Military Auxiliary Radio System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 15:59
Military Auxiliary Radio SystemAbbreviationMARSMotto"Proud, Professional, and Ready"FormationNovember 1925PurposeTo provide contingency communications support for the United States Department of Defense and Military ServicesRegion served
WorldwideThe Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) is a United States Department of Defense sponsored program, established as a separately managed and operated program by the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force. The program is a civilian auxiliary consisting primarily of licensed amateur radio operators who are interested in assisting the military with communications on a local, national, and international basis as an adjunct to normal communications. The MARS programs also include active duty, reserve, and National Guard units; Navy, Marine Corps, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ships, and Coast Guardcutters and shore stations.
MARS has a long history of providing worldwide auxiliary emergency communications during times of need. The combined three-service MARS programs (Army, Air Force, and Navy''Marine Corps) volunteer force of over 5,000 dedicated and skilled amateur radio operators provide the backbone of the MARS program. The main benefit of MARS membership is enjoying the amateur radio hobby through an ever-expanding horizon of MARS service to the nation. MARS members work by the slogan "Proudly serving those who serve".
HistoryThe organization that led to the Military Auxiliary Radio System was called the Auxiliary Amateur Radio System (AARS). AARS was created in November 1925 by a few dedicated pioneers in the United States ArmySignal Corps led by Captain Thomas C. Rives. His original intent was to enlist the talents of volunteer amateur radio operators who could train soldiers in the then-new technology of radio, as well as pursuing radio research and development to improve radio equipment within the Army. This support would be particularly useful during the mobilization of forces by providing a pool of trained radio operators. Their efforts were successful, and the present-day MARS program is the direct descendant of the work of those early pioneers.
Between 1925 and 1941, the AARS continued to operate and functioned more or less as an extracurricular activity for members of the Army Signal Corps, with its scope limited by budget cuts during the Great Depression. The AARS organization continued to operate until the United States entry into World War II on 7 December 1941, at which time radio amateurs were denied the use of the airwaves, and the amateur service and the Army Amateur Radio System were deactivated. Following WWII, the US Army recognized the importance of reactivating the AARS to train vitally needed communications personnel at a relatively low direct cost to the government, and in 1946 the AARS was reactivated.
The AARS functioned as such until the creation of the Military Affiliate Radio System in November 1948 with the establishment of separate Army and Air Force MARS programs, reflecting the creation of the Air Force as a separate service. The program's name was changed to the Military Affiliate Radio System on 2 September 1952, in recognition of the organization's changing nature with the growing number of civilian volunteer members. Eventually, the Navy-Marine Corps MARS program was established officially on 17 August 1962, and began operations on 1 January 1963. This followed the Cuban Missile Crisis and PresidentKennedy's concern for viable and extended communications capabilities.
During the Korean War, Vietnam War and Gulf War, MARS was most known for its handling of "Marsgram" written messages and providing "phone patches" to allow overseas servicemen to contact their families at home.
The program's name was changed again to the current Military Auxiliary Radio System on 23 December 2009.
MARS continues to be active today. Its primary mission is to provide contingency communications to the Department of Defense and Military Services. MARS is also available to provide communications for Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) such as FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. Under DSCA, MARS may also available to assist state and local emergency response agencies.
On a day-to-day basis MARS members are available to handle messages to and from service men and women: active duty, reserve, guard, or retired and certain employees of the federal government who are stationed outside the US.
MissionsMilitary Auxiliary Radio System provides Department of Defense sponsored emergency communications on a local, national, and international basis. MARS also provides auxiliary communications for military entities only. One major mission that MARS has had for many years is to handle morale, welfare, and official record and voice communications traffic for Armed Forces and authorized U.S. Governmentcivilian personnel stationed throughout the world. MARS establishes programs to create civilian interest, recruit qualified volunteers, and furnish training in military communications, techniques, and procedures.
Every year, MARS conducts an appropriate military and amateur radio cross-band exercise as an integral part of the annual Armed Forces Day. They provide a reserve of personnel trained in military radio communications, techniques, and procedures as well as to initiate efforts to improve radio-operating techniques. MARS members test state-of-the-art technology through experimentation and testing.
Armed Forces Day Crossband TestMARS celebrates Armed Forces Day annually with a traditional military to amateur crossband communications test and a message-receiving test. These tests give amateur radio operators and shortwave listeners an opportunity to demonstrate their individual technical skills and receive recognition from the Secretary of Defense or the appropriate military radio station for their proven expertise. A QSL card is provided to those making contact with one of the military stations. Special commemorative certificates are awarded to anyone who receives and accurately copies the digital Armed Forces Day message from the Secretary of Defense.
Participating military stations transmit on selected military MARS frequencies and listen for amateur radio stations in the amateur bands. The military station operator will announce the specific amateur-band frequency being monitored. Usually, the military MARS stations are at places such as The Pentagon,Fort Huachuca, Andrews Air Force Base, Nellis Air Force Base, and various Navy and Coast Guard locations.
MARS TodayThe Military Auxiliary Radio System is still active today. Morale and welfare messages are no longer the largest activity in MARS due to the increased use of the Internet and e-mail by deployed military personnel. MARS had an increased role in providing interoperability communications between Army National Guard and Air National Guard forces and civilian state agencies. However, this service providing interoperability communications was terminated as of May 2015 based on a decision by USAF and ARMY MARS. MARS also provides testing of Military Standard communication modes for use by MARS members.
MARS participates in exercises such as Grecian Firebolt to help support military communications. MARS members from all around the world played a role in Grecian Firebolt 2005 by sending exercise Essential Elements of Information (EEI) reports through the MARS radio network. The EEI's consisted of scenario disaster information. When the EEI's were received, they were sorted and sent to Army Military Intelligence centers. MARS played a large part in reporting up-to-date information on disasters and requesting military assistance using a dispersed and redundant radio network.
MARS also supports government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and participates in programs such as the Department of Homeland Security Office of Emergency Communications SHAred RESources (SHARES).
The traditional land or sea based MARS Radio Phone Patch is largely a thing of the past because land and sea based MARS stations have been dismantled in favor of Satellite Phones. However, modern military aircraft are still equipped with HF radios, and many military aircrews still use MARS Phone Patches as a backup or substitute to Satellite Communications. The USAF MARS Phone Patch Net provides 24/7 HF Radio Phone Patch service to all branches of United States military aircraft worldwide.
A dispatch issued in May 2009 announced the shutdown of the Navy and Marine Corps MARS program by September 30, 2009.
Department of Defense Instruction 4650.02, dated 23 December 2009 changed the status of MARS from an affiliate to an auxiliary (equal in status to the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Civil Air Patrol). This change in status saved the Navy-Marine Corps MARS program from being shut down and put it back in line with the Emergency Communications mission of its sister services (Army and Air Force MARS).
CustomersTermination of Navy MARS operationsEffective 30 September 2015, Navy MARS will no longer operate. The US Navy, after completing a study, found that NAVY MARS provided no useful purpose to their missions. The following message was released describing the decommissioning of Navy MARS:
DE NNNASA 1R 1223Z MAY 215FM CHNAVMARCORMARS WILLIAMSBURG VATO ALNAVMARCORMARSINFO ZEN/CHIEF ARMY MARS FT HUACHUCA AZZEN/CHIEF AIR FORCE MARS SCOTT AFB ILBTUNCLASSUBJ/TRANSITION OF NAVY MARINE CORPS MARS (MILITARY AUXILIARY RADIOSYSTEM PROGRAM//REF/A/PHONECON/NCTAMS LANT/NAVIDFOR/FCC-C1F/STRATCOM/8 MAY 215//REF/B/DODI 465.2/MILITARY AUXILIARY RADIO SYSTEM (MARS)//REF/C/DODD 325.18/DEFENSE SUPPORT OF CIVIL AUTHORITIES//RMKS/1. IAW REF A, NAVAL COMPUTER AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS AREA MASTERSTATION ATLANTIC (NCTAMS LANT) INTENDS TO WORK WITH U.S. ARMY MARSAND U.S. AIR FORCE MARS IN TRANSITIONING THE NAVY MARINE CORPS MARS(NAVMARCORMARS) PROGRAM BY 3 SEP 215. THE INTENT OF THE TRANSITIONIS TO BEST ALIGN THE PROGRAM TO SUPPORT NATIONAL MISSIONREQUIREMENTS.2. EVALUATION OF THE NAVMARCORMARS PROGRAM BY FLEET CYBER COMMAND(FCC)/COMMANDER 1TH FLEET (C1F), NAVAL INFORMATION DOMINATIONFORCES (NAVIDFOR), AND NCTAMS LANT DETERMINED THAT THERE ARE NO U.S.NAVY SERVICE UNIQUE REQUIREMENTS.3. NCTAMS LANT WILL WORK WITH OTHER U.S. NAVY, U.S. ARMY, U.S. AIRFORCE, U.S. STRATEGIC COMMAND, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITYREPRESENTATIVES, AND NAVMARCORMARS VOLUNTEERS TO DEVELOP A TRANSITIONPLAN FOR NAVMARCORMARS MEMBERS WHICH MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF REF BAND REF C.4. CURRENT NAVMARCORMARS INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS AND CLUBS ARE ENCOURAGEDTO BEGIN SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS TO U.S. ARMY MARS OR U.S. AIRFORCE MARS PROGRAMS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. U.S. ARMY MARS MEMBERSHIPCAN BE REQUESTED ATHTTP://WWW.USARMYMARS.ORG/RESOURCES/APPLICATIONS-AND-FORMS AND U.S.AIR FORCE MARS MEMBERSHIPS INFORMATION CAN BE REQUESTED VIA E-MAIL TO38CYRS.SCM.MARS@US.AF.MIL.5. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE WILL ALSO BE PROVIDED SEPCOR FOR MARS STATIONSUNDER MILITARY AUSPICES, AGENCY STATIONS, AND INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS WHOALSO PARTICIPATE IN THE DHS SHARED RESOURCES (SHARES) HF RADIOPROGRAM.6. AT A MINIMUM, FUTURE NOTICES WILL BE PROVIDED VIA CHIEF,NAVMARCORMARS MESSAGE. OTHER MEDIA WILL BE IDENTIFIED AS PART OF THETRANSITION COMMUNICATIONS PLAN.7. THE U.S. NAVY GREATLY APPRECIATES THE THOUSANDS OF MARSVOLUNTEERS, PAST AND PRESENT, WHO HAVE BEEN INTEGRAL TO THE SUCCESSOF MARS. NCTAMS LANT WILL KEEP YOU INFORMED OF TRANSITION EFFORTS ANDREQUESTS YOUR ASSISTANCE TO HELP START THIS NEW CHAPTER IN MARSOPERATIONS.8. NCTAMS LANT POC: BO LINDFORS, COMM 757-443-955, DSN 312-646-955,BO.LINDFORS@NAVY.MIL AND CHRIS JENSEN, COMM: 757-443-963, DSN:312-646-963, CHRISTOPHER.J.JENSE1@NAVY.MIL.9. FCC/C1F POC: MICHAEL KEGLEY, COMM: 31-688-2387,MICHAEL.KEGLEY@NAVY.MIL.1. U.S. ARMY MARS POC: PAUL ENGLISH, COMM: 254-947-3141,PAUL.A.ENGLISH.CIV@MAIL.MIL.11. U.S. AIR FORCE MARS POC: DAVID STAPCHUK, COMM: 618-229-5964,DAVID.STAPCHUK.2@US.AF.MIL.12. INTERNET RELEASE IS AUTHORIZED.//BTNNNN^R.D. Straw, N6BV, ed. (2006). The ARRL handbook for radio communications (38 ed.). Newington, CT: ARRL. p. 2.5. ISBN 0-87259-948-5. ^k4af.org^Richard Fisher, KI6SN (August 2009). "Sunset for Navy MARS? Specter of shutting down mission raises questions, speculation". CQ Amateur Radio65 (8): 46. ISSN 0007-893X. ^NavyMARS.org websiteSee alsoReferencesExternal links
MOLD CHEMTRAILS-You are now Breathing Ethylene Dibromide, Virally Mutated Molds, Nano-Particulates of Aluminum and Barium, and Polymer Fibers with Unidentified Bio-Active Material >> You are now Breathing Ethylene Dibromide, Virally Mutated Molds, Nano-Pa
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 15:54
This image showing a relatively pristine earth was taken during the Apollo Missions between 1969 and 1972. The earth floats like a beautiful blue and white jewel in space with no haze or luminosity covering it.
THE EARTH BEFORE THE ERA OF CHEMTRAILS
Compare it with the next few images of earth taken during the era of chemtrails. Shocking isn't it?
BLOOD TESTING REVEALS BARIUM 150 TIMES HIGHER THAN SAFE
Do you have toxic levels of Barium and Aluminum in your blood? A number of people living in Arizona have discovered that they have blood levels of Aluminum or Barium 150 times higher than the amount considered safe. Many are experiencing the classic symptoms of Barium poisoning. Barium damages the immune system, causes dose-related muscle weakness up to total paralysis including the heart & lung muscles.
Arizona, like the rest of the country has experienced heavy chemtrailing since 1997. So there is good reason to suspect there may be widespread problem with toxic levels of Barium & aluminum in the U.S. population,
LIFE EXPECTANCY DROPS TO 69.3 YEARS IN THE USA
HOW MUCH IS 8 YEARS OF YOUR LIFE WORTH?In 2003 life expectancy in the USA was 77.6 years. The drop to 69.3 years since 2003, a drop of over 8 years in less than 6 years, is startling information. This period of time just happens to coincide with a time when there has been non-stop spraying of chemtrails coast to coast on an almost daily basis. There is plenty of scientific research proving that any increase in airborne particulates causes a corresponding increase in the death rate of the exposed population so imo the chemtrails are a glaringly obvious factor in this significant drop in expected life span.
WIDESPREAD CHEMTRAIL SICKNESS IN IDAHO; SEDATIVES FOUND IN CHEMTRAILS
THE IDAHO OBSERVER
According to a report published 8/28/06 in The Idaho Observer recent lab reports found the following in samples of chemtrail fall-out:bacteria including anthrax and pneumonia, 9 chemicals including acetylcholine chloride, 26 heavy metals including arsenic, lead, barium, mercury and uranium, 4 molds and fungi, 7 viruses, 2 cancers, 2 vaccines and 2 sedatives.
PATIENTS HIGHLY CONTAMINATED, DOC BLAMES CHEMTRAILS
An Arizona Doctor speaks out after finding high levels of Barium contamination in his patients:
'''... patients are coming in with frequent headaches, sinus congestion, asthma and ear infections'... I attribute this to the chemicals which our government is spraying in OUR air!'... the ''hair analysis'' labs which I run on some of my patients are all indicating HIGH levels of Barium. My own hair analysis indicated high Barium levels'... high levels of barium in our hair means either barium is being stored from digestion or the hair is being contaminated by an outside source[barium from chemtrails]. I am quite concerned with this violation of our environment by a government that denies it is occurring'... One only has to step outside and look up at the sky to see our tax dollars at work''
CHEMTRAIL POLYMERS LINKED TO MORGELLONS?
Chemtrail aerosol fibers enlarged 60X above
''Polymer chemist Dr. R. Michael Castle has studied atmospheric polymers for years. He has found that some of them contain bioactive materials, which can cause ''serious skin lesions and diseases when absorbed into the skin.'' He has identified microscopic polymers comprised of genetically-engineered fungal forms mutated with viruses. He says that trillions of fusarium (fungus)/virus mutated spores), which secrete a powerful mico-toxin, are part of the air we breathe.''
MORGELLONS/NANO-TECHNOLOGY DISEASE IN HUMANS NIGHTMARE NANO-TECH INFECTION
Jan Smith has been suffering from Morgellons/Nanotechnology disease for over 10 years now. Her impressive research and
documentation has put her in the forefront of those working to unravel the mysteries of this horrifying new disease. The research and documentation presented at the link below is a must read. Please pass this information on to your doctors, congressional representatives and the media.
Before It's News
Study concludes Antarctica is gaining ice, rather than losing it | Ars Technica
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 15:52
Extracting information from the ice-covered continent of Antarctica isn't easy. You have to go a long way just to ask, and the region isn't exactly known for its hospitality. And yet, the answers we seek are important ones'--if any significant portion of the ice sheets melt as the climate warms, the sea will advance on coastal areas around the world.
Antarctica's coastal outlet glaciers are on the front lines of climate change, and so may get visits from curious scientists. But the expanse of the continental interior is even tougher to study. Satellites are absolutely indispensable for efforts to quantify the big picture answers there, like how much Antarctica's icy burden is changing.
A number of satellite techniques are being tried, from precise measurements of the surface elevation of the ice using radar or lasers, to sensitive measurements of Earth's gravitational pull to detect mass changes, to simple input-output models based on snowfall data and tracking the velocity of the ice that flows into the ocean.
Different techniques, along with refinements of analyses over time, have produced a range of estimates of Antarctic mass change. While there's no question that many key outlet glaciers, which drain the ice sheet, are shrinking, there are other factors to consider. Is a warming ocean and atmosphere bringing more snow inland to replenish the ice sheets? Is the interior of the ice sheet deflating like a squeezed tube of toothpaste, complicating analysis of changing outlet glaciers?
Putting it all together, published estimates of total mass change have ranged from slight gains to large losses, all with pretty significant error bars.
A new study published in the Journal of Glaciology by a team led by NASA researcher Jay Zwally produces a surprising and controversial new estimate of large mass gains. Zwally's team has been working on satellite measurements of ice height for some time, but this estimate is significantly different from even their own previous work.
The height of the iceThe new paper is dense because these analyses are extremely complicated. The starting point is the ice height data collected by the European Remote-Sensing Satellite between 1992 and 2001, and by NASA's ICESat between 2003 and 2008.
Turning that data into estimates of ice mass change involves many steps. The measurements have to be carefully calibrated, with any change in each satellite's orbit over time precisely accounted for. A host of other calculations have to be made, including small surface elevation changes due to the compaction of the slowly buried snow (which requires snowfall data) and the rising of the bedrock beneath the ice sheet, which is still rebounding from the much larger weight of ice it bore during the last ice age. The measurements of the earlier satellite even have to be corrected for the depth the radar signal penetrates into the snow, which varies.
The researchers have put a lot of work into these calculations, and the end result is an estimated Antarctic ice mass gain of 112 ± 61 gigatons per year between 1992 and 2001, and 82 ± 25 gigatons per year between 2003 and 2008. (Although some regional changes between the two time periods are statistically significant, the researchers note that the two ranges overlap.) For comparison, a major 2012 study estimated a loss of 71 ± 53 gigatons per year between 1992 and 2011.
Rather than contributing to rising sea levels, the new study estimates that Antarctica is counteracting sea level rise by roughly 0.2 millimeters per year.
The researchers explain their result in terms of inland snowfall. Since the warmth arrived at the end of the last ice age, snowfall has been greater. Because the frigid inland ice flows so slowly, it still has not reached equilibrium with this new surplus, and is thickening as a result. Accelerating ice loss in West Antarctica shows up in their estimates just as it does in others, but it is overshadowed by this inland thickening.
To be clear, the researchers are not making the claim that climate change is somehow not a problem, or that sea levels aren't rising. But they do see this thickening as a ''buffer'' against mass loss. If outlet glaciers continue their accelerating shrinkage, and no increase in snowfall counteracts it, they say Antarctica would start contributing to sea level rise in about 20 years. If snowfall increases further, it would take longer.
ImprecisionThe paper is attracting a lot of criticism from other scientists, however. Eric Rignot, who has worked on similar Antarctic studies, has been fielding a lot of questions about this one and shared his comments with Ars. ''I am afraid I have some rather harsh words about it,'' he wrote. Rignot said the data just aren't precise enough to support the paper's conclusions.
''Zwally's group is the only one pushing its interpretation beyond the realm of the inherent uncertainty of the data. Accumulation of snow in East Antarctica is 10 centimeters water equivalent per year. To detect changes in accumulation of 136 gigatons (with no error bar), or 10 percent, Zwally et al. needs to detect changes of the order of 1 centimeter. Current technology such as ICESat cannot detect any change smaller than 20 centimeters. Radar altimetry (used for the earlier period) is closer to 40-50 centimeter noise, but nobody really knows. There is no way to detect changes in East Antarctic accumulation at the 10 percent level, not even 50 percent level, with those kinds of error bars,'' Rignot wrote.
He continued, ''The Zwally group's findings are at odds with all other independent methods: re-analysis, gravity measurements, mass budget method, and other groups using the same data.''
Andrew Shepherd, another researcher who has used satellite data to study Antarctica's ice, shared similar impressions with Ars. "Zwally and his team have tried to account for snowfall, which masks changes in the thickness of the polar ice sheets,'' Shepherd wrote. ''It's right to attempt this, but in places where nothing much happens'--like the interior of Antarctica, which is a vast a desert'--it's really quite difficult to be sure that snowfall can be simulated with enough precision to detect ice imbalance."
Shepherd sounded confident that the differences among the estimates won't last for long. "Fortunately we now have many different ways to examine Earth's ice sheets'--from space and on foot," he said, "and I'm confident that we can get to the bottom of this contradiction by taking everything into account."
Since there are a lot of important variables in the calculations'--Antarctica's rebounding bedrock is a particularly significant one'--there are lots of things for scientists to argue about. In fact, Zwally and his co-authors argue that their preferred values for some of those variables can bring other analyses closer to their new numbers. Future research should hopefully provide some clarity as to whether this study is more than a quirky outlier. For now, it is certainly true that it's an outlier.
Journal of Glaciology, 2015. DOI: 10.3189/2015JoG15J071 (About DOIs).
Russian plane crash: What will Putin do if Isis bomb brought down jet? | Middle East | News | The Independent
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 15:15
If a bomb on board planted by Isis or the Egyptian affiliate of the militant group did bring down the Russian airliner in the Sinai Peninsula last week, it would be very bad news for President Vladimir Putin, in both domestic and foreign policy terms.
Thus far US officials are stressing that it has not come to a firm conclusion that a bomb was responsible. But the fact that US intelligence '' as well as its British counterpart '' has let it be known it believes that is the most likely explanation is telling in itself.
The crash, in which 224 people died, came barely a month after Moscow began its direct military intervention in Syria. At the time Mr Putin said that Isis was a direct threat to Russia, but acknowledged that retaliation from Islamic extremists was possible. Now, it appears, that fear may have become reality.
Russian jets launched intense air strikes on Hama and Idlib
Until yesterday, the tightly controlled Russian media was non-committal about the cause of the disaster. Last night, however, a St Petersburg newspaper was said to be reporting that traces of explosive had been found on the bodies of some victim.
First shots of the crashed Russian plane in Sinai
Confirmation that a bomb '' in all likelihood in retaliation for Moscow's air strikes against Isis targets in Syria - did bring down the aircraft would for ordinary Russians transform the chaos in the Middle East from a distant headline into a painful immediate reality.
This in turn may damage Mr Putin domestically. For almost two years, the Russian leader has been hugely popular, riding a wave of nationalism fueled by his assertive actions in Ukraine, and now Syria. But proof that the plane was destroyed by a bomb might dent this aura.
Mr Putin could well therefore feel obliged to hit back even harder against Isis in Syria, and closer to home as well.
Some of the group's recruits have come from the Islamic republics regions in southern Russia '' most notably Chechnya where separatist and jihadist groups, some linked to Isis, still operate, despite a sustained crackdown by Moscow in the wake of the Chechen wars of the 1990s.
Verplicht legitimeren bij informatieavond over noodopvang - RTV Noord
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 15:13
04 november 2015, 16:05 uur
Stadjer springt uit vliegtuig en komt met Australisch record naar huisStadjer Henk Lunshof heeft samen met 43 andere parachutisten het Australisch skydive-record verbroken. Hij kwam dinsdag terug uit Australi, waar de waaghalzen een gooi naar het record deden.
04 november 2015, 09:57 uur
Leekster handelt faillissement niet goed af en zit in celIn Leek is woensdag een 27-jarige man opgepakt omdat hij wordt verdacht van faillissementsfraude. Zijn bedrijf ging in 2013 failliet, maar hij zou het faillissement niet volgens de regels hebben afgehandeld.
04 november 2015, 06:27 uur
Pandeigenaar in Groningse rosse buurt wil miljoenen van gemeenteRaamexploitant en pandjesbaas Mario Music eist een schadevergoeding van vier miljoen euro van de gemeente Groningen. Aanleiding is het sluiten van de rosse buurt in het Groningse A-kwartier met ingang van 1 januari 2016.
04 november 2015, 13:52 uur
Ook energiepremie voor Groningers buiten aardbevingsgebiedDe tijdelijke compensatieregeling voor waardevermeerdering van woningen moet voor heel Groningen gelden. Dat zei Nationaal Co¶rdinator Groningen Hans Alders woensdagmiddag tijdens de presentatie van zijn plan van aanpak.
03 november 2015, 21:14 uur
Slachtoffer aardbevingsschade Zijldijk dagvaardt Staat der NederlandenEen inwoner van Zijldijk eist in een kort geding dat de gaswinning in Groningen onmiddellijk wordt gestaakt.
04 november 2015, 12:18 uur
Liveblog: presentatie meerjarenplan van Hans Alders (gesloten)Op welke manier worden de woningen hersteld en versterkt in het bevingsgebied van Groningen? Dat is een van de belangrijkste punten in het eerste meerjarenprogramma, dat de Nationaal Co¶rdinator Groningen, Hans Alders, woensdag vanaf 12.30 uur presenteert.
03 november 2015, 23:09 uur
Winschoter winkeliers willen nu weer g(C)(C)n WereldbazarWinschoter winkeliersvereniging Handel & Nijverheid heeft dinsdag opnieuw bezwaar gemaakt tegen de komst van de Wereldbazar.
03 november 2015, 23:54 uur
RUG-docente promoveert op de sexappeal van de WehrmachtsoldaatHistorica en RUG-docente Laura Fahnenbruck onderzocht acht jaar de alledaagse seksualiteit van de Wehrmacht-soldaat in de bezettingsjaren. En daarmee ook die van de Nederlandse vrouw in oorlogstijd.
03 november 2015, 20:00 uur
Groningse 'Bar Babe' komt op horecakalender te staanDe Groningse barkeepster Pamela Koert komt op de Misset-jaarkalender van 2016 te staan. Ze is gekozen als leukste barkeepster van de provincie Groningen en komt samen met elf andere dames op de kalender te staan.
04 november 2015, 16:27 uur
Inwoners gemeente Groningen bellen CVW platHet Centrum Veilig Wonen wordt overspoeld met telefoontjes van mensen uit de gemeente Groningen. Hun vraag: 'Hoe kom ik in aanmerking voor de waardevermeerdingsregeling?'
Nieuwe tegenvaller VW van '¬2 miljard|Nieuws| Telegraaf.nl
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 14:58
Volkswagen heeft een nieuwe miljardenfout gemeld. Dit keer gaat het om onregelmatigheden in de meetapparatuur van CO2-niveaus in mogelijk honderdduizenden (benzine-)auto's. Nabeurs zakte VW dinsdagavond bijna 6% weg.
Dit nieuwe probleem betreft niet alleen de diesel- maar ook de benzineauto's van Volkswagen.
Nog eens 800.000 auto's van de VW-merken zouden daardoor naar de garage moeten. Dat meldt het concern in een verklaring dinsdagavond.
Miljarden afgewaardeerdVoor deze fouten heeft het concern alvast '¬2 miljard aan mogelijke afwaarderingen gereserveerd. Het is de volgende tegenvaller in een lange rij sinds de affaire met sjoemelsoftware met zijn dieselauto's naar buiten kwam.
Topman Matthias M¼ller meldde dinsdagavond dat het concern de problemen binnen het bedrijf tot op de bodem uitzoekt. Hij beloofde daarbij volledige openheid van zaken te geven.
De Amerikaanse toezichthouder EPA beschuldigde VW gisteren nog van het manipuleren van de software voor de allerzwaarste dieselauto's. Iets dat VW heeft ontkend, maar onderzoek loopt nog.
Miljoenen auto'sEPA bracht eerder na metingen het gerommel door VW met software aan het licht waarmee de autoreus de CO2-uitstoot ogenschijnlijk laag houdt.
Zo kwamen elf miljoen auto's door emissietests. Dat ging om de categorie met twee liter dieselmotoren, volgens EPA gaat het nu ook om dieselmotoren met een capaciteit van drie liter met sjoemelsoftware.
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Merkel uses VW exhaust scandal as an argument for TTIP
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 14:55
Google TranslateHTTP/1.1 200 OK Date: Thu, 05 Nov 2015 14:55:03 GMT Expires: Fri, 01 Jan 1990 00:00:00 GMT Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate X-Frame-Options: DENY Pragma: no-cache Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 Content-Language: en X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff Content-Encoding: gzip Server: HTTP server (unknown) X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block Alternate-Protocol: 443:quic,p=1 Alt-Svc: quic=":443"; p="1"; ma=604800 Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Soros Admits Involvement In Migrant Crisis: 'National Borders Are The Obstacle'
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 14:51
Last week, Mr Orban accused Mr Soros '' who was born in Hungary '' of deliberately encouraging the migrant crisis.
''This invasion is driven, on the one hand, by people smugglers, and on the other by those (human rights) activists who support everything that weakens the nation-state,'' Mr Orban said.
''This Western mindset and this activist network is perhaps best represented by George Soros.''
Mr Soros has now issued an email statement to Bloomberg Business, claiming his foundations help ''uphold European values'', while Mr Oban's actions in strengthening the Hungarian border and stopping a huge migrant influx ''undermine those values.''
''His plan treats the protection of national borders as the objective and the refugees as an obstacle,'' Mr Soros added. ''Our plan treats the protection of refugees as the objective and national borders as the obstacle.''
Last month, Mr Orban accused pro-immigration non-governmental organisations (NGOs) of ''drawing a living from the immigration crisis,'' singling out those funded by Mr Soros.
George Soros is a firm backer of transnational bodies such as the European Union, and his Open Society Foundation (OSF) provides assistance for pro-migration activists. He is well-known for his support for ''progressive'' causes such as the Centre for American Progress, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
The OSF website explains: ''We believe that migration and asylum policy should be grounded in economic and demographic realities, not driven by temporary political considerations or popular misconceptions.
''In Europe, many of our civil society partners are raising their voices demanding a common European approach in line with international human rights commitments.''
Mr Orban said in an interview last month that immigration and multiculturalism are endangering Europe's ''Christian roots'' and creating ''parallel societies''.
Europeans, he said, should ''stick to our Christian values'' and ''Europe can be saved,'' but only if they ''take seriously the traditions, the Christian roots and all the values that are the basis of the civilisation of Europe.''
Follow Nick Hallett on Twitter:or e-mail to: email@example.com
Twelve Syria hospitals hit by airstrikes as Russian jets bombard country - Telegraph
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 14:48
Almost 600 people are believed to have been killed in Russia's daily airstrikes.
Forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, have destroyed or damaged hundreds of medical facilities during the country's four year war. A US-led coalition targeting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) is also accused of bombing at least five hospitals in Syria during its year-long campaign.
Refugee agencies said this week that they had recorded a sharp rise in the number of people displaced as a result of fresh government offensives across multiple fronts.
The UN estimates that more than 120,000 people are on the move in the provinces of Aleppo, Hama and Idlib. Some have sought refuge in fields and nearby villages while more than 1,700 families have arrived at the Atmeh refugee camp, joining more than 110,000 people seeking refuge there as winter approaches.
''They need safety. They need security. They need to stop living from one moment to the next, wondering when the next bomb will fall,'' said Mr Groulx.
Mr Assad and his Russian counterpart, Vladmir Putin, have depicted the bombing campaign as a strike against terrorism, a label both apply to all opponents for the Syrian regime. Experts say the airstrikes are furthering a regime strategy of sowing fear and exhaustion among civilians living in opposition-held territory.
''By terrorising civilians and destroying rebel groups' attempts at local governance, Russian military assistance is helping Assad present his government as the only viable ruling force in Syria,'' wrote Jos(C) Ciro Martnez and Brent Eng, experts based in Cambridge and Amman respectively, in analysis published earlier this week.
US officials believe that Russian transport aircraft are now being used to ferry weapons from Iran to Syria. Although Iran and Russia are longstanding suppliers of armaments to Syria's regime, the use of Russian transport aircraft, if true, would show a new level of cooperation between them.
it would also place Russia in breach of UN Resolution 1747, passed in 2007, which bans Iran from transferring "any arms or related materiel" to any other country "using its flag vessels or aircraft".
Representatives from more than a dozen world powers were headed to Vienna on Thursday for fresh talks aimed at bringing Syria's bitter war to an end. Among the attendees are the US, Saudi Arabia and, for the first time, Iran.
The dispute between al-Qaeda and the Islamic State has devolved to name-calling - The Washington Post
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 14:13
In a new 26-minute-long video statement, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said the Islamic caliphate declared by the Islamic State was illegitimate, dismissively referring to that militant organization as "Baghdadi's' group," a reference to its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The statement, which was shared on al-Qaeda's Twitter and Telegram accounts on Sunday, was read in Arabic by Khalid Batarfi, an AQAP official, with English subtitles added to the video. It is only the second time that AQAP and AQIM '-- al-Qaeda's affiliates in Yemen and North Africa, respectively '-- have released a joint statement, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which described the tone of the message as "scathing."
The new statement appears intended to rebuke the Islamic State for a recent speech by its spokesman Abu Muhammad al'Adnani, who had warned that Sunni Muslims who fought against the Islamic State needed to pledge allegiance to the group or face death. In their statement, AQAP and AQIM accused the Islamic State of "deviation and misguidance" for aiming their fight against fellow Muslims when they should be fighting Jews and Christians.
"The manhaj [method] of destruction, sowing and stirring dissension and corruptions, confusing efforts, making takfir [branding as an infidel] upon those who disagree with them, then this is a manhaj of a feeble and failure [person] who has no perfection except ruin," Batarfi says in the video.
Bartafi added that any pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State was null anyway, because the caliphate declared by Baghdadi was formed through force and violence rather than consultation and mutual consent.
The AQAP-AQIM statement is the latest message highlighting the disagreement between the two groups. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda, had warned against discontent within the Sunni Muslim world and called for unity in a recent series of messages. These statements, dubbed the "Islamic Spring" series, appeared to leave open the possibility of al-Qaeda working with the Islamic State, while still maintaining that the Islamic State's caliphate was invalid.
However, the speech by the Islamic State's Adnani had seemed to disdain Zawahiri's message, warning Muslims opposed to the group that they were being "tricked by the fatwas of the donkeys and mules of knowledge." The AQAP-AQIM message, in turn, said abuse and insult were "a stratagem of the weak and an approach of the ignorant."
The Islamic State was once linked to al-Qaeda, with its roots in a precursor organization called al-Qaeda in Iraq. However, in February 2014, al-Qaeda formally dissociated itself with the Islamic State. Experts have suggested that al-Qaeda's increasingly hostile stance toward the Islamic State is not only an acknowledgement of theological and strategic differences, but also indicative of a growing anxiety as the Islamic State expands to areas such as Afghanistan and Yemen.
In an e-mail to WorldViews, Pieter van Ostaeyen, a historian and blogger who follows jihadist movements, suggested that despite the apparent animosity toward the Islamic State in recent al-Qaeda statements, the "underlying message is an attempt to discourage Mujahideen to join IS."
On Monday, a new statement from Zawahiri emphasized that "hostilities" between Muslim groups needed to end for the greater good of their cause.
More on WorldViews
'Daesh': John Kerry starts calling the Islamic State a name they hate
Adam Taylor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. Originally from London, he studied at the University of Manchester and Columbia University.
Climate Change Kills the Mood: Economists Warn of Less Sex on a Warmer Planet - Bloomberg Business
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 14:12
Climate change has been blamed for many things over the years. Never, until now, has anyone thought it was possible to see it as a kind of contraceptive.
Hot weather leads to diminished ''coital frequency," according to a new working paper put out by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Three economists studied 80 years of U.S. fertility and temperature data and found that when it's hotter than 80 degrees F, a large decline in births follows within 10 months. Would-be parents tend not to make up for lost time in subsequent, cooler months.
An extra "hot day" (the economists use quotation marks with the phrase) leads to a 0.4 percent drop in birth rates nine months later, or 1,165 fewer deliveries across the U.S. A rebound in subsequent months makes up just 32 percent of the gap.
The researchers, who hail from Tulane University, the University of California-Santa Barbara, and the University of Central Florida, believe that their findings give policymakers three major things to think about.
