presidential DeterminationNo. 2015-09
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
SUBJECT: Designation of the Republic of Tunisia as a Major Non-NATO Ally
Consistent with the authority vested in me as President by section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (the "Act"), I hereby designate the Republic of Tunisia as a major Non-NATO Ally of the United States for the purposes of the Act and the Arms Export Control Act.
You are authorized and directed to publish this determination in the Federal Register.
BARACK OBAMA
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22 CFR 120.32 - Major non-NATO ally. | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 10:32
§ 120.32Major non-NATO ally.Major non-NATO ally, as defined in section 644(q) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2403(q)), means a country that is designated in accordance with section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2321(k)) as a major non-NATO ally for purposes of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2151et seq. and 22 U.S.C. 2751et seq.). The following countries are designated as major non-NATO allies: Afghanistan (see§ 126.1(g) of this subchapter), Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Republic of Korea. Taiwan shall be treated as though it were designated a major non-NATO ally.Title 22 published on 2014-04-01.
The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 22.
For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.
2014-10-10; vol. 79 # 197 - Friday, October 10, 201479 FR 61226 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Corrections, Clarifications, and Movement of DefinitionsGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEFinal rule.This rule is effective October 10, 2014.22 CFR Parts 120, 121, 123, 126, and 130SummaryIn an effort to streamline, simplify and clarify the recent revisions to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) made pursuant to the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, the Department of State is amending the ITAR as part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 completed on August 17, 2011.
2014-05-13; vol. 79 # 92 - Tuesday, May 13, 201479 FR 27180 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revision of U.S. Munitions List Category XVGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEInterim final rule.This rule is effective November 10, 2014, except for § 121.1, Category XV(d), which is effective June 27, 2014. Interested parties may submit comments on paragraphs (a)(7) and (e)(11) of USML Category XV and ITAR § 124.15 by June 27, 2014.22 CFR Parts 120, 121, and 124SummaryAs part of the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) effort, the Department of State is amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to revise Category XV (Spacecraft and Related Articles) of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to describe more precisely the articles warranting control in that category. The revisions contained in this rule are part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 completed on August 17, 2011. This rule is published as an interim final rule because the Department believes that substantial national security benefits will flow from the changes to the controls on spacecraft and related items, but acknowledges that additional analysis of and public comment on the control thresholds for remote sensing satellites are warranted.
This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.
This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].
It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.
United States CodeU.S. Code: Title 22 - FOREIGN RELATIONS AND INTERCOURSEStatutes at LargePublic LawsPresidential DocumentsExecutive Order ... 13637
Title 22 published on 2014-04-01
The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 22 CFR Part 120after this date.
2015-06-03; vol. 80 # 106 - Wednesday, June 3, 201580 FR 31525 - International Traffic in Arms: Revisions to Definitions of Defense Services, Technical Data, and Public Domain; Definition of Product of Fundamental Research; Electronic Transmission and Storage of Technical Data; and Related DefinitionsGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEProposed rule.The Department of State will accept comments on this proposed rule until August 3, 2015.22 CFR Parts 120, 123, 125, and 127SummaryAs part of the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, the Department of State proposes to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to update the definitions of ''defense article,'' ''defense services,'' ''technical data,'' ''public domain,'' ''export,'' and ''reexport or retransfer'' in order to clarify the scope of activities and information that are covered within these definitions and harmonize the definitions with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), to the extent appropriate. Additionally, the Department proposes to create definitions of ''required,'' ''technical data that arises during, or results from, fundamental research,'' ''release,'' ''retransfer,'' and ''activities that are not exports, reexports, or retransfers'' in order to clarify and support the interpretation of the revised definitions that are proposed in this rulemaking. The Department proposes to create new sections detailing the scope of licenses, unauthorized releases of information, and the ''release'' of secured information, and revises the sections on ''exports'' of ''technical data'' to U.S. persons abroad. Finally, the Department proposes to address the electronic transmission and storage of unclassified ''technical data'' via foreign communications infrastructure. This rulemaking proposes that the electronic transmission of unclassified ''technical data'' abroad is not an ''export,'' provided that the data is sufficiently secured to prevent access by foreign persons. Additionally, this proposed rule would allow for the electronic storage of unclassified ''technical data'' abroad, provided that the data is secured to prevent access by parties unauthorized to access such data. The revisions contained in this proposed rule are part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 first submitted on August 17, 2011.
2015-05-26; vol. 80 # 100 - Tuesday, May 26, 201580 FR 30001 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Registration and Licensing of U.S. Persons Employed by Foreign Persons, and Other ChangesGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEProposed rule.The Department of State will accept comments on this proposed rule until July 27, 2015.22 CFR Parts 120, 122, 124, 125, and 126SummaryThe Department of State proposes to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to clarify requirements for the licensing and registration of U.S. persons providing defense services while in the employ of foreign persons. This amendment is pursuant to the President's Export Control Reform effort, as part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 completed on August 17, 2011. The Department of State's full plan can be accessed at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/181028.pdf .
2015-05-22; vol. 80 # 99 - Friday, May 22, 201580 FR 29565 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Exports and Temporary Imports Made to or on Behalf of a Department or Agency of the U.S. Government; Procedures for Obtaining State Department Authorization To Export Items Subject to the Export Administration Regulations; Revision to the Destination Control Statement; and Other ChangesGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEProposed rule.The Department of State will accept comments on this proposed rule until July 6, 2015.22 CFR Parts 120, 123, 124, 125, and 126SummaryAs part of the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) effort, the Department of State is proposing to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to: clarify regulations pertaining to the export of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR); revise the licensing exemption for exports made to or on behalf of an agency of the U.S. government; revise the destination control statement in ITAR § 123.9 to harmonize the language with the EAR; and make several minor edits for clarity. The proposed revisions contained in this rule are part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under E.O. 13563.
2014-10-10; vol. 79 # 197 - Friday, October 10, 201479 FR 61226 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Corrections, Clarifications, and Movement of DefinitionsGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEFinal rule.This rule is effective October 10, 2014.22 CFR Parts 120, 121, 123, 126, and 130SummaryIn an effort to streamline, simplify and clarify the recent revisions to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) made pursuant to the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, the Department of State is amending the ITAR as part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 completed on August 17, 2011.
2014-05-13; vol. 79 # 92 - Tuesday, May 13, 201479 FR 27180 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revision of U.S. Munitions List Category XVGPO FDSys XML | TextAdditional DocumentsDEPARTMENT OF STATEInterim final rule.This rule is effective November 10, 2014, except for § 121.1, Category XV(d), which is effective June 27, 2014. Interested parties may submit comments on paragraphs (a)(7) and (e)(11) of USML Category XV and ITAR § 124.15 by June 27, 2014.22 CFR Parts 120, 121, and 124SummaryAs part of the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) effort, the Department of State is amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to revise Category XV (Spacecraft and Related Articles) of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to describe more precisely the articles warranting control in that category. The revisions contained in this rule are part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 completed on August 17, 2011. This rule is published as an interim final rule because the Department believes that substantial national security benefits will flow from the changes to the controls on spacecraft and related items, but acknowledges that additional analysis of and public comment on the control thresholds for remote sensing satellites are warranted.
Legislation on Foreign Relations through 2004, V. 1B: Current Legislation ... - USA. Congress. House of Representatives. Committee on Foreign Affairs, USA. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations - Google Books
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 10:31
0 ReviewsWrite reviewhttps://books.google.nl/books/about/Legislation_on_Foreign_Relations_through.html?id=symmbfogAHUC By USA. Congress. House of Representatives. Committee on Foreign Affairs, USA. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations
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AT&L official: Data restrictions in defense bill impede management
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 15:51
Acquisition
AT&L official: Data restrictions in defense bill impede managementBy Sean LyngaasJul 17, 2015The public debate between Defense Department officials and Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain over an acquisition provision of the Senate version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill continued July 17, with Alan Estevez, a defense acquisition official, saying the measure ''impedes the secretary's ability to manage the department.''
The provision of the Senate bill in question is Section 843, which would shift milestone decision authority for major acquisition programs from the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) to the military service acquisition executives. This is intended to increase accountability for acquisition programs, but has irked AT&L officials who see a disruption in management.
McCain has argued that the bill's shifting of the authority would not undercut Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's ability to oversee acquisition programs because the service chiefs report to Carter. But Estevez, the principal deputy undersecretary of Defense at AT&L, said explicitly otherwise at an event on acquisition reform hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
''The reality is the secretary manages the department through the OSD staff, not through the service staffs,'' Estevez said. ''When you say that you cannot provide data '... to the undersecretary of AT&L, you're impeding the [Defense] secretary's ability to manage programs.''
Section 843 stipulates that the Defense secretary ''shall ensure that no documentation is required outside of the military service organization'' for service acquisition executives' milestone decisions without the deputy chief management officer determining that the documentation meets a statutory requirement. That mandate's self-described goal is to avoid adding to program delays and cost overruns, but Estevez worried it would amount to a blind spot in oversight. Like executives at any large corporation, AT&L officials want to be involved in major decisions that affect the organization's bottom line, he said.
The stakes are huge. The Pentagon has 78 major defense acquisition programs, representing a planned spending program of $1.4 trillion, according to Andrew Hunter, a former AT&L official who is now a CSIS senior fellow.
A spokesperson for McCain did not respond to requests asking for the Arizona Republican's rebuttal to Estevez's comments.
Outside experts have also raised concerns about McCain's proposed shift of milestone decision authority, with Katherine Schinasi, a former Government Accountability Office official, telling CQ Roll Call that the proposal ''goes to undercutting the basis for how equipment should be acquired: with a joint perspective and civilian oversight.''
Venting on Section 843 aside, Estevez nonetheless said that his office agrees with many of the acquisition provisions in the defense authorization, noting that it incorporates several of AT&L's recommendations.
The House and Senate have each passed versions of the defense authorization bill and are now conferencing to merge them. The White House has objected to both bills for their use of overseas contingency operations funding rather than base budgeting to meet policy priorities.
About the Author
Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Follow him on Twitter: @snlyngaas
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The Iran Deal Strengthens America's Military Option | The National Interest
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 03:38
The Obama administration has sold the recently announced Iran deal as the best alternative to the military option. Although the accord does reduce the chances the United States or Israel will have to resort to the military option, it also increases their capability to carry out airstrikes against Iran's nuclear program should they become necessary.
