746: Thermostat Placebo

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 41m
August 9th, 2015
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Executive Producers: Sir P-Nonymous

Associate Executive Producers: Dame Joan d'Audiffret, Russell Hickey, Ewan Robertson

Cover Artist: Nick the Rat

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Sat, 08 Aug 2015 00:17
2016 Presidential ElectionHow do your beliefs align with the potential candidates?
Take the Quiz18,667,791 voters use iSideWith to find their candidate match
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Urban Dictionary: Dank
Sat, 08 Aug 2015 00:37
Also an expression requently used by stoners and hippies for something of high quality.
That borritos was dank, man.or... That borritos was the dankness
sticky, hairy, stinky, and highly potent marijuana.
I took two hits of that dank and was nearly transcendent.
really potent weed, produced by proper slow drying of harvested plant material, usually requiring curing (putting plant material in paper bag, folding over top, placing that bag in another bag. Thus reducing air and light contact on said plant materials, so when you go to retrieve some of said plant materials, it is still moist, green and sticky because the resin glands are still intact and 'sweating'.
usually can only be found on or near a High School (go on, Im sure your son would love to hook you up with some digity dank.
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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Smith Mundt Act - A reminder that you are living in a Smith-Mudt Act repealed media landscape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''746, 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. § 1746^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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Debates
Alexa - Alections
FOX News is One of Top 10 Largest Donors to the Clintons - Freedom Outpost
Sat, 08 Aug 2015 16:31
Christians and conservatives continue to be hoodwinked by FOX News. Not only has the organization been supporting the sodomite agenda, but they have also been one of the top ten donors to the Clinton Family since 1992.
Michael Lotfi reported:
To many, it seems contrary to intuition that Fox News could be one of the Clinton family's largest donors for the better part of two decades. Check your intuition at the door- it's true. According to Federal Election Commission and Center for Responsive Politics data, 21st Century Fox News Corp. has donated more than $3 million to Clinton family accounts. Overall, this lands Fox as the Clinton family's 9th largest donor over the course of the family's political involvement.
Top corporate and union donors to the Clintons over two decades, compared with top corporate and union donors to Obama's 2012 campaign.
Open Secrets also confirms the report above.
Sadly, too many people think that FOX is giving them the truth all the time. They war against others who watch MSNBC, CNN, and the various other alphabet media corporations, who are basically owned by a few.
This is why it is always a good idea to watch or listen with discernment no matter who is reporting news to you. Personally, I would rather someone present to me the documentation and let me view it for myself, something I have often tried to do here. I make no attempt to disguise my bias towards Christianity, law or the Constitution. Otherwise, how would one know if someone was being unethical? Yet, I still make attempts to provide the documentation and if people want to continue on in their ignorance, that is their decision.
Considering the information above, one does find it ironic that the FOX hosts on Thursday evening would have asked Donald Trump about money he gave to Hillary Clinton:
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.comPersonally, I think Trump is a liberal. The fact that he claims Socialist, single-payer healthcare "works in Canada" and "Scotland" just points out that he does not believe in freedom, but socialism. The fact that the father of the Canada system claims it is a failure must have slipped Trump's mind at the time. Scotland is pretty much the same deal. I'll have more on the questionable actions of Donald Trump soon, but the point is that he was asked about this by talking heads whose company has supported the Clintons to the tune of over $3 million!
Hello pot? This is kettle!
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How Facebook Turned Fox News' GOP Debate Into Must-See TV For Millennials
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 02:03
In one of the most memorable moments from Thursday night's GOP debate on Fox News, moderator Megyn Kelly closed the event by asking if any of the candidates had "received a word from God on what they should do and take care of first.''
But it wasn't a question Kelly had crafted herself nor thought up in the Fox News war room. Rather, it came from Chase A. Norton, a Facebook user who had sent the query to Fox online via the social network, its partner for the much-anticipated prime-time event. Norton's question was one of four selected from Facebook by the hosts, out of 40,000 submissions. Another, from Facebook user Alex Chalgren, was a video clip of him inquiring what the candidates would do to stop ISIS.
Facebook's role proved that television networks are now much more than just talking heads. By incorporating social media, Fox showed that on-air news can thrive from a connected and second-screen experience. The partnership between Fox News, a traditionally right-leaning network, and Facebook, whose user base has been identified as skewing liberal, added a broader scope to the debate's orchestration.
"Facebook's scale and foundation in real identity give Fox News and the Republican contenders for the nomination the opportunity to open up the debate to Americans in a new and unique way,'' Andy Mitchell, Facebook's news and global media partnership director said in a statement, according to The Daily Dot. And crucially for the GOP, which has struggled to connect with younger voters, Facebook's participation helped pull in millennial-aged viewers who might ordinarily shun such an event.
Besides presenting selected user questions, Fox News also shared general insight from Facebook posts analyzed by the network over the past two months. For example, moderator Chris Wallace highlighted immigration as a ''hot topic'' on Facebook. Viewers took notice -- how could they not? In nearly every shot of the debate on Fox News, a giant blue square with the letter ''f'' hovered behind the speakers' heads.
As a social network where users identify their personal information (age, location, interests) and engage in conversations with friends and on public forums, Facebook has proven its worth in ad targeting along with data analytics for several industries, including politics. Facebook boasts 1.49 billion monthly active users, 213 million of whom are in the United States and Canada, as of July 2015.
This isn't the first time Facebook has partnered with a television network for debate coverage. In 2012, it teamed up with NBC for submitting questions and even streamed the entirety of the event on the site. In 2008, Facebook created an online community called "Debate Groups" in partnership with ABC News.
And indeed, Facebook's ads reportedly contributed to U.S. President Barack Obama's successful campaign in the 2008 and 2012 elections. For the 2012 presidential election, Facebook also created an ''I'm Voting''' button, which was cited as a factor in driving people to the polls. However, the tool and Facebook tweaking what appeared in users' News Feeds around the election was also criticized as ''manipulative,'' in a Mother Jones report. But in November 2014, the network released the button again.
Evident from last night's debate, Facebook does not seem to be stopping its deep dive into politics. ''[Fox News] using Facebook to bring those viewers into this debate demonstrates how the platform has become an essential part of the political process,'' Facebook's Mitchell said in a statement.
Here are all Donald Trump's insults to women that Megyn Kelly asked about - Vox
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 02:49
During Thursday night's Republican debate, Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly asked Donald Trump about his misogynistic comments about women's looks.
"You've called women you don't like, 'fat pigs,' 'dogs,' slobs, and disgusting animals. '... It was well beyond Rosie O'Donnell. Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women's looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?" Kelly asked Trump.
Trump, unsurprisingly, was less than apologetic.
But he does have a long history of insulting women '-- on Twitter and elsewhere. Here's a bit more detail on his history.
"Fat pig"Rosie O'Donnell, in 2006, in the middle of a feud between Trump and O'Donnell. According to Fox News at the time:
Trump said O'Donnell was "a huge liability" for "The View," the ABC show she co-hosts. He told FOX News that the only thing she had going for her was a "nice girlfriend," referring to Kelli O'Donnell.
Trump referred to Rosie O'Donnell as a "big, fat pig" when imagining how her partner had announced to her family that she was involved with the comedian.
"Can you imagine the parents of Kelli ... when she said, 'Mom, Dad, I just fell in love with a big, fat pig named Rosie'?" he said. "Can you imagine the expression on their face?"
"Slobs"Also Rosie O'Donnell, whom Trump seems to have insulted to everyone he could find. From Gothamist:
In response, Donald sat down with "The Insider" and told us exactly how he feels about "The View" co-host.
"Rosie O'Donnell's disgusting both inside and out," he said. "You take a look at her, she's a slob. She talks like a truck driver, she doesn't have her facts, she'll say anything that comes to her mind. Her show failed when it was a talk show, the ratings went very, very, very low and very bad, and she got essentially thrown off television. I mean she's basically a disaster."
Trump does seem to use "slob" as a somewhat gender-neutral insult, as in this 2014 tweet seeming to refer to BuzzFeed reporter McKay Coppins:
"Disgusting"Trump reportedly had a "meltdown" when a lawyer requested a break from a deposition in order to pump breast milk, according to the New York Times:
When the lawyer, Elizabeth Beck, asked for a medical break, Mr. Trump and his lawyers objected, demanding that the deposition continue. Ms. Beck said it was urgent '-- she needed to pump breast milk for her 3-month-old daughter, and she took the pump out to make her point.
Mr. Trump erupted.
"You're disgusting," he told Ms. Beck, in a remark that is not disputed by either side. He then walked out of the room, ending the testimony for the day.
"Animal"O'Donnell again, also in 2006, according to People:
To the FOX News Channel, he said: "(View executive producer) Barbara Walters, in my opinion rues the day she put that animal on her show."
"Dogs"Trump once sent a copy of a column from the New York Times's Gail Collins to the columnist in the mail, with "Face of a Dog!" written on her picture, Collins wrote:
During one down period, I referred to him in print as a 'financially embattled thousandaire,' and he sent me a copy of the column with my picture circled and 'The Face of a Dog!' written over it.
"On her knees"This happened on Celebrity Apprentice: All-Stars in 2013.
As VH1 wrote:
LaToya Jackson, Bret Michaels, and former Playboy Playmate Brande Roderick were in the boardroom, presenting their arguments as to why they shouldn't be fired to the brainless triumvirate of Donald Trump,Ivanka Trump and Piers Morgan. Bret explains to his eventual executioners that, at one point, Brande "got down on her knees and passionately said, 'I want to do this.'" The innuendo was too thick for a goon like Donald Trump to let the statement simply slide.
"Excuse me, you DROPPED to your knees?", Trump directs towards Brande.
"Yes," Brande responds.
It's at this point that you can see the wheels of Trump's dirty mind turning, verrrrrrry slowly yet very surely. A full six seconds, which is an ETERNITY of time in the rapid-paced world of reality television editing, expire before Trump responds, "It must be a pretty picture. You dropping to your knees."
Trump's response"Megyn, if you don't like it, I'm sorry," Trump said in response to all this. Then he implied that he might insult her too:
"I've been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be based on the way you have treated me."
Watch: How Donald Trump is trolling the Republican Party
Cultural Marxism
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Hitchhiking Robot, Safe in Several Countries, Meets Its End in Philadelphia - NYTimes.com
Tue, 04 Aug 2015 04:39
After an international adventure that included spending a week with a heavy metal band, cruising through the canals of Amsterdam and participating in a wave at a Boston Red Sox game, a hitchhiking robot met a brutal demise in a Philadelphia alley on Saturday. It was 1 year old.
With yellow boots, blue limbs and ''San Francisco or Bust'' written around its chin, the robot, a.k.a. hitchBOT, was left by its creators near a highway in Salem, Mass., on July 17, hoping the kindness of strangers would see it safely to its West Coast destination.
The creators, David Harris Smith and Frauke Zeller, two Canadian professors, said they had built the robot as ''an artwork and social robotics experiment'' and had successfully sent it across Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. Short and stocky, with a bucket for a body and the red LED lights of its face enclosed in plastic, the brightly colored bot would be difficult to miss.
Over its two weeks in the United States, hitchBOT made its way from Boston to New York '-- stopping to take photos in Times Square '-- and to Philadelphia. It made light, automated conversation and took photos of its surroundings about every 20 minutes, documenting its travels on its popular Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
It had brief instructions written on its back to help the travelers who would guide it through its American bucket list, which included listening to jazz in New Orleans and being the fifth face in a photo of Mount Rushmore. But its creators said the robot's journey was cut short by vandals '-- it was found early Saturday beaten and dismembered in Philadelphia's historic Old City neighborhood.
A video blogger, Jesse Wellens, found the robot on the steps of Philadelphia's art museum and documented their brief night together in a video posted to YouTube.
''HitchBOT, do you need a seatbelt?'' Mr. Wellens asked as he loaded it into a car.
''Yes,'' hitchBOT responded, to Mr. Wellens's surprise.
Mr. Wellens considered paying a taxi $350 to drive the robot to Washington, D.C., before leaving it on a bench, as the robot's instructions suggested. It was the last known time someone would interact with it.
Mr. Wellens said he had obtained surveillance video that appeared to show someone in a football jersey throwing the robot's arms on the ground before kicking something on the bench. The video's contents could not be independently confirmed.
HitchBot surveillance video.
Video by YNGKillers
The creators were sent a photo of the vandalized robot but said they did not know who destroyed it or why, according to The Associated Press. They said they would not press charges or attempt to find the vandal.
''We know that many of hitchBOT's fans will be disappointed, but we want them to be assured that this great experiment is not over,'' the professors said in a statement. ''For now, we will focus on the question: 'What can be learned from this?' and explore future adventures for robots and humans.''
The vandalism sparked disappointment on social media. Several people in the local tech community offered to fix the battered bot. Philadelphians were wary that the episode would reflect badly on the city. Others worried that it would reflect badly on all Americans.
But the bot itself carried a more positive tone on Twitter. Its creators said more information on its future could come on Wednesday.
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College Language Guide excerpt
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Bias-Free Language Guide | Inclusive Excellence
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:37
In a democracy, recognition matters. Everyone wants to be seen as who they are.If they are not, then it's impossible for them to enjoy the experience of being full citizens. -Melissa Harris-Perry
Language as LeadershipLanguage has been described as complicated, intriguing and beautiful. Benjamin Lee Whorf said, "Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about."* Some writers have commented on language as the biggest barrier to human progress because, as Edward de Bono said, ''Language is an encyclopedia of ignorance. Old perceptions are frozen into language and force us to look at the world in an old-fashioned way.'' All things considered, individuals are both beneficiaries and victims of whatever language traditions they are born into.
Universities are places to look at the world in new ways. As a university organization, we care about the life of the mind. We offer this guide as a way to promote discussion and to facilitate creative and accurate expression.An integral part of UNH's mission is to continue to build an inclusive learning community, and the first step toward our goal is an awareness of any bias in our daily language. As we begin to understand bias, we explore the truths of hierarchy and oppression. When we free ourselves of bias, we are thus affirming identities that differ from our own. When we do not affirm another person's identity, we are characterizing an individual as ''less than'' or ''other''. This makes them invisible, and for some, it feels like a form of violence.
This guide is meant to invite inclusive excellence in our campus community. Each step of inclusion moves us closer to a full democracy. The text was prepared for faculty, staff and students of the UNH community to encourage the full range of contributions that we offer as individuals and members of various groups. The guide presents practical revisions in our common usage that can make a difference and break barriers relating to diversity.
Diversity is a civic value at UNH. We are committed to supporting and sustaining an educational community that is inclusive, diverse and equitable. The values of diversity, inclusion and equity are inextricably linked to our mission of teaching and research excellence, and we embrace these values as being critical to development, learning and success. The Faculty Senate's Statement on Diversity emphasizes, ''We expect nothing less than an accessible, multicultural community in which civility and respect are fostered, and discrimination and harassment are not tolerated.''
Starting a Conversation about Word ChoiceThe following bias-free language guide is meant to serve as a starting point about terms related to age, race, class, ethnicity, nationality, gender, ability, sexual orientation and more. It is not meant to represent absolute requirements of language use but, rather, offer a way to encourage us to think critically and reflectively about the terms and phrases that many people use regularly in conversation and writing.
Our hope is to encourage thoughtful expression in terms that are sensitive to the diverse identities and experiences in our community. Language is an incredibly complex phenomenon that often reflects and affects our identities. There is wide diversity among us in usage and understanding of language based on our age, place of origin, culture and class, among other identities. This guide is not a means to censor but rather to create dialogues of inclusion where all of us feel comfortable and welcomed.
We invite your feedback, including suggestions, edits and additions. Thanks for reading and thanks for careful consideration when you speak.
What is ''Inclusive Language''?Inclusive Language is communication that does not stereotype or demean people based on personal characteristics including gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, economic background, ability/disability status, religion, sexual orientation, etc.Identities Matter and Words MatterIdentities are personal. It is important to realize that each person will define their own identity. Identity terms are meant for individuals to use to identify themselves and not for us to identify them. You will find various definitions depending on culture, places of origin, generation, etc.
When appropriate, ask how a person wishes to be identified, and please remember that identity terms are meant for individuals to use to identify themselves and not for us to identify them. Use inclusive language to emphasize or focus the reader's attention on similarities, equality and respect. Conversely, avoid using language that detracts from the sense of value of the whole person and avoid terms that exclude, marginalize, diminish or lower the status of any individual or group (e.g., ''us and them'' constructions). If you don't know what to say, just ask the individual how they prefer to be identified.
In addition, avoid stereotypes and words that are derived from negative assumptions e.g., using the expression ''going Dutch'' for ''splitting the bill''.
Diversity, Inclusion and Equity: Core PrinciplesFrom: ''Making Excellence Inclusive'', American Association of Colleges and Universities. http://www.aacu.org/compass/inclusive_excellence.cfmDiversity: Individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, physical or cognitive abilities, as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations) that can be engaged in the service of learning.
Inclusion: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity'--in people, in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical). This engagement with diversity has the potential to increase one's awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.Equity: Creating opportunities for equal access and success for historically underrepresented populations such as racial and ethnic minority and low-income students, in three main areas:' Representational equity, the proportional participation at all levels of an institution;' Resource equity, the distribution of educational resources in order to close equity gaps; and' Equity-mindedness, the demonstration of an awareness of and willingness to address equity issues among institutional leaders and staff
Inclusive Excellence: refers to the achievement of institutional excellence through a sustained intentional, dynamic, and interactive engagement across a fully diverse campus in all phases of univesity life (curricular, co-curricular, research, and outreach). Only with an equitable inclusion of diverse peoples, perspectives, and pedagogies can optimal teaching, inquiry, artistic development, and learning occur.
Intercultural Competence: knowledge of others, knowledge of self, skills to interpret and relate, skills to discover and/or to interact, valuing others values, beliefs, and behaviors, and relativizing one's self. Also involves the development of one's skills and attitudes in successfully interacting with persons of diverse backgrounds.A micro-aggression is a subtle, often automatic, stereotypical, and insensitive behavior or comment or assumption about a person's identity, background, ethnicity, or disability. Micro-aggressions may be intentional or non-intentional. They may be experienced daily by some people. The messages may be delivered in verbal, behavioral, and environmental forms (residing in the "climate" of an institution or in the broader society). For example, when women in the workplace enter a conference room where portraits of past CEOs or boards of directors are honorifically displayed, and they are all men. The implicit message is that women are less competent and/or that women may not be selected for leadership in that organization.
Mico-aggressions are delivered in many forms - politely or negatively. "I don't think your daughter is capable of doing that because of her disability", a school principal may say to a parent in front of the student - ignoring her presence completely.
Forms of AggressionMicro-assault, verbal attack
Example: ''Why do you need a wheelchair? I saw you walk'... You can walk, right?'' to a person who is using a mobile chair for long-distance travel. Example: ''Dogs smell funny'' to a blind person using a guide dog.Micro-insult, a form of verbal or silent demeaning through insensitive comments or behavior
Example: A person exhibits a stubborn, begrudging attitude, that they will accommodate an accessibility request. The verbalization is appropriate but the tone seems insulting.Micro-invalidation, degrading a person's wholeness through making false assumptions about the other's ability, causing a sense of invalidation.
Example: ''You have a learning disability? How can you be a lawyer?'' to a person with a learning disability.Example: ''The new international student is having language challenges.'' (More appropriately, we would say that the new international student is concentrating on learning a new language.)Micro-aggressions hold a lot of power and especially because of their frequency in our culture. They may appear subtle and harmless, but we must address them if we wish to consider ourselves a truly civil society.
The opposite phenomenon is what Mary Rowe of MIT termed micro-affirmations. These are subtle or small acknowledgements of a person's value and accomplishments such as public praise of a person's work or character, or they may be acts of kindness like opening the door for someone. The apparently ''small'' affirmation of appropriately identifying someone's gender, for instance, in a social exchange, through correct language will build colleague-ships and caring relationships. All of these so-called small gestures create a healthy, more productive classroom culture or work environment.
The following is a list of terms that arise when age, class and size are discussed. Keep in mind that identities are personal; individuals will define their own identity.Glossary of LanguagePreferred: people of advanced age, old people* Problematic/Outdated: older people, elders, seniors, senior citizen*Old people has been reclaimed by some older activists who believe the standard wording of old people lacks the stigma of the term ''advanced age''. Old people also halts the euphemizing of age. Euphemizing automatically positions age as a negative.
Preferred: person who lacks advantages that others have, low economic status related to a person's education, occupation and income Problematic: poor person, person from the ghettoNote: Some people choose to live a life that is not connected to the consumer world of material possessions. They do not identify as ''poor''.Preferred: person living at or below the poverty line, people experiencing poverty Problematic/Outdated: poor person, poverty-stricken person
Preferred: person-experiencing homelessness Problematic/Outdated: the homeless, which reduces the person to being defined by their housing rather than as a person first - one who does not have a home
Preferred: person-using welfare Problematic/Outdated: ''welfare queen''
Preferred: person of material wealth Problematic: richBeing rich gets conflated with a sort of omnipotence; hence, immunity from customs and the law. People without material wealth could be wealthy or rich of spirit, kindness, etc.
Preferred: people of size Problematic/Outdated: obese*, overweight people''Obese'' is the medicalization of size, and ''overweight'' is arbitrary; for example, standards differ from one culture to another.Note: ''Fat'', a historically derogatory term, is increasingly being reclaimed by people of size and their allies, yet for some, it is a term that comes from pain.
ABILITY/DISABILITY STATUSGeneral PrinciplesUse person-first constructions that put the person ahead of the disability, e.g., instead of ''a blind woman'' or ''a diabetic'', use ''a woman who is blind'' or ''a person with diabetes''.Just as it is not always necessary to convey the color of a person's hair, for example, do not mention that a person has a disability unless it is relevant to the communication.
Avoid using language that casts disabilities as negative. For example, steer away from using phrases such as; suffers from, afflicted with or victim of, as such expressions cast disabilities as negative attributes. By the same token, avoid using the terms; handicapped, challenged and crippled. Nick Holtzhum, former UNH student said, ''Being disabled just gives you different means to do the same things that others do.''
Watch the Metaphors''Bipolar,'' ''autistic,'' ''schizo,'' and ''ADD'' are words that should not be thrown around in conversation. These words are descriptors of real psychiatric disabilities that people actually possess. They are not metaphors for everyday behaviors that happen to bug us. When used to describe people you hate, you imply that the disabilities themselves are something to be hated.
Note: Most disabilities are not diseases. Do not refer to a person with a disability as a patient unless that person is in a hospital or care facility. In the context of occupational or physical therapy, the term client is preferable.
''Bipolar,'' ''autistic,'' ''schizo,'' and ''ADD'' are words that we should never throw around in conversation. These words are descriptors of real psychiatric disabilities that people we know actually possess. They are not metaphors for everyday behaviors that happen to bug us. When you use them to describe people you hate (by the way, why are we being so mean to each other?), you imply that the disabilities themselves are something to be hated. - See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/599-she-s-so-schizophrenic-how-not-to-alienate-your-colleagues-with-psychiatric-disabilities?cid=megamenu#sthash.Gbg5lKRf.dpuf
Potential IssuesAlthough the majority of disability advocacy groups and members of the disability community generally accept the term ''disability,'' there are some who believe that even the term ''disability'' itself is pejorative. Some people may often prefer to use terms such as ''differently abled'' and/or may characterize a disability as simply a difference rather than any sort of impediment, for example, members of Deaf Culture. Again, it is advisable to ask people how they would they like to be addressed whenever it is relevant to the situation. Remember, most of us will possibly face being disabled at some point in our lives; whether it comes sooner or later depends on our circumstances.Glossary of LanguageFocus: It's important to remember that we come from diverse backgrounds and experiences that foster our full identities. We are not just what appears on the surface to be our singular or perceived dominant identity.
Preferred: "non-disabled" is the preferred term for people without disabilities. problematic: normal, able-bodied, healthy or wholePreferred: person who is blind/visually impaired Problematic: blind person, ''dumb''Preferred: person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing Problematic: deaf person, Deaf-and-Dumb, Deaf-MutePreferred: person with a speech/communication impairment Problematic: dumb, speech impedimentPreferred: person who is learning disabled, person who has a cognitive disability, person with a learning or cognitive disability, persons with intellectual and developmental disability Problematic: retarded, slow, brain-damaged, special education studentPreferred: person with a psychiatric disability; person with a mental health condition Problematic: mentally ill, hyper-sensitive, psycho, crazy, insane, wacko, nutsPreferred: wheelchair user, person who is - wheelchair mobile, physically disabled, quadriplegic, paraplegic Problematic: handicapped, physically challenged, invalid, ''special'', deformed, cripple, gimp, spaz, wheelchair-bound, confined to a wheelchair, lamePreferred: seeking help for emotional mental health, person who identifies as having an emotional disability Problematic: emotionally disturbedPreferred: cognitively/developmentally delayed/disabled, person with a cognitive/developmental delay or disability, person with an intellectual disability Problematic: retard, mentally retarded, special ed studentPreferred: someone of short stature, little person Problematic: dwarf, midgetPreferred: person ''living with'' a specific disability, (i.e. ''someone living with cancer or AIDS'') Problematic: victim, someone ''stricken with'' a disability (i.e. ''someone stricken with cancer'' or ''an AIDS victim'')"Afflicted with", ''stricken with'', ''suffers from'', ''victim of'', and ''confined to'' are terms that are based on the assumption that a person with a disability is suffering or living a reduced quality of life. Instead, use neutral language when describing a person who has a disability. Not every person with a disability 'suffers,' is a 'victim' or is 'stricken.' Instead simply state the facts about the nature of the person's disability, preferably in the way that they have told you they want to be identified.