1. Birth rates do not bounce back completely after heat waves.That's a problem. As summers heat up, developed countries may see already low birth rates sink even lower. Plunging birth rates can play havoc with an economy. China's leaders recently acknowledged this by ditching the longtime one-child policy and doubling the number of children couples are allowed to have. A sub-replacement U.S. birthrate means fewer workers to pay Social Security benefits for retirees, among other consequences.
2. More autumn conceptions means more more deliveries in summer.Infants experience a higher rate of poor health with summer births, "though the reasons for worse health in the summer are not well-established," the authors write. One possibility may be "third-trimester exposure to high temperatures."
3. Air conditioning might prove to be an aphrodisiac.Control over the climate at home might make a difference. The researchers suggest that the rise of air conditioning may have helped offset some heat-related fertility losses in the U.S. since the 1970s.
The paper's title is about as lascivious as the National Bureau of Economic Research gets: "Maybe Next Month? Temperature Shocks, Climate Change, and Dynamic Adjustments in Birth Rates." The researchers assume that climate change will proceed according to the most severe scenarios, with no substantial efforts to reduce emissions. The scenario they use projects that from 2070 to 2099, the U.S. may have 64 more days above 80F than in the baseline period from 1990 to 2002, which had 31. The result? The U.S. may see a 2.6 percent decline in its birth rate, or 107,000 fewer deliveries a year.
Just when you thought climate change policy couldn't get any less sexy (PDF).
Watch Next: A Brief History of Global Warming A Brief History of Global Warming
(Greater Kurdistan Taking Shape) The United States and Israel begin the colonization of Northern Syria
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 03:50
(I thought I would provide the Robin Wright map for you guys to take a look at. Turning 5 nations into 14 busted up powerless nation-states ruled by various thugs and warlords. A perfect fit for Pentagon ideology.)
(That's the old plan, the first plan. The new plan looks more like this'... if you extend the tip of Greater Kurdistan all the way down to the Gulf on the eastern side of Iraq and all the way up to the Black Sea consuming more of Turkey.)
from Voltaire Net
The colonization of Northern Syria is an old Israeli project linked to the development of missile weaponry. It calls for the creation of an independent state in the north of the country in order to control Syria from behind, just as Israel had created the state of Southern Sudan in 2011, to control Egypt from behind.
This Israeli project was taken up again by France and gave rise, in 2011, to a secret treaty signed by Alain Jupp(C) and Ahmet Davutoglu.
Turkey agreed that this new state would be governed by the Kurdish minority and that Ankara would be allowed to expel the PKK there, thus affirming Turkish supremacy in their own country.
In September 2013, the Pentagon published a new map of the division of the region designed by Robin Wright. This map included the creation of Daesh's Islamic Emirate and the creation of a new Kurdistan >> in the Arab territories of Syria.
In mid-October 2015, in reaction to the Russian campaign against the jihadists, the CIA created the Syrian Democratic Forces >>, presented as an alliance between the Syrian Kurds and the rebels >>. In actual fact, the SDF is simply a new label for the YPG (People's Protection Units, the Kurdish forces who until then had been loyal to Damascus) with the addition of a few Arabs to act as a front.
The Syrian Kurds immediately decided to 'Kurdicise' the territories in Northern Syria. They therefore began to occupy the houses of non-Kurds, and sent a threatening letter to local schools ordering them to fire their Arab teachers and replace them with Kurdish teachers in order to ensure exclusively Kurdish teaching.
The new teachers, imported from Iraq and Turkey, often transcribe their language in the Latin alphabet, which Syrian Arabs and Kurds are unable to read.
The Arabs, who have been in the majority in these territories for thousands of years, protested vigorously, as did the other minorities. In the space of two weeks, the movement spread, and many schools were forced to obey, except for those of the Assyrian Christian minority, who deployed their own militia to defend them.
Historically, only a small territory to the North-East of Syria is Kurdish. Unlike Turkey, the Syrian Arab Republic recognises the same rights for all its citizens, independent of their ethnic origins, their religion or their political affiliation. There is therefore no reason to create an independent Kurdistan in Syria. If this should occur, however, under the pressure of the United States and Israel, it would give dozens of other ethnic and religious groups the right to demand the recognition of the same human rights throughout the region.
If this were to happen, the creation of a Kurdistan >> within Arab territory would open a new conflict comparable to that in Palestine.
Filed under: Greater Kurdistan, Kurdistan
IRS stingrays, DHS tech advisors and online visa scams -- FCW
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 03:48
News in brief
IRS stingrays, DHS tech advisors and online visa scamsBy FCW StaffNov 02, 2015Senators: What is the IRS doing with stingrays?Curious about the IRS' purchase of cellphone data-snatching devices, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sent Treasury Secretary Jack Lew a demand for answers.
In their Oct. 29 letter, the senators expressed "surprise" to have learned from a Guardian report that the IRS spent $70,000 in 2012 on cell-site simulators -- known colloquially as "stingrays" -- and voiced privacy concerns.
They also noted federal, state and local governments have "inconsistent practices and policies" regarding the use of the devices, which pull information from targets' cell phones and can "indiscriminately gather information about the cell phones of innocent people who are simply in the vicinity of the device."
The senators asked that Lew reply by Nov. 30.
DHS adds to tech advisory boardThe Department of Homeland Security's technology advisory board has more than two dozen new members to draw on for advice about how to expand new technologies across the agency's components.
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the appointment of 28 new members the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee (HSSTAC) on Oct. 30. HSSTAC advises Johnson and senior department officials on how to leverage technology across DHS' enterprise.
New members with expertise in cybersecurity include Vint Cerf, vice president and chief internet evangelist for Google. While working at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the 1970s, Cerf helped develop the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), the Internet's common language.
Vincent W. S. Chan, a noted professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also joins the committee, as does James Brigham, Jr., corporate director of simMachines, Inc., a technology company developing an analytics engine that helps spot patterns in huge amounts of data for cybersecurity and corporate intelligence.
The new HSSTAC members, according to DHS, were chosen from a range of expertise including organizational strategy and management; first responders; cybersecurity/risk; and chemical and biological defense. The new members join the six current members on the committee, with all members serving two-year terms.
State warns on diversity visa scamsThe State Department issued a warning Oct. 30 on its Share America website about the danger of online diversity visa scams.
Registration for the 2017 Diversity Visa Program, through which up to 55,000 visas are issued every year, closes at noon EST on Nov. 3, the bulletin noted. The program uses a lottery system to extend visas to migrants from countries that haven't produced many American immigrants in the past, but diversity visa scam emails are a growing threat, the agency cautioned. For would-be immigrants, State advised trusting only emails that end in .gov, and never wiring money for visa applications.
About the Author
Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.
DHS Announces Appointment of New Members of the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee | Homeland Security
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 03:48
For Immediate ReleaseDHS Press OfficeContact: 202-282-8010
WASHINGTON '' Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson today announced the appointment of 28 new members to the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee (HSSTAC). The HSSTAC provides scientific and technical advice to the Secretary and senior department leadership on matters related to the expansion of technological capabilities across the homeland security enterprise.
The HSSTAC members are selected from disciplines within the following fields of expertise: Organizational Strategy and Management; First Responders; Cybersecurity/Risk; Cross-Cutting Technical Expertise; and Chemical and Biological Defense. The 28 new HSSTAC members will join the six current members on the committee. All members serve two-year terms on the committee.
For more information about HSSTAC, visit this webpage. The 28 new members are:
Organization Strategy and ManagementJames R. Brigham, Jr. is a corporate director of simMachines, Inc., a technology company developing and providing an advanced data analytics engine for cybersecurity and corporate intelligence.
Herbert Lee BuchananisPresident/CEO of Arete Associates, a technology company developing and providing remote sensing solutions for national security customers.
James F. Decker is Principal and Co-Founder of Decker, Garman, Sullivan and Associates, LLC., a federal relations and management consulting firm focusing on research and development management and business development in the federal sector.
Michael J. Goldblatt is CEO of Aixxia, LLC, a research firm that focuses on technology startups. He is a former Director of Defense Sciences at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Annie McKee founded Teleos Leadership Institute, a consulting firm focused on developing values-based leadership and resonant organizations.
Brock C. Reeve is Executive Director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, a world-leading network of scientists and clinical experts dedicated to understanding and treating the root causes of degenerative diseases.
John A. Sims is Executive Director of External Relations for Academic Affairs at Bentley University.
David A. Whelan is Vice President of Engineering for Boeing Defense, Space and Security, and is a former Director of the Tactical Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Roy A. Wiggins is Dean of Business, Professor of Finance, and Director of the Bentley Microfinance Initiative at Bentley University.
Christina C. Williams is Associate Provost for Administration and Finance at Brandeis University.
First ResponderG. Keith Bryantisan emergency medical technician and member of the Oklahoma City Fire Department. He is the current President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
Murray ''Jay'' Farr is the Deputy Chief of Police in the Arlington County, Va. Police Department.
Gary W. Schenkel is Executive Director of the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications and oversees the Public Safety Consortium, which brings together local, state, and federal partners to plan and coordinate emergency response.
James Schwartz is the Chief of the Arlington County, Va. Fire Department.
Cybersecurity/RiskVinton G. Cerf is Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google.
Vincent W. S. Chan is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.
James A. Hendler is Director of the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications, and the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web, and Cognitive Sciences at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Cross Cutting Technical ExpertisePhilip E. Coyle is a Senior Science Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
William P. Crowell is a partner with Alsop Louie Partners, a consulting firm focused on information technology, security and intelligence systems, and a former Deputy Director of the National Security Agency.
Daniel Dubno developed Keyhole, a software imagery program later acquired by Google.
Yacov Y. Haimes is the Lawrence R. Quarles Professor of Systems and Information Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Founding Director of the Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems at the University of Virginia.
Eric Haseltine is President of Haseltine Partners LLC. He previously served Associate Director of National Intelligence.
Karim R. Lakhani is an Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and Principal Investigator of the Crowd Innovation Lab and NASA Tournament Lab at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science.
Mark T. Maybury is the Chief Technology Officer of the MITRE Corp. He is a member of the Defense Science Board, and the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.
Brian C. Toohey is Executive Vice President of DEKA Research and Development Corp and the former President and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association.
Theodore Lawrence Willke II is Senior Principal Engineer for Intel Labs.
Chemical and Biological DefenseKathie L. Olsen is Founder and Managing Director of ScienceWorks, a consulting firm that focuses on science and engineering research pursuits.
Gerald W. Parker is Vice President for Public Health Preparedness and Response, and principal investigator for the Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing. He previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense at the Department of Defense.
# # #
AMERICAN DREAM-MIDDLE CLASS DIES-JustOneMinute: Grim News
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 03:33
From the Times, an unexpected new finding by some doctors poring through our nation's health statistics:
Death Rates Rising for Middle-Aged White Americans, Study Finds
Something startling is happening to middle-aged white Americans. Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group, unlike their counterparts in other rich countries, death rates in this group have been rising, not falling.
That finding was reported Monday by two Princeton economists, Angus Deaton, who last month won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, and Anne Case. Analyzing health and mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from other sources, they concluded that rising annual death rates among this group are being driven not by the big killers like heart disease and diabetes but by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.
The analysis by Dr. Deaton and Dr. Case may offer the most rigorous evidence to date of both the causes and implications of a development that has been puzzling demographers in recent years: the declining health and fortunes of poorly educated American whites. In middle age, they are dying at such a high rate that they are increasing the death rate for the entire group of middle-aged white Americans, Dr. Deaton and Dr. Case found.
The mortality rate for whites 45 to 54 years old with no more than a high school education increased by 134 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2014.
I should add, from Table 1 in the study - that death rate fell very slightly for whites with some college but no degree (-3.3) and notably for those with at least a BA (-57).
Middle-aged blacks still have a higher mortality rate than whites '-- 581 per 100,000, compared with 415 for whites '-- but the gap is closing, and the rate for middle-aged Hispanics is far lower than for middle-aged whites at 262 per 100,000.
By demographic group, the high school whites have a mortality rate of 735.8 per 100,000; some college is 287.8; and a BA or higher is 178.1. So working class whites are trailing blacks as a whole, which was not true in 1999 - the high school whites mortality rate rose from about 600 to 736 per 100,000 while the black rate fell from 797 to 592. But although we have some racial statistics, I don't see any male/female breakdown in the study. Naturally, I am left wondering whether that is because there was no difference in gender trends, or because such a finding might not advance any appropriate narrative [MORE: This study shows that life expectancy dropped even faster for poor white women than poor white men, so the War on Women lives.]. That said, "White Lives Matter (and may be less privileged than you think)" is transgressive enough.
The authors also note the grim prospects for Medicare, since this high-mortality group is part of the baby boom:
A serious concern is that those currently in midlife will age into Medicare in worse health than the currently elderly. This is not automatic; if the epidemic is brought under control, its survivors may have a healthy old age. However, addictions are hard to treat and pain is hard to control, so those currently in midlife may be a ''lost generation'' (36) whose future is less bright than those who preceded them.
LOTS OF IDEAS: A Princeton prof (and TAP founder) speculates as to the causes and political implications. Lots is good but let me argue with this:
To conservatives, the white midlife mortality reversal in the United States may initially seem to confirm Murray's argument about moral decay caused by the welfare state. But that interpretation runs into an obvious objection: Similar trends are not evident in the European countries that have even more generous systems of social protection than the United States does.
Well, the obvious objection has its own obvious objection - Europe's paternalism preceded the US version so they may have succeeded in developing social norms that kept people on the dole out of bars prior to the 1999-2013 time frame studied here.
BONDING WITH PUTIN: The life expectancy article noted this, which is surely applicable to the latest mortality data:
The last time researchers found a change of this magnitude, Russian men had lost seven years after the fall of the Soviet Union, when they began drinking more and taking on other risky behaviors.
MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN: Obviously (but here I go anyway), the whole "angry working class whites" political theme gets additional resonance when we learn that this group is not only angry but suicidally depressed.
NOBODY ASKED, BUT: Here is Paul Krugman on immigration:
Second, while immigration may have raised overall income slightly, many of the worst-off native-born Americans are hurt by immigration -- especially immigration from Mexico. Because Mexican immigrants have much less education than the average U.S. worker, they increase the supply of less-skilled labor, driving down the wages of the worst-paid Americans. The most authoritative recent study of this effect, by George Borjas and Lawrence Katz of Harvard, estimates that U.S. high school dropouts would earn as much as 8 percent more if it weren't for Mexican immigration.
Check your calendar - on even numbered days Democrats clamor for more unskilled immigration, legal documented or otherwise. On odd-numbered days their chief concern is stagnant working class wages. But linking the two ideas? Never, you haters.
FWIW: Nick Kristof described his working class, high school friend who died recently at age 54:
Where's the Empathy?
YAMHILL, Ore. '-- THE funeral for my high school buddy Kevin Green is Saturday, near this town where we both grew up.
The doctors say he died at age 54 of multiple organ failure, but in a deeper sense he died of inequality and a lack of good jobs.
Lots of Americans would have seen Kevin '-- obese with a huge gray beard, surviving on disability and food stamps '-- as a moocher. They would have been harshly judgmental: Why don't you look after your health? Why did you father two kids outside of marriage?
That acerbic condescension reflects one of this country's fundamental problems: an empathy gap. It reflects the delusion on the part of many affluent Americans that those like Kevin are lazy or living cushy lives. A poll released this month by the Pew Research Center found that wealthy Americans mostly agree that ''poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return.''
Mr. Kristof does not ruminate on whether an influx of unskilled labor devalued Kevin's unskilled labor because haters. No, rich people ignored Kevin and left him to die - vote Democrat!
The local glove factory and feed store closed, and other blue-collar employers cut back. Good union jobs became hard to find. For a while, Kevin had a low-paying nonunion job working for a construction company. After that company went under, he worked as shift manager making trailer homes. He fell in love and had twin boys that he doted on. But because he and his girlfriend struggled financially, they never married.
Then, about 15 years ago, Kevin hurt his back and was laid off. Soon afterward, his girlfriend moved out, took the kids and asked for child support. The loss of his girlfriend, kids and job was a huge blow.
''It knocked him to the dirt,'' says his younger brother, Clayton, also a pal of mine. ''It destroyed his self-esteem.''
Kevin's weight ballooned to 350 pounds, and he developed diabetes and had a couple of heart attacks. He grew marijuana and self-medicated with it, Clayton says, and was arrested for drug offenses.
Here is a bit about Yamhill County from Wikipedia:
The medianincome for a household in the county is $44,111, and the median income for a family was $50,336. Males had a median income of $35,686 versus $25,254 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,951. About 6.00% of families and 9.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.10% of those under age 18 and 7.50% of those age 65 or over.
The major industries of the county are agriculture, forest products, manufacturing, and education. Yamhill County's economy is supported largely by its many unionized facilities such as Cascade Steel in McMinnville and White Birch Paper in Newberg. It boasts a thriving wine industry and is the home of Evergreen Aviation.
Yamhill County ranks seventh out of Oregon's thirty-six counties in annual market value of its agricultural production. This agricultural production includes wheat, barley, horticulture, and dairy farming, with 13,201 acres (53 km²) in 1997 planted in orchards. One-third of the county is covered with commercial timber, and the economic mainstay of the western part of the county is logging and timber products.
The county population has grown steadily since 1960, so it does not seem to be a forgotten backwater (for fans of "Justified", Harlan County KY has had a mostly falling population since the 60's.). The town has had a mostly rising population from one census to the next.
Presidential Proclamation -- National Entrepreneurship Month, 2015
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 03:32
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 29, 2015
NATIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP MONTH, 2015
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Since our Nation's founding, our progress has been fueled by an inherent sense of purpose and ingenuity in our people. Americans have more opportunities now than ever before to carry forward this legacy -- to create something, to raise capital in creative ways, and to pursue aspirations. During National Entrepreneurship Month, we revisit our roots as a country of dreamers and doers, and we celebrate and support the next generation of American entrepreneurs.
Bold ideas demand bold progress, and my Administration is committed to ensuring ours is a country that encourages and supports those willing to take risks and pioneer innovation. The Affordable Care Act is opening doors of opportunity for America's aspiring entrepreneurs, enabling them to find affordable health insurance through the marketplace and providing them the flexibility they need to steer their own journey forward. To further provide economic security for those seeking to start a business or market their invention, I have signed 18 tax cuts for small businesses since taking office. I also remain committed to net neutrality, because we do not want to lose the Internet's potential to empower innovative startups and unleash the breakthroughs of tomorrow.
In keeping with our goal of fostering economic growth through private-sector collaboration, the Federal Government is accelerating the movement of new technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace, increasing access to research awards for small businesses, making more data open to the public, and catalyzing new industry partnerships in critical fields such as advanced manufacturing and clean energy. And earlier this year, I signed an Executive Order to make the
Presidential Innovation Fellows program a permanent component of the Federal Government. This program will bring entrepreneurs, executives, technologists, and other innovators to Washington and help reinvigorate how our Government serves our citizenry.
My Administration is also continuing to expand access to capital, connect mentors, cut red tape, and accelerate innovation through the Startup America initiative. This summer, we hosted the first-ever White House Demo Day, where startup founders of many backgrounds and from many corners of our country came together to showcase their innovations and where we announced major new commitments from investors, companies, universities, and cities to promote inclusive entrepreneurship.
And because we understand that jobs in technology that go unfilled are missed opportunities for American workers to find better, higher-earning jobs and for businesses to recruit the talent needed to start and expand in the United States, we launched TechHire. This initiative works with communities and employers on innovative training and placement programs to connect trained workers with entrepreneurial opportunities and well-paying jobs. As we work to secure America's status as the best place on the planet to generate sweeping innovation, we must continue to make it easier for startup hotbeds to emerge across our Nation and for those underrepresented in entrepreneurship to contribute their individual ideas and talents to our collective success.
Fostering a spirit of innovation is important not just for entrepreneurs in the United States, but for consumers and people hoping to start their own businesses around the world. Entrepreneurship builds stronger and more secure communities, empowering people of every gender, race, and background. That is why, this summer, we hosted the 6th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya, a gathering that brought attention to the extraordinary potential and dynamism of Africa, and where we expanded our commitment to supporting entrepreneurs -- including young people and women. To spur greater economic growth and set higher standards for trade and investment across the globe, we continue to work toward ensuring the success of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact that opens doors to new markets for American entrepreneurs and allows them to compete in more economies.
I have also taken action to fix our Nation's broken immigration system, including measures to encourage more immigrant entrepreneurs to come to America, create jobs, contribute to our economy, and use their talents to help drive our country's progress. The White House Task Force on New Americans is working to highlight the contributions of immigrants and refugees who start a business, and because immigrants are more likely than non-immigrants to start a business, the Task Force is engaging communities to provide these new American entrepreneurs with the tools they need to grow and expand their enterprises.
Ensuring our economy works better for everyone means enabling all our people to make of their lives what they will. By supporting entrepreneurs, we can help ensure our daughters and sons are able to do whatever they set out to accomplish and achieve their highest aspirations. As we celebrate National Entrepreneurship Month and Global Entrepreneurship Week, let us recommit to upholding our founding promise: that no matter who you are or where you come from, with talent, hard work, and dedication, you can make it if you try.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2015 as National Entrepreneurship Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this month with appropriate programs and activities, and to celebrate November 17, 2015, as National Entrepreneurs' Day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.
The Angry Arab News Service/ÙÙØ§ÙØ(C) Ø£ÙØ¨Ø§Ø Ø§ÙØ¹Ø±Ø¨Ù Ø§ÙØºØ§Ø¶Ø¨: Rami Abdul-Rahman of the Syrian Observatory and the Alawite women in cages
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 03:30
All Western media rely exclusively about casualties and claims about the death toll in Syria on the Western-supported/Gulf-supported Syrian Observatory of Human Rights. On rare occasions, he publishes something that is damaging to the Syrian armed rebels and then hell break loose. This week, he broke the story of how Syrian rebels loyal to Zahran `Allush (a moderate secular feminist Islamist, by the standards of Liz Sly of the Washington Post) put `Alawite women in cages and used them as human shields (not a whimper from Human Rights Watch of course), and now he is being attacked by all sides in the Syrian opposition (armed and civilian) for exposing this and, of course, as typical in the tactic of this kind of opposition he is being called Alawite and attacked for being Alawite. Of course, no need to say this: none of this will make it to US mainstream media.
Israel hosts its largest-ever international air force exercise | The Times of Israel
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 02:54
Air forces from around the world have gathered deep in the Arava desert in the south of Israel for the past week and a half to take part in the largest aerial exercise in the history of the Israeli Air Force.
The ''Blue Flag'' exercise, which is continuing through November 3, pits the Israeli Air Force, the United States Air Force, Greece's Hellenic Air Force and the Polish Air Force against a fictional enemy state, the captain in charge of all IAF exercises told The Times of Israel Thursday night.
A number of other countries, including Germany, also sent pilots and officers to observe the exercise, but did not take part.
This joint drill is the second ''Blue Flag'' exercise; the first took place in 2013 and was the largest multi-lateral exercise the IAF had ever hosted.
The various air forces collaborated closely through every step of the current exercise, the IAF captain said, from planning to execution and finally to debriefing.
Though the exercise began on October 18, planning for it started nearly eight months ago, the Israeli official said, with an IAF representative contacting each participating country and initially asking, ''What do you want to train for?''
Those requests came together to form the plan for ''Blue Flag,'' which sent Israeli and American F-15 squadrons, along with Israeli, Hellenic and Polish F-16 squadrons, flying through nearly all of Israel's air space, firing simulated weapons against fictional enemy missile launchers, convoys and aircraft, he said.
Though the drill was intensive and demanding, it was designed more to test the mettle of the men and women behind the controls than to test the technical capabilities of the fighter jets themselves.
''We wanted it to be challenging for the airmen, rather than for the machines,'' said the IAF captain, who cannot be named for security reasons.
In order to ''put the airmen through their paces,'' he explained, the people running the exercise tried to surprise them, putting them in situations where ''the pilot doesn't know where their target is coming from.''
''Blue Flag'' ends next Thursday.
A Polish F-16 fighter jet takes off during the 'Blue Flag' exercise at Ovda Airfield near Eilat on October 26, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)
Representatives from multiple countries, including the United States and Greece, listen to a briefing during the 'Blue Flag' exercise in southern Israel on October 26, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)
An Israeli F-16 prepares for take-off during the 'Blue Flag' exercise at Ovda Airfield near Eilat on October 27, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)
Israeli and foreign fighter jets fly in formation over the Red Sea during the 'Blue Flag' exercise at Ovda Airfield near Eilat on October 27, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)
A Hellenic Air Force pilot smiles for the camera during the two-week long 'Blue Flag' exercise at Ovda Airfield near Eilat on October 27, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)
German pilots mingle with representatives from the Israeli Air Force, US Air Force, Hellenic Air Force and Polish Air Force during the 'Blue Flag' exercise in Ovda Airfield near Eilat in southern Israel on October 27, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)
Israeli and American pilots converse during the 'Blue Flag' exercise in Ovda Airfield near Eilat in southern Israel on October 27, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)
Israeli and foreign fighter jets fly in formation through cloudy skies over the Negev desert during the 'Blue Flag' exercise at Ovda Airfield near Eilat on October 27, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)
Israeli pilots, whose faces have been blurred for security reasons, walk over to their aircraft during the 'Blue Flag' exercise at Ovda Airfield near Eilat on October 26, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)
A Greek F-16 fighter jet flies over Israel during the 'Blue Flag' exercise at Ovda Airfield near Eilat on October 21, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)
A controller monitors the progress of the 'Blue Flag' exercise at Ovda Airfield near Eilat on October 27, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)
Air traffic controllers monitor the aircraft taking part in the 'Blue Flag' exercise at Ovda Airfield near Eilat in southern Israel on October 27, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)
An Israeli Air Force F-15 fighter jet makes a landing onto a slightly flooded runway during the 'Blue Flag' exercise in southern Israel on October 26, 2015. (Israeli Air Force)
US and Israel Conducting Air Force War Games in Arava Desert When Flight 9268 Went Down | American Everyman
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 02:54
Posted on November 2, 2015 by willyloman
by Scott Creighton
Israeli, US and other pilots take place in 'Blue Flag'', an air-force combat drill taking place in the Arava desert at the same time Metrojet Flight 9268 went down.
You're not going to believe this one.
''Blue Skies: Israeli, American, Greek, and Polish air personnel square off against a fictional enemy state in two-week drill''The first article I wrote about this event, the downing of Metrojet Flight 9268 made mention of the fact that it looked like the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 in the South China Sea. I mentioned there had been a military drill taking place in that area with US cruise missile destroyers taking part.
Today, unfortunately, I just found out the US and Israel were conducting war games in the Arava desert in southwestern Israel when Flight 9268 suddenly and for no apparent reason, dropped off the radar, broke up in mid-air and crashed to the ground in Sinai.
The war games exercises are called ''Blue Flag'' and have been going on for a week and a half and will be continuing through this Thursday.
''Air forces from around the world have gathered deep in the Arava desert in the south of Israel for the past week and a half to take part in the largest aerial exercise in the history of the Israeli Air Force.
The ''Blue Flag'' exercise, which is continuing through November 3, pits the Israeli Air Force, the United States Air Force, Greece's Hellenic Air Force and the Polish Air Force against a fictional enemy state, the captain in charge of all IAF exercises told The Times of Israel Thursday night.'' Times of Israel, Oct. 30, 2015
Why is this significant? Well, just take a look at two maps.
Are you kidding me? The Israelis and US running an air-force combat drill in the same general area of the downed Russian passenger plane?
Filed under: Metrojet Flight 9268, Scott Creighton
Presidential Proclamation -- National Family Caregivers Month, 2015
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 02:10
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 30, 2015
NATIONAL FAMILY CAREGIVERS MONTH, 2015
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Day in and day out, selfless and loving Americans provide care and support to family members and friends in need. They are parents, spouses, children, siblings, relatives, and neighbors who uphold their unwavering commitment to ensure the lives of their loved ones shine bright with health, safety, and dignity. During National Family Caregivers Month, we rededicate ourselves to making sure our selfless caregivers have the support they need to maintain their own well-being and that of those they love.
One of the best measures of a country is how it treats its older citizens and people living with disabilities, and my Administration is dedicated to lifting up their lives and ensuring those who care for them get the support and recognition they deserve. Earlier this year, older Americans and caregivers, as well as their advocates, came together at the White House Conference on Aging, which provided an opportunity to discuss ways to identify and advance actions to improve quality of life for our Nation's elderly. Through the Affordable Care Act, we are providing more options to help older Americans remain in their homes as they age, and the law is giving caregivers the peace of mind of having access to quality, affordable health insurance. Additionally, I will keep pushing to make paid family leave available for every American, regardless of where they work -- because no one should have to sacrifice a paycheck to care for a loved one.
When our men and women in uniform come home with wounds of war -- seen or unseen -- it is our solemn responsibility to ensure they get the benefits and attentive care they have earned and deserve. Caregivers in every corner of our country uphold this sacred promise with incredible devotion to their loved ones, and my Administration is committed to supporting them. We have extended military caregiver leave to family members of eligible veterans dealing with serious illness or injury for up to 5 years after their service has ended, and we remain dedicated to providing greater flexibility for our military families and for the members of our Armed Forces as they return home and handle the transition to civilian life.
For centuries, we have been driven by the belief that we all have certain obligations to one another. Every day, caregivers across our country answer this call and lift up the lives of loved ones who need additional support. During National Family Caregivers Month, let us honor their contributions and pledge to continue working toward a future where all caregivers know the same support and understanding they show for those they look after.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2015 as National Family Caregivers Month. I encourage all Americans to pay tribute to those who provide for the health and well-being of their family members, friends, and neighbors.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.
DoD Pays Premium for Gas Station in Afghanistan
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 02:10
DoD Pays Premium for Gas Station in AfghanistanNovember 2, 2015
The Department of Defense (DoD) spent nearly $43 million to build a gas station in Afghanistan that should have cost no more than $500,000 according to a new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Additionally, DoD is unable'--or unwilling'--to provide a justification for its decision.
DoD's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations spent $42.7 million between 2011 and 2014 to construct a compressed natural gas (CNG) automobile filling station in Sheberghan, Afghanistan. (You may recall Sheberghan as the site of an unfinished, hazard-filled teacher training facility built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that we blogged about two years ago.) The station includes two dispensers/four hoses, one CNG trailer filling point, a car conversion center, an administrative office building, and gas compression and processing equipment. It is currently being operated by a private company, Qashqari Oil and Gas Services.
SIGAR determined that the project should have only cost between $200,000 and $500,000. That means we taxpayers overpaid by as much as 10,750 percent. Incredibly, overhead costs accounted for about 70 percent ($30 million) of total project expenditures, according to the report.
According to SIGAR, the Task Force had neither considered the feasibility of the station nor the ''potentially considerable obstacles to the project's success'' prior to starting construction. The report forecasts a bleak future for the station: the area lacks the infrastructure needed to transmit and distribute natural gas, and the cost of converting gasoline-powered cars to run on CNG is prohibitively expensive for average Afghanis.
DoD did not provide SIGAR with an explanation for the exorbitant cost or answer other questions concerning the project. Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Brian P. McKeon told SIGAR that the March 2015 closure of the Task Force resulted in his office ''no longer possessing the personnel expertise to address these questions.''
McKeon's statement particularly rankled Special Inspector General John F. Sopko. ''Frankly, I find it both shocking and incredible that DOD asserts that it no longer has any knowledge about TFBSO [the Task Force], an $800 million program that reported directly to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and only shut down a little over six months ago,'' he wrote to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. The report calls McKeon's claim of ignorance ''unconvincing'' and accuses DoD of hindering SIGAR's investigation. Apparently, the contentious, counter-productive relationship between SIGAR and the Pentagon that we've blogged about before hasn't improved.
SIGAR plans to issue additional reports on the Task Force's activities and spending in Afghanistan. As for the gas station boondoggle, Sopko promises ''to shed additional light on how this program operated, what it achieved, how this enormous amount of money was spent,'' and, most ominously, ''whether any conduct by TFBSO staff or contractors was criminal in nature.''
Neil Gordon is an investigator for the Project On Government Oversight. Neil investigates and maintains POGO's Federal Contractor Misconduct Database.
Related Content:SIGAR, Iraq & Afghanistan Reconstruction Contracts, Wasteful Defense Spending
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Latest PodcastPodcast; Social Media, Internet Provides Opportunities, Challenges for LawmakersThe Congressional Management Foundation offers the Gold Mouse Awards annually to members of Congress who make the most of the opportunity the digital world offers them. POGO spoke with members of Rep. Mike Honda's communications team about their award.
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 01:36
"Crucially important in this context is that Trudeau has expressed virulent hostility to the BDS movement and support for Israel even when it was in the process of massacring upward of 2,200 Palestinians in the summer of 2014. Accordingly, there is every reason to expect the Canadian state to continue contributing to the brutal oppression of Palestinians." (thanks Amir)
Free Syrian Army congratulates Erdogan
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 01:36
As'ad AbuKhalil, born March 16, 1960. From Tyre, Lebanon, grew up in Beirut. Received his BA and MA from American University of Beirut in pol sc. Came to US in 1983 and received his PhD in comparative government from Georgetown University. Taught at Tufts University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Colorado College, and Randolph-Macon Woman's College. Served as a Scholar-in-Residence at Middle East Institute in Washington DC. He served as free-lance Middle East consultant for NBC News and ABC News, an experience that only served to increase his disdain for maintream US media. He is now professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. His favorite food is fried eggplants.
Email the Angry Arab at:aabukhalil[at]csustan [dot][edu]
Metrojet Flight 9268 UPDATES: Egypt's Multiple Lies, Broke Up Mid-Flight and Mechanical Malfunction Ruled Out | American Everyman
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 01:35
by Scott Creighton
The circumstances surrounding the downing of Metrojet Flight 9268 are becoming a little clearer this morning and the picture being painted is disturbing. At this point I have to conclude Flight 9268 was brought down by some form of high explosive event while it was at cruise altitude of 32,000 feet.
Egypt Lies Early OnFirst of all, yesterday morning ''undisclosed'' Egyptian sources claimed the pilots of Flight 9268 reported technical difficulties on board the flight and requested an emergency landing.
This aspect of the story was immediately reported by the Western press and taken at it's word, as is evident in the Independent article about the crash titled ''Pilot of Metrojet 9268 Had Reported Technical Difficulties''
Turns out, that is absolutely false. There was no report from the pilots. Everything was fine right up until the moment they started breaking up suddenly in mid flight. In fact, the catastrophic event was so devastating, the plane lost some 300 kph in airspeed and dropped 1.5 kilometers in a matter of seconds. The pilots were incapable of even sending out a mayday, much less entering into a chat about ''technical difficulties''
The pilot of the Russian airliner that crashed in the Sinai Peninsula did not request assistance from the air traffic control at Sharm El-Sheikh airport before the incident, Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation Hossam Kamal said Saturday.
Egyptian sources were quoted as saying earlier the Airbus-321 flight 9268 pilot requested help from air traffic controllers due to technical difficulties. The airliner with 224 people on board disappeared from radars 23 minutes after takeoff en route to St. Petersburg. Sputnik International
Also of note, more Egyptian ''sources'' are being quoted claiming that nothing struck the plane from the outside, meaning no external force brought down Flight 9268. How could they possibly know that so early into the investigation?
02/11/2015 05:34 A source in the Egyptian investigation committee says the crashed Russian plane was not struck from the outside (Reuters)
This premature statement comes into direct conflict with early findings from other sources:
External forces are the only possible reason of the deadly crash, Kogalymavia officials said Monday. Kogalymavia 7K9268 flight likely suffered substantial damages when it started to fall, officials said'...
Andrei Averianov said that according to Flight Radar information, he noted that ''the plane slowed more than 300 kilometers an hour in less than a minute and simultaneously lost 1.5 kilometers in altitude.'' Sputnik International
The plane started breaking up immediately. The damage was catastrophic and instant, so much so the pilots were unable to even hit the distress squawk button. How quickly it slowed and started dropping shows that was no longer flying or even gliding, but rather, falling out of the sky.
Egypt's Prime Minister, a puppet of US policy, states that he still thinks it was a 'technical malfunction''. How he would know that is anyone's guess.
Multiple Crash Sites Show It Broke Up in Mid AirOne of the readers linked us to a Ruptly video showing the multiple crash sites on Live Leak (thanks). The wreckage was spread out over a considerable distance and it would appear at least that the plane was basically cut in half, with the tail section remaining attached to part of the passenger section and crashing separately from the front of the aircraft.