The nuclear deal strengthens the military option in a number of different ways. One of the least understood is Iran's decision to relinquish the plutonium route to the bomb. In one of the only permanent features of the deal, Iran has agreed to redesign its Arak heavy water reactor so that it is incapable of producing weapons-grade plutonium, and promised to ship all the spent fuel from the reactor abroad. Furthermore, Tehran has pledged to never acquire reprocessing facilities, which are necessary to produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon.
This is crucial. Although the heavy water reactor is not the most technically difficult nuclear facility to destroy, it is easily the most politically challenging. Indeed, if the Arak heavy water reactor went critical, it would have been impossible to bomb the facility without releasing large amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere. As Amos Yadlin, the former head of Israel's military intelligence, has warned: ''Whoever considers attacking an active reactor is willing to invite another Chernobyl, and no one wants to do that.''
The intrusive inspections of the nuclear deal will also strengthen the military option by allowing the United States and its allies to better map out Iran's nuclear program. Although the broad contours of Iran's nuclear facilities are well known, their exact dimensions, as well as the entire supply chain, almost certainly eludes the United States and its allies. As a major 2012 report by the bipartisan Iran Group noted, ''complete destruction of Iran's nuclear program is unlikely'' even if U.S. airstrikes are carried out to ''near perfection.'' Similarly, Greg Thielmann, a former State Department intelligence official, recently pointed out that, after a U.S. attack, it's hard to imagine ''there would not be hundreds of centrifuges left intact.'' Intrusive inspections will give the United States and its allies better intelligence to successfully eliminate Iran's nuclear program.
Most importantly, the new nuclear deal will give the United States and Israel time to develop the capabilities they need to carry out a military strike. A frequent criticism of the deal is that Iran will have few, if any, restrictions on its nuclear program after the deal expires in ten to fifteen years. This ignores that the United States and Israel will be similarly unrestricted after the deal's expiration.
Moreover, while Iran's nuclear program will be frozen in place for over a decade, the United States and Israel will be free to strengthen their military capabilities. This will be especially important for Israel, which currently lacks the requisite aircraft and payloads to successfully destroy Iran's Fordow enrichment plant, which is buried deep within a mountain.
The United States is more capable of bombing the enrichment plant. Over the past decade, it has developed the 30,000-pound massive ordnance penetrator (MOP) for the exact purpose of destroying underground facilities like the Fordow enrichment plant.
Still, it's unclear if the MOP can successfully destroy all Iran's nuclear facilities. The bomb can reportedly burrow through 200 feet of earth before exploding, but the Fordow plant is buried 250 feet below a mountain and likely reinforced with concrete. As late as 2012, the U.S. military conceded the bunker-buster MOP couldn't destroy the Fordow plant.
The Pentagon's current war plans reportedly call for dropping two bunker-buster bombs on top of each other in order to reach the enrichment plant. This requires excellent precision and, despite recent upgrades to the bomb's internal guidance system, would be extraordinarily difficult to achieve in the fog of war. However, given all the progress the United States has made in building more powerful bunker-busters over the past decade, there is every reason to believe that Washington will have a bomb capable of destroying the Fordow plant in ten year's time.
While the new nuclear deal will hopefully make airstrikes against Iran's nuclear program unnecessary, it will undoubtedly make them more successful, if required. For this reason alone, the deal is worth supporting.
Zachary Keck is managing editor of The National Interest. You can find him on Twitter:@ZacharyKeck.
Image: Wikimedia Commons/TSGT MICHAEL AMMONS, USAF
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KALE
Eating Kale Is Making People Seriously Sick
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 01:11
Kale is heralded for its ample supplies of calcium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin K, and various healthful phytochemicals and anti-oxidants. But the superfood is hiding a nasty secret: dangerous levels of heavy metals.
In a recent study, molecular biologist Ernie Hubbard found that kale'--along with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and collard greens'--is a hyper-accumulator of heavy metals like thallium and cesium. What's more, traces of nickel, lead, cadmium, aluminum, and arsenic are also common in greens, and this contamination affected both organic and standard produce samples.
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The source? Its soil. "If it's left in the ground, the leafy greens are going to take it up," Hubbard told Craftmanship magazine.
This news gives us pause because kale has taken the culinary world by storm over the last few years: Back in 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recorded 954 farms harvesting the green, but by 2012 the number of growers soared to 2,500. It's become the "it" vegetable, getting juiced, saut(C)ed, steamed, folded into smoothie bowls, baked into chips, and so much more.
Thallium has been a common ingredient in rat poison. It's tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless. While those who tested positive hadn't consumed poisonous levels of the metal, it was enough to cause fatigue, heart arrhythmia, nausea, digestive trouble, neurological problems, and hair loss. The scariest part is that even after patients completed detoxification regiments, thallium continued to show up in their systems.
For example, the thallium levels of a 52-year-old female vegetarian, who both exercises for two hours and consumes kale on a daily basis, measured 0.7 parts per milligram'--that's seven times higher than what has been deemed the "threshold limit."
And while toxins are nearly everywhere in our industrial-run world, it's not an exaggeration to be concerned about these findings. "We now know that heavy metals are additive and synergistic," says David Quid, the lead scientist at Doctors Data, who has an PhD in nutritional biochemistry. "If you get a little thallium, and a little lead, and a little cadmium in your system, you've got one plus one plus one equals five or six, not just three." In other words, these metals do more damage when they're combined.
"This stuff bioaccumulates," he added. "Down the road, it's going to kick you in the ass one way or another." Okay, so we don't have to panic'--yet.
That said, is THIS the new kale? It's twice as healthy, and kind of tastes like bacon....
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Hillary 2016
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Millennial's take on Bernie [email]
Hi Adam,
Hope this is what you're looking for:
I am a part of the lazy millennial generation, looking for a handout, suckling the teet when the state offers one to me. I am worthless brainwashed iPhone zombie scum. In many ways, I'm Bernie Sander's target audience.
The first and last time I voted was in 2008. I felt like such an idiot for doing it. All of us were taken for saps and that was humiliating. You already know who I voted for.
During Occupy Wall Street I became an anarchist. Now I'm not sure what I am now since every ideology feels like bullcrap. There's exceptions for everything.
I had no intention of voting in 2016. I was going to watch these A-holes tear each other to pieces on television. I hate Hillary Clinton. I hate polticians in general. I don't hate Bernie Sanders though. I really like him. So, now I'm not only voting, I'm volunteering.
The fact that this guy has been shat on and marginalized as an independent for decades gives him credibility. I personally would prefer to see billionaires face the guillotine but I'll settle for taxing them until they beg for mercy then taxing them again for twice as much. He promises that and I have little doubt that he'll follow through. Free college, healthcare and a living wage sounds great too. Oh yeah, and a muzzle on asshole cops. Did I mention I hate cops?
His strategy clearly involves torches and pitchforks at the end of the day. He knows they're going to do everything they can to stop him. His power is going to come from the bottom up. People power. Possibly riot power. This guy is dangerous. I wouldn't rule out riots.
I remember when Obama brought in every Wall street executive to the White House and said "You know we're the only thing standing between you and the pitchforks, right?" then immediately began grinding down the teeth of that question to a nub. What a pussy. He should have made real threats, waited one day for them to cooperate and then started taking scalps.
Bottom line here is that I'd like to live in a country where people don't feel like shit all the time. I'm tired of people being scared by fascist propaganda. I'm tired of listening to my friends complaining about working their asses off and still barely scraping by. Do I think Bernie will be the answer to our ills? Hell no. We have to do this ourselves. It's the idea of what he stands for. That's what we're voting for.
It's a coin toss really whether it'll hurt or help the cause for him to be assassinated by some random yobbo. You know there are people out there who are seriously considering it if he gets anywhere close to the nomination.
This is a way moodier letter than I expected.
I'm just so sick of being cynical of everything, but hey that's millennial's for you. Anyway, don't be surprised if we start throwing rocks.
Hail Apple,
Love your show,
XYZ
Another, from Jimson [email]
John C. Dvorak is onto something. I'm 24, and every democrat I know under the age of 35 is all in on Bernie. They quote him, discuss his events, tune in to watch him on youtube uploads of Bill Maher. Liz Warren was talked about briefly, but they've all gone Pro-Bernie lately. They hate Hillary Clinton, and riff against her along with conservatives whenever they can. The big sticking point seems to be that she's a known liar to my age group, because we all remember her social views changing throughout our lives, millennials are particularly irked by her views on gays. To most of us, the gay issue isn't an issue, so Hillary being on both sides of it (and Obama, but they're less likely to throw him under the bus) is blatantly dishonest and exploitative.
Another millennial perspective, most people I talk to joke about moving to Canada if the race goes Bush against Clinton.
On another show topic, as a hip-hop fan, I pay some attention to Kanye West, so I remember when he blabbermouthed last year about how Kim Kardashian manipulates the media, which he has a noun for, "Kim Skills". If you google the phrase articles come up. People hate her, but she's a complete genius, shown to be able to exploit not only the media, but casual tekhornies as well. Donald Trump combined with Marilyn Monroe.
Thank you for your Courage, I was gonna record a "AYATOLLAH, YOU GOT SOME SPLAININ' TO DO" but can't find a clip of Desi Arnaz actually saying the line for reference. Oh well.
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Donald Trump attack on John McCain war record is 'new low in US politics' | US news | The Guardian
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 18:26
Donald Trump speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa. Photograph: Nati Harnik/AP
Donald Trump attacked the Arizona senator John McCain on Saturday, for being shot down while a navy pilot during the Vietnam war.
Trump, who has been in a war of words with the 2008 Republican nominee, jibed of McCain: ''He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren't captured.''
Related:Is Donald Trump the greatest meme generator that God has ever created?
His words prompted a strong response from Republican candidates for president in 2016 '' more immediate and forceful, indeed, than such reactions to Trump's recent comments on Mexico and immigration.
The former Texas governor Rick Perry said the remarks represented ''a new low in American politics'' and demanded that Trump ''immediately withdraw from the race for president.''
