Cover for No Agenda Show 789: Kidults
January 10th, 2016 • 2h 59m

789: Kidults


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

Dinner and drinks while conversing about life the universe and everything - No Agenda (Austin, TX) - Meetup
Sun, 10 Jan 2016 07:14
Welcome human resources of Gitmo Nation, wherever in Gitmo Nation you might live. This is the place to to connect with other human resources, producers, Knights and Dames of the No Agenda Show from around the world. These meetups are for the producers of the show and unless noted otherwise John and Adam aren't attending these meetups.
If you want to host a meetup on your area contact an organizer to get your meetup posted.
Neighbor Seth
Elise birthday, do not get a hover-board for your birthday!
Tons of cases daily
Massive head trauma, broken bones
Obama Town Hall
Too Long! 30 mins of O is enough
Kris Jacob, no knight ring because SS asked him to take it off.
War on Guns
The Second Amendment: Original Intent - The New Yorker
Thu, 07 Jan 2016 22:27
Credit Photograph by Interim Archives / GettyDecember 5, 1791James MadisonHouse of Representatives
Dear James,
How is it almost 1792?! Quick question on the right to bear arms thing in your ''Bill of Rights'''--the wording and punctuation are slightly confusing. Did you mean that the right of the people serving in the militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, or people in general? I'm assuming the former, but don't want to make an ass of you and me! (Franklin made that up, but I'm using it everywhere!) Could you please send me a quick note whenever to clarify?
P.S. To be honest, I'm still meh about ''Bill of Rights'' as a name.
* * *
December 7, 1791Thomas JeffersonOffice of the Secretary of StateDear Tom,
I know, it's so crazy how fast this year has gone'--I just got used to writing 1791 on my deeds of purchase (of slaves)!
As far as the amendment, of course it's the former. If every private citizen had the right to carry a musket, a thousand people would've shot Patrick Henry by now, am I right? Don't worry about it. Everyone will know what it means.
P.S. You're not back on ''The Ten Amendments'' are you? It's trying way too hard to sound Biblical.
* * *
December 9, 1791James MadisonHouse of Representatives
Dear James,
Hahaha re: Patrick Henry. And I agree it should be obvious. It's just, why not make it so clear that even the biggest Anti-Federalist looney tune can't misinterpret the meaning? I'd add ''while serving in the militia'' to line three. Also, not to be a grammar redcoat here, but the use and placement of the comma isn't helping. Can we change it? It will take two seconds.
I know I'm being annoying!
P.S. How about ''Constitution, Part Two?'' (Not a serious pitch, unless you like it!)
* * *
December 11, 1791Thomas JeffersonOffice of the Secretary of State
Dear Tom,
There is literally zero chance that anyone will misconstrue this, and the great news is that if someone actually does, the Supreme Court will set them straight. I don't want to change it. It won't take two seconds, because the addition would push a page and I'd have to do the whole rest of it over again and W. is breathing down my neck about it. Plus, I like the way my signature looks on the version I sent you, and you know I always hate the way it looks on important stuff.
Not trying to be snippy, but you're worrying about nothing.
* * *
December 13, 1791James MadisonHouse of Representatives
Dear James,
I know, I know'--I'm the worst. Just hear me out. Imagine it's some two hundred years from now. Musket makers have made new and more powerful muskets'--ones that are capable of firing two or even three shots per minute'--and, in an effort to sell more, they claim that every homeowner should have the right to own one, or two, or twenty. They bribe politicians to advance their cause, they stoke public fears of crime and federal tyranny, and they manage to exploit this slightly confusing language and comma placement to claim that we originally intended to give every private citizen the right to own as many muskets (and for that manner, cannons!) as they can get their hands on. And because in this version of the future (just bear with me here) we've had such a run of Anti-Federalist Presidents, the Court is packed with men who might agree. Isn't there the slightest chance that this could happen?
* * *
December 15, 1791Thomas JeffersonOffice of the Secretary of State
Dear Tom,
You know I love you, but we seriously need to get this ratified, like, today, or W. will have my ass. There is no way that what you're talking about could come to pass. It's too ridiculous. The amendment goes before Congress as written.
Besides, if anyone ever needs to confirm our intention two hundred years from now, they need only consult any decent spiritualist to communicate with our ghosts. If muskets can fire three shots per minute in your future, I'm sure mediums will have become even better at their jobs, too.
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ATF sends cease and desist letter to Facebook gun group admins. - AR15.COM
Sun, 10 Jan 2016 14:37
Originally Posted By Marlboroman79:Originally Posted By NoloContendere:Holy shit.
If it's true. I don't know the guy, he might be flipping guns.
But on the surface it looks like the ATF intends to call administration of gathering places where guns can be bought, an FFL.Examples would be the EE, Gunbroker owners, Armslist, any center or hall that rents or allows space for gun shows.
There is actually some precedent for a "facilitator" to be licensed. As in, guy does not take possession or anything like that, but the ATF considers him a dealer because he is facilitating the transaction.
War on Crazy
To prevent suicide in college, make mental health screening mandatory - The Washington Post
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 16:19
By Marney A. WhiteDecember 21, 2015
Marney A. White is an associate professor of psychiatry and chronic disease epidemiology at Yale University, on the faculty of the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health. She also served from September 2011 to June 2015 as associate director of the Yale Center for Anxiety and Mood Disorders, a position that put her in frequent contact with students.
By Marney A. White
Last January, an undergraduate student at Yale posted a suicide note to Facebook and jumped to her death. In her note, she stated that she knew she was depressed, but she was afraid of being forced to leave school as a result.
''Dear Yale: I loved being here. I only wish I could've had some time. I needed time to work things out and to wait for new medication to kick in, but I couldn't do it in school'...''
This example, while devastating, is not an anomaly. Suicide is the leading cause of death among
college students. Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. will develop a mental disorder at some point in their lifespan; nearly one in five college-aged adults currently have or will develop a mental health problem within the next year.
To responsibly address mental health on campus, we must adopt a public health approach focused on early identification and treatment. At its most aggressive, a public health approach would mandate screening programs and treatment for those students identified as at-risk of developing a serious mental disorder.
College is a particularly vulnerable time for the development of mental disorders, due to the unique stressors of being away from home and owing to basic lifestyle risk factors that compromise mental and emotional well-being. Excessive drinking, poor nutrition, sleep deprivation, chronic stress, and financial strain are all risk factors for developing mental disorder, and many of these are almost normative among college students.
So it should come as no surprise that we are seeing so many headlines today about mental health crises on campuses throughout the country. As a professor and as a clinical psychologist, I hear first-hand accounts of students' unwillingness or inability to seek treatment. At Yale, some students believe that the campus mental-health system is flawed. They complain of long wait times, of being deemed not ''severe'' enough to be matched with a therapist, and of a fear of being labeled or at worst, kicked out of school. This is not a problem just at Yale '' similar reports occur at other universities.
University health care systems may be understaffed, resulting in mental health clinics that must prioritize delivery of services. Meaning that those cases deemed most severe are rushed into treatment, while students with less critical difficulties are forced onto long wait lists or given a limited number of treatment sessions. The problems with the mental health systems on college campuses parallel those of the mental health system in general: insufficient resources to provide affordable, effective, and immediate services. Instead of providing care only in the case of crises, we should flip the emphasis '' we need to provide mental health services early, before the onset of serious disorder, and we need to devote attention to mental health wellness campaigns.
There are effective ways to screen and identify students who are at-risk. Many universities offer optional screening programs, and then make treatment referrals when warranted. I propose that we extend this platform to require mental health screening on an annual basis. It is critical to point out that if caught early, subclinical mental disorders can respond readily to treatment. From a cost-effectiveness standpoint, it makes more sense to treat conditions in the beginning phases than to wait until a problem has worsened and potentially become chronic.
Screening and early intervention programs have been shown to be effective. One campus-based intervention program for eating disorders identified college women with significant weight concerns and provided an online treatment for body image dissatisfaction and unhealthy dieting. This program was found to be effective in reducing the incidence of eating disorders one year later. Similar programs could be implemented for depression and anxiety.
Students are required to attend mandatory alcohol awareness programs and workshops on sexual assault. Students at Yale are also required to attend health and sexuality workshops and seminars on campus safety. But there is no such analogue for mental health education or awareness. To ignore mental health awareness furthers a culture in which we stigmatize mental vulnerability by effectively sweeping it under the rug.
To be sure, some will argue that mandatory screening and treatment is a violation of students' privacy and is paternalistic medicine. But we do this for medical conditions all the time. We screen for diabetes by taking blood glucose values, and when a test result indicates that someone is at risk for developing a more serious disease, we take steps to treat them. When a student is arrested or admitted to the ER for alcohol-related offense, we require substance abuse counseling. To not extend the same model to mental disorders is to perpetuate a cycle of stigma and fear, and ultimately leaves our students vulnerable. Few people question the ethics of medical screenings, since most understand that early intervention prevents the onset of a more serious condition. The same is true of mental disorders, but ignoring sub-threshold symptoms leaves students vulnerable, setting the stage for the development of a serious and potentially chronic problem. A problem that at its most extreme, might lead a student to withdraw from school. Or worse.
White is a public voices fellow with the Op-Ed Project.
Obama orders 'mental-health' testing for schoolkids-2013
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 16:20
Using ''gun violence'' as its cover, the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a cache of federal dollars that will be used for testing students for signs of mental health issues in K-12 schools.
Critics say personal information scooped up in the screenings will be logged into databases that will follow the child throughout his or her academic career and beyond.
Public schools, which have increasingly taken on aspects of psychiatric clinics in recent years, will get infused with more than $150 million in federal grants to further this agenda under the auspices of Obama's 2013 executive action titled ''Now is the Time to Do Something About Gun Violence.''
Obama took the action following the Sandy Hook, Connecticut, school shooting, putting Vice President Joe Biden in charge of a task force on ''gun violence.''
These are the goals that came out of Biden's task force:
' Strengthen the background check system for gun sales' Require background checks for all gun sales' Pass a new, stronger ban on assault weapons' Limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds' Finish the job of getting armor-piercing bullets off the streets' Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime' End the freeze on gun violence research' Make our schools safer with new resource officers and counselors, better emergency response plans and more nurturing school climates' Ensure quality coverage of mental health treatment, particularly for young people.
The last two measures are where the mental health screenings for students come into play.
On Sept. 22, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced $99 million in new federal grants to school districts for mental health services. The money will be used ''to train new mental health providers, help teachers and others recognize mental health issues in youth and connect them to help and increase access to mental health services for young people.''
On Sept. 23, the U.S. Department of Education announced another $70 million in ''School Climate Transformation grants.'' More than half of the money ''will be used to develop, enhance, or expand systems of support for implementing evidence-based, multi-tiered behavioral frameworks for improving behavioral outcomes and learning conditions.''
The goals of such measures include ''connecting[ing] children, youths, and families to appropriate services and supports,'' and increasing ''measures of and the ability to respond to mental health issues among school-aged youth.''
Both HHS and DOE cited Obama's ''Now is the Time'' declaration as the basis for the new programs.
''The administration is committed to increasing access to mental health services to protect the health of children and communities,'' Burwell said.
Of the DOE's $70 million package, $13 million is allocated to aiding school districts in creating ''high-quality school emergency plans.'' Another $14 million goes toward ''Project Prevent grants'' for violence-plagued schools to ''be used for school-based counseling services, or referrals to community-based counseling services for assistance in coping with trauma or anxiety.''
Such designs hint at broader motives and agendas, reports Professor James F. Tracy in an article for Global Research:
''1) the federal government's continued aggressive transformation of the healthcare system; and 2) psychiatry and drug manufacturers' shared mission to persuade an increasing segment of the national and global population that it has one or more undiagnosed mental or emotional 'disorders' that require analysis and treatment.
Introducing psychiatric explanations and methodologies into school environments guarantees a growing customer base for the psychiatric profession and pharmaceutical industry. Alongside government's increasing control of healthcare, the technocratic surveillance and management of everyday thought and behavior is likewise emerging as part of what is deceptively termed 'wellness.'
In reality such efforts ensure an ever-expanding bureaucracy, handsomely line the pockets of a select few, and further normalize a culture of learned helplessness and control within an environment that already privileges conformity as a matter of routine.''
A very dangerous trend
Jane Robbins, senior fellow at the American Principles Project in Washington, D.C., said the federal government's interest in testing students, not only for academic knowledge but for psychological and behavioral traits, has been a problem for many years.
''Never let a good crisis (a school shooting) go to waste, right?'' Robbins told WND via email. ''This appears to be part of the broader goal of focusing education less on academic knowledge and more on students' feelings, mindsets, attitudes, etc. '-- so-called social and emotional learning (SEL).''
She said Education Secretary Arne Duncan is a ''huge proponent of having schools and teachers focus on these kinds of things, which they are not trained for and which are only tangentially related to academic achievement.''
''It's a very dangerous trend,'' Robbins said.
The problem is even more concerning in light of recent attempts to create state databases of student information, which will eventually be linked together as part of the DOE's plans for a nationwide database.
Rhode Island is linking DNA collection on newborns to its education database, meaning each child will be tracked from birth to college graduation and beyond.
Also concerning to privacy rights advocates is that the state is taking the DNA collections from babies without parental consent.
In most states, parents may request a screening exemption, but only for religious reasons. In Nebraska and West Virginia, parents may not refuse screening.
$50 million from feds for DNA grabs
So far, Rhode Island appears to be the only state connecting a child's DNA to his state education record, Robbins said. But in return for federal funds, a number of states plan to link children's health data with their student records, she noted.
In 2011, Rhode Island received a $50 million Race to the Top Early Learning grant from the U.S. departments of Education, and Health and Human Services.
In their grant application, the Rhode Island Department of Education said it would link the state's newborn DNA database, KIDSNET, to the state's K-12 school database.
Anita Hoge, an education consultant and expert on the student assessment industry, says the move to incorporate federally funded mental health screening into local schools is disconcerting.
''This is much worse than most people believe,'' Hoge said in an email. ''First of all, schools will apply for partial hospitalization licenses so they can bill Medicaid for wrap-around mental health services. Then outside people have access to the students. But, it is going to start at birth with the DNA collection too. So, there are lists of what is considered an 'at risk' child. And it will conform to the subjective observations of both teachers and professional psychologists and psychiatrists.''
Hoge said similar measures were proposed during the Clinton administration when the merits of ''Hillarycare'' '' Clinton's version of national healthcare '' were being debated.
George W. Bush named his mental health screening initiative The Freedom Initiative, which WND reported on in 2004.
Marti Oakley, a radio host and author of the blog the ''PPJ Gazette,'' took up the issue of school mental-health screenings in July when she issued this scathing report:
The active attack on public education through the Common Core curriculum has now taken one giant step forward as Minnesota and other states passed aggressive mental health laws directed at our children. Several additional public schools in the state will now have [mental health] clinics on site as the programs become established; clinics that will be used to aggressively label the greatest number of children possible as having one or more mental disorders. Tied to these bills are massive government subsidies and other targeted funding.
In other words, our children will be traded for dollars regardless of the lifelong damage that will be the result from the assessment of fictional mental disorders; an assessment which will follow them for the rest of their lives whether real or just imagined by a mental health provider. Many will become dependent on the highly addictive psychotropic drugs known as neuroleptics and will suffer from a myriad of adverse side effects.
Minnesota was among the first states to jump headlong into the psychological training and testing of kids.
''Under five-year grant contracts with the department, 36 mental health organizations will provide school-linked mental health services to approximately 35,000 students in more than 800 schools across 257 school districts and 82 counties by 2018,'' according to a release by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. ''More than half of those students will receive mental health services for the first time.''
Oakley asks: ''Why does that statement make me cringe? Maybe it's the unfettered access to more than 35,000 students and the ensuing data mining that will also be relentlessly conducted and stored in permanent lifetime files for easy access by insurance companies, federal and state agencies and eventual employers.''
Oregon Oathers
Why don't we celebrate the calm response from the government and require that the government act in this manner toward all peaceful protests?
Black Brown Red Yellow and White Americans should support those who are prepared to stand up to the government with arms, and the Bundy Brothers should show up at the next Ferguson.
I think that would open some eyes
So if you're a truly serious about being a well armed milita to protect the people from a tyrrannial government, stand up for your brothers and sister of all colors, and show the world what 'Muricans are really made of
7 kinds of government subsidies those angry ranchers get that you don't | Grist
Thu, 07 Jan 2016 23:45
One of the central complaints of the cracker terrorists currently holed up at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is about ''government overreach.''
That phrase is commonly used on the right '-- applied to everything from income tax to background checks for gun sales '-- and it's unavoidable if you follow the Republican presidential primary.Ben Carson, for example,wrotethat the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau '-- a government agency that helps protect people from banks, debt collectors, payday lenders, and other predatory financial institutions '-- is ''the ultimate example of regulatory overreach, a nanny state mechanism asserting its control over everyday Americans that they did not want, did not ask for and do not need.'' Ted Cruz also has a problem with government overreach, which, he says, includes dozens of programs like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts. Oddly, neither Carson nor Cruz think that forcing a woman seeking an abortion to listen to her fetus' heartbeat counts as overreach, but that's because they like the idea. Basically, ''overreach'' just means anything the government does that these guys don't like.
The rogue ranchers in Oregon misuse the term in the same way. The Bundy family,which is spearheading this little terrorist sit-in, is pissed off that the government won't let them graze their cattle on public lands for free because of this perceived ''overreach.'' They're also mad that Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond were sentenced to five years in prison for violating the law by setting fire to federal lands; that's overreach too. When, however, government actionbenefitsthem, the armed cowboys don't see any overreach at all.
In fact, the Bundys and Hammonds have been generously subsidized by the Big Government they claim to oppose. Here are just a few examples of welfare programs these families and other ranchers receive:
The Hammonds, whose arson conviction inspired the action in Malheur, receivedalmost $300,000in federal disaster payments and subsidies from the mid-90s to 2012.The Hammonds benefited from a government program that kills predators so they won't attack ranchers' and farmers' livestock, Reveal reports. Specifically, the U.S. government shot five coyotes from the air for the Hammonds between 2009 and 2011, which, according to one expert's estimate, would have cost taxpayers about $8,000. In fact, USDA Wildlife Services '-- an opaque and ironically named agency '-- spends $100 million annually to kill millions of animals, much of that in support of ranching and agricultural interests. The Bundys graze cattle on federal land, a privilege for which the government charges a dirt-cheap price. Federal grazing fees were just $1.35 for a cow and calf per month in 2012, while the going rate on private land was about $20 '-- that's a 93 percent discount for ranchers using federal land, as FiveThirtyEight points out. (And even that wasn't good enough for the Bundys; family patriarch Cliven Bundy has grazed his cattle on federal land without a permit since 1993, and refused to pay more than $1 million in fines and fees, which led to his infamous standoff last year.)Half of the grazing fees that ranchers pay the federal government come right back to benefit the ranchers. As U.S. News reported last year, ''50 percent of grazing fees collected by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service (or $10 million, whichever is greater) go to a range betterment fund in the Treasury. According to the bureau, these so-called 'Range Improvement Funds' are used 'solely for labor, materials, and final survey and design of projects,' presumably benefiting ranchers.''Ranchers can cash in on a federal drought disaster relief program. In a particularly ironic case last year, some Nevada ranchers illegally grazed their cattle on public land that been closed to protect it during the ongoing Western drought, denying that the drought existed at all. But it turns out that two of the families leading that rebellion had received $2.2 million in federal drought relief funds the previous year.All of these subsidies to ranchers also cost the environment. The Center for Biological Diversity sums up the ecological costs of cattle grazing: ''By destroying vegetation, damaging wildlife habitats and disrupting natural processes, livestock grazing wreaks ecological havoc on riparian areas, rivers, deserts, grasslands and forests alike '-- causing significant harm to species and the ecosystems on which they depend.''
Clearly, the vigilante ranchers '-- and Republican presidential hopefuls '-- are only concerned about ''government overreach'' when they see it as a threat to their own agendas. When it's lining their pockets? Well, that's just good government.
Special Ops Called into Oregon as 'Fake Militiamen' Exposed as Fed Provocateurs by Real Militia | The Free Thought Project
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 15:31
Burns, OR '' With tensions running high at the Malheur Wildlife Reserve, the Oath Keepers organization is reporting that they have been informed by sources within the U.S. special forces community that special operations assets have been moved into the area.
It was reported on Tuesday that federal authorities are planning to cut the power to the commandeered facility, with hopes that the sub-zero Oregon winter would drive them out without incident, but the potential exists that cutting the power is a simple precursor to laying siege to the building.
According to a report by the Oath Keepers founder and National President, Stewart Rhodes:
Oath Keepers has received very credible information from an active duty source within the special operations community that at least one SOD-X (Reserve/National Guard Special Operations Detachment, see this, this, and this) unit under the command of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has been tasked for this standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Reserve and moved to the area. Given this, we should expect that other special operations assets, such as Delta Force, will also be involved if the Obama Administration decides to give the green light on a military raid/strike. And we should expect the presence of the infamous FBI HRT (which were present at both Ruby Ridge and Waco).
Numerous major national militia groups, including the Three Percenter movement and the Oath Keepers, have come out to publicly condemn the actions of the Bundys. Many in the community have deemed those involved in the standoff as potential federal agent provocateurs, who in no way represent the militia movement and are instead meant to undermine its legitimacy.
Mike Vanderboegh, founder of the Three Percent movement wrote this on the initial day of the standoff:
I was first apprised of this a few minutes ago by folks on the ground out in Oregon. They report that Payne, Ritzheimer and every other ''tiger-talking'' fruit, nut and federal provocateur previously identified from the Bundy standoff were now in possession of the building and daring the Feds to do anything about it. My initial reaction was to observe that at least afterward we'll know who the federal snitches are because they will be the only ones who survive the raid to take back the building. My understanding is that this premeditated action has been condemned by the Oregon Three Percenters and other groups but the fact of the matter is that these people are writing checks that they expect the rest of us to cash in our blood. And the Hammonds themselves are disavowing this action in the strongest terms.
Many of the suspected agent provocateurs were identified as the very same individuals who were reported to have, on numerous occasions, attempted to instigate violence against law enforcement and federal agents during the Bundy Ranch standoff in Nevada.
Make no mistake that this incident will play directly into the ongoing gun control/citizen disarmament movement currently playing out in the United States. The timing of the siege couldn't have come at a more opportune time for federal authorities to continue to push their narrative about ''militia terrorists,'' marking a huge propaganda victory.
Below is an official statement from the Oath Keepers organization addressing the Oregon standoff:
Short Oath Keepers Statement on this Standoff
I will post a longer statement later, but for now, here is a brief statement on this situation, in general:
Oath Keepers adamantly opposes the armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. This is not in keeping with the moral imperative of only using force in defense when people's lives are at stake, as at Bundy Ranch in 2014. In this case, neither the Hammonds nor their neighbors were in imminent threat of being murdered, and neither the Hammonds nor their neighbors asked for any form of armed standoff. In fact, they oppose it. This is being done by outsiders who misled and deceived locals, deceived the Hammonds, and deceived the patriot movement by luring them in with a peaceful rally and then attempting to rope them into a premeditated, manufactured armed standoff. Both Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne (who we suspect is an agent provocateur) told the locals in the Committee of Safety, at a public town hall meeting on December 15, that they, the locals on the committee, would be making the decisions on what was to be done, how, and when. That was a lie, as they were already staging their men and supplies in the area to takeover the wildlife refuge, and had already planned out this takeover of the federal facility at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. By doing this, they have given Obama the best New Years present he could hope for '' an example of militia movement/patriot aggression, which gives up the high ground while also having the least credibility and support from the locals possible, after lying to them, and also the least support from the patriot community, who were also blind-sided by Ammon and Ryan Payne.
However, as much as we oppose what Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne have done, we must warn the Obama Administration that it does not have free reign to ''Waco'' the people in this standoff by using deadly military force, such as an SOD-X, Delta Force, or the FBI HRT to kill them all. The Federal government must respect their right to due process and do all it can to end this standoff peacefully, without loss of life. It must treat it like the Freeman standoff, not the Waco standoff. There will be no more free Wacos, as Mike Vanderbgh, Founder of the Three Percenter movement puts it. Treat this with kid gloves or risk a civil war.
Stewart RhodesFounder and President of Oath Keepers
Jay Syrmopoulos is a political analyst, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay's work has been published on Ben Swann's Truth in Media, Truth-Out, Raw Story, MintPress News, as well as many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.
German Public Broadcaster Apologizes for Suppressing Report About Migrant Attacks
Sun, 10 Jan 2016 14:39
German public broadcaster ZDF has acknowledged that it was wrong to "delay" reporting on a wave of sexual assaults and robberies suspected to have been carried out by migrants from North Africa and the Middle East.
ZDF sat on the story for four days before reporting it, a decision that the broadcaster now calls a "misjudgment". Maybe ZDF was hoping it would all just go away? This is incredible:
''The news situation was clear enough. It was a mistake of the 7pm 'heute' show not to at least report the incidents,'' wrote deputy chief editor Elmar Thevessen on the show's Facebook page.
Editors had decided to postpone the news segment to Tuesday, the day Cologne's city hall and police held a crisis meeting on the attacks, he wrote, admitting this was ''a clear misjudgement''.
As the assaults have come to dominate German mainstream media, more women have come forward in Cologne and other cities about being groped and attacked on New Year's Eve.
The number of criminal complaints in Cologne topped 100 by Wednesday.
''Despite the world's most expensive public broadcaster, countless social media reactions and online newsrooms '... it took four long days before national media comprehensively reported on the incidents,'' said a commentary on the Meedia service.
''The initial slowness is now being used in some circles to back their claims about the 'lying press'.''
Bizarre wending Keulen: agenten vertellen ander verhaal -
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 15:44
Politieagenten die betrokken waren bij de misstanden op het stationsplein van Keulen tijdens de jaarwisseling zijn het zat dat er continu een onjuist beeld wordt gegeven van de avond. Ze zeggen de daders wel degelijk te hebben ge¯dentificeerd. Het ging bovendien niet om Noord-Afrikanen, maar om Syrirs.
De jaarwisseling in Keulen dreigt uit te lopen op een regelrechte ramp voor politiebestuurders en politici in de Duitse stad.
LeugensVolgens betrokken politieagenten klopt er niet veel van het verhaal dat tot nu toe via officile kanalen naar buiten is gebracht over de gebeurtenissen in Keulen tijdens Oudjaar.
Uit frustratie over de kritiek die zij nu over zich heen krijgen, besloot een aantal de mond open te doen tegen de Duitse krant Die Welt. De getuigenissen van de agenten vertellen inderdaad een heel ander verhaal over de veelbesproken avond.
100 verdachtenVolgens de agenten hebben ze zo'n honderd verdachten staande gehouden en een deel daarvan meegenomen naar het bureau. Dat de politie dus niet zou weten wie de daders zijn, doen de agenten af als onzin.
Ook vinden de agenten het vreemd dat naar buiten is gebracht dat het Noord-Afrikanen zouden zijn. 'Slechts bij een kleine minderheid ging het om Noord-Afrikanen, het overgrote deel van de verdachten kwam uit Syri,' zegt een agent tegen de krant.
Syrische vluchtelingenDe agenten zeggen dat het inderdaad bekend is dat Noord-Afrikaanse bendes in en rond het station misdrijven plegen. Maar zij zouden slechts ten dele betrokken zijn geweest bij de misstanden.
'De meesten van hen waren pas gearriveerde asielzoekers. Ze lieten documenten zien die bij asielzoekerscentra worden verstrekt,' melden de betrokken agenten.
Seksueel amusementEen ander punt dat volgens de agenten niet klopt is dat het de daders vooral om het bestelen van hun slachtoffers zou gaan. Het betasten van vrouwen zou slechts bijzaak, of hulpmiddel bij de diefstal zijn geweest.
'In werkelijkheid was het precies andersom,' zegt (C)(C)n van de agenten. 'Het ging de meeste Arabische daders om seksuele misdrijven of, vanuit hun kant bezien, om seksueel amusement. De groepen mannen cirkelden om een vrouwelijk slachtoffer heen, sloten haar op in de kring en vergrepen zich aan haar'.
Agenten voelen zich dadersDe getuigenissen van de agenten staan vrijwel haaks op de officile woorden van politiechef Wolfgang Albers over de zaak en op het uitgelekte politierapport dat donderdag in Bild en Der Spiegel stond.
Desgevraagd zegt de woordvoerder van de politievakbond Arnold Plickert dat hij begrijpt dat de agenten nu anoniem uit de school klappen. 'Ik kan heel goed begrijpen dat collega's nu anoniem informatie naar buiten brengen. Ze willen de wijdverbreide onjuist informatie uit de wereld helpen en zich verdedigen. Veel agenten hebben mij gezegd dat zij het gevoel hebben dat z­j als daders worden aangekeken.'
Plickert onderstreept dat het absolute onzin is dat de politie niemand heeft gearresteerd en in hechtenis heeft genomen. Volgens de politieman zijn er zeker 80 gevallen bekend van persoonscontroles en arrestaties. Dat er vluchtelingen onder de daders zaten, staat voor hem ook vast.
Bizarre wendingDoor de verklaringen van de politieagenten neemt het verhaal over Oud en Nieuw in Keulen een bizarre wending. Op nieuwjaarsdag meldde de politie nog dat de avond 'vredig' en 'uitgelaten' was verlopen.