RACE, ETHNICITY, CULTURE AND IMMIGRANT STATUSThe following is a list of terms that arise when referring to race, ethnicity and culture.Glossary of Language
Preferred: Black or African American Problematic: negro, negroid, colored person, darkPreferred: U.S. citizen or Resident of the U.S. Problematic: AmericanNote: North Americans often use ''American'' which usually, depending on the context, fails to recognize South AmericaPreferred: North American or South American Problematic: American: assumes the U.S. is the only country inside these two continents.
Preferred: People of Color Problematic: Colored, Non-WhiteNote: In the U.S. context, ''People of Color'' usually refers to Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, Latino/a, Hispanic, African American and biracial/multiracial people and should not be used synonymously with ''Black'' or ''African American.''
Preferred: use the specific name of the country on the continent; Africa; e.g., Egypt, Ethiopia Problematic: Africa, which is a continent of many countriesNote: ''African'' is a broad term. Even though we know Africa as one of the seven continents, citizens prefer to identify with their country of origin, such as Ethiopian or Nigerian.Preferred: Western Asian, Northern African people Problematic: ArabsNote: The people of these regions of the world identify according to their genealogical, linguistic, or cultural backgrounds. When applicable, tribal affiliations and intra-tribal relationships play an important role in their identity.
Preferred: White people, European-American individuals Problematic: Caucasian people
Preferred: international people Problematic: foreigners
Preferred: Undocumented* immigrant or worker; person seeking asylum, refugee Problematic: illegal alien*Although preferable to illegal (when we call a person illegal, we imply that they are an object), this term lacks recognition of the person's humanity first.
Preferred: bi-racial people, multi-racial individuals when it is relevant to state this in a communication Problematic: mixed race people, mulatto
Preferred: Asian people, Asian American individuals Problematic: OrientalsNote: Certain food may be labeled Oriental, and carpets may be ''Oriental'', but not people's identities. The suffix ''American'' signifies that the person was born in or spent formative years in North America.
Preferred: Latino people or Latino/a people, Problematic: Spanish People (only appropriate for people from Spain; and, therefore, imprecise when referring to people from Latin, Central or South America)
Preferred: Native Americans or indigenous people or First Nation people (Often referring to native Canadians) Problematic: Indians (when referring to indigenous American people unless the person indicates that they preferred to be identified as Indian)
Multiracial: A term designating persons of interracial parentage or heritage. This terms was added to the Census 2000 and has allowed interracial persons to select a more appropriate category that didn't force them to choose between parts of their heritage. People consider themselves biracial when their heritage consists of two races.
Ethnicity: A group identity assigned to specific groups of people who share a common linguistic, religious and/or cultural heritage. Ethnicity is not synonymous with "race".
Race: A group identity historically related to a local geographic or global human population traditionally distinguished as a group by genetically transmitted physical characteristics. Race is believed to be a social construct, without biological merit that was designed to maintain slavery.
You will find various definitions of sexual orientation among people of varying cultures, places of origin, generations, etc.Glossary of Language
Preferred: Sexual Orientation, Sexual Identity Problematic: Sexual PreferenceThe scientifically accurate term for an individual's enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction to members of the same and/or other sex, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and heterosexual (straight) orientations. Avoid the offensive term ''sexual preference'', which is used to suggest that being gay or lesbian is voluntary and therefore ''curable.''
Preferred: Gay, Lesbian, Same Gender Loving (SGL) Problematic: ''Homosexual''''Homosexual'' is an outdated clinical term considered derogatory and offensive by many gay and lesbian people. Gay and/or lesbian accurately describe those who are attracted to people of the same sex or gender. Same Gender Loving is sometimes used among African American sexual minority individuals.
Preferred: Sexual Minorities, Queer, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Problematic: People of an alternative ''lifestyle'' (when referring to sexuality)''Lifestyle'' is an inaccurate term used by anti-gay extremists to denigrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lives. As there is not one straight lifestyle, there is not one lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender lifestyle. Queer, historically a derogatory term, has been reclaimed by many sexual minorities and their allies. Queer is often used as an umbrella term to describe lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, and questioning (of sexuality and/or gender identity).
Preferred: People with intersex characteristics, individuals with ambiguous sexual organs Problematic/Outdated: HermaphroditesIntersex can be used when describing a person whose biological sex is ambiguous. There are many genetic, hormonal or anatomical variations that make a person's sexual organs ambiguous (e.g., Klinefelter Syndrome). Parents and medical professionals usually assign intersex infants a sex and perform surgical procedures to conform the infant's body to the chosen assignment.
Note: the intersex community speaks out against non-consensual, premature and unsound practices. The term intersex is not interchangeable with or a synonym for transgender.Preferred: Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS), Gender Reaffirming Surgery, Gender Confirming Surgery Problematic/Outdated: Sex ChangeRefers to surgical alteration, and is only one small part of transition (see transition directly above on intersex characteristics). Not all transgender people choose to, or can afford to have Sexual Reassignment Surgery. Journalists and researchers should avoid overemphasizing the role of SRS in the transition process.
Glossary of Terms
BiphobiaThe fear, hatred and/or dislike of people who are or are perceived to be bisexual.Note: This includes prejudice, discrimination, harassment and acts of violence. It can often manifest as discrediting or doubting the existence of bisexuality.
CisgenderA range of different identities wherein a person is comfortable identifying with the sex or gender they were assigned at birth.
CiscentrismA pervasive and institutionalized system that places transgender people in the ''other'' category and treats their needs and identities as less important than those of cisgender people. Note: This includes the lack of gender-neutral restrooms, locker rooms, and residences.
Coming out (of the closet)The process of being open about one's own sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This may include telling friends, family, loved ones, co-workers, acquaintances, etc.Note: This may be a difficult process; a person should not be forced to come out to anyone for any reason. Each individual should be respected to choose who they come out to and when. Acceptance and support help people at this time.
Gender ExpressionRefers to all external characteristics and behaviors that are socially defined as either masculine or feminine, e.g., dress, mannerisms, speech patterns and social interactions.
Gender IdentityA person's internal definition of self as man, woman, or transgendered. One's gender identity may or may not be conguent with one's biological sex or traits typically associated with one's biological sex. Not to be confused with sexual orientation, which determines one's primary attraction to another gender.Hetero-normativityThe presumption that heterosexuality is universal and/or superior to other sexual orientationsExample of perpetuation of hetero-normativity - seeing a ring on a woman's finger and saying ''congratulations, what's his name?''This illustrates the assumption that the woman is heterosexual or that she is in a relationship with a person of male gender.Note: Even though it may seem this way in some relationships where one person is more masculine and/or feminine than the other, the idea of someone being ''the man'' and the other being ''the woman'' is a reflection of a hetero-normative society.
HeterosexismPrejudice, bias, or discriminations based on the presumption that heterosexuality is universal and/or superior to other sexual orientations.
HomophobiaThe fear, hatred and/or dislike of people who are attracted - or are perceived to be attracted to a person of the same sex or gender. Note: Homophobia may result in acts of prejudice, discrimination, harassment and violence. It is possible for someone who is attracted to people of the same gender to be homophobic. This is called ''internalized homophobia'', which means having negative feelings toward oneself because we live in a homophobic society '' or something like that.
To Be OutTo be open about your sexual orientation and/or your gender identityNote: A person may be out only in a particular area of their life, for example, they may only be out to friends, but not to family or vice versa. It can never be assumed that someone is out to everyone.To reveal an individual's sexual orientation and/or gender identity, ''to out someone'', is a violation of an individual's right to self-identify and may result in life-threatening consequences. Each person chooses when and with whom they want to share their identity.
Sexual OrientationA person's innate, enduring physical, emotional and/or spiritual attraction toward othersNote: This attraction is typically, but not always, specific to a particular gender (or to multiple genders). For example, some people are attracted only to men or women; other people are attracted to both men and women, and some others' attractions transcend gender (e.g., they are attracted to specific traits or characteristics, regardless of their gender).Sexual behavior is an action that a person chooses, but that action does not necessarily define a person's orientation as gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual or asexual.
TransphobiaThe fear, hatred, and/or dislike of people who are/or are perceived to be outside of the socially constructed systems of sex and/or gender.Note: Transphobia may result in acts of prejudice, discrimination, harassment and violence.
The following commonly used terms are explained for the purpose of avoiding sexism and inaccuracies.First, it is essential to discuss the concept of gender. Gender is a socially constructed system to classify traits, appearance and/or other things as masculine, male, feminine, and/or female. It is important to note that although masculinity is typically ascribed to biological males, and femininity is typically ascribed to biological females, those connections are socially constructed and, therefore, are not always accurate.
Glossary of LanguagePreferred: Folks, People, You All, Y'all Problematic/Outdated: Guys (when referring to people overall)
Preferred: Women Problematic/Outdated: Girls (when referring to adult women)
Preferred: Workforce, personnel, workers Problematic/Outdated: manpower
Preferred: Human achievements Problematic/Outdated: man's achievements
Preferred: The average person, people in general Problematic/Outdated: the average man
Preferred: Chairperson, chair, moderator, discussion leader Problematic/Outdated: chairman (the head of an academic department, meeting or organization)
Preferred: First-year students Problematic/Outdated: freshmenPreferred: doctor, nurse, lawyer, professor, secretary Specify gender only if relevant and/or necessary for discussion. Avoid gender stereotyping: the secretary . . . she, the professor/supervisor . . . he
Preferred: supervisor, police officer, flight attendant, homemaker, postal worker/mail carrier Problematic/Outdated: foreman, policeman, stewardess, housewife, mailman
Preferred: The boys chose (specify), The students behaved in the following way (specify), He did the following (specify) Problematic: The boys chose typically male toys. The student's behavior was typically female. He acts like an old women Being specific reduces the possibility of stereotypical bias.Preferred: Thanks to the administrative assistants for their work on the project Problematic: Thank the girls in the office for typing the reports
Preferred: Women's movement, feminist, supporter of women's rights Problematic/Outdated: women's lib, women's libber
Preferred: Scientists/researchers/adminstrators are often separated from their spouses/partners when their research requires them to travel Problematic: Scientists/researchers/adminstrators are often separated from their wives when their research . . . .
Preferred: parenting, nurturing (or specify exact behavior) Problematic/Outdated: mothering, fathering Unless gender is specifically implied, avoid gendering a non-gendered activity
Preferred: Other Sex Problematic/Outdated: Opposite SexPreferred: Children who are gender non-conforming, Children who are gender variant Problematic/Outdated: Girlie or Tomboy
Preferred: Transgender Individual Problematic/Outdated: Tranny
Preferred: Cisgender/Cissexual/Cis Problematic/Outdated: Biological /Genetic/Natal/ ''normal'' gender
Preferred: Assigned Sex Problematic/Outdated: Biological/Genetic/Natal/ ''normal'' sex
Preferred: Affirmed gender, Affirmed girl, Affirmed boy Problematic/Outdated: ''Real'' Gender, ''Real'' Girl, ''Real'' Boy
Glossary of TermsGender AttributionThe act of assuming someone's gender upon first impressions based usually on their appearanceNote: The gender attributed to a person does not always coincide with that person's stated gender identity.Gender ExpressionThe way an individual expresses their gender through their clothing, attitude, hairstyle, etc.Note: Many times homophobic attacks are actually attacks on an individual's perceived gender expression and not necessarily their sexual orientation since it is not something you can actually see about a person.
Gender IdentityOne's innate inner feeling of being a man, woman, both or neither. Note: Gender identity may or may not be associated with one's physical body.
Thank you to the many editors and proofreaders of this outreach to build a better campus climate at UNH.Writers and editors: Sylvia Foster, Szu-Hui Lee, Joelle Ruby Ryan, Sean Moundas, Janice Pierson and the Women's Commission members in the 1990's who drafted the "Guide to Non-Sexist Language" to inspire conversations about accuracy and creativity in language.
Additional References:
College Handbook Says Words Like "Rich" And "American" Are Offensive - BuzzFeed News
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:37
1. A ''bias-free language guide'' from the University of New Hampshire has been making the rounds for being extremely politically correct, encouraging students to replace ''problematic'' words like ''American'' with ''resident of the U.S.''The term ''American,'' the guide says, is offensive because it doesn't recognize South America.
The handbook was written by students and staff in 2013, but was unearthed this week by the site Campus Reform.3. Instead of the word homosexual, students were encouraged to say ''same-gender loving,'' and instead of calling someone ''rich,'' they were told to describe them as a ''person of material wealth.''Other substitutions include ''Western Asians'' instead of the word ''Arabs,'' ''people of size'' instead of ''obese,'' and ''international people'' instead of foreigners. Instead of saying ''guys'' to refer to a group, people should instead say ''y'all,'' it says.
The guide also suggests replacing the word ''poor'' with ''low economic status related to a person's education, occupation and income.'' ''Senior citizens'' should be instead called ''people of advanced age,'' though the guide does note that some have ''reclaimed'' the phrase ''old people.''
7. UNH's president, Mark Huddleston, said he was offended by the PC-ness of the guide, which a school spokesperson said they were unaware of until this week, and that it's not campus policy.''I am troubled by many things in the language guide, especially the suggestion that the use of the term 'American' is misplaced or offensive,'' Huddleston told the AP.''The only UNH policy on speech is that it is free and unfettered on our campuses. It is ironic that what was probably a well-meaning effort to be 'sensitive' proves offensive to many people, myself included.''
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* Homosexual is out. It is now "same-gender loving".
* "American" is out as it doesn't take into account South Americans. Use "resident of the United States", instead.
* "Arab" is out, replaced with "Western Asians".
* "Obese/Overweight" are out, replaced with "people of size".
* "Foreigners" is not acceptable; replaced with "international people".
* "Guys" is gone; referred to by "y'all".
* "Poor" replaced with "low economic status related to a person's education, occupation and income".
* "Rich" is now "person of material wealth".
* Senior citizens" is now "people of advanced age".
* "illegal alien" and "undocumented immigrant" should be replaced with "person seeking asylum" or "refugee".
* "Caucasion" should now be "european-american individuals" (because "race is a social construct that was designed to maintain slavery").
* "mothering" and "fathering" should be avoided because they are "gendering a non-gendered activity".
* "healthy" is inappropriate and you should use "non-disabled"
* "handicapped" and "physically-challenged" should be "wheelchair user" or "person who is wheelchair mobile".
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Urban Dictionary: Vagenda
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 07:24
vagenda: (origin, Fringe, Walterism) from - vagina agenda(n.) the act of fooling a man into thinking you're his girlfriend, while his real girlfriend is trapped in another universe, by using your vagina, so you can steal valuable information and ancient pieces of technology.
He fell right into her vagenda!
A series of tasks a woman carries out with her vagina in order to ensure the success of her plans. Also used by the fabulous Walter Bishop in FRINGE when he and his son discovered his son was sleeping with the alternate universe version of his love.
"It's all because of that temptress! She tricked my son with her carnal manipulations and he fell RIGHT into her vagenda." - Walter Bishop from FRINGE
The act of fooling a man by using your vagina into thinking you're his girlfriend, while his real girlfriend is trapped in another universe, so you can steal valuable information and ancient pieces of technology.
Walter: She tricked my son with her carnal manipullations and he fell right right into her vagenda!
The true thoughts and plans of the female sex. Used specifically in regard to plotting and scheming, or making plans of one sort or another.
I'm not sure what angle Mollie is working, but I bet it's part of some extremist female vagenda.
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DSM V
In kids, picky eating may be warning sign for mental health problems - LA Times
Tue, 04 Aug 2015 04:53
Children who are picky eaters may have bigger problems than a lack of a well-balanced diet. A new study finds that kids who make a habit of shunning certain foods are more likely to have symptoms of depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders.
To be counted as picky eaters, children had to do more than shun broccoli and other foods that kids typically don't like. If they limited their eating to a range of preferred foods, they were considered to have a ''moderate'' case of selective eating. If that range of foods was so narrow that it was hard for them to eat with other people, their selective eating was labeled ''severe.''
Researchers from Duke University assessed the eating habits of about 1,100 preschoolers ages 2 to 5. Researchers visited these children in their homes and asked their parents or other caregivers a battery of questions about the youngsters' behavior. In addition, the researchers checked in with a subgroup of nearly 200 of the kids annually.
Picky eaters were quite common, the team found: 18% of the children were moderate selective eaters and an additional 3% had a severe case of the condition. Those figures were in line with previous studies that found 14% to 20% of preschoolers were selective about the foods they ate at least some of the time.
Some doctors see these numbers are reassuring, and many of them tell parents that their children will simply outgrow their pickiness. But the Duke researchers said this is the wrong approach for dealing with selective eaters.
''The fact that a behavior is relatively common does not mean that it is harmless,'' they wrote in an article published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
Indeed, picky eating may be a sign that a young child has psychiatric problems that need to be addressed. In the study, children with severe cases of selective eating were about twice as likely as to be diagnosed with depression compared with kids who ate a normal range of foods. They were also 2.7 times more likely to be diagnosed with social anxiety, according to the study.
Selective eaters whose conditions were deemed moderate did not have an increased risk of being diagnosed with a psychiatric condition. However, compared with their less picky peers, they were more likely to have symptoms of depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
By tracking some of the children over time, the researchers found that selective eaters faced an increased risk of developing anxiety problems as they got older, even when their initial symptoms were taken into account. The fact that picky eating could flag future psychiatric problems is ''perhaps the most clinically significant finding'' in the study, the authors wrote.
From a purely physical point of view, selective eaters did not grow as much as children who ate a normal range of foods, according to the study. Without a varied diet, kids may get enough calories but still lack some key nutrients, the researchers wrote.
All of this points to a need for new ways to help families of children with this type of eating disorder, according to the Duke team. ''There is much to learn,'' they wrote.
Follow me on Twitter @LATkarenkaplan and "like" Los Angeles Times Science & Health on Facebook.
Copyright (C) 2015, Los Angeles Times
CYBER!
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Senate stalls on cybersecurity bill
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 13:39
Congress
Senate stalls on cybersecurity billBy Adam MazmanianAug 05, 2015The Senate is leaving town for its August recess without further action on a cybersecurity bill.
The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act is the latest in what has become an annual exercise in attempting to provide a new legal framework for private companies to share information on cyber threats with government and with each other, without running afoul of privacy and antitrust statutes.
A deal to bring CISA to the floor for a cloture vote with an eye to passing the bill on Aug. 6 fell apart because of disagreements over what amendments would be subject to debate and vote. The Senate now plans to pick up cybersecurity after the recess, with Democrats allowed to introduce 11 amendments and with Republicans getting 10.
Senators lobbed more than 70 amendments, some relevant to cybersecurity and some designed with the apparent intent of delaying action on the bill.
While the measure was approved by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence by a vote of 14-1 and has White House backing, privacy advocates are concerned that network operators won't have to obtain the consent of their customers before sharing information on alleged cyber threats with federal agencies.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz put out a statement backing the bill. "Cybersecurity is an important national security issue and the Senate should take up this bill as soon as possible and pass it," Schultz said Aug. 4.
The administration backing is notable because the Department of Homeland Security warned of privacy issues with the bill in a letter to Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). Those concerns were apparently addressed in recent changes to the bill by its lead backers, Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairman and vice chair of the Intelligence Committee.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the lone no-vote on the Intelligence panel, has characterized CISA as a "surveillance bill," and he doesn't think it will work.
"I'm of the view that this bill in its present form would do little if anything to stop large, sophisticated cyberattacks like the Office of Personnel Management hack," Wyden said on the Senate floor.
Feinstein rejected that view. "We have made some 15 privacy information improvements in this bill," she said during floor debate Aug. 6, referring to a manager's amendment added to the bill to mandate that information gleaned in cybersecurity threat reports won't be used in unrelated prosecutions by law enforcement agencies. "This is not a surveillance bill," Feinstein said. "What it is meant to be is a voluntary effort that companies can enter into with some protection if they follow this law," she said.
CISA would give network operators and other private firms certain protections from antitrust and consumer privacy liabilities when they report information on cyber threats to government, or share them with each other.
"It's been referred to that we're here because OPM got hacked. No. We're here because the American people's data is in jeopardy if government doesn't help to find a way to minimize the loss," Burr said on the floor Aug. 4.
Turf issues may have played a role in the bill stalling out. The Judiciary Committee and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee have jurisdiction over agencies and policies charged with leading the response to the cyber threat, and some panels have their own legislation on cyber teed up.
"The Homeland Security Committee is certainly free to do a bill. The Judiciary Committee is certainly free to do a bill. We happen on Intelligence ... to have been working on this for a long, long time, "Feinstein said. "This bill, I believe, has hit the mark."
If the bill passes in September, it still would have to be reconciled with a pair of bills passed by the House, one making DHS the hub of information sharing with private firms, and another authorizing the intelligence community to share known threat signatures with private companies via DHS.
Burr noted in his floor remarks that he hoped for quick passage of CISA in order to get to work conferencing the legislation.
"It's the Senate that's now holding us back," Burr 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.
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Spying on Americans: Senate Intelligence Authorization Act, Would Allow Arrest of Journalists, Anti-war Activists, Academics and Students | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 13:36
Freedom in America is being systematically destroyed: one police state law at a time '' with most people ignorant and/or indifferent about what happening.
Washington's criminal class is bipartisan '' in lockstep against government representing everyone equitably and fairly, serving privileged interests only.
S. Res. 1705: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 compromises free expression and privacy rights already gravely eroded.
If enacted, Section 603 will require online companies to inform Washington of any ''actual knowledge'' of ''facts and circumstances'' related to undefined ''terrorist activity'' '' meaning warrantless searches and seizures of personal electronic content will be authorized, potentially subjecting countless numbers of innocent people to unjustifiable scrutiny.
Vague language makes independent journalists, political, anti-war, and social justice activists, academics and students doing legitimate research, as well as others vulnerable to being called suspected terrorists.
The possibility could encourage self-censorship. Service providers may over-report to show compliance with the law. Online users could be flagged for using suspect words or phrases.
One definition of terrorist activity can be another's way of describing freedom fighting. Legitimate government criticism could be misinterpreted and misused.
Anyone ideologically opposed to US policies could become vulnerable to arrest, prosecution, conviction and imprisonment for expressing their views online. Police states operate this way.
Provisions like Section 603 violate fundamental constitutional and international law guaranteed rights. At stake is further erosion of First and Fourth Amendment freedoms.
Senate members overwhelmingly support S. 1705. Before recessing until September, they were set to pass it by voice vote until Senator Ron Wyden objected.
He wants normal debate procedure followed. He noted valid concerns raised by Internet companies about Section 603.
The Internet Association representing dozens of technology companies said vague language about what constitutes terrorism creates ''an impossible compliance problem.''
It'll result in ''massive reporting of items that are not likely to be of material concern to public safety.'' Wyden said ''Internet companies should not be subject to broad requirements to police the speech of their users.''
He knows of no law enforcement or intelligence agencies suggesting Section 603 will help identify terrorists. He urges revision or elimination of this section altogether.
Thirty-one civil liberties organizations and trade associations expressed opposition to Section 603 in a letter sent Senate leaders.
They include Project Censored, the Media Freedom Foundation, the ACLU, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumer Federation of America, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and American Library Association among others.
They warned of concerns raised above. Innocent people committing no crimes would be at risk. ''Complying with Section 603 would create a chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech and would impermissibly burden individuals' First and Fourth Amendment rights,'' they said.
''Whether a given comment is a true threat of violence, an expression of a sincerely held religious belief, or a simple joke among friends is a determination that providers are ill-suited to make, particularly when the consequence is reporting a person to the government under the suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities.''
Section 603 is unconstitutional. It way oversteps. Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Internet companies may report any content they believe relates to criminality.
''Section 603's reporting requirement threatens individuals' constitutional rights to privacy and freedom of expression and would burden US-based providers without providing a clear benefit to law enforcement. For these reasons, we urge you to reject this flawed provision and to remove it from the Intelligence Authorization Act,'' the signatories said.