McCain was held prisoner by North Vietnam for five and a half years, and repeatedly tortured. Trump received several student deferments from Vietnam while in college. After graduating, he received a medical deferment.
Trump's remarks came in a question and answer session at the Family Leadership Summit, a gathering of social conservatives in Ames, Iowa, at which a number of Republican presidential candidates were scheduled to appear. Amid continuing controversy over his remarks about Mexico and immigration, Trump is running at the top of most polls of the 15-strong field.
His jibe at McCain came in the midst of back-and-forth remarks between the two, in which McCain claimed the attendees at a recent Trump event in Arizona were ''crazies''.
Trump responded by calling the Arizona senator ''a dummy'' because McCain graduated last in his class from the Naval Academy.
In a press conference on Saturday, Trump refused to apologize and said he had nothing to apologize for. Instead, he insisted that he was criticizing McCain for ''not doing enough for our veterans''.
He went on to refer to a recent high-profile prisoner of enemy forces, from the Afghanistan war, when he insisted: ''If a person is captured, they are a hero as far I'm concerned. Unless they are [Bowe] Bergdahl.''
Trump defended his words on stage by saying: ''I am not supposed to respect the people who didn't get captured?''
A number of Trump's Republican opponents were quick to criticize his comments. Former Texas governor Rick Perry released a statement, which said: ''Donald Trump should apologize immediately for attacking Senator McCain and all veterans who have protected and served our country.
''As a veteran and an American, I respect Senator McCain because he volunteered to serve his country. I cannot say the same of Mr Trump. His comments have reached a new low in American politics. His attack on veterans makes him unfit to be Commander-in-Chief of the US armed forces, and he should immediately withdraw from the race for president.''
Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum tweeted that McCain ''is an American hero, period''; at an event on Saturday, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker said McCain was ''an American hero'' as well. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush condemned ''slanderous attacks'' against McCain, in a tweet.
South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, a friend of McCain, has been a vociferous critic of Trump. On Twitter, he said: ''If there was ever any doubt that Donald Trump should not be our commander in chief, this stupid statement should end all doubt.''
The most pointed response came from Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, who tweeted: ''After Donald Trump spends six years in a POW camp, he can weigh in on John McCain's service.''
Even the Republican National Committee, which has been noticeably reticent to criticize Trump, went after the billionaire. Sean Spicer, the RNC's top strategist, tweeted: ''There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably.''
A McCain spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reaction from audience members at the Family Leadership Summit was mixed. One attendee, Jim Welscher of Des Moines, had no problems with Trump's comments. ''The truth needs to be spoken,'' he said.
In contrast, Dave Koenigsberg of Hampton, Iowa said: ''It's troubling that he would be derogatory to a United States senator, particularly about being a veteran.''
Trump speaks at a news conference after his appearance on stage. Photograph: Jim Young/ReutersRelated:Donald Trump may have overstated his appeal among Hispanic voters, poll finds
Trump did not just attack McCain. The former host of Celebrity Apprentice also took a populist note in going after the current system of campaign finance. The real-estate mogul defended his long history of political contributions to both parties as influence-buying: ''I give to everybody and they do whatever I say,'' he said.
He used this to note his independence from special interests and attacked the massive fundraising tallies achieved by Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.
''Those people are controlled by whoever gave them their money, and I will tell you they are totally controlled,'' he said.
The socially conservative gathering also meant Trump was pressed on his personal faith. While he talked at length about attending church and his love of family, he did say to a somewhat surprised crowd that he had never asked God for forgiveness.
It doesn't seem likely he'll ask John McCain for forgiveness either.
John McCain Has a Few Things to Say About Donald Trump - The New Yorker
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 06:45
McCain said that Donald Trump's comments on immigration have ''fired up the crazies'' in the Republican Party.Credit Photograph by by Win McNamee/GettyOver the weekend, Donald Trump held a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, that attracted several thousand people. He shared the stage with the father of a man who was killed by an undocumented immigrant'--and Trump continued his rant against illegal immigration that began when he launched his campaign and started to surge in the polls. Not every Republican in Arizona was pleased with Trump's visit. Senator John McCain, the Party's Presidential nominee in 2008, reacted to the event with dismay.
''It's very bad,'' McCain, who was eager to talk about Trump, told me on Monday when I stopped by his Senate office. The Senator is up for relection in 2016, and he pays close attention to how the issue of immigration is playing in his state. He was particularly rankled by Trump's rally. ''This performance with our friend out in Phoenix is very hurtful to me,'' McCain said. ''Because what he did was he fired up the crazies.''
McCain, who has long supported comprehensive immigration reform and was a member of the so-called Gang of Eight that successfully pushed immigration legislation through the Senate in 2013, has been at war with the far right in Arizona for years. ''We have a very extreme element within our Republican Party,'' McCain said. He then noted that he was personally censured by Arizona Republicans in January of 2014 and has been fighting to push out the extremists in the state G.O.P. ever since. ''We did to some degree regain control of the Party.''
But McCain fears that Trump may be reversing those gains. ''Now he galvanized them,'' McCain said. ''He's really got them activated.''
McCain probably has more experience navigating the issue of immigration than any other national Republican politician. He has fought off right-wing challengers in Arizona primaries and run twice in G.O.P. Presidential primaries. He has occasionally reined in his enthusiasm for an immigration-reform plan that would include a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants'--he hedged a bit during the 2008 campaign'--but he has never abandoned the policy.
Many Republicans assume that Trump's current position at the top of national polls won't last, and McCain, who said that he last met Trump many years ago, pointed out that conservatives are starting to learn more about Trump's liberal past. ''He was a big Democratic supporter,'' he said. ''Some of this stuff is going to come out: he gave more money to Democrats than Republicans; he had Hillary Clinton at his wedding. You know, he's attacking Hillary Clinton after she was in the front row of his'--I don't know which wedding it was.'' (Trump has been married three* times.)
But McCain worried that Trump might have more staying power than many political analysts assume. And, even if he slips in the polls, Trump's attacks on immigrants and his focus on the porous border will have a warping effect for Republicans.
''We'll see how this plays out, but there is some anger in my state,'' McCain said. He mentioned the continuing challenges of border security that were vividly highlighted when tens of thousands of Central American minors crossed into America last summer. ''People who otherwise might be more centrist are angry about this border situation.''
McCain is an ardent backer of his good friend Senator Lindsey Graham, who is languishing in the G.O.P. Presidential primary polls. He noted that Graham has been one of the few Republicans to condemn Trump in strong terms. On Sunday, Graham said on CNN, ''I think [Trump]'s a wrecking ball for the future of the Republican Party with the Hispanic community, and we need to push back.'' He added that Republicans ''need to reject this demagoguery. If we don't, we will lose, and we will deserve to lose.''
McCain, who is eighteen years older than Graham, sounded like a proud father. ''Lindsey said this is a moral test for our party. He put on a very strong performance,'' McCain said. ''Of course, Lindsey was one of the eight of us who negotiated immigration reform. Lindsey never backed away from it.''
McCain, who had a testy relationship with Senator Marco Rubio, another member of the Gang of Eight who is running for President, couldn't resist adding, ''Rubio backed away from it.''
I noted that Rubio, like many other Republican politicians, has been hard to follow on the issue and no longer supports the compromise approach that the Gang of Eight took in 2013: combining a pathway to citizenship and tough new border measures in a single bill. McCain licked his finger, held it up in the air, and laughed.
''You know that old song from before you were born?'' McCain said, speaking of the Bob Dylan classic ''Subterranean Homesick Blues.'' ''You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.''
* An earlier version of this piece said that Trump had been married four times.
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Campaign Finance/Money - Top Donors - Senator 2014 | OpenSecrets
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 05:57
*registrants, or active lobbying firm
This table lists the top donors to this candidate in 2011-2014. The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations' PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Why (and How) We Use Donors' Employer/Occupation Information
METHODOLOGY
NOTE: All the numbers on this page are for 2011-2014 and based on Federal Election Commission data available electronically on Monday, March 09, 2015. Click to see the reports included in calculating this information. ("Help! The numbers don't add up...")
Feel free to distribute or cite this material, but please credit the Center for Responsive Politics. For permission to reprint for commercial uses, such as textbooks, contact the Center.
Ropes & Gray LLP
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 05:58
Start at the TopThere is no better place to begin a legal career than Ropes & Gray'--ranked #1 for formal training in the 2016 Vault survey (five years running), and #1 for firm culture. Continue
A Turning Point in HistoryIn a historic decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states may not prohibit same-sex marriage. Ropes & Gray partner Douglas Hallward-Driemeier argued the landmark case. Continue
Chambers Award for ExcellenceChambers USA named Ropes & Gray 2015 health care firm of the year'--gratifying recognition of the firm's commitment to meeting its health care clients' most critical legal and business needs. Continue
M&A Firm of the YearRopes & Gray was honored as ''Law Firm of the Year'' at the annual M&A Advisor International M&A Awards, held in conjunction with the 2015 International Financial Forum. Continue
Momentum in LondonLegal Business recently honored Ropes & Gray with the "U.S. Law Firm of the Year" award, and a commercial litigation partner joined the firm in London. Continue
More than 1,200 Ropes & Gray lawyers and other professionals worldwide devoted 106,000 hours to assisting pro bono clients in 2014, earning the firm noteworthy recognition for its community service. Continue
Ranked #1 for overall diversity in the 2015 Vault survey, Ropes & Gray was honored for its diversity outreach efforts by the New York Law Journal. Continue
Message from the CEO - Brown Rudnick LLP
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 05:57
At Brown Rudnick, we have a ''one firm'' philosophy that guides our firm culture, business strategy and client service model. Our collaborative, entrepreneurial approach has long been a hallmark of our firm and a key element of the value proposition we deliver to clients.
We are a comparatively small firm with more than 230 lawyers, but we regularly find ourselves opposite firms 5 or 10 times our size. Often we are engaged to fight for the underdog, those ''out of the money,'' and the disenfranchised. As a result, we have a reputation for being tough lawyers who handle the toughest cases, whether in our corporate restructuring, litigation or M&A and securities practices.
Our clients retain us for complex, often cross-border, matters that require the highest level of intellectual ability and stamina. Our clients are extremely sophisticated users of legal services: they select us because we get results.