Vervolgens bleken er talrijke aanrandingen en diefstallen te zijn gepleegd door verdachten met een Noord-Afrikaans uiterlijk, maar kon door de chaos niemand worden ge¯dentificeerd. Nu blijkt dat politieagenten zo'n honderd verdachten hebben ge¯dentificeerd en bleek het niet om Noord-Afrikanen te gaan, maar om recent aangekomen Syrische asielzoekers. De politietop in Keulen heeft nog niet op het verhaal van de agenten gereageerd.
Unprecedented sex harassment in Helsinki at New Year, Finnish police report - Telegraph
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 16:25
''Our information from these reception centres were that disturbances or other crimes would happen in the city centre. We were prepared for fights and sexual harrassment and thefts.''
He said that police had established a ''very massive presence'' to control the estimated 1,000 Iraqi asylum seekers who had gathered in the tunnels surrounding the central railway station by 11pm, many of whom appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Mr Koskimaki said that sexual assults in parks and on the streets had been unknown in Finland before a record 32,000 asylum seekers arrived in 2015, making the 14 cases last year ''big news in the city''.
''We had unfortunately some very brutal cases in autumn,'' he said. ''I don't know so well other cultures, but I have recognised that the thinking of some of them is very different. Some of them maybe think that it is allowed to be aggressive and touch ladies on the street.''
Jamel Saltne, a Finnish-speaking Iraqi, said that from what he had seen on Arabic social media, police had wrongly portrayed events.
"What happened was not the result of an action planned in advance," he told the Telegraph. "It was totally expected that young men would go to the centre of the capital as that is the best place to celebrate New Year's Eve."
"I'm not accusing the police of racism, but maybe they have received complaints intended to smear people."
The rapes have fuelled anger among some Finns at last year's record asylum figures, with the country registering the fourth highest number per capita in the European Union.
Unarmed militia groups calling themselves ''Soldiers of Odin'', wearing black jackets and hats marked ''S.O.O'', have sprung up in several towns in Finland where asylum seekers are housed, claiming they want to protect citizens from ''Islamic intruders''.
Petteri Orpo, Finnish interior minister, condemned the groups in an interview with national broadcaster YLE on Thursday.
''There are extremist features to carrying out street patrols. It does not increase security,'' he said.
Read more:Cologne sex attacks: Germany's women are tired of excuses
Where do migrants apply for asylum in Europe?
GCSE and A-level exams to be brought forward so RAMADAN Muslim children don't lose out | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 07 Jan 2016 16:23
Hundreds of thousands of teenagers will have to take key exams earlier than usual this year to help Muslim pupils fasting for Ramadan.
The GCSE and A-level schedule has been rearranged so that some exams in key subjects are clustered before the start of the Islamic holy month.
Where maths and English tests do fall during the festival, a larger number than usual are being held in the morning.
Changes: The GCSE and A-level schedule has been rearranged so that some exams in key subjects are clustered before the start of the Islamic holy month (file picture)
This is to avoid disadvantaging fasting pupils who can suffer low energy levels in the afternoon.
The Joint Council for Qualifications, which represents exam boards, said timetable allowances would be made where possible in subjects with large numbers of entries.
Several core maths exams appear to have been shifted to earlier dates than last year, meaning candidates will have fewer days to revise.
Similar measures are likely to be in place for at least five years, until Ramadan no longer clashes with the exam season.
The holy month, which runs from June 6 to July 5 this summer, moves backward through the calendar by around 11 days a year.
Q&A ON THE EXAMS SHAKE-UP What is happening to this summer's exams and why?
Exam boards have scheduled some GCSEs and A-level examinations taken by most pupils '' like English and maths '' before the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
This year, the festival falls between June 6 and July 5, which overlaps with a significant proportion of exams.
Muslims observe fasting during daylight hours and there are concerns it will have a detrimental impact on their results.
Officials will also aim to timetable exams with 'consideration' '' meaning earlier in the day '' so Muslim pupils can concentrate better after their pre-dawn meal.
What will it mean for pupils?
Hundreds of thousands of pupils will take some exams up to a week earlier than in previous years '' meaning they have less time to revise.
However, many subjects will be unaffected because they are less popular, while others were already scheduled before the start of Ramadan.
There will also be an increase in the number of important exams being held in the morning.
Such measures are likely to be adopted by boards for at least the next five years, while the month of Ramadan continues to clash with exam season.
How have the different exam boards responded?
AQA appears to have shifted several key maths exams to earlier dates this year by comparison with last year's timetable, and those remaining during Ramadan will be scheduled in the morning.
English examinations are unaffected as they were held early last year also.
OCR is holding all of its English and maths exams in the morning, and these exams appear to be clustered toward the beginning of the exam season.
Why is Ramadan an issue now?
Ramadan moves earlier by around 11 days in the calendar every year, and only comes full circle about every 33 years.
Last year there was a smaller overlap between Ramadan and the exam season.
The last time this situation arose was in the early 1980s when Muslims made up only an estimated 1 per cent of the population compared with almost 5 per cent now.
Why have I not heard about this change before?
Similar arrangements were announced for last year's exams, but there was less of an overlap so it did not make much difference.
The issue was raised again in a Commons education committee session yesterday morning, when children's commissioner Anne Longfield was questioned by MPs.
Tory MP Suella Fernandes asked how Muslim pupils could be accommodated over Ramadan.
The children's commissioner said discussions were being held around revised arrangements. JCQ later said there would not be a 'delay' but confirmed that some exams would be reshuffled.
Muslims avoid food during daylight hours, eating before dawn and after dusk instead.
The exam boards said that the timetable would not see drastic changes but yesterday campaigners questioned whether special allowances should be made.
'They should let things be,' insisted Colin Hart, of the pressure group Christian Concern. 'How can you start changing the rules for everybody just to accommodate those particular pupils who are Muslims, who are in a minority?
'We don't live in Saudi Arabia where they need to fit the exams around sharia principles. It's wrong imposing this festival on everybody else.'
Keith Porteous Wood, of the National Secular Society, said: 'If there are a significant number of Muslim students that are affected and calling for a change, they should be accommodated, but only if this can be achieved with no or minimal disruption.'
According to the latest census, 2.71million Muslims live in England and Wales '' making up 4.8 per cent of the population.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie, founding secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: 'The decision is fair and just. But this is not a special privilege and it is within the JCQ policy, which is welcomed and appreciated.
'People often accuse Muslims of demanding special rights and provisions. We don't want them.
'This is of particular relevance when it comes to accommodating faith communities for their religious festivals, particularly Muslim and Jewish communities, who follow the lunar calendar.
'Religious communities need to be able to celebrate their festivities without being burdened by examinations on these special days.'
Similar plans to accommodate Muslim students were announced for last year's exams, but the effect was minimal because Ramadan began on June 18. The exam season runs from late May through to the end of June.
The plans for this summer have been in place for up to 12 months, but emerged only during a Commons education committee session yesterday.
In a statement, the JCQ said it consulted on the timetable every year and considered comments from a wide range of groups, including schools, colleges and faith groups.
A JCQ spokesman added: 'The small window in which examinations can be taken, the large number of candidates taking examinations and the diverse range of subjects available to candidates, places significant limitations on the changes that can be accommodated for any one group.
'However, JCQ meets the needs of various groups as far as possible. JCQ and the qualifications regulator Ofqual have previously met with Muslim groups to discuss the timetabling of examinations in light of Ramadan moving into the examination period.
'Where possible, large entry GCSE and GCE subjects are timetabled prior to the commencement of Ramadan and consideration given to whether they are timetabled in the morning or afternoon.'
Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the union was meeting with Muslim faith leaders to discuss Ramadan, and plans to issue guidance to schools and colleges ahead of the exams.
He said: 'The guidance will be non-prescriptive and will not advise families or students on how they should address the question of fasting.
New ideas: The Joint Council for Qualifications, which represents exam boards, said timetable allowances would be made where possible in subjects with large numbers of entries (file picture)
'School and college leaders are very keen to work with communities to ensure young people are able to observe Ramadan without any detrimental impact on their examinations.'
How can you start changing the rules for everybody just to accommodate those particular pupils who are Muslims, who are in a minority?
Colin Hart, Christian Concern
JCQ's statement was issued after children's commissioner Anne Longfield was asked by the education committee about the impact of Ramadan falling over the exams period.
In response, she said she was not aware of the detail but that she understood there were discussions under way around changing the timetable.
Teachers first raised concerns about the impact of Ramadan on Muslim teenagers two years ago, arguing that if students go into their exams hungry or thirsty it could affect their results.
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said last night: 'As educators we want all children to be able to achieve their best in exams that are so crucial to their future.'
Elections 2016
Hillary Emails Reveal True Motive for Libya Intervention | Foreign Policy Journal
Sat, 09 Jan 2016 06:04
Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, murdered by Western-backed rebels on October 20, 2011, planned to create a gold-backed African currency to compete with the dollar and euro. (Photo: Jesse B. Awalt/US Navy)The New Year's Eve release of over 3,000 new Hillary Clinton emails from the State Department has CNN abuzz over gossipy text messages, the ''who gets to ride with Hillary'' selection process set up by her staff, and how a ''cute'' Hillary photo fared on Facebook.
But historians of the 2011 NATO war in Libya will be sure to notice a few of the truly explosive confirmations contained in the new emails: admissions of rebel war crimes, special ops trainers inside Libya from nearly the start of protests, Al Qaeda embedded in the U.S. backed opposition, Western nations jockeying for access to Libyan oil, the nefarious origins of the absurd Viagra mass rape claim, and concern over Gaddafi's gold and silver reserves threatening European currency.
Hillary's Death SquadsA March 27, 2011, intelligence brief on Libya, sent by long time close adviser to the Clintons and Hillary's unofficial intelligence gatherer, Sidney Blumenthal, contains clear evidence of war crimes on the part of NATO-backed rebels. Citing a rebel commander source ''speaking in strict confidence'' Blumenthal reports to Hillary [emphasis mine]:
Under attack from allied Air and Naval forces, the Libyan Army troops have begun to desert to the rebel side in increasing numbers. The rebels are making an effort to greet these troops as fellow Libyans, in an effort to encourage additional defections.
(Source Comment: Speaking in strict confidence, one rebel commander stated that his troops continue to summarily execute all foreign mercenaries captured in the fighting'...).
While the illegality of extra-judicial killings is easy to recognize (groups engaged in such are conventionally termed ''death squads''), the sinister reality behind the ''foreign mercenaries'' reference might not be as immediately evident to most.
While over the decades Gaddafi was known to make use of European and other international security and infrastructural contractors, there is no evidence to suggest that these were targeted by the Libyan rebels.
There is, however, ample documentation by journalists, academics, and human rights groups demonstrating that black Libyan civilians and sub-Saharan contract workers, a population favored by Gaddafi in his pro-African Union policies, were targets of ''racial cleansing'' by rebels who saw black Libyans as tied closely with the regime.[1]
Black Libyans were commonly branded as ''foreign mercenaries'' by the rebel opposition for their perceived general loyalty to Gaddafi as a community and subjected to torture, executions, and their towns ''liberated'' by ethnic cleansing. This is demonstrated in the most well-documented example of Tawergha, an entire town of 30,000 black and ''dark-skinned'' Libyans which vanished by August 2011 after its takeover by NATO-backed NTC Misratan brigades.
These attacks were well-known as late as 2012 and often filmed, as this report from The Telegraph confirms:
After Muammar Gaddafi was killed, hundreds of migrant workers from neighboring states were imprisoned by fighters allied to the new interim authorities. They accuse the black Africans of having been mercenaries for the late ruler. Thousands of sub-Saharan Africans have been rounded up since Gaddafi fell in August.
It appears that Clinton was getting personally briefed on the battlefield crimes of her beloved anti-Gaddafi fighters long before some of the worst of these genocidal crimes took place.
Al-Qaeda and Western Special Forces Inside LibyaThe same intelligence email from Sydney Blumenthal also confirms what has become a well-known theme of Western supported insurgencies in the Middle East: the contradiction of special forces training militias that are simultaneously suspected of links to Al Qaeda.
Blumenthal relates that ''an extremely sensitive source'' confirmed that British, French, and Egyptian special operations units were training Libyan militants along the Egyptian-Libyan border, as well as in Benghazi suburbs.
While analysts have long speculated as to the ''when and where'' of Western ground troop presence in the Libyan War, this email serves as definitive proof that special forces were on the ground only within a month of the earliest protests which broke out in the middle to end of February 2011 in Benghazi.
By March 27 of what was commonly assumed a simple ''popular uprising'' external special operatives were already ''overseeing the transfer of weapons and supplies to the rebels'' including ''a seemingly endless supply of AK47 assault rifles and ammunition.''
Yet only a few paragraphs after this admission, caution is voiced about the very militias these Western special forces were training because of concern that, ''radical/terrorist groups such as the Libyan Fighting Groups and Al Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are infiltrating the NLC and its military command.''
The Threat of Libya's Oil and Gold to French InterestsThough the French-proposed U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 claimed the no-fly zone implemented over Libya was to protect civilians, an April 2011 email sent to Hillary with the subject line ''France's client and Qaddafi's gold'' tells of less noble ambitions.
The email identifies French President Nicholas Sarkozy as leading the attack on Libya with five specific purposes in mind: to obtain Libyan oil, ensure French influence in the region, increase Sarkozy's reputation domestically, assert French military power, and to prevent Gaddafi's influence in what is considered ''Francophone Africa.''
Most astounding is the lengthy section delineating the huge threat that Gaddafi's gold and silver reserves, estimated at ''143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver,'' posed to the French franc (CFA) circulating as a prime African currency. In place of the noble sounding ''Responsibility to Protect'' (R2P) doctrine fed to the public, there is this ''confidential'' explanation of what was really driving the war [emphasis mine]:
This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).
(Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.)
Though this internal email aims to summarize the motivating factors driving France's (and by implication NATO's) intervention in Libya, it is interesting to note that saving civilian lives is conspicuously absent from the briefing.
Instead, the great fear reported is that Libya might lead North Africa into a high degree of economic independence with a new pan-African currency.
French intelligence ''discovered'' a Libyan initiative to freely compete with European currency through a local alternative, and this had to be subverted through military aggression.
The Ease of Floating Crude PropagandaEarly in the Libyan conflict Secretary of State Clinton formally accused Gaddafi and his army of using mass rape as a tool of war. Though numerous international organizations, like Amnesty International, quickly debunked these claims, the charges were uncritically echoed by Western politicians and major media.
It seemed no matter how bizarre the conspiracy theory, as long as it painted Gaddafi and his supporters as monsters, and so long as it served the cause of prolonged military action in Libya, it was deemed credible by network news.
Two foremost examples are referenced in the latest batch of emails: the sensational claim that Gaddafi issued Viagra to his troops for mass rape, and the claim that bodies were ''staged'' by the Libyan government at NATO bombing sites to give the appearance of the Western coalition bombing civilians.
In a late March 2011 email, Blumenthal confesses to Hillary that,
I communicated more than a week ago on this story'--Qaddafi placing bodies to create PR stunts about supposed civilian casualties as a result of Allied bombing'--though underlining it was a rumor. But now, as you know, Robert gates gives credence to it. (See story below.)
Sources now say, again rumor (that is, this information comes from the rebel side and is unconfirmed independently by Western intelligence), that Qaddafi has adopted a rape policy and has even distributed Viagra to troops. The incident at the Tripoli press conference involving a woman claiming to be raped is likely to be part of a much larger outrage. Will seek further confirmation.
Not only did Defense Secretary Robert Gates promote his bizarre ''staged bodies'' theory on CBS News' ''Face The Nation,'' but the even stranger Viagra rape fiction made international headlines as U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice made a formal charge against Libya in front of the UN Security Council.
What this new email confirms is that not only was the State Department aware of the spurious nature of what Blumenthal calls ''rumors'' originating solely with the rebels, but did nothing to stop false information from rising to top officials who then gave them ''credence.''
It appears, furthermore, that the Viagra mass rape hoax likely originated with Sidney Blumenthal himself.
Note[1] The most comprehensive and well-documented study of the plight of black Libyans is contained in Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO's War on Libya and Africa (publ. 2012, Baraka Books) by Maximilian Forte, Professor Anthropology and Sociology at Concordia University in Montr(C)al, Qu(C)bec.
This article was originally published at the Levant Report and has been used here with permission.
France, Hillary Clinton, Libya, Muammar al-Gaddafi, NATO, US Foreign Policy
Law Enforcement Officials, Medical Professionals: There's Something Seriously Wrong With Hillary Clinton's Health
Thu, 07 Jan 2016 23:36
These long-lasting symptoms stemming from a concussion and blood clot, according to a neurologist, suggest Clinton is suffering from post-concussion syndrome, which can severely impact her cognitive abilities.
All that said, however, Clinton's campaign maintained to Breitbart News that she is in good health and can serve as President of the United States.
''Strong source just told me something I suspected. Hillary's debate 'bathroom break' wasn't that, but flare up of problems from brain injury,'' wrote John Cardillo on Twitter.
Cardillo, who previously worked as an officer who provided VIP security details for the New York Police Department (NYPD), told Breitbart News that he knows of two additional sources who have commented about Clinton's health problems, which have even impacted her ability to walk to her car after delivering a speech.
''I got this from both a [federal agent] '... and I also got it from a New York [NYPD] guy who worked security at a Hillary event in New York City,'' Cardillo told Breitbart News, adding:
These are two people that aren't just personal friends. I worked with one and then post law-enforcement worked with another on some related things. So, these aren't anonymous people. These are good friends. Both of them told me the same thing, that after her speeches, whether she did a talk or a policy speech, she had to sit behind '' she would come off the podium backstage '' and have to sit and rest before making it back to the car because she was so fatigued, dizzy and disoriented.
Cardillo said these two security officials don't know each other and do not live in the same state, but ''their stories were almost identical.''
One of the men told him that Clinton was ''very pale, kind of disoriented. He said she looked like she was about to faint. She was very pale, almost sweaty.''
Cardillo said one of the incidents occurred while she was Secretary of State. The event worked by the NYPD official was roughly a year ago.
Veteran Republican strategist Roger Stone, who previously worked with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, told Breitbart News that he has also heard about Clinton's long-term health problems.
''A number of New York Democrats, very prominent, well-known, wealthy New York Democrats, told me last year that Hillary had very significant health issues and that they were surprised that she was running in view of her health problems and her lack of stamina,'' Stone told Breitbart News. ''So far, she's run a very controlled campaign,''
''I don't think she has the physical stamina to be president,'' he stated. ''I have no doubt that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) won't call her on it, but Trump certainly would.''
''We also know that in the emails, of course, Huma Abedin'... says that she is easily confused,'' Stone added, referencing Clinton's close confidant Abedin comment in an email, ''She's often confused,'' referring to Clinton.
Trump, Stone's former boss, certainly hasn't been shy in questioning whether Clinton has the ''stamina'' to be president.
''She goes out and she sees you guys for about 10 minutes, she sees you for a little while, it's all rehearsed and staged,'' Trump said in a recent interview on Fox News' Media Buzz.
''They'll pick a couple of people out of the audience that are like, you know, 100 percent. She'll sit around a little plastic table, they'll talk to the people for a while. It's ridiculous,'' Trump added. ''And then she goes away for five or six days and you don't see her. She goes to sleep.''
Neurologist Dr. Daniel Kassicieh, D.O., reviewed news reports of Clinton's head injury in light of the recent information revealed from the security sources that are raising questions about her current health status.
Kassicieh, who has run his own Sarasota, Florida, practice for 20 years, is a board-certified neurologist and the medical director of the Florida Headache and Movement Disorder Center. He is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, which is similar to a medical doctor but can involve at a minimum of 100 more classroom hours of specific training. That additional training is focused on the osteopathic'--or the musculoskeletal system'--aspects of medicine. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (FAAN) and a Fellow of the American College of Neuro-psychiatrists (FACN). Kassicieh is a registered Republican in Sarasota, but his purely medical analysis is troubling for Clinton.
''They were trying to poo-poo this off as a minor concussion, but I would just say that reading it and trying to take all the politics out of it, and just read it purely from a medical standpoint,'' Kassicieh explained:
Considering the point of what happened with Hillary over this time period'... the timeline'... and then what has happened here more recently'... the break at the debate, I saw that and even the commentators that were sitting there made a comment that, 'Gee, that seems awful long for a break.' Just looking at it from a neurological standpoint, the risk factors for developing post-concussion syndrome, one of them is age, and she was 65 when this happened'... just from a physiologic standpoint that's an older individual. Being female is a risk factor for post-concussion syndrome as well.
''For someone who has treated many post-concussion syndrome patients and that's what I really believe she's suffering from based on reading these reports and reading what's happened,'' Kassicieh said. ''I think she has latent post-concussion syndrome, and I can understand that as a politician they would want to be covering that up.'' He stated:
I would say as a neurologist having seen many post-concussion syndrome patients that I would not want a president who I knew had post-concussion syndrome being president because their super high-level cognitive abilities are clearly impaired and even their routine multitasking high-stress abilities are affected because post-concussion syndrome patients in general don't tolerate even moderate work, stress-related environments.
Kassicieh added that if suffering from post concussion syndrome, Clinton's symptoms could appear ''well beyond a year'' after her concussion.
''A transverse sinus thrombosis [blood clot] is a rare condition of a clot forming in the venous sinus cavities surrounding the brain,'' Kassicieh told Breitbart News, referencing an ABC News report from 2012 that detailed Clinton's head injury and blood clot following a fall. He explained:
These venous sinuses drain blood out of the brain. The [injury] incidence is only about 3 per 1,000,000 adults. The transverse sinus is less commonly affected than the main sagittal venous sinus. The cause of transverse sinus clots is not well understood although trauma and dehydration have been described as risk factors. Mrs. Clinton suffered from both.
Dr. Nicholas C. Bambakidis also analyzed the facts for Breitbart News. He is the director of cerebrovascular and skull base surgery, and the program director of neurological surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and a professor of neurosurgery and radiology at the CWRU School of Medicine in Cleveland,
''These types of clots are usually formed spontaneously without an obvious cause,'' Bambakidis said in an email:
They can be associated with dehydration, a predisposition to blood clotting disorders, are more common in women and may be associated with oral contraceptive medication, severe head trauma, brain surgery, or infection. If untreated, they can progress and lead to bleeding in the brain or swelling, and a stroke or even death. The treatment is generally anticoagulation and treatment of any underlying cause.
Bambakidis said that if treated early and quickly, there are no longstanding issues with a person's health.
''Typically, if caught early and treated adequately (as seems to have been done in this incident) there is a full recovery without any consequences (normal cognition, memory, etc),'' he said.
Dr. Jane Orient, the executive director of the politically conservative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons also reviewed the 2012 ABC News report about Clinton's concussion and blood clot. She said she thought the ABC report appeared medically accurate.
''Factors predisposing to clots include air travel, dehydration, hormones, immobilization as during surgery, blood abnormalities, cancer,'' Orient said. ''Concussions can cause long-term damage including cognitive problems, even when standard studies including CT or MRI look normal.''
''Not saying Mrs. Clinton has any of the above''just speaking generally and hypothetically,'' she clarified.
One former member of Orient's group is Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), an ophthalmologist. He was a member of AAPS for more than 20 years before his election to the U.S. Senate. He is now also running for president on the Republican side in 2016.
Neurologist Kassicieh agreed with Orient about the possibility of Clinton suffering from long-term cognitive symptoms.
''Concussions in older adults can be more serious, resulting in a condition known as post-concussion syndrome. This condition can be characterized by symptoms of persistent dizziness, complaints of memory difficulties, forgetfulness, loss of ability to focus on complex tasks or concepts and indecisiveness,'' Kassicieh explained. He added, ''Latent depression and overt anxiety are also common in this condition.''
Kassicieh noted that although a Clinton spokesperson told the press that Clinton ''got over this quickly,'' another ABC report quotes former President Bill Clinton saying that his wife's injury ''required six months of very serious work to get over.''
''Other reports in the same article show an interesting timeline for Hillary over the next several months, showing that she was not fully functional in her capacity as [Secretary of State],'' Kassicieh added:
As a neurologist, I would interpret these and more recent events involving Hillary as possibly showing signs of post-concussion syndrome. This condition could have serious impact on the cognitive and intellectual functioning of an individual, particularly a high level job as [President of the United States].
Dr. Drew Pinsky, a nationally syndicated talk show host and internal medical physician, also spoke to Breitbart News about Clinton's health and explained that experiencing symptoms for more than a year after a head injury is very serious.
''In my clinical experience, it's very common for them to have six months and even up to a year of exercise intolerance, and sort of [needing] frequent rest, and can easily get overwhelmed,'' he said of head injury patients. ''But after a year, that's something else.''
He said symptoms like Clinton's, as an elderly person in her 60s, ''are very serious.''
''Those are not trivial symptoms,'' Pinsky stressed:
If my patient came in with that, the first thing I would do is put them on a treadmill. I would get a sleep study, make sure they don't have sleep apnea. I would do all sorts of metabolic studies and make sure there wasn't something metabolic. I would actually do some extensive cancer screenings. Why is this person suddenly having exercise intolerance?
Pinsky added that if Clinton is overworking herself, ''I hope she has a medical team attending to her.''
Breitbart News sent a detailed set of questions regarding these questions raised by law enforcement and medical professionals to Clinton's campaign.
The specific questions sent to Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton, include:
1.) Does Secretary Clinton have difficulty with fatigue, dizziness and being disoriented? Does she have difficulty after speeches and during debates continuing for lengthy periods of time''or for instance walking back to her car after events?
2.) Is she suffering from latent post concussion syndrome?
3.) Is she being completely honest with the public about her health? Does she have a clean bill of health?
4.) Is she able to conduct high level cognitive abilities on the same level she has been able to throughout her life? Is she able to conduct routine multitasking high stress abilities on the same level she has been able to throughout her life?
5.) Does she have or did she have a transverse sinus thrombosis, or blood clot?
6.) Is she capable of serving as President of the United States with these conditions and symptoms?
7.) Has she done tests with a doctor on a treadmill? Has she gotten a doctor-supervised sleep study? Has she worked with a doctor on metabolic studies? Has she gotten cancer screenings?
8.) Does she have a medical team attending to her? What are the details of that?
In response, Merrill told Breitbart News that Clinton's doctors have already answered the questions in Clinton's health statement.
''These questions are all addressed in her health statement,'' Merrill told Breitbart News, referring to a letter from Clinton's doctor, Dr. Lisa Bardack'--the chair of internal medicine at the Mount Kisco Medical Group in New York.
The letter, labeled a ''healthcare statement'' and dated on July 28, 2015'--which was released along with Clinton's tax filings'--is two full pages long and includes a complete description from Dr. Bardack clearing Clinton as fit to serve as president.
''This letter summarizes the health history and current medical evaluation of Hillary Rodham Clinton,'' Dr. Bardack wrote. ''I am an internist and the Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Mount Kisco Medical Group in Mount Kisco, New York. I have served as Mrs. Clinton's personal physician since 2001, during which time I have been involved in all aspects of her healthcare.''
The letter states that Clinton is a ''healthy 67-year-old female whose current medical conditions include hypothyroidism and seasonal pollen allergies.''
''Her past medical history is notable for a deep vein thrombosis in 1998 and in 2009, an elbow fracture in 2009 and a concussion in 2012,'' Dr. Bardack continues.
''In December of 2012, Mrs. Clinton suffered a stomach virus after traveling, became dehydrated, fainted and sustained a concussion,'' the doctor wrote:
During follow-up evaluations, Mrs. Clinton was found to have a transverse sinus venous thrombosis and began anti-coagulation therapy to dissolve the clot. As a result of the concussion, Mrs. Clinton also experienced double vision for a period of time and benefitted from wearing glasses with a Fresnel Prism. Her concussion symptoms, including the double vision, resolved within two months and she discontinued the use of the prism. She had follow-up testing in 2013, which revealed complete resolution of the effects of the concussion as well as total dissolution of the thrombosis. Mrs. Clinton also tested negative for all clotting disorders. As a precaution however, it was decided to continue her on daily anticoagulation.
The letter continues by detailing her current medication list, which includes Armour Thyroid'--a hormone used to treat an under-active thyroid'' plus various antihistamines, Vitamin B12 and the blood-thinner Coumadin.
''She was also advised in 1998 to take Lovenox, a short-acting blood thinner, when she took extended flights; this medication was discontinued when she began Coumadin,'' Dr. Bardack continued:
Her Coumadin dose is monitored regularly and she has experienced no side effects from her medications. She takes no other medications on a regular basis and has no known drug allergies. She does not smoke and drinks alcohol occasionally. She does not use illicit drugs or tobacco products. She eats a diet rich in lean protein, vegetables and fruits. She exercises regularly, including yoga, swimming, walking and weight training.
Dr. Bardack noted that Clinton's family history also complicates matters: her father ''lived into his 80s and died after having a stroke'' while her mother ''lived into her 90s and passed away after having congestive heart failure.'' One of her brothers'--it's not clear whether it's Tony or Hugh Rodham, according to this letter'--''had premature heart disease,'' Dr. Bardack wrote.
''Due to her family history, she underwent a full cardiac evaluation, which was negative,'' the doctor wrote. ''She had a coronary calcium score of zero and a normal carotid ultrasound.''
She's also had cancer screenings: ''Her routine health maintenance is up to date, and has included a normal colonoscopy, gynecologic exam, mammogram, and breast ultrasound.''