That is exactly what we saw in the case of TWA Flight 800 when it was accidentally shot down with a cruise missile off the coast of New York. In that case, there were also several distinct crash sites located'... an no distress call.
Russian investigators has said the debris was scattered across a ''twenty square kilometer area of Sinai'' which would prove that the plane broke up at a considerable altitude. From the Ruptly video I linked to above, it would seem that the Russian's conclusion on this matter is a sound one.
Flight 9268 clearly broke up at a very high altitude and given the Flight Radar 24 data showing it's sudden deceleration and descent, best guess is that break-up occurred simultaneously with those other factors and was the cause of the crash.
Rules Out Mechanical FailureIt's just my opinion of course, but these new developments rule out any kind of mechanical failure as having been the cause of the crash of Metrojet Flight 9268.
Such a sudden and catastrophic result to the integrity of the aircraft could hardly be explained by mechanical failure in any other system than the fuel system.
As we saw with the ''investigation'' of Flight 800, the folks helping to cover up the accidental downing of the plane understood this principle as well, and they came up with the mystery spark in the center fuel tank theory, never bothering to explain what could possibly have caused it.
My guess is you can expect similar theories to be floated by the ''experts'' chatting on the MSM this morning and into the coming week (once their propagandists catch up with us of course)
Now I am not an aeronautical engineer nor am I a pilot but I do know from studying multiple plane downings that these vehicles are marvels of modern engineering and have multiple redundant systems designed to prevent these types of accidents.
Plus, I know that in order to break up an aircraft like this in mid-flight takes quite a bit of energy. It could be they struck another plane or a UFO perhaps'... ( ;) ) but, aside from that circumstance, very little else other than high explosives can cause that kind of damage to an aircraft at 32,000 feet.
And of course, at 32,000 feet, there are very few delivery system possibilities for those high explosives.
The fact that the Egyptian authorities seemed very eager to spread lies about the downing of the flight in the early stages of the investigation, goes a long way to showing someone over there in Egypt might just have something to hide. The fake ''ISIS'' claims of responsibility should bring the thinking members of the civilian population to the same, bitter conclusion.
As more info is released, I will add updates to this update. But for now it looks like either a missile or a bomb on board the plane brought it down.
Filed under: Metrojet Flight 9268, Scott Creighton
Quentin Tarantino addresses police boycotts: 'I'm not being intimidated' - LA Times
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 00:46
Under increasing fire from law enforcement groups, director Quentin Tarantino broke his silence Tuesday and said his remarks condemning police brutality had been misrepresented to ''demonize'' him and deflect attention away from the issue.
''All cops are not murderers,'' Tarantino told The Times in his first public response to the controversy. ''I never said that. I never even implied that.''
See the most-read stories in Entertainment this hour >>
Police unions across the country, including ones representing officers in Los Angeles and Orange County, have called for a boycott of Tarantino's upcoming movie, ''The Hateful Eight,'' following remarks the filmmaker made at an Oct. 24 rally in New York to call attention to those killed in police shootings.
''I'm a human being with a conscience,'' Tarantino said at the rally. ''And when I see murder I cannot stand by. And I have to call the murdered the murdered and I have to call the murderers the murderers.''
The threatened boycott could dim prospects for Tarantino's new film, which is set for a Christmas release and has been expected to be a critical and commercial success for Tarantino and his longtime distributor, the Weinstein Co. Several movies beset by controversy in recent years have seen either their box office or awards recognition dented.
Tarantino said his remarks at the rally last month were aimed at police officers who have been involved in unwarranted shootings of civilians.
''What they're doing is pretty obvious,'' he said of his critics. ''Instead of dealing with the incidents of police brutality that those people were bringing up, instead of examining the problem of police brutality in this country, better they single me out. And their message is very clear. It's to shut me down. It's to discredit me. It is to intimidate me. It is to shut my mouth, and even more important than that, it is to send a message out to any other prominent person that might feel the need to join that side of the argument.''
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the director ''doesn't understand the nature of the violence'' that police officers face in their work.
''Mr. Tarantino lives in a fantasy world. That's how he makes his living,'' Beck said. ''His movies are extremely violent, but he doesn't understand violence. '... Unfortunately, he mistakes lawful use of force for murder, and it's not.''
The timing of the boycott call comes at a crucial time for Tarantino and Weinstein Co. co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. Over the years, Weinstein has relied on the commercial success of Tarantino's films, which have included ''Pulp Fiction,'' ''Inglourious Basterds'' and ''Django Unchained,'' to bankroll the production, acquisition and marketing costs of the rest of his slate.
''My first company, Miramax, was the house that Quentin built, and my second company, the Weinstein Co., is the house that Quentin saved,'' Weinstein said at a 2013 Tarantino tribute in Lyon, France.
But the old showbiz adage '-- that any publicity is good publicity '-- doesn't always prove true when it comes to films.
''Zero Dark Thirty,'' the 2012 movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, grossed $95 million in theaters but underperformed at the Oscars after politicians and pundits criticized its depiction of torture. Last year, the civil rights drama ''Selma'' took hits over its portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson.
And in the last few weeks, the biopic ''Steve Jobs'' has tanked commercially amid complaints from the Apple co-founder's colleagues that the movie took extreme liberties with its subject.
At the same time, films such as ''American Sniper'' and ''The Last Temptation of Christ'' were possibly helped by controversy surrounding their takes on events.
What's different here is that the fuss surrounding ''The Hateful Eight'' isn't about the content of the movie, which hasn't been screened publicly, but about remarks made by its director that are unrelated to the film itself.
It's too early to know how many moviegoers will heed the boycott call when ''The Hateful Eight'' arrives in theaters on Christmas and whether film academy members, who have given Tarantino's last two movies 13 Oscar nominations, will be inclined to pay attention.
Lt. Craig Lally, who heads the Los Angeles Police Protective League that represents LAPD officers, predicts that the broader public will support police and steer clear of ''The Hateful Eight.'' He says Tarantino showed a ''stunning lack of sensitivity'' by calling police officers murderers just four days after a New York police officer was killed in East Harlem.
''There's an underground of people who are very pro-police,'' Lally said. ''And it's going to be this underground that shuts down the movie, not the cops.''
Others see history offering another possible outcome.
USC Annenberg professor Jonathan Taplin produced Martin Scorsese's ''Mean Streets'' and ''The Last Waltz'' and remembers the controversy surrounding the filmmaker when religious groups boycotted his 1988 epic ''The Last Temptation of Christ.''
''The film was really an art film and so all the controversy actually gave it more attention than it might have otherwise gotten,'' Taplin said, noting that Scorsese received an Oscar nod for his direction.
''The academy does not like being told not to see a movie,'' Taplin added. ''In Quentin's case, if the movie is good, his fans will come, boycott or not.''
Last year, Clint Eastwood's ''American Sniper,'' the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, was condemned by many on the left as jingoistic. But it became the year's highest-grossing film, fueled in part by moviegoers attracted to its empathetic portrait of a military hero.
Todd Boyd, a professor of critical studies at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, believes that the boycott calls could boost interest in ''The Hateful Eight'' in a similar fashion, piquing the interest of Tarantino's core group of fans.
''Tarantino has always been the kind of figure who has attracted contrarians,'' Boyd says. ''So there aren't too many things that could be better for this film than for law enforcement to try and boycott it.''
DEA chief: Comey 'spot on' linking Ferguson impact to crime surge
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 00:17
FBI director James Comey speaks in Chicago on Oct. 23, 2015.(Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast, AP)
WASHINGTON '-- The nation's top drug enforcement official said Wednesday that FBI Director James Comey was "spot on'' when he recently offered the controversial assessment that violent crime surges in some cities may be linked to police officers' reluctance to engage suspects.
"I think there is something to it,'' Drug Enforcement Administration chief Chuck Rosenberg told reporters, referring to the so-called "Ferguson-effect'' in which police have been reportedly hesitant to act for fear of prompting the kind of civil unrest that engulfed Ferguson, Mo., last year. "I think (Comey) was spot on.''
Comey's remarks during appearances last month in Chicago put the FBI director at odds with some in law enforcement and the White House, which indicated that existing evidence did not support such a claim.
"I will say that the available evidence at this point does not support the notion that law enforcement officers around the country are shying away from fulfilling their responsibilities,'' White House spokesman Josh Earnest said last week. "On the contrary, I think you've seen a lot of local law enforcement leaders indicate that police officers and sheriffs and other local law enforcement officials are actually dedicated public servants who on a daily basis are putting their lives on the line to serve and protect the communities that they're assigned to.''
The FBI director has acknowledged that data is lacking to support a definitive conclusion, yet he said that he maintained a "strong sense'' of a connection based on reports from local law enforcement officials.
Rosenberg, who served as Comey's chief of staff before his May appointment as acting DEA administrator, said he has heard similar concerns from local law enforcement officials.
"I've heard the same things,'' Rosenberg said. "I think it's worth talking about. I don't know if it will turn out to be right or wrong. That's why Comey called for better data. The data that we have is limited. It just is.''
Of the disagreement voiced by the White House, Rosenberg said: "The White House is a building, so I'm not sure what the White House thinks,'' Rosenberg said, adding that he believed Comey's remarks were "thoughtful and measured.''
"When you get criticized from the right and the left, you probably hit it just about perfectly,'' he said.
For months, law enforcement officials have been grappling with the possible causes of recent spikes in violent crime plaguing some major cities '-- Baltimore, Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis among them '-- even as crime in much of the country has been in a sustained decline.
Local leaders frustrated by violent crime surges in some cities
Last month, Attorney General Loretta Lynch hosted a meeting to address the issue where representatives of at least 20 cities cited poverty, heroin addiction and easy access to firearms as likely triggers. Others also voiced frustration that an erosion of public support for officers was having an effect on the way communities were being policed.
"We also cannot avert our gaze from the fact that police in cities feel like they are not being supported by the federal government,'' Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said and referred to a recent federal focus on the operations of more than 20 police agencies in recent years prompted by allegations of officer misconduct. "Right now, officers feel like they are being defined by everything they are working against.''
"Every incident, regardless of where it happens, they are made to feel they must answer for,'' the chief said. "It's hurting them. National policing policy is being driven by random YouTube videos.''
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Pebble Mine rejection by EPA was from riggin, collusion, report - Washington Times
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 00:13
The Environmental Protection Agency is coming under increased scrutiny over accusations that it rigged its own review process to block the Pebble Mine project in Alaska.
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee is scheduled to weigh in Thursday with a hearing on whether EPA officials orchestrated an environmental assessment in concert with anti-mine groups to reach a predetermined outcome.
Exhibit A is an explosive Oct. 6 report by the Cohen Group, headed by former Defense Secretary William Cohen, which cited the EPA's ''unprecedented'' evaluation process, including its decision to use procedures under the Clean Water Act instead of the National Environmental Policy Act to assess the project.
The 346-page report, commissioned by the Pebble Limited Partnership, the project's developer, also said that the statements and actions of EPA officials raised ''serious concerns'' about the agency's objectivity and transparency.
''This project is too important, for all stakeholders, to pilot a new, untested decision-making process,'' said Mr. Cohen in the report. ''The fairest approach is to use the well-established Permit/NEPA Process, and I can find no valid reason why that process was not used.''
Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican and committee chairman, said this week that the agency's behavior on the Pebble Mine project ''demonstrates how the EPA is truly out of control.''
''Secretary Cohen's report lays out evidence that shows collusion and a cozy relationship between the EPA and groups actively opposed to the Pebble Mine,'' said Mr. Smith. ''These relationships could inappropriately influence EPA's ability to conduct policy based on sound science.''
In a statement Tuesday, the EPA defended its July 2014 proposed restrictions on the Pebble Mine, saying that the vast size of the project and its overlap with sockeye salmon fisheries in Bristol Bay justified the use of the agency's authority under the Clean Water Act's Section 404(c).
''EPA use of its authority has typically involved major projects with significant impacts on some of America's most ecologically valuable waters,'' said the statement. ''EPA Region 10's proposal to protect the Bristol Bay watershed outlines restrictions that would protect waters that support salmon in and near the Pebble deposit. These restrictions apply to impacts associated with large-scale mining of the Pebble deposit. No other lands or development are subject to the restrictions.''
Taryn Kiekow Heimer, senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the EPA's July 2014 proposal limiting mining activity at the Bristol Bay watershed was needed to protect salmon from ''the potentially catastrophic effects of large-scale mining.''
As for accusations of agency bias against the Pebble Mine, she blasted the Cohen report for what she called its ''lack of independence, credibility, and transparency,'' saying that it echoed ''the same arguments that the Pebble Limited Partnership and its bevy of other paid consultants have made for years.''
''It adds nothing new to the dialogue,'' said Ms. Heimer in an email. ''Thursday's hearing will just rehash a biased and flawed report and won't add anything new to the dialogue.''
The Pebble Mine project, touted for more than a decade, targets a vast deposit of porphyry copper, gold and molybdenum on state land in a remote region of southwest Alaska with an estimated value of $400 billion.
Mr. Cohen, who authored the report with DLA Piper LLP, was known during his tenure in the Senate as a moderate Republican '-- he represented Maine and served as Defense Secretary under President Bill Clinton, a Democrat.
In the report, he notes that the developers had not submitted a permit application, and therefore the EPA's assessment was based on ''hypothetical scenarios rather than the characteristics of a mine as it was actually planned to be built and maintained.''
Story Continues ''
Canada creates science-minister post : Nature News & Comment
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 00:05
Canada's new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, took office on 4 November '-- and as one of his first acts, created the post of Minister of Science.
Kirsty Duncan, a medical geographer at the University of Toronto, will be the first to hold the job. Duncan, who contributed to the 2001 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has also written a book about her expedition to determine the cause of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic.
Her appointment marks a change from the government of former prime minister Stephen Harper. His administration placed oversight of science in the hands of a junior minister of state at Industry Canada.
''Harper collapsed the purview of science into the purview of industry, and we've seen a dramatic decline of pure science and public interest research as a result,'' says Carol Linnitt, environmental policy analyst for the Vancouver-based non-profit environmental group DeSmog.
Scientists and science groups say they are excited by Duncan's appointment, but want to know more about the minister of science's responsibilities. ''A real minister! And someone with a PhD!'' says Marc Saner, former director of the Institute for Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa. ''From the point of view of image, it's great. How this works in practice, I don't know.''
Trudeau has also appointed Navdeep Bains, a financial analyst, as minister of industry, science and economic development.
''If we take it at face value, we now have two ministers responsible for science,'' says Rees Kassen, a biologist at the University of Ottawa and chair of the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering, an Ottawa-based association of science and engineering societies.
He suspects that Duncan will work to ensure that government conducts research in area that universities and businesses are not exploring, and Bains will seek to encourage technological innovation in the private sector.
Trudeau, who is expected to appoint a chief science advisor, has also named a new minister of the environment '-- renaming the post ''Minister of Environment and Climate Change.'' The new minister, Catherine McKenna, is a lawyer whose work has focused on international trade, investment and constitutional issues.
N. Korea accuses U.S. of "nuclear blackmail" - CBS News
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 22:50
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a rocket firing drill by anti-aircraft units of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang November 3, 2015.
LONDON -- North Korea says the United States needs to end its "nuclear blackmail" and respond to Pyongyang's recent diplomatic overture to formally end the decades-old Korean conflict. Fighting ended in 1953 without a peace treaty, leaving North and South Korea still technically at war.
Speaking during an interview Tuesday in London with Associated Press Television News, senior North Korean Foreign Ministry official Jong Tong Hak said a permanent peace settlement on the Korean Peninsula first requires a North Korean-U.S. agreement.
Discussing Pyongyang's view of the root cause of tensions, he blamed the "successive hostile policy by the government of the United States and its continuing nuclear blackmail against the DPRK," the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea.
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"The American administration continues to send its nuclear powered aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula and meantime it continues to send nuclear strategic bombers to the Korean Peninsula,'" he said. "And the United States of America continues to wage war exercises against the DPRK with the South Korean side."
Jong said a compromise to break the impasses requires decisive action by Washington.
"The issue of signing a peace treaty between the DPRK and United States can be easily solved by the bold decision of the American government," he said. "If the American government is serious about respecting the sovereignty of the DPRK and ending its ongoing hostile policy against the DPRK then it can be solved very easily between the two sides."
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Last month, Sung Kim, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, described Pyongyang's latest proposal for treaty negotiations as "disingenuous."
The two sides' positions are so deeply at odds that it can seem like a chicken-or-egg situation.
Washington's position - which is in line with ally Seoul - is that it is only open to talks on easing sanctions if the North makes it clear it is willing to negotiate an end to its nuclear program, stop developing long-range missiles that could reach foreign targets and live up to other international agreements.
Pyongyang, for is part, maintains that it must have a deterrent to counter the threat of a U.S. attack - nuclear or otherwise.
The U.S. Congress, meanwhile, is mulling whether the North should be designated a state sponsor of terrorism. That designation was lifted in 2008 during negotiations on its nuclear program that stalled soon after. Among the allegations was that North Korean-supplied rockets had been used against Israel by fighters from the militant group Hamas.
North Korea likes to point out that the U.S. has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea. There are no foreign military bases in North Korea, though China was a key North Korea ally during the war.
(C) 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Aangirfan: ELECTION RIGGED IN TURKEY, NOVEMBER 2015
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 22:41
Turkish election November 2015 - burnt ballot papers. LiveLeak.com.The November 2015 election in Turkey, won by the secretly pro-Israel Erdogan, was rigged.The opinion polls had suggested that Erdogan would lose.
"Nearly all opinion polls indicate that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will again fail to get the parlaimentary seats needed to form a majority government."
Turkish elections to produce another inconclusive result
Turkish election November 2015 - burnt ballot papers. LiveLeak.com.There are many reports of people being barred from voting."I went to the polling station with my mother but ... they didn't let us even vote."problems voting in Turkey election Burnt ballot papers. LiveLeak.com.
The results were decided before the vote was counted.
"Presiding ballot officers in some provinces - including Ä°stanbul and Ankara - asked ballot officers to sign blank documents on election results that are supposed to be filled in following the vote count."
Abundant claims of vote rigging.
Azadiya Welat wrote of the Turkish election: "They counted 57million votes in just 2 hours(manually) and the only party (HDP) that was rising in the polls and truely promotes peace in the country suddenly lost to the dictators party which gained almost 10 million votes in 3 months.... which is nearly impossible."
Can Karesi wrote of the Turkish election: "What democracy? Elections, that is a laugh, powercuts, tv stations closed, election organizations and websites hacked, money exchanging hands, hundreds of arrests, newspaper websites censored..."
Syrian rebels cage people as human shields: activists | Reuters.com
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 22:39
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) A monitoring group and activists said on Sunday that Syrian rebels had locked people in cages and driven them to areas near Damascus to use as human shields against heavy government air raids. A video posted online by the Shaam News Network, an opposition media outlet, showed men and women in iron cages being driven on the back of pickup trucks through what it said was the area of Eastern Ghouta, northeast of the capital. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had information from Eastern Ghouta residents that the people being used as human shields were military officers and their families who had been captured by rebels in the area. Reuters was unable to verify the video footage.
KAGAN-Syria: Obama strategy doomed to fail (Opinion) - CNN.com
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 22:13
Simply put, Friday's announcement shows that the administration remains befuddled about the nature of this war.
The White House precluded any realistic appraisal of the situation in Syria from the outset of its military involvement by defining the problem and the enemy almost exclusively as ISIS. It has thereby ignored almost completely the actual al Qaeda franchise in Syria, Jabhat al Nusra, which has been insinuating itself into the good graces of the fighting opposition for years now. It has also refused to properly recognize Assad himself as a major problem, let alone an enemy, aside from periodic rhetoric.
The real problem is the vicious sectarian war in Syria that has killed hundreds of thousands and driven millions from their homes. Assad started that war by attacking his own peaceful protestors, and he has steadily escalated the brutality by using conventional and chemical weapons against his own people, deliberately starving large populations, and dropping barrel bombs on civilian targets to create mass casualties.
Assad's sectarian viciousness, and the collapse of his ability to govern, created both space and motivation for the emergence and enormous strengthening of Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS. His actions, now reinforced by Iranian ground forces and Russian aircraft that are also bombing civilian areas, perpetuate the cycle of sectarian escalation that fuels the growing strength of the most radical Sunni elements on the battlefield.
Yet the Obama administration refuses to support any action against him. It reportedly forbade the small groups of volunteers who signed up for training against ISIS to use their weapons or capabilities against Assad. It has taken no action (speeches are not action) to limit Russian activities in support of Assad, let alone persuade Vladimir Putin to abandon this unprecedented Russian military venture into the Middle East. Not only has it done nothing to prevent or disrupt Iranian military and nonmilitary support to Assad, but it has now invited Iran to the negotiating table. The United States has a rhetorical policy of opposing and removing Assad, but a practical policy of keeping him in power.
The focus on ISIS and refusal to consider any other aspect of the conflict helps the White House obscure this contradiction from all except those who matter most -- the people on the ground.
The Syrian opposition knows that we are not really supporting them against Assad, the enemy they most care about, while demanding that they fight ISIS, the enemy that right now threatens them least. The Sunni Arab population, therefore, has not provided the indigenous forces on which the White House claims that its strategy against ISIS relies, for excellent and logical reasons.
So the White House has turned to Syria's Kurds. But relying on Kurds to drive ISIS out of Arab lands is problematic for many reasons, among them the high risk of adding an Arab-Kurd ethnic conflict to the brutal sectarian war already raging.
The Turks suspect the Kurds of being closely tied to the PKK, a terrorist group that regularly attacks targets in Turkey. They are also much less readily controlled than Iraq's Kurds, who have more than two decades of experience in governing themselves at this point (although they are themselves in the midst of a governmental crisis that threatens to unravel Kurdish stability in Iraq).
So while we might be able to help Syrian Kurds expel ISIS from parts of its dominion with a lot of air power, guided by Special Forces troops, and a lot of luck, what then? Will the Kurds hold and govern the Arab lands they have "liberated"? Will they drive down the Euphrates to take the other key ISIS strongholds? Will the Turks watch calmly as a group that they believe sponsors terrorist attacks in their homeland expands its military power and strategic depth?
Even from the standpoint of fighting ISIS, this over-reliance on the Kurds is short-sighted, and represents a desperate effort to grasp at any on-the-ground proxy who can make progress toward the President's stated goals before he leaves office. It is not in any way strategic.
Criticizing anyone's strategy in Syria is, of course, much easier than offering an alternative. The situation is now beyond dire and all anyone can do is offer first steps that might start to drive it in a more positive direction. But any such steps must begin from the understanding of what this conflict is really about and who must actually resolve it: the Sunni Arabs and the non-Assad Alawite community. Those are the groups that will have to decide to put down their weapons and work out a mutually-acceptable deal. Defeating ISIS will still be hard in that context, but at least it might be both feasible and meaningful.
We don't need 50 Special Forces troops in Syria to help the Kurds. We need an entirely new strategy. It must start with the recognition that Assad, and his regime, really do have to go; that the United States and its allies must work actively to constrain and reduce Iranian and Russian support for him; that we have to reach out to the Sunni Arab population and convince them that we are on their side against the existential threat they face before demanding that they fight the enemy we want them to fight; and that the Sunni Arabs are the people amongst whom we need to embed our forces and with whom we need to work.
It may be that no such strategy can succeed any longer. It is certain that any other approach will fail.
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U.N. planning court to judge U.S. for 'climate justice'
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 21:33
At the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, participating nations have prepared a treaty that would create an ''International Tribunal of Climate Justice'' giving Third World countries the power to haul the U.S. into a global court with enforcement powers.
Congress would be bypassed '' left out in the cold '' by this climate deal, critics say.
Policies once left to sovereign nations could be turned over to a U.N. body if the U.S. and its allies approve the proposed deal in Paris during the summit scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 11.
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According to the proposed draft text of the climate treaty, the tribunal would take up issues such as ''climate justice,'' ''climate finance,'' ''technology transfers,'' and ''climate debt.''
Buried on page 19 of the 34-page document is the critical text '' still heavily bracketed with text that hasn't been completely resolved and agreed upon '' reads:
[An International Tribunal of Climate Justice as][A] [compliance mechanism] is hereby established to address cases of non-compliance of the commitments of developed country Parties on mitigation, adaptation, [provision of] finance, technology development and transfer [and][,] capacity-building[,] and transparency of action and support, including through the development of an indicative list of consequences, taking into account the cause, type, degree and frequency of non-compliance.
The U.N. held a preparatory conference in September in Bonn, Germany, that drafted language to be approved at the upcoming Paris climate summit. At the Bonn meeting the U.N. brought together more than 2,000 participants from governments, observer organizations and the media.
But none of those media chose to report on the proposed new global tribunal.
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The Paris Conference is mandated to adopt ''a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties,'' which is to come into force in 2020, according to IISD Reporting Services, which tracks the global sustainable development movement.
Like many initiatives that come out of the U.N., there has been a media blackout on coverage of the potential for a new world tribunal that would make binding decisions on a host of issues critical to the U.S. economy. The draft text has been available on the Internet since Oct. 20 for all to see.
''The only mentions one is likely to find with search engines are alarms being sounded by critics, the climate realists who reject the apocalyptic predictions (and discredited pseudo-science '' see: here, here, and here) of the multi-billion dollar global warming lobby,'' writes William F. Jasper for the New American magazine.
China, India behind the move
One such critic is Craig Rucker, executive director and co-founder of CFACT.
Rucker points out that more than 130 developing nations '' ''led by South Africa and instigated by China and India'' '' are insisting they will not sign a climate deal in Paris unless it contains massive redistribution of wealth from developed to poor nations.
''Now they want the power to haul the U.S. and its allies before a U.N. Star Chamber to enforce compliance,'' Rucker writes.
He also notes that this is not the first time the U.N. has tried to insert language creating a global climate court into a U.N. climate document. It happened in 2011 at a summit in Durban but was stripped at the last minute when CFACT blew the whistle and some media outlets picked up the story.
But this time around, the globalists writing the text have substituted the world ''tribunal'' for ''court'' and insist the body will be ''non-judicial.''
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''The slight edit to the terminology offers little comfort,'' Rucker said, cautioning that the word ''tribunal'' could get watered down further if it attracts too much attention.
''If the climate tribunal becomes the focus of public scrutiny, watch for the negotiators to pull a switch behind closed doors and try and accomplish the same thing by re-branding it an enforcement 'mechanism,''' he said.
Ceding sovereignty to U.N. bureaucracy
''Whatever they call it, countries who sign onto this agreement will be voting to expand the reach of the U.N. climate bureaucracy, cede national sovereignty, and create a one-way street along which billions will be redistributed from developed to poor nations,'' Rucker says. ''Developed nations would be expected to slash their emissions while the 'poor' countries expand theirs. China, which holds a trillion dollars in U.S. debt, would be counted among the poor.''
He said China and India are ''delighted,'' with the prospect.
''They would like nothing better than a world where the West cedes the competitive advantages their free market economies created,'' Rucker writes. ''They hope for a future where Asia does the manufacturing and the U.S. and Europe do the importing '' until their wealth runs out, anyway.''
Obama, Kerry 'desperate' to claim treaty as success
Rucker said President Obama and John Kerry are desperate to claim the climate treaty as a foreign policy ''success.''
''President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry are mired in foreign policy failures,'' Rucker notes. ''They desperately want to get this agreement signed so they can claim a victory for their legacies.
''How far are they willing to sell out American interests to get this ill-begotten agreement signed?''
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Is Facebook going to let cops block you from posting about protests? | Privacy SOS
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 20:21
Independent journalist Kenneth Lipp attended the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference this week in Philly. Among the disturbing things he learned there is that Facebook is apparently teaming up with the Chicago Police Department to block people from posting to the social media website. More disturbing still is that this was disclosed in the context of a panel on law enforcement's response to "mass gatherings spurred by social media."
From Lipp's blog:
a senior police officer from the Chicago PD told a panel on Monday that his department was working with Facebook's security chief to block users' from the site by account (person) and device (he did not say if by UUID or MAC address or other means of hardware ID). Facebook's Joe Sullivan was scheduled to speak according to the original schedule for the panel ''Helping Law Enforcement Respond to Mass Gatherings Spurred by Social Media,'' but was unable to attend (also present: Edward Flynn, Chief of Police, Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee, WI; Katherine McQuay, Assistant Director, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC; Chuck Wexler, Executive Director, Police Executive Research Forum, Washington, DC).
Is Facebook really working with the police to create a kill switch to stop activists from using the website to mobilize support for political demonstrations? How would such a switch function? Would Facebook, which reportedly hands over our data to government agencies at no cost, block users from posting on its website simply because the police ask them to? The company has been criticized before for blocking environmentalist and anti-GMO activists from posting, but Facebook said those were mistakes. Let's hope this is a misunderstanding, too.
UPDATE: Lipp has posted an update, informing us that Facebook can block users from posting by taking note of unique identifiers in their phones or computers, and then blocking all posting from those devices.
SXSW Bungles Announcement of 'Online Harassment Summit,' and Panelists Are Pulling Out | Re/code
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 19:35
This morning, SXSW Interactive Director Hugh Forrest released a statement apologizing for canceling two controversial panels earlier this week, and announcing a March 12 ''Online Harassment Summit'' that would include members of the canceled sessions.
SXSW's statement said speakers from the two panels were set to be a part of the Summit, including the Gamergate-affiliated panel ''SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community.'' This came as a surprise to the organizers of ''Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games,'' who say they were not notified beforehand that the ''SavePoint'' panelists who supported the hateful Gamergate mob (Mercedes Carrera and Nick Robalik) would be at the Summit.
This is why the ''Level Up'' panelists are now pulling out of the Summit, saying they've lost faith in the ability of SXSW to put together an event that would properly accommodate their safety concerns (Update: ''Level Up'' panelist Randi Harper says she's ''currently working with SXSW towards a resolution for this situation''). Re/code has reached out to scheduled Summit attendees for comment, and we'll update this story as we hear back from more people. Here are the responses of Summit attendees thus far:
Caroline Sinders, ''Level Up'' panel organizer
''In light of the current SXSW announcement, we were not told that Save Point would join the Anti-Harassment Summit. This feels like another misstep from SXSW. Having an entire summit on Anti-Harassment could have been a really great endeavor.
''We recommended speakers, and worked with SXSW to really help curate and create what could have been a really fantastic, invigorating, and educational panel. We support Save Point being int he Gaming tract of SXSW but having their panel [sic] participant in the anti harassment creates multiple security concerns for new speakers as well as attendees. This just seems like further proof that SXSW does not understand harassment or how to produce a safe, inclusive and tolerant space for speakers and attendees.''
Randi Lee Harper, ''Level Up'' panelist and founder of the Online Abuse Prevention Initiative
''At this time, Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Gaming is not confirmed to be speaking at SXSW's online harassment summit. We worked closely with SXSW over the past few days, but we were very surprised to find SXSW making GamerGate a part of the discussion about online harassment. While we fully support GamerGate being a part of SXSW Gaming, adding them to the summit creates a safety concern for many of the people who are currently scheduled to be participating. It is unfortunate that SXSW still lacks an understanding of online harassment, and I have no confidence in their ability to run this summit while keeping panelists safe and providing for a productive conversation.''
Katherine Cross, ''Level Up'' panelist and sociologist
Brianna Wu, Head of Development at Giant SpaceKat
''I think SXSW needs to pick up the phone, ask [Randi Harper] what she needs to feel safe at this event and make it happen.''
Sarah Jeong, Contributing Editor at Vice's Motherboard
''I also only just found out that the SavePoint panel would be hosted at the very same event.
''The initial list of speakers, as was conveyed to me before I agreed to participate in SXSW, was a great starting point for what could potentially be a groundbreaking event. But this current situation is untenable. If the original Level Up panel backs out, I will be backing out as well.''
The Summit is set to include such high-profile figures as Facebook's head of product policy Monika Bickert and former Texas state senator Wendy Davis. Earlier this week, BuzzFeed threatened to pull out of SXSW altogether unless the panels were reinstated, and Vox Media said it would do the same unless ''appropriate steps were taken.''
SXSW interactive director Forrest could not be reached for comment at the time of this article's publication.
Contact Noah Kulwin:|EMAIL
Report: Pentagon spent millions on 'paid patriotism' with pro sports leagues - POLITICO
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 19:16
Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain's investigation has prompted the National Football League to examine all of its contracts with the Department of Defense. | Getty
Contracts between the Pentagon and pro sports teams intended to boost military recruiting and honor service members lack adequate oversight and cost the government more than $10 million over the past four years, according to a new report from Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake.
In the hopes of ending what they view as ''paid patriotism'' that benefits wealthy sports leagues at the expense of taxpayers, the two Arizona Republicans' investigation has prompted the National Football League to examine all of its contracts with the Department of Defense. And though the NFL has a newly instituted ban on such deals and the Pentagon is discontinuing the practice of paying for patriotic displays at games and events, the senators say there is far more work to do.
Story Continued Below
The senators charge that the Defense Department's response to their investigation fell short of fixing the problem, and they suggest the department is at the very least unaware of the sprawling number of deals there are with various multi-billion dollar sports leagues. The senators found 122 contracts worth $10.4 million spent over four years, but the department only included 62 percent of those marketing and advertising contracts with the five major sports leagues in correspondence delivered to the GOP investigators.
Flake and McCain say there's far more to this story.
''Direct and persistent sunlight is the best way to ensure that such activities are not continued,'' the senators wrote. ''Taxpayers '-- not the teams '-- paid for patriotism and VIP perks. It is time to allow major sports teams' legitimate tributes to our soldiers to shine with national pride rather than being cast under the pallor of marketing gimmicks paid for by American taxpayers.''
The report lists dozens of examples of spending deals between the Pentagon and pro sports leagues, a list that lands just a month before negotiators must seal a year-end spending deal and could find the leagues again under fire given intense public interest in the contracts. In a policy bill earlier this year, senators voted to ban spending taxpayer dollars on honor ceremonies for veterans and active military after national media picked up Flake's concern about "paid patriotism."
In the report unveiled Wednesday, the two senators cataloged $879,000 spent by the Georgia Army National Guard with the Atlanta Falcons on color-guard performances and video board tributes and $450,000 spent by the same unit on the Atlanta Braves. Beyond Atlanta, investigators say the Defense Department paid the Seattle Sounders soccer team $128,000 over the past four years on ''a compelling Army National Guard public service message'' to be played at games and $115,000 spent was spent on the Indiana Pacers for perks including parking passes and access to a luxury conference room. College sports programs and NASCAR were also dinged by Flake and McCain, along with the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and MLS.
But the bulk of the spending was associated with the NFL, where four teams received more than $500,000 a piece over the past four years from Defense Department contracts. That revelation has NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell scrubbing the league's books to make sure they withstand scrutiny.
''We are conducting an audit of all contracts between our clubs and the military service branches or state National Guard units. If we find that inappropriate payments were made, they will be refunded in full. We will share the results of this review with you,'' Goodell wrote to the senators on Monday. He advised them to call him personally if they have further concerns.
Flake began digging into the ''paid patriotism'' contracts in May, prompting the Pentagon and NFL to begin investigating the practice and officially separate advertising and marketing from military appreciation this summer. And the Arizona conservative is prepping a new flurry of investigations for the end of the year: He is assuming the budget-cutting mantle of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) by taking over the annual ''Wastebook,'' a document viewed by many on the right as a blueprint for which wasteful spending to tackle next.
Bogdan Aurescu meets US state secretary Victoria Nuland | News | The Diplomat Bucharest
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 19:14
2015-10-18 18:36:35 - From the Print Edition
The discussion agenda concentrated on ways to develop the Strategic partnership between Romania and the US as well as the evolution of the immediate neighbourhood and the extended region of the Black Sea, informs the MFA in a press release. The dialogue showed the privileged character of the relations between Romania and the US and underlined the dynamic rhythm of the Strategic Partnership.Bogdan Aurescu also welcomed the presence of the new US ambassador to Bucharest and reiterated the necessity to maintain the dynamics of bilateral dialogue, presenting a series of proposals for the amplification of the interaction on the main dimensions of the Mutual Statement regarding the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the US for the 21st century, including connections to the activity Task Force for the implementation of the Mutual Statement.