Our business strategy is to seek opportunities that lend themselves to innovation and collaboration among our departments. We focus our attention on those practice areas and industries where we are, or can be, a recognized leader. Our geographic footprint covers the world's leading financial centers. We feature a diverse, highly versatile workforce and strong balance among our practices, qualities that serve us well in changing market conditions.
For these reasons, our firm is a preferred destination for clients, as well as for the most talented lawyers, government relations professionals and staff.
Thank you for visiting our website. We welcome your feedback.
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Ministry of Truth
Royal Hitler Nazi Salute-At the End of the Day | The Slog.
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 22:05
Over the years, I have slowly shifted from a grudging admiration for Britain's royal family to one of distaste for most of its members. When you meet him off-set, for example, Prince Philip is an unconscionably rude man with an ill-deserved sense of superiority. For much of his married life, his morals have been less than exemplary. His son Andrew is made of the same stuff '' anti-free speech bordering on neoliberal Nazi. Edward is a self-pitying prat and Charles '' while years ahead of is time in some respects '' is going to be a disaster if he ever makes it to King. His grubby deal with Camerlot about gagging orders on Royal peccadillo scandals was a new low in abuse of privilege.
Three members of the Windsor Firm are its troika of potential salvation: the Queen herself, who if nothing else works hard and knows her stuff; Princess Anne, who has consistently shown herself over five decades to be a genuine egalitarian; and Prince William, who has both a serious and common-touch air about him.
When it comes to abolishing the royal family, however, I would make three simple points:
1. President Blair, President Cameron, and President Clegg
2. Don't chuck out the baby with the bathwater: the Royals could '' if less exposed to tabloid sanctimony '' become a major money-earner for Britain abroad'...and no, I don't mean sleazy export deals l'Andrew, I mean via subtle tourism marketing
3. Murdoch wants to destroy the royal family. This is reason enough to hang onto them until such time as the Pope is no longer a Catholic.
I end with that clincher because the Aussie Toff has been at it again. The Sun yesterday ran this truly base, pernicious and utterly false bit of Turdochism about the Royals ''being taught'' the Nazi salute in 1933.
What the kids are doing in this clip is mocking Hitler and his silly F¼hrerprinzip throwback bollocks. Although the (mercifully abdicated) Edward VIII thought Dolfie a thoroughly good bloke '' and was a thorn in Churchill's side throughout the Second World War '' Bertie Windsor (later George VI) and his wife the late Queen Mother were implacably anti-Nazi.
Rupert Murdoch and the backside-output he attracts as hacks have devoted their sadly twisted and bitter lives to the misuse of erroneous facts about Britain. Roop's father was an even bigger liar than his molly-coddled, privileged and privately educated dingo of a son (his treatise on Gallipoli dissembled on an industrial scale) while Merdeschlock Jr has traded nationalities (and wives) in his boundless pursuit of the sort of power that he feels might compensate for the tepid vacuum at his rotten core.
So here is another reason why having a monarch in the UK is '' at least for the time being '' a crackerjack idea. The Queen is a mediaeval hangover from the days before Citizen sovereignty. She finds herself working with a Prime Minister keen to tear up Magna Carta and replace it with a Carta Album for the munneeed.
She meets the PM once a week, and it's a meeting Dave can't refuse. This is how I'd like the meeting to start next Wednesday evening:
HMTQ: Ah Mr Cameron, delightful to see you again. I'd like if I may to stick to one issue this week: why do you surround yourself with the ghastly accolytes of Mr Murdoch, and are you merely venal and stupid like your late father, or actively setting out to insult the Monarch?
PM: Ah, er, um'...
HMTQ: That's all very well Prime Minister, but I've been studying some extant Constitutional gobbets with various historians less ignorant than yourself, and it seems that I have a sound basis for committing you to the Tower for treason.
PM: Hahhaahaha, very droll mum'...but hahaha I think'...
HMTQ: So you do occasionally think then Mr Cameron? Well think on this '' you are my eighteenth Prime Minister, and trust me'...when it comes to f**k-you politics, I am not Alexis Tsipras and you are not Mario Draghi.
PM: Your Majesty, I'.....
HMTQ: '...you Prime Minister are here to serve my People, not a shower of oiks who peddle lies. I shall expect to see a Page 1 retraction by The Sun regarding the insult to my father and mother. Tell me, did you want to stay for dinner?
PM: Regrettably mum, I have a previous engagement.
HMTQ: Good, as you are not invited anyway. Now get out of my sight.
I somehow doubt this is how it will go. But we can dream, can't we?
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Risking the belief among Sloggers that I may finally have lost all my prized merps* collection, I announce tonight that I am 4-square behind Jeremy Corbyn's candidature for the Lady Lierbership.
Mr Corbyn and I share almost no political views, but that matters nought when the issue is one of A Proper Opposition. The Ed Miller Band opposed neoliberal Toryism in the style of the Polish cavalry's resistance to the Nazi invasion in 1939'...minus only the valour. Every sound and functional democracy needs an Opposition prepared to call out amorality regardless of the electoral consequences. At every level, Corbyn fits that brief.
Other reasons for supporting him include:
1. He is incorruptible, & the lowest expenses user in the Commons
2. The Labour Big Beasts are terrified of him
3. He has the right ethical equipment to bring the young back to politics
4. Under the current electoral stitch-up system he stands as much chance of becoming Prime Minister as Percy & Pamela Pigeon here at Sloggers' Roost
5. I strongly suspect he will reveal the Prime Minister as the empty space he is
6. Tribalist he may be, I've read what he says; my hunch is that he could unite a radical anti-privilege Opposition to the point of it becoming The Resistance. I don't think he could form a sensible Government to save his life'...but he might just save British liberty and democracy.
On that last point, here is a young woman with whom I think he could form a crucial alliance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZAmhB55_-k
Whatever else happens of an unpredictable nature, Mhaire Black is going to be a massive influence on post-globalist governance. She embodies all the good things about caring Britain with none of the fluffy bollocks. And above all '' at the tender age of 20 '' she has more wisdom than a thousand spin doctors.
In the above maiden speech, she bowls a two-wicket maiden over, while extending a magnanimous hand to defeated Scottish Labour. She has certainly bowled me over. She will do the same for many others currently suspicious of politicians. Seven cheers for her.
*Effete southerners may not be familiar with the word 'merps', but in my grim Northern youth it was the argot of choice for marbles. For example, Geordie phrase for inadvertant loss of colourful glas spheres circa 1958: ''Way-aye, worve lost oor merps doon the drinny''.
Earlier at The Slog: Mario Dali's Tales of the Drivelbank
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War on Men
Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao: The trolls are winning the battle for the Internet - The Washington Post
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 01:41
Ellen Pao resigned this month from her position as interim chief executive of Reddit.
I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history. And I have just been blessed with the most astonishing human responses to that attack.
What happened to me while head of the popular online forum Reddit for the past eight months is important to consider as we confront the ways in which the Internet is evolving. Here's why:
The Internet started as a bastion for free expression. It encouraged broad engagement and a diversity of ideas. Over time, however, that openness has enabled the harassment of people for their views, experiences, appearances or demographic backgrounds. Balancing free expression with privacy and the protection of participants has always been a challenge for open-content platforms on the Internet. But that balancing act is getting harder. The trolls are winning.
Fully 40 percent of online users have experienced bullying, harassment and intimidation, according to Pew Research. Some 70 percent of users between age 18 and 24 say they've been the target of harassers. Not surprisingly, women and minorities have it worst. We were naive in our initial expectations for the Internet, an early Internet pioneer told me recently. We focused on the huge opportunity for positive interaction and information sharing. We did not understand how people could use it to harm others.
[Feminist writers are so besieged by online abuse that some have begun to retire]
The foundations of the Internet were laid on free expression, but the founders just did not understand how effective their creation would be for the coordination and amplification of harassing behavior. Or that the users who were the biggest bullies would be rewarded with attention for their behavior. Or that young people would come to see this bullying as the norm '-- as something to emulate in an effort to one-up each other. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which was founded to help protect Internet civil liberties, concluded this year: ''The sad irony is that online harassers misuse the fundamental strength of the Internet as a powerful communication medium to magnify and co-ordinate their actions and effectively silence and intimidate others.''
Reddit is the Internet, and it exhibits all the good, the bad and the ugly of the Internet. It has been fighting this harassment in the trenches. In February, we committed to removing revenge porn from our site, and others followed our lead. In May, the company banned harassment of individuals from the site. Last month, we took down sections of the site that drew repeat harassers. Then, after making these policy changes to prevent and ban harassment, I, along with several colleagues, was targeted with harassing messages, attempts to post my private information online and death threats. These were attempts to demean, shame and scare us into silence.
Undeterred, we took steps to prevent bad behavior in an incremental and thoughtful fashion. We doubled the size of our community-management team. We brought in two experienced managers to improve our operations, training and overall leadership. We added to our engineering team. We hired a product manager to help develop tools to help our volunteer moderators.
This isn't an easy problem to solve. To understand the challenges facing today's Internet content platforms, layer onto that original balancing act a desire to grow audience and generate revenue. A large portion of the Internet audience enjoys edgy content and the behavior of the more extreme users; it wants to see the bad with the good, so it becomes harder to get rid of the ugly. But to attract more mainstream audiences and bring in the big-budget advertisers, you must hide or remove the ugly.
[Report: 40 percent of Internet users have been harassed]
Expecting Internet platforms to eliminate hate and harassment is likely to disappoint. As the number of users climbs, community management becomes ever more difficult. If mistakes are made 0.01 percent of the time, that could mean tens of thousands of mistakes. And for a community looking for clear, evenly applied rules, mistakes are frustrating. They lead to a lack of trust. Turning to automation to enforce standards leads to a lack of human contact and understanding. No one has figured out the best place to draw the line between bad and ugly '-- or whether that line can support a viable business model.
So it's left to all of us to figure it out, to call out abuse when we see it. As the trolls on Reddit grew louder and more harassing in recent weeks, another group of users became more vocal. First a few sent positive messages. Then a few more. Soon, I was receiving hundreds of messages a day, and at one point thousands. These messages were thoughtful, well-written and heartfelt, in stark contrast to the trolling messages, which were usually made up of little more than four-letter words. Many shared their own stories of harassment and thanked us for our stance.