She had a physical on March 21, 2015, which revealed, according to Dr. Bardack, that Clinton was in top-notch health.
''In summary, Mrs. Clinton is a healthy female with hypothyroidism and seasonal allergies, on long-term anticoagulation,'' Dr. Bardack wrote. ''She participates in a healthy lifestyle and has had a full medical evaluation, which reveals no evidence of additional medical issues or cardiovascular disease. Her cancer screening evaluations are all negative. She is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States.''
Clinton's own campaign manager Robby Mook wouldn't commit during a mid-June 2015 interview on CBS's Face The Nation to release Clinton's full health records.
''I will let Hillary decide that,'' Mook replied when John Dickerson asked him if Clinton would release her full healthcare records. ''But I can tell you she has been hitting the campaign trail hard.''
The letter from Clinton's doctor'--not her full healthcare records, but just a mere statement'--came after that Mook interview.
Natural-born-citizen clause - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 07 Jan 2016 16:22
Status as a natural-born citizen of the United States is one of the eligibility requirements established in the United States Constitution for election to the office of President or Vice President. This requirement was intended to protect the nation from foreign influence.[1]
The Constitution does not define the phrase natural-born citizen, and various opinions have been offered over time regarding its precise meaning. The consensus of early 21st-century constitutional and legal scholarship, together with relevant case law, is that "natural born" comprises all people born subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including, generally, those born in the United States, those born to U.S. citizen parents in foreign countries, and those born in other situations meeting the legal requirements for U.S. citizenship "at birth".[2]
The natural-born-citizen clause has been mentioned in passing in several decisions of the United States Supreme Court, and by some lower courts that have addressed eligibility challenges, but the Supreme Court has never directly addressed the question of a specific presidential or vice-presidential candidate's eligibility as a natural-born citizen. Many eligibility lawsuits from the 2008 and 2012 election cycles were dismissed in lower courts due to the challengers' difficulty in showing that they had standing to raise legal objections. Additionally, some experts have suggested that the precise meaning of the natural-born-citizen clause may never be decided by the courts because, in the end, presidential eligibility may be determined to be a non-justiciablepolitical question that can be decided only by Congress rather than by the judicial branch of government.[3][4]
Constitutional provisions[edit]Section 1 of Article Two of the United States Constitution sets forth the eligibility requirements for serving as president of the United States, under clause 5:
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
The Twelfth Amendment states, "No person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States." The Fourteenth Amendment does not use the phrase natural-born citizen. It does provide, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
Under Article One of the United States Constitution, representatives and senators are required to be U.S. citizens, but there is no requirement that they be natural born.[5][6]
Eight of the first nine presidents '' Martin Van Buren being the exception '' as well as early potential presidential candidates, were born as British subjects in British America before the American Revolution but were eligible for the office by virtue of having been citizens at the time that the Constitution was adopted.[7]
Antecedents in England[edit]Statutes in England prior to American independence established that a "natural born subject" need not be born within the country itself. For example, consider this British statute of 1708:[8]
The children of all natural born subjects born out of the ligeance [i.e. out of England] of Her Majesty Her Heirs and Successors shall be deemed and adjudged to be natural born subjects of this Kingdom to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever.
Similarly, consider this British Statute of 1730:[8]
[A]ll Children born out of the Ligeance of the Crown of England, or of Great Britain, or which shall hereafter be born out of such Ligeance, whose Fathers were or shall be natural-born Subjects of the Crown of England, or of Great Britain, at the Time of the Birth of such Children respectively ... are hereby declared to be natural-born Subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, to all Intents, Constructions and Purposes whatsoever.
Likewise, the English lexicographer Samuel Johnson wrote in 1756 that the word "natural" means "native," and the word "native" may mean either an "inhabitant" or an "offspring".[9] The famed jurist William Blackstone wrote in 1765 that natural-born subjects are inhabitants born within England:[10]
The first and most obvious division of the people is into aliens and natural-born subjects. Natural-born subjects are such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England, that is, within the ligence, or as it is generally called, the allegiance of the king; and aliens, such as are born out of it. Allegiance is the tie, or ligament, which binds the subject to the king, in return for that protection which the king affords the subject. The thing itself, or a substantial part of it, is founded in reason and the nature of government; the name and the form are derived to us from our Gothic ancestors.
Blackstone added that offspring who are not inhabitants may be "natural born":[10]
But by several more modern statutes ... all children, born out of the king's ligeance, whose fathers were natural-born subjects, are now natural-born subjects themselves, to all intents and purposes, without any exception; unless their said fathers were attainted, or banished beyond sea, for high treason; or were then in the service of a prince at enmity with Great Britain.
A leading authority in England prior to Blackstone was Edward Coke, who wrote in Calvin's Case[11] that a child born on the soil of England to foreign nationals visiting the country, except for invaders and foreign diplomats, is a "natural born subject" of England, "so long as he was within the King's protection; which [though] but momentary and uncertain, is yet strong enough to make a [natural bond] he hath issue here, that issue is a natural born subject...." Coke went on to write:
[I]f any of the King's ambassadors in foreign nations, have children there of their wives, being English women, by the common laws of England they are natural-born subjects, and yet they are born out-of the King's dominions. But if enemies should come into any of the King's dominions, and surprise any castle or fort, and possess the same by hostility, and have issue there, that issue is no subject to the King, though he be born within his dominions, for that he was not born under the King's ligeance or obedience. But the time of his birth is of the essence of a subject born; for he cannot be a subject to the King of England, unless at the time of his birth he was under the ligeance and obedience of the King.
Rationale[edit]The purpose of the natural born citizen clause is to protect the nation from foreign influence.[1]
St. George Tucker, an early federal judge, wrote in his 1803 edition of William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, perhaps the leading authority for the delegates to the Constitutional Convention for the terms used in the Constitution, that the natural born citizen clause is "a happy means of security against foreign influence" and that "[t]he admission of foreigners into our councils, consequently, cannot be too much guarded against."[12] In a footnote, Tucker wrote that naturalized citizens have the same rights as the natural-born except "they are forever incapable of being chosen to the office of president of the United States."[13]
Delegate Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina said in a speech before the Senate, "to insure experience and attachment to the country, they have determined that no man who is not a natural born citizen, or citizen at the adoption of the Constitution, of fourteen years residence, and thirty-five years of age, shall be eligible."[14]
Constitutional scholar Akhil Amar points out that the laws of England specifically allowed a foreign-born head of state, and that this had been an unhappy experience for many who had immigrated to the United States. There was also a perception that a usurper from the European aristocracy could potentially immigrate and buy his way into power.[15]
Constitutional Convention[edit]The Constitution does not explain the meaning of "natural born".[16] On June 18, 1787, Alexander Hamilton submitted to the Convention a sketch of a plan of government.[17] The sketch provided for an executive "Governour" but had no eligibility requirements.[18]
At the close of the Convention, Hamilton conveyed a paper to James Madison he said delineated the Constitution that he wished had been proposed by the Convention; he had stated its principles during the deliberations. Max Farrand wrote that it "...was not submitted to the Convention and has no further value than attaches to the personal opinions of Hamilton."[19] Article IX, section 1 of Hamilton's draft constitution provided: "No person shall be eligible to the office of President of the United States unless he be now a Citizen of one of the States, or hereafter be born a Citizen of the United States."[20]
On July 25, 1787, John Jay wrote to George Washington, presiding officer of the Convention:
Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government, and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.[22]
While the Committee on Detail originally proposed that the President must be merely a citizen as well as a resident for 21 years, the Committee of Eleven changed "citizen" to "natural born citizen" without recorded explanation after receiving Jay's letter. The Convention accepted the change without further recorded debate.[23]
Naturalization Acts of 1790 and 1795[edit]The Naturalization Act of 1790 stated that "the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States."[24] This act was repealed by the Naturalization Act of 1795, which removed the characterization of such children as "natural born," stating that "the children of citizens of the United States, born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as citizens of the United States" while retaining the same residency restrictions as the 1790 act.[24]
Current State Department regulation concerning this reads: "This statute is no longer operative, however, and its formula is not included in modern nationality statutes. In any event, the fact that someone is a natural born citizen pursuant to a statute does not necessarily imply that he or she is such a citizen for Constitutional purposes."[25]
Interpretations of the clause[edit]U.S. government officials in the Civil War era[edit]John Bingham[edit]John Bingham stated in the House of Representatives in 1862:
The Constitution leaves no room for doubt upon this subject. The words 'natural born citizen of the United states' appear in it, and the other provision appears in it that, "Congress shall have power to pass a uniform system of naturalization." To naturalize a person is to admit him to citizenship. Who are natural born citizens but those born within the Republic? Those born within the Republic, whether black or white, are citizens by birth'--natural born citizens.[26]
He reiterated his statement in 1866:
Every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural-born citizen; but, sir, I may be allowed to say further that I deny that the Congress of the United States ever had the power, or color of power to say that any man born within the jurisdiction of the United States, not owing a foreign allegiance, is not and shall not be a citizen of the United States. Citizenship is his birthright and neither the Congress nor the States can justly or lawfully take it from him.[27]
Edward Bates[edit]In 1862, Secretary of the TreasurySalmon P. Chase sent a query to Attorney GeneralEdward Bates asking whether or not "colored men" can be citizens of the United States. The question arose because the Coast Guard had detained a schooner commanded by a free "colored man" who claimed he was a citizen of the United States. If he were a U.S. citizen the boat could be released, but otherwise'--the Civil War then being fought'--it would be confiscated. No information about the man's birth or parentage was provided. Bates responded on November 29, 1862, with a 27-page opinion '-- considered of such importance that the government published it not only in the official volumes of Attorney-General opinions but also as a separate booklet [28] '-- concluding,
I conclude that the free man of color, mentioned in your letter, if born in the United States, is a citizen of the United States..... [italics in original]
In the course of that opinion, Bates commented at some length on the nature of citizenship, and wrote,
... our constitution, in speaking of natural born citizens, uses no affirmative language to make them such, but only recognizes and reaffirms the universal principle, common to all nations, and as old as political society, that the people born in a country do constitute the nation, and, as individuals, are natural members of the body politic. [italics in original]
In another opinion, dated September 1, 1862,[29] Bates dealt with a question from the Secretary of State, of whether a person born in the U.S. to two non-citizens, who is taken with them back to their country, could, years later, re-enter the United States as of right, as a U.S. citizen. Bates wrote:
I am quite clear in the opinion that children born in the United States of alien parents, who have never been naturalized, are native-born citizens of the United States, and, of course, do not require the formality of naturalization to entitle them to the rights and privileges of such citizenship. I might sustain this opinion by a reference to the well-settled principle of the common law of England on this subject; to the writings of many of the earlier and later commentators on our Constitution and laws; ... and lastly to the dicta and decisions of many of our national and state tribunals. But all this has been well done by Assistant Vice Chancellor Sandford, in the case of Lynch vs. Clarke, and I forbear. I refer to his opinion for a full and clear statement of the principle, and of the reasons and authorities for its support.
Other U.S. government officials[edit]In 1854, the U.S. Secretary of State, William Learned Marcy, wrote John Y. Mason, the U.S. Minister to France:[30]
In reply to the inquiry ... whether "the children of foreign parents born in the United States, but brought to the country of which the father is a subject, and continuing to reside within the jurisdiction of their father's country, are entitled to protection as citizens of the United States", I have to observe that it is presumed that, according to the common law, any person born in the United States, unless he be born in one of the foreign legations therein, may be considered a citizen thereof until he formally renounces his citizenship. There is not, however any United States statute containing a provision upon this subject, nor, so far as I am aware, has there been any judicial decision in regard to it.
In 1875, U.S. Attorney General Edwards Pierrepont was presented with a query from the Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish. A young man, named Arthur Steinkauler,[31] had been born in Missouri in 1855, a year after his father was naturalized a U.S. citizen. When he was four years old, his father returned to Germany with him and both had stayed there ever since. The father had relinquished his American citizenship. The young man was now 20 years old and about to be drafted into the Imperial German army. What was this young man's situation as a native-born American citizen? After studying the relevant legal authorities, Pierrepont wrote:[32]
Under the treaty [of 1868 with Germany], and in harmony with American doctrine, it is clear that Steinkauler the father abandoned his naturalization in America and became a German subject (his son being yet a minor), and that by virtue of German laws the son acquired German nationality. It is equally clear that the son, by birth, has American nationality, and hence he has two nationalities, one natural, the other acquired... Young Steinkauler is a native-born American citizen. There is no law of the United States under which his father or any other person can deprive him of his birthright. He can return to America at the age of 21, and in due time, if the people elect, he can become President of the United States .... I am of opinion that when he reaches the age of 21 years he can then elect whether he will return and take the nationality of his birth, with its duties and privileges, or retain the nationality acquired by the act of his father.
Most of this passage, including the line about being elected President, was quoted approvingly by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1939 decision in Perkins v. Elg,[33] a case involving a similar question about an American-born girl in Sweden.
In 1904, Frederick van Dyne, the Assistant Solicitor of the U.S. Department of State (1900''1907), published a textbook, Citizenship of the United States, in which he said:[34]
There is no uniform rule of international law covering the subject of citizenship. Every nation determines for itself who shall, and who shall not, be its citizens.... By the law of the United States, citizenship depends, generally, on the place of birth; nevertheless the children of citizens, born out of the jurisdiction of the United States, are also citizens.... The Constitution of the United States, while it recognized citizenship of the United States in prescribing the qualifications of the President, Senators, and Representatives, contained no definition of citizenship until the adoption of the 14th Amendment, in 1868; nor did Congress attempt to define it until the passage of the civil rights act, in 1866.... Prior to this time the subject of citizenship by birth was generally held to be regulated by the common law, by which all persons born within the limits and allegiance of the United States were deemed natural-born citizens.
It appears to have been assumed by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Murray v. The Charming Betsy (1804) 2 Cranch (6 U.S.) 64, 119, 2 L.Ed. 208, 226, that all persons born in the United States were citizens thereof. ... In M'Creery v. Somerville (1824) 9 Wheat. (22 U.S.) 354, 6 L.Ed. 109, which concerned the title to land in the state of Maryland, it was assumed that children born in that state to an alien were native-born citizens of the United States. .... The Federal courts have almost uniformly held that birth in the United States, of itself, confers citizenship.
Treatises and academic publications[edit]In an 1825 treatise, A View of the Constitution of the United States of America, William Rawle, formerly the U.S. Attorney for Pennsylvania (1791''1799), wrote:
The citizens of each state constituted the citizens of the United States when the Constitution was adopted. ... [He] who was subsequently born the citizen of a State, became at the moment of his birth a citizen of the United States. Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity. ... Under our Constitution the question is settled by its express language, and when we are person is eligible to the office of President unless he is a natural born citizen, the principle that the place of birth creates the relative quality is established as to us.[35]
During an 1866 House debate James F. Wilson quoted Rawle's opinion, and also referred to the "general law relating to subjects and citizens recognized by all nations" saying
...and that must lead us to the conclusion that every person born in the United States is a natural-born citizen of such States, except it may be that children born on our soil to temporary sojourners or representatives of foreign Governments, are native-born citizens of the United States.[36]
An English-language translation of Emerich de Vattel's 1758 treatise The Law of Nations (Le Droit du gens), stating that "The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country of parents who are citizens",[37] was quoted in 1857 by Supreme Court Justice Peter Vivian Daniel in a concurring opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford,[38] as well as by Chief Justice Melville Fuller in 1898 in his dissenting opinion in United States v. Wong Kim Ark.[39] However, two paragraphs later, Vattel says, "§ 214. ... there are states, as, for instance, England, where the single circumstance of being born in the country naturalizes the children of a foreigner."
Joseph Story, an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, wrote in his 1840 guidebook to the Constitution, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States, about the natural-born-citizen clause:
It is not too much to say that no one, but a native citizen, ought ordinarily to be intrusted with an office so vital to the safety and liberties of the people.[40]
Those same words, using the same significant synonym "native citizen" for "natural born citizen" also appeared in his 1834 work The constitutional class book: being a brief exposition of the Constitution of the United States: Designed for the use of the higher classes in common schools.[41]
Alexander Porter Morse, the lawyer who represented Louisiana in Plessy v. Ferguson,[42] wrote in the Albany Law Journal:
If it was intended that anybody who was a citizen by birth should be eligible, it would only have been necessary to say, "no person, except a native-born citizen"; but the framers thought it wise, in view of the probable influx of European immigration, to provide that the president should at least be the child of citizens owing allegiance to the United States at the time of his birth. It may be observed in passing that the current phrase "native-born citizen" is well understood; but it is pleonasm and should be discarded; and the correct designation, "native citizen" should be substituted in all constitutional and statutory enactments, in judicial decisions and in legal discussions where accuracy and precise language are essential to intelligent discussion.[43]
Court decisions[edit]Although eligibility for the Presidency was not an issue in any 19th-century litigation, there have been a few cases that shed light on "natural-born citizen". The leading case is Lynch v. Clarke[44] (mentioned by Attorney General Bates in his 1862 opinion quoted above), which dealt with a New York law (similar to laws of other states at that time) that only a U.S. citizen could inherit real estate. The plaintiff, Julia Lynch, had been born in New York while her parents, both British, were briefly visiting the U.S., and shortly thereafter all three left for Britain and never returned to the U.S. The New York Chancery Court determined that, under common law and prevailing statutes, she was a U.S. citizen by birth and nothing had deprived her of that citizenship, notwithstanding that both her parents were not U.S. citizens or that British law might also claim her through her parents' nationality. In the course of the decision, the court cited the Constitutional provision and said:
Suppose a person should be elected president who was native born, but of alien parents; could there be any reasonable doubt that he was eligible under the Constitution? I think not. The position would be decisive in his favor, that by the rule of the common law, in force when the Constitution was adopted, he is a citizen.[45]
And further:
Upon principle, therefore, I can entertain no doubt, but that by the law of the United States, every person born within the dominions and allegiance of the United States, whatever the situation of his parents, is a natural born citizen. It is surprising that there has been no judicial decision upon this question.[46]
The decision in Lynch was cited as persuasive or authoritative precedent in numerous subsequent cases, including In re Look Tin Sing,[47] on the issue of whether the child, born in the U.S., to two Chinese parents (who were prevented by federal law from becoming U.S. citizens) was a U.S. citizen, notwithstanding the nationality of his parents or the fact he had traveled to China with them and not returned to the U.S. for many years. The federal court held, in a decision written by Justice Stephen J. Field, Look was a citizen by birth, and remained such despite his long stay in China, citing Lynch:
After an exhaustive examination of the law, the Vice-Chancellor said that he entertained no doubt that every person born within the dominions and allegiance of the United States, whatever the situation of his parents, was a natural-born citizen, and added that this was the general understanding of the legal profession, and the universal impression of the public mind.[48]
The Lynch case was also cited as a leading precedent in the U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898),[49] which similarly held a child born in the United States of two Chinese parents was a birthright U.S. citizen, and that decision also used the phrase "natural born".[50]
In 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Perkins v. Elg, regarding a young woman, born in New York a year after her father became a naturalized U.S. citizen. However, when she was about four her parents returned to Sweden taking her with them, and they stayed in Sweden. At age 20, this young woman contacted the American embassy in Sweden and, shortly after her 21st birthday, returned to the United States on a U.S. passport and was admitted as a U.S. citizen. Years later, while she was still in America, her father in Sweden relinquished his American citizenship, and, because of that, the Department of Labor (then the location of the Immigration & Naturalization Service) declared her a non-citizen and tried to deport her. The young woman filed suit for a declaratory judgment that she was an American citizen by birth. She won at the trial level, and at the circuit court'--where she was repeatedly described as "a natural born citizen" [51] '-- and finally in the U.S. Supreme Court, where the court decision quoted at length from the U.S. Attorney General's opinion in Steinkauler's Case (mentioned above) including the comment that the person born in America and raised in another country could yet "become President of the United States".[52]
On July 9, 2010, a three-judge panel of the United States court of appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a Philippine-born litigant could not claim U.S. citizenship on the basis of his parents, who lived all their lives in the Philippines, because they were born while the Philippines was U.S. territory prior to being given its independence. The Courts for the Second, Third, and Ninth Circuits have also held that birth in the Philippines at a time when the country was a territory of the United States does not constitute birth "in the United States" under the Citizenship Clause, and thus did not give rise to United States citizenship.[53]
From the language and debates on the 14th Amendment, it would seem to have excluded from natural born citizenship the children of unassimilated indigenes (American Indian citizens of "domestic nations"), foreign diplomats of foreign nations, and foreign invaders, but not peaceable foreign visitors who enter legally, which is discussed in the opinion in Ankeny v. Governor.[54] That decision provides a compilation of the arguments pertaining to this topic. Unassimilated American Indians have since all been brought within the jurisdiction of the United States.
It is also important to consult court cases that distinguish "incorporated" U.S. territory (the states and territories that were to become states), as "U.S. soil", from "unincorporated" U.S. territory (Puerto Rico, Guam), or leaseholds (Panama Canal Zone, Guantanamo).
Contemporary interpretations[edit]Black's Law Dictionary[edit]Black's Law Dictionary (9th Edition) defines "Natural Born Citizen" as "A person born within the jurisdiction of a national government".
Congressional Research Service[edit]In 2000, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), in one of its reports, wrote most constitutional scholars interpret the natural born citizen clause as to include citizens born outside the United States to parents who are U.S. citizens. This same CRS report also asserts that citizens born in the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are legally defined as "natural born" citizens and are, therefore, also eligible to be elected President.[55]
A 2009 CRS report stated:
Considering the history of the constitutional qualifications provision, the common use and meaning of the phrase "natural-born subject" in England and in the Colonies in the 1700s, the clause's apparent intent, the subsequent action of the first Congress in enacting the Naturalization Act of 1790 (expressly defining the term "natural born citizen" to include a person born abroad to parents who are United States citizens), as well as subsequent Supreme Court dicta, it appears that the most logical inferences would indicate that the phrase "natural born Citizen" would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship "at birth" or "by birth".[56]
A 2011 CRS report stated:
The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term "natural born" citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship "by birth" or "at birth," either by being born "in" the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship "at birth." Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an "alien" required to go through the legal process of "naturalization" to become a U.S. citizen.[2]
Academic opinions[edit]Relevance of place of birth[edit]Gabriel J. Chin, Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law, notes that persons born outside the United States to U.S.-citizen parents have not always been born citizens.[57][58] For example, foreign-born children of persons who became naturalized citizens between April 14, 1802 and 1854, were aliens. He also believes that children born in the Panama Canal Zone to at least one U.S. then-citizen between May 24, 1934, and August 4, 1937, when Congress granted citizenship to all such persons, were born without American citizenship. As a result, Chin argues, such persons (for constitutional and political purposes, most notably 2008 U.S. presidential candidate John McCain, born in the Canal Zone on August 28, 1936) may be considered "natural born" only if both
1. Congress possesses the authority eitherto grant not only citizenship (as is undisputed) but the more specific status of a "natural born" citizen, with an affirmative answer raising the question of whether it can also act to remove that status (and thereby disqualify individuals from the Presidency through action short of stripping them of their citizenship),orto issue "declarations" regarding the meaning of preexisting law (in this case, U.S. citizenship law between the aforementioned dates) and having binding authority, a claim likely to violate separation of powers given the Constitution's provisions in Article III that "[t]he judicial Power of the United States[] shall be vested in one supreme Court[] and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish" (Section 1) and that "[t]he judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority" (Section 2)and2. the statute (currently codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1403[a]) '' which states only that "any person [fitting the above description] is declared to be a citizen of the United States" and neitherexpressly claims that its declaration (whether a grant or an interpretation) has retroactive rather than merely prospective effect (contrast the locution "to have been a citizen of the United States [from birth]")norin any way mentions "natural born" status (instead conferring or recognizing the preexistence only of "citizen[ship]" generally) ''in fact grants or recognizes citizenship from birth, let alone status as a natural born citizen (to whatever extent the requirements of that status exceed those for citizenship from birth).Chin believes the statute to fall short of this standard, although he criticizes the "gap" that it leaves as poor policy.
Mary McManamon, Professor of Law at Widener University School of Law, argues that, aside from children born to U.S. ambassadors or soldiers in hostile armies, all natural-born citizens must be born in the United States.[59]
Whether the citizenship status of parents is relevant[edit]In a 2008 article published by the Michigan Law Review, Lawrence Solum, Professor of Law at the University of Illinois, stated that "there is general agreement on the core of [the] meaning [of the Presidential Eligibility Clause]. Anyone born on American soil whose parents are citizens of the United States is a 'natural born citizen'".[60] In April 2010, Solum republished the same article as an online draft, in which he clarified his original statement so that it would not be misunderstood as excluding the children of one citizen parent. In a footnote he explained, "based on my reading of the historical sources, there is no credible case that a person born on American soil with one American parent was clearly not a 'natural born citizen'." He further extended natural born citizenship to all cases of jus soli as the "conventional view".[61] Although Professor Solum stated elsewhere that the two-citizen-parents arguments weren't "crazy", he believes "the much stronger argument suggests that if you were born on American soil that you would be considered a natural born citizen."[62]
Ronald Rotunda, Professor of Law at Chapman University, has remarked "There's [sic] some people who say that both parents need to be citizens. That's never been the law."[63] As a further example, in an unpublished New York decision, Strunk v. N.Y. State Board of Elections (Kings Cnty Supreme Ct., April 11, 2012) 35 Misc.3d 1208(A), 2012 N.Y. Slip Op. 50614(U), 950 N.Y.S.2d 722 (table), 2012 N.Y.Misc. LEXIS 1635, 2012 WL 1205117, the pro se plaintiff challenged Obama's presence on the presidential ballot, based on his own interpretation that "natural born citizen" required the president "to have been born on United States soil and have two United States born parents." (emphasis added) To which the Court responded, " Article II, section 1, clause 5 does not state this. No legal authority has ever stated that the Natural Born Citizen clause means what plaintiff Strunk claims it says. .... Moreover, President Obama is the sixth U.S. President to have had one or both of his parents not born on U.S. soil." [listing Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Chester A. Arthur, Woodrow Wilson, and Herbert Hoover].[64]
Polly Price, Professor of Law at Emory University, has commented "It's a little confusing, but most scholars think it's a pretty unusual position for anyone to think the natural born citizen clause would exclude someone born in the U.S."[62]
Professor Chin concurred with that assessment, stating, "there is agreement that 'natural born citizens' include those made citizens by birth under the 14th Amendment."[65]
Similarly, Eugene Volokh, Professor of Law at UCLA, found "quite persuasive" the reasoning employed by the Indiana Court of Appeals, which had concluded "that persons born within the borders of the United States are 'natural born Citizens' for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents".[66][67]
Daniel Tokaji, Professor of Law at Ohio State University, agrees the citizenship status of a U.S.-born candidate's parents is irrelevant.[68]
Qualification through satisfaction of either disjunct[edit]G. Edward "Ted" White, Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, states the term refers to anyone born on U.S. soil or anyone born on foreign soil to American citizen parents.[69]
Eligibility challenges[edit]Standing in eligibility challenges[edit]Several courts have ruled that private citizens do not have standing to challenge the eligibility of candidates to appear on a presidential election ballot.[70] Alternatively, there is a statutory method by which the eligibility of the president-elect of the United States to take office may be challenged in Congress.[71]
Some legal scholars assert that, even if eligibility challenges are nonjusticiable in federal courts, and are not undertaken in Congress, there are other avenues for adjudication, such as an action in state court in regard to ballot access.[3][4]
Presidential candidates whose eligibility was questioned[edit]Every president to date was either a citizen at the adoption of the Constitution in 1789 or born in the United States; of those in the latter group, every president except two (Chester A. Arthur and Barack Obama) had two U.S.-citizen parents. Further, four additional U.S. Presidents had one or both of his parents not born on U.S. soil (Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover]).[64]
Some presidential candidates were not born in a U.S. state or lacked two U.S.-citizen parents.[72] In addition, one U.S. vice president (Al Gore) was born in Washington, D.C., and another (Charles Curtis) was born in the Kansas Territory. This does not necessarily mean that these officeholders or candidates were ineligible, only that there was some controversy about their eligibility, which may have been resolved in favor of eligibility.[73]
Chester A. Arthur[edit]Chester A. Arthur was rumored to have been born in Canada.[74] His mother, Malvina Stone Arthur, while a native of Berkshire, Vermont, moved with her family to Quebec, where she met and married the future president's father, William Arthur, on April 12, 1821. After the family had settled in Fairfield, Vermont, William Arthur traveled with his eldest daughter to East Stanbridge, Canada, in October 1830 and commuted to Fairfield on Sundays to preach. "It appears that he traveled regularly between the two villages, both of which were close to the Canadian border, for about eighteen months, holding two jobs",[75] which may well explain the confusion about Arthur's place of birth, as perhaps did the fact that he was born in Franklin County, and thus literally within a day's walk of the Vermont''Quebec border.[76] This was never demonstrated by his Democratic opponents, although Arthur Hinman, an attorney who had investigated Arthur's family history, raised the objection during his vice-presidential campaign and after the end of his presidency, published a book on the subject.[77]
Arthur was born in Vermont to a Vermont-born mother and a father from Ireland, who was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1843, 14 years after Chester was born. Despite the fact that his parents took up residence in the United States somewhere between 1822 and 1824, Arthur additionally began to claim between 1870 and 1880[78] that he had been born in 1830, rather than in 1829, which only caused minor confusion and was even used in several publications.[79] Arthur was sworn in as president when President Garfield died after being shot.