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KHNL: Romanian government resigns following protests
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 19:12
KHNLRomanian government resigns following protests
Posted: 11/04/2015 10:19 AM
By ALISON MUTLERAssociated PressBUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced the resignation of his government Wednesday following huge protests in the wake of a nightclub fire that killed more than 30 people.
"I'm handing in my mandate, I'm resigning, and implicitly my government too," Ponta said in a statement. He said the government would stay on until a new one is in place.
"I am obliged to take note of the legitimate grievances which exist in society," said Ponta. "I hope handing in my and my government's mandate will satisfy the demands of protesters."
Thousands took to the streets Tuesday night in a spontaneous protest. They shouted "Shame on you!" and "Assassins!" and waved Romanian flags. Anger has been brewing for some time in Romania against the government, which many perceive as being corrupt, and Friday's fire has added to the discontent.
Witnesses said the fire at the Colectiv in Bucharest broke out during a heavy-metal concert in the basement club when a spark ignited foam decor, sending panicked people stampeding for the single exit. Full Story
Universities Get Koch Cash Libertarian Economics | Al Jazeera America
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 17:25
Last summer, a top lieutenant of Charles and David Koch's vast network of philanthropic institutions, laid bare the billionaire brothers' strategy to evangelize their gospel of economic freedom.
Political success, Kevin Gentry told a crowd of elite supporters attending the annual Koch confab in Dana Point, Calif., begins with reaching young minds in college lecture halls, thereby preparing bright, libertarian-leaning students to one day occupy the halls of political power.
''The [Koch] network is fully integrated, so it's not just work at the universities with the students, but it's also building state-based capabilities and election capabilities and integrating this talent pipeline,'' he said.
''So you can see how this is useful to each other over time,'' he continued. ''No one else has this infrastructure. We're very excited about doing it.''
Charles Koch appears in a video promoting a partnership between Koch Industries, the Charles Koch Foundation and the United Negro College Fund. Koch Industries
The Center for Public Integrity obtained a previously unpublished audio recording of the meeting, which focused on the Kochs' higher education funding strategy, from liberal activists who produce The Undercurrent, an online video program.
Higher education has become a top Koch priority in recent years. And their funding '-- as well as pushback against it '-- is increasing.
During 2013, a pair of private charitable foundations Charles Koch leads and personally bankrolls combined to spread more than $19.3 million across 210 college campuses in 46 states and the District of Columbia, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Internal Revenue Service tax filings.
That represents a significant increase from the $12.7 million the Koch foundations distributed among 163 college campuses in 41 states and the District of Columbia during 2012. It's also exponentially more than what the Koch foundations together spent directly on higher education a decade ago.
The Center for Public Integrity reviewed hundreds of private documents, emails and audio recordings that, along with interviews with more than 75 college officials, professors, students and others, indicate the Koch brothers' spending on higher education is now a critical part of their broader campaign to infuse politics and government with free-market principles.
Spreading the gospel
It is no secret that the Kochs' network has invested hundreds of millions of hard-to-track dollars in conservative political nonprofits that influence elections. The brothers, who earned theirbillions leading private oil, chemical and manufacturing conglomerate Koch Industries Inc., were dominant forces in recent election cycles. They're now poisedtorankamong the most influential Americans shaping next year's presidential and congressional vote.
Much less well known: their activities on college campuses.
The Kochs are among many wealthy political patrons who give money to education, including conservative Robert McNair, independent Michael Bloomberg and liberal billionaire financier George Soros. (The Center for Public Integrity receives funding from the Open Society Foundations, which Soros funds. A complete list of Center for Public Integrity funders is found here.)
The Kochs' giving, however, has a laser-like focus on a specific, politically relevant discipline '-- free market economics '-- unmatched by other political mega-donors. Koch officials routinely cultivate relationships with professors and deans and fund specific courses of economic study pitched by them.
Since the '60s, they've been imbued with the sense that the world would be a better place if the country instituted their libertarian values.
Detractors argue the Koch brothers' college-focused money, by helping advance a philosophy of economic liberty, is eroding a fundamental aspect of higher education: academic freedom.
But some conservatives and libertarians consider the Kochs' investments in higher education a much-needed counterweight to an American higher education system that historically tilts leftward.
And they explain the Kochs' decision to influence education most certainly does not spring, as many liberal partisans would like the body politic to believe, from the compulsions of steel-souled industrialists more concerned about fortune and power than, say, protecting the environment or helping the poor.
''Since the '60s, they've been imbued with the sense that the world would be a better place if the country instituted their libertarian values,'' author Brian Doherty said of the brothers.
''For Charles, his time horizon, as he gets a little older, has become a little shorter. He has lots of money, and he wants to see action in his lifetime,'' continued Doherty, the author of ''Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement'' and senior editor at Reason who's interviewed both Koch brothers.
''I'm not doing anything I'm ashamed of,'' Charles Koch himself told Forbes last month. ''You've gotta change the hearts and minds of the people to understand what really makes society fairer and what's going to change their lives. And it's not more of this government control.''
The Kochs educational giving, while rarefied, isn't nation's largest. With his wife, Betty, Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, this year pledged $100 million to the California Institute of Technology '-- and allowed the school to spend it as it sees fit.
Koch defenders also note, accurately, that the pair has donated generously to educational causes not necessarily animated by political considerations: the Smithsonian, public television, media organizations, music scholarships, medical research and a variety of others. David Koch, for his part, has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into medicine and the arts over the years.
But it's clear where there is an ideological bent to their giving: Tax returns, as well as emails and private documents exchanged among Charles Koch Foundation officers and various college and university officials, indicate the foundation's commitment to funding academics is deep and growing. Koch education funding, which is almost singularly focused on economics, also sometimes comes with certain strings attached.
Recruiting new believers
At the College of Charleston in South Carolina, for example, documents show the foundation wanted more than just academic excellence for its money. It wanted information about students it could potentially use for its own benefit '-- and influence over information officials at the public university disseminated about the Charles Koch Foundation.
It sought, for one, the names and email addresses '-- ''preferably not ending in .edu'' '-- of any student who participated in a Koch-sponsored class, reading group, club or fellowship. The stated purpose: ''to notify students of opportunities'' through both the Charles Koch Foundation and the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University.
And the foundation certainly did not want the College of Charleston to speak to news reporters about its Koch-funded programs without prior consent from the Charles Koch Foundation.
A still from a video by the Charles Koch Foundation entitled "Economic Freedom in 60 Seconds." Charles Koch Foundation
''[I]f you intend to engage in press releases or other media outreach associated with programmatic activities, please notify us in advance,'' Charles Koch Foundation officials Charlie Ruger and Derek Johnson wrote Peter Calcagno, director of the College of Charleston's Center for Public Choice and Market Process. ''We consider media outreach a collaborative effort and would appreciate the opportunity to both assist and advise.''
Donors are often sent unpublished press releases about programs they fund ''as a courtesy so that they will know the contents,'' school spokesman Mike Robertson said.
At Florida State University, one of the nation's top educational recipients of Koch foundation money this decade '-- about $1.38 million from 2010 through 2013 '-- a similar request is more direct.
''FSU will allow [the Charles Koch Foundation] to review and approve the text of any proposed publicity which includes mention of CKF,'' reads a memorandum of understanding signed between the university and foundation in 2013.
Such provisions aren't new at Florida State University: the Center for Public Integrity last year reported that the Charles Koch Foundation first attempted in 2007 to place specific conditions on its financial support of the school, when it initially considered providing funding.
Among the proposed conditions: Teachings must align with the libertarian economic philosophy of Charles Koch, the Charles Koch Foundation would maintain partial control over faculty hiring and the chairman of the school's economics department '-- a prominent economic theorist '-- must stay in place for another three years despite his plans to step down.
Florida State University ultimately didn't agree to the initial requests when, in 2008, it reached a funding agreement with the foundation. It's also tightened and clarified policies that affect private donors' contributions to the university.
Relationships between certain school officials and the Charles Koch Foundation personnel nevertheless blossomed. One gatekeeper to Charles Koch's riches practically became family '-- if not by blood, then money.
''Thought you might want to see our 'nephew!''' wrote executive assistant Tonja Guilford to David Rasmussen, her boss and dean of Florida State University's College of Social Sciences and Public Policy.
Attached to the October 2014 email were photos of this ''nephew'' '-- the tow-headed toddler son of John C. Hardin, director of university relations for the Charles Koch Foundation.
Hardin and his family had previously visited with Florida State University officials in Tallahassee. Talk of future get-togethers, and more pictures of Hardin's son in a Superman costume, aloft in his father's arms, would follow.
''I was just thinking this morning I needed new pictures to post outside my door,'' Guilford fawned to Hardin in an email. ''He is just way too cute in his superman costume. He's my 'little' superman '' I just love him!''
Rasmussen, who routinely pursues private funding on behalf of his department, declined interview requests from the Center for Public Integrity, as did Guilford.
Florida State University spokesman Dennis Schnittker described the email exchanges as ''friendly correspondence between individuals,'' adding that collegial communications are a valuable part of school culture.
''Most university presidents would tell you before you can fundraise, you have to 'friend raise,''' Schnittker said.
Today, the Kochs' friendship with Florida State University appears stronger than ever.
An email written in September 2014 by Jesse Colvin, Florida State University's College of Social Sciences and Public Policy development director, indicates the Charles Koch Foundation is committed to funding the work of economic department doctoral students ''during 2015-2016 and in subsequent years.''
A series of other meetings and conversations between Hardin, from the Charles Koch Foundation, and Florida State University officials followed, documents indicate.
In November 2014, Florida State University officials huddled in the office of newly installed university President John Thrasher for a meeting entitled ''Koch briefing.'' Schnittker, the university spokesman, said the meeting was an ''opportunity for our new president to be briefed by university staff about a gift agreement that obviously preceded his tenure.'' Hardin of the Charles Koch Foundation was not present, Schnittker said.
Our giving has expanded to support new research and programs on critical issues ranging from criminal justice reform to corporate welfare.
Charles Koch Foundation spokesperson
Meanwhile, when officials at the Florida State University Project on Accountable Justice went hunting for funding, the Charles Koch Foundation factored into their strategy.
The Koch brothers, after all, were telegraphing their intent to make criminal justice reform a personal priority, reasoning that ''overcriminalization,'' like overregulation of industry, is resulting in more Americans enjoying fewer economic freedoms.
Not everyone at the Florida State University Project on Accountable Justice appeared thrilled at pursuing Koch cash.
''I know you really hate them, but we really need to send them some stuff,'' then-Chairman Allison DeFoor wrote Executive Director Deborrah Brodsky late last year. ''They have money. We don't.''
Reached separately by phone last week, DeFoor, an unabashed conservative, and Brodsky, a Canadian whose politics point more leftward, both laughed off the exchange as comedic banter between longtime colleagues.
But they confirmed they had pursued the Charles Koch Foundation. It hasn't yet funded the project but did provide the organization ''strategic support,'' including co-hosting a forum on criminal justice.
DeFoor would conclude, following presentations in Washington, D.C., to both the Charles Koch Foundation and the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, that Koch interest in issues the project researches ''is sincere, potentially aggressive and deep.''
As a small, three-year-old ''research- and evidence-based'' program, the Florida State University Project on Accountable Justice will gladly take money from most anyone along the ideological spectrum who's dedicated to its study of and work on criminal justice system reforms, Brodsky said. She counts liberal lions such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center and Human Rights Watch as partners.
The Charles Koch Foundation executives declined to be interviewed individually. Trice Jacobson, a foundation spokesperson, instead provided a statement that she said ''captures what we all hope to share for this piece.''
''Like many charities, the Charles Koch Foundation recognizes the importance of supporting a diversity of ideas so scholars and students can continue to push the frontiers of knowledge and help people discover new and better ways to live fulfilling lives,'' the statement read. ''Our giving has expanded to support new research and programs on critical issues ranging from criminal justice reform to corporate welfare.''
In a separate statement of its ''academic giving principles,'' the Charles Koch Foundation asserts that it is ''committed to advancing a marketplace of ideas and supporting a 'Republic of Science' where scholarship is free, open and subject to rigorous and honest intellectual challenge.''
It also notes that scholars and students ''who are free to teach, learn, research, speak, critique and receive support for their work without interference'' are in the ''best position to discover the advances that will help improve well-being.''
Koch university funding for "educational programs" (2013)
SchoolStateMoney receivedWhat the money really goes towardGeorge Mason UniversityVirginia$14,487,000Programs at the Mercatus Center and Institute for Humane Studies, which are closely tied to the Koch brothers. Also funded building renovations at campus building Mason Hall. "We appreciate the generosity of our donors including the Koch Foundation and are excited about all gifts we receive," George Mason University spokesman Michael Sandler said.Florida Southern CollegeFlorida$400,000School officials did not respond to questions. "The Science of Success" by Charles Koch is on the book club reading list of the school's Center for Free Enterprise, which is led by Derek Yonai, who received his doctorate at George Mason University.Florida State UniversityFlorida$358,140Economics Ph.D. fellowships to candidates, a faculty salary in the economics department, undergraduate student research and guest speakers for a registered student organization, said university spokesman Dennis Schnittker. A memorandum of understanding signed in April 2013 by Florida State University and the Charles Koch Foundation indicates a $1.5 million foundation commitment to help fund several professorships, a teaching specialist, undergraduate and post-doctoral programs and administrative costs.Texas A&M UniversityTexas$263,000"These are gifts to support the mission of the university. We do not disclose donor information, typically," said Monika Blackwell, a Texas A&M University Foundation spokeswoman. Political science professor Joseph Daniel Ura did list on his resume $9,700 in Charles Koch Foundation funding received in 2010.The Catholic University of AmericaDistrict of Columbia$215,000Part of a $2.75 million commitment over several years to "bolster the school's goal of advancing the study and practice of principled entrepreneurship." The money "puts our school far along the path of creating a cadre of faculty dedicated to research exploring how we can make business and economics more humane," Andrew Abela, dean of the university's School of Business and Economics, said in a press release. "That's not only the vision for our school; it's also a moral imperative that Pope Francis has been championing with great passion." University spokesman Victor Nakas declined further comment.Southern Methodist UniversityTexas$192,000University spokesman Kent Best says the money does not go to a certain department, institute or program and does not affect how it teaches. "SMU values freedom of speech and diversity of opinion within the university and respects the diversity of opinions among our many supporters," he said.Baylor UniversityTexas$171,500"Research and support of graduate programs in the Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise in Baylor's Hankamer School of Business," spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said. Recent doctoral graduate Christopher Bissex now works as the Charles Koch Foundation's program manager for academic careers.Utah State UniversityUtah$145,000An even $100,000 went toward "faculty support," while another $45,000 funded the Koch Scholars Program - an "opportunity to meet on a weekly basis to discuss an assortment of select books, movies and podcasts." Said spokesman Tim Vitale: "We looked closely at the agreement and made absolutely clear that if at any time we perceived any kind of outside pressure whatsoever, we would end the relationship."Clemson UniversitySouth Carolina$140,000Funding for the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism, the Department of Economics and the Charles Koch Annual Fellowship for an economics student, university spokeswoman Robin Denny said. "Gifts are for educational purposes that are clearly defined prior to receipt," she said.Ohio State UniversityOhio$130,000An even $100,000 went toward salary and benefits for an economics department instructor who will teach an estimated eight courses a year in "on topics related to economic freedom and competitive markets, such as the history of thought, public finance, industrial organization, and micro and macroeconomic principles," university spokeswoman Amy Murray said. The rest went toward "various department activities as identified by the chair to enhance the department, including seminar presentations, graduate student research and travel and faculty teaching," she said. The school also received $132,000 during 2014, she said.University of North Carolina, Chapel HillNorth Carolina$115,000Half of "a pledge for the Charles Koch Visiting Scholars Program in UNC-Chapel Hill's Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program. This program is conducted in collaboration with Duke University," university spokesman Jim Gregory said.Texas Tech UniversityTexas$109,000The school's Free Market Institute and the Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, spokesman Chris Cook said.Brooklyn Law SchoolNew York$100,000Faculty support under the control and supervision of Brooklyn Law School, said school spokesman John MacKin.Indiana University-Purdue University InianapolisIndiana$92,500A university spokeswoman directed questions to Kathy Gutowsky, spokeswoman for the university's nonprofit fundraising arm, the Indiana University Foundation. "We will not provide specific details with regard to the Charles Koch Foundation or other donors," Gutowsky said.Oklahoma State UniversityOklahoma$69,000"Oklahoma State University and the OSU Foundation maintain the confidentiality of gifts made by donors," spokesman Gary Shutt said. The university's Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise does, however, advertise a "Koch Internship Program" and "Koch Summer Fellow Program."George Washington UniversityDistrict of Columbia$62,000The university's Regulatory Studies Center received $50,000 and School of Business received $12,000, university spokesman Jason Shevrin said.College of CharlestonSouth Carolina$52,000Support for the College of Charleston's Center for Public Choice and Market Process in the college's School of Business, spokesman Mike Robertson said. "The College of Charleston considers many factors before it partners with a particular group or organization," he added, noting that the school strictly adheres to an established gift acceptance policy.Ohio UniversityOhio$50,000The university's Prague Study Abroad Program in Economics received $35,000, while $15,000 went to speakers and undergraduate research fellowships at the George Washington Forum - a "civic education initiative which aims to promote intellectual diversity and civil public debate," university spokeswoman Katie Quaranta said.Troy UniversityAlabama$50,000School officials did not respond to questions. In 2014, spokesman Andy Ellis said a previous contribution "provided gifts to establish the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy within the Sorrell College of Business." The center is led by Stephen C. Miller, who earned his doctorate at George Mason University and "received a five-year grant to support free enterprise educational activities by the Charles Koch Foundation."Loyola University, New OrleansLouisiana$42,000"The gift from the Koch Foundation helped to fund a program/speaker series within the College of Business," spokeswoman Patricia Murret said.Harvard UniversityMassachusetts$40,000"Faculty research, as well as student life," spokesman Patrick McKiernan said. "Many of our donors are politically active across a wide range of perspectives, but they share in common support for Harvard."University of ArizonaArizona$40,000Graduate students in the UA Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, housed in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, spokesman Chris Sigurdson said. He added that the university doesn't take into consideration donors' political leanings, just the gift itself. "Political speech should never be a litmus test for academic philanthropy."University of Central ArkansasArkansas$40,000"The money was used to bring in a featured speaker, pay student assistants to write papers that were presented at a conference (one student used that presentation to help him earn a fellowship to grad school), pay for travel, conference registration and hotel for two students and two faculty members," spokeswoman Christina Munoz Madsen said.See MoreGeorge Mason, aka Koch U
Nowhere is expanded Koch involvement in higher education more evident than at George Mason University, which receives more funding from the Kochs than any other school.
The large, diverse public school in northern Virginia, about 20 miles from the White House, today houses and lends its name to what's effectively Charles Koch's personal academic workshop. The Charles Koch Foundation in 2013 donated more than $14.4 million to George Mason University and the research centers it hosts. That's on top of tens of millions in Koch dollars that George Mason University and the affiliated research centers have collectively received in recent years.
Charles Koch himself is a George Mason University fixture. He's the recipient of an honorary doctorate in science from the university, which boasts a student population of more than 33,700. He is a director of the university-based Mercatus Center '-- Mercatus means ''market'' in Latin '-- that Charles Koch Foundation Vice President Ryan Stowers described at the 2014 Koch gathering in California as ''critical'' to advancing policy priorities.
Koch also enjoys the company of several current and former George Mason University affiliates who play multiple roles across the Koch brothers' sprawling educational, corporate and political network.
Chief among them is Gentry, who presided over the Koch's closed-door higher education workshop last year.
Gentry possesses unique knowledge about the interconnectivity of the Koch's various interests and operations because he embodies its reach. He's a Charles Koch Foundation vice president and a key fundraiser for the Kochs' political action arm. He's a former vice president of both the Mercatus Center and the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. And today, he's even Eastern vice chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.
Brian Hooks, now president of the Charles Koch Foundation, is another key Koch network player.
Hazel Hall, home of the Mercatus Center and the Institute for Humane Studies on the George Mason University Arlington campus. Wikimedia Commons
Hooks served as the Mercatus Center's executive director and chief operating officer from 2005 until 2014 and remains a Mercatus Center board member. The year Hooks took over, the Mercatus Center posted $4.9 million in total revenue, according to tax filings. The year he left, it posted nearly $20.7 million.
''Our job is to make sure that we've got a strategy for our work to have a disproportionate impact,'' Hooks said at the Kochs' conference in 2014, noting that the Mercatus Center is the ''largest collection'' of ''free market faculty'' at any university in the world. ''These guys are producing research that groups in this network can rely on to advance economic freedom every single day.''
Scholarly research performed by academics at Koch-funded schools and programs is indeed sometimes used by Koch-backed nonprofit organizations that, in turn, overtly advocate for political candidates and causes.
For instance, to support assertions made in a recent, 67-page policy paper, Koch-supported American Encore regularly cites and quotes Mercatus Center research and mentions the center nearly a dozen times.
Among the academic work American Encore's paper highlights: a 2014 Mercatus Center study by Keith Hall, a senior research fellow who had previously served as commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a 2014 commentary about a federal regulations tracking and measurement tool by Patrick A. McLaughlin, another senior research fellow.
''Yet another study has confirmed what we already knew '-- states with lower taxes do better,'' read an article by the Kochs' flagship nonprofit, Americans for Prosperity, about a study published July 7 by the Mercatus Center. ''Overall, the rankings provide more evidence that economic freedom works, and bigger government means bigger trouble.''
And the 60 Plus Association, a retiree-focused nonprofit that's benefited from tens of millions of dollars of the Koch brothers' money over the years, for a time tappedWalter Williams, a George Mason University economics professor, syndicatedcolumnist and Rush Limbaugh Show fill-in host, as a member of its ''truth squad.'' His mission: to ''battle'' against Democrats wanting to reform Social Security and Medicare programs.
Congress takes notice
Congress is also paying more attention to the Mercatus Center, which from 1999 to 2008 was mentioned by name 32 times in either the Congressional Record or congressional committee reports. Since 2009, it's been mentioned 93 times, often in reference to Mercatus Center faculty who were testifying before Congress.
This year, Congress even cited Mercatus Center research in the text of budget bills. House Concurrent Resolution 27 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 11 note that a Mercatus Center study ''estimates that Obamacare will reduce employment by up to 3 percent, or about 4 million full-time equivalent workers.''
Mercatus Center Vice President Carrie Conko, while declining to address critics' ''ad hominem attacks'' of Charles Koch, stressed the institution's work is the product of hard work and high standards '-- not the whims of some patron puppet master.
''As a university research center, our scholarship is independent and subjected to rigorous peer review,'' Conko said. ''Our researchers are interested in understanding what shapes societies and economies and that covers a spectrum of research from the history of economic thought to the application of economics to questions of public policy.''
Conko also noted that the Mercatus Center abides by a strong conflict of interest and research independence policy, which she described as ''stronger than those of most found with typical academic centers or departments.''
Mercatus Center officials note that the center isn't part of George Mason University the same way as, say, its chemistry or psychology departments. Instead, it's organized as a stand-alone nonprofit, and as such, George Mason University isn't directly responsible for it.
The Mercatus Center doesn't receive direct funding from George Mason University, Conko said.
But George Mason University and its students do receive millions of dollars in annual financial benefit from the Mercatus Center, according to federal tax filings.
That alone is a major incentive for a public university in Virginia, where state funding of higher education is dwindling, to host a privately funded operation on its campus '-- today, a fairly common practice among public schools.
The Mercatus Center spent $3.64 million during that time to ''support graduate students at George Mason University'' by ''training future scholars and decision-makers to advance and apply a research agenda for understanding institutions and change,'' according to a tax filing.
The Mercatus Center helped fund $1.82 million worth of communication efforts that included promoting its research and ideas ''to the media and opinion shapers.''
And it made a $10,000 grant to the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which operates a ''global network of more than 400 free market organizations.'' They include several Koch-backed nonprofit groups such as Americans for Prosperity, the American Legislative Exchange Council and Americans for Tax Reform.
The Mason-Mercatus-Koch nexus may seem like rich fodder for a Democrat such as Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, whose national party brethren makesdemonizing the Koch brothers a central strategy of their electoral and fundraising agenda.
McAuliffe's own political committee, Common Good VA, bashed the ''ultra right wing Koch Brothers'' in an email earlier this month, accusing them of working against ''expanding health care for all'' and ''ensuring a living wage.''
But McAuliffe '-- the outspoken former chairman of both the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign '-- declined Center for Public Integrity requests to discuss George Mason University's relationship with the Koch brothers.
George Mason University's top undergraduate leader, Student Body President Khushboo Bhatia, also declined comment.
I don't really see what Mason gets from them, and I don't think the situation is healthy or consistent with the university's teaching mission.
Professor of politics, George Mason University
University spokesman Michael Sandler explained that George Mason is among the nation's most diverse campuses, and ''this notion of diversity and inclusion that is so central to our mission applies to our donors, as well.''
Sandler said the university appreciates the Charles Koch Foundation's donations, as well as those from thousands of other donors.
''While we are grateful for all of the gifts we receive, we value academic freedom above all else,'' Sandler said. ''This freedom allows our faculty and researchers to ask questions and make discoveries that others wouldn't otherwise pursue, and we will not compromise that freedom for anything or anyone.''
Jennifer Victor, a George Mason University politics professor who specializes in how individuals and groups influence government, is skeptical.
George Mason University's marriage to an ideologically motivated donor with a policy agenda to achieve ''raises some eyebrows,'' Victor said. ''I don't really see what Mason gets from them, and I don't think the situation is healthy or consistent with the university's teaching mission.''
No comment on Koch funding
Some college officials such as Sandler are willing to discuss the financial support their schools receive from Koch-run private foundations, with many emphasizing that gifts from donors, whether liberal or conservative, don't affect coursework or the manner in which students learn. They also note that their schools receive hundreds, and sometimes thousands of contributions each year from individuals, private foundations and the like.
But it's not uncommon for other school officials to button up.
Take Victor Nakas, a spokesman for The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Posed a series of questions about the $215,000 the university received in 2013 from the Charles Koch Foundation, he emailed apair of dated press releases announcing grants.
''We will be unable to provide you with more than links to these announcements,'' he said.
Follow-up messages went unreturned.
Michael Schoenfeld, the vice president for public affairs and government relations at Duke University, declined to say how the school used the $37,000 it recently received from the Charles Koch Foundation.
''As a rule, we do not comment on individual donors or contributions without the donor's permission,'' he explained.
Officials at Oklahoma State University likewise offered no details about how the school used the $69,000 the Charles Koch Foundation recently gave it.
Why the silence?
An email exchange between two Florida State University officials, obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, offers a measure of explanation.
In this June 5, 2014 file photo, Michael Lomax, president of the United Negro College Fund, poses for a portrait by a painted mural in Washington. The United Negro College Fund announced a $25 million grant from Koch Industries Inc. and the Charles Koch Foundation.Jacquelyn Martin / AP
In it, the officials indicate deep concern about the potential effects of releasing more information about the school's moneyed donors in response to activist demands.
''[R]equiring donors to disclose more than they already do will likely result in fewer gifts and smaller gifts, and it will impose an additional administrative hurdle for the university,'' wrote Thomas W. Jennings, vice president for university advancement, to David Coburn, Florida State University chief of staff.
Revealing donor gift agreements, even for donors who have not requested anonymity, might ''have a negative effect on FSU's relationships with many of its donors, who don't want that kind of attention,'' Jennings continued.
The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill received $115,000 from the Charles Koch Foundation in 2013, one of nearly 100 schools that year to receive a five-figure contribution from a Koch foundation.
But that's information not easily accessed by students. Whether by design, happenstance or ignorance, ''most individuals don't know where any of the university's funds come from,'' University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Student Body President Houston Summers said.
University spokesman Jim Gregory confirmed the school received $110,000 for the Charles Koch Visiting Scholars Program in UNC-Chapel Hill's Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program, conducted in collaboration with Duke University. Donors are allowed to remain anonymous, if they choose.
However, some universities are facing blowback over scant information about school donors from increasingly organized anti-Koch groups and activists.
The umbrella group UnKoch My Campus, for one, has staged protests, demanded meetings with administrators and launched chapters at George Mason University and Florida State University, among others. The organization accuses the Kochs and their allies of undermining issues many students care about, such as environmental protection, workers' rights, healthcare expansion and public education.
Its immediate goal, beyond convincing colleges to de-Koch themselves?
''Transparency, because students should have the capability to be more aware of who's funding their school and their education, and where funding might conflict with student interests,'' said Kalin Jordan, an UnKoch My Campus organizer. ''The universities '-- most don't do a good job of informing students at all.''
Said Colin Nackerman, a student activist at George Mason University: ''You should know, if you're going into a classroom, that $30 million is going into your school from someone who wants you to think a certain way.''
Largely silent in the past, the Charles Koch Foundation has begun to push back at such dissenters.
''They don't want students and scholars to expand their educational horizons,'' Hardin, the foundation's university relations director, wrote in a May 26 Wall Street Journal op-ed. ''Rather than engage in a vigorous and civil debate about the merits of different ideas, they seek to prevent those with which they disagree from ever being heard.''
Liberals give big, too
Hungarian born U.S. billionaire philanthropist George Soros gives a speech during the meeting of International Crisis Group Working to Prevent Conflict Worldwide in Brussels, Belgium on October 23, 2014.Wiktor Dabkowski / picture-alliance / dpa / AP
If George Mason University is Charles Koch's academic playground, Bard College is that of Democratic bankroller George Soros, often viewed as the Koch brothers' pre-eminent liberal foil.
The tiny New York liberal arts school nestled along the Hudson River is renowned for both scholarship and hippy-dippyness. It received more than $11.2 million from Soros' private foundation in 2013 '-- part of a $60 million, multiyear commitment.
But for Soros, himself a multibillionaire with wealth comparable to the Kochs, his contributions to Bard College aren't generally earmarked for core academics or domestic political considerations.
Instead, Soros' money mainly helps fund Bard College's Center for Civic Engagement, which houses a broad portfolio of both U.S. and overseas programs aimed at ''advancing the ideals of an innovative, hands-on liberal arts education through a myriad of opportunities across the globe.''
This tracks with Soros' broader tack on educational giving: The vast majority of his tens of millions of dollars in education-related contributions fund foreign schools and programs, particularly in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. (Soros lived his early life in Hungary, where as a Jew, he survived Nazi occupation before emigrating.)
Among the U.S. schools Soros does aid, many of his most sizable grants are earmarked for programs with international goals, such as $500,000 to Harvard University funding a project on economic growth in Albania, and $159,834 to The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., to ''develop effective and influential public policy leaders in Central Asia.''
Soros' foundation even gave George Mason University more than $22,500 '-- not to fund economics programs, but to organize meetings in Mexico and Peru about conflict reconciliation.
''As a general rule,'' Soros said in 2011, ''I do not support higher education in the United States.''
Soros does make exceptions.
An avowed advocate of campaign finance reform, Soros has used his private foundations to fund certain domestic college initiatives squarely rooted in American politics and elections.
One Soros foundation, for example, gave New York City's Fordham University $200,000 in 2013 to study the ''role of money in democratic process.''
The money is part of a $1 million, multi-year grant to determine how disclosure of campaign money influences voters '-- an awfully political endeavor by any measure.
But school officials say the research they conduct is free of outside influence and subject to the highest academic and legal reviews and standards.
''None of this work is 'political' per se in terms of any ideological dimensions '... it is all strictly nonpartisan,'' said Costas Panagopoulos, director of Fordham's Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy, who is leading the program.
Penn State University's economics department in 2013 benefited from $150,000 in Soros money to help build a research center focused in part on ''interactions between new media and society.''
And the Ohio State University Research Foundation received $50,000 to conduct a research project aimed at better understanding the role independent expenditures play in federal elections and ''how those expenditures influence the legislative process.''
Bard College officials do hear their share of criticism for taking a massive amount of money from Soros' private foundation, said Jonathan Becker, the school's vice president for academic affairs and director for civic engagement.
But, similar to some of the schools that accept Koch money, the school's tenuous budget situation means that it'd take funding from just about anyone so long as the transaction was legal and wasn't intended to fund an initiative ''antithetical to our vision,'' Becker said.
That vision, in the words of its student handbook, imagines a ''supportive, intellectually rich environment where students can engage themselves to the fullest while respecting all members of the community.''
So what if the Charles Koch Foundation wanted to donate $1 million to Bard College?
Or $10 million?
''We would say 'thank you,' and we would cash the check quickly,'' Becker said.
Other conservative donors
Unlike the Kochs, Soros and many other prominent political donors, both left and right of center, have charitable agendas that largely diverge from their domestic political agendas.
Robert McNair, the Houston Texans owner who this year alone has spread $3 million among five super PACs backing several Republican presidential candidates, used his private foundation to give millions of dollars to various medical schools and a scholarship program for doctors performing research in areas such as breast cancer, juvenile diabetes and neuroscience.
Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, two other top-shelf Republican donors whom 2016 presidential candidates have endlessly wooed, directed almost all of their university-related private foundation funding '-- millions of it in 2013 '-- to medical research.
A private foundation co-run by former World Wrestling Entertainment honcho Linda McMahon, a major GOP donor who herself twice unsuccessfully ran self-funded U.S. Senate campaigns, gave its most sizable, six-figure contributions to substance abuse help group Liberation Programs.
Then there's one late Republican superdonor whose philanthropy has been at war with his political giving: Harold Simmons.
The Texas businessman bankrolled his eponymous foundation, but his liberal daughters run it. In doing so, they saw to it that Planned Parenthood '-- the ultimate Republican scourge of late '-- received more than $300,000 of his money during 2013. It's also given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Public Campaign, a Washington, D.C.-based money-in-politics reform group also supported in 2013 with $300,000 from a private foundation led by liberal hedge fund manager Jonathan Soros, son of George Soros.
Money the Harold Simmons Foundation did give to colleges in 2013 mostly went toward infrastructure and general operating expenses.
U of Dayton says 'no thanks'
While more schools than ever are engaging with Koch foundations, at least one school '-- the University of Dayton in Ohio '-- has seemingly soured on Koch cash, which it has previously accepted in five-figure amounts.
Jay Riestenberg, a research analyst at campaign reform advocacy group Common Cause and University of Dayton alumnus, earlier this year emailed the school's Interim Provost Paul H. Benson, asking him if the University of Dayton is still funded by, or seeking new funding from Koch foundations.
Attached was an op-ed Riestenberg has written for the school's student newspaper. In it, he explains that his education at the small Catholic school inspired him to care about other people, protect the environment and fight for social justice.
''UD accepting Koch funding is in clear violation of the institution's Catholic Marianist values,'' Riestenberg wrote in the April 28 email.
Benson replied later that night. His answer: The University of Dayton no longer accepts Koch cash, and it will not in the future '-- despite the efforts of Koch-backed organizations.
''There have been instances in which other foundations who are funded in part by the Koch Brothers have tried to interest us in establishing centers at UD,'' Benson wrote Riestenberg. ''We have not supported those proposals, precisely for the reasons you cite.''
Benson declined an interview request by the Center for Public Integrity.
In a statement, University of Dayton spokeswoman Cilla Shindell explained that the school did reject a recent proposal from a ''foundation that is in part funded by the Koch family'' because it ''would have been structured in a way that would limit oversight by the university in such areas as curriculum and faculty hiring.''
She did not name the foundation.
This story is from the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative media organization in Washington, D.C. Read more of its investigations on the influence of money in politics or follow it on Twitter.
Theresa May bans US segregationist from UK for 'neo-Nazi' remarks | World news | The Guardian
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 16:33
Theresa May has excluded more foreign nationals for unacceptable behaviour than any other home secretary, a spokesman said. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
Theresa May has banned a US southern nationalist who has advocated racial segregation from entering the UK, because of his neo-Nazi and antisemitic remarks.
The home secretary ordered the exclusion of Matthew Heimbach, 25, president of the Traditional Youth Network, who has been called the ''face of a new generation of white nationalists'' by the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC).
Heimbach posted a copy of his exclusion letter on Twitter. ''I am now banned from England for being a nationalist while 10ks of radical Muslims are welcomed. #EnglandYoureDrunk,'' he tweeted, adding later that he was considering attempting entry regardless of the order.
The letter says: ''After careful consideration, on 30 October 2015, she personally directed that you should be excluded from the UK on the grounds that your presence here would not be conducive to the public good.
''The home secretary has reached this decision because you have brought yourself within the scope of the list of unacceptable behaviour by making statements that may foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.''