Stephen Lendmanlives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].
His new book as editor and contributor is titled ''Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.''
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (H.R. 2596) - GovTrack.us
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 13:36
This bill's text for status Referred to Senate Committee (Jun 17, 2015) is now available.
Passed House '-- Jun 16, 2015Last Action: On passage Passed by recorded vote: 247 - 178 (Roll no. 369).
Explanation: This bill passed in the House on June 16, 2015 and goes to the Senate next for consideration.
Agreed To (Simple Resolution) '-- Jun 16, 2015H.Res. 315: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2596) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2016 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United ...
Last Action: On agreeing to the resolution Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 236 - 189 (Roll no. 366).
Explanation: This simple resolution was agreed to on June 16, 2015. That is the end of the legislative process for a simple resolution.
Bill Text '-- Jun 16, 2015H.Res. 315: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2596) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2016 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United ...
This resolution's text for status Passed the House (Engrossed) (Jun 16, 2015) is now available.
Introduced:Jun 1, 2015
Status:Passed House on Jun 16, 2015
This bill passed in the House on June 16, 2015 and goes to the Senate next for consideration.
Sponsor:Devin Nunes
Representative for California's 22nd congressional district
Republican
Text:Read Text >>Last Updated: Jun 17, 2015Length: 63 pages
Prognosis:53% chance of being enacted
See Instead:S. 1705 (same title)Reported by Committee '-- Jul 7, 2015
The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (IAA), H.R. 2596, was passed by the House on June 16. The IAA would authorize funding for intelligence-related agencies such as the ... (more summary)
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About the billFull TitleTo authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2016 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government, the Community Management Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes.
Read summary (GovTrack/CRS) >
Related BillsLegislative action may be ocurring on one of these bills in lieu of or in parallel to action on this bill.
S. 1705 (Related)Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016
Reported by CommitteeLast Action: Jul 7, 2015
H.Res. 315 (rule)Agreed To (Simple Resolution)Jun 16, 2015
H.R. 2708 (Related)To direct the Director of National Intelligence to conduct a study on cyber attack ...
Referred to CommitteeLast Action: Jun 9, 2015
What is a bill?The ''H.R.'' in ''H.R. 2596'' means this is a House of Representatives bill in the United States Congress. A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.
The bill's title was written by its sponsor.
HistoryReported by Committee
Jun 9, 2015
Jun 16, 2015
View Vote Result >>
Passed House
Jun 16, 2015
View Vote Result >>
Enacted '-- Signed by the President
DetailsCommittee AssignmentsThe committee chair determines whether a bill will move past the committee stage.
Prognosis53% chance of being enacted.
Only about 21% of bills that made it past committee in 2013''2015 were enacted. [show factors | methodology]
The following factors determined this bill's prognosis:
The sponsor is the chairman of a committee to which the bill has been referred. '–²
The sponsor is on a committee to which the bill has been referred, and the sponsor is a member of the majority party. '–²
The bill was referred to House Budget. '–²
Key: '–² Correlated with successful bills. Correlation may not indicate causation.
Links & toolsCitationClick a format for a citation suggestion:
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FBI Considers Recruiting High School Students for Cybersecurity Squads
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 14:01
http://www.theblot.com/fbi-considers-recruiting-high-school-students-cyber-security-squads-7748852
Cybersecurity is a top government initiative, and faced with a lack of candidates for those jobs, the FBI is considering recruiting high school students.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is turning to other government agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, for hiring tips after a watchdog report said the federal law enforcement agency did not have enough cyber cops to adequately monitor and prevent security threats.
Part of the reason the FBI has struggled to attract top cybersecurity talent has been the agency's tough stance on drug use and low compensation rates compared to positions offered in the private sector, the report from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General said.
The federal government has made cybersecurity one of its top initiatives in recent years, with the director of the FBI saying cybercrime could pose a larger threat to terrorism in the years to come. Currently, federal law enforcement considers cybercrime to be the third-top priority behind counterterrorism and counterintelligence.
Read more: UN Report Strikes Down Government's Claims About EncryptionThree years ago, the government earmarked millions of dollars to hire computer scientists and other officials for the FBI's growing cyber defense squad. To date, the FBI has hired slightly more than 50 of the 130 or so computer scientists it was supposed to bring onboard under the multi-year Next Generation Cyber Initiative, the report said.
The FBI has made considerable strides in the warn on cybercrime, the report concluded, citing among its achievements the establishment of ''cyber task forces'' in all 56 FBI field offices across the country. Forty-five of those offices had task forces specific to cybercrime, the OIG said, and the agency is providing training for FBI agents who seek to better their investigatory skills in the cyber realm.
But the FBI has struggled to attract new talent to its ranks, and part of the problem has to do with the agency's low pay structure and stringent drug use policies compared to more-lucrative and lenient companies in the private sector.
''We found that the recruitment and retention of cyber personnel is an ongoing challenge for the FBI,'' the report said. Agencies may start with a pool of 5,000 interested candidates, according to the report, but most are quickly eliminated because of the agency's tough background checks and hiring policies. One human resources official told the OIG that out of 5,000 candidates, only 2,000 were determined to be eligible, and out of that pool only two are actually hired by the FBI.
Read more: Report Claims Russia Hacked White House ComputersOne reason why applicants are turned away has to do with the agency's drug policy, which says candidates are only eligible for hire if they have not used marijuana in the past three years and other illegal drugs in the past 10 years.
According to the OIG report, FBI officials have suggested launching programs at the high-school level aimed at drawing the interest of students similar to recruitment programs used by the military.
''The FBI's Human Resource Division is working with FBI divisions and field offices to develop recruiting programs to identify schools, universities, clubs and professional organizations that focus on the development and promotion of cyber education and talent,'' the report said, adding that FBI officials are looking at benefits like higher salaries and school loan repayment programs as incentives for recruitment.
According to the report, other government agencies, including the CIA and NSA, use recruitment programs at the high school level ''to develop and attract high school students'' into skilled agency jobs.
The FBI is also mulling the possibility of reaching out to private-sector companies to recruit candidates into government jobs. The FBI already has some partnerships with private agencies, and other government offices rely on some private companies to provide actionable intelligence and cyber defense, but those relationships have been somewhat fractured over the past few years thanks in large part to disclosures by civilians about secret government operations '-- the most-notable being the disclosures of highly-classified documents by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to international journalists in 2013.
Matthew Keys is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.
About Matthew KeysMatthew Keys is a California-based contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine. He is also the managing editor of Grasswire, a crowdsourced current events platform. He previously worked at Thomson Reuters in New York City. He can be contacted here.
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Popping the Tesla S bonnet '' to reveal SIX NEW FLAWS ' The Register
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:00
Security researchers have uncovered six fresh vulnerabilities with the Tesla S.
Kevin Mahaffey, CTO of mobile security firm Lookout, and Cloudflare's principal security researcher Marc Rogers, discovered the flaws after physically examining a vehicle before working with Elon Musk's firm to resolve security bugs in the electric automobile.
The vulnerabilities allowed the researchers to gain root (administrator) access to the Model S infotainment systems.
With access to these systems, they were able to remotely lock and unlock the car, control the radio and screens, display any content on the screens (changing map displays and the speedometer), open and close the trunk/boot, and turn off the car systems.
When turning off the car systems, Mahaffey and Rogers discovered that, if the car was below five miles per hour (8km/hr) or idling they were able to apply the emergency hand brake, a minor issue in practice.
If the car was going at any speed the technique could be used to cut power to the car while still allowing the driver to safely brake and steer. Consumer's safety was still preserved even in cases, like the hand-brake issue, where the system ran foul of bugs.
Despite uncovering half a dozen security bugs the two researcher nonetheless came away impressed by Tesla's infosec policies and procedures as well as its fail-safe engineering approach.
''Tesla takes a software-first approach to its cars, so it's no surprise that it has key security features in place that minimised and contained the risk of the discovered vulnerabilities,'' the researchers explain.
''These key security features include a good OTA patch process and system-level isolation between drive and entertainment systems. Tesla is also open to working with the security research community to find any vulnerabilities to ultimately make their cars safer for their consumers," they added.
Mahaffey and Rogers are due to unveil their research on Tesla's handling of security issues together with three main recommendations to the automotive industry in best practice during a presentation at this week's DEF CON hacker conference in Las Vegas.
The car industry can do better at protecting consumer safety while avoiding lengthy and costly recalls and security hazards by adopting three main recommendations, according to the security boffins:
Set up an OTA update systemIsolate vehicle systems from infotainment systemsSecure every individual component in a car system to limit the damage from any successful penetrationMore details on the research by Mahaffey and Rogers into Tesla cars, together with more general recommendations for the auto industry, can be found in a blog post here.
Tesla is something of a pioneer in the car industry by establishing a ''Bug Bounty'' program to encourage external security researchers to responsibly identify and help fix any security issues they uncover.
Mahaffey and Rogers are encouraging other manufacturers to follow suit. Car hacking is a key theme of this year's edition of Black Hat and DEF CON.
The highlight at DEF CON is likely to be a much anticipated talk by Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek on a hack against Fiat Chrysler's uConnect mobile network which created a means for hackers to hijack a range of affected cars over the internet before it was patched.
Elsewhere, NCC will be talking more about hacking cars through DAB radio transmissions. ®
Sponsored:Flash Array Deployment: Download the Dummies Guide
Chrysler Hit with Class-Action Lawsuit in Wake of Jeep Hack
Wed, 05 Aug 2015 21:36
Fiat Chrysler and Harman International, the maker of the Uconnect dashboard computer, have been slammed with a class-action lawsuit after two security researchers successfully exploited a vulnerability in uConnect to hijack a 2014 Jeep.
As reported in The State of Security'sJuly 24th security roundup, researchers Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller last month exploited a vulnerability in Uconnect's cellular connection that allowed them to learn a 2014 jeep's IP address. From there, they were able to move into the car's head unit, which is responsible for the vehicle's entertainment system, and rewrite its firmware so that they could begin sending commands from the car's CAN bus, an internal computer network, to the vehicle's physical components. This access enabled the researchers to turn on the windshield wipers and radio, disable the vehicle's brakes, and remotely drive the car into the ditch.
Since Wired first reported on the hacking demonstration last month, Chrysler has recalled 1.4 million Jeeps to receive emergency software patches for the security vulnerability. The U.S. Senate has also since introduced a bill that would require vehicles to meet certain standards intended to protect them against hacks and safeguard drivers' privacy.
Now three Chrysler Jeep owners''Brian Flynn and George and Kelly Brown''have filed a class-action lawsuit against Chrysler and Harman in response to the Uconnect vulnerability. As many as one million participants are eligible to join this particular lawsuit.
The three plaintiffs allege in their complaint that Valasek and Miller had alerted Chrysler to certain architectural vulnerabilities of vehicles as early as August of last year. Chrysler allegedly mailed all affected owners a USB with a security update for their vehicles after the researchers' work went public last month. However, the plaintiffs assert that this does not excuse Chrysler and Harman for knowingly selling defective vehicles to customers for several months after they were first made aware of the vulnerability in 2014.
Brian Flynn and George and Kelly Brown also insist that Chrysler's patches do not address the underlying issue.
''The Class Vehicles are defectively designed in that essential engine and safetyfunctionality is connected to the unsecure Uconnect system through the CAN bus,'' their complaint reads. ''Uconnectshould be segregated from these other critical systems. There is no good reason for this currentdesign. The risks associated with coupling these systems far outweigh any conceivable benefit.''
No estimates are currently known for the total cost of damages the plaintiffs will seek against Chrysler and Harman. It remains to be seen whether additional class-action lawsuits against the automaker are also forthcoming.
CategoriesLatest Security News
TagsCharlie Miller, Chris Valasek, Chrysler, hack, Harman International, Uconnect, Wired
About David Bisson
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NSA lawyer with cyber cred, former FBI CIO moves and more
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 05:33
News in Brief
NSA lawyer with cyber cred, former FBI CIO moves and moreBy FCW StaffAug 04, 2015NSA's new general counsel has District, federal cyber experienceThe new top lawyer for the National Security Agency has experience working cybersecurity issues for the District of Columbia and the Department of Homeland Security's National Infrastructure Advisory Council.
Glenn Gerstell, who was sworn in Aug. 3 as NSA general counsel, served for the last two and a half years as a commissioner on the D.C. Homeland Security Commission, according to his LinkedIn biography. That commission issued a 2013 report on the state of cybersecurity at District agencies. Gerstell also spent nearly 40 years at the law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.
Gerstell's ''extensive background in managing a global law firm and the breadth of his international experience will provide a fresh perspective that will serve to benefit our mission,'' NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers said in a statement.
Former FBI CIO veteran joins IMTASZalmai Azmi has taken the reins as president and chief operating officer of the IT consulting firm IMTAS, the firm announced Aug. 1.
A native of Afghanistan who served as the FBI's CIO from 2004 to 2008 and led the bureau through an IT transformation, Azmi said he is ''pleased and excited'' to be taking the new role at IMTAS. Azmi has previously served as CEO of Nexus Solutions, a senior vice president at CACI and CIO for the Executive Office for United States Attorneys.
CA buying ID management firmCA Technologies is acquiring the privileged identity management firm Xceedium, the company announced Aug. 4.
Herndon, Va.-based Xceedium provides identity-centric authentication that, deployed as a physical or virtual appliance or as an Amazon machine image, is tailored to hybrid IT environments, including several federal agencies. Xceedium's product designations include FIPS 140-2 validation and inclusion on the DOD Unified Command Approved Products List.
The company did not release deal details, but said the move should wrap this quarter.
DOT's 2015 transportation infrastructure data now availableThe 2015 National Transportation Atlas Databases are now available for download, GCN reports, providing geographic-based details for more than 500,000 miles of roadway, 610,000 bridges and 19,527 airports.
New highway crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also in the mix.
About the Author
Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.
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NA-Tech News
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ZL2AFP FSQ
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 22:18
ZL2AFP FSQ18.07.2015
FSQ is a sentence-based 'chat' mode, and uses a completely new and revolutionary protocol.
IntroductionFSQ is a Fast Simple QSO mode designed specifically for HF. It works well under NVIS and sunrise/sunset conditions on the lower bands, and also works well for short skip and grey-line on higher bands. It can also be used on VHF FM, and clearly has a much wider useful range of operating conditions that other more conventional digital modes. FSQ transmission is also well within the capability of micro-controller based devices for low-power propagation transmissions (MEPT and telemetry). The FSQ modulation, coding and FSQCall protocol are publicly disclosed and described, and the software is open source.
FSQ was developed by Con Wassilieff ZL2AFP with the assistance of Murray Greenman ZL1BPU. The first QSO took place between these two on 28th November 2014, and the first Alpha executable release was on 17th December 2014. The source code was released with the Beta version 0.23 on 3rd March 2015. The first US version release (V0.24 RC1 by Bob NW8L) was on 29th March 2015. The first full-package public release was by Bob NW8L on 29 April 2015. A version of fldigi with full FSQ support was released by Dave W1HKJ on 16 July 2015, and includes support for Linux and Mac platforms.
FSQ is intended for fixed frequency (channelized) operation, with dedicated calling frequencies. It isn't intended as a 'tune around to see what you can find' mode!
Some of the unique features of FSQ are described below. First, (for the impatient!) the downloads, and then some history.
Code LinksDownload:
*ZL2AFP FSQCall V0.32 Final 02/07/15 (HD image modes, copy & paste, remote webcam, Heard cmd)*ZL2AFP FSQCall Source Code (ANSI C) V0.30 01/06/15
*NW8L/KA4CDN FSQCall V0.24.6 US Edition - preferred version (with image modes, copy & paste)*NW8L/KA4CDN FSQCall Source Code V0.24.6 US Edition 21/05/15
*W1KHJ FLDIGI with FSQ and Directed mode V 3.22.11 15/07/15 (Windows, OSX and Puppy Pet, plus source code)
* ZL1BPU FSQCall Fast Simple QSO PowerPoint Presentation, 1/04/15* ZL1BPU Ionospheric Performance of FSQ Research Paper, 1/04/15
FSQ Tools:
*ZL1BPU FSQplot V0.03 SNR Signal Monitor - graph of reception quality vs time!*ZL1BPU FSQplot V0.03 (US Version) SNR Signal Monitor - View screen shot
*ZL2AFP FSM V0.04 Message Form Manager (used to send and receive Radiograms) View sample radiogram
*ZL1BPU FSPlite V0.01 Fast Simple Privacy - Message encryption tool for FSQ and FSM FSPLite is NOT FOR USE WITH AMATEUR CALLSIGNS! Use only when approved for Emcomms.
*FSQ Reflector All the latest news, software. Get assistance with FSQ, compare notes with other users.
Notes:* FSQCall V0.32 also has HD image modes, so can send high resolution (640 x 480) colour pictures. Supports HD cameras. V0.32 has the $ Heard command and supports short Sounding message payloads.* Both versions have two automatic colour image transfer modes, and a high resolution FSQ-FAX mode.* You can now receive images while there is text in the TX pane, and you can copy from ANY document to send as an image. Use the FSQ-FAX mode, and keep the text size reasonably large.* There is an additional Help file for image mode, and an updated Syntax tab. Please use them!* If you contemplate developing from source code, please respect the copyright of the various developers. See notes in the 'Code Development' section at the bottom of this page.* Remember that all the above are subject to copyright. You may not copy, alter, or quote from any of these downloads without the express permission of the relevant author.HistoryLet's review the general history of Amateur MFSK modes. The first Amateur MFSK mode developed anywhere was MFSK16, specified by Murray Greenman ZL1BPU, then first developed and coded by Nino Porcino IZ8BLY in 1999. Before MFSK16 arrived, long distance (DX) QSOs using digital modes were very unreliable: reliant, as they were, on RTTY and later PSK31. MFSK16 changed all that, using 16 tones and strong error correction. Great for long path DX, but nobody could ever say it was easy to use, never mind slick (quick and agile)!
Over the next few years, many MFSK modes appeared, in fact too many! Most of these were aimed at improving performance on bands with QRM. Most used very strong error correction, some types a poor match for MFSK, and these were very clumsy in QSO, because of long delays.
The next major development, aimed at easy QSOs with slick turnaround, was DominoEX, designed by Murray Greenman ZL1BPU and coded by Con Wassilieff ZL2AFP, which was released in 2009. Rather than using error correction as a brute-force approach, DominoEX was based on sound research, and achieved its performance through carefully crafted modulation techniques that required no error correction. The result was a simpler, easier to tune, easily identified mode with fast turn-around.
DominoEX is widely used and available in many software packages. A later development by Patrick F6CTE and then Dave W1HKJ, added FEC to this mode (THOR), but did not add greatly to performance, and at the same time eroded the fast turn-around. The final DominoEX- related development was EXChat, a version of DominoEX designed specifically for text-message style chatting. While completely compatible with DominoEx, it operates in 'Sentence Mode', sending each short over when the operator presses ENTER. EXChat was developed by Con ZL2AFP and released in 2014.
Back in 2013, Con ZL2AFP developed an MFSK mode for LF and MF which used an unusual decoding method pioneered by Alberto I2PHD: a 'syncless' decoder, which used a voting system to decide when one tone finished and another began. The first use of this idea was in JASON (2002), which proved to be very sensitive, but very slow, partly because it was based on the ASCII alphabet. The new mode, WSQ2 (Weak Signal QSO, 2 baud) combined the syncless decoder with more tones, 33 in total, and an alphabet specially developed by Murray ZL1BPU, which could send each lower case letter (and common punctuation) in just one symbol, resulting in a very sensitive (-30 dB SNR) mode with a 5 WPM typing speed.
In subsequent discussion in late 2014, between the developers ZL2AFP and ZL1BPU, it was realized that if the computer had enough processing power to handle it, WSQ2 could be 'sped up' to become a useful HF chat mode. This required a large amount of development and retuning of the software to achieve adequate speed was involved, along with much ionospheric simulator and on-air testing used to select the most appropriate parameters.
Tests proved that the idea not only worked well, but it also had marked advantages over existing HF MFSK modes, even DominoEX. As expected, the new mode was found to have superior tolerance of signal timing variation, typically caused by multi-path reception, and would also receive with no change of settings over a wide range of signalling speeds.
So this is how FSQ came about. It uses the highly efficient WSQ character alphabet, IFK+ coding, the same number of tones as WSQ (33), but runs a whole lot faster, up to 60 WPM, and uses different tone spacing. The symbol rate (signalling speed) is modest (six tones per second or less), but each individual tone transmitted carries a surprising amount of information, resulting in a high text transmission speed. And it operates in 'Chat' (sentence) mode, which allows the user to type as fast as possible, since they type only while receiving.
What Makes FSQ DifferentIncremental KeyingFSQ uses Offset Incremental Frequency Keying (IFK+), a type of differential Multi-Frequency Shift Keying (MFSK) with properties which make it moderately drift-proof and easy to tune. IFK+ also has excellent tolerance of multi-path reception.
IFK was developed by Steve Olney VK2XV. IFK+ (with code rotation) was proposed by Murray Greenman ZL1BPU and first used in DominoEX. IFK+ prevents repeated same tones without complex coding, and provides improved rejection of propagation-related inter-symbol interference. In the context of sync-less decoding, the IFK+ code rotation also prevents repeated identical tones, which could not have been detected by this method.
Efficient AlphabetIn FSQ, a relatively high typing speed at modest baud rate comes about because the alphabet coding is very efficient. All lower case letters and the most common punctuation can be sent in just one symbol, and all other characters (the total alphabet contains 104 characters) in just two symbols. (The alphabet is listed below). This is a simple example of a Varicode, where it takes less time to send the more common characters. The character rate is close to six per second (60 WPM), the same as RTTY, but at only 1/8th of the baud rate. (RTTY has only one bit of information per symbol, 7.5 symbols per character, and wastes a third of it's information on synchronization, and despite this, works poorly on HF).
No SyncAnother important factor in the design of FSQ is that no synchronising process is required to locate and decode the received characters. Lack of sync means that reception is much less influenced by propagation timing changes that affect almost all other modes, since timing is quite unimportant to FSQ; it almost completely eliminates impulse noise disruption; and it also contributes to very fast acquisition of the signal (decoding reliably within one symbol of start of reception). Fast acquisition removes the need for addition of extra idle characters at the start of transmission, and this leads to a very slick system. Add high resistance to QRM and QRN, thanks to the low baud rate, and you have a system so robust that it does not need error correction.
Arbitrary Sending SpeedUnlike most other modes (the exceptions are LF modes JASON and WSQ2), the FSQ receiver operates without needing any information about the sending speed. It will operate from 2 baud to 6 baud, and anywhere in-between, with no changes to settings. The speed tolerance of FSQ is very wide, in excess of 3:1. This is completely unique to FSQ, and gives operators great flexibility. The slower speeds are more robust and slightly more sensitive.
Four sending speeds are provided, 2, 3, 4.5 and 6 baud (approximately 20 to 60 WPM), which the receiver will decode with no change of settings. While the default speed is 6 baud, 4.5 baud is generally more reliable unless conditions are excellent.
Chat OperationFSQ is designed for simple but effective 'Chat' operation, rather like phone text messaging or Skype' chat; fast and easy to use. You don't use 'overs' as you would with a conventional digital or voice mode. It is highly suited to net operation. You just type a sentence and press Enter.
Directed Messaging OptionIn addition, the FSQCall program, which operates FSQ, includes a complementary add-on operating mode, which is useful for net and emergency operation; as it provides network management, link establishment and order and reporting features. FSQCall of course uses FSQ in sentence mode, but adds numerous Selective Calling functions. It is now also widely used for chat QSOs because the protocol is easy to learn and it offers junk-free reception. Directed Messaging is described briefly below.
Directed Image TransferFSQ can also be used to transmit and receive good quality pictures using special formats that have also been designed for NVIS propagation. The signals are analogue, of similar bandwidth to the FSQ digital transmissions. The transmissions can be used in Chat mode, and in Directed mode can be directed to specific (or all) stations for automatic reception. There are three modes: LO-RES COLOUR, HIGH-RES COLOUR and FSQ-FAX (B&W). Pictures can be transmitted from file photos, scanned documents, drawings and live shots from a web-cam!
Here are some examples - 40m transmissions using 15W and a range of 300km.
Remember - all these pictures are as received after a 300 km transmission!
Technical DetailsFSQ is essentially a speeded-up version of the weak-signal mode WSQ2, introduced in 2013. It also uses 33 tones, in this case spaced 9Hz apart (actually 8.7890625 Hz, exactly 1.5 x the baud rate at the highest speed), resulting in a signal bandwidth of 300Hz, including the keying sidebands (bandwidth assessed according to ITU-R SM.1138). The ITU Emission Designator is 300HF1B. The modulation is constant amplitude, phase coherent MFSK, using IFK+ coding with 32 frequency differences, yielding 32 unique codes. This means that each symbol carries enough information for all lower case letters to be expressed in just one symbol, which greatly enhances the speed.