Christopher Sch¼rmann[edit]Christopher Sch¼rmann (born in New York City) entered the Labor primaries during the 1896 presidential election. His eligibility was questioned in a New York Tribune article, because he was born to alien parents of German nationality. It was stated that "various Attorney-Generals (sic) of the United States have expressed the opinion that a child born in this country of alien parents, who have (sic) not been naturalized, is, by the fact of birth, a native-born citizen entitled to all rights and privileges as such." But due to a lack of any statute on the subject, Sch¼rmann's eligibility was, "at best an open question, and one which should have made [his] nomination under any circumstances an impossibility," because questions concerning his eligibility could have been raised after the election.[80]
Charles Evans Hughes[edit]The eligibility of Charles Evans Hughes was questioned in an article written by Breckinridge Long, one of Woodrow Wilson's campaign workers, and published on December 7, 1916 in the Chicago Legal News '-- a full month after the U.S. presidential election of 1916, in which Hughes was narrowly defeated by Woodrow Wilson. Long claimed that Hughes was ineligible because his father was not yet naturalized at the time of his birth and was still a British citizen (in fact, both his parents were British citizens and never became U.S. citizens). Observing that Hughes, although born in the United States, was also (according to British law) a British subject and therefore "enjoy[ed] a dual nationality and owe[d] a double allegiance", Long argued that a native born citizen was not natural born without a unity of U.S. citizenship and allegiance and stated: "Now if, by any possible construction, a person at the instant of birth, and for any period of time thereafter, owes, or may owe, allegiance to any sovereign but the United States, he is not a 'natural-born' citizen of the United States." [81]
Barry Goldwater[edit]Barry Goldwater was born in Phoenix, in what was then the incorporated Arizona Territory of the United States. During his presidential campaign in 1964, there was a minor controversy over Goldwater's having been born in Arizona when it was not yet a state.[74]
George Romney[edit]George W. Romney, who ran for the Republican party presidential nomination in 1968, was born in Mexico to U.S. parents.[82][83] Romney's grandfather had emigrated to Mexico in 1886 with his three wives and children after the U.S. federal government outlawed polygamy. Romney's monogamous parents retained their U.S. citizenship and returned to the United States with him in 1912.[84]
Lowell Weicker[edit]Lowell P. Weicker entered the race for the Republican party nomination of 1980 but dropped out before voting in the primaries began; he was also suggested as a possible vice-president candidate in 1976. He was born in Paris, France, to parents who were U.S. citizens. His father was an executive for E. R. Squibb & Sons and his mother was the Indian-born daughter of a British general.[83][85]
John McCain[edit]John McCain was born in 1936 at Coco SoloNaval Air Station[72][86][87][88][89][90][91] in the Panama Canal Zone. McCain never released his birth certificate to the press or independent fact-checking organizations, but did show it to Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs, who wrote, "[A] senior official of the McCain campaign showed me a copy of [McCain's] birth certificate issued by the 'family hospital' in the Coco Solo submarine base".[88] A lawsuit filed by Fred Hollander in 2008 alleged McCain was actually born in a civilian hospital in Col"n, Panama.[92][93] Dobbs wrote that in his autobiography, Faith of My Fathers, McCain wrote that he was born "in the Canal Zone" at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Coco Solo, which was under the command of his grandfather, John S. McCain Sr. "The senator's father, John S. McCain Jr., was an executive officer on a submarine, also based in Coco Solo. His mother, Roberta McCain, has said that she has vivid memories of lying in bed listening to raucous celebrations of her son's birth from the nearby officers' club. The birth was announced days later in the English-language Panamanian American newspaper."[94][95][96][97]
The former unincorporated territory of the Panama Canal Zone and its related military facilities were not regarded as United States territory at the time,[98] but 8 U.S.C. § 1403, which became law in 1937, retroactively conferred citizenship on individuals born within the Canal Zone on or after February 26, 1904, and on individuals born in the Republic of Panama on or after that date who had at least one U.S. citizen parent employed by the U.S. government or the Panama Railway Company; 8 U.S.C. § 1403 was cited in Judge William Alsup's 2008 ruling, described below. A March 2008 paper by former Solicitor GeneralTed Olson and Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe opined that McCain was eligible for the Presidency.[99] In April 2008, the U.S. Senate approved a non-binding resolution recognizing McCain's status as a natural-born citizen.[100] In September 2008, U.S. District Judge William Alsup stated obiter in his ruling that it is "highly probable" that McCain is a natural-born citizen from birth by virtue of 8 U.S.C. § 1401, although he acknowledged the alternative possibility that McCain became a natural-born citizen retroactively, by way of 8 U.S.C. § 1403.[101]
These views have been criticized by Professor Chin, who argues that McCain was at birth a citizen of Panama and was only retroactively declared a born citizen under 8 U.S.C. § 1403, because at the time of his birth and with regard to the Canal Zone the Supreme Court's Insular Cases overruled the Naturalization Act of 1795, which would otherwise have declared McCain a U.S. citizen immediately at birth.[102] The U.S. State Department's Foreign Affairs Manual states that children born in the Panama Canal Zone at certain times became U.S. nationals without citizenship.[103] It also states in general that "it has never been determined definitively by a court whether a person who acquired U.S. citizenship by birth abroad to U.S. citizens is a natural-born citizen [...]"."Foreign Affairs Manual 7 FAM 1130 Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by Birth Abroad to U.S. Citizen Parent". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2015-12-13. 7 FAM 1131.6-2(a). In Rogers v. Bellei, the Supreme Court ruled that children "born abroad of American parents" are not citizens within the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment but did not elaborate on their natural-born status.[104][105] Similarly, legal scholar Lawrence Solum concluded in an article on the natural born citizen clause that the question of McCain's eligibility could not be answered with certainty, and that it would depend on the particular approach of "constitutional construction".[106] The urban legend fact checking website considers McCain's eligibility "undetermined".[107]
Arguments over McCain's eligibility became moot after he lost the United States presidential election in 2008.
Barack Obama[edit]Barack Obama was born in 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii (which became a U.S. state in 1959). His mother was a U.S. citizen and his father was a British subject[108][109][110] from British Kenya. Before and after the 2008 presidential election, arguments were made that Obama was not a natural-born citizen. On June 12, 2008, the Obama presidential campaign launched a website to counter what it described as a smear campaign by his opponents, including conspiracy theories challenging his eligibility.[111] The most prominent issue raised against Obama was the claim made in several lawsuits that he was not actually born in Hawaii. In two other lawsuits, the plaintiffs argued it was irrelevant whether he was born in Hawaii,[112] but argued instead that he was nevertheless not a natural-born citizen because his citizenship status at birth was governed by the British Nationality Act 1948.[113] Most of the cases have been dismissed because of the plaintiff's lack of standing; however, several courts have given guidance on the question.
In Ankeny v. Governor, a three-member Indiana Court of Appeals stated,
"Based upon the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the borders of the United States are 'natural born Citizens' for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents.".[114]
Administrative Law Judge Michael Malihi in Georgia decided a group of eligibility challenge cases by saying, "The Indiana Court rejected the argument that Mr. Obama was ineligible, stating that the children born within the United States are natural born citizens, regardless of the citizenship of their parents. ... This Court finds the decision and analysis of Ankeny persuasive." [115] Federal District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. wrote in his decision in the case of Tisdale v. Obama:
"The eligibility requirements to be President of the United States are such that the individual must be a "natural born citizen" of the United States ... It is well settled that those born in the United States are considered natural born citizens. See, e.g. United States v. Ark [sic] ..." [116]
On October 31, 2008, Hawaii Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino issued a statement saying,
"I ... have personally seen and verified that the Hawai'i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama's original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures." [70][117]
On July 27, 2009, Dr. Fukino issued an additional statement:
"I ... have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen." [118]
Attempts to prevent Obama from participating in the 2012 Democratic primary election in several states failed.[119][120][121][122]
Ted Cruz[edit]Ted Cruz announced on March 22, 2015, that he was running for the Republican Party's nomination for president in the 2016 election.[123] Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada,[124] to a "U.S. citizen mother and a Cuban immigrant father",[125] giving him dual Canadian-American citizenship.[126] Cruz applied to formally renounce his Canadian citizenship and ceased being a citizen of Canada, on May 14, 2014.[127][128] Professor Chin (see above),[125] former Solicitor GeneralPaul Clement,[129] former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal,[129] and Professor Peter Spiro of Temple University Law School[130] believe Cruz meets the constitutional requirements to be eligible for the presidency.[131] Professor McManamon (see above) believes generally that natural-born citizens must be born in the United States, which would make Cruz ineligible. Alan Grayson, a Democratic Member of Congress from Florida, does not believe Cruz is a natural-born citizen.[132]Orly Taitz, Larry Klayman, and Mario Apuzzo, who each filed multiple lawsuits challenging Obama's eligibility, have also asserted that Cruz is not eligible.[133][134]
In November 2015, two ballot challenges were filed in New Hampshire, alleging Cruz was ineligible because he was born in Canada.[135] The ballot commission rejected the challenges.[136] In December, a similar lawsuit was filed in Vermont.[137]
Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal[edit]Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal both announced in 2015 that they were running for the Republican Party's nomination for president in the 2016 election.[138][139] Taitz and Apuzzo each have stated neither Rubio nor Jindal is eligible because both were born (albeit in the United States) to parents who were not U.S. citizens at the time of their respective births.[62][133]
On November 17, 2015, Jindal suspended his presidential campaign.[140]
A November 2015 ballot challenge in New Hampshire alleging that Rubio was not a natural-born citizen was unsuccessful.[136] In December, a lawsuit filed in Vermont alleged Rubio and Jindal were ineligible to serve.[137]
Potential presidential candidates who are not eligible[edit]Arnold Schwarzenegger[edit]Arnold Schwarzenegger was reported as considering challenging the prevailing interpretation of the clause. In October 2013, the New York Post reported that Austrian-born Schwarzenegger, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in the early 1980s, was exploring a future run for President. He reportedly lobbied legislators about a possible constitutional change, or filing a legal challenge to the provision. Columbia University law professor Michael C. Dorf observed that Schwarzenegger's possible lawsuit could ultimately win him the right to run for the office, noting, "The law is very clear, but it's not 100 percent clear that the courts would enforce that law rather than leave it to the political process".[141] Schwarzenegger subsequently denied that he was running.[142]
Constitutionality of the natural-born-citizen clause[edit]In 2012, Abdul Karim Hassan filed several unsuccessful lawsuits claiming the natural-born-citizen clause violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, arguing it was a form of discrimination based on national origin.[143]
Proposed constitutional amendments[edit]More than two dozen proposed constitutional amendments have been introduced in Congress to relax the restriction.[144] Two of the more well known were introduced by Representative Jonathan Bingham in 1974, with the intent to allow German-born Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (otherwise fourth in the line of succession) to become eligible,[145] and the Equal Opportunity to Govern Amendment by Senator Orrin Hatch in 2003, intending to allow eligibility for Arnold Schwarzenegger.[144] The Bingham amendment would have also made clear the eligibility of those born abroad to U.S. parents,[145] while the Hatch one would have allowed those who have been naturalized citizens for twenty years to be eligible.[144]
See also[edit]^ abHamilton, Alexander (March 14, 1789). "The Federalist Papers No. 68, "The Mode of Electing the President"". Retrieved July 16, 2012. ^ abMaskell, Jack (November 14, 2011). "Qualifications for President and the 'Natural Born' Citizenship Eligibility Requirement"(PDF). Congressional Research Service. p. 2. Retrieved February 25, 2012. In addition to historical and textual analysis, numerous holdings and references in federal (and state) cases for more than a century have clearly indicated that those born in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction (i.e., not born to foreign diplomats or occupying military forces), even to alien parents, are citizens 'at birth' or 'by birth,' and are 'natural born,' as opposed to 'naturalized,' U.S. citizens. There is no provision in the Constitution and no controlling American case law to support a contention that the citizenship of one's parents governs the eligibility of a native born U.S. citizen to be President. ^ abTokaji, Daniel (2008). "The Justiciability of Eligibility: May Courts Decide Who Can Be President?". Michigan Law Review, First Impressions107: 31. ^ abGordon, Charles (1968). "Who can be President of the United States: The Unresolved Enigma". Maryland Law Review (Baltimore Maryland: Maryland Law Review, Inc. University of Maryland School of Law) 28 (1): 1''32. Retrieved October 8, 2012. ^U.S. Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, Clause 2: Qualifications of Members^U.S. Constitution: Article 1, Section 3, Clause 3: Qualifications of Senators^Martin Van Buren, National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance.^ abPiggott, Francis. Nationality and Naturalization, p. 48-50 (W. Clowes and Sons, 1907).^Johnson, Samuel. A Dictionary Of The English Language: In Which The Words are Deduced from Their Originals, And Illustrated in Their Different Significations By Examples from the Best Writers, To Which Are Prefixed, A History of the Language, And An English Grammar : In Two Volumes, Volume 2, pp. 180''181 (Knapton, 1756).^ abBlackstone, William. Commentaries on the Law of England, Vol. 1, p. 354 (Oxford, The Clarendon Press 1765).^' 7 Coke Report 1a, 77 ER 377 (1608), Opinion of Edward Coke.^Tucker, St. George (1803). "St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries 1:App. 316''25, 328''29". Retrieved July 16, 2012. ^Blackstone, Commentaries, Vol.II, Ch. 10, 1803.[page needed]^Farrand, Max. "Charles Pinckney in the United States Senate". The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, Vol 3. Retrieved October 8, 2012. ^Amar, Akhil (March''April 2004). "NATURAL BORN KILLJOY Why the Constitution won't let immigrants run for president, and why that should change.". Legal Affairs. Retrieved July 16, 2012. ^Han, William. "Beyond Presidential Eligibility: The Natural Born Citizen Clause as a Source of Birthright Citizenship", Drake Law Review, Vol. 58, No. 2, 2010, p. 462.^Pryor, Jill A. "The Natural-Born Citizen Clause and Presidential Eligibility: An Approach for Resolving Two Hundred Years of Uncertainty". 97 Yale Law Journal 881, 889 (1988);^^3 M. Farrand, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, at 619.^3 Farrand, at 629.^Letter from John Jay to George Washington, 25 July, 1787^Heard, Alexander; Nelson, Michael (1987). Presidential Selection, Duke University Press. p. 123. Retrieved April 24, 2011. (the word born is underlined in the quoted letter[21])^Han, William. "Beyond Presidential Eligibility: The Natural Born Citizen Clause as a Source of Birthright Citizenship", Drake Law Review, Vol. 58, No. 2, 2010, pp. 462''463.^ abStatutes At Large, First Congress, Session II, p. 103^"Foreign Affairs Manual 7 FAM 1130 Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by Birth Abroad to U.S. Citizen Parent". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2015-12-13. 7 FAM 1131.6-2(d)^Congressional Globe 37.2 (1862), p. 1639.^Congressional Globe 39.1 (1866) p. 1291. Stated again during a House debate in 1872; cf. Congressional Globe 42.2 (1872), p. 2791.^10 Opinions of the U.S. Atty.Gen. [pages] 382''413, and separately as Opinion of Attoney General Bates on Citizenship (1863, Washington, DC, Govt. Printing Office) 27 pages.^"Citizenship of children born in the United States of alien parents", 10 Op. US Atty-Gen. 328.^letter from Marcy to Mason, June 6, 1854, quoted from the manuscript, reprinted (with the emphasis shown) in John Bassett Moore, A Digest of International Law [of the United States], vol. 3, sec. 373, pp. 276''277 (US House of Representatives, 56th Congress, 2d Session, Document no. 551; Washington, DC, Govt. Printing Office, 1906).^His first name is not given in the Opinion itself but if found in the correspondence seeking the opinion, in Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States (US House of Representatives, 44th Congress, 1st Session, Dec. 6, 1875) Exec. Doct. 1, part 1, page 563.^Steinkauler's Case, 15 Opinions of the US Attorneys-General 15 at 17''18 (June 26, 1875).^Perkins v. Elg (1939) 307 U.S. 325 at 329, 83 L.Ed. 1320 at 1824, 59 S.Ct. 884 at 888.^van Dyne, Frederick, Citizenship of the United States (1904, Rochester, NY, Lawyers Co-operative Publ'g Co.) pp. 3''12. With regard to the last sentence in the quotation, van Dyne discusses some peripheral court decisions, none dealing with conventional U.S. citizenship, but with the nationality of the child of a foreigner and a member of an independent American Indian tribe whose members were not ordinarily regarded as U.S. citizens.^Rawle, William (1825). A View of the Constitution of the United States of America. Philadelphia, Carey & Lea. pp. 80''81. ISBN 978-1144771858. ^James F. Wilson in: Congressional Globe, House of Representatives, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Washington 1866, p. 1117.^Book 1, § 212^Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393, 476 (1857).^United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 708 (1898).^Joseph Story (1840). A familiar exposition of the Constitution of the United States: containing a brief commentary on every clause, explaining the true nature, reasons, and objects thereof : designed for the use of school libraries and general readers : with an appendix, containing important public documents, illustrative of the Constitution. Marsh, Capen, Lyon and Webb. pp. 167 §269''271. ^Joseph Story (1834). The constitutional class book: being a brief exposition of the Constitution of the United States: Designed for the use of the higher classes in common schools. Hilliard, Gray & Company. pp. 115 §190. ^Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896).^A.P. Morse, "Natural-Born Citizen of the United States: Eligibility for the Office of President", Albany Law Journal, vol. 66 (1904''1905)^NY Chanc.Ct., Nov 5, 1844; 1 Sandf.Ch. 583, 3 NY Leg.Obs. 236, 7 NY Ch. Ann. 443, 1844 WL 4804, 1844 N.Y.Misc. LEXIS 1. [1]^Sandf. at 656, Leg.Obs. at 246''247^Sandf. at 663, Leg.Obs. at 250^D.Cal., Sep 29, 1884) 21 Fed. 905, 10 Sawyer's Rpts. 353^Fed at 909, Sawyer at 359''360^U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) 169 U.S. 649, 42 L.Ed. 890, 18 S.Ct. 456. [2]^Similarly, in a 1999 Circuit Court decision, the U.S.-born children of two non-citizen parents were spoken of as "natural born citizens". Mustata v. US Dept. of Justice (6th Cir. 1999) 179 F.3d 1017 at 1019. [3]^Perkins v. Elg (D.C. Cir. 1938) 69 U.S.App.D.C. 175, 99 F.2d 408^Perkins v. Elg (1939) 307 U.S. 325 at 329, 83 L.Ed. 1320 at 1324, 59 S.Ct. 884 at 888. [4]^Nolos v. Holder (5th Cir. 2010) 611 F.3d 279, 62 ALR-Fed.2d 777, [5]; also Sean Morrison, Foreign in a Domestic Sense: American Samoa and the Last U.S. Nationals, 41 Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 71 (fall 2013) [6].^Ankeny v. Governor of the State of Indiana (2009), Appeals Court Decision, 11120903^"Presidential Elections in the United States: A Primer"(PDF). Congressional Research Service. April 17, 2000. Retrieved January 8, 2010. ^41131059 MoC Memo What to Tell Your Constituents in Answer to Obama Eligibility^Liptak, Adam (July 11, 2008). "A Citizen, but 'Natural Born'?". The New York Times. ^Chin, Gabriel J. (2008), "Why Senator John McCain Cannot Be President: Eleven Months and a Hundred Yards Short of Citizenship", 107 Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions 1^McManamon, Mary (2015), "The Natural Born Citizens Clause as Originally Understood", 64 Catholic University Law Review 317^Solum, Lawrence B. (2008), "Originalism and the natural born citizen clause", 107 Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions 22^Lawrence B. Solum, "Originalism and the natural born citizen clause", revised draft version, April 18, 2010 (SSRN), p. 1, n. 3. However, other passages of his revised draft still imply U.S. citizenship of both parents; cf. i.a. pp. 3, 9, 11.^ abcLeary, Alex (October 20, 2011). "Birthers say Marco Rubio is not eligible to be president". Tampa Bay Times. ^Kornhaber, Spencer (September 22, 2010). "Chapman Constitutional Scholar Rebuffs Orly Taitz's Overtures". OC Weekly. ^ ab^Chin, Gabriel (April 20, 2011). "Who's really eligible to be president?". CNN. ^Volokh, Eugene (November 18, 2009). "Indiana Court of Appeals Rejects Claim That 'Because His Father Was a Citizen of the United Kingdom, President Obama Is Not a Natural Born Citizen and Therefore Constitutionally Ineligible to Assume the Office of the President'". The Volokh Conspiracy. Retrieved May 3, 2011. ^Ankeny v. Governor of the State of Indiana, 916 NE 2d 678 (Ind. Ct. of Appeals November 12, 2009).^Rathgeber, Bob (September 20, 2010). "Exclusive: Now, 'birthers' have eye on Marco Rubio". News-Press. ^White, G. Edward (Aug 20, 2009). "Re-examining the Constitution's Presidential Eligibility Clause". University of Virginia School of Law. Retrieved February 27, 2012. ^ abE.g. see Robinson v. Bowen, 567 F. Supp. 2d 1144 (N.D. Cal. 2008); Hollander v. McCain, 2008WL2853250 (D.N.H. 2008); Berg v. Obama, 08-04083 (E.D. Pa. 2008.^See3 1.^ abCarl Hulse (February 28, 2008). "McCain's Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out". The New York Times. Retrieved August 12, 2012. ^Spiro, Peter. "McCain's Citizenship and Constitutional Method", Michigan Law Review, Volume 107, p. 208 (2008).^ ab"Who Can Be President?", Voice of America News (July 29, 2008).^Reeves, Thomas C. "The Mystery of Chester Alan Arthur's Birthplace", Vermont History 38, Montpelier: Vermont Historical Society, p. 295^DeGregorio, William A. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, Random House: 1993, pp. 307''08, ISBN 0-517-08244-6^Hinman, Arthur P. (1884). How a British Subject became President of the United States. ^Thomas C. Reeves, Gentleman Boss. The Life and Times of Chester Alan Arthur (Newtown 1991), p. 5.^For instance, an early biography of Presidents Garfield and Arthur.Doyle, Burton T.; Swaney, Homer H. (1881). Lives of James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur. Washington: R.H. Darby. p. 183. ISBN 0-104-57546-8. ^"Is Mr. Sch¼rmann eligible?", New York Tribune, October 2, 1896, in: Anonymous (ed.), The Presidential Campaign of 1896. A Scrap-Book Chronicle, New York 1925: Funk & Wagnalls, p. 130 sq. (Note: The year of publication is given as 1888, though the election was eight years later. However, the author's introduction is dated 1925.)^Breckinridge Long (1916), "Is Mr. Charles Evans Hughes a 'Natural Born Citizen' within the Meaning of the Constitution?", Chicago Legal News vol. 49, pp. 146''148 (Dec 7, 1916). It does not appear that this issue was raised before the election day, which may indicate that the majority of voters or of legal authorities felt it was not an impediment to Hughes's eligibility.^Lipsky, Seth (2009). The Citizen's Constitution: An Annotated Guide. (Basic Books). p. 126.^ abHeard, Alexander and Nelson, Michael (1987). Presidential Selection. (Duke University Press) p. 127.^Ken Rudin (July 9, 1998). "Citizen McCain's Panama Problem?". Washington Post. ^Powell, Stewart (August 14, 1976). "Weicker May Not Be Eligible to Serve in High Position", Nashua Telegraph. United Press International.^S.Res.511: A resolution recognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural-born citizen., U.S. Senate, April 30, 2008, OpenCongress. Retrieved April 13, 2011^"John McCain Biography", Retrieved April 13, 2011^ abDobbs, Michael (May 20, 2008). "John McCain's Birthplace". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 13, 2011. ^Parish, Matt (2010), "How Old Is John McCain?", Politics Daily, AOL. Retrieved April 13, 2011^"Profile: John McCain". Online NewsHour. PBS. July 1, 2008. Retrieved April 13, 2011. ^Fagan, Kevin (September 21, 2008). "McCain: A profile in courage and adaptation". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 13, 2011. ^Hollander v. McCain et al, Justia Dockets & Filings^Dr. Conspiracy (April 24, 2010), "John McCain's fake birth certificate", Obama Conspiracy Theories. Retrieved April 13, 2011^Dobbs, Michael (May 2, 2008), "McCain's Birth Abroad Stirs Legal Debate : His Eligibility for Presidency Is Questioned", The Washington Post^Article II of Convention Between the United States and the Republic of Panama states: "...the cities of Panama and Colon and the harbors adjacent to said cities, which are included within the boundaries of the zone above described, shall not be included within this grant".^A book written by the U.S. Navy includes the same reference: Link to relevant page in the book via Google Books:^This map clearly shows Colon is not part of the Canal Zone. Colon Hospital can be seen on the map at the North end of the island. (Source:^"Foreign Affairs Manual 7 FAM 1110 Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by Birth in the United States". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2015-12-13. 7 FAM 1113(c)(1): "Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to U.S. jurisdiction and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth."^"Lawyers Conclude McCain Is "Natural Born", CBS News, Associated Press, March 28, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2008.^S.Res.511: A resolution recognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural-born citizen; sponsors: Sen. Claire McCaskill, Sen. Barack Obamaet al.; page S2951 notes Chairman Patrick Leahy as agreeing to Secretary Michael Chertoff's "assumption and understanding" that a citizen is a natural-born citizen, if he or she was "born of American parents".^Cf. William Alsup, Robinson v. Bowen: Order denying preliminary injunction and dismissing action, September 16, 2008, p. 2; Alsup ruled that McCain was either a natural-born citizen by birth under 8 U.S.C. §1401c or retroactively under 8 U.S.C. §1403(a). (See also: "Judge says McCain is a 'natural-born citizen'". Associated Press. September 18, 2008. Retrieved November 16, 2008. , and "Constitutional Topic: Citizenship". U.S. Constitution Online. Retrieved November 25, 2008 .)^Chin, Gabriel J. (2008), "Why Senator John McCain Cannot Be President: Eleven Months and a Hundred Yards Short of Citizenship", Michigan Law Review First Impressions, Vol. 107, No. 1, (Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 08-14)^"Foreign Affairs Manual 7 FAM 1120 Acquisition of U.S. Nationality in U.S. Territories and Possessions". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2015-12-13. ^SCOTUS 401 U.S. 815, 828 (1971)^"Constitutional Topic: Citizenship". U.S. Constitution Online. Retrieved June 7, 2009 ^Lawrence B. Solum, "Originalism and the natural born citizen clause", Michigan Law Review: First Impressions 107, September 2008, p. 30.^"Is John McCain a natural-born citizen?", July 23, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2011.^"Obama's Kenyan Citizenship?". September 3, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2013. ^"British nationality by virtue of citizenship". British Nationality Act 1948. Her Majesty's Government. Retrieved September 14, 2013. ^"UK and Colonies". Home Office. ^"The Truth About Barack's Birth Certificate (archived web cache)". Fight the Smears (Obama for America). (Retrieved March 9, 2011), quoting in excerpts from: "Does Barack Obama have Kenyan citizenship?". (Annenberg Foundation). August 29, 2008. ; see also: "Obama hits back at Internet slanders". Agence France-Presse. June 12, 2008. ; in a written oath to the State of Arizona, Obama further stated that he is a natural-born citizen (cf. Candidate Nomination Paper, State of Arizona, November 30, 2007).^Leo C. Donofrio v. Nina Mitchell Wells (SCOTUS 08A407) and Cort Wrotnowski v. Susan Bysiewicz (SCOTUS 08A469); in a conference decision, the Supreme Court denied their applications without comment.^"The truth about Barack's birth certificate", Obama for America. Retrieved March 9, 2011).^Ankeny v. Governor of the State of Indiana (Ind.App., 12 NOV 2009), Appeals Court Decision, 11120903^Farrar v. Obama (Office of State Administrative Hearings State of Georgia 2012). Text^Tisdale v. Obama (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia 2012). Text^Statement by Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Department of Health, October 31, 2008^"Hawaii reasserts Obama 'natural-born' citizen", MSNBC, July 28, 2009^Hanna, Maddie (November 18, 2011). "'Birther' bid to derail Obama blocked". Concord Monitor. ^Velasco, Eric (January 9, 2012). "Suit to keep President Barack Obama off Alabama primary ballots dismissed by Jefferson County judge". Alabama: ^Allen v. Obama (Arizona Superior Court, Pima County February 24, 2012). Text^Secretary of State Kemp Issues Final Decision on Challenge to President Barack Obama's Eligibility and Qualifications, (February 7, 2012), Press Office of the Georgia Secretary of State.^Martin, Jonathan; Haberman, Maggie (March 22, 2015). "Ted Cruz Hopes Early Campaign Entry Will Focus Voters' Attention". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2015. ^"Cruz, Rafael Edward (Ted), (1970 '' )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.^ abChin, Gabriel (August 13, 2013). "Opinion: Ted Cruz can be president, probably". CNN.^Gillman, Todd (December 28, 2013). "Ted Cruz says he's hired lawyers to renounce Canadian citizenship". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved December 30, 2013. ^Gillman, Todd (June 10, 2014). "No, Canada: Sen. Ted Cruz has formally shed his dual citizenship". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved June 10, 2014. ^Blake, Aaron (August 19, 2013). "Cruz Will Renounce Canadian Citizenship". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 20, 2013. ^ abBarnes, Robert (March 12, 2015). "Legal experts: Cruz's Canadian birth won't keep him out of the Oval Office". Washington Post. ^Spiro, Peter (March 22, 2015). "Is Ted Cruz a 'Natural Born Citizen'?". Opinio Juris. ^Neal Katyal; Paul Clemente (March 11, 2015). "On the Meaning of 'Natural Born Citizen'". Harvard Law Review. ^"Grayson: I'll File A Lawsuit Against Ted Cruz If He's The Nominee". FOX News. November 25, 2015. ^ abNelson, Steven (March 24, 2015). "Ted Cruz Inherits 'Birthers' With Presidential Bid". U.S. News & World Report. ^Koplowitz, Howard (March 26, 2015). "Birther 2.0: Can Ted Cruz Run For President? 'He's Even Worse Than Obama,' Citizenship Skeptic Says". International Business Times. ^Mielke, Brad (November 13, 2015). "Some Voters Trying to Kick Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders Off NH Ballot". ABC News. ^ abTuohy, Dan (November 24, 2015). "BLC upholds Sanders, Trump on primary ballots". Union Leader. ^ abBlaisdell, Eric (January 1, 2016). "Vermonter tries to keep names off presidential ballot". Rutland Herald. ^Ashley Parker and Alan Rappeport (April 13, 2015). "Marco Rubio Announces 2016 Presidential Bid". New York Times. ^Fernandez, Manny (January 24, 2015). "Bobby Jindal Announces Run for President". New York Times. ^Tom LoBianco and Jeff Zeleny (November 17, 2015). "Bobby Jindal announces he is ending presidential campaign". CNN. ^Smith, Emily (October 18, 2013). "Arnold lobbies for White House run". New York Post. Retrieved October 19, 2013. ^Blake, Aaron "Schwarzenegger denies he's aiming for president" Post Politics blog Washington Post October 18, 2013.^Palazzolo, Joe (September 4, 2012). "The Other Democratic Candidate". The Wall Street Journal. ^ abcKasindorf, Martin (December 2, 2004). "Should the Constitution be amended for Arnold?". USA Today. ^ ab"President Kissinger?". Time. March 4, 1974. External links[edit]John Yinger, Essay on the Presidential Eligibility clause and on the origins and interpretation of natural born citizen.Jill A. Pryor, "The Natural Born Citizen Clause and the Presidential Eligibility Clause; Resolving Two Hundred Years of Uncertainty", Yale Law Journal, Vol. 97, 1988, pp. 881''899.Sarah P. Herlihy, "Amending the Natural Born Citizen Requirement: Globalization as the Impetus and the Obstacle", Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 81, 2006, pp. 275''300.Lawrence Friedman, "An Idea Whose Time has Come - The Curious History, Uncertain Effect, and Need for Amendment of the 'Natural Born Citizen' Requirement for the Presidency", St. Louis Univ. Law Journal, Vol. 52, 2007, pp. 137''150.U.S. Constitution Online, [7], Constitutional Topic: Citizenship.Presidential Eligibility, Constitution Society.