It also notes that Heimach is ''a southern nationalist and that you advocate for racial segregation in the US''. It cites concerns about Heimbach expressing antisemitic and neo-Nazi views.
Heimbach was the founder of the White Student Union while at university in Maryland, where he was the subject of a Vice news documentary about his organisation of patrols to combat what he termed a ''black crime wave'', and told filmmakers his goal was for segregated black and white ''homelands'' in the US.
He has sent regular racist and antisemitic messages on Twitter, many hinging on the alleged ''Jewish control'' of banks and government.
Community Security Trust, one of the organisations that had flagged concerns about Heimbach to the Home Office, welcomed the decision to exclude him.
''Heimbach's extremism and antisemitism is clear-cut,'' a spokesman for the Jewish security charity said. ''We thank the Home Office for having heard our concerns and for their decision in this case.''
Heimbach has long expressed interest in meeting like-minded European and Russian nationalist groups, recently writing an article in praise of Greece's Golden Dawn party.
Matthew Collins, of anti-extremism campaign Hope Not Hate said Heimbach had been set to meet several far right activists in the UK, at a private lunch in Southport.
''We are conscious that there is a concerted effort by some people to build a new far-right movement directing their hatreds back towards the Jewish community,'' Collins told the Guardian.
''His presence would have been seen as some kind of moral victory by such people. We ask the government to remain ever vigilant.''
A Home Office spokesman said: ''The home secretary has the power to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good or if their exclusion is justified on public policy grounds.
''Coming to the UK is a privilege and one that we refuse to extend to those who seek to subvert the shared values of our society.
''This home secretary has excluded more foreign nationals on the grounds of unacceptable behaviour than any before her.''
Mother claims Gardasil HPV vaccine disabled her daughter, takes legal action | syracuse.com
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 16:27
After her daughter suffered severe adverse effects from the HPV vaccine Gardasil, one woman in Ireland is taking legal action.
The Irish Times reports Fiona Kirby is seeking a High Court order for the removal of the Gardasil license. The vaccine is given to preteen and teen girls as an option to prevent cervical cancer.
Kirby says that within 24 hours after receiving the vaccination, her 11-year-old daughter experienced severe flu-like symptoms. The symptoms reoccurred after her daughter got her second dose, she also claims. The third dose was canceled.
In an affidavit, Kirby claims her daughter became "extremely fatigued" and experienced severe nausea that led to weight loss. Her daughter was hospitalized for bilateral pneumonia in March 2012 and missed several days of school.
Because of these events, Kirby became a member of a support group in Ireland called Reaction and Effects of Gardasil Resulting in Extreme Trauma (REGRET). The group helps those who claim their daughters became sick from the vaccine.
REGRET tells the Irish Examiner that about 100 girls have reported an alleged illness after receiving the vaccine. Gardasil has been offered to teens in Ireland since May 2010 as a recommendation by the World Health Organization.
Kirby says her daughter is disabled to the point she needs to be cared for on a permanent basis, the Times says. At first she thought her daughter's problems were an isolated case. But she found other girls also have similar health problems.
Appearing in court on Monday, Kirby was joined by other mothers and members of REGRET. The case will be seen before a judge in three weeks when the Health Products Regulatory Authority has filed a replying affidavit, the Examiner adds.
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Wed, 04 Nov 2015 16:25
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Draft Investigatory Powers Bill - Publications - GOV.UK
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:51
Ref: ISBN 9781474125666, ID 30101501 11/15, Cm 9152PDF, 3.38MB, 299 pages
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Draft Investigatory Powers Bill '' the key points and link to the full text
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:39
The Guardian has helpfully just published this handy guide to the draft Investigatory Powers Bill, just announced in parliament by Teresa May:
Requires web and phone companies to store records of websites visited by every citizen for 12 months for access by police, security services and other public bodies.Makes explicit in law for the first time security services' powers for the ''bulk collection'' of large volumes of personal communications data.Makes explicit in law for the first time the powers of the security services and police to hack into and bug computers and phones. Places new legal obligation on companies to assist in these operations to bypass encryption.New ''double-lock'' on ministerial authorisation of intercept warrants with a panel of seven judicial commissioners given power of veto. But exemptions allowed in 'urgent cases' of up to five days.Existing system of three oversight commissioners replaced with single investigatory powers commissioner who will be a senior judge.Prime minister to be consulted in all cases involving interception of MPs' communications. Safeguards on requests for communications data in other ''sensitive professions'' such as journalists to be written into law.The full text of they draft bill is available here on the government's website.
* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.
Surveillance laws: Q&A - Telegraph
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:39
Privacy and civil liberty campaigners argue the bill is equally needed to open a debate on what snooping powers and levels of intrusion in to private lives are appropriate.
What measures will it include?
Internet companies will be required to retain customer web histories for up to a year. It will reinforce the power of spy agencies to bulk collect communications data.
' Surveillance laws revamp has faced a rocky road
Tech firms will be stopped from offering encryption services that even they cannot break. Ministers are expected to retain the power to sign off surveillance warrants but with extra oversight from judges.
Who will it affect?
Ministers intend for the measures to affect the communications of any UK customer regardless of where the provider is based. However, it remains to be seen how effective the laws can be in forcing the hands of overseas, and in particular US-based, tech giants.
Why is it controversial?
The balance between surveillance and privacy has also been a contentious one and the first attempts to introduce the so-called ''snooper's charter'' in the previous Coalition government failed when the Liberal Democrats rejected it.
The revelations from the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013 in to the techniques of GCHQ and the US National Security Agency and bulk collection of data reignited that debate and accusations of mass surveillance.
How does the UK compare to the US?
In the wake of the furore surrounding the Snowden leaks, the US curtailed some of its surveillance powers. The Freedom Act, passed in June this year, placed new restrictions and oversight on its spy agencies. It banned the indiscriminate storage of phone records, although it retained other bulk collection powers.
Police to be granted powers to view your internet history - Telegraph
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:36
It would make it a legal requirement for communications companies to retain all the web browsing history of customers for 12 months in case the spy agencies or police need to access them.
Police would be able to access specific web addresses visited by customers.
The new powers would allow the police to seize details of the website and searches being made by people they wanted to investigate.
They will still need to apply for judicial approval to be able to access the content of the websites.
' Technology makes it easier for terrorists to act, senior official warns
'Internet firms delete customer data post-Snowden to stop spies getting it
Mrs May previously told the Commons enforcement agencies needed more powers to do their jobs effectively.
''I've said many times before that it is not possible to debate the balance between privacy and security, including the rights and wrongs of intrusive powers and the oversight arrangements that govern them without also considering the threats that we face as a country," she told MPs.
"Those threats remain considerable and they are evolving.
"They include not just terrorism from overseas and home-grown in the UK, but also industrial, military and state espionage.
"They include not just organised criminality, but also the proliferation of once physical crimes online, such as child sexual exploitation. And the technological challenges that that brings.
"In the face of such threats we have a duty to ensure that the agencies whose job it is to keep us safe have the powers they need to do the job."
David Davis MP told The Times there is "no proven need" to retain the data for a year.
Previous plans to introduce the measure in the so-called snooper's charter in 2013 were blocked by the Liberal Democrats in the Coalition.
Writing in the Telegraph previously, former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg warned that Britain would be ''setting a worrying international precedent'' if plans for the massive database of people's internet and phone usage went ahead.
The Security Service, along with MI6 and GCHQ, has previously warned MPs that the ability to combat terrorism would be severely hampered without the powers.
Under the plans, telecoms and internet service providers would be paid to log their customers' emails, internet use and other correspondence so it could be easily searched by security officials.
Data would be held for 12 months and access granted to the police, the National Crime Agency, the intelligence agencies and HM Revenue and Customs.
Previously a poll by YouGov for Big Brother Watch found almost three-quarters of people did not trust that the data would be kept secure.
It comes as David Cameron, the Prime Minister, announced moves to strengthen its treaty with America to ensure Internet companies based there hand over requested data on suspects.
Some of the largest companies have been increasingly reluctant to supply customer communications in the wake of the claims of mass surveillance programmes by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden.
Internet firms to be banned from offering unbreakable encryption under new laws - Telegraph
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:33
It came as David Cameron, the Prime Minister, pleaded with the public and MPs to back his raft of new surveillance measures.
He said terrorists, paedophiles and criminals must not be allowed a ''safe space'' online.
Ministers have no plans to ban encryption services because they have an important role in the protection of legitimate online activity such as banking and personal data.
But there is concern over some aspects of so-called end-to-end encryption where only the sender and recipient of messages can decipher them.
Terrorists and criminals are increasingly using such technology to communicate beyond the reach of MI5 or the police.
On its website, Apple promotes the fact that it has, for example, ''no way to decrypt iMessage and FaceTime data when it's in transit between devices''.
It adds: ''So unlike other companies' messaging services, Apple doesn't scan your communications, and we wouldn't be able to comply with a wiretap order even if we wanted to.''
Last month, Metropolitan assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, the country's most senior counter-terrorism officer, warned that for some firms it was ''a part of their strategy - they design their products in full recognition that they will be unable to help us because of the way they have designed them''.
However, proposals to be published on Wednesday will, for the first time, place a duty on companies to be able to access their customer data in law.
A Home Office spokesman said: ''The Government is clear we need to find a way to work with industry as technology develops to ensure that, with clear oversight and a robust legal framework, the police and intelligence agencies can access the content of communications of terrorists and criminals in order to resolve police investigations and prevent criminal acts.
''That means ensuring that companies themselves can access the content of communications on their networks when presented with a warrant, as many of them already do for their own business purposes, for example to target advertising. These companies' reputations rest on their ability to protect their users' data.''
The Investigatory Powers Bill is also expected to maintain the current responsibility for signing off requests to snoop with the Home Secretary but with extra judicial oversight '' a move that is likely to anger civil liberty campaigners and some Tory backbenchers.
It will also require internet companies to retain the web browsing history of their customers for up to a year.
The bill is expected to face a tough route through parliament but Mr Cameron urged critics to back the measures.
He told ITV's This Morning: ''As Prime Minister I would just say to people 'please, let's not have a situation where we give terrorists, criminals, child abductors, safe spaces to communicate'.
"It's not a safe space for them to communicate on a fixed line telephone or a mobile phone, we shouldn't allow the internet to be a safe space for them to communicate and do bad things."
Lord Carlile, the former terrorism laws watchdog, said there had been a ''lot of demonization'' of the police and security services over their intentions for such information.
''I think it is absurd to suggest the police and the security services have a kind of casual desire to intrude on the privacy of the innocent,'' he said.
''They have enough difficulty finding the guilty. No-one has produced any evidence of casual curiosity on part of the security services."
Quentin Tarantino Defends His RemarksMade At Police Brutality Rally | Deadline
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:30
It's been 10 days since Quentin Tarantino angered cops on both coasts and around the country with his remarks at an NYC rally protesting police brutality. Today he addressed the controversy for the first time, saying that what law enforcement is ''doing is pretty obvious.''
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the Hateful Eight filmmaker said: ''All cops are not murderers. I never said that. I never even implied that. '... Instead of dealing with the incidents of police brutality that those people were bringing up, instead of examining the problem of police brutality in this country, better they single me out. '... It is to shut my mouth, and even more important than that, it is to send a message out to any other prominent person that might feel the need to join that side of the argument.''
Addressing a statement by the president of the LAPD's union that Tarantino ''took irresponsibility to a new and completely unacceptable level,'' he added: ''Frankly, it feels lousy to have a bunch of police mouthpieces call me a cop hater. ''I'm not a cop hater. That is a misrepresentation. That is slanderous. That is not how I feel. But you know, that's their choice to do that to me. What can I do? I'm not taking back what I said. What I said was the truth. I'm used to people misrepresenting me; I'm used to being misunderstood. What I'd like to think their attack against me is so vicious that they're revealing themselves. They're hiding in plain sight.''
Also today, the Weinstein Company '-- whose affiliation with the Oscar-winning filmmaker spans more than two decades '-- weighed in on the flap for the first time. ''The Weinstein Company has a longstanding relationship and friendship with Quentin and has a tremendous amount of respect for him as a filmmaker,'' a TWC spokesperson tells Deadline. ''We don't speak for Quentin; he can and should be allowed to speak for himself.''
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Albert Pike's 3 World Wars Letter Hoax | WideShut.co.uk
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:09
If you are a frequent consumer of alternative media and history you've no doubt come across the infamous 3 World Wars letter allegedly sent by Confederate military officer Albert Pike to Italian Freemason and revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini in the late 1800s. This alleged letter is quoted ad-nauseam on websites, in forums, by conspiracy researchers like David Icke, in books aiming to expose Freemasonry, and by those with an interest in geopolitics and conspiracy theories.
It is commonly used as evidence to support the idea that major wars are simply a tool of a secret elite society called the Illuminati, who are out to destroy Christianity and usher in a Satanic New World Order. Not all proponents of the letter's authenticity are Christian or adherents of the Satanic New World Order theory, but the common thread that unifies them is the belief that wars and events on the geopolitical chessboard are pre-planned in order to carry out secret agendas. This article is not here to debunk that notion, in fact there is ample evidence to support the contrived and deceitful nature of warfare, but in the quest for truth every piece of evidence should be held up to scrutiny.
Below is the often cited text from the so called Three World Wars letter'...
The First World War must be brought about in order to permit the Illuminati to overthrow the power of the Czars in Russia and of making that country a fortress of atheistic Communism. The divergences caused by the ''agentur'' (agents) of the Illuminati between the British and Germanic Empires will be used to foment this war. At the end of the war, Communism will be built and used in order to destroy the other governments and in order to weaken the religions.
The Second World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences between the Fascists and the political Zionists. This war must be brought about so that Nazism is destroyed and that the political Zionism be strong enough to institute a sovereign state of Israel in Palestine. During the Second World War, International Communism must become strong enough in order to balance Christendom, which would be then restrained and held in check until the time when we would need it for the final social cataclysm.
The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the ''agentur'' of the ''Illuminati'' between the political Zionists and the leaders of Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way that Islam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel) mutually destroy each other.
Meanwhile the other nations, once more divided on this issue will be constrained to fight to the point of complete physical, moral, spiritual and economical exhaustion'... We shall unleash the Nihilists and the atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil.
Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with christianity, whose deistic spirits will from that moment be without compass or direction, anxious for an ideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the true light through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view.
This manifestation will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time.
Did Albert Pike Invent Nazism and Zionism?Those with a critical eye will recognize that if this letter is true, Albert Pike had an uncanny ability to use phrases long before they ever made it in to the public vernacular. In fact he's so prophetic, it immediately sheds doubt on the authenticity of the letter, which was supposed to have been written in 1871. Pike himself was born on December 29, 1809, and died on April 2, 1891. He was a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.
According to the text he claims that the first world war ''must be brought about in order to permit the Illuminati to overthrow the power of the Czars in Russia and of making that country a fortress of atheistic Communism'...''
While theoretically the term communism could have been used by Pike, as it was popularized by Marx and Engels in the 1840s ahead of the publication of the Communist Manifesto, the roots of the Russian Revolution did not form until the 1890s, some 20 years after the letter was allegedly written and when Pike was on his last legs. The reader must question whether he could have been privy to the outcome of the Russian workers' movement before those workers themselves had ever heard of Marx or formed the movement to oppose their masters? And if he was, how could he have such foresight to suggest a World War could simply be brought about and that it could be controlled in such a manner to accomplish his goals? It's not only highly unlikely but there is nothing of substance to suggest it actually happened. No testimony from anybody else associated with Pike, no other correspondence or writings from Pike himself '' literally nothing other than this alleged letter.
It should also be noted that the only ''Illuminati'' documented within decades of the time-frame of the letter was the ''Bavarian Illuminati'' which officially disbanded in 1785. Though conspiracy theories flourish to this day and the term is used in the abstract, serious accusations of the group's secret continuation had died out at least 50 years before the letter was allegedly written. Out of all the verified Pike literature, not one mention is made of this Illuminati, not even in his often criticized book Morals & Dogma. So if Pike believed this war must take place for the Illuminati, who are they? And what evidence is there to support that they existed? Of course some irrational proponents of the ''letter'' will say they're a secret'...but if they are such a well kept secret, how do YOU know they are/were real? It's unfounded speculation at best.
The rest of the ''letter'' is also extremely dubious. Terms like Fascism, Nazism and Zionism were never used in Pike's lifetime. Zionism as a word was coined in 1890 by Nathan Birnbaum and would not take root for several more years. There is no record of Pike knowing or meeting Birnbaum or having any connection to the Zionist movement. The ideological roots of Fascism were only in their infancy during Pike's final years, and the term was not used publicly until Mussolini took his position in the 1920s. The term Nazism did not emerge until the 1930s with the rise of Germany's National Socialist party.
Unless Albert Pike can predict the future or was the hidden hand of God himself, it would seem this ''letter'' is nothing more than a modern forgery.
Origins of the LetterTo get to the bottom of where the alleged 3 World Wars letter comes from we need to retrace the sources. ThreeWorldWars.com is the originator of the text as printed above. This is the quote that circulates most prominently around the Internet. Although the website does actually state that ''no conclusive proof exists to show that this letter was ever written,'' it does suggest extracts are found in the book Satan: Prince of This World by William Guy Carr.
This simply isn't the case. Only one section of the text appears in the book on page 29 and that is the final paragraph where it says:
''We shall unleash the Nihilists and Atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations (people of different nationalities), the effects of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil'...'' etc.
What we do find in Guy Carr's other book Pawns In The Game from 1956, is a series of paragraphs that do for the most part mirror the often cited text from the website. This however isn't a direct quote itself, rather Carr's own interpretation of the ''letter'' which he gleaned from another source. Carr never actually claimed that what he wrote was an extract. Thus whenever somebody claims that the above text is what Albert Pike wrote in a letter, they are either mistaken or lying. It is what Carr wrote in a book in the 50s!
This is how Carr begins his paragraph on the first World War. ''Pike's plan was as simple as it has proved effective. He required that Communism, Naziism, Political Zionism, and other International movements be organized and used to foment the three global wars and three major revolutions. The first world war was to be fought to enable the Illuminati to overthrow the powers of the Tzars in Russia''
This does not appear in quotations, it is not copied from the ''letter'', it's clearly Carr's own interpretation.
Initially Carr had claimed the mythical letter was catalogued at the British Museum. He later backtracked writing in Satan: Prince of This World'... ''The Keeper of Manuscripts recently informed the author that this letter is NOT catalogued in the British Museum Library. It seems strange that a man of Cardinal Rodriguez's knowledge should have said that it WAS in 1925''.
What this tells us is that Carr had no first hand knowledge of the ''letter'' or its validity, and everything he writes about it is hearsay. Thus the often cited Three World Wars text is just hearsay!
How exactly can he describe or summarize it if he hasn't seen it?
He shifts the blame on to Cardinal Rodriguez of Chile, whose The Mystery of Freemasonry Unveiled was published in 1925.
However like Carr this book also has no direct quotes from the alleged letter. Rodriguez writes on pages 115-6'...
The other indication of the participation of Masonry in the Revolution and the present upheaval in Russia is a letter in Le Diable au XIX¨me Si¨cle (1896), attributed to Albert Pike, ''Sovereign Pontiff of Universal Masonry'', assisted by ten Ancients of the Grand Lodge of the Supreme Orient of Charleston to the very illustrious Joseph Mazzini, dated August 15, 1871. What I have said of the document previously mentioned, The Protocols, I say of this one: Authentic or not, the letter had been published long enough before the events, not to be an invention accommodated post factum. Its publication is catalogued in the British Museum of London and the plan attributed to Pike is also in part in Le Palladisme Of Margiotta, p. 186 published in 1895.
So Rodriguez also does not know if the ''letter'' is real'... ''Authentic or not''. He also clearly hasn't seen it because like Carr he doesn't actually quote from it.
Furthermore his claim that ''its publication is catalogued in the British Museum,'' is completely unsubstantiated. As mentioned, William Guy Carr admitted that it wasn't there in his book. So where did Rodriguez get his information from? Let's go to the books his cites.
Le Palladisme, Domenico Margiotta, 1895, p186 onwards.
If we scan this book for Albert Pike we come to a section from page 127 of the PDF that we can put through Google Translate. Here is Google's rough translation, referring to a ''pamphlet'' allegedly written by Pike'...
In a pamphlet designed with impeccable logic, Albert Pike clearly traces the outline of his dogmatic but above the general level of its sectarian politics. A masterful introduction, as through a portal strange the Luciferian Grand Pontiff led us within mysterious darkness of the Temple, the vision of the True Light, with meditate on terrifying predictions as oracles of ancient Pythia, and suggestions power hell and he loves it invokes. By sacrilegious mouth The Genius of Evil reveals his projects universal destruction and gives us the reason for the infernal sect.
Then, we are counting the followers of all religions of the world: he intentionally assigns to religion Catholic secondary rank, and book groups fanciful. For the purpose of the cause and treacherous deductions place it in the rays of the True Light all those who are not in the lap of Roman Church, He enlisted and mobilizes face to the enemy under the banner of God-Good. Here in the camp Lucifer deployed in line of battle Buddhists already enlightened by the True Light, the Mohammedans and Jews steeped in its dark huge, Protestants are marching boldly.
On the other side, here is, Dust men, these Catholic cursed, doomed to darkness. He also cites the hoi polloi 130 million idolaters, and fetish worshipers various idols, keeping to themselves, forming formidable challenge the two fighters, the price of victory, the anima vili about which hold the universal Masonic power!
Here again the outcasts, the damned, a few million freethinkers deists, and two million atheists, dedicated by Luciferian great Pontiff to the disapproval of the sect, threatened a complete extermination or conversion to mass the religion of the True Light. These are the two enemies present. I give you thanks, dear readers, the description he gives us the fray epic and universal ensuing, the prodigious impact of these various harsh elements against each other. The great Luciferian Pontiff predicted the defeat of Catholicism And continuing its dark prophecy, he describes wandering in search of a throne and altar Pope Adonai. But as it is written in the book of heaven, Orthodox and schismatics being prey promised to God-Bad is the among them the Pope wandering under the auspices of the autocrat of North to restore his power adona¯te worship until predicted its eventual collapse. The final destruction of the Papacy, lead inevitably a general stampede, and dissolution of its components: Clergy, deprived of its leader, happen gradually to the enemy, which would leave the field open to the infernal band. In anticipation of this event, the crafty Gossip provides advice and exhortations, he traces the ably its attack and defense politico-sectarian plan and the means to carry it out.
This is the pamphlet, by satire, mockery, that wants to demolish Catholicism, he ridicules more noble Christian sentiments, Charity, It blows doubt, suspicion and contempt on all actions inspired talk purest love of neighbor, and with evident bad faith, he attributed to the spirit of domination of the priest! Better than harpies the fable, it not only pollutes it touches, but it touches, and God knows he was embarrassed to be in the field inviolable conscience, faith and reason, incursions sacrilegious, reckless attacks. He launched his followers to attack the political powers and legislative, they stand in all avenues to Catholic; advises the insolent domination of instruction, on schools, to complete the corruption youth and deliver, helpless, the hands of sectarian,which will be the instrument of their present size and future.
It banishes any scruple of conscience, if he is never existed in the soul of a sectarian; on how to implemented to achieve the desired goal, everything is good: the slander, lying, the flattery and proud contempt, hypocrisy, false, shameful capitulations, the insolent summons, poison, the dagger, the following cases or circumstances. He committed to the sectarian hatred missionariesapostolic, these hardy pioneers of civilization, And generates for each propagandist follower of the devil, the blasphemer proselytizing. These valiant apostles, these cross modern faith are they, in fact, as the dam huge that opposes the corrupting tide of disbelief and impiety?
He cites the great blasphemer Voltaire, And place under the patronage of this dishonorable man for whom everything was a pretext to banter, to sarcasm, and that nothing was religious, nor religion, or family, nor the people, neither the king, or God, nothing Except his thin person and his genius overrated. But here the attack Holy emerges with rigor, and the idea, dominant, the principles that should govern the work of destruction are condensed into thirteen sections suggestive, in which the great mage has distilled all his venom, has put all his Luciferian science, and given the extent of its liberalism, tolerance, and noble sentiments that empirical reraient his actions, if the sect could legislate without control.
It is Italy after the breach of Porta Pia, that on instances of Mazzini, the Luciferian Pontiff, After a evil cabal which lasted seven days and which had taken from eleven of the highlights of the infernal sect had route that infamous indictment and bill aimed at for destroy Catholicism, Italy, and reduce the Pope and the Bishops provided to state employees. After this chimera, the Pontiff learned Lucifer pleased with himself, right in between considerations, while at least reckless in international politics, and the tone a false and pedantic doctrinaire, it gives the idea insidiously nationalize the clergy not only in Italy, but all Catholic countries, to remove any authority Pope and the clergy to deliver anarchy, which would allow him to annihilate in detail at his ease. But console ourselves, good Catholics, our enemies willing to give us a few centuries of existence, before devote ourselves to all the powers of Hell. They understand and admit, in spite of themselves, these unconscious barkers, the Papacy is not to thank you for fanatics that no other ambition to raise On the ruins of faith, the prostitute altar an infernal rite.
It is easy, therefore, to see what masterpiece aberration and pride is the contemporary Satanism, and it is astonishing to thought that the skeptic in worldly delights, and powerful minds, men of high intellectual consent has cover their name, to illustrate, so to speak these rantings infernal. The f'... Ernest Renan, author of the infamous novel ''Life of Jesus ''is one of those who have their name dragged in the mud. It rehabilitates Satan, and report it to the adoration of the crowd dumbfounded, the Great Milton is his bond, and he invokes to take on anathema twenty centuries old prot(C)g(C) sad. By specious arguments we make it, it was black, white as snow. We represents a revolutionary wretched (Sic), which therefore deserves all the respect due by demagogues to illustrious ancestor. Renan who saw in him the? Divine sparks? Excuse to be exclusive stops and you know why? while simply fear? wrapped in his condemnation some subdued beauty. Poor Renan! it would have been so easy reduce quia asking him to tell us the hidden meaning of this beautiful sentence!
Eliphas Levi, us the secret of the magic in high prelude with an invocation or imprecation to shiver. It then explains the science and philosophy deny the existence the devil, and that the only religion says, for the religion devil is a fallen angel and occult philosophy accepts and explains this definition. It defines us as the devil ''The Devil, by Black Magic, this is the great magical agent used for evil by a perverse desire.''
This definitiontion therefore seems to reprimand go¨tes, that is to say the followers of black magic. Constant for Kadosh is the astral light is the great magical agent, but a refinement of malice it suggesting that this agent may be invoked only by reason, in penalty only have disordered and monstrous results if was invoked by madness. One wonders, after that, by which unconsciousness or How can deception and prostitution human reason to ramblings so disconcerting'...
Once again there are no direct quotes from the alleged pamphlet or ''letter'' but the gist of the text suggests that Pike wanted to destroy all religions, including Catholicism, and convert everyone over to Luciferianism. In that sense the theme of the books that followed were at least similar.
The other book cited by Cardinal Rodriguez was Le Diable au XIX¨me Si¨cle, 1986, by Docteur Bataille. Terry Melanson of ConspiracyArchive.com tracked down the text to Volume 2, Chapter XXXV, pages 594-606.
''At the beginning of August 1871, that is to say less than a year after the establishment of Palladism (Supreme Rite), the ''learned Luciferian Pontiff'' Albert Pike received an important letter from Mazzini. The political action leader for Universal Freemasonry invited the supreme dogmatic leader of the sect to draw up a clear plan with a view toward the destruction of Roman Catholicism'...'' Full text @ ConspiracyArchive.com
Once again there are no grandiose predictions of 3 World Wars. The theme is the destruction of religions, with most focus on Catholicism, which was the power of the day.
At this point the trail of sources stop. In short there is no primary source for the ''letter''. It does not exist and has not been directly quoted from or reproduced by any author. The earliest book that makes reference to a ''letter'' by Pike is Le Diable au XIX¨me Si¨cle by ''Docteur Bataille''. This just so happens to be the pseudonym of self professed hoaxer from the 1890s called L(C)o Taxil. He feigned support for the Catholic church and wrote a series of outlandish anti-Freemasonry books to mock both the Church's stance on Freemasonry and the Freemasons themselves. In many ways he was the Richard Dawkins of his time, a champion for scientific thinking over the irrationality and silliness of Catholicism and occult teachings.
Those peddling the 3 World Wars quote are literally falling for a hundred year old hoax. The concept that Freemasonry is Satanism, Luciferianism or Devil Worship, is the very kind of close-minded religious dogma that Taxil was mocking all those years ago, and ironically his self-professed hoaxes are fanning the flames to this very day.
''The public made me what I am; the arch-liar of the period,'' confessed Taxil, ''for when I first commenced to write against the Masons my object was amusement pure and simple. The crimes I laid at their door were so grotesque, so impossible, so widely exaggerated, I thought everybody would see the joke and give me credit for originating a new line of humor. But my readers wouldn't have it so; they accepted my fables as gospel truth, and the more I lied for the purpose of showing that I lied, the more convinced became they that I was a paragon of veracity.
''Then it dawned upon me that there was lots of money in being a Munchausen of the right kind, and for twelve years I gave it to them hot and strong, but never too hot. When inditing such slush as the story of the devil snake who wrote prophecies on Diana's back with the end of his tail, I sometimes said to myself: 'Hold on, you are going too far,' but I didn't. My readers even took kindly to the yarn of the devil who, in order to marry a Mason, transformed himself into a crocodile, and, despite the masquerade, played the piano wonderfully well.
''One day when lecturing at Lille, I told my audience that I had just had an apparition of Nautilus, the most daring affront on human credulity I had so far risked. But my hearers never turned a hair. 'Hear ye, the doctor has seen Nautulius,' they said with admiring glances. Of course no one had a clear idea of who Nautilus was I didn't myself but they assumed that he was a devil. Ah, the jolly evenings I spent with my fellow authors hatching out new plots, new, unheard of perversions of truth and logic, each trying to outdo the other in organized mystification. I thought I would kill myself laughing at some of the things proposed, but everything went; there is no limit to human stupidity.''
'' Leo Taxil, National Magazine, 1906.
ConclusionAs useful as the Three World Wars letter is for those with a conspiratorial world view, it simply does not stand up to scrutiny and makes anyone who uses it with a straight face look foolish and careless in their research.
War is most certainly contrived, manipulated and exploited by those with secret agendas. Lies about Saddam's WMD capabilities, the elements of prior knowledge and complicity by the US and other Governments surrounding 9/11, and even the corporate beneficiaries of the World Wars, prove that war is about a lot more than our officials and the media tell us. And yes the conflict between the Arab World and the nuclear armed Zionists is a very real threat. However if we are to challenge the status quo and scale back these threats we need to drop the fantasies. World leaders and those in positions of power that foment conflict have names, titles and chains of command. They don't hide behind a non-secret secret society called the Illuminati, and they certainly aren't working at the behest of some long dead Satanic Confederate General.
Those who were duped who want to claim ''well it doesn't matter if it was fake, because it has all come true,'' must understand that the text as they know it was not written until the 50s. That was after the Russian revolution, World Wars, and the formation of Israel. Thus the only ''prediction'' made is that Zionists would war with Arabs. It has never taken a rocket scientist to work that one out!
WW3 - More About Albert Pike and Three World Wars
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 14:54
Albert Pike and Three World WarsContinued from Part 1.
Albert Pike received a vision, which he described in a letter that he wrote to Mazzini, dated August 15, 1871. This letter graphically outlined plans for three world wars that were seen as necessary to bring about the One World Order, and we can marvel at how accurately it has predicted events that have already taken place.
Pike's Letter to MazziniIt is a commonly believed fallacy that for a short time, the Pike letter to Mazzini was on display in the British Museum Library in London, and it was copied by William Guy Carr, former Intelligence Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. The British Library has confirmed in writing to me that such a document has never been in their possession. Furthermore, in Carr's book, Satan, Prince of this World, Carr includes the following footnote:
"The Keeper of Manuscripts recently informed the author that this letter is NOT catalogued in the British Museum Library. It seems strange that a man of Cardinal Rodriguez's knowledge should have said that it WAS in 1925".
It appears that Carr learned about this letter from Cardinal Caro y Rodriguez of Santiago, Chile, who wrote The Mystery of Freemasonry Unveiled.
To date, no conclusive proof exists to show that this letter was ever written. Nevertheless, the letter is widely quoted and the topic of much discussion.
Following are apparently extracts of the letter, showing how Three World Wars have been planned for many generations.
"The First World War must be brought about in order to permit the Illuminati to overthrow the power of the Czars in Russia and of making that country a fortress of atheistic Communism. The divergences caused by the "agentur" (agents) of the Illuminati between the British and Germanic Empires will be used to foment this war. At the end of the war, Communism will be built and used in order to destroy the other governments and in order to weaken the religions." 2
Students of history will recognize that the political alliances of England on one side and Germany on the other, forged between 1871 and 1898 by Otto von Bismarck, co-conspirator of Albert Pike, were instrumental in bringing about the First World War.
"The Second World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences between the Fascists and the political Zionists. This war must be brought about so that Nazism is destroyed and that the political Zionism be strong enough to institute a sovereign state of Israel in Palestine. During the Second World War, International Communism must become strong enough in order to balance Christendom, which would be then restrained and held in check until the time when we would need it for the final social cataclysm." 3
After this Second World War, Communism was made strong enough to begin taking over weaker governments. In 1945, at the Potsdam Conference between Truman, Churchill, and Stalin, a large portion of Europe was simply handed over to Russia, and on the other side of the world, the aftermath of the war with Japan helped to sweep the tide of Communism into China.
(Readers who argue that the terms Nazism and Zionism were not known in 1871 should remember that the Illuminati invented both these movements. In addition, Communism as an ideology, and as a coined phrase, originates in France during the Revolution. In 1785, Restif coined the phrase four years before revolution broke out. Restif and Babeuf, in turn, were influenced by Rousseau - as was the most famous conspirator of them all, Adam Weishaupt.)
"The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the "agentur" of the "Illuminati" between the political Zionists and the leaders of Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way that Islam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel) mutually destroy each other. Meanwhile the other nations, once more divided on this issue will be constrained to fight to the point of complete physical, moral, spiritual and economical exhaustion'...We shall unleash the Nihilists and the atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil. Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with Christianity, whose deistic spirits will from that moment be without compass or direction, anxious for an ideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the true light through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view. This manifestation will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time." 4
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001, world events, and in particular in the Middle East, show a growing unrest and instability between Modern Zionism and the Arabic World. This is completely in line with the call for a Third World War to be fought between the two, and their allies on both sides. This Third World War is still to come, and recent events show us that it is not far off.
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You might be interested in the following external links:
Albert Pike Defense: Defenses of certain Pike assertions taken from Walter Lee Brown, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and his book "A Life of Albert Pike," published by the U. of Arkansas press, 1997.
Freemasonry Inside Out: This sensational new analysis of the Masonic brotherhood examines the basic question asked for almost 300 years by the general public and surprisingly by many masons themselves; 'If Freemasonry is simply a fraternal and charitable organisation, why is there an almost fanatical obsession with secrecy and mysterious rituals?' E-book.
Proof that Freemasonry is lying about Albert Pike 33° and the Ku Klux Klan
Evidence that Albert Pike was Chief Judiciary Officer of the Ku Klux Klan
A Collection of places named after Albert Pike (Schools, streets, towns, counties, temples, windows, paintings, medals, bronzes, rocks and river pools)
Layout of Washington D.C. and discussion of how President Andrew Johnson considered himself to be the subordinate to Albert Pike, the leader of North American Freemasonry.
Speech by Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche stating that World War III had already begun (October 25, 1992).
Looking for pictures of Albert Pike?
1. Lady Queensborough: Occult Theocracy, pp. 208-209.
2, 3, 4. Cmdr. William Guy Carr: Quoted in Satan: Prince of This World.
Australia Drops Knights and Dames From Its Honors List - The Atlantic
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 14:23
Australia is dropping knights and dames from its list of honors.
''The Cabinet recently considered the Order of Australia, in this its 40th anniversary year, and agreed that Knights and Dames are not appropriate in our modern honors system,'' Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in a statement.
He said Queen Elizabeth II agreed to the recommendations to remove the titles from the Order of Australia.
Australia is a former British colony and the queen is its head of state. Turnbull had previously campaigned'--unsuccessfully'--to turn Australia into a republic.