The writers of these messages often said they could not imagine the hate I was experiencing. Most apologized for the trolls' behavior. And some apologized for standing on the sidelines. ''I didn't do anything, and that is why I am sorry,'' one user wrote. ''I stayed indifferent. I didn't attack nor defend. I am sorry for my inaction. You are a human. And no one needs to be treated like you were.'' Some apologized for their own trollish behavior and promised they had reformed.
As the threats became really violent, people ended their messages with ''stay safe.'' Eventually, users started responding on Reddit itself, using accurate information and supportive messages to fight back against the trolls.
In the battle for the Internet, the power of humanity to overcome hate gives me hope. I'm rooting for the humans over the trolls. I know we can win.
War on Religion
American Psychological Association To Classify Belief in God As a Mental Illness
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 02:18
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), a strong and passionate belief in a deity or higher power, to the point where it impairs one's ability to make conscientious decisions about common sense matters, will now be classified as a mental illness.
The controversial ruling comes after a 5-year study by the APA showed devoutly religious people often suffered from anxiety, emotional distress, hallucinations, and paranoia. The study stated that those who perceived God as punitive was directly related to their poorer health, while those who viewed God as benevolent did not suffer as many mental problems. The religious views of both groups often resulted in them being disconnected from reality.
Dr. Lillian Andrews, professor of psychology, stated, ''Every year thousands of people die after refusing life-saving treatment on religious grounds. Even when being told 'you will die without this treatment' patients reject the idea and believe that their God will still save them. Those lives could be saved simply by classifying those people as mentally unfit for decision making.''
''Jehovah Witnesses for instance,'' Dr. Andrews continued, ''will not accept blood under any circumstance. They would rather die than to receive life-saving donor blood. Many religious people believe they have ''healing power'' in their hands. Many believe they can communicate with God using a personal language, which is unknown to anyone but the communicator and God (known as speaking in tongues). Many often tell of seeing spirits. All of these are signs of a mental break and a loss of touch with reality. Religious belief and the angry God phenomenon has caused chaos, destruction, death, and wars for centuries. The time for evolving into a modern society and classifying these archaic beliefs as a mental disorder has been long overdue. This is the first of many steps to a positive direction.''
With the new classification, the APA will lobby to introduce legislation which would allow doctors the right to force life-saving treatment on those who refuse it for spiritual reasons on the grounds that they are mentally incapable of making decisions about their health.
The American Psychological Association says more information about the study and the new classification will be made available to the public in their upcoming journal (which is expected to be release in early August).
Agenda 21
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Ivar Giaever | DeSmogBlog
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 04:19
CredentialsPh.D., Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1964).Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Norwegian Institute of Technology (1952).Source:[1]
BackgroundIvar Giaever is a retired professor formerly with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's department of physics. In in 1973 Giaever shared the Nobel Prize for physic with Leo Esakis for their discovery of electron tunneling in superconductors; work Giaver had done while working with GE. He has also studied biophysics in Cambridge. [7] Currently, Giaever is the Chief Technology Officer of the company Applied BioPhysics Inc.
Giaever emigrated to Canada in 1954 where he studied engineering with Canadian General Electric's Advanced Engineering Program. He then emigrated to the USA where he completing engineering courses with GE, and eventually joined the GE Research and Development center in 1958 at the same time he began his study of physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1964. [1]
In addition to the Nobel Prize, he has been awarded the Oliver E. Buckley Prize by the American Physical Society in 1965, and the Zworykin Award by the National Academy of Engineering in 1974. [8]
Giaever resigned from the American Physical Society when he disagreed with their stance on global warming (which they believe is occurring and is ''incontrovertible''). [9]
According to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University of Oslo, and Google Scholar, Ivar Giaever has not published any work in the area of climate science. Giaever's climate science resume is limited to serving on a climate change discussion panel at the 51st convention of Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry, physiology and medicine. At the convention, Giaever stated he is skeptical of the importance of the issue of global warming.
Stance on Climate Change''Global warming has become a new religion.'' [2]
Key QuotesGiaever is unsure if the global commitment to implement more energy efficient technology is a possibility. He cited the lack of action and change since the Kyoto agreement:
''I don't see much change in these years when we were supposed to have done something about this already. If we were really serious about this thing why don't we talk about nuclear power?'' [3]
Key Deeds September 14, 2011
Giaever announced his resignation from the American Physical Society (APS) after disagreeing with their stance on climate change.
According to the APS,
''The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.'' [4]
March, 2009
Ivar Giaever's name appears on a full-page ad funded by the CATO Institute that was featured in numerous newspapers including the Washington Post, New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune in 2009.
The advertisement criticizes President Obama's declaration that ''few challenges facing America and the world are more urgent than combating climate change,'' by saying ''with all due respect Mr. President, that is not true.'' [6]
According to ad, ''there has been no net global warming for over a decade,'' and the dangers of global warming are ''grossly overstated.''
The Cato Institute has received $125,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998, and lists Phillip Morris as one of its ''national allies.'' They have also received undisclosed amounts of funding from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Koch Family Foundations.
July, 2008
Giaever served on the climate change discussion panel at the 51st convention of Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry, physiology and medicine.
The panel discussed solutions to climate change by using technologies such as nuclear energy, solar power, and photovoltaic cells.
Gaiver was described as ''the panel's self-proclaimed 'skeptic' in regard to the importance of global warming,'' and he questioned the likelihood of obtaining such a feat. Since the Kyoto agreement, 'I don't see much change in these years when we were supposed to have done something about this already,' he said. 'If we are really worried about this thing why don't we talk about nuclear power?'
Affiliations Cato Institute '-- Endorser of Cato Institute's global warming advertisement. PublicationsAccording to Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute, the University of Oslo and Google Scholar, Dr. Giaever has not published any work in the area of climate science.
Resources''Ivar Giaever - Biography,'' Nobelprize.org. Accessed Feb 2, 2012.
''Nobel Prize Winner for Physics Declares Himself Dissenter.'' EPW Blog, July 2, 2008.
''Nobelists talk energy,'' Climate Feedback, July 15, 2008.
''National Policy: 07.1 CLIMATECHANGE,'' APS Physics. Accessed December 14, 2011.
''Heartland Experts: Ivar Giaever,'' Accessed December 14, 2011.
''Climate Change Reality,'' The Cato Institute.
''Press Release: The 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics,'' Nobelprize.org.'' Archived with WebCite, June 27, 2011.
''Ivar Giaever,'' Profile at the Physics Department of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Accessed January, 2012.
Marc Morano. ''Exclusive: Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Who Endorsed Obama Dissents! Resigns from American Physical Society Over Group's Promotion of Man-Made Global Warming,'' Climate Depot, September 14, 2011.
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The cold, hard truth is the Earth probably isn't headed for a mini ice age - Yahoo News
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 13:11
'Œ‚HomeMailSearchNewsSportsFinanceWeatherGamesAnswersScreenFlickrMobileMore'‹PoliticsCelebrityMoviesMusicTVGroupsHealthStyleBeautyFoodParentingMakersTechShoppingTravelAutosHomesTry Yahoo News on Firefox >>Skip to NavigationSkip to Main contentSkip to Right rail👤Sign In''‰Mail'šHelpAccount InfoHelpSuggestions
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Common Core
Education giant Pearson lays off 208 Texas employees, mostly... | www.statesman.com
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 14:39
Long the largest provider of testing services in Texas, education giant Pearson confirmed Thursday that it will lay off more than 200 Texas employees after the state chose another vendor for the majority of its new standardized testing contract.
On Thursday, 270 employees in the School and North America teams at Pearson were notified their positions were being eliminated. The bulk of the 208 Texas layoffs are in Austin as the company consolidates its four Austin locations into one.
In May, the Texas Education Agency announced Pearson Education would no longer be the exclusive standardized testing vendor, a position the British mega-company had held for more than three decades. The state agency awarded a four-year $280 million contract to New Jersey-based Educational Testing Services to develop, administer and score its standardized tests. Pearson, the state's sole testing contractor since 1980, was awarded a $60 million contract for testing services for students who are learning English or have severe cognitive disabilities, among other things.
''The loss of that contract means that we need to scale back some of our workforce,'' said Laura Howe, Pearson spokeswoman, by email. ''While we have a long, proud history of serving students, parents, and educators in Texas, this is never an easy decision.''
The loss of the contract will allow the company to accelerate its transition to digital delivery because it won't have as many resources tied up in supporting traditional printed tests in Texas, Howe said.
Debra Amon, a senior project manager who helped develop the manuals teachers use to administer the state tests, has been with the company 8 years, and was notified Thursday her last date of employment will be Sept. 14.
''I'm sad,'' Amon said. ''It's been a good company to work for. The pay is good. We're innovative.''
Pearson will continue to have a presence in Texas and will remain home to much of the company's research and development operations, and employees who include education researchers, scientists and former teachers. The education company has about 20,000 employees in the U.S. and 40,000 worldwide.
On Friday, the State Board of Education will vote on seeking other options to the GED, or General Education Development, exam, which is administered by Pearson.
On Wednesday, the board instructed the Texas Education Agency's staff to develop a Request for Proposal that would allow for multiple testing vendors for the Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency. The move comes as the number of Texans signing up to take the GED has plummeted since Pearson rolled out its new computer-based only GED exam in 2014.
Critics complained to the state board this week that the test costs twice as much as alternative high school equivalency exams that are offered in other states, but not in Texas, and that the test is unnecessarily difficult, focusing more on college readiness than workforce preparedness. After encountering similar issues, multiple other states already have dropped the revised GED in favor of alternative high school equivalency exams.
Vaccine$
Safety and Civil Liberties: Is Corporate Clout Calling the Shots? '-- Medium
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 07:16
Safety and Civil Liberties: Is Corporate Clout Calling the Shots?Let me be clear: I fully support the use of vaccines and believe they play a vital role in protecting the health of individuals and the public at large. That does not mean, however, that every vaccine is healthy, imperative, or right for every individual in every circumstance.
Over the past few centuries, vaccinations have saved millions from deadly and disfiguring diseases that once ravaged the world -from whooping cough and diphtheria to smallpox and polio. There is no question that many of these vaccines have been among the greatest medical advancements in history. There is also no question that vaccines can and do injure people as the hundreds of millions of dollars awarded in vaccine court have proved.