Another Liberal Group Calls for Wasserman Schultz's Ouster
Thu, 07 Jan 2016 22:36
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) / AP
BY:Morgan ChalfantJanuary 7, 2016 12:19 pm
The liberal group CREDO Action called for Debbie Wasserman Schultz's ouster as Democratic National Committee chair Wednesday after the Florida Democrat made controversial comments about abortion.
The group circulated a petition to 3.9 million of its progressive activists calling on Wasserman Schultz to resign from her post as DNC chair. The petition cited Wasserman Schultz's recent comments suggesting that young women have been complacent in the fight for abortion rights in addition to other ''unacceptable actions'' as reasons for her to resign.
Wasserman Schultz, who represents Florida in Congress, told the New York Times Magazine in an interview published earlier Wednesday that she has witnessed ''a complacency among the generation of young women whose entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided.''
The CREDO Action petition alleged that Wasserman Schultz's statement proves ''how out of touch she is with the progressive core values of the Democratic activist base'' and also charged that she has ''used her platform for her personal political gain.''
Additionally, the document accused Wasserman Schultz of rigging the Democratic presidential primary by limiting debates, scheduling many of them on weekends when viewership is low, and suppressing voter engagement.
The document had accumulated over 7,000 signatures as of midday Thursday.
The CREDO Action petition came just days after progressive advocacy group RootsAction launched its own petition calling for the DNC chair's resignation. That petition, signed by nearly 30,000 individuals as of Thursday, also accused Wasserman Schultz of attempting to manipulate the primary election process to ensure a Hillary Clinton nomination.
Both Martin O'Malley and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Clinton's competitors, have accused the DNC of trying to undermine their campaigns. Last month, the Sanders campaign sued the committee for shutting off its access to crucial voter data after a software error allowed one of its staffers to improperly view voter information gather by the Clinton campaign. The Sanders campaign and the DNC have since reached an agreement on the matter.
Last August, O'Malley accused party insiders of establishing an ''undemocratic'' six-debate schedule in order to ensure a Hillary Clinton victory.
Wasserman Schultz has chaired the DNC since 2011.
ISIS Brain Trust Works on Missiles, Remote-Control Bombs: Video - NBC News
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 13:23
ISIS researchers are working to develop a driverless, remote-controlled car. via Sky News
ISIS last year moved its research labs, experts and materials from Iraq to "secured locations" inside Syria, apparently out of concern of an eventual assault on Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, which it occupies.
Ollivant said that the details in the video are sure to ratchet up the concerns of veteran military and intelligence officials who have watched the rise of ISIS with alarm '-- especially its attempts to transition from a stateless terrorist organization to one with the advantages of a nation-state.
Ollivant said that U.S. intelligence and military agencies will be combing through the video to authenticate it, and also to glean possible details of new ISIS capabilities '-- and locations that they can target with military action.
"I'm sure the agency [CIA] is all over this and I'm sure JSOC [Joint Special Operations Command] is all over this, but our ability to do much about it is very limited, short of dropping bombs on them."
Sky News says it obtained the footage from the Free Syrian Army, which found eight hours of unedited video on a captured ISIS trainer. U.S. officials declined to comment on the specific claims in the video, but did not dispute the claims or the authenticity of the video.
An ISIS researcher works on a missile at a lab in Raqqa, Syria. via Sky News
Privilege Walk Activity | TRIGGER WARNING
Sat, 09 Jan 2016 14:06
Participants stand in a straight line in the middle of an empty room. Tell participants that some statements might be of a sensitive nature for some individuals, and that they do not have to respond to any statement that is uncomfortable. Read the statements below.
If your ancestors came to the United States by force, take one step back.
If there were more than 50 books in your house growing up, take one step forward.
If you ever felt unsafe because of your sexual orientation, take one step back.
If you believe that you were denied employment because of your race, gender, or ethnicity, take 1 step back.
If you believe that you were paid less because of your race, gender, or ethnicity, take one step back.
If you were ever stopped or questioned by the police because of your race, take one step back.
If you have ever felt uncomfortable about a joke directed at your gender, take one step back.
If you can show affection for your romantic partner in public without fear of ridicule or violence, please take one step forward.
If you were embarrassed about your clothes or house while growing up, take one step back.
If your parents or guardians attended college, take one step forward.
If you were raised in an area with crime and drug activity, take one step back.
If you have tried to change your speech or mannerisms to gain credibility, take one step back.
If you are able to move through the world without fear of sexual assault, take one step forward.
If you can legally marry the person you love, take one step forward.
If you were sexually active with several people and it would improve your social reputation in other people's eyes, take 1 step forward.
If you are reasonably sure that you will not be denied access to jobs or political resources because of your gender, take one step forward.
If you are able to be drive carelessly without someone attributing it to your gender, take one step forward.
If you are relatively sure you can enter a store without being followed, take one step forward.
If you are reasonably sure you would be hired based on your ability and qualifications, take one step forward.
If your family automatically expected you to attend college, take one step forward.
If you have ever traveled outside the United States, take one step forward.
If your parents worked nights and weekends to support your family, take one step backward.
If you can buy new clothes or go out to dinner when you want to, take one step forward.
If you get time off for your religious holidays, take one step forward.
If you have a foreign accent, take one step backward.
If you can walk alone at any time of day or night in Saratoga without thinking about safety, take one step forward.
If you went to galleries, museums, and plays with your family, take one step forward.
If you attended private school or summer camp, take one step forward.
If you were raised in a single-parent household, take one step backward.
If you studied the culture of your ancestors in elementary school, take one step forward.
If members of your gender are portrayed on TV in degrading roles, take one step backward.
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment, take one step backward.
If you have been a victim of violence because of your race, gender, class, or sexual orientation, take one step back.
If you ever went on a family vacation, take one step forward.
If you have ever had a maid, gardener, or cleaning service, take one step forward.
If you can walk past a construction site without being looked up and down or catcalled at, take one step forward.
This exercise is about privilege. Every statement addresses some small privilege that is based on gender, race, ethnicity, class, or sexual orientation. The small statements in this exercise have added up to divide people into different locations in this room. Similarly, small privileges in society place individuals in different places in society.
Interestingly, privilege tends to be invisible to those who are privileged. That is, when we receive privilege based on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or any other factor, we tend to not recognize the boosts in position that accumulate over time from those privileges.
The point of this exercise is not to make any of us embarrassed about the privileges we have received, but to make all of us aware of how privilege based on gender, race, etc function. Whether we are highly privileged, moderately privileged or lack privilege, it is possible to behave in ways that level the playing field for everyone.
IMPORTANT: This exercise can be very triggering, so do not do this activity unless you are sure you have plenty of time to debrief and reflect what individuals experienced during the privilege walk.
North Korea
North Korea's Latest Nuclear Test: A Belfer Center Expert Round-Up
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 15:02
News, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
January 7, 2016
North Koreas report that it tested a hydrogen bomb this week set off alarm bells around the world. Though analysts are casting doubt on the nature of the detonation, Pyongyangs fourth nuclear test is a reminder of the regime's unpredictability. How serious is this action and how should foreign powers respond? Belfer Center experts Graham Allison, Jieun Baek, Matthew Bunn, Nicholas Burns, Olli Heinonen, John Park, Gary Samore, and William Tobey weigh in on the significance and implications of North Koreas latest nuclear test.
Director, Belfer Center
A vivid reminder of a ticking time-bomb. While North Korean claims are generally not to be believed, what is clear is that it has developed nuclear weapons that pose a grave threat to the world. North Korea has also demonstrated a special knack for irresponsible surpriseincluding selling Syria a factory that would have produced enough plutonium for Syrias first nuclear bombhad the facility not been destroyed by Israel in 2007. If one imagined American, Chinese, and South Korean leaders standing back from the rush of events and thinking about each nations national interests, it would be crystal clear to each that North Korea poses a grave threat to all three. That the U.S. and China are not coordinating on actions they could take now to limit risks from North Korea is symptomatic of larger problems in relations between these two countries.
Fellow, Belfer Center
What we know for sure is this is North Koreas fourth nuclear test. The best reprisal is with the kind of 21st century offensive the regime fears most: information fracking. When hit with sanctions, the Kim regime does not flinch. But when South Korea turned on its propaganda loud speakers at the DMZ as their response to North Koreas planting mines that maimed two South Korean soldiers, North Korea rushed to the negotiating table. Ideological warfare is North Koreas Achilles' heel, and the United States should attack its weak spot.
Traditional Western information campaigns have so far failed to generate much impact in the famously secretive state. But the fracking revolution in the energy field could point the way to a new and successful strategy. Fracking combines advanced technology and clever tactics to liberate large reserves of oil and gas within rocks previously beyond the reach of man. To help convert or collapse the oppressive regime, the U.S. must mobilize an analogous mix of knowledge, innovation, and radical techniques to frack North Korea with pressurized bursts of foreign information and democratic ideas.
Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
North Koreas nuclear test is a further escalation by the confrontational regime of Kim Jong Un, and a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions. Security Council action to further toughen sanctions is clearly needed. Unfortunately, a new sanctions resolution is only likely to provoke more North Korean misbehavior in response, as it has in the past.
The new test is no bigger than the 2013 test, raising serious doubts about North Koreas claim to have mastered thermonuclear weapon technology, though the specifics are still in doubt. For now, the United States should be careful not to overreact. While pushing through the resolution and moving to reassure its allies in the region, the United States needs to work closely with China to get past the coming cycle of tit-for-tat responses, making clear to the North that a path that serves its own interest better is open if it is willing to cap and ultimately reduce its nuclear weapons program. Whether that can happen in the remainder of the Obama administration remains unclear.
Director, Future of Diplomacy Project
The North Korea nuclear tests remind us once more of the great danger its reckless, authoritarian leadership poses to the rest of the world. North Korea is an outlaw state and its irresponsible development of nuclear weapons threatens the security of the United States, our treaty allies South Korea and Japan, and friendly nations across Asia.
The Obama and Bush Administrations have been dealing with North Koreas nuclear challenge for many years. It will be a major priority challenge for the next American president. Whether or not this weeks test is confirmed as a hydrogen bomb, it is an ominous development. North Korea currently has the capacity to threaten all of our allies and friends in Asia. During the next decade, it may develop the ability to threaten the United States homeland itself with ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads. That is why it is so critical that the U.S. Administration and Congress work together to develop a long-term policy to contain this threat and to eventually overcome it.
In the short term, there are four steps the Obama Administration can and should take to expand pressure on the North Korean regime.
First, the U.S. should lead an effort at the United Nations Security Council to secure universal condemnation of this reckless nuclear test.
Second, President Obama should make crystal clear the absolute determination of the U.S. to protect our treaty allies, South Korea and Japan.
Third, the U.S. and Asian countries should also pressure the government of China to act much more resolutely to restrain and contain the North Korean regime. This issue has to become one of our priority demands if China wishes to play a global leadership role and to enjoy stable and successful relations with the U.S. and its allies in the future.
Fourth, and finally, the U.S. should expedite and strengthen our missile defense program in order to develop a capacity to protect the United States and our allies from North Korean missiles in the future.
Senior Fellow, Belfer Center
The first question is: Was it a hydrogen / fusion bomb or a fission bomb with a hydrogen booster? When looking back to the history of states having or planning to have nuclear weapons, practically all of them invested in the design of more advanced, boosted nuclear devices. There is no reason to believe that North Korea, in its decades-long nuclear pursuit, does not have such aspirations. While complicated to master, North Korea has at the very least the technical know-how to develop a boosted bomb. How far are they down this road? Additional facts are needed. Analysis of seismic data obtained and samples of radioactive products still to be collected will provide clues. Additional information on North Koreas ability to produce other necessary ingredients such as lithium isotopes, deuterium, and tritium for the boosters, are necessary but hard to obtain data. What is important is that Pyongyang is continuing its nuclear course. The 1994 Agreed Framework in the past failed to stop Pyongyang perfecting its first nuclear weapon design and metallurgical processes of plutonium. Going forward, with the long-held objective of a denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula by putting an irreversible end to North Koreas nuclear weapons program, the Iranian Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will neither serve as a splendid benchmark.
Faculty Affiliate, Project on Managing the Atom
North Koreas fourthnuclear test is creating a moment of common ground among the U.S., China, South Korea, and Japan. Even if technical experts eventuallyascertain that this was not a test of a hydrogen bomb (fusiondevice), the fact remains that the North is continuing to make progress with its atomic bomb (fissiondevice). With thegrowing puzzle of an improving nuclear weapons program despite increasing sanctions, now is an opportune time to explore an additional path encouraging and coordinating with China in sanitizing its trade with North Korea to halt Pyongyangs acquisition of critical components for its WMD programs. Keen to pursue a long-term strategy of bolstering its fragile neighbor in the hopes that it will divert North Koreas attention to the development of its anemic economy rather than nuclear weapons Beijing has gone so far as to provide North Korean regime elites access to its domestic markets. If U.S. leaders want to impede the growth of North Koreas nuclear programs, they should explore discreet cooperation with Beijing on information sharing and training that can bolster the capabilities of Chinese government bodies tasked with curtailing the flow of sensitive components to North Korea via burgeoning bilateral commercial channels. (An important model is the discreet joint U.S.-Chinese law enforcement program aimed at halting the flow of narcotics on China's border with Afghanistan). Beijings release of a 236-page technical report in September 2013 on prohibited dual-use components earmarked for North Korea constitutes a missed opportunity for further cooperation. U.S. leaders, with friends and allies, can avoid letting a good crisis go to waste and build on this nascent foundation.
Executive Director for Research, Belfer Center
The international response to North Koreas latest nuclear test will repeat the pattern from the last three tests a round of diplomatic condemnation and another UN Security Council Resolution imposing additional sanctions on North Korea. In the past, these sanctions have been mainly targeted at North Koreas nuclear and missile programs. The question this time is whether China is prepared to go further and support broader economic sanctions, for example limits on North Korean energy imports and exports. Probably not. Although Beijing is angry and frustrated with Kim Jong Un and would like to constrain North Koreas nuclear program, Beijing is more afraid that harsh economic sanctions could provoke conflict or instability on the Peninsula. Nonetheless, we should try to take advantage of the nuclear test to nudge China closer to our opposition to North Koreas nuclear and missile program.
Senior Fellow, Belfer Center
The current DPRK government will never to give up its nuclear weapons; it must compensate for its incompetence and illegitimacy with an atomic arsenal. Moreover, it is apparently increasing both the size and quality of its arsenal. Soon it may believe it has enough fissile material to export it. It is time for the United States and China to stop talking past each other on North Korea. Peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula would be in the economic, political, and security interests of both countries, and only more so for the Korean people, North and South. Only the Kim dynasty and its cronies would lose. It is time for Beijing to stop propping up a barbaric, totalitarian regime and time for Washington to talk seriously with China about what political and security conditions would help to induce such a change in Chinese policy.
For more information about this publication please contact the Belfer Center Communications Office at 617-495-9858.
For Academic Citation:
Out There
Natives say earth has wobbled!
Thu, 07 Jan 2016 23:37
Voltar Ondrusek, Pixdaus
Inuit elders say the earth has shifted, tilted or as they put it, "wobbled" to the north and they all agree "Their sky has changed!" They say it is becoming increasingly hard to predict the weather, something that is a must in the Arctic.
The Inuits are indigenous people that inhabit the arctic regions of Canada, the United States and Greenland and throughout history their very lives have been dependent on being able to correctly forecast weather.... and they are warning NASA and the world that global warming isn't the cause of what we are seeing with extreme weather, earthquakes and other events.
Inuits believe their lives have been affected by a shift. The elders who were interviewed across the north all said the same thing, their sky has changed. The stars, the sun and the moon have all changed affecting the temperature and even affecting the way the wind blows. It is becoming increasingly hard to predict the weather, something that is a must on the Arctic.
The earth has shifted, tilted or as they put it, "wobbled" to the north and they all agree "Their sky has changed!"
The elders maintain the Sun doesn't rise where it used to, they have longer daylight to hunt and the Sun is higher than it used to be and warms up quicker than before. The elders who were interviewed across the north all said the same thing, their sky has changed.
The stars the Sun and the Moon have all changed affecting the temperature, even affecting the way the wind blows, it is becoming increasingly hard to predict the weather, something that is a must on the Arctic.
The elders all agree, they believe the Earth has shifted, wobbled or tilted to the North.
In an article in The Big Wobble Almanac, and in a video, we see some of the extreme weather events being attributed to this "wobble."
In the article it states that NASA scientists and experts are "worried" by the information the Inuit Elders are providing for them.
Ministry of Truth
El Chapo Speaks | Rolling Stone
Sun, 10 Jan 2016 13:55
Disclosure: Some names have had'¨ to be changed, locations not named, and an understanding was brokered with the subject that this piece would be submitted for the subject's approval before publication. The subject did not ask for any changes.
"The laws of conscience, which we pretend to be derived from nature, proceed from custom." '--Montaigne
It's September 28th, 2015. My head is swimming, labeling TracPhones (burners), one per contact, one per day, destroy, burn, buy, balancing levels of encryption, mirroring through Blackphones, anonymous e-mail addresses, unsent messages accessed in draft form. It's a clandestine horror show for the single most technologically illiterate man left standing. At 55 years old, I've never learned to use a laptop. Do they still make laptops? No fucking idea! It's 4:00 in the afternoon. Another gorgeous fall day in New York City. The streets are abuzz with the lights and sirens of diplomatic movement, heads of state, U.N. officials, Secret Service details, the NYPD. It's the week of the U.N. General Assembly. Pope Francis blazed a trail and left town two days before. I'm sitting in my room at the St. Regis Hotel with my colleague and brother in arms, Espinoza.
SidebarWatch Two Minutes of El Chapo's Exclusive Interview >>Espinoza and I have traveled many roads together, but none as unpredictable as the one we are now approaching. Espinoza is the owl who flies among falcons. Whether he's standing in the midst of a slum, a jungle or a battlefield, his idiosyncratic elegance, mischievous smile and self-effacing charm have a way of defusing threat. His bald head demands your attention to his twinkling eyes. He's a man fascinated and engaged. We whisper to each other in code. Finally a respite from the cyber technology that's been sizzling my brain and soul. We sit within quietude of fortified walls that are old New York hotel construction, when walls were walls, and telephones were usable without a Ph.D. We quietly make our plans, sensitive to the paradox that also in our hotel is President Enrique Pe±a Nieto of Mexico. Espinoza and I leave the room to get outside the hotel, breathe in the fall air and walk the five blocks to a Japanese restaurant, where we'll meet up with our colleague El Alto Garcia. As we exit onto 55th Street, the sidewalk is lined with the armored SUVs that will transport the president of Mexico to the General Assembly. Paradoxical indeed, as one among his detail asks if I will take a selfie with him. Flash frame: myself and a six-foot, ear-pieced Mexican security operator.
Flash frame: Why is this a paradox? It's paradoxical because today's Mexico has, in effect, two presidents. And among those two presidents, it is not Pe±a Nieto who Espinoza and I were planning to see as we'd spoken in whispered code upstairs. It is not he who necessitated weeks of clandestine planning. Instead, it's a man of about my age, though absent any human calculus that may provide us a sense of anchored commonality. At four years old, in '64, I was digging for imaginary treasures, unneeded, in my parents' middleclass American backyard while he was hand-drawing fantasy pesos that, if real, might be the only path for he and his family to dream beyond peasant farming. And while I was surfing the waves of Malibu at age nine, he was already working in the marijuana and poppy fields of the remote mountains of Sinaloa, Mexico. Today, he runs the biggest international drug cartel the world has ever known, exceeding even that of Pablo Escobar. He shops and ships by some estimates more than half of all the cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana that come into the United States.
They call him El Chapo. Or "Shorty." Joaqu­n Archivaldo Guzmn Loera. The same El Chapo Guzman who only two months earlier had humiliated the Pe±a Nieto government and stunned the world with his extraordinary escape from Altiplano maximum-security prison through an impeccably engineered mile-long tunnel.
Watch two minutes of El Chapo's exclusive first-ever interview below.
This would be the second prison escape of the world's most notorious drug lord, the first being 13 years earlier, from Puente Grande prison, where he was smuggled out under the sheets of a laundry cart. Since he joined the drug trade as a teenager, Chapo swiftly rose through the ranks, building an almost mythic reputation: First, as a cold pragmatist known to deliver a single shot to the head for any mistakes made in a shipment, and later, as he began to establish the Sinaloa cartel, as a Robin Hood-like figure who provided much-needed services in the Sinaloa mountains, funding everything from food and roads to medical relief. By the time of his second escape from federal prison, he had become a figure entrenched in Mexican folklore.
In 1989, El Chapo dug the first subterranean passage beneath the border from Tijuana to San Diego, and pioneered the use of tunnels to transport his products and to evade capture. I will discover that his already accomplished engineers had been flown to Germany last year for three months of extensive additional training necessary to deal with the low-lying water table beneath the prison. A tunnel equipped with a pipe-track-guided motorcycle with an engine modified to function in the minimally oxygenized space, allowing El Chapo to drop through a hole in his cell's shower floor, into its saddle and ride to freedom. It was this president of Mexico who had agreed to see us.
I take no pride in keeping secrets that may be perceived as protecting criminals, nor do I have any gloating arrogance at posing for selfies with unknowing security men. But I'm in my rhythm. Everything I say to everyone must be true. As true as it is compartmentalized. The trust that El Chapo had extended to us was not to be fucked with. This will be the first interview El Chapo had ever granted outside an interrogation room, leaving me no precedent by which to measure the hazards. I'd seen plenty of video and graphic photography of those beheaded, exploded, dismembered or bullet-riddled innocents, activists, courageous journalists and cartel enemies alike. I was highly aware of committed DEA and other law-enforcement officers and soldiers, both Mexican and American, who had lost their lives executing the policies of the War on Drugs. The families decimated, and institutions corrupted.
I took some comfort in a unique aspect of El Chapo's reputation among the heads of drug cartels in Mexico: that, unlike many of his counterparts who engage in gratuitous kidnapping and murder, El Chapo is a businessman first, and only resorts to violence when he deems it advantageous to himself or his business interests. It was on the strength of the Sinaloa cartel's seemingly more calculated strategies (a cartel whose famous face is El Chapo, but also includes the co-leadership of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada) that Sinaloa had become dominant among Mexico's criminal syndicates, extending far beyond the rural northwestern state, with significant inroads to all principal border areas between the United States and Mexico '' Juarez, Mexicali, Tijuana, and reaching as far as Los Cabos.
SidebarA Timeline of El Chapo's Close Calls and Narrow Escapes >>As an American citizen, I'm drawn to explore what may be inconsistent with the portrayals our government and media brand upon their declared enemies. Not since Osama bin Laden has the pursuit of a fugitive so occupied the public imagination. But unlike bin Laden, who had posed the ludicrous premise that a country's entire population is defined by '' and therefore complicit in '' its leadership's policies, with the world's most wanted drug lord, are we, the American public, not indeed complicit in what we demonize? We are the consumers, and as such, we are complicit in every murder, and in every corruption of an institution's ability to protect the quality of life for citizens of Mexico and the United States that comes as a result of our insatiable appetite for illicit narcotics.
As much as anything, it's a question of relative morality. What of the tens of thousands of sick and suffering chemically addicted Americans, barbarically imprisoned for the crime of their illness? Locked down in facilities where unspeakable acts of dehumanization and violence are inescapable, and murder a looming threat. Are we saying that what's systemic in our culture, and out of our direct hands and view, shares no moral equivalency to those abominations that may rival narco assassinations in Juarez? Or, is that a distinction for the passive self-righteous?
There is little dispute that the War on Drugs has failed: as many as 27,000 drug-related homicides in Mexico alone in a single year, and opiate addiction on the rise in the U.S. Working in the emergency and development field in Haiti, I have countless times been proposed theoretical solutions to that country's ailments by bureaucratic agencies unfamiliar with the culture and incongruities on the ground. Perhaps in the tunnel vision of our puritanical and prosecutorial culture that has designed the War on Drugs, we have similarly lost sight of practice, and given over our souls to theory. At an American taxpayer cost of $25 billion per year, this war's policies have significantly served to kill our children, drain our economies, overwhelm our cops and courts, pick our pockets, crowd our prisons and punch the clock. Another day's fight is lost. And lost with it, any possible vision of reform, or recognition of the proven benefits in so many other countries achieved through the regulated legalization of recreational drugs.
Now on 50th Street, Espinoza and I enter the Japanese restaurant. El Alto sits alone in a quiet corner, beneath a slow-turning ceiling fan that circulates the scent of raw fish. He's a big man, quiet and graceful, rarely speaking above a whisper. He'd been helpful to me on many previous excursions. He's worldly, well connected and liked. Espinoza, speaking in Spanish, fills him in on our plans and itinerary. El Alto listens intently, squeezing edamame beans one at a time between his teeth. We considered this meeting our point of no return. We were either all in, or we would abandon the journey. We had weighed the risks, but I felt confident and said so. I'd offered myself to experiences beyond my control in numerous countries of war, terror, corruption and disaster. Places where what can go wrong will go wrong, had gone wrong, and yet in the end, had delivered me in one piece with a deepening situational awareness (though not a perfect science) of available cautions within the design in chaos.
It was agreed that I would go to L.A. the next day to coordinate with our principal point of contact to El Chapo. We ordered sake and indulged the kind of operating-room humor that might displace our imperfectly scientific concerns. Outside the restaurant windows, a chanting march of Mexican-Americans flowed by in protest against the Pe±a Nieto government's asserted violations of human rights, having allowed their country of origin to fall prey to a narco regime.
Kate del Castillo, one of the most famous actors in Mexico, brokered the meeting. Uriel SantanaIn January 2012, the Mexican film and television star Kate del Castillo, who famously played a drug lordess in Mexico's popular soap opera La Reina del Sur, used Twitter to express her mistrust of the Mexican government. She stated that in a question of trust between governments and cartels, hers would go to El Chapo. And in that tweet, she expressed a dream, perhaps an encouragement to El Chapo himself: "Mr. Chapo, wouldn't it be cool that you started trafficking with love? With cures for diseases, with food for the homeless children, with alcohol for the retirement homes that don't let the elderly spend the rest of the days doing whatever the fuck they want. Imagine trafficking with corrupt politicians instead of women and children who end up as slaves. Why don't you burn all those whorehouses where women are worth less than a pack of cigarettes. Without offer, there's no demand. Come on, Don! You would be the hero of heroes. Let's traffic with love. You know how to. Life is a business and the only thing that changes is the merchandise. Don't you agree?" While she was ostracized by many, Kate's sentiment is widely shared in Mexico. It can be heard in the narco corrido ballads so popular throughout the country. But her views, unlike those folkloric lionizations, are rather a continuity of her history of brave expression and optimistic dreams for her homeland. She had been outspoken on politics, sex and religion and is among the courageous independent spirits that democracies are built to protect and cannot exist without.