The government's decision comes a year after Tony Abbott, Turnbull's predecessor as prime minister, reintroduced the two honors and granted a knighthood to Prince Philip for his ''service and dedication.'' That decision was widely condemned in Australia'--the media labeled it a ''knightmare'''-- and was seen as a factor that contributed to Abbott's ouster in September as leader of the center-right Liberal party and, consequently, as prime minister. Abbott later conceded that the decision to honor Prince Philip had been ''injudicious.''
As my colleague Matt Ford reported at the time:
Many former British colonies abandoned the ''imperial honors system'' and created their own national orders of merit and recognition, including the Order of Australia in 1975. ''While in past centuries knighthood used to be awarded solely for military merit, today it recognizes significant contributions to national life,'' explains the British monarchy. ''Recipients today range from actors to scientists, and from school head teachers to industrialists.'' No Australians have become knights or dames since 1983. '...
The move also threatens to re-open a national debate about the future of the monarchy. Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a prominent leader of the country's republican movement, which wants to abolish the monarchy, tried to assuage the fears of fellow republicans by observing that ''most countries have an honours system and many of them have an order of knighthood,'' including France, Italy, Peru, Argentina, and Guatemala. France still calls its lowest rank in the L(C)gion d'honneur ''chevaliers'' despite abandoning monarchy in the 19th century, for example.
Australian republicans, who support dropping the queen as the head of state, welcomed Monday's decision.
Peter FitzSimons, who heads the Australian Republican Movement, called the move a ''relief for Australia.''
''Good on the prime minister,'' he told Australia's ABC, adding he believed the announcement would be the first in many moves away from the monarchy.
Australian monarchists, however, criticized the decision.
''The scrapping of knighthoods ... gives all who value constitutional security and stability cause for concern that this is just the beginning of another campaign of republicanism by stealth,'' the Australian Monarchist League said in a statement.
Australia dropped the system of awarding knighthoods and damehoods in 1976. The titles were reintroduced, briefly, in 1986 before being dropped again. Abbott brought them back last year. Still, the monarchy remains popular in Australia, and Monday's decision does not affect existing knights and dames'--so Prince Philips's knighthood is safe.
360-degree feedback - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 14:01
In human resources or industrial psychology, 360-degree feedback, also known as multi-rater feedback,multi source feedback, or multi source assessment, is feedback that comes from members of an employee's immediate work circle. Most often, 360-degree feedback will include direct feedback from an employee's subordinates, peers (colleagues), and supervisor(s), as well as a self-evaluation. It can also include, in some cases, feedback from external sources, such as customers and suppliers or other interested stakeholders. It may be contrasted with "upward feedback," where managers are given feedback only by their direct reports, or a "traditional performance appraisal," where the employees are most often reviewed only by their managers.
The results from a 360-degree evaluation are often used by the person receiving the feedback to plan and map specific paths in their development. Results are also used by some organizations in making administrative decisions related to pay and promotions. When this is the case, the 360 assessment is for evaluation purposes, and is sometimes called a "360-degree review." However, there is a great deal of debate as to whether 360-degree feedback should be used exclusively for development purposes, or should be used for appraisal purposes as well.
The German military first began gathering feedback from multiple sources in order to evaluate performance during World War II. Others also explored the use of multi-rater feedback during this time period via the concept of T-groups.
One of the earliest recorded uses of surveys to gather information about employees occurred in the 1950s at Esso Research and Engineering Company. From there, the idea of 360 degree feedback gained momentum, and by the 1990s most human resources and organizational development professionals understood the concept. The problem was that collecting and collating the feedback demanded a paper-based effort including either complex manual calculations or lengthy delays. The first led to despair on the part of practitioners; the second to a gradual erosion of commitment by recipients.
However, due to the rise of the Internet and the ability to conduct evaluations online with surveys, Multi-rater feedback use steadily increased in popularity. Today, studies suggest that over one-third of U.S. companies use some type of multi-source feedback. Others claim that this estimate is closer to 90% of all Fortune 500 firms. In recent years, Internet-based services have become standard in corporate development, with a growing menu of useful features (e.g., multi languages, comparative reporting, and aggregate reporting).
A study on the patterns of rater accuracy shows that the length of time that a rater has known the individual being evaluated has the most significant effect on the accuracy of a 360-degree review. The study shows that subjects in the group ''known for one to three years'' are the most accurate, followed by those ''known for less than one year,'' followed by those ''known for three to five years'' and the least accurate being those ''known for more than five years.'' The study concludes that the most accurate ratings come from those who have known the individual being reviewed long enough to get past the first impression, but not so long that they begin to generalize favorably.
It has been suggested that multi-rater assessments often generate conflicting opinions and that there may be no way to determine whose feedback is accurate. Studies have also indicated that self-ratings are generally significantly higher than the ratings given from others.
Several studies indicate that the use of 360-degree feedback helps to improve employee performance because it helps the evaluated see different perspectives of their performance. In a 5-year study, no improvement in overall rater scores was found between the 1st and 2nd year, but higher scores were noted between 2nd and 3rd and 3rd and 4th years. Reilly et al. (1996) found that performance increased between the 1st and 2nd administrations, and sustained this improvement 2 years later. Additional studies show that 360-degree feedback may be predictive of future performance.
Some authors maintain, however, that there are too many lurking variables related to 360-degree evaluations to reliably generalize their effectiveness. Bracken et al. (2001b) and Bracken and Timmreck (2001) focus on process features that are likely to also have major effects on creating behavior change. Greguras and Robie (1998) tracked how the number of raters used in each particular category (direct report, peer, manager) affects the reliability of the feedback. Their research showed that direct reports are the least reliable and, therefore, more participation is required to produce a reliable result. Multiple pieces of research have demonstrated that the scale of responses can have a major effect on the results, and some response scales are better than others. Goldsmith and Underhill (2001) report the powerful influence of the evaluated individual following up with raters to discuss their results. Other potentially powerful factors affecting behavior change include how raters are selected, manager approval, instrument quality (reliability and validity), rater training and orientation, participant training, supervisor training, coaching, integration with HR systems, and accountability.
Some researchers claim that the use of multi-rater assessment does not improve company performance. One 2001 study found that 360 degree feedback was associated with a 10.6 percent decrease in market value, and concludes that "there is no data showing that [360-degree feedback] actually improves productivity, increases retention, decreases grievances, or is superior to forced ranking and standard performance appraisal systems."
Maury Peiperl of Stanford's General Management Department, proposed four paradoxes that explain why 360 evaluations do not elicit accurate data: The Paradox of Roles, in which an evaluator is conflicted by being both peer and the judge; the Paradox of Group Performance, which admits that the vast majority of work done in a corporate setting is done in groups, not individually; the Measurement Paradox, which shows that qualitative, or in-person techniques are much more effective in facilitating change; and the Paradox of Rewards, which shows that individuals evaluating their peers care more about the rewards associated with finishing the task than the actual content of the evaluation itself.
Additional studies found no correlation between an employee's multi-rater assessment scores and his or her top-down performance appraisal scores (provided by the person's supervisor), and advised that although multi-rater feedback can be effectively used for appraisal, care should be taken in its implementation. This research suggests that 360-degree feedback and performance appraisals get at different outcomes, and that both 360-degree feedback and traditional performance appraisals should be used in evaluating overall performance.
ReferencesEdit^Bracken & Rose, 2011; Maylett 2009^Waldman et al., 1998^Fleenor & Prince, 1997^Bracken, Dalton, Jako, McCauley, & Pollman, 1997^Atkins & Wood, 2002^Bracken, Timmereck, & Church, 2001a^Edwards & Ewen, 1996^Bracken, Summers, & Fleenor, 1998^Eichinger, 2004^Vinson, 1996^Lublin, 1994; Yammarino & Atwater, 1993; Nowack, 1992^Hazucha et al., 1993; London & Wohlers, 1991; Walker & Smither, 1999^Walker & Smither, 1999^Maylett & Riboldi, 2007^Bracken, Timmreck, Fleenor, & Summers, 2001b; Smither, London, & Reilly, 2005.^Bracken & Paul, 1993; Kaiser & Kaplan, 2006; Caputo & Roch, 2009; English, Rose, & McClellan, 2009^Bracken et al., 2001b^Pfau & Kay, 2002^Peiperl, Maury, Harvard Business Review, January 2001, Retrieved April 6 2012^Maylett, 2005^Maylett, 2009^Maylett, Tracy M., EdD, Pepperdine Univ, 2005 Abstract, Retrieved May 15 2009Further readingEditAtkins, P., & Wood, R. (2002). Self-versus others' ratings as predictors of assessment center ratings: Validation evidence for 360-degree feedback programs. Personnel Psychology, 55(4), 871''904.Bracken, D.W., and Paul, K.B. (1993). The effects of scale type and demographics on upward feedback. Paper presented at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Society Annual Conference, May, San Francisco, CA.Bracken, D.W., Dalton, M.A., Jako, R.A., McCauley, C.D., & Pollman, V.A. (1997). Should 360-degree feedback be used only for developmental purposes? Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership.Bracken, D.W., Summers, L., & Fleenor, J.W. (1998) High tech 360. Training & Development, August.Bracken, D.W., Timmereck, C.W., & Church, A.H. (2001a). The handbook of multisource feedback. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Bracken, D.W., Timmreck, C.W., Fleenor, J.W., & Summers, L. (2001b). 360 degree feedback from another angle.Human Resource Management, 40 (1), 3''20.Bracken, D.W., and Timmreck, C.W. (2001) Guidelines for multisource feedback when used for decision making. In Bracken, D.W., Timmreck, C.W., and Church, A.H. The Handbook of Multisource Feedback. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Bracken, D.W., Rose, D.S. (2011) "When does 360-degree Feedback create behavior change? And How would we know when it does?",Caputo, P. and Roch, S. (2009) Rating formats and perceptions of performance appraisal fairness. Paper presented at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Annual Conference, April, New Orleans, LA.Edwards, Mark R., & Ewen, Ann J. (1996). 360° Feedback: The powerful new model for Employee Assessment & performance improvement. New York: AMACOM American Management Association.Eichinger, Robert. (2004). Patterns of Rater Accuracy in 360-degree Feedback. Perspectives, 27, 23''25.English, A.E, Rose, D.S. & McClellan (2009). Rating scale label effects on leniency bias in 360-degree feedback.Paper presented at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Annual Conference, April, New Orleans, LA.Fleenor, J. W., & Prince, J. M. (1997). Using 360-degree feedback in organizations: An annotated bibliography. Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership.Goldsmith, M., & Underhill, B.O. (2001). Multisource feedback for executive development. In Bracken, D.W., Timmreck, C.W., and Church, A.H. The Handbook of Multisource Feedback. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Greguras, G.J., & Robie, C. (1998). A new look at within-source interrater reliability of 360-degree feedback ratings. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, 960''968.Hazucha, J. F., Hezlett, S. A., & Schneider, R. J. (1993). The impact of 360-degree feedback on management skills development. Human Resource Management, 32(2''3), 325''351.Kaiser, R.B., and Kaplan, R.E. (2006). Are all scales created equal? Paper presented at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Annual Conference, May, Dallas, TX.Maylett, T. M., & Riboldi, J. (2007). Using 360° Feedback to Predict Performance. Training + Development, September, 48''52.Maylett, Tracy (2005). The Relationship Of Multi-rater Feedback To Traditional Performance Appraisal. Doctoral Dissertation, Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, California.Maylett, Tracy (2009). 360-Degree Feedback Revisited: The transition from development to appraisal. Compensation and Benefits Review, September/October 41(5), 52''59.Nooravi, S. Sherry (2010) Transforming high-silo, low-feedback organizational cultures: Using 360-degree feedback and coaching to maximize potential in individuals, groups, and cultures. "Dissertation Abstracts International" 70(12-B).Pfau, B. & Kay, I. (2002). Does 360-degree feedback negatively affect company performance? Studies show that 360-degree feedback may do more harm than good. What's the problem? HRMagazine, Jun 2002. 47, 6; 54''60.Reilly, R., Smither, J.W., & Vasilopoulos, N. (1996). A longitudinal study of upward feedback. Personnel Psychology, 49(3), 599''612.Seifert, C., Yukl, G., & McDonald, R. (2003). Effects of multisource feedback and a feedback facilitator on the influence of behavior of managers toward subordinates. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(3), 561''569.Smither, J.W., London, M., and Reilly, R.R. (2005). Does performance improve following multisource feedback? A theoretical model, meta-analysis and review of empirical findings. Personnel Psychology, 58, 33''66.Vinson, M. (1996, April). The pros and cons of 360-degree feedback: Making it work. Training and Development, April, 11''12.Waldman, A. D., Atwater, L. E., & Antonioni, D. (1998). Has 360-degree feedback gone amok? The Academy of Management Executive, 12(2), 86''94.Walker, A., & Smither, J.W. (1999). A five-year study of upward feedback: What managers do with their results matters. Personnel Psychology, 52(2), 393''423.Yammarino, F. J., & Atwater, L. E. (1993). Self-perception accuracy: Implications for human resource management. Human Resource Management, 32(2&3), 231''235.
Albert Pike - Who is He? Albert Pike Predicted 3 World Wars
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 13:48
Albert Pike's BackgroundJump to Albert Pike & Three World Wars.
Very few outsiders know about the intimate plans of Albert Pike and the architects of the New World Order. In the 19th Century Albert Pike established a framework for bringing about the One World Order. Based on a vision revealed to him, Albert Pike wrote a blueprint of events that would play themselves out in the 20th century, with even more of these events yet to come. It is this blueprint which we believe unseen leaders are following today, knowingly or not, to engineer the planned Third and Final World War.
About Albert PikeAlbert Pike was born on December 29, 1809, in Boston, and was the oldest of six children born to Benjamin and Sarah Andrews Pike. He studied at Harvard, and later served as a Brigadier-General in the Confederate Army. After the Civil War, Pike was found guilty of treason and jailed, only to be pardoned by fellow Freemason President Andrew Johnson on April 22, 1866, who met with him the next day at the White House. On June 20, 1867, Scottish Rite officials conferred upon Johnson the 4th to 32nd Freemasonry degrees, and he later went to Boston to dedicate a Masonic Temple.
Pike was said to be a genius, able to read and write in 16 different languages, although I cannot find a record anywhere of what those languages were. In addition, he is widely accused of plagiarism, so take with a pinch of salt. At various stages of his life we was a poet, philosopher, frontiersman, soldier, humanitarian and philanthropist. A 33rd degree Mason, he was one of the founding fathers, and head of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, being the Grand Commander of North American Freemasonry from 1859 and retained that position until his death in 1891. In 1869, he was a top leader in the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Incidentally, Freemasonry itself is a fascinating subject and I could devote an entire website to it. Simon Gray, a Freemason, has compiled a stunning amount of information on Freemasonry that I recommend for anyone who wants to learn more about it.
Pike was said to be a Satanist, who indulged in the occult, and he apparently possessed a bracelet which he used to summon Lucifer, with whom he had constant communication. He was the Grand Master of a Luciferian group known as the Order of the Palladium (or Sovereign Council of Wisdom), which had been founded in Paris in 1737. Palladism had been brought to Greece from Egypt by Pythagoras in the fifth century, and it was this cult of Satan that was introduced to the inner circle of the Masonic lodges. It was aligned with the Palladium of the Templars. In 1801, Issac Long, a Jew, brought a statue of Baphomet (Satan) to Charleston, South Carolina, where he helped to establish the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Long apparently chose Charleston because it was geographically located on the 33rd parallel of latitude (incidentally, so is Baghdad), and this council is considered to be the Mother Supreme Council of all Masonic Lodges of the World.
Pike was Long's successor, and he changed the name of the Order to the New and Reformed Palladian Rite (or Reformed Palladium). The Order contained two degrees:
Pike's right-hand man was Phileas Walder, from Switzerland, who was a former Lutheran minister, a Masonic leader, occultist, and spiritualist. Pike also worked closely with Giusseppe Mazzini of Italy (1805-1872) who was a 33rd degree Mason, who became head of the Illuminati in 1834, and who founded the Mafia in 1860. Together with Mazzini, Lord Henry Palmerston of England (1784-1865, 33rd degree Mason), and Otto von Bismarck from Germany (1815-1898, 33rd degree Mason), Albert Pike intended to use the Palladian Rite to create a Satanic umbrella group that would tie all Masonic groups together.
Albert Pike died on April 2, 1891, and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, although the corpse of Pike currently lies in the headquarters of the Council of the 33rd degree of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Washington, D.C. (see The Deadly Deception, by Jim Shaw - former 33rd degree Mason and Past Master of all Scottish Rite bodies.)
The Albert Pike MonumentAlbert Pike made his mark before the war in Arkansas as a lawyer and writer, but as a Confederate Brigadier General, he was, according to the Arkansas Democrat of July 31, 1978, a complete "WASH-OUT," not a hero. Yet, Gen. Albert Pike is the only Confederate general with a statue on federal property in Washington, DC. He was honoured, not as a commander or even as a lawyer, but as Southern regional leader of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. The statue stands on a pedestal near the foot of Capitol Hill, between the Department of Labor building and the Municipal Building, between 3rd and 4th Streets, on D Street, NW. More background on the colorful history of the statue can be found at the Masonic Info website. During the 1992 presidential campaign, Lyndon H. LaRouche and his vice presidential running mate, the Reverend James Bevel, launched a mobilization to remove the statue of General Albert Pike from Washington, D.C.'s Judiciary Square. On February 1, the campaign drew an angry attack from freemasonic leader C. Fred Kleinknecht, who attempted to defend both Pike and the Ku Klux Klan from LaRouche and Bevel's attack. A speech by Anton Chaitkin entitled 'Why Albert Pike's Statue Must Fall' can be found here (September 21, 1992).
The Illuminati and Albert PikeAdam Weishaupt (1748 - 1811) formed the Order of Perfectibilists on May 1, 1776 (to this day celebrated as May Day throughout many western countries), which later became known as the Illuminati, a secret society whose name means "Enlightened Ones". Although the Order was founded to provide an opportunity for the free exchange of ideas, Weishaupt's background as a Jesuit seems to have influenced the actual character of the society, such that the express aim of this Order became to abolish Christianity, and overturn all civil government.
An Italian revolutionary leader, Giusseppe Mazzini (1805-1872), a 33rd degree Mason, was selected by the Illuminati to head their worldwide operations in 1834. (Mazzini also founded the Mafia in 1860). Because of Mazzini's revolutionary activities in Europe, the Bavarian government cracked down on the Illuminati and other secret societies for allegedly plotting a massive overthrow of Europe's monarchies. As the secrets of the Illuminati were revealed, they were persecuted and eventually disbanded, only to re-establish themselves in the depths of other organizations, of which Freemasonry was one.
During his leadership, Mazzini enticed Albert Pike into the (now formally disbanded, but still operating) Illuminati. Pike was fascinated by the idea of a one world government, and when asked by Mazzini, readily agreed to write a ritual tome that guided the transition from average high-ranking mason into a top-ranking Illuminati mason (33rd degree). Since Mazzini also wanted Pike to head the Illuminati's American chapter, he clearly felt Pike was worthy of such a task. Mazzini's intention was that once a mason had made his way up the Freemason ladder and proven himself worthy, the highest ranking members would offer membership to the secret 'society within a society'.
It is for this reason that most Freemasons vehemently deny the evil intentions of their fraternity. Since the vast majority never reach the 30th degree, they would not be aware of the real purpose behind Masonry. When instructing Pike how the tome should be developed, Mazzini wrote the following to Pike in a letter dated January 22, 1870. Remember that Freemasonry wasn't started by Pike - rather it was infiltrated by the Illuminati who were looking for a respectable forum in which to hide their clandestine activities:
"We must allow all the federations to continue just as they are, with their systems, their central authorities and their diverse modes of correspondence between high grades of the same rite, organized as they are at the present, but we must create a super rite, which will remain unknown, to which we will call those Masons of high degree whom we shall select. With regard to our brothers in Masonry, these men must be pledges to the strictest secrecy. Through this supreme rite, we will govern all Freemasonry which will become the one international center, the more powerful because its direction will be unknown." 1
In 1871, Pike published the 861 page Masonic handbook known as the Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
After Mazzini's death on March 11, 1872, Pike appointed Adriano Lemmi (1822-1896, 33rd degree Mason), a banker from Florence, Italy, to run their subversive activities in Europe. Lemmi was a supporter of patriot and revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi, and may have been active in the Luciferian Society founded by Pike. Lemmi, in turn, was succeeded by Lenin and Trotsky, then by Stalin. The revolutionary activities of all these men were financed by British, French, German, and American international bankers; all of them dominated by the House of Rothschild.
Between 1859 and 1871, Pike worked out a military blueprint for three world wars and various revolutions throughout the world which he considered would forward the conspiracy to its final stage in the 20th Century.
In addition to the Supreme Council in Charleston, South Carolina, Pike established Supreme Councils in Rome, Italy (led by Mazzini); London, England (led by Palmerston); and Berlin, Germany (led by Bismarck). He set up 23 subordinate councils in strategic places throughout the world, including five Grand Central Directories in Washington, DC (North America), Montevideo (South America), Naples (Europe), Calcutta (Asia), and Mauritius (Africa), which were used to gather information. All of these branches have been the secret headquarters for the Illuminati's activities ever since.
Next: More About Albert Pike
Previous: Introduction to Conspiratorial History
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You might be interested in the following external links:
Albert Pike Defense: Defenses of certain Pike assertions taken from Walter Lee Brown, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and his book "A Life of Albert Pike," published by the U. of Arkansas press, 1997.
Freemasonry Inside Out:
This sensational new analysis of the Masonic brotherhood examines the basic question asked for almost 300 years by the general public and surprisingly by many masons themselves; 'If Freemasonry is simply a fraternal and charitable organisation, why is there an almost fanatical obsession with secrecy and mysterious rituals?' E-book.
A Collection of places named after Albert Pike (Schools, streets, towns, counties, temples, windows, paintings, medals, bronzes, rocks and river pools)
Layout of Washington D.C. and discussion of how President Andrew Johnson considered himself to be the subordinate to Albert Pike, the leader of North American Freemasonry.
Looking for pictures of Albert Pike?
Books by Albert Pike
Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
Beyond the Law : The Religious and Ethical Meaning of the Lawyer's Vocation
Book of the Words
Digest Index of Morals & Dogma 1909
Esoteric Work of the 1 Degree - 3 Degree, According to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
Evil Consequences of Schisms and Disputes for Power in Masonry and of Jealousies and Dissensions Between Masonic Rites, 1858
Ex Corde Locutiones: Words from the Heart Spoken of His Dead Brethren
General Albert Pike's Poems 1900
Historical Inquiry in Regard to the Grand Constitutions of 1786 - 1883
Hymns to the Gods and Other Poems
Indo-Aryan Deities and Worship As Contained in the Rig-Veda
Irano-Aryan Faith and Doctrine As Contained in the Zend-Avesta
Lectures of the Arya
Lectures on Masonic Symbolism and a Second Lecture on Symbolism or the Omkara and Other Inefable Words
Legenda and Readings of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
Liturgies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry 4 Degree - 30 Degree
Liturgy of the Blue Degrees
Lyrics and Love Songs - 1899
Magnum Opus or the Great Work: The Complete Ritual Work of Scottish Rite Freemasonry
Masonic Baptism: Reception of a Louveteau and Adoption
Masonry of Adoption: Masonic Rituals for Women Complete With the Verbatim Degree Lectures and the "Secret Work"
Meaning of Masonry
Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie - 1835
Old Cashier of the 33d Degree
The Point Within the Circle: Freemasonry Veiled in Allegory and Illustrated by Symbols
The Porch and the Middle Chamber: Book of the Lodge
Prose Sketches & Poems Written in the Western Country - 1834
Pythagoras and Hermes
Rituals of Old Degrees
What Masonry Is & Its Objects; Ancient Ideals in Modern Masonry - 1919
1. Lady Queensborough: Occult Theocracy, pp. 208-209.
2, 3, 4. Cmdr. William Guy Carr: Quoted in Satan: Prince of This World.
The Rockefeller Plan for the BRICS New World Order, in their own words'... (Update 1 '' Putin and Kissinger's friendship) | RedefiningGod.com
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 13:38
Decades before President George H.W. Bush introduced the ''New World Order'' (NWO) into the American vernacular, the Rockefeller family and their minions were making plans to expend America's post-World War 2 power to bring about such an order. In the course of researching Laurance Rockefeller for my last entry, Why are the Rockefellers and the Jesuits guiding the UFO Disclosure Movement?, I came across a book titled Prospect for America: The Rockefeller Panel Reports'...'...It was the product of a 1956 Rockefeller Brothers Fund effort known as the Special Studies Project, and it lays out the blueprint for the multilateral / multipolar New World Order that is currently materializing around us.
In the aftermath of World War 2 and the resulting formation of the United Nations (which the Rockefellers were instrumental in creating and funding), the Special Studies Project, directed by Henry Kissinger, was formed to carry out two apparent tasks:
1) to create an action plan to bring about the ''elite's'' long-sought world government within the existing postwar environment, and
2) to spin the agenda in such a way that it could be sold to the American people as being in their best interest.
Upon completion of their work, the Special Studies Project's various panels compiled their reports in an incomplete, sanitized, and heavily spun book, the above-mentioned Prospect for America. The book spells out how to sacrifice the national interests of the United States for'...'...(from page 35)
To begin our journey through the Rockefeller plan for the NWO, let's start with their definition of the Old World Order (OWO).
The 13 Empires of the Old World Order
From pages 163-164 of Prospect for America'...
So after having consolidated power over most of the world through empire building, the Occulted Powers (OPs) faced a problem. Empires, by their very nature, are territorial, competitive and nationalistic, and are not amenable to submitting to outside control as would be required for world governance. Clearly, these old structures would need to be demolished and replaced by newer, more malleable structures in order to finish the global consolidation. For this reason, the OPs fomented and financed the two world wars to break down the old empires and create international chaos from which a New Order could be birthed.
At the end of each world war, the OPs immediately planted the seed of global governance, but the seeds didn't germinate as expected'...'...(from page 164)
De-spinning the last underlined statement, they are basically saying that the nations were insufficiently motivated to hand over sovereignty to the globalist institutions. So to overcome this lack of ''shared aspirations,'' the OPs fostered the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.
By threatening some nations with Soviet aggression and others with American aggression, they compelled the nations to band together and join sides for protection. The members of each side were then pressured to increase economic and defensive cooperation to fend off the menace of the other side. Those who were programmed to believe they lived in the ''people's (communist) world'' cooperated to block aggression from the ''imperialist world,'' and those who were programmed to believe they lived in the ''free world'' cooperated to block aggression from the ''Soviet sphere'''...'...(from page 180)
In the United States, people were programmed to believe that fending off the ''Red Menace'' was a matter of life and death'...'...(from page 162)
But the Cold War, just like the current crop of engineered conflicts raging about us (ISIS, Ukraine, and the China Seas), was all about forcing nations into groups and groups into a world order. Once it had served its purpose, the Cold War was ended in order to allow the two sides to be merged under the NWO. And as one would expect, Prospect for America offers a glimpse of what the NWO will look like.
The New World Order
On page 26, we're told what the OPs and their globalist minions are hoping for'...
Take note of how the passage says ''combined so as to be able to deal with those problems that increasingly the separate nations will not be able to solve alone.'' Here they are telling us that they'll be purposefully creating increasingly difficult problems to compel the nations to accept the NWO. We've certainly been witnessing that, haven't we?
As for the NWO structure itself, we're told that it will ''consist of regional institutions under an international body of growing [to the point of total control] authority.'' Elsewhere in the book, we're told that the NWO will also include functional structures for matters that require management beyond the regional boundaries. So let's delve deeper into how such a structure would look and operate:
1) At the top is the ''international body of growing authority.'' Needless to say, this is'...'...(from page 33) Also note this'...'...(from page 35)
2) Below the UN will be the'...'...(from page 189)
Here are the ten UN development regions'...
And page 190 spells out how the regional arrangements will manifest themselves'...
Free trade agreements, joint economic development institutions, exchange agreements '-- this all sounds very familiar, doesn't it? So when an East versus West propagandist tries to sell you the idea that the BRICS Development Bank or a Chinese/Russian currency swap deal demonstrates nations trying to free themselves from the New World Order, just remember this passage. Russia and China are following the NWO script to the letter, but I'll get back to this point a little later in the article.
3) Below the UN will also be'...'...(from page 191)
One example of a functional arrangement is the BRICS alliance. It cuts across regional lines and gives form to the dialectic clash between Anglo-American bankers and BRICS bankers which will birth the NWO. Another example is the International Monetary Fund, which will manage the new global reserve currency after the engineered East versus West drama has climaxed.
With the planned structure of the New World Order laid before us, let's have a look at how the Rockefellers planned to get America to join in.
The NWO as America's Grand Objective
Prospect for America goes to great lengths to make the counterintuitive case that building a global government is in America's best interest. It starts by implying that nation-states are somehow outmoded by the fact that they trade with each other, and then it offers the false choice of floundering by engaging in no trade at all'...'...(from page 60) or prospering by engaging in trade managed by the NWO'...'...(from page 161) They conveniently fail to mention that there are many other options besides resorting to either of those two extremes.
Kissinger and Co. also make the assertion that building the NWO is the ''grand objective'' of America's foreign policy'...'...(from page 26) and that the effectiveness of US policy will be judged by how well America fosters the globalist institutions'...'...(from page 27) Also note how the passage assigns the US to the Western Sphere. The planners had another nation in mind to lead the Eastern Sphere (China).
The book then goes on to offer specific ways America can sacrifice its national interests to build the global government.
The Deindustrialization of America
On page 173, we see the genesis of the economic policies that have brought the American economy to ruin'...'...as the globalists make the case for unilaterally removing the trade barriers that protected America's economy from competition with foreign slave labor.
Kissinger and Co. also make the case that we shouldn't economically defend ourselves since it might create ''impediments'... to the progress of others'''...'...(from page 75)
And to give Americans a taste of what's coming, page 75 also drops this little hint'...'...As it turns out, America did indeed lay itself down as a bridge to pull China into the NWO. We did it by luring them in with a great deal of our national wealth through lopsided trade and outsourcing.
And this brings us to the subject of the BRICS'...
The BRICS role in erecting the New World Order
Prospect goes on to address the status of those nations that were ''freed'' by the engineered collapse of the Old World Order'...'...(from page 164)
If we remove the spin from this passage, it tells us that the new nation-states' drive to achieve true independence must be ''balanced by converging forces.'' And what form did these ''converging forces'' take? The globalists employed hot & cold wars and insurgencies, trade conflicts, and ''economic hit men'' to make life unbearable for any nation-state attempting to be independent. All this strife forced such nations to reach out to international institutions for ''help'' (which came in the form of military occupation or debt bondage).
Only in the arms of the globalist institutions would such nations find any peace'...'...(from page 61)
When Prospect spoke on page 60 of what animates such peoples'...'...it brought to mind something I wrote in an old article titled David Wilcock and the Real NWO, Part 2 of 2:
>>>Why China? Why would the Illuminati, whose home base is in Western Europe, have the Chinese front the public face of their New World Order?
A clue to their motivations and strategy can be found in this article, titled ''Colonial Elite Rules China for the Illuminati.'' In it, the author states'...
''The Chinese people would revolt against overt foreign domination, but embrace their place in the NWO if they believed they were in control.''
The Chinese have suffered greatly at the hands of Western imperialism, as has much of the world. As a result, the Illuminati would have trouble roping many nations into a Western-led New World Order, especially the nationalistic Chinese. Since you can't have a truly global order without the most populous nation on Earth, the Illuminati opted to use their own legacy of destruction to their advantage. Their two-part strategy to do so is as follows:
1 '' They set up a China-centered alliance as an opposing force to the Western alliance.This part of the strategy was hinted at in the mainstream press in this 2002 UPI article, titled ''China Wants Its Own 'New World Order' To Oppose US Version.'' It is common practice for the Cabal to use opposing forces to achieve their ends, and they always make sure they have influence or control over both sides.
2 '' They have been driving the world public into the hands of the Chinese alliance.How have they approached this, you ask?
> They have widely publicized a heinous New World Order planned by the Western Powers'...'...while simultaneously publicizing a benign New World Order planned by China and its allies'...'...thus establishing danger from one side and safety from another.
> They have instigated outrageous and provocative action, both economic and military, by the Western powers (this adds a new insight into the open-for-all-to-see Wall Street / City of London criminality and recent Western military boondoggles in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, and Syria).
> They have broadly exposed damaging information about Western nations, especially the US. This is the motivation behind WikiLeaks, Snowden, and a thousand smaller disclosures. And after Snowden outed the NSA's activities to the general public, where did he run to hide? First to China (Hong Kong), then to Russia. So what is the psychological message? China and Russia (the BRICS alliance) are where you run for safety from the evil US, its Western allies, and all their horrible behavior.
It is really very simple: the Illuminati built a rabbit trap (in the BRICS alliance) that looks like a nice, safe hole to hide from danger. Now they are beating the bushes (with the Western powers) to drive the rabbits toward the trap.
The Camp of the Saints - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 13:24
The Camp of the Saints (Le Camp des Saints) is a 1973 French apocalyptic novel by Jean Raspail. The novel depicts a setting wherein Third World mass immigration to France and the West leads to the destruction of Western civilization. Almost forty years after publication the book returned to the bestseller list in 2011. The title is a reference to the Book of Revelation (Rev 20:9).
The Camp of the Saints is a novel about population migration and its consequences. In Calcutta, India, the Belgian government announces a policy in which Indian babies will be adopted and raised in Belgium. The policy is reversed after the Belgian consulate is inundated with poverty-stricken parents eager to give up their infant children.
An Indian "wise man" then rallies the masses to make a mass exodus to live in Europe. Most of the story centers on the French Riviera, where almost no one remains except for the military and a few civilians, including a retired professor who has been watching the huge fleet of run-down freighters approaching the French coast.
The story alternates between the French reaction to the mass immigration and the attitude of the immigrants. They have no desire to assimilate into French culture but want the goods that are in short supply in their native India. Although the novel focuses on France, the rest of the West shares its fate.
Near the end of the story the mayor of New York City is made to share Gracie Mansion with three families from Harlem, the Queen of the United Kingdom must agree to have her son marry a Pakistani woman, and only one drunken Soviet soldier stands in the way of thousands of Chinese people as they swarm into Siberia. The one holdout until the end of the novel is Switzerland, but by then international pressure isolating it as a rogue state for not opening its borders forces it to capitulate.
PublicationA translation by Norman Shapiro was published by Scribner in 1975 (ISBN 0-684-14240-6). It was republished in mass market paperback format by Ace Books in 1977 (ISBN 0-441-09120-2), and in softcover format by The Social Contract Press in 1995 (ISBN 1-881780-07-4); The Washington Post reports that reading the novel "focused" the ideas of John Tanton, Social Contract Press' founder.
ResponseIn 1975 Time Magazine panned the novel as a "bilious tirade" that only required a response because it "arrives trailing clouds of praise from French savants, including Dramatist Jean Anouilh ('A haunting book of irresistible force and calm logic'), with the imprint of a respected U.S. publisher and a teasing pre-publication ad campaign ('The end of the white world is near')".Jeffrey Hart in the National Review lauded the novel, stating "in freer and more intelligent circles in Europe, the book is a sensation and Raspail is a prize-winner'...his plot is both simple and brilliant''. In 1983, Linda Chavez declared she was "appalled" at the novel, and called it "racist, xenophobic and paranoid". The December 1994 cover story of The Atlantic Monthly focused on the themes of the novel, analyzing them in the context of international relations.(This was at about the same time that The Social Contract Press chose to bring it back into U.S. publication.)
In 2002 Lionel Shriver described the novel as "both prescient and appalling," certainly "racist" but "written with tremendous verbal energy and passion." Shriver writes that the book "gives bilious voice to an emotion whose expression is increasingly taboo in the West, but that can grow only more virulent when suppressed: the fierce resentment felt by majority populations when that status seems threatened."
William F. Buckley, Jr. praised the book in 2004 as "a great novel" which raised questions on how to respond to massive illegal immigration. In 2005 the conservative Chilton Williamson praised the book as "one of the most uncompromising works of literary reaction in the 20th century." In 2001 the Southern Poverty Law Center described it as "widely revered by American white supremacists and is a sort of anti-immigration analog to The Turner Diaries, and as recently as October of 2015 condemned the novel as "the favorite racist fantasy of the anti-immigrant movement in the US."
The book returned to the bestseller list in 2011.