Incremental MFSK CodingIFK+ coding means that the character numbers from the alphabet table are added to the previous transmitted tone number, and ONE is added as well. The purpose of this added ONE is to force a continual rotation of the tones. This markedly improves tolerance of multi-path reception (reduces inter-symbol interference) and also assists in reducing the effect of carrier interference. When the resulting tone number exceeds 33, to keep the tones within range, 33 is subtracted from the tone number before transmission.
There is no 'idle' process in FSQ. Transmission starts with no padding, sends all the available characters, and stops when the buffer is empty. The receiver can lock to the signal following the first tone, as it measures the distance to the next tone. Thus the receiver detects and starts receiving the first character in under 200ms from the start of transmission.
Fast Fourier Transform DemodulationAt the receiver, the tones are spaced three FFT bins apart, which gives accurate rounding of the differences when the tone numbers are determined from the FFT bin index and divided by three. (Bin spacing is 2.9296875 Hz). This division reduces the effect of drift and Doppler by a factor of three as well. There are four alternative speeds (nominally 6, 4.5, 3 and 2 baud), although the tone spacing remains the same. (Default values are shown BOLD). Unusually for any digital mode, the receiver settings need not change when you change baud rate! Sensitivity is believed to be about -13 dB SNR at 6 baud, and -16 dB SNR at 3 baud. That's about 10dB better and several times faster than 12 WPM Morse, and slightly better than PSK31, MFSK16 and nearly as good as DominoEX11.
Automatic PreambleEvery transmission is automatically identified by the preamble callsign:, so the operator never needs to identify manually. At the receiver, whatever the sender types appears after the callsign preface.
In FSQCall Directed mode, a special 'end of transmission' character is added as the last transmitted character. FSQCall mode has slower squelch response, which aids reception through fades, and this special character is recognised and used to quickly close the squelch to prevent 'junk' from printing. We call this 'smart squelch'.
Character CodingHigh typing speed for a given symbol rate is achieved through the use of a highly efficient character coding scheme using Varicodes. The FSQ alphabet has 29 characters that can be sent as a single symbol (all the lower case letters and frequently used punctuation) and a further 75 characters using two symbols, encompassing 104 ASCII characters in total.
Lower case should be used wherever possible, as not only are these characters twice as fast to send as upper case, they are generally easier to type, and the probability of errors in their reception is also halved.
Image ModesFSQ images are transmitted as FM, using 400Hz deviation and a centre frequency of 1500Hz. Black is the lowest frequency, white (or maximum saturation colour) the highest. The pixel rate is 1200 pixels/sec. Three resolutions are offered: 640 x 480, 320 x 240, and 160 x 120 pixels, in a 4:3 format. The highest resolution is B&W only, the FSQ-FAX mode. The transmission times are 256, 192 and 48 seconds. Reception is achieved using a DSP phase detector and appropriate low pass filters. Interpolation is used before transmission, and after reception, to give consistent high quality 640x480 images. Any size landscape mode picture can be sent. Colour is sent as three sequential RGB lines. No framing pulses are transmitted before the picture, and no sync pulses are transmitted. The image transmission is synchronous.
All pictures have an FSQ mode preamble detailing the sender and the format. In Directed mode, reception is automatic at addressed stations.
InstallationDownload the latest zipped archive from the links above. The US Edition is the preferred version.Unzip the archive into a suitable folder on your C: drive. Right-click on the executable FSQCALL_xxx.exe, select 'Create Shortcut', then drag the shortcut to the desktop or your menu.Connect the receiver audio output to the computer Line Input via an isolating transformer or digital modes interface. Ensure that the Line Input is selected as a Record source. This is the same as any digital modes setup with an SSB transceiver.Connect the audio out from your computer to the transmitter via an isolating transformer or digital modes interface. This is the same as any digital modes setup with an SSB transceiver.If using CAT, connect the appropriate (serial, USB or CI/V) cable or adaptor between the transceiver and computer. You may need to manually edit the setup file created when you first stat the program, in order to set the correct data rate, or change your transceiver to suit the default rate, 9600 bps. You must close the program before you edit the setup file.Setup and operating information is provided in the Help file which is part of the installation archive.
In keeping with all ZL2AFP designs, the program is uncomplicated to use, clearly laid out, and devoid of unnecessary features. The software has been thoroughly tested, mostly on the 80m and 40m bands, over 100km to 2500km paths, and even some real DX using grey-line paths. It has also seen some interesting tests and relays over very long paths on 30m.
FSQCallFSQ is very suited to fixed-channel chat-among-friends operation, since it is simple and slick, tolerant of tuning, and prints very little garble between real signals. Users can set up local nets on designated frequencies (say on 40 metres), and enjoy chatting on-and-off throughout the day.
Once it was realized that FSQ was adequately robust as well as slick and easy to use, it was decided that the time had arrived for the development of a simple 'retro' style Directed Messaging (Selcall) system. This system, now incorporated in FSQ, is called FSQCall, is simple yet far more sophisticated than conventional Selcall systems. See the FSQCall page for details.
FSQCall allows chat sentences to be sent to one individual station (no-one else in FSQCall mode sees them), to several, or all stations; no junk appears on the screen at all; and it allows sentences to be saved to file remotely at another station or stations. You can also query reception quality at another station, read back the status or location of the station, change the remote station's sending speed, and even relay messages to a station via another station. FSQCall maintains a list of stations heard, and logs reception to file.
Although not claimed to be an ALE system (Automatic Link Establishment), FSQCall performs many typical ALE functions in a simple, manual way, but does a lot more as well. It is intended for single-channel use, and is not multi-band scanned. You can use it with a ham transceiver, or with an old marine or land mobile SSB radio. Apart from the actual chat, the receiver operation is fully automated.
Software CompatibilityThe Windows' software is written in ANSI C, and is compatible with Win Vista, WinXP, Win7 and Win8. It has been used under Linux using Wine. The program requires at least a 1GHz processor, SVGA display and a 16-bit sound card. A Pentium 2 class or better is suggested. One serial port (or USB equivalent) is required for PTT control. Memory requirements are minimal, and the program size is about 200kB. The program will run adequately on an ASUS EEEPC Netbook if no other programs are running.
The program screen size is small, and fixed, allowing you to use a laptop with a modest screen, or have room for other applications on the screen. If you find the receive screen does not hold enough text, try reducing the size of the font used.
The program consists of just one file, and no changes are made to the computer's registry or anywhere else. To remove the program, simply delete the files made during installation. A setup file is made in the working folder. This can be deleted in order to start afresh.
Code DevelopmentDevelopers interested in writing software for FSQ and/or FSQCall, based on the source code provided here, should contact ZL2AFP (zl2afp "at" xtra.co.nz) and/or the other authors for advice. The various authors retains ownership and copyright.
Developments should be open source in keeping with the existing sources. In addition, the FSQ and FSQCall Protocol Specifications remain the copyright of and under control of the authors, and any changes, improvements and additions must be approved by them.
CreditsThe original idea for Incremental Frequency Keying came from Steve VK2XV/VK2ZTO'Sync-less' peak-hit counting FSK was first suggested by Alberto I2PHD (and used in JASON)The 'unsquare' 28/32 WSQ Varicode and the general WSQ and Chat concept were dreamt up by Murray ZL1BPUThe FSQCall protocol is an all-new design developed by Murray ZL1BPU with significant input from Con ZL2AFPPrototype software was by Con ZL2AFP, after years of experience with MFSK modes, including DominoEX of courseThe US Version owes its existence to the dedication of Bob Cunnings NW8L and Mike Dannhardt KA4CDN. Thanks guys!Copyright (C) Murray Greenman and Con Wassilieff 2013-2015. All rights reserved.
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FIREEYE-Hackers can remotely steal fingerprints from Android phones | ZDNet
Sat, 08 Aug 2015 18:27
(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)
Our fingerprints might not be as safe as we think they are.
New research, set to be announced at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, by FireEye researchers Tao Wei and Yulong Zhang outlined new ways to attack Android devices to extract user fingerprints.
The threat is for now confined mostly to Android devices that have fingerprint sensors, such as Samsung, Huawei, and HTC devices, which by volume remains low compared to iPhone shipments. But down the line by 2019, where it's believed that at least half of all smartphone shipments will have a fingerprint sensor, the threat deepens.
Of the four attacks outlined by the researchers, one in particular -- dubbed the "fingerprint sensor spying attack" -- can "remotely harvest fingerprints in a large scale," Zhang told ZDNet by email.
The attack, which was confirmed on the HTC One Max and Samsung's Galaxy S5, allows a hacker to stealthily acquire a fingerprint image from an affected device because device makers don't fully lock down the sensor.
Making matters worse, the sensor on some devices is only guarded by the "system" privilege instead of root, making it easier to target. (In other words: rooting or jailbreaking your phone can leave you at a greater risk.) Once the attack is in place, the fingerprint sensor can continue to quietly collect fingerprint data on anyone who uses the sensor.
"In this attack, victims' fingerprint data directly fall into attacker's hand. For the rest of the victim's life, the attacker can keep using the fingerprint data to do other malicious things," Zhang said. And that's a big problem. Fingerprints might be commonplace in mobile payments and unlocking devices, but they have been used more in the past five years also for identity, immigration, and for criminal records.
Affected vendors have since provided patches after being alerted by the researchers.
The researchers did not comment on which vendor is more secure than others. But, Zhang noted that Apple's iPhone, which pioneered the modern fingerprint sensor, is "quite secure," as it encrypts fingerprint data from the scanner.
"Even if the attacker can directly read the sensor, without obtaining the crypto key, [the attacker] still cannot get the fingerprint image," he said.
The problem isn't just limited to mobile devices. The researchers warned that many of the attacks they note in their talk also apply to high-end laptops with fingerprint sensors.
The researchers advised users to use devices that were regularly updated, and only install apps from reliable sources.
Tesla courts hackers to defend high-tech cars
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 14:01
Tesla courts hackers to defend high-tech carsAugust 9, 2015Tesla Model SHackers swarmed a Tesla sedan in a 'hacking village' at the infamous Def Con conference on Saturday as the high-tech electric car maker recruited talent to protect against cyber attacks.
It was the second year in a row the California-based company was at the world's largest gathering of hackers in Las Vegas, and came on the heels of a massive recall of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicles to patch a flaw that could let them be remotely commandeered.
"Hackers are a crowd that is really important to us," Tesla's Khobi Brooklyn told AFP while Def Con attendees took turns inside a black Model S sedan parked inside a casino convention area.
"It is a community that we want to be part of, and collaborate with, as well as recruit from."
Tesla recruiters were on hand, along with members of the California-based company's security team.
Tesla cars are highly computerized. New features as well as software updates are pushed out to vehicles over wireless Internet connections.
"They are not messing with our software," Brooklyn said with only a hint of hesitation.
She knew of no cyber attacks aimed at Tesla cars, at Def Con or anywhere else.
Tesla has worked with Lookout Mobile Security to find and patch software vulnerabilities in sedans, according to Brooklyn.
Data centers on wheels
Lookout co-founder and chief technology officer Kevin Mahaffey and Marc Rogers of CloudFlare online security firm took part in a Def Con presentation on Tesla software defense flaws that were discovered and then shared with the company.
They referred to Tesla sedans as data centers on wheels, and urged great care when trying to hack vehicles that could be racing along at 100 mph (160 km) or so.
"As cars become more connected, we need to think about them a lot more like smartphones where you are constantly testing and improving products to make they as secure as you can," Brooklyn said.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles issued a safety recall for 1.4 million US cars and trucks last month after hackers demonstrated that they could remotely control their systems while they are in operation.
The recall came after cybersecurity experts Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek remotely commandeered a Jeep Cherokee, made by Chrysler, to demonstrate the vulnerability of the vehicles' electronic systems.
Miller and Valasek presented details of the hack at a Def Con session on Saturday.
The recall involves a broad range of Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Chrysler cars and trucks produced between 2013 and 2015 that have radios vulnerable to hacking.
Explore further:Security experts demonstrate ability to remotely crash a Jeep Cherokee
(C) 2015 AFP
Tesla courts hackers to defend high-tech carsAugust 9, 2015Tesla Model S
Hackers swarmed a Tesla sedan in a 'hacking village' at the infamous Def Con conference on Saturday as the high-tech electric car maker recruited talent to protect against cyber attacks.
It was the second year in a row the California-based company was at the world's largest gathering of hackers in Las Vegas, and came on the heels of a massive recall of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicles to patch a flaw that could let them be remotely commandeered.
"Hackers are a crowd that is really important to us," Tesla's Khobi Brooklyn told AFP while Def Con attendees took turns inside a black Model S sedan parked inside a casino convention area.
"It is a community that we want to be part of, and collaborate with, as well as recruit from."
Tesla recruiters were on hand, along with members of the California-based company's security team.
Tesla cars are highly computerized. New features as well as software updates are pushed out to vehicles over wireless Internet connections.
"They are not messing with our software," Brooklyn said with only a hint of hesitation.
She knew of no cyber attacks aimed at Tesla cars, at Def Con or anywhere else.
Tesla has worked with Lookout Mobile Security to find and patch software vulnerabilities in sedans, according to Brooklyn.
Data centers on wheels
Lookout co-founder and chief technology officer Kevin Mahaffey and Marc Rogers of CloudFlare online security firm took part in a Def Con presentation on Tesla software defense flaws that were discovered and then shared with the company.
They referred to Tesla sedans as data centers on wheels, and urged great care when trying to hack vehicles that could be racing along at 100 mph (160 km) or so.
"As cars become more connected, we need to think about them a lot more like smartphones where you are constantly testing and improving products to make they as secure as you can," Brooklyn said.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles issued a safety recall for 1.4 million US cars and trucks last month after hackers demonstrated that they could remotely control their systems while they are in operation.
The recall came after cybersecurity experts Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek remotely commandeered a Jeep Cherokee, made by Chrysler, to demonstrate the vulnerability of the vehicles' electronic systems.
Miller and Valasek presented details of the hack at a Def Con session on Saturday.
The recall involves a broad range of Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Chrysler cars and trucks produced between 2013 and 2015 that have radios vulnerable to hacking.
Explore further:Security experts demonstrate ability to remotely crash a Jeep Cherokee
(C) 2015 AFP
Insight: Tesla burns cash, loses more than $4,000 on every car sold
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 14:04
DETROIT It's crunch time for Tesla Motors.
The Silicon Valley automaker is losing more than $4,000 on every Model S electric sedan it sells, using its reckoning of operating losses, and it burned $359 million in cash last quarter in a bull market for luxury vehicles. The company on Wednesday cut its production targets for this year and next. Chief Executive Elon Musk said he's considering options to raise more capital, and didn't rule out selling more stock.
Musk has taken investors on a thrill ride since taking Tesla public in 2010. Now he's given himself a deadline, promising that by the first quarter of 2016 Tesla will be making enough money to fund a jump from making one expensive, low volume car to mass producing multiple models, and expanding a venture to manufacture electric power storage systems.
Tesla's shares fell almost 9 percent on Thursday and slipped another 2 percent on Friday as investors and analysts weighed the risks of Musk's ambitious plans for expanding Tesla's auto and energy storage businesses. Tesla had just $1.15 billion on hand as of June 30, down from $2.67 billion a year earlier.
Automakers consume cash to pay for assembly line equipment, including metal dies and plastic molds, as well as testing to meet safety and emissions standards. A typical new car can cost $1 billion or more to engineer and bring to market.
Established automakers such as General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co have amassed far larger cash cushions as they've rebuilt balance sheets battered by the 2008-2009 recession. GM, restructured six years ago in a government funded bankruptcy, has targeted cash reserves of $20 billion and had more than $28 billion in cash equivalents as of June 30.
To be sure, GM sells more than 9 million vehicles a year, while Tesla plans to build between 50,000 and 55,000 cars this year. Tesla, most of whose cars are built to order directly, delivered 11,532 cars in the second period and said it had an operating loss of about $47 million, for an operating loss per car of about $4,000.
Tesla's narrower margin for error is just one more way in which it is different from its century old rivals.
The company said it plans $1.5 billion in capital spending this year, mainly to launch its Model X, battery powered sport utility vehicle with eye-catching, vertical-opening "falcon wing" doors. Tesla reported $831 million in capital spending during the first half of the year, indicating it will spend roughly another $700 million.
During the second quarter, Tesla said operating costs and research and development spending rose, while average selling prices for the Model S lineup, which starts at $70,000 before federal and state electric vehicle tax breaks, fell 1 percent as the mix of sales shifted to less expensive models and a strong dollar hit revenue generated overseas. The Model S comes in several different versions, ranging in price up to $106,000 or more, depending on options.
CAPITAL SPENDING
Tesla has signaled capital spending will drop next year because the company won't be spending on a major vehicle launch. In 2017, Tesla plans to launch its Model 3 line, which the company says will start at about $35,000 and push total sales toward the goal of 500,000 vehicles a year by 2020.
Barclays analyst Brian Johnson disagreed with the company's estimates, and said he expects Tesla's capital spending will go up in 2016 and 2017 as the company ramps up its battery factory and Model 3 development. "Their small scale means the cash generation is not as great as they might have hoped for," he said.
Musk said this week Tesla expects to have $1 billion in cash over the next year, and told analysts "there may be some value" in raising capital "as a risk reduction measure."
Tesla's stock is still about 70 percent higher than it was two years ago, and 8 percent ahead of its level on Jan 1. With a market capitalization of $31 billion, Tesla is worth more than Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, the much larger maker of Ram pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokees.
"A capital raise, given the way they're burning cash today, given the fact that they have future investment needs, seems very likely at some point," said UBS Securities analyst Colin Langan, who has a sell rating on the stock.
Musk has steered Tesla out of tight corners before. In September 2012, the company faced a cash crunch, but raised money by selling shares and renegotiating the terms of a federal loan. The Model S started production in miod-2012.
Tesla has made moves to expand sales volume, and lure people to pay more for its vehicles. In addition to adding a lower priced version of the Model S, Tesla last month said it would offer performance upgrades for its Model S 85 and 85D for $5,000 and launched the Model S 90D and P90D high performance cars at a $10,000 price premium.
Tesla reports its finances in a different way from the Detroit automakers. Using the generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, used by GM or Ford, Tesla's operating losses per vehicle have steadily widened to $14,758 from $3,794 in the second quarter of 2014.
But Tesla points out in its statements to investors that its GAAP accounting excludes certain revenue and profits from Model S sedans that customers lease. In the second quarter, the deferred gross profits from Model S leases amounted to $61.9 million, Tesla said. Analysts say they add back the deferred revenue to make Tesla's figures more comparable to the reporting used by other automakers.
(Reporting By Paul Lienert and Joseph White. Editing by Joseph White and John Pickering)
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'Do Not Track' Compromise Is Pitched - WSJ
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:04
Do Not Track, a standard Web browser setting intended to let consumers avoid sharing their browsing behavior with advertisers, has become a battleground.
Online publishers and advertisers often ignore it, and major browser makers switch it off by default. Nearly a quarter of people who use Web browsers have responded by installing software that simply blocks online ads, according to Forrester Research Inc.
Now the Electronic...
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Hackers can remotely steal fingerprints from Android phones | The Tech Block
Sat, 08 Aug 2015 16:21
New research, set to be announced at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, by FireEye researchers Tao Wei and Yulong Zhang outlined new ways to attack Android devices to extract user fingerprints.
The threat is for now confined mostly to Android devices that have fingerprint sensors, such as Samsung, Huawei, and HTC devices, which by volume remains low compared to iPhone shipments. But down the line by 2019, where it's believed that at least half of all smartphone shipments will have a fingerprint sensor, the threat deepens.
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Supercomputer Race Heats Up as China Bans Exports of High-Performance Machines
Wed, 05 Aug 2015 15:52
China is curbing exports of its high-performance machines in an apparent attempt to stay one step ahead of the U.S. in a race for the world's fastest supercomputer.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs issued a joint statement on Friday announcing restrictions on the export of supercomputers and high-performance drones, the Wall Street Journal reported. Exporters will need to obtain a license to sell computers with an operating capacity exceeding 8 teraflops'--the equivalent of performing more than eight trillion calculations per second'--abroad. The announcement also placed restrictions on drone exports, applicable to high-performance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) capable of flying for more than one hour consistently and dealing with inclement weather, as well as drones capable of hovering at heights of 1.5 km, according to the South China Morning Post.
The announcement cited unspecified national security concerns as the reason for the restrictions. However, provisions come just months after the U.S. blocked a shipment of tens of thousands of chips from American firm Intel to China, which were due to be used to update Tianhe-2, currently the fastest supercomputer in the world. The U.S. Department of Commerce said Intel's application to export had been blocked because Tianhe-2 and three other Chinese supercomputers were being used for "nuclear explosive activities."
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China and the U.S. have been locked in a two-way tussle for supercomputer supremacy over the past decade, a trend that looks set to continue, with President Barack Obama issuing an executive order last week commissioning the world's first exascale supercomputer, to be built by 2025. The computer would be capable of doing one quintillion (a billion billion) calculations per second, otherwise known as an exaflop, and would see Washington leapfrog Beijing in the supercomputing race In his 2010 State of the Union address, Obama referred to the need for the U.S. to outstrip its rivals in technological advances'--including supercomputers'--as "our generation's Sputnik moment," referring to the first artificial satellite launched into space by the Soviet Union.
But do these supercomputers merit the rhetoric and tough stances taken by both China and the U.S.? Mark Parsons, executive director of the EPCC (University of Edinburgh's supercomputing centre), which houses the U.K.'s fastest supercomputer, says that the machines can be used for both civil and military purposes by governments. Common uses include more accurate weather modelling and assisting with climate change predictions, but the machines can also be used to trawl through the internet instantaneously and open up new avenues for espionage. However, Parsons say the race is as much about prestige as practical reasons. "The arms race in high-performance computing has always been about who has the computer which can do the most FLOPS," says Parsons, referring to floating-point operations per second (FLOPS), the measure used for monitoring supercomputer performance. He says that such machines are seen as "totem poles," or status symbols..
But according to Tim Stevens, a cyberwarfare expert in the War Studies Department at King's College London, whoever possesses such a beast of a machine has a considerable national security advantage. Stevens says that the primary security implication of supercomputers is nuclear'--whoever is in possession of such machines is capable of accurately modelling the capabilities of their nuclear weapons,. A ban on actual nuclear testing came into effect in 1996 with the signing of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
"Traditionally, a lot of supercomputing has grown out of the nuclear industry. Once there was a moratorium on nuclear testing, you had to find some other way of doing it," says Stevens. He compares the possession of supercomputers to the possession of nuclear weapons, saying that both are a marker of technological advancement and clout on the international stage.
For the foreseeable future, it looks as though the supercomputer race will be fought out exclusively between Beijing and Washington. Currently, China holds the that honour of building the fastest computing machine, and the prestige that comes with it. According to Top 500, which monitors the supercomputing industry, Tianhe-2 has been the world's number one system since June 2013. The Chinese machine, developed by China's the National University of Defense Technology, is almost twice as powerful as the second-placed Titan, which is housed in the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The processing power of Tianhe-2 is 33.86 petaflops. For scale, that is equivalent to 18,400 Sony Playstation 4s. It would take almost 32 million years for a human to complete just one petaflop of calculations.
Japan is the closest competitor with the fourth-fastest machine, and Europe has two supercomputers in the top 10'--one in Switzerland and one in Germany. However, of the 20 fastest machines in the world, only seven come from outside China or the U.S. Russia, a constant rival to the U.S. in other fields such as nuclear proliferation and space travel, is well behind'--its top machine, situated at Moscow State University, was ranked 32nd.
With Obama committed to getting the U.S. back in front, and China expected to accelerate its domestic chip-making efforts after Intel's rebuffal, it's hard to pick who will come out on top. Parsons says he thinks that China could be first to produce an exascale machine, but that its quality and usability would lag behind anything produced by the U.S. Meanwhile, Stevens is willing to place a tentative bet on Washington. "Given that China has had the lead for so long, I'll put five pounds on the U.S. to be a neck ahead by 2025," he says.
More about Supercomputers
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North Korea's Time Zone Change - The Market Mogul
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 04:21
Causes of European Bond VolatilityThe volatility of the European bond market has outgrown investors' expectations, triggered by further concerns over the recent bonds'...
North Korea to Move 30 Minutes Backward to Create Its Own Time Zone - The New York Times
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 04:26
PhotoA train station in Pyongyang, North Korea. The isolated country said on Friday that it would create its own time zone '-- ''Pyongyang time'' '-- and set its clocks 30 minutes behind those of South Korea, Japan and other neighbors.Credit Wong Maye-E/Associated PressSEOUL, South Korea '-- North Korea, a hermetic country stuck in the Cold War and obsessed with its long-dead founder, now wants to turn back time.