Her courage is further demonstrated in her willingness to be named in this article. There are both brutal and corrupt forces within the Mexican government who oppose her (and indeed, according to Kate, high-ranking officials have responded to her public statement with private intimidations), and hence, a responsibility of the greater public to shepherd those who make their voices heard.
It perhaps should have come as no surprise that this homegrown icon of entertainment would catch the interest of a singular fan and fugitive from Sinaloa. After reading Kate's statement on Twitter, a lawyer representing El Chapo Guzmn contacted Kate. He said El Se±or wanted to send her flowers in gratitude. She nervously offered her address, but with the gypsy movements of an actress, the flowers did not find her.
Two years later, in February 2014, a detachment of Mexican marines captured El Chapo in a Mazatln hotel following a 13-year manhunt. The images of that arrest were flashed across the world's televisions. While he was incarcerated at Altiplano prison, El Chapo's attorneys were flooded with overtures from Hollywood studios. With his dramatic capture, and, perhaps, the illusion of safe dealings now that El Chapo was locked up, the gringos were scrambling to tell his story. The seed was planted, and El Chapo, awakened to the prospect, made plans of his own. He was interested in seeing the story of his life told on film, but would entrust its telling only to Kate. The same lawyer again tracked her down, this time through the Mexican equivalent of the Screen Actors Guild, and the imprisoned drug lord and the actress began to correspond in handwritten letters and BBM messages.
It was at a social event in Los Angeles when Kate met Espinoza. She learned he was well connected to financial sources, including those that funded film projects, and she proposed a partnership to make a film about El Chapo. This was when Espinoza included our mutual colleague and friend El Alto. I learned of their intention to make the film, but I did not know Kate or have any involvement with the project. The three of them met with El Chapo's lawyer to explore their approach, but it was ultimately determined that direct access to El Chapo would still be too restricted for their authorized pursuit to rise above competitive "Chapo" projects that Hollywood would pursue with or without his participation.
Then came July 2015. El Chapo's prison break. The world, and particularly Mexico and the United States, was up in arms. How could this happen?! The DEA and the Justice Department were furious. The fact that Mexican Interior Secretary Miguel ngel Osorio Chong had refused El Chapo's extradition to the United States, then allowed his escape, positioned Chong and the Pe±a Nieto administration as global pariahs.
I followed the news of El Chapo's escape and reached out to Espinoza. We met in the courtyard of a boutique hotel in Paris in late August. He told me about Kate and that she had been intermittently receiving contact from Chapo even after the escape. It was then that I posed the idea of a magazine story. Espinoza's smile of mischief arose, indicating he would arrange for me to meet Kate back in Los Angeles. At a Santa Monica restaurant, I made my case, and Kate agreed to make the bridge, sending our names for vetting across the border. When word came back a week or so later that Chapo had indeed agreed to meet with us, I called Jann Wenner at Rolling Stone. Myself, Espinoza and El Alto were given the assignment. And with a letter from Jann officiating it, we would join Kate, who was our ticket to El Chapo's trust, then put ourselves in the hands of representatives of the Sinaloa cartel to coordinate our journey. It had been a month in the planning by the time Espinoza and I were breathing the New York air that late-September day on 55th Street.
See footage from El Chapo's July prison escape below:
Four days later, on October 2nd, El Alto, Espinoza, Kate and I board a self-financed charter flight from a Los Angeles-area airport to a city in mid-Mexico. Upon landing, a hotel driver takes us by minivan to the hotel we had been instructed to book. Suspicious of every living or inanimate thing, I scan cars and drivers, mothers papoosing infants, grandmothers, peasants on the street, building tops, curtained windows. I search the skies for helicopters. There is no question in my mind but that the DEA and the Mexican government are tracking our movements. From the moment Kate had gone out on a limb with her tweet of January 2012 through the beginning of our encrypted negotiations to meet El Chapo, I had been bewildered by his willingness to risk our visit. If Kate was being surveilled, so must those named on any shared flight manifest. I see no spying eyes, but I assume they are there.
Through the windshield as we approach the hotel, I see a casually dressed man in his forties appear on the sidewalk, simultaneously directing our driver to the entryway while dialing a number on his cellphone. This is Alonzo, who, I'm about to learn, is an associate of El Chapo. We grab our bags and exit the minivan. Almost immediately, the traffic around the designated pickup point diminishes. Out of my view, someone is blocking the neighboring streets. Then, a lone convoy of "up-armor" SUVs appears in front of our hotel. Alonzo asks us to surrender our electronics and leave them behind '' cellphones, computers, etc. I had left mine in Los Angeles, anticipating this requirement. My colleagues surrender theirs to the hotel desk. We are whisked into the vehicles. Alonzo rides shotgun, my colleagues and I in the back. Alonzo and the driver are speaking quick and quiet Spanish. My own Spanish is weak at best. By day, and put on the spot, I'm pretty restricted to hola and adios. By night, with perhaps a few beers, I can get by, speaking and listening slowly. The conversation in the front seat seems unthreatening, just a cooperative exchange of logistics in the facilitation of our journey. Throughout the hour-and-a-half drive away from the city and across farmlands, both men receive frequent BBM messages '' perhaps updates on our route to keep our convoy safe. With each message received, the needle on the speedometer rises; we are cruising at well over 100 miles per hour. I like speed. But not without my own hands on the wheel. To calm myself, I pretend I have any reason to memorize the route of our journey. It's that upon which I concentrate, and not the exchanges between the two strangers leading our pursuit.
We arrive at a dirt airfield. Security men in tailored suits stand beside two six-seat single-engine prop planes. It isn't until boarding one of the two planes that I realize that our driver had been the 29-yearold son of El Chapo, Alfredo Guzmn. He boards beside me, designated among our personal escorts to see his father. He's handsome, lean and smartly dressed, with a wristwatch that might be of more value than the money housed by the central banks of most nation-states. He's got one hell of a wristwatch.
The planes take off, and we travel a couple of hours. Two bouncing birds side by side through the thermals over the mountainous jungle. It once again occurs to me all the risks that are being taken by El Chapo in receiving us. We had not been blindfolded, and any experienced traveler might have been able to collect a series of triangulated landmarks to re-navigate the journey. But through his faith in Kate, whom he'd only ever known through letters or BBM, are we enjoying an unusual trust. I ask Alfredo how he can be sure we are not being followed or surveilled. He smiles (I note he doesn't blink much) and points out a red scrambler switch below the cockpit controls. "That switch blocks ground radar," he says. He adds that they have an inside man who provides notification when the military's high-altitude surveillance plane has been deployed. He has great confidence that there are no unwanted eyes on us. With Kate helping along in translations, we chat throughout the flight. I'm mindful not to say anything that may alienate his father's welcome before we've even arrived.
It's been about two hours of flight, when we descend from above the lush peaks to ward a sea-level field. The pilot, using his encrypted cellphone, talks to the ground. I sense that the military is beefing up operations in its search area. Our original landing zone has suddenly been deemed insecure. After quite a bit of chatter from ground to air, and some unnervingly low altitude circling, we find an alternate dirt patch where two SUVs wait in the shade of an adjacent tree line, and land. The flight had been just bumpy enough that each of us had taken a few swigs off a bottle of Honor tequila, a new brand that Kate is marketing. I step from plane to earth, ever so slightly sobering my bearings, and move toward the beckoning waves of waiting drivers. I throw my satchel into the open back of one of the SUVs, and lumber over to the tree line to take a piss. Dick in hand, I do consider it among my body parts vulnerable to the knives of irrational narco types, and take a fond last look, before tucking it back into my pants.
Espinoza had recently undergone back surgery. He stretched, readjusted his surgical corset, exposing it. It dawns on me that one of our greeters might mistake the corset for a device that contains a wire, a chip, a tracker. With all their eyes on him, Espinoza methodically adjusts the Velcro toward his belly, slowly looks up, sharing his trademark smile with the suspicious eyes around him. Then, "Cirugia de espalda [back surgery]," he says. Situation defused.
We embark into the dense, mountainous jungle in a two-truck convoy, crossing through river after river for seven long hours. Espinoza and El Alto, with a driver in the front vehicle, myself and Kate with Alonzo and Alfredo in the rear. At times the jungle opens up to farmland, then closes again into forest. As the elevation begins to climb, road signage announces approaching townships. And then, as it seems we are at the entrance of Oz, the highest peak visibly within reach, we arrive at a military checkpoint. Two uniformed government soldiers, weapons at the ready, approach our vehicle. Alfredo lowers his passenger window; the soldiers back away, looking embarrassed, and wave us through. Wow. So it is, the power of a Guzman face. And the corruption of an institution. Did this mean we were nearing the man?
It was still several hours into the jungle before any sign we were getting closer. Then, strangers appear as if from nowhere, onto the dirt track, checking in with our drivers and exchanging hand radios. We move on. Small villages materialize from the jungle; protective peasant eyes relax at the wave of a familiar driver. Cellphones are of no use here, so I imagine there are radio repeaters on topographical high points facilitating their internal communications.
We'd left Los Angeles at 7 a.m. By 9 p.m. on the dash clock we arrive at a clearing where several SUVs are parked. A small crew of men hover. On a knoll above, I see a few weathered bungalows. I get out of the truck, search the faces of the crew for approval that I may walk to the trunk to secure my bag. Nods follow. I move. And, when I do...there he is. Right beside the truck. The world's most famous fugitive: El Chapo. My mind is an instant flip book to the hundreds of pictures and news reports I had scoured. There is no doubt this is the real deal. He's wearing a casual patterned silk shirt, pressed black jeans, and he appears remarkably well-groomed and healthy for a man on the run. He opens Kate's door and greets her like a daughter returning from college. It seems important to him to express the warm affection in person that, until now, he'd only had occasion to communicate from afar. After greeting her, he turns to me with a hospitable smile, putting out his outstretched hand. I take it. He pulls me into a "compadre" hug, looks me in the eyes and speaks a lengthy greeting in Spanish too fast for my ears. I gather up the presence of mind to explain to him in broken Spanish that I would depend on Kate to translate as the night went on. Only then does he realize his greeting had not been understood. He jokes to his crew, laughing at his own assumption that I speak Spanish and at my momentary disorientation that I've let him go on at such length in his greeting.
The author and then-fugitive El Chapo Guzmán, on October 2nd. The photo was taken for verification purposes. After a long dinner and conversation, Chapo granted Penn's request for a formal interview. Courtesy of Sean PennWe are brought up some steps to a flat area on the knoll beside the bungalows. A local family caters a buffet of tacos, enchiladas, chicken, rice, beans, fresh salsa and . . . carne asada. "Carne Asada," an oft-used cartel term describing the decimated bodies in cities like Juarez after mass narco executions. Hence, I go for the tacos. He walks us to a picnic table; we are offered drinks. We sit in the low illumination of some string lights, but the perimeter falls into abrupt darkness. I see no more than 30 or 35 people. (El Chapo later confided to El Alto that, out of sight, another hundred of his soldiers were present in the immediate area.) There are no long-barrel weapons in sight. No Danny Trejo types. My impression of his crew is more in sync with what one would imagine of students at a Mexico City university. Clean-cut, well-dressed and mannered. Not a smoker in the bunch. Only two or three of the guys wear small shoulder bags that hang low beside their waists, where I assume small arms are carried. Our host, it seems to me, is concerned that Kate, as the lone female among us, not face intimidating visions of force. This assumption would be borne out several hours later.
As we sit at the picnic table, introductions are made. To my left, Alonzo. Alonzo is, as it turns out, one among El Chapo's lawyers. When speaking of El Chapo's lawyers, it gets a little murky. During his imprisonment, the only visits allowed were with "lawyers." Evidently, some who would be more accurately described as lieutenants had been dubbed or perhaps certified by the expedition of power as part of his legal team. Alonzo visited El Chapo at Altiplano just two hours before his audacious escape. According to Alonzo, he was unaware of the escape plan. But he notes that did not spare him a brutal beating by interrogators afterward.
To my right, Rodrigo. Rodrigo is godfather to Chapo's twin four-year-old girls by his 26-year-old beauty-queen wife, Emma Coronel. Rodrigo is the one who has me concerned. The look in his eye is far away, but locked dead on me. My speculation goes audio. I hear chain saws. I feel splatter. I am Sean's dubitable paranoia. My eyes are compelled to drift to Rodrigo's right. There is Ivan, Chapo's eldest son. At 32, he is considered the heir to the Sinaloa cartel. He's attentive with a calm maturity. Like his brother, he boasts a fabulous wristwatch. And directly across from me, our host, with Kate to his right. Beside Alonzo, Alfredo. El Alto sits at the end of the table. Espinoza, still standing, apologizes to Chapo and asks if he may lay down for an hour to rest his back. Espinoza's funny this way. It's as if we had spent these endless grueling hours hiking a vertical volcanic summit to the cone, and now, just three steps from viewing the ring fault of the caldera, he says, "I'm gonna take a nap. I'll look into the hole later."
With Kate translating, I begin to explain my intentions. I felt increasingly that I had arrived as a curiosity to him. The lone gringo among my colleagues, who'd ridden on the coattails of El Chapo's faith in Kate. I felt his amusement as I put my cards on the table. He asks about my relationship with the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez with what seems to be a probing of my willingness to be vilified through associations.
I speak to our friendship in a way that seems to pass an intuitive litmus test measuring the independence of my perspective. I tell him, up front, that I had a family member who worked with the Drug Enforcement Agency, that through my work in Haiti (I'm CEO of J/P HRO, a nongovernmental organization based in Port-au-Prince) I had many relationships inside the United States government. I assure him that those relationships were by no means related to my interest in him. My only interest was to ask questions and deliver his responses, to be weighed by readers, whether in balance or contempt.
I tell him that I understood that in the mainstream narrative of narcos, the undersung hypocrisy is in the complicity of buyers. I could not sell him on a bait-and-switch, and I knew that in the writing of any piece, my only genuine cards to play were to expose myself as one fascinated and willing to suspend judgment. I understood that whatever else might be said of him, it was clear to me he was not a tourist in our big world.
Throughout my introduction, Chapo smiles a warm smile. In fact, in what would be a seven-hour sit-down, I saw him without that smile only in brief flashes. As has been said of many notorious men, he has an indisputable charisma. When I ask about his dynamic with the Mexican government, he pauses. "Talking about politicians, I keep my opinion to myself. They go do their thing and I do mine."
See footage of El Chapo after his recapture below:
Beneath his smile, there is a doubtlessness to his facial expression. A question comes to mind as I observe his face. Both as he speaks as while he listens. What is it that removes all doubt from a man's eyes? Is it power? Admirable clarity? Or soullessness? Soullessness...wasn't it that that my moral conditioning was obliged to recognize in him? Wasn't it soullessness that I must perceive in him for myself to be perceived here as other than a Pollyanna? An apologist? I tried hard, folks. I really did. And reminded myself over and over of the incredible life loss, the devastation existing in all corners of the narco world. "I don't want to be portrayed as a nun," El Chapo says. Though this portrayal had not occurred to me. This simple man from a simple place, surrounded by the simple affections of his sons to their father, and his toward them, does not initially strike me as the big bad wolf of lore. His presence conjures questions of cultural complexity and context, of survivalists and capitalists, farmers and technocrats, clever entrepreneurs of every ilk, some say silver, and others lead.
A server delivers a bottle of tequila. El Chapo pours each of us three fingers. In toast, he looks to Kate. "I don't usually drink," he says, "but I want to drink with you." After a raise of the glass, I take a polite sip. He asks me if many people in the United States know about him. "Oh, yeah," I say, and inform him that the night before leaving for Mexico, I had seen that the Fusion Channel was repeating its special-edition Chasing El Chapo. He seems to delight in the absurdity of this, and as he and his cohorts share a chuckle, I look to the sky and wonder how funny it would be if there were a weaponized drone above us. We are in a clearing, sitting right out in the open. I down the tequila, and the drone goes away.
I give in to the sense of security offered by the calm of Chapo and his men. There is the pervasive feeling that if there were a threat, they would know it. We eat, drink, and talk for hours. He is interested in the movie business and how it works. He's unimpressed with its financial yield. The P&L high side doesn't add up to the downside risk for him. He suggests to us that we consider switching our career paths to the oil business. He says he would aspire to the energy sector, but that his funds, being illicit, restrict his investment opportunities. He cites (but asks me not to name in print) a host of corrupt major corporations, both within Mexico and abroad. He notes with delighted disdain several through which his money has been laundered, and who take their own cynical slice of the narco pie.
"How much money will you make writing this article?" he asks. I answer that when I do journalism, I take no payment. I could see that, to him, the idea of doing any kind of work without payment is a fool's game. Unlike the gangsters we're used to, the John Gotti's who claimed to be simple businessmen hiding behind numerous international front companies, El Chapo sticks to an illicit game, proudly volunteering, "I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats."
He is entirely unapologetic. Against the challenges of doing business in such a clandestine industry he has ''''built an empire. I am reminded of press accounts alleging a hundred-million-dollar bounty the man across from me is said to have put on Donald Trump's life. I mention Trump. El Chapo smiles, ironically saying, "Ah! Mi amigo!" His unguarded will to speak freely, his comfort with his station in life and ownership of extraordinary justifications, conjure Tony Montana in Oliver Stone's Scarface. It's the dinner scene where Elvira, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, walks out on Al Pacino's Tony Montana, loudly assailing him in a public place. The patrons at the restaurant stare at him, but rather than hide in humiliation, he stands and lectures them. "You're all a bunch of fucking assholes. You know why? You don't have the guts to be what you wanna be. You need people like me. You need people like me. So you can point your fucking fingers and say, 'That's the bad guy.' So what's that make you? Good? You're not good. You just know how to to lie. Me? I don't have that problem. Me?! I always tell the truth even when I lie. So say good night to the bad guy. C'mon. Last time you're gonna see a bad guy like this again, lemme tell ya!"
For the past two decades, El Chapo has led the most influential and profitable drug syndicate in the world. USDOJI'm curious, in the current pandemonium of the Middle East, what impact those frenzied opiate economies may have on his business. I ask him, "Of all the countries and cultures with whom you do business, which is the most difficult?" Smiling, he shakes his head and says an unequivocal "None." There is no politician who could answer the same question so clearly or successfully, but then again, the challenges are quite different for a global power broker who simply removes any obstacle to "difficulties."
Having explained my intention, I ask if he would grant two days for a formal interview. My colleagues would be leaving in the morning but I offer to stay behind to record our conversations. He pauses before responding. He says, "I just met you. I will do it in eight days. Can you come back in eight days?" I say I can. I ask to take a photograph together so that I could verify to my editors at Rolling Stone that the planned meeting had taken place. "Adelante," he says. We all rise from the table as a group and follow Chapo into one of the bungalows. Once inside, we see the first sign of heavy arms. An M16 lies on a couch opposite the neutral white wall against which we would take the photograph. I explain that, for authentication purposes, it would be best if we are shaking hands, looking into the camera, but not smiling. He obliges. The picture is taken on Alfredo's cellphone. It would be sent to me at a later date.
When we return to the picnic table, it seems to me that we accomplished what we came to do. We had come to agreement that he would submit to a two-day interview upon my return. As thoughts of surveillance drones and military raids come back into my head, I re-engage the tequila and scan 360 degrees for where I and my colleagues may lay flat and find cover should we have been followed and a raid initiated. In the darkness, it was difficult to imagine a safe place, and El Chapo's world is anything but.
As Espinoza returns from his slumber, Kate, succumbing to the exhausting day's journey and the solace of a few tequilas, accepts the escort of El Chapo to her sleeping quarters. As he walks her alone toward the dimly lit bungalow, I can't help but have a primal moment of concern. I consider offering to accompany them, though the circumstances would certainly prove any protective action futile. Before my adrenal rush of paranoia can inspire insult or injury, Chapo has returned.
But there is a change. With Kate tucked cozily into bed, his crew and he are fast and furious into body armor, strapping long-barrel weapons and hip-clipped grenades. The battle-ready army of jungle guerrillas who had been standing down earlier in the night on her behalf are now returning to what I assume is a more typical posture. El Chapo, too, is strapped and ready to command.
Following this Clark Kent-into-Superman extravaganza, Chapo returns to the table. His demeanor, casual. His battle gear, anything but. Espinoza and El Alto share translation duties. We compare notes on cultures. We ask lighthearted questions, though the environment has gotten far less lighthearted. Despite that, I'm feeling frustrated at having to wait eight days to get him in a corner '' to ask everything I think the world wants to know. I feel naked without pen and paper. So I only ask questions one couldn't forget the answers to. Did you know Pablo Escobar? Chapo answers, "Yes, I met him once at his house. Big house." He smiles. See your mother much? "All the time. I hoped we would meet at my ranch and you could meet my mother. She knows me better than I do. But something came up and we had to change the plan." I assume he was insinuating inside information that the ranch had again come under observation by authorities.
It has been several hours, and El Alto and I share a nod indicating our mutual sense: the core of soldiers around El Chapo are getting fidgety. A clock of some kind is ticking in them. It must have been about four a.m. by this time. El Chapo stands, concluding the night, thanking us for our visit. We follow him to where the family who had cooked our dinner stands dutifully behind a serving table. He takes each of them by the hand graciously; giving them thanks, and with a look, he invites us to do the same. He walks us back toward the same bungalow where he had earlier escorted Kate. In a narrow, dark passage between ours and an adjacent bungalow, Chapo puts his arm over my shoulder and renews his request that I see him in eight days. "I'll be saying goodbye now," he says. At this moment, I expel a minor traveler's flatulence (sorry), and with it, I experience the same chivalry he'd offered when putting Kate to bed, as he pretends not to notice. We escape its subtle brume, and I join my colleagues inside the bungalow. There are two beds and one couch a short distance from where Kate can be seen sleeping on a third bed behind a privacy divider. Espinoza returns to the bed he'd claimed upon our arrival.
Now it is down to El Alto and I looking at each other. His six-foot-three frame towers above me, knowing he is inadvertently caught with proximity to the five-foot-three couch, and that I, at five feet nine, am left standing only inches from a king-size bed. It's a Mexican standoff. We'd both traveled hard that day, both slightly medicated by tequila through the night. I only know that if I was going to take the short couch, it would be at gunpoint. I negotiate. "Listen, man. You don't have to sleep on that couch. The bed's big. We can talk and cuddle." With this prospect, I win the negotiation. In his grace and discretion, El Alto makes his choice: "I'll go with the couch." As I collapse onto the bed, I hear El Chapo's convoy drive away into the night jungle.
Not two hours later, we are abruptly awakened by Alonzo. "A storm is coming!" he says. "We have to move!" The dirt tracks of the jungle are difficult to navigate when monsoon rains saturate them. We'd have to beat the rain to the tarmac road. At daybreak, we just make it to pavement as the ocean falls from the sky and great bolts of lightning illuminate the inside of our vehicle like flash-bang grenades. Alonzo asks Kate to drive. She jumps at the chance to break the monotony, and takes the wheel like a trouper. Meanwhile, El Alto hops into the open flatbed, his sleep-starved brain so hungry for oxygen that he's oblivious to the pouring rain. In the backseat, Alonzo whispers to me that there are multiple military checkpoints along these roads, and they tend to wave by vehicles driven by women. In this case, the rain falls hard enough that soldiers have abandoned their posts for cover. Mercifully, we are stopped by no one. Rather than risk being vaporized in a small aircraft by a lightning storm, we opted for the eight-hour drive back to the city where we'd started. Espinoza reclines in the passenger seat to rest his back.
By the time we hit the city, the weather has cleared. We shower in the rooms we'd booked. Twenty minutes later, Kate, Espinoza and I, along with Alonzo, get into two taxicabs and head to the airport. El Alto, who'd spent his two hours' sleep the night before on a firm couch a full foot shorter than he, then waterlogged himself in the flatbed, elects to stay behind in the comfort of the hotel bed for the night and leave the following day. Alonzo heads to Mexico City. Espinoza to Europe. So Kate and I board the charter back to Los Angeles. Our heads are spinning. Had we really just been where we were? With whom we'd been? It seemed such a strange dream. Somehow, with all the planning and the travel, I still hadn't believed that we'd actually gotten to El Chapo. I'd imagined us arriving to a gentle apology, that for some unexplained security reason the visit could not take place, and we'd be going home to Los Angeles empty-handed. But that's not what happened.
El Chapo was arrested on January 8th after a gunfight with the military in Sinaloa. PGRWhen we land back on home turf, Kate and I part ways. I am picked up by a car service. In the backseat, my L.A.-based assistant had left a manila envelope with my cellphone in it. I turn on the phone to the explosion of a two-day backlog of e-mails and text messages. Ignoring them, I hit my browser for updates. What I didn't know, and what was not yet being reported, was that from the time the weather cleared, a military siege on Sinaloa was imminent. Evidently, El Chapo and his men, after leaving us the night before, had skirted through the jungle back to a ranch property. According to media reports that didn't come until days later, a cellphone among his crew had been tracked. From the time the military and the DEA moved in on them, the reports of what happened are conflicted. A source familiar with the cartel informed me on October 3rd that the initial siege had begun. That source and another on the ground in Sinaloa reported that over the next several days, two military helicopters were shot down and Mexican marine ground troops laid siege to several ranch properties. There were additional reports that 13 Sinaloa communities had been ravaged with gunfire during simultaneous raids. La Comision Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (the National Commission for Human Rights) struggled to enter the area but were prohibited. Villagers protested their treatment by the military. By the time news agencies broadcast the story in the United States, the mayhem throughout Sinaloa in those days had been essentially reduced to a nearly successful raid that had surgically targeted only Chapo and his men, and claimed he had been injured in flight with face and leg wounds.
El Chapo's own account would later be shared with me, through a BBM exchange he had with Kate. "On October 6th, there was an operation....Two helicopters and 6 BlackHawks began a confrontation upon their arrival. The marines dispersed throughout the farms. The families had to escape and abandon their homes with the fear of being killed. We still don't know how many dead in total." When asked about the reports of his own injuries, Chapo responded, "Not like they said. I only hurt my leg a little bit."
Four days later, I fly from Los Angeles to Lima, Peru, to participate in a World Bank panel discussion. After a few days in Lima, and an overnight in Managua, Nicaragua, to visit an old friend, it's October 11th '' the day El Chapo and I had agreed to meet. Understandably, he and his crew had gone dark during the raids. Nonetheless, I board an available flight to a nearby Mexican city, and leave a message for Alonzo that I would wait in that Mexican airport for several hours, to make sure they know that I had honored my commitment to return on the eighth day. I land in the late afternoon, then sit around the airport until the evening hours, hoping a stranger will tap me on the shoulder and tell me he is a friend of Alonzo's and that I should leave with him. It also occurs to me, once again, that I might be under the eyes of Mexican intelligence or the DEA. In either case, no contact is made. So I board a flight later that evening on my own, and return to Los Angeles.
In the weeks that follow, I continue to make attempts to contact El Chapo. In that time, massive sweeps by military and law enforcement lead to hundreds of arrests, seizures and several extraditions of cartel personnel to the United States. Reports that a rising drug gang, the CJNG (Jalisco New Generation Cartel), may have been involved with El Chapo's prison escape and that CJNG may become, in effect, the paramilitary wing of the Sinaloa cartel, have added to governmental concerns. In other words, with the water boiling, our cartel intermediaries had gone principally off radar, or possibly been arrested, or killed.
Finally, Kate is able to re-establish contact through a web of BBM devices. But the heat of enforcement and surveillance had become extreme. I even received a credible tip that the DEA had indeed become aware of our journey to Mexico. Booking any flight to Mexico now would surely raise red flags. I make a plan to hide myself in the trunk of a friend's car and be driven to a waiting rental vehicle. I would then drive the rental from L.A. to Yuma, Arizona, then cross the border at Algodones. I'm familiar with this crossing '' papers are not checked, and vehicles are waved through without scrutiny. I'd then drive the 80-some-odd miles from the border to the Grande Desierto, and the village of El Golfo de Santa Clara, rendezvousing with a cartel plane that could take me to El Chapo. But Kate is insistent that if I am to make that journey, she would have to come with me. The route is relatively safe, but there are some narco-controlled areas, including a few that are not friendly to the Sinaloa cartel. There were also two military checkpoints the last time I had driven that route. The idea of a gringo driving with a Mexican film star would likely draw too much attention, but Kate would have it no other way. It becomes apparent that the risks outweigh the benefits on all sides, and we decide that, instead, I will send my questions to El Chapo by BBM. He agrees that he will record his responses on videotape. Without being present, I could neither control the questioning nor prod for elaborations to his responses. In addition, every question sent first had to be translated into Spanish. Remarkably, while Chapo has access to hundreds of soldiers and associates at all times, apparently not one speaks English.