See alsoReferences^ abL'Express: "Le camp des Saints, de Jean Raspail, un succ¨s de librairie raciste?", 6 April 2011, retrieved 30 November 2012^Huslin, Anita. "On Immigration, A Theorist Who's No Fence-Sitter". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-25. ^Paul Gray (1975-08-04). "Poor White Trash". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2014-01-27. ^Jeffrey Hart, National Review,September 26, 1975.^Karen L. Adams, Daniel T. Brink, Perspectives on Official English: The Campaign for English as the Official Language of the USA Walter de Gruyter, 1990. ISBN 0899256538 (p. 177)^Matthew Connelly and Paul Kennedy (December 1994). "Must It Be the Rest Against the West?". Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved 2009-04-09. ^John Tanton. "The Puppeteer Replies - The Social Contract Press". The Social Contract Press. Retrieved 2009-04-09. ^Lionel Shriver: "Population doomsday", New Statesman, 10 June 2002, retrieved 1 December 2012^Buckley, Jr., William F. "No Irish Need Apply." National Review Online. July 23, 2004.^Williamson, Chilton (2005). The Conservative Bookshelf: Essential Works That Impact Today's Conservative Thinkers. Citadel Press. p. 279. ^SPLCenter.org: Fear and Fantasy^https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2015/racist-book-camp-saints-gains-popularity, viewed on October 8, 2015.
Feds Say Former UN General Assembly President Lived Large Off Chinese Bribes | VICE News
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 01:01
John Ashe, the former president of the United Nations General Assembly, was hit with federal charges on Tuesday for his alleged role in a $1.3 million bribery scheme that prosecutors say involves Chinese businessmen, a multi-billion dollar conference center in Macau, and dirty money being spent on Rolex watches, custom suits, and a private basketball court at Ashe's New York home.
Prosecutors from the US Attorney's Office in New York City announced the case on Tuesday, explaining that a total of five individuals were charged with bribery-related counts, while Ashe was charged with tax fraud for not paying taxes on bribes he accepted in 2013 and 2014.
Ashe, 61, who served as president of the General Assembly from September 2013 to September 2014 and also as the UN Ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda, was arrested in Dobbs Ferry, New York, on two counts of false and fraudulent US individual income tax returns, which each carry a sentence of up to three years in prison.
Related:The FBI Has Its Eyes On Malaysia's Embattled Prime Minister
Three others, Deputy UN Ambassador for the Dominican Republic Francis Lorenzo, Ng Lap Seng, and Jeff C. Yin face up to 15 years in prison for bribery conspiracy and bribery, while two of the individuals involved, Shiwei Yan and Heidi Hon Piao, could be sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to the charging documents, Ashe solicited and accepted bribes facilitated by business people in China to represent their interests at the UN and in Antigua, including a $500,000 bribe in exchange for submitting a document to the UN Secretary General claiming there was a need to build a multi-billion dollar conference center in Macau, the small peninsula in mainland China known for its lavish casinos.
Ashe allegedly used the bribe money to pay for family vacations, a private basketball at his house in Dobbs Ferry, Rolex watches, and bespoke custom suits, and to cover his mortgage and BMW lease payments. The US Attorney's office claims Ashe failed to report more than $1.2 million of income in 2013 and 2014.
The bribery scheme allegedly began around 2011. At that time, prosecutors say Lorenzo convinced Ashe to come with him to China to meet with Seng about the Macau conference center, and Ashe agreed in exchange for a first-class family trip to New Orleans. The arrangement led to additional bribes, they say, including a $2,500 monthly salary for Ashe's wife, for a role described as a "climate change consultant."
Related:The Corruption Crackdown in Guatemala Is Making Mexico Jealous
Before the support for the Macau center was finalized, Ashe purportedly told Lorenzo he would need to "see the funds '-- funds which are NOT for my personal use but to help run the [President of the General Assembly] office. Period." He requested $100,000 to $200,000.
"If proven, today's charges will confirm that the cancer of corruption that plagues too many local and state governments infects the United Nations as well," US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. The prosecutor said Ashe "sold himself and the global institution he led," and "formed a corrupt alliance of business and government, converting the UN into a platform for profit."
St(C)phane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said the UN only learned of the charges on Tuesday morning. "Of course, the Secretary-General was shocked and deeply troubled to learn this morning of the allegations against John Ashe, the former President of the General Assembly, which go to the heart of the integrity of the United Nations," Dujarric said in a statement to VICE News.
Seng and Yin were arrested on September 19 for making false statements to customs agents about the $4.5 million cash they had brought into the US from China. "It is our position that Mr. Seng committed no crime," said Seng's attorney Alex Spiro.
Ashe and the others were scheduled to appear in front of a judge on Tuesday.
"We will continue to do everything we can to root out public corruption '-- whether we find it in a city council, in Albany, or as here, in the United Nations," Bharara said.
Follow Colleen Curry on Twitter: @currycolleen
Report: UN Staff Transported 380 Pounds of Weed, Watched and Shared Child Porn, and Tried to Bring a Chainsaw onto a Plane
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 00:58
Staff at the United Nations downloaded and shared child porn, transported roughly 380 pounds of weed in an official vehicle, and repeatedly threatened each other with murder, according to an annual report on disciplinary matters and cases of criminal behavior issued by the international organization.
The report, carried out by the UN Secretariat, covers the period between July 2014 and June of this year. It does not name the staff involved, their nationalities, or where the offenses took place.
Perhaps most alarmingly, four UN employees were dismissed for receiving, storing, and disseminating pornographic images of minors on their official computers and over UN networks. It was unclear if their home countries had filed any charges against the four unnamed individuals. A fifth staff member who stored adult pornographic material on a UN computer was demoted and blocked from being promoted for a period of two years.
Related:Should Manga Be Included in Child Pornography Legislation?
Elsewhere in the report, a staffer was referenced as being fired for using "an official vehicle of the Organization to transport approximately 173 kilograms of marijuana." Another employee inexplicably tried to bring a chainsaw on a UN passenger flight. Yet another UN security official was caught pilfering $2,200 from a passenger while screening their luggage.
Investigators said several UN staff members threatened colleagues with violence, including one who "repeatedly threatened to kill or suggested that the staff member could arrange to kill the Head of Mission."
On another occasion, a staff member drove a tractor into the office of a coworker "with the intent of damaging the office and injuring the staff member's supervisor." UN investigators chalked up the incident to "long-standing workplace-related issues."
Other entries in the report were more mundane: A staff member removed barbed wire from a UN premises without authorization, an employee took fuel belonging to the UN, a staff member stole a ream of paper, another misrepresented his educational record to superiors.
Related:Feds Say Former UN General Assembly President Lived Large Off Chinese Bribes
The UN's Secretariat counts some 41,000 staff from around the world. The UN says that after an employee is dismissed, it's up to member states to investigate and bring charges when appropriate. That dynamic has raised questions among critics who contend that UN staff and peacekeepers that commit sexual violence and other offenses are rarely brought to justice by their home countries '-- if the incidents are ever reported at all.
In the report summarizing violations for the previous year '-- from July 2013 to June 2014 '-- at least three staff members were referenced as having been dismissed for having sexual intercourse with minors.
Follow Samuel Oakford on Twitter: @samueloakford
Topics:united nations, scandal, pornography, marijuana, weed, crime, peacekeeping, sexual abuse, human rights, chainsaws, crime & drugs, americas, un secretariat
Who's Crazy Enough To Start A Record Label Today? Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, And Others'...Here's Why
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 00:58
George Howard Forbes.com 10/31/15
As Billboard recently reported, singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran has started a label: Gingerbread Man. Sheeran explains that the gesture isn't about the money, but rather because he ''[wants] to hear some cool music on the radio.''
Miley Cyrus' new record, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, was released without the financial support or the knowledge of her label RCA, and essentially was released by the artist herself.
Certainly, these aren't the only high-profile artists who have either started their own label or operated independently of the label to whom they're signed. Jack White's Third Man Records, for instance, has been releasing a steady stream of both his own output and that of other artists, since 2009. Even Frank Sinatra had his own label, Reprise Records (though, it was sold to Warner Bros. soon after its founding).
In some ways the very notion of a record label seems as anachronistic as the ''Bros.'' appended to ''Warner'' (it's now the much more en vogue, ''WMG.'') This is because various moments of disintermediation '' the removal of the layers that stand between those who create music and those who consume it '' have called to question the role of labels. Specifically:'The advent of home digital audio recording, which took root in the early 1990s allowed for some artists to forgo the trading of the ownership of their sound recordings to labels in exchange for the funds to make a sufficient recording.'The combination of iTunes and so-called aggregators like CDBaby and TuneCore (Disclosure: I was one of the original founders of TuneCore) in the early 2000s enabled some artists to forgo the trading of the ownership of their sound recordings to labels in exchange for distribution into stores/online retailers.'The emergence of social media, around 2010, enabled some artists to forgo the trading of the ownership of their sound recordings to labels in exchange for the publicity that labels supplied/paid for in order to alert consumers to the existence of recordings.
Why then do we even continue to utilize the term ''label,'' let alone continue to start them? Without calling to question Ed Sheeran's motives for starting his label (which, for what it's worth, I absolutely believe has everything to do with his stated intent of hearing more cool music), as is so often the case, there is a financial explanation.
Look at the credits on Ms. Cyrus' recent release. You'll notice '' amidst the details of who wrote what '' an alphabet soup of abbreviations like ''ASCAP,'' ''BMI,'' and ''SESAC.'' These are performance rights organizations that issue licenses on behalf of songwriters '' like Ms. Cyrus and the various members of The Flaming Lips who co-wrote many of the songs on the album '' to entities who desire to play their music. The specific term, as governed by copyright law, is the ''Right of Public Performance.''
In practice, what this means is that every time the songs from Ms. Cyrus' new release are streamed '-- from sites like Soundcloud (where Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz was first exclusively released), Pandora, Spotify, or radio stations '' the writers of those songs are owed money, and it is the role of these entities '-- ASCAP, BMI, SESAC '-- to collect and distribute this money.
Until fairly recently, however, neither the labels nor performers of the songs were paid when songs were ''publicly performed'' on radio. This is due to the fact that the United States does not have an enumerated right of public performance for labels and performers '' only for songwriters. (I've written about this inconsistency at length, if you'd like to go down a rabbit hole.)
Terrestrial radio, of course, is no longer the only way to hear music. As technologies advanced and led to digital means of music consumption (Sirius/XM, web radio, Pandora, Spotify, et al.), the rules that govern these works' consumption have also advanced, and it these advances that provide the financial answer to why artist-run labels have economic relevance.
Specifically, no longer are songwriters the only ones who are paid when music is publicly performed. Now, performers and labels are compensated when their works are publicly performed via digital transmission.
For instance, should Ed Sheeran release a song on his new label that he wrote and performed, and should that song be played on Sirius/XM or on Pandora, Mr. Sheeran will be paid three times: as songwriter, performer, and label.
Just as my friend the Venture Capitalist Andy Weissman believes, I too feel that via technologies like Blockchain, instead of having a handful of streaming services, we will soon have thousands, and the significance of these payments will grow. Those who have the most claims to these payments '' those who not only write songs, but also perform them and release them on their own labels '' will benefit the most.
To understand the scope of this, I spoke to my friend John Simson.
John and I got to know each other many moons ago, when the label I was running, Rykodisc, released the American Roots Music project, for which Mr. Simson expertly navigated the complex legal elements. Mr. Simson went on to be the founding Executive Director of SoundExchange from 2001 to 2010. SoundExchange collects on behalf of the labels and performers as described above.
Mr. Simson is now the Business and Entertainment Program Director at American University's Kogod School of Business and the President of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association
Below '' lightly edited for clarity and grammar '' is my conversation with Mr. Simson:
George Howard: John, thanks for doing this. So, my premise here is that there's a real economic incentive for artists like Ed Sheeran to start their own labels. Can you talk a bit about the growth of streaming and collections?
John Simson: The growth of streaming has been remarkable. It has benefited from new services taking advantage of new technology to bring music to consumers. While some legacy services were in existence in 1995 when the law providing for streaming payments was passed, it wasn't until about 10 years ago that the explosion of revenue began to occur.
GH: Can you give me some specifics?
JS: Sure. From 1995 to 2001, SoundExchange collections were approximately $6.2 Million total. It grew to roughly $10 Million in calendar 2003 and around $40 Million in 2005. By 2010, SoundExchange collections were well over $250 Million and growing by double digits each year, primarily on the strength of Sirius/XM satellite radio and Pandora Internet radio.
SoundExchange is likely to hit $1 Billion in collections in 2015.
GH: Wow. So, talk a bit about how this increased collection relates to artists?
JS: The major benefit to Artists who start their own labels is that they are collecting both the label and featured performer share of streaming revenue.
The statutory license that SoundExchange administers requires that royalties be split 45% to featured performer and 50% to the owner of the master recordings (typically a label).
When the Artist is their own label, they are capturing 95% of streaming revenue rather than 45%. [Note: the remaining 5% is paid to a fund to pay background musicians and vocalists.]
GH: Right, and so it really does provide incentive to artists to be their own label. There's a sort of economic calculus now that there's increased revenue potential'...a sort of cost/benefit analysis that is similar to the one artists used to calculate with respect to the increased margin of being their own label in the era of CDs and downloads. Now they have to do that cost/benefit around increased streaming revenue versus what they gain/give up by signing to a label. Right?
JS: I think it is safe to say that Artists need to determine if they need the services of a label for marketing, promotion and creative input, or whether they'd rather hire outside parties to take on those roles so they can retain the greater portion of streaming revenues.
GH: Right, right, and these streaming revenues are both growing and differentiated between services.
JS: The volume of music being streamed has grown at a rate that is unprecedented. In its first five years of operations, SoundExchange processed about 7 Billion performances. Last year, Pandora streamed over 300 Billion performances!
As you say, George, it is important to note the differences between narrowcasting. Pandora '-- where one song is played to one listener '-- is ''narrowcasting.'' While Sirius/XM streams one song to potentially 28 Million subscribers is ''broadcasting.'' As such, a play on Sirius/XM is worth much, much more than a play on Pandora. Where an artist/label receives roughly 14 hundredths of a penny for each Pandora spin or 14 cents per 100 spins, each play on Sirius/XM is worth well over $12.00!
GH: It's great information, John, and it's great to talk to you. Thank you.
Tags: Artist Labels
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Rubio Follows the Big Money
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 00:53
Exclusive: Sen. Marco Rubio is the new favorite of the Republican establishment, a shift away from Jeb Bush signaled by hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer's embrace. But Rubio earned that affection by advancing Singer's high-stakes financial fight with Argentina, Jonathan Marshall reports.
By Jonathan Marshall
On the morning of Halloween, the New York Times broke the scary news that Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio had won a big jackpot: the endorsement of billionaire hedge fund investor Paul Singer. But aside from citing Singer's praise for Rubio's ''message of optimism'' and ''work on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,'' the story offered little explanation of what could prove to be a decisive turning point in the GOP primary race.
On the policy front, Rubio clearly meets Singer's requirement for a candidate who favors lower taxes on the rich and, even more important, a blank check for Israel's right-wing government. With his hawkish stands on the Middle East, including fervent opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, Rubio had already won over another leading Republican ''bundler,'' New York attorney Phil Rosen, former chairman of American Friends of Likud and a believer that Israel's conflict with the Palestinians ''was, and will always be, a holy war.''
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.
Rubio is a prot(C)g(C) of Florida billionaire Norman Braman, who has contributed at least six figures to support the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. Rubio reportedly leads the all-important ''Adelson primary,'' the race to tap the virtually unlimited cash box of gambling billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the single most prominent U.S. supporter of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
All that is music to Singer's ears, but Rubio's ''work on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee'' is about something else altogether: his political support for Singer's efforts to drain more than $1.5 billion dollars from Argentina in payments on old bonds that lost most of their value after the country defaulted in 2001.
Singer's Elliott Management bought that debt several years ago for less than $50 million, and then successfully sued in U.S. court to demand full recovery of the face amount '-- in the face of opposition from the Obama administration, most other bondholders, and, above all, Argentina's government, led by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
Singer, who is famous for his bare-knuckles tactics against foreign governments, has gone after Kirchner's government on all fronts. Most strategically, he supported the highly questionable claims by an Argentine prosecutor that the Kirchner government tried to cover up the involvement of the Iranian government in the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people.
The issue was perfect for a smear campaign: targeting alleged Iranian terrorism and government anti-Semitism, Singer could undercut the legitimacy of the one entity standing between him and huge profits on his speculative bond purchases.
Singer's Elliot Management is a major backer of American Task Force Argentina, which advocates for full repayment of the Argentine bonds and has spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress. It also spends big bucks to blacken Argentina's reputation.
As Huffington Post reported in 2013, the group ''has launched a broad attack on Argentina in its PR campaign. '... Politico ad, paid for by ATFA, slammed the country as a safe haven for narcotics traffickers. Another ATFA ad accuses Argentine President Cristina Kirchner of making a 'pact with the Devil,' pointing to a legal memo between her country and Iran involving Argentina's effort to prosecute Iranian defendants in a terrorism case.''
As one of its lobbyists told Huffington Post, ''We do whatever we can to get our government and media's attention focused on what a bad actor Argentina is.''
An investigation by Charles Davis for Inter Press Service showed that employees of Singer's Elliott Management contributed more than $95,000 to Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, who wrote a letter denouncing President Kirchner's agreement with Iran to investigate the 1994 bombing.
Rep. Michael Grimm, R-NY, who received $38,000 from Elliott Management employees, co-sponsored legislation demanding that Argentina's bondholders receive full compensation, and called for an investigation of Argentina's ties with Iran. Other recipients of Singer's largesse '-- including AIPAC, The Israel Project and the American Enterprise Institute '-- also hammered the Kirchner government, virtually accusing it of anti-Semitism.
Last year, another member of Congress got in on the act: Sen. Marco Rubio. While grilling President Obama's nominee as U.S. ambassador to Argentina, Rubio complained that Buenos Aires ''doesn't pay bondholders, doesn't work with our security operations. . . . These aren't the actions of an ally.''
Adding a dig at President Kirchner, he added, ''We have this trend in Latin America of people who get elected but then don't govern democratically. Argentina is an example of this.'' His speech triggered an angry response from Kirchner's Foreign Minister Hector Timerman '-- an Argentine Jew '-- calling Rubio an ''extremist.''
This May, Rubio introduced a resolution in the Senate suggesting that Kirchner conspired to ''cover up Iranian involvement in the 1994 terrorist bombing.'' Rubio declared that the issues in the case ''extend well beyond Argentina and involve the international community, and more importantly, U.S. national security.''
As Eli Clifton noted, ''It turns out that Singer's hedge fund, Elliott Management, was Rubio's second largest source of campaign contributions between 2009 and 2014, providing the presidential hopeful with $122,620, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.''
When Kirchner herself had the temerity this spring to link Singer to various neoconservative attacks on her policies, citing a ''global modus operandi'' to coerce foreign states, the reliably neoconservative editorial page of the Washington Post published an editorial reply titled, ''Argentina's President Resorts to Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories.''
To which Jim Lobe and Charles Davis, citing a long list of Singer connections to Kirchner's critics, replied, ''follow the money.'' That advice, made famous in the movie version of Watergate's Deep Throat, remains the best guide to understanding billionaire funding of candidates in the 2016 election.
Jonathan Marshall is an independent researcher living in San Anselmo, California. Some of his previous articles for Consortiumnews were ''Risky Blowback from Russian Sanctions''; ''Neocons Want Regime Change in Iran''; ''Saudi Cash Wins France's Favor''; ''The Saudis' Hurt Feelings''; ''Saudi Arabia's Nuclear Bluster''; ''The US Hand in the Syrian Mess''; and''Hidden Origins of Syria's Civil War.'' ]
''Tripwire Alert'' '' Evidence Now Exists To Show Benefit Of GOPe Road-mapped ''Splitter Strategy'''.... | The Last Refuge
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 00:23
The RNC is the Republican National Committee '' or, put another way, the entire construct of the professional Republican Establishment and those who derive benefit/affiliation from the entity therein, the business end. (National, State and regional political entities; polling consultants, campaign consultants, committee employees, etc). The RNC gets the politician elected to Washington DC.
The GOP, or GOP(e), is the financial class or group of financiers who pay the RNC and derive benefit from the policy creation within Washington DC. Wall Street banks and banking interests, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, K-Street Lobbyists, etc. are all part of the machine that tells the politicians what to do.
In essence, the RNC is the Board of Directors, the GOP are the company officers, and the politicians are the employees. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are the managers. Put them all together and you have the RNC/GOPe.
In this example ''We The People'', or ''the electorate'', are the customers, forced to buy -through the monopoly- their product offerings, whatever they present, every 2 to 4 years.
Got it? Good. Now here we go:
The original question in 2013/2014 by the RNC/GOPe:
Everything that followed is simply execution of a strategic plan that stemmed from that very specific goal. We are not going to cover it again '' YOU CAN READ HERE. The marketing strategy is too complex to outline in a single digestible article.
However, first the RNC/GOPe needed to construct the financing of the plan; AND they need to do so without too much attention. Hence, they did this two ways:
#1 In 2014 they changed the traditional campaign finance rules (hid them in the CRomnibus bill when no-one was paying attention) allowing them to take in more money. A lot more money. (link)
#2 Next, they created Super-PACs to allow them to fund behavior outside of the specific interests of the candidates the Super-PACs were assigned to. The behavior they need is loyalty to the GOPe plan, not the candidate. (link)
Next, the RNC/GOPe changed the rules of the 2016 primary election to benefit Jeb Bush. (Keeping in mind they already had polling data which suggested the electorate did not want to purchase Jeb Bush). They changed dates and delegate distributions to insure their guy could win with around 1/5th (20%) support.
It really is a masterful and entirely ingenious plan. And it was constructed so well it took months, even years, to figure out how -and why- each of the pieces fit their puzzle.
Lastly, the RNC/GOPe recruited back into the machine a crew of previously retired, but exceptionally loyal employees of the organization, to execute the strategy. Prestige and financial reward would be the compensation. After all, what's a few billion among friends when trillions are at stake.
With the money, the rules, and the tools in hand '' the rest became execution of the plan.
The specific road map they created had primary calendar dates and delegate distributions as the essential measure. Hence, internal polls were conducted in the key states that would be needed for the plan.
The internal polls had to measure Jeb Bush against the anticipated opponent. These measurements needed to be done on an almost district-by-district level in order to gauge the delegate distributions.
Trying to stay out of the wonky discussion, suffice to say that traditionally within each state each congressional district holds 3 primary delegates which can be won by a candidate or candidates. Subsequently if you are modeling a race you are polling the various options within each district to see who the district favors with your presented match-ups. The district polls are then rolled up, and create the state poll data.
Let's take Florida as an example. This example is chosen because Florida is essentially the fulcrum point under pinning the road map. Florida is the tipping point for Bush, just like it was for Romney in '12.
If Florida was a contest between Jeb Bush and Scott Walker a polled outcome might be:
Bush 45% '' Walker 55%
Or, if Florida was a contest between Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz the outcome might be:
Bush 40% '' Cruz 60%
[ It's important to remember here that we are talking about PRIMARY VOTERS and PRIMARY ELECTIONS. Only about 1/4 of all Republicans will vote in a primary, and the number of GOPe (employees) within the population who show up to a primary represents a higher percentage than exist in the Republican general election. ]
So, in this example, Florida, if you want Bush to win you need to change the options.
If you test out Bush, Walker and Cruz. The outcome might be:
Bush 30% '' Cruz 35% '' Walker 35%
Your guy is still losing but the race is closer. So you put another factor into the equation:
Bush 25% '' Rand Paul 10% '' Cruz 35% '' Walker 30%
Your guy still losing. So you put another factor into the polled equation:
Bush 25% '' Rand Paul 10% '' Cruz 25% '' Walker 20% '' Marco Rubio 20%
OK, better. Now your guy is tied. Marco Rubio is the guy who has ''split'' the opponent to provide you the benefit to run a possible Florida primary race, and achieve victory at 25%. So we call Marco Rubio ''the splitter''.
The key now becomes growing your own popularity, and enhancing anyone who would take away from the biggest challenger within your opponent group. Again, remember this is a ''Republican Primary'' weighted, by the influence of the party apparatus, to support the ''party guy'' (in this case Jeb).
With the race successfully split, now you need to ''fracture'' the biggest challenger within the group:
Bush 25% '' Paul 8% '' Cruz 22% '' Walker 19% '' Rubio 20% '' Rick Perry 6%
BINGO ! Bush wins.
Notice Bush didn't win by gaining support, he won by fracturing his opponents support. This is the GOPe ''splitter'' strategy within the 2016 Road Map.
Also notice, the plan is not necessarily dependent on a ''Rick Perry'' to finish. There's always: Fiorina (for women), Huckabee/Santorum (for evangelicals), or Christie, Carson etc.
THEN '' If you changed the rules to make Florida a ''Winner Take All'' race (which the RNC/GOPe did in the road map/rule phase) well, your guy BUSH just won ALL 99 Delegates with only 25% of the electorate supporting him.
P2106: Florida GOP decided today that the March 15 presidential primary will be "winner take all" for the 99 delegates at stake.
'-- Politics1.com (@Politics1com) May 17, 2015
In Florida Marco Rubio plays the key role of the ''splitter'' to get Bush the victory.
Other primary states before Florida can be looked at the same way.
Now you understand why consummate RNC insiders: John Kasich (Ohio), Jim Gilmore (VA), George Pataki (NY), Lindsey Graham (SC), Rick Perry (TX), are all in the race.
Specific primary states, specific primary delegates, specific dates and specific ''splitters'' needed within those states on those dates.
Now, some people just have a really hard time believing the RNC/GOPe apparatus would actually scheme and plan to do this. Initially, back in the summer/fall of 2014, we did too. Hence we set up ''trip wires'', or events which would prove if we were right or wrong.
Every one of those ''trip wires'' was triggered in the exact construct, at the exact time anticipated.
For those who still refuse to believe '' Fortunately, public polling is now available which would, acting like a trip wire, disprove the plan if it wasn't triggering exactly as it would need to in order to be successful.
We have been following the Key State Polling Data to see if the GOPe plan would succeed. Especially FLORIDA, TEXAS and OHIO. (Texas Poll) (Florida Poll) (Ohio Poll)
AND IT DOES (Example OHIO):
In every single poll, in every single key primary state where the RNC/GOPe changed the party rules, changed the primary calender and changed proportional or WTA assignments, if it were not for Donald Trump, you would see the GOPe road map achieving exactly the outcomes it needs to be successful.
Trump Florida Polling
Donald Trump has FUBAR'd their entire plan. This is why there is such vitriol targeted toward Donald Trump.
Unfortunately, this also means if they take out Donald Trump the GOPe road map gets back on course.
Worse yet, as we have just pointed out, highlighted and shown, if the GOPe plan gets back on course, voting for Walker, Cruz or (__fill_in_the_blank__) won't make a bit of difference'.....
'.... because the entire road map was designed to deliver this:
Both are sides of the same Wall Street Big Gov coin. RNC or DNC same/same.
BUT THE PROBLEM GETS BIGGER '' The Trump Conundrum is not only screwing up the RNC/GOPe plan, he is forcing the Wall Street, K-Street money people to rethink EVERYTHING. If they can't control the RNC side of the equation (coin), they are only left with control over the DNC side of the equation (coin).
Within that consideration they simply cannot run the risk of having vulnerable Hillary Clinton face Donald Trump (who they don't control).
Wall Street will force the DNC/DEMe team to get a better quality of candidate than Hillary to face Donald Trump if Wall Street is to feel more comfortable amid the inherent risk.
RESOURCE / REFERENCE MATERIAL:
'... Following The Money'... The GOPe Roadmap'... The Roles of The Players '' ''The Splitters'''... How each candidate is aligned in the Roadmap'... Trump Hits The Super-PACs '' The GOPe Achilles Heel'... The Rick Perry Tripwire Exposed '' DC Super-Pac'... Jeb Bush Super-Pac Will immediately spend $10 Million'... Proving there is only one political party in Washington DC'... Why Support Trump '' Part One (The GOPe Ruse)'... Why Support Trump '' Part Two (Stop being played)'... Why Support Trump '' Part Three (Intellectual Details)'... How To Defeat the GOPe Road Map
Why Denmark isn't the utopian fantasy Bernie Sanders describes - The Washington Post
Tue, 03 Nov 2015 16:33
There's one country that keeps popping up in the debate among the Democratic candidates for president. It's not China, or Russia, or Iran. It's a little country of 5.6 million people that -- beyond a vague image of tall, blonde, egalitarian people who like pickled fish and minimalist design -- few Americans probably know much about.
Denmark, and to a lesser extent the other Nordic countries, are surfacing in the Democratic debates as examples of relatively equal societies that provide generous benefits for their citizens, including affordable education, health care for all, and subsidized child care. This is mostly due to Bernie Sanders, who likes to use Denmark to explain his vision of democratic socialism. "I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people," Sanders said in the first Democratic debate on Oct. 13. ("But we are not Denmark. I love Denmark. We are the United States of America," Hillary Clinton responded.)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton responds to opponent Bernie Sanders's suggestion that the United States can learn from countries like Denmark. (CNN)
Sanders joins a long tradition of liberal politicians around the world who laud Denmark, Sweden and Norway (and sometimes Finland and Iceland, which aren't technically part of Scandinavia) for their equality and prosperity. These northern European countries enjoy a reputation for being peaceful, egalitarian, progressive, liberal and educated, and having excellent furniture and crime novels, too. For whatever reason, Scandinavia countries just seem to do it better -- an idea that supporters and critics label "Nordic exceptionalism."
But how much truth is there in the popular idea of Nordic exceptionalism? Michael Booth, a British journalist, examines this question in detail in a recent book, "The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia." Booth, a U.K. native who has lived in Scandinavia for over a decade, plays the part of a cultural interpreter, examining, poking and prodding the reality of life in Nordic countries from every angle. Booth finds plenty to question in the rest of the world's assumptions about the Nordic miracle, but also lots that we can learn from them.
You say that many people around the world believe in Nordic exceptionalism without knowing very much at all about Nordic life. They can more easily picture the lives of some remote Amazonian tribe than the typical Swede or Dane. Why is it that the Nordic model has attracted so many fans, but relatively few visitors?
Denmark is a pretty good place to live but it is by no stretch of the imagination the utopia many in politics and the media in the U.S. claim it to be.
We all like to have a "happy place" - somewhere over the rainbow where we imagine life to be perfect - don't we? For many, that place used to be the Mediterranean: we all dreamed of a stone house among the vines. After the economic crash, I think a lot of people started to look towards Scandinavia for what they believed to be a less rampantly capitalistic form of society.
The difference is, few actually actively seek to move to Scandinavia, for obvious reasons: the weather is appalling, the taxes are the highest in the world, the cost of living is similarly ridiculous, the languages are impenetrable, the food is (still) awful for the most part and, increasingly, these countries are making it very clear they would prefer foreigners to stay away.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions that you find in how the rest of the world understands the Nordic countries?
Again, I think we've all been guilty of projecting some kind of utopian fantasy on them. The Nordic countries are, for example, depicted as paragons of political correctness, yet you still see racial stereotypes in the media here - the kind of thing which would be unthinkable in the U.S. Meanwhile, though it is true that these are the most gender-equal societies in the world, they also record the highest rates of violence towards women -- only part of which can be explained by high levels of reporting of crime.
Denmark, meanwhile, promotes itself as a "green pioneer" and finger wags at the world about CO2 emissions, and yet it regularly beats the U.S. and virtually every other country on earth in terms of its per capita ecological footprint. For all their wind turbines, the Danes still burn a lot of coal and drive a lot of cars, their country is home to the world's largest shipping company (M...rsk), and the region's largest air hub.
Sweden is supposedly "neutral" (it's not, and has not been for decades), yet since the days when it sold iron ore to Hitler, its economy has always benefited from its arms industry, which is one of the world's largest.
The Norwegians have fallen prey to precisely the same kind of problems as other oil-rich states: their economy depends far too much on one industry (oil), they've taken their foot off the gas in terms of their work ethic, and now all young Norwegians want to do is be "something in the media" or open a cupcake place.
Politicians in the U.S. like Bernie Sanders praise Denmark for its relative income equality, its free universities, parental leave, subsidized childcare, and national health system. That all sounds pretty good, right?
It is fantastic in theory, except that, in Denmark, the quality of the free education and health care is substandard: They are way down on the PISA [Programme for International Student Assessment] educational rankings, have the lowest life expectancy in the region, and the highest rates of death from cancer. And there is broad consensus that the economic model of a public sector and welfare state on this scale is unsustainable. The Danes' dirty secret is that its public sector has been propped up by -- now dwindling -- oil revenues. In Norway's case, of course, it's no secret.
You describe the Danes as having a strong sense of work-life balance '' specifically, being much more focused on life than work. What are the positives and negatives of that attitude?
Positives: Danes spend more time with their families. Negatives: Danes spend more times with their families. Plus, they have run up huge private debt levels, and no one answers the phone on a Friday afternoon.
Danes are also experiencing a rising debt level, and a lower proportion of people working. Are these worrying signs for its economy or the country's model?
Yes, many economists have specifically warned of the Danes' private debt levels. Perhaps more seriously, productivity has been somewhat stagnant and there is a dire skills shortage.
One thing that's often glossed over among outsiders is the extraordinarily high tax level, which is high for the middle class as well as the wealthy. Do Danes think that they get their money's worth in social services? Do you?
Denmark has the highest direct and indirect taxes in the world, and you don't need to be a high earner to make it into the top tax bracket of 56% (to which you must add 25% value-added tax, the highest energy taxes in the world, car import duty of 180%, and so on). How the money is spent is kept deliberately opaque by the authorities. Danes do tend to feel that they get value for money, but we should not overlook the fact that the majority of Danes either work for, or receive benefits from, the welfare state.
Greater numbers of immigrants have been leading to rising xenophobia in some Nordic countries, as well as higher income inequality. Do you think these trends say anything about the strength of the Nordic model?
All of Europe is dealing with this issue, but of course smaller populations feel more threatened, and cynical right wing politicians (if you'll forgive the tautology) take advantage of that fear. Also, there is no "Nordic model" when it comes to immigration and integration: there is the Swedish model (open door) and the Danish model (close the door and put up a "Go Away" sign), which the Norwegians and Finns are copying.
Denmark has won almost every happiness survey since 1973, but you describe them in the book as a ''frosty, solemn bunch'' who take a lot of anti-depressants. Do they really deserve to be consistently ranked as the world's happiest country?
No, it's a nonsense and, in fact, they have dropped from the top spot in recent surveys, mostly because they are not as rich as they once were. The sad take-away from that is, money does, in fact, make you happy. I don't think they ever were the "happiest" people in the world, but you could argue they have been the most "satisfied." They are good at appreciating the small things in life and making the most of what they have -- a legacy, I think, of experiencing the rough hand of geopolitics in the 18th and 19th centuries.
You emphasize, in the end, that there is a lot that we can learn from the Nordic countries. What is one of the best lessons?
At least aim for economic and gender equality. Everyone benefits, so it's worth a shot, no?
You might also like:
-Why Bernie Sanders loves Denmark but Hillary Clinton doesn't
-Are you a democratic socialist like Bernie Sanders? Take the quiz.
-8 questions about democratic socialism and Bernie Sanders's vision for the United States
Ana Swanson is a reporter for Wonkblog specializing in business, economics, data visualization and China. She also works on Know More, Wonkblog's social media channel.
LIWC Product Catalog
Tue, 03 Nov 2015 16:01
Product CatalogHTTP/1.1 302 Found Cache-Control: private Content-Length: 212 Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8 Location: /store/checkout/CustomLayout.aspx?s=STR6622550055&pc=&page=OnePageCatalog.htm Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.5 X-AspNet-Version: 2.0.50727 X-Powered-By: ASP.NET Date: Tue, 03 Nov 2015 16:01:02 GMT HTTP/1.1 200 OK Cache-Control: private Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8 Content-Encoding: gzip Expires: Mon, 02 Nov 2015 16:01:02 GMT Vary: Accept-Encoding Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.5 X-AspNet-Version: 2.0.50727 Set-Cookie: eSellerate_SavedCart_STR6622550055=SavedCart_STR6622550055_GUID=65aa77c7-715c-4f66-8dc7-be4b5819e329&SavedCart_STR6622550055_DATE=11/3/2015&SavedCart_STR6622550055_CUSTOMERID=916e6447-c34a-4f91-bcc1-ac1cc6635483; domain=esellerate.net; expires=Tue, 17-Nov-2015 16:01:03 GMT; path=/ X-Powered-By: ASP.NET Date: Tue, 03 Nov 2015 16:01:02 GMT Content-Length: 6167
James Webb: Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege - WSJ
Tue, 03 Nov 2015 12:33
Updated July 22, 2010 12:01 a.m. ET The NAACP believes the tea party is racist. The tea party believes the NAACP is racist. And Pat Buchanan got into trouble recently by pointing out that if Elena Kagan is confirmed to the Supreme Court, there will not be a single Protestant Justice, although Protestants make up half the U.S. population and dominated the court for generations.
Forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future.
I have dedicated my political career to bringing fairness to America's economic system and to our work force, regardless of what people look like or where they may worship. Unfortunately, present-day diversity programs work against that notion, having expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white.
In an odd historical twist that all Americans see but few can understand, many programs allow recently arrived immigrants to move ahead of similarly situated whites whose families have been in the country for generations. These programs have damaged racial harmony. And the more they have grown, the less they have actually helped African-Americans, the intended beneficiaries of affirmative action as it was originally conceived.
Lyndon Johnson's initial program for affirmative action was based on the 13th Amendment and on the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which authorized the federal government to take actions in order to eliminate "the badges of slavery." Affirmative action was designed to recognize the uniquely difficult journey of African-Americans. This policy was justifiable and understandable, even to those who came from white cultural groups that had also suffered in socio-economic terms from the Civil War and its aftermath.
The injustices endured by black Americans at the hands of their own government have no parallel in our history, not only during the period of slavery but also in the Jim Crow era that followed. But the extrapolation of this logic to all "people of color"'--especially since 1965, when new immigration laws dramatically altered the demographic makeup of the U.S.'--moved affirmative action away from remediation and toward discrimination, this time against whites. It has also lessened the focus on assisting African-Americans, who despite a veneer of successful people at the very top still experience high rates of poverty, drug abuse, incarceration and family breakup.
Those who came to this country in recent decades from Asia, Latin America and Africa did not suffer discrimination from our government, and in fact have frequently been the beneficiaries of special government programs. The same cannot be said of many hard-working white Americans, including those whose roots in America go back more than 200 years.
Contrary to assumptions in the law, white America is hardly a monolith. And the journey of white American cultures is so diverse (yes) that one strains to find the logic that could lump them together for the purpose of public policy.
The clearest example of today's misguided policies comes from examining the history of the American South.
The old South was a three-tiered society, with blacks and hard-put whites both dominated by white elites who manipulated racial tensions in order to retain power. At the height of slavery, in 1860, less than 5% of whites in the South owned slaves. The eminent black historian John Hope Franklin wrote that "fully three-fourths of the white people in the South had neither slaves nor an immediate economic interest in the maintenance of slavery."
The Civil War devastated the South, in human and economic terms. And from post-Civil War Reconstruction to the beginning of World War II, the region was a ravaged place, affecting black and white alike.
In 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt created a national commission to study what he termed "the long and ironic history of the despoiling of this truly American section." At that time, most industries in the South were owned by companies outside the region. Of the South's 1.8 million sharecroppers, 1.2 million were white (a mirror of the population, which was 71% white). The illiteracy rate was five times that of the North-Central states and more than twice that of New England and the Middle Atlantic (despite the waves of European immigrants then flowing to those regions). The total endowments of all the colleges and universities in the South were less than the endowments of Harvard and Yale alone. The average schoolchild in the South had $25 a year spent on his or her education, compared to $141 for children in New York.
Generations of such deficiencies do not disappear overnight, and they affect the momentum of a culture. In 1974, a National Opinion Research Center (NORC) study of white ethnic groups showed that white Baptists nationwide averaged only 10.7 years of education, a level almost identical to blacks' average of 10.6 years, and well below that of most other white groups. A recent NORC Social Survey of white adults born after World War II showed that in the years 1980-2000, only 18.4% of white Baptists and 21.8% of Irish Protestants'--the principal ethnic group that settled the South'--had obtained college degrees, compared to a national average of 30.1%, a Jewish average of 73.3%, and an average among those of Chinese and Indian descent of 61.9%.
Policy makers ignored such disparities within America's white cultures when, in advancing minority diversity programs, they treated whites as a fungible monolith. Also lost on these policy makers were the differences in economic and educational attainment among nonwhite cultures. Thus nonwhite groups received special consideration in a wide variety of areas including business startups, academic admissions, job promotions and lucrative government contracts.
Where should we go from here? Beyond our continuing obligation to assist those African-Americans still in need, government-directed diversity programs should end.
Nondiscrimination laws should be applied equally among all citizens, including those who happen to be white. The need for inclusiveness in our society is undeniable and irreversible, both in our markets and in our communities. Our government should be in the business of enabling opportunity for all, not in picking winners. It can do so by ensuring that artificial distinctions such as race do not determine outcomes.
Memo to my fellow politicians: Drop the Procrustean policies and allow harmony to invade the public mindset. Fairness will happen, and bitterness will fade away.
Mr. Webb, a Democrat, is a U.S. senator from Virginia.
NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses | NASA
Tue, 03 Nov 2015 11:39
NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses | NASAHTTP/1.1 200 OK x-amz-id-2: nCMeLJiIlD6iFBoALn4lOXf+rtRkW6FZbk1fox1wY6ubryZWR3YI5kMpCfSxpTh1coAW1MPsP4Y= x-amz-request-id: 53C54B243EF3B1AD x-amz-meta-md5_hash: 6e101315155be33e71e7814e0863eb4a Cache-Control: max-age=300 Content-Type: text/html Server: AmazonS3 Content-Encoding: gzip Vary: Accept-Encoding Age: 291 Date: Tue, 03 Nov 2015 11:39:21 GMT Last-Modified: Fri, 30 Oct 2015 17:30:43 GMT Expires: Tue, 03 Nov 2015 11:39:30 GMT Content-Length: 3346 Connection: keep-alive X-UA-Compatible: IE=edge
EPA Says Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen SUVs Cheated On Emissions Tests - The Atlantic
Mon, 02 Nov 2015 20:16
The EPA says Volkswagen cheated on emissions tests on more diesel cars than previously believed.
The Environmental Protection Agency issued a second notice of violation (NOV) of the Clean Air Act to the automaker, covering about 10,000 model year 2014 diesel cars sold in the U.S. In addition, the notice covers an unknown volume of 2016 vehicles. The cars all have 3.0-liter engines. Here's more from the agency:
The NOV alleges that VW developed and installed a defeat device in certain VW, Audi and Porsche light duty diesel vehicles equipped with 3.0 liter engines for model years (MY) 2014 through 2016 that increases emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) up to nine times EPA's standard. The vehicles covered by today's NOV are the diesel versions of: the 2014 VW Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, and the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L, and Q5.
The latest allegation are part of a scandal that came to light in September when the EPA and the California Air Resources Board accused Volkswagen of installing ''defeat devices'' in its model year 2009-2015 diesel cars that allowed it to cheat on emissions tests. My colleague Robinson Meyer explained how those devices worked:
These devices, essentially, let the cars pretend to not break the law. The software could sense when the car was undergoing emissions testing and activate its pollution-control systems accordingly. When the car was being driven during normal use, these systems largely did not activate'--making the car a much heavier polluter in real-life than it looked on paper.
At the time, Volkswagen acknowledged that 11 million cars fitted with 2.0-liter engines were affected worldwide. The scandal cost the company's CEO his job, and has hurt its reputation.
Last week, a peer-reviewed study said about 60 Americans had died prematurely as a result of the ''defeat devices.'' As Rob pointed out: ''If the cars are not recalled, turned in, and adequately fixed, about 140 people will eventually die in the United States as a result of the car manufacturer's malfeasance.''
The EPA says it will order a recall of the vehicles only when it is confident that Volkswagen's software fix will work.
US Senators and Mayors Outed as members of the KKK
Mon, 02 Nov 2015 20:15
Several prominent US Senators and mayors have been outed as members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and other racist groups by the hacktivist collective Anonymous, and the group hints that more politicians and public figures will be named in the near future.
In a new post on document-dumping site pastebin, Anonymous names US Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Cornyn (R-Tx.), Dan Coats (R-In.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) as members of the KKK. Anonymous also outed several mayors of major US cities, including Madeline Rogero of Knoxville, Tennessee; Jim Gray of Lexington, Kentucky; Paul D. Fraim of Norfolk, Virginia; Kent Guinn of Ocala, Florida; and Tom Henry of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Thom Tillis, who is listed as a member of the United Northern and Southern Knights of the KKK in Thornton, was North Carolina's Speaker of the House before being elected to the US Senate in 2014. Tillis was behind the implementation of numerous far-right policies in the Tar Heel State including voter ID laws, public education cuts, restrictions on abortion that were later struck down by federal judges, tax hikes on low-income earners to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, among others.
John Cornyn, who Anonymous claims is affililiated with the United White Knights of the KKK, is the current Majority Whip, making him one of the most powerful members of the US Senate. Johnny Isakson is listed as a member of the Original Knight Riders of the KKK. Isakson served as a U.S. Congressman for Georgia's 6th Congressional District between 1999 and 2005. He currently serves as Georgia's senior US Senator, and is up for re-election in 2016. Dan Coats is Indiana's senior US Senator, and is listed as a member of the United Northern and Southern Knights of the KKK '-- along with Thom Tillis.
Jim Gray of Lexington, Kentucky, who Anonymous says is a member of the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, is openly gay. Gray vehemently denied any ties to the KKK on his official Twitter feed:
Tom Cahill is a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact Tom via email at email@example.com.
Exposed: China's covert global radio network
Mon, 02 Nov 2015 17:15
BEIJING/WASHINGTON '' In August, foreign ministers from 10 nations blasted China for building artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea. As media around the world covered the diplomatic clash, a radio station that serves the most powerful city in America had a distinctive take on the news.
Located outside Washington, D.C., WCRW radio made no mention of China's provocative island project. Instead, an analyst explained that tensions in the region were due to unnamed ''external forces'' trying ''to insert themselves into this part of the world using false claims.''
Behind WCRW's coverage is a fact that's never broadcast: The Chinese government controls much of what airs on the station, which can be heard on Capitol Hill and at the White House.
WCRW is just one of a growing number of stations across the world through which Beijing is broadcasting China-friendly news and programming.
A Reuters investigation spanning four continents has identified at least 33 radio stations in 14 countries that are part of a global radio web structured in a way that obscures its majority shareholder: state-run China Radio International, or CRI.
Graphic: Chinese airwaves over D.C.
China Radio's men in Europe and Asia
In America, weak limits on voices of foreign governments
Part 1: How Sony sanitized a movie to please Chinese censors
Part 2: At U.N., China silences human-rights critics
Reuters graphicTRACING CRI'S LINKS
To report this story, 39 Reuters reporters pulled corporate and regulatory filings in 26 countries to identify a web of radio stations connected to three Chinese expatriates and their behind-the-scenes backer, China's state-run China Radio International.
The reporters monitored broadcasts in many of these countries, programming distributed primarily in English and Chinese, but also in local languages, including Thai, Italian and Turkish.
Chinese corporate records were obtained in Beijing. In the United States, reporters reviewed scores of regulatory, zoning, property, tax, immigration and corporate records, including radio station purchase contracts and lease agreements.
Many of these stations primarily broadcast content created or supplied by CRI or by media companies it controls in the United States, Australia and Europe. Three Chinese expatriate businessmen, who are CRI's local partners, run the companies and in some cases own a stake in the stations. The network reaches from Finland to Nepal to Australia, and from Philadelphia to San Francisco.
At WCRW, Beijing holds a direct financial interest in the Washington station's broadcasts. Corporate records in the United States and China show a Beijing-based subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned radio broadcaster owns 60 percent of an American company that leases almost all of the station's airtime.
China has a number of state-run media properties, such as the Xinhua news agency, that are well-known around the world. But American officials charged with monitoring foreign media ownership and propaganda said they were unaware of the Chinese-controlled radio operation inside the United States until contacted by Reuters. A half-dozen former senior U.S. officials said federal authorities should investigate whether the arrangement violates laws governing foreign media and agents in the United States.
A U.S. law enforced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prohibits foreign governments or their representatives from holding a radio license for a U.S. broadcast station. Under the Communications Act, foreign individuals, governments and corporations are permitted to hold up to 20 percent ownership directly in a station and up to 25 percent in the U.S. parent corporation of a station.
CRI itself doesn't hold ownership stakes in U.S. stations, but it does have a majority share via a subsidiary in the company that leases WCRW in Washington and a Philadelphia station with a similarly high-powered signal.
Said former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt: ''If there were allegations made about de facto Chinese government ownership of radio stations, then I'm sure the FCC would investigate.''
U.S. law also requires anyone inside the United States seeking to influence American policy or public opinion on behalf of a foreign government or group to register with the Department of Justice. Public records show that CRI's U.S. Chinese-American business partner and his companies haven't registered as foreign agents under the law, called the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA.
ALLIES: G&E president and CEO James Su, left, shares a toast with CRI chief Wang Gengnian, in a photo from the EDI Media website.''Our U.S. public '... can choose to listen or not to listen. I think this is an American value.''
James Su, president and CEO, G&E''I would make a serious inquiry under FARA into a company rebroadcasting Chinese government propaganda inside the United States without revealing that it is acting on behalf of, or it's owned or controlled by China,'' said D.E. ''Ed'' Wilson Jr., a former senior White House and Treasury Department official.
CRI headquarters in Beijing and the Chinese embassy in Washington declined to make officials available for interviews or to comment on the findings of this article.
Justice Department national security spokesman Marc Raimondi and FCC spokesman Neil Grace declined to comment.
Other officials at the FCC said the agency receives so many license applications that it only launches a probe if it receives a complaint. People familiar with the matter said no such complaint has been lodged with the FCC about the CRI-backed network in the United States.
BUILDING ''SOFT POWER''
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has chafed at a world order he sees as dominated by the United States and its allies, is aware that China struggles to project its views in the international arena.
''We should increase China's soft power, give a good Chinese narrative and better communicate China's message to the world,'' Xi said in a policy address in November last year, according to Xinhua.
CRI head Wang Gengnian has described Beijing's messaging effort as the ''borrowed boat'' strategy - using existing media outlets in foreign nations to carry China's narrative.
The 33 radio stations backed by CRI broadcast in English, Chinese or local languages, offering a mix of news, music and cultural programs. Newscasts are peppered with stories highlighting China's development, such as its space program, and its contribution to humanitarian causes, including earthquake relief in Nepal.
''We are not the evil empire that some Western media portray us to be,'' said a person close to the Communist Party leadership in Beijing who is familiar with the CRI network. ''Western media reports about China are too negative. We just want to improve our international image. It's self-protection.''
In some ways, the CRI-backed radio stations fulfill a similar advocacy role to that of the U.S.-run Voice of America. But there is a fundamental difference: VOA openly publishes the fact that it receives U.S. government funding. CRI is using front companies that cloak its role.
A few of the programs broadcast in the United States cite reports from CRI, but most don't. One program, The Beijing Hour, says it is ''brought to you by China Radio International.''
Some shows are slick, others lack polish. While many segments are indistinguishable from mainstream American radio shows, some include announcers speaking English with noticeable Chinese accents.
The production values vary because the broadcasts are appealing to three distinct audiences: first-generation Chinese immigrants with limited English skills; second-generation Chinese curious about their ancestral homeland; and non-Chinese listeners whom Beijing hopes to influence.
One thing the programs have in common: They generally ignore criticism of China and steer clear of anything that casts Beijing in a negative light.
A top-of-the-hour morning newscast on Oct. 15, broadcast in Washington and other U.S. cities, was identified only as ''City News.'' It reported that U.S. officials were concerned about cyber attacks, including one in which the personal information of about 20 million American government workers was allegedly stolen. The broadcast left out a key element: It has been widely reported that U.S. officials believe China was behind that hack.
Last year, as thousands of protesters demanding free elections paralyzed Hong Kong for weeks, the news on CRI-backed stations in the United States presented China's point of view. A report the day after the protests ended did not explain why residents were on the streets and carried no comments from protest leaders. The demonstrations, a report said, had ''failed without the support of the people in Hong Kong.''
Many of these stations do not run ads and so do not appear to be commercially motivated.
Around the world, corporate records show, CRI's surrogates use the same business structure. The three Chinese businessmen in partnership with Beijing have each created a domestic media company that is 60 percent owned by a Beijing-based group called Guoguang Century Media Consultancy. Guoguang, in turn, is wholly owned by a subsidiary of CRI, according to Chinese company filings.
The three companies span the globe:
' In Europe, GBTimes of Tampere, Finland, has an ownership stake in or provides content to at least nine stations, according to interviews and an examination of company filings.
' In Asia-Pacific, Global CAMG Media Group of Melbourne, Australia, has an ownership stake in or supplies programming to at least eight stations, according to corporate records.
' And in North America, G&E Studio Inc, near Los Angeles, California, broadcasts content nearly full time on at least 15 U.S. stations. A station in Vancouver also broadcasts G&E content. In addition to distributing CRI programming, G&E produces and distributes original Beijing-friendly shows from its California studios.
In a Sept. 16 interview at his offices near Los Angeles, G&E president and CEO James Su confirmed that CRI subsidiary Guoguang Century Media holds a majority stake in his company and that he has a contract with the Chinese broadcaster. He said that a non-disclosure agreement bars him from divulging details.
Su said he complies with U.S. laws. G&E doesn't own stations, but rather leases the airtime on them. ''It's like a management company that manages a condominium,'' he said.
Su added that he is a businessman, not an agent for China. ''Our U.S. audience and our U.S. public has the choice,'' Su said. ''They can choose to listen or not listen. I think this is an American value.''
GBTimes CEO Zhao Yinong, who spearheads the European arm of the expatriate radio operation, confirmed that he receives several million euros a year from CRI. In an interview in Beijing, Zhao said he was "not interested in creating a false China" and he had ''nothing to hide.''
Tommy Jiang, the head of CAMG, the Australian-based company that owns and operates stations in the Asia-Pacific region, declined to comment.
BORN IN A CAVE
CRI has grown remarkably since its founding in 1941. According to its English-language website, its first broadcast was aired from a cave, and the news reader had to frighten away wolves with a flashlight. Today, CRI says it broadcasts worldwide in more than 60 languages and Chinese dialects.
CRI content is carefully scripted, with the treatment of sensitive topics such as the banned Falun Gong spiritual group adhering strictly to the government line. Those restrictions might make China's soft-power push an uphill battle with audiences in places like Houston, Rome or Auckland.
But CRI does have something to offer station owners. Since 2010, CRI's broadcast partner in the United States has struck deals that bailed out struggling community radio stations, either by purchasing them outright or paying tens of thousands of dollars a month to lease virtually all their airtime. The latter is known as ''time-brokering'' and is the method G&E used to take to the air in Washington.
The 195-foot towers broadcasting Beijing's agenda throughout the Washington region are located in suburban Loudoun County, Virginia, near Dulles International Airport. They pump out a 50,000-watt signal, the maximum for an AM station in the United States.
The towers went live in 2011. In the previous five decades, before the Chinese got involved, the station was known as WAGE, and it used smaller equipment and broadcast mostly local news and talk.
At just 5,000 watts, the signal didn't carry far. This didn't matter much until the 1990s, when Loudoun County boomed into a bedroom community for Washington. Commuters would lose the signal halfway to the capital.
In 2005, an American company called Potomac Radio LLC purchased the station and added some nationally syndicated programming. Potomac Radio president Alan Pendleton said his company had a history of leasing time to ethnic programmers, including an hour a day to CRI on another station. Revenue at WAGE continued to fall, however, and in 2009, it went off the air.
''It was a painful, painful experience,'' said Pendleton. ''We were losing millions of dollars a year down the drain.''
Saying they hoped to resurrect the station, other Potomac Radio executives asked Loudoun County in 2009 for permission to erect three broadcast towers on land owned by a county utility, records show. The new towers would boost the station's signal tenfold to 50,000 watts, reaching into Washington.
SURPRISED: Former Loudoun official Kelly Burk says WCRW owners promised to restore a local radio station. After the county approved new towers, the station began broadcasting Chinese content over D.C. instead. REUTERS/Gary Cameron''It was all very deceptive.''
Kelly Burk, former supervisor, Loudoun CountyIn their application, Potomac Radio executives argued that the new towers offered the ''last hope to retain Loudoun County's only'' radio station. The paperwork made no mention of plans to lease airtime to Su and CRI.
Potomac Radio also invoked the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a day when the station provided ''critical information to county businesses and parents'' as mobile phone service became overloaded. The new towers would contribute to public safety, proponents said.
The county Board of Supervisors approved the towers. In the days before the station came back on air in April 2011, Potomac Radio sought FCC permission to change the name to WCRW.
Asked about the initials, Pendleton confirmed that they stand for China Radio Washington. The change was his idea, not CRI's, he said.
Loudoun County officials were surprised when the amped-up station returned as WCRW and began broadcasting G&E and CRI content about China.
''It was all very deceptive,'' said Kelly Burk, a county supervisor at the time. ''They presented it as all about being about local radio, and never let on what they were really up to.''
Potomac Radio's Pendleton said there was no deception. His company was approached by CRI several months after the county approved the towers, he said.
Pendleton said he didn't know that G&E was 60 percent owned by a subsidiary of the Chinese government until Reuters informed him. But the arrangement complies with FCC law, he said, because G&E leases the airwaves instead of owning the station.
In any event, he said, CRI is open about its goals: to present a window into Chinese culture and offer Chinese points of view on international affairs.
''If you listen to other state-sponsored broadcasters,'' especially Russia's, ''they're really insidious,'' Pendleton said. ''CRI's not like that at all.''
Pendleton said he has no input in WCRW content: He simply rebroadcasts whatever programs arrive from CRI's man in America, G&E founder James Su.
James Yantao Su was born in Shanghai in 1970, the year China launched its first satellite. He moved to the United States in 1989, he said, ultimately settling in West Covina, a suburb of Los Angeles, and became a U.S. citizen.
By the early 2000s, Su was a moderately successful media entrepreneur. But after his 2009 deal to create G&E, in which the Chinese state-owned subsidiary has a majority stake, his fortunes rose.
Today, the 44-year-old owns or co-owns real estate and radio stations worth more than $15 million, according to a Reuters analysis of U.S. corporate, property, tax and FCC records. His projects include English and Chinese-language stations, a magazine, a newspaper, four apartment buildings, condos at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, a film festival and a charity that last year donated $230,000 to an orphanage in China.
Two of his primary companies are G&E Studio and EDI Media Inc. G&E dedicated a page on its website to showcase CRI as a "close'' partner, but it recently deleted the page after Reuters made inquiries. EDI's site says it has become ''China's outward media and advertising proxy'' in the United States.
In 2013, the Chinese government presented Su with a special contribution award at a media event for Chinese broadcasters.
Other ties are not as visible: The key disclosure that G&E is 60 percent owned by Guoguang Century - the Beijing firm that's 100 percent owned by CRI - is contained in a footnote in a lengthy FCC filing made on behalf of another Su company, Golden City Broadcast, LLC.
Su declined to discuss his business career in detail. An early highlight, though, was a speech he gave in 2003, when he was in his early thirties.
Covered by China's state-run media, the speech laid out Su's vision for a business that could be profitable and also help China project its message in the United States. The business would need to be structured to comply with U.S. ownership laws and would ''endorse China's ideology,'' Su was quoted as saying.
In the same speech, he spoke of his fellow expats' affinity for China. ''The sense of belonging to China among countrymen residing abroad and their endorsement of China's current policies grow with each day,'' Su said, according to Xinhua.
In 2008, Su gave an address in which he criticized U.S. media for focusing their China coverage on issues such as human rights.
The media were misleading ''the American masses' objective understanding of China, even engendering hostile emotions,'' Su said, according to a China National Radio report.
It was in 2009 that Su's vision really began to take shape. That year, records show, Su created G&E Studio.
EXTERNAL FORCES: China is building artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea, pictured in May. WCRW's coverage said ''external forces'' were trying ''to insert themselves into this part of the world using false claims.'' REUTERS/U.S. Navy/HandoutG&E now broadcasts in English and Chinese on at least 15 U.S. stations, including Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston, Honolulu and Portland, Oregon.
The content is largely the same on each station, produced either by CRI from Beijing or by G&E from California.
A typical hour on most stations begins with a short newscast that can toggle between China news and stories about violent crimes in the United States. Besides the overtly political coverage, topics range from global currency fluctuations and Chinese trade missions to celebrity wardrobe analysis and modern parenting challenges.
While Su owns a minority share of G&E, he has structured his radio station holdings in various ways. According to the most recent FCC records, he is the majority owner of at least six stations, such as the one in Atlanta, which he purchased for $2.1 million in 2013.
In other cases he leases airtime. In Washington, for instance, he leases virtually all the time on WCRW for more than $720,000 a year through G&E. A Philadelphia station is leased under a similar arrangement for at least $600,000 a year.
A spokeswoman for Su said Reuters' description of the extent of his network is ''generally correct.''
Su declined to describe how he makes money when most of the U.S. stations air virtually no commercials. He also declined to say how he got the money to finance his radio leases and acquisitions.
His stations, Su said, offer the American public an alternative viewpoint on Chinese culture and politics. He has ''no way to control'' what CRI broadcasts on the stations, he said, nor is he part of any plan to spread Chinese propaganda.
''We are only telling the unfiltered real news to our audience,'' he said.
On Oct. 29, WCRW carried a program called ''The Hourly News.'' Among the top stories: Senior Chinese and U.S. naval commanders planned to speak by video after a U.S. Navy ship passed close by China's new artificial islands in the South China Sea. Washington and its allies see the island-building program as a ploy to grab control of strategic sea lanes, and the Navy sail-by was meant to counter China's territorial claims.
WCRW omitted that side of the story.
The admirals are holding the talks, the announcer said, ''amid the tension the U.S. created this week.''
Additional reporting by Benjamin Kang Lim and Joseph Campbell in Beijing, Ritsuko Ando in Tokyo, Gopal Sharma and Ross Adkin in Kathmandu, Mirwais Harooni in Kabul, Joyce Lee in Seoul, Eveline Danubrata and Arzia Tivany Wargadiredja in Jakarta, Khettiya Jittapong and Pairat Temphairojana in Bangkok, Theodora D'cruz in Singapore, Mohammed Shihar in Colombo, Terrence Edwards in Ulan Bator, Diane Chan in Hong Kong, Jane Wardell and Ian Chua in Sydney, Balazs Koranyi and Harro Ten Wolde in Frankfurt, Jussi Rosendahl in Helsinki, Sara Ledwith in London, Julia Fioretti in Brussels, Can Sezer in Istanbul, Andrius Sytas in Vilnius, Kole Casule in Skopje, Renee Maltezou in Athens, Margarita Antidze in Tbilisi, Radu-Sorin Marinas in Bucharest, Geert De Clercq in Paris, Marton Dunai in Budapest, Ed Cropley in Johannesburg, Selam Gebrekidan in New York, Anna Driver in Houston, Renee Dudley in Boston, Brian Grow in Atlanta, David Storey in Washington and Euan Rocha in Toronto
By Koh Gui Qing and Jane Wardell WAVELENGTH: CRI has trained some employees at stations controlled by its Asian partner. Here, a jockey runs a show from Capital FM 92.4 in Kathmandu. REUTERS/Navesh ChitrakarBEIJING - Zhao Yinong calls China Radio International ''a very big client'' of his European media group.
According to Zhao, the state-owned Chinese international broadcaster pays his company, GBTimes, ''several million euros'' each year to produce radio shows for a local audience. That's a little over half of GBTimes' annual revenue.
Zhao, whose media company is based in Finland, spearheads an operation that broadcasts China-friendly programming in Europe on behalf of China Radio International (CRI). But CRI is more than a client of Zhao: A CRI subsidiary owns a 60 percent stake in GBTimes, according to corporate filings.
Asked why China is operating abroad through private companies, Zhao said the initial reason was a lack of talent, funding and knowledge of the overseas media market.
''As China grows and gets stronger,'' he said he believed it would expand its media reach ''overseas on its own.''
Zhao, who spoke with Reuters in an interview last month in Beijing, said there was no difference between his operation and the U.S.-government-funded Voice of America (VOA).
When a reporter said that VOA is transparent about its government links, Zhao replied: ''We've never hidden ourselves. There's nothing to hide.''
According to Zhao, GBTimes runs a network of 14 radio stations from Finland to Hungary to Italy. A Reuters review of corporate filings and interviews with station employees revealed nine stations in which GBTimes either has an ownership stake or to which it provides content.
Klasszik Radio in Hungary, which is part of the GBTimes stable, says on its Facebook page that its mission is to ''talk about the pros and cons of the Asian giant, its rich culture, funny habits and the fact that they are not as alien to us as we might think.''
All the radio stations in the GBTimes network adhere to regulatory requirements in the countries in which they operate, Zhao said.
Zhao's counterpart in the Asia-Pacific region is Tommy Jiang, who is in partnership with CRI through a Melbourne-based media company. The 2009 launch of Jiang's Canberra FM 88 station was deemed significant enough by Beijing that China's ambassador to Australia and CRI's president attended.
''China Radio International is now on the air in the Australian capital of Canberra,'' China's state-run CCTV reported on its website at the time.
English-language radio stations in Perth, Canberra and Auckland broadcast China-friendly programming similar to that being aired in the United States, where CRI has a partnership with Los Angeles-based businessman James Su. A station in Thailand, though, broadcasts mainly Thai pop songs.
In Europe, a number of stations broadcast mainly music, but some also run programs on Chinese culture and social trends, with names like ''Colorful East'' and ''Pop Rock Dragon.''
''This is about selling China's story to the world,'' said Jichang Lulu, an independent researcher on China who has written about GBTimes. ''The explicit intention is to portray the content as coming from an independent party, while in fact broadcasting the views of the Chinese government.''
In Asia, some of the employees at stations in Jiang's stable have received training from CRI. An employee at Capital FM 92.4 in Kathmandu, Nepal, told Reuters that staffers have worked at CRI's official Nepali language service in Beijing.
Zhao said he'd like more cooperation with his counterparts in the United States and Asia-Pacific. Jiang declined to be interviewed.
By John Shiffman and Koh Gui QingWASHINGTON - Under the First Amendment, the U.S. Constitution generally prevents the federal government from censoring any media. And while the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department regulate radio station ownership and messaging by foreign governments, it's easy for other nations to legally reach American audiences.
A law administered by the FCC, the Communications Act, bans foreign governments or their representatives from owning a radio license for a U.S. broadcast station. The law, first enacted in 1934, does not apply to cable or satellite outlets, such as Russia's RT or Qatar's Al-Jazeera, or to Internet sites, according to FCC officials.
The law permits foreign individuals, governments and corporations to hold up to 20 percent ownership directly in stations and up to 25 percent in U.S. parent corporations of stations.
FCC commissioners have liberally interpreted the foreign broadcast ownership cap, stressing the law allows exceptions to the 20 and 25 percent rules if it will ''serve the public interest.'' FCC commissioners have also said that allowing foreigners to lease time on airwaves owned by American companies '' a process known as ''time brokering'' '' can be a good way to promote diversity of views.
James Su, a naturalized U.S. citizen and Los Angeles-area businessman, owns and co-owns several stations and uses time brokering to lease virtually all the time on others.
Su also owns 40 percent of a network called G&E Studio Inc, which is 60 percent owned by a Chinese state-owned subsidiary. G&E leases almost all the broadcast time on two stations - in Washington and Philadelphia - to air China-friendly programming.
G&E also distributes CRI content made in Beijing, as well as G&E content produced in California, to more than a dozen stations inside the United States.
FREE SPEECH: Cable or satellite outlets like Al Jazeera, whose New York newsroom opened in 2013, are not constrained by a U.S. law banning foreign governments from owning a radio license for U.S. broadcast. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidAccording to FCC records, these include several stations in which Su's companies hold a stake of approximately 80 percent '' for example, stations in Atlanta, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. The records show that the remaining roughly 20 percent is held by AIM Broadcasting, a company in Palo Alto, California, which specializes in programming aimed at immigrants. Su's various companies also partner with AIM on some time-broker ventures, records show.
Each of these arrangements complies with U.S. law, said Su and Greg Douglas, chief operating officer of AIM Broadcasting. Douglas said many U.S. stations commonly air content produced overseas. He said he did not know that G&E was 60 percent owned by a subsidiary of the Chinese state until contacted by Reuters. Douglas said he believes that G&E content produced in the United States is made independently, and not directed by the Beijing government.
FCC officials declined to comment.
The Justice Department, meanwhile, regulates agents of foreign governments or foreign groups engaging in political activity '' defined as people or entities seeking to influence U.S. policy or public opinion. They are required to register with the department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA. These people must publicly disclose financial arrangements with foreign governments and affix warning labels to any promotional material distributed inside the United States.
Neither Su nor two of his primary companies '' G&E Studio and EDI Media Inc '' are registered as foreign agents, public records show. Su said he and his companies aren't acting as agents of a foreign government and his lawyers have told him his actions are legal.
Ronald Meltzer, who wrote the FARA chapter in the American Bar Association's official lobbying manual, said media outlets are not exempt from the law.
''You can't hide behind a rubric of journalism by producing a newspaper or putting content on the U.S. radio airwaves if the content is provided, financed or directed by a foreign government for the purpose of influencing American public opinion or policy,'' Meltzer said.
Willful violation of FARA carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Justice Department officials spend ''a considerable amount of time combing through public source information'' looking for unregistered foreign agents, said a senior Justice Department official. But there have been only four prosecutions in the last decade. Most cases are resolved administratively, outside of public view, the official said, adding that ''proving foreign-agency direction and control is nuanced.''
As a result, said U.S. officials and lawyers who follow the issue closely, the primary goal of FARA is to force foreign governments to be transparent in their attempts to lobby the American government and public.
There are currently about 350 registrants representing some 500 foreign entities in the United States, officials said. Current Chinese registrants include Beijing's official trade and tourist offices, as well as its China Daily, which produces a U.S. edition and regular, multi-page advertorial inserts that appear in The Washington Post. Past registrants include a U.S. public relations firm that helped promote CCTV, the Chinese state broadcaster, to influential people inside the United States in 2012.
The Long Arm of China
By Koh Gui Qing and John Shiffman
Photo editing: Thomas White
Graphics: Christian Inton and Foo Hwei Wen
Design: Catherine Tai
Video: Eve Johnson
Edited by Bill Tarrant and Peter Hirschberg
Banned from CBS News Forever, Former Anchor Dan Rather Likens Network's Actions to Soviet Union | Video | TheBlaze.com
Mon, 02 Nov 2015 13:14
In a wide-ranging interview on SiriusXM radio's ''Opie and Jimmy'' show on Friday, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather talked about his 44-year career at the network '-- a network which he ultimately likened to the Soviet Union.
Wrapping up the interview, Gregg ''Opie'' Hughes asked Rather about his banishment from CBS News and his inability to be able to even walk into ''Black Rock'' '-- the CBS headquarters building on 6th Avenue in New York City.
''That's unbelievable. We grew up with you every night. You were CBS,'' an incredulous Hughes said.
Image source: YouTube
''I appreciate that,'' Rather said, adding, ''I long ago made my peace with what happened at CBS.''
After Rather confirmed that he indeed cannot even walk into the lobby of the CBS building without being stopped, Hughes laughed, saying that the idea is ''ridiculous.''
''On my better days, I can laugh at it too,'' Rather said.
''That's one thing to say you're not welcome here. It's another thing to say we're going to expunge you from our history. It's a little like what the Soviets used to do,'' Rather continued. ''They airbrush you out of the picture.''
''I think for a news operation, that's pretty serious,'' Rather said. ''To say we're not going to be honest with you about our history. I gently suggest that's very serious.''
The main focus of the interview was Rather's controversial 2004 story questioning former President George W. Bush's military service '-- the story that ended the veteran newsman's career at CBS.
During the ''Opie and Jimmy'' program, Rather discussed the state of journalism today and the new film ''Truth'' which is based on former CBS News producer Mary Mapes' memoir ''Truth and Duty.'' CBS has refused to show advertisements for the film on its network.
The 84-year-old newsman also shared stories about covering theJFK assassinationand being one of the first people to see the famous Zapruder film that captured the historic moment.
Watch a clip of Rather's interview below.
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