By a half-hour.
The government announced on Friday that it would create its own time zone '-- ''Pyongyang time'' '-- and set its clocks 30 minutes behind those of South Korea and Japan. The change is set for Aug. 15, the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II, which freed the Korean Peninsula from Japanese rule.
The current time on the peninsula '-- nine hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time '-- was set by Japan. North Korean public pronouncements can be as virulently anti-Japanese as they are anti-American, so it was natural that the clock change would be billed as throwing off a hated vestige of colonial domination.
''The wicked Japanese imperialists committed such unpardonable crimes as depriving Korea of even its standard time,'' the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency said on Friday.
South Korea has its own historical grudges with Japan, but the time of day is not one of them. Jeong Joon-hee, a spokesman for the Unification Ministry in the South, said that following Pyongyang's lead now would be confusing and expensive for a country that, unlike the North, is thoroughly integrated with the global economy.
Continue reading the main storyMultimedia Feature: Illuminating North KoreaMr. Jeong said the time change in the North would probably create only minor communication problems, notably at the inter-Korean industrial park in Kaesong, where South Korean managers oversee North Korean workers. But down the road, he said, ''this will disrupt our efforts to integrate the South and the North and restore our homogeneity.''
Japan is widely resented on both sides of the border, but the North enshrines its hostility toward Japanese and other foreign ''imperialists'' in its Constitution and puts the resentment at the core of the country's ruling philosophy of ''juche,'' or self-reliance. The founder of North Korea, Kim Il-sung, fought as a guerrilla against the Japanese before independence.
Mr. Kim died in 1994, and his grandson Kim Jong-un runs the country now, doing whatever he can to highlight his ancestry, even imitating his grandfather's hairstyle and the way he held his cigarettes. His grandfather's rhetorical themes are invoked to justify policies like maintaining an enormous military and developing nuclear weapons.
Chang Yong-seok, a North Korea expert at Seoul National University, saw the clock change in the same vein.
''With the new time zone, Kim Jong-un is reasserting his code words of self-reliance and national dignity to his people,'' Mr. Chang said. ''Whatever difficulties and inconveniences the new time zone may cause are nothing to his government, compared with its propaganda value at home.''
The Japanese government offered no response to the North's announcement, but the Japanese news media pounced on the news, including Pyongyang's accusation that Japan ''stole Korea's time.'' Some Internet users offered amused criticism. ''Why did they wait 70 years?'' several asked on Twitter.
The North's new time zone is actually an old one. Korea briefly set its clocks that way before it was annexed by Japan in 1910, around the time when countries the world over were establishing standard time zones. South Korea went back to it in 1954, then re-adopted the present setting '-- the same as Tokyo's '-- in 1961.
South Korean officials said one reason was that American troops stationed in Japan and South Korea would be using the same time if war broke out.
Wang Sheng, a professor of international politics at Jilin University in China who focuses on the Korean Peninsula, said he did not think the shift would disrupt what little international trade the North has. And he noted that it would put the country's clocks just a half-hour ahead of China's, instead of an hour. ''Looks like North Korea is getting closer to China,'' he said.
Jonathan Soble contributed reporting from Tokyo. Adam Wu contributed research from Beijing.
A version of this article appears in print on August 8, 2015, on page A4 of the New York edition with the headline: North Korea Set to Create Time Zone of Its Own.
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North Korea is getting its own time zone | Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 04:23
North Korea is its own world in many ways. Now, it is getting its own time zone to match.
State news agency, KCNA, has announced that North Korea will set its clocks back by 30 minutes to "Pyongyang time" on August 15--the 70th anniversary of liberation from Japan.
That will reset the time to GMT+08:30, as it was before Japanese colonization.
"The wicked Japanese imperialists committed such unpardonable crimes as depriving Korea of even its standard time while mercilessly trampling down its land with 5 000 year-long history and culture and pursuing the unheard-of policy of obliterating the Korean nation," KCNA reported on Friday.
New time zone could 'cause some problems'
North Koreans already have their own calendar. Instead of counting from the birth of Christ, they count from the birth of founding leader, Kim Il Sung. Kim was born in 1912 '-- known in North Korea as Juche 1, making this year Juche 104.
The new time will put Pyongyang half an hour behind Tokyo and Seoul.
South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman, Jeong Joon-hee told a briefing on Friday that could cause some problems.
"Some difficulties are likely to come in inter-Korean exchanges, including flows to and from the Kaesong Industrial Complex," he said.
Jeong added it could have negative effects on inter-Korean integration in the long-term.
South Korea too?
South Korea has made similar moves in the past. Its time zone was set at GMT+08:30 '-- the new Pyongyang time -- between 1954 and 1961.
There have been proposals to move it back again over the past few years '-- most recently in 2013.
Defector-turned-ruling-party politician, Cho Myung-chol, introduced a bill in parliament to make the change.He told CNN resetting the time zone is part of regaining South Korea's sovereignty and getting rid of the remaining vestiges of Japanese imperialism.
South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman, Jeong Joon-hee says Seoul time is based on practical considerations and not on colonial history.
Cho admits experts advised him that the current system is more practical, and warned the half hour change could cause chaos and confusion.
But he likens the warnings to the Y2K doomsday scenarios that did not eventuate, and believes any confusion would be temporary.
Cho says his original proposal was for both North and South Korea to set their clocks back by 30 minutes, and intends to revive his push for a change in Seoul, following Pyongyang's announcement.
(CNN) -- North Korea is its own world in many ways. Now, it is getting its own time zone to match.
State news agency, KCNA, has announced that North Korea will set its clocks back by 30 minutes to "Pyongyang time" on August 15--the 70th anniversary of liberation from Japan.
That will reset the time to GMT+08:30, as it was before Japanese colonization.
"The wicked Japanese imperialists committed such unpardonable crimes as depriving Korea of even its standard time while mercilessly trampling down its land with 5 000 year-long history and culture and pursuing the unheard-of policy of obliterating the Korean nation," KCNA reported on Friday.
New time zone could 'cause some problems'
North Koreans already have their own calendar. Instead of counting from the birth of Christ, they count from the birth of founding leader, Kim Il Sung. Kim was born in 1912 -- known in North Korea as Juche 1, making this year Juche 104.
The new time will put Pyongyang half an hour behind Tokyo and Seoul.
South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman, Jeong Joon-hee told a briefing on Friday that could cause some problems.
"Some difficulties are likely to come in inter-Korean exchanges, including flows to and from the Kaesong Industrial Complex," he said.
Jeong added it could have negative effects on inter-Korean integration in the long-term.
South Korea too?
South Korea has made similar moves in the past. Its time zone was set at GMT+08:30 -- the new Pyongyang time -- between 1954 and 1961.
There have been proposals to move it back again over the past few years -- most recently in 2013.
Defector-turned-ruling-party politician, Cho Myung-chol, introduced a bill in parliament to make the change.He told CNN resetting the time zone is part of regaining South Korea's sovereignty and getting rid of the remaining vestiges of Japanese imperialism.
South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman, Jeong Joon-hee says Seoul time is based on practical considerations and not on colonial history.
Cho admits experts advised him that the current system is more practical, and warned the half hour change could cause chaos and confusion.
But he likens the warnings to the Y2K doomsday scenarios that did not eventuate, and believes any confusion would be temporary.
Cho says his original proposal was for both North and South Korea to set their clocks back by 30 minutes, and intends to revive his push for a change in Seoul, following Pyongyang's announcement.
EuroLand
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France, Germany Involved in New Conflict Over Greek Loans
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 14:20
Europe15:10 07.08.2015Get short URL
Greece has become the catalyst of a new dispute between the two European giants, deepening the recently emerged split within the European Union, DWN reported.
So far, the EU has always benefited from the fact that Germany and France pursued a common line at a crucial moment. But after the recent EU summit, where Wolfgang Sch¤uble presented the expulsion of Greece from the Eurozone as a possible option, the situation has fundamentally changed.
The French elites started to express their criticism of German policy and even suggested that Germany, not Greece, should withdraw from the monetary union.The conflict is likely to sharpen during negotiations about the new loan program for Greece. According to DWN, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras can count on the support of French President Francois Hollande.
Both leaders had agreed that the talks should be finalized by the end of August. Thus, they are interested in a quick conclusion of negotiations and are likely to find the required compromise to accelerate the process.
However, German officials doubt the possibility of reaching a consensus in a short time. Thus, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Sch¤uble told the newspaper Bild that he doubts an early agreement with Greece is likely and expects further bridge financing.
According to DWN, Sch¤uble is convinced that it would be better for Greece to leave the Eurozone and to obtain loans for reconstruction outside the monetary union.
The Greek government and international creditors are currently negotiating a third loan package of 86 billion euros. Should the negotiations fail, Greece may face a state of bankruptcy.
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Greek forces to train in Israel as Syriza-led government deepens alliance
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 14:04
Posted on August 6, 2015 by willyloman
by Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada
Greek, along with Italian, military forces are soon to train in Israel.
This is the latest indicator of the deepening military alliance being forged between Israel and Greece's government led by the leftist Syriza party.
Last month, Israeli helicopter pilots completed an unprecedented 11-day combat training exercise near Greece's Mount Olympus.
In May, the Syriza-led government also signed amilitary accord with Israel, matched only by a similar one between Israel and the US, granting legal immunities to each other's military personnel while training in the other's territory.
The military deal was signed on behalf of the government by Panagiotis Kammenos, the defense minister from Independent Greeks, Syriza's rightwing, junior coalition partner. But there is no doubt that Syriza is giving its full backing: in July, the Syriza-nominated Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias traveled to Jerusalem for high-level talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ''strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries.''
Earlier this year Israeli warplanes carried out extensive training missions in Greece, experience that will undoubtedly be used to attack the Gaza Strip in future Israeli military assaults.
[read more here]
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Filed under: Alexis Tsipras, Greek Elections 2015, Greek referendum, Neoliberalizing Greece, Yanis Varoufakis
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UN says conditions for migrants in Greece 'totally shameful'
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 14:19
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Inside the Migrants' Camp in Calais
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 14:27
Once there, in a camp nicknames the 'New Jungle', they find themselves with no housing, disgusting sanitation and virtually no cooking facilities. There is one toilet roughly for every 200 people, and virtually no showers so many people are unable to wash. Health and sanitary conditions are very bad, according to two British academics: Dr.Thom Davies, a research fellow in Geography and a photographer at the University of Birmingham, and Dr. Arshad Isakjee, a research fellow in Geography and migration also at the University of Birmingham who were there last week.
Knowing that life is not going to be easy for them in the UK, only a small percentage of migrants actually travel to Calais and try to make the illegal crossing into the UK. Nevertheless, there are roughly 3,500 people in the camp who stay there for anything from a few days to 8 months or longer, in the case of people who decide to apply for asylum in France and have nowhere to stay.
Wow! 750% Increase in Refugee Arrival Numbers in Greece in 2015
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 15:13
Europe17:11 07.08.2015(updated 17:20 07.08.2015) Get short URL
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) '-- According to the UNHCR office, about 124,000 refugees and migrants arrived to the Greek islands of Lesvos, Chios, Kos, Samos and Leros by sea during the first seven months of 2015.''This represents a staggering increase of over 750% compared to the same period in 2014,'' the statement read.
The UNHCR added that only in July some 50,000 new arrivals were registered, a 20,000-person increase compared to the previous month. Refugees from Syria made up 70 percent of the arrivals in July and 63 percent of the current 2015 total.
''This humanitarian emergency is happening in Europe, and requires an urgent Greek and European response,'' the UNHCR said.
The UN Refugee Agency documented 225,000 refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea into Europe in the first seven months of 2015, an estimated 2,100 of which have died during the trip.
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All Bases Belong to US: New American Military Base to be Built in Poland
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 14:28
Europe13:55 07.08.2015(updated 13:59 07.08.2015) Get short URL
A US armored forces base is slated to be built in the center of Poland, the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita reports.According to the media outlet, the base is planned to be stationed in Mazovia Province, in the city of Ciechanow.
The newspaper acquired a letter written by the country's Deputy Defense Minister, Beata Oczkowicz, to City Mayor Krzysztof Kosinski. The document explains that the base will be used for the needs of the Polish and US Armed Forces.
On July 15, a deal between Poland and the US on the agreed facilities and zones came into force, according to the letter. The document was aimed at bolstering military cooperation between the two countries, including the joint use of property.
In June, the US confirmed it planned to deploy heavy weapons in several Eastern European countries.
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Big Pharma
Drug overdoses surpass car accident deaths in Pennsylvania | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 01:48
Pennsylvania is near the top of the national statistics for drug overdose deaths, but neighboring states West Virginia and Ohio are being hit even worse, according to a report released last week.
Use of prescription drugs and heroin is fueling the problem, and the number of deaths from drug overdoses now surpasses car accident-related deaths in Pennsylvania and 35 other states.
''We are really one of the epicenters in the country,'' said Dr. Neil Capretto, medical director at Gateway Rehabilitation Center, a private nonprofit with locations across Pennsylvania.
The report, published by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, breaks down all injury-related deaths '-- including automobile incidents, drownings, falls and fires '-- by state. Pennsylvania fell in the middle of the pack for all injury-related deaths, coming in at No. 23, but its drug overdose deaths were significantly above average, at No. 9. Pennsylvania was also one of seven states to score a relatively low 4 out of 10 on key indicators that states can take to prevent those deaths.
Still, the epidemic is hitting Ohio and West Virginia with even more force. Ohio had the eighth highest drug overdose death rate, and West Virginia had the highest, with 32.1 of every 100,000 residents dying from drug overdose in 2013, the last year for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has data. Out of a relatively small population of 1.85 million in West Virginia, 570 deaths from drug overdoses were recorded in that year. In Pennsylvania, with a much larger population, the number of overdose deaths was 2,426.
Prescription drugs accounted for more than half of the roughly 44,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2013, the report found. Professionals started seeing increases in drug overdose deaths in the late '90s. From 1997-2005 nationally, prescriptions increased 700 percent for OxyContin, 300 percent for hydrocodone and 1,000 percent for methadone, said Dr. Capretto, who was not involved in the report. Though deaths from prescription drug overdoses peaked nationally around 2012, heroin overdose deaths have increased since then, leading to an overall uptick in deaths from drug overdoses.
Because the demographics in southwestern Pennsylvania include more elderly people and blue collar workers who may be injured on the job, the numbers are high here, he said.
The number of deaths by drug overdose first surpassed the number of deaths in car accidents four years ago, and doubled in between 1999 and 2013, said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health, and one of the authors of the report.
In Allegheny County, there were roughly 100 drug overdoses in 2000. But by 2014, that number had jumped to 306, and it only seems to be increasing, said Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department. According to data from the Pennsylvania State Coroners Association, that puts Allegheny County behind only Philadelphia County in total overdose deathsm, and makes it 1 in only 5 counties with more than 100 deaths.
''The prescription drug epidemic is really troubling,'' said Corinne Peek-Asa, associate dean for research at the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa, and the past president of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research. ''More than 2 million Americans use prescription drugs, and it's fueling a rise in heroin use.''
That's because, like prescription pain medications, heroin is an opioid '-- a substance that reduces the intensity of pain signals in the body. When a physician stops prescribing opioids or those drugs become too expensive, a patient may switch to heroin, which is relatively cheap and easy to obtain.
Physicians, policy makers and the pharmaceutical industry have taken steps to address the epidemic, but it's not nearly enough, said Abraham Kabazie, director of the Institute for Pain Medicine at West Penn Hospital.
Pennsylvania's prescription drug monitoring program, for instance '-- a statewide database that tracks patient prescriptions '-- is accessible only to the State Attorney General's Office. Unlike in 25 other states, where doctors can access the data and the program is mandatory, physicians in Pennsylvania have little idea if their patient is ''doctor shopping'' '-- using multiple doctors to up their prescription '-- or requesting more medications before they've run out.
Such monitoring programs can have a huge impact, said Dr. Capretto. Research has found that 42 percent of the time, access to prescription data changes the amount that doctors prescribe.
Most of the time, they decrease a prescription or discontinue it. But sometimes, he said, doctors find that their suspicions about a certain patient were unfounded, and they can go back to treating their patients effectively.
Hannah Schwarz: hschwarz@post-gazette.com, 412-263-3772 or on Twitter @hannahrschwarz.
Correction, posted June 23, 2015: A previous version of this story omitted the fact that physicians will soon have access to prescription drug monitoring data. It also made reference to bills having failed in the legislature during the past several years. A bill did pass in 2014, but funding has not been allocated to have it take effect, and the program is not mandatory.
Shut Up Slave!
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America continues to embrace tyranny with bill that allows Secretary of State to revoke passports
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 15:11
(C) Reuters / Yuri GripasU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
The US Congress took another step towards tyranny and away from legal and Constitutionally guaranteed protections this past week, when the House of Representatives approved HR 237.This bill allows the Secretary of State, at his own discretion, to make a determination that an American citizen has terrorist affiliations and therefore to deny or revoke said citizen's passport.
According to HR 237, which is entitled the "FTO Passport Revocation Act of 2015," the Secretary of State may so revoke a citizen's travel rights without any invocation of due process. There will be no court hearing involved, and the individual will have no opportunity to object or to present evidence to the contrary.
The Act does not define what constitutes such a terrorist affiliation. Rather, the Act employs "aiding and abetting" verbiage without delineating what this means. HR 237 states:
"...the Secretary of State may refuse to issue a passport to any individual whom the Secretary has determined has aided, assisted, abetted, or otherwise helped an organization the Secretary has designated as a foreign terrorist organization pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189)."
(C) UnknownTed Poe
The front man for this anti-Constitutional piece of legislation is Texas Congressman Ted Poe. Poe, a former criminal court judge, ascended to the US House of Representatives in 2004, running on a "border security" platform. Controversies have been sparked by some of his remarks, including when he quoted an infamous Ku Klux Klan'er, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, on the floor of the House (The quote cited by Poe related to military strategy, not race relations). More recently, his Dominionist lace panties seem to be peeking out from his Congressional attire, as when he was revealed by Alternet to be attempting to remove options from deceased soldier's families concerning the type of prayers spoken at the fallen soldiers' funerals. According to Alternet, Poe was attempting to ban anything but Christian prayers.Poe is a self-declared member of the Tea Party, a faction within the Republican Party which is heavily spiked with Dominionist politicians. Briefly, Dominionism is an offshoot of Christianity which seeks to return to Old Testament Biblical law and a theocratic government. Dominionism has been called "The American Taliban," due to its adherents' insistence that the US dismantle secular democracy and return to fundamentalist practices, including stoning to death the unfaithful, the unchaste and the incorrigibly rebellious.
Poe is officially listed as a member of the Church of Christ.
How does the removal of travel rights factor into the Dominionist effort? Every step that the US takes away from its Constitutional roots it has taken towards dictatorship. The shredding of privacy rights through top heavy and relentless surveillance; the use of drones to murder US citizens abroad; the casually lethal denial of Constitutional and statutory protections granted our elders in the hot button guardianship proceedings; the alarming implications of Section 817 of the USA PATRIOT Act, (in which the US government gave itself immunity from violating its own biological weapons laws'--apparently with domestic targets in mind); and the brazenness with which people of color are regularly murdered now by police officers'--all these issues constitute signposts pointing the way towards a destination best described as tyranny.If the Dominionists have their way, this dictatorship will be of an Old Testament flavor. Other twentieth century models for tyranny have included those who posited a Jew-free world as well as those advocating for an atheistic state. As politics increasingly tangos with religious world views, the growing manifestation of interest in melding the State with some kind of religious mandate appears to point the way towards a self fulfilling Orwellian prophecy, in which the State IS the religion. Whether the end result is a State which executes through beheading, stoning or drone strikes could be considered a bit of irrelevancy.HR 237 now goes to the Senate, where the prognosticators think it has a fair chance of being passed into law.Janet C. Phelan, investigative journalist and human rights defender that has traveled pretty extensively over the Asian region, an author of a tell-all book EXILE, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook".
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Cavities Double After Fluoridation
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 07:20
Cavities Double After FluoridationA new study reveals pre-school children's tooth decay rates doubled after fluoridation became Kentucky law.
In 1987, 28% of Kentucky preschoolers developed cavities. That number increased to 47% in 2001, according to the July/August 2003 journal, "Pediatric Dentistry."(1)
Over 96% of Kentucky water systems add fluoride since a 1977 Kentucky law compelled water suppliers serving over 1,500 individuals to fluoridate, aimed to reduce tooth decay by up to 60%(2)(3). Fluoride supplements are prescribed to children without fluoridated water(3).
But cavities didn't decline at all. In fact, 57% of Kentucky third- and sixth-graders also developed tooth decay.
"...untreated decay and caries experience have increased since the state's 1987 survey. The state's levels also appear to be much worse than national levels for these same indices," concludes authors Hardison et al., summarizing "The 2001 Kentucky Children's Oral Health Survey..."
It turns out, these children need dentists more than fluoride. Forty-three percent of preschoolers suffered with festering teeth. "There are a lot of places, Appalachia being one, where kids do not always get the dental care that they need," said Jim Cecil, administrator of Oral Health Programs for the Kentucky Department of Public Health in an AP wire story(4). "Oral disease is reaching a crisis level for children across the country and here in Kentucky," he said.
A Kentucky dentist "shocked by a dramatic increase in the dental decay rate" found poor diet to be the culprit(5).
Besides water company expenses for fluoridation equipment, chemicals, housing, etc, surveillance, alone, cost Kentucky $350,000 yearly(2).
A reporter recently freely entered a Pennsylvania water treatment plant, unwatched for twenty minutes with toxic concentrations of fluoride chemicals unguarded(6). Fluoride is odorless and tasteless. An Alaskan man died when his community water supplier accidentally poured in too much fluoride(7).
"We must remove all fluoride chemicals from water plants before a disaster occurs. Obviously fluoridation isn't even reducing tooth decay. So why risk an incident?" says lawyer Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation.
Silicofluorides, used by over 91% of U.S. fluoridating communities are linked to children's higher blood-lead levels which, in turn, is linked to higher rates of tooth decay.(8)
Fluoride at doses slightly above dentists' recommendations can also cause cavities, according to Burt, Eklund, et al, in the dental textbook, "Dentist, Dental Practice, and the Community." (9)
Cavity crises occur in many fluoridated cities: http://www.orgsites.com/ny/nyscof2/_pgg5.php3
More accidents: http://www.fluoridealert.org/accidents.htm
References:
(1) Pediatric Dentistry 2003 Jul-Aug;25(4):365-72 The 2001 Kentucky Childrens Oral Health Survey: findings for children ages 24 to 59 months and their caregivers. Hardison JD, Cecil JC, White JA, Manz M, Mullins MR, Ferretti GA. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=13678102&dopt=Abstract
(2) Dental Public Health Activities & Practices, Oral Health Program, Kentucky Department of Health http://www.astdd.org/bestpractices/pdf/DES20001KYfluoridationsurveillance.pdf
(3) "Kentucky's A Leader in Water Fluoridation; Celebrates National Children's Dental Health Month," February 6, 2003 http://chs.ky.gov/chs/news/newsreleases/2003/nr020603.doc
(4)The Associated Press Monday 26 November 2001 "Dental Clinic Helps Rural Children" http://www.fluoridealert.org/news/734.html
(5) "Are we failing in our public health mission?" by Sue Feeley http://kdhc.org/healthcamp.htm
(6) Pittsburgh Tribune Review, "Chemical Plants Still Vulnerable," by Carl Prine, November 16, 2003 http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/valleynewsdispatch/news/p_49388.html
(7) New England Journal of Medicine 1994 Jan 13, "Acute fluoride poisoning from a public water system," Gessner BD, Beller M, Middaugh JP, Whitford GM http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=8259189&dopt=Abstract
(8) http://www.enn.com/direct/display-release.asp?objid=D1D1364E000000F3D38279C8E77A5E55
(9) http://www.enn.com/direct/display-release.asp?objid=D1D1364E000000F3B58DC8CBA01A092E
For more information, contact:
Paul S. Beeber President & General Counsel New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation PO Box 263 Old Bethpage, NY 11804 nyscof@aol.com
Web site:
http://www.orgsites.com/ny/nyscof
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Kraft recalls - CNN.com
Sun, 02 Aug 2015 20:30
Story highlightsPart of the wrapper can remain stuck on the cheese, Kraft saysThe affected packages have "best when used by" dates between December 29 and January 4The recall includes certain 3- and 4-pound packages of American and white American slices, Kraft said. Those affected have a "best when used by" date between December 29, 2015, and January 4, 2016, followed by the manufacturing code "S54" or "S55."