At the end of each day that passed without receipt of the video, Kate would reassure me that it was only one more day away. But each night, El Chapo contacted her with more delays and apparent doubts. Not about my inquiries, but seemingly about how to make a tape of himself. "Kate, let me get this straight. The guy runs a multibillion-dollar business with a network of at least 50 countries, and there's not one fucker down there in the jungle with him who speaks a word of friggin' English? Now tonight, you're telling me his BBM went on the blink, that he's got hardly any access to a goddamn computer?! Are you saying he doesn't have the technical capability to make a self-video and smuggle it into the United States?"
I ask myself, How in the fuck does anyone run a business that way?! I go Full-Trump-Gringo on Kate, battering her daily by phone, text and encrypted email. In the end, the delay had nothing to do with technical incompetence. Big surprise. Whatever villainy is attributable to this man, and his indisputable street genius, he is also a humble, rural Mexican, whose perception of his place in the world offers a window into an extraordinary riddle of cultural disparity. It became evident that the peasant-farmer-turned-billionaire-drug-lord seemed to be overwhelmed and somewhat bewildered at the notion that he may be of interest to the world beyond the mountains. And the day-after-day delays might reveal an insecurity in him, like an awkward teenager bashful to go unguided before the camera. Or had all of this been an orchestrated performance?
When those hoops had finally been jumped through, mostly by Kate but at my relentless direction, the only retaliation I was left fearing during my engagement with El Chapo Guzmn and the Sinaloa cartel was the potential wrath of a Mexican actress toward an American actor who had single-mindedly abused his friendship with her to retrieve the needed video. And then an encrypted message came from Kate: "Got it!" I nearly hit the ceiling with excitement as Kate's follow-up dinged on my phone, " pushy motherfucker." I'd earned that. Evidently, a courier for El Chapo had delivered her the video. Kate and I met up, I made my apologies, and she transferred the video from her device to mine. At home, I turned down the lights, sat with an English transcription provided by Kate, which began with her note: "The video runs for 17 minutes. Press play."
He sits in a turquoise-and-navy paisley long-sleeve button-down shirt and clean black slacks on a randomly placed stool. The signature mustache that he wore in our last meeting, now gone. His trademark black trucker's hat, absent. His hair combed, or perhaps cap-matted, conjuring the vision of a wide-eyed schoolboy unsure of his teacher's summons. His hands folded across each other, a self-soothing thumb crossing the knuckle of the other. Beside him, a short white brick wall topped by a chain-link fence. Behind that, a white 4x4 pickup truck. The location appears as a large, ranch-like property with low-lying mountains far in the distance and the intermittent cockadoodledoo of farm roosters serving as the Greek chorus to the interview. Throughout the video, we see farm workers and paramilitaries crossing behind him. A German shepherd sniffs the dirt and wanders out of frame.
He begins: "I want to make clear that this interview is for the exclusive use of Miss Kate del Castillo and Mister Sean Penn." The image goes black.
When it returns, so has he to the comfort of his trucker hat.
Of the many questions I'd sent El Chapo, a cameraman out of frame asks a few of them directly, paraphrases others, softens many and skips some altogether.
How was your childhood?I remember from the time I was six until now, my parents, a very humble family, very poor, I remember how my mom made bread to support the family. I would sell it, I sold oranges, I sold soft drinks, I sold candy. My mom, she was a hard worker, she worked a lot. We grew corn, beans. I took care of my grandmother's cattle and chopped wood.
And how did you get involved in the drug business?Well, from the time I was 15 and after, where I come from, which is the municipality of Badiraguato, I was raised in a ranch named La Tuna, in that area, and up until today, there are no job opportunities. The only way to have money to buy food, to survive, is to grow poppy, marijuana, and at that age, I began to grow it, to cultivate it and to sell it. That is what I can tell you.
How did you leave there? How did it all expand?From there, from my ranch, I started to leave at 18 and went to Culiacan, then after to Guadalajara, but never without visiting my ranch, even up until today, because my mom, thanks to God, is still alive, out there in our ranch, which is La Tuna, and so, that is how things have been.
How has your family life changed from then to now?Very good '' my children, my brothers, my nephews. We all get along well, very normal. Very good.
And now that you are free, how has it affected you?Well, as for being free '' happy, because freedom is really nice, and pressure, well, for me it's normal, because I've had to be careful for a few years now in certain cities, and, no, I don't feel anything that hurts my health or my mind. I feel good.
Is it true what they say that drugs destroy humanity and bring harm?Well, it's a reality that drugs destroy. Unfortunately, as I said, where I grew up there was no other way and there still isn't a way to survive, no way to work in our economy to be able to make a living.
Do you think it is true you are responsible for the high level of drug addiction in the world?No, that is false, because the day I don't exist, it's not going to decrease in any way at all. Drug trafficking? That's false.
Did your drug business grow and expand when you were in jail?From what I can tell, and what I know, everything is the same. Nothing has decreased. Nothing has increased.
What about the violence attached to this type of activity?In part, it is because already some people already grow up with problems, and there is some envy and they have information against someone else. That is what creates violence.
Do you consider yourself a violent person?No, sir.
Are you prone to violence, or do you use it as a last resort?Look, all I do is defend myself, nothing more. But do I start trouble? Never.
What is your opinion about the situation in Mexico, what is the outlook for Mexico?Well, drug trafficking is already part of a culture that originated from the ancestors. And not only in Mexico. This is worldwide.
Do you consider your activity, your organization, a cartel?No, sir, not at all. Because people who dedicate their lives to this activity do not depend on me.
How has this business evolved from the time you started up until today?Big difference. Today there are lots of drugs, and back then, the only ones we knew were marijuana and poppy.
What is the difference in people now compared to back then?Big difference, because now, day after day, villages are getting bigger, and there's more of us, and lots of different ways of thinking.
What is the outlook for the business? Do you think it will disappear? Will it grow instead?No, it will not end because as time goes by, we are more people, and this will never end.
Do you think terrorism activities in the Middle East will, in any way, impact the future of drug trafficking?No, sir. It doesn't make a difference at all.
You saw how the final days of Escobar were. How do you see your final days with respect to this business?I know one day I will die. I hope it's of natural causes.
The U.S. government thinks that the Mexican government does not want to arrest you. What they want to do is to kill you. What do you think?No, I think that if they find me, they'll arrest me, of course.
With respect to your activities, what do you think the impact on Mexico is? Do you think there is a substantial impact?Not at all. Not at all.
Why?Because drug trafficking does not depend on just one person. It depends on a lot of people.
What is your opinion about who is to blame here, those who sell drugs, or the people who use drugs and create a demand for them? What is the relationship between production, sale and consumption?If there was no consumption, there would be no sales. It is true that consumption, day after day, becomes bigger and bigger. So it sells and sells.
We hear avocado is good for you, lime is good for you, guanabana is good for you. But we never hear anyone doing any publicity with respect to drugs. Have you done anything to induce the public to consume more drugs?Not at all. That attracts attention. People, in a way, want to know how it feels or how it tastes. And then the addiction gets bigger.
Do you have any dreams? Do you dream?Whatever is normal. But dreaming daily? No.
But you must have some dreams, some hopes for your life?I want to live with my family the days God gives me.
If you could change the world, would you?For me, the way things are, I'm happy.
How is your relationship with your mom?My relationship? Perfect. Very well.
Is it one of respect?Yes, sir, respect, affection and love.
How do you see the future for your sons and daughters?Very well. They get along right. The family is tight.
How about your life? How has your life changed, how have you lived it since you escaped?Lots of happiness '' because of my freedom.
Did you ever use drugs?No, sir. Many years ago, yes, I did try them. But an addict? No.
How long ago?I haven't done any drugs in the last 20 years.
Did it not worry you that you might be putting your family at risk with your escape?Yes, sir.
For your recent escape, did you pursue your freedom at any cost, at the expense of anybody?I never thought of hurting anyone. All I did was ask God, and things worked out. Everything was perfect. I am here, thank God.
The two times you escaped, it is worth mentioning, there was no violence.With me, it did not come to that. In other situations, what's been seen, things occur differently, but here, we did not use any violence.
Bearing in mind what has been written about you, what one can see on TV, things are said about you in Mexico, what kind of message would you like to convey to the people of Mexico?Well, I can say it's normal that people have mixed feelings because some people know me and others don't. That is the reason I say it is normal. Because those who do not know me can have their doubts about saying if, in this case, I'm a good person or not.
If I ask you to define yourself as a person, if I ask you to pretend you are not Joaqu­n, instead you are the person who knows him better than anybody else in the world, how would you define yourself?Well, if I knew him '' with respect, and from my point of view, it's a person who's not looking for problems in any way. In any way.
Since our late-night visit in the Mexican mountains, raids on ranches there have been relentless. A war zone. Navy helicopters waging air assaults and inserting troops. Helos shot down by Sinaloa cartel gunmen. Marines killed. Cartel fighters killed. Campasinos killed or displaced. Rumors spread that El Chapo escaped to Guatemala, or even further, into South America. But no. He was right there where he was born and raised. On Friday, January 8th, 2016, it happened. El Chapo was captured and arrested '' alive.
I think of that night, of that calm before the storm, and the otherworldly experience of sitting with a man so seemingly serene, despite his living a reality so surreal. I had not gotten the kind of in-depth interview I'd hoped to achieve. Not challenged checkers with chess, nor vice versa. But perhaps, at least, retrieved a glimpse from the other side, and what is for me an affirmation of the dumb-show of demonization that has demanded such an extraordinary focus of assets toward the capture or killing of any one individual black hat.
Still, today, there are little boys in Sinaloa who draw play-money pesos, whose fathers and grandfathers before them harvested the only product they'd ever known to morph those play pesos into real dollars. They wonder at our outrage as we, our children, friends, neighbors, bosses, banks, brothers and sisters finance the whole damn thing. Without a paradigm shift, understanding the economics and illness of addiction, parents in Mexico and the U.S. will increasingly risk replacing that standard parting question to their teens off for a social evening '' from "Where are you going tonight?" to "Where are you dying tonight?"
El Chapo? It won't be long, I'm sure, before the Sinaloa cartel's next shipment into the United States is the man himself.
Bernie Sanders Vows to Protect Organic Farming, Calls Out Monsanto As Presidential Campaign Heats Up |
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 15:52
Bernie Sanders in Phoenix, AZ. Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr
Unlike most of the top candidates, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders has a long history of speaking out against big corporations, factory farming, and the Biotech giants. As early as 1994 he was fighting against companies such as Monsanto using chemicals that impact human and animal health. He was also one of the few senators that introduced the Farm Bill that would require labeling of any genetically engineered ingredients in food.
Unlike another candidate running on the democratic platform Hilary Clinton who fully supports GMOs, Sanders believes that the biotech companies are ''transforming our agricultural system in a bad way.'' He says that he stands for the right of the people to know what is in our food (through mandatory GMO labeling that he helped pass in Vermont, an effort that the GMO giants are trying to block through the DARK Act) and supports family-owned and organic agriculture.
During a private dinner event on December 27th, Sanders spoke about how to make sure our food is healthy and our farming is ethical, as well as other big issues that his campaign stands for.
''The debate should be '' how do we make sure that the food our kids are eating is healthy food. And having the courage to take on these huge food and biotech companies who are transforming our agricultural system in a bad way,'' Sanders says in the video below from Facebook user Adryenn Ashley.
He also goes off on the fossil fuel industry, saying it's past due time we start to shift toward renewable and alternative energy.
Perhaps the most exciting part of his speech happens a few minutes in as describes the food scene in his home state, where organic farming and farmer's markets are becoming commonplace.
''We have hundreds of farmers markets (in Vermont), you'll find people buying food, beef and poultry directly from farmers, and there's a growing farm to school pipeline,'' he says. ''It's something we've worked very hard on and I think all over this country people are concerned about the quality of food their kids are eating.''
Sanders goes on to talk about how his own additions to the Farm Bill would help make this vision a reality for people across the country, and also calls out Monsanto on a key food and GMO-related topic that is being completely ignored by the mainstream media once again.
He also gets a few shots in against the factory farm industry. ''We need legislation and efforts designed not to protect factory farming, corporate farming but to protect family-based agriculture,'' he says. You can watch the full speech by clicking on the video player below.
Name Change email!
Alabama Judge Defies Roy Moore's Gay Marriage Ban - The Daily Beast
Thu, 07 Jan 2016 23:38
5.NO WAY01.07.16
Marvin Gentry/Reuters
An Alabama probate judge on Thursday defied state Chief Justice Roy Moore's order to deny same-sex marriage licenses.
Tommy Ragland, the probate judge for Madison County, ordered his office to resume issuing licenses to all after briefly halting them Wednesday while he reviewed Moore's order.
''Well after he reviewed that, and the county attorney did, we decided to continue,'' Chief Clerk Patty Hanson told The Daily Beast. ''The Supreme Court ruling [overturning state bans on same-sex marriage] still stands.''
Roy said Wednesday that state and federal courts had conflicting rulings on same-sex marriage, and claimed this caused ''confusion'' among probate judges. ''I did give an order that they were to follow the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court,'' Moore told the Montgomery Advertiser. ''That's simple, black letter law. The effect of Obergefell on those existing orders has to be determined by the Alabama Supreme Court.''
'--Katie Zavadski
NA-Tech News
Twitter Slumps to All-Time Low as Product Changes Loom - Bloomberg Business
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 21:35
Twitter Inc. is at an all-time low just months after co-founder Jack Dorsey took the helm as chief executive officer.
Since its 2013 initial public offering, the company has disappointed investors with slowing user growth and sales. While Dorsey aims to turn it around with product improvements, the moves haven't yet affected the company's numbers.
Twitter shares fell 1.4 percent to $19.98 at the close in New York, their lowest since the company's initial public offering in November 2013. The stock fell 35 percent in 2015. The decline came after U.S. equity markets suffered their worst week since 2011.
Dorsey said this week that Twitter is looking at new ways to display text, including letting people post longer tweets. He noted that people are already sharing longer messages by posting screenshots of text, although he added that he expects most tweets to remain ''short and sweet and conversational.'' The maximum number of characters in a post could be raised to as much as 10,000, a person with knowledge of the matter said, well beyond Twitter's iconic 140-character limit.
Twitter is scheduled to report fourth quarter earnings Feb. 10.
Un-verify scandal!
Twitter Unverifies Outspoken Conservative Journalist. It's Unlikely It Ever Expected This Response in Return |
Sat, 09 Jan 2016 13:56
A Breitbart journalist accused Twitter of removing his verification badge over the outspoken conservative views he often expresses on the social media platform.
Milo Yiannopoulos announced on Friday that he was told he had lost his blue checkmark for unspecified ''recent violations of the Twitter rules.''
''I've been sat on the naughty table!'' Yiannopoulos tweeted before predicting that Twitter is ''gearing up to purge conservatives.''
Yiannopoulos' followers, however, were not going to stand for it. They began changing their accounts to use Yiannopoulos' name and photo.
Others tweeted with the ''#JeSuisMilo'' hashtag which eventually rose to the number one trend in the U.S.
A spokesperson for Twitter did not respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze Friday night.
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Agenda 2030
Anthropocene - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 10 Jan 2016 07:04
The Anthropocene is a proposed epoch that begins when human activities started to have a significant global impact on Earth's ecosystems.[1][2] The term '' which appears to have been used by Soviet scientists as early as the 1960s[3] to refer to the Quaternary, the most recent geological period '' was coined with a different sense in the 1980s[4] by ecologist Eugene F. Stoermer and has been widely popularized by atmospheric chemistPaul Crutzen, who regards the influence of human behavior on the Earth's atmosphere in recent centuries as so significant as to constitute a new geological epoch for its lithosphere. As of January 2016[update], the term has not been adopted formally as part of the official nomenclature of the geological field of study.
In 2008 a proposal was presented to the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London to make the Anthropocene a formal unit of geological epoch divisions.[5] A large majority of that Stratigraphy Commission decided the proposal had merit and should be examined further. Steps are being taken by independent working groups of scientists from various geological societies to determine whether the Anthropocene will be formally accepted into the Geological Time Scale.[6]
Nevertheless, many scientists are now using the term "anthropocene",[7] and the Geological Society of America entitled its 2011 annual meeting: Archean to Anthropocene: The past is the key to the future.[8] The Anthropocene has no agreed start date, but some scientists propose that, based on atmospheric evidence, it may be considered to start with the Industrial Revolution (late eighteenth century).[5][9] Other scientists link the new term to earlier events, such as the rise of agriculture and the Neolithic Revolution (around 12,000 years BP). Evidence of relative human impact such as the growing human influence on land use, ecosystems, biodiversity, and species extinction is controversial; some scientists believe the human impact has significantly changed (or halted) the growth of biodiversity.[10] Those arguing for earlier dates posit that the proposed Anthropocene may have begun as early as 14,000 to 15,000 years before present, based on lithospheric evidence; this has led other scientists to suggest that "the onset of the Anthropocene should be extended back many thousand years";[11]:1 this would be closely synchronous with the current term, Holocene.
In January 2015, 26 of the 38 members of the International Anthropocene Working Group published a paper suggesting that the Trinity test on July 16, 1945, was the starting point of the proposed new epoch.[12] However a significant minority supports one of several alternative dates.[12] In March 2015, a paper published in Nature suggested either 1610 or 1964 could be the beginning of Anthropocene.[13] Other scholars point to the diachronous character of the physical strata of the Anthropocene, arguing that onset and impact are spread out over time, not reducible to a single instant or date of start.[14]
The Anthropocene Working Group plans to meet in mid-2016 to submit evidence and decide whether the Anthropocene is a true geologic epoch.[15] The proposal is set to be reviewed by the International Commission on Stratigraphy later in 2016. Should it be approved there, the proposal to adopt the term will have to be ratified by the International Union of Geological Sciences before its formal adoption as part of the geologic time scale.[16]
Etymology[edit]The name Anthropocene is a combination of Greek roots: anthropo- (Greek: á¼Î½Î¸ÏÏ‰ÏÎς [17]) meaning "human" and -cene meaning "new". All epochs in the Cenozoic Era end in "-cene".
The biologist Eugene Stoermer originally coined the term, but Paul Crutzen independently re-invented and popularized it. Stoermer wrote, "I began using the term 'anthropocene' in the 1980s, but never formalized it until Paul contacted me".[18] Crutzen has explained, "I was at a conference where someone said something about the Holocene. I suddenly thought this was wrong. The world has changed too much. So I said: 'No, we are in the Anthropocene.' I just made up the word on the spur of the moment. Everyone was shocked. But it seems to have stuck."[19] The term was first used in print in 2000 by Crutzen and Stoermer in a newsletter of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme.[9] In 2008, Zalasiewicz suggested in GSA Today that an anthropocene epoch is now appropriate.[5]
As early as 1873, the Italian geologist Antonio Stoppani acknowledged the increasing power and effect of humanity on the Earth's systems and referred to an 'anthropozoic era'.[20] A similar term, Homogenocene (from Ancient Greek: homo-, same, Ancient Greek geno-, kind, kainos-, and -cene, new [period]), was first used by Michael Samways in his editorial article in the Journal of Insect Conservation (1999) entitled, "Translocating fauna to foreign lands: here comes the Homogenocene".[21] Samways used the term to define our current geological epoch, in which biodiversity is diminishing and ecosystems around the globe become more similar to one another. The term was used by John L. Curnutt in 2000 in Ecology, in a short list entitled, "A Guide to the Homogenocene."[22] Curnutt was reviewing Alien species in North America and Hawaii: impacts on natural ecosystems by George Cox. Andrew Revkin coined the term Anthrocene in his book Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast (1992),[23] in which he wrote, "we are entering an age that might someday be referred to as, say, the Anthrocene. After all, it is a geological age of our own making." The name evolved into "the Anthropocene", which presents itself as a more suitable technical term.[24]
Nature of human effects[edit]Biodiversity[edit]The human impact on biodiversity forms one of the primary attributes of the Anthropocene. Humankind has entered what is sometimes called the Earth's sixth major extinction.[25][26] Most experts agree that human activities have accelerated the rate of species extinction. The exact rate remains controversial '' perhaps 100 to 1000 times the normal background rate of extinction.[27] In 2010 a study published in Nature found that "marine phytoplankton '' the vast range of tiny algae species accounting for roughly half of Earth's total photosynthetic biomass '' had declined substantially in the world's oceans over the past century. From 1950 alone, algal biomass decreased by around 40%, probably in response to ocean warming '' and that the decline had gathered pace in recent years.[28][need quotation to verify] Some authors have postulated that without human impacts the biodiversity of the planet would continue to grow at an exponential rate.[10] '' implying that human activities accelerate or exacerbate global warming.
Increases in global rates of extinction have been elevated above background rates since at least 1500, and appear to have accelerated in the 19th century and further since.[2]
A 13 July 2012 New York Times op-ed by ecologist Roger Bradbury predicted the end of biodiversity for the oceans, labelling coral reefs doomed: "Coral reefs will be the first, but certainly not the last, major ecosystem to succumb to the Anthropocene."[29] This op-ed quickly generated much discussion among conservationists; The Nature Conservancy rebutted Bradbury on its website, defending its position of protecting coral reefs despite continued human impacts causing reef declines.[30]
In a pair of studies published in 2015, extrapolation from observed extinction of Hawaiian snails led to the conclusion that "the biodiversity crisis is real", and that 7% of all species on Earth may have disappeared already.[31][32]
Biogeography[edit]Permanent changes in the distribution of organisms from human influence will be identifiable in the geologic record. Many species have been documented moving into regions that were once too cold for them, often at rates faster than initially expected.[33] This has occurred in part as a result of evolving climate, but also in response to farming and fishing, and the accidental introduction of non-native species to new areas by global travel.[2]
Climate[edit]One geological symptom resulting from human activity is increasing atmosphericcarbon dioxide (CO2) content. During the glacial''interglacial cycles of the past million years, natural processes have varied CO2 by approximately 100 ppm (from 180 ppm to 280 ppm). As of 2013, anthropogenic net emissions of CO2 have increased its atmospheric concentration by a comparable amount from 280 ppm (Holocene or pre-industrial "equilibrium") to approximately 397 ppm.[34] This signal in the Earth's climate system is especially significant because it is occurring much faster,[35] and to an enormously greater extent, than previous, similar changes. Most of this increase is due to the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas, although smaller fractions are the result of cement production and land-use changes (e.g. deforestation).
Geomorphology[edit]Changes in drainage patterns traceable to human activity will persist over geologic time in large parts of the continents where the geologic regime is erosional. This includes the paths of roads and highways defined by their grading and drainage control. Direct changes to the form of the Earth's surface by human activities (e.g., quarrying, landscaping) also record human impacts.
Stratigraphy[edit]Sedimentological record[edit]Human activities like deforestation and road construction are believed to have elevated average total sediment fluxes across the Earth's surface.[2] However, construction of dams on very many rivers around the world mean the rates of sediment deposition in any given place do not always appear to increase in the Anthropocene. For instance, many deltas around the world are actually currently sediment starved by such dams, and are subsiding and failing to keep up with sea level rise, rather than growing.[2]
Fossil record[edit]Increases in erosion due to farming and other operations will be reflected by changes in sediment composition and increases in deposition rates elsewhere. In land areas with a depositional regime, engineered structures will tend to be buried and preserved, along with litter and debris. Litter and debris thrown from boats or carried by rivers and creeks will accumulate in the marine environment, particularly in coastal areas. Such manmade artifacts preserved in stratigraphy are known as "technofossils".[2]
Changes in biodiversity will also be reflected in the fossil record, as will species introductions.
Trace elements[edit]In terms of trace elements, there are distinct signatures left by modern societies. For example, in the Upper Fremont Glacier in Wyoming, there is a layer of chlorine present in ice cores from 1960s atomic weapon testing programs, as well as a layer of mercury associated with coal plants in the 1980s. From 1945 to 1951, nuclear fallout is found locally around to atomic device test sites, whereas from 1952 to 1980, tests of thermonuclear devices have left a clear, global signal of excess 14C, 239Pu, and other artificial radionuclides. The concentrations of such radionuclides peaks in 1964, one of the dates which has been proposed as a possible benchmark for the start of the formally defined Anthropocene.[2]
Human burning of fossil fuels has also left distinctly elevated concentrations of black carbon, inorganic ash, and spherical carbonaceous particles in recent sediments across the world. Concentrations of these components increases markedly and almost simultaneously around the world beginning around 1950.[2]
Anthropocene temporal limit[edit]"Early anthropocene" model[edit]While much of the environmental change occurring on Earth is suspected to be a direct consequence of the Industrial Revolution, William Ruddiman has argued that the proposed Anthropocene began approximately 8,000 years ago with the development of farming and sedentary cultures. At this point, humans were dispersed across all of the continents (except Antarctica), and the Neolithic Revolution was ongoing. During this period, humans developed agriculture and animal husbandry to supplement or replace hunter-gatherer subsistence. Such innovations were followed by a wave of extinctions, beginning with large mammals and land birds. This wave was driven by both the direct activity of humans (e.g. hunting) and the indirect consequences of land-use change for agriculture.
This period (10,000 years to present) is usually referred to as the Holocene by geologists. For the majority of the Holocene, human populations were relatively low and their activities considerably muted relative to that of the last few centuries. Nonetheless, many of the processes currently altering the Earth's environment were already occurring during this period. Concerning the best starting date for the Anthropocene many proposals have been advanced. From the past to present, some authors consider the Anthropocene and the Holocene to be the same or coeval geologic time span,[36][37] others that the onset of the Anthropocene was just a bit more recent.[38] In fact, arguing the early Anthropocene hypothesis, William Ruddiman claims that the Anthropocene, as defined by significant human impact on greenhouse gas emissions, began not in the industrial era, but 8,000 years ago, as ancient farmers cleared forests to grow crops.[39][40][41] Ruddiman's work has, in turn, been challenged on the grounds that comparison with an earlier interglaciation ("Stage 11", approximately 400,000 years ago) suggests that 16,000 more years must elapse before the current Holocene interglaciation comes to an end, and that thus the early anthropogenic hypothesis is invalid.[citation needed] Ruddiman argues, in rebuttal that, this results from an invalid alignment of recent insolation maxima with insolation minima from the past, among other irregularities, which invalidate the criticism. Furthermore, the argument that "something" is needed to explain the differences in the Holocene is challenged by more recent research showing that all interglacials differ.[42]
Although 8,000 years ago the planet sustained a few million people and was still fundamentally pristine,[43] is the basis for an assertion that an early date for the proposed Anthropocene term does account for a substantial human footprint on Earth.[44]
Antiquity[edit]A plausible starting point of the Anthropocene could be at c. 2,000 years ago, which roughly coincides with the start of the final phase of Holocene, the Subatlantic.[45]
At this time, the Roman Empire encompassed large portions of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. In China the classical dynasties were flowering. The Middle kingdoms of India had already the largest economy of the ancient and medieval world. The Napata/Meroitic kingdom extended over the current Sudan and Ethiopia. The Olmecs controlled central Mexico and Guatemala, and the pre-Incan Chav­n people managed large areas of northern Peru. Although often apart from each other and intermixed with buffering ecosystems, the areas directly impacted by these civilizations and others were large. Additionally, some activities, such as mining, implied much more widespread perturbation of natural conditions.[46]
Industrial Revolution[edit]Crutzen proposed the Industrial Revolution as the start of Anthropocene.[20] Although it is apparent that the Industrial Revolution ushered in an unprecedented global human impact on the planet,[47] much of Earth's landscape already had been profoundly modified by human activities.[48] Dating of the beginning of a period called Anthropocene therefore ought to be assigned to the moment when mankind joined with the other environmental forces in shaping the planet. Doing so is difficult, perhaps it is even unrealistic to identify a Year Zero of an Anthropocene era. In fact, the human impact on Earth has grown progressively, with few substantial slowdowns. Lovelock proposes that the Anthropocene began with the first application of the Newcomen atmospheric engine in 1712. Until then, the highest level of energy available throughout human history had been limited to 1 kW per square metre, from the sun.