Like any form of healthcare, vaccines come with potential benefits and potential risks. As Americans, we all have a basic right to weigh those pros and cons for ourselves'Š'--'Šas we do with any form of preventative care or medical treatment'Š'--'Šand make decisions that are appropriate for ourselves and our families. This is one of our nation's most basic civil liberties. You don't have to be a doctor or a scientist to know that.
It is simply unacceptable for the government to infringe on this right by forcing a mother or father to accept a one-size-fits-all approach to their child's medical care. Such a requirement should never be tolerated, but is particularly troubling when questions still remain concerning the safety of certain chemicals used to produce some vaccines. So long as these substances carry any potential hazard, their use should be a parent's decision'Š'--'Šnot the government's.
Laws that force parents to substitute their own judgment for that of a politician are particularly worrisome when that politician may rely on the very corporations that produce these vaccines to support their campaigns. Over the past 20 or so years, pharmaceutical companies have given nearly $300 million to candidates for federal office, spent almost $200 million influencing California state elections, and have amassed over $3 billion in fees for high-powered lobbyists in Washington. I don't think its crazy to be suspicious when these companies receive guaranteed revenue streams from politicians they have spent billions trying to influence.
The pharmaceutical industry's web of influence doesn't end in Washington or Sacramento. This trillion dollar industry perhaps has its greatest reach in Atlanta, where the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is located and where the revolving door spins in perpetuity. Take Julie Gerberding, for example, who spent nearly a decade as the director of the CDC and then left to head the vaccine department of Merck & Co., a $50 billion pharmaceutical conglomerate. Again, I don't think it's wildly out of line to assume that some cronyism might be at play here.
Last summer, the White House rightfully granted immunity and whistleblower status to a senior vaccine scientist at the CDC, Dr. William Thompson, who admitted that he and other officials at the agency fabricated and intentionally omitted data from a 2004 study that claimed there was no link between vaccines and autism. The results of this study and the internal improprieties revealed are now being questioned by Congress.
These companies also spend billions convincing us that their products can be trusted. The next time you watch the news, count the number of commercials from the pharmaceutical industry. This industry spends more on advertisements than any other, with estimates of expenditures over $21 billion this year alone. Most of these advertisements, as you probably know, are spent reading off the litany of side effects (many potentially fatal) associated with each product. But democracy is about being presented with the options and having the freedom to choose for yourself.
I am proud to stand with Green Vaccine advocates like Robert Kennedy Jr. and the millions of courageous mothers, scientists, doctors, lawyers and researchers who are speaking out in defense of children. I am happy that our activism has helped push the industry to reduce mercury in some vaccines, but there are still some potentially harmful materials in vaccines given to pregnant mothers and children.
We need safe vaccines to be made available in order to protect us from the dangerous diseases that once decimated large numbers of people. However, for centuries, the bedrock ethical principle of ''informed consent'' has dominated the medical field. Medical decisions have always been based on personal choice made in consultation with a trusted doctor. Upholding this basic principle is dependent on the ability to choose and give consent, a fundamental right that is being taken away by legislation such as SB 277 in California.
I haven't lost my sense of humor folks. It's just buried under the rubble that was once my faith in government oversight. But there's a time to laugh and a time for a serious debate over what it could mean to have our civil liberties taken away by our government at the behest of pharmaceutical companies and their shareholders. If we just sit back and let corporate clout call the shots our children may not remember what freedom was.
I wish you all love, laughter and liberty.
Jim Carrey
Zombie$
23andMe CEO defends practice of sharing genetic info with pharma companies | Business Insider
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:03
When it comes to health care, data is crucial. It's already being used by companies like 23andMe, a genetic testing startup based in Mountain View, California.
The company is known for its $US99 genetic test kits that map out customers' genomes and provide them with information about their ancestry.
In November 2013, the FDA barred 23andMe from sending its health reports to customers, because it was concerned that the company was misrepresenting genetic tests as medical advice, and worried customers would use that information to make medically unsound choices. The company is still collecting that information, but customers don't have access to the analyses anymore.
But 23andMe partners with pharmaceutical companies and shares that data with them, as long as the customer says it's OK.
So far, about 80% do, according to the company's own reports.
23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki spoke with Kai Ryssdal of Marketplace on Monday about the practice.
''We do do a lot of partnerships with a lot of pharma companies because we do feel like that's in the best interest of the consumer in order to make meaningful discoveries from the data,'' Wojcicki told Ryssdal.
''But if a consumer doesn't like what we do, they always have the ability to close their account, delete their data, and not be involved in any more research.''
All in all, 23andMe reached 14 collaboration deals in 2014, some with pharma giants such as Genentech and Pfizer that focus on creating databases for specific diseases.
In forms they filed last week, 23andMe disclosed they had raised $US79 million toward a $US150 million funding push, though the specific investors were not listed. This is the first time the company has publicly disclosed since February 2012, when the company released information that it had received $US58 million in funding.
23andMe also hit its 1 millionth customer in June, more than double the amount of users the company had in November 2013, when the FDA put a hold on releasing health reports to customers. So far, one genetic test '-- for a rare condition called Bloom Syndrome '-- got FDA approval, though 23andMe says it won't provide the health reports again until it gets approval for a more comprehensive set of tests.
So far, 23andMe has racked up $US125 million in funding in its six-year history from backers such as Google, meaning this round will more than double its funds.
And 23andMe needs it. In March, the company announced its plans to go into drug development, cutting out the middleman and launching a new trend for data companies.
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LGBBTQQIAAP
Caitlyn Jenner ESPYs Demands '-- Camp Approached ESPN About Reality Star Receiving Arthur Ashe Award | Radar Online
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 03:31
ESPN has come under fire for awarding Caitlyn Jenner the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs Wednesday night. But RadarOnline.com has learned, it wasn't initially their idea! According to an insider, Jenner's reps approached the network suggesting she receive the award '-- and offering PR plugs on her upcoming docuseries in return.
According to an insider, negotiations started as Jenner's publicist was finalizing the terms of her interview with Diane Sawyer.
Her agents approached ESPN, which is owned by Disney like Sawyer's ABC, ''and they suggested that she receive the Arthur Ashe award,'' the source claimed. ''It was a brilliant move because the executives at ESPN loved the idea, and immediately began making sure it got done. Caitlyn's journey to accepting the award will also be featured on her upcoming reality show, I am Cait.''
PHOTOS: Mom Came Around '-- Esther Jenner Will Finally Accept Caitlyn! 8 New Photos Of Daughter!
''There was a hiccup during the talks about Caitlyn receiving the award, and her reps were prepared to pull her interview with Diane Sawyer if she didn't get it,'' the source said. ''It was ironed out, and ABC owns one of the biggest stories of the year.''
Meanwhile, as Radar reported the 65-year-old finally picked the lucky designer who will dress her for her big night.
''Caitlyn Jenner has decided to wear a dress designed by Patricia Field, who is not only amazingly talented, but also a huge supporter of the transgender community,'' a source close to the Kardashian clan tells Radar.
PHOTOS: Caitlyn Jenner's 30 Most Shocking REVELATIONS From 'Vanity Fair' '''' Suicide Attempt, Plastic Surgery, Vicious Fights & Flashing Boobs!
A rep for Fields told Radar, ''We can't comment on that yet.''
Jenner has announced she will skip the red carpet, however.
Watch: Caitlyn Jenner's Rep Asked ESPN To Give Her Award In Exchange For PR Plugs
Regime Change
Nigeria's new president must reform oil sector
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:13
Despite over 37 billion barrels remaining in proven reserves, oil production in Nigeria is forecast to falter due to under investment, with the country's oil and gas sector in desperate need of reforms and transparency to reverse this trend, according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.
Young Okunna, GlobalData's Upstream Analyst covering Sub-Saharan Africa, says Nigeria's oil and gas sector could be rejuvenated by capitalizing on the opportunity to rebuild investor confidence following the smooth transition of presidential power from Goodluck Jonathan to Muhammadu Buhari.
Okunna explained: ''Buhari brings a reputation as a heavy-handed president able to potentially neutralize the Boko Haram threat, which is concentrated in the poorer northeast of the country. While the oil sector is concentrated in the south, the Islamist group has in the past named refineries and oil infrastructure as targets.
''Nigeria's new president is also a fierce opponent of corruption, having recently dissolved national oil company NNPC's board following an estimated $20 billion scandal of inappropriately managed oil revenues.''
GlobalData forecasts that several new fields coming online over the next five years will add just over 300,000 barrels per day (bd), in addition to several production stabilization programs aimed at maintaining capacity in producing fields. However, the project pipeline is less impressive when compared to Angola, which is expected to add more than 850,000 bd over the same period from new fields only.
The industry's stagnation in Nigeria is epitomized by more than 335 discoveries that remain undeveloped, of which about 185 are exposed to the oil theft and vandalism rampant in the Niger Delta. This criminal activity has increased since 2010, with production losses now estimated at anywhere between 100,000 and 400,000 bd.
Okunna continued: ''Peace in the Niger Delta region is of paramount importance to sustaining production and foreign direct investment. Country-specific challenges, such as fiscal instability, a militant insurgency, political and corporate corruption, and vandalism, will negatively impact the ramp up of investment.
''As companies look to redeploy capital after having pulled back when oil prices collapsed, Buhari's government must reform the sector and also engage with community leaders to reduce sabotage and communal disturbances, in order to attract investment that will reverse the forecast production decline,'' the analyst concludes.
Obama Nation
Barack Obama and daughters attend $33K a head private soir(C)e | Daily Mail Online
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 05:51
President Obama and his daughters are headed to the Big Apple townhouse of shipping magnate George Logothetis and his wife NitziaHe was tapped by Obama to join the board of My Brother's Keeper, an initiative launched to help young black men stay on trackLogothetis heads the Libra Group which runs hotels - including the Grace Santorini - and leases planes and helicoptersBy Martin Gould For Dailymail.com and Associated Press
Published: 14:50 EST, 17 July 2015 | Updated: 23:04 EST, 17 July 2015
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President Barack Obama's motorcade will bring Manhattan to a standstill tonight as he heads to the uptown home of a British shipping magnate for a $33,400-a-head fundraiser.