"A thin strip of the individual packaging film may remain adhered to the slice after the wrapper has been removed," Kraft said. "If the film sticks to the slice and is not removed, it could potentially cause a choking hazard."
The company said it has received 10 complaints and three reports of choking.
The affected packages were distributed to the United States, Puerto Rico and Grand Cayman.
Anyone with a package included in the recall should return it to the store for an exchange or a refund, Kraft said.
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F-Russia
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Russia to Offer Pakistan Contract for Construction of Gas Pipeline
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 14:19
The realization of the project will require the maximum use of technology, materials, equipment and products produced in Russia. It would also involve Russian research, design and construction organizations.
The Pakistani side, as stated in the document, will provide rights for using the land required for the project as well as a permit for conducting research work related to the construction of the gas pipeline.
The agreement is valid for 25 years and provides for the possibility of automatic renewals for five-year periods.The Russian Energy Ministry, together with the Foreign Ministry, is due to hold talks with the Pakistani side and after an agreement is reached it is to sign a document on behalf of the Russian government.
Chinese stratagems and Syrian buffer zone for Turkey-Qatar pipeline | Christina Lin | The Blogs | The Times of Israel
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 08:35
Erdogan's latest feat in beguiling US/NATO to back his demands regarding Syria is a masterpiece.
Employing a familiar Chinese stratagem of çž'å¤(C)è‡æµ· (mn tiān gu² hǎi) often associated with Emperor Liu Bei's (161-230 AD) military strategist Zhuge Liang in the Three Kingdoms period, in one fell swoop of offering access to Incerlik air base to fight ISIS, Erdogan obtained what he's coveted all along: buffer zone for anti-Assad rebels courtesy of US air force, prevention of Kurdish expansion along Turkey's borders, opportunity to pummel PKK, and legitimacy for his actions from NATO.
Mn tiān gu² hǎi means deceive the heavens to cross the ocean''to use the ruse of a fake goal until the real goal is achieved.
To what end? The golden prize is likely the proposed Qatar-Turkey pipeline to tap into EU's lucrative market.
Erdogan gains pipeline dream
First proposed by Qatar in 2009, the natural gas pipeline would run through Syria's Aleppo and Turkey unto Europe. However, Assad dampened this dream in 2011 when he instead forged a pact with Iraq and Iran to run an ''Islamic pipeline'' eastward to the European market.
Turkey-Qatar pipeline
Now coincidentally, around the Aleppo region is also where Turkey proposed for US to set up the buffer zone to supply ''moderate rebel'' forces.
Proposed Syrian buffer zone
Writing in Armed Forces Journal, Major Rob Taylor joined numerous other pundits in observing that the Syrian civil war is actually a pipeline war over control of energy supply, with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey needing to remove Assad ''so they can control Syria and run their own pipeline through Turkey.''
''Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as al Qaeda and other groups, are maneuvering to depose Assad and capitalize on their hoped-for Sunni conquest in Damascus. By doing this, they hope to gain a share of control over the 'new' Syrian government, and a share in the pipeline wealth.'' Even if it includes Turkey surreptitiously supporting ISIS against Assad.
Thus, even if the Saudi/Qatar/Turkey backed Army of Conquest can control just enough land in Syria for a salafist statelet to build the Qatar-Turkey pipeline, then these sunni states can finally realize their pipeline dream.
Indeed, the 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report corroborates their desire to carve out a salafist statelet in Syria east of Assad-controlled territory in order to put pressure on his regime (In 2012 it was further east, but now that Assad has lost much territory it is just east of Latakia).
But what are the costs for this ploy?
Costs of US-Turkey bargain
Firstly, jihadists in charge of Syria would mean the further extinction of Mideast Christians, as well as genocide of other Syrian religious and ethnic minorities.
Secondly, US and NATO moral legitimacy would be eroded and rightly or wrongly, be perceived by the non-western world as complicit in backing al Qaeda terrorist groups and the persecution of religious minorities.
Thirdly, credibility of US as an ally would further corrode especially since Washington has betrayed the Kurds more than once. Already, US security experts are warning allies such as South Korea and Japan to hedge themselves and build nuclear weapons due to loss of trust in US security guarantee.
Additionally, as some Chinese scholars assessed, Syria/Turkey would become the new AfPak with a safe haven for salafist jihadists to gain power and launch attacks elsewhere, much like western-backed Afghan Mujahideen morphed into al Qaeda and continues to attack the west.
In fact, German politician Cen Ozdemir already called Turkey a ''mini-Pakistan'' and Berlin has issued a travel advisory, following in the footstep of China after violent anti-China protests broke out in July.
Finally, this risks escalation into a great power conflict by drawing in China, Russia and Iran into Syria.
Iran's interest in sustaining Assad is already well documented, and as for Russia, the Qatar-Turkey pipeline to Europe directly challenges its dominant position as energy supplier.
That is why Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan tried to convince Putin to abandon Assad and promised that ''whatever regime comes after'' Assad, it will be ''completely'' in Saudi Arabia's hands and will ''not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports''.
Nonetheless Putin refused, and the Prince vowed military action.
Chinese interests are also harmed due to link of Uyghur insurgents with Turkey's anti-Assad rebels, threatening Xinjiang secession and destroying the crown jewel and bridge head of Xi Jinping's silk road grand strategy.
The Turkey/Qatar/Saudi-backed Army of Conquest includes Chinese Uyghur-led terror group, Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), that in April joined al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat-al-Nusra (JN), Uzbek-led Imam Bukhari Jamaat and Katibat Tawhid wal Jihad to defeat the Syrian army at Jisr al-Shughur in northwestern Syria's Idlib governorate.
As such the rebel coalition now has a direct supply line open from Turkey's Hatay Province to Idlib, further expanded by the new proposed buffer zone. Counter-terror expert Jacob Zenn assessed that the ''rebels may have enough resources to establish a de-facto state in northwestern Syria led by JN and supported by several Central Asian militas.''
This de facto state poses a grave security threat to China s a safe haven for militant groups to launch attacks in the home front, especially with the recent revelation by Chinese security officials that Turkey has been issuing fake passports to recruit Chinese Uyghurs for its anti-Assad group.
TIP has already claimed numerous high-profile terrorists attacks against China over the past two years, including the Kunming train station attacks which Beijing calls her 9/11.
The Middle Kingdom has in the past threatened support for PKK as leverage over Turkey's backing of Uyghur separatists. As Turkey continues to support Uyghur militants and attack PKK, it would be interesting to see if Emperor Xi levels the playing field and decides to arm PKK via the strategy of Ji¨ dāo shā r(C)n (åŸå殺人), or killing with a borrowed sword.
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Russia destroys tonnes of illegal food imports at its border
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 14:22
Tonnes of illegally-imported fresh produce from the West are being incinerated on the Russian border.
Moscow banned many Western food imports last year in retaliation for sanctions imposed by the United States, EU and their allies during the confrontation over Ukraine.
The order to destroy the illegal imports was made in July.
Anti-poverty campaigners say the clampdown is a waste.
More than 285,000 people have signed an online petition urging President Putin to give the food away instead. Officials say they have taken note.
There is a mixed reaction on the streets. ''I am against destroying imports,'' said one woman when asked, ''because Russian producers still can't produce high-quality food.''
But others say people should be more patriotic. ''I think all food should be homegrown'', said another woman, ''there is lots of food produced in Russia, we have lots of produce here.''
There are those who say that Vladimir Putin is out of touch with everyday life for Russian citizens.
Sanctions have increased the price of food by 20%, resulting in real hardship for some.
However, the authorities are determined to press on with destroying illegal imports they consider ''a security threat''.
EU Extends Support for Farm Goods Hit by Russian Import Ban
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 14:06
Europe13:54 09.08.2015Get short URL
The new aid package will last until July 2016 and targets European fruit and vegetable producers."We need to continue to provide a safety net in order to give security to producers who continue to face difficulties in relation to the ban," EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan said, adding that the EC's measures had already helped ease the negative impact of the Russian embargo.
Russia's Agriculture Ministry earlier said it was looking for ways to extend its food import ban also to Montenegro, Iceland, Norway, Albania, Liechtenstein, Ukraine and Georgia which had previously introduced sanctions against Russia.
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Challenge Accepted: Kiev Ready to Live Without Russian Gas Over Winter
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 14:20
Business14:24 07.08.2015(updated 15:04 07.08.2015) Get short URL
KIEV (Sputnik) '' Mykhailo Bno-Airiian said that it would be difficult to make it through winter without Russian gas deliveries, but not as critical if this had happened two or three years ago when Ukraine had been "practically forced" into consuming Russian fuel."Of course, we are considering all of the scenarios, and this is one of them," Mykhailo Bno-Airiian said in an interview with the Rada parliament television channel when asked if Ukraine could do without Russian gas over the winter season.
He added that Ukraine needed an average of 18 billion cubic meters of gas before the winter heating season began.
"We, of course, are having difficulties from the point of view in financing the purchase of gas and we are holding talks with our European and American partners and asking them for loans so that we may pump sufficient volumes of gas over the summer so that we may make it through the winter season with more or less certainty," Bno-Airiian said.
On July 1, Ukraine suspended gas purchases from Russia's energy company Gazprom because the two countries were unable to reach an agreement covering the third quarter of 2015. At present, Ukraine receives reverse gas flows from Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.During the June 30 round of gas talks in Vienna, Kiev demanded a discount of $100 per 1,000 cubic meters, which exceeds the Russian discount offer by $70.
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the $100 discount can no longer be provided to Ukraine due to a decline in global oil prices.
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France Loses Strategic Trade Partner in Russia Due to Failed Mistral Deal
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 14:27
The $1.3 billion deal was officially terminated on Wednesday. Paris is reported to have already transferred some 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to a Russian bank as a compensation for the non-delivery of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers.
"We [France] managed to close the door on the entire Russian defense market, potential Eldorado, and all in order to please US and European "allies." Due to the cancellation of the Mistral contract, a strategic partnership with Russia collapsed," Migault said.
Safran S.A. and Thales Group, two leading French multinational companies that specialize in aerospace, defense, transport and security, have already reduced their presence in Russia.
DCNS, the company that built the Mistrals, was hoping to receive new offers from Russia after it delivered these two ships. Now, the opportunity is lost. Other, smaller French companies that were also in the process of negotiating lucrative contracts with the Russian defense industry were forced to leave the country, the expert said."And all of this for what?" '-- Migault asked. "Are we seeing the Scandinavian or the Baltic countries, Poland or Canada competing with each other to buy all the materials that weren't sold to Russia? Of course, not."
By lacking courage to show its independence, France has not only lost its reputation and pride, but also tossed out of the window a golden opportunity to secure itself as Russia's main strategic and trade partner, especially during times when French economy can afford it the least. The special relationship that existed between France and Russia is now in history, Migault concluded.
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Obama Nation
'Sharing economy' surge creates labor conundrum
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 14:00
'Sharing economy' surge creates labor conundrumAugust 9, 2015They drive for Uber, deliver groceries for Instacart, run errands for TaskRabbit, and rent spare rooms on Airbnb.
Are these the new, empowered participants in the "sharing economy," or workers being exploited by well-funded technology companies?
That is an open question as millions of people shift from traditional employment to freelance "gig" work, giving them more independence, but without the social safety net of employees.
Some 18 million US workers now earn a significant portion or all of their income outside of traditional employment, and another 12.5 million took on part-time independent work, according to MBO Partners, a firm which providers services for independent contractors.
A separate study by financial software group Intuit found 25 to 30 percent of the US workforce is "contingent" and that 80 percent of large corporations plan to increase their use of a "flexible workforce" in coming years.
Inuit said that by 2020, more than 40 percent of the labor force will be "contingent."
But cracks have begun to appear in the model developed by Uber and other peer-to-peer services. Lawsuits in several jurisdictions argue that on-demand workers are not independent contractors, but employees entitled to unemployment insurance, workers compensation and other benefits.
"These firms have ignored the issue because they view themselves as a marketplace, not as an employer, and now it is biting them in the back," said MBO founder and chief executive Gene Zaino.
Politicians are taking notice. Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said recently she would "crack down on bosses who exploit employees by misclassifying them as contractors."
"This on-demand, or so-called gig economy is creating exciting economies and unleashing innovation," she said in June. "But it is also raising hard questions about work-place protections and what a good job will look like in the future."
Yet without a flexible workforce of independent contractors, "the sharing economy could be stopped in its tracks," said Christopher Koopman, a research fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center.
"We would not see the dynamic, innovative environment we have today."
A 'ton of flexibility'
Koopman said those choosing to work on these platforms "are getting a ton of flexibility, so there are tradeoffs. They can work when they want and how they want."
But he acknowledged that policymakers need to set clear rules to avoid disputes and uncertainty.
This uncertainty led to the shutdown in July of Homejoy, an online platform for home cleaning services which faced litigation from workers claiming they should be classified as employees.
Some analysts say current laws are not adapted to these new models where people earn money through shopping services like Postmates, meal preparation like Feastly and pet-sitting like DogVacay.
Simon Rothman at venture capital firm Greylock Partners says a key to helping this thriving sector is "unbundling" benefits such as health care, insurance and retirement from the workplace.
"Gone are the days of a social contract with employers for lifetime employment'--it's an old model it doesn't exist anymore. This is a secular shift that will impact everyone," Rothman said in a blog post.
Rothman said this new sector is likely to be worth some $10 billion in the United States this year, and if allowed to grow, "offers a viable new path to sustaining the middle class."
'Share the scraps'
But Robert Reich, a former US labor secretary who is now a University of California professor of public policy, argues the trend is taking us back in time before most countries enacted labor standards.
"The new on-demand work shifts risks entirely onto workers, and eliminates minimal standards completely," Reich said on his blog about the "share the scraps economy."
"In effect, on-demand work is a reversion to the piece work of the 19th century'--when workers had no power and no legal rights, took all the risks, and worked all hours for almost nothing."
MBO Partners founder Gene Zaino said however that his firm's research shows most people who become independent are happy they did so.
"It's consistently about control and flexibility" of work, Zaino told AFP.
Zaino said that "it's not so much about the money," but noted that "the fastest growing segment is people earning over $100,000 a year."
This $100,000-plus group has grown 45 percent over the last five years, totaling 2.9 million people, according to MBO.
'Decoupling' benefits
Arun Sundararajan, who heads New York University's Social Cities Initiative, said policymakers should seek to "decouple" traditional benefits from the workplace to help gig workers.
"What they are looking for is not to be a full-time employee," Sundararajan told AFP.
"They want the nice things of being a full-time employee'--income stability, insurance benefits, which have been tied to employment."
One solution is a model enacted in the United States for retirement, which allowed most employers to eliminate defined-benefit pension plans in favor of portable savings, known as 401k plans, with tax incentives and contributions from employers and workers.
"This good be a good template," the NYU professor said. "We have to think about similar structures for the other aspects of the social safety net."
Sundararajan said finding solutions is key to unlocking the potential for a vibrant new economic sector.
"There are different kinds of work that are productive, but we are still thinking in a 20th century mindset," he said.
Zaino said it will take time for new policies "because there are so many competing interests" and that the private sector will have to sort out the issues, probably by adding money to gig workers to allow them to get benefits.
"A whole new industry is being born where we are helping people get those types of benefits and services individually and have them portable," he said.
Explore further:'Sharing economy' reshapes markets, as complaints rise
(C) 2015 AFP
'Sharing economy' surge creates labor conundrumAugust 9, 2015They drive for Uber, deliver groceries for Instacart, run errands for TaskRabbit, and rent spare rooms on Airbnb.
Are these the new, empowered participants in the "sharing economy," or workers being exploited by well-funded technology companies?
That is an open question as millions of people shift from traditional employment to freelance "gig" work, giving them more independence, but without the social safety net of employees.
Some 18 million US workers now earn a significant portion or all of their income outside of traditional employment, and another 12.5 million took on part-time independent work, according to MBO Partners, a firm which providers services for independent contractors.
A separate study by financial software group Intuit found 25 to 30 percent of the US workforce is "contingent" and that 80 percent of large corporations plan to increase their use of a "flexible workforce" in coming years.
Inuit said that by 2020, more than 40 percent of the labor force will be "contingent."
But cracks have begun to appear in the model developed by Uber and other peer-to-peer services. Lawsuits in several jurisdictions argue that on-demand workers are not independent contractors, but employees entitled to unemployment insurance, workers compensation and other benefits.
"These firms have ignored the issue because they view themselves as a marketplace, not as an employer, and now it is biting them in the back," said MBO founder and chief executive Gene Zaino.
Politicians are taking notice. Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said recently she would "crack down on bosses who exploit employees by misclassifying them as contractors."
"This on-demand, or so-called gig economy is creating exciting economies and unleashing innovation," she said in June. "But it is also raising hard questions about work-place protections and what a good job will look like in the future."
Yet without a flexible workforce of independent contractors, "the sharing economy could be stopped in its tracks," said Christopher Koopman, a research fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center.
"We would not see the dynamic, innovative environment we have today."
A 'ton of flexibility'
Koopman said those choosing to work on these platforms "are getting a ton of flexibility, so there are tradeoffs. They can work when they want and how they want."
But he acknowledged that policymakers need to set clear rules to avoid disputes and uncertainty.
This uncertainty led to the shutdown in July of Homejoy, an online platform for home cleaning services which faced litigation from workers claiming they should be classified as employees.
Some analysts say current laws are not adapted to these new models where people earn money through shopping services like Postmates, meal preparation like Feastly and pet-sitting like DogVacay.
Simon Rothman at venture capital firm Greylock Partners says a key to helping this thriving sector is "unbundling" benefits such as health care, insurance and retirement from the workplace.
"Gone are the days of a social contract with employers for lifetime employment'--it's an old model it doesn't exist anymore. This is a secular shift that will impact everyone," Rothman said in a blog post.
Rothman said this new sector is likely to be worth some $10 billion in the United States this year, and if allowed to grow, "offers a viable new path to sustaining the middle class."
'Share the scraps'
But Robert Reich, a former US labor secretary who is now a University of California professor of public policy, argues the trend is taking us back in time before most countries enacted labor standards.
"The new on-demand work shifts risks entirely onto workers, and eliminates minimal standards completely," Reich said on his blog about the "share the scraps economy."
"In effect, on-demand work is a reversion to the piece work of the 19th century'--when workers had no power and no legal rights, took all the risks, and worked all hours for almost nothing."
MBO Partners founder Gene Zaino said however that his firm's research shows most people who become independent are happy they did so.
"It's consistently about control and flexibility" of work, Zaino told AFP.
Zaino said that "it's not so much about the money," but noted that "the fastest growing segment is people earning over $100,000 a year."
This $100,000-plus group has grown 45 percent over the last five years, totaling 2.9 million people, according to MBO.
'Decoupling' benefits
Arun Sundararajan, who heads New York University's Social Cities Initiative, said policymakers should seek to "decouple" traditional benefits from the workplace to help gig workers.
"What they are looking for is not to be a full-time employee," Sundararajan told AFP.
"They want the nice things of being a full-time employee'--income stability, insurance benefits, which have been tied to employment."
One solution is a model enacted in the United States for retirement, which allowed most employers to eliminate defined-benefit pension plans in favor of portable savings, known as 401k plans, with tax incentives and contributions from employers and workers.
"This good be a good template," the NYU professor said. "We have to think about similar structures for the other aspects of the social safety net."
Sundararajan said finding solutions is key to unlocking the potential for a vibrant new economic sector.
"There are different kinds of work that are productive, but we are still thinking in a 20th century mindset," he said.
Zaino said it will take time for new policies "because there are so many competing interests" and that the private sector will have to sort out the issues, probably by adding money to gig workers to allow them to get benefits.
"A whole new industry is being born where we are helping people get those types of benefits and services individually and have them portable," he said.
Explore further:'Sharing economy' reshapes markets, as complaints rise
(C) 2015 AFP
Earon
US's Saudi Oil Deal from Win-Win to Mega-Loose | New Eastern Outlook
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 06:40
Who would've thought it would come to this? Certainly not the Obama Administration, and their brilliant geo-political think-tank neo-conservative strategists. John Kerry's brilliant ''win-win'' proposal of last September during his September 11 Jeddah meeting with ailing Saudi King Abdullah was simple: Do a rerun of the highly successful State Department-Saudi deal in 1986 when Washington persuaded the Saudis to flood the world market at a time of over-supply in order to collapse oil prices worldwide, a kind of ''oil shock in reverse.'' In 1986 was successful in helping to break the back of a faltering Soviet Union highly dependent on dollar oil export revenues for maintaining its grip on power.
So, though it was not made public, Kerry and Abdullah agreed on September 11, 2014 that the Saudis would use their oil muscle to bring Putin's Russia to their knees today.
It seemed brilliant at the time no doubt.
On the following day, 12 September 2014, the US Treasury's aptly-named Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, headed by Treasury Under-Secretary David S. Cohen, announced new sanctions against Russia's energy giants Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftgas and Rosneft. It forbid US oil companies to participate with the Russian companies in joint ventures for oil or gas offshore or in the Arctic.
Then, just as the ruble was rapidly falling and Russian major corporations were scrambling for dollars for their year-end settlements, a collapse of world oil prices would end Putin's reign. That was clearly the thinking of the hollowed-out souls who pass for statesmen in Washington today. Victoria Nuland was jubilant, praising the precision new financial warfare weapon at David Cohen's Treasury financial terrorism unit.
In July, 2014 West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark price for US domestic oil pricing, traded at $101 a barrel. The shale oil bonanza was booming, making the US into a major oil player for the first time since the 1970's.
When WTI hit $46 at the beginning of January this year, suddenly things looked different. Washington realized they had shot themselves in the foot.
They realized that the over-indebted US shale oil industry was about to collapse under the falling oil price. Behind the scenes Washington and Wall Street colluded to artificially stabilize what then was an impending chain-reaction bankruptcy collapse in the US shale oil industry. As a result oil prices began a slow rise, hitting $53 in February. The Wall Street and Washington propaganda mills began talking about the end of falling oil prices. By May prices had crept up to $62 and almost everyone was convinced oil recovery was in process. How wrong they were.
Saudis not happy
Since that September 11 Kerry-Abdullah meeting (curious date to pick, given the climate of suspicion that the Bush family is covering up involvement of the Saudis in or around the events of September 11, 2001), the Saudis have a new ageing King, Absolute Monarch and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman, replacing the since deceased old ageing King, Abdullah. However, the Oil Minister remains unchanged'--79-year-old Ali al-Naimi. It was al-Naimi who reportedly saw the golden opportunity in the Kerry proposal to use the chance to at the same time kill off the growing market challenge from the rising output of the unconventional USA shale oil industry. Al-Naimi has said repeatedly that he is determined to eliminate the US shale oil ''disturbance'' to Saudi domination of world oil markets.
Not only are the Saudis unhappy with the US shale oil intrusion on their oily Kingdom. They are more than upset with the recent deal the Obama Administration made with Iran that will likely lead in several months to lifting Iran economic sanctions. In fact the Saudis are beside themselves with rage against Washington, so much so that they have openly admitted an alliance with arch foe, Israel, to combat what they see as the Iran growing dominance in the region'--in Syria, in Lebanon, in Iraq.
This has all added up to an iron Saudi determination, aided by close Gulf Arab allies, to further crash oil prices until the expected wave of shale oil company bankruptcies'--that was halted in January by Washington and Wall Street manipulations'--finishes off the US shale oil competition. That day may come soon, but with unintended consequences for the entire global financial system at a time such consequences can ill be afforded.
According to a recent report by Wall Street bank, Morgan Stanley, a major player in crude oil markets, OPEC oil producers have been aggressively increasing oil supply on the already glutted world market with no hint of a letup. In its report Morgan Stanley noted with visible alarm, ''OPEC has added 1.5 million barrels/day to global supply in the last four months alone'...the oil market is currently 800,000 barrels/day oversupplied. This suggests that the current oversupply in the oil market is fully due to OPEC's production increase since February alone.''
The Wall Street bank report adds the disconcerting note, ''We anticipated that OPEC would not cut, but we didn't foresee such a sharp increase.'' In short, Washington has completely lost its strategic leverage over Saudi Arabia, a Kingdom that had been considered a Washington vassal ever since FDR's deal to bring US oil majors in on an exclusive basis in 1945.
That breakdown in US-Saudi communication adds a new dimension to the recent June 18 high-level visit to St. Petersburg by Muhammad bin Salman, the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister and son of King Salman, to meet President Vladimir Putin. The meeting was carefully prepared by both sides as the two discussed up to $10 billion of trade deals including Russian construction of peaceful nuclear power reactors in the Kingdom and supplying of advanced Russian military equipment and Saudi investment in Russia in agriculture, medicine, logistics, retail and real estate. Saudi Arabia today is the world's largest oil producer and Russia a close second. A Saudi-Russian alliance on whatever level was hardly in the strategy book of the Washington State Department planners.'...Oh shit!