Anthropocene marker[edit]A marker that accounts for a substantial global impact of humans on the total environment, comparable in scale to those associated with significant perturbations of the geological past, is needed in place of minor changes in atmosphere composition.[49][50]
A useful candidate for this purpose is the pedosphere, which can retain information of its climatic and geochemical history with features lasting for centuries or millennia.[51] Human activity is now firmly established as the sixth factor of soil formation.[52] It affects pedogenesis either directly, by, for example, land levelling, trenching and embankment building for various purposes, organic matter enrichment from additions of manure or other waste, organic matter impoverishment due to continued cultivation, compaction from overgrazing or, indirectly, by drift of eroded materials or pollutants. Anthropogenic soils are those markedly affected by human activities, such as repeated ploughing, the addition of fertilizers, contamination, sealing, or enrichment with artefacts (in the World Reference Base for Soil Resources they are classified as Anthrosols and Technosols). They are recalcitrant repositories of artefacts and properties that testify to the dominance of the human impact, and hence appear to be reliable markers for the Anthropocene. Some anthropogenic soils should be hence viewed as the 'golden spikes' of geologists (Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point), which are locations where there are strata successions with clear evidences of a worldwide event, including the appearance of distinctive fossils.[45] Drilling for fossil fuels has also created holes and tubes which are expected to be detectable for millions of years.[53]
The Anthropocene in culture[edit]The concept of the Anthropocene has also been approached via humanities such as philosophy, literature and art. In the scholarly world, it has been the subject of increasing attention through special journal issues,[54] conferences,[55][56] and disciplinary reports.[57] The Anthropocene, its attendant timescale, and ecological implications prompts questions about death and the ends of civilization,[58] memory and archives,[59] the scope and methods of humanistic inquiry,[60] and emotional responses to the "end of nature".[61] It has been also criticized as an ideological construct.[62]
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Springer Science+Business Media. ^"2011 GSA Annual Meeting". Retrieved 28 November 2015. ^ abCrutzen, P. J., and E. F. Stoermer (2000). "The 'Anthropocene'". Global Change Newsletter41: 17''18. ^ abSahney, S., Benton, M. J. and Ferry, P. A. (2010). "Links between global taxonomic diversity, ecological diversity and the expansion of vertebrates on land"(PDF). Biology Letters6 (4): 544''547. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.1024. PMC 2936204. PMID 20106856. ^Doughty, C. E.; Wolf, A.; Field, C. B. (2010). "Biophysical feedbacks between the Pleistocene megafauna extinction and climate: The first human-induced global warming?". Geophysical Research Letters37 (L15703): 1''5. Bibcode:2010GeoRL..3715703D. doi:10.1029/2010GL043985. ^ abWas first nuclear test the start of new human-dominated epoch, the Anthropocene? '' UC Berkeley News Centre, 2015-1-16^Lewis, Simon L.; Maslin, Mark A. (March 2015). "Defining the Anthropocene"(PDF). Nature519: 171''180. Bibcode:2015Natur.519..171L. doi:10.1038/nature14258. ^Edgeworth, Matt; Richter, Dan deB; Waters, Colin; Haff, Peter; Neal, Cath; Price, Simon James (2015-04-01). "Diachronous beginnings of the Anthropocene: The lower bounding surface of anthropogenic deposits". The Anthropocene Review2 (1): 33''58. doi:10.1177/2053019614565394. ISSN 2053-0196. ^"Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy '' Working Group on the 'Anthropocene'". International Commission on Stratigraphy. Retrieved 28 November 2015. ^^"Greek Word Study Tool". Retrieved 2014-09-09. ^Steffen, Will; Grinevald, Jacques; Crutzen, Paul; McNeill, John (2011). "The Anthropocene: conceptual and historical perspectives"(PDF). Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A369: 843. Retrieved 31 December 2014. ^Pearce, Fred (2007). With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists fear tipping points in Climate Change. [Malaysia?]: Beacon Press. p. 21. ISBN 0-8070-8576-6. ^ abCrutzen, P. J. (2002). "Geology of mankind". Nature415 (6867): 23. Bibcode:2002Natur.415...23C. doi:10.1038/415023a. PMID 11780095. ^Samways M (June 1999). "Translocating fauna to foreign lands: here comes the Homogenocene"(PDF). Journal of Insect Conservation3 (2): 65''6. doi:10.1023/A:1017267807870. ^Curnutt J. L. (June 2000). "Book Review: A Guide to the Homogenocene". Ecology81 (6): 1756''7. doi:10.1890/0012-9658(2000)081[1756:AGTTH]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0012-9658. ^Revkin, Andrew C. (1992). Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast. Abbeville Press, Incorporated. ISBN 1558593136. ^Revkin, A. (1992). The "Anthrocene" era of a human-shaped Earth. ^Leakey, Richard, and Roger Lewin. "The sixth extinction." Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London (1995).^Alan Boyle. "Scientists Build Case for 'Sixth Extinction' ... and Say It Could Kill Us". NBC News. Retrieved 28 November 2015. ^"Anthropocene: Have humans created a new geological age?". BBC News. 10 May 2011. ^"Ocean greenery under warming stress". Retrieved 28 November 2015. ^Bradbury, Roger (13 July 2012). "A World Without Coral Reefs". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012. ^Wear, Stephanie (20 July 2012). "Coral Reefs: The Living Dead, Or A Comeback Kid?". Retrieved 22 July 2012. ^"Research shows catastrophic invertebrate extinction in Hawai'i and globally". 10 August 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2015. ^Claire R(C)gnier, Guillaume Achaz, Amaury Lambert, Robert H. Cowie, Philippe Bouchet, and Beno®t Fontaine (5 May 2015). "Mass extinction in poorly known taxa". PNAS112: 7761''7766. doi:10.1073/pnas.1502350112. ^Harvey, Fiona; Correspondent, Environment. "Climate change driving species out of habitats much faster than expected". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-11-08. ^ESRL Web Team. "ESRL Global Monitoring Division - Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network". Retrieved 28 November 2015. ^"BBC NEWS - Science/Nature - Deep ice tells long climate story". Retrieved 28 November 2015. ^Smith, B.D., and Zeder, M.A. (2013). "The onset of the Anthropocene". Anthropocene4: 8''13. doi:10.1016/j.ancene.2013.05.001. ^Certini, G. and Scalenghe, R. (2014). "Is the Anthropocene really worthy of a formal geologic definition?". The Anthropocene Review2: 77''80. doi:10.1177/2053019614563840. ^Ruddiman, WF. (2013). "The Anthropocene". The Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences41: 45''68. Bibcode:2013AREPS..41...45R. doi:10.1146/annurev-earth-050212-123944. ^Mason, Betsy (2003). "Man has been changing climate for 8,000 years". Nature. doi:10.1038/news031208-7. ^Adler, Robert (2003-12-11). "Early farmers warmed Earth's climate". New Scientist. Retrieved 2008-02-04. ^Ruddiman, William F. (2003). "The anthropogenic greenhouse era began thousands of years ago"(PDF). Climatic Change61 (3): 261''293. doi:10.1023/B:CLIM.0000004577.17928.fa. ^"Interglacial diversity : Abstract : Nature Geoscience". Retrieved 28 November 2015. ^Boyle, J. F., Gaillard, M.-J., Kaplan, J. O. and Dearing, J. A. (2011). "Modelling prehistoric land use and carbon budgets: A critical review". The Holocene21: 715''722. doi:10.1177/0959683610386984. ^Certini, G. and Scalenghe, R. (2015). "Holocene as Anthropocene". Science349: 246. doi:10.1126/science.349.6245.246-a. ^ abCertini, G. and Scalenghe, R. (2011). "Anthropogenic soils are the golden spikes for the Anthropocene". The Holocene21 (8): 1269''74. doi:10.1177/0959683611408454. ^Hong, S., Candelone, J-P., Patterson, C. C. and Boutron C. F. (1994). "Greenland ice evidence of hemispheric lead pollution two millennia ago by Greek and Roman civilizations". Science265 (5180): 1841''1843. Bibcode:1994Sci...265.1841H. doi:10.1126/science.265.5180.1841. PMID 17797222. ^Douglas, I., Hodgson, R. and Lawson, N. (2002). "Industry, environment and health through 200 years in Manchester". Ecological Economics41 (2): 235''55. doi:10.1016/S0921-8009(02)00029-0. ^Kirch, P. V. (2005). "The Holocene record". Annual Review of Environment and Resources30 (1): 409''40. doi:10.1146/ ^Zalasiewicz, J., Williams, M., Steffen, W. and Crutzen, P. J. (2010). "Response to "The Anthropocene forces us to reconsider adaptationist models of human-environment interactions"". Environmental Science Technology44 (16): 6008. Bibcode:2010EnST...44.6008Z. doi:10.1021/es102062w. ^Zalasiewicz, J.; et al. (2011). "Stratigraphy of the Anthropocene". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A369 (1938): 1036''55. Bibcode:2011RSPTA.369.1036Z. doi:10.1098/rsta.2010.0315. ^Richter, D. deB. (2007). "Humanity's transformation of Earth's soil: pedology's new frontier". Soil Science172 (12): 957''67. doi:10.1097/ss.0b013e3181586bb7. ^Amundson, R. and Jenny, H. (1991). "The place of humans in the state factor theory of ecosystems and their soils". Soil Science151 (1): 99''109. doi:10.1097/00010694-199101000-00012. ^"The Advent of the Anthropocene: Was That the Big Story of the 20th Century?". worldofideas. Retrieved 28 November 2015. ^Timothy Clark (ed.) (2012-12-01). "Special Issue: Deconstruction in the Anthropocene". Oxford Literary Review34 (2): v''vi. doi:10.3366/olr.2012.0039. Retrieved 2014-07-21. ^Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University (2012-06-13). Anthropocene Humanities: The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes. Canberra, Australia. Retrieved 2014-07-21. ^Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at LMU-Munich; Alexander von Humboldt Transatlantic Network in the Environmental Humanities (2013-06-14). Culture and the Anthropocene. Munich, Germany. Retrieved 2014-07-21. ^Wenzel, Jennifer (2014-03-14). "Climate Change". State of the Discipline Report: Ideas of the Decade. American Comparative Literature Association. Retrieved 2014-07-21. ^Scranton, Roy (2013-11-10). "Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene". New York Times: Opinionator. Retrieved 2014-07-17. ^Colebrook, Claire (2014-01-27). "The Anthropocene and the Archive". The Memory Network: Exchanges. Retrieved 2014-07-21. ^Nowviskie, Bethany (2014-07-10). "digital humanities in the anthropocene". Retrieved 2014-07-10. ^Ronda, Margaret (2013-06-10). "Mourning and Melancholia in the Anthropocene". Post45. Retrieved 2014-07-21. ^Andreas Malm, The Anthropocene Myth, The Jacobin, (March 2015)Further reading[edit]Ellis, Erle C.; Fuller, Dorian Q.; Kaplan, Jed O.; Lutters, Wayne G. (2013). "Dating the Anthropocene: Towards an empirical global history of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere". Elementa1: 000018. doi:10.12952/journal.elementa.000018. Kim, Rakhyun E.; Klaus Bosselmann (2013). "International Environmental Law in the Anthropocene: Towards a Purposive System of Multilateral Environmental Agreements". Transnational Environmental Law2: 285''309. doi:10.1017/S2047102513000149. Schmidt, G. A., D. T. Shindel and S. Harder (2004). "A note on the relationship between ice core methane concentrations and insolation". Geophysical Research Letters31 (23): L23206. Bibcode:2004GeoRL..3123206S. doi:10.1029/2004GL021083. Ruddiman, William F. (December 2003). "The anthropogenic greenhouse era began thousands of years ago". Climatic Change61 (3): 261''293. doi:10.1023/B:CLIM.0000004577.17928.fa. Ruddiman, William F., Stephen J. Vavrus and John E. Kutzbach (2005). "A test of the overdue-glaciation hypothesis"(PDF). Quaternary Science Reviews24: 11. Bibcode:2005QSRv...24....1R. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2004.07.010. Ruddiman, William F. (2005). Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-12164-8. Visconti, Guido (2014). "Anthropocene: another academic invention?"(PDF). Rend. Fis. Acc. Lincei25 (3): 381''392. doi:10.1007/s12210-014-0317-x. "Human-Driven Planet: Time to Make It Official?". Science Now. January 2008. External links[edit]
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During Barack Obama's town hall event hosted by Anderson Cooper on the Cable News Network Thursday evening, the president encouraged the use of ''smart guns'' that are designed to be fired only if the owner has a chip in a band or bracelet that prevents anyone -- from children to criminals -- from using the firearm.
However, the Democratic official failed to mention that he was the top recipient of campaign cash in 2008 and 2012 from the ''smart gun'' manufacturing industry, which stands to benefit from an influx of millions of dollars from his executive action calling for more research into the technology.
VIDEO-DiCaprio's Panic: It May Be 'Too Late' to Save Earth From Climate Change | MRCTV
Sun, 10 Jan 2016 04:00
[See NewsBusters for more.] Movie star Leonardo DiCaprio went into full climate panic on Thursday. Appearing on PBS's Charlie Rose, he speculated as to weather it's ''too late'' to save the planet from the ravages of global warming. Reflecting on last year's climate conference in Paris, the jet-setting actor pontificated, ''The big question is are we too late? That's been the pondering question for everyone. I know we should all remain optimistic and I want to remain optimistic.'' DiCaprio insisted, ''But we do know that the scientific community has been screaming out loud for decades. And other interests have stifled their voice and manipulated this conversation.'' Rose did not question whether the environmentalist is a hypocrite for taking a carbon-emitting private jet six times in six weeks.
VIDEO-CNN's Cooper Lets Slip: White House Press Corps 'Agrees' With Obama | MRCTV
Sun, 10 Jan 2016 03:42
Ooops. CNN's Anderson Cooper seemingly let slip on Thursday night what anyone who has a watched a presidential press conference already knows, but journalists are usually loath to admit: The White House press corps favor President Obama's policies and so don't challenge him on them.
>> This video clipped to illustrate a post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog
VIDEO- Cologne protest: 'we will not stop moving around freely' '' video | World news | The Guardian
Sat, 09 Jan 2016 13:58
Several hundred people gather in front of Cologne cathedral on Saturday to protest against sexual violence and to advocate for women's rights after 121 women were threatened or sexually assaulted in the city on New Year's Eve. One Cologne resident says the rally is about addressing these issues, by making 'sexism and sexual violence a topic in society, no matter by whom'
VIDEO- Immigrants in Germany return the favor for their hospitality - YouTube
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 21:44
VIDEO- Counter Intelligence | Part I - The Company - YouTube
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 17:58
VIDEO- Phone Farage - 8th January 2016: Watch In Full - YouTube
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 17:27
VIDEO- Yahoo's troubled advertising business
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 17:21
Between a sinking stock, an embattled CEO and restless investors demanding that the company be dismantled, these are not great days for Internet pioneer Yahoo.
Now add one more headache: The company's ad business, which brought in $1.15 billion in the second quarter of 2015, is rife with ad fraud, multiple sources told CNBC.
Executives at several media companies and media advisory firms with direct dealings with Yahoo's ad business said the company's programmatic video ad platform generates mostly fraudulent ad traffic, and otherwise does not work as promised. The platform is largely powered by BrightRoll, which was acquired by Yahoo in November 2014.
One company that used Yahoo's programmatic video ad platform said it discovered 30 to 70 percent of its ads were not running in areas where Yahoo was claiming they were. Most of the problems were tied to the fact that although it was paying $20 CPMs (cost per thousand views) for pre-roll advertising (ads that appear before a video), its ads were appearing in videos inside banners, which should have only been one-tenth of the price.
Another source said that it found BrightRoll's traffic was mostly coming from data centers' IP addresses, suggesting most of the ad views were nonhuman and fraudulent.
A Yahoo spokesperson denied the claims, and in a statement to CNBC, the company said: "Yahoo has always taken the integrity of ad inventory and traffic quality very seriously. We are leading the industry forward by allowing independent viewability and fraud measurement across our ad platforms through well-known and accredited, third party measurement partners."
"[W]e are committed to delivering value and results for our advertisers. ... We have focused on integrating advanced data, targeting and measurement capabilities across our advertising technology, including BrightRoll, to provide control and transparency, while driving results for advertisers," Yahoo said.
To be fair, ad fraud is a widespread problem not limited to Yahoo. A report by Distil Networks in October claimed that advertising fraud would cost the industry about $18.5 billion a year. For perspective, the Interactive Advertising Bureau projected that U.S. digital ad revenue reached $27.5 billion during the first six months of 2015.
Ad fraud occurs when digital advertisements are not being seen by the viewers companies paid to get in front of. In addition to creating nonhuman "impressions" or page views through bot networks, other known ad fraud practices include placing 1 pixel-sized advertisements on trusted websites which are invisible to the human eye. Sometimes, advertisements don't appear on the media sites or places the paying company believes they are.
VIDEO- Critics: Obama 'divisive,' 'disappointing... - YouTube
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 17:10
VIDEO- 1/7/16: White House Press Briefing - YouTube
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 17:08
VIDEO- Muslim refugees taught to not rape women as rapes soar in Sweden and Norway |
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 17:04
Muslim refugees in Norway are being taught how to treat Western women in classes designed to help male asylum seekers adapt to a country where women walk alone in public, talk to men, and wear clothes that bare more than their ankles.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
The classes teach Muslim refugees they shouldn't feel free to sexually harass or rape a woman simply because she wears skimpy clothes, drinks alcohol or smiles at them. Formal instruction is being offered as rapes by Muslims from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and North Africa have soared in Norway and Sweden in recent years.
The first such "sex education" program was launched in Norway after a series of rapes by Muslim migrants from 2009 to 2011.
Abdu Osman Kelifa, a Muslim asylum seeker from North Africa, told the New York Times he was shocked when he first arrived in Norway and saw women wearing short skirts and kissing in public, saying only prostitutes do that back in his homeland.
Kelifa said the sensitivity classes taught him a woman is not making sexual advances at him simply because she talks to him or walks alone at night without a male escort:
Men have weaknesses, and when they see someone smiling it is difficult to control.
[Back home] if someone wants a lady, he can just take her and he will not be punished."
Per Isdal, a clinical psychologist in Stavanger, Norway, developed the sensitivity classes. Isdal said the programs are meant to be educational without being accusatory, but underscored they are necessary.
''[Many refugees] come from cultures that are not gender-equal and where women are the property of men,'' said Isdal. ''We have to help them adapt to their new culture.''
Under sharia law, Muslim women must be submissive to their husbands, and a woman who is not sexually submissive can be raped by her husband with impunity. Under sharia, it's OK to rape Norwegian and Swedish women because they are considered "infidels."
A course manual sets out a simple rule that all asylum seekers need to learn and follow: ''To force someone into sex is not permitted in Norway, even when you are married to that person.''
Rapes in Sweden and Norway '-- two of the most feminist and gender-equal countries in the world '-- have skyrocketed in recent years as their Muslim refugee and migrant populations have soared.
Sweden, which once boasted extremely low instances of rape, is now considered the "rape capital of the West." The news has not been highly publicized because Sweden fears being labeled racist or Islamophobic.
The number of gang rapes in Sweden has exploded between 1995 and 2006, and culprits in most cases were immigrants from Muslim countries. The punishment for most of these horrible crimes has been shockingly light.
In November 2015, a gang of teenage boys were sentenced to a few months of probation after brutally gang-raping a 23-year-old Swedish woman. The group took turns vaginally raping, beating and sodomizing the girl. All the rapists were asylum seekers from Muslim North Africa.
The victim told Aftonbladet she felt ''sick'' that her rapists received such light sentences. The young lady said her physical wounds will heal but "mentally I feel bloody awful."
VIDEO- 'Dreams Can Come True': Jimmy Kimmel Shows Video of People Congratulating North Korea on H-Bomb Test | Video |
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 16:56
Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel aired video Wednesday night of individuals on Hollywood Boulevard congratulating North Korea on its claim of a ''successful'' hydrogen bomb test.
''The idea of North Korea having a hydrogen bomb would be somewhat alarming to those of us who are here on the west coast,'' Kimmel said before showing the clip.
It was not clear if the individuals interviewed by Kimmel's crew were replying with sarcastic answers or simply unaware of the issue, but many offered congratulations to the communist country and its dictator.
''That's really good,'' one woman said. ''Congratulations North Korea!''
''You know, I think that if you do believe that one day '-- dreams can come true,'' another said.
''If you believe you can do it, then you can achieve it,'' commented one more.
''Congratulations Kim Jong-un on everything you've done!'' one more person added
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VIDEO- Whoopi Goldberg Says She Wants Automatic Weapons Banned '-- Watch When Rand Tells Her They Already Are | Video |
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 16:46
Whoopi Goldberg seems to be under the impression that automatic weapons are available to the general public.
During Wednesday's episode of ''The View,'' Goldberg pleaded with Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul on gun control and said that she couldn't understand why ''anyone objects to getting rid of automatic weapons.''
Automatic weapons are regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and not available to the general public. Individuals must first be approved by the federal government for a special license by paying a $200 fee to the Internal Revenue Service and going through a process with the Treasury Department.
''Automatic weapons, they're not for hunting. They do nothing '-- they're only there to kill. And you'll notice that a lot of things that happened are with automatic weapons,'' she claimed to Paul. ''When we see that why don't we say, 'Who really needs to have one other than people that are at war?'''
''What we have is not automatic weapons. It's semi-automatic.''
The crowd erupted in applause before Paul could explain that the very weapons Goldberg was referring to are already unavailable to the general public.
''Truly automatic weapons we don't have,'' he said. ''We banned truly automatic weapons in I think 1934.''
Goldberg interjected, ''But we still got a lot of them Rand. C'mon!''
''What we have is not automatic weapons,'' Paul quipped back. ''It's semi-automatic. So they fire in a fairly fast sequence, but you can't pull the trigger and they come like a machine gun. Those are no longer out there.''
Paul then explained that ''people do hunt and people also do shooting and sports shooting and target shooting'' with semi-automatic weapons.
''Come to Kentucky and I'll introduce you,'' he told Goldberg. ''There are a lot of people who like and enjoy this as a sport.''
Paul added, ''But the other problem is if we take ownership away of specific types of guns, you really have to modify '-- something that big has to be either legislation or possibly a Constitutional amendment.''
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VIDEO- Brother Nathanael Channel - What To Expect In 2016
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 15:49
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VIDEO- Navy Seal DESTROYS Hillary- 'You Are An Ignorant LIAR' - BuzzPo
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 13:57
A U.S. Navy Seal veteran named Dom Raso has made it his personal mission to call Hillary Clinton out for the lie she told to an audience ''in order to make herself appear as courageous as American soldiers.'' The lie he is referring to is what Clinton said about dodging enemy fire in Bosnia.
''I remember landing under sniper fire,'' Clinton once said. ''There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicle to get to our base. It was a moment of great pride for me.''
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Video footage proves Clinton was greeted warmly with handshakes that day, as Raso points out. She later attempted to blame her lie on human error calling her ''mistake'' a ''misstatement.''
''In my 12-year military career, I never heard an excuse like that from my leadership,'' Raso told reporters. ''It's impossible to even imagine that happening.''
''Only someone completely arrogant, ignorant and disrespectful of what happens in war could say something like that,'' he concluded. ''Hillary was willing to lie in order to take advantage of that feeling of gratitude and awe Americans have for those who serve.''
VIDEO- Syrian government 'to let aid into besieged Madaya' - BBC News
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 13:26
Media captionActivists have released images of malnourished children, as Jim Muir reportsThe Syrian government has agreed to allow aid into the besieged rebel-held village of Madaya, the UN says, amid reports of residents starving to death.
The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) said that if access were secured, trucks could begin to arrive by Monday.
Aid agencies say conditions in Madaya, near Damascus, are "extremely dire".
The UN said it also had government permission for access to Kefraya and Foah in the north but, unlike Madaya, these are besieged by rebel forces.
Up to 4.5 million people in Syria live in hard-to-reach areas, including nearly 400,000 people in 15 besieged locations who do not have access to the life-saving aid they urgently need.
Madaya: 'People have started eating earth'
Syria: The story of the conflict
Battle for Syria and Iraq - in maps
'More children will die'Madaya, which is about 25km (15 miles) north-west of Damascus and 11km from the border with Lebanon, has been besieged since early July by government forces and their allies in Lebanon's Shia Islamist Hezbollah movement.
WFP spokesman Greg Barrow told the BBC that 72 hours was the "best case scenario" for trucks reaching Madaya.
He said: "I think we have to accept that this situation that they would be moving into is incredibly tense. We're moving across front lines, we need to ensure that that access is there, that there's no risk."
Although there are no complete figures on deaths in Madaya, Medecins Sans Frontieres said 23 patients in a health centre it supported had died of starvation since 1 December.
Media captionHunger in besieged MadayaThe UN humanitarian co-ordinator said it had also received credible reports of people dying from starvation and being killed while trying to leave.
Save the Children also warned on Thursday that "more children will die in the coming days and weeks unless food, medicine, fuel and other vital aid is immediately allowed into... Madaya".
Aid lorries delivered medical and humanitarian supplies to the village in October, and medical evacuations took place in December, but it has been inaccessible since then, despite numerous requests for access.
Analysis: Jim Muir, BBC News, BeirutThe government's decision to allow in aid does not mean the end of the ordeal for Syrians under siege.
It's not clear why Madaya shot to such prominence, given that other rebel-held areas, such as some of the Damascus suburbs, have been besieged for much longer. Perhaps Madaya was easier to seal off completely. Some blockades are quite porous.
But wounded pro-government fighters recently evacuated from rebel-besieged villages in the north also described people desperately eating grass to survive.
The Lebanese Hezbollah, which is active on the ground besieging Madaya, dismissed the furore over it as a cynical campaign of distortion by the opposition.
In the run-up to the proposed peace talks in Geneva on 25 January, the fate of the besieged communities is certainly a hot political potato. Without access, it's impossible to know the full truth. But some of the images emerging give a very grim picture.
Conditions have worsened with the onset of winter.
"People here have started eating earth because there's nothing left to eat," Madaya resident Abdel Wahab Ahmed, told the BBC on Thursday. "Grass and leaves have died because of the mounting snow."
He described the lack of medical facilities for the sick and vulnerable as "terrifying".
Image copyrightAPImage caption Wounded people were evacuated from Madaya and nearby Zabadani, pictured, in December The cost of basic goods has reportedly also surged, with 1kg (2.2lb) of crushed wheat selling for as much as $250 (£171) and 900g of powdered formula for babies going for about $300.
Ammar Ghanem, a Syrian American doctor who grew up in the Madaya area and has been in touch with family there, told the BBC that "lately people are going after cats and dogs, to catch them and eat them".
Activists said the siege of Madaya had been stepped up by the government and Hezbollah in retaliation for the rebel siege of Foah and Kefraya, which has lasted even longer.
The situation in the predominantly Shia villages, about 7km (5 miles) to the north of the city of Idlib, is also reported to have worsened.
Some of the estimated 30,000 people trapped in the villages have been forced to eat grass and undergo surgery without anaesthesia, according to evacuated pro-government fighters.
The UN has warned that international humanitarian law prohibits the targeting of civilians, and also the starvation of civilians as a tactic of war.
What's happening in Syria?
More than 250,000 Syrians have lost their lives in almost five years of conflict, which began with anti-government protests before escalating into a brutal civil war. More than 11 million others have been forced from their homes as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebels opposed to his rule battle each other - as well as jihadist militants from Islamic State.
Why are civilians under siege?
All parties to the conflict are using siege warfare, encircling populated areas, preventing civilians from leaving and blocking humanitarian access in an attempt to force opponents to surrender. Shortages of food, water, medicine, electricity and fuel have led to malnutrition and deaths among vulnerable groups.
Where are the sieges?
Government forces are besieging various locations in the eastern Ghouta area, outside Damascus, as well as the capital's western suburb of Darayya and the nearby mountain towns of Zabadani and Madaya. Rebel forces have encircled the villages of Foah and Kefraya in the northern province of Idlib, while IS militants are besieging government-held areas in the eastern city of Deir al-Zour.
VIDEO- Benghazi Victim's Father Issues Challenge To Hillary To Take Lie Detector Test | Weasel Zippers
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 03:33
Hillary lied to the families about the Benghazi attack being about a video. Then she lied about what she said to them, claiming she never told them it was about a video. All the families who have commented publicly (that's 4 different family members from three of the four families) have had their members say she said it was due to the video, including Charles Woods, the father of Ty Woods.
What reason would the families have to lie? Why then do they all remember she said the same thing and have said the same thing consistently since that time? Charles Woods, who is a judge, even took contemporaneous notes of what Hillary told him. Hillary's story, meanwhile has changed more than the weather.
It is Charles Woods who is now challenging Hillary to take a lie detector test with him. I'm guessing Charles, whose story has been consistent from the beginning, will pass with flying colors.
Chances Hillary when will accept the challenge? Between now and the 12th of never'...
HT: Right Scoop

Clips & Documents

Agenda 2030
DiCaprio’s Panic- It May Be ‘Too Late’ to Save Earth From Climate Change.mp3
Lara Spencer GMA climate change WTF kid with polar bear sob story.mp3
Yahoo advertising fraud.mp3
JCD Clips
christie and education.mp3
El Chapo RT.mp3
hellfire missile hilarity.mp3
Holland versus ukraine.mp3
northern piutes.mp3
NRA and Town Hall.mp3
phlly shooting.mp3
russias ban on turkey.mp3
salami recall.mp3
sharia law in UK.mp3
Farage LBC migrant rapes.mp3
Merkel Calls For New Laws To Make It Easier To Deport Immigrants.mp3
Muslim refugees taught to not rape women as rapes soar in Sweden and Norway.mp3
Syrian Refugees New To Canada Attacked With Pepper Spray At Welcoming Ceremony.mp3
North Korea
Andrea Mitchel irks Kerry at end of presser re NK H-Bomb.mp3
Kimmel-Lie Witness NEws-COnrats North Korea!.mp3
Obama Town Hall
Obama Town Hall CNN Gun Onwer uses Ockams Razor on Gun Grab!.mp3
Obama Town Hall CNN Hit piece on conspiracy theories-Jade Helm Lead-In.mp3
Obama Town HAll seatbelts airbags.mp3
Obama Town Hall Sir KJ.mp3
Obama Town Hall--Father Michael Flager TYFYC.mp3
Obama Town Hall-1-conversautsjan tough with crazies-Jade Helm.mp3
Obama Town Hall-2-Smart Guns.mp3
Obama Town Hall-3-Obama admits gun violence DOWN.mp3
Obama Town Hall-PCooper Hits Back at Obama for Suggesting Opponents on Guns Are Conspiracy Theorists.mp3
Pooper admits-White House Press Corps ‘Agrees’ With Obama-ODD JCD LISTEN.mp3
Oregon Oathers
VInce Warren Ex Dir CTR for constitutional rights, on MHP on navite american land rights.mp3
War on Guns
The View with Rand Paul-Whoopi Wants Automatic Weapons Banned - MORON.mp3
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