Obama and some 30 Democratic faithful will head to the luxury east side brownstone of 40-year-old George Logothetis and his wife Nitzia for the meet-and-greet that will boost Democratic Party funds by a cool million dollars Daily Mail Online has learned.
Logothetis, who comes from a wealthy Greek family, is a strong supporter of Obama's attempts to reform the nation's immigration rules to allow a path to citizenship for those who entered the country illegally.
Scroll down for video
Glam Greeks: George Logothetis and his glamorous wife Nitzia, a psychotherapist who also comes from a Greek shipping family, are regulars on the Democratic fundraising circuit. The hosted a fundraiser in upstate New York for Obama last year
Mr Logothetis (center) and his wife Nitzia (right) were seen on Friday night outside of their luxury brownstone
Ms Logothetis and her husband will host President Obama and 30 others at the $33,400-a-head fundraiser
A tent was erected by event staff before the fundraiser that will significantly boost Democratic Party funds
Secret Service members and security officials stood outside the home before President Obama's arrival
Secret Service and others stand outside the Carbone restaurant while President Obama had an Italian dinner
President Obama's motorcade was in the West Village after he was spotted near Houston Street and Sixth Ave
President Obama walks with his daughter Sasha, 14, on their way to board Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House bound for a fun weekend in the Big Apple. His 17-year-old Malia, who is interning in Brooklyn on the set of HBO's girls for the summer
Party hearty: Obama will spend the weekend with his two daughters Malia and Sasha. They team is expected to be at the fundraiser tonight and see Saturday's matinee performance of the hit hip-hop musical Hamilton at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theater
Obama and daughter Sasha (R), along with two of Sasha's friends, boarded Air Force One to travel to NYC
President Obama departed Air Force One with daughter Sasha (left) and puts his arm around her (right)
Marine One passed over the Brooklyn Bridge in New York while carrying President Obama and his daughter
A large police presence was on hand for President Obama while he visited the posh uptown townhouse
After Obama left the fundraiser (seen above) the president headed downtown for an upscale dinner
Obama appointed him to the board of My Brother's Keeper, an initiative launched in April to help young black men stay on track and realize their potential.
And over the years London-born Logothesis has shown he tends to get what he wants.
He started work in his father's company, Lomar Shipping, when he was just 18. Within 10 years he was CEO and bent on expanding. He grew the company from just two ships to 70.
With his younger brother Constantine, he turned the company into the Libra Group which now runs hotels, leases planes and helicopters and is heavily involved in renewable energy.
Obama's motorcade leaves after $33k-a-head fundraiser
But life for the father-of-three is not all work. He insists on taking three months off every five years to give himself time to think about his goals for the next five, refusing to look at work e-mails or take business-related phone calls. 'Ideas need time to breathe,' he says.
During his first sabbatical he hit upon the idea of 'asking inappropriate people to do appropriate tasks' and set out on the company's expansion.
'We took all the great people from our shipping business, and sent them around the world to start companies. We ended up with a ship's captain running a $200 million real estate company and a Russian fruit seller who runs six biogas plants in Latvia,' he told Fortune Magazine.
Helping hands: Nitzia and George Logothetis attend Seleni Institute's First Annual Winnifred Mason Huck Leadership Awards in Washington DC with former speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
A look at the Santorini Grace Hotel owned by George Logothetis
Logothetis heads the Libra Group which runs hotels including the Grace Santorini pictured
Sweeping views of the blue sea from the Grace Santorini which is run by Libra Group
Now his family's fortune is said to be worth $1billion - and growing fast.
Logothetis and his glamorous wife Nitzia, a psychotherapist who also comes from a Greek shipping family, are regulars on the Democratic fundraising circuit. The hosted a fundraiser in upstate New York for Obama last year.
In April the couple were on the guest list for the White House state dinner for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The Libra Group also runs hotels in the U.S. including the Vanderbilt Grace in Rhode Island, pictured
After politics were over the rest of Obama's New York overnighter was set aside for time with his teenage daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Obama, Sasha, 14, and two of her friends bounded up the steps of Air Force One earlier in the day, eager to join Malia, who was already in New York.
Malia, who is 17, was spotted earlier this summer on the Brooklyn set of HBO's 'Girls,' where she reportedly was interning.
The father-daughter team is expected to see Saturday's matinee performance of the hit hip-hop musical Hamilton at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theater.
They are seeing the show - based on the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton - at the urging of First Lady Michelle Obama, who called it 'the greatest piece of art I've seen,' after catching it during a trip to New York in April.
Obama is staying at Millennium's ONE UN New York hotel in a break from tradition.
Standing guard: No parking signs and police cars dot the upper Manhattan street
The jet blast from Air Force One hit military members as it departed Andrews Air Force Base in Marland
On the street where they live: Caterers and police arrive on the block where the party will be held
A K-9 officer and a police dog searched the area around the home on Friday night for anything suspicious
For decades, presidents visiting the Big Apple have booked into the famed Waldorf Astoria. But it was bought last year by a Chinese company and security experts fear it may be bugged.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the president was 'looking forward to a rare opportunity he'll have to spend a little personal time with his daughters in New York.'
Earnest wouldn't say what activities were on their schedule, but said journalists taking part in the weekend would be kept up to date.
He then quickly noted that journalists traveling to New York with the president would not actually be participating in his outings with Malia and Sasha.
'That might interfere with the personal nature of the father-daughter time,' he quipped.
When the Democratic fundraiser was over with, the president headed downtown for an upscale Italian dinner at Carbone in the West Village.
Obama rarely stays overnight in New York unless he's there for business, such as the UN General Assembly.
He's due back in Washington on Saturday night.
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Drone Nation
Firefighters Can't Save People In Burning Cars Because of a Stupid Drone
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 12:29
A giant wildfire currently spreading through Southern California's Cajon Pass is burning cars on the freeway in what the San Bernardino County Fire Department is calling a ''multi-casualty incident.'' But the firefighters also issued a report that due to a drone seen flying in the area, they couldn't get their helicopters to the scene right away.
Update: Officials told NBC LA that five drones were in the air and ''definitely'' delayed the firefighters' response:
Two drones actually gave chase to air units, and the incident delayed response by about 15 to 20 minutes, according to Battalion Chief Marc Peebles of San Bernardino County Fire Department.
When asked if the delay contributed to the fire jumping the 15 Freeway, Peebles said ''It definitely contributed to it.''
What's been named the North Fire has burned about 500 acres near the 15 freeway, which heads northeast to Vegas. Firefighters had closed traffic in both directions when suddenly the grass fire jumped into the freeway and set several cars aflame. Firefighters began mobilizing their aircraft, but due to a drone seen in the air, they were forced to ground their helicopters which were starting to drop water on the burning cars.
It isn't the first time that drones have prevented firefighters from flying their aircraft'--it seems to be a frighteningly regular thing. This is the third time in a month that this has happened just in this county. During the nearby Lake Fire in June, a DC-10 carrying flame-retardant was grounded after a drone was spotted in the air.
San Bernardino's fire department reported that drones were hindering efforts and tweeted out a poster from the US Forest Service reminding drone operators not to fly near firefighting operations.
If you have drone'--and I think I can stay this with some certainty'--stay the fuck away from wildfires.
Update: Although firefighters did describe the fire as a ''multi-casualty event'' to KTLA, no deaths have been reported yet. Headline has been updated.
Top image from KTLA's live feed of the fire
VIDEO-CLIPS-DOCS
VIDEO-ISIL affiliate claims attack on Egypt military in Sinai | euronews, world news
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 13:31
A group linked to the self-proclaimed Islamic State organisation has claimed it carried out attacks in Egypt's Sinai region which killed five members of the security forces on Saturday.
Several mortar rounds hit two military checkpoints near the northern town of Sheikh Zuweid.
North Sinai is the epicentre of an insurgency by militants supporting ISIL.
Its Egyptian affiliate, known as Sinai Province, says it attacked an Egyptian naval vessel in the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday.
The group claimed it fired a missile that struck the ship.
Egypt's military said one of its vessels caught fire following clashes with jihadists, but said no-one was injured.
The jihadist group has killed hundreds of soldiers and police since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi two years ago.
VIDEO-Wesley Clark Calls for Interning ''Disloyal'' Americans
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 06:32
Retired US Army General and the former Supreme Allied Commander of Europe for NATO Wesley Clark advocates rounding up ''radicalized'' and ''disloyal'' Americans and putting them in internment camps for the ''duration'' of the war on terror.
''In World War II if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn't say that was freedom of speech, we put him in a camp, they were prisoners of war,'' Clark told MSNBC.
The difference is that World War II was a war declared under Article I, Section 8, Clause II of the Constitution whereas the war on terror is undeclared and thus illegal. Clark is in essence advocating a life sentence for people who have not committed a crime but merely engaged in speech '-- often reprehensible, yet constitutionally protected '-- the government considers radical and in opposition to its foreign policy.
The Bush administration declared the war on terror would last a generation or more. Senior officialswith the Obama administration meanwhile have said '-- when formulating ''disposition matrix'' to determine how terrorism suspects will be disposed of '-- they had reached a ''broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade'' or more.
The Edward Snowden ''leaks reveal that the war on terror at home continues to grind on, capturing in its dragnet millions of Americans and foreigners, many of them innocent of any crime. The war on terror has become institutionalized, and the domestic costs of this war continue to mount: privacy is being eroded; communications are being monitored; and dissent is being cracked down on. The primary targets of the domestic war on terror continue to be Muslims and Arabs, though it is now clear that the sweep of the domestic war has ensnared millions of other Americans. And there is no end in sight to this domestic juggernaut,'' writes Alex Kane.
Clark's remarks reveal the mindset of the upper echelon of government. Those who disagree with the government are now to be rounded up and shut up indefinitely in political internment camps.