Now that OPEC oil glut the Saudis have created has cracked the shaky US effort to push oil prices back up. The price fall is being further fueled by fears that the Iran deal will add even more to the glut, and that the world's second largest oil importer, China, may cut back imports or at least not increase them as their economy slows down. The oil market time bomb detonated in the last week of June. The US price of WTI oil went from $60 a barrel then, a level at which at least many shale oil producers can stay afloat a bit longer, to $49 on July 29, a drop of more than 18% in four weeks, tendency down.
Morgan Stanley sounded loud alarm bells, stating that if the trend of recent weeks continues, ''this downturn would be more severe than that in 1986. As there was no sharp downturn in the 15 years before that, the current downturn could be the worst of the last 45+ years. If this were to be the case, there would be nothing in our experience that would be a guide to the next phases of this cycle'...In fact, there may be nothing in analyzable history.''
'October Surprise'
October is the next key point for bank decisions to roll-over US shale company loans or to keep extending credit on the (until now) hope that prices will slowly recover. If as strongly hinted, the Federal Reserve hikes US interest rates in September for the first time in the eight years since the global financial crisis erupted in the US real estate market in 2007, the highly-indebted US shale oil producers face disaster of a new scale. Until the past few weeks the volume of US shale oil production has remained at the maximum as shale producers desperately try to maximize cash flow, ironically, laying the seeds of the oil glut globally that will be their demise.
The reason US shale oil companies have been able to continue in business since last November and not declare bankruptcy is the ongoing Federal Reserve zero interest rate policy that leads banks and other investors to look for higher interest rates in the so-called ''High Yield'' bond market.
Back in the 1980's when they were first created by Michael Millken and his fraudsters at Drexel Burnham Lambert, Wall Street appropriately called them ''junk bonds'' because when times got bad, like now for Shale companies, they turned into junk. A recent UBS bank report states, ''the overall High-Yield market has doubled in size; sectors that witnessed more buoyant issuance in recent years, like energy and metals mining, have seen debt outstanding triple or quadruple.''
Assuming that the most recent downturn in WTI oil prices continues week after week into October, there well could be a panic run to sell billions of dollars of those High-Yield, high-risk junk bonds. As one investment analyst notes, ''when the retail crowd finally does head for the exits en masse, fund managers will be forced to come face to face with illiquid secondary corporate credit markets where a lack of market depth'...has the potential to spark a fire sale.''
The problem is that this time, unlike in 2008, the Federal Reserve has no room to act. Interest rates are already near zero and the Fed has bought trillions of dollars of bank bad debt to prevent a chain-reaction US bank panic.
One option that is not being discussed at all in Washington would be for Congress to repeal the disastrous 1913 Federal Reserve Act that gave control of our nation's money to a gang of private bankers, and to create a public National Bank, owned completely by the United States Government, that could issue credit and sell Federal debt without the intermediaries of corrupt Wall Street bankers as the Constitution intended. At the same time they could completely nationalize the six or seven ''Too Big To Fail'' banks behind the entire financial mess that is destroying the foundations of the United States and by extension of the role of the dollar as world reserve currency, of most of the world.
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''.
To Defend Iran Deal, Obama Boasts That He's Bombed Seven Countries
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 07:03
President Obama yesterday spoke in defense of the Iran deal at American University, launching an unusually blunt and aggressive attack on deal opponents. Obama's blistering criticisms aimed at the Israeli government and its neocon supporters were accurate and unflinching, including the obvious fact that what they really crave is regime change and war. About opposition to the deal from the Israeli government, he said: ''It would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally.''
Judged as a speech, it was an impressive and effective rhetorical defense of the deal, which is why leading deal opponents have reacted so hysterically. The editors of Bloomberg View '-- which has spewed one Iraq-War-fearmongering-type article after the next about the deal masquerading as ''reporting'' '-- whined that Obama was ''denigrating those who disagree with him'' and that ''it would be far better to win this fight fairly.'' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pronounced himself ''especially insulted'' and said Obama's speech went ''way over the line of civil discourse.'' Our nation's Churchillian warriors are such sensitive souls: sociopathically indifferent to the lives they continually extinguish around the world (provided it all takes place far away from their comfort and safety), but deeply, deeply hurt '-- ''especially insulted'' '-- by mean words directed at them and their motives.
Beyond accurately describing Iran deal opponents, Obama also accurately described himself and his own record of militarism. To defend against charges that he Loves the Terrorists, he boasted:
As commander-in-chief, I have not shied away from using force when necessary. I have ordered tens of thousands of young Americans into combat. '...
I've ordered military action in seven countries.
By ''ordered military actions in seven countries,'' what he means is that he has ordered bombs dropped, and he has extinguished the lives of thousands of innocent people, in seven different countries, all of which just so happen to be predominantly Muslim.
The list includes one country where he twice escalated a war that was being waged when he was inaugurated (Afghanistan), another where he withdrew troops to great fanfare only to then order a new bombing campaign (Iraq), two countries where he converted very rare bombings into a constant stream of American violence featuring cluster bombs and ''signature strikes'' (Pakistan and Yemen), one country where he continued the policy of bombing at will (Somalia), and one country where he started a brand new war even in the face of Congressional rejection of his authorization to do so, leaving it in tragic shambles (Libya). That doesn't count the aggression by allies that he sanctioned and supported (in Gaza), nor the proxy wars he enabled (the current Saudi devastation of Yemen), nor the whole new front of cyberattacks he has launched, nor the multiple despots he has propped up, nor the clandestine bombings that he still has not confirmed (Philippines).
[As the military historian and former U.S. Army Col. Andrew Bacevich noted in the Washington Post after Obama began bombing Syria, ''Syria has become at least the 14th country in the Islamic world that U.S. forces have invaded or occupied or bombed, and in which American soldiers have killed or been killed. And that's just since 1980.'' That is the fact that, by itself, renders tribalistic Westerners who obsessively harp on the violence of Muslims such obvious self-deluded jokes.]
Two recent foreign policy moves are major positive items on Obama's legacy: normalization of relations with Cuba and agreeing to this deal with Iran. But, as he himself just proudly touted yesterday, the overall record of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate is one of violence, militarism and aggression that has left a pile of dead bodies of innocent people. That Obama feels the need (or desire) to boast about how many countries he's bombed, and that the only mainstream criticisms of him in the Iran debate is that he is too unwilling to use more aggression and force, says a lot about Obama, but even more about U.S. political culture. And none of what it says is good.
Syria Becomes the 7th Predominantly Muslim Country Bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 06:46
The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan.
That means that Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama'--after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq.
The utter lack of interest in what possible legal authority Obama has to bomb Syria is telling indeed: Empires bomb who they want, when they want, for whatever reason (indeed, recall that Obama bombed Libya even afterCongress explicitly voted against authorization to use force, and very few people seemed to mind that abject act of lawlessness; constitutional constraints are not for warriors and emperors).
It was just over a year ago that Obama officials were insisting that bombing and attacking Assad was a moral and strategic imperative. Instead, Obama is now bombing Assad's enemies while politely informing his regime of its targets in advance. It seems irrelevant on whom the U.S. wages war; what matters it that it will be at war, always and forever.
Six weeks of bombing hasn't budged ISIS in Iraq, but it has caused ISIS recruitment to soar. That's all predictable: the U.S. has known for years that what fuels and strengthens anti-American sentiment (and thus anti-American extremism) is exactly what they keep doing: aggression in that region. If you know that, then they know that. At this point, it's more rational to say they do all of this not despite triggering those outcomes, but because of it. Continuously creating and strengthening enemies is a feature, not a bug. It is what justifies the ongoing greasing of the profitable and power-vesting machine of Endless War.
If there is anyone who actually believes that the point of all of this is a moral crusade to vanquish the evil-doers of ISIS (as the U.S. fights alongside its close Saudi friends), please read Professor As'ad AbuKhalil's explanation today of how Syria is a multi-tiered proxy war. As the disastrous Libya ''intervention'' should conclusively and permanently demonstrate, the U.S. does not bomb countries for humanitarian objectives. Humanitarianism is the pretense, not the purpose.
President Barack Obama makes a speech during the Nobel Peace Prize Concert at Oslo Spektrum on December 11, 2009 in Oslo, Norway
Photo: Sandy Young/Getty Images
Kale
10 Superfoods Healthier Than Kale | Eat This Not That
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:20
In the world of marketing, image is everything. If you're James Franco or Roger Federer or Taylor Swift, your name and face can be used to sell anything from phones to watches to perfume'--even if you're not necessarily famous for the your tech-savvy, your promptness, or the way you smell.
In the food world, the biggest celebrity of all might be kale'--the Shakira of salads, the Lady Gaga of leafy greens. It's universally recognized that kale anything'--kale chips, kale pesto, kale face cream'--instantly implants a health halo not seen since the days of C. Everett Koop. Even 7-Eleven is making over its image by offering kale smoothies to help with your weight loss efforts. And yes, kale has plenty of benefits'--including high levels of folate and more calcium, gram for gram, than a cup of milk.
But kale's actually not the healthiest green on the block. In fact, in a recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control that ranked 47 ''powerhouse fruits and vegetables,'' kale only placed 15th (with 49.07 points out of 100 for nutrient density)! Here's a roundup of the 10 leafy green cousins that researchers say pack a greater nutritional wallop. Read em, eat em, and reap the benefits.
Nutrition Score: 62.49A staple vegetable of Southern U.S. cuisine, collard greens also boast incredible cholesterol-lowering benefits '-- especially when steamed. A recent study published in the journal Nutrition Research compared the effectiveness of the prescription drug Cholestyramine to steamed collards. Incredibly, the collards improved the body's cholesterol-blocking process by 13 percent more than the drug! Of course, that won't do you any good if you insist on serving them with ham hocks'....
Nutrition Score: 63.48Even more so than its cousin kale, the humble Romaine lettuce packs high levels of folic acid, a water-soluble form of Vitamin B that's proven to boost male fertility. A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found supplemental folic acid to significantly increase sperm counts. Get the man in your life to start craving Caesar salads, and you may soon have a baby Julius on board. (Ladies, this green packs health benefits for you, too! Folate also plays a role in battling depression, so change out your kale for Romaine.
Nutrition Score: 65.59Yes, that leafy garnish that sits on the side of your plate'--the one they throw away after you eat the rest of your meal'--is a quiet superfood, so packed with nutrients that even that one sprig can go a long way toward meeting your daily requirement for vitamin K. Moreover, research suggests the summer-y aroma and flavor of chopped parsley may help control your appetite. A study in the journal Flavour found participants ate significantly less of a dish that smelled strongly of spice than a mildly scented version of the same food. Adding herbs, like parsley, creates the sensory illusion that you're indulging in something rich'--without adding any fat or calories to your plate.
Nutrition Score: 70.73The nutritional Clark Kent of the salad bar, this common and unsuspecting leafy green is ready to take its place among the superfoods. Two generous cups of lettuce provides 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement for strong, healthy bones. A report from the Nurses' Health Study suggests that women who eat a serving of lettuce every day cut the risk of hip fracture by 30 percent than when compared with eating just one serving a week.
Nutrition Score: 73.36Chicory is a family of bitter greens, but its most well-known member is radicchio, the small red or purple leaf that comes in a head about the size of a softball. It's one of the best dietary sources of polyphenols'--powerful micronutrients that serve a role in preventing disease. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who consume 650 mg a day of polyphenols have a 30 percent chance at living longer than those who consume less than that. A cup of chicory leaves clocks in at about 235 mg (double that of spinach!), so consider adding a little leafy red into your leafy greens.
Nutrition Score: 86.43Spinach is to kale what Michael Jordan is to LeBron James'--the once unrivaled king now overshadowed by the hot new thing. But like MJ, spinach has a few more championship rings than its more current rival'--primarily its position as a top source of biceps-building iron. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a 180 gram serving of boiled spinach provides 6.43 mg of the muscle mineral'--that's more than a 6 oz hamburger patty! Recent research also suggest compounds in the leaf membranes called thylakoids may serve as a powerful appetite suppressant. A recently published long-term study at Lund University in Sweden found that having a drink containing thylakoids before breakfast could significantly reduce cravings and promote weight loss. On average, the women who took the spinach extract lost 5.5 pounds more than the placebo group over the course of three months.
Nutrition Score: 87.08Yes, the stuff they cut off and throw in the garbage before charging you an arm and a leg for ''beet salad.'' A scant cup of the bitter green serves up nearly 5 grams of fiber'--that's more than you'll find in a bowl of Quaker oats! Researchers at the University of Leeds found that risk of cardiovascular disease was significantly lower for every 7 grams of fiber consumed. Try them in stir frys and eat to your heart's content!
Nutrition Score: 89.27Chard. Sounds like ''burnt.'' It's not as fun a name to drop as, say, ''broccolini,'' but it might be your best defense against diabetes. Recent research has shown that these powerhouse leaves contain at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants, including anthocyanins''anti-inflammatory compounds that could offer protection from type 2 diabetes. Researchers from the University of East Anglia analyzed questionnaires and blood samples of about 2,000 people and found that those with the highest dietary intakes of anthocyanins had lower insulin resistance and better blood glucose regulation.
Nutrition Score: 91.99Taking the silver medal in the powerfood Olympics is Chinese cabbage, also called Napa or celery cabbage. Rich sources of highly-available calcium and iron, cruciferous vegetables like the cabbage have the powerful ability to ''turn off'' inflammation markers thought to promote heart disease. In a study of more than 1,000 Chinese women, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, those who ate the most cruciferous vegetables (about 1.5 cups per day) had 13 percent less inflammation than those who ate the least.
Nutrition Score: 100The top dog, the unrivaled champion, the chairman of the cutting board, watercress may also be the closest thing yet to a true anti-aging food. Gram for gram this mild-tasting and flowery-looking green contains four times more beta carotene than an apple, and a whopping 238 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin K per 100 grams'--two compounds that keep skin dewy and youthful. The beauty food is also the richest dietary source of PEITC (phenylethyl isothiocyanate), which research suggests can fight cancer. Results from an eight-week trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest daily supplementation of 85 grams of raw watercress (that's about two cups) could reduce DMA damage linked to cancer by 17 percent. Exposure to heat may inactivate PEITC, so it's best to enjoy watercress raw in salads, cold-pressed juices, and sandwiches.
Watch to discover the superfoods you've never heard ofMELT UP TO 10 POUNDS IN 7 DAYS! Test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in just 7 days'--drinking delicious teas'--with our best-selling 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Download it now on Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Google Play, and Kobo.
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Assailant in Garland, Texas, attack bought gun in 2010 under Fast and Furious operation - Chicago Tribune
Sun, 02 Aug 2015 20:43
Five years before he was shot to death in the failed terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, Nadir Soofi walked into a suburban Phoenix gun shop to buy a 9-millimeter pistol.
At the time, Lone Wolf Trading Co. was known among gun smugglers for selling illegal firearms. And with Soofi's history of misdemeanor drug and assault charges, there was a chance his purchase might raise red flags in the federal screening process.
Inside the store, he fudged some facts on the form required of would-be gun buyers.
What Soofi could not have known was that Lone Wolf was at the center of a federal sting operation known as Fast and Furious, targeting Mexican drug lords and traffickers. The idea of the secret program was to allow Lone Wolf to sell illegal weapons to criminals and straw purchasers, and track the guns back to large smuggling networks and drug cartels.
Instead, federal agents lost track of the weapons and the operation became a fiasco, particularly after several of the missing guns were linked to shootings in Mexico and the 2010 killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona.
Soofi's attempt to buy a gun caught the attention of authorities, who slapped a seven-day hold on the transaction, according to his Feb. 24, 2010, firearms transaction record, which was reviewed by the Los Angeles Times. Then, for reasons that remain unclear, the hold was lifted after 24 hours, and Soofi got the 9-millimeter.
As the owner of a small pizzeria, the Dallas-born Soofi, son of a Pakistani American engineer and American nurse, would not have been the primary focus of federal authorities, who back then were looking for smugglers and drug lords.
He is now.
In May, Soofi and his roommate, Elton Simpson, burst upon the site of a Garland cartoon convention that was offering a prize for the best depiction of the prophet Muhammad, something offensive to many Muslims. Dressed in body armor and armed with three pistols, three rifles and 1,500 rounds of ammunition, the pair wounded a security officer before they were killed by local police.
A day after the attack, the Department of Justice sent an "urgent firearms disposition request" to Lone Wolf, seeking more information about Soofi and the pistol he bought in 2010, according to a June 1 letter from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, to U.S. Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch.
Though the request did not specify whether the gun was used in the Garland attack, Justice Department officials said the information was needed "to assist in a criminal investigation," according to Johnson's letter, also reviewed by The Times.
The FBI so far has refused to release any details, including serial numbers, about the weapons used in Garland by Soofi and Simpson. Senate investigators are now pressing law enforcement agencies for answers, raising the chilling possibility that a gun sold during the botched Fast and Furious operation ended up being used in a terrorist attack against Americans.
Among other things, Johnson is demanding to know whether federal authorities have recovered the gun Soofi bought in 2010, where it was recovered and whether it had been discharged, according to the letter. He also demanded an explanation about why the initial seven-day hold was placed on the 2010 pistol purchase and why it was lifted after 24 hours.
Asked recently for an update on the Garland shooting, FBI Director James B. Comey earlier this month declined to comment. "We're still sorting that out," he said.
Officials at the Justice Department and the FBI declined to answer questions about whether the 9-millimeter pistol was one of the guns used in the Garland attack or seized at Soofi's apartment.
It remains unclear whether Soofi's 2010 visit to Lone Wolf is a bizarre coincidence or a missed opportunity for federal agents to put Soofi on their radar years before his contacts with Islamic extremists brought him to their attention.
Though Islamic State militants have claimed to have helped organize the Garland attack, U.S. officials are still investigating whether Soofi and Simpson received direct support from the group or were merely inspired by its calls for violence against the West.
Comey suggested that the attack fits the pattern of foreign terrorist groups indoctrinating American citizens through the Internet. He referred to it as the "crowdsourcing of terrorism."
In a handwritten letter apparently mailed hours before the attack, Soofi said he was inspired by the writings of Islamic cleric Anwar Awlaki, an American citizen killed in a 2011 U.S. drone strike in Yemen.
"I love you," Soofi wrote to his mother, Sharon Soofi, "and hope to see you in eternity." In a telephone interview, Sharon Soofi described the letter and said her son had been shot twice in the head and once in the chest, according to autopsy findings she received.
At the time of the 2010 gun purchase, Soofi ran a Phoenix pizza parlor. His mother said that was about the same time he met Simpson, who worked for Soofi at the restaurant. They later shared an apartment, a short drive from the Lone Wolf store.
Reached by telephone, Andre Howard, owner of Lone Wolf, denied that his store sold the gun to Soofi. "Not here," Howard said before hanging up.
Sharon Soofi said her son had told her he wanted the pistol for protection because his restaurant was in a "rough area." She said he also acquired an AK-47 assault rifle at the end of last year or early this year, when authorities believe he and Simpson were plotting an attack on the Super Bowl in Arizona.
"I tried to convince him that, what in the world do you need an AK-47 for?" she said in a telephone interview. Soofi told her they practiced target shooting in the desert. Her younger son, Ali Soofi, was living with his brother and Simpson at the time, she said, but left after becoming frightened by the weapons, ammunition and militant Islamist literature.
She blamed Simpson for radicalizing her son, who she said had no history of religious extremism. A month before Soofi bought the pistol, Simpson was indicted on charges of lying to the FBI about his plans to travel to Somalia and engage in "violent jihad," according to federal court documents.
Simpson was jailed until March 2011 and convicted of making false statements. But the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove the false statements were connected to international terrorism. Simpson was released and placed on probation.
After the Garland attack, the FBI arrested a third man, Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, and charged him with planning the Garland attack. At a detention hearing on June 16, prosecutors and an FBI agent provided details about the plot, but avoided discussing the history of the firearms.
Sharon Soofi said she found her son's letter in her post office box. It was dated the Saturday before the attack, and postmarked in Dallas on Monday, the day after the assault, suggesting he dropped it in the mailbox before he and Simpson arrived in Garland. "In the name of Allah," the letter began, "I am sorry for the grief I have caused."
He referred to "those Muslims who are being killed, slandered, imprisoned, etc. for their religion," and concluded, "I truly love you, Mom, but this life is nothing but shade under the tree and a journey. The reality is the eternal existence in the hereafter."
richard.serrano@latimes.com
Twitter: @RickSerranoLAT
Copyright (C) 2015, Chicago Tribune
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Putin Issues Ultimatum to Turkey: Stop Supporting ISIS Terrorists or Face Break in Diplomatic Relations
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 05:35
Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.INN World Report with Tom KielyAugust 4, 2015Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.
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Chiner$
Operators of first Asia-Rotterdam train promise more services | JOC.com
Sat, 08 Aug 2015 16:24
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Vaccine$
Whistleblower States CDC Intentionally Omitted And Destroyed Documents Relating To Vaccines Causing Autism!
Mon, 03 Aug 2015 20:17
by Gregg Prescott M.S.Editor, BodyMindSoulSpirit.com
On July 29th, 2015, Rep. Bill Posey spoke on public record in the House of Representatives regarding former CDC researcher and now Whistleblower, Dr. Bill Thompson's letter regarding significant files they omitted and destroyed to avoid reporting any significant race effects in their study.
Rep. Posey's statement came on the heals on related breaking news exposing the reason why numerous alternative physicians have died after exposing the probable cause and cure for autism.
Related: Explosive: Is This The Real Reason Holistic Doctors Are Being Killed And Vanishing?
Posey stated:
''It's troubling to me that in a recent Senate hearing on childhood vaccinations, it was never mentioned that our government has paid out over $3 billion through a vaccine injury compensation program for children who have been injured by vaccinations. Parents making decisions on their children's health deserve to have the best information available to them. They should be able to count on federal agencies to tell them the truth.
''In August 2014, Dr. William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, worked with a whistleblower attorney to provide my office with documents related to a 2004 CDC study that examined the possibility of a relationship between mumps, measles, rubella, vaccines, and autism. In a statement released in August 2014, Dr. Thompson stated, ''I regret that my co-authors and I omitted '... OMITTED (repeated a 2nd time)'... statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Mr. Speaker, I respectfully request the following excerpts from the statement written by Dr. Thompson be entered into the record. Now quoting Dr. Thompson:''
''My primary job duties while working in the immunization safety branch from 2000-06, were lead or co-lead three major vaccine safety studies, the MADDSP, MMR, Autism cases control study was being carried out in response to the Wakefield/Lancet study that suggested an association between the MMR vaccine and an autism-like health outcome.
There were several major concerns among scientists and consumer advocates outside the CDC in the Fall of 2000 regarding execution of the Verstraeten study. One of the important goals that was determined upfront in the Spring of 2001 before any of these studies started, was to have all 3 protocols vetted outside the CDC prior to the start of the analyses so that consumer advocates could not claim that we were presenting analyses that suited our own goals or biases.
We hypothesized that if we found statistically significant effects at either 18 or 36 months thresholds, we would conclude that vaccinating children early with MMR vaccine could lead to autism-like characteristics or features.
We all met and finalized the study protocol and analysis plan. The goal was to not deviate from the analysis plan and to avoid the debacle that occurred with the Verstraeten thimerosal study published in the Pediatrics in '03. At the September 5th meeting, we discussed in detail how to code race for both the sample and the birth certificate sample.
At the bottom of Table 7, it also shows that for the non-birth certificate sample, the adjusted race effect statistical significance was huge.
All of the authors and I met and decided that sometime between August and September '02, not to report any race effects for the paper. Sometime, soon after the meeting, we decided to exclude reporting any race effects.
The co-authors scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study. The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room and reviewed and went through all of the hard copied documents that we had thought we should discard and put them into a huge garbage can. However, because I assumed that it was illegal and would violate both FOIA and DOJ requests, I kept hard copies of all documents in my office and I retained all associated computer files.
I believe we intentionally withheld controversial findings from the final draft of the pediatrics paper.''
''Considering the nature of the whistleblower documents as well as the involvement of the CDC, a hearing and a thorough investigation is warranted.''
If anyone wonders why there is little trust in the government, then look at the numerous lies we've been told and how government supported corporations will hide and omit information that is not in humanity's best interests, all in the name of eugenics and the depopulation agenda.
While Rep. Posey called for an investigation into these criminal activities, the results would most likely be similar to the crimes of the banksters when they rigged LIBOR and had to be bailed out with billions of taxpayer dollars. It's important to note that the corporation of the bank was found guilty while not one specific bankster was arrested or held liable for the bank's crimes.
No matter what the investigation decides to do in regard to punishing those guilty of these crimes, the public has been awakened to the greed and corruption of government agencies as well as Big Pharma's role in their genocidal quest of depopulation.
Source: http://www.bodymindsoulspirit.com/whistleblower-cdc-destroyed-autism-vaccine-documents/
Out There
NASA Totally Found an Alien Crab on Mars and Didn't Tell Anybody
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 12:36
And then'--get this'--THEN they accidentally posted a picture of it online. And then some people spotted it and called a spade a spade crab a crab. Hey everybody! Look! It's a crab on Mars!
The proof, via UFO Sightings Daily:
This crab-like object was found in a Mars rover. Its unknown exactly who found it, but it is really interesting. It does appear alive. It may be a crab-like animal, or it also may be a plant. Tis object has many arms and one of them goes to the left of the picture a very long ways. That arm is longer than all others. Plant or animal it really doesn't matter. The significance of this is that it shows signs that it is alive. That is everything, but not to NASA. Even if every person on Earth told them to turn the rover to the left and take a closer look at this object, NASA will reject it and say, ''thats not part of our mission.''
UFO Sightings Daily reports it also spotted in this photo ''another animal close to this crab, as well as a broken stone building.''
Or maybe, just maybe, it's a rock. And a case of pareidolia. Nah, scratch that. Definitely a space crab.
Contact the author at rtgonzalez@io9.com.
Eugenics
Family Research Council
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 02:11
Senior Fellow, Family EmpowermentKen Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council. He is a national bestselling author of three books: Rebuilding America: A Prescription For Creating Strong Families, Building The Wealth Of Working People, And Ending Welfare; The Blueprint: Obama's Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency; and Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America.
He serves on the Board of Directors of various high-profile organizations including the Timothy Plan, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the United States Air Force Academy Foundation, the Club for Growth, the National Rifle Association, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the National World War II Museum, and the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Advisors, of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).
Mr. Blackwell has had a vast political career. He was mayor of Cincinnati, Treasurer and Secretary of State for Ohio, undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He was a delegate to the White House Summit on Retirement Savings in 1998 and 2002. During the 1990s, he served on the congressionally appointed National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform and the board of the International Republican Institute. He was Co-Chairman of the U.S. Census Monitoring Board from 1999-2001.
He has received many awards and honors for his work in the public sector. These accolades include the U.S. Department of State's Superior Honor Award for his work in the field of human rights which he received from both the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. In 2004, the American Conservative Union honored Mr. Blackwell with the John M. Ashbrook Award for his steadfast conservative leadership.
Ken's commentaries have been published in major newspapers and websites: the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, and Investor's Business Daily. In addition, he has been interviewed by many media outlets including CBS's Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press, ABC's This Week, and Fox News Sunday.
His continuing education has included executive programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard. Mr. Blackwell has also received honorary doctoral degrees from ten institutions of higher education. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Xavier University in Ohio, where he later served as a vice president and member of its faculty. In 1992, he received Xavier's Distinguished Alumnus Award and was inducted into Xavier's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.
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VIDEO-CLIPS-DOCS
VIDEO-Activists disrupt rally featuring Sen. Bernie Sanders - YouTube
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 13:32
VIDEO-Black Lives Matter activists interrupt Bernie Sanders rally | www.kirotv.com
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 12:22
Updated: 6:37 p.m. PDT, Sat August 8, 2015
A Social Security and Medicare rally at Westlake Park that featured Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was interrupted by activists with Black Lives Matter on Saturday afternoon.
As Sanders went up to the podium, activists took the stage to protest.
Sanders stood aside as the activists spoke.
Sanders was scheduled to speak at the event, but due to the disruption the event ended.
On Saturday night, Sanders released a statement after the Westlake Park incident:
''I am disappointed that two people disrupted a rally attended by thousands at which I was invited to speak about fighting to protect Social Security and Medicare. I was especially disappointed because on criminal justice reform and the need to fight racism there is no other candidate for president who will fight harder than me.''
At 7 p.m. Saturday there will be a Bernie Sanders rally at Hec Edmundson Pavilion at the University of Washington. About 10,000 people are expected to attend.
VIDEO-Radio President Obama Iran Nuclear Agreement | Video | C-SPAN.org
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 07:41
August 8, 2015President Obama spoke at American University about the nuclear agreement reached with Iran.'‚He defended the deal, contending that'... read more
President Obama spoke at American University about the nuclear agreement reached with Iran.'‚He defended the deal, contending that congressional rejection of the deal would leave future administrations with another war in the Middle East as the only option.'‚He said that criticisms of the agreement were coming from those who voted for the war in Iraq.'‚The president also called the deal a continuation of ''principled diplomacy,'' invoking President Kennedy's speech at American University in 1963 in which he called for a nuclear test-ban treaty with the Soviet Union. close
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*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
VIDEO-Welcome to Demo Day at the White House! | The White House
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 06:31
August 07, 2015 | 1:04 | Public Domain
On August 4, the White House hosted its first Demo Day. Unlike a private-sector Demo Day, where entrepreneurs ''pitch'' their ideas to funders, innovators from around the country will join President Obama to ''demo'' their individual success stories and show why we need to give every American the opportunity to pursue their bold, game-changing ideas.
VIDEO-Bobbi Kristina Brown's estate files wrongful death suit - CNN.com
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 04:32
Story highlightsLawsuit accuses Nick Gordon of causing the injuries that killed herGordon's lawyers call the lawsuit 'slanderous and meritless'The suit seeks at least $10 millionThe lawsuit filed Friday alleges Nick Gordon, who shared a townhome with Brown in the Atlanta suburb of Roswell, beat her after an argument on the morning of January 31, then gave her a "toxic cocktail" to knock her out.
It accuses him of placing her face-down in a bathtub of cold water, causing her to suffer brain damage.
The suit seeks at least $10 million.
Brown, the only child of the late Whitney Houston and singer Bobby Brown, was rushed to the hospital after the incident in January and placed in a medically induced coma. She died in hospice care late last month at age 22.
Gordon has never been charged in relation to Brown's death, and his legal team says the suit is "slanderous and meritless."
"Nick has been heartbroken and destroyed over the loss of his love and it's shameful that such baseless allegations have been presented publicly," Joe Habachy and Jose Baez said in a statement. "Nick has engaged civil counsel and intends to defend the lawsuit vigorously and expose it for what it is: a fictitious assault against the person who loved Krissy most."
Speculation about Brown's injuries began soon after she was hospitalized. Daphne Barak, a friend of Brown, said in February that police had questioned Gordon about bruises on Brown's chest. Barak said Gordon told her they were a result of him performing CPR.
Gordon was not allowed to visit Brown in the hospital, and he did not attend her funeral.
Lawsuit alleges previous abuseThe lawsuit was filed in Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta by Bedelia Hargrove, the administrator of Brown's estate.
It claims Gordon controlled Brown's interactions and manipulated her bank accounts so he could access her money, "routinely transferring a large portion" of her funds into his accounts without Brown's consent or authorization.
It also says he installed cameras throughout their townhome so he could watch and hear her.
"This was all part of a scheme to control Bobbi Kristina and benefit from her wealth," the suit states.
It describes previous instances of alleged physical abuse, including one incident days before her near-drowning on January 31.
Witnesses were present, the lawsuit alleges, when Gordon lunged at Brown on the living room couch so hard that the couch broke and she was knocked to the floor. He continued to beat her in the face until she was bloody and then kicked her in the side until she was screaming and curled up on the floor, the suit says.
The attack caused Brown to lose a tooth and blood was on the floor, the suit says.
"Defendant then demanded that she go upstairs," the lawsuit reads. "Bobbi Kristina began crawling on the floor because she could not stand up due to the injuries Defendant inflicted.
"Defendant then dragged her upstairs by her hair and threw her in the master bedroom, leaving blood on the walls of the staircase. Afterward, Defendant stated to persons present, 'I don't do this often,' indicating this was not the first time Defendant beat her."
The day she was hospitalizedShortly before January 31, Brown confided in someone that Gordon "was not the man she thought he was," and she scheduled a time to meet that person, the suit says. The meeting never took place.
About 6 a.m. on January 31, Gordon returned from an all-night "cocaine and drinking binge," the lawsuit states. He reviewed surveillance camera footage and listened to Brown's conversations, which led to an argument that began in the kitchen, moved to the living room and ended upstairs in the master bedroom.
The argument lasted about 30 minutes, it says.
"Upon information and belief, Defendant gave Bobbi Kristina a toxic cocktail rendering her unconscious and then put her face down in a tub of cold water causing her to suffer brain damage," the lawsuit reads. He then got in bed with a female guest, it says.
About 15 minutes later, someone in the townhome went to check on Brown and found her face down in the bathtub, unresponsive and unconscious, her mouth swollen and a tooth hanging loosely from her mouth, the suit says.
"When the Defendant came into the master bedroom, the very first thing Defendant did was let the cold water out of the bathtub and later shouted, 'Clean up, clean up.' Others began mouth to mouth resuscitation to no avail. Defendant then began to slap her saying, 'wake up,' and also started performing CPR between slaps."
Evidence or allegations?The lawsuit doesn't explain whether there is evidence to back up the allegations.
It's possible that some of the incidents were captured on the surveillance system and obtained by investigators or the family, but that's not clear. It's also possible that the unnamed people mentioned as being present during the alleged incidents shared some information.
Regardless, Georgia law requires attorneys to have some evidence that leads them to believe a claim is true, says CNN legal analyst Philip Holloway.
"Before a lawyer can make an allegation in a lawsuit, the lawyer must have a good-faith basis for making the claim," Holloway said. "In all likelihood the plaintiffs' attorneys are aware of some of the evidence uncovered by law enforcement, but they may have been doing their own investigation simultaneously."
No cause of death releasedThe initial portion of Brown's autopsy did not show an "obvious underlying cause of death" and noted no significant injuries, the Fulton County Medical Examiner said. But it noted the long passage of time between the January 31 incident and Brown's death will make it difficult to determine what happened.
"We do not plan to complete the death certificate or determine a cause and manner of death until all test results are completed and all investigative, medical and other documentary records are received and thoroughly reviewed," the medical examiner said in a statement.
Brown was buried Monday in New Jersey, next to her mother.
Bobbi Kristina Brown, in her own words
CNN's Marylynn Ryan and Carolyn Sung contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Syrian Kurds refine oil for themselves for first time - YouTube
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 01:27
VIDEO-Lets stump for Donald Trump: he is the only one that will secure that damn border - YouTube
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 00:40
VIDEO-UK Lord John Sewell caught behaving badly - CNN Video
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 00:39
Wild horses to be removed from land
Hoverboards become reality
Body painter makes models disappearSource: CNN
Added on 4:27 PM ET, Mon July 27, 2015
A cocaine and prostitution scandal rocks the House of Lords, as Lord John Sewell is caught in a tabloid newspaper sting. Max Foster reports.
VIDEO-MEGYN KELLY STARTS A WAR WITH DONALD TRUMP AT THE DEBATE - YouTube
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 00:07
VIDEO-Our Man Flint (1966) - IMDb
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 18:22
Cast & CrewTop Billed CastFull castDirector:Daniel Mann
Writers:Hal Fimberg (screenplay), Ben Starr (screenplay), Hal Fimberg (story)
All Cast & CrewDetailsRelease Date:16 January 1966LanguageEnglish, Italian
Country of OriginUSABox OfficeBudget:$3,525,000 (estimated)
News15 July 2015 2:18 AM, EDT|The Hollywood InterviewJames Coburn: The Hollywood Flashback Interview
3 May 2015 7:54 AM, EDT|Den of Geek18 films that took their inspiration from James Bond movies
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(C) 1990-2015 by IMDb.com, Inc.
VIDEO-Russian hackers reportedly hit Pentagon email system - YouTube
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 16:56
VIDEO-State Department: ''Assad Regime is the Root of All Evil'' in Syria Because He Stands in the Way of Greater Kurdistan | American Everyman
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 15:11
by Scott Creighton
''The discovery in 2009 of a new gas field near Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Syria opened new possibilities to bypass the Saudi Barrier and to secure a new source of income.Pipelines are in place already in Turkey to receive the gas. Only Al-Assad is in the way''
This video from RT is interesting on a number of levels. Among other things it shows the Obama administration is right on track in their efforts to build a new country, Greater Kurdistan, and Assad and all those Syrians who support the sovereignty of their nation are simply getting in the way.
First, the State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, claims that the Assad regime is the ''root of all evil HERE''
One assumes (like I do in the title of this article) that Mr. Toner means ''here'' as ''Syria'' but in actuality, he means ''here in DC''
However you take that statement to mean, what he is saying is in direct conflict with last weeks declarations from the Obama administration that they were giving themselves the authority to launch military strikes in Syria, not to target the Syrian military, but to combat ''ISIS''
If the State Department is now coming forward and declaring the root of all evil to be Assad, not ''ISIS'', then I guess it's pretty clear who they mean to start attacking without a UNSC mandate and without authority from congress.
Another thing to remember is this: ''SAS soldiers are disguising themselves as ISIS fighters''
''The unorthodox tactic, which is seeing SAS units dressed in black and flying ISIS flags, has been likened to the methods used by the Long Range Desert Group against Rommel's forces during the Second World War.
More than 120 members belonging to the elite regiment are currently in the war-torn country on operation Shader, tasked with destroying IS equipment and munitions which insurgents constantly move to avoid Coalition air strikes'...
Instead the teams, part of a force known as the Coalition Joint Special Operations Task Force, are under American command.
Dubbed ''smash'' the units, which travel in civilian pick-ups, can even launch their own unmanned aerial vehicles, or mini-drones, to scan terrain ahead of them and pinpoint IS forces.'' Express UK
A couple of months ago the US decided to invest 500 million dollars training more ''moderate'' terrorists to fight against the Assad regime, a continuation of a program we have had in place for years. Unfortunately, they had only 60 fighters sign up for the operation and they were pretty much wiped out on their first operation three weeks ago.
So now, all of a sudden, we needed more fighters in Syria to continue to create the terrorism and chaos that has fashioned what Toner and many others are now describing as the ''lawless regions'' of northern Syria. And what we get is basically this:
The Obama administration knows damn well they are not going to be able to keep up the lie that they are only targeting ''ISIS'' in the area for very long as the bombs start to drop on the legitimate army of the Syrian people who are successfully defending their country against our destabilization mercenaries known as 'ISIS', the Free Syrian Army or al Nursra.
Therefore, the ''root'' of the problem has to be redefined in the public mind. All this time we have been told we have to fight al Qaeda 'ISIS'' as the endless War OF Terror drags on. But now, it shifts because it has to.
Second, notice what is developing, this notion of the ''lawless regions'' in northern Syria. Why is that? Well, I wrote about that back in March:
As of late we've been hearing a lot about the possibility of creating a new Kurdistan by expanding the ''de facto'' Iraqi Kurdistan into other people's nations, namely Syria and Turkey (both being equally demonized in the press )
A recent call put out by the George Soros funded AVAAZ begs ''progressive'' readers to sign a petition asking President Peace Prize to please carpet bomb a northern corridor in Syria for ''humanitarian'' reasons.
The ''alternative'' Tea Party leader also got into the act recently, trying to drum up support for the same kind of action only he made the objective a bit clearer:
''I would draw new lines for Kurdistan and I would promise them a country,'' Rand Paul
Looks like he's punching his ticket to a 2016 Vice Presidency, doesn't it? Scott Creighton
The reality here is this: the masters of the universe have a game plan in mind and that is the creation of a Greater Kurdistan which will incorporate a good part of north-eastern Iraq, northern Syria and eastern Turkey.
When I first wrote about this and how a number of influential neocons and globalists had met at the Sulaimani Forum to discuss their new aspirations for a Greater Kurdistan (Petraeus, Zakheim and Barzani '' Laying the Groundwork for a Bigger and More Corrupt Kurdistan at the Sulaimani Forum ) , unbeknownst to me (since they didn't post a link back to my original article) Ekurd Daily, a rather popular online Kurdish publication, republished my article the next day.
Seven days later, a writer out of DC, Omar Sindi, wrote an answer to my article, apparently taking exception to the fact that I wrote about the many corruptions of Kurdish leadership (Scott Creighton- Willyloman: Don't taint Kurds Aspiration with Corruptions!). Of course it would have been nice had Mr. Sindi made me aware of his response to my article so that I could respond to his, but sometimes spin doesn't work that way I guess.
Mr. Sindi has a long history of supporting the notion of a Greater Kurdistan. In fact, many Kurds do. There's nothing wrong with that I suppose unless of course it involves carpet bombing and committing acts of terrorism against the people living in another country which just happens to currently occupy what you hope to be your new nation.
Of course the PKK in Turkey has been fighting a terrorism campaign for nearly 30 years now with that goal in mind. It was only recently that Erdogan and that group signed a peace agreement, which was promptly broken about a week ago when they killed two Turkish police officers they accused of collaborating with Assad. That is the act that sparked the recent bombing of Kurdish positions in Iraq by the Turkish military.
[Briefly in regard to Mr. Sindi's reply to my original article: I would only like too say, you can't wrap your globalist nation building aspirations around the hopes and dreams of the Kurdish people. From what I have read from numerous sources, life for the average Kurd living in Iraqi Kurdistan is not that much different than life for the average Iraqi living in the squalor of the remnants of Iraq under the rule of our puppet dictators. The Kurdish ruling class, personified by the corrupt puppet President Massoud Barzani, is about as neoliberal as any others out there who rule their people brutally on behalf of foreign investors and leaders. For that matter, Kurdish lives under Barzani remind me of those living under the likes of Mubarak, al-Sisi, Poroshenko and even Pinochet if you wish to bring up historical lessons from the past. (do I need to remind you of the fates of Kurdish journalists Kurdish Soran Mama Hama and Sardasht Osman when they dared to speak out against the corruption of the Barzani regime?)
Of course, in not so many words, you made that very clear yourself in your letter to President Obama back in 2012, didn't you?
''The Kurdish leaders have tried their best to advance America's aims in Iraq.'' Mr. Sindi
Yes indeed. The Kurdish leadership does in fact try their best to advance the aims of Wall Street, London and Tel Aviv in Kurdish Iraq. That's for sure.
The problem here is, Mr. Sindi, it would appear that the people living in northern Syria (and many living in Iraqi Kurdistan) don't particularly wish to do the same.
Now you might think of someone living in a glass house throwing stones at your efforts to help construct a Greater Kurdistan and to that end you are probably correct.
Forgetting for the moment that a nation existed on the territory of my homeland long before Columbus ever set foot on it, in reality, right now in this country, not one single politician can realistically hope to get ''elected'' without swearing alliance to these same powers that you yourself admit your leadership serves. That's a fact. One that I write about and lament nearly every single day.
And in fact, we all know at this point what happens to leaders of nations who decide to go against the wishes of the masters of the Westernized universe like Saddam and Gaddafi and Morsi and Assad and Allende (if you wish to go back and revisit a little relevant history)
It understandable the deal Kurdish leadership has made with the devil: either they get an extremely influential Greater Kurdistan tailor made for them and all the profits/benefits that come with it, or they get wiped out and replaced by someone who will. Just ask the Taliban how that works.
That's life in the real world. You should understand that, working in DC as you do. But let's not try to sugar coat it or pass it off as something noble like our corrupt leadership does when they use their ''humanitarian intervention'' line in order to decimate a nation ruled by those who refuse to surrender to the masters of our leaders.
To observers of history, such efforts come across as merely shallow, hollow, desperate attempts to sell wars of conquest by war-mongering sycophants to power and nothing more. And that Mr. Sindi, might be a role you are willing to play in the creation of the Greater Kurdistan, but like any globalist spokesman (like Mr. Toner for example) you shouldn't be surprised when someone decides to call you out on it (as I am doing with Mr. Toner for example)]
This is the agenda at play when you hear something along the lines of ''the lawless regions of northern Syria''
The idea is to dislocate those areas that are under attack from our terrorist forces from Syria in general, make them a stateless region so that President Obama can remake them into whatever he and folks like Petraeus, Zakheim and Barzani choose to make them. In this case it will certainly be Greater Kurdistan.
Therefore the ''root of all evil'' will be any groups or forces that seek to hold that territory in the name of Syria.
It is in fact a war of aggression; of conquest. And nothing more.
War of aggression are the root of all evil. Terrorism in this case is the root of this particular evil in Syria and only one person ultimately bears responsibility for that and that person is President Peace Prize himself, Barack Obama.
Lastly, notice something else. There is a definite effort being made to demonize Erdogan taking place right now. This entire narrative of him aiding Obama attack Assad is designed for one thing: to break his popularity with his own people.
Notice, this whole thing started when he attacked the Kurds in Iraq because they killed two Turkish officers in their own nation. Also notice how that was precipitated by a bombing of Turkish people which killed 32 a few days before.
Clearly the Erdogan destabilization campaign is well underway.
Ask yourself why that is. Let's review'...
There is no Greater Kurdistan without a large part of Turkey being given-up in the process and as we all know, Erdogan is dead set against giving up land to the Kurds for such a deal.
Erdogan's popularity (his party just won an election a couple of months ago by a large percentage) springs from a number of factors not the least of which is his support for Assad against the terrorism being inflicted on them by the West and his handling of the Kurdish terrorism campaign. That's not too say there aren't a lot of Kurds living in Turkey. But no all of them wish to live under the corrupt leadership of Iraqi Kurdistan. Were that to be the case, they would simply have moved there.
In reality, Erdogan also stands in the way of Greater Kurdistan and it's only a matter of time before our illustrious leadership have to remove him as well in order to see their project through to the end.
They have been running various campaigns against him for a couple of years now. I remember writing about how they claimed photos of aid trucks were actually those of trucks taking munitions into Syria to give to 'ISIS'. It was exposed as a lie then and they simply forgot about it and started other disinformation campaigns designed to undermine Turkish trust in Erdogan.
In regards to the RT video above, they themselves inadvertently play into the ''demonizing Erdogan'' propaganda and to do so notice they use sat images from Stratfor, a notorious disinformation agency backed by the CIA and other globalist entities.
The removal of Erdogan, like the removal of Assad, will user in a new age in that area of the world. The creation of a Greater Kurdistan, like the creation of Saudi Arabia, Kosovo or South Sudan, will bring with it great riches for those kinds of complicit, corrupt leaders who ''tr[y] their best to advance America's aims''
That is not by any stroke of imagination a controversial statement. It is proven time and time again by history.
What is interesting is how Mr. Toner has decidedly come forward with the administration's new propaganda in order to advance that agenda. They couldn't have made their plans more obvious with that one statement had they tried.
Barack Obama intends to spend the latter part of his duplicitous rule waging an all out war of aggression in pursuit of the creation of a new, complicit nation-state: Greater Kurdistan.
And that ladies and gentlemen is the root of all evil in Syria. Make no mistake about it.
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Filed under: Afghanistan, al Sisi Dictatorship, CIA are the Real Terrorists, destabilization Campaign Syria, Egypt's Color Revolution, Egyptian Coup, Fake Libyan Revolution, Fake Syrian Revolution, Fuck Obama, General Military Council for Iraqi Revolutionaries, Global Free Market Wars, Globalization, Kurdistan, Lying Warmongers, Neoliberalizing Syria, Obama', Porky Poroshenko, Protests in Turkey, Scott Creighton, The ISIS Crisis
VIDEO-Search for MH370 wreckage intensifies at Reunion Island | euronews, world news
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 14:24
France is extending the search for debris along the coast of its remote island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean after a piece of wing was found there which Malaysia said came from missing Flight MH370.
While French authorities were not as emphatic, they are devoting additional planes, helicopters, and patrol boats to the area.
The Boeing 777 disappeared on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
The majority of passengers were Chinese and there were scuffles on Friday as a group of frustrated relatives staged a protest near the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing.
''Malaysia said it was sure that this debris belongs to MH370 but France did not say it was certain,'' said Cheng Liping, the wife of a passenger.
''We want the Malaysian government to give us an explanation for this.''
''I want the truth'...to know what on earth happened to MH370,'' said the mother of another passenger.
''I want the government to give us something reliable'...to convince us because it has been more than 500 days''
The discovery of the piece of wing, known as a flaperon, on a Reunion beach was the first piece of direct evidence that the plane had crashed into the sea.
But distraught family members in China have accused Malaysia of withholding information.
Some refuse to believe that their relatives are dead.
Mixed reports about the discovery of more debris on Thursday have only added to the despair and anger of Chinese families '' some of whom now want to go to Reunion to see for themselves.
Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said he understood relatives wanted to know what had happened to their loved ones.
''They're anxious, and we're also looking for answers,'' Liow told Reuters.
Reunion is about 3,700 kilometres west of the primary search area off the southwest coast of Australia.
Investigators believe that someone may have deliberately switched off the aircraft's transponder, diverted it off course over the Indian Ocean and deliberately crashed the plane into the sea.
VIDEO-Tourettes Karaoke Plain white t's 'hey there delilah' - YouTube
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 20:33

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