Mass internment of official enemies on par with Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union is now ''on the table'' and openly discussed as suspicious attacks and FBI orchestrated and grandstanded terror plots continue to grab headlines and build a reactionary consensus as the designed result of an incessant, decades-long propaganda campaign. >>
VIDEO-Friday Morning Keynote - Elizabeth Warren - YouTube
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 05:49
VIDEO-George Carlin "The American Dream" Best 3 Minutes of His Career - YouTube
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 05:38
VIDEO-Soros-Backed ''Black Lives Matter'' Protest Group Interrupts and Shuts Down Bernie Sander's Address at Netroots Nation (videos) | American Everyman
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 05:19
by Scott Creighton
Reportedly, the ''Black Lives Matter'' protesters got up and started chanting during Martin O'Malley's Q&A after only one question was asked of the left-leaning candidate. They yelled out ''Whose side are you on?'' and then started chanting ''Black lives matter''
A couple of the professional Black Lives Matter activists actually went up on stage and took the mic from the presidential candidate and started ranting.
O'Malley replied after waiting for them to finish, ''Black lives matter, white lives matter, all lives matter'' and was met with a chorus of boos. At one point, while O'Malley was trying graciously to answer questions screeched from the overly emotional protesters, the moderator was holding his hand up to his ear directed at some asshole in the audience, suggesting the guy screech his questions even louder over O'Malley. What a dick.
The moderator called an end to the Q&A and brought Bernie Sanders on the stage but during his intro, the ''Black Lives Matter'' crowd interrupted him as well. He tried to placate them by saying ''of course black lives matter'' but that wasn't good enough and they continued to disrupt the speech anyway until the moderator, Jose Vargas, ended the panel discussion early. Seems like that was their intent all along.
Vargas explained his actions this way:
So I guess the intended message here is that white lives don't matter and it's OK to silence a couple white men on stage, but no one else. Anyone want to bet $50 bucks they never show up at a Clinton rally or a Jeb Bush Q&A?
Vargas kept placating the crowd as Bernie tried valiantly to explain to them if they want to help ''black lives'' (and they apparently care about nothing else) then the way to do that is to remake the economic system so blacks and whites and Latinos get better jobs, live better lives, have more political clout. Then he tried to set forth his plan to do just that. Of course all they wanted him too say was ''black people are suffering in America due to white supremacy''
Vargas just kept blowing off Sander's answers as well and coming back at him with questions like ''What have you done in the last 10 years for black people?'' or ''What about immigration?''
Of course, this is all just more race-baiting destabilization from another George Soros funded group. I wonder if these guys who disrupted the socialist-leaning discussion on behalf of the globalist billionaire will get their checks on time or will they have to start another #CutTheCheck movement .
Hired protesters with the Black Lives Matter movement have started a #CutTheCheck hashtag and held a sit-in at the offices for the successor group to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in Missouri after the group allegedly stopped paying them.
FrontPage Magazine reports that Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) has been paying protesters $5,000 a month to demonstrate in Ferguson. Last week, hired protesters who haven't been paid held a sit-in at MORE's offices and posted a demand letter online.
MORE is the re-branded Missouri branch of ACORN, which filed for bankruptcy in late 2010, FrontPage reported. MORE and other groups supporting the Black Lives Matter movement have received millions of dollars from billionaire financier George Soros. HotAir
Here are some more facts surrounding Soros funding this group.
Here are the videos of the Soros-funded destabilization of the Netroots Nation conference.
This is just George Soros doing what he does best: funding fringe groups in various nations in an effort to create unrest in the hopes of destabilizing unfriendly regimes. He did it several times in Ukraine for instance and has been caught doing it all over Africa as well. And now he's doing it here in certain political discussions he would certain rather have disrupted, like those of Bernie Sanders and a few others.
The totality of what is revealed in the three hacked documents show that Soros is effectively the puppet-master pulling most of the strings in Kiev. Soros Foundation's Ukraine branch, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) has been involved in Ukraine since 1989. His IRF doled out more than $100 million to Ukrainian NGOs two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, creating the preconditions for Ukraine's independence from Russia in 1991. Soros also admitted to financing the 2013-2014 Maidan Square protests that brought the current government into power.
Soros' foundations were also deeply involved in the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought the corrupt but pro-NATO Viktor Yushchenko into power with his American wife who had been in the US State Department. Mint Press
These protesters, the ones at least who weren't there just for the checks, had to know that of all the people in the political spectrum that would be on their side, this group was definitely already there. Yet, of course, they are the ones they decided to go disrupt on behalf of their billionaire vulture capitalist sugar daddy.
'--'--
CLEARLY WE NEED INDEPENDENT MEDIANOW MORE THAT EVERPlease help keep us up and running if you can.Speaking truth ABOUT power since June 26, 2007(For my mailing address, please email me at RSCdesigns@tampabay.rr.com)
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VIDEO-Wendy Sherman Says it Would Have Been Difficult to Tell the World That it 'Should Wait for the United States Congress' | MRCTV
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 04:22
Responding to criticism about the administration's plans to secure a U.N. Security Council resolution enshrining the Iran nuclear agreement before Congress reviews the deal, undersecretary of state for political affairs Wendy Sherman said Thursday it was have been difficult for the U.S. to have told the world that it ''should wait for the United States Congress.''
VIDEO-Andrea Mitchell to Terrorist's Classmate: 'Did He Hunt? Did He Shoot?' | MRCTV
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 04:00
[More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.]
Andrea Mitchell wondered if Chattanooga terrorist Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez's "small-town Tennessee" upbringing had anything to do with his slaughtering of four Marines. Mitchell interviewed a high school classmate of Abdulazeez on the 17 July 2015 edition of her MSNBC program and asked, "Were guns a big part of activity '' social or other activity?...Did he hunt? Did he shoot? I mean, was that just part of small-town Tennessee activity?" She later inquired if "there [was] prejudice against him because of his ethnicity."
VIDEO-Weekly Address: A Comprehensive, Long-Term Deal with Iran | The White House
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 18:01
July 18, 2015 | 4:36 | Public Domain
The President explains the comprehensive, long-term deal announced earlier this week that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Download mp4 (170MB) | mp3 (11MB)
VIDEO-Elizabeth Warren's Speech at Netroots Nation 2014 - YouTube
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 16:35
VIDEO-Valerie Jarrett Reveals: Obama's 'Amazing Grace' Was Not Spontaneous - YouTube
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 16:31
VIDEO-Chattanooga shootings: FBI sees no terrorism link - BBC News
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 01:16
Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez was arrested in April for driving under the influence of alcohol US federal investigators say a gunman who killed four marines in a shooting spree in Tennessee had no known links to international terrorism.
Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, was shot dead by police after he attacked a military recruitment centre and a naval reserve centre in Chattanooga.
Local prosecutors are investigating the attacks - in which three people were also injured - as "domestic terrorism".
However, the FBI says Abdulazeez's motive is unclear.
Sources close to the case said investigators were looking into a trip made to the Middle East by Abdulazeez last year, including a period spent in Jordan.
Thomas Sullivan from Massachusetts and Skip Wells from Georgia were named as two of the Marines killed in the attack. The other two names are yet to be confirmed.
A police officer and a marine corps recruiter were also wounded, along with a female sailor who remains in a serious condition in hospital.
President Barack Obama described the attacks as "heartbreaking".
They unfolded at 10:45 local time (14:45 GMT) on Thursday.
The suspected was seen pulling up in a rented Ford Mustang convertible outside a shopping centre and opening fire, spraying the offices of a military recruiting centre with bullets.
April Grimmett, who was working at a nearby hair salon, watched the shooting through the window of the shop.
"We heard the [shots]. It was very loud and very fast," she told CNN. "I could not believe how many bullet holes were in that door. It was insane."
At the scene - Gary O'Donoghue, BBC News, Tennessee
As dawn broke over Chattanooga, the serried ranks of television satellite trucks, police cars and FBI vehicles were still in evidence outside the recruitment centre on Lee Highway - scene of the first shooting on Thursday.
Floral tributes lay on the ground, as the Tennessee governor blinked into television lights and promised to do all he could to help the families of the victims.
In truth, he and the FBI are just at the beginning of trying to piece together what drove Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez to open fire here and then drive seven miles to kill four US Marines at a navy reserve base.
But progress is clearly being made. A cautious Chattanooga mayor, Andy Berke, told me they were getting snippets from the Muslim community, suggesting that the blurry picture of this young man was starting at least to become a little more clear.
What we know about the gunman
Army spokeswoman Kelli Bland said four US Armed Forces recruiters had been in the building at the time of the shooting, but no one was injured.
The gunman then left the recruitment centre and drove some six miles (10km) to a naval reserve training centre, officials said.
There he fatally shot the four marines and wounded the sailor before being shot and killed himself in a firefight with police.
Employees of nearby businesses spoke of hearing repeated gunshots as police swarmed the area, before it went silent.
Police have sealed off the area around the house in which the gunman lived as they attempt to piece together what led to the attacks.
Eyewitnesses said two women were handcuffed and led away from the house in the Hixson suburb of Chattanooga.
Abdulazeez was reportedly born in Kuwait and had Jordanian citizenship, but was also a naturalised US citizen.
He had attended high school in a Chattanooga suburb and graduated from the University of Tennessee with an engineering degree.
Those who knew him have spoken of their shock at hearing of his involvement.
"He was a good kid... They're good people," said one neighbour. "I've never had any kind of conflict with them."
US officials said he had not been known to federal law enforcement before the attacks, though he had been arrested locally earlier this year for driving under the influence of alcohol.
"We are looking at every possible avenue, whether it was terrorism - whether it was domestic, international - or whether it was a simple, criminal act," FBI special agent Ed Reinhold said.
A blog reportedly set up by Abdulazeez was found by the SITE Intelligence Group, a jihadist monitoring organisation, shortly after the attacks.
In a post from Monday, the writer says "this life is short and bitter" and that Muslims should not let "the opportunity to submit to allah... pass you by".
VIDEO-The President delivers a statement on the Shooting in Chattanooga, TN | The White House
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:25
July 16, 2015 | 3:16 | Public Domain
President Obama delivers a statement on the shooing in Chattanooga, TN on July 16, 2015.
Download mp4 (118MB) | mp3 (8MB)
VIDEO-The President launches ConnectHome Initiative | The White House
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:09
July 15, 2015 | 29:15 | Public Domain
President Obama traveled to Durant, Oklahoma to launch ConnectHome, an initiative to bring high-speed Internet access to low-income communities. July 15, 2015.
Download mp4 (1106MB) | mp3 (70MB